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Why do so many animes feel the need to be depressing?

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Mar 10, 2014 5:52 PM

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VirtusSignum said:
This is like this... sixth or seventh anime in a row that I've watched that has gone out of it's way to be depressing in one way or another. Mostly from a tragedy or death. I understand life is hard and its good to study the pain of loss to learn something or to move people but come on, anime... take some damn prozac.

Clannad: AS... oh dear mother of all things holy, this one... this f*cking anime... I think I am forever scarred by this one.
Gurren Lagann
Gode Geass
Guilty Crown
Angel Beats
ect...

I don't mind some animes being dark or having dark endings but... it seems really high. Is it a Japanese cultural thing?


TOTAL BITCH MODE
i am not fucking crying for you - there are a zillion shows out there
go ahead mods - i believe only a direct insult, as teeny weeny tiny as it may be, will set you off
 
Mar 10, 2014 5:59 PM
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JD2411 said:
Higashi_no_Kaze said:
So yeah, please consider the possibility of you being a wuss because I hate it when keyfags question the 'humanity' of people who didn't see Clannad as the pinnacle of drama and sadness. It isn't. Deal with it.
Wow, just wow.

Branding a whole fanbase 'keyfags' is about as low as one can go (which is, more often than not, pretty darn low)

You essentially said people can't have opinions which is totally not funky dude. Some peepz might have found clannad to be the saddest anime, but it's like I always say; that's just their opinion.


Where did I brand a whole fanbase? Keyfags are like the elitist core 10% (or so) of the Clannad & co fandom, people like Signum who honestly question the humanity of anyone who doesn't think Clannad is the saddest thing since the holocaust. The moment they blow up in my face when I disagree about this fact and insult me, is when they lose the right to be treated respectfully and politely themselves. That just my opinion and I act accordingly.

Listen, everybody wants change, don't nobody want to change though
don't nobody want to pray, till they got something to pray for
now everybody's gonna die, but don't everybody live though
 
Mar 10, 2014 6:04 PM

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Because true masterpieces can never be that moe slice of life dreck. A real show must enforce 100% maximum seriousness at all times because comedy is inherently inferior to real genres such as drama and tragedy.
This topic has not been locked and is still available for discussion.
 
Mar 10, 2014 6:07 PM

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Why do so many people not know that anime is the plural of anime? But seriously, I must've missed something, Gurren Lagann wasn't really that depressing, sure it had a couple sad moments, but overall the series was very upbeat especially compared to other Gainax shows.
 
Mar 10, 2014 6:14 PM

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Ckan said:
VirtusSignum said:
Clannad: AS
Gurren Lagann
Gode Geass
Guilty Crown
Angel Beats
ect...

I don't mind some animes being dark or having dark endings but... it seems really high. Is it a Japanese cultural thing?
And yet, these can all be seen as having positive, 'happy' endings.
Have to agree with Ckan wholeheartedly the second time today.
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Mar 10, 2014 6:31 PM
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gamer2710 said:
Because true masterpieces can never be that moe slice of life dreck. A real show must enforce 100% maximum seriousness at all times because comedy is inherently inferior to real genres such as drama and tragedy.
It's funny because that's actually been a standard set up by classic theatre for hundreds of years.
 
Mar 11, 2014 11:11 PM

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VirtusSignum said:
Valaskjalf said:
Because otherwise there would be no point in watching an anime that isn't depressing.


Is this true? I didnt know.


Imagine all those depressive anime you watch

now remove all the depressive elements

what's left?
 
Mar 11, 2014 11:41 PM

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gamer2710 said:
Because true masterpieces can never be that moe slice of life dreck. A real show must enforce 100% maximum seriousness at all times because comedy is inherently inferior to real genres such as drama and tragedy.

and its ironic that clannad ~after story~ mixed all those elements, either moe-istic and the realistic, into one lol XD

the mood of the world is kinda depressive right now, thanks to very social internet and a more talkative media nowadays, complicating the currently depressing world "peacetime" crisis. Making every people tense in every aspect possible...thus it reflects in some culture or art like anime, hence we got this "depressing" feeling on these -__-

 
Mar 11, 2014 11:41 PM

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Heredity said:
gamer2710 said:
Because true masterpieces can never be that moe slice of life dreck. A real show must enforce 100% maximum seriousness at all times because comedy is inherently inferior to real genres such as drama and tragedy.
It's funny because that's actually been a standard set up by classic theatre for hundreds of years.


You don't know what you're talking about. There's tons of classic ecchi plays like Midsummernight's Dream and half of classic opera are romcoms.
 
Mar 12, 2014 12:47 AM

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mecharobot said:
Heredity said:
gamer2710 said:
Because true masterpieces can never be that moe slice of life dreck. A real show must enforce 100% maximum seriousness at all times because comedy is inherently inferior to real genres such as drama and tragedy.
It's funny because that's actually been a standard set up by classic theatre for hundreds of years.


You don't know what you're talking about. There's tons of classic ecchi plays like Midsummernight's Dream and half of classic opera are romcoms.


Lets be honest though, at least in the english speaking world Dramas and Tragedies are generally more respected and they have been for a while. When's the last time a comedy won the academy award for best picture?

Ultimately though, I see the view that only dramas and tragedies can be masterpieces as an elitist and marginally relevant idea, that is due in large part to artistic elites being jaded.
Love and Peace!!!
 
Mar 12, 2014 12:50 AM

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VirtusSignum said:
TallonKarrde23 said:
Maybe if you didn't go out of your way to watch shows clearly labeled as drama that wouldn't happen.


Ckan said:
VirtusSignum said:
Clannad: AS
Gurren Lagann
Gode Geass
Guilty Crown
Angel Beats
ect...

I don't mind some animes being dark or having dark endings but... it seems really high. Is it a Japanese cultural thing?
And yet, these can all be seen as having positive, 'happy' endings.


I suppose in some sick, twisted sense of happy.


They call it 'bitter sweet'
 
Mar 12, 2014 1:06 AM

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Objurgo said:
VirtusSignum said:
TallonKarrde23 said:
Maybe if you didn't go out of your way to watch shows clearly labeled as drama that wouldn't happen.


Ckan said:
VirtusSignum said:
Clannad: AS
Gurren Lagann
Gode Geass
Guilty Crown
Angel Beats
ect...

I don't mind some animes being dark or having dark endings but... it seems really high. Is it a Japanese cultural thing?
And yet, these can all be seen as having positive, 'happy' endings.


I suppose in some sick, twisted sense of happy.


They call it 'bitter sweet'


Well yes, they weren't all bad. In those shows, it doesn't end with all of the protagonists dead or worse. Well, angel beats kind of does, since they're all dead to begin with, but you know what I mean. It's not like, for example, the ending of Fate/Zero. Mild spoiler there, but it's a forgone conclusion.
 
Mar 12, 2014 1:55 AM

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Objurgo said:
VirtusSignum said:
TallonKarrde23 said:
Maybe if you didn't go out of your way to watch shows clearly labeled as drama that wouldn't happen.


Ckan said:
VirtusSignum said:
Clannad: AS
Gurren Lagann
Gode Geass
Guilty Crown
Angel Beats
ect...

I don't mind some animes being dark or having dark endings but... it seems really high. Is it a Japanese cultural thing?
And yet, these can all be seen as having positive, 'happy' endings.


I suppose in some sick, twisted sense of happy.


They call it 'bitter sweet'


Several things:
1. Why should "drama" necessarily mean depressing?

2. A show can be depressing and still have a happy ending. I can't think of an anime example right now, but anybody heard of a little movie called "12 Years a Slave"??? I rest my case...

3. I'm with you VirtusSignum on Code Geass being on the depressing side, but the more I think about it, its more cynical than depressing.

4. I don't know about the others u list but I agree with those that have said that Gurren Lagann is really not depressing. Yes it has a few sad moments, but compared to whats out there... its nothin! The fact that you listed TTGL makes me think your'e a little sensitive to sad stuff...

5. Its definitely not just a Japanese thing. Look at the US movie industry for example! Even one of the most cheery strait-laced comic book characters got a dark and moody makeover (I'm talking about Superman of course!).

Anyway to actually answer your question "Why do so many anime feel the need to be depressing?": I think many anime to Contain Tragic Elements because most critically acclaimed anime and many popular anime take the viewer through a full range of emotion, which includes sadness. So, if an anime creator wants their anime to go down in the anime hall of fame or be the next big thing they add some tragedy. Look at shows like Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood or Evangelion. Two shows widely considered Masterpieces plenty of sadness between them. Even an Anime like One Piece, based on the best selling manga ever! Yes its extremely bright, up beat, and positive, but even in One Piece most of the main characters where orphans/ had fucked up childhoods and lovable characters get killed off, there's tragedy.

the right amount of sadness is authentic and draws in the viewer emotionally. That's why quality, respectable story tellers include this in their works. That's also why some anime makers throw this into a show in order to make a quick buck.
Love and Peace!!!
 
Mar 12, 2014 1:56 AM
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mecharobot said:
Heredity said:
gamer2710 said:
Because true masterpieces can never be that moe slice of life dreck. A real show must enforce 100% maximum seriousness at all times because comedy is inherently inferior to real genres such as drama and tragedy.
It's funny because that's actually been a standard set up by classic theatre for hundreds of years.


You don't know what you're talking about. There's tons of classic ecchi plays like Midsummernight's Dream and half of classic opera are romcoms.
I can't tell if you're joking or not.

Comedy is seen as the inferior form of entertaining within theatre. They exist, but they're not held to such acclaim.
 
Mar 12, 2014 2:13 AM

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needs to make up and create equilibrium for all the forced US happily ever endings out there.
 
Mar 12, 2014 3:23 AM

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You'll never have enough tears to cry again once you've watched Binchou-tan. It left me feeling like an empty husk. A true defiler of faith in humanity.
 
Mar 12, 2014 7:09 AM
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Its called Tradegy.

Its exists in all Cultures.

For The English it is Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, MacBeth.
Chinese its Water Margin, Three Kingdoms.

They are all great because its tragic.
 
Mar 13, 2014 4:40 AM

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gamer2710 said:
Because true masterpieces can never be that moe slice of life dreck. A real show must enforce 100% maximum seriousness at all times because comedy is inherently inferior to real genres such as drama and tragedy.


oh the trolling irony on this one :P You almost got me
S H O U T _ O L D _ B U T _ G O L D
 
Mar 13, 2014 4:57 AM

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CG and GC are just too emo in order to appeal to the dark emo kids of the late 2000s era.
 
Mar 13, 2014 11:20 AM

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For me stuff is actually more emotional if it's bittersweet, because im a cynic who wants to be an optimist.

If stuff is depressing as shit, and everyone's morally bankrupt or dying, I just kind of tune out my emotional attachment to the characters. the real world is very far from perfect, but it's not terrible.

So stuff that portrays both a world both good and bad with characters stuck on the bad side is more realistic, and I actually emotionally invest. That's when the feels begin...
Modified by Kusuriuri_San, Mar 13, 2014 8:31 PM
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Mar 13, 2014 11:53 AM

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The one-two punch of Evangelion and Madoka proves that to be super-popular (read: super-profitable) is to be EDGY and DEEP and TRAGIC and GRIMDARK.
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Mar 14, 2014 8:21 PM

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I think feeling depressed is different from feeling sad. With depression, there's more of a bleak, hopeless undertone. A lot of the time, the two are intertwined though. I thought the ending of Code Geass, while sad, wasn't depressing, and the show (for me at least) ends on a bittersweet, if not somewhat more positive than bittersweet, note.

Personally, I like happy endings (sometimes bittersweet) the best, but if an ending feels well-done, then I can't really complain about it. One of my absolute favorite endings to this day, because of how unabashedly happy it is, is the ending to Elemental Gelade.

@UnculturedWhitey, I can't comment on Evangelion, as I've only seen the first five episodes (and that was a very long time ago), but I thought Madoka was popular because it was considered to be very good or better. I don't think it'd have the kind of staying power it does if it was just edgy, deep, and tragic (I don't use much internet lingo, so I honestly don't know what you mean by "grimdark"). I think it has the staying power it does because underneath all the seriousness and the tragedy, the story is well-constructed, the characters are highly relatable (certainly understandable at the very least) and very-well realized, the world-building and concepts make a lot of sense (that doesn't necessarily mean you agree with them, just that for the most part they're explained pretty clearly within the context of the show), and it all works together wonderfully to create something that's incredibly compelling and memorable.

Shifting gears a little bit, some of the big shounen, slice of life, and romance shows are more popular than shows like Madoka could ever hope to be, and are much more profitable as a result of their popularity.

In general, I think a lot of shows that are serious tend to be a bit on the darker, or sadder, or more depressing side, because I think it's easier to write seriousness into those kinds of things. Perhaps it's not so much that many anime feel the need to be depressing for the sake of being depressing, but rather that many anime that take a more serious approach to what they're doing tend to be depressing or sad because it comes more naturally when dealing with serious things?

That said, there are at least a couple shows I can name that are serious without being very dark or depressing (admittedly, the second example isn't serious throughout, but does have some serious moments). The first example that comes to my mind is Witch Hunter Robin. It's a very serious show, played very straight, without too many dips into darker topics. For all its absolutely hilarious moments, Great Teacher Onizuka has several scenes (particularly when Onizuka is teaching his students about life) that are serious, but they're played straight and certainly don't get dark or depressing.
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