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Where does the line between a show's intentions and what you are looking for in it fall, in terms of "good" and "bad"?

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#1
Mar 20, 3:02 AM

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A post in another very recent thread made me think about a question I have lightly pondered for years now, yet have never fully explored for myself. I'd like to get AD's take on it.

The popular logic on whether a show is "good" or "bad" is quite simple: "If I enjoy it, it's good. If I don't, it's bad."

With that logic in mind, I have a thought experiment:

The main purpose of a show isn't necessarily to entertain. It could be specifically crafted to provoke you for whatever reason, perhaps to make you change your habits. Regardless of its effectiveness (I wouldn't know as I haven't seen it), Welcome to the NHK! is often cited as an example of this to otaku NEETs.

Now, leaving that example and speaking more generally, the people a provocative type of show is targeting might not find the show entertaining at all. They might find it utterly loathsome. If these people are the target and their purpose in consuming anime/fiction is entertainment what, then, are we to say of the quality of the provocative story? Is it good because it accomplishes its purpose? Or is it bad because it fails to meet the desires of those who consume it?

Now, before you whiff this away as a simple and easy question to answer, let me provide another example. Say you have a show that crams in as many cliches and formulaic stuff as it possibly can, and you fully know that the show is doing so on purpose because that makes money. Again, is it good for accomplishing its purpose? Or bad for failing to meet the desires of those who consume it?

In the former example I would be inclined to defend the show for accomplishing its purpose even if I didn't necessarily enjoy it much, yet in the latter example I would be inclined to criticize the show for "intentionally being bad". This strikes me as being contradictory, however, so I figure that rather then this being a black-and-white purpose-evaluation or personal-evaluation answer, there is some spectrum with a line in it where, if the line is crossed, my personal requirements of fiction override whether I care about what it intends to do.

I'm not yet sure how to explain the placement of that line in words.

If you can relate to the above, why do you only care about a show's intentions to an extent? Where is the "line" drawn for you, and why is it drawn there?
 
#2
Mar 20, 3:07 AM

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"Again, is it good for accomplishing its purpose?"
If something is shit on purpose, it doesn't mean that it isn't shit.
 
#3
Mar 20, 3:10 AM

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InceptionLoop said:
"Again, is it good for accomplishing its purpose?"
If something is shit on purpose, it doesn't mean that it isn't shit.

The point was if its main purpose is not to entertain but for example to start some thought process(maybe uncomfortable, but consensual), being shit on purpose is pretty rare I would say :D


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#4
Mar 20, 3:15 AM

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HamburgerSpike said:
InceptionLoop said:
"Again, is it good for accomplishing its purpose?"
If something is shit on purpose, it doesn't mean that it isn't shit.

The point was if its main purpose is not to entertain but for example to start some thought process(maybe uncomfortable, but consensual), being shit on purpose is pretty rare I would say :D

To expand on this, I heavily doubt many shows literally try to be "terrible" in the sense that that aren't trying to make money or raise interest in something.

"Being bad on purpose" is an evaluation on our part because when we say that, we're talking about the show purposely doing something we don't want it to do. It's not something the creators are attempting to do in a literal sort of way.
 
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Mar 20, 3:19 AM

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TripleSRank said:
HamburgerSpike said:

The point was if its main purpose is not to entertain but for example to start some thought process(maybe uncomfortable, but consensual), being shit on purpose is pretty rare I would say :D

To expand on this, I heavily doubt many shows literally try to be "terrible" in the sense that that aren't trying to make money or raise interest in something.

"Being bad on purpose" is an evaluation on our part because when we say that, we're talking about the show purposely doing something we don't want it to do. It's not something the creators are attempting to do in a literal sort of way.

I think some creators enjoy doing even these kinds of things, a show like Shitcom for example, the only possible explanation I see is that the creators thought it would be cool to make something really and obviously bad.


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#6
Mar 20, 3:23 AM

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HamburgerSpike said:
TripleSRank said:

To expand on this, I heavily doubt many shows literally try to be "terrible" in the sense that that aren't trying to make money or raise interest in something.

"Being bad on purpose" is an evaluation on our part because when we say that, we're talking about the show purposely doing something we don't want it to do. It's not something the creators are attempting to do in a literal sort of way.

I think some creators enjoy doing even these kinds of things, a show like Shitcom for example, the only possible explanation I see is that the creators thought it would be cool to make something really and obviously bad.

Well, yes, it is possible for that to happen, but my point was that it's not the norm.

If the question were as simple as, "Are shows that are intentionally offensive for no purpose beyond being offensive, bad?" then I wouldn't have made the thread, because that's an easy question to answer for myself. :3
 
#7
Mar 20, 3:26 AM

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TripleSRank said:
HamburgerSpike said:

I think some creators enjoy doing even these kinds of things, a show like Shitcom for example, the only possible explanation I see is that the creators thought it would be cool to make something really and obviously bad.

Well, yes, it is possible for that to happen, but my point was that it's not the norm.

If the question were as simple as, "Are shows that are intentionally offensive for no purpose beyond being offensive, bad?" then I wouldn't have made the thread, because that's an easy question to answer for myself. :3

Well, I said that its not the norm in my initial post in response to this guy so idk why you quoted me instead to repeat that :D I even tried bringing him on the (I think)right track.


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#8
Mar 20, 4:01 AM

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hmmm I wonder whose response was it considering the wording you've used....

Entertainment and enjoyment are vague concept and can be also reffered to as positive impact on oneself, Welcome to the NHK had an impact on me and I "enjoyed" it, in a different way than I enjoyed fairy tail but they both had "positive impact" in one way or another on me.

Art is subjective in the way that unlike a hammer it does not really have a very defined purpose that is universal, given different hammers have different uses they all have obvious idea behind them and can be tested and defined more easily as either good or bad. Art works differently, your own interpretations matters the most, yes you can say that does not really mean that it has to be "enjoyable" to be "good", you can say LoGH was good because muh scale but that does not mean that everyone else will think the same and tho many people constantly claim that quality and enjoyment are separable I firmly believe they are deeply connected and can be treated as one.

Another thing I would like to point out: So bad it's good, you can say they are bad because they fail at what they try but they also unintentionally can be entertaining and good just not in the way the creator intended.

I do not personally draw a line, to me, it is on the verge of being really faint and practically non existed.




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#9
Mar 20, 8:03 AM
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TripleSRank said:
A post in another very recent thread made me think about a question I have lightly pondered for years now, yet have never fully explored for myself. I'd like to get AD's take on it.

The popular logic on whether a show is "good" or "bad" is quite simple: "If I enjoy it, it's good. If I don't, it's bad."

With that logic in mind, I have a thought experiment:

The main purpose of a show isn't necessarily to entertain. It could be specifically crafted to provoke you for whatever reason, perhaps to make you change your habits. Regardless of its effectiveness (I wouldn't know as I haven't seen it), Welcome to the NHK! is often cited as an example of this to otaku NEETs.

Now, leaving that example and speaking more generally, the people a provocative type of show is targeting might not find the show entertaining at all. They might find it utterly loathsome. If these people are the target and their purpose in consuming anime/fiction is entertainment what, then, are we to say of the quality of the provocative story? Is it good because it accomplishes its purpose? Or is it bad because it fails to meet the desires of those who consume it?

Now, before you whiff this away as a simple and easy question to answer, let me provide another example. Say you have a show that crams in as many cliches and formulaic stuff as it possibly can, and you fully know that the show is doing so on purpose because that makes money. Again, is it good for accomplishing its purpose? Or bad for failing to meet the desires of those who consume it?

In the former example I would be inclined to defend the show for accomplishing its purpose even if I didn't necessarily enjoy it much, yet in the latter example I would be inclined to criticize the show for "intentionally being bad". This strikes me as being contradictory, however, so I figure that rather then this being a black-and-white purpose-evaluation or personal-evaluation answer, there is some spectrum with a line in it where, if the line is crossed, my personal requirements of fiction override whether I care about what it intends to do.

I'm not yet sure how to explain the placement of that line in words.

If you can relate to the above, why do you only care about a show's intentions to an extent? Where is the "line" drawn for you, and why is it drawn there?


The secondly example is generally assumed but never spoken corollary. Said corollary being: If money is involved as the primary purpose, and there was never meant to be any purpose beyond making money, it becomes inherently bad.
Outside of anime, the best example would be the massive hatedom that Nickelback has gained despite being generally 'meh'.

Granted, I personally don't follow this corollary, let alone the mindset of "Personal Enjoyment = Good Quality."

 
Mar 20, 8:32 AM

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TripleSRank said:
Now, leaving that example and speaking more generally, the people a provocative type of show is targeting might not find the show entertaining at all. They might find it utterly loathsome. If these people are the target and their purpose in consuming anime/fiction is entertainment what, then, are we to say of the quality of the provocative story? Is it good because it accomplishes its purpose? Or is it bad because it fails to meet the desires of those who consume it?

If a show catches the target audience's attention and changes them for the better - it is, indeed, a good show. Pointlessly provoking them, and possibly making them hate people like the author in the process, making it harder for those who would try to follow - is a sign of a bad show.
This is why I believe that it's acceptable for a great show like Kodomo no Jikan to start with fanservice to catch the audience's attention, and only proceed to the finer topics when it has attention. Catering to pedophiles? Why not - if there are people who need some positive propaganda messages, it's them.

TripleSRank said:

Now, before you whiff this away as a simple and easy question to answer, let me provide another example. Say you have a show that crams in as many cliches and formulaic stuff as it possibly can, and you fully know that the show is doing so on purpose because that makes money. Again, is it good for accomplishing its purpose? Or bad for failing to meet the desires of those who consume it?

For me, the question is - do they manage to assemble the cliches into an awesome whole, or do they collapse into an ugly mess?
The second question is - how different it is from its immediate competition? A magical girl show set in a generic fantasy world is unusual enough to earn instant goodwill (from me), even though all of its component parts aren't new. Really, any author who thinks with his own head can make a work unique enough for me.

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Mar 20, 8:34 AM

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The producers have to intend to complete story for me to rate it as good
I rate all the anime I watch individually and even if a show is popular enough to get a second season, cliffhangers negatively impact my score for them
 
Mar 20, 8:41 AM

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HamburgerSpike said:
TripleSRank said:

To expand on this, I heavily doubt many shows literally try to be "terrible" in the sense that that aren't trying to make money or raise interest in something.

"Being bad on purpose" is an evaluation on our part because when we say that, we're talking about the show purposely doing something we don't want it to do. It's not something the creators are attempting to do in a literal sort of way.

I think some creators enjoy doing even these kinds of things, a show like Shitcom for example, the only possible explanation I see is that the creators thought it would be cool to make something really and obviously bad.


it has it own purpose using bizare visual...
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Mar 20, 9:17 AM

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The ultimate deciding factor will still be whether or not it managed to entertain me while doing so - I'm not opposed to the idea of something trying to present me with an idea or a message or anything, but if it can't do that in a way that I enjoy watching then it's meaningless to me.

At the heart of why I watch anime is entertainment; why a creator made a series, be it a transparent cash grab or to try and spread their beliefs and ideals or share their worldview, is entirely irrelevant to me in that sense. Both can provide the endgoal I seek out, and as such I'm just going to prefer whichever one gives me what I'm looking for.

What the viewer seeks to gain from something and why they're watching it is more important than whatever reason the creator made it, basically.
 
Mar 20, 10:04 AM

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@TripleSRank

I think another great example of this is ore no twintails. In short it's about a twintail otaku that can transform into a girl with twintail and fights other types of otaku (represented as lizards and insects). At one point the mc gets kissed by a girl and looses the ability to transform.

A lot of people write it off as an otaku/weeb pandering show (they're not wrong) but at the same time i think the message is get yourself a 3D girl. At least that's how i see it.
 
Mar 20, 10:11 AM

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How should I know the exact intentions?
 
Mar 20, 1:03 PM

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NHK is pro-confromist nonsense, let's get this off first.

I don't view 'purpose' as something that must not be questioned. I question the purpose and whether it's a good one in the first place. If your purpose is to write an ultra-cliched story to make money and it did make money, I wouldn't call it a success. Since its purpose was uninteresting or dull and it didn't do anything else.

I don't just judge the purpose, but general achievements. An anime can miss its target but still be good. Death Note utterly fails in the psychology/philosophy departments, but other than that it's a fun thriller with a unique enough premise.
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Mar 20, 3:08 PM

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If you want to find the line between those, make sure you get a ruler, having one is need to have a perfectly straight line.
 
Mar 20, 3:18 PM

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The only intent I care about is my own. which is being entertained.

I dont really care what the author or the studio is trying to brainwash me with.

if it bores me, i drop it.

the line you speak of op, there is no such line.

and if there is such a line, I'm so far past it, its just a dot.

the line is a dot to me.
 
Mar 20, 3:26 PM

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Whether a show accomplishes the purpose given to it by its creators is irrelevant. The only reason I watch anime is so that I can be entertained, so if a show fails to do that, then it is bad.

For example, let's say a studio put out an anime about watching paint dry with the goal of boring people to death. Was it successful in accomplishing its goal? Yes. Is it still shit? Also yes.
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Mar 20, 6:18 PM

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Entertainment is ultimately what I'm looking for in an anime. It also starts from there... whatever the creator wants to convey is at the mercy of that fact. If I don't find the show entertaining in the first place then I won't even care even if it has the possibility of resonating with me or it's what other people say is "well made". I just file it as bad and move on. Basically, I have to find the show entertaining even if a little to care about what it is trying to do. Most of my favorites are either extremely entertaining shows or have transcended that entertainment phase to deeply resonate with me. To be good, it has to entertain me first.



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Mar 20, 6:41 PM

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A art's purpose is to convey ideas. In order to do so, it has to grab your attention and make sure you're interested in what it has to offer. If an anime wants to leave a profound affect on me with it's themes and motifs, I must be entertained. The reason certain shows are a financial success is that their audience was appeased enough to win that acclaim and support. Quality is subjective to whomever views it, and to how effectively these ideas are conveyed to said viewer. Therefore I won't use something such as commercial success to judge its value.
 
Mar 20, 8:23 PM

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But, How do you know the show purpose?
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Mar 20, 8:38 PM

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I'm not quite sure of what you trying to get at here and I haven't watched NHK! so the example is a little murky for but here's is my take, if I'm why off base please correct me.

Media has all types of ways to try to entertain its viewers whether reality, documentary, or realistic fiction. All these have to have some type of quality to it I feel, For example I might be watching a documentary about WWI and it might have a ton of info that others might not have; but the narrator is speaking monotone over a blank screen. That right there is a very basic description of not holding the audience attention thus imo not being entertaining to the majority of viewers.

About your example about NHK! you said that its a depiction for an otaku NEET, it still needs some level of quality that satisfies the majority of its viewers whatever that is, as that's another discussion on it own. I've watched slave movies and just because they may depict slavery its self does necessarily mean its entertaining. I guess you can say it was a success for the maker if his goal was only to depict slavery but for the majority of viewers they'd probably opt to watch something else.

On your last point if a show is cramming tons of cliques to make a giant money grab and for what ever reason it does that sure its an success on a business level; but its an utter failure on a entertainment level. I doubt viewers would want to watch anymore works from said producer.
 
Mar 21, 6:21 AM

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I feel like this is way more complex than it needs to be.

When it comes to trying to evaluate something based on what it "intends" to do, there are a number of questions, all of them relatively subjective. The most obvious one is what precisely is that intention? That can be discerned from a number of factors that are reliable (understanding of the author, contextual evidence in the story, treatment of the narrative in tone and mood).

The follow up question is whether this was executed well? This is relatively self-explanatory. Everyone internalizes this question when they watch or read something to some degree.

Then after that, the most important, but difficult, question of all, is whether this intention is something that's worth lauding? Is it worth lauding something that intentionally tries to be bad? In almost every case I would argue no. But in this example there are exceptions, albeit rather special ones. Vladimir Nabokov, in a number of his works, purposefully added in snippets, poems, and bits of prose that he meant to exemplify as examples of "bad" art because it served his point in trying to elucidate his understanding of the distinction between good and bad. But provided that something like this is not the case, if something is easy to execute, or does something that is trivial and temporal, or does something that you feel is utterly useless, then I'd argue that such an intention is not worth commemorating.
 
Mar 21, 10:03 AM

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mattao313 said:
About your example about NHK! you said that its a depiction for an otaku NEET, it still needs some level of quality that satisfies the majority of its viewers whatever that is, as that's another discussion on it own.

NHK ni Youkoso can be quite entertaining and insightful at times. But overall, it's very heavy and hard to watch, because it is a story of a guy suffering from major psychological problems, and this is not played for funny. People who actually managed to finish the story say it did not treat the subject with the care and understanding it deserves.

mattao313 said:
On your last point if a show is cramming tons of cliques to make a giant money grab and for what ever reason it does that sure its an success on a business level; but its an utter failure on a entertainment level. I doubt viewers would want to watch anymore works from said producer.

If a work makes a lot of money, cliched or not, it means the viewers liked it. And they will probably be looking to the next work from the same authors.
Cramming cliches into a single work is an art of its own, no matter what snobs say.
 
Mar 21, 11:19 AM

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flannan said:
If a work makes a lot of money, cliched or not, it means the viewers liked it. And they will probably be looking to the next work from the same authors.
This is not true at all and rests on a number of business and statistical errors. There are plenty of things that can't be read until it's bought. Light novels these days often come packaged in plastic wrap so the reader can't preview content. Many games are released to great sales without any trials beforehand. The release of Harry Potter was much anticipated, but as it was years before e-books, tons of people had to purchase the novel before coming to a definitive conclusion. There are plenty of highly anticipated works, whether it's television shows, games, light novels, movies, or otherwise, that witness huge sales due to hype and well directed marketing that absolutely tank in the ratings.

Business success is not indicative of quality. Knowing what a Cosco is should make that obvious to anyone.
Modified by Yudina, Mar 21, 11:31 AM
 
Mar 21, 11:21 AM

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flannan said:
mattao313 said:
About your example about NHK! you said that its a depiction for an otaku NEET, it still needs some level of quality that satisfies the majority of its viewers whatever that is, as that's another discussion on it own.

NHK ni Youkoso can be quite entertaining and insightful at times. But overall, it's very heavy and hard to watch, because it is a story of a guy suffering from major psychological problems, and this is not played for funny. People who actually managed to finish the story say it did not treat the subject with the care and understanding it deserves.

mattao313 said:
On your last point if a show is cramming tons of cliques to make a giant money grab and for what ever reason it does that sure its an success on a business level; but its an utter failure on a entertainment level. I doubt viewers would want to watch anymore works from said producer.

If a work makes a lot of money, cliched or not, it means the viewers liked it. And they will probably be looking to the next work from the same authors.
Cramming cliches into a single work is an art of its own, no matter what snobs say.

Thanks for the explanation, maybe that's what drew it audience was the heavy handed nature and little sugar coat.

Not necessarily they're plenty of times were a show gets tons of viewers maybe from GOAT level advertising and once it actually comes out it totally sucks. Also I used the OP's example of cliche cramming, sure a work with tons of cliches can be great but in this situation he's using it as an negative.
 
Mar 21, 11:30 AM

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Enjoyment comes in many ways. A lot of people intentionally go to museums for entertainment even though using the MAL review scale the experience wouldn't score very high at all. If an anime served its purpose but as an individual you didn't find that purpose enjoyable then it isn't any better to you than if it had failed to do what it wanted to. If you watch a hentai that doesn't cater to any of your fetishes then the experience won't be any more arousing than dirt even if someone who does have those fetishes may find it to be the best experience of their life.

Good and bad are subjective. If you don't rate things lower for not appealing to your taste then the mean score on MAL might rise even higher than the 6.9 it already is.
 
Mar 21, 12:04 PM

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Yudina said:
flannan said:
If a work makes a lot of money, cliched or not, it means the viewers liked it. And they will probably be looking to the next work from the same authors.
This is not true at all and rests on a number of business and statistical errors. There are plenty of things that can't be read until it's bought. Light novels these days often come packaged in plastic wrap so the reader can't preview content. Many games are released to great sales without any trials beforehand. The release of Harry Potter was much anticipated, but as it was years before e-books, tons of people had to purchase the novel before coming to a definitive conclusion. There are plenty of highly anticipated works, whether it's television shows, games, light novels, movies, or otherwise, that witness huge sales due to hype and well directed marketing that absolutely tank in the ratings.

Business success is not indicative of quality. Knowing what a Cosco is should make that obvious to anyone.

Well, I don't think it ever works like that in anime. After all, they show anime on TV for free, and only people who liked it buy it.
The same applies to manga, which is bundled with a lot of competitors in a manga magazine first.
With light novels, they are usually long-running, so people who keep buying later volumes can be seen as a measure of the work's success.
It's only visual novels that have to be bought all at once.

Of course, some anime just have more worth as DB/DVD version, because of better graphics and less censorship, which can be called a marketing ploy. But they have to be appealing from the start, even if its' just sex appeal.
 
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flannan said:
Yudina said:
This is not true at all and rests on a number of business and statistical errors. There are plenty of things that can't be read until it's bought. Light novels these days often come packaged in plastic wrap so the reader can't preview content. Many games are released to great sales without any trials beforehand. The release of Harry Potter was much anticipated, but as it was years before e-books, tons of people had to purchase the novel before coming to a definitive conclusion. There are plenty of highly anticipated works, whether it's television shows, games, light novels, movies, or otherwise, that witness huge sales due to hype and well directed marketing that absolutely tank in the ratings.

Business success is not indicative of quality. Knowing what a Cosco is should make that obvious to anyone.

Well, I don't think it ever works like that in anime. After all, they show anime on TV for free, and only people who liked it buy it.
It's not on TV for free. Airspace is never free. I don't know where you get that impression. Further, since we're dealing with the West the predominant way for people to watch their anime these days legally is to subscribe to Crunchyroll. Viewers essentially pay to watch future shows at the earliest times at the highest quality (presumably). They have no idea what the quality of said anime is but are buying it in the hopes that it's good. Once again, the successful business model of Crunchyroll does not necessitate that its collection of anime is of good quality or will retain good quality, etc. etc.

flannan said:
The same applies to manga, which is bundled with a lot of competitors in a manga magazine first.
Which needs to be purchased before it's consumed. A lot of these are also wrapped in plastic and cannot be viewed before opening.

flannan said:
With light novels, they are usually long-running, so people who keep buying later volumes can be seen as a measure of the work's success.
Again, this is a statistical fallacy. Prior success does not guarantee future results. Sword Art Online could have 19 straight volumes where everyone loves it and the 20th volume comes out and everyone buys it off the hype, but the success of the sale of the 20th does not necessitate that it is better than the other 19 previous volumes.
 
Mar 21, 12:30 PM

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Yudina said:
flannan said:

Well, I don't think it ever works like that in anime. After all, they show anime on TV for free, and only people who liked it buy it.
It's not on TV for free. Airspace is never free. I don't know where you get that impression.

I have no idea how it works in Japan, but I always thought TV is free for the consumers, and the stations have to make money off advertising, being paid to air anime and stuff.

Yudina said:
Further, since we're dealing with the West the predominant way for people to watch their anime these days legally is to subscribe to Crunchyroll. Viewers essentially pay to watch future shows at the earliest times at the highest quality (presumably). They have no idea what the quality of said anime is but are buying it in the hopes that it's good. Once again, the successful business model of Crunchyroll does not necessitate that its collection of anime is of good quality or will retain good quality, etc. etc.

Where I live, the predominant way is to torrent it or, recently, watch it online for free. Just like Japanese, we western fans might have to go a long way to buy the disks for the stuff we liked, but we wouldn't buy the stuff we didn't like.
From what I understand, crunchyroll subscriptions do not contribute meaningfully to an anime's financial success. At most, they line Crunchyroll owners' pockets.
It's all about the disk sales and the merchandise.

Yudina said:
flannan said:
The same applies to manga, which is bundled with a lot of competitors in a manga magazine first.
Which needs to be purchased before it's consumed. A lot of these are also wrapped in plastic and cannot be viewed before opening.

Which the users will purchase anyway. So if any manga in a magazine makes more money than the others, it means that either the manga makes more ratings and the magazine pays more to the mangaka, or the readers liked it more than the others and bought the tankubons.
From what I've heard, manga magazines are more like advertising, and the tankubons are where the money is at.

Yudina said:
flannan said:
With light novels, they are usually long-running, so people who keep buying later volumes can be seen as a measure of the work's success.
Again, this is a statistical fallacy. Prior success does not guarantee future results. Sword Art Online could have 19 straight volumes where everyone loves it and the 20th volume comes out and everyone buys it off the hype, but the success of the sale of the 20th does not necessitate that it is better than the other 19 previous volumes.

Indeed. But the number of people who bought volume 20 can be seen as a measure of success of the previous 19 volumes.
Also, unless you've heard rumors that Nth volume of some long-running work sucks, it can be safe to assume it keeps the same quality level throughout.
Finally, note that success is not a reliable measure of quality. I am not talking about some nebulous quality, only about being liked by the audience.
 
Mar 21, 1:01 PM

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I take these thoughts and apply them case by case, but I'm not always consistent. If the intention is noble and the nobility of the intention is effectively communicated, I'm more likely to appreciate the effort. I'll provide an example to explain my reasoning a bit more. Grave of the Fireflies is often regarded as a masterpiece, but there are two differing interpretations that people use to explain why.

1. It's a depressing, gritty anti-war film
2. Seita struggles and ultimately fails in a battle against his pride

I tend to agree with interpretation two as opposed to interpretation one, because the war in question only plays a role in killing the parents. The war doesn't kill Setsuko, Seita's stubbornness kills Setsuko. However, I never got the impression that the intention of the director was noble. Grave of the Fireflies is very overt with it's emotional manipulation. Seita staunchly abandons any and all common sense and insists on caring for Setsuko himself, all so we can get that tragic ending. It's a tearjerker, but it doesn't have anything to say about war, or family, or responsibility. It just wants to make the people watching it feel bad.

For anime that I think have good intentions, view my favorite anime section of my profile. Thanks for the interesting question!
 
Mar 21, 1:23 PM

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TripleSRank said:
Now, before you whiff this away as a simple and easy question to answer, let me provide another example. Say you have a show that crams in as many cliches and formulaic stuff as it possibly can, and you fully know that the show is doing so on purpose because that makes money. Again, is it good for accomplishing its purpose? Or bad for failing to meet the desires of those who consume it?

It will be a successful cash cow, but not a good story.

Cliches and troops are ideas that someone copied without thinking and applied them in hisher story without realizing that they don’t fit.

For example: It is often for shoujo series to have a slow-burning romance. However, is it inherently wrong to have slow-burning romance? No, but there should be a logical, not contrived, explanation why it takes so long for the characters to get together.

Take Yona and Hak’s romance from Aktasuki no Yona as an example. Yona is oblivious about Hak’s feeling, but is there a good reason for her to behave like a generic shoujo heroine and to be so blind about Hak’s feelings? Hak’s lack of subtlety make his feelings clear and Yona’s perceptiveness works perfectly fine on other occasions that don’t involve romantic scene with Hak. Also, she was already in love for many years so it is not like she is completely green about being in love and she used to love a childhood friend, so it is not like the idea of falling in love with a childhood friend is foreign to her.

The author didn’t even have to make her so oblivious about Hak’s feelings to make a slow-burning romance. She could have used Yona’s trauma after what Su-won did to make it and it would have been a very good and reasonable explanation, yet as far as I remember it is never hinted that her trauma may be a problem and instead of showing that Yona’s enthusiasm for romance was considerably dumped because of what Su-won did and how she felt about him for years, we see time and time again that Hak and Yona could not sail for many chapters, because Yona was too oblivious to notice feelings that were obvious and clear for everyone else.

So most of the time resorting to cliches is laziness and/or inability to come up with ideas how to develop your story. Using ideas from another story/stories without understanding why it worked there in the first place and why it will not work in your story.

You may of course use ideas that are not original like love-triangle, wanting to become stronger, revenge, etc., but whether the story will be any good will depend on execution.
"The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don't think. A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen, and as a natural consequence he always looks absolutely delightful."
 
Mar 21, 1:31 PM

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For me, intentions only matter as much as their contribution to the total entertainment value of the show.
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Mar 22, 1:18 PM

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Lain666 said:
TripleSRank said:
Now, before you whiff this away as a simple and easy question to answer, let me provide another example. Say you have a show that crams in as many cliches and formulaic stuff as it possibly can, and you fully know that the show is doing so on purpose because that makes money. Again, is it good for accomplishing its purpose? Or bad for failing to meet the desires of those who consume it?

It will be a successful cash cow, but not a good story.

Cliches and troops are ideas that someone copied without thinking and applied them in hisher story without realizing that they don’t fit.

A successful cash cow is usually a good story. Where "good" means "appeals to the masses". So it is usually a simple robust story that makes sense at least on every superficial level.

Also, cliches and tropes used with thought and care are still cliches and tropes.
Only snobs who dislike that a show isn't an unique incomprehensible snowflake have any ground to deride a show for having tropes.
I wish people would understand that.
Sure, there are shows that have 3 pages worth of tropes on TVTropes, and shows that would hardly fill a single screen. But any sane show uses elements from its predecessors and human thought in general.
 
Mar 22, 1:24 PM

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If the anime is cringe garbage I don't care what ideas and intentions it has. I'm rating around my own taste and views, and not around what its author wanted to sell as hot shit.


Daily reminder Madoka:Rebellion is absolute fucking dogshit.
 
Mar 22, 1:44 PM

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For starters, if an anime is not out to entertain me; it can fuck right off!

As for the point, it all comes down to which measuring stick you use.

If you're making a provocative anime that provokes a lot of people, then according to the provocative measuring stick it's doing fantastic. Whereas if you're using the good-vibes measuring stick... not doing too hot.
Man, I have to stop falling in love with fictitious high school girls...
 
Mar 22, 2:52 PM

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flannan said:

Also, cliches and tropes used with thought and care are still cliches and tropes.
Only snobs who dislike that a show isn't an unique incomprehensible snowflake have any ground to deride a show for having tropes.
I wish people would understand that.
Sure, there are shows that have 3 pages worth of tropes on TVTropes, and shows that would hardly fill a single screen. But any sane show uses elements from its predecessors and human thought in general.

Where do I argue that using ideas that are not original is bad in itself?

The answer is nowhere. I explained why logical execution and development of an idea is important.
"The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don't think. A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen, and as a natural consequence he always looks absolutely delightful."
 
Mar 22, 4:08 PM

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So basically it is a matter of perspective. It is 'good' from businessman's perspective since it made him a lot of money

It is bad from viewers perspective since they got something unenjoyable (assuming the cliche mess was unenjoyable)
 
Mar 22, 9:33 PM

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Lain666 said:
flannan said:

Also, cliches and tropes used with thought and care are still cliches and tropes.
Only snobs who dislike that a show isn't an unique incomprehensible snowflake have any ground to deride a show for having tropes.
I wish people would understand that.
Sure, there are shows that have 3 pages worth of tropes on TVTropes, and shows that would hardly fill a single screen. But any sane show uses elements from its predecessors and human thought in general.

Where do I argue that using ideas that are not original is bad in itself?

The answer is nowhere. I explained why logical execution and development of an idea is important.

If so, we are in agreement. Sorry for misunderstanding you.
 
Mar 24, 3:59 AM

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Irka4 said:
So basically it is a matter of perspective. It is 'good' from businessman's perspective since it made him a lot of money

It is bad from viewers perspective since they got something unenjoyable (assuming the cliche mess was unenjoyable)


It's all perspectives, isn't it though? Can you be an individual without a perspective?
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Mar 24, 8:44 AM

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TheBrainintheJar said:
Irka4 said:
So basically it is a matter of perspective. It is 'good' from businessman's perspective since it made him a lot of money

It is bad from viewers perspective since they got something unenjoyable (assuming the cliche mess was unenjoyable)


It's all perspectives, isn't it though? Can you be an individual without a perspective?

Hmmm... Pls expand on what you are trying to say. It's a bit too complex for me to understand
 
Mar 24, 12:31 PM

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Ambition of intention is definitely a major part of how I rate shows.

Let's say I'm rating two series. The first is a Seinen series that thoughtfully explores the morality of war, but has some small, annoying flaw, like animation recycling, or lackluster artwork, or minor pacing problems. The second series is a fun, light-hearted Shonen action-comedy that is seemingly without flaws. Though the second show better executes what it intended to do, I will rate the first higher, because it set out with a higher ambition.

Conversely, if a Hentai sets out to appeal to pedophiles and rape fetishists, I will give it a 1 out of 10 regardless of its execution.
Modified by InkSpider, Mar 24, 12:35 PM
"Bang." -Spike Spiegal

"Everything... is connected." -Lain Iwakura

"Life is too short to watch bad anime. Long Live the 1st Episode Drop." -InkSpider
 
Mar 24, 1:16 PM

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My judgment of a show happens in two stages:

1. What does the show try to do (or more accurately what is my impression fo what it is the show is trying to do)? If I hate what it is trying to do, my judgment stops right there. I won't particularly if it does it well if I hate the basic concept. For example cramming in as many fanservice clichés they can think of would fall into this category. Or just generally any show where it is very obvious they only cared about marketing and commercial success and not the actual series. Or whatever the fuck Shigatsu was trying to be. I probably wouldn't generally be a fan of something if I think it's only/main purpose is just to provoke/insult people.

2.If I don't hate what I think the show is trying to do then I'll start judging the execution and how effectively the presentation and everything is used to support the main goal of the show. If I find it to be good at what it does it will increase my enjoyment, if not it will decrease.

If you combine that with varying levels of enthusiasm that I have about what a show is trying to do (even if I don't hate it doesn't mean I'll love it) you get a good idea of my final rating.
What is it trying to do?
How much do I like what it is trying to do?
Does it do it well?
These are the 3 core questions that I consider in my judgments of a show. You can certainly debate the details of all three of these points regarding any show and the answers will of course vary from person to person but anyone who completely ignores one of these questions in their judgment I won't be able to take very seriously in a debate or argument.
HamburgerSpike said:
TripleSRank said:

To expand on this, I heavily doubt many shows literally try to be "terrible" in the sense that that aren't trying to make money or raise interest in something.

"Being bad on purpose" is an evaluation on our part because when we say that, we're talking about the show purposely doing something we don't want it to do. It's not something the creators are attempting to do in a literal sort of way.

I think some creators enjoy doing even these kinds of things, a show like Shitcom for example, the only possible explanation I see is that the creators thought it would be cool to make something really and obviously bad.


How is Shitcom intentionally bad? Because it's not a normal TV anime? Because it's not aesthetically pleasing? It doesn't look any worse than similar claymation works from the creator, except it has a symbolic meaning instead of just being gore for the sake of it with some oldschool horror vibes like a lot of his works. If anything he probably put more thought into it than into some of his other works.

It's a solid short for only being 1 minute long. It has a clear, symbolic purpose, delivers it message with impactful imagery and ends after being just long enough to be remembered by the viewer. If you can easily come up with a better way of making a 1-minute short without any budget about how much shit people talk and how relationships are based on both parties not giving a shit that the other one just talks shit the whole time (or more positively put: tolerance/acceptance of the other person's character flaws), feel free to create a superior version. Just the fact that it has an obvious message/meaning, doesn't overstay it's welcome and has impactful/memorable delivery make it better than a lot of other shorts I've seen which just dabble on without a clear purpose and just have decent visuals as their only saving grace. Sometimes not even that.

I mean nobody has to like Shitcom but I always see criticism like it being random, meaningless or intentionally bad without any purpose and I just don't think any of that is true. People just don't like it because it's disgusting to look at, which is fine. But in terms of artistic merit I value Shitcom relatively high compared to a lot of other, similar shorts. I like the message and I like the over-the-top way of visualizing it. Most overhated anime on MAL to be honest.
jal90 said:

It's quite dishonest and typically trollish logic to say that the fault lies in sensitive people when you do stuff on purpose to bother them.

 
Mar 24, 1:18 PM

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The popular logic on whether a show is "good" or "bad" is quite simple: "If I enjoy it, it's good. If I don't, it's bad."

With that logic in mind, I have a thought experiment:


With that logic in mind, I have a thought experiment:

experiment

you know that you are just wasting your time in your life m8 ?
get some life m8
find a job
girlfriend
friend
why even care......(LMFAO)
there is many usefull thing you can do while you are in your free time...

Edit : holy shit
people really like to make things more difficult ?
 
Mar 24, 6:26 PM

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@Pullman Yo, I had a hangover and was thinking of an example of an intentionally shit show so Shitcom naturally kept appearing so I decided to write it down for lack of better stuff(and to get rid of that thought). I appreciated it and 'understood' the messgae but on the surface its horrible and it apparently appears like that to a lot of people if not to most. You can place whatever else show you can think of in its place in the sentence.
I got no idea of the creator either.


Oshii is probably the only director that loves dogs. He thinks he's a dog himself.

That's right, its slime! It will dissolve your clothing slowly before my eyes!



 
Mar 24, 6:54 PM

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HamburgerSpike said:
@Pullman Yo, I had a hangover and was thinking of an example of an intentionally shit show so Shitcom naturally kept appearing so I decided to write it down for lack of better stuff(and to get rid of that thought). I appreciated it and 'understood' the messgae but on the surface its horrible and it apparently appears like that to a lot of people if not to most. You can place whatever else show you can think of in its place in the sentence.
I got no idea of the creator either.


Defending Shitcom against all the unjust hate is just one of my AD hobbies, don't worry about it, I get what you were trying to say ^^.
jal90 said:

It's quite dishonest and typically trollish logic to say that the fault lies in sensitive people when you do stuff on purpose to bother them.

 
Mar 24, 7:06 PM

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Pullman said:
HamburgerSpike said:
@Pullman Yo, I had a hangover and was thinking of an example of an intentionally shit show so Shitcom naturally kept appearing so I decided to write it down for lack of better stuff(and to get rid of that thought). I appreciated it and 'understood' the messgae but on the surface its horrible and it apparently appears like that to a lot of people if not to most. You can place whatever else show you can think of in its place in the sentence.
I got no idea of the creator either.


Defending Shitcom against all the unjust hate is just one of my AD hobbies, don't worry about it, I get what you were trying to say ^^.

I was actually surprised no one called me out on that after a few days passed :D I thought I was lucky and cutting corners payed off


Oshii is probably the only director that loves dogs. He thinks he's a dog himself.

That's right, its slime! It will dissolve your clothing slowly before my eyes!



 
Mar 24, 7:19 PM

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What you are asking is, essentially, if the mainstream should be more appreciative of niche shows that succeed at what they're trying to do but will never make money. The answer is yes but that will never be the case because the target audience is too small, resulting in a cult following but not something that can be enjoyed outside of the target audience.

The reverse of this is anime aimed at a far wider, easier to appease audience. Those people should be more critical and aware they are seeing mostly heavily recycled cliches and little else... but , obviously, they are not because it panders directly to them. That is why you see people that only use 8-10/10's.

I don't like extremes, myself. I avoid using 1/10 and 10/10 unless I think the positives/negatives are THAT substantial. I would not rate something I think has artistic merit but that I could enjoy below 5/10. And if something was clearly cashing in on 'seen it before; done better' premises, there is no way I would go high. There has to be a middle ground.
 
Mar 24, 7:46 PM
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flannan said:

This is why I believe that it's acceptable for a great show like Kodomo no Jikan to start with fanservice to catch the audience's attention, and only proceed to the finer topics when it has attention. Catering to pedophiles? Why not - if there are people who need some positive propaganda messages, it's them.

I don't see how its a positive propaganda message considering the ending of the series. I don't see child pedophilia any less disgusting grooming a child to becoming your wife when she reaches post puberty. This is what pedophilia child grooming gangs do and its really disgusting to portray it innocently in fiction. Maybe this is considered acceptable in japan, but in the west its definitely considering taboo because its a form of psychological abuse. Its portrayal of extreme teleiophilia of minors doesn't make any less disgusting, any responsible teacher would request a transfer.
 
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