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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

 

Somebody replied! A rarity indeed.

sjwalters replied to my last post, so I'll reply here. Blogger's comment system sucks, so there doesn't seem to be much point replying to comments with more comments ;)

I dislike how sacred Japanese culture has become to some people. If it's made here in good ol' North America, it's just a Cartoon, a comic book, a nerd. If it comes from Japan, it's Anime, a manga, an "otaku".


It isn't that Japanese culture is sacred, per se. Animation in Japan has a very different style, and so we tend to use the word "Anime" to refer to animation from Japan. It differentiates the content. Manga is, again, the japanese word they use for all comics. Outside of Japan, it refers to the particular style. "Otaku" is actually a derogatory term in Japanese that certain rabid fans in North America have adopted as a badge of honour. They're a bit too crazy for me.

In North America WE don't take anime seriously? There are tonnes of tentacle death rape lovers here. Thousands. They have conventions all the time. They aren't even a tiny subset of the population, anime is becoming a ridiculously well known, and has a huge fanbase. You really shouldn't ever say anything in general about "we North Americans" as if you can just generalize everything with this one, big, homogenous group.

Also, saying in NA cartoons aren't taken seriously is sort of stupid. What is the longest running prime time comedy show airing in North America? The Simpsons, seventeen seasons and still running... crappily, but running. Cartoons are a powerhouse in NA. Look at Fox's sunday night lineup and count the cartoons.

Of course, you're right in that cartoons are more popular in Japan, but that's as profound a statement as saying the Japanese take McDonalds way less seriously than us good ol' NAers.


No, we don't. There are apparently not enough fans for localization companies to take it seriously. Let me know when high quality actors start voicing uncensored Anime targetted at the older demographic and then I'll say we're taking it seriously. Go watch anything done by Viz or Funimation and say that they are taking it seriously compared to the original performance.

Comedy shows are, by definition, not serious. We don't take them serious, we laugh at them. That is the point. There is no (OK, an unsupported statement. There is little) serious cartoons targetted at adults. Nothing as epic and emotion-invoking.

How profoundly incorrect is this statement? Let me count the ways. It's really hard to make any statement that is absolute and all encompassing. Saying "all" cartoons made in NA are targetted at children means I can prove you wrong with 1 contradictory example. Wondershowzen. Family Guy. The Simpsons. Futurama. Aqua Teen Hunger Force. All of the Adult Swim lineup on Cartoon Network. American Dad. The list is bloody endless. See how many times you're wrong?


Sorry, yes. Let me amend my statement to "Most non-comedy" instead of "all". Careless of me. But, notice that you only named comedy programs. Not one serious plot-driven show.

You would? I wouldn't, and it's not because of my burning hatred of all things anime. It's because I've never once, never in my life, seen anything dubbed that was dubbed such that I couldn't tell. It's always painfully obvious that the syllables aren't lining up, whether live action or cartoons. It sucks balls. It's one more barrier to suspension of disbelief, which I believe is an important aspect of enjoying a show.


The mouths already don't really match up in the original Japanese. It's sort of hard to match when a character might only have three mouth positions. English translations often try to match the mouth movements, and I would contend that they match up as well as the original Japanese do.

However, I was very impressed with the lip synching in "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within". I was amazed at how closely they matched, to the extent that for a while I thought they had re-rendered the movie for the English version. Only later did I realize that it was through modified script and actor timing that they managed to match up mouth shapes and movements so well. I'm hoping that "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children"'s english version has a similar level of english voice synch, but I'm doubtful, since the budget is but a small fraction of TSW.

It would be hard for me to be so critical if I'd never watched any animes and was totally uninformed. But, by jove, I'd been forced into it. I've seen Cowboy Bebop, every goddamn session, FLCL which was actually not too bad but I'd have been happier watching Arrested Development, Dragon Ball Z, and Neon Genesis Evangelion.


It come down to selection. If the only anime I'd seen were DBZ and Inuyasha, I'd have a very different opinion than after adding on Fullmetal Alchemist and Bleach.

Part of what draws me to anime is the music. I've been known to play video games solely for the music. I download the soundtracks to videogames and anime. I enjoy them. I enjoy the intro and closing songs, even though I don't understand any of the words. They SOUND good, and so I like them. And darn it, a good orchestral score can make the difference between a crap show and a good show, or a good show and a great show.

Yeah, emotional music and a stirring plot can drive me to tears. And I like that. I like that a show can be so good as to make me feel for the characters. It is certainly more than I can say about a show like The Simpsons, which gives a quick laugh.

Comments:
Animation in Japan has a very different style, and so we tend to use the word "Anime" to refer to animation from Japan.

Hanna Barbara-style animation, which has been becoming extremely popular with time, is very unique. South Park has extremely unique animation. Where'd their nomenclature go?

No, we don't. There are apparently not enough fans for localization companies to take it seriously. Let me know when high quality actors start voicing uncensored Anime targetted at the older demographic and then I'll say we're taking it seriously.

There's a massive difference between "in the mainstream" and "popular". When anime hits the mainstream, expect quality products. Check out Otakon's historical stats. When one convention is getting 22k visitors, then it is "being taken seriously." I'm not exactly sure what is meant by "being taken seriously," is it that we don't joke about it? Well, I've joked about animu a number of times, so at least I don't take it seriously.

Sorry, yes. Let me amend my statement to "Most non-comedy" instead of "all". Careless of me. But, notice that you only named comedy programs. Not one serious plot-driven show.

Have you seen Wondershowzen? It's got some incredible writers, tackles tough concepts, and has a plot thicker than my urine when I'm dehydrated. What about King of the Hill. Sure, there are jokes, but it's not really a comedy per-se.

You are right, most of the cartoon shows here are comedy, but that doesn't mean they aren't "taken seriously" (what the does that mean!?). I know of at least 1 person who seriously considered storming Fox studios with guns and shit when Futurama was cancelled. Lots of people got pissed, started petitions, etc when Family Guy (ugh) got cancelled. It's clear, us NA couch potatoes take our cartoons damned seriously.

The mouths already don't really match up in the original Japanese. It's sort of hard to match when a character might only have three mouth positions. English translations often try to match the mouth movements, and I would contend that they match up as well as the original Japanese do.

If they don't match up (reasonably, I'm not talking perfect syllabic matches here, I'm talking good enough so you don't notice) in Japanese then the Japanese suck at animation, and after all these years at it too, sheesh eh. Either way, I've seen tonnes of dubbed Animu, even some that the "community" says are really well done. They suck.

It come down to selection. If the only anime I'd seen were DBZ and Inuyasha, I'd have a very different opinion than after adding on Fullmetal Alchemist and Bleach.


According the tentacle rape fans I know personally, Cowboy Bebop, FLCL and NGE are some really high calibre anime. Not my cup of tea. If you do like anime, you'd probably pop boners for FLCL. It's... interesting and, as you said you enjoy, the soundtrack kicks more ass than Jesus Christ.

I've been known to play video games solely for the music.

Rita MacNeil sounds great but I'm sure as hell not jumping at watching her show.

I enjoy them. I enjoy the intro and closing songs, even though I don't understand any of the words.

I want to bone Alizee. Alizee is French. So, until she gets her shit together and starts speaking English, I can't even bare to watch one video of her. I don't like not understanding what's getting shot at me. We agree to disagree.

Yeah, emotional music and a stirring plot can drive me to tears. And I like that. I like that a show can be so good as to make me feel for the characters. It is certainly more than I can say about a show like The Simpsons, which gives a quick laugh.

Hey! Don't paint me as some emotionless robot! I've cried. Hell, the Simpsons made me cry. Did you see that episode with the helper monkey? Mojo? Homer ruined him! It was more tragic than a million 12 year olds fighting robots on Mars with a flashing background! "Pray for Mojo" he typed. Oh, God, I'm tearing up...

~Sjwalter
 
Well, Blogger sucks penguin nuts. All those "/* things are where I had quotes.

Well, here are the quotes, in order:

1
Animation in Japan has a very different style, and so we tend to use the word "Anime" to refer to animation from Japan.

2
No, we don't. There are apparently not enough fans for localization companies to take it seriously. Let me know when high quality actors start voicing uncensored Anime targetted at the older demographic and then I'll say we're taking it seriously.

3
Sorry, yes. Let me amend my statement to "Most non-comedy" instead of "all". Careless of me. But, notice that you only named comedy programs. Not one serious plot-driven show.

4
The mouths already don't really match up in the original Japanese. It's sort of hard to match when a character might only have three mouth positions. English translations often try to match the mouth movements, and I would contend that they match up as well as the original Japanese do.

5
It come down to selection. If the only anime I'd seen were DBZ and Inuyasha, I'd have a very different opinion than after adding on Fullmetal Alchemist and Bleach.

6
I've been known to play video games solely for the music.

7
I enjoy them. I enjoy the intro and closing songs, even though I don't understand any of the words.

8
Yeah, emotional music and a stirring plot can drive me to tears. And I like that. I like that a show can be so good as to make me feel for the characters. It is certainly more than I can say about a show like The Simpsons, which gives a quick laugh.
 
Haha, that was just in the preview section. The comment actually worked fine in the actual post.

My bad.

sjwalter
 
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