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Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Hawki said:
Technically true, but in the context of worldbuilding itself, there's distinction between works that put in the legwork, and those that don't.

This is speaking broadly, but there's about three levels as to how you can handle FTL travel in a setting. First is to not even acknowledge the light barrier exists - ships can get from point a to point b in a reasonable timeframe, and no-one explains anything. Second is to acknowledge it and give an offhand explanation - off the top of my head, Star Trek. In TOS, the explanation was "warp drive," and while not an in-depth explanation, it was praised at the time for even acknowledging the light barrier existed. Third is when it actually goes into detail, which brings me back to 40K. We know how FTL travel is possible (the Warp), and how that FTL travel is actually conducted.

FTL travel may be a genre convention, but how one deals with the convention is going to vary from setting to setting, and some settings put more thought into it than others. The worldbuilding is independent from the convention, even if it's serving the need of that convention.
You get so close to getting Evilthecat's point (and the one I tried to make earlier in this thread), yet whiff at the very last instant.

Yes, there is broadly three ways to adress how FTL works in Sci-Fi (and in extension all kinds of world building): The ignore way, the hand wave way and the in-depth way. Which one you pick isn't just about how much thought you put into your setting, it is also contingent on what the focus of the story is and what genre you are writing in. To believe that tons of explanations is equal to good world building or equals the amount of thought that has gone into the world building is to miss the essentials of telling a story.

If the goal of your story is to tell a grand political tale with allegories to the fall of the Roman Empire and most of your action is political intrigue in lush gardens, senate back rooms and on official Senate space ships then you don't need to put too much effort into explaining your FTL. In fact, trying too hard to explain it will probably be detrimental to your story, because you'll stop your political intrigue to explain a pointless detail that your reader won't care about. In the opposite direction, if you are writing a story about a race to colonize a distant star system or an important plot point is that there's time pressure to reach a world attacked by aliens, then you absolutely need to explain your FTL and its limitations in some way because your story hinges on it.

Narnia never bothers to "justify" anything because it is a Creationist tale from start to finish and Narnia is explicitly a fairy tale world, wondrous stuff happens there because it is a magical world where the rules of the real world don't apply. That works because it tells you all you need to know about Narnia and Lewis never tries, nor wants, to explain how Aslan got his powers or how the White Witch's presence changed the climate. It's magic, roll with it.
Tolkien was very meticulous with the lore of Middle Earth, to the point that he often stops his narratives dead in their tracks so he can explain Elvish lyricism and present a few Elven songs as example to the reader, or explain Hobbit tobacco growing or the laws of succession in Gondor. That means that for those that really want to immerse themselves in the mythology of Middle Earth there's a ton of stuff to learn, but also that you need to approach the Lord of the Rings as equal parts narrative and sheer world building. It also works.
Howard wrote Conan the Barbarian as a critique of what he considered the effeminate masculinity ideals of the inter-war period and wanted to make stories about a strong, free man fighting monsters and effeminate, sly wizards. The Hyborian age is very vaguely explained: Atlantis has fallen, the historical ancient civilizations are yet to rise. Magic exists but its rules are vague. Lovecraft's Elder Gods and Ancients exist (Nyarlahotep and Azatoth both get explicit mentions) as does a ton of other Gods either made up or cribbed from ancient mythologies. This hand waving was done so that Howard could focus on the themes of his stories, while also providing a consistent world that other writers could easily set stories in.

The Hyborian Age, Narnia and Middle Earth are all fantasy, but they are very different in how their world building is done. That Tolkien was the most meticulous of the three should not be confused with Tolkien being the "best" world builder or the one who put the most time and energy into it. Simply because world building in literature is a means to an end, it is the backdrop upon which the actual story happens and how detailed the backdrop has to be is very much determined by the needs of the story.

You've consistently made the error of thinking that lots of lore is the same as good world building, when me and the Evilthecat are trying to tell you that the amount and specificity of world building is dependent on contextual things like genre, plot and narrative pacing.
 

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SupahEwok said:
Depends on which Fallout games.
Most of them?

Or the main series I guess.

Gethsemani said:
Yes, there is broadly three ways to adress how FTL works in Sci-Fi (and in extension all kinds of world building): The ignore way, the hand wave way and the in-depth way. Which one you pick isn't just about how much thought you put into your setting, it is also contingent on what the focus of the story is and what genre you are writing in. To believe that tons of explanations is equal to good world building or equals the amount of thought that has gone into the world building is to miss the essentials of telling a story.
As I've stated numerous times, I'm well aware that worldbuilding is in service to story. But again, this isn't about worldbuilding in service to story, this is worldbuilding being judged as worldbuilding, regardless of story. It's why, as I've stated numerous times, Narnia's sketchy worldbuilding doesn't bother me, but if I analyze it in isolation, then it's easy to see the cracks.

If the goal of your story is to tell a grand political tale with allegories to the fall of the Roman Empire and most of your action is political intrigue in lush gardens, senate back rooms and on official Senate space ships then you don't need to put too much effort into explaining your FTL. In fact, trying too hard to explain it will probably be detrimental to your story, because you'll stop your political intrigue to explain a pointless detail that your reader won't care about. In the opposite direction, if you are writing a story about a race to colonize a distant star system or an important plot point is that there's time pressure to reach a world attacked by aliens, then you absolutely need to explain your FTL and its limitations in some way because your story hinges on it.
I completely agree. But again, you're explaining worldbuilding in the context of story.

Since these are hypothetical series, I can't say what has the 'better' worldbuilding, but I can say that the Roman Empire story is more sketchy on its FTL mechanics than the plot-driven story.

Narnia never bothers to "justify" anything because it is a Creationist tale from start to finish and Narnia is explicitly a fairy tale world, wondrous stuff happens there because it is a magical world where the rules of the real world don't apply. That works because it tells you all you need to know about Narnia and Lewis never tries, nor wants, to explain how Aslan got his powers or how the White Witch's presence changed the climate. It's magic, roll with it.
I. KNOW. THAT.

How many times do I have to repeat this? I know that Narnia is a fairy tale. I know that its world and rules are broad. I know that it's meant for children. I know that you're not meant to question things. I know that looking at the books as a complete package, we're not meant to ask why English is a multiverse language, or why Frank and Helen could populate an entire continent (incest? What's that?), or why Peter can learn swordplay and tactics so quickly that even Rey Skywalker would ask "what the hell?" None of this is some grand revelation. I've said numerous times that none of this stuff bothers me on a regular reading of it, and whatever aggravations I have with the series, sketchy worldbuilding isn't among them.

However, to go back to the original point:

If I'm looking it in terms of theme/subtext, then it's a Christian parable tale that, IMO, mostly succeeds. If I'm judging the setting on worldbuilding and internal consistency, then things fall apart. I can accept that the series succeeds on the thematic level, and fails on the worldbuilding level, and also accept that for the most part, any literary analysis of the setting is going to focus on the former, while when I've dabbled in the setting, I've always been more interested in the latter.
Again, the entire point of the discussion at that point was using Narnia as a world with sketchy worldbuilding. And when I say sketchy, I'm not referring to lack of detail (though it's noticeable when compared to adult books), I'm referring to how there's various things in the setting that simply don't make sense when you actually stop and think about them. I ask "how" or "why" things are the way they are, there's not always going to be a good explanation. But that, among other things, is why I'll put Lord of the Rings above Narnia in terms of worldbuilding because regardless of intent, in the context of worldbuilding by itself, Lord of the Rings has more detail on every level.

I really never thought that would be a point of contention. I mean, there's numerous ways I could demonstrate this, but if I ask for a list of fantasy works that take inspiration from Lord of the Rings, you shouldn't have a problem providing that list. I ask for works based on Chronicles of Narnia? Well, I can nominate His Dark Materials, but that's more a reaction to Narnia than being based on it. Apart from that though? Um...well, I could probably find some, but you get my drift. I hope. And why is this the case? Why do people base their dwarfs on Lord of the Rings dwarfs rather than Narnian dwarfs? Because the former gave the dwarfs in-depth history and culture. The latter didn't.

Tolkien was very meticulous with the lore of Middle Earth, to the point that he often stops his narratives dead in their tracks so he can explain Elvish lyricism and present a few Elven songs as example to the reader, or explain Hobbit tobacco growing or the laws of succession in Gondor. That means that for those that really want to immerse themselves in the mythology of Middle Earth there's a ton of stuff to learn, but also that you need to approach the Lord of the Rings as equal parts narrative and sheer world building. It also works.
I dunno if it "works," TBH, since the text stops in its tracks far too many times for my liking, but fine, yes, I agree. Everything you've said is true.

Howard wrote Conan the Barbarian as a critique of what he considered the effeminate masculinity ideals of the inter-war period and wanted to make stories about a strong, free man fighting monsters and effeminate, sly wizards. The Hyborian age is very vaguely explained: Atlantis has fallen, the historical ancient civilizations are yet to rise. Magic exists but its rules are vague. Lovecraft's Elder Gods and Ancients exist (Nyarlahotep and Azatoth both get explicit mentions) as does a ton of other Gods either made up or cribbed from ancient mythologies. This hand waving was done so that Howard could focus on the themes of his stories, while also providing a consistent world that other writers could easily set stories in.
Okay.

The Hyborian Age, Narnia and Middle Earth are all fantasy, but they are very different in how their world building is done. That Tolkien was the most meticulous of the three should not be confused with Tolkien being the "best" world builder or the one who put the most time and energy into it. Simply because world building in literature is a means to an end, it is the backdrop upon which the actual story happens and how detailed the backdrop has to be is very much determined by the needs of the story.
Again, I'm aware that in literature, worldbuilding exists to serve the plot most of the time. That's never been an issue. But it's very possible to look at worldbuilding by itself. People do it all the time - it's why wikia sites exist for instance.

But if we're comparing the three, I can't compare Tolkien to Howard as I haven't read any Conan stuff, but I can compare him to Lewis, or more specifically, Lord of the Rings vs. Narnia. And, look, I'm sorry, but Tolkien is still better, or at the very least, created a more cohesive, in-depth world. Irrespective of why this is, Middle-earth is a more detailed setting than Narnia. That really shouldn't be an issue.

Honestly, should I choose another kid's series to prove my point? Fine. World of Deltora and Ranger's Apprentice. Tell me, with a straight face, that either of these worlds has more depth than Middle-earth. Neither of these settings have the theological excuse either. In contrast, ask me which world has more detail, Lord of the Rings or A Song of Ice and Fire? Now THAT is a question that's very hard to answer.

You've consistently made the error of thinking that lots of lore is the same as good world building,
Well, no.

Doctor Who has lots of lore, but I can't really cite it as being "good worldbuilding." Why? Because the lore was accumulated over decades worth of TV episodes rather than something that was built up cohesively. It's an example of what I call "lore by accumulation," as opposed to a case of "lore by design." Doctor Who has a vast setting, sure, but a lot of that setting is disparate, separated by time and space, and even then is very schizophrenic. Another example is Terminator. It certainly has lots of technical specs for the various Terminator models, but is that "good worldbuilding?" Not really, because when you consider all the novels, games, comics, etc. that exist alongside the movies, the setting is extremely schizophrenic. That doesn't bother me too much, but it's why I've stated numerous times (usually on ff.net) that any apparent discrepency can be attributed to an alternate timeline. And finally, Power Rangers. Yes, it technically has lots of 'lore,' because there's always some race of aliens, or some ancient monster, or some other nonsense, but it's all absolute nonsense at the end of the day.

Every setting I've chosen as an example here has been a case of lore by design, or at the very least, a setting where the lore was thought out. But saying that Lord of the Rings has better worldbuilding than, I dunno, Mario? Yeah, that's shooting fish in a barrel.

when me and the Evilthecat are trying to tell you that the amount and specificity of world building is dependent on contextual things like genre, plot and narrative pacing.
Maybe that's what you're saying, but I disagree.

I mean, I do agree that in a standard story, worldbuilding is there to serve the plot, not the other way round (and if a writer disagrees, just read 'The Well of Lost Plots' for one paragraph as to why putting worldbuilding before plot is usually a bad idea), but again, that isn't the issue. The issue was, originally, that worldbuilding is separate from theme/subtext, or at the very least, can be analyzed in isolation of anything else. And if you want an example of worldbuilding not depending on plot, again, 40K. 40K is an example of being setting-driven, while most of what's here is plot-driven. 40K is setting first, plot second. You can tell stories in 40K, but none of those stories can ever change the status quo. No story can show the Imperium falling, no story can show the tyranids being expelled from the galaxy, no story can show the eldar becoming extinct OR regaining their glory. Because in 40K, and other similar settings, status quo is king.

Also, about the "better" stuff, just to be clear. Does something like Power Rangers have "better" worldbuilding than Narnia? In my view, no - it has 'more,' but none of it really connects with each other, thanks to each season post-Space hitting the reset button. Does 40K have "better" worldbuilding than Narnia? Well, to be honest, yes. I say that not just because it has more of it (like, a lot more), but the worldbuilding is mostly congruent with itself. I say mostly, because there's certainly been gaffs, but for the most part, the setting is congruent with itself. I can look at any one thing in the setting, explain how it works, why it works, and how it relates to everything around it. Narnia? Not so much.
 

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Silvanus said:
I'm not talking about aficionados, even, either-- I'm talking about genuinely shitty instalments getting inflated popularity scores due to weird, inflated popularity of odd or extreme examples. Good example in the horror genre would be Rob Zombie movies, or Hostel, or even (imo) the first Nightmare on Elm Street.

That attitude-- that horror is a "lesser genre"-- results from that: the shitty instalments become as famous as the good ones, signal-boosted by sites like IMDB that place aggregates above critical opinion, and people come away with the impression that horror (or anime) is all like that. But there's plenty of great stuff in both. It's just getting relatively less attention because of how the algorithms work.
I'm still not going to find near unanimous consensus that a Rob Zombie movie is a can't miss masterpiece like you'll find with anime. Even the people that love Rob Zombie movies aren't writing reviews as hyperbolic as the vast majority of Elfen Lied reviews. I've never seen this anime phenomenon anywhere else, especially to the extent that you see it in anime. Horror is a lesser genre (not because of its potential or subject matter or anything) but because there is just simply less talent in the genre vs other genres, rarely do accomplished directors or actors partake in horror movies. Comic book movies had the same issue and that's why they usually sucked. Same thing with video game movies, they almost always suck because you don't have good talent making them, not because video games are harder to adapt than other things. Anyway, when I'm looking for the very very best work in a medium (anime) and I'm finding some of the worst stuff I've ever watched, there's a problem. It's not that anime can't be great and amazing (Stand Alone Complex), but the chance of finding great stuff is far lower than other places.
 

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Phoenixmgs said:
It's not that anime can't be great and amazing (Stand Alone Complex), but the chance of finding great stuff is far lower than other places.
It depends strictly on how you're looking. There's just as much great anime as great anything else. Anime fans are just terrible and you can't use them as a source for anime with artistic merit.

The extra trouble I have to go through to vet good anime is part of why I don't watch it much, but it's certainly doable if you have the will to do so.
 

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SupahEwok said:
Hawki said:
SupahEwok said:
Depends on which Fallout games.
Most of them?

Or the main series I guess.
Not for the ones developed by a certain studio whose name rhymes with "Chethesda."
Surely Fallout 3 & 4 still count though. I mean, what's the main plot of each Fallout game?

-Fallout 1: Find the water chip
-Fallout 2: Find the GECK
-Fallout 3: Find your dad
-New Vegas: Find the chip
-Fallout 4: Find your son

Course that's a simplification, but surely Fallout 3/4 have more in common with the other games than, say, Shelter or 76.
 

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SupahEwok said:
Phoenixmgs said:
It's not that anime can't be great and amazing (Stand Alone Complex), but the chance of finding great stuff is far lower than other places.
It depends strictly on how you're looking. There's just as much great anime as great anything else. Anime fans are just terrible and you can't use them as a source for anime with artistic merit.

The extra trouble I have to go through to vet good anime is part of why I don't watch it much, but it's certainly doable if you have the will to do so.
I definitely think anime has a larger percentage of work that's say below 7/10 than other sources of TV. Just about all the popular anime is straight garbage and best of all-time lists are filled with bad shows too. Unless there's a good professional critic site for anime, how do you even "vet" it? If someone says Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects is a masterpiece, I can simply go to RottenTomatoes and see that it was rated "rotten" by critics so I'd be immediately skeptical about it. I'm only using that as an example because apparently Rob Zombie movies are overrated from Silvanus' post.
 

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Phoenixmgs said:
Just about all the popular anime is straight garbage and best of all-time lists are filled with bad shows too.
SupahEwok said:
Anime fans are just terrible and you can't use them as a source for anime with artistic merit.
Bolded this time, for emphasis.

There is no tradition of professional criticism of anime in English, just fans and trumped up fans who write for glorified blogs. There has never been a Roger Ebert of anime. If you want to figure out what the good anime is, you have to either know people with actually good taste who can recommend things to you, or you have to give things a try for an episode or two and recognize what will be a waste of time or not. With experience, you'll be able to sort out what's trash and what's not mostly from trailers, written descriptions, and fan reaction (you can look out the earlier argument in here about "setting your expectations for anime" as an example of what typical anime fans like, and use that for warning signs).

Also, watch Baccanno! Although last I checked the rights to it were a mess, so if you wanna watch it you'll have to pay out the ass for an out of print DVD, or peruse alternative sources.

 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Phoenixmgs said:
SupahEwok said:
Phoenixmgs said:
It's not that anime can't be great and amazing (Stand Alone Complex), but the chance of finding great stuff is far lower than other places.
It depends strictly on how you're looking. There's just as much great anime as great anything else. Anime fans are just terrible and you can't use them as a source for anime with artistic merit.

The extra trouble I have to go through to vet good anime is part of why I don't watch it much, but it's certainly doable if you have the will to do so.
I definitely think anime has a larger percentage of work that's say below 7/10 than other sources of TV. Just about all the popular anime is straight garbage and best of all-time lists are filled with bad shows too. Unless there's a good professional critic site for anime, how do you even "vet" it? If someone says Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects is a masterpiece, I can simply go to RottenTomatoes and see that it was rated "rotten" by critics so I'd be immediately skeptical about it. I'm only using that as an example because apparently Rob Zombie movies are overrated from Silvanus' post.

The issue is that a lot of amazingly good anime are completely unpenetrable if you've not spent the last decade or two of your life being super into the medium. So just expecting normies to grasp all the inside references and jokes is impossible (I bet not 10% of people got the Tsukihime reference in Re Zero's twin maid reveal episode...or even know what the hell tsukihime is for that matter (it's an early 2000 visual novel by the guy who'd go on to write fate/stay night))...but at the same time when analyzing something based on YOUR experience with it, you being someone who did in fact come into the show possessing all the necessary cultural context, you will indeed have immensely enjoyed it and hence will rate it way higher than an average normie would if they were to watch it.


I definitely disagree that such anime is "bad" simply because most people are incapable of fully getting it, but at the same time I wouldn't go on to recommend it to someone who I know won't really get the most out of the experience. I think a lot of people do this error where they just put out a list of their fav shows but they leave out how beginner friendly those shows are since they are used to discussing this sort of thing with other like-minded folks who all get it so when a normie comes upon the list and they go on to watch Lucky Star or the Monogatari series, they're left confused and with a negative image of anime. To put it in simpler terms, Monogatari is my fav series of the decade easily, and if you don't know what zettai ryouiki is don't you dare watch it lmao.



So yeah, relying on fan recommendation as a starting person needs to come with a lot of caveats. Not because anime fans somehow all have bad taste or anything else similarly ridiculously absurd, but because anime is a medium evolved out of a niche that still enjoys being all niche due to the heightened meaning that getting references from a show you and 3000 other people watched 15 years ago provides. So it's best to just trust your own gut and watch stuff you think is cool and just go from there.
 

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SupahEwok said:
There is no tradition of professional criticism of anime in English, just fans and trumped up fans who write for glorified blogs. There has never been a Roger Ebert of anime. If you want to figure out what the good anime is, you have to either know people with actually good taste who can recommend things to you, or you have to give things a try for an episode or two and recognize what will be a waste of time or not. With experience, you'll be able to sort out what's trash and what's not mostly from trailers, written descriptions, and fan reaction (you can look out the earlier argument in here about "setting your expectations for anime" as an example of what typical anime fans like, and use that for warning signs).
I'd have thought a major issue is that anime is primarily made by and for the Japanese with all the cultural context that the Japanese will have.

Therefore, there is likely to be a substantial difference in perception of anime by Americans, Europeans, etc. What they are appreciating or analysing may be rather different from what the intended audience are.
 

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Agema said:
SupahEwok said:
There is no tradition of professional criticism of anime in English, just fans and trumped up fans who write for glorified blogs. There has never been a Roger Ebert of anime. If you want to figure out what the good anime is, you have to either know people with actually good taste who can recommend things to you, or you have to give things a try for an episode or two and recognize what will be a waste of time or not. With experience, you'll be able to sort out what's trash and what's not mostly from trailers, written descriptions, and fan reaction (you can look out the earlier argument in here about "setting your expectations for anime" as an example of what typical anime fans like, and use that for warning signs).
I'd have thought a major issue is that anime is primarily made by and for the Japanese with all the cultural context that the Japanese will have.

Therefore, there is likely to be a substantial difference in perception of anime by Americans, Europeans, etc. What they are appreciating or analysing may be rather different from what the intended audience are.
You'd think that, but the Japanese have their own frustrations about the modern anime industry. The reason why a bunch of trash gets put out (harems, 90% of isekai) is because otaku (obsessive social outcast) culture grew so much over the 90s and 00s. They're the ones who will buy all the merchandise, and most of the industry over time has morphed around them and their interests. Easy titillation ("fanservice"), masturbatory self-insert characters (Mary Sue-ism is hugely prevalent in anime), shallow characterization and a small stable of tropes used over and over again so that the viewer can be gratified without having to think.

There's anime that rises above these things, even popular anime (JoJo's counts, and I don't even care for JoJo's). So it's not "just" a cultural problem. It's an industry issue of pursuing a particular subculture with deep pockets and a willingness to spend.

Edit: Now, if you really want a spicy take, I'm gonna point out the overlap between (trash) anime's popularity with outcast culture in Japan, and it's popularity with outcast culture (incels, alt-right) in the West...

Also everyone should watch Baccano! Definitely my fave anime. I don't hate anime as an artform. I'm just fully aware of the state of its industry.
 

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SupahEwok said:
Also everyone should watch Baccano!
Glad to see Baccano! getting some more loving. The anachronisitic presentation takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get your head around that it's a fun watch. I'd also recommend the English dub of it because so much of the story focuses on 1930s New York gangsters and the voice actors feel like they're having so much fun with the material.
 

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SupahEwok said:
Also, watch Baccanno!
I shall check it out, there's not much else to do...

Dreiko said:
The issue is that a lot of amazingly good anime are completely unpenetrable if you've not spent the last decade or two of your life being super into the medium. So just expecting normies to grasp all the inside references and jokes is impossible (I bet not 10% of people got the Tsukihime reference in Re Zero's twin maid reveal episode...or even know what the hell tsukihime is for that matter (it's an early 2000 visual novel by the guy who'd go on to write fate/stay night))...but at the same time when analyzing something based on YOUR experience with it, you being someone who did in fact come into the show possessing all the necessary cultural context, you will indeed have immensely enjoyed it and hence will rate it way higher than an average normie would if they were to watch it.

I definitely disagree that such anime is "bad" simply because most people are incapable of fully getting it, but at the same time I wouldn't go on to recommend it to someone who I know won't really get the most out of the experience. I think a lot of people do this error where they just put out a list of their fav shows but they leave out how beginner friendly those shows are since they are used to discussing this sort of thing with other like-minded folks who all get it so when a normie comes upon the list and they go on to watch Lucky Star or the Monogatari series, they're left confused and with a negative image of anime. To put it in simpler terms, Monogatari is my fav series of the decade easily, and if you don't know what zettai ryouiki is don't you dare watch it lmao.

So yeah, relying on fan recommendation as a starting person needs to come with a lot of caveats. Not because anime fans somehow all have bad taste or anything else similarly ridiculously absurd, but because anime is a medium evolved out of a niche that still enjoys being all niche due to the heightened meaning that getting references from a show you and 3000 other people watched 15 years ago provides. So it's best to just trust your own gut and watch stuff you think is cool and just go from there.
I'm not talking about anime that is bad because I don't get it, I'm talking about anime that is bad because it's fucking bad like aforementioned Elfen Lied. I also don't think something is bad or good due to getting or not getting references. I've never heard of someone saying XYZ show is only good if you get the references. It's like saying only hardcore comic book fans will like comic book shows/movies. If the show is only good because of references, it ain't a good show. Also, I quite enjoyed Excel Saga back in the day and it references anime.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Phoenixmgs said:
SupahEwok said:
Also, watch Baccanno!
I shall check it out, there's not much else to do...

Dreiko said:
The issue is that a lot of amazingly good anime are completely unpenetrable if you've not spent the last decade or two of your life being super into the medium. So just expecting normies to grasp all the inside references and jokes is impossible (I bet not 10% of people got the Tsukihime reference in Re Zero's twin maid reveal episode...or even know what the hell tsukihime is for that matter (it's an early 2000 visual novel by the guy who'd go on to write fate/stay night))...but at the same time when analyzing something based on YOUR experience with it, you being someone who did in fact come into the show possessing all the necessary cultural context, you will indeed have immensely enjoyed it and hence will rate it way higher than an average normie would if they were to watch it.

I definitely disagree that such anime is "bad" simply because most people are incapable of fully getting it, but at the same time I wouldn't go on to recommend it to someone who I know won't really get the most out of the experience. I think a lot of people do this error where they just put out a list of their fav shows but they leave out how beginner friendly those shows are since they are used to discussing this sort of thing with other like-minded folks who all get it so when a normie comes upon the list and they go on to watch Lucky Star or the Monogatari series, they're left confused and with a negative image of anime. To put it in simpler terms, Monogatari is my fav series of the decade easily, and if you don't know what zettai ryouiki is don't you dare watch it lmao.

So yeah, relying on fan recommendation as a starting person needs to come with a lot of caveats. Not because anime fans somehow all have bad taste or anything else similarly ridiculously absurd, but because anime is a medium evolved out of a niche that still enjoys being all niche due to the heightened meaning that getting references from a show you and 3000 other people watched 15 years ago provides. So it's best to just trust your own gut and watch stuff you think is cool and just go from there.
I'm not talking about anime that is bad because I don't get it, I'm talking about anime that is bad because it's fucking bad like aforementioned Elfen Lied. I also don't think something is bad or good due to getting or not getting references. I've never heard of someone saying XYZ show is only good if you get the references. It's like saying only hardcore comic book fans will like comic book shows/movies. If the show is only good because of references, it ain't a good show. Also, I quite enjoyed Excel Saga back in the day and it references anime.
A lot of anime use anime conventions to pump tons of meaning into events. If you are not familiar with anime as a medium you will not catch all that stuff, it'll just seem strange or random and that's kinda where you'll go with it.

It's less like having a direct plot-reference where if you read book #23 of Thor you'll laugh at this one Avengers joke a bit harder. It's more like a language of communication anime uses through the use of various tropes and behaviors and speech patters and being able to comprehend what the show is trying to communicate on a more fundamental level through understanding all these things. It's less about knowing a particular series' lore and more about knowing the language of the medium and what it's communicating when it does X or Y.


When someone is just starting out, they're not yet fluent in those components of anime, but a veteran fan gets to enjoy them all and gets all the meaning from out of them, which is why you can have discrepancy between the two group's assessment of a specific show.
 

Phoenixmgs_v1legacy

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Dreiko said:
A lot of anime use anime conventions to pump tons of meaning into events. If you are not familiar with anime as a medium you will not catch all that stuff, it'll just seem strange or random and that's kinda where you'll go with it.

It's less like having a direct plot-reference where if you read book #23 of Thor you'll laugh at this one Avengers joke a bit harder. It's more like a language of communication anime uses through the use of various tropes and behaviors and speech patters and being able to comprehend what the show is trying to communicate on a more fundamental level through understanding all these things. It's less about knowing a particular series' lore and more about knowing the language of the medium and what it's communicating when it does X or Y.

When someone is just starting out, they're not yet fluent in those components of anime, but a veteran fan gets to enjoy them all and gets all the meaning from out of them, which is why you can have discrepancy between the two group's assessment of a specific show.
There's nothing that can make Elfen Lied even OK let alone good. Outside of deconstructions, you really shouldn't need to know anything about the material. Even then, on the surface level, you should have something there of quality and "getting it" would take the work from decent/good to great. Sorta like how great kids movies are far more entertaining for adults while kids (aka novices/beginners) still enjoy the surface level stuff. There's also several anime that I'm completely done with before the 1st episode is over, they're that bad. I just tried to start watching the newer Full Alchemist series like a week back and I turned off the 1st episode in probably 5 minutes, half the dialogue was naming "moves", that's never good writing.
 

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Phoenixmgs said:
I just tried to start watching the newer Full Alchemist series like a week back and I turned off the 1st episode in probably 5 minutes, half the dialogue was naming "moves", that's never good writing.
...Yeah, I'm calling bullshit on that, because FMA didn't do named moves. Alchemy in FMA is performed as wordlessly as bending in Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra.
 

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Phoenixmgs said:
There's also several anime that I'm completely done with before the 1st episode is over, they're that bad. I just tried to start watching the newer Full Alchemist series like a week back and I turned off the 1st episode in probably 5 minutes, half the dialogue was naming "moves", that's never good writing.
Sorry, Phoenix, but I also call bullshit on that too. If you don't like FMA: Brotherhood (the more accurate version of the original manga), that's fine, but what you're saying is factually wrong. FMA may be a shounen anime/manga, but it does not call out attacks or moves like Yu Yu Hskusho, DBZ, Naruto, or Shaman King, etc. You really cheating yourself out of one the best anime in the 2010s. The themes of war and its effects on the soldiers and civilians, the cycle of vengeance, and what it means to be human. All themes are done very well, and better than a majority of those themes you see in the Gundam anime.

Asita said:
Phoenixmgs said:
I just tried to start watching the newer Full Alchemist series like a week back and I turned off the 1st episode in probably 5 minutes, half the dialogue was naming "moves", that's never good writing.
...Yeah, I'm calling bullshit on that, because FMA didn't do named moves. Alchemy in FMA is performed as wordlessly as bending in Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra.
Exactly. Though funny enough, LoK did have the DBZ bullshit you would see in most DBZ fan fics. I am mainly referring to the last few episodes of Season 2. Hell, the worst parts of DBZ in general.
 

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Asita said:
Phoenixmgs said:
I just tried to start watching the newer Full Alchemist series like a week back and I turned off the 1st episode in probably 5 minutes, half the dialogue was naming "moves", that's never good writing.
...Yeah, I'm calling bullshit on that, because FMA didn't do named moves. Alchemy in FMA is performed as wordlessly as bending in Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra.
CoCage said:
...Yeah, I'm calling bullshit on that, because FMA didn't do named moves.
https://vrv.co/watch/GYQ4M4216/Fullmetal-Alchemist-Brotherhood:Fullmetal-Alchemist

1st scene after the intro. I guess not calling about moves per se but alchemy stuff like "you did this without that!!!" Then, the art style goes full-on annoying anime stuff and back again.
 

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Phoenixmgs said:
1st scene after the intro. I guess not calling about moves per se but alchemy stuff like "you did this without that!!!" Then, the art style goes full-on annoying anime stuff and back again.
"Per se"? That's a reach, to say the least; one that would make Stretch Armstrong self-conscious. And what you claimed, that "half the dialogue was naming "moves"" is wholly false. What you're taking umbrage with is one of the characters alluding to the rules of the setting's magic, noting that the protagonist circumvents one of those rules. And before you brush that off as the protagonist simply being the special chosen one with special rule breaking powers, by the end of the episode it's also quite clear that he's not unique in that respect, as the same antagonist who drew attention to it figures out why the protagonist is able to do that after seeing another clue. Moreover, that's actually a crucial part of the protagonists' backstory that heavily informs their characterization and motivations.
 

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Asita said:
Phoenixmgs said:
1st scene after the intro. I guess not calling about moves per se but alchemy stuff like "you did this without that!!!" Then, the art style goes full-on annoying anime stuff and back again.
"Per se"? That's a reach, to say the least; one that would make Stretch Armstrong self-conscious. And what you claimed, that "half the dialogue was naming "moves"" is wholly false. What you're taking umbrage with is one of the characters alluding to the rules of the setting's magic, noting that the protagonist circumvents one of those rules. And before you brush that off as the protagonist simply being the special chosen one with special rule breaking powers, by the end of the episode it's also quite clear that he's not unique in that respect, as the same antagonist who drew attention to it figures out why the protagonist is able to do that after seeing another clue. Moreover, that's actually a crucial part of the protagonists' backstory that heavily informs their characterization and motivations.
What he said.

Phoenix, I know you have super high and strict to obsurd standards, but give shit a chance. Whether you decide to do that or not is on you.