Poll: Contemporary Anime Sucks: An In Depth Argument

Bloody Loon

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This thread is intended to demonstrate the inherent weaknesses of Episodic Anime as it exists today, and its inferiority to Manga and other forms of Animation.

Reason 1: The Business

The way that the anime business is set up creates a complete lack of intellectually stimulating, complicated anime that are suited for people who are looking for more than meaningless beat-em-ups or love stories involving hackneyed episodic plots.
The reason for this is simple: Anime is based off of popular manga. Manga that's popular is overwhelmingly Shounen and Shoujo, which are aimed at 10-18 year olds. They do not delve into more complex themes and psychological character studies, because these things are not appreciated by their target demographic.
(Note: There are examples that are not demonstrative of this, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Planetes, Cowboy Bebop, and Fullmetal Alchemist)

Reason 2: Pacing and Animation

There are benefits and drawbacks of placing a story within a moving-image narrative. The benefits are the aesthetic pleasure of viewing something move, the addition of Audio to create a more immersive experience, and the simulation of reality. The drawbacks are of a more complicated pacing structure, a longer time required to get the same narrative across, if done badly, animation will jar a viewer from the experience, and the fact that it's not the medium the narrative was created for.
The thing is, Anime generally gets all of the drawbacks, which diminish the benefits significantly. Even in the event that the animation is done decently, thus reducing the drawbacks to at least make the experience aesthetically palatable, it still suffers from narrative incoherence. The increased amount of time it takes to view anime over manga because of its audio-based narrative basis (It often takes 4-5 times longer to watch an anime than to get the same narrative from its corresponding manga) will destroy the original narrative's pacing, which in my mind is one of the most, if not the most important element in storytelling.
In addition to that fundamental flaw with the translation of manga into Anime, most contemporary Anime include filler episodes, which destroy any SEMBLANCE of narrative structure and flow. This leads me to question why should Animation, a beautiful and gorgeous art form, be demeaning itself to only retell manga stories created for their own respective medium? Sure, there are some classic examples of amazing anime (Like those I listed as exceptions to reason 2), but they're either different enough from their manga counterparts to be structurally incomparable, or inferior to them. The greatest works of Anime are not based off of any manga counterparts, and aren't made episodically, and are instead made for at most a 6 hour running time. These include many of Hayao Miyazaki's works, Grave of the Fireflies, and Ghost in the Shell.
To further demonstrate the discontinuity between Anime and Manga, most anime based off of manga are confined to the structural identity of manga, and are unable to utilize the full creative potential of the animated form. They keep a simulation of reality, held prisoner by the form of their counterpart, and will hardly ever play significantly with animated space, or the malleable nature of their medium.


TL:DR
Anime is inferior. Anime destroys a manga's narrative with disharmoniously slower pacing, is created almost exclusively for immature viewers, and does not use animation to any degree other than a malleable facsimile for reality.

If you watch for story, Manga is better.

If you watch for animation, Animated short films are better.

QED
 

spartan231490

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Why exactly did you waste my time with this rather well argued, but unfortunately misguided, if not outright wrong, argument?
 

Jonluw

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"Most contemporary anime include filler episodes"?
What kind of anime are you watching?

How about not just looking at the most popular anime. There's lots of great anime out there.
You don't have to watch the 100+ episodes anime like Naruto and Bleach.
 

SckizoBoy

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Bloody Loon said:
cf. Star Wars... it was great at first, someone decided to ramp it up a bit, still pretty good and then a lot people started seeing dollar signs over everything else. How was that not a surprise to you??

I've said this shitloads of time but I know that roughly 90-95% of anime is puerile and mostly shit, but it's the 2% that's actually good that makes me retain what little faith I have in anime studios. Besides, anime is still a worthwhile medium, but just badly abused which is a damned shame. But every so often out comes a gem, finely cut and polished as well at times. Enjoy that, fuck everything else and wait for the next one.
 

anthony87

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Hell at least when Bleach does filler it does a filler story arc whereas Naruto just tosses random shitty episodes one after another.

I'll take an actual arc over random episodes any day, filler or not.

The exception to this of course is Gintama. Because Gintama is amazing as well as a good example of the anime being better. A lot of the comedy in the show lends itself better to animation as opposed to manga.
 

Ashendarei

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I understand the OP's opinion, but happen to disagree :D Anime is essentially turning your favorite book into a movie. Sure, it is unlikely to please the book fans, as there are incongruities and it never seems to hold up to its parent media, but when taken as a media all to itself (and is the case with some series, no parent manga) it is a valid and enjoyable form of entertainment.

[edit]: in response to your poll, no, you didn't waste my time. I always enjoy seeing another point of view, and your write up (while definately passionate) wasn't overly dramatic or illogical.
 

DeltaEdge

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I think that mainly describes long running animes. Long running animes tend to possess a lot of filler in order to keep up with the manga story. And if it catches up, they tend to steer the show in a random direction just to end it (i.e konjiki no gash bell, FMA, soul eater all had alternate endings than how they were supposed to end.)And it is a big problem when there is a lot of dead time in anime where nothing really happens or things happen really slowly just for the sake of spreading out the show over a 24 minute time frame. It especially bothers me when they stretch a single manga chapter out to fit 24 minutes, whereas in manga, you can pace it as quickly or slowly as you like. (i.e, soul eater, one of the chapters was only 3 pages)and you can focus more on the quality too. In anime the quality often goes down to cater to the animator's needs. I often find myself disappointed in Fairy Tail when I see the detailed looking characters in the manga, and then they have little detail in the anime. Or during a fluid action scene, the animation goes to hell and suddenly they are only using a single color with almost no shading on a character. But that isn't all of them. There are plently of good anime and anime that can pace themselves because they aren't based off of manga. Or if they are based off of something, it is very manageable and easy to convert freely into an animation. I don't think anime sucks, but it isn't always as good as it could be. Especially since there are new anime every three months. They aren't really likely to try as hard if ever... I'm so spaced out that im not even thinking about what im typing anymore so im just going to cut my thought off right here and post. Good luck trying to understand all of this randomness.
 

repeating integers

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anthony87 said:
Hell at least when Bleach does filler it does a filler story arc whereas Naruto just tosses random shitty episodes one after another.

I'll take an actual arc over random episodes any day, filler or not.

The exception to this of course is Gintama. Because Gintama is amazing as well as a good example of the anime being better. A lot of the comedy in the show lends itself better to animation as opposed to manga.
Actually, Naruto's fillers are almost all in story arcs. Doesn't matter though, most are still annoying (though I suppose the Shippuden ones were alright).

Anyway, I've stopped watching Naruto now, because Kishimoto (the writer) has fallen in love with a character I don't particularly care for.
 

LilithSlave

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Does anime have to be intellectual stimulating. Does any media have to be intellectually stimulating? I tire of the pretension that there is actually, objectively good and bad media and you have to enjoy one media and deride another, or you have bad taste. And I'm tired of being called names, stupid, delusional, Autistic, and the like, for claiming otherwise. I can't count the amount of times I've been dogpiled and ostracized for claiming that personal taste is largely subjective and not a flaw if you like certain things or don't appreciate others.

Sure, there are some objective weighing of effort and expertise. But you don't have to enjoy something just because it has a certain amount of effort or talent, and you don't have to not enjoy something because it lacks it a certain degree.

So to bring it back in to how it relates to my rebuttal, I don't think media has to be thought provoking to be good. And some people like filler. And loads of anime has none. This is mostly a mainstay of shounen, which is just one genre of manga. And a kind of sexist sounding one, to be honest.

To back up my point, if you like thought provoking material, anime is certainly not inferior to manga. For instance, Eve no Jikan has no manga equivalent whatsoever. And is one of the most thought provoking anime out there. Furthermore, several anime adaptions are considered superior to manga on fairly technical grounds.
 

lord.jeff

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Your argument holds as much ground as someone trying to argue all gaming sucks after only playing Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.
 

anthony87

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OhJohnNo said:
anthony87 said:
Hell at least when Bleach does filler it does a filler story arc whereas Naruto just tosses random shitty episodes one after another.

I'll take an actual arc over random episodes any day, filler or not.

The exception to this of course is Gintama. Because Gintama is amazing as well as a good example of the anime being better. A lot of the comedy in the show lends itself better to animation as opposed to manga.
Actually, Naruto's fillers are almost all in story arcs. Doesn't matter though, most are still annoying (though I suppose the Shippuden ones were alright).

Anyway, I've stopped watching Naruto now, because Kishimoto (the writer) has fallen in love with a character I don't particularly care for.
You mean Sasuke with his Deus Ex Sharingan?
 

DarkRyter

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Bloody Loon said:
This thread is intended to demonstrate the inherent weaknesses of Episodic Anime as it exists today, and its inferiority to Manga and other forms of Animation.

Reason 1: The Business

The way that the anime business is set up creates a complete lack of intellectually stimulating, complicated anime that are suited for people who are looking for more than meaningless beat-em-ups or love stories involving hackneyed episodic plots.
The reason for this is simple: Anime is based off of popular manga. Manga that's popular is overwhelmingly Shounen and Shoujo, which are aimed at 10-18 year olds. They do not delve into more complex themes and psychological character studies, because these things are not appreciated by their target demographic.
(Note: There are examples that are not demonstrative of this, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Planetes, Cowboy Bebop, and Fullmetal Alchemist)

Reason 2: Pacing and Animation

There are benefits and drawbacks of placing a story within a moving-image narrative. The benefits are the aesthetic pleasure of viewing something move, the addition of Audio to create a more immersive experience, and the simulation of reality. The drawbacks are of a more complicated pacing structure, a longer time required to get the same narrative across, if done badly, animation will jar a viewer from the experience, and the fact that it's not the medium the narrative was created for.
The thing is, Anime generally gets all of the drawbacks, which diminish the benefits significantly. Even in the event that the animation is done decently, thus reducing the drawbacks to at least make the experience aesthetically palatable, it still suffers from narrative incoherence. The increased amount of time it takes to view anime over manga because of its audio-based narrative basis (It often takes 4-5 times longer to watch an anime than to get the same narrative from its corresponding manga) will destroy the original narrative's pacing, which in my mind is one of the most, if not the most important element in storytelling.
In addition to that fundamental flaw with the translation of manga into Anime, most contemporary Anime include filler episodes, which destroy any SEMBLANCE of narrative structure and flow. This leads me to question why should Animation, a beautiful and gorgeous art form, be demeaning itself to only retell manga stories created for their own respective medium? Sure, there are some classic examples of amazing anime (Like those I listed as exceptions to reason 2), but they're either different enough from their manga counterparts to be structurally incomparable, or inferior to them. The greatest works of Anime are not based off of any manga counterparts, and aren't made episodically, and are instead made for at most a 6 hour running time. These include many of Hayao Miyazaki's works, Grave of the Fireflies, and Ghost in the Shell.
To further demonstrate the discontinuity between Anime and Manga, most anime based off of manga are confined to the structural identity of manga, and are unable to utilize the full creative potential of the animated form. They keep a simulation of reality, held prisoner by the form of their counterpart, and will hardly ever play significantly with animated space, or the malleable nature of their medium.


TL:DR
Anime is inferior. Anime destroys a manga's narrative with disharmoniously slower pacing, is created almost exclusively for immature viewers, and does not use animation to any degree other than a malleable facsimile for reality.

If you watch for story, Manga is better.

If you watch for animation, Animated short films are better.

QED
Oh my, you don't seem to know that much about contemporary anime.

1. The industry allows for a girth of "intellectual story-oriented" anime. There's an entire block of television programming oriented towards more mature, or at the very least different, sorts of anime. Haven't you ever heard about House of Five Leaves? Usagi Drop? Eden of the East? Mushi-Shi? These are some pretty big names, bro.

2.Anime is not just based on popular manga. Looking at the Fall 2011 season, out of 25, only 5 are based on manga, and only two of those are considered particularly notable (Mirai Nikki and the second season of Bakuman).

3. Your secondary argument is one long generalization, likely based on some long-running, hyper popular, shonen anime, such as One Piece, or Naruto, or Bleach. Your complaints on pacing and narrative flow are not specific to anime based on manga, but to all sorts of adaptation. Narrative flow isn't a matter of adaptation. It's a matter of direction and writing. It is not an automatic flaw of the medium.

4. Technically, all anime is "animated short film". It is animated. It is relatively short. And it is indeed, moving picture/film.

5. Why did you put "you're a ******" as a poll option? Having it there literally gives me no choice but to pick it.
 

The_Waspman

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OK, I'm far from an anime expert or anything (I happen to be very critical of what anime I will actually watch) but the first thing I thought when I read the OP was 'Obviously haven't seen Darker Than Black'. Which isn't based off a manga, is extremely complex with deep characters and story lines.
 

MammothBlade

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You just don't watch enough anime. There are hundreds of shows which are both stimulating and entertaining, but mental stimulation isn't always the most important thing, anyway.

LilithSlave said:
To back up my point, if you like thought provoking material, anime is certainly not inferior to manga. For instance, Eve no Jikan has no manga equivalent whatsoever. And is one of the most thought provoking anime out there. Furthermore, several anime adaptions are considered superior to manga on fairly technical grounds.
I agree with this, too.

Just watch Serial Experiments Lain, it's quite clear that this sort of animation would not have been as powerful in manga.
 

Richardplex

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Yuki Kajiura, your argument is invalid.

While I do prefer Manga overall, bar anime with aforementioned musical goddess, Anime does do it better several times. It's just when the series is ridiculously long that anime is pretty bad, but then so is the manga. .Hack//Sign, [C] The Money of Soul and Possibility, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Noir, they are all fantastic anime, and the manga would be much weaker in my opinion. And they don't have manga versions, well Puella Magi does, but the manga is based off the anime. Anime is a pile of terrible shovelwear with a few gems in it, you just need to know how to find those gems. And ignore shonen. Coincidently, is almost always also the really long anime, which is generally bad. I could almost imply Shonen is generally terrible from that.
 

LilithSlave

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OhJohnNo said:
Anyway, I've stopped watching Naruto now, because Kishimoto (the writer) has fallen in love with a character I don't particularly care for.
I'm glad that someone has a level headed, subjective criticism for why they don't like Naruto for once instead of the public shaming that's been going on for a while now.

Naruto didn't particularly deteriorate as much as many people said it did. It merely took up a focus that many fans did not like. The Uchiha clan. And while many people were huge Uchiha fans, the inordinate fanservice to that one section of the universe left many people not as enthusiastic about the Uchiha clan, quite disappointed. Furthermore, a focus on eye powers to begin with, left many fans disappointed.

That doesn't make Naruto bad. And that certainly doesn't make it deserve the shaming that it constantly gets today. The whole "Naruto is bad and you should feel bad if you've ever so much as watched it. Haha, stupid orange wearing ninjas." is shameful behavior.

Also, Naruto had a very solid start as an anime, and was one of the better and more gripping anime out at the time from several desires it could fulfill. It was a very interesting take on the mythological ideas about Ninja and Japanese culture in general. A unique aesthetic(not so much as One Piece, but fitting for a ninja setting), and starting, a great variety of well rounded characters and a well formulated mythos, including many coherent lands, Ninja clans, and so forth. It had a very serious and political tone, and yet could manage to constantly make a person laugh with it's antics. That's very top notch, in my opinion. Especially if one likes Japanese culture and mythology. And with the kind of variety it has, it was once a very approachable anime.

This is something I say as someone who stopped reading watching Naruto a long time ago and don't have a whole lot of motivation to return. But it's something that needs to be said because it's treated like scum now, and it doesn't deserve it. I wouldn't consider it the best anime of all time by far. But to act like it's the worst anime of all time seems just as extreme.
 

jumjalalabash

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Jonluw said:
"Most contemporary anime include filler episodes"?
What kind of anime are you watching?

How about not just looking at the most popular anime. There's lots of great anime out there.
You don't have to watch the 100+ episodes anime like Naruto and Bleach.
Ya whole thread sounds like crying being that those 2 are filler beasts. Naruto is in a lovely rut of bullshit fillers that kill the mood of the upcoming war, and Bleach is... Bleach, tedious at the best at times and annoying at all others.
 

TakerFoxx

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You do realize that there's more out there than several-hundred episode Shonen monstrosities, right? Many of which are based off of manga, and still remain as intellectually stimulating. Try some Seinen once in awhile.
 

shadow_Fox81

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i think modern anime does suck(or at least is institutionalised), yes even if there are some gems that dosn't negate the over whelming amount of poorly made stuff.

Modern anime suffers from too much polish to cover up how poorly its been made or written by enlarge, its kind of like punk music that way.

but i don't think its ever an excuse to dismiss anime as artisticly invalid.

otherwsie you might miss stuff, like this for example.


i think a better thread however would be why was older anime so much better