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Japanese Anime and American cartoons? J-developers slipping here too?

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Posts

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I think anime's Golden Age was the 80's through the 90's. Now the novelty of the whole thing has worn off for me and it makes me kind of angry to see people all over the stuff just because it's anime.

    It sounds like you mean 'When I was l337' by 'Golden Age'.

    No?

    Yes, that's exactly what I mean. I liked anime before it was cool, so I'm cool. But now that it's all popular I'm leaving it behind because it's mainstream and stupid. Did I mention I make all of my own clothes, because I'm non-conformist? Oh yea, and fuck the government.

    See ya later, sheeple. Keep liking what's popular while I do all of the hard work finding things worth enjoying.

    I felt guilty about being snippy but that's a good comeback which made me smile.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • LibrarianThorneLibrarianThorne Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Page- wrote: »
    As to the Japanese developer thing mentioned in the OP, it's not just him. Looking at Gamasutra, Japanese developers are saying the same thing and they've been saying it since 2006 or so. The Japanese game industry is feeling creatively stagnant and really, I can't blame them.

    The western industry continues to innovate. It's been some ten years since the creative boom in the Japanese industry that fueled games like Sonic, Street Fighter II, Super Mario Bros, and Final Fantasies 6 and 7. Since then, western developers have created the MMO genre, shattered expectations in the RPG and RTS fields (Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, the Total War and StarCraft series), and for all the sameness of shooters the field of technical innovation belongs to developers like Bungie, id and Epic.

    Now, this isn't to say that Japanese development has completely stagnated. We still have games like Okami, ICO, and Shadow of the Colossus. Weird, inventive games like No More Heroes and Super Mario Galaxy continue to come out. But, by and large, these are the exceptions that prove the rule. The dominance of the JRPG genre leaves many developers feeling powerless as they churn out games that bear little differences from their forebears. There's very much a sense of tradition in Japanese development and, in many ways, it's this sensiblity that holds them back. Games like Assassin's Creed, Fable, and Grand Theft Auto push gameplay in new and itneresting ways and a question has arisen amongst developer circles in Japan. Many big names (including Tomonobu Itagaki) say that Japanese developers could never come up with something like GTA and many are wondering if Japan can reclaim its place as a house of innovation and ideas.

    Well now. I think the argument could be made pretty easily in the other direction. EA (constant sequel pushing, yearly sports titles with little or no difference), the absolute glut of boring shooters, the fascination with pointless "open world" sprawls, etc.

    Itagaki has always had a hate-on for Japanese developers (except Sega). And I'll freely show my own bias by saying that I despise GTA and all it's spawned, I despise console shooters and all they've done to mangle one of my favourite genres, and I found both Fable games to be incredibly boring. Japanese developers innovate in other ways; every JRPG may be as formulaic as the last, but they usually offer some sort of gameplay twist (though often one that isn't needed). The variety you find between most Western shooters is just a selection of slightly different weapons to shoot at a selection of cosmetically different opponents. I may know almost every major plot point in a Tales game before it even hits the shelves, but at least the game is fun to play, which is more than I've ever felt toward Oblivion and it's predecessors.

    Now, I'm not going to completely defend Japanese developers, because they do a lot of things that a dislike, and I find 80% of the games they put out to be uninteresting. But I'd be very disappointed if they decided to adopt more Western ideas.

    While you may find shooters bland and uninteresting, to say that it's not id and Epic pushing the possibilities for gaming technology is, in a phrase, fucking idiotic. Unreal Engine 3, for all its problems, has been used to create everything from Gears of War to The Last Remnant. The technological envelope of what is possible, visually, in gaming has been and continues to be pushed by the west, not by the east (unless you're counting cinematics, in which case I've got no help for you).

    And while you may find games like GTA and Fable to be dull, a position that I personally am in agreement with, to say that there's nothing there is to ignore reality. GTA created a genre that's seen intense diversification and was the first to realize a truly open, explorable world. While Fable may be linear as all get out, the fact of the matter is that there's still an absolutely astounding number of things to do in the game and, in terms of content alone, it puts a lot of other games to shame. I can't think of many other games that let a player rent out cities, marry, produce children, care for a pet, and set the world on fire with their mind. While I believe some of that content is of questionable value, the sheer amount of it is nothing to scoff at.

    Western ideas that the Japanese seem to want to adopt are more open-ended decisions and freedom of environment to play in. The incorporation of meaningful player choice is becoming very much a priority.

    But, they'll always continue to produce games like Suikoden, Disgaea, and Final Fantasy. It's just that they recognize the need for evolution in order to retain an audience. It's very much like the reverse of the situation in the late '90s. Then, the western market was flooded with shooter after shooter, all trying to capitalize on the success of Doom and Quake and Unreal. Meanwhile, Japanese developers had by and large taken over console development and were pumping out some gaming classics. But, as the western market moved away from such a dense saturation of shooters, other genres flourished. The same will happen in Japan, I think. There's a glut of certain genres of games, but a glut that will work itself out to produce far more interesting and globally competitive products.

    LibrarianThorne on
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    poshniallo wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I think anime's Golden Age was the 80's through the 90's. Now the novelty of the whole thing has worn off for me and it makes me kind of angry to see people all over the stuff just because it's anime.

    It sounds like you mean 'When I was l337' by 'Golden Age'.

    No?

    Yes, that's exactly what I mean. I liked anime before it was cool, so I'm cool. But now that it's all popular I'm leaving it behind because it's mainstream and stupid. Did I mention I make all of my own clothes, because I'm non-conformist? Oh yea, and fuck the government.

    See ya later, sheeple. Keep liking what's popular while I do all of the hard work finding things worth enjoying.

    I felt guilty about being snippy but that's a good comeback which made me smile.

    I can't describe why, but I just like the earlier cartoons better. The style which was not nearly as exaggerated, the plots, the sound...it's the same reason I like listening to old records because they sound scratchy and fuzzy.

    Zombiemambo on
    JKKaAGp.png
  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Specifically about your first paragraph: In fact, it's that id (and I suppose Epic, though I've never really like Unreal that much) is being shat all over is the reason I despise the current trend in shooters. The Quake series is by far my favourite gaming series, I play Quake 3 to this day, but the trend is away from fast paced and deep gameplay, toward dumbed down, friendlier console spawn. Quake 3 cannot, does not, and would not work on a console (same goes for Quake 1, 2, and competitive Quake 4). As long as consoles are the intended market for shooters then there won't be another Quake 3. And that pisses me off.

    If you're talking about technology, then sure, Western developers have the lead. They always have, though, since Japanese developers have never really done much with the PC. But I don't really care about technology. I play competitive games, and I play them for their gameplay. While many new console releases look pretty, they're boring as fuck to play. To me, that is the Western trend, and I don't like it.

    About open worlds: Wee! I don't care. Just because it's new or different doesn't mean it's good. Open world games have never appealed to me because I know they're always sacrificing gameplay to do it. If I wanted a sandbox I'd play Populous or SimCity. If I wanted vast regions of bland, copy-pasted vistas then I'd play an MMO. But of course that's a personal preference. Even so, I still think it's the wrong thing to aim for in games, especially if you have to weaken any other part of the game.

    I don't see a need for Japanese developers to switch over or adopt whatever Western developers are doing. I have no problem with different markets producing different products. The more variety the better. If Square starts making shooters and Namco starts pumping out NBA games, I don't see how that's going to benefit the gaming industry.

    Page- on
    Competitive Gaming and Writing Blog Updated in October: "Song (and Story) of the Day"
    Anyone want to beta read a paranormal mystery novella? Here's your chance.
    stream
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Matthew wrote: »
    There's been a lot of talk recently about how it seems Japanese video game developers are slipping, losing in terms of quality to western devs. I can see what they're talking about, and I think another part of Japan may be slipping as well.

    Does anyone else think that Japanese anime is slipping? quality wise?

    I can't think of one new series this year that i'm interested in seeing, and the only western import i'm planning to get is Funi's "Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple" and that ended awhile ago in Japan.

    I've looked over the american cartoons, and I actually think that we're outdoing them over here. There are many more US toons that I would deem as entertaining, and enjoyable, and just worth watching than I would for Japan's current crop.

    Anybody else feel this way? I admit most of my current viewing is from the Cartoon network, with shows like Transformers animated, Chowder, Flapjack and others.

    What are you guys feelings?

    I'll agree that I haven't been blown away by any anime lately, but worse than American cartoons? Not by a long shot.

    I haven't seen an animated show created in the US that was worth watching in ages...and hell, aside from a few gems, almost none of the animated shows I've ever seen in the US have been "good".

    Sure, there's plenty I liked as a kid, but none of those register as "good" to anyone over age 10 or so.

    Vincent Grayson on
  • FCDFCD Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Slicer wrote: »
    Godfather wrote: »
    yalborap wrote: »
    Godfather wrote: »
    I'd say one of the big reasons why kids today prefer anime over our cartoons is because they can get completely lost in it. For most kids that's all they want in a show, and it's hard to relate to some angsty teenager superhero when you got various ninja kids jumping about, improving themselves with crazy new abilities while guys like spiderman are stuck with the same boring powers.

    Anime-wise, for us it was Dragonball Z; for this generation it's Naruto.

    On the American side it's the same group of characters that have been around for decades, with the same recycled stories with slight alterations, tooled and redisigned for the next generation. That's just fucking lazy man. Seriously, go talk to some of these kids. They like the concept behind our superheroes, but they don't even bother to keep up with the stories or lore because there's something better on the table.

    It's called competition. Start busting out some fresh and original properties and maybe we might win the kids back on our side.

    Once you really dig, you find some really AWESOME stuff in the b and c lists of the big comic book publishers.

    The problem is, they don't want to push these guys hard and make them SELL, they want to stick with a sure thing, their A-listers.

    Exactly.

    There are some phenomenal comics out there (the Flight series comes to mind), but you wouldn't know about it unless you were already in to comics. It's all about what sells, and since Marvel basically owns Diamondhead comic distributor, it's safe to say that there is a monopoly on the market.

    I've had a lenghtly discussion with a comic book artist named Dave Ross, and although i'm not familiar with his works he's been in the industry for quite awhile, mainly working on Daredevil. He says that the suits basically control everything, and do whatever it takes to make a quick buck. That's why 95% of the stories cranked out by Marvel and DC hold no weight, because it's all about the threat of the week/month/year instead of the focus being on a good story. It's absolutely disgusting, and the companies have no one to blame but themselves for their dwinding audience when the kids are getting into manga, strictly because it's catered to them and not some twenty to thirty-year-old core audience. He also said that if it was the other way around we could of had completely original properties, comic book stories with actual endings in mind instead of whoring them out for years to come, and a larger casual following.

    Also the japanese can crank out around eighteen black and white pages a week, compared to the sixteen to twenty two pages a month that we churn out at best. Yes I know we add color to our comics, but for God sakes do we really have to spend an entire month on it, or longer because we constantly miss updates that it's become the standard to do so?

    And people wonder why kids go for manga and anime.

    There's plenty of manga that does the same with series that go on and on forever. Just to ramble off a few, there's Berserk, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach....I could probably go on and on with this, but needless to say there's really no end in sight for many.

    Granted, there's more neverending series in American comics and you certainly have a point there, but it's a problem with popular manga as well.

    A fair point, though at least in long-running manga series, there aren't any of the continuity snarls you find in the shared universes of DC and Marvel, since they are all their own little 'verses.

    FCD on
    "If anyone tried to steal your WAX LIPS, you would eat their eyeballs and deliver an angry lecture into their empty sockets." Hearts Boxcars, The Midnight Crew
  • SlicerSlicer Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    FCD wrote: »
    Slicer wrote: »
    Godfather wrote: »
    yalborap wrote: »
    Godfather wrote: »
    I'd say one of the big reasons why kids today prefer anime over our cartoons is because they can get completely lost in it. For most kids that's all they want in a show, and it's hard to relate to some angsty teenager superhero when you got various ninja kids jumping about, improving themselves with crazy new abilities while guys like spiderman are stuck with the same boring powers.

    Anime-wise, for us it was Dragonball Z; for this generation it's Naruto.

    On the American side it's the same group of characters that have been around for decades, with the same recycled stories with slight alterations, tooled and redisigned for the next generation. That's just fucking lazy man. Seriously, go talk to some of these kids. They like the concept behind our superheroes, but they don't even bother to keep up with the stories or lore because there's something better on the table.

    It's called competition. Start busting out some fresh and original properties and maybe we might win the kids back on our side.

    Once you really dig, you find some really AWESOME stuff in the b and c lists of the big comic book publishers.

    The problem is, they don't want to push these guys hard and make them SELL, they want to stick with a sure thing, their A-listers.

    Exactly.

    There are some phenomenal comics out there (the Flight series comes to mind), but you wouldn't know about it unless you were already in to comics. It's all about what sells, and since Marvel basically owns Diamondhead comic distributor, it's safe to say that there is a monopoly on the market.

    I've had a lenghtly discussion with a comic book artist named Dave Ross, and although i'm not familiar with his works he's been in the industry for quite awhile, mainly working on Daredevil. He says that the suits basically control everything, and do whatever it takes to make a quick buck. That's why 95% of the stories cranked out by Marvel and DC hold no weight, because it's all about the threat of the week/month/year instead of the focus being on a good story. It's absolutely disgusting, and the companies have no one to blame but themselves for their dwinding audience when the kids are getting into manga, strictly because it's catered to them and not some twenty to thirty-year-old core audience. He also said that if it was the other way around we could of had completely original properties, comic book stories with actual endings in mind instead of whoring them out for years to come, and a larger casual following.

    Also the japanese can crank out around eighteen black and white pages a week, compared to the sixteen to twenty two pages a month that we churn out at best. Yes I know we add color to our comics, but for God sakes do we really have to spend an entire month on it, or longer because we constantly miss updates that it's become the standard to do so?

    And people wonder why kids go for manga and anime.

    There's plenty of manga that does the same with series that go on and on forever. Just to ramble off a few, there's Berserk, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach....I could probably go on and on with this, but needless to say there's really no end in sight for many.

    Granted, there's more neverending series in American comics and you certainly have a point there, but it's a problem with popular manga as well.

    A fair point, though at least in long-running manga series, there aren't any of the continuity snarls you find in the shared universes of DC and Marvel, since they are all their own little 'verses.

    True, though they enjoy to retcon things and relaunch titles every now and then, usually making it easier for fans to get into a series. Not as easy to get into as something entirely new, but most of the time it's easy enough enjoy without having read all sorts of obscure issues from many years ago.

    Heck, Marvel acknowledged that when they made their Ultimate line, basically starting everything from scratch (though I hear it's gotten a little convoluted recently but they're trying to fix that).

    But yeah, with a shared universe it can be a bitch to keep up on continuity.

    Slicer on
  • LacroixLacroix Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I agree with most of what has been said on this thread regarding the fact that we're all just used to anime conventions now. I've never claimed to be 'into' anime in the way that some of my friends are, priveliging it as a medium, because it is just that... its one of many ways of telling a compelling and interesting story. I'll defend comics and anime to anyone who dismiss it as a medium based on hearsay, as theres always something good, but just like TV and books and comics, alot of anime is very samey. Even the stuff that is succesful often just does the same stuff better or in a slightly different way than the competition.

    That said, the last anime I watched was Death Note, which I loved in spite of its misogyny, because it was nice to see western tropes which felt different seen in an anime. It reminded me an awful lot of House in the
    'so, will L outsmart Kira with this plan in the first five minutes?' *someone else dies* L: It isnt Lupus, lets run more tests/hatch more plots.


    I also am adoring haruhi... but I suspect that is one of those shows that only hints at furthering the relationships and never actually does so (like ranma) so i may give up on it. Is it worth sticking with?

    Lacroix on
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I think it was a good move to do a reboot of these (Marvel) series. After all, who in their right mind has the time to keep up with all of the story started since the 60's? It's asking way, way too much, and only the most die-hard fans will trek through that mess. In that regard, the Ultimate universe was a smart business move by basically starting from scratch, not just with one character, but all of them.

    However, something Marvel loves to do is crossovers, and I feel like this is their biggest mistake. Whatever happens in Spiderman's comic can affect whatever happens in Iron Man's, or Thor, or whatever. It sounds good on paper, but then you realize that simply reading the main line isn't enough, and that you have to read said issue of Ultimate Iron Man/X-Men/whatever, and that's where they get you.

    I don't want to read about those characters. I just want one character, with his assortment of clown character villains. When you start chucking in other characters from other series, it starts becoming confusing, annoying, and very apparent that the company is just trying to squeeze another dollar out of my wallet. Plus bringing in other established franchises can bog down some characters from the original trade, and then everyone is fighting for screen time. That's why most casual people prefer manga over our comics; easy to follow, and you get exactly what you pay for, instead of having to shell out more money to get the full, complete story. You wouldn't sell a car with three wheels would you? Then why should they sell a comic without the complete plot synopsis resolved in that one trade?

    Again, the Big Two are run by the suits; they don't like seeing drastic changes to their series. They don't want characters killed off, any major changes to the story. At the end of the day everything goes back to normal just long enough before the next crisis-of-the-month is set up. With western comics it's all about making money, but the fact is that they at least tried adapting a different business model they might have a chance at rekindling that audience they used to have back during the 60's/70's/80's, back when the casual fan actually gave a shit about what was going on in the world of comics, thus raking in more cash then they do now.

    Godfather on
    0WBv0.png
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited November 2008
    Lacroix wrote: »

    I also am adoring haruhi... but I suspect that is one of those shows that only hints at furthering the relationships and never actually does so (like ranma) so i may give up on it. Is it worth sticking with?

    No, the relationship is never resolved. And no, if you're watching it in the achronic broadcast order, it probably does not get better than wherever you probably currently are, unless you hold philosophy 101 lectures as the gold standard for entertainment. You -should- watch it to completion just because, but the second half is a lead anchor of shallow and clumsily strewn about mud compared to the first.

    Aroduc on
  • FCDFCD Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The advantage that manga has which really undermines American comics(most especially the Big Two) is consistency. When one is reading a DC or Marvel title, one always has to take into account delays, a change in the writing/art staff and the very real possibility that said title might get cancelled at any moment*. These problems aren't nearly as prevalent in manga, which boosts confidence and loyalty in its fanbase. The emphasis on reasonably priced, digest-sized graphic novels is also a great assest, especially in this age of trade waiting.

    *Though obviously, prominent mascot titles such as Superman and Spider-man are largely exempt from this danger.

    FCD on
    "If anyone tried to steal your WAX LIPS, you would eat their eyeballs and deliver an angry lecture into their empty sockets." Hearts Boxcars, The Midnight Crew
  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    FCD pretty much nailed it.

    Also you guys are going to have to tell me whenever I start to go out of line with my eastern/western comics comparisons, because sometimes I can go overboard.

    Godfather on
    0WBv0.png
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