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Excessive use of flashbacks.


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Oaknut



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 27
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:22 pm Reply with quote
I've been watching Gundam Seed over the last few weeks. I've really enjoyed the storyline, characters, battles, etc. However, the constant flashbacks throughout the entire series is ruining the experience of watching the series. It has gotten excessively bad between episodes 29-34 or so. I understand the use of flashbacks to drive home a point or a really important scene in the the series, spoiler[but do I need to see the death of a character 3 or 4 times an episode for 4 or 5 episodes in a row?] Where is the line between using flashbacks effectively and disrupting the flow of the story to the point the show becomes almost unwatchable? I'm just curious if anyone else has had any other series ruined because of overuse of flashbacks or if anyone would like to venture an opinion on how flashbacks are used effectively and when they become excessive.

Last edited by Oaknut on Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kenki



Joined: 10 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:49 pm Reply with quote
You should put a spoiler tag on some of the text you wrote there. Could ruin the fun for many people that still haven't seen the show.
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DomFortress



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
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Location: Richmond BC, Canada
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:32 pm Reply with quote
Oaknut wrote:
I've been watching Gundam Seed over the last few weeks. I've really enjoyed the storyline, characters, battles, etc. However, the constant flashbacks throughout the entire series is ruining the experience of watching the series. It has gotten excessively bad between episodes 29-34 or so.
BY that, I'm assuming that you're talking about SEED Destiny. That explains a lot.
Oaknut wrote:
I understand the use of flashbacks to drive home a point or a really important scene in the the series, spoiler[but do I need to see the death of a character 3 or 4 times an episode for 4 or 5 episodes in a row?]
Not by today's anime industry standard. The use of flashbacks, recaps, and stock-footage in anime these days is just a process to reducing production cost, by reusing scenes as fillers. But for Gundam SEED Destiny, it was due to Bandai's executive decision that SUNRISE had to kept using a particular character's scenes, in order to advertise the said character related merchandises manufactured by Bandai.
Oaknut wrote:
Where is the line between using flashbacks effectively and disrupting the flow of the story to the point the show becomes almost unwatchable?
In the pass, a recap episode in an anime series is to allow the production staff some time to catchup with their productions, and it usually occurs between the seasons. But for Gundam SEED Destiny, it was due to Bandai's executive decision that SUNRISE needed time to rewrite the whole story plots to give particular characters more air-times, in order to advertise the said character related merchandises manufactured by Bandai.
Oaknut wrote:
I'm just curious if anyone else has had any other series ruined because of overuse of flashbacks or if anyone would like to venture an opinion on how flashbacks are used effectively and when they become excessive.
So far, all anime series sponsored by Bandai lately had suffered in some degrees from overuse of flashbacks, recaps, and stock-footage. When flashbacks, recaps, and stock-footage were only used for advertising anime character related merchandises with little artistic merits in an anime series, such processes then become excessive IMO.
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Oaknut



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 27
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:54 pm Reply with quote
"Not by today's anime industry standard. The use of flashbacks, recaps, and stock-footage in anime these days is just a process to reducing production cost, by reusing scenes as fillers."

I would agree with this statement 100%. Unfortunately, it's one of the contributing factors in my slow decline in the interest of anime. I would much rather watch anime from the 80's or 90's than anything coming out recently. I just feel the overall quality of anime has been compromised for the sake of selling merchandise. Not that I blame the anime industry, because the companies need to make their money any way they can in this economy. I'm not saying the time I've put into the Gundam Seed series has been ill spent, but I feel I could have just gone back, watched First Gundam, and probably gotten just as much out of the experience.
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DomFortress



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:33 pm Reply with quote
Oaknut wrote:
"Not by today's anime industry standard. The use of flashbacks, recaps, and stock-footage in anime these days is just a process to reducing production cost, by reusing scenes as fillers."

I would agree with this statement 100%. Unfortunately, it's one of the contributing factors in my slow decline in the interest of anime. I would much rather watch anime from the 80's or 90's than anything coming out recently. I just feel the overall quality of anime has been compromised for the sake of selling merchandise. Not that I blame the anime industry, because the companies need to make their money any way they can in this economy. I'm not saying the time I've put into the Gundam Seed series has been ill spent, but I feel I could have just gone back, watched First Gundam, and probably gotten just as much out of the experience.
But the problem with today's Japanese anime industry is that anime production company like SUNRISE don't get profit from anime character related merchandise sales. And here's why:

SUNRISE owns the copyrights of all Gundam animated TV advertisements, but SUNRISE itself had been a subsidiary of Bandai Inc. since 1994. Therefore it's Bandai who owns the entire Gundam franchise intellectual properties. So the big picture is NAMCO Bandai Holdings sponsored an advertising project through their Sotsu advertising agency, for Bandai's own Gundam franchise intellectual properties. Sotsu advertising agency then subcontracted SUNRISE as the production staff for the Gundam animated TV advertisement, to be broadcast on Japanese TV network stations. Through unfair licensing agreement, SUNRISE forked up the bulk of the animation production cost by becoming the sole copyright holder of Gundam animated TV advertisement, therefore SUNRISE can only profit from Gundam anime DVD sales. While Sotsu advertising agency can profit from licensing the Gundam franchise intellectual properties, to various other companies besides Bandai that make character related merchandises. At the same time however, NAMCO Bandai Holdings profits from all Bandai's Gundam merchandise sales.
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:23 am Reply with quote
Excessive flashbacks (and other padding) seem to be a plague on any two-cour series from Beetrain. Every episode of .hack//SIGN seemed to have multiple flashback and I swear at points they were doing flashbacks to earlier in the same episode. They really should be banned from making any thing longer than Twilight Bracelet.
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PetrifiedJello



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:13 am Reply with quote
DomFortress wrote:
Not by today's anime industry standard. The use of flashbacks, recaps, and stock-footage in anime these days is just a process to reducing production cost, by reusing scenes as fillers.

For what purpose? Maintaining a 13 or 26 episode list?
I'm wondering if production orders mandate this number of episodes to fill a season.

But I couldn't imagine this restriction being used to direct-to-video distribution, unless it's to give consumers the notion they're getting more for their dollar.

A tactic that will backfire if fans believe they're paying for 3 episodes and 10 flashbacks.

I do agree there's a production cost element in this decision, as well as more use of non-animated sequences scrolling across the screen.

I see this more often than I do flashback scenes.

Eventually, it'll just be manga, wouldn't it?
Wink
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Blood-
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:19 am Reply with quote
Yeah, excessive use of flashback would be annoying. I'm lucky in that I haven't run across that yet. What I have run across a couple of times is an entire episode of a series were none of the main characters appear! I just ran across this in RahXephon and Blood+ did it at least once that I can remember off the top of my head.

On the one hand, I admire the courage it takes to do that (can you imagine a North American show doing something like that?) but on the other hand it does sort of break the main story flow. It has to be an awfully good episode to justify its existence.
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fighterholic



Joined: 28 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:52 am Reply with quote
Don't know if I've seen a show where flashbacks have been used excessively. However there is one show that I think makes the use necessary due to its length. One Piece in my mind is pretty long, and it makes use of flashbacks necessary to the story. Since there are times when you might not know the background of certain key characters within the series, flashbacks take place which helps you to know more about and grow close to that character.
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Asusanshinu



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 13
Location: atascosa, tx
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:16 am Reply with quote
the flashbacks are more in anime then manga, which is the only good thing, in a way. Sometimes the creator like giving out history of the characters. Although, i figure some animes to be VERY annoying when they use the flashbacks to make the episodes shorter then it suppose to be.

So to be truthful, i wish there was only little flashbacks, other then that, i don't feel a need for them at all, We got Wikipedia for the history lessons.
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bahamut623



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:43 am Reply with quote
The absolute worst offender has got to be Tenjo Tenge. I'm pretty sure the majority of the series was a giant flashback. It was annoying because it felt like the main storylines in the present were kinda pointless since most of the series was just telling the story of the past.
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Psycho 101
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:38 am Reply with quote
bahamut623 wrote:
The absolute worst offender has got to be Tenjo Tenge. I'm pretty sure the majority of the series was a giant flashback. It was annoying because it felt like the main storylines in the present were kinda pointless since most of the series was just telling the story of the past.

I have to agree. Now, the story that is told using the 2-3 disc long flashback is important. However, there was no season 2 ever made. So while that story sets up future events you can only see them in the manga as the anime never got to them with a 2nd or 3rd season. In that context it was a major waste for the anime because you only see some of the main characters for half the show as the rest is dedicated to this "long time ago in a galaxy far away' flashback. Personally I say they should have made that some sort of separate OVA or movie perhaps. Something apart from the main series.
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BunnyCupCakes



Joined: 02 Apr 2008
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Location: The Sunshine State
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:04 am Reply with quote
For some reason Inuyasha crossed my mind Laughing

Like every 5 to 6 episodes, Kagome always had to recap something, especially the beginning of the series.
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DomFortress



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:05 am Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:
bahamut623 wrote:
The absolute worst offender has got to be Tenjo Tenge. I'm pretty sure the majority of the series was a giant flashback. It was annoying because it felt like the main storylines in the present were kinda pointless since most of the series was just telling the story of the past.

I have to agree. Now, the story that is told using the 2-3 disc long flashback is important. However, there was no season 2 ever made. So while that story sets up future events you can only see them in the manga as the anime never got to them with a 2nd or 3rd season. In that context it was a major waste for the anime because you only see some of the main characters for half the show as the rest is dedicated to this "long time ago in a galaxy far away' flashback. Personally I say they should have made that some sort of separate OVA or movie perhaps. Something apart from the main series.
That's because the Tenjo Tenge anime adaptation was only an animated TV advertisement for the original manga of the same name. Which they won't be making anymore of the said advertisement when not enough people were paying to see it on Japanese TV broadcast nor OVA release.
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larinon



Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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Location: Midland, TX
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:37 am Reply with quote
I think it's somewhat telling in that it's possible to read the title of the thread in the forum and immediately think "Gundam Seed" before even reading a single post.

DomFortress wrote:
Oaknut wrote:
I've been watching Gundam Seed over the last few weeks. I've really enjoyed the storyline, characters, battles, etc. However, the constant flashbacks throughout the entire series is ruining the experience of watching the series. It has gotten excessively bad between episodes 29-34 or so.
BY that, I'm assuming that you're talking about SEED Destiny. That explains a lot.

Well, not necessarily. Both series were 50 episodes long, remember? I know it can be a painful memory for some Wink
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