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Annf



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 578
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 8:21 pm Reply with quote
agila61 wrote:
Moe generically seems to result in a lot of bad anime with no character development

I'd like to pull out this sentence to nitpick because it's actually a little weird. Character development is pretty much the entire point of moe shows, and a moe show with no character development will bomb.

That's not to say moe shows don't do just that, fairly often. Like anything else, there's more failed moe shows than successful ones.

But there seems to be a misconception that they're all the same and that moe-ota just buy all of them automatically. If that were really the case, we wouldn't see such severe differences in sales, e.g. K-ON!'s 40,000 units per volume, versus Strike Witches' 11,000 units per volume, versus Tayutama's 600 units per volume.

That's not to say you yourself should have any interest in them, even good ones.
Moe shows are idol shows, not normal narratives. They're designed to get the audience to develop direct love for the characters--some combination of romantic, sibling, and/or parental. Someone who has no interest in doing that is going to enjoy moe shows about as much as a heterosexual male enjoys Twilight.


(This topic comes up so often, I'm starting to think there may be room on the English internet for an Otaku News Network...or Moe News Network...or Character News Network...or something...the anime equivalent of a Harlequin romance novel news & reviews site.)
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PetrifiedJello



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 3782
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 8:54 pm Reply with quote
Wow, you know it's a piss poor Saturday night when you're sitting around listening to a podcast. Thank goodness it was awesome.

Okay, first up, just a little sidebar FYI: 720 is HD as well as 1080.

I had to jump a bit because I was hoping Erin would shed some light regarding her column's... um... "negativity" in regard to underage characters, especially when they're nude. I was let down, so I guess I shall have no choice but hope a convention comes along which she and I can attend. I don't know why this bugs me, but I have to know.

But this leads me to another question which anyone at ANN can answer if they choose to. I'd like to know how "loli" or even some "moe" has become "wank fest" material. Do you peep in windows while fans are watching, get word on the street, or are just making a huge assumption?

I can understand people falling for the cuteness of characters. Let's face reality here, these characters are purposely designed to be cute, and there's also the way we humans perceive proportional faces. But to cross over to sexualizing them? Makes no sense to me.

Someone shed some light on this please. I'd love to know how anime went from niche enjoyment to Wankerpalooza 2010 and Beyond.

It was interesting to hear Zac speak of Rob's writing in that his feelings toward anime just weren't there. I happened to notice the same thing and wondered about this. David's been a blessing now that he's taken over and I'm very glad he's passionate about the toys he reviews, even admitting to enjoying the "out there" products. I wish his column was bi-weekly, now. I know someone said there's only so much they can write about the figma line, but I've a feeling David will show us there's plenty more to write.

Now, onto Theron. I'm surprised people found his voice unlike what they pictured. He was nearly spot on as I imagined it. A bit higher, but this could be due to the podcast audio. I'm also glad he didn't carry the Hoosier accent I'm forced to deal with on a daily basis. If I hear "wersh" one more time...

Theron's tastes seem right up my alley. I can't believe he also enjoyed Buffy and I quite agree this series wasn't given its dues. I would talk about this show every week to a woman who's now my wife. In fact, she actually finished the series after I left midway through season 3. I returned for 5, but the whole lesbian-wiccan-let's kill the girlfriend off turned me off.

I wonder if he'll attend August's con (forget the name) this year at Indy? He's one I'd definitely like to meet. Not surprising one bit he was the most requested staff people wanted to "meet" through the podcast.

And finally, before signing off until the next podcast, this week's title is freaky gross. I'm sure a "moe" nurse will be right along to give a booster to fix it right up. Wink
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Zac
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ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 7912
Location: Anime News Network Technodrome
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 8:59 pm Reply with quote
PetrifiedJello wrote:
I wish his column was bi-weekly, now. I know someone said there's only so much they can write about the figma line, but I've a feeling David will show us there's plenty more to write.


Technically it is bi-weekly; that's once every two weeks. I'd like it to be weekly as well but it isn't quite in the budget right now (Astro Toy is the only column with an actual production budget beyond just the writer's fee). We're looking at some other scenarios right now that would help the column pay for itself.
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PetrifiedJello



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 3782
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 9:12 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
Technically it is bi-weekly; that's once every two weeks. I'd like it to be weekly as well but it isn't quite in the budget right now (Astro Toy is the only column with an actual production budget beyond just the writer's fee). We're looking at some other scenarios right now that would help the column pay for itself.

Curses on the typo. Let's change that to "twice weekly".

Oh, how are those stickers coming along? (hint, hint). Razz
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kpk



Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 484
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 1:16 am Reply with quote
Underrated? Buffy? SERIOUSLY?!

And everyone who doesn't like Whedon should watch "The Body" (Season 5, episode 16 of Buffy) and "Hush" (Season 4, episode 10) - the two best episodes in the history of television.. No less.
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Prede



Joined: 17 Sep 2009
Posts: 386
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:03 am Reply with quote
No character development in a big budget HOLLYWOOD MOVIE??? OMG!!!! What a surprise! I can't believe that would ever happen! (sarcasm). Come on Zac, how often do these big budget movies ever have characters that change and grow Rolling Eyes .

Birdy the Mighty - Decode I liked the OVA that CPM put out, I'll have to check that out though. Been looking forward to it. Kinda sad Kawajiri didn't direct that though. Still looks good, but yeh I figured it's ganna be drawn out a little.

Yeh for Fanboy Review plug kinda Wink .

I guess I was born with a black, undead heart, because I really do hate My Neighbor Totoro. But I enjoyed hearing Erin and Noah on the podcast! I really enjoy Erin's reviews for shelf life and Otaku USA. Keep up the good work! I feel sorry for having to slug though so much DBZ there. You can burn out on that show real fast. But personally I liked that better then Dragonball at least.

Zac I liked your review on Ninja Scroll and agreed with how you reviewed it and what you had to say about it (despite being a Kawajiri fan. Anime isn't THAT anymore... I won't say it's "better" or "worse", but it certianly is not that anymore). That was a great spin, and I do want to hear more of that on some popular stuff on ANN. I don't agree with what the Death Note reviews had to say, but to hear more reviews in your Ninja Scroll style (when it's a really popular show) would be interesting.

Erin, I do use your reviews, along with many others to help me figure out what to buy though. Yours (and of course Bamboo's old ones) are very helpful because you get through a lot of stuff, and they come out weekly. But yeh anime reviews seem to be more to start off discussions, rather then what to buy. I don't think I like that too much, but whatever. It is what it is.

Moe does not = Loli . Probably a good idea not to confuse the two, LOL.

I like how people think "moe" is this crazy, alien thing lol. I wouldn't call myself a "fan" of moe, but I'm not opposed to it. And by "moe" I mean shows like Kanon or Haruhi Suzumiya. I understand how something like Strike Witches IS pretty alien, strange, and wow (that will make the person make a double take there.).... But that's not what I think of when i think of moe. IDK maybe I'm wrong, because it seems everyone has a different idea of what "moe" is. I'd call that a fanservice show, or a loli show or whatever. Maybe you could say "moe character designs" or something though?

But moe shows are kinda normal. At least if your talking about the "pure" things like Air and Clannad or something. Again no one seems to be able to agree on what moe is anymore. I don't "like" moe, but I don't hate it either. I like good stories, if a moe show has a good story, interesting characters, or is just fun, hey I'll give it a watch it. I doubt it would be a favorite show of mine or anything, but hey I'll watch. I don't understand this crazy obsession with moe. But I also don't get the hate of it either. I guess I never will...It's not all that mindblowing, but some of its fun, or really complelling and addictive. Yes 90% of them are emotionally manipulative. But that doesn't make them horrible. But it is a fault that should be noted more then it is. Still most of the series I've seen and liked aren't that bad, and do overcome their faults. Anyway I sure don't hate "moe" but it's not that I like it either, kinda neutral here. And I sure don't get the extreme glowing HATRED it gets sometimes. I just don't understand that. It's funny to watch both sides go at, while I sit on the sidelines. Because I truly don't get either group.

I think vashfanatic nailed it on the head. People like moe for the melodrama and character development. They find the stories truly moving. It's not just fap material, at least for the people I talk to. I'm truly surprised people don't "get" this Shocked .

I get what Zac is saying, talking about movies/series that effect you. Movies/series that really hit you in the heart. Something that really got me would be Now and Then, Here and There. After I watched I was just blown away. That really becomes a part of you. After I finished watching it, that perfect ending, it really feels like a work of art. As for a live action movie, Babel really felt like a work of art. That one really connected with me.

Yay for Theron Martin. Yay!. Theron Martin is the man. He had some very interesting things to say. I still have yet to see the ending of Princess Tutu, but skimmed your review (I would read it all...but don't want to be spoiled on that series because I forget where I left off exactly), and you made me eager to see it. When you give something an A+, I know it must be amazing. That really pushes me into buying something sometimes. I usually agree with your opinion. I feel 8 times out of 10 if you like something, that means I will and vice versa.

Great podcast! Can't wait for the next one!


Last edited by Prede on Sun May 16, 2010 3:25 am; edited 2 times in total
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Ojamajo LimePie



Joined: 09 Nov 2007
Posts: 707
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:39 am Reply with quote
I don't think it's fair to use moe and lolicon as synonyms. For instance, the main cast of CLANNAD are 17-18 high school seniors at the beginning of the series (and Nagisa is a year older, due to having to retake a school year.) By the end of After Story, they're in their mid-20's. The lead characters are married and have a child of their own. The only other kid in the series is the younger sister of one of the characters, who is 15 (older than the EVA pilots, I'd like to note! Anime smallmouth + sweatdrop )
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Prede



Joined: 17 Sep 2009
Posts: 386
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:47 am Reply with quote
Ojamajo LimePie wrote:
I don't think it's fair to use moe and lolicon as synonyms. For instance, the main cast of CLANNAD are 17-18 high school seniors at the beginning of the series (and Nagisa is a year older, due to having to retake a school year.) By the end of After Story, they're in their mid-20's. The lead characters are married and have a child of their own. The only other kid in the series is the younger sister of one of the characters, who is 15 (older than the EVA pilots, I'd like to note! Anime smallmouth + sweatdrop )


I was just saying this too. But I think people are just confused on what "moe" really means. As they should be, because even the moe fans give me vastly different definitions.
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hissatsu01



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 962
Location: NYC
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:42 am Reply with quote
Prede wrote:

I was just saying this too. But I think people are just confused on what "moe" really means. As they should be, because even the moe fans give me vastly different definitions.


Well, it's rather unavoidable because of the very nature of what is being described. 萌 (moe) refers to budding/sprouting, as in plants, and it's use in anime was at least originally used to describe a protective/nurturing feeling felt towards a character. But what engenders moe for one person may well not for someone else. Going by the original definition, you could feel moe for giant robots, or doorknobs for that matter, but I doubt most would describe either as moe.

Due to the intended audience for moe not being incredibly diverse (for the most part male Japanese otaku in their late teens to thirties), I think it should at least not be too controversial to state that there are definite patterns in what is considered moe. Female characters, usually cute young female characters who are vulnerable, often with flaws/defects/attributes that accentuate that vulnerability. These can be physical (weak, small, dojikko, sickly or injured characters) or mental ("retard moe" or moe-blobs). If the characters are older, they're often infantilized to some extent. Moe characters can almost always be considered "broken" in some way. I think it's worth noting that characters considered moe are (almost?) exclusively virgins, and in general don't express sexual desire or have an awareness of their own sexuality. My guess would be that this is related to ideas of what a Yamato Nadeshiko is supposed to be. Very strong characters neither in need of help nor vulnerable don't lend themselves to moe very well.

In general I don't like moe. At best I'm indifferent to it. In moderation it's not a big deal, but when the basis of the supposed appeal for a show revolves around it, I tend to lose interest very quickly. My main problem with moe is that I consider it incapable of adding to either good characterization or good story telling. All it can do for me is weaken characters and story while trying (and failing) to get me to feel protective towards some character.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 12:05 pm Reply with quote
Annf wrote:
agila61 wrote:
Moe generically seems to result in a lot of bad anime with no character development

I'd like to pull out this sentence to nitpick because it's actually a little weird. Character development is pretty much the entire point of moe shows, and a moe show with no character development will bomb.


Or is at risk of bombing if there is no substitute on hand. Character reveals, for example, are a common substitute for character development.

Quote:
But there seems to be a misconception that they're all the same ...


... and now you are clearly no longer talking about what I wrote but about what someone else wrote, as is evident in comparing "a lot" and "all". One could use set theory: "a lot" is a subset, normally a proper subset, of "all".

Quote:
Moe shows are idol shows, not normal narratives. They're designed to get the audience to develop direct love for the characters


An excessive number of anything is likely to be more new derivative trash than new original, compelling takes on a genre. When getting the green light for a particular genre is easier, more trash gets made in that genre.

However, this pins down why this is no viable foundation for long term growth. There is a certain degree of character identification in any truly successful story, whether it is a narrative about someone beating up a tank or a about whether or not Oneesama will like home-made chocolates (episodes 7 and 8, btw, and spoiler[she did]).

And that character identification is especially important to marketing of associated merchandise. I remember when our kid identified with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for several years in the mid-90's - knowing that makes gift buying a lot easier.

But an idol show has nothing but that to rely on, which means it is aiming at a narrow but high value target audience. Lolicon is just taking that to a further extreme.

For long term sustainability, there has to be a multi-layered market, where the broadest and shallowest layer may be only pennies each from a large number, but that large number provides the target audience for the higher engagement, narrower and deeper layers.

There's likely a place in a healthy market ecosystem for the shows built around Moe-mutant bobblehead girls with eyes so big there is no room for higher brain functions in their enormous skulls - but as a specialized niched, not as a foundation market.

Moe has a tendency to feature younger characters as idols, because its easier to present them as requiring protection.

But moe is always susceptible to sexualization, as any glance at the seedier fan-art sites will show, and since sexual obsession is a very strong attachment, idol shows are always subject to the commercial temptation to pander to that.

And when the moe involves pre-teen girls, succumbing to the commercial temptation to pander to sexual attachment crosses a big tripwire.
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stevek504



Joined: 29 Apr 2007
Posts: 215
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:16 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
... But I just ran this show through Levelator (a program I hadn't used before to even out the levels) and it did a really nice job evening things out. From now on I'll run the show through that before posting it.


Thanks a big bunch.
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Penguin_Factory



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 732
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:45 pm Reply with quote
I'm a bit late to the party with this one, but I wanted to briefly weigh in on the argument between Zac and Blood-.

I spent a year learning how to draw in college. That experience gave me insight into how drawings are made and how different styles and mediums of drawing look on the page that enables me to tell more about a drawing than someone who doesn't have that experience.

This isn't just me blowing my own horn here. Me and my friends and family members can all look at a drawing and I'll see things and appreciate things that they won't. Is that snooty or pretentious? Should I pretend I don't possess that body of knowledge when I do?

I mean look at it this way (I'm addressing Blood- here), if you found a 5000 year old arrow-head in your back garden and a trained archaeologist said he appreciated the find more than you could because of his training and knowledge, would you react to that in the same way you reacted to Zac?

I don't want to seem like I'm butting in on your discussion here, but this idea that people should display false modesty about their own abilities is something I've always found annoying.

agila61 wrote:

Title. Minutes runtime. Cast. Detailed plot. Available media format.

As soon as you start to do a plot synopses, you are heading into "subjective" territory - one person views one event as important, for another person its part of the background.



So.... wait, I'm kind of confused here. Are you saying a review should only include information you could get from looking at the back of the DVD box? Or (going from what the original post I replied to said) that reviewers should try to not be entirely subjective by putting more factual information about the product into the review?
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PlatinumHawke



Joined: 02 Nov 2006
Posts: 204
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:31 pm Reply with quote
Wait, Dave Cabrera did the manly badass anime review posts on /a/? My mind has been blown. That's some respect++ right there.
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Almaz



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 134
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:46 pm Reply with quote
I do not think Brian realized that Birdy Decode on Hulu is the second season. Hulu does not have the first season up for some reason. Funimation site does. It explains the situation between Senkawa and Birdy better than just watching it in the middle of the show.
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erinfinnegan
ANN Columnist


Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 598
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:49 pm Reply with quote
Prede wrote:
Erin, I do use your reviews, along with many others to help me figure out what to buy though. Yours (and of course Bamboo's old ones) are very helpful because you get through a lot of stuff, and they come out weekly.

Hooray! Thanks!

Penguin_Factory wrote:
I mean look at it this way (I'm addressing Blood- here), if you found a 5000 year old arrow-head in your back garden and a trained archaeologist said he appreciated the find more than you could because of his training and knowledge, would you react to that in the same way you reacted to Zac?

Thank you for bringing this up!! It's like... if someone went to UC Berkeley for Animation, I'd respect their opinion on cartoons a lot more (assuming they attended class?).

I wanted to bring up that I believe you can get the film-snob education outside of film school by reading a book or two and watching a bunch of movies and talking about them in-depth with friends and trying to make your own short films. My brother went to school for computer science, but he can talk the talk because he gave himself a film education. I know a couple people who are like that.

Zac wrote:
Blood- wrote:
Also some advice to Zac and Erin - especially, Erin - if you intend to persist in podcasting, could you please make some effort to excise the word "like" from your vocabulary, because it, like, makes you sound, like, kinda, like, you know, like, bush league.

As for your second comment, sorry, I was raised in the southwest and continue to live here. "Like" is and forever will be part of my vocabulary. You'd know all aboot obnoxious regional dialects, though, wouldn't you?

I've persisted in podcasting for five years and you're the first person to give me a hard time about this.

That said, when I edit my own show I take out excessive uses of the word "like" and "uh" and "you know" from not just my own speech, but everyone else's. Zac isn't an NPR radio editor. We didn't go to radio school.

Here's a really interesting audio story about "like's" and "um's".

The Count wrote:
someone said I have a Wisconsin accent and I had no idea what they meant Confused . But I can find a Minnesotan pretty quick by there accent.

Wisconsin cheeseheads totally have an accent that's different from Minnesotans or people from Michigan. I have noticed people from southern Indiana talk more like people from the actual South.

grooven wrote:
For Erin's reviews it is fine to have an opinion but when comparing non anime in an anime review that is where it doesn't make sense.

I disagree. Anime exist as both film and television, so it makes sense to compare it to other film and television, whether it's Japanese or not or animated or not.

PetrifiedJello wrote:
I had to jump a bit because I was hoping Erin would shed some light regarding her column's... um... "negativity" in regard to underage characters, especially when they're nude. I was let down, so I guess I shall have no choice but hope a convention comes along which she and I can attend. I don't know why this bugs me, but I have to know.

I'm against the sexual exploitation of minors, in particular for an audience of older males. High school kids sending nude photos of each other to each other on facebook bothers me a lot less than most lolicon. Clearly not all nude children in anime are being sexualized or exploited. Popotan is a huge offender.

Anyway, maybe we can talk about it at Otakon or New York Comic Con? I might even go to San Diego this year or Anime Weekend Atlanta, but I'll mention each one in the column.

LemonCookies wrote:
"No one's trying to keep 'em down." But isn't that exactly what you're doing in this podcast? Or what Tokyo's proposed ban is trying to do? Or Osaka's? How about Canada's laws? The UK's? Australia's? The Handley case?

This podcast is just a lot of talk. I'm not a legislator, a distributor, a lawyer, or a censor myself. All I'm doing is giving my opinion. I'm not taking action to shut down servers or change the rules of Comiket. There's a difference between condemning something and censoring something.

If someone was killing a dude right in front of me with a knife, I could take physical action to stop that person, or legal action to seek justice later. Right in that murder-y moment, if I feel powerless, all I can do is say "Hey! Stop that! I think what you're doing is wrong!"

I have given money to the Comic Book Legal Defense fund before, to help keep people like Handley out of jail!
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