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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
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Location: Earth
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:14 am Reply with quote
I don't really mind info dumps in general as long as it stays consistent and makes sense. For the BD/DVD topic, I think I'm more of a DVD fan.
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UtenaNicoletta



Joined: 07 May 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:15 am Reply with quote
I think that Texhnolyze is the best example of an anime series I've seen that let the imagery (as well as the soundtrack and sound effects) do almost all of the storytelling.

Crest of the Stars comes to mind as a series that cleverly incoporated expository information into dialogue by making that dialogue witty and fun to listen to. If only more light novel adaptations tried as hard as that....
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:22 am Reply with quote
Depending on the series, I actually want to know what's going to happen (yep, I actually want spoilers) because I guess you could say I'm too lazy to figure out the more subtle implications of important details (of course, that depends on said important details).
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bj_waters



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 234
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:24 am Reply with quote
Regarding the exposition/info-dump heavy nature of anime, I can't help but wonder if (among the other stated reasons) it isn't a cost issue as well. "Show, don't tell" is vital for great storytelling, but when it comes down to cutting corners, "telling" requires much less animation, and therefore costs less, than "showing".

The more I study the history of anime, the more I realize that it's kind of the history of the evolution of cutting corners in animation. All we have to do is remember in older anime the number of times the background looped awkwardly, or footage was reused, or characters would stand in static poses yelling at each other with only their mouths moving. Certainly, animation quality has gotten better, thanks to newer techniques and technology, but I'm sure that taking up a full minute of simply one character moving his mouth as the camera lazily pans to one side would cost much less than "showing" anything.

Or at least, that's what I speculate.
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king 47



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 264
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:31 am Reply with quote
I have many issues with info dumps, and anime is very guilty of doing them. I'm glad other people notice it.
I also hate useless video game tutorials (e.g. Skyward Sword and Golden Sun DS). I sometimes feel my intelligence and time are insulted when I'm told useless things I can easily figure out on my own.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9321
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:39 am Reply with quote
I don't mind infodumps and exposition if what's on screen is still interesting. Talking heads is a sleeping pill regardless of the format, but stuff like the history lesson episodes in LoGH were among the most interesting. I think it also helps that they were about a third the way through the series when you're already fully invested in the two powers and what drove them into existence. The information was still delivered by a narrator, but accompanied by images and video of the past like a documentary. Just having one character tell another character about a situation in the "well as you know" style is what's deathly to your interest.

For the disc format question, DVD is fine if that's really all that's available, but I don't see why one would step backward if a BD is around assuming it's not of digital anime from the SD era. I hope we reach the point when most older analog series have been remastered on BD, for some titles it's just been a complete day and night reversal and the beauty of the art can finally be appreciated, like for Lodoss War, the Cockpit, Arion, and Genma Taisen. For those interested in the actual old processes of animation, BD is revelatory.
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Cyclone1993



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 945
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:47 am Reply with quote
One of the reasons that I always bought DVD in the past was due to the lack of a Blu-Ray player, and the fact that I didn't have a TV, and if I got Blu-Ray I would have to use my parents TV, and I didn't always want to broadcast what I was watching to the whole world. If I had DVD, I could play it on my laptop, put in some headphones, and no one would be any wiser! It was a conveinence thing, but now I have a Blu-Ray player, a TV, and a room to put it in so I don't bother anyone else. Since then, I have began to buy Blu-Rays more than DVDs.

Although I prefer the whole Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs due to their adaptability.
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jroa



Joined: 08 Aug 2012
Posts: 496
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:48 am Reply with quote
Call me whatever you want, but I have a strong objection against the idea of there being some sort of strict "golden" rule or code of screenwriting and writing in general that must be absolutely followed in an universal manner, whether we're talking about anime or movies in general, somehow comparable to the Ten Commandments that Moses is said to have received.

Of course, I can accept that right now there is a certain amount of popular or critical agreement concerning what is preferrable, trendy, recommended or otherwise generally thought to be easier to swallow in terms of writing techniques, but the underlying fact is that's all part of an inherently variable and subjective social construct.

There's no objective reason why one couldn't bend or break such rules on occasion, and this freedom should not be exclusively limited to those cases where profound artistic skill or merit is involved either.

The history of literature and the history of mankind in general is full of rules being broken and rewritten over the ages. Sometimes this leads to new masterpieces being recognized in retrospect after having been previously rejected as flawed or insignificant, sure, but most of the time it simply produces a lot more variety in our entertainment and appeals to a different set of sensibilities. No more and no less than that. If all movies or TV series were written following the exact same set of "golden" writing guidelines, no matter how perfect they are supposed to be, that would turn out to be boring sooner rather than later.

Besides, not all stories want or even need to pretend to be naturalistic or realistic in their presentation, dialogue or flow of events (aside from the fact that sometimes screenwriting perfection is the most artificial of all things, given that our daily life is full of clumsy actions and corny expressions, not flawless rhetoric where the right words are spoken succintly and at just the right time).

Does that mean I will automatically embrace any and all kinds of "info dumping" in anime then? No, but I can see situations where it either works for the material, its context or simply doesn't visibly detract from the experience.
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consignia



Joined: 06 Jul 2011
Posts: 368
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:52 am Reply with quote
The huge exposition affairs have really started to bother me recently. Black Bullet was almost unwatchable because the main character needed to give a detailed background to everything concept.

I feel it can be mitigated, if there are other things decent about a show it can still be enjoyable, if somewhat tedious dialogue here and there.

It's not just Light Novel adaptations, Hunter X Hunter has been terrible for unnecessary exposition recently. I felt the Chimera Ant arc was terribly hampered with everything being explained by the narrator. Just because text appears in the original manga, doesn't mean it needs to be spoken. It's just bad writing, and a poor adaptation of the material. Which is a shame because there is some lovely stuff underneath it.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:08 pm Reply with quote
My impression where info-dumps occurs or where the info-dumps are most noticeable is where show would go on regularly using screenwriting to tell the story, then suddenly, info-dump. And I think this a result due to pacing and/or not having enough episodes. The later is often a problem in adaptions, where the show starts to run out of runway later on.

Anyways I don't mind it. I also like listening to audio books and I treat these info-dump scenes as audio books with pictures Smile

edit: I just remembered Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, in which it's absolutely critical to include the very long info-dump monologues in any film adaptation, so anime is not the only art form guilty of this!


Last edited by configspace on Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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melmouth



Joined: 19 May 2012
Posts: 167
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:17 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Call me whatever you want, but I have a strong objection against the idea of there being some sort of strict "golden" rule or code of screenwriting and writing in general that must be absolutely followed in an universal manner, whether we're talking about anime or movies in general, somehow comparable to the Ten Commandments that Moses is said to have received.


Yes!

Some of us love absorbing info. through on-screen talk.
One of the reasons I loved "Spice and Wolf" so much is that the characters spent much of their time talking about "hard" stuff. Between the economics lessons, on the one hand, and the hard-to-decipher cagey flirting of the two principles characters on the other, I had a great time concentrating hard on almost every word that was said. That show was truly that rarest of things, anime for intellectuals.


Last edited by melmouth on Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Maokun



Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:18 pm Reply with quote
I always thought that the expository info-dump in anime was more a result of the rather strict "season" limits of 12-13 episodes. Anime can be very atmospheric and work beautifully the tenet of "show, don't tell", so I imagine that if they have only so many episodes to tell a complex story, they'll want to use the long-build-up and detailed scenes for emotionally charged situations, even if that means having to gloss over technical information in quick spoken dumps.
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king 47



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 264
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:40 pm Reply with quote
Maokun wrote:
I always thought that the expository info-dump in anime was more a result of the rather strict "season" limits of 12-13 episodes. Anime can be very atmospheric and work beautifully the tenet of "show, don't tell", so I imagine that if they have only so many episodes to tell a complex story, they'll want to use the long-build-up and detailed scenes for emotionally charged situations, even if that means having to gloss over technical information in quick spoken dumps.


Not really, most 12-13 episode shows waste lots of time on useless things with an episode or two for obligatory cliches (beach episodes and full episodes to introduce one character for example). So it's not time constraint and more of inefficiency. Also, look at those never ending shonen shows, they waste absurd among of time and go through full arcs of fillers, then info dump stuff on you later.


Out of curiously, does anyone remember Arcana Famigilia and how they introduced the characters and their powers?
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Paiprince



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 593
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:46 pm Reply with quote
jroa wrote:
Call me whatever you want, but I have a strong objection against the idea of there being some sort of strict "golden" rule or code of screenwriting and writing in general that must be absolutely followed in an universal manner, whether we're talking about anime or movies in general, somehow comparable to the Ten Commandments that Moses is said to have received.

Of course, I can accept that right now there is a certain amount of popular or critical agreement concerning what is preferrable, trendy, recommended or otherwise generally thought to be easier to swallow in terms of writing techniques, but the underlying fact is that's all part of an inherently variable and subjective social construct.

There's no objective reason why one couldn't bend or break such rules on occasion, and this freedom should not be exclusively limited to those cases where profound artistic skill or merit is involved either.

The history of literature and the history of mankind in general is full of rules being broken and rewritten over the ages. Sometimes this leads to new masterpieces being recognized in retrospect after having been previously rejected as flawed or insignificant, sure, but most of the time it simply produces a lot more variety in our entertainment and appeals to a different set of sensibilities. No more and no less than that. If all movies or TV series were written following the exact same set of "golden" writing guidelines, no matter how perfect they are supposed to be, that would turn out to be boring sooner rather than later.

Besides, not all stories want or even need to pretend to be naturalistic or realistic in their presentation, dialogue or flow of events (aside from the fact that sometimes screenwriting perfection is the most artificial of all things, given that our daily life is full of clumsy actions and corny expressions, not flawless rhetoric where the right words are spoken succintly and at just the right time).

Does that mean I will automatically embrace any and all kinds of "info dumping" in anime then? No, but I can see situations where it either works for the material, its context or simply doesn't visibly detract from the experience.


Exactly my thoughts of the matter. It's subjective, plain and simple and there doesn't exist arbitrary rules to perfect screenwriting, at least to my knowledge. If it did, the anime industry would be on board with as well.

Info-dumping really shines on settings that need it. Space operas like LoGH and Crest/Banner needed it to further invest the viewers and get to know the world and people they're seeing. Mecha is on the same principle if not only for the technical aspects of how this big hunk of mech can do all those cool and flashy things. Shonen is situational. Having to explain the guy's attack 5 min. after the fact is a bit jarring but I suppose it's a staple of the fighting media world, not just anime. Romance, Comedy and SoL definitely should keep info dumping to a down low since it hampers the authenticity of the characters and as said before treats every party involved like an idiot.

It's unfortunately a catch-22 for the staff. Have them point out as little as possible to the overall scenario, you'd have people complaining what the hell is going on or why is x character doing y action or my favorite one is it's 2DEEP4U. Have them sit down and explain the situation then what you get is the same issues that were said in the article. And there's the well derided approach of addressing background info and story through side material (Rinne no Lagrange is a recent culprit of this) where they're not even hiding their intention to cash in on the yens. That's always a doozy. Can't please them all I guess. Rolling Eyes
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consignia



Joined: 06 Jul 2011
Posts: 368
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:56 pm Reply with quote
king 47 wrote:


Out of curiously, does anyone remember Arcana Famigilia and how they introduced the characters and their powers?


Oh blimey, yes. I remember at the time thinking what a clunky mess that was. Dropped that one straight away.
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