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INTEREST: Under the Dog Producer Hiroaki Yura Also Talks Production Committees, Moe in Reddit's AMA


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WikiSonic



Joined: 23 Jul 2013
Posts: 73
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:15 pm Reply with quote
Moe is not ruining the anime industry. You're delusional if you think that.

And since when is there an overabundance of moe anime? How many shows would you consider "moe" from the current season of anime? Heck, I'm having an easier time finding shows that aren't.

(Also, can we stop calling moe a genre? It really isn't.)
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LavenderMintRose



Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 168
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:23 pm Reply with quote
I agree with most of what's been said here about his attitude.
It really bothers me when people point to whatever moeblob show with no plot and act like there's nothing between that and Akira in terms of style.

Honestly, if I were to name the three best anime I watched last year, I'd have to say Beyond the Boundary, The Devil is a Part-Timer, and Outbreak Company. Those are all light-novel based shows that could be called "moe," but I don't see a ton of people trying to deny how good they are.
When Kill La Kill came out last year, people were all like, "This is what we watch anime for! This is what anime means to me!" ... and around the same time, Viz put the dub of K on Hulu and I watched that series for the first time, and I thought, "Screw Kill La Kill, this is why I watch anime!"
I'm not into heavily violent things, so I just haven't watched enough popular TV shows like Breaking Bad, or those popular hardboiled cyberpunk anime like Akira, but I would say, at least from having seen Durarara!! and hearing about how Baccano is similar (same LN author), that those have the thing that sets them apart from (at least most) non-anime things. I don't think there's a pair quite like Celty and Shinra in Breaking Bad. ... and that's because they're moe. They aren't the type of characters you'd think of when you think of moe, but they are. There are so many different types of characters that can be moe, because "moe" is just a certain type of cute. (Come to think of it, I wonder what this guy thinks of fujoshi and bishonen series?)
It could seem like I'm interpreting the idea of "moe" broadly. The thing is, while there is a genre of shows that are made just to evoke moe, character traits that can make a viewer feel moe show up in so many places. In my experience, I'd say the "fangirl squee" feelings over bishonen characters, are pretty much the same as moe (like when I looked at my poster of Kuroh and Shiro from K just now). The thing is, it seems like Hiroaki Yura is also interpeting it broadly... and using that as a justification to dismiss huge amounts of shows.
I don't doubt that production committees can get in the way... my all-time favorite series' second season is sort of a mess, and production politics is usually blamed for that. But if all the advertising budgets were taken away and every single show lived or died by crowd choice, I think he'd be surprised. The stuff he's sidelining as moe trash can actually be really diverse.


Last edited by LavenderMintRose on Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 949
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:35 pm Reply with quote
Nonaka Machine Gun B wrote:
Everything you just listed was funneled through various companies inproduction committe format and crafted off the backs of pre-existing works/reputations. This is one team's vision and an completely new IP(despite having reputable talent attached to it).


I feel like this isn't something that needs to take that route, though...? This isn't some really off-kilter thing like Kick-Heart. Far weirder original shows than this have recently made it through production committees (Zvezda Plot, Kill la Kill...)

Do they really need a kickstarter campaign to make a throwback sci-fi thriller anime? I guess if Japan doesn't want this but Westerners do (rather probable), than they do need such a campaign. It's hard to say if this will last beyond the pilot, though.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3716
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:42 pm Reply with quote
Jayhosh wrote:
I think many of you are over reacting to his answers. He's just saying that the ratio between moe and other genres is too uneven. Not that he doesn't like some of those shows, I'm sure he does. I thought people would support this type of mentality. But maybe that's because I think that moe IS ruining the anime industry? Maybe not that extreme, but it is taking away from the variety. And I do like some of them. I like a show if it's good by my tastes, I'm not so shallow as to dismiss one just because of its art. But too many are being churned out to the point where I don't even bother with a lot of them. I know a lot of you want to defend your precious moe by trashing this by labeling it as "generic dark and gritty sci-fi," but that doesn't really make sense to me considering that none of you have seen it. Because it doesn't even exist yet.

I'd like to see anime move past the moe trend. Because let's face it, its biggest market are Japanese otaku. At least, that's who they're aiming for anyway.


Have you actually seen the at least 40+ (50+ if you include kids' shows) each season, i.e. 160+ new shows a year? Do you or other cynics even know about them?

I've been watching anime since long ago, longer than most people have, and I also watch everything except kids' shows. I can tell you, and you can see for yourself, without a doubt there is a whole lot more variety today, not to mention higher production values, than there ever has been.

It's also a bit hypocritical to be against otaku appeal, when the design of the main character--a very attractive girl in a sexy outfit--belies that.

Also, with regards to production committees, see what I wrote in this thread. Just like with genres, there is no mutual exclusivity involved, different types of funding can co-exist.

Production Committees are not evil and are in fact, necessary. What he seems to suggest: taking people's money and not giving them what they want--now that's evil. As I mentioned in the link above, there are always strings attached, even with crowdfunding. ALL exchanges, from retail purchases, to investments, to kickstarter projects, all involve strings attached. Some creators like Sunrise get to pull their own strings by being a primary committee member in their own productions.
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Kikaioh



Joined: 01 Jun 2009
Posts: 1204
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:46 pm Reply with quote
Ahhhh, I love this guy already. Laughing Moe really has taken almost too big a bite out of the industry, and it's nice to see a producer who recognizes it and feels the same as I do --- that it's almost too much. Anime used to be really rough, loud, energetic, sharp-edged and ballzy, but it's gotten waaaay more soft, tepid, demure, doe-eyed and cute in recent years that it's harder for folks like me to recognize. That said, I am glad for shows like Attack on Titan, Space Dandy and Kill la Kill for bringing back more of that good ol' grit and swagger that made anime special for me back in the day, but they're really like pebbles in a sea awash with samey-looking soft-spoken metro guys and moe, cutesy girls. I understand if that's the 'in' style with today's otaku in Japan, but it's just not my cup of tea.

Oh yeah, and though I was wavering on funding this Kickstarter before, now I'm all in. Razz
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VORTIA



Joined: 26 Jul 2005
Posts: 932
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:48 pm Reply with quote
I was all for Under the Dog and this kickstarter, but this interview really turned me off. So many of these comments are "OMG! MOE IZ KILLIN R ANIMU!" casual Western fan pandering. Rather than impress me, all Yura has done has given me the impression he's trying to sell me by telling the American audience what he thinks they want to hear.

Implying that moe is somehow choking out other genres of anime is pretty disingenuous. I strongly suspect the moe wave has crested and is already tapering off. There seem to be far fewer moe focused shows each season, and despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, shows like Attack on Titan, Aldnoah Zero, Psycho-Pass & Fate/Zero were still regularly getting made.

I'm pretty disappointed. The creative team for Under the Dog has some great, imaginative ideas. They shouldn't need to reduce themselves to taking petty pot-shots at other anime genres to market their vision.
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LavenderMintRose



Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 168
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:50 pm Reply with quote
kotomikun wrote:
Nonaka Machine Gun B wrote:
Everything you just listed was funneled through various companies inproduction committe format and crafted off the backs of pre-existing works/reputations. This is one team's vision and an completely new IP(despite having reputable talent attached to it).


I feel like this isn't something that needs to take that route, though...? This isn't some really off-kilter thing like Kick-Heart. Far weirder original shows than this have recently made it through production committees (Zvezda Plot, Kill la Kill...)

Do they really need a kickstarter campaign to make a throwback sci-fi thriller anime? I guess if Japan doesn't want this but Westerners do (rather probable), than they do need such a campaign. It's hard to say if this will last beyond the pilot, though.

From what I've heard about various specific series in the past, it seems like the sort of executive meddling he's referring to happens to all sorts of things. Besides things that happened with the second season of a popular mecha series that I mentioned (stuff like, "Add fanservice," and "make it work more for people who didn't watch season 1"), I've heard that some other series had political themes toned down and stuff like that.
That said, it's true that this doesn't seem groundbreaking in the slightest. If you want to talk about Kickstarter projects being a good trend for anime, any of the other things that have been funded through Kickstarter look more unique than this (like Kick Heart, Little Witch Academia, Santa Company...)
Basically this all seems like a typical crusader complex. Which sort of fits with the style of this sort of show. Which is... why I don't like that sort of thing.
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EyeOfPain



Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 312
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:55 pm Reply with quote
LavenderMintRose wrote:
If you want to talk about Kickstarter projects being a good trend for anime, any of the other things that have been funded through Kickstarter look more unique than this (like Kick Heart, Little Witch Academia, Santa Company...)

Leaving the other two aside, LWA was a sequel, so I don't think you can really call it "unique."
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LavenderMintRose



Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 168
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:58 pm Reply with quote
EyeOfPain wrote:
LavenderMintRose wrote:
If you want to talk about Kickstarter projects being a good trend for anime, any of the other things that have been funded through Kickstarter look more unique than this (like Kick Heart, Little Witch Academia, Santa Company...)

Leaving the other two aside, LWA was a sequel, so I don't think you can really call it "unique."

Yes, you can call the second installment in a series that is unique compared to the rest of the medium "unique".
Note that "Unique" doesn't mean "completely unlike anything ever seen before." It just means it's far from making you say "Been there, done that," ... which is what Yura is saying pretty much all recent anime has done.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3716
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:05 pm Reply with quote
Kikaioh wrote:
Ahhhh, I love this guy already. Laughing Moe really has taken almost too big a bite out of the industry, and it's nice to see a producer who recognizes it and feels the same as I do --- that it's almost too much. Anime used to be really rough, loud, energetic, sharp-edged and ballzy, but it's gotten waaaay more soft, tepid, demure, doe-eyed and cute in recent years that it's harder for folks like me to recognize. That said, I am glad for shows like Attack on Titan, Space Dandy and Kill la Kill for bringing back more of that good ol' grit and swagger that made anime special for me back in the day, but they're really like pebbles in a sea awash with samey-looking soft-spoken metro guys and moe, cutesy girls. I understand if that's the 'in' style with today's otaku in Japan, but it's just not my cup of tea.

Please stop with the false generalizations. As I keep asking: do you watch the 160 - 200 new shows every year? Why do you presume there MUST be one type of show or another type of show, but both types or more? Oh yeah, you forgot JoJo's Bizarre Adventure which is a HUGE selling franchise. And Tokyo Ghoul. And also the whole host of sports shows. And a whole host of variety that never existed until recent years. But hey, don't let facts get in the way.

And ironically, the biggest criticism of Kill La Kill, the biggest shift in opinion from anti-moe American fans that initially latched onto it, is its very obvious otaku appeal/fanservice. I like the fact that Trigger and its creators have flexible talents, very broad taste and are shameless about indulging them, without needing to attack anyone.

Quote:
Oh yeah, and though I was wavering on funding this Kickstarter before, now I'm all in. Razz

Good for you. Because I just pulled out my $500 pledge.
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king 47



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 264
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:11 pm Reply with quote
I actually just found out about this project from this post.

Anyways, I've been getting grumpier about anime with every passing season. I've started getting sick of a lot of things they do, so this seem to try to change that. Granted, the trailer seems a bit generic, but I've come to expect that. So I have some interested in this.
I will support this when it comes out, but I never crowdfund anything.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9321
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:12 pm Reply with quote
People have special selective memory when it comes to what anime used to be like 'back in the day'. Remember all of the soft romance and cutesy shows from the 80s like Kimagure Orange Road, Tokimeki Tonight, and the Kabocha Wine? Of course not, because they ruin his argument. God, we're still reeling from the 90s licensing era when all that was brought over were the violent OVAs and movies, aren't we?

Hell, people even refuse to remember things that just aired or are still airing like Sidonia and GitS: Arise. Maybe it's like when you're in a fog, it doesn't seem so thick around you, and that's how it feels in the present. Remember how in the 80s and 90s seasons sometimes only had half a dozen shows airing at once, at 4 of them were for toddlers?
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FlamingFirewire



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 424
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:19 pm Reply with quote
One thing to keep in mind too is that Yura is also a major fan of Haruhi and worked on the OST for the Disappearance as an actual musician. There is a big push and mention of "moe" that he's talking about, but I don't think he "hates" things just because they're "moe" - I think it has far more to do with the fact that it has essentially swallowed up the late-night anime block these past 5-6 years and too many production committees seem to be focused on safe projects that aren't willing to take risks (art style, story, character focus, etc.).
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 949
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:29 pm Reply with quote
From the trailer, I can't figure out what, if anything, is really special about this. The animated part looks great visually, but doesn't tell you much about the story. The producers talk about it for 10 minutes and all I got was something about people being forced to fight so their families won't be killed (by the government?), comments on how hot the lead girl is (pot, meet kettle) and a whole lot of vague talk about how they really want to make a great anime. No hint of what interesting themes or twists or unique elements this might contain.

The writer said he finished the first draft in 1997. I feel like if they couldn't find someone to fund this after almost 20 years, it probably just doesn't have much going for it. Sure, execs often reject things for dumb reasons or ask for unnecessary changes, but at least they got to read the script. We don't even know what this thing is about.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9321
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:33 pm Reply with quote
Why do you think they're so unwilling to take risks? I feel it's because they have so many times in the past and the risks didn't pay off despite best intentions, like Basquash, Samurai Champloo, Kaiba, Fractale, Aku no Hana, and others. "Why don't they take risks?" They have, they still do! But a risk has to find an audience and make money for it to not become a failure, and failures matter for shaping the future as much as successes, they can impact a director or creative team's career. Heaven's Gate ended Michael Cimino, Honneamise ended Yamaga, Fractale ended Yamakan. Risks are scary, so is not having a paycheck.
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