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


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Stuart Smith



Joined: 13 Jan 2013
Posts: 1298
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:01 pm Reply with quote
Minami-Asakura wrote:
We have passed an era in which had strong uni8que characters with great personalities, characters like Lupin, Heidi, Joe Yabuki, Asakura Minami, Shinji, Motoko, etc, to characters devoid on any personality, of any ambition, sure there were plain character in the past too, but not i todays fashion... todays icons are what? Kyon? Yui? Haruhi? Kirito? And you say why many of us say anime is being ruined? We have gone from simple, silly or complex stories but with ambition to merely stories/ which ambition is merely of evoking moe and sexual arousal to generate as much sales as possible be it female character or male (BL so in now).


This quote exemplifies the main issue with the debate: cherry picking and false comparisons. You list characters who are as old as 1968 (Joe) and as modern as 1995 (Shinji), and yet those three decades are suppose to be compared to one year today.

Cherry picking aside, Lupin and Joe are not in the same boat as Kyon or Kirito . Those were mainstream series for children/general audiences. Modern equivalents to those characters would be Luffy, Naruto, Light, Gintoki, Bossun, Ryouma, Gon and other mainstream/kids show protagonists.

We have plenty of general audience anime airing these days, so why not compare those examples to modern general anime rather than late-night anime? You can make the old era look trashy by comparing Death Note or Bakuman to Agent Aika and Cream Lemon. Make sure your comparisons are fair and make sense if you wish to foster an actual debate rather than just talking on a soapbox to make a point.

-Stuart Smith
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13984
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:47 pm Reply with quote
iloveturkey wrote:
enurtsol wrote:
Preference is one thing; that's understandable. But the worn mentality of "yo-ge, kuso-ge"** (which stands for "Western game, shit game" - go ahead do a web search) is another; that's outright dismissing a game without even knowing anything about it simply because where it came from. That's been going on for decades, even before shooters or MMOs are a thing or playthroughs or game journalism.

I can hardly blame them, to be honest. I remember back in the NES/SNES days most American games were really bad licensed games. PCs at least had LucasArts adventure games and some RPGs. Nowadays things have shifted. All the big western games are for consoles, and PC is a hellhole. Forced DRM services like Origin, Steam, and UPlay. Tons of god-awful indie games, simulator games, and early-access paid alphas which half the time never finalize into a finished game and rip off tons of consumers.


We've seen the other way - home consoles+games aren't selling as they used to because people are going back to PC gaming. Gaming-level PCs can be had for affordable prices, laptops, SSDs, and easily upgradeable. I've known people with hundreds of games from Steam, GOG, etc. that they haven't got around to playing but purchased anyway due to the ubiquitous sales and free codes. DRM is like being tied to a console, but this illustrates that if prices are low enough, people buy.


iloveturkey wrote:

One of the more common complaints I hear from Japan is the art direction in western games. I'm inclined to agree. Looking at the cast of Dragon Age 3 makes me not sure how the character designer at Bioware still has a job. All of them are really ugly.


Well, aesthetic is subjective. This is not particular to any game, but so long as something is not offensive, there'll be fans of any style. I've known gamers who couldn't stand elementary-looking girls, and gamers who want as realistic-looking as possible. Whatever style it is, as long as the developers are working their hardest for it.


configspace wrote:

enurtsol wrote:
Well, they're free to pick and choose whom they should listen to. Once they already have your monies, they can do whatever they want (legal) and ya can't take your money back (ya pretty much lose your leverage to influence).

Technically that's true. Hell they don't even have to deliver anything. They can just take the money and run, which a few project have done and is perfectly legal.

But if they want to keep their reputation and their word about listening to feedback, then there is no way for both creators and supporters to avoid being hypocrites about creative freedom. Furthermore, they have already redesigned her and may do so again as they acknowledge taking in feedback in the comments about the figure.

Either you accept the pure, unadulterated vision of whatever they had in mind, whether you like it or not, or you start transforming into a production committee.


As long as the creators are the ones who decide the changes, and even whether to make changes - then they're their own production committee. As long as they don't feel like they're being forced to it, creators are free to change their minds and do changes if they see a better idea from someone else. Visions can change - but it's still their vision. And people forget that others like Mighty No. 9 were crowd-funded too, but nobody questions whose vision it is.
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Fedora-san



Joined: 12 Aug 2014
Posts: 351
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:01 pm Reply with quote
Stuart Smith wrote:
Minami-Asakura wrote:
We have passed an era in which had strong uni8que characters with great personalities, characters like Lupin, Heidi, Joe Yabuki, Asakura Minami, Shinji, Motoko, etc, to characters devoid on any personality, of any ambition, sure there were plain character in the past too, but not i todays fashion... todays icons are what? Kyon? Yui? Haruhi? Kirito? And you say why many of us say anime is being ruined? We have gone from simple, silly or complex stories but with ambition to merely stories/ which ambition is merely of evoking moe and sexual arousal to generate as much sales as possible be it female character or male (BL so in now).


This quote exemplifies the main issue with the debate: cherry picking and false comparisons. You list characters who are as old as 1968 (Joe) and as modern as 1995 (Shinji), and yet those three decades are suppose to be compared to one year today.

Cherry picking aside, Lupin and Joe are not in the same boat as Kyon or Kirito . Those were mainstream series for children/general audiences. Modern equivalents to those characters would be Luffy, Naruto, Light, Gintoki, Bossun, Ryouma, Gon and other mainstream/kids show protagonists.

We have plenty of general audience anime airing these days, so why not compare those examples to modern general anime rather than late-night anime? You can make the old era look trashy by comparing Death Note or Bakuman to Agent Aika and Cream Lemon. Make sure your comparisons are fair and make sense if you wish to foster an actual debate rather than just talking on a soapbox to make a point.

-Stuart Smith


This.

You want silly antics and stories? Go watch Gintama, or Sket Dance, or Kaiji. Next month Kaitou Joker premiers which I'm looking forward to and I'd lump that in with Lupin-style antics easily.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hsMRarN1oA

There's plenty of anime out there. We get about 40 a season, all of which are diverse and cover tons of genres. It amazes me how some people can't find a single show to watch out of all of them.
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animefanworried



Joined: 09 Mar 2011
Posts: 126
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:14 pm Reply with quote
The problem with old school fans who think the modern industry is in ruins is that they are stuck in the past. It's not a matter of quality but time. They don't even seem to realize it themselves, so I guess its more a subconscious effort on their part to pile up logical fallacies on top of logical fallacies all to maintain that no matter what, old school is god, modern is pandering crap. It's a pointless discussion in the end.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9321
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:16 pm Reply with quote
And when an anime they'd enjoy arises, they conveniently forget that it exists, despite its existence disproving their arguments. Psycho-pass is exactly what they're after and they still bitch that they don't get stuff like Psycho-pass.
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animefanworried



Joined: 09 Mar 2011
Posts: 126
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:24 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
And when an anime they'd enjoy arises, they conveniently forget that it exists, despite its existence disproving their arguments. Psycho-pass is exactly what they're after and they still bitch that they don't get stuff like Psycho-pass.

I've had this discussion many times before on other forums, so we're lucky we've had no one say "Yeah, they are shows today that try to have quality, but its only as good as it can be in the modern industry." I've also heard Akane being criticized for being otaku pandering as well. If the conversation geared towards fanservice, we'd eventually get the "Yeah we had that, but we knew how to make fanservice back in the day."
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Parse Error



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 590
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:31 pm Reply with quote
The worst thing is that 10-15 years from now, both the Attack on Titan wave and the younger members of the current moe/ecchi fandom will be hitting the peak of their nostalgia phase. One side will be complaining that everything is cutesy-poo schoolgirls and pantyshots while the other complains that it's all dark and edgy splatterfests.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9321
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:43 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, that's like how you can remind people that Cyberteam in Akihabara aimed in the same season as Cowboy Bebop.
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Mr. Oshawott



Joined: 12 Mar 2012
Posts: 6773
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:12 pm Reply with quote
Based on the comments a few pages earlier, it seems that most of the "old-school" anime fans enjoy bashing modern-day anime shows more than simply enjoying those "mature, edgy" anime shows that they so claim to favor. Neutral The anime industry of today does have them- it's only a matter of finding them.
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Errinundra
Moderator


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 5833
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:00 am Reply with quote
The Under the Dog website has now opened. The creators have this to say,

Quote:
Since the storyline of Under The Dog is so tragic, this project would not quite penetrate with mainstream anime distributors. But what the creators want to do is challenge themselves to make something that excites them.


Link

That's a simple and believable explanation, without invoking the end of anime as we know it.
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Lavnovice9



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 275
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:22 pm Reply with quote
Tragic anime exists everywhere. I find it questionable Aku no Hana could exist but this girls-with-guns project was apparently subjected to supposed executive meddling. Or did they just assume it would be changed and didn't actually try so for all they know there might not have been any changes?
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Kikaioh



Joined: 01 Jun 2009
Posts: 1204
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:01 pm Reply with quote
@Parse Error: Dismissing older shojo works as not having 'moe characters' or being 'moe shows' isn't due to pesky inconvenience. By definition it makes sense to describe a character or show that's fundamentally designed to evoke the 'moe' feeling as being either a 'moe character' or 'moe show'. Detractors primarily dislike 'moe characters' and 'moe shows' for the very reason that they were designed to be moe and appeal to otaku. There are a variety of reasons why detractors might disparage 'moe characters and shows', from disliking the idea of school age girls purposefully being crafted to garner the affection of older men, to feeling that the excessive creation of designs that pander to the fandom ruins immersion or cheapens the craft, to not appreciating the portrayal of women as cute/tepid/embarrassed characters relative to the desires of a male audience. Whatever the valid or invalid merits of such reasoning, my point is that the basis of detractors disliking 'moe' shows and characters for primarily appealing to an otaku audience is a fundamental cornerstone to that belief system and can't be overlooked in these sorts of discussions --- the problem isn't so much "who's watching?" as it is "who was it made for?"

Regarding nudity in older works, I've mentioned in other threads in the past, but female nudity back in the 80's and 90's wasn't always looked at nearly as lasciviously in Japan as it is in the modern day. Ranma 1/2 is a prime example --- despite being a daytime television show, it prominently featured female frontal nudity, which might come across as surprising considering Rumiko Takahashi has mentioned in interviews that she intended to create the work with young children and women in mind, and even mentioned that Ranma 1/2 was more popular with girls than boys (surprisingly enough, when I visited Japan for the first time in the early 2000's, Ranma was still airing reruns on TV and some of my female friends mentioned having watched the show when they were kids). My Japanese teacher once mentioned that back in the late 90's she brought her children to Japan for the first time, and they were shocked to see a real woman's breasts on afternoon TV. I think nudity in general was a bit ways more culturally open back then than it is in the modern day, where a show like Kill la Kill can't even show a woman's nipple --- so it may not be accurate to conclude that open displays of the female form back in those days was necessarily an attempt to appeal to male audiences.
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Parse Error



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 590
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:25 am Reply with quote
Kikaioh wrote:
Detractors primarily dislike 'moe characters' and 'moe shows' for the very reason that they were designed to be moe and appeal to otaku.

It is quite fine to dislike characters one suspects were deliberately tailored to evoke moe. The problem is saying one dislikes a character because they are moe, because a character does not have to be designed for that purpose in order to be described as such.

I know the defense of that will come down to something along the lines of, "according to the moe detractors' definition, they do," but there are some serious problems with that. While it is true that words evolve in meaning over time, this process requires the majority of people to accept and use the new meaning in preference to the previous one. What is occurring here is a minority trying to redefine moe into something spiteful to its original users, apparently for the humiliation value of using someone's own terminology against them by repurposing it an insult.

It also makes communication needlessly confusing. I don't like green cars; it's just not a color that looks very good to me when it's on a car. My bedroom is green though, and I like that. It's very comforting, but on a car, I would find it hideous. So, let's imagine that I go around saying, "I hate green, green is ugly." Now let's say someone sees my bedroom and asks, "When are you going to repaint this? It's green, and you hate that color. Doesn't it bother you to be in here?"

My options then would be to either deny it is green, or make my "personal definition" of green be "green cars." The former, I would hope, is self-evidently absurd. If I choose the latter though, what color would my bedroom become? It can no longer be green, as it is not a car. Neither alternative makes any logical sense.

Fortunately, there are others which do. I could simply say "I hate green cars" to begin with, and then would not need everyone else to accept my freshly minted nonstandard meaning. If, for some reason, "green cars" takes too much effort to say, I could coin the word "grars" and try to popularize it, or just start using it and let people ask me what I'm referring to as needed.

Unfortunately what people seem to want in this case is an easy way to express their contempt for a broad range of things, so in that hypothetical event, any new term would come to be widely abused. The best thing is for people to clearly describe exactly what they have a problem with, as doing so prevents them from lazily dismissing something when perhaps they should not. It is no less toxic for certain people to do so when something appears to be "moe" at first glance than it would be for others to write off this particular project as "pretentious and edgy."

Kikaioh wrote:
primarily appealing to an otaku audience is a fundamental cornerstone to that belief system

Often it's more like a secondary defense against anything someone's nostalgia goggles fail to block out entirely. I had a pair of those myself once, I am intimately familiar with how these devices work. Part of that is knowing they are impossible to remove by force. I'm not trying to proselytize those whose minds are already made up, but letting the "old anime is good, new anime is bad" mentality go unchallenged causes it to infect younger or casual fans who will mindlessly parrot it in an attempt sound more mature. This isn't to say your position is such an extreme, but when speaking of detractors in general, one also has to consider their more radicalized variant.

Kikaioh wrote:
I think nudity in general was a bit ways more culturally open back then than it is in the modern day

It was, very much so. However, it's all about context. Bath scenes, for example, were usually meant to depict family life, and the nudity was merely incidental. When the situation itself is lascivious, though, the intentions are clearly not so innocent. Even if one ascribes them to raunchy humor, their frequently gratuitous inclusion would still have been deliberately catering to certain tastes rather than being a fortuitous byproduct of natural situations.

Of course, that's not even worth discussing, because I already know the nostalgia camp's view on the matter is that fanservice back in the day was fine – it was for kids, and meant to be amusing, not arousing – while exactly the same scenes now are bad for the industry because they're aimed at today's otaku. Honestly that's fine with me if it works for them; at least it acknowledges that most of the actual content is just business as usual aside from the connotations being arguably creepier.


Last edited by Parse Error on Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:56 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Touma



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:37 am Reply with quote
Kikaioh wrote:
By definition it makes sense to describe a character or show that's fundamentally designed to evoke the 'moe' feeling as being either a 'moe character' or 'moe show'. Detractors primarily dislike 'moe characters' and 'moe shows' for the very reason that they were designed to be moe and appeal to otaku.

Your definition is completely subjective.
It is what you think that the creator of the character was intending to do. And that would have to be based on his assumption of what the otaku wanted.
Your definition is just your opinion of what the creator assumed to be the personal desire of the otaku.

If you are trying to communicate an idea to me then I need to make an assumption about what you were thinking that the creator was thinking that the otaku was thinking.

It seems to me that the biggest problem, in terms of credibility, that the anti-moe people have is the inability to provide an objective definition of "moe."
Every time that you try people provide a lot of examples that fit the definition but undermine your argument.

And I still do not understand why you are making the argument.
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Kikaioh



Joined: 01 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:10 pm Reply with quote
@Parse Error: In my experience, a majority of the time when detractors discuss 'moe characters' or 'moe shows', they're referencing the definition I've mentioned, even if they're not able to put it as clearly into words (to be fair, I've given the detractor's definition much more deliberate consideration than most would want to). Also, I was surprised you felt as though this definition is somehow in minority use --- tbh, in almost all discussions I've seen regarding moe, the definition I've provided of "cute school-age girls designed to appeal to otaku" is almost always what detractors (and oftentimes supporters) are referring to. And though detractors may have often faced difficulty in arriving at a clear explanation for their perception of 'moe', it's fair to point out that moe supporters just as often confuse the conversation by watering down "moe's" meaning (see below).

It's natural that older generations of anime would have distinct stylistic/tonal differences comparative to newer works, and it stands to reason that people might hold an affinity for a mixture of popular trends and aesthetics found in older works that aren't as prevalent in works of the modern day. Certain artists, styles and genres were popular back in the 80's and 90's that are no longer prominent, and were intrinsically influenced by mainstream culture and trends that much of the modern younger generation of creators weren't directly exposed to. Suggesting that "anime is the same as it ever was" might be spoken out of either inexperience living through the older era, or selective re-imagining of the past. "Cute school age girls designed to appeal to otaku" wasn't a huge "in" thing back in the day, though it very much appears to be now.

@Touma: I think you're being a bit (perhaps unwittingly) disingenuous in your appraisal, given the enormous prevalence of the "cute school-age girl" aesthetic that's saturated a great deal of modern anime character design. If otaku didn't want "cute school-age girls", then there wouldn't be nearly so many "cute school-age girls" in such a broad variety of works aimed at otaku audiences these days, nor would there be such an enormous doujinshi and otaku goods industry surrounding them. You can suggest out of technicality that it's a subjective opinion as to what an artist's motivation is in choosing the character designs for their works, or what they perceive to be the tastes of their target demographic --- but I think it takes an intentional denseness to ignore the enormous proliferation of "cute school-age girls" in modern otaku works and not arrive at a reasonable conclusion as to what the tastes of the era lean towards.

I understand it can be advantageous to try and turn a conversation into a "subjective definitions" contest, where "moe" holds no meaning as a result of people having different opinions --- but it comes across as ignoring the elephant in the room, trying to push in favor of technicality over honest evaluation of the terminology's colloquial usage. That's why I've tried to focus on a definition that holds weight in the perspective of detractors while still making sense to supporters (despite its inconvenience). The conversation only loses meaning when people avoid addressing their opposition's understanding of the issue in favor of clouding it, in hopes of supporting their own case.

To put it another way, arguing over whose definition of "moe" is correct isn't essentially what should be discussed. Rather, the dislike that people have for the modern popularity of "school age girls designed for the tastes of otaku" is really the crux of the issue, as that's the problem many detractors fundamentally have a beef with. "Moe" is just a word --- it's the validity of the enmity that stems from their perceived interpretation of that word that should be the focus of conversation.
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