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Answerman vs. Ms. Answerman

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Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 4272
Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 1:32 pm Reply with quote
OK, here’s the thing. The Japanese prefer to know the major plot points ahead of time so they can enjoy the episode more the first time they view it. This is similar to the French phenomenon where many French moviegoers watch the end of the film before the beginning so they can adequately take in and analyze the film without being concerned or excited about the ending. They already know what happens, so they can concentrate on the depth of the entire film. The Japanese are much the same way; witness some of the episode titles for Rurouni Kenshin. “The Sakaba sword breaks! Kenshin’s in trouble!”. Obviously this gives away a major plot point in the upcoming episode, but the concept of ‘spoilers’ doesn’t really exist in Japan and France, at least for the majority of film consumers. They already know Kenshin’s sword breaks, so they can concentrate on what happens in the rest of the episode, and pay attention to the various and sundry subtleties. It’s a different culture with different customs.

I knew the Japanese aren't so... umm... "uptight" about spoilers as many North Americans are, but I honestly I had no idea that I watch movies in a similar way to the French. (And, no, I'm an Anglophone Montrealer...) I went ahead and read all the spoilers for Vanilla Sky (and I hadn't seen Open Your Eyes at that point) and I honestly don't think I would have enjoyed that movie nearly as much had I not known the twist, since I had fun spotting the clues that led up to the ending that most people would have missed. And The Royal Tenenbaums was my favourite film in many years but I think I might have actually been put off by the shock of what happens to Richie (no, he doesn't die) had I not been prepared in advance.

I was actually annoyed that the main plot twist in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines somehow slipped below my radar... I didn't like being surprised like that.
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