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When Anime Series Jumped the Shark

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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 5664
Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:13 am Reply with quote
I quite adored episode 34 of Nadia! Jean's rambling, oft-inconsiderate ballad was an encapsulation both of his budding love and the limits to his juvenile emotional sensibilities. That the song becomes risibly repetitive—ultimately meriting the intervention of its justly frustrated subject—only emphasised the latter quality. Given the tone of the episode it precedes, this musical aside was a most refreshing palate cleanser.
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Joined: 21 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:19 am Reply with quote
I don't know where the idea that Code Geass was supposed to be one season every interview the main director said it was planed a split cour to begin with just it's the fact the time slot changed was what killed it (going from a 11 P.M. time slot to a 6 P.M. slot) not many people awake knew what the show was about so it executive meddling that had a lot of R2 repeating beats with the first season. No Code Geass jumped the shark about 8 eps into R2 when the black knights were trying to rescue Nunally only to be stopped cold by Suzaku and Kallen (who 2 eps back had been captured by said spinmister)
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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Location: Iscandar
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:27 am Reply with quote
I have not watched Nadia but have heard about how it falls off the cliff when a certain famous director left. I am kind of surprised that 4 of the shows mentioned by the critics are not even 5 years old. It bugs me because it reminds me of the stupid notion that "anime from the past is great, and the new stuff is just crap".

As far as a personal example, I have been disappointed with a good numbers of animes that started great and was enjoying only to be disappointed by them. I was not in love with it, but the first season of Silver Spoon felt very fresh, fun and had likable human and animal characters. But then season two dashed out my dreams because it was a slow and boringly written shows that did not know what the heck it wanted to do.
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Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 502
Location: Lima, Peru
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:30 am Reply with quote
Back when I started watching anime, I really liked Fairy Tail! It was fun and very entertaining. But I simply stopped watching it, mostly because there were more things airing every season (more interesting, short things), and didn't have the time to jump back to Fairy Tail.

I'm not really sure it'll hook me again if I continue the series, probably not with all its tasteless fanservice. And also, I'm watching better shonen at the moment, like My Hero Academia.
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John Thacker

Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:31 am Reply with quote
I don't get the sense from this article that the contributors have a common sense of what "jump the shark" means, especially when it's used variously here to include sudden changes in story or theme, even if approved of, individual bad episodes or four filler episodes that can be omitted without problems (and the show after those episodes is up to the same standard of quality as before it), and other definitions. Even DBZ is odd because the wacky stupid humor is arguably returning to the original Dragon Ball; the epic battles are the sorts of things that were forced on Toriyama by executives. Toriyama would rather make poop jokes.

Anyway, for manga, one obvious choice is Bunny Drop, all the stuff that happens after what was made into an anime. Nope.

The term jumps the shark I usually associate with very long running series, and usually ones that don't know how to end. Most of these criticisms I would call something else. Thanks for the contributions, though, still some interesting comments.
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Nekelen Tinsley

Joined: 07 Feb 2016
Posts: 299
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:39 am Reply with quote
One Piece In terms of animation jumped the shark post time skip, its just god awful now.
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Team GurrenTeam Gurren

Joined: 20 Apr 2009
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Location: Bellevue, WA
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:41 am Reply with quote
^ I agree. "Jump the shark" means that the makers of a series have run out of creativity and resort to crazy gimmicks to try to keep people watching. Most series that it happens to do not recover. It originated from an episode of Happy Days when the Fonz literally jumped a shark while water skiing. It's not the same as having bad filler, either; it's when they run out of ideas.

I suppose my anime example would be Bleach: the Bount Arc was its "jumping the shark" moment, and IMO the series never really recovered from it.
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Punch Drunk Marc

Joined: 04 Oct 2013
Posts: 574
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:42 am Reply with quote
I don't agree with the Kill la Kill moment. Personally i liked the second half even more than the first. To see Satsuki and Ryuko team up and come together with all the people who helped them along the way to stop Ragyo was awesome to me, and Ryuko struggling with her identity was also some good development for her.

Samurai Flamenco though was spot on. I went from watching the show out of genuine interest to being morbidly curious to how crazy the show was going to get. I think I mentally tapped out when the Sentai stuff started happening (but even by the the Kamen Rider parody was breaking my neck with it's tonal whiplash). I still have no idea who the show was for in the end. I guess Manglobe knew the studio was closing during production and just said "F it. Do whatever. We won't be here tomorrow anyway."

Also with Dragon Ball you can tell Toriyama was just doing whatever because his editor let go of the leash. (Hell he's on record saying he basically wanted to end the series when Goku went Super Saiyan, or at the very least the Frieza arc)

For me? I guess I could say Fairy Tail jumped the shark when Mashima started going full hog with all this spoiler[Dragon Slayer & Eclipse] business. Things got needlessly complicated and just served to contradict a lot of the stuff the series had established up to that point. spoiler[Still wondering the point of Anna Heartfilia's continued existence]
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Joined: 03 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:43 am Reply with quote
I would add Utawarerumono.
The main character starts as someone with some moral values and some worthy goals and ideals, but it slowly becomes clear that he has none of those. So are we suppose to root for this guy? Are we suppose to care for the story? We were suppose to, but no we don't.
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Joined: 06 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:52 am Reply with quote
angelmcazares wrote:
I have not watched Nadia but have heard about how it falls off the cliff when a certain famous director left.

It's more complicated then that. Basically, the show was doing really well, due in big part to Anno rewriting the scripts for each episode and changing things up and generally making it a more serious production. So, at the last minute the studio decided to tack like twelve episodes on that weren't part of the original plan. Anno was practically killing himself with the work he was doing, so they outsourced these episodes. All of them. The interesting thing is that the twelve episodes were kind of plopped in just before the ending instead of being an extension. What this means, basically, is that if you remove the Island/Africa part, you pretty much have what Anno intended the show to be. He didn't leave the show, a chunk of it was just taken from him. The ending is still all Anno. I do really recommend the show, it's really good and the Blu-ray set looks great, you just need to be aware that what amounts to a crappy gag show spinoff got thrown in without it being planned from the start.
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Joined: 29 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:56 am Reply with quote
so what's next? what series "unjumped the shark" ? if so, I vote for futkoi, very boring and generic harem, while it's nt offensive, it sure manages to be boring, but then season 01 ends because, to make it worse the characters are not even in higschool in the first season, but in junior high, so you know they did that so they can have admition exam shenanigans and still continue the plot in highschool
then the season 02 starts and I am pleasantly surprised that they did not jump to highschool, rather the higschool characters are alreayd working and the mc is not the old mc but a friend of one of the teachers instead. by itself the second series would be a decent series (done by ufotable, noless), but putting it in conjunction with the first series makes it an even more interesting watch, no wonder it's named futakoi alternative, just like muvluv.
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Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 11:03 am Reply with quote
I'll echo both code geass and kill la kill.

Code geass S2 was pretty pointless for the first 2/3, it managed to finish well which is why I think a lot of people feel like it was supposed to be a one cour. Maybe if S2 had only been 12 episode it would have been good.

Kill la kill second half actually caused me to drop a show I was quite enjoying, it took a show all about crazy wacky fun to an extremely mundane and cliché one. I remember someone directly asking me, after I complained of how cliché it had become, to try and guess the rest of the show, which I ended up doing perfectly.

I'll add gundam seed destiny, which, much like code geass, pretty much re thread the same events, except with a far worse lead. Actually, now that I think about it, it feel like the entire gundam franchise could fill this column, from ZZ being tone deaf and having psychic dolphin to gundam 00 S2 giving God like power to the main character.
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Chief Encyclopedist

Joined: 02 Jan 2002
Posts: 3528
Location: Montreal
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 11:11 am Reply with quote
Sword Art Online
I really loved the beginning of the first series. While there had been plenty of "trapped in a game" anime at that point, none had ever felt so much like... a game. The brain-frying device was certainly implausible, but still several orders of magnitude more realistic than spontaneously dying because your "soul" was somehow magically nullified in wonderland. The way the players ate food, tapped icons, interacted with menus, HP/MP gauges, not to mention the death condition, everything felt like it obeyed the strict internal rules of a game.

Until that horrible "twist" episode where the villain is revealed and Kirito breaks the death condition rule through sheer force of will. What's the point of setting up a game universe with hard-and-fast internal rules and then betraying those rules? I'm not sure if Deus Ex Machina counts as jumping the shark, but it made the entire series worthless to me.
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Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 445
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 11:13 am Reply with quote
Don't know if it counts as a jump the shark moment but i'll say it any way. The moment kayo left in erased (ep 9), it all went downhill from there.
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 11:16 am Reply with quote
Have to agree with both Geass and KLK which I have some thoughts about in regards to points brought up:

CG: For Geass, the thing that really irks me is the Emperor thing. Fact of the matter is the Emperor was brought up as a complete and utter bastard until the last minute and the fact is he was GREAT as a bastard. You could tell Norio Wakamoto and Michael McConnohie were having the time of their lives hamming it up as a social darwinist maniac with delusions of grandeur. Trying to shoehorn in a "sympathetic" backstory just creates weird, laughable incongruity.

This isn't the first time I ever saw it either as I've seen too many villains destroyed by attempts at "sympathetic" backstories. Pretty much every villain in Naruto or Bleach for instance are complete jerks with the writers then trying to make a wishy-washy backstory that comes off as dull. I know it makes them more complex in theory, but the only way it works is if you give hints of a deeper character beforehand.

KLK: As for KLK, I'd say the problems with it are nothing new for the creative team. They had these exact same problems in Gurren Lagann which really became repetitive and tried to mask it with being bigger and louder...which doesn't hold up upon even cursory scrutiny. Seems to me that the team needs to just write a complete story and proofread it instead of flying by the seat of their pants. Not everyone can be David Lynch.
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