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This Week in Anime - Is Lost Song Worth Watching?


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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:28 pm Reply with quote
From reading this I'm guessing the design document was just "Hey Frozen made lot's of money, let's just do anime Frozen and make lots of money".
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DigitalScratch



Joined: 06 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:41 pm Reply with quote
“A bad Tales game” is the best way to describe Last Song, even when all the twist and turns are revealed. When Rin and her brother went into the forest, I already knew how it’ll all go down. Numerous Tales games have some form of “they left the village, and things went wrong” and for Last Song to play it all so straight forward had me genuinely wondering how much more like a generic JRPG this anime get.

And it didn’t disappoint. There’s the quirky little boy side kick, then the sexy dark mage, Cardboard-kun, and an evil prince who is also a terrible fiancée that I swear I’ve seen before in like 10 other games and anime. Bless Todd Haberkorn for playing that guy with heaps amounts of entertaining douchey smugness. The thing that kept me going for a few more episodes.

And don’t get me started on Finis :/ I have never been so annoyed by a character in so long. It’s a shame cause I think her character design is cute, but her dumb-as-a-rock personality got really grating. I get she’s supposed to be sheltered and naive, but that doesn’t equal getting lost whenever she takes 5 steps away from someone.
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MesousaGaby



Joined: 16 Oct 2018
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:32 pm Reply with quote
Counterpoint: I like this. A lot actually. And I'm not even joking, I mean I like this without any irony (I really hate that excuse by the way,). I honestly thought these "opinions" sounded just too mean.

I think it's because it just feels nice for an anime to actually be traditional for once, and not being overcomplicated with overarced characters that is kinda clogging up nowadays. Heck, I don't even find it bland, I don't find the characters bland (How can you not like Alyu, the hamboning master?), and really, just take what you can get. It feels like these people took this way too seriously instead of, oh, I dunno, relaxing and watching this. I just can't find any bad characters here, and yeah, Rudo himself is a nice villain and he's smarmy, but it's all traditional, and it's not a bad thing.

I really like this show (alongside similar anime on Netflix like Dragon Pilot), likely because it's just so old school, it has a nice atmosphere, and of course, songs that actually do badass things are badass. It's a gateway show, really. Ignore these and give it a shot.

Sad thing is, I had a feeling it was bland, but again, there's just something about this show that I find charming. Shame you guys took it too seriously.
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johnnysasaki



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:52 pm Reply with quote
MesousaGaby wrote:
Counterpoint: I like this. A lot actually. And I'm not even joking, I mean I like this without any irony (I really hate that excuse by the way,). I honestly thought these "opinions" sounded just too mean.

I think it's because it just feels nice for an anime to actually be traditional for once, and not being overcomplicated with overarced characters that is kinda clogging up nowadays. Heck, I don't even find it bland, I don't find the characters bland (How can you not like Alyu, the hamboning master?), and really, just take what you can get. It feels like these people took this way too seriously instead of, oh, I dunno, relaxing and watching this. I just can't find any bad characters here, and yeah, Rudo himself is a nice villain and he's smarmy, but it's all traditional, and it's not a bad thing.

I really like this show (alongside similar anime on Netflix like Dragon Pilot), likely because it's just so old school, it has a nice atmosphere, and of course, songs that actually do badass things are badass. It's a gateway show, really. Ignore these and give it a shot.

Sad thing is, I had a feeling it was bland, but again, there's just something about this show that I find charming. Shame you guys took it too seriously.


people these days are too cynical to enjoy something like this.
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#884745
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:32 pm Reply with quote
I was so turned off from this show because I hate "designated bad guy characters" but like... at the same time, the guy you call "bitchface" is played by one of my favorite seiyuu, Suzuki Yuuto, who's so good and so cute, so like, I almost wanted to check it out just for him.

He has it so bad with roles, in multiple mobage-based anime his character shows up and has one line. He plays one of the main characters in Marginal #4, though, which is a super-underrated high school comedy idol show (from the producers of Dance with Devils!) that's actually really really fun and cute, and you should watch it~

But yeah, Lost Song just looked like an insult to the viewer's intelligence. Those twists, though, wow...
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macattack



Joined: 07 May 2011
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:39 pm Reply with quote
johnnysasaki wrote:
people these days are too cynical to enjoy something like this.


We live in a post-modern, deconstructive age, and many art critics have contributed to the growth of this environment. You can't just enjoy something anymore, you have to break it down.

A modernist, or even romantic story like Lost Song doesn't stand a chance in hell when reviewed by post-modernists who are going to rip it apart because that's the way art works these days. If Lost Song was more reconstructionist (acknowledging the criticisms of deconstruction) and then rebuilt things from there, maybe it would've had a chance. But it's too straight-laced to do that.

For its part, I found it a bit boring from what I watched, and outside of Haberkorn bringing the ham and cheese the voice actors in the dub sounded bored as hell, like the sincerity of this show was too much for them.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 526
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:58 pm Reply with quote
macattack wrote:
johnnysasaki wrote:
people these days are too cynical to enjoy something like this.


We live in a post-modern, deconstructive age, and many art critics have contributed to the growth of this environment. You can't just enjoy something anymore, you have to break it down.

It's not post-modernism and deconstruction, it's the show being boring and predictable, built on clichés, and generally something I've seen thousand times before.

There's something about these Netflix-backed shows, including their originals (excluding Devilman Crybaby) that they feel like they're basically made by going through a checklist titled "Things That Make Anime Cool!" compiled by some American dude who only watched anime that was popular and mainstream in the US, and stopped watching anime altogether in 2005. People who like these shows call them "nostalgic" and "like anime of old times", and that's because they're built on old, outdated clichés without a spark of creativity or just anything that would make them stand out or give them any personality or sense of individuality.

Sirius the Jaeger was a pretty shining example of this: competently put together and competently animated, but I actually correctly predicted the entire story after only 3 episodes, and the only parts where I was mistaken were thinking that two side characters would actually have something to do other than being there because I guess some checklist said "show needs a heroine!" and "story needs to add government interference to make it more serious!"

(And I'm fairly certain that the only reason why Devilman Crybaby came along was because Netflix wanted their own "badass and edgy Japanimation with like, sex and violence and all that cool shit!")


Last edited by SHD on Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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johnnysasaki



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:17 pm Reply with quote
I think people are being dismissive because they only saw the first episodes.Ffrom episode 8 on,it gets pretty good.
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MesousaGaby



Joined: 16 Oct 2018
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:31 pm Reply with quote
See, this is the kind of stuff that worries me about opinions on future shows, taking it out on a show that's just meant to be simple. Maybe I mostly got into this show because fantasy stuff tends to be something that I'm not into in anime, and maybe this one works well, even as cliche-ish at it can be.

Hell, there's nothing wrong about tropes or cliches as, to be fair, they're everywhere, even in slightly bizarre shows. Not everything has to be a dang deconstruction or be subversive to be great. What happens when every other show does that? It itself can actually get tiring.

So it really should have been better if they treated this show as something relaxing instead of something that was much more deeper. I'd rather have fluff stuff over DARK AND EDGY stuff like Devilman Crybaby any dang day of the week. This anime really didn't need to deserve that much animosity from "snarky critics" that thought this was gonna be groundbreaking.

For example, while I like shows like Little Witch Academia fun, I don't find it groundbreaking, and it has LOTS of flaws (Jasminka, anyone? Her constantly eating is something people are willing to slide, apperantly.), but people seem to treat that one well because of it's animation, and don't get me wrong, it's good, but oddly that one gets the pass for it's own cliches and tropes, but this gets rammed into the ground with it. It just doesn't feel fair.

Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't dislike Lost Song. Yes, it's by the numbers, yes, it can be cliche-ish, but at least it's consistant and like I said, this show clearly was meant for those who are tired of repeated subversiveness, and it's a nice alternative to go back to simple shows, like most anime were at the time.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 477
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:39 pm Reply with quote
It seems to me the problem with these articles is less "cynical reviewers gotta deconstruct everything" and more "must maximize intensity and snarkiness of all reactions." Pretty much every episode of This Week In Anime is either a brutal attack on the show or an all-out gushfest (LWA was the latter), but either way it seems the real point is just for the column itself to be entertaining.

Ironically, I don't know if that's actually a criticism or just an observation on my part. Depends what they were going for with this series, I guess. Though I can say that I haven't even watched this show, and the constant "lol so bland" commentary still got irritating pretty quickly. The many attempts at creating memes don't do a good job of explaining why they think it's so bland and generic. The main problem is that the title of these columns (chatlogs?) makes them sound like they might help you decide whether to watch a show, and trying to use them for that purpose is like trying to learn film theory by watching Cinema Sins (and whatever the exact opposite of that channel is).
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DigitalScratch



Joined: 06 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:56 pm Reply with quote
Maybe I missed something, but where was the indication that the critics in the article expected Lost Song to be “deconstructive and subversive”? Or even “ground breaking”? Maybe they went into the anime with zero expectations above “generic fantasy anime” and were disappointed it wasn’t enough to be too enthusiastic about. But it wasn’t like they entirely dismissed Lost Song either. They offered some compliments, one of them even said they liked the music enough to put it on loop!

You’re right that not all anime has to be ground breaking or do anything new or “original” for it to be considered good. That it’s okay for an anime to be simple and straight forward. It’s one of the reasons I loved the Netflix’s other new anime “Dragon Pilot,” because it was a nice and soft anime that didn’t require me to put too much thought into things and just have fun.

I even went into Lost Song just expecting a Fantasy JRPG like anime, because I LOVE fantasy JRPGS. The “Tales of” series is one of my favorite franchises ever despite its problems. But I couldn’t get into Lost Song because it was just...Boring. It felt like one of those cheap JRPGs I picked up at a GameStop for my PSP. It was fun for the first few hours of gameplay, but after a while I lost interest because I didn’t care about the party. It was TOO simple.

Of course if you liked Lost Song because of it’s simplicity, then that’s great! It means you can appreciate it for what it is. But that doesn’t mean people who didn’t like it are “cynical” or only enjoy “edgy deconstructions.” Maybe they just, you know, didn’t like it.

Quote:
For example, while I like shows like Little Witch Academia fun, I don't find it groundbreaking, and it has LOTS of flaws (Jasminka, anyone? Her constantly eating is something people are willing to slide, apperantly.), but people seem to treat that one well because of it's animation, and don't get me wrong, it's good, but oddly that one gets the pass for it's own cliches and tropes, but this gets rammed into the ground with it. It just doesn't feel fair.


LWA’s and Lost Song’s flaws and good points may be different for each person though (for me, I really didn’t like Diana and how for a while every character and their mother treated her like Da Best) Plus LWA was very visually impressive and more than enough for some people to just have fun. For all its cliches, LWA at least had a unique style that was reminiscent of Western cartoons and thus makes it stand out. I thought the anime was pretty boring story wise, but it was very fun to watch. So maybe the reason critics treat both shows differently despite similar flaws is because LWA had things a lot of people could appreciate while Lost Song doesn’t.


Last edited by DigitalScratch on Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2190
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:38 pm Reply with quote
johnnysasaki wrote:
I think people are being dismissive because they only saw the first episodes.Ffrom episode 8 on,it gets pretty good.


Haven't seen it so I won't comment on the show itself, but I really can't tell if this comment is serious or trolling. "It gets pretty good once your 2/3 of the way trough" is about the most backhanded compliment I can think of. Laughing
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John Hayabusa



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:00 pm Reply with quote
I watched the anime and I could not find anything special from it, it was pretty bland. It did get better midway but this anime is average at best. I do not know how this got another project.
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#884745
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:12 am Reply with quote
DigitalScratch wrote:
Maybe I missed something, but where was the indication that the critics in the article expected Lost Song to be “deconstructive and subversive”? Or even “ground breaking”? Maybe they went into the anime with zero expectations above “generic fantasy anime” and were disappointed it wasn’t enough to be too enthusiastic about. But it wasn’t like they entirely dismissed Lost Song either. They offered some compliments, one of them even said they liked the music enough to put it on loop!


Thank you! This.

MesousaGaby wrote:


Hell, there's nothing wrong about tropes or cliches as, to be fair, they're everywhere, even in slightly bizarre shows. Not everything has to be a dang deconstruction or be subversive to be great. What happens when every other show does that? It itself can actually get tiring.

So it really should have been better if they treated this show as something relaxing instead of something that was much more deeper. I'd rather have fluff stuff over DARK AND EDGY stuff like Devilman Crybaby any dang day of the week. This anime really didn't need to deserve that much animosity from "snarky critics" that thought this was gonna be groundbreaking.

For example, while I like shows like Little Witch Academia fun, I don't find it groundbreaking, and it has LOTS of flaws (Jasminka, anyone? Her constantly eating is something people are willing to slide, apperantly.), but people seem to treat that one well because of it's animation, and don't get me wrong, it's good, but oddly that one gets the pass for it's own cliches and tropes, but this gets rammed into the ground with it. It just doesn't feel fair.

Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't dislike Lost Song. Yes, it's by the numbers, yes, it can be cliche-ish, but at least it's consistant and like I said, this show clearly was meant for those who are tired of repeated subversiveness, and it's a nice alternative to go back to simple shows, like most anime were at the time.


You're mixing up a lot of different things.

Dark / Subversive /

A thing does not have to be Dark to be Deep.
A thing that is Dark does not have to be Discomforting. A story can show characters dealing with dark subject matter, but emerging from it with a deeper understanding and appreciation for various things in life, and finding a way to be happy after everything that they've been through. Code Geass is a good example of this, at least in my opinion. The characters see a lot of horrible things, and do a lot of horrible things themselves, and feel guilt over it, but through it all, they remind themselves that what matters is to make a world where the people they love can be happy.

Most of the Dark and Edgy things that people like are totally cliche and not deep at all. They think they're so mature for liking violent things, when really they're the opposite.

A Deconstruction is a work that doesn't just avoid cliches, it sets up the frame of the cliche and uses the story to analyze why the cliche is a problem. (A "Subversive" work is a deconstruction with a "Take That" attitude towards the cliche - which I personally find obnoxious, but that's just me.)


A story can be completely fluffy and still not be cliche.
A story can avoid cliches without being dark at all. Example, from my personal tastes - a lot of the male idol shows that I like have the male characters doing things that a lot of people would consider "unmanly" - for example, male characters who wear "feminine" clothes or hairstyles, or how one series had male idols modeling in ads for makeup multiple times. One series had two male characters debate over scrunchies vs. hair clips, and these were two of the "manlier" characters in the group. A deconstruction would be if the story had an episode analyzing what it "means" for boys to like those things. The cliche would be for the manly character to be making fun of the boy who likes scrunchies (and possibly being scolded for it by one of the senpai characters with a "be yourself" message or something - at one point, that was a deconstruction but by now, it's its own cliche). But the manly character was the one arguing for scrunchies. He also has the longest hair, and wears skirts more often. The series simply avoids the cliche.

An example of a fluffy anime with some great deconstruction? StarMyu season 2 (though a lot of it seems to be setting up for what they're going to do in season 3...)

Making a "deep" story also does not have to mean deconstruction (depth versus some particular cliche). Depth does not require a target. (Also, "Fluffy motif/genre" + "Let's make it Dark!" does not automatically equal a deconstruction or an intelligent story, even though certain popular anime seem to think it does).

Now here's the problem with cliches:

A trope is, essentially, a package of elements that are frequently found together in a story. Like, "A character with this personality trait who also has this appearance trait," or, "In order to move the story to the point where the author wants it to be, there will be a scene that goes like this" (Disclaimer: examples are from hitting the TV Tropes "random" button until something comes up that fits). There are a variety of reasons why these things get packaged together so often that they become a thing where you can say, "You know those characters that act like that? There's one of those in this show." A lot of that is culture, and comes from what people have been trained to expect in real life from their surroundings. That's... a large part of what culture is, really. This is way too complex to go into here, obviously, and this post is long enough.

So, Tropes are "Story elements packaged together in ways that we've seen before, for some reason".

Cliches are "Story elements packaged together simply because it's been seen before."
Cliches are what happen when a writer isn't creative enough to imagine the various pieces outside of the package.

"There's a protagonist, with a dream, so there has to be a villain. And then villain has to be a complete hate sink with no redeeming qualities, and he has to threaten the heroine in these ways."

You can have a story that doesn't do that, that still isn't violent.

And you know what? When people act like there's a dichotomy between "cliche shows like this" and "violent shows", that just adds fuel to the fire for people who think that things have to be violent to be intelligent, or that violent shows are automatically more intelligent.

You can have intelligent, deep, creative, non-cliche shows that are totally fluffy and comforting and relaxing, and not violent at all.

(I don't like violent shows, and I know I would not be able to watch Devilman Crybaby, but at the same time, I want to, because I love Code Geass, and the writer of Code Geass wrote the adaptation for Devilman Crybaby, and I know that the original Devilman has a huge influence on his work, and I'd love to see Crybaby for that perspective, but...)

(I'm sorry for writing a long post and ending abruptly, but I'm tired. I'd edit this down more, but... I'm tired.)
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Meimi132



Joined: 08 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:25 am Reply with quote
*whispers from a corner* I actually enjoyed it... I didn't overthink it. So maybe that's why I enjoyed it. And I haven't played any Tales of games. So I couldn't compare it to that. And I like twists. It was a pretty, dumb fantasy show with some twists that I liked. And some nice songs.

I think the one thing I took away from that post is that there's gonna be a sequel?!?!?! YAY!! Anime hyper
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