Random Musing Of The Month (Are Solid Plot And Characters The Key To Making An Anime Successful?)

I used to think so, but hear this.  Lately it seems the level of regard and discussion a show gets is directly in contrast to the complexity of the plot and any interesting and multi-faceted characters it contains.  The more plot points working at once the more people pick it apart because of there being more of an avenue to do so,  The more characters that frequently do things that affect other characters and the overall plot, the more people pick it apart as well, because somewhere, someplace some character is going to get the short end of the stick in a big way when it comes to their role in the story.  Thus judging by the types of shows that seem to have been making it big critically in the past year or so, it’s starting to seem like the solution to dodging heavy criticism of a show’s premise and depiction has become to have as little of one as possible and to substitute it with arguably unrealistic depictions of people (and to some extent life and society in general) doing whatever that ultimately serves little more then the purpose of making the viewer feel good and relaxed.  This also allows a show the defence of it being possible to say that it is not really trying to be anything more than “x” and thus to argue that criticism of a premise or character portrayal is unwarranted.  Very clever if this is indeed a trend on the rise in the anime industry….although like other times it’s highly possible I’m just imagining it all……….that is why I call this the random musing section though. :P

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8 Responses to “Random Musing Of The Month (Are Solid Plot And Characters The Key To Making An Anime Successful?)”


  1. 1 sadakups May 20, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    To fantards, trolls and RAEG HAETERS, plot and characters don’t matter. If the whole internetz, blogosphere and 4chan say that a show is bad, it is bad, and if you like it, you suck ass.

    End of argument.

  2. 2 relentlessflame May 20, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Well, all I would say is that anime, at the end of the day, is a form of entertainment. No matter what the movie-critic-wannabes want us to believe, it has never ultimately been about “solid plot” and “deep characterization” (although those may feature to some degree). It’s simply about having an experience you enjoy and (in the case of purchasing merchandise) want to relive in some form. To some, enjoyment is tied directly to deep plot and characters, but to others it isn’t necessarily. The factors the impact your own personal enjoyment of a story are simply personal preference; there’s no right or wrong answer.

    So, although I realize this is basically an “it is not really trying to be anything more than ‘x'” argument, the key to making an anime successful is rewarding the viewers and keeping them coming back for more. And in light of that, making a successful anime is simply about understanding what your target audience wants. So first, who’s the target audience? Second, what do they want? And third, are you in that target audience or not?

    Anime isn’t a higher calling, it’s a retail product. If plots are getting simpler and aiming to be more comforting and relaxing these days, it’s just because that’s what the market is buying. That’s pretty much it.

  3. 3 Niles May 21, 2009 at 2:40 am

    I want to know what people consider plot. I’ve given up on getting a decent explanation of anything beyond that- good/bad/solid/deep.

  4. 4 Kaioshin Sama May 21, 2009 at 3:46 am

    @Niles: The primarydriving force behind a story meant to give the usually sequential events the characters engage in a purpose and meaning.

  5. 5 Duo Maxwell May 21, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    K-On and Queen’s Blade are the answer for your question.
    I think both are successful enough.

  6. 6 Darklord May 23, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Umm, can you please give examples of shows that have a complex plot and developed characters that are bashed in favor of more shallow shows? What you say is probably true for some, but I don’t think you can make a general conclusion about it. There are still a lot of people out there who enjoy a good plot and characters. To give an example with two such shows airing this season – FMA: Brotherhood and Eden of the East – both of them are pretty well-received. So I don’t know if what you say is really true or you are just overgeneralizing.

  7. 7 Kaioshin Sama May 23, 2009 at 9:18 am

    @Darklord: True…like I said it was more of a feeling then a conclusion.


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