Guess What? It’s Still Not Funny

So I’m doing my usually browsing of some of the really bad blogs to see if they’ve come up with any new material or anything worth mentioning really, when I came across THIS post on THAT anime blog.

Now forgive me for once again beating a dead horse as I feel I have pretty much dealt with this whole issue, but the humour in pointlessly bashing something for the hell of continues to be lost on me completely.  For one saying you are going to go at something from the angle of sarcasm, and then proceeding to ramble and rant is just ridiculous in and of itself.  That is unless I have a very different definition of sarcasm then other people.  For another, when you try to hard to illicit laughter and have to go for the lowest common denominator then your humour has failed.  There’s no other real way around it.  Still yet again, I will try to turn a definite sour lemon into sweet lemonade by giving my thoughts on a very tricky subject and relating it to this blog ariticle.  That is of course the concept of humour.  It’s time to take this whole issue on from the very root from which it is apparently supposed to have sprung up.

First let me say that humour is a tricky subject and some people have different tastes, there’s no way around that, but in my years of experience, some things have rung universally true in what makes for genuinely good humour that most people can find funny.

For one, timing is very important, both in delivery and in general.  Humour can’t come all at once or constantly or a joke ceases to be funny.  Sunrise bashing has long since lost it’s lustre.  It was appropriate when Gundam Seed Destiny was airing because they were really at fault in that case for some really bad writing, but nowadays it barely applies.  Dragging a joke or comedic angle on or always using it, wherever and whenever it is possibly applicable will exhaust it’s humourous content and it will grow old to the point where whatever meaning it once held that struck one’s funny bone will be lost.  This is definitely the case with Sunrise bashing in all but what I describe as those who appeal to and are the lowest common denominator, or in more popular terms, Redneck Humour.  That is what I mean by timing.  Learning when it is appropiate to use a joke or comedic angle, and in moderation is very important, it’s best not to force comedy when the time isn’t right.  This was thought over very much during the days following September 11th for example among Arab comics.

The style or angle, which I’ve talked about, and matching it with the material is also important.  Take Crusader’s post in the link with it’s Communism motif.  What does communism have to do with Gundam 00?  None of the nations or Celestial Beings characters currently have any sort of communist agenda, nor has communism even come up in the series.  In this case the angle seems to have just been conjured up and applied to the commentary on the episodes out of the blue and attributed to the series, thus creating what can only be called a failed attempt at humour.  Now take Jon Stewart for example.  His angle is a fake newscaster commenting on the days events.  His style almost alway fits the material at hand, be it politics, celebrities or any news in general, and as a result it’s often funny when you think of it both as parody and as taking potshots at something.  When coming up with a routine I’m sure any good comic will tell you that if the angle just doesn’t match the material, to ditch it and come up with something else.  Again, trying to force a joke will kill the humour right out of the gate.

The next point I have always felt is important is staying in character.  If you are going to write from a humour angle, then you need a character.  My humour character is Shin Oikamas’ who I made to be a parody of the overzealous fanboy type character who see’s everything in strictly black and white terms and always thinks he’s right in his generalizations.  You can find people like him almost anywhere on the internet, lurking around message boards.  Being biased and a hater of a specific studio or show is far too narrow to be considered a useful humourous character, since you won’t be able to use it in any other situation.  As a result, such an character just comes across as an excuse to have an agenda against something, which isn’t very funny and honestly kind of unsettling.  This point ultimately leads into my last one.

This last point that I feel is important in good humour is to not specifially target it at someone or something specifically.  Again this comes down to what I call Sunrise Bashing, but that just show how much I think it fails as humour.  When you only have a comedic standard for a specific topic, and all other related topics are left alone with normally serious discussion taking it’s place, you have hurt your comedic style and made it look like an agenda again.  When there are multiple avenues for, and things to poke fun at and only one is being exercised then why bother in the first place.  Again take the example of Jon Stewart.  Stewart tends to poke fun at everything, Republicans, Democrats, Right Wingers, Left Wingers, Christian Fanatics, Muslim Fanatics, he rarely let’s a good opportunity for humour pass him by just because he might have a specific bias.  To do otherwise would likely cause people to lose respect for him and accuse him of forwarding an agenda disgused as humour.  Stephen Colbert is a rare exception that escapes this pitfall by staying in character and following specific mannerisms as well as varying his topics and guests.  You know how he’s going to react to something, but never to what or when.

All of what I’ve mentioned can be attributed to why I don’t find Sunrise Bashing amusing.  It’s a tired joke that has no real place anymore and is just used as a cop out more or less for real humour, and people don’t show moderation in using.  People who use it in their blogging frequently find the most bizzare things to poke fun at, stretching and twisting the events and history of Sunrises works until their articles generally become the trainwreck they are trying to attribute to Sunrise as a joke.  People also frequently fail to stay in their “biased” character when blogging an article that is about a series not by Sunrise, which kills the opportunity to excercise ones comedic styling and brings us back full circle to my first point in this summary….. 

Sunrise Bashing is a cop-out and just plain not funny.


11 Responses to “Guess What? It’s Still Not Funny”

  1. 1 Impz February 6, 2008 at 11:14 am

    we are a bad blog \o/ weeee~ Crusader is a military man. Can’t blame the guy =3

  2. 2 drmchsr0 February 6, 2008 at 11:17 am

    O hay Kaioshin.

    You know, your local bar has some rather good listeners. And if talking’s not your thing, there’s the huge selection of alcohol for you to get wasted on 😛

    Apart from that, Sunrise is actually owned by Bandai. So in actual fact, it’s Bandai bashing. Which is only marginally funnier than Sunrise bashing, but you get the picture 😛

  3. 3 Gravmech February 6, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Some of Crusader’s screencaps were actually funny (My kokoro Unlock!), but then again that was utterly swamped by Crusader’s “negativity” that seemed to ooze from the blog post.

  4. 4 Miha Jenko February 6, 2008 at 11:50 am

    You’re right, Stephen Colbert we can forgive. :p Many bloggers like to play the populist card, so I wouldn’t label this as intended humor, more like tasteless substance for the ever bored masses.

    Honestly, “You really shouldn’t read this if you’re a rabid Sunrise fanboi” just screams “Read NAO!” I still can’t quite figure out why bloggers have an agenda against Gundam 00 but they didn’t have one against CODE GEASS. Oh, wait…

    Then again, you’re not completely innocent. I thought you were the perfect Shin Oikama when talking Kyoto Animation. :p

  5. 5 ZeusIrae February 6, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I understand what you mean about crusader.Sometimes he’s absolutely hilarious, sometimes it feels a little flat.On gundam 00, it’s getting flat.

    But let’s be honest, you’re also very tolerant.I had a lot of hopes for gundam 00 but my good will is getting very close to its limits with ep17.

    ah, there’s also the fact that I am getting too tired of certain recent (5 years)anime tropes to laugh.

  6. 6 Miha Jenko February 6, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    @Tyrenol: I hope you’re aware Gundam 00 airs in the 5:30 PM and 6:00 PM program time slots == one of the best timeslots possible.

  7. 7 Kaioshin Sama February 6, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Okay, seriously, one rule I’d like people to please follow, sarcasm is welcome, criticism is welcome, but no overused memes and such in comments like Tyrenol gave. It’s one of the few things I cannot stand. Plus I know Tyrenol’s style anyway, he’s a pro Sunrise troll and frankly I don’t want him here. Plus recently he very bluntly said I should go kill myself. Nice. Very classy.

    That said, apparently people would rather go after my grammar then my article. This is what you get I guess for writing articles late at night on a deadline before I absolutely have to be in bed. Oh well, I guess I don’t mind being roasted too much for my faults. I also find it interesting that I’m being called a “Drama Whore” by some. I tend to think I’m the guy that just responds to other people’s articles from time to time. If people don’t want that, then don’t write. Of course I would never try to encourage such a thing, but I’m saying that as long as people write, people will also counter, critique and respond.

    And some people liked Shin Oikamas? I mean I tried to be funny with it, but I didn’t know if it was really making people laugh or just pissing them off, so I retired the character. Maybe it’s time to bring him back, but use him in a different way.

    Another point I also wanted to add is that I think it’s important to try and find a unique point of humour. ZeusIrae pointed out that the humour in Crusader’s 00/Sunrise bashing is getting flat. I think the explanation for that is probably as simple as it being overused. Jason Miao does it, Epic Win does it, so many people do it, and it’s just worn out now. It’s time to get a new angle people. Seriously. Otherwise you’re going to be beating the dead horse, not me.

    Also one thing actually does irk me about Episode 17 of 00. Okay a couple things actually. One is that the Overflags perfectly placed shots just sort of glance off of Michael’s Gundam without any explanation given as to why. We still don’t have a real explanation as to why the Gundam’s seem impervious to projectile weapons. Will they be vulnerable to beam weaponary? Who the heck knows?! The other thing that bothered me is Michael’s character. He really is the first character in the series to truly annoy me in the series. He’s too loud, brash, over the top and crazy. It’s oversold quite a bit. Plus I don’t like his voice acting compared to the other two Trinity’s. I hate that style of speech with the rolling R’s.

    There were also a number of things in the episode I found interesting and well done though, and people will see this when I get around to writing my article for Episode 17. Maybe it’s time I tried to inject a little more humour into the articles as well. My own brand though, not someone elses. :p

  8. 8 Epi February 8, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Sometimes I wonder what’s worse, Sunrise bashing (where at least people have fun and at least you disagree wholeheartedly) or Gonzo bashing where people sadly just nod their head in agreement and let it be. Considering Gonzo made some of my favorite anime of all time (FMP!, Last Exile) it’s sad it’s been relegated to the trash bin of anime production houses by the blogging world.

  9. 9 Kaioshin Sama February 8, 2008 at 5:30 am

    I actually think Gonzo can do a lot of good work. They have quite a few shortcomings in sublicensing of animation, but they are also one of the precious few companies that like to bring out original stories. Also they have done some really good Manga adaptations as well. Full Metal Panic is also my favourite of the trilogy, beating out the Kyoto Animation animated Fumoffu and Second Raid with it’s more balanced comedy and action within it’s singular series run.

    A friend of mine told me that he thinks the reason studios like Gonzo and Sunrise get bashed so much is that people see them as large studios or “the man” and that immediately clicks in their mind as evil, cheap, substandard and overly dominated by corporate ambition versus the ideal of smaller studios like Kyoto Animation who like to take series one step at a time and with a more narrow focus as they continue to gain experience. It’s like some sort of misguided effort to take down the “oppressive and corporate” older studio in favour of the newer more immediately popular ones.

    What people fail to realize is though is that both large and small companies have their advantages and disadvantages and that just because something is large and has been around for a long time doesn’t mean they are automatically inferior. With age comes wisdom and experience and if we are just willing to listen and pay attention to the good things that older and more traditional studios give us then we will find something their.

    Trust me on this one, I’m a Bachelor of Arts In Gerontology with an unoffical minor in the Classics, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to aging…even in non-living entities. 😛

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