Best Animation Style Ever

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Best Animation Style Ever

The guys debate animation further.

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I have to agree with the result from the video. When I was younger, I was really into anime, and was very keen to share. But these days, I look back on some of the stuff I thought was good, and kind of cringe.

I don't get that when I look back on the Western movies and shows I enjoyed. Ducktails and The Land Before Time are still as good to watch today as they were back then. There are, of course, exceptions to this... Macross will always hold a special place in my heart, as will anything made by Gainax. But in hindsight, I can see all the problems they have. Whereas I only have a greater appreciation for the Western animations.

I still think that Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan is the best example of passion on cell though...

Oh and Dan, now I think about it, watch Macross Plus. One of the easiest anime to start with.

God do I agree with the pretentions fandom of anime. I really try to avoid most arguments in those subjects but it's annoying that anytime I mention to someone that I like animated movies but dislike eastern animation for various reasons I get to endure a hour long debate WHY I should watch this and that and blah and blah and how Anime is so much more mature (more mature my ass!) and dark (dark my ass twice!).

Edit: The "Heart of Ice" episode is one of the most memorable things I saw in animation and I literally cried at the end of it.

TheKasp:
God do I agree with the pretentions fandom of anime. I really try to avoid most arguments in those subjects but it's annoying that anytime I mention to someone that I like animated movies but dislike eastern animation for various reasons I get to endure a hour long debate WHY I should watch this and that and blah and blah and how Anime is so much more mature (more mature my ass!) and dark (dark my ass twice!).

Edit: The "Heart of Ice" episode is one of the most memorable things I saw in animation and I literally cried at the end of it.

I liked the addendum episode from Batman Beyond. I think it was "Meltdown" or something like that. When Freeze was resurrected, only to be alienated once again, before finally committing suicide following a violent outburst.

Chris I definitely agree on the violent outburst part. Not to name names, but I've seen some rather ridiculous arguments made by the more excessive members of ANN. I remember last year when Tokyo's government put the law in place to censor shows they felt promoted underage sexual content, and an ANN member went berserk, blaming the entire thing on the North American animation industry.

Now that obviously doesn't stand for every person, but the vocal minority are the ones you see most often on forums, and they're usually the most annoying.

And Dan, since you mentioned the inaccessibility of Anime series, allow me to throw another Cowboy Bebop recommendation. Most episodes can be watched on their own, with only a handful focusing on the major antagonist Vicious. And most of those episodes are two parters.

There are definitely a lot of animes that require you to watch episodes beforehand. Good luck understanding anything happening in Naruto right now without having gone through the rest.

Soviet Heavy:

I liked the addendum episode from Batman Beyond. I think it was "Meltdown" or something like that. When Freeze was resurrected, only to be alienated once again, before finally committing suicide following a violent outburst.

I just finished a JL (the animated series) marathon last week and preparing for the Superman series. I honestly can't believe how much emotion, characterisation and action they could put into one episode (for example one episode about the Flash and the opening of his museum where people can get a good insight into a comic relief character who is written with a lot of thought put into him).

Back when I was younger I watched some anime and read lots of mangas. Now I follow only 3 mangas and keep my hands away from any kind of anime. My "beef" with it is really bad pacing...

The thread went sour? No idea, i abandoned that boat way early cuz it was obvious it was headed towards disaster.

I will say this though, anime fans are indeed a weird bunch, i have been avoiding conventions and furries all my life, but one of the reasons it went to hell was the poor debate in the video. Anime is a medium that has had a long history, and which can't be discussed unless you have seen those cartoons for years; i have been reading casually manga and seeing anime for around 20 years now, and in the video you discussed anime taking the anime shown in popular american TV channels as if it was all of it.

AFAIR all of Dan's arguments had an amazing counterexample, and Chris didn't seemed too into anime either, so it's no surprise that something as beloved by teens as anime would stirr the fans the wrong way. As for "False, anime is defined by the world as Toonami and Speed Racer" this is indded ture, but opera is defined by the world as "the fat lady singing", still if i see a vid by you guys about opera i do expect more than that; especially since this is a videogame site and you know anime and gaming are two of the closest pop culture movements, almost like break dance and hip hop.

As for "Anime owes everything to Disney"... not exactly, anime owes everything to Tezuka Osamu and he was a hardcore Disney fan. To continue the analogies saying anime owes everything to disney would be like saying jazz owes everything to Africa or that surrealism owes everything to El Greco. And even though Tezuka was indeed a passionate disney fan, his masterworks surpass anything i have seen from disney, by far, would like to reccomend hi no tori and buddha especially.

Anway, i still think the vid was low, very low in quiality, and on a touchy subject. Still, it was not a big deal, just showed that neither was a deep into anime, no fault in that; but not a great idea to make a video about it then.

As to Graham's point about anime coming into being second, what's the point of pointing out that anime originated from western animation? Yes, that happened, but does that superior determine quality? No, and besides, we wouldn't be having this discussion if we didn't feel they branched off in style at some point. Rock music owes its creation to Jazz: Does saying "Jazz came first" stop all arguments over which is better? I don't think so.

As to Kyle's argument on the mass appeal of both mediums, I'd say is also irrelevant. Every piece of entertainment is something that audiences "...are hooked on, or couldn't care less about." I think Football (of the American variety) is incredibly boring sport, and that I couldn't be bothered to watch the superbowl, despite it being one of if not the US's most popular event. By Kyle's argument, I can't ever win a debate about Football being boring because I am in the minority in my opinion, and it is not "normal". All fanbases also have tiers that separate fans, as I'm sure somewhere a older Eagles fan is chastising a younger fan for his lack of knowledge because he has been watching Football for 15 more years than him, and watches other team's games, unlike his younger counterpart.

I think I finally understand where Dan comes from in his dislike of anime, and that is a finite amount of detail. Most anime, for Dan, is far too detailed, and thus, far too distracting, for Dan's visual aesthetics. When Mr. Freeze narrows his eyebrows, Dan knows he's angry, and that's enough. In anime, when Goku narrows his eyebrows, veins bulge around his eyes, he screams, and then is enveloped in a red glow, it's over-the-top for Dan.
The other reason, I'd guess, is because Dan wants his entertainment to be relateable. There's a cultural divide in all anime, with some cues being more specific to Japan than being something American or universal, and also in his own examples of 12 oz. Mouse and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, where cultural trends and normalcy are ignored in order to present something ridiculous.

I really don't understand why Dan was even in this debate at all, when it was clear that he had seen little to no anime. How are you supposed to develop any relative criticism of something without knowing anything about it? All he could come up with were generalizations about the art style from the little he's seen and complaints about the shows having continuity. It just shows his complete ignorance on the subject and the medium.

If you were going to title the debate anything, it should have been "Action (Kids) Anime vs. American Cartoons" because that's what the debate basically was. Anime has a lot of genres that can't really be represented in a few examples and the anime that Kyle choose was very poor. Bleach, Naruto,... really? I mean they're popular but that's like using the Transformers movies to represent Western Cinema. Any mention of other Anime and Dan just says he hasn't seen it, as if that disqualifies it from the argument. You mentioned Cowboy Bebop and Studio Ghibli, but Dan just pushed those examples aside since HE HADN'T SEEN THEM. I'm not saying that Dan shouldn't dislike Anime, but at least research what your talking about before debating against it. At least it will allow you to have stronger points in your argument.

The inability of these debaters to bring up good points or even research what they are talking about just proves how far this show has to go. It really is disappointing. I will agree with Dan on one thing though. Batman: The Animated Series is an awesome show.

TheKasp:
Anime is so much more mature (more mature my ass!) and dark (dark my ass twice!).

Well, you ass should be sore then.

I am not going to do a sweep generalization saying "anime is so much more mature", but there's a fundamental difference between anime and manga. Anime most of the time is based on manga, which started aimed as children in the 50's, but by 1956 started to show the first examples of seinen mangas (targeted at 18-30 guys) and by the 80's there were mainstream magazines devoted entierly to seinen; as such manga and anime were never considered "kid's stuff" in Japan. In general therms cartoons, until very recently, were just targeted at kids.

Sure, you can argue that Fritz the Cat (72) was darker and more mature than any anime produced at the time; tough argument to make as the plot is it's weakest part IMO, but possible; the thing is anime starts as massive phenomena in the 80's, exactly as seinen have enough audience to be viable, and some of it's early seinen works are very interesting (like Leiji Matsumoto's ones), and also were a commercial success. As such anime targeted to 18-30 men has always been a part of the market in Japan, comparatively in US cartoons were (until very recently) regarded as for children, and in Europe the animation studios just didn't made enough money to keep a steady flow of works (which is a shame, they had amazing writers and artist); thus, yeah, there is a bigger pool of mature and dark works in anime than in western cartoons, and the gap seems to still be growning.

Better? Mhee, depends on tastes, but for me, yeah, also better. Though western animation suddenly started to improve in the early/mid 90's.

Curiously enough, is this manga root that usually keeps anime from being a single chapter story medium, however that doesn't mean there aren't single chapter amazing animes since the old times (like Lupin the III) till today (samurai shamploo and mushishi off the top of my head).

Dan just brought up an amazing point I never noticed before about anime that I wish he had mentioned in the argument because I wold have unquestioningly agreed with him (despite liking anime myself). Like he said, you can jump into the middle of a series in ALMOST any western animation and know exactly what's going on (for the most part) and not need the rest of the series to explain why things are going on in episode X. Anime, for the most part, requires the entire series up to that point to figure out what's going on, and even then, it isn't a guarantee that you'll understand the whole story. This alone, sells me on Western being better than anime. Again, nothing against anime, I still love it. But you can't argue against western animation being better for anyone to just get into whenever they want.

I sure know that in no way would Archer work as an anime, or The Regular Show and Adventure Time, although these last two show more their western roots on the dialogue.

That is also one of the things that bugs me on animes, the dialogue is never natural although I am only saying this based on some animes shows that I have watched, the chunks of the Miyazaki movies that I saw didnt had this problem.

Tanakh:
snip

Bigger pool of mature and dark works? Maybe. Darker / more mature? Not in the slightest. The difference lies that you seem to base your argument on quantity.

First: Mature. Unlike anime western animation had this problem of the target audience being kids. But unlike anime the artist and writers adapted and started to use more subtle form of the use of mature subjects. From "children cartoons" like Duck Tales or Animaniacs (if you have any interest in discussing it, I'd need to rewatch some episodes due to the fact that I haven't watched Duck Tales in years) up to really fucked up, mature stuff like Ren & Stimpy and South Park. And contrair to anime South Park takes a full on take on actual, relevant themes to western audiences.
Anime has more full on mature products, western cartoons work with subtlety I have yet to find in any anime.

Darkness. Ok, I say it this way: I consider cartoons like the Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Dame more dark than again any anime I have seen. Don't ask me for the list, I used to watch anime and a friend of mine still forces me to sit through some of it as payback for the movies I force him to endure.
But back to darkness: Those two go through rather adult themes and don't hold back on themes that, in context of our history (the western audiences) is realistic dark. And don't get me started on intentionally dark cartoons like Batman TAS, Invader Zim and fucking South Park. But like in the adult themes the darkness lies in most cartoons in subtlety.

But like you wrote in your line which I gonna quote:

Better? Mhee, depends on tastes, but for me, yeah, also better.

I won't start another discussion about that (again), I just wanted to make it clear why I think that none of them is "more mature" or "more dark". I prefer subtlety in both so I have a better ride with western cartoons which got better in the serious stuff since the 90s (well, DC got better with that. Their direct to dvd animated movies have some of the best fighting animation I have yet to see).

Have a nice evening.

TheKasp:
I consider cartoons like the Lion King

Well, i can say that buddha is a manga/anime movie rich in philosophy (more serious than any US cartoon i have ever seen), that Akumetsu or Viking are mangas that dwell in the current political situation of Japan, Hetalia making comedy based approach of historic events; that Lain, Hellsing Ultimate or Koroshiya Ichi are darker; but i will just disengage from the thread saying that the Lion King is a remake of an anime/manga.

Edit: I am not touching Ren & Stimpy with a 20 feet pole because i love that cartoon, also in general i would say that american cartoons are better at psychedelic themes.

Tanakh:
Well, i can say that buddha is a manga/anime movie rich in philosophy (more serious than any US cartoon i have ever seen), that Akumetsu or Viking are mangas that dwell in the current political situation of Japan, Hetalia making comedy based approach of historic events; that Lain, Hellsing Ultimate or Koroshiya Ichi are darker; but i will just disengage from the thread saying that the Lion King is a remake of an anime/manga.

Ok, then I will close with my final statement:

As someone from the west I have next to zero interaction with japanese culture or politics so mangas / animes which dwell on such base their story on context I can't grasp without further time investment (one of my rather obvious problems with japanese animations).

The same goes for western remakes of japanese stories: They were remade to suit the western audience better. Like above: I have problems understanding things that were created in context of a foreign culture.

Edit: It is actually a discussion none of us can win. Both styles differ so extreme from another and the biggest factor that comes into the preference is how much you want to embrace a foreign culture and the resulting confusion through writing of the stories. Add to that the different way to engage topics and we have two completely different genres. So I tip my Top Hat and wish you a fine evening... again.

In my opinion it's incorrect to just the medium on fanboys and extremes, but hey, at least he'll make the effort to see more anime and have a more solid opinion one way or the other.

A big thing of it is that animation is so much bigger of a phenomenon in japan than it is here. With so much on the market you are bound to have alot of arrows missing the target, but still plenty to occupy the bullseye. And yeah, there will be alot of shows made in Japan that are catered to people that live......in Japan. It's easy for us to call American shows universal because A) We're American and B) America is the melting pot. Personally I think it's a good thing when a show introduces you to a foreign culture and maybe peeks your interest into foreign folklore, but maybe that's just me.

As to not being able to step into the middle of an anime.....yeah, it's called an ongoing story. The vast majority of Western shows are purely episodic while alot of anime are ongoing stories. Really a taste thing. I like ongoing stories, but if others don't so be it, I suppose.

Boils down to opinion, but of course a more researched opinion is nicer. And lo he is going to watch more, and I salute him for the effort whether his mind is changed or stays as is.

Final word: I like Anime better. =D

They look white, have big eyes? Uh, Nope.avi

Tanakh:

TheKasp:
I consider cartoons like the Lion King

Well, i can say that buddha is a manga/anime movie rich in philosophy (more serious than any US cartoon i have ever seen), that Akumetsu or Viking are mangas that dwell in the current political situation of Japan, Hetalia making comedy based approach of historic events; that Lain, Hellsing Ultimate or Koroshiya Ichi are darker; but i will just disengage from the thread saying that the Lion King is a remake of an anime/manga.

Edit: I am not touching Ren & Stimpy with a 20 feet pole because i love that cartoon, also in general i would say that american cartoons are better at psychedelic themes.

I can't tell if you're saying you'll avoid the ridiculous accusation often aimed at The Lion King, or using that as your final statement. In either case, it is a ludicrous claim.

TheKasp:
The same goes for western remakes of japanese stories: They were remade to suit the western audience better. Like above: I have problems understanding things that were created in context of a foreign culture.

Well, i was raised on a mix of spanish, mexican, native american, US american, french, chilenean and japanese cultures :3

A friend of mine that was raised mix cultures used to complain that it gave no identity and made you feel foreign everywhere, i guess it`s true, the idea of "belonging somewhere" is alien to me and "fighting for a contry" is totally lolz.

josephmatthew10:
I can't tell if you're saying you'll avoid the ridiculous accusation often aimed at The Lion King, or using that as your final statement. In either case, it is a ludicrous claim.

Well, yeah, i guess remake isn't the correct wording; more like loosely based on (without paying copyrights), Simba, Mufasa, Scar, Nala, Raffiki, Sarabi and the hyenas are heavily inspired in, but Timon and Pumba certanly aren't.

Eri:
They look white, have big eyes? Uh, Nope.avi

I really don't like the fact that they use different angles for their examples. Not that they are completely wrong but you can't compare the bonestrukture of two faces and using different angles.

Take this for example:

The angle of this picture is closer to the one of the asian girl. Both have round faces.

Here we have on the other hand an asian woman with an angle more closer to the picture of the kaukasian woman. As you can see: the "perfect fitting round profile" doesn't fit at all.

The problem is: The person tried to compare a figure without any facial details to actual humans.

But this is just nitpicking...

...Did they seriously just invoke the old "the fans are a point against the medium" tripe? I'm sorry, but no, that is not a valid argument (in fact, I'm rather certain it's a variant of the Association Fallacy). A fandom's reaction reflects very little on that of which he/she is a fan, and at best could be related back to the fandom itself.

It should really go without saying that no matter how much I hate cheeseheads I could not use them as a justification for why I hate football. I could use it for why I hate going to football games, but my criticism would not apply to the sport itself unless the teams actually started wearing those cheeseheads on the field. Similarly, I can't complain about the internet creating porn of [insert subject here] and think that such a thing would work as criticism of [insert subject here]. Similarly, one cannot use Internet Backdraft as an argument against the medium in question (and let's be honest, it is FAR from unique to anime). Come on people. That's just plain poor form.

Tanakh:

josephmatthew10:
I can't tell if you're saying you'll avoid the ridiculous accusation often aimed at The Lion King, or using that as your final statement. In either case, it is a ludicrous claim.

Well, yeah, i guess remake isn't the correct wording; more like loosely based on (without paying copyrights), Simba, Mufasa, Scar, Nala, Raffiki, Sarabi and the hyenas are heavily inspired in, but Timon and Pumba certanly aren't.

I'd say it was more loosely based off of Hamlet, and perhaps inspired somewhat by Kimba in a few instances. Many of the things associated by some people with being "ripped off", besides character designs (which don't exactly convince me, either) are just common to storytelling in general (friends who become more than friends, a one-eyed villain with a scar, a dead father, etc.) Anyways, I'd trust the creative integrity of the animators enough that I don't believe they'd just steal those things.

Eri:
They look white, have big eyes? Uh, Nope.avi

Whilst I largely agree with this, I have to say that when I lived in Tokyo, I was surprised by the number of large noses and angular features. Of course, these are their common people, and not the actors and models used in the videos examples.

It's also a fact that some Japanese do have surgery to increase the size of their eyes, but whether this is due to trying to live up to Western or Japanese standards is up to the individual. Don't know if people do that in the West too.

The video is spot on about the eyes and skin though, which I frequently have to explain to people.

Sorry Chris, but I think limiting examples of an American form of media to those well known in America and limiting examples of a Japanese form of media to those well known in America is handicapping the latter. The obscure stuff from Japan will never have made the leap over the big pond, while the obscure stuff from America just might be something your grandma heard about.

Speaking of America, often when I read the densest manga or watch the symbolic...est anime I find that I don't quite understand what's going on, and I feel it's because I don't have quite the same understanding of Japanese culture that is needed to get it. The perceived 'weirdness' in fact comes from cultural references that Japanese people would get instantaneously but that Westerns simply don't have the frame of reference necessary to understand. That cuts both ways: Dan may complain because anime is 'weird for the sake of weird', but there are also fans who enjoy this weirdness when it's essentially a translation error. Since animation depends much more on symbolism and signifiers than other forms of work (except maybe comics, and that's a big maybe) the gap between the two cultures might be much more visible at that point. A deeper analysis might also turn up that some of those themes that Dan identified in the video are more linked to national identity and culture than some intentional theme hammering. If I recall correctly American movies are not big in Japan, but I wouldn't be surprised if American animation is perceived similarly in there.

It was a cool episode anyway. As long as Dan approaches the genre with an open mind he's bound to find something he likes, so I'll be waiting for the West vs. East Revenge episode in which Chris and Dan switch sides. Chris will wear a Batman mask.

josephmatthew10:
-snip-

Well, Disney movies haven't been exactly innovative in their plots. Most of them, I daresay the best ones, are just retellings of old stories incorporating the "core american values" of the time. Usually i dislike those, a lot; in some cases i prefer ancient versions due the narrative style, inclusion of sex (which is darn important if you are a princess), and because when they intend to be cautionary tales, don't turn their eye shy to the violence, still the Disney versions are plenty good; in others i think Disney absolutely butchers the source material like Alice's movie wich seems to find in the book little more than colorful worlds with buffons and seems to be oblivious to those worlds being more akin to exercises in creating logic non euclidean geometires by one of the first logicist in the modern mathematical sense.

For what is worth, I think the Lion King is one of their better works, even better than the original anime if only because Kimba has a lot of unneccesary scenes and both stories are at his core focused about the cicle of life. Still, I don't see how to argue that it is closely based on Hamlet than Kimba, the story follows more closely some Kimba's arcs, Scar in particular resambles Specklerex much more than Claudius, partly because Sarabi doesn't have anything to do with Gertrude, after the death of Mufasa, Sarabi is more or leass a token character, where Gertrude is vital to understand the metal condition of Hamlet. You can see some decent arguments and pictures here, in the end i guess they doesn't matter as much, but consider this, Hamlet is at it's core about revange, madness and treachery, Kimba is about mutal understanding and the place of each being in nature's order, with that in mind (disregarding the artistic designs and plot similarities) is that i say that i fail to see how it can possibly be based on Hamlet over Kimba.

That said, stealing isn't part of an artist job, unless they are great of course.

beniki:
Whilst I largely agree with this, I have to say that when I lived in Tokyo, I was surprised by the number of large noses and angular features. Of course, these are their common people, and not the actors and models used in the videos examples.

Actually I think they are more common in samurai people. I have little basis to say this, but after asking around a hunderd Japanese subjects, I found that people with large noses have roghtly twice of being aware of having samurai blood. I also strongly suspect that the skinny super angular people that comes to mind with "japanese otaku" have more chances of having Korean blood, but... well, you know, it's not easy for a japanese to tell you about that.

As for the actual video, I don't think neither Disney nor Tezuka (the two artist that infuenced the most over the "classic anime style") were thinking about making their works of a particular race. In Tezuka's work is very patent that the character desing was more a symbol of it's role, rather than an ethnic statement.

This was disappointing at best and plain dumb at worst.
It's obvious that none of three came even remotely prepared to discuss the subject at hand, if it wasn't clear before, it's clear now. Even the one who was supposed to be defending anime was working with the knowledge of some recent movies and nostalgia (which, IMHO, should never be used to discuss anything but nostalgia itself).
The second one knew nothing AT ALL. And Dan is the worst one, comparing THE Batman to a barely relevant US-funded production (and BTW, no, Aeon Flux is not anime) that's been forgotten already by the community; had he been using Gurren Lagann or even K-on! (both award winning cliché filled works), then I may have considered that he knew what he was talking about.

.........

Did that guy even know that Aeon Flux was written AND animated by Peter Chung a KOREAN American?? Basically the point falls in favor for the Anime/Eastern Animation.

Fool

People here forget that 2 WESTERN AMERICAN people are debating about what animation style is better. It was obvious that the Eastern side is going to lose if the one defending it doesnt know anything more tan a few examples; He says that there isnt more good examples for Anime but how does he know that? Keep in mind that even if there is good anime what are the chances that it EVEN gets attention our EVEN exported to America?? There is a reason that Anime like Mad Bull 34 gets greenlighted to be created and exported, because that its what the Eastern producers THINK its what the people in the West want.

I know a lot of pretentious wackjobs who will cut your head off if you don't like western animation. The kind of people who glorify the golden age of Disney as the greatest era of anything ever. The kind of people liked Epic Mickey. These people exist. ...they're usually five years old.

Anyway, I find this whole argument to be petty and nonsensical and rather dumb. Western animation comprises of a fuckton of completely different styles, sensibilities and mediums, as does Japanese animation. There's American animation directed by Japanese people and Japanese animation directed by American people. From different approaches to 2D animation and 3D animation, from storytelling differences to just the whole way management works - both mediums have their share of differences within themselves and comparing the two does only one thing: alienate and isolate people whose only separation of the two "genres" (for lack of a better term) is their own opinion.

I notice one of the points for western animation seems to be the self-contained, episodic nature or most series. In itself, that's not entirely true. Right next to the Batman TAS example I could cite the X-men cartoon from roughly the same time which was heavily arc driven, and I'm sure anyone who knows anime better than I do can cite plenty of series that with purely self-contained episodes.

The bigger issue though is that that particular point is one up for debate in and of itself. Which is better, self-contained episodes, or season-spanning story arcs? Myself, I tend to prefer the latter (at least outside of comedy), as it tends to allow for plots with much more depth and development. Also on a personal note I find it harder to get into a new story, so I would prefer that once I get over that initial hurdle that there is something for me to follow for a long time, rather then something new I have to get into every episode.

Another point I think might be worth mentioning is the weirdness factor. A great deal of western animation, especially aimed at older children (10-13?) tends, or has tended in the past to be both weird, and more often outright gross. Ren and Stimpy comes to mind, not as a bad series (it's pretty well liked), but one that would definitely qualify on those two counts.

Oh, I'd also like to mention something rather important: cinematography and filmmaking. I feel, for the most part, the Japanese exercise this more often. To quote Brad Bird from when he was working on The Simpsons: "we might not be able to have better animation, but we can have better filmmaking." This is one of the reasons I admire The Simpsons beyond its writing - unlike the majority of its peers, it knows how important blocking is to the visual storytelling of animation.

This only really applies to TV (since movies have it down pat), but here's a real quick trick when determining if something is good at visual storytelling. When you're watching it, switch the sound off. Watch the whole show (or just 10 minutes, whatever)... if you can follow the gist of what's going on, it's good! If you can't, it's not so good. I feel, more than ever, modern American TV animation rests on the quality of its dialog to present a quality show, while Japanese animation - most likely to compensate for less animators and lower keyframe rate - spends a lot of time refining the visual elements to tell their story. I have a theory that this is why so many people either prefer or just don't mind subs - they're being told a story with pictures, not sounds, and subs don't detract from the experience. They don't mind, perhaps, that they don't wholly understand what they're hearing - it's a visual medium and they're digesting it all visually.

So that's really a huge point as to why so many people will argue that Japanese TV animation is better than American TV animation. It's certainly a moot point regarding animated features (usually), but it is perhaps the most important aspect of animated storytelling. And when Americans have shows like Family Guy, which essentially have the blocking of a two-camera sitcom, it really raises the bar in the Japanese's favour.

Andy of Comix Inc:

This only really applies to TV (since movies have it down pat), but here's a real quick trick when determining if something is good at visual storytelling. When you're watching it, switch the sound off. Watch the whole show (or just 10 minutes, whatever)... if you can follow the gist of what's going on, it's good! If you can't, it's not so good. I feel, more than ever, modern American TV animation rests on the quality of its dialog to present a quality show, while Japanese animation - most likely to compensate for less animators and lower keyframe rate - spends a lot of time refining the visual elements to tell their story.

I'll just throw it out there that animes tend to have monologue (both outer and inner), while western, from my esperience with, usually doesn't. Often the monologue tends to be badly handled (for eastern and western genres), too. I've seen few anime that actually incoorperates the visual elements, and throws away the need for voice-acting, to the degree of western animations (UP, The Lionking, The Rescuers Down Under), but not enough to make me watch an anime without expecting monologue, much less well-handled.

Rarhnor:

Andy of Comix Inc:

This only really applies to TV (since movies have it down pat), but here's a real quick trick when determining if something is good at visual storytelling. When you're watching it, switch the sound off. Watch the whole show (or just 10 minutes, whatever)... if you can follow the gist of what's going on, it's good! If you can't, it's not so good. I feel, more than ever, modern American TV animation rests on the quality of its dialog to present a quality show, while Japanese animation - most likely to compensate for less animators and lower keyframe rate - spends a lot of time refining the visual elements to tell their story.

I'll just throw it out there that animes tend to have monologue (both outer and inner), while western, from my esperience with, usually doesn't. Often the monologue tends to be badly handled (for eastern and western genres), too. I've seen few anime that actually incoorperates the visual elements, and throws away the need for voice-acting, to the degree of western animations (UP, The Lionking, The Rescuers Down Under), but not enough to make me watch an anime without expecting monologue, much less well-handled.

It should be pointed out that when translated into English, the script is completely altered and often, say, five paragraphs worth of Japanese gets crammed into maybe half a sentence worth of English, resulting in a stifled and wholly unnatural approach to lazy exposition. That's my experience anyway. Japanese to English translation is very hard considering the differences between the languages and it's not often pulled off smoothly at all.

Disregard this if you actually watch anime in Japanese and have come to this conclusion that way. Oh well.

Andy of Comix Inc:

Rarhnor:

Andy of Comix Inc:

This only really applies to TV (since movies have it down pat), but here's a real quick trick when determining if something is good at visual storytelling. When you're watching it, switch the sound off. Watch the whole show (or just 10 minutes, whatever)... if you can follow the gist of what's going on, it's good! If you can't, it's not so good. I feel, more than ever, modern American TV animation rests on the quality of its dialog to present a quality show, while Japanese animation - most likely to compensate for less animators and lower keyframe rate - spends a lot of time refining the visual elements to tell their story.

I'll just throw it out there that animes tend to have monologue (both outer and inner), while western, from my experience with, usually doesn't. Often the monologue tends to be badly handled (for eastern and western genres), too. I've seen few anime that actually incorporates the visual elements, and throws away the need for voice-acting, to the degree of western animations (UP, The Lionking, The Rescuers Down Under), but not enough to make me watch an anime without expecting monologue, much less well-handled.

It should be pointed out that when translated into English, the script is completely altered and often, say, five paragraphs worth of Japanese gets crammed into maybe half a sentence worth of English, resulting in a stifled and wholly unnatural approach to lazy exposition. That's my experience anyway. Japanese to English translation is very hard considering the differences between the languages and it's not often pulled off smoothly at all.

Disregard this if you actually watch anime in Japanese and have come to this conclusion that way. Oh well.

Noted.
I did take it into consideration in my post, but its probably not as clear though. Sorry. It was the actual implementation that I put emphasis on, like using the monologue to over-explain things. Things that COULD be told through the art.
I don't really know why they keep doing though. My uneducated guess is that it is because anime are usually adapted from manga (almost directly), which arguably need the monologue.

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