skrotkanon's avatar

skrotkanon

  • Schweden
  • Joined Mar 31, 2010
  • 28 / M

I'm a 24 years old swede who mainly likes odd sci-fi shows (preferrably devoid of mechas) like Texhnolyze and Ghost In The Shell but is also very fond of things on the opposite side of the spectrum like Digi Charat and Ghibli movies. I guess you could say that what I like the most is things that doesn't try to be much more than entertaining.

Most if not all animes that tries to be deep and thoughtprovoking fail at it because they fail to realise that anime is a visual media. In visual media you work with moving pictures as you all know so sticking long monologues that could as well been part of a book is poor storytelling. While I have nothing against shows bringing up philosophical concepts it always goes to far when a character suddenly has to explain how it all works. No doubt a hard thing to balance but when it's done right it is glorious, sadly it very rarely is.

So, when I review shows that simply are often gets bonus points while most that tries to be deep and thoughtprovoking gets a point deduction simply because they fail at it. My ideal animes is in other words Laputa, Castle in the Sky and Cowboy Bebop while the absolute worst anime I know of is Elfen Lied.

Anyway, my scores works as such;

1 - There is nothing nice to say about things as vile as the ones I award a 1. The only show I've ever seen that I dislike this much is Elfen Lied.

2 - Very very bad, there are few things worthwhile about these shows if anything at all.

3 - Still awful but the show might have some minor positive thing about it. Bad generic ecchi like DearS might fit here.

4 - Subpar and boring, the bad things still outweigh the good ones even though there might be some good points.

5 - Mediocre and lackluster but might interest fans of the genre.

6 - Shows promise and is interesting enough to warrant a full watch. Though still some bad things about it.

7 - Definitely a good anime, while there may be issues it's still recommended if you like the genre.

8 - Without a doubt a highly watchable show, the good points far outweigh the bad ones though there still are minor problems.

9 - Great shows that I recommend anyone to watch, very few faults with it.

10 - Only rewarded to my personal favourites, while perhaps not perfect in my mind they are damn near.

Also be reminded that everything I write is opinion, if you disagree with me feel free to argue but if I don't like your favourite anime just don't take it personal.

Finally the overall score will often vary wildly from the rest of the scores. My overall score is what I thought about the show, whether I actually liked it or not while I'll try and be at least somewhat objective when setting the other scores.

Also I have a lame blog at http://youknowumsayin.wordpress.com

Life on anime

  • 11 Minutes
  • 13 Hours
  • 5 Days
  • 2 Weeks
  • 0 Months
  • 0 Years

Anime ratings

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111 total

Manga ratings

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18 total

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LeaT says...

Yes, pretty much the middle of Eva was horrible all in all. Then it attempts to build characters to just toss them away like that class mate of Shinji's and later thea angel who has some mancrush on Shinji as well.

 

I've found some more shows outside my particular niche that seem interesting, Baccano! being one of them. I also have had Stand Alone Complex on my to watch list for some time so I should probably just get around doing it already. But if you say that the anime version of Burano is so bad, I might as well just read the manga. In some cases I find that the manga is superior if the anime is an adaptation since the manga will naturally hold more depth.

Dexter is actually one of my favorite TV series at the moment. Out of the whole cast, I find him to be fascinatingly complex. Dexter is actually one of those examples where I'd say the adaptation did turn out to be better than the original work. Darkly Dreaming Dexter is just so paperthin, and the only thing gluing it together is the interesting, although somewhat cheesy, premise. The TV series could be so cheesy as well and it avoids it so beautifully - the only thing I regret is that they killed Rita :( It made me a sad panda as I seem to be one of few who genuinely liked her character. Season 2 was ok, and 3 horrible though, but I think season 4 somewhat made up for that. Still waiting for season 5 to come out on DVD.

I guess my definition I gave you ultimately comes to be about character depth. A person is never acting unsympathetic for the sake it, there is always an underlying reason. With House for example, he does it because it's a way for him to cope with his job. In reality he does genuinely care about people but if he'd let it show too much his work would consume him. There's no such depth to for example Shinji's character. We are told he's like that because of his bad relationship with his dad, but it just doesn't feel beliveable.

 

Big fan of Opeth. I saw them last year. Wonderful show. I know of Deathspell Omega but black metal is a genreI am still slowly exploring so I haven't really got around to listen to a lot. It takes a lot of time for me to get into new music, generally, unless it clicks right away like it did with Daylight Dies.

 

As for Cata, I'm playing it mostly because I enjoy raiding as a whole. I don't care so much about the actual quality as long I can raid on a decent level as in not the majority of the raid failing to simple things like standing in fires...

Nope, not seen Inside. I am awfully slow with movies too.

Jul 6, 2011
LeaT says...

I feel that highly depends on the character. If a character is very archetype I will know how the character will act regardless of the situation but it doesn't mean I will necessarily care about the character.

 

Upon rewatching Eva, I felt it was better than the first time around but I think the characters are generally way overhyped as they are from being as complex nor as deep as many people who love the show claim them to be. I think a huge part of the problem that really put me off was that the whole show is more of an exposition of Anno's depression and thus each character represented typical characteristics of depressed people. Further, I felt that the conclusion to the characters was so damn dissatisfying as a whole with the Human Instrumentality Project as a hotfix to the characters' problems of being able to bond and become emotionally close with others.

 

Basically, the whole "deep" revelation becomes "you can actually like people if you like and accept who you are!" [insert random deus ex machina moment to make people like themselves], but again, if people think that Elfen Lied's primary message about society being morally corrupt is deep, go figure... :/

 

What I'm trying to say is that it would've been way nicer if people actually were able to overcome their problems but they never do. They are exactly the same at the end as they are in the beginning and this is why I find Eva so hard to ultimately like. Don't get me wrong, I like shows that are character driven and I definitely prefer them over say action in general, but Eva just does it in all the wrong ways possible in my eyes.

 

With that said, I don't mind characters that are unsympathetic. I am particularly weak in fact when it comes to tsundere types. I was completely taken away by Midna in Twilight Princess, and Hei in Darker than Black is another character I completely fell for. I just think there is a slight difference in acting distinctively emo compared to emotional weaknesses. Whereas emo characters are emo for the sake of being emo (e.g. Shinji), characters who emotional weaknesses have the ability to overcome them over time. Ergo they also become less annoying in my eyes. Also, I cannot stand characters that are emotionally rash or driven by emotions. This is mostly linked to that I cannot stand these types of people in real life either, as I have a very hard time understanding and relate to people who rather judge with feeling than logic. Many side villains are like this for example.

Jun 30, 2011
LeaT says...

I completely agree with you about Chobits so I won't really say much more about that. I certainly agree with your conclusion also that philosophy in anime completely depends on the genre and the genre's target audience. While I do think it is possible to raise somewhat engaging and deep questions in shounen, it will be hard since let's face it, most teenage boys aren't really that interested in philosophy at that point. This has mostly to do with that the human brain is of course not all that developed yet and that young people in general are more impressionable, but shows like NGE at least tried, even though it is at its heart a mecha anime and hence a shounen. I also think shows like Bleach sometimes occasionally touch upon interesting issues like the thing in itself and identity, but that's pretty much it - touching, not working with. For most of the part, I think people won't even these nor have any interest in these questions anyway.

 

As for your question regarding Texhnolyze, ultimately I found it boring, especially the first half. I am not all that fond of the mafia type of storytelling which the major part of Texhnolyze actually consisted of, and I found it hard to care for any of the characters, or for the matter, actually care about the plot. It was only at the very end I found it somewhat enjoyable but then it was pretty much too late for me. I guess I had expected it to be more disturbing and demented than it generally was. It did however introduce me to Juno Reactor, which today is one of my favorite goa/psytrance acts.

 

Ultimately, I guess we just differ in taste. I really enjoyed Ergo Proxy even though it is far from perfect. I liked that Ergo Proxy just managed to do everything else than actually telling the plot when attempting to move the plot forward. My favorite episode is for example the episode where absolutely nothing happens because the hovership has no wind. Admittedly, yes, those episodes are certainly pretentious when I think about it, yet it never bothered me. As much as I agree with you that Texhnolyze never attempted to be more than it is compared to Ergo Proxy, I just enjoyed the way Ergo Proxy was presented. I think other factors that may matter is that Ergo Proxy is slightly more cyberpunkish and slightly noir, and cyberpunk and noir are my two all round favorite genres within all mass media.

Jun 29, 2011
SadisticTendencies says...

Sorry for the late reply; how I could have missed such an event is an even bigger mystery than the fact that I'm using English rather than our common native language... Well well. Thanks for letting me know though, better visit it at some point in my life.

Jun 29, 2011
LeaT says...

Hi,

I stumbled upon one of your comments on the Elfen Lied review made by another user here, and I thought you were driving interesting arguments across the board. I followed the conversation you were attempting to have with the defender over to your FMA review, and I have to say I agree with you about philosophy in anime (and popular media in general). I say this as an ex-philosophy student as well, even though I never went as far as you to major in it (I am majoring in global studies instead, which isn't too far off the road though when it comes to social theory).

Basically, it made me wonder what your opinion of art is in general, and whether art can ever carry actual philosophical meaning. I know people who study the phenomenology of music, and similarly, there must be the phenomenology of visual art, I suppose? Now, I fully and wholeheartedly agree with you that visual stimuli is probably the worst way to explain philosophical ideas through for the simple reason that it is hard to turn abstract philosopical ideas and transform them into an equivalent visual form (not letters or words). Even if we do manage to transform abstract meanings into visual forms, the meanings themselves will be lost. With that said, I do not believe it is impossible.

Let me explain. My main field within social science is social anthropology as a part of global studies. As an anthropologist I have a firm belief that humans express thoughts about society, themselves and and their relation to society through art. Analyzing art, this also seems to be a reasonable conclusion, in that the cubism movement might reflect the arrival of the TV as a new information medium. In conclusion, there is also a certain responsibility the viewer carries in decoding these cultural reflections. I do not for example believe that shows such as Elfen Lied are without cultural and social meaning. The fact that they are so hugely popular among a certain target audience in particular does indeed mean something, but it is important to note that these are not necessarily intended meanings though, but rather meanings often unconsciously carried over from creator into creation, such as gender roles.

That aside, I agree with you that shounen shows in general (and similar shows in particular aimed at a very young audience) will always have issues in dealing with these larger societal themes (many societal themes are after all, philosophical in nature). When they attempt to do so it often comes off as quite overpretentious and if anything, very obvious to those who are already used to such themes. For example, the whole morality issue in Death Note comes to mind and it is one of the things that ultimately turned me off, as I slowly came to realize that Death Note was only interested in using the question as a plot device but there was no intention in actually exploring the effects of such morality choices in greater detail without showing down what opinion is better to have (unfortunately all too easily done, too).

Yet I feel that some shows have been able to profoundly affect me with the way they dealt with their themes. One that in particular comes to mind is Pale Cocoon and how it so masterfully and powerfully delivered the meaning of life within a couple of minutes at the end. I just don't think that a show must be mindfuck in character in order to deal with big philosophical themes. I mean, shows like NGE actually completely failed in my opinion, because the conclusion wasn't meaningful to me at least.

I don't know, maybe I am just rambling at this point. Anyway, on a completely unrelated sidenote, I find it sad that so many shows so easily become so overhyped. Maybe it is because young people are more impressionable and things therefore somehow always appear as bigger and better than they actually are (although I never really suffered from that syndrome as a kid), but I just wish these people would realize that every anime they see and like cannot honestly be the bestest out there, since they said exactly the same thing about the last one too. It just gets so tiring how certain shows always get soaring 9s and 10s, and the shows I LIKE often get very poor overall scores or are pretty much ignored.

Jun 26, 2011