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and ok mayosamurai, I won't. :p
Holy crap! My garden of words dvd came in early! It wasn't supposed to come in until late august!!! :D
Oh and about Nastume
Minai you probably shouldnt read this post as it may reveal things early on :p
I think you're right in that SoL series are a bit different but I found that the flashbacks in Natsume were excellent in several ways; first off, they were definitely brief and enjoyable. The characterization of Reiko was definitely a good one. To be honest, I would have found it very interesting for there to be an entire season dedicated to Reiko's life. The reason for that is because I think she would have been a great main character. What do you think?
I haven't read his works, or his last installment of WoT. I have been recommended Mistborn, but I haven't gotten around to reading the trilogy. A lot of people praise the Wheel of Time series but I found it to be overwhelming. A similar series I read prior, Sword of Truth (Which at one point had its own *unfinished* TV adaptation I thought was a miserable failure), was a lot more condensed, however many of the themes became repetitive. Overall, being among the first fantasy series I had read at the time along with the original Dragonlance novels, it was pretty enjoyable.
I would say that in some cases, flashbacks are a more convenient way to show a backstory, such as in a post-apocalyptic setting, or any kind of story that begins in the middle of a conflict. A good example I can think of that represents this would probably be Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (Although considering your feelings towards it, it may not exactly be a very convincing example lol) I agree that the length of the flashback need not span multiple episodes; brief flashbacks can be insightful and additionally can contribute to whatever tone is being presented. Bleach ran for too long, thats for sure.
SSY definitely did not leave a strong enough first impression and there were a lot of reasons behind that. However, despite the fact that SSY started off so weakly, I believe that in terms of story, the show sticked to its guns, because for the most part, everything built cohesively on previous information/events. That made it easy to follow, while still being able to evoke meaning based on the events that had occured. I personally don't like it when details and meaning get lost within the story. Although SSY did have its failings, I still believe that the wrap up did a great job of making up for the inconsistencies. The show seemed to favor irony, both in the way it was animated and also at several points in the story. I liked that mostly because I can be pretty cynical at times, so that aspect of the show appealed to me :p
Hey, that's a really great post you made to Mayosamurai about story development! I think you hit it right on the nail when you talked about how we have to see the main characters in their "natural environment" to empathize.
Your question in the previous post to Mayosamurai, about story pacing, is a hard one for me to answer. I don't think I've ever developed any conclusive thoughts about what makes a good story, although it's definitely a subject of interest to me and something that I tend to think about every time I've seen or read something, whether anime, a book, or a live action movie/show, that I feel is good. I tend to think a lot about two things in particular. I ask myself, "are the characters believable, or if not, are they unbelievable to serve a purpose?" and "what did I learn and feel from watching this? Did it get me to think about something in a way I haven't thought of before?". Generally I haven't thought much about pacing in and of itself, as I think I am more or less satisfied regardless of the pacing, as long as I feel the intended meaning or point of the show was well communicated. I"m ok with having characters and a story taking a long time to develop. I'm also ok with essentially being thrown into a situation with the characters already "developed", and figuring out things later, as in knk. So as I mentioned, for me, SSY was more a problem because I felt that the characters and situation were pretty stereotypical from the beginning, and weren't developing in any interesting direction. A strong horror element was also definitely lacking.
Have you seen wolf children yet? I finally got around to seeing it just a little bit ago. My feelings about it are ambivalent, and I'd be happy to hear your thoughts if you have seen it. And I know that I asked Mayosamurai for his opinion on Natsume Yuujinchou, but what was your experience with it? I"m thinking of maybe watching it soonish.