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Thread: [Rant]The Mediocre Standard of Romance Anime Today

  1. #1
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    Default [Rant]The Mediocre Standard of Romance Anime Today

    *Warning* This rant contains some very opinionated and negative views on love based anime today. Readers Discretion is advised.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I am sick and tired of all these shallow, brain dead romantic comedies/harem anime that are being aired in Japan. I have nothing against romance anime or romantic comedies, some of the best anime I’ve seen have emerged from this genre. But, due to the sheer quantity of romantic comedies out there, a romantic comedy has to do something special to stand out. And quite frankly, this is simply not happening.


    Let us look at some general pretence that makes a good romantic comedy.

    -A DEEP central protagonist that has genuine, realistic reactions to whatever occurs around them.

    The worst pitfall that can occur in this genre of anime is to have a main character that the viewer can “relate to”. What this really means is, the character has to have traits that can be applied to every viewer, which means that the main character is so lacking in character and actual personality that they become downright BORING.



    I WANT a character that has severe shortcomings, I WANT a character who has REAL HOPES and REAL DREAMS, I WANT a character to suffer REAL hardships and react to them as a REAL person would. I DON’T want a character that is “perfect” or “typical”, that is somebody as interesting to watch as watching paint dry.



    -Non-Archetypal love interests.

    Yes we’ve seen the cute girl, the hyper girl, the smart girl, the rich girl, the sporty girl (by the way this can also apply to guys too) etc. But come on, is that really interesting now. The same formula for love interests in romantic anime has been in use for over 20 years, and it’s starting to get dull. Very, very few anime have had the guts to break this mould, and most of those have been runaway successes because of it. And if I see another love anime where the guy falls in love with a “perfect girl” or a complete doormat (ala Belldandy) I will scream.



    -Drama Lite

    I like a bit of hard drama thrown into my romantic anime personally. And most anime with a heavy focus in romance tends to have it. BUT, I am sick to death of the heaviest drama being the “Whoops I messed up and have two dates on the same day” formula. We’ve seen it done, its boring and yeah, who cares? Be more cautious jerk. We want REAL drama where people get hurt and bear the emotional scars for the length of the series. We want real conflict when the two girls find out that they both have dates on the same day, not 30 seconds of how could you and then kiss and make up. How long would it take for the two girls to trust the guy again? How will the two girls react to each other?


    And the biggest disappointment of all is always the critical moment. The big confession. And the two same problems occur again and again.

    1.) You know who he is going to end up with from episode 1, and its that same “perfect girl” or doormat mentioned in my previous point. How about a surprise choice, or maybe one of the other girls in the cast who has a *gasp* PERSONALITY! Oh no we can’t do that! No we, the studio want to tell you that you have to find only doormats or brain dead, physically perfect girls attractive! Oh SWEET JESUS!

    2.) Okay, the character gets with the girl, and they live happily ever after. Hello! There ARE other cast members, usually more who have the same devoting admiration for the protagonist. Oh no, we don’t care; yeah we just want the story to end there. Let’s forget about the poor other girls who are completely heart broken and will fight tooth and nail to get the guy’s attention. What happens to them? Again, we want REAL DRAMA! I have restrained from using examples of other anime but I have to for this point. Kimagure Orange Road: I Want To Return To That Day is considered one of the best conclusions for a love anime ever. Do you know why? Because you found out what happened to the other girl! How did she feel? You actually freaking CARED!


    Love anime is a genre, which is on a complete downward spiral in quality. Although the genre will never die, it could end up being even worse than the constant stream of mediocrity it is right now.
    Last edited by Die Tod von Euch; 12-17-2004 at 12:15 AM. Reason: fixed a bad word...shame, SGI...tisk tisk

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    Very true. Still to an extent such animes can have a purpose- just light pick-me-ups when your feeling down. Fruits Basket, I guess fits most of the criteria you listed but is still pretty enjoyable to watch even if theres practically no plot. Different types of shows to match different moods...

    Butyes, even though some not so deep animes can have their uses, there are far, far too many that are just same old same old...
    If it looks like my avatar was made in MSPaint... Well, it kinda was. I have very little graphics skills, am bored of the avatars I made for myself back when I knew how to use fireworks, and didnt want to use someone elses.

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    In some ways I must appreciate the generic romance. Not only does it live up to every expectation (low as they may be), which makes it a no-brainer to watch, but without it...how would the true gems shine as they do? Those rare, almost obscure, anime that develop the characters, and the storyline, and carry it out as it should, and not necessarily in the way best for the lead characters.

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    Just felt I should add another point to this rant



    -Don’t make a romance story 13 episodes long!

    God damn it! 13-episode anime are far too overdone these days. Wake up to yourselves. In a genre where character development is the penultimate factor, you cannot develop a character decently in 13 episodes.

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    Senior Member Innotech has a spectacular aura about Innotech has a spectacular aura about Innotech's Avatar
    Gil
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    Saikano is the best romance type anime I have EVER seen
    It is definitely not the usual romance story, and the characters actually make realistic mistakes andlet basic human desires overcome their faithfulness sometimes. In other words they are very much human. I love this show so much. Look ay my sig. thats Chise. She gets turned into the ultimate weapon by the Japanese army to fight in a giant war. DEfinitely not the norm!
    ALso, her phrase is "I fight so I can live, I live so I can love, I love so I know Im still human". Just...WOW.

    ALso want to add that while Maburaho isnt a very special romance comedy at all, it is both fun and has a very unorthodoxed ending, which is a bit of a surprise and also extremely unrealistic, but give the creators credit for not sticking to the usual mold.
    Last edited by Innotech; 11-29-2004 at 11:45 PM.
    currently watching:

    Tsukuyomi Moon Phase
    Mahoraba Heartful days
    Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
    Ichigo 100%
    Full Moon Wo Sagashite
    Tokyo Mew Mew
    School rumble
    UFO Princess Valkyrie
    Somedays Dreamers
    Burst Angel
    Disgaea
    Ouran high School host club
    Yami To Bushi to Hon No Tabibito
    Shuffle
    He Is My Master
    Mahou Shoujo Tai
    Welcome to the NHK
    Yumeria
    Kage Kara Mamoru
    Rozen Maiden

    That should keep me busy for a while @-@

  6. #6
    Wild Card! SGI has a reputation beyond repute SGI has a reputation beyond repute SGI has a reputation beyond repute SGI has a reputation beyond repute SGI has a reputation beyond repute SGI has a reputation beyond repute SGI has a reputation beyond repute SGI has a reputation beyond repute SGI has a reputation beyond repute SGI has a reputation beyond repute SGI has a reputation beyond repute SGI's Avatar
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    Oh I definately agree that Saikano is one of the best romance anime out there. And a good example of how I define real characters, as characters who's personality is realistic. Definately one of the best Romance anime out there.

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    Well, I think that Sailor Moon is a good love story but thats my own personal opinion.
    Anyone can make you smile, many people can make you cry, but it takes someone really special to make you smile with tears in your eyes.

    Brothers- Darkfire_Destiny, Demon Hunter Dante, Prince Darien
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    Ok, I remember seeing this up and wanted to post, but I think I was half asleep at the time, so I wanted to wait.

    Well, I'm kinda sleepy now, but...here goes.

    I agree and disagree in some instances.

    The guy doesn't always go for the super-perfect/doormat/brainless/personality-less bimbo. Take Tenchi, for example. It's quite obvious, in every one of the various series, and in the Tenchi Muyo Forever movie, AND in the manga that he's going to end up with Ryoko. Ryoko isn't the stereotypical chick you described. She's filled with flaws and has one hell of a personality. It's one of the reasons that, despite how bloody annoying the show can get with its zaniness, I still liked to watch it. Especially the Forever movie. I think it (the movie) goes where you talk about wanting romance anime to go... It shows the reactions of the various love interests. It has real drama, and it the way it's handled is fairly well done.

    That's just one example.

    There's also Utena, which you and I discussed before, but not applied to this genre (although I do remember us trying to figure out exactly WHICH genre it should be under). Utena is not the typical romance at all, but it's still romance. Flip the genders of the pronouns you used and attempt to apply it to Utena, and it doesn't work. Not really. It may seem like it in that Anthy appears to be a vapid, doormat, pretty trophy... But, as I'm sure you know from watching the series, she isn't. She has a personality of her own. One that we sometimes get teasing peeks of. Also, the drama and the emotions in it are very well played (when it's not being silly and filler-fluff-tastic). The scene where Utena is with Akio in the hotel room by the fair is, in my opinion, incredibly well done. And the almost awkward silence from Utena during the car ride home is equally well done. There's subtleties in Utena that cause it to be more believable as far as the emotions and the characters go (again, while not being stupidly zany).

    Sailormoon, I will have to say, has its good points. It also has its pitfalls, but it has many good points, too. Sailor Stars is quite possibly the best season of BSSM, and I think it's mostly because of how the interaction with the characters is portrayed. For the most part, it's more serious. She acts like a normal high school girl (who happens to have a LOT of freakin' problems), and reacts as such. The interaction between her and Seiya were good. Seiya's reactions to what Usagi would do and say, especially when mentioning Mamoru, were good. And it wasn't just the stuff between them. All the characters seemed to get an upgrade in the development department, because they all seemed to become more real. You get serious romance/drama in a show that you expect to be fluff.

    Granted, these examples are older shows... But, I've noticed that most of the recent anime, no matter what genre, has come up rather...lacking. It isn't simply the romance genre that is going downhill with no breaks. Most of what I've seen has seemed to just be following a formula. Original stuff is becoming increasingly rare, and GOOD original stuff is even harder to find.


    --
    Goes by: Death, Tod, or Shi


  9. #9
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    Well Deathy, I have to agree with you on all your points there.

    Although I agree with you mostly on the Tenchi point, i'm afriad I cannot judge Tenchi Forever since I am yet to see it. The only way I can see it is by buying a Tenchi Movie box set, but theres too bloomin much I want to buy first.

    With Utena, you hit the hammer on the head, although, what of the other romances? The virtual torture machine that is Juri's admiration for Shiori. Or what about Ruka, and his love of Juri which drove him to absolute cruelty?

    As for Sailormoon, I agree wholeheartedly, especially how well Seiya was portrayed, his personality could easily have been botched and completely messed up. But as much as I hate the Magical Girl element, I must say that Sailormoons biggest strength IS it's incredibly well developed characters.

    In conclusion, an absolutely top post and a rarity among the spamm ridden drivel of the Internet.

  10. #10
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    Well no offence but i love the new animes like Chobits and Gravatation
    all in all the romance thing has just really turned to a sexual comedy thing but thats just my opinion

    [ True*Poet ]

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    Senior Member Innotech has a spectacular aura about Innotech has a spectacular aura about Innotech's Avatar
    Gil
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    the rarity of showsl ike Saikano and Haibane Renmei and Kinos journey is why I hold onto those discs voraciously and never ever lend them out. Those 3 shows, though increasingly popular, are incredibly rare finds in the huge sea of recent releases. Im glad they stood out to me because I have seen each of them many itmes already.
    currently watching:

    Tsukuyomi Moon Phase
    Mahoraba Heartful days
    Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
    Ichigo 100%
    Full Moon Wo Sagashite
    Tokyo Mew Mew
    School rumble
    UFO Princess Valkyrie
    Somedays Dreamers
    Burst Angel
    Disgaea
    Ouran high School host club
    Yami To Bushi to Hon No Tabibito
    Shuffle
    He Is My Master
    Mahou Shoujo Tai
    Welcome to the NHK
    Yumeria
    Kage Kara Mamoru
    Rozen Maiden

    That should keep me busy for a while @-@

  12. #12
    The Death of You Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch's Avatar
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    SGI, I'd let you borrow my copy of Tenchi Muyo Forever, except for the fact that you like..live in Australia or something. Hmm... But I'll see if I can make a copy or something, and perhaps get it to you... Dunno. It's a good movie, and I really think you'd enjoy it.

    With Utena, I was merely giving Utena, Akio, and Anthy as examples. Of course all the others are chock-full of complicated romance stuffs, too. You already know that, though.

    ...I want to go watch Stars again now...hm..

    bman, Chobits is cute, but it's sort of what SGI was talking about, I think... Chii sort of...lacks personality. She's cute, but...yeah. Freya had more of a personality, but not much more. Hell, the Sumomo and that other mini persocom had more personality! Still, it was a cute show and manga series. It just kinda...lacked something. It's a good example that CLAMP doesn't make amazingly perfectly wonderful things every time. And I really think it was supposed to be more cute and funny than serious romance. And if it WAS supposed to be serious romance...CLAMP messed up.

    Gravitation is a romantic comedy, leaning heavily on the comedy side. Don't get me wrong, I like Gravitation. But as far as realistic reactions and serious drama and serious..well..anything...it falls short. Even when it attempts to be serious with Yuki's past. Yeah, that part was serious. But then Shuichi pops up in a dog suit, and blows the entire mood away. I think it started out with more potential to be a really good romance series with the right amount of drama...and then it was like the mangaka decided she was going to take another road with it and made it goofy. She even made Shuichi appear to regress in age... If you look at the manga, you'll see the first few volumes have him looking his age (18/19), then by the time he cuts his hair several volumes into it, he looks 13 at most. All in all, Gravi has the POTENTIAL of being a really good romance series, but it prevents itself from being that because of its own silly comedy that it just HAS to insert into nearly every serious scene. Not that the fans care or mind, since most of them watch it for the pretty boys kissing. The ones who don't watch it for that watch it for the comedy.


    --
    Goes by: Death, Tod, or Shi


  13. #13
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    I was reading an article in Newtype USA, an old back issue (May 2003 pages 26+27) about an anime called Lime-Iro Senkitan. I have never heard of the anime before and it apears to be one of those anime where the character has to pick from a variety of females as his true love. And I swear to God just by looking at the picture (A group picture of the main girls) you can guess right away who the main character ends up with. And that was just at a single glance. As with all newtype articles they give a good brief on the characters.

    "Momen Sanada: She's always cheerful and energetic. She sometimes fails but never gives up. We hope she stays strong right up to the very end."

    In other words, the most generic,boring female archtype possible.

  14. #14
    The Death of You Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch has a reputation beyond repute Die Tod von Euch's Avatar
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    Yay! Let's shoot it then stomp on it, then burn it in a big bon fire! We can roast marshmallows over it!! C'mon, it'll be fun!!


    --
    Goes by: Death, Tod, or Shi


  15. #15
    Member blackanimeprincess is an unknown quantity at this point blackanimeprincess's Avatar
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    u know your right i have had that same feeling like some stories really do get me in the heart but others are just kinda stupid, boring and dry. and its like the person that u wanna know more about u never find out more about them.

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    Well, I for one like watching the brainless romantic anime now and then. It's like popping in the horrifyingly stereotyped romantic comedy DVD (Return to Me, for example) just to sigh and get lost in the ridiculously simplistic love story. I do love when something new and original comes along, just like everyone else. I don't know an anime fan who waits with bated breath the release of the newest been-there-done-that title. (Well, that's not true, I know people who pre-order Dragon Ball's latest faux pas.)

    At any rate, much as I love both the been-done titles and the new-exciting! titles, I think my favourite is the combination titles. I have two examples of this in mind: Ai Yori Aoshi and Onegai Teacher. They both take concepts that have been done and done again and refresh them with believable characters and situations.

    In Ai Yori Aoshi, the protaganist, Kaoru, holds off the advances of the other possible love interests with his unswerving love and fidelity to Aoi, his fiancee. In Onegai Teacher, the protaganist, Kei, gives in to his desire to keep two of his best friends by "cheating" on his wife, Mizuho, with one of them. Although nothing comes of it, Mizuho and Kei's relationship does suffer due to it.

    I agree with you, to some extent, about the been-done series repeating themselves, but there is something to say for the occassional new find. Not all anime "gems" are rare or hidden.
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  17. #17
    I am not short!! FullMetalAlchemist997 has a reputation beyond repute FullMetalAlchemist997 has a reputation beyond repute FullMetalAlchemist997 has a reputation beyond repute FullMetalAlchemist997 has a reputation beyond repute FullMetalAlchemist997 has a reputation beyond repute FullMetalAlchemist997 has a reputation beyond repute FullMetalAlchemist997 has a reputation beyond repute FullMetalAlchemist997 has a reputation beyond repute FullMetalAlchemist997 has a reputation beyond repute FullMetalAlchemist997 has a reputation beyond repute FullMetalAlchemist997 has a reputation beyond repute FullMetalAlchemist997's Avatar
    Gil
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    Ok I agree to some extent with u but i think furuba just about fits your criteria and who really cares if it's 13 episodes long just let the book absorb u
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Bucky Katt has a reputation beyond repute Bucky Katt has a reputation beyond repute Bucky Katt has a reputation beyond repute Bucky Katt has a reputation beyond repute Bucky Katt has a reputation beyond repute Bucky Katt has a reputation beyond repute Bucky Katt has a reputation beyond repute Bucky Katt has a reputation beyond repute Bucky Katt has a reputation beyond repute Bucky Katt has a reputation beyond repute Bucky Katt has a reputation beyond repute Bucky Katt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don SGI
    Just felt I should add another point to this rant



    -Don’t make a romance story 13 episodes long!

    God damn it! 13-episode anime are far too overdone these days. Wake up to yourselves. In a genre where character development is the penultimate factor, you cannot develop a character decently in 13 episodes.
    This I can agree to whole-heartedly. 13 or less of episodes to develop a character's exact physical traits, personality, and love interest isn't the way to go. It's as if the animators got bored of the idea, rolled it into a tiny paper ball, and slam dunked it into the trash can next to their desks. Not only is it the wrong way to go, but if you miss an episode where something crucial happens to the two protagonists' interest in each other, you're thrown off track. At least with one hundred and sixty something episodes gives you a chance to know what's going on, even with a missed episode. Why do they even HAVE the anime if it's going to be only thirteen or less of episodes?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Masali has a reputation beyond repute Masali has a reputation beyond repute Masali has a reputation beyond repute Masali has a reputation beyond repute Masali has a reputation beyond repute Masali has a reputation beyond repute Masali has a reputation beyond repute Masali has a reputation beyond repute Masali has a reputation beyond repute Masali has a reputation beyond repute Masali has a reputation beyond repute Masali's Avatar
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    wow, this thread is like...2 years old =/

    But it's a good thread nonetheless. To the "Romance shouldn't be 13 episodes long". WRONG! It shouldn't, but I've seen it executed wonderfully. Case and point: A I R. Nothing more to add except that those aren't really romance anime, they're more like...harem anime. It's not really meant for drama or a serious character, it's meant for stupid, mindless, perverted fun. Which is fine by me (In small doses), but I do enjoy a romantic anime with serious elements. Pfft, let's be honest, if you want a good, in depth story with interesting characters and a good romantic element play a H-Game. No, not tentacle high. Play ones like 2Heart, 2Heart2, A I R, Kanon, etc...There's your interesting characters and good story since you, uh...y'know, make the story?
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