thetinygentleman

The philosophical opnion generated through logic… of random things


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Why Nisekoi (anime) is not Nisekoi (manga)

Nisekoi is a romance/comedy manga that has just recently released its first animated episode this season.

Nisekoi a story about an Eternal Love. Ichijou Raku Despite of being the only child of the Yakuza’s head, all he wants is an ordinary Life. Many years ago a girl whose name he does not remember gave him a pendant of which she holds the key. He actually has a crush on a Girl named Kosaki Onodera. He also suspects that Onodera might be the girl He made the promise with. One Day He meets an Extremely Violent girl from America named Chitoge Kirisaki. It’s her first day in japan so Raku is forced to show her around the school. while hanging out with kirisaki he notices she has a smell that he is quite familiar to (Gunpowder). Later he finds out that her Father is the Leader of the Mafia and to prevent a war between the two Families He must date Kirisaki. so while trying to confess to Onodera and Fake Dating Kirisaki he gets in all kinds of Weird situations and meets new and interesting people and while still searching for the girl who holds the key to The pendant.” Summary by Anime News Network

The animated series is done by SHAFT and it is directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (SIMBO). Shinbo is known for directing but not writing Bakemonogatari, he has also directed, but not given full power to, Madoka Magica.

Akiyuki Shinbo is notably (in my opinion) the worst director for anime series. He may do well in movies but definitely not in anime. Many fans out there choose the Monogatari series as their favorite anime. Some even say its “the best” that has ever been made because of its writing and its art direction. I’ll admit that Bakemonogatari has a good story if you can sit through it. One can dissect and find a well written story buried beneath fan-service scenes and random and unnecessary random scene cuts.

My problem with Akiyuki Shinbo is his neglect of the source material. Nisio Isin wrote the Monogatari series not Akiyuki Shinbo. Nisio Isin also wrote and had another anime released that was so different from Bakemonogatari in terms of its visuals. That anime was Katangatari. A superb anime with great writing, great pacing and great direction. Katanagatari was not directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and what captivated viewers was not the good looking CGI (because it had no CGI) or its “artsy” direction (it also had no artsy direction) but its story and unique world and unique characters.

Now Bakemonogatari is a shameful work that tells me that SHAFT was lazy. Purely because of how much CGI was used in every scene and how dialogue scenes are treated like paintings. If someone was talking the camera is pointed in a different angle that has no connection to the character speaking. Often times it would cut to a color panel with the name of the color on the panel. Completely irrelevant to the dialogue at hand. But what makes it worse is that throughout the series viewers are not listening to the dialogue as much as they should because what is shown on screen are flashy fan service shots or irrelevant items being shown. Katanagatari on the other hand was superb. No quick cuts to random color panels or random items during dialogue. The camera stays focused on what is happening and doesn’t become “artsy”. Another example where artsy conflicts with telling a good story is Sucker Punch. Sucker Punch has a great story that encompasses rape, reasons to live, and rising up against those who oppress you. But no one remembers the story of Sucker Punch because Zack Synder decided to put as much visual effects in the movie that made no sense for the context it was put in. And so Sucker Punch to me is the Monogatari series. It has a good story but is encompassed by the blatant unnecessary use of visuals to appeal to the audience rather than the story pulling viewers in.

So after all of this why haven’t I said anything about Nisekoi (anime)? Because I already have. Just replace the title Bakemonogatari with Nisekoi (anime) in the previous paragraphs and you have my argument. The color pallet is brighter than Bakemonogatari but the quick cuts and unnecessary camera angles are still apparent. Flashy images are at the forefront rather than the characters or the story. Everything that is noticeable about the first episode is not the characters, not the story, not the dialogue but on “how pretty it looks”. Everything but the characters were CGI and the characters have less movement that most. Usually having only two or no movement at all.

I was looking forward to Nisekoi (anime) for quite a while now. I reread the manga from Chapter 1 and was quietly anticipating its release. And yet the only thing that has been transferred to the anime was how the characters look. Nisekoi (anime) feels/looks like the Monogatari series. The backgrounds of the school and the Yakuza household are so different from the manga and the anime that its not even the same. Akiyuki Shinbo does not use the source material at all and instead puts his own flare on the source material. Is this bad? Yes and no. Yes because you piss off the fans of the manga and no because its a different iteration of the source material and in doing so creating different story and themes.

D-Frag is more like Nisekoi (manga) than Nisekoi (anime) is.

And for an example of a good manga being translated from the source material into an anime is D-Frag. (I didn’t even know D-Frag existed until the anime was released this season and was about the only Rom/Com that i could tolerate after watching the god awful iteration of Nisekoi)


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Turn A Gundam and How Newer Gundam Fans Refuse to Watch and Acknoweldge its Brilliance

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Turn A Gundam is not about what atrocity war has done and the things it has done. It is not about how many people have died in a war. It’s about what could happen and what is happening.

Turn A Gundam stars many main characters and a whole slew of supporting characters. The main character/pilot being Loran Cehack a young man who is from the moon who wishes for both Earth and the Moonrace to live together in peace. Loran is a pacifist but pilots the strongest Gundam ever created, the Turn A. It tells the story of the Moonrace wishing to live back on Earth but the people on Earth who had no idea that there was an advanced race on the moon, who do not want to share the land that they have had tendered since they were born. Conflict arises and everyone becomes selfish. A part of the Moonrace’s military attacks a nearby city and war is soon to erupt. Negotiations start with Queen Dianna Soriel of the Moonrace but due to rising conflicts with the Earth militia and the Moonrace wishing to “educate” the barbaric nature of human beings by conquering them, the negotiations become troublesome.

Turn A is, in my opinion, the greatest Gundam story because it shows the conflict through before, during, and after the war. What makes it as great is because the time spent on each person is the same. We get to understand all the sides of each character and understand their motives. I grew to hate the actions that many did but it made sense with what they thought was right for them.

For example Loran Cehack is a pacifist; In all of his fights he never took a life unless he absolutely needed to because his life was in danger or his crew might be in danger if his enemy were to live. In all of his other fights he disarmed, or talked his way out of a fight. A true pacifist unlike Kira Yamato from Gundam SEED.

There are many episodes that didn’t have any action but that is okay. Gundam shows, at least to me, were never just about big huge robots clashing at each other. Tomino, the creator of Gundam, preached in every Gundam series he had worked at (Mobile Suit Gundam 0079, Zeta Gundam, ZZ Gundam, Victory Gundam, etc.) that war is bad and that we should avoid it as much as possible. That was the heart of the series. The Mobile Suits were tools of war that was exaggerated in order to show the devastation that it creates. Yet the newer iterations of Gundam has forgotten that and has focused purely on combat between Mobile Suits. In the same way imagine the movie Saving Private Ryan; then imagine a reboot of the same movie but this time there is 80% more guns and instead on focusing the story of finding a wounded soldier the story is replaced with tons of gun battles and a narrative that tries to tell you that the story is actually supposed to be about fighting. I understand that is an odd analogy to create but in some ways it is what has happened to the Gundam series.

Turn A delves in the morality of men and their selfish reasons to act. All if not most of the characters in Turn A develop in unexpected ways. Some who I hated early in the beginning became my characters that I can relate and like and some the exact opposite happens.

I accept that there are now four generations of Gundam fans. Those who like the Universal Century, those who love Wing, those who LOVE SEED and the those who started with 00. Turn A appeals heavily to those who loved the Universal Century fans but will almost never appeal to both the SEED and 00 fans purely because they were shown a different iteration/generation of Gundam. The emotions and lessons created by the Universal Century applies and are more explained in Turn A and wishes to tell a story of why we should not wage war. It does so effectively by choosing not to show “war” until the later half of the series. Instead it uses the beginning half to fortify the reasons of the characters and show the effects of an impending and current war between two races.

The SEED fans will not enjoy Turn A because of its great pacing and because of its character development. They won’t even like the beautifully done fight scenes or the greatly designed Turn A Gundam. Instead what SEED fans will be complaining about is the lack of fight scenes and “beam spam” that the series is known for. It is known that SEED (and including Destiny) has absolutely no story to tell and just crams as much “Gundams” as possible in a series and make them fight, for sometimes, absolutely no reason except they want to have a ton of fighting in the anime. To summarize, SEED fans won’t even watch a trailer of Turn A because not enough fighting and “weird” looking Gundam.

Wing fans…. they are kind of in the same boat as SEED but not as bad. Some may decide to watch the series but they just won’t like it or they will just be okay with it.

00 fans are definitely on the same boat as SEED fans.