KurenaiJiku (kurenaijiku@tech-base.com)
Thu, 18 May 2000 22:09:01 -0700

>Ill give an industry viewpoint since I work in Animation.. I think the
>FILMS in the US are superior in animation quality , and storytelling(Not
>necessarily the STORY itself) .

In some cases yes.

>Our feature stuff has longer development and actual creation time. Disney
>usually takes 5years from script to finish, usually refining as the y go
>Most US animated features are better paced and easier to understand than
>Japanese counterparts. However most film are geared that someone under 10 can
>understand it.

Most western films are directed towards children yes. That's why everybody
thinks it's just a "cartoon".

>I felt that "X" was one of the WORST animated MOVIES Ive ever seen. Im not
>thrilled with the CLAMP style and direction.

X the manga is a very oriental film and I wouldn't be surprised if you
didn't understand it. It's a very simple but also very indepth emotionally
film. And it was too short a film, and is better as a manga. If they did
several movies spanning the manga's storyline then it would have been
better. I wouldn't say the movie was convoluted, I would rather say it
only skimmed the surface that's why it seem bland.

I can see X making a decent
>series, but the story was WAY too convoluted for a 2 hr movie. Ghost In The
>Shell had amazing visuals and design, but it lacked a coherent story and the
>animation was still not to par with Disney or Warners..

GITS was a explanation of what makes a human a human. The definition of
what makes a human unique to others. It wasn't about the story. It
concentrated on more philosophical concepts rather than the actual story
which was presented in the politically, philosophical and intensely complex
manga. It was a good movie, but rather you had different expectations of it.

The Wings of
>Honneamise was a amazing work of Art. It was one of the most amazing 2
hours to
>stare at. The story was good, but the pacing needed improvement, but it was
>forgiveable due to the overall amazing quaility of the film.. It actually
had a
>decent ending , compared with some of the strange and vague endings many
>Japanese movies have.

Japanese movies tend to be open ended. Most of what you named are movies
which are meant to provoke thought rather than create a complete storyline.
 It tells a story, but it is meant to present thought. Movies in the
western world just present a story and end it. I haven't seen a movie
which presents clear thought. Even Prince of Egypt was little more than an
empty shell of story telling.

I think OVAs vary from decent to great, and probably the
>best shows from the past 10 years have been Macross Plus (ova),
>cant stand the NOSES!!) and Cowboy Bebop. Ironically enough these three
>mentioned have either Shoji Kowamoris direction or from his "team".. Giant
>is another OVA I found to be quite nice for Japanese animation. It came very
>close to US quality. I definately will not Pass up Princess Monoke or some of
>other Miyazakis work.

Miyazaki's work is meant to produce thought but also tell a good story.
Although not as indepth or complex as Patlabor 2, GITS, or Evangelion,
Miyazaki's stuff is supposed to present a moral rather than provoke
thought. Examples below.

Grave of the Fireflies - The sacrifices and consequences of war.
Princess Mononoke - The necessity of balancing technology and nature.
Laputa - A free obtainable ultimate power fought over by good and evil.
Consequences if evil obtains this power. In other words, don't toy with
the "utopia".

Totoro - There is a child in all of us, no matter how young or old we are.
Nausicca - Why fight when there is nothing to fight for? Live in harmony.
Kiki's Delivery Service - An "outsider"'s suffering and victories. It's
almost an analogy to racism.

>I dont consider Evangelion to be a good show IMHO because it took a
>concept and did a poor execution of it. The animation to me was substandard,
>and the story did not move forward enough. It was convoluted and too
>, not to mention it had totally UNLIKEABLE characters. I dont know about you
>guys but, Shinji is a POS basketcase that deserved to be killed off in Ep

Now this is where you're entirely wrong. Realistically, those types of
characters in Evangelion, also exist in the real world. The pure concept
of you hating the characters in Evangelion means that Anno Hideaki has
succeeded. The story is very convoluted for one purpose; to avoid in
accuracy in religion, but to cause thought and contraversy. Evangelion is
not meant to be clear. It was meant to be based on the Bible. Everything
in show if you think in a certain perspective relates exactly to the Bible.
 What did you think it was about anyway? The Bible is convoluted already,
and if you try to interpret it accurately...imagine what type of uproar you
would receive. The animation isn't actually substandard, I can tell you
that there were all the animation basics that were supposed to be
there...and was animated incredibly well. It's a TV show, and if you
compare it with something like the incredibly ugly set of animation in
western TV...I'd give Evangelion a thumbs up.

>I think the hype of EVA led it to overshadow Escaflowne, a totally superior
>show in every way.

People HYPE it. I frankly don't really care what other people think. Many
people thinking one thing is good doesn't make it necessarily good. Hey,
it's like saying just because 10 people say they like Dance Dance
Revolution doesn't mean it's a good game and that you have to like it.
It's in everyway a good game, but you don't have to like it necessarily.

I hope the Escaflowne movie will work in a 2 hr format .. It
>was a big story , and they have big job to rework it for a film. I hope it
>succeeds. In general for TV and OVA anime totally overshadows american
>animation in overall quality and story(simpsons and futurama stll have
>brilliant writing and storytelling).

Simpsons is meant to be a sitcom. It will never reach the fantasy and sci
fi based stories that Anime has reached. Why? They are two totally
genres. It's like trying to compare Friends with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
 Written totally different ways. You watch what you prefer.

>However in the FILM arena Anime still is a little behind in animation
>quality(Princess Monoke was very close in animation quality) and has hits and

>misses to story...To me in terms of a masterpiece would be between Toy
Story 2
>and Iron Giant. Both had GREAT story. Great art direction, Great Character
>development, Storytelling, pacing, and Animation. I still havent found an
>Feature that meets ALL these criteria.. However in terms of Broadcast , anime
>has the best quality- to turnaround..I love to watch anime for what it is
, and
>theres so much good stuff , not to mention loads of Gundams to choose from.
>Dismissing anime is really bad and narrow minded, but not realizing the
>of classic animated shorts and films is narrow mined too...

That's true. However, it really all depends on one thing; necessity. What
you really need and what you value the most. If you value story and
thought, Anime is definitely the best thing for you. If you like special
effects and all those extra dood dads that's ruining most of the computer
and video game markets, then go watch Mulan 62,865,725 times. =P (Mulan
sucked big time 'cause it's not even the right story!!! The pure concept
was correct, but how it all happened...c'mon...give my culture some respect.)


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