James Boren (jboren@earthlink.net)
Tue, 30 May 2000 12:39:28 -0800


>From: Salamangka <gaijin@i-manila.com.ph>
>
> > 1.) I like the american style of storytelling. one thing about gundam is
>that
> > the pacing and editing is a bit too slow sometimes.
>

Maybe our stories are being told too fast. We are so used to having
everything wrap up in 30 or 60 min. There is never anytime for
characters to just interact with other without having to advance some
crazy new plot only for it to quickly resolve itself just in time for
everything to return to normal for the next instalment.

> > 2.) Hard sci-fi, as in really technical...and showing solutions based on
>science
> > facts.
>
>I don't see this in comics - I really think the Japs are more advanced in
>this aspect on the commercial side - esp. in Gundam and other anime. I
>hardly think Star Wars or Starship Troopers were movies of hard sci-fi
>excellence. They were glitzy... Same goes for many shown on TV.
>

I agree, Gundam is one of the best. Name another show that depicts
weightlessness, or avoids sci fi fantasies like warp speed. (Face it-
excepting thousand-year-long generation-ship voyages the human race
is stuck in this solar system.)
And I hope you're not referring to Star Trek's technobabble as story
solutions based on facts.

> > 3.) killer soundtrack as the action is happening, as in rock and roll.
>
>This rarely works unless you have the right cartoon to do it with. In Cowboy
>Bebop it was correct - but Heavy Metal the Movie wasn't exactly correct in
>using rock music. You'd have to be careful in choosing that.
>
>I could probably name only a few films where it worked - Matrix is one of
>them. Highlander too. "Princes of the Universe" by Queen for the TV series
>opening makes it doubly exciting.

When it works, fine--but I've been soured on rock music in movies
ever since Schwartzeneger's "Last Action Hero." Plus it sort of
negates point 5. below. How realistic is it if rock music is playing
behind everything?

> > 4.) get away from the sentai characters, and go for american style
>characterizations,
> > involving dialogue and reversals that are not so theatric.
>
>As if the Americans don't do this themselves. I've seen Farscape - it still
>has stereotyped characters there. Although I like the series because of its
>snappy wit and character interactions.

Alan Moore and Frank Miller are one-of-a-kinds. Most western writers
rely on the same old sterotypes. (Though I think Miller has fallen
into sterotyping his own stories and characters.)

> > 5.) gritty, realistic action -- as realistic as it can get anyway.
>
>Whoa - not so fast. Mecha combat is fantastic as much as jumping into an
>X-Wing.
>
>Even mecha design isn't exactly realistic as it gets - GP-02 with shoulder
>binders anyone? What matters is if it looks good... ^_^
>
>Imagine if all those cars didn't explode in movies - it wouldn't be as
>exciting... Good storytelling and a good time over realism anyday. It just
>doesn't look as good as it should if you do it that way...

"Saving Private Ryan" gritty realism? Ah, this is the big dilemma. If
these shows were realistic, we should be disgusted by the violence,
killing and death. (or at least I hope we would be...) SP Ryan was a
good movie but it didn't excite me to buy action figures, and think
about joining the army to kill people. (But I want to be a Mobile
Suit pilot...)

> > 6.) "western" editing style, cut to cuts, etc. not the panning or the
>insertion
> > of a screaming face stuff. explosions, explosions, explosions with people
>jumping
> > slow motion out of the way....
>
>yup, yup, yup...
>
>But if it were something like Robot Jox - ugh... -_-;

Wait- Explosions with people jumping out of the way is the staple of
the american action film, you can see it several times in any episode
of the A-team. The Simpsons made fun of it when Homer escaped from
the candy convention.

Seriously- a lot of the editing style comes down to the animation
budget. The budgets are based on number of cells allowed. So many
cell saving techniques have been devised, such as panning or reusing
cells. You can notice in a show like Evangelion, the staff saved up
their cell count to use them on the action sequences, and then
skimped when it came to talking sequences. (Plus the fewer cells are
generally better drawn than cells in western animation)

> > basically, I don't like the dragging pace that gundam is sometimes
>notorious
> > for. Also, I'd like american humor in it...one can only take so much of
>teenagers
> > walking into naked females.
>
>hehe... but even then - it wouldn't be Gundam if it didn't have that. ^_^
>
>Fed
>

Gundam's not really known for it's humor. Now Patlabor...there's some
real funny stuff in that show!

-James

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