Mon, 19 Mar 2001 19:24:07 EST

In a message dated 3/19/01 4:21:49 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:
err... too lazy too read... "eh, wuda ya gonna do"

> Forgive a newbie for butting in with a near-rant, but...
> I don't claim to be any expert on TV or movies, but I've seen a fair amount
> of American TV and cartoons in my life and here's what I've noticed.
> First off, as has been said before, it's really not fair to compare
> made-for-TV anime to Disney-quality movies. A fairer comparison would be
> American TV cartoons vs Gundam and other anime.
> I think a lot of the characterization issues mentioned stem from one of the
> main differences between American TV in general and anime: on American TV,
> the general rule seems to be that every episode has to stand on its own.
> This means that you have to establish the characters' personalities every
> single episode -- usually characterization in American cartoons amounts to
> drawing and casting the character's voice so that you can tell their
> personality (often stereotyped) after a few seconds of watching them.
> Since
> a lot of the anime I've seen has a single, continuous story arc throughout
> the series, characterization seems based more on actions throughout the
> story rather than constant mannerisms or expressions. I'm not sure if I've
> ever seen an American cartoon character -- TV or movie -- that doesn't fit
> some stereotype of a hero or villain. It probably comes from the American
> view that all animation is kid's stuff, and having characters that don't
> fit
> the accepted "good vs. evil" mold like honorable villains or
> not-always-heroic heroes would uncomfortably blur the idealized,
> black-and-white world Americans usually try to portray in cartoons. Plus,
> I'm sure TV executives feel that characters more complex than the usual
> stereotypes are too complicated for the target demographic.
> As for "illusion of life," get real. I've never seen an American
> made-for-TV cartoon that even comes close. Heck, most recent Disney movies
> I've seen have characters that seem too bouncy (for lack of a better word).
> I can kind of buy the "lack of weight" thing if they're referring to the
> fight scene, since the one they watched was Heero and Wufei's duel in
> Endless Waltz. Seeing large machinery move that fast requires a fair
> amount
> of suspension of disbelief. Personally I like it, though.
> I think it all comes down to asking what the purpose of animation is.
> Since
> most American animation is targeted at kids, it usually amounts to eye
> candy
> and music with a shallow story and simple humor. It's meant to be easy to
> follow, to fit the presumed short attention span and shallow tastes of
> American kids today. Anime like Gundam assumes a more intelligent
> audience,
> and story becomes almost as important as animation. I've noticed how the
> original Mobile Suit Gundam, with somewhat dated animation but a good
> storyline, is much better received in many circles than Gundam 0083, which
> features better animation but apparently also plot holes you could drive
> the
> Dendrobium Orchis through. (Haven't seen them yet but I'm eagerly awaiting
> both).
> In any case it comes down to an artistic judgement call, and you could
> write
> libraries of books and talk until you pass out without coming to any real

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Tue Mar 20 2001 - 09:24:27 JST