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 A study....

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Shadowcrunch
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Posts : 902
Join date : 2011-06-23
Age : 41
Location : Wisconsin, USA

20111005
PostA study....

Okay, I'm hoping for a little serious discussion, using the forum as a means to keep record of every little detail we can muster. I've been spouting for months how I want to know the secret of how Japanese manga and anime can have such intense stories, or even how the mediocre stories somehow put our western work to shame. It's been discussed that a lot of it has to do with their attention to culture...that they have an almost hierarchical ritual approach to so many aspects of their heritage, the writing and drawing skills are 'handed down.' Maybe not father to son, but master to apprentice. Sensei to grasshopper.

**NOTE: IF we ever happen to get a few more members and some of them happen to be Japanese, know I am NOT poking fun at you. I am putting my understanding of your creative superiority into my own words.

Okay, fellow forum members who may/may not enjoy a good manga or anime....this is what I'm looking for in this discussion: quick, simple OBSERVATIONS. We can explain theories until the sky falls (little over a year!), and we can drop full page comparisons or thousand word essays. What I want here is an ongoing LIST of things YOU notice that jump out as somehow important 'in your eyes' that makes good manga/anime good. Maybe not things that make it good, but also things that are so obvious to the mystique of it, but many may not know. Again, not deep or LONG discussion. Save that for a rainy day. If you have to use particualr serieses for examples, do so please! I'm hoping, as time goes on we can go from top to bottom in this list, and start to see some form of pattern, or at least learn a few somethings we can start using or concentrating on in our own artworks. Remember, even simple things, like if someone observes a major difference being manga written right to left...put it in here!

If we can get a decent list, and compare the cultural influences against our own history as a culture, maybe we can not only find ways to excel in the genre, but also manage to westernize the genres without bastardizing them! OH, discussion IS okay, just keep it short (like I can't do Sad ).

I will reply to this with an example that I learned a while back, but NEEDS to be in this list because apparently to the Japanese culture this is important. Here we go...

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A study.... :: Comments

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Re: A study....
Post on Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:43 pm by Shadowcrunch
In many Japanese stories, the 'bad guy' is LEFT-HANDED.

I read it a few years ago. I've observed it since. I don't remember the EXACT cultural reference behind it, but I believe it has something to do with chi or chakras or some such. Something like evil entering the body first through the left hand. Not sure...I will look it up further when I have more time, and will edit this post. But yeah, simple observation that stems from their culture and superstitions, yet not enough people know about it where they can say "that guy's sword is in his left hand...bad guy!"
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Re: A study....
Post on Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:02 am by soothsayer
Additionally, small angular eyes denotes a demonic or evil person (in manga). When I say small, I mean normal sized. This is due to how the eyes hold ones soul / can access ones soul... rather young characters have large rounded eyes denoting innocence, good guys tend to have rounded full eyes as well... but bad guys? Small. Straight lined.
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Re: A study....
Post on Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:59 pm by Shadowcrunch
Tentacles...always the damn tentacles. Why?!
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Re: A study....
Post on Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:03 pm by soothsayer
I used to be fascinated with the detail found in anime... nothing in the States could compare! Just the level of detail, the fluid motions! Simply stunning.

And then i found out that in doing animation, the Japanese found a short cut. Where we do, what, 16 to 24 frames a second in animation, the Japanese use less frames. A lot less.

What? Less frames means that motion would be more choppy! It won't look right! What do you mean that they use less?!

Seems that in an effort to save production costs, the Japanese would draw only ONE picture. It is the camera itself that pans over the print. If there is a scene, say for instance in Akira where the glass is falling, then there are two prints... layered... and one print is slid across the other.

Detail is preserved. Motion remains fluid.

That's how they are able to do what they do so well, why everything looks so good. Or at least in the earlier animations... don't know what they do now; there is no way, NO WAY that something like Appleseed and Spirited Away is done in this method. I am inclined to think computers play a great part in things.

But traditionally, it was done with layers and prints moving. This explains speed lines. Watch carefully... tires don't move on cars, props don't move on planes... just the wiggly motion lines.

Keep that in mind when you watch older stuff like Speed Racer and Robotech... characters don't move, only their mouths do. Same thing; the character print is singular, the mouth may be a few different prints. This explains why mouths (or heads) sometimes "jump".

I know this isn't a simple secret like lefty / righty or eye shapes, but it is great to know. With all the 2D animation software that can be had, just layer what you are doing. It saves times, it saves on space (rendering), and looks just as good, if not better, than the US tradition of drawing every single frame.
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Re: A study....
Post on Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:37 pm by soothsayer
Shadowcrunch wrote:
Tentacles...always the damn tentacles. Why?!

Foamy the Squirrel. Not anime. Not manga. Not Japanese. But it does have Japanese influences...



Very Happy
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Re: A study....
Post on Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:08 pm by Shadowcrunch
Okay, due to recent knowledge, I'm blending the discussion of noticed philosophy/technique with more technical details as I find them...and will try making sense of some of it. I just reread some information I gathered, as it was confusing as all hell, but I think I have it now. Keeping in mind, I've played with animation aspects of both 2D and 3D before, I will try to explain simply. First, the big piece of info I found (after researching details in Soothsayer's post about frames per second and such):

Quote :
Generally, especially for TV, anime will be animated at 2:s, which means
1 drawing lasts for two frames (equating to 12 drawings per second),
but sometimes animation is done at 1:s (24 frames every second) or 3:s.
If every second of an anime was animated at even 2:s that would involve
using around 15000 drawings for an episode! In reality, because many
shots have cels as static, or because many scenes don’t necessarily
require fluid movement, the average anime will have around 3000
frames/drawings. That’s still a lot of drawings! Often (especially
lately), directors or producers will boast that their anime has “10,000
drawings for an episode!” or something to that effect, which is fairly
impressive but doesn’t necessarily mean the episode is better. For
example, apparently the first episode of Evangelion used only 700
animation frames, while Angel Beats used around 11,000 in episode one! A
good director can work wonders with fewer frames using interesting
scene compositions and shortcuts. Often, directors or studios will
manage their budget by putting a limit on the number of drawings that
can go into a single episode.

When I read the first line involving "2:s" my brain kept saying 2 frames per second. WRONG. As it says, one drawing lasts for two frames, which would cut the frame artist's job in half. Then there's "3:s" which obviously uses one drawing over the course of 3 frames. They are going 24 frames per second (FPS), which is basically the norm everywhere except the US, where we use 29 or 30 FPS. Either way, at 24 FPS and a "3:s" style, the artist only has to draw 8 drawings per second of animation. At 30 FPS and "3:s", the artist draws 10 drawings for the same second.

The answer to my confusion...if I were recording frames in 2D or 3D, this does NOT mean I would set my output at 12 or 10 or 8 frames per second! I am still outputting at 24 or 30 frames per second, I'm just keeping the same drawing in frame longer. Without trying to attempt this myself yet (busy busy), I'm going to assume this is the Japanese 'style' of panning the camera across one drawing for several seconds, or the drawing slide effect also mentioned in Soothsayer's post. Massive potential here, especially if I'm right about being able to compose entire scenes in Blender using all internal features with imported drawings. I will be attempting very soon, but probably not tonight. I sleepy. Just thought I would explain quickly in case anyone had the idea like I did that they could run 2 drawings per second and decided to start animating. It's not 2 drawings per second...but 2 frames per drawing! We'll get there....
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Re: A study....
Post on Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:28 pm by Shadowcrunch
AH HA! As my anime experience deepens, I have re-noticed something I noticed before but didn't pay too close attention to.

Anime main characters, no matter the role, are NOT overly 'powerful' looking. Anime has big muscle-bound 'superhero' types, but they seem to always play a supporting part. The hero or heroine seems to always be completely and totally AVERAGE. Not even getting into the concept of almost every story involving high schoolers, the main characters are just so....BLAH looking.

The most impact I see with this comes into the fighting animes (I'm including CGs here, because Cloud in FF7: Advent Children is a PERFECT example). When a male character with arms the size of a 14 year old girl's swings a sword that looks like buick-on-a-stick, either there's something wrong with the story, or there's another aspect of the culture that we don't have an answer for on here yet. I'm assuming it's a culture thing, since it's widespread throughout anime/manga.

So, regular LOOKING, average sized characters, with massive strength or off-the-charts 'power.' WHY?
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Re: A study....
Post on Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:41 pm by soothsayer
You have failed to recognize the greatness of Dragonball Z. Shame on you. Shame, I say!

There are overly muscular characters out there... usually reserved in the role of villian. There aren't too many, but they are there; the anime that depicts these types seem to be geared to the Y7 audience.

Along a similar note...

Women. Girls. I love them. I enjoy looking at them. For the most part, I play female characters on many games. Women are beautiful, and I can appreciate the beauty of the female form without feeling all dirty and perverted. With that said, why are the females in anine portrayed as being sex objects?

Big breasted, full hips, long legs... other female characters are either giving lovingly glances or are giving hateful stares and the lead female. Men are falling over themselves. My god man, if these were to be drawn in the States, the feminists would be in an up-roar!

BUT...

Who are the powerful characters? Who are the strong ones, of will and of abilities? Who are cunning and thinking and planning?

For all the sexism in anime, people tend to ignore the fact that it is the female character that, well, just cut and paste the above sentence here.

This isn't always so... but it does seem to be an unwritten trend. Women are beautiful and strong. They aren't weak; those that start off that way usually grow into something more.
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Re: A study....
Post on Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:01 pm by soothsayer
Anime. Love it! Cartoons that parody anime? It all depends on the who and the how. My above youtube link of Foamy the Squirrel does incorporate some anime themes, but might be appropriate for the masses. So here, enjoy this Foamy the Squirrel film that was done... FOR AN ANIME CONVENTION!

Uber Xcited

Please note all the subtle (and the not so subtle) anime references. Enjoy!



Diiiiiirrrrty.
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Re: A study....
Post on Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:13 pm by Shadowcrunch
Well here's a damn interesting copy/paste of info I found. Oh, they are referring to Osamu Tezuka...apparently the father of the japanese anime style we are discussing here.

Quote :
It may come as a surprise that the classic anime "style" is in fact lifted from American
animation. Tezuka was strongly influenced by the work of Walt Disney,
and adapted the Disney style to Japanese sensibilities. (Other sources
say the greatest influence was actually Betty Boop,
who was one of Tezuka's favorite characters.) Subsequent creators of
graphic works copied his style, resulting in the familiar "large eyes"
look that characterized anime and manga for so many decades since the
1950s. (On this topic, fellow artist/author Shirow Masamune has said,
"I've heard that some people complain about the large eyes and small
noses and mouths in Japanese manga. But I don't see a whole lot of
difference when I look at Disney characters.")
Tezuka's work essentially created both manga and anime as they are known
today. His seminal creation — and the one most Americans are likely to
be familiar with — was Tetsuwan Atom (Mighty Atom). It's perhaps better known in the English-speaking world as Astro Boy.
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Re: A study....
Post on Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:24 am by Shadowcrunch


Sooth, you out there? I need you to revisit this thread and ponder.

Pretend for a minute... you've had a story in your head for ages. You've pictured it as a comic (Western), you've pictured it as a movie or show (Western), but suddenly you had the urge to try writing (again) and this story needed to be that writing. Hold that thought.

You've been catching up on a ton of Japanese anime and manga lately. One of your old favorite shows, you decide to track down the manga, only to find there isn't a manga, but a series of 'light novels' (which sadly aren't translated for that show)... and now you have no idea what a Japanese 'Light novel' even is! A new show you're watching, when you look for the official manga in a bookstore, you discover the whole thing started as a series of light novels, translated, and you buy the first one.

This ties into the thread here: you start to notice that apart from the 'light novel' being basically a standard short-ish novel (by NOVEL standards), there are a few subtle differences in the way the dialog and paragraph structure is handled. Japanese technique? Or the work of the translator? You start to dig deeper into these light novels, and find that there's actually a bunch of anime that starts out in light novel form, some even skipping the manga stage. You start thinking about how in the "West" maybe 1 in 100,000 written things become shows or games or anything beyond writing, but suddenly there's another culture that is more than willing to take a chance making a season of a cartoon from books closer to the range of 1 in 5,000. Yes, we've covered it before... it's cheaper to make a season of a cartoon than an actual show.... way less risky. And if your culture uses these cartoons in place of our endless stream of mindless sitcoms, you have closer to a 1 in 5,000 chance of writing something mainstream. Hold that thought with the first one.

You're reading your light novel, while watching the show, while catching up on and trying maybe 3 or 4 other shows of completely different target audiences, just to try something new. A little piece of your brain is wondering "how often do you think these Japanese light novel publishers get submissions in English from silly Americans?" Yeah, not a good idea. Just seems wrong to even think about trying, like... nevermind, don't know how to describe it. BUT.... here it is.... the point to ponder...

So I have my story idea. I have my characters and plot. I'm thinking about the what-ifs of my story being accepted by the Japanese mainstream, and I make a disturbing observation. Women. You touched on the concept of women in Japanese works in a previous post. My observation is slightly different. All of my main and supporting characters are men! Well, not necessarily human men, but the gender design is masculine. If my story came out of an anime, at LEAST half of the cast would be women. So now I'm wracking my brain trying to create extra supporting roles just to get more women in the story, and the more I think the more troubling it becomes. Why?

You've thrown some character ideas up on the forum. Without digging deep, how many of them are women? Marvel and DC, what's the ratio between male and female heroes and villains? Examples: X-MEN with maybe 2 women for every 10 guys, same as Avengers, Justice League...umm... Fantastic 4 (in ratio, cuz they're not the Fantastic 10). Your favorite character from X-men or Avengers... man or woman? Who's your favorite woman in X-men... which 1 of maybe 7? Now who's your favorite woman in Strike Witches?

But we're not talking comics, we're talking books, cuz a light novel is a frickin book, whether it's called a light novel or not. Okay. Main characters in the original 3 Dragonlance Chronicles... Ratio of men to women? Of the 9 who left Rivendell to destroy the one ring, how many were women? Star Wars, ratio of men to women who can use the force? Star Trek ratio? Okay... Strike Witches and Gunslinger Girl are specifically about women, sooooooo... ratio of men to women MAIN characters in Highschool of the Dead? By my memory, pretty much exactly half. See the point?

So you wanna write this awesome story, and make it something you could see as an anime. ALL of your main and supporting cast are dudes. Obviously just write it, cuz it isn't gonna be an anime anyway. BUT, pretending.... how would YOU figure out which characters to turn into women? I realize it depends on the back story and current characters, but how do you think "Eastern" writers decide? I realize a LOT of anime has a more "Western" ratio, but there's still a lot more ladies than we're used to. Ideas?
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Re: A study....
Post on Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:51 pm by Shadowcrunch
Since I know sooth has read that last lengthy post and it won't get missed, there's a part 2 to this. It ties into my Marvel/DC vs. Manga characters. We watched the Avengers movie "Age of Ultron." It ended with the after credit scene Marvel movies apparently have to do. My oldest says "Oooh I wonder what the NEXT movie will be about!" I know the next movie will be Civil War, which is going to be damn interesting since Sooth explained to me why the Avengers movies don't have mutants, but instead genetically engineered humans. The kids just got 7-inch tablets from their grandparents for christmas, so I dug up an old 2 gig micro-SD and was going to put chronological Civil War and my Infinity Gem collection. Sadly, those two things were over 2 gigs. I chose to go with the Infinity books, and once I had them on the tablet I explained to the oldest that she could now read some Marvel comics, and she should pay attention to this purple Thanos dude, cuz out of all the characters in her mangas, Thanos is probably the most badass yet 'deep' character ever written. That night I started analyzing that exchange.

Couple days later, I'm at work with Vader, going over the whole mutant and gene-modified thing between X-men and Avengers movies WITHOUT dropping Age of Ultron spoilers cuz I was shocked to find he hadn't seen it yet. As we talked and started tossing characters and facts around, it added to my analysis, but we were talking Avengers, not Western vs Eastern philosophy. Saving that for here. So here's part two of the women to men ratio in comics...

I wondered why Thanos sticks in my head. Yeah, his story is genius and downright amazing. The way he is written to think and believe and interact is exactly how a character should be presented. I grew up with him. He is my 'model' bad guy. Captain America, my ideal good guy. Gambit, my ideal dark good guy. Yep, Steve Rogers and Remy LeBeau. Omega Red was a cool bad guy... good old Arkady Rossovich. He came way after Colossus's sister Illayna Rasputin got involved in that Inferno business with the demons Mephisto and S'ym. That was a bad time for every Marvel character, even the mutant team Excalibur, since they had to deal with the Warwolves. Ooh don't forget about Mr. Sinister and Apocalypse as bad guys! Sinister Six. Hellfire Club. Genosha.... What about Danny Ketch turning into the new Ghost Rider to save his sister Barbara from the mutant psuedo-vampire Blackout? How the hell do I remember all this?!

Yeah... My Marvel and other Western comics stick with me. How's my memory from my addiction to the Japanese comic form? Turns out my memory is shit. Took me forever to start remembering names. I wasn't going to count any of the current shows I'm watching, I was going a couple years back... as opposed to my 20 years back for my Marvel memory. After a few hours, I remembered Kamina, Simon, Rossiu, and Yoko from Gurren Lagann...WHEW, remembered main characters from my favorite anime. I watched 2 seasons of Ikki Tousen... don't remember a single character name. Deadman Wonderland... I remember the name Crow, but can't remember his real name. Akira! Tetsuo and Kanada! Okay yeah, they were yelling each other's names for 20 minutes near the end, pretty much nonstop. Sekirei... Musubi is number 88, Tsukumi is the blond who controls water, Kazehana is number 4 and drinks saki endlessly, Matsu is a redhead who has a mental affinity with electronics. Strike Witches... um... I know there's a Yeager... Charlotte Yeager? Wow and DAMN!

I finally came up with a theory. Marvel and DC have been running the same characters for sometimes over 50 years. They have made the characters so awesome, gave them such 'life', that it's actually difficult to forget. I'm finding a LOT of Japanese manga and anime that doesn't go much past 2 seasons' worth of content. It's hard to develop all of the characters based in that kind of time frame! Gurren Lagann I get... they finished the story. They had a plan, and they finished it. Marvel (was it marvel?) did something similar with Stracynski's 'Rising Stars'. He had a plan, he wrote like 27 issues, finished the story, and it was amazing. I think I remember a couple character names. Is that lack of memory because the characters sucked, or because I didn't have 50+ years with them? Wait, I didn't have 50+ years with any characters! But some of these characters I had 50+ years of back story to feed myself while waiting for the next issues to some out.

The point here... why does it seem a majority of Japanese works, no matter how popular, never seem to last very long? How am I supposed to relate to a character that gets taken away in a year or two? Is it a cultural thing? I know they accept fictional 'geek stuff' as main stream, living and breathing their favorite characters, so do they just get sick of characters that fast? Is there an attention span difference between our cultures? Is it because in one year of Japanese manga you might have 50 characters whose only powers are channeling intense emo to super charge their martial arts, while in that same year of Western comics you will have one dude who can fly, 3 who can control fire, 2 that can shape change, 1 that can talk to horses, and 3 sentient androids?

So, while we're figuring out if we could alter our thinking to include more women characters, we should also ask ourselves how to introduce the Western level of amazing character portraits into a market saturated with too many of the same damn thing. But first we need to understand why...

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Re: A study....
Post on Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:26 am by soothsayer
Okay, regarding the first post in this run: women in comics. I don't know how to go about answering this one, as this post was all over the place; at best, all I can do is add to it.

I do believe that in anime, the male to female ratio is equal, if not slanted more towards the female side. A lot of it does depend on what style of anime you're watching, but overall I'd say there were equal or more women; with manga, I cannot say as I don't have any, but from what I know, there are a lot of genres of manga, so the audience is wider (or more specific, case may be), so there really isn't a gender divide in that regard.

In relation to western comics, I'd say there are more men than women, but that's the target audience: men. We don't have the romance comics, the daily life comics, the sports comics, and so on and so forth that the Asian cultures have. Our comics are geared to pubescent boys. Western animation, on the other hand, seems to be predominately aimed either at children of females. In general. There are always bound to be exceptions, but this is just a generalized observation. Disney animation is predominately female orientated, Pixar seems to be 60/40 in favor of men, and while there are a good many cartoon shows out there, they do seem to be heavily in favor of women, even if the show is kid orientated, and that's because I think women are more prone to watching what the kids want to watch versus the male.

With the role women play in comics, Asians seem to put them either on equal or higher footing than men. I haven't watched too much anime, but with what I have seen, there aren't too many helpless women. Even those that start off submissive and quiet quickly find themselves and explode / come in their own. Those same characters are, and I hate to say it, the sexy ones. Male target audience again? Manga is a completely different story, in that there is just so many different genres, you'll find the roles and characters will vary between them.

The same can be said for western animation, in that the role of the female is becoming stronger. What started off with the helpless likes of Snow White and Cinderella has brought us the strength and independence of Merida (Brave). We still have the fairy tale based animations, and western animation still has quite the distance to go to show women as being stronger than what they are (in the movies), but it's getting there. But with comics, it's still fueled by males. So why the difference?

...

Lost my train of thought. And I was getting off subject. To get back onto the right track...

I think Western culture still holds women with the understanding of being princesses, of being treated "like a lady". We coddle our girls, we respect or women, and maybe even... not pamper, but... traet them as being dainty or helpless? We know better, we do, but that's how we hold our women. We see that in toys and clothing and on TV. Hell, look at the latest Hollywood event: the Golden Globes. We have all this talk about equal rights and treatment for women, and yet my news feed is full of crap like "Lady so and so wore a dazzling dress" or "Look at what she's wearing". Soon it'll be the best and worst dressed. Forget their accomplishments or their role in the movie, we're judging women on appearance. We proclaim one standard, but in actuality, we hold another. Toys are princess themed or family themed, clothing is geared for appeal and attraction. We want women to be one thing, but our products and actions say something else.

Asians, it seems, is the opposite. We know how Asians perceive women, and yet it's through that perception that we have so many powerful, strong, or independent women characters. They still treat those characters as sex objects or try to dominate them, but those women either use their sexuality in their favor, or explode and take on the dominate role. The men in those then become drooling idiots or slaves to the women. They seem to... enjoy... a powerful dominating strong woman. The same toys are sold to both sexes, women are encouraged to play and read comics and and and.

There's more to it, obviously, but I hope anyone reading this sees where I am coming from or trying to say. We don't have so many female characters in out stuff because culturally, women need to be protected. We have a fair share of female comic book characters, but fewer "strong" ones. Look at how long it took Wonder Woman to grow into the role she has; look at the way she first was and how she evolved. Look at Power Girl... same powers and abilities as Superman, but she's a sexual object. Jean Grey? Powerful, strong, but oh! the agony of loving two people at the same time! Asian female characters? Sexualized, yes, but at the same time they tend to be stronger than their male counterparts, more in control.

Anyway, I kind of went around the bend with that last paragraph. Fewer western female characters because they need protection. We need the big strong males to protect them, to shelter them. In the eastern stuff, the females usually rise up against the males and assume the dominate roles because the men are proving to be incompetent.

Don't know if this answers the question (was there even a question?), but I hope my opinion gives some additional thought. As for the second post...

I think you pretty much answered it yourself: time investment. In the Asian works, they have the manga which is then adapted to an anime... one or two seasons. The problem with that is the anime has to pause and wait for the manga to come out. A manga comes out what, monthly? Like our comics? So you have a best selling manga, want to capitalize on it, and make an anime. Problem is, an anime is weekly. You can do a year's worth of manga in three months. Now what do you do? You wait, and hope the manga continues to do well... but by then, interest in the anime is gone. You could make your own stories with the anime, but then what happens when the manga comes out? Everything becomes convoluted.

With the western stuff, we don't have that problem. As you said, we have decades of material to work with.

Another big factor is the stories themselves. Manga and anime are serialized, it is one continuous story. We don't have that. Our comics might have story arcs, but each issues does not grow into the next, or lead into the next. They'll share common threads and histories, the characters won't change, but the stories tend to be self contained. That's why we can have cartoons and movies and comics all working independently from each other, because there is a lot of room in there. Case in point, Harley Quinn. She was a Batman: The Animated Series character, meant just for the cartoon. We liked her so much, she was brought into the DC Universe comic book line. The same can't be said with anime, because the mangas are close knit.

With our comics, we have time to grow the character, to evolve them. We can put time into those characters. There is no story to love or to get involved in, it's the characters that drive us. With anime, it's the opposite... how many carbon copy characters are there? You could swap one person from one series out and stick him into another without any real effect, because with anime or manga, it's the story that is important.

Looking at things in a different way, we wouldn't think of taking a novel and making it into a comic book or cartoon, but isn't that what a manga is? A visual novel?

Taking this all together, is it any wonder then Josh Whedon's female characters are so strong and memorable? Or why his stories (television shows) are so grand? Buffy, Dollhouse, Firefly... what you are asking in these last two posts of yours, Josh has done. He's made the strong female leads, he's put more women out there than men, and he's given us not stories, but epics.
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Re: A study....
Post on Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:08 am by Shadowcrunch
Your points are understood. The more I thought about it, the more I also started actually remembering stuff and making new observations about the culture changes. For example, the first real anime I'm aware of watching (though I didn't know it at the time): Voltron. Five guys kicking ass with animal mechs. Wow, just realized that was my first mecha too... imagine if battletech or mechwarrior video games had been cockpit simulators for the lion Voltron. Anyway, 5 guys... for a SHORT time, then 4 guys and 1 woman. Suddenly you start looking at that old school stuff, and the ratio in Japanese works is actually very similar to ours. Obviously, a change in their culture brought about a change in their fiction demographics. I had some other examples, but I'll be damned if I can remember them right now.

Next observation about the more modern stuff, and you touched on this when mentioning sex objects. Is there an anime with female main characters that does NOT succumb to fan service in at least 1 or 2 episodes? I don't think I've seen one yet. There's always the bath episode, or the bikini beach party episode. It could be a frickin remake of Romeo and Juliet, and there would be an episode where Juliet hits the sauna with her maids and there's talk of boob sizes. Even the most serious of anime will always sneak in that one boob wiggle, or that one panty shot... completely unnecessary, but apparently very necessary.

I have, in fact, been coming up with character ideas to add some main-ish female characters to my typing. One of the first things that popped in my head is that I don't want my main badasses spotting these warrior ladies and shooting blood out of their noses. I want to cross the male/female demographic WITHOUT adding the sex symbol aspect. As much as I love the Japanese ways of writing and story, I know I just can't do it. Like you said, we view our people differently. My entire line(s) of thinking over those two posts becomes irrelevant when I just accept that my culture doesn't allow me to create tales from another culture. Just like I believe a Japanese writer of manga would seriously screw up a 24 part storyline of the Silver Surfer.

That said, I did have an idea that you, Sooth, may run with. Could even be in the same universe as all of our EXTREME politically incorrect characters, many of which I've forgotten, sadly. Picture this... our Western contribution to the Eastern arts. Think Power Rangers (4 guys and 1 girl if I remember correctly). We have 5 college guys, just trying to get through everyday life, with no special abilities. Just 5 average guys. For the sake of demographics, they are all different, and they rented a house together just to save money. Have 1 jock, 1 computer geek, 1 business major, 1 art major, maybe 1 stoner... or some other similar setup. Five guys you wouldn't expect to hang out in normal life.... BUT they are NOT just normal guys (I'm picturing the blonde guy that taps his stick and becomes THOR). When demons/aliens/criminals threaten freedom and happiness, these five guys do some kung-fu macarena like the power rangers and with a battlecry of "WOMANIZE" they become costumed super ladies! Each with their own power! The Womanizers? I'm picturing their CIA 'handler' being a Special Agent Jenner. Have the costumed super ladies be in Eastern fan service styled outfits, lots of short skirts and low cut neck lines. Imagine, a super hero group that could cross East/West cultures while showing acceptance to the tran community, while pissing off the libbers, while just being SOOOOO fucking wrong on so many levels. You're welcome, and I expect a first treatment by February 1st.

PS... I can't look at how Wonder Woman or Power Girl (Power Woman?) have changed, I have absolutely no knowledge of them except for the old 70s Wonder Woman show and the early 80s Justice League cartoon.
Re: A study....
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