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preyer
03-17-2005, 10:44 PM
feel free to say what you'd like to about it (i personally despise it), but just to start up a discussion about it, how do the storylines compare with western storytelling methods? do you see a difference between 'us' and 'them', for lack of better terms? what about the characters? is an 'universal'/'archetypical' anime character more or less the same as you'd find in western culture, or are there noticable differences in style and attitude?

katiemac
03-17-2005, 11:24 PM
I read manga when I was younger in junior high. What it appealed to me the most was the more complex storylines that what I would normally find in America novels. I still have all of mine tucked away somewhere -- very strong sense of the hero/anti-hero aspects, and I was really inspired by a lot of the artwork. Sometimes, if I was lacking ideas for writing, I could just flip open one of the books and look at an art slide and go from there.

Nowadays, I do that with song lyrics.

Richard
03-17-2005, 11:26 PM
Well, that's a pretty big question. There are definitely some very big cultural differences though. Sports are a pretty good example. An American sport film/TV show will almost invariably have the underdogs clambering their way to the top of the leagues and finally coming out triumphant - in an anime/manga version of the same story, they can quite often lose at the last moment, the reward being how they came together as a team.

But there are no hard and fast rules for 'anime' any more than there are for 'film'. It's a way of telling stories, not a genre in and of itself.

Pthom
03-18-2005, 01:37 AM
Um, I'm having trouble seeing what anime or manga has to do with this Science Fiction/Fantasy forum. If there is a specific title that deals with our genre, then fine, but in general, I think a discussion of this subject belongs elsewhere.

Thanks.

GailKavanagh
03-18-2005, 02:41 AM
I read and write a lot of sf, and I consider anime and manga to be an exciting and inspirational part of the genre. Stories like Ghost In The Shell, The Ninja Scrolls and Akira, have revitalised sf for me and many fans like me. Even the wonderful fantasy story arcs of the Final Fantasy series have provided a new way to look at old themes.
If the sf and fantasy board is actually restricted to what we might call literary sf and fantasy (that is - between the pages of a book) then I can understand banning anime and manga from discussion. But if it is sf in general, then surely anime and manga are acceptable subjects? Certainly, some anime (such as Gunsmith Cats) might not properly fit into the genre, but the same is true of novels. Crime fiction is not discussed here.
The final decision is up to the mod, of course, but I would like to put in a plea for the acceptance of anime and manga. Some very exciting new work is going on there.

Gail Kavanagh

Richard
03-18-2005, 02:42 AM
I'm trying to think of a worse example you could have used than Ninja Scroll. Failing ;-)

Pthom
03-18-2005, 04:24 AM
If the sf and fantasy board is actually restricted to what we might call literary sf and fantasy (that is - between the pages of a book) then I can understand banning anime and manga from discussion. But if it is sf in general, then surely anime and manga are acceptable subjects? Certainly, some anime (such as Gunsmith Cats) might not properly fit into the genre, but the same is true of novels. Crime fiction is not discussed here.My concern is that the discussions in this forum deal with SF/F per se. Certainly, graphic stories, including anime and manga are a part of that, but like all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares, I don't want us to go afield with a discussion about the merits (or lack thereof) of the art known as anime or manga. Make sense?

preyer
03-18-2005, 09:35 AM
well, you're right. my intention was more about storytelling techniques and character types and attitudes between the two cultures. seeing as how it's safe to say most of us don't read japanese or chinese, at least we can look to anime for reference and hope the shows prove truer to their written word than ours often does in our culture. so, my defense of the thread centres entirely around storytelling, but i see your point, too. it's up to you. :) my last argument is there are a whole lot of younger authors out there writing stories based heavily on anime/manga, so from that standpoint, since it's so influential to actual writers, i think there's merit to its discussion.

Pthom
03-18-2005, 10:23 AM
Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I have nothing against anime or manga; my day job is as an illustrator, after all. What I intended was to convey that this forum is about Science Fiction and Fantasy specifically. I will admit, however, that my knowledge of anime and manga is limited. So I did a little research (by no means exhaustive--I have no doubt that others know LOTS more about it than I do, or ever will), and came up with this (http://www.mit.edu:8001/afs/athena.mit.edu/user/r/e/rei/WWW/manga-list.html). Don't want to gloat or anything, but looking at that list, I see many more subjects dealt with than the topic of this forum.

So, I think we should keep in mind that this forum isn't about the art form itself. I have no quarrel with mentioning or discussing a particular anime/manga title that is SF/F. That said, by all means, discuss away your favorite anime/manga SF/F titles. :D

fallenangelwriter
03-18-2005, 09:02 PM
much of my favorite anime is fantasy.


generally, i think that anime storylines are very similar to those of western novels.

genereally, i think msot anime series are more like a book is stroyline than a western ttv show.

i say this both because of the complexity of anime, and because many anime shows have one plot that goes straigth through the the end, rather than an episodic format.

preyer
03-18-2005, 09:21 PM
ah, gotcha, p. i thought the issue was just because it was a visual form as opposed to words, which, still, you'd have a point there. this certainly shouldn't turn into a movie/t.v. show review board. i can't think of any anime that makes it to my t.v. that's *not* fantasy or sci-fi based.

about it being more one giant story arc... hm... i don't know if i'm quite onboard with that. as far as i can tell, it seems to generally be pretty episodic to me for the most part. the exception is 'inuyisha' or something like that, which is pure fantasy. but is there a governing storyline to 'pokemon', 'sailor moon' or 'speed racer'? i don't know.

japan is clearly more symbolic and metaphorically-based than we are, so does that hinder our deeper understanding of anime? it makes me think, 'what's *our* symbolism?' i honestly can't think of anything, whereas if you saw a crane (the bird) in anime, that's got a thousand years of meaning behind it and somewhat infers an instant depth to the story. what do we have that does that? nuthin'.

Pthom
03-18-2005, 10:46 PM
... japan is clearly more symbolic and metaphorically-based than we are, so does that hinder our deeper understanding of anime? it makes me think, 'what's *our* symbolism?' i honestly can't think of anything, whereas if you saw a crane (the bird) in anime, that's got a thousand years of meaning behind it and somewhat infers an instant depth to the story. what do we have that does that? nuthin'.Oh, I'm not sure that's precisely true, my friend. We may not all put the same import on the image of the Christian cross, the Star of David or the minorah, or the native American swastika or the image of Brother Bear or Raven or Coyote on a totem pole, but for those who do, merely seeing them has LOTS of meaning. :)

I think it is an inherant property of being human to do exactly that. Who knows? a thousand years from now might the Sears tower or the space shuttle have similar meanings? As an American, I am filled with emotion every time I see an image of the Statue of Liberty, and that's not quite 200 years old.

Richard
03-18-2005, 11:29 PM
There are some interesting crossovers. One that comes up a fair amount is a series called Blade of the Immortal, in which the main character (your fairly standard issue ex-villain fighting to atone for his many, many crimes, with the added twist that he's almost impossible to kill - although the story moves away from that fairly fast and onto a more history themed plotline) wears the swastika on his back. The books always have to point out that it's done in the original historical sense of a good-luck symbol, not the reversed version 'popularised' by the Nazis.


"As an American, I am filled with emotion every time I see an image of the Statue of Liberty, and that's not quite 200 years old."


It's harder over here in England, considering that one of the great questions of history is whether people celebrate Guy Fawkes Day because he failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament, or just in celebration that someone tried ;-)

Pthom
03-18-2005, 11:47 PM
...one of the great questions of history is whether people celebrate Guy Fawkes Day because he failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament, or just in celebration that someone tried ;-).:ROFL:

fallenangelwriter
03-19-2005, 03:45 AM
actually, I don't see why we shouldn't be able to discuss non-verbal fantasy and sci-fi stuff here.

there are separate boards for plays, movies, and books, but only one fnatasy board, so it seems logical to allow fantasy movies, plays, and books.

Pthom
03-19-2005, 12:19 PM
actually, I don't see why we shouldn't be able to discuss non-verbal fantasy and sci-fi stuff here.
No reason whatsoever, fallen.

That is not nor was it ever the issue. Please read the previous few posts again. My concern is that this forum does not become a clearinghouse for rants about mediums (or anything else) other than writing. Media other than writing: TV, film, comics, stories around the campfire, and the like are all fine topics to talk about, but this isnít the place for that.

Absolute Write Water Cooler forums are for writers about writing, including short stories, books, poetry, stage and screen plays, and yes, even comics. As far as Iím concerned (and I may be alone in this, but I doubt it), thatís what we will do here: talk about writing. Our discussions should deal specifically with the topics of Science Fiction and Fantasy from the perspective of writing.

The media of film, comics, TV, etc, certainly involve writing as a starting point--or with ideas, I guess. But then, all creative endeavors start with ideas, donít they? This forum isnít here for discussions on the merits of film or TV as media or whether it's better to draw figures with pen and ink or with brush.

What we DO discuss in this forum are issues and ideas dealing with Science Fiction and with Fantasy as literary genres. Since AW is a forum for writers, let's TRY to keep our discussions about the use of WRITING. hmm?

preyer
03-19-2005, 12:51 PM
i think we discuss plenty of movies, no? i personally like to reference movies because it's much more likely people will have seen seen the movie than coincidentally having read one of a million books. (references to books supporting an opinion should be mentioned, of course.) i agree to a certain extent with you, fa, with the caveat that the place remain where you learn about and how to write sf/f. i don't think there's anything wrong with slipping in a comics thread, though. i mean, even if it's got somewhat tenuous relationships to actual literature, is it that wrong to have a fun thread every now and then? i think not. lol. and there's also the idea that, especially in such 'small' genres for the most part, maybe we should focus not only on literature, but storytelling in any form.

you're right, p. when i said that, i was hoping to get some examples of national symbolism. particularly in america, though, i think there's a sizable difference between the statue of liberty's symbolism, mt. rushmore's, the vietnam memorial, etc., in that those invoke much of the same kind of response or offshoots of a main symbolism, whereas japan's symbolism has that, of course, but also seems to contain much, much more symbolism pertaining to philosophy and ideas. in other words, what's symbolically sacred in our culture revolves around national pride as opposed to a bridge in the east alluding to a complexity we've got no understanding of in general. no understanding and no comparison. to look at hoover dam, it's another example of, 'hell, yeah, america kicks a ss!' it *should* have a deeper meaning, but it doesn't unless we're reminded of what that meaning is. another issue is our symbolism, shallow as it may or may not be, has a generally universal meaning for most, but not all. i think this comes from our melting pot beginnings. being so diverse may be a great thing, but it also lessens symbolism, especially when generations become more americanized.

i'd say were we having this conversation thirty years ago, the cross would have a real meaning, but as we see so many villians wearing them, it's often to tell if a new character wearing a cross is virtuous or ironic or hypocritical.

were we to symbolize the loss of innocence, what would we use? or tranquility? or old age? or a pacifist philosophy? some of those we could, but i question the longevity and depth of most of it. peace you could use the peace symbol. a thousand years down the road, will that still be there? will it be understood? unfortunately, most of our symbolism seems generally centred around national pride (statue of liberty), power (scenes of atomic usage/a war-like bald eagle repleat with weapons in its claw), stability/economy strength/ingenuity (the car), and excess (the mcdonald's logo). i think we have very few symbols representing an esoteric thought or philosophy, but i'd like to be proven wrong. :)

GailKavanagh
03-19-2005, 03:33 PM
But surely America is rich with symbolism? The eagle, for example, is not simply a symbol of nationalistic pride, but of courage and farsightedness. Native American culture has everything to offer if you are looking for that kind of richness of meaning, and it is part of the land you live in.
I live in Australia, and my roots are mainly Celt, and even to this day I can't see a lone blackbird without an involuntary shudder - I might tell myself I'm above these things, but a lone blackbird will always be `one for sorrow' to me - it's part of who I am. I don't see just a bird, but a whole cultural understanding and connection with the natural world going back for millenia.
That's what this kind of symbolism really is - the Japanese haven't lost it, not in their art anyway. We have all lost it in the daily minutae of life.
When I write about a fantasy or sf world, those are the things I try to bring out, those are the things I wonder about - how do these people think of the Sun (or Suns) or Moon (or Moons) for example. Centuries from now, when Mars is colonised, will myths have grown up around Deimos and Phobos?
This is why I admire anime, also - the writers ponder these questions - what will people believe, what will their symbols mean? It's right that we think about these things, and look at how it is done in any sf/f media, because we want our worlds to be so real that people can feel the earth under their feet.

Gail Kavanagh
``I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Richard
03-19-2005, 04:41 PM
Centuries from now, when Mars is colonised, will myths have grown up around Deimos and Phobos?

Two moons named Death and Fear? I think it's pretty much guaranteed...

fallenangelwriter
03-19-2005, 06:09 PM
Fear and Terror, i thought.

Richard
03-19-2005, 07:53 PM
You're right, of course. Slip of the keyboard.

Pthom
03-20-2005, 01:51 AM
whichever, the prognosis for those two tiny moons is bleak; they're doomed to crash into Mars soon (in astronomical time, anyway)