Two worlds clash

I have been pondering over this lately and I think this is a subject worthy of discussion, especially with the concerned aficionados.

It is the difference in judgements on mainstream movies and anime.

Personally, I think what Hollywood and movie producers are churning out nowadays are mediocre, even with a big budget – of course, the statement that I have just made disregards the many circumstances that affect the zeitgeist of modern filmmaking and its outcomes. Nevertheless, I still make it a point to go to the cinema once in a while to watch quality films (because a trip to the cinema is a waste of time nowadays).

                                                                                                 How I feel when looking at movies nowadays

Which is why I consider myself a movie ‘elitist’, in a sense that I do not settle for most of the cliche,over-the-top and repetitive formula that a myriad of modern movies are directed upon. Different genres affect people’s judgements differently – and that is a pretty important factor in becoming a critic of movies. Nevertheless, you can be sure that a movie is done properly when it has your approval, despite it not being your favorite genre. I never really liked 3D animation, but recent titles like Finding Nemo, UP, Incredibles and Toy Story 3 has changed opened my eyes to an excellence that can be achieved within the respective genres.

Of course,  breakthrough in cinema by using animation and 3D (example: very first Toy Story)  goes a long way before the aforementioned titles. It is just that the genre has been more welcomed and higher in calibre in general.

Yes,indeed, obtaining the approving ‘thumbs up’ or ‘like’ from merciless critics ( cough, metacritic & Rotten Tomatoes )  is indeed an achievement , more so with a genre that is supposedly ‘for kids’.

So you see, excellence can be achieved even within the movies’ own genre. So should studios fully model after their successes ? Of course not. These movies first revolutionize the concept of storytelling through semi-realistic visual methods – animation. I can imagine, being an adult back then – one would dismiss the possibility of ‘cartoons on the big screen’ ever achieving or beating the conventional moviemaking standards. We were proven wrong – Finding Nemo was a huge hit. I had lost count over how many times I watched that classic when i was a child; props to Pixar for setting the standards in the genre.

Is revolutionizing easy ? Definitely not – not even in a historical sense ( revolutions ). Is it worth it, though ? You have successful movie producers and directors to testify to that.

I know I am not one to criticize and blatantly generalize movies of today, but as consumers, it is only our obligation to give the industry of two cents’ worth instead of just lamenting in silence, unheard of. We are the ones who decide whether they succeed or not, after all.

Then how about foreign market films ? I have no say on them as I am frankly not concerned with them, as their releases are often not international and thus increasing the difficulty in procuring them for consumption globally. However, there are gems in those industries – I am sure of that, and It will be worth the moolah to check them out one day.

…Perhaps there will come a day when the standards of movies are raised and that will be the day when the cinema is once again a place worth visiting and spending your money at.


Then here comes another side of my psyche…

I only started watching anime enthusiastically since October of last year ( it was during an exam period, but I was too cool for exams so yeah ), adding even more colours to the wonders of the virtual world – especially when I am not gaming. If you were to take a look at my list, any ‘veteran’ or ‘elite’ watcher would call it a list too mainstream and all that stuff – like how most people of the West call Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Lady Gaga mainstream.

Indeed, I am a Herp Derp ( one  who utters gibberish / nonsense) when it comes to anime, judging by the series that I have watched and the amount of time spent viewing anime. I am guilty of judging anime by the amount of ‘moe’, pretty two-dimensional girls and what-not that is inside it ( refer to dictionary ), and as the common practice of reviewing stories goes – the plot should be prioritized. This sort of practice is admittedly unprofessional.  This is how anime influences my judgement over stories in general; since, well, technically, anime and hollywood are both anchored on a plot, right ?

I feel that the same degree of realism when  judging mainstream movies cannot be applied to anime, or is it just me?

I do not ‘feel like a sir’ whenever I am talking about anime to some people, since I am obviously lacking in experience to have an in-depth conversation on that matter, or even run a blog on it. I’m not asking for sympathy or anything over here – I am just describing my experiences watching anime and talking about it, also immersing with a whole new community while doing it.

Of course, we are comparing two totally different cultures. It is like comparing Norse mythology to Greek mythology – Thor will thunderbolt you to a crisp for badmouthing their gods, and Hades will also torture your soul in the Underworld for doing the same. Being a newbie in the field of anime, I just feel that all these are still considered art and are unique by their own standards, like how Saturday morning cartoons appeal to children and is shunned by the mature adult.

Knowing that anime and movies are unique in their own way also warrants a different way of judging in them. Some anime are everlasting ( Naruto, One Piece, etc), while some are shorter than the lifespan of a mosquito.

Movies are required to develop their characters,plot and finish in within their allotted screentime – especially important if the screenplay material is NOT based on a novel / written source. The technical parts of the movies are also important, but secondary to the importance of the plot. 

Anime, on the other hand, relies heavily on the PACING of the plot and its characters. I cannot stress how important pacing is in an anime – when you start a marathon sprinting, you are going to finish the rest of the race coming in last. Realistically and for the sake of our sanity, an anime cannot rely on fillers and fanservice to sustain its long run. 

Then, what about actual TV series, like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and such ? I would not say that they are the same thing as anime, they’re good in their own ways and perhaps can also be judged based upon how anime anime is judged.

And so ends my take on this Movie x Anime issue. Feel free to say your piece / correct / comment on this post…while I go leberu up a bit in Anime


*image obtained from Tumblr


~ by keerakun on April 18, 2012.

One Response to “Two worlds clash”

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