307) Information Portrayal In Anime

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Andrew
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307) Information Portrayal In Anime

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One major factor in any medium of storytelling is just how does one convey the elements of the story itself. Does one put forth a wall of text, or can it be experienced by the reader and viewer instead? In this episode of the Animecast, the hosts explore these and other facets of storytelling to try to find what really works and what fails to impress.

Topics this episode: Story Beats, Pacing, Information Dump, Show Don’t Tell, Directing, Story Boarding, Writing, Goods and Bads.

The intro for this episode is called “Infinity Zero” by nano which can be found on iTunes. The outro for this episode is the OP for Trinity Seven called “Seven Doors” by ZAQ which can be found on iTunes.

We hope you all enjoy!
http://otakuspirit.com/2017/05/animecas ... -in-anime/
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Mys145
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Re: 307) Information Portrayal In Anime

Post by Mys145 »

Thanks guys for answering my question with an entire podcast on the subject. I think one thing that might have been discussed if people can accept info dumps better if they were hearing it dub than reading a bunch of text since that's similar to reading a book. I did like the contradiction that people complain that they don't want everything told to them and when they don't get that, they complain about not getting information at all.

I'm fine with the ways the story is being told and don't need to annoy about it. I will go along with the flow.
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Re: 307) Information Portrayal In Anime

Post by DieSchlachten »

A writer/director doesn't have to pick one element over another. The story and show just has to be well done.
Anime's most common issue the good story line with bad storytelling.

Describing info-dumps as needed and necessary evil:
It is a lazy way to convey past, present, and world.
Common is opening monologue similar to a prologue in a book.
Example, Berserk 97 has the viewer experience the world and learn as the character moves along to the story.
Example, Conveying legend and folklore such as Grimgar as a character walking around town and having the character listen to the people around him.
Example, Having information and rules without it being given such as Time of Eve, events occur to unlock the rules and world.
Bad Example, Information given instead of learned meaning exposition cutting out flowing events aka break in the story such as Heavy Object creating rules after the facts.
Bad Example, Information and rules are made for the sake of convenience to advance events and plot such as Macross Frontier and Sword Art Online.

Show Don't Tell:
needed in writing, not visual
Good examples - Neon Genesis Evangelion, Mushishi, Beck
Bad examples - Serial Experiments Lain, Clannad, Little Busters
Any information that is learned, not told.

Conveying information in a way where it is forced as opposed to continuing a plot is not good storytelling.
This has been an issue since Shakespeare.
Japan still has a ways to go with evolving writing and storytelling.
Having an anime with plenty of allegory goes a long way as long as it can be understood which Japan struggles with by over complicating meaning and philosophy.

Giving all the information away too fast prevents the story from expanding later and creates countless plot and character issues.
Having information available to set rules, but it is another matter of sticking to them.
Bad examples - Bleach, Yu-Go-Oh, Aldnoah Zero
Good examples - Jo Jo, Knights of Sidonia, Ghost in the Shell

Backstory:
Not every character needs a backstory. For example, a villain doesn't need a backstory before being killed for us to have sympathy, at that point it is an annoyance.
Villains and heroes should have been explained well before the end or it kills the suspense, mystery, and/or drama.

Info-dump/Backstory on Side-characters:
Side characters should not need to be explained or have a backstory as this takes away from plot.
It is fine to have this as long as this particular side character impacts the story and/or at least gets the viewer to care.
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Re: 307) Information Portrayal In Anime

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Wow – that opening song took me by surprise. Probably the best English pronunciation by a Japanese singer that I've ever heard in anime. A delightful change of pace from the Engrish norm :).

An interesting topic to discuss overall. Although I believe you could've more aptly named this episode "How Monogatari Does Everything Right" :P.

What I was a bit irked by is your use of the phrase "show, don't tell" throughout the podcast. The way I understand it, the phrase constitutes a directive, not a method – the writer/director is supposed to show content to the viewer/reader, not tell it. This is indicated by the verbs being used in imperative function; it's somewhat hard to differentiate in English since there are no morphological markers, e.g. suffixes, to signal the use of an imperative, but the use of don't is pretty much a dead giveaway.
Show and tell, then, are the two contrasting methods here. So about 90% of the time you were using "show, don't tell," what you actually meant was simply "show."
At least that's what I gather. Sorry for being such a stickler, but as an enthusiastic linguist, I'm very particular about my language(s) ;).

Oh, and I'm officially requesting the monkey for the next podcast episode :D.
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Re: 307) Information Portrayal In Anime

Post by Crash Kamio »

Always really like these topic podcasts, easily some of my favorite stuff you guys put together and they're always good to go back to. Really liked this one, really nice hearing about the different methods of telling info and all the goods and bads. Very informative.

I was laughing at your guys banter at the end where you got crazy. When you two let loose it's always hilarious.
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Andrew
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Re: 307) Information Portrayal In Anime

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Mys145:
Spoiler:
Mys145 wrote:Thanks guys for answering my question with an entire podcast on the subject. I think one thing that might have been discussed if people can accept info dumps better if they were hearing it dub than reading a bunch of text since that's similar to reading a book. I did like the contradiction that people complain that they don't want everything told to them and when they don't get that, they complain about not getting information at all.

I'm fine with the ways the story is being told and don't need to annoy about it. I will go along with the flow.
Thanks for the question! Sorry I forgot to mention your question itself. Blame Chris as he did the outline! Hah.

Good point about subtitles. Not sure why I didn't think of that. It's the whole "wall of text!" Element in a nutshell. Eyes getting tired from running back and forth on the screen.

Good perspective in your closing comment. Forgiving shortcomings can often lead to surprises even if the writer may be lacking in skill. A story in the end wants to be told. And not everyone is a master nor can they become one without stumbles.
BlueSpark:
Spoiler:
BlueSpark wrote:Wow – that opening song took me by surprise. Probably the best English pronunciation by a Japanese singer that I've ever heard in anime. A delightful change of pace from the Engrish norm :).

An interesting topic to discuss overall. Although I believe you could've more aptly named this episode "How Monogatari Does Everything Right" :P.

What I was a bit irked by is your use of the phrase "show, don't tell" throughout the podcast. The way I understand it, the phrase constitutes a directive, not a method – the writer/director is supposed to show content to the viewer/reader, not tell it. This is indicated by the verbs being used in imperative function; it's somewhat hard to differentiate in English since there are no morphological markers, e.g. suffixes, to signal the use of an imperative, but the use of don't is pretty much a dead giveaway.
Show and tell, then, are the two contrasting methods here. So about 90% of the time you were using "show, don't tell," what you actually meant was simply "show."
At least that's what I gather. Sorry for being such a stickler, but as an enthusiastic linguist, I'm very particular about my language(s) ;).

Oh, and I'm officially requesting the monkey for the next podcast episode :D.
I don't make up the phrases, I just use them because that's what people call it. Technically I more of a fan of not putting restrictions on the creative aspect of a medium so that's probably why we word it as a method rather than a rule (or directive as you said). Putting rules on any creative medium prevents writers from evolving and making interesting new ways of storytelling. Case in point: Nisoisin and its very unconventional writing.

But yes, we brought up Monogatari too much. It's fresh in the mind and does a lot right. But it also does slip up sometimes in the case of the adaption (in my opinion anyhow) as I noted.

Also, nano is fantastic with her English! Very surprising indeed.
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Re: 307) Information Portrayal In Anime

Post by BlueSpark »

Andrew wrote:I don't make up the phrases, I just use them because that's what people call it. Technically I more of a fan of not putting restrictions on the creative aspect of a medium so that's probably why we word it as a method rather than a rule (or directive as you said). Putting rules on any creative medium prevents writers from evolving and making interesting new ways of storytelling.
Oh, I wasn't trying to imply you were inventing terminology here, sorry if it came across that way. The point I was trying to make is that the way you used the phrase sounded gramatically wrong to me - I've also never heard it used that manner. But hey, I'm not a native speaker, so I should probably assume I'm in the wrong first before accusing others ^^*.
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Re: 307) Information Portrayal In Anime

Post by DieSchlachten »

BlueSpark wrote:
Andrew wrote:I don't make up the phrases, I just use them because that's what people call it. Technically I more of a fan of not putting restrictions on the creative aspect of a medium so that's probably why we word it as a method rather than a rule (or directive as you said). Putting rules on any creative medium prevents writers from evolving and making interesting new ways of storytelling.
Oh, I wasn't trying to imply you were inventing terminology here, sorry if it came across that way. The point I was trying to make is that the way you used the phrase sounded gramatically wrong to me - I've also never heard it used that manner. But hey, I'm not a native speaker, so I should probably assume I'm in the wrong first before accusing others ^^*.
Es ist okay.
Ich mach viele Fehler auf Deutsch, wenn es um bestimmte Phrasen geht.... Viele seltsame Worte, ich noch nicht verstanden.
Deutsch ist auch nicht meiner Vatersprache :P
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Andrew
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Re: 307) Information Portrayal In Anime

Post by Andrew »

BlueSpark wrote:Oh, I wasn't trying to imply you were inventing terminology here, sorry if it came across that way. The point I was trying to make is that the way you used the phrase sounded gramatically wrong to me - I've also never heard it used that manner. But hey, I'm not a native speaker, so I should probably assume I'm in the wrong first before accusing others ^^*.
No worries, I wasn't offended but rather just clarifying the term usage. English is a dumb language afterall. Filled with flaws and it doesn't help that we create more flaws from it. lol
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