Does Good Writing in Anime Matter?

It’s hard to say.


I personally enjoy good writing, especially when its the simple, subtle, clever and not outstanding. I also like it when it’s all over the top and you know what they’re doing a mile away. I also like it when in general it displays competence.

In that sense, most anime are written pretty well, but very few are great, and fewer still outstanding. If I want to nitpick from this season’s shows, it might be something like NagiAsu as a good example, and Wizard Barristers as one that could use a lot of work.

On that level, it does seem writing makes a difference. But I’m not sure if it goes any further than the extremes. In the middle,  you have a sea of adaptations of varying quality, and the execution matters a lot more than what the script says. On the other hand, original works tend to vary greatly. Zvezda, for example, is a really high concept but if the execution was not even 80% of what we had, it would have been a very hard sell. WUG is the opposite case, where the writing is clean and simple but it’s got all these difficulties in executing it.

If we bypass all these nuances and just look at their MAL ranking or some silly nonsense, it might paint a different picture. It’s partly why I said it doesn’t matter a whole lot in the middle. I suspect this is also a big reason why people complain about the overabundance of moe-type anime, or anime that relies heavily on canned, episodic slicing of some sort of atmospheric depiction of a scene. Because those shows do just fine. It’s kind of like when you read Ben from Anipages on Telecom animator’s layouts or some such. Because that stuff, when it’s well-executed, is beautiful. The writing can be just icing on the cake.

In that sense, writing is like playing a strategy game: there’s micro and there’s macro. With this artificial distinction, I think strong macro will typically lead to success, but of course all I’ve been saying just now is that the trend has been the opposite.

I wonder if it’s just an otaku thing? Is this why Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere has fans?

But to circle back, if we look at a straightforward kiddy show like Gundam BF, it’s got that same rhyme and reason, that smart macro formula for success. Even if the writing is just sort of average. So I guess there’s not much conclusive that we can say about writing other than that even before you start laying words on paper, you need to know what you’re doing already.

Kill la Kill

Spoilers. Spoilers everywhere.

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Anime Boston 2014: Wrap

This is the JUST BE FRIENDS: Multiple Camera Angles editions version of Anime Boston 2014 recap.

The mightiest of blades

I think it’s all about expectations. Anime Boston is a familiar creature to me at this point. I recognize its staffers. One of them even recognize me! So it’s all about adjusting the chemistry, the makeup.

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Japan Trip 2014 Clippings

Model M

The TL;DR version of my 13700+-word post. And more! But you know, TL;DR version of something that big is still by no means short. I don’t do short?

Happy birthday Yayoi! And INSTANTLY this picture summons the FEELS from IM@S SSA. Just like that. This picture is over 9000 words. So you see how it goes.

Oh, there are also a bunch of non-IM@S things. Notes.

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Anime Boston 2014: Day 2 JAM Edition

Thanks, Lantis

I’m about an hour-and-half from their press session but I want to just doc some bullets from their lives.

Well, I missed their fan panel, which was a mixed thing although you can still pull some joke points out of it. Anyway.

Fukuyama is as awesome as you expect. JAM Project with and without him make a huge difference. Because who would go grab my friend’s king blade half way through a song LOLOL. Also, at the end of day 2′s SKILL he threw a pineapple about 10 feet high and caught it bare handed. How he got a pineapple is a mystery (well a fan brought it up to the stage).

The turnout was okay at Boston, I’d say maybe ~2000 for the proper concert and ~1000 for the second concert. The low day-two turnout probably has to do with how the show starts at 11pm and ends at 12:30am. But because of this it means the ticketing thing is bull and you can get tickets at any time during the con so LOL. The main auditorium seats maybe 5000-6000, including the balcony.

There are laid-back balcony seats. I think it’s always cool.

Some VGO/Berkley VIPs (friends of Asa-nee and the con I think) got the center aisle seats on day 2, but LOL there were two JP girls that went balls when Dani came out for his OP solo. Anyway. There were a few people who ran up and gave flowers to everyone at the end too.

Set lists here:

MASK with a live band and that bass solo OMG HOLD ME.