Posts tagged ‘Sorrow-kun’

January 15, 2010

Sorrow-kun on A Sliding Scale Instead of Dichotomizing Objectivity and Subjectivity

Original Post: Defining a ‘good’ anime


Posted January 14, 2010 at 1:56 am


Is discussion of opinion just meaningless mental masturbation in a group environment? I mean, I don’t doubt that’s part of it, but I think there’s more to it than that.

Opinion might be subjective, but it’s formed out of interpretations of observations, and part of that process is objective. Thinking about it from this point of view, a clear divide between “objective” and “subjective” is probably an overly simplistic way to think about it. If you look at science, which values and strives for objectivity, the main point is to draw conclusions by analyz ing and interpreting the data. But it’s still possible for two people to draw different conclusions from the same set of data. That’s the whole point of scientific controversy, and from the debates that follow, these conclusions turn into test able hypotheses for future experiments, with the aim of trying to find out which conclusion is closest to the true nature.

The point I’m try ing to make is that, while judging anime is largely subjective, and science is largely object ive, neither is completely one or the other, simply because of process and human nature. I think we need to start think ing of subjectivity/objectivity as a scale rather than a dichotomy. Because if we define objectivity as “without opinion” as opposed to “without emotion” than nothing is truly objective, because opinion is the inevitable consequence of interpretation, some thing that must be done with everything we experience.


Submitted via twitter @ reply to @ghostcomments by Scamp.

September 30, 2009

Sorrow-kun on Redefining Harem Anime

Original post: Authenticity, How Beatiful You Are (Bakemonogatari 12)


September 30, 2009 at 1:25 am

How good was this episode? You know me, I look at things with a critical eye, but I couldn’t find anything in it that didn’t have value, and that wasn’t good. The car scene was so entertaining and had a strong sense of awkwardness that was palpable, and the star-watching scene exposed us to yet another layer of Hitagi, and showed why the romance between her and Araragi is genuine.

People are better off after knowing him. This is clear. Maybe this is some kind of magic wand waved by the narrative, but no, not really.

It’s interesting, since this is a formula commonly seen in harem anime, except here the “magic wand” is much better concealed. That’s the difference between Bakemonogatari and most harem anime… there’s more genuineness and believability to the girls falling for Araragi (in most cases, only to a mild extent) than there is in a standard harem anime.

I kinda think that shows like Bakemonogatari and Kannagi give us a reason to rethink the definition of “harem”. It’s become such a dirty word in anime discourse, but these two in particular are genuinely great titles, and calling them “good harem” isn’t far-fetched. So it doesn’t have to be that way, IMO. A couple of years ago, I wrote that the thought-provoking harem was like a black swan. Well, between Shinbo and Yamamoto, two of anime’s best directors, they’ve sure answered that.


August 14, 2009

Sorrow-Kun on the advantage of dialogue that is “about” something

Sorrow-kun comments on Powerful Dialogue Sells the Show: Bakemonogatari 03 (Mayoi Snail 1) and Macross Frontier 03 (On Your Marks)

I think the advantage of using dialogue which is, as you put it, “about” something is that it’s a lot more creative than just mere exposition. It begs the audience to look for subtext and context, to engage with what the characters are talking about, and, more importantly, what they’re saying (subtle difference, people can “say” things without actually talking, and any good visual medium, from film to animation, will capture that).

Speaking about “nuance”, which is relevant to Bakemonogatari, I think it’s important to discern the difference between “believable” and “realistic” in the case of Senjougahara. She’s not realistic at all in the same sense as characters from Honey and Clover are. She’s an entirely fictional construct, but she’s thoroughly entertaining and sympathetic because of it. They’ve spent time building her up as a capricious character with a knack for elaborate speech, which is why when she says what she says, it’s believable, even though it’s unique and (arguably) out of left field. Bakemonogatari as an anime, overall, is unstructured (most Shinbo anime are), but because of that, it has a huge amount of freedom to go wherever it pleases. It’s probably the most delicious anime I can remember since Kannagi.