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Old 04 April 2014   #61
Yeah, I get that Japan is a very min or max society (at large), at least as far as what westerners get to see of them, but I have also seen that their media is definitely capable of subtlety. I've seen a few VERY well produced live action dramas that had everything one could want. In particular 'Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou' comes to mind. A great show full of both min/max and more subtle moments.

I digress though, my bigger gripe wasn't that the film existed within this min/max style, it was that CG is there to allow for those smaller details. From what I understand, the whole min/max style came about due to their perceived constraints in 2D animation. Which I understand, and I am fine with -- I've grown to love the unique sense of humour and drama that can come from this. But, we are not at that point, technologically, anymore. We are not constrained by these things, and if you're going to craft a film this good looking, at least put a bit more care into your characters emotions.

Anyhow. As I said, that is both a big and a small gripe when taking the whole movie into account. For someone used to it I can forgive it, but I can see this being a huge turn off to others.
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Old 04 April 2014   #62
Yes, they are capable of works with subtlety.

But I think the argument also is subtlety... as it should appear in an animated production, costs more time and money than the "big dynamic motion".

I mean... if you had to think about what the limitations are... it's that one normally works very hard to get a nice "glance and eyebrow raise" sequence... as opposed to a triple somersault sequence.

I honestly wouldn't know... but even in 2D.. the Japanese do make "thoughtful material" that isn't all produced as if on fast-forward.
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Old 04 April 2014   #63
I, personally, loved the film and think they did an amazing job with so many aspects of the production. When I consider statements like this one:

"Nothing is ever done in increments, and this is something I really wish their animation industry as a whole would improve on."

I think it is really employing a term like "improve" without understanding a cultural perspective that assumes something is wrong or needs improvement. As far back as Rashomon, the original black and white version, the elements mentioned have been prevalent even in Japanese live action cinema. They do things their way and we can't necessarily expect them to provide western audiences with what they are used to. (Unless that is the target of course)

A perfect example of this would be the late actor Matsuda Yusaku. (some may remember him in his final role as the villain in Black Rain) He epitomizes the "Nothing is ever done in increments" style popular in their media. Many other aspects common to anime and Japanese cinema are just plain odd in the west which is largely why their stuff has never gained a major market foothold. To make matter worse, if they try to change it, the creators will be derided for trying to be "too western" and they lose the local market.
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Old 04 April 2014   #64
Originally Posted by teruchan: I think it is really employing a term like "improve" without understanding a cultural perspective that assumes something is wrong or needs improvement. As far back as Rashomon, the original black and white version, the elements mentioned have been prevalent even in Japanese live action cinema. They do things their way and we can't necessarily expect them to provide western audiences with what they are used to. (Unless that is the target of course)


I don't agree. I feel like I understand them enough, culturally, to make said statement. Setting aside budgetary concerns, there is a definite need for improvement in character subtlety, visually at least. Vocally they (obviously) have all the range you could want, but when your characters are on screen barely moving while the voice actor is going through a range of emotions, then to me, that necessitates improvement.

I am not saying that Japanese culture should change for my likes and dislikes, or that their emotive stylings should even cater to mine, but on a fundamental animation level, why would you do less with more? This is what good rigs and riggers exist for, to facilitate easier and more productive animation.

There were scenes in this film that, to me, seemed like the animator was only utilizing 10% of the facial rig. (Whether it's true or not, obviously I have no clue). People, even Japanese people, have facial ticks and idle movements.

With that said however, I understand that this film does not exist as a character piece, and that even considering such is to be completely missing the point of the film. However, it does not mean that there isn't room for improvement, or that, yes, truthfully, I really wish there was more subtlety to the characters.

Ghibli is a testament to the fact that it can, and is, being done in Japanese animation.
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Old 04 April 2014   #65
Originally Posted by teruchan: To make matter worse, if they try to change it, the creators will be derided for trying to be "too western" and they lose the local market.


I'd agree with that except the Japanese have, at times, done their best to emulate what it is they feel they can best relate with from Western media in the form of BIOHAZARD (aka: RESIDENT EVIL) a Japanese IP where all characters speak English and have American names...and the game DISASTER: DAY OF CRISIS (basically Michael Bay's THE ROCK meets Roland Emmerich's 2012... with a lead character designed to be like some kind of analog for Hugh Jackman's Wolverine).

Something to be said though for Japanism of the Western kind:

Originally Posted by Barry Burton, from BIOHAZARD: "Here you go Jill, I found this bomb, it's especially useful for blowing up things."
....
"That was too close! You could have been a Jill Sandwich!"
....


Brilliant!

For better or worse the quirks of our Japanese brethren will continue to entertain and confound us through the work that they do... which thankfully is totally different from the kind made by Disney or Pixar.
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 04 April 2014 at 05:56 AM.
 
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