Asking for trouble... or not?

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Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby Quin2k » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:39 pm

Now, I'm not trying to get people upset on my first post... :sweat: but I really must ask. Is this thread still the general consensus for "Avatar: The Last Air Bender"?
In Japan, the term anime does not specify an animation's nation of origin or style; instead, it serves as a blanket term to refer to all forms of animation from around the world. English-language dictionaries define anime as "a Japanese style of motion-picture animation" or as "a style of animation developed in Japan". - Link

Now, I know Wikipedia isn't the best source, but even my limited knowledge of the Japanese language and a visit to dictionary.com can vouch for both points. I'm just looking to have an intelligent conversation about this. I sought this community out because every time I hear a specific song, I get images of a possible video based around that anime-inspired animation.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby mirkosp » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:13 am

AnimeMusicVideos.org has its own definition of what is considered anime for database purposes... this definition doesn't exactly match others. For example: video game cutscenes are considered anime, but I doubt they would be considered such by other definitions, especially the ones rendered in real time by the cpu and not just actually stored as videos.

We recently had a discussion on how to update our definition of anime here, but American animation, in which "Avatar: The Last Air Bender" falls right into, would not fit in. This is because we're starting out with the English meaning of the word anime, and trying to give it more clarity since, as it generally stands, it is a rather blurry definition. One of the things suggested was to consider anime as "Japanese looking animation." The main issue with that definition is that it doesn't really make things any clearer since Japanese animation itself has quite a widespread amount of different styles and so on.
Let me give a good example: would you consider "The Powerpuff Girls" as anime-looking? Most people would reply no to that, seeing how the style is so far from what is usually considered "anime." However, the recent "Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt" anime by GAINAX has a visual style very closely reminiscent that of "The Powerpuff Girls," so clearly, if we went by the "Japanese looking animation" definition, people would argue that "The Powerpuff Girls" should be considered anime and they would have the right to. By using similar arguments one would be able to get animation such as "South Park" or "Happy Tree Friends" considered as anime, but we doubt they would really fit in.
So, as you might now realize, the key point here is keeping the rules as clear as possible. Generic definitions don't help, and while we won't ever be able to fully remove a "grey area" that will require a case by case evaluation, removing possible doubts and misunderstandings in the definition is something to be sought. Thus, when some kind of animation falls into a grey zone, it is safer to cut it out or reserve the right to decide case by case, rather than change the definition to fit it in with the risk of blanket-allowing anything and everything through some astute reasonings.

That said, keep in mind that you are not prohibited to enter and upload music videos using Avatar, just as long as the footage used is actually mainly anime; what I mean is, you're allowed to mix in kinds of footage that are not considered anime (such as American animation or Live Action) in your music videos as long as the majority of the video still is made up of anime.

Hope this helps...
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby CodeZTM » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:25 am

Quin2k wrote:Now, I'm not trying to get people upset on my first post... :sweat: but I really must ask. Is this thread still the general consensus for "Avatar: The Last Air Bender"?
In Japan, the term anime does not specify an animation's nation of origin or style; instead, it serves as a blanket term to refer to all forms of animation from around the world. English-language dictionaries define anime as "a Japanese style of motion-picture animation" or as "a style of animation developed in Japan". - Link

Now, I know Wikipedia isn't the best source, but even my limited knowledge of the Japanese language and a visit to dictionary.com can vouch for both points. I'm just looking to have an intelligent conversation about this. I sought this community out because every time I hear a specific song, I get images of a possible video based around that anime-inspired animation.


No point trying to change the administration' or the site's general mind on this one. While it's obvious that Avatar is anime by 80% of reasonable standards, they just honestly don't care.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby Quin2k » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:25 pm

Well, I suppose that makes sense to a certain extent. I had actually thought the reasoning was based on something more substantial, like copyright laws. I don't really know where the silent majority of this site stands, but judging from the thread you mentioned, I am clearly not the only one who has this opinion.

While I acknowledge some level of a slippery slope[/quote] (a good read, by the way), but when an American animation goes so far as to include kanji in the title and animation, to mimic the art style, storytelling norms and character development - I find it hard not to give credit where credit is due. They clearly worked hard to include all of the elements that has made us such strong fans of Anime, and I can only hope that others will follow their example, because I'd like to see more of that no matter who inks it, directs it, or funds it.

I did not start watching Anime because it was produced in Japan, and I seriously doubt most of your members were inspired to create music videos from them based solely on the country of origin. They were inspired by the emotions expressed in the art and storyline, the way they handle mature and uncomfortable topics in a (usually) mature way. They way the characters develop over time and grow, rather then 'reset' every day like some comic strip. Even the early ones had uncomfortable topics that America balked at, whether violence, cross-dressing, or alternative relationships. They were concerned about a slippery slope as well, I might add.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby Quin2k » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:55 pm

Hmm... no edit button. :rofl:

Meant to clean up a little bad grammar and include a point of reference to that last sentence, since it's rather vague.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:32 am

As mirko said there is no anime style. That point (and anything that hinges off it) is therefore made from an incorrect starting assumption and is irrelevant to any argument you think you're making. Feel free to bitch about it on your journal or something, but it's been done to death on the forums here. I'd suggest reading the threads that make the same arguments over and over and actually read the responses by the mods/admins. The definitions the site uses are what they are and no amount of complaining will change them.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby Quin2k » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:25 pm

Ah. No wonder you're offended. It was you making the slippery slope argument:
BasharOfTheAges wrote:The only thing I have a problem with are the exceptions given to original animation. It's in direct conflict with the rules you have written out and provides slippery-slope style arguments to let anything else in.

Here's another quote from the same thread.
BasharOfTheAges wrote:They're asking for fucking feedback! How dense and anti-establishment :tinfoil: can you be!?! They're actively inviting feedback and doing polls for christsake! You think it's all going to just go up in a puff of smoke because it could? You can't give these honest hardworking people the benefit of the doubt that the forum they're providing is an openly democratic one without thinking it's all some illusion wrought to fool you? That's fucking pathetic.

Which is it? Set in stone, immutable, impossible to change because the Mods say so... or is it a democracy? Because, if they do stop listening to feedback, this place really might go up in a puff of smoke due to lack of funding.

What the heck inspires YOU to make Anime Music Videos? Because it was made by the Japanese?
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:56 pm

My statement in that thread wasn't in favor of adding new things but, instead, to remove original animation as a valid category by critical analysis of logic as it was presented (often known as "rules lawyering").

The second quote is taken completely out of context - it was a responce to the decliration that NOTHING on the org was up for debate, which was blatently untrue as evidenced by opinion polls that were active at the time.

Some things are up for debate. This is currently not one of them. How to re-catalog the entries in the database for cross-linking english/japanese titles was something up for discussion at that time. Right now, our layout stuff is up for discussion under the org redesign section. Take a look at that and have fun with it. Beating this dead horse isn't going to get you anywhere when you're starting with the same flawed premise as everyone else that's tried it.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby Quin2k » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:39 pm

1. Read the definition of "Slippery Slope" before you use the term again.
2. Learn to read the whole post (here, I'll give you the key point):
Quin2k wrote:I did not start watching Anime because it was produced in Japan, and I seriously doubt most of your members were inspired to create music videos from them based solely on the country of origin.

3. How many of the people who posed this question stayed long enough to contribute their time, knowledge or money to the site after being told their opinion was irrelevant?

This isn't about you or me, it's about the site; I'd like to hear some other voices. I'm not trying to prove I'm smarter or whatever, but after reading this thread (pinned in every category) my impression is that the mods want this community to grow.

I'm not suggesting the rules can or should change over night on my whim, but you really need to start doing some market research - starting with the people you already have. Questions like these would go a long way:

Do you feel our current rules on acceptable content...
    a) are fine as they stand
    b) need to be more restrictive
    c) need to be less restrictive
How would your contribution to the site change if the rules on content were more restrictive?
    a) they would not change
    b) they would increase
    c) they would decrease
Less restrictive?
    (same)

Ideally, this should be a survey not a set of polls, so you can include questions like "how much do you contribute now?" "How much would you contribute if the rules changed?" (time/knowledge/money/etc.) and get an idea on what the *real* financial/community impact would be for change. As it is, all you have is conjecture and fear of the unknown.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby Sukunai » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:15 pm

Anime is to animation in Japan as cartoon is to cartoons made not in Japan.

But when a show outsources to say Vancouver, or Korea, it gets messy.

It's easier to just cop out and say 'anime' is cartoon in Japanese and not care whether anyone has a bug up their ass about it.

I'm perfectly aware that Panty and Stalking looks a lot like Power Puff Girls. And in my view, both look like shit. South Park looks like shit too. And I couldn't care less what name they were given, nor do I want to watch them in a music video here or anywhere else.

I think Airbender is a great looking cartoon, but I am not so out of touch that I don't know it's not an anime. Those that are unaware it isn't anime, also likely couldn't give a shit. Which sure makes the whole distinction moot.

So denying Airbender access here, what precisely is the gain? I doubt anyone gives a damn if they are included here or not.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby Qyot27 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:06 pm

I'm sure a good case can be made for culture progression. The ones who made the rules, and possibly still make up a large, if not majority, portion of the site's audience, are those who grew up in a world where American animation was not keen on taking visual cues from Japanese animation, as evidenced by the fact that Japanese animation is called precisely that. Some - like Astro Boy, Gigantor, and Speed Racer, possibly Battle of the Planets or its G-Force reincarnation - may have been passed off as simple cartoons in the early days, but by the mid 90s (or even earlier, depending on your audience) it was often made a selling or trivia point that these shows came from Japan and were inherently different than domestic fare. They stopped trying to hide it (shows being butchered for the wrong demographic notwithstanding), and the result is that country of origin is a contributing factor to how it gets classified. By that point, kids were smart enough to know that this cartoon that looks nothing like the rest of the stuff they watch was from Japan. Regardless of whether the distributors tried to hide that or if it was openly declared to be originally Japanese.

Following from that, they see Japanese animation as a distinct entity, namely, animation from Japan - and usually at the exclusion of outsourced stuff. Being inspired by something doesn't make it the same as. The concept used to define the English usage of the term 'anime' developed long before the term 'anime' was adopted by the mainstream English fandom (when I was a kid, even up into the first part of middle school, it was far far far more common to hear it referred to as the full 'Japanese animation' term or as 'Japanimation'...only the Sci-Fi Channel used the term 'Anime' in their marketing for it, unless you asked someone involved in the early hardcore fandom - who would also never accept current anime-inspired Western animation as anime either). As far as I care to acknowledge, the only reason the back-loanword started getting used was for Western fans of such to identify with the cultural norms of the country that their shows came from, not to use the same base definition of the term that Japanese does.

I mean, if we're going to make arguments from animation style, styles change. There may be certain techniques that predominate during a certain period, but homogeneity is far from true these days. It was far from true then too. And if we want to use a superficial construction of what 'anime style' is (let's say, the 90s), SWAT Kats looks far more anime-inspired than Avatar does, right down to the explosion smoke bursts and limited animation techniques. And it's from 1993. But Western fans are most certainly not going to call SWAT Kats anime, even if the influence is so obvious that it may as well hit you over the head with a hammer.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:59 am

Quin2k wrote:1. Read the definition of "Slippery Slope" before you use the term again.

I'm pretty sure it was apt as I was insinuating that by allowing violations to the "what defines anime" rule for original animation (which doesn't fit all the other guidelines), they'd run the risk of people using that precedent to argue more things be added. It was my opinion that making a single exception that contradicted the rules would lead to others having a (defend-able) logical basis to add more things in citing that decision. Since it had been spelled out before, it didn't seem necessary to do so yet again in that thread. People with the history here to speak up knew what was being implied.

Quin2k wrote:2. Learn to read the whole post (here, I'll give you the key point):
Quin2k wrote:I did not start watching Anime because it was produced in Japan, and I seriously doubt most of your members were inspired to create music videos from them based solely on the country of origin.

Ok - I'll admit that your premise wasn't entirely that "there is an anime style." Your premise is, therefore not just flawed for the reasons mentioned. It is, however, irrelevant.

I'm not going to bother to quote the rest. You're making the false assumption that this is something the powers that be actually are willing to budge on or that they have a reason to. Your arguments can be applied generically to any other content. Anything at all. Why don't we allow hentai? Wouldn't that bring in more people? How about real porn? That'd bring a whole lot more. Why not any live action stuff? (read the threads on that - same basic argument) why not make this place a new youtube? These are administration decisions that don't need to be made as questions of "does this add value?" but rather "is this who we are?"

That said, I've gotten the impression the people that contribute the majority of time and money to the site like the definitions of what's okay to upload and what's not a certain way. Maybe Vlad and/or GQ (or anyone else involved in that aspect of things) should stop by and say a few things so I'm not putting words into their mouths.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby wurpess » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:01 pm

So like, I like tofu burgers. They taste like meat and are inspired by meat. And they are called a burger, and burgers are generally meat. And they're a good source of protein, like meat. And I didn't specifically come to like them because of there they come from. So you're trying to tell me that because they don't come from an animal that they aren't meat? Lies! :O

Srsly, that's kinda what I'm seeing here. The lack of change in our definition of anime isn't fear of the unknown, it's protecting principles. That is the definition the community was built on, and so that is most likely how it will stay. It keeps things simple, rather than having to deal with every show and vid on a case by case basis. That's not to say that you can't make videos with shows that WE don't define as anime. They just can't be posted here.

This all kinda reminds me of the drama that happened in the anime figure board I'm on when they decided to remove all the database entries that weren't either of a Japanese based character (like from anime, Japanese video games, Japanese historical figures, etc) or made by a Japanese based company. (So basically, a lot of Star Wars, Star Trek, western comic book, etc action figure and statues got removed.) People complained that they were still figures and were bitching because they made up most of their collection. But the fact remained that the FAQs stated that it was a community for the collection of JAPANESE BASED FIGURES. There was no reason that they couldn't continue collecting their Western figures, or that they couldn't join/start a Western figure community and list them there. They just weren't part of that particular community. And to change the rules would compromise the original intention of the site. This is very similar. The mods/admin are generally open to suggestions on how to improve the site and how things are run. But not if it compromises the intention of the site or what the community stands for.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby Quin2k » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:39 pm

Sukunai wrote:I'm perfectly aware that Panty and Stalking looks a lot like Power Puff Girls. And in my view, both look like shit. South Park looks like shit too. And I couldn't care less what name they were given, nor do I want to watch them in a music video here or anywhere else.

Hahaha... to be honest, that was my impression as well. And it's probably why I had a hard time processing mirkosp's example or BasharOfTheAges' implications, because it just wouldn't happen - whether it's crappy art or hentai, they really don't make very good source material.

wurpess wrote:So like, I like tofu burgers. They taste like meat and are inspired by meat. And they are called a burger, and burgers are generally meat. And they're a good source of protein, like meat. And I didn't specifically come to like them because of there they come from. So you're trying to tell me that because they don't come from an animal that they aren't meat?

You make a good analogy.... but to finish it, you'd also have to then declare that because it isn't meat, the grocery store won't sell it. Burger joints still sell chicken and salad. An Asian market isn't going to avoid selling something simply because it's uncommon in Asia. Themes have a limit when you're trying to make a living by providing services to your community.

That said, you all make some excellent points and I thank you for them. I guess I need to reword my question, as now that I understand your community better, the rules - insofar as database and resource management - make sense. As was pointed out, I really don't need to post my sorry attempts at a music video on your database to get them online - but what about feedback?

If I were to make a music video using primarily Avatar footage, could I post a thread here to get advice and constructive criticism on art, style, timing, effects, etc. without having to worry about the thread being locked or being badgered to death because it doesn't fit within the database's guidelines?

I haven't actually made any videos yet, but since I plan to browse the knowledge that has been collected here in order to make one - it'd be nice to get some hard and detailed advice so I could improve both my own skills and the video, versus vague and random blurbs from YouTube.
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Re: Asking for trouble... or not?

Postby wurpess » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:09 pm

Quin2k wrote:And it's probably why I had a hard time processing mirkosp's example or BasharOfTheAges' implications, because it just wouldn't happen - whether it's crappy art or hentai, they really don't make very good source material.

Anything can be good source material if you know what you're doing/are crazy enough. :twisted:


Quin2k wrote:
wurpess wrote:So like, I like tofu burgers. They taste like meat and are inspired by meat. And they are called a burger, and burgers are generally meat. And they're a good source of protein, like meat. And I didn't specifically come to like them because of there they come from. So you're trying to tell me that because they don't come from an animal that they aren't meat?

You make a good analogy.... but to finish it, you'd also have to then declare that because it isn't meat, the grocery store won't sell it. Burger joints still sell chicken and salad. An Asian market isn't going to avoid selling something simply because it's uncommon in Asia. Themes have a limit when you're trying to make a living by providing services to your community.
But there are specialty stores that do just fine specializing in 1 thing. Keeping with the previous analogy, like butcher shops. They only sell meat, and sometimes meat accessories (like spices and utensils). And they generally do fine just selling meat, because that is what people go there for. People can ask for tofu all they want and try to convince them that they could reach a whole other audience and broaden their business by selling tofu, but it probably won't happen. They are there to sell meat, and enough people go there specifically to get meat that there is no reason to compromise that. So while they might not be able to dominate the market and take over the world only selling meat, it is generally known, if you want fresh, quality meat, you go to them. ;)


Quin2k wrote:If I were to make a music video using primarily Avatar footage, could I post a thread here to get advice and constructive criticism on art, style, timing, effects, etc. without having to worry about the thread being locked or being badgered to death because it doesn't fit within the database's guidelines?

I haven't actually made any videos yet, but since I plan to browse the knowledge that has been collected here in order to make one - it'd be nice to get some hard and detailed advice so I could improve both my own skills and the video, versus vague and random blurbs from YouTube.

If you were looking to post in the forum, you couldn't put it in the announcement forum, unless you were announcing a cataloged AMV you made and put it in the same thread/post with it. But, you could go into the op exchange forum and offer ops on people's vids in exchange for feedback on your vid. Or put something in your signature about it. Another thing you could do is post a link to it in your journal and ask for feedback there. Or on your site profile. Just a couple suggestions. *^_^*

edit: Or you could probably post a thread about it in the General Discussion Forum, which has apparently just been made public. XD
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