- January 2nd, 2010
I've already mentioned my anime and game preferences in an earlier entry about visual novels, but I might as well create an entry dedicated my thoughts on anime and J-RPGs in general.
As much as people wouldn't believe, I'm not exactly a fan of anime. Or at least, today's anime. Even today's anime that's considered good, such as Full Metal Alchemist, or Code Geass, don't interest me very much. To be honest, I think old-school anime is where the quality was. Neon Genesis Evangelion, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Mobile Suit Gundam, Maison Ikkoku, Touch, Cyborg 009, Ah! My Goddess (if that counts. The recent anime is based of the classic manga series). Besides comedy anime (which will always be good), there's only a few of today's anime that I love, such as Fate/stay night (then again, the anime's based off the legendary visual novel).
If you look at today's Japanese anime and games (which includes J-RPGs and visual novels), almost everything's based off established stereotypes. There's cliches everywhere! From the emo kid that hates everything, to the pervert comic-relief kid that gets bad grades, to the fat kid that seems to always think about food, to the guy with glasses that's smart, serious, and quite, to the sheltered rich girl with the curly hair. You've probably had many of those "Hey! This character reminds me of another character!" moments. Admit it! Then there's things such as obvious love interests and love triangles. Those "No! We're only friends! Not lovers! Ahahahaha...ha...". Rivalries between the protagonist and some other guy that usually looks cool. They're just so predictable it's not fun anymore. Plus, because they're all so fake, you can't actually connect with them! If anything, the only thing I love about today's anime is the art style. In fact, I think I look at fan-art more than I watch anime. :P
It's what I'm not liking that's happening to Valkyria Chronicles II, as well as the anime. You see, for the most part, Valkyria Chroncles 1 was a really unique game that for the most part stayed away from anime cliches. It's a World War II influenced story set on an alternate Europe, called Europa. :D Most of the characters felt, you know, normal! Welkin's a nature lover, but it doesn't get too far. Alicia's a motherly figure who doesn't want war, but will do anything to end it. And with the back-stories of the recruits, most of the characters seemed to have pretty realistic lives (with the war mixed in, of course).
Then comes the anime. Trying to appeal to viewers, the studio that animated the series put every cliche in the book. :/ Welkin's a nature lover that's oblivious to everything else around him. Alicia turned from a wonderful motherly figure to a damn tsundere! >:[ And then there's a new love triangle involving who get's Alicia: Welkin, or his best friend Faldio. And then there's also this new character named Ramal that seems to get pissed at Isara, Welkin's adopted sister, yet seems to have a soft spot for her, and gets all panicky when he starts slipping his feelings. Etc, etc. Not to mention that the animation company seems to have forgotten that the story is set in an alternate Europe, not Japan! >:O The only reason why I'm even watching the anime now is to see if the anime does anything better than the game. Thankfully, it does, but only some parts.
Similarly, Valkyria Chronicles II is trying to appeal to audiences by applying a high school theme to the war one. O_o Taking cues from Persona 3 and 4, the characters go to school while fighting a war at the same time! o.o Not to mention just about every character is full on anime cliche. Hot-blooded protagonist that leaps before he looks and is always late for class, the smart and quiet guy with glasses, the bubbly girl that's obviously the protagonist's love interest. You know the rest... Also, you're supposed to be scared when fighting a war people! Not having fun while in it! Well at least the music is amazing. I'm starting to think Hitoshi Sakimoto might be the next Nobuo Uematsu! :3
'Course, I let some cliche slide, although mostly in video games. Such as the MegaMan Star Force games. While mostly cliche, the story was refreshing from the story that was getting stale in MegaMan Battle Network. Or even Persona 3. While most of the cast was cliche, the world of Personas and Shadows was really interesting, and the high school simulation part of the game made the characters more believable.
Thoughts? Comments? Criticism? xD This entry isn't exactly thoroughly thought out since I felt I needed to write something...