Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why doesn't anime attract a wider audience?

Hey everyone.

So, when you go to an anime convention or an anime club, what kind of people do you see there? Well you see people dressed as their favorite anime characters. Even that ugly nerd chick that you would never approach turned into a sexy mistress that you would take to your bed and fuck without hesitation. But mostly, you will see people that considers themselves as either nerds or geeks. However, would you see a football jock or a cheerleader come in and actually watch anime? Well, the answer is most likely no. That could be said for most people in the United States. Now this isn't a big issue but animes do tell great stories and a lot of people are missing out on it. Hell, animes tell more sophisticated stories than most movies or television shows. So, why do people slight animes and not really give it a chance? Well, I'll present some possible reasons.

Now, people always look at things at its surface. When they see an anime from an initial glimpse, they think it's just a cartoon. I remember when I was watching Samurai Champloo on Adult Swim and my mom walked in and she said "Aren't you a little too old for cartoons." and then left. I guess people think that if isn't Family Guy or The Simpsons, it's your typical Saturday morning cartoon or some shit like that. But people don't get the chance to just sit and watch and realize there's more to it then just a cartoon. Animes have a great amount of drama and comedy that it's really sad that people don't take the chance to check it out.

Another possible reason is the fact that animes are made in Japan. I know what you are thinking, if animes weren't made in Japan, then it wouldn't be an anime. That's true but I'm just giving my reasons why people may not be interested in it. What the Japanese finds humorous or dramatic may cause a different reaction to Americans. Americans may not understand the Japanese culture so therefore they will get confused and may not understand what the hell is going on. There are some animes that tell you what they are talking about but still, you rather just know that when you start before watching the anime. It might be a good idea to try and westernize the anime for American audiences but I rather it be authentic as well as most people.

Another problem about animes is that you have a dubbed versions and a subbed version. Now, a huge problem with this is that the dubbed version of almost any anime are just awful and have terrible voice work. If you watch a dubbed version, you'll probably mute that mother fucker so fast before ears bleed. I just don't get why anime voice overs have to have such atrocious voice work that it just takes you away from the experience that the anime is trying to convey. Another issue with dubs is that there are plenty of times where the translation gets lost. So, you get very awkward dialouge and it comes off as being laughable when it was suppose to be a serious scene. Then, there's the subbed version. Now, if you are an anime fan, you usually watch them with subs and Japanese voice work to avoid the shitty American voice overs. However, there is a problem with that and it's the fact that I have to read while watching a movie. Now, this one of issues I always have had when I watch a foreign film. If I wanted to read, I'd go buy a novel instead of watching a movie. Now, a lot of people may be slow readers or have a very low attention span and not even bother reading it. Not to mention, it's hard to read subtitles with appear below everything and watch whatever it is at the same time. That's one thing that really hurts anime creators in the end. I think they can really attract a lot of people in watching animes if they greatly improve the voice work and make them get into it.

Now, another reason why everyone isn't attracted to anime could be due to the people who are. Now, I'm not going to make fun of the anime subculture because I think it's great but people tend to be detracted to it and that's unfortunately the truth. What people think is cool and fun may be weird to others. I just find that wrong if you judge animes based on the type of people who watch it. For me, I love animes because most tell a good story and have compelling characters that I could get behind. Now, for me, I think of myself as in-between a jock or a frat guy and nerd or a geek. Let's just say that all of my girlfriends don't watch anime and if I told them that I did, then I would still be a virgin. Now, in my old school, they had an anime club that showed anime a whole lot. Now, I attended that club a few times and I felt like a big dweeb. But I did notice that there weren't a lot of frat type guys around. Maybe because they prefer drinking which I would too. But, I don't think they want to be around those people but they missed out on a great show because they wanted to avoid those people. The point I'm trying to make (if any) is that people shouldn't judge animes for its subculture and just judge if for what it is.

Another point I want to make is these weird genres (if that's what you want to call it that) that people want to label animes. I don't know what harems are or slice of life is but it confused me. I mean, I would have to continuously ask people what the fuck they were talking about. What happen to the normal genres like "Action" or "Drama" or "Romantic Comedy". You know, genres that everyday people would understand. Another sub-genre of animes is the word fan service. I don't get how you would think boobs and panties from fan service. I don't like the saying because it's not accurate in anyway. When I think of fan service, I think of story arcs that would be pleasing the fans. Boobs and panties aren't exactly what fans want. I mean, it's what I want but if you are talking about a straight female, then it's not really a fan service at all. I don't know, people need to stop using weird terminology to confused the fuck out of me.

In conclusion, I wish a lot of people watch anime but it's unfortunate that won't really happen. Nothing that we can really do about it but at least fix the voice overs so that people can at least tolerate and most likely appreciate it. I like to end my blog with this picture of an anime fan.

I mean look at him. Would you want to watch anime with this kid? I don't think so, in fact, I would probably stop watching anime all together.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Psychological Thrillers......OoOoOoOoOoO!

Hello everyone!

Now recently, I watched Perfect Blue which I really loved and I highly recommend you guys watch it. However, it is a very psychological movie which deals with paranoia and doubt. Another film I saw was Inception which deals with people going into dreams and crafting them so that they can obtain a secret key information that is hidden within themselves. It's very easy to follow but really good nonetheless. Now, it got me wondering about my love for the psychological thriller because really, it really interests me since I am writing a TV script that deals with aspects that you could find in a psychological thriller. So, I decided to talk about the influence of psychological thrillers in all mediums of entertainment.

First off, I would like to talk about what exactly a psychological thriller is. Well, to me, a psychological thriller is a great trip into the mind where things in it almost manifest itself into their reality. The audience becomes confused as to what is real and what is in the protagonist's head. Let's face it, the mind can make up a ton of shit and all of its imaginations can become reality if we delve ourselves into that world. The thriller part of it really deals with a threat and in the case of psychology, that could be caused by paranoia, schizophrenia, or from anxiety. Basically, it could a threat that is in the mind that manifests itself into reality or it could be a small threat in reality that becomes a huge threat due to paranoia. Sounds complicated and it should be because the mind is really complicated. Really, the great thing about psychological thrillers is that it makes to you say to yourself: "What the fuck is going on?!?!?"

Now, a great psychological thriller is Clockwork Orange. A movie about a hoodlum who commits numerous violent crimes and then subjected to an experiment that makes him very withdrawn to violence. Now, this film is very graphic due to the rape scenes and the violence but it does show the psychological aspects of violence and why people commit them. Now, for a modern psychological film, there is The Cell. This movie deals with a psychologist who enters the mind of a murderer in order to find the whereabouts of one of his victims. This movie to me, didn't really complicate the whole psychological thriller category but it was a pretty enjoyable film for the most part. Another great one is Requiem for a Dream where we follow 4 people who go through hallucinations based on drug-related issues. I love this film and it's by Darren Aronofsky, so you know it's going to be good. Not to mention, it takes a unique approach in showing the psychological effects of drug abuse and really makes me us question about drugs in general. Speaking of which, there is a trailer for his new movie called Black Swan. It involves paranoia and all kinds of psychological disorders. Not to mention, it has a lesbian scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. Do I really have to say anymore? One thing that all of these films have in common are the great visual effects. I mean, these films are like an orgasm for the eyes. They aren't great special effects but it's just visual arousing to watch.

Not only has film delved into the psychological thriller genre but also television. Well, actually I can only think of one but still it did a pretty damn good job. I'm talking about my favorite show, Twin Peaks. Now, if you played Deadly Premonition, you would know that the premise for that game came from Twin Peaks. Basically and FBI agent is sent to a small, quaint town to solve the murder of a beauty queen. You get to meet all the weird, shady people and it keeps you guess on who did it. Now, that doesn't sound like a psychological thriller but there are interludes where goes into his mind and basically he talks to the dead beauty queen. Sounds weird but it comes off as awesome.

Video games have also captured this genre. Take Eternal Darkness, it adds a sanity meter in which you could go ape shit and crazy and all kinds of shit happens. Like for example, it will tell you that your controller is off the hook or your character's head falls off. The story itself doesn't feel like a psychological thriller but it does have gameplay that really enforces the those rules. Also, Killer 7 is a game that is very complex and weird game. Who knew that you can mix political issues with something that really gets you involved in its psychological premise. It's kind of hard to explain. Hell, I can't really explain it myself but it was a pretty good game through and through.

The psychological thriller may not be for everyone because it tends to get very complex but it really makes you think when you reach the end. One thing I like about psychological thrillers is that it is very open-ended. You can make your own interpretation of what is going on and why it is happening. It's not set in stone which may piss people off but it's still and enjoyable, twisted and thought-provoking ride.