White Album is one of the shows I’m hyped about this season. I’ve read some interesting posts on it, watched the raw and the sub of episode 1, and finally discussed it in MTF. The thread itself made me think a lot about romance anime of then (read: 20 years ago) and now, as well as compelling me to try some of the older shows out (incidentally, MTF is where I first learned of Kimagure Orange Road due to one of its characters showing up in last year’s AGP). Actual thread here.
It’s not just the setting, the OP & ED visuals, the slow paced love story, it’s all very 80s drama. It’s no surprise that a lot of people are already calling this show boring when they’ve been experiencing a completely different level of romance in today’s shows.
You know, Shiro, you just described why I can’t seem to enjoy today romance anime …while watching with pleasure shows of the 80ies and 90ies (as you may have noticed). The way romance flows in today’s anime feels “forced and artificial” to me. The way the characters’ behaviours and reactions are portrayed feels going for the shock and glamorous values while being superficial and unnatural.
iczelion74 (in response to Olf):
I think the modern writing style in general is just reflection how different today’s youth are when compared to those in the 80’s/early 90’s. Kids today seem to be so desensitized that they need that kind of shock value to pay attention for a full 24 minutes. Blame it on youtube clips, cell phones and instant messaging.
[Cue in confused me thinking out aloud if I should get my ass started on KOR.]
omo (replying to Olf, too):
While this is true, it’s not an accurate picture. I think there are still some shows today which have very organic outlay of relationships and character expositions. But they tend to get lost in the noise considering there are probably 5+ times more anime titles per year now than it was 10 years ago, let alone in the 80s.
There are a handful of anime in the 80s that probably satisfies olf, and there are probably just as many today. It’s just harder to find them.
Not to mimic olf, but yeah. Series today force romantic relationships between characters. 80’s series showed how emotions grew within characters and as to why the characters really felt for each other. In series today, apparently, getting trapped in a room, and having some event happen and the main character saving them from it means they’re instantly in love.
Hopefully White Album isn’t so shitty.
Regrettably, I really can’t say anything substantial here because I haven’t seen any romance anime that’s older than the 90’s, because I’m normally repelled by the dated animation and character designs. That, and they’re loooooooooong. But the discussion above has me wanting to watch KOR, Maison Ikkoku, and even Touch. For me, seeing how love unfolds in a show is much more rewarding than whatever climax the show presents.
I feel the KOR comparisons are a reach. These characters all know each other and have defined relationships. This would be more like we’re picking up at KOR episode 131 or thereabouts and nothing had been resolved yet. To Heart is closer.
I’m getting interesting mixed vibes of homage retro, observational retro, and nostalgic retro. A blend of, “I want this to be what I liked”, “I want this to be what I liked about what I liked”, and “I want this to be a reminiscence of what I liked from where I am now.” I’m probably reading too much into this.
I like the visuals and the music. The text for inner dialogue and the phone scene were effective devices. None of the characters have grabbed me yet, but at the pacing the series is setting, that will only come with time anyway. And I’d like it if Touya could start showing something personality-wise to explain why he’s at the center of all this.
All in all, a lot of potential. I’ll be following this one closely.
And I’m getting left out now, not having seen To Heart. Being a /m/an has its downsides, too.
dm (replying to iczelion):
I suspect it has more to do with 12-episode series instead of 96-episode series. Why 12-episodes? Because you can move maybe eight times the character goods with eight 12-episode series than you can a 96-episode serie. Eight times the figures, eight times the pillowcases, eight times the artbooks and pencil-boards.
Also, you can advertise eight times as many manga series, light novels, or other material.
White Album’s okay, but I’m just not feeling it. I’ll give this another few episodes for Nana potential mostly.
KOR is the best romance series in the history of anime. Those that say otherwise haven’t seen it or are kidding themselves.
Lol. Knowing Link, he wouldn’t resort to this sort of hyperbole if he didn’t really mean it. KOR interest ++
Well, the mixed bag of first impressions for White Album has certainly surprised me. But I can definitely say that I like the show. I like the text monologues, the ostentatious 80’s sensibilities, the character designs, and the seiyuu. I can bear with the bad music that stands out in the worst way possible. The only thing that I truly don’t like about the show right now is Touya, because he’s such a slob at life. Oh Atsushi Doujou, how the mighty have fallen…
Oh, and Hirano didn’t get to sing. Lols