Anime Vice News

DARKER THAN BLACK #11 -- Watch & Learn

Is good acting a super-power?

This rhythm of two-parters is funny. Out of all the anime shows I’ve watched for this column, DARKER THAN BLACK’s the first that’s been paced almost exactly like your familiar one-hour drama on American network TV. And “pacing” is definitely the right word for it, because these two-parters tend to take a slower pace and have stretches of “quiet scenes” that are long enough to make you forget you’re even watching an animated sci-fi after a while.

And, now that I bring that up, I might as well put a couple questions out there I’ve been wondering about for a while. For one, what percentage of TV programming in Japan is animated? For the sheer amount of anime that comes over here - - not even factoring in the material that doesn’t make it over - - you’ve got to figure that it takes a pretty sizable portion of on-screen time.

Following from that, do you figure that anime shows fill a need for programming that might’ve been otherwise filled by live-action programming in Japan? Like, if the country was larger and there was a more established infrastructure for it, perhaps, would DARKER THAN BLACK be something like a SyFy original instead? Quite honestly, the flights of fantasy haven’t been that outlandish so far. This isn’t something that couldn’t be pulled off with a basic cable budget.

I don’t have as much to say about this part of the new arc. I’ll probably have more to say after Part II, when we presumably break out of this travelogue of the Wall’s janitorial staff’s daily mundanities. Although, I will reiterate my amusement that Hei’s proven to have the secondary Contractor ability of chameleon-like acting skills. Dude gets method, man.

Watch this episode, "When One Takes Back What Was Lost Within the Wall (Part 1)" below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

zaldaron March 31, 2012 at 1:29 p.m.

No idea how much is animated but not sure if it takes the place of more traditional stuff or not. Maybe. I think visual art has more appeal in Japan than it does elsewhere though as well after world war II I think it was easier for them to channel thoughts and feelings into drawn art as opposed to acting. Some shows definitely work better and are probably cheaper in anime form. I mean I doubt akira would be cheap to produce in live action (even now with better computer special effects) not nearly as inexpensive as an animated was to produce. I could be wrong as I have no direct experience in any of this but that has always been my feeling.

Marshal Victoryon March 31, 2012 at 8:57 p.m.
SyFy is a four letter word so um hell no.They would screw it up .
http://www.comicbookmovie.com/news/?a=36817   
nuff said.
Fox could pull it off with 1/4th the budget Tera Nova had.Heck even USA could do it .Even the CW could .Tho fewer would see it.Problem is they would adapt it .Not do a live action version of it.Hollywood does not want to honor source material it always want to change it.
metalsnakezeroon March 31, 2012 at 9:58 p.m.

Most anime are usually shown in late night time slots (Ones like Darker than black) and more family friendly ones on Sundays mornings. Gets you the idea of what the target audience are for some of these shows. Then again shows like K-on! which look to be family friendly are shown along side of DtB but thats another story.

Surprise you didn't have a lot to say about this episode since it dives in to Hei's character a bit.

Addfwynon April 1, 2012 at 8:07 a.m.

In regards to how much is animated: Not a massive amount. I mean, if I actively seek it out on TV here, I can certainly find it, but it's not everywhere. Typically things I watch on TV consist of Japanese dramas, sports, news, and variety shows. I only very watch anime on TV here. It's like any other show that comes on weekly, it's kind of something you have to plan to watch every week. I'm never the type to do that, so things that 'stand alone' like variety shows or sports work a lot better for me.

It's more than I imagine you get in the west, if for no other reason than it is the origin of most of it, but it's certainly not the dominant media on television here. It doesn't really take the place of 'traditional' programming so much, we still have live-action dramas (some are very good) that are quite popular. Variety shows are probably some of the most popular things, and we have a lot of those across all network.

tristenkw5on April 2, 2012 at 2:03 p.m.

I did a history report on anime for a college class like a year or two ago. From what I found, after WWII Japanese movie makers and TV networks wanted films/shows that took place in more exotic regions than Japan, but didn't have the budget most of the time to pull it off in live action and have it look decent. As a result, they turned to animation, the cheaper, easier alternative.

Because of these beginnings, that's generally why the classic anime style has characters with more european features like lighter skin tone and large eyes, and why the subject matter is taken more seriously than elsewhere.

In other words, it's the opposite of why us Americans mostly consider animated shows to be almost strictly for children. Our animation origins came from more of a need for simple entertainment rather than deeper stories and varied locales.

Marshal Victoryon April 2, 2012 at 11:38 p.m.
@tristenkw5:
Hmm back in the 80s when Robotech 1st became big in the US some friends an i had said anime takes itself seriously because its like they did not have the budget to do a live action version.All to the better really .Even their parody of styles they have worn out like in   http://www.animevice.com/kore-wa-zombie-desu-ka/11-6039/  an still at times takes it self seriously .
 
Watch enuff of any style an you will get jaded. Yet anime so far for me does not.We will see more anime an manga robed over here in the states i am sure.After all Hollywood is where original ideas go to die :/

Dig Deeper into Darker than Black

After two strange areas-- Hell's Gate and Heaven's Gate --appeared, so did people known as "Contractors," people with no emotions and unique abilities which they pay for by a strange obsessive-compulsion that is unique to each Contractor.

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