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One Fan’s Opinion: Sad Traps.

My tears are precious!

I’m a big strong man, which means I hate to cry. But sometimes I think there are anime out there specifically made to make even the most toughest men alive cry like a baby. I am very torn on the subject of sad things in anime. Like most things in life, when done well it can be very powerful, but when done poorly it can feel overly dramatic. But I think anime has a third option, purposely sad scenes that ensnare the viewer like a boa constrictor for no other reason than to make the reader sad; and it is those traps in particular that make me the angriest. Stop playing with my emotions.
           
 
 
A very good example of this takes place throughout the anime Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. The anime is about a large earthquake that hits Tokyo, causing it to crumble and burn. Two children who are far away from their parents must work together to cross the ruins to be reunited with their parents. The story synopsis alone makes it seem like a sad show, but that is not what I’m writing about. Within this story, they constantly tease the viewer by placing the characters in situations that are so incredibly sad that you think the anime can no longer continue, but then the situation is quickly remedied by the end of the episode as if nothing has happened; basically, instead of monster of the week, you get sadness of the week. It’s almost as if someone told you your parents have gotten in a car crash, but you rush home to see them standing their perfectly ok.

Most of the time, these incredibly potent sources of sadness do not really add anything to the plot, and are only there to incite emotion. This angers me, because I feel like I have been tricked, like someone somewhere (probably in Japan) is laughing at me getting sad over nothing. However, even though I get angry, I still enjoy it to a certain extent; sometimes working me up in this fashion is a good way for me to be emotionally tied to a series.

I'm complaining about this now because the last few episodes of Angel Beats are starting to feel like the creators are throwing extra sad tidbits in to make the story even sadder. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying it, but at the same time I don’t want them to make things sad for sadness sake.
Killajadeon June 8, 2010 at 3:09 p.m.
You had me at "traps". 
 
On topic though, seeing as Angel Beats is a Key animation you kinda signed the contract that you would cry, or atleast have you soul touched forever. Actually to me Angel Beats have been doing the sad part since ep 1 with tenshi being that lone solitary fighter and in later episodes getting all those past lives told(Yurippe and that GirlsDeadMonster lead singer in ep 2-3), have been quite sad for me. The thing about Tenshi being alone really intensified for me in the Naoto ep, with Otonashi and Tenshi being locked up in the jail cell(let me say as much that it wasnt just Otonashi who found that part particularly sad). 
Its not that they are starting to make the series more sad now then they were before, they just hinted at the sad part less back then and focused more on giving us an introduction to the world they were in(big underground weapon factory anymore?).
FekketCantenelon June 8, 2010 at 3:12 p.m.
" Tokyo Magnitude 8.0" sounds like a Japanese 'An American Tail'.
 
I've said it before and I'll say it again: A great purpose of fiction, if not its greatest purpose, is to bring out emotion in the viewer. If a show came up with a cheap excuse for sadness, that'd be dumb; but if, despite the pointlessness, it manages to hurt you over and over again, that's something beautiful.
 
Two of my favorite Western movies of all time are Children of Men and Requiem for a Dream. Both have powerful scenes that made me outright bawl. It's hard to quantify this quality and even harder to instruct someone on how to find it, but when you find it, it's really a treasure, and can usually withstand any logic.
Contraon June 8, 2010 at 3:39 p.m.
I got through almost all of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, before in the final episode I finally broke down and cried.
 

They just made it so sad.  Partly because you worked the ending out episodes ago with their subtle as a rock hitting you hints, but you are really hoping thats not the case and that in the end everything is ok and they all go and dance with rainbows in a field of unicorns or something.  
The difference in that show, because they told you what was coming;  it made the sadness worse.  You knew what scenes had to happen.  You knew the pain they would have to go through.  You know the happy ending the charaters are aiming for can't happen.  But I wanted everything to be ok, and the characters were good.  So I kept watching
:(
I'm sad now. 
 
Though the moment where you start going ' oh god.  No.  They are not.  No.  No.... NO. You can't do that, it means it can't end happly  " is one of those classic moments of emotionally falling down a hole
Dream moderator is online on June 8, 2010 at 3:46 p.m.
For the best well-known examples of sad traps, also try out Saikano and Grave of the Fireflies. It's depressing and will make you feel like crying guaranteed. :P
LordCravenon June 8, 2010 at 3:50 p.m.
@Killajade said:
The thing about Tenshi being alone really intensified for me in the Naoto ep, with Otonashi and Tenshi being locked up in the jail cell
Haha... Naoi Shirogane 
Call me a sadist but I love when shows are like that. Not when they are sad for the sake of being sad but when its really a part of the story, when its an obstacle for the protagonist to overcome. 
EX: Otonashi had hella sad things happen to him in life but at the end he found happyness in donating his organs.   
It's those kinds of things that I remember whenever I'm having a tough time.
Killajadeon June 8, 2010 at 3:58 p.m.
@LordCraven said:

" @Killajade said:

The thing about Tenshi being alone really intensified for me in the Naoto ep, with Otonashi and Tenshi being locked up in the jail cell
Haha... Naoi Shirogane Call me a sadist but I love when shows are like that. Not when they are sad for the sake of being sad but when its really a part of the story, when its an obstacle for the protagonist to overcome. EX: Otonashi had hella sad things happen to him in life but at the end he found happyness in donating his organs.   It's those kinds of things that I remember whenever I'm having a tough time. "
Hehe yea that Naoi just looks so damn like Naoto from persona 4, even the name looks the same, that i couldn't remember the difference after hearing the it in the anime. 
And to your exampel, thats exactly what i mean by, even if your not moved to tears, it will atleast have moved your soul forever, its one of those things Key does best^^ 
 

Edit: Oh god, just noticed they even have the same last name! How can i NOT be confused? How?!?

LordCravenon June 8, 2010 at 4:07 p.m.
@Killajade:
UUhhh actually i don't think we know Naoi's last name yet.  I just called him shirogane cause they're so much alike.  HAHA at the end of AB we'll find out he's not gay but in fact a girl :P
sickVisionz moderator on June 8, 2010 at 4:08 p.m.
I didn't find Tokyo Mag all that sad.  I thought it was pretty uplifting because, until the twist in the last episode, everyone overcomes their struggles like champs.  They meet new friends and people are bonding and working together to make the best of out things and helping their fellow man. 
 
I went into it expecting it to be really depressing all the way through but it had the opposite effect on me.
Killajadeon June 8, 2010 at 4:09 p.m.
Why did i not mention this before?: Anyone who has seen Clannad(also made by Key) should have cried through almost half of all episode(unless you are a heartless bastard!). I started crying "man tears" from the wedding part til the end of the second season(even though i kinda ruined the second season by reading ahead after seeing the first season on wikipedia), there just was no stopping the onslaught that was Clanned. :p
Killajadeon June 8, 2010 at 4:14 p.m.
@LordCraven said:

" @Killajade: UUhhh actually i don't think we know Naoi's last name yet.  I just called him shirogane cause they're so much alike.  HAHA at the end of AB we'll find out he's not gay but in fact a girl :P "

Haha oh god you trolled good there:D also did i mention this artikel had me at traps? 
 
Edit: just found out Naoi's name is Ayato Naoi, and here i thought that Naoi was his given name:p
Burntlettuceon June 8, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.
@Killajade said:
" Why did i not mention this before?: Anyone who has seen Clannad(also made by Key) should have cried through almost half of all episode(unless you are a heartless bastard!). I started crying "man tears" from the wedding part til the end of the second season(even though i kinda ruined the second season by reading ahead after seeing the first season on wikipedia), there just was no stopping the onslaught that was Clanned. :p "  
 
Expect episode 18 and 19 are really the only well down episodes in the all of Clannad are the only one's that should bring a tear to someone'e eye.
macker33on June 8, 2010 at 4:37 p.m.
@GodLen said:
" I’m a big strong man, which means I hate to cry. But sometimes I think there are anime out there specifically made to make even the most toughest men alive cry like a baby. 
"  
HAHAHA! ok,i had a great big lump in my throat from grave of the fireflies,,wasnt too great because everybody started to try and talk to me an all i could do was kind of grunt back.
BrandonElliotton June 8, 2010 at 6:10 p.m.
Maybe it the anime I watch but I never really feel that deep of an emotion the character in anime. 
N15PCAon June 8, 2010 at 6:59 p.m.

A very good example of this takes place throughout the anime Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
 
I wanted to watch that anime last year and never got the chance.  Is it worth it. 
 
constanzadellarosaon June 8, 2010 at 7:29 p.m.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is ranked #2 in my Epic Downer List (no one can outdo Grave of the Fireflies).
GodLen staff on June 8, 2010 at 9:04 p.m.
@N15PCA: I enjoyed it, it's sad but it also a pretty realistic representation of a natural disaster. 
Rokujoon June 9, 2010 at 3:21 a.m.
I shed a lot of tears during Kotomi's back story in  Clannad.
reinon June 9, 2010 at 3:58 a.m.

This Is Trap. 
 
Although as I've admitted before, I've cried during several anime.
Kuma_From_Argentinaon June 9, 2010 at 4:18 a.m.
I cried like a woman watching Titanic for the first time when I was watching Casshern Sin, I´ve got the OST and I'm Still Crying
Om1kronon June 9, 2010 at 6:02 a.m.
barefoot gen is pretty unwatchable. I also watched grave of the fireflies, but seriously I couldn't care about the characters enough to get emotionally involved.

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