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What Makes A Bad Anime Movie? -- THE VICE PIT

From COWBOY BEBOP to FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, there really is a different flavor to suit every show making the jump to screen. But what's the reason some of them flounder so badly?

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sickVisionz moderator on Sept. 26, 2013 at 5:49 p.m.

I haven't watched this one yet, but are you guys saying Cowboy Bebop is an example of a bad anime movie? You may literally be the only people on the planet with that opinion.

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 26, 2013 at 9:53 p.m.

@sickVisionz: I think if i understood what they said it was entertaining but did not take many chances.

Ya you both did a great job of runing down what you thought about anime movies.But i offer disagrement.A good movie based on any tv series ( anime ,network ,cable etc ) should be mostly a biger better episod-ish type of afair.Otherwise you end up posioning the good will well from the shows fans.

An its not like fans can be vocal about what they hate.Um wait yes they can! cough The Lone Ranger cough

A good breakdown i think would be at least 75% based on the show/source. maybe no more than10% explanation, an up to15% new stuff .One would hope if the seires is ongoing it would pick up the torch the 15% aded to the shows mythos an use it to further the seires.i call this the Harley Quinn rule.

Then again that same break down coud be used for tv series based on comics etc. Movies would just be another adaption of a difrent medium.

By the way Cowboy Bebop: The Movie some consider a better ending to the series than the last episodes.

zaldaron Sept. 27, 2013 at 7:37 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: hmm if it is just a bigger episode than why make a moive..I like more taking chances I mean that was the problem with the star trek movies that don't work. They are just longer episodes. A movie should take a new larger chance, but then I liked the escaflowne movie...

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 27, 2013 at 8:02 p.m.

@zaldar: Fair point but most movies break down to 4 chapters or acts.Thus 4 episodes.The reason to make the movie is for the biger an better.The argument against risks are they would most liekly not add to the series.One offs an what ifs are good if thats what they are presented as to begin with.

Odd a friend of mine is far more the star treck fan than i an he thought most of the star treck movies never felt enuff like they were part of the episodes.Next geration stuff had huge holes in it. Highly recomend do send them up rather well.

zaldaron Sept. 27, 2013 at 8:28 p.m.

@zaldar: well we are going to have to agree to disagree then I guess. The next gen movies I loved and the original series movies I loved are the ones that a lot of people didn't like (the first one, and the whales one for example) so I certainly don't hold myself out as having the average opinion. But simply bigger budgets and better effects seems like it is putting to much import on style over substance (to quote another on going discussion between us ;) ).

Marshal Victoryon Sept. 28, 2013 at 10:06 a.m.

@zaldar: I think we can agree to agree actualy.With out a story to back it up the bigger budget an effects the movie will only feel like a biger episode.If its just copy an paste then ya it is totaly style over substance.

Err you wanst replying to your self was you?

JiCion Sept. 30, 2013 at 5:29 a.m.

What makes a bad anime movie? When it feels like a massive filler... Hear me out of that one.

Several anime movies are simply sidestories to the main story. The creators just take a moment in the main story and add a sidestory, most of the time with materials that will never be used in the current anime and manga. It's quite rare that a movie gets something that the anime and manga will be referencing later on.

A good example is One Piece Z. A whole LOT of characters has been shown, mostly returning characters that we haven't gotten the chance to see after the 2-year timeskip. There's a good chance that in the manga and then in the anime, they'll be introduced as new characters instead of referencing the movie appearance.

What makes a good anime movie is when it can be considered canon, in all senses of the word, and what makes a bad anime movie is when you could have never heard of it and it will never hamper the viewing of the current story.

Some video games get novels that happen in between games, like Halo, Starcraft and Mass Effect. Believe it of not, many of these are considered canon and upcoming games make use of the novels' materials, although devs also make sure that they have some explanation if players didn't read the novels, like a bio or something.

Dream moderator on Sept. 30, 2013 at 1:43 p.m.

Speaking from experience, a bad anime movie can occur in several ways...

  • If the story it tries to tell is too grand to tell within movie format. There's a large cast of characters and complex themes and elements to the title, but there's too little time to delve into everything. Happens frequently with manga or video game adaptations of popular titles that use the movie format as a promotional tie-in for their source material or films that attempt to do alternate re-tellings of a popular TV anime.
  • The movie is a tie-in for an ongoing anime title with plot and characters created exclusively for the film and regardless of any ways in which the plot impacts the major characters and elements of said anime, things return to the status quo by the end of the film and no mention of events from these movies are ever mentioned in the TV anime. Happens with many movies adapted from long-running shounen TV anime.
  • The film relies too heavily on style (nice visuals and music or high levels of objectionable content) to cover up any shortcomings in the quality of its work.
  • The creators only create the film to promote their anime, manga, video game, card game, etc... with little interest in creating a quality plot to interest anyone beyond said franchise's fanbase.
zaldaron Oct. 1, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.

@Marshal Victory: HA! I wonder how I did that....yeah ok thought you were saying it shouldn't go in new directions and expand the world.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 1, 2013 at 1:50 p.m.

@JiCi: I agree whith what your saying here.

@zaldar: No not saying a anime movie shouldnt expand upon whats there at all.Im jsut saying a certian ratio helps.Go to far you alienate the fans .The fans are the reason the thing is being looked at to begin with .Hollywood has bad track record of taking a property then destroying all the things the fans liked to begin with.To many anime movies feel like the hollywood rip off.

like JiCI is saying make something that adds to the canon.

JiCion Oct. 3, 2013 at 10:56 a.m.

@zaldar: Making a movie usually involves having a bigger budget and more time to do so. There's technically nothing wrong in making an anime movie. Oda, One Piece's Creator, once explained that for every movie about his series, he took the time to check the story and even create some of the characters. For One Piece Z, he even had the chance to write the scenario, when most of the time, he's probably busy writing for the manga and anime TV series.

So, why make a movie instead making a 3 or 4 part episode? I'd say that it's because of the quality and hardwork. Movies have better effects, better sound and better animation. If it was made for TV, everything would have been toned down to match the TV series' material.

Movies can also allow people to get into the series. Sometimes, it's better to watch a 2-hour movie to get an impression than a single episode or a few episodes. First episodes always are a bit shaky anyway becaus it's the beginning, but a movie feels like a good pilot, which the episodes helped build up to it.

Here's a few examples: The Digimon movies, at least the first 3 that got spliced into one for the English version, were all considered canon to the TV show. However, quality-wise... it sucked badly, as it didn't feel like the TV show. The Pokémon movies, on the other hand, are completely unrelated to the TV show and could be considered "longer episodes", but the quality was better than the TV show.

When I say "filler" when describing an anime movie, here's a good example that I found:

In One Piece The Movie: The Giant Mechanical Soldier of Karakuri Castle (7th movie), Luffy beats the bad guy using the Gear 2 mode, which he doesn't really understand how it works. The problem is that in the anime arc that happens "after" the movie, the Water 7/Enies Lobby Arc, Luffy gets his Gear 2 mode, but he still feels like it's his first time, instead of catching up that he used it before in the movie's events.

I mentioned One Piece as an example, but Dragon Ball, Bleach, Naruto and even Fairy Tail have this problem: they show something cool that the creators can't, won't or have to re-introduce in the manga and anime.

1) Movies can be good if they are used to recall a HUGE event that the manga and/or anime doesn't really plan on explaining. A classic example is the explanation of a scar that a main character has gotten in between seasons. The movie can be used to explain where he or she got the scar.

2) Movies can also be good to get people's interest into the anime, as it's sometimes better to watch a 2-hour long movie than 13 episodes in a row.

3) Movies can also be good to let it all loose quality-wise.

These 3 reasons I gave you justify why a movie is sometimes better than a 3-part episode.

However, sometimes the creators seem to not be thinking ahead and just cobble a story to enhance the effects, without ever thinking about how the movie could help the source material.

zaldaron Oct. 7, 2013 at 1:06 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: Ah ok I can agree with that. with 1 I agree but I also don't have a problem with them retelling the story in a different way certainly better effects art and sound are important...this is why I like some movie versions of shows better than the show itself. For me however 2 and 3 without 1 are not enough. Hmm that sounds like it could be a song....2 and 3 not enough without one....

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