The league of people okay with anime in their fantasy.


Gamer Life General Discussion

151 to 197 of 197 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

We should definitely show him some anime...

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I swear, I've had anime pushed on me harder than Christianity.


To be fair, I do get the kind of series he's talking about. Infinite Stratos, Irregular in a Magical school, Aria of a Cursed Swordsman, Dragonar academy, Unlimited Fafnir, etc...

It's a pretty long list of very similar shows. They can be fun and some are better than others but there are only so many times you can tell the same story.

I beleive the new entry is Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
InVinoVeritas wrote:
I swear, I've had anime pushed on me harder than Christianity.

Now you're just being ridiculous.

Liberty's Edge

Greylurker wrote:

To be fair, I do get the kind of series he's talking about. Infinite Stratos, Irregular in a Magical school, Aria of a Cursed Swordsman, Dragonar academy, Unlimited Fafnir, etc...

It's a pretty long list of very similar shows. They can be fun and some are better than others but there are only so many times you can tell the same story.

I beleive the new entry is Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut

Those aren't that similar...

Tangent:

Infinite Stratos makes for more sense once you accept that Tabane invented IS technology for the primary purpose of getting her best friend's little brother laid.

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
I swear, I've had anime pushed on me harder than Christianity.
Now you're just being ridiculous.

What do people here tell me I should do more of: read the Bible or watch anime?

What do people in any "geek/nerd entertainment" venue say I should do more of: read the Bible or watch anime?

My family doesn't tell me to do either. My friends don't wonder how I can go through life without Jesus. They do wonder why I'm not watching more anime.

Anime is no threat. I'm glad I get more anime shoved in my face than religion. That's a wonderful problem to have. That doesn't change the fact it's proselytized more, to me, personally.

I'm not ridiculous at all.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
InVinoVeritas wrote:
I'm not ridiculous at all.

It is ridiculous to seek out anime proponents over religious ones and then complain about being pushed into anime more.

Go look at our religious threads and see how many people say you need to read the Bible more.

Liberty's Edge

InVinoVeritas wrote:
I'm not ridiculous at all.

Are you sure about that?

We could always ask your Mother...

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
I'm not ridiculous at all.

It is ridiculous to seek out anime proponents over religious ones and then complain about being pushed into anime more.

Go look at our religious threads and see how many people say you need to read the Bible more.

So I'm not allowed to express my viewpoint on a thread about why there exist people who don't want more anime in their game? I'm really that offensive?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
InVinoVeritas wrote:
I'm really that offensive?

Who said you're offensive? And who said you aren't allowed?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Caineach wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:

I'll admit, I'm not a big fan of anime tropes in my RPGs, but all the combat/non-caster going over the top stuff doesn't bother me that much.

What bothers me are things like female hypersexualization and casual sexism, mood swings (with or without face faults), stock main characters that are easily identified on TVTropes (especially the enigmatic bishi, or the noblewoman villain), or all the screaming in combat.

My least favorite, however? Here's the world. Here's how the world works, with this new power thingy tacked on. Here's the limitation on that power. Now here's the main protagonist, who doesn't have to follow those rules.

Bonus points if the reason he doesn't have to follow the rules is because he's so highly trained and disciplined. That's just shorthand for "You must love the rulebreaker, because he has a greater moral purity than you." He's the best, so he's the hero? No. Hell no.

These aren't strictly anime, though. However, they're what I notice when people try to add more "anime feel" in their games. Otherwise, enjoy, add more anime to your and my game, that's cool.

As someone who has been watching anime for 2 decades, I can't really identify these complaints.

Took the words right out of my mouth.

Greylurker wrote:

To be fair, I do get the kind of series he's talking about. Infinite Stratos, Irregular in a Magical school, Aria of a Cursed Swordsman, Dragonar academy, Unlimited Fafnir, etc...

It's a pretty long list of very similar shows. They can be fun and some are better than others but there are only so many times you can tell the same story.

I beleive the new entry is Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut

It's not so much that I disagree - your point about those shows being similar in their overall plot structure, the tropes they use, etc., isn't wrong - but rather that I place much more of a premium on the "some are better than others" part than on the "tell the same story" part.

That is, I don't particularly care how original or innovative a story is, in terms of breaking from genre conventions, popular tropes, narrative expectations, etc. Originality, to my mind, is vastly overrated. What I'm more concerned with is the quality of the show itself; if the show has characters that I can relate to, has a plot progression that seems to follow internally-consistent factors and a believable sequence of events, and tells a story that I find engaging, then I'm all for it. There are other factors I'll take into account, of course, but those are the big ones.

Ironically enough, putting those considerations first tends to mean that you overlook genre classifications anyway, and so you don't typically run into the same type of story with a high degree of regularity.


InVinoVeritas: I feel sorry that you get anime pushed on you so much. I know I have subject matter I don't want to touch like Horror and I'd hate it if people pushed it on me.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

To be clear, I don't push anime on anyone. Much like organized play, I'll offer it to you, but if you say no, that's that. I don't have time to waste trying to change peoples minds.

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
I'm really that offensive?
Who said you're offensive? And who said you aren't allowed?

You've called me ridiculous. That was rather dismissive.

And who said you were pushing it on me, TOZ?


InVinoVeritas wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
I'm not ridiculous at all.

It is ridiculous to seek out anime proponents over religious ones and then complain about being pushed into anime more.

Go look at our religious threads and see how many people say you need to read the Bible more.

So I'm not allowed to express my viewpoint on a thread about why there exist people who don't want more anime in their game? I'm really that offensive?

I could talk to you about the Lord Jesus, If that would make you feel better?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
InVinoVeritas wrote:
You've called me ridiculous. That was rather dismissive.

So I've offended you, then. But has anyone been offended by you, or told you that you can't be here?


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
InVinoVeritas: I feel sorry that you get anime pushed on you so much. I know I have subject matter I don't want to touch like Horror and I'd hate it if people pushed it on me.

Many (many) years ago when I was last in college, you couldn't swing a rule book without running into people that were .. let's say very very excited about anime. Every comic store, game store, and college dorm I went near was frequented by people that were excited about it and wanted to tell you about it.

Now, this was 20ish years ago, so I imagine it was a little newer and that added to the excitement. I wouldn't say that they pushed it on me, but you had to go out of your way sometimes to escape the conversations. It took the place, for a short time, of the on-going "let me tell you about my character" conversations that you may have heard about, except it went beyond gamers.

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
You've called me ridiculous. That was rather dismissive.
So I've offended you, then. But has anyone been offended by you, or told you that you can't be here?

You would not have called me ridiculous if you were not offended.

I'll agree you didn't ask me to leave.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
InVinoVeritas wrote:
You would not have called me ridiculous if you were not offended.

You don't know TOZ very well if you believe that.

Shadow Lodge

TOZ wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
You would not have called me ridiculous if you were not offended.
You don't know TOZ very well if you believe that.

Most people don't. You're a multifaceted guy.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, you've got me there.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
I swear, I've had anime pushed on me harder than Christianity.

the otaku in your area are not trying hard enough then.

Shadow Lodge

knightnday wrote:
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
InVinoVeritas: I feel sorry that you get anime pushed on you so much. I know I have subject matter I don't want to touch like Horror and I'd hate it if people pushed it on me.

Many (many) years ago when I was last in college, you couldn't swing a rule book without running into people that were .. let's say very very excited about anime. Every comic store, game store, and college dorm I went near was frequented by people that were excited about it and wanted to tell you about it.

Now, this was 20ish years ago, so I imagine it was a little newer and that added to the excitement. I wouldn't say that they pushed it on me, but you had to go out of your way sometimes to escape the conversations. It took the place, for a short time, of the on-going "let me tell you about my character" conversations that you may have heard about, except it went beyond gamers.

My friends (the RPG crowd in my dorm) were all fanatic members of the Anime Club, and yes, this was 20 years ago, over a span of years including most/all of my convention-going years. So yes, my personal experiences are skewed differently from the general population.

Outside of that, people have had to explain to me, after feeding me a bunch of AMVs and me asking why all the anime was that AMV was Anime Music Video, and not Amateur Music Video like I had originally heard. It just... it keeps coming up.

Anyway. I just want a respite from it in my games, is all. I really don't mind it, otherwise.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Freehold DM wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
I swear, I've had anime pushed on me harder than Christianity.
the otaku in your area are not trying hard enough then.

Isn't heavy social interaction rather antithetical to the very definition of otaku? Just sayin'.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
knightnday wrote:
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
InVinoVeritas: I feel sorry that you get anime pushed on you so much. I know I have subject matter I don't want to touch like Horror and I'd hate it if people pushed it on me.

Many (many) years ago when I was last in college, you couldn't swing a rule book without running into people that were .. let's say very very excited about anime. Every comic store, game store, and college dorm I went near was frequented by people that were excited about it and wanted to tell you about it.

Now, this was 20ish years ago, so I imagine it was a little newer and that added to the excitement. I wouldn't say that they pushed it on me, but you had to go out of your way sometimes to escape the conversations. It took the place, for a short time, of the on-going "let me tell you about my character" conversations that you may have heard about, except it went beyond gamers.

My friends (the RPG crowd in my dorm) were all fanatic members of the Anime Club, and yes, this was 20 years ago, over a span of years including most/all of my convention-going years. So yes, my personal experiences are skewed differently from the general population.

Outside of that, people have had to explain to me, after feeding me a bunch of AMVs and me asking why all the anime was that AMV was Anime Music Video, and not Amateur Music Video like I had originally heard. It just... it keeps coming up.

Anyway. I just want a respite from it in my games, is all. I really don't mind it, otherwise.

No worries, just be aware the stuff you seem to have pushed on you is not the only sort of stuff out there. Anime tends to cover just about every genre and age range you can imagine and there are some very good high quality fantasy series out there.

on the other hand this is kind of a thread for people who want to incorperate that kind of stuff. Can't really blame us for talking about it and wanting to share

Shadow Lodge

Greylurker wrote:
on the other hand this is kind of a thread for people who want to incorperate that kind of stuff. Can't really blame us for talking about it and wanting to share

No blame at all!

I just saw a bunch of people saying, "People who say, 'I don't want anime in my game' are saying 'I don't want martial supernatural power in my game'" and wanted to present a different viewpoint. I'd be happy to allow martial supernatural power in my game and still not want anime, so I just wanted to mention what "no anime please" means to me, instead.

But yeah, otherwise, please, carry on.


Other the occasional reaction to talk about catfolk (read: catgirls), I've never seen "I don't want anime" come up except from "martial supernatural power" suggestions, even online where I've seen a lot of complaints I haven't heard in real life.
Not saying it doesn't happen, but I haven't seen it.

Largely I suspect because that's the thing associated with anime that's most likely to show up in game. There are plenty of other anime tropes, but most of them just don't transition from visual story to table top game very well.

Shadow Lodge

thejeff wrote:
Largely I suspect because that's the thing associated with anime that's most likely to show up in game. There are plenty of other anime tropes, but most of them just don't transition from visual story to table top game very well.

Most of the rest are either story-based or visual gags, rather than something like the prominence of martial skill that is mechanically viable to translate into a game world rather than something done purely through roleplay.

Anybody can incorporate anime-style storylines, appearances, and such like, but it takes functioning mechanics and rules of a certain style to be able to emulate the kinds of combat abilities those characters have in a game setting.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
InVinoVeritas wrote:
You would not have called me ridiculous if you were not offended.

That's... not how it works.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:

Other the occasional reaction to talk about catfolk (read: catgirls), I've never seen "I don't want anime" come up except from "martial supernatural power" suggestions, even online where I've seen a lot of complaints I haven't heard in real life.

Not saying it doesn't happen, but I haven't seen it.

Largely I suspect because that's the thing associated with anime that's most likely to show up in game. There are plenty of other anime tropes, but most of them just don't transition from visual story to table top game very well.

Bit of a tangent here, and sort of relating back to something mentioned earlier in the thread, but the more I compare anime to western fiction, the more I find myself wondering about the cultural roots that led to the difference in how eastern and western fantasy characters get elevated above the "normals" who surround them.

In western fiction, it seems like the only difference between the heros/villains and the teeming masses is access to something outside oneself. It might be that you learned to tap into magic/the Force, or that you were gifted/spawned by the gods, or you acquired an artifact that lets you see/interact with the hidden other realm, or you were the subject of a science experiment, or you're born a wizard/mutant, or you have access to better tech (even if that just means being the only person/group with a gun).

In western fiction, you will never "get there" on your own. You will forever be ordinary unless something extra is dropped in your lap (whether at birth, or later). In fact, this idea that extraordinary-ness comes from outside yourself is so entrenched in western fiction that we even use it as a plot in itself: the normal dude who wants to do great things and so he sits around frustratedly waiting for superpowers "his chance to shine", and the story basically starts with him getting that something extra that allows him to finally matter. He can't actualize until he's given something.

By contrast, in eastern fiction it seems to be common for "specialness" to be the direct result of lots and lots of training. The reason they can shrug off things that would terrify the muggles and can stand against inhuman odds is because they put in the time and effort to achieve it. The reason everyone else is still hopelessly normal is because they didn't put in the work. Everybody has exactly the level of power they earned, and the person who wins is generally the person who invested the most effort. In fact, it's not entirely uncommon to encounter the idea of a villain gaining cheap/fake power through some outside source (drugs, dark bargains, whatever), then in the end get bested by the hero who wields "real" power (achieved through training).

So where did that difference come from? Why did the two geographical regions go in such different directions? How long has it been like that? How do those themes impact modern culture in the two areas? And relevant to this thread, how does the difference factor into some western gamers' resistance to eastern-style, non-magical, result-of-training fantasy?

Things I ponder.


Working out the Fluff helps too.

In a lot of cases having the right feel just means having the right sort of Fluff. One of the things I do Is make up a Lore sheet for different Ranks in the knowledge skills. Players with the right levels of Knowledge skill can read them if they want but mostly it helps me get my head in the world. That helps me to describe things in a way that will help the players visualise the world I'm making.

MAgic is a big part of that. Whriting down you Fluff for magic I find helps a great deal. It also lets you describe the visual effects of spellcasting.

If Elf magic is about making bargains with different spirits, then you describe the manifestation of those spirits when an Elf casts a spell.

Likewise, I think I mentioned the Talisman user from Shadow Skill. That is essentially Vancian Magic it just has a fluff that explains how it works. Her Spell prep is writing symbols on paper for an hour. Her Material components are those same papers, Her Verbal is invoking of the Talisman. Somantic are the geastures she makes when invoking one.

There is no change in the system. But visually you have something to focus on.


Orthos wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
I swear, I've had anime pushed on me harder than Christianity.
the otaku in your area are not trying hard enough then.
Isn't heavy social interaction rather antithetical to the very definition of otaku? Just sayin'.

depends on how old school you're talking.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:
So where did that difference come from? Why did the two geographical regions go in such different directions? How long has it been like that? How do those themes impact modern culture in the two areas? And relevant to this thread, how does the difference factor into some western gamers' resistance to eastern-style, non-magical, result-of-training fantasy?

Christianity? Certain schools of Christian thought are big on the idea that people can't get anywhere without help from god. Of course to be fair this may extend further back in Western religions: the idea that the "supernatural" and "humans" are separate.

By contrast certain Eastern schools of thought teach attaining one-ness with the cosmic force of the universe.

In fact the two may not be so different: they both posit the source as outside. It's just that in Eastern thought you can become part of that force rather than constantly be its servant.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:


Bit of a tangent here, and sort of relating back to something mentioned earlier in the thread, but the more I compare anime to western fiction, the more I find myself wondering about the cultural roots that led to the difference in how eastern and western fantasy characters get elevated above the "normals" who surround them.

In western fiction, it seems like the only difference between the heros/villains and the teeming masses is access to something outside oneself. It might be that you learned to tap into magic/the Force, or that you were gifted/spawned by the gods, or you acquired an artifact that lets you see/interact with the hidden other realm, or you were the subject of a science experiment, or you're born a wizard/mutant, or you have access to better tech (even if that just means being the only person/group with a gun).

In western fiction, you will never "get there" on your own. You will forever be ordinary unless something extra is dropped in your lap (whether at birth, or later). In fact, this idea that extraordinary-ness comes from outside yourself is so entrenched in western fiction that we even use it as a plot in itself: the normal dude who wants to do great things and so he sits around frustratedly waiting for superpowers "his chance to shine", and the story basically starts with him getting that something extra that allows him to finally matter. He can't actualize until he's given something.

By contrast, in eastern fiction it seems to be common for "specialness" to be the direct result of lots and lots of training. The reason they can shrug off things that would terrify the muggles and can stand against inhuman odds is because they put in the time and effort to achieve it. The reason everyone else is still hopelessly normal is because they didn't put in the work. Everybody has exactly the level of power they earned, and the person who wins is generally the person who invested the most effort. In fact, it's not entirely uncommon to encounter the idea of a villain gaining cheap/fake power through some outside source (drugs, dark bargains, whatever), then in the end get bested by the hero who wields "real" power (achieved through training).

So where did that difference come from? Why did the two geographical regions go in such different directions? How long has it been like that? How do those themes impact modern culture in the two areas? And relevant to this thread, how does the difference factor into some western gamers' resistance to eastern-style, non-magical, result-of-training fantasy?

Things I ponder.

If I had any addendum to this at all, it would be that Eastern fantasy heroes' origins are subject to the same level of "special quality outside of yourself" as Western fantasy heroes. Yes, plenty of them reached beyond the ken of mundane humans by training really hard or studying really hard, but plenty of them also had a supernatural creature for a parent or got cybernetic enhancements or were cursed at birth or were born under a star of destiny.

How they get stronger, on the other hand, is another matter entirely. Western fantasy heroes almost never reach new plateaus of power just by training, while Eastern fantasy heroes have something of an even split between training and finding another upgrade. What I've seen happen a few times is that they need the upgrade not in spite of their training, but because of it. A mech pilot might need to upgrade to a better mech because their piloting skills have reached a point where their current mech is too unwieldy or slow to react for their skills. A master swordsman needs a new kind of magic sword because they're so strong that they keep breaking the ones they're already using.

Sometimes the relationship goes the other way. The hero gets his new mech and finds that it's too powerful, too fast or its weapons have too much recoil. So, instead of the upgrade being a result of training, the training is the result of the upgrade. Either way, the power-up is directly tied to some kind of adversity. You can't upgrade your psychic powers without diving into your own soul to face your inner self and you can't get the most out of all of your years of training until you find a weapon strong enough to withstand everything you have.

I found another analysis of this in the Death Battle between Superman and Goku. The conclusion they reached is that they're the exact same character viewed through two different cultural lenses, but while Goku's amazing power comes from continually transcending his limitations, Superman's amazing power is from having no limitations in the first place.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:

Bit of a tangent here, and sort of relating back to something mentioned earlier in the thread, but the more I compare anime to western fiction, the more I find myself wondering about the cultural roots that led to the difference in how eastern and western fantasy characters get elevated above the "normals" who surround them.

In western fiction, it seems like the only difference between the heros/villains and the teeming masses is access to something outside oneself. It might be that you learned to tap into magic/the Force, or that you were gifted/spawned by the gods, or you acquired an artifact that lets you see/interact with the hidden other realm, or you were the subject of a science experiment, or you're born a wizard/mutant, or you have access to better tech (even if that just means being the only person/group with a gun).

In western fiction, you will never "get there" on your own. You will forever be ordinary unless something extra is dropped in your lap (whether at birth, or later). In fact, this idea that extraordinary-ness comes from outside yourself is so entrenched in western fiction that we even use it as a plot in itself: the normal dude who wants to do great things and so he sits around frustratedly waiting for superpowers "his chance to shine", and the story basically starts with him getting that something extra that allows him to finally matter. He can't actualize until he's given something.

By contrast, in eastern fiction it seems to be common for "specialness" to be the direct result of lots and lots of training. The reason they can shrug off things that would terrify the muggles and can stand against inhuman odds is because they put in the time and effort to achieve it. The reason everyone else is still hopelessly normal is because they didn't put in the work. Everybody has exactly the level of power they earned, and the person who wins is generally the person who invested the most effort. In fact, it's not entirely uncommon to encounter the idea of a villain gaining cheap/fake power through some outside source (drugs, dark bargains, whatever), then in the end get bested by the hero who wields "real" power (achieved through training).

So where did that difference come from? Why did the two geographical regions go in such different directions? How long has it been like that? How do those themes impact modern culture in the two areas? And relevant to this thread, how does the difference factor into some western gamers' resistance to eastern-style, non-magical, result-of-training fantasy?

Things I ponder.

Pure speculation, but a combination of Classical and Christian traditions? Classical myth is full of heroes who are children of or otherwise touched by the gods. Christianity is pretty strict about anything special being either from God or from the Devil.

At least some other Western traditions don't follow that logic: Beowulf, for example, is just extraordinary on his own IIRC. It would be interesting to look at some of the other pre-Christian myths/legends and see if the pattern holds.

In the east, the tradition of training developing inner powers probably goes back to Indian Yoga, which goes back some 2500 years and spread from there along with the more obvious martial arts.


And I'll note that a lot of anime characters just seem to be born better than everyone around them. Neurophage mentioned some examples of it; another thing I usually see come up is a character being from a long bloodline of powerful _____, and so of course they're powerful too.

Essentially, eastern stuff has a lot of "talent is genetic" going on. "Prodigy" is a term I see pop up a lot.

Honestly, most eastern characters tend to have some mix of "inherently better" plus "hard training."

It's generally a spectrum, and different characters training the same amount can have radically different results.

Dragonball's a pretty spectacular example - Krillin and Goku are about the same age and have been dedicated martial artists since they were children, and by the end of the series both have god-like power compared to ordinary humans, but the gap between Goku and Krillin is even vaster than the gap between Krillin and a human civilian. Goku actually has racial advantages (i.e., saiyans gain explosive power jumps after fatal or near-fatal experiences) that a human like Krillin can never keep up with, and Krillin's strong enough to casually end the world.


The fact that Krillin ends up getting a job as a Cop while Goku goes on to demi-godhood is just kind of icing on the cake too.

Can you imagine a Cop like Krillin.

"Guns? are you serious....I have been killed by so much worse than that"

followed by effortlessly dropping every crook in the city

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My favorite arc of Dragonball was Gohan in high school playing superhero. If memory serves that was also the arc where Chichi made Goku and Picolo get driver's licenses and jobs.

Then Jump made Toriyama go back to shouted fighting melodrama.


Zhangar wrote:

And I'll note that a lot of anime characters just seem to be born better than everyone around them. Neurophage mentioned some examples of it; another thing I usually see come up is a character being from a long bloodline of powerful _____, and so of course they're powerful too.

Essentially, eastern stuff has a lot of "talent is genetic" going on. "Prodigy" is a term I see pop up a lot.

Honestly, most eastern characters tend to have some mix of "inherently better" plus "hard training."

It's generally a spectrum, and different characters training the same amount can have radically different results.

Dragonball's a pretty spectacular example - Krillin and Goku are about the same age and have been dedicated martial artists since they were children, and by the end of the series both have god-like power compared to ordinary humans, but the gap between Goku and Krillin is even vaster than the gap between Krillin and a human civilian. Goku actually has racial advantages (i.e., saiyans gain explosive power jumps after fatal or near-fatal experiences) that a human like Krillin can never keep up with, and Krillin's strong enough to casually end the world.

This leads into something vaguely approaching a main thesis: In Eastern fantasy fiction, talent is cheap. The guy who won the talent lottery and hasn't put in one iota of effort in getting better will meet his match in the guy who's worked himself to the bone every day of his life. In fact, he'll most assuredly lose to Work Hardsman. However, once the talented guy puts in the right amount of effort, his equation of Talent X Hard Work will completely eclipse the guy with no talent but plenty of hard work. Of course, there's no guarantee that Work Hardsman doesn't have his own amazing talent, even if that amazing talent is just the talent of persistence and getting the most out of hard work.

A Krillin who never stopped working hard to improve himself would beat a Goku who never worked a day in his life because persistence beats talent. But actual Goku has both Talent and Persistence (which ties into the Yamato-Damashii themes present in most battle-type Shounen. This doesn't begin to address Chie, or Insight, which would require a whole additional post).


Yeah, cultural differences definitely have an impact on the nature of power and how people get stronger. XD Pathfinder's all over the place, really.

Sometimes powers possess you. Sometimes it's in your blood. Sometimes you study for it. Sometimes you train for it. The system's open to lots of ideas, really.


Arthur was trained by Merlin, while he was young.

When I regressed my Mom, she claimed to have been Beowulf, and he was an alien from the constellation Draco.

To be believable, it has to be a combination of aptitude and application.


thejeff wrote:

Pure speculation, but a combination of Classical and Christian traditions? Classical myth is full of heroes who are children of or otherwise touched by the gods. Christianity is pretty strict about anything special being either from God or from the Devil.

At least some other Western traditions don't follow that logic: Beowulf, for example, is just extraordinary on his own IIRC. It would be interesting to look at some of the other pre-Christian myths/legends and see if the pattern holds.
In the east, the tradition of training developing inner powers probably goes back to Indian Yoga, which goes back some 2500 years and spread from there along with the more obvious martial arts.

I don't think there's any particularly observable difference between 'eastern' and 'western' tradition, to be honest. You point out Beowulf yourself, Odysseus is probably an equally viable (and much older) example of a hero whose divine ancestry is some way back (great-grandson of Hermes, he was). Hrolf Kraki's saga has a mix of heroes with immediately 'special' ancestry and ones who are entirely human. Indian mythology includes heroes directly descended from gods and others who aren't. Fionn mac Cumhaill gets his specialness from a mix of training, practice and questing to find a special location; Cuchulainn from ancestry, practice and special training. Perceval, Sigurd, Liongo, Guan Yu, Ilya Muromets, Bahram, they're all epic warriors of various sorts without special ancestry.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Neurophage wrote:
I found another analysis of this in the Death Battle between Superman and Goku. The conclusion they reached is that they're the exact same character viewed through two different cultural lenses, but while Goku's amazing power comes from continually transcending his limitations, Superman's amazing power is from having no limitations in the first place.

While I think that sentiment is very poetic, I found myself disagreeing with the idea that Superman has no limitations on how powerful he is. That's a very figurative way of judging his abilities, one that's not backed up by a more literal interpretation of what he can do...which is why Death Battle used numerical calculations to measure his strength, speed, etc.

Of course, then they did the re-match Death Battle, which completely threw away all attempts to measure either characters' power, and instead interpreted the whole "Superman is all-powerful" sentiment literally (and worse, they had Goku say "hm, I guess I can't become that strong, and probably wouldn't want to be" which goes directly against the core of Goku's character).

What I think would have been a far more germane analysis is to take Goku and Superman as being notable examples of the meta-contextual differences between Eastern and Western characters. Specifically in that most Eastern characters are there to tell a story, and when the story is over it comes to a close (though extremely popular characters can outlive this, of which Goku ironically is one). By contrast, Western characters tend to be presented in-and-of themselves, rather than being an integral component of a particular narrative, and so, if popular, will tend to exist in perpetuity with new stories forming around them.

Or, as the Epic Rap Battle noted of Superman, "How many times are they gonna rewrite your story?!"


Bluenose wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Pure speculation, but a combination of Classical and Christian traditions? Classical myth is full of heroes who are children of or otherwise touched by the gods. Christianity is pretty strict about anything special being either from God or from the Devil.

At least some other Western traditions don't follow that logic: Beowulf, for example, is just extraordinary on his own IIRC. It would be interesting to look at some of the other pre-Christian myths/legends and see if the pattern holds.
In the east, the tradition of training developing inner powers probably goes back to Indian Yoga, which goes back some 2500 years and spread from there along with the more obvious martial arts.

I don't think there's any particularly observable difference between 'eastern' and 'western' tradition, to be honest. You point out Beowulf yourself, Odysseus is probably an equally viable (and much older) example of a hero whose divine ancestry is some way back (great-grandson of Hermes, he was). Hrolf Kraki's saga has a mix of heroes with immediately 'special' ancestry and ones who are entirely human. Indian mythology includes heroes directly descended from gods and others who aren't. Fionn mac Cumhaill gets his specialness from a mix of training, practice and questing to find a special location; Cuchulainn from ancestry, practice and special training. Perceval, Sigurd, Liongo, Guan Yu, Ilya Muromets, Bahram, they're all epic warriors of various sorts without special ancestry.

And on a related note I question how much a dominant thing this is in modern anime as well. I can't say that I have seen nearly as much as probably some posters, but I feel like most of what I have seen involves characters who get their special abilities from outside sources (ancestry, race, magic, tech, etc), or plain don't have abilities much beyond the heightened reality of western action flicks. This seems to fit Highschool of the Dead, Cowboy Bebop, Attack on Titan, Most of Trigun, Hellsing, etc. Anime is a HUGE medium that covers a lot of genres and different ages of viewership.

My gut tells me that construed differences in media are less about any sort of deep philosophical differences in Western vs Eastern culture, but is rather that people are highlighting certain anime which uses different story-telling structures than what we see in a lot of Western fiction aimed at adults.

Liberty's Edge

Don't forget that Japanese popular culture pulls much from Western (and US inparticular) influences as from classical Japanese and Chinese ones.

The girl and magical girlfriend both originaly come from the US, not Japan for instance.


HyperMissingno wrote:
You can still have a meaningful plot and serious, well written characters in an anime if that's what people are worried about. As for realism, honestly you can't get that past 3rd level. Past that people have way too many hit points compared to the real world, so you're going to see the "bloodied character beating the crap out of his enemies even though he's barely standing and should be knocked out by now" trope that's ever prevalent in that media unless your fighters are just lucky and beat them before they get to that point.

Actually I see that a lot. Fighters at four or even less HP getting that critical strike in to drop the monsters. We borrow one idea from 4E and that is Bloody. Bloody is when a monster or character is at half or less. PCs can see that. It to us was a realistic concept. You can tell when the dragon is looking worse for wear. Even constructs and undead you can see they are hurt.

Now I love anime finding some of the various stories more engaging then anything on TV today. I have used anime to help create a character concept. I have a GM who hates it but doesn't complain if my anime concept character is well played and avoids some of the typical hallmarks of anime. Shouting out special attacks, bad clothing and costumes or the humor which at times I really don't get.


Watch NHKWorld. Then you'll get some of the references.

151 to 197 of 197 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / The league of people okay with anime in their fantasy. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in General Discussion