Old 05-18-2006, 06:16 PM   #1
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Default What makes a series good?

I've been reading some people's reviews of certain shows (anime as well as regular television) and I've come across some large amounts of digression.

I was just curious as to what you (anyone) think makes a series good, both when it comes to anime and regular, non-animated series. Also, tell me WHY you chose these elements. Saying "oh, but it looked stupid visually, or the plot was so predictable" isn't an excuse. Tell me why you found it predictable and why, if it was predictable did that take away from the experience?

I'll have a response to my own question in a little bit, I have to go for a bit right though. I'd really like to see some of the more avid viewers respond to this as I think I may have a very different view from most of you.

P.S: It just occured to me that there is slightly more different tastes between viewers than I originally thought. It's definitely a good thing, but anyway, go go go, respond!
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

well... I can only speak for myself.

http://www.flashflashrevolution.com/...92&postcount=2 is a link to a post I made a few weeks back about this year's new comedys/dramas (that I've seen). I just re-read what I wrote, and more than giving opinions, I gave the plot of the show through my eyes. You can see the difference in my skew on the plots between the As and the Cs. That is how you can see my opinions, and the plot themselves is, IMO, what makes them good... the plot, the actors, the script, the origionality... different genres require different things, and in my descriptions I list pros/cons for each show.

If you want more input from me, I'll need specific questions directed towards me that I can then answer.
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

I don't watch anime, but my favorite shows are generally comedy shows. Sitcoms. My favorite show is probably Red Dwarf.

And in comedy, it's tough to really pinpoint what makes something funny. It's just the relationship of the characters, the actors' comedy ability--timing and whatnot, the writing. It's not intangible, but sometimes it's just a mix of factors.

In Red Dwarf, I think the writing is solid--there are good jokes there as themselves. Then, the actors just can do what they need to do well. Then, the plot is interesting enough. It simply is. It has the perfect mix of cool spacey stuff, and classic buddy-comedy-ness.

If you think about Red Dwarf, or any other good long-running show, there is a good progression of the characters, as you get to know them. I don't think that show ever really jumped the shark, either. It may look like it around the 7th or 8th season, but I think the plot is a logical progression.
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

If the show is something that interests me, keeps my attention to want to watch the entire episode, and leaves me wanting more, then I call that good series.

Examples of good series: Seinfield, Martin, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

I think Big O is THE best anime I've ever seen. I mean, I guess that's not saying much since I don't see much anime outside of what's showed on Cable TV, especially compared to gurus like Kilga and stuff, but I think it's one incredible show. Why? Well...Uh...

Well, first off, it has a VERY awesome Noir style in it's plot, and I'm a big sucker for Noir stuff. Whenever the protagonist finds a new piece to the Past puzzle, it often leads to more questions than answers. It's really ambiguous, but at the same time, not ambiguous. It shows you lots of things, but then it goes "Is that what really what happened, or the character just have an imagining of what might have happened?" Even though the viewer has the advantage of getting the "omnipotent observer view", it's still quite a mystery to unravel as much as it is for Roger Smith.
Basically, it's intellectually pleasing.

Second, the action scenes are REALLY damn cool. Sure, there's other shows with mechs that move faster, are more powerful, and battles that are even bigger in scale, but Big O just has a real sense of AWE to it's mechs, and it also has thing going for it that I call "clever victory", where the hero seems to be screwed until he pulls off some clever move that defeats the enemy and you go "Ohhh, how clever of him."

Third, the characters are neato tolito. It's well-known that Big O's creator was inspired by Batman, and I say it's a good thing, because, you know, Batman kicks ass and is the world's greatest detective. And like Batman's villains, Roger Smith's recurring foes are awesome too.


I have a hunch that while plot, character development, action, and all that stuff is important, what makes a good show great is STYLE. STYLE STYLE STYLE STYLE STYLE STYLE STYLE STYLE STYLE STYLE STYLE.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

Big O was a great series but if you want my opinion for best series with style, look no further than FLCL. I know its overplayed but there has no other series that has mimiced the style that oozes from FLCL. =P
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

These are some of the elements that are essential to what I would call a superb anime:

- A good plot. Not necessarily complex, but something where I won't be able to discern how it is going to wrap up. Complex plots are always welcome if written coherently, but unfortunately more complex plotwork in anime is rather poorly presented. Quality writing (basically, believable character interaction and plot progression) is always more important than plot complexity. One thing I particularly love is a well presented mystery, although I enjoy lots of other stuff too.

- Interesting, compelling characters. I place a very large focus on characters when I engage with any kind of media (be it TV, anime, video games, whatever), and a dearth of likable characters is the quickest way to kill my interest in a series. In the vast majority of cases, these characters are female. This is just the way I work when it comes to entertainment - although there are certainly males whom I find compelling (Ryoga from Ranma 1/2, Dominic from Eureka Seven), they are far and few in between. Furthermore, I am generally most interested in characters who are moe moe in some way. Too much moe kills a character, of course, but just the right application serves as a hook to pull me in.

- Good production values. This mostly includes artwork and animation. Generally, quality artwork is more important for setting mood and tone, while quality animation is vital to a good action sequence. Consistent character designs are also a must. Spectacular production values won't necessarily make me interested in a show (although they help a lot if the show contains other elements I find appealing), but horrendous production values have the power to turn me off from pretty much anything if they are bad enough.

- Thrill factor. A good show will fill me with excitement and tension, and will keep the momentum going when the plot line calls for it. Good production values can help with this (I just love visual feasts), and the show needs to actually convince that it just might kill/do something bad to a given character(s) in order for tension to work at its best.

- Good directing. This is really kind of a catch all category, but it mostly applies to scene composition, cinematography, use of music, and other such factors. Great directing will use all of these elements to appropriately emphasize whatever action is occuring in a given scene or episode.

- Good pacing. A good show will make every episode interesting from beginning to end, and will keep the momentum going between episodes when the plot calls for it.

Most of these are more or less univerally applicable for everyone, I think. My own personal tastes can be found in my love of thrill rides, and in my particular focus on characters (along with preferred style of characters).
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Old 05-19-2006, 09:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

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Originally Posted by Omeganitros
I think Big O is THE best anime I've ever seen.
I wouldn't exactly say its the best anime ive seen. Its good and funny how everything gets blown up as well as the bad guys. The stlye is good as well but it still didn't do that much for me.

Style does play a big part but I wouldn't say it was the most important thing. I would say the plot is. The style could be awesomely amazing put it would get boring after a while if there was nothing to keep you wanting to come back and watch more. Somthing else that plays a big role is your own personal opinion as well id say. Your opinion may differ to others but if you like it then obviously its a good anime to you.

On Stlye, Id say Cowboy Bebop is one of the best (its very ooooold yea but its a classic. And still to this day beats most new animes.).
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Old 05-19-2006, 01:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

First and foremost, the first / second episode has to lay out the underlying theme of the show right away. It has to show some of the main characters, reveal some of the plot, and make the setting. Incredibly easy to do, but so many shows fail at this point.

After that is taken care of:

1) Music. A show without good BGM sucks. A show without ANY BGM is just tiresome. I believe I fell asleep to a bunch of shows that just never played BGM or played it really softly.

2) Action. Every show has action. Action doesn't mean fighting or flying. It means stuff HAPPENS. If there is one show in particular that failed to do this basic element, it's .hack//sign.

3) Conclusive plot. Don't leave me in the air. End your series. I don't want to read the manga to find out what happens. You got your manga turned into an anime because people liked it and the television studio thought it would be a worthwhile addition to their lineup. So utilize the elements that made your manga popular and put them in the show. If you're not done writing the manga and don't want to spoil the end for those reading it, then keep the show running past one season. Just don't kill me at the 26th episode by not telling me what happens next.

4) Brought to the table. The "table" of anime is huge. It is filled with good and bad series that tried a new theme. Not to say that every theme is filled up, but taking an awesome show and using the same elements from that show again just won't work. For instance, making a show that is almost exactly the same as Azumanga Daioh is a pretty stupid thing to do, because there's absolutely no way to surpass that show. You need to bring something new to the table. Something viewers haven't seen before, even if it's just a twist on the original's plot.

5) Characters. Fit the style of the show, really. Everyone likes a unique and awesome character. It's not necessary to put him / her in a huge trenchcoat with a massive gun to make them cool. Whatever fits the style the show is using will work splendidly. I personally like to have a myriad of characters all developing alongside the main character. Having a show limited to two or three characters gets kinda boring.

I'm sure I missed something. Oh well.

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Old 05-19-2006, 02:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

I don't know why I keep getting used as the benchmark for anime volume, there are plenty of people here that have watched a lot more than I have. >_>
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Old 05-19-2006, 04:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

Eh. I just chose someone.
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Old 05-20-2006, 12:09 AM   #12
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

It needs hot furries.
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Old 05-20-2006, 02:34 AM   #13
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Default Re: What makes a series good?

Good start such as Blood+ or Fate/Stay night, what they failed to deliver was good things later on, it all became generic and boring, oh also Ergo Proxy falls into that category.

Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumia is a good example of stellar Anime, of course it helps a lot that it's based on Novels, also there is Full Metal Panic series.
Black Lagoon still maintains its spark, hope it will continue to do so in the future.

Eureka 7, great start.. it starts to suck from 13th 'till 21ep or so after which it becomes great again.... Weird, but it saved itself.

There is many more example I can bring up but lets stop for now.
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