Alice to Zouroku

Discussion in 'Title Discussion' started by Nectar, May 4, 2017.

  1. Nectar

    Nectar ~Probably asleep~

    May 1, 2017
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    Alice to Zouroku is probably my second favourite currently-airing anime right now. I figured it needed a thread because pretty much as soon as I joined here on Monday I was ready to discuss but there were no discussions xD

    Anyway~

    Plot Summary, taken from manga:

    "A group of young girls possess a mysterious power known as "Alice's Dream," which gives them the ability to turn their thoughts into reality. Detained and experimented upon, these youths are locked away in secret until one of them manages to escape. Her name is Sana—a girl with the power to ignore the very laws of physics. When this willful powerhouse crosses paths with a stubborn old man named Zouroku, his carefully-ordered life will never be the same again." - Anime News Network

    ~~~

    When I first started watching this, I was super excited for the new season and was enjoying this one initially, and then it started to bore me, and now I'm in love with it again.
    There's something about the wonderful pairing of Sana and Zouroku that really makes me smile. Also the world building is excellent so far and although not super original it still manages to create a mysterious and exciting storyline. Not found anything worth mentioning that's wrong with it, although I'm sure someone will find something xP

    What do you think about Alice & Zouroku?
    Do you hate crooked stuff?
    I'd love some opinions on this :D

    ehRRH9L.jpg
    Also I love Sanae. Observe the 'e'. It's a different person. Good naming skills right?
     
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  2. Sekkarou

    Sekkarou Neppu!

    Dec 28, 2016
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    I haven't started watching it tbh.
    Although it is one of the anime this season that I'll definitely be watching once a few more episodes come out.
    Heck, it's even showing in Animax so I might not even need to watch it on Crunch.
     
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  3. Nutty

    Nutty Level 2

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    Alice to Zouroku was one of the shows I had high hopes for at the start of the season. In fact, it was the first new show I checked out this spring. It had a solid start, as the 45 minute premier did enough to set up the plot, characters and tone of the show. At the end of the premier, I was interested in the world, but not enthralled. What I felt was keeping the narrative together for me, was the (potentially) interesting dynamic between Alice and Zouroku. I felt that the "plot" of supernatural powers wasn't essential to developing both Alice and Zouroku, and would much rather have them focus on their relationship, rather than using the "plot" to force these two individuals together and (imo) fabricate unnecessary drama. So I was keen on seeing their relationship grow as I watched Episode 2 the following week.

    But if you have watched Episode 2, you will know that isn't the case. The whole episode centers around Alice's relationship with a non-established character - Zouroku's granddaughter. (if I remembered correctly) I don't think Alice and Zouroku even talked once in this episode. I mean, if this was a later episode it would probably have been fine. But they can't just do this when the audience seeks more development of the (literally) the people the title of the show is named after. I sort of get the feeling that they are using the 45 minute long premier to excuse the lack of things happening in Episode 2, but that's besides my point.

    Anyway, I dropped the series after the mundane episode 2, which didn't really make me care for for the granddaughter too. I'm one to drop shows the moment I see it turning south, and when the foreseeable payoff far under-weights all the BS I will have to sit through in order to get there. I may come off as a bit harsh towards the show, but It's definitely not terrible and has good production quality and a solid plot overall. I also had high expectations for it - which may have made the disappointment it became worse for me.

    With that said, no show is dropped forever. And i wouldn't mind re-visiting it if I hear good things in the future. So please do tell me how it turns out. I am keen to know ~ :)
     
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  4. Muco

    Muco Farewell

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    This one looks promising, i will have to catch up once i get to finish all the other anime series i already started.
     
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  5. RepentantSky

    RepentantSky Member

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    I just started watching show after seeing this thread and I could not stop until I caught up. Episode might be a little bit slow, although I can't imagine why you don't like Sanae-chan, but seriously, it picks up right after that and Zoroku and Sana have some great character monets, Missing out on this show is a foolish idea, but then again, so is dropping a show for one bad episode...
     
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  6. Nutty

    Nutty Level 2

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    #6 Nutty, May 5, 2017
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
    I should be able to get away with just saying "I don't like this show, that's why I'm not watching it." Since it is just my opinion. However, the internet seems to need justification on every single one of my opinions that it doesn't agree with. Even after condensing my thoughts of the show into paragraphs, in hopes of expressing my general feelings towards the show, some people still just won't have it. Honestly, I wouldn't mind going into full detail why i think this show isn't worth my time. So here you go.

    (I'm about to say the following since I feel like I have to say this every time I talk about things people don't see eye-to-eye with me on) This is just my personal opinion, please take it with a grain of salt. Also, I absolutely don't have any issues with people who like this show, and therefore am only writing to express why I don't like it - not why you shouldn't. With that said, let me begin.

    Diving straight in, I think the show's OP does a very good job in summarizing my feelings towards what the show is trying to achieve/ how I perceived it. Skipping past the average track and talking about the visuals, it is quite apparent that the OP comes off as glaringly 2D. And no, it is not trying to achieve that effect, because even in more "3D" shots, such as the shot of Sana and Zouroku flying in the night sky - it still comes off as 2D. This is partly due to the 2D Ferris Wheel (in that scene) and the generally under-shaded character models that lack depth. This problem plagues the rest of the series too, making the visuals of the series plain and boring to me. And on top of that, it's quite frankly unrealistic-looking. Moving on, the OP also consists of a lot of "imagery" with things like 2D hourglasses floating in the background as Sana strides through them. Apart from the fact that she just looks like she's walking on a treadmill in front of a green screen, there isn't inherently anything wrong with this. However, what bothers me are the hourglasses itself. The reason I used quotation marks for the word "imagery" is because I think they are trying to go for that with the hourglasses... But it just isn't apparent to the viewer what it actually symbolizes - if it actually symbolizes anything at all. Sure, some people may find some witty and clever way to tie the theme of "time" or "frailness" into the overarching narrative - but nothing in the show suggests that at face value. And no, this show isn't some literary masterpiece that needs to be analyzed thoroughly. The reason I started off by nitpicking on the OP is because it showcases 2 of my main feelings suitably. And those are that it is flat, and fabricated.

    The show is flat in a more metaphorical sense (beyond the visuals) as it lacks any substance that captivates me personally. The plot is actually quite generic, only being saved by the "anime" slice-of-life twist they added to the show. As it basically follows a super powerful being escaping from a research facility to learn the beauty of the outside world, and that there are good people in it. This sort of plot has been done many times before, namely in Wolverine and Deadpool's stories. The only small difference is that Sana is not hunting, rather she is being hunted. The reason I am drawing comparisons from Wolverine and Deadpool to this show is to help articulate my next point in a more relate-able way. And that is that the main character of this kind of show is the most important. I mean, It says a lot about the importance of a character when the show is literally named after them. (In all 3 of these cases) With that said, I had no reason to like, let alone care for Sana at all. All I know about her is that she is powerful and needs to escape from evil people. So basically, we have to care about her since she is not the "bad guy." The "bad guys" are the ones chasing her right? So she must be good? I think this is probably one of the worst ways a show can introduce a character - let alone the main character. Beyond the fact that the show centered around her, there is absolutely no reason to care about her. "Oh, but she's sweet and cute" - some may exclaim. Well yeah, she's a little anime girl - what do you expect. Honestly, I think anime nowadays are just trying to play us for fools under the notion which people will love a character as long as they are cute. Which is unfortunately quite true for many people. But I guess It just doesn't work on me.

    Still on the topic of being flat, I'll move on to stereotypes - the show is filled with them. Lets start with the "old man" stereotype which is obviously fulfilled by Zouroku. After viewing 3 whole episodes (1/4) of the show, this is all I can say about him. He works (like every single old person in Japan who can still walk), he can cook, he seems grumpy and harsh on the outside, but is actually soft and caring on the inside. How much more stereotypical can you get. I think the show is just too fixated and comfortable with it's pre-established premise that "a small girl is friends with an old man" that it neglects actually forging an interesting small girl and an endearing old man. Despite being an old man, Zouroku still strikes me as any generic, replaceable anime MC with the only difference between the two being that he doesn't attend high school. He lacks a sense of individuality, is good at heart, and protects cute girls... Because why not? Later on in the series, I assume that he is also the one to inspire the said cute girl, by being genuine and helping them realize their dreams. At this point, I feel that any old man would do to take care of Alice. Heck, if Alice lived with a pedophilic old man, it may actually be more interesting to see his ass get kicked, rather than watching a guy like Zouroku mope around as a stereotype everyday. Well, at least we are shown that he had a life before meeting Alice - unlike the other characters.

    The other "notable" character stereotype that I will choose to discuss is the "positive" character that apparently never experiences any other emotion than happiness. This character is obviously Sanae. I have nothing against a happy character. In fact, I liked all the roles that I have seen Toyosaki Aki play before in shows like Hanasaku Iroha, K-On! and Kokoro Connect. However, I found the character of Sanae to be completely uninteresting and mundanely portrayed, which contradicts everything the show intended to do with her. This is not the fault of Toyosaki Aki, rather, it is the fault of the writing team and how the character is presented. Much like Sana's case, we as the audience haven't been given any reasons to like her beyond the obvious "she is nice" and "she has a cute voice." At this point, the lazy characterization used the in show is plain obvious and painful to watch. But you can't blame J.C Staff as they seem to value quantity over quality nowadays - cranking out 7 full TV anime series since the start of January this year - of which their collective MAL score is a 6.55/10. (I know that using MyAnimeList isn't necessarily the most reliable or accurate way of judging an anime's quality. But it's contrast compared to the average score of anime's listed on MAL - 7, says something.) Moving back to Sanae and the problem of "flatness" I have with this show, I can't seem to help but feel that she can be as easily replaced by a cardboard cutout, much like Zouroku. I guess they say it runs in the family eh. Seriously though, she literally is never seen to express any other emotion other than happiness. get that it is her main selling point that adds "uniqueness" to her character. But I still cannot shake the feeling that she is only pixels animated into this narrative in order to serve the purpose of being instantly likable, by both the audience, and Sana. This is to carry the narrative forward so that Sana can build more human connections. Of course, these human connections with Sanae and Zouroku have foreseeable purposes too, because as soon as Episode 3, Sana is put into life threatening danger and, will probably either rely on her connections to get her out, or have them held hostage against her. After a quick glance at Episode 4, I can say that I was right. This use of characters wouldn't be wrong if only I had cared for them at all. I do applaud the fact that some character background was attempted to be given to Sanae at one of her first few scenes in the form of a visualization of her memories. However, her reactions to it, and the in-your-face presentation was just screaming for attention and hardly got me caring for her at all. On top of that, I would like to point out the fact that the younger version of Sanae was completely emotionless as she was making graves for her "mom and dad." I honestly don't know what the show was trying to achieve by this, or what it is trying to tell us about Sanae. If this was the show's attempt at being clever or suggestive, it is just being too vague and defeats the whole purpose of a scene that's meant to inform the audience more about her. I think that is enough to express my general attitude towards boring characters like Sanae.

    Along with the fabricated nature the characters and events are portrayed - I have to mention that the world looks fabricated too. This may come as a shocker... but having the only 3D looking things in your world being CGI is garbage. Wow, who would have knew? But honestly, the CGI used to create "depth" in this world is laughable. What especially gets to me is when they use CGI for moving cars but still choose to shoot the scene from its side, where no depth is shown at all. It's hilarious.

    With flatness comes the lack of depth, which leads to viewers getting bored. The producers knew this was going to happen, so they created things that we, the viewers, are supposed to care about. And they do so in the most painfully obvious way possible. With that said - along with fabrication and inherently artificial plot presentation comes predictability.

    The intentions of the inclusion of characters in this series is so clear-cut and fabricated that they are almost like chess pieces on a chess board. Bound to a set of rules and potential moves it can make. My point being that it is easily foreseeable where this plot will go, and since the pieces aren't even established enough to run it's course, this will most probably lead to more fabrication and inclusion of catalysts to propel events forward rather than them intrinsically connecting and affecting one another. Regardless of the "potential" in the characters and plot, I honestly don't care at this point as the show has all but lost me. The sense of lazy writing, directing and direction really gives off the feeling that the producers genuinely don't care about the project at all. If so, why should I watch this series and not the thousands of potentially better ones? Why should I be bound to a train that's headed towards multiple brick walls?

    That is my first impression of Alice to Zouroku. And an important one at that, as I have already gauged the attitude towards making the show, and the tone and ways of presentation that will be used carried forward. Suffice to say, this is yet another mass produced piece of media that's diluting the medium nowadays.

    Now to answer you directly. I am glad you are enjoying the show, I'm sure you are seeing something in it that I don't. Under your notion that the show picks up after Episode 2 - I checked out Episode 3. It certainly had more going on, but didn't really have any meaningful chance of tone/ presentation. (Which I have expressed my displeasure towards above) Also, glancing over Episode 4, I do understand why you feel that Sana and Zouroku have some "great character moments" but It was honestly still predictable, cliched, flat, and fabricated - leading to it not having much of an emotional impact on me. It just felt so staged that it was hardly believable.

    About Sanae, it's not that I don't like her - in fact, I don't dislike any of the cast. I simply just don't care about them. And I don't foresee myself doing with both the cast and the show in the future - and that's why I dropped it.

    I don't think I will be missing out on anything meaningful. If you think I am, rather than calling me out on it - just explain to me what I am missing out! I am definitely interested to know :D

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    Just as a closing paragraph. I would like to state that I am not deliberately going against the show for the sake of it, as what I have said above is genuinely how I feel. Also, sorry to put anyone down (if any) for liking the show as (I have expressed before, and I will express again) it is only my opinion and I am definitely welcome to others!

    I think I may have wrote too much haha. If you read it all, thank you. Were my points justified? Please tell me. Hey, at least writing this post was fun :)
     
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  7. Wodahs

    Wodahs Member

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    meh tl;dr and that's most the thread as well
    but due to this thread and the fact that I had caught up with most my other new animes I started this on and Seikaisuru Kado (or Kado , the right answer [I think]) and about to check out Eromanga-sensei as well
    and well ive watched two eps so far and cant say I love it , but nor do I hate it , may give it some more and see how my enjoyment with it keep going
     
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