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World Class Anime vs What Otakus Think are World Class

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The Article

 

So, I  read this article this morning (Japanese Twitter has some funny topics sometimes) and it got me thinking....  what makes an anime world class? 

 

I guess to me, it would have to loved by all and known in most major countries. That means, no nasty debates over whether it is good or bad (that means SAO is what an Otaku might think is world class). I would consider that it would also have to avoid the tropes too many anime fall into (harems, ecchi, groping, etc).  I guess for me, my Miyazaki and some of my Shinkai anime would qualify...I can understand Ghost in the Shell being included too. Maybe even Cardcaptor Sakura.

 

What do all of you think? What would your definition be? Have any World Class or Otakus might think is... in your collections? 

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"World Class" is a really weird phrase, simply because people disagree about what is world class. Surely that means that nothing is world class then. Instead of looking at what are the "best" anime overall, you should look at what are the best at what they are trying to do. Steins;Gate is definitely worth a mention in that case, because the ways it explores time travel are outstanding. On the other hand, Corner of the World was definitely a good movie, and the concept was nice and original, but we wouldn't call it the best. There are better character driven dramas out there. The fact that it was about losing the war doesn't automatically give it a pass.

On that front, we'll nominate Bartender. On the surface, Bartender appears to be an anime about the history of cocktails, and while that is a part of it, giving history lessons is not what it excels at. That is character development. Bartender can develop a character in one episode more than many shows can in their entire runtime. If you've never seen Bartender, we implore you to go and watch it, just so you can understand what we're talking about. In particular, episode 6 about the movie director, and episode 10 about the liquid physicist. To be honest, you don't really need to watch any of the rest of it (although you should).

Also the soundtrack is great.

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I would have to say that Charlotte should be mentioned here,not only the animantion, but the soundtrack and whole concept is original and different,it has plot twist it has fighting,school life,love,harsh life,depression and when you take all that(usually you get cheesy anime) but I wouldn’t say this came out like that but really hartbreaking and interesting anime worth watching.

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I do agree with @the_twig here, "world class" is impossible to define, but we can indeed praise shows for succeeding in doing what they're trying to do.

Nobody will unanimously love any single anime, regardless of how popular it is.

10 hours ago, EvilRedDwarf said:

I would have to say that Charlotte should be mentioned here,not only the animantion, but the soundtrack and whole concept is original and different,it has plot twist it has fighting,school life,love,harsh life,depression and when you take all that(usually you get cheesy anime) but I wouldn’t say this came out like that but really hartbreaking and interesting anime worth watching.

Time for an example. I personally despise Charlotte for the way it handled its ending, I think it was lazy and destroyed absolutely everything good that the show did up to that point.The show COULD have been absolutely fantastic had it both handled its ending better, and had more time to work with what it was given. A 24 episode runtime would have done wonders, rather than rushing in whatever that ending was. But all that considered, it is still simply my opinion, and I do know that Charlotte is loved by many, @EvilRedDwarfbeing one of them.

My favourite anime by a mile is Senki Zesshou Symphogear. But even then, I don't consider it perfect, my MAL score varies from 8-9 season to season. It has a bunch of flaws that drag it down, but despite those flaws, I do think it's one of the best "over-the-top action" series out there, because of how much it holds that aspect to heart and follows through with it, delivering an incredibly fun anime. BUT, the plot is very cliche and whatnot, so even by that alone, it is not perfect. Any individual that doesn't like sheer over-the-top action would despise the show, simple as that.

Even though my favourite only hits a 9/10 at max, I do indeed have other shows set at 10/10. I absolutely enjoyed these and appreciate them enough to give them a 10, but they aren't my favourite. My 10/10s however, are not true 10/10s, because as I've said, that's impossible to define. I even give my 10/10s the benefit of the doubt when I give them that score. I know no show will ever be truly perfect and flawless, so if I simply enjoy one enough and it passes enough "thresholds" I suppose, I'll give it a 10.

By all means, check my MAL if you're curious: https://myanimelist.net/animelist/awesomedude20 (though as of posting this, MAL is down.)

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Anything done by Ghibli. 

 

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10 hours ago, Oakmi said:

Anything done by Ghibli. 

 

Most of Ghibli's films are great but not all of them. Ghibli has produced many classics, but even it can mess up sometimes, like in Tales from Earthsea or Ocean waves

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On ‎5‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 2:55 PM, the_twig said:

"World Class" is a really weird phrase, simply because people disagree about what is world class. Surely that means that nothing is world class then. Instead of looking at what are the "best" anime overall, you should look at what are the best at what they are trying to do.

Haha, I'm pretty sure that is part of the reason why it made Japanese Twitter explode like it did.  It is definitely a good topic to debate anyways.  And a little debate I shall...  I don't entirely agree with your definition.  I think that although some anime are the "best at doing what they set out to do", they wouldn't actually be culturally acceptable world-wide.  I would consider a broad cultural acceptance to be key for an anime to be "world class".  If an anime is the best at what it sets out to do, but is only considered acceptable by a single country or a handful of small regions, I just don't see it being a world-class anime (by my own definition of course).  I've never seen Bartender but I might check it out if I ever run across it.

On ‎5‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 4:02 PM, EvilRedDwarf said:

I would have to say that Charlotte should be mentioned here,not only the animantion, but the soundtrack and whole concept is original and different,it has plot twist it has fighting,school life,love,harsh life,depression and when you take all that(usually you get cheesy anime) but I wouldn’t say this came out like that but really hartbreaking and interesting anime worth watching.

You know, I could see that one being a possibility myself.  Nothing is really a perfect world-class anime but that one would be in the running for me.

14 hours ago, awesomedude20 said:

I do agree with @the_twig here, "world class" is impossible to define, but we can indeed praise shows for succeeding in doing what they're trying to do.

Nobody will unanimously love any single anime, regardless of how popular it is.

My favourite anime by a mile is Senki Zesshou Symphogear. But even then, I don't consider it perfect, my MAL score varies from 8-9 season to season. It has a bunch of flaws that drag it down, but despite those flaws, I do think it's one of the best "over-the-top action" series out there, because of how much it holds that aspect to heart and follows through with it, delivering an incredibly fun anime. BUT, the plot is very cliche and whatnot, so even by that alone, it is not perfect. Any individual that doesn't like sheer over-the-top action would despise the show, simple as that.

I think it is just that we would all have different definitions (part of what makes the debate) and while no one will ever unanimously love an anime, I do think that a broad acceptance is possible.  I'll be honest...I'm not really a Kiki's Delivery Service fan (and now I'm preparing for the rotten tomatoes to be flung at me)...but it seems everyone else around me loves it (and many across the world).

 

I don't exactly consider a "cliché" plotline to be a flaw or detractant.  Consider this.  There are millions of stories out there.  There will be a repeat of themes and plotlines (it is inevitable).  Now, Romeo and Juliet is considered one of the best classical romances in the world (now I don't want to go into a debate on what is considered classic or not.  Let's just agree that it's an old and popular romance story).  There are so many Romeo and Juliet based stories out there.  Is the plot kind of the same?  Sure.  Is the settings and characters the same?  Pretty much never.  I don't consider a "Romeo and Juliet" type story to be flawed based on its plot.  If the execution of the plot is unbelievable, if the characters lack meaningful development, and if the sacrifices made by the characters are meaningless, then yes it is flawed, but not for clichéd plotline.  It would be flawed because of a terrible execution by the author.  If it instead was well executed, the characters developed throughout the story, and the sacrifices were real and poignant, then it is not flawed at all.  Eh, but that's just all my opinion there. 

12 hours ago, Oakmi said:

Anything done by Ghibli. 

 

I must agree with this.  I don't know if it is how his shows are written or if it is how he crafts the characters and their personalities, but his movies tend to pull you in from your heart.  I think it helps that his main characters personalities are not over the top.  They are relatable so it is easier to empathize with their struggles.

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8 hours ago, Beocat said:

I don't exactly consider a "cliché" plotline to be a flaw or detractant.  Consider this.  There are millions of stories out there.  There will be a repeat of themes and plotlines (it is inevitable).  Now, Romeo and Juliet is considered one of the best classical romances in the world (now I don't want to go into a debate on what is considered classic or not.  Let's just agree that it's an old and popular romance story).  There are so many Romeo and Juliet based stories out there.  Is the plot kind of the same?  Sure.  Is the settings and characters the same?  Pretty much never.  I don't consider a "Romeo and Juliet" type story to be flawed based on its plot.  If the execution of the plot is unbelievable, if the characters lack meaningful development, and if the sacrifices made by the characters are meaningless, then yes it is flawed, but not for clichéd plotline.  It would be flawed because of a terrible execution by the author.  If it instead was well executed, the characters developed throughout the story, and the sacrifices were real and poignant, then it is not flawed at all.  Eh, but that's just all my opinion there. 

Ah, I guess I dug my own grave there lol, woops. I almost never state that Symphogear's cliche story is a downside since it does indeed handle its cliches well, as you say is possible.

A thing I normally friggin live by, is "cliches are not bad, poorly used cliches are bad" and I have examples to back up what I say about those if necessary. An example of a bad cliche is just using them lazily because they work. Any harem that uses the generic set of "dere"s like the tsundere for example. That doesn't inherently mean that tsunderes are all bad, nono, but in a lot of harem cases, they genuinely don't go further than "It doesn't mean that I like you!" *blush* *punch* and it does get boring if you've seen your fair share of anime.

Oh boy, this has reminded me of an old term I used to describe Symphogear. "Every season is a cookie cutter clone of the last, but god damn did they use an awesome cookie cutter."

Anyways, an example of another show that uses cliches well, is My Hero Academia. It's hard to deny that the "world of superheroes" plotline has been done a million times, just not in anime. The MC is a guy that wants to be a hero to save people, that's been done to death too. But he isn't a boring character because of how he grows as a character and realizes things as the plot progresses. it's simple, yet effective.

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On 5/29/2018 at 1:29 PM, FlamingSparrow said:

Most of Ghibli's films are great but not all of them. Ghibli has produced many classics, but even it can mess up sometimes, like in Tales from Earthsea or Ocean waves

True but Disney had a big hand in Tales from Earthsea. But your right, I just am a huge Ghibli fanboy...🤪

 

On 5/29/2018 at 3:42 PM, Beocat said:

I would consider a broad cultural acceptance to be key for an anime to be "world class". 

I agree with that statement and would add that longevity would also be a key factor. If they're one and done and nobody remembers them then can they be considered "World Class." I think that the entirety of the populace that enjoy's the anime lifestyle and those that its passed on to would have to watch, and talk and remember those titles. Which is kind of why I chose Ghibli as my contrite answer. 

While not all of their titles are great, most people have at least seen them and remember them as well as keeping the discussion about them alive. Even the bad ones, so the other point would be that even if their not great or even good, I suppose if people remember them then they can pass the longevity test. However i will digress and say that this would only be true without the branding effect. 

Disney is great at branding, so most people remember them only because of the mouse, and the fact they hold the copyright on most integrated social stories. 

On 5/30/2018 at 12:45 AM, awesomedude20 said:

Anyways, an example of another show that uses cliches well, is My Hero Academia. It's hard to deny that the "world of superheroes" plotline has been done a million times, just not in anime. The MC is a guy that wants to be a hero to save people, that's been done to death too. But he isn't a boring character because of how he grows as a character and realizes things as the plot progresses. it's simple, yet effective.

I agree with this statement as well. Cliche' stories should never be ruled out simply because they are cliched. As you stated with MHA the main character grows and develops thus diverging him away from the generic that his was based on. However will the story itself run and pass the test of longevity?

Anyway, just some thoughts. Truthful, what one person see's as world class doesn't mean others will. This would be a incredibly hard standard to create in order to identify and classify anything in the category. 

One other thought I had was that it would have to be accepted world wide in order to be considered world class. It can't hold a that title if the anime itself isn't good enough to be found globally. 

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