Posted by psgels on 31 October 2009 with categories: Kuchuu Buranko



Ah, we get a look into the authors of cheap romance novels. Again, it had a very simple conclusion: just start writing good novels! The fun in this episode yet again came from exploring the life and carreer of this guy.

As I’m also somewhat a writer, I can identify with him a bit: so you’ve written a masterpiece. Then what? You’re popular as hell thanks to your hard work. Now what? I can understand how this guy would eventually fall into a habit of writing stuff that sells good, yet are utterly crappy and formulaic. For a starting author, this means complete suicide, however an already famous author can pull this off and still sell items.

While I’ve never written a masterpiece myself, I do recognize how you can be incredibly passionate about something when you first start out. If you happen to know the right techniques, then despite your lack of experience you can put down an incredible piece of work.

This episode was all about getting in the right mindset. It’s not about writer’s block; this guy was very able to churn out novels if you ignore his vomiting problem. Instead, it was focused on getting him from writing half-assedly to passionately. And that’s something I do recognize from my own writing, especially with my episodic reviews: the more passionately I write abot an episode (whether it was good or bad), the better that entry is usually going to be.

… and yeah, you could probably guess that this wasn’t such a passionately written entry. -_-
Rating: * (Good)

11 Responses

  1. RE says:

    well
    My interpretation of this episode was little different from yours….

    It’s not really about how you suppose to be. Writers! Please Write Good Book!!

    …..no
    it just tells us that this is how we are in this society of all good and bad.

  2. m says:

    I would say that it’s not the quality of his writing per se that is making him ill, but that he wants to be one kind of writer and yet the demands of his job have made him into a hack. However, he is too afraid of not receiving the kind of success his romance novels obtain from the writing he enjoys, and becomes trapped between his desire for approval and his creative drive as a result.

    All of the patients thus far have had difficulty asserting themselves, which in different manifestations seems to cause their neuroses.

    As I have watched this show I’ve felt the length of each episode seems too short to convey the story of each patient, and the style they have adopted makes each episode sort of incoherent. The interruptions to discuss the subject matter further disrupt the pace of the show, and if it continues like this they’ve completely wasted the noitamina slot.

  3. PL says:

    thank you m… this show just doesnt live up to the standards noitamina has set in the past at all. Its like bakemonogatari, but much worse, mistaking bizarre and intrusive stylistic choices for “experimental” and “artistic,” and using that as an excuse to write something with very little depth. Personally, I’d rather watch a generic harem…at least the fanservice would be entertaining.

    I’d love to be proven wrong and discover that the style is richly laden with symbols that add depths of meaning and nuance to the stories, and that the stories themselves connect in some interesting and meaningful way…perhaps as a savage satire against the psychiatric industry or modern life or something…so far, though, I kind of doubt that will be the case.

  4. Machi says:

    I think you simplified this one a bit more than it deserved. In the case of this yes you’re right part of the episode was about being able to churn out works out of formulaic routine he developed so he could sell. But its not necessarily just about the money or fame that was the focus to writting passionately. Consider the recurring motif of his first book constantly mentioned as being his most honest work, especially in comparison to the romance novels that he churned out which were far from reality. Is what makes a crucial difference to appreciating this episode, namely acceptance of a writers work.

    How does a writer or anyone who does something passionately AND honestly get acceptance? Does he fake it and simply use bravado to cover up ones lack of experience to be accepted, and in the course of this episode that would be the romance novels. Or does one continue to write what they truly want to write with sincerity, even if that doesn’t mean being accepted. And lets face it this is what bothered him as could he tried to stick to the same formula that sold for him, despite being very much uncomfortable with it that he was afraid if his pattern. As with a pattern chances of comparison between works are high and in turn so is discovering weaknesses that arise, which you’d have to address. In this case he couldn’t address that considering that he wasn’t a pervert like the old writer, or has had any experience.

    While his lack of success with his debut, at least with quantity (but lets face it quantity does not mean quality). Scared him off from writing what he really wants to write so he stuck to writing those romance novels, esentially I guess the guy just loved writting thats why he still wrote but was uncomfortable “laying eggs” of a topic he was alien to.

    I think this episode deserves more of a re-evaluation, considering the motif and imagery that was used which does reveal a more complex and rewarding viewing than the summary written. I’m not concerned about the score but I am concerned at the simplified writing.

  5. Machi says:

    I think you simplified this one a bit more than it deserved. In the case of this yes you’re right part of the episode was about being able to churn out works out of formulaic routine he developed so he could sell. But its not necessarily just about the money or fame that was the focus to writting passionately. Consider the recurring motif of his first book constantly mentioned as being his most honest work, especially in comparison to the romance novels that he churned out which were far from reality. Is what makes a crucial difference to appreciating this episode, namely acceptance of a writers work.

    How does a writer or anyone who does something passionately AND honestly get acceptance? Does he fake it and simply use bravado to cover up ones lack of experience to be accepted, and in the course of this episode that would be the romance novels. Or does one continue to write what they truly want to write with sincerity, even if that doesn’t mean being accepted. And lets face it this is what bothered him as could he tried to stick to the same formula that sold for him, despite being very much uncomfortable with it that he was afraid if his pattern. As with a pattern chances of comparison between works are high and in turn so is discovering weaknesses that arise, which you’d have to address. In this case he couldn’t address that considering that he wasn’t a pervert like the old writer, or has had any experience.

    While his lack of success with his debut, at least with quantity (but lets face it quantity does not mean quality). Scared him off from writing what he really wants to write so he stuck to writing those romance novels, esentially I guess the guy just loved writting thats why he still wrote but was uncomfortable “laying eggs” of a topic he was alien to.

    I think this episode deserves more of a re-evaluation, considering the motif and imagery that was used which does reveal a more complex and rewarding viewing than the summary written. I’m not concerned about the score but I am concerned at the simplified writing.

  6. Machi says:

    Ah screw it I’ll post my other thoughts here. Though it is just one, the others are in the shoutbox. Here is one thing I’d like others to consider about the style. Why is it that we see the doctor well almost everywhere? Does the doctor really follow his patients?

    Is there not the possibility that what we’re seeing on screen is actually the recounting of the patients of their problems, or stressful events to the doctor? After all we never do see the doctor and his patient talking in the hospital, yet in retrospect we don’t necessarily see them leaving conclusively as they visit (except as they do leave at the end as with this episode). So the selectivity of the scenes showed would actually be the doctor and patient talking, rather than assuming the doctor actually stalks the patient, and dissecting the experience to get to the root of the problem. Which may be why we do get a lack of “depth” because we only get scenes or events that would be what one tells a psychologist (the stressful moments). The show I think is rather rewarding and like Kaiba does invite the viewers to interpret, especially with only the evidence at hand.

  7. m says:

    I would rather watch this show backwards than see anymore harem shows. I haven’t read the short stories, but I assume that there is more content in them than we get in each episode. The world we’re presented with is completely shallow. I just wish the episodes were maybe twice as long so they wouldn’t seem like they were built by someone with ADHD. I don’t mind the experimentation with the style, I just think it ends up eating away at the time budget. I appreciate any kind of novelty studios want to engage in; the medium can use whatever it can get. In its present form the show just doesn’t compare well against the last two shows in the noitamina block. I still look forward to watching it more than, say, Darker than Black.

  8. Machi says:

    Well I think the world presented would be shallow, in the sense that you see only through the eyes or narration of one character. It certainly limits perspectives, even more so when you consider that character has a fixation on something that is causing his disorder. So the thing is it may be a complaint that the world is shallow but its what you’d expect given the nature of the show, its not necessarily the fault of the experimentation style. In fact if the show were more straight forward, excluding the style, I’d say this could run at two cases per episode rather than one. As you said they do linger on the presentation, but I think that is also a strength in its own regard as the shows complexity makes it more rewarding than a simple “moral of the day” show. The show does go more for style rather than expansiveness, the style is a recurring motif of the issue to build up on the theme.

    Though what I do see as a potential pitfall for this series with the style is that I don’t really see this peaking. There is consistency with the episodes so far but at the same time it doesn’t climax. Whats more I do see the potential for this show to fall into a set pattern, especially with the three cases so far being centered on the myopia of the patients as their downfall. Course its still early on so I’d love to be proven wrong about this prediction. Even then if this does come to pass its still very much entertaining to watch.

  9. PL says:

    Ok, here’s my issue with this show. First, It’s simplistic. The psychology involved is less in-depth or interesting than a General Psych 101 course. Second, the characters are flat, which is somewhat to be expected given the format of the show. So, we get neither deep emotional truth nor philosophical insight in the nature of the mind. This is just entertainment, and in my opinion, its not even great entertainment. At least Sora no Otoshimono can make me laugh. So, we come to the style. I’m a fan of stylized and experimental anime, when it enhances the story. I love Natsu no Arashi for instance. What I’ve seen of kaiba was wonderful. And my new favorite movie is sky crawlers. But often the style doesn’t enhance the story, but rather intrudes in it. For instance, the digitized human faces on the patients. This doesn’t do anything but break my involvement in the story. It is neither aesthetically pleasing, nor does it carry serious symbolic significance. In fact, none of the style seems to carry interesting or affecting symbolism. Rather, its overly simplistic and even childish. For instance, in episode 2, the guy who can’t get rid of his hard-on, turns into a rhinoceros with his horn all decorated and stylized. Alright, the horn is way too obviously phallic, and then it quickly becomes clear that his problem is tied up with his pent up anger and inability to express his feelings, and the rhino is known for its temper, plus, every time he switches it is when he’s getting pissed off and the rhino looks like its about to charge. Whoopdedoo! Machi, you said you prefer this structure to a simplistic moral of the day, but that’s exactly what it is. “Trust other people.” “Express your emotions and make decisions for yourself.” Might as well be Leave it to Beaver. You said the motifs in the style served to highlight the over-arching themes of the series. What themes? Maybe I’m really missing something, but as far as I can tell, it’s exactly what you said, an attempt to show what a visit to a shrink is like. But, instead of engaging deeply with the nature of psychology, we get an episodic show where profound psychological problems causing serious somatic and/or behavioral disturbances are fixed with a vitamin shot and pat greeting card advice. Yeah, cool, the doctor changes forms because therapists often change from consoling to hostile, etc. Everything is tripped out because visiting the shrink is a bizarre experience, the non-speaking characters are 2-D because that’s how they are represented to the doctor by the patient. But pry up the surface and there is nothing deeper. No symbolic representations of Jungian Archetypes or the Freudian death-drive. No probing investigation of the nature of mental illness and its treatment. No exploration of philosophic questions like the mind-body problem. But hey, it does have Boner-man and Mickey Mouse. Shows like Darker than Black are more emotionally and intellectually satisfying. This is entertainment, made to look artsy with some stylistic choices that actually intrude upon the story rather than enhance it. For a literary anime with style done well, that examines the human psyche meaningfully, I’ll be watching Aoi Bungaku this season. That’s the real “Noitamina” show, it just doesn’t happen to be in the “Noitamina” time-slot.

  10. Machi says:

    I’m watching both Aoi and this, I don’t see why you’re hostile about having to pick one over the other. And yes I never said this show was deep but rather entertaining, and indeed it is at only a 101 level in psychology (of course its still early so this is still up in the air). As for the aesthetics I would say that is purely more of taste than anything, you may be repulsed by the digitized faces but as you write or if I do reply its much more akin to personal taste.

    As for the moral of the day thing it seems you misunderstood, as I’ve said the show easily may fall into that pitfall and indeed it does so far given that the cases are all quite similar due to the idea of supression. However, this is where the highly stylized approach helps as while the moral may be simple the presentation of animation certainly catches attention to divert it from that. In a nutshell the eye candy or totally weird imagery is what you remember on more than the “moral of the day”, as one writes the first thing that does come to mind is the weird imagery from the Rhino to Rooster. The moral of the day comes secondary, and even then I recall the theme more not because of the story written but of the images related to it.

    With regards to the images missing the norm of what we would associate with psychology, I would argue that the Freudian and Jungian are there but obviously as you note at a 101 level. While I don’t really want to go jumping all over this, especially given how young the show is, is it necessarily a fault to be at the 101 level? Considering that the show is trying to be entertaining would it necessarily jive well with the humor to go into more advanced or serious psychology jargon or imagery? Especially given the more complicated nature of such images that would put the show in danger of being very contrived. At this point at least the images used I think are apt they are simple but in line with the narrative presented. They may not enhance but they decorate it well enough.

    What this all points back to is the fact that the show is indeed not deep, well given the few episodes so far (so its hard to judge that decisively at this point). And this may lead to your frustration as you’re looking for something the show isn’t, and I think the episodes and the animation style (crass humor as well) do all point to telling you not to take it TOO seriously. Which is why this would be a worlds difference from Aoi Buganku, even then its an unfair comparison given that they’re practically apples and oranges so I don’t see why that show needs to be mentioned here. I mentioned Kaiba because the animation style was indeed off putting to many but overall still rewarding when taken into context, much like this show the images are weird and spontaneous but still linked by the thread of the issue. So in the end WHY look for DEEP philosophy in this show is totally up in the air, and Darker than Black isn’t any more philosophical either, and I would argue at the intellectual level I see the show more as pulp action (and just to clariffy pulp and action aren’t bad.)

  11. PL says:

    I don’t have a problem with this show, per se. No, I don’t enjoy it. But really, my problem is with anime fans who want to pretend that this show is somehow more artistic than or has more depth than your average moe or shounen. As you said, and what my point basically was, this show is just simple entertainment. And I do think its sad that this show is in the noitamina slot, which has traditionally been reserved for more sophisticated and intellectually fulfilling shows. I like good old fashioned entertainment. What irks me is people that want to bash a show like Sacred Blacksmith, and then sing high praises for this one, when it really is just apples and oranges, as you said. Anyway, I don’t think we’re in any kind of serious disagreement, (though I do think there is more going on philosophically in DtB than you are giving it credit for, but that’s for another day ;) ). Jyaa Mata

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:34 PM)
    @Bam: They’d never allow bringing in toys/games/comics back when I was in school, they thought bringing in such things would make the kids of lower income families feel bad for not being able to afford things.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:31 PM)
    @Mario: He’s actually not a big fan of Iranian cinema, he told me before that he found most of it overly depressing.
    Now what you’re talking about there sounds like my kind of film.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:30 PM)
    @Bam: I’ll get back into the mainstream blockbusters thing as much as I used to be someday. someday….
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:28 PM)
    @Bam: Well, I guess I more brought up the being accused of hipsterism and contrarianism referring to the type of hypothetical person who would never be satisfied with how well you’d defend your opinion.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:25 PM)
    Thats the awkward thing though, when casting a superhero role, its difficult to find someone who can get both identities correct.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:23 PM)
    Bah implying toxic avenger and Italian spiderman aren’t the best superhero films OmO hahaha!
  • SuperMario
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 08:50 AM)
    Hey Bam, I remember attended a preview on one of an upcoming Iranian animated feature called The Last Fiction. it was inspired by the poem “Shahnameh” and from what I had seen so far, a very stylish, confident and “bloody” work. Expected to be complete in the end of 2017 thou.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:37 AM)
    Comic books were super rare and expensive in Iran, being banned and all. Rich kids in elementary would bring them to school to show them off, along with their Ninja Turtles action figures; they looked so cool and I was hella jealous. Me and my brother only had the bootleg Toxic Crusader figures lol
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:34 AM)
    @K-off: I didn’t read the comics either. I watched that weird 60s show, and Spiderman and the Amazing Friends, which had Firestar and the ice guy. I know his personality was quippy and kind of a wise-ass, and McGuire looks kinda like a rape victim of sorts. It was a lot better in costume, I admit.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:29 AM)
    I mean if we use the term fanboy for whenever someone feels strongly about something, then what’ll we have left for people who LARP and insist to be called by their WoW character names and dress up in gear and persistently speak in fake ‘Ol English?

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