Thorn wrote:Insert profound, witty, and/or hilarious signature here
chucklocker wrote:I cannot speak for the larger fandom, but during my time at this forum I have NEVER heard anyone bash OVA 3 simply because "it's different," or "it's stupid." The validity of their opinion is, and aught to be, always open to argument, but the people here have always arrived at them by rational rather than emotional means.
Just so we are clear, my "haters" remarks were not targeted at the people of this forum. I'm led to believe that there IS a forum filled with haters, whom after all these years still wallow in their hatred for how TM!R turned out. Obviously, that is not a forum I would be a part of.
Now that I've said my peace about that, I think I'll wade into the fray (rationally of course! ).
First, I fully acknowledge the validity of ANB's point that the lack of Japanese materials is a LARGE barrier to entry for western fans, especially with respect to the "new" characters.
To widen this out a bit, the real problem is in how the Japanese do canon stuff vs. how we in the West do stuff. For example, the Star Trek franchise canon consists of the original TV series, the TNG TV series, the DS9 TV series (my personal favorite), the Voyager TV series, the Enterprise TV series, and the various movies up through the remake (where a new continuity starts). All of the novels that have been written are not considered canon, thus everything related to the Star Trek story is displayed on screen. That's how most of our franchises in the West work.
There are small exceptions, like the Babylon 5 franchise, which consists of a TV series, several TV movies/specials, and the aborted canon-spinoff, Crusade (bloody TNT executives at the time). Everything we want to know is tied up in what we see on screen. However, there are a few canon novels (as either written by, or endorsed by series creator JMS) which help flesh out certain things, such as the technomages. However, if you don't read these novels, are you missing anything? I can't say for sure since I've not read them (I do have the technomage trillogy but just haven't taken the time to read them).
In Japan, they believe in a true, multimedia presentation of a canon story. As such, part of the story may be told in a novel. Part of it may be in an anime. Another part might be in a video game. Still more might be in a manga.
Take the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha franchise. This was spun out of a hentai video game called Triangle Hearts 3, where Nanoha's older brother and female cousin (who's basically adopted into Nanoha's family) are two of the three main stars. Although Nanoha retains some elements of the game, such as Nahoha's family structure, the rest is ditched. That being said, the franchise has produced a few canon manga titles and the like. For example, the manga Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS THE COMICS was made to bridge the time gap between the Nahoha A's anime series and the StrikerS anime series. If you watch StrikerS without having read the manga, you will notice that there are things eluded to but never revealed in the anime. That's because the production team assumes that the Japanese audience (remember, most anime isn't made with us in the West in mind) will have read that bridge manga and know what is going on, or will simply go out and buy the manga to learn the truth.
Unfortunately for us in the West, we almost never get access to this additional material that in Japan is easily available. Plus, the mindset in Japan is that REAL fans will buy EVERYTHING story-related to a franchise. Their whole blasted economic model for anime, manga, and light novels is based on this, and getting the otaku to collect other things too (figures, cards, other collectables). We don't have that mindset in the West. We expect a TV series, whether animated or live-action, to play out completely in that format (discounting adaptations, such as a movie being made from a novel). We don't want to have to buy six comic books, two novels, and a fan guide book on top of the DVDs/BDs we purchased in order to get the whole, canon story of a specific franchise.
In that light, I completely understand Tenchi fan frustration with things, especially if they weren't aware of the materials in the novels, doujinshi, etc. That was why I took over the FAQ from Death Quaker in the first place, to give fans at least some tidbits that I'd learned so as to make their Tenchi experience more enjoyable.
That being said, however, I felt that the "new" characters were a drag on the show purely based on their own faults.
Interestingly enough, when FUNimation first started releasing OVA 3, the FAQ traffic went WAY up, which is understandable. I used to get a lot of e-mail from people who were introduced to TM!R through OVA 3. When OVA 3 was fully released, I did ask some of these folks their opinions. It is purely anecdotal, but what I discovered was that when people were introduced to TM!R via OVA 3, they didn't have a problem with any of the characters. I attributed this to the fact that they hadn't had years to develop deep attachments to other characters, and so were more accepting of these "new" characters.
I felt that the Seto and Noike characters were the embodiment of Mary Sues; they were perfect and right %100 of the time, purely because that was their role in the series..
I never felt that way about them. Having watched GXP, I never saw Seto as perfect, though she was sadistic and very manipulative in order to get her way. With Noike, I saw the girl who'd run the household since Sasami-chan is too young to do so. Having her be the officially arranged wife makes it easy to have her be the "head wife" since it was clear that Kajishima-sensei was going to have a harem ending. There too, I didn't see her as "perfect."
Airi and Tenyo were a bit better in that they provided some comic relief/entertainment, but they were really just one-trick ponies and offered little of substance to the show itself.
Well, their main function was to show Tenchi, who clearly felt quite alone after his mother's death, that he had more family than he knew -- an older sister and a whacky grandmother. As such, he wasn't as alone as he had thought (and that plays into the question that Funaho raised in OVA 2 episode 6 regarding this new "family" of Tenchi's, should Jurai decide to force Aeka and Sasami to come home).
Little girl Kagato seemed to me to be thrown in purely because Kajishima thought it was cool/wanted to make a connection with the novels, no matter how unrelated to the matter at hand.
Even before GXP was created, Kajishima-sensei had promised that Kagato would return, even if not in the same form as we'd known him before. The thing is, the novels were Kajishima-sensei's way of fleshing out the massive backstory that lead to Tenchi's being born. In many ways, what he did was very similar to what J.R.R. Tolkien did for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
A spin-off should be propped up by its parent show, not vice versa.
Blame that on AIC. They were the ones who insisted that Kajishima-sensei had to do GXP first and that it had to be successful before they'd allow OVA 3 to be created, and since they were paying the bills, that's the way it had to be.
OVA 3 could have benefited from more episodes to (1) accommodate Kajishima-sensei's passion for "day in the life" stories and (2) allow for better story flow. That being said, I still say that the Japanese mindset that I described earlier would have trumped, thus even with more episodes, Kajishima and the production staff may still have punted on some things, expecting fans to know things from either GXP and/or the novels and doujinshi.
Kajishima completely focus on the Jurai story: the "this is what the characters do" and not "it's all about the characters." Tenchi Muyo isn't about the story, it's not about Jurai; none of that matters.
People came back to OVA 3 for the characters. Everybody wanted to see Ayeka and Ryoko go at it and Tenchi be caught in the middle, Sasami off cooking, Washuu making a crazy invention, at Mihoshi sleeping or causing someone trouble, and none of that happens. All of them are pushed to the side for all of Kajishima's new characters that were introduced in GXP, that were introduced in his tons and tons of novels that only, like, three people I know in existence have ever read, and it completely destroys the feeling of the series.
Trying to change that part of the story is just ridiculous.
-Tenchicast ep. 4
~if I may request so, please finish reading before replying. Also, I'm not sure which of the podcast speakers said the above quote, nor do I really want to. He was not the only one expressing such sentiments, he simply phrased it the most clearly. I don't wish to target him specifically, so, again, "to identify who it was muyo". Thank you.
More than one of you probably don't have to even guess what my expression is right now. For the rest of you, let's just say that I'm... slightly upset.
I'm sorry. I'm truly sorry - I tried to get through the episode, but that stopped me dead in my tracks. (Even though I was already grimacing.)
I have a question! Has anyone considered... that maybe... the story... is about whatever Kajishima wants it to be about? The whole show is rooted in and grown out of his fantasy. You know, the one he writes in all those books and doushin?
Yes, I recognize that production takes its toll on the author's original intent, but that doesn't change the fact that it is still in principle the author's creation!
I won't contest any spin-offs - those are different stories told by different people. But when it comes to the stories that Kajishima himself is writing and trying to get out into the public, you think we could be a little less upset when he decides to take the story a different direction? Yes, Ryoko isn't a hell-raiser like she used to be. Maybe she just grew up a little. Yes, Noike changes the whole dynamic of the house. Maybe Kajishime likes it that way.
I heard complaining in that episode about all the new characters in OVA3 and (note, this is just how the commentator's words came across to me) how the forum-goers on the podcast felt that they had too many new characters shoved into their fandom.
I'm still waiting for someone to convince me that Kajishima hasn't been doing that from day one. OVA three introduces Tenchi, Nobuyuke, Katsuhito, Ryoko, Ayeka, Ryo-Ohki, Sasami, Mihoshi, Kagato, and, to a lesser degree, Washu and Tsunami. Every episode gives us viewers new characters.
OVA two works more in developing characters, but even it gives us Zero, Dr. Clay, Tokimi, and the Juraian Royal Family. Once again most episodes are introducing a character or developing one specific, previously-installed character.
So... OVA three... lemme check my shelf... Tennyo, Airi (Did I mention that GXP is more-or-less canon and is basically another facet of the same story as the OVAs?), Noike, Misao, Mashisu, and Z. And Seto! (Kami, how could I forget Seto?)
So... the household situation has started to stabilize, Tenchi is more or less forced into deeply connecting with his Godhood... we know that they all eventually move to Jurai and et cetera ensues! And you want them to just keep bickering for another OVA? Or two? Three? Gimmie it break, guys!
Also tell me, please. Do you really have to rail on OVA three so harshly? Do you think you'd still be so butthurt that your (mis)conceptions of the story didn't come true if Kaji's story hadn't been forced down into 6+1 episodes?
Give it a thought, guys. (And give it some love, for cryin' out loud.)
When we were young, we lived in the limelight.
Whenever I looked over, my buddies were next to me.
Our world was feverish, red hot.
Far, far away, back in the era of dreams,
we once burned brightly as the sun.
Bah. I guess I just don't understand how they can possibly get so upset when it's someone else's creation. On the podcast, the general thought seemed to be that "it would have been better if..." The peoblem with that is that saying such a thing is like trying to claim authorship - the person is proclaiming their opinion as "better" than that of the author's - to whom the story truly belongs.
Peel off all my skin using carpet and friction,
But if I could just make one TINY request...
Please, for MY sake, review my fanfiction!!!
For Washuu wrote:I have a question! Has anyone considered... that maybe... the story... is about whatever Kajishima wants it to be about? The whole show is rooted in and grown out of his fantasy. You know, the one he writes in all those books and doushin?
Yes, the story is what he wants it to be, but that doesn't mean anyone is obliged to enjoy it, nor does it mean anyone should withhold their honest criticisms of it. The audience does not exist for the benefit of the product. Not a soul in the world will dispute Kajishima's right to create the way he sees fit, but when a creator puts his work up for public consumption, it is the right (many would even say the responsibility) of the public to judge its merits for themselves. Now, whether or not people's criticisms are correct is something each individual fan must determine for themselves, but the right to voice valid criticism cannot ever be negated by the mere fact that the product is the way the creator indented it to be.
For Washuu wrote:I heard complaining in that episode about all the new characters in OVA3 and (note, this is just how the commentator's words came across to me) how the forum-goers on the podcast felt that they had too many new characters shoved into their fandom.
For Washuu wrote:From Mumble, halfway through discussing the above post:Bah. I guess I just don't understand how they can possibly get so upset when it's someone else's creation. On the podcast, the general thought seemed to be that "it would have been better if..." The peoblem with that is that saying such a thing is like trying to claim authorship - the person is proclaiming their opinion as "better" than that of the author's - to whom the story truly belongs.
It wasn't clear to me, originally, what lay at the heart of you overall concerns, but after our conversation I believe I understand now (and please do correct me if I am mistaken). It seems that you are less concerned with the actual complaints of certain people, and more so with what you see as them trying to present their criticisms as absolute facts about how the show should have been made. This is indeed a valid concern. Certainly no one (on any side) should ever have the gall to present their own opinions as objective truth in matters that clearly exist in the realm of personal preference. However, it should be pretty obvious that this is not what the people in the podcast were doing. By all accounts they were merely stating what their opinions were on the matter. Clearly they believe what they are saying is true, and they'd like to convince others of that as well, hence why they put forward arguments to back up their statements, but nowhere is there any explicit or implicit implication that what they say MUST be agreed with. Everyone is free, and in fact encouraged, to voice their opinions and dissents, and in my short two years here I have witnessed several (often heated) debates about this very topic and not once has any OVA3 fan's argument or feelings been rejected out of hand.
Again, thank you for talking with us and taking our responses to heart. I have high hopes that this discussion can rebuild some of the bridges that have been burnt around this topic over the years. It's always going to be an emotional and controversial subject, but I believe that we're more than capable of building understanding and rekindling the common embers of our once bright fandom.
"Life, for ever dying to be born afresh, for ever young and eager, will presently stand upon this earth as upon a footstool, and stretch out its realm amidst the stars."