Let’s Talk Anime: -On The Subject of Story-

Tomoya Aki- Saekano
Tomoya Aki- Saekano

Imagine you are writing for a game, movie, show, website, blog. You want to get viewership and precious slots filled so you can receive payment or some other reinforcing factor. Story, narrative or plot (Or the other ‘plot’) are tools to use when trying to attract more viewership and possibly more public attention. When it comes to anime, story can come in many forms, sizes and… shapes; for obvious reasons. Anime is unique in that it is able to develop complex lessons, stories and adapt them for t.v. or internet use. It can be a lesson learned, a memorable adventure, or the trials of finding ones true self among a sea of others. Anime has a special way of going about story-telling that other mediums just don’t compare to. The closest comparison would be video games but even then it is a hard sale. Anime just holds a special place in the standings; it could possibly be due to the fact that the preconceived notions of how childish anime can seem, gives it a slight edge over its competition.

On the discussion of plot and ‘plot’, anime tends to do both fairly well. Anime like Love, Chunibyou and Other Delusions or Mushi-Shi are two examples of anime that have a plot line but they tend to follow a standard approach or, in the case of Mushi-Shi, have each episode self-contained and ready to go without the need for a season wide encompassing plot. Each of these two anime will have a specific reason for their plot’s, one could be for developing an emotional finale or an emotional development from a character(s) and the other could be that the plot is designed to help our character(s) learn or grow from episode to episode. If the plot is something that can relate and rub off onto our viewers then you have also successfully delivered them a narrative that will keep them interested, that will make them recommend it to the next person.

Aoi Miyamori- Shirobako
Aoi Miyamori- Shirobako

Story in anime has been an item that has always been on the up and is something that has silently crept into the bigger and wider stage that has become the world media. Anime’s exposure has forced companies to evolve and widen their approaches on matter and subject even further. Anime like Kyousougiga, Durarara!!!, Toradora! are just a tiny selection of a grand list of anime that have developed a narrative that is captivating, evoking and thought provoking. However there is always a silver-lining. Some anime use the all too prevalent ‘plot’ points to gain interest and some will utilize this as a way of rewarding a fan-base or even just throw it in there just because. Anime like Triage X or High school of the Dead over shower us to a point. Not saying they are not great anime or interesting ones rather, these anime take certain approaches and their use of ‘plot’ differs from the use of a normal narrative and plot point. However that is but one joy about the subject of story. Story is all encompassing and can be played out no matter the situation or approach used. Maybe that is a popular point as to why anime is as popular and diverse in it’s storytelling.

Anime isn’t something weighted or weighed down by typical tropes. It still uses established points of story telling but more and more, they are taking new approaches that are both unique, exciting and enticing at points. Look at how incredibly successful anime like Hetalia are. They are not overly fan service based but rather they mix clever story telling into witty humor towards a targeted audience. It’s how you formulate and present the finished subject that creates the amazing stories that we all come to love and hold heavy biases with. These formulated stories are what keep us wanting and craving more each and everytime we go to watch anime or a movie, game, etc.

With all the above in mind, what is it about a narrative, story or plot (‘plot’) that you enjoy in a selected medium? Is it the story/narrative that draws you in? Is it how the plot unfolds after each passing episode? Feel free to comment below! Every comment it appreciated and encouraged!


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