View Full Version : Do you like light-hearted shows to remain light-hearted or to become serious/dramatic?
04-03-2007, 02:22 AM
I make no secret of the fact that I am very fond of light-hearted/comedic that turn serious/dramatic/tearjerking in the later half. Some of my favorite shows ranging from Saber Marionette J to Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon . Shows like Sensei no Ojikan have proven that you can only take fluff so far before it becomes tiresome. However I've had some really hostile posts by a few AoD members condemning and blasting my preference (ironically these same people forget that their favorite shows like My-Hime might not have been as memorable had it remained light-hearted fluff throughout).
So, I'm curious as to the preference of the majority here. Vote and post your thoughts.
04-03-2007, 02:43 AM
I prefer the ones that get more serious and dramatic as it progresses. I like light-hearted stuff, but I can't take it in large quantities because it starts to become too sweet and sugary for me to bear. I like anime that gets me emotionally involved and has a more 'mature' storyline.
04-03-2007, 02:48 AM
In all honesty it depends on the series. In order for the shift from light-hearted to serious/dramatic to work the series in question has to give some basis for the shift early on. Other wise the shift will feel forced and thrown in there for the heck of it. Which is never a good idea.
Still I've enjoyed shows that remain light-hearted and shows that become serious/dramatic. Although to be honest the longer a series goes on the more it's going to need a change of gears if you ask me. Which is probably why some shows decide to end it at point A instead of trying to extend to point C.
In terms of shows that do shift gears, I find both halves improve each other. The light-hearted first half allows the viewer to actually get to know the cast and thus makes the second half have more impact. While the serious/dramatic second half is the pay-off and allows one to feel everything is worth the wait. Well when both halves are done correctly.
04-03-2007, 02:55 AM
Like others have said, it really depends on the series, and I have no real preference one way or the other. "Fluff" series such as Kamichu!, Comic Party, and Azumanga Daioh work wonders for me, but at the same time, series which start out fluffy, and then take a dramatic twist can be more powerful than any series that starts out with the drama from very early on. Just take a series such as Chrono Crusade and R.O.D. the TV, two series that take time to introduce the cast proporly, get you to like them, and then it shocks you even more when the bad things start happening.
04-03-2007, 03:06 AM
Like others have said, it really depends on the series, and I have no real preference one way or the other. "Fluff" series such as Kamichu!, Comic Party, and Angelic Layer work wonders for me.
Angelic Layer did turn dramatic - especially the heartrending romantic confession.
04-03-2007, 05:20 AM
No way I can vote, that would overgeneralize waaaaaaaaaay too much. Sometimes, it makes no sense at all for a show to get serious. Usually it has some serious undertones throughout before anything like that happens. HiME certainly did, long before the shit hit the fan. Some of the best shows only became the best when they got serious, but I wouldn't want every show to do so.
04-03-2007, 09:12 AM
Given those two choices I would take "Remain light-hearted," but that over-simplifies the subject.
All of my favorites are light-hearted shows that have serious and dramatic, sometimes even tragic, elements. But, with one notable exception, they always come back to being the light-hearted show that I started to watch. The exception is Mahoromatic, which I love in spite of the way that it becomes serious not because of it.
A real answer to the question would depend a lot on what you really mean by "become serious/dramatic."
Mahoromatic becomes serious and dramatic in a way that I hate, and Petite Princess Yucie becomes serious and dramatic in a way that I love.
Generally I prefer for a show to remain light-hearted, or at least return to being light-hearted, because I like light-hearted shows. And really, if I was in the mood for something serious and dramatic I would watch a show that looked like it was going to be serious and dramatic. I would not watch something that seems to be light-hearted if I wanted something serious and dramatic.
The Great Bear
04-03-2007, 10:09 AM
Like others have said, it really depends on the show.
I voted for "Remain light-hearted," but it really depends.
I liked the way that ROD TV evolved. That was good.
But then there are cases like Mahoromatic, which really ended up pissing me off to a degree.
Or something like Steel Angel Kurumi, which went needlessly dramatic at the end (though that was all erased and made better again by the 4 OVA episodes).
To some degree or not, it doesn't really matter whether the show takes a dramatic turn or not. What really matters is whether the writing continues to be good and whether they can execute the turn to drama well or not.
04-03-2007, 12:03 PM
Generally, my viewing is very mood driven and I want what I want, not some sudden bait-and-switch. Some shows manage a shift into more dramatic territory very well. R.O.D. and PLANETES both move slowly but surely and naturally towards a more serious tone and when they're over I can look back and appreciate the whole. Something like MAHOROMATIC just leaps so far and so fast that the ending feels like it belongs to another show. The transition was so sudden and unnatural that it felt more like the creators were trying to screw with the audience rather than tell the story. For me, it just dosen't work and in the case of MAHO, the ending completely turned me off to the earlier episodes that I enjoyed. On the other hand, BRIGADOON took a sudden turn into heartrending nastiness but I was with it all the way. Go figure. :sd:
I guess I like a degree of predictability. I want to know what I'm getting when I stick the disc in the machine. I'm all for character growth and development and interesting plot twists and turns, but I want to feel that what I'm watching in volume 6 is actually connected to the show I was watching in volume 1.
04-03-2007, 12:11 PM
I think though many of my favorite shows are "light-hearted", most of them at least at some point turn serious or dramatic. Some maybe more so than others, but nearly all of them do, with a few exceptions like Azumanga Daioh. Of course, I have to agree with Touma on that really depends on how it turns dramatic and serious. If it's a way I don't like or a way that does not fit well with the characters, then it may turn me off.
Since most shows are about it's characters I'd prefer dramatic so long as it is done sincerely.
Spirit Of The Stage
04-03-2007, 12:17 PM
It does depend on the show in the end. One example which has already been mentioned is Chrno Chrusade which starts very comic but turns very dramatic - I think Princess Tutu is another one I can think of here, with the comic Duck elements in the first eps shifting to extreme tension to the end...on the other hand, a show like Rumbling Hearts which is melodramatic throughout I think NEEDED the Ayu-Ayu and Daikuji moments to stop people getting too depressed...
Too much fluff can be tiresome - Doki Doki and Negima?! being prime examples. On the other hand, it can work well if it doesn't get tiresome such as Azumanga Daioh or Ninja Nonsense. Yet even the cutest show can surprise with it's drama (*coughsTINYSNOWFAIRYSUGARcoughs*)
04-03-2007, 12:22 PM
For me, it depends on the ability of the writers.
Some shows are just fluff and work that way, but don't have any real potential for anything more.
Other shows that start funny and get serious are excellent to re-watch, because the second time through, you can see a lot of little things that add up to the end, if it's well-written. If it's not well written, it just feels awkward.
04-03-2007, 01:25 PM
It really depends on the show. Something like Strawberry Marshmallow or Kamichu should stay light and fluffy (occassional seriousness is fine). Those shows were intended to be light and fluffy and not much else. Suddenly having the characters forced to kill each other and angst about it would be a horrible idea.
But most shows that go dark, have hints and undertones to begin with. My HiME always had the powers and the fighting and it brings up the part about the "most important person" early on. Mahoromatic had the aliens and Mahoro's days were numbered from the get-go. The second season had its issues, but the darker tone itself or what ultimately happend wasn't the problem. The problem was they greatly oversimplified the Vesper/Saint/Keepers situation, made Suguru a prick in the epilogue, and lacked the sensible explanation for Mahoro's return since they took out everything necessary to explain it.
So, I would not make a generalization either way. I'm fine with pure light hearted fluff, and I'm fine with dark turns, provided they are done well. And "done well" means not reviving dead characters en masse and having a damn good explanation for someone surviving or coming back to life.
04-03-2007, 02:16 PM
Yep, let the darkness come and wow me. Trigun is still my favourite example.
I'll place another vote for "it depends". I really like when a show evolves like Hime and R.O.D TV did. That said it feels kind of weird when you have something like Narutaru's change in mood.
04-03-2007, 06:36 PM
Depends. Some shows seem light hearted at first, or have light hearted episodes, but the characters are more serious & just involved in lighter circumstances, but (if subtly enough written) show that they are deeper & are/have different underlying personalities to how they act.
04-03-2007, 07:25 PM
It really all depends on the show, really. Light hearted shows that become serious usually have some subtle dark undertones anyway, so there's usually no problem with the transition. (ie. Chrono Crusade) CC's dive into drama was inevitable, considering the premise of the series. When all was said and done, I was very moved by the way it all ended.
However, if a show is purely light hearted and just all of a sudden becomes a huge angst fest, it can sometimes come off the wrong way. (Photon and to a lesser extent, Steel Angel Kurumi) God, Photon was completely ruined for me because of the final episode. It's not very often that the ending of a series sours my perspective of a series as a whole, but there you go. Not even the return to comedy near the end could save it for me.
Steel Angel Kurumi's final episodes didn't rub me the wrong way too much, as the series was in a way building up to the moment and heading in that direction anyway, but those episodes kind of felt out of place due to the sloppy transition. Absolutely adored the ending, though. :D
Once again, it really depends on the series. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Basically, you have to ask yourself if the series in question has any business losing the fluff.
04-03-2007, 07:30 PM
I like the ones that get more serious/dramatic. I like early fluff/comedy to get me emotionally invested in the characters, then they can be put through the wringer. (I also love huge twists, so these kinds of shows are even better if it hits you like a ton of bricks.)
I don't honestly like very many shows that are only lighthearted. A good lighthearted show can have dramatic/serious moments while retaining the lighthearted feeling. Series like Kodocha and Cardcaptor Sakura have some dramatic moments but still feel fluffy and happy, even during those moments.
It's possible for a lighthearted series to become dramatic by gradually building up the drama (Trigun did this fairly well) but an abrupt switch really can feel a bit disconcerting (I liked the ending of Petite Princess Yucie but the change from fluffy to Drama was a bit too abrupt for me, even though there were a few hints along the way).
04-03-2007, 10:29 PM
Too much fluff can be tiresome - Doki Doki and Negima?! being prime examples. On the other hand, it can work well if it doesn't get tiresome such as Azumanga Daioh or Ninja Nonsense.
Azumanga Daioh did get serious - when it was dealing with Maya in the later episodes. I actually in those episodes because they were so touching and helped to develop Sakaki's character by showing that she was really a lonely person who wants to express love but is never given the chance to. Had they continue doing nothing but have cat jokes with Sakaki, AZ would have been nothing but fluff.
04-04-2007, 02:19 PM
Shows like Dragonball and One Piece do it best, for the most part they're light-hearted, then when battles happen they get more serious... then goes back to being light-hearted afterwards.
04-04-2007, 02:33 PM
Light hearted for the win! ^^
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