Anime nerd, occasional gamer and Japanese figure collector. Recently I've been digging into visual novels, and using that as an excuse to blog. I will read and blog English language visual novels for my feature on request; hit me up on theglorioblog.com(or here on Jtor) if you have something you think I should read.
So hey Fate/Zero is coming to a close and it got Iro and I talking about storytelling techniques, in particular the emotional impact that a story can have and how they work their magic. I had the brilliant idea of sharing that chat with the rest of Jtor to see if anyone else might have something interesting to share or discuss on the topic.
Be warned this is sure to have a few spoilers about Fate/Zero, F/SN Samurai Jack, TTGL and also contains roughly an hour of our (mostly)unedited thoughts and spelling/grammar mistakes. That said I think a few of you out there might find it interesting and I'll be sure to respond to any thoughts that you might have if you share them.
Iro: lifesong tell zigg how good that episode of f/z was
Iro: corroborate my recommendation
Iro: did i even use that word correctly
Iro: i did
Lifesong: I don't even need the rest of the show
Lifesong: It is of no concern to me at this point.
Iro: well you do know exactly how it goes down from this point forward pretty much
Iro: but SOME of us actually like kiritsugu yknow
Lifesong: The rest of the show is just finishing off the inevitable
Lifesong: I know pretty much EXACTLY what is going to happen
Iro: yes pretty much
Iro: but don't you want to see the fight
Lifesong: Not really
Iro: you guys make me sad
Lifesong: I mean
Lifesong: I am going to watch it
Lifesong: for sure
Lifesong: But there is no magic left for me in how it goes down from here out.
Iro: you could argue that about the entire show really
Lifesong: I would not argue that about the rest of the show.
Lifesong: Part of the story was Urobuchi's original ideal's inside the Nasuverse
Lifesong: Part of it was the prequel of Fate/Stay Night
Lifesong: The original portion is almost entirely finished now.
Lifesong: And that was the part that was really interesting to me.
Lifesong: If that makes sense
Iro: i guess
Lifesong: It's not like I dislike the rest of it.
Lifesong: Urobuchi's stories are kind of a world apart better than Nasu's stuff.. Nasu's older stuff at least.
Lifesong: And it really sticks out to me in Fate/Zero
Lifesong: Maybe just because their style is so different.
Iro: (some of us actually liked fate/stay night)
Lifesong: (I like Fate/Stay Night)
Lifesong: It's really obvious when something is Nasu craft or Uro craft inside Fate/Zero
Lifesong: I don't think Nasu wrote it very well.
Lifesong: And actually Nasu admits he doesn't think he wrote it very well.
Iro: it is like what
Iro: 8 years old
Lifesong: Yeah it is
Lifesong: It's not like I think I can do better on my first or even second attempt at writing fiction.
Lifesong: Or that it's a bad story.
Lifesong: Or even that I would change it.
Lifesong: But I do think that some of Nasu's story telling techniques don't always work very well.
Lifesong: The punch is there when it needs to be and that is what counts in my book.
Lifesong: Actually Urobuchi is kind of the opposite imo.. his skills at building up events are amazing.
Lifesong: But his conclusions are hit or miss.
Lifesong: I can't think of a Nasu ending I don't like.
Iro: haha...have you seen all the bad ends?
Lifesong: through UBW
Iro: i guess i mean the like
Iro: actual route endings
Iro: the sad ones
Iro: tsukihime has more of those
Lifesong: I think I have
Lifesong: Does Fate/Stay Night even have a happy ending outside of Rin?
Iro: heaven's feel route
Iro: i guess
Lifesong: I have not read that yet though
Lifesong: good and happy are different things
Iro: people die in every route
Lifesong: I think Nasu is pretty much an expert at killing characters
Lifesong: Better than Urobuchi imo
Iro: urobuchi puts them through the wringer
Iro: which is probably
Iro: better for dramatic purposes
Lifesong: I find myself laughing at the end though
Lifesong: But maybe that is just me
Lifesong: In fact I know it is
Iro: i think that is all on your end
Lifesong: But the thing is
Lifesong: I can see what he is doing
Lifesong: because Urobuchi is trying so hard
Iro: how do i put this
Iro: sometimes i laugh
Iro: but it's not like
Iro: a bad laugh
Iro: i laugh because "oh my god this guy's life sucks"
Lifesong: Yeah, same, but I still feel like it missed the emotional mark it was going for.
Lifesong: Like with Kariya
Lifesong: that was his name right?
Lifesong: I predicted exactly where that ending was going
Lifesong: And was spot on
Lifesong: So when it happened I couldn't help but laugh and feel like Urobuchi was trying too hard.
Iro: but like
Lifesong: Does that make sense?
Lifesong: I'm not saying it was bad
Iro: but there is a difference between predictable and inevitable
Iro: that said ideally you want it to be both surprising and inevitable
Lifesong: That is neither here nor there with emotional impact though
Iro: i think it's related
Lifesong: I never believed in Kariya
Lifesong: Not for a moment
Iro: but is that because you already knew he wouldn't make it
Lifesong: I never really felt any empathy for his cause.
Iro: or just because
Lifesong: That was the only thing that did make him interesting
Lifesong: And when I think about Nasu death scenes/endings I really can't think of one I didn't think was really good.
Iro: i think i am just more willing to suspend my disbelief than you are
Lifesong: Even in Fate/Extra I think they all hit home about perfectly.
Lifesong: I analyze everything that really pulls me in. If I am doing it that means I am being entertained but at the same time it's not something I can turn off.
Iro: haha remind me to never show you anything i do
Iro: you would smash my ego
Lifesong: Haha, it's not like I have Urobuchi or Nasu in this chat with us. :P
Lifesong: I do not need to be an ass..
Lifesong: And really I like the stories from both writers quite a bit.
Lifesong: It's why I talk about them like this to begin with ;P
Lifesong: I wish you would watch some of the Key stuff.. I could explain the difference I see between Nasu's story telling and Urobuchi's story telling really easy if you did.
Lifesong: Jun Maeda is probably the best example of someone who tells storys in a fashion where everything lines up but you don't see it till right before it happens.
Lifesong: Nasu does that as well I believe.
Iro: when i get really caught up in something i don't even try to be predicting what comes next
Lifesong: I do it naturally.
Lifesong: If I am paying attention I am doing it
Iro: that is why i like to get things that are done and just
Iro: run straight through
Lifesong: I usually pick stuff up while I am watching not after.
Lifesong: So it doesn't mater much how I watch it.
Lifesong: If anything in a marathon it's all fresh in my mind so I don't forget the details.
Lifesong: Madoka was an exception though
Lifesong: that show kept me guessing long after the credits rolled
Lifesong: but I think it did that for everyone
Lifesong: I am really happy with how Fate/Zero went down though so don't think otherwise.
Iro: it just annoys me when people are like "why didn't he do this?" where it's the most logical possible thing you could do, but it also requires the omnipotent view of the story and disregards the actual character of the character
Lifesong: I think emotional impacts are kind of like this.. if you want to hit someone in the gut you have to do it when they least expect it or have let their guard down.
Lifesong: It's not even about predictability versus inevitability. More about when and not how or why.
Lifesong: Does that make sense?
Iro: but by the same token just killing someone off when nobody expects it is the wrong way to give emotional impact
Iro: in my opinion
Lifesong: Like the scene with Iliya in UBW where Shirou and Rin go to see her estate and find her "preoccupied".
Lifesong: Oh for sure you are entirely correct.
Iro: haha you make it sound dirty
Lifesong: I guess I did
Iro: FOR THOSE NOT IN THE KNOW SHE IS BEING KILLED BRUTALLY
Iro: i'm pretty sure nobody is paying attention to the conversation anyway
Dragonzigg: I am
Lifesong: But the reason that scene is so disturbing is because just a moment ago the story was all about building up hope.
Lifesong: And then you are smashed in the face with someone who has their heart ripped out of their chest.
Lifesong: Nasu is really good at that.
Lifesong: With Urobuchi I always know when it is about to go down and I don't get that moment of emotional recovery before it happens.
Lifesong: So it doesn't sting as much.
Lifesong: I'm not saying it's bad.
Iro: i get what you're saying but i think it can work just fine either way
Lifesong: I don't think it's wrong to do it the way that Urobuchi does.
Lifesong: I just think Nasu's way of doing it carries more weight.
Iro: i think they can carry equal amounts of weight
Lifesong: Ah, well maybe part of it really does just depend on the audience.
Lifesong: I am also kind of thinking out loud because I still want to write my own story.
Iro: you want to be surprised
Iro: is that what you're saying
Lifesong: It's not even that
Iro: are you sure
Lifesong: I want the story to hit me at the right time.
Iro: i think that it is possible for it to do that but also have the sense of inevitability
Lifesong: That is why I wish I could use Jun Maeda as an example lol
Lifesong: His stories are like that
Lifesong: Nasu as well though
Lifesong: For example the way Archer's backstory is done in UBW
Lifesong: Or maybe that is not the best example
Lifesong: I'm trying to think of a good way to explain what I mean lol
Lifesong: With Urobuchi he likes to kick you when you are down, the first part hurts but the kick doesn't always have much impact because you already had the pain from before. Where with Nasu I feel like he gives you time to get back up first and then kicks you again to finish you off.
Lifesong: It's not that what happens is changed
Lifesong: The execution is just a bit different.
Iro: i understand
Iro: i just think that they can be equally effective based on the situation
Iro: or to put it another way
Iro: urobuchi drives people to the depths of despair as far as they can go but Nasu characters don't really go that deep
Iro: either approach can have different purposes
Lifesong: Eh, that is the thing though.
Lifesong: There is a disconnect when that happens.
Lifesong: I think both are valid ways to tell a story.
Iro: it depends on the story
Lifesong: Maybe, but I can't really think of an example.
Iro: too many hope spots makes it silly
Lifesong: There are more positive emotions than Hope
Iro: you know what i mean
Lifesong: Like that scene in the latest episode with Rider you have Pride
Lifesong: Urobuchi very much gave us a positive emotion there.
Iro: have you ever seen samurai jack
Lifesong: I have
Iro: right so like
Iro: every other episode or something
Iro: he tries to get into a time hole and fails
Iro: and having that happen so often cheapens it
Iro: coming close and not being able to
Lifesong: Oh yeah for sure
Iro: you can't have them try hard and come close every time
Lifesong: But doesn't that have more to do with the fact that it's repetitive?
Iro: and you can't do it often
Iro: maybe but that is part of my point
Lifesong: Well it doesn't need to be hope
Lifesong: Or pride
Iro: in anything
Lifesong: In Nasu's storytelling It's usually pride I think.
Iro: that isn't my point
Iro: i don't know if we are on the same page
Lifesong: I get what your saying but it's not really what I am driving at.
Lifesong: I am more talking about the natural reaction you and I have depending on the way a story goes down.
Lifesong: It takes a bit of both for sure.
Lifesong: Too much of anything is bad.
Lifesong: Maybe I feel like Urobuchi pours too many negitive emotions into his work?
Iro: i am okay with those
Lifesong: I am okay with those so long as I am capable of staying on the same page as the story.
Lifesong: Like with Rider I think he had the prefect balance of both worlds.
Lifesong: But with Kariya I never did.
Lifesong: Or with Kiritsugu or even Homura.
Iro: i think that is on your end then
Lifesong: Kariya probably is
Lifesong: I don't think the other two are
Lifesong: People liked Homura because magical lesbian >_>
Lifesong: And it seems most people don't like kiritsugu.
Iro: i feel like i am being lumped in with a group here
Lifesong: who is pretty much the same character in a different wrapper
Iro: i liked homura because she was clearly kiritsugu in a different wrapper
Lifesong: I don't mean you specifically when I say that
Lifesong: I mean the general reaction that I see from most people.
Iro: i don't know if people just
Iro: don't like tragedies
Iro: or what
Lifesong: I think both you and I spend entirely too much time on fiction to be a part of any majority reaction.
Lifesong: The way I see it the tragic aspect doesn't sting enough. People have their guard up when it happens so they look for something to be wrong with it even if there isn't.
Iro: like people complaining when kiritsugu had kayneth killed after the fact
Iro: i was just like
Iro: "do you people not get it at all"
Lifesong: Yes, that is what I mean.
Lifesong: I even fell into that one myself initially.
Iro: if you understand the character kiritsugu is
Iro: then you understand that is the only thing he would have done
Iro: he would not have even looked for another solution
Lifesong: Well I got it once I saw his back story.
Lifesong: But it is really my fault I didn't get it before that?
Iro: even during the flashback there were a lot people like
Iro: "why didn't he do X differently"
Iro: and i figure
Iro: if you're not getting it after all that
Lifesong: I wish I could throw this conversation at Jtor and see what people think lol
Iro: you just don't want to get it
Iro: ah well
Lifesong: Yeah I think you understand what I mean.
Iro: reminds me of a dude i used to know who absolutely hated gurren lagann purely based on the notion that the ending was not 100% happy
Iro: he said that because nia died it ruined the entire experience
Lifesong: Well you know me, I love tragedy.
Lifesong: And I loved that ending.
Iro: but yeah with that guy i was just
Iro: "are you serious"
Iro: that is completely missing the point
Lifesong: It's worth pointing out that most of my favorite characters die.
Lifesong: Sometimes I wonder if that is part of why they are my favorite characters.
Lifesong: It probably is.
Lifesong: Would you mind if I posted this converation on Jtor? I bet a few people at least would read it and I am now curious what other people think.(and I don't want to write an entire blog on the topic atm)
Iro: haha the entire one?
Lifesong: Pretty much
Iro: with all our crazy ass rambling
Lifesong: I can show it to you before I post it
ItsaTimmy: Yay for rambling
Lifesong: and I would tell them what it is before they read it lol
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