Big Bang Opening

I’m not a huge fan of the typical fanfare pilot episode where you gotta make things interesting to hook people in. I’m more a fan of “make every episode interesting.”

Take the Fate Zero tl;dr mess of 47 minutes of episode 1. Gia points out a long moment where we’re just looking at a relic. Sure, we could be looking at something slightly more interesting (like Iri’s knockoff/hand-me-down gown she got from the Lunar Princess) while the notion of a conceptual weapon is explained to us. Instead we were just looking at the conceptual weapon itself.

But if you are a so-called fan of the franchise, that’s exactly what you want to see in episode 1. It’s like watching for the old crew from Patlabor in the second Patlabor movie. Or Saito in Tsuiokuhen. Or Akito in Prince of Darkenss. Or any One Piece character in Strong World. You get the idea. The scabbard of Excalibur is such an important icon in the Fate story that you can probably spin off a series just on the quest for it. It’s like one of those D&D RPG thing where the weapon has got its own epic tale across the time and space, because its soul still burns, or something.

Back on topic; a big bang opening is nice to see, but I can’t get the distaste of it out of my mouth–the 2000s were full of them from Hollywood. I think that is why I also think this is not as good of an idea as it claims it is. When you get 50% or more saturation, the same rhythm and pacing really can get on your nerves. It’s like, okay, when I go to a club I expect UNCE UNCE UNCE but when I put on some classical music I hear the same UNCE UNCE UNCE it’s going to be more annoying than Pachelbel’s Canon and its prevalence in music. When every action movie has the same structure and pacing and there’s nothing that surprises me (except for things that are surprising bad), it’s like having too much candy.

That’s not even the worse of it.

I remember Dogs Days. (Grats on S2 btw.) It’s a nice show, and some people really like the animated “American Ninja” sequences sort of thing. Great. Those game shows are fun to watch and have been around for decades in Asia. In the anime format it’s also pretty fun. So that’s why when we turn on to Majikoi and Horizon this week we see a similar schtik playing out. It somehow doesn’t surprise me at all that I find Horizon’s take a little easier to like, hypnotic swaying of large mammaries not withstanding, because it’s the anime equivalent of a car chase. And we know how there’s no real good car chases these days except in car films, let alone in anime where they are as rare as they come already. I guess all I’m saying is that even in doing the same thing, there are some stuff one can do to significantly distinguish itself from the rest. It’s like a good hook; it doesn’t have to be big, it just has to catch on. So rather than going big, it’s better to just, you know, go.

Which, compared to the subdued dialog torrent that is Fate Zero episode 1, it’s no wonder people found it dull. How do people survive high school these days? It’s way more dull and that’s compulsory and much longer.

No Responses to “Big Bang Opening”

  • 21stcenturydigitalboy

    I enjoyed this post a lot even though as usual I don’t know what you’re getting at in the end :p

    But yeah in media res seems to be the in thing this season, to a greater extent than usual at least. I liked Majikoi a lot more than Horizon though because Horizon was total chaos. It did “just go” but I didn’t feel like it was taking me along, you know? If either show opens up their second episode with an extended exposition scene, I’ll be pretty pissed off.

  • kluxorious

    so less sense an opening of an episode is the better? If it is then I kinda agree to a certain degree since I did enjoy the opening of Majikoi and Horizon (though I didn’t expect that I would) because it’s just fun with not much information to digest. They are saving it for the upcoming episodes I guess.

    p/s: When I see that word Big Bang, I thought you were writing a post about an Korean idol group ^^”

  • omo

    All I am saying is, really, you can’t really do very much at the first episode besides having a good hook. The key word is good. I would take a thousand magi-walking-in-circles than either Majikoi or Horizon if it meant I get the next 24 or 25 episodes of Fate Zero, because overall that is just a more interesting show.

  • Mushyrulez

    Wow, I remember writing a post on something somewhat related to this, once, here. The gist (don’t bother clicking) is that a person will generally watch until the end of the first episode, it will be easier to introduce characters one at a time, and an anime with a stronger plot will be more memorable.

    The big bang opening defies the second by introducing all its characters simultaneously, which I think isn’t that good of a decision when you think about the second episode. Some people might not want to wade into an anime where there are just /so many people/ to learn about.

    Horizon somewhat uses the first by making its first episode as ‘bang’ as possible, but that actually fails the main purpose of the first episode, the hook – this felt more of a oneshot than a continuing series. The only signal that it would continue was the narrator, which was surprisingly bland. Although it did ‘bang’, it didn’t hook.

    tl;dr: Horizon actually seemed to do the opposite of what they intended – instead of grabbing the viewers’ attention for the next episodes, they grab the viewers’ attention for /this/ episode, and give us nothing to look forward to in the next. Meanwhile, Majikoi /did/ hook by providing an overarching plot (the romantic relationship) /throughout/ the episode instead of just at the very end.

  • omo

    Touché. I think you would be right if we ignore anything that’s not characters.

    Horizon has outright a more interesting setting and part of that is exposed through showing us all the characters and what they do. At least, that is what I would be watching the show for.

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