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Fullmetal Alchemist Discussion Board > General Discussions > Open Talk > Debate District
Jealous Rogo
First off, I'm not entirely sure where this topic should go, so if I've put it in the wrong place I am truely sorry for that moderators.

Okay to the point at hand.

As this is a forum for FullMetal Alchemist, I'm sure almost everyone has heard or read a sentance similar to, "FullMetal Alchemist is more than a shounen manga.'

Now the thing I wanna discuss here is, why do people feel the need to say things like this? It's not limited to FMA either. I've heard people say similar things about many other manga, anime, films, tv series and books. Dark Knight is a good example, as I think that argument was pretty much shouted at the Oscar committee. Alot of people seem to really be insistant that something they love is more than the genre it's assigned to and I don't really understand that.

FullMetal Alchemist is a really good shounen series that does alot of things right where other, less good series, go wrong. To me this is fine, but others seem to insist and saying 'oh it's more than that' without really giving more explanation as to why. What's wrong with it just being what it is; a series about two male protagonists who get into lots of fights. Yes there's more to the story than that but if you strip away all the nuts and bolts, that's what you've got. Just done in a really excellent way.

I think part of the reason people try and say things are more than they are, is this really, really stupid idea that's still floating around that some genres of media are lesser than others. It means that if someone wants to tell someone they like something that falls into one of these 'lesser' genres, they socially feel the need to then justify themselves. I'm sure we've all seen someone give us the 'nerd' look when we dare to mention we like anime or games, and I feel this is absurd.

And saying an good example of the genre is more than it is, really doesn't help in the long run. If all the good shounen titles are actually more than just shounen titles, well then that means they're not true examples of the genre, and so when people asses the genre, they will ignore them, and thus the genre will only have it's weaker entries to help it's cause. Basically it's like having a class of students, and saying that all the smart kids are actually no reflection of the teachers ability because of their IQs or something. If you get what I mean...

So how about from now on we stop trying to justify our tastes? How about we can say 'This is an excellent example of the genre' and leave it at that. Just because there's parts of society that think the genre is inherently lower than others, doesn't mean they're right. There's nothing wrong with the genre of shounen, it's just that the most well known series in that genre happen to do things the wrong way.

Well if there's anyone still awake after reading that mindless drivel I just wrote, I'd be interested to hear what other people think about this, whether or not it's something a few people agree with or I'm just a crazy person with too much time on their hands.

Discuss!

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Tombow
<Program Note>

QUOTE (Jealous Rogo @ Jan 12 2010, 06:26 AM) *
First off, I'm not entirely sure where this topic should go.....

Now the thing I wanna discuss here is, why do people feel the need to say things like this?.... I've heard people say similar things about many other manga, anime, films, tv series and books. ...... Alot of people seem to really be insistant that something they love is more than the genre it's assigned to and I don't really understand that......

Discuss! .....

@Jealous Rogo - Since this discussion covers more than just anime (sorry, I couldn't help using the phrase Xp Although, in this case I'm in no way implying that anime discussions here are any way inferior to discussions in "Debate District" forum, where I'm moving this thread to ^^) but covering the discussions on [people's certain behavior while they're discussing subjects ranging] manga, movie, TV series, and books, etc. as well, and in fact, if I understood correctly from reading the OP, I think this is more of a discussion on people's certain "behavior" rather than discussions on anime, correct? (But, if I got it wrong, please let me know. ^^)

Assuming that is correct, IMO this "General Anime" forum here is not quite a place for this thread, and hence I'm going to move this to Dabate District forum in a short while.
(Or, the other option is to move this to "Spam Central" forum, if OP prefers more "casual" style of discussion/conversation on this. smile.gif )


Meantime, everyone, please feel free to add your reply posts on this thread. smile.gif



ETA: Moved the thread from "Ganeral Anime" forum to "Dabate District" forum.
(Or, if the OP prefers more "casual" style of discussions/conversations in "Spam Central" forum, please let us know. smile.gif Otherwise.... now that the thread is in the right forum, this post will be taken out in a short while. ^^ )

Katya Martin
QUOTE (Jealous Rogo @ Jan 12 2010, 05:26 AM) *
I think part of the reason people try and say things are more than they are, is this really, really stupid idea that's still floating around that some genres of media are lesser than others. It means that if someone wants to tell someone they like something that falls into one of these 'lesser' genres, they socially feel the need to then justify themselves. I'm sure we've all seen someone give us the 'nerd' look when we dare to mention we like anime or games, and I feel this is absurd.


I think this is the main issue, that there's a series we like but we're afraid people will dismiss it due to the medium. When we say "more than just shonen," what we mean is "it's not just mindless fighting, overdramatism, half-baked plot, and fanservice," because we're aware that who we're talking to thinks that all shonen is that. We're trying to fight the stigma of the genre, demographic, or medium by denying it. Manga gets this, comics get this, several genres of novels (sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, etc) get this, video games get this, heck, movies get this sort of thing. Different genres of everything get it. If Fullmetal was marketed mainly towards girls (without a content change, just a market change) we'd be telling people that it's more than just badly written romance and boy obsessions. If Fullmetal was marketed towards a slightly older group, we'd be insisting that it wasn't porn.

I think instead of defying genre/demographic/medium we should be redefining it. The argument "Y'know, not all shonen is corny fights and lots of fanservice, for example, FMA..." works better than "Fullmetal is more than shonen." Fullmetal is more than what a lot of people expect from shonen. That's the difference. If we moved away from defending individual series to explaining how examples of the medium do not match its stereotype, people would start to take things a bit more seriously.

P.S. Also, this is just me being pedantic, but shonen isn't a genre, it's a demographic. It means the publishers are putting the most effort into getting teenage boys to buy the series. I think part of the problem is that people think it's a genre and stereotype it as such, when it encompasses things from Azumanga Daioh to Death Note to FMA to Rurouni Kenshin. Of course, there are techniques commonly used to get said demographic to buy it (coughfanservicecough), but manga of many genres can be shonen. We should explain this as well when defending a series.
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