Introduction Page

Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership of any images or videos that I may use in my blog posts and articles, everything belongs to their respective owners/creators. The way I am using them is covered as fair usage under the terms of education, reviewing and criticism.

Ask me anything: http://ask.fm/Fate_Alma

As long as it is not stupid I will answer it.

Introduction and basic questions regarding me:

Who are you?

I am Alma Elma.

Why Alma Elma?

Because I like the sound of it.

Who is Alma Elma?

I am one of the Umman Manda. And if you do not know what I mean by that, then you are not meant to know what that is.

Why does Alma Elma write?

Primarily for fun, its really just a creative outlet of mine. Beyond that, I can always use one of my articles as tools, if I ever get into the same argument multiple times (which happens quite often), I can just link them to the articles, sparing myself the trouble of writing the same damn lines all over again.

When did Alma Elma start writing?

On a habitual basis, I started writing in early 2013.

What does Alma Elma hope to accomplish by writing his articles? Is he trying to convince people of something?

Nothing really, I primarily write them for myself. I believe that only the small minority of population can actually be convinced through reason and logic, the rest will hate on truthsayers like they have always done, because we are saying what they do not wish to hear. The people who tend to agree with my articles are the same people that are capable of reaching the same conclusions as I, even without reading my articles. In this sense my blogging and writing is quite useless.

Generally speaking, every human wants to believe that they are right, and as a result, these people rarely ever doubt themselves on their own, and even if they hear opposing viewpoints and ideas, they will just shut them out without thinking too much about it, because none of these people like the idea of being wrong on something, the very idea is uncomfortable for them, which is why if I can actually convince someone of my word, it is never because of the quality or strength of my arguments, but because they have already doubted themselves, therefore leading to a predisposition where they would more likely agree with what I had to say. 

Why anime, why not something else?

I do not only write about anime, but the reason most of my articles deal with it, is because anime along with video games are relatively new mediums, they are only a few decades old. Thus it is my belief that it is the duty of the current generation to write about and document them. Unfortunately very few people take anime seriously as a medium, granted this is the fault of the juvenile nature of modern anime as well as the childish fanbase that has erected itself around it. The people who do write about anime seriously do so in the form of reviews, which I believe to be completely worthless. Unlike them I do not deal with reviewing, but analyzing the medium as a whole, and looking at bigger trends and pictures that happen within anime.

B-But, I saw articles on Alma Elma’s page that looked like reviews!

Those are not reviews. Just because I talk about a title in detail does not mean that it is a review. Most of the time when I talk about individual anime, I do so with the intention of pressing some kind of point that is generally true to the medium as a whole or a common thing within the genres. For example, I talked about Gate for the sole purpose of demonstrating how many anime squander their potential just to have a mindless harem. Of course some people might still treat and use those articles as if they were reviews, however I did not write them with the intention of being reviews.

Alma Elma should stop hating on Anime, no one likes a negative Nancy!

I care none about being liked by the mindless plebeians who only wish to hear the same forced positivity that they can get anywhere else. And considering how much the medium has devolved over the years, Anime deserves every hate it gets. Besides none of what I say is actually ‘hate’, all I do is state the truth that eludes you because you do not want to hear it.

If Alma Elma doesn’t like it, then he should simply stop watching anime.

Not an argument, just because I do not like random anime X does not necessarily mean that I don’t like the medium itself, going by the same logic, I would hate the Magical Girl genre just because I did not like Madoka Magica. Besides one needs to watch the bad and the mediocre in order to appreciate the few things that are actually good within a medium.

How does Alma Elma rate or score?

My ratings are purely comparative, meaning that they do not only rate the work on their own merits, but also on how they stand up to other works within the same medium and genre, if a work is good on its own, but other creations within the same genre are even better, I will rate the work in question with a lower score, simply because the standards are higher, likewise if something is not that good on its own, but other works within the same genre are even more horrible, I will raise the scores for that tile a bit higher, simply because it excels above its counterparts. 

Needless to say this type of rating can only be done by a person who watched or read a lot of works within a particular genre and within a particular medium (because the genres differ in quality from medium to medium), it is not a way of rating meant for the inexperienced watcher, those people should instead rate works on their own until they gain more experience and knowledge of the genres and mediums. Why is experience needed? Mainly to get a good idea of what is average within a particular genre, because only if you know what is average, can you actually define what is bad and what is good, because those two traits are measured using the average as a focal point and by how much farther or closer they are to the average. And secondly, experience is also required to gain an understanding of the clichés and stereotypes that pertain to a particular genre.

My scale goes from 1 to 10, five is what I use to reference the average, the more closer something is to 1, the worse it is compared to the average, and the closer something is to 10, the better it is compared to the average within that particular genre.

As for the individual aspects of works I value the most, they are as follow, from most important to least important:

  1. Execution
  2. Story
  3. Characters
  4. Originality
  5. Music and Soundtrack
  6. Art style
  7. Animation

To elaborate: This is what I value in anime on a general level, meaning that this would still vary if I looked at the individual genres, such as comedy, where story would be far less important than in other categories, so I would move them downwards, likewise in action anime, the importance of animation would move up. Obviously I score books, movies, games etc. differently from anime, so in books I obviously wouldn’t evaluate 5,6, and 7 because they are not present, and in the medium of video games I would have to consider additional aspects, such as bugs and the gameplay itself. 

Execution is the most important category and always stays that way regardless of the medium or genre I am speaking of. What is execution? You can say it is the final product, or to be more accurate, how all the other individual aspects are put together to create the greater whole, that is the final work. Execution includes things like camera work, how sound is used and when it is used, the pacing, as well as the directing, et cetera. Even if something has great potential due to the individual aspects like story and characters, it will end up failing without proper and skillful execution. Execution is also the only thing that can raise otherwise mediocre works into something greater, beyond their normal potential, by for example executing the same old story in a new and innovative fashion.

Story is the second most important category, it includes everything from narration, world building, setting, lore, the plot, etc. After execution, it is the most crucial aspect to any work that attempts to be something serious (meaning not comedy or slice of nothing ever happens). And all in, it is in the second place, because it is much easier to watch a show that has a good story and bad characters than a show that has bad story, but good characters, because good characters get tainted by shitty stories, but this is not true vice versa, bad characters cannot taint a truly good story.

Characters are the essential part of any story, because we humans need human-like characters in a story in order for them to be relatable on some level, nobody would care about a story of two rocks (actual) or two ants (again actual), which is why even when inanimate objects or animals are the characters of a story they are endowed with human characteristics in the process known as personification.  In fact there are very few stories that have no characters whatsoever, although I do know that they exist. A single good or likeable character can be sometimes enough to make the viewers and the audience bear with the shitty story, therefore it is the last of the great first three pillars, because it is the last category that can still “carry” a work almost on its own.

Originality is the great decision maker, it is what separates good from exceptional, and bad from shows that simply failed their otherwise great potential. What do I mean by this? Imagine if there are two anime, both of them excel in almost every possible category, but there is one difference between the two, one is original, while the other one is not, which one should be ranked higher? Clearly the original one, as long as it is not of inferior quality of course, because originality on its own cannot carry a work, it needs the aid of one of the first 3 pillars, otherwise it becomes little more than a failed idea. Originality should be valued especially in our modern era, where almost everything is a reboot, retelling, inspiration, adaptation, etc.

Music, Art, and Animation: These three are what I call the cherry or the cream of any good work, the reason I am calling them this, is because if the work is good (meaning that it excels in the first 4 categories), they will further enhance the quality of the work in question, however if the work is bad or terrible, these three things can’t do anything to save it, it would be like putting a cherry on top of a pile of shit, it will still taste like shit. Music is the most important of the three on the sole basis that it is incapable of aging, a good music from a 60’s movie will still be good even in 2016, it does not matter if the taste of the demographics has changed, since quality is not defined by the taste of the consumers. It is possible for Art style to be immortal as well, but only as long as it is drawn by skilled hands, but if it is drawn by someone incompetent, then it will age just like animation, this is why there are some older anime that still look good today, while the art of many modern anime grow stale or bad in a few years. Animation is hilariously the least important part of anime, solely on the basis that they grow obsolete very fast, so no one of the right mind would evaluate or praise an anime solely on this basis alone, seeing that their claim would be irrelevant in a few years. 

 

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