FEATURE: One Piece is K-On! at Sea: Rethinking Anime Recommendations


Good day everybody, and welcome again to Why It Works. I’ve not too long ago been fascinated about the method of “present suggestions,” and significantly the idea of “in the event you favored this present, you’ll in all probability like this different present.” To be trustworthy, I often suppose we’re all fairly horrible at recommending exhibits to individuals. This isn’t as a result of we’re incapable of understanding what we like, however as a result of tales are so sophisticated. Even when two exhibits are related in a number of methods, there’s an excellent probability they gained’t each attraction to a 3rd get together, as a result of the issues that attraction to us in media are so quite a few and particular. An identical premise gained’t matter if what we love is the solid — and the same solid gained’t matter if what we liked was the bold worldbuilding.


One Piece


The obvious manner to attract similarities between exhibits is thru the tangible, inarguable narrative particulars that they each share. We’ll say a present is “like one other present” as a result of they share related narrative trajectories, or use supernatural powers in the same manner, or have related protagonists, etcetera. For some individuals, suggestions like this would possibly really work — however personally, I are likely to suppose we draw comparisons like these as a result of the instant narrative parts of a present are merely its most evident qualities — apparent, however not really the rationale we like them.


This false impression was most famously made obvious to me via the manga Bakuman, about two younger males hoping to create a success shonen manga. Guided not by any single inspiring thought, however merely the concept of “making a preferred manga,” the workforce’s author units to work attempting to divine exactly what makes for a preferred manga. What do all these tales have in widespread, what makes them tick? And the reply he involves, after a substantial amount of analysis, is “all of them have swords!”




The second I learn that chapter, I instantly misplaced my religion in that character’s potential to grasp tales. “All of them have swords?” Sure, all of them have swords, however it isn’t the swords that make them a hit! It’s the … it’s the pacing, and the energy of their dramatic hooks, and the attraction of the lead character dynamics, and the artwork fashion, and the thematic ambition, and the … Swords? Actually?


It was then that I understood simply how unhealthy we’re at categorizing and evaluating tales. We hyperfocus on apparent narrative or worldbuilding comparability factors, often ignoring what tales themselves are attempting to be good at, and as an alternative solely evaluating when it comes to set design. We deal with the plain “what” of the story’s in-universe premise, and never the “how” of its development — whether or not it shares a selected tone, a deal with character rapport, comparable thematic concepts, related makes use of of images, or any of the opposite million issues that are a bit of more durable to level at on a chart, however which in the end dictate nearly all of our precise, emotional response to the present.




At the least, that’s the way it goes for me. I have a tendency to not care an incredible deal a few story’s bigger premise, and extra about precisely the way it chooses to execute on that premise. However even in the event you’re extra of a plot-focused type of individual, fascinated about tales when it comes to issues apart from plot is usually a helpful approach to rethink how tales work and develop your perspective on fiction. The way in which I see it, the extra angles we method media from, the extra methods we will come to understand and luxuriate in it — so with out additional ado, I’m going to supply only a few of my wilder “this present is mainly simply this different present” opinions, after which cede the ground to all of you!


My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU and Spice & Wolf are Principally the Identical Present


When it comes to narrative premise, SNAFU and Spice & Wolf are clearly fairly completely different — one’s a contemporary highschool drama, the opposite’s a fantasy journey starring a magical wolf god. However when it comes to the energetic expertise of watching them, each SNAFU and Spice & Wolf delight within the witty, adversarial banter of characters who clearly care about one another, however who would slightly snipe at one another than admit their emotions. And most crucially, each exhibits have the writing acumen to again up this focus — their characters are layered, weak, and human — and their conversations are genuinely intelligent, not merely farcical or full of gags.


Concrete Revolutio


Concrete Revolutio is the Sequel to Fullmetal Alchemist


After the unique, Seiji Mizushima-directed Fullmetal Alchemist ran as much as the tip of its manga’s printed materials, the anime was compelled to invent its personal conclusion to the story. That conclusion was largely composed by Sho Aikawa, a famed anime author who poured his personal considerations relating to the continued Iraq Battle and America’s world hegemony into the drama, leading to an unusually sharp-edged, world-weary conclusion. Sho Aikawa would get one other probability to develop his ideas on world politics when he as soon as once more collaborated with Mizushima on Concrete Revolutio, which makes use of its “company who work to guard real-world superheroes” premise to discover Japan’s id from the post-WWII period via the tip of the chilly struggle. Although their overt premises disguise their nature, each Fullmetal Alchemist and Concrete Revolutio are fiery political treatises, a complimentary set certain by Aikawa and Mizushima's narrative ambitions.


One Piece is Okay-On! at Sea


I’d been instructed an incredible deal about One Piece earlier than I attempted it out — about its bold narrative arcs, about its intricate worldbuilding, and about its big selection of characters and powers. However in the end, after I really received to it, what most spoke to me about One Piece was its persistent deal with the bonds between its would-be pirates, and the straightforward camaraderie they share of their floating dwelling. One Piece often indulges in sequences with no actual narrative objective, that merely revel within the earnest love shared by its solid, and the homey environment of their seafaring vessel. One Piece understands, like few different shonen, the ability of slice of life storytelling — and constantly jogs my memory of that champion of heat afternoons with associates, the impeccable Okay-On!


One Piece


I’ve run out of time at this level, however I hope these undeniably strained comparisons have helped you all rethink exactly what it’s you want about your favorites, past the important details of their narrative outlines. And please supply your personal wild comparability within the feedback!





Nick Creamer has been writing about cartoons for too a few years now and is all the time able to cry about Madoka. You could find extra of his work at his weblog Flawed Each Time, or comply with him on Twitter.


Do you like writing? Do you like anime? When you have an thought for a options story, pitch it to Crunchyroll Options!