Judging a series by its fights


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    I think to some extent you can judge a series by the fights in them; with this thinking, you can compare two different series. for example, if you compare any fight from Chivalry of a failed knight and compare it to say the best fight in Asterisk war you might get some ideas of which series is better if you know nothing about them. I think it is easiest to tell with two fights that are comparable to each other witch series is better from the fight. for example, The Minotaur fight from Danmachi and the Gleam Eyes fight from SAO are comparable but when you watch them very close to each other it is easy to tell which fight is better.


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    (My bad take time as someone that doesn't really love battle shounen).

    Fights can be subjective though. Just because you have a lot of pomp and flashy spectacles doesn't mean you have "good fights". FSN UBW's presentation of fights for instance I remember my buddy hating because it was always "clash, give some terrible excuse not to finish the battle, one opponent runs away" to the point that it seemed like nothing would ever be decided in a battle

    Objectively, FSN UBW has high production values and a lot of flash, but that doesn't necessarily make the fights good to an individual.

    For me, if a battle goes on too long, I judge that as a negative because I want to get back to the relationship building and light mystery elements. Dendro is a good example of this. I'm reading more for the characters, discovering their identities, and the mystery of Dendro. I really couldn't care less about the arena battle that happened in V3, and the DBZ power level and methodical explanation of milliseconds of a battle does nothing for me. So many battles in Dendro follow the video game style "this isn't even my final form" problem too, which drags on battles. Faraway Paladin also had a really lengthy battle to end volume 4 as well. I have to go back and re-read it to catch everything there.

    Also, any time you try to put the main hero in danger when I know the volume isn't the final one, I lose interest. Even if the hero loses an arm, they'll give him a prosthetic, or he'll become the most expert left-handed fighter ever.

    Grimgar battles are pretty decent. Never really overstay their welcome. Bosses generally don't have second forms (at most, they might go berserk when weakened, or keep a desperate attack in reserve).


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    @terrence said in Judging a series by its fights:

    Also, any time you try to put the main hero in danger when I know the volume isn't the final one, I lose interest.

    I feel like this isn't really a fair critique, as the author doesn't always know if he's getting another book when he's writing it, plus it would be worse if the fights had no stakes to them at all (see: Arifureta). Not to mention "stakes" don't only concern the protagonist's well-being, but also how much the antagonist can move forward with their goals, who else gets caught up in the crossfire, etc.


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    @myskaros I have to agree with you on the Stakes. A Fight should also have consequences as well. Luke vs Vader visually is a very dull (the prequels have pretty fights) fight but emotionally it is a very great fight. A Fight should not just push the fighters physically but mentally, and emotionally as well.
    @Terrence Luke gets a prosthetic yet this will become very important because one of Lukes greatest Struggles is becoming like Vader. Luke also see Vaders prosthetic hand at the end of the third movie realizing he is not that much different from Vader. The hero may survive but at what costs, what are the consequences; low reputation, loses a limb, loses their identity (kinda like how Zuko was always hunting the Avatar but then suddenly stopped), realize a darker side of themselves, (permanent) physical damage, are just a few ways a fight can have consequences.


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    @myskaros said in Judging a series by its fights:

    @terrence said in Judging a series by its fights:

    Also, any time you try to put the main hero in danger when I know the volume isn't the final one, I lose interest.

    I feel like this isn't really a fair critique...

    It may not be fair for an objective review, but this is how I feel subjectively when I read / watch your typical action series, especially a piece of media that you know is ongoing (I see this less as a criticism of the author's writing, and more a consequence of my knowledge of said serialized format). Battles hold my interest less if the outcome seems predictable, and the consequences, if any, have been established as minimal time + again.

    This is the same for romance too; if I feel it is becoming predictable or played out, that the winner of the romantic battle is already decided before the love war even begins, I lose some interest. At that point, I'll probably become more interested in the comedy, the setting, the politics, or side characters.

    Every element can definitely be played out and predictable when we have 1000s of anime that play with similar tropes, so I guess in that sense, I do think it is on the writer to do something that will gain your interest. I think we've had this discussion before about how unpredictability for the sake of it is, absolutely, bad writing. But just personally, I can't help but want a surprise or two, something that makes a series stand out, something that blew away my expectations.

    In terms of battles, what have good ones done to stand out to you? Any surprises?


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    @terrence I am gonna say one thing, The most powerful moments in HeroAca are also some of the most tropy-est as well. The "My Hero" moment in HeroAca (S3, E4) is very powerful yet almost as tropy as you can get. the halfway point of season 3 will also have another very tropy moment yet also very powerful. These moments are predictable and nothing we have not seen before. some spoilers for what will be the halfway point in S3.


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    I was thinking while typing that long reply, I do think my overall interest is tied to the consequences, but that's just my enjoyment of consequences, not my enjoyment of the battle itself. Those are almost two different things. I can absolutely hate a battle / find it boring, but love its consequences. And vice versa.

    So a good battle, objectively speaking, is not just good consequences. But subjectively, what I care about and what I'll remember are the consequences. Like the Darth Vader "fight". The battle kind of leads to the consequence, but a good battle, the battle itself would directly affect the area suffering the consequence. Like Luke's

    not just one fell swoop action.


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    @drone205 said in Judging a series by its fights:

    @terrence I am gonna say one thing, The most powerful moments in HeroAca are also some of the most tropy-est as well.

    What I know about MHA is, the frog is kawaii.

    But yeah, I can't remember the last time a "rah rah" moment made me super happy / emotional. Maybe a Trigger or Attack On Titan anime moment, mostly because of the music (Sawano music is really good for that). Luluco has a pretty great ending (and

    ).

    My favorite Shounen moments are probably the anti-Shounen moments in FMA and Hunter x Hunter (love almost everything during and after the New York arc; that Ant arc!). Yes, I am Shadow the Edgehog. xC



  • @drone205 gotta agree there. A cliche moment, if well executed, can be epic as hell. That "My Hero" moment was as cliche as it gets in Shounen, yet it was so powerful it almost made me shed a tear.


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    There's the reasons clichés exist in the first place (in this case with shonen stuff, the epic moments) and then there's lazy writing that uses the cliché to try to piggy back that feeling but just fails to get it right (the flashy fights with no meaning).

    Like Terrence said, same sort of thing with romance tropes, or any other category you can think of, and not just in anime/manga/LNs but fiction wide regardless of format or country of origin.

    So I guess from one POV you can judge stuff by the fights or battles, whatever form the stories' conflicts have. It's subjective but for most people, the feelings behind it beat the flash of it. I haven't watched Asterisk War or Chivalry of a Failed Knight, but with the Danmachi/SAO comparison, IMO the technically "better" fight is also the more emotionally involving fight.


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    I remember that certain volumes in the A Certain Magical Index series had some really engrossing action scenes. Some of them really, really cool. While I found other volumes to be just... bland.

    I think reader's expectations also play a role aside from emotions.



  • @terrence totally agree, specially with the Grimgar stuff you said. But imo I don’t mind fight scenes tbh, that is unless you know the mc is op and has almost no way of losing. That’s when it turns boring to me.