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CoCage:
The Accidental Pervert joke. One of the most annoying, contrived, over used jokes in anime. Whether it be shounen, shoujo, or seinan (though they do it there less frequently). And thank you for pointing out Dreiko's flawed logic.

It's almost certainly a Japanese thing - cultural differences and all, because the Japanese are super-reserved in polite society. Copping a feel in European or American society isn't half so tough in comparison.

Some of the Japanese stuff is amusingly super-weird. I'm sure when I was Akihabara I saw a few posters of an extraordinarily buxom anime woman with the English translation something like "Erotic dreams of older sister". Umm, okay guys. And that's before you get to the tentacle porn.

CoCage:

Smithnikov:

Dreiko:

What you're doing here is the same thing PETA was doing regarding the old Road Runner cartoons, calling it animal abuse because anvils and tnt and a bunch of other things all harmed Wily Coyote.

A woman abusing and beating up a man is a plausible situation. A sentient coyote mail ordering explosives to catch a single impossibly fast bird is not. THat's a difference.

Clearly, those scenes do not depict actual domestic violence. They are mere physical and sexual slapstic comedy.

Even if that's the case, Cosmic Butt Monkies get old really really quick.

As for why it was liked, in practically every case where the protagonist was smacked around and launched into orbit like Team Rocket, he would have somehow ended up accidentally peeping or fondling or falling on one of the characters, such a thing is called a "lucky sukebe" and it is a fortunate event, despite being launched into orbit, cause you got to cop a feel or get an eyeful to earn it, so compared to that being uppercutted was nothing worth minding haha.

So if a male does something awkward through no fault of their own, they deserve violence? This is a shit trope and it deserves to get shit upon.

The Accidental Pervert joke. One of the most annoying, contrived, over used jokes in anime. Whether it be shounen, shoujo, or seinan (though they do it there less frequently). And thank you for pointing out Dreiko's flawed logic.

I've personally long assumed this kind of comedy grew out as a reaction the fact that in real life in Japan, its women do get groped and harassed in public and onus is put on the woman to not react and remain dignified and stoic as they're being assaulted to either ride it out until it passes or someone - usually a man - steps in to put a stop to it. So stuff like what you see in Love Hina is born out of frustration with that.

I could of course, be hideously wrong.

Smithnikov:

Dreiko:

What you're doing here is the same thing PETA was doing regarding the old Road Runner cartoons, calling it animal abuse because anvils and tnt and a bunch of other things all harmed Wily Coyote.

A woman abusing and beating up a man is a plausible situation. A sentient coyote mail ordering explosives to catch a single impossibly fast bird is not. THat's a difference.

Clearly, those scenes do not depict actual domestic violence. They are mere physical and sexual slapstic comedy.

Even if that's the case, Cosmic Butt Monkies get old really really quick.

As for why it was liked, in practically every case where the protagonist was smacked around and launched into orbit like Team Rocket, he would have somehow ended up accidentally peeping or fondling or falling on one of the characters, such a thing is called a "lucky sukebe" and it is a fortunate event, despite being launched into orbit, cause you got to cop a feel or get an eyeful to earn it, so compared to that being uppercutted was nothing worth minding haha.

So if a male does something awkward through no fault of their own, they deserve violence? This is a shit trope and it deserves to get shit upon.

Again, you're decontextualizing things.

There's actual violence, then there's cartoony slapstic "violence" which is actually just funny. You know like how the three stooges would slap eachother and poke eachother in the eyes and a bunch of silly stuff? Like that.

Those scenes are MUCH more akin to being hit with a boulder that was balanced atop a mountain of tnt than any sort of thing that'd be realistically recognizable as a woman hitting a man in an abusive way. You literally have scenes where someone is punched so hard they fly off onto the horizon with a little twinkle star sound. Nobody rational will take that as depicting some sort of domestic violence situation.

And again, you're changing what is happening to it being what you want it to be. These are scenes where a man is living out a harem fantasy, and a minor setback is that he comically gets launched into orbit like Team Rocket. He is not harmed in any real or permanent way, he is not traumatized, he isn't living in fear, nothing, when he does something "awkward" (completely inaccurate term to apply, these are more like divine accidents that would never happen in reality no matter how awkward you are) he is actually enjoying himself and then is rebuked for being a perv, which he is inadvertently being lol.

Gordon_4:

CoCage:

Smithnikov:

A woman abusing and beating up a man is a plausible situation. A sentient coyote mail ordering explosives to catch a single impossibly fast bird is not. THat's a difference.

Even if that's the case, Cosmic Butt Monkies get old really really quick.

So if a male does something awkward through no fault of their own, they deserve violence? This is a shit trope and it deserves to get shit upon.

The Accidental Pervert joke. One of the most annoying, contrived, over used jokes in anime. Whether it be shounen, shoujo, or seinan (though they do it there less frequently). And thank you for pointing out Dreiko's flawed logic.

I've personally long assumed this kind of comedy grew out as a reaction the fact that in real life in Japan, its women do get groped and harassed in public and onus is put on the woman to not react and remain dignified and stoic as they're being assaulted to either ride it out until it passes or someone - usually a man - steps in to put a stop to it. So stuff like what you see in Love Hina is born out of frustration with that.

I could of course, be hideously wrong.

You're kinda wrong but not in the way you think you are.

Part of the joke in those scenes is just how undignified the women are, too, since they do obviously over-react to a lot of less invasive stuff than like, falling onto them on the bath buck naked cause you saw boobs and got startled so bad you slipped onto nothing and fell on them into a perfect 69 position somehow lol.

So it's not as much a reaction against as it is reinforcing those cultural norms.

Dreiko:
He is not harmed in any real or permanent way, he is not traumatized, he isn't living in fear, nothing, when he does something "awkward"

You mean like a believable human fucking being WOULD BE?

Yea, you just summed up one reason I checked out of anime.

Smithnikov:

Dreiko:
He is not harmed in any real or permanent way, he is not traumatized, he isn't living in fear, nothing, when he does something "awkward"

You mean like a believable human fucking being WOULD BE?

Yea, you just summed up one reason I checked out of anime.

Don't let people like Dreiko or the shitty anime/manga that is Love Hina ruin anime for you. There is plenty of good out there. If you ever decide to dive back in, I am more than happy to help you.

Smithnikov:

Dreiko:
He is not harmed in any real or permanent way, he is not traumatized, he isn't living in fear, nothing, when he does something "awkward"

You mean like a believable human fucking being WOULD BE?

Yea, you just summed up one reason I checked out of anime.

If you want a believable or realistic story out of a romantic gag anime, you're barking up the wrong tree lmao.

This is about fun and fantasy, not realism.

There are definitely other genres of anime where you can get that, re:zero is a pretty good example. You just gotta recognize when the show you're watching is just being wacky and fun and isn't intended to be treated with the same seriousness than other things are. You should be able to notice when a show has magical flying turtles that the show isn't going for realism but just wacky zany fun and suspend your disbelief.

Realistically, no guy ever would ever get in the predicaments the protagonist gets in, because they are all, like I said, divine accidents that are impossibly unlikely to occur, just one of them would be a miracle, having all of them occur to one person just is not possible. So to just accept that someone does have all those things happen to them but only start caring about realism past that point doesn't make sense. The moment you accepted that someone can be this blind without their glasses on that they can't tell a random guy from a woman they've lived with for years in the baths, you've accepted that realism is not part of the discussion any longer.

Also, if you did get punched and get launched into orbit somehow, you'd not be traumatized, you'd just be dead from the impact that such a punch would require. If you accept that the person didn't die from this, you've already long abandoned realism.

Smithnikov:

Yea, you just summed up one reason I checked out of anime.

This is like checking out of live-action film because of Troll 2, or checking out of literature because of Fifty Shades.

It'd be a damn shame if this was the reason you overlooked Studio Ghibli, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Fullmetal Alchemist, Samurai Champloo, etc

Silvanus:

Smithnikov:

Yea, you just summed up one reason I checked out of anime.

This is like checking out of live-action film because of Troll 2, or checking out of literature because of Fifty Shades.

It'd be a damn shame if this was the reason you overlooked Studio Ghibli, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Fullmetal Alchemist, Samurai Champloo, etc

I've seen everything except Fullmetal Alchemist from that list and love them all aso I'm taking that as a recommendation.

Silvanus:

Smithnikov:

Yea, you just summed up one reason I checked out of anime.

This is like checking out of live-action film because of Troll 2, or checking out of literature because of Fifty Shades.

Well, I can go to IMDBs Top 250 and not get complete garbage like Elfen Lied. To get even something say 7/10 good in anime, I gotta filter by basically "best ever" and then roll a 20 on a D20 to get lucky enough to actually pick something that's good. Whereas Troll 2 is 2.9 and Fifty Shades is 4.1 on IMDB so I know they suck while Elfen Lied is fucking 8.0 on IMDB.

Phoenixmgs:

Well, I can go to IMDBs Top 250 and not get complete garbage like Elfen Lied. To get even something say 7/10 good in anime, I gotta filter by basically "best ever" and then roll a 20 on a D20 to get lucky enough to actually pick something that's good. Whereas Troll 2 is 2.9 and Fifty Shades is 4.1 on IMDB so I know they suck while Elfen Lied is fucking 8.0 on IMDB.

Maybe this tells you more about IMDB.

Ok, that was facetious. But lots of people appreciate & watch shitty anime, so it distorts scores on sites like IMDB. A better comparison would be a specific genre like Horror; there's a lot of shite with scores of 7+. Doesn't mean the genre is bad.

Phoenixmgs:

Silvanus:

Smithnikov:

Yea, you just summed up one reason I checked out of anime.

This is like checking out of live-action film because of Troll 2, or checking out of literature because of Fifty Shades.

Well, I can go to IMDBs Top 250 and not get complete garbage like Elfen Lied. To get even something say 7/10 good in anime, I gotta filter by basically "best ever" and then roll a 20 on a D20 to get lucky enough to actually pick something that's good. Whereas Troll 2 is 2.9 and Fifty Shades is 4.1 on IMDB so I know they suck while Elfen Lied is fucking 8.0 on IMDB.

I wouldn't trust site like ANN or IMDB. They're nothing more than glorified wiki sites. ANN had fallen out relevancy years ago. Besides, the people who put Elfen Lied in the top 10 had warped opinions back then, and they've changed when the anime/manga got less popular. The people who made those pinons were a bunch of edge lords or rarely watched good horror anime who were in there teens or twenties. Elfen Lied is a cult classic at best. Especially around 2012. You find plenty of haters or people that are indifferent to it. A lot of younger anime fans don't even know Elfen Lied exists.

Phoenixmgs:

Well, I can go to IMDBs Top 250 and not get complete garbage like Elfen Lied. To get even something say 7/10 good in anime, I gotta filter by basically "best ever" and then roll a 20 on a D20 to get lucky enough to actually pick something that's good. Whereas Troll 2 is 2.9 and Fifty Shades is 4.1 on IMDB so I know they suck while Elfen Lied is fucking 8.0 on IMDB.

I think you have to be very careful of selecting too tight a genre or style, as they tend to be unbalanced by relatively small numbers of people who have watched it and are often fans.

It's like Tripadvisor. The 5* restaurants at the top of the list are often not good restaurants - or perhaps I should say they are good for the price, and if they've got only a few reviews, chances are half of them are the family and friends of the staff.

Hawki:
Metatextuality? You mean one text commenting on another text?

Metatextuality is the idea/basic fact that sometimes in order to be able to understand or evaluate a text properly you need an understanding of how it relates to other texts around it, even if that information is not actually part of the text.

For example, being able to identify what genre a text falls into, or to spot cliches, relies on metatextual knowledge.

Hawki:
Theme/subtext is separate from worldbuilding.

It's usually not though.

Tolkien was a academic philologist who approached fantasy as a weird exercise in creating fictional mythology. For him, the Silmarillion was the actual work. The Hobbit was a story he wrote for his kids and Lord of the Rings was just some crap he shat out because publishers wouldn't take the Silmarillion. When people today look at Tolkien and assume he wrote all this fictional mythology and background as "worldbuilding" for stories like Lord of the Rings, and treat that as indicative of worldbuilding in general, they are fundamentally missing the point. The reason that's become a popular opinion is because the Silmarillion is boring and noone liked it, not even the people who think they like Tolkien.

Lewis did not create reams and reams of pointless abstract "worldbuilding" for Narnia because he wasn't a philologist and he didn't approach Narnia as an excercise in fictional mythology. Why can Narnia be reached through a wardrobe? Because it's magic. Why can animals speak in Narnia? Because it's magic. Why do figures and creatures from various mythological sources appear in Narnia even if the cultures from which they are derived never interacted? Magic.

These worlds are the way they are not because of "worldbuilding", but because each reflects the author's respective view of mythology (over which they ultimately fell out). Tolkien took mythology seriously and saw it as deeply tied to the society that produced it, Lewis saw mythology as a far more personal space for playing out moral and religious dramas.

In both cases, the "worldbuilding" was integral to the themes and subtext.

Hawki:
Does Tom Clancy belong here? For the most part, his books aren't some self-contained universe, they're simply our world.

He never tells you explicitly it is our world.

For all you know, he has thousands of pages of boring, meaningless "worldbuilding" sitting in his attic explaining in excruciating detail how the history and geopolitical situation of the Jack-Ryan-verse differs from reality and replete with many self-congratulatory songs and poems from within this fictional universe.

I looked up the plot synopsis for a random Tom Clancy novel. In Debt of Honor, apparently, a Japanese businessman who secretly rules Japan as the head of a zaibatsu plans to re-establish the Greater East Asian co-prosperity sphere, Japan covertly develops nuclear weapons and launches a war against the US, and a Japanese 747 pilot carries out a kamikaze attack on the US capitol building. This is not the real world, is it?

Silvanus:
Maybe this tells you more about IMDB.

Ok, that was facetious. But lots of people appreciate & watch shitty anime, so it distorts scores on sites like IMDB. A better comparison would be a specific genre like Horror; there's a lot of shite with scores of 7+. Doesn't mean the genre is bad.

I really don't think the majority of scores for these anime are from people liking it because it's "so bad, it's good" or just trolling to get people to watch some garbage. For movies that people enjoy because they're bad, you can tell from the reviews that they didn't think it was an actual masterpiece. Nobody is saying Tiger King is the greatest TV show ever made for example. Whereas reviews for bad anime like Elfen Lied literally have tons of reviewers of people saying it's a masterpiece and the greatest thing they've ever seen, and I'm totally not exaggerating the reviews. This even crosses over into video games like Nier (the 1st one), which was said to have the greatest video game story ever (so I gave it a try, it's OK at best) or Danganronpa, which is probably the worst game I've ever played. I think one of the last animes I tried a few years back was The Girl That Leapt Through Time (I saw it on a Walmart shelf and Googled it) that, of course, has glowing reviews and the story completely goes off the rails in the 3rd act. It's not that I haven't seen great anime and loved it, it's that the chances of anime being good are so very low and the chances are way higher than they have any right to be that it's on the level of the worse stuff I've ever seen (and that is going off of very well reviewed stuff, this isn't taking a chance on something rated 2.9/10). Whereas I can watch a decently rated Netflix/Amazon/HBO series and it'll probably be decent at worst, probably like a 25% chance that I really like it. For movies, I just watched Onward, The Gentlemen, Invisible Man, Bloodshot (hoping it was so bad it's good), and Vivarium; and the first 3 were good to really good, Bloodshot was too competent to be enjoyably bad, and Vivarium was complete garbage. I really only got burned on Vivarium, and Bloodshot wasn't surprising in its poor quality. Whereas, in anime, that burn rate is at least over 50%.

CoCage:
I wouldn't trust site like ANN or IMDB. They're nothing more than glorified wiki sites. ANN had fallen out relevancy years ago. Besides, the people who put Elfen Lied in the top 10 had warped opinions back then, and they've changed when the anime/manga got less popular. The people who made those pinons were a bunch of edge lords or rarely watched good horror anime who were in there teens or twenties. Elfen Lied is a cult classic at best. Especially around 2012. You find plenty of haters or people that are indifferent to it. A lot of younger anime fans don't even know Elfen Lied exists.

Elfen Lied came up on a bunch "best of" lists back during the time I was more prone to watch anime as the current TV golden age hadn't started yet. I don't really trust any site or user reviews too much, I mainly used those examples to show that you can find some really really horrible garbage on anime best of lists when that really doesn't happen anywhere else. If I google "best TV of 2019", I'm not going to find nothing near as bad as Elfen Lied on any list from insert whatever entertainment site. The OA is like the only show that I've seen in recent years that I thought was hot garbage but was talked about as being good.

Agema:
I think you have to be very careful of selecting too tight a genre or style, as they tend to be unbalanced by relatively small numbers of people who have watched it and are often fans.

It's like Tripadvisor. The 5* restaurants at the top of the list are often not good restaurants - or perhaps I should say they are good for the price, and if they've got only a few reviews, chances are half of them are the family and friends of the staff.

I never was trying select specific genres when looking for anime to watch, just looking for the stuff that was the best of the medium.

evilthecat:

Tolkien was a academic philologist who approached fantasy as a weird exercise in creating fictional mythology. For him, the Silmarillion was the actual work. The Hobbit was a story he wrote for his kids and Lord of the Rings was just some crap he shat out because publishers wouldn't take the Silmarillion. When people today look at Tolkien and assume he wrote all this fictional mythology and background as "worldbuilding" for stories like Lord of the Rings, and treat that as indicative of worldbuilding in general, they are fundamentally missing the point. The reason that's become a popular opinion is because the Silmarillion is boring and noone liked it, not even the people who think they like Tolkien.

Lewis did not create reams and reams of pointless abstract "worldbuilding" for Narnia because he wasn't a philologist and he didn't approach Narnia as an excercise in fictional mythology. Why can Narnia be reached through a wardrobe? Because it's magic. Why can animals speak in Narnia? Because it's magic. Why do figures and creatures from various mythological sources appear in Narnia even if the cultures from which they are derived never interacted? Magic.

These worlds are the way they are not because of "worldbuilding", but because each reflects the author's respective view of mythology (over which they ultimately fell out). Tolkien took mythology seriously and saw it as deeply tied to the society that produced it, Lewis saw mythology as a far more personal space for playing out moral and religious dramas.

In both cases, the "worldbuilding" was integral to the themes and subtext.

I think we're operating on entirely different levels here.

Look, everything you say above is true (sans no-one liking The Silmarillion, but whatever), but that's not what I meant. I say that worldbuilding and theme/subtext is separate because these things are usually operating on different levels of analysis.

Let's look at the Narnia questions you put forward. You ask:

Why can Narnia be reached through a wardrobe? Because it's magic. Why can animals speak in Narnia? Because it's magic. Why do figures and creatures from various mythological sources appear in Narnia even if the cultures from which they are derived never interacted? Magic.

None of these questions are really going to come up in a worldbuilding discussion, because it's the equivalent of asking why any fantasy world has humans in it when the world clearly isn't our world. That said, we know the answer to the first question (see books 1/2, and put two and two together). Asking why animals talk is a question that we already have the answer to (Aslan wills it - look at how he creates Narnia, everything is the way he wants it to be, though you can ask why they speak English I guess). Asking about mythological creatures and their mythological sources is a moot point because those cultures don't exist in the Narnian world. You could maybe theorycraft that those creatures existed on Earth and sought to recreate them, or it's a case of convergent evolution, but the cultural origins are academic to a worldbuilding discussion.

That said, like I stated before, Narnia has problems with self-consistency. If we're listing questions, here's some:

-If all humans are sons/daughters of Adam/Eve, and belong on Earth, why did the line of Lilith end up in Charn? These are two separate worlds.

-In Book 2, people act like humans are entirely foreign to Narnia, but Archenland is located just to the south. It's possible that the White Witch put a dampner on Narnian history, so that its creatures forgot about Frank and Helen, and that just south of the border there was a land where the seasons weren't out of whack, but still...

-Speaking of Archenland, what the heck was it doing when the Telmarines invaded, or the Calmorenes invaded in book 7?

-Why are Narnia and Earth linked the way they are? Wardrobe? That's explained. Pevensies being summoned by Susan's horn? Okay, sure. But aside from that, there's a cave that apparently links Narnia and Earth on some island (see the Telmarines), and a painting that links Narnia and Earth in the Scrubb household), and I'm left to ask, why? Barriers of reality breaking down or something? I don't know, and there's never an explanation, and considering that Narnia, Earth, and Charn are three of apparently infinite worlds, it does become noticable.

There's also a lack of things being fleshed out - "quick, describe the culture of Archenland, you have sixty seconds."

Basically, in a setting, we can ask why/how things are the way they are. You can answer that question through Doylist or Watsonian means. Saying Narnia is the way it is because of how Lewis approached mythology is the Doylist answer, but it's a question that generally isn't going to come up much in literary analysis - going back to perscribed literary texts, I was never asked how the World State operated the way it did, closest question would be along the lines of "by having the people worship Ford, what is the author trying to convey?" But worldbuilding is very much isolated in the questions of self-consistency. If I'm discussing Narnia, how it operates, and you say "because it's how the author wrote it," that isn't an answer. Or if it is, it's the equivalent of "just because." And while I can sometimes accept "just because" (e.g. the language issue), other things are much harder to (your sixty minutes are up, tell me about Archenland's culture and why it's a scummy ally). Yes, I know why Archenland doesn't feature more (because I don't think it was even concieved of in any real manner until Horse and His Boy), but that doesn't give me a good in-universe explanation. Difference being that, going back to Lord of the Rings, I can answer why the Shire is the way it is from the author's perspective (analogy to England, pre-war, harmony of nature, pre-industrialisation, trauma of returning home from war, finding everything changed, analogy, etc.) and the in-universe one (far west from Mordor, protected by the Rangers, hobbits don't like war, and love making things grow, etc.) Or, alternatively, fictional worlds are the way they are without any deeper meaning behind it.

For all you know, he has thousands of pages of boring, meaningless "worldbuilding" sitting in his attic explaining in excruciating detail how the history and geopolitical situation of the Jack-Ryan-verse differs from reality and replete with many self-congratulatory songs and poems from within this fictional universe.

I looked up the plot synopsis for a random Tom Clancy novel. In Debt of Honor, apparently, a Japanese businessman who secretly rules Japan as the head of a zaibatsu plans to re-establish the Greater East Asian co-prosperity sphere, Japan covertly develops nuclear weapons and launches a war against the US, and a Japanese 747 pilot carries out a kamikaze attack on the US capitol building. This is not the real world, is it?

Looking at its Wikipedia summary, Debt of Honour does return to the status quo by the end of it. It's not really creating a separate 'world' in the manner described above, or even a separate world in the vein of End War or The Division. Both those stories change the status quo of the world/US drastically.

Point is, thrillers usually exist in "our world." Even if they don't, we can assume that the world is the same as ours except where it differs explicitly, and usually those points of difference come from the plot. I.e. Jack Ryan became president of the US, and didn't in our world, but we can assume that the history of the US is the same in both 'worlds,' so to speak. Unless you're collapsing from a pandemic or something.

...too soon?

Hawki:
-If all humans are sons/daughters of Adam/Eve, and belong on Earth, why did the line of Lilith end up in Charn? These are two separate worlds.

Lilith is a figure from medieval Jewish and Christian mythology. She is the first wife of Adam, created from the same earth, but who either refused his authority or was rejected by him. Her descendents would thus not be sons of Adam or daughters of Eve.

Hawki:
In Book 2, people act like humans are entirely foreign to Narnia, but Archenland is located just to the south.

There's no indication of any contact or travel between Narnia and Archenland.

Also, if Telmarines don't count as humans, why would Archenlanders?

Hawki:
Why are Narnia and Earth linked the way they are?

Magic.

Hawki:
But worldbuilding is very much isolated in the questions of self-consistency.

Why?

I mean, to be blunt, this doesn't seem like worldbuilding at all, it's the kind of thing that happens on awful lazy internet commentary where people just point out irrelevant problems of internal consistency before whining about how female actors aren't giving them a lap dance, and when I try and reflect it back on my original point it becomes kind of insulting. Like, I'm not saying space wolves being vikings is contrived just to ding it and shout "plot hole" and then declare 40k is trash, I'm doing it to point out how 40k as a setting fits into a genre, a silly and contrived genre which never set out to be realistic and doesn't care because its lack of plausibility doesn't really impact on its ability to entertain. Even with Bethesda, the criticism is ultimately that they took a franchise I liked and thought was interesting and made it into a kind of weird, oversimplified parody of itself, and in doing that it became less interesting to me. But I am clearly in the minority on that.

Look, I like science fiction, and because of that I've become kind of bored of some of the common themes or tropes of science fiction. I'm not declaring it a sin or a terrible tragedy that science fiction authors use faster than light travel when (by our understanding of physics) it's impossible, or that science fiction authors have these huge galaxy spanning empires with impossibly tiny numbers of planets, all I'm saying is that I like it when people do something different. It's not a problem with individual "worldbuilding", it's a problem with genre conventions.

Hawki:
of Honour does return to the status quo by the end of it.

I would argue that the world in which that could happen is not the real world, and does not have a status quo.

Again, Greater East-Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Phoenixmgs:

Silvanus:

Smithnikov:

Yea, you just summed up one reason I checked out of anime.

This is like checking out of live-action film because of Troll 2, or checking out of literature because of Fifty Shades.

Well, I can go to IMDBs Top 250 and not get complete garbage like Elfen Lied. To get even something say 7/10 good in anime, I gotta filter by basically "best ever" and then roll a 20 on a D20 to get lucky enough to actually pick something that's good. Whereas Troll 2 is 2.9 and Fifty Shades is 4.1 on IMDB so I know they suck while Elfen Lied is fucking 8.0 on IMDB.

I wouldn't rely on those types of things. Just go on something like Myanimelist where it has everything in chronological order and just scroll through until something catches your eye. Popularity usually means either of two things. The show is one of the old shows from an era when few anime were being brought over, or it's a show that became a meme and had a cult following. There are a bunch of actually good shows too but just relying on ratings is unreliable.

Oh and Elfen Lied is not that bad, the manga is just much better cause it has an actual ending lol. I think back in the day when it was new the visuals and super over the top violence just sold the show so it has a pretty decent fanbase. I definitely remember the time, it was like 2003 or something, not many things with its level of content were available so it stood out for sure.

Silvanus:

Smithnikov:

Yea, you just summed up one reason I checked out of anime.

This is like checking out of live-action film because of Troll 2, or checking out of literature because of Fifty Shades.

It'd be a damn shame if this was the reason you overlooked Studio Ghibli, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Fullmetal Alchemist, Samurai Champloo, etc

Don't take it literally. I'm sure Smithnikov has seen at least some of the acclaimed pieces just like you or I have (and I'm an anime hater). He's saying that he's no longer checking out new anime series as they get released. I'm willing to bet he's done that maybe even a lot at some point in the past.

Also I know you have no reason to trust this information. :D An educated guess.

evilthecat:
it's the kind of thing that happens on awful lazy internet commentary where people just point out irrelevant problems of internal consistency before whining about how female actors aren't giving them a lap dance

The CinemaSins lore has become too thick at this point. Should I accidentally open up a video of theirs on a movie I've seen, well, I can't really follow the train of thought half the time. It's just incoherent rambling.

OT: Dan Brown's Robert Langdon books after The Da Vinci Code.

evilthecat:

Lilith is a figure from medieval Jewish and Christian mythology. She is the first wife of Adam, created from the same earth, but who either refused his authority or was rejected by him. Her descendents would thus not be sons of Adam or daughters of Eve.

I know who Lilith is in Abrahamic mythology, that's not the issue. Nor the issue of procreation.

Again, in the setting itself, irrespective of whatever inspired the setting, humans originate from Earth. All humans are sons of Adam/daughters of Eve. Lilith, in the same setting, is said to be Adam's first wife, and was a jinn, who ended up in Charn, who interbred with giants, who gave rise to the people of Charn. The question is thus, how does this work? Is Eden a separate world? Is Eden in Earth? Was Eden on Earth? I also know that time doesn't move at the same rate between worlds, but it's weird in this context that Charn is MUCH older than Earth. But whatever the case, we have a scenario where Adam and Lilith were presumably at one place at the same time, but their descendants ended up in entirely separate realities.

There's no indication of any contact or travel between Narnia and Archenland.

Um, what?

Assuming your statement refers to pre-book 2, the fact that humans end up in Archenland at all is due to Col, who leads descendants of Frank and Helen into Archenland. Now, migrations don't usually work like that, in that you might get an offshoot of a population going to a new area, but it's rare for a population to up entirely and leave. But again, Narnia shares a border with Archenland. A man and woman were present in Narnia from the very start. It's not the biggest plot hole in the world, but it does have a sense of disconnect that the first book treats humans as being completely foreign to the Narnian world. When Jadis sees Edmund, she murmurs "a door from the World of Men...I have heard of such things..." As in, her first instinct is that Edmund is from Earth rather than Archenland. Also she has to ask Edmund what he is, when I thought she'd have known he was human per her experiences with Diggory and Polly. It's partly because of this that I've seen it reccomended that people read Lion/Witch/Wardrobe before Magician's Nephew.

Also, if Telmarines don't count as humans, why would Archenlanders?

Um, Telmarines are humans. That's never not been the case. The only time that's suggested as such is when Nikabrik calls Telmarines "a different type of human" (or something) as opposed to the Pevensies, but that isn't the case - Aslan calls Caspian a "son of Adam" for instance.

Magic.

Yeah, that isn't an answer. I mean, technically it's magic, in that the wardrobe is magical, but the reason why the wardrobe links to Narnia is made clear in The Magician's Nephew. However, that doesn't explain everything else, such as the island portal or the Dawn Treader painting. It raises these questions because we know that there's infinite worlds out there, but you never hear of anyone stumbling from Earth into, I dunno, Fairy Land. And while I can theorize as to why that's the case, that the tree which provided the wood for the wardrobe linked the two dimensions in a matter unlike other worlds, it's never explained.

Why?

Because if you give us a fictional world, and give us rules, and history, and everything else, then it's worldbuilding 101 that these things sync up with each other.

None of the stuff I listed above is enough to dent my enjoyment of the books (or in the case of The Last Battle, distaste), but the point I was making is that worldbuilding can be isolated from any real-world rationale. And, frankly, should be. If I create a fictional setting, and people point out holes in the setting, I can't just say "but that's the way I wrote it" as an excuse. Even if I wrote it a certain way to make a point, it doesn't remove the flaw.

I mean, to be blunt, this doesn't seem like worldbuilding at all, it's the kind of thing that happens on awful lazy internet commentary where people just point out irrelevant problems of internal consistency before whining about how female actors aren't giving them a lap dance,

There's nitpicking, yes, but there's self-consistency also. I don't have any interest in going onto Spacebattles.com, because I don't really care if the Galactic Empire can beat the Imperium of Man (and it's part of why I refuse to write multi-chaptered crossovers where there isn't in-universe precedent for the two to crossover) but I do edit wikis extensively, and consult them as well when writing for the setting. When self-consistency isn't enforced, it's notable. Frankly, it would be notable in any work of fiction where the setting is original. I can acknowledge that Narnia is a fairy tale. I can acknowledge that it's for children. I can (and do, mostly) enjoy it. None of these things change the fact that it's worldbuilding is very sketchy when you actually stop and think about it, whereas other fantasy settings are much more solid in terms of how their world operates.

Like, I'm not saying space wolves being vikings is contrived just to ding it and shout "plot hole" and then declare 40k is trash, I'm doing it to point out how 40k as a setting fits into a genre, a silly and contrived genre which never set out to be realistic and doesn't care because its lack of plausibility doesn't really impact on its ability to entertain.

The Space Wolves? Again?

Okay, fine. I can't argue that 40K is schlock, that was never the issue (to me). But this is just going in circles.

Even with Bethesda, the criticism is ultimately that they took a franchise I liked and thought was interesting and made it into a kind of weird, oversimplified parody of itself, and in doing that it became less interesting to me. But I am clearly in the minority on that.

Minority?

Isn't it, kind of writ in the Fallout fandom that Fallout 1, 2, and New Vegas are the holy trinity, that 3, 4, and 76 are the damned, and Tactics/Brotherhood of Steel the unmentionables?

It's not a problem with individual "worldbuilding", it's a problem with genre conventions.

Genre conventions and worldbuilding are two separate things, least as far as analysis goes. A work can break convention and have shit worldbuilding, or have excellent worldbuilding but be genre fiction to a T.

I would argue that the world in which that could happen is not the real world, and does not have a status quo.

Again, Greater East-Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Haven't read any of Clancy's novels, but from Wikipedia, the return to the status quo is part of the plot. And looking at the current Clancy novels (granted, written by different authors), it still seems to be our world. Same countries, same balance of power, same enemies, same protagonists, etc.

evilthecat:
He never tells you explicitly it is our world.

But implicitly, it totally is. And even if there are a few encyclopaedias of "ClancyEarth" background in his attic, the fact that the reader is drawing on so much real world knowledge to understand the text makes it a moot point.

McElroy:
The CinemaSins lore has become too thick at this point. Should I accidentally open up a video of theirs on a movie I've seen, well, I can't really follow the train of thought half the time. It's just incoherent rambling.

There's rarely anything more tedious than watching a YouTuber rant about a movie. At least, they could keep it to 5 minutes or less, which many don't - more than that just gives you a headache. Never mind that half of them are mostly bitching about they don't like a character or part of the plot, rather than there being anything really wrong with it. I think in some cases they've whipped themselves up into an echo chamber frenzy with some mates and become convinced of the rightness of their rage because no-one's interjected a voice of reason before they set their webcam going.

Plot holes are forgivable and ignorable as long as they don't jar the audience out of the experience. The worst thing I've watched recently on that score are the two seasons of the Jack Ryan series on Amazon (or was it Netflix?) which is so pants-on-head stupid you feel you've lost half your IQ by the end.

Hawki:

Magic.

Yeah, that isn't an answer. I mean, technically it's magic, in that the wardrobe is magical, but the reason why the wardrobe links to Narnia is made clear in The Magician's Nephew. However, that doesn't explain everything else, such as the island portal or the Dawn Treader painting. It raises these questions because we know that there's infinite worlds out there, but you never hear of anyone stumbling from Earth into, I dunno, Fairy Land. And while I can theorize as to why that's the case, that the tree which provided the wood for the wardrobe linked the two dimensions in a matter unlike other worlds, it's never explained.

I always saw it as less "magic" and more "Jesus". Who is working in mysterious ways and it's not for characters or readers to question.

Thaluikhain:

I always saw it as less "magic" and more "Jesus". Who is working in mysterious ways and it's not for characters or readers to question.

Jesus as in Aslan? I mean, the two are pretty much confirmed to be the same individual.

And look, okay, sure, maybe every crossover into Narnia can be explained by "Jesus did it," but there's some cases where there's an in-universe explanation, and some not.

But yes, I know we aren't meant to question it.

Phoenixmgs:

I really don't think the majority of scores for these anime are from people liking it because it's "so bad, it's good" or just trolling to get people to watch some garbage. For movies that people enjoy because they're bad, you can tell from the reviews that they didn't think it was an actual masterpiece. Nobody is saying Tiger King is the greatest TV show ever made for example. Whereas reviews for bad anime like Elfen Lied literally have tons of reviewers of people saying it's a masterpiece and the greatest thing they've ever seen, and I'm totally not exaggerating the reviews. This even crosses over into video games like Nier (the 1st one), which was said to have the greatest video game story ever (so I gave it a try, it's OK at best) or Danganronpa, which is probably the worst game I've ever played. I think one of the last animes I tried a few years back was The Girl That Leapt Through Time (I saw it on a Walmart shelf and Googled it) that, of course, has glowing reviews and the story completely goes off the rails in the 3rd act. It's not that I haven't seen great anime and loved it, it's that the chances of anime being good are so very low and the chances are way higher than they have any right to be that it's on the level of the worse stuff I've ever seen (and that is going off of very well reviewed stuff, this isn't taking a chance on something rated 2.9/10). Whereas I can watch a decently rated Netflix/Amazon/HBO series and it'll probably be decent at worst, probably like a 25% chance that I really like it. For movies, I just watched Onward, The Gentlemen, Invisible Man, Bloodshot (hoping it was so bad it's good), and Vivarium; and the first 3 were good to really good, Bloodshot was too competent to be enjoyably bad, and Vivarium was complete garbage. I really only got burned on Vivarium, and Bloodshot wasn't surprising in its poor quality. Whereas, in anime, that burn rate is at least over 50%.

I think you misunderstood my point; I'm not saying people are reviewing it positively because it's "so bad it's good", I'm sure they enjoy it unironically (well, mostly).

I'm saying that certain genres & styles attract bizarre appreciation for shitty instalments more than other genres. Horror and anime are two such examples. Romance is another.

Silvanus:
I think you misunderstood my point; I'm not saying people are reviewing it positively because it's "so bad it's good", I'm sure they enjoy it unironically (well, mostly).

I'm saying that certain genres & styles attract bizarre appreciation for shitty instalments more than other genres. Horror and anime are two such examples. Romance is another.

That makes no sense to me because anime isn't a genre; stuff like Cowboy Bebop and K-On couldn't really be more different. I can understand something like horror where the aficionados probably appreciate stuff a general audience doesn't. Though I've never really seen horror movies ridiculously overrated (outside of some low-budget "raw" stuff) and horror movies seem generally accepted as a lesser genre for the most part just because a majority of them aren't good due to them being cheap to make and easily profitable.

Hawki:
But whatever the case, we have a scenario where Adam and Lilith were presumably at one place at the same time, but their descendants ended up in entirely separate realities.

Why does this matter?

At this point, you are dealing with things that Lewis himself firmly believed to be numinous, or outside of any kind of human mediation or rational order. You may as well ask how the existence of Adam and Eve is consistent with evolutionary science. Bringing this up implies a misunderstanding of the purpose.

The world of Narnia does not always conform to consistent laws. It is not required to. "Worldbuilding" in the sense you are describing it seems incredibly trivial because fiction does not need to be consistent, it only needs to be entertaining. Sometimes those things overlap, but they don't have to.

Hawki:
Assuming your statement refers to pre-book 2

It doesn't. It's actually a response to the point you made.

Hawki:
Yeah, that isn't an answer.

Magic is not physics.

Again, this is the most vacuous definition of worldbuilding, wherein any instance of magic must be accompanied by thousands of words of information on the pseudo-physical principles of how magic works, but in this case you are not required to understand. Narnia is a world created by the literal omnipotent, omniscient Christian God.

You could argue that God/Aslan created Narnia partly for the benefit of the small group of humans who would enter it, hence why their appearance is prophecized and why they are given the means to do so, but that's not really a worldbuilding argument, it's a theological argument.. which is the point. You really cannot separate worldbuilding from theme or subtext in this case.

Hawki:
When self-consistency isn't enforced, it's notable.

Why is that a problem?

Hawki:
Isn't it, kind of writ in the Fallout fandom that Fallout 1, 2, and New Vegas are the holy trinity, that 3, 4, and 76 are the damned, and Tactics/Brotherhood of Steel the unmentionables?

Look at the sales figures and metacritic user scores for those games.

Hawki:
A work can break convention and have shit worldbuilding, or have excellent worldbuilding but be genre fiction to a T.

Worldbuilding is a product of genre conventions.

Faster than light travel is impossible. There is absolutely no reason to believe it will ever be possible. Its existence in science fiction is pure magic (literally so, in the case of settings like Dune and 40k), it's a magic handwave occasionally backed up with some awkward pseudo-scientific explanation which does absolutely nothing to ameliorate the enormous consequences of it existing. In any science fiction setting which seems to operate on immutable physical laws, the existence of faster than light travel should immediately break your suspension of disbelief. It does not, because it is normal within the genre.

Noone is going to complain if a science fiction book does not have a fully fleshed out physical explanation for why FTL is possible, or if a fantasy book does not have pages and pages of deep lore explaining the operation of magic and to which things must remain consistent. Our understanding of genre conventions entirely determines what the audience is prepared to tolerate, and that's what actually matters here.

evilthecat:

Why does this matter?

Technically, it doesn't. Lilith is never relevant to the plot, and is only mentioned once. But the original point is that something like Narnia has sketchier worldbuilding than other fantasy settings, because if you stop and think about it, things stop making sense.

You may as well ask how the existence of Adam and Eve is consistent with evolutionary science.

It isn't. But the multiverse of the setting isn't based on evolutionary science. By the rules of the setting, we know, or can reasonably deduce, that:

-Life is created by Aslan, and worlds shaped by him (as in, by the rules of the setting, Creationism is apparently correct)

-Travelling between worlds is the exception, not the norm

-Earth is the "World of Men" - of what indications there are, humans don't exist in any other world.

So if we actually stop and think, we can put two and two together.

Bringing this up implies a misunderstanding of the purpose.

Why?

I brought up Narnia in the first place to demonstrate that it's possible to appreciate Narnia as a Christian fable, while also acknowledging that the worldbuilding is sketchy. That Lewis didn't care about the worldbuilding doesn't negate the fact that the worldbuilding is extremely broad. If I was evaluating the books as a whole, then the worldbuilding becomes less of an issue. But if I'm focusing on worldbuilding by itself, then it can be examined by itself.

The world of Narnia does not always conform to consistent laws. It is not required to. "Worldbuilding" in the sense you are describing it seems incredibly trivial because fiction does not need to be consistent, it only needs to be entertaining. Sometimes those things overlap, but they don't have to.

Okay, sure, in the strictest definition, worldbuilding doesn't need to be consistent. But lack of consistency will inevitably harm entertainment. We see that time and time again. Speaking personally, the lack of consistency in Narnia doesn't harm my entertainment level. Lack of consistency in something like 40K however? Yes, it does.

It doesn't. It's actually a response to the point you made.

Well then it's wrong, because we do know that there was contact between Narnia and Archenland. Humans arrive in Narnia first, then go to Archenland. So in the context of Book 2, we have to assume that the Narnians conveniently forgot about the humans that lived alongside them for nearly two centuries, and that Jadis herself was apparently unaware of the fact that right to the south was a country of humans. Now, none of this is unsolvable with a bit of fanwank, and none of it is really deleterious to the overall enjoyment of the setting, but in the context of worldbuilding, it's shoddy.

I will admit that it's a pet peeve of mind that when you think about it, Archenland does bugger all in the setting. Jadis conquers Narnia? Does nothing. Calmorenes attack Archenland? Narnia helps. Telmarines invade Narnia? Does nothing. Calmorenes invade Narnia? Does nothing. It's part of why when I've written Narnia fics Archenland has been my punching bag in that I get to invent reasons why the country is so bloody useless.

Magic is not physics.

No shit.

Again, this is the most vacuous definition of worldbuilding, wherein any instance of magic must be accompanied by thousands of words of information on the pseudo-physical principles of how magic works, but in this case you are not required to understand. Narnia is a world created by the literal omnipotent, omniscient Christian God.

Soft magic systems aren't hard magic systems, but there's still rules. So by the rules of the setting, as scarce as they are, it's noticable that sometimes there's an explanation for crossing worlds, and sometimes not.

You could argue that God/Aslan created Narnia partly for the benefit of the small group of humans who would enter it, hence why their appearance is prophecized and why they are given the means to do so, but that's not really a worldbuilding argument, it's a theological argument.. which is the point.

I could make the argument, it doesn't mean it's a good one.

If I'm arguing that Aslan creates Narnia for the benefit of humans, then that doesn't really sync up with what we've shown. Let's suppose he knew that Diggory, Polly, Frank, and Helen would wind up in it. If that's the case, why does he chew out Diggory for bringing Jadis into the world and 'tainting' said world (I forget the exact wording, it's basically analogous to original sin, and with apples, really on the nose at that). Second of all, if Narnia is created primarily for humans, that doesn't sync up with Prince Caspian. Doctor Cornelius states "All you [Caspian] have heard about Old Narnia is true. It is not the land of Men. It is the country of Aslan, the country of the waking trees and visible naiads, of fauns and satyrs, of dwarfs and giants, of the gods and the centaurs, of talking beasts." The badger says, paraphrased, "Narnia isn't a man's country, but it is a country for a man to be king of" (insert joke about women getting the shaft here if you want). By the end of it, apparently the majority of Telmarines leave Narnia to go back to Earth, and while some remain in the land, we don't really see that much of them.

Also, if you're referring to the Cair Paravel prophecy, we don't know when that prophecy was made, but I assume it was made after Jadis took control. But even if not, the prophecy is made in specific reference to the Pevensies getting their arses on certain thrones, it's got nothing to do with the creation of Narnia, or the group of humans who bumbled into it from 19th century England.

Also, this is off topic, but if you're maintaining that "humans rule, animals have the majority" is a theological argument, I'm not sure if that really stands up either. In Abrahamic faiths, humans are at the centre of everything. In Narnia, they aren't. Not really. "Man shall have dominion" only seems to go so far in the setting. That they're kings/queens most of the time? Sure, okay. I can buy that. But the whole "Narnia isn't a man's country" thing is repeated many times in Prince Caspian, and there's nothing to suggest that we should disagree with it.

You really cannot separate worldbuilding from theme or subtext in this case.

Look above, I just managed it.

Why is that a problem?

...seriously?

Okay, fine. Fiction operates on rules. Fantasy and sci-fi can have different rules from the real world, but they're rules all the same. Even if they're sparse rules, they still exist. There's some level of grounding in it.

In Setting A, it can be stated that X is X. The story and characters operate with the assumption that X is X. If, one day, we're told that X is no longer X, but Y, then that's going to piss people off unless it's handled correctly.

I can choose from literally any fictional setting in existence here as an example, but I'll go with The Expanse. In The Expanse, here's a few rules, among other things:

-Artificial gravity doesn't exist, sans centrifugal force, and that can get up to about 0.3g at best.

-Belters are physically distinct from Earthers/Martians due to living in low gravity conditions.

Both of these facts of life are part of the reason why the plot unfolds the way it does, coming to the fore in Nemesis Games. Nemesis Games works, in part because its plot is in reaction to the worldbuilding. Things go a certain way (access to star systems beyond Earth), so the Belters realize that they're screwed, ergo the creation of the Free Navy, and everything that follows that. However, imagine if in-between books, the writers suddenly contended that Belters weren't physically distinct, that they COULD survive in regular g environments, and all that. Do you think anyone reading the book wouldn't ask "wait, what the hell?" upon reading such a claim?

And it's not to say these facts are immutable. Maybe artificial g could be developed. Maybe bone supplements could be improved, so that the Belters can survive on those worlds beyond Sol. As I said, you can change elements of a setting if it's handled correctly. But if you change rules on the fly, it's not only lazy, it's detrimental to the setting, and one's investment in it. To quote Stargate on the matter, "never underestimate your audience. They're generally sensitive, intelligent people who respond positively to quality entertainment."

I mean, come on, this is Writing 101.

Look at the sales figures and metacritic user scores for those games.

I'm not sure if sales figures are really indicative of much. First two games were PC only, and released in an era where it was harder to get one's hands on games. But looking at the user scores?

Fallout: 89
Fallout 2: 92
Fallout Tactics: 79
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel: 41
Fallout 3: 79
Fallout: New Vegas: 85
Fallout 4: 52
Fallout 76: 27

These are the PC ratings in each case sans BoS. The console ratings, when applicable, tend to be a bit higher, but seem to follow the same pattern. And while I'm usually reluctant to cite Metacritic as being indicative of much (since review bombing is a thing), these ratings do seem to suggest that I was correct. Fallout 1, 2, and New Vegas have scored the highest, and the Bethesda gmaes have gone from reasonably positive (3), to mixed (4), to dire (76).

Worldbuilding is a product of genre conventions.

Not really. FTL maybe, but I can cite numerous examples where it isn't.

Faster than light travel is impossible. There is absolutely no reason to believe it will ever be possible. Its existence in science fiction is pure magic (literally so, in the case of settings like Dune and 40k), it's a magic handwave occasionally backed up with some awkward pseudo-scientific explanation which does absolutely nothing to ameliorate the enormous consequences of it existing. In any science fiction setting which seems to operate on immutable physical laws, the existence of faster than light travel should immediately break your suspension of disbelief. It does not, because it is normal within the genre.

I mostly agree, but...

Noone is going to complain if a science fiction book does not have a fully fleshed out physical explanation for why FTL is possible, or if a fantasy book does not have pages and pages of deep lore explaining the operation of magic and to which things must remain consistent. Our understanding of genre conventions entirely determines what the audience is prepared to tolerate, and that's what actually matters here.

Technically true, but in the context of worldbuilding itself, there's distinction between works that put in the legwork, and those that don't.

This is speaking broadly, but there's about three levels as to how you can handle FTL travel in a setting. First is to not even acknowledge the light barrier exists - ships can get from point a to point b in a reasonable timeframe, and no-one explains anything. Second is to acknowledge it and give an offhand explanation - off the top of my head, Star Trek. In TOS, the explanation was "warp drive," and while not an in-depth explanation, it was praised at the time for even acknowledging the light barrier existed. Third is when it actually goes into detail, which brings me back to 40K. We know how FTL travel is possible (the Warp), and how that FTL travel is actually conducted.

FTL travel may be a genre convention, but how one deals with the convention is going to vary from setting to setting, and some settings put more thought into it than others. The worldbuilding is independent from the convention, even if it's serving the need of that convention. It's also why breaking from the rules of the setting decreases investment in said setting - Andromeda comes to mind, whereas a rule was that the Slipstream was the only method of FTL travel, and thus, messages had to be carried by ships, while in Season 3, we see Hunt and another captain engaging in super-luminal holographic communication. It breaks the rules of the setting, and can't even be bothered to address it - not even a "oh thank goodness we developed super-luminal communications within the last two years!"

Hawki:
I'm not sure if sales figures are really indicative of much.

Sales and reviews of computer games are almost pointless for this discussion, because the primary determinant of their sales and reviews is gameplay, not narrative and worldbuilding.

Phoenixmgs:

That makes no sense to me because anime isn't a genre; stuff like Cowboy Bebop and K-On couldn't really be more different. I can understand something like horror where the aficionados probably appreciate stuff a general audience doesn't. Though I've never really seen horror movies ridiculously overrated (outside of some low-budget "raw" stuff) and horror movies seem generally accepted as a lesser genre for the most part just because a majority of them aren't good due to them being cheap to make and easily profitable.

I'm not talking about aficionados, even, either-- I'm talking about genuinely shitty instalments getting inflated popularity scores due to weird, inflated popularity of odd or extreme examples. Good example in the horror genre would be Rob Zombie movies, or Hostel, or even (imo) the first Nightmare on Elm Street.

That attitude-- that horror is a "lesser genre"-- results from that: the shitty instalments become as famous as the good ones, signal-boosted by sites like IMDB that place aggregates above critical opinion, and people come away with the impression that horror (or anime) is all like that. But there's plenty of great stuff in both. It's just getting relatively less attention because of how the algorithms work.

Agema:

Sales and reviews of computer games are almost pointless for this discussion, because the primary determinant of their sales and reviews is gameplay, not narrative and worldbuilding.

Really depends what type of game you're talking about. Fallout is a series where those two things matter a lot.

Hawki:

Agema:

Sales and reviews of computer games are almost pointless for this discussion, because the primary determinant of their sales and reviews is gameplay, not narrative and worldbuilding.

Really depends what type of game you're talking about. Fallout is a series where those two things matter a lot.

Depends on which Fallout games.

Hawki:

Technically true, but in the context of worldbuilding itself, there's distinction between works that put in the legwork, and those that don't.

This is speaking broadly, but there's about three levels as to how you can handle FTL travel in a setting. First is to not even acknowledge the light barrier exists - ships can get from point a to point b in a reasonable timeframe, and no-one explains anything. Second is to acknowledge it and give an offhand explanation - off the top of my head, Star Trek. In TOS, the explanation was "warp drive," and while not an in-depth explanation, it was praised at the time for even acknowledging the light barrier existed. Third is when it actually goes into detail, which brings me back to 40K. We know how FTL travel is possible (the Warp), and how that FTL travel is actually conducted.

FTL travel may be a genre convention, but how one deals with the convention is going to vary from setting to setting, and some settings put more thought into it than others. The worldbuilding is independent from the convention, even if it's serving the need of that convention.

You get so close to getting Evilthecat's point (and the one I tried to make earlier in this thread), yet whiff at the very last instant.

Yes, there is broadly three ways to adress how FTL works in Sci-Fi (and in extension all kinds of world building): The ignore way, the hand wave way and the in-depth way. Which one you pick isn't just about how much thought you put into your setting, it is also contingent on what the focus of the story is and what genre you are writing in. To believe that tons of explanations is equal to good world building or equals the amount of thought that has gone into the world building is to miss the essentials of telling a story.

If the goal of your story is to tell a grand political tale with allegories to the fall of the Roman Empire and most of your action is political intrigue in lush gardens, senate back rooms and on official Senate space ships then you don't need to put too much effort into explaining your FTL. In fact, trying too hard to explain it will probably be detrimental to your story, because you'll stop your political intrigue to explain a pointless detail that your reader won't care about. In the opposite direction, if you are writing a story about a race to colonize a distant star system or an important plot point is that there's time pressure to reach a world attacked by aliens, then you absolutely need to explain your FTL and its limitations in some way because your story hinges on it.

Narnia never bothers to "justify" anything because it is a Creationist tale from start to finish and Narnia is explicitly a fairy tale world, wondrous stuff happens there because it is a magical world where the rules of the real world don't apply. That works because it tells you all you need to know about Narnia and Lewis never tries, nor wants, to explain how Aslan got his powers or how the White Witch's presence changed the climate. It's magic, roll with it.
Tolkien was very meticulous with the lore of Middle Earth, to the point that he often stops his narratives dead in their tracks so he can explain Elvish lyricism and present a few Elven songs as example to the reader, or explain Hobbit tobacco growing or the laws of succession in Gondor. That means that for those that really want to immerse themselves in the mythology of Middle Earth there's a ton of stuff to learn, but also that you need to approach the Lord of the Rings as equal parts narrative and sheer world building. It also works.
Howard wrote Conan the Barbarian as a critique of what he considered the effeminate masculinity ideals of the inter-war period and wanted to make stories about a strong, free man fighting monsters and effeminate, sly wizards. The Hyborian age is very vaguely explained: Atlantis has fallen, the historical ancient civilizations are yet to rise. Magic exists but its rules are vague. Lovecraft's Elder Gods and Ancients exist (Nyarlahotep and Azatoth both get explicit mentions) as does a ton of other Gods either made up or cribbed from ancient mythologies. This hand waving was done so that Howard could focus on the themes of his stories, while also providing a consistent world that other writers could easily set stories in.

The Hyborian Age, Narnia and Middle Earth are all fantasy, but they are very different in how their world building is done. That Tolkien was the most meticulous of the three should not be confused with Tolkien being the "best" world builder or the one who put the most time and energy into it. Simply because world building in literature is a means to an end, it is the backdrop upon which the actual story happens and how detailed the backdrop has to be is very much determined by the needs of the story.

You've consistently made the error of thinking that lots of lore is the same as good world building, when me and the Evilthecat are trying to tell you that the amount and specificity of world building is dependent on contextual things like genre, plot and narrative pacing.

SupahEwok:

Depends on which Fallout games.

Most of them?

Or the main series I guess.

Gethsemani:

Yes, there is broadly three ways to adress how FTL works in Sci-Fi (and in extension all kinds of world building): The ignore way, the hand wave way and the in-depth way. Which one you pick isn't just about how much thought you put into your setting, it is also contingent on what the focus of the story is and what genre you are writing in. To believe that tons of explanations is equal to good world building or equals the amount of thought that has gone into the world building is to miss the essentials of telling a story.

As I've stated numerous times, I'm well aware that worldbuilding is in service to story. But again, this isn't about worldbuilding in service to story, this is worldbuilding being judged as worldbuilding, regardless of story. It's why, as I've stated numerous times, Narnia's sketchy worldbuilding doesn't bother me, but if I analyze it in isolation, then it's easy to see the cracks.

If the goal of your story is to tell a grand political tale with allegories to the fall of the Roman Empire and most of your action is political intrigue in lush gardens, senate back rooms and on official Senate space ships then you don't need to put too much effort into explaining your FTL. In fact, trying too hard to explain it will probably be detrimental to your story, because you'll stop your political intrigue to explain a pointless detail that your reader won't care about. In the opposite direction, if you are writing a story about a race to colonize a distant star system or an important plot point is that there's time pressure to reach a world attacked by aliens, then you absolutely need to explain your FTL and its limitations in some way because your story hinges on it.

I completely agree. But again, you're explaining worldbuilding in the context of story.

Since these are hypothetical series, I can't say what has the 'better' worldbuilding, but I can say that the Roman Empire story is more sketchy on its FTL mechanics than the plot-driven story.

Narnia never bothers to "justify" anything because it is a Creationist tale from start to finish and Narnia is explicitly a fairy tale world, wondrous stuff happens there because it is a magical world where the rules of the real world don't apply. That works because it tells you all you need to know about Narnia and Lewis never tries, nor wants, to explain how Aslan got his powers or how the White Witch's presence changed the climate. It's magic, roll with it.

I. KNOW. THAT.

How many times do I have to repeat this? I know that Narnia is a fairy tale. I know that its world and rules are broad. I know that it's meant for children. I know that you're not meant to question things. I know that looking at the books as a complete package, we're not meant to ask why English is a multiverse language, or why Frank and Helen could populate an entire continent (incest? What's that?), or why Peter can learn swordplay and tactics so quickly that even Rey Skywalker would ask "what the hell?" None of this is some grand revelation. I've said numerous times that none of this stuff bothers me on a regular reading of it, and whatever aggravations I have with the series, sketchy worldbuilding isn't among them.

However, to go back to the original point:

If I'm looking it in terms of theme/subtext, then it's a Christian parable tale that, IMO, mostly succeeds. If I'm judging the setting on worldbuilding and internal consistency, then things fall apart. I can accept that the series succeeds on the thematic level, and fails on the worldbuilding level, and also accept that for the most part, any literary analysis of the setting is going to focus on the former, while when I've dabbled in the setting, I've always been more interested in the latter.

Again, the entire point of the discussion at that point was using Narnia as a world with sketchy worldbuilding. And when I say sketchy, I'm not referring to lack of detail (though it's noticeable when compared to adult books), I'm referring to how there's various things in the setting that simply don't make sense when you actually stop and think about them. I ask "how" or "why" things are the way they are, there's not always going to be a good explanation. But that, among other things, is why I'll put Lord of the Rings above Narnia in terms of worldbuilding because regardless of intent, in the context of worldbuilding by itself, Lord of the Rings has more detail on every level.

I really never thought that would be a point of contention. I mean, there's numerous ways I could demonstrate this, but if I ask for a list of fantasy works that take inspiration from Lord of the Rings, you shouldn't have a problem providing that list. I ask for works based on Chronicles of Narnia? Well, I can nominate His Dark Materials, but that's more a reaction to Narnia than being based on it. Apart from that though? Um...well, I could probably find some, but you get my drift. I hope. And why is this the case? Why do people base their dwarfs on Lord of the Rings dwarfs rather than Narnian dwarfs? Because the former gave the dwarfs in-depth history and culture. The latter didn't.

Tolkien was very meticulous with the lore of Middle Earth, to the point that he often stops his narratives dead in their tracks so he can explain Elvish lyricism and present a few Elven songs as example to the reader, or explain Hobbit tobacco growing or the laws of succession in Gondor. That means that for those that really want to immerse themselves in the mythology of Middle Earth there's a ton of stuff to learn, but also that you need to approach the Lord of the Rings as equal parts narrative and sheer world building. It also works.

I dunno if it "works," TBH, since the text stops in its tracks far too many times for my liking, but fine, yes, I agree. Everything you've said is true.

Howard wrote Conan the Barbarian as a critique of what he considered the effeminate masculinity ideals of the inter-war period and wanted to make stories about a strong, free man fighting monsters and effeminate, sly wizards. The Hyborian age is very vaguely explained: Atlantis has fallen, the historical ancient civilizations are yet to rise. Magic exists but its rules are vague. Lovecraft's Elder Gods and Ancients exist (Nyarlahotep and Azatoth both get explicit mentions) as does a ton of other Gods either made up or cribbed from ancient mythologies. This hand waving was done so that Howard could focus on the themes of his stories, while also providing a consistent world that other writers could easily set stories in.

Okay.

The Hyborian Age, Narnia and Middle Earth are all fantasy, but they are very different in how their world building is done. That Tolkien was the most meticulous of the three should not be confused with Tolkien being the "best" world builder or the one who put the most time and energy into it. Simply because world building in literature is a means to an end, it is the backdrop upon which the actual story happens and how detailed the backdrop has to be is very much determined by the needs of the story.

Again, I'm aware that in literature, worldbuilding exists to serve the plot most of the time. That's never been an issue. But it's very possible to look at worldbuilding by itself. People do it all the time - it's why wikia sites exist for instance.

But if we're comparing the three, I can't compare Tolkien to Howard as I haven't read any Conan stuff, but I can compare him to Lewis, or more specifically, Lord of the Rings vs. Narnia. And, look, I'm sorry, but Tolkien is still better, or at the very least, created a more cohesive, in-depth world. Irrespective of why this is, Middle-earth is a more detailed setting than Narnia. That really shouldn't be an issue.

Honestly, should I choose another kid's series to prove my point? Fine. World of Deltora and Ranger's Apprentice. Tell me, with a straight face, that either of these worlds has more depth than Middle-earth. Neither of these settings have the theological excuse either. In contrast, ask me which world has more detail, Lord of the Rings or A Song of Ice and Fire? Now THAT is a question that's very hard to answer.

You've consistently made the error of thinking that lots of lore is the same as good world building,

Well, no.

Doctor Who has lots of lore, but I can't really cite it as being "good worldbuilding." Why? Because the lore was accumulated over decades worth of TV episodes rather than something that was built up cohesively. It's an example of what I call "lore by accumulation," as opposed to a case of "lore by design." Doctor Who has a vast setting, sure, but a lot of that setting is disparate, separated by time and space, and even then is very schizophrenic. Another example is Terminator. It certainly has lots of technical specs for the various Terminator models, but is that "good worldbuilding?" Not really, because when you consider all the novels, games, comics, etc. that exist alongside the movies, the setting is extremely schizophrenic. That doesn't bother me too much, but it's why I've stated numerous times (usually on ff.net) that any apparent discrepency can be attributed to an alternate timeline. And finally, Power Rangers. Yes, it technically has lots of 'lore,' because there's always some race of aliens, or some ancient monster, or some other nonsense, but it's all absolute nonsense at the end of the day.

Every setting I've chosen as an example here has been a case of lore by design, or at the very least, a setting where the lore was thought out. But saying that Lord of the Rings has better worldbuilding than, I dunno, Mario? Yeah, that's shooting fish in a barrel.

when me and the Evilthecat are trying to tell you that the amount and specificity of world building is dependent on contextual things like genre, plot and narrative pacing.

Maybe that's what you're saying, but I disagree.

I mean, I do agree that in a standard story, worldbuilding is there to serve the plot, not the other way round (and if a writer disagrees, just read 'The Well of Lost Plots' for one paragraph as to why putting worldbuilding before plot is usually a bad idea), but again, that isn't the issue. The issue was, originally, that worldbuilding is separate from theme/subtext, or at the very least, can be analyzed in isolation of anything else. And if you want an example of worldbuilding not depending on plot, again, 40K. 40K is an example of being setting-driven, while most of what's here is plot-driven. 40K is setting first, plot second. You can tell stories in 40K, but none of those stories can ever change the status quo. No story can show the Imperium falling, no story can show the tyranids being expelled from the galaxy, no story can show the eldar becoming extinct OR regaining their glory. Because in 40K, and other similar settings, status quo is king.

Also, about the "better" stuff, just to be clear. Does something like Power Rangers have "better" worldbuilding than Narnia? In my view, no - it has 'more,' but none of it really connects with each other, thanks to each season post-Space hitting the reset button. Does 40K have "better" worldbuilding than Narnia? Well, to be honest, yes. I say that not just because it has more of it (like, a lot more), but the worldbuilding is mostly congruent with itself. I say mostly, because there's certainly been gaffs, but for the most part, the setting is congruent with itself. I can look at any one thing in the setting, explain how it works, why it works, and how it relates to everything around it. Narnia? Not so much.

Silvanus:
I'm not talking about aficionados, even, either-- I'm talking about genuinely shitty instalments getting inflated popularity scores due to weird, inflated popularity of odd or extreme examples. Good example in the horror genre would be Rob Zombie movies, or Hostel, or even (imo) the first Nightmare on Elm Street.

That attitude-- that horror is a "lesser genre"-- results from that: the shitty instalments become as famous as the good ones, signal-boosted by sites like IMDB that place aggregates above critical opinion, and people come away with the impression that horror (or anime) is all like that. But there's plenty of great stuff in both. It's just getting relatively less attention because of how the algorithms work.

I'm still not going to find near unanimous consensus that a Rob Zombie movie is a can't miss masterpiece like you'll find with anime. Even the people that love Rob Zombie movies aren't writing reviews as hyperbolic as the vast majority of Elfen Lied reviews. I've never seen this anime phenomenon anywhere else, especially to the extent that you see it in anime. Horror is a lesser genre (not because of its potential or subject matter or anything) but because there is just simply less talent in the genre vs other genres, rarely do accomplished directors or actors partake in horror movies. Comic book movies had the same issue and that's why they usually sucked. Same thing with video game movies, they almost always suck because you don't have good talent making them, not because video games are harder to adapt than other things. Anyway, when I'm looking for the very very best work in a medium (anime) and I'm finding some of the worst stuff I've ever watched, there's a problem. It's not that anime can't be great and amazing (Stand Alone Complex), but the chance of finding great stuff is far lower than other places.

Hawki:

SupahEwok:

Depends on which Fallout games.

Most of them?

Or the main series I guess.

Not for the ones developed by a certain studio whose name rhymes with "Chethesda."

Phoenixmgs:
It's not that anime can't be great and amazing (Stand Alone Complex), but the chance of finding great stuff is far lower than other places.

It depends strictly on how you're looking. There's just as much great anime as great anything else. Anime fans are just terrible and you can't use them as a source for anime with artistic merit.

The extra trouble I have to go through to vet good anime is part of why I don't watch it much, but it's certainly doable if you have the will to do so.

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