I Didn’t Go to AnimeNEXT 2014 But I Have Some Thoughts on the Studio Trigger Panels

I was unable to go to AnimeNEXT this year, but thanks to the Reverse Thieves and their con report, I’ve learned that the Studio Trigger panels were fantastic and I’m totally jealous of them for being there. Obviously I can’t write about the experience, but there are two points in their post on Trigger that I find interesting to look further into.

The first aspect I want to talk about is in regards to them having an initial version of Kill la Kill with five episodes already planned out in full, but decided to scrap it and start over again with something they felt was stronger. Back when I wrote my review of Kill la Kill I got some comments from a particular poster that criticized Kill la Kill‘s writer for making numerous revisions to the script, as if it had hacked together haphazardly, but with this clarification it’s now obvious that the drastic changes came from the planning stage and were less about cobbling together a frankenstory and more about trying to find the right direction no matter what.

The second little factoid that caught my attention is the fact that the staff at Studio Trigger is really into American superhero comics, which is sort of obvious if you’ve watched all of Inferno Cop. What I find funny about this is the fact that for American comics, superheroes are increasingly seen as this bland, boring, mainstream yet niche thing that we need to move past, while Studio Trigger has this reputation for being a new and cutting-edge anime studio, and they take inspiration from superhero comics.

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7 thoughts on “I Didn’t Go to AnimeNEXT 2014 But I Have Some Thoughts on the Studio Trigger Panels

  1. Hey, everyone has their own form of exoticism, right? It makes me wonder if Western fans do realize that so many Japanese creators do find inspiration from things outside of their home country.

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  2. The anime next stuff confirms the “rewriting as they went along” angle even further. They stated that originally Ryuko was going to be framed for Mikisugi’s death w/ the magic bullet, and the second half was to be set in prison, a plot development foreshadowed in the finished product (here: http://forum.evageeks.org/post/728325/Anime-Kill-la-Kill/?sid=c7cedfbe59089de33750d94fb760dfd2#728325). There are numerous discrepancies in the final product as well, such as flashback scenes having a different char design for Satsuki’s dad (read: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=106968752&postcount=9933) and overt contradictions with the world-building in ep 5 (read: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=106342793&postcount=9734). I don’t get why KLK stans are blind to this but it’s pretty obvious if you know anything about anime production.

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    • also Nakashima is on record that the show was handled as a “live production” with changes being added if the staff liked them. The evidence is pretty damning.

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    • All I will say to this is that producing a good work is not just simply about planning everything to the utmost degree and then refusing to adjust even if you feel the product isn’t quite living up to its potential because The Plan says you shouldn’t. Sure, there might be some contradictions that occur along the way, but I think the people who enjoyed the show don’t feel that their experience was ruined by some inconsistency, mainly because the show shifted to something more intense, passionate, and considerate of broader ideas. That’s not to say that an elaborately planned out work is somehow inherently inferior, but for example Nagai Go’s Devilman would probably not be the fondly remembered and influential work it is if Nagai didn’t pretty much make the thing up as he went along, riding the flow of inspiration that his characters and setting were giving him.

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      • whether KLK is good or not isnt the issue. certainly there are good works of anime/manga that were more or less improvised from a narrative perspective. however, you said in this article that the only drastic changes occurred during pre-planning when that clearly wasnt the case.

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        • I’ll give you that some major changes happened during the show, but judging the quality of the work has clearly been a part of your arguments, so don’t deny that.

          Also while those changes are pretty significant, they don’t quote compare to literally starting from scratch and changing the core premise and look of the show in pre-production.

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          • well obv they couldn’t start from scratch in the middle of it’s airing. it didn’t even need super drastic changes to muddle the script, as evidenced by the final product.

            and iirc my original complaint was with people trying to do allegorical/ideological readings of KLK that assumed a consistency and coherency of theme that was clearly not present in the script. if you want to talk KLK’s merits as a messy display of Trigger’s talent, that’s one thing, but to call KLK some kind of Nietzschean allegory or w/e and reach for specific plot points to justify your interpretation is a waste of intellectual energy.

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