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Unread 02-04-2017, 04:30 PM   #101
Sithdarth
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Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
It's one thing in that kind of context to write in an unexpected twist that surprises, but creating a whale in a universe where the whale has no context to compare it to or understand it with and giving the audience no understanding of its powers whatsoever before the fight creates a situation where literally anything whatsoever can happen and the audience just has to roll with it, which kills dramatic tension for the opposite reason -- there's no tension because literally anything could happen and I'd just have to roll with it and say "Okay, that's how that works now."

In my opinion, a single source of uncertainty works -- maybe you don't quite understand how a Sith's single specific new power works that differentiates him from others you've seen before -- but you gotta have some baseline, some degree of comprehension or there's no reason whatsoever for me to invest myself in the conflict because I barely even know who or what the antagonist is.
This is basically the root source of our disagreement and it probably goes back to my education and job. I have a bachelor's in physics and am basically done with a doctorate in materials science (thesis writing is a pain). Just about any explanation of how a fictional world works at any level of detail is going to destroy my suspension of disbelief because I can usually find many inconsistencies. I prefer to form my own explanations based on what I observe because that's kinda what I was trained to do while learning to do science and any inconsistencies in the explanations I come up with are hidden from me by my brain. Also, exposition feels way too much like reading a scientific paper which I do for work and sometimes fun but not something I want to happen when I'm attempting to escape from reality for a bit.

Honestly, I usually don't even bother to come up with any explanations because again that's basically what I do at work. I consume fiction (that is not in interactive form) for the express purpose of not thinking critically because that is literally what I do all day and if I don't spend some time not doing it I'll burn out. I do still care about the motivations of the antagonist but explanations of how/why the abilities of the antagonist work are generally superfluous. Motivation is important but what the force is and how living things interact with it (midi-chlorians) is largely irrelevant to me unless it ties into someone's motivations directly.

I guess because I see all explanations as equally implausible asspulls it doesn't bother me by default when an explanation is skipped. Though it still can be done poorly.
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Unread 02-05-2017, 05:58 AM   #102
Gregness
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Fucking goddammit. Internet ate the first version of this and it's late here. This'll be the brief version.

Snake, it's fine to try something and not like it, and after 20 episodes you've certainly tried this show. The thing that's baffling (for me at least), is how you're railing against stuff not being explained when the show has established a clear pattern of 'Subaru encounters weird shit. Weird shit is eventually explained (usually after killing him once or twice. Add suffering to taste)'. From the first few episodes to the mansion arc to the shit in the capitol to the fight with the whale, it's all the same. So, that in mind it's a little weird for me that all the stuff with Subaru's powers and this stuff with the whale are suddenly dealbreakers for you when it so obviously has 'Will Be Explained Eventually' painted all over it.

This, I think, is the disconnect that's causing everyone to think you're looking for excuses to dislike the show: It's not really doing anything that different than it was at the start. Structurally speaking.

Granted, the powers thing are more of a slow burn overarching thing that'll probably only get fully explained at the end.

As an aside: Arcanum, near as I can tell there's actually no plotholes with the whale and it's un-personing mechanics. I seem to remember them explicitly saying right before they show the soldiers counting up their squads that it's only the breath weapon fog that erases someone (which, I believe, was animated differently to the ambient fog that surrounds the whale). So, if Wilhelm's wife had been crushed by the whale or something she'd have died just like normal and left all the normal memories.
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Unread 02-05-2017, 08:16 AM   #103
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Fun I will try to be as objective as possible in stating my criticisms here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregness View Post
Snake, it's fine to try something and not like it, and after 20 episodes you've certainly tried this show. The thing that's baffling (for me at least), is how you're railing against stuff not being explained when the show has established a clear pattern of 'Subaru encounters weird shit. Weird shit is eventually explained (usually after killing him once or twice. Add suffering to taste)'. From the first few episodes to the mansion arc to the shit in the capitol to the fight with the whale, it's all the same. So, that in mind it's a little weird for me that all the stuff with Subaru's powers and this stuff with the whale are suddenly dealbreakers for you when it so obviously has 'Will Be Explained Eventually' painted all over it.
Well, first, it's worth noting that this was only one of several criticisms I've levied at Re:Zero in Episode 20, and I'm not even sure if it'd make a theoretical Mount Rushmore on my list of major issues with Re:Zero right now. I mean, if it was the only reason I cited and therefore a true singular 'dealbreaker' you'd have a bit of a point, but I think it's more something I was willing to 'forgive' in earlier episodes. Start piling up other problems with the show, though, and this kind of stuff becomes more and more frustrating.

Second: I think I was slightly more forgiving in the earlier episodes because I felt like it was appropriate to dangle a bit of a mystery in the earlier episodes but I was really hoping it wouldn't necessarily become a long-term pattern. There's a huge difference between a plot device that's utilized once and one that's relied upon repeatedly to build suspense. And in the earlier episodes, it sort of makes sense to leave the viewer in the dust because everything's new for Subaru. We're seeing things from Subaru's perspective, and that's okay.

Where that approach becomes more problematic is when Subaru actually knows more than the viewer. Or at least he should know more than the viewer. With the mansion sequences it makes sense for Subaru to have no clue what's going on because there's so much crucial context he's missing (regarding him tripping Rem's alarms because he smells like the witch, regarding his own return-from-death powers, regarding Emilia being a target for all kinds of assassination attempts and the like, etc.)

But with the Whale, Subaru has plenty of time to get all his questions about the Whale answered from Crusch and Wilhelm and Rem others who know its MO (enough so that they're describing exactly what the Whale's doing as it's happening.) Subaru obviously is sufficiently informed of the battle plan to know the strategy with the light cannon, as he mentions it. And really, all you need to do is show the viewer the scenes where the attack is planned, and that additional context makes all the difference in the world. I think the sequence with the Whale would be so much more effective if I knew it was truly capable of and I had a more firm understanding of the stakes and what was planned.

For example: Rem points out to Subaru that they anticipated the initial wave of attacks (ending with the fire mage strike) would've grounded the whale, and therefore Subaru celebrates a 'victory' in his mind where he assumes that hurting the Whale is some major accomplishment and she corrects him. That sequence would've been so much more effective if a scene in the last episode had someone like Crusch detailing the plan to her troops and telling them then, and therefore informing the viewer, that the goal of the first wave of attacks was to ground the beast. Then you don't need Rem to play the role of play-by-play commentator. The failure of the attack is shown to the viewer and not told after-the-fact.

The battle with the Whale is just framed differently than, for example, the proceedings in the episodes when Subaru was at the mansion, which I still believe were relatively well done. The mansion episodes are evoking a sort of a horror mystery, a puzzle that Subaru needs to solve with incomplete information -- so it makes sense to keep him and the viewer in the dark and have the detectives unravel the mystery together in real time.

The Whale is a conventional multi-episode Shonen style battle against a beast with Power Levels over 9000. In that context, I want to know exactly what the beast is capable. If I don't, every twist with additional superpowers that weren't even foreshadowed adequately before (like the Whale clones) feels like some sort of cop-out, some sort of stereotypical Shonen way to stretch out the conflict and overpower the antagonist to even more ludicrous heights. With more conventional antagonists in battles that don't play out as detective mysteries you want clear-cut rules and guidelines to establish what's possible and what isn't beforehand, I really do believe that. You can then sometimes incorporate a twist where your expectations based on your flawed understanding of those powers are proven false, but even that's something I'd argue should be indulged sparingly by authors or readers/viewers will quickly learn to distrust the narrative.

But really, it's worth reiterating that on my current list of "Things I Think Re:Zero does Wrong", the Whale's powers not being thoroughly explained beforehand might not make the Top Five.

Quote:
As an aside: Arcanum, near as I can tell there's actually no plotholes with the whale and it's un-personing mechanics.
I actually agree with you that there are no plotholes regarding the Whale not un-personing Wilhelm's wife (based on my limited understanding of how the Whale's powers work.)
Where I disagree is that there are no plotholes with those powers whatsoever, there's a pretty glaring one with the same power working completely differently with the merchant (what was his name? Otto or something?) in the previous episode and the army captains in this one.

To be consistent with the previous usage of said power, the very existence of the missing soldiers should've been erased to such an extent that they never would have existed and joined the army, and therefore the size of the Corps would've always been smaller in the minds of the people who've somehow been warped into believing those poor souls never existed.
We know this because (Otto?) doesn't have a memory of there having been a merchant who's missing, but lack any contextual understanding of who that person could be; instead, in his mind the merchant was never there in the first place, as in the merchant party always left with one less than what Subaru remembers.

Like, when Rem disappeared: If the power worked the same way across the board, Otto would've remembered that two people (Subaru and someone else) came to him with the offer that led to the merchant caravan, he'd just have no memory of who the hell that person was. If Subaru pressed Otto on it he'd be like "Oh yeah, there were two of you. Huh, strange I don't remember the other one."
Alternatively, in Episode 20: To make it consistent with the previous episode, the complete erasure of certain troops in an army would've resulted in the army captains misremembering the size of their own Corps, they'd have no way of knowing that X were missing because reality would've been rewritten so that their Corps were never actually at 'full strength' in their minds.

But really, if the earlier criticism might not make the Top Five, this criticism isn't even Top Twenty material. It's just something minor that took me out of the fight in that moment and caused me to waste time thinking about the mechanics of how the Whale's power works instead of enjoying the episode. Which is, coincidentally, yet another criticism I'd levy as to why it's bad idea to keep the viewer completely in the dark as to the antagonist's capabilities before the Ultimate Battle -- you want the audience to enjoy the fight, not constantly get sidetracked by incessant questions as to how and why certain mechanics seem inconsistent.

If you had no idea how Sith and Jedi fought before Vader confronts Luke on Cloud City, you're going to waste a lot of time wondering about lightsabers and the force and the "I am your father" part might well sail over your head or somehow seem less important than trying to grasp the abilities of the force attuned.

EDIT: A really simple way to deal with the above discrepancy with the Whale's powers would've been for Subaru to vaguely reveal to Crusch -- without revealing the true nature of his return-from-death ability in the way he's barred from doing by the Witch apparently -- that he's immune to the Whale's memory-rewriting powers. He could even have factored that into his excuse to Crusch as to how he knows when and where the Whale strikes next -- he knows because he's survived an attack by the Whale before and he's had experience that's proven his immunity to the Whale's reality erasure of others who he remembers.

I mean, from Rem's perspective she'd be clueless as to how this could've happened with her understanding of the timeline, but if she's so infatuated with Subaru she's bound to play along anyway, just as her infatuation leads her to canonically accept Subaru's claims that Emilia's in danger without questioning his sanity. And then, this explanation does away with the plothole assuming Crusch responds in the way any leader would at this revelation: Subaru's role in battle is to keep track of who's erased, because he alone can do that. Everyone else would just completely forget those folks ever existed and have their own realities 'rewritten' to incorporate their non-existence but Subaru's immune, so Subaru could say "Corporal, you originally had 25 members of your Corps. If you say you've always had only 18 now, seven were erased in the attack."
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Last edited by Solid Snake; 02-05-2017 at 08:26 AM.
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Unread 02-05-2017, 11:16 AM   #104
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So one of the posts in here got reported for being a shitpost. You guys want a shitpost? I'll show you a shitpost!



For alla you.


As you were.
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Unread 02-05-2017, 03:47 PM   #105
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Dreadful Which one of you terrible individuals reported me

Fenris' post begs an important question.

Can I report myself?
Can I report all of my previous episode reviews where I praised Re:Zero and drooled like a Neanderthal all over it?

Because like, I am experiencing extreme embarrassment over approximately the written content of reviews between Episodes 10 and 17. Past Snake is by far the most offensive participant in this abomination of a thread.
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Unread 02-05-2017, 05:23 PM   #106
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I feel like maybe it was a mistake for me to only imply, one time, and behind spoilers no less, that eventually the fun times where Subaru's just some schmuck getting repeatedly shit on by fate would end. Because maybe the part where he becomes the chosen hero of destiny and accepts love and treasure and rules over the hidden world of awesome like the perfect little butthole that he is wouldn't have been such a shock if maybe I (or anyone else) had let you know it was coming.
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