Anime VS Game Scenes – A More In-Depth Look At The “Fictional Reality”

It is not too exaggerating to say that as of now, most games nowadays had been focusing more and more on game cutscenes, which makes use of vastly improved graphics, especially when compared to the time when 3D was still in “developing stages”.

As graphics had improved so much over the years, game characters had became so real, so realistic that they look almost as if they are real humans. A friend of mine even thought it’s someone cosplaying as Cloud when he watched a trailer of Advent Children (I know right?), when in reality, it’s all CG. Graphics had improved so much the boundary between “real” and “fake” is beginning to blur.

In this post here, I mentioned that anime emotions, even though fake, at the same time, looks more real, genuine and powerful than any other emotions portrayed in other mediums like real life movies or games. It is impossible to smile like this in real life, and can you even cry just as expressively like this? I don’t think so. I believe these two points make scenes from both anime and game looks so different, even though they are both fundamentally fiction.

Games nowadays are indeed becoming more realistic, literally, and obviously, characters look almost as if they are real humans. Ultimately though, does this improves realism? Hard to say. As mentioned in my previous post, it’s almost impossible for real humans to imitate the genuineness of the emotions of anime characters, so this easily applies to game characters who resemble real humans themselves. Because of this, sometimes, the game scenes I watched tend to lack emotions. Most of the characters are stoic and even if they want to express, they can’t really go over-the-top as it will just look plain awkward and silly.

On top here is one of the scenes in Resonance of Fate. You can go here for the Japanese voices (just play both videos and mute the English version I guess, that will be almost equivalent to Jap voices w/subs). What do you think about it? Is it better for these scenes to be in anime instead? While I think it’s actually funny, which is rare considering the mountains of awkward jokes and humors present in JRPGs, I can’t help but feel that it still ultimately looks weird seeing these kinds of scenes in 3D games.

In the end, I still have quite the contradicting view here. To me, both of these are just as “real” and “fake” at the same time. Which do you think can portray emotions much more better then the other? Or are you similarly at a stalemate just like me?

This entry was posted by Kai.

11 thoughts on “Anime VS Game Scenes – A More In-Depth Look At The “Fictional Reality”

  1. Also western media can transport feelings and emotions very well.
    Ok, anime can make me cry more easily, but that might have other reasons.

    In 3D Games it is a bit more difficult to create convincing or better said touching emotions, rhe makers have to put every detail of a facial expression into the face of a 3d model which appears more complex than in an 2d anime.

    The dubs are also essential to create an emotional impact. Unfortunately Japanese Games lose some of this impact when they are dubbed, the skill of the VA is very important unfortunately some fail in giving a 3d characters a soul. Also judging from the video comparison japanese voices always appear superior than the english ones.

    Hehe It seems that I missed something when I haven’t played Resonance of Fate, looks cool somehow.

    • True now that when I think about it, but I still think they falls a few level short if compared to anime.

      Game productions eh, that’s a pretty good technical point of view as I’m viewing things at a more psychological point of view. However, if game production companies had immense resources and manpower, enough to easily make characters look like as if they are real humans, how would it do against anime characters?

      This is another good point. This is why I always try to get games in their original languages. If I get a JRPG mistakenly with dubbed, I preferred playing the whole game with muted voices (if such options are available, latest example being Legend of Heroes on PSP). For western games, again their original voices, I had never tried playing these with French, Spanish, etc.. and well, their original English language is already easy enough to get.

      The video I shown looks like as if it comes from a cheap harem anime show, but I swear Resonance of Fate is damn awesome :D I haven’t finish the game myself and hope to do so once I can find some time to.

  2. I have been a fan of the work of Frank Frazetta since I started reading sci-fi/sword and sorcery in the 1970s. He was a “commercial” artist most active from the 1950s to the 1980s, doing everything from book covers and illustrations to movie trailers and comics. He specialized in fantasy, and his style influenced much of the work of that industry. Here is an excerpt from the forward to the second volume of a collection I have by the editor, Betty Ballantine:

    Power is generally regarded as an abstract element. Not, however, in a Frazetta painting. When Frazetta paints power, not only is it solidly and vividly delineated in every line of his larger than life figures, it ceases to be a mere element and becomes an omni-present integrated force that hits the eye as strongly as the subject matter. Even in the relatively tranquil Atlantis one has to look twice to see that the heroic figure is in fact a statue, rather than a powerful warrior guarding a dead city. Or look at anther relatively quiet subject – Egyptian Queen. Every sinuous curve of that big cat spells power, intensifies the feral strength of the artist’s subject.

    For it is also characteristic of this artist, whatever the subject, to make it bigger, curvier, stronger, more venomous, more heroic, more alive, more dead. In a word – more. A good part of what strikes the eye in a Frazetta is his ability to believably exaggerate in order to emphasize the essential quality of whatever his subject may be. As Frazetta himself says “I see things as they exists but I paint them from the image they’ve left on my mind rather than how they appear in reality. For instance, if you really examine your fears, you realize how out of proportion they are. Your mind’s eye constantly paints pictures far in excess of what’s real. I try to capture those images in my work. I’ll make the fist coming straight at you larger, bonier, and much more menacing, because I’m dealing with the emotion of fear and not the anatomical proportions of the hand.

    For me, and most to the point of what you talk about above, is “Dark Kingdom”, a cover he did for a set of short stories by the author Karl Edward Wagner about a character based on the biblical Kane. Never mind that the figure stalking toward you out of another world fairly screams that your grisly death is imminent, one look at the face, the eyes, tells you that he indeed has the Mark of Kane.

    • First off, I had to apologize. I don’t read a lot of books, actually, almost close to none recently. I do read light novels, though those hardly count as books I presume.

      Bottom line is, you are saying how the artist has the skill to make something unreal becoming real right? The way he perceive things is different and he illustrated his “out of ordinary” perception in his drawings. His ability of exaggeration as mentioned is especially a useful skill to proof everyone that his bizarre works also hold some truth within them.

      Anyway all these talks reminds me of Never 7, a visual novel I played recently. At some point, the game also puts a lot of emphasis on “real” and fake”, “truth” and “delusions.” The game investigated a lot in real life psychological terminologies, as I learned some hardcore terms like Pseudologia fantastica and Mythomania. Cool stuffs.

      Also, a fictional/non-fictional professor in the visual novel, developed an interesting thesis too:
      “If you were to define the symptoms of a delusion that spreads from person to person as some kind of shared psychotic disorder, then you could liken the contents of the delusion in regards to that mental illness to that of a living creature. Said creature, which is created in a single person’s mind due to a mutation, may reproduce and spread into other people’s consciousnesses one after the other by feeding off the validity of its existence, as well as the intentions of people who desire for its existence.Hence, the more suitable the historical background the creature is born into and the more powerful the desires of the people at that time, the stronger its vitality, or intensity, grows. Incidentally, the greatest natural enemy to this living creature’s ability to propagate is common sense. Once this creature obtains the vitality to eliminate common sense, it appears as a new reality for the first time. Is it perhaps possible that the religious miracles circulated all over the world can also be seen as the quickening of this creature? People’s consciousnesses (trust and strong desires due to validity) bring forth this creature as a reality. It might be possible for a strong thought (a delusion) to create a new reality.”

      And one of the character in the game commented:
      “In short, it’s like this. First, a person lies. That lie is attractive enough to make people feel that they want to believe it. Furthermore, there’s also definite proof of that lie. For example, a miracle occurring in their presence, or having actually experienced it themselves… Naturally, that’s why the one being lied to also firmly believe that it’s the truth. More or less, to firmly believe means… that the lie is no longer a lie in that person’s mind. The delusion becomes fact, and fiction becomes reality… In other words, by firmly believing in a lie, it can create a whole new reality.”

      I find these really relatable (especially the comment by the character) to Frank Frazetta, at least from what I had heard from you.

      • I don’t know that Frazetta’s method was based on “his perception” so much as what he thought we “all” might perceive when something comes flying out of the dark at us. He didn’t want to draw it realistically, he wanted to draw it as our minds might see something in a flash instant between seeing and reaction.

        Anyway, here’s a link to a web site that has a lot of his prints for sell – they only have small images but they’ll give you an idea.

        On the topic of “real” and fake”, “truth” and “delusions,” there were a few Original Star Trek episodes that touched on such things. One of the more amusing was “Mudd’s Women”. Also very good is “The Menagerie” (two episodes). Though a very unlikely scenario, also good it you didn’t think about to hard was “Spectre of the Gun”

      • He’s perceiving what we all perceive, lol. Also, there’s also the point that for some who are “strangers” to that specific theme, it’s also very easy to believe in the image to be true, even though it’s not realistically real. Though Frazetta’s methods are very convinving, since he’s actually thinking in other people’s shoes in his illustrations.

        Saw some of them, and they are indeed ghastly good. Thanks for the link.

        I think this was mentioned awhile back but as I didn’t watch much Star Trek, I can’t really remember D:

  3. Pingback: Visual realism in video games versus anime — 毎日アニメ夢

  4. I’ll make my comment as brief as possible. If a game can make their women sexy enough to influence me into buying swimsuit packs for them, then they’re doing a great job with their graphics.

    As for anime women, if I want to collect sexy wallpapers of the girls wearing little, you’re doing a great job.

    So yeah, sex sells, like it or not.

    Hmm, I wonder if you’ve played Heavy Rain?

    • Lmao, intriguing indeed. But I think that’s another good topic to talk about if I were to make another game post.

      Them sex appeal ftw.

      I got the demo in my PS3 and only tried a bit. It is an interesting investigating-interactive game though, it feels almost like a movie.

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