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Thread: Why are immediate sequels so often bad?

  1. #11
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    Sequels can be good or bad but I think specifically for the Digimon franchise it works better as stand alone seasons work best from a writing stand point. Part of the reason I feel 02 didn't work was because you had a cast of new characters, evolutions, & rules as to how the universe works piled on top of the of Adventure universe. As a result you have the writers trying to rewrite aspects of the Adventure universe to accommodate the 02 universe. Now compare that to two random, unrelated seasons like Tamers & Frontier. Both had their own set of rules & how things work & could take those concepts as far as they'd like without having to worry about what the season before did.

  2. #12
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    @MarcFBR: I don't know most of these franchises you mentioned. Can you be more specific in the Digimon case? What specific elements did you feel the fans did not like?

    Not all sequels suffer. For instance, The Empire Strikes Back is usually seen as a better movie than A New Hope, and ROTJ was certainly not a disaster. The key difference is George Lucas knew what he was doing when he created Star Wars, whereas, I heard (don't know if it's true) that Digimon Adventure was originally meant to be 13 episodes long!

    Quote Originally Posted by digitalx View Post
    Sequels can be good or bad but I think specifically for the Digimon franchise it works better as stand alone seasons work best from a writing stand point. Part of the reason I feel 02 didn't work was because you had a cast of new characters, evolutions, & rules as to how the universe works piled on top of the of Adventure universe. As a result you have the writers trying to rewrite aspects of the Adventure universe to accommodate the 02 universe. Now compare that to two random, unrelated seasons like Tamers & Frontier. Both had their own set of rules & how things work & could take those concepts as far as they'd like without having to worry about what the season before did.
    I don't mind having a multiseason story, but it seemed to me that they didn't even know 02 was going to be a thing, until someone decided to make it (but I'm not well versed in Digimon history, so I don't know if 02 was planned in the beginning). To do it well, they should have had 02 in mind when they were writing 01. Basically, the problem is the lack of strategic planning, which is also a major problem 02 faces itself. It all feels very haphazard.

    I sort of buy into the "rushed writer" theory. The whole plot was weakly linked together. We could have NEVER seen Oikawa and Vandemon coming back, which makes me think the writers DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HE WAS GOING TO BE BACK when they first started writing 02. The whole season was just one thing after another with little attempt made to link them. A better final villain would have been Milleniummon since they threw in Ryo and all that, and Milleniummon is the one responsible for turning Ken dark. There are other bad things, too, but the weak plot is a huge part of it.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/reviews.p...monAdventure02

    This page summarizes a lot of my feelings regarding 02. When it's good, it's REALLY GOOD. When it's bad... Don't even mention it. Lots of great concepts that never came into fruition because of stupid strategic planning.
    Last edited by Rubicon; 03-09-2013 at 04:04 PM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
    I don't mind having a multiseason story, but it seemed to me that they didn't even know 02 was going to be a thing, until someone decided to make it (but I'm not well versed in Digimon history, so I don't know if 02 was planned in the beginning). To do it well, they should have had 02 in mind when they were writing 01. Basically, the problem is the lack of strategic planning, which is also a major problem 02 faces itself. It all feels very haphazard.

    I sort of buy into the "rushed writer" theory. The whole plot was weakly linked together. We could have NEVER seen Oikawa and Vandemon coming back, which makes me think the writers DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HE WAS GOING TO BE BACK when they first started writing 02. The whole season was just one thing after another with little attempt made to link them. A better final villain would have been Milleniummon since they threw in Ryo and all that, and Milleniummon is the one responsible for turning Ken dark. There are other bad things, too, but the weak plot is a huge part of it.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/reviews.p...monAdventure02

    This page summarizes a lot of my feelings regarding 02. When it's good, it's REALLY GOOD. When it's bad... Don't even mention it. Lots of great concepts that never came into fruition because of stupid strategic planning.

    As far as the history of Digimon it wasnít even supposed to go past Adventure episode 13 but the ratings were so good & it got more episodes ordered. By the time Adventure came to an end I recall someone mentioning there was no intent for Adventure to have a sequel but one was ordered anyway. As far as the writers not knowing I think that played a part as well as too many writers at the helm putting ideas into the show. Everything after the Kaiser arc probably wasnít thought of until late in development & it shows because its like a bunch of ideas thrown at you.

    Iím personally not too fond of a multi season story for Digimon only because its not really the type of show that needs it. The writers generally cover a lot of ground & wrap up the season within the story over the 50+ episodes they have so Iím left satisfied. Thatís why some people want a Tamers sequel. Some things are just best to be left open ended. Regardless of length I do think like you said planning is very important as well.

  4. #14
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    if you are going to be a direct squeal you need to consider a few things, one you need most of the old staff or if you have new people make sure they have some experience on the project. it should be like the old show in some ways but thats not a requirement, our war game is very different from adventure but fans love it because a major element was carried over the characters, even though they don't really develop in the movie we get to see them in this fun action packed real world setting, which while different from the digital world in adventure doesn't have them act much differently

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by digitalx View Post
    As far as the history of Digimon it wasnít even supposed to go past Adventure episode 13 but the ratings were so good & it got more episodes ordered.
    I'll respond to more later, but this needs to stop being passed around.

    This is fiction invented by early fans.

    It's not even GOOD fiction. Anime is often worked on until the last minute and delivered at the last minute. I can see practically no way to make this happen without SOME sort of break. Episode 13 aired, and the next week, episode 14 aired. There is no way they had another episode ready to go in 3 months after seeing how episode ONE did and going 'this show is doing well, after one episode, we must have more ready.'
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  6. #16
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    I can't help but think that 02 would have worked better if it had been set in its own universe. They basically nerfed normal evolution to make armor and jogress evolution necessary, essentially contradicting everything we've been told about how evolution works up to that point. In a new universe you could just say that this is how evolution works now--in fact, this is what every subsequent series did, and it worked much better. Also, if you're introducing new Chosen, having them in their own universe works better too. Sure, being that this is the first time we had new Chosen meant that comparisons to the original Chosen wer going to be inevitable, but having the new Chosen standing side by side with the old Chosen just begged fans to make the comparison, and that's not going to work in the new kids' favor. Daisuke was notTaichi, Ken was notYamato, Miyako was notSora, Iori was notKoushiro, and Taichi, Yamato, Sora, and Koushiro were all right there to remind you of the fact. Of course, having 02 take place in a new universe would make the inclusion of Takeru and Hikari damn near impossible, but, and I say this as a Takeru fan, they really didn't add anything since they weren't allowed to take the spotlight away from the new kids. Might as well have two new characters in their places anyway.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Lightning View Post
    I can't help but think that 02 would have worked better if it had been set in its own universe. They basically nerfed normal evolution to make armor and jogress evolution necessary, essentially contradicting everything we've been told about how evolution works up to that point. In a new universe you could just say that this is how evolution works now--in fact, this is what every subsequent series did, and it worked much better. Also, if you're introducing new Chosen, having them in their own universe works better too. Sure, being that this is the first time we had new Chosen meant that comparisons to the original Chosen wer going to be inevitable, but having the new Chosen standing side by side with the old Chosen just begged fans to make the comparison, and that's not going to work in the new kids' favor. Daisuke was notTaichi, Ken was notYamato, Miyako was notSora, Iori was notKoushiro, and Taichi, Yamato, Sora, and Koushiro were all right there to remind you of the fact. Of course, having 02 take place in a new universe would make the inclusion of Takeru and Hikari damn near impossible, but, and I say this as a Takeru fan, they really didn't add anything since they weren't allowed to take the spotlight away from the new kids. Might as well have two new characters in their places anyway.
    Eh... that's not necessarily true.

    In Tamers, Frontier, and Savers, it largely was the same as in Adventure (and frankly 02) but with small modifications. Xros is the only animation that really changed up (Frontier of course being unique in that while the kids evolved in a different way, Digimon themselves seemed relatively the same.) Everything for 02 was relatively strict in that armor evolution was an artificially induced evolution, which to a point means it doesn't HAVE to follow the rules that were previously set forth (which Adventure itself had no problems breaking it's own rules frankly.)

    And it's relatively common in fiction to have the 'passing of the guard' to show comparisons (and frankly, was done on purpose, I mean, they literally had Taichi hand his goggles over.)

    Arguably 02 in and of itself required Adventure to work, because it uses that connection to at times 'avoid' explaining things, using the inherent knowledge of the previous series (which is what sequels do.)
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  8. #18
    In my opinion, the reason 02 (and Young Hunters) aren't that great is... because they aren't that great, rather than it being directly related to them being "sequels". There are concepts and writing in it that was excellent, but overall, the pacing for many elements was rather poorly done for both series, plot points that would have been extremely interesting were cut short or ignored entirely and at times entirely too much time is spent on mindless filler that could have been batter put to use expanding on good things they already had going. If the staff was perhaps given more time, perhaps they could have paced the sequel series more effectively. Sometimes it can't be helped much if studios rush these things and don't give their writers time to do anything other than crank out filler and play catch-up.

    For specific examples, HOW many episodes did we really need to spend on Jessie and James/Archnemon and Mummymon turning Dark Towers into random digimon that the Chosen would then fight and feel bad after killing? Was the "World Tour" arc really necessary? There are tie-ins to the Wonderswan games and Ken's (and also Ryou's) backstory that could have been substituted. For the finale, BelialVamdemon didn't really do much other than kill his minions, be ominous, and get OHKO'd by Daisuke wanting to have a ramen stand.

    For Young Hunters, minus probably the last three episodes, everything was monster-of-the-day filler. They introduced the characters from the card game based on Journey to the West and their involvement with Gumdramon's little tail ring, but were never mentioned ever again. The rival Hunters got almost no character development whatsoever (nothing is known about Ren, Airu apparently goes to the beach with her family and likes cute things, and Ryou saw Taiki's battle and... that was it apparently). All of that mindless "Tagiru gets a new Digimon he'll probably never use!" could have been better spent on developing the personalities of the new characters, building up towards the crossover, and putting in hints towards the true nature of Quartzmon. Instead you get a long stretch of filler and an extremely rushed ending.

    And while not a sequel, I feel fit to mention that even Frontier suffered from a similar pacing flaw near the last quarter of the series: A ridiculous amount of episodes were spent with the Royal Knights trouncing the Chosen, scanning and area, then running away, rather than on the final villain.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour Butz View Post
    Hmm, maybe I mixed up those two. Iíve never seen a PreCure, so Iím going off of, like, two conversations with other people. One of those was with you several years ago, in which you said that a bad sequel nearly killed the franchise, so I guess I did get them mixed up.
    Yeah, the "nearly killing the franchise season" was GoGo! Like I said: Bad Sales and bad ratings.
    It is actually quite interesting: First season did good on ratings and okay on sales, second season did okay on ratings and quite well (for its time) on sales, third season did okay on both, so did the fifth... And then everything went down. Still they made Fresh PreCure and with that did get the best ratings and the best sales since the birth of the franchise till then. Heartcatch did yet even a little better with sales.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour Butz View Post
    Omoshiroi. So was Max Heart ó and any other good immediate sequels you know, in any franchise ó not rushed? How could that be? Were they planning a sequel? They couldnít have been expecting the franchise-launching first series to be that popular, certainly not if they didnít expect the same thing from Digimon. So what was the difference, in terms of the rushed writing schedule?
    Well, the thing with PreCure was: It was the follow up Anime on Sailor Moon and Ojamajo Doremi - from Toei's perspective. For them it was just the next magical girl series done as a Bandai-collaboration. So I am actually pretty sure, that they considered the sequel all along, especially when the Merchandise did not bad. I actually guess MaxHeart got greenlighted around half a year, before it aired. Because they just had always one Magical Girl series in their programm since 1992, which was always aired on the same timeslot and so on. So I guess it was like: "If Futari wa PreCure does not take a complete nosedive there will be at least one sequel."
    And actually I think I read in one interview, that they were quite confident of PreCure doing well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour Butz View Post
    Really? Iíve heard the opposite from anons on 4chanís /m/, whoíve said that the 02 ending was the one that the Adventure staff had wanted to write, but they ran out of time in the first series. Is that just a rumour, or is it true only of the epilogue?
    Nah, that does not sound right. The epilogue is just one big thing of executive meddling, hated by most of the writers pretty much as much as by ost of the fans. And I KNOW that Nishizono really did try to talk the producer-staff out of the sequel, because he said that the story did not leave room for it (that was why he did not do the writing for Zero Two, nor did he do more then one episode as an author).
    And well... From my last interview with Yoshimura I have the feel that she also was a little like "Well, this is not really a good idea, is it?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour Butz View Post
    That seems indubitable. In an interview, Sanjou himself (or maybe Endou, but one of the two) said that the order for a third arc came as a surprise.
    I still don't quite understand what happened there. For me it has the feeling, that they planned doing another, complete new season after Xros Wars, which is why they had nothing else planned for that time slot on Asahi. But then, somehow (I still cannot understand, because Xros Wars did do quite well saleswise to my knowledge and bad ratings won't get the series cancelled) they turned around and said "No more Digimon Anime for now" and - as they needed something to fill the timeslot till SSO - they just made up some stuff to get the show going... At least this is what it feels like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garmmon View Post
    Xros Hunters is more of bad pacing than just being rushed and having too few episodes...
    We are talking about "rushed" in the sense of "rushed through production". Like "Hey, we need another 25 episodes till in three month. So let's get going, guys."
    Or for Zero Two: "Yeah, we decided to do a sequel which will air in four month, directly after the end of this season. So, now go and come up with a sequel-plot of 50 episodes NOW!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown Neo View Post
    And I think besides the Dark Ocean thing, people only hate the ending for 02. Or am I missing a plot hole?
    What's hated about Zero Two, is that the characters are flat and forced into their roles, it has an aweful lot of really stupid fillers, the story has more plot holes then actual working elements and it just did not make much sense most of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
    Not all sequels suffer. For instance, The Empire Strikes Back is usually seen as a better movie than A New Hope, and ROTJ was certainly not a disaster. The key difference is George Lucas knew what he was doing when he created Star Wars, [...]
    That's not to talk about the animated movies. I mean, a lot of people consider the Toy Story movies to get better with every movie. Also many people like Shrek 2 better then the first Shrek (though the third movie sucked). And don't make me start with why Kung Fu Panda 2 is waaaaaaaaay better then the first movie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
    I sort of buy into the "rushed writer" theory. The whole plot was weakly linked together. We could have NEVER seen Oikawa and Vandemon coming back, which makes me think the writers DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HE WAS GOING TO BE BACK when they first started writing 02. The whole season was just one thing after another with little attempt made to link them. A better final villain would have been Milleniummon since they threw in Ryo and all that, and Milleniummon is the one responsible for turning Ken dark. There are other bad things, too, but the weak plot is a huge part of it.
    They did not know about Vamdemon, when they started. Believe me, it was one of my first questions, when I got the chance to talk to Yoshimura. Because it just did not do much sense.
    From what I got, it was - here again - a lot of executive meddling. Yeah, Oikawa was kinda planned, but he was supposed to act on his own - which was considered to complex for children, I guess. The problem with the whole Ryo-plot was, that it was way to time consuming to get the anime team together with the games team.
    Again: Pretty much the only time that even movie writer and anime writer got together in the Digimon franchise, was with the first Tamers' movie. And that was in their freetime!

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcFBR View Post
    I'll respond to more later, but this needs to stop being passed around.

    This is fiction invented by early fans.

    It's not even GOOD fiction. Anime is often worked on until the last minute and delivered at the last minute. I can see practically no way to make this happen without SOME sort of break. Episode 13 aired, and the next week, episode 14 aired. There is no way they had another episode ready to go in 3 months after seeing how episode ONE did and going 'this show is doing well, after one episode, we must have more ready.'
    Apart from there being a LOT of interviews AND old VJump scans that actually PROOF that Adventure was always planned to air for one year -> Having around 50 episodes. I mean, I don't know how often I've read interviews with Nishizono, Kakudou and some other, where they actually said so.

    It still buggles my mind, how that rumor is holding so steady.

  10. #20
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    @Dekvyu I thought the Wonderswan story could have been the final arc too. It would have been an excellent way to tie Ryo/Wonderswan in with the rest of the franchise and maybe they wouldn't have had to put him in Tamers...

    @KK: Ah. I thought executive meddling had to be involved. Basing off 02's merits I find it hard to believe professional writers capable of such good scenes can simultaneously write such an uneven plot. I'm actually not sure that they need to necessarily meet the game design team. Just playing through the games a couple of times should give them all the information they need. I mean, Bandai and Toei would probably have rights to make both anime and game so copyright wouldn't be an issue.
    Last edited by Rubicon; 03-10-2013 at 01:08 AM.

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