Comparing the two types of drama in anime is like comparing five consecutive jaggerbomb shots to a glass of whiskey with coke – one knows how to mix it with something and the other one doesn’t.
Drama in anime.
Oh, drama in anime is manipulative. Oh, oh, no, drama in anime is too watered down and typical – hey have you ever cried watching an anime? No, not really. It’s too superficial and fake or, yes, Clannad made me want to kill myself a couple of times. Also Anohana is my favourite anime and I cosplayed as Eren from Attack on Titan once.
These are the responses I get whenever I ask anyone what they think of drama in anime. Tempted to disregard the opinion of anyone who does real life yaoi fmvs in cosplay, their input was still a valuable one, even if it took me some time to digest that Anohana was as popular as it was, it made me want to hang, but I still love all the Kyoani Key works, so what does that make me?
I cry with cooking shows and definitely shed a couple of tears watching America’s Next Top Model and any show ever where a person tells us how their tragic backstories of of how their daddies left them by the age of six and how they ate fish food for dinner everyday till they turned twenty-one. I cried with Clannad, and then I cried with Angel Beats, and I cried even harder with Code Geass and Death Note. Nowadays, I don’t cry over anime at all.
Regardless. I don’t think they’re really great drama shows. They’re the successful shows. Speaking in anime terms, they’re melodramatic, but it works.
So while trying to categorize drama in anime, I’ve dumbly realized that there are just two. On one hand there’s the Anohanas and Clannads and the Kannons, and on the other hand there are the Nanas and Becks and Kids on the Slopes. Obviously, like any self-respecting human being (read: I’m joking, you plebs) I prefer the latter. Depending on who you ask, they’re better.
Type one drama.
Easy drama, drama that doesn’t care for realism, doesn’t care for any realism at all and cares more about making you cry and trick you into feeling sad for a couple of hours. It’s the aforementioned Clannad and Angel Beats, it’s tragically convenient at all times.
Basically, it’s Your Lie in April. Which made me want to slit my wrists but like, not in a good way. It’s the most popular, and most of us will recognize that they are as melodramatic as it it gets regardless if we liked them or not. They’re basically jagger shots of drama because the alcohol is all there is to it and frankly P.A Works is a shitty bartender.
Type two drama.
The kind of drama the c00l kids watch – Nana, Paradise Kiss, Beck, Kids on the Slope and the likings, you know, ’mature’ stuffs us big bad adults like to see. Problem is there’s not a lot of it. Type two drama knows when to stop and makes a good mix of drama alcohol and cool beverage to even out the taste.
Don’t ever think I’m talking shit about type one drama anime – I like my jagger shots once in a while and I definitely cried like a mad woman with Clannad (like anyone with half a heart) and Angel Beats, but I recognize that they’re just not realistic. Is this a bad thing? This is not a bad thing. Anime is about variety, variety for everything. That said, type two drama anime is held on a higher throne.
One reason for this is that there’s just not much of it, so what is already out there automatically has a longer life span than drama type one, of which there’ s too much of it. We see them in every season of anime and this one is graced with Orange, which falls into an interesting middleground in my opinion.
Comparing it to another genre, type one drama would be the typical shonen series which will sometimes be great and type two drama anime would be the One Punch Mans and Mob Psycho 100s. Type one drama would be the To Love Rus and type two drama would be the Prison Schools. If anyone can come up with a hentai analogy, hit me up.
So, should we care about realism in drama anime? Well, should we care about diversity in the medium, period? It’s the same question but phrased differently. Anime is about variety, as I’ve said, and all mediums have a serious case of imbalance – in anime, in drama anime especially, type one is the status quo.
People throw the phrase “just turn your brain off!” around a lot. No offense, but this might work when you’re younger and a have a lot of free time, but I don’t feel like watching anything which doesn’t entertain me as is. Which makes me ask myself if I would enjoy half the drama anime I used to praise, Clannad and Angel Beats included, as much if I watched them now as I did back then.
Which is how it goes, Paradise Kiss is a reality to me at this point in time in a way that Orange simply isn’t. Type two drama thrives off of being relatable and not jerking around a love hexagon around for twenty four episodes and maybe someone dies once. The effect of drama depends on our realities, and in that case, I’m nobody to say which one is better, because drama is manipulative, no matter what.
The difference is if we notice it or not.