Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

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    Cuter in real life Iteru's Avatar
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    Default Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    The Pokémon Anime has been running for around 15 years with its target audience being children in the preschool/elementary school age range. This naturally leads to viewers being "cycled" out with each new saga when they get older and the writers aiming to target a new set of children. Do you think the writers should make more of an attempt to appeal to these older fans that are no longer the target audience? Or do you think they should appeal more to the target audience? In what ways should they or shouldn't they do these things?
    Last edited by Iteru; 9th June 2012 at 08:22 AM.

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    I'm a servant of the lord Midorikawa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    They kind of did that in the original series, but english dubs always cut that stuff out

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    Actual Cannibal Shiay LaBeouf Shiay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    It would be nice if they kept us in consideration. I mean, I'm still going to love Pokémon and get ecstatic about things that get released if they appeal to me. And honestly, the most exciting thing I've felt for Pokémon recently (within the last five to six years), is the fact that the Black and White actually had a semi-deep plot, and that Black2/White2 animated trailer seemed to appeal more to an older audience as well. However, that is my personal view on the trailer. I'm sure other people would disagree. :U

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    Goronda Type Vice-Webmaster Evil Figment's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    CPing from my blog because it is easier, but basically my point of view is: while it might be nice, and should be appreciated when it happens, it should never be expected.

    EXPECTING the show to appeal to you is a great recipe for massive disappointment.

    I have to admit, I have a problem with internet fandoms. (And it's not exclusive to pokémon)

    It's the general sense of entitlement fans seems to come up with at the drop of a hat. It's found in just about every fandom, and it,s ridiculous.

    In short, the idea seems to go like this: "We are fans of the show, and the show wouldn't be as popular without us, therefore it's an insult/attack for the creators to take the show in different directions from what we want!"

    It's bollocks.

    1)A show doesn't survive on its internet fandom.

    There are a few thousand active members on Bulbagarden forums. Numbers vary, but this seems about average for a discussion forum. Even putting all the major forums together, and assuming none of their active members overlap, we might not even reach the five digits. Even if we do, these numbers include a lot of people not into the anime - game fans, etc.

    You don't build a show by appealing to a few thousand people. In fact, a show built to appeal to only a few thousand specific people, is going to be a dead show pretty fast, because it won't have the numbers to justify the money being sunk into producing it.

    All the more so given that...

    2)The internet audience is NOT representative of the overall audience.

    Harsh, but true. The internet audience (especially on forums) grossly oversamples certain demographic group (call it...teenagers and young adults, introverted, prone to obsessive fascination with a show). And, of course, it grossly oversamples the "obsessing over the show" demographic, because the people who simply like the show, without being obsessed about it, aren't going to be joining online discussion forums - they'll just tune it once a week, watch their show, maybe buy a few items of merchandise.

    At the end fo the day, because of the sheer number balance, it's also that second group that's going to be responsible for the success or failure of the show.

    This is especially true for cases where...

    3)The internet fandom is completely outside the target audience

    And yes, pokémon is one of them. Pokémon aims (per ShoPro's webpage) at preschool to elementary school age kids. (My Little Pony aims even lower).

    If you are outside the show's target audience, you have no right to expect the show to be made according to what you'd like to see. Period. Complaining that the writers are "pissing in your face" or similar when the problem is that you're outside the target audience altogether is in no way, frm or shape justifiable; it's self-centered to the point of idiocy.

    Oh, maybe you'll get the passing nod here and there (or every other scene, as in some episodes of Friendship is Magic), but the show's plots, characters and level of continuity are going to be made with the target audience in mind, not you. Continuity will be kept to what can easily be explained within the episode (eg, either in the "Previously on..." segment, or directly referenced during the discussion), or to throw-away gags that don't impact the plot. Characters, rather than growing and evolving, will tend to revert back to their default self more often than not. Not because the writers don't care, but because the character was created the way they were in order to fill a certain role in the show's formula.

    If they stop filling that role, the show's formula doesn't work anymore, and since the show's formula is what sold it to begin with, the writers are not going to want to do that without a damn good reason. A damn good reason would be flagging numbers. Not "internet fandom outside the target audience upset".

    Bottom line here: accept the show for what it is. Don't expect the writers to change target audience to YOU, because that's not going to happen. Ever. You can still, of course, criticize specific elements of the show; writers are not perfect. But never forget who the target audience is, and never delude yourself in thinking the target audience could (or should) be you instead.
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    Subete wo kagayakasu MizuTaipu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    I just wish that the series catered less to younger kids than it does now. I mean, why should the producers adhere to merchandising ploys by not evolving the cutesy Pokémon like Potchama and Kibago instead of evolving them to create a good story? If the anime producers ditched the cute factor of the series by just a little bit, the series would be perfect in my eyes.

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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    Reading the 1st post, I feel that the question should be more in the context of "should the target audience of the show be shifted", because that's how most of us would consider them trying to appeal to a wider range of viewers. This is a very deep topic, and I have my own reasons for believing it to be a smart move. Ok, here goes;

    First, I'm going to say right off the bat that many people on Pokemon forums seem to have a limited view of what the shows producers can and can't, will or won't do. The whole idea of the "target audience" is almost always put in the context as some sort of restriction; that the writers won't ever make genuine effort to appeal outside of kids 6-12 or so. In reality, the target audience doesn't have to be anything more than a guideline for who the content of the show is appropriate for, and who should enjoy the show the most. That doesn't mean they aren't going to go beyond that demographic and relate a little bit to anybody who turns on the tv to watch. For example, we see them do this through certain gag lines and appearances by past characters.

    Lets move further by considering; if the writers were to make an effort to reward loyalty to Pokemon anime better, then their viewers are more likely to keep spreading the appeal of Pokemon by word of mouth to many, many future generations. The current system seems to do new stuff with new characters (aside from Ash, Pikachu, and the badge quest) all the time. Different fans arise to watch each saga, young and old. Yes, new ideas are vital to the success of every tv show, yes, nobody is expected to watch Pokemon forever, but its also important to ask "What would help keep them watching longer?" What is it, to most viewers that creates a long-lasting memory of the show?" There could be any number of factors, but one of the obvious ones is the characters, human and Pokemon. Most viewers both in and out of the audience expect Ash and Pikachu in every episode, because they are the face of this anime, and they expect Pokemon battles with Pokemon from the current games. Whether or not either of those will be changed someday is a different topic.

    Now on the subject of characters, one of the biggest topics on forums has been the concept of returning older characters to the show. Some think that it would be an excellent nod to older fans, while others fervently disagree, believing that they wouldn't relate to the current audience. My answer to that is really simple to understand. Every character in the show, new and old takes time to grow on people who are meeting them for the first time. This is true for gym leaders, for newly caught Pokemon, for traveling companions, and for characters that starred on Pokemon years ago. For the humans, they can be treated like real people; they have goals they want to complete, but will always be looking for something new, and they will always have something new to learn in life. In this sense, nobody has to be "done" for good and Pokemon writers have a huge pool of people to travel with Ash, develop in new environments, interact with others in different ways,and contribute both a unique role in the group, as well as overall entertainment.

    The advantage to using new characters is of course, diversity. We get to see fresh new Pokemon designs and people who have unique personalities and aspirations. Older characters have their own unique aspects and roles to fulfill, and are important to those who have stayed with Pokemon for longer than 1 saga. One of the ways writers could potentially keep fans in longer, to change that "target audience", would be to introduce a mix of new and classic humans and/or Pokemon each generation or even each season. Thus, fans would feel like their loyalty is rewarded because their favorite characters could get a chance to shine much more often than 2-3 episodes every decade. Voice actors that go along with the characters, are of course another aspect that loyal fans appreciate.

    Perhaps another important aspect is the legacy created by the "magic" of Pokemon. In their world, people aspire to follow their dreams, travel the world, and form lasting friendships with other humans and with Pokemon. Because of the wonders and mysteries of Pokemon, their natural world, and their way of life, new and exciting things happen every day! Its the core of the Pokemon franchise that sets it apart from everything else. This concept is something that anyone who watches Pokemon long enough can soon come to realize and appreciate.

    We ought to put behind us the illusion of the "target audience restriction" and encourage the producers of Pokemon to always be striving for quality; to go for the gold and create a memorable franchise for anyone to enjoy and continue appreciating.
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    Registered User The Fighting Misty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    I think they certainly tried that with DP. Actual real villains who didn't hesitate to kill Ash, a mean rival in Paul who dealt with Pokemon abuse, some depression streaks, etc.

    Sure DP was still pretty much the same stuff as usual, but the few things they did do that saga is what people remember as the highlights. It certainly seemed to be somewhat aimed at long time fans who are now out of the target audience.

    BW kinda did the opposite, although now with the BW2 stuff who knows.
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    GO FOR THE GOAL! Kazamatsuri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    I think Evil Figment hit the nail on the head, but I think I'm going to elaborate.

    From my experience, the older fans that seem to have an entitlement complex about them and constantly complain about the show not "appealing" to them actually were of target audience once upon a time when the show first came out. And they seem to have a fetish for various replaced elements that haven't been part of the show for year for years (in some cases, nearly a decade).

    There's nothing wrong with watching the show when you're not of the target demographic. But I would imagine that almost everyone who was into Pokemon back when it was a fad over a decade ago is now in college or graduate school, and no longer take interest in the franchise. I'm thinking maybe some people around here should join their peers. Simply stop watching the show, move on, and take up some other interest during your spare time. If you're one of those that incessantly complain about the show not being what it used to be, and thus no longer appealing to your standard criteria of acceptable entertainment, then it's on you to finally come to terms with reality and let it go. It's not on the Pokemon Companies to dramatically change the way they do things just to cater to your every whim.

    Again, elaborating on what Evil Figment said, one of the most common arguments I hear about by people in the Pokemon fandom (and other fandoms) in some form or another is that 'we are the fans and the powers that be had better give us what we want if they want to survive.' My immediate reaction to that train of thought is this: Are these people so arrogant and delusional that that they actually believe themselves to formally speak for such a substantial portion of the fanbase (if not the entire fanbase) that wold actually make up that difference, or are they just trying to bluff TPTB into thinking that to be the case.

    Food for thought. It's not 1998 anymore. It's not 2003. It's not 2006. It's 2012, and it's time to catch up with the rest of the universe. Keep in mind that since September 2006 alone, over 300 Pokemon episodes have debuted on CartoonNetwork alone. And all indications are that it's still going strong. How many Saturday morning cartoons do you know of that have lasted for more than 300 episodes. And for that matter, how many do you know that lasted even as much as six years.

    Pokemon has has by any measure continued to be an ongoing success since new episodes started airing on CN. The producers do not in any way, shape or form need to reinstate any replaced or removed element prior to that period of time to maintain itself. Said elements are simply irrelevant to just about everyone who views that show. The only people who seriously give about such issued are overaged, nostalgia-driven fans (I think fanatics is more like it) who just can't let go.

    Having said all that, the Anime does appeal to me, despite its many quirks, and that's why I still watch it. Even though I'm older that the stated target viewing audience, I don't think any dramatic changes need to be made for my sake. If you're one those people who no longer find the Pokemon Anime appealing, then it's really for your own good that that move from watching the show, especially if that loss of interest resulted from a change that has sustained itself for over half a decade.
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    Registered User The Fighting Misty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazamatsuri View Post
    And they seem to have a fetish for various replaced elements that haven't been part of the show for year for years (in some cases, nearly a decade).
    I know you're implying Misty here with the "nearly a decade" post, and you're right. To be fair, most of those people stopped watching the show before Johto even ended, so they likely were only people caught up in the fad of the series and lost interest sometime after the 3rd movie came out.

    But this doesn't quite make sense, most of the people who watched AG in its original run actually "were" the original Kanto/Orange fans. There didn't seem to be a huge age gap between the AG series and the early seasons, at the time Hoenn debuted it was only Season 6 of the series. Most people were still fairly young and in the age gap when it was airing, hence the Hoenn seasons being KidsWB's top rated show when Yu-gi-oh wasn't beating it out sometimes. While I am sure tons of little kids started watching that saga, it always seemed to me a large chunk of AG's fanbase actually was the original fans, or else the writers wouldn't have had so many throwbacks to Misty and Ash's Kanto starters, Brock wouldn't have stayed, as well as the hoso specials focusing on old characters. It was only once May and/or the Contests got established that these old ties started to break, because the writers realized they didn't need to rely on "origjnal series" stuff anymore.

    By the time DP started the show was on for a decade, so by then most people had drifted out, and the VA change during the dub didn't help matters. (Although I think it needs to be said that most of the fandom was still watching by the time Battle Frontier started, or else they never would have known about the VA change in the first place)....and in Japan this is when the writers started severing ties to the older stuff. Had it not been for Brock staying for DP for some bizarre reason, DP would have almost been as big a clean slate as BW was.


    Anyway I agree with this.
    Last edited by The Fighting Misty; 8th June 2012 at 09:17 AM.

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    Cuter in real life Iteru's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    The topic has been updated to include the question of whether the show should appeal more to the target audience.

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    SOVA Leader Bluelatios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    Here's the deal though. Yes, kids get a higher priority, no older fans shouldn't feel more entitled than kids, and no they don't need to rely on sticking to the same stuff, but what would be wrong with trying something that is pleasing to both worlds? Would it really be all that bad to think of the older fans after they are confident that they can satisfy the kids? What I don't understand is why there is so much rage and stereotype attaching to fans of previous generations.
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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    I think there is ways of doing both. We have seen it done before with multiple shows or movies where the writers are able to reach a large number of people of all ages. Pixar comes to mind, Animaniacs comes to mind. So I certainly think there is a way of doing both. They aim at the younger audiences by having adventure, cute Pokemon, fun battles. And they appeal to the older fans by having dark villain plots, references to past characters. For example, bringing Charizard or Sceptile back for a battle, etc. Bringing Dawn back for a few episodes. And then of course, they could get away with some adult jokes that the kids won't understand. I think DP is a good example of a saga that reached all ages. The kids had a lot of fun moments where they could enjoy the world of Pokemon while the older audiences had cool characters like Paul, Hunter J and Team Galactic to enjoy.

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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    I don't know if the series should actively appeal to fans outside of the target audience. I'm not sure if it would really do much good, especially when older fans are a smaller audience compared to the kids in the target audience. Plus, I think that it would be more helpful for the series to have better writing quality overall, which can be done by still appealing to kids.

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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hidden Mew View Post
    I don't know if the series should actively appeal to fans outside of the target audience. I'm not sure if it would really do much good, especially when older fans are a smaller audience compared to the kids in the target audience. Plus, I think that it would be more helpful for the series to have better writing quality overall, which can be done by still appealing to kids.
    This is a really great post and I agree with it. Most of the people that watch Pokemon are young kids. But for the few of us that have grown up with Pokemon and are still watching, an appearance by Charizard and Squirtle would be nice! Just saying! :)

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    Default Re: Should the show appeal more to those that aren't within the target audience?

    Just a little bit, just a little bit. I think its been a little too kiddie at times. They even "banned" any love/like related stuff. Not good...
    For the last time, BW is NOT a reboot.
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