54 CommentsTerribad / By Scamp /

Terribad Anime Review – The Epic of Zetbach

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Artwork by the lovely Mefloraine

One of my new years resolutions was to try different forms of blogging, apart from the usual written posts. Podcasting would seem like the obvious option, and I did guest star on some other peoples podcasts, but the main complaint I’ve heard about podcasts is they’re too long. People aren’t willing to listen to something 1+ hour long. So instead I opted for video reviews. All under 5 minutes long so nobody can complain about the length. As for the subject? Well, another one of my new years resolutions was to watch more Terribad anime. So why not make like a giant robot and combine the two? And hence, Scamps’ Terribad Anime Reviews was born!

Critique would be much appreciated.

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54 Comments

  1. Posted May 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    You did it. Good job.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      How did you know I was making a video btw?

      • Posted May 23, 2011 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        Um, don’t you remember that I was the one that suggested meffie do the artwork?

      • Scamp
        Posted May 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        That was ages ago! Like, 4 months ago

  2. Posted May 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Quite good, actually. Kind of reminds me of these ZP-reviews. I really like your accent. :P

  3. fathomlessblue
    Posted May 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Great work; does this mean you now have an legitimate excuse to watch Legend of the Overfiend? XD

    I definitely felt some ‘Yahtzee’ vibes from your style of presentation, but I love zero punctuation so don’t take that as a criticism!

    Can’t wait to see more of these. :)

    • fathomlessblue
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Oh, and as usual props to Mef for the cool animations.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Re the Yahtzee vibes. Yes, I borrowed more than a bit from his style. But that’s because it’s the style I think that works. I watched plenty of other video reviews and I find that the ones where they talk slowly are boring and frustrating.

      To use another example, Littlekuribohs Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged videos. The dialogue in that never breaks flow and the only stops in it are for comedy purposes, and even they barely last more than a second. Compare that to the many other abridgers out there and you’ll notice they draw out their lines and pauses, and are far less funny because of it.

      Admittedly I’m singing to the choir here, but I still felt I should justify the choice to have the Yahtzee style presentation

  4. Posted May 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I liked this! It’s nice to hear a voice than read text sometimes.

  5. CS
    Posted May 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I could listen to you say baaad all day long.

  6. mcm38
    Posted May 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    *lols at scamp guy throwing hat on the ground*
    I realy admire you for being able to watch bad anime. I ragequit that ova after I saw that princess charging in trough thousands of arrows not getting even the slightest of a scratch and assasinating the commander of the enemy. O.O WTF?
    But the review was well done. Voice is clear and not speedtalking is dah point. I could understand everything.
    Btw, is that lil guy your personification or just a scamp mascot?

    • Scamp
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      That’s totally what I look like in real life

      • mcm38
        Posted May 22, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I see. *chuckles*

    • Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      Are you laughing at the excellent animation quality of that particular movement? 8D

      We spent forever designing his hat.

      • mcm38
        Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

        I can guess XD
        But still pretty awesome, it’s not like I would be able to pull that off. Maybe in 3 years

  7. Posted May 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    What is Tuna??

    • Scamp
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      • LyricDawnhagen
        Posted May 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Oh great. Now I will never be able to hear that piece of music again without thinking about octopus and boots.

  8. romulus
    Posted May 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I use you to practice listening comprehension. Problem? ^.^ Although I didn’t understand everything I enjoyed the review. The review itself is cool and the video format brings enjoyable diversity to this text-based blog. I’m ready for more anytime.

  9. Posted May 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I wanna watch this now. Yay for Terribad!

    Video was great, liked Meffy’s artwork a lot (shall be most disappointed if you do not look like that IRL!), you do speak very quickly, but its clear and easy to follow (although I’m used to the accent anyway) – looking forward to more!

    • mcm38
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Was it realy that quick? The only parts I had trouble understanding was the first parts, and that was only cause I wasn’t used to the accent.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted May 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    People aren’t will­ing to listen to some­thing 1+ hour long.

    I listen to Anime World Order (times listed in multiple hours/episode after editing out a lot) without trouble, long podcasts don’t phase me all that much. My main problem (especially with the second podcast you starred on) is audio quality. In the same way that spelling and grammar are crucial in a text-only medium (blogposts) for communication, so too is audio quality important in an audio-only medium (podcasts). You’re going to have a hard time convincing people to spend the time reading your writings if you write like shit. In the same way shit audio quality is pretty much a death sentence for an audio podcast. My advice in that regard would be, try to guest star only on podcasts that at least try to improve their audio quality. That means, fuck all Skype/mobile phone call podcasts that are put out as is as the last one you were on.

    Now for the video review. It was fun. And with that out of the way, time for random critique.
    The audio: The quality was good enough, there’s room for improvement part of which will probably come with more experience. It was also well edited, or you’re just a good speaker/performer and studied your lines well.

    The visuals: Personally, I don’t like the little caricature. The art isn’t great or smooth and distracts the attention away from the scenes being talked about. The animation is worse. If you want low frame rate animation make it so that you could put the individual frames out as frames of a comic. A hat suddenly in the middle of the screen is just bad. Everyone knows you’re trying to do something similar to Yahtzee, but how the animation is used in this video is completely different, and subsequently bad. Yahtzee uses animation to visually show what he is saying, often literally, in a very minimalistic and stock-footage using way. The characters he uses are tools to support his arguments, show and tell pretty much. In this case, the character is basically randomly changing between emotions and postures with little reason other than to just draw attention away from that which is actually supporting the review, the audio. Otherwise there’s no need for the video aspect leaving you with just the audio side of the story, which is fine (though the argument can be made these days that it’s a must because people on the internet have shorter attention spans than a gold fish on speed).

    Another remark in regards to the visuals is the textual comments that appear a few times on screen. The handwriting is horrible and detracts from the not-that-useful message. Again going back to other reviewers like Yahtzee and the Game Overthinker, they never (or maybe rarely in the Game Overthinker’s case) use handwritten text in their video. Why? Because it’s unreadable. If you want to have a quick review, don’t dip into territory that results in slowdowns. Handwritten text is harder to read quickly than typed text. The worst part is that it was written with a fat paintbrush. Just no. The same applies to text as the caricature and the rest of the visuals, use them to support your review because otherwise why not just put out just the audio of the review. It’s less work that way.

    The slides are fine, they show you’ve got experience with picking out shots from shows to support what you say. As a suggestion, if you want to highlight a part of a screenshot (brother leaning against the door frame) there is the more professional looking spotlight effect of keeping that which you want to point out in the ‘light’ and shading the rest of the screen (with a fluid transition of course between spot and darkness). Does take a bit more work though than just using MS Paint to put a red circle there where you want it. I do like that you opted to not pan and scan all over the place. It often gives a very chaotic feeling to the whole.

    Some random stuff: No need to point out what aspect ratio the screenshots are at. We can see that after all, and it’s not something you have control over so those who would hate on you with comments like “Black bars suck” are to be ignored.

    That’s my critique for now, hope to see the next video review be even more fun.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      My bad, no red circle around the brother, just a halo. The screenshot itself was just well picked as it draws the viewer towards the epic leaning in doorframes. Suggestion still stands for the future.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Podcasts: I listen to my fair share of podcasts too. I’m just citing that length is a frequent and legitimate complaint I’ve seen against podcasts.

      Audio quality: I’d bloody hope it’s good. I bought a new mic for this. It’s not exactly high-end stuff, but it’s better than a shitty headset at least.

      The point of the cari­ca­ture is he’s meant to be an omnipresent narrator, mirroring the toned expressions of the voice. He’s not meant to act out what’s being said. As much as I draw from ZP, I’m not trying to be a direct copy. The screencaps provide the context while the narrator provides the commentary. Without him, it’s just a slideshow played to a voice, which is what I had originally and it often leaves large gaps of nothing much changing on screen. I personally hate it when people force in memetic images to illustrate what they’re saying. Like a random office worker facepalming to illustrate frustration.

      Now it’s a fair complaint, as many others have made below this, that you can’t actually make out what the cari­ca­ture is doing. Which I suppose means making him a bit bigger with more exaggerated reactions. But, again, he’s no supposed to act out what’s being said (except in very rare occasions). That’s what the screencaps are for. These being terribad anime, the screencaps are plenty enough to illustrate how stupid the show is.

      Handwritten comments: Seems like opinion is pretty split on this. I think I did use it too much, and in places it wasn’t really required too. I’ll keep that in mind for future episodes

      I mentioned the aspect ratio simply because I found it funny that they show it in that ratio in the first place. Did they plan to have this a feature length film, had the idea canned but couldn’t be bothered to change it back to TV size? Then again, it’s not like I made that clear or anything, so eh~

      Cheers for the critique though. I know it kinda sounds like I’m ignoring the main bulk of your critique, but it really is helpful

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 24, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        length is a fre­quent and legit­im­ate com­plaint I’ve seen against podcasts

        People say the same about books, films and TV series. Anything longer than a youtube video is too long according to some people these days.

        Without him, it’s just a slideshow played to a voice, which is what I had ori­gin­ally and it often leaves large gaps of noth­ing much chan­ging on screen.

        I can see that happening. An idea would be to maybe add more visual effects and scene changes, though that takes more time to do and really on fade-in and fade-out look nice.

        I per­son­ally hate it when people force in memetic images to illus­trate what they’re say­ing. Like a ran­dom office worker face­palm­ing to illus­trate frustration.

        It can be quite chaotic to do it that way yes.

        Which I sup­pose means mak­ing him a bit big­ger with more exag­ger­ated reac­tions.

        I think it would be better to ditch the body and make the head slightly larger. and indeed make him more cartoony. Thicker, smoother lines, and exaggerated reactions go a very long way, and appear a lot less jarring when put over anime screenshots with a lot more detail and light work. Refrain from using disembodied hands too often in that case though. Another benefit from just having a disembodied head as narrator is that you can have him teleport across the screen to occupy other corners than just the lower right one, and it’s easier to have him ‘look’ at the current background. Remember though that here too, moderation is key. Will take some experimenting to get better results.

        Another option is to be more passionate on the audio track, or maybe add a red misty border whenever you’re at an infuriating moment (don’t actually do this last one). Experiment, maybe do one or two reviews without the caricature and another one or two with him and then ask the audience which they prefer.

        I know it kinda sounds like I’m ignor­ing the main bulk of your cri­tique, but it really is helpful.

        You covered pretty much all the critique I had, the rest was just comment and suggestions.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 24, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        heh, I actually kinda like that idea of the disembodied head. It’s not like it’s unheard of in anime fandom anyway, what with the whole Yukkuri thing. It could end up looking totally weird though and not work at all, but I suppose it’s worth a try

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Thus I said experiment. You already have a super-deformed style, so the step to just a head isn’t that big.

  11. Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Nice first attempt at a video review. I agree with Anon, though: chibi-Scamp is distracting and pretty much pointless. Yahtzee uses his stick-figure character to make a point, whereas chibi-Scamp just gets in the way of me trying to see the slides you put up. Some of the emotions chibi-Scamp displays are confusing (what is this?), and many others don’t add anything to your narration. Yahtzee tends to draw what he says (or says what he draws), but the pictures are over-the-top and unexpected. Chibi-Scamp is lacking that surprising aspect: I can tell what it’s going to do from a mile away, and even when I can’t, it’s not funny or interesting.

    In summary, cut chibi-Scamp out of scenes unless he’s needed. The audience already has the narration and the pictures to pay attention to, and a caricature that makes unhelpful gestures is unnecessary. He also slows down the pace of your video. He barely moves and his changing emotions are a couple pixels’ difference (exaggeration, but you get the point).

    I strongly disagree with Anon on the MS Paint-ish text on screen. IMO, crappy-looking text is more fitting than typed text for off-hand remarks. Maybe I’m just more of a Hyperbole and a Half fan than a Yahtzee fan.

    Finally, on content: Too much summary. Even if it’s humorous summary, I can’t tell what’s going on at times. In general, it’s tough to blog about obscure OVAs – it’s nothing like a standard episodic. People haven’t watched the show, and it’s the blogger’s job to point out the major/important/humorous parts of the plot. By going through the entire story, you managed to confuse me a lot and in the end, I did not find anything especially memorable or humorous – essentially, I’m getting a dumbed-down funny summary of an OVA in a couple of minutes.

    I don’t really have any suggestions about this, though. Yahtzee manages to stick in enough references and off-hand notes that his audience understands at least enough to find his videos funny throughout. But then again, he reviews games, not anime. So… yeah. Sorry about this paragraph of very un-constructive criticism.

    However, It’s clear that you put a degree of effort into this (or maybe you’re the type that never stumbles on words… grrr), and I applaud you for that. Keep at it.

    • Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      I like the handwritten stuff too. I actually thought Scamp’s handwriting was surprisingly nice considering what was probably used to write it.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Basically what I said to anon in the above comment. He’s not meant to illustrate what happens. That’s the screencaps job. He’s the omnipresent narrator. Having him leap in and out of scenes would be even more distracting.

      Again, as I said to anon, I did originally do a video with no cari­ca­ture, but it came off as rather bland. It’s just a slideshow to a snarky irish voice-over. The cari­ca­ture gives it something more than that. Also, he’s meant to be cute too, as a deliberate contrast to the mindless gore that makes up a lot of terribad stuff, although I suppose that doesn’t go too well with Zektbach.

      For the summary-filled content, that’s mainly down to Zektbach again. With ZP, if the plot is ever more complicated than a Mario game, he never really bothers to explain it, unless to illustrate a point. Since what makes Zektbach terribad is how dumb its story construction is, that would obviously make up most of the video. Admittedly the video could have done with another minute or so of content where I expand on the other stupid things about this, but I ran out of things to say. It is just a dumb 30 minute OVA after all, and I wanted to pick one of my shorter reviews for the first vid

      As for not stumbling over my words, that just comes through editing and recording those same lines 10+ times over. It’s only when I started really over-exaggerating my voice did something resembling personality come out

      • Posted May 24, 2011 at 4:04 am | Permalink

        I think that in theory, having an omnipresent narrator sounds attractive, but in practice, it turns out to be annoying. It doesn’t help that I don’t like “cute” in general, though.

        On rationale behind chibi-scamp: I can’t really argue with you without sounding a little stupid, but I just don’t find chibi-Scamp appealing. While the blandness of the sans-caricature video is somewhat cured by putting chibi-Scamp in it, you’re introducing an annoying element that serves little purpose. It sounds like a good idea to have a virtual self in the video, but … why? As you said before,

        These being ter­ribad anime, the screen­caps are plenty enough to illus­trate how stu­pid the show is.

        imo, this means you don’t need another element in the mix to display your reactions to this stupidity. The tone of your voice and what you say are good enough reaction-wise, so chibi-Scamp, whose emotions aren’t very exaggerated, isn’t adding that much.

        Just my two (or three) cents on that.

        On summary: All right, I can see where you’re coming from.

        Hey, 10+ times isn’t bad. I’m the type that stumbles over my own words no matter how many times I rehearse. I’m thinking of the next sentence while I say the current one, and the two get all jumbled together and something strange comes out.

  12. luffyluffy
    Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Can we get a shimeji made out of tiny!scamp? I want to throw him against the side of my screen repeatedly.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      Oh, I see you werking that Barnaby banner on the side there

  13. Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    I liked the video review. I think the length was perfect. I had no problem following what you were saying. I think the idea of only reviewing terribad is a good one.

    I do think the chibi-Scamp was hard to read (meaning tell the difference from one emotion to another), though I didn’t dislike having him there; maybe find a way to make the different emotions read clearer. Note: I can’t display full screen video on my computer, so chibi-Scamp’s face was a small portion of a small figure in a small window on my laptop’s small screen. Maybe those with better video playback could read him clearer than I could. I do think it added personality, though, so getting rid of him would be a shame.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      I think I realise what the problem is. If you watch the video on youtube’s website, the expressions are fairly clear, but when viewed on thecartdriver, the post width is smaller so the video becomes smaller and you can’t really make out what he’s doing.

      I suppose the way to fix that would be to widen my blog width, but argh argh css html argh argh. I’m too afraid of touching that myself and I don’t think Gargron would be too pleased with me bugging him to change it

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 24, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        CSS isn’t that hard. There’s a bunch of redundant width statements for some of your classes and the post box isn’t fluid. Even then though, the youtube embed defines its own width and height so you’d have to adjust that yourself.

        Or just make sure that it looks good at all common scales.

  14. Posted May 23, 2011 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Hahahah nice job! I like this format for the terribad shows very good!

    I FF mostly through this it does look crap D:

    Woooo Mef! Nice artwork :P

  15. KBKarma
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    I swear I’ve heard your voice somewhere that isn’t a podcast, but cannot for the life of me remember where, or if I’m just hallucinating.

    Overall, though, good stuff there. Very similar to Zero Punctuation, but, really, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Put up another one soon.

  16. Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    That video tell us a lot of what you are trying to say. The video is clear and that little boy there is very fun and cute;) i’m believing on you Scamps’ Ter­ribad Anime Reviews was born.

  17. Knee House
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Just wanted to add that I also enjoyed the video. It had nice noise-to-silence ratio, generally good pace (just one moment I couldn’t understand–“bishie [something something something] leaning nonchalantly in doorways”), and a nice slideshow presentation. The commentary was both thoughtful & amusing, IMO (the accent only added to this impression).

    I know differing opinions can be confusing, but I also wanted to add that I thought the handwritten style of the textual commentary fit its tone–I had no problems reading it–and I didn’t really find chibi-Scamp to be distracting. I only noticed him a few times and each time I thought his reaction to again be both amusing & edifying.

    Kudos on an entertaining video, man! It was definitely a nice diversification, without sacrificing any quality.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      What I said was “stupid bishies who spends his time cracking vaguely flirtatious lines read off the ‘Idiots Guide to being a Flirtatious Anime Character Handbook’, while leaning etc”. I suppose I get a bit over-excited when I get to a part I felt strongly about and talk too quickly :P

      • romulus
        Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        So that was it. A fabulous word group indeed.

  18. Posted May 23, 2011 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Nice! I subscribed to your YT channel and hope to see more video reviews >.< And I agree, it's nice to listen instead of always read. *two thumbs up to both the endeavor and to being able to watch bad anime*

  19. Posted May 23, 2011 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    i liked it :D it was cute~ and i don’t mean that condescendingly lol.

    i like the handwritten comments. only ms paint is appropriate for those kind of comments anyways. just be sure to keep those comments on the short side or else it’ll be painful to read.

    i think chibi-scamp is cute but like others, i often couldn’t tell much of a difference between emotions. perhaps some hyperbolic reactions would be a better idea. also, i did find him slightly distracting, but i think that’s because he often moved at the same time that the picture on the screen changed. you should probably only make him move when the picture on the screen is static or only at the same time when appropriate (showing shock/surprise, etc.)

    good job!

    • Scamp
      Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, if anything there’s too many screencap changes. I guess that comes from me simply carting over the original video with no cari­ca­ture instead of starting from scratch. In fact, maybe that’s where most of the complaints stem from? That, and my stupid post width meaning the video is smaller than it should be

  20. Posted May 23, 2011 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    DAWWW~ Chibi Scampu. <3

    I had no problems in understanding what you were saying because I got used to your accent and the duration was just right for a terribad title because one can go on and on over good animu.

    I guess the black bar works here because you had to input the character but writing transition was a bit distracting and next time maybe use a close up version of the fact to get more out of expressions?

  21. Scamp
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Funny how not a single person pointed out that I’d spelled Zektbach wrong…

    • mcm38
      Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      -.- I doubt many ppl even saw the name before

  22. Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Even though I am german and suck at hearing english, I could understand you quite well, so props to you. :D Also that accent. <3

    OH FOUR TUNA

  23. Posted May 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    The format was fine. I didn’t pay much attention to chibi-Scamp. Didn’t even notice when he threw his hat. But chibi-Scamp was entertaining, wasn’t distracting, and gives the video rewatch value.

    My big criticism is the content/concept. Slaying an obscure, terribad show is the equivalent of scoring a 9.5 on a dive with a 1.2 degree of difficulty. Though it’s fine for a first video, I’d like to see you take on something more challenging in the future. I feel like you could use the same format on non-terribad shows without losing any quality.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      If I did that though, it would charge over what else I blog about. Terribad gives it a focus. Blogging without a focus is dumb

  24. Posted May 24, 2011 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this video review thing, as for feedback, I can’t really think of anything of the top of my head. The Master Scamp figure(?) is cute, and makes the video more fun.
    Maybe you could improve on the legibility of the textual comments that were scribbled into the video.
    I look forward to viewing more of these, but don’t overexert yourself or your artist for our sake, it’s not like we like you or anything!

  25. Posted May 26, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    ahh i thought your style of vid look familiar

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation

    but still , i like the way is being presented. and yes doing terribad anime review is definitely the way to go. ganbatte for more!

  26. Posted May 27, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    My 2 cents worth? Very innovative (not sure what I’m comparing it to) Speak a smidgeon slower especially for those with Engrish as a second language. I liked your little guy. What’s with the flat cap though? And you should watch in youtube, not on your blog, Can you fix that? Sound very clear. On the fence as to handwriting comments.
    More please.

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