Quick Thought: About Kishōtenketsu

In describing Pokémon GO Fest in an earlier post I framed it terms of the Four Act Kishōtenketsu story structure.

You can find a lot of discussion of this structure on the web, particularly in how it relates to Japanese video game design. But here are a couple posts about the idea that I think are instructive:

The significance of plot without conflict
This was the first detailed discussion of the structure I found on the internet.

The Kishotenketsu struture of Digimon Adventure tri: an insight to traditional Japanese storytelling
This post looks at a specific anime, but goes into the cultural background of the structure, with some references for further study. It also makes me want to rewatch Digimon Adventure tri to better understand some of the puzzling aspects of that series.

Quick Thought: Annihilation

I may write more about the 2018 Alex Garland film Annihilation later, but I had one thought I wanted to note.

While watching I found the script was frequently “on the nose” and quite blunt in stating plot and character points. I then realized that in such a weird story, where the very fundamentals about what is happening, and why, are mysterious and unnerving, it can be helpful to have some things that ground the action and character motivations. That allows the other weirdness to settle in and have an impact, in the limited amount of time even a feature film has to work with.

It’s a contrast to what I said above about Good Omens where the drive to get plot and exposition up and running conflicted with the fantasy satire world-building.