Created By: bulmabriefs144 on March 26, 2013 Last Edited By: bulmabriefs144 on March 26, 2013

Experimental Work

When an anime, film, video game, or other goes avant garde

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You know the rules. Video games have text, music, battles, and gameplay. Written works are either poetry or prose, and if they are novels, are divided into paragraphs and chapters. Film past a certain year has sound, and is in color. And so on.

Screw it.

Let's make an anime in black and white. Or a film with no sound (or no sound effects). Or a video game that has no gameplay, instead behaving more like one long cutscene.

An Experimental Work is when the creator decides to stretch the limits of the medium, to make some sort of statement, or maybe just to have fun. Just don't expect the audience to get it.


  • The anime version of Kare Kano has a number of strange art techniques (including making cutout pictures and setting them on fire). It also extensively uses camera shots of the town it's set in (and numerous shots of a cat). The last episode consists of a series of stills, and narrative consisting of one or two word sentences such as "He laughed", "They met", and "Incomprehensible."

  • The Artist is almost entirely without sound, except the occasional stock silent film music. What makes it interesting is when sound actually appears, it's jarring to the characters.
  • Memento has scenes in monochrome and color. One has scenes in reverse chronological order, the other is in chronological order. This is to simulate the inability to hold memories.

  • Among other quirks, Terry Pratchett seems to write books without chapters. This is very unnerving for anyone used to this format.


Video Games
  • There are a few Rpg Maker games (With His Father's Sword and Maranda are two, both apparently by the same author) that have no gameplay, just plot. They play much like films, except you can bookmark them, and walk away from the game until pressing the OK key.
  • Ōkami is actually quite strange. You gain stats much like an rpg, but it plays like a 3d adventure game. But this isn't the strange part, that would be the the japanese ink painting-style graphics, and the ability to freeze motion and paint various things, altering the scene.
Community Feedback Replies: 2
  • March 26, 2013
    Aren't these examples either Genre Busting or True Art Is Incomprehensible? Other examples would go to Le Film Artistique or Widget Series.

    Given your examples, I also don't know if I'd really consider most of them to be that strange or new.
  • March 26, 2013
    Well, it's not necessarily related to Genre Busting, since some of it isn't about genre so much as trying something different.

    True Art Is Incomprehensible has a couple of limitations. It's YMMV. We're not guessing at whether it's incomprehensible or not, it's more a trope of "this was an experimental film because they did X when nobody/hardly anybody tried it before, which either nobody got, or started a trend."

    It's basically Le Film Artistique, only with regards to style (shot in black and white/strange coloring, or putting the images together in a weird way, etc) rather than genre or content. I'd say it's somehow related as like a subtrope of this though.