Created By: MichaelKatsuro on February 4, 2012 Last Edited By: Arivne on October 13, 2014

Second Layer Stylism

If a show looks unrealistic, any show within a show that appears is going to look unrealistic too.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
The realism of works' visual style varies. Some feature people with completely realistic proportions, others have people who would look freakish if we ever saw them in real life. But one principle remains constant: when the usual art style of a show is unrealistic (e.g. The Simpsons being yellow-skinned and having 4 fingers), media within that show's universe will be the same (e.g. "Radioactive Man"). If the characters in a manga are stereotypically big-eyed, the manga they read and the anime they watch won't feature any characters with realistic people either, even though this could be explained as an artistic choice.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • The shojo manga in Otomen is about as realistically drawn as Otomen is, but there's more screentone used.
  • Rena from Fall In Love Like A Comic draws shojo manga in the same big-eyed style that her world is drawn with. Presumably, she considers her artwork realistic.
  • Genshiken's characters have realistic proportions, while the people from its show within the show Kujibiki Unbalance are big-eyed and small-nosed.

Western Animation
  • Inverted in at least two episodes of South Park that had live action parody commercials for the "Mr Hanky Playset" and "Cherokee Hair Tampons".

Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • February 4, 2012
    nman
  • February 4, 2012
    MichaelKatsuro
    I don't get it. Stylistic Suck is being bad on purpose. What's it got to do with this?
  • February 4, 2012
    nman
    The very first sentence of Stylistic Suck is "A Show Within a Show or other Meta Fiction by a character inside another story is often presented in an inferior writing style (for obvious reasons, it's a bit difficult to do it the other way around."
  • February 4, 2012
    captainpat
    This isn't about a Show Within A Show being inferior, it's about a Show Within A Show having a more stylistic design.

    Make sure that your examples explain the contrast between the designs of the two shows.
  • February 4, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    And "principle" is a bad qualifier for the name.
  • February 5, 2012
    MarkThis
    Inverted in many videogames that had shows within that were live action, while the game is CG. Inverted in Promethea: drugs make fiction look crispier and more realistic than reality itself.
  • February 5, 2012
    BOFH
    Western Animation
    • Inverted in at least two episodes of South Park that had live action parody commercials for the "Mr Hanky Playset" and "Cherokee Hair Tampons".
  • February 5, 2012
    Cider
    I don't see the problem with principle but this does read like another version of Stylistic Suck to me. Does anyone think there is enough reason for two pages?
  • February 6, 2012
    MichaelKatsuro
    I keep telling you, Stylistic Suck is for intentionally bad things, not intentionally unrealistic things. There is no reason at all to connect this with Stylistic Suck, since this hasn't got anything at all to do with quality.
  • February 6, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    I agree with nman and cider. They're too closely connected to be able to tell them apart. Reading the article of Stylistic Suck, it sounds like "Show within the show is intentionally inferior than the actual show." Does not necessarily have to be awful, simply not as good as the original show, which has just as much to do with visual style as it does with writing quality.
  • February 6, 2012
    MichaelKatsuro
    I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. What's the likeness between this and Stylistic Suck? Sure, you can use poor art to create Stylistic Suck, but the trope I am suggesting here isn't about whether the art in the Show Within A Show is good or bad, it's if it is realistic (from our point of view) or unrealistic. And since good art can be both realistic and unrealistic, and the same is true about bad art, I just don't understand what connection this is supposed to have to Stylistic Suck.
  • February 6, 2012
    Westrim
    Stylistic Suck is a bad trope because it requires mandatory inferiority despite Tropes Are Not Bad and crowds out any other tropes describing a Show Within A Show (near as I can tell, it and its subtropes are the only ones). As written this trope is too focused on animation, but it makes a good point that a Show Within A Show can be different without being bad. Itchy and Scratchy on The Simpsons is the same animation quality as the show proper, but even less realistic. If characters watch tv on a tv show, there's often a bit of interference as though it's a second xerox, making it inherently less real.
  • February 6, 2012
    Duncan
    What I think you're saying is that this trope is for when the usual art style of a show is unrealistic (e.g. The Simpsons being yellow-skinned and having 4 fingers), media within that show's universe will be the same (e.g. "Radioactive Man"). Is that right?
  • February 6, 2012
    MichaelKatsuro
    Yes, that's it exactly. I'm going to use your description in the trope description.
  • February 9, 2012
    Duncan
    This may be so ubiquitous that it might be best to only list aversions, when there is an Art Shift.
  • February 26, 2012
    Westrim
    bump
  • August 30, 2014
    Westrim
    Reviving this. It needs a better, less wordy name that still reflects the parent show as base layer. Duncan has a good point as well.
  • August 30, 2014
    DAN004
    Is this related to the Cartoon Confusion ykttw? ("When cartoons look at a Show Within A Show, will they categorize animated or live-action shows the same way us audience do, or not?")
  • September 10, 2014
    Westrim
    Sounds like it. I'd have to check that YKTTW to verify that.
  • September 10, 2014
    hbi2k
  • September 18, 2014
    Westrim
  • September 26, 2014
    Arivne
    • Split up the title into words.
    • Examples section formatting
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Namespaced and italicized work name(s).
  • October 10, 2014
    Westrim
    bump
  • October 11, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Adding to South Park
    • Initially the Terrance & Phillip Show was intended to be an even more cut-out cartoon in the South Park cut-out cartoon world. But eventually they decided that it was a live action show from Canada, and all ethnically Canadians just look like that.
  • October 11, 2014
    Generality
    Essentially this is the aversion of Fourth Wall Portrait.
  • October 13, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Comic Books
    • Inverted in the New 52 Animal Man series. One issue has Cliff watching the movie his dad made. The art in the movie is actually slightly more realistic than the art in the rest of the series.
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