January 03, 2008

Give me that Olde Time Elegance

Never has an article needed writing more than this one right now. With each new season, it becomes more difficult putting up with borderline pRon to get new programming more interesting than the tripe on American TV.

If this trends continues, there will come a point where I can no longer justify watching anime based purely on moral/legal grounds. Attempting to separate the wheat from chaff just won't provide enough material to make it worth my time.


Posted in Anime by: Will at 08:51 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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1 So don't. There's plenty of reward in being the patient guy who doesn't tackle a show until it's been talked to death by everybody else - nobody says you have to be the one to break trail.

At the same time, keep in mind that a lot of that stuff is bread and butter for the Japanese fanboy that keeps these companies alive. It's always easier to write something conventional and try to sell it by putting in more of this, that, or the other. Bigger and bigger breasts, until you get Eiken. More and more maids, untill you get Hanayuko. Lolis everywhere, until you get Kodomo no Jikan. All three at once, until you get Gravion... Of course, the very element that they're counting on to draw in viewers has ruined the show well before you reach that point, but someone's buying this stuff...

It's okay to be a little snobby. I watched some Ninomiya-kun at the prompting of a friend, and honestly, there ain't no there THERE. Yes, yes, the girl is cute and busty yadda yadda. Gimme some story! And a good one, too.

That said, why do you feel the need to "justify" watching anime? Especially on "moral/legal" grounds? If you wanna watch a show, watch it, if you don't wanna watch it, don't. Just because you watch some Moyashimon or some Dennou Coil or Legend of the Galactic Heroes or whatever doesn't mean you have to wade in to the whole fan-service-laden genre. (That's left for slobs like me who need to know the references to work on other shows!)

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at January 03, 2008 08:24 PM (LMDdY)


What I mean is that, it seems like with each new season, anime gets closer and closer to what is (animated or not on this side of the Pacific) basically kiddie pron. It used to be easy to find shows that didn't feature busty koukousei and chuugakusei popping out of their clothes left and right. Now it's so common it's a cliche, and I personally am just not okay with that. I don't find panchira interesting in the slightest. Maids don't make me hot under the collar. Lolis are children.

I've got more respect for myself and respect for women (both real and fictional) than to put up with much more of it. I've been able to tune it out, for the most part, for quite a while. I've been able to enjoy shows that feature a lot of mindless fan-service by just ignoring it. But as the raunchiness and overall quantity of this crap keeps getting dialed up, it's getting harder to walk away from a show without feeling soiled.

I want to enjoy fanciful and imaginative shows that American TV writers are too dull to think up, but it's this arms race of immature shit being inserted into shows to appeal to pathetic emasculated Japanese males that's driving me away.

Posted by: Will at January 03, 2008 10:25 PM (E3UGR)

3 Heh, well, that's something I've noted. Focusing laser-like on the otaku audience is just driving people who aren't into the narrow fetish crowd away from anime - ironically, making them ever more dependent on the otaku, ever more desperate to out-do the last show.

I mean, hell, I've been working on Nanoha for a while now, and while it's still a good show, you can't really get away from the fact that, at some level, it's calculated to appeal to the pedophile. Yes, yes, they bothered to make it good anyway, and it's not so prevalent that it's impossible to ignore, but it's still there and it doesn't go away. (Also makes showing it to new people possibly awkward. ;p)

I don't know that things are necessarily worse, though. It's been pretty bad for a few years now, and it might just be that you've caught up with all the oldie-but-goodies and now the new stuff is where your new shows are coming from.

At the end of the day, most stuff is crap, Sturgeon's Law applies to anime too, and there's no helping it. But so what? It doesn't all have to be good. The shows that don't rely on panty shots for their plot development are out there, you hear about them, you watch them. We can sit around and say "damn, wouldn't it be cool if every show was cool and witty and didn't need to descend to perv-ville in order to get a viewer's interest," but it ain't happening. The good stuff that's out there, though, is still just as good. A bit of work to sift out the crummy shows, a bit of patience, and definitely don't make it your only hobby - erudite tastes in anime means you can't watch it 24/7, that's for sure. But what isn't like that?

Or maybe I'm just jaded. Tonight is the last of Nanoha A's. This weekend is Aika, which may not be a five-bladed razor of panty shots, but is at least four and a half blades plus gel strip. Next up is Lucky Star, which had the sexy fan-service exacted with a scalpel. It all pays the bills...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at January 03, 2008 11:09 PM (LMDdY)


Yeah, it's a pedophilia arms-race, and I think a large part of my ire is driven by the fact that I can't share this stuff (and it's driving me off). I'm basically the "dealer" for our weekly anime nights, and when I start looking at the recent material, I can't honestly see any of the people in my group getting past the fan-service to the meat of a show. It's just too far beyond the lines of good taste.

Back in the Usagi, Sakura, and Pretty Sammy days, the amount of skin shown in a transformation sequence was pretty minimal. A quick flash of an innocuous bit of skin between outfits, and maybe a quick pan up. I started watching some of the Shugo Chara last night (picked it up based on word of mouth) that's been on my drive for a while, and the 5th grade protagonist flys around the screen stark-naked for 20-30 seconds in the middle of her sequence before putting some damned clothes on. For the studio it's win-win. They can pander to the otaku while also burning up screen time on something other than original frames and decent writing. For me, all that time was spent thinking, "Is this really necessary?"

And no, anime's isn't my only hobby, but it's the only one I currently get any chance to share with friends. I'm the only one in my circle that rides ATVs. Nobody else hunts. I don't want to spend money on MMORPGs. It's almost impossible to get anyone to go out shooting. I basically hibernate for the winter with anime, and I already dread what next winter is going to look like.

Posted by: Will at January 04, 2008 09:11 AM (WnBa/)

5 I recall from somewhere that a lot of the older, less-explicit transformation scenes were cleaned up from the Japanese originals. Pretty Sammy in particular jumped out at me as "edited for content".

They're definitely pushing the limits every season, though, the same way that the adult-video producers in Japan are using ever-more-precise mosaics to meet the letter of the law while showing more detail. Both markets are driven by their hard-core (coughcough) customer base, the ones who reliably spend money on DVDs and merchandise (even if the DVDs end up ripped and resold to Traders within a few days).

As for the "pedo" angle (using the word to cover both young teens and actual children, which seems to be the common meaning these days), it's not going to go away, unfortunately. Two things I saw in Japan convinced me: first, the fact that the "junior idol" DVD section at Traders was at least as large as the nearly-nude-adult-woman section; second, the fact that men's magazines like Bejean and Beppin School are considered tame newstand fare, and freely mix adult nude models with panty-flashing school-uniformed girls as young as thirteen. And you know they're thirteen, because the magazine comes right out and tells you.


Posted by: J Greely at January 04, 2008 02:00 PM (2XtN5)


I'd be interested in seeing the editing information, if you can recall where it come from. Sammy was meant to be a mild satire of mahou shoujo, so going above and beyond what was the norm back then would make some sense. But that still doesn't mean it approaches anything like the nonsense showing up in more recent programs.

The rampant "pedo" side of Japanese culture is part of why my urge to visit the place has been waning. And it's also why I mentioned in the comments over at your place a greater desire to see rural Japan than the urban chaos of places like Akiba.

Posted by: Will at January 04, 2008 06:18 PM (E3UGR)

7 Ah, found it. The uncensored Pretty Sammy transformation is an easter egg on the region 1 DVD.


Posted by: J Greely at January 05, 2008 11:55 AM (2XtN5)

8 I'll have to try that out when I get my DVD player set back up. It's been in a special caryying case I set up for traveling to friends' houses for anime night.

Posted by: Will at January 05, 2008 11:15 PM (E3UGR)

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