Discussion in 'Fan Town' started by liminal, May 9, 2015.
No not the webcomic
This is just a generic "let's be nerds and talk about anime" thread
i'm trying to get back into anime so i might pop in from time to time. i recently (as in just today) started one called absolute duo. it's okayish so far.
Luka's Utenablogging on Tumblr inspired me to finally get around to watching it. I blitzed it in like 3 days (same amount of time I initially blitzed Homestuck, come to think of it...) It was an experience. Full of roses, and colors, and bad touch distress...
Luka's utenablogging has inspired me to watch it too but it has to take a back seat because I discovered that Hulu has all of .hack//SIGN and that was a huge influence on an extremely depressed tweenage liminal so...
if my avatars suddenly became .hack themed now you know why
(fun fact: I learned the word "liminality" from .hack before learning about the concept of "liminal spaces" in anthropology classes. I always found it such a cool concept that is very fitting for how I feel about myself and my life so I made it my username)
The first movie I saw in a theater was anime. I was six years old, and my dad saw that they were showing a cartoon in the local independent theater, so he took me to see it even though neither of us had any idea of what it was about. All my dad knew was that it was animated. I didn't know anything.
And that's how I saw Akira for the first time.
When I was eight, roughly the same series of events played out with Ghost in the Shell.
I've been watching Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun on Netflix. It was one of the last manga I was keeping up with before I stopped keeping up with currently-running manga for (some reason I can't remember). The other one was Princess Jellyfish! But the anime for PJ was only one season and is over already, woe.
I really need to make time for utena, but I'm one of those people who rewatches favorites rather than seeing something new...
On that note guess who was up till five with kill la kill again.
How is Kill La Kill? I hear such wildly varying reviews about it.
I started with anime when I was a toddler with Kimba. Also tokusatsu at an early age too. Alongside Kimba there was Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot. It was awesome. Then came My Neighbor Totoro, Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and the rest of the shit 90's kids watched along with some weird stand outs like Monster Rancher (who else even watched that shit jesus).
I am a very weird child I have come to understand. I grew on shit from far before my time because my father happened to like it. Then when I learned that these shows were coming from Japan at like age 7 I just began to home in on this shit. So I was around for the tail end of things like Animerica, the expensive video tapes that consisted of two episodes in one language, comic books consisting of one chapter of a given manga, and the endless horror of ever changing graphic novel sizes. My girlfriend finds this exceptionally odd and also amusing because she can talk to about things that she remembered despite my being much younger than her.
On a fun note I watched Akira when I was about 8 and was scarred for life. Rewatching it at about 16 after I learned the identity of it was a thing.
Oh my god Monster Rancher was my jam as a kid. All the 'mon series were my jam.
Speaking of really weird anime you watched as a kid (and since you remember monster rancher) did you watch Flint the Time Detective?
Shit yes I did. Now I have to listen to the opening theme.
It's okay. Very, very male-gazy, and in a way that tries to be self-aware and satirical but fails to do so. It's Try-Hard feminism. There's also several squicks.
On the other hand, the characters are pretty good as characters, and it doesn't always rely on the problematic stuff to tell good jokes, including rather hilarious takedowns of shonen anime. Also it includes one of the best villains in anime, in my opinion.
But yeah, it definitely comes across as Beaton-esque Strong Female Characters without the self-awareness.
I am going to politely disagree because I fucking love Kill la Kill. Fight me. It is in fact my problematic fave.
I mean yes, okay, granted it is fanservicey as fuck. (I specifically say "fanservicey" and not "male-gazy" because once you get past the first couple episodes there is, in fact, fanservice for all. Virtually every named character is shown naked at least once, and there's a good enough variety of body types that there's something for everyone. Mmm Sanageyama. Mmm.) It's especially prominent in the first few episodes because that was the initial selling point, whatever, that's the state of anime as a business in Japan, unfortunately.
The ugly of the show is definitely ugly, too, and I certainly won't debate that. It needs a twenty four point bright red caps screaming content warning for abuse and parent-on-child incest (including implied rape and a mind control scene). There's also the usual amount of "perverted dudes being dudes" that you'd expect from an anime that makes its way through on fanservice before digging its plot hooks into you, but again: SCREAMING CONTENT WARNING FOR PARENT ON CHILD INCEST/ABUSE HERE.
But it's still really fucking good - it's the same type of over the top as Gurren Lagann, which I also adored, and basically all the important characters of the plot are female. Except the main character's dad, who died For The Plot, and my god, it's so rare to find that??? It's so rare to find a female villain who is Genuinely Evil (not just ~misunderstood~) and whose Evil Plan hinges in no way on a man. I don't know why @Exohedron is calling it try-hard feminism, because women have basically all the roles of power in this show, while the guys have the role of support (only one traditionally male plot role - the Mysterious Mentor Figure - is actually filled by a dude). Also there is absolutely no romance plot. Like??? Satsuki's subordinates are obviously playing up the knights-in-love-with-their-liege trope (yes all FOUR of them) but the closest there is to a romance is Gamagoori and Mako Keep Being Cute and He Rescues Her At One Point in a way that is totally valid to read as platonic.
I repeat: IT IS AN ANIME WITH A FEMALE MAIN CHARACTER AND THERE IS NOT A ROMANCE PLOT.
Spoiler: major character arc spoilers
Satsuki's character arc is so fucking beautiful and powerful like? She's a sexual abuse survivor for obvious SCREAMING CONTENT WARNINGS reasons which isn't so much touched on in the narrative, but where most shows would have her continue to try and ward people off and try to kick her mother's ass on her own, she's actually? Allowed to change her strategy when she fails? Her character arc isn't just about overcoming abuse but about overcoming abuse with the help of others and my god that is so important. So so important. I'll fight people for Satsuki Kiryuuin I really will.
I also don't know where E's coming from with the comment that the show isn't self aware, because this is a show that knows exactly how ridiculous and over the top it is and delights in it. Obviously that isn't everyone's thing, but like. If you watched Gurren Lagann and you liked it (And if you haven't seen Gurren Lagann what is wrong with you and what corner of the internet have you been hiding in the last ten years), then assuming the content warnings aren't a thing that will get you, you'll like Kill la Kill.
It's such a fun fucking ride.
I love this show.
#don't just say some squicks #that's like my pet peeve #like #say what the squicks are so people have an idea what to expect #isn't that the actual genuine point of content warnings #I fucking adore this stupid anime #but I can't rec it without MAXIMUM FONT SIZE CONTENT WARNINGS #because I'm not a douchebag #studio trigger is well named #this post is my lovesong to a stupid anime about alien clothes trying to take over the world #I LOVE THIS FUCKING SHOW
Point about the "squick". I had forgotten that the word is loaded now.
But I would argue that the male nudity is mainly played for laughs, not service, while the female nudity is definitely all service, both in-universe and out. Consider how the other characters react when confronted with male nudity versus female. Very different reaponses.
Reactions to Ryuko versus reactions to Uzu or the teacher. The guys get pants in their final form, Nonon gets strategic pasties.
Also most of the content warning bits center around female sexuality, and particular involuntary, and not all of those are noted as problematic.
In particular, when Rykuo first meets Senketsu. Tell me that that's not blatant and also never examined.
. Which is kind of a red flag. Especially the "why is this even necessary" content warning bits.
Why is the one scene of deliberate female sexuality on any character's part the bath scene? The male characters get to ogle the girls all the time, but the two females who show sexuality are the main villain and brainwashed Ryuko.
Yes, it's good that all the major players are female, but that's Bechdel test stuff. How are they treated, by the world and each other and by the writers? Just because you say "this is a joke" doesn't actually make you self-esteem if the joke still relies on sexist tropes to be funny.
I loved TTGL. KLK didn't match it for me. That may be taste! But KLK also has a number of issues that TTGL may have had as well, but TTGL was a sausagefest so it wasn't so central.
As I said, the characters are great. The show they're in has issues.
I feel weird for loving Kill la Kill a lot and not finding it offensive to me and my female blah while really, really hating Gurren Lagann. I did not care for Gurren Lagann's tone and I hated pretty much everyone. Nia in the dub was ok though because of a voice actress I like. Other than that and a few scenes. Eh.
We clearly disagree about how the ladies were treated by the narrative, then.
As for TTGL's female representation, um... [gestures at Yoko, by which I mean Yoko's boobs] Frankly I find the sheer gratuitousness of the gag boobs more off-putting than anything in kill la kill.
I'm not being clear enough. I am not holding up TTGL as a paragon of feminism. I mentioned it because you did. I don't like KLK as much as TTGL for reasons unrelated to feminism or social justice whatevers.
So I think we might be reacting to things at different levels or viewpoints or aspects or whathaveyou.
There's the basic characters, in terms of personality, backstory, design. I generally like these. These are great. These are head and shoulders better than TTGL. My favorite villain character
Nui is best girl.
is from KLK.
Ragyo on the other hand is unabashedly the witch/whore/evil-mother side of the dichotomy.
There's the individual character arcs. These are great too.
There's the plot. TTGL was guys solving their problems by punching each other for 26 episodes. KLK had a decent plot, with a few holes that are noticeable because there's enough material to outline the hole, whereas TTGL didn't even have that.
The ladies were treated very well by the narrative in that sense. But there's more to the show than just the characters and the narrative.
There's the humor, and here's where several of the issues are.
For example, Ryuko's nudity, which causes three consecutive crashes by males staring at her underwear, versus Uzu and Mikisugi's nudity, which is treated as jokes via making girls uncomfortable. In Mikisugi's case, an adult making a teenager uncomfortable. Repeatedly. Also while flirting with her. Also Mataro's body paint suit, which is also a joke.
Yeah, the gag boobs are offputting and utterly gratuitous. That doesn't really make the very distinctive treatment of male and female nudity in KLK any better, except maybe in comparison.
And then there's issues in how events are presented.
The one that springs to mind first is Senketsu forcing himself on Ryuko. Yes, she gains power through that. But she wasn't informed and she didn't consent, and the voice track was very clearly coded. Similarly, the bath scene. Yes, we get it, Satsuki's being sexually abused in addition to being emotionally abused. Mayyyybe it could have been less explicit? Also the whole being hung naked in a cage as punishment. Why is female sexuality being only presented as bad icky villain stuff, while male sexuality, e.g. Mikisugi and Ira, being used as jokes?
Also costume design.
Seriously. Strategic. Pasties. That's not a costume, Nonon, that's a sticker set. Compare the amount and placement of material on the final Kamuis of Uzu, Houka and Ira versus on Ryuko, Satsuki and Nonon. Also consider Ragyo's outfits. Mikisugi goes bare, but again, that's a running joke, and it's a running joke at the expense of a teenage girl.
So yeah, that's the kind of things I'm looking at. Characters: great. Character arcs: great. Plot: Pretty good. Presentation, humor, and costume design-wise, some people have what I think are legitimate gripes about, and it's in those places that I think the writers weren't as aware as they could have been, or at least weren't shown as being as aware, because again there's unexamined buy-in to sexist tropes.
Again, TTGL wasn't necessarily better in any of these regards, and was noticeably worse in some of them. That has no bearing whatsoever with regards to my enjoyment of either show, because I don't care at all about how problematic the media I consume is. I have no shame or sense of moral outrage. I didn't find it at all offensive. I find nothing offensive. I don't pretend to understand offensive. I am, uncomprehending-dog-style, merely trying to pattern match against things that I have observed as probably offensive to people who are capable of feeling offence with regards to what are commonly cited as the issues with KLK. TTGL was offensive in a lot of the same ways. I don't care and neither do most people because TTGL is not generally even remotely considered as feminist, so whether it is or not doesn't come up. KLK gets more examination because the marginal and positive cases always get more examination.
I liked TTGL because it was unapologetically dumb. It was stupid machismo piled on top of stupid machismo, and the heroes' power-up method was a running gag that didn't make any sense the first time they did it and proceeded to get dumber every time they repeated it. TTGL wasn't plot driven or character driven, it was a series of shonen tropes loosely tacked together. It was ridiculous and I loved it because it was ridiculous.
In contrast, KLK didn't go far enough. It wasn't dumb enough. It wasn't big enough. I enjoyed KLK and I prefer KLK fanfiction over TTGL stuff because the characters are much, much better, but I didn't have nearly as much fun with the show itself.
Also I'm a giant mech fan, so TTGL hit that button again and again and again.
But yeah, I understand loving KLK because of the characters or the character arcs or the plot. Some of the jokes were really, really good, too, the ones that didn't rely on sexist tropes to work. The action was fun, and I still get chills when I hear Before My Body is Dry. But there are plenty, plenty of choices that the creators made that reinforce sexism and rape culture without consideration either by the characters or by the narrative.
Then why is your immediate criticism of KLK about it being problematic?
#i haven't watched the show #i have no dog in this race #i'm just baffled
And the conflicting reviews continue. It sounds promising enough for me to give it a shot.
I think @Exohedron is saying that the show matches patterns that many consider problematic, as a cautionary/warning for people (like me) interested in seeing it.
I have a dog in this race and I'm equally baffled, so.
#especially when I acknowledged the problems like #there's this bizarre trend I've noticed in people discussing the show #where once you say you like it #everyone upright ignores the things you say about the problematic elements
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