laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)
[personal profile] bibliofile: Are you watching any broadcast/cable tv these days?

As an overall response, not really, no.
We don't have cable. We do have an antenna, so we get basic channels, but all I ever watch is the PBS NewsHour, an occasional Packers game, and sometimes whatever's on PBS's Masterpiece Theater - looking forward to the premiere of Victoria this Sunday, for example.

Lately, if I'm watching TV, it's either through Netflix or Crunchyroll [the latter is basically Netflix for anime].

On Netflix, I recently watched The Crown. I'm still stalled through episodes of Jessica Jones because I find the show very intense and difficult for me to watch. [Whereas Daredevil goes really quickly because I find Charlie Cox VERY ATTRACTIVE.] Antoine and I have been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation together, very slowly. I'm also intermittent on the Pokemon anime series, Futurama, and probably some things I'm forgetting.

As for anime, last season I kept current with Yuri!!! on Ice and Sound! Euphonium, and then "Miss Bernard Says" at the end. I'm pretty behind on March Comes in Like a Lion, but trying to catch up now that it's in its second cour. I'm annoyed that Netflix got hold of Little Witch Academia, because now we have to wait until it's over before Netflix will drop the whole season in one go.
Other shows I intend to return to from last season include Izetta the Last Witch, Flip Flappers, Classicaloid, and Ninja Girl & Samurai Master.
Shows more than one season old that I'm working on are the third season of Sailor Moon Crystal, Love! Live! season 2, Record of Lodoss War [seeing if the VHS tapes are worth the shelf space!].
laceblade: Chibi Tomoyo blushing with eyes downcast, hands clutching face (CCS: Tomoyo overcome)
I'd added this to my Crunchyroll queue within a few days of the first episode airing. The Anime News Network reviews were good, and enough of my anime friends liked it that it seemed worthwhile.

Was not expecting it to turn into the next thing that fandom, the monolith, latched on to. I'm usually not in the same places as mainstream fandom, I think. Like, I watch the MCU movies/TV shows casually, but I'm not into fic, don't really care much about the characters, etc. It was WEIRD to watch how many non-anime fandom friends got into this show! Weird in a fun way, mostly. I loved reading people's reactions on twitter, the fanart that still comes up on twitter, etc. I'm now following a number of actual ice skaters thanks to guidance from [ profile] dimensionwitch.
My favorite on this show was Plisetsky, hands-down.

Part of me feels cynical that it's a show focused almost entirely on dudes that swept main fandom, and not something like, Yuri Kuma Arashi. I understand why people like it - I like it, too! - it's just that usually I'm poking around in anime and manga because I can find stories that actually focus on women, so it's disappointing that ~the show that transcended media lines~ was so dude-heavy.

I've added Fujioka's HISTORYMAKER to my iPod, and it's now in my regular rotation. I loved both the OP and ED songs, and sequences, from this show. They were so fun.
The key animation throughout the series, though, was sometimes painful to watch. It'll be interesting to see whether the bluray releases are as big of a step up from what initially aired as Sailor Moon Crystal's were.

Anyway, I am looking forward to season 2 airing, and seeing everyone's reactions along with it.
laceblade: Ashe from FF XII, looking at viewer over her shoulder. Text reads: "So you say you want a revolution?" (FFXII: You say you want a revolution)
I thought that my favorite part of the third volume of Essential X-Men (145-161) was when Emma Frost was inhabiting Storm's body and quoting King Lear while conjuring a thunderstorm...but that was before the issue in which the X-Men fought Dracula.
Kitty Pryde and Nightcrawler are my favorites at this point in time. Still mournful for this age of US comics in which, while text-heavy, THE WRITERS EXPLAIN WHAT IS GOING ON.

Claudia Gray's Star Wars: Lost Stars has been my favorite tie-in option related to the new movie, The Force Awakens. The whole point of the book is to simply explain how that Star Destroyer ended up crashed on Jakku.
The YA book involves two kids who grew up together bonding over flying on their home planet, despite being from different classes. They attend the Imperial Academy together, and then one ends up as an Imperial Officer while the other joins the opposite side of the war.
Like lots of YA, this book grabs you and pulls you along through lots of intense emotions. I will put a content warning on this for suicidal ideation, for which I really wish I'd had warning.

I reread Pamela Dean's Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary because I really needed some comfort, and it delivered. I also took a recommendation from its pages, and have read Shirley Jackson's Life Among the Savages and intend to read the follow-up, Raising Demons. The books are essentially about her domestic life as a mother, but it hilarious. I laughed so hard, so many times, that I had to read passages aloud so that my partner knew what I was laughing about.

I'd read the bulk of Mansfield Park a few months ago, and finally finished it. I'm not sure how I feel about it, in the end. I still like Persuasion most.

William Anderson released a selection of letters by Laura Ingalls Wilder in the past few weeks. It's still really upsetting that the people who inherited the Ingalls house in De Smet just pitched a ton of stuff out the front window into a dumpster. SO MANY LETTERS I WOULD WANT TO READ AHHHHH!!! Still, there's a lot to unpack in here. Laura's creepy suspicion and loathing of FDR and the New Deal; letters to her daughter Rose as they collaborate heavily over the Little House books; letters to her relatives close & distant; basically an insight into a period not captured anywhere else: When she's living on the farm in Mansfield with Almanzo but they've given up doing farming full-time and she's already finished writing articles for the Missouri Ruralist, through Almanzo's death, a decade of solitude, and then her own death. It might be disturbing for readers who haven't separated Laura-the-character from Laura-the-writer/person.

I'm reading Sofia Samatar's The Winged Histories right now.

I've listened to and really enjoyed Awake, an audio drama over on Sparkler. It's about a colony ship having left Earth and being mid-journey to a new planet. To keep the ship running while everyone's in cryogenic sleep, 6 people are "awake" at any given time. These are people who couldn't afford the full fare, and are paying for it with years of their lives given in service to the ship. So they'll wake up in the future with some loved ones having aged, or not, depending on who did service and for how long. There's some really great voice-acting in here, and I loved it.

I'm currently making my way through The Cat Lover's Circumstances. Misaki Tanabe attends university in Japan, but has a really hard time socializing with people because of her psychic ability to read people's feelings. Sometimes poignant, this series is HILARIOUS and as with everything else I've spent time with on Sparkler, I feel like it was written especially for me.

My "try to watch one episode of anime per day" goal has allowed me to make some steady progress.

Much to [personal profile] littlebutfierce's delight, I watched the first season of Love! Live. Not my first idol anime, but possibly the first in which I really feel a deep affection for almost all of the 9-member idol group. ALSO I LOVE THE SONG "START DASH."

I'm about 3/4 through Seirei no Moribito, which I like quite a bit although I'd anticipated it having more action scenes than it does. It's complex enough that I'd like to try reading the books on which the series is based. Balsa is a badass, Chagum is endlessly interesting, I'm afraid of how it's going to end. Are there fan translations of the novels, which surely must continue past where the anime ends?!

After I finish Seirei no Moribito, the goal is to figure out my VCR, to see if I can finally watch the cheap subtitled VHS set I found of Record of Lodoss Wars years ago.

I saw "The Boy and the Beast" in the theater last Saturday. I liked it, but don't think I have much to say about it. It's always nice when something makes it to a theater here.
laceblade: Utena as little girl in a dress, looking at prince w/admiration, wanting to become him (Utena: looking up to the prince)
Feeling super irritated by everything. I intend to blame it on Shark Week, avoid spending more time on irritating things by writing them up, and calling it a day.

The only new anime I've had time for this season thus far has been Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū, which I really enjoy. One of my favorite Anime News Network reviewers wrote up the first two episodes. "It helps that everything in this story is rooted in character. This isn't the kind of “sports anime” that just depicts the activity for its own sake. This is a story about people, told through their relationships to rakugo. So far, every performance has had character significance."

I very much enjoyed reading Liz Henry's Liz's Every-Day Carry. As expected for something written by her, this also includes hilarity, itemized lists of what goes into each of her bags, and stories about human kindness. "It is a delight to predict what might be needed and produce it on demand, like magic, from a bag. My desire to be prepared is both for my own sake and to be impressively helpful in an unexpected way, which is no less satisfying for being loaded with gendered burdens."

In semi-related news, I recently bought a purse for myself that is not a shapeless sack, but rather a thing with internal structure, using $ from a gift card and also from returning gift-clothing that was way too small. I haven't even implemented a thoughtful "list" like Liz's, but it's already way more satisfying to carry around because I can find whatever I know is inside immediately.

2015 Anime

Jan. 4th, 2016 08:27 pm
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)
lbr, if I wait to "write up" each of these shows, I'll never make this post, so here we go: Here are the shows I really enjoyed in 2015.
If you have questions about any of them, feel free to ask in the comments.

This year I really got better at deciding within 1-2 episodes if a new show was worth watching. Looking at the list below, "almost-exclusive focus on female characters in a non-creepy way" seems to be my only criterion!

Yuri Kuma Arashi (Yuri Bear Storm)
Hibike! Euphonium (Sound! Euphonium)
Cardcaptor Sakura (I have like 4 episodes to go but whatever)
Encouragement of Climb s2
Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn) (2nd half aired in 2015)

Wolf Children
Princess Kaguya
laceblade: Chibi Tomoyo blushing with eyes downcast, hands clutching face (CCS: Tomoyo overcome)
I LOVED the first two episodes of Akatsuki no Yona, lovelovelove.

I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying Shirobako. This review does a good job explaining why.

I remain incredibly disappointed by Sailor Moon Crystal. This review of the latest episode explains why. It's making me nostalgic for the original anime, which is something I never thought I'd say.

In addition to these currently airing series, I've been watching the Cardcaptor Sakura anime for the first time, now that it's streaming on Crunchyroll. I like this anime more than Sailor Moon. It's making me want to reread xxxHOLiC and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle in their entirety, though. I never actually finished either series, although I own complete sets of both.

Unrelated, & this is from a while ago, but I keep meaning to link to [personal profile] general_jinjur's post on capitalism and trigger warnings.
anyway. a woman in the audience asked a relatively thoughtful question that displaced fannish ethics onto a commercial capitalist setting - and that's the problem. you can't do that. i mean, that's part of why monetizing fandom doesn't work, even though people keep right on trying to package and sell us. but this was in the opposite direction. "would you consider putting trigger warnings on your work?" the answer was no. of course it was no.
laceblade: Ashe from FF XII, looking at viewer over her shoulder. Text reads: "So you say you want a revolution?" (FFXII: You say you want a revolution)
W O W it has been a long time since I've enjoyed a currently-airing anime so much. Just. Wow.

I watched the first two episodes today, and it was just fan-fucking-tastic.

oh yeah

Dec. 19th, 2013 07:03 am
laceblade: Ed from Cowboy Bebop riding a scooter, face = manic glee (Ed Samba)
So, every month I get a 48-hour guest pass to Crunchyroll that I can give to someone else if they give me their email address.

Currently, I have 4 just sitting around with nobody to gift them to, & if nobody wants them, they'll just expire!

So let me know if you're interested! The 48-hour time period begins when you activate it, not when I email it to you.

RELATED: They just added Rurouni Kenshin (both subbed and dubbed).
You can view their list of shows here, with a few different sorting options.
laceblade: fanart of Inner Senshi in street clothes, hugging & smiling (Sailor Moon: inners)
This is a prompt from [personal profile] falter
Again, I'm still taking suggestions.

I remember picking up the first volume of Sailor Moon in a Sam Goody in Iron Mountain some summer when I was Up North with my parents. I only read a few pages at that point, and eventually I started buying them, but that came after THIS NEXT THING:
In 7th grade, a friend of mine have me over to her house and showed me Final Fantasy 7. She showed me a ton of stuff, including the very beginning of the game, but also a lot of stuff from disc 2, like Tifa's fight with Scarlet on the Junon cannon.
This was my first exposure to Japanese animation, if the FMVs of FF7 can even be called that.
That weekend, I was flipping through channels and saw some anime on Cartoon Network.
Not knowing what it was, I called Farah to shout to her that FF7 was on TV!! She was skeptical, meanwhile I was hunting the Internet every time I visited my sister's house (on my brother-in-law's computer), since we didn't have the Internet, for everything I could find about FF7.

A couple years later, I was at my friend Heather's house, and we sat on her bed to watch the Sailor Moon R movie on her computer. I don't know why she bought the DVD or how she came across it, but I was like 0_____0 & fell in love with it. The R movie had scenes showing how Usagi (Serena in the dub) met each of the inner senshi, & I appreciated the aspects of their "normal" lives as much as the magical transformations.
Heather told me that her favorite was Jupiter, & her sister's was Mercury. I imprinted on Mars, although at this point I have a soft spot for all of them.

Sailor Moon was still on the Cartoon Network, & on the days I didn't have some extra-curricular after school, I could come right home & watch it. I think I used to tape these, actually, & watch them in the evenings on days I couldn't make it home.

We had AOL/dial-up Internet then, so my future anime-watching was slow-going, even though I was excited to watch more. It took me 3 months to download an episode of Serial Experiments Lain. Heather would download random things for me - Lain, Utena, Evangelion, Escaflowne. It wasn't 'til college & high-speed Internet (& anime club) that my consumption exploded.

BUT YEAH, in both mediums, Sailor Moon was my first exposure, although it's been closely tied to FF7 all along.
I should mention that as a kid, I loathed all live-action shows intended for kids. The closest to live-action that I liked was Mr. Rogers, but I liked the castle with the puppets the best.
I loved Muppet Babies, Maya the Bee (which is actually an anime!!), Eureka's Castle, Gummy Bears, Rescue Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, & all kinds of other animated shit. I've always preferred animation - I love watching it.

As for manga, I really appreciate the art a lot more than most US comics.
laceblade: Fanart of Chibi-Usa from Sailor Moon, grown up & in high school uniform, smiling. (Sailor Moon: Rini high school)
A while ago I said that the anime Kyousougiga is impossible to describe, but it turns out that it isn't, because [personal profile] meganbmoore has done so.

A few centuries ago, there was a monk named Myoue who had the power to bring anything he drew with his own blood to life. Sometimes people said "I want to see an oni!" so he made them an oni and the ungrateful people ran away screaming that he was trying to kill them. One of his creations was a black rabbit named Koto. Koto fell in love with Myoue and the Bodhisattva granted her a human body so that she could confess her love. Myoue found this a tiny but disconcerting, but didn't seem to have many issues with a pretty woman now hanging around his house. Eventually, Myoue brings home an orphaned boy named Yakushimaru, who they adopt as their son. They decide Yakushimaru needs siblings, so Myoue creates Kurama, who appears to be a normal human boy, and Yase, who appears to be a little blond Victorian girl who just happens to also be a demon. People off in the capital start getting a wee bit freaked out by all this and so the family leaves Japan and goes through a looking glass into a mirror Kyoto where no one dies and nothing changes. Eventually, Koto's deal with the Bodhisattva ends, and she and Myoue leave Kyoto, leaving their devastated children behind.

Fast forward to the present, and the children have grown up-Yasu is literally an adult version of her childhood self, Yakushimaru has become a (far less than pious) monk and renamed himself Myoue, and Kurama now looks like an old man in a child's body. Theoretically, the three rule the mirror Kyoto together, but it's mostly just Kurama running things, and all three are still missing and looking for their parents. Things have been going on forever and ever like this when a young girl named Koto accidentally stumbles into mirror kyoto with her two spirit familiars, who she calls her brothers. Koto has a ginormous (but customizable!) see-through hammer and is searching for a special rabbit that she has to find before she can return home. Except she has no idea how to get there, and so she and her brother's move into Yakushimaru's temple. Much to his consternation, they are delighted to learn that the temple repairs itself and test it's limits every five minutes. That's actually not an exaggeration. No one (including Koto) knows if the new Koto has a connection to the original Koto, though it's theorized that she's either a new child of Myoue and Koto's, or possibly the original Koto reborn. There's also a teenaged otaku mad scientist with a couple hundred white-suited goons who are utterly devoted to her. She sometimes rampages through the city when she loses things. She also has a long-suffering assistant who either really really likes her, or is a secret masochist. Or both.

This plot description, incidentally, will in no way prepare you for the pure, high octane crack that you will be engulfed in mere moments after starting the series.

The series hops all over the place to the family before going to mirror Kyoto, the children dealing with the loss of their parents, the present after the new Koto arrives, and the new Koto's own past. There are helpful little "past" and "present" notes each time the setting changes, but the series, apparently knowing that the audience will look at 80% of the plot and go "WHAT IS THIS I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT'S HAPPENING," chooses to focus on the dynamics of the various forms of the made family in both the past and the present and people's feeeellliiiinnnnggggssss about their parents and their siblings and the things you put up with because you secretly love your siblings and when you have grudges against them and whatnot.

It's absurd, confusing, touching, sentimental and utterly shameless[.]
laceblade: fanart of Ohana smiling at viewer, Yuina winking while putting her hands on Ohana's arm (Hanasaku Iroha: Ohana/Yuina)
Nagi no Asukara - Once upon a time, all human lived in the oceans, underwater. Most people moved to land, but the disturbingly blue-eyed protagonists and their families still live under water. The high school kids have to go on land to go to school, as their own school has closed. I stopped watching this because the male protagonist is a complete asshole who tries to control the female protagonist's relationships with other boys, and the show's stance on that seems to be: "Aww, he likes her!"

Non Non Biyori - This is a pretty show set in the countryside, where a girl from Tokyo starts attending school because her family has moved. The school is so small that it only has 5 students, all of whom are in different grades but share the same classroom. It's supposed to be a comedy, but it's not funny. Dropped.

Kill la Kill - An outrageous show from the creators of Gurren Lagann. In post-apocalyptic Japan, Ryuko Matori shows up at Hannogyi Academy, where students are ruled by their militaristic student council. Ryuko uses half a giant pair of scissors as a sword, & seeks the other half - as well as her father's murderer. Points for style, but she obtains an extremely skimpy sentient fuku through a pseudo-rape scene. The show jokes about lechers/sexual violence at least once per episode. I haven't officially dropped this, but I haven't watched in a couple weeks, either.

Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary) - I think that so far this is a show that I want to like more than I actually like it. Based on a light novel, this is a supernatural show by Kyoto Animation. Mirai is the last member of a clan of youmu-killers. She forms a sword with her own blood and hunts youmu. Enter Akihito, her immortal half-youmu classmate who keeps trying to crack her shell and show her how to trust people. There are a bunch of local youmu-hunters/containers/etc. who help Mirai. Mirai thinks nobody could possibly understand her emotional pain because of her angsty back-story. This is a trope that I basically loathe BUT I like her friendship with Akihito enough to keep watching, even in spite of one boy's openly acknowledged sister complex (which he discusses WITH his sister!!).

Galilei Donna - This and the last anime are tied in how much I like them, I think. Galilei Donna has a semi-absurd premise: 3 Italian girls are the descendents of Galileo Galilei. Because this is an Italy portrayed by Japan, their surname is "Ferrari." Hozuki Ferrari is a 13-year-old mechanical genius who's constantly tinkering and surprising people around her with her inventions. Kazuki is 17, lovesick, and a total BAMF at martial arts. Lastly, Hazuki Ferrari is a 20-year-old college student who wants to be a lawyer, and has no problem shouting, "Objection!" to those around her. One day, each girl is separately attacked by a shady organization looking for "Galileo Tesoro," an artifact they believe the Ferrari sisters have, but about which they know nothing. The competent Ferrari sisters save themselves & each other, and travel by taking up residence in Hozuki's giant weaponized goldfish mecha. If you try it out, I recommend viewing episodes 1 & 2 together - they make a nice pilot.

Kyousogiga - This is the sort of show that defies description, and reminds me that some stories can only be told through the medium of anime.

Am I missing anything that you've been enjoying this season?
laceblade: Quinn of Glee, glaring. Bangs, pink ruffled collar, black cardigan. (Glee: Quinn)
I've started hate-watching Sleepy Hollow & also Agents of SHIELD.
I find them both to be pretty terrible.
Next time a member of fandom shit-talks Grey's Anatomy, I might have to lay the smack down. YAY GREAT WRITING, ILU GREY'S.

Worse than being terrible, I have 0 interest in fic for either of these fandoms, & may need to block them on Tumblr because I give zero fucks about the gifsets/etc. (VERY UNLIKE GLEE).

So, there you go, the fanworks of Glee serve a huge purpose in my life. I've articulated this before, but for me, it's the fanworks of Glee that make me feel gr9, & they're so much more important to me than the half-assed show.

I think this is how others have felt about SGA.


Silver Spoon & Attack on Titan are both finished. I still like Silver Spoon & will watch season 2.
After the first few episodes of Attack on Titan, the plot became not so interesting to me. I don't care so much about the titans or the soul-crushing feeling humanity, way more interested in logistics of how people are surviving, etc. The second half the series was much less interesting to me than the first, & I don't know if I'll watch more. I'm not totally sure why this is so beloved by fandom.

I still need to watch the last couple episodes of Free.

In these very few days of "no new episodes," I started watching some AKB0048, as well as an episode of Polar Bear Cafe when I super stressed out. PBC is good for when I'm stressed, but way too low-key for devoted watching on my part.
Also downloaded the first episode of Hyouka, b/c I keep seeing gifs that intrigue me on Tumblr. I'm way better at watching shows on my phone (no distractions!) than my laptop, though, so we'll see how long it takes me ^^;;

I'm excited for the new KyoAni show this fall season, but nothing else has caught my eye just yet. If there's something I should put on my radar... L M K
laceblade: Buffy from Season 8 comics, holding scythe (Buffy Season 8)
Free! - I'm behind on this, but I'm still watching. It's pretty heinous & fun. I do wish that as many people watching this show watched K-ON! - maybe they did, I guess I wasn't into K-ON! while it was actually airing, so I wouldn't even know :3

Silver Spoon - I'm really digging this show, I get excited every time a new episode appears in my crunchyroll queue. This show makes me laugh! I'll watch anything created by Hiromu Arakawa. Also I should correct earlier posts - the protagonist is in high school, not college.

Teen Wolf - Wow, show, I had intended to be casual about you. I went to "Teen Wolf night"s at [personal profile] were_duck's to watch currently airing s3 episodes despite not seeing seasons 1 or 2. "It'll just be a hanging out thing, I like the people who go, but I won't get into the show," I said.
I watched...all of season 2 last weekend, lolol. And am now basically caught up.
I wish that I liked Allison more than I actually do. I feel like I should like her more, because it's mostly the narrative's removal of her agency (AT EVERY POSSIBLE MOMENT) that infuriate me, particularly in season 2.
I love Stiles, I <3 Lydia, and really just everyone.
It's disappointing that there are so many boring expository narrative dumps going on right now in season 3, and their budget drop from seasons 1/2 to 3 is almost painfully noticeable.
The lighting also seems to be done by the same people who did Glee season 3 (aka: it's terrible).

Orange is the New Black - I watched this whole thing in like, less than a week. I'm glad I did - just about my entire Tumblr dash is talking about it.
I really loved this show. In addition to being hilarious, it uses its platform to make lots & lots of statements about the criminal justice system as well as the way women are treated in society - all women.

The show deconstructs its white privileged protagonist. More on that in this autostraddle post.
I also really enjoyed this post about Piper's bisexuality at a new website talking about queer women in TV shows, started by two BNFs from Glee fandom.

I think my favorite thing that happens in the show (even though it's awful when it happens) is when Larry (Piper's husband) goes on NPR to tell the host all of the stories about these "crazy prison women" that he's heard from his wife, framing it as being about HIM and it being about their long distance relationship/etc.
And as he talks about each prisoner, the camera lingers on them - triumphant fists, smirks, hands over mouths in horror, tears of shame - depending on how he portrays them in his stories - appropriate from Piper, who told him the stories in the first place.
The show is pointing out how much representation matters, the effects it has on people depending how they're represented in the stories that get told about them.
It can hurt, it can be uplifting. It can be both.
Anyway, this show was fantastic, and it only gets better as it goes on & Piper's heaping privilege gets dismantled right up until the very last scene.
Highly recommended.

Servant x Service - Sometimes there are little gems of insight, like the characters saying that a lot of people working in the civil service didn't have any particular "dream job," & just end up there because they don't know what else to do (G P O Y). BUT, the sexual harassment & large-boob-jokes used for hilarity/etc. have made it unwatchable for me.
laceblade: Manga drawing of Yamada sipping from a milk carton with a straw (Honey & Clover: Yamada drink)
Free! - I don't have much to say about this except that I'm still watching it.
I did want to link to this post by [personal profile] rilina and this one by [personal profile] inkstone in case anyone's interested in hearing more about this show.

Servant x Service - Have seen episode 2, which is still okay-ish. Not really reccing this show, but I'll continue watching it.

Chihayafuru 2 - I finished season 2, which means I've seen all of the anime made thus far.
I'm not sure that I'm interested in catching up on the manga in this show. It might be neat to see if I prefer the art style of the manga better, but it'd be weird to read it without the music & everything else? idk.
Anyway, this series over all is great for those who like the "found family" trope. It's been a longass time since I've watched a series this long - 50 episodes!

Silver Spoon - Based on the manga by Hiromu Arakawa (manga-ka/creator of Fullmetal Alchemist). This is about a protagonist who starts attending an agricultural college in Hokkaido. It's pretty hilarious, as in I actually laughed out loud multiple times during the first episode.
While everyone around the protagonist has specific/lofty goals for using their education (starting a cheese business, taking over their parents' dairy farm, starting their own poultry farm), the protagonist basically chose this college bvecause it has dormitories, & has no specific life goal.
Compared to his peers, he's very unaccustomed to farm life, leading to hilarity.
Lots of times, anime protagonists have really specific & important goals, so I feel refreshed that this one doesn't.
OH YEAH, the first episode also inspired me to make tamago kake gohan for the first time, & now I've already had it twice ^_^

I watch all of these on Crunchyroll because I'm way too lazy to download things & keep track of shows that way.
laceblade: fanart of Harry Potter in Gryffindor scarf, Hedwig landing on his outstretched arm (HP: Hedwig)
Traveling Daru - This was a really cute ~10-minute short.
Daru is a toy who gets left behind by his child-owner in an airport b/c the kid's mom won't stop to pick him up while rushing to make their plane.
SO, Daru travels the world trying to find her. It's basically an excuse for animating lots of gorgeous backgrounds. Worth the 10 minutes, anyway.

Free! - This is a new/currently airing series that everyone & their mom is talking about.
Basically this is a show about boys who love swimming. Similar to Chihayafuru, the main characters formed a bond around this sport when they were young, & are now reunited in high school.
This is the same studio that made K-ON!, etc.
They had originally released some artwork about the characters without intending to do a series. Fans on Tumblr/etc. exploded with fanart & backstories, & because people liked it so much, they made a show.
The dudes have rippling muscles, etc. It is a fanservice show - that's the whole point.
Reading the [ profile] mantearsflowingfree Tumblr is kind of hilarious. They mock men on the Internet who are complaining that this series is not explicitly aimed toward them, but rather toward female viewers.

Anyway, I genuinely like the show!
Unlike K-ON!, members of the opposite sex exist & have speaking roles. (In K-ON!, I think the only ones around are Mugi's butler & the guitar shop guy - two men in service roles who exist to serve the protags :D)

Servant x Service - This is a new/currently airing series about civil servants in Hokkaido. As I am ALSO a government employee & traveled most extensively in Hokkaido on both trips to Japan, I was really intrigued by this!
Unfortunately, it's sort of a running gag type show where every character is super annoying. There are also a few fanservicey jokes made about the large-busted protagonist.
I wouldn't recommend this to people, although I'll be watching for at least a little while to see if it gets any better.

Chihayafuru 2 - Feels just like season 1. I like the new boy-crazy girl who joins the karuta club just b/c she likes Taichi. She reminds me of Hachiko from NANA.
Don't really care about the new dude.
I ship Kana/Hanano for totes.
There was a quote in episode 4 or so explaining the series' title. Obviously "Chihaya" is the name of the protagonist, but "Chihayafuru" is also the beginning of one of the karuta cards.
[ profile] lavendersleeves wrote this quote down here:
"Chihayafuru" is a poetic phrase that makes about as much sense in Japanese as it does in English. The translators translated this meaning as "impassionate," which seems apt in that "Impassionate" means either "full of passion" or "without passion." But in the last episode, a character gives a lovely interpretation of the word that I found somewhat inspiring:

"Chihayafuru" is like a perfectly spinning top, turning so fast and perfectly that it appears not to be moving at all. But it deflects everything that tries to touch it without losing balance, without losing calm.
The word is used to describe gods, not humans--it is probably a state that humans cannot achieve. It seems to me to be a state of such focus that one can be lightning-alert and yet perfectly calm. An offensive defense. Or maybe such inner peace that nothing can upset it.
SUPER INSPIRING. Even though "it is probably a state that humans cannot achieve," it seems like something to strive for, every day.

Little Witch Academia - This was a 25-minute short by a new studio. It's a school for witches!
It's hard to summarize the plot without giving shit away (only 25 min!), but this style is basically my mental image of Harry Potter. It was gr9, and they've apparently funded a second installment via Kickstarter. I'll be watching it!
The animation studio has uploaded this to YouTube, so you can watch it here.
laceblade: Azusa offering piece of paper to the viewer, Ui in background holding cake (K-On: Azusa offer)
Chihayafuru is an anime about high school kids and a game/sport called karuta.

In karuta, there are 100 cards with poems written on them in hiragana. A reader sings out the poems & whomever touches the card with the poem being read on it first gets the card.
When people get super serious about this, they have different techniques - reaching super fast with their arms, developing amazing hearing/senses so that you can intuit what the next syllable's going to be before it's even read, etc.

The first few episodes are pretty heavy on backstory for the series' OT3, and then after that it's a series of recruiting team members, and karuta matches, with some character development on the side.
This is sports anime - each match is super intense and emotional, and Chihaya & the members of her team learn their opponents' strengths/weaknesses & try to beat them.

Because Chihaya is the protagonist, this series is considered a very rare josei anime.

In addition to the main OT3, I also really like Kana, who loves classical Japan & starts playing karuta because she loves the poetry/poets. She lectures her teammates on possible interpretations of the poems (hilarious because karuta players only learn the first 5 syllables or so of each poem - enough to grab the card & be done), and makes everyone wear hakama to their tournaments.

I'd totes read fic for this series, especially Chihaya/Kana, but also the OT3 friendship of Arata, Taichi, and Chihaya.
Tragically, this is yet another tiny anime/manga fandom. There are literally 12 fics over at AO3, has 49.
This anime is also based on an ongoing manga, & I'd like to check scans out for that at some point, see what the art is like.

Here's the opening sequence, which focuses on Chihaya surrounded by swirling hiragana characters (this was a great series for me to watch immediately after learning hiragana myself!!). It also shows the other important characters, & I like the song a lot, too, ^^

[The YouTube embed isn't working for some reason, so here's a link to the OP on YouTube.]

Now on to season 2, which just finished airing in Japan yesterday!

Speaking of anime, [personal profile] meganbmoore watched Tari Tari and did a way better write-up than I did over here.
laceblade: Miyamoto from Tari Tari, wearing headphones, bliss (Tari Tari: headphones)
(pronounced "AKB-zero-zero-forty-eight")

IN THE FUTURE, humanity has had to abandon Earth & populate other planets. On certain worlds, entertainment ("things that disturb the heart") is forbidden. Signs with a teenage girl have the "no" sign placed over it with the words "NO IDOL."

It is amazeballs, you guys.

AKB48 is an actual musical group in Japan, releasing music NOW. Currently comprised of 86 girls, they perform live concerts almost every day in Tokyo's Akihabara district. They are ridiculously popular, & a cultural phenomenon. The second time we went to Japan, we were asked by some school kids at a shrine who our favorite members were (they were appalled by my choice, lmao).
When we went out for karaoke with some of Steph's friends, a group of boys knew & performed the entire dance to Heavy Rotation.
This series may be viewed as one giant advertisement if you have no soul.

Here's what Heavy Rotation looks like when they perform it live:

As you can see, when they perform it live, Heavy Rotation is pretty adorbs & awesome - they have military-style jackets, colorful skirts, & awesome dance moves. I like how they shout "ONE TWO THREE FOUR!" in the beginning.

Their studio music video for the same song is, uh, a little different. The girls (most of whom are teenagers) spend most of it in lingerie, lying in bed or feeding each other decadent desserts (while wearing pink cat ears). The video literally begins by zooming in through a key hole to one of the girls taking her clothes off; I'd classify this as NSFW.

While popular with young girls, AKB48 has been criticized for having its members "graduate" in their mid-twenties to make room for young girls. Adult men also make up a huge % of its fanbase (much like moe anime).
There was a pretty widely-publicized story a few months ago when one member was caught having a boyfriend (not allowed!). She shaved her head and tearfully apologized to her fans on camera in a YouTube video.

In this season at least, the semi-problematic things like this are not really addressed. The exception is when they do so fail-y. In one episode, one of the girls receives traumatic hate mail. She meets this "hater" in person, & ends up thanking him for his vitriol because it helps her become a better member of AKB0048. :(
I guess they also imply that older girls making room for younger ones is part of a divine plan.

I typically rely on Wikipedia to tell me an anime's target audience, but this one doesn't say. I assume it's seinen (adult men).

Girls don't join AKB0048 because they need money, but rather because they believe in AKB0048's mission of providing joy (through music) to other girls like themselves.
When teenage girls join the AKB0048 of the future, they leave their home planets to live with other members on a spaceship. They're branded as terrorists & hunted by the military, who try to shut down every concert they perform. Which is why each girl performs on a moving hovercraft, and also why their microphones turn into lightsabers. SHOW OF MY HEART.

Before each concert, they recite their motto: "Calmly, carefully, correctly."

Episodes deal with the girls' angst, as their family members have various roles related to anti-entertainment governments, weapons manufacturers, etc. Like all idols, their personal relationships with friends & family change when they join this popular group.

Overall, I love this series quite a bit. Girls helping girls, believing in each other, helping each other move forward & perform together in some of the best-animated scenes I've seen. They use rotoscoping for some of the concert portions, to much better effect than it's being used in Flower of Evil, imo.

Here's the older generation performing Aitakatta in episode one; the four little girls watching end up being protagonists in the main series. They're so inspired by this concert they end up joining AKB0048 themselves :*)

My favorite character was Chieri.

There is a second season that just wrapped up in March. I'll be watching it!
laceblade: 5 girls of K-On! anime, carrying UK bags. Text: let's go abroad! (K-On!: Abroad)
So my notes on this panel are REALLY incomplete, partly because it was late & I was zoning out quite a bit, but also because I started a Twitter discussion & was then discussing it on g-chat ^^;;;

BUT. Notes on anime/manga panels at WisCon are usually few/far between, so I'm posting everything I've got. If anyone else has more, feel free to add to this or etc.

Panel Description: Is the Boys' Love genre an appropriation of gay male sexuality, or an expression of female sexuality? Are there realistic series about gay men outside of BL that were written by/for men? What about realistic lesbian characters? Let's talk about the representation of LGB characters in anime & manga—what we've seen, and what we'd like to see.

10:30-11:45pm, Conference Room 4

Panelists: Andrea Horbinski, Emily Horner, Julie Andrews

AH: Don't be shy in contributing!

[Panelists introduce themselves. I ignore their introductions because I am familiar with all of them!]

EH: When 17-20, I read so many BL manga that were written for women about same-sex male relationships. I read a lot of really bad ones & really good ones. There was a really big problem with the fact that relationships were totally fantasy, nothing to do with the reality of being a gay person. But at the same time, they were tremendously important to me for many reasons. It's been complicated for me to unpack.
Reading classics like "Heart of Thomas" and "Song of the Wind and Trees" was great.
You get a sense of wistfulness & teenage love. But not a realistic representation at all.

AH: Heart of Thomas is by Hagio Moto. Just released in English, finally. The translation is pretty good.
One of the things that's interesting about BL is how in the 1970s, it started in some respects by female manga writers/creators as a way to get out of the problems of representing heterosexual relationships in a very sexist society. Unless it's a fantasy, het relationships are potentially highly unequal. By having a relationship between two boys, then they don't have to deal with that inequity. They evolved afterward.
Another classic is Rose of Versailles by Ikeda Ryoko. The anime just released in English.
The manga hasn't been released in English.

Aud: Can we talk about pirated copies?


Aud: It's scanslated in English.

AH: [Rose of Versailles is] an historical fantasy manga set in France, a woman raised to fulfill a man's role in the royal guard. A really huge series in terms of starting BL. A way for female creators to explore potential different forms of relationships. As tropes developed, power differentials [and here I drifted]

EH: Idea of flexible identification between two main characters. Even if really unequal power dynamics, there's not a strong sense that you have to identify with the heroine or being loved by the male hero. You can identify with the person being rescued and with the person being chivalrous & doing the rescuing. It strikes me as an interesting thing. Sometimes you cringe.

AH: Floating identification on part of readers.

Aud: Why would relationships between men be written for women readers?

EH: What I've read is that Hagio Moto and Taki Miyakato (I think I may have misheard this manga-ka!) were introduced to German bildungsromans set at European boarding schools.
Lots of sexual tension between male characters & they were like, "This is really interesting." They reinterpreted it into a romantic relationship. There were all these manga for boys - soccer manga, team defeating supernatural evil manga.
Women would write doujinshi (self-published fan comics) where team members would be in romantic relationships with each other.
Women reappropriating a male genre by imposing female identified romance tropes on it.

[missed some points]

JA: Trying to get rid of power dynamic [between people in a relationship] but then it snuck in anyway. Seme/uke dynamic: Definitions are part of Western/American culture. Not every gay man identifies as top/bottom. It's part of a thing. In BL manga, it's a very big part.

[I picked a fight on Twitter here]

Aud: I don't know about manga or stuff like that, but in fanfic, the traits of the characters will change to fit the fic. Teen Wolf: Stiles gets a foot shorter.

Aud: Wanted to mention fan culture vs. creators is not very rigidly separated in Japan. Doujinshi artists often then become professional artists.

AH: Yoshinaga Fumi has sold doujinshi of her own work that are sexually explicit at Comiket. She started out doing doujinshi of Rose of Versailles.

[I miss more points here as I send more tweets.]

AH: The panel description includes the question about whether BL is an expression of female sexuality or expression of male sexuality. A dude wrote an essay saying it's an expression of female sexuality.

EH: I did read that essay. [Missed the rest of response]

AH: It's much less easy to be out in Japan than other countries.

JA: It's a trope in other comics. Ouran High School Host Club: club is a bunch of guys, so girls at the school can come in & fawn on the gay boys (the twins). They have types.

Aud: Do you guys know when that essay came out in relation to "Not love but delicious food makes me so happy" [a one-shot mostly autobiographical manga by Fumi Yoshinaga] when Yoshinaga finds out she has a gay friend & apologizes for fetishizing him?

AH: Feel like manga came out in Japan in 2006.

[Missed things]

AH: Lesbians more visible than gay characters - am I right?

JA: Sailor Moon. [Discussion of Zoisite, a character who was an effeminate gay man in the Japanese anime, & changed to a woman in the English dub.]

Aud: [Discussing Starlight characters in Sailor Moon] The magical girl transformation sequences clearly have male bodies. In anime and the manga, they are cross-dressing women. [I think I must have written this down incorrectly ^^;;] Why did that change?

Aud: Re-translations of the Sailor Moon manga that are coming out now in the U.S., volume 11 just came out last week & had first appearance of the Starlights, the various Starlights relationships as [my attention was pulled elsewhere].

Aud: There's a scene in the Sailor Moon anime where Rei is embarrassed about having Takarazuka magazine. That's a sign of lesbian interest/tendencies. It's totally a stereotype.

[I missed things that were said.]

Recs: Gravitation.

Aud: I found that manga really discomforting. Anime is much lighter.

EH: I read one volume & thought if anyone was that mean about my writing, I would break up with them.

AH: CLAMP. Very successfully sort of written a lot of manga that trade on BL tropes and lesbian tropes too, to some extent. But never actually write an actual BL manga.

Aud: Gouhou Drug [aka: Legal Drug] portrays a m/m relationship.

[I missed stuff]

Aud: We've discussed series w/LGB characters. Do we know of any creators who identify as LGB?

EH: It is really hard to find this information because manga-ka are really private about their lives.
Author of [?!] is a lesbian, otherwise I don't know too much.

Aud: 4-panel manga which is very short, a few streets. Lillicious has done scanlation - Happy Picture Diary. Very clearly semi-autobiographical. Woman is into yuri/etc., wishing she had gone to an all-girls school. Really reads like written from within the community.

Aud: [discussion of characters in Cardcaptor Sakura: Glimpses of the m/m relationship with Sakura's brother & his friend.

AH: It is heavily teased in Gate 7 [manga by CLAMP] that one of the characters is bisexual.

EH: There is a BL trope that this relationship [whichever relationship you're in at the present time] is the only one that counts in your whole lifetime, so being bisexual is kind of besides the point.

Aud: Why is [BL] way more prevalent in that culture?

AH: I can't make a statement about relative prevalence. It sells better [in Japan] - people there are more responsive to market research? [laughter]
I don't know. I'm on the board of the OTW. We had a survey. 5,000 is a large sample, but no way to relate that to the absolute size of whatever --

Aud: Wanted to ask people who have been Japan. How hard is it to be out in Japan?

EH: I get the impression that it's still quite hard. To be promoted, need to give impression that you're a good family person. You need a wife to do domestic tasks while you're working 100 hours a week. There's a lot of pressure to have kids and grandkids in the U.S. too. Get the impression it may be even stronger in Japan. Same-sex marriage isn't on the table.

Aud: Politicians coming out is at publicity level.

AH: There are a couple gay areas in Tokyo and Osaka, and outside of that it's --
Japanese society was very oriented toward corporate stuff & the family in early post-war period. That's not really realistic any more. There aren't enough company jobs for everyone who gets college degrees.

[I missed things!]

EH: BL takes place in a fantasy world. Often these are nominally realistic settings (high school, etc.) but things would not unfold as they do in the real world.

Aud: I'm not super familiar with BL, but from the outside, I have the impression it's more on the romance & less on the physical.

EH: There is a huge spectrum. Some very, very explicit stuff.

JA: Difference between BL and yaoi?

EH: Technically, yaoi specifically refers to doujinshi as opposed to commercially-produced work. BL is the umbrella term, and it includes yaoi.

Aud: My understanding is that stress on the corporation & nuclear family structure came with modernization, and before that, there were actually fairly flexible attitudes toward sexual orientation. Does that tie in at all to whole [anime/manga] industry?
I know it's not the same culture at all, but in Korea, system of homophobia. It's tolerated so long as you get het-married eventually. Does that tie in to duality of society not making laws and systems to counteract discrimination, but there's still an openness to seeing it [I missed the rest of the question]?

AH: I am given to understand that prior to beginning of Westernization in 1868/1880s, there was a different paradigm for understanding same-sex relationships. There's a book called Cartographies of Desires, haven't read it yet. Arc that he describes ends in 1950s with medicalization of homosexual behavior.

[I missed things!]

Discussion of the new swimming anime! Aud: The company that made it usually does moe - they did K-On!

Aud: What's moe?

AH: Moe is a style in which characters who are in high school are depicted as looking 12. Unapologetically aimed at men, although women enjoy them too.

A trailer was made of an anime swimming team. Fandom/Tumblr made relationships and etc. Last month, the company said they're making it into an anime. Their fanbase of male moe fans was not too enthusiastic about this.

[missed things]

Fujoshi means rotten women - women who like BL. [more discussion of fujoshi]

EH: I have a book about how being a fujoshi can make you succeed in the office - talk about sports & politics by shipping everyone.

Onabe - before fujoshi? Haven't heard terms in combination.

Aud: Thought "fujoshi" was specifically a fan context.
laceblade: Angel's Wesley and Fred, making heinous faces (Wesley & Fred: Heinous)
There's a new series that's part of the current Spring lineup called "Flowers of Evil" that's generating a fair amount of buzz.

The animators are using rotoscoping to achieve an almost disturbing level of realism. Eye movements, hair, facial expressions, etc. are very realistic. The girls in school uniforms look like actual girls.
The rusted out city reminds me exactly of the time I spent in Muroran, a city up in Hokkaido.

The series is based on an ongoing manga. The protagonist, Takao Kasuga, likes to read. Most of his classmates seem pretty normal, except for Sawa Nakamura, who calls their teacher a shitbag for shaming her in front of the entire class when she gets a 0 on a test.

Per Theron Martin's review over at ANN, "The name [Flowers of Evil] is a reference to a defining, highly innovative, and equally controversial work of poetry by 19th century French literary giant Charles Boudelaire [sic], a Japanese translation of which is being read by lead protagonist Takao Kasuga as he muddles his way through a seemingly ordinary high school life."

Kasuga has a crush on Saeki, a classmate who's pretty & sits near him in class.

The realism in this anime is new/different, but the second episode made me extremely uncomfortable. In the beginning of the episode, Kasuga steals Saeki's gym uniform & takes it home.

The rest of the episode focuses on Kasuga's inner turmoil - the class is disturbed when the teacher tells them Saeki's uniform has gone missing, & it's pretty clear that Saeki is mortified. Although some attention is given to Saeki, the emphasis is placed on Kasuga feeling ashamed about it, Kasuga laying out Saeki's uniform over his bed & feeling bad about it.

In gym class, Saeki tells her female classmates that she just had to buy a new uniform. They lament over this. Off to the side, Kasuga listens while his male classmates talk about Saeki being beautiful, & feeling angry that someone else stole their gym uniform, likely for nefarious purposes. The feel ownership over Saeki - it's awful.

In all of this, the only interesting character I see is Nakamura, the girl who called the teacher a shitbag in the first episode, and who saw Kasuga steal Saeki's uniform.
She's upfront with Kasuga about her knowledge, & tries to get him to agree to a "contract" with her, lest she tell the rest of their classmates.
She gets Saeki to meet with Kasuga, so that Kasuga can confess what he did. Kasuga is rendered mute. Nakamura shoves him forward, though, right into Saeki's chest. Unlike most anime shows, where this would be a moment of comic relief, Saeki is embarrassed and runs off, & Kasuga is mortified.

I'm filled with a lot of disgust for Kasuga. I hate watching him on the screen. I hate listening to him talk.

Continued from Martin's review: "The literary reference used here is too educated for it to simply be a casual toss-off, so expecting (or at least hoping) that the content of the series will delve into themes raised by Boudelaire [sic] is quite reasonable. Indeed, the first episode is full of such elements if one looks carefully for them. Boudelaire [sic] prominently used sound to create atmosphere, and a very ominous musical score is used here to imply that something at least a bit sinister is brewing amongst these scenes of everyday life. Boudelaire [sic] emphasized the use of urban subject matter, which explains the almost obsessive attention to detail in background art dominated by city and school settings. He also rejected the fundamental goodness of man and explored morally complex and ambiguous behavior, especially concerning vices. Given that and certain comments made amongst his friends, the emerging flower is almost certainly meant to be metaphorical for Takao's growing carnal interest despite his apparent outward wish to treat Nanako respectfully. The emphasis on showing the decay and wear of the city could even be interpreted as symbolic of declining moral values."

Other reviews I've read (all at ANN) include words like "masterpiece," etc.
I guess I don't usually turn to anime for depressing doses of realism. Realistic emotions, sure, but the rest? Meh.

I find it impossible to identify with Kasuga. I am rooting for Nakamura, but I'm assuming she's going to pull some weird shit.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)
Zac Bertschy had Chris Haughton (owner/runner of Taskforce Moe) on the show. Here's a link. In the beginning, they discuss Zac's habit of basically trolling moe fans when he reviews moe shows at Anime News Network. I don't hang out on the forums much, & was surprised to hear Zac's been compared to being racist because of disliking moe - fucking seriously? That sucks, and that's stupid.
I found a lot of the discussion boring.

I submitted a few questions via Twitter. So did [personal profile] littlebutfierce.
I'm pretty tired, but there's the Q/A of our questions.

Zac: [ profile] ribbonknight asks, 'Many women and others find value in non-explicit moe because it focuses on female relationships. Is this a reason why you like it?"
Chris: That's a reason I like some shows. Like K-ON!, or Lucky Star.
Zac: Right.
Chris: But, it's not the entire reason I like moe. There are several reasons.
Zac: I mean it sounds like your basic argument is, 'I am not this one-dimensional stereotype or straw-man. I am multitudes.' It sounds like that's the chief...that's the core of your argument, here.
Chris: Yeah. Yeah, and I think that, to a certain extent, moe fans - the moe fandom at large - is portrayed as shallow fans, only looking for the next big thing with cute girls with huge eyes and they don't appreciate quality anime, and I don't think that's true for really many moe fans.
Zac: Well, you wouldn't argue that there aren't people who are totally like that.
Chris: There certainly are vocal people like that. I don't want to associate nor represent nor pay attention to those people. But there are certainly people like that. But I'd argue that the majority of moe fans are pretty much just like other fans. They like a range of anime, not just moe but a whole lot of other stuff.

Zac: [ profile] ribbonknight asks: Dudes perving on characters can devalue the shows for fandom at large. Do you think your site contributes to this?
Chris: Dudes perving on moe, I don't think my site contributes to...dudes perving on moe fandoms.
Zac: In other words, if there's a huge, outspoken bunch of, let's say 4-chan users, totally obsessing over whoever from K-ON!, everyone's like oh man. Like it's a turn-off for some people, like they don't necessarily want to engage with the material because they think it's just about that.
Chris: If a person looks at 4-chan especially...& says, 'I don't want to engage with this work of media because of what 4-chan says about it. I think that person probably wouldn't have engaged with that work of media in the first place.
Zac: Yeah, I think you're probably right. [laughter]

ME ASIDE: I totally disgaree with that. The disgust with which other people describe moe kept me away from it for years. [personal profile] littlebutfierce had to convince me that K-ON! was worth trying.
I am absolutely influenced by other people's taste/etc.

Zac: [ profile] janiinedelleen asks, "Do you think moe's focus on friendships is part of why it's so devalued and scorned in large parts of anime fandom?
Chris: I think that, 1) part of it is the emphasis on girls. I think that 2 is the de-emphasis on story. I think those are the two big things for why it's devalued.
Zac: I mean, I guess I would sort of make the argument that it also seems exploitative. I don't buy for a second that I think people are watching K-ON! solely because they really care about these characters. There's a voyeuristic appeal to that show that...I think a lot of people have a voyeuristic appeal to that show, and it's like, "Oh these cute girls, they like each other so much," and it's kinda like you're...sometimes it feels like you're watching from the bushes. [laughter] You know, you've got your binoculars. It's a little creepy.
Chris: I don't see it that way. At all.
Zac: You yourself, you're not putting yourself into the situation.
Chris: No, not at all. A complete removal of the viewer as an agent in what is going on in the show.
Zac: Okay. So, the attraction to those characters, then, in a moe fashion, you are totally removed from it? Like you as a person, you totally/psychologically remove yourself?
Chris: When I'm watching the show, I'm not watching, I'm not there at all. That's just going on in the show. It's not me watching them, it's just them happening within the context of the show. As far as being moe for a particular girl, that's certainly me inserting myself into that fantasy.
Zac: So that's separate like doujinshi culture. The act of watching i separate?
Chris: Yes. The doujinshis for K-ON, it's notorious for having really disgusting doujinshi.
Zac: Most popular shows that feature little girls have hideous doujinshi.
Zac: Okay.

ME ASIDE: I find Zac's take on the voyeurism in K-ON! kind of fascinating, because I didn't feel that way at all watching it. I think that take is entirely related to the male gaze.
I was absolutely invested in the actual characters, their friendship, and the music they made together. That is the only reason I watched the show.
The fact that Zac thinks that there is NO OTHER POSSIBLE REASON a person could watch that show is exactly what my questions are trying to get at - WHY AREN'T NON-SEXUAL FEMALE RELATIONSHIPS VALUED? Which leads to my next question:

Zac: [ profile] ribbonknight asks: dudes hanging out in anime considered artistic & moving, moe shows of girls doing the same are called stupid & pointless. Do you think that some fans oversexualizing characters contributes to dismissive fans not examining their own misogyny?
Zac: Wait, these are two unrelated things [me aside: no they're not]. The first one was a statement, the second one was a question. [nope]
Chris: I am not sure where that's coming from.
Zac: Yeah, that's a weird thing. I guess, okay. That is a two-parter. So, he's saying that I guess there's this blanket assumption that critics love shoes where it's just dudes hanging out and doing nothing, but shows where it's girls hanging out & doing nothing are called stupid and pointless, which I don't...I think your premise is flawed, bro? I don't even, like...that's not true? And I guess he's saying that it's misogynistic to hate on "cute girls doing cute things" shows. Which, to answer that myself, it's not misogynistic to be bored by cute girls doing cute things. [laughter]
Chris: Yeah, it's not sexist to have a preference.

112:00 question also worth listening to: about whether women's reasons for watching are different than men?

I found it a little hilarious that Zac assumed I am a guy, especially given the questions I was asking.

Regardless, my question about internalized misogyny shifted to one about sexism. Both Zac and Chris agreed that, "It's not sexist to have a perference" [between watching plotless shows about girls hanging out vs boys hanging out].
I'd challenge that. If you as a media consumer ONLY enjoy stories about boys/men, and are only capable of identifying with men? Then yeah, I think you have some internalized misogyny going on there.

I started joining in the discussion on the forums, but that was before I heard reading of my last question, and their answer/non-answer. I don't know if I'll check back.

Anyway, I'm pretty disappointed. I've been a fan of Zac Bertschy's commentary for years. :(


laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)

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