Author: Gabriel Persechino-Forest     Published: July 7th, 2018

Further Attacks on the Medium

Over the course of the past few months, multiple outlets launched subtle attacks on the medium of anime. The purpose, as I stated before, is not for an immediate impact but for a progressive buildup of criticism to accumulate over time in preparation for when the media establishment will attack in earnest (How long were video games and comic books criticised before gamergate and comicgate started!?). With this in mind we have Anime News Network’s new Light Novel Guide feature, which aims to cover newly released light novels per season. And of course they won’t miss a chance to attack and berate the various tropes of the light novel genre with 4th wave feminist propaganda:

Infinite Stratos

Originally posted by Rebecca Silverman and Lynzee Loveridge

…Ichika’s attitude towards women is troubling to say the least. Mostly he retreats into statements like “all girls love gossip/desserts/shopping,” and all the statements about how women now largely run the story’s world because of their ability to pilot ISes simply feels like a justification for either the author or the character’s dissatisfaction with women having more power, hence the sexist stereotyping. There’s also a problematic undercurrent of racism in the sense that each race has specific characteristics and abilities unique to it, mostly found in Ichika’s inner monologue or narration.

A Sister’s All you Need

Originally posted by Rebecca Silverman and Lynzee Loveridge

Her sexual fixation on Itsuki crosses a lot of lines, and the fact that he repeatedly tells her to stop it makes it uncomfortable (and annoying) when she doesn’t. Her advances are unwelcome, something even Hirasaka is aware of, as we can see in his note about not emulating her during tabletop RPG sessions, and although it’s clearly meant to be funny, the other characters’ annoyance and discomfort with her cuts the legs out from under the humor.

Toradora!

Originally posted by Rebecca Silverman and Lynzee Loveridge

She is the classic tsundere in a lot of ways, but Takemiya’s novel makes it clear that it’s not just a fetishy gimmick…

They’re also doing the same thing (Preview Guide) with manga as well:

The Elder Sister Like One

Originally posted by Lynzee Loveridge

Of course, her sister-like qualities are meant more to entice readers than actually fill a family role for Yuu. She’s meant to heal his trauma of abandonment while also giving enough T&A to keep readers turning the pages. All that sexiness is fine but…maybe Yuu didn’t have to be 14 years old?

World End Harem

Originally posted by Rebecca Silverman, Lynzee Loveridge and Amy McNulty

As far as distasteful premises go, you don’t get much worse than sexual assault in the name of “science.” World End Harem is walking a very fine line with this – technically protagonist Reito isn’t being forced to have sex (or “mate” in the story’s parlance) because no one has forcibly had actual intercourse with him, but there are several scenes of women doing their damnedest on that front. All of them feature Reito being kissed and touched as he actively says no, and the fact that he’s male and is being propositioned by women does not negate the fact that this is really uncomfortable.

I could chastise what is essentially spank material for treating women like uncontrollably horny cattle, its disproportionate top heavy character designs, and its giant stack of plot conveniences to create its silly premise.

Characters and bizarre premise aside, there are a few unavoidable things readers should be aware of going in—though they’re not unheard of in the erotic genre. First, the issue of consent is hardly addressed. Both Mizuhara and in one instance a woman have people throw themselves at them while they’re clearly shouting “no” several times. In Mizuhara’s case, the sexual assault stops; in the woman’s, it doesn’t, even though yes, she does know going in that it won’t. That doesn’t stop her from being uncomfortable. These situations can be triggering for some. Secondly, the vast majority of women are unrealistically proportioned to an unintentionally (?) comic degree. Their bodies could hardly support those curves, and their giant, floppy bare breasts are drawn in practically every angle imaginable.

Though you May Burn to Ash

Originally posted by Rebecca Silverman

Though You May Turn to Ash’s first volume is darkly engaging enough to allow for overlooking its more obnoxious elements. Those include the tired retread of the literal death game, the gratuitous sexualization, and the fact that Kroel is incredibly annoying.

High Rise Invasion

Originally posted by Rebecca Silverman

The art deserves credit for not delighting in fanservice elements, either by sexualizing Yuri (we do see a few upskirts, but she wears a covering camisole rather than a skimpy bra under her shirt, so that lessens the exploitative elements) or with excessive gore.

I’m not sure people who are clearly against “Objectification” (Really, sex) should be chosen to review series that clearly focus on ecchi elements nor that it was wise to assign people who have no fondness of the tropes and elements of the light novel medium to review them.

On another front, Anime Feminist was at it again with an article criticising series aimed at men and how they portray women. The article starts off with a pretty ridiculous lie too:

There is a double standard at play: media targeted at or starring women is “for girls,” while media targeted at or starring men is “for everyone”…

I don’t know what decade she’s referring to but every time something aimed at girls comes out the media is all over it and claiming it is “So progressive” and “Inspiring” but if something is aimed at men then its automatically “Objectifying” and “Sexist”… Well I guess there is a double standard after all. Not that it should matter if something is aimed at women or men, but to those people (SJWs) and their conservative equivalent, it obviously does.

The article still tries to bring up a genuine point, that women in shonen often don’t do enough (A complaint even most shonen fan usually sympathise with), but then the article moves away from its legitimate point to return to the same 4th wave feminist tangents about fanservice (Sexual content), “Stereotyping” and even citicizing the “Type” of women depicted. She then complains about people who were pestered and harassed by social justice warriors over their favorite series actually telling them to go away. No kidding, no one likes being hounded and harassed when they are trying to have a good time. She also highlights the reverse harem fantasy of a group of handsome guys finding the one average girl at school attractive as harmless, which is an ironic statement from one who has repeatedly made the claim that the regular harem series about a “loser” getting attention from all the hot girls to be a sexist and a damaging stereotype. She talks about how series aimed at girls are regarded with contempt, even though I’ve never seen that as a general attitude but an undercurrent relegated to a very small and vocal segment of the fanbase, making the entire piece seem rather questionable in its purpose and legitimacy. She also states that “Shonen as a boy’s club is a myth” as if it is somehow a groundbreaking statement; why does she think the character designs of Naruto and Bleach are so bishonen? That there is such manservice in Fairy Tail? Or Oda’s admission that he always tries to give something to the ladies? Of course women watch shonen and the people making it seem very aware.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to see yourself represented in the media you consume.

Seriously, why? It is art, not a silly fantasy where you get to play pretend. While there is nothing wrong with identifying with a character, it is certainly not a requirement and it would be pretty sad, and impossible, if every story had to represent everyone.

And the cherry on top:

With all these examples, it’s hard to have patience for those who argue that we can’t demand male writers do for female characters what women had been doing for male ones for decades.

It’s their work, you don’t get to demand anything. You don’t own this shit. This, I think, highlights the problem a lot of people have with SJWs; this sense of entitlement that everything belongs to them and has to be marketed at them.

Source: Article Image: Anime News Network

 

Political Correctness Marches On

Rurouni Kenshin may have resumed in Japan now that the controversy is over, but that isn’t the case in the West, where the whining and fake outrage has been at its strongest. VIZ Media’s English digital edition of Weekly Shonen Jump did not publish any new chapters of the series’ Hokkaido Arc (Which resumed in Japan). While the move has been applauded as “Taking a stance”, all it does is rob the fans of the opportunity to chose for themselves to take a moral stance or, if they feel one isn’t necessary, continue to support the artist. It is also encouraging piracy, which those people are supposed to hate, as fans will read the manga, whether their authoritarian corporate overlords give them permission or not. Of course, reason and logic, let alone justice, is irrelevant in the western industry, which is perhaps why outlets such as Sora News 24 tapped the western outrage and went out of their way to insult Watsuki, chastised the Japanese publishers for allowing the manga to resume and called the move “Abhorrent”. Bare in mind I said western industry, not fanbase, as the fanbase has always been supportive of the Japanese industry, has helped give birth to a flourishing North American and European anime market, help make anime an international phenomenon and has not been afraid to criticise the Japanese industry’s genuine flaws over the years.

Returning to another news that has seen recent developments, the cancellation of Young Again in Another World saw writer Chiharu Takano warn that cancelling an anime and the novels over a simple controversy could have a chilling effect and warned about the dangers of social media in this matter as well. He also insinuated that the term “Human rights” has been turned into a hammer that ruins people’s lives. It should be noted that Takano stated he doesn’t defend the comments, just doesn’t see it reasonable to ruin a career over them. His fears appear to be well founded, as Masao Shiro saw his Twitter account suspended after he made the unfortunate remarks that his manga (Taekwondoer Park) should be adapted instead of Young Again in Another World; adding that his work wasn’t racist. His wording though seemed to indicate racism towards the Japanese and his insult of Young Again’s writer didn’t go over well. Still, suspending his account so quickly for such a reason seem to be an indicator that political correctness is reaching ever higher levels of behavior and thought control. One can only hope the trend ends soon.

Anime Feminist also continued to push its scenario where they try to convince people that black anime fans are somehow underrepresented (How do you even measure how fans are represented anyways?) and continued on with an interview about “Bad stereotypes” around black characters in anime; the sort of thing that gets laughed off as a joke when it’s about any other stereotypical depiction of any other characters in an anime but is now serious business because SJWs have an issue with it (How many times have white American, French, German, Chinese, Italian… characters been steretypically represented in anime for comedy with no one giving a damn?). Complaints were also issued about the lack of “Diversity” in magical girl series. They’re series set in Japan. 99% of the populace is Asian, you can’t possibly be surprised that “Diversity” isn’t on top of their list of concerns. Those genuinely interested in “Diverse” magical girl series would do better to look at the animated industries of France, Italy and America, who have already produced such series (Magical girl series with diversity I mean).

Crunchyroll also wrote a piece about women in animation where they say:

Every year, women’s presence within animation is growing. With a higher diversity of people in the industry comes a broader array of stories that will be told, and we can’t wait to see what this changing trend means for this medium that we love so much.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this statement, women have had an important role in the anime industry (More so than their American counterpart in their own industry) and they have made and continue to make important contributions. However, experience has thought me to be careful whenever the media talks about “Changing the medium” and uses SJW buzzwords such as “Diversity” in the same sentence. Just a red flag though, nothing damning.

What this comes down to is this: There are SJWs who want forced “Diversity” in every media for the sake of it, there are nationalists who want “Nationalist” characters for the sake of it and then there are fans, who just want interesting and well written stories without a political agenda.

 

More Normalization

Collider published an article aiming to familiarise mainstream crowds with anime but more importantly, in a very specific way:

What makes anime anime, exactly? Isn’t it just cartoons about a bunch of high school kids in supernatural situations? Why are they yelling all the time, or being perverts, or turning into weird, pint-sized, cutesy versions of themselves? And I’ve heard a lot about tentacles … is it safe for my kids? These are all valid questions and criticisms of anime’s many and varied tropes, but you’d be missing out on decades worth of quality characters, stories, and style by avoiding anime entirely.

Basically telling upcoming and potential fans what they should dislike and creating this “Guide” with the sole purpose of directing the tastes of the next generation of anime consumers. The recommendations themselves are what you’d expect for a beginner’s guide though.

Then you have Esquire, which uses fashion to reach mainstream eyes and takes its own opportunity to take a dig at anime as well:

Anime has long been nerd territory. And why wouldn’t it be: towering mechas, the art of universe-saving and unrealistically proportioned women are but three common tropes of Japanese animation.

That’s not to say it’s devoid of substance, of course.

The meat of the article is that fashion lines in the West are now turning towards anime (Not just Japanese companies marketing merchandise overseas but actual Western companies going for collaborations themselves), with the article pushing very hard for a new shift towards introducing anime in fashion; and considering the timing and the fact that this isn’t common outside of Japan, one has to wonder if it aligns with the mainstream media’s agenda of normalization of the medium overseas. The presence of marxist terminology doesn’t help:

The genre-as-menswear-influence is also a way for western brands and consumers to explore eastern culture without the risk of any clunky cultural appropriation.

And for a bit of humor, Atlanta Magazine claims that anime’s rising popularity is due in “No small part” to Cool Japan.

 

Those who are interested in knowing more about the mainstream media’s attack on anime through political correctness and straight up attacks on the medium itself can read this article I wrote a while ago. As for normalization, one has to understand that there is nothing wrong with anime becoming more popular and it is certainly wonderful if it becomes accepted and is no longer a source of antagonism for teens and kids going through school (School being already hard enough on its own). But to understand the problem and what this normalization really means you have to understand GamerGate and ComicGate; how the mainstream media first “Introduces” and normalizes a medium to the average Joe just before they start attacking it and trying to change it and its fanbase. People noticing anime isn’t a problem, the mainstream media developing a sudden and unexplained interest in it, alongside a plethora of celebrities, is. Anime fans always wanted, and still do, more respect for the medium they love, but the mainstream media doesn’t respect the medium, they just want to change it until it is finally “For everyone”. For more information on normalization, see this article. There’s also the link to the AnimaGate Archive below that contains numerous articles on the topic.

 

AnimeGate Archive