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2014-03-11 19:19Last SinnerWe agree on enough things. If we were too similar, it'd be scary and make for boring conversation. I think the only other fundamental difference is you've traversed recent anime way more than I'll ever dare to, while I've gone back in time way more than you have.
*shrug* Well, for about every male character I actually give a damn about from stuff I've watched, there's ten female characters I like. Feminine characters are fine as long as they're not just submissive saps. But when it comes to me, I need complexity. I just can't see anything or anyone from a simple perspective.
I'll say it again - Madoka Ayukawa and Tomoyo Sakagami are virtually kindred spirits. They have virtually the same background, they both do things their way, they both have one heck of a kick. I guess one fundamental difference would be the naivete. Tomoyo is somewhat unfamiliar with the expectations of others/the norm - Madoka is all too familiar with them, to the point it is a nemesis. And there's this crazy but pure win episode where the three main characters end up being in a Top Gun-like scenario and Madoka is a fighter pilot.
Don't get me started about what people whinge about when it comes to females in shounens....frankly, to be a female character in a shounen title is almost always tragic, as far as I'm concerned. You're always going to have red-blooded readers only giving a damn about your body and being a love interest. They're rarely allowed to be proper characters. And I've utterly had it with the constant flood of stupid comments about Mikasa's abs, yet alone her as a character. Heaven forbid a girl from being fit and physically powerful...*facepalm* Honestly, I didn't even finish the first episode of Titan. I knew within minutes this title would make me utterly sick. My stance on shounen has pretty much come to this - if it isn't Fullmetal Alchemist, I don't care. I utterly despise shounen.
Fair points on Fate and Misato. I like them too.
Ohana was the only thing I could find to care about in H-S I and I really didn't care for what Okada saw fit to do with her.
As for Anohana - see, this is one title I wish I could have liked. Except...well...Menma....freaking Menma....You know how Rin from Bunny Drop is that kind of character that makes your heart swell and you'd do anything to give her a decent chance in life? When it comes to Menma, every organ in by body wants to simultaneously explode and send a fatal virus airborne to wipe out humanity. The guys ticked me off too. Whereas Naruko and Tsuruko were both characters that had appeal. Even if they were polar opposites and antagonistic to each other, they gave things some depth and something unique. But since the story revolves around Menma, I couldn't stay with Anohana. Again, because Okada.
The Major...see, I did think about putting her on that list. But I didn't for one reason - wish fulfillment. As awesome as Motoko's personality is as well as how she conducts herself if general on the job and in her private life, the original Stand Alone Complex series and the movie overly sexualised her. As much as the character is supposed to not be subject to one's desires, the way they used her in those parts ultimately did allow that. As for the 2nd GIG, that is when she breaks free of that stupidity IMO.
See, almost every female you listed, I somewhat agreed with. I don't think we're as different as you think we are. I just think life shaped us differently to give us different needs and perspectives.
The thing I'm always careful about now is never assume for one second what women are into within anime these days. I've learned that Elfen Lied and Gantz have WAY more female fans than I'd ever thought possible. I've seen women that look like they're in high-end jobs discretely walk into a comic/manga store and walk out with a pile of yaoi. I've seen and been told about women who only watch ecchi titles. And while it can be assumed somewhat that some women will love cute - you never can be sure of what kind. Women/females are more complex that what anime makes them out to be for the greater part. Perhaps that's part of why I need characters that are more complex than the norm. There's only so far I can detach from reality.
Frankly, it's not the females in anime that I have more issues with. It's the males....I'm not kidding that when out of the hundreds and hundreds of titles I've seen, I would utterly struggle to list ten male characters that I actually gave that much of a damn about.
2014-03-11 09:49Last SinnerLafiel from Crest of the Stars - A very apt representative of a process-driven race and culture. An even bigger contradiction of the damsel in distress trope since Lafiel was almost always saving Jinto. Straight-forward, feisty, polite, elegant, overly confident without being arrogant. The maturity of her conversations with Jinto is just mind-blowing. If I ever had to pick one female who could have a bond with a male that wasn't solely defined or dominated by love yet so darn epic, Lafiel's with Jinto was just magic.
Lain from Serial Experiments Lain - Oh, Lain...Now, are we going to avoid the idea that Lain is a genderless entity rather than a human since she is more like a process rather than a person? Certainly Lain's creator intended Lain to be female, so I guess we can say for our discussion's sake that she is. But certainly the one person Lain always gravitated to was Arisu - after all, Arisu was the only person who ever showed Lain any true affection/treated Lain as a friend. Lain's form of love for Arisu would be quite a pure one - given Lain's real identity, there is no sexual aspect to it. It also does reinforce that affiliation and affection are earned through actions rather than mere intentions.
Lina Inverse from Slayers - Personified chaos, a real anarchist, selfish and pragmatic. Yet so damn awesome...She was never a hero but did whatever a dire situation required. An eternal source of laughter. And that crazy voice that Megumi Hayashibara gave her. They don't make them like Lina anymore.
Shiki Ryougi from Garden of Sinners - Morally ambivalent, always walking a line between sanity and darkness. Female yet many aspects of a male, further amplified by that dual-tone voice Maya Sakamoto gave Shiki. So dangerous yet so insatiable. Someone you can't be a fence-sitter with. Someone afraid of living but scared of dying. Someone who knew happiness and a normal life would never be attainable, but was able to find something worth living for just from knowing one person in the world gave a damn about her and wouldn't ever give up on her, even if he is a fair idiot at times. And seriously, how badass can you get with that red jacket and blue kimono combo outfit? Nasu, why are you so awesome?!
Kurisu Makise from Steins;Gate - Well I had to pick someone really stuck in the modern way of things in anime yet still standing. Kurisu just turned that damn tsundere trope upside-down and ending up being way more than that. The antagonist to the fanciful dreams of Hououin Kyouma and the catalyst required for Okabe to man up and become the hero. A real source of intellect and awesome nerd moments. (lab coat, Dr. Pepper, @chan, Tina) And seriously, she is the main reason those overly moe early episodes are bearable. (And yes, I know I haven't finished it yet...but I saw enough to appreciate Kurisu. It's either the next thing I watch or the one after.)
I'm going to have to extend that list to make room for Erin. Hopefully I can find a few more to go with her.
Note these wouldn't be my ten fave characters - but in terms of 'breaking the mold', for sure.
Sorry for the wall of text.
2014-03-11 09:48Last SinnerJust wondering - if you had to pick a list of female characters in anime that 'broke the mold' so to speak - aka they weren't tied down by tropes, stereotypes or the males around them and they had something about them that really made them stand out from the rest, who would you put on there?
Last year I made a list of 10. Particularly since I'd watched certain titles to completion at the time and didn't want to forget things about them, so I typed them so I wouldn't forget.
(Splitting this into 2 posts due to length)
They were: (in no particular order)
Kajika Burnsworth from Hanasakeru Seishounen. Like, this girl....where do I begin? Her first love was a leopard. She's openly seeking love in multiple avenues from a pure-minded point of view. And fundamentally, for a shoujo title, rather than the girl becoming stronger via reliance from the guy, multiple guys are becoming stronger via her. Not to mention she resolves global tensions without batting an eyelid. She's pretty awesome.
Hiroko Matsutaka from Hataraki Man - Never have the trials and triumphs of a working woman ever been so utterly magnetic. She can be a bit crazy, she had some major vices. And whenever she was deprived of sex, man did her conversations go bonkers! But she just had an undeniable flair for success in the workplace. The positives and negatives of her and her life have quite a degree of reality to them. Hiroko really is the modern woman of today - in a real world sense. Forget the anime sense...
Kino from Kino's Journey - Nomadic and living by the principle of 'survival of the fittest.' And there is a challenging element to her. You have to appreciate Kino is the story and not the judge. And as she chooses to never judge anyone, thus the viewer must refrain from judging Kino or anyone else, otherwise the point of this show is utterly lost.
Madoka Ayukawa from Kimagure Orange Road - I'll be brief since you've heard it before. One of the original high school wonders. One of the original 'deep ocean' characters. You could never be certain how she would react to something. Madoka was the harder option, one with some glaring flaws, but a real sense of fulfillment in terms of appreciating what lay beneath the surface and the person she really was and would become. She's also a reminder that young love isn't the innocent, sugary experience too many titles make it out to be.
Nina Fortner from Monster - Quite the anti to the damsel in distress for someone with no special powers or the like. Nina was simply a woman who reacted to the terrible situation she was in admirably. She didn't back down from a task very few would have the courage to do and she did it with a mix of wit, compassion and feminista. And bonus points for anyone who makes Nazis wet themselves in terror while voiced by Noto Mamiko.
2014-03-11 09:46Last SinnerThe double-edged sword of NANA for me as that Hachi had to fall in order to become strong. I get why some women admire that. But it's also depressing - particularly for some men - when the female gravitates to the bad man even though she knows she shouldn't. Clearly there is truth ingrained in it. But like you said, if Takumi gets off lightly after everything he's done, I will be livid. At this rate, I hope Yazawa regains the ability to finish it - as well as want to. No josei/shoujo title has reached its heights in quite a while and the legacy it would leave could be telling for what comes after it. A bit of kudos for Yasu too would be nice - now there was one cool guy.
I dropped Blue Drop, Strawberry panic and KnM very quickly. As for School Days - never seen it, don't want to. I don't need a nice boat.
.hack//SIGN - Geez, I saw that back right when I started getting into anime proper. The thing I always felt was it started reasonably well and ended fairly well. But in between it was like one drawn out music video with no RPG action going on in an RPG. Tsukasa and Subaru - there was certainly quite a bond of trust between them. That ending was a bit lol but kind of appropriate - have to hand it to Subaru considering her IRL plight. The music in that title was astoundingly good - pity the show didn't back it up.
Just for a bit of thought - conversions from game to anime. You know how some characters get turned into something they're not for god knows what reason by the director or whatever? Kaede from Shuffle is a classic example. What the hell did they do to her...in the game, she was a wreck but she never resorted to being violent or crazy if she didn't win. It was as if the people adapting this thought Kaede being the main route was criminal and had to do everything possible to defile her. Have her attack Asa for Rin choosing Asa in the anime, then go have her make invisible dinners, hang out under bridges in the rain and make her look like a complete freak. That was never the point of Kaede! Kaede was once a bit of a loony - in her early childhood because Rin made up a lie about the reason her parents were going somewhere then died so that Kaede would focus her hate onto him instead of herself. Kaede then learnt the truth and spent her life atoning, damn it...She was as understanding and supportive as someone could be. As for her route in the game and any other route for that matter - Kaede's actual stance was 'Even if Rin loves me, I don't deserve to be with him for the terrible things I've done to him.' Rin then had to work damn hard to convince Kaede she was worthy of being loved. But, you know, that freaking director and his studio had to go and turn Kaede into something she wasn't for kicks...And it turns out there's a reason. You know what the director went on to do in 2011?! Mirai Nikki! Aka THAT title with THE most crazy, insane, twisted, evil girlfriend ever! Aka giver of Stockholm Syndrome and maximum carnage daily in Yuno! Yeah...a director who likes girls losing their mind over love...what a dickbrain...Hey, in the case of Yuno, it was sometimes amusing, albeit disturbing and then some. But in the case of Kaede and making her into something she's not...that's just despicable. He also helped Minami-ke lose its popularity after the glory of Season 1 by giving it sub-par treatment...what a prick...
There's another dickbrain to go with the KnM and SD scum.
2014-03-11 09:03Last SinnerHis gumption is high, but a few years ago, he lost the ability to finish everything, about 5 years after I lost. And he's been watching anime for over a decade longer than I have. I think Star Driver was the straw that broke the camel's back. The amount of people - especially fangirls - who claimed Star Driver was FABulous beyond belief and that it was the only reason needed to exist - ticked him off to no end. Recently he pointed out to me that Sunrise have become obsessed with overly dramatic wankfests in the aftermath of Code Geass. And I have to admit, the last five of so years of Sunrise have really made them decline in my eyes. But hey, when pure stupidity like Horizon gets made successful by obsessive fans, making insanity like that is justified.
As for Uchouten Kazoku - he quite likes the visual side of things. Visuals aren't he primarily looks for but I think it's the thing keeping him determined to finish it. It is the characters that are ruining it for him. And based on the small amount I saw of it before I dropped it - I agreed with him. But I feel his distaste and inability to care about them well exceeded mine. He's probably also determined to finish it because we both rate The Tatami Galaxy very highly, so both of us thought another title from the same author would likely be good. Wasn't the case for us.
The friendship between my mentor and I took a fair while to develop. Back when we starting crossing paths back when AJAS was actually a decent place and had a large number of people attending, he was already somewhat hardened and weathered. I can't really recall when I started approaching him since he'd decided to not be one of the active runners of things anymore at that point. What I do remember that back a decade ago - the things I was into early on were mainly terrible. And did he know it...I think from experience, he just took the approach 'he's new, in a couple of years, he will realise the downfalls and perils of the anime realm and begin to see things from a better perspective.' And he was right - a couple of years in or so, I certainly did realise most of what I had tried was terrible. There were still titles I did like, of course. It was probably around the point that I latched onto Paranoia Agent, Samurai Champloo and Genshiken S1 while they were airing that he thought 'he's beginning to go in the right direction.' I think we both felt somewhat gloomy in 2005 - in hindsight, it was an okay year, but things hadn't reached the point most titles were being made available to check out by today's usual methods. So the gems of around then weren't known to us. 2006 offered a mix of the good and bad - in hindsight, we've come to agree that 2006 was the last stand of the anime woman to quite an extent. Strong 'adult' females certainly declined in numbers post-2006 in favour of the teen version, or losing strength altogether. I think we began to speak more one-on-one around the time Code Geass was at its peak and The Garden of Sinners started appearing. The thing with him was, since he was the walking encyclopedia and would investigate almost any title, a good deal of people wanted part of his time. It wouldn't be until about sometime around 2009-2010 that he'd start making sure that I'd get a certain amount of his time no matter what. By then, other people were wearing him down hard and the people he knew from AJAS's golden years were virtually all gone to other places/things. Around then, I was as frustrated as he was with how much the signs of moe's impending empire in 2006 had taken root in 2009. So around that time, now that my gumption had been shot to pieces and titles we liked from a given season were beginning to coincide a good deal, he started making specific recommendations to start testing my boundaries. He felt life had shaped me enough/hardened me enough to be ready for the kind of titles and discussions he wouldn't bother to have with anyone else. Come 2011 and the retro year, I think we both had a revival since once certain guy compelled everyone to play old stuff once a month that year from across the decades, we both realised that with groups willing to chase after older titles, there was plenty for us to explore - or re-visit in his case. After that year, I think I've pretty much become his go-to person for someone to have a serious discussion with and to somehow find a title he either forgot or didn't notice at the time. Our views somewhat differ but we both have the appreciation of respecting what the other things and likes even if we always don't agree on specific titles. We generally agree on the basics and the state of the world and humans - if you've got that, you can get along long-term. I'm not sure how much longer he'll be alive since his physical state is terrible and has been for a long time. But it's been an honour to know him and be considered one of his friends.
2014-03-10 14:49Last SinnerJust finished watching Kemono no Souja Erin.
Very strong storytelling throughout. Decent visuals. Very unique, appropriate music. Character cast had a lot of depth and were intricately woven into that tale.
What brought it down for me a bit was - as you hinted - the overuse of flashbacks. But moreso, the 'general audience' factor. That made me able to see what was coming in the range of 5-10 episodes before it happened. There being no element of surprise or thrill was a bit of a downer. Episodes 42-45, I swear a lot of characters suddenly lost all rational thought in those episodes before magically getting it back.
However, for such an in-depth look at humanity in terms of culture, fear, reality vs dreams, daring to live/take the ultimate risk instead of stand and watch - very well done.
Doubt we'll have much company around here to discuss it. Still, thank you for getting me to watch it. It ranks somewhere around 20-25 on my all time list. Was nice to see something of that timepoint, style and genre work so well. Seirei no Moribito and 12 Kingdoms don't come anywhere near close to this. Also nice to know something can be pitched at an all-ages level and still be this good.
My mentor says he is going to make Erin his next watch and finish it this time. He definitely sounds like he needs it since his gumption way exceeds mine and he finishes almost anything he starts. Uchoten Kazoku has really been driving him around the bend.
2014-03-09 04:29Last SinnerAnd from a manga standpoint of decent yuri titles:
Girl Friends by Milk Morinaga - Like wow. Could this one have done a better job of making those two become friends, gradually accept the idea they both liked each other then find a way to be together long term?
12 Days - Guess this one slips under most peoples' radars since it's Korean. But for a one-volume story about a real life tragedy, it was so mature and just really said so much about people, prejudice and regret.
I Fell In Love For The First Time by Asagi Ryu - Adult woman and about to be adult girl suddenly get it on. They didn't necessarily know how or why, but they just knew after crossing paths enough times, that they simply had to be together. Not to mention one of my favourite moments in a yuri context. When the younger half of the pairing gets pressured by her peers about the rumour she's seeing an older woman, she just gets out her phone, shows a photo of them together and says 'This is her. I'm so lucky, aren't I?' And they just couldn't slam her at all for that. That's the kind of boldness I'd like to see more of.
Maka-Maka - Two female adults that remained best friends no matter what and engaged in casual sex/masturbation with each other whenever needed to cope with life. It was simple and believable. Not only was it the rarity of adults being sensible with normal aspriations and traits and not being utterly sex-crazed, they were openly and honestly depicted with the feelings and desires women have. How very damn rare.
I think it's as you say - so many people just can't handle the notion a woman doesn't want a guy's downstairs department or that they don't want to be mothers or a housewife. After all, Japanese men are the least willing in the world to do domestic chores while Japanese women do nearly the most in the world. Maybe this is why yaoi gets more relatively accepted - there's no threat to the guys while it's wish fulfillment for women.
There was actually one manga I did get in full that had a very unique twist on yaoi fandom. A 5 volume title called My Girlfriend's A Geek. Young adult male meets young adult woman at a part-time job. They become friends but he doesn't know enough about anime to see the flags that she's a fujioshi. So when he asks her to be his girlfriend, she seirously asks him 'Are you okay that I'm a fujioshi? Can you still want me as your girlfriend despite that?' What makes the guy such a champ is that despite not knowing it at the time then learning 'the hard way' after, he finds a way to make it work. He learns when to indulge her fetishes but gradually learns to tell her when she's going too far. And in the end, they become a functional couple. Like hell, how often is someone willing to allow someone with fetishes to be normal in other aspects and be able to find happiness in creative media? That one was a refreshing change for the notion that all fuijoshi are freaks. Yes, 'some' of them can be violent, pushy and forceful with what they want and how they treat others. But some of them are normal people who happen to like that material. It isn't a singular quality that defines a person. So sad people can't accept that.
2014-03-09 04:27Last SinnerI dropped Blue Drop so early - it seemed so damn weird/twisted. And you've explained why.
That's just one title though. There's more to discuss on the saner, 'it's a phase' and dysfunctional sides.
Seikon no Qwaser - Like honestly, who made this?! Who thought this was a good idea?! Yeah, I know it sold well in Japan, but it's a sick joke. Honestly, since when was women sexually assaulting other women in full public view on a regular basis seen as plausible let alone normal....this just offends me on every level. The fact 2 seasons of this bollocks got approved is an indictment on the anime industry and just showed what they were thinkings about females at the time.
Kannazuki no Miko - Oh, the amount of stupidity that goes on in this one. The flute scene alone is enough to show how twisted and scheming this one was. (Yes, I am forcefully going to take your virginity for your own good, because it's totally fine....no sane/logical person would think that...) Argh...to think this was once considered the bastion for yuri fans. Like, that is just chilling.
Strawberry Panic - Totally geared for the lols and mindless fanservice. No wonder I only ever heard self-admitted perverts champion this one.
It's a phase:
Yuruyuri - I wouldn't call this offensive per se. But this is so totally labelling girl-girl feelings as a phase and goes so far as to remove any threat to masculinitiy by putting them well out of an age range to be sought after in the first place. As well as tickle the fancy of closet lolis. Lord knows I heard too many people locally rave on/say things about this title I never wanted to hear. Again, that it was a 2 seasoner confounds me. I know some people - some of them females, which is their choice - like this one. I just find it all watered down and trivialised.
Candy Boy - Oh christ....yeah, let's get some teen incest going to bastardise yuri even more as a phase thing. No one could possibly take this one seriously or be threatened by it.
Simoun - A society where people are all female until 17 then get to choose their gender. What a daring and well-constructed world to go with that. And I'm sure so many people resented it for being so.
Aoi Hana - Somewhat dramatic yet so gorgeous and definitely put the two leads through the blender at times. That it valued friendship as much as it did being in love was critical to its goodness.
Marimite - Well, here's something bound to flick the hate switches of so many people. Not only a bunch of females clearly going beyond friends, but within a Christian school that isn't being demonised either! So devoid of hate and discrimination. Like honestly, the fact this show came to pass and had FOUR seasons is a miracle of the better kind. It's enough to think there is some good in humanity - maybe.
Kashimashi - It was a bit silly but once things got going a bit, it was somewhat serious. Choosing between the person who's always been there for you and the person that suddenly goes crazy over you - a fair dilemma. Manga ended it better though.
Sakura Trick - And this just takes it lightly. They didn't necessarily want to go the distance for life. They wanted to be able to make some good memories and stay friends. I'm sure the sometimes excessive service is perhaps more of the reason this show gets attention. But...the fact it's able to portray the girls involved as rather sane in comparison to some of the stupidity we've discussed is quite refreshing.
2014-03-09 00:14Last SinnerA question I wanted to ask both you and R3 - something a good friend posed to me last night.
Why is it that a a consensual yuri relationship is considerably less mainstream than the more dysfunctional yuri relationships?
Would like to hear your thoughts.
- About Archon_Wing
- Being totally ebillll
- Scifi, Writing, Starcraft, Civ IV, Sarcasm, Hating, Cupcakes, Distilled Moe
- PC Configuration
- 2.93 ghz Intel Dual-Core, 2gb ram, ATI Radeon 4670, Windows 7
- Avatar & Signature
- Avatar: Homura Akemi (Madoka) Signature: Fate Testarossa (I forgot)
- Currently Watching
- Hunter x Hunter
Terror in Tokyo
- ===All Time Favorites==
Higurashi Kai (10)
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (10)
Hunter x Hunter (9.5+, not complete)
Usagi Drop (9)
Little Busters! Refrain (9)
Clannad After Story (9)
Paranoia Agent (9)
Shin Sekai Yori (9)
Serial Experiments Lain (9)
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (9)
Tiger and Bunny (9)
Zetusen no Tempest (9)
Neon Genesis Evangelion (8.5)
Mawaru Penguindrum (8.5)
Nanoha A's (8.5)
Tari Tari (8.5)
True Tears (8.5)
Kemono no Soujia Erin (8.5)
== Top Movies==
The End of Evangelion (10)
Time of Eve (9.5)
5cm per second (9)
Okami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (9)
Castle in the Sky (8.5)
Summer Wars (8.5)
Place Promised in our Early Days (8.5)
Kotonoha no Niwa (8)
Nanoha Movie 1st & 2nd A's (8)
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (8)
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