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Old 2011-11-22, 02:24   Link #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempester View Post
Don't forget that Evangelion caused an explosive inflation for the otaku market through moe, as well as solidifying the famous "quiet girl" archetype that is popular today.
Those archetypes were around ages ago before Evangelion. You can make a substantial claim that Yumi from Mazinger Z in 1972 was the first proper tsundere in anime. Evangelion benefited from a prime time TV slot, mass merchandise, big name seiyuus such as Megumi Hayashibara and Kotono Mitsuishi, service-oriented bodysuits and other scenes. Certainly Rei and Asuka were archetypes and popularised the kuudere/tsundere styles to a significant degree but I wouldn't call them the biggest triggers of the explosion. Frankly, Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura and the Azumanga Daioh crew had a bigger effect on popularising the kind of shows/manga conducive to moe. And as for the typical female role that is considered moe, Miyazaki's female protagonists are very similar to the feelings moe characters evoke. If anything, Miyazaki's character styles were altered into something more marketing/merchandise friendly for otaku to crave.

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What exactly made them dislike it? I'm sure that some people who wish for a heavier plot in their anime would like Madoka Magica because it has just that.
Take it up with me privately if you care that much. This is not the place to.
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Old 2011-11-22, 02:29   Link #82
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Originally Posted by Shai-Lang View Post
Alright I'm sorry I'll be civil. I just get so heated up when it comes to women's rights issues.

Anyways, there is a point to this thread. It's supposed to open up a discussion on whether Moe or not is declining the quality of anime, and also if it's objectifying to women.
Its very difficult to have a discussion with someone who keeps misusing a word so badly...
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Old 2011-11-22, 02:38   Link #83
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Originally Posted by Ash Falls Town View Post
Really I think the bigger deal among westerners is that the obligatory magical girl show slots are already filled up with Pretty Cure and Jewel Pet which aren't popular outside Japan and so they don't get brought up in topics like this.

Sailor Moon should be compared with Pretty Cure, Candy Candy with things like Beast Player Erin etc and Utena with things like Penguin Drum.
Madoka on the other hand is equivalent with shows like Puni Puni Poemy.
If that's the case, then I'd recommend Heartcatch Precure to Shai-Lang before Madoka Magica.

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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
Those archetypes were around ages ago before Evangelion. You can make a substantial claim that Yumi from Mazinger Z in 1972 was the first proper tsundere in anime. Evangelion benefited from a prime time TV slot, mass merchandise, big name seiyuus such as Megumi Hayashibara and Kotono Mitsuishi, service-oriented bodysuits and other scenes. Certainly Rei and Asuka were archetypes and popularised the kuudere/tsundere styles to a significant degree but I wouldn't call them the biggest triggers of the explosion. Frankly, Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura and the Azumanga Daioh crew had a bigger effect on popularising the kind of shows/manga conducive to moe. And as for the typical female role that is considered moe, Miyazaki's female protagonists are very similar to the feelings moe characters evoke. If anything, Miyazaki's character styles were altered into something more marketing/merchandise friendly for otaku to crave.
I did say "inflation" and "solidifying" instead of "creation" and "inventing", but you made some excellent points. The appeal of these types of characters goes very far back.
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Old 2011-11-22, 02:42   Link #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempester View Post
I did say "inflation" and "solidifying" instead of "creation" and "inventing", but you made some excellent points. The appeal of these types of characters goes very far back.

Also forgot to mention Nadia of the Blue Water, considering that was a series Anno directed 5 years before Evangelion. Prime-time slot, NHK funding, 30k sales per volume, considered the first truly otaku-centric show and helped coin the whole 'Welcome to the NHK' saga. Nadia was fairly tsundere but was considered a fairly unlikeable one by a lot of people since she was more negative/hostile than the average one.
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Old 2011-11-22, 03:26   Link #85
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This thread depicts why the "moe craze" exists in the first place.
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Old 2011-11-22, 03:53   Link #86
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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
I can't understand how could people held Sailor Moon, THE ANIME, in such a high regard other than seeing through with the pinkest of pink nostalgia goggles. It was just plain bad with a very unsympathetic and unlikeable lead character and filled to the brim with fillers. It's usually recommended to go read the manga instead.
I agree with you. Not to mention how horribly annoying Usagi was. Uggh. The manga and PGSM were better. Plus, the anime had too much Rei x Usagi. I hate that pairing.

Last edited by BaKaBaKaOtaKu; 2011-11-22 at 05:14.
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Old 2011-11-22, 04:20   Link #87
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Originally Posted by Ash Falls Town View Post
Anyway Madoka is definitely a show created for a male audience and the topic creator obviously wants shoujo shows (3 of the shows they mentioned are shoujo shows).
I'd say that it's not far removed from shoujo and hence worth a shot. Actually, an awful lot of moe strikes me as shoujo repackaged for males (so glad Last Sinner mentioned Cardcaptor Sakura as a major influence on the moe movement).

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Yes, this one the many tangent/angles I wondered about in the original post as well, and as a standalone consideration could probably be debated/discussed (though with great care/caution, I should add). I think you are quite correct that even characters that may appear or act "childish" (to emphasize this sort of "cuteness") often have additional dimensions beneath the surface that contribute more than this and what ultimately make them endearing. But from an outside perspective, this may not be apparent, and if you couple this with a preconception that these shows lack substance, along with some of the more... flamboyant displays of excessive devotion? ... it may send a message not unlike that what the OP seems to perceive. If you've come to believe that "moe = sexualization of young girls" then, okay, I can definitely see how that would offend some people (probably even a lot of people). That's indeed why we need to break the real issue down to its component parts and figure out the heart of the "problem", because there are probably a bunch of separate issues at play that happen to have been grouped together.
Many of the most vehement anti-moe critics seem to use moe as a stand in for "childish cute character" - if more mature moe characters like Rin Tohsaka or Fujibayashi Kyou register as moe for them, they've never told me so. This, to me, is partly a function of Ayu being the "second face" of moe to many westerners after their introduction to the concept in Haruhi - with Mikuru being the "first face". Hardly a combination that demonstrated that demonstrates the breadth of what a moe character can be. A few other Key characters play into this as well. And some critics are aware these characters originate in eroge, so they make the jump to "otaku are sexually obsessed with character like Ayu".

Which, from my perspective, is a major understanding of the Kanon fandom, even if its one that is easy to make. Ayu has two major virtues to the Kanon fandom. First, she's the game's "cute mascot character" - kind of like an anthromorphization of the cute animal found in many magical girl shows (so I guess Miyazaki's "pet" comment makes sense here - but not in the sense he probably intended it). Second, she's the girl whose route has a major emotional punch. Stuff like that isn't supposed to happen to the "cute one" (although "bad stuff happens to the cute one" has since become the expected trope to an extent - part of Kanon's legacy, really). And when you think about it, the key "takeaway" of the ending:

Spoiler for Kanon:


is rather adorable and heartwarming.

Really, at no point does sexual attraction have a major role. That's just a function of "well, we're essentially repackaging a shoujo as a porn game... I guess it needs porn?" While I haven't played the original game, my suspicion is that the H scenes are basically just "official" lemon fanfic, and like with other fandoms (*cough* Harry Potter *cough*), there are fanboys/girls who occasionally partake in such material - but that's not why people are into the series in the first place.

And frankly, I know a few Key fans, and the idea that they find Ayu sexually attractive is pretty laughable. Actually, it's her mascot character like nature that makes her unappealing IMO. Along a similar line of reasoning, I have no trouble seeing a sexual relationship developing between Takuto and Misuzu in adaptations of Air where certain, mascot character like traits (*cough* Gao *cough*) are demphasized, but not those adaptations where said traits are emphasized. (Being all ages adaptations, none of them actually include such an element - but I'm talking theoreticals here.)
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Old 2011-11-22, 04:52   Link #88
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Well, it isn't really much of a problem to me, especially since I'm enjoying moe very much in this era's anime. I don't think it's really ruining anime, in my opinion it's just a style that's different from what some people are used to. An acquired taste, perhaps? I don't think it's objectifying/degrading to women either, because to me, moe and say, fanservice are two different things. Now excessive fanservice in some shows on the other hand...
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Old 2011-11-22, 04:59   Link #89
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Originally Posted by Shai-Lang View Post
First of all, your extremely sexist icon doesn't do you any favors to help your argument. Second of all, by Sailor Moon I meant the manga as well, as well as the Fruits Basket manga. The reason I didn't include manga in the OP is because there are still good manga being released compared to anime so I didn't feel the need to include it.
Discriminating people by avatars is a valid modus operandi? Good, I'll keep it in mind next time I'll argue with hardcore jRPG fanboys who have Sephiroth in their avatar!

And for the sake of fairness, since you have stated anime in your topic, comparison should be done on a manga vs manga or anime vs anime basis, because otherwise it will become as bad as The Elder Scrolls flame wars where people compare modded Morrowind to vanilla Skyrim, or for another analogy, cars where you compare a vanilla Beetle to a modded Ford T.


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still though regardless of how low the quality the SM anime is, its like Shakespeare compared to most of the anime we've been getting this generation.
Precure franchise, now Madoka Magica, those compares very well to Sailor. Please, you have NOT looked hard enough. And since you have been so fast on dismissing Madoka in your opening post, I'll suggest you to rethink your position and ponder if you have looked hard enough and have been broad-minded enough.


My position on moé, I used to hate it but now I ride the train just fine. I understood that it is all about a balanced TV diet. Disppointed with one season's offerings? Let's check those american TV series I have not checked yet, it's how I managed to find and enjoy Game of Thrones, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and so on. Not enough american TV series? Let's check on those vintage movies I always heard about but never watched. And that's how I discovered classics like Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, The Princess Bride, or B movies of the 1980s and 1990s (currently looking for The Adventures of Bill and Ted). Not feeling like watching movies? Read classics I did not check, like War And Peace by Tolstoi.

Back on moe, let's just say that, other than One Piece, Berserk and JoJo, the current offers on the genres in my comfort zone have been not to my tastes, so I randomly check moé. and I have gotten something good out of the moé craze once in a while, like my touhou figures.

Bottomline, for anyone it's all about a balanced diet. Myself, I have been able to not feel awkward for enjoyed moé, MANLY stuff a la JoJo & Hokuto no Ken, "sexist" or not heroic fantasy from Red Sonya to Earth, get my heart burning from Tchaikovky's 1812 Overture one day and headbanging to Mayhem the next morning. Because all that stuff made the nerd, with adult child tendencies, I am today. I love them all equally and I am not embarassed by any of them, and will gladly talk about topics related to what I like if someone want me to.

Last edited by Sheba; 2011-11-22 at 05:12.
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Old 2011-11-22, 05:12   Link #90
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I want to be negative, but I look at anime from this year alone with copious amounts of moe like Madoka Magica and Gosick and those were quite frankly excellent.

I have no doubt there are some moe-heavy anime that are horrible, but the same can be said of moe-light anime too.
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Old 2011-11-22, 07:04   Link #91
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To be honest, it's not the cute girls that are at fault--everyone loves cute girls! What's at fault is the checklist mentality that's associated with such shows. Anime producers want to maximize profits, so they make a list of elements to include in the anime that will individually appeal to select audience subgroups. This is why every bishoujo romance comedy needs a tsundere, a kuudere, a quiet girl, a glasses girl, and a bunch of other tropes and cliches, because they're tried, they are known to appeal to people, especially to dumb otaku.

Whenever I see that an anime is taking the checklist approach, I give up. The show doesn't even need to have cute girls. Last time this happened, I was watching the first episode of Towa no Kuon together with my girlfriend. Ten minutes into it, I was apologizing for picking such a ridiculously pointless show for us to watch. It was quite literally the worst anime I ever watched. The weird thing about it is that its checklist didn't consist of your typical moe elements that would appeal to your typical juvenile K-ON! crowd. No, the show was more like a tribute to Casshern: Sins and TERRA E, and was probably meant to appeal to fans of weird dystopian shit, with the added bonus of contemporary anime tropes sprinkled on top. The creators clearly had a checklist of things to include, although I suspect that the checklist wasn't made for the sake of a demanding audience, but rather a list of elements from other shows that the writers themselves thought they were cool.

This last part is what's wrong with anime, manga, and light novels today: too many creators who decided to enter the business because they loved watching cartoons or reading books, but lacking that outside perspective to sense when their material gets too incestuous.
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Old 2011-11-22, 09:18   Link #92
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As a moe fan, I afraid the bishie-fujioshi shows like Black Butler, Hetalia and Starry Sky will ruin the anime itself. Aren't those shows are female equivalent of moe shows?
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Old 2011-11-22, 09:54   Link #93
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This last part is what's wrong with anime, manga, and light novels today: too many creators who decided to enter the business because they loved watching cartoons or reading books, but lacking that outside perspective to sense when their material gets too incestuous.
It reached a point where it becomes a Easter Egg hunt or a checklist run of blatant tropes that have appeared in the shows the author is a fanboy of. This is what also have been bothering me. In a certain franchise, it have reached a point where the winks and nudges about the author being a HUGE fanboy of a video game franchise have become eyerolls inducing. It have not been bothersome for those who were fans of that video game franchise, but I felt it excluded those who were not even fans and think that the author should have included influences from somewhere else.
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Old 2011-11-22, 11:29   Link #94
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Originally Posted by Darkbeat View Post
I want to be negative, but I look at anime from this year alone with copious amounts of moe like Madoka Magica and Gosick and those were quite frankly excellent.

I have no doubt there are some moe-heavy anime that are horrible, but the same can be said of moe-light anime too.
Both of those series have moe. BUT, moe isn't the focus of the series. It's OK to have the moe element, just as long as it isn't the primary focus. Madoka isn't epic because of the moe. Madoka is epic because of the things happening around the characters.
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Old 2011-11-22, 15:23   Link #95
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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
Madoka is a show that polarises the new school and old school. New school generally likes it, old school generally despises it. I know because I've spoken to plenty of old school fans over the last year and they tell me shows like Madoka are why they've given up on anime. Madoka pushes all the right buttons for the current crop. For the crop that came off of the 1998 wave, Madoka is the exact opposite of what they want. Not saying whcih way people should go on it - but I am saying Madoka is a show that typifies the changes in what anime fans want now and wanted 10 years ago.
Hey man, I'm about as old school as they come (die hard mecha/space opera/sci-fi/fantasy/shonen action fan) and I like Madoka fine (though not nearly as much as others) so I think that's a bit of a generalization based on not a whole lot of evidence. It has what I look for, good storytelling, themes and characters and these elements could have arguably come from just about any era really.

It doesn't matter how silly Shinbo made the show look for me at times or how meek and cutesy Madoka was at the beginning (there's more to her character than this) or even how they would often deliberately pan the camera across Akemi Homura's legs while she did a sassy pose because everybody kind of grew as a character and the theme of the show in morality was always pretty apparent.

I'm inclined to agree more with Reckoner back on page 2 that K-On was a better breaking point between old school and new school of fans (I actually do agree that there is a distinction to be found somewhere). If it had something to offer other than presenting cute girls being cutesy towards each other and making silly faces while occasionally eating cake, going shopping or going to the beach than I must have missed it.
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Old 2011-11-22, 17:56   Link #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
This thread depicts why the "moe craze" exists in the first place.
Yeah... it's also related to this one. (Ghost in the Shell: Today's anime is driven by otaku/merchandise)

Not deniable at all.

And yeah... it should be moe + great story + originality.
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Old 2011-11-22, 18:33   Link #97
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Yeah... it's also related to this one. (Ghost in the Shell: Today's anime is driven by otaku/merchandise)

Not deniable at all.
Suffice it to say that this doesn't really have anything in particular to do with "moe" though. I think every genre and style of anime is subject to these criticisms, only that the audience and sort of merchandise changes, and I'm not sure that this has really fundamentally changed over the years. Perhaps the only thing that's changed is that it's now faster, easier, and cheaper to bring product ideas to market, so you may see more franchises green-lit now than would have been able to see the light of day before.

Basically, I think that article is "truthy" (it seems reasonable at first glance, so some people instinctively believe it to be true) but the implications don't really hold up to deep scrutiny. It's not clear that anime is any more or less commercially-driven than it ever was, even though the opportunities for merchandising may be greater.
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Old 2011-11-22, 18:50   Link #98
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I don't really get the topictitle

If anything is ruining anime, it's not a current or specific 'trend'

But the unoriginal, mediocre, repetitive downpour of nothing new and the ram-it-down-your-throat-by-the-bucketloads of what's todays Hype

"Oh people appear to like beans (again), let's sell nothing but beans for the coming months while they still have an appetite for it"

It's fine if the OP has a problem with 'moe', but it's a generalisation that that is what is ruining an entire branch of entertainment
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Old 2011-11-22, 20:33   Link #99
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Originally Posted by Kaioshin Sama View Post
Hey man, I'm about as old school as they come (die hard mecha/space opera/sci-fi/fantasy/shonen action fan) and I like Madoka fine (though not nearly as much as others) so I think that's a bit of a generalization based on not a whole lot of evidence. It has what I look for, good storytelling, themes and characters and these elements could have arguably come from just about any era really.

It doesn't matter how silly Shinbo made the show look for me at times or how meek and cutesy Madoka was at the beginning (there's more to her character than this) or even how they would often deliberately pan the camera across Akemi Homura's legs while she did a sassy pose because everybody kind of grew as a character and the theme of the show in morality was always pretty apparent.

I'm inclined to agree more with Reckoner back on page 2 that K-On was a better breaking point between old school and new school of fans (I actually do agree that there is a distinction to be found somewhere). If it had something to offer other than presenting cute girls being cutesy towards each other and making silly faces while occasionally eating cake, going shopping or going to the beach than I must have missed it.
There's some old schoolers I've met who I think would refuse to watch Madoka on principle, but in general I'm inclined to agree with you. The most old school anime guy among my friends is in his mid-30s and a "Clamp, Evangelion, and cheesy 90s OVAs" kind of guy, and he loved Madoka. However, cases where I've shown him slice of life - even SoL that's a little more involved than K-On!, have generally ended in failure. I think its just too low key and down to earth for him.

The exception would be the grandaddy of the genre - Azumanga Diaoh - probably because it's a much stranger show. The sheer enthusiasm with which he accepted an invite to watch Azumanga with my girlfriend and I one time was pretty impressive. So maybe something like Hyakko would be workable.

(VN adaptations are a different story. He likes a lot of the ones I remember you don't.)

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Suffice it to say that this doesn't really have anything in particular to do with "moe" though. I think every genre and style of anime is subject to these criticisms, only that the audience and sort of merchandise changes, and I'm not sure that this has really fundamentally changed over the years. Perhaps the only thing that's changed is that it's now faster, easier, and cheaper to bring product ideas to market, so you may see more franchises green-lit now than would have been able to see the light of day before.

Basically, I think that article is "truthy" (it seems reasonable at first glance, so some people instinctively believe it to be true) but the implications don't really hold up to deep scrutiny. It's not clear that anime is any more or less commercially-driven than it ever was, even though the opportunities for merchandising may be greater.
I do think that there's been a shift in audience though. Like I've said elsewhere, I really do think there's something to be said for the idea that there's been a fall off in shows aimed at a broadcast, non-otaku audience. And to be honest, I think that probably has little to do with the popularity of otaku anime, because the health of otaku and non-otaku markets feel to me like things that should be at least somewhat independent.
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Old 2011-11-22, 21:04   Link #100
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I do think that there's been a shift in audience though. Like I've said elsewhere, I really do think there's something to be said for the idea that there's been a fall off in shows aimed at a broadcast, non-otaku audience. And to be honest, I think that probably has little to do with the popularity of otaku anime, because the health of otaku and non-otaku markets feel to me like things that should be at least somewhat independent.
That's an interesting point, and I do wonder if that's the case or not. It wasn't too long ago I saw someone make a blog post that analysed the anime market only from the perspective of the traditional primetime and morning/kids timeslots, and the conclusion at the time was that those segments of the market hadn't changed that much in terms of either content or emphasis. But I wonder if, because we have the late-night shows to draw our attention, we just don't notice or pay attention to the majority of shows in those other timeblocks (big name shounen shows notwithstanding). Like, for example, most of the big name "family shows" that actually have wide Japanese viewership in the general audience are completely ignored by International fans for whatever reason. So is it actually that there are less shows for general audiences, or that we just don't notice them anymore because there are so many more TV shows targeted directly at our age demographic? Hard to say, but could be interesting to find out.
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