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Old 2007-08-01, 07:32   Link #2601
Simon
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Seen in an Akihabara vending machine: Limone, the official drink of Simoun fans everywhere. Goes great with mouse stew!
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Old 2007-08-16, 07:28   Link #2602
darthfury78
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Angry Eri/Erij: A woman's mind trapped in a man's body?

After reading the summary regarding episode 2, I can't help but wonder about the decision that was placed upon Erii at the springs temple. I got the impression that the male gender was forced on her by the preistess because she couldn't make the choice on her own. In retrospect, I do believe that Erii was seriously leaning towards choosing the female gender.

The forced actions by the priestess led to the tragic consequences that would affect Erii for the rest of her life as a man. I don't believe that she would have seriously chosen the male gender option if she had made a firm decision beforehand. As the result of the actions that was not of her own choosing, Erii is made to suffer emotional turmoil as she undergoes her transformation to a man. This is certainly a classic case of a woman's mind forever trapped in a man's body.

I was doing some research on Erii/Erij in the Simoun manga. Does she appear in that series as well? If so, was the fate placed on her the same as in the anime? From what I've read so far about the springs temple in the manga, it mentioned that the process can be reversed. In contrast, the gender selection is permanent. Is this true?

It's ashame that Erii was made into a scapegoat for this circumstance. I would have loved to have seen a great deal of character development made to her by the writing staff. Erii could have been a interesting character if they had kept her around thoughout the series as a pliot and her interactions with the other cast members. I do feel that the wrong character was used for this controversial decision.

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However, if Eri never existed in the manga, then I'll assume that the writers of this series created her as a entrapment to draw more people to this series, as Erii/Erij was only used 2-3 times. If this was their intension, then they did an excellent job at doing just that.

Simoun had the potential to become another Eureka 7 without the yuri attached to it for the mainstream audience. Instead, they made it into a controversial series surrounding the transgender issue among the girls as they reached the age of 17. This is probably the only thing that would keep the series from reaching the popular maintream level of Eureka 7.

I am certainly convinced that Simoun could have gone on to 52 episodes. Also, I do feel that Erii would have been an interesting FEMALE character. Too bad they wrote her off as a man.
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Old 2007-08-16, 07:49   Link #2603
Iskandar Taib
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthfury78 View Post
I was doing some research on Erii/Erij in the Simoun manga. Does she appear in that series as well? If so, was the fate placed on her the same as in the anime? From what I've read so far about the springs temple in the manga, it mentioned that the process can be reversed. In contrast, the gender selection is permanent. Is this true?
To be honest, there's not too much manga. Three chapters in Yuri Hime, and the scanlation is on Lillilicious's web site. It's mainly about the Mamiina vs. Aeru arc.

Quote:
Simoun had the potential to become another Eureka 7 without the yuri attached to it for the mainstream audience. Instead, they made it into a controversial series surrounding the transgender issue among the girls as they reached the age of 17. This is probably the only thing that would keep the series from reaching the popular maintream level of Eureka 7.

I am certainly convinced that Simoun could have gone on to 52 episodes. Also, I do feel that Erii would have been an interesting FEMALE character. Too bad they wrote her off as a man.
After watching the entire series, I'd have to disagree. The thing I loved about it was how unpredictable it was. Everything I _thought_ would happen didn't. Even the ending - I couldn't have imagined it would have ended like that if I'd tried for a hundred years. It just kept me totally off balance. The gender issue IS an important element, BUT it wasn't really the end all and be all to the story. In the end, Eri/Erif was just another minor character. What WAS the show all about? It kept changing as you watched.
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Old 2007-08-16, 14:46   Link #2604
darthfury78
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Hi,
Could you provide me with the link to Lillilicious's website?

While I agree that the controversial issues is what kept the series going, I was refering to Simoun becoming a potential mainstream series that could have gone on to becoming a commercial success at the level of Eureka 7 or Dragonball Z if the yuri and the trangender elements were removed. The unpredictability could still be retained without the controversial elements involved.

I know that this series was aimed at the female market. In my honest opinion, Simoun has a very strong mainstream market potential, if the controversial elements were removed beforehand for the anime.

And I still believe that Erii could have been a major character in the series as well. What's done is done. The writers wanted to go against conventional wisdom with this series, and they did their job well. I am not sure if it was successful as a marketing tool that Eukera 7 and Dragonball Z enjoys to this day. Was this series ever a commercial success as Eukera 7 or Dragonball Z? I am still not sure.

Regardless to my opinion, I feel that the creators of Simoun are more than satisified at what they have accomplished. Writers and voice actors alike.
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Old 2007-08-16, 14:57   Link #2605
Matrim
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darthfury78, you seem to be under the misconception that Simoun is based on a manga. It isn't.

Quote:
This is certainly a classic case of a woman's mind forever trapped in a man's body.
I haven't rewatched episode 2 in a while but what makes you so sure? Who is to say that Eri's reaction wouldn't have been the same if the female gender had been chosen for her? Maybe she was crying because she realised she didn't really want to become an adult and pick a gender at all.

Quote:
It's ashame that Erii was made into a scapegoat for this circumstance. I would have loved to have seen a great deal of character development made to her by the writing staff. Erii could have been a interesting character if they had kept her around thoughout the series as a pliot and her interactions with the other cast members. I do feel that the wrong character was used for this controversial decision.
Don't you think that if they have picked some other character to make their point, chances are you would have complained because of the waste of potential character development? Or you liked only Eri at first?

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I know that this series was aimed at the female market.
It was? I don't think so. The skimpy outfits of the Sybillae and kiss powered Simouns seem to point at an ambition to lure the fans the of non-subtext yuri most of which happen to be male.

Quote:
I was refering to Simoun becoming a potential mainstream series that could have gone on to becoming a commercial success at the level of Eureka 7 or Dragonball Z if the yuri and the trangender elements were removed.
The transgender aspect is like half of the coming of age process for the characters which is basically the whole point of the series. How exactly do you imagine Simoun without it?
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Old 2007-08-16, 15:50   Link #2606
darthfury78
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I haven't rewatched episode 2 in a while but what makes you so sure? Who is to say that Eri's reaction wouldn't have been the same if the female gender had been chosen for her? Maybe she was crying because she realised she didn't really want to become an adult and pick a gender at all.
I can agree with your statement regarding the fact that Erii didn't want to become an adult and pick a gender so soon afterall. We can probably agree that she was not prepared to make a decision that would have certainly impacted the rest of her life. If she was allowed to remain with the flight squad throughout the series and had time to develop the pros and cons of choosing a gender, she would have chosen the Female gender, as most of the other girls did towards the end of the series.

This is just my interpretation of what I have read so far about episode 2. And yes I would have loved to have seen Erii as another major character is this series.

As to whether or not Erii would have acted in the same way if she was given the female gender. I honestly don't know. But based on her reaction of begin given the MALE gender, which was not that of her own choosing, I feel that she might have been satisfied with the female gender.
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Old 2007-08-16, 16:08   Link #2607
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The transgender aspect is like half of the coming of age process for the characters which is basically the whole point of the series. How exactly do you imagine Simoun without it?
Just as with any other series, where everyone is born either male or female. I feel that Simoun takes a very different approach where everyone is born a female. But it's the characters personality that will determine that choice. I did read up on the last few episodes of the series to learn that they were definately surprises of each of the girl's gender chioce. All could have chosen the male gender and walked out of the temple with no regrets, unlike Erii. To my surprise, only two of the girls had chosen that option. The rest were happy as girls. The way that they were born. I do feel that Erii would have been on the side of the majority as well.
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Old 2007-08-16, 16:22   Link #2608
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darthfury78, you seem to be under the misconception that Simoun is based on a manga. It isn't.
I know that. I wish it were so I could have made a quick comparison. But it did preceed afterwards. I wanted to know if Erii existed in the manga as well and if the outcome was the same as in the anime. Given the lack of information about it, I assumed that Eri was an exculsive character for the anime series.

Quote:
Don't you think that if they have picked some other character to make their point, chances are you would have complained because of the waste of potential character development? Or you liked only Eri at first?
As to whether I would have had the same reaction if any other character went to the sping to make their gender decision: No.
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Old 2007-08-16, 18:29   Link #2609
Kaoru Chujo
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darthfury78 touched off an interesting discussion.

1. Simoun without the gender aspects would have lost its main unique hook, for me, but it's an interesting thought. However, it could never have been a Eureka7 or a Dragonball Z because in my opinion it is too focused on people's feelings, rather than events, and because of the nature of the feelings it explores. Just a bit too shoujo -- and in my biased opinion too intelligent.

2. The theme of the show was, according to early interviews with the cast, the various sibyllae's reactions to the progress of the war, rather than the war itself. The nature of gender is another theme underlying everything. And the nature of time and reality, if it comes to that. And perhaps the nature of love: AaeruxNeviril, DominuraxLimone, ParaiettaxNeviril, MamiinaxRodore, KaimuxParaietta, KaimuxAlti, YunxOnashia, YunxMamiina -- all are interesting versions of love.

3. Eri didn't know what to choose. No matter which she imagined, she was dissatisfied. Perhaps she was more disappointed to be male, but perhaps it was just the end of choice that hurt her. In any case, we do see her again late in the series, so you can make a further judgment when you've seen her (I mean him) then. But I did love the character -- and the VA, Yukana, who played Dominura, too -- and would have found it interesting to see him through the show. But it was also interesting for adult pilots not to be allowed. And the scene as it was, with its searing finality, was one of the highlights of the show. If Erif had shown up in the next episode, it would have felt less powerful, in retrospect, I think. And he could never have spoken with Dominura, for one thing, lol.

4. I still don't know if the staff realized that their attempt to appeal to large male and female audiences was doomed. I think they are probably happy with the product, but not with its commercial success. I think the yuri aspects did alienate many people of both genders, and were too "subtext yuri" (thanks, Matrim) to appeal to a large male yuri audience in the way Strawberry Panic did. The OP kisses were an unfulfilled promise for many viewers, I expect. I think the show was too shoujo-ish to appeal to a mass male audience, as well. Not enough of either titillation or action.
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Old 2007-08-17, 09:31   Link #2610
darthfury78
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Now that I've taken the time to think about it, I feel that Eri's indecision was based upon either becoming an adult(Female Gender) or staying with her friends and fighting alongside with them.

I believe that if the natural course of action was allowed to run its course, Eri would not have made a decision at that time and would have returned to her squadron. She wasn't actually thinking about either choosing a Male or Female gender at all. I felt that she had already made the decision of choosing the Female gender, which would have signified her as a woman. Thus she would not have been allowed to fight alongside with her comrads, whom she was very close to. She didn't want to lose that bond of friendship. She would have prefered to have everyone who was of similar age to gone with her to the spring and make the choice together, which would be Female for most of them. She really didn't want to make that firm choice alone.

When Erij returned in the last episode, he might have come to terms with his new life. However, everytime when he looks in the miror, he still sees himself as Eri, the girl he once was. A girl whose mind and sprit is trapped inside a man's body.

I still believe that the author who had written episodes 1 and 2 should have allowed Eri to have left the temple without making a decision. That would have been a satisfying conclusion to this gender deciding issue, in my opinion.
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Old 2007-08-18, 12:34   Link #2611
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Quote:
4. I still don't know if the staff realized that their attempt to appeal to large male and female audiences was doomed. I think they are probably happy with the product, but not with its commercial success. I think the yuri aspects did alienate many people of both genders, and were too "subtext yuri" (thanks, Matrim) to appeal to a large male yuri audience in the way Strawberry Panic did. The OP kisses were an unfulfilled promise for many viewers, I expect. I think the show was too shoujo-ish to appeal to a mass male audience, as well. Not enough of either titillation or action.
Hi Kaoru,
Do you believe that Simoun could have been handled differently if they didn't add the transgender aspect to the series, and instead to have the characters born as either boys or girls? I feel that the series could have gotten a lot of positive response if they had kept the yuri aspect to a minimum. This might have had a better appeal to children. Start the series off by providing an opening for children to watch the start of the show and make it more complex overtime to lock them in as they grow up, like Naruto, Inuyasha, or Bleach. Do you believe that the show could have provide a more diverse subject matter as the three shows that I've mentioned?

I do feel that the Simoun could have been a milti-product line that could aimed at different audiences in the following format.

1. Mainstream Anime

2. Exclusive OVA/Hentai that could have explore the charcters romantic relactionship in greater depth than what the TV series allowed.

3. A strong manga series that could esblished itself along the lines of Naruto, Inuyasha, or Bleach.

4. A series of movies


Would this method of marketing had worked if the creators of the didn't come up with the transgender issue for the series? I do feel that it's the real reason why this series didn't do very well as it could have. Maybe they should create an alternate universe version where the subject of trangender didn't exist and the yuri is only exclusive to the OVA/Hentai format.

What are your thoughts about the creators starting over with a new version of Simoun that could still retain some of the same characters, but without the issues that had made the series so controversial?
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Old 2007-08-18, 14:19   Link #2612
Matrim
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Not that I have watched Naruto but from its reputation, I think it's utterly pointless to use it as a reference in this thread or any other shounen action anime for that matter. The most popular shows, especially those with action elements, are plot driven while Simoun is very much character driven, the war is a background for character development. There is no way of turning Simoun into a Naruto with the end result being anywhere near the spirit of the original. BTW, are you implying that hetero relationships are OK in anime which might be watched by children while yuri is a no-no? Isn't that politically incorrect these days?

Quote:
I do feel that it's the real reason why this series didn't do very well as it could have.
Really? So you think people started watching it and when they saw there were females who become males (without any visible difference in appearance at first, mind you) they decided it was too creepy or something? Well, there were probably such people but I doubt this is the main reason for the lack of popularity. If you read carefully this thread you will see that by far the most complaints are about the initially confusing plot and setting. And the marketting seemed to be quite weird, it seemed to be impying that the show was going to be a shallow one, full of fanservice and action, something that it isn't.


Quote:
I think the show was too shoujo-ish to appeal to a mass male audience, as well. Not enough of either titillation or action.
Seconded. Although Maria-sama ga miteru seems to be pretty popular with the male audience, maybe it's because one knows what to expect from the start. Simoun starts with a bang, a lot of air combat in the first episode, fanservice galore and then it switches to character study, worldbuilding and rather short battles.
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Old 2007-08-19, 12:13   Link #2613
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Really? So you think people started watching it and when they saw there were females who become males (without any visible difference in appearance at first, mind you) they decided it was too creepy or something? Well, there were probably such people but I doubt this is the main reason for the lack of popularity. If you read carefully this thread you will see that by far the most complaints are about the initially confusing plot and setting. And the marketting seemed to be quite weird, it seemed to be impying that the show was going to be a shallow one, full of fanservice and action, something that it isn't.
While most of what you have mentioned is true for this series, I still stand by the notion that the real reason why the show is not as propular as Salor Moon(for example) is because if the writers choice to use the transgender element to the storyline. The controversial fact that everyone on that world is born a female. And to make the transition to adulthood, she must go to the Spring to make a permanent gender selection.

In my honest opinion, gender selection should be left up to Mother Nature as the child is being conceived. I believe that this is the direct root cause of the problem. I have no complaints about the yuri aspects of the story. But I feel that it could have been handled differently. A strong story line, along with strong and coheasive character and plot development are primary key towards making the show a commercial success.

I feel that Simoun was just an experiment to try a different twist of making the series interesting a thought provoking. However, I felt that they had push those issues too hard in some case, which might have turned off a lot of people interest towards this series. The Eri storyline is a good example of a forced approach of this subject matter. Especially since the character was trying to make the right decision. The proper ending of that storyline should have been that she doesn't make a decision after all. But a Male gender was forced upon her, through no fault of her own choosing. I feel that this is the root cause of the problem. One must never force this matter in front of people. Episode 02 is by far the most controversial episode of the entire Simoun series.

While this idea is unlikely to happen, the writers should go back and create an alternate ending for this episode to show that Eri doesn't make a decision, but takes a leave of absense from her duties as warrior. Sort of like taking a vacation.

Or the could create an alternate universe version of Simoun where everyone is born either male or female. Retain all of the female characters from the original story, but the male characters as warriors as well in a separate unit fighting alongside them in battle.

Simoun has a lot of protential to be like Salor Moon, or some of the other titles I've mentioned as well. But the Salor Moon concept could work as well. The yuri aspect isn't all that important. But it could be maximize through a OVA/Hentai manner in good taste, which could make the series even stronger. This could satisfy a lot of people's interest, in the same fashion as Bible Black, one of the top selling OVA/Hentai of all time due to its interesting storyline. And it doesn't over do it most of the time.

That's all from my perspective. Most might disagree with my view of Simoun. But if one of the shows creaters would follow the example that I have stated, a potential goldmine could be unleashed for Simoun.

Last edited by darthfury78; 2007-08-19 at 12:23.
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Old 2007-08-19, 16:05   Link #2614
Matrim
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In my honest opinion, gender selection should be left up to Mother Nature as the child is being conceived. I believe that this is the direct root cause of the problem.
You are aware that science-fiction is all about showing interesting developments in the future, even ones which might make the readers feel uncomfortable?

Quote:
The Eri storyline is a good example of a forced approach of this subject matter. Especially since the character was trying to make the right decision. The proper ending of that storyline should have been that she doesn't make a decision after all. But a Male gender was forced upon her, through no fault of her own choosing. I feel that this is the root cause of the problem. One must never force this matter in front of people.
You do know that in the world of Simoun when one delays the gender choice for too long bad things happen to her body? And of course, this is a religious procedure in a holy place, it makes sense if the High Priestess chooses it whenever the visitor can't do it on her own, maybe they consider it such indecisiveness an insult to Tempus Spatium and so they do not allow a second visit. I have said a few times already, I think but I will reiterate just in case - the whole point of this storyline was to emphasise the importance and the finality of the gender decision. Eri simply postponing it would not have driven the point home. Characters who make mistake and pay for that, I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. I'd actually much rather have that than characters making mistakes and being saved by a "plot shield".

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Or the could create an alternate universe version of Simoun where everyone is born either male or female.
Once again - why? In order to lose the originality so that the average viewer would feel more at home? There are tons of shows geared towards the more mainstream inclined viewers.

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I still stand by the notion that the real reason why the show is not as propular as Salor Moon(for example) is because if the writers choice to use the transgender element to the storyline.
I have only watched an episode and a half of Sailor Moon, so correct me if I am wrong but isn't it a lot more kids friendly...and not just because it didn't have transgender, mind you. I think you are comparing apples and oranges too often. If you want to compare a show with Simoun compare for instance Last Exile because of the similarity in terms of original setting and non-mecha air battles. Or some war anime. Not a magical girl or ninja shounen series...

It's a rather sad state of affairs but if Studio DEEN wanted a really big hit, they wouldn't have gone for originality and might have done something close to what you'd have liked to see but I think someone mentioned that Simoun was never a priority project for them and had an awfully small budget, so I guess the creative team was given more freedom than those of the big hit series. Since I am not a shareholder in DEEN, I'd much rather have them making such shows every now and then and not go for mainstream hits all the time. But maybe that's just me being an elitist again.

Quote:
A strong story line, along with strong and coheasive character and plot development are primary key towards making the show a commercial success.
No, they are not. Marketing and catering for the taste of the majority of viewers are. You can have a show with brilliant plot and characters - for instance Higurashi and still an awful lot of people watch it fro superficial reasons - in the case of Higurashi mostly because it has 'killer lolis" and a lot of moe cuteness. Not that there is anything wrong with that per se but it means that storyline and characters alone are often not enough. OK, I am really being an elitist now, so let's stop for now.
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Old 2007-08-19, 19:39   Link #2615
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Does anyone have a decent sized screencap of waporif?
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Old 2007-08-20, 03:00   Link #2616
Simon
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R1 DVD info

AOD have listed US release details for Simoun V1 - confirming the earlier announcment, it's six episodes (150 minutes), sub-only, and due out 2007-11-13. New info is the US$19.95 RRP, and that it's rated "16 up" (I'm not really clear on their rating system - is that some sort of official age restriction, or just the distributor's recommendation?).

EDIT: According to RightStuf, MB have chosen to translate コール as "Choir".

Last edited by Simon; 2007-08-20 at 03:38.
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Old 2007-08-20, 05:02   Link #2617
Simon
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The good news: Ishikawa Chiaki has a new album out this week, and it includes a full-length version of the Simoun OP. Yay!

The bad news: the bonus DVD doesn't include the lovely promo video for the song that used to be on the JVC Music website. Boo!
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Old 2007-08-20, 05:22   Link #2618
Dop
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I have to say that if you'd removed the gender issues from Simoun (which would also involve changing the whole way the society was structured), and if you tried to make it more 'commercial' then basically you would have wound up with Generic Action Adventure Series # 843861 and I wouldn't have been so interested.

Simoun had a beginning, a middle and an end. Admittedly it may not have been a conclusive end but an end it was, and I thought it was a good end.

The writers generated a consistent world, the use of an all female voice cast was inspired, as was the idea to have episode one narrated by 'the enemy'. And at the end it left you with questions, many of which remained unanswered or were merely hinted at.

I wouldn't want it any other way.
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Old 2007-08-20, 06:32   Link #2619
darthfury78
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Man. Talk about a tough crowd. I have to give the creators of Simoun a lot of credit for at least trying to something that is unconventional from the other anime shows. But they were probably aware that the path that they set out for themselves might make Simoun into a stigma, which would result in limited commercial success, which is vital for making more future Simoun programs.

I still feel that Simoun could become a powerful medium if its controversial issues were removed and addressed in a different form. Including the removal of gender selection issue. But I feel that the general public has spoken about Simoun prospects already.

I haven't seen anything new on the manga version of the series. The last information on it goes up to December, 2006. At least Evangelion's manga went on after the TV series ended. I'll assume that the reason why they are no new manga of Simoun is because the author/creator was disappointed that his creation was not a commercial success. Thus decided to concentrate on other projects.

I believe that Simoun was a very good lesson plan to try out and to test controversial issues that is rarely found in TV anime. Perhaps, the writers wanted to go all out and create a product that they could be proud of because they might not get another opportunity to do so again, dispite the results of the contrary.

The success of Simoun depended on the support of the japanese viewers and supportors. But then again, Cowboy Bebop and The Original Bubble Gum Crises OVA weren't that popular in Japan either and went on to become giant success stories in the international market. Maybe it could find its audience in North America. But I still feel that the idea of girls becoming either Male or Female will be a let down for a lot of viewers.

In real life, when it comes to transgender, a very small number of those who opt for this proceedure are women. Men make up the majority of cases when it comes to this issue. It'll be quite interesting to see how well this series will do in America.

Regardless of my opinion, I say that Simoun should be brought back as a manga again that reflects an alternate universe of the story in the Weekly Shonen Jump. This is the only option that the author could try to restablish the series as a mainstream medium. Once the manga has established itself, then exploring the yuri relationship among the characters slowly. Never forced, like the anime.
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Old 2007-08-20, 10:31   Link #2620
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Quote:
Regardless of my opinion, I say that Simoun should be brought back as a manga again that reflects an alternate universe of the story in the Weekly Shonen Jump. This is the only option that the author could try to restablish the series as a mainstream medium. Once the manga has established itself, then exploring the yuri relationship among the characters slowly.
Huh? What would be the point of that? A version of Simoun that would have any chance to succeed in Shonen Jump would have to have almost nothing in common with the original. Why not just come up with a brand new manga with a different name? After all, even if the Shonen Jump readers like the hyphotetical mainstream Simoun version, why should they like the presumably utterly different anime? It would be like trying to turn a science fiction novel or movie which tries to be deep and somewhat philosophical into sword and sorcery mainstream fantasy or sci-fi pulp. For instance turning Blade Runner into Konan the Barbarian or Star Wars.
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