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Old 2009-08-04, 17:14   Link #61
Theowne
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Quote:
Theowne - So females can't be otaku? That's very interesting...
*sigh* I don't know where you got this from my entire post. I said that otaku is practically a gender label. Which is true, because statistically, the vast majority of them are male. That doesn't mean there are no female otaku in the entire nation. We can't have a discussion if it's filled with strawman misrepresentations....

Quote:
Hence, my position is that Slice of Life would make for a more accurate label for Lucky Star and K-On, at least amongst western audiences.
Slice of life is a genre, not a demographic. This thread is about demographics.
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Old 2009-08-04, 17:19   Link #62
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Not at all. Much of my point is that genre differentiations are more useful for western audiences than demographic differentiations are.
And I agree with this, demographics are practically useless in TV anime, especially for the audience, but the thing is, they are mostly used by western audiences. In Japan things are much more simple, they use demographics for manga for reasons I explained before, but for anime it's mostly like this:

Morning anime = for kids
Late night anime = for otaku
Primetime anime = much broader audience

Of course, anyone can watch whatever they want.
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Old 2009-08-04, 18:03   Link #63
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
What have I been ignoring? For the parts I'm not responding to, it's because I don't dispute those parts at this point.

My main position is simply that the way anime is labeled is ill-suited, at least for western audiences. If people disagree, fine. If they agree, fine. Is it an illegitimate topic for discussion? If a moderator says so, I'll leave this thread.
I may or may not agree with you about this, but you have to understand two things:

1) Japanese publishers and anime producers publish and produce for the Japanese. In general, they don't take into account the international market (even less when it comes to manga), so their "labels" are pretty useless to us, as obvious cultural and social differences make the Japanese's taste pretty unique, if you will.

1) The "target demographic" is not a label per se, it's a marketing element. For example, there are some moe manga magazines advertised as "shoujo manga magazines form men". Clearly they are trying to appeal to the "feeling of being targeted", and the audience (especially males) bite on it.


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I just don't see how their actual content makes them any more inherently appealing to guys in particular than Card Captor Sakura's content is.
Because you're not Japanese, so you can see the difference between shoujo (like CCS) and moe (like K-ON), but the the Japanese can, and that's why the male Otaku run to Akiba for their K-ON dakimakira and image song albums. Non-otaku people (both male and female) don't even know about K-ON, as they don't read otaku-oriented magazines like Kirara Times, and don't watch late-night Otaku anime.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Hence, my position is that Slice of Life would make for a more accurate label for Lucky Star and K-On, at least amongst western audiences.
Maybe you're right, since the western audience has little in common with the Japanese audience who is the real target of such shows. We can label those shows as we want it really. Still, we should not denied how these shows are marketed in Japan (it tells us about the Japanese themselves too).
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Old 2009-08-04, 18:31   Link #64
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And as to why I raised western comparisons, it's to try to encourage anime fans to think outside of the anime box. In my opinion, we're far too attached to a labeling system that is often more of a hindrance than it is a help, if the hope is for anime to become more popular outside of Japan.
Anime is a Japanese product that is made according to Japanese tastes. As such, the creators almost never think of how their work would be received in the West, and they have little idea how to cater to those tastes. Trying to contort anime into Western demographics is thus a largely fruitless endeavour because, the audience for a lot of anime simply doesn't exist in the West outside of the Japanese-style fans.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
What exactly makes Lucky Star or K-On for males? What about these shows makes them for males?
These shows appeal to the interests that male otaku are known to have. This would be found in the kind of humor they play on (parodies, etc.) and the kind of character archetypes that are used.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Did the producers of the shows come out and say "These shows are for guys", or intentionally put it under a male-based label?

Serious question - my knowledge of the inner workings of anime production is very limited; I'll admit that up front.

Also, if the answer is 'yes', fine, I can't really argue with that. But barring that, isn't the gender appeal of K-On or Lucky Star strictly in the eye of each individual viewer, if there is one at all?
There isn't a whole lot of doubt - Lucky Star and K-On don't have much appeal to non-otaku audiences. These are shows that don't have a Western equivalent, and so it wouldn't make sense to try to treat them as anything other than under purely Japanese terms.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Then why all this insistence on "This is targeted towards guys - and most anime fans accept that! You should too!!!"? How does this hard and fast insistence benefit us, or anime?
You're conflating the way shows are aimed demographically with the question of who can enjoy them. While these concepts are linked, they aren't necessarily the same. The former is mostly a matter of fact: the creators know who they are trying to target with their shows, and it's readily apparent to viewers who have watched a lot of anime. The latter though, is entirely based on personal tastes, and those don't have to conform to the rules set by someone else. Personally, I think that everyone should be a little more open with their tastes, and try shows of an unfamiliar/non-preferred genre now and again.

Moreover, it's sort of important to note just what the terms shounen, seinen, shoujo and josei really mean. They refer to the magazines that the original manga originated in, and that's all they mean, and there souldn't be any more meaning attached to it. They might seem like convenient nomenclature terms for categorizing shows, but they tend to do more obfuscating than illuminating when used in that way - Zipang! and Chi's Sweet Home manga both ran in the same magazine, but is there the slightest similarity between the two?

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Originally Posted by Triple_R
Not at all. Much of my point is that genre differentiations are more useful for western audiences than demographic differentiations are.
I don't think that anyone would dispute that point; at least for most viewers; but it also has little bearing on what the original target audience is; which is the point of this thread.
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Old 2009-08-05, 00:02   Link #65
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Maybe it would be good to also compare target demographics and publishing genre label with actual demographics (which seems to have little data). I'm sure the target demographics do make up a majority of the audience most of the time but there also seems to be a significant portion outside the target for many shows.

I've read posts in GainjinSmash about his former school teaching days showing how his female students are very familiar with Naruto. I also have a hard time believing that the vast majority of the audience -- TV and buyers of DVDs -- for Jigoku Shoujo 1-3 are girls despite being labeled as Shoujo (published in a Shoujo mag as I've learned from people here)

edit: would be interesting to make this intended-vs-actual comparison not just in Japan, but elsewhere as well
We'd probably be limited to just anecdotal evidence, still I wonder if female cosplayers can provide some indication of a female audience for example

Last edited by npcomplete; 2009-08-05 at 00:12.
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Old 2009-08-05, 00:31   Link #66
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The correct link is actually www.gaijinsmash.net, by the way.

Also, I'm just guessing here, I think Naruto, being a childrens show, might be in a different circumstance than shows aimed at otaku, since it seems like adult otaku are a much more specific audience.

I know that series like Cross Game, which is not an otaku show, is technically labelled under shonen, but I could easily see it being enjoyed by youth of both genders, and the show itself closes with segments featuring female high school baseball players in what I would assume are appeals to the audience.
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Old 2009-08-05, 02:50   Link #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
Anime is a Japanese product that is made according to Japanese tastes. As such, the creators almost never think of how their work would be received in the West, and they have little idea how to cater to those tastes. Trying to contort anime into Western demographics is thus a largely fruitless endeavour because, the audience for a lot of anime simply doesn't exist in the West outside of the Japanese-style fans.


These shows appeal to the interests that male otaku are known to have. This would be found in the kind of humor they play on (parodies, etc.) and the kind of character archetypes that are used.


There isn't a whole lot of doubt - Lucky Star and K-On don't have much appeal to non-otaku audiences. These are shows that don't have a Western equivalent, and so it wouldn't make sense to try to treat them as anything other than under purely Japanese terms.


You're conflating the way shows are aimed demographically with the question of who can enjoy them. While these concepts are linked, they aren't necessarily the same. The former is mostly a matter of fact: the creators know who they are trying to target with their shows, and it's readily apparent to viewers who have watched a lot of anime. The latter though, is entirely based on personal tastes, and those don't have to conform to the rules set by someone else. Personally, I think that everyone should be a little more open with their tastes, and try shows of an unfamiliar/non-preferred genre now and again.

Moreover, it's sort of important to note just what the terms shounen, seinen, shoujo and josei really mean. They refer to the magazines that the original manga originated in, and that's all they mean, and there souldn't be any more meaning attached to it. They might seem like convenient nomenclature terms for categorizing shows, but they tend to do more obfuscating than illuminating when used in that way - Zipang! and Chi's Sweet Home manga both ran in the same magazine, but is there the slightest similarity between the two?


I don't think that anyone would dispute that point; at least for most viewers; but it also has little bearing on what the original target audience is; which is the point of this thread.

Very well-worded post. I get exactly what you're saying here. I can see now where my arguments may have felt a bit too tangental to the point of the thread.


Kazu-Kun - You made good points as well. Thanks for the feedback.


Theowne - I'm dropping most of our debate because... I think that we come from two very different perspectives, and it might be difficult for one of us to get across to the other one where we're coming from. However, I will say this, since I think it's pretty clear-cut...

Your approach to how Cross Game is technically labeled, is the same as my approach to how Lucky Star/K-On is technically labeled. You feel that Cross Game can hold appeal for both genders, and I simply feel the same way about Lucky Star/K-On. Both of us can disagree with how a show is technically labeled.

As a secondary point, I was arguing in this thread "Shouldn't I have a right to disagree with how a show is technically labeled?", in the sense of "I think this is a better label for this show". Maybe I'm wrong in my disagreements, just like maybe Cross Game is perfectly fine being under the shonen label, but it's not a great crime for either of us to disagree with how a show is technically labeled, is it?
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Old 2009-08-05, 03:12   Link #68
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Off Topic, aren't we? I don't feel like reposting the stereotypes I noticed.
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Old 2009-08-05, 04:10   Link #69
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@Triple_R

To be honest I still don't understand what point you're trying to make. No one here has ever said that shows like K-On are impossible for females to enjoy. Only that the predominant audience is a narrow male otaku one and the show caters primarily to them in ways that Irenicus summed up earlier.

Opinions would be saying that you don't personally find K-On to appeal to your masculine tastes. You said that earlier, and that's fine. However, you've also disagreed when people say that the show targets males even though that's pretty much a fact.

Quote:
Both of us can disagree with how a show is technically labeled.
Cross Game is technically labelled shonen because it runs in a shonen magazine. Shonen is a demographic, not a genre. There's not much to disagree about. And before you respond, no, that doesn't mean every Cross Game fan is a male.

By the way, shows like Cross Game and K-On are not really comparable, in my opinion. Cross Game is a "family" anime which runs in a friendly timeslot and is clearly trying to appeal to multiple ages/genders, while "otaku shows" are aimed at a much narrower niche market.
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Old 2009-08-05, 08:09   Link #70
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Oh, it's becoming that kind of discussion again.

I'd wish people would abolish phrases like "manga X is shounen" altogether. "Shounen" is a demographic as has been said here again and again. A demographic is a group of people bound together by certain characteristics that marketing people or sociologists consider important. A manga (or light novel or w/e)is not a group of people but a Japanese comic, so saying a manga is shounen is obviously nonsensical.

Semantic nitpicking? Definitely. But seeing the endless, not seldom vile discussions again and again and again this nitpicking seems necessary.

Meanings that can be distinguished are for example:

1. The mangaka thinks it might interest mainly a XY demographic.
2. The editor thinks it might interest mainly a XY demographic.
3. It is published under a XY label.

Proponents of 3 often take 1 and 2 for granted. They're all correlated of course but not necessarily identical. If mangaka and editor disagree the editor will probably overrule him. And even if the editor responsible for a seinen manga sees the material more on the shounen side, as long as it's good and the content is ambivalent enough he might nevertheless rather want to see it published under his seinen label than the shounen label of a competitor. Definition 3 is useful if you frequent Japanese manga stores or indirectly, as far as it provides a resonable assumption about 1 above and 4 below.

Most importantly, there is meaning 4:

4. It actually interests mainly a XY demographic.

To really decide that question one would have to perform a poll. The outcome is everyone's guess. Which leads finally to meaning 5:

5. You think it interests mainly a XY demographic.



That said, K-On looks very much seinen to me (=5), meaning seinen will want to read it (=4) it's published as seinen AFAIK (=3), and if editor or mangaka disagree in private (=2,1) I'd be very surprised.
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Old 2009-08-05, 09:19   Link #71
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If you want to see a shoujo in a similar setting as K-On! and Lucky Star then you'd look at something like Maria-sama Ga Miteru or Oniisama E. The themes and how they are handled generally separate a show in labeling. These shows are much more emotional. Oniisama E is dark and depressing while Marimite is light and uplifting and both dealing with problems the average girl might encounter while growing up, hopefully more marimite than Oniisama E.

K-on! and Lucky Star are more the male fantasy of what girls do when they are together. Cute and ambiguous relationships between the girls and much more comedic. There even shoujo versions of this. Pretty much any shoujo manga set in an all-boys schools i.e Hana Kimi, with guys in similar and often more overt relationships with each other and cute becoming hot and adding much more romance in with the comedy. Though when the cast turns all guys then in divulges into outright pornographic Yaoi.

I don't know why some are stuck on these labels so much. This is a target demographic. It doesn't mean that guys or girls can't like a different one but there are clearly things added that would generally attract a reader of a certain gender. Some mangas straddle the line between shounen/seinen and shoujo and it's just a matter of which magazine they are published in. K-on! and Lucky Star just aren't an example of this. If you don't like K-On! doesn't mean you're any less of a guy or any more of a guy because you do. Everyone has different tastes. It's not that big of a deal.
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Old 2009-08-05, 12:14   Link #72
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The problem only rises up when people insecure about their own choices feel the need to pounce on others. (e.g. shonen action fan belittles rom-com fan or vice versa). I've stood in a bookstore and watched an older brother rag on a younger brother for picking up a "shoujo" book (actually it was a seinen) while he stands there holding his 'macho' shounen choice. I couldn't help myself and interjected that it was a seinen ... older brother didn't even know what that meant. So it goes...
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Old 2009-08-05, 14:01   Link #73
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I couldn't help myself and interjected that it was a seinen ... older brother didn't even know what that meant. So it goes...
The fact that such manga targets men in Japan means little to nothing outside Japan. The older guy just saw his younger brother with a girly manga and ragged on him about it. So what? Do you think that this girly manga being a men thing in Japan makes any difference here? Of course not. Even knowing about it doesn't change a thing, and that's ok.

And just so to avoid any confusion, I like shoujo and some girly seinen manga too (and I'm a guy). But that's not the point. The point is that I'm not going to use the fact that x girly manga is seinen (it targets men in Japan) to avoid people making fun of me or whatever. Like I said before, it's ok to know how this comics are marketed there, but that doesn't have to mean anything here. Sorry for the younger brother, but that's how it is.
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Old 2009-08-05, 14:24   Link #74
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But according to Vexx it was the older brother who used the term "shoujo" to criticize his younger brother's choice, if you're going to incorrectly use demographics as a genre at least have some consistency.
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Old 2009-08-05, 15:34   Link #75
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
The fact that such manga targets men in Japan means little to nothing outside Japan. The older guy just saw his younger brother with a girly manga and ragged on him about it. So what? Do you think that this girly manga being a men thing in Japan makes any difference here? Of course not. Even knowing about it doesn't change a thing, and that's ok.

And just so to avoid any confusion, I like shoujo and some girly seinen manga too (and I'm a guy). But that's not the point. The point is that I'm not going to use the fact that x girly manga is seinen (it targets men in Japan) to avoid people making fun of me or whatever. Like I said before, it's ok to know how this comics are marketed there, but that doesn't have to mean anything here. Sorry for the younger brother, but that's how it is.
If someone is going to be publicly stupid and arrogant about it, they should expect a thumping.
This guy was making several mistakes -- especially the 'young male' error of misunderstanding what men 'are allowed to like' and what constitutes 'girly'. Your characterization of seinen as 'girly manga' doesn't help your position, ya know.
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Old 2009-08-05, 15:35   Link #76
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
The fact that such manga targets men in Japan means little to nothing outside Japan. The older guy just saw his younger brother with a girly manga and ragged on him about it. So what? Do you think that this girly manga being a men thing in Japan makes any difference here? Of course not. Even knowing about it doesn't change a thing, and that's ok.

And just so to avoid any confusion, I like shoujo and some girly seinen manga too (and I'm a guy). But that's not the point. The point is that I'm not going to use the fact that x girly manga is seinen (it targets men in Japan) to avoid people making fun of me or whatever. Like I said before, it's ok to know how this comics are marketed there, but that doesn't have to mean anything here. Sorry for the younger brother, but that's how it is.
Doesn't it mean something? Do you think they aren't marketed in similar ways here? Viz has it Shonen jump and Shojo beat. Clearly they draw a separation similar to the Japanese in marketing manga's. The fact that most manga readers at least know the terms Shoujo and Shonen shows that they do have meaning outside of Japan. Some fans might be under the impression that being Shojo means it only for girls or shonen only for boys but that's their own prejudice not the intended meaning of the term. It's only used as a category for separation of manga's that would generally appeal to a certain gender. Even American T.V shows use demographics to figure out who mainly watching their show and tailor it towards them. The View and Oprah, for example, certainly are shows targeted towards a certain demographic mainly married women.

Generally when someone gets picked on for reading shojo or something "girly" is only because of the other person's prejudice and usually that person has never tried out the manga to see if they would like it. That's not something I believe we should encourage in people. Kids will be kids but one day they have to become adults and that means not being so close-minded.
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Old 2009-08-05, 16:50   Link #77
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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
...

Most importantly, there is meaning 4:

4. It actually interests mainly a XY demographic.

To really decide that question one would have to perform a poll. The outcome is everyone's guess. Which leads finally to meaning 5:

5. You think it interests mainly a XY demographic.
That's a great list btw because it encompasses all the points that can be made about this topic. Sadly, there isn't much concrete data on #4, although some assumptions probably turn out to be true.

A recent example of where #4 partly defies number #3 is Fresh Precure, as seen in this article from this source (both nsfw) showing the audience to be:
4-12 yo female
16-35 yo male
Most less familiar with anime would probably make the wrong assumption about its demographics, while most of us would not be surprised I think.

This goes back to MCallahan's post earlier and about why Vexx interjected with big brother:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
error of misunderstanding what men 'are allowed to like' and what constitutes 'girly'.
and pursuing the what and why itself can open up a can of worms in some situations.. (if this example were to come up on ANN, you can expect the haterade to come pouring in)
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Old 2009-08-05, 17:34   Link #78
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
If someone is going to be publicly stupid and arrogant about it, they should expect a thumping.
You're right, and I never argued that. You want to put a jerk in his place? Be my guest. But what matters here it's that he was being and ass with his brother, not that he mistook manga demographics. That's besides the point.

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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
This guy was making several mistakes -- especially the 'young male' error of misunderstanding what men 'are allowed to like' and what constitutes 'girly'.
Yes, of course, nobody can tell you what you "should" read. You read whatever you want. But that's what you have to tell them if they make fun of you for reading whatever, not that some publisher in the other side of the world said that such manga is a men thing so it's ok for you to read it.

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Your characterization of seinen as 'girly manga' doesn't help your position, ya know.
Actually it does. First because I don't have any qualms to say that something like K-On is girly, which it is. I mean it is about girls doing girl stuff. You can't really go more girly than that. Second, I don't need to say "there in Japan this is men thing so it's ok for me to read it". We're not in Japan so that excuse is pretty meaningless. But more than that, why do you need an excuse anyway? Isn't it that you read whatever you want?

And that's my point. Be a man and admit that you read whatever you read because you want to, not because it is marketed as "something for men" in Japan or wherever. When you told that guy that this x manga was seinen and not shoujo, I thought that you were trying to explain him that it was ok for his brother to read it because it was seinen, because it was a men thing; but that is pretty much nonsense, because it's just an excuse (because if it was shoujo, it would still be ok for him to read it). Still, maybe I misunderstood and that wasn't really what you were trying to do. If that's the case I apologise.

Regardless, my point is valid.
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Old 2009-08-05, 18:47   Link #79
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Actually it does. First because I don't have any qualms to say that something like K-On is girly, which it is. I mean it is about girls doing girl stuff. You can't really go more girly than that.
I don't get your point. If you read Shoujo you'll often find men being "manly" and doing "man stuff". Is that then manly Shoujo? Heterosexual guys often times do want to see girls acting like girls, or at least there idealized version of how girls would act when together. K-On! much more appeals to a male audience and trying to say it's "girly" doesn't change this fact. Calling it girly only serves to try to demean the person watching it while actually there is less appeal in it to the average girl than the average male viewer. If you don't like K-On! join the club I don't either but I certainly am not going to sink to calling it girly just cause I don't like it. It was a pretty boring IMO. I didn't feel my manhood threatened in anyway though while watching it.
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Old 2009-08-06, 11:32   Link #80
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Originally Posted by Slick_rick View Post
K-On! much more appeals to a male audience and trying to say it's "girly" doesn't change this fact.
I never ever implied that x manga being girly changed anything.

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Originally Posted by Slick_rick View Post
Calling it girly only serves to try to demean the person watching it
Why? Girly or not, it shouldn't really matter. You read what you read, so regardless of the content, don't be ashamed of it!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick_rick View Post
while actually there is less appeal in it to the average girl than the average male viewer.
Yes and No. This depend on the particular market it is released in. In Japan, the publishers have determined that these kind of manga will appeal to certain demographic, but this isn't necessarily true for any other place besides Japan. It may or may not, depending on how the new market reacts to a given content. It isn't rare to find a western publisher marketing something that in Japan targeted a male audience as female-oriented. It happens and it's ok, because it would be foolish to think that the audience in Japan overlaps with the audience here in the 100% of the cases. Ultimately it all depends on the particular market you're working with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick_rick View Post
If you don't like K-On! join the club I don't either but I certainly am not going to sink to calling it girly just cause I don't like it. It was a pretty boring IMO. I didn't feel my manhood threatened in anyway though while watching it.
I said be proud of what you read or watch and you understood that I was dissing guys for reading girly stuff? Come on, my whole point is whether it's girly or not (or whether it's shoujo, seinen, shounen, or whatever), it shouldn't matter, people shouldn't feel ashamed of it.
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