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Old 2009-08-06, 11:59   Link #81
Theowne
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If I understand correctly, your point is saying is that there's no point in using another (sub)culture's definition of what is appropriate to make up for some insecurity within your own society. In Japan, K-On is targeted at males, but in American society, it would be considered girly. Rather than feeling insecure about it and bringing up the fact that it's intended at (Japanese) men, you should just defend it on its own merit. Is that what you're saying? If so, then I'd probably agree.
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Old 2009-08-06, 12:06   Link #82
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Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
If I understand correctly, your point is saying is that there's no point in using another (sub)culture's definition of what is appropriate to make up for some insecurity within your own society. In Japan, K-On is targeted at males, but in American society, it would be considered girly. Rather than feeling insecure about it and bringing up the fact that it's intended at (Japanese) men, you should just defend it on its own merit. Is that what you're saying? If so, then I'd probably agree.
Yes, exactly!!! That's it. Have a cookie for being the first one who actually got my point.
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Old 2009-08-06, 14:18   Link #83
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I don't think K-On has a special girl appeal in any culture. The arguments supporting that thesis seem to be "I don't get it, I'm a guy, so it must be girl stuff." and "It is about girls so girls will dig it by default." Both don't hold much water.

Look at the depiction of girls in Marmalade Boy or Skip Beat or w/e. Or boys, that are normally decidedly not absent in anime targeting girls. It's completely different from K-On and seems to work inside of Japan as well at outside.

I'm not saying I'd succeed at making a cartoon for girls, but dammit, if I had to it wouldn't look like K-On, that for sure.
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Old 2009-08-06, 14:21   Link #84
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Well, there's a difference between something that's considered girly and something that would actually appeal to girls. I mean, you could put GI Joe in pink armor and it probably wouldn't appeal to girls any more than it does, though boys would say it's "too girly".

P.S. Kazu-kun, I've been asked to point out that your use of the word "girly" is being seen as offensive and demeaning - the cause of at least some problems in the discussions involving you.
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Old 2009-08-06, 14:57   Link #85
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Yes, but boys concerned about the color of GI Joe's armor aren't the target demographic yet anyway.
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Old 2009-08-06, 15:15   Link #86
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Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
P.S. Kazu-kun, I've been asked to point out that your use of the word "girly" is being seen as offensive and demeaning - the cause of at least some problems in the discussions involving you.
If someone sees it as offensive is because they just didn't understand why I was using that word. Besides, "I've been asked"? Please, if someone has something to tell me, I'd appreciate those people to talk to me by themselves.
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Old 2009-08-06, 15:55   Link #87
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Okay then.... I've pointed it out to you at least twice. I thought maybe if someone else pointed it out it might help. The term is offensive because it is belittling and demeaning by its nature and has been for decades. My wife would just as soon reach over and smack you as she reads your posts.

Your defense of "they don't understand".... substitute some other offensive word and try that defense out on it to see how it flies. I'm suggesting you drop the term because you do have some good discussion points but are antagonizing people who might otherwise notice them.
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Old 2009-08-06, 16:11   Link #88
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Okay then.... I've pointed it out to you at least twice. I thought maybe if someone else pointed it out it might help. The term is offensive because it is belittling and demeaning by its nature. My wife would just as soon reach over and smack you as she reads your posts.

Your defense of "they don't understand".... substitute some other offensive word and try that defense out on it to see how it flies.
I wasn't defending anything. It's a fact that the only way to see that as offensive in this context would be if you misunderstood what I was trying to say.

Anyway, I wonder if following this conversation about whether x term is offensive or not here would get me banned or something for going off-topic... Well, to be safe, if you want to keep the discussion about this feel free to PM.
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Old 2009-08-06, 23:27   Link #89
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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
I don't think K-On has a special girl appeal in any culture. The arguments supporting that thesis seem to be "I don't get it, I'm a guy, so it must be girl stuff." and "It is about girls so girls will dig it by default." Both don't hold much water.

Look at the depiction of girls in Marmalade Boy or Skip Beat or w/e. Or boys, that are normally decidedly not absent in anime targeting girls. It's completely different from K-On and seems to work inside of Japan as well at outside.

I'm not saying I'd succeed at making a cartoon for girls, but dammit, if I had to it wouldn't look like K-On, that for sure.
Precisely. The question about the target demographic is often answered by looking at what the draw of a show is supposed to be. There are some universally liked elements like certain types of comedy and so forth, but outside of this, almost every show tries to satisfy a more specific niche. Shows like K-On draws their appeal from having girls do cute things, and light parodies and shout outs. This kind of appeal is pretty limited to the otaku segment. Shows that target girls will often feature a large female cast, but they often feature them acting in a far more proactive manner, with a lot of the appeal coming from the efforts that the protagonists go through to achieve their goals and so forth.

Then again, demographics aren't exact, and there is often a lot of spillover, and we have shows like Cardcaptor Sakura designed mostly for little girls have a large otaku fandom as well. This is one of the reasons that illustrate why I think that the whole demographic issue is given more attention than it really deserves.





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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
I wasn't defending anything. It's a fact that the only way to see that as offensive in this context would be if you misunderstood what I was trying to say.

Anyway, I wonder if following this conversation about whether x term is offensive or not here would get me banned or something for going off-topic... Well, to be safe, if you want to keep the discussion about this feel free to PM.
I'm not sure what there really is to discuss. "Girly" used descriptively is neutral, and there isn't any problem with using it that way. However, "girly" used in a derogatory manner (i.e. suggesting that it should confer negative connotations) can be offensive. I can't see a problem with the way you use the term most of the time, but this:
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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.
is a big of a borderline case, so I suggest that you watch your usage. Again, I don't think that there's any need to discuss the merits of the term, but if you must do so, I suggest you do so in a PM. If you feel the need, I'm open to the discussion as well.
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Old 2009-08-07, 00:32   Link #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
If I understand correctly, your point is saying is that there's no point in using another (sub)culture's definition of what is appropriate to make up for some insecurity within your own society. In Japan, K-On is targeted at males, but in American society, it would be considered girly. Rather than feeling insecure about it and bringing up the fact that it's intended at (Japanese) men, you should just defend it on its own merit. Is that what you're saying? If so, then I'd probably agree.
Yes, exactly!!! That's it. Have a cookie for being the first one who actually got my point.
I don't think there's anything insecure about pointing out that something is seinen rather than shoujo. I think the "thrust" of Vexx's argument is that he was trying to show this guy that he has a very narrow view of what it's okay for guys to read. Pointing out a manga is seinen rather than shoujo is a logical argument to use in this situation because it draws attention to the fact that his judgment of the book is based on his own bias instead of the actual target audience. Second, if I saw a guy harping on his younger brother for reading "girly" stuff... I'd want to put the guy in his place, and showing he doesn't know what he's talking about is a good way of doing that. It takes him down a few notches.

As for the argument about the labels themselves, whether or not they still accurately describe the target audience isn't hugely important IMO. Where these labels are useful is in that you know a work described as "seinen" will feature different tropes than "shoujo" or "shounen". The North American "genre" classification system doesn't describe this: clearly, there are major differences between seinen and shoujo romances not captured in the word "romance". Sure we could probably come up with a better classification (for example, both K-On and Ghost in the Shell are seinen... but only one is "moe") that is gender neutral to boot, but then we'd have to get everyone to adopt it. Plenty of archaic systems stick around just because nobody wants to retrain everyone in the superior alternative.

(And by the same token, the genre system tells us things about a story that the "demographic" label doesn't. Also, when you think about it, doesn't North America also have demographic based labels like "chick flick"?)

And finally, as to the idea that shoujo is more open to alternate sexuality, I can't really comment... except to ask in regards to the Card Captor Sakura example... what age and gender are the characters in question? (Yes, I'm a moe fan who has never seen CCS. Don't laugh.) Because I seem to remember hearing that it's fairly common and well accepted in Japan for young girls to have close relationships with one another. It's when they get older that society expects them to get boyfriends.
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Old 2009-08-07, 01:41   Link #91
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I don't think K-On has a special girl appeal in any culture.
You know I'd say that in Japan, that's probably true, but if you look around anime fans elsewhere there's a significant, if not large, amount of girls who are into the same stuff originally targeted at guys in Japan, including moe and some bishoujo material.

This is very evident at various cons (at least in the US) and anime clubs. Even in bookstores, I remember when I visited Japan a while back I did not see a single girl browsing any manga and related magazines in the bookstores during the admittedly short time I spent--yet here, at Borders in a location popular with younger folks, you can easily find a number of girls along with the guys sitting in the aisles reading manga.

You can find more "real" examples at dannychoo.com

Take this person's room.
Before scrolling all the way down, try to imagine how you think the person looks like if you had not read my post above.

More examples, if you don't mind feeling a bit like a voyeur
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Old 2009-08-07, 05:08   Link #92
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You know I'd say that in Japan, that's probably true, but if you look around anime fans elsewhere there's a significant, if not large, amount of girls who are into the same stuff originally targeted at guys in Japan, including moe and some bishoujo material.
I'm not saying no girl on this planet has ever watched K-On and enjoyed it, I'm saying it will nowhere be considered as being especially for girls, which would mean that the majority of the consumers is female.

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As for the argument about the labels themselves, whether or not they still accurately describe the target audience isn't hugely important IMO. Where these labels are useful is in that you know a work described as "seinen" will feature different tropes than "shoujo" or "shounen". The North American "genre" classification system doesn't describe this: clearly, there are major differences between seinen and shoujo romances not captured in the word "romance". Sure we could probably come up with a better classification (for example, both K-On and Ghost in the Shell are seinen... but only one is "moe") that is gender neutral to boot, but then we'd have to get everyone to adopt it. Plenty of archaic systems stick around just because nobody wants to retrain everyone in the superior alternative.
I think nobody would deny that the demographic classifier are useful to describe the Japanese manga/light novel/anime market as it is. "Seinen romance" however is a genre, a sub-genre of "romance". If anything, people don't accept the notion of "it's XYZ because it appears under an XYZ label" just like they wouldn't accept some story as belonging to a certain genre just because somebody wrote that on the book cover.

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And finally, as to the idea that shoujo is more open to alternate sexuality, I can't really comment... except to ask in regards to the Card Captor Sakura example... what age and gender are the characters in question? (Yes, I'm a moe fan who has never seen CCS. Don't laugh.) Because I seem to remember hearing that it's fairly common and well accepted in Japan for young girls to have close relationships with one another. It's when they get older that society expects them to get boyfriends.
First of all, shoujo is more open to sexualitiy in general. In seinen anime, thanks to the creepy virgin fetish, the female protagonists typically aren't sexual beings at all. Meaning, they're oblivious to all things sexual including their own sexual attractiveness. Up to the point where they can visit what it probably the largest national porn fair without realizing that that's what it is.

CCS is not the best example because the female target audience is relatively young (Sakura herself is 10 AFAIK), so it's natural that the characters aren't busy with trying to get into each other's pants. But there are several, sometimes one sided romances. As for homosexual attraction, as usually it's not easy to draw the line between obvious, hinted at, and only existing in fanboy/girl minds. But there is both male on male and female on female, albeit we could talk for hours if the main girl->girl attraction Tomoyo->Sakura is not romantic or sexual but something much, much stranger.

Now, I don't know what is normal for Japanese young girls but I have no illusions what ideas the otaku subculture will breed in disregard of the facts (and other older males). When I was 10 I had a close relationship to another boy too so we first would have to determine what distinguishes being "best friends forever" from sexual attraction in its infancy.
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Old 2009-08-07, 10:06   Link #93
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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
I think nobody would deny that the demographic classifier are useful to describe the Japanese manga/light novel/anime market as it is. "Seinen romance" however is a genre, a sub-genre of "romance". If anything, people don't accept the notion of "it's XYZ because it appears under an XYZ label" just like they wouldn't accept some story as belonging to a certain genre just because somebody wrote that on the book cover.
Well yeah, I don't accept that notion either. I especially appreciate female seinen fans since I'm not sure I'd enjoy acting as a cosplay photographer otherwise. I mean yeah, I know a few guys who are amazing crossplayers to the point where you don't notice until they speak up, but they're pretty rare.

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First of all, shoujo is more open to sexualitiy in general. In seinen anime, thanks to the creepy virgin fetish, the female protagonists typically aren't sexual beings at all. Meaning, they're oblivious to all things sexual including their own sexual attractiveness. Up to the point where they can visit what it probably the largest national porn fair without realizing that that's what it is.
I was actually thinking specifically in terms of openness to alternate sexuality... I'm not really sure what to say about seinen in that regard because it's so caught up in it's own fetish tropes and parody tropes that it's hard to find anything that isn't distorted by "rule of funny" (including the Nogizaka Haruka example you cite).


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CCS is not the best example because the female target audience is relatively young (Sakura herself is 10 AFAIK), so it's natural that the characters aren't busy with trying to get into each other's pants. But there are several, sometimes one sided romances. As for homosexual attraction, as usually it's not easy to draw the line between obvious, hinted at, and only existing in fanboy/girl minds. But there is both male on male and female on female, albeit we could talk for hours if the main girl->girl attraction Tomoyo->Sakura is not romantic or sexual but something much, much stranger.

Now, I don't know what is normal for Japanese young girls but I have no illusions what ideas the otaku subculture will breed in disregard of the facts (and other older males). When I was 10 I had a close relationship to another boy too so we first would have to determine what distinguishes being "best friends forever" from sexual attraction in its infancy.
My point is that if it's common for young girls in Japan (and I will admit using a Tvtropes article for information about real Japanese is probably not the best for credibility...) yet considered abnormal for older girls, it's not really an alternate sexuality to the Japanese.
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Old 2009-08-07, 12:21   Link #94
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I don't think there's anything insecure about pointing out that something is seinen rather than shoujo. I think the "thrust" of Vexx's argument is that he was trying to show this guy that he has a very narrow view of what it's okay for guys to read. Pointing out a manga is seinen rather than shoujo is a logical argument to use in this situation because it draws attention to the fact that his judgment of the book is based on his own bias instead of the actual target audience.
But if you use that argument, the "actual target audience" would come back to bit you in the ass. I mean, think about it this way: what if that manga was actually shoujo instead of seinen? Would that validate what the guy was doing to his brother? No, because there's nothing wrong with a guy reading shoujo manga. But if you use the fact that the manga was seinen as your argument, then you yourself are implying that it's ok for him to read it because is seinen, and that in turn implies that if it wasn't seinen, it wouldn't be ok. So by using this argument you end up validating his point (that shoujo manga is unsuited for guys).
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Old 2009-08-07, 12:47   Link #95
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Kazu-kun has a good point there (it didn't really matter whether the material was shoujo or seinen or anything else - if the younger one was interested it, that's all that mattered). My intent was simply to puncture the air of superior arrogance and insipid pseudo-masculinity the twit older one was exuding. (Gee, if he's wrong about that what else is he wrong about?).

As I noted in the Love*Com thread... it always seems to put the readers on the manga aisle off-balance when I pick up the latest copy of Love*Com or browse The Wallflower. People who have seen pics of me can try to visualize that...
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Old 2009-08-07, 13:07   Link #96
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My point is that if it's common for young girls in Japan (and I will admit using a Tvtropes article for information about real Japanese is probably not the best for credibility...) yet considered abnormal for older girls, it's not really an alternate sexuality to the Japanese.

Shoujo is, without a doubt, more open to homosexuality than Shounen. What you're referring to is called Class S, a genre of Shoujo that deals with close friendship between schoolgirls, but the fact that this exist doesn't mean there isn't plenty of homosexual couples in shoujo manga.

Also, Seinen isn't completely devoid of gay couples, even this season we have a show like Kanamemo that it's obviously targeted at Otaku and based on a seinen manga that has a lesbian couple.
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Old 2009-08-07, 14:15   Link #97
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I'm not saying no girl on this planet has ever watched K-On and enjoyed it, I'm saying it will nowhere be considered as being especially for girls, which would mean that the majority of the consumers is female
Yes, but given that the fanbase is still largely male with broad taste, you may still not get a majority female audience even with titles aimed at girls (except for shounen-ai or yaoi and children shows, which coiuld be considered in some ways exclusively for girls rather than just aimed at girls).

But if we limit our scope to just the female fanbase worldwide, especially elsewhere without the 'uncool' stigma attached especially for girls, we might have a better picture of what may be considered "for girls" by girls... and my impression as I mentioned above is that it largely overlaps with the male fanbase interest.

I understand your point that aside from publisher label, the type of material for stuff like K-On doesn't match what is traditionally considered for girls, but yet if many and perhaps majority of girls among the female fanbase still watch it or other titles, along with buying goods for it, then does it really even matter what the publisher or editor might have aimed for?

If the same serialized manga magazine format came to the US and elsewhere, with the same publisher categorization, I think they would do well to cross-advertise all the titles across the gender labeling. In fact, they would probably do better without such restrictions at all. Just mix it all up -- (hypothetical manga ex) NANA, K-On, Bokurano, Rosario to Vampire, etc. and I don't think you'll have girls all skipping K-On or R&V, likewise you won't have most guys skipping NANA just because it's "shoujo" especially if they're not told so.

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Old 2009-08-07, 14:25   Link #98
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What you're referring to is called Class S, a genre of Shoujo that deals with close friendship between schoolgirls
That article was quite informative, especially the part about Class S media being banned by the Japanese government in 1936. It helped me see the origins of scenes like those in episode one of Mouryou no Hako, which depicts just such a "Class S" relationship between two schoolgirls.
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Old 2009-08-07, 14:49   Link #99
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The relationship between both girls in MnH could definitely be considered Class S, but given the nature of the anime, it's much more "sinister" than the average. Because the show takes place in the 50's, I always have problem telling if their relationship is supposed to be real Class S or extremely subdued lesbianism.

Anyway, If I don't get subs for the last episode soon I think I'm going to lose my mind.
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Old 2009-08-07, 19:43   Link #100
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Shoujo is, without a doubt, more open to homosexuality than Shounen. What you're referring to is called Class S, a genre of Shoujo that deals with close friendship between schoolgirls, but the fact that this exist doesn't mean there isn't plenty of homosexual couples in shoujo manga.

Also, Seinen isn't completely devoid of gay couples, even this season we have a show like Kanamemo that it's obviously targeted at Otaku and based on a seinen manga that has a lesbian couple.
Well, I kind of said I can't comment at the beginning because I just wanted to bring up the CCS thing without getting involved in the debate. Now that I am involved... well, yeah, shoujo is certainly much more open to it than shounen. Really macho stuff doesn't tend to be open about homosexuality even if it has tons of homoerotic elements (see the Inukami! anime for a riotous send up of this).

I'm not really sure what to say about Seinen and alternate sexuality... some of it is quite conservative, some is very... "unconservative", but the kind of alternate sexuality you get in most cases is very much governed by the kinds of alternate sex the audience is into. (And of course, you could say the same about a lot of shoujo.)

I'd actually heard the term Class S before, but what I've been trying to figure out is whether it's just a literary tradition brought forward or if Japanese society actually does see it as normal prior to a certain age. Can you shed any light on that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx
As I noted in the Love*Com thread... it always seems to put the readers on the manga aisle off-balance when I pick up the latest copy of Love*Com or browse The Wallflower. People who have seen pics of me can try to visualize that...
I think I have seen a pic of you once and had already been imagining it. Have to admit I don't tend to browse a lot in public unless the shop is quiet because I'm still not that secure about the hobby in general, let alone genres... actually, I still get embarassed when my dad shows company my Utawarerumono and Sola wallscrolls. Which I really shouldn't since most of the people who he shows it to tend to be the type who are pretty open about stuff, but there's that initial awkwardness.

(Most surprising? That the awkwardness isn't really related to the fact my Eruruu wallscroll is basically life sized. I did do a big of a spit take when I pulled it out on the bus on the way home from the con and realized it was five feet rather than three, but it integrates into my decor so well that nobody really notices.)
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