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27 March 2008 @ 18:54
Am I going crazy?

No, seriously. Real question.

I'm looking at some of the latest to-be-animated announcements and they look like complete JUNK. Not just 'oh, that doesn't look very good' but 'ugh, that makes me feel physically ill'. Sexist, racist... and more so than usual. These aren't adult OAV titles either, although they'll be airing late at night. They'll be widely broadcast too.

The following websites are safe for work, except... not. I don't know. It might just be me. Save them until you get home, if you want to see for yourself.

Here's the first one: Bounen no Xamudou. It seems that tentacle rape is passé now and we're using giant hands instead.
Actually, this one probably IS NSFW: Magical Academy. Ick. Ick. Ick.
I honestly wonder if I'm being oversensitive here: Kaiba (character designs). Billed as an anime whose simplistic designs belied its more serious message and with Paku Romi as one of the stars, I was initially quite interested. Except... well, look at the black/dark-skinned character. What were they thinking!?

Here, have a show about a kitty: Chi's Sweet Home. Stars Kiuchi Hidenobu, amongst others.
Thomas Vye: Irako Bloody Facethomasvye on 27th March 2008 11:53 (UTC)
I didn't think they were anything much....schoolgirls with huge eyes and their knickers showing is pretty much to be expected of 90% of anime, esp. harem crap, not just this season but every season. :)

The director of Chi's Sweet Home, Mitsuyuki Masuhara, was an assistant director on Shigurui; I expect nothing less than abloodbath. >)
Williamgenkischuldich on 27th March 2008 11:58 (UTC)
It's just... I don't think I've ever seen breasts THAT badly drawn, and I used to read X-Men during the Rob Liefield era! :) But somehow it feels more 'porny' than most other stuff, particularly considering the probable age of the participants.
Thomas Vye: Gundam Ali AlSarchezthomasvye on 27th March 2008 15:25 (UTC)
Well, to be charitable, we must remember most of these otaku have never actually seen real breasts. ;)
reichsfreiherr on 27th March 2008 16:40 (UTC)
The giant hands did at least make me laugh because they’re so ludicrous but for non-adult titles that’s a bit much. Of course I benchmark hentai to Bible Black anyway so that’s probably forever set the bar far too high. As for that Kaiba one I’m not at all convinced that that character is actually meant to be human, if it is then evidently Japan feel that nobody is taking their claim to mass xenophobia seriously enough anymore and felt that they had to up the ante.

Is there any way this might just be a case of a bad selection on the part of studios at one specific moment in time and not a growing trend? Because I have to believe that it’s a bad judgement call on someone’s part rather than a deliberate one. Unless the (actual Japanese definition) otaku have run out of dire titles to waste their money on and the industry is just churning out trash to bilk them of more earnings that they might otherwise spend on an attempt to engage in social activity?
Williamgenkischuldich on 30th March 2008 04:55 (UTC)
Well, according to some politicians, we shouldn't have anti-discrimination laws because we shouldn't need them. Which is nice. When the character is human or not, he's human-shaped. The other characters are Japanese-looking and normal, while the black-skinned character is... well. I think the fact that his name is Vanilla is highlighting this too.

I've certainly seen worse, yes. I mean, I look through Moonphase on a regular basis for anime news. But those titles are never meant to be mainstream or for tv broadcast.
reichsfreiherr on 30th March 2008 17:33 (UTC)
Well, according to some politicians, we shouldn't have anti-discrimination laws because we shouldn't need them.

Where? In the UK where organisations like the National Front still exist or in the East where looking down on Caucasians is part of your cultural heritage? Perhaps looking down on Caucasians is out of fashion this season so the animators had to come up with some other racial group? And if that’s the case I’ve got relatives that I’d like to tell that too.

It sounds like the industry is going through a bad patch but then I’ve been bewailing the lack of good anime for a while now and Japan has never been noted for racial tolerance so I don’t know whether it’s growing worse or if this is just the standard that I’d like very much to be unaware of. Not that it makes it any better if institutionalised racism is the standard, it’s just that I don’t feel terribly qualified to talk about the matter in regards to Japan because plenty of what I’ve heard will have been coloured by biased commentary on the Japanese anyway, especially from elders who actually remember war-time Japanese occupation.
Ariss Tenohariss_tenoh on 27th March 2008 17:32 (UTC)
I bought the Animage issue which listed all the new anime airing in the new season so you're not going crazy. There isn't anything good being animated these days. I wonder if it's due to the fact that few manga series achieve the high calibre of the late 90's series, they're all focusing on moe.
Williamgenkischuldich on 30th March 2008 05:08 (UTC)
I honestly think there are a lot of good things coming our way -- Nabari no Ou, Monochrome Factor, Himitsu: Top Secret and Bus Gamer are amongst them. But there's a lot more stuff from the moe crowd creeping in too.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on 28th March 2008 01:13 (UTC)
LOLOL The black character's name is Vanilla! Oh Japan.. XD;;

Obviously I really take things with a grain of salt nowadays, as far as anime's concerned. I'm a lot more picky about live action stuff (hair color argh!!! But you've heard me make that argument before). But I figure if I like it I'll watch it, and otherwise it's not worth the mental effort to care (more of the time). Maybe if you think about it the same way, it will help? ^^;

I wonder if that Magical Academy is based on the arcade game.. I've always wanted to get into it because they have GREAT figurines for it, but I can't manage to sit and spend money on games like that, somehow. But this series looks nothing like it and total crap. ^^;;
Williamgenkischuldich on 30th March 2008 05:12 (UTC)
I know! It just adds to the wince factor!

I think it's important to care about media portrayals because they feed into society's attitudes towards other members of society. Then, our beliefs about what certain types of people like or want has an effect on policy. It's stupid, worrying about panty-flashing school girls... but then why do we have a chikan problem?