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Iaboo, Youaboo, Weallaboo for Anime!

q 3

Posts: 4,731,901
(they/them)
Just from unwanted cultural osmosis it seems like mostly fans being upset that the wrong girl "won" which is to say their favored romance did not become canon and a different romance did. Because as we all know if you're a love interest in a story and don't end up marrying the protagonist then your existence is retroactively meaningless and holds no possibility of future happiness

It's another problematic fave but I will never get over how Kashimashi had the wrong girl "win," realize that she won for the wrong reasons, break up with the protagonist and help her get back together with her actual true love, then when asked if she wanted to date someone else was like "uh no I'm actually pretty happy being single for now, check back with me later" which was pretty fucking rad and goes to show that the world still needs more trans lesbian self-insert wish fulfillment stories.
 
Just from unwanted cultural osmosis it seems like mostly fans being upset that the wrong girl "won" which is to say their favored romance did not become canon and a different romance did. Because as we all know if you're a love interest in a story and don't end up marrying the protagonist then your existence is retroactively meaningless and holds no possibility of future happiness
Yes, that's a perfectly valid point. However, when the central thrust of your entire story is written around a specific romantic pairing, and the vast majority of your fans get invested in that romance, and then at the very end you pull the rug out from under your readers and don't fulfill that pairing in favor of a different one nobody likes and is actually kinda problematic, it's uh. Gonna understandably ruffle a lot of feathers when you do that.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I watched the first two eps so far, and yeah, it's not bad. Polygon still hasn't quite perfected CG-animating people, but the Kaiju and Jaegers all look great, though they have the more agile disposition of Uprising rather than the lumbering weight of the original. Speaking of Uprising, I'm not super clear on the timeline but I think this may come after it, as it's including some concepts tangentially from there like small kaiju and the idea of kaiju/jaeger hybrids. Not to mention addition rifts weren't a thing in the timeline leading to the first movie.

The second episode does introduce the most anime of tropes, a mysterious mute probably super-powered waif in a test tube, but I'm willing to see where they go with it.


(Peklo, that awesome Sailor Moon R write-up makes me wish I'd actually watched more of the series, so I could get the most out of just popping it on some time.)

I don’t think it’s a sequel so much as an Instead-quel
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
Just from unwanted cultural osmosis it seems like mostly fans being upset that the wrong girl "won" which is to say their favored romance did not become canon and a different romance did. Because as we all know if you're a love interest in a story and don't end up marrying the protagonist then your existence is retroactively meaningless and holds no possibility of future happiness
Oh. I think I know what this means, and that does make me kind of unhappy if true. Not for the reason you say, but if it is that one then I just really don't think it makes sense or works. I can't really express what I mean, but the LNs have suggested this at times and it just feels wrong.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
....

Wisteria? Can you go ahead and spoiler pop who was the final girl for our dear part-timer? The suspense in here is palatable.
 
Wisteria? Can you go ahead and spoiler pop who was the final girl for our dear part-timer? The suspense in here is palatable.
His underaged teenage burger coworker. This is despite The Hero getting way more character development and meaningful time together with the MC, including the two of them raising an adopted child together, and also teenage underaged coworker being underage.
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
Oh. Huh. See, that's the one that actually feels right to me.
So, this could just be a separation of view regarding the LN versus the anime (where from what I've been able to tell the anime is hornier then the LN is, but I haven't seen the anime yet), but while there is work done to reconcile Maou and Emilia due to their "adopted" child(ren), it also still feels like... I don't know, at best they are estranged exes trying to make up? It feels wrong to me for there to be a suggestion that they are getting close in that manner. Meanwhile, the stuff with Chi is consistently presented as everyone (Emilia included!) supporting her attempts to win Maou's affections.

I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm aro that I'm just not grokking things? Or stuff changes more in volumes past where I am? Regardless, that actually makes me feel good about continuing to read the books.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Finally watched the last Great Pretender arc. Mostly very good but I feel like the pay-off was a bit disappointing. I know anime has a past of turning old enemies into antiheroes or heroes but... every other villain from the last three arcs sucked. Don't work with these people. It wasn't earned. I don't mind the show's post-credits coda but I feel like the previous character codas don't work for me. I completely forgot one of the characters they revealed and I would much rather have had one more moment with Edamame than the President thing or the painting thing.
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
I think I really like Wonder Egg, but also I watched episode 4 and had to go lie down afterwards.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Finally watched the last Great Pretender arc. Mostly very good but I feel like the pay-off was a bit disappointing. I know anime has a past of turning old enemies into antiheroes or heroes but... every other villain from the last three arcs sucked. Don't work with these people. It wasn't earned. I don't mind the show's post-credits coda but I feel like the previous character codas don't work for me. I completely forgot one of the characters they revealed and I would much rather have had one more moment with Edamame than the President thing or the painting thing.

Yeah, part of the problem may be I watched the series over a long period of time, but like half the epilogue shots lost me completely. I have no idea what the deal was with the President. Good show overall though!
 
The President was the movie star of the Die Hot movies featured in the first arc.

I liked the ending, I wasn't that bothered by the previous arc villains coming back, because it was very much in character for these morally grey con artists to use former adversaries in their conman schemes. And when you get down to it, those previous villains were all con artists themselves, so they'd all jump at the chance to make money and let bygones be bygones. I also think it somewhat links up with the theme of the show that almost nobody is irredeemable and purely evil, and even if you've done heinous shit in the past, you can atone. Which is a theme that's going to rub a lot of people the wrong way, especially in our culture that thrives on retribution and absolutism. But Edamame's entire arc is basically an argument for criminal justice reform which we all ought to be more amenable and open minded to.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I liked the ending, I wasn't that bothered by the previous arc villains coming back, because it was very much in character for these morally grey con artists to use former adversaries in their conman schemes. And when you get down to it, those previous villains were all con artists themselves, so they'd all jump at the chance to make money and let bygones be bygones. I also think it somewhat links up with the theme of the show that almost nobody is irredeemable and purely evil, and even if you've done heinous shit in the past, you can atone. Which is a theme that's going to rub a lot of people the wrong way, especially in our culture that thrives on retribution and absolutism. But Edamame's entire arc is basically an argument for criminal justice reform which we all ought to be more amenable and open minded to.
Yeah but these aren't characters redeeming themselves and one of them has had people straight up murdered and they've all been shits from beginning to end. I love a good redemption arc and think that humanizing criminals is a BIG part of this series but usually that's in the form of side people (the first baddy's henchman, the second baddy's complicit but less shitty brother and the lady whom the third baddy was bleeding dry. It really doesn't track with the characters as I've seen them previous nor is it something I'm excited to see. They never really get humanized. If anything, the choice not to kill almost seems more to protect the inner circle who is committing their crimes from doing harm to their souls. Ironically, Suzaku is most humanized main baddy despite the fact that her crimes are objectively the MOST awful and though she has genuine compassion for one person, she is willing to sell children.

That said, even though the choice to have Dorothy just be alive, despite not making much sense, works for me. It has nothing to do with the actual narrative but makes so much sense in the messaging. I could be wrong, but I don't think the show actually KILLS anyone except through natural means (Eda-Mom-E) and the show says "We never kill." so the show takes the same tac and even spares her life in a flashback, a trick on the audiences... and all the characters in the series).
 
Speaking of the main villainess in the last arc, I don't know if she's worse than the movie exec from the first arc. Both were engaged in human trafficking and murder, but the movie guy was also pumping drugs into the local community in ways I don't recall the yakuza boss doing? (She may have been doing that too, I forget.) But the difference seems kinda academic to be honest. I really liked her character though. Because in some ways she's a victim of that whole world as well. She didn't really choose to be a yakuza boss, she inherited the work after her husband died. And you can't really leave that kind of life easily. The ending worked well for me because the goodies ruining her financially gave her the out to step away from that life like it implied that she always wanted to but never could.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
WARNING: A HUGE BATTLESHIP CODENAMED "EFFORT POST" IS APPROACHING FAST

also actual warning: unpleasant transphobic stuff

I've talked about this on the Discord a bit, but lately (and against my better judgment, honestly) I've been getting back into Fushigi Yuugi, the "reverse harem" isekai shoujo series from the mid-to-late 90s. I was way into this show when it first started coming out in the US on VHS back when I was 16-17 and still coming to terms with my own sexuality. It's a fun, charming series with a reasonably interesting quest plot (gather the seven celestial warriors and summon the god Suzaku to make your wishes come true), but while its main character is Japanese highschooler Miaka Yuuki, my focus was then, as it is now, on one of the said celestial warriors: Nuriko.

Nuriko's sexuality and gender identity are a bit complicated, an issue which is not helped by the stereotypical and unfortunate Japanese tendency to conflate gay men with trans women, and made especially fraught by later developments in her character arc, which I'll get to in a bit. While I realize now it's probably more accurate to view her as trans, when I was a teenager I saw a crossdressing gay man, probably because I'm gay myself and was desperately hungry for any morsel of representation in the media I consumed. In fact, Nuri was the first canonically non-cishet major character I had encountered in any fictional work up to that point, and thus she made a huge impression on me. (My IRC screenname for a few years was Nuriko, despite the fact that we're not very much alike at all.)

Her early characterization is a bit all over the place: when we first meet her she's jealous, petty and even a bit vindictive, prone to fits of anger and violence. But she quickly mellows out and becomes a trusted confidante and a valued member of the team, both for her superhuman strength and her keen wisdom when it comes to matters of the heart. She quickly settles into the role of being Miaka's queer best friend, and is portrayed as a kind and generous soul.

One of the show's many problems, though, is that while Nuri is generally respected as a person by her companions, her sexuality and gender identity become the butt of an endless series of immature and sometimes cruel jokes once she's outed. In one episode, her fellow warriors are being magically treated for their injuries, and one of the medics (whom she's never met before this) cheerfully offers "I'll cure your perversion!" and gets uppercutted through the roof. In the same scene, Miaka's getting a blood transfusion from two of her warriors, and Nuriko generously offers some of her blood as well; she's curtly told "Save it" with no further explanation. (Nuri muses "why do I feel insulted...?" and that's the end of the matter.) And on, and on, and on...

Despite the endless abuse, always played for cheap laughs, Nuriko's loyalty to her companions is unwavering, and as a teenager I was riveted by her story; every month I'd eagerly buy the new volume, interested in the continuation of the overall plot but mostly excited to see what my favorite character was going to get up to this time. Then the series ran me into a brick wall at full speed.

About midway through, we learn that Nuriko's beloved younger sister Kourin had been killed in an accident, and that she subsequently adopted Kourin's identity as a way of keeping her memory alive, even falling in love with the sort of man that she thought her sister would like. Nuri spontaneously decides that she can better protect Miaka "as a man," renounces her queerness, is heavily implied to be in love with Miaka, and then becomes the first of the heroes to die (killed by a shitty werewolf, the lowest and shallowest character on the opposing team of Seiryuu warriors.) In characteristic selflessness, she uses her last moments of life to shift an enormous boulder so the rest of her companions can continue on their way, then collapses and bleeds out. Everyone stands around and eulogizes her (including continuing to wonder out loud if she was a man or a woman), her image song plays over the ending credits, and then that's it. The story moves on. Back to Miaka's stupid quest.

I was devastated. Heartbroken. Betrayed. In the span of a couple of episodes, they turned the show's major queer character cishet and then killed her off. I quit the series right then and there. My friends who watched the show were also sad, of course, but they kept watching, and would inform me of later developments in the story, but I didn't care anymore. As with the other Suzaku warriors who would later fall in battle, Nuri was able to come back in spirit form for major events, and seemed at peace with her life and her death. But as a final insult, we learn late in the series that her unrequited love interest, the emperor Hotohori, went on to marry a woman named Houki... who looked exactly like Nuriko. Ugh.


Well, time heals all wounds, I guess, and some twenty years later I'm ready to give the series another shot. They did my poor Nuri dirty across the board, but some part of me has always been a little curious about how this story I was briefly so passionate about wraps up. (I know the broad strokes through osmosis, but not the details.) With my recent raise I ordered the DVDs off of eBay, and am watching the series on Crunchyroll in the meantime. I'm enjoying myself! There's something warm and nostalgic about 90s anime for me, and though the series has its problems both large and small, I intend to go the distance this time. I'll report back, maybe.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
Hey, I just found out that The Adventure of Dai is now also streaming on Hulu in addition to Crunchyroll. I'm actually gonna watch more than 3 episodes now since I don't have a CR subscription!
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
Even when I was a little babby egg, the stuff with Nuriko felt off to me, and my circle of friends generally agreed that Nuriko was done rotten in the end. Turned out that most of us who agreed were trans in denial, so maybe there's something there to unpack.

I have been off and on thinking about revisiting FY myself, since it was a very influencial series for me at the time. But knowing what comes up for Nuriko casts a large shadow that drags me out of the mood.
 

q 3

Posts: 4,731,901
(they/them)
Speaking of trans anime characters, Wonder Egg Priority finally went all-in on what it's been teasing for a while. Not just one but two openly trans characters having an excellent conversation in between, you know, fighting a life-or-death battle against a grotesque manifestation of the Patriarchy.

It's def not for everyone though. I'm increasingly convinced the show's pitch included the lead writer presenting a list of every contentious social issue from the last 20 years and saying, "I'm gonna talk about all of these in just 12 episodes." Trigger warnings? Yes. Also it's apparently become a production disaster behind the scenes, though it still generally looks and sounds a cut above most anime.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Finished off the short first season of Pacific Rim: The Black. It weren't bad. Has some very anime plot beats, and some very Pacific Rim plot beats, and the two actually mesh together pretty decently, which I guess isn't surprising given the franchise's roots and all.

Warning that it is a bit darker than other PR stuff, with some characters meeting messy ends barely off-frame, and not just by Kaiju.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Just read Vaeran's long post and it's giving me flashbacks. I remember Fuugi being huge in the local anime fan scene in the early 2000s, and the local convention actually got Yuu Watase as a guest once or twice. I don't think I actually watched it very far in, though; I definitely don't remember seeing the unfortunate end of Nuriko's arc.
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
I'm still making my way through early FY, and am up to what is probably the single dumbest twist from a pure plot perspective:

So we're looking for the seven Suzaku celestial warriors, right? We've got six and are on the hunt for the seventh, Chiriko. Problem is, our heroes don't know anything about him, including what he's supposed to look like, so we're just sort of wandering around hoping for a clue. The opposing team, the Seiryuu, take this opportunity to have one of their own infiltrate the group by performing a staged heroic act and claiming to be Chiriko. Everyone rejoices! We've got them all now!

EXCEPT THEY SHOW ALL THE SUZAKU WARRIORS IN THE OPENING SEQUENCE, WHICH WE'VE SEEN TWENTY TIMES NOW, AND FELLA HERE AIN'T ONE OF THEM


I guess it's dramatic irony.

More seriously, one problem that's becoming apparent in the narrative is that Miaka and Tamahome reached the "I love you" stage of their relationship way too quickly, leaving them nowhere to go from there emotionally. We've got 52 episodes to get through, and the core of the series is supposed to be their romance; wouldn't it be more satisfying to have an attraction slowly build between them? Instead they're at "I can't imagine a world without you" levels by like, episode ten. I remember from my first go-round that what I have to look forward to is 800,000 different situations which conspire to break them up, and a tearful, dramatic reunion about every third episode. Can't wait.

Nuriko Report: She's still weathering casual abuse from all sides ("This is Miaka Yuuki, the Priestess of Suzaku. And this is some gay guy.") but they'd all be dead a dozen times over by now if not for her cheerfully smashing walls, lifting heavy shit and generally beating ass. Get em, Nuri.

Finally, the way the series has the catchy, funky opening notes of the ending theme kick in during the inevitable cliffhanger that ends each episode rather than waiting for the credits proper to begin is really fun and addictive, and makes me wish for similar accompaniment to the dramatic moments of my own life. Nyao~!
 

Vaeran

perfect world
(he/him)
I'm at the halfway point in Fushiggity Yiggity. Not long now.

In happier news, it's mid-season upgrade time! Each of the Suzaku warriors receives a gift that increases or complements their abilities, and as befits the best character in the show, Nuriko gets the coolest one: a pair of magic bracelets that transform into strength-boosting gauntlets. This raises her power level from "somewhere north of Jessica Jones" to "somewhere south of She-Hulk." Let's see you crack some jokes now, assholes. (They still do.)

Useless trivia: A chintzy cosplay replica of one of those bracelets was the first thing I ever bought on eBay. I won't say how much I spent, but it was far too much for the flimsy quality of the thing[1], and once it arrived I was reluctant to wear it for fear that I'd break it. No idea whether it was official merch or not, but while I see a few fan-made ones on GIS, none of them quite look like what I had. It's funny; I can still remember the feel of the thing and even the little box it came in, but not what I ultimately did with it. Oh well.

[1] Please don't let this give you the impression that I've since learned to make better financial decisions.
 
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