Just some thought dumps, since it’s all I have time for this week.
CrunchyRoll’s newsletter has an interesting take on B156. I am not sure who contributes to their newsletter but I thought this is a particularly empathic take, and one that I don’t disagree with much. Namely it points out the maturing of anime has something to do with blurring between the genres that were categorically adult and what clearly weren’t. It’s a logical thing to say because it is obvious; you can see it happen. It’s good that I’m no fan of Moetan either (although I don’t think I hate it). More pertinently, the maturing of anime probably comes from the notion that its audience has grown up (age-wise), but this was missing from the write-up. I quote:
Sex sells; or more specifically, moe. Moe is rife in modern anime, more than ever before. Granted, sexual content has been present in anime (who hasn’t heard of hentai or ecchi?) but up until recently, the boundaries between mainstream and hentai were well established. These boundaries have blurred considerably with series such as Strike Witches and Moetan leading the way in using moe to promote questionable or feeble material. The latter is particularly responsible. The main character, Ink, is meant to be sixteen years old and yet she looks like she’s ten. The dialogue enforces constantly that her age is sixteen but there’s no getting away from the fact that she DOES look like a pre-pubescent girl. That was three years ago. Nowadays, there’s always at least one series per season that tends to one-up the previous season in terms of sexual content sparking outrage with organisation and public figureheads like Ishihara.
This leads me back to the title of this article. I believe that this legislation, if it goes ahead as planned, could stimulate anime into producing more mature and accessible series that are more engaging narratively speaking and less sexually awkward. However, I’ll make this clear. I’m not a fan of Ishihara and the need of a bill to make anime not resort to controversial tactics to generate interest regarding a show. Studios and directors should come to that conclusion themselves and not out of fear of reprisal from the government. I liken anime in 2011 to a teenager – exploring the boundaries of risque subject matter whilst not being able to fully comprehend the consequences for doing so. A bill may change that – whether it will be a positive or a negative action remains to be seen.
I think the blurring or pushing of boundaries is natural. It’s how almost everything evolves. It’s certainly how art and entertainment evolve. Of course what should go hand in hand with this boundary condition is socially responsible application of boundary pushing. If that is what B156 pushed for, it’s certainly not written in it anywhere, although it does make sense in this context. Still, this Masako guy might be right even if how he came to his conclusion may be wrong–that eventually we’ll get something pretty darn cool because things will have evolved.
Like Magica Madoka: You know what was the coolest thing so far? QB’s real name. And it’s a bilingual trick too, by taking the second and third syllables of QB’s real name (which is basically English lol) to make his other name. And just to think if we didn’t have an aging audience clinging to magical girl shows they were infatuated with when they were younger, how possibly could we have had this strange mix of deathly despair and frilly-cute combat outfits? I suppose I should also talk about the other word play reveal at the end of episode 8, but someone else probably can do it better.
Before QB’s reveal, though, Homura’s strange outpouring on Madoka is somewhat … funny? I think this doujinshi explains why I find it funny (and it was made a few episodes ago no less). The only question left is: how GAR can she get?