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Latest Topics

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WW2 as a subject of inquiry in Japanese animation?

I’d like to hear someone explore the fan interest in World War II, but rather how it crosses over into Japanese animation and graphic novels. I have noticed that there has been a growing presence of WW2-inspired anime and manga such as Kantai Collection and Girls und Panzer. I think it would be worth discussing the Japanese view towards their own role in WW2 and how this view has led to a different handling of the subject in Japan. In many anime and manga, one can see that there is a hesitation to portray Axis-aligned countries strictly as villains. Often times, I have seen Axis-countries being portrayed from a neutral position like in Girls und Panzer and Axis Powers Hetalia, or WW2-esque settings being entirely re-written and replaced by alternate settings like in Strike Witches or Sora no Woto.

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    Is Anime Becoming More About the 'Fan Service' than the Story and Artwork?

    Now a days the new anime that come out either depict two of the following: 1) Action w/ a romantic interest who barely has any clothes on or 2) A romantic interest who’s over-sexualized. Most of the time it’s a combination of both.

    The question now becomes, does the over service of ‘fan service’ take away from the anime itself (artwork, story line, and character development)? Or does it bring to the table something that we have yet to notice? (This I doubt, but just to cover the basis and everyone’s views).

    Examples of these would be: Free!, Food Wars, Keijo!, and Okusama ga Seitokaichou! !.

    • I think the question you need to address here is the time frame. Anime is becoming more fan-service oriented compared to... when? Fanservice has been a massive presence in anime, especially that oriented towards the Otaku crowd, for well over two decades now. Even widely regarded and relatively ancient anime series like Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) included lots of tongue-in-cheek fanservice, even advising fans to come back next episode for "more fanservice!~~" I think a great watch for researching this piece would be the 1991 anime mockumentary "Otaku no Video," which takes a comedic look at the original generation of anime nerds... as well as the origins of fanservice. You could possibly contrast the contemporary shows you mentioned with older material: Did older series have as much fan service? Did they integrate it better? What makes it seem like fanservice is always increasing in anime? Are the *premises* for these shows getting more fanservicey? (I do have to say, I couldn't imagine Keijo! coming out 10 years ago, ahhahah~) – PeterThelonious 2 weeks ago
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    Queerbating in Anime

    Queerbating is the attempt to reel in viewers by providing false hints that there is a potentially queer relationship. One example is Sound Euphonium, a series about high schoolers playing instruments where two seem to have an almost-lesbian ending.
    Is it harmful to the queer community? Or is it helpful that at least we get a little representation? Do writers/producers do it because they respect us but have to censor themselves or because they really just want a variety of viewers?

    • This is an interesting topic. I think you need to look at the history of homosexuality in Japan, Yaoi, and Yuri. For example, the medieval Warlord had homosexual relationship with their favored Samurais to ensure their loyalties while legally married to wives. With such historical evidences, the perception of homosexuality will be different from Western point of view, so it will require some cultural studies to explore this topic – idleric 1 month ago
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    Taken by LondonFog (PM) 1 month ago.
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    Why is stupidity considered a heroic trait in anime?

    Goku, Sailor Moon, Vash the Stampede, the examples are countless. In anime, being an idiot is a shorthand way to show that a character is all-around good or at least innocent. It’s prevalent enough to have its own trope: Lawful Stupid. It’s not limited to anime but it is most prevalent there. Why is this? Is there a cultural or literary tradition? Is it just a fun trope to play with? The dea is definitely worth examining more in-depth.

    • I think most of the time it exists to add a bit of comic relief, and also allows the characters to get into more silly situations because if the character were at a genius level, they wouldn't fall for traps and stuff that could put them in unique situations. – xFezziwig 1 month ago
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    • I agree that it is essential to the comic relief of the stories, but I think it also makes an important point. Our culture places a great deal of value on intelligence, but these animes propose that intelligence is not the most important part of being a hero. You don't have to be particularly clever to triumph over difficulties. Your values (hard work, friendship, etc.) are more important. I think this is an important message. – C8lin 1 month ago
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    • I think stupidity is also a good way to show how characters are human. At some point, we all make dumb mistakes so it's natural for anime characters to show these same traits as well. – seouljustice 1 month ago
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    Taken by Sagemaster1 (PM) 1 month ago.
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    Homoesexuality in Yuri!!! on Ice

    Yuri!!! on Ice does everything but explicitly state the relationship between the main characters. As a well-received, mainstream anime (aired on Asahi TV during primetime and popular overseas) that normalizes gay relationships, does Yuri!!! indicate a step forward in representation? Potential angles include how gay relationships have historically been portrayed in anime or an analysis of Viktor and Yuri in Yuri!!! itself.

    • I believe that this anime focuses more on the skating than the relationships. There didn't seem to be much interaction between the characters during the series, and the characters identity were depicted through their thoughts as they performed. As far as I can tell this anime portrays very little concerning the ideals of romance, its more about the skating. – RadosianStar 2 months ago
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    • I think this is a great topic because I know there is much debate in the fandom about it on social media like Tumblr. Personally, I think it is a step forward because gay relationships in anime have a reputation for being sexualized, like in yaoi. There's a lot to work with between Yuri and Viktor's interactions, like the promise rings in front of the church and Viktor literally calling them engagement rings. Some say its queerbaiting, but they have the emotional development of a romantic relationship. The question comes down to whether people believe that romance can be written or shown without a kiss. – LauraKincaid 2 months ago
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    • I have not seen Yuri!! on Ice myself, but if it anything like Free! (which can be used as a comparison) I can understand the suspicion of homoerotic undertones. – SarahKnauf 1 month ago
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    • While Yuri!!! On Ice certainly has LGBT undertones (and overtones, depending on who you ask), I think its important to regard the the intended audience for its consumption: Fujoshi, (usually female) Yaoi and BL fans. 'Representation' connotes a certain progressivism upon the part of the show's creators, displaying gay relationships to normalize LGBT culture in the strongly heteronormative Japan. However, at the end of the day, Yuri!!! On Ice isn't being consumed by fans who want to challenge their perspective on sexuality, but rather shippers who view Boy's Love as a means of titillation. Even in America, where the show is equally beloved, a great portion of fan discourse is about shipping characters together, rather than contextualizing their relationships in staunchly anti-gay Asian cultures. Despite how negative I've been coming off, I do think analyzing these themes would be a worthy topic of discussion- I just don't think that the show has had nearly as large an impact on Japanese views on homosexuality as westerners might hope. – PeterThelonious 2 weeks ago
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    The Emphasis of Violence in Anime

    Analyze what the effect of gore and violence cause in anime, and how it improves or degrades plot. Is gore and violence merely a visual appeal or is there more meaning to it. An example from a film is Quinten Tarantino’s "Reservoir Dogs." He mentions in an interview that he wanted to emphasize the violence in his film so that it’s realistic and in your face, so that it has the effect of being spontaneous. Anime that could be considered for this topic could be Parasyte, Deadman Wonderland, or Attack on Titan.

    • I like this topic, and would like to add few more animes to the case studies. Definitely take a look at Devil Man by Go Nagai. Nagai's work has been tremendously influential, especially when it comes to sex and violence in manga and anime. It would be an example worth studying. – idleric 2 months ago
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    • Effect of violence is a two sided coin....while it can enhance the viewing by providing exhilarating action sequences,it can also distract the viewer by offsetting them or affecting the tone . violence done right should be a plot point rather than simply being a sort of fan service . – Akash 1 month ago
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    (Possible) Depictions of Autism in Anime

    With autism becoming a growing phenomenon, it has become large enough to get official as well as ambiguous depictions in Western fiction. However, the disorder seems to be largely ignored in anime… Or is it? Analyze anime characters who, while not explicitly autistic, exhibit symptoms and behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorders.

    • You may want to give some examples for those who don't know anything about autism. – RadosianStar 5 months ago
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    • I wouldn't say autistic, but there are anime characters that show signs attributed to developmental disorders. Speaking inaudibly, trouble grasping simple concepts, being savants in some way, impaired speech, etc. Good topic, especially considering the wide array of characters that make up the anime universe. – MikeySheff 3 months ago
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    Pokemon Appliances

    Are pokemon starting to cop-out on there designs i.e. A sword, machines you find in your home, a garbage bag. I kind of think they are. Some of the pokemon I like and I’m not saying they are bad mons, so don’t be offended but are their designs lacking?

    • The first games had pink goo Pokemon, ball Pokemon, upside-down ball Pokemon, mole Pokemon, three mole Pokemon, magnet Pokemon, three magnet Pokemon. Design concept is something that hasn't always been present in every Pokemon species from the first games, and while I do agree that some of the newer Pokemon have poor design choices, that could be said from the beginning as well. They aren't all going to be winners, and with the soon-to-be over 800 species nobody is going to like all of them. I certainly don't, but as with everything it's just a matter of opinion and there's nothing to stop someone from using six Charizards or only legendaries or just the cute ones if they so choose :) – Nayr1230 9 months ago
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    • Very interesting topic - scope for an interesting article here – J.P. Shiel 9 months ago
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    • I disagree with you completely. There are many questionable designs from the first generation. I'm not hating on them or anything because I love Pokemon as a whole but the argument on newer Pokemon being uninspired is pretty unknowledgable. There was a magnet Pokemon, rock Pokemon, goo Pokemon, and even a Pokeball Pokemon. Oh and there's one that's just a reversed Pokeball Pokemon.A lot of Pokemon were probably created and used later. I believe that was stated by the company. Some Pokemon were supposed to be in previous generations such as the second generation Pokemon being in the first. – melvin2898 4 months ago
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    • I agree that the designs are lacking in originality and quality in comparison to the original Pokemon. But there could many different reasons in this decline of design. Could it be due to a running out of ideas because all of the good ones are already used? Could it be that the Pokemon designers feel rushed due to an increased want for their games now that they have a more developed fan-base and standing in the gaming world? Or could it be due to a laziness developed through the awareness that their fan base is developed and going nowhere? Or could it simply be a misplaced sense of nostalgia that regularly comes with video games in that old games are always perceived as better? There are many avenues with which one could take this topic. – mattpellegrino 3 months ago
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    • There are hundreds of Pokémon now. Shouldn't be that surprising that 20 years later, they are running out of unique ideas lol. Same goes for shows like the Power Rangers as well. Producing unique content for fantasy shows isn't difficult, but keeping that content fresh for years, or even decades is almost impossible. At least the games stayed good and the story still flows well. That is pretty much all you can ask for. – MikeySheff 3 months ago
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    • I would say that during Pokemon Black and White, Pokemon designs started to decline and the fans were well aware of it too. Since the release of Sun and Moon, Pokemon designs have become more interesting in my opinion and they have introduced different forms of fan favorites. Can we really blame them for being short on ideas after 20 years? – DjLarry 3 months ago
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