Blackcat130

Blackcat130

Professional procrastinator/Blogger on the side/ lover of all things animated/Bachelors in English with a concentration in creative writing/ promoter of chill vibes.

Contributor II

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

3

Has Body Positivity gone to far?

In 2020, during an appearance on BuzzFeeds "AM to DM" Julian Micheals (Personal Fitness Trainer) was criticized for comments she made about singer/rapper Lizzo. "Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter?…’Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes". At the time many accused Micheals of fat shaming, but Micheals went onto explain in future interviews that it wasn’t about what people found attractive. That she had a concern for what we as a culture were valuing. She had an issue with us being okay with a health problem that could lead to further health issues like "diabetes". This does not appear to be an isolated incident either. As there have been calls for more diverse body types appearing in media (whether it is video-games, movies, comics, television or advertisement) to help spread body positivity. We have seen comics like "Daughter of Starfire", "The ‘New’ New Warriors", featuring large bodied superheroes. And more recently we have seen the premiere of "Lizzo’s ‘Big Grrrls’ " a show about big bodied women competing to be backup dancers for Lizzo. A counter argument that is often brought up is how media (television, comics, games, etc.) will often overly promote physically fit bodies and how many believe it can be just as damaging. The problem with this argument is that both the hyper acceptance of large bodies and the need to fit what society deems “healthy” is believed to lead to unhealthily results. Making this counter arguement a logical fallacy known as tu quque. In both situations the hyper marketing of a certain body type is believed to lead to negative results, so it doesn’t invalidate Julian Micheals criticism of Lizzo, and vice versa. This once again brings us to the question: are producers of visual media (video-games, comics, television, or advertisement) responsible for their viewers, mental health, self-worth, and body image? Should those who work in visual media try to promote a healthy body image? Are they responsible for what becomes a cultural trend? Or is it on the individual to manage their mental health, self-worth, and body image?

  • This is a great topic. However, I think you've accidentally made your whole argument in the topic instead of an article. Narrow it down a little--or broaden it so that the argument is not focused on two specific individuals. Then you can craft a piece that will reach a broader audience by covering more facets of the body-shaming conundrum. – Stephanie M. 5 months ago
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  • I think that you could look at Michaels presumption that Lizzo was unhealthy and prone to diabetes because she is larger. Whereas smaller body types are mostly presumed healthy, though those with them can have eating disorders, take diet drugs, smoke etc. to stay thin. There is also the fact that a lot of doctors blame all symptoms a larger person complains of on being overweight and refuse to look further, as they too presume that fat=unhealthy – JDWatts 5 months ago
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Published

The magic of dubbing

Often times, when an anime is dubbed people, will say the dubbed version is inherently inferior to the original Japanese. Which in the case of many early 80’s to mid 90’s I would agree with to an extent. Often times the voice acting is poorly directed and cheaply done with amateur actors, but I believe that changed largely due to Dragon Ball Z. The massive popularity of Dragon Ball Z brought more money into the localization process of many Japanese products when they were brought over to the west and this can be seen in how the dubbing of Dragon Ball Z. Despite these improvements why do people continue to believe that dubbed anime is inherently inferior to the subbed version? Both types of localization have their own strength and weakness, so why does the western anime community hate over the other?

  • Being a keen fan of anime I can certainly agree with the points you've raised in this topic suggestion although I generally prefer to watch anime subtitled and hear the original language, but that's my personal preference. I have seen some dubbed anime in which the voice actors did a splendid job - Crispin Freeman's voicing of the Kyon character in 'The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya' series and film (2006 - 2009) is a good example, but in direct contrast to this is Emily Hirst, whose whiny, nasal drawl was not at all in keeping with the character Makoto Konno from 'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time' (2006) and annoyed me intensely. One of the problems with dubbing (and subbing) is transference of cultural idioms and references. Simply switching these from one language to another, e.g. Japanese to American English doesn't always work and (no offence intended towards Americans) it shouldn't automatically be assumed that everyone in the English speaking world will necessarily understand the American reference or idiom. One size doesn't always fit all! Whilst professional subtitlers will sometimes, by necessity, have to be linguistically creative with translations and transference of idioms and cultural references, any competent translator will never balk at translating a difficult turn of phrase - which can't be said for some fan 'subbers' I could mention - so will try to keep as close to the original as possible whilst still creating text that can be easily understood by non-Japanese speakers. This doesn't make subtitling superior to dubbing as the two approaches to translation are completely different, as any professional voice artist will confirm. There is, admittedly, some 'snob bias' from some who prefer subtitling and there always will be; it's just the way of the anime community. Coincidentally I'm presently preparing an article about the history of subtitling in which I also cover anime fan subbing - both its good and bad points, so it would be interesting to see someone take up your topic suggestion and write about the development of dubbing; I have some fascinating source material I could suggest for anyone interested. – Amyus 5 years ago
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  • I tend to prefer subbed anime over its dubbed counterpart. My main reason for this being that I feel the original Japanese voice actors are able to capture concepts and convey them more effectively than an American voice actor. Abstract concepts that are unique to Japan like the red string of fate or even the various ways to say "I love you" may be things an English-speaking voice actor might not completely understand and will therefore not be able to capture the subtle nuances associated with the idea. However, that's not to say English dubs don't have their merits. There are a number of anime in which I actually prefer the English dub. FMAB, Rurouni Kenshin, Yu Yu Hakusho, etc. Possibly the reason why some people in Western audiences hate dubbed anime is a matter of superiority and originality. The Japanese dub came from Japan where anime was born and is thriving. Because anime is still a relatively foreign concept for Western audiences, it may take a while before the idea of something belonging to one country can successfully bridge the gap across cultures. – ceekim 4 years ago
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Latest Comments

Blackcat130

I understand why your class found the MAP discussion really difficult. I actually looked into that community and their arguments for this article. The main difference I could find between MAP’s and the lolicon community is that the lolicon community isn’t actually advocating for this type of behavior in real life. It honestly seems like the lolicon community just has a macabre interest in this type of content. To give an analogy. Its like the people who can enjoy violent video games like Manhunt or GTA. Just because they can find enjoyment in senseless murder in video games, doesn’t mean they will partake in it themselves. Where as MAP’s from my understanding try and justify their attractions and their desire for sexual relationships. Which is something not even self-outed pedophiles try to do. (I’m making a distinction between the ones who out themselves and seek treatment, versus the ones who remain hidden as I realistically cannot know their intention. The hidden ones could have no desire to engage in such behavior or could be a predator who hasn’t been caught yet.) Both Pedophiles and lolicons seems to understand/accept that kids cannot give consent due their limited mental capacity/life experience. And refrain from pursuing such relationships. Where as far as I can tell MAP’s actually want to pursue such relationships with minors. The MAP community seems to be completely divorced from reality or willful ignores provable facts. Which is why it would be hard for your students to argue that position, as they would have ignore years of studies. But like it would be a good study into propaganda, (As you said in your comment.)

Anime Versus Cancel Culture
Blackcat130

I recommend people check out hotdiggedydemon’s video brain dump – The Apu I know. While there is no denying there have been intentionally racist and malicious depictions of other race’s in media, I’m not sure if Sahil is one. (I’ve never watched the Christmas Prince films, so I’m basing my assessment off the analysis in this article.)

I Don’t agree that Apu or Baljeet are either. While Apu is being played by a white actor, Hank Azaria’s performance was largely inoffensive to most Indian people. This is because while being a clear stereotype, he was meant to mock/question some of Indian culture. He was also never reduced to just an one note character. Apu struggled with his identity as an immigrant,Hindu, and Indian man. Having lived in America he abandoned many of the cultural ideas that his parents felt where important to being a good Indian/Hindu. This cultural divide was what many felt was his real purpose, not the one off jokes or his accent. This is why he became such a beloved character by both Americans and Indians alike. Apu is a smartly written character, who often reveals aspects of the what it is like to be an immigrant, and how they struggle to fit in and sometimes are unfairly treated in their new homes. (Obviously some people got upset other wise we would not have gotten The Problem with Apu Documentary. But fans of the Simpsons usually consider him to be a positive depiction of immigrants and Indians.) We also have to take note of the context in which these characters exist. Once again gonna look at something besides Christmas Prince due to my unfamiliarity with the film series.

I think Jeff Dunham and Gabriel Iglesias world tour comedy specials is a good example of why stereotypes are not inherently racist. Both comedians make jokes about races/cultures that are not their own. And both comedians admitted when they traveled to the Middle East they did not want to make jokes about Muslim’s as the were afraid the jokes might offend as they often mock the culture without depicting the complexity surrounding it.

But to their surprise those jokes where the ones that landed the best. Jeff Dunham was caught off guard by how well his bits with Achmed the dead terrorist went in the Middle East, despite being a stereotype of the culture. This is because most people acknowledged it was a joke and he meant no ill well. (I would point out that most comedians are equal opportunist and will mock anyone regardless of their background. If these comedians only made fun of one group, maybe you could say there was some racism, but even that would be a stretch imo.) This is largely the problem with woke culture in my opinion, as any representation that does not perfectly fit in with someones cultural sensibilities or is 100% positive becomes offensive. Now I’m not saying this is what the author of this article is doing. But I believe context is key. And each depiction needs to be carefully examined.

Racist Undertones in "A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding"
Blackcat130

These are my unfiltered feelings about cancel culture and offensive media.

“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

As a writer freedom of speech is easily one of the most important aspects to what I do. It is not something that should be given up or taken away. It is why I find cancel culture to be so absolutely disgusting. Art and objective journalism cannot exist without freedom of speech. It is why I find it so alarming that artist and journalist are often the ones calling for others to be silenced or are trying to destroy another persons art. I do not respect anyone who engages in cancel culture. It is the reason why despite disagreeing with Noralities and believing that what they are saying could put Coolkyousinnjya and Kyoto animations in real danger; I never once say they should be removed from Youtube, or Tumbler. I criticize them and point out what I believe to be flaws in their ideology. This is not me tolerating their ideas, this is me actively challenging them in the hope that it will bring about change. The same thing is going on with racism and offensive art.

This is the reason in my article I included that quote from the ACLU. As just because the ACLU is willing to defend peoples right to say racist things, it does not mean they are agreeing with those views. They understand that in order to have society where free thought can exist, we need freedom speech. If we started censoring racist views, we also would have to start censoring the rebuttal to those views as well. We would also have to censor all other forms of content that is deemed dangerous. This would mean people who are religious would have a credible claim for the censorship of LGBTQ content as many religions believe that such practices lead to the damnation of ones soul. But, also atheist would have credible claim for the removal of religion as many believe this leads to zealotry.You can do this to any ideology as almost every ideology has a counter argument for why it is wrong or dangerous. Who’s views take precedent and who is correct? We probably will never know. And this why most people believe it is up to the individual to figure this out for themselves. This is why many in the anime community do not push for the removal of lolicon content. They usually criticize it.

Also the reason the anime community does not take the claims of those outside of it seriously is because they often get basic facts wrong about shows or make accusations that are not based in reality. And when people confront them on this they refuse to engage in a good faith discussion. A good example of this is Oreimo (anime where the older brother marries and has sex with his biological sister.) The author makes it clear in interviews that it was supposed to be a joke about the trope “living under the same roof” where for a contrived reason the main hero and heroine live together. Or when the main heroine is adopted into the hero’s family and they eventually become romantically involved. He decided to take the trope further and made the main heroine into the heroes full blooded sister. This was meant to show how creepy it is when two characters who are raised like siblings, become romantically involved. Despite what the author has said and the series being meant as a joke, a lot people believed he wanted to have sex with his sister. This is nonsense as he literally has no sister. How can he have incestuous desires when he has no siblings?

This is not to far off from the reason the lolicon trope was created, as it was meant to be Japanese artist trolling people that believed their art was tied to there real sexual desires. As the idea of writing children in sexual situation was meant to be seen as a joke, as kids often do not understand sexual situations and this often leads to a misunderstanding. My favorite example this occurs in the original power puff girls. Where the girls tell their friend Robin the professor made them by accident. Robin misunderstands and believes the girls where born of an unplanned pregnancy.

But on a more serious note you would not be able to talk about real romantic drama with characters under the age of 18 as any form romantic scene involving minors would be considered pedophilia. You would have to remove any character under the age of 18 from stories and all characters would have to be adults. Which is absurd because when you turn 18 you do not just suddenly develop sexual feelings. love, romance and sex are all tied together and you cannot discuss one with out discussing the other. Most people seem to understand this and is the reason many in the anime community do not seem to care. This why they often criticize how effective these depictions are handled instead trying to cancel it. This also why when we see shows getting canceled it is coming from outside of the community.

Gina Carano and James Gun getting fired from the shows/movies they worked on are good example of the community supporting them, but people outside the community playing a role in deciding what is and isn’t allowed. If you want an example for anime I would say Isekai reviewers as while the general anime community seemed to have no major problems with the content; the general public hated it. So, I would say yes people outside of the community can have an effect on content.

This is largely why I disagree with your comment. As I do not believe it lines up with the evidence I have seen. I could be wrong, but I would need to see some evidence before I change my opinion on this.

Anime Versus Cancel Culture
Blackcat130

While Japan certainly has issues in its treatment of women (just like a lot of western countries) The reason for the decline in Japanese population is due to women entering the work force. Since it is easier to be independent from their parents or husbands they choose not to get married or have kids later in life. This trend exist in most modern countries. The only difference is most western countries have a more relaxed immigration policy. And the immigrants that come to them actually help maintain a more stable population. Japan has a really restrictive policy that does incentivize immigrants to migrate to the country. That and the fact that pretty much the only language spoken there is Japanese makes it difficult to live there as a foreigner. That’s why the countries birth rate is declining.

Anime Versus Cancel Culture
Blackcat130

Since I focused mostly on western views of “cancel culture” and not Japanese I can somewhat understand why you believe “cancelling” in anime isn’t real. But it very much is. There have been multiple times when anime’s have been pulled from production or changed drastically for controversial reason. Someone mentioned how New Life + was cancelled due to its controversial depictions of China and Korea. But it was not just the anime that was cancelled, but the book was as well. It is now impossible to purchase any content associated with New Life + from normal retailers. But this is not the only time. Mushoko Tensei’s anime has been drastically altered from it’s web novel version, with several chapters not appearing in the anime. There have been multiple calls in Japan for the anime to be pulled as people believe it violates several broadcasting laws. Also a chapter in the web novel were one of Rudeus’s sons ( Ars age 11) marries and has a child with his aunt (Aisha, who would be in her 30’s at this point) was pulled after fan back lash. Recovery of an MMO Junkie was pulled from airing and streaming in several countries due to the creators anti semitic views. Interspecies Reviewers was pulled from production as many in Japan found the content offensive. Today I went up in flames a manga about a internet troll was cancelled in Japan. To say “cancelling” is not real is frankly untrue, as there several examples, whether you’re talking about anime, music, video games, or movies. (Sarah Silverman, Louie C.K, R-Kelly, Manhunt and Jane Fonda are all examples of cancelling in America.) Cancel culture is not a new phenomenon, as we had the Red scare in Hollywood where many filmmakers and writers were blacklisted.But we can go back even further and look at Socrates who was forced to drink poison due people in Greece believing he was corrupting the youth with his views. It does not matter where in the world or what point in time we look at there is always some example of persecution of those with taboo, offensive, or unpopular views. Now I personally believe we’re not in as a bad a state as we were in the past. But cancel culture continues to be a problem and shouldn’t simply be ignored.

Anime Versus Cancel Culture
Blackcat130

I certainly understand those type of feelings. There a plenty of example of people using their power to abuse those who cannot defend themselves. It is part of the reason I did so much research into this. Shiori Ito’s and Tara Reade are good examples of powerful individuals using the power to prevent us from getting to the truth. But, I don’t know if you’ve been following the Anthony Broadwater situation. He was convicted of a crime he did not commit in 1981 and spent much of his adult life in jail for something he did not do. I understand why people would want to rely on cancel culture. But based off what i’ve seen it does not really help victims get justice for the crimes committed against them. If anything it appears to cause more harm. I believe it is far more important to fight for criminal justice reform.

Anime Versus Cancel Culture
Blackcat130

Update: Sony patched the issue involving the CMOS battery. (9.0.0 patch) So it is now possible to continue using games on the system even if the battery dies or should the console lose connection to the PSN. I have not seen any sources if the console can play movies though.

The Importance of Digital Media Preservation
Blackcat130

I would make the case it does affect anyone who engages with games. While it hasn’t occurred yet many companies are making a push for digital only games. That already affects you as if that becomes and industry standard you cannot trade games in.

You could possibly use some form rental service like PSN Now, but if a game suddenly gets pulled from the service you won’t be able to play it. Or if a game never makes it on the service due to legal reasons then you won’t be able to play it.

There’s also games like Hexen 2 (it’s a really old PC shooter) but due to publishing rights for the game, there is currently no legal way of getting a hold of it. Meaning this game could possibly be lost forever.

A recent event that occurred is Ubisoft just shut down might and magic 10. Because they did this, the people who purchased the game and its dlc can no longer play the main campaign or the online. This gets worse when you consider the fact that you can still purchase the game on certain sites or stores. People uniformed by the events have now essentially bought a very expensive paper weight, that depending on where they bought this game from, they might not be able to get a refund. Had Ubisoft made the source code available the players could set up their own online server, but Ubisoft didn’t.

You may never experience any of these situation, and should find your self in such a situation you might get over it. But, simply put its naive to think none this effects you. The only people who aren’t effected by this are people who don’t play games (and I find that to be a bit of a stretch in logic).

The Importance of Digital Media Preservation