Sunday, April 23, 2017

What do I mean by Anime style Fan Service?

As someone who's almost exclusively turning to Anime for my entertainment lately.  The only thing about it I dislike is what I call 'Anime style fan service".

I should explain what I mean by that.  Since the term fan service isn't even always sexual, and when it is can apply to anything a horny viewer might enjoy.

I don't have a problem with women dressing sexy, or being sexy, or having sex, or using their sexuality as a weapon, I enjoy that as much as any other straight guy or lesbian.

There is even some fan service that I'm not a fan of that still isn't offensive to me in the way this stuff is.  Like Beach Episodes, Beach Episodes may or may not contain what I'm talking about, but regardless that premise itself is fan service, but going to the beach is something people do.  I don't care for it and wouldn't be likely to include one in a show I wrote, but they don't bother me.

Still it's hard for me to give it all a single common denominator.  But I think I can maybe narrow it all down to three.  DigiBro has also talked about fan service in his K-On videos and in videos specifically about fan service.  I don't quite always agree with his takes on things though.

I want to say before getting started that not all Anime has this stuff.  I don't think it's even safe to say the majority does.  And a number of shows unfortunately have it early on to hook people (but turning off others) but then basically drops it.  Nanoha drops it's Loli fan service about half way through it's first season.  And I haven't watched it but according to DigiBro Manabi Straight has some awkward fan service moments in it's very first episode that never show up again.

There are plenty of Anime I've enjoyed in-spite of having these problems.  But they are still a mark against it and the more it has the less likely it is I'll be able to give it a 10 on MAL.  A lot of my fellow feminists really enjoy certain shows that are high offender of this but being really self aware and meta about it while trying to deliver a message.  But Kill la Kill turns me off from it's very art style so I can't get into it.

Number One:  Is mainly an issue of what the Camera is doing, or since we're talking about animation the hypothetical camera.  The way it seems to zoom in on panties or breasts or butts no mater how illogical it is at that moment.  Like in the second Evangelion Rebuild movie when we are given a close up on Asuka's panties while she's sleeping.

Whether or not I particularly want to see a female character's panties, I can't call it offensive if she is intentionally showing them to someone.  So those kinds of scenes are not my issue really.  You can even justify if character are seeing them when she didn't intend to though that'd still be uncomfortable.    But if the audience is being shown a close up on them when no one on the show can see them, that's a problem.

Again it's not them being visible at all that is the problem, it's that being the main thing the hypothetical camera wants to focus on.  You could say the Magic Skirt trope is the opposite counterpart, that ti's a type of teasing fans service itself when they are never visible no matter implausible it is.  I guess I'm simply the kind of person where that is what I like.  But the 90s Sailor Moon anime did allow what's under the skirts to be visible sometimes (DiC often edited those moments) but it was never what the camera zoomed in on.  Likewise with the live action show PGSM.

Number Two: Is about the physiology of human female breasts in certain Anime.  If it was only a matter of exaggerated size I couldn't call it specific to Anime, we see the same thing in Western Superhero Comics.  What I mean here is a combination of that with them seemingly having the density of Jello.

Now I'm someone who doesn't consider being unrealistic inherently a criticism, I'll be a making a post specifically on that some day.  But the point there is I want fiction to be preferable to reality, and I can't relate to the fact that seemingly some Anime fans want breasts to have the density of Jello.

Number Three: Is the only scenario that is directly from the writing.  The script writer could put 1 and 2 right in the script, but it could just as easily be something a director added along the development process.

I'm referring to the overused Accidental Groping or Accidental Pervert scenario.  But my issue isn't the same as many others you see complaining about it.  You it seems to a lot of people what bothers them is the woman "overacting" to it and not immediately assuming it was an accident.

We live a world where a man who bragged about grabbing women by the Pussy got elected President of the United States.  Women have every reason to not just assume it was an accident or take a guy's word for it.  And Japanese culture still has a much greater fixation on feminine purity then the West has, so no western Anime viewer male or female knows what it's like to be a Japanese woman dealing with that.

As a man I can tell I don't think I could have a very rational reaction to my nuts being grabbed by accident.

My issue is with happening to begin with, not cause it's unrealistic, but because I simply won't wanna see that.

So I'm tired of that scene with Rei and Shingi from Evangelion being cited by people like DigiBro as the ultimate Subversion or Deconstruction of this trope.  Cause what they keep saying is that it's soooo much more realistic that Rei doesn't slap him.  But that wasn't Anno's intent, the intent was to show that Rei isn't normal, her indifference to her breasts being grabbed shows that she's abnormal.  It is a Subversion because it playing out differently at all makes it one.  But it does not fix what I see as being wrong with how often this happens in Anime.  That's why SFDebris is the only reviewer I've seen have the correct reaction to that sequence.

The subversion I might be willing to consider subversive is it not really being an accident at all but a creepy guy trying to play it off as one.  But you'd have to be very careful with addressing that since that is sexual assault.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

PLL is back

Good episode, wish I felt compelled to say more.

I have a couple predictions.

Either Charlotte's father will never be identified and simply isn't important.  Or as I predicted before it's Kenneth.

A.D. I suspect is Charlotte and that she's still alive.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Live Action adaptations of Anime should be Colorful

I've already made a few posts and the issues of Westernizing and White Washing Anime.  I want to talk about other issues now.

The Anime Man did a video on why he feels adapting Anime into Live Action simply can't work.  I think he's completely wrong.  What's really amusing is when he suggests Western Superheroes Comics are more grounded in reality then Anime and Manga and that is why they can work in Live Action more.  Well as someone who is a Nerd for both, I can tell that, no, in fact Anime is generally far more grounded in reality then DC or Marvel comics.

For comparing to Western Superhero Comics, I like to remind people it took 40 years to get Superman The Movie, almost that for Spider-Man to get his first good film.  But not till 2008 we got TDK and the MCU.   Anime has arguably been around as long as Superman, but none of the franchises people want to adapt have been just yet.

Gigguk did a video where, among other things, he said we should focus on ones that can work in Live Action.  I agree that plenty work better then others, and for the time being I wouldn't bother with Utena or Madoka.  But focus more on ones like Noir, Madlax, Evangelion, Lupin III, Haruhi, Pretty Cure, Gundam or Code Geass.  Or remove the Fantasy/SciFi altogether and just do Lucky Star and Strawberry Panic.

But we can to do a lot with Live Action movies now, so there is no reason to inherently leave out the really visionary stuff.  While we've yet to have an exactly great LA Anime adaptation, plenty of Live Action films have been Anime like while being great.  Pretty much everything from the Wachowscis, Pacific Rim, Suicide Squad (I could argue that all Joker's henchmen were Weebs), Sucker Punch, and the Star Wars Prequels.  And on TV Pretty Little Liars.

I agree that it is okay to change certain things to fit the medium.  But the last thing I'm inclined to agree needs to be changed is how Colorful Anime is.  Plenty of Live Action movies have been bright and colorful, yet everyone thinks a Movie version of an Anime or comic means a grittier more monochrome version.  Hence we get an annoying colorless Power Rangers film.  Comic Book fans want our movies to be as colorful as the Comics and that's why many were annoyed by Man of Steel and embraced the MCU, Deadpool and Suicide Squad.

In particular I mean the issue of Hair Colors.  People love to make fun of Anime Hair "Guess who's the main character" memes are endless.  But people in real life do sometimes dye their hair colors like that, so this idea that "no Hair naturally looks like that so you have to abandon it in the LA version" is nonsense to me.

I mentioned Noir first up above as one I'd like to see in LA, but I kinda only trust myself to do it. There the main two have plausible hair colors for their ethnicities (Blonds may be rare in Corsica but not unheard of).  But Chloe, Lady Silvana, and the Poisonous Insect all have Anime hair, and for Chloe especially I will not be able to accept anyone claiming to be that character with normal looking hair.

And that sometimes it just being an unusual hair color for Japan causes it's rejection annoys me even more.  I tolerated two Japanese actresses not dying their hair to play Misa Amane because I assumed the inevitable Western version would give us a blonde Misa.  And now Netflix has spit right in my face with a Misa who looks like Bella Swan.  I've seen lots of pictures of Asian women with Blonde hair, I'm assuming they're all dyed but that's besides the point, they all look beautiful, there is no reason to assume a Blonde Asian in a movie will inherently look awkward.  Back to Misa, she need to be Blonde or Japanese, you can change one of those and still work but you can't change both.

Often the hair color has symbolic meaning.  I was actually quite annoyed in JesuOtaku's video with KyleKallgrenBHH about the Utena movie when Kyle attempts to speculate on what the Pink hair means and JesuOtaku just shoots him down with "that's just Anime".  In Utena the use of Color everywhere including in hair is meaningful.  VraiKassier broke it down in their Anyalsis series on the first ReCap episode (you shouldn't skip the ReCaps in Utena).
Color Coding: You may have noticed that the students of Ohtori are a veritable rainbow of the color palette, and that I’ve been alluding to that fact quite frequently over the past few weeks. Well, it’s not (just) because ridiculous rainbow hair is a hallmark of shoujo. Our common thematic color palette:
Green: Envy and loyalty (a great many of the colors have dual meanings or applications throughout the series). Saionji’s color, tied to the young man fixated on his own weak inadequacies and desperate to possess that which others consider important – but also almost blindly devoted to those he’s considered ‘essential’ (this latter reading also ties into Akio’s fiancée).
Blue: Intellect and distance. Miki and Kozue’s color, the characters who might be at once called the most clear headed and rational and yet also the most divorced from their true desires by the complexity of their schemes.
Orange: Miracles and delusion. Flip sides of the same coin, reflected by inner strength of conviction versus fear and an inability to acknowledge one’s own desires.
Yellow: Innocence and childishness. Through both Tsuwabuki and Nanami, strong emotions for others can be either selfish or selfless (and are always heartfelt but rarely circumspect or self aware)
Red: Power, used either to aid or subjugate others. A color Touga possesses but Akio clothes himself in, revealing his far more advanced ability to manipulate power to suit his image and his ends (also the color of the Rose Bride, nodding to Anthy’s immense power even if control of it has been taken from her)
Brown: The mundane – the most frequent hair color of the ‘normal’ students, from Wakaba’s grounded support to the overshadowed members of Nanami’s gang.
White: Purity and potential. The prince’s color, which also dominates the color scheme of Ohtori’s uniforms – while other colors might make their way in, beginning to have sway, we mustn’t forget that our cast is still very young, and that they have the potential to learn and change even still. You’ll notice that Mikage and Utena, the two closest to ‘graduating,’ have almost no white on their outfits).
Purple: Corruption and loss. Anthy’s signature color, signifying the pain she’s suffered through her sacrifice. Purple also figures heavily into moments that’ve been influenced by the siblings in the name of the dueling game, and Mikage sees Ohtori through purple-tinted glasses.
Pink: Harmony between power and ideals, a self-conviction mixed with compassion for others (Utena and Mikage both have pink hair, and Anthy’s final outfit is predominantly pink).
So no, the Color isn't meaningless.  Other Anime may use the same Colors differently.  But I suspect only the most bottom of the barrel are being completely meaningless.

Speaking of KyleKallgrenBHH, after watching his video on Aira Kurosawa's RAN.  I thought about how what he said on Kurosawa's use of Color in his later films, and wondered if that might have influenced the way Anime would go to use Color?  And I was reminded of this recently in The Last Jedi's teaser trailer, where we had the weird contrast between the barren desert like planet but the bright Red Smoke/Sand/Dust whatever it is behind the ships.  It's a good sign if this means Star Wars directors are still drawing on Kurosawa.

P.S./Postscript:  Evangelion.

I mentioned Eva as one that could work in Live Action better then others and that might be the most controversial claim in that list.  People have come to remember Eva for how confusing and existential it got.  But the original appeal was that it was a more grounded and gritty approach to the Mecha vs Kaiju genre.  Pacific Rim drew on Eva specifically.

I know Anno himself has said Eva inherently only works in Animation.  But Anno himself seems to have forgotten what Eva's original appeal was looking at the history of Eva movies, both old and ReBuild.  The more they become something harder to conceivably do in Live Action, the more the fans think they suck.

But the first ReBuild could just as easily have been a Live Action film.  Though more directly remaking those episodes would be better.  First change though is not shortening it. The idea that he had to cut stuff to make it fit a film length when it's only based on 6 episodes is insulting to me.  To me a film that has less run-time then 6 episodes of an Anime series is inherently not worth the price of admission, even without the issue of comparing to source material.  That's a topic I already covered.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Some News regarding my future activies

First of all I intend to cover the last 10 episodes of Pretty Little Liars.  And I'm excited to hear Heather Hogan will be returning to her ReCaps.

After that show is done however, I'll be pretty much effectively done with Live Action Western Television for the foreseeable future.  My focus will be on Certain movies and Anime.

I created a Facebook page for my activities as a Blogger, and a group to go with it.

My Official Facebook Blogger Page

And it's corresponding Facebook Group

I will possibly be doing more on YouTube in the future.  I also want to recommend this Blog from someone who I might be collaborating with in the future.

I"m also wording on a post about the issue of making Live Action adaptations of Anime.

I haven't done much on my other blogs lately.  If the April Fools joke on the Conspiracy Theory blog winds up being the last i ever make there, it'd be strangely fitting.  At the same time there are ideas that may bring me back to it.  On the others I definitely have more to say, just give me time.

What I do next on YouTUbe is likely to be Anime related.  It remains however my long term goal to adapt The Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality for YouTube.

At the end of 2016 I'd mentioned how that was perhaps my most eventful year as a Blogger.  Lately I looked at the math and realized I made more posts in 2015.  However 2016 had more long substantive posts, and less of my reactions to weekly TV as I slowly lost interest in Western TV.

This year, I want to really elevate things.  Maybe even eventually get a Paetron.  But I'd use the Peatron for none Bible related stuff.  I don't want any perception that any of my unconventional Bible Interpretations are being done to make money off them.

I'm a supporter of Fan Films

Fans making their own non-profit works based on what they love.

I first learned of the idea via Batman.  Stumbling upon Dead End and Death of Batman via IMDB back when Batman begins wasn't quite out yet.  A good Website for these classic Batman Fan Films would be it still exists but it's forum seems basically dead.  I like films like Patient J and Law & Order Gotham.

That website doesn't include a lot of YouTube projects.  Like best of all The Joker Blogs.  Which seemed dead but just made a comeback.

But going outside Batman.  last year I really loved Sailor Moon The Movie.  It's a American set Adaptation of the first Season of the old Anime.  It uses the old DiC dub names but avoids it's most problematic plot changes (Zoscite and Kunzite are both Male and a couple).  And does a few creative new things.

Only nitpick is I would switch the names of the character called Jadite and Nephrite, and replace the name Jay with Max.

Last one I want to comment on hear is OtaKing's TIE Fighter.  He's a YouTube obsessed with 80s OVA and their shading, and wanted to animate a Star Wars project in that style.

My opinion on the video is it looks great, awesome in fact.  The decision to have no dialogue is fine, doesn't suite my preferences but is a valid artistic choice.  And the Sound Effects are good, they sound like right out or a Star Wars film.

But what bugs me is the Music.  He uses a random song instead of the Williams Score, or something evocative of it.  Maybe he wanted it to be like 80s OVA Music, but then he shouldn't make his project a Star Wars one.  Much of what I love about Star Wars is it's Music.  And if animators in Japan in the 80s got the chance to do a legit Star Wars project, they would have wanted to use to the Music.

Friday, April 14, 2017

They sure do love putting that Vader Helmet in Trailers?

"Hey, you guys liked Vader right?  He's not gonna be in this movie but we'll mention him".

I got it with the first film of the new Trilogy.  But now you'd think they'd want to promote the film based solely on the strength of it's new Villains.

But on the positive I love how they said 'Balance", that is a Prequel reference.

I think this film will be better then TFA.

Update: Okay, it seems I was wrong and that is Kylo's Helmet not Vader's.  It was really hard to tell form how smashed up it is.  But now that I think about it it shows none of those signs of having once been burnt.   I think it diffidently was shot intentionally like TFA's shot of Vader's Helmet.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I've read some more Arsene Lupin

I've read The Hollow Needle and 813 over the last couple days and placed reviews on Amazon for them.

I'm not gonna repeat anything form the reviews here, I'll just say that a comment in the 813 review is why I tagged this as a Pretty Little Liars post.

As of these I feel I've read the essentials of the original Arsene Lupin.   I've read the first few short stories and The Woman with the Green Eyes (Super Sleuth) online, and I've read BlackCoatPress's translations of the Holmes stories, the Caligostro stories, and now these two.

I've mentioned before how unfortunate I think it is that (English Speaking)Anime fans who  re into Lupin III don't seem too motivated to read up on the original.  But their adventures are very different.  Lupin III arguably draws more directly on James Bond and Indiana Jones, both those owe their own debt of Arsene Lupin of course, directly or not, but are still distinct.  Arsene Lupin's adventures are not particularly action heavy, the focus on characters trying to out think each other makes me think of Code Geass and Death Note as closer Anime analogues, but neither of them have a character I'd compare too directly to Lupin. [Update: now that I've finished it I could also say ACCA in a sense.]

The Castle of Cagliostro draws on the classic Lupin more then most.  But the connection to the Cagliostro novel is mostly just in name.  It's really The Woman with the Green Eyes that seems to have been the major inspiration.

A while ago I talked on Tumblr about Aria the Scarlet Ammo.  I also just watched the first two episodes of it's sequel season, AA, now that their Dub is available.  It has a very different vibe, one that appeals to me much more overall.  No longer a male MC and so far no egregious fan service.  And it's got Yuri.  And fortunately Riko Mine will be back.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

I want some English Translations of Nobuko Yoshiya's work

Every piece of Japanese Prose literature labeled  "Light Novel" gets an English translation.  Even if they are often unlicensed Fan-Made Translations.  (I can't have beef with those, much of Paul Feval's work is in English only because of 19th Century piracy.)

Some Fan Translation communities exist specifically for Yuri, Fan Subbing Anime, and Scantalations of Manga, official and Doujins, and Yuri Light Novels.

But there is still no way to read the works of the woman who arguably invented the Yuri/Girls Love/GL/Shoujo Ai genre.  Nobuko Yoshiya.

And the irony is for many of her works there is no legal obstacle to making your own translation in America. Because much of it was Pre 1923 and thus automatically Public Domain in the US, including the single most important one, Yaneura no nishojo ( 屋根裏の二處女 "Two Virgins in the Attic", 1919).

Doesn't matter if it's not Public Domain in the country of origin.  Peter Pan and the KJV are not PD in the UK, but they are in America and how they're used reflects that.  The KJV is the Bible you can find in Dollar Stores, none of the Copyrighted ones are ever sold that cheap.

So, Yanerura no nishojo, Chi no hate made, and most of Hanna monogatari could be translated and reprinted in America by anyone with no worry of legal red tape.

Post Script:  I am going to read some books I've been meaning to read, and so will be taking a brief break from watching Anime.  Once I've read them I will make Reviews of them on Amazon and possibly share them here.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Streaming Websites need to be reasonable

Here are two simple rules I feel they all need to follow.

1. Have all shows available for Free with Ads without needing to sign up.

2. No Ads for people using a paid subscription.

However too many want to make certain or even all of their shows watchable only for users paying a monthly fee for a subscriptions.  And also having Ads for paid accounts.

If you want to compete with Television you need make it as convenient as Television.

And this goes double for Anime Streaming.  I realize Netflix's major success with Daredevil and Jessica Jones probably has them thinking they don't need to do anything different.  But in the long I think I'll be proven right.

But Legal Anime Streaming sites seem to feel they need to milk as much money as possible out of those who feel morally obligated to use them in order to make up for all the piracy.

What they don't realize is the solution to the Piracy problem is to make watching it legally more convenient.  Anime fans want to support the shows they like, but many simply don't have that much money to throw around.  They would have no problem sitting through ads on a legal site if it was just as free.  Especially since some of the illegal sites have ads anyway.

And it's doubly stupid to make a show meant mainly for kids a Paid membership exclusive, like Glitter Force.  On TV it's the opposite, channels like HBO air almost exclusively R rated content, and the parallel to that is exactly where Netlifx main success has been, the dark and gritty corner of the MCU.

Glitter Force it seems is considered a flop, and that's why they aren't going to Dub the Smile Pretty Cure movie.  One reason it failed is because it changed names and tried to pretend it's not set in Japan, but that only explains why it wasn't popular with those already into PreCure.  If the reason for doing that was to make it more accessible to people who don't usually watch Anime, especially western kids, Netflix was not the place to put it.

I think it's bad a idea for Kids shows to be Internet exclusive in general.  As much as we nerds who live on The Internet like to pretend regular television is obsolete.  The fact is it's sill true that the younger a kid is the more their parents are limiting their time online.  Which is why every currently successful kids show still airs on regular television.  So it bugs me that even the new Sailor Moon dub isn't airing on TV, the Sailor Moon fan base could be growing in America right now but it's not.

But there is certainly no way Parents are going to buy a Netflix account just so their kids can watch Glitter Force.  And those that have accounts anyway probably aren't letting their kids randomly browse it, so none are even going to become aware of Glitter Force.

In-spite of all the localization being annoying I find Glitter Force a solid Dub.  It could have been a hit if it'd actually been made available to Kids.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Anime Mash Up Trailers on YouTube

I talked about Fan Trailers last year.  Mash Up Trailers are something different, basically the Audio of a movie Trailer put over different visuals, usually from an Anime giving it a Pseudo Fan Dub quality.

I first discovered them years ago via some Mash Ups of The Dark Knight to Code Geass.  Then last year I found that Dual of The Fates Utena AMV, which was done to the Music Video giving it a trailer like quality.

The only one not to Animation I've really enjoyed is the Pretty Little Liars Suicide Squad one done by one of the ProsWatchPLLToo people.

Then I started seeking them out more regularly and found quite a few.  I watched some of Code Geass to The Dark Knight Rises, some Death Note to the Dark Knight films.  Some Code Geass to the Star Wars Prequels ones, as well as Evangelion to Star Wars.  And Some Mean Girls ones, mainly one to Lucky Star.  They are included on my Anime Playlist.

So I want to mention some Mash Up trailer ideas I'd like to see that haven't been done yet.  And that I'm not talented enough to do myself.

Smile Pretty Cure/Glitter Force to The Dark Knight.  With Joker as The Joker, that's obvious, that's where this idea starts.  Reika as Batman, since she's the one with a one on one confrontation with Joker.  Pop as Alfred, and Nao as Rachel Dawes since she's who Reika is usually shipped with, (according to TVTRopes anyway).

Returning to the subject of Code Geass and Star Wars, I'd like to see that Padme focused Phantom Menace trailer that has already been done to Code Geass once, done to Akito of the Exiled, with Leila as Padme.  And I'd love to see some Gundam/Star Wars mash ups, if they exist already I'm having trouble finding them.

Related to that would be going Gundam to Star Wars, for me the most meaningful would be 00.

And another Anime that could be fun to see done to Mean Girls would be Yuru Yuri.

And as I said before I'd like to see some using Noir and Madlax.

Update:  I’d really like to see Yuki Yuna is a Hero done to some Star Wars trailers.  Those scenes of Karin practicing on the beast with her wooden swords particularly feel made for John Williams music to me.