Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Anime World Order Show # 51 - Timeliness Is Not Exactly Our Strongest Suit

Daryl's gain is turned up entirely too high for the entire episode, which is even LONGER than usual. In addition to our Megacon 2007 report, Clarissa reviews Animation Runner Kuromi, Gerald revisits The Venus Wars, and Daryl finally gets around to reviewing To Terra Volume 1.

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There's going to be quite a few links this week in the full show notes for once. Eventually.

Introduction (0:00 - 18:24)
Remember, we still have a contest going where the winner will get a 100% silver keychain of our show logo. Perfect for destroying lycanthropes.

We spend a lot of time pontificating about the whole "o" versus "ou" deal when it comes to romanization. Plus, Scott from GeekNights has a VERY IMPORTANT question that requires all of our powers combined to answer. Actually, no it doesn't.

Convention Report: Megacon 2007 (18:24 - 35:29)
Megacon 2007 took place from February 16-18. Our convention report is about six weeks after the fact, and for that we apologize. Admittedly, Megacon is a multimedia event, and so anime-related activities are but a small subset of everything going on there. We apologize for failing to mention that William "Spooky Electric" Bradford won third place in the Barbarian Battles, but perhaps we are just highly bitter that despite Daryl's endorsing him to be chosen as Planet Smoothie's Cupman, he failed to emerge victorious. We will be editing this post to include links to several pictures taken at the convention, but for now, here is the horrifying pizza picture we warned you about:

There was no need for Daryl's archnemesis/would-be doppleganger to spend months constructing an enormous Shinigami out of PVC pipe (aka Death Plastic), thus keeping her rooted to one location for the day. All that was needed to kill one's victims was that pizza, which was given to her by a total stranger. PS: when she enters that Death Note lookalike contest, vote for her so we can take credit for her victory!

You know what else we don't need? To use a flash or perform contrast/color correction on photos taken of Virgil for the entertainment of the Death Valley Driver forums. Next on the list: getting footage of The Iron Shiek raping B. Brian Blair "to make him humble." Bryan Alvarez was ROBBED in that Sweeney match, and mark our words: the ICW ICWA Texarcana Television Championship WILL be rechristened the Frank A. Gotch Collar-and-Elbow Memorial Championship. After all, Larry Sweeney and William "Spooky Electric" Bradford are the same man.

Let's News! (35:29 - 1:12:22)
There was no news last week, and now this week, the news is two news segments strung together such that this segment alone is the recommended length of an entire podcast. We covered a lot of ground and, man, I hope next time our news segment isn't as horribly long, but, well that's the nature of the beast.

Anyway, Media Blasters has decided to essentially shut down most of their non-yaoi manga line. Of course, this means that Daryl's favorite porn ever, Apocalypse Zero, [Daryl: it's not porn if you don't draw the dick, and seinen is TOO CLASSY for that. Even though without his dick, there's no way even Eikichi could hope to defeat Kakugo] is now no longer being published. This leads to a discussion on whether there's much of a "fandom" for seinen at all and what this could mean for getting more manga here that's meant for an older audience. QUICK, GO OUT AND BUY GOLGO 13!

On the subject of manga, many big deal manga artists have sued a site for distributing their manga. Coming from a country where manga is super cheap, this is pretty bad. There's also an interesting interview with Mamoru Oshii online, however, because it takes too damned long for our episodes to come out, it now requires a free registration to read (Bugmenot might help). Also, Anime Classic did a great job on restoring the crazy MTV-like 80's anime To-Y, so go watch it and try to make sense of it (hopefully the tracker will be up since it seems to be down as I write this)! CPM's also in big trouble over releasing yaoi manga that the Japanese company claims CPM is distributing without authorization. Clarissa is happy that the titles might be moved to someone who doesn't charge more to watch dudes be rude when she can get her equivalent DBR quotient for less money from other publishers, while Gerald isn't cool with the whole "changing of a license overseas and the US publisher has to pay for it again." We, of course, know nothing and maybe things will become clearer in the coming weeks.

Also, Bandai Visual, in a "planned failure" move, is releasing Freedom and Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise (one of Gerald's favorite movies ever) undubbed for horribly inflated prices. FUCK YOU JAPAN AND YOUR PRICING!

Want to see just how clueless Bandai Visual really is? Read their explanation for why they priced the DVDs the way they did. Didn't everyone learn after ADV's Kaleido Star debacle that the forum posters on Anime on DVD should all be completely ignored? At least, that's the only place on the Internet where we could envision someone being STUPID enough to agree with this line of thought.

Promo: The Big Bald Broadcast (1:12:22 - 1:13:29)
Kyle Hebert is not only an anime voice actor, he's a podcaster who's been doing his show for longer than we've been around. We've just never played his promo because well, I don't think he actually HAD one. This one is actually fan-submitted, and so we'll forgive it for not actually mentioning Kyle's involvement or stating the website. That's what these show notes are for!

Review: Animation Runner Kuromi (1:13:29 - 1:28:07)
Who needs to cosplay for ego validation when we've got voicemails that do it for us? Clarissa tells us all about this 99% totally accurate and not at all exaggerated tale of working in the anime industry, as directed by Akitaro Daichi. Gerald cites this as one of the few anime to contain ska music, but Daryl cannot for the life of him remember any other music being used throughout this other than the BGM played at the start of the segment.

Promo: Dave and Joel's Fast Karate for the Gentleman (1:28:07 - 1:28:38)
Dave and Joel have also been podcasting long before we were on the scene, but Daryl likes to run around saying he put them on the map anyway. This is also a fan-made promo, as whoever made it and sent it to them forgot to remove the 2 minutes of BGM from the beginning. Personally, we were hoping that the bluetooth headset audio clip was going to be about beating up people while telling them to remove said headset, thus bringing everything full circle as their original promo was about beating someone up while telling them to remove their stupid hat.

Review: Venus Wars (1:28:38 -1:50:15)
For the record, we were not THAT late to play that voicemail about Transformers: The Movie being released on DVD. It had been out for a little while by the time he called in. Many people who remember Anime Week/Saturday Anime on the Sci-Fi Channel wrote in to us asking about this one, and so the task falls to Gerald, as he'd already reviewed Crusher Joe back in Show # 24. This is the final film directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, and upon rewatching it and removing the haze of nostalgia, perhaps we'll find out why that might have been the case. Incidentally, he also directed the anime adaptation of The Song of Wind and Trees, one of the more well-known of Keiko Takemiya's works. You can get Venus Wars for about $10 on Amazon.

Promo: Chibi Tokyo (1:50:15 - 1:50:51)
Chibi Tokyo is like, the West Coast equivalent of Fast Karate for the Gentleman. Except in addition to Fist of the North Star, they also like Captain Tsubasa a lot. More people should listen to this podcast. In the time since this promo was made, they've actually added a third cohost, so perhaps they need an updated promo more than us! Be sure to listen to the two-year anniversary of Anime Genesis to hear their special commemorative song they composed and performed.

Review: To Terra Volume 1 (1:50:51 - 2:26:15)
The reason we don't use ProTools is because we lack the competence to actually USE it properly. At least, Daryl does. Exhausted from having worked on crunch time schedule for the past two weeks, Daryl rambles and rambles AND RAMBLES his way through this latest offering by Vertical Inc such that this segment alone is the length of what a typical Internet podcast is. Fortunately, he's got it together just enough to convey all the relevant information, albeit in a highly decompressed, roundabout manner. This is a sci-fi manga by Keiko Takemiya, but don't make the mistake we made a few weeks back: despite being part of the Showa 24 Group, To Terra is technically a shonen work, which is what makes it so important. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Closing (2:26:15 - 2:30:59)
Next time, the theme is either robots or shows that seemed like they were going to be one type of thing going into it, but ended up being something else. Take your pick. Daryl's reviewing Ergo Proxy, Gerald's reviewing Megazone 23 Part 2 (DOGGY STYLE), and Clarissa will cover Hades Project Zeorymer.


83 comments:

Jay said...

Yeah you thought you would be sneaky and release another episode at almost 3AM huh? "Oh, let's release another episode really late so Jaime has to wait until the day after to listen to it". Yeah well no. You may have caught me off guard and released the last episode while I was sleeping but not this time baby, I'm awake this time! O_O

Anyways yeah, listening to the episode right now. Almost done with it. Good stuff so far. Keep up the good work guys. :-D

-Jay/Jaime

Anonymous said...

To Terra was a huge disappointment for me. If there's a sci-fi cliche you can think of, it uses it. Akira and Phoenix cover roughly the same material, and better, but if you need your old-school shoujo fix, check out what was legally translated of Bride of Deimos.

Erwin Rosales said...

I am so glad you guys are back into a weekly release :D

Amethist said...

About the Hentai vs the BL/Yaoi issue, here's my 2 cents:
BL/yaoi doesn't have the stigma as hentai does. I have never seen a true hentai out in the manga section of any book stores. Even the comic book stores mix in the yaoi with the regular manga. Thus it is easy to obtain.

I would compare it to guys buying porn from Suncoast. There's no stigma to going to a Suncoast alot of guys go there to get their fix.

Here's another tidbit: back at Otakon 2005 at a Tokyopop panel, the representatives said that the people who buy their stuff is mostly female.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Clarissa. Scott didn't happen to strike a nerve, did he?

For starters, Vertical itself has been pimping the shojo-ness of To Terra, calling it "emo manga" with the tagline "in space, no one can hear you cry." Of course one would be surprised find a deep sci-fi where they expect space emos.

Also, I'm pretty sure Daryl was correct. The "as good as Tezuka" comment implied that Scott would hesitate to elevate any work to the same level as Tezuka, not that shojo in particular can't live up to Tezuka.

Finally, how can you come down so hard on somebody for not understanding the definition of shojo when the definition you gave was so ambiguous? From your description, it sounds like shojo can be anything and everything. So what's the point of having the classification then? Or, more importantly, what's the point of nitpicking on classification if shojo's boundaries are nebulous, if they exist at all?

In any case, listeners who may not be quite the living anime databases that you guys are, and who may have been interested in the informative part of your answer, are instead insulted by your tirade. Have you no mercy for those who happen to lack expertise on that particular point?

In closing, this post is rather pointless, because I actually wouldn't want you to be any less opinionated or vocal anyway. Insult aside, your rant was full of the stuff that makes me love AWO in the first place. You guys inflict in me contradictory emotions that both confuse and delight. Keep up the good work.

Alexander Strange said...

By the way, the last few episodes of Kanon respected its plot again, and it made so little sense as a result that I think I'm traumatized now.

(You left out the part where I said that it was only good if you pretended the original story didn't exist!)

PS: I bought a copy of Ode to Kirihito and an old Mad Bull dub VHS. They're really cheap on Amazon Marketplace!

Popcorn Samurai said...

Hey thanks for mentioning Sanctuary. I was feeling like the only person that remembered it. It was one of the first VHS anime I ever bought next to Otaku No Video. (this was around 1995-96).

I don't know what is the deal with the comic shops in Florida. I know here in Sacramento I have been able to find Satsuma and even Phoenix (albiet not the whole set).

I just don't know what we would do without Dark Horse and I do not regret spending the 100s of dollars with them that i have.

kolibri said...

Clarissa, your rant kicked ass.

When Daryl's review started, my iPod crashed and I can't get it to reboot again so I haven't listened this episode to the end. Can I sue Daryl for the damages?

Clarissa said...

anonymous -

We came down on Scott about usage of the term shoujo mostly because GeekNights has a tendency to remind everyone how super smart and better fans they are than everyone else approximately every 5 minutes. So yeah, we're going to have a laugh/rant about it when something that seems like they don't understand what's going on is sent in.

Also, we've now stated more than once on the podcast that Vertical is advertising it as shoujo. We mentioned it the first time we talked about Vertical licensing it (at which point we also incorrectly identified it as shoujo). So I'm not sure why people feel the need to tell us these things that we've already said. Do people not actually pay attention to what we say?

We, and as far as we know Vertical, pegged To Terra as shoujo because it's done by Takemiya Keiko, one of the hugely influential Showa 24 group of shoujo authors, and based on the Japanese definition of the word, not American usage.

Also, how is the definition I gave ambiguous? I don't know, personally I find the American definition of it ambiguous, since it basically has no rationale other than "this is what I think of as girly." Also it seems to change every 5 minutes or with each person you talk to.

I'll repeat what the definition of shoujo in Japan is. Shoujo, like shonen or seinen or ladies manga, is a classification based on target audience. Shoujo is any manga published by an imprint and in an anthology aimed at female readers, IIRC from single digits into teenage years. Shonen is the same thing, but for boys instead of girls. It has a very definite delineation of audience demographic and age range, and that's all it's meant to indicate. It's common for shoujo/ladies manga to be created by women and shonen/seinen manga by men, but it's not a hard and fast rule.

Now, you may certainly see dominant patterns at work in these categories, as culturally defined gender roles tend to determine what both the publishers and the audience will think of as interesting for their gender. Though obviously there's not necessarily all that much seperation along gender lines for what's actually entertaining to people, given how many girls in Japan and here read shonen titles. While guys being into shoujo isn't *as* common, some are, and both shonen and seinen categories contain no shortage of romance titles or other cute series, the most stereotypical "shoujo" characteristics according to most people here. (Actually, I've more than once heard people refer to male-oriented series like Onegai Teacher as shoujo simply because it's about romance.)

But, whether there are dominant patterns to the content or not, ultimately it's all about who the publisher and author are aiming it at. So really, there's no inherent limitation for what genres or storytelling techniques can be part of it, only whatever the publishers and mangaka happen to want at the moment. Both shoujo and shonen can contain fantasy or scifi works, romance or action stories. That's why, if you look at even shoujo series that have come out here, they contain as varied series as Akachan to Boku (cute family series about a young boy and his baby brother), Fushigi Yuugi (romance and fantasy story about a girl being dumped into an alternate world), Revolutionary Girl Utena (highly symbolic, fantastic series dealing with gender roles and maturity), They Were 11 (scifi mystery) and Godchild (fairly bloody gothic horror/mystery). And most of those series were marketed as shoujo here in the US, with some of them even appearing in Shojo Beat magazine.

The thing is, the boundaries of shoujo are only nebulous if you want it to be a genre classification like horror or science fiction. But that's not what it was intended to be, and if you really look at the shoujo manga that comes out stateside, it's not actually what it is in the local market. The more limited definition is, I assume, an anachronism, from the days when hardly any of it came out here and people had a much more limited understanding of what anime and manga encompassed overall. Why people continue to use it that way, despite a sizeable chunk of evidence to the contrary, totally mystifies me.

That's part of the reason I keep giving the original usage, and why I try to use it exclusively. I think the common American usage is not meaningful or useful, and if we're going to use it at all, I'd much rather we use the Japanese term, which though wider, better matches the reality of what shoujo manga is (and it should, since they invented it).

Not that the Japanese usage doesn't have issues. As I mentioned, gender demographics for titles don't necessarily correspond to who's actually watching/reading it, and there's still some sexist presumption in the delineation. But as a descriptor, it's just more useful IMO.

HaloJonesFan said...

Clarissa:
"I'll repeat what the definition of shoujo in Japan is. Shoujo, like shonen or seinen or ladies manga, is a classification based on target audience."

So the Japanese definition of "shoujo" is like your own definition of "anime"--that is, "animation made by Japanese, specifically intended for a Japanese audience". Compared to the contemporary American definition of "anime" as "animation made in a particular style which originated in Japan".

Similarly, the contemporary American definition of "shoujo" would be "a story centered about interpersonal relationships, typically of the romantic sort, and the main character/characters are typically young women". If you look at it from that standpoint, To Terra isn't "shoujo".

Bob Savage said...

Kuromi:
Very cool movie. I agree with Gerald that the second one doesn't have as much impact as the first, but I really enjoy these shows that explain how things are done.

Shojo:
I understand Clarissa's frustration. I got into some conversations with people about a recent title, Ghost Hunt, which many people have said they will not watch because it is too "shojo-y". WTF? It is a mystery/horror show. Are people LOOKING for an excuse to dislike shows? Okay, the point isn't about fighting ghosts, this is a show about figuring out what is going on (mystery with horror elements instead of fighting show with horror elements).

I haven't read the To Terra manga, although I thought the old anime was pretty good (particularly the first half).

To me, Science Fiction is all about interesting ideas. I grew up in the days when "SF" was being pushed as an alternative classification, AKA "Speculative Fiction". I don't want to turn this into a generational thing, but with the rise of "special effects", the deeper, more thoughtful, aspects of SF seemed to be abandoned and Science Fiction devolved into Sci-Fi.

To me, SF was interesting because of the thoughtful ideas. If I need to watch Shojo to see interesting ideas, so be it.

Anime World Order said...

halojonesfan -

I don't care about saying it's not shoujo. To Terra isn't shoujo even by the Japanese definition. It was done by Takemiya, but it was published in a shonen anthology. Which is what we said at the beginning of our response.

The rant/debate is about two things. 1) The misunderstanding and miscommunication regarding the meaning of shoujo and 2) the attitude about shoujo that Scott's email suggested, given that he asked the question from the standpoint of the title being shoujo.

Also, I get that under the common American usage of shoujo, vague as it tends to be, it doesn't really fit. But as I just said above, I think the American usage is muddled useless crap.

Clarissa said...

Um, that was me, it had me logged in as AWO.

Apreche said...

Anonymous, thank you for eloquently and accurately defending my position. Thanks to you, I don't need to say much, other than that you are awesome.

As for everyone who is against me on this, all I did was ask why Vertical marketed a manga as shojo that, by most definitions, is not. Instead of the intelligent discussion that I expected, I got a slanderous tirade and the charred remains of a straw man. Thanks, it entertained me all day long.

-Scott

Erwin said...

I believe from the marketing point of view that Vertigo decided to promote To Terra as a Shoujo to appeal to the broad audience that that gender cover. Sadly it is all about the money.
I will take the Steven Colbert point of view and say I do not see gender specially in manga :P

Daryl Surat said...

Instead of the intelligent discussion that I expected, I got a slanderous tirade and the charred remains of a straw man.

In print, it's libel. ^_~ <-- Rym needs to stop ending every email with this because it's super-annoying

Emoticons aside, I'm far, far more annoyed that I'm getting lengthy emails from you guys about stuff that I mentioned in my review, especially when the final email sent is "actually, I haven't listened to the show yet and I'm going on hearsay." The remainder of this post is 100% objective truth:

On the Internet, Daryl Surat's word is law and anyone who disagrees is wrong. Daryl Surat is never wrong, except when he is, in which case Daryl Surat is still never wrong.

From the beginning of the podcast, I have been going on about how everyone else is wrong and I am right about definitions of words like "otaku," "anime," "manga," and the like, common vernacular/evolution of language BE DAMNED. It doesn't matter to me how many people think "anime style" is a term that actually means something, as it's my opinion that they're all being subverted by a combination of deceptive marketing and not knowing any better. That will not save them from the grinders when the purgings commence and I need more ore to build additional chaingun tanks.

By that accord, it doesn't mean a wooden nickel to me whether the average anime fan thinks "shojo" refers to content. That is not grounds for "the American definition" of the word. Rather, they're all wrong and need to be taken to school, and school is being held in the woodshed. Which is where I will take them.

As such, I'm not conceding an inch on you being a great big Wrongy Wrongerson, no matter how hard Stu Levy throws chairs at me as he screams "BIG EYES SMALL MOUTH" and "WHERE ARE THE READERS!!!!"

You're wrong. I'm right. Just like always. Deal with it. ^_~

Gerald said...

You know, if I had to go with the American definition of manga, then I'd have to accept Megatokyo, Dramacon, Princess Ai, and Juror 13 as manga, and it'll be a cold day in hell when that happens.

Anonymous said...

here is a little more intelligent discussion without the attack on the personal level. Hope you're cultured enough to appreciate it :-D

Anonymous said...

This rant would probably not have transpired if these guys weren't so cocky on their own podcast about how smart they are, when it's clear from listening to their own anime casts that they know nothing more than the average kid with Bittorrent and a Wiki open.

That said, I don't feel Scott's email was particularly sexist, and most American fans probably have a misconstrued notion of terms like shoujo and shonen.

I wonder how Gerald feels that the pressure is off him for a week.

PMDR said...

Shoujo or Shojo, just please please please don't pronounce either one as "show hoe" -it's a goddam J sound, not a Spanish "H" sound.

Argh.

Gooberzilla said...

I think everyone is missing the true point of this particular Internet geek-feud:

Ursula K. Leguin, Octavia Butler, James Tiptree Jr., Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackery, and countless others notwithstanding, women cannot write sci-fi. This is not an opinion; it's a physical law. You are required to be born with a penis in order to write science fiction.

DISCLAIMER: This post is in jest.

Anonymous said...

truer words have never been spoken

kolibri said...

Even though you crash my iPod, you're still sometimes my hero Daryl.

I'm with you all the way guys, I try to keep to the Japanese definitions of the demographics. Most of the time the definition overlaps with American one and people know what they are talking about with each other... and since the concept of the demographic target audiences are not used in the same way over here people don't understand that they are changing the definition from the original one. However no matter how much you want to believe that the American version is the right one, it would be ignorant not to realize that it deviates from the original one. I get into arguments all the time about Boys Love/yaoi/shounen-ai definitions, and while my definition is the original usage of the words pretty much exactly as Clarissa defined them last week, I have to understand that majority uses these words in a different way. Doesn't stop me from trying though.

There's a lot of hate going around in those Geek Nights comments. I wonder if people will still talk about the Clarissa vs Scott shoujo wars in the years to come.

Clarissa said...

kolibri -

Shit, I hope not. I mean, if I'm going to be remembered for an Internet Argument, I'd rather it be one less lame than this.

The Last Otaku said...

I bought a copy of AA Prime at our local comic book shop's back issue sale for a buck like 2 years ago.

Armando said...

I'm going to have to agree with Gooberzilla. I mean, I don't want to imply that there aren't things women are good at -- sometimes even better than men. I mean, when it comes to cooking and cleaning and talking about shopping, women have it all over men. But when it comes to sci-fi they should know their place, put on a skimpy metal bikini, and let the men do the men's work.

RainbowRaven said...

Hey there, heard about you guys from Geeknights. This was the first podcast by you guys that I listened to. It was pretty cool. I'm going to start from one and work my way down to fifty. I think it will take a bit but I'm coming up on my university's Easter break next week and I'll only be working so I'll give it a try. *rubs hands together* I'm getting tired of talking about the definition of shoujo. I agree with Clarissa and AWO about the real definition. The response that always comes back though goes something like 'well shoujo means this to me because that's the definition I created and it also means that to a whole bunch of phantom anime fans that I created. I'm right and cannot be wrong." It's getting silly now. So moving on back to anime. I saw Kaze to Ki no Uta way back in high school. I loved it. It would be awesome if the manga came out here. I also saw the Terra E movie on Amazon.com. It's not new of course but third party sellers are selling it for pretty cheap and I believe I saw a new one for about $28.

HaloJonesFan said...

Indeed, it's the same thing with 'otaku'. People, 'otaku' is not a good thing. It isn't something you want to be. No, you can't "take it back", or "make your own definition", or "use it MY way".

Although the funny thing about this whole business is that Peter and Clarissa are making the same argument--that "To Terra" isn't shoujo! The difference comes in the philosophical reasoning behind that argument--that Clarissa argues it isn't shoujo because it doesn't fit the definition of 'shoujo manga', while Peter argues that it isn't shoujo because it isn't Silly Girl Stuff.

HaloJonesFan said...

Seinen: I think that there are two reasons why seinen manga doesn't do very well in America.

Firstly, it's the demographics. The audience for seinen manga is 25-40 men; that audience, in America, isn't an audience that buys very many comic books. That's changing, but it hasn't changed so much yet.

Second, it's the content. That is, the non-unique content. The stuff in seinen manga--at least, the action-adventure seinen manga--isn't stuff that you can't get from American media. As compared to yaoi; male same-sex romantic relationships, in American media, are generally portayed as either comedy or porn. On the other hand, you could buy the DVDs of "The Sopranos" and get much the same thing as you'd find in Golgo 13. While it isn't quite as extreme, it's a question of degree and not kind.

There's also a two-and-a-half; if the content isn't unique, then you're left with just the cultural content. And there, again, you have a problem, because a lot of seinen manga is so focused on Japanese culture that it simply doesn't speak to American audiences. If nothing else, we simply don't get the references

sequitur said...

I’m not sure whether Gerald has it wrong or just misspoke but Shoujo(少女) means girl while Shojo(処女) means virgin. Also ‘shou’ in Shoujo and Shounen are both pronounced with exactly the same long ‘o’ sound. Spelling change in Shonen Jump was simply a business decision to make it easier to pronounce for English speakers.

As for definition of Shoujo and Shounen manga, Clarissa has it correct, it simply denotes whether it was published in Shoujo or Shounen magazine. But I personally refuse to categorize current sissified manga’s in Jump, Sunday, Magazine etc. as Shounen. I blame Masakazu Katsura for the utter pussification of once proud Shounen genre. (I also think the lack of boobs in today’s Shounen manga are partially his fault as well but that’s another story.)

Apreche said...

If the Japanese definitions are the ones you want to use, then Superman is manga.

Winter said...

If you want to go by the commonly used American definitions...

"They Were Eleven" and A, A' are not shoujo -- they're fairly serious, mature works.

DiGi Charat, Pitaten, Bottle Fairy, Mao-Chan, and Strawberry Marshmallow ARE shoujo -- they're full of silly, pastel-colored girly shit.

Angelic Layer and Tactics ARE shoujo -- girls would apparently be the target audience for these titles.

The problem with the "American" definitions of things like shoujo, shounen, shounen-ai, etc. is that making the classifications are based on observations, assumptions, arbitrary schematics, and even prejudices. By the American defintion, the only qualification to call something shoujo is that it "looks girly" -- the definition is entirely dependent on the speaker's mental schematic (or our society's stereotype) on what appeals to the female gender or not.

By that definition, a lot of titles that were definitely NOT intended for young girls originally. A pretty generous amount of moe titles could possibly be construed as shoujo. Remember, Funimation is trying to market Moon Phase to young girls -- it's got a young girl, cutesy costumes, and a vaguely Hot-Topic vampire-goth aesthetic, just like many shoujo titles, so let's try and pass it off as shoujo! It's a similar case to the number of people I've seen recommend Mao-Chan for children -- it's very obviously a seinen show with otaku in-jokes all over the place, but people say it's for children because it's a fairly stupid, repetitive, pastel-colored mess. Assertions like that are pretty harshly condescending to children.

But then, it's also somewhat condescending to say things like "this isn't shoujo, it's sci-fi," whether said condescension was intended or not. That statement implies that there is something mutually exclusive about shoujo and sci-fi, when some of the most groundbreaking shoujo authors actually created a great deal of sci-fi material.

No matter which definition you accept -- the more concrete Japanese definition or the more schematic American definition -- shoujo is a demographically defined category. While there may be some common aesthetic and narrative elements in shoujo works, shoujo is such a far-reaching term that attempting to call it a genre, which many people often idiotically do, is extremely unhelpful. There's not much similarity in content between, say, Marmalade Boy and virtually anything Kaori Yuki ever wrote.

Daryl Surat said...

If the Japanese definitions are the ones you want to use, then Superman is manga.

Actually, it's "amekomi." ^_~

Your very own forums contain a perfectly clear explanation as to why that analogy is flawed; it's this post. Mr Clayton's post directly above mine elaborates further. I'm certain you read the post I linked to prior to that most recent post, and so I'm not sure why you'd continue with that line of reasoning in a different venue.

The foundation of your position is that "the majority of anime fans believe what I'm saying to be correct, so therefore it is," which is a questionable position for you to take since you speak extensively on the importance of avoiding logical fallacies. It may in fact be the case that the majority of anime fans do believe that to be so, but even if that were the case, your position summarily disregards the possibility that the majority might all be wrong. Certainly, we were all wrong to think To Terra was a shojo title until one single person demonstrated how that was not the case back in January. That person was correct, and everyone else--that includes us!--was mistaken.

Your stance on the matter appears to be "words are defined by how the majority of people use them, and since most people mean 'shojo romance' when they use the word 'shojo,' it is wrong for you guys to assume that I meant something other than that." I am of the belief that there's a lot of misused terminology among anime fandom ("otaku" being a big offender here along with "yaoi" and "hentai"), and the only way to change that is to correct people instead of just going with it. When I'm using something incorrectly, I want to know about it so I can fix it. It's not always easy; even in this post I continue to write "shojo" instead of "shoujo" despite an explanation that I do in fact have things backwards.

In the case of you personally, more than just a correction is warranted because you're not the average anime fan. You're someone who's had extensive experience with organization and staffing within anime fandom, with a podcast that regularly talks about anime and fandom wherein you speak from experience/authority. Therefore, you get held to a much higher standard because people look to your words to learn about stuff, and if you're saying the wrong thing, you're contributing to the spread of misinformation.

So it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks. You should know better, which makes your apparent reluctance to accept "it's not, and your question is fundamentally flawed since it's built off of an improper foundation with regards to the definition of the term" as an answer to the question of "how is To Terra shojo when it seems to be just straight-up sci-fi?" all the more puzzling.

I don't think we're misrepresenting your argument then refuting that instead of what you actually said (the aforementioned "strawman" tactic). Rather, I think we refuted what you said, but not what you actually meant to say. Unlike Soldier Blue, we're not mind readers.

HaloJonesFan said...

"You should know better, which makes your apparent reluctance to accept "it's not, and your question is fundamentally flawed since it's built off of an improper foundation with regards to the definition of the term" as an answer to the question of "how is To Terra shojo when it seems to be just straight-up sci-fi?" all the more puzzling."

But this is exactly my point. Both of you are saying that To Terra isn't shoujo. But he is apparently not Ideologically Pure enough to make that statement...

Daryl Surat said...

Please re-read what I wrote more carefully. We are saying that To Terra is not targeted towards a predominantly female demographic, and Scott is saying that To Terra does not extensively focus on romance and relationships.

The two statements are not equivalent. It's somewhat similar to situations regarding the use of the word "theory." If a scientist says "evolution is a theory" and a Christian fundamentalist says "evolution is a theory," they are certainly not both saying the same thing even though the actual words are identical. The latter is operating under the incorrect assumption that "theory" means "guess" because that's what most people mean when they say "theory." But when a scientist says that "evolution is a theory," you would be remiss to think he really meant to say "evolution is a guess" since what sort of scientist would think that? Indeed, if he elaborated by saying "evolution is a theory, so the Bible is right after all!" most reasonable people would probably look at the guy and think "whaaa...?"

HaloJonesFan said...

:rolleyes: way to frame the debate. "I'm a scientist, and Peter is a crazy Christian fundamentalist who doesn't believe in science!"

Chris Sobieniak said...

Some random thoughts on show #51....

- Hope the CPM/Libre dispute can be ironed out soon. I would rather side with CPM on this as well, though it does sound pretty crappy how this had to happen and was probably obvious to occur given the circumstances.

- I don't think I'll EVER buy anything from Bandai Visual USA if that's the attitude they are using (You would think $19.95 would be a decent MSRP for both Freedom and Honneamise, of course that would be the sensible pricing I would do for these). Makes me wonder what else you DO get for $80 on the Honneamise disc besides the HD-DVD transfer, a book of the script or something? A deluxe set like that I'd rather see sell for somewhere around $39.95 personally. So many mis opportunities. :-(

- Having thought about Animation Runner Kuromi (haven't seen it yet), I can think of a few other anime episodes that often looked at the industry itself once in a while, like the last episode of "Golden Boy" where Kintaro Oe works as an assistant at one studio and enlist the help of all the chicks he met in the last five episodes to help him finish a project after a director got in an auto accident. God I loved that OVA. A bit less interesting and rather sad episode of the 90's Minky Momo series involved a cel painter who collapses from exhaustion while on his way to the studio, resulting in him slowly dying and Minky having to let him having a dream where he got to see his own creation come to life, a typical magical shoujo girl.

The initial premise of Animation Runner Kuromi reminds me a little of this little-known, short-lived sitcom from the 80's featuring a very young Jim Carrey...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQuY1Cm7miM

The use of caricatures or implementing personalities of friends or co-workers you know have been rather a common thing I often see in shows like this. Many American cartoons that might depict the making of a cartoon often might have the animators themselves wanting to stick themselves in the show in walk-on cameos or whatever (the Simpsons come to mind whenever they do an episode revolving around Itchy & Scratchy).

Thinking about the freelance effort also seen in ARK (might as well shorten it anyway), I kinda wish we saw something like that over here, but of course, the heavy unionized animation industry would NEVER tolerate that, but at least it sounds a tad better over the usual outsourcing or "runaway production" we've been used to put up with as shit we see for the past few decades. Might have to pick up Animation Runner Kuromi since it sounds a lot more my thing.

- Noticed a torrent for the Venus Wars flick (English-dubbed though), so I might as well go check that out (I'm such a loser). Thinking about the Akira inspiration that went into Venus Wars reminded me of having heard something similar being brought up about "Megazone 23 Pt. III" and how that was merely done to cash in on Akira's successes. Seemed like there were a few anime between the late 80's and early 90's that was going that route.

In doing the Suzanne Somers bit, I only wish you did a "She's The Sheriff" reference, oh well.

Too bad I never did see the Bakshi commentary/appearance on Sci-Fi Channel, but perhaps it was for the best I didn't. I know he once said that he wished there was more "jazz" in anime, not jazz as in music, but more in it's timing I think. Of course if there was one anime I would recommend Ralph to watch, it would be "Cowboy Bebop", unless he's seen it already.

That live-action bit in "Venus Wars" sounds almost similar to a technique once utilized by Disney in the mid 20th Century in some of their features like 101 Dalmatians. That technique was essentially taking live-action models, filming them in black & white, and then transferring them to cels through xerography before they can be painted later on. Don Bluth used this technique in some of his films as well (the tractor in "Secret of NIMH" comes to mind as he shot a 16mm film of a tractor in order to use it for one scene). Rotoscoping of course is essentially drawing the live-action to paper/cels in a manner that differs from the above technique I mentioned. Ralph Bakshi of course was infamous for his use of rotoscoping in movies like Lord of the Rings, though the technique itself had it's roots going back to the 1910's with the Fleischer Studios using it to animate their "Koko" figure in the "Out of the Inkwell" series.

Of course when you brought up "Solar Adventure", I had to nearly do a double-take over that remark! "Venus Wars" already sounds like it needed a better story, or else Yasuhiko himself was running out of steam by the time he got to this film and that's why he quit animation for good.

- "To Terra" sounds pretty cool if my local Barnes & Noble has it available. I might as well dig for the Towards the Terra anime flick as well to rip as well since I know it might be worth so. The opening premise sounds way more like "Logan's Run" to me.

- Still don't think I deserve a silver keychain, but if I bother to, I'll drop you a line!

Chris Sobieniak said...

Also, I just downloaded "To-Y", and just love how good it looks thanks to the effort of the To-Y Restoration Group, looks more of what one could expect it to be on DVD, if one ever did got released anywhere (having noticed one of the companies responsible for this OAV was CBS/Sony Records, that explains the music here).

Winter said...

:rolleyes: way to frame the debate. "I'm a scientist, and Peter is a crazy Christian fundamentalist who doesn't believe in science!"

Maybe Daryl could have used a more charitable example, but that doesn't mean his point isn't valid. Maybe Clarissa and Scott/Peter/Apreche/Whatever ultimately agree that To Terra isn't shoujo, but it's crystal clear that they're not reaching that conclusion for the same reasons.

To use another example:

Let's say Person X said "I don't believe women should be placed in the combat zone, because women can be raped, impregnated, and tortured in ways that have no equivalent in the male gender."

Person Y says "I don't believe women should be placed in the combat zone because women are physiologically and psychologically weaker than men."

These two people may ultimately agree with each other's conclusion, but they're ultimately making two very different arguments, and thereby saying two very different things. One is saying that women are weaker than men, the other is saying that placing women in the combat zone presents an ethical dilemma. You could argue that one or both of these arguments are wrong and/or condescending, but the point is that these two arguments aren't saying the same thing.

It's possible for two statements agree with each other in conclusion but not in foundation -- in fact, their foundations may very well clash. Just because you agree with another person's conclusion doesn't mean you necessarily agree with his or her foundational reasoning, or that the other person's foundational reasoning is even valid. It's possible to have all the wrong information and still stumble upon the correct conclusion.

Honestly, neither method of classifying shoujo is flawless, but the Japanese definition of the term is at least somewhat concrete and verifiable -- the target demographics of Japanese anthologies are readily identifiable. The American term is at least somewhat more vague, and is based on somewhat arbitrary criteria.

A lot of people working under the American definition of "shoujo" hold "focusing on relationships" as a core tenet for identifying shoujo, but when you really think about it, that's so vague and broad as to be useless. Love Roma is all about relationships, but it certainly wasn't written for girls (neither is Midori Days, Ah My Goddess, Video Girl Ai, or virtually any male-oriented harem show). Super Gals is shoujo, but what I've seen of it isn't particularly concerned with deep relationships -- no more than the average title aimed at any other age group, anyway. It's difficult to define "shoujo" when your primary methods of defining it are based on perception, archetyping, and stereotyping. My favorite piece of shoujo, Moto Hagio's "Hanshin," certainly doesn't hold to the American steretotype of shoujo.

(As an aside, I think this general stereotype of shoujo is part of the reason "shoujo" has almost become a kind of slur amongst anime fans. But that's another post for another time.)

HaloJonesFan said...

Something that occurred to me earlier today was that AWO seems to be claiming that the Japanese use "shoujo" and "seinen" et al as demographic terms, rather than genre terms. i.e. when you're a young boy you read shounen manga, when you grow up you read seinen manga. But in America, we're used to thinking of things as genres. It isn't as though you read sci-fi when you're a young boy, but then you grow up and read detective stories!

So the American companies are using "shoujo" as a genre descriptor. And while I think that AWO is taking a pointlessly hard-assed approach to the whole idea, I kind of see their point--in that there's no reason to call it "shoujo" as opposed to "romance". Other than marketing, of course--it's "show-joe", it's like that "annie-may" stuff that you all like to watch, it's Japanimation!

Winter said...

(Winter, because I can't seem to post in the usual way)

I think "shoujo" is, and always has been, a demographic term. Shoujo has the same basic meaning in America as it does in Japan -- it refers to comics made for young girls.

So I don't think the argument here is really that Americans and Japanese differ in the meaning of the term itself -- the point of contention here is how titles are grouped under said term.

Shoujo is a demographic category -- something far broader than a "genre." The problem is, people who try to define shoujo under so-called "American" terms are essentially grouping titles together via common characteristics.

The problem is, there's a difference between a commonly occurring characteristic and a defining characteristic. By definition, a defining characteristic is a trait shared by ALL samples in a group -- a comon characteristic is just a trait that frequently occurs in a group.

The only defining characteristic of shoujo is that all shoujo titles are made for an audience of young girls. Many shoujo titles contain romance or relationships, but not all of them do. Many shoujo titles have young girls as protagonists, but not all of them do. However, ALL titles that are properly shoujo were originally created for a young female audience.

The problem with the American terms of defining shoujo is that it ultimately amounts to "I know shoujo when I see it." That's nice, but that really isn't very helpful when it comes to defining a term. I know a bowl of chili when I see it, but describing a bowl of chili as "a bowl of spiced meat" doesn't help anyone. There are many dishes composed of spiced meat that aren't chili.

I don't have any real stake in this discussion, I admit, but I'm splitting hairs over the issue because trying to turn shoujo into a "genre" instead of a "demographic category" is part of the reason most American anime fans have a fairly narrow and particular definition of what shoujo is, when the world of shoujo is actually more far-reaching than that. I think it's borderline sexist to equate "shoujo" with "romance" as completely as American fans (and companies, admittedly) do, because that implies that romance is the only manga genre that can be successfully created for young females.

Granted, as Clarissa mentioned, there is a vague form of sexism in merely categorizing something as "intended for young females." But I'm persuaded that any kind of story that can be written, can be written for males, for females, or for both. And that's why I'm pretty much opposed to this perception that shoujo is a genre, when it's really made up of any and all the genres being produced for one demographic.

Gooberzilla said...

I must admit that defining an anime or manga production according to its target demographic can be equally disruptive.

When I hear that a work is "shoujo", under the demographic definition of the word, my first instinct is to the think: "I'm not a young girl. I am not likely to be interested in this." But other people have already mentioned that shoujo works run the gamut of genres, so very likely I could be missing out on something entertaining.

And isn't there something inherently sexist in balkanizing the media into "meant for girls, meant for boys" categories?

And how do you tell whether a show is truly aimed at young girls rather than creepy, middle-aged, body pillow-hugging Moe-heads? Because of the magazine that it was originally serialized in? That strikes me as unsatisfactory...

exedore said...

Makes me wonder what else you DO get for $80 on the Honneamise disc besides the HD-DVD transfer, a book of the script or something?

You get a near-simultaneous release to the R2 Blu-Ray.

Seriously, my guess as to what's up with BV's pricing on this movie is the ever-popular issue of reverse importation. Since the US and Japan are on the same region for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, it's that much easier for the Japanese to import from the US. Therefore, BV don't want to risk cannabalizing their R2 sales, so they don't give the US a Blu-Ray edition and charge the R2 price for it.

On the one hand, yay for simultaneous (or nearly so), but the point of opening regions like this is to drive prices *down*, not up.

Chris Sobieniak said...

exedore said...
You get a near-simultaneous release to the R2 Blu-Ray.

Seriously, my guess as to what's up with BV's pricing on this movie is the ever-popular issue of reverse importation. Since the US and Japan are on the same region for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, it's that much easier for the Japanese to import from the US. Therefore, BV don't want to risk cannabalizing their R2 sales, so they don't give the US a Blu-Ray edition and charge the R2 price for it.


Shame to know that now.

On the one hand, yay for simultaneous (or nearly so), but the point of opening regions like this is to drive prices *down*, not up.

Whoever had that idea was a jerk! In a perfect world, I could only see that happen.

Anonymous said...

Where to begin?
Wait, some crazy guy in a hat with a pre-decimal pricetag just told me...

Sounds like Megacon was professionally run, but not run professionally.

Re: "Kouji" vs. "Koji": "Kouji" is more correct (I know-the manga has furigana). Personally, as both an anal retentive fanboy and a student of the Japanese language, I prefer if if the subs reflect the long vowels, but it's usually not a big deal to me if they don't (I'm sure there are some cases where it would be a big deal for me, but I can't think of any right now-gotta leave myself a safety net!). That said, I take offense to those (like Trish LeDoux when she was working for Viz-I'm still disappointed in the Otaku Generation crew. They had her on the show, and she told 'em to go ahead and criticize Viz, but they said they had bnothing to criticize!) who argue you should never indicate long vowels because "You don't spell 'Tokyo' as 'Toukyou.'" Bad argument "Tokyo", "Kyoto," "Toho," "Toei," and "Shogakukan" are the English names for "Toukyou," "Kyouto," "Touhou," "Touei," and "Shougakkan," just like "Munich" and "Vienna" are the English names for "München" and "Wien" (and hey, "Niigata" is spelled "Niigata" in English). Names of characters are pretty much up to the discretion of the translators, barring demands by the licensor or licensee.

One place where one should definitely indicate long vowels, however, is when mentioning the original Japanese title, especially when you're putting it in parentheses after the English title. In fact, I think one should also indicate the katakana phonetic approximations in such cases-"Gojira no Gyakushuu" vs "Godzilla no Gyakshu," "Kidou Senshi Gandamu" vs "Kido Senshi Gundam" (for the longest time I thought the "Gun" in "Gundam" sounded like the "Gun" in "Gunkan" rather than the "Gun" in "a kind of metal wand that Muggles use to kill each other"). One of the OG crew (Alan Chase?) thought (still thinks?) that the Anne of Grren Gables anime is called "Akage no Ah-nay" because his sources romanized it as "Akage no Anne" instead of "Akage no An" (this stands out especially in my mind because "Anne-with-an-E" is usually approximated as "Annu," and if you're familiar with the story you'll you that Anne was vehement about her name being spelled with an "e").

Of course, even I, anal and nitpicky (and long-winded) as I am, make exceptions. For example, when I was head of Karaoke for Otakon, if there were non-Japanese (usually English) words in the song or series (or movie, or OAV) titles (or words like "Gundam" or "Patlabor" whose official ro anizations differ from directly transcribing the katakana), I would put the English (or whatever) word in the song title and the index in order to make it easier for people to look up. In the lyrics, however, if the loanword (There! I've settled on a term!) was pronunced like the original language (or so close as makes no odds) I'd put it in quotes (e.g. "I'm gonna fly, fly away"). If it wasn't, I'd write it phonetically in all caps (e.g. KONDISHON GURIIN). I only wish more anime companies would do this, caps and quotes quirks optional (are you listening ADV? AnimEigo? Geneon? Etc.?). I always indicated long vowels in the Japanese words-long O's in the titles would be "ou" or "oo" depending on how it would be written in hiragana, and in the lyrics they'd always be "oo" to make it easier for the singers. Long e's in the lyrics would always be "ei" for the same reason.

Hmmm...To-Y (not to be confused with how Gerald mispronounces "Toei")...I wished I'd borrowed the fansub when I had the chance, oh so many (relative) years ago...

I'll betcha if Bandai says anything about the $40 pricetag on the Freedom DVD's it'll be "Fear Of Reverse Importation" (which Exedore has already brought up re: Honneamise) and "We Need To Make Up For Poor Sales Caused By Lack Of A Dub" (mantras repeated so often that all the words are capitalized). That said, I will buy the WoH DVD, but, like Gunbuster and the Patlabor movie boxes, I'll get it at the lowest price I can find, even if that means waiting forever for shipping. Dunno about Freedom. Depends how much cheaper "cheaper" is...

Your To Terra manga review makes me want to rewatch the movie (it was a lot less rare when I bought it, when Right Stuf first released it...). I need to get my VCR fixed. I bought the first volume today (technically yesterday, now), and am about halfway through at this point. You're right about the Matsumoto Leiji influence on the mech design-check out the Analyzer-ish robot on page 181!

I also bought the first volume of Welcome to the NHK. I've been wanting to read this since you guys reviewed (relatively) way back when. What sold me was the bit about a guy beins attracted to a girl, all his friends saying "Tell her how you feel!" and when he finally does...she doesn't feel the same way. I may be a hopeless romantic, but this very real fear is something I can relate to (and may explain why I don't have a girlfriend...).

Speaking of To Terra, I just have one thing to say about Rim and Scott's comments: WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T THEY LOOK AT THE BOOK'S COPYRIGHT PAGE?! Not only would it have, at the very least, made them say something like "why is it being promoted as shojo (sic) if it was published in a magazine called 'Gekkan Manga Shonen?'" and would not have claimed several times that iwas from the early 70's (great research there, guys!).

I guess that's more than one thing...

That pizza doesn't look that horrifying. Then again, I'm sure what a lot of the toppings are...

"Louis Monde Three" and quasi-Russian accents...and people wonder about my reluctance to watch dubs...

Oh well, best post this before I think of anything else to comment on...

...I've got a Tankoubon to finish before turning in.

E. Bernhard Warg
Otakon Classic Track
Anime's Frank

Dave Riley said...

You get a near-simultaneous release to the R2 Blu-Ray.

What a great deal! Instead of Bluray, which has all but won the 'format wars', we get the release of the nearly dead HD format. :/

I was so excited for Honneamise to be the first thing to rocket me into the new world of HD cinema.

Apreche said...

Language is a living thing. The sounds and symbols that comprise the English word "red" refer to a specific color because the majority English speaking people associate those words and symbols with that color. If every English speaker in the world decide that the sounds and symbols comprising the word "red" referred to the color we now know as blue, and vice versa, then red would be blue, and blue would be red, regardless of what your outdated dictionary told you.

In Japan, the sounds and symbols comprising the word "shojo" symbolize an intended audience of young females. In the English speaking world, the majority of people who associate the word shojo with anything at all associate it with a content genre. If you would like to change that, you are welcome to. I really don't care what the definition of the word is. I just use words, as most people understand them, in order to effectively communicate my ideas. As it stands, every anime and manga company in the US and the majority of fans disagree with you on the meaning of this word in English. Therefore, the ideas which I communicated to you are not the ideas you received.

Regardless of what the "correct" definition for the word shojo is, there is only one thing I really want to make clear. In my e-mail I was using the word to describe a content genre. If you take this into account, you will realize my e-mail is not at all sexist. I have never thought for a second that a shojo work could not be good. I love many shojo works. I did not think for a second that a woman could not create a good manga. I love many manga created by women. I was only asking why Vertical was marketing a work as shojo, a word most English publishers believe is a descriptor of a content genre, to describe a work which is not in that content genre.

As for the person complaining about GeekNights not researching as well as Anime World Order. You are right. We don't research heavily. We read the book, we read a few sites on the Internet, and then we go. Unlike AWO, we do four shows a week. We get them up less than an hour after we record. We have jobs. If we did a weekly show, it would be as thoroughly researched as AWO. However, it is not. Feel free to correct us on any factual information we get wrong in our forums. We will either admit being wrong or debate you.

Anonymous said...

As for the person complaining about GeekNights not researching as well as Anime World Order. You are right. We don't research heavily.

Well, I'll admit I went a little over the top, but I wasn't complaining about you researching less than AWO. I was complaining that you didn't even glance at the copyright page, which says it was published from 1977-80.

...and then I put it in bold...and all caps...and added swearing...

Actually, I was surprised to find out how recent Terra e was. I'd always thought it was from the late 60's, despite Fred Schodt's Manga! Manga! giving the date as 1977 (it's been a while since I've last read the book, but that's the sort of odd fact that usually sticks with me...). The bit about the manga having "Sho(u)nen" in the title was my feeble attempt at putting in my two cents towards that debate.

Feel free to correct us on any factual information we get wrong in our forums. We will either admit being wrong or debate you.

I've been thinking about joining your forums. If nothing else, had I read your forums, I wouldn't have bothered to ask you if any listeners eventually told you they knew what the Duchy of Grand Fenwick at your Otakon '06 panel.

E. Bernhard Warg
Otakon Classic Track
Anime's Frank

"Wow! A movie with Inspector Clouseau and Doctor Who! Cool!"

Clarissa said...

Regardless of what the "correct" definition for the word shojo is, there is only one thing I really want to make clear. In my e-mail I was using the word to describe a content genre. If you take this into account, you will realize my e-mail is not at all sexist. I have never thought for a second that a shojo work could not be good. I love many shojo works. I did not think for a second that a woman could not create a good manga. I love many manga created by women. I was only asking why Vertical was marketing a work as shojo, a word most English publishers believe is a descriptor of a content genre, to describe a work which is not in that content genre.

Sorry, I call bullshit on this. The word shoujo literally means girl, which most US fans I've spoken to know, even if they don't use the original Japanese usage of the term as it relates to manga. Companies here regularly promote shoujo works with symbols, color schemes and such that are traditionally perceived as feminine. The Viz anthology Shojo Beat obviously directs all of its articles and advertising toward a specifically female audience, not both genders or gender neutral.

[By the way, that English language anthology with shoujo plastered all over the cover? Those manga books that US publishers market as shoujo? Like I said earlier, they contain works that don't fit into your narrow category of what the American usage of shoujo is. Of course, I still don't see you asking (loaded) questions about why Godchild, Baby & Me or They Were 11 aren't shoujo. Isn't that interesting?]

So it's clear that while the US definition of shoujo might be more of a genre description than the pure demographic description used in Japan, to assert that there's no concept of shoujo here in the US as being the "girl" genre is ridiculous.

Therefore, to maintain that "girls" comics, even under the US definition, only refers to cute, sparkly works about romance featuring young female characters is 1) wrong by not only the Japanese definition but also the American one, which I have now explained in this comment and a previous comment (one that you conveniently ignored) and 2) still sexist.

Classifying all romantic works, and all cute works, as shoujo, a term that I've already noted is clearly understood even in the US to refer to "girl's manga" is problematic. It reinforces gender stereotypes. Not only that, it's insulting to men as well (as are many sexist statements/beliefs) by denying something even Japan acknowledges, which is that males can appreciate cuteness and romance too.

Also, for someone so in love with your own intelligence and quick to refer to others as illiterate*, not to mention being otherwise condescending, the fact that you seem to believe someone can only be sexist if their thought process consists of "RAR, I HATE WOMEN AND WISH THEY'D ALL DIE, AND EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH IS EVIL" is phenomenally ignorant of you. Not to mention your failure to understand that people who otherwise mean well are still subject to racist/sexist cultural patterns they grew up with, and thus it is entirely possible to say or do a racist or sexist thing without meaning to.



* Oh, that was a nice bit of internet asshole theater and fan baiting. You excise and reproduce only my angry or sarcastic statements, including ones that were direct responses to your own rude statements, but completely omit any of your own less than polite or intellectual remarks. That way you get to be dicks to me in the relative privacy of email, then turn around and whine to your fans that you're the souls of restraint and logic, and it's just the crazy girl flying off the handle! Nice.

Winter said...

I must admit that defining an anime or manga production according to its target demographic can be equally disruptive.

When I hear that a work is "shoujo", under the demographic definition of the word, my first instinct is to the think: "I'm not a young girl. I am not likely to be interested in this." But other people have already mentioned that shoujo works run the gamut of genres, so very likely I could be missing out on something entertaining.


Well, I don't think anyone's claiming that either definition of "shoujo" is necessarily sacrosanct, or that these demographic categories are even particularly useful outside of understanding a work in a greater context: if a shoujo title and a moe title are practically identical aesthetically, then knowledge of the original demographic does lend understanding to the intent of the original work. But useful in terms of deciding what to read? Azumanga Daioh and Apocalypse Zero are both seinen titles, but they have absolutely nothing in common save their original target demographic.

But lumping titles into demographic categories or even genres, by its very nature, places limitations on what audiences are going to check out that work. We call things like The Iron Giant or My Neighbor Totoro "children's movies," and that's exactly what they are. But that simple act of classification is a double-edged sword: it helps the intended audience find the movie, but it's also going to turn some people off to seeing those two films. It's just the ultimate failing of the concept of genre/demographic classifications.

And isn't there something inherently sexist in balkanizing the media into "meant for girls, meant for boys" categories?

Somewhat. Gender demographics are created under the presupposition that males and females enjoy different things, which has some obvious sexist implications. The core premise may or may not be sexist in and of itself, but it certainly does open the door wide to sexist actions, like creating titles based off a certain perception of what girls like. We can just look at the type of stuff American comics once tried to market to girls for evidence of that.

I repeatedly hear that "shoujo" is little more than a term for a marketing demographic, which is about as much as I'm comfortable accepting given the number of girls who also read shounen manga for whatever reason. The core assumption behind demographics like "shoujo" may be a touch sexist, but I think you really start getting into bat country once you start making the claim that you can define "shoujo" through content. That requires a fairly sexist assumption along the lines of "girls like this, this, and this, so shoujo should contain elements pertaining to these." Girls like relationships and romance, so anything categorized as shoujo should contain relationships and romance. What really bugged me about Scott's letter was that it carried implications like that -- whether or not he really meant to convey them.

And how do you tell whether a show is truly aimed at young girls rather than creepy, middle-aged, body pillow-hugging Moe-heads? Because of the magazine that it was originally serialized in? That strikes me as unsatisfactory...

Haha, we've all run into that problem. What I've seen of Snow Fairy Sugar is a perfectly acceptable children's show, but in reality it was one of those midnight-cable shows (which, incidentally, I didn't know until a few weeks ago). Koge-Donbo's Kamichama Karin was published in a shoujo anthology, but damn if it doesn't read just like her moe titles.

Obviously the demographic method of defining shoujo et al. through publications is not perfect, and it doesn't really offer any true insight as to whether or not any one title is truly appropriate for the audience it was ostensibly made for (but to me, that's the job of criticism, not demographic classification). Personally, I think demographic classification is fairly useless to the everyday joe except as a contextual background for interpretation and criticism, or possibly certain other situations.

But I think trying to classify something as broad and ephemeral as "girls comics" based on content is just too limited to be meaningful, and it blurs the lines between classification and criticism. Most literary genres have a set of defining characteristics that set them apart from other genres (though individual stories may cross genres or subvert genre conventions). But I don't know how you could meaningfully apply content-based criteria to shoujo, shounen, or whatever, because the classification itself is not based on content.

Rambling and overexplaining aside, neither system of classification is perfect, and I doubt we'll ever find one that is. We work with what's available to is.

Armando said...

What the fuck are you people talking about?

Keith said...

Clarissa, you girls are so emotional.

Sub said...

hahaha oh wow i was an episode behind and what the hell is going on here you guys

kolibri said...

Ah, the good old "I'm not racists, because some of my best friends are..." argument.

Look, we have definitions for genres, just like the Japanese do. We'll call To Terra sci-fi - because that's it's genre, ask any Japanese. In addition we have the Japanese demographic definitions that we can also use to describe the original intended audience that will give us some insight on it, what's so difficult about that? Why do you insist on mixing the two?

And Clarissa brings out a very important point about hidden sexism (or racism etc) - because in many ways it can be even more dangerous than straight out hate. I mean, no one takes you seriously if you start sprouting out hate about who femi-nazis are here to take over the world - but making jokes about girls "being emotional" or "not being able to write sci-fi" (look, there's a time and a place... and middle of a serious discussion about the subject is probably not the place, no matter how good your intention to lighten the mood or whatever is), or especially dismissive tone like in the original email can be much more damaging.

There's already a big "boys' club" thing going on in the anime fandom (and most other geeky fandoms for that matter) so it's really easy to slide in to the "let's make jokes about icky girls" mentality, even when you don't wholeheartedly mean it - maybe it's some kind of bent up need to feel superior or needed in expense of other people. All anime podcasts I listen to are guilty of it to a degree (some more than others), and I'm really loving the fact that Clarissa is finally calling the bullshit on this and it's admirable that the boys are standing behind her on it. Most of the time it's like pissing in the wind but sometimes it's worth shocking people into making them realize what their behavior has become.

I would like to think that all you guys are in your heart of hearts nice genuine people who really believe in gender equality, please don't prove me wrong. I'm fed up with it.

HaloJonesFan said...

Oh, something else: Combat Unicycles? How about "Spiral Zone"? (I checked, but there don't seem to be any staff in common between the two. I guess 'unicycles with guns on them' was just a common theme in the 1980s.)

RainbowRaven said...

In legitimate debate, arguments making sweeping general statements such as "the majority of" or "most people" or anything of that nature without reference to a statistic or study from a reputable source, causes said argument to lose all credibility and validity. Scott does this a lot. Definitely not Lincoln-Douglas here.

It was 2003. Ten years or more since I started watching anime in some form. I happened to know a large (100+) group of anime fans in high school by way of being the more prominent of their two anime club co-presidents. This was senior year and I had been in this club since freshmen year and knew and met many more than just the members I presided over personally. College students who were now past presidents, members, etc. I knew anime fans from other high schools and one anime convention called AnimeExpoNY. I've since met more anime fans here in college.

The majority of these anime fans (not the majority of ALL English speaking anime fans WORLDWIDE or even in the U.S. mind you, just the ones I've spoken to or met. My omniscient eye seems to be on the fritz) were serious and/or had more than a passing curiosity in the Japanese language and/or Japanese culture. Why? Mostly because of anime. We had Japanese classes in high school and here at my university and many of the students I've spoken to were anime fans wanting to understand their hobby as much as they could. To attain that dream of watching original anime without *gasp* subtitles. I'm included in this bunch.

These people know shoujo is a demographic. They understand shoujo includes more than the pink hearts and flowers that are indeed part of the sexist concept of what girls sensibilities are attuned to (or should be attuned to) here in the U.S. regardless of what U.S. anime and manga companies might be pushing. They know if they go to the shoujo manga section of a Japanese bookstore in NYC they're likely to see a myriad of genres not usually associated with girls in the USA. They are not surprised to see these genres there because they understand what shoujo is. It seems we're not the only ones contrary to the stories. よかった。

If the majority of people in a particular country decide something is a certain way, then it is true... Hmm... sounds like great logic... if you like genocide. Or American football. Who else in the world calls this game soccer? But then, how many people voted for Al Gore again?

In any case, thank goodness for the ones who can bloody say that the damn emperor is naked.

Winter said...

Language is a living thing. The sounds and symbols that comprise the English word "red" refer to a specific color because the majority English speaking people associate those words and symbols with that color. If every English speaker in the world decide that the sounds and symbols comprising the word "red" referred to the color we now know as blue, and vice versa, then red would be blue, and blue would be red, regardless of what your outdated dictionary told you.

Sorry dude, but I have to take exception to that.

First, the core of your argument here is essentially argumentum ad populum -- "most (or all) people disagree with you, so you're wrong." I'll assume you already know some of the problems an argument based on such logic presents.

Second, you are correct in that language is a living thing, and that linguistic/lexical shifts do occur over long periods of time. However, your argument assumes that there is no significant difference between a historical linguistic shift, and appropriating a loanword from another culture (one that is still actively being used in said culture, I might add), distorting its original meaning, and insisting that the distorted meaning of the term is somehow correct.

This sort of thing is fairly common, but that doesn't make it correct. Many (most?) people use "schizophrenia" to describe the so-called "multiple personalities" phenomenon, but in reality, Disassociative Identity Disorder/"Multiple Personality Disorder" isn't even classified as a schizophrenic disorder -- it's a disassociative disorder. Should we give validity to this error simply because it's a mistake a lot of people make? I wouldn't say so, unless you want to completely devalue the meaning of language. There's a difference between colloquial/slang usage and lexical meaning -- the two should not be confused with each other.

Distorting the meaning of loanwords from other cultures was a lot easier to get away with before the advent of global communication. Today, in an age where we can converse with people from all different cultures on a daily basis, I think it's somewhat irresponsible and self-serving to proclaim that a word means something other than its original definition simply because the distorted meaning is ostensibly more applicable or convenient to US, when all of us had access to the original definition all along. It's indirectly stating that we know a better meaning for the term than the people who originally invented it.

In Japan, the sounds and symbols comprising the word "shojo" symbolize an intended audience of young females. In the English speaking world, the majority of people who associate the word shojo with anything at all associate it with a content genre. If you would like to change that, you are welcome to.

I think it's reaching to say that most English speakers associate shoujo with a content genre. As Clarissa already noted, I very, VERY rarely come into contact with fans that are familiar with the term "shoujo," and don't know that the term fundamentally refers to manga aimed at young girls. They may recognize that many shoujo manga (at least in America) contain similar characteristics, and sometimes use those characteristics when asked to define shoujo. But prior to this argument, I have NEVER seen ANYONE attempt to sever the term "shoujo" from the demographic it directly refers to. And since I've discussed shoujo with more fans than I can remember, I would suggest that your blanket assertion that American fans see shoujo as nothing more than a "content descriptor" is a faulty one.

I really don't care what the definition of the word is. I just use words, as most people understand them, in order to effectively communicate my ideas.

Not caring about the actual definition of words and desiring to effectively communicate your ideas are two mutually exclusive attitudes. Effective communication is taking care to ensure that your ideas come through clearly, regardless of your intended audience. It's not using slang terms and vague turns of phrase, and assuming people will automatically know what you mean, just because "most people" (read: a demographic that may or may not actually exist) understand you.

As it stands, every anime and manga company in the US and the majority of fans disagree with you on the meaning of this word in English. Therefore, the ideas which I communicated to you are not the ideas you received.

You're essentially blaming your audience for not understanding your communication, when in reality there are many ways in which you could have been much more clear as to what you actually meant in your letter. The first thing they teach you in any worthwhile communications class is that you often have to tailor your language depending on your audience. Sorry, dude, but when I first heard your letter, I thought you said things that sounded sexist too, and I wasn't looking for sexism in your letter. Evidently you weren't communicating your ideas as effectively as you give yourself credit for.

In any case, it takes a serious set of cojones to make an assertion like the one you make here. Last I checked, the anime companies used "shoujo" to denote any and all titles aimed towards young girls (and they market said titles accordingly). Many of the titles that actually get licensed may have similarities in content, but I fail to see how companies would place Godchild, Confidential Confessions, or They Were Eleven, or any number of other titles as "shoujo" if they were using it as a content descriptor in the same manner you were in your letter.

Likewise, most fans use the term "shoujo" in the knowledge that it refers to titles aimed at young girls. They may attach content terms to that definition, but it's ludicrous to act as though most American fans have completely divorced shoujo from the demographic it's meant to refer to.

As for the rest of this post, I'll defer to Clarissa's answer of the same.

Gooberzilla said...

Also, the color metaphor is a bad example. Anthropologists note that your culture can affect the way you perceive color. For example, in Japan, the color "ao" - which we translate as "blue" - actually includes some shades of the green spectrum. Some experts have even proposed that the concentration of melanin in your irises can affect the perception of color, although I'm uncertain of the veracity of this statement.

Regardless, color is a bad metaphor when arguing linguistic definitions. After all, a significant percentage of the male population is red-green colorblind. Just because they perceive a color in one way doesn't mean they are right when they label it.

Bob Savage said...

Proposal: shoujo gets used to mean the demographic as that is the meaning it has in the language and country that created the term. If someone wants to refer to the purported "American" usage, they shall use the term girly. If you don't feel good calling various mangas girly mangas, then you must have some sense, and can, perhaps, refrain from gender-typing literature and art.

Gilles Poitras said...

AWO:

Good podcast, even if I disagree with the Venus Wars review (folks buy this one!). Tho' the crappy live action/cell animation mix reminds me of other early use of such effects by the Fleishers and Tezuka.

On the topic of shoujo:

My current fav shoujo manga is Banana Fish, originally serialized in Bessatsu Shoujo Comic.

Colin said...

I liked the rape metaphor, because as we all know... Rape is hilarious as a theoretical concept.

Sub said...

Okay, so I figured it out. Geek Nights is mad at you guys because you guys know more than they do (and also the rationalization that Clarissa is secretly hot for that dude's cock because she's mad at him just like a tsundere moe character?), and you guys are mad at Geek Nights because they're mad at you for those reasons. That's fair.

Anonymous said...

In typical form, GeekNights has made a gaffe, and rather than accept it, they've resorted to specious arguments and claims of persecution at the hands of a hysterical critic rather than owning up to it. Their ignorance on a lot of topics would really be more forgivable if they weren't pompous asses who puff themselves up every chance they get. AWO called them on the bullshit anime sophistry they try to distribute as "expert commentary," and they got what was coming to them; it was bound to happen eventually.

For extra hilarity, check the corresponding thread in their forums as some of the mom's basement crowd attempt to talk intelligently about feminism. Yikes.

RainbowRaven said...

Anonymous said...

In typical form, GeekNights has made a gaffe, and rather than accept it, they've resorted to specious arguments and claims of persecution at the hands of a hysterical critic rather than owning up to it. Their ignorance on a lot of topics would really be more forgivable if they weren't pompous asses who puff themselves up every chance they get. AWO called them on the bullshit anime sophistry they try to distribute as "expert commentary," and they got what was coming to them; it was bound to happen eventually.

For extra hilarity, check the corresponding thread in their forums as some of the mom's basement crowd attempt to talk intelligently about feminism. Yikes.


So true. I happen to like their podcast and don't expect them to know everything but they're very egotistical. It is just that impossible for them to be wrong. I honestly believe the momentum of this argument on their side is hurt ego. It would be a shame to lose listeners over something so ridiculous and they stand to alienate female listeners, in addition to knowledgeable males, if they continue along this vein of argument.

There is little to no acknowledgment of counter arguments made in their forums by females. Some of the males on the forums have sunken to simply insulting Clarissa. No intellect involved. "Bitch" and "crazy" and "needing cock;" the last refuge of the sexist male who cannot make a better argument against an intelligent or knowledgeable female.

And whereas the sexism inherent in Scott's email may have been unintentional, some of the forum responses are definitely anything but. I would like to say the hosts are not encouraging this however the opener of Tuesday night's (last night's) podcast wasn't on a much higher level either and the forum responses matched that lowness. They are classifying what Clarissa said as "hatemail" and disregarding her legitimate critique.

It seems tonight's Geeknight's podcast is going to center on this "debate." Let's hope it manages to be intelligent.

Anonymous said...

This is precisely the reason I stopped listening to their podcast months ago. I just couldn't handle the arrogance.

Thomas P said...

Ugh, so much drama.

On a completely seperate note, Virgil actually sets autograph prices by how much of a mark a person is. He makes out pretty well because everyone feels sorry for Virgil.

Apreche said...

To anyone who thinks Rym and I are egotistical or arrogant, I'm curious as to why you think so. I"m not saying we are or are not accurately described by those adjectives. I'd just like to know why someone who knows us only through our podcast would label us as such.

Sail said...

Because you guys label yourselves as such.

I think this whole issue is totally over-inflated. Especially when you get listeners involved. They're obviously going to take the side of their favorite.

I honestly like both Anime World Order and GeekNights podcasts equally. And, frankly, this flamewar is retarded. Really retarded. Clarissa and Scott are not being rational in the slightest and that blind irrationality is spreading to their listeners, the people here and the people in the GN forums.

I'm really kind of ashamed of both of you guys, although I can't pinpoint the exact reasons. All I know is that I obviously don't know anything.

Gooberzilla said...

In situations such as this, I always ask myself: "What would Steve Harrison do?"

The answer invariably involves tin-foil hats.

Alexander Strange said...

I don't want to know what you're arguing about but it can't possibly matter.

Oh, and I think that new To Terra anime starts tomorrow.

Squirrel said...

Gooberzilla said...

In situations such as this, I always ask myself: "What would Steve Harrison do?"

The answer invariably involves tin-foil hats.


I was thinking knife fights and sweeping dance numbers.

Anonymous said...

I am going to withhold passing judgment or saying things about who's in the right and who's in the wrong (not that I have no opinion, I do, I just don't want to come down hard against one of my favorite podcasts). Instead, I shall comment on the rant. One thing that upset me about Clarissa's rant is this: She assumed that simply because the manga-ka of To Terra is a goddess of shojo, if you will, everything she does must be shojo. I submit that JRR Tolkien, perhaps the best fantasy writer of the 20th century, worked on things that were wholly not fantasy-related, such as the Oxford English Dictionary. However, given the nature of the language issue as presented here, said Dictionary might very well be more fantastical than any of Frodo's adventures.
I also bring to mind George Lucas. Before the release of Episode 1, George Lucas released good films. Just because Lucas had made good films (NOTE: I refer here only to episodes IV, V and VI of Star Wars, as I have not seen any of his other movies) up until that point, doesn't mean that he was incapable of releasing Jar-jar. (TRANSLATION: Utter crap. See how I redefined a word to suit my purposes and all of you got what I meant? Language is a living thing after all)

As has been said many times on this page, both parties agree that To Terra is not shojo. If this is the case, why can't the other issues be laid to rest too? In the words of Plato, "But can you persuade us if we refuse to listen to you?", I would have to say that this issue will go nowhere, as it's obvious that neither Scott nor Clarissa will cede any credence in the other's argument.

I think the only way to stop this madness is to release another show.

HaloJonesFan said...

anonymous:
"One thing that upset me about Clarissa's rant is this: She assumed that simply because the manga-ka of To Terra is a goddess of shojo, if you will, everything she does must be shojo."

Er, actually, that's exactly the opposite of what happened--Vertical was the party that assumed "To Terra" was shoujo because it was done by Takemiya.

Anonymous said...

Kaze to Ki no Uta is being scanlated by Obsession. The first two volumes and most of the third volume have been scanlated. I really really really hope Kaze to Ki no Uta gets released here. I love it to death. My favorite character is Pascal. Right now I'm raising money to buy To Terra (Poor college student here). Keep up the good work AWO.

RainbowRaven said...

To anyone who thinks Rym and I are egotistical or arrogant, I'm curious as to why you think so. I"m not saying we are or are not accurately described by those adjectives. I'd just like to know why someone who knows us only through our podcast would label us as such.

Not to go on to a tangent too much about why I used the word egotistical but it is self explanatory.

If you know the definition that is.

Also, we are talking within the realm of both the AWO and Geeknights podcasts and the impression we as listeners get of the hosts and their podcast topics and any discussions that blossom thereof.

Why would we need to know you personally to discuss our impression of you in your capacity as one of the hosts of Geeknights?

RainbowRaven said...

Kaze to Ki no Uta is being scanlated by Obsession. The first two volumes and most of the third volume have been scanlated. I really really really hope Kaze to Ki no Uta gets released here. I love it to death. My favorite character is Pascal. Right now I'm raising money to buy To Terra (Poor college student here). Keep up the good work AWO.

YES! Poor college student here too but also a working one and by god I'll find a way. And I'm going to look up those scanlations right now.

Excuse the double post please ^.^

Anonymous said...

Not to go on to a tangent too much about why I used the word egotistical but it is self explanatory.

If you know the definition that is.


A definition alone is not self-explanatory. It's useless unless you point out what they did or said that fits the definition.

Also, we are talking within the realm of both the AWO and Geeknights podcasts and the impression we as listeners get of the hosts and their podcast topics and any discussions that blossom thereof.

Why would we need to know you personally to discuss our impression of you in your capacity as one of the hosts of Geeknights?


He wasn't saying that you shouldn't form opinions of him based on the podcast. He was asking what specifically led you to that conclusion.

I'm really curious about this, too, as a big fan of both shows. Several commenters, as well as Clarissa, labelled Rym and Scott as arrogant, egotistical, or self-proclaimed anime know-it-alls.

Now, I admit I haven't listened to all of GeekNight's archives yet (there's a lot), but I've listened to most of the anime episodes, and I haven't gotten the same impression. Could someone please point out some episodes that show this attitude? This is a genuine request, not a challenge. Even if you could just remember which anime they were talking about, it'd help.

I really want to know, because what I've heard is Rym and Scott flat-out admitting that AWO knows more about anime. On several occasions. Hell, that's why Scott sent the email in the first place.

Also, even if they are arrogant, how in the world could that possibly offend regular AWO listeners? It's AW-freaking-O. Every episode opens with the disclaimer "...rantings of holier-than-thou know-it-alls that are anything but." Just scroll up and you'll see the Daryl saying (in third person) On the Internet, Daryl Surat's word is law and anyone who disagrees is wrong. So AWO thinks the GN guys like to wave their otaku cocks around? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

I don't mind AWO's attitude in the least. And they're generally half-joking about it. But self-deprecating humor doesn't mean they aren't serious at the same time. They know they're the most knowledgable anime podcast on the internet, and as such they have a right to be at least somewhat cocky. Fair enough. But again, how could you fault GN for similar (IMO, less) arrogance?

Now, while I haven't seen it in the podcast, I'll admit I've seen some of GN's arrogance in the course of this arguement, from their continued support for their use of "shoujo." Clarissa's correct, and they admit that, but they seem to maintain that their definition the right one for use in the American manga culture. It's unfortunate that they chose to push that particular point, because I feel they're otherwise in the right. I.e., their incorrect use of shoujo doesn't change the fact that Clarissa flew off the handle at an innocuous question.

They used the word in the way most Americans understand it. Okay, so it's the incorrect use, but it's so widespread that it's absurd to think that using it in such a way is some huge offense. The Japanese definition, while correct, is useless. As Americans, we might as well do away with the words shoujo, shounen, seinen, etc. because they mean nothing to us. We weren't in Japan when these works were released, how it is marketed in America is not determined by how it was marketed in Japan, and who it's marketed to has nothing to do with the story. So why bother with them?

And why bother getting worked up over them? When you hear someone use shoujo incorrectly, just tell them "That word has nothing to do with the content. Never say it again unless you're talking about how it was marketed in Japan."

-Clay

Steve Harrison said...

Point of order:

Tinfoil beanies are only effective in keeping the sleep inducing mind control waves generated by companies such as Bandai and ADV at bay.

(yeah? you don't think? Wait until ADV screws up the release of Sgt Frog and the apologists fall on their knees to suck their cock with "Well, at least it's coming out, join us!" talk and you tell me that there's not mind control going on!)

In the case of the Geeknights/AWO Great War I would tend to just laugh at the Geeknights folk, and otherwise ignore the whole thing. Trying to argue or convince only feeds the ego. They have views, in this case they are wrong, so what, move on.

And I think it was mentioned that Leiji Matsumoto (under his real name) was cranking out shojo manga for some time before the breakthru of Nishizaki's Space Battleship Yamato freed him to just go nuts.

Matt said...

RE: GeekNights arrogance.

Specific examples? Holding a Worst Podcast Contest strikes me as one. Granted, they claim it was all done in jest and fun, but that's just a disclaimer they slapped on there to cover their asses. They shredded that I Game podcast that was put together by elementary school students. Granted, no way in hell I'd listen to that show, but come on. They went off on those kids, and kids in general. They're sixth graders! There wasn't anything funny in their critique, just derogatory statements about little kids. Plus, a number of their reviews berated podcasters for having annoying, nerdy voices. Have they listened to themselves? Their high pitched cackling is the HEIGHT of nerdy voices.

They love to boast their ability to pwn in virtually any game or task they discuss. I specifically remember them talking about their total dominance at badminton during their childhood. Really? I somehow doubt that.

They treat things they either don't like or know nothing about with complete disdain. They were overall very down on the New York Comic Con. I think it's pretty clear since they admit to not reading American comics with any frequency, they are not the target audience for such a con. They were bringing their standards of "Yay, whee, let's all watch anime!" cons and applying it to a very different situation. And when they came to that conclusion on their own, they still came down on comic fans, just not understanding why anyone would wait in those longs lines to meet a creator.

They also latch onto bits of information or intelligence they've gleaned from other sources and wave it around as a flag of "we're smart!" Look at this comment section, the thread on their forum about this, and their episode covering it. Count the instances they repeat the phrase "straw man" in regards to the argument Clarissa made. Clearly someone listens to The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast and takes note of the logical fallacies they describe.

Rym and Scott remind me of a few guys I grew up with and geeked out with until after college. They rise to the top of their own circle of geekdom (they ran their anime club, they are the ones who host their DnD group). Everyone starts to defer to them as leaders, and they believe they have an overall authority on what's cool, what's not. Anything they don't get, don't like is dumb, wrong and mocked. Because now they're geeks with power.

The people who may have looked down on their geekiness years ago are either gone from their lives or can't touch them anymore. They have the power now to arbitrate what is cool, and they do. In this "worst podcast" contest, they named Anime-Pulse. When they describe the hosts as the type of anime fan who likes the most shallow, horrible anime, one of them says "Now I know who to beat up at cons." No fucking offense, dude, but I'd love to see how long either one of you would last in a real honest to good fight. Yeah, maybe you're just joking, but you have a habit of being immature and talking shit you have no place to be talking. I'm assuming a bit much, but I doubt you could back that joke up with more than one punch before you got knocked on your ass by the Anime Pulse guys, one of whom I'm pretty sure served in the Army.

Bob Savage said...

To Terra (TV):
I just watched the raw of the To Terra TV adaptation. I don't understand Japanese, so can't comment in depth, but it seems to be fairly faithful to the anime movie, which preceded (and was, itself, an adaptation of the manga described in this episode). The art work is pretty nice. They updated the character designs, but that didn't bother me.

Anonymous said...

You guys thinkin' about doing a podcast anytime soon? I mean, I know there's a major flamewar goin' on, and timeliness isn't your strong suit, but really. What's up?

Check out this thread on the GN forums for some hilarity.

http://www.frontrowcrew.com/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=1855&page=1#Item_10

Anonymous said...

Link for above.

RainbowRaven said...

Ok, I'm really going to try to let this be my last word on this. I believe when a discussion gets to that point where we're no longer discussing the subject but discussing the discussion of the subject, that it's really not worth talking about anymore. I've already stated the same opinion in several different forms and well that's the end of that. Others either agree or they don't.

In response to Clay's post.
Context. A word is self explanatory when taken in the context of the discussion. The context of this discussion is a disagreement about the word shoujo specifically as well as the Geeknights and AWO podcasts and hosts generally. I thought this was obvious. It was in this context that I used the word egotistical to describe Rym and Scott in their approach to the shoujo subject (Scott to a greater degree because it was his question and he's more prominent in the discussion while Rym seems to just be backing him up) as well as to describe their approach to some topics within their podcast.

As for most anime fans understanding shoujo in a certain way, unless there are documented facts to back that up, it's a flawed argument. Within the groups of anime fans that I have circulated in, that was never the understanding of the word.

I've listened to probably more than a quarter of all of Geeknights podcasts. But I'm not going to make a case study of this trait in their podcast. It would be a rather large task. Matt does a fair job of describing their general arrogance however.

I know arrogance and elitism and egotism. I went to schools and was involved in programs that foster those sort of traits in students. I'd like to think I've broken away from most of those ways of thinking, from looking down at the rest of the world.

A person can be proud without being a blowhard or believing they're always right or better than others.

In any case, there are many things of worth within the Geeknights podcasts. Oddly enough, the hosts also remind me of a few people I hung out with back in high school, in a lot of ways. I take what I want from their podcast and if they annoy me, I just flick them off. They're human beings after all. This inherently means imperfection whether they acknowledge it or not.

And that's that. I'm tired of this discussion. I'll wait for the next AWO podcast and listen to Geeknights and other podcasts until then.