FREE food for thought

All right, I have an editorial blog, so I guess there is no way around writing something about FREE, the new KyoAni anime. Also, something about moe, or whatever.

All right. First of all, here is some advice.

  1. If you want to tell your interpretation of how “everyone” or the “otakudom” is completely wrong in the show’s reception, you need to take a step back, go to a forum thread or a blog aggregator or a large comment section, and count 100 reactions to FREE’s announcement. If you truly confirmed that everyone (or even most people) reacted the same way, go ahead. But there is only one thing that is more annoying than a one-sided debate, and that is a many-sided debate where absolutely everyone has a persecution complex, and a conviction that they are alone with their opinion. 
  2. If you want to talk about the meta-discussion of how there is more debate about the debate of FREE than there is debate about FREE, head over to omonomomo. He got it covered.

 

Personally, what I found most interesting, is how obviously this the outrage is happening in our western side of the otakudom, as much as the feminist defense and the anti-moe outcries. In the video gamer community, the past monhs have been all about dragging the geek subculture’s underlying sexism, and misogyny to the spotlight, to admit that WE have a problem.

So far, the anime fandom mostly deflected any such accusations by dumping them on the Japanese otaku. WE, the classy western anime fans, would like more gender  equality, and less sexual objectification, and less moe (whatever the hell that means),  it is the dirty, moe-obsessed, hug pillows-buying, eroge-playing Japanese otaku’s fault that the industry is still backwards.

To see actual western anime fans lose their shit about one particular anime having sexualized guys in it, is an interesting reminder that WE as a fandom still have a problems, or maybe they are not real problems, let’s just leave that inconclusively,  but in either case, you can’t just explain away accusations of sexism with xenophobic stereotypes about Japan.

3 responses to “FREE food for thought

  1. I still believe there is a genre for everybody out there and to label one genre as superior to the other, isn’t how its supposed to be. As long as there is demand for such products, they will exist. Probably the anime producers will make the products more western orientated to maximize sales overseas when they see potential for a greater audience. This post is thought provoking to say the least. Good job.

  2. I don’t know a great deal about the history of gender in anime, but if I’m not mistaken, it has been a male-dominated industry for quite a long time, right?

    I won’t say that people are right for their sexism, but it’s pretty easy to see where they are coming from. For comparison, let’s talk about the video game industry and the comic book industry. Not long ago, to be a gamer or to read comic books was not considered “okay” by “normal” people. Gamers and comic book fans were made fun of and shunned, especially by women, as both of these industries were very male-dominated. So when women try to take part in these industries, there’s a knee-jerk reaction of “these people aren’t real. These are the same people who, years ago, made fun of my hobby”.

    Obviously, these assumptions are unfounded, as the 25-and-under crowd of women who have been joining in these hobbies recently most-definitely aren’t the same people who made fun of others for playing the original Legend of Zelda. You may ask, then, “Why are 25-and-under males also being misogynistic then?” This, I attribute to the media. Try to find more than a handful of television shows that modern kids have grown up with that don’t portray these industries in the same way as they had been before. On Disney, shows don’t picture boys and girls playing video games on equal terms (until very recently). It was always nerdy boys playing. I think that it’s the same for comics and anime as well.

    In a couple of years, I think that all of these hobbies will naturally progress to the point where it is considered “normal” for all genders to be involved (due to media portrayal and other factors). For now, the idea still lingers that it isn’t “normal”, because honestly it wasn’t until recently.

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