sqbr: (up)
Friday, December 26th, 2014 03:12 pm
So a while ago some (able bodied) friends said "Hey Sophie, you might want to check out this new show Yuki Yuna Is A Hero, it has a cool wheelchair using magical girl character."

I watched the first two episodes and had mixed feelings: episode 1 wallowed in Tragic Cripple tropes but she did get to be pretty badass in episode 2. Since this is male-aimed moe (always a chancy genre) and people were predicting a Madoka-esque turn into darkness I decided to wait until the end of the season and see how things played out.

And then as the end of the season approached those same friends said "OH MY GOD SOPHIE YOU SHOULD NOT WATCH THIS SHOW I AM SO SORRY".

Spoilers, references to suicide and some REALLY GREAT attitudes to disability  )
sqbr: zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
Thursday, March 6th, 2014 10:34 am
There's been some discussion on tumblr of the culturally ignorant and thoughtless way white feminists often talk about anime/manga:
the original post, with my transcript, some following discussion.

This is something I've been thinking about for a while, I'm really uncomfortable with the combination of fetishisation/othering and erasure that's applied to Japanese culture in most anime and manga discussions I encounter, and would like to do better. So here are some thoughts on that. (Yeah, I know, ANOTHER WHITE FEMINIST POV /o\)
Read more... )
sqbr: (existentialism)
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 12:23 pm
Where are all the female anime fans? I don't read anime blogs, so can't speak to that, but in terms of meatspace fandom: am I wrong in remembering JAFWA (the local anime club) as having a lot of female members? I recall there being a reasonable number of women at the anime panels at Swancon too. Of course this is Australia, which may have a very different fan culture to the US.

Also I find her definition of "fan" unhelpfully ambiguous, it feels like anyone who isn't fannish the same way she is gets excluded. And that's not even getting into her very dubious explanations for this apparent effect, she completely ignores the possibility of sexism within anime fandom making women feel unwelcome. While most of the people I talked to were lovely, there were definitely some weird creepy guys at JAFWA.

The Unintended Consequences of Cyberbullying Rhetoric

Teenagers say drama when they want to diminish the importance of something. Repeatedly, teenagers would refer to something as “just stupid drama,” “something girls do,” or “so high school.” We learned that drama can be fun and entertaining; it can be serious or totally ridiculous; it can be a way to get attention or feel validated. But mostly we learned that young people use the term drama because it is empowering.

Dismissing a conflict that’s really hurting their feelings as drama lets teenagers demonstrate that they don’t care about such petty concerns. They can save face while feeling superior to those tormenting them by dismissing them as desperate for attention. Or, if they’re the instigators, the word drama lets teenagers feel that they’re participating in something innocuous or even funny, rather than having to admit that they’ve hurt someone’s feelings. Drama allows them to distance themselves from painful situations.

This reminds me of the way some people in online fandom use the term "wank".
sqbr: (torchwood spoilers)
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 01:48 pm
This isn't a deep post. just an off topic tangent from this discussion.

So, ones I can think of off the top of my head (my brain has of course gone blank):

  • Revolutionary Girl Utena
  • Card Captor Sakura
  • Sailor Moon? (I haven't seen it)
  • Check the comments for many more!

It doesn't have to be the main characters, my point was that sometimes in anime (unlike mainstream western tv) you can think "Those two have such good chemistry, wouldn't it be great if they got together!" and they do.

EDIT: Obviously I'm not the best judge of this myself but the aim is stories one can enjoy as representations of queerness not unrealistic yaoi etc, and relatively mainstream anime that a typical sff geek might easily encounter and enjoy.

There's also lots where the subtext never quite becomes text but isn't actively contradicted either, like (as I recall) "Read or Die".
sqbr: (torchwood spoilers)
Monday, April 13th, 2009 09:33 am
Descriptions and links to trailers
Initial poll
second poll

What to say
(nb haven't filled this out completely, just giving a rough outline)

We are going to be recommending anime which will hopefully appeal to people who aren't huge fans of the genre, specifically australian science fiction and fantasy fans.

This is about TASTE not how OBJECTIVELY GOOD something is. An anime can be very good for what it is but not to your taste. That said, if we rec something without mentioning what you feel is a major drawcard/annoyance please tell us!

Try and rec a range of different types of anime so you can find at least one which suits you. Warn for the common things that put people off.

So, why don't people like anime?
Stuff we can avoid:
-Sturgeons Law (not completely subjective)
-confusing cultural references (aimed at japanese people)

Specific tropes which some people dislike: (see this poll)

  • giant robots
  • overly stylised setting eg impractical costumes/giant weapons
  • schoolgirls in uniforms
  • cliched
  • bad quality animation (jerky/dated etc)
  • overly stylised animation ie giant eyes
  • bad dialogue
  • surreal/makes no sense
  • uninteresting plot/no plot
  • too slow
  • overly sexualised/exploited female characters
  • other disturbing sexual stuff (ie involving children)

Anime sff subgenres don't match western sff subgenres exactly but can hit many of the same buttons. Some are very stereotypical of genre, some transcend it or are hard to categorise.
-Giant robots
-(japanese!) historical fantasy ie samurai

How to choose between not annoying but bland and crazily annoying but awesome

And now for the recs!

Each should have: Genre:, Synopsis:, Good:, Bad: (put up on a whiteboard?)
e.g. Planetes: Genre: Hard sf, Synopsis: Garbage collectors in space, Good: Realistic, Bad: slow, a bit dull (too realistic!)

Poll for panelists )
sqbr: (torchwood spoilers)
Saturday, January 24th, 2009 03:44 pm
My body is reacting to the stress of the last week by shutting down and making me very sleepy, so I finally got around to watching "Vexille", an anime someone recced on my "Anime for sff nerds" discussion.

I wasn't looking forward to it, since it was cell-shaded 3D (which I find distracting) and about robots and mecha etc. Also not my thing.

But I just watched it and it's great. Not fetishing robots in a "Here's a straightforward war story but with giant robots for no logical reason" way, it's actually about robots, it's almost like a prequel to the Matrix. With a few obvious differences of course, but it feels very much like a good slightly philosophical western sf/action movie, except in japanese and more emotionally complex (I cried a little, I am not ashamed to admit) Since I had a headache I watched the first half hour or so in the english dub, and I'm glad I did, since it's set in America with american characters (the last 2/3 is in Japan with mostly japanese characters) I'm pretty sure that an american movie with an equivalent premise wouldn't flesh out the japanese characters anywhere near so well, let alone make one of the them the lead and title character! If anything it felt a little too american, certainly some plot points felt lifted from other sf movies.
More thoughts, no spoilers )
sqbr: (torchwood spoilers)
Sunday, November 30th, 2008 09:31 pm
I used to think I didn't like anime and refused to watch any, but then realised I was just watching the wrong stuff and found lots I adore, and in general think there's something in anime for pretty much everyone: "Anime" just means "animated films made in japan" after all, and covers a huge range of styles and genres. So I decided to put together a Swancon panel about anime series/movies I think would appeal to people at the con who don't consider themselves anime fans, and being me am making a post about it first. The aim is not to convert people into becoming anime fans, just to give them a chance to watch some stuff they might like even if anime in general is not for them. The panel may not end up happening but hey, chances are more people will read this than would have come anyway :)
Read more... )The recs )
sqbr: (torchwood spoilers)
Friday, August 1st, 2008 08:37 pm
So, [livejournal.com profile] penchaft lent me Revolutionary Girl Utena (The tv series).

It was way better than the movie. Which, ok, not hard, but I actually really enjoyed it. In fact I'm wishing "Fairytale about rescuing a princess where both protagonists are women and there's lots of stabbing of arrogant misogynistic men with swords" was a more popular genre. I have a better appreciation for the movie now too, and it was odd having it in the back of my head while watching the tv show since it has a lot of the same imagery but is also quite different.

Overall I'd describe it as being to magical girl schoolgirl anime what Neon Genesis Evangelion is to giant robot fighting anime: it uses the tropes, and most episodes have a superficial resemblance to the traditional structure (ie romantic tension, humour, cute animals, and a big battlescene with transformation and costume changes etc) but it's actually about the nature of human existence and the desire to create meaning and get control in an empty and unfair universe. Also it messes with your head.

It has pretty (if a little dated) visuals, angst, allegory, mythic archetypes and subversion of same, slashiness, femmeslashiness, swordfighting, duelling, bishounen taking their shirts off, fluid gender roles, and lots of layered imagery. I can see why people tell you to watch it [livejournal.com profile] nico_wolfwood , all it needs to be your perfect show is vampires and spaceships :D *gdr*

It's also rather repetitive, both in the sense that most episodes involve a duel which tends to be much like the ones before, and in the sense of re-using a lot of footage (the walk to the duelling area, for example, as well as a few flashback episodes) This does add a certain emphasis, I guess. Also most relationships are unhappy, unsatisfying, or downright disturbing (the whole brother/sister thing gets a bit..weird)

Still, overall, I really liked it. Even if it does give me an unfortunate desire to go searching for more yuri, which can only end badly.
sqbr: (bookdragon)
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 08:51 am
Looking at a crack in the train window today, my first thought was "Oh no! If that blows we'll all be sucked into the vacuum!"

I think this can be blamed specifically on having watched the first disk of "Planetes", which has the most realistic portrayal of future zero G space travel etc I can think of (It has the advantage of being animated)

Also: Borders has 20% off for teachers and students for the next three days! Since I am neither (AT LAST) I thought I'd enjoy the sale vicariously :)
sqbr: (happy dragon)
Thursday, June 12th, 2008 09:12 pm
A panel idea I've been batting around for next years Swancon is "Anime for people who don't like Anime" (and even if it doesn't become a panel, I think it would make for an interesting post and discussion). But in order to do it, I need to know what it is people don't like about anime, in order to find anime which avoid those things.

The first part of the poll is divided into two, one for anime fans and one for non-anime fans. If you're on the borderline, feel free to do both.
The second part is a few films I've seen suggested around the place or think people might like, but are not unqualified recommendations.

Note: disliking over the top violence etc is different to not minding it but not liking it enough for it to make up for an otherwise crappy show. Also, you can see the results of the polls you didn't take by clicking on the "Poll number blah" link.
For non-anime Fans )For anime fans )For everyone )

This was very checked together: I see no point trying to craft the perfect poll without more data to get the questions right. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.

I should mention that I'm mainly aimed at people who don't mind anime in principle but have high standards and tend to dislike a lot of the stuff they get recommended, or don't know where to start. People who hate all of it are probably better off as they are!

Also, in the poll I only mentioned a few films each from Hiyao Miyazaki and Satoishi Kon, but they're both totally awesome and worth a look. In my opinion, as an anime fan :)
sqbr: (happy dragon)
Friday, March 14th, 2008 08:46 pm
So, a bit over a year ago I joined Quickflix. Since all the movies I've watched have been chosen on the basis that I'll have to wait for them and pay nearly double the price, they're an interesting mix of movies etc that I was genuinely interested in seeing. Since it keeps the history, I thought I'd go through each movie and give a brief synopsis and the rating I gave (I suck at rating things, though, so don't worry about them too much :))

I will happily expand on my comments for anything you guys are interested in.
A big old list of movies )
sqbr: (bookdragon)
Sunday, November 25th, 2007 04:53 pm
So I finally finished watching the anime "R.O.D: The tv", which I borrowed off [livejournal.com profile] lizbyrd ages ago. When I started I was going though it quite quickly at a few episodes at a time while it was all low-key domestic silliness, but around halfway through it suddenly started having a cliffhanger at the end of every episode and I decided to wait until I had 3 or so hours free in a row to watch the rest in one go.

I have rather mixed feelings, all up. On the on hand, it's about a bunch of strong female characters saving the world with their love of books and power over paper, which, just.....awesome. The women do tend to all have the traditional revealing outfits and giant boobs (although one actually has a stocky boyish figure. I think that has to be a first) but other than that their gender has little to nothing to do with their place in the story(*). The characters are well drawn and engaging, and the plot is exciting and dramatic.

But...it is completely ridiculous. I can suspend my disbelief to telekinetic power over paper, and the world secretly being run by libraries and publishing houses who vie for power via special books. But some of the later developments in this series, and pretty much all of the OAV, stretched it to breaking point with the overwhelming silliness (played straight, with lots of Drama). The abrupt endings to both further give me the impression that the plots and worldbuilding existed mainly to create tension and cool scenes rather than being anything you were supposed to engage with or care about.

Still, the booknerd in me is happy with a story that finally gives books and booknerds their proper respect, and at least the characters weren't messed about with too much. I can see that being even more effective in the story's original form as actual books.

(*)If you can't see why this is a huge plus you haven't watched enough anime.
sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
Saturday, September 22nd, 2007 07:02 pm
So, I've started watching the anime Full Metal Alchemist and it's quite good, and interesting. But a couple of the plotlines have hit one of my squicks pretty hard so I'm not sure if I'll keep watching. To anyone who's watched all or most of the show....
cut for spoilers )

Hmph. Now I have to go find something cheerful to clean out my brain.
sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
Friday, January 12th, 2007 10:50 pm
Several years ago I saw an episode of "Revolutionary Girl Utena" at JAFWA. It looked intriguing, but also like one of those slow symbolic animes that never quite makes sense. I heard there was a movie retelling the plot of the show, and decided to watch that instead.

Now, I must admit, I had heard it was a bit confusing if you hadn't seen the show, and the one episode I has seen helped me understand some stuff much better. Also, the dvd skipped in a couple of places. Regardless, here is my synopsis of the movie as I experienced it, sicne it was just too bizarre not to share (Also, duh, spoilers):
Rosepetals )