You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

No. Not again. I refuse to accept this. Why must all the tough guys in anime get stalked by little girls to show they have a caring side? Who’s next, Golgo 13? If I were in charge of writing the new FMA series, Scar’s encounter with May Chang would go something like this:

To think the episode got off to such a great start with Scar’s mutilation of Mr. Monopoly.

“Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.”

Later in the episode, Scar was seen crushing a pair of walnuts.

Coincidence, or metaphor for Scar’s emasculation?

What’s with all these people and their feelings?

Why does every anime try to be a touching story about the power of love? Too many shows these days are being character-driven at times they should be event-driven.

1. Pandora Hearts

This show would be amazing if it weren’t so gay. The plot is brilliant. The soundtrack is by Yuki Kajiura. The animation is so-so, but given the multitude of gay shots, I don’t mind. This show could easily be Top 20 material if they’d run with the plot instead of spending half of each episode talking about their apprehensions/regrets/uncertainties/something to protect.

2. Valkyria Chronicles

How many Darcsens-are-people-too episodes do we really need? That time would be much better spent on a Training with Selvaria episode.

And why does Welkin like Alicia? Welkin was supposed to be asexual. I’ve never been more disappointed to find out a guy was straight.

3. Aoi Hana

You’d think I’d like this show because it’s about lesbians. Unfortunately, instead of groping each other, all they ever do is talk and cry. It’s almost as if this is a lesbian show for girls, if that’s even possible. I can’t even comprehend the way they cry. This comes as no surprise since I’ve never cried in my life, but still, I was under the impression that someone would realize she’s crying before:

  • somebody else points it out
  • she touches her face to discover the tears, because her face is incapable of discerning wetness

At least it’s better than Maria+Holic.

4. Cross Game

As Touch is one of my all-time favorite anime, Cross Game, one of its spiritual successors, has my permission to be character-driven. But there’s a limit. Why does every character other than Kou and Aoba have emotional clairvoyance? Why are the little girl, tough guy, and stoic guy regularly dishing out emotionally insightful comments with impeccable timing? That makes it kind of hard to buy that they’re a little girl, a tough guy, and a stoic guy.

In conclusion, I’m sick of currently airing anime (except Umineko) and will now start watching Gantz.

36 people love sucking up to me

  1. Well the whole little-girl-stalking-the-dude thing is getting pretty stale. And why is there a panda with the girl? And walnuts— oh boy, that’s indecent.

  2. Read Umineko, there’s none of that bullshit in there (plus I heard reading instead of watching it ultimately makes more sense!).

    “I have feelings!” is a writer’s shortcut to laziness. “Feelings” do not equate character development, yet those who write things like these assume that they are one and the same.

  3. I never really thought about the Cross Game characters like that. Actually, all of Mitsuru Adachi’s manga have similar characters who are there to provide an “author’s voice”. It’s probably the most subtle of his numerous techniques for obliterating the fourth wall (so subtle, I didn’t even notice it till now, 6 years after I first completed one of his works).

    I almost agreed with you about the touching stories, and then I remembered Macross SDF/DYRL, quite possibly the first and finest action anime dedicated to the Power of Love. If that didn’t thaw your icy dinosaurian heart, nothing will!

  4. Well, at least Cross Game doesn’t go overboard with the ethereal emo like Aoi Hana. There’s only so much melodrama over teenage love lives I can handle.

  5. According to the wisdom of TV Tropes, the little girl is a Morality Pet; a common literary device used to show a gentler side to an otherwise badass character.

    According to the wisdom of Snark, if Scar had worn a white suit, none of this would have happened.

  6. This is why you need to be watching Canaan where things explode, everyone is running too fast to feel emotions (except for Maria who only feels one emotion: Lesbian) and various women who want to fuck other women fight other women.

  7. I’m not a big manga reader, but I suggest reading Gantz after you watch it. It’s the nastiest fucking thing ever made in the history of nasty things being made.

    As for anime that are currently airing, I stopped watching all of them a few weeks back. I’ll pick them up when they’re finished.

  8. I always think Aoi Hana is for girls. Dont you know women are either bi or les ? No surprise here.
    You cant expect them to grope each other since the girl in the center of attention loves a man not a girl….

  9. Kurosawa + Kurono = Badass crossover. Oh and by the way I’m thoroughly happy of a new post in 4 days after that recent 11 day break between posts.

  10. Scar is like the Terminator, but unfortunately the movies have shown that Terminators can have feelings.

    I second Glo’s suggestion. Read Gantz. Morality is nonexistent for many of the characters.

  11. And so the conspiracy to turn everyone into lolicons continues. Fight-o Scar!
    Scar has something like that monkey arm from Bakemonogatari. It wants to grant Scar’s wish and kill everyone he doesn’t find manly enough.

  12. I was gonna leave this alone because it’s almost a spoiler, but with all these recommendations for Gantz… in the manga, there are at least three morality pets running around. Girlfriend, Muscle Rider Boy, and Otouto, off the top of my head. AND a panda. Tough Guys have feelings ALL THE TIME in gantz. You gotta close the loopholes – example:

    BERSERK manga. Sure, the mangaka throws a bunch of lolis at Guts, but he throws them out unless they’re useful. Generally the lolis also have weird daddy crushes on him too, but Guts is so non pedophilic that he doesn’t even notice this.

  13. @Rakuen: Yeah, walnuts are totally indecent. They should’ve gone for chestnuts or something.

    @Owen S: Umineko is a viable candidate for the first VN I play that wasn’t made by an anime blogger. The competition is stiff between Umineko, Higurashi, and Fate/Stay Night. I’ll wait and see how this season ends before making a call.

    @BobaFetish-3: I didn’t notice any of it in Touch, with the sole exception of Harada, the oblivious meathead turned life counselor. Other characters had their insights too, but it was always a result of their personal interactions, like Nitta and Kazuya reading Minami. I haven’t seen SDF Macross, and it’s on the to-do list. If I don’t get to it by the end of the year, I’m adding it to my New Years Resolutions.

    @qwert: It’ll all pay off it somebody’s head gets hacked off.

    @Snark: Is there an equivalent trope to the the Morality Pet called the Morality Orphan? They’re taking over anime. And is there an equal and opposite trope to the Morality Pet called the Immorality Pet?

    I completely agree with your White Suit insights. If nothing else, Scar’s woeful child-grabbing technique would’ve improved by wearing one.

    @digitalboy: I’ve now received two recommendations about Canaan emphasizing the lesbianism. Color me persuaded.

    @Glo: Nastier than Claymore?

    @Higanzakura: How could I forget?

    @Kyoin: I aim to please. Since you’re so happy, I’ll continue the cycle and wait 11 more days for the next post.

    @TJ: Why didn’t you say so earlier? There’s a strong correlation between amorality, violence, and nudity. Can’t miss it.

    @moiridin84: Ain’t seen neither.

    @Day: Doesn’t being small make it moe? It seems this moe concept still eludes me.

    @keikakudoori: Scar’s arm took out Basque Gran. If he wasn’t manly enough, nobody is.

    @BobaFetish-14: I’ve read a bit of the Berserk manga and was confused to see Guts pick up an elf, an errand boy, a little witch girl, and a poor man’s Griffith. Haven’t read the manga in a few years, but if you say Guts throws them out, I can in good conscience return to idolizing him.

    @All: No comments on that awesome baby-kicking video?

  14. After these famous posts and you could well write one about “Tough Guys With Feelings”, as it not only happens with characters like scar and possibly golgo 13… but even the feared Teresa from Claymore too, have fallen for a little girl (AND THAT WAS HER BIG MISTAKE). After seeing this post it is obvious scar will get killed somewhere in the plot because this is the most common destiny of “tough guys with feelings”… but if he’s with the good guys it is another story…

  15. Gantz > Claymore (and I love Claymore)….However, I stopped reading the [Claymore] manga a while ago because I find it is impossible to wait a month for a new chapter. I prefer to read them all rapid fire without pause.

    The [Gantz] anime series is no where close though [to the Claymore series], because they discontinued the anime series right before it got insanely awesome.

    Both are kind of similar, because Claymore got nasty also (in the manga). But Gantz is better. No new chapters till October though.

  16. I don’t I’m not sure… I guess technically animal characters can be moe if we go by the original definition, i.e. it makes me want to protect it, but not by the one that gets used… I mean… unless people are furries, I guess… But I don’t think it being small makes it necessarily moe; probably more like it being small and cute would make us feel more moe for the girl herself.

  17. Hurm. I haven’t rambled unbidden here in a while.
    Firstly, before I negate everything I’m about to say, plot-driven storytelling is paradoxically a mistake. A story’s quality is damaged like a jaw stricken by a brick (or a sneaker stricken by a baby) every time the justification for moving on is “and then plot happened”. This aside…
    Character-driven storytelling is basically Anime’s equivalent of OMG NONLINEAR GAMEPLAY. Fans aren’t aware of it quite as much, so it doesn’t quite attract the same amount of praise as its may-as-well-be-promising-free-blowjobs-and-pudding gaming equivalent, but it IS great at snagging a wider demographic; one with less diverse chromosomes. Most women (and some males) aren’t interested in genderless, faceless events. They’re boring. They can’t be familiarized with. However, with an interplay of bright, distinct character A doing X that involves bright, distinct character B, events will always be well-within the female’s well-honed sense of relationship. With enough characters, there’ll usually be at least ONE character for them to latch onto as a favorite, from which to develop an emotional connection with the story itself (ostensibly what the protagonist’s for, but who the hell am I to say.)
    It seems you’ve stumbled upon the two chief problems already with your manstinct.
    One, the plot turns into a cancerous tumor and bloats until it kills off its host. (Incidentally, my mother absolutely loves InuYasha.)
    Two, there will be no PLOT if the characters aren’t EXPLORED (A.K.A. The whole reason for this alternate reality business) with UNIQUE INTERACTIONS, involving QUIRKY CHARACTERS, or at least CUTE ANIMALS or HERPESVIRUS.
    In conclusion, words words words school rumble politics words words mothers watching dat animu words.

  18. New episode had Scar in, but no mention of little girls, just him running around killing guys and fighting with Ed. Maybe he killed her?

  19. @Baka-Raptor and A Day Without Me: I think moe had a real meaning long long ago in a galaxy far away but now it seems almost interchangeable with pedophilish feelings. oh sure you”ll get some fanboys to try and explain it but nobody knows what the hell it really is anymore. Moe is the decline of civilization, the reason babies cry, and the leading cause of divorce, gingivitis, and swine flu.

  20. @Laguna: Exactly. Now that he has “something to protect,” he’s bound to lose sight of his vengeance and die protecting the little girl. He won’t be chopping of his arms, dragging a boulder around town, and blowing himself up this time…

    @Glo: Sequels are all the rage these days. It’s only a matter of time before Gantz gets one.

    @Day & thekungfukid: So moe is sexual now? I’ve been going by a vulnerability/incompetence view. I think I’ll just resign myself to never being able to understand moe.

    @SaberToothedPie: As of writing this post I was on episode 2. I am currently on episode 7. There’s a fair amount of feelings talk, but they don’t overdo it.

    @LJ: So basically, if I understand your unbidden rambling correctly, this is all Rumiko Takahashi’s fault. It usually is. Incidentally, it seems my mother knows enough about Inu Yasha to recognize his face on calendars that go “50% off” two weeks into January.

    @Tan: Thanks for the Type 1 Spoiler. I didn’t ask for it, but I sure as hell wanted it.

    @Saturnity: 100% chance of coverage eventually, 0% chance of coverage until this season ends.

  21. Higurashi’s translation is still on-going, whereas Umineko’s Question arcs are all complete, with C76’s episode 5 marking the beginning of the quartet of the Answer arcs.

    Fate/stay night, is, well… I wrote something in the vicinity of 7000 (estimated) words about it should you ever get around to that. It’s a great read, with twists on well-worn tropes in a way you won’t believe. I eagerly await your tentative reading of said VNs.

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