Saturday, 5 February 2022

would a depressed man be watching this much Anime?

(Or "Weebery Four: I Went back for More) One, Two and Three here

People say I'm depressed, but would a depressed man be watching this much Anime? I think not. After mainlining even more of this stuff



Themes



Still Upset About WWII


'Dororo', which was basically a psychogeography of living with/under a Fascist power structure

FullMetal Alchemist - oops we did a genocide

Attack On Titan, especially last season - heroes are arguably the baddies, oops we did a genocide, generational shame

Slime had an affecting and strange one with a child transported from Japan during the WWII bombings meeting someone from modern Japan who tells her the country is doing well and they re-built which makes her happy, (he does not go into specifics about the US bases and half of SEA still hating their guts)




Now Prussia Is My Best Friend


There is one nation in occidentalist nihon imagination and unlike the anglo-influenced occidentalist blur that I may have been expecting; friendship broken with anglos, now Deutschland ist mine best friend




Nihon simps hard for Prussia, so smart, so disciplined, so PURE. is the feeling reciprocated? hard to tell.



Tragic Bad-Guy Point-Of-Death Backstory Flashbaacks

A technique which according to my amygdala, can simply never be overused. I just never seem to get tired of these. That orc you just killed - they had an abusive orc family they rebelled against but ended up as a mercenary with a drinking problem, they were looking for a way out before you CUT THEIR FUCKING HEAD OFF.



THERE'S A VIRTUAL WOOOOORLD

I'm thinking more of 'summer wars' and 'Belle', in which the Virtual world is .. basically the same thing?

In the better fictions this is like the dreamy forest bits in Midsummer Nights Dream, or the Maze bits in whatever play, or Masqued Ball stuff - all the characters we know can meet and interact in different identities across a different reality.



Anime Mans Burden

How many Isekai shows are there with some nerd colonising a fantasy world, based on computer game logic, and 'improving' everything with the power of their enlighting civilisation. It’s interesting, in its entirely unconscious belief in the power of reason and a decent person from a particular cutlure 'uplifting' a band of simple foreigners. It’s a hell of a lot like Victorian fiction. THANK YOU FOR IMPROVING US SEMPAI!


Boner For Tha Pehhpe

Aye, they do have the best costumes and architecture and won't directly kill you for criticising their beliefs - it feels like there is a LOT of fantasy/sci-fi dark Catholicism in Anime or is that just me?



Seriously the Vatican needs to contact the Japanese government and start charging copyright on this stuff, there are more cathedrals, conspiracies and weird priests in Anime than in Italy.


Breath Fetishism

Not as a sex thing, but Demon Slayer, and MHA (which are almost the same show some of the time), and I think a few others, this deal where you do ritually controlled breathing and learn to super-breathe, and then learn to super-breathe ALL OF THE TIME to become super-charged, AND it’s in the first bit of Jojo as well

is this a Japanese body-awareness thing? big history of breath control? lots of concentration on breathing, I mean more than equivalent martial traditions?



The Word for "Hero" in Anime is "Hero"

Not a surprise to see a lot of boys fiction with a focus on heroism, BUT - lot of these make a point of the word 'Hero' being the western word, so, is there not an exact equivalent in Japanese? Is that precise Western construction a slightly novel thing in Japanese culture?



Pure Boys and Decency Porn

Ranking of Kings - seriously disabled but VERY PURE boy takes on all and warms and changes their hearts with the power of his kindness and purity

MHA - VERY Pure and only slightly Berserk boy warms hearts and cares for others

Slime - Extremely decent, no EXTREMELY Decent and in fact virginal, and now a-gender reincarnated pure boy Kiplings the fuck out of a society of Fantasy monsters and impresses all with his capability, decency and purity

Demon Slayer - Literally the purest of very pure boys, so pure that if you INVADE HIS MIND his subconscious is literally a blue peaceful ocean, SO FUCKING PURE, absolutely murders the fuck out of a bunch of evil demons who, in their sad-boy flashbacks, turn out to not be so bad after all

Mob Psycho - bowl-cut Pure Boy just wants to do the right thing and be a normal teenager while happening to be the most insanely powerful psyker ever

MHA & JoJo have this too, even Odd Taxi a bit

It’s not that they do this, it’s the intensity and prevalence of the theme, or is that just my viewing habits and the algorithm shaping my experience? Am I secretly a pure boy fetishist? 

Speaking of which;



Exciting levels of Pederasty

From mild but continual hebephilia to "I look twelve and dress like a stripper but I'm 1,000 years old oops I've FALLEN ON YOUR FACE". Nihon rarely fails to live up, or down, to expectation.



Tha Shows



Ranking of Kings





I am a MASSIVE simp for this show. If you often find you share my taste then watch it.

Quasi-Disney aesthetic. Deaf-mute weak boy-prince heir to the throne in fairytale-paracosm faces the 'Ranking of Kings', basically a league table of kings, except that is barely the subject of the first series, instead it’s a mythopoeic deep-dive into the conflicting characters and paradigms of a range of characters rooted in Fairytale archetypes but which grow far beyond their simplest incarnation without losing that essential rootedness.

The first interview I googled about this had the interviewer banging on about "how you subverted the Fairytale elements" FUCK OFF YOU FUCKING DRONE, DOING THE GOOD VERSION OF A LOW-STATUS FORM IS NOT FUCKING 'SUBVERTING' ANYTHING.

(ZERO Pederasty so far, GET EXCITED BOYS LETS GOOOOOOOO)

Purity of the Boy - 10000000000% FUCKING PER CENT BABYYYYYYYY



Odd Taxi





Good. Basically a Tarantino film made into a series, or more an Elmore Leanoard novel made into a series. The people are animals.

Method of Victory;
Decency - 90%
Specific Brain Damage Perceptual Superpower - 9%
Breath Control - 1%

Boy Purity - subtly conveyed but hitting 80 or 90% purity



Fire Force





Absolute banger first few episodes. Fairly good follow up. Semi-sci-fi near-future cathspolitation. Everything is on fire apart from Japan and even that is on fire a bit. Pyrokinteics are being born and the better ones are trained to stop the victims of a plague of apparently-random auto-combustive zombie demon outbreaks. Could the giant powerful catholic new religion that controls everything somehow be behind things yes probably. Can the creator keep coming up with new ways to use Pyrokiniesis. Yes again.

Method of Victory
"Going Beyond" - 60%
Breath Control - 20%
Power of Friendship - 20%

Pureness of the Boy - mid-range purity



My Hero Academia




The old X-Men cartoon but its anime. Feel like this is a normie take. Maybe I should be ashamed that I am still this into capeshit but I am who I am I guess. Fatherless neurotic gets SUPERMAN AS HIS DAD!! AND HE TRAINS HIM TO BE THE NEXT SUPERMAN!!!! Combined with the X-Men danger-room sections but that’s the main story, plus tacit analysis of 'heroism' and how a collectivist society deals with Burgerland levels of freedom and individualism because now everyone effectively has a gun all of the time. Answer - everyone is banned from using their superpowers except a cadre of Heroes who are basically celebrity cops taking down anyone who breaks the rules.

Method of Victory
"Going Beyond" - 95%
Breathing/Energy Control 2%
Power of Friendship - 3%

Purity of the Boy - High level. 99%



One Piece


There are a thousand or something episodes of this, I have seen five, it was ok

No stats on this so far. But also no Pederasty. 

Boy Purity - highish, say 75%




Jojo


This is very popular with the yoof about two years ago? I have seen some of the first season, it was ok, people say that’s not the best one? Just go and re-read Sontag on "Camp" and "Kitsch"

No Pederasty so far but very, very very gay. Acceptable.

Method of Victory

"Going Beyond" - 50%
Breathing Control - 50%

Purity of the Boy - 90% at least

Check the stats, he's far from the goodest boy





Attack on Titan


Hans are we the baddies? Yes and so is everyone else. basically Fullmetal Alchemist with Giants. I am loving it and waiting for the second part of the last series to be done so I can watch it on one go. NO SPOILERS!

Purity of the Boy - oh no







Mob Psycho 100


"Indy" feel, (whatever that means in anime), Psychic boy deals with school and psychic warfare with the help of his conman-with-a-heart-of-gold boss who pretends to, but has no, psychic powers. I like this one.



I have only seen the first series so NO SPOILERS

method of victory;

"Going Beyond" - 95%
PURE HEART - 3%
Power of Friendship/mentorship - 2%

Boy Purity - 85 to 95 per cent




Slime


I became a Rudyard Kipling Poem In Another World. 

Decent but virginal semi-failure becomes low-level monster in a fantasy world BUT HE IS SECRETLY THE MOST SUPER-POWERFUL CREATURE EVAARRRR HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT TO ANY OTHER ISEKAI POWER FANTASY? Its basically decency porn. What if a good person tried to do the right thing in everyone’s best interest and somehow it worked. If the FullMetal Alchemist/Attack ON Titan and somewhat MHA are the historical-moral-maze, generational-guilt, no-sane-escape themed animes this is basically Little House on the Prairie, or early Superman. "Ha ha I like you slime, at first I thought you were just a slime but you have impressed me with your courage and decency, I will reconsider my evil ways". You fucking bet you will buddy. Increasingly besieged by anime titties, and also a Lolli. Thanks Nihon.

method of victory;
Decency - 90%
"Going Beyond" - 5%
Metagaming - 5%

Boy Purity - a straight 90% if you are willing to ignore the elf tits



Pederasty - high





Demon Slayer


The purest possible boy with a tragic past and insane weapons and sucide fetish FIGHTS DEMONS. But WAIT, did this particular Demon ALSO have a sad and tragic past which lead them to be easily redpilled on becoming a demon and will we get a flashback as they die in which they recognise and come to terms with their past and perhaps also thank the CHILD who just SLAUGHTERED them? Yes, yes we will.

Method of victory; 

"Going beyond" 60%
Breathing    25%
Magic Sword  15%




Purity of the Boy - an absolute clear 100%

(Pederasty levels - he carries around his sister gagged in a box)





Belle




If I hadn't seen 'Summer Wars' and 'Your Name', and/or was a teenage girl, I would think this was the most amazing animation of the last ten years but I have and am not so I just think it was very good. Beauty and the Beast, Virtual World, Young Girl, Tragic Backstory, Coming of Age. Good anime. No complaints.

Method of victory; 

Decency 20%
Hyperintelligent best friend    30%
Singing  50%

23 comments:

  1. “Tragic Bad-Guy Point-Of-Death Backstory Flashbaacks”

    My first exposure to this technique was in Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles, which devotes an entire issue to the tragic backstory of one of the faceless grunts gunned down by King Mob, showing how his death is foreshadowed and his karmic connections to his killer and other elements of the plot. In the years since reading that series I’ve been less and less impressed with Morrison, realizing that he (and Neil Gaiman) are basically mopping up all the tasty morsels that Alan Moore left lying around the edges of his plate. So if you’re telling me that this was already an established technique in anime, I’m not surprised.

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    1. 'Best Man Fall' was one of the first things that came to mind when I saw this trope. Oddly I have gone the other way on Morrison and Moore, used to be a big Moore fan but have gained more respect, or at least not lost much respect for Morrison over time while Moore seems less interesting to me.

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    2. 100% with Patrick on this one. Moore's work has a level of meticulousness and polish that deserves recognition, and especially his big stuff in the 80's is really masterclass, but I just don't find it as salient or compelling as I used to, whereas Morrison's work is arguably more relevant now than it's ever been.

      We can agree to disagree on who is "better" (not that I think there has to be a "better", we can like both just fine), but I will say, if you truly think Morrison is just eating Moore's crumbs and not presenting their own ideas, then you aren't examining their work closely enough. In fact, I would argue that with some of the core themes of Morrison's works it's actually the other way around- Morrison's ideas about superorganisms, causality, reverence as a concept, and basically anything more abstract or metaphysical or w/e, are imo much more sophisticated and better presented than Moore's. That said, Moore's social commentary is generally much more sophisticated than Morrison's, and there are things he does with language that Morrison rarely can match.

      Anyway, I'm not gonna get into an internet argument with you about it, that's all I've got to say on the subject and you can re-examine it for yourself if you'd like, or not, at your discretion.

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    3. S'funny, I lost interest in comics in my early 20s, and I seem to remember this as being almost a deliberate response to Moore's Big Numbers being cancelled after episode 2 - I had invested a lot in making that "*my* comic".

      Fast-forward 25 years and I found myself round Alan's house, collecting some of his wife Melinda's paintings to take to Liverpool for an event. He turned out to be about the loveliest and certainly the smartest person I've ever met, we chatted for ages about Robert Irwin (I'd spotted that he was halfway through Wonders Never Cease, which I'd finished reading a month or two earlier) before Melinda took us round the corner for lunch at the local Italian sandwich shop.

      He gave me a handful of comics as I left, and I've since found myself falling, in a small way back into that world - working my way through his back catalogue (and also sampling some Grant Morrison because friends told me I have to). Like so many things I stupidly give up out of some misplaced principle, I've wasted so much time not reading comics.

      That said, and much as I love his comics, his work in other media does a lot more for me. Jerusalem is quite an incredible book on so many levels, and I wish I'd been around to see some of his live performances.

      Plus, his Mandrillifesto inspired my profile picture on here. https://www.superweirdsubstance.com/alan-moore-mandrill-meets-super-weird-substance-arts-lab-apocalypse/ (the mixtape on that page, by your neighbour Greg Wilson, is fucking joyful) - and his co-founding of Northampton Arts Lab has lit a huge spark for friends in Liverpool, Sheffield & South London.

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  2. Jojo is a brilliant, homoerotic masterpiece and that gayness only compounds over the seasons. Despair is a weapon of the enemy. Go get em tiger!

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    1. 2nd vote for Jojo being awesome. It really hits its stride in Season 3, "Stardust Crusaders." Shonen + '80s splatter horror + occult/psychic + exotic travelogue + smouldering manliness.

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    2. You can't get a true sense of how bat shit insane Jojo is from just season 1. The main character in season 2 is way more interesting than Jonathan because he's not a pure boy. I agree, once breathing techniques are replaced with stands in season 3 things really take off.

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    3. I have decided I am going to HATE Jojo just so I can have a strong point of view.

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  3. Requiem for the Rose King
    Requiem for the Rose King
    Requiem for the Rose King

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  4. Very good takes all around.

    I do like me some MHA, yes it is a bit of a normie take but there's an impressive amount going on beneath the surface.

    FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (the one that's actually based on the manga rather than swerving away from it halfway through) is somewhat less equivocal on the whole genocide thing if you want a change from "oopsie poops the city of Not Nanjing burned down in an unforeseeable accident that had nothing to do with the Not Kwantung Army".

    The Anime Man's Burden kind of parallels a lot of stuff in Western portal fantasy (Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold! is my go-to example but really this one goes back to Mark Twain, who created the whole genre by critiquing it). It's an interesting narrative thread to chart.

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    1. FMA does have the excuse that it got ahead of the manga and so kinda had to swerve.

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    2. Its interesting how genre fiction and european exploration tend to go hand in hand. Lot of genre evolves from phiosophical 'Utopia' literature, from Platos Republic to Moores 'Utopia', set on its own imagined island, then into the Tempest, with fragments drawn from european exploration transferred to a Mediterranean-type setting, to Robinson Crusoe - maybe the original Civilise-the-land story?

      And then the end of colonialism and full discovery of the world ejects the same energy into worlds of the imagination, first generic literary fantasy worlds and then Computer-RPG worlds..

      Weird that Isekai #2301 has hereditary with Plato

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  5. Unfortunately, isekei is THE genre right now.
    I really enjoyed the sadboy anime of choice last year, EIGHTY-SIX. Very much a "bigotry bad" story that does a pretty good guilt trip about halfway through S1.
    Current season is less up my alley, but I have been enjoy Ms Kuroitsu, a work place comedy set in the monster design department of an evil organization of a Power Rangers type show. Very much a show about trying to follow your passion in a professional context.

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    1. 86: Eighty-Six was terrific and I eagerly await the two episodes that had to be rescheduled to March. It's been a long time since military SF anime was that good, except perhaps for the Legend of the Galactic Heroes remake.

      Miss Kuroitsu is very promising, nearly as funny as Miss Kobayashi and some fun, wholesome genderfuckery (which might be the theme of the season, as Requiem of the Rose King is basically a genderfucked, yaoi Richard III with some Henry VI for good measure, all done in fairytale-esque style).

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  6. Damn you for making me want to watch this stuff.

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    1. Don't do it Dan. the weeb energy is too much for a man of your age to take.

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    2. It's true. I actually tried watching some anime a year-or-so ago, based on an earlier post of yours. I just... no.

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  7. I think the breathing stuff has its (deep) roots in Daoist practice. Daoism also influenced the Japanese esoteric sect of Shugendō, which is strongly associated with martial arts.

    Tengu, who appear in various anime including both Demon Slayer and MHA, are traditionally depicted in Shugendō regalia, and are regarded as teachers or transmitters of hidden martial arts techniques. In fact, the character in Demon Slayer that wears a Tengu mask is the teacher of the Water Breathing technique (I haven’t seen the anime but found this on its wiki [2]).

    [1]: https://theincubator.live/2017/09/19/the-mysterious-world-of-shugendo-%E4%BF%AE%E9%A8%93%E9%81%93-and-the-japanese-mountain-ascetics-pt-1/

    [2]: https://kimetsu-no-yaiba.fandom.com/wiki/Sakonji_Urokodaki

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  8. Anime's inability to just fuck is one of my many issues with it . It's like there's a dial, the dial has only 3 settings: awkward virgin, leering pervert, bestial demon sodomy .

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  9. Pretty sure you've seen Mushi-shi & Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken but I'd recommend both of those

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  10. What I always enjoy about the English language (which isn't my mother tongue) is that you can use anything as a verb. "Kiplings the fuck out of" must be my favorite expression of the year so far, well done, Patrick. Also: The answer is "yes".

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    1. I'm just reading an advance copy of a friend's novel - https://www.hodder.co.uk/books/2021/11/17/seventeen-by-john-brownlow/ - and it describes someone (who has just cut off someone else's arm with a chainsaw) as being "Jackson Pollocked with blood. That's my favourite bit of verbing in some time.

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