Facepalm: When 2ch Went Bananas Over Aya Hirano

This is going to be a little bit of an unfocused post, as I’m writing this on the day before I leave to go back to Southampton to finish my Film Studies course, and I want to get my thoughts out on this while the iron is hot, and because whenever I think about this, I just get mildly sickened, as well as a little bit angry…

So to start off, I just want to say one thing.

I hope Aya Hirano stops being a seiyuu, if it means she loses her crazy fans. Especially if she loses her crazy fans. (link goes to Sankaku Complex, NSFW as hell, naturally)

So Sankaku Complex has reported that Aya Hirano’s fanbase (or at least the ones on 2ch who, frankly, I don’t believe represent the majority of her fans, just as I don’t believe 2ch itself represents the Japanese public) has pitched a shitfit over her recent television appearance, where she had talked candidly about her sex life. Apparently, those who have seen their Aya-chan turn out to have become a brazen harlot have become upset that she can’t live up to whatever lofty status they have in their mind. Thanks, virgin-whore complex! You’ve really enriched our lives, haven’t you?!

I cut a lot of slack on Japanese anime fans than most people, because I believe that most of the time when it comes to Japanese fandom, we don’t get the full picture. But these people smashing music CDs and cutting pictures of Aya Hirano’s face on them with exacto knives, vandalising her Wikipedia page,  planning to kill her… These people must be lugging around ten-pound brass balls in their jocks, because I am amazed at how nasty this whole thing has gotten. Quite literally, I am amazed. And a little bit horrified.

Those few who have commented on this (even Sankaku Complex itself, after a fashion) have most decidely spoken out against 2ch’s reaction towards Aya’s interview, and frankly, I can’t blame them. This kind of reaction is a bloody disgrace, especially to the saner Aya Hirano fans (who I imagine are hiding their faces in shame somewhere across Japan) as these crazy people take their fan entitlement and drive it screaming into a damned wall. Even the whole fan outrage over the Kannagi manga wasn’t as bad as this. The fan outrage over Endless Eight wasn’t as bad as this. At least Nagi was a fictional character, and couldn’t really be hurt; people must be fearing for Aya Hirano’s life right about now!

I really wish that maybe some cooler heads might prevail over all this, or that these crazy people, trying to get their revenge on Aya Hirano simply because she has a sex life, are in a singular minority that might be able to pose no threat. Because these people make me feel seriously skeeved out, and somewhat ashamed to say that I like Aya Hirano. And these crazy people are making other people feel ashamed as well, especially feeling ashamed of being an anime fan.

And I know that nobody wants that.

A Little Something About Seikon no Qwaser

When I originally read through the original Seikon no Qwaser manga, back before the anime was announced, the combination of shounen fighting formula and near pornographic perviness made it a bit of a trouble for me to sit through. Sure, it was entertaining in places, but the constant fanservice, and the creepier aspects of that (including the ten year old Russian dominatrix) really rubbed me the wrong way. And I consider myself a bit of a pervert, too…

But with the anime coming out (and quickly getting cut to ribbons, leading to an uncensored webcast of episodes popping up), something hit me about the series that I figured has to make some kind of sense: Seikon no Qwaser, in it’s own shounen manga style, is trying to hit the depraved heights of your average Kazuo Koike “jigoku manga”, such as Crying Freeman (or Flying Semen, durr hurr hurr) and Mad Bull 34. These manga, beloved by TV and Otaku USA’s Partick Macias and Otaku USA writer and rape advocate Daryl “Rape-2-Live” Surat are well known for their heaping helpings of sex, violence, misogyny and downright batshit insanity, and the Koike name has become a brand, a seal of sleazy pulp quality wherever it goes.

Of course, Koike’s manga are usually seinen, while Qwaser is shounen, and Qwaser doesn’t seem to go the depths of sleaziness that a Koike work is usually capable of going… And I think that this is what might be my problem with the work: even with rampant nudity, nipple suckling and perversion, everything feels a little bit too pat. Mafuyu and Sasha’s relationship in the manga is nothing you would see in some average modern shounen manga, except a little bit pervier. Tomo just seems to be there to be useless and be kidnapped and jiggle. Nothing seems to go to the level of crazy that Koike goes to in practically every manga he writes, not even to the level even Eiichiro Oda over at Shounen Jump is capable of on an off-day!

So I stopped reading after the first volume, and haven’t picked it up since. And since I downloaded about three episodes of the anime, both in uncut and bowdlerised formats, I might watch those episodes. Maybe. But even so, I probably won’t try and follow the series to its end…

Being a Fan in a Second-Rate Country: Raging About Region-Lockouts in Internet Streaming Anime

Just a couple of days ago, on YouTube’s shows list, I stumbled across MD Geist.

For those of you few readers or mine who have been around to know this OVA, or have at least listened to the Anime World Order episode where Daryl Surat talked at length of this legendarily warped and nihilistic anime, you know that this series would catch a lot of interest from curious viewers who’ve heard about it and want to see the badness for themselves.

So, as so much has been said about this anime, that I naturally clicked on the link for MD Geist.

I got a message saying that the video wasn’t available. What the fuck? Continue reading

Before the Beast Wakes: Anatomy of a Colony Drop Post Controversy

I have a sash! This means I'm an IMPORTANT MAN

What I imagine Colony Drop writers think themselves to be.

I’ve been involved in yet another colourful argument with the Space Nazis over at Colony Drop over yet another of their nasty little poison pen posts about anime fandom and Otaku. Of course, considering the modus operandi of Colony Drop when it comes to fandom is to be the biggest wankers (in Fandom Wank terms, no less) possible, it’s no surprise they get a lot of attention.

This week, the focus of their butthurt is over Akihabara, and the seeming misrepresentation it gets from most anime fans, after having inexplicably went there after 9pm for drinks and dinner, when all the shops would be about to close…

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Hanjuku Joshi: When We Rock The Moe, We Rock The Moe Right

The last post I made, I railed against the Maria Holic manga for its storyline, and its treatment of one of its main characters, the (supposedly) young lesbian Kanako, as a hard line rail against not only the trappings of Yuri manga, but also lesbian characters in general, and there in the comments I was asked about what should get the attention of yuri fans.

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Maria Holic Sews Lesbian Vaginas Shut

You see that headline up there? That’s not hyperbole.

The Maria Holic manga was reviewed by Erica Friedman recently, and it seems pretty obvious that she has quite the hate-on for it, and the series in general. And I sure as hell don’t blame her for this at all, considering it’s the story of a girl who goes to an all-girls school looking for love, and finds herself the metaphorical punching bag for a sadistic, cross-dressing boy who’s apparently at the school for some really dumb reason.

So I went out to my local Forbidden Planet and I skimmed the copy of Volume 1 I got there, and I pretty much decided within the first chapter that this manga is not the manga for me. Of course, since I read Erica’s review first I knew it wouldn’t be, but this manga, even on a brief reading, just isn’t funny.

Most of the comedy is through the main female, Kanako, often going through hell, being insulted, or being threatened with rape at one point by Mariya the cross-dresser if she ever revealed his secret. All because she made the mistake of coming across him first as she entered the school, and then discovered that he’s really a guy. It’s extremely horrible to see, especially when you realise that Kanako is party being bullied by Mariya like this because she likes girls more than men, and it’s played for laughs. And implications that Mariya and Kanako might become a romantic couple? The thought of it is just too horrible to imagine at this juncture. It’ll be like something out of Hot Gimmick.

The rest of the comedy is, from what I can tell, really retarded parodies of Yuri manga tropes, which isn’t all that funny either. This is more like the sub-Colony Drop sadistic “comedy” that would fall flat on it’s face with people who’d have the nearest semblance of a heart. It’s like a gender-warped Love Hina, except that it isn’t as far out, and Mariya doesn’t punch Kanako and send her flying, so it exchanges it for emotional bullying instead.

This manga didn’t even deserve me, an unashamed pervert who likes lesbians a lot, skimming through it at the manga aisle in Forbidden Planet. By any rights, it should be gone and forgotten, just another crappy seinen fanservice manga in a sea of retreads that Tokyopop released for some reason in it’s increasing collapse in the face of Viz and Del Rey.

Vocal Ramblings: Why Shouldn’t Japanese Games Keep Japanese Voices Tracks?

I’m a regular listener to Podtoid, Destructoid.com’s primary podcast (out of three), and a question fielded in one of their recent episodes (around 16:35 right to the end) concerning voice acting in games has got the creaky wheels in my brain rolling and grinding: not only am I a very big anime fan, but I’m also an avid video gamer. In fact, it was me pouring over gaming magazines as a kid that led me to watching anime from Manga Video and becoming the hardcore anime fan that I am today. And the going off against the lack of decent voice acting in games, especially Japanese games dubbed into English, certainly struck a chord with me…

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Nihon no Mikata: My list of regrets for my Tokyo holiday

As of today, or maybe yesterday, depending on timezones and that, I have arrived back home in Southampton, from only slightly two weeks in sunny Tokyo, Japan. It was a good journey, and a rather memorable experience, even with my relatively sparse command of the Japanese language. The food was good, Comiket was interesting, and I managed to get an interview for my student project.

However, there were still some things left hanging that, mostly due to time or other extenuating circumstances, I regret not having, or in some cases having been done. So that’s why, for my first post about my time in Japan, I’m going to put down a little list of things that I have regretted after leaving Japan…

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PRINT “Hello world.”

I’ll just stick this here while I get my mojo together. My inclination to write is rather rusty, and I’d rather surf, and stare at the screen. But what the hell… At least I’m doing something creative with my life.

Now where did I put my writing mojo…