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Alzrius's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,682 posts. 72 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Cmh wrote:

Hmm, I've never done a pony before sounds interesting.

I'll get to it as soon as I can.

Thanks!


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I had my pony character, Lex Legis, drawn by an artist from another thread here on these forums, so it seems appropriate to post it here.

While the link above contains a link to the character's stats and back-story, here's a direct link to them also, if anyone's interested.


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Cmh wrote:
Giving this a bump to see if anybody wants some art done.

If you don't mind, I'd like to request artwork of my original pony (a la My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) character, Lex Legis.

I've written about him on my blog previously, and there's a picture by another talented artist in a later post, if some background would help.

That said, here are the salient visual points:

A unicorn stallion, Lex's coat is a slate-gray color. The base of his horn is the same color as his coat, but just above that it abruptly transitions into blood-red, due to his horn being a graft. Unlike the base of his horn, the red graft does not use the "concentric-spiral" formation of most unicorn horns. It points straight, except for the tip which is slightly curved back.

Lex's mane and tail are both a plain brown; his eyes are the same color, albeit a slightly lighter shade.

His cutie mark - the tattoo that appears on each flank, indicating a pony's natural talent - is a podium in front of an amphitheater.

He wears a single "bandolier" of pouches, carrying a combination of gemstones and scrolls. He also wears a plain, unadorned silver circlet on his head.

Lex is notably dour, scowling very often and smiling very rarely.


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Lemmy wrote:
Damn... What's the name of the anime where the girl uses paper to fight? I really liked that show, even though it was pretty short. The battle against the guy who inspired Son Goku is awesome! :D

Read Or Die.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Afterward, Aranna said that she often finds that fanservice detracts from an anime, and that social awareness can and has led to improved entertainment.

Which carries the rather condescending connotation that anime with fan-service is somehow less "improved" than anime without it, to say nothing of the idea that a reduction in fan-service is in any way related to "social awareness."

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Before Alzrius badgered him into leaving the thread, Tels said that he doesn't mind fanservice in general but doesn't like watermelon boobs.

A gross mischaracterization on your part, here. Debate, even spirited debate, is not badgering, even if the other person becomes upset. Likewise, if they choose to leave, they have not been talked "into" leaving the thread.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
I understand a lot more than you think I do, and I think if you let yourself cool off a bit and consider the progression of this sub-topic, you'll see a different picture.

It's important to note the subtle dishonesty in the quoted passage, here. Even overlooking that it falls back on the old "you'd agree with me if only you really understood what I was saying; since you don't agree with me, therefore you simply fail to understand" cliche, it also posits that I'm somehow I'm worked up and need to "cool off" and that I haven't "consider[ed] the progression" of the thread.

All of which, obviously, is nonsense. As I mentioned above, engaging in a spirited discussion or debate is not indicative of losing one's cool. Likewise, I've considered the progression, and I find there to be no particular reason why I should consider the proverbial picture to be different.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
And no, I'm not up for dissecting all these post-fragments with you; I'm back at school and don't have the time or the energy.

So you want to respond, but don't have the time or the energy to engage in the actual debate that's going on. That's fine, but it makes it rather hard to discuss the issue with you when you don't want to have the give-and-take that's at the core of a conversation.

That's leaving aside the attempts to mischaracterize my position as "you just don't understand the other side of it," of course.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Although I suspect that you're too preoccupied with being right to try this, I'll again suggest that you put on your roleplayer hat the next time you watch a fanservice-heavy show and try to look at the wider picture, rather than focussing on all these little debate points.

Again, disagreement does not indicate a lack of understanding. It's quite ironic that you don't seem to understand this.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
...After you cool off for a while. Human empathy really benefits from a clear head.

Again, mischaracterizing that I somehow need to "cool off," as well as a new mischaracterization that I somehow haven't developed "human empathy."

Given that you've eschewed debating as taking too much time and energy, but have found the time and energy to try and paint a grossly-inaccurate picture regarding how I'm presenting my points, instead of what those points are, it's rather ironic that you'd position yourself as being in a position to talk about "human empathy."


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Here4daFreeSwag wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
Guys, can't we just go back to talking about anime?

Sure thing...

The "non-fanservicey" hand giveth: Princess Nine, anime girls and baseball. The director was also responsible for the Giant Robo anime. The dubbed version, back in the day, helped to put ADV's voice talent stable on the dubbed anime fanbase map.

The "fanservicey" hand taketh away: The Familiar of Zero.

[...]

Happy now, everyone?

I strongly endorse this post, since it's pretty much what I've been trying to say all this time: make enough stuff to appeal to everyone so everyone can enjoy what they like, and don't need to hate on the stuff that they don't.

Here4daFreeSwag, you are the wind beneath my wings.


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I always liked Cyric for two reasons. The first was that he got stuff done.

Killing Leira was his opening act after he became a god. Then he created a major artifact that was a threat to all other gods, very nearly bringing about the apocalypse (due to the gods' reaction). He dealt a serious setback to Mask and absorbed part of his portfolio, and forced a rift between Mystra and Kelemvor. Then, he killed Mystra, which precipitated the Spellplague, at which point the other gods finally imprisoned him in his divine realm because he was just that effective.

As opposed to Bane, who did...what, exactly? His stint with moving Phlan and other cities underground accomplished crap-all, and he ended up getting himself and his conspirators killed when he caused the Time of Troubles. He got a new lease on life, certainly, but he's still done nothing with it so far.

Likewise, Cyric is interesting in terms of his character progression. He started off as a flawed mortal, and went through a fascinating arc where he eventually succumbed to his flaws, rather than rising above them. He was rewarded with godhood, where his worst qualities were magnified, and he eventually went insane (but in such a cool way!) only to come back from it thanks to his most devoted worshipper.

Bane, by contrast, has always been a stentorian "I am Evil and will CONQUER!"-style character that never actually conquered anything. He was like Lord Arklon from Beastmaster II, or a Saturday-morning cartoon villain; all bark and no bite.

To me, Cyric is cooler by far.


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I'm fairly comfortable with using WordPress as my blog of choice; they're free, and the various applications seem fairly easy to understand - like you, I'm not interested in prettying things up too much, so the bare-bones layout works fine for me.

That said, some of the greater stylistic options are apparently behind a pay-wall, so it's somewhat irritating that I can't make bullet points look like anything but small arrows, for instance.

The only piece of advice I can offer is to treat your blog like a fun pasttime, rather than a chore. Don't think of blogging as something that you have to do on a set schedule - do it when the spirit moves you, even if that means that it doesn't update for weeks, or even months.


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thejeff wrote:

That's the debate we're having.

There were plenty of arguments about whether racism was "moral corruption" or just the natural way of things.

No, it's not. That's the manner in which you're attempting to frame it, but I believe that's fundamentally misguided. No way is mentioning anything about "just the natural way of things" here; rather, this is a debate about whether or not people should feel ashamed to create/enjoy the stories that they enjoy, because they don't live up to the moral dogma of other people.

thejeff wrote:
You disagree and think there's nothing wrong with it, therefore you're opposed to there being any shame attached.

I disagree because I don't believe that the terms you're attempting to impose apply here. This isn't about racism; it's about moral authoritarianism.

thejeff wrote:
In cases where you do think a thing is seriously morally wrong, do you have a problem with using shame and social scorn?

Yes, I do. All that you're proposing here is "the ends justify the means," because you believe that what you're trying to achieve is "right" and therefore it doesn't matter if you damage the people who don't believe as you do.

That's not a reason - it's an excuse, and a poor one at that.

thejeff wrote:
Can't promise I won't fail a save against a new post in a couple days and jump back in though. :)

I'm ready when you are. ;)

Seriously, I think that debate is good, so long as it doesn't descend into acrimony, and we've all been pretty good about that.


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thejeff wrote:
Because as we all know racism in media and society was stopped without anybody ever saying it was bad to be racist.

Because as we all know, a sexy female character in a story (even if it "doesn't make sense" - whatever that means) has the same moral corruption as racism in media and society.

Quote:
And if such a thing was ever said, that was itself the real problem, because any such accusation is a horrible thing to do to people.

That's why we need to continue to speak out against the evils of communism, Elvis, and Dungeons & Dragons, and not allow people to convince us that such things aren't bad when we know that they put real bad thoughts into real people.


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thejeff wrote:

That's nonsensical splitting of hairs.

Yes. I first used the term, but in reference to your description of the statues. You brought it up. I used a short term which I assumed that you would understand from context rather than repeat the entire bit about statues and Shakespeare every time.

I brought up the fact that one can find erotic appreciation of artwork that also is appreciable on other levels, and that its ability to be appreciated on multiple levels at once is a virtue, rather than a vice. If you wanted to use a short term to encapsulate that, you could have just said "art" rather than "high art" which adds the "high" qualifier, suggesting that it needs to reach some sort of lofty pinnacle to achieve that level of recognition.

thejeff wrote:

Your argument here pretty much boils down to, "I don't agree with the distinction you're drawing, so I'll just ignore it and assume you mean everything - and then use examples that you obviously didn't mean".

Completely disingenuous misrepresentation.

This is a strawman, as you've misrepresented my position here and then responded to your misrepresentation, rather than me.

It's more correct to say that my argument boils down to dispelling the points that Aranna labelled as being objective problems with fan-service, while pointing out that her qualifier of "objectifying except when it makes sense" is a sop due to her inability to objectively categorize "when it makes sense," and pointing out that her standard of "if you want to view objectifying fan-service, go watch hentai" is not only disingenuous for her pernicious insistence that fiction can cause objectification, but would also run afoul of quite a bit of other artwork that is stronger, rather than lesser, for its inclusion of erotic content that presumably "wouldn't make sense" (and I say presumably here simply because she can't make that quantitative).

thejeff wrote:

Like racist stereotype characters.

Or for that matter female stereotype characters.

Both areas in which there has been vast improvement over decades, due at least partly to the exact strategies you suggest.

You do realize that "the exact strategies" that I suggest are to not use public shame and humiliation to somehow make things better for society, right? Because if you're saying that not using those tactics have played roles in making things better over the decades, then I agree completely.

Presuming that you meant the opposite, however, then your point is misapplied as an apples-to-oranges instance. The presumption that people like Aranna are making is that fan-service implants and reinforces negative ideas and beliefs, akin to the insanity of people who say that D&D causes Satanic self-sacrifice, rather than suggesting that such materials are too unpleasant to countenance (if they were, one questions why she's fine with them within the context of hentai anime).

That's leaving aside the counterproductive nature of shaming "bad people" to stop doing "bad things," partly because that drives such sentiment underground and breeds resentment rather than actually changing attitudes, and parly because it's very easy to do terrible harm that can't be undone. Just ask the families of the teenagers who committed suicide due to online bullying.


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thejeff wrote:
The approach is to change what the public wants, which is a harder and slower process.

All the moreso if you don't try to characterize something as being immoral just because it's not to your tastes, and by extension imply that anyone who likes said thing as being immoral themselves, and deserve to have shame and humiliation heaped upon them.


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thejeff wrote:
Fine. You understand. You just ignore.

Incorrect. I disagree.

Quote:
Bringing up the high art makes that glaringly obvious.

I should point out that you were the one who specifically referenced "high" art to begin with. I was speaking to works of creative expression of all stripes.

thejeff wrote:
That wouldn't fall into the "type of fan service that objectifies women" category, so it's not relevant.

I don't recognize that category, as I don't believe that the depiction of fictitious characters within the context of a work of fiction at all dehumanizes real people, nor that it has any particular ability to modify the attitudes or beliefs of sane, rational adults.

thejeff wrote:

You don't find the distinction meaningful, so you write as if others aren't making the distinction either and want anything arousing to go away. Including things that make sense in context and things that reach the level of high art.

Which is a blatant misrepresentation.

It's not misrepresentation; I find her point about "X kinds of female fan-service is not objectification" to be disingenuous, as I've stated previously, due to the inherent subjectivity of her distinction undermining the morally-objective classification she makes about how "not-X kinds of female fan-service is objectification of women."

Since her qualifiers don't match the nature of her objection, and can't be meaningfully responded to anyway, since she's not quantifying how one judges "makes sense in the context of the scene" (since she can't), the only possible response must therefore overlook said qualifiers and respond to her overall point regarding the supposedly-objective charge of "fan-service objectifies women."

thejeff wrote:
Even in this post, where you say that you see the distinction you do away with it: Hentai is a place for such fanservice (where such refers to fanservice that objectifies women) leads immediately to "all such titillating qualities - at least with regards to female characters should be relegated to porn."

See above. When someone says "this thing is harmful to society, except for these instances that I don't think are so bad," it's not at all misrepresentative to overlook their exceptions, since they haven't quantified them, and debate their larger point.

thejeff wrote:
I won't speak for Aranna and I don't actually agree that the place for such things is Hentai, but I do have problems with fanservice and objectification in anime. Despite that I do see a big difference between a risque scene as part of the plot in a romance anime and upskirt shots in a fight scene in an action one. The first could easily be more arousing, but neither fanservice nor objectifying.

The more salient detail is if you think that such "objectification" is in any way morally corrupt, or has any kind of detrimental impact on society (or at least more detriment than worth, or even more detriment than any effort to remove it would generate).

thejeff wrote:
Drawing that line is of course difficult, as Sissyl mention, and I would oppose any kind of official ban or censorship, but that doesn't mean I don't want to see less of it. Especially when it's crammed into otherwise quite good shows.

Sure, that's your opinion. But you're not presenting your opinion as a fact, by making categorical statements that "fan-service reduces us to sextoys in the eyes of boys" the way Aranna is. I disagree with her, and I feel that she's spreading a negative message that does far more actual harm than what she's speaking out against, and so I speak out against that.


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thejeff wrote:
OTOH, it's a bit of a stretch to say that the usual pantie shots and towel scenes are really high art.

Is it? Note the linked statue of Venus, above. It's considered high art now, and it's a woman admiring her own butt. Shakespeare is full of naughty double-entendres, and it's considered high art now.

Saying that fan-service can't be considered high art - or art of any kind, for that matter - is far, far more of a stretch.

Quote:
Nor of course did she say that anything "that's at all meant to be arousing or titillating" should be relegated to porn. Just "type of fan service that objectifies women".

Leaving aside the unsupported allegation that fan-service objectifies women, her saying that hentai anime was "a place" to see such fan-service implies that there's no place for it to be found anywhere else. Hence, she did indeed communicate that she believes that all such titillating qualities - at least with regards to female characters - should be relegated to porn.

Quote:
You may not think she sees a difference, because you don't believe any of it "objectifies women" and thus can't see any distinction.

This is the same disingenuous "you only disagree because you don't understand; if you did understand, you'd agree" argument. I do see the distinction she's making - e.g. her idea that seeing any fan-service of women is only okay (in what I presume is a moral sense of what's okay and what isn't) if it makes sense within the context of the scene's presentation. I just don't find that distinction meaningful, or her overall point to be a valid one.


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Aranna wrote:
Oh there is a place for the type of fan service that objectifies women, under the hentai label. Where there is no question at all about what your going to see when you play it.

Aranna's point is worth underlining here, in that her call for segregating anything that's at all meant to be arousing or titillating for the audience to purely pornographic works is actually a call to lower standards of expectation.

The reason for this is that it's reasonably assumed that any work of creative expression is to be lauded for being able to be appreciated on multiple levels simultaneously. If we can find something appealing in more than one fashion, then we in turn recognize additional merit in that thing.

As an example, one can find a statue to be well-crafted, and so finds it appealing for the skill it conveys. Hence, the statue is appreciated on one level. By contrast, a statue of a historical personage, such as Gattamelata, can be appreciated both for the skill of the sculptor as well as the history that it evokes, being pleasing on two levels.

Likewise, something like the Venus Callipyge, can be appreciated for its skilled work, for its historical appreciation (as recalled in the Deipnosophists), and for its erotic appeal. As it can be appreciated on three different levels at once, it can therefore be enjoyed to a greater degree than the previous two examples.

As such, saying that "all erotic or titillating qualities should be confined purely to porn" is a disingenuous statement with regards to appreciating artwork in any form. It's a call to hold things to a lower standard, masquerading as a higher one.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Sorry bro, but I don't argue with people who make so many offensive assumptions and misinterpretations of my words.

It's telling that you don't seem to recognize the difference between an argument and a debate. All the moreso that you characterize a difference of opinion of being "assumptions" and "misinterpretation" of your words, rather than understanding and finding fault with your points.

If you don't feel up to debating the issue, that's fine, but saying that the other person just can't understand what you're saying, and so it's a waste of your time, is simply disingenuous.

Quote:
Good talk though. Maybe you'll figure it out someday on your own.

Maybe someday you'll figure out that I've already figured it out, and just disagree.


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So I finished watching My Little Monster ("Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun") yesterday, a thirteen-episode series that was great up until the end. That is, I liked it except for its ending.

A slice-of-life comedy-drama, My Little Monster is the story of two high-school students - Shizuku and Haru - falling in love with each other. Or rather, it's the story of them trying to learn how to deal with having fallen in love with each other.

The premise is based around the fact that both of them are highly unsociable, albeit for wildly different reasons. Shizuku is emotionally unavailable, being withdrawn to the point that she's lost all interest in the people around her, caring only about her grades. By contrast, Haru is emotionally volatile, instantly acting on his feelings without any sense of restraint or decorum.

The two of them end up becoming a couple almost by accident, when Shizuku delivers some schoolwork to Haru's home after he's suspended for fighting, and he misinterprets it as an act of friendship. Overwhelmed by the overbearing nature of his feelings, Shizuku responds in spite of herself, and from there the two of them start down an exceptionally rocky path to being in a relationship.

What makes the story work is that the two of them are so mismatched that they end up balancing each other out. Haru's raw, unfiltered emotions punch through Shizuku's detachment; likewise, Shizuku's withdrawn nature allows her to weather Haru's explosive nature. He winds her up, while she calms him down.

To put it another way, this isn't a story about two people falling in love, so much as it is them trying to figure out how to deal with being in love. Whereas most anime about a couple ends with them finally admitting their feelings to each other, that's where this anime begins - Haru tells Shizuku that he loves her by the end of the first episode, and at the end of the second episode, she tells him that she loves him too. The series is them trying to figure out how to make it work between them.

Unfortunately, where the series stumbles is that it never manages to present an answer to this question. While we watch them go through their misadventures, there's always a sense that they're slowly figuring out what it means to be with the other. But by the time the show ends, there's been no overall resolution. Even the final episode feels like just another tale of happenstance; nothing happens to satisfy the main plot, nor any of the sub-plots.

It's fairly ironic that, much like the main characters don't know what to do with each other when they realize their feelings, the anime doesn't know how to bring things to a conclusion when it runs out of episodes. That's a shame, because it's very heartfelt in its presentation; the characters are engaging for how they're a group of misfits learning not only how to open up to each other, but what it means to maintain a relationship after they've done so. The anime is quite mature in that it acknowledges that simply opening your heart and saying how you feel isn't enough - it takes work to learn how to share your life with someone else.

Overall, My Little Monster was a very good anime that didn't know what to do with itself, and so it doesn't end so much as it just stops. It's a shame, because by the time it does I really wanted to see if Haru and Shizuku were able to make it work between them. While the manga may answer that question, the anime is ultimately inconclusive.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
And the tragedy is that a role player such as yourself needs more expound-ment to see a problem with fanservice.

Here I'd have said that the tragedy was that you're objectively stating that something is a problem, rather than recognizing that this is simply an opinion.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Maybe the next time you watch a fanservice-heavy anime, role play an impressionable teenage girl with low self-esteem. And then imagine that you always have been and always will be that female anime fan until the day you die.

The sheer number of presumptions made in this example are staggering.

You've highlighted that she's already impressionable - which is either redundant if you accept that all children are this way, or a notable underlying condition if you don't think that all children are this way - and that she has low self-esteem to begin with.

Is it not worth asking why she has such low self-esteem to start with, let alone what can be done about that? Because you've condemned her to remain that way "until [she] die[s]."

One would think that the more worthwhile role-playing would be that girl engaging in some theraputic role-playing with a licensed mental health professional, since there's clearly some sort of reason that she has low self-esteem to begin with which will remain a problem whether or not she ever watches fan-service.

Tequila Sunrise wrote:
That'll be much more enlightening than spending hours and hours throwing every conceivable argument at some anonymous internet posters you feel compelled to argue with.

It's enlightening only to the extent that you don't seem to recognize that, even in the example you made up whole-cloth, the pre-existing low self-esteem is the issue.

thejeff wrote:
What does that have to do with anything?

It has to do with the fact that the example uses a flawed premise.

thejeff wrote:
Showing girls that, regardless of their other accomplishments, they have to be sexy and show off for men, has nothing at all to with "ANYONE being good at anything, being praised, being in good shape, doing anything that might be a problem in any situation, and so on. Is it okay to show elite sports?" Other than you jumping on the Low Self-esteem buzzword.

This presumes that fan-service necessarily encapulates (and flawlessly transmits) the message that "girls [...] have to be sexy and show off for men," which is far from certain.

Likewise, even if children are exposed to that message as an unintended consequence of interacting with the world, the burden is not on the world to stop sending anything that could possibly be interpreted that way. Rather, the onus is on those childrens' parents to make sure that such messages aren't internalized.


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havoc xiii wrote:

Sooooooo My wife and myself tried to watch Magi: The Magic Kingdom of course at the time I didn't realize it was the second season which explains the confusion at first, but someone here said no fanservice....** spoiler omitted **

So far completly uninterested maybe we will try the first season but unlikly we couldn't even finish the episode we were watching.

I suspect that you're referring to me. I should point out that I didn't say that it had no fan-service, but rather that there was almost none, but the occasional scene throughout the first season.

I didn't include mention of the scene(s) you indicated because, to my mind, that wasn't fan-service. Simply put, to me fan-service is meant to be erotic titillation; the scene you mentioned struck me as being purely comedic in nature. It's meant to make the audience laugh, rather than being arousing. As such, I discounted it.


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havoc xiii wrote:
I miss watching supernatural...I got lost somewhere after satan...I know ** spoiler omitted **...but it gets iffy around then.

The entire series (not including the current season) is on Netflix, if you feel like catching up. It sounds like you're up to season 6 or so, which I quite enjoyed; one of the best episodes ever, to me, was "The French Mistake," which was the meta episode to end all meta episodes. Seriously, at one point you had:

Spoiler:
Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles playing Sam and Dean Winchester playing Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles playing Sam and Dean Winchester!

Sublime!


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Werthead wrote:
As for the infighting, that is completely plausible. Even in the face of overwhelming threats, vested interests continue to fight one another.

I haven't read the books, but this simply sounds plausible, prima facie. If you consider that the various factions involved treat the Vong threat as a type of prisoner's dilemma, then it certainly makes sense.


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Caineach wrote:
Alzrius wrote:
Caineach wrote:
I thought I watched season 2 on netflix, but I may have gone somewhere else for it.
I'll check again. I'm using Netflix on my Wii U, which while it's great to be able to control it from a tablet-controller, the interface for searching related topics isn't as good as it is on other devices (that is, I can't seem to search by genre).
They change the name to Magi: The Kingdom of Magic, so that does change searches.

Well I'll be damned...that is on Netflix!

Thanks for the heads-up Caineach!


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Grimmy wrote:
If you could only afford Netflix or Hulu subscription and had to choose, which would you choose for anime?

Neither; go for Crunchyroll.

DM Under the Bridge wrote:

Yeah, it is good to be able to personally know more was said than what was subtitled. Tone and common Japanese sayings and how that relates to the context all can factor in.

Education - making anime better.

It was my enthusiasm for anime that led to my getting an undergraduate degree in Japanese Studies. So in my case, it was "anime - making education better."


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Aranna wrote:
I have spoken out against objectifying fantasy art too... I am sure that doesn't surprise anyone here. It was used to lure young boys into the hobby. "Hey look kid you could be adventuring next to that hottie!" And unless I am mistaken somehow... it worked. The same sort of art now is used to lure young boys toward video games.

The idea that "objectifying" art is being used to "lure" boys into the RPG and video game hobbies is fairly difficult to back up. While it's certainly true that the art is meant for the consideration of those viewing it, that's something that's true of all artwork.

Leaving aside the issue of fictitious characters somehow objectifying real people, however, is the issue that it's the artwork that's "luring" young boys into games. Any sort of historical context will inform you that this isn't true.

Jon Peterson, RPG historian and author of the excellent Playing at the World, writes in his article about the first female gamers:

Quote:

It was Avalon Hill’s magazine The General that introduced the gaming community to itself. Like the War Game Digest, The General started small, with just seventy-two subscribers, though an intense promotion increased the tally to five hundred by the second issue, with steady gains following. The printed roster of subscribers in the first four issues of The General yields only three recognizably female names from a total well over six hundred: Mrs. E. H. Burford, Martha Finch, and then a co-subscription for Mr. and Mrs. James Lee Matthews. The initial audience for Avalon Hill’s games was overwhelming male and youthful, with an average age hovering around seventeen.

[...]

At the beginning of 1974, on the next iteration of the survey, Strategy & Tactics reported, “We asked how many female subscribers we have. The number is roughly one-half of 1%.” That article goes on to explain their survey methodology, which they believed reflected “over 10,000 different gamers,” a sum they credibly represented as the largest study group available to the industry.

That figure, that roughly one half of 1% of “gamers” were female, is borne out by other contemporary sources as well. The “Great Lakes Gamers Census” of January 1974, assembled by the Midwest Gaming Association, tabulates more than one thousand gamers in the Midwest. It contains five recognizably female names: Marie Cockrill, Anne Laumer, Denise Bonis, and then two couples: Mr. & Mrs. Linda Anderson, and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Pawlak. It was this overwhelmingly male community which was the target of contemporary periodicals branded for “gamers” like Gamers Guide. And it was this community of gamers which was the intended audience of Dungeons & Dragons.

To put it another way, the RPG hobby - even back when it was still the wargaming hobby - was always slanted towards a predominantly male audience; the artwork has had little to do with why boys are attracted to such types of games to begin with.

Likewise, even a brief review of the best-selling video games of all time will show that they're games for which titillating artwork is nowhere to be found (the top three are Tetris, Wii Sports, and Minecraft). So I find the idea that boys are playing video games because of "hotties" to be one that's somewhat dubious.


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Caineach wrote:
El Hazard was interesting because they intentionally changed a significant amount of dialog for American audiences. The original show has a lot of puns and idioms that do not translate well, and they turned it into American humor. I definitely enjoyed the dub more, and the show overall was pretty good. How can you go wrong with lines like "What you call cats, we call body armor".

Way back when I first discovered anime, the dubbed El Hazard was one of the first ones that I saw. Admittedly, I was quite taken with it at the time - though now that I've had a chance to watch it subtitled, I prefer that.

Still, some of the dub jokes were quite good ("I thought we were supposed to meet with a princess, not a queen").

Of course, having seen the sequel and second sequel, it's a shame how much they didn't really hold up compared to the original series.


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Alzrius wrote:

Okay, so I just watched the ME!ME!ME! anime music video, mostly because I've been hearing so much about it lately. I'm literally typing this immediately having watched it, so I haven't had much time to compose my thoughts.

The first thing that needs to be said is to make a disclaimer regarding the video's length; while it's eight minutes long, the first ninety seconds are a short opening/studio presentation; this has no connection whatsoever to the remaining video.

I'm going to place the remainder of this review in tags, since I'm going to be dissecting the entirety of the video.

** spoiler omitted **...

Okay, so I was looking through some online reviews of this today, and came across an interesting interpretation.

John Oppliger watched the music video and basically came to the exact opposite conclusion that I did; that this music video was not a reproach of the self-indulgent "otaku" lifestyle. Moreover, he discusses why he thinks such interpretations are missing some important context.

Be warned, he makes his case via citing images from the video, so there's some fan-service and gore to be found in the linked article.

For those who don't know, John has some clout in the anime community. He's been involved in anime fandom for several decades, has been answering questions in the famous "Ask John" column on AnimeNation for well over ten years, and he has what must be one of the largest collections of anime (and anime memorabilia) in the United States.


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Grimmy wrote:

Do you guys prefers subs or dubs for anime?

I greatly prefer subs unless I'm so tired I can barely read.

Subs, always.

I have some moderate proficiency at spoken Japanese, thanks to several classes in high school and college, and so I can sometimes recognize nuances in the spoken parts that the subtitles don't catch.


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Freehold DM wrote:
Rarity is my number 2.

I'm pretty well torn on my favorite pony. Twilight is the one I find easiest to understand and empathize with. Rainbow Dash seems like the most interesting character, in terms of being multi-faceted and three-dimensional. Rarity is the most fun to watch (and listen to, both for her adorable accent and Kazumi Evans' heavenly voice).


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It has now been officially confirmed, there will be an eleventh season of Supernatural!


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Alzrius wrote:
Moreover, you have yet to demonstrate why this is at all worthy of moral outrage.
I can see why Aranna pegged you for a troll.

The irony is that, without expounding on that, your statement here is trolling in and of itself.

I'm quite willing to debate the issue regarding fan-service, but as I've said, so far everyone who's put forth that it's immoral due to its influence on society have yet to back that position up with anything other than personal opinions or unfounded statements about how it teaches children to objectify women.

If you believe otherwise, I invite you to share your reasoning here, and likewise critique my own.


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Caineach wrote:
I thought I watched season 2 on netflix, but I may have gone somewhere else for it.

I'll check again. I'm using Netflix on my Wii U, and while it's great to be able to control it from a tablet-controller, the interface for searching related topics isn't as good as it seems to be on other devices (that is, I can't seem to search by genre).


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Grimmy wrote:
It does have me wondering how my nieces are effected by media they watch, like disney heroines ... They seem to be a little less 1-dimensional than when I was a kid I guess... I still have yet to see one that doesn't adhere to pretty much that same overblown concept of what is feminine.

I've mentioned this before, but the best way to find out how your nieces are being affected by the media they partake of is to talk to them. Interacting with children - or rather, having children interact with responsible, moral adults - is the best way to guide their moral development, regardless of the media that they consume.

Quote:
Yeah Mulan is an empowering story but I wonder what mulan really looked like if she did live. It kind of robs the story of some of it's power to give her the usual disney heroine look.

No comment here, due to not having seen the film.

Quote:
I've been playing Super Smash Bros with them on WII. The younger niece definitely gravitates towards the "princess" characters like peach, zelda, rosalina... The older of the two plays female warrior characters, lucina, sheik, samas. I think across the board they are the usual kind of girly depictions, not overly sexualized except for Samas but all kind of samey in that idealized "perfect" "pretty" way.

For what it's worth, there's an interesting study regarding the identification that gamers have with the characters they play in video games. To summarize: they don't. From the paper's conclusion:

Quote:
Players do not automatically take on the role of characters/avatars. Playing as a character that is ostensibly “other” to you (in terms of gender, race, or sexuality) is not necessarily transgressive or perspective-altering. Playing as a character that is like you (in terms of demographic categories) does not necessarily engender identification.

(Of course, what's ironic about this is that the author of this study conducted it with the intent of trying to come to the opposite conclusion. While I do respect that she was forthright with her findings, she then turned around and five months later reframed the original study to give the results she wanted it to have, as chronicled in part one of this two-part video series.)

Quote:
I did notice when they watch my little pony and they talk about which one's their favorite they both mention the one that does hair and make-up or whatever, you know the white one with purple hair? Even when another pony has done something really heroic or brave in the episode and charity or vanity or whatever her name is has just acted kind of shallow really.

The pony in question is Rarity, and she's made of all kinds of awesome.

While there's an excellent summary of why that is over here, it can be summarized by the following: Rarity is a clever rebuke of traditional female stereotyping.

While she initially comes off as being shallow and obsessed with fashion, the show very quickly reveals that Rarity is much deeper than this. Namely, rather than being a mere consumer of fashion trends, Rarity is a creator of her own trends - she is highly gifted in design, creating and promoting her own works. Moreover, she's a successful businesswoman (businessmare?), who runs her own store.

In other words, Rarity takes the "pretty girl" trope and turns it on its head. While she does like things that are pretty (and on at least two occasions, exhibits an interest in romance), these are not the be-all end-all of her character. She's one of the most well-rounded characters on the show (though I'd argue that Rainbow Dash is the most well-rounded), and hardly a poor role model for anyone.


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Aranna wrote:
And thank you Grimmy that is exactly the sort of damage fan service does.

It's worth noting that the "damage" here consists of "hurts my own personal enjoyment."

Quote:
It makes the girls depicted into "not real people" the rest of the people on a show that aren't targets of fan service get to be relatable and real enough... while the girls with fan service are just objects, not people, they have no real rights.

You do realize that the girls depicted in an anime already aren't real people, right? Fictional characters, by their very nature, are just objects to begin with. That's why we have the term "characterization"; it refers to imbuing fictional characters with the qualities and traits of actual people.

Quote:
If something bad happens to them on a show you don't feel sorry for them, you feel sorry for the men they belonged to.

Again, that's your personal take on it. Moreover, you have yet to demonstrate why this is at all worthy of moral outrage.


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This doesn't sound exactly right, but could it be Blood: The Last Vampire?


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Okay, so I just watched the ME!ME!ME! anime music video, mostly because I've been hearing so much about it lately. I'm literally typing this immediately having watched it, so I haven't had much time to compose my thoughts.

The first thing that needs to be said is to make a disclaimer regarding the video's length; while it's eight minutes long, the first ninety seconds are a short opening/studio presentation; this has no connection whatsoever to the remaining video.

I'm going to place the remainder of this review in tags, since I'm going to be dissecting the entirety of the video.

Spoiler:
For those who haven't heard, ME!ME!ME! is fan-service intense; I should put a qualifier there, because there's a not-very-subtle subtext to what the video presents, but I'll expound more on that below. That said, there are a lot of naked and almost-naked women to be found here. The video's presentation of female sexuality is so blatant that it's over-the-top. The first ninety seconds are little more than girls (or rather, multiple copies of the same girl) in skimpy outfits shaking their bodies, progressively wearing less and less, all for the titillation of the sole male character that's present.

...and then all of a sudden the context changes; now there's a sinister-looking, four-eyed masked woman, and she directs the other naked girls to start literally devouring the main character. There's also a woman who seems to be a damsel in distress, crying out to the hero (?) as he's being attacked.

...at which point the context shifts again, and we see the half-eaten (from the waist down) hero manifest a suit of mecha-armor around himself, and there's a first-person shooter sequence of him hunting down the masked woman and trying to save the damsel.

The video ends on a surprising note, as the hero is eventually overwhelmed by the horde of naked ladies. Losing his armor, we see him surrendering himself to the inevitable as they surround him, and the last image is of his partially-eaten head falling to the ground.

Make of all this what you will.

I'm fairly poor at interpreting "artistic" works, simply because I can imagine myriad different ways of reading into a sequence of images. One does not have to work too hard to imagine any number of interpretations for what happens above.

For example, I'd hesitantly venture that ME!ME!ME! is more concerned with erotica than it is with horror, simply because the naked girls in the series are explicitly presented both in their imagery (that is, there's no real censoring of the naked female bodies) and their presentation (the various erotic dancing and posing), whereas the horror never strays too far into the grotesque - the gore is largely kept off-screen.

I call that hesitant, however, because I think that horror works best as a (light) juxtaposition with any kind of warm or desirable imagery. The scene of the protagonist having been devoured from the waist down is more horrific, rather than less, because we didn't see any particular displays of blood or viscera - we just saw a swarm of beautiful naked girls descending on him, followed by a quick flash of red and the image of one of them with something red in her mouth, and then the results of their feeding frenzy. As such, one could very honestly say that this is a horror-themed video that uses sex as a lure.

That said, I'm not at all certain what the overall theme of ME!ME!ME! is meant to be. My guess, based on the title of the video and how I'd interpret the images, is that it's actually a clever rebuke of the obsession with fan-service.

Consider, the protagonist begins asleep in his room, surrounded by figures of popular anime girls (from Evangelion, specifically). His initial dream/vision is one of classic male fantasy: a harem of beautiful girls all shaking their curves for his enjoyment.

What's notable is that two shifts then occur at the same time. Suddenly there's a female protagonist trying to reach him, at the same time as there's a faceless, menacing female figure sending in a horde of beautiful women to not just attack him, but to consume him. My guess would be that this is meant to be allegorical to his having internalized sexualized imagery of women (e.g. the girl horde) to the point where it's captivated him (that he'd devoured from the waist down is not coincidental) to the point where he's unable to relate to an actual woman (e.g. the female protagonist).

Of course, if that interpretation of the movie's message is correct, then it's painting a rather grim picture. While the protagonist does fight back, he eventually loses the battle - a warning that focusing purely on fan-service as selfish consumption will ultimately destroy oneself?

It's entirely possible that I'm projecting here, particularly with what we've been discussing across the last few pages. Of course, that's the thing about any sort of interpretation of artwork; it potentially says as much about the interpreter as it does about the work itself.

There's clearly a message to be found in ME!ME!ME!, but I suspect that what the message is will depend on whom you ask.


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So I finished watching Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic - or at least the first season of it, as it turns out that there's a second season that's not on Netflix (yet) - and while I didn't have very high expectations going into it, I was surprised by how much it surpassed them.

The show is loosely inspired by various Arabian Nights tales, as the two main characters are Aladdin and Alibaba (and Sinbad is a major supporting character). That said, these function largely as stylistic inspiration and nothing more - don't expect this to be any sort of retelling of the classic fairy tales. Rather, this is an action-adventure series set in a fantasy world.

The plot is that, years ago, mysterious dungeons appeared out of nowhere all over the world. Those who enter and manage to get to the heart of these deathtrap-filled mazes can claim the powers of a djinn that lives at the heart of each dungeon. Since then, various power-players are trying to acquire these treasures to advance their various agendas.

Aladdin is a young boy who has no memory of his past, and is searching for answers about himself and the djinn that he somehow already has. Along the way, he befriends Alibaba, a teenager with no money but a lot of determination to conquer a dungeon and make himself into a king. Together with Morgianna, a slave-girl with powerful combat abilities that Aladdin and Alibaba end up setting free, the three of them become involved in a quest to determine the fate of the world.

To be fair, there's little here that isn't standard action-adventure fare, which made me wonder why I found myself liking the show more than I thought I would. The answer I eventually came to is that while the show does make use of typical tropes for its genre, it never takes them too far, knowing when less makes for more.

Aladdin, for example, was initially off-putting to me; his character is one of those "naive in such a way that he unconsciously casts a stark moral spotlight on problems" characters, guilelessly saying what decorum and circumspection keeps everyone else from acknowledging. Combine that with him having several powers above and beyond what most other characters can bring to bear, and I was ready to write the character off as a Mary Sue.

However, the show very quickly pivoted to showcase that this wasn't the case. Not only do we see Aladdin's power being insufficient to deal with an enemy or a situation on multiple occasions, but his simple-minded optimism never quite manages to stray into the realm of moral perfectionism; we see him feeling a sense of loss, anger, and even holding a grudge at one point.

The show also does a good job of illustrating the larger backdrop that the characters are adventuring in. Rather than ignoring the effect of what people with major magical powers would do to the world stage, the show holds that up as a major aspect of the plot. One character has already collected a large number of djinn, and used them to set up his own nation. Another country has assembled a unit of people with such powers, and is using them as the vanguard to try and expand their territory.

Even economics are utilized as a driving force in the show, and that's not something you see in your standard action-adventure series! (e.g. "Yes, you overthrew the previous king's corrupt regime, but that doesn't change the fact that he ran up a huge debt with a foreign country, and the bill is now due.")

I should mention that, in terms of fan-service, there's almost none here. Don't expect to see any of the usual stock fare, such as a bathing scene or someone walking in on a female cast member changing her clothes, for instance. The show is interested in creating dramatic tension, rather than titillating. (Though I should mention that it does have two scenes with topless women - the first being when Aladdin and Alibaba are imagining what it'd be like to have enough money to live in luxury forever; the second when we briefly meet a lascivious female djinn.)

Overall, this is an example of the right way to do an action-adventure series. The main characters are strongly defined, the world feels fleshed out and dynamic, and the plot is engaging. I really hope to be able to see the second season of Magi soon; it's a series that's absolutely worth watching.


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ericthecleric wrote:
Aha. Just remembered that in the 1e MM2, Asmodeus' daughter was called Glasya. Don't know if that helps.

Fun fact, in Second Edition his daughter had a daughter of her own, named Sfena.


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Less controversially, I just watched about a dozen episodes of Legend of the Legendary Heroes. It started out promising, but got too campy-dark-predictable in that way that so irritates me. Skipped to the last episode to make sure, and sure enough I was right.

You were indeed right. Here's what I wrote about that series on another forum:

So I finished watching Legend of the Legendary Heroes ("Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu") earlier today, and I can sum up my feelings on the show in one word:

Disappointed.

I've heard people talk about shows that had potential, but which never lived up to that potential, and that's Legend of the Legendary Heroes in a nutshell. Simply put, it has an interesting premise, but within the scope of the anime (as opposed to the light novels it's based on) it never makes the most of it.

The worst offender here is the show's pacing, which is terrible. Scenes will change tone so heavily that you'll be left wondering if you missed something, characters will be introduced with little context to explain their presence (and then left under-utilized throughout the series' run), the show will continually make allusions and metaphors without explaining what they actually mean, and perhaps worst of all is that the ending provides no clear answers nor a resolution to the plot.

Even the characterization of the cast, which is the series' high point, is not without flaw. True, the people in the show do tend to be more than one-note characters, but only to the extent that they're two-note. The main character has two states of being: "lazy slacker" and "emo." The leading lady spends most of her time playing at "unemotional narcissist," with occasional detours into "I can't live without you," etc.

The series clearly has an overarching message, and wants to express it through its plot-line and characters, but the former can't be bothered to make itself plainly understood while the latter tend to beat you over the head with their lack of nuance.

This is the first anime I've watched in a long time where there was virtually nothing enjoyable I could take away from it, and thus one that I honestly can't recommend to anyone.


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Moving on, I finished up watching Strike Witches last night, and found myself liking the series quite a bit.

Before I go any further, I want to underline that this review is somewhat truncated in its focus. The entirety of Strike Witches, from what some research tells me, consists of a twelve-episode television series (which is what I'm reviewing here), a prequel OVA, a second twelve-episode television series, a movie, and then a three-episode OVA series (only the first of which is currently out). Having only seen the first television series, take everything I say with a grain of salt; later materials may address some of the issues I bring up.

Strike Witches is a historical fiction series. In the early 1940's, automated aircrafts of unknown origin, called the Neuroi, suddenly appeared around the world and attacked humanity, turning much of the world into a battlefield. While vulnerable to conventional weapons, the Neuroi's beam-based weaponry meant that any air force that went up against them took extremely heavy casualties.

On this Earth, it's apparently a typical aspect of life that women (the show is silent as to whether this is all women or just some) can use magic. With the creation of the Striker Unit - essentially a pair of tubes that fit over the legs, allowing a woman to channel her magic through them to fly and raise shields - squadrons of flying witches, armed with guns, represent the best chance to defeat the Neuroi.

The anime is about the unit stationed in Britannia, called the Strike Witches; more specifically, it's the story of new recruit Yoshika Miyafuji.

I should mention right away that if any of the above makes it sound like this is an exciting, military-focused show, then I'm misrepresenting it. Strike Witches is very much a comedy-drama that's far and away more concerned with its characters than it is with the overall plot.

Indeed, I was a little surprised by just how little the show was concerned with its larger mythos in favor of interpersonal drama between the characters. While the narrative has the necessary build-up in the first two episodes, and brings the overall plot arc to a resolution in the last two or three, this felt distinctly perfunctory - it was dealing with story progression because it had to, not because it wanted to. Even then, it put forth only the minimum amount of effort necessary; while it peels back a little of the mystery surrounding the Neuroi, it's not at all concerned with giving the audience any real answers about them.

This indifference to the overarching story didn't hurt the show too much, in my opinion - if the characters are engaging, then it doesn't matter if the plot is paper-thin - but the show also felt very little need to explain various aspects of how the setting functioned. For example, we're three-fourths of the way in before the show casually mentions that a woman's ability to use magic peaks in her teenage years, and thereafter goes into a life-long decline; hence why the witch-squadrons are all composed of teenage girls rather than adults. That's the sort of thing that would have been more convenient to know up front.

Of course, having sacrificed quite a lot to make room for the characters, Strike Witches puts a lot of effort into showing them off.

To a degree, its reach exceeds its grasp in this regard. With a main cast of eleven characters, it's simply not able to give all of them the showcase that it wants to. And it clearly wants to - besides the setup and resolution, all of the show's episodes are focused on a particular character (or sometimes a pair of characters), presented through Yoshika's eyes as she gets to know them better. Unfortunately, it simply doesn't have enough time to showcase the entirety of the cast. The results feel somewhat lopsided as characters like Lynette and Trude get a high degree of exposition, whereas characters like Luccini and Erica get almost none.

That said, for the characters it does focus on, the show does a good job of making them appear very fetching.

I use the term "fetching" deliberately here, because Strike Witches is quite forthright in that these characters are supposed to be highly moe ("adorable"). The audience isn't supposed to empathize with them as people, so much as we're supposed to be overawed by how charming they seem. Everything from how young they look - Yoshika is fourteen, but looks twelve, whereas her commanding officer (Mio Sakamoto) is the oldest character at twenty, but looks fifteen - to the fact that, whenever the girls use their magic, they manifest kemonomimi ("animal ears") and a tail, speaks to their cuteness.

Well...their cuteness and their sexiness, that is.

That's another central aspect of the characters: the show regularly dishes out fan-service with regards to them. For one thing, none of the girls in this show wear pants or skirts.

I feel like I should pause for a moment to let that sink in.

This is one of those aforementioned areas where the show really needed to explain its thinking, because nobody ever says anything about the fact that the entirety of the cast goes around panty-clad all of the time. Literally, all of the time; whether it's relaxing on a day off or reporting to senior military officials, they're dressed normally above the waist, but below it's just socks, shoes, and underwear (and hose, for one character). My suspicion is that this is in reference to the fact that their Striker Units encapsulate their legs, and that there can't be (thick) material between their skin and the Units, but I don't know for sure, because the show doesn't tell us.

To be fair, most of the show's fan-service is kept at the meta-contextual level. While there is a bit of sapphic tension between the girls - at one point, Yoshika has what's strongly suggested to be a sex dream about one of her teammates; one of the characters has a deep but platonic crush on her commanding officer; and of course there's a female character who's inordinately obsessed with her teammates' bust sizes, to the point of surprise-groping them - the vast majority of the ecchi ("naughty") content comes from the camera itself. There are a lot of shots that are placed at crotch-height, for example, outlining the girls' naughty bits. Other scenes take place in the bath, showing them bare-breasted on more than one occasion.

All of the above is a roundabout way of saying that Strike Witches puts a great deal of effort into making its characters objects of desire, rather than fully-fledged individuals that the audience can relate to as people. We're clearly supposed to want these characters, both in the sense of possessiveness/protectiveness as well as physical attraction. The girls here are halfway between being kittens and being sex-kittens.

And make no mistake, the show succeeds masterfully at this. Whereas Ikki Tousen failed because it was trying to push drama and erotica at the same time, and so failed at both, Strike Witches pulls it off because it knows how to compartmentalize - by keeping the ecchi elements at the meta-character level, while the moe elements are all in-character, it's able to deliver both simultaneously, and the show is much stronger for it.

Needless to say, I'll be watching the rest of this series.


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Aranna wrote:
Ok clearly Alzrius is a troll. Putting him on ignore.

Clearly Aranna is being intentionally dishonest here. I'm not putting her on ignore though, since 1) I think that her willfully attempting to promote a culture of shame needs to be spoken out against, and 2) I'm not afraid to debate these issues.


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Aranna wrote:
This is why I called out Alzrius for his relentless attacks on poor Tels as "ruining the thread for him", a little civility goes a long way.

Debating a point is not at all the same thing as a "relentless attack." Despite what you seem to think, spirited disagreement is not the same thing as harassment.

Likewise, disingenuous and misleading statements - even if spread civilly - are not okay.

Aranna wrote:
There IS a right way to do fan service without objectifying women BTW.

I agree, except insofar that I think that's recognizing that fan-service is not in and of itself objectifying at all.

Aranna wrote:
Take a beach setting or a swim team and you suddenly have a very relevant reason to show off your girls in very little clothing. One that certainly doesn't hurt the story. But a lot of anime pile it on ... kind of like burying your cake in a pile of icing as was pointed out earlier. Which just supports my original assertion "in most cases fan service ruins the story"

It doesn't support your original assertion at all, because your assertion is stated as an objective, categorical truth, whereas the analogy I made earlier was clearly noted, and intended, to carry a caveat of "this is a personal opinion, that will vary for everyone."

Aranna wrote:

Thank you Alzrius and Greylurker,

Ikki Tousen and Rosario+Vampire are going onto my avoid list.

You're very welcome. The less anime that you're spreading misleading statements regarding "objectifying women" about, the better things will be for the fans of those anime.


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xavier c wrote:
Alzrius wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Monsters that are summoned with summon monster spells do not exist outside of the spell effect.

That's not what the sub-school description says (emphasis mine):

Quote:
Summoning: A summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower, but it is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can't be summoned again.
Terminology like "brings" and "where it came from" make it clear that monsters that are summoned with summon monster spells do indeed exist outside of the spell effect.
It was retconned in a later book(and by the developers on the forum).

First of all, cites or it didn't happen.

Second of all, even if that's true for Pathfinder, it's not true for 3.X, which is what the aforementioned Nymphology was for.


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xavier c wrote:
Monsters that are summoned with summon monster spells do not exist outside of the spell effect.

That's not what the sub-school description says (emphasis mine):

Quote:
Summoning: A summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower, but it is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can't be summoned again.

Terminology like "brings" and "where it came from" make it clear that monsters that are summoned with summon monster spells do indeed exist outside of the spell effect.


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Greylurker wrote:

Reminds me of Rosario+Vampire.

I'd read the manga for the series and there is actually a good story there with lots of tension. Was actually excited to hear it get animated.

They quite literally threw out the entire story in favor of a flood of Fanservice. Completely ruined the whole thing

Having also read the entirety of the Rosa+Vam manga, and watched all of the anime, I feel exactly the same way. The anime was such a letdown, though I attribute a large part of that to how it kept doggedly presenting itself as a comedy series (though to be fair, the second season opening theme was fun).


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Rathendar wrote:
EDIT: Mostly, i'm just hoping to see the thread get back to people suggesting anime they watched and liked, which was my favorite part of this thread.

Fair enough. So without further ado:

Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians and its continuation Ikki Tousen: Xtreme Xecutor were the most recent anime that I watched, each being a twelve-episode series. (Fans of the original manga series might know this by the manga's localized name, "Battle Vixens"). Set in contemporary Japan, this is a fighting-drama anime; the plot consists of the major characters from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms period of China's history being reincarnated as high-school students in the present day.

I may not have mentioned before that most of the anime I've watched recently has been via Netflix. This is usually convenient, but every so often there'll be an issue regarding what Netflix makes available, in terms of only having part of a larger series.

Unfortunately, that was the case here. Great Guardians and Xtreme Xecutor are, respectively, the third and fourth series of the Ikki Tousen anime adaptations. Not having seen the first two series, I was immediately placed at a disadvantage in terms of trying to immerse myself in the series. This was magnified by the fact that the show takes it for granted that its audience is familiar with the major elements, characters, and plot of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which I'm not. The end result is that I was missing out on a great deal of background and subtext for the series, and that was something that I was keenly aware of the entire time.

I say all of this to underline the fact that, when I say that these two seasons of Ikki Tousen weren't very good, there's a lot that was working against me from the start where my impression of the show is concerned.

Having said all of that, these series simply weren't very good.

Ikki Tousen's greatest failing, to me, was its sense of pacing; the method by which it moved things along, especially with regards to its fight scenes - which is what the show is ostensibly about - are atrocious. More specifically, the show kept trying to build tension via dramatic pauses and long, drawn-out build ups where everything was still. Together, these techniques assured that the fight sequences were never able to build a sense of momentum, instead giving them a lurching feeling that yanks you out of the moment each time it tries to make a conflict engaging.

For a show that wants to make fight scenes the core of its dramatic presentation, this is an error of unforgivable magnitude.

Of course, I said previously that the show's fight scenes were what it was "ostensibly" about. That's because what Ikki Tousen is actually about is T&A.

Simply put, Ikki Tousen is a show that revels in the fan-service, to the point where it feels (to me, at least) almost like it's trying too hard. Every girl wears a skirt that doesn't quite seem to reach the top of her thighs. Every third or fourth camera angle is set near the ground and looking upward, up-skirting said girls. And it's incredible how being punched or kicked anywhere in the torso will apparently shred clothing into nothing, leaving the female fighters bare-breasted again and again...and again and again and again.

I've hopefully made it clear that I don't think that there's anything wrong with fan-service; but at the same time, that doesn't mean that I'm not discriminating where it's presentation - like any other aspect of the media that I like - is concerned. To that end, I tend to prefer fan-service be portrayed as something that enhances what the show's already trying to do, rather than the show being merely a delivery vehicle to hang fan-service off of.

To make an analogy that I'm fond of, a show is like a cake, and fan-service is like frosting. While the frosting may be the tastiest part, if you have more of it than there is cake, it's not going to be as appetizing. (Of course, if someone else likes more frosting on their cake than I do, more power to them.)

Unfortunately, that's exactly what Ikki Tousen does. It's always fairly obvious that a significant portion of what's happening in the show is there simply to make the girls flash the camera or go boobs-out. I can appreciate that, but it's sacrificing too much for the sake of getting them naked. Maybe I wouldn't think that way if I had more familiarity with the source material, and the first two seasons, but as it is, Ikki Tousen is a drama show that isn't very dramatic, since it keeps interrupting its already-stilted fight scenes to bring us another naked girl.


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Aranna wrote:
I am sad that you are leaving. Don't let Alzrius ruin the thread for you and stick around, we DO actually talk about anime most of the time... This fan service debate won't last forever, it almost already ended once.

For that matter, I'd like to remind everyone not to let Aranna ruin the thread for them either. Just because people like to say that fan-service is bad (and, by extension, that the people who like it are bad) doesn't mean that they're correct.

Aranna wrote:
Edit: There is tons of evidence that the objectification of women is damaging.

Which isn't really relevant for the discussion of fan-service, since saying that it objectifies women is an uphill claim to make. You know, what with one being fictional characters and the other being real people, and all.

Quote:
You can stick your head in the sand all you want but that doesn't make you right.

There's even more evidence that real life and fantasy are very different. You can pretend that's not the case all you want, but you'll still be wrong.


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Hmph! We don't need to make them demihumans any more included; we include 'em all enough already! Hell, back in muh day you couldn't even have a dwarf be a arcayn spellcaster what all - now they're complainin' that they take a penulty to bein' a sorcerer? Pshaw!

Those durn demihumans today don't know how good they have it. Why, you can't even call 'em "demihumans" anymore, since they went 'n' decided that it was all 'ffensive now.


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thejeff wrote:
Well, I certainly don't consider it to be on the same level as apartheid and any response should be proportionally less. Objectification of women in general is a problem, but anime fan-service is only one fairly small facet of it.

I'm not sure that I'd agree that fan-service can even be called objectification of women, simply due to the fact that no actual women are being objectified (as in, people in real life).

But even aside from that, the idea that you're presenting is that what's witnessed from fan-service will translate towards how people treat women in real life, which strikes me as an argument that's highly dubious at best.

Quote:
As I suggested above, I'd compare it more to the T&A approach to much classic fantasy art and want a response similar to what it took to tone that down.

And as I responded above, I don't believe that that's a very good comparison.

Quote:
I think you're either vastly overstating the "real social harm against real people" or expecting a much harsher campaign than I think anyone is talking about.

This sounds an awful lot like "we're going to shame them, just not very much." Because bringing social harm to people is okay, so long as you don't hurt them too badly?

Quote:
OTOH, I can barely comprehend the idea of anyone actually being opposed to the use of boycotts, organized or otherwise. You're coming from an entirely different viewpoint than I have.

A personal boycott is simply a decision not to engage with a particular vendor, outlet, product, etc.

An organized boycott, on the other hand, is a private pressure group attempting to bring coercion via a threat (or insinuation, or other subtle suggestion) of economic harm if their target doesn't comply (e.g. "see all the names on this petition? Just think of how much business you'll lose from all the bad press we're about to unleash on you. Now, just stop selling these products, and we promise that this will all go away...").


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SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:

Given that there's a lot of humor around pointing out obvious flaws I tend to believe the average person's ability to detect those two things is quite low.

Just consider how many people actually think enough about summon monster to even realize the equivalency.

You're undoubtedly correct, but I still find it frustrating when so many people miss the point so completely.

Quote:
And then of those people who do realize it at least some of them probably aren't comfortable with summon monster and so still wouldn't see summon sex partner in a joking way.

In which case I disagree with their opinion, but recognize that it is just a difference of opinion - though in that case, I'd posit that the latter spell is no more deserving of opprobrium than the former; and make no mistake, the author of the latter spell continues to catch hell for it, whereas I don't hear many ideological issues being raised with regard to the existing summon monster spells.


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Aranna wrote:
In your opinion only.

You do realize that you just made yourself the pot to my kettle, right?

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