Aug. 20th, 2012

starfire11: (Mira)
As if there aren't enough already.

So the last time I was at AUSA, I was an Anime Parliament in the evening, and it was fun. And since I didn't get have the references and still found it funny, that really says something.

Except for the beginning. Which was kind of embarrassing. There was this one girl who wanted to advocate a case for making all the characters in every anime, at least once, wear traditional Japanese clothing.

Ignoring the fact that the idea is really stupid, she didn't make even a half-decent case for it. She kept using circular reasoning and doing one of those "look, it's all right there" and kind of ignoring subtle cues (typically in the form of pointed questions) people were trying to give about where the argument should go to maybe convince some people. It's worse because I'm pretty sure she had a mental disability of some sort... and so no one wanted to actively shout her down like we typically do.

To put it simply, it's a bad idea because there is no reason for every character in all of anime and manga to wear Japanese clothing at least once in their series. Some series don't take place in Japan. Some stories don't take place on Earth. Some stories don't feature Japanese characters. Some stories take place long after the Earth (and Japan) have been destroyed. Some stories never even had a Japan or something similar to begin with! That's ignoring the fact that a lot of series don't easily feature scenarios where such a thing could occur even for the wildest of reasons.

Anyway... I mean to say that I'm not against the use of Japanese cultural items in a story (which is sort of what she was getting at - she wanted people to reminded that these series are representative of Japanese contributions to culture, and are, in essence, Japanese, or something like that, even if it doesn't make sense character and story-wise). She was also talking about the fact that newer anime and manga are consistently moving further away from more culturally Japanese subjects, which is actually completely untrue (I've actually seen a RISE in the use of Japan as a setting and a cultural foundation for the story in recent years - just because it's not all samurai and Japanese high schools doesn't mean it's further from Japanese culture; note, some of the most popular mainstream stories, Naruto, Bleach, InuYasha, and others, are Japanese culturally, in many aspects).

That being said, YST is one of the most culturally Japanese anime I know. It uses Japanese-style armor, weapons, fighting styles, monks, spirituality, mythology, settings, symbols and historical figures (and possibly other things).

There are so many shows where a Japanese style weapon, or a weapon that become well-used in Japan, just shows up, and suddenly it's considered Japanese. There are tons of shows where they are SUPPOSED to be in Japan. Somewhere. Probably in a general area near some city, in a forest or by a lake somewhere. I haven't seen many series that use as many distinct landmarks in the first couple episodes.

Despite all of this, they bring in, among other things, Jun, who, among other things, represents American and Western influences on Japan. I'm assuming this was to appeal to American audiences.

The kid rides a skateboard. Yeah, skateboarding probably came from surfing, which came early on from an area near Japan, but honestly, skateboarding is apparently an American-born sport.

The kid acts as a cheerleading squad for the gang. He does literally nothing else until they bring in the Jewel of Life, which protects them while the boys and Byakuen are away (ignoring contrived rescue scenarios, where Jun REALLY doesn't do anything anyway) .

He's the young, adventurous boy, who just wants to be an action hero. Huh. WHO DOES THAT REMIND US OF?

He's the at-risk child. Huh. WHERE DOES THAT REMIND US OF?

He brings in this cheesy, corny, feel-good element even though it's really, really lame and there's no reason to that reminds me of old American television. I'm curious if that's what they were trying to mimic. While it's something you find a lot at an anime's worst moments (typically), it can be pulled off well. And they just fail abysmally with this show.

Just stop RUINING things, Jun! I like seeing how this story is put together! I like all the Japanese culture! Go be a stupid, useless, mock-American kid SOMEWHERE ELSE!

I have a lot of anger right now. And I'm tired. Night.


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