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Hey, Answerman! - Character Arc de Triumph


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littlegreenwolf
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Joined: 10 Aug 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:35 pm Reply with quote
I wouldn't say Rumiko Takahashi doesn't care at all. She specifically requested for Kappei to play Inu Yasha, and she got him.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:39 pm Reply with quote
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Rumiko Takahashi, for one, couldn't be any less interested in the anime adaptations of her work, and typically lets the animation staff do with her stories what they will.


I heard she got Oshii axed off Urusei Yatsura, 'cus he was showing her up.

Quote:
(Although, if Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Evolution are any indication, he doesn't exactly have too high of a standard.)


Also, Toriyama had nothing to do with Evolution.
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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:59 pm Reply with quote
So, in a sense, Answerman compared Yaoi to 50 Shades of Grey?
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poonk



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:55 pm Reply with quote
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a LOT, if not most, of yaoi deals in some way with kink and/or a relationship involving dominance and submissivness.
Strange, how am I missing all this? Sure, I can think of some titles but not that many. Certainly not anywhere near approaching "most."

Unless if by "dominance/submissiveness" one means the whole uke/seme stereotypical thing, to which I would suggest that's really a separate issue from kink/BDSM.
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zensunni



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 745

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:11 pm Reply with quote
I haven't seen either of the two master/slave stories that are mentioned in the letter, but from the description that Brian gives, the main problem I see with them is the forced nature of the relationships presented. I suppose it is possible to write a story that starts with a forced dominance situation and isn't just icky, but I have yet to find one.

A manga that seems to get it right, in my opinion, is Ryuta Amazume's Nana to Karou. It is also a story about a dominant/submissive relationship, but avoids, for the most part, the forced aspect of the relationship. The basic set-up of the story is as follows (In spoilers in case you don't want to know.)

spoiler[Nana is the perfect high school student. She is beautiful, popular, athletic, gets the top grades in her class, and is the vice president of the student council. (I think we can all agree that we've met her before...) However, she does have some problems, one of which is that she is pathologically incapable of saying no when someone asks her for a favor and one of her teachers has noticed that her perfection is starting to slip. She doesn't always get the best grade recently, she seems rattled, tired, and generally over stressed. She tells her that she needs to learn how to "take a breather" every once in a while, kick back and relax, de-stress, whatever you want to call it. She tells her that she has a way that she relaxes and suggests she find something that works for her. (How the teacher kicks back is a bit unclear, but seems to have to do with dressing in sexy cloths...)

Karou is Nana's childhood friend. Up until about four or five years ago, they were very close, always playing together, etc... Around the time that Nana started to really shine, both as a student and a young woman, Karou started to fade. He is small, shorter than Nana, nonathletic, and in the lowest class in a school where the classes are separated by academic level. At some point, he just stopped caring about school. He and several of the guys in his class are known generally around school as huge perverts, and Karou, in particular, is into S&M. He spends a large amount of his time and his single mother's money on S&M related videos, magazines, and even "toys".

As the story begins, we see Karou admiring his latest acquisition: an S&M equipped leather outfit that he ordered specifically in Nana's size. Not that he expects to ever see her wear it, but it seems that he is hopelessly smitten with his childhood friend, though he knows the distance between them is far to wide and that he is so unsuited to be "by her side" that is isn't even worth thinking about. That doesn't stop him from thinking though. Nothing can. He is much too far gone to be able to stop fantasizing about his childhood friend, whose bedroom is right on the other side of the wall from his own.

His mother, angry over the amount of money he spends on his "toys" decides to teach him a lesson, sneaks into his room, packs up all of the S&M paraphernalia she can find into a bag, and heads off to work. Knowing how much they cost, she doesn't want to actually throw it away. She just wants to teach him a lesson, so she gives the bag to their reliable neighbor, her son's childhood friend, Nana to keep for a couple of days.

Nana, not being able to refuse a request, takes the bag and can't help but look to see what these "toys" Karou's mother is talking about are. To her disgust, she finds all of the S&M gear and cloths. Seeing the new leather outfit, she wonders if this is the type of thing that Karou likes to wear, but then realizes it is much to large for him. She holds it up to herself and thinks that it might just fit her... She recalls the suggestion of her teacher about wearing sexy outfits and decides to see if it fits. To her shock it fits almost perfectly! She wonders if Karou bought it with her in mind, then notices that it has a padlock that, if activated, will make her unable to take it off without a key, which wasn't in the bag. One thing leads to another and she, of course, locks the padlock, meaning she has to confront Karou about helping her take it off.

Karou takes advantage of the situation to make her act the role of the submissive to his dom, but takes it a bit too far and gets punished by her instead. In the process, the key gets broken and he has to destroy the outfit to get it off of Nana. It is a generally bad situation, but Nana finds that she is able to sleep better that night than she has in weeks and her scores in school start to go up again. She wonders if this kind of thing might not make a good "Breather" to relieve her stress, to take away all control, put herself at the mercy of someone who she inherently trusts, her childhood friend Karou, and play the submissive every once in a while to blow off steam. Thus their relationship starts to change from friends to partners in a complex dominance relationship.
]

It has much of the same kink, but the submissive wants the relationship the way it is. It is a way for her to relieve stress. A much better way to craft the story, with just as much kinky fun!
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lebrel



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:14 pm Reply with quote
Sunday Silence wrote:
So, in a sense, Answerman compared Yaoi to 50 Shades of Grey?


I think the possible comparison would be between Ai no Kusabi and 50 Shades of Can We Please Move On To Something Else Already, not yaoi as a whole.

When I read the question, I was kind of expecting that the answer wold include some discussion of gender and the reader experience, but as it didn't I'll throw it out here: reading Honey x Honey Drops as a straight woman/girl allows a much narrower range of fantasy than reading Ai no Kusabi.

The reader of HxHD is pretty clearly expected to take the position of identifying with Yuzuru (the girl), and its premise is tied up with the idea that men will be dominant and sexually aggressive because they're men, and women will be submissive and allow themselves to be taken advantage of because they're women. You, dear reader, are female, and therefore you will be the submissive partner, full stop.

If this was just a feature of HxHD, and there were an equal number of stories in which the female character is naturally and unquestioningly dominant over her male partner, I don't think the reaction to works like HxHD would be as severe. But shoujo romance is full of controlling, sexually abusive male love interests (hello, Black Bird!); there's a much smaller number of stories in which the female character dominates and molests the male love interest. I personally can't think of any in shoujo, offhand (there's a few in shounen, though, like Fleurs du Mal).

The habitual shoujo reader is repeatedly reminded that women are submissive, and they like it. (And that's not even getting into actual BDSM-themed stuff.) The only way to imagine yourself as dominant is to imagine yourself as the male character, which means you're making love to a woman, which the straight female reader may not find particularly satisfying. That's what moves stuff like HxHD from "kink" to "obnoxious"; being told, for the umpteen zillionth time, that having a vag means you are a sub, forever and ever, amen.

Yaoi in general and Ai no Kusabi in specific, however, has a different range of reader possibilities. Firstly, anatomy isn't destiny; neither of the characters is a woman, so if there is a D/s relationship the reader isn't pounded over the head with "women are submissive, men are dominant". D/s-flavored yaoi has submissive men it it (shock!), and that's presented as something normal and enjoyable (double shock!).

Secondly, yaoi leaves you free to identify with either partner. If you want to imagine yourself as the submissive partner, you can. If you want to imagine yourself as the dominant partner, you can do that too. You can choose who you want to be, and you can even switch "positions" upon rereading, depending on your mood at the time. The straight female reader isn't locked in to one role the way she is in a heterosexual story (which, again, wouldn't be a problem except that it's always the same role).

TL;DR version: D/s relationships in yaoi don't get as much visceral hate because they aren't pushing the same gender/sexuality buttons as D/s relationships in shoujo. It's much easier to see something like Ai no Kusabi as simply an expression of kink compared to Honey x Honey Drops, because the latter feeds into a pervasive stereotype that it's natural and sexy for men to be dominant and molest-y and for women to be submissive, directly as a function of what squishy bits you have and with no relation to individual personality or inclination. In the context of what else is out there, what kinds of stories female readers are being sold, stuff like HxHD feels less like kink and more like sexism.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:26 pm Reply with quote
Of course misandry exists, it just wasn't the reason in this case.
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Mikeski



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 380
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:06 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Of course misandry exists, it just wasn't the reason in this case.

Yeah, that was a strange thing for Brian to say. Wondering if he didn't mean something more like "Misandry isn't real. And if you [are a misandrist], please do not talk to me ever." because that would be funny, and follow from the previous lines. spoiler[Denying misandry wholesale is on the level of denying any other prejudice. Of course there are wrongheaded and/or outright insane people who hate men for being men, just as with any other possible targets.]

On the character-creation theme... picking up pen-and-paper roleplaying games might help (and be 94% easier than getting into shakespearean acting). It lets you (as either gamemaster or player) throw together what you think is a complete personality and then, through your fellow players, put it up against situations that you yourself didn't consider.
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GracieLizzy



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:14 pm Reply with quote
Yeah as very much a feminist (sex positive) I can tell you, misandry does exist and whilst misogyny is more obvious and till in general more common, misandry is real and is as just as bad for society a misogyny. It is misandry that leads to stuff like the scene in 40 Days and 40 Nights where a man is delirious and his ex-girlfriend has sex (which he is very much unwilling to do) with him whilst he is in this state and then HE is called out for HIS OWN RAPE whilst his RAPIST ex gets off scot free just so she can win a bet is treated as something the audience should laugh at is a prime example.

The same with Oliver Queen/Green Arrow when Lady Shado shot him when he was sick with fever and then had sex with him when he was so sick with fever that he was his girlfriend's name instead of Shado's and yet later comics implied it was his fault for being not faithful... over his rape.

This idea that men can't be raped is misandry and it is what puts me off a lot of yaoi as much as the misogyny puts me off stuff like Twilight, Black Bird and most of Mayu Shinjo's works. I don't like it. Now if it floats other peoples boats fine as it's not hurting me I just don't buy those books, but I would like to get my hands on more kinky manga but without the unpleasant (for me) rapey aspects.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:20 pm Reply with quote
Mikeski wrote:
Yeah, that was a strange thing for Brian to say. Wondering if he didn't mean something more like "Misandry isn't real. And if you [are a misandrist], please do not talk to me ever."


I sincerely hope that interpretation is what he actually meant. Because if we are to take him at face value he comes across as incredibly dislikeable and not at all intelligent for pretending that a very real prejudice (which also crops up in Anime fairly often, though not as much as misogyny) does not actually exist, and then telling people that they can't talk to him if they don't believe the same. I mean, what the heck? What happened to the nice Brian that used to be on The Click?

So yeah, again, I sincerely hope that it is just a mistake that slipped past his editor rather than his genuinely-held beliefs.
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clipeuh



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Posts: 88

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:05 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I kid! Misandry isn't real. And if you think it is, please do not talk to me ever.


How are you supposed to learn about something if you don't want to hear the opposing point of view? Misandry exists, just like misogyny or any other type of prejudice. No group is immune from discrimination. Confused
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angelmcazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:11 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, I have not seen many DVD/BD sets that I would consider "special editions." Most Funimation DVD/BD combos are being touted as limited editions, but I don't see how a nice art box, but with no extra stuff, makes it all that special or limited. I suppose I could call the NIS America releases special because they come with a nice book.

The truly special sets I have come across are the tree limited edition volumes of Madoka Magica, which are very nice. As far as how special or limited editions influence my purchasing habits, I do not like them much. Not so much because they are more expensive, but rather because I do not have enough shelf space to store bulkier boxes.

For series that I like a lot, I would consider buying special editions if they come with enough extra stuff that appeals to me.
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rheiders



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
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Location: Colorful Colorado :)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:12 pm Reply with quote
Maybe he misunderstood the precise meaning of the word? Misogyny (a hatred of women) is often used interchangeably with words like "sexism" or "chauvinism", which refer specifically to discrimination based on the belief that one gender is inferior to another. So it's not too much of a stretch for someone to mistake misandry (a hatred of men) for "sexism" towards men, which many people don't believe exists, for various reasons. The distinction may seem minor, but it's there, and I think it's pretty important.

You picked some great questions this week! I liked your answer about writing characters; it seems many people (including myself) have trouble defining what makes a "good" character. This explanation mirrors my opinion, but is much more eloquent, and will help me greatly the next time I have that argument with someone. ^^d
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Youkai Warrior



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:18 pm Reply with quote
clipeuh wrote:
Quote:
I kid! Misandry isn't real. And if you think it is, please do not talk to me ever.


How are you supposed to learn about something if you don't want to hear the opposing point of view? Misandry exists, just like misogyny or any other type of prejudice. No group is immune from discrimination. Confused


Too true. Misandry exists, and you can't learn about it unless you hear the opposing view. No group is immune to discrimination. If I had a dime for every time I saw groups being discriminated, I'd be rich.

lebrel wrote:
Quote:
50 Shades of Can We Please Move On To Something Else Already


That's a good one. Cool
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:19 pm Reply with quote
The reason behind the double standard is clear: there was never a period of time where men weren't considered people. Women were considered second class citizens for the longest time and while there have been great advancements in that area, sexism against women does still exist. A title like the one mentioned would bring back memories of when women were considered as nothing but possessions of their husbands, and the (justified) resentment towards that time period is still pretty fresh in a lot of minds.

Added to that, there's a common knee jerk reaction to this stuff: "What? This woman enjoys being dominated by a man? THAT MEANS THE AUTHOR IS SAYING ALL WOMEN SHOULD ENJOY BEING DOMINATED BY MEN!!!"

Men being dominated doesn't have that stigma attached to it. That's also why we can have all these violent tsundere characters around and no one raises a fuss compared to how they would if a man struck a woman.

Sexism, abuse, and rape directed at men are very real but in the public eye aren't seen as a big deal. Men are still expected to "suck it up" and be tough. And I know some extreme feminists who would say that men can't complain about such treatment since women had to suffer through it for years.

Some stuff is just unnacceptable regardless of the genders involved.

As far as kinks go, I'll take consentual sex in the missionary position any day.
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