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Shelf Life - Road to El Cazador


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erinfinnegan
ANN Columnist


Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 598

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:39 am Reply with quote
TC-man wrote:
And if you haven't read Yotsuba&! yet you should, since this slice of life manga has the similar light-hearted atmosphere... [snip]
I don't know whether you have confused Chiyo (orange hair) with Yotsuba (green hair) or not, when you are refering to sites like 4chan etc.. Well, what I can say is that Yotsuba can't do anything herself about the fact that she has become an icon for the mentioned site. Poor girl!

Of course I read Yotsuba&! I like it, but I'm a slightly weirded out whenever Jumbo is attracted to the middle sister instead of, say, the oldest one. I think I would be cool with it if it was the other way around, like if the junior high girl liked 20-something Jumbo instead, it would be realistic instead of slightly creepy.

Actually all of the Yotsuba& kind of makes me think about the declining birth rate in Japan. Like, there are a lot of 30-something otaku dudes out there who are longing to be fathers. Yotsuba& could almost be read as a sort of wish fulfillment - Yotsuba was adopted by a single man, after all. (She's like Punky Brewster!)

Nevertheless, why do I feel like a perv when I'm at a con, and there's a young Yotsuba cosplayer, and I have to ask her dad's permission to take her picture? This has happened to me at least twice.
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Blood-
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 14987
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:33 am Reply with quote
Hey, any chance Shelf Life will eventually get a horndog male otaku commentator so that we don't have to read the same, standard, prudish hysteria EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! an underage female character shows up onscreen in anything less than a head to foot outfit that the Taliban would approve of? Bamboo seemed to be obsessed with the presumptive onanist habits of the male viewing audience too and now we have Bamboo Redux. Jesus Christ.
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 7013
Location: Snake Mountain Cocktail Lounge

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
Hey, any chance Shelf Life will eventually get a horndog male otaku commentator so that we don't have to read the same, standard, prudish hysteria EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! an underage female character shows up onscreen in anything less than a head to foot outfit that the Taliban would approve of? Bamboo seemed to be obsessed with the presumptive onanist habits of the male viewing audience too and now we have Bamboo Redux. Jesus Christ.


There are approximately 8.9 billion blogs out there that would accommodate your desire to have a standard-issue male otaku talk about anime he likes.

Feel free to go read those instead of bitching about Shelf Life.
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Conversation



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:28 pm Reply with quote
erinfinnegan wrote:
TC-man wrote:
And if you haven't read Yotsuba&! yet you should, since this slice of life manga has the similar light-hearted atmosphere... [snip]
I don't know whether you have confused Chiyo (orange hair) with Yotsuba (green hair) or not, when you are refering to sites like 4chan etc.. Well, what I can say is that Yotsuba can't do anything herself about the fact that she has become an icon for the mentioned site. Poor girl!

Of course I read Yotsuba&! I like it, but I'm a slightly weirded out whenever Jumbo is attracted to the middle sister instead of, say, the oldest one. I think I would be cool with it if it was the other way around, like if the junior high girl liked 20-something Jumbo instead, it would be realistic instead of slightly creepy.

Actually all of the Yotsuba& kind of makes me think about the declining birth rate in Japan. Like, there are a lot of 30-something otaku dudes out there who are longing to be fathers. Yotsuba& could almost be read as a sort of wish fulfillment - Yotsuba was adopted by a single man, after all. (She's like Punky Brewster!)

Nevertheless, why do I feel like a perv when I'm at a con, and there's a young Yotsuba cosplayer, and I have to ask her dad's permission to take her picture? This has happened to me at least twice.


I hope I can stay out of the fray and still say something in defence of Yotsuba&.

When Jumbo meets Fuuka (age 16) for the first time, his reaction is: ”Whoa! A beautiful young girl!” He then proceeds to tell his friend Koiwai: “What’s the big idea?! She’s too young for you!” Soon after this he falls in love with a college student (Asagi). Fuuka he considers a kid.

While I do feel that it is inappropriate for an grown man to tell a 16-year-old girl that she is “beautiful” or “attractive” the first time he sees her, I don’t think there is anything particularly odd about a man in his twenties thinking such things. In other words, Jumbo is being rude – but hardly creepy.
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Generic #757858



Joined: 03 Nov 2008
Posts: 1354

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:47 pm Reply with quote
erinfinnegan wrote:
Of course I read Yotsuba&! I like it, but I'm a slightly weirded out whenever Jumbo is attracted to the middle sister instead of, say, the oldest one. I think I would be cool with it if it was the other way around, like if the junior high girl liked 20-something Jumbo instead, it would be realistic instead of slightly creepy.


Uh, what? Jumbo does have the hots for Asagi, pretty badly in fact. It's like Conversation said, Fuuka's just a kid to him.

Sorry, didn't mean to attack you, just wanted to point that out.
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gingi789



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:30 pm Reply with quote
Umm.....could we stop beating this dead horse already? I'll admit, i'm not a fan; i disagreed with Erin's review of the Gunslinger Girl OVA (though that was in part because she opened it with "i've only seen a few episodes of this"), but this is bordering on kafka-esque. Someone tells her her opinion (which varies from person to person, by the way-i happen to dislike Ergo Proxy, but there are a bunch of people who i'm sure love it) and someone tells her why her opinion is wrong. That's why her column is in views, and not news. Opinions can't be right or wrong-they're not based on facts. That's why this isn't a straight up anime review-and even so, you can disagree with the reviewer. It's ok. It's not the end of the world. The world isn't going to stop just because they like something that you don't, or dislike something that you do. Speed Grapher for example. Loved the anime-then came on here and found the reviewers hated it. So i grumbled for a few moments, and then went on to the next review.

Though, to be fair, if you're going for morally iffy, i do think context is somewhat important. I don't think that any part of Gunslinger Girls is wank material-and it does have some relevance to the story. But that's my opinion.

I may not agree with all of her reviews, but it doesn't mean i'm going to spend a week telling her why her opinion is wrong in the forums. Lighten up-i thought these were supposed to be tounge in cheek reviews of anime that was out right now-not the flashpoint for a no holds barred battle.

Anyway, rock on......shelf life girl? Smile
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 775

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:23 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
Blood- wrote:
Hey, any chance Shelf Life will eventually get a horndog male otaku commentator so that we don't have to read the same, standard, prudish hysteria EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! an underage female character shows up onscreen in anything less than a head to foot outfit that the Taliban would approve of? Bamboo seemed to be obsessed with the presumptive onanist habits of the male viewing audience too and now we have Bamboo Redux. Jesus Christ.


There are approximately 8.9 billion blogs out there that would accommodate your desire to have a standard-issue male otaku talk about anime he likes.

Feel free to go read those instead of bitching about Shelf Life.


Laughing

Honestly though, these"standard issue male otaku blogs" are not really easy to find, and most of the blogs you're talking about aren't even legibly written.

The majority of anime blogs I find generally do have a fairly negative attitude towards male "otaku" tendencies. (And then proceed to paste their avatar and webpage full of "moe" and half-naked "loli" images, all while condemning this practice in every other blog post... Confused )

As for the Azumanga talk in here, it is absolutely and utterly a "cute girls doing cutely amusing things" show aimed specifically at the male demographic who enjoys that kind of thing. But the show itself is fairly harmless and does what it does well. When anime fans review the show, they review it based on that alone. And you can enjoy a show/movie even though it may be used for suspect purposes by other people. For example, James Bond. On the surface, just another action movie franchise right? For some though, it is escapism to a world where women are objects to conquer and men can bypass all the fluffy stuff and get to the sex and violence. But it's still a damn fun franchise.

As long as you are aware of and accept that fact you can still enjoy something without getting too deluded by what it's doing on a subliminal level.
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chefneer
Aria CompanyAria Company


Joined: 27 Aug 2009
Posts: 1214
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:45 pm Reply with quote
Shelf Life is an opinion piece. What Erin writes in it is her opinion, and no one elses. You don't like her opinion? Tough. Deal with it. No one is asking for your approval. As Zac wrote earlier in this thread, if her column bothers you so much, don't read it. Belittling her for expressing her opinion accomplishes nothing, so save yourself the aggravation, heartburn and elevated blood pressure and direct your attention somewhere else.

Erin, I read Shelf Life every week. I also read your articles in Otaku USA. Do I always agree with everything you write? Who cares! You certainly shouldn't. Whether or not I agree with something you write in any particular portion of any particular article is my problem. I think you're doing a fine job.

This horse has been beaten for so long, and so vigorously, that it's barely recognizable as having once been a horse.

Give it a rest.


Last edited by chefneer on Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tuxedocat
He started itHe started it


Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 2134

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:51 pm Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
Hey, any chance Shelf Life will eventually get a horndog male otaku commentator so that we don't have to read the same, standard, prudish hysteria EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! an underage female character shows up onscreen in anything less than a head to foot outfit that the Taliban would approve of? Bamboo seemed to be obsessed with the presumptive onanist habits of the male viewing audience too and now we have Bamboo Redux. Jesus Christ.


Actually, having female reviewers like Bamboo, Erin, Hope, and others I've seen around the internet just seems to confirm that the demographic for anime here has become a bit different from the demographic for anime in Japan. As the female fanbase for anime grows over here (and I really have observed that happening), there is going to be a correlation to how many female reviewers are writing about it.

I can't really fault Erin for how she perceived the OVA. My guess? Her knowledge, not her ignorance, of the subject is what fueled her opinion. I too, am somewhat suspicious when I see an underage character depicted in a swimsuit. Considering the volume of what is released in Japan, the trend toward this kind of subject, and to what audience it is directed, it is difficult to not be suspicious given that criteria. Sometime it can color our opinions, unfortunately.
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:14 pm Reply with quote
"Suspicious" would be putting it gently. There's really very little doubt that a lot of anime creators want to have their cake and eat it too. Franchises like GSG may very well have truly noble and ambitious intentions in mind...but don't disregard the input of producers, networks and shareholders. That's why quite often you have a show that simultaneously criticizes and panders to its audience at the same time. That's marketing at work there.

When I see GSG, I'm reminded of Leon/The Professional (Little girls with guns), and I can pretty much tell which of the two has been more touched by marketing execs. And you know what, nobody criticizes Leon for being skeezy even though Besson has actually come out and said that there is still a definite sexual element there in Natalie Portman. But the point is that film wasn't made to pander to lolicons AT ALL. It was basically made to appeal to, and mostly for, french-style thriller fans.


GSG may not exclusively appeal to male fans of that persuasion, but it can't help but still subtly do it anyway. Oh, they're a clever bunch though. You can't really say they're actually SHOWING anything, but you know very well that the creators just *know* THOSE GUYS will be watching this.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 599
Location: Canterlot Suburbs

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:43 pm Reply with quote
PetrifiedJello wrote:
As for El Cazador, does the narration happen only at the beginning or is it throughout the episode? When I read this, I instantly thought of the same approach taken with Blade Runner and it was... ugh.


I saw the Director's Cut of Blade Runner before I saw the stuff with narration in it. I felt the narration was out of place. Apparently, Harrison Ford had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the studio to do this.

DerekTheRed wrote:
So, regarding Cazador... Is Nadie supposed to be Latina? Because nadie in Spanish means "no one," which I find funny. Sort of like how GM had to change the name of the Chevy Nova in Mexico because "no va" means "it doesn't go" in Spanish, which would be a hilarious name for a car.

EDIT: You know, I figured I should check on that Nova thing, because I couldn't remember where I'd heard it, and according to Wikipedia it's just an urban legend. But I still think it's funny.


For the record, it isn't true. The Nova sold better than GM had predicted, and Nova also happens to be the name of a major gasoline company in Mexico, an industry that you'd think would be affected by "no va" even more so than cars. Here's a Snopes article that explains it in great detail.

CBongo wrote:
Just another example of the differences between American and Japanese culture (the Japanese folks tend to be a LOT less... "expressive" about their feelings, both in public and private).

By Western standards this portrayal indeed seems downright bizarre, but to someone from Japan it's going to seem a lot closer to "normal".


That makes me curious. How do the Japanese view the behavior of American young'uns in regards to sex and sexual expression? Do they see Americans as sex-starved maniacs? I mean...a lot of Americans as portrayed in anime are loud, brash, large, and obnoxiously sexually open.

Though of course, as so much discussion has happened on the topic, there are some forms of sex that everyone in America is okay with and infact becomes saturated seeing them, and then there are some where we're trained via culture to feel repulsed by them. While having girls in middle school portrayed with swimsuits on the beach would be perfectly normal, I think American media tends to avoid putting them at the center of such sequences or actively draw attention away from what they're wearing. If a show is about kids but there are adults as major characters, the adults become the center of attention (like in The Simpsons). If there are no adults, you just have people acting like they were far from any water--they just happen to be on the beach, building sandcastles or surfing or whatever (like in Peanuts). Pretty much the only place you'll ever see underage girls wearing swimsuits as the focus is in catalogues selling girls' swimwear...and even then it feels like the department stores are apprehensive about it and take every measure to make sure it's meant only for parents, like placing them in the middle of the catalogue or accompanying a single image with many pictures of the swimsuits on a clothes hanger.

It thus would stand out to an American viewer like Erin to see not only characters undeniably physically under 18 wearing bikinis and whatnot, but from my impressions reading on what's been said, attention is drawn to their swimsuits and the way they dress. Me, I've seen far, far less anime than I have American TV and I'd probably be quick to notice this and get disturbed by it myself.
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:58 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:
Though of course, as so much discussion has happened on the topic, there are some forms of sex that everyone in America is okay with and infact becomes saturated seeing them, and then there are some where we're trained via culture to feel repulsed by them. While having girls in middle school portrayed with swimsuits on the beach would be perfectly normal, I think American media tends to avoid putting them at the center of such sequences or actively draw attention away from what they're wearing. If a show is about kids but there are adults as major characters, the adults become the center of attention (like in The Simpsons). If there are no adults, you just have people acting like they were far from any water--they just happen to be on the beach, building sandcastles or surfing or whatever (like in Peanuts). Pretty much the only place you'll ever see underage girls wearing swimsuits as the focus is in catalogues selling girls' swimwear...and even then it feels like the department stores are apprehensive about it and take every measure to make sure it's meant only for parents, like placing them in the middle of the catalogue or accompanying a single image with many pictures of the swimsuits on a clothes hanger.
.


Americans are more apprehensive about it, but there's definitely been a shift in the direction of younger skewing--and underage--females in American media.

Look at the sexualization of Britney Spears back when she was 16. Oh sure, parents groups complained, media pundits yakked, but when all is said and done, Britney was doing her coo-coo poses and thangs all over the covers of Rolling Stone, Teen, MTV and what have you. At 24 she was considered a washup and now she's just considered "old" by Hollywood standards.

A similar phenomenon has happened with Miley. A few "suggestive" photos here and there may have got the parents and talking heads out, but they didn't stop the barrage of Miley-as-sex-object promotion at all.

Or how about the American Apparel ads? They got slammed for showing presumably teenage girls in gritty, suggestive pics but that hasn't stopped its use and popularity.

I wouldn't try to place America on some more conservative ground here. There's this conservative-liberal dynamic at work here in that we talk the talk, but the action shows something else.

More damning about American media is just how many young female stars have been dropped by promotion companies after hitting age 25, and the amount of venom the hype machine spews toward some of these "aging" females. Bring them up when they're young and take them down when they're no longer young and vogue, right? To me that hints at the larger trend in America of exploitation of young females. Disney is the master of this, and I can't believe nobody has actually analyzed it further.
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Baltimoron



Joined: 17 Sep 2009
Posts: 43
Location: Charm City

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:33 pm Reply with quote
JairStout wrote:
Why bother to respond to me at all if you have no intention of continuing after this post? Irregardless...


People who use the non-word "irregardless" do not get to insult anyone else's prose.
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Kaioshin_Sama



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Posts: 993

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:34 pm Reply with quote
I'm really liking that lately I'm starting to find these reviews that take a much tougher stance on Clannad After Story (which I sometimes jokingly refer to as Clannad Overrated/Overhyped Story) then I'm used to seeing. i.e people forgetting or just not forgetting to critique it at all and just showering it with fanboyish praise as the greatest anime of all time.

It's interesting because just last night I nominated it as my undisputed #1 pick for most overrated/overhyped anime of all time in a related thread on another board, but not for the reasons listed in the article in question which I now think are equally good. Nagisa really is just a boring and uninteresting character for a female lead in the long run and there are just far to many holes in the narrative and more macguffin's then you can shake a stick at for a series that has been so heavily praised and highly ranked even on ANN which has some of the only people I've seen willing to actually critique this show and where I think it's hit #1 or close to it after less than a year of being finished on the timelessly questionable Top 50 section.

I'm not saying it doesn't have it's share of highlights nor that it isn't a pretty show, but it's legacy to me is not unlike that of Hernan Cortes and the Conquistadors who conquered and converted an entire civilization of people (In Clannad's case younger anime fans) not through unquestionably peerless skill and tact, but mostly by being in the right place at the right time and knowing exactly how to take advantage of that civilizations eager willingness to accept and worship them as bonified gods because of a prophecy (in Clannad AS' case hype and a release right off of the heels of the successful and popular Kanon).
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Blood-
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:40 pm Reply with quote
tuxedocat wrote:
I can't really fault Erin for how she perceived the OVA. My guess? Her knowledge, not her ignorance, of the subject is what fueled her opinion. I too, am somewhat suspicious when I see an underage character depicted in a swimsuit. Considering the volume of what is released in Japan, the trend toward this kind of subject, and to what audience it is directed, it is difficult to not be suspicious given that criteria. Sometime it can color our opinions, unfortunately.


Well, all I can say is that somebody who has delicate sensibilities will find no shortage of opportunities to vent their moral outrage in anime. About what? - 80 percent all anime series made prominently feature female characters under the age of 18 wearing schoolgirl outfits, swimwear and less. Perhaps the "Shelf Life" column should be renamed "Stuff that I, Erin, Find Gross and Creepy (and That You Digusting Pervs Are Probably Jacking To)." Rolling Eyes
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