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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
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Location: Romania, Bucharest
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:39 pm Reply with quote
I share Sailor Moon as the first anime I ever saw that had an actual gay couple. Luckily the Italian dub did not change the fact that they were lovers.
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Punch Drunk Marc



Joined: 04 Oct 2013
Posts: 482
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:46 pm Reply with quote
DmonHiro wrote:
I share Sailor Moon as the first anime I ever saw that had an actual gay couple. Luckily the Italian dub did not change the fact that they were lovers.


Being in America I fell for that trap. If anything DiC (who I believe aired the show here) created a giant problem by making Neptune & Uranus cousins. But you know America, gotta protect those "good Christian Family values" by not showing two consenting adults in love because of their gender. Nah, let's just make them related. That'll make the entire thing better. Rolling Eyes
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DmonHiro



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:49 pm Reply with quote
Punch Drunk Marc wrote:
Nah, let's just make them related. That'll make the entire thing better. Rolling Eyes

Actually, I never thought about it that way. But yeah.... cousins acting like that would be... creepy...
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kpk



Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 477
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:57 pm Reply with quote
Are things getting better?

Yes and no. There are a lot more LGBT main characters in anime shows, but most of the time their sexuality isn't treated seriously and even when it does (like in Yuri on Ice, No. 6) there still this... vagueness to it. They make it as clear as they can, without outright saying it, which is a problem to me. If it's a girl and a boy who gets together they don't make it vague, they'll tell others they're dating. It's really annoying. Not to mention homophobic stereotype are still going strong. Two women is "HOT" and treated like nothing more than fanservice to please the men. Feminine, flamboyant men are still being made fun of. When two guys are doing stuff with each other that seems "gay" or a guy think another guy is hitting on him and he's not gay, he or other characters will note how "disgusting" the whole thing is, without any other character correcting them and telling them they are wrong. I feel like anime and manga needs to be a bit more politically correct in this regard like in America and a lot of other countries.


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Parsifal24



Joined: 20 Apr 2010
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Location: Holland MI
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:16 pm Reply with quote
Yeah the predatory homosexual archetype has always bugged me as well. One of the best examples of the character type I can think of is Tsukamoto Yuuji from the 1994 OVA Osakana wa Ami no Naka . I'm glad Utena gets people talking about art in depth but Kunihiko Ikuhara's work treads that very thin line between pretension and genius for me.

Frankly I find the Utena Anime incomprehensible. David Wells referd to Blade Runer as (to paraphrase liberally) the most Postmodern movie ever in his book Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World . I have a feeling Wells never saw Utena but I digress.

As far as representation done rightly it can teach empathy and while I may not agree with the overall worldview of a series like Wandering Son or Sweet Blue Flowers it did teach me to be more empathetic towards people. done poorly it cans either end feeling like agitprop or weirdly tone deaf about the people group it's supposed to be talking about or simply be fetishism.


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Stuart Smith



Joined: 13 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:23 pm Reply with quote
kpk wrote:
Yes and no. There are a lot more LGBT main characters in anime shows, but most of the time their sexuality isn't treated seriously and even when it does (like in Yuri on Ice, No. 6) there still this... vagueness to it. They make it as clear as they can, without outright saying, which is a problem to me. If it's a girl and boy who gets together they don't make it vague, they'll tell others they're dating. It's really annoying.


The main problem here is people are assuming that a gay character is meant for gay viewers to relate to and not simply appealing to straight men or women. Yuri and yaoi subtext are not necessarily made for actual gay and lesbian people to relate to, but to appeal to people who like seeing cute guys and gals together. 'Baiting' is generally more successful and profitable than outright explicitness. Weather because fans like the idea of subtext over explicitness or having ambiguity in order to appeal to both sides of a fanbase. My money is on subtext is generally seen as cuter.

That's the main reason I have with people trying to apply American "LGBT" mindsets to anime. It doesn't really work and is essentially trying to put a round peg into a square hole. It is just going to lead to disappointment when you find out that gay character or subtext is actually made for otaku and fujoshi.

Quote:
When two guys are doing stuff with each other that seems "gay" or a guy think another guy is hitting on him and he's not gay, he or other characters will note how "disgusting" the whole thing is, without any other character correcting them and telling them they are wrong.


I don't really see nothing wrong with those kinds of jokes. It's pretty basic humor of a character getting into a situation they don't like and reacting to it. I don't find it any different to if a guy was being hit on by an ugly fat girl or a girl being hit on by some nerdy creeper or anything similar.

-Stuart Smith
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Zin5ki
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:47 pm Reply with quote
Thank you for a very illuminating episode! Out of everything that was discussed, the case of Pokémon in particular was something I certainly wouldn't have considered beforehand, had it not been pointed out.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:10 pm Reply with quote
Parsifal24 wrote:
Yeah the predatory homosexual archetype has always bugged me as well. I'm glad Utena gets people talking about art in depth but Kunihiko Ikuhara's work treads that very thin line between pretension and genius for me.


As the running joke goes around here, every time there's an Utena or SM SuperS discussion about the director's gender-agendas or artsy over-stylization...."Ikuhara is weird. Confused "

His self-indulgent style and personal thematic distractions (as also turned up in discussions about the SM R Movie) tends to set the tone for most of the core El Gee Bee Tee anime fan community, who've established the image that they don't seem to want to talk about Utena in any other context, or watch Moon for any other reason than U&N.
It creates both the good and bad stereotypes that the rest of the anime community has about them, in that they want to watch "themselves"--even if that means coming up with wishfully personal-inserted "allegorical subtexts" about Ranma Saotome's cold-water problems--rather than take a show on its own terms like the rest of us for the simpler reason that it's just darn good.
(The wish for personally "customizing" every relationship of favorite characters to suit themselves started becoming an angry hot-button topic when we had LGBT fans campaigning that they'd like Disney or Marvel so much better if Queen Elsa or Captain America came Out like the fans had imagined they would.)

The image is that the niche fans want to watch "Their" show, not "Ours", and then get upset if the rest of us don't want to play along and get tired of talking about "Theirs".
Which starts bringing up the larger, angrier accusations about either side "Not playing well with others".
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BodaciousSpacePirate
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:19 pm Reply with quote
This is great, I've been wanting you guys to bring Erica Friedman back on the show for a while.
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angelmcazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:20 pm Reply with quote
Thanks to the panelists for this progressive discussion. Zac saying that Yuri!!! on Ice portrays people being gay as part of life seems simplistic, but it is a very powerful statement. I have my issues with Yuri!!! on Ice being too much of a generic sports anime, but I agree that it is a seminal work for LGBTQ representation in anime.

The first anime that made me think about LGBTQ issues is the relationship of the Nanas in NANA. The best portrayal I have seen of lesbians is Sweet Blue Flowers. I have actually watched more respectful portrayal of gay men than of gay women. The best portrayal of gay men to me is Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju.
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yuricon



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 94
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:55 pm Reply with quote
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:
This is great, I've been wanting you guys to bring Erica Friedman back on the show for a while.


Aww, thanks! It's always a pleasure talking with the folks here. I learn so damn *much* every time. I love that. Anime smile
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yuricon



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 94
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:10 pm Reply with quote
Just wanted to thank Zac for giving this conversation space on the ANNCast. It was great fun. Anime smile I always learn a lot from listening to Jacob and Jason. And it was a genuine pleasure to meet Valerie. Anime smile

Just a couple of quick show notes on my part.

I was delighted to be able to mention Claudine by Riyoko Ikeda, Murcielago by Yoshimura Kana (coming out this year in English from Yen Press) and Otouto no Otto by Tagame Gengoroh, coming out this year from Pantheon Books as My Brother's Husband. (I said it was IDW during the recording. My apologies for the mistake.)

Also, I didn't have a chance to mention this, but on April 14-15 in San Francisco, Tagame-sensei will be a keynote speaker at the Queers & Comics Conference, along with Mariko Tamaki and, I hope Nakamura Kiyo, creator of Yuri manga GUNJO will also be there. There will be several panels about LGBTQ manga and I hope you'll consider attending if you're in the area!

Cheers,

Erica
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Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 368
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:25 pm Reply with quote
Murcielago is so good. I've read all the scans but bought the first volume from Yen Press anyway, and have read it twice since then. God bless Yen Press, god bless Koumori, and god bless murderous suit-wearing lesbians everywhere. I've thought about whether Koumori is damaging as far as representation goes but can't really tell either way. What isn't hard to tell is that she's cool as hell, and so is that whole manga. I feel like I noticed something new each time I read the first volume.


Regarding Otouto no Otto, I think one of the really special things about that manga, even beyond its very naturalistic representation, is the incredibly nuanced way it deals with bigotry, in a way that I don't think I've ever seen in anything else. Having the main character slowly recognize that opinions he thought were basic and normal, and may have not even recognized as ones that he held, are actually damaging to another human being, is a really brilliant way to portray how bigotry can exist as this kind of incipient status quo as long as it never runs into something that challenges it. The manga is basically about the hetero protagonist dissolving his bigotry to form a friendship with his late brother's husband, so the conceit establishes that despite their vastly different experiences, the two main adults share this common human relationship in the late brother - as the protagonist recognizes this, he recognizes that opinions he thought were benign actually aren't, so you get a really organic depiction of how bigotry can both normalize itself, and since the POV character is normally the hetero dude, you get to see the logic of it playing out inside of his head. It's definitely an important series.
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Heishi



Joined: 06 Mar 2016
Posts: 483
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:06 pm Reply with quote
Interesting conversation...
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BodaciousSpacePirate
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:35 pm Reply with quote
鏡 wrote:
God bless Yen Press, god bless Koumori, and god bless murderous suit-wearing lesbians everywhere.


On that note, I am extremely impressed by the improvements in representation that Yun Koga has made to her murderous lesbian assassin manga, Akuma no Riddle.

It felt like the anime served as a test run for some of the franchise's shakier elements, and that the creative team really took fan criticisms into account. While the anime (and, similarly, the first few volumes of the manga) was pretty disappointing in terms of depicting actual-factual same-sex relationships, the manga's final volume stepped up its game and made the transition from subtext to real text.

In my opinion, establishing which characters were and weren't in monogamous romantic relationships at the end of the series totally justified the author's decision to end her story spoiler[without killing off any characters] - after all, if you're going to pull that kind of bait and switch, you might as well give your story the happiest ending possible.


Last edited by BodaciousSpacePirate on Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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