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Metanomaly



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 107
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:21 pm Reply with quote
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However, even if you buy this argument, Kinsella is bound to raise some hackles with the large net she casts when talking about lolicon manga, including such titles as Gunsmith Cats and Ah My Goddess. This would suggest that lolicon manga to Kinsella doesn't necessarily need to be sexually explicit (which is what the term usually denotes for most fans) but rather displays a fixation on young, cute women.


Indeed. You'd have to ask a pretty large number people find another individual who would think that Aa! Megami-sama and Gunsmith Cats fall into the "lolicon" genre.

Sheesh.
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Randalt



Joined: 10 Mar 2010
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Location: Toronto, ON Canada
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:23 pm Reply with quote
If you look for lolicon elements in those series, you'll find it. I want to read this book.
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Metanomaly



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 107
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:26 pm Reply with quote
Randalt wrote:
If you look for lolicon elements in those series, you'll find it. I want to read this book.


Moe, yes. Lolicon, no.
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BassKuroi





PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:32 pm Reply with quote
Great book. I re-read it from time to time. The only weak point is indeed the "GC/AMG = Lolicon" issue. It's quite embarrasing reading Kinsella exposition about this matter, because her arguments are very, very weak... Let's see, there's Skuld, almost a loli, and Belldandy seems a little childish from time to time in some aspects, but Urd and Peorth are grown-ups, fully atributed, sexual women.

And her account of Kosuke Fujishima's hatred towards otakus in the same book looks kind of contradictory.

In general, I agree with Mr. Ruh point of view about this book. The editor/author issue is fascinating. The most significant change is the merging of "moe".

For how things progress in Manga/anime/games, and a complement for Kinsella's book, I suggest Hiroki Azuma's "Otaku : japanese database animals", where the author takes great work describing and explaining the Moe phenomenon. I'll be waiting for Mr. Ruh's review about this book too.
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Psycho_Despair



Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 376
Location: East of Eden
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:48 pm Reply with quote
This book is available, right?

I Would like to read it and add it to my shelf though my little book shelf as overloaded lol

Interesting Article, thanks.
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 1600
Location: Nottingham (UK)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:00 pm Reply with quote
Metanomaly wrote:
You'd have to ask a pretty large number people find another individual who would think that Aa! Megami-sama and Gunsmith Cats fall into the "lolicon" genre.

Sheesh.


I'd agree with you as far as OMG is concerned but Gunsmith Cats has some fairly obvious lolicon elements. I'm not saying that's all there is to the title but sexualised, naked little girls pop up frequently enough (and unnecessarily enough, in any desexualised narrative context) to make it an element that's hard to ignore and certainly worthy of comment.

To quote Jason Thompson, "although the heroines are a fairly strong lot, they're drawn like thin-hipped plastic toys with pubic hair and some of the plot elements are frankly pedophilic". I don't really see his evaluation as being particularly controversial.

And when you say "people", I guess you mean "desensitised otaku" specifically, because I'm fairly sure the average man or woman on the street would find the sexual imagery in Gunsmith Cats to be...problematic.

BassKuroi wrote:
For how things progress in Manga/anime/games, and a complement for Kinsella's book, I suggest Hiroki Azuma's "Otaku : japanese database animals", where the author takes great work describing and explaining the Moe phenomenon. I'll be waiting for Mr. Ruh's review about this book too.


He's already covered it. Link.
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Metanomaly



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 107
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:09 pm Reply with quote
Moomintroll wrote:
Metanomaly wrote:
You'd have to ask a pretty large number people find another individual who would think that Aa! Megami-sama and Gunsmith Cats fall into the "lolicon" genre.

Sheesh.


I'd agree with you as far as OMG is concerned but Gunsmith Cats has some fairly obvious lolicon elements. I'm not saying that's all there is to the title but sexualised, naked little girls pop up frequently enough (and unnecessarily enough, in any desexualised narrative context) to make it an element that's hard to ignore and certainly worthy of comment.

To quote Jason Thompson, "although the heroines are a fairly strong lot, they're drawn like thin-hipped plastic toys with pubic hair and some of the plot elements are frankly pedophilic". I don't really see his evaluation as being particularly controversial.


I was unaware of any definition whereby one could possibly use the term "lolicon" with characters that are post-pubescent (including GSC where, AFAIK, the characters are all of age even in US terms? -- admittedly it's been a very long time since I've seen it, but I don't think my memory is THAT bad).

Quote:
And when you say "people", I guess you mean "desensitised otaku" specifically, because I'm fairly sure the average man or woman on the street would find the sexual imagery in Gunsmith Cats to be...problematic.


The average man or woman on the street generally finds manga/anime problematic for a wide variety of reasons. I think for the conversation to have any sort of rational basis we have to stick to the group of people that, for starters, know what "lolicon" tends to imply.
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:56 pm Reply with quote
Metanomaly wrote:
I was unaware of any definition whereby one could possibly use the term "lolicon" with characters that are post-pubescent (including GSC where, AFAIK, the characters are all of age even in US terms? -- admittedly it's been a very long time since I've seen it, but I don't think my memory is THAT bad).


It's a long time since I've read it too but, as I recall, one of the main characters looks a great deal younger than her stated age of 17 or 18 (and actually *is* under age in fairly explicit flashbacks to her past as a child prostitute). Furthermore, doesn't the same character have a boyfriend who's much older than she is and has been her lover since she was a child? And doesn't the manga pretty much present all that as good clean sexy fun rather than as being a bit...you know...disturbing?

Possibly you read the earlier release though? I've heard that the floppies and the individual 1st edition trades were fairly heavily censored (whereas the 2nd edition omnibus release was uncut) so maybe the version you read omits that material?
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:59 pm Reply with quote
Gunsmith Cats can't be called lolicon manga in any real definition of the word. Yeah, it has some borderline elements, but just barely, and they're not really part of the main narrative or even that reoccurring. It's a laughable thing to even accuse that title of.
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Metanomaly



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 107
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:00 pm Reply with quote
Moomintroll wrote:
Metanomaly wrote:
I was unaware of any definition whereby one could possibly use the term "lolicon" with characters that are post-pubescent (including GSC where, AFAIK, the characters are all of age even in US terms? -- admittedly it's been a very long time since I've seen it, but I don't think my memory is THAT bad).


It's a long time since I've read it too but, as I recall, one of the main characters looks a great deal younger than her stated age of 17 or 18 (and actually *is* under age in fairly explicit flashbacks to her past as a child prostitute). Furthermore, doesn't the same character have a boyfriend who's much older than she is and has been her lover since she was a child? And doesn't the manga pretty much present all that as good clean sexy fun rather than as being a bit...you know...disturbing?


It's possible, however, I would still hesitate to call that lolicon. In my mind (and, I'd argue, in the minds of most anime/manga-famiiar folk) that sort of thing *done in the context of a story* does not make it lolicon. Similar to how having sex in a live action movie (nudity and all) doesn't make it "pornography".

It could, however, I agree, make it "culturally problematic" for most western viewers. Not that I'm endorsing that we need to censor these things just because some folks may (would?) object to them.

Quote:
Possibly you read the earlier release though? I've heard that the floppies and the individual 1st edition trades were fairly heavily censored (whereas the 2nd edition omnibus release was uncut) so maybe the version you read omits that material?


I suppose it's possible, but I think it's more likely we're talking a difference in classification philosophies here.
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Metanomaly



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:06 pm Reply with quote
I'd add, too that the main reason I wouldn't call it lolicon is because "lolicon" (similar to "porn") creates a very distinct image in most folks' minds who are familiar with the term. In this case, *most* folks who hear "lolicon" associate it with "underage hentai" (often to the point of being borderline or pre-pubescent).

It's a very hard thing to shake even when inaccurate, and so unless it really is through-and-through unambiguously "lolicon" in that sense, one needs to be careful to avoid attaching that "stigma" to a series/movie/show/manga/etc.
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:10 pm Reply with quote
Metanomaly wrote:
In my mind (and, I'd argue, in the minds of most anime/manga-famiiar folk) that sort of thing *done in the context of a story* does not make it lolicon. Similar to how having sex in a live action movie (nudity and all) doesn't make it "pornography".


What "context of the story"? There's nothing in the exceedingly lightweight narrative or the equally lightweight character development that requires those themes (and even if there were, it wouldn't require them to be presented in the prurient manner that they are).

Gunsmith Cats is, essentially, a hodgepodge of its author's favourite fetish objects - guns, muscle cars, naked little girls - loosely linked together by a shadow of a thirdhand plot. I don't think it's pornography in the general sense but nor do I believe that there's some sort of narrative depth being served by its occasional excesses.

Quote:
It could, however, I agree, make it "culturally problematic" for most western viewers. Not that I'm endorsing that we need to censor these things just because some folks may (would?) object to them.


I wasn't advocating its censorship - just supporting the view that it exists on the edge of the lolicon milieu. Evidently others disagree with my viewpoint!

Quote:
I suppose it's possible, but I think it's more likely we're talking a difference in classification philosophies here.


Quite possibly. I'm more concerned with the authorial intent (which is clearly to titillate) than I am in the degree (which is what you seem to be emphasising).

Quote:
In this case, *most* folks who hear "lolicon" associate it with "underage hentai" (often to the point of being borderline or pre-pubescent).


It's a word that can be applied to actual hardcore pornography (whether actual or virtual) but it isn't exclusive to that usage any more than "paedophilic" is.
I grant you that many readers may use the word differently and / or more narrowly but the author of the book in question is an academic studying a Japanese industry and thus, presumably, using the word in its Japanese sense* rather than in a narrower, American, fan-manufactured sense.

(*: That's the assumed usage I've been defending here in any case - possibly we've been arguing at cross purposes.)

Quote:
It's a very hard thing to shake even when inaccurate, and so unless it really is through-and-through unambiguously "lolicon" in that sense, one needs to be careful to avoid attaching that "stigma" to a series/movie/show/manga/etc.


I take your point but I don't think it's an academic's job to mince their words in an effort to avoid stigmatising the audience of the work they're discussing.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14001
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:43 am Reply with quote
Moomintroll wrote:
Metanomaly wrote:
I was unaware of any definition whereby one could possibly use the term "lolicon" with characters that are post-pubescent (including GSC where, AFAIK, the characters are all of age even in US terms? -- admittedly it's been a very long time since I've seen it, but I don't think my memory is THAT bad).


It's a long time since I've read it too but, as I recall, one of the main characters looks a great deal younger than her stated age of 17 or 18 (and actually *is* under age in fairly explicit flashbacks to her past as a child prostitute). Furthermore, doesn't the same character have a boyfriend who's much older than she is and has been her lover since she was a child? And doesn't the manga pretty much present all that as good clean sexy fun rather than as being a bit...you know...disturbing?


Minnie May

The manga even shows a blurry flashback of her underage self giving a customer the blowjob. And she keeps herself looking prepubescent for her lover by taking Detective Conan-like drugs.

Quote:

"A self-styled "bomb specialist", May learned the trade from her boyfriend, Ken Takizawa [about 20 years older than her]. While only 17 (in the original English release, her age was raised to 18 since she is depicted performing explicit sexual acts; it was changed back in the Dark Horse revised edition), she is considerably more knowledgeable and mature than the average 17-year old girl.

[Ken Taki (whom she still adores) took 13-year-old orphan Minnie-May Hopkins in and taught her all she knows about explosives. At the time, Ken thought she was a boy until one night when she caught him in bed with a woman.]

May ran away from home at 13 for undisclosed reasons and was found and cared for by Ken. When Ken had to go underground for several years, she worked as a prostitute at a brothel in Chinatown - even advancing into teaching other newcomers - before leaving and joining up with Rally to run the gun shop.

May is tiny and young-appearing for her age, having taken growth-stunting herbal drugs in an effort to stay attractive to Ken....


Dunno what does say about Ken. Barbie wouldn't approve. Laughing
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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Location: Penguinopolis
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:49 am Reply with quote
Moomintroll wrote:

Gunsmith Cats is, essentially, a hodgepodge of its author's favourite fetish objects - guns, muscle cars, naked little girls - loosely linked together by a shadow of a thirdhand plot. I don't think it's pornography in the general sense but nor do I believe that there's some sort of narrative depth being served by its occasional excesses.


Guns, yes, cars, yes. Naked little girls? The nudity involving minors hardly seems intended to titillate, nor is it clear that Sonoda is some drooling pedophile. He tossed it in there to dirty up the scenario. Think of it as a commentary on America more than anything, a statement of "Hey, this kind of shit happens in America, I bet."

You make it sound like it's wall to wall sex with minors in the manga. It's almost like you've never read the damn thing.

As it's one of my favorite manga, I take great offense at being told that I'm reading lolicon. It's more violence porn than anything.
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Moomintroll



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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Location: Nottingham (UK)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:57 am Reply with quote
penguintruth wrote:
The nudity involving minors hardly seems intended to titillate, [...] He tossed it in there to dirty up the scenario.


Aren't you contradicting yourself? If he threw it in there to "dirty up the scenario", it's designed to be titillating.

Quote:
nor is it clear that Sonoda is some drooling pedophile.


True. But as well as being scattered throughout GSC, I also remember similar elements in the one volume of Cannon God Exaxxion that I read so he's clearly not uncomfortable deploying such imagery as fanservice. Whether he does so for his own benefit, that of his (Japanese) audience or a combination of the two is not something either of us can know.

Quote:
As it's one of my favorite manga, I take great offense at being told that I'm reading lolicon. It's more violence porn than anything.


I can certainly see why you might like it in spite of the sexual elements. I thought that the writing was dreadful, the plot shallow and the characterisation perfunctory but I also remember thinking that the action scenes were exceptionally well handled (especially the driving scenes) and being impressed with the technical art (if not the character designs and backgrounds).
But I also remember it having some fairly blatant paedophilic elements that I found disturbing at the time - and enurtsol's post would appear to strongly back up my admittedly feeble memory - and I'm not sure why you think I should say otherwise just because my understanding of a work you enjoy makes you uncomfortable.
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