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The Fall 2014 Anime Preview Guide- CROSS ANGE


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jl07045



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 1527
Location: Riga, Latvia
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:14 am Reply with quote
Yeah, the term is heteronormative and it's fine to point that out from time to time.
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Niflheimr



Joined: 09 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:16 am Reply with quote
Fipse wrote:
The reason is not because the creators are especially sexist, it is simply because the target audience is largely male and wants to see cute girls.

You want to argue this is a cute girl’s show for a male audience with its level out right disturbing content and “world order”? I’m astonished at how far your imagination is stretching to in some regards to legitimise the ending sequence and what it entails for the world of the series.

jl07045 wrote:
No, I said that the defining attribute is them being Norma not being women. There are non-Norma women who are not abused, right? Then in-universe it's a form of racism not sexism.

You would have an argument if, and only if, it was a genetic defect that struck both men and women. However what you actually have is a world mechanic constructed by the creators to legalise pretty much whatever they like to put the female cast through. It is their go-to defence to any sever backlash “it is part of that world so it okay”.

Also no non-norma women being abused? I’d say this construct is the direct cause to the psychological abuse of the mother who has her children ruthlessly taken from her. The short shot of her after the queen is killed shows her with a rather typical broken-mind facial, if memory serves me right.
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ikillchicken



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 7272
Location: Vancouver
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:24 am Reply with quote
Gattix wrote:
The fanservice shots are what makes people think of it as rape, as the act itself wasn’t sexual at all, just its presentation, mainly due to the camera work. I could really do without that, but eh, whatever sells in Japan I guess.


Yep. It's a violent, dehumanizing act but presented in such a way as to be fanservice. It's like you're right on the verge of an epiphany about why this is horrible but you just can't quite get there.

Quote:
ikillchicken wrote:
"...and that's why it's okay for us to get off sexually to watching women brutalized and tortured."


Way to be offensive and miss the point completely. And I’m sorry to hear that you think of feminism as “mental gymnastics”.


Ha ha. Bite me. There's nothing "feminist" about your position. It's nothing but a shallow attempt to co-opt a bunch of half understood, misapplied rhetoric to legitimize your defense of something blatantly misogynistic.
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jl07045



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 1527
Location: Riga, Latvia
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:24 am Reply with quote
Niflheimr wrote:
However what you actually have is a world mechanic constructed by the creators to legalise pretty much whatever they like to put the female cast through. It is their go-to defence to any sever backlash “it is part of that world so it okay”.


That's your assumption about the intent of the creators. My argument is purely logical and thus it stands. The abused ones are Normas. My assumption is that the abused are women, because people are more easily riled up by the abuse of women than men and because they want women to be main characters, since that will sell more. That would also be sexist.
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Gattix



Joined: 01 Jan 2014
Posts: 36
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:38 am Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:
Ha ha. Bite me. There's nothing "feminist" about your position.


Oh there is. I know it’s hard to wrap your head around that, but the often (rightfully) condemned damsel in distress trope and this idiocy about abuse against women being worse than against men is one and the same. It’s the assumption that women are weak. Which might on some level be physically true in reality, but has absolutely no place in a world with magic and strong soldiers that have to be female because <reasons> (So men are actually physically—well, magically, to be exact—weaker in that world)

You can argue about you not wanting any kind of torture in the first place and I’d agree on that, I really do, but then this isn’t really about misogyny and more about the degree of violence and ethics you want to see in anime in general. Because surely you wouldn’t want to see men getting their ass examined then either, right? Or does gender equality stop for you the moment it stops giving advantages to women. Wink
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Niflheimr



Joined: 09 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:16 am Reply with quote
jl07045 wrote:
That's your assumption about the intent of the creators. My argument is purely logical and thus it stands. The abused ones are Normas. My assumption is that the abused are women, because people are more easily riled up by the abuse of women than men and because they want women to be main characters, because that will sell more. That would also be sexist.

It is a logical assumption since they need a defence mechanic to fall back on to justify the choices they make with what to put into the series, even more so if your own assumed reason for what we’ve seen thus far is even remotely close to what they are striving for. And this isn’t even considering the given reason for this trip up Ange’s, and all the other pilots, backside they felt they had to frame and show as something entirely different.

Not all abused ones were Normas. Unless of course you want to argue that the mother of the norma baby that was taken is a role model for mentally healthy people as she watches things unfold on TV.
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:17 am Reply with quote
I'd like to address two specific points that have come up in this thread;

1) the assumption that this show is made by men who hate women and, by extension, is designed to be enjoyed by men who also hate women;

2) The final indignity performed on Ange was designed to be titillating and an example of fanservice.

For those of you who may not know, let me say right off the bat that I enjoyed the first episode in all its crudely emotional manipulative glory. I did not feel the show was reveling in depicting acts of cruelty towards females for the purpose of appealing to misogynist sentiment.

I did feel the show was gilding the lily and otherwise being incredibly unsubtle in depicting Ange's fall from the loftiest of heights to the absolute depths.

I have often had a problem with the way cruelty is depicted in anime. Particularly from a Western entertainment sensibility POV, anime often spikes the needle from "we are going to make you hate this villain" or "we are going to make you feel sorry for our MC's plight" right into "we are going to make you lose your mind" territory. Catch the final episode of Toyko Ghoul as a recent example of this dynamic in action.

That's what I feel is going on in Cross Ange. Not a, "ha-ha, this is how bitches should be treated, amirite, boys?" thing but rather, "okay, we want to drag our MC through the wringer and we've set our Subtlety Meter to zero."

I just rewatched the last scene and it reminded me why I didn't pick up any fanservice/titillation vibe the first time. I've seen anime scenes were sexual assault is played for "rowr" and I didn't get that vibe at all. What I got was more of the, "we are going to push you as far down as we can, MC, to make your eventual rise more dramatic." I think it is possible to deplore the crudity of their story-telling methods without labeling the people who created the story as obvious misogynists.

I don't blame anyone who has a problem with the show as a whole or how that last scene was handled. My only reason for posting in this thread was to attempt to explain that it is possible to be enjoying this ridiculous, over-the-top, emotionally manipulative melodrama and not be a slavering misogynist who grooves on seeing females treated cruelly.
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DmonHiro





PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:24 am Reply with quote
Hey, that's a good point. At no point while I was watching that scene did I think "Man, this is sexy!". Neither did any of my friends. So I can't really see why people are screaming that the scene was fanservice. It was like Fan Disservice.
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jl07045



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 1527
Location: Riga, Latvia
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:30 am Reply with quote
Niflheimr wrote:
It is a logical assumption since they need a defence mechanic to fall back on to justify the choices they make with what to put into the series, even more so if your own assumed reason for what we’ve seen thus far is even remotely close to what they are striving for. And this isn’t even considering the given reason for this trip up Ange’s, and all the other pilots, backside they felt they had to frame and show as something entirely different.


It's a reasonable assumption that I don't agree with, because I don't know how the creators thought and I think my version is better. It's entirely possible that they came up with Normas and the racism against them first and only then decided to make them all women for the reasons I mentioned.

As to that mother, we can extend the range of abused from just Normas to those related to Normas and it still wouldn't enclose all women, only those that have something to do with Normas. So again, racism not sexism.
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Rederoin



Joined: 29 May 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:32 am Reply with quote
DmonHiro wrote:
Hey, that's a good point. At no point while I was watching that scene did I think "Man, this is sexy!". Neither did any of my friends. So I can't really see why people are screaming that the scene was fanservice. It was like Fan Disservice.

Same here, I really fucked they where just trying to make it look really disturbing. It would like calling a show/manga like gunslinger girl 'fanservice' because of how much the female lead characters suffer in it.
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:37 am Reply with quote
Something I forgot to mention in my first post (because it has nothing really to do with the points I was addressing) but I think the show has messed up its prejudice against Normas = racism analogy.

The reason I believe this is that racism by its very nature is irrational. "You don't have the same skin colour as me so ergo you suck." If the show had established that the only thing "wrong" with the Normas was that they couldn't use mana, then the racism analogy would kind of hold up: "You can't do what I can do therefore you suck." However, they've taken it one step further and seem to be suggesting that not only can Normas not use Mana - but they can destroy Mana.

Here we have a society that (supposedly) has eliminated war, poverty, crime, etc because of Mana. So if there are people out there who can destroy Mana, you can see why Mana users would fear and even hate them. The show has given a not completely crazy rationale for Mana users to discriminate against Normas and that's where the racism analogy falls down.
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Olaole



Joined: 06 Sep 2014
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:53 am Reply with quote
Rederoin wrote:
I'm finding this show to be really enjoyable, defintly my favourite show of the season. Maybe even the best(imo) anime of the year for me. Which makes the hate all the more surprising to me.


People like you and Fipse make me ashamed to be an anime fan.
You are the worst kind of basement dwellers who revel in sexist anime, stalk amazon sales because they have no real life and openly try to silence any form of sane approach towards the medium. I am glad that ANN is rightfully telling the public what Cross Ange is: A show for the worst kind of otaku scum who enjoy rape fantasies.
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DmonHiro





PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:56 am Reply with quote
Olaole wrote:
I am glad that ANN is rightfully telling the public what Cross Ange is:
A show that I cannot enjoy in any form, and therefore is a bad show and anyone who enjoys it is scum.


There, I fixed that for you.
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Zac
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Joined: 05 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:02 am Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:


I don't blame anyone who has a problem with the show as a whole or how that last scene was handled. My only reason for posting in this thread was to attempt to explain that it is possible to be enjoying this ridiculous, over-the-top, emotionally manipulative melodrama and not be a slavering misogynist who grooves on seeing females treated cruelly.


I think you've explained it pretty well. Some folks like stuff like this; hell, I can, when it's done right. Shows that wallow in cynical misery and the shocking inhumanity of man can be fun. They walk a tightrope though when it comes to presentation.

The problem arises - and you can actually point to just about every instance of critics taking something like this to task as being a response to this - when the camera is encouraging the viewer to take pleasure in what's happening. As a lot of people have said, the scene at the end would've been acceptable if the camera hadn't basically been saying "hey check this out, pretty hot right" the entire time. Doing that during a scene of sexual assault sends a whole lot of people running for the hills because it's understandably incredibly off-putting and makes the viewer feel complicit with what's happening. The problem is that it's the artist - the director - making that happen, and they're doing it for a very specific reason: they think the audience wants that. Or they want that. Usually both. All of these are creative choices; they aren't made in a vacuum, they aren't just accidents. There are a handful of directors working in live-action who get smacked around for doing stuff like this - Lars von Trier is a good example, who makes choices with the camera that are so tasteless they overwhelm whatever it is he's trying to say. He does it on purpose - he's basically an auteur troll - but he gets an insane amount of blowback every time he does it.

Positioning the camera to invite and encourage the audience to get aroused during a scene of sexual assault is, historically, one of the surest ways to piss off a big chunk of your potential audience. It's kinda like what I spoke about in my bit - insulting the audience for something in a review is the quickest way to get them to breathe fire at you in response. It's a dumb thing to do if you don't want controversy, and in the case of this show, if you don't want to be called misogynist (doing something like this and claiming you aren't misogynist is like getting caught spraypainting a highway overpass and claiming you aren't a vandal. You might not be one, your intentions might be misinterpreted, but expecting people to believe that in the face of the evidence is an uphill climb).

As for the whole "cultural differences" thing - the idea that Cross Ange represents values that a majority of Japanese folks are comfortable with is 100% nonsense. The controversial stuff is in there to create controversy (which sells discs) and it's in there because they think it'll appeal to the small audience they're trying to sell the show to. It's a product like anything else, designed from the bottom up (whoa! no pun intended!) to appeal specifically to the sort of otaku who wants this in his (or her) entertainment. Watching this show and saying that we "don't get it" because we're "applying Western values to it" and implying that Japanese people are totally cool with it is like watching Mr. Pickles (it's on adult swim, look it up... or don't, really) and saying all Americans are totally cool with what happens in that show and if you understood the American mindset you wouldn't be offended by it. Mr. Pickles is produced in America for a very specific audience in America. It is not representative of American mainstream "values". Neither is Cross Ange for mainstream Japanese values.

For the record, I don't care what anyone enjoys in their spare time and I don't think everyone who enjoys this show is a raging misogynist. I don't think content like this should be banned or destroyed. Somehow I'm being accused of all of this stuff over these reviews, and none of it is even remotely true. But hey, internet, what are you gonna do, right?

Back to work for me.
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Blood-
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:18 am Reply with quote
@ Zac - I completely agree: instances where shows depict sexual assault in a way that is meant to be titillating or arousing are super creepy.

Oddly enough, the show's utter lack of subtlety reinforces my belief that that's not what they were going for in the final scene. The show is so ham-fisted that if they did intend that response, I feel like they would have used a sledgehammer to drive it home - the way they do with everything else.

For me, the way that scene was shot, (i.e. flashes of lightning revealing torture implements hanging on the wall, etc) indicated that the show was going for a horror movie vibe and saying to us, "Okay, so Ange is in Hell now - get it? Hope we haven't been too understated about this" as opposed to "check out this sexy time thing."
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