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Episode Review: Love Stage!!


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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
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Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:12 pm Reply with quote
Just a few nitpicks:

It's Eiki Eiki, not Eichi Eichi.

Also, DAIGO is not a "rumored" inspiration for Shougo, he's actually the younger brother of one of the creators (can't remember which one right now), and in one of many extras for the manga they have straight said that Shougo and the CRUSHERZ are based on DAIGO and the BREAKERZ.

But other than that, I'm glad -but definitely not surprised- to know I'm not the only one who would prefer weird mist or random black streaks over the ridiculous censorship they decided on for this show. It's like my one major complaint about it, since the adaptation has been overall fantastic and even improving on the original manga
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octopodpie
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:59 pm Reply with quote
The censorship is especially weird, and seems mostly to be employed because both characters are male. The angles might be suggestive, but there's nothing on-screen going on that would require censorship, except maybe a male nipple?

Most of it is just on-screen guy-guy kissing.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:05 pm Reply with quote
Thanks, CrowLia. I haven't read the manga (which saddens me greatly), so it's good to know that Shogo/DAIGO is real. (That wasn't sarcastic, by the way. I really am thankful!)

Good point, octopodpie - there is just kissing - the earlier scene was actually much more explicit. And since we're all watching a BL show, wouldn't you think that two guys kissing would be something we're not uncomfortable with, and perhaps even watching for?

I briefly wondered if the sky was supposed to represent the "heavenly" feelings of being kissed by Ryouma... Laughing
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CrowLia



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:19 pm Reply with quote
Definitely agreed, what are they even censoring? I complained about it in the show's thread too, like, we can literally see nothing, even if it wasn't censored, the most we're getting is a little of bare-chest Izumi. By that standard, Free should be covered with pink clouds. It's kind of annoying that the only BL show of the season gets all the remotely sexual scenes ruined like this, while Momo Kyun Sword gets glossy boobs with just-barely-covered nipples jiggling nonstop all over the screen
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Tanteikingdomkey
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:25 pm Reply with quote
This is not a slam against the show but when I saw the first episode it really reminded me a ton of skip beat. from the main character who kinda gets forced into show business. to the stone that makes the MC feel better that they get from a childhood friend they have not seen for years, to a lot of other aspects. does this continue in the later episodes at all? Are there any more shojo references to great shojo manga in love stage?

I would have probably enjoyed this series a lot if it did not have the stuff like the assault scene which make it an instant no go for me. and stuff like that is generally why I cant stand the yaoi genre. this series does seem like a big step forward in that respect however.
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:22 am Reply with quote
The censorship might be due to Tokyo regulations since they seem more set against m/m pairings that m/f, at least according to some of the comments the governor and friends have made.

About the non-con, that's not really problematic to me since I watch and read yaoi as fantasy, and it's one I find hot. (I'm not saying it should be that way for others. These things are individual preferences, or should be. I just don't find anyone's fantasies problematic, just their actions if they act on some of them.)

I agree completely with the grade. It's a sweet show and fun, but nothing spectacular.
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lebrel



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 374
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:45 am Reply with quote
Daigo Stardust is Eiki Eiki's brother, and apparently she specifically requested that he voice Shogo (actually, "insisted" might be a better word). Judging from her freetalks, she often tries to use her career to boost his, although with limited success, as far as I can tell.

Trivia moment: the cartoon bear and bunny that occasionally show up doing commentary are the author avatars for Mikiyo Tsuda and Eiki Eiki, respectively.

Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
I would have probably enjoyed this series a lot if it did not have the stuff like the assault scene which make it an instant no go for me. and stuff like that is generally why I can't stand the yaoi genre.


"Stuff like that" is not in any way specific to BL; it is associated with BL in America only because we get very little smutty shoujo/smutty josei (although check out the stuff on Renta!; the "Love Comics" tab gets you the female-oriented smut), and the people checking out BL generally aren't reading men's ero stuff.

But rape fantasy (lite, as in LS, or full-blown) also shows up in quantity in smutty shoujo, smutty josei, men's ero manga (both ways), men's crossdresser-fetish manga (ditto, and in both m/f and m/m flavors), and gay men's manga (boy howdy; take a look at Gengoroh Tagame's stuff. Or don't, actually.). It's a popular fetish across the board, and Japanese publishers are more accepting that fiction is fantasy, and therefore more willing to serve up transgressive or disturbing fantasy.

If you want to see some really disturbing sexual fantasy for women, check out Auto Aiming on eManga, which is a straight-up "ladies' comic" (women's het porn) with no romance, just lots of S&M flavored rape.
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Miyanoai



Joined: 17 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:28 pm Reply with quote
I had originally thought the odd censorship in the beginning was die to the fact that is was a sexual assault (I know about the laws in Japan, but there really wasn't anything to censor at that point), but then it popped up again in a scene that was slightly more consensual (though not in a particularly good way but still. That second time actually contained a bj in the manga that was easily taken out so once again, nothing to censor). I'm assuming the anime will at least imply the next time which spoiler[is completely consensual] if that's really even a spoiler. The question is will they censor only one of they or will we be seeing nothing air next time? Laughing
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Tanteikingdomkey
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:32 am Reply with quote
Oh I wont deny for a second other genres don't have equally questionable scenes. however there a lot more BL/Yaoi series that would be fine if it was not for inclusions of those type of scenes versus hentai ish stuff where the point is those scenes.

I mean heck look at the DMMD adaptation, they have yet to adapt (and probably will not adapt) one characters route because of that type of stuff most likely.

Love stage should have taken a page from DMMD on that one I think, or done an adaptation like say I love you which tones down things like that.

Non Consequential relationships that have an alarming tendency for appearing in yoai/bl are in my opinion highly offensive to victims of sexual assault, because it shows a complete and uter lack of not only common sense but...When something like that happens it is insanely painful to the victims psyche, and writing off that abuse as romantic is beyond disturbing to me. Also they really feed into negative LGBT stereotypes like you see from glee with kurt or kuroko (awesome as she is) from railgun.
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SailorTralfamadore



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:09 am Reply with quote
Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
Also they really feed into negative LGBT stereotypes like you see from glee with kurt or kuroko (awesome as she is) from railgun.


Kurt Hummel definitely has his issues as a character, but I'm not really following how he has anything to do with yaoi/BL stereotypes specifically. Glee's stereotypes of gay boys are much closer to those found in American media, I think. It just happens to appeal to and attract a lot of the same kinds of fangirls.
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Miyanoai



Joined: 17 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:30 am Reply with quote
Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
Oh I wont deny for a second other genres don't have equally questionable scenes. however there a lot more BL/Yaoi series that would be fine if it was not for inclusions of those type of scenes versus hentai ish stuff where the point is those scenes.

I mean heck look at the DMMD adaptation, they have yet to adapt (and probably will not adapt) one characters route because of that type of stuff most likely.

Love stage should have taken a page from DMMD on that one I think, or done an adaptation like say I love you which tones down things like that.

Non Consequential relationships that have an alarming tendency for appearing in yoai/bl are in my opinion highly offensive to victims of sexual assault, because it shows a complete and uter lack of not only common sense but...When something like that happens it is insanely painful to the victims psyche, and writing off that abuse as romantic is beyond disturbing to me. Also they really feed into negative LGBT stereotypes like you see from glee with kurt or kuroko (awesome as she is) from railgun.


I agree about the toning it down part but at the same time, for toning it down, I wish they had just done what they did with Junjou Romantica and Sekaichi Hatsukoi. Then again, the rules may not have been as strict when they came out.
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lebrel



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:09 am Reply with quote
I agree that the weirdly paranoid censorship is probably because of "OMG dudes kissing" and not non-consensual aspects. When is the Liberal Democratic Party going to get replaced by some actual liberals?

Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
Oh I wont deny for a second other genres don't have equally questionable scenes. however there a lot more BL/Yaoi series that would be fine if it was not for inclusions of those type of scenes versus hentai ish stuff where the point is those scenes.


As I said, the assertion that non-con storylines are disproportionally common in BL is straight-up wrong; they are all over other genres, including completely non-pornographic shoujo and josei romances. We just don't see them here because American publishers prefer very tame shoujo (although that's starting to change, hurray), and josei, smutty or otherwise, has a low profile in the American manga market. But do take a look at the Love Comics tab on Renta!; even just the titles will let you know how common the "molested by my sexy [boss, neighbor, doctor, deliveryman...]" storyline is.

Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
Non Consequential relationships that have an alarming tendency for appearing in yoai/bl are in my opinion highly offensive to victims of sexual assault, because it shows a complete and uter lack of not only common sense but...When something like that happens it is insanely painful to the victims psyche, and writing off that abuse as romantic is beyond disturbing to me.


First of all, typo FTW! Smile

Second of all, we are talking about fiction. Which is fantasy, not reality. Lots of stuff happens in fiction that you wouldn't want to happen in real life; does the popularity of murder mysteries promote the idea that people want to be murdered?

Emotions, positive and negative, are central to romance; non-con is common in romances because it provides emotional conflict. If it were simply abuse without an emotional link between the characters, that would be a different kind of story (the "pity porn" melodrama, like Natsume Ono's Not Simple, where the point of the narrative is to make you feel sorry for the protagonist and have a good cry).

Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
Also they really feed into negative LGBT stereotypes like you see from glee with kurt or kuroko (awesome as she is) from railgun.


I'm not sure what stereotypes you mean; does Japan have a stereotype of gay men as rapists? I've never come across that myself...
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Princess_Irene



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:42 am Reply with quote
lebrel wrote:
we are talking about fiction. Which is fantasy, not reality. Lots of stuff happens in fiction that you wouldn't want to happen in real life


This is true, but well-written fiction can (and perhaps should) make you feel something, and in the case of a non-consensual sexual relationship, that's really going to depend on the reader's experiences and world view. So while only fictional people are getting physically hurt, I don't think we can brush off or explain away someone's discomfort with the (sub)genre by saying that it's only fiction.

Romance is, in my opinion, one of the more troubling genres for people in general. You can look at it as being strictly prurient, as being societal expectations passed off as a fantasy ("find your man and you will be complete!"), or just garbage books. Or you can just really like the reassurance of reading/watching a title that is guaranteed by genre conventions to have a happy ending. It may also be important to remember that there are a lot of subgenres within romance, gay or strait. Here is a partial listing; they group non-consensual romance under "bodice rippers." Going just by some of Ryouma's actions, that seems like a safe fit for Love Stage.


(Can you tell I'm getting ready to start the new semester?)
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Tanteikingdomkey
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:47 pm Reply with quote
@lebrel OK first off you are entitled to your oppinion ever if I and others find it hurtful and demeaning to actual victims of sexual herassment and violence.

First off you missed my whole counter point, I never said that bl/yaoi has more non consental relationships then other genres, I said that I feel it has an alarming amount of them period, and that in many cases the stories and romances would be better without them. Now if it is just hentai that is one thing but these stories are trying to be legitimatly moving and or interesting.

One sided interest and pursuit is one thing, heck kissing even if one sided can be used (not always but it can) to convie how much one person loves and cares for another and can be done respectfully.
However that is not what we are talking about in this case it sounds like, what we are talking about is someone having something that they want and then by force without any respect or care for the other person. This comes out of the persons psyche and is very difcult to repair with professional help. The responds to this in many cases is PTSD. Now if a person goes and reads a nice romance that has some good comedy and characters and then they witness that happening to a character they like what the hell do you think their response is going to be. If they are luck they are able to rein in their emotions from replaying the incident within 10 minutes.
That is why I can't stand writing off the trigger for the worse time in someone's life in many cases as oh they love me, no they don't love you they want to kill you.

Now if something like that happens and it results in police involment or some just reward like what happens in murder mystery that is another matter. Heck I am even OK with durarara season 1 where a side character ends up almost killing someone and that person still ends up in a relationship with them. Why because they are both nuts and are extremely similar and they decide that they want to stalk each other and be together to do it more easily. There is not any real love in their relationship for each other it is a devotion to an idea each equal to the other. This relationship is portaled as creapy but they are happy with each other. How the viewer take it after they leave the story is up to them, but its not really a happy ending in any case.
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lebrel



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:49 pm Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
This is true, but well-written fiction can (and perhaps should) make you feel something, and in the case of a non-consensual sexual relationship, that's really going to depend on the reader's experiences and world view. So while only fictional people are getting physically hurt, I don't think we can brush off or explain away someone's discomfort with the (sub)genre by saying that it's only fiction.


I'm not saying that you, or Tanteikingdomkey, have to personally like romances with non-con elements. As I mentioned, the point of non-con elements in shoujo/josei/BL is to create emotional conflict in the characters and in the reader (with the exception of black comedies, mainly). You have a perfect right to not enjoy that kind of emotional state. But that doesn't mean that it is bad for an author to seek to induce conflicted feelings, or for a reader to find them recreational.

Princess_Irene wrote:
Romance is, in my opinion, one of the more troubling genres for people in general. You can look at it as being strictly prurient, as being societal expectations passed off as a fantasy ("find your man and you will be complete!"), or just garbage books. Or you can just really like the reassurance of reading/watching a title that is guaranteed by genre conventions to have a happy ending.


I don't read Western romance novels so I can't comment on the degree to which those stereotypes are true in that genre, but shoujo/josei/BL romances tend to be considerably more complex than any of those summaries. Female-oriented manga romances (and most male-oriented ones, for that matter) are about relationships and emotions, even if they are idealized, exaggerated or hyperdramatized. For some reason, relationship and emotional fantasies, particularly if they are women's fantasies, are treated as silly and contemptible, not like (men's) power fantasies, which are awesome and obviously superior.

And based on my (admittedly poorly informed) impression of "bodice rippers", Love Stage isn't one. The term seems to be restricted to works with a historical setting (explaining the bodice).
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