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Archive for April 29th, 2008

Why I Don’t Like Anime, Manga and Most Japanese Pop Cultural Imports

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

(Caution: Some links are not work safe)

Skippy’s List is a great place to talk about military things, and I really have no military background to discuss those things so I tend to stick with the other main theme, nerdy/geeky stuff. Although I am a big dork in my own right, there are some areas of geekdom that I just can’t wrap my brain around.

I have never really sat down and discussed, or even given much thought to why I find anime so deeply annoying, but somehow this seems like the forum to explore these thoughts and possibly recover a buried memory of ritual abuse at the hands of hentai fetishists.

First off, I would like to say that I can not think of a single thing from modern Japanese culture, i.e. post World War II, that is cool. There are many things from this time period that border on being cool, and float around the periphery of cool, the best example I know of for this is Godzilla. Godzilla is pretty damned cool; he is a giant monster that destroys cities and kills thousands. But there is a certain cheese factor that won’t quite rub off of Godzilla. It is not the bad rubber suit; I can get past that. But in later movies, when he became a protector of Japan and teamed up with other monsters like Rodan and Mothra and fought things like Mechagodzilla… well, if you can’t see my point, you might as well stop reading now.

I think that is part of what gets me about a lot of anime, it just gets overdone. Which brings me to my chief annoyance with anime, the eyes. Whats up with the big eyes? I probably wouldn’t mind it so much if damned near every drawing, sketch, and animation that came out of Japan didn’t look like this, but they all do. Not to mention the tiny, almost none existent nose, and the sometimes oversized, sometimes undersized mouth mouth. I can not fully express how much I hate this style of drawing, but I’ll give it a try.

I understand that the eyes are supposedly representative of the “round eyes” of westerners, but it has become overdone. If I were to guess at the ideal western eye and facial expression that the Japanese seem to be striving for, I think it is either Carol Channing, or my favorite droog, Alex, receiving his treatment in ‘A Clockwork Orange.

My next beef is the hair. I would have to say at least 50% of all anime characters need to drag a comb through their hair. Much like the characters in ‘Battle of The Planets‘ when they were not in costume. I remember three things about that show, a spaceship, birdlike costumes, and they all had permanent bedhead.

And besides the bad bedhead looks, there are the hairstyles I like to call the “WTF-do’s” which ‘Dragon Ball Z‘ is the handsdown master of. These are hairstyles so bad that they are only rivaled in real life by Yahoo Serious and Carrot Top. (Speaking of which, what is up with Carrot Top? I think he is slowly becoming a real life anime character.)

(I would like to apologize for all of the photo links in the above paragraph, but in finding examples of what I was talking about, I realized how much I love Google image search).

My final question is why does it all have to be so damned cutesy? What little anime I have watched and actually enjoyed for the story was diminished by the unnecessary insertion of gratuitous cuteness. Did there really have to be some floating whatsit to interupt what was a decent story? Why must there be a squinty-eyed big mouthed character for comic relief that is anything but funny? (This is the portion for anime fans to say, “You are not talking about ‘x-character in this movie’ or ‘y-character in that show’ are you,” and I respond with “Yes, that is exactly what I am talking about,” because I guarantee your list will be larger than anything I can come up with on my own. Please include photo links.)

Oh, I almost forgot to bring this full circle, back to Hentai. As soon as I ask myself, “is there anyone out there seriously whacking off to this and getting off,” a voice in the back of my head loudly interrupts and says, “YES! YES THEY ARE! MORE THAN YOU WOULD IMAGINE!” With that thought, all I can do is sit in awe (or possibly fear) of the diversity of human sexual expression.

I am not sure where I am going with this, or if I have even explained myself well, but I do know this… unless you are eight years old, Pokemon sucks.