Continuing both Jake and the Dynamo and R&M

Featured image: “Study Time” by lujus.

I’m spending the day working on fourteenth chapter of Jake and the Dynamo, which for some reason I decided needed to contain a lot of statistics puns. I don’t know why I did this to myself.

Chapter 3, of course, will post on Monday. Are you ready to see Pretty Dynamo fight Godzilla? I know I am.

Also going to see if I can finish up a Rag & Muffin novella while I’m at it.

Sugawa Akiko’s ‘Children of Sailor Moon’: It’s Because Men

Featured image: “Evolution of the Magical Girl” by Shattered-Earth.

I direct your attention to the essay, “Children of Sailor Moon: The Evolution of Magical Girls in Japanese Anime” by Sugawa Akiko, published on nippon.com.

The essay promises to be interpretive, though in the end it is mostly an overview of the history of the genre from its origins in Sally the Witch to darker and more violent recent entries such as Day Break Illusion. Although not a bad overview per se, it misses some major milestones and does not appear to have a particularly in-depth knowledge.

Sugawa Akiko’s attempt to fit her discussion into a certain sort of feminist framework compels her to talk nonsense, as evident in these two paragraphs:

Female superheroes, meanwhile, were almost invariably adults. The heroines of such comic-based TV shows as Wonder Woman and Xena: Warrior Princess and the video game–based movie Lara Croft, Tomb Raider were endowed with male strength but also a mature sex appeal targeted primarily at heterosexual men.

An attribute virtually nonexistent in Western witches or female superheroes is the maternal or nurturing behavior that has become such a common feature of mahō shōjo anime since the advent of Sailor Moon. While powerful, Japan’s magical girl warriors also preserve attributes associated with traditional gender roles—including cuteness and maternal affection—that make them less threatening to men.

Got that? So when the characters are vampy and busty, it’s because men. And when they’re cute or maternal, it’s because men. Dammit, those men got us every way we turn.

Why not just say, “It turns out that dudes like chicks”? That would cover all the bases, except then it would be obvious that she’s stating the obvious.

In any case, she’s correct that magical girls are typically more overtly feminine, even hyper-feminine, than Western superheroines.

The essay also contains some flat-out BS: she suggests that the “yuri” (read: lesbian) hints in 2011’s Puella Magi Madoka Magicawhich are not unambiguous or inarguable—are something new to the genre, when in fact they’ve been around since Sailor Moon at least and have been present in anime more broadly speaking for longer than that.

The essay ends abruptly after the overview with very little of the promised interpretation, but not before this:

Some of them seem to be turning back toward the fairy princesses of an earlier era. The heroines of Happiness Charge Pretty Cure, for example, combine the “girl power” and appeal of Sailor soldiers with the traits of the nostalgic princess archetype.

My response: I hope so. The dark and depressing magical girls of the Madoka mold are beginning to wear out their welcome.

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Bio 6: Jake Blatowski

NAME: Jake Blatowski
CURRENT AGE: 14
THREAT LEVEL COMPETENCY: N/A
MAGITECH: None

“I can’t stand magical girls.”

Living in the relatively peaceful Juban District on the edge of Urbanopolis, Jake Blatowski has spent his life at a distance from the city’s perpetual monster attacks. Having never needed magical girls to defend him, he is annoyed by others’ obsession with them.

Convinced of his own maturity, Jake is eager to try out for the basketball team when he enters his first year of high school, but after a computer glitch erases part of his transcript, the school system in its wisdom sends him back—to fifth grade! Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Bio 6: Jake Blatowski”

History of Magical Girl Anime, Part 2

This is the second installment of the visual history of magical girl anime from SourcererZZ.  So far I’m quite impressed by this series.

Only one of the series that he discusses in this installment is readily available.  The long-lost and decidedly obscure English dub of the 1982 series Minky Momo showed up mysteriously and without explanation on Amazon Video last year. Unfortunately, it’s packaged as a series of movies, each containing four or five episodes, which Amazon is selling for the exorbitant price of $14.95 a piece. The movies don’t appear to contain the entirety of the series. There are thirteen such movies, so at the current price, that comes out to a whopping $194.35.

It’s a good series, but it’s not that good.

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 2

Enter the Dynamo: Who is this mysterious girl … and why is she such a jerk?

JAKE AND THE DYNAMO

CHAPTER 2: ENTER THE DYNAMO

FIRST
PREVIOUS
NEXT

 

When Jake got up in the morning, monsters and magical girls were in the news again.

He dressed in his brand new school uniform and checked himself out in the mirror. This was his first time in a suit. It couldn’t quite hide his gangly frame, but it looked sharp enough, if a little stuffy for his taste. He untucked his shirt, loosened his tie, opened his top button, and folded the French cuffs over the jacket sleeves—yes, that was better. He quickly ran his fingers through his mussed black hair before he slouched downstairs and landed in his seat at the breakfast bar. Leaning across the bar, he watched his mother, who, clad in a frilly apron, fried up breakfast. With a sweet smile, she slid a steaming plate of eggs and toast in front of him. Meanwhile, his father, coffee in one hand and a folded newspaper in the other, sat on the loveseat and hunched toward the television. The light of the TV played against his thick spectacles. Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 2”

Review: Sailor Moon: Crystal, Season 3 Episodes 3-4

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal, Episode 29, “Ripples,” and Episode 30, “Two New Soldiers.” Toei Animation, April 2016. Approx. 48 minutes. Available on Crunchyroll.

I’m going to discuss what is arguably a plot twist, though if you know Sailor Moon at all, or even if you don’t, you’ll easily see it coming. I’m also going to discuss a scene that’s presented as if it’s supposed to be a shocker. So for courtesy’s sake, I’ll give a spoiler warning on this review, though I don’t think I’m actually giving much away. Continue reading “Review: Sailor Moon: Crystal, Season 3 Episodes 3-4”