Jon Del Arroz on Passive Anime Protagonists

On his blog, author Jon Del Arroz has some interesting comments on the passive, weak male protagonists who often star in anime high school rom-coms. Excuse me while I quote him at length:

I had an interesting discussion with a friend last night as we were digging far too deeply into anime. Almost every anime show (especially those set in a high school environment, which is the majority of them), have male protagonists that are your classic gamma male archetype. They are socially awkward, especially around women. When encountered with women they go into a crazed frenzy, female worship, nosebleeds, slapstick failings. We’re supposed to root for them to get the girl in spite of their failures. And sometimes we do, but we can’t help but wince every time they enter the scene with their female counterparts, who are usually far more composed and cooler than they are. Continue reading “Jon Del Arroz on Passive Anime Protagonists”

On Waifus

A debate has raged—raged, I say—in our combox on the subject of waifus.

What is a waifu? And how many waifus may a man have?

The first question is easily answered. As explained by Know Your Meme, the word waifu entered the parlance of English-speaking otaku largely on account of the popular anime adaptation of Azumanga Daioh, an irreverent and plotless slice-of-life story originally created as a four-panel comic strip by Kiyohiko Azuma. Azumaga Daioh is more-or-less the origin of the deservedly reviled CGDCT (cute girls doing cute things) genre of manga and anime, though it is considerably less putrid than many of its imitators. In one of Azuma’s comic strips, later adapted into an anime episode, the girls find a photograph of a beautiful lady, which fell from the pocket of their creepy pedo schoolteacher. When the girls ask the identity of the woman in the picture, the creepy teacher replies, in mutilated English, “Mai waifu,” that is, “My wife.” Continue reading “On Waifus”

Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, ten!)

The Final Hate: This Time It’s Personal!

You say Tomoeda. I say Tomada. Let’s call the whole thing off.

We come now to the final day, the final hate, the final boss, of Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura. Fiery rage has consumed my soul and burned all to ash; in the end, nothing remains … except my hate.

Just look at that picture up at the top there. Look at the way she’s threatening us with that giant, winged claw hammer. What is she planning to do with that thing? It’s all gonna end in tears when she puts an eye out.

That’s how it goes. Magical girl battles are all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. Then they’re awesome.

… Okay, where was I? Ah, yes: hate, burning hate. Here is the final thing I hate about Cardcaptor Sakura: Continue reading “Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, ten!)”

Let the Hate Roll On

Anybody else ever notice how Cardcaptor Sakura is always flipping us off? It’s almost as if Clamp is trying to tell us something …

Oh well. I guess it’s no worse than that guy in Sailor Moon who’s always flipping us off.

Anyway, today was to be our last entry in the Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura. However, real life caught up with me today and I didn’t get the post completed, so the hate will have to continue into overtime.

That means you get more hate for the same price.

The final post, the final hate, is still to come. Expect it when you least expect it.

Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, nine!)

The Ten Days of Hate: Penultimate Day!

Today, in our ongoing series of Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura, we come at last to something I’ve been alluding to all this while. Brace yourselves; we’re now diving headfirst into the cesspool.

Number 2. All the Child Molestors.

One thing is clear from reading comics by Clamp: the Clamp ladies have never met an inappropriate teacher-student liaison they didn’t like. They’ve got so many teachers chasing students that reading their manga can feel a lot like perusing a police blotter in an American newspaper.

I … um … er … I give up.

Continue reading “Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, nine!)”

Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, seven!)

The Ten Days of Hate: Day Six!

We continue yet again with Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura. Today’s post, like yesterday’s, contains some spoilers.

Here we go:

Number 5: Toya Kinomoto.

Toya is Sakura’s big brother. He’s in high school. He works lots of part-time jobs. Sakura squabbles with him like a little sister. Like all magical girls, she has trouble getting up on time in the morning, so she has to dress quickly and wolfs down her breakfast; he makes fun of her for stomping around in the morning, and he calls her a “kaiju.” She dreams of a day when she’ll be as “tall as a telephone pole” and able to “squish him flat.”

Sakura argues with her brother.

Although he teases her, he’s quite protective. He insists that nobody gets to make fun of Sakura except him.

I appreciate these little details. This is the one relationship in the story that actually feels … human. Continue reading “Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, seven!)”

Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, six!)

The Ten Days of Hate: Day Five!

We continue now with Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura.

Today’s entry in our ongoing series is a relatively short one, but it necessarily contains spoilers. Spoilers begin after the break.

Continue reading “Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, six!)”

Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, five!)

The Ten Days of Hate: Day Four!

We now continue with the Days of Hate begun on Monday. I sent my old and decrepit computer in for maintenance, and it’s no longer overheating on me, so I think they managed to get my issues fixed … but now all my image files have been renamed for some reason, so I can’t find my screenshots …

Well, anyway, we’re back with more of Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura.

Number 7: Freakin’ Tomoyo.

Seriously. Freakin’ Tomoyo.

I had an argument with myself over where to place Tomoyo on this list. Tomoyo is a psychotic little freak who belongs in a nut house, but after some consideration, I concluded that some of the things I want to talk about might not make sense if I don’t discuss her ahead of time. Besides that, I realized I don’t really hate Tomoyo herself; I just hate what Clamp did to her.

Freak.

Continue reading “Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, five!)”

Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, four!)

The Ten Days of Hate: Day Three!

Two days ago, we kicked off the Ten Days of Hate with a discussion of Cardcaptor Sakura, the hugely popular magical girl franchise. Then we followed that up with further hate.

Now we continue with more of Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura:

Number 8: Lame Magic.

Supposedly, Clow Reed, the creator of the Clow Cards, was the bestest wizard ever, and he supposedly encapsulated more-or-less all of his magic in the cards that Sakura steadily collects across the series. But there’s a problem—

The cards are hella lame.

Looks like Sakura isn’t the only one collecting a lot of crap.

Continue reading “Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, four!)”

Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, three!)

The Ten Days of Hate: Day Two!

Yesterday, I discussed the Cardcaptor Sakura franchise and explained why I find its heroine dull and uninteresting. Today we continue with Ten Things I Hate about Cardcaptor Sakura.

Number 9: The Characterization.

Many of the characters in Cardcaptor Sakura are supposed to be fourth-grade or fifth-grade children, all around ten years of age.

Not a one of them, and I mean not a single one, behaves anything at all like any real kid I’ve ever met. Ever.

“Utena can kiss my butt!”

As I mentioned in my lengthy review of Shugo Chara!, this is a common problem in manga and anime, so much so that there is oftentimes no apparent difference between kids who are supposed to be in high school, middle school, or elementary. I was surprised to learn halfway through Fairy Musketeers that the characters were supposed to be teenagers instead of prepubescent children, and I was surprised to learn halfway through the second volume of Sugar Sugar Rune that the characters were supposed to be prepubescent children instead of teenagers. Not only because of the exaggerated character designs typical of these artforms, but also because of what is often superficial or sloppy characterization, it can be hard to tell the difference. Continue reading “Why I Hate ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ (and you can, three!)”