Comedy, Carnivalesque, and the Naked Body in Anime: Why the issue of ‘Fanservice’ is more complex than it first appears


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Japanese culture has long been viewed as a curiosity, from the period of European colonialism when The Orient was a place of exotic otherness, to modern day society where Japanese popular culture is viewed as extreme, perhaps hedonistic, as opposed to the more refined tastes of the west. When viewing anime, it is possible to see how it, as a cultural medium, promotes an orientalist view of Japan with its astonishing visuals, along with the numerous exotic and strange creatures and creations. Part of the exoticism within anime is the explicit use of nudity, and more revealing situations where male and female characters are seen in their underwear, or in a more exposed, even fetishistic light. Read more of this post

Shinbo and Nisioisin – Nekomonogatari and a creative dead end


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I deliberately chose these screenshots as I feel they are representative of Nekomonogatari and to a greater or lesser extent the majority of the Monogatari Franchise.

Most should know of Shinbo Akiyuki and Nisoisin, they have both been involved with numerous projects that have been highly successful for one thing, and they are also well known for their particular style in directing and writing. However, over the past couple of years, it has become increasingly obvious that this director and writer seem to have hit a creative dead end, as can be neatly demonstrated in the stupid, pretentious, and downright offensive works that have been released recently. Nekomonogatari in particular neatly demonstrates some of the significant problems that these individuals have come across, while also showing us how little they have really changed despite their success, and arguably because of their success. With Nekomonogatari we are perhaps seeing the inevitable conclusion of their creative vision, a OVA film that lacks any substance and instead focuses entirely on the sexualisation of its female characters, while working under the pretence of a deeper, more complicated story. It is an OVA that helps to demonstrate what is wrong with Nisioisin’s writing style at the moment, while also showing us how little Shinbo has really progressed since his earlier works. Read more of this post

Sexual Harassment in anime – Comedy, Carnivalesque, and Socially Constructed


Sexual Harassment or more broadly comedy involving sex jokes, references and general ‘dirty humor’, is something that is hardly unique to anime, or Japanese television, and appears in a wide variety of media around the world. Sex jokes and general dirty humor adds an element of the carnivalesque to many series, helping to break up the action or drama by injecting an element of madness into the plot. There is also a certain ‘Bacchic’ quality to such jokes, with characters in anime finding themselves in situations that would get anyone in the real world sent to jail. While most people will not necessarily want to do exactly what these characters do, there is something in their actions that many people may wish for. The idea that you could potentially do something as audacious as many anime characters, wondering perhaps what it would be like, although not necessarily wishing to actually do it knowing the consequences. Read more of this post