The Shortcoming(s) of 2D

Or why Day can’t fap to this.

No, really, I can’t – and this is coming from someone who drooled all over her keyboard while watching the OVA… although, admittedly, that probably had more to do with the copious amounts of animated blood rather than the attractiveness of the characters themselves… but we’re not gonna analyze that one too much, alright?

2D vs. 3D isn’t, admittedly, one of the more prominent arguments within fandom – yeah, its definitely there, but generally people would rather scream back and forth about moé, or fansubs, or whether K-ON! is the end of civilization. It ultimately is an issue that is more of a live and let live thing than is generally allowed in the community, which is shocking considering the fact that Naruto fans think Bleach fans are really fucking stupid and just don’t know what quality is. At the very least, it is less contentious than a lot of things.

I myself prefer 3D. I can recognize the attractiveness of an anime character, and perhaps I’ll even declare, “I’d hit that.”, but I do not actually find anime characters sexually attractive. To me, it would be akin to being attracted to a fence post, which is to say, I can’t interact with it, so I can’t be attracted to it. But I also think there may be another thing at work here, one a bit less illustrious than the defense that I’m not attracted to that which is ultimately inanimate (ha, animated characters are inanimate).

Quite simply, those physical attributes emphasized or highlighted by animation and art teams are not ones I really find all that important. Boobs, butts? Meh. Bring me some legs, dammit.

The lack of good legs in anime is, I believe, due simply to shortcomings of the form, in this case the form being specifically the animation produced by Japanese companies for the TV market. In other words, its not that you can’t have good legs in animation, its just that good legs require more effort than Japanese TV animation can really afford to pay for/pay attention to.

Think about it – here’s a girl character. How does an animator/artist go about making her more attractive? Well, there are a couple of obvious options, and they involve her butt and boobs. Bigger boobs? Ok, well, just pull the lines out further, curve them a bit more. But maybe you want a flat-chested girl. Just pull those lines back in, eliminate the curvature. It isn’t too difficult or time-consuming. The same essential principle applies to the butt, although butts are only really focused on when there’s a close-up shot, when suddenly the effort triples on them; and even here it mainly just has to do with making the clothing look tighter or smaller.

It is much more difficult to render good legs. This is why anime characters basically have Barbie legs – very shiny, fairly uniform, not well-defined. Even on male characters who are supposed to be manly and buff, not much attention is paid to those legs – just slap some six-pack lines on the guy’s chest, widen the arms a bit. One of the few exceptions I can think of for legs was the female lead in Ride Back, and even that only lasted about an episode.

This is all terribly disappointing to someone like me. I love legs. I really do. I love them from the standpoint of a former athlete; there is something so beautiful to me about an athletic leg. When I go to the ballet, I’m looking mainly at their legs. When I watch figure skating, my eyes are drawn to the legs. And I can have my breath taken away. It really isn’t a sexual thing, at least not inherently – and I say ‘inherently’ because it can become a sexual thing, although that isn’t where it starts. It’s this complicated admiration of the effort I know it takes to have such a leg, and a kind of… well, artistic appreciation of it. And, yeah, it all can bleed into something more case which results in the, “I’d hit that.” sentiment.

So, yes, I find it difficult to find anime characters to be sexually attractive because they aren’t actually animate, but if they had a good pair of legs on then, who knows?

Now, as an aside, I would like to note that the idea of what constitutes a ‘good’ leg is obviously fairly subjective. Maybe people find those Barbie doll legs attractive.

EDIT: I feel like this post reads as rushed… but my fingers keep sticking to the keyboard because I just painted my nails, so I’ve reached the point where I’m feeling too frustrated to go back and edit it… its too humid here, they aren’t drying >_<

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10 Responses to The Shortcoming(s) of 2D

  1. Baka-Raptor says:

    (You’re right, this post is a bit incohesive. It’s a shame you called yourself out on it before I got the chance to rip you to shreds myself.)

    Here’s my take on legs: if they’re good, something else is probably better, and if they’re bad, something else is probably worse. Legs are definitely important but only a minor factor I use to judge attractiveness.

    Here’s my take on 2D vs. 3D: 3D is more attractive because that’s what our brains are programmed to like. Mankind wouldn’t make it very far if our ancestors were fapping to cave paintings instead of banging each other.

  2. glothelegend says:

    I myself prefer 3D. I can recognize the attractiveness of an anime character, and perhaps I’ll even declare, “I’d hit that.”, but I do not actually find anime characters sexually attractive.

    Pretty much exactly like me. I can notice an anime character to be hot, but honestly smacking my dick around to it is just not going to happen. As Baka-Raptor said, 3D is what we’re programmed for. 2D is generally missing a lot: fleshy appearance of skin, the movements of certain body parts…..I guess some people like it because of these differences, which is fine, just doesn’t work for me.

  3. Shadowblade Edge says:

    I can sympathize with you on this, as I’m sure the type of legs you like are all but non-existent in animation, a real shame to be frank. However you shouldn’t give up on being a degenerate just yet, as I don’t believe it’s absent from all 2D art, or animesqe art, or whatever you want to call it. Perhaps a brief perusal of the “Hot Legs” pool on Danbooru might change your mind, or maybe it won’t. I’d say it’s worth a gander either way.

  4. kluxorious says:

    Hmm… this got me thinking quite hard because I can’t draw the line between the two. I think I fap more for an anime character than for real people because I don’t get easily attracted to real human being unless he has an outstanding intellect, which is rare nowadays.

  5. ojisan says:

    Legs. It’s a weird show, and it doesn’t hang together, but the women at least have actual legs and amazing hips too. What was it called?… “Real Drive”, that’s it.
    Years of hanging out with queer male friends still hasn’t given me an eye for men’s legs, so that’s all I got.

  6. Aorii says:

    “it would be akin to being attracted to a fence post”
    lol so quotable~

    Isn’t this just a case of the animators not really spending budget to pander towards the smaller interest groups? Compared to how most guys are typed to just focus on the facial features, boobs&butts, etc.
    Hardly the first minor aspect anime traded off in order to save production costs.

  7. 2DT says:

    I find that anime legs (at least the female variety) tend to devote detail only when there’s zettai ryouiki involved.

  8. Pingback: Adventures in the Second Dimension: Flatland, Sexy Time and the Madarame Thesis « 2-D Teleidoscope

  9. Radiant says:

    The proper term for female fapping is “shlick”. :)

    I can understand the idea that “I can’t interact with it, so I’m not attracted to it.” idea. It makes perfect sense.

    Perception has a high importance in this though. Just as much as a rubber balloon fetish, and how it turns some people on (don’t ask. I don’t know either). Another example would be 2DT’s declaration of zettai ryouiki.

    Perhaps it is Pavlovian or such. It’s not really the actual product that we are attracted to, but the idea. “I get turned on by boobs and legs.” has no bearing on whether it’s 2d or 3d. It’s just as much conceptually as saying “I can’t interact with that porn star in the AV, but she turns me on.”

  10. Pingback: The 2D Files: The Case of “Simulated Depth” « Rainbowsphere

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