Weekly Round-up, 8/5 – 8/11

“Twincest tragedy is where it’s at.” – a direct quote from an anonymous aninerdloser

Well, bros, I’ve dropped Tari Tari. I don’t dislike it, and I actually liked a few of the characters a little bit, but after getting two weeks behind, I realized that I really don’t care. I also have yet to watch this week’s Humanity is in Decline, oops. I’m in the full-on doldrums portion of the season – this tends to happen roughly mid-season for me, and it results in me ultimately dropping even stuff I’ve been enjoying. Its just life.

I’ll probably watch Humanity is in Decline’s sixth and seventh episode to-morrow at some point, though, so not dropping that one. I also will re-iterate that I will probably pick NatsuVous back up again, as I’ve heard rumor that it keeps getting more and more potentially heart-breaking – my kind of show!

But this week, older shows lead the way, with Hanasakeru Seishounen, Digimon Frontier (which is ten years old?!?!?!), and Phi Brain sucking up the bulk of my viewing time this week. If we wished to phrase that slightly different, we could say that stupid, dumb shows lead the way, as all have contributed to the further corrosion of my mental capabilities. Sadface.

Hyouka Episode 16

Yes, I already covered this in a separate post… but in my blathering on about Agatha Christie and mysteries, I neglected to mention that Houtarou’s sister made an appearance this episode. We still haven’t seen her face (and we probably never will), but I enjoyed getting to spend a bit more time with her than we have previously. I loved her character design – just based on her mode of dress and her hairstyle, you get the feeling that she’s, well, not at all the type to blend in. It fits well with what we do know of her – that she travels widely, and doesn’t tend to take the smoothest of paths. For a supporting character we know primarily through letters, I sure like her a lot.

Hanasakeru Seishounen Episodes 15 – 18

No screencap because, well, couldn’t be bothered, quite frankly, given that Crunchyroll causes me enough trouble when I just try to watch episodes on SD mode. Its business as usual in the crazy 80s-flavored land of Hanasakeru Seishounen – lots of “pretty” men, geopolitics, and Kajika being headstrong, with a dash of perhaps-unintentional homoeroticism. The proper introduction of Najayra is well worth it, as she’s the first character to grace our screens so far who is truly a Chaotic type. She’s the only one in the royal family not jockeying for the throne in some fashion (Kajika doesn’t know she’s of royal blood, so her lack of effort doesn’t count, and while Rumaty may not personally be going after the throne, he wants to enable his brother’s continued hold on it), stating that she doesn’t care, she just wants to be able to do as she pleases. I find her enjoyable.

I’ve got this sort of out-there theory that Hanasakeru Seishounen is a very, very loose adaptation of The Tempest. Kajika is raised on a deserted island for most of her life at the behest of her father, and comes into this “Brave New World” fairly naive from her lack of exposure. Apart from the island, suddenly charismatic and strange people begin to flood into her life – an inversion of the island in The Tempest being buffeted by others from without. One of these strangers she encounters is the son of her father’s enemy, and he’s presented as a potential love interest.

Like I said, very loose.

Phi Brain Episodes 8 – 15

I don’t even know what I can really say about this. Its really stupid. Really, really, really stupid. But I’ve said that before, as have legion others. Hmm.

Oh! I remember: Ana and Kaito in the bath. That scene seemed to me to demonstrate why the archetypical “girls in the bath” scene we get in many other anime is ultimately fairly creepy; its as if by rendering them both male, one can see more easily that a girl groping an unwilling girl in the bath and commenting on how nice her skin is actually pretty gross. Of course, my guess is that most people here either just thought it was funny or thought it was gross solely because it involved two guys. Sigh. Oh well.

Also, I hate Rook’s hair. This is why I cannot support the KaitoxRook ship. And Cubic sucks, even if he does declare that he loves Kaito.

Digimon Frontier Episodes 1 – 31

So, yeah… Digimon Frontier. I was alarmed to discover that this show is a decade old.
I didn’t watch it when it aired, as the removal of the Digimon partners raised my ire quite a bit, and the fact that there was only one female character (and she looked like she was going to be Mimi part 2) sealed the deal on that one. I checked out a few episodes of Savers/Data Squad years later, but, for the most part, the canon ended with Tamers as far as I was concerned.

I forget how I ended up deciding to give this a go. I’ve been wanting to re-watch Tamers for a while now, as my re-watch was interrupted by hard-drive failure last autumn. But, well, here I am, thirty-one episodes deep into Frontier. And you know what? It absolutely is the weakest of the seasons I’ve seen so far, even considering how poorly paced and plotted 02 frequently was.

First off, I don’t care about most of the kids. Secondly, the villains up until episode twenty-seven or so are uninteresting and stupid; who the hell would care about a character like Grottomon? I didn’t even dislike them in the “evil villain, I hate you!” kind of way – I disliked them because they were so boring. Thirdly, the plot takes forever to make an appearance, and even after thirty-one episodes it feels pretty vague as to what it is the good guys are working at – we can infer it as an audience, but there’s a lack of cohesiveness that makes me still feel as though I’m at sea. Fourthly, the non-homoerotic characters characters of our core cast of chillens who don’t get to have the cooler evolution upgrades are much more sidelined than the ones in Digimon Adventure ever were. And, fifthly, the lack of Digimon partners is really frustrating, particularly given how well-developed the relationships were between the kids in Tamers and their partners.

But, really, what sticks in my craw the most here is what the show does to its sole female human character. Eleven year old Izumi is completely sexualized by the show, from the ass-, boobs- and panty-shots in her evolution sequences to the stripperific appearance of her Digimon forms to the depiction of her in various skimpy bathing suits, complete with the sort of cleavage no eleven year old has (nor does she seem to have the breast-age for when she’s in regular clothing). I used the above screencap because I felt it summed up perfectly the difference in the approach to Izumi versus the boys of the cast – see the sets of armor above her head? One is obviously meant as “female’ armor, complete with a focus on the breasts and overall lack of actual coverage, while the “male” version looks like the sort of armor that would actually be useful.

Its disgusting. There is no other word for it. And it bothers me a whole lot more than all the moeshit that sexualizes little girls because its in a franchise which is aimed at children of roughly the same age as the protagonists and because none of the previous girls in the franchise were treated in such a fashion – they were never reduced to fanservice devices. And while I really do like Izumi as a character (she’s the one who demonstrates the most willingness to step up against bad Digimon when she isn’t herself in Digimon form out of the entire cast), the show treats her more or less as a fanservice device. She’s the only one to get knocked out of the battle in her Digimon form’s debut, and during battle she frequently must be saved by the guys; perhaps most irritatingly, she spends an extended period of episodes unable to evolve because the mechanism by which she can has been stolen. Were she to be excised from the show, the only thing we would miss is Junpei’s crush on her and his attempts to romance her, and those hardly count as major plot points.

And that’s disgusting. Its as if Izumi is included simply to ensure that girls aren’t totally turned off by the lack of girls in the show after having become used to there being girls amongst the heroes of Digimon series, and also to toss adolescent boys a bone in the form of tits and ass.

Given all my reasons for disliking this show, it sure is a good thing that I tuned in primarily for the twincest, huh? Even though I never had bothered to watch the damn thing, I knew way back that Frontier featured a pair of hyper-angsted out twins who had a relationship that was underpinned by a whole lot of unintentional homoeroticism. The twincest thus far has been minor, but I know its lurking, and the show has finally indicated that its about to go full bromo on us. Fuck yeah! I watch chillens cartoons for brocest, YES!

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2 Responses to Weekly Round-up, 8/5 – 8/11

  1. jpmeyer says:

    So since I’m not familiar with Let Me Show You My Digimans beyond the first season, I did a GIS for “digimon izumi”. First result: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hesusu/3795197541/

    • A Day Without Me says:

      The hint of breast at the edge of her shirt makes me wanna gag… especially as the implication seems to be she has some boobage but doesn’t wear a bra? Eww, what the fuck. I could see someone arguing here that she’s so young that she hasn’t started wearing a bra yet, but I don’t see the demonstrated lack of one as at all necessary – she’s eleven, for fuck’s sake.

      By the way, that particular moment happens so quickly in the show, at least, that it didn’t register… but I guess it did enough with the creeps that they did a screengrab.

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