Let Your Creep Flag Fly, That KyoAni Swimming Anime is Actually Happening

I’m fascinated with this development and what it says about the marketplace. But let me explain what I’m even talking about in the first place for those of you who missed this thing the first time around. Earlier this year, KyoAni revealed a commercial about an anime starring members of a boys’ swim team, the commercial itself based off of a short that won an honorable mention in the 2nd Kyoto Animation Award competition. At that time the show wasn’t necessarily headed for a life as a full-fledged anime, but the reaction was massive and positive, so, well, here we are – well-animated shirtless guys in pools.

So, like I said, the marketplace. I could make a Magic Mike comparison here about the sudden realization of female gaze and the fact that it absolutely can be sexual and there is absolutely a desire for material that meets that particular yen. And, yes, I think “sexual” is the proper word here – you don’t have boys in tight swimsuits with detailed chest muscles if folks are just looking to go, “Aww, kawaiiiiii~~~~~” over it. That was what Oofuri was for – squealing in delight over cute boys being adorable.

But would a Magic Mike comparison be fair? There may be comparatively little for the female gaze in anime, but manga’s certainly got female gaze down pat if josei and BL has anything to say about it. But is that like saying that Magic Mike wasn’t that big of a deal because there’s scads of Harlequin romances out there?

And is a Magic Mike comparison fair considering that there are some anime out there that feature tons of dudes and are meant for ladies? I think here it remains so since, for all the hip gyrations and occasional torn clothing, the likes of UtaPri or Hiiro no Kakera or Arcana Famiglia are very tame and much more focused on the fourteen year olds in the audience and their wish (whether because of their surrounding culture or because of a genuine desire) for thoughtful, protective, handsome boyfriends, not on thrilling those who love tight pants on boys and men. Even shows that aim at the “sleazier” side, like the wretched Togainu no Chi, are ultimately only “adult” in that they put a few characters in leather and add some chains – there wasn’t even kissing in that damn thing!

Anyway. I just felt like blathering. I think my ultimate point is that someone at KyoAni looked at the massive reaction, looked at the ridiculous sales figures for UtaPri, and went, “Ohhh snapppp!”, so we get some hot boys doing wet things. The fact is that I am so excited to watch this and I’ve already got a preferred ship picked out. I am also mildly unsettled, though, because KyoAni is pushing me to be the creeper that I don’t want to be =( Why couldn’t they have made them college students?!

Oh, and, by the way, Magic Mike actually had a storyline and was a recession drama, which was a bit disappointing for everyone who was just hoping for some ass and abs. So, y’know, don’t watch it thinking it’ll be nonstop stripping numbers.

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7 Responses to Let Your Creep Flag Fly, That KyoAni Swimming Anime is Actually Happening

  1. jpmeyer says:

    lol making them college students lol

    Amusingly, I’ve found that the 14 year old audience games are the ones on PSP, while the ones for iPhone/Android are the ones marketed towards adult women. Like all of a sudden it goes from everyone being in high school to the youngest character being like a college junior or so.

    Also, I’m not sure what to make of how all of the guys in this have unisex or feminine names.

  2. Actually the best post ever, no joking.

    I particularly like the mention of Oofuri ni this context. I was having a discussion with @illegenes (of Shibirerudarou) on twitter about the idea that KyoAni will likely discover that the ‘fujoshi’ audience that Swimming Anime seemed to resonate with is, like the moe-otaku audience they so love to target, broader than it appears and occurring in degrees of severity.

    I also think it’s interesting on KyoAni’s part from a purely economic standpoint: the fujoshi market is a hugely untapped market, typically younger than the male otaku market, but has huge buying power. Otome road in Ikebukuro, the spiritual home of fujoshis, is packed with girls in uniform in the afternoons, all carrying bags of BL and Otome games. In many ways this is the ‘core’ of the fandom, much how the KEY light novel crowd is the core of the moe-otaku fandom. However, what I like about the Oofuri mention is that Oofuri fans are of a different breed than Otome game fans; they’re considerably less (for lack of a better word), otaku, though they participate in much of the same fawning over cute boys that the hardcore fujoshi do.

    Anyways. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

  3. dmitrij says:

    Reaction to commercial couldn’t affect in any way production of anime. Knowing kyoani it’s safe to assume that works on it began around two years ago.

  4. soyokaze says:

    To sum it up, KyoAni are like a b*tch that would suck my d*ck in a pool full of shite if it would make them some profit. No offence, KyoAni, you do great job. At sucking ota bawls. And fujoshi bawls too.

  5. moonrabbit says:

    I’m actually really excited for this! No lie. It’s just interesting how things turned out!

  6. Caraniel says:

    Excited to see KyoAni utilising a style that doesn’t involve shapeless blobs in cute clothes. Of course KyoAni are all about the money – they’re one of the most canny studios when it comes to knowing what will sell; it really was only a matter of time before they tapped the fujoshi market.

    Still my immediate reaction upon seeing this was actually happening was “Fuck yeah! Best news!” because it is KyoAni and they are fantastic animators – eyecandy is always welcome.

  7. schneider says:

    An anecdote:

    A friend watched Magic Mike with his girlfriend, who asked him to watch it with her. His girlfriend fell asleep midway. He saw the whole thing and felt extremely shitty lol.

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