What could possibly be worse than a show with no plot, no character development, and a double helping of dress-up objectification? Why, it’s the reaction of the fan “community” to said show!
My esteemed colleague has already examined the failings of K-on!, the hit anime that’s taking the ’16-24 shut-in virgin’ demographic by storm, but to really grasp the inhumanity to woman that the show represents you have to read the responses from the vast anime blog apparatus.
At this point the majority of internet activity in the world seems to be divided evenly between anime and pornography, with of course a considerable overlap. The anime-to-blog relationship has begun more and more to resemble the military-industrial complex in its vast size and lack of utility; I’m fairly certain that with a fraction of the man-hours involved in writing amateur reviews of anime read only by other writers of amateur reviews of anime we could implement universal healthcare. I might be affording these ‘men’ too much credit though, what’s most infuriating about realizing that there is an entire generation of overfed, overprivileged underachievers creating a body of literary criticism for childrens’ cartoons is how astonishingly inept most of it is. You’d think that with the time these people invest in watching entertainment created for Japanese boys and girls half a generation younger than them they might come up with something more insightful than this:
But one of the biggest highlights in this episode was when Azusa says: “You’re the worst!” and then Yui goes up to cuddle her!!!! Kawaii!!!! I’d put a heap of screenshots here if I could but I’m away from my laptop! :(
“*DEPRESSION*” indeed. The idea that K-on!’s characters in some way grow is hilariously baseless, the protagonist stumbles her way from being a clumsy airhead to being a clumsy airhead with a guitar she can barely play or maintain or remember to bring to the concert (one of only two in a series that was supposed to be about music). No one matures in K-on!, the only responsible characters are Yui’s best friend and sister, who seem to be employed full-time in cleaning up her messes from the beginning of the show to the end.
A real high school student with her level of irresponsibility would be a wreck, but apparently this is just another kind of ‘moe’. It says something about a person’s approach to relationships that they’re attracted to a girl who can barely manage her own bodily functions, and it’s not a good thing.
Yes, they took all of these from the manga except for the bunny girl, where Kyoto decides to cover up Mugi’s ample cleavage with a vest. This is an outrage. Imagine the rioting that would be going on right now if Mikuru’s bunny girl figure were covered by a vest. I’m outraged. The classic “Mio is broken” scene from the manga. Loved it. I’m totally for Sawa-chan breaking Mio.[…]
Though do you think you could ever win Ui’s heart from Yui? I don’t think so. I cannot think of any other anime character so destined to end up with her older sister. And if any man (or other woman) got between Ui and Yui, I can definitely see Ui going yandere and slicing off Johnnies. It would be like Nodoka getting between Mio and Ritsu, only with a Higurashi-type ending.
This guy thinks he‘s outraged. E Minor’s post touched on how pathetic anime fans’ obsession with a girl who becomes a weeping mess at the drop of a hat is, but it really can’t be emphasized enough. More than anything these people seem to want to see women, specifically young girls, in distress. If anime fans weren’t such uniformly unmotivated blobs of pale flesh I would almost suggest that they were potential predators. Luckily they mostly seem content to sit at home and fantasize about the 2D girls of their dreams sleeping with their own sisters, another disturbing trend in anime ‘pairing’ or ‘shipping’.
Why this odd desire for incest? I couldn’t tell you, but Kyoani seems willing to pander to it.
Now to their last member: who will it be?
Yui hoping to join Light Music Club hoping that the music instruments will be ( light) thought of joining to play the castanets.
The club members then invites her to a tea party in the music room, and interviews Yui and asks what guitarists she enjoys listening to. Causing a big misunderstanding, Yui stands up and justifies that she couldn’t play the guitar at all. Ritsu, Mio, and Mugi in order to save the club decided to perform infront of Yui to change her mind in leaving the club.
There’s nothing especially damning about this one besides the spelling and grammatical errors, and the simple fact that they willingly watched K-on!. What drives me up the wall is that the entire post is written in the same tone. It’s just a long summary of the episode, not especially well-written, with some screenshots.
Something like ninety percent of the posts I’ve read follow the same pattern. What on earth are these people doing? Who is their audience? If you’ve already seen the episode, you know what happened; if you haven’t seen it then why would you read a summary? Even more than the abundance of idiot opinions, the ridiculous number of episode re-caps is mind-boggling. This is the sound of a thousand boring, lonely people calling out to each other across the desolate wasteland of popular entertainment.
I’d say this is an impressive collection of finale essentials handled rather exceptionally, especially for a show that is slice of life and that has a source material that has obviously not concluded. I think this might have been the series best episode because despite the bad connotations associated with the word “cliche”, there is a reason why all these story elements are used to conclude stories, because they work, if handled properly that is, and that is exactly what K-ON! did.
The extreme popularity of K-ON! during its short run has attracted both rabid fanboys/girls as well as haters alike. I shall therefore settle this with my own opinions, because ultimately, it is my opinions that truly matter. I though the show was a fun watch. Of course, there were countless flaws the show suffered from(recycled gags, uneventfulness, instances of drowning in its own cuteness, animation blemishes(to a smaller extent), etc.) and these flaws did drag down its score quite a bit, I don’t regret watching it (popular series bring about the hits when blogged about). I love the manga, and it was nice to see the cute characters come to life through animation, voice acting and most of all, music. The music was superb.
I talk about this at length in my introduction (found in our about section), but what really defines anime as a horrible genre is the willingness of its audience to lap up what they know are clichés. They’re always willing and eager to watch the exact same characters follow through the exact same plot, which is itself a trope centuries old that’s been done better by a thousand other books, movies, and tv shows. There’s no room for originality or growth, every season anime fans want to watch the same thing they saw last season, but with different hairdos.
And some advice for all you would-be anime critics out there: recognizing the clichés doesn’t make you any less of a tasteless bore for enjoying them. Just like using sarcasm and strikethrough tags on your self-promoting narcissism doesn’t make it any less grating.
I like to look back and see how far some of the characters have come since we first met them (in my case, anyway) all the way back 3 months ago. Mio journeyed from straight woman to moe idol to a walking mass of complexes who still happened to be the most stable character in the light music club. Ritsu actually became a more stable character in general and wasn’t nearly as crazy as someone like Tomo from Azudaioh, while Yui just sorta…was Yui, I guess. In fact I think Yui and Tsumugi didn’t really change that much but we love them anyway because of how utterly adorable they are. Then there’s Azu-nyan. Who can forget her? She only joined in the last third or so of the series but already we’ve seen her change from shy and utterly bewildered to accepting and enjoying her place in the light music club. I guess in the end, it was a net win for everyone. Mio became Sawa-chan’s accomplice in the grand cosplay game. Sawa-chan-sensei herself got the admiration and popularity of the students and finally wiped the slate clean from her heavy metal days (whether this is a good or bad thing is entirely a matter of opinion). Like I said last week, people don’t like drama in their comedy series so it was nice on a more general level to see K-On return to its usual level of zaniness. Amusingly enough as I’m typing this I have just heard the show being described as retard moe. Maybe so, but they’re our lovable little retards. There’s just something about these girls that makes you want to hug and protect them, and in the end isn’t that what moe is all about?
This reviewer goes more in-depth about how different characters have “grown”… except that he flat out admits that Yui and Tsumugi were entirely static, and that Mio actually devolved into a quivering lump of phobias (oh but at least now she can join in Sawako’s perverted games, what progress). I think his assertions that Ritsu has somehow become more stable is contradicted by how in the second-to-last episode she throws a fit over nothing and almost ruins the story’s climactic concert. But yeah, I guess Azusa did grow… from someone who gave a shit about music into another complete slacker and human doll for the perverted teacher.
Let’s talk briefly about the perverted teacher. I can’t claim much knowledge of the Japanese education system, but I’m reasonably certain that it would be considered inappropriate to show up uninvited at your students’ social gatherings outside of school, then get drunk and try to undress them. The show portrays this kind of thing as quirky, laughable behavior, but I doubt that a victim of real sexual abuse would find it very amusing, and for a small country Japan sure suffers an awful lot from this kind of crime (yes, from female teachers too). Imagine what it would be like to have your own sister or friend or daughter assaulted by a teacher or other authority figure, of any gender, in real life, and see if it still seems cute.
Which brings us back to “our lovable little retards”. I just don’t know what to tell you if you think moe is about loving and hugging and protecting, go ahead and google ‘hentai’ or spend some time on 4chan or any other nsfw imageboard for anime discussion. The best translation I’ve seen for ‘moe’ is ‘turn-on’, and that is what it’s all about; the classification of fetishes. Claiming that your interest in these characters’ moe isn’t explicitly sexual doesn’t make it much less pathetic that you waste your affection on fictional characters, strikingly one-dimensional and unoriginal ones at that. Enjoying K-on! and its lovable retards on any level is indefensible.