Everything Else, Summer ’14, Week 8: A Tale of Two Gary Stus

Everything Else Week 8

Naturally, I’m just dying to discuss last week’s wonderful anime. But first, we must discuss our least favorite male leads of the season.

Week 7’s Poll Results

To nobody’s surprise, the contest was a dead heat between the season’s two primary Gary Stus. Sword Art Online II‘s Kirito, however, inched out a small victory by claiming 25% of the votes. For once in his life, Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei‘s Tatsuya could not perform a miracle, and as a result, he barely lost to Kirito with just 23% of the votes. Between the two of them, I would’ve personally voted for Tatsuya. Why? ‘Cause he isn’t even human. Kirito has a lot of annoying things about him, but at least he has emotions. Even if you think his emotions aren’t authentic or compelling, then at least he pretends to have emotions. What really rubs me the wrong way about Tatsuya was that one episode he went “ape-shit” (in reality, he still showed no emotions) on the Chinese gangsters simply because they had put his sister at risk. It’s like every neckbeard’s fantasy to portray themselves as this paragon of logic and intelligence, but ah, there is nevertheless that one trigger that will make him lose control. Tatsuya is basically this pathetic sort of self-insert character, but made even worse because his trigger is his own brocon imouto. So in my book, he’s the king of shit male leads… at least for this season if you want to be conservative. But hey, he’s probably the worst male lead this year. Speaking of which, if I’m still blogging when December rolls around, I should do a year-end poll for these same questions.

I don’t even know…

Even though people have been bashing Aldnoah.Zero‘s Inaho all season, he did not take third in last week’s contest. Of course, this doesn’t mean people don’t nevertheless think he’s the third worst male lead. It’s possible that the people who would’ve voted for Inaho ended up voting for either Kirito or Tatsuya instead. As a result, Inaho only pulled in 6% of the votes. Personally, I think Inaho’s a pretty boring character, but he doesn’t offend me nearly as much as he seems to offend you guys. Hell, I don’t even think Aldnoah.Zero is that bad, but a good portion of my readers nevertheless think the anime’s just as bad as SAO and Mahouka. Oh well, let’s just say I disagree and leave it at that. As perfect as Inaho can be at times, he doesn’t ooze smugness. It’s this small distinction that separates him from the twin Gary Stus at the top of this shit heap.

Akame ga Kill‘s Tatsumi grabbed 7% of the votes, edging out Inaho by a nose. He’s not a great character, but I’m not sure there’s any one thing that makes him so unlikeable. No, no, I’m not saying he’s not unlikeable. I’m saying the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Tatsumi sucks because he is unremarkable in every way, and they all add up to this amalgamation of dullness. Even his character design screams bland. I mean, look at him; he’s just some dude in a sweater. Even when he inherits Bulat’s Incursio, Tatsumi becomes a mini-Shredder reject. He is mediocrity defined.

ken keneki

Tokyo Ghoul‘s Ken won as many votes as Inaho, actually, and he’s probably the most controversial male lead of the season. Yes, Kirito and Tatsuya both take this contest by a landslide, but that’s my point; everyone can agree that those two suck. On the other hand, people either love or hate Ken. I’ve discussed the matter enough, so I won’t launch into another long defense of the guy. Again, I don’t think I’d like him as a person, but he’s fine as a character within a work of fiction. I can separate the two ideas, so I have no problems with how Ken is portrayed.

Other notables:

Terror in Resonance garnered 5% of the votes, but how many of those votes are simply due to people misreading last week’s question? Then again, maybe someone out there really hates Nine, Twelve, or perhaps both. Unless they speak up, however, we’ll never know…

Tokyo ESP grabbed for itself a couple votes, but in my opinion, it should’ve gotten more. Kyotaro’s character is just flat as can be. You could call him vanilla, but that’d be an insult to vanilla. But as usual, Tokyo ESP doesn’t get much attention ’cause, well, not a whole lot of people are really watching it.

Free! Eternal Summer also got two votes, but someone else will have to explain why either Haru or Rin rubs them the wrong way (I’m not sure you can consider anyone else in that cast a male lead). The way fans talk about this show, I’m not sure those two guys could rub anyone the wrong way.

mabuchi kou

Ao Haru Ride did not get a single vote, which isn’t surprising in a world dominated by Gary Stus. Kou is a pretty big jackass, though.

Captain Earth took home five votes all by its lonesome. I only bring Daichi up, because his anime fizzled hard after what a lot of people seemed to consider a solid start. I remember how at the start of series, people went on and on about how deep the show was. People also sung praises about Daichi, because he wasn’t weak and whiny. Since then, Captain Earth has been dying a slow, painful death. It’s okay, buddy. I’ll be here to document your final death throes.

— Despite fans’ almost universal distaste for this season’s train anime, Rail Wars!‘s Naoto slipped by mostly unnoticed with just as many votes as Daichi. To be fair, he isn’t really a character. He’s just there to fill a gap — a horrible, lonely gap in the void that is Rail Wars!

M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane’s Akashi cried his way to only three votes. Like Tokyo ESP but to an even greater extent, few are watching this forgotten show.

Persona 4‘s MC got a single vote; that’s probably CSRae’s doing.

tatsuya shiba

— And again, I voted for Tatsuya all the way, baby.

Week 8’s Rankings

Dropped: Rokujyoma no Shinryakusha!?

Good riddance.

17. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

Still the worst anime I’m watching by far. This current arc is so boring, I’d have more fun reading a random manga. People think the re-emergence of the show’s latent xenophobia will suddenly make things more interesting, but it hasn’t. The characters are doing even less than they did in the previous arc. Maybe Madhouse is getting fed up with the story too, because they could’ve nevertheless salvaged these episodes with some tongue-in-cheek campiness. But they didn’t, so here we are. How are those Blu-Ray sales, though? Will this shitty anime actually justify a sequel? Or will ardent fans of the novels get to hope and pray that the show somehow receives a do-over (pfft)?

16. Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance

Just more tsundere girls farting around. When I first started Harem Hill, I had five amazingly dumb shows to blog about. If one show slipped up, I’d still have four other shows to provide me with material to mock. These days, I’m lucky if I can find even one show to deride… to be fair, I could’ve included shows like SAO and Mahouka into the Harem Hill, but they’re just so special in their own little way that they deserve their own posts!

15. Akame ga Kill!

akame ga kill totoro

This anime just held a colloquium on how to suck the fun out of shounen fights. I hope you guys took notes. It was quite a fascinating presentation in laziness.

14. Rail Wars!

The train-anime-that-isn’t-about-trains still had more action in it than Mahouka, which is quite a feat for our little anime that could. I’ll even go out on a limb and say I prefer the action here over what you’d find in last week’s episode of Akame ga Kill! I’ve seen plenty of idiots stand still and swing their swords around at super speeds, but how often do you see a 90 pound shoujo attempt to keep a small train from derailing? Game, set, match Rail Wars!

13. Captain Earth

Let me see your qualifications.

You don’t need to see my qualifications.

I don’t need to see your qualifications.

This is not the same guy who once worked on Utena and Star Driver.

This is not the same guy who once worked on Utena and Star Driver.

We can let this anime die quietly.

You can die quietly.

Move along.

Move along… move along.

People really need to stop creaming their pants every time they see Enokido Yoji’s name. Star Driver wasn’t even special.

12. Glasslip

what the fuck is going on

Aaaand we’re right back to nothing but weird shit happening. What was up with Yana’s random nudity in the middle of the episode? What was up with the show doing three consecutive freeze frames of her stripping her clothes off? Talk about gratuitous. Then there’s this…

Glasslip - 0802

Our girl has gone through the rabbit hole and ended up in Frozen. My best guess is that she’s seeing the various different ways her life can play out. Y’know, alternate realities and shit. But my best hope is that the two main characters are just slowly dying from an incurable brain disease, and this explains all the visions that they are seeing. As for the rest of the group, they are selfish anyway, so they can just cannibalize themselves for all I care. In the end, Hiro, the man with two grunts in this week’s episode, can run off into the woods and become a hermit.

11. Ao Haru Ride

The heroine stalks the love interest, who then pins her down to the ground just to prove he can totally assault her if he wanted to. Fan-fucking-tastic.

10. Sword Art Online II

It’s less boring than the shows beneath it, but someone’s going to get their panties in a twist over its placement on this list anyway. Look, every show below Tokyo ESP is shit anyway (and Tokyo ESP itself isn’t even good), so you guys are just getting mad over nothing.

9. Persona 4 — The Golden Animation

Persona 4 The Golden Animation - 0701

Apparently, Adachi had done his best to bond with the Dojima family, but he felt replaced and discarded when Yu came along. So even though he was already a bit screwed up in the head, this was, as they say, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Eh, I don’t know how much I buy this. It just felt so haphazard. I could maybe understand Adachi’s mindset if we had spent more time developing the guy’s character, but we basically got an episode and a bunch of wordless flashbacks from his time before Inaba. It’s the equivalent of “Oh, by the way…” I don’t have a problem with humanizing the villain. Hell, I always thought it was kind of lame that in the original story Adachi was just this guy who went nuts. His motivations then were simple and straightforward: he was just a miserable loser. As a result, giving some context to that pathos makes sense on paper. Still, what we see here was rushed and unconvincing. Plus, if he and Yu are meant to be foils, because of the MC’s nature — being a blank slate and all — he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain. Being a foil to a blank slate is hard, man.

Oh yeah, Marie recovered her memories and thus had to leave the real world, but I stopped caring about her character a long time ago anyway.

8. Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen

I dozed off during the extended rematch between Tokimune and Schlein. It just wasn’t fun to watch.

Argevollen - 0801

For me, there are two primary ways to go if you want to make a battle scene compelling to watch. First, and perhaps the simplest way, you could just make the combat look cool. I didn’t see the artistry here, though. I just see two hunks of metal going at it. And in general, this is not necessarily a problem. Clearly, Argevollen wants to show off this sort of gritty, down-to-earth mecha combat. The problem here, however, is that gritty usually entails attrition. Even in a show like Captain Earth, the Impacters would come away from a battle somewhat worse for wear. As gritty as the battles in Argevollen may seem, however, Tokimune never comes away from them sustaining anything more than a scratch. So even in this supposedly “raw” presentation, these mecha battles don’t seem life-threatening; they lack weight. I don’t feel as though the hero could lose something valuable every time he fights.

What’s the second way, then? Well, you could portray the battle in a way that the internal conflicts within the characters come forth. What we’re supposed to take away from this rematch is that Tokimune has rededicated himself to being a soldier. Yes, he wants to find out what had happened to his sister, but he’s going to do what he needs to do first, then worry about uncovering the past later. As a result, his “Link Level” with the Argevollen deepens or whatever, and he’s able to repel and defeat Schlein. Well, that’s what you’re supposed to take away from the episode. I just didn’t feel it. It just looked like our hero screamed louder, then all of a sudden, his mecha could dodge Schlein’s attack. Also, it’s really lame that his synergy with the Argevollen is literally represented by a number. There’s this stupid need in anime to bog everything down with “power levels.”

Argevollen - 0802

Anyway, I wonder how Samonji felt to see the trampled sunflower field…

7. Re:_Hamatora

Re Hamatora - 0801

Finally, the story delves into Hajime’s past. Apparently, she’s the reason why everyone’s losing their powers; she has the Nihilist Minimum. And because Murasaki spent some time working with her, he suffered the worst. Still, Hajime’s story is nothing special. She used to be a test subject, had no hope, didn’t even have a name, blah blah blah. Naturally, Nice comes along, names her, and gives her a burger. Finally, she has learned what it means to be alive! That’s all it takes, fellas! I hate these stories, because they’re everywhere. Hell, you don’t even need to look very far to find something similar. Hana from Captain Earth, for instance, was a test subject who knew nothing about the world until the special shounen came along and literally saved her from her prison… twice! Basically, these stories are played out and no longer interesting to watch. They’re a dime a dozen. We’ve been waiting for more than a season for the show to finally tell us Hajime’s story, and this is what we get. Pass.

The only interesting thing about this week’s episode was how Koneko and Master knew where to find Hajime. In fact, Koneko wasn’t even sure she should send that information to Nice… what are their true roles in this story?

6. M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane

I’ll have more on M3 in tomorrow’s post, but for now, I’ll just say this: it’s ranked sixth this week just for this screenshot and this screenshot alone:

M3 - Sono Kuroki Hagane 1901

Cya, nerd.

5. Tokyo ESP

This show is basically anime’s Mendoza Line. Sometimes, Tokyo ESP can’t help but take a dip below the line too!

4. Aldnoah.Zero

Last week’s episode was really heavy-handed with its execution. Inaho and Slaine are foils, you guys! In fact, let me play this hopeful piano piece as a grown man whips the shit out of a skinny boy, because technology can’t beat a good, ol’ BSDM session.

3. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun - 0801

The only screenshot you need.

2. Tokyo Ghoul

Only held back by its fight scenes. At best, they’re simply adequate. At worst, they’re just as lame as every other shounen mess we’ve seen this season. As a little cherry on top, the battles are often ridiculously censored anyway.

1. Terror in Resonance

Fun fact: I’m only calling this show by its English name, because some people are annoyed if you don’t use an anime’s Japanese name, which, in this case, is Zankyou no Terror. It’s just a name, people. Who gives a shit what you call it if everyone knows what you’re talking about?

Week 8’s Poll

I repeat, “Which are your three most disappointing shows of the season?” In other words, don’t just vote for SAO and Mahouka just because they’re bad. Don’t pretend as though you are disappointed by them when you had no expectations for them to begin with. Now, if you really are disappointed by those two Gary Stu shows, then by all means, vote for them. I’m just asking you to be honest with yourself.

32 thoughts on “Everything Else, Summer ’14, Week 8: A Tale of Two Gary Stus

  1. Mira

    Inaho is frequently lumped with Tatsuya and Kirito in that from what I’ve seen, his ‘perfection’ rubs a lot of people the wrong way. The series has portrays him as someone who survives most situations unscathed and is generally more competent than the a lot of the adult characters in the show. He serves the purpose of giving us the mecha action but I guess it’s just that it’s been eight episodes and people are finding his character difficult to read or relate to but his perfection isn’t played up enough to fill in as a self-insert character. Not that this is a bad thing, but my deduction is that people just don’t ‘get’ Inaho.

    Tatsumi is a lot worse though, he’s so unremarkable in so many ways and it really adds to how forgettable Akame ga Kill can be despite presenting itself like as excessively violent and disturbing.

    Kaneki on the other hand I have no real issue with, I think he personifies the whole conflict of the series and yes, he’s whiny but someone needs to counterbalance everyone else in the show who are too busy trying to kill each other.

  2. withoutanydecency

    I could only really vote for two shows on the list, but that’s because I’m not watching very many shows.

    Aldnoah: Somehow I didn’t realise how uninteresting the characters were until episode four.
    Hanamonogatari: Normally Monogatari has some pretty intertaining conversations (when they’re not pretending that ”sometimes all the traffic lights go red” is deep and meaningful), but this time it all fell completely flat for me.
    Also I would have voted for Jojo if I could, because this Stardust arc is really boring. And Ojii-san Joseph doesn’t even resemble Joseph in terms of personality. Makes me wish they’d just killed him off.

  3. eternia

    Your description of the poll should be formatted bold, seeing how a lot of people made mistakes last time. :-D Yeah. By disappointing, we are talking about how you picked a show with great expectation, only to be slapped in the face by mediocrity.
    My pick:
    1. Captain Earth.
    2. Re: Hamatora.
    3. Zankyou no Terror

  4. gomegron

    I was fine with Hamatora when they were doing a monster of the week deal followed by your friendly neighborhood martyr, Art, but now that we’re just seeing the main bad guys go to where the heroes are and putz around, I’m starting to feel that my like in the show was actually due to other factors besides the characters in the previous series… I guess it’s similar to Darker than Black (Combat, Seeing all the varying powers), but the most recent powers we have seen are all “Ah, cool… I guess?”

    I really enjoy these ranking articles though, nice to see where all of your viewings fall. Keep up the good work!

    1. E Minor Post author

      I dunno, I wasn’t a fan of the monster of the week deal, because the show too much leeway to joke around. My biggest beef with Hamatora is it’s tone.

  5. Rae (@CSrae)

    @A/Z: What a cute fanart, I haven’t seen crossplay featuring A/Z yet on pixiv but the more you know :>

    Despite how I only vaguely recognize the bunny outfit Slaine is wearing but oh well.

    Persona 4‘s MC got a single vote; that’s probably CSRae’s doing.

    True, I admit I haven’t been following other series this season and I kinda expected more for a remake of a remake of a spin off by Atlus.

    It’s just a name, people. Who gives a shit what you call it if everyone knows what you’re talking about?

    The same people who spend hours arguing over literal vs liberal translations and whether or not fansubs are really conveying the true message by the original JP script. IDK, if people cared that much why don’t … just go and learn the language so they can experience the authenticity intended?

    I voted for TiR because it had a strong start and nice animation from the PVs. Now it’s starting to suffer from too many cartoonish villains and over-the-top elements which don’t add to the story in anyway. I can accept secret experimental org, genius teen terrorists, the FBI showing up in Japan, dumb police dept, and extreme coincidences but giant virtual chess game played at a international airport is kinda at the borderline of silliness.

    1. E Minor Post author

      True, I admit I haven’t been following other series this season and I kinda expected more for a remake of a remake of a spin off by Atlus.

      A remake would’ve been cool from a fan standpoint, but I have to admit there isn’t really a need for one since Persona 4 The Animation wasn’t bad.

      Now it’s starting to suffer from too many cartoonish villains and over-the-top elements which don’t add to the story in anyway

      I didn’t expect anything else when the leads were high-school-aged. So I guess it’s what I expected.

        1. E Minor Post author

          I’m not saying it can’t happen. I’m just saying there’s a higher correlation between high school aged characters and stupid scenarios like a chess match at an airport.

  6. RoboMambo

    Voted for A/Z, Akame ga Kill and SAO. A/Z, three or four episodes in I was warming up to it, but then it turned out Inaho was as boring as he seemed, the knights were as boring villains as they could and the last episode was bad and went out of it’s way to eliminate the most interesting possiblities. It isn’t bad, but that’s the biggest compliment I can give to it. Akame ga Kill I didn’t expect to be good, but to be somehow noteworthy, instead it turned out to be a specially lame shonen that isn’t even bad enough to be fun. SAO 2 I expected to be terrible, but thought it’d be at most as bad as the ALO arc, and likely somewhere in between that and the first arc. How wrong I was.

    The only ones for which I had any actual expectations were TiR and Tokyo Ghoul, that peroformed more or less as I expected

    1. Anonymous

      I voted P4G because the announcement itself of the very anime was really disappointing, and to thinks it’d focus so much on Marie…just smh.
      Also Ao Haru Ride because I still hoped maybe one day there would be a good shoujo out there, the most decent that comes to mind is kamisama kiss or sth like that, I dunno but it wasn’t offensive or really boring so yeah.
      And I just forgot my third vote, ah well.

      1. E Minor Post author

        I still hoped maybe one day there would be a good shoujo out there,

        Probably just go back in time and rewatch an old series.

  7. Gene

    That aldnoah fanart is disturbing. Aren’t they 14 or something? Fujoshi, why.
    For disappointments I’d have to go with Captain Earth which is absolutely terrible on nearly every front but animation. What a waste of non-cg mechs too, they look PS2 era everywhere else. I can’t believe how much they messed it up. What the hell is Enokido doing?
    Glasslip as well, I was expecting something about glassmaking with a side of comedy/mundane friendship stuff from the previews. But it’s so much more boring than expected and nonsensical(not even in an intriguing way). Aldnoah is the last one because the characters are so static and the show is gradually losing it’s edge. The finale for the first cour better be incredible or I might just give up on it. I hope they start delivering.

    1. Rae (@CSrae)

      That aldnoah fanart is disturbing. Aren’t they 14 or something? Fujoshi, why.

      Eh, I think we all need to take a step back and respect Japan's individualistic arts culture and glorious history first /s

      Umm, in other words I don't think it's the anime character's age is the main problem here.

    2. E Minor Post author

      That aldnoah fanart is disturbing. Aren’t they 14 or something? Fujoshi, why.

      Don’t know for sure that a fujoshi drew that. After all, they’re cosplaying as Kantai Collection characters.

      Glasslip as well,

      I think most people expected Tari Tari but with glassblowing. Now, it’s not a bad thing that we got something else. It’s just too bad what we got is arguably worse.

  8. Rio

    I personally love Kaneki. He’s adorable as fuck. People just want to see the same damn characters over and over again and complain when they get anything even a little bit different. Like a shy, quiet protagonist who’s into books and kind of a huge dork. I know a lot of people like that. They’re usually very pleasant to be around, and I find the idea of a person like that being thrown into a situation like Kaneki’s to be a wonderful premise. It’s not about some milquetoast loser suddenly getting superpowers and kicking everyone’s ass. It’s about a sweet, gentle boy slowly turning into a cannibalistic monster. And that’s pretty damn awesome in my book.
    Also, Nozaki-kun is glorious. I’ve never laughed so hard at an anime before.

    1. Gene

      Characters like Kaneki are very common. And they always gradually turn darker, like the MC in Durarara for example.

      1. Anonymous

        It’s an understatement to say it’s very hard to find characters that “feel” original now more than ever. “Feel” being in quotes since it’s wildly subjective.
        Unfortunately a lot of stories (not just anime) fall in a certain order. I would guess a lot of people would consider that order to be literary cohesion to make sure that “cause and effect” are doing their jobs. But when you put in characters that can instantly be compared to other work’s characters (anime being especially guilty for this), the combination can be doubly damning. It doesn’t help when “cause and effects” are also copies of one another across different stories.

  9. Sherris

    The biggest disappointments for me were Captain Earth, Mahouka (both from the previous season) and SAO II.

    I dropped CE at episode 7 I think, but my memories are still painful. The first episode was great and then it kind of went down the hill. The funny thing is that both the writing and the direction are awful. Couldn’t get any worse. I’m really disappointed with Bones.

    My biggest issue with Mahouka (apart from sluggish pacing) was the pandering to the incest fans. I wanted to watch a show about modern magic, but I’m sorry, I just cannot get past Miyuki’s creepiness. Tatsuya is too flat as the main character to make things worse.

    I liked SAO I and I expected the sequel to be even better, but I think the studio made a mistake stretching the events in a manner of yet another battle shounen. I also read the spoiler as to who Death Gun is and I think it’s ridiculous. I’m not going to stay for any longer.

  10. akeem

    I was so off, oh well. I thought ken was more hated but I guess that not that many people dislike him. Wait he tied with Inaho? Kirito came first? What’s going on here? Tatsuya and Inaho are the most boring main characters of all the anime on the list. Kirito at least feels like a person, I mean when Miyuki mentioned that Tatsuya was asleep I was taken back a bit, but of course in reality he’s busy killing people. Inaho is a more tolerable Tatsuya but maybe he’s even more boring to watch. I don’t see how any characters besides those four could have gotten votes and Daichi lol why? These polls are always interesting though.

    I like shounen shows so hearing all the praise the manga got I was excited for Akame ga Kill. Eight episodes later and I don’t know I just didn’t expect to be bored this much. Soooo much talking my gosh what the hell?

    Tokyo ESP is my biggest disappointment. The execution is worse than coppelion, I mean how do you do that? How?

    As someone who enjoyed Star Driver I was sold when I heard that Captain Earth was from the same guy. “Are you a captain?” That and some other lines just killed episode one and from there it was all over. I’m over it now since episode 7 I think but I didn’t really have anything else to vote for except Hamatora which isn’t really a disappointment but it’s more like wasted potential, which could be a poll question if you ever feel like taking suggestions.

    1. E Minor Post author

      Kirito at least feels like a person,

      People have been watching Kirito since the first season, and his flaws are quite well-documented. He’s the most emotional on this list of Gary Stus, but there’s something off about his trauma. He feels inauthentic, like he’s just milking sympathy points. While Tatsuya and Inaho are boring, they don’t feel fake. They’re just shitty characters. Kirito feels like a fake.

  11. Archmage

    Voted for Aldnoah and Free, I wanted to choose Sailor Moon Crystal too but you didn’t include it in the poll.

    1. E Minor Post author

      wanted to choose Sailor Moon Crystal too but you didn’t include it in the poll.

      Shrug, slipped my mind.

  12. catonwall

    I couldn’t vote in the past poll, but, jeez, what a difficult question. I’m not watching a lot of shows this season, but Kou from Ao Haru Ride and Inaho from Aldnoah surely get in my nerves. I’m not watching Mahouka or SAO II, and the main guy from Tokyo Ghoul doesn’t annoy me that much. Maybe I would have voted for Kou, but that’s personal bias (Assholes as love interests is the worst shoujo trope ever done, arghh, it just reinforces the myth that girls prefer assholes and shit. *sigh* end of my uncalled rage)

    In this poll I voted for Ao Haru Ride (source material isn’t that great but the pacing in the anime is horrible), Aldnoah;Zero (I hate when the villains are just “bad” and doesn’t have any depth… at least the action scenes are great, but I expected something greater) and Akame ga Kill! (because someone I trust told me that the manga was great and that he had high expectations for this. In the end we were both disappointed. But if this plot is faithful to the manga, then source material must be as bad as the anime)

    1. E Minor Post author

      Assholes as love interests is the worst shoujo trope ever done, arghh, it just reinforces the myth that girls prefer assholes and shit. *sigh* end of my uncalled rage

      It’s easy drama. If both parties are good people, then we’d have nothing to watch. As for the heroine, she’s often a bit shy, a bit naive, etc. But she’s never really seriously flawed in these adaptations. So she’s never a major source of conflict. It’s always the guy. But at the same time, he has to be cool. You’re not really cool if you have typical problems that people your age would have, like being a slob. Or playing games all day. Or struggling in school. Or spending too much time with his friends. Then there are problems that are completely off the table. Like guys pushing their girlfriends to have sex. Sex is almost never in the discussion. I know some shoujo manga deal with it, but they don’t usually get made into anime. So there’s yet another major facet to relationships that can’t be touched completely. I mean, when you narrow it down, there aren’t a whole lot of choices left for these stories. Shoujo anime often writes itself into a corner. They have to be willing to cast real people, and not just cool, attractive, have-it-all-together-except-he’s-an-asshole yet somehow sexless creatures.

      1. catonwall

        Yeah. Lazy storytelling, easy drama. But in the end is absolutely cheap because we know that she knows that everybody knows that he is a “nice guy on the inside”. And, most of the time, this switch between mean and nice is sudden and it doesn’t implies a real change in the character, like an average tsundere. It sucks that, in a type of manga designed for woman, the only compelling and interesting characters are the male ones. I have read the latest chapter of Aoharaido, and the males are the only ones that keep the story going. Of course you want awesome male characters that fill in the “fantasy” (maybe I’m falling for a false friend? I mean it as “delusion”) for your female readers, but at least give the female characters a little more personality! It’s just bland!

        >Like guys pushing their girlfriends to have sex. Sex is almost never in the discussion.

        Oh, yes. Comparing the two genres pandered to woman in manga (shoujo/josei and yaoi), I found truly amusing the lack of sex in the first ones and the crazy amount in the other. Of course girls read yaoi! If not, where would they find sex? Shoujo manga can go for volumes without even mentioning sex or being totally shy about it. In the other hand, yaoi manga is blatant about it. The guys kiss for the first time and then they have sex, immediately. Over and over. It doesn’t matter the length of the manga. In yaoi, sex and love are the same thing. In shoujo, the story is kind of done if the couple ends up together.

        Well, there are exceptions. There is a good amount of smuty shoujo manga out there, but most of the time it is just fanservice or doesn’t even deal with romance. Last year there was an adaptation of Sukitte Ii na yo, a manga that deals with sex in a very active way, but the anime erased most of the main girl desire to do it with the boy. I was very disappointed with that adaptation. They censured a lot of things without logical explanation. But, when you compare Sukitte’s world with, say, Aoharaido’s, you will see that in the first every girl knows about sex. One of the main problems the couple has is about it. Rivals search for sex. The whole school wants to do the guy. In the other, and in similar manga, it’s the total opposite. It feels like japanese manga can’t stay true to the minds of young people in love without going to an extreme. If you have sex, then everything is going to be about it. If you don’t, well… you will have third years high school students that don’t even have hormones to begin with.

  13. BoyTitan

    I just can’t figure out how captain earth became so bad it had such a strong start, The fight scene was bad but the story started out extremely strong. Also shounen shows normally have good action so I don’t get why people call the bad fight scenes in Tokyo ghoul typical shounen violence. Actually it is normally Seinen or Overly bloody shounens with badly scripted fights since action is not their main selling point and the more adult themes is what gets them by. There are some exceptions like SAO which has horrible fight scenes.


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