Category Archives: Anime and Manga

Satirizing Jordan Peterson as Red Skull Illustrates Yet More Reason to Avoid American Comics

Red Skull wants you to clean your room and get your life in order.

In another sign of the baffling bizarro-world we are living in, the supervillain Red Skull, as depicted by a new interpretation of the Captain America comics, was apparently based on Jordan Peterson.

Yes, the very same Jordan Peterson who wrote a book about 12 rules for life, and one of them had to do with petting cats.

Red Skull, as you may know, was originally conceptualized as a Nazi, and was depicted as fighting for Hitler himself.

On the other hand, Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist who, as a college professor, encouraged self-development and gave lectures about, among other things, how Hitler was a seriously evil dude.

So, what’s the thinking behind making Peterson out to be a Nazi supervillain? I don’t know, but I imagine that avoiding the cognitive dissonance involved would require an immensely skillful evasion of reality.

If there’s one takeaway to be had from Sonichu, it’s that if you can’t beat your enemies in real life, just make them out to be villains in your own comic book.

Watch out, Captain Marvel!

As he is now, Red Skull represents every boomer-aged snowflake’s greatest insecurity: that millennials and post-millennials could simply use the internet and find better ideas than what the establishment has been shitting out.

The American comic book industry’s plunge into intersectional lunacy comes at a time when Japanese manga is beating them mercilessly in their own market.

It’s to the point where, if you found out that Jordan Peterson was caricatured in Captain America, you probably discovered it outside of the comic itself.

American comic book writers should want people to actually read their comics. To this end, it would be expedient for their comics to be something that people wouldn’t avoid out of self-respect. People don’t make fun of me for reading manga, but if they found me reading Captain America, it would be hard to live down.

Assuming I actually read American comics, that is.

Thanks to humor website NotTheBee, we have an archive of a panel from Captain America from days-gone-by, from back before Cap was indoctrinated into the Cult of Woke. It’s quite moving, and an excellent example of what he has fallen from:

Twitter Infograph Warns Asian Art Communities

What you’re seeing above is an infographic uploaded to Twitter by an art-oriented account, intended for Japanese artists who may be seeing a sudden surge in western viewers who are intent on influencing Japanese art, particularly anything done in the manga or anime style.

This infographic comes at a time in which a nebulous affiliation of self-styled influencers are inserting themselves into art communities, intent on ensuring that anything that an artist expresses conforms to their sensibilities.

This can be jarring to Asian artists, who come from a career-oriented culture, who are now finding out that there are western subcultures that take entertainment media so seriously that they allow it to become a part of their identity while contributing little else to society.

The infographic comes in handy for Asians who may not be familiar with certain western subversive movements, and therefore may be less prepared to identify them when such bad actors appear. Whether we call them “intersectionalists” or simply “incels”, this group of people contribute nothing to society, but regardless are characterized by a legendary sense of entitlement, and it’s helpful to understand how to respond to them appropriately.

What I find particularly fascinating is the list of identifiers for the influencers, in that they are mostly accurate. Among them are preferred pronouns, imaginary gender identification, abuse of emojis, or identifying with certain activist groups (a dead giveaway). Also interesting is that they openly identify themselves with their mental illnesses. While one shouldn’t have anything against someone who has a legitimate condition, there are those among us who misuse these identifications for sympathy.

The infographic makes an important point: the way you deal with these people is by ignoring them, or by blocking them, if need be. It is important that one must never cave in to their demands, because they will interpret it as a sign of weakness to latch onto, as the tendency of predators often is.

In spite of their intimidation tactics, the influencers have no real authority, and are in no position to police anyone’s works of artistic expression. Thus, their threats carry no real weight.

One thing that the influencers seem to overlook is that in most of the western world, works of art are protected by freedom of expression, which is encompassing in its application. Even if a work of art is not considered socially acceptable, it is still protected under the freedom of expression. In fact, freedom of expression doesn’t have much value if it doesn’t protect art that isn’t socially acceptable.

Even understanding all this, the typical Japanese person may see the intersectional movement, and be distressed at the fact that so many young people in the west seem stunted and out-of-touch with reality, even years out of school. This highlights the difference in Asian culture, as compared to the west. The fact is, Asian society heavily emphasizes an education that prepares students for a career, reinforced by close-knit families that are highly supportive. It’s hard to imagine that in such an environment, a person would somehow become a cross-dressing ANTIFA windbag that blames all their problems on white-supremacists.

Westen families, generally speaking, could learn a lot from Asian families.

In the face of waves of leftist negativity, among the finest things we can do for Asian artists is let them know that they are appreciated.

There’s something to be said for the culture that brought us Chiyo-chan.

Amazon is Going After Anime Figures Again, and it STILL Makes No Sense

Amazon is back to banning anime figures on the reasoning that they “promote child exploitation or depict children or characters resembling children in a sexually suggestive manner”. An example of a figure that was banned was one of Konata Izumi (pictured above), doing neither of these things.

It seems they really didn’t learn anything, at all.

The characters depicted did nothing besides just standing there, fully clothed, doing nothing especially sexual. They were no more sexualized than any action figure you’d buy for your 10-year-old kid.

They even started going after Nendoroids, such as this one:

If they’re going to go after Nendoroids, they can also start going after Precious Moments figures, because they do just as much to “promote child exploitation or depict children or characters resembling children in a sexually suggestive manner”:

Hold on… is that hand holding? That’s a display of affection! Precious Moments is actually doing more to sexualize the characters the brand depicts than Nendoroids! How are the authoritarian moral busybodies not bazooka-crapping their collectively dainty undergarments?

Putting the manufactured nerd rage aside, I suspect that what’s going on is that a seller was targeted by frivolous complaints that weren’t properly vetted. The seller that the action was against was the same one as before, and similar merchandise was targeted.

Even the nature of the complaints was the same, suggesting that the real culprit was some Karen NPC who actually believes that going after anime figures somehow makes the world a better place, and as dimwitted as she is, she knows that something about complaints about child exploitation bypasses peoples’ better judgement. Putting aside that the characters are fictional, and therefore no children are being exploited.

The seller came forward with subsequent complaints, as shown here:

Oh no, they are NOT going after Cirno. They’ve gone too far.

They’re Making Lola Bunny Less Attractive, and This Was Supposed to Benefit Women, Somehow.

Hold on, what is this? I heard that Lola Bunny is getting a redesign, but that’s just gross. Is that piccie above really of Lola Bunny? She looks like some kind of freaky space-alien-looking-thing.

But that’s not the main thing about her that I’m hearing about. But before this post continues, here’s a short disclaimer:

WARNING: If you’re disturbed by mild sexualization of a cartoon character, you should probably get over yourself.

Now that that’s out of the way, apparently, Lola Bunny was given a breast reduction in an effort to make her less sexually appealing.

In the special way that Slate sees matters, “conservatives want you to be mad that Lola Bunny’s not hot anymore”. This lulzy position overlooks the greater problem that this is what feminism has done to women throughout the western world.

As depicted above, Lola otherwise still has highly feminine characteristics, including diminutive upper-body strength, narrow shoulders, softer eyes, broader hips, and so on. Those hips are quite well-defined, by the way. Those would be what’s referred to as “birther hips”, which are considered strongly appealing by, you know, men. Lola’s otherwise over-the-top feminine appearance makes her breasts all-the-more conspicuous in their absence.

As I see it, the designers of Lola’s character could design her as they wish for what they perceive as the creative benefit of the work that features her. Put another way, if it’s your character, you can design her however you want.

However, if it was the designer’s intention to distract from her sexuality, they’ve likely figured out by now how difficult that can be. In many ways, it couldn’t really be helped by virtue of the fact that sexuality is something that occurs in the mind. An artist can’t really control whether anyone could perceive a work in a sexual manner.

If an artist wanted to make something that was impossible to perceive with an element of sexuality, that in itself would be pretty-much impossible. Humans can perceive a sexual element, even in things that wouldn’t seem intrinsically sexual. Like pizza, which is a food item. I don’t get it, but it’s something that some people find sexual.

What’s more, sexuality is an intrinsic element of humanity. It might even be that sexuality is the most human of traits. The moment that something is humanized (such as, for example, when anthromorphizing a cartoon rabbit), it gains a sexual identity. The only time when it’s acceptable to not consider a sexual identity is when it’s not known, such as when the sex of an unborn child is not yet identified. But once it’s sex is known, it’s not acceptable to call the child an “it” again.

When you draw a cartoon character of your own, and call it a “her”, you’re acknowledging the existence of her vagina, provided that the character is a human female that is anatomically consistent with other human females. It is then assumed that this characteristic plays a role, even if slight, among other characters that they interact with (except in some cases when it is established that the character plays a non-traditional societal role).

If you think I just stated a lot of highly obvious stuff, you’re well enough off to not have to be told as much. But not everyone out there is as well off. Particularly, the radical intersectional feminists who mistakenly view sexualization as a form of objectification. But the fact that they’re wrong isn’t stopping them from passionately trying to become authoritarian moral busybodies.

Intersectional feminists, being absolutely tone-deaf, misses the irony of the fact that, on International Women’s Day, the design change of a cartoon rabbit that isn’t real, and therefore cannot be an actual victim, makes the news by becoming less feminine. While this is occurring, women in the middle-east have almost no rights to speak of compared to men, and are legally kept in harems as sexual slaves.

Priorities, much?

As one might imagine, the furry community is furious about this news. They’ve become yet another western creative community that has become negatively impacted by intersectionalism’s obsession with making everything it touches less entertaining. They’re a sorta-dubious addition to the club, but they’re an addition to the club, non-the-less.

You know whose cartoon bunnies remain unaffected by western censorship? Anime.

Today has shown us yet more reason why more and more westerners are turning towards Japanese manga and anime. One can really hand it to the Japanese for making sure that entertainment is still entertaining.

If you’re siding with intersectional feminism and have managed to stick around this far, please stand by for a send-off from Akira Kogami:

When western entertainment fails hard, along comes anime to sweep up yet more viewers. How long will it take for Hollywood et al. to figure out the obvious? I don’t know, but there’s a continual flow of new anime to watch in the time it takes for it to happen.

The New York Times Asks Why Japanese Animators Are Underpaid

The famed Akihabara area in Tokyo, Japan is famous for manga and anime. Picture credit: Kanpai-Japan.com

Ealier this month, I pointed out that Americans wouldn’t likely take interest in becoming animators in Japan, seeing as how they get paid very little. Since then, the New York Times has published an article examining the difficult life of Japanese animators.

As the article points out, animators in Japan can make as little as $200 per month drawing up anime frames, which obviously is far beneath what one can realistically expect to pay for an apartment in urban Japan.

Not that many of them even bother renting an apartment, as many studios allow their workers to sleep at their desks after working shifts as long as 16 hours. If you think that sounds insane, then you apparently don’t have a Japanese animator’s tenacity.

You might wonder just why a Japanese man would accept such conditions. There’s a few, so let’s go over them.

For one thing, the anime market is flooded with young men who have long dreamed of making an anime of their own, and would happily accept working long hours for little pay, for a chance to make it happen. When many employees are willing to accept extreme conditions for the few jobs they want, there’s a lot less pressure on the industry to provide work environments that are much better than what they’re willing to settle for.

Here’s a sweet anime GIF to take the edge off. It gets harder from here.

Another point to consider is the principle of supply vs. demand. I know that there may be a lot of poorly-paid service industry employees out there that might not like hearing it, but if anyone could do what you do for a living, to the point that people could be easily taken from the street to do your job, there’s not much expectation of making a lot more than minimum wage to do it.

What does this have to do with Japanese animators? While it may be hard work, the fact is, it’s low-qualification work. And it’s easy to find many, many young people in Japan who are willing to do it. And it so happens that many people in Japan are willing to settle for less money.

For the employer, if someone could do the same job as someone else, but for less money, to hire the one that asks for less money would be a more practical choice. In some cases, the stakes are high, as many smaller animation studios in Japan make this choice because their budgets aren’t that great.

One might point out that if a person works long hours, day after day, with little rest in between, a person could easily wind up in the hospital. This happens frequently in Japan. In fact, the Japanese consider it a badge of honor. When a person works so hard that they end up at the hospital out of sheer exhaustion, the Japanese consider it a sign of just how dedicated that worker is.

So, do I have a solution to this problem? Not really. When so many young people are so eager to get involved in anime that they’re willing to accept the difficult life that comes with producing it, it’s hard to discourage them. What they produce makes people happy, they know it, and they are willing to put the work in to make that happen.

In time, however, they may come to more strongly want a house, a car, and to start their own family. When it comes to that point, a person may come to realize that throwing themselves at burnout for a pitiful amount of money doesn’t seem like it’s bringing them to their goals.

Here’s another kawaii booster. Hang in there.

While life is somewhat easier for a mangaka (Japanese comic artist), the fact is, producing Japanese manga comes with challenges of its own. I’ve heard stories about mangaka who worked a month just to produce what they pitch to a publisher, and if the publisher accepted, they usually wanted a comparable amount of content on a weekly basis. The author of Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto, has gotten so tired from his art that he actually hired someone to help him with it.

So no, taking the manga route doesn’t guarantee an easy life.

But then, the makers of video games have it difficult, too. The fact is, most outlets that produce entertainment in Japan aren’t held in as high regard in Japan as we might imagine.

The Japanese have a culture that’s so career-oriented, and they value hard work so much, that anything that comes with the risk of being called frivolous (such as entertainment) has a high likelihood of being underrepresented in the culture. While people in the west identify themselves with their favorite movies and shows, the Japanese are hesitant to bring it up at all, due to the perception that if anyone consumes any amount of entertainment media, they’re likely fanatical about it to the point that they allow it to consume their life.

While an American who works at Pixar might proudly tell their family about it, those who watch anime in Japan usually just keeps it to themselves.

Considering this, one might think that the animation industry in America hires on teams of animators that are paid a decent living wage. There might be some that do, but largely, if an American media company wants something animated, they’d just send their storyboard to Asia, where they can get the animation done cheap.

I doubt that you’re surprised.

Considering all this, it’s important to remember that the reason why so many Japanese people accept the difficult conditions associated with the Japanese entertainment industry is because they decide to. They’re not compelled to do it, and those who make manga, anime, and video games generally enjoy doing so.

With how challenging it is for them, it’s hard to imagine that they don’t.

Thanks for hanging in there.

Netflix Offering Tuition to Aspiring Animators in Japan (Including Westerners)

Netflix is offering a tuition program to students in Japan who are interested in learning to make anime. The program will award tuition to about ten students, including western students residing in Japan who may be interested.

I was immediately suspicious of Netflix’s motives, because there’s a potential for it to be about more than increasing the potential for new programming. After all, anime is one of the great forms of entertainment left that still hasn’t been poisoned by western intersectional politics. Because western entertainment companies are obsessed with activism (at the expense of the product itself), I’m not warm to the idea of western entertainment companies increasing their presence in Japan.

However, as far as that goes, there really isn’t much to worry about. For one thing, Japanese animators mainly produce anime for Japanese audiences. Anime is largely produced from a position of Japanese sensibility, and as I’ve pointed out before, even younger Japanese viewers are treated to content that is more mature compared to what Americans see in the “CalArts” style.

The CalArts style, as shown ruining Thundercats.

It’s one of the reasons why more western youngsters are turning to anime for entertainment. It’s easier to take anime seriously, because anime takes its viewers seriously.

Another, more compelling reason is that Americans wouldn’t be interested in working in anime once they discover that in Japanese animation, there’s no work-life balance, and the pay is dreadful.

Your typical Japanese animator works shifts as long as 16-hours. Because they’re usually allowed to sleep at their desks, many Japanese animators don’t bother renting a home, but instead spend days at a time at their workplace.

They’re not payed very well, either. Japanese animators usually get paid the equivalent of a few dollars an hour. But because they’d have little need to buy a car or pay rent, that income isn’t necessarily earmarked. By the way, I’m not kidding.

Compare this to the typical American wage expectation. What Americans want is a house, a car or two, and to support a medium-size family, and have disposable income on top of that. The wages of a Japanese animator are almost never enough to support anything resembling this.

In light of this, you might wonder why anyone in Japan would make anime for a living. The ones that make anime do so because they like doing it. They’d pretty much have to, because if they decided to do so professionally, it usually takes over their lives for as long as they continue in it.

TL;DR: An American who saw what being a Japanese animator was really like would be strongly unlikely to want to try it for a living.

If it’s a testimonial you want, an American actually did succeed in being hired to make anime in Japan, and here is a link to a story about him (warning: links to Buzzfeed).

Considering all this, I seriously doubt that American intersectional insanity would stand a chance of ruining anime anytime soon.

2020 Digital Manga Sales 3X That of DC and Marvel Sales Combined

In times past, Americans were at least credited as being the world’s entertainers. It seems that role is shifting, if graphic novel sales are any indication.

Sales for graphic novels in 2020 are in, and they show the Japanese manga industry destroying American comics, eclipsing Marvel and DC comics combined by three to one.

The following shows the top ten sales for graphic novels in 2020:

1. My Hero Academia vol. 1 
2. My Hero Academia vol. 2 
3. Demon Slayer vol. 1 
4. My Hero Academia vol. 24 
5. My Hero Academia vol. 3 
6. My Hero Academia vol. 23 
7. Uzumaki hardcover 
8. My Hero Academia vol. 4 
9. Demon Slayer vol. 2 
10. My Hero Academia vol. 5

The list is dominated by Japan’s current most popular manga series, Boku no Hero Academia, as well as Demon Slayer and Uzumaki. What didn’t even place are western comics like Superman, Iron Man, or even Batman.

I remember a time in which Japanese manga was obscure. But times have changed, and Americans have taken a liking to the Japanese graphic novel format.

When one directly compares comics to manga, the reason for the preference by general audiences is easy to understand. While comics usually sees about thirty new pages each month, manga sees 15-20 new pages each week (granted, US comics usually have more color pages). While comics focus heavily on merchandising, in manga, the pages themselves are the focal products. While US comics lean heavily on iconic established characters, in manga, new series’ can thrive because the writers are great at getting us to care about new characters.

What’s more, American comics have recently focused heavily on virtue signaling through expressing activist causes. Natch, western readers viewed this as the cringe it is, which has a lot to do with why westerners are turning to Japanese manga and anime. What’s more, the influencers of western social media have no influence in Japan, and have even been spurned by Japanese content creators that take notice.

But comic companies do get the added perk of getting to blame their fans for their comics not selling well by attributing poor sales to sexism and racism on the part of the fans.

How’s that for a cynic’s quest? “What’s that, comic companies? The Japanese are handing your butts to you in sales? Here, have a soapbox, upon which you can feel a smug sense of superiority.”

Then there’s the big reason: Western audiences are reading more manga because manga tells better stories. As a matter of philosophy, the Japanese desire to produce superior products, and their entertainment is no exception. Readers take manga seriously because manga authors take them seriously.

Recently, I discovered a manga called Made in Abyss. It’s cute appearance is disarming, and it’s easy to be skeptical by reason of it. It really drives home the cuteness, with characters like the adorable Nanachi:

A character designed by someone who gives a care.

It reads like a Dungeons and Dragons story, as directed by a DM so sadistic you’d think he went to college for it. Not only are the heroes in danger of dying by monsters, there’s also danger of poison, parasites, and random mutation by influence of the environment. It’s to the point that fans have even expressed doubt that beloved characters like Nanachi might survive from one season of the anime to the next.

Suffice to say, Made in Abyss wasn’t made for kids. But it’s a great example of how manga has an edge that’s often missing from American comics.

As for what is made for kids, about ten years back, I decided to check out a random episode of the anime, Doremi Naisho, out of curiosity. The episode had to do with “indirect kissing”. That’s surprisingly mature. Yet, Japanese children are better at consuming media with more mature themes because Japanese parents know how to raise children that are better behaved.

Surprisingly mature.

In America, fad parenting takes on many forms, some of which with cultish adherents. You’d think that they’d be quick to figure out that their novel approaches don’t actually work, but noooooooo

Then there’s Dragonball Z, whose many heroes could give Superman a wedgie without breaking a sweat. But it’s more than a simple power fantasy. Involved stories are used to develop characters to the point that, when characters are in danger, there’s a sense of peril, and when they die, it actually comes off as a tragedy. And nearly every major character does, at some point.

Also, there’s Sailor Moon. I don’t get it, but some people like it. That’s cool for them.

Reading this, some might think I’m dead-set against American comics, but I’m not. I want to see them succeed. But right now, the writers of American comics aren’t doing what it takes to make that happen.

There is an Asian proverb that I’ve been using quite a bit lately. You could probably already guess what it is, especially since it’s so fitting, considering the topic. Confucius said, The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. When considering how manga is far outselling traditional western comics, it’s interesting that the groups who aren’t obsessed with profit are greatly overtaking those who are primarily driven by it.

If I’m not getting what I’m looking for from one party, I will receive it from those who are offering it.

Amazon Still Going After Anime

no game no life sad face.png

Online retailer Amazon has previously gone after anime figures that they deemed objectionable, even though a basic observation shows that there wasn’t anything objectionable about them. It seems this trend is continuing, as they’re halting sales of the light novel series, No Game No Life.

If you’re wondering what a “light novel” is, it’s related to Japanese comic books called “manga”, except they’re mainly text with intermittent illustrations.

I’m not familiar with the series No Game No Life, but from what I’ve seen in passive browsing, it’s far from the most offensive series out there. I suspect that the bannings are being carried out by a member of Amazon staff who isn’t strongly familiar with anime.

I’m not a huge anime nerd, but I’ve watched quite a bit. From what I’ve seen, the thing that makes anime appealing is the same thing that some people find concerning about it: some anime can have surprisingly mature themes. The fact is, anime isn’t a single genre, it’s an animation style used mainly in Japan. The anime style and its many variants can be used in Japanese shows that appeal to many different audiences, with some made for children, some made for teens, and some anime is made for mature audiences.

The fact that anime can touch on mature themes or have cultural references specific to the Japanese can result in anime being viewed with suspicion by certain western viewers who are more familiar with the idea of cartoons being primarily geared towards children.

An interesting point that’s related to this is that the Japanese aren’t obsessed with the idea that entertainment media can be used to inform a person’s worldview, or that cartoon characters be used to teach the values that parents should be teaching. The Japanese are morally unaffected by entertainment media because they can understand the difference between fantasy and reality, and are strongly well-behaved as people. The Japanese can consume mature entertainment without adverse effect because they are mature people. They don’t relegate child-rearing to the television set.

Because anime can have mature themes and even be adult-centric, it has plenty of potential to be viewed as weird. What’s more, while many western cartoons have simple plotlines that conclude in 20 minutes, anime can tell long stories that can take many episodes to reach a conclusion. Because of this, those accustomed to western cartoons can find anime very challenging. Considering this, anime is often unfairly criticized, and so are the people who consume it, in spite of the fact that anime fans tend to keep it sensible.

Though Amazon has blocked sales of No Game No Life, Amazon hasn’t given a reason for doing so. But I’m hearing that Amazon has also blocked sale of anime-related items that depicted characters bathing and characters in bed with only bedding. There seems to be a theme of vilification over depictions of nudity, as though there were anything intrinsically wrong with that. Nudity isn’t wrong, it’s a state of the human body (the most natural state). However, depictions of the sort are a typical target for busybodies out to score moral-superiority points.

The stated goal is usually “to fight objectification”, as though a fictional character’s plight were equivalent to that of a real human being. A fictional character can’t be further objectified because fictional characters are already objects. In any case, the busybodies don’t seem aware of the irony that they’re creating in speaking out against the objectification of fictional women, when their cause would victimize real women. The fact is, the Japanese entertainment industry employs and is cultivated by women. If the Japanese entertainment industry were to cave in to the demands of non-Japanese busybodies, many women that the industry employs might find themselves without income, and the busybodies’ endeavor against fictional women would have victimized real women.

When it comes to entertainment media, the best course of action is to allow mature, responsible people to make choices for themselves. If something doesn’t appeal to your sensibilities, you can make your choices based on that. What makes the busybodies problematic is that they’re not content with making their own choices for themselves, they want to make everyone else’s choices for them based on their own personal hang-ups. They don’t trust other people to behave maturely. While they pretend to be about liberation when they stand up for fictional people, they aren’t about liberty for real people.

When it comes to consuming mature media in a responsible manner, anime fans do surprisingly well. It’s too bad that there are people out there that don’t understand that.

If you think anime figurines are objectionable, what are you doing searching Amazon for them?

A few anime figures were recently removed from Amazon on the claims that they “promote child exploitation or depict children or characters resembling children in a sexually suggestive manner.” Because the figures in question do no such thing, there shouldn’t be an issue with showing you which ones were removed:

miku hatsune kanzaki hiro.jpg

This character is Hatsune Miku, one of the most recognizable Japanese characters. Personally, I assumed that she was an adult because she has adult characteristics (i.e. breasts, well-defined hips, etc.). But hey, I arrived at that determination using my brain and eyes. In Vocaloid lore, she’s a software character, so she wouldn’t actually have an age. Does Siri have an age, and would anyone object to finding Siri attractive?

tsumugi kotobuki.jpg

Notice just how much Tsumugi is expressing her sexuality by standing there, playing an electronic keyboard? She isn’t? Exactly.

miku hatsune.jpg

Miku again, and she looks very much grown-up in this one, too. She’s not even doing anything sexual, just dancing and singing. If you know of a place on earth that has a problem with these things, let me know about it in the comments below.

HLP.jpg

While this one is child-like in appearance, she’s not doing anything suggestive. She doesn’t look like she’s doing anything. However, she appears to be totally down with standing there and staring with a judgemental look on her face, just like the last girlfriend I had.

This representation of the character is a “chibi”, which means she was arbitrarily made child-like, which is something the Japanese do because they like cute things. Westerners should understand this because we have Funco POPs.

Still, there might be something about this character that comes off as odd. The chained collar around the neck of this angelic character implies an intention to confine. Considering this, this particular character comes off as having the highest potential for objectionability of the bunch (speaking from a position of relative ignorance of the manga or anime that may depict her).

Aoi Kannazuki.jpg

So this one (grown-up) is dressed like a maid. And there are people who think about sex when they think about maid outfits. Does this make maid outfits sexual?

No, it doesn’t.

Sexuality is something that occurs in the mind. People arbitrarily find things sexual which actually don’t have anything to do with sex. For example, feet. Why feet? I don’t know, but some people see them as sexual. Also, certain food items, like ice cream and pizza. I don’t know why people sexualize those, but it’s something that happens in their minds.

It should be obvious that I’m not overly favorable toward the idea of finding a work of expression objectionable just because there exists the potential to view it a certain way. If someone did, there would be a slippery-slope effect where that person might come to the point of objecting to just about anything, regardless of what the intention of an artist may have been.

I admit that I don’t know much about the characters pictured above, aside from Miku. If the other works that these characters were featured in sexualized them in any way, it wasn’t made apparent in the figurines themselves. But even if the characters are portrayed expressing their sexuality at any point in a manga or anime they were featured in, why would that be a bad thing, provided they were expressing it in a healthy way? Sexuality is one of the most human of traits, and is a universal aspect of human life. I suspect that the real problem is that certain people have an unhealthy view of sex and sexuality.

One related problem that I can point out in fiction, including in western media, is the gender double-standard when it comes to infatuation. When it occurs with girls and women, people assume pureness of motives. But when it’s boys and men, they’re portrayed as though we should be suspicious of their intentions. In reality, the experience of limerence is equally valid for both sexes.

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As I’ve said before, if you don’t like a work of art, just don’t look at it. Not everyone has the same standard of what is objectionable, which is something that they can only decide for themselves. If you’re such a repressed person that when you see an adult anime woman singing you think “child exploitation”, what are you doing browsing anime figurines on Amazon?

By the way, I don’t actually know the ages of the characters depicted by the figurines. I went by characteristics, because that was how they were being unfairly judged by Amazon. I don’t really know much about these characters, aside from Miku. The characters were judged unfairly based on aesthetics, so I deemed their aesthetics as being what’s relevant to the discussion. If anyone wants to be nitpicky about it, fictional characters don’t actually have ages. Everything about them is arbitrarily made up, and whoever made them up can just make their ages whatever they want. That’s something to know about stuff that’s just made up.

The Pokemon anime spoiler that’s difficult to avoid (Alola league results)

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Ash has won a Pokemon League tournament in the Pokemon anime. Yes, that actually happened. The anime has been running for over two decades, with each generation of Pokemon typically concluding with a Pokemon League tournament where the winner would be declared the champion.

To be fair, Ash has won two similar victories in the past, those being the Orange Island League and the Battle Frontier challenge, but neither of those were leagues in the same sense as the Alola League, which held a tournament as other traditional Leagues do.

There have been those who have insisted that Ash should have won other league tournaments in which he participated, but I prefer to be more realistic about it. Most league tournaments in the Pokemon anime are single-elimination tournaments, wherein contestants are eliminated as soon as they’ve lost, after just one round. These tournaments can be pretty brutal, especially if there is a large number of participants, which would necessitate more rounds. While Ash may be the main character of his story, he’s every bit a person as everyone else who entered the competition, and those other people have had experiences just as valid as his. Because a large crowd participates in Pokemon’s league competitions, the odds of any particular contestant winning are very slim, but can significantly improve if a person is of a higher skill level. Because tournaments typically attract highly-skilled participants, the odds of an average-level participant taking top honors is very slim.

Ash’s league victory comes just after we’ve gotten a strong hint that the next generation of Pokemon anime will take place across all regions featured in the main Pokemon games, with the possibility that Ash may no longer be featured as the main character. If this turns out to be the case, granting Ash a league victory would give the character, and fans all over the world, closure that they’ve collectively been waiting a long time for.

Well done, kid.

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