Author Archives: 8C

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Old Souls: Constructions of Erotic Realities and Hot And Steamy vol. 1 (NSFW)

hot_and_steamy-crop

Note: This post discusses explicit sex in an explicitly sexual work, and includes images which are not safe for work.

It ought be fairly clear that most pornography is not an accurate reflection of reality. But perhaps more interestingly, different pornographic works inhabit realities which are vastly different from each other. When they divorce themselves from real-world sexual mores, erotic texts are often freed to reinvent sexual morality from scratch.

This is true to all fictional works up to a point, but the dissonance between how strongly sexuality is highlighted in pornography and how often guarded or shameful it is in reality makes the departure consistently, explicitly more noticeable. That said, so long as the author inhabits the real world and real sexual mores, their departure from those mores is clearly marked as a departure.

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Filed under Hot and Steamy, Reviews, Uncategorized

Quantification of Art and Commodification of Identity in the Postmodern Age: A Forensic Exploration

ジャスティス by ゴロボッツ

Ichigo Mashimaro

Planetes

Heartcatch Precure

Sengoku Collection

Hidamari Sketch

Oh, that was easy.

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9 Comments

Filed under Favorites, Uncategorized

Words Usually Mean Things. This Is Less Debatable Than You Think.

[Trigger warnings: rape, rape culture]

Among the controversies du jour is one troublesome line from the recently-aired Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. The original line, 「動くな。騒ぐと犯す」, was rendered in Crunchyroll’s translation as “No funny moves. Make one peep and I rape you.” If, in fact, that is what he said, this is a very shocking line indeed. But here’s the thing.

That is what he said.

This is not open for interpretation.

The primary male love interest in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun threatened the protagonist with sexual violence.

The average anime fan with a dog in this fight tends to vastly over-rate either their Japanese literacy, their understanding of how language works, or both, so I’ll take this from the very top.

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Filed under Editorials, Meta, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

Formula and Function: A Critical Lens for Formula in Serial Works

It is often observed that works of an episodic nature tend to fall into predictable patterns over time. Plot structures, character personalities and so forth tend to develop comfortable, consistent shapes, often called “formulas”. Many works, of course, use formula and repetition to a specific end—e.g. in service of a specific thematic goal. Yuasa leverages formula in The Tatami Galaxy to viscerally drive home the work’s thesis; untold volumes have been filled dissecting its use in Revolutionary Girl Utena. But what I mean to discuss here is the function that repetition serves more generally as a narrative, not thematic, device—we arrive at formulas because if something worked once, it’s likely to work again. Repetition, used carefully, can enhance a work as much as effective photography or musical score.

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Filed under Editorials, Modern Visual Culture

Binbou-gami ga! Episode 4

After a disappointing episode last week, Binbou-gami ga! is back in rare form as of episode four. There are some lingering traces of sentimentality it hasn’t managed to shake off, but the focus is back on the physical comedy, and even the serious subplot is better-executed and less disruptive.

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Filed under Binbou-gami ga!, Episodics

Binbou-gami ga! Episode 3

This episode was boring. Let’s talk about something else.

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Filed under Binbou-gami ga!, Episodics

Binbou-gami ga! Episode 2

This week, Binbou-gami ga! doubled down on everything that made the first episode great. The gags were more plentiful and more carefully-designed, the pacing less distracted by a need to introduce the setting. In particular, this episode increased the focus on quick sight gags.

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Filed under Binbou-gami ga!, Episodics

Binbou-gami ga! Episode 1

Summer looks to be a good season for comedy: the darkly cynical Humanity Has Declined and the culture-steeped Joshiraku have both been making waves. Both are quite good – but for my part, Binbou-gami ga! is the season’s jewel. It’s a cartoon of the highest order, with an admirably old-school gag mentality and the technical chops to back it up.

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Filed under Binbou-gami ga!, Episodics

A Contrast in Cultures: Sex Positivity in Ero-Manga

It’s no well-kept secret that the bulk of Japanese erotic manga (ero-manga), being a subset of pornography, has some serious, wrong-headed ideas about sexuality and gender. Among works marketed to both men and women, rape is practically normalized. From stories marked “vanilla”—despite “no” not actually meaning “no”—to fetishistic works which go beyond the pale in depriving characters of agency over their own bodies, sex is inflicted on characters, particularly women, as an act of violence with disturbing frequency. In a feminist reading, the term that comes to mind is sex-negative.

Note: while this post is essentially safe-for-work, it contains frank and explicit discussion of sex and sexuality.

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Filed under Editorials, JUNK LAND