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Old 01-06-2014, 05:04 PM   #21
GC Riot GC Riot is offline
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It should be noted that girls' anime similarly objectify men, but in a different way (as befits how women tend to objectify men, which is different than the reverse).
Two wrongs don't make a right. My point is that you could still make a guy- or girl-centric show, but treat both genders with respect and not let them fall into the regular stereotypes as they clearly did here, as that will only keep enforcing our already twisted world view of what a woman or a man "should" be like.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:21 PM   #22
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Two wrongs don't make a right. My point is that you could still make a guy- or girl-centric show, but treat both genders with respect and not let them fall into the regular stereotypes as they clearly did here, as that will only keep enforcing our already twisted world view of what a woman or a man "should" be like.
I disagree to a certain extent. While I guess I'm far less of a sexism police kind of person than most, I think to a certain degree, men and women naturally objectify the opposite sex (and it holds true for gays as well) to a certain extent (otherwise, how would you get it "up" for the opposite sex if physical attributes did nothing for you?) and if you are making a show catering to one specific gender, it's natural to adhere to some sexual objectification to appeal to the audience. I honestly don't find it a "wrong" if a girl-centric show objectifies a guy, speaking as a guy. If a girl-centric show has impossibly chiseled pretty boys with their shirts off all the time, I don't cry about objectification or sexism, speaking as a guy who has much more modest sexual appeal myself. It's cheesecake and I can understand that. Gender centric shows are by their very nature a type of escapism that I think is fairly harmless in controlled amounts. And we're not talking about depictions of rape or slavery here, just guys or girls running around half nekkid.

Now, if you have a general appeal anime like, say, a Miyazaki anime doing these things, I can understand the complaints as it is a grievous misjudgement of the target audience. Families watch certain movies and anime with a certain expectation and I feel like you should adhere to those rules by not including such elements.

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Old 01-06-2014, 05:38 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by llj View Post
I disagree to a certain extent. While I guess I'm far less of a sexism police kind of person than most, I think to a certain degree, men and women naturally objectify the opposite sex (and it holds true for gays as well) to a certain extent (otherwise, how would you get it "up" for the opposite sex if physical attributes did nothing for you?) and if you are making a show catering to one specific gender, it's natural to adhere to some sexual objectification to appeal to the audience. I honestly don't find it a "wrong" if a girl-centric show objectifies a guy, speaking as a guy. If a girl-centric show has impossibly chiseled pretty boys with their shirts off all the time, I don't cry about objectification or sexism, speaking as a guy who has much more modest sexual appeal myself. It's cheesecake and I can understand that. Gender centric shows are by their very nature a type of escapism that I think is fairly harmless in controlled amounts. And we're not talking about depictions of rape or slavery here, just guys or girls running around half nekkid.

Now, if you have a general appeal anime like, say, a Miyazaki anime doing these things, I can understand the complaints as it is a grievous misjudgement of the target audience. Families watch certain movies and anime with a certain expectation and I feel like you should adhere to those rules by not including such elements.
I get what you're saying, but you know, these gender-specific shows really only add fuel to the fire in their current state, and help build unrealistic expectations on real-life men and women alike. It puts pressure on both of us to reach these ideals for ourselves, telling us how we should look for others to find us attractive, and moreso for women as, like it or not, it's a male-dominated industry, so mostly, they play by "our" rules. This reaches so much further than anime, but that's a different discussion for another time and place, as I want to stay on topic here.

I'm not saying we can't have physically attractive people in these shows, but show some restraint for pete's sake, and make them more than just objects for us to look at and give sexist comments to. That just sends out the wrong message of how to act as a basic human being, and frankly it's just condescending and shallow.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:56 PM   #24
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This thread is a perfect example of why I reject any politically-motivated (or would it be more correct to call them "values-based"?) critical schools, of which "feminism" is absolutely a sect. [pedantry]The merits of a given art, whether a painting or a sculpture or a film or even a Japanese animated television show, do not depend on its message (or if we agree with that message), but rather the effectiveness, sophistication, and even unique-ness of the methods employed by the artist in his work to convey a message, irrespective of the content of the message. Whether a given piece of art makes one's heart beat faster or one's blood boil is not per se directly connected to the quality of the art itself. Beauty or smut, conservative or backwards, these kinds of calls are outside the bounds of a truly valid criticism.[/pedantry]

That having been said, I think it's too early to pass any real judgment on Space Dandy, but thus far my own impressions are not positive due to issues with the narrative mechanics, some of which GC Riot has already pointed out (especially the "meta" aspect).

Last edited by Tiberius; 01-06-2014 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:30 PM   #25
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This thread is a perfect example of why I reject any politically-motivated (or would it be more correct to call them "values-based"?) critical schools, of which "feminism" is absolutely a sect.
I did call myself a feminist, but in reality I would rather consider myself a humanitarian. Just trying to give my view of what I think would make up a more healthy media climate while at the same time expressing my opinion on the show, which happened to include a lot of the issues I've talked about. The thing is, I've been a huge fan of Watanabe, and his previous show, Kids on the Slope is one of my all-time favourites, which is why I'm feeling so disappointed in all the missteps taken here (IMO of course).
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:34 PM   #26
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I get what you're saying, but you know, these gender-specific shows really only add fuel to the fire in their current state, and help build unrealistic expectations on real-life men and women alike. It puts pressure on both of us to reach these ideals for ourselves, telling us how we should look for others to find us attractive, and moreso for women as, like it or not, it's a male-dominated industry, so mostly, they play by "our" rules. This reaches so much further than anime, but that's a different discussion for another time and place, as I want to stay on topic here.

I'm not saying we can't have physically attractive people in these shows, but show some restraint for pete's sake, and make them more than just objects for us to look at and give sexist comments to. That just sends out the wrong message of how to act as a basic human being, and frankly it's just condescending and shallow.
Personally, I don't have a problem so much with the presence of gender specific entertainment, but moreso with the lack of variety in entertainment. I would say that I too would like a few more movies, anime and TV shows featuring characters of more ordinary or "realistic" physical appeal, and not just for the more "positive" message they promote, but just something different to look at, and a different way of looking at beauty in general. There's this old anime show from the 80s called the The Kabocha Wine, a romance anime about a somewhat big boned girl and a really short runt of a boy and it was just a nice visual contrast to what was out there at the time, for variety's sake.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:54 PM   #27
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Personally, I don't have a problem so much with the presence of gender specific entertainment, but moreso with the lack of variety in entertainment. I would say that I too would like a few more movies, anime and TV shows featuring characters of more ordinary or "realistic" physical appeal, and not just for the more "positive" message they promote, but just something different to look at, and a different way of looking at beauty in general. There's this old anime show from the 80s called the The Kabocha Wine, a romance anime about a somewhat big boned girl and a really short runt of a boy and it was just a nice visual contrast to what was out there at the time, for variety's sake.
I think that's a great way of putting it, and I agree wholeheartedly!
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:03 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Tiberius View Post
This thread is a perfect example of why I reject any politically-motivated (or would it be more correct to call them "values-based"?) critical schools, of which "feminism" is absolutely a sect. [pedantry]The merits of a given art, whether a painting or a sculpture or a film or even a Japanese animated television show, do not depend on its message (or if we agree with that message), but rather the effectiveness, sophistication, and even unique-ness of the methods employed by the artist in his work to convey a message, irrespective of the content of the message. Whether a given piece of art makes one's heart beat faster or one's blood boil is not per se directly connected to the quality of the art itself. Beauty or smut, conservative or backwards, these kinds of calls are outside the bounds of a truly valid criticism.[/pedantry].
I find your thought about art's merit being independent from its underlying message partially incorrect. Ideally, one would critically desire such hypothetical stance, but in reality it is impossible.

It would mean first to assume that artist or the critic (audience) has no history, culture or philosophy towards life. Most of art is built around an idea (message if you like).

So the message is essential to art itself, and it is the interpretation of this message that justifies posting our thoughts in this forum.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:17 PM   #29
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I think a show called Space "Dandy" (which by definition only cares about his self image - Baudelaire gave a good description " To live and die before the mirror"), will definitely objectify women.

It is like complaining about the violence in a movie called "Robocop"
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:49 PM   #30
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If one does not like the series, then let's put this simple....how about you don't watch it...
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:10 PM   #31
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I find your thought about art's merit being independent from its underlying message partially incorrect. Ideally, one would critically desire such hypothetical stance, but in reality it is impossible.

It would mean first to assume that artist or the critic (audience) has no history, culture or philosophy towards life. Most of art is built around an idea (message if you like).

So the message is essential to art itself, and it is the interpretation of this message that justifies posting our thoughts in this forum.
In other words, properly speaking, you are no "formalist"

As for the impossibility of such a stance as I described, I'm going to semi-Godwin this thread (it was bound to happen sooner or later!) in citing Riefenstahl's Triumph des Willens in defense of my thesis; that is to say, the critical community at large praises the film for its technical mastery in spite of its subject.

To reiterate, that "the message is essential to art itself" is not so much at issue. Merely that what the message is has no bearing on a valid critical appraisal, as valid criticism must transcend ever-fluctuating currents in social values and all cultures. Everything beyond such scope is simply (or not so simply as the case may be) non-critical reaction.

[In spite of my kind of sounding like a pedantic ass, this conversation could be going places!]
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:55 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Tiberius View Post
In other words, properly speaking, you are no "formalist"

As for the impossibility of such a stance as I described, I'm going to semi-Godwin this thread (it was bound to happen sooner or later!) in citing Riefenstahl's Triumph des Willens in defense of my thesis; that is to say, the critical community at large praises the film for its technical mastery in spite of its subject.

To reiterate, that "the message is essential to art itself" is not so much at issue. Merely that what the message is has no bearing on a valid critical appraisal, as valid criticism must transcend ever-fluctuating currents in social values and all cultures. Everything beyond such scope is simply (or not so simply as the case may be) non-critical reaction.

[In spite of my kind of sounding like a pedantic ass, this conversation could be going places!]
I feel like this thread is losing it's purpose (to post one's opinion about Space Dandy)

There are some threads dedicated to the subjects addressed in this thread - portrayal of women in cinema (which posting about feminism is appropriate) and Pretentious films (which had a long debate about the art criticism)

To address your post (I will continue at the fore mentioned thread), to critique art on a pure technical aspect would be missing a big part of what art is thought to be which is to address an idea or a concern. In the end, all art tries to become ahistorical, but always ends up being a reflection of its time.

If art, especially film was critique on pure technical view than all of Michael Bay's films are marvel masterpieces.

I saw Triumph of the Will a few years ago and it is a boring film, I find nothing technically spectacular about this film. There is nothing technically innovating filming Nazis parading down a street and giving long speeches (D.W. Griffith would have been a better example). Half the time people mentioning this film as great have never seen the film.

Please continue here: https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=165533

Last edited by Fellini912; 01-06-2014 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:48 PM   #33
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Japanese culture treats women entirely different in their entertainment than the ultra-feminized Western entertainment of today. If you can't get over that, it's not for you.
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:19 PM   #34
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Dandy talking about his preferences as a butt man, and a franchise of "breastaurants" called BooBies: these are some of the aspects I liked most about the show, so yeah, I reacted...in a positive way.

But whether the show on the whole is very entertaining, we shall see. On the fence myself.

Breaking the fourth wall seems to be done a bit less from what I sampled of the Japanese. (No place to stream it legally in the US yet, I don't think.) There were lines in the English that went on too long and made me think, "Yeah, I get it," that were missing in the subbed version. So it's difficult for me to really judge this show, even one episode, based on the dub—which has its own unique, funny lines ("I can't read circle!"), but I still feel the voice acting is a little flat, and the robot's autotuned voice kinda irks me (absent in Japanese).

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Old 01-06-2014, 11:00 PM   #35
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Japanese culture treats women entirely different in their entertainment than the ultra-feminized Western entertainment of today. If you can't get over that, it's not for you.
That's too generalized. There are still a number of Western-style feminist anime out there--probably even moreso than most of what comes out of Hollywood, too (most feminist cinema is relegated to indies--Hollywood inevitably undercuts their feminist messages because they need to follow a mandate).

Off the top of my head, Michiko and Hatchin, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Patlabor and Attack of the Titans all would neatly fall under "feminist" works under the Western definition of the word.

But, the "guy" shows significantly outweigh everything else in anime, but that's probably no different than it is here in America, where every 3rd Hollywood release is a superhero film (which, if you're keeping track, neatly falls under "guy" entertainment)

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I saw Triumph of the Will a few years ago and it is a boring film, I find nothing technically spectacular about this film. There is nothing technically innovating filming Nazis parading down a street and giving long speeches (D.W. Griffith would have been a better example). Half the time people mentioning this film as great have never seen the film.

Please continue here: https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=165533
I think Triumph of the Will is more praised for its editing style, which at the time achieved a goal of rousing German audiences to get behind Nazi glory. But as you said, today it seems very quaint and distancing.

Personally, I think Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia has had a much more tangible long lasting impact though. She basically created the blueprint for how you film sports. Everything you see on ESPN today has her fingerprints all over it.

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Old 01-07-2014, 02:08 AM   #36
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....

But, the "guy" shows significantly outweigh everything else in anime, but that's probably no different than it is here in America, where every 3rd Hollywood release is a superhero film (which, if you're keeping track, neatly falls under "guy" entertainment)
My wife disagrees with that assessment and so do I.... I think you are out of touch with what constitutes a "guy" form of entertainment. What you wrote is stereotypical..... Superhero films falls under "geek" entertainment....geek is a culture, not a gender and consequently has more women in the fanbase than there has ever been before. For example, Thor has drawn more women into Marvel CU and Marvel Comics.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:33 AM   #37
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Not to mention movies like Nolan's Dark Knight series attract a lot of non-geek women as well.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:43 PM   #38
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My wife disagrees with that assessment and so do I.... I think you are out of touch with what constitutes a "guy" form of entertainment. What you wrote is stereotypical..... Superhero films falls under "geek" entertainment....geek is a culture, not a gender and consequently has more women in the fanbase than there has ever been before. For example, Thor has drawn more women into Marvel CU and Marvel Comics.
I knew someone would run and call me out for that. Never attack geek culture. *sigh*

I could get into why I have some pretty good arguments as to why superhero films are actually "guy's" entertainment...even though many women watch them. But if you analyze those films, the primary concept or "thrust" (ha-ha), so to speak, is to provide an element of escapism primarily for men. However, this probably originates from the comics themselves, rather than the films. Thor, however, is an exception to the rule and that's primarily because Hemsworth has his shirt off half the time.

And as for your example of "cross gender" audiences being "proof"...well, I like romantic comedies--and I don't mean the ones intended for men (which usually feature nebbish guys getting the hot girl at the end). I've watched every Julia Roberts romcom and I've seen my share of Sex and the City. Just because I watch those entertainment and "enjoy" it to some degree doesn't mean they're NOT primarily intended for women. And I'm not gay, either, lest you begin to presume I fall under that stereotype.

Last edited by llj; 01-08-2014 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:47 PM   #39
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Hey, that's what you wrote....not me... You're entitled to your opinion, just don't presuppose as you speak for everyone as you do not and that yours is the only opinion that is right or wrong.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:57 PM   #40
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Hey, that's what you wrote....not me... You're entitled to your opinion, just don't presuppose as you speak for everyone as you do not and that yours is the only opinion that is right or wrong.
It's not about right and wrong. It's about marketing and target audience. Have you ever worked in a marketing firm before? I have, and I can tell you, when promoting ANY product that is out there--movies, shampoo, games, whatever--you have to identify your target audience first. You can have a secondary audience, but they are not your *primary* concern.

I can tell you that for studio execs, it is a fact that superhero movies' target audience are primarily young men. Every other demographic is either a secondary audience or bonus demographic. And this informs the creative process as well. When crafting scripts and editing movies, the target audience's reaction is the primary concern here.

Last edited by llj; 01-09-2014 at 08:00 PM.
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