Disclaimer: This is my totally honest, unfiltered opinion. If you don’t like it, or disagree, I’d love to hear your thoughts to the contrary, but I would appreciate a level-headed, logical argument. If you feel the need to tell me off or accuse me of being a bitch, you will be removed and blocked. No exceptions. Also…language warning for those sensitive to profanity.
Lately I’ve been noticing a lot of mainstream anime coming out as live action films, which I have mixed feelings about. It starts with how I feel about mainstream anime as a whole and ends with how I feel about what is being done with those movies.
First of all, I’ve always been interested in the premises for most anime. They’re different, thoughtful, and could create some really great story lines. But…I cannot watch anime. I’ve tried so many times. And everyone tells me, “Oh this one isn’t like the others. You’ll love it.” Know what happens? I can barely sit through one episode. It’s not the stories. Those are great. It’s the cheesy, over-dramatic art. The giant eyes with tiny lines for mouths. The weird-ass squiggly lines that bounce around a character’s head when they’re excited or upset. I just can’t do it. So I’m actually really excited about the fact that a lot of these are being done as live action. I might be able to enjoy the story and characters without being distracted by the shivering animation.
Let me preface by saying this: I don’t have a problem with girls dressing in what they like and feel comfortable in. Hell, I’ll be the first person to tell you that people need to stop worrying about what a girl wears and be more concerned with her education and emotional state.
BUT – I’m hoping that these movies will tone down the over-the-top sexuality of teenage female characters. I’m sure that not all mainstream anime features this type of character, but enough of them do that it’s another reason I can’t watch it. Fifteen-year-old girls are depicted wearing tiny little clothes. Usually they’re in some sort of school uniform or dressed like an underage sailor who couldn’t find a uniform that fit. That’s not it though. In these anime shows, the girls aren’t just wearing skimpy outfits, the main camera focus is almost always on the exposed area of the girls’ bodies. It’s enough to know that the artists/writers are actively showing off the tantalizing parts of a young girl’s body. It’s perfectly acceptable for a teenager to be attractive and proud of her body. It is not acceptable to write her as the half-naked friend who’s sole purpose is to tag along with her overly serious friend with mysterious abilities.
And that brings me to the next problem I have. Maybe there are a lot of teenage guys who spend hours at a time brooding and not giving two shits about anything at all. I don’t know. I’ve never met one. Most of them tend to at least show interest in girls or boys. The weird thing is that the characters in these shows are all terribly arrogant, aloof, and downright mean to their female counterparts. The girls basically spend most of their time following their magical superhero friends around. Like their entire purpose is to be eye candy that sometimes figures shit out first. But of course, no one listens to her when she does because they’re too busy focusing the camera down her shirt.
I’m not knocking all anime artists or writers. They have some great imaginations. The animation issue is a personal one. That’s me. I can’t make myself like it. The problem with the characters is worldwide. It isn’t just anime that does it. In fact, there is a problem with nearly every genre depicting women of every age. They’re either weak-minded, weak-willed, or an utterly lost cause. Again…not all films. This is just a common problem. And for some reason men are consistently shown to lack the ability to show affection without expecting to get laid. I’m relieved that real men aren’t all like that.
I’ve been noticing a trend, however, where more and more movies are depicting both sexes with more depth than a cracker. I just hope it continues. And I also hope that soon we’ll have films that depict trans people who aren’t just there to be the flamboyant, sassy one. I thought Boys Don’t Cry did a great job of that. (Of course that was based on a true story and was completely heart-breaking.)
Now…back to the live action thing. I’m actually excited I get to see these stories played out in a medium I can watch without cringing. At last, I’ll be able to enjoy what my friends have for years. However…
What’s with all the white characters? (I swear to the gods if anyone accuses me of being SJW (which…I’m still not sure why that’s a bad thing), I’m going to knock your head in…Not really, but please shut the fuck up. If you have enough privilege to accuse someone of fighting for the fair treatment of minorities, then you’re not solving anything by being an asshole.) I don’t have a problem with white characters. I mean…I’m fucking white. That’s obviously not an issue. I’m just not sure we’re doing this right. Japanese stories with Japanese characters are being rewritten by white writers, and the characters are all coming out white. Did they go through the laundry when they moved from animation to live action? It’s like someone decided to pour bleach all over the entire thing. There are plenty talented Japanese actors. Why aren’t we utilizing them for these roles?
Honestly, I’m more baffled than anything. I’m not so upset that I’ll boycott the industry. I’m not even upset enough to make more of a stink about it than this blog post. (Like 10 people read this shit anyway.) I just want to know why.
In the end, I may or may not watch the films. Ghost in the Shell looks really bad ass, and I actually like Scarlett Johansson. I’ll probably end up watching it at home. As for Death Note, I’m not sure yet. The concept is intriguing. We’ll see how it goes.
And with that…I’m out of ranting. Have a beautiful fucking day everyone.