I don’t know if anyone else does this but every now and then, I go back and reread my articles I’ve written. It’s not for any narcissistic reason. (Though, that’s exactly what a narcissist would say.) I’m not sure if it could be a smaller side effect of my anxiety disorder, but it’s more for fear. I get so nervous that something I’ve said before will come back and haunt me. Other times, I worry that I’ve written something I completely disagree with now or, just as bad, that I’ve written it so poorly, that my ideas could be misconstrued or actually are terrible in some way. To be fair, thanks to Facebook constantly bombarding me with “Your posts from 9 years ago!” reminders, I feel I have my reasons to get nervous about what I’ve said in the past. Hot damn, high school me was a dumb shit.
Me gesturing to my dumb-ass past self.
The article I constantly go back to more than any other, though, is my Kill la Kill article, my very first one I ever wrote for this blog and the one that started the whole dang project of The Backloggers. I think this one, more than anything, I get so nervous about. For one, it’s been one of the single most trafficked articles for our blog, and has been referenced not only in the blogosphere but also on Reddit as well as on a Chinese forum discussing Western and Eastern ideas about sexism. Which… HOW FUCKING COOL IS THAT?! The Internet is amazing!
However, that’s what scares me. Even after I wrote it, I didn’t feel as hot about it compared to how I wanted it to be. And as time has gone on, I constantly think back to what I said, particularly when it comes to the themes of objectification and sexism versus equal treatment and empowerment. And I’m still not sold. Kill la Kill, to me, has been really complicated in that I feel it does so many genuinely cool and amazing things, particularly when it comes to multiple badass female characters that are so different from each other and fun to see be the leads in a fighting genre anime. However, while at the time of writing it, I tried to have a good answer for various scenes in the show, looking back, it’s a problematic piece on the whole. And after recently reading a discussion about these very same feelings from someone else, I finally caved in and decided I needed to review my earlier ideas.
Man, it’s been a while since I’ve had to do this but forewarning, the content in question is Not Safe For Work. Before that scares you off, though, this graphic novel is sold in the normal kind of stores and has a beautiful point for it’s use of sexual imagery. Also, while this topic may not exactly be anime related, the author of this work in question is a super nerd and takes obvious influences from Japanese media. Plus, it’s my own damn article and I just wanna write about this, okay?
Sorry, that got a little confrontational… Lemme just start.
Sex is often a very taboo topic, particularly when it comes to where I live here in America. We’ve become more accustomed to talking about violence and aggression than all that other stuff that gives you cooties. Basically, you can watch people die horrifically and it’ll get a PG-13 rating but if two girls kiss “OH NO! Grab the pitchforks ‘cause it’s time fer a burnin’!”
With a bit of a flipped morality like that, it can be hard to find well-written stories that approach the topic of sex with the right respect and openness that it deserves. Honestly, it seems to me that it’s sometimes easier to find a story that uses rape as a means of moving the plot forward than one that uses consensual intercourse. And while there are efforts to educate and make things better. Education is only one side of the coin. We also need it represented tastefully in our media to expose and normalize the topic along with all the other aspects and types of affection and love.
Enter my exhibit A for the court hearing on tasteful representation of sex: the graphic novel Sunstone.
Although we aren’t quite finished with the Winter 2017 season yet, and I’m admittedly not entirely caught up on everything I started watching this season, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Scum’s Wish will handily secure the position of my Anime of the Season. I haven’t seen an anime in recent seasons that has so maturely dealt with ideas such as, but not limited to, sexuality, sexual identity, views of self-worth, and the various ways in which these factors affect people and their interactions with one another. It’s a drama unlike any other I’ve seen in the genre, and each week I have consistently come back eager to see what new element of the story is going to unfold before me. In watching the show, though, it’s impossible to get around one of the integral themes that some of the characters wrestle with – are they scum for using others in the ways that they do for their pleasure? By extension, are we scum for watching these events unfold, and using their pain and drama for our own enjoyment?
This week, we discuss the ethic systems in place within Shinsekai Yori and how perceptions of those ethics shape our view of humanity.
Unrelated, we also talk about Japan’s obsession with blood types for a bit.
Let us know your opinions and thoughts! If you enjoy our content, give us a like, subscribe to our channel, or submit a comment here, on our video, or on Twitter!
This podcast was recorded on November 19th, 2016.
This week, we talk about Shokugeki no Souma and its commentary on shounen anime, sexualization within anime, and the desire of food.
We also make mention of a certain gorilla. Rest in peace.
Let us know your opinions and thoughts! If you enjoy our content, drop us a message, subscribe to our channel, or submit a comment here, on our video, or on Twitter!
This podcast was recorded on August 25th, 2016.
Important note from author: This is a much older piece and no longer really depicts my true feelings on Kill la Kill. I will keep this up as I do think I had some good points but if you’d like to see how I feel several years later, please read this linked article after reading through this one where I critique this article in-depth and come at it with a more mature understanding, disagreeing with myself on particular points.
Let’s talk about feminism and sexuality. For those that inwardly groan at the mention of these sometimes over-discussed topics, I can promise you that there will be massive fan-service and tons of ridiculous action. Fair? But a warning up front: Given the show we’re discussing, this isn’t exactly going to be safe-for-work at all times. I’ll also try to be vague about many particular instances in the show, but this will be a spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t seen, or cares to see, the show. Now that we have our NSFW tag and SPOILER ALERT included, let’s begin.