Anime World Order Show # 51 – Timeliness Is Not Exactly Our Strongest Suit

Daryl’s gain is turned up entirely too high for the entire episode, which is even LONGER than usual. In addition to our Megacon 2007 report, Clarissa reviews Animation Runner Kuromi, Gerald revisits The Venus Wars, and Daryl finally gets around to reviewing To Terra Volume 1.

There’s going to be quite a few links this week in the full show notes for once. Eventually.

Introduction (0:00 – 18:24)
Remember, we still have a contest going where the winner will get a 100% silver keychain of our show logo. Perfect for destroying lycanthropes.

We spend a lot of time pontificating about the whole “o” versus “ou” deal when it comes to romanization. Plus, Scott from GeekNights has a VERY IMPORTANT question that requires all of our powers combined to answer. Actually, no it doesn’t.

Convention Report: Megacon 2007 (18:24 – 35:29)
Megacon 2007 took place from February 16-18. Our convention report is about six weeks after the fact, and for that we apologize. Admittedly, Megacon is a multimedia event, and so anime-related activities are but a small subset of everything going on there. We apologize for failing to mention that William “Spooky Electric” Bradford won third place in the Barbarian Battles, but perhaps we are just highly bitter that despite Daryl’s endorsing him to be chosen as Planet Smoothie’s Cupman, he failed to emerge victorious. We will be editing this post to include links to several pictures taken at the convention, but for now, here is the horrifying pizza picture we warned you about:

There was no need for Daryl’s archnemesis/would-be doppleganger to spend months constructing an enormous Shinigami out of PVC pipe (aka Death Plastic), thus keeping her rooted to one location for the day. All that was needed to kill one’s victims was that pizza, which was given to her by a total stranger. PS: when she enters that Death Note lookalike contest, vote for her so we can take credit for her victory!
You know what else we don’t need? To use a flash or perform contrast/color correction on photos taken of Virgil for the entertainment of the Death Valley Driver forums. Next on the list: getting footage of The Iron Shiek raping B. Brian Blair “to make him humble.” Bryan Alvarez was ROBBED in that Sweeney match, and mark our words: the ICW ICWA Texarcana Television Championship WILL be rechristened the Frank A. Gotch Collar-and-Elbow Memorial Championship. After all, Larry Sweeney and William “Spooky Electric” Bradford are the same man.

Let’s News! (35:29 – 1:12:22)
There was no news last week, and now this week, the news is two news segments strung together such that this segment alone is the recommended length of an entire podcast. We covered a lot of ground and, man, I hope next time our news segment isn’t as horribly long, but, well that’s the nature of the beast.

Anyway, Media Blasters has decided to essentially shut down most of their non-yaoi manga line. Of course, this means that Daryl’s favorite porn ever, Apocalypse Zero, [Daryl: it’s not porn if you don’t draw the dick, and seinen is TOO CLASSY for that. Even though without his dick, there’s no way even Eikichi could hope to defeat Kakugo] is now no longer being published. This leads to a discussion on whether there’s much of a “fandom” for seinen at all and what this could mean for getting more manga here that’s meant for an older audience. QUICK, GO OUT AND BUY GOLGO 13!

On the subject of manga, many big deal manga artists have sued a site for distributing their manga. Coming from a country where manga is super cheap, this is pretty bad. There’s also an interesting interview with Mamoru Oshii online, however, because it takes too damned long for our episodes to come out, it now requires a free registration to read (Bugmenot might help). Also, Anime Classic did a great job on restoring the crazy MTV-like 80’s anime To-Y, so go watch it and try to make sense of it (hopefully the tracker will be up since it seems to be down as I write this)! CPM’s also in big trouble over releasing yaoi manga that the Japanese company claims CPM is distributing without authorization. Clarissa is happy that the titles might be moved to someone who doesn’t charge more to watch dudes be rude when she can get her equivalent DBR quotient for less money from other publishers, while Gerald isn’t cool with the whole “changing of a license overseas and the US publisher has to pay for it again.” We, of course, know nothing and maybe things will become clearer in the coming weeks.

Also, Bandai Visual, in a “planned failure” move, is releasing Freedom and Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise (one of Gerald’s favorite movies ever) undubbed for horribly inflated prices. FUCK YOU JAPAN AND YOUR PRICING!

Want to see just how clueless Bandai Visual really is? Read their explanation for why they priced the DVDs the way they did. Didn’t everyone learn after ADV’s Kaleido Star debacle that the forum posters on Anime on DVD should all be completely ignored? At least, that’s the only place on the Internet where we could envision someone being STUPID enough to agree with this line of thought.

Promo: The Big Bald Broadcast (1:12:22 – 1:13:29)
Kyle Hebert is not only an anime voice actor, he’s a podcaster who’s been doing his show for longer than we’ve been around. We’ve just never played his promo because well, I don’t think he actually HAD one. This one is actually fan-submitted, and so we’ll forgive it for not actually mentioning Kyle’s involvement or stating the website. That’s what these show notes are for!

Review: Animation Runner Kuromi (1:13:29 – 1:28:07)
Who needs to cosplay for ego validation when we’ve got voicemails that do it for us? Clarissa tells us all about this 99% totally accurate and not at all exaggerated tale of working in the anime industry, as directed by Akitaro Daichi. Gerald cites this as one of the few anime to contain ska music, but Daryl cannot for the life of him remember any other music being used throughout this other than the BGM played at the start of the segment.

  • Here’s CPM’s official Animation Runner Kuromi website. There’s a couple of excerpts from the interviews on the disc, as well as character run downs and wallpapers.
  • The DVD for this will only cost you $5.99 from DeepDiscountDVD (shipping is free). The sequel is more expensive, at $10.87. It’s good, and it won’t rape your wallet. What more can you ask for?

Promo: Dave and Joel’s Fast Karate for the Gentleman (1:28:07 – 1:28:38)
Dave and Joel have also been podcasting long before we were on the scene, but Daryl likes to run around saying he put them on the map anyway. This is also a fan-made promo, as whoever made it and sent it to them forgot to remove the 2 minutes of BGM from the beginning. Personally, we were hoping that the bluetooth headset audio clip was going to be about beating up people while telling them to remove said headset, thus bringing everything full circle as their original promo was about beating someone up while telling them to remove their stupid hat.

Review: Venus Wars (1:28:38 -1:50:15)
For the record, we were not THAT late to play that voicemail about Transformers: The Movie being released on DVD. It had been out for a little while by the time he called in. Many people who remember Anime Week/Saturday Anime on the Sci-Fi Channel wrote in to us asking about this one, and so the task falls to Gerald, as he’d already reviewed Crusher Joe back in Show # 24. This is the final film directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, and upon rewatching it and removing the haze of nostalgia, perhaps we’ll find out why that might have been the case. Incidentally, he also directed the anime adaptation of The Song of Wind and Trees, one of the more well-known of Keiko Takemiya’s works. You can get Venus Wars for about $10 on Amazon.

Promo: Chibi Tokyo (1:50:15 – 1:50:51)
Chibi Tokyo is like, the West Coast equivalent of Fast Karate for the Gentleman. Except in addition to Fist of the North Star, they also like Captain Tsubasa a lot. More people should listen to this podcast. In the time since this promo was made, they’ve actually added a third cohost, so perhaps they need an updated promo more than us! Be sure to listen to the two-year anniversary of Anime Genesis to hear their special commemorative song they composed and performed.

Review: To Terra Volume 1 (1:50:51 – 2:26:15)
The reason we don’t use ProTools is because we lack the competence to actually USE it properly. At least, Daryl does. Exhausted from having worked on crunch time schedule for the past two weeks, Daryl rambles and rambles AND RAMBLES his way through this latest offering by Vertical Inc such that this segment alone is the length of what a typical Internet podcast is. Fortunately, he’s got it together just enough to convey all the relevant information, albeit in a highly decompressed, roundabout manner. This is a sci-fi manga by Keiko Takemiya, but don’t make the mistake we made a few weeks back: despite being part of the Showa 24 Group, To Terra is technically a shonen work, which is what makes it so important. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Closing (2:26:15 – 2:30:59)
Next time, the theme is either robots or shows that seemed like they were going to be one type of thing going into it, but ended up being something else. Take your pick. Daryl’s reviewing Ergo Proxy, Gerald’s reviewing Megazone 23 Part 2 (DOGGY STYLE), and Clarissa will cover Hades Project Zeorymer.

83 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 51 – Timeliness Is Not Exactly Our Strongest Suit”

  1. Yeah you thought you would be sneaky and release another episode at almost 3AM huh? “Oh, let’s release another episode really late so Jaime has to wait until the day after to listen to it”. Yeah well no. You may have caught me off guard and released the last episode while I was sleeping but not this time baby, I’m awake this time! O_O

    Anyways yeah, listening to the episode right now. Almost done with it. Good stuff so far. Keep up the good work guys. 😀

    -Jay/Jaime

  2. To Terra was a huge disappointment for me. If there’s a sci-fi cliche you can think of, it uses it. Akira and Phoenix cover roughly the same material, and better, but if you need your old-school shoujo fix, check out what was legally translated of Bride of Deimos.

  3. About the Hentai vs the BL/Yaoi issue, here’s my 2 cents:
    BL/yaoi doesn’t have the stigma as hentai does. I have never seen a true hentai out in the manga section of any book stores. Even the comic book stores mix in the yaoi with the regular manga. Thus it is easy to obtain.

    I would compare it to guys buying porn from Suncoast. There’s no stigma to going to a Suncoast alot of guys go there to get their fix.

    Here’s another tidbit: back at Otakon 2005 at a Tokyopop panel, the representatives said that the people who buy their stuff is mostly female.

  4. Wow, Clarissa. Scott didn’t happen to strike a nerve, did he?

    For starters, Vertical itself has been pimping the shojo-ness of To Terra, calling it “emo manga” with the tagline “in space, no one can hear you cry.” Of course one would be surprised find a deep sci-fi where they expect space emos.

    Also, I’m pretty sure Daryl was correct. The “as good as Tezuka” comment implied that Scott would hesitate to elevate any work to the same level as Tezuka, not that shojo in particular can’t live up to Tezuka.

    Finally, how can you come down so hard on somebody for not understanding the definition of shojo when the definition you gave was so ambiguous? From your description, it sounds like shojo can be anything and everything. So what’s the point of having the classification then? Or, more importantly, what’s the point of nitpicking on classification if shojo’s boundaries are nebulous, if they exist at all?

    In any case, listeners who may not be quite the living anime databases that you guys are, and who may have been interested in the informative part of your answer, are instead insulted by your tirade. Have you no mercy for those who happen to lack expertise on that particular point?

    In closing, this post is rather pointless, because I actually wouldn’t want you to be any less opinionated or vocal anyway. Insult aside, your rant was full of the stuff that makes me love AWO in the first place. You guys inflict in me contradictory emotions that both confuse and delight. Keep up the good work.

  5. By the way, the last few episodes of Kanon respected its plot again, and it made so little sense as a result that I think I’m traumatized now.

    (You left out the part where I said that it was only good if you pretended the original story didn’t exist!)

    PS: I bought a copy of Ode to Kirihito and an old Mad Bull dub VHS. They’re really cheap on Amazon Marketplace!

  6. Hey thanks for mentioning Sanctuary. I was feeling like the only person that remembered it. It was one of the first VHS anime I ever bought next to Otaku No Video. (this was around 1995-96).

    I don’t know what is the deal with the comic shops in Florida. I know here in Sacramento I have been able to find Satsuma and even Phoenix (albiet not the whole set).

    I just don’t know what we would do without Dark Horse and I do not regret spending the 100s of dollars with them that i have.

  7. Clarissa, your rant kicked ass.

    When Daryl’s review started, my iPod crashed and I can’t get it to reboot again so I haven’t listened this episode to the end. Can I sue Daryl for the damages?

  8. anonymous –

    We came down on Scott about usage of the term shoujo mostly because GeekNights has a tendency to remind everyone how super smart and better fans they are than everyone else approximately every 5 minutes. So yeah, we’re going to have a laugh/rant about it when something that seems like they don’t understand what’s going on is sent in.

    Also, we’ve now stated more than once on the podcast that Vertical is advertising it as shoujo. We mentioned it the first time we talked about Vertical licensing it (at which point we also incorrectly identified it as shoujo). So I’m not sure why people feel the need to tell us these things that we’ve already said. Do people not actually pay attention to what we say?

    We, and as far as we know Vertical, pegged To Terra as shoujo because it’s done by Takemiya Keiko, one of the hugely influential Showa 24 group of shoujo authors, and based on the Japanese definition of the word, not American usage.

    Also, how is the definition I gave ambiguous? I don’t know, personally I find the American definition of it ambiguous, since it basically has no rationale other than “this is what I think of as girly.” Also it seems to change every 5 minutes or with each person you talk to.

    I’ll repeat what the definition of shoujo in Japan is. Shoujo, like shonen or seinen or ladies manga, is a classification based on target audience. Shoujo is any manga published by an imprint and in an anthology aimed at female readers, IIRC from single digits into teenage years. Shonen is the same thing, but for boys instead of girls. It has a very definite delineation of audience demographic and age range, and that’s all it’s meant to indicate. It’s common for shoujo/ladies manga to be created by women and shonen/seinen manga by men, but it’s not a hard and fast rule.

    Now, you may certainly see dominant patterns at work in these categories, as culturally defined gender roles tend to determine what both the publishers and the audience will think of as interesting for their gender. Though obviously there’s not necessarily all that much seperation along gender lines for what’s actually entertaining to people, given how many girls in Japan and here read shonen titles. While guys being into shoujo isn’t *as* common, some are, and both shonen and seinen categories contain no shortage of romance titles or other cute series, the most stereotypical “shoujo” characteristics according to most people here. (Actually, I’ve more than once heard people refer to male-oriented series like Onegai Teacher as shoujo simply because it’s about romance.)

    But, whether there are dominant patterns to the content or not, ultimately it’s all about who the publisher and author are aiming it at. So really, there’s no inherent limitation for what genres or storytelling techniques can be part of it, only whatever the publishers and mangaka happen to want at the moment. Both shoujo and shonen can contain fantasy or scifi works, romance or action stories. That’s why, if you look at even shoujo series that have come out here, they contain as varied series as Akachan to Boku (cute family series about a young boy and his baby brother), Fushigi Yuugi (romance and fantasy story about a girl being dumped into an alternate world), Revolutionary Girl Utena (highly symbolic, fantastic series dealing with gender roles and maturity), They Were 11 (scifi mystery) and Godchild (fairly bloody gothic horror/mystery). And most of those series were marketed as shoujo here in the US, with some of them even appearing in Shojo Beat magazine.

    The thing is, the boundaries of shoujo are only nebulous if you want it to be a genre classification like horror or science fiction. But that’s not what it was intended to be, and if you really look at the shoujo manga that comes out stateside, it’s not actually what it is in the local market. The more limited definition is, I assume, an anachronism, from the days when hardly any of it came out here and people had a much more limited understanding of what anime and manga encompassed overall. Why people continue to use it that way, despite a sizeable chunk of evidence to the contrary, totally mystifies me.

    That’s part of the reason I keep giving the original usage, and why I try to use it exclusively. I think the common American usage is not meaningful or useful, and if we’re going to use it at all, I’d much rather we use the Japanese term, which though wider, better matches the reality of what shoujo manga is (and it should, since they invented it).

    Not that the Japanese usage doesn’t have issues. As I mentioned, gender demographics for titles don’t necessarily correspond to who’s actually watching/reading it, and there’s still some sexist presumption in the delineation. But as a descriptor, it’s just more useful IMO.

  9. Clarissa:
    “I’ll repeat what the definition of shoujo in Japan is. Shoujo, like shonen or seinen or ladies manga, is a classification based on target audience.”

    So the Japanese definition of “shoujo” is like your own definition of “anime”–that is, “animation made by Japanese, specifically intended for a Japanese audience”. Compared to the contemporary American definition of “anime” as “animation made in a particular style which originated in Japan”.

    Similarly, the contemporary American definition of “shoujo” would be “a story centered about interpersonal relationships, typically of the romantic sort, and the main character/characters are typically young women”. If you look at it from that standpoint, To Terra isn’t “shoujo”.

  10. Kuromi:
    Very cool movie. I agree with Gerald that the second one doesn’t have as much impact as the first, but I really enjoy these shows that explain how things are done.

    Shojo:
    I understand Clarissa’s frustration. I got into some conversations with people about a recent title, Ghost Hunt, which many people have said they will not watch because it is too “shojo-y”. WTF? It is a mystery/horror show. Are people LOOKING for an excuse to dislike shows? Okay, the point isn’t about fighting ghosts, this is a show about figuring out what is going on (mystery with horror elements instead of fighting show with horror elements).

    I haven’t read the To Terra manga, although I thought the old anime was pretty good (particularly the first half).

    To me, Science Fiction is all about interesting ideas. I grew up in the days when “SF” was being pushed as an alternative classification, AKA “Speculative Fiction”. I don’t want to turn this into a generational thing, but with the rise of “special effects”, the deeper, more thoughtful, aspects of SF seemed to be abandoned and Science Fiction devolved into Sci-Fi.

    To me, SF was interesting because of the thoughtful ideas. If I need to watch Shojo to see interesting ideas, so be it.

  11. halojonesfan –

    I don’t care about saying it’s not shoujo. To Terra isn’t shoujo even by the Japanese definition. It was done by Takemiya, but it was published in a shonen anthology. Which is what we said at the beginning of our response.

    The rant/debate is about two things. 1) The misunderstanding and miscommunication regarding the meaning of shoujo and 2) the attitude about shoujo that Scott’s email suggested, given that he asked the question from the standpoint of the title being shoujo.

    Also, I get that under the common American usage of shoujo, vague as it tends to be, it doesn’t really fit. But as I just said above, I think the American usage is muddled useless crap.

  12. Anonymous, thank you for eloquently and accurately defending my position. Thanks to you, I don’t need to say much, other than that you are awesome.

    As for everyone who is against me on this, all I did was ask why Vertical marketed a manga as shojo that, by most definitions, is not. Instead of the intelligent discussion that I expected, I got a slanderous tirade and the charred remains of a straw man. Thanks, it entertained me all day long.

    -Scott

  13. I believe from the marketing point of view that Vertigo decided to promote To Terra as a Shoujo to appeal to the broad audience that that gender cover. Sadly it is all about the money.
    I will take the Steven Colbert point of view and say I do not see gender specially in manga 😛

  14. Instead of the intelligent discussion that I expected, I got a slanderous tirade and the charred remains of a straw man.

    In print, it’s libel. ^_~ < -- Rym needs to stop ending every email with this because it's super-annoying Emoticons aside, I’m far, far more annoyed that I’m getting lengthy emails from you guys about stuff that I mentioned in my review, especially when the final email sent is “actually, I haven’t listened to the show yet and I’m going on hearsay.” The remainder of this post is 100% objective truth:

    On the Internet, Daryl Surat’s word is law and anyone who disagrees is wrong. Daryl Surat is never wrong, except when he is, in which case Daryl Surat is still never wrong.

    From the beginning of the podcast, I have been going on about how everyone else is wrong and I am right about definitions of words like “otaku,” “anime,” “manga,” and the like, common vernacular/evolution of language BE DAMNED. It doesn’t matter to me how many people think “anime style” is a term that actually means something, as it’s my opinion that they’re all being subverted by a combination of deceptive marketing and not knowing any better. That will not save them from the grinders when the purgings commence and I need more ore to build additional chaingun tanks.

    By that accord, it doesn’t mean a wooden nickel to me whether the average anime fan thinks “shojo” refers to content. That is not grounds for “the American definition” of the word. Rather, they’re all wrong and need to be taken to school, and school is being held in the woodshed. Which is where I will take them.

    As such, I’m not conceding an inch on you being a great big Wrongy Wrongerson, no matter how hard Stu Levy throws chairs at me as he screams “BIG EYES SMALL MOUTH” and “WHERE ARE THE READERS!!!!”

    You’re wrong. I’m right. Just like always. Deal with it. ^_~

  15. You know, if I had to go with the American definition of manga, then I’d have to accept Megatokyo, Dramacon, Princess Ai, and Juror 13 as manga, and it’ll be a cold day in hell when that happens.

  16. This rant would probably not have transpired if these guys weren’t so cocky on their own podcast about how smart they are, when it’s clear from listening to their own anime casts that they know nothing more than the average kid with Bittorrent and a Wiki open.

    That said, I don’t feel Scott’s email was particularly sexist, and most American fans probably have a misconstrued notion of terms like shoujo and shonen.

    I wonder how Gerald feels that the pressure is off him for a week.

  17. Shoujo or Shojo, just please please please don’t pronounce either one as “show hoe” -it’s a goddam J sound, not a Spanish “H” sound.

    Argh.

  18. I think everyone is missing the true point of this particular Internet geek-feud:

    Ursula K. Leguin, Octavia Butler, James Tiptree Jr., Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackery, and countless others notwithstanding, women cannot write sci-fi. This is not an opinion; it’s a physical law. You are required to be born with a penis in order to write science fiction.

    DISCLAIMER: This post is in jest.

  19. Even though you crash my iPod, you’re still sometimes my hero Daryl.

    I’m with you all the way guys, I try to keep to the Japanese definitions of the demographics. Most of the time the definition overlaps with American one and people know what they are talking about with each other… and since the concept of the demographic target audiences are not used in the same way over here people don’t understand that they are changing the definition from the original one. However no matter how much you want to believe that the American version is the right one, it would be ignorant not to realize that it deviates from the original one. I get into arguments all the time about Boys Love/yaoi/shounen-ai definitions, and while my definition is the original usage of the words pretty much exactly as Clarissa defined them last week, I have to understand that majority uses these words in a different way. Doesn’t stop me from trying though.

    There’s a lot of hate going around in those Geek Nights comments. I wonder if people will still talk about the Clarissa vs Scott shoujo wars in the years to come.

  20. kolibri –

    Shit, I hope not. I mean, if I’m going to be remembered for an Internet Argument, I’d rather it be one less lame than this.

  21. I’m going to have to agree with Gooberzilla. I mean, I don’t want to imply that there aren’t things women are good at — sometimes even better than men. I mean, when it comes to cooking and cleaning and talking about shopping, women have it all over men. But when it comes to sci-fi they should know their place, put on a skimpy metal bikini, and let the men do the men’s work.

  22. Hey there, heard about you guys from Geeknights. This was the first podcast by you guys that I listened to. It was pretty cool. I’m going to start from one and work my way down to fifty. I think it will take a bit but I’m coming up on my university’s Easter break next week and I’ll only be working so I’ll give it a try. *rubs hands together* I’m getting tired of talking about the definition of shoujo. I agree with Clarissa and AWO about the real definition. The response that always comes back though goes something like ‘well shoujo means this to me because that’s the definition I created and it also means that to a whole bunch of phantom anime fans that I created. I’m right and cannot be wrong.” It’s getting silly now. So moving on back to anime. I saw Kaze to Ki no Uta way back in high school. I loved it. It would be awesome if the manga came out here. I also saw the Terra E movie on Amazon.com. It’s not new of course but third party sellers are selling it for pretty cheap and I believe I saw a new one for about $28.

  23. Indeed, it’s the same thing with ‘otaku’. People, ‘otaku’ is not a good thing. It isn’t something you want to be. No, you can’t “take it back”, or “make your own definition”, or “use it MY way”.

    Although the funny thing about this whole business is that Peter and Clarissa are making the same argument–that “To Terra” isn’t shoujo! The difference comes in the philosophical reasoning behind that argument–that Clarissa argues it isn’t shoujo because it doesn’t fit the definition of ‘shoujo manga’, while Peter argues that it isn’t shoujo because it isn’t Silly Girl Stuff.

  24. Seinen: I think that there are two reasons why seinen manga doesn’t do very well in America.

    Firstly, it’s the demographics. The audience for seinen manga is 25-40 men; that audience, in America, isn’t an audience that buys very many comic books. That’s changing, but it hasn’t changed so much yet.

    Second, it’s the content. That is, the non-unique content. The stuff in seinen manga–at least, the action-adventure seinen manga–isn’t stuff that you can’t get from American media. As compared to yaoi; male same-sex romantic relationships, in American media, are generally portayed as either comedy or porn. On the other hand, you could buy the DVDs of “The Sopranos” and get much the same thing as you’d find in Golgo 13. While it isn’t quite as extreme, it’s a question of degree and not kind.

    There’s also a two-and-a-half; if the content isn’t unique, then you’re left with just the cultural content. And there, again, you have a problem, because a lot of seinen manga is so focused on Japanese culture that it simply doesn’t speak to American audiences. If nothing else, we simply don’t get the references

  25. I’m not sure whether Gerald has it wrong or just misspoke but Shoujo(??) means girl while Shojo(??) means virgin. Also ‘shou’ in Shoujo and Shounen are both pronounced with exactly the same long ‘o’ sound. Spelling change in Shonen Jump was simply a business decision to make it easier to pronounce for English speakers.

    As for definition of Shoujo and Shounen manga, Clarissa has it correct, it simply denotes whether it was published in Shoujo or Shounen magazine. But I personally refuse to categorize current sissified manga’s in Jump, Sunday, Magazine etc. as Shounen. I blame Masakazu Katsura for the utter pussification of once proud Shounen genre. (I also think the lack of boobs in today’s Shounen manga are partially his fault as well but that’s another story.)

  26. If you want to go by the commonly used American definitions…

    “They Were Eleven” and A, A’ are not shoujo — they’re fairly serious, mature works.

    DiGi Charat, Pitaten, Bottle Fairy, Mao-Chan, and Strawberry Marshmallow ARE shoujo — they’re full of silly, pastel-colored girly shit.

    Angelic Layer and Tactics ARE shoujo — girls would apparently be the target audience for these titles.

    The problem with the “American” definitions of things like shoujo, shounen, shounen-ai, etc. is that making the classifications are based on observations, assumptions, arbitrary schematics, and even prejudices. By the American defintion, the only qualification to call something shoujo is that it “looks girly” — the definition is entirely dependent on the speaker’s mental schematic (or our society’s stereotype) on what appeals to the female gender or not.

    By that definition, a lot of titles that were definitely NOT intended for young girls originally. A pretty generous amount of moe titles could possibly be construed as shoujo. Remember, Funimation is trying to market Moon Phase to young girls — it’s got a young girl, cutesy costumes, and a vaguely Hot-Topic vampire-goth aesthetic, just like many shoujo titles, so let’s try and pass it off as shoujo! It’s a similar case to the number of people I’ve seen recommend Mao-Chan for children — it’s very obviously a seinen show with otaku in-jokes all over the place, but people say it’s for children because it’s a fairly stupid, repetitive, pastel-colored mess. Assertions like that are pretty harshly condescending to children.

    But then, it’s also somewhat condescending to say things like “this isn’t shoujo, it’s sci-fi,” whether said condescension was intended or not. That statement implies that there is something mutually exclusive about shoujo and sci-fi, when some of the most groundbreaking shoujo authors actually created a great deal of sci-fi material.

    No matter which definition you accept — the more concrete Japanese definition or the more schematic American definition — shoujo is a demographically defined category. While there may be some common aesthetic and narrative elements in shoujo works, shoujo is such a far-reaching term that attempting to call it a genre, which many people often idiotically do, is extremely unhelpful. There’s not much similarity in content between, say, Marmalade Boy and virtually anything Kaori Yuki ever wrote.

  27. If the Japanese definitions are the ones you want to use, then Superman is manga.

    Actually, it’s “amekomi.” ^_~

    Your very own forums contain a perfectly clear explanation as to why that analogy is flawed; it’s this post. Mr Clayton’s post directly above mine elaborates further. I’m certain you read the post I linked to prior to that most recent post, and so I’m not sure why you’d continue with that line of reasoning in a different venue.

    The foundation of your position is that “the majority of anime fans believe what I’m saying to be correct, so therefore it is,” which is a questionable position for you to take since you speak extensively on the importance of avoiding logical fallacies. It may in fact be the case that the majority of anime fans do believe that to be so, but even if that were the case, your position summarily disregards the possibility that the majority might all be wrong. Certainly, we were all wrong to think To Terra was a shojo title until one single person demonstrated how that was not the case back in January. That person was correct, and everyone else–that includes us!–was mistaken.

    Your stance on the matter appears to be “words are defined by how the majority of people use them, and since most people mean ‘shojo romance’ when they use the word ‘shojo,’ it is wrong for you guys to assume that I meant something other than that.” I am of the belief that there’s a lot of misused terminology among anime fandom (“otaku” being a big offender here along with “yaoi” and “hentai”), and the only way to change that is to correct people instead of just going with it. When I’m using something incorrectly, I want to know about it so I can fix it. It’s not always easy; even in this post I continue to write “shojo” instead of “shoujo” despite an explanation that I do in fact have things backwards.

    In the case of you personally, more than just a correction is warranted because you’re not the average anime fan. You’re someone who’s had extensive experience with organization and staffing within anime fandom, with a podcast that regularly talks about anime and fandom wherein you speak from experience/authority. Therefore, you get held to a much higher standard because people look to your words to learn about stuff, and if you’re saying the wrong thing, you’re contributing to the spread of misinformation.

    So it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. You should know better, which makes your apparent reluctance to accept “it’s not, and your question is fundamentally flawed since it’s built off of an improper foundation with regards to the definition of the term” as an answer to the question of “how is To Terra shojo when it seems to be just straight-up sci-fi?” all the more puzzling.

    I don’t think we’re misrepresenting your argument then refuting that instead of what you actually said (the aforementioned “strawman” tactic). Rather, I think we refuted what you said, but not what you actually meant to say. Unlike Soldier Blue, we’re not mind readers.

  28. “You should know better, which makes your apparent reluctance to accept “it’s not, and your question is fundamentally flawed since it’s built off of an improper foundation with regards to the definition of the term” as an answer to the question of “how is To Terra shojo when it seems to be just straight-up sci-fi?” all the more puzzling.”

    But this is exactly my point. Both of you are saying that To Terra isn’t shoujo. But he is apparently not Ideologically Pure enough to make that statement…

  29. Please re-read what I wrote more carefully. We are saying that To Terra is not targeted towards a predominantly female demographic, and Scott is saying that To Terra does not extensively focus on romance and relationships.

    The two statements are not equivalent. It’s somewhat similar to situations regarding the use of the word “theory.” If a scientist says “evolution is a theory” and a Christian fundamentalist says “evolution is a theory,” they are certainly not both saying the same thing even though the actual words are identical. The latter is operating under the incorrect assumption that “theory” means “guess” because that’s what most people mean when they say “theory.” But when a scientist says that “evolution is a theory,” you would be remiss to think he really meant to say “evolution is a guess” since what sort of scientist would think that? Indeed, if he elaborated by saying “evolution is a theory, so the Bible is right after all!” most reasonable people would probably look at the guy and think “whaaa…?”

  30. :rolleyes: way to frame the debate. “I’m a scientist, and Peter is a crazy Christian fundamentalist who doesn’t believe in science!”

  31. Some random thoughts on show #51….

    – Hope the CPM/Libre dispute can be ironed out soon. I would rather side with CPM on this as well, though it does sound pretty crappy how this had to happen and was probably obvious to occur given the circumstances.

    – I don’t think I’ll EVER buy anything from Bandai Visual USA if that’s the attitude they are using (You would think $19.95 would be a decent MSRP for both Freedom and Honneamise, of course that would be the sensible pricing I would do for these). Makes me wonder what else you DO get for $80 on the Honneamise disc besides the HD-DVD transfer, a book of the script or something? A deluxe set like that I’d rather see sell for somewhere around $39.95 personally. So many mis opportunities. 🙁

    – Having thought about Animation Runner Kuromi (haven’t seen it yet), I can think of a few other anime episodes that often looked at the industry itself once in a while, like the last episode of “Golden Boy” where Kintaro Oe works as an assistant at one studio and enlist the help of all the chicks he met in the last five episodes to help him finish a project after a director got in an auto accident. God I loved that OVA. A bit less interesting and rather sad episode of the 90’s Minky Momo series involved a cel painter who collapses from exhaustion while on his way to the studio, resulting in him slowly dying and Minky having to let him having a dream where he got to see his own creation come to life, a typical magical shoujo girl.

    The initial premise of Animation Runner Kuromi reminds me a little of this little-known, short-lived sitcom from the 80’s featuring a very young Jim Carrey…

    The use of caricatures or implementing personalities of friends or co-workers you know have been rather a common thing I often see in shows like this. Many American cartoons that might depict the making of a cartoon often might have the animators themselves wanting to stick themselves in the show in walk-on cameos or whatever (the Simpsons come to mind whenever they do an episode revolving around Itchy & Scratchy).

    Thinking about the freelance effort also seen in ARK (might as well shorten it anyway), I kinda wish we saw something like that over here, but of course, the heavy unionized animation industry would NEVER tolerate that, but at least it sounds a tad better over the usual outsourcing or “runaway production” we’ve been used to put up with as shit we see for the past few decades. Might have to pick up Animation Runner Kuromi since it sounds a lot more my thing.

    – Noticed a torrent for the Venus Wars flick (English-dubbed though), so I might as well go check that out (I’m such a loser). Thinking about the Akira inspiration that went into Venus Wars reminded me of having heard something similar being brought up about “Megazone 23 Pt. III” and how that was merely done to cash in on Akira’s successes. Seemed like there were a few anime between the late 80’s and early 90’s that was going that route.

    In doing the Suzanne Somers bit, I only wish you did a “She’s The Sheriff” reference, oh well.

    Too bad I never did see the Bakshi commentary/appearance on Sci-Fi Channel, but perhaps it was for the best I didn’t. I know he once said that he wished there was more “jazz” in anime, not jazz as in music, but more in it’s timing I think. Of course if there was one anime I would recommend Ralph to watch, it would be “Cowboy Bebop”, unless he’s seen it already.

    That live-action bit in “Venus Wars” sounds almost similar to a technique once utilized by Disney in the mid 20th Century in some of their features like 101 Dalmatians. That technique was essentially taking live-action models, filming them in black & white, and then transferring them to cels through xerography before they can be painted later on. Don Bluth used this technique in some of his films as well (the tractor in “Secret of NIMH” comes to mind as he shot a 16mm film of a tractor in order to use it for one scene). Rotoscoping of course is essentially drawing the live-action to paper/cels in a manner that differs from the above technique I mentioned. Ralph Bakshi of course was infamous for his use of rotoscoping in movies like Lord of the Rings, though the technique itself had it’s roots going back to the 1910’s with the Fleischer Studios using it to animate their “Koko” figure in the “Out of the Inkwell” series.

    Of course when you brought up “Solar Adventure”, I had to nearly do a double-take over that remark! “Venus Wars” already sounds like it needed a better story, or else Yasuhiko himself was running out of steam by the time he got to this film and that’s why he quit animation for good.

    – “To Terra” sounds pretty cool if my local Barnes & Noble has it available. I might as well dig for the Towards the Terra anime flick as well to rip as well since I know it might be worth so. The opening premise sounds way more like “Logan’s Run” to me.

    – Still don’t think I deserve a silver keychain, but if I bother to, I’ll drop you a line!

  32. Also, I just downloaded “To-Y”, and just love how good it looks thanks to the effort of the To-Y Restoration Group, looks more of what one could expect it to be on DVD, if one ever did got released anywhere (having noticed one of the companies responsible for this OAV was CBS/Sony Records, that explains the music here).

  33. :rolleyes: way to frame the debate. “I’m a scientist, and Peter is a crazy Christian fundamentalist who doesn’t believe in science!”

    Maybe Daryl could have used a more charitable example, but that doesn’t mean his point isn’t valid. Maybe Clarissa and Scott/Peter/Apreche/Whatever ultimately agree that To Terra isn’t shoujo, but it’s crystal clear that they’re not reaching that conclusion for the same reasons.

    To use another example:

    Let’s say Person X said “I don’t believe women should be placed in the combat zone, because women can be raped, impregnated, and tortured in ways that have no equivalent in the male gender.”

    Person Y says “I don’t believe women should be placed in the combat zone because women are physiologically and psychologically weaker than men.”

    These two people may ultimately agree with each other’s conclusion, but they’re ultimately making two very different arguments, and thereby saying two very different things. One is saying that women are weaker than men, the other is saying that placing women in the combat zone presents an ethical dilemma. You could argue that one or both of these arguments are wrong and/or condescending, but the point is that these two arguments aren’t saying the same thing.

    It’s possible for two statements agree with each other in conclusion but not in foundation — in fact, their foundations may very well clash. Just because you agree with another person’s conclusion doesn’t mean you necessarily agree with his or her foundational reasoning, or that the other person’s foundational reasoning is even valid. It’s possible to have all the wrong information and still stumble upon the correct conclusion.

    Honestly, neither method of classifying shoujo is flawless, but the Japanese definition of the term is at least somewhat concrete and verifiable — the target demographics of Japanese anthologies are readily identifiable. The American term is at least somewhat more vague, and is based on somewhat arbitrary criteria.

    A lot of people working under the American definition of “shoujo” hold “focusing on relationships” as a core tenet for identifying shoujo, but when you really think about it, that’s so vague and broad as to be useless. Love Roma is all about relationships, but it certainly wasn’t written for girls (neither is Midori Days, Ah My Goddess, Video Girl Ai, or virtually any male-oriented harem show). Super Gals is shoujo, but what I’ve seen of it isn’t particularly concerned with deep relationships — no more than the average title aimed at any other age group, anyway. It’s difficult to define “shoujo” when your primary methods of defining it are based on perception, archetyping, and stereotyping. My favorite piece of shoujo, Moto Hagio’s “Hanshin,” certainly doesn’t hold to the American steretotype of shoujo.

    (As an aside, I think this general stereotype of shoujo is part of the reason “shoujo” has almost become a kind of slur amongst anime fans. But that’s another post for another time.)

  34. Something that occurred to me earlier today was that AWO seems to be claiming that the Japanese use “shoujo” and “seinen” et al as demographic terms, rather than genre terms. i.e. when you’re a young boy you read shounen manga, when you grow up you read seinen manga. But in America, we’re used to thinking of things as genres. It isn’t as though you read sci-fi when you’re a young boy, but then you grow up and read detective stories!

    So the American companies are using “shoujo” as a genre descriptor. And while I think that AWO is taking a pointlessly hard-assed approach to the whole idea, I kind of see their point–in that there’s no reason to call it “shoujo” as opposed to “romance”. Other than marketing, of course–it’s “show-joe”, it’s like that “annie-may” stuff that you all like to watch, it’s Japanimation!

  35. (Winter, because I can’t seem to post in the usual way)

    I think “shoujo” is, and always has been, a demographic term. Shoujo has the same basic meaning in America as it does in Japan — it refers to comics made for young girls.

    So I don’t think the argument here is really that Americans and Japanese differ in the meaning of the term itself — the point of contention here is how titles are grouped under said term.

    Shoujo is a demographic category — something far broader than a “genre.” The problem is, people who try to define shoujo under so-called “American” terms are essentially grouping titles together via common characteristics.

    The problem is, there’s a difference between a commonly occurring characteristic and a defining characteristic. By definition, a defining characteristic is a trait shared by ALL samples in a group — a comon characteristic is just a trait that frequently occurs in a group.

    The only defining characteristic of shoujo is that all shoujo titles are made for an audience of young girls. Many shoujo titles contain romance or relationships, but not all of them do. Many shoujo titles have young girls as protagonists, but not all of them do. However, ALL titles that are properly shoujo were originally created for a young female audience.

    The problem with the American terms of defining shoujo is that it ultimately amounts to “I know shoujo when I see it.” That’s nice, but that really isn’t very helpful when it comes to defining a term. I know a bowl of chili when I see it, but describing a bowl of chili as “a bowl of spiced meat” doesn’t help anyone. There are many dishes composed of spiced meat that aren’t chili.

    I don’t have any real stake in this discussion, I admit, but I’m splitting hairs over the issue because trying to turn shoujo into a “genre” instead of a “demographic category” is part of the reason most American anime fans have a fairly narrow and particular definition of what shoujo is, when the world of shoujo is actually more far-reaching than that. I think it’s borderline sexist to equate “shoujo” with “romance” as completely as American fans (and companies, admittedly) do, because that implies that romance is the only manga genre that can be successfully created for young females.

    Granted, as Clarissa mentioned, there is a vague form of sexism in merely categorizing something as “intended for young females.” But I’m persuaded that any kind of story that can be written, can be written for males, for females, or for both. And that’s why I’m pretty much opposed to this perception that shoujo is a genre, when it’s really made up of any and all the genres being produced for one demographic.

  36. I must admit that defining an anime or manga production according to its target demographic can be equally disruptive.

    When I hear that a work is “shoujo”, under the demographic definition of the word, my first instinct is to the think: “I’m not a young girl. I am not likely to be interested in this.” But other people have already mentioned that shoujo works run the gamut of genres, so very likely I could be missing out on something entertaining.

    And isn’t there something inherently sexist in balkanizing the media into “meant for girls, meant for boys” categories?

    And how do you tell whether a show is truly aimed at young girls rather than creepy, middle-aged, body pillow-hugging Moe-heads? Because of the magazine that it was originally serialized in? That strikes me as unsatisfactory…

  37. Makes me wonder what else you DO get for $80 on the Honneamise disc besides the HD-DVD transfer, a book of the script or something?

    You get a near-simultaneous release to the R2 Blu-Ray.

    Seriously, my guess as to what’s up with BV’s pricing on this movie is the ever-popular issue of reverse importation. Since the US and Japan are on the same region for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, it’s that much easier for the Japanese to import from the US. Therefore, BV don’t want to risk cannabalizing their R2 sales, so they don’t give the US a Blu-Ray edition and charge the R2 price for it.

    On the one hand, yay for simultaneous (or nearly so), but the point of opening regions like this is to drive prices *down*, not up.

  38. exedore said…
    You get a near-simultaneous release to the R2 Blu-Ray.

    Seriously, my guess as to what’s up with BV’s pricing on this movie is the ever-popular issue of reverse importation. Since the US and Japan are on the same region for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, it’s that much easier for the Japanese to import from the US. Therefore, BV don’t want to risk cannabalizing their R2 sales, so they don’t give the US a Blu-Ray edition and charge the R2 price for it.

    Shame to know that now.

    On the one hand, yay for simultaneous (or nearly so), but the point of opening regions like this is to drive prices *down*, not up.

    Whoever had that idea was a jerk! In a perfect world, I could only see that happen.

  39. Where to begin?
    Wait, some crazy guy in a hat with a pre-decimal pricetag just told me…

    Sounds like Megacon was professionally run, but not run professionally.

    Re: “Kouji” vs. “Koji”: “Kouji” is more correct (I know-the manga has furigana). Personally, as both an anal retentive fanboy and a student of the Japanese language, I prefer if if the subs reflect the long vowels, but it’s usually not a big deal to me if they don’t (I’m sure there are some cases where it would be a big deal for me, but I can’t think of any right now-gotta leave myself a safety net!). That said, I take offense to those (like Trish LeDoux when she was working for Viz-I’m still disappointed in the Otaku Generation crew. They had her on the show, and she told ’em to go ahead and criticize Viz, but they said they had bnothing to criticize!) who argue you should never indicate long vowels because “You don’t spell ‘Tokyo’ as ‘Toukyou.'” Bad argument “Tokyo”, “Kyoto,” “Toho,” “Toei,” and “Shogakukan” are the English names for “Toukyou,” “Kyouto,” “Touhou,” “Touei,” and “Shougakkan,” just like “Munich” and “Vienna” are the English names for “München” and “Wien” (and hey, “Niigata” is spelled “Niigata” in English). Names of characters are pretty much up to the discretion of the translators, barring demands by the licensor or licensee.

    One place where one should definitely indicate long vowels, however, is when mentioning the original Japanese title, especially when you’re putting it in parentheses after the English title. In fact, I think one should also indicate the katakana phonetic approximations in such cases-“Gojira no Gyakushuu” vs “Godzilla no Gyakshu,” “Kidou Senshi Gandamu” vs “Kido Senshi Gundam” (for the longest time I thought the “Gun” in “Gundam” sounded like the “Gun” in “Gunkan” rather than the “Gun” in “a kind of metal wand that Muggles use to kill each other”). One of the OG crew (Alan Chase?) thought (still thinks?) that the Anne of Grren Gables anime is called “Akage no Ah-nay” because his sources romanized it as “Akage no Anne” instead of “Akage no An” (this stands out especially in my mind because “Anne-with-an-E” is usually approximated as “Annu,” and if you’re familiar with the story you’ll you that Anne was vehement about her name being spelled with an “e”).

    Of course, even I, anal and nitpicky (and long-winded) as I am, make exceptions. For example, when I was head of Karaoke for Otakon, if there were non-Japanese (usually English) words in the song or series (or movie, or OAV) titles (or words like “Gundam” or “Patlabor” whose official ro anizations differ from directly transcribing the katakana), I would put the English (or whatever) word in the song title and the index in order to make it easier for people to look up. In the lyrics, however, if the loanword (There! I’ve settled on a term!) was pronunced like the original language (or so close as makes no odds) I’d put it in quotes (e.g. “I’m gonna fly, fly away”). If it wasn’t, I’d write it phonetically in all caps (e.g. KONDISHON GURIIN). I only wish more anime companies would do this, caps and quotes quirks optional (are you listening ADV? AnimEigo? Geneon? Etc.?). I always indicated long vowels in the Japanese words-long O’s in the titles would be “ou” or “oo” depending on how it would be written in hiragana, and in the lyrics they’d always be “oo” to make it easier for the singers. Long e’s in the lyrics would always be “ei” for the same reason.

    Hmmm…To-Y (not to be confused with how Gerald mispronounces “Toei”)…I wished I’d borrowed the fansub when I had the chance, oh so many (relative) years ago…

    I’ll betcha if Bandai says anything about the $40 pricetag on the Freedom DVD’s it’ll be “Fear Of Reverse Importation” (which Exedore has already brought up re: Honneamise) and “We Need To Make Up For Poor Sales Caused By Lack Of A Dub” (mantras repeated so often that all the words are capitalized). That said, I will buy the WoH DVD, but, like Gunbuster and the Patlabor movie boxes, I’ll get it at the lowest price I can find, even if that means waiting forever for shipping. Dunno about Freedom. Depends how much cheaper “cheaper” is…

    Your To Terra manga review makes me want to rewatch the movie (it was a lot less rare when I bought it, when Right Stuf first released it…). I need to get my VCR fixed. I bought the first volume today (technically yesterday, now), and am about halfway through at this point. You’re right about the Matsumoto Leiji influence on the mech design-check out the Analyzer-ish robot on page 181!

    I also bought the first volume of Welcome to the NHK. I’ve been wanting to read this since you guys reviewed (relatively) way back when. What sold me was the bit about a guy beins attracted to a girl, all his friends saying “Tell her how you feel!” and when he finally does…she doesn’t feel the same way. I may be a hopeless romantic, but this very real fear is something I can relate to (and may explain why I don’t have a girlfriend…).

    Speaking of To Terra, I just have one thing to say about Rim and Scott’s comments: WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T THEY LOOK AT THE BOOK’S COPYRIGHT PAGE?! Not only would it have, at the very least, made them say something like “why is it being promoted as shojo (sic) if it was published in a magazine called ‘Gekkan Manga Shonen?'” and would not have claimed several times that iwas from the early 70’s (great research there, guys!).

    I guess that’s more than one thing…

    That pizza doesn’t look that horrifying. Then again, I’m sure what a lot of the toppings are…

    “Louis Monde Three” and quasi-Russian accents…and people wonder about my reluctance to watch dubs…

    Oh well, best post this before I think of anything else to comment on…

    …I’ve got a Tankoubon to finish before turning in.

    E. Bernhard Warg
    Otakon Classic Track
    Anime’s Frank

  40. You get a near-simultaneous release to the R2 Blu-Ray.

    What a great deal! Instead of Bluray, which has all but won the ‘format wars’, we get the release of the nearly dead HD format. :/

    I was so excited for Honneamise to be the first thing to rocket me into the new world of HD cinema.

  41. Language is a living thing. The sounds and symbols that comprise the English word “red” refer to a specific color because the majority English speaking people associate those words and symbols with that color. If every English speaker in the world decide that the sounds and symbols comprising the word “red” referred to the color we now know as blue, and vice versa, then red would be blue, and blue would be red, regardless of what your outdated dictionary told you.

    In Japan, the sounds and symbols comprising the word “shojo” symbolize an intended audience of young females. In the English speaking world, the majority of people who associate the word shojo with anything at all associate it with a content genre. If you would like to change that, you are welcome to. I really don’t care what the definition of the word is. I just use words, as most people understand them, in order to effectively communicate my ideas. As it stands, every anime and manga company in the US and the majority of fans disagree with you on the meaning of this word in English. Therefore, the ideas which I communicated to you are not the ideas you received.

    Regardless of what the “correct” definition for the word shojo is, there is only one thing I really want to make clear. In my e-mail I was using the word to describe a content genre. If you take this into account, you will realize my e-mail is not at all sexist. I have never thought for a second that a shojo work could not be good. I love many shojo works. I did not think for a second that a woman could not create a good manga. I love many manga created by women. I was only asking why Vertical was marketing a work as shojo, a word most English publishers believe is a descriptor of a content genre, to describe a work which is not in that content genre.

    As for the person complaining about GeekNights not researching as well as Anime World Order. You are right. We don’t research heavily. We read the book, we read a few sites on the Internet, and then we go. Unlike AWO, we do four shows a week. We get them up less than an hour after we record. We have jobs. If we did a weekly show, it would be as thoroughly researched as AWO. However, it is not. Feel free to correct us on any factual information we get wrong in our forums. We will either admit being wrong or debate you.

  42. As for the person complaining about GeekNights not researching as well as Anime World Order. You are right. We don’t research heavily.

    Well, I’ll admit I went a little over the top, but I wasn’t complaining about you researching less than AWO. I was complaining that you didn’t even glance at the copyright page, which says it was published from 1977-80.

    …and then I put it in bold…and all caps…and added swearing…

    Actually, I was surprised to find out how recent Terra e was. I’d always thought it was from the late 60’s, despite Fred Schodt’s Manga! Manga! giving the date as 1977 (it’s been a while since I’ve last read the book, but that’s the sort of odd fact that usually sticks with me…). The bit about the manga having “Sho(u)nen” in the title was my feeble attempt at putting in my two cents towards that debate.

    Feel free to correct us on any factual information we get wrong in our forums. We will either admit being wrong or debate you.

    I’ve been thinking about joining your forums. If nothing else, had I read your forums, I wouldn’t have bothered to ask you if any listeners eventually told you they knew what the Duchy of Grand Fenwick at your Otakon ’06 panel.

    E. Bernhard Warg
    Otakon Classic Track
    Anime’s Frank

    “Wow! A movie with Inspector Clouseau and Doctor Who! Cool!”

  43. Regardless of what the “correct” definition for the word shojo is, there is only one thing I really want to make clear. In my e-mail I was using the word to describe a content genre. If you take this into account, you will realize my e-mail is not at all sexist. I have never thought for a second that a shojo work could not be good. I love many shojo works. I did not think for a second that a woman could not create a good manga. I love many manga created by women. I was only asking why Vertical was marketing a work as shojo, a word most English publishers believe is a descriptor of a content genre, to describe a work which is not in that content genre.

    Sorry, I call bullshit on this. The word shoujo literally means girl, which most US fans I’ve spoken to know, even if they don’t use the original Japanese usage of the term as it relates to manga. Companies here regularly promote shoujo works with symbols, color schemes and such that are traditionally perceived as feminine. The Viz anthology Shojo Beat obviously directs all of its articles and advertising toward a specifically female audience, not both genders or gender neutral.

    [By the way, that English language anthology with shoujo plastered all over the cover? Those manga books that US publishers market as shoujo? Like I said earlier, they contain works that don’t fit into your narrow category of what the American usage of shoujo is. Of course, I still don’t see you asking (loaded) questions about why Godchild, Baby & Me or They Were 11 aren’t shoujo. Isn’t that interesting?]

    So it’s clear that while the US definition of shoujo might be more of a genre description than the pure demographic description used in Japan, to assert that there’s no concept of shoujo here in the US as being the “girl” genre is ridiculous.

    Therefore, to maintain that “girls” comics, even under the US definition, only refers to cute, sparkly works about romance featuring young female characters is 1) wrong by not only the Japanese definition but also the American one, which I have now explained in this comment and a previous comment (one that you conveniently ignored) and 2) still sexist.

    Classifying all romantic works, and all cute works, as shoujo, a term that I’ve already noted is clearly understood even in the US to refer to “girl’s manga” is problematic. It reinforces gender stereotypes. Not only that, it’s insulting to men as well (as are many sexist statements/beliefs) by denying something even Japan acknowledges, which is that males can appreciate cuteness and romance too.

    Also, for someone so in love with your own intelligence and quick to refer to others as illiterate*, not to mention being otherwise condescending, the fact that you seem to believe someone can only be sexist if their thought process consists of “RAR, I HATE WOMEN AND WISH THEY’D ALL DIE, AND EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH IS EVIL” is phenomenally ignorant of you. Not to mention your failure to understand that people who otherwise mean well are still subject to racist/sexist cultural patterns they grew up with, and thus it is entirely possible to say or do a racist or sexist thing without meaning to.

    * Oh, that was a nice bit of internet asshole theater and fan baiting. You excise and reproduce only my angry or sarcastic statements, including ones that were direct responses to your own rude statements, but completely omit any of your own less than polite or intellectual remarks. That way you get to be dicks to me in the relative privacy of email, then turn around and whine to your fans that you’re the souls of restraint and logic, and it’s just the crazy girl flying off the handle! Nice.

  44. I must admit that defining an anime or manga production according to its target demographic can be equally disruptive.

    When I hear that a work is “shoujo”, under the demographic definition of the word, my first instinct is to the think: “I’m not a young girl. I am not likely to be interested in this.” But other people have already mentioned that shoujo works run the gamut of genres, so very likely I could be missing out on something entertaining.

    Well, I don’t think anyone’s claiming that either definition of “shoujo” is necessarily sacrosanct, or that these demographic categories are even particularly useful outside of understanding a work in a greater context: if a shoujo title and a moe title are practically identical aesthetically, then knowledge of the original demographic does lend understanding to the intent of the original work. But useful in terms of deciding what to read? Azumanga Daioh and Apocalypse Zero are both seinen titles, but they have absolutely nothing in common save their original target demographic.

    But lumping titles into demographic categories or even genres, by its very nature, places limitations on what audiences are going to check out that work. We call things like The Iron Giant or My Neighbor Totoro “children’s movies,” and that’s exactly what they are. But that simple act of classification is a double-edged sword: it helps the intended audience find the movie, but it’s also going to turn some people off to seeing those two films. It’s just the ultimate failing of the concept of genre/demographic classifications.

    And isn’t there something inherently sexist in balkanizing the media into “meant for girls, meant for boys” categories?

    Somewhat. Gender demographics are created under the presupposition that males and females enjoy different things, which has some obvious sexist implications. The core premise may or may not be sexist in and of itself, but it certainly does open the door wide to sexist actions, like creating titles based off a certain perception of what girls like. We can just look at the type of stuff American comics once tried to market to girls for evidence of that.

    I repeatedly hear that “shoujo” is little more than a term for a marketing demographic, which is about as much as I’m comfortable accepting given the number of girls who also read shounen manga for whatever reason. The core assumption behind demographics like “shoujo” may be a touch sexist, but I think you really start getting into bat country once you start making the claim that you can define “shoujo” through content. That requires a fairly sexist assumption along the lines of “girls like this, this, and this, so shoujo should contain elements pertaining to these.” Girls like relationships and romance, so anything categorized as shoujo should contain relationships and romance. What really bugged me about Scott’s letter was that it carried implications like that — whether or not he really meant to convey them.

    And how do you tell whether a show is truly aimed at young girls rather than creepy, middle-aged, body pillow-hugging Moe-heads? Because of the magazine that it was originally serialized in? That strikes me as unsatisfactory…

    Haha, we’ve all run into that problem. What I’ve seen of Snow Fairy Sugar is a perfectly acceptable children’s show, but in reality it was one of those midnight-cable shows (which, incidentally, I didn’t know until a few weeks ago). Koge-Donbo’s Kamichama Karin was published in a shoujo anthology, but damn if it doesn’t read just like her moe titles.

    Obviously the demographic method of defining shoujo et al. through publications is not perfect, and it doesn’t really offer any true insight as to whether or not any one title is truly appropriate for the audience it was ostensibly made for (but to me, that’s the job of criticism, not demographic classification). Personally, I think demographic classification is fairly useless to the everyday joe except as a contextual background for interpretation and criticism, or possibly certain other situations.

    But I think trying to classify something as broad and ephemeral as “girls comics” based on content is just too limited to be meaningful, and it blurs the lines between classification and criticism. Most literary genres have a set of defining characteristics that set them apart from other genres (though individual stories may cross genres or subvert genre conventions). But I don’t know how you could meaningfully apply content-based criteria to shoujo, shounen, or whatever, because the classification itself is not based on content.

    Rambling and overexplaining aside, neither system of classification is perfect, and I doubt we’ll ever find one that is. We work with what’s available to is.

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