The Otakusphere: Battle goats, Higurashi reborn and piles and piles of shame

We’ve made it out of the sucking hole that is the post-holiday season, and I’m starting to get ready to do all of my other work.

That said, I’m slowly feeling better after having a rough patch there. I’ve fortified myself with some of the rotgut that I call coffee, and I’m prepared for another tour around The Otakusphere. So let’s grab some tunes and get ready to hit the road.


And because the Concrete Revolutio second season opening reminds me of this one. I’m going to share another of my favorite openings.

I want to congratulate Fred on doing what I backed away from doing, criticizing the sexualization of children in anime. One of the things about being socked away in my own little corner of the anime universe for 10 years is that I’m not sure how much anime still falls into this category or maybe I’m just acculturated to it.

Either way, it certainly has been a problem that the Japanese government has dealt with during the past few years, and it’s only likely to be brought more into the public spotlight as the summer games approach.

The one point I would add, and I really want to expand into an actual blog post is that it’s not really 100 percent clear that drawn depictions of children are really protected by the First Amendment. I think it’s a little more complicated than that.

Anyway, go read his post. It’s worth checking out.

So I know that Crow already shared this post, but I couldn’t help but sharing Takuto’s advice for people with a habit of compulsively buying stuff. It seems like a universal issue, especially in fandom circles. I mean who wouldn’t want that super cool wall scroll. So what if you don’t have room for it? You will. Someday. I mean you’re never going to fall out of love with Saber Marionette J, right?

One of the side effects of having a lot of hobbies is that I have a lot of stuff. I mean I have a stack of video games I haven’t played, anime and movies that I haven’t watched and comics I haven’t read. Some of this stuff I’ve had more than a decade. Not to mention stacks of useless Magic: the Gathering Cards, unread books and the occasional trinket.

I don’t know if I could follow his life advice. I think it’s probably good. I mean only buying stuff you know that you want really is the way to go, but I’m sure I’ll really like that JRPG and I’ll get around to playing it sometime. Really. I will.

I’ve got to talk about this list over at Reasons to Anime. When I started reading Casper’s list of awe-inspiring anime vehicles, I was expecting an exploration of mechanical design. It certainly started there, but it definitely didn’t stay there.

I won’t spoil where it goes. Just read it, and if you haven’t already. It’s beautiful.

Man, I love Higurashi. I love it enough that I’ve been considering buying the Blu-Ray complete collection because it is a show that really knows how to use the camera, music and character designs to create some really unsettling imagery.

That’s why I’m a bit skeptical about trying to recapture the magic in a new anime project. Is this just going to be a retelling, or is it going to cover new material? Anyway, I heard it about it from The Little Anime blog.

Since it’s the start of a new seasons, I figured I’d finish off with a couple of reviews of shows that I’m interested in. Here is one from Keiko about ID: Invaded (Karandi did one as well here.) This sounds like one where I’d really like to see what they’re saying about the subconscious. I always find that fiction is fascinated by this idea that we can’t control our innermost desires. Hell, we can’t even know what they are. It’s interesting how they portray that.

On the other hand, Irina shared her thoughts about the first episode of Hands off Eizouken, which sounds absolutely charming. I enjoy shows that try to recapture the innocence of youth.

17 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: Battle goats, Higurashi reborn and piles and piles of shame

      1. It takes a while to get going but once it gets there, it’s pretty intense. Soe routes are pretty silly though and it sort of puts the rest in an odd light. Apparently, there’s a way to play it where you get a completely pleasant route that’s just a harem slice of life and nothing bad or unusual happens at all….I’ve never fond it though

  1. Fools like me rush in where angels fear to tread.

    You’re right, it is more complicated. Everything is always more complicated.

    In the UK there is a section of the law that deals with prohibited images of children. It prohibits ***any*** image that is:

    “grossly offensive and obscene, and pornographic for purposes of sexual arousal. It also requires that the focus is principally on the child’s genitals and sexual regions, or includes one of various sexual acts either with the child or in the presence of the child. It also covers images that depict sexual activity in the presence of or between children and an animal, whether dead, alive, or imaginary.”

    The US tried to pass a similar law a couple decades ago. The relevant provisions were struck down by the Supreme Court as violations of the 1st Amendment. In 2003 we passed a federal law that prohibited photorealistic sexually suggestive renderings of children. This is justified by the notion that it is guaranteed that any number of children could look like the child being depicted. They would obviously be harmed by photorealistic images of them flying about the web.

    Typical animation/cartoon styles retain protected status. So does simple nudity *in a nonsexual context*.

    There’s an awfully lot of what we consider harmless ecchi that would be flatly illegal if done as live-action with minor actors. Since nudity isn’t a requirement in the definition of child porn, just lewdness, all those gratuitous little girl panty shots in anime would be illegal.

    I do not advocate censorship! But why anime is so saturated with lolicon and shoutacon is something to think about and something that ought to be discussed. It tells us a bit about the underlying Japanese culture and maybe a bit about ourselves.

    1. What I’ve had trouble finding is the actual case where the Supreme Court ruled as far as the Protect Act.

      They declined to hear the first major case against Dwight Whorley.

      In the Christopher Handley case, the District Court judge decided that two provisions of the act went too far, but he could be tried on the obscenity charge. He ended up pleading on the obscenity charge.

      Both of these cases lay a groundwork for saying that lolicon is not legal.

      Even if the Supreme Court ruled that the PROTECT act was unconstitutional, that really just means that they ruled the law was poorly written, It is possible (but maybe not likely) that lawmakers could come up with a different version of the law.

      I can’t find anything in the other cases where the supreme court weighed in. But everyone pretty much accepts that this is the truth, so it must be. What I can’t determine is the legal status changed because the law expired or if there was another case I don’t know of.

      I wouldn’t say I advocate censorship either, but on some level I do. I think child pornography should be stamped out.

      1. IIRC SCOTUS hasn’t actually ruled on “Protect. ‘ I could be wrong.

        In my mind is the question of who is harmed. I need a specific victim before I want to see laws. To the extent that watching lolicon and shoutacon doesn’t hurt a real child, your viewing habits are none of the state’s business.

        Other people say “society” I’d a suitable victim. They are generally trying to use the force of law to direct the evolution of society a certain way. It is called social engineering and is extremely popular social activists.

        And then there are those who are security focused because legal access to something might make you prone to doing something more serious. In this case watching lolicon might cause you to escalate to harming real girls. I’ve never seen reliable evidence except as to the opposite effect but then most censorship is based

      2. On emotional responses rather than scientific analysis or even deep thought.

        One of yhe aspects of American jurisprudence is that it is the prosecutor who decides what gets prosecuted. There is no penalty for spurious charges and often much political gain. If ordinary anime can be prosecuted as child porn, then you have to meet the standards of the strictest community it might be aired in.

        A lot of very well regarded anime vould then be regarded as child porn.

  2. It’s definitely tricky to limit one’s buying, especially when it comes to fandoms, I absolutely agree! But, when you can get a better sense of self control (and not blind buy like a reckless idiot AKA me), you’ll find yourself with a lot of extra space, extra cash, and a deeper love for the things you have.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. I agree. And a large portion of my anime collection comes from the time before streaming was largely available. Most of my blind buys come from that time as well.

      That said, I do buy quite a few things without knowing whether I will like them. But I generally have an acceptable amount of money that I’m willing to spend for that.

  3. Nice! Control your spendings! Those merch usually deteriorates really fast! I love getting acrylic keychains but they just… get chipped really fast. Oh well, it’s the memories that count I guess.

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