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Monday Musings
Monday, 11 April 2011 12:56
So, in last week's musings I was quite happy that I was three shows into the season, and had three shows that I was more than happy to carry on with. Since then, it's sadly all gone a bit Pete Tong - of the six new shows since then that I've watched the opening episode of, there's one that's curious (Steins;Gate), three that are "meh" (Battle Girls, SKET Dance and Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi) and two that have, in places, left me rather uncomfortable at what I was watching. I don't like that part.

The offending shows - almost literally, in this case - are We, Without Wings and Astarotte's Toy. They're both heavy on the fanservice, and both have aspects to them that, frankly, I wouldn't want to mention to other people if I was trying to persuade them of the merits of anime - the "sure, all anime is porn, right?" mob would have a bloody field-day with them. In some ways, I probably shouldn't be surprised - We, Without Wings is based on an eroge visual novel, after all, while the author of the source manga for Astarotte's Toy has a history with loli subject matter - but I can't help but feel that, if you have to adapt these things into anime, then don't beat around the bush: just make a hentai series. The folks that find them titillating will, I suspect, thank you for it.

If you can't (or won't) go the hentai route, then fer chrissake tone it down. Navel in particular should know better - being responsible for Shuffle!, they managed to adapt that into a series that had a sensible level of fanservice and stayed well clear of subject matter that could invoke squick feelings. As I've said before, I'm not in any way adverse to ecchi in and of itself - just shows that do it badly and/or cross a certain hard-to-define line. Look at the likes of Girls Bravo or, more recently, Sora no Otoshimono for shows that got it more-or-less right. These two, though, feel more like they're taking part in a race to the bottom of the bad-taste barrel while they still have the chance, with the "chilling effects" of the Tokyo Youth Healthy Development Ordinance breathing down their necks in July. It's after seeing shows like that that, despite misgiving about vague law being bad law, a part of me thinks "bring it on...".

I'm aware that both shows are only one episode in, and that depending on how they play out I could end up eating my words before they're done. I'm applying the three-episode-rule to both shows, to give them a fair chance to dig themselves out of the holes they've found themselves in - but I have to say, I'm not hopeful.

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