Gailsimone Tweets

Tweets are Loading...

Page 1 of 6 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 55

Thread: If it's okay there, how should we take it here?

  1. #1
    Gunsel JBK405's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    A certain point in space
    Posts
    4,730

    If it's okay there, how should we take it here?

    I suppose this is a thread about the larger questions of cultural relativism, but I started thinking about it while watching the anime Battle Athletes.

    It's a very interesting anime (An Ender's Game vibe in places, the extremely difficult job of making physical competition seem dramatic and visually engaging to an audience, and Star Trek sound effects) but the point I want to focus on is the character of Grant Oldman, the principal of the all-girls sports training satellite that serves as the setting. Oldman is energetic and fantastic, somebody who I'm surprised hasn't been immortalized in internet meme (As an example: When three students are in a deorbiting satellite, and his shuttle can't go low enough to rescue them, he jumps out of the shuttle on a surfboard and surfs down to rescue them. @#$%ing win right there)...and he's a pedophile (Maybe an ephebophile, we're not given the specifics of his desires). A confirmed and known pedophile...and it's played for laughs.

    See that's the point of the thread: I can't imagine a pedophile in an American series being played for laughs in such a way (Before you bring up Herbert from Family Guy, his character is cringe-comedy based on revulsion. We're supposed to love-to-hate him, we're not supposed to like him and find him admirable). We're supposed to laugh at (And even be impressed by) Oldman's attempts to spy on the underage girls under his care; it's like a teenage boy just discovering his sexuality, where he's caught peeping in the girl's showers and we all laugh and go "boys will be boys," except instead it's a full-grown man hiding in the locker room baths, or holding "private training sessions" where he has the girls pose and he takes pictures.

    This is in no way me saying "Japan is fine with pedophiles." Pedophelia is not legal in Japan, and even in this anime, though it's played for laughs, everybody still opposes Oldman's actions. However, the cultural opposition and conditioning about pedophilia is very different than it is in "the west," with less of the "It's the worst thing ever!" vibe that permeates our society, and that results in less fiery hatred for the act in media. I was actively repulsed by Oldman as soon as it was revealed that he worked at the school because he was looking for an opportunity to spy on his students, but he kept being awesome in every other facet of the show (See above: surfing in @#$%ing space!) because the writers of this show didn't think that having him be a pedophile would be a major point of contention.

    So, my question is, since it's acceptable to laugh at it in the origin of the media, how should we feel about it here, where it's not a laughing matter?
    Life is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get a heck of a ride.

  2. #2

    Re: If it's okay there, how should we take it here?

    I'm never really sure how to deal with it. There's a lot of things like that I encounter with anime, and a lot of times it's other things I find really offensive too. For instance black face and other seriously racist humor come up in places I wouldn't normally expect like the Shaman King or Cyborg 009 or even stuff like One Piece and DBZ, not to mention the stuff you mentioned with sexualizing underage characters.

    Generally when I encounter something like that I simply stop watching the series. I don't know enough about it to say pedophelia and racism are more acceptable over there, but it's not really something I'm about to subject myself to under the guise of cultural sensitivity either.

    Every country has sick, offensive shit that is labelled as entertainment, I guess, but that doesn't mean you need to refrain from calling it out when you encounter it.
    Last edited by Thequeerjock; 04-13-2012 at 08:59 PM.

  3. #3

    Re: If it's okay there, how should we take it here?

    I think there's not too much to analyze there. Japan is for many parts the cultural equivalent of the weird racist grandfather. They put out their racism and mysoginy so casually that you can't get yourself to entirely hate them for it.

    As for the pedophiles, I assume in a country where there's a whole branch of basically pedophile erotica (Lolicon), it somehow seems more realistic to have someone like this in your story. If you don't know about lolicon, don't google it. It might break you.

    Personally, I think Japan has in general an extremist form of the British type of humor, where everything goes as long as the person that does it thinks it might be funny, and if you don't agree, then you got no sense of humor and should get one. Only, in Japan, EVERYTHING goes.

  4. #4
    Hard Boiled stevapalooza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    12,868

    Re: If it's okay there, how should we take it here?

    You may not want to say it, but I will--Japan is fine with pedophiles. It may not be actively embraced and celebrated, but it's not really condemned either. And when it is condemned it's usually with a wink. It's just one of those cultural moral differences. And it goes both ways. I'm sure plenty of the things we have a casual attitude toward horrify them.

  5. #5
    Gunsel Karen El's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Planet Karen
    Posts
    3,388

    Re: If it's okay there, how should we take it here?

    Is this Battle Athletes or Battle Athletes Victory? BA was the original 3 OAV series and BAV is the much, much longer TV remake.

    It's a while since I've seen it, but I recall the characterisation of the dark skinned girl (I think she's supposed to be Brazilian, but my memory might be failing me) is a bit problematic too.

    But yeah, there's some cultural differences, like the comedy perv old man who steals girls' underwear - there's one in Ranma 1/2, and I'm sure I've seen one in another manga. And yes, there are all kinds of American cultural behaviours that the Japanese are appalled by. Come to think of it, there are one or two American cultural behaviours that appall me as a British person.
    Life's an elevator. It goes up and down.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Karen El
    And yes, there are all kinds of American cultural behaviours that the Japanese are appalled by. Come to think of it, there are one or two American cultural behaviours that appall me as a British person.
    Honest question, which ones? I'd at least like to know when I'm making an ass of myself.
    Current Favorite DC Book: Calendar of Small Events
    Current Favorite Marvel Book: Hawkeye

    Location: Texas

  7. #7
    Right Guy Hybrid2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Quebec
    Posts
    2,020

    Re: If it's okay there, how should we take it here?




    Lot more here...
    http://www.sharenator.com/why_are_th...an5-29097.html
    I couldn't chose.
    http://img.chan4chan.com/img/2010-05-26/1274898144846.jpg

    Friendship is being there when someone's feeling low and not being afraid to kick them.

  8. #8

    Re: If it's okay there, how should we take it here?

    One thing that I think influences Japan's and other culture's issues with racism as opposed to America's issues with racism is that Japan and others didn't have the purely race-based slavery that America had.

    That horror has shaped some of our own cultural norms and attitudes.

    I'm NOT forgiving troubling racial appearances in other cultures, I'm just saying that there's some cross-cultural issues that cause us to look at things one way and places like Japan and Great Britian to look at them another way.

    For example, as I said, here in the U.S. we had the horrible practice of race-based slavery -- with Great Britian didn't really have. BUT on the other hand, Great Britian had imperial colonies in a LOT of other countries which led to racial problems which we, in the U.S. didn't struggle as much with because we didn't have as extensive imperialistic holdings.
    A.K.A. Lailoni Prime Vesta (courtesy of Tom Stillwell)

    My blog of random and often geeky things -- Compound Geekery!

    Riding the rollercoaster at Six Flags over Armageddon

  9. #9
    Gunsel JBK405's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    A certain point in space
    Posts
    4,730

    Re: If it's okay there, how should we take it here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen El View Post
    Is this Battle Athletes or Battle Athletes Victory? BA was the original 3 OAV series and BAV is the much, much longer TV remake.

    It's a while since I've seen it, but I recall the characterisation of the dark skinned girl (I think she's supposed to be Brazilian, but my memory might be failing me) is a bit problematic too.
    Just Battle Athletes; I've also downloaded Victory, but haven't watched it yet. Which dark skinned girl? Tanya? Kris Christopher? Tanya was just a wee bit too accepting when Oldman had her posing during "practice," but other than that I didn't really see a problem (Well, I found it to be odd characterization that she was a big Lahrri supporter in the final episode, since that had never been previously established, but that's a last minute scripting issue, not a cultural clash thing). Kris Christopher had a big WTF-act when it came to her Moon traditions (I'm going to be honest, I'm right there with Akari and Anna by saying that it was weird as hell for her to do so much naked dancing), but the show actually treated it with more gravitas than I expected, so it became "This is something that means a lot to her, even if it looks weird to us, and is not just for laughs" instead of "look at the stupid foreigner, look how stupid their customs are!"

    Also, I'm with Hugin, I'm wondering what parts of American culture are baseline-appaling.
    Life is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get a heck of a ride.

  10. #10

    Re: If it's okay there, how should we take it here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugin View Post
    Honest question, which ones? I'd at least like to know when I'm making an ass of myself.
    I can only speak from a continental Europe POV, but I guess the laissez-faire attitude towards guns is pretty high up there. I know it comes up again and again, but I think most Americans simply fail to understand how big of a deal it is almost anywhere else in the world. I am currently living in a multi-million metropolis in India, with a crime rate that can compete with any US city. They even got sepparatist terrorists here. But no one gets shot. Sure, stabbed, clubbed, what have you. But shot? Not one article in the newspaper.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •