Friday, April 6, 2012

Week of April 4th

This week, i review what is quite possibly the most fucked up mainstream anime ever made!  Also Okami Den because i'm having problems with my Silent Hill review.  Sorry for the delay on that one.

This weeks reviews:
Kodomo no Jikan
Okami Den

Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31st

Due to some personal business getting in the way, i wasn't able to get the footage for my game review for the week and will be posting it next week.  Sorry for the delay.

This week in the news, former president Dick Cheney--
...or was he vice president?  Nah, he did all the work and Bush was clearly brain damaged, it must have been Dick.  Anyway, Dick Cheney recently had a heart transplant.  Apparently the brown fat of the babies he eats isn't very healthy.  Who knew?

This Weeks Review:
Azumanga Daioh (Will be rewritten when i'm feeling slightly less lazy, this was a fallback item)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Week of March 21st

So after officially severing my ties with Otaku-Streamers, an anime hosting site with a community on par with YouTube's, i've been able to focus on my work here.  Hopefully my personal business will conclude soon.  For now, my table of contents has been updated with this weeks reviews (Highlander: The Search for Vengeance and The Darkness II), and you can expect more next week.

This week in the news, the religious right continues to act misogynistic, the Democrats continue to act spineless, and Street Fighter x Tekken sucked.  Bad week overall.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Second Week of March

Yeah, I'm back after a brief hiatus of beating my head against a fucking wall for being stupid enough to try and tackle DearS.  I'll probably get back into anime reviews later this month, for now, we've got movies.

Items Reviewed:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
SoulCalibur V
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Week of February 1st

This week i review The World Ends with You and Rosario Vampire.  For February, i'll be doing two themes.  RPGs for my game reviews, and harem items for my anime reviews.  Links below!  Also, this week in the news, Donald Trump endorses Mitt Romney!  But i personally am rooting for Gingrich.  With how fucked up that guy is, him winning the primary pretty much ensures Obama's second term.  As much problems as i have with that spineless asshole, he's preferable to a right winger divorced from reality.  The real tragedy?  My Nintendo DS finally died and i need to replace her.

Not with a 3DS mind.  God no.  There's nothing in that library worth grabbing yet.

The World Ends with You review
Rosario + Vampire Anime and Manga Review

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pyramid Head Presents and Essay on Loli

During the 80s a massive trend hit Japanese manga with the same intensity that a baseball traveling at 150 miles per hour hit’s a glass window, utterly changing the frame of manga for ever, and that was the advent of “Loli.”  For those of you who are unaware, loli, or lolicon, are slang terms for “Lolita Complex.”  Referring to an old novel “Lolita” about a middle aged man falling head over balls in love for a 12-year-old girl, Lolita complex doesn’t exactly draw a positive image when you use it in it’s literal context.  Many people seem to believe “Lolicon” refers to anyone who has some form of attraction, sexual or otherwise, to “Lolis,” females who appear to be or indeed are young girls depicted in a cute or sexually charged manner.  Is this the correct way of thinking?

Short Answer: No.

Long Answer: Though this is debated even in Japan, country of origin to this phenomenon, as far as many high voices in Japan are concerned, Lolita Complex is a slang term for pedophilia, and openly boasting about being a lolicon will to some be seen as openly boasting to be a pedophile.

Before we delve further, a history lesson will be necessary.  Lolicon style anime flourished in the 80s when many adult and non-adult targeting mangas found success with loli characters.  A lot of it was in similar context to other popular Japanese themes in their ecchi and hentai, and that is exploring forbidden relationships, and many issues involve what is considered to be sexual deviance.  The influence of this ranges from yaoi having it’s own extended library, bestiality, incest, lolicons in 18+ material, and nearly any other form of paraphilia or former paraphilia you care to name.  Obviously yaoi takes a lot less heat, especially since homosexuality is no longer considered to be a mental disorder, but lolicon is still to many a slang term for pedophilic displays.

With that in mind, where did this confusion come from?  As mentioned earlier, many feel the definition is much more relaxed and doesn’t necessarily need to include sexually explicit manners and can include kawaii depictions or items that only allude to sexuality, namely one local user using a clip from anime Seitokai Yakuindomo in which a 15 year old frequently mistaken for a 9 year old leaps up to kick someone and her shoe flies off, smacking her target in the face.  Much of this is due to western influence; or at least influence not native to mainstream beliefs in Japan, coming up with the “Anything cute or sexy, not necessarily explicit and not necessarily underaged” definition, essentially making loli a subset of moe.

Moe is a separate kettle of fish.  Literally meaning “To Sprout” moe does indeed fit a broader definition and can refer to sexy, cute, or thought provoking examples (Though rarely is the latter exercised) relating to girls who are under-aged.  The definition is so broad that examples used in Lucky Star of Miyuki and Yutaka are both accurate depictions of moe even though the two are polar opposites.  Moe indeed is loosely defined enough in Japan itself that you could make the square-rectangle argument, all loli is moe but not all moe is loli.

Now resuming the history lesson, the debate on lolis exact definition is one that still rages on.  It generally is identical to the argument between the damaging effects of violence in games, the general belief of opponents is that loli will encourage people to act on the deviance depicted while proponents feel loli is clearly fiction and that the actual risk of an increase in sexual deviance is negligible at best.  These debates do include the Western vs. Eastern definition matter, but they do take some dark turns.

Major fuel for the fire of “Is it as harmless as we think” comes in the form of tragedies.  Not unlike the debate of how heavily the game “Doom” influenced the two students behind the Columbine Massacre, arguments over how heavily lolicon media was involved in the actions of criminals is brought up.  This happened most strongly with a man referred to as “The Otaku Killer,” who infamously kidnapped, murdered, and raped the corpses of four young girls during 1988 and 1989, culminating in cannibalism of one victim which many feel is the apex of human depravity.  This sentiment resurged as lately as 2005 when a registered sex offender committed a murder not unlike an act of The Otaku Killer.  Many have been fast to try and pin blame on lolicon material, even though evidence of it’s involvement was lacking at best.

The question of how much influence the item has is one that should be examined carefully.  Some believe graphic depictions encourage behavior, others believe they are outlets and prevent the behavior, a middle ground is that a majority is capable of telling it’s fiction and entire outlet or genre should not be targeted because of the mentally ill who cannot make the distinction.  All claims have been examined and while research in Japan suggests that frequent viewing of hentai or porn does not lead to an increase in sexually deviant behavior, nothing conclusive exists due to the extreme number of variables in human psychiatry.  That being said, there are known cases of sexual repression turning into violent behavior which may lend credence to the “Outlet and prevention” argument.

Yet the argument is very complex, and evidence has been presented by both sides.  Though true the more credible evidence tends to exist with the in favor group, namely one statistic showing that despite the existence of lolicon and the spread of lolicon, the crimes they were accused of causing have been decreasing in frequency during what should have been the timeline they were increasing; on the other hand, depending on which definition you adhere to, lolicon does indeed depict a fetish that can be extremely damaging if someone acts on it, so while it may not be instant-pedo material, a degree of regulation may be necessary.  On the backside of the other hand, it should be noted that when tragedy does strike, ignoring all other factors and focusing on one item regardless of previous signs is a hazardous practice on it’s own.

Though lolicon is a hotly debated topic, misinformation exists on all sides so taking one without careful analysis might be risky.  Those trying to ban it are wrong, restricting creative freedoms, trying to restrict what is harmless entertainment to most and an outlet to others is not going to solve any problems.  Those who publish it sometimes make too light a deal of just what kind of consequences would arise should sexual relationships exist.  Those who try to argue the harmlessness of it all are sometimes not aware that it’s literal definition is merely a slang term for pedophilia and that which definition is being used should always be brought into consideration.
As for my stance, I’m mixed.  This isn’t like a sexual fetish existing in a gray area, there is a reason relationships with young girls is a taboo, and I won’t deny that such depictions sometimes makes me uncomfortable.  On the other hand, it could be someone with a harmless attraction to a 2D image who views real life in a completely different light.  Though I will more often than not oppose restriction of creative freedom, I’m not entirely comfortable with lolicon depictions, but generally feel that way about any fetish I don’t share.  It’s an entertainment medium, a 2D drawing that people don’t take seriously depicting subject matter that is a very serious matter.  Perhaps it is with good reason that this subject is debated, and a level of regulation might also be a good idea.  Bare in mind, by that I mean as in how games are regulated with warnings relating to content and an age rating, not complete bans.  If vague depictions help vent desires that people who do possess a fetish they really can’t help, I won’t begrudge them their taste in adult material.  If people think it’s cute or amusing, I won’t begrudge them for having different tastes.  If people think mere depictions will cause utter disaster, I’ll call them out on it and demand that they provide proof or adjust their stance.

Now, for the end of this essay, you have a bit of homework.  Baring in mind that the literal term is indeed synonymous with pedophile, do you still identify yourself as a lolicon, or do you feel the alternate Western definition that it can be lesser depictions of ecchi and not even feature girls who really are under-aged but simply look that way?  Do you think that the subject matter is completely harmless or that it should be taken seriously because of how things work in real life?  Please think about it.

--Likes his Women in Straight Jackets
Pyramid Head

Red Pyramid Thing's Table of Contents

Here is a list of my reviews on The Escapist.  If you came here from Otaku-Streamers, bare in mind The Escapist has no profanity rules, so if you're the type of person who gets uptight when someone drops an F-bomb, go jump out a fucking window or learn to desensitize yourself to spoken and written language.

Game Reviews:

Bulletstorm Review
Duke Nukem Forever Review
Batman: Arkham City Review*
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Review
Avalon Code Review
Contact Review*
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Review
Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations Review
Mortal Kombat (2011) Review
Crysis 2 Review
MindJack Review
Saint's Row: The Third Review
GoldenEye 007 Reloaded and X-Men Destiny Reviews
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review*
NCIS Review
Driver: San Francisco Review
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Review
Shadows of the Damned Review
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Review
Portal 2 Review
2011 Video Game Awards*
SoulCalibur V (Yes, stupidly, that's how it's spelled)
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
The Darkness II

Other Reviews:

Katawa Shoujo (Visual Novel)
Tomoyo After: Dear Shining Memories (Manga)
Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei (Anime)
Nichijou (Anime)
KissXSis (Original Video Animations and Anime)
Canaan (Anime)
Chobits (Anime and Manga)
Steins;Gate (Anime)*
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Anime and Manga)
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (Anime)
Hellsing (Anime) and Hellsing Ultimate (OVA)
Bartender (Anime and Manga)
xxxHOLiC (Anime and Manga)
Cardcaptor Sakura (Anime and Manga)
Strawberry Panic (Anime)
Clannad (Anime)*
Zero no Tsukaima (Anime)
K-On!! (Anime, season two)
K-On! (Anime, Season One)*
2011 Anime Awards*
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Movie)
Highlander (Original Movie)
Highlander: The Search for Vengeance (Anime Movie)