Archive for April 25th, 2008

Moenetics: Hooray for Kadokawa Pictures USA!

So I have a certain unnamed series that was licensed for release in the US by Kadokawa Pictures USA sitting in front of me that somehow arrived on my doorstep a couple weeks before the street date. I don’t really have the slightest clue as to why TRSI does this, but it’s quite fun.

Anyway, in the liner notes of said unnamed anime, there is a defintiion of moe. It is as follows:

Moe is defined as a strong but innocent love of anime or video game characters based on their appearance and personality. To a hardcore otaku, moe is not about sexual attraction, but about looking at an idealized character that is so innocent and loveable to the point of triggering an emotional response.

Let’s look at a certain segment of that quote again:

[…]moe is not about sexual attraction, but about looking at an idealized character that is so innocent and loveable […]

Just to be absolutely clear that you’re se eing what I’m seeing:

[…]moe is not about sexual attraction[…]

Thank god the industry understands this. As a short, concise definition of moe (the actual definition would require a doctoral thesis, and at any rate that definition would simply belong to the author of the thesis and wouldn’t really apply to anyone else) that communicates essential fundamentals about the concept to an unknowing audience, it’s brilliant. The adjectives are perhaps a bit limiting, but I wholeheartedly endorse this official definition. It’s much better than Tokyopop’s as found in the back of Welcome to the NHK! volume 1.

If only I could find some way to send a message to every anime fan by generating subliminal messages that would be recorded onto every broadcast of every anime ever, so that all fans everywhere understand the concept of moe, even if they, personally, don’t like it. Maybe I should read more of The Mysterious Benedict Society, it might give me some important hints and tips as to this feat. Step one: find an island loaded with precious metals and gemstones that no one knows has precious metals and gemstones. Step two…

Allison & Lillia: Yearning For Youth

Those who have been tragically left behind as the result of an altercation, we salute you.

Allison & Lillia is maintaining its steady flow of warm-hearted children’s lit into anime form. It’s easy to see why it’s airing on NHK–it’s a very simple story, told in a cheerful voice. It is about a war, yes, but it isn’t about the violence of combat. And neither does it glamorize war. Alllsion, the original novel, is clearly a Sigsawa children’s novel (I have no idea if Kino no Tabi was a children’s novel too or not), and, thereby, probably won’t appeal to a large portion of the Internet anime-watching populace because of this, since in order to enjoy it, one has to have the ability to appreciate a simpler story. I almost wish that Allison & Lillia, should it ever be licensed, would get a broadcast run in a timeslot aimed at children. If that happens, it would be interesting not only to see the reaction during its run, but also the reaction as said children grow up and have fond memories of the series. It’d be kind of like how I have fond memories of anime series that aired on NIckelodeon back when it was an actually good network (i.e., the late 1980s): my mom swears up and down that I loved The Little Prince, which I can’t remember ever having watched, and I have extremely vague memories of The Adventures of the Little Koala (or a similar series, Nickelodeon aired several koala-themed anime series during that era, and I have no way of telling which my hazy recollection fits up with). I know other people have fond memoeries of The Mysterious Cities of Gold, which they also aired, and on the non-anime front I also have fond memories of David the Gnome, which was Finnish, I thnk). Natsukashii~

Nostalgia rant aside, Allison & Lillia is showing remarkable sophistication and creativity. From the episode preview, it seems like we’re going to find out what the treasure is next episode, something I didn’t expect to see happen until the conclusion of the Allison storyline around episode 13. That tells me that what’s important to the story isn’t the retrieval of the treasure, but the impact it has on the world at large. It’s allegedly a treasure that can bring peace to the war-torn world Allison and Wil live in, but I suspect that it will not be the treasure that accomplishes this by itself, but, rather, something that our two intrepid heroes will do as a result of the treasure.

I also like how the narrator of the story isn’t Allison, who is the “protagonist”, but Wil. It’s an echo of Crest of the Stars and all three Banner of the Stars series. Wil is playing the part of what SDS describes as the Rational Male Compaion much like Jinto played for Lafiel. It may not be love between the two (yet!) but it’s definitely something much more deep than mere friendship. And it’s not one of those frightening relationships where two human beings seemingly merge into one amorphous blob that has a bizarre amalgamation of the component humans’ personalities. It’s instead a relationship where each is their own, separate person, and they use their strengths to support the other. Wil’s mostly along for the ride, but he’s got the brains behind the outfit. Allison would have already been captured or, worse, killed, were Wil not with her, as she has a tendency to charge headlong into a conflict without thinking first. I love the Rational Male Companion relationship dynamic (partly because I’m a forward-thinking person when it comes to gender roles, and partly because I desperately wish to be someone’s Rational Male Companion. This latter desire, and ones like it, substitutes for an externally-focused sex drive, but that’s TMI and at any rate I’m incredibly weird, just like everyone else), so any time it crops up it’s a blast for me.

Whatever the treasure ends up to be, and however the peace comes to the land, I’m sticking wtih this one to the end.


I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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April 2008