Anime Sucks!

#Anime

Wed, Nov 17th, 1999 05:00 by Lord Lansdowne ARTICLE

I hate animé.

In Europe there is a very active dubbing industry. Once a series of Japanese cartoons had finished its run in Japan, it would be exported, dubbed and replayed ad-nausem on European television channels. If you were to visit Europe and turn on the telly, even now, you can find re-runs of all the blasted animé cartoons that I had to endure.

As a rule of thumb, there were generally three types of cartoons from Japan: the ones for girls, the ones for boys and ones that just made no sense. The ones for girls were divided further down in two categories: girl (or something), looking for either mother, father, uncle, whatever, in some remote part of the world other than Japan. At least once in the episode, her eyes would start to wobble and then streams of water would erupt. You could tell someone was about to cry in Japanimé because their eyes wobbled. The girl never found what she was looking for, until the very last episode (the last of several zillion). If you missed an episode, or far that matter, all of them, it would've been just the same.

Seriously? Are you going to cry? Again?

The other kind of cartoon for girls was the one of some 7 year old who could mutate into someone or something else. Think Sailor Moon was a new concept? They just got lucky because they wear short skirts, but as far as originality goes, they are not the first in line. There was always some cute sounding animal that provided useless advice ("don't stick forks in your eyes!"). There also seemed to be some magic device that allowed the main character to go from child to looking like a twenty-something club-goer who knows all the bouncers on a first name basis, if you know what I mean.

Boys had a large variety of robots to pick from: Mazinga, then later Mazinga Z, Daiton, Voltron and a bunch more (like Star Blazers and the former Yamato, now called Argo). The series varied between episodes or stories that one sometimes confused which robot you were looking at--not that it mattered.

Yes, that's right: these two robots is all that stands between evil and the world. Don't you sleep better at night?

Aliens with a fashion sense that would have been questionable even in the 70s, would send in a robot. Robot would kick some civilian ass. The heroes would look at the bad robot, have the ultra long "let's get into our robot, aha!" sequence, go into a fight with the bad robot, and in the end, use the same powerful weapon they use in every episode to slice, cut, Julian fries the enemy robot.

There would be that dramatic pause you only see in Japanese cartoons as everyone just stands there, then light starts to flicker out of the bad robot and Boom! So much for reliable alien technology. The evil alien leaders would escape for the nth time, promising revenge nobody would take seriously or would stomp around all angry scaring their minions who, in turn, would promise the next robot to be even better. Sure.

Meanwhile, after blowing up the bad alien robot, the witty, snotty little kid of the heroic group would say something not even remotely funny, and everyone would laugh for way too long:

Snotty Little Kid: "I just stabbed my scrotum with this rusty fork I found!"

Everyone else: "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!"

I guess that since they're so busy fighting evil alien robots, the heroes obviously don't get out much.

Every episode was like this! Why not use the ultra-powerful weapon right away? Or the snotty little kid?

Little shit in the middle.

Cartoons that made no sense were like "Ken the Warrior" (yeah and Bob the Samurai). He had a small head, a gigantic body and he'd go around touching punks (you know, spiked hair, leather jackets), and they would explode. I remember one episode, he kills a whole bunch of punks, then he touches the last one standing and, after explaining that he can touch nerve points that make your body explode, he says "You have seven seconds to live, aha! You will tell me where you evil leader is, aha!" and the guy does. I would've flipped my bird and said, very calmly: "Fuck you, Ken". I digress.

"Hi. I'm Ken. I touch punks. Also, I never smile."

There was one cartoon which was solely about soccer, called Shin Captain Tsubasa. As every episode started, something important would happen (the enemy team has a new goalie and you can't see his face because it's covered by his hair! Therefore he must be good - hair and talent go hand in hand in Japanese cartoons). Then they would play soccer for what seemed an eternity while you would have to endure scenes with the main player running for the opposite net. He'd never get there. He'd be running, those weird lines that appear only in Japanimation screaming around him, occasionally jumping over the opposite team players that would, one by one, try to get the ball from him. In the distance, the goalie-net would appear, slowly emerging from behind the horizon line, as if planet earth was that small. The drama and all, I suppose. Maybe this took place on one of the smaller moons of Mars, but if that had been the case, they all would've died rather quickly from asphyxiation. I digress, I'm sorry. Anyway, half an hour later (as the episode is about to end and you endure way too many commercials on the latest GIJOE dolls), our hero (with names like Mirko, Ken, Mikai, etc.), would win. Just like episode #1 to #5,652,234.

And the characters were always the same: the main hero would have usually goofy expressions, or if it was meant to be remotely serious, he'd have long hair. If you couldn't see his eyes it meant that buddy was cool, had a traumatic past, or just a short dick and he was trying to look like a man.

And of course, lest we forget the facial expressions: big eyes, no nose, small mouth with lines on cheek: embarrassed. Big eyes, no nose, big mouth: surprised. Lines instead of eyes, big mouth, no nose: upset. No eyes, no nose, big smile, lots of ovals instead of feet: in a hurry, but not going anywhere fast.

His eyes were wobbly.

However, there is something worse than animé. It's the people that love animé. They follow episodes as if it were their religion, draw their own art (which is exactly identical to what everyone else is doing, since they have to follow the masters' trace) with extreme dedication, and have the inability to discuss their passion rationally:

"I don't like Akira."

"WHAT! HERETIC!"

Frankly, I don't. Okay, so the animation is great, but forget it when it comes to a story line. Dragontesticle Z, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, long stories, with action and philosophy that are supposed to strike in our hearts (or in our lower intestines as we sit on the can). They sit there and complain that the americanized version just doesn't cut it, and that dubbing ruins the story. Frankly it doesn't make a difference. It's not like their eyes grow smaller and their brains bigger.

"Lupin, why do we bother? We never actually get to keep anything we steal. Honestly, world class thief? We're on what, season four, and we've got nothing to show for it. Nothing. Let's just admit it: for all intents and purposes, we're candy assed pansies."

Then you get the Hentai shit, with school girls being raped by tentacles or giant green demons. Wooah, okay there boy, hold on the `shrooms.

I better end this before the Pichachoo gods strike me down for the heresy I’ve been speaking. It’s unfortunate, however, that once the anime fanatics will find this article, they will start spewing their ill-informed thoughts or just plain hatred. Some people can’t be rational and accept the fact that not everyone will see the world with their same, boring, repeating, unoriginal perspective and will take it as a personal attack. All I have to say to that is, thanks for proving my point.

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