Pointless Debate #30: Defending the Indefensible

Unfortunately, nothing involving the finest episode of 2012 came up when drafting this post.

As this seems to be a day where some are making ridiculous arguments about preferences in their favorite anime, I figured I may as well jump on this bandwagon before it leaves never to return (or in 4 months). I’ve also decided to use the mighty power of Twitter to try to come up with ideas in this post to try to defend based on the title. Needless to say, I may have picked a bad day to do this. (Note: none of the views expressed below represent my real opinion on views, they are just my attempts to defend indefensible views on specific topics)

First comes the arguments from my followers on twitter. This one was from Flawfinder, an up-and-coming aniblogger (if such things actually exist) who covers a wide range of topics, but most relevant to this post is the reviews of hentai OVAs that are done on occasion. His indefensible argument is as follows:

The typical view from the protagonist in an NTR scene/

“True Blue is a masterpiece”

First, let’s delve into what True Blue actually is before I get into defending it. It’s the standard er-oanime consisting of a story that spans across two episodes. True Blue happens to be one of the early examples of NTR (netorare), a genre which to oversimplify this slightly, revolves around the love interest of the protagonist being stolen from them and being flipped to be entirely loyal to the antagonist because of their superior sexual prowess.

True Blue is a title that came out over 7 years ago now, which may as well be an absolute eternity in this part of the anime scene, so it has name recognition value going for it. However, judging by the sub-6 score it has on MAL, I don’t think it could be called a masterpiece in general. So instead, this will have to be done purely on genre terms.

As an NTR piece, I think it sets the stage perfectly for any of the numerous NTR works that have followed since True Blue was released. All of the three main elements are needed, Akito, the pathetic protagonist who remains fully engaged in what’s happening, but either refuses or is unable to do anything to stop the antagonist Shoda from doing what he wants to Aoi. Over the course of the two episodes, Aoi does the usual thing of going from complete timidity to wanting to have the evil sensei’s child. NTR in my mind is about this loss of moral and social standards that comes with watching anything in the genre. It also happens to be a completely logical reaction to the harem anime tropes of weak male lead getting all the girls by having a similar character lose the girl to someone willing to break social morays to get there.

Hell, you could even say that NTR as a term didn’t exist until True Blue was released. Whether that alone makes it worthy of classic status or not is for you to decide.

The second comes from one of the army of bloggers at Altair & Vega, blackholeheart

In lieu of not having a Shana screenshot available, I give you Saito from Zero no Tsukaima reading a newspaper.

Shana 2nd season was totally better than the 1st.”

As far as Shana is concerned, I think this definitely has to fit in with the theory of trilogies. That would imply that the first season was good, the second season was better and the third season fell off a cliff.

As I have not seen the 2nd season of Shana that means I have to judge from a similar work Zero no Tsukaima. The first season of that was filled with the sort of high-concept material trying to make Saito look like a fish out of water, when all the fans really wanted was a focus on the characters. In the second season, there was just that. Make out sessions on boats, jealous sisters, an ever-growing harem for Saito to satisfy himself with. None of this desire to get back to the real world, or plot. The seasons after that just went back to trying to focus on the story.

I can only assume the third season of Shana was something like Hidan no Aria.

Then there were two that were submitted by riajuunibyou.

I don’t know…

Clannad doesn’t suck”

Sorry, I can’t defend this at all. The reasons why are best explained here and here.

Defend your right to have an avatar from a Star Wars ripoff!

“You are always objectively wrong about your negative opinion of the anime in my avatar”

This is a little vague, but I’ll do my best to try to defend this.

Fandom can be a tribalist pursuit at times. With the Olympics going on, it’s largely about those people representing the United States of America, and those diddly countries that are not America. At least that’s what NBC tells me anyway, I don’t need to know about South Korea’s impressive medal haul by their standards. So yeah, feel free to put yourself into your own camp and display your favorite anime character as your avatar on twitter and elsewhere. Even if people think your Kimball Kinnison avatar is only being used ironically, you can argue all you want that Lensman is one of the classiest anime ever made.

That’s your right. Actually, it’s your duty to argue with people who disagree with your opinions, on the internet.

Now for some of the more tame opinions I’ve held over the years in brief:

Apropos of nothing, this came up while I was at Otakon.

“The Toei version of Kanon is superior to the Kyoto Animation version”

This one is quite simple. I saw the former first, and the environment made me feel sad and alone. The relative comforts when watching the KyoAni version, as well as it’s needlessly long episode count made the episodes of it matter less to me as a viewer. I think enough time has passed on both of these to where they have just faded into the background. Now it’s just a matter of preference between catastrophically large chins or literally kawaii moe uguu character designs. Does the plot even matter anymore?

I wasted too many words writing on one of these characters.

“Sekiutsu (Maria) Tarou is one of the greatest characters in anime.”

Hold on, my PTSD from certain internet arguments is kicking in. I definitely argued this at one point, but it went so badly I don’t want to talk about it.

“There is no point watching a show like Aquarion EVOL or Eureka Seven AO without watching the original”

The stand-alone story within the same universe presents a bit of a problem for me. On the one hand, it is supposed to be entirely separate from the original so as to attract new fans on top of those who did see the original. On the other hand, the title implies that the original series is somewhat relevant to what’s happening.

The basic argument against this is that absolutely nothing is the same. Even the character designs and plot of the spinoff have nothing to do with the original. That’s where the old Gunbuster\Diebuster dilemma enters the picture. What are the chances that you have a conclusion to a spinoff that depends almost entirely on knowing the original series to fully grasp what is happening.

The problem is largely with trying to follow a show as it happens. If something comes up that I wouldn’t fully enjoy, then there’s no point in my watching the sequel without watching the original. That is why I would be more likely to watch Aquarion EVOL than E7AO right now because the former has at least finished.

If you have anything else to add to this exercise, or want me to try to take on something else for a future post, please feel free to leave comments on this post. I do try to get to these regularly, when I’m not too worried about the pre and post convention affects anyway.

7 thoughts on “Pointless Debate #30: Defending the Indefensible”

  1. I wouldn’t go so far as saying that Clannad sucks, but it’s definitely the most overrated show I’ve seen. A bawlfest with great animation.

    1. Clannad is the epitome of the harem genre, plain and simple. I’ll admit that the first season was generic, but it was still very well done in that respect. After Story was really the part that bumped it up from “very good” to “great.”

      I can understand that you don’t like it if you dislike the harem genre in general, but if you don’t mind a good harem then you’ve probably seen (and enjoyed) Clannad.

      1. I’d argue that the 2nd season isn’t even harem. The first season was fairly bog standard for a harem series in my opinion as in nothing was all that special bar one scene that had nothing to do with the main cast. The second can hardly be forgiven for such an appalling ending.

      2. I’ll give you your first point. It really isn’t a harem anime by that point. But if Clannad isn’t a good classic harem anime, what is? I get the feeling you just don’t like harems which is perfectly understandable, but if that’s the case you probably should be watching Clannad in the first place. As for the ending, it was sappy, but at least it had an ending. Most harem anime can’t even pull that off.

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