The Anti-Anime “Left” is Garbage and Here’s Why


Anti-Anime: a dismissal of anime and its related communities and aesthetics characterized by a belief in anime’s supposed “backwardness” or “weirdness” relative to western media.

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The ACTUAL Problem with Anime Subtitles

Have you heard the story of what happened during Yuri on Ice’s run? Early in the show, Victor asks Yuuri if he has a girlfriend, using the Japanese word for woman, “onna”, which is a natural way of trying to figure out his proclivities, if you know what I mean. From here on, when referring to potential or past lovers of Yuuri’s, Victor is sure to use the gender-neutral term “koibito”. Yet, the subs, at least in the initial airing, gendered this term, continuing to use girlfriend. In an ordinary show, this would be a frustrating decision, but a harmless one. In this series, one that consciously portrays gay characters throughout its run, a mistake like this is glaring, hurting the subtle romantic back-and-forth that takes up much of the show’s first half. While we can talk all day about how lover isn’t a perfect term, or how partner or SO convey nuances not contained in “koibito”, it can’t be argued that in this case, girlfriend was the wrong translation, one that’s actually managed to reach the ears of many anime fans due to the show’s high-profile nature as a queer work. Yet, Yuri on Ice is far from the only instance of this happening. Anime translations regularly remove gender neutrality present in the Japanese script. While it’s fine to add a gendered pronoun to a sentence that initially lacked one when we know the characters’ gender for certain, it frequently creates large issues in regards to queer characters. Subtitles are often, unconsciously to be sure, a tool of cisheteronormativity, entirely confusing viewers as to how scenes should be read. I can certainly imagine some watchers being perplexed as to why Victor, one of the gayest men alive, would assume the guy who clearly crushes on him has a girlfriend, even after being told that he doesn’t. This, indeed, is the actual problem with anime subtitles.

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[Script] Beautiful But Boring – Anime’s Original High Fantasy

Record of Lodoss War really is a beautiful show. The animation is far from perfect, and entirely serious fight scenes are often portrayed simply by sliding a cel all the way across the screen, but it does an excellent job at rendering a high fantasy in world in motion. Every locale that you’d expect in this kind of setting is rendered in remarkably beautiful ways, from the dark forests to the pastoral grasslands, and the bountiful kingdoms to the deepest lairs. Whatever image you have of Tolkienesque worlds is represented here, almost exactly as you would imagine. That applies to the characters as well. Their designs are hardly original — though the sheer length of the elves’ ears is an interesting decision — yet they’re simply wonderful to look at, perfectly embodying the archetypes they were a part of and carrying a sensibility that reminds the viewer of Yoshitaka Amano’s art. This is, of course, adapted from a series of DnD sessions, and the entire project looks the part.

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