First Impressions – Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

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I move that today is officially Brains Base and Tomatsu Haruka Appreciation Day.

OP: “Q & A Recital” by Tomatsu Haruka

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I’ve waxed poetic before about what a stellar studio Brains Base is, but it really bears repeating.  There are studios that made more anime, and those that have more lavish production values.  But when you look at the Brains Base catalogue one thing really stands out: almost everything they make is really good.  It’s perhaps not coincidental then that a high percentage of their series are Josei or Seinen – genres we don’t see enough of in anime generally – but regardless of genre, it’s pretty remarkable that the studio is able to  maintain such a high batting average.  It’s also remarkable how good Tomatsu Haruka is, role after role, and how she manages to do so without every developing a “persona” (and she’s an amazing singer, too).  More than any seiyuu I can think of, she completely disappears into a role – you always have a sense of who the character is, and not of listening to an actor do their shtick. 

Put the two of them together and you’d expect something good – and so far, that’s what we have with Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun.  Adapted from a manga by Robico, this is shoujo through and through, something we haven’t seen quite as much of on anime schedules lately as we used to – though this season is rather flush with it.  Director Kaburaki Hiro is best known for Kimi ni Todoke, another shoujo chestnut.  It’s a show I frankly found rather boring, though it was certainly competently made (at Production I.G.).  Series composition is from Takagi Noboru, who’s often been associated with very smart and creative series such as Baccanno! and Durarara.

Really, the ultimate measure of this show is going to be the source material, as history suggests it’s going to be a faithful adaptation.  And it’s immediately clear that this show is nothing like Kimi no Todoke in that it’s willing to take some chances with its characters right out of the gate, and that it’s very, very funny.  In fact I can’t recall having laughed so many times during the opening ep of any romance series in ages.  A big chunk of that comes from the extremely witty direction from Kaburaki-sensei, full of weird camera angles and strange movements and distorted faces.  The look of the series is altogether terrific, with the soft color-palette and sketchbook art style Brains Base excels at.  The characters are distinct and expressive and the backgrounds quite lovely.  Production-wise, this is a very strong effort so far.

A lot of the humor also comes from the situations, most of which are instigated by Yoshida Haru (Suzuki Tatsuhisa) presumably the “monster” of the title.  He’s an extremely odd first-year high schooler who’s managed to get himself suspended for beating up several upperclassmen, then refused to return to school after his suspension was lifted.  This being shoujo we have to have an odd couple, and the other half is Mizutani Shizuku (Tomatsu), a studious and somewhat humorless girl with no friends who strives to reach the top of her class and one day have earnings in the one percent.  Her destiny is linked to Haru’s when their teacher Saeko-sensei (Sasaki Nozomi) bribes her to drop off handouts at Haru’s house (actually a gaming center, which I’m assuming is run by his older brother Yuuzan (note – apparently that dude is Misawa Mitsuyoshi (Higuchi Tomoyuki)) and thus our madcap adventure begins.

On paper this pairing sounds pretty formulaic and maybe it is, but it feels pretty fresh.  Haru is such a complete oddball – tops in his class on test scores, but as socially awkward as any character I’ve seen in a mainstream anime.  Haru seems to have no sense of boundaries and no clue about relating to other people, and Shizuku seems an odd choice as a life coach – she’s obsessive and self-serious and almost as isolated as he is, and so outwardly impassive her grade-school classmates nicknamed her “Dry Ice”.  But what she is that Haru isn’t is observant, and she immediately (and against her better judgment) sees what’s really going on with Haru – he’s lonely in the isolation his awkwardness has created around him, and resorts to violence because he’s never known any other way to relate to others.  He’s also an easy mark for others who prey on his naiveté, and seeing this seems to spark a sense of rage against injustice in Shizuku that she didn’t previously know she had. 

As Shizuku is the only person who ever seemed to show any interest whatsoever in Haru-kun as a person – tinged with sarcasm and scorn though it is – he gloms onto her like a puppy (which is better than kidnapping one) and decides (with the help of what looks like a social guide for elementary schoolers Saeko-sensei gives him) that he’s madly in love with her.  In short, Haru makes Shizuku’s life a lot more complicated – and that seems the basis of the premise, at least so far.  They have great comedic chemistry, though their relationship is anything but easy and some of Haru’s behavior is pretty edgy – he even accidentally punches her in the nose.  The only downside for me, really, is Suzuki-san’s overly mannered, showy performance as Haru.  I don’t really buy him in the role, and his shortcomings are pretty glaring next to the superb Tomatsu, who completely owns Shizuku-san from the opening lines of the show.  I don’t think that’ll be a deal-breaker, especially as the story expands to encompass the supporting cast and Haru (presumably) starts to level off some of his more extreme behavior.  There’s also a rooster, and of course that’s a good precedent for anime romances.  So far, so good – looks like Brains Base has picked another winner.

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  1. K

    Brains Base is also one of my favorite studios. Not necessarily because I like every series they produced (I don't) but I love that they present us with variety in storytelling and variety is exactly what I want from my anime.

  2. N

    I love Brain's Base, but while this is definitely better than their recent Sengoku Collection, I'm still not too sure on this one.

    It's comedy stems from the "socially awkward" gimmick brought out in full force by Yoshida. I mean, the guy's likeable enough, but the rest of the cast members need to show up quick in order to keep it going strong. I also must confess, I don't really like Shizuku. Actually, that's going to far. I don't have any particular feelings towards her character. She feels mostly flat to me, as though her "icy" personality manifested itself so strongly as to alienate the viewer.

    There's still some promise, to be sure (and I'll still check out the next episode); but I couldn't really get into this, especially when looked at in comparison to Brain's Base's other marvelous works.

  3. D

    Personally, I found Shizuku to be one of the most relatable female characters I've seen in anime in a while. Very human. Haru, I'm indifferent to at best. It's not that I actively dislike him, it's just that his character is just such an unbelievable idiot savant that the very -concept- feels offensive.

    Actually, I suppose I have that reaction to a lot of shoujo. I usually really like the main female character, but the romantic interest is… bleh at best. Unfortunately the supporting cast is very hit and miss (leaning towards miss). Contrasted with shonen series, where the male lead is forgettable to aggravating, and the female lead is just tiresome, but I usually like the supporting cast a lot.

    I'd be happy with a shoujo female lead, a seinen male lead, and a shonen supporting cast. Or maybe just a shonen cast that somehow completely disposes of the main male and female leads.

    Anyway, I'll watch a bit more of this to see how it progresses.

  4. Dude, I really think you need to lighten up on the boxing in of characters and shows by their supposed genre. I can think of innumerable examples that, for me, buck every trends you refer to. Why not go in without the burden of all those expectations?

  5. D

    Um.. I don't go in with any particular expectations. I was just trying to describe the reactions I often have to shows of various categories. The categories themselves are only vague approximations (defined more for marketing purposes than story categorization), but there's a high degree of similarity in the general character groupings and my reactions over the long term (rather than any specific show). As you say, there are always exceptions, but at the same time those exceptions tend to bring in character archetypes more typically found in a larger mix of categories. Unfortunately I don't have any better terms to use for a quick post on a blog where I'm trying not to be ultra-specific.

    I suppose it might be clearer to say, "When I have negative reactions to characters in these categories, the types of characters and the types of reactions tend to be fairly predictable."

  6. A

    Haru almost reminds me of Chitanda in his naivety…

  7. K

    It's funny, since Haru also looks alot like Houtarou

  8. A

    Really? to me he looks and reminds me more of rin from ao no exorcist….

  9. D

    Now, I have a serious question for everyone – or anyone, Enzo & co. visitors of LiA. After watching this show and yet again having to skip right through another sing-a-song OP, I gotta ask: why do these Japanese anime shows insist on having these sing-a-song OP and ED songs? I must admit they almost always ruin it for me (I always skip forward). Now, I won't rant about how they are terrible or what not because I'm sure there are many people like these OP and ED songs, but one of the main reasons I dislike them -and to a degree, don't understand their purpose, other than for another good ol' $$$ revenue from fanboys who buy the OST CDs- is that they make the whole thing a bit, ahem, childish. Instantly.

    I give you evidence: one of my favorite seinen show, Monster, didn't have any sing-a-song OP/ED. That was mighty fine. Or "X-file" or "ER". On the other hand, yes, "Friends" did have sing-a-song OP. A bit childish. Well maybe childish is not the word here. Perhaps, a bit immature. And that was a flesh&blood show. Anime already have a bit (prejudiced) immature vibe going on and must they insert these sing-a-song OP/ED? Something about having them on just about every bloody anime shows give me a grief.

    Maybe I am just used to watching TMNT or Drangonball Z animes and their epic sing-a-song OPs when I was young, but man, I can't get over this trend. Heck, it's not even a trend since it's been like this for ever. On that note, I quite liked how Shin Sekai Yori didn't have them…although I have a sick feeling that they will come next week for that show.

    I don't want to generalize this issue too much, though. Sure "some" anime actually do use Japanese Pop songs as OP/ED, but still even then, they sort of make the whole things a bit immature, at least for me. Certainly not many 20+ old people in USA will sit through these sing-a-song OP/ED. I like it whole a lot better when they have just OP/ED without actually singing something corny. Wordless theme songs, if you will.

  10. A

    I like my OPs and EDs with vocals, thank you. And Shinsekai Yori did have an ED song playing, but alas you skipped it and it was actually quite nice and a bit haunting, something that rings true to the series itself.

    I'm not sure why you're making such a big deal about a whole 3 minutes of a 24 minute episode, OMG 1/8 of the episode!!1! They're here, they will always be, why not open up to some of it. Not all of it is blatantly commercialized and most actually are written for the series itself, so sometimes it may be corny (*cough* Key series *cough*) but they're usually nice. Why not complain about ugly character designs (Hey, Horizon (series, but also character) i'm looking at you) or the awful treatment males face in anime? You're complaining about the least impactful part of an anime. How does these songs ruin the other part of an episode? I've heard some pretty bad OP/ED music, but while I do skip them they never become a criticism of the series itself unless it's a repeated offense.

    No to wordless songs. That's a snooze, and I'd skip anything like it instantly.

  11. H

    Sorry, DG, I completely disagree. I love the form of the 90-second opening and closing, and love when it's a meaningful pop / rock song especially. The music in these series is a huge hook for me, good music multiplies my enjoyment of a series, and the music can help bring me to the same mindset I was in watching the show (for example, some of the ED's for Amagami SS do this, especially Nageki no Tenshi and Koi wa Mizu-iro). There are also some tremendous singers in the ranks of Seiyuus who do these songs: Nakajima Megumi, Tomatsu Haruka, Hikasa Youko, and my favorite Hayami Saori. And even the singers who don't have traditionally great voices can do a great job making a song fun to listen to: Toyosaki Aki and Hanazawa Kana are two that come to mind as having very distinctive, not necessarily great voices but making songs great to listen to.

    So count me as an older guy (twice your 20 year old cutoff) who greatly enjoys these songs and the effect they have.

  12. D

    Well, I knew I was in extreme minority here, regarding on wordy OP/ED issue.

    Also, I do agree that this Tomatsu Haruka the voice actress has many different voices. most of the voice actresses I can sort of guess for the most of parts, but this girl is quite good as I can't tell at all that it's her. Lemme see, Hitoha from Mitsudome, Ichika from Ano Natsu, Ranmaru from Binbougami ga! and now this girl who sound nothing like any of those characters I just mentioned. She's very versatile, definitely (although Asuna from SAO is a dud and I can hear a bit of Hitoha from her… but I blame the mediocre script and material for fault here). By the way, when I click the aforementioned girl, the link goes to some random guy's profile, it seems.

  13. J

    It really depends dude.

    Most of the time, I skip over it after I've seen it once because the song is annoying. I kind of liked the songs for this series. So yeah, it's all preference for me, but 7/10 times, I usually hate the OP/ED songs (a lot of jpop/jrock comes across as cheesy)

  14. t

    Are you sure you'e not just allergic to J-POP?Everyone has their own taste and that's fine many people find j-pop too cheesy for them but do you think non japanese songs such as the Ergo Proxy ED,the Serial experiment lain OP,the gunslinger girl OP (1st season),the Eden of the East OP are childish or immature?

    I'll also add that while american tv likes instrumental OPs it has become quite prone to using insert songs full of lyrics,CSI,cold case and Grey's anatomy come to mind.

  15. J

    hey man…I think I've listened to Perfume's album JPN about 1093048524058 times now. In all honesty, 50% of what I'm listening to lately has been japanese…

    I don't really remember all the OPs/EDs of those animes, but it's not like I said 10/10 times I hate jpop songs right? It's just a lower percentage of OP/ED songs that I enjoy. Remember No. 6 OP by LAMA? (I am a huge supercar fan), that was good. Both songs from Un-go? I could go on…

    And while we're on the subject, I really reaaaaaally dislike songs like Jormungand's OP, where it's like a fusion of bad jpop and some laughable attempt at "hard rock." (sorry, had to get that off my chest lol).

    So my point is, I don't judge things based on genre ever. I'll have some gillespie, slayer, wu tang, jpop, etc. all in a playlist if I like it.

  16. L

    I think vocal-less OPs are a welcome feature and would like more of them tbh. What irritates me more is when they grab a random Top 40 chart song (generic girl/boy bands) for an OP. Especially if it doesn't particularly 'suit' the show.

    "And while we're on the subject, I really reaaaaaally dislike songs like Jormungand's OP, where it's like a fusion of bad jpop and some laughable attempt at "hard rock." (sorry, had to get that off my chest lol)."

    I dislike those kind of songs too. They sound like they're trying way too hard.

  17. J

    Although I don't see a problem with the act of pop songs being used, I do agree that animes in general should try use a bigger variety of songs, especially if the songs they end up using are only picked based on popularity (I say in general because there are some good songs out there in animes).

  18. w

    Yay! I'm glad that this got picked up.
    I followed the manga, then the newest scanlations for chapters just sort of died down so it's been awhile since i've picked it back up again and caught up. but judging from what i remember..this really gave the manga a respectable adaptation! although my only critique is that it seemed a little rushed to me. the romance scenes should have been a little more drawn out imo. but in the end the general reason why the manga series is so popular is because of the shounen-like feel in a shoujou.

    and of course, you had to throw in a kimi ni todoke reference. i still think kimi ni todoke beats it for having one of the best first episodes ever..this one was good but again, felt rushed.

    idk if it's the "they either hook up right away" vs "it takes them forever to hook up" but i remember reading the manga and idk! just didn't feel all that rushed. but maybe it's because it takes longer to absorb the image then read the text. still a good first episode tho. first episode didn't have to be perfect, and i remember the manga getting much better from here so expecting a lot more from brains base with this one!

  19. R

    I found the flow of this episode to be quite stilted. As much as I enjoyed the overall pieces of the show (the characters, the story, the production value, the colours), how it was put together, and how the story was actually told was quite… clunky. It seems like they tried to cram in too much in one episode? The dialogue was just off, and perhaps that's part of what you said, about how Suzuki's performance of Haru was too over the top.

    Still, I'm expecting interesting things from this series, and I hope they get their flow right.

  20. I

    You know when you just click with a show. When from the first moment you know you'll love every bit of it. That's what I felt from time 00:00. I laughed, rolled, giggled, gasped through out. I'm glad no one can see me acting like a 12 year old girl watching a Justin Bieber video.

    Somethings wrong and it's not the show, that was just perfect for me. I'm a fangirl for the rest of this show's airtime so please bear the unsightly and illogical things I might mention on any posts pertaining to my new fav for the season.

    And were only two new shows in! Yay for fall.

  21. A

    I did enjoy most of this episode and also Tomatsu Haruka. But like you pointed out about Haru being edgey I cringed alittle at how he put his hands on a girl like that.

  22. D

    BTW, I forgot to add that I realized after watching this show why I didn't really watch Shoujo. There always seem to be some ridiculous reality-distortion shit going on, like oh, I dunno, a delinquent who never goes to school AND one of the best, not the best fighter in the school, ALSO happens to be a genius AND gets the top score without trying AT ALL, (I repeat "AT ALL", he definitely sneaking around studying at night, nosiree!) thus infuriating the girl character, who I am sure will fall in love with him eventually after going tsun-tsun towards him at first. …right. yeah, oh ha ha ha ha. One just has to laugh and move on.

    So which new shows are seinen again besides Jormungand 2 and Shin Sekai Yori?

  23. A

    Okay….So don't watch shoujo then..

  24. t

    A whole lot of anime is prone to reality distortion,no matter the demographic. Jormungand is no exception (not that I don't like it).

  25. A

    I don't see what's so implausible about not studying at all. Or at least, what's so much more implausible about that than the rest of it such that you needed to say it twice. Smart people are smart before they study. That's just how it works. They won't be getting a Nobel Prize or anything without investing themselves in a subject, but if it's just high school it's pretty reasonable to ace a test with zero studying.

  26. K

    The premise is very typical of shoujo, but the main leads carried this episode very well. I enjoyed this quite a bit, despite not being a fan of shoujo in general.

  27. A

    "There’s also a rooster, and of course that’s a good precedent for anime romances."


  28. t

    Interestingly one of my biggest laughs I got from the episode was completely unintentional, it's when Shizuku told herself that she couldn't hit a baseball,hearing that from a Haruka Tomatsu voiced character was just plain weird.

  29. E

    Although this is shoujo, I enjoyed it. It's not overbearing and not so emotional, at least in its first episode. Also, the moment I saw the rooster, I said to myself I'm gonna love this. Aside from True Tears, what else used a roster? As for Tomatsu Haruka, she really owns the character unlike my other favorite seiyuu.

  30. A

    As a fan of the manga (and shoujo in general), I think this was a pretty solid first episode. It did feel like it moved a bit fast though and Haru's voice is WAY deeper than what I imagined. Shizuku was absolutely perfect in every way though. So far, it looks like this will be a good adaptation.

  31. Honestly, Haru's voice is really the only fly in the ointment for me – I think the pacing complaints are almost exclusively from manga readers. But even not having any preconceptions of the character, Suzuki really feels wrong to me – I think it's a borderline awful performance so far.

  32. C

    Maybe it's the manga, yes. Because the pacing felt off to me as well, and I definitely felt the absence of some of the bits they cut.

  33. A

    The guy you said was Yuuzan isn't Yuuzan, that's Micchan. His brother doesn't show up for a while I think.

  34. Ah, thank you – my bad.

  35. e

    I must agree with the above Anon comment and link.
    And as someone who had to deal with rape culture first-hand back in my junior high days, this has basically killed the series for me.
    If you have to mention rape at least don't trivialize it. And in a romantic and light comedy this is twice aggravating.
    Threaten to rape me even in jest, dear supposed hero, and I'm chopping your balls off and kicking your sorry ass from here to the Moon. Instead, no heroine's reaction on this specific point. GRRRRR. Cherry on top, the teacher's attitude. Argh.
    What a waste of otherwise decent bits and animation. Especially the rooster. I'll miss you, rooster :,( .

  36. Just FTR, Anonymous seems to be going to every blog that covered the first episode and posting that link in the comments. Not that it's an invalid opinion – just pointing it out.

    Here's my take on that scene. My Japanese is still not at the level where I can tell for sure, but I got the sense that the use of the term was a liberal or perhaps even fanciful translation. If that's in fact what Haru said, it certainly is pretty jaw-dropping, particularly so early in the series when we don't know the character.

    I'm not going to claim anyone doesn't have the right to be offended by that, or to drop the series as a result. And as I said in the post, Haru's antics are pretty edgy, regardless of whether he used the word "rape" or not. My take on it was a little different, though – it was more along the lines that Haru simply makes no distinctions between males and females when it comes to stuff like grabbing by the collar, pouring a drink on the head, etc. Socially he's still at about a fifth-grade level, before most people really start following rigid social rules about what's acceptable behavior towards girls, and towards boys.

    Of course Haru isn't a fifth-grader – he's a ninth-grader, and as such his actions are taken in a different light. But I don't think the series is taking the view that what he does is acceptable or especially funny – I think it's just portraying him as a guy who's completely inept socially and has no sense of boundaries or restraint, and that this has caused him to become a social pariah. Maybe I'm giving Tonari too much credit here, but that's how the first ep felt to me.

  37. P

    cons…. the rape statement, the strange response from our heroine to the threat (lack of panic? perhaps its a contextual thing), if our hero is this over the top, how in the hell did he stay still in school long enough to post those scores?

    pros… I laughed out loud a couple of times and the attraction of opposites or at least unlikely pairs is a favorite theme (Toradora, Lovely Complex) for me…

    gotta enjoy the subtle foreshadowing with the blond delinquent and will have to watch a couple of additional episodes to see how it develops.

    Like the new trend in allowing kids to show affection early in these series, maybe MGX was a harbinger.

  38. E

    I can remember seeing that anon's post on at least 3 other blogs.
    And they are blatant copy-paste. I am not exactly a good commenter either, but that guy is too lazy to even type…

    Anyway! People who complained about this show certainly haven't seen lots of manga. This kind of plot is pretty usual in shoujo/josei smut manga. The fujoshis like it, and the sales went well. What's the big deal with the rape issue? You could say the same thing to shounen/seinen, for proposing to solve matters with fighting/violence (?). Viewers are assumed they can tell what's right and wrong already, to begin with. Viewers who can't should just watch teletubbies.
    PS : I love this show.

  39. e

    @Enzo: unfortunately the rape bit doesn't seem to be a tl slip (I wish it was…). Both in the link above and on ASuki there are a couple of comments pointing that out .
    On top of rape being one of my few RL triggers, I've simply sampled too many works of fiction (Japanese and otherwise) where it's handled badly and just for kicks. It's the main reason I don't enjoy most western romance novels and most of smut shoujo – and yaoi – outside of a handful of titles. When it come to non-smut shoujo I'm even less forgiving.
    The only shoujo title I can recall dealing with rape right


    is Seven Seeds.
    The topic is brought up after weìve already known the characters for dozens of volumes (and believe me on this Enzo… with all due differences in target demographics and genre Tamura Yumi can flesh out complex characters on par with Togashi ;D ), it's not glamourized nor romanticized, and it's a turning point for the almost-perpetrator who starts question his own mindset and his own control issues realizing how much and for how long he has been broken.
    While the target is a girl, the guy's reasons are not even gender-related strictly speaking. And there is no romance whatsoever between the two people involved.


    Even if we keep within the shoujo romance & highschool setting romance – with a heavy dose of comedy and gags – , by comparison Tonari has botched it vs Beast Master.
    The dynamics are somehow similar: wild dangerous boy and taming girl, beauty and beast. Spunky girl here as well. The wild boy accidentally hurts the girl in a scuffle as well. And he's totally tailing her like a puppy (imprinting and love to the max for the one only person not being scared of him and being friendly, explaining him things etc ect) And yes, there is even the rape threat moment. But there are same key differences in how those hooks are presented. The manga itself is extremely tongue-in-cheek.
    The one threatening to rape is a minor character and scumbag, the girl reacts immediately , wild boy appears just to let her know he's there if she needs help and they basically make the scumbag piss in his pants under a twin glare of impending justice&doom&carnage (XD) .
    Basically, while the hero is socially awkward and uneducated to the point of painful he nevertheless never threatens her or abuses her. Yet, he is a beast and a convincingly dangerous one at that. He's a loose cannon, he's been literally raised by wolves (more tongue-in-cheek) and has basically no notion of personal boundaries yet by those same animal instincts he couldn't even conceive raping her. Or even dumping drinks on her. Or scare her shi*less. Ever.
    And that's also one of the reasons why I'm such a Motomi Kyosuke's manga fangirl :p.

    I was not expecting Tonari to be on par with Beast Master (YMMV, but Motomi Kyosuke rocks hard in my book). My hopes were for a pleasant watchable series, and funny. It was in parts. That it slipped on such a cheap banana peel is disappointing, because really, you can still convey edginess without resorting to that. Especially not for the hero, because unless handled by capable authors it just stinks.
    Ad really, provided what we have been shown of Haru I keep considering it a very bad narrative choice: bad timing, bad context, bad execution.

    Sorry for the wall of text. Hopefully it's my first and last about this series.

  40. S

    Actually, all of the discussion on the translation has shown it really to be the wrong choice of words. It's really a F*** that should have been there. Reason? There is a lot of play the definition and the utilization of both words, but they both mean something bad in the context. Along with being shocking in common usage.

    But, in a Western context, using the F-bomb in the official translation actually makes it "worse". Go figure. Haru is still acting like a 10 year old attempting to be "shocking" and "serious" but using F*** or F****t in his speech. It doesn't engender the character to the audience, but the "shock" part works well.

    Actually, the translation might be more practical for CR, as apparently everyone is talking about this series. So, the "shocking" moment (which would have been in the first chapter of the manga, I believe) worked really well.

  41. S

    Forgot to respond to the initial post this was under.

    Just to be clear: An inappropriate *joke*, by a man, is grounds to permanently remove an extremely important set of organs from the body, leaving him incapable of reproduction, physically scarred and having an entire (and extremely important) set of the hormonal system in the brain drastically damaged.

    You might want to rethink how you said that, otherwise you just admitted to being quite evil. I doubt you are in real life (nor likely have the capacity to do what you actually said), but since you were responding to the link/post complaining about what this says to girls about rape, you have to accept that words and implications do mean something. And what you were implying is quite a bit worse than what is even on the table for discussion.

  42. e

    @SQA: is this addressed to me?
    well, I must be the ultimate evil then :p, as I'm not rewording nor rethinking a single thing of what I wrote earlier. Because your reaction just ties into the point I was trying to make: it's not a funny scenario even as a joke if you think just for second about its implications. Were you bothered by my previous comment? GOOD. You were supposed to be. Because it work both ways. It works also for rape jokes. Incidentally, if Haru had been a woman and Shizu a man my reply would still be the same.
    Also, please consider the whole of my comments above. While the man on woman rape is the default one in our perception, the hard truth is that rapists belong to both genders and so do their targets. Gender, ethnicity, education, age: any, at any time. And most often than not, the perpetrators are relatives, lovers, person the victim *trusted*. To use your own words with just one tweak 'leaving the person possibly incapable of reproduction, physically scarred ' and mentally too. Some never recover and will never be able to love or trust in any shape or form ever again. Some bounce back to varying degrees and are still able to function in society. Try to imagine whatba kind of life and how of a trigger some jokes can be, the way you were doing about my oh-so-very-intentionally-provoking chopping ball statement.
    To conclude – and also answering to Eteria's comment – : what irks me is the cheap/uncalled for use of rape as a word and/or plot device, not the presence of rape itself in fiction.
    The choice of such a theme being popular does not per se a good – or bad – fictional work make, and neither makes the 'R' word all fine and dandy. But how it's handled does. I like being challenged in my entertainment, bring the thought-provoking on. If and when you author can afford it in terms of skills, tone and designed audience of your work. As long as you realize how far certain implications can reach *even in jest*, and how much fictional work can actually feed a certain mentality and influence your readers/spectators/listeners.
    In the case of shoujo series and on this latter aspect, I've been – and I still am – a manga&anime forum moderator for five years now, while being reading anime and watching manga – ANY genre, in any demographic, in the thousands of titles – for more than 25 years. You simple wouldn't believe how much damage and how much rape culture can thrive on certain seemingly trivial details and 'jokes'. How both within and outside of the official target demographic you just see the related effects in what people say, in what people like, in what people feel.
    It's just fiction. True that. And at the same time is just not. Because every product of the human mind stems by human experiences, fears, cultural values.

    P.S.: Eteria, I cordially hate Teletubbies XD. The Muppet Show, Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time and Spongebob on the other hand… I'd happily watch them with my kids provided I ever become a parent. And then I would not have them ignorant of how scary, but also of how wonderful the world and the people inhabiting it can be. And good fiction, both 'edgy' and not, would also be among my tools of choice given the appropriate context and timing ;).

  43. A

    Since you like Brain's Base so much what are your thoughts on Sengoku Collection?

  44. Even God-tier studios have off days.

  45. A

    Hmm, to me it sounds like SC was more like their day off, where they could just do what ever they wanted without much concern. Espi. after reading this interview:

    Even though my interest in the show hadn't increased much, reading about the more 'unusual and surrealistic' episodes and the constant movie allusions (and Hidi, for some reason) and some pretty funky mind twists makes it seem like it was made ''just for fun''

  46. I can live with that wording, sure. Either way, it didn't do anything for me.

  47. R

    loved it

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