Farewell to anime

I still think rather than the US comics industry, it’s anime that’s going to die and when I mean by that Rao help if many other mangaka say the same thing to the point of damning anime fans worldwide. I mean it’s one thing to say US comics are going politically correct, it’s another to assume that sexualising young girls is anime’s own undoing. A mangaka might say this whether if anime fans like it or not.

Ironically, it’s even suspected by some anime fans too. Especially when it comes to sexualised minors (both teenagers and actual children). I even think that’s what ironically attracts sexist men to it, whether if they’re aware of it or not. When you think about it, the average female anime character’s a teenaged girl and why characters like Sazae-san are massive anomalies in this context.

Conversely speaking, characters like Black Canary and Wonder Woman are actual adult women and could/should get away with what they’re wearing. By contrast, this makes characters like Sailor Moon (or if you will, Asuka and Rey) real jailbait characters in terms of character design. All three of them are technically middle-schoolers but wear really sexualised outfits. (Not that US comics are any better but they’re increasingly shying away from it.)

It’s not that adult women don’t exist in anime but rather it’s hard to find truly non-stereotypical female anime characters at all. Also, when you think about it increasingly a lot of female anime characters don’t have boyfriends but because those authors don’t want them to lose their virginity to somebody else who isn’t the nerd surrogate. Not that US comics and the like are any better. But it does feel really sick.

I’m not saying they should all be promiscuous or something. But that if they have their own boyfriends/husbands who don’t resemble the current audience in any way, it’s going to be disappointing. One thing about Evangelion’s that the director’s colleague demanded a heroine to be pregnant but with the implication that she may’ve been impregnated by somebody else. Whilst this wasn’t the case before, this is especially so now.

That and the trampy stockings thing.

More Dune-Star Wars comparisons

The Sarlacc, Space Slug and Hutt-Duneworm comparisons

In the Dune stories we have people living with a gigantic worm-like creature of sorts, which can’t stand too much water and is very long-lived. Not to mention, those ‘sand-worms’ are used to inspire the similar Sarlacc creatures in Star Wars, right down to life cycle (to some extent) and longevity. The biggest difference’s that the Dune sandworms can reach to heights of 450 metres but are suspect when it comes to the square cube law (as in something regulating size in the real world, especially in how big it can possibly get and how its body adapts).

The sarlacc sandworms have a height that’s much more plausible: they’re the same size as the blue whale. Let’s not also forget that Jabba the Hutt owned a sarlacc himself just as his would-be Dune counterpart Leto Atreides’s also linked to sandworms. Jabba’s own species is also similarly long-lived, just as Leto himself’s long-lived too. Not bad for a Dune character who inspired an entire species on Star Wars when you consider this. Though a better comparison can be made with the space slugs (which measure around 10 metres but can be 900 metres).

The revolt against machines

In the Dune stories, we have humanity revolting against machines (especially computers and robots). This is played out to some extent in Star Wars where there wasn’t just a war against robots but also some people discriminate robots themselves. There was even a bartender bigoted against robots. This is also played out straight in the Terminator movies when you think about it. (If one’s not mistaken, both Ridley Scott and HR Giger were tapped in to make a Dune movie with the Chilean Alejandro Jodoworksy but it didn’t go as expected as they went on to do Alien.)

Princess Leia–Princess Irulan and Ghanima

Luke’s sister as I think she may’ve partly inspired by Alia Atreides in terms of weapon proficiency. However in terms of her trajectory and own diplomatic training as well as strong-willed/forceful personality she’s more comparable to Princess Irulan. Just like Leia, Irulan also lived in constant fear of assassination and was also trained in combat (to some extent, given her link to the martial-artists/scientists Bene Gesserits). This would’ve been more evident in the earlier Star Wars draft as with the cloning thing. That and being kind of grouchy, though I think Irulan was kind of grouchy to Paul who was cheating on her.

The two similarities Leia shares with Ghanima’s that they’re somebody’s twin sisters and both of them get raised by somebody else after their mothers died. Ghanima got raised by Irulan and Leia got raised by another family.

Padme Amidala–Lady Jessica and Obi-Wan Kenobi

Both of them are mothers to the would-be twins and are equally strong-willed. In fact, if I’m not mistaken Lady Jessica was strong-willed enough to prefer to beget a boy, thus foiling her colleagues’ plans to some extent. Jessica also trained her son often just as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s a father figure to Luke Skywalker. Though I highly suspect that Jessica’s personality and role influenced the development of Padme Amidala and Obi-Wan Kenobi to varying degrees. Jessica’s a Bene Gesserit married to a nobleman, Padme Amidala’s a noblewoman married to a Jedi. Obi-Wan’s a Jedi as Jessica’s a Bene Gesserit.

Bene Gesserit–Jedi

Both of them are sort of martial-artists who’re proficiently trained to use supernatural powers well. Not to mention they’ve trained our dear heroes Paul and Luke in one way or another. (And to some extent, Leia and Irulan the former by her brother and the latter by the Bene Gesserits themselves.) I even suspected the force-ghosts (spirits of Jedis) are analogous to the other memory/genetic memory as presented in Dune or at least George Lucas’s interpretation of the same thing. This is both learnt by users if I’m not mistaken. The only real differences are that the Bene Gesserits are all-female so parsimoniously Rey and Leia could easily be members of that group and the Bene Gesserits are also marriage-brokers of sorts.

Well…what

There’s been some suspicion about white redheads becoming black. This also shocked me (though to be fair, at least when it came to racebending Starfire as well as Lightning Lass and Light Lass they left their red hair alone and redheaded blacks do exist). As for Jimmy Olsen, a racebent version done right (in the sense of leaving his personality and role alone) already exists in the real world. Same with Iris West where you’d be better off familiarising yourself with actual black journalists and even young ones too.

Though I also think the other problem with racebending’s that it risks patronising certain demographics. Some black people don’t like racebent characters (as I know from personal experience). It’s not necessarily wrong to want to make a black version of an existing character or whatever, I even considered racebending some. But if you really want to racebend a character the right way, you should at least keep them grounded in real life. As in they give a better idea of what that character could be like.

That goes for changing any character outside of ethnicity. This is however really complicated, in the case with prose characters sometimes they should get away with being racebent that’s if/when their ethnicity or appearance’s not always specified. (So much so that they could easily get away with being albino blacks or something.) It’s like how Hermione’s mostly described as having merely bushy hair, she could easily be whatever ethnicity including black or at least mixed-race. Even some Asian people can have curly or wavy hair (I saw one bloke with an Afro).

In visual media, however this is much more shocking as people are given an idea of what they look like without trying or describing much. This also gets even more complicated in real life as some mixed race people can be white-passing. Wentworth Miller might have a black relative somewhere if he’s said to be mixed race. Likewise Pete from Fall-Out Boy’s also mixed-race but this shocked me as I used to think he’s white all along.

(That he has a Jamaican relative somewhere kind of surprised me.)

I could go on saying Tim Drake’s probably of Mexican descent and if it sounds odd, not all Mexicans and Latinx are necessarily brown (or mixed race). Some of them are white/white passing. Both Shakira, Cameron Diaz and Sofia Vergara are blond, the latter two naturally so. AJ McLean’s both Scottish and Cuban American. There shouldn’t be any issue with making Tim Latino (though he might if he were to show up on Titans at all).

Actually there shouldn’t be any issue with racebending black-haired characters because Africans and Asians are the very demographics most likely to be black-haired anyways. So it seems racebending’s going to be tricky anyways not just because it clashes with prior depictions (moreso in visual media). But also that real life’s complicated and surprising. Especially when you realise that both Miller and Pete Wentz are part-black.

Some things

I admit at one point I didn’t want to be part of any fandom and it seems eventually I pretty much got my wish granted, albeit unexpectedly so. That hasn’t stopped me from being a fan but it seems my fandom involvement’s sometimes grown less and less attached. Being into real world things also helped in a way.

Admittedly, there were some bumps along the way as I’m only human. But at least I’m not too beholden on anything this fannish anymore. Maybe I’m mistaken but at least it’s just not too deep anymore. Maybe I’ve got other things to attend to so.

Those other muses

I think I said before that there are probably romance novelists who base their heroes off of Duran Duran and Hanson, both rather androgynous bands with dedicated cult followings (Hanson even moreso as it became underground quicker and longer than Duran Duran because its members created their own record label). I’m even beginning to think that even if some romance novelists likely wanted to, there’s also editorial interference that they have no other choice but to compromise and give into it.

I actually know of one novelist who based some of her characters off of Duran Duran and another with Hanson. Or possibly, despite having similarly large female fanbases there might not be much of an overlap between Hanson fans and romance novelists if because I think the former are really nerdy (from my experience). As stereotypical as it sounds, not that there aren’t any nerds into romance stories.

But that it’s likely as Hanson’s got a cult following, some fans might have tastes that diverge significantly from the expected romance hero standard. Again not always true since not all Hanson fans are necessarily horny whatever their gender. Same with some Duran fans. This isn’t true for all but I’m saying’s that it’s very likely that some Hanson and Duran fans have tastes differing from the romance mold. Partly why whatever character’s based on each member would’ve been altered significantly.

That’s to better meet demands. It’s like how this Marvel superheroine Dazzler was going to be black as she’s based on Grace Jones but eventually became white upon publication. That’s probably true for a lot of romance novel drafts where likely those same heroes weren’t always the expected stereotype but changed eventually. There are likely some romance novels that cling closely to their authors’ initial visions.

But they’re in the minority. I won’t be surprised if there might be drafts where some of those romance heroes were more clearly based on Hanson and Duran Duran members.

Can’t be around for him

I still think if Stephanie Brown were to become a working mum or similar, she’s definitely not going to be Tim’s sidekick for long. That’s if she’s called to look after her younger relatives, either she won’t have time for him or she’d nag him around to help her for this time. It’s not that Steph’s becoming unrecognisable or Mary Sue. But by then, she won’t remain a sidekick for long now that she’s a working mum.

She might even be the more assertive/demanding of the two. Especially when it comes to how much work’s put into looking after actual human beings (since they can be hard to deal with) and being expected to be kind and calm around them can be exhausting. Emotional labour as they say. Steph’s kind and compassionate but also tired and lashes out at Tim for not helping her around.

If she’s a working mum, that would mean she’d actually be the more mature/accomplished of the two that’s if she’s doing those things at a young age. There’s an even younger Chinese girl who has to run the household and raise her younger brother since her parents are gone or something. Not that Tim would stop infantilising her (this happened to me).

But when compounded with Black Canary being his biological aunt and that Tim makes sexist remarks to females, it’s as if Tim’s a misogynistic control freak who feels like he has to condescend to Steph even if she might be more accomplished than him. I guess for controlling men, it does feel more macho to patronise vulnerable women.

But for all their flaws, if they’re shown to bother getting better at something like forcing themselves to focus on things they’re not good at then that’s patronising as to be infantilising. With Steph being a working mum, that her complicates matters as she’s now the more independent and assertive of the two.

She can’t always attend to him and when she does, she nags and yells at him for being lazy. Seems emasculating to some but I still think when it comes to women it’s like a two-way street you either infantilise them and incapitate their ability/potential to be independent (even when it’s necessary) or you get intimidated by more accomplished women and insult them. Not always the case but it still feels like it.

That and a genuinely accomplished and flawed female character’s too much for some. Too good at making her own equipment and having a job as well as managing her family a lot, far too bossy and independent to be infantilised any more. Which’s what would happen if Steph not only creates her own gym equipment but also became a working mum.

Too much

I suspect when it comes to making female characters actually flawed and accomplished at the same time, if Carol Danvers is any indication, it’s too much for certain misogynists to take. As in they don’t want her to be perfect but when she’s shown to beat up men when fed up whilst understandable it’s too much for them to take. Too accomplished for her own good, too flawed as to be far too human.

Same thing would happen if Stephanie Brown not only became a working mum who creates her own gym equipment but also scolds and nags at Tim for lazing around. (Not to mention, perhaps more mature that he ever was but because she actually has a job and looks after her family a lot.) Stephanie would be in the same position as Carol’s currently in.

Not to mention if she were to get a permanent Goth makeup, like how Carol dresses more modestly these days, that’s too much (though that makes Steph much more independent than she originally was, when compounded with becoming a working mum). Too much for sexists to handle I suppose.

In the future

I’m still uncertain whether if America will remain united or long but there’s a kind of prediction that should misfortune happen, America may split. Maybe not geographically but sociopolitically and culturally. Whilst this isn’t unique to America, there is enough of a sharp divide between leftists and right wingers to warrant a possible split. Some in California (a liberal state) want to secede from the rest of America. Rao help if the Donald were to finally kick California out of America should they get what they wanted.

Or at least if America were to split America, California might revert to Mexico but in the same position where Hong Kong is to China. (Washington and the like might affiliate more with Canada.) I also think America might be increasingly dominated by city-states, even moreso should politics further divide America before the fact. I even think New York City might be on its way to becoming a city-state as is Los Angeles. As for celebrities fleeing Donald’s America, this might increase should America ever split real badly.

Some celebrities might flock to Italy should it ascend to power again like it did before. (I could picture a certain Glee celebrity living in Florence, his daughter married to a della Gherardesca.) This is even to going to happen before America splits. In fact we might as well be witnessing a live streaming of medieval Italy, complete with Ghibelline and Guelph factions ruling over certain places.

And it might even be the case in America as well.

Some Dune-Star Wars comparisons Pt 1

Ben Solo/Kylo Ren–Alia Atreides

Though both Alia Atreides and her niece Ghanima inspired Princess Leia (to whatever degree), currently her true Star Wars counterpart’s actually male. If I’m not mistaken, Ben Solo’s the wayward son of Leia and Han Solo but in the like manner, Alia Atreides can be seen as Paul’s wayward sister. Both of them get influenced by their grandfathers. In Alia’s case it’s possession and in Ben’s case emulation. Not exact but still close.

Luke Skywalker–Paul Atreides

Kind of easy to compare as they’re both the chosen ones who get tutored/micromanaged by other people (Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jessica), find their parents/relatives killed (Luke lost his adoptive parents, Paul lost one of his children and father) and then become recluses influencing a new generation or something. (Also both of them get usurped by youngsters, Paul by Leto and Luke by Rey.) However both Ben and Paul have massacred a lot of people.

Jabba the Hut–Leto Atreides II
Also easy, especially appearance and behaviour wise (right down to preferring younger women to whatever extent). Leto Atreides is the divine emperor just as Jabba’s a formidable crimelord. However Leto Atreides’s own dehumanisation parallels that of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker. Also both Leto and Luke find themselves being cared for by somebody else.

Darth Vader–Vladimir Harkonnen

They are the heroes’ dubious relatives that they end up fighting against. If I’m not mistaken, Vladimir Harkonnen actually used to be muscular but became fat. Likewise Anakin used to be all-human but got dehumanised (though I think it’s analogous to Leto II becoming half-worm as Anakin’s now half-machine). Also Vader’s outfit seems to be inspired by Alejandro Jodoworksy’s attempt at adapting Dune when it came to some character designs.

Force spirit–Other memory, genetic memory

Force-spirits are what happens when people sensitive to the Force, grants them some kind of immortality though I think that’s probably George Lucas’s way of visualising what Dune’s other-memory and genetic memory (that’s to prenaturally gain knowledge and the like from their late biological relatives) would be like. If Star Wars is based on Dune, it seems with force ghosts being the SW answer to Dune’s other memory suggests that the connection’s deeper than one realises.

The original jerk animals

Like I said, I think the book Shameless: The Canine and Feminine in Ancient Greece has given me the impression of dogs being the original jerk animals. In the sense if/when cats weren’t around at the time, that dogs were the earliest domesticated species and also if dog rearing was very different before as were the attitudes then dogs would be the original jerk animals. Makes sense had they not been always regarded highly in some communities and religions, depending on the circumstance or individual.

If I’m not mistaken, at least in a study by Karen Lupo on Aka Pygmies and their dogs is that sometimes whenever those dogs got trained at all, it’s through deliberate malnutrition as well as socialisation to other dogs and even drugging (also in another study but I’m misremembering) to get them into doing something. Some Ugandans treated their dogs like this, some Cameroonians do the same to both cats and dogs. (In hindsight, that’s if/when resources get scarce it’s impractical to spoil dogs and if hunter-gatherers’ dogs also can’t process starch.)

It’s not that they’re always regarded negatively (same with cats). But since dogs in that study (and in another one on whether if they improve hunting or not) weren’t always reliable (they’re even considered treacherous among Ivorian Bengs) as well as being more associated with women and witchcraft’s enough to give an idea of what Biblical, Greek and Roman attitudes to them originated and evolved from.

Maybe not always exact but it does deconstruct how the dog-loving goddesses Artemis and Hecate came to be when you think about it. (That and somebody comparing dogs to women in the sense of being passed around different people at some point or another.)