The Pokestands


Conkeldurr = 45 Grave
Hatterene = Magic System
Blastoise = Bauhaus
Charizard = The Prodigy
Starmie = Number 1 (Felix album)
Granbull = Sans Logique
Infernape = Ace of Base
Venusaur = Grenouille Rose (Pink na Palaka)
Seismitoad = Les Chansons de Poete (Mga Kanta ng Kanata)
Greninja = Brockhampton
Politoed/Poliwrath = Silverchair
Chocolate Puma = Purrugly

Manchild Media

Like I said, the Japanese do know what a manchild is and they call those ‘big friends‘. It seems if you believe Japanese media, the biggest (domestic) manchild-favourite brands like Love Live, Pretty Cure, Aikatsu, Sailor Moon and Pokemon. (I’d argue that before Bronies, there were already male fans of Kim Possible, She-Ra and Power Puff Girls which were also popular with young girls.)

If you go further back, this would in all likelihood include Minky Momo and Creamy Mami. These two were also unfortunately popular around the time of the lolicon boom, which the latter included sexualised depictions of children. (It’s not that children are entirely sexless but that to avoid being considered child porn it’s best left to sexologists, nonfiction and anecdotal reports.)

That’s not to say I condone Brony behaviour but should some fans sexualise Aikatsu characters (in which Aikatsu itself is intentionally aimed at children during prime time) they might as well be doing similar things and be essentially the same. (Although Pretty Cure might be a better answer in terms of sheer popularity.)

Toyetic anime

I do recall a blog post stating that almost all anime are adverts for other things they’re adapted from or accompanied by. Not all anime fans think their anime’s completely shielded from merchandising as some do buy the merchandise themselves. And there are likely some anime fans who do appreciate more experimental anime, whether if it includes Mount Head.

There are anime that are more blatantly toyetic in nature, especially if they’re this closely tied to toys and games. These include Aikatsu (anime plus card games), Pokemon (anime, video games and card games), Gundam (anime and toys, actually the same can be said of Zoids and Macross), Beyblade, Yugioh (this actually got banned in one school for being too witchy) and Bakugan.

Because a lot of anime gets accompanied by merchandise, even not all of them are made to accompany a toy line, it’s going to be really rare to find a non-toyetic anime. (It doesn’t help that there’s a substantial market for adult toy collectors.) So truly non-toyetic anime’s going to be rare.

Big Friends

Based on going to Japanese websites, I do get the feeling that even the Japanese do know what a manchild’s like. Especially when calling such characters ‘big friends‘. This was allegedly a charming euphemism by a certain voiceover artist. If I’m not mistaken, especially when going by popular sources and to some extent Pixiv, the most popular manchild/big friend media brands are Pretty Cure, Ultraman, Disney, Sailor Moon, Minky Momo, Love Live and Pokemon.

(Gundam might also count as well.)

Of all the media franchises I mentioned here, Pretty Cure is the biggest manchild favourite currently in Japan. It might even be the true Japanese equivalent to My Little Pony in terms of having such a similar appeal to adult men. (I even said before that things like Kim Possible and Totally Spies may’ve beat MLP to having a lot of adult male fans, though such characters might be under the radar.)

It’s not that all Japanese like anime but I get the feeling that even they know manchildren exist, they often call those ‘big friends’.

Too insular, too rarefied

Maybe that’s inappropriate but I think whoever said that (most) anime seems to expect audiences to be familiar with really, really specific cliches and be put up with the misogyny might have a point. Not all anime are misogynistic, racist or whatever but these kinds of anime are going to be pretty rare as per Sturgeon’s law. Even some anime professionals feel similarly or something like that.

There was one Japanese columnist who pointed out that some anime do subliminally sexualise young women through the use of coded symbols. Like I said, whilst I don’t think all anime are necessarily like this, the problem is a good number of them tend to resort to any of these to varying degrees. There are anime production studios and creators who do take responsibility.

It’s like in Pokemon where one monster seemed like an offensive stereotype that it had to be redesigned in subsequent productions. Others don’t. I think even some might realise but that’s proving my point.

Nintendo’s toy days

Nintendo is quite a company with a storied history. For a long time and it still does to an extent (club cards and the Pokemon cards in a roundabout way as it’s co-owned by Game Freak), Nintendo makes cards. These ranged from hanafuda cards to Western cards and sometimes cards based on Disney and Popeye characters. (If I’m not mistaken Mario and Donkey Kong were based on Popeye.)

One employee had a knack for creating amusing gadgets that inspired Nintendo’s prior toy lines (actually Nintendo still produces toys, whether if it’s Amiibo or merchandise in a roundabout way). These ranged from the Love Tester to the Super Hand and finally some of Nintendo’s earliest video games. Some people say that the toys are the missing link between Nintendo’s card-making past and gaming present.

I’d say Nintendo still produces cards and toys in some fashion or another, as if the past’s not entirely forgotten.

Foxes in Far Eastern Lore

As expected, since foxes are practically nonexistent in the Philippines (as well as in much of Africa and Southeast Asia in general, I think) I wouldn’t know much about foxes even if I technically somewhat do than others. So I really wouldn’t know much if I hadn’t had any experiences with them to begin with. What I do know’s that foxes do have a malevolent reputation (at some point) in China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia.

Usually whenever it concerns witchcraft at all and sometimes barbarians (there goes dehumanisation again). Upon listening to some fox sounds, I guess it does seem eerie enough to lend to superstitions (for better or worse). That’s not to say I condone fox abuse or ownership but that I’m pretty open to new knowledge at times. So far, it’s parsimonious to think that China’s largely responsible for vulpine hatred and fear over the ages.

Though foxes aren’t the only witch animals (as this includes dogs, both in China and Japan to whatever degree depending on region and time), it’s parsimonious to think that given China’s immense influence (right down to Chinese people settling in Japan since way before), it’s enough to influence their colonies’ attitudes to them too. Japan didn’t just receive Chinese immigrants but also copied the fashion sense (at the time) and writing system as with Korea.

(And Mongolia to a lesser extent, since part of Mongolia stayed with China and the other went Soviet for awhile.)

This might also extend to the way they view foxes for better or worse and why Pokemon’s Fennekin and its developed forms are witchy.

Being Blond in Anime

This might not always be the case, not even in the same anime and whether if said character’s blond or brown’s up to the viewer’s guess. But it’s parsimonious to think that many, if not most, light-haired anime characters (grey/white, light brown, blond) are othered in a way their counterparts in non-Japanese/non-African/non-Asian media aren’t. A few of them are daft but they’re much likelier to be shady, exceptional, uncanny or striking in some manner.

A good number of those haughty, aloof or even fiery anime females are blond. (Kind or at least tolerable blondes do exist in anime.) As are the more magical, feral or otherworldly ones even if this isn’t always the case not even in the same story. This might be my opinion but it’s parsimonious to assume that if a blond character shows up in anime and even in non-Japanese African and Asian media, they’re going to be exceptional in some way.

Some of them could really be smart (as in Great Teacher Onizuka and Pokemon), worldly (Glass Mask, Sailor Moon and its prequel to some extent), shady characters (GTO, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Pokemon), otherworldly (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures again, Sailor Moon too, Inuyasha, Devil May Cry) and/or merely exceptional. I even think this might be coloured by other things.

Whether if it’s students sometimes not complying with school rules by bleaching their hair, certain delinquents/subcultures (see also Death Note’s Misa), albinos (who’re often bullied), glamourous celebrities with bleached hair or foreigners blond and light hair in general’s going to be othered in a way they aren’t in Western media.

Already there to some extent

Given some cartoonists were already talking about the future of manga being increasingly given to work for hire talent, it’s already there to some extent. Look no further than the various Pokemon, Street Fighter, Devil May Cry and Darkstalkers spin-off/tie-in comics. Or even the various comics directly based on existing manga franchises like Hunter x Hunter and Devilman and to a significant extent, Osamu Tezuka and Gundam.

Though work for hire stories aren’t unique to America, given Brazilian and European Disney comics have those too and actually so do Japanese comics to an extent, I think given the spin-offs not written by the original author that’s inevitable. Gundam especially has this is spades, especially since the 1990s beginning with G Gundam. Devilman’s got a lot of spin-off manga not written by Go Nagai.

The many spin-off Pokemon comics attest to it. Frankly these are the only examples* I know of but one that makes the most sense given where anime’s heading.

*.Hack/Sign, Evangelion, Madoka and Digimon have it too.

The fangirls

Though not always exactly nor consistently the case, elsewhere I get the feeling that superheroes now have relatively much more female fans than before thanks to movies and telly (I admit that’s even the case for me). Though female fans like Carol Strickland were present before, it wouldn’t explode in big numbers until the advent of the Internet and especially through, DeviantART, Livejournal and Tumblr.

This isn’t always the case though I think even Smallville may’ve helped the numbers grow really. Same with Arrowverse as much as I hate to admit it. Now as for anime, it’s not that its female fanbase is declining. The trouble’s that in order to find anime that’s not offensive to women or at least gives them something¬†they’d have to look hard enough. There are Japanese franchises like Dead or Alive that do bother to desexualise women.

Though I think Western franchises are much more willing to desexualise them en masse. That’s even obvious for how some female characters are presented on telly and in some cinematic adaptations…to a degree. Some telly adaptations are that willing to swap Black Canary’s fishnets for opaque tights and it worked. At other times, at least DC’s willing to make Cheetah look more animalistic.

I do know there are furries but to stay on topic, I still get the impression that with the exception of some franchises like Dead or Alive, Western franchises are much likelier to desexualise women in order to gain a much wider audience. It may not be easy as some stumble. But I’d have to go easy as others, especially in Japan, seem to dwell a lot more in creepy sexualisation.

The very thing superhero franchises are generally trying to undo and downplay for female characters. Even if it’s not always right, at least they put effort though the same can be said of Dead or Alive and Pokemon. This may not always be true but my impression’s that DC and Marvel do bother to try to scale back sexualisation.

Whilst most Japanese ACG franchises don’t bother to and I won’t be surprised if another professional would criticise this very industry they work in.