Random Curiosity

Serious Business – Original IPs, Niche Markets, and the Risks & Rewards Thereof »« My Way or the Anime – What Makes Good Sci-Fi Good

Special Report – The Strange Feminism of TV Free

Stilts Out Loud   018   Crop 01

The fujoushi revolution is HEEEERE!!

For those who haven’t heard, the KyoAni CM formerly known as “Swimming Anime” is officially going to be made into an anime known as Free. You should also probably stop living under a rock. You could get crushed doing that!

Jokes aside, I’m cautiously optimistic about TV Free. Why? Okay, so it’s flagrant fujoushi bait, but I don’t have a problem with that. Studios make anime with girls flash their boobs, asses, and all manner of other naughty bits all the time, so why shouldn’t the lady viewers get some of the same? Plus, it’s KyoAni. Though I’m constantly giving them shit about being too corporate and “spirit-less” in their storytelling – and the fact that they green-lighted this show for such flagrantly profit-motivated reasons only strengthens those arguments – among all the major studios they’re the ones who most consistently seem to respect their characters. Take their two most recent shows, Chu2koi and Tamako Market. Particularly the latter; Tamako Market featured a beach episode with no discernible fanservice, because it simply wasn’t necessary. Combined with KyoAni’s tendency to make good (if not always great) stories, this is shaping up to be a female-oriented fanservice anime that might just have a decent plot. Also, have you seen the latest CM? Those pretty boys are moe as shit! So like I said, cautious optimism.

Stilts Out Loud   018   Crop 02

Super moe.

But that led me to an interesting thought, and it’s on the matter of feminism. I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but I actually consider myself a feminist. This has always led to a bit of tension when it comes to all those ecchi anime that I watch, because while some of them are legitimately good and the fanservice is justified, too many err into the exploitative side of the equation, which is worrying. That’s why in my own writing, I’ve always subscribed to the idea that if I’m going to give the guys some fanservice to enjoy, I should give the ladies some as well! I actually end up employing very little fanservice, but I still try to balance the scales when I do. I mean, it’s only fair, right?

That’s why TV Free is almost feminist, in a twisted kind of way. Okay, not really, because the feminism I subscribe to would have neither men or women being exploited. (I just couldn’t resist the provocative title. Sue me!) We don’t live in that kind of happy-go-lucky world though, and it’s very true that female characters are frequently exploited in fiction. Now we have TV Free, a show which is showing every indication of exploiting, gasp, men! In fact, it pretty much already is – it got green-lighted based on a plot-less CM that is 95% glistening pretty boys in swimsuits (Edit: to clarify, I didn’t mean that the story was based on the CM, just that it got green-lit because of the overwhelmingly positive reception the CM got. That’s an assumption though, so who knows what KyoAni was planning). If that’s not exploitative, I don’t know what is. Also, jealousy inducing.

Stilts Out Loud   018   Crop 03

I will never sparkle like them. Zetsubou deshita!

So let me repeat: I don’t think exploiting men = feminism. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of what feminism stands for, which is equality between the sexes. It’s an interesting thought though, that maybe we’ll get closer to that ideal when both men and women know what it’s like to be lusted after as a sexual object, or at the very least, know what it’s like roll our eyes as someone more attractive than us is ogled. In that way this exploitation could almost be good, because it might help a few more people step into their sister’s (or brother’s) shoes and see the other side of the equation. At the very least though, it’s nothing if not fair. We’ve gotten cute girls and oppai anime for ages, so it’s high time we give female anime fans some more shameless fanservice of their own. I only ask one thing – give TV Free a good story and good writing. This is nothing I don’t ask of every male-oriented fanservice show, by the way…fanservice is fine, just don’t insult our intelligence in the process, whether we be male or female. With TV Free, give us the 6-pack abs and the bishie sparkles, but stimulate our thoughts as well. That’s the best fanservice of all.

I’m going to keep today’s post pretty short, because I really only had the one thing to say, so now I’ll hand it over to you! Whether it’s about the junk I just talked about or the upcoming TV Free anime in general, I want to hear your thoughts. Just keep it civil, alright? It pains me to think that something as elemental as “equality between the sexes” is seen as controversial by some, but sadly that’s the case – and my provocative use of the word “feminism” probably won’t help things – so if you’re going to use this post to go off on some intolerant screed, kindly can it. For everyone else, I want to hear your thoughts. The bishie swimmers are coming! What will you do?

Stilts Out Loud   018   Crop 04

The good news is that it looks like TV Free will get coverage; Takaii has already promised as much. Does that make him a fujoushi too?

April 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm
187 comments »
  • April 29, 2013 at 5:45 pmshifobrains

    I’ve ordered a bottle of Diamond Cream. I’m going to sparkle even if it kills me.

    • April 29, 2013 at 5:59 pmsonicsenryaku

      Free really is looking like its going to be swimming in a sea of success when it releases (sorry for the terrible pun) But I gotta say, damn kyoani knows how to animate; who knew swimming could looks so damn good (and sparkly…..and absolutely FABULOUS). It really is a shame that kyoani doesnt spend this talent on some truly remarkable or outside their “cute girls doing cute things” comfort zone. Well i guess that is kind of changing what with the announcement that Kyokai no Kanata is getting an anime adaptation and from what i have seen, it looks to be a dark, supernatural story. People should check out the pv if the havent already.

      • April 29, 2013 at 6:11 pmStilts

        …and/or cute guys doing cute things. That’s different enough, right?

        Different tune, same ‘ol KyoAni

      • April 29, 2013 at 6:28 pmsonicsenryaku

        haha same ole kyoani indeed; i wish that wasnt the case. Im still waiting for the sequel to fullmetal panic: the second raid from them or the next couple haruhi novel adaptations or something truly amazing that i can be wowed by. They just play it too safe; oh well, ill still be checking free out to see what its like.

      • April 29, 2013 at 6:45 pmStilts

        Don’t say the fullmetal word! You’ll jinx it.

      • April 29, 2013 at 7:04 pmMasterDragonKnight

      • April 29, 2013 at 11:05 pmewok40k

        Swimming was cute and fun – and definitely sexy! – when done by Umisho, so I dont doubt the particular discipline potential.
        My otaku imouto is VERY excited at the series, she is K-on fanatic already and now she gets some manservice to sink her teeth into…

  • April 29, 2013 at 5:52 pmp41s3r

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • April 29, 2013 at 5:55 pmDdadain

    To each her (or his) own!

    That being said, being a “veteran” anime ( l000000000000000000000000000nggggggggggggggg MAL ), I’ve seen my fair share and I do believe animes based solely on “fanservice” is on the rise these past 3-4 years. More like, in the 1990s, it was almost unheard of, then BOOM!

    THAT being said, if it has a good plot… let the FABULOUS commence!

    • April 29, 2013 at 6:03 pmNoname2.0

      Ah the 90s how i miss them. Cowboy bebop, ghost in the shell, trigun and real music.

    • April 29, 2013 at 6:48 pmStilts

      There has definitely been an increase in fanservice anime to me eyes. We’ve known that sex (or sexy) sells for decades; the anime industry was just late to the game.

      • May 1, 2013 at 3:26 pmagr0n

        They might have been late, but they sure are Hard-hitting.

      • May 7, 2013 at 4:56 pmVsin

        Late? I remember fanservice as early as the original Mobile Suit Gundam (every girl nude in the shower scene) and SDF Macross (the post would be too long if I listed everything).

    • April 29, 2013 at 6:55 pmTre

      I think such anime have been on the rise for about 6 or 7 years now. I remember watching Gurren Lagann back when it aired and thinking that I hadn’t watched something like it in a long time.

      Fanservice has existed in anime for a much longer time, but like you said, the problem is that so many shows are now made focusing exclusively on that. Shows in the 90′s and early 00′s had plenty of action and gar along with the fanservice.

      In fact, I bet someone could write a long post about the death of gar-focused anime.

    • April 29, 2013 at 9:26 pmstarss

      The cause: finances. The economy has only gotten worse in the past years, and Japanese networks are now struggling to just aim for the barest demographic who are guaranteed to spend tons of money on these kinds of shows: otaku who like fanservice! Essentially, they’ve become the stereotype the USA had for years. There is a CORRECT way to do a good fanservice show though, and that’s to get a balance with a good story too!

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:02 pmZhinvu

    I’ll very likely give it a shot, mainly since I’m curious to see how KyoAni pulls off something they usually don’t do. If the story is interesting enough and the characters grow on you, then why not. This is a lose comparison but Daily Lives of High School Boys and Kimi to Boku also had dominantly male groups of main characters but I liked watching them.

    • April 29, 2013 at 7:12 pmTre

      “mainly since I’m curious to see how KyoAni pulls off something they usually don’t do”

      Yes, I’d definitely like to see them thinking outside the box. Next, they should make a mecha show. One with an antisocial soldier who is sent to a school to protect a girl from random military threats.

      To make it easier for KyoAni, if they go to the basement in their headquarters, in a forgotten room full of dust, they should find archives of some show like this that was allegedly made by people in the same company once. Apparently there is enough material to make more, I hear.

      • April 29, 2013 at 7:23 pmZhinvu

        Seconded. With the effects they pulled off in Chuunibyou’s delusion fights, they got what it takes to make battle or mecha anime.

      • April 29, 2013 at 7:34 pmStilts

        Yes, I’d definitely like to see them thinking outside the box. Next, they should make a mecha show. One with an antisocial soldier who is sent to a school to protect a girl from random military threats.

        That seemed oddly specific… D:

      • April 30, 2013 at 1:55 amZhinvu

        Yes, I’d definitely like to see them thinking outside the box. Next, they should make a mecha show. One with an antisocial soldier who is sent to a school to protect a girl from random military threats.

        Bravo! I didn’t notice it at first but yes that IS a pretty specific plot idea you got there.

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:06 pmBear

    If it turns the girls (or even some guys) on more power to them. I just thought it looked like it could be a well done sports show with charismatic characters. Bishie? Maybe I don’t grasp the term. Good looking, buff, but bishie? Amnesia, Karneval yeah, but Free? Nah. Only if they change the character designs and that would be disappointing.

    • April 29, 2013 at 6:52 pmStilts

      Personally, I’m pretty free (haha…I’m going to hate those puns real quick) with the term “bishie”, in that I usually just mean an attractive guy who isn’t a super muscle-man.

      Hopefully it will be a good sports anime as well! Though based on KyoAni’s track record, it’s liable to be 80% slice of life. Which isn’t bad, it’s just…well, too expected.

      • April 29, 2013 at 7:34 pmZhinvu

        …I’m going to hate those puns real quick…

        Hmmmm…Free bishies, Free anime, Free OVA, Free movie, Free merchandise, Free everything…yeah I see what you mean Stilts. Okay enough with the free puns.

      • April 29, 2013 at 7:48 pmMasterDragonKnight

        Maybe you should try staying pun-free for a while.

      • April 30, 2013 at 8:20 amStilts

        @ MasterDragonKnight

        You get all my upvotes, and all my hate. That’s how you know that was a proper pun, haha!

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:19 pmkatsudon

    It’s KyoAni, their track record is great- so no point in assuming they won’t do a good job with Free. Of course, a lot of people will sit it out because instead of “cute girls doing cute things”, we get cute boys doing cute things”. It’s cool that KyoAni is tapping into this audience since we as guys have been spoiled by fanservice for so long, you know? Guess it’s the girls turn! I’ll tell you this much though Stilts, I’m not going to type in “Free” on tumblr after the show starts airing…
    I’m going to check this show out, I’ve liked most of KyoAni’s shows thus far. My REAL concern though, is my roommmate walking into my room when I’m watching it. (she does this often, and usually when she does, the anime I’m watching is always on a “questionable without context” scene) But that aside, I’m looking forward to it!

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:23 pmDrift

    I’m glad you share a similar opinion with me. We have so many animes where girls are used as fanservices and often go beyond just being in swimsuits to please the fans, yet people seem to make a huge deal out of it just because it is the guys turn this time.

    I’m definitely giving this anime a try.

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:27 pmMasterDragonKnight

    You should definitely cover this when it airs, Stilts.

    And give it your usual ecchi oniichan treatment. ^^

    • April 29, 2013 at 6:50 pmStilts

      I could be part of my master plan! I’ll score all the girls by squeeing over all the boys. Brilliant!

      • April 29, 2013 at 7:05 pmStranger

        Why do you think girls love having gay friends?

      • April 29, 2013 at 10:07 pmStilts

        I don’t know. I never said they did. I know that I like having gay female friends, though. Or straight female friends. Or male friends of any sexuality. I just like having friends, no matter who or what they are. As long as they’re cool people, does their sexuality really matter?

        C’mon, don’t make me have to get serious when I was just joking around! ; )

      • April 30, 2013 at 2:11 amVaans

        You’re a genius, Stilts!

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:29 pmShuA

    KyoAni surprised me again
    Although almost all people say that they make “Free!” to target fujoshis, maybe…. but imo KyoAni always make what they want to make and do what they can do best, whether it’s moe, this new show or even Hyouka-like series.
    I would argue with you about KyoAni green-lighted show for profit reasons. If they always think that why they made Tamako Market which is an original show, or even Hyouka and Chuu2koi? Why don’t they animated Haruhi season 3 or new FMP ?
    Btw, I’m male and actually looking forward to this if it will not have excessive fanservices. It’s fresh right? ><

    • April 29, 2013 at 6:54 pmStilts

      It could be both profit reasons and because they wanted to. That said, I highly doubt the thought of tapping into such a profitable niche passed by them unawares. I’m just not inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt here, since they’ve struck me as overly corporate so many times in the past.

    • April 29, 2013 at 7:27 pmMW

      If you want to make real money, you develop original IPs. That’s why KyoAni has gone with Chuu2koi, Tamako Market, Free, and Kyoukai no Kanata (and let’s face it, the KyoAni light novel competition is a crafty way of soliciting ideas for cheap while retaining a good rapport with fans). It’s higher stakes gambling – risk big, maybe win big – but the company has the money to try this.

      At the end of the day, the man who owns all the property wins.

      [on a related note, the maligned Gonzo had the same idea a decade ago when they created Last Exile, Gankutsuou, Samurai 7, etc. They simply bet on the wrong horse (the American market) and spent money with careless abandon].

      • April 29, 2013 at 7:30 pmTre

        I’d argue with you on the risk. None of KyoAni’s orginal anime have been particularly risky endeavors. At this point, I’d argue it would be more of a risk for them to make another season of Haruhi.

      • April 29, 2013 at 8:24 pmScruffy

        @Tre: It is MUCH more risky to make an anime original as basically all the profits has to come from the anime. With a manga or light novel adaptation there is the added benefit in the boost of manga / LN sales. KyoAni would be the only major investor (apart from the OP/ED songs) so they wear it if it flops. Tamako Market would probably have been a commercial failure for them.

        Of course if it does well then there is extra profits to be had from manga / LN adaptations of the anime which does happen to anime originals.

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:30 pmMagoiichi

    If it has cute dads and grandpas doing cute things ala Tamako Market then I’ll watch it.

    • April 30, 2013 at 2:12 amVaans

      And tsundere dads? OH YES!!!

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:35 pmJani

    The bishie swimmers are coming! What will you do? I’ll be front row and center of course!!!

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:36 pmwandering-dreamer

    Actually according to ANN “The television anime is based on Kōji Ōji’s High Speed!, an honorable mention recipient in the 2nd Kyoto Animation Award in 2011″ so it’s actually not based on a CM.

    • April 29, 2013 at 6:55 pmStilts

      Sorry, I wasn’t very clear there. I meant that it got green-lit because of the overwhelming response the CM got, not that it was actually based on it. I stuck an edit in the post for clarity.

      • April 30, 2013 at 1:40 amtotoum

        It didn’t get greenlit because of the response to the CM, it was already greenlit before the CM even aired.

      • April 30, 2013 at 8:21 amStilts

        So people have corrected me, which makes sense. Alas, I don’t expunge mistakes like that from my posts, and instead force myself to live with them so I don’t do it again, so you’ll all have to keep looking at me being wrong, lol

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:40 pmserventarcher

    I wish everyone was open-minded/understanding about Free! like this.

    But putting that aside, as a girl I love watching shows focusing on cool guys, but most of them, especially otome adaptations, tend to be mediocre. Which is a bit sad considering how few there are each season. I’ve learned to enjoy the little things in each of those, but still, I do hope this will be one of the better shows.

    Basically, Kimi to Boku + swimming competitions would be golden.

    • April 29, 2013 at 6:58 pmStilts

      Thank you kindly! I appreciate the compliment : )

      Personally, I’ve been trying to dip my toe into more female-oriented anime, just for the purpose of broadening my horizons as a storyteller, but so far the ones I’ve tried have been sadly lacking. Amnesia and Karneval were the most recent ones. I couldn’t get past the first episode of either of those! I still might with Karneval, but Amnesia…ugh, just ugh. Wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

      • April 29, 2013 at 7:28 pmKairi

        Would ya like a cage to go with that, senpai?

      • April 29, 2013 at 7:56 pmZen

        Karneval’s actually more balanced than most female orientated shows. There’s plenty of both pretty boys and pretty girls. The problem with this show is, as Kairi has astutely pointed out in earlier coverage, that it focuses too much on world-building while settling for rather generic character archetypes. Which when taken too far is a problem for quality in general, but in a female-targeted show with pretty boys is doubly problematic.

        Because what appeals the most to women is not the visual, but rather the emotional. Having many visually appealing male characters will only get you so far in attempting to appeal sexually to women. Far more important than the visual appeal of your characters is that they are developed in an interesting and emotionally sympathetic manner because it is a scientifically proven fact that emotion does far more than visuals to stimulate female interest. Without the latter you are relegating yourself to a niche in the market that caters to a certain minority subset of women who do actually happen to find visuals more appealing than emotion- the stereotypical fujoshi, in other words.

        I believe that there is a massive, untapped market of potential female anime fans out there to whom emotionally orientated reverse-harem shows can be sold- there is huge profit to be made. It’s just that anime producers, after so many years of producing male orientated shows are unwilling to venture out of their comfort zone to figure out how to make it work- it’s too much of a fiscal risk compared to simply churning out more male or traditional fujoshi-targeted fluff that you know will turn a profit. The only recent female-targeted show (That I recall) which made a reasonable attempt at generating more generally female-effective emotional appeal was Hiiro no Kakera which endeavored to ensure that its (all-male) harem members received decent character/personality development and emotional relatability, as well as at least some kind of backstory- even if several characters still ended up being rather stereotypical- whatever the case, it was quite innovative and Hiiro wnet on to become one of the few female orientated shows that was popular enough to warrant a second season…

      • April 30, 2013 at 3:33 amAnanas

        Just watch Otona Joshi no Anime.

      • April 30, 2013 at 4:13 amzztop

        At least Amnesia had a wicked awesome OP and ED. Both ‘Zoetrope’ and ‘Recall’ were very addictive to listen to. And as a visual-minded viewer I loved the character designs,especially Heroine’s. What do you think Stilts?

        I also found some cutscenes from the newest installment, Amnesia: Crowd. Toma finally gets a taste of his own medicine in this one…muahahahaha. Enjoy, Stilts: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.534060353312359

        PS. I heard on some sites that the anime severely bowlderized the game’s story. Here’s a link to Metanorn detailing the complexity of the original source material:http://metanorn.net/2013/04/otome-game-review-amnesia#more-134963

      • April 30, 2013 at 4:36 amilion4o

        YAY!! Otona Joshi no Anime Time!! One of the best examples of anime aimed at women. Sadly there are only 4 episodes out.

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:42 pmgrey

    I definitely agree with with you. It’s finally the ladies’ turn to get some real mainstream fanservice.
    KyoAni has acknowledged the power of fujoshi, which even if they’re not as intense as male otaku, they definitely do boost sales a crazy amount. Also, we gotta acknowledge the success of Kuroko no Basuke, which I really think influenced KyoAni’s decision to actually go ahead with this series.

    • April 29, 2013 at 8:30 pmZen

      Not simply fujoshi. It’s time for anime producers to go beyond the notion of appealing simply to stereotypical fujoshi and follow the lead of Hiiro no Kakera in attempting to appeal to female audiences in general with more emotionally-orientated reverse harem shows- and if there’s anything KyoAni is good at, it’s developing characters, so I have high hopes for this show…

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:56 pmEmD

    You will take in the homolust and YOU WILL LIKE IT!

    Totally watching this.

  • April 29, 2013 at 7:06 pmStranger

    After years of fanservice, now comes the age of MANSERVICE.

    • April 30, 2013 at 1:28 amjunglepenguin

      Except it’s not exactly MANservice, because FANservice is made to appeal to FANS…

      But don’t let that ruin your impression of this wittily coined term.

      • April 30, 2013 at 11:37 amEmD

        junglepenguin smirked after delivering his line. He cracked his knuckles, tipped his fedora and let out a satisfied sigh.

  • April 29, 2013 at 7:13 pmThe Truth is in the Axe

    Here’s hoping this entry doesn’t get derailed by angry comments about feminism.

  • April 29, 2013 at 7:15 pmchioneicedyrken

    Yes! My thoughts exactly, written down by Stilts! Thank you! I want both the fanservice and the story plot to be good! I never appreciate shows where the story just has no basis and doesn’t stand out strong. I respect the essence of a good plot! I can’t wait for the anime, but at the same time, I don’t mind the wait. :)

    • April 29, 2013 at 9:40 pmStilts

      :D Glad to hear it! And yes, fanservice is best when it’s a side dish, or a garnish – it should be the twist that enhances the flavor and brings it to new heights, not the base on which the entire meal rests. For that, we need a good plot and great characters, which are far more difficult to do, but much more satisfying when done well.

  • April 29, 2013 at 7:16 pmhappy yaoister

    Definitely watching. Hakkenden had a shounen-ai vibe and it turned out to be a good enough show worth my time and there’s even a second season. So, here’s hoping Free will not disappoint.

  • April 29, 2013 at 7:25 pmZen

    It’s nice to see that there’s a high profile reverse harem show on the market, it really is. The reality of the situation is that sexual fantasies are a fundamental part of being human; the need to reproduce is integral to our continued existence. Short of being asexual (Last I heard <1% of the population), even the most fervently religious regular church-goer probably can't deny having sexual fantasies about attractive members of the opposite (Or same) sex.

    Okay, not really, because the feminism I subscribe to would have neither men or women being exploited.

    I, too would be elated if this was actually the case, but for the reasons stated above, it should be clear to us that such a world is but an idealistic fantasy. Sex is a basal human need which in many cases will override rational human thinking. Sex-related irrationality is an unstoppable epidemic- just ask all those teens having unprotected sex, and every deadbeat dad who goes around knocking up girlfriends but never pays child support. You can teach kids to use condoms to the end of time and teenage pregnancy will still be a problem- and no amount of jail time is going to teach most deadbeat douche bags to be responsible fathers and to respect women.

    As educated, well-informed young men, we know full well intellectually that shows like Manyuu Hikenchou and this season’s Hyakka Ryouran blatantly portray women in exploitative ways. And yet a large number of us still flock to these shows, and among those who don’t follow it week by week, there are many members of this site who admitted to tuning in just for the extra explicit fan-service episode of an already uber-exploitative fan-service show- I have even seen some people contradict themselves (fortunately not here) by somehow claiming a “moral high ground” by only watching the fan-service episode (i.e. the most exploitative one) rather than following the whole show.

    In spite of the obvious moral problems with these kinds of shows it is obvious that the they continue to garner a substantial following. What they appeal to is the powerful, basal human sex drive which like many other basal things overrides all reason when in full swing. The reality of the situation is that there will never be a day when Hollywood stops portraying women in over-sexualized ways, especially in movies that are targeted primarily towards a younger male demographic, and there will never come a day when uber-exploitative fan-service anime like Sekirei and Queen’s Blade will stop being produced. Because sex sells, and it will continue to sell as long as the human sex drive exists, lest we purge it from ourselves through genetic engineering- and likely simultaneously doom ourselves to extinction in the process.

    The human sex drive both male and female, in both of its hetero and homosexual manifestations, and the inevitable moral irrationality that comes with it is unfortunately (Moral dilemma?)/fortunately (Humans continue to exist?) here to stay. And as long as it exists, so will media that exploits this inherent, basal human irrationality for the sake of profit. We cannot hope for a world where we are rid of all sexual exploitation in media, because in all likelihood it would be a world where we no longer exist.

    We cannot hope for a world of true, zero-exploitation equality but what we can pursue however is a world where male and female sexual exploitation in media occurs at similar levels, one where neither sex is demeaned more than the other so that neither is portrayed as dominant or subordinate- a world of functional equality, where sexual equality exists not because of an absence of exploitative media, but because of a (more or less) balanced equation denoting the level of exploitative portrayals that each gender is subject to.

    Perfect functional equality is just as unlikely as perfect zero-exploitation equality. The right approach is not one that attempts to foolhardily achieve this impossible goal, but rather one that recognizes the immutable realities and the integral survival role of the human sex drive as well as the inevitable moral irrationalities that are inherent to it, attempting to get as close to functional equality as is humanly possible. And even how much functional equality in media is actually attainable is questionable because again, the natural reality of the situation is that men are more visually stimulated than women- exploitative visual media sells more to men period because it appeals more to us sexually, so exploitative visual media for men will inevitably be more common- but our efforts should be to equalize things as much as possible- perhaps by inserting more major emotional components into male-exploitative female-targeted visual media in an effort to widen its appeal, or by creating more male-exploitative written (Books inherently tend to rely more on emotional appeal) media for women to balance out the overabundance of male-targeted visual media- functional equality is only feasible insofar as there is equality in the fiscal viability of both male and female orientated media after all- in anime, this means that the more massively appealing we can make reverse harem shows, the more functional equality we can create within the medium.

    So you see, a functional equality approach isn’t perfect, far from it- but it’s the best we’ve got; like democracy, the “best worst system”- the dominant alternative being the delusional approach of attempting to create perfect zero-exploitation, an inevitably draconian and fruitless effort rooted in self-denial ignoring the inescapable problems that come part and parcel with the human sex drive which is central to ensuring the continued existence of our species. Free is a step in the right, and more importantly the most realistic direction; KyoAni’s efforts must be applauded…

    • April 29, 2013 at 9:30 pmBananarchy

      I only disliked your comment because of your misinterpretation of the whole equality thing. You’re right there’s never going to be no exploitation (sexually) and the real problem is the overwhelming amount of female exploitation over male exploitation. I don’t think feminism is out to destroy this whole idea of sex sells, just the fact that it seems to come with the job for female actors.

      • April 29, 2013 at 10:01 pmZen

        I don’t think feminism is out to destroy this whole idea of sex sells, just the fact that it seems to come with the job for female actors.

        I didn’t say any such thing, nor am I against feminism- sorry that you had to interpret what I said so absolutely. What continues to boggle my mind about people is that they always assume that you have to be absolutely on one side or the other in an argument. True intellectual arguments are nuanced, and often have no clear sides unlike the over-simplified political drivel that we are force-fed daily by the media. Case on point: abortion, general public media-induced perception is that you’re either for or against it- which is a gross oversimplification- when questioned more specifically it turns out that people have varying opinions on the matter; folks who claim to be in the same camp will fight like cats and dogs over specific instances where they think it should or should not be allowable.

        Feminism is no different with massive amounts of ideological division occurring within its own camp, even among the moderate majority. And as with any movement, feminism has its extremists who advocate the absolute abolition of media that appeals to the prurient interests and even a very vocal minority that advocates complete female dominance over men. Those who advocate such things are extreme minority elements of the feminist movement- who are very vocal and have a good platform as is case with just about any marginal, extreme movement with deep intellectual roots. If I speak against feminism (Which not once did I say that I was against), I speak not against the moderate majority which I am very much in support of, but against the cacophonous minority of vocal intellectual extremists…

    • April 29, 2013 at 9:47 pmStilts

      I think we should work towards both the functional quality you speak of and true equality. Actually, that’s not right – we should work towards true equality (while making sure not to stamp out the legitimate artist expression of mildly-exploitative media, as worrisome as they may be in a moral sense), while quietly applauding those that push us more towards functional equality, and perhaps helping give them a push once in a while.

      Yes, true equality is in all likelihood impossible, but by working towards it, we will become closer to that unachievable perfection. If there’s anything that encapsulates the human condition – okay, so there are many, but this is one – it’s that constant struggle towards perfection we will never achieve. Yet struggle we must, for it comes with its own rewards.

      • April 29, 2013 at 10:30 pmZen

        I think what you mean is an amalgamation of the two approaches, that is an approach that simultaneously attempts to reduce the absolute amount of exploitation in the world, attempting to bring it as close to a dual-gender zero-exploitation utopia as is humanly possible through an education-focused approach, within the realms of reasonableness without resorting to overly draconian legislation while also attempting to ensure that where exploitation does exists, it exists at functionally equal levels. Which is in all likelihood, the most realistic and powerful approach which employs the strengths of both its derivatives. Which makes a lot more sense than the unilateral approach that I (seemingly…XP) advocated above. If that’s what you’re saying then I agree with you completely.

        This is why I love writing these things- propose a normative hypothesis that teeters on the edge of controversy so that it gets people to think about things in new and interesting ways, but not so far over the edge as to induce too much blind rage- and say it like you believe it. And people end up saying interesting things- everyone learns something new and everyone goes home a winner…and you just taught me something new today, Stilts…:)

      • April 29, 2013 at 10:37 pmStilts

        Ahaha, that was it exactly! That’s why I always try to read your massive walls ‘o text. They tend to lead someplace interesting, at least sometimes.

        Glad to have taught a little, even if by accident ^^

    • May 1, 2013 at 3:33 pmagr0n

      Lol yet another post from you that is longer than the actual article.

  • April 29, 2013 at 7:53 pmRaine

    A bit disappointed that it wasn’t FMP Season 3. And also, the Internet is screaming with this announcement by KyoAni. Some blame the ones complaining about moe killing the industry and brought this instead. Also, it can’t be denied that most people in the fujoshi community throw their money at people who give them stuff, thus their effect on the market (e.g. Kuroko).

    I respect those who are legitimately interested in this but I won’t touch this one with a ten-foot pole due to personal experiences with fujoshi IRL.

    • April 29, 2013 at 8:00 pmblahblah0625

      Are you the same person from the MAL forums? Still going on about this?
      Anyways, I am legitimately interested; there have been a lot of criticism about the use of swimming pants (I think that’s what they are called) and the non-usage of swimming caps.
      Also, I think I’m the only one that’s not a fujoshi watching this and is genuinely interested ._.

    • April 29, 2013 at 8:32 pmScruffy

      Gee … when will you FMP idiots get it!!!! It is NOT up to KyoAni whether or not there is FMP sequel. They DO NO OWN the rights. It is up to the publishing company, who can choose any animation company they want. KyoAni didn’t even do all of the FMP seasons anyway!

    • April 30, 2013 at 11:03 pmRaine

      No, not that guy on MAL. I don’t usually post that much. I’m just saying that they could be doing other franchises rather than this, especially with the hype they generated over it. With all that hype one would expect it to be something to be hyped about by the community (where FMP, Haruhi, Key comes to mind). I hope I’m wrong though on the preconceptions on this show and maybe give it a try once it sells itself as NOT a female pandering show.

      Also, apologies for not being aware of the business terms behind FMP.

  • April 29, 2013 at 8:05 pmKiria

    I’m trying not to judge this show based on the ridiculous fandom. I think it has just as much potential as any other show. KyoAni’s art is eye-candy enough for me without the shirtless guys, so I’ll give it a shot!

    • April 29, 2013 at 8:21 pm†Croos†

      It’s a swimming anime and we never actually have a swimming anime so far.
      I just hope this anime doesn’t concentrate on a lot of Slice of Life.
      I want to see more action and challenge.

      • April 29, 2013 at 9:49 pmStilts

        Agreed. That goes with my whole good plot / writing point…if this is going to be (at least in part) a sports anime, I hope they make it a good sports anime in addition to everything else.

  • April 29, 2013 at 8:14 pmA Dollar Member

    My faith in the anime community has been restored. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ THANK YOU for bringing some reason into the shitstorm that has been raging for the last few days – I am so sick of seeing guys going “omg dis gay fujoshit no girls no watch kyoani is going down” and girls saying “omg yes gay yaoi to ship” and then saying “nothing says it’s gay yet you homophobe” in the SAME POST. Double standards EVERYWHERE. (/゚Д゚)/

    Also, a portion of tumblr seems to think that their petition or whatever was what made Free! happen. Such ignorance everywhere.

    So thanks, Stilts.

    • April 29, 2013 at 8:21 pmZen

      My faith in the anime community has been restored.

      RandomC, man. The best damn anime community on the internet. That’s why I hang around here..;)

    • April 29, 2013 at 9:36 pmBananarchy

      i feel like the only problems are the “omg dis shit gay” crowd. what’s wrong with fujoshi’s getting all up in this shit? or even people getting mad at obvious homophobia? the fact that that’s a major reaction to a show that seems (and pretty much advertises) to be about cute guys doing cute things speaks largely about sexist problems in the entertainment industry. sure not everyone’s saying the exact right things to help move us in the most positive direction but i hope the community at large is willing to speak out against homophobic morons who feel they have to actually shit on this show for “being gay”.

    • April 29, 2013 at 9:47 pmSDFSDG

      Iknow, because in the first commercial they already said it was a working progress. And I can’t believe the tumblr community actually believes in just 2 months Kyo Ani could already make a series all because of their petition, that would be near impossible, the footage from the recent commercial was most likely made before the petition.

    • April 29, 2013 at 9:57 pmStilts

      No problemo, Dollar : ) That’s the benefit of being able to sit back and think about these things for a few days before speaking out, I think. Thoughts are so much better than reactions.

      Not that my reactions were any different than the thoughts I came up with. They just wouldn’t have been quite as well-stated, heh

      Rest assured, there will always be these little dust ups until such stories become as commonplace as cute girls doing cute things shows. It’s like female politicians…even (most of) the bigots stop caring so much when they wake up one day at 40+% of the politicians running around are ladies. (Gods, I can’t wait for that day.) So let us wish TV Free luck for that reason alone – maybe someday we won’t have to listen to all this insanity when a show like this is announced.

      Hey, we can hope.

  • April 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm†Croos†

    Kyoani wa sutai shimashita

  • April 29, 2013 at 8:38 pm†Croos†

    The good news is that it looks like TV Free will get coverage; Takaii has already promised as much. Does that make him a fujoushi too?

    I hope this is now true Takaii.
    Before, in a podcast, you also said “If Little Busters come out, I’ll be the one blogging it. Thats it. It has been said and done.

    • April 30, 2013 at 1:27 amTakaii

      That was before I went on my hiatus though, so don’t forget to add that into the equation! -sparkle-

      And maybe someone will try to take it from me. -sparkle-
      ONLY IF THEY CAN SPARKLE BRIGHT ENOUGH
      **********~~~~~~~~***********~~~~~~~~~~*************~~~~~~~~~~~**********

      • April 30, 2013 at 8:49 amStilts

        Pffft, none of us can sparkle like you, takkun. TRY AS WE MIGHT!

  • April 29, 2013 at 8:44 pmKaka

    I am glad you wrote a report on this. I actually watched the live streaming of TV Free! presentation on NicoNico last Friday morning lol.

    Interesting fact: the director of this series is Hiroko Utsumi, a female staff who has been working with Kyoani for quite some time now, i.e.staging and storyboard for K-On movie, Hyouka (episode 7, 15). She directed and did the storyboard for Free!CM. I think Free! is her premier as a director for an anime series so look forward to it!!!

  • April 29, 2013 at 8:47 pmdeathtogeneric/formulaicshows

    So I suppose Japanese girls go for extremely feminine, girly boys (men), eh?

    Or is this some kinda niche channel?

    I do recall that it’s no joke and this is what most Japanese girls do tend go for unlike say English speaking countries (i.e. US, UK, AU). I don’t get it, but hey, whatever float your boats, girls~~. Now I do have my doubt that whether they actually want to go for these types or just like looking at them from a distance. My hunch is on the latter. I seriously doubt that even Japanese girls with their different culture would want to be with men who look into mirror and fix their hair far more than they do, but hey I could be way off. It seems like hormone kicks in around late teen and many go for masculine features in the culture I am familiar with, but I guess it’s different in Japan. Never been there, so I can’t tell, LOL!

    • April 29, 2013 at 10:00 pmStilts

      Bear in mind that these guys are kinda ripped. Sure, they might have pretty nice hair too – and maybe that’s a cultural preference, I don’t know; it could just as easily be a quirk brought on by typical anime-style art, and probably that’s at least part of the reason – but they don’t look like girly boys by any means. Think of it this way, could you imagine most of those guys as a trap?

      Okay, maaaaaybe the short one, but that would be a stretch. The rest? Not so much.

  • April 29, 2013 at 9:11 pmRaso

    KyoAni really has to tread lightly here or else risk alienating their entire fanbase to the point where manga or light novel companies will not come to them to make an anime. (its happened to other companies before)

    I expect several boycotts and or death threats from Otakus if its just Bishi fluff. If they make a good plot and add other elements to make it tolerable to non-fujoshi like say what Gundam Wing or Gundam 00 then maybe not.

    • April 29, 2013 at 9:14 pmRaso

      I for one wont be touching this one with a 10 foot pole till I read something decent about it from RC….

    • April 29, 2013 at 9:52 pmStilts

      No. That’s all the more reason why they should do it. They should not do a piece of art because they fear the repercussions? No. That’s censorship of another kind, censorship by the market. Yes, there will always be a certain degree of that because nearly all artists need to make enough money to live, but not to this degree.

      I have criticized KyoAni a lot, but if they are to perish as a studio because they made shows they wanted to, because they made their art and ignored people who were “concerned” what it would do to their other fans? Fans who intolerantly and petulantly turn on them for not catering to their every whim, for telling the stories they wanted to tell?

      I will salute them. If they must die, that’s the way to go. I don’t think they will, though, not for that reason.

      Alienate away, KyoAni. Just, as Neil Gaiman once said, do good art. Everything else will take care of itself.

      • April 29, 2013 at 10:18 pmRaso

        I personally hope it does not go the way of Kannagi though and hope it just doesn’t sell at all….

    • April 30, 2013 at 2:11 amTarage

      Alienate? They already did that. Remember FMP? Haruhi? Key? When was the last time KyoAni finished a franchise?

      Why would anyone go to such a flakey company?

    • April 30, 2013 at 9:40 amSDFSDG

      and I personally hope the next Gundam DVD you buy is full of herpes you walking double-standard.

  • April 29, 2013 at 9:23 pmstarss

    Do anime fan GIRLS go gaga in the same way otaku males are into moe shows about females? ……. I honestly don’t know. But there are some yaoi manga, and there is also some anime like Black Butler where the characters are apparently created for girls to fawn over. I dunno- I am a straight male anyway and have no good judgment of that. This show looks like a weird choice for me to watch, but it IS KyoAni, and if the “stories” are gripping enough it could entertain me.

    • April 29, 2013 at 10:03 pmStilts

      Are you asking if there are extremely dedicated female fans in the same way as male fans?

      Yes. There are 7 billion human beings on this planet; I feel safe in saying that, among all those people, or even just among the 127 million people in Japan, that there are “gaga” female fans as well. Add in the fact that in all likelihood the same cultural forces that brought up the one group (male otaku) will have at least in part influenced the other (female otaku), and it becomes even more likely.

      Beware of generalizations though. You know what they say about assumptions and all that.

  • April 29, 2013 at 9:57 pmCTT

    When pretty girls are shown in anime, we pair them with guys. When pretty guys are shown in anime, we pair them with guys. I’ll never understand it, though I cannot say I’m above it

  • April 29, 2013 at 10:02 pmJel

    I want to watch because it’s KyoAni and Mamoru Miyano is in it. I’m ready. Not looking forward to seeing men in speedos though. Lol and I’m a girl…

    • April 29, 2013 at 10:09 pmStilts

      Not gunna lie, Mamoru Miyano is a big selling point to me too. I’ve just always liked him since hearing him as Tamaki in Ouran High School Host Club. He’s one of the greats!

  • April 29, 2013 at 10:51 pmAzriel

    Got to nitpick, The modern word feminism does not mean equal treatment for everyone. It USED to be about that during the first feminist generation movement. However, the majority of modern 2nd and 3rd generation movement changed it to mean giving power to women and NOT about equality. Egalitarianism is the word for true equality among everyone.

    • April 30, 2013 at 8:57 amStilts

      The meanings of words shift and change as time marches by. Just because people redefine them doesn’t mean the old meanings don’t hold true though, especially when there is much disagreement on the matter. That’s why I specifically stated the definition of feminism I was laboring under.

      As for egalitarianism, that doesn’t specific sexual equality, whereas feminism does, at least depending on what definition you use.

      No enough belaboring word definitions. That’s boring! Back to the pretty boys.

  • April 29, 2013 at 11:23 pmboki

    I enjoyed reading the post but no, it still didn’t motivate me to watch this new series in Summer.

    Kyoani or not, I just can’t stand sport genre and all-boys-protagonists. Whether it has good story or not, it’s not my cup of tea.

    This show is definitely targeted to female audience in general (and maybe swimming fans but I doubt it).

  • April 29, 2013 at 11:51 pmYukie

    Question: I thought the term fujoshi was used only to describe the BL fanbase? Or has it become a more general term to encompass all female otakus or is the term used because Free is going to be another shounen-ai show?

    Anyways, although I’m usually not a fan of the prevalent moe artwork out there these days, these bishies are def. eyecandy. Looking forward to it!

    • April 30, 2013 at 9:00 amStilts

      Not sure how it’s “supposed” to be used (if such a thing actually exists), but I just use it to mean female fan in a joking sense. That’s true of many people, save for perhaps the joking part in some cases.

  • April 30, 2013 at 12:34 amQiesamuel

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • April 30, 2013 at 1:58 amNitro

      Nah, you’re just shitty

      • April 30, 2013 at 5:38 amshifobrains

        I take mild offense to that remark.

    • April 30, 2013 at 8:25 amStilts

      My sexuality is none of your business. I’ve never hidden it, and it’s quite obvious from the body of my work here on RandomC – including multiple comments in this post itself – but if you’re going to just out and ask like that? When it doesn’t even matter?

      You’ll have to figure it out yourself or keep wondering.

  • April 30, 2013 at 12:46 amDuelistdusk

    Well… looks like Takaii will have to cover THE fujoshi of anime history. Let’s all root for him guys! *sparkles*

  • April 30, 2013 at 1:04 amWarvoss

    Equality in the sense that men would be lusted after and agressively pursued by women is already a reality. Two of my friends got molested in the subway by girls. One of them had it´s ass fondled in front of everyone by a teenage girl, it was so embarrassing he tried to get away but was still molested after. People on the train just said nothing because it was à girl, so she got away with it. He told me it did not feel good to be another “nice piece of meat”. Reality at its worst.

  • April 30, 2013 at 1:56 ambaseone

    If you guys haven’t heard/read already, the “Free!” was originally a comical 4koma strip found in Manga Time Kirara MAX by mangaka GAN and was forced to go on hiatus because of this anime.

    “In his blog, mangaka GAN has said that his 4-koma manga Free!, which has been serialised in Manga Time Kirara Max since 2011, will be suspended.
    He has said that it is due to a compelling reason and he cannot reveal it. He has also said it is neither a health problem nor a motivation problem nor a shortage of ideas for the Free! manga scenario.
    Rumour has it that Kyōto Animation has pressurised the publishing firm Hōbunsha to stop using the title ‘Free!’ because Kyōto Animation is going to make the light novel High☆Speed! into an anime titled Free!.

    Free! by GAN was selected as one of the 4-koma Manga of the Year 2012 by Subarashii Hibi.”

    Also “GAN just release an official statement, claims KyoAni has nothing to do with current temporal cancellation. So while there is an incident, it seems unrelated to KyoAni.”

    and here’s the a pic of the manga.

    All in all good luck to KyoAni.

  • April 30, 2013 at 1:57 amNitro

    It’s only true gender equality when both genders are being exploited equally, ahahhahahahah!!!!! /gets shot in his stupid face

  • April 30, 2013 at 1:58 amFT5.Havok

    Will they have their own girl/love interest? Or straight up K-ON male version?

    • April 30, 2013 at 3:29 amAnanas

      Love interest? Probably not.
      Girls? Definitely not.

    • April 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm†Croos†

      It would be awesome if kyoani animates in the end of the anime that they actually have girlfriends.
      I would buy the BDs if that happens.

  • April 30, 2013 at 2:10 amTarage

    The problem isn’t about being open minded. The problem is that once again KyoAni is ignoring two franchises that deserve to have continuations, and ignoring other far more worthy franchises in favor of placating small groups. This should have been Full Metal Panic. This should have been Haruhi. This should have been Little Busters. This should have been a lot of things.

    I used to enjoy KyoAni animes. I used to think they were a top tier company. But then they started down the road of focusing on smaller and smaller subsections of the anime fandom to focus on. You cannot look me in the eye and say that this doesn’t focus on a very specific fandom group. All of their recent anime has been.

    I’m sure I’m going to get a bunch of negative votes for this, but I believe my point is a valid one. Companies like Shaft are at least keeping their promise to long running series fans, and companies like Trigger are trying different things. KyoAni doesn’t shine as bright as it once did. I blame focused fandom for it. It truly is the decline of anime.

    • April 30, 2013 at 3:44 amAnanas

      Kyoani is trying to become more independent. Don’t expect them to go back to the days of Haruhi or FMP, they’re likely to focus on adaptations of the LN they are publishing from now on.

      Shaft is only keeping the Monogatari series alive, a no brainer considering it’s by far one of the best selling anime franchise ever.

      Trigger are former Gainax staff who wanted to go back to their passion for animation. They just don’t share Kyoani’s animation style.

      • May 1, 2013 at 2:36 pmanon

        Kyoto is trying to become more independent, but if it doesn’t mean good things, then it’s worse. Chuunibyou worked out quite well, but Tamako Market on the other hand was crap. At the very least, Kyoto will be much more hit or miss studio with their quality if they are doing their own stuff, and the view of them being a top tier studio will likely fall if they have a couple more Tamako Market quality series.

        Kyoto historically has done an amazing job polishing the work of others, being able to take something with good source material and make an outstanding anime out of it. This can be seen in their Key adaptions and Haruhi, and can also be seen in their slice of life adaptions. Kyoto’s strength though has never been making their own things, But rather taking the work of someone else and making it great, so we need to wait and see how this change in their studio’s values work out once they get a few more titles out.

    • April 30, 2013 at 9:09 amStilts

      Bear in mind that KyoAni doesn’t have full control over all of that. They don’t have anything to do with Little Busters!, and they may have never been given the choice (I don’t know how that deal went down). They do not own Full Metal Panic!, so they can’t decide whether to animate more of it. The same is true of the Haruhi series.

      That said, they’re still a company trying to make money, and have decided that original works are the way to do it. While I’d like more FMP, I’m not going to complain about new (or relatively unknown) stories. We might just get another Madoka or TTGL that way, ya know?

      • May 1, 2013 at 3:41 pmsonicsenryaku

        Again, Kyokai no Kanata could be that series that makes the anime community see that kyoani can also do dark, supernatural type original stories (well its not their story but they are the ones publishing the light novel) and if it is well-received it could be what pushes them to look at their current resume and continue to adapt more “serious” stuff

    • April 30, 2013 at 9:08 pmmistress_kisara

      Oh c’mon you’re just sour-graping because it’s not what you want

  • April 30, 2013 at 2:55 amDualash

    I’m going to give the show a try as the saying goes: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • April 30, 2013 at 3:23 amAnanas

    Kyoani’s going to make big money with this one.

  • April 30, 2013 at 3:43 amc2710

    My sister would definitely love it. She complains there ain’t enough shows as such. Does that make her a fujoushi?

    Nonetheless, I’ll give it the 3 ep rule

  • April 30, 2013 at 4:18 amsadakups

    This is hilarious. It’s like KyoAni saying, “Yo, we can also do moe shit on guys too!”

  • April 30, 2013 at 4:23 amgcsasuke

    Hey, has animetake.com shutdown?

  • April 30, 2013 at 5:41 amlol

    This thing you wrote is stupid, uneducated, pseudointellectual garbage, like a lot of this site, sorry guys. You call this shit feminism? Really? Ahahahahaahaha

    I remember some people calling Lucky Star and K-On the most feminist anime ever because the entire cast is female. It was said as a joke, but even that makes a lot more sense than this, lmao

    • April 30, 2013 at 9:25 amjunglepenguin

      Who are you apologizing to? I doubt anyone would want to waste their time caring about what you have to say with that attitude of yours.

  • April 30, 2013 at 6:03 amPassing Gal

    What’s funny is how fujoshi gloated that the otaku are mad because it’s not about cute girls doing cute things, when actually otaku has never expected Kyoani to make another show like K-On!. In fact their recent three anime (Hyouka, Chuunibyou and Tamako Market) featured proper love interests for MCs, which is clearly not aimed for otaku.

    All these uproar is just actually FMP, Haruhi and Key fans disappointed that KyoAni decided to greenlit this instead of their shows. The big countdown doesn’t help it either. They could just announce this unceremoniously like Kyoukai no Kanata but KyoAni hyped it with the countdown and livestream which make otaku thinks it might be finally something good just to find out it was actually for fujoshi audience.

    And again, the CM’s reaction and the petition really does nothing to help because they already greenlit this a year ago (with the original design which I preferred because it looks more manly rather than this genderbent K-on cast design) so all this gloating just make fujoshi looks arrogant and stupid at the same time.

    • April 30, 2013 at 7:31 amZanibas

      Perhaps you’re oversimplifying the issue. It is true that some of the uproar is because it wasn’t the next FMP (or Haruhi or Key), yet it’s impossible to deny that a significant amount of the backlash to the announcement is due to homophobia and feelings of a “gay betrayal” while automatically pinning this on the “fujoshi” audience, though god forbid other people than fujoshi are interesting in seeing how this pans out. Anyone who thinks the main objection here is because of FMP needs a long hard look at any internet forum, Japanese or English.

      While it is true that the petition probably didn’t affect much in the process (as well as the numerous Tumblr posts), it’s not just “fujoshi” gloating and being arrogant and stupid (though some of them indeed can). In fact, it’s more disturbing that the hate against one particular anime fanbase can be so high, as well as sometimes going as far as calling anyone who wants to watch this show either gay or female–I think that is what is stupid and arrogant.

      • April 30, 2013 at 9:04 amPassing Gal

        Personally I think KyoAni’s business model contributed to this heated fight between the fanbase. Nobody complained when Production I.G., Sunrise and A-1 Pictures released many shows that target the female audience because they will release other shows for otaku in the same time.

        But KyoAni’s model of releasing only about 2 or 3 anime in a year means that now otaku had to fight with fujoshi to be catered. Kyoukai no Kanata, if I’m not mistaken aired next year. This means Free! is the last KyoAni’s show for this year. That means there is no KyoAni show that otaku can look forward to this year because they decided to cater to the fujoshi audience, so they get mad about this. Of course, all ugly insults will be thrown around this time.

        So I don’t really thinks it’s about homophobia backlash rather than suddenly a different audience get targeted by KyoAni. This is no different than how Gundam fans said Sunrise betrayed them because they released Gundam Age for kids instead of the old Gundam fans. If KyoAni released more anime per year this wouldn’t be a problem. After all there were no backlash when UtaPri got animated because at the same time A-1 Pictures also animated Idolmaster. Win-win for both side.

      • April 30, 2013 at 8:26 pmanon

        Passing Gal, I don’t think it even matters if companies like Production I.G., Sunrise and A-1 Pictures had a period where they only targeted this demographic, because none of those companies have sold themselves to solely targeting one particular demographic for nearly half a century.

  • April 30, 2013 at 7:08 amselma

    apparently I have been living under a rock :( as you say it is very sad that something as basic as equality between the sexes is still controversial, well, I don’t usually like moe or fancervice (I’d rather watch something straightforwardly yaoi) but I don’t get why some people have such a hard time accepting shows with fancervice directed towards women while they don’t mind the contrary, the amount of homophobic comments at everything remotely yaoi-esque in anime is absolutely sickening

  • April 30, 2013 at 7:30 amzztop

    D’you think KyoAni will ever make a Rio 2016 spinoff/OVA with the characters?

  • April 30, 2013 at 7:32 amAcc11

    For me, the animation of MC in the sparkling moment is kind of off even though I don’t know why…
    I will give this a chance, maybe about three episodes before giving the conclusion.
    I don’t have any problem with all boy cast, as girls deserve this. I don’t think this will be a yaoi though, but maybe there will be a hint. Like KnB, fujoshi can make even a non yaoi moment become yaoi moment. Actually, it is up to your mind to think about this.

    ~No offense girls~

    Hope this anime will give us the best!

    • April 30, 2013 at 9:17 amStilts

      Pffft, not like yuri fans can’t do the same. See: Tamako Market, Saki, and Natsuiro no Kiseki, just to pull from shows I’ve blogged. And that’s not even all of them!!

  • April 30, 2013 at 8:24 amNomnom-chan

    if they are girl thats not problem right if this yuri anime problem would not be.
    All galge lovers and yuri fanboys is hated .
    I understand men like a pig all they hated this anime.Seeing Bishounen get depressed because they are not handsome. if all of them were bishoujo waited until all four eye. would be the best studio is kyoani.
    they dont know life of japanese girls and mens

  • April 30, 2013 at 8:31 amZannafar

    If the characters wear swimming trunks or speedos most of the time, will they still make a beach/onsen episode? It would be kind of pointless, although a training camp at the sea would make sense for once.

    Or maybe they actually reverse it and there will be one episode in which all characters are constantly fully clothed.

    • April 30, 2013 at 9:19 amStilts

      Suit episode? Butler episode? …crossover with Hayate no Gotoku?

      Wait…that could actually work. KyoAni, Manglobe, call me!

      • April 30, 2013 at 9:29 amjunglepenguin

        You can bet something along those lines will happen. They will wear suits and they will look better than you in speedos, and I will actually believe that I can look as good as them if I head to the gym and the pool.

  • April 30, 2013 at 10:32 amMrRei

    We also need a drowning anime! High school drowning club, drowning marathon, synchronized drowning, and all sorts of drowning sports activities! \o/

    • April 30, 2013 at 12:00 pmjunglepenguin

      Is there some sort of reference that I’m missing here? If that was supposed to be a joke, then I didn’t get it.

    • April 30, 2013 at 12:21 pmZanibas

      You mean like this scene?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOSCehgc49s

    • May 1, 2013 at 11:29 pmThe Moondoggie

      Then drowning suicides will be the next big thing in Akiba. You know how crazy those Japanese kids are? It’s the reason why we had Chaos;Head and School Days being delayed…

  • April 30, 2013 at 10:39 amanon

    Is it just me or do the MCs have very female sounding names. This is bound to attract the fujoshi crowd. Why they name the characters that way? It’s like they are deliberately chasing most of the male crowd away. I really doubt it’s going to be a serious sports anime.

    • April 30, 2013 at 7:57 pmKaka

      Yup. All the names are girly names. I hope they can have more swimming scenes than just them talking to each other, but it seems like this is gonna be a male version of K-On.

    • May 1, 2013 at 4:55 amk

      The names are more of a unisex nature rather than girly.

  • April 30, 2013 at 11:36 amAshen-phoenix

    I’m tremendously pleased you posted about this, Stilts, and in a delightful, forward-thinking way, too.

    I really couldn’t agree with you more about equal opportunity fanservice: it’s hardly going to change the anime fandom at its core, but it’s at least evening up the proverbial playing field, so in its one way perhaps it will enlighten or broaden others’ views on gender and exploitation in entertainment, who knows.

    A part of me is very happy just for a cute-boys-doing-cute/awesome-things anime by a studio so renowned for its animation quality (if not always its storytelling).

    • May 1, 2013 at 5:13 pmStilts

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it : )

  • April 30, 2013 at 12:51 pmJhacks

    I don’t really get what’s the big deal over this swimming anime. A lot of the anime company to do like to create some shameless pandering once in a while, so not Kyoani too. It’s only fair to give the girls some fap material, but then again why not add girls in this swimming anime, I want to see some delicious breast stroke and turtle stroke or maybe some corkscrew and doggie swimming in action. xP

    • May 1, 2013 at 5:14 pmStilts

      For that, I point you to –> Umisho. It has all of the above.

  • April 30, 2013 at 1:50 pmhappio

    I just like how they’re buff. give me the man service kyoani!

  • April 30, 2013 at 2:17 pmricz

    There’s no girls *commit suicide*

  • April 30, 2013 at 2:45 pmAshcolt

    If this is anything like Kuroko no Basuke, I’ll be there. If it’s just fanservice with no depth or story of any kind, I’ll just stick to the usual.

  • April 30, 2013 at 4:01 pmseline

    well I’d rather have one more show like junjo romantica or the great Antique Bakery ( mayb for ex an adaptation of one of nitta youka’s stories ) than shows like “K” that play on the yaoi innuendos in a way that for me insults our intelligence (especially in “K” where it felt very forced ) but given the reality of the economic difficulties in the industry I guess they need some fancervice to attract viewers, let’s hope the story is good but I’m craving some serious poingnant yaoi romance and that’s obviously not the case here

  • April 30, 2013 at 6:42 pmAnonymous

    My opinion is, let the fujoshi shlick to whatever they want. It doesn’t bother me.

  • April 30, 2013 at 6:43 pmCensor this!

    So, we went from cute girls doing cute things to now cool dudes doing cool things lol! This series does look intriguing as I haven’t seen too many series which revolve around competitive swimming. That coupled with Kyoto Animation styling will at least be a visual feast…However, it would be nice if this series had some nice character development instead of mindless character stories, yet I am hopeful that the former will happen due to the competitive sport factor.

  • April 30, 2013 at 7:23 pmcyprinious

    Can I hope for an anime that follows the bro code??? Eye candy and ripped they may be, but please don’t let their personalities suffer because of it. Can a bro hope? Of course I’ll be watching to find out!

    • May 1, 2013 at 9:10 amstarss

      And different types of High Fives!

    • May 1, 2013 at 5:15 pmStilts

      It will be legen, wait for it….dary! Legendary!

  • April 30, 2013 at 8:20 pmanon

    I believe the biggest problem people have with this is Kyoto did all this stuff to create hype for an announcement(week long countdown for example), then it is aimed at a very different demographic then any work they had done prior, so those who normally follow K-ON are quite disappointed. What makes it worse for these people is that Kyoto only does one show at a time, unlike other companies out there. This is also coming after a somewhat disappointing Tamako Market and an off season that is ongoing now.

    That said, they surely are aiming at a different demographic, and there is no reason to expect others in the demographic they normally target to follow. Sure there are some who will argue this show shouldn’t be made, and to some degree these individuals are ridiculous (and one needs to remember, Kyoto’s primary job is to make money, and every appears like this show will do that), but that argument generally stems from the above as you don’t hear much of a peep for other similar shows. It is not all too surprising though that fans of a company who has spent many years targeting one demographic (more than any other company out there) are not all too happy when they suddenly make something else.

    • May 1, 2013 at 9:08 amstarss

      Um no. KyoAni does more than one show at a time. It’s the only way they can release at least 2 titles a year. The second season of Haruhi was produced around the same time the second season of K-On!! was, resulting in some very weird design changes in the Haruhi cast.

      • May 1, 2013 at 10:29 amanon

        I mean that they only air one TV series at a time ever, unlike pretty much every other studio out there. It really doesn’t matter to someone who is watching their shows if they are working on more than one series at a time behind the scenes, since people don’t watch stuff that happens behind the scenes, they watch episodes as they air on TV.

      • May 1, 2013 at 11:58 amintroverte

        Well, KyoAni is a lot smaller than other animation studios, with only two studios, as opposed to Production I.G.’s nine studios. Expecting them do so many projects at once is unreasonable.

      • May 1, 2013 at 5:17 pmStilts

        Perhaps it’s unreasonable, but that doesn’t mean people don’t think like that. I didn’t even notice the buildup (I spend a good amount of time under a rock myself), but massive buildup = getting hopes up, and fan’s unreasonable (but understandable! …sorta) expectations are going to combine with that into some rage. Mind you, I think it was massively overblown rage in this case for other reasons, but some is understandable.

  • May 1, 2013 at 12:22 amnaixil

    The bishie swimmers are coming! What will you do?

    There’s only one thing to do. WATCH THIS SHOW!!!

    It definitely helps that Miyano Mamoru is one of the lead seiyuu casted. *pumps fists in air* YES!

  • May 1, 2013 at 3:03 amThe Moondoggie

    >Miyano Mamoru part of the cast

    Now I don’t usually watch otome/fujoshi-bait anime, but when I do it’s only for Mamoru Miyano…

    Still, damn… so gay.

  • May 1, 2013 at 3:31 pmagr0n

    You must have forgotten all the man-service from Sasami-san :/

    Definitely a different type of article.

  • May 1, 2013 at 7:33 pmriii

    pros-
    not chuunibyou/tamako/hyouka S2
    not plotless moe again

    cons-
    yaoi
    manservice
    focus on man ass

  • May 1, 2013 at 8:22 pmcklaighe

    not fujoshi but a fudanshi. =p

  • May 2, 2013 at 3:28 amGiorno Giovanna

    This entire page is full of plain stupid, to put it lightly.

    The people that rally behind this as a statement that the anime medium is catering to an audience that is “normally ignored”.

    The people that like this kind of show and accuse every male that hates it to be uncomfortable about their sexuality or being misogynistic.

    The people that defend their hatred of the show by pointing out its blatant fanservice and obvious target audience.

    Even the women that take this as a sign that they have influenced an anime studio’s decision to make something they appreciate through signing online petitions.

    Why can’t everyone just treat this as just another anime that comes out of the woodwork, make their own opinions and discuss without judging anyone else’s? I’m literally too tired with how many times I’ve seen these arguments repeated over and over.

    Oh yes, Naruto and Sword Art Online are the best anime.

  • May 2, 2013 at 3:57 amAnon

    “But that led me to an interesting thought, and it’s on the matter of feminism. I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but I actually consider myself a feminist. This has always led to a bit of tension when it comes to all those ecchi anime that I watch, because while some of them are legitimately good and the fanservice is justified, too many err into the exploitative side of the equation, which is worrying.”

    If you really thought of both genders as equal, you shouldn’t hold back your thoughts that its justified just to bend over backwards to please some factions. Honesty is the best policy.

    “It’s an interesting thought though, that maybe we’ll get closer to that ideal when both men and women know what it’s like to be lusted after as a sexual object, or at the very least, know what it’s like roll our eyes as someone more attractive than us is ogled.”

    I have yet to meet any male that truly feels inadequate or inferior when a women ogles at someone else more attractive. I know all my friends at least realise their own lot in life and are satisfied with themselves, and I made effort to help them realise their own self worth. Statements that assume rolling eyes or irritation is the default response to women lusting over other males in front of you is as bigoted as saying all women are sexual objects to males. But you raise a good point in saying that exploitation of both sexes will allow for women to come out of their pretenses that all women should be pure and never think of anything lewd. Hopefully, this causes a slight increase in women who are as openly sexual as Rika in Haganai.

  • May 2, 2013 at 5:02 amk

    Found the nico live press conference on yt

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5dUZPDplB0

  • May 2, 2013 at 2:18 pmShippoyasha

    Stilts, I’m sorry but I’m not sure I feel taking out ‘exploitative’ content out of animr is the answer. Not to mention what you may find ‘fanservice in context’ won’t be the same as mine.

    The problem with ‘exploitation’ argument here is that we are talking about fiction, not real life. There is a definite air of escapism in regard to anime that heavily feature fanservice. It is neither here nor there in how it reflects upon real people. Just like the paper thin males in anime with perfect hair. If fanservice irks, then just say so as it is. I don’t believing on taking a moral highground about it.

    Let people enjoy fanservice on their own terms. Besides, every anime fan knows cheesy fan appeal when they see it. Nobody is saying our perspective on women in real life is hurt for it. I’m frankly a bit disappointed about thid article.

  • May 3, 2013 at 12:09 amhoiut

    What the heck is a “CM?” I googled the term until I was blue in the face to no avail.

    Censored material? Cover magazine? Cel motion? Some of these terms are lost on general audiences (which do, in fact, visit RandomC — I’ve seen it!).

    • May 3, 2013 at 12:32 pmD-LaN

      Think of it as the ads you see in between TV programs.

    • May 3, 2013 at 4:01 pmStilts

      Sorry, CM is an abbreviation for “commercial”. I use it pretty frequently, so I forgot it’s not common lingo. My bad~

  • May 3, 2013 at 8:36 amnekomimimeido

    Well, it would be more feminist if a swimming sports/competition anime features women because women are quite underrepresented in athletics and this setting would stress the importance of women in sports! Thats why I say Kyo-Ani is doing disservice to women athletes! I want Women athletes in my Anime!!!!

  • May 3, 2013 at 11:34 aminnerchihiro

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • May 3, 2013 at 11:59 amGiorno Giovanna

      And then you realise the huge amounts of people that get dissatisfied and lash out at works that have little to no sexual exploitation in them like K-ON! and Tamako Market for being boring and having no sexual relationship development.
      With people inventing words like “moeshit” and statements like “pandering to the moefags” if the anime is just about cute girls doing cute things with no male characters.
      I’m an extremely conservative male chauvinist pig and believe that women shouldn’t be promiscuous. Or if they want to be promiscuous, they are prepared to be looked at in a certain way and judged accordingly.
      I just feel that a lot of hardcore feminists are just unattractive and angry or confused when approaching males or unable to understand them, or just unhappy with the idea that a man that sleeps with many women is seen to be a success but a women that sleeps around with many men must not be worth time of day.

      In the spoiler, you can see an example of what was labelled to be a feminist protest, and how topless women is prohibited in public, but topless men would never be given that treatment. Is this sexist too? I agree that exposure should be fine when proudly done, as you can see from these topless protests.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Being endlessly pressured to be a certain way is taking away free will? What a farce.
      I’m sick of people who are mentally weak and can’t accept themselves for who they are blaming others for their own lack of self confidence.

      I agree with the idea that if women are truly equal to men, exploitation of each gender should be fair game without saying. I couldn’t care less if men are exploited because from the perspective of a heterosexual male like myself, I can’t really see or understand what is there to exploit. To me, all I will ever see is just men swimming and being bros.
      “Yup, that’s 100% cotton.”

      • May 3, 2013 at 8:23 pminnerchihiro

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • May 3, 2013 at 10:20 pmanon

        Too many generalizations for any of this to be useful.Let’s get this straight, neither of you speak for all women or men just for your own perceptions.And everyone has their own truths, yours is no better than mine.
        On the contrary if I wanted wear pink I would wear it regardless of what others think/say but that’s never been my preference – wearing pink just to prove a point is as dumb as not wearing it out concern for what others will think/say.

      • May 3, 2013 at 10:34 pmAnonymous

        “Being endlessly pressured to be a certain way in terms of thinness or clothing takes away someone’s free will.”
        “As for free will, I wouldn’t say society takes away free will through pressure.”
        What you’re saying contradicts itself, unless in the first statement you were not blaming society, but rather men, which raises a lot more questions.

      • May 3, 2013 at 11:29 pmTrend

        That men are ‘dominant and in control’ seems to be how you interpret male behavior, when in most cases it has nothing to do with either of those.Not to say being dominant or in control is a bad thing.

      • May 4, 2013 at 12:07 pminnerchihiro

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • May 3, 2013 at 7:33 pmZen

      (Duplicate, didn’t hit reply)…XP

      Guess the average pant size of a woman in the United States. Based on TV and movies, it’s probably about 4. The actual number is 12.

      I need to point out that your example speaks more to the existence of a serious public health problem rather than an issue of equality; i.e. being overweight in America. The average pants size of American women is so high not because it is the healthy norm, but because the fact of the matter is that the average is skewed heavily by the massive 64% of adult (>20 years of age) American women who are overweight (2009-2010 statistics, probably significantly higher by now).

      The fat acceptance movement and most of what it represents is, quite simply, a travesty of science. The moral goals behind the movement are admirable, citing equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from social stigma for the overweight. But the arguments that it posits and the studies that it has conducted to achieve such ends are preposterous. Fat acceptance movement “science” contends that overweightness and obesity have no impact on health whatsoever, instead pointing to the psychological and emotional trauma imposed by society on the overweight as the primary causes of health problems. As you may imagine, such studies have little acceptance in mainstream science and are generally regarded with disdain by medical professionals.

      There is a difference between telling women to ignore the equally unhealthy bulimic/anorexic underweight ultra-thin “must-have” image presented by Hollywood and the modelling industry and what the fat acceptance movement is doing; they take things to the opposite extreme and tell people that being overweight isn’t a problem- when accepted mainstream scientific evidence clearly points towards it increasing health risks exponentially.

      There are moderate (minority) elements of the fat acceptance movement which simply contend that one should not be looked at as any less of a person simply because he/she is overweight, after all everyone has their weaknesses, vices and genetic predispositions- sure he/she may have made some bad choices- but don’t we all? However, they do not deny the scientific truth that their personal health would be much better served if they got whatever treatment was necessary to lose weight, whether it be exercise, dieting, gastric bypass surgery, liposuction or psychotherapy for mental/emotionally related eating disorders. The moderate elements acknowledge that people must take responsibility for their own health while the extreme majority sits back complacently in self-denial, apathetically pointing accusing fingers at the world.

      I personally am very much in support of this moderate element- it is founded on the fact that everyone makes mistakes and person A should not be seen as any less of a person than person B simply because the mistakes he makes in life are more dramatically visual in nature (e.g. obesity carrying more facial stigma than having a criminal record because everyone in public sees that you’re fat, whereas the criminal record can usually be hidden).

      But with the fat acceptance movement, moderate opinions don’t really seem to be the norm. Most of the stuff that I’ve seen of them in the media points towards a more extreme perspective which advocates the (ridiculous) notion that being overweight has no effect on your health whatsoever which indicates to me that the majority camp within the movement is indeed the extremist one, and must consequently be rebuked. The weight crisis in America is bad enough and it’s only getting worse- educating people about the seriousness of it all is hard enough without having to contend with all this junk science from the fat acceptance movement…

  • May 3, 2013 at 7:31 pmZen

    Guess the average pant size of a woman in the United States. Based on TV and movies, it’s probably about 4. The actual number is 12.

    I need to point out that your example speaks more to the existence of a serious public health problem rather than an issue of equality; i.e. being overweight in America. The average pants size of American women is so high not because it is the healthy norm, but because the fact of the matter is that the average is skewed heavily by the massive 64% of adult (>20 years of age) American women who are overweight (2009-2010 statistics, probably significantly higher by now).

    The fat acceptance movement and most of what it represents is, quite simply, a travesty of science. The moral goals behind the movement are admirable, citing equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from social stigma for the overweight. But the arguments that it posits and the studies that it has conducted to achieve such ends are preposterous. Fat acceptance movement “science” contends that overweightness and obesity have no impact on health whatsoever, instead pointing to the psychological and emotional trauma imposed by society on the overweight as the primary causes of health problems. As you may imagine, such studies have little acceptance in mainstream science and are generally regarded with disdain by medical professionals.

    There is a difference between telling women to ignore the equally unhealthy bulimic/anorexic underweight ultra-thin “must-have” image presented by Hollywood and the modelling industry and what the fat acceptance movement is doing; they take things to the opposite extreme and tell people that being overweight isn’t a problem- when accepted mainstream scientific evidence clearly points towards it increasing health risks exponentially.

    There are moderate (minority) elements of the fat acceptance movement which simply contend that one should not be looked at as any less of a person simply because he/she is overweight, after all everyone has their weaknesses, vices and genetic predispositions- sure he/she may have made some bad choices- but don’t we all? However, they do not deny the scientific truth that their personal health would be much better served if they got whatever treatment was necessary to lose weight, whether it be exercise, dieting, gastric bypass surgery, liposuction or psychotherapy for mental/emotionally related eating disorders. The moderate elements acknowledge that people must take responsibility for their own health while the extreme majority sits back complacently in self-denial, apathetically pointing accusing fingers at the world.

    I personally am very much in support of this moderate element- it is founded on the fact that everyone makes mistakes and person A should not be seen as any less of a person than person B simply because the mistakes he makes in life are more dramatically visual in nature (e.g. obesity carrying more facial stigma than having a criminal record because everyone in public sees that you’re fat, whereas the criminal record can usually be hidden).

    But with the fat acceptance movement, moderate opinions don’t really seem to be the norm. Most of the stuff that I’ve seen of them in the media points towards a more extreme perspective which advocates the (ridiculous) notion that being overweight has no effect on your health whatsoever which indicates to me that the majority camp within the movement is indeed the extremist one, and must consequently be rebuked. The weight crisis in America is bad enough and it’s only getting worse- educating people about the seriousness of it all is hard enough without having to contend with all this junk science from the fat acceptance movement…