「萌(めぐみ)の錬金術師」 (Moe (Megumi) no Renkinjutsu-shi)
“Full-Moe Alchemist”

Today’s Nourin came off as a timely and relevant parody of the current trends in anime merchandising. It isn’t the most biting commentary, nor is it the most interesting plot in recent seasons, but it does bring to light an interesting issue concerning the future of the industry. Though far from a new tactic, the rate at which anime is being used to advertise unrelated items is growing significantly and becoming more prolific. Shingeki no Kyojin and Evangelion have both been used to advertise horse racing and razors. Shows like Chu2Koi, K-ON!, and Free! often attract otaku to their respective real-life locations, boosting tourism through a partnership with the relevant local businesses. Even Pizza Hut has collaborated with Love Live! recently for a new campaign, much in the likeness of how Hatsune Miku briefly was featured on Domino’s Pizza.

It’s no surprise then that Nourin wanted in on the commentary about these ridiculous partnerships, which often take advantage of a moe factor or a show’s immense popularity to boost sales of a certain product. Often times it’s a light jab of humor for the two parties involved and we all get to see more content in the end, but sometimes the efforts that go into selling the product become a little too try-hard. We here at Random Curiosity appreciate Inori Aizawa and IE11 for her love of our website, but some parts of their marketing campaign can become a bit of a stretch of applying the anime charm, such as the system sound pack that the marketing team released a few months ago. It’s clearly appealing to the moe-loving community, but oftentimes it comes off as “too cute” (at least from my perspective) and try-hard in trying to tie everything about Windows 8 and IE11 to this character.

Thus, when this episode featured such a cute operation which clearly implied a lot of themes of purity, virginity, and so-cute-im-going-to-die to a ridiculous level, I couldn’t help but laugh at the reality of it all. They appealed to many common bases, such as the standard moe, the twins that extend, the sexy and sheepish, and so on and so forth. However, what was most striking was the portrayal of fujoshi as a powerful rising market, who will eat up anything that involves the beloved yaoi and shota themes (especially so if it’s implied). While it’s not a new thing for fujoshi to be portrayed as fervent and dedicated people to their fandom, it isn’t as common to see fujoshi portrayed and mentioned as a highly profitable sector of the anime fandom, which Nourin took many liberties with today. Sex sells, but sexiness and implied innuendoes sell even better. Free and Kuroko no Basuke are prime examples of this ever-growing wing of anime, and it sure won’t stop. Whereas the traditional otaku spends a ton of money on very few things, the fujoshi market spends a lot of money on many things, therefore making the market itself easier to penetrate as a producer and easier to enter into as a purchaser than the traditional model. No wonder our 4th (or is it 5th) big farmer is famed as a legendary businesswoman–she knows what’s up.

Apart from the above, the only other thing worth mentioning was the interesting name-dropping of source material’s (light novel) illustrator, Kippu. It was strange seeing an actual staff member openly being mentioned in the show itself, but what was perceived as possible vanity faded away into a symbol of appreciation. After all, it’s not like Kippu had much say into the production of the show, so this was most likely an appreciative gesture towards the illustrator who helped popularize the light novel enough to produce an anime. Good on them for doing so–recognition of the people behind the scenes needs to happen more often.

30 Comments

  1. To understand the popularity of fujoshi you needn’t look farther than Harlequin romance and the rise of softcore, often beastiality- or S&M-based romance infamous in e-book circles at the moment over here in the West. Women make up over 80% of all retail and entertainment sales, so no surprise a similar thing would be taking effect in anime once studios start understanding how brobdingnagian the untapped market is. Why women are so enthralled over this stuff, well, that you can go Google ;P

    Everything seen here is completely applicable to the real world. That’s the mark of a good satire. Nourin has just went up a notch in my books.

    Pancakes
  2. I gotta admit, at first Kanegami was just a money-grubbing rat when she started manipulating Yoshida into using her eggs for that marketing ploy, but the conversation she had with Kousaku at the grilling meat place made me turn a complete 180 on her character =03. Plus, I just LOVE her laugh; sooo cool =03.

    frubam
    1. I agree. Jokes aside, I found that conversation meaningful. The points she made about how school is for learning – the opportunities to experiment in an risk-free environment and making connections is priceless…all that I wish I had realized while I was still in school.

      kd
  3. Nourin is saving anime by showing the evils of moe and the virtue found in hard work, by using moe to depict selling moe in a moe show about farming and life.
    Time to place orders for some eggs with a condom.
    The B in Bio Suzuki is Best girl.

    Giorno Giovanna
  4. well. i know nourin has like 6 more episodes left… but this is getting insane… its like a test of patience waiting to have the anime get some story going… so i ask someone to tell me who manage to read the LIGHT NOVELs, no need to spoil me just tell me how close are we to the next “serious” story plot just like episode 4?

    TheLastIdiot
    1. It’s almost entirely in the 18-30 year range. There might be some outliers among older women, but for the most part it’s the niche of younger girls. Or at least this is what a quick search has yielded.

      This makes sense considering how provocative the genre is and only how recently historically these taboo subjects have become “accepted” and discussed openly. Older women may not be as accepting as their daughters are.

      For example my mom is in her 50s and cannot stand the recent wave of romance stuff like Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey, let alone the homosexual stuff; her forte is the traditional romance novels. Quite glad I don’t have a sister all things considered.

      Pancakes

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