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Special 04: "Angry About Anime"
(An Editorial Column by Akiko Sakura)


Today, I'd like to talk about a subject that's very near to my heart: Scapegoating. It's the wonderful process of transferring the blame for something onto an unconnected third party, and it's a technique that has served me well over the years. Everything from DUI's to relationship troubles to angry letters I've received from people who disapprove of my taste in lawn ornaments are all bullets I've managed to dodge by skillfully placing the blame on some poor patsy who never even knew what hit him. This one of my Secret Rules For Living a Better Life, which I someday hope to compile into a comprehensive self-help guide for people who want to learn how to get the most out of their time spent on this planet, and who are willing to pay $29.99 to do so.

Unfortunately, while scapegoating can be a wonderful tool when used correctly, there are those who would misuse the awesome power of this sacred technique in order to fulfill their own selfish agendas. For instance, many loveable forms of entertainment are often the focus of criticism thanks to short-sighted people who like to pick random targets and blame them for all of the inevitable bad things in life. Everything from rock 'n' roll to Doom to Pokémon cards to movies starring Bruce Willis have been held responsible for just about every act of violence you could imagine at some point, all because a few dipshits figured out that it's much easier to point the finger at unrelated entertainment devices instead of actually going after the real source of the problem. These kinds of people are more than content to sit still and play the blame game, never once bothering to attempt to fix what's really wrong with society, and what's worse is that their numbers are growing so rapidly that it's hard to imagine how anything ever gets resolved amidst all the frantic finger-pointing.

As the internet has increased in popularity, the number of paranoid voices speaking out against anything that can be faulted for an unrelated crime has increased exponentially. With a free and easy-to-use medium via which any moron can sermonize to millions of people without the need for any credibility, it's really no wonder that so many folks use cyberspace to climb up on their soap boxes and lay into rap music or crime dramas or video games or whatever they can think of to blame for every range of problem from murder to the ice-dispenser on their refrigerator not working properly. And the really sad part is that, no matter how idiotic their message, it seems like there's almost always someone out there who takes them seriously.

Just to be clear, I have no problem with people speaking their minds. Everybody has their own opinion and they are entitled to it, and they are entitled to publicly state it. I'm glad people have a right to express their views, since that also means anybody has a right to take those views and point out exactly why they are comprised of bullshit. The great thing about freedom of speech is that it goes both ways, and consequently, any point someone makes is subject to a counterpoint.

What I'm trying so inelegantly to lead up to here is the focus of today's mocking material. My lecture on the good and evils of scapegoating will seem more relevant soon enough, but first, let me just take a second to further set the stage, here:

A few years ago, I came across a little freebie Geocities website called "Angry About Anime", which was run by someone who was, to put it bluntly, angry about anime. The webmistress was none other than Akiko Sakura, a concerned mother of two who felt that anime was overly violent, immoral, and obscene. In addition, her facts to support this view were so outlandish and misleading that myself and a few friends shared quite a laugh over it. Soon after, the joke had worn thin and we forgot that Mrs. Sakura's wild rants existed. Unfortunately, just as a bad movie spawns an even worse sequel and a bad dinner comes back up in the form of burning stomach acid, I was fated to endure another encounter with the "Angry About Anime" website. The only difference was that, this time, I was armed with Project AFTER--the most powerful weapon of mockery known to man!

What follows is a copy of several pages of text taken directly from the site, completely unedited and unaltered. If some of it seems too absurd to be legit, just check out the link at the bottom of this page to see that I'm telling the (shocking) truth.

The target may be a little different than usual, but I'll still be using the tried and true formula of featuring the original text in red, and my comments in white. Now then, I'm finished with my rambling, so let's move on to someone else's...

 


 

Angry About Anime


...Yes, I'm very angry about the so called "art form" known as Anime.


I wonder if she's also outraged about OAV's, or mad about manga, or distressed about dojinshi.

I believe there must be controls, and warning lables added to these innumberable series and Films.

Yeah, they actually already do that. I know because I can't even read the story synopsis on the back of the Ghost in the Shell DVD case because they have about a dozen parental warning stickers covering it up.

Fans of Anime will argue that anime characters are well planned, and are more believable than American cartoons. They insist that the plots have more substance than American Cartoons. But, is this the truth? No! It is not.

Can't argue with that rock-solid logic. I mean, the epic storytelling, intricate political themes, and engrossing characterization commonly found in anime just can't stand up to the depth and complexity of shows like The Flintstones and Hong Kong Phooey.

Anime is violent and gorey. Do you want your children watching people getting their heads and limbs chopped off, and see blood spilling from hideous wounds?

No way José, I'd rather have them improving their minds by watching educational programming like the History Channel! This month, they're featuring a special documentary on the Invasion of Normandy!

Anime dialogue is rife with profanity. In anime series and films you can hear more cursing and more sexist remarks than an X rated movie!

Most of the X-rated movies I've seen just have people moaning a lot and saying "Oh yeah!" and "Oh baby!" and "Oh yeah baby!" over and over again.

Anime characters are sexist and obsessed with women's underwear, and women's breasts. The female characters often are shown in obscene costumes.

Now that is nothing but a blatant lie.

All anime characters are supposed to be Japanese, yet they all have big, ROUND eyes, and look anything BUT Japanese!

Agreed. I think all anime series should be drawn the style of those old WWII era Looney Tunes shorts, where the Japanese characters are portrayed as stubby, pale midgets with comically large buck teeth who always wear coke-bottle glasses and rice hats.

Anime gives viewers the impression that Japanese people love violence and blood, are obsessed with sex and curse continually. This is not so. I am a Japanese-American and speak from a Japanese point of view.

I love it when individuals claim to speak for an entire race, as if their ethnicity gives them magical powers to tap into the mind of every other person who has the same color skin as them.

In fact, Anime is far more popular in the US than it is in Japan. In Japan, most parents forbid their children to view this trash.

This woman should really stop getting all her information off of bullshitfacts.org.

I urge parents to sit down and watch anime with your children. Listen to the dialogue, observe the violence and gore, see the obscenely clad female characters, and THEN decide if you want YOUR children watching this rubbish.

Remember that any freedom you give them will cause your children to grow up and become serial murderers! So watch over everything they do liked a hawk! Don't let them see or hear anything that you don't want them to! In fact, just lock them in their rooms until they're 18. It's much easier that way.

As parents, we must unite to have this so called "art form" strictly regulated. Most especially, we must control it's spread on the internet.

After all, the internet is such a wholesome, child-friendly place that we shouldn't let anime tarnish its sanctity.

Anime is as addictive as heroine. Worse, anime fans are as violent, and foul-mouthed as the characters they've become obsessed with...If you don't believe this; try posting a criticism of anime on a message board, and read the responses. These anime "fans" are ready to go to war to defend their animated drug.

That is NOT true! I'm sick of your GODDAMN LIES you stupid WHORE!! Anime is the only true reality there is! THIS IS THE TRUTH!!! I'll teach you a fucking lesson you BITCH!! RAGE-FILLED CAPS LOCK SPECIAL ATTACK!!! RAAAAAAAAAAUUUGH!!!!!!11
 


BEWARE!! ANIME' BECOMES AN ADDICTION
 

I speak from experience, when I say that Anime is as addictive as Heroine, or any other street drug.

And lemme tell you, she has a lot of experience with street drugs.

But, Anime' is a greater threat, because it's LEGAL, and it's everywhere...On Television, in theaters, on video and DVD.

I am a parent who watched her two children become utterly, totally, completely obsessed with this Japanese import. They live, eat, sleep, and breathe, Anime!


In other words, their hobby collecting anime and various anime-related merchandise put a strain on your pocketbook, so you decided to make them think that all anime is evil so they'd give it up. Well, better start poisoning them against college and health insurance while you're at it.

Anime is violent; you see arms, legs and heads chopped off, blood spurts from hideous wounds. Anime' dialogue is rife with profanity. Anime' is sexist... and most female characters are shown wearing very little clothing.

You know, that is so true. Just the other day, I was watching an episode of Hamtaro, but I had to turn it off because all the blood and violence and profanity and nudity just got to be too much for me to handle. That shit was just too intense. It was like watching A Clockwork Orange reenacted by a cast of cartoon hamsters.

Anime males talk only of fighting, and of women's underclothes and breasts. Hentai Anime is gross, explicit pornography.

Yeah, but that's like saying that because of the existence of the Spice Channel, all live-action TV is nothing but smut.

If you don't believe that Anime' fans have an addiction, post a message on any anime discussion list or message board, criticising it. You will be set upon and torn apart daring to say a word against this annimated drug.

Just as an experiment, I'm going to go on a forum about fishing and post a message that basically says: "Fishing is violent, sexist, and completely immoral, and anyone who enjoys it should be put behind bars!" Think I'll get any angry replies?

Have a look at my assortment of photos, then decide for yourself, if you want YOUR children exposed to Anime.

Right, right, anime will murder your children. If I ever become a father, I'll print this whole thing out and staple it on my bedroom wall. Now then, who wants to see some emotionally scarring pictures!

On her website, this woman has two pages worth of "anime" pictures taken from various sources complete with captions to remind you how appalled you should be by looking at them. I've cropped a few of the pictures and captions from those pages and re-posted them below.

 

Again, absolutely nothing in these pictures has been edited or altered from how I found them on the site in any way. Her captions are part of the actual pictures, while my comments are below them and remain in plain white text. If this doesn't blow your mind, I just don't know what will:



Boy, we're off to a strong start here! I loathe and detest anime already!



Admittedly, no. Then again, I can't really think of any race of human beings that have eyes that take up a third of their faces.



Notice it's called "Blue Seed". That's SEED as in a man's SPERM, as in UNPROTECTED SEXUAL INTERCOURSE OH MY GOD CHILDREN GET AWAY FROM THE TV NOW!!



Another example... of what? Crappy motion blurs and overcrowded character collages that some kid thought would make for a cool desktop wallpaper? You're right, this totally proves that all anime is evil.



Yowza! FUNimation must have edited that scene out. Quick, someone tell me which episode this is from!



Um, I don't know... He seems nice, I guess... I like his hat.



I almost wish you had a point there (I would have watched a lot more of Sailor Moon if the girls actually went around topless like that), but the thing is, poorly-Photoshopped pictures made by horny fanboys really can't be used as a case against the series.



Oh well, I guess it's too late for me. It seems those crafty Japanese have already succeeded in brainwashing me to accept whatever animated filth they send across the Pacific. Despite their best efforts, however, they have yet to persuade me to believe that karaoke is anything but lame.


 

To reiterate, there's nothing wrong with having your own opinion about something, even if your views are decidedly unpopular. You are always entitled to your own beliefs and you should never allow anyone to tell you differently. However, before you go publicly proclaiming those beliefs with the intention of swaying others to your cause, do yourself a favor a take a moment to research a few facts. If this article proves anything, it's that blindly running into a topic and ranting about your position on it without any credible facts to back up your outrageous claims isn't going to get many people on your side. Rather, it just provides something for most of us to laugh at.

If anyone is interested in viewing the entire "Angry About Anime" site for themselves, you can check it out here.

Before anyone goes marching off to send a barrage of hate-mail to the site's owner, though, I ask that you please refrain from doing so. It's incredibly easy to get mad at something like this, but keep in mind that this woman is not evil or a conspiring force against the anime community; she's just someone who got a few of her facts messed up and did something accordingly that she probably honestly thought was going to help people.

She claims that all anime fans are obnoxious, loud-mouthed, and hot-headed. I ask that you do not take actions that will only prove her right. If you do decide to send her an e-mail, please keep it polite and non-confrontational. And please guys, for my sake, don't mention this site to her (that goes double for everyone on the forums who got me into so much hot water with Ms. Nitpicker and her loyal #1 fangirl). No good will come of it, and I'll be left with yet another headache caused by someone who wants to shut me down as if I were a tobacco company that made its cigarettes out of black babies and kittens.

In closing, I want to show that there's no hard feelings toward Akiko Sakura by extending an open invitation to her children to come over to my house and watch anime, sometime. That's right, guys... Anime! If your mom doesn't want you seeing it at home, then come on over to my place and view it as much as you like! We can watch some Ninja Scroll, a little Golden Boy, Elfen Lied, a few episodes of Berserk, and finish off with a screening of the must-see unedited director's cut of Mezzo Forte. After that, maybe we can go downtown and get totally wasted, pick up some hookers, maybe rob this elderly couple I know who are out of town... Just cut loose and raise some hell. Whatever happens, you know it's gonna be a party!