Cancerous Ship Girls Rant: The Expansion

I have been tainted. Now I will never marry.

Image Cred­it: 蒼天空 from Pixiv

…Ill­ness when writ­ing that mess aside, I don’t think it need­ed to be any clear­er for comprehension.

I was going to do anoth­er Card­cap­tor Saku­ra post or a Fate/stay night Unlim­it­ed Blade Works post, but in light of cer­tain reac­tions to my pre­vi­ous Kan­tai Col­lec­tion post from denizens of the ani­me com­mu­ni­ty’s infa­mous cesspool (I say “the”, but in actu­al­i­ty, there are quite a few of them — pick your poi­son) repeat­ed­ly miss­ing the point, I feel the need to clar­i­fy more than a few things for oth­ers who might also mis­un­der­stand the context.

(The real rea­son is most­ly because cram­ming for midterms in col­lege sucks, and I’m find­ing an excuse to pro­cras­ti­nate and let­ting out stress.)

tl;dr (just kidding)

People can say whatever the hell they want

I was not telling peo­ple to stop crit­i­ciz­ing Ship Girls: The Ani­me. Ulti­mate­ly, every­one has a right to crit­i­cize what­ev­er the hell they watch or read. I’m in no posi­tion to tell peo­ple to shut their mouths (unless they’re in my domain, i.e. this shit weeb blog. j/k. kin­da). Hell, I agree that the Kan­tai Col­lec­tion ani­me isn’t all that good on its own.

But there are cer­tain amounts of lack of com­mon sense that is gen­uine­ly per­plex­ing to me. I think every­one should do what­ev­er they want as long as it ain’t shov­ing a sock­et wrench up some­one’s ass or some­thing, but that does­n’t stop cer­tain laps­es in judg­ment from com­ing across as sil­ly to me. Now let me explain why.


Image Cred­it: RONA

Did not do the research

Let’s use Kan­Colle as an exam­ple here. Usu­al­ly, when I decide to watch a new ani­me from the cur­rent sea­son, I give it a quick look-up to see if the basics inter­est me. As I’ve made clear before, I’ve already expe­ri­enced Kan­Colle through the game, 4‑koma man­ga, fan­dom, etc.

But let’s say I was­n’t already a fan. Let’s say I’m a new­com­er dur­ing the begin­ning of Win­ter 2015 and saw the Kan­Colle ani­me on the list. So, being some­what inter­est­ed, I type “Kan­tai Col­lec­tion” into Google.

Wikichan desu lololol

Oh, damn! Look at the first result. Good ol’ Wikipedia. Easy to van­dal­ize, but an alright source for basic infor­ma­tion most of the time.

Let’s click on it, shall we?”

Technology is your friend

Hm, over 2.5 mil­lion play­ers and count­ing? Seems to be pret­ty pop­u­lar in Japan. The Wikipedia page for it is quite big, it even seems like this fran­chise has a crap­ton of mer­chan­dise and man­ga spin-offs. Jeez, shit seems like a cash­cow like that 2hu thing.

What kind of game is this, any­way? Hm, Wikipedia seems to have a whole sec­tion ded­i­cat­ed to explain­ing the game­play. Let’s skim through it.”

i feel dirty

WHOA, you need a proxy in order to play the game here? Looks like they don’t want us dirty gai­jin to be play­ing their games. Oh well.

The ani­me for this fran­chise is com­ing out pret­ty soon. If the game was nev­er offi­cial­ly made avail­able to the out­side world, let alone Amer­i­ca, and the fan­base is already as huge as it is in Japan, then the ani­me’s most like­ly aimed at the pre-exist­ing fanbase.

I’m prob­a­bly not going to enjoy this. It seems there’s no oth­er ani­me to enjoy this sea­son, so I might try to watch an old­er series I nev­er got around to start­ing up yet. Shi­gat­su wa Kimi no Uso sounds pret­ty good, maybe I’ll watch that instead. Per­haps I’ll watch a dra­ma, or read a man­ga or visu­al nov­el as well.”


The alternate idiot route

I’m prob­a­bly not going to enjoy this. It has cute girls, which isn’t enough for me. I pre­fer deep and intri­cate sto­ry­telling first and fore­most. It’s prob­a­bly going to con­tain a bunch of strange game ref­er­ences I won’t fuck­ing under­stand and I hap­pen to not like sort of thing, but fuck it, I’m watch­ing it anyway.

Awwwww game ref­er­ences, this ani­me suuuuuucks.”

Do you… not under­stand how sil­ly I think that is? 

It’s like if a per­son dis­liked hot and spicy foods, but then pro­ceed­ed to chug down a bowl of soup that had HOT AND SPICY labeled on the can. And then bitched about it.

Oh, wait? You did­n’t quick­ly research the nature of the ani­me before watch­ing it? And then you had a gall to bitch about it and every­thing you did­n’t under­stand about it? Frankly, from my point of view, you seem like kind of a dunce. I’m not going to stop some dude from stick­ing his head into the toi­let because he real­ly wants to, but I’m not going to pre­tend he’s the most intel­li­gent per­son on the plan­et nei­ther. It’s fun­ny because I’m lit­er­al­ly try­ing to warn peo­ple before they stick their heads in, but I’m appar­ent­ly I’m being con­de­scend­ing by doing so. “Okay, go ahead and stick your head in the toi­let then, douchenozzles.”

This ani­me is a pre­quel to a video game.

This ani­me is a sequel to a video game

This ani­me is a pre­quel to a light novel

This ani­me is sequel to a light novel

This ani­me is a pre­quel to a visu­al novel

This ani­me is sequel to a visu­al novel

This ani­me is a pre­quel to a movie.

This ani­me is based on my anus.

Not every ani­me is a stand­alone. That’s some­thing to keep in mind every time you start a new series.

Let’s move away from Kan­Colle for a sec and switch to Type-Moon. I like Fate/stay night, the visu­al nov­el and the UBW ani­me. I did­n’t like Fate/Zero as much, but I still enjoyed it. I dis­like fans of Fate/Zero or oth­ers who watched it that com­plain about its pre-deter­mined end­ing when it’s a fuck­ing bonus pre­quel to Fate/stay night, where Kir­it­sugu and more than half the cast from Fate/Zero are dead before the game begins. (And no, I’m not sor­ry about those Fate/Zero spoil­ers. It’s some­thing you’re sup­posed to know before­hand.)

Also take Car­ni­val Phan­tasm or Take-Moon, for instance. If you’ve nev­er read Fate/stay night or Tsuk­i­hime, you’re not going to ful­ly under­stand the full con­text of the jokes. Mind you, it’s fun­ny by itself which is a plus, and is actu­al­ly a good gate­way into Type-Moon, but it’s the truth that it’s more fun­ny if you’re already a fan. New­com­ers don’t bitch about not under­stand­ing the jokes, they ask about them.

Back to in-gen­er­al. It’s alright if you’re not a fan and go into an ani­me adap­ta­tion like Kan­Colle with the rea­son­able expec­ta­tion that you’re not going to under­stand most of it. If you end up some­what enjoy­ing it for what it is, that’s a bonus. This is why I like James M.‘s ani­me blog, among oth­er rea­sons. He has a pret­ty open and sen­si­ble mind­set that allows him to take the nature of the show into con­sid­er­a­tion, i.e. his mind has the capac­i­ty to basi­cal­ly say “I’m aware of what the source is, past the viral Pix­iv images, but nev­er played it, so I prob­a­bly won’t get some of the jokes aimed @ the game’s fan­base, but I’m going into the show with that in mind any­way and won’t give it any shit for it. If the show by itself is not my cup of tea, it’s not my cup of tea — we’ll see.” Not an actu­al quote, but it seems like this is basi­cal­ly what he did. Tons of respect.

In the con­text of Ship Girls:
I did not like this ani­me, prob­a­bly because I was nev­er part of the fan­dom.” Makes sense. No prob­lem, man.
I was part of the fan­dom, but still did­n’t like the ani­me.” Sounds fair. I have a Kan­Colle-lov­ing friend who dis­likes the ani­me too.
I nev­er played the game, but hap­pen to like this ani­me.” Great, I’m hap­py for you. You just became a fan!
This game-ani­me is fuck­ing dumb, it’s dumb because I only watch ani­me and nev­er played the game.” Uhh­h­hh

Okay, look.

See, adap­ta­tions can be loads of things, so depend­ing on the source mate­r­i­al, what works and what does­n’t varies. There is no black and white, because things are *dif­fer­ent*. Man­ga-to-ani­me works smooth­ly most of the time, the only issue is the gap between the chap­ter releas­es and the ani­me episodes — which, depend­ing on how close, results in filler. VN ani­me adap­ta­tions are train­wrecks most of the time because of route mechan­ics and cut­ting out nec­es­sary mate­r­i­al — though there are unique cas­es like KyoAni,who man­aged to turn Air, Kanon, and CLANNAD into enjoy­able ani­me despite the medi­um’s limitations.

Video game adap­ta­tions are split with­in. Depend­ing on the game, a sto­ry of a JRPG can the­o­ret­i­cal­ly be ful­ly import­ed into an ani­mat­ed for­mat, although it might have vary­ing pac­ing issues regard­less (world maps, side quests, etc). See: Tales of the Abyss. For Kan­Colle… it was a mobile brows­er game. A grindy brows­er game with no sto­ry, just sor­ties with cute girls based on ships and col­lect­ing more of them. Lit­er­al­ly, the whole appeal is the fan­dom’s amus­ing inter­pre­ta­tions of the var­i­ous facets of the oth­er­wise sim­ple brows­er game.

Truth­ful­ly, I acknowl­edge the Kan­Colle ani­me is noth­ing spe­cial if it was a stand­alone. In fact, if I did­n’t have an attach­ment to the cute ships I got to like from play­ing the game, I would prob­a­bly think it’s mediocre. 

But that’s not the point. It’s not a stand­alone. It was nev­er meant to be a stand­alone. Is that a bad thing? In actu­al­i­ty, no, it is not. There are plen­ty of ani­me, adap­ta­tions or not, that are suit­ed to be stand­alone. There are also plen­ty of shows meant for dif­fer­ent audi­ences. That’s right, the wide range of media we have avail­able to us is for a wide vari­ety of dif­fer­ent audi­ences, and not just for you. Grow up. You can watch only ani­me and refuse to par­take in any­thing else all you like — I think that’s fine — just don’t expect every fuck­ing show in the uni­verse to be catered to you. That’s straight-up fuck­ing stuck-up.

Kotomine is the best girl

The low-down

That may have come off as a bit harsh, but that’s truth­ful­ly how I feel about ani­me fans some­times. Like, I don’t mind if you crit­i­cize an ani­me series (in this case, Kan­Colle). But going about it in the way I con­stant­ly described is way beyond sil­ly. Oth­er­wise, I think peo­ple who nev­er played the game and watch the ani­me are “real fans” if they enjoy it. Hell, my Mandin­go-sized essays were nev­er about “real fans” to begin with, nor was it about me brag­ging about play­ing the game. In the pre­vi­ous post, I… talked about the first episode as a per­son who played Kan­Colle, watch­ing an ani­me based on Kan­Colle, because I…enjoyed and played the game??? Lit­er­al­ly who gives a shit, unless one is an inse­cure lit­tle chach who thinks every­one’s out to look down on them.

I’m fine with peo­ple drop­ping the crap out of this ani­me, fan or not, and rea­son­ably stat­ing why it’s not their cup of tea. THAT’S OKAY. What I’m rant­i­ng about are igno­rant mass­es of tox­in who toss shit at things for the sake of toss­ing shit at them, con­text be damned, which is com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent from some­one pick­ing at the flaws in some­thing they oth­er­wise like, as they are not “fans” to begin with. Rev­e­la­tions!

While I may come across as a bit of harsh dude with my opin­ion­at­ed voice and sharp-tongue, I’m actu­al­ly very rea­son­able. For exam­ple, a week ago on Twit­ter I went a lit­tle over­board when I was say­ing (para­phrased) “I love it how ani­me-only folks are still going crazy over the ‑mys­tery- of Archer’s iden­ti­ty when it was pret­ty much spoon­fed to them in the DEEN ani­me” (actu­al­ly in response to see­ing a YouTube video of some­one “the­o­riz­ing” Archer’s iden­ti­ty + stat­ing he’s watched the old ani­me adap­ta­tion, but I left that part out), some­one replied (again, para­phrased), “Well, not every­one read the VN or watched the DEEN ani­me”. I acknowl­edged that could total­ly be the case for a lot of peo­ple, before explain­ing the con­text behind me say­ing tweet­ing that to begin with. ‘Twas all my bad. While it’s lit­er­al­ly a ten-year old spoil­er, I’m not a big enough source mate­r­i­al snob to pur­pose­ful­ly spoil a new­com­er who is enjoy­ing the new­er UBW ani­me. It’s cool that they’re enjoy­ing it through this medi­um because it’s a pret­ty good ren­di­tion of UBW

This counts for any­thing. If some­one suc­cess­ful­ly coun­ters my argu­ments with rea­son­able log­ic, instead putting words into my mouth, I will always recon­sid­er my dis­po­si­tion. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, a good chunk of our world’s ego is inflat­ed to the point where many don’t like being told that their view­points may be wrong and defend them the point of absur­di­ty, like mak­ing stuff up and resort­ing to child­ish insults as if they were born on a futa­ba-styled image­board. It’s like talk­ing to a brick wall.

After this, it’s refresh­ing to be going back to writ­ing about, ana­lyz­ing, and/or cri­tiquing the things I actu­al­ly enjoy because… well, to be redun­dant, it’s enjoy­able. I’ve rant­ed about things I dis­like with a pas­sion in the past, and while I enjoyed the dis­cus­sion it gar­nered all the same (actu­al fruit­ful ones, unlike my pre­vi­ous post which gar­nered a tumor), it always real­ly has to be on the spur-of-the-moment or oth­er­wise it feels like I’m forc­ing myself to be a per­pet­u­al hate machine in order to have more top­ics to post about.

And trust me, there are a lot of things I actu­al­ly hate about the ani­me fan­dom. The shit-toss­ing on MAL, wai­fu wars, a mix of the two and oth­er odd­i­ties found on 2ch, Tum­blr users mak­ing lame image macros using Pix­iv fanart that belong to oth­er peo­ple, the lack of basic social eti­quette at ani­me con­ven­tions, fan­sub reviews by ego­ma­ni­acs who don’t know Japan­ese and have imag­i­nary Eng­lish degrees, etc. The list is end­less, and if I wrote about all of them on even a month­ly basis, my head would explode.

Now excuse me while I go and get drunk as a skunk like a nor­mal col­lege stu­dent.

2 thoughts on “Cancerous Ship Girls Rant: The Expansion

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