my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


Goth. Anime. Hm.

Goth I understand.

I like the surly antisocial tone. I like the utilitarian all black, all the time wardrobe. I love black eyeliner. And I've had my flirtation with flat black and technicolor hair. Plus I like the sinister use of Edward Gorey illustrations, the allusions to Poe and Baudelaire, and the bordering on nihilism go-to-hellness of it all. The B&D, S&M-ness of it all.

Anime I don't understand.

All that sweetness makes my teeth hurt. And it's such an underdeveloped prepubescent little affectation. Kawaii ("supercute"), my [crudity deleted]. It is regressive; Saturday morning cartoons as real life. "With black contact lenses, now turning Tokyo teens into walking manga characters, poised to hit the States, artists, manufacturers, and style makers show no signs of coming down from their collective sugar high." (

If goth is seething with anger and illicit sexuality, anime is sex put on hold. It is fear of sex. Fear of adulthood. *edit: and, of course, I must now qualify this assertion to note that I am talking about HelloKitty and Sanrio, not the porn also associated with some forms of anime. Although the pedophilic quality of that "art" still leaves one the option of talking about sex-in-fear-of-adulthood.*

And maybe that is the appeal. The ultimate escape from a moving-too-fast-in-the-wrong-direction world: pretend you're perpetually 11 years old.

afterword: Why is this such a hostile post? What underlying fear do I have of Asian cartoon characters? Can further therapy help me get past it? I'll keep you posted.


Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Not fear, nor hostility...Perceive and love yourself in a different way.

I just posted on this subject, strangly, have a look.

We are who we are, and should be proud of it!

Just remember, but for you, the art of the penis would not have been put to writing!

4:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

*but for me, the art of the penis would not have been put to writing* love ya, B!

5:46 PM

Blogger Jonniker said...

I can't do anime either. I don't get it and I have hostility towards it as well. Infuriating! WHY I will never know.

7:47 AM

Blogger katiedid said...

I read this line to my husband, who loves anime more than I "If goth is seething with anger and illicit sexuality, anime is sex put on hold. It is fear of sex. Fear of adulthood." He doesn't watch the Sanrios and such, but the more adult, NON-porn ones, and he thinks that comment still rings true for those. Different anime offerings do have varying levels of human sophistication, and there are those that don't suffer from this problem, but yeah... many do. I wonder if it's because the target audience for the sweetie pie ones are adolescent girls, and the more "adult" ones are actually aimed for adolescent to young men who tend to develop a bit more slowly than women.

4:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mentioned it yourself, there's more to anime than Sailor Moon and Hello Kitty. Every genre of film is equally suitable for animation in this country (Japan). Not all are sweet and light. Just take one look at the cos-play girls in Harajuku on Sundays dressed up with artificial blood spatered every where... But I definately agree with you on the "sex on hold thing".

That's just how Japan is. Until five years ago people didn't hold hands in public. And while all sorts of freaky things go on in the bedroom, love hotel, club, or comic book pages of the guy standing next to you on the train it's not really something people are public about (except the guy with the porno comic on the train).

In American film and literature on a whole we desire and enjoy a happy ending and we want to see them suck face under a setting sun. In Japanese literature and film it is the anticipation which is most enjoyed. Just look at Noh drama if you want proof. 30 minutes of wailing and you still don't know who the good guy is.

Don't feel bad about being critical. It's the outpouring of a different culture and quite frankly not everything's going to rub you the right way. I find the obcession with pre-pubescent cute sickening and I have to wade through it waist deep each day. What bothers me the most though is that it's not really aimed at young women... it's often aimed at the pervy old men with fat wallets.
More on that later.


7:26 PM

Blogger mireille said...

Neko -- thank you so much for your thoughtful comments -- and please, write more if you feel like it.

5:45 PM


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