Sep. 13th, 2013

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I'm not quite sure if I'm doing the between-fandoms-butterfly thing or if "Anime and Manga" in the monolithic sense really is my fandom at the moment. Possibly I would be writing more if that were true. The only thing I've written lately-ish is 3000 words of an unfinished Shingeki no Kyojin space AU. (Why. Nobody asked for one. And I hate SnK.) (I mean I kind of love it but I also genuinely think it is terrible and would not recommend it to anybody, except for the times when I would because it's so good.)

I actually had a conversation with [personal profile] blottingtheink yesterday about why SnK is so traumatising. I just finished reading No. 6, which also features dystopian bleakness and a certain amount of body horror, and some of the things that happen in it are really terrible, but it doesn't get at me the way SnK does. And partly that's because it's not nearly as terrible, and there are a lot more interludes with adorable mice and impromptu dancing lessons that are only sort of heartbreaking, and general joy to go with the emotional precipices and bleakness.

But also, really importantly, it's because No. 6 deals with horror and traumatic events the way you expect them to be dealt with. When something horrifying and tragic happens then it is the only thing happening on the page. Darkness creeps in at the edges and there are ominous sfx and you cut to the POV character's wide horrified gaze. And after it has happened they fall to their knees and process it.

In SnK, a named character will have their legs torn off and it will happen in a corner of the page, with no build-up and no fanfare. Nothing stops for the terrible things in SnK. There's never any time to process, and never any way to prepare. It's really effective in conveying the characters' overwhelmed horror and sense of dissociation, but it does it by forcing you to feel overwhelmed with horror and dissociated.

Wow, ok, things that are not traumatic: swimming anime episode tonight! I started watching Free! because it was hilarious, and now I'm watching because I love it in terrifyingly unironic ways. Seriously, though, I love that it's a show that knows its audience is slashy fangirls, and has no intention of backhanding that audience in the name of trying to get the teenaged boy demographic as well. And I love how kind the whole aesthetic is. There's a massive amount of fanservice, but it's not mean fanservice, the ways shows full of e.g. upskirt shots often are. There's affectionate laughing at everyone, but you never get the impression the show doesn't respect its characters and their arcs, and they're never forced into uncomfortably suggestive situations or made to be undressed when they don't want to be. Other than the shirtlessness and the female gaze-iness, most of the fanservice is about feelings, and they're real feelings, the kind that matter.

It's just not the show I would have expected from "fanservicey slashy sports anime created by popular demand from shippers about boys who can't keep their clothes on".

Anyway, I thought I might try doing some kind of weekly rec of the best fanwork I've come across from the week. This week's is a fanvid:

Stray Italian Greyhound by [personal profile] zazzle

It's No. 6, and it's Nezumi/Shion, of course, because all of the No. 6 story is about their love really. It kind of kills me: it hurts, watching Nezumi deal with being in love hurts, and then it's joyful and gentle and I can't really deal. And I love this song anyway, but the vidder relates it to this canon beautifully, throw open windows, ugh.

Yep alright, there's an update for one of my favourites of the many ridiculous BL manga I've started tracking, so I'm gonna go do that now.

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