Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G
sinetimore

There's Something To Be Said For NOT Giving The Audience What They Want

There are certain things that you see them and feel like less of a human being for seeing them.  Some things so violate your sense of decency, you shudder at the thought of the people you are sharing a planet with.

If you want a one stop shop of WTF, there's a web site called jlist.  They import Japanese stuff for American otaku.  This includes dating simulators, scantily clad action figures, and the ever-popular Hello Kitty vibrator (yes, it really exists).  There are quite a few things that will make you want to fill your bathtub with vodka and lie in it for a few hours.  And apparently they are selling a DVD series that will truly make you despair.

Keep in mind, I love anime.  For the most part.  Lately, with the emphasis on hypersexualizing and/or really cliche plots (if I see one more romcom with a shy guy surrounded by beautiful women, I'm gonna throw up), it seems a weird sort of dance is happening with producers and consumers of anime.  The sexual aspect has become more focused.  ADVision used to include it's "patented Jiggle Counter," which popped up on your screen as you watched American anime they licensed every time fanservice appeared.  Producers are too anxious to create this stuff as it brings in fans and cash.  Consumers are anxious to buy it because it's what they see anime as.  Frankly, if it weren't for Studio Ghibli or Inuyasha or other quality anime productions, I probably would have given up on it by now.  Hell, I'll take the pointless fights of Dragonball Z over this stuff!  The very things Koshi Rikdo made fun of with Excel Saga (still one of the greatest series in my book) and Puni Puni Poemy are no longer considered excesses to make fun of, they are Standard Operating Procedure.

Which is what makes this so disturbing.

The first stop on our guided tour of Hell is Training With Hinako.  Remember the workout videos I goofed on in Stress Puppy, where Cindy Crawford, Elle Macpherson, one of the Kardashians, and them made exercise videos that no one really expected the viewers to exercise to?  This is that same principal in anime form.  Hinako is clearly intended to be a loli.  She has a giant stuffed toy penguin she is constantly snuggling, the large eyes and position on the head suggest someone underage, she has a high, tinkly little girl voice, but she has HUGE tits.  She is ostensibly leading the viewer in a exercise routine, but most of it is shot from a suggestive angle with lots of giggling, then cutting to cool down scenes like Hinako lying in her bed, shorts partially undone, and gasping for air.

Okay, that's pretty disturbing, right?  No, you only THINK you're disturbed.  These guys are just getting warmed up!  The "sequel" is Sleeping With Hinako.  It's not quite what you are thinking, it's not like those "Virtual" discs Vivid makes.  You are literally spending 45 minutes watching this little girl sleep from various angles, or mumble cutesy innocent things that would have Chris Hansen inviting you to take a seat right over there.  That's it.  Just sleeping.  It's like a training video for pedophilic stalkers or that scene in Twilight.  And it reuses more animation frames than Filmation did in its entire existence.  It's like the animators know how boring this is, because they change to angles that are not physically possible for the camera in the dimensions of that room or just showing other stuff like the clock or her desk or...

(I don't know what it says about me, but when she starts playfully biting her pillow, all I could think of was the joke about the guy who dreams he's eating a marshmallow and wakes up to find his pillow is missing.  I don't think that's the reaction they were aiming for.)

It does give a dream sequence about halfway through that only takes about twenty seconds.  Shortly after that, she wakes up to sing the viewer a lullaby.  Uh, are her parents aware that she is singing a lullaby to some guy watching her sleep in her bedroom?  Then another dream sequence where she weighs herself.  Unfortunately, the next bit, where she falls out of bed then crawls over to the viewer for a kiss, will have you diving for the fast forward button like you are trying to take a grenade to save the platoon.  There's a midnight trip to the fridge, another nightmare where she weighs herself and thinks she's getting fat, and the fastest sunrise you'll ever see.  At the end, she checks to see if you're awake.  Well, given how boring this is, that is a rational question.  Well, sort of at the end.  There are three different endings.  The last one, she mentions she'll be in trouble if she misses work (SHE HAS A JOB?!?).

I wonder about the production.  For example, the voice actress.  Did she do the sleep breathing in one take for 45 minutes?  Did they just get a clip and loop it like a club DJ?  How much did she get?  Did she use The Method ("What's my motivation?"  "You don't want to know.")?  How about the animators?  All that money, all those years attending art school and apprenticing, just to be lead on this ("Mom?  Dad?  This is what your college education has produced.")?

In the early days of the home video market, when people had to choose between VHS and Beta, there was a tape called "Video Friend" with a guy just talking to the camera like he was your buddy.  Technology advances.  People do not.
Tags: destroying childhood memories, don't try this at home, haven't we suffered enough, nightmare fuel, original comic art, stress puppy, stupidity, wtf
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