I'm fond of anime but there are two or three things that seem to be common to many anime that I find annoying. For no particularly good reason, I thought I'd share these annoyances with you.
The girl with the squeaky voice is usually kind, generous, hard-working and full of energy. I have nothing against her. Or, come to that, against her squeaky voice. No, what annoys me about the girl with the squeaky voice is that I always find her much easier to understand than the characters speaking with normal voices. Clearly there is no point in me visiting Japan until I've at least learnt the Japanese for "I'm sorry, I don't understand. Can you please say it again in a high-pitched squeaky voice?"
Summer Break is coming and our heroes are thinking about what to do. Perhaps they could go hiking in the mountains. Or perhaps they could go to the beach. "Please, God, let it be the mountains," you cry. But your prayers go unheeded, and it's off to the beach we go. One of the girls will be wearing her school swimsuit. The rest of the girls, however, will be wearing bikinis of improbable design and negligible size. There will be a lot of jiggling and bouncing, much of it in close-up. It is cringe-makingly embarrassing, even if you're watching on your own.
The School Cultural Festival is looming and our heroes have to decide what kind of event their class will put on. There are pensive looks and furrowed brows as they consider the many possibilities. What will they decide? Will it be a Haunted House? Or maybe an English Play? No, of course it won't. The final choice is so utterly predictable that there are as-yet undiscovered tribes in the heart of the Amazon Rain Forest who know it's going to be the Maid Café.
natsukoy9313 wrote:Even there, maybe you can see some "Japanese culture"?
Yes, I can. Anime is made for a Japanese audience and there's almost always plenty of unimportant background things that don't get explained because Japanese people don't need to have them explained. These things can turn out to be very interesting once you've noticed them: things like ittekimasu and tadaima, or the way Japanese homes often have a low area inside the entrance where you remove your shoes.
My favourite cultural discovery from anime is the yukata, a lovely garment that unfailingly makes the wearer look elegant and sophisticated.
My most disheartening discovery is rampant sexism. Japan seems to have a very poor attitude towards women, which dismays me. But sexism is hardly a fixed problem in the West, and a language forum isn't an appropriate place to climb on a soapbox, so I'll leave it at that (although I should maybe mention that I'm 56 and I'm male).
Wow, you've learnt a lot of details about Japanese language and culture from anime. That's good, and that's "right way to use" anime
I agree with you about sexism. Even though people are insisting Japan is now a country where men and women have same rights, sometimes that's not true. I must say not many people actually realise that, so I'm glad to know you actually did
However, being woman myself, I don't like those stupid woman who just insist their "rights" and/or fairness. Men are also suffering in Japan, because of "benefits for women". Let's hope someday Japanese people really understand what "correct way to treat" anyone is.
I don't watch much anime, so I haven't really been annoyed by these particular things. I can imagine they'd be pretty common in high school settings and other 少年 or "萌え" stuff. I know the sexism thing is pretty rife in manga/anime. You should try walking into some shops in 秋葉原, and you probably don't even want to know about the themes of エロゲ... The book ちゆ12歳* gives a good look at オタク culture, while kind of making fun of it at the same time.
Maybe you'd enjoy some slightly more serious series? I enjoyed the two Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series, even though the first two films were pretty boring (especially Innocence). Cowboy Bebop is a classic. Darker than Black was okay. Death Note is okay but gets pretty stupid after a certain point. Black Lagoon might be refreshing if you're sick of portrayals of submissive women. I'm more into variety shows (ホンマでっか！？TV, 世界番付) and catching up on 相棒 at the minute (on Series 5/10).
Javizy, thanks for the suggestions. I haven't seen any of the series, but I have seen the two Ghost in the Shell movies. I'm not so struck by Innocence but I liked the first one. Mind you, I'm also very fond of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which some people have suggested is a bit boring.
I had a look at ホンマでっか！？TV but it's way above my level. I can't even work out what the title means. The only thing I could find online for honma is a Kansai dialect word meaning 'truth'. Irritatingly, I had no such trouble figuring out エロゲ. After a couple of minutes I thought Oh, I wonder if it means…? And it did.
ホンマ is Kansai-ben for 本当. ホンマでっか is more like 「マジで？」 though. Kansai-ben isn't so hard to pick up from watching comedy shows. I've never really devoted time to study it. Northern dialects are much tougher to comprehend without a bit of background knowledge. There's plenty on Kansai-ben here if you're interested though http://www.kansaiben.com/
Maybe ホンマでっか is a bit tricky because it's mostly about science stuff, and people like Sawaguchi-sensei have terrible 滑舌, but the ceaseless subtitles and animations can bail you out a lot, and most of what the comedians/hosts say is pretty straightforward, apart from cultural nuggets that I need to look up. Maybe the ones with all the foreigners would be more approachable - ネブ＆イモトの世界番付 and 世界のみんなに聞いてみた.
Javizy wrote:Maybe ホンマでっか is a bit tricky because it's mostly about science stuff
That makes a lot more sense than what Google Translate told me about the show. It said that amongst other things it was about "Tech college carnivorous rampage in love (Secret) mote strongest gesture", which did rather less to clarify matters than I'd hoped.
Thanks for the alternative suggestions: I'll check them out.