A Source Not Worth Citing

According to MSNBC’s recent article on anime and otaku culture, not only is anime NOT KIDS’ STUFF, but apparently lolicon is short for “lolita + comics.” Oh, and Gurren-Lagann and Urotsukidoji can be mentioned in the same breath with ease.

The writer makes some valid points, such as the division between 2d and 3d among a portion of the otaky population, but It does no one any favors when a mainstream news service such as MSNBC posts an article full of logical leaps so astounding they’d have taken the gold at Beijing. Students of all ages eager to write their school essays on anime, or even relatively inexperienced academics trying to examine fandom from a broader scale might actually take this article seriously. And if anime-related academia on any scale is ever going to improve, we need to not have yet another “BAM! POW! COMICS AREN’T JUST FOR KIDS ANYMORE”-type article, no matter how dressed up it is with hipper, modern references like Gurren-Lagann or Akihabara.

17 thoughts on “A Source Not Worth Citing

  1. It isn’t that bad I thought. It is a fearmongering piece of work to be sure, preying on people’s partial/minimum understanding of this still-quite-small fringe subculture and mix and matching that with, say, the convention scene.

    But besides the Gurren-Lagann part, I think it’s ok.

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  2. Comment reposted from the blog of TV’s Patrick Macias:

    I think you did a double take over the adjective agreement in that sentence. He’s saying Gurren-Lagann is sexually suggestive and Overfiend is sexually explicit. Which happens to be true on both counts.

    But yeah, it’s very clear that this article was written with its conclusion in mind, and tailored the quotes from Lawrence, Patrick, etc to suit that conclusion. Thanks a bunch, “liberal media”!

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  3. Well I got that he meant that g-l is sexually suggestive and overfiend is sexually explicit, but the wording of it seemed so very off, and the fact that use of the word “respectively” would have solved the problem left me wondering if that vaguery was in any way intentional.

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  4. “But yeah, it’s very clear that this article was written with its conclusion in mind, and tailored the quotes from Lawrence, Patrick, etc to suit that conclusion.”

    My thoughts exactly. And again, it’s always sad when that’s employed on any topic. I guess otaku would feel it more than other groups because they’re “used” to being “marginalized”, and fear of backlash.

    Everytime I see things like this, I wonder how come they never show off the more “wholesome” aspects. Like with Macias’ quote at the end that they used, which I assume is taken out of context annoyingly. :P

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  5. This article was laughable and will probably make it into an editorial of ours. It just goes to show how little the general populace knows about anime. And the amount of incorrect information in this article makes it hilarious that they called anime mainstream. It isn’t and this nonsense written proves it.

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  6. /jp/ agreed, the article is quite good at describing the truely otaku portion of America. (not just casual Naruto/Shugo Chara/whatever fans)

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  7. Sexploration seems to be a regular column on this MSNBC site, and the author apparently knows his sex toys but not the animu. Must have written this as a quickie with limited research and stuff.

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  8. That article was awful. Reminds me of other dumb news articles on anime written nearly a decade ago.

    He was bent on painting his picture with very broad strokes, so to speak.

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  9. The problem with the bit about GL and Overfiend is that it’s just a problematic sentence. We know that GL is a suggestive anime and that Overfiend is about as explicit as it gets, so we can read the sentence that way. The target reader of this article, though, doesn’t know one from the other and is given no way of distinguishing these two titles. As such, it only makes sense to read it, make the association, and remember those names.

    Though sexuality in otaku culture is certainly a rich vein to mine, I think the article covers too much way too fast for it to make sense. It’s like it’s in a hurry to get to the shock points: Pokemon porn, Hello Kitty vibes, and tentacle sex are all shot out rapid-fire, a wild-west moral no man’s land is described, and then it races to the pedophilia. It’s not like these don’t exist, but I wouldn’t exactly say they’re parts of the culture that are rising into the mainstream consciousness any time soon.

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  10. Pingback: Reverse Thieves » Please hire another fact checker MSNBC.

  11. Pingback: Please hire another fact checker MSNBC. « Reverse Thieves

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