Just in case anyone had forgotten that I am a total nerd turd, I drew some fanart. Of ANIME.
As I have mentioned before, my tv tastes often land somewhere around “teenage boy”. Recently I’ve been partaking of Soul Eater, a delightful romp about grim-reapers-in-training, fighting evil, yadda yadda, etc.
It is pretty low brainpower plotwise, low on gray areas, whatever. Doesn’t matter. Because the story is just a vessel for wonderful things like: a gender-neutral main character referred to with interchangeable pronouns (or if I could actually understand Japanese, probably no gender references at all)! Ze’s my faave.
To facilitate procrastination from working on real projects, I decided to use them to “practice watercolor”. Conclusion: I hate watercoloring.
Most of the cast is made up of caricatures that fuel the constant stream of action and slapstick humor, so that’s normal.
But then there is this really weird thing where the main character (Maka) is a girl, and is entirely a well-rounded and believable human being. She generally approaches her action-heroine responsibilities with something like an academic/athletic fervor as opposed to anger-issues insanity, has leadership skills that are not written off as bossiness, isn’t self-absorbed but also isn’t a pushover.
Check her SWEET action heroine shoes – stylish, but with traction, ankle support, and all-important breathability.
A pretty across-the-board theme in “boys’” action anime, is a hunt for strength, power, etc – it’s probably a metaphor for coming of age and proving your worth to adults, but I don’t really care enough to get into it right now. Because it’s mostly irritating and militaristic and has little relation to life that doesn’t operate like a videogame.
So, at a point, Maka starts following the same trajectory of need more powwwerrrr that looks like it will probably result in alienation of friends, getting mixed up in dark juju, turning evil for a while, and so on. However, another TOTALLY WEIRD THING about this show then comes into play: Maka, and most the action heroes in the show, fight as a pair with a peer who happens to be able to transform into a weapon. For Maka and her partner, the eponymous hero Soul (who transforms into the wicked looking scythe above), when they really succeed in one of the many unbeatable battles they have to face, they do it by stopping to have an Equal and Respectful Partners Communication Moment first.
What? No no no, the main sidekick exists to step in and save the main character when she finally pushes herself too far and can’t win! The heroic duo are supposed to be totally mismatched in personality so that they constantly butt heads in hillarious and plot-moving ways!
What is this? Two main characters whose strengths balance and complement each other, and work calmly and rationally through their problems by checking in with one another and sharing opinions on how to deal with a situation? Who, through the mythos of their world are in fact encouraged to constantly work on improving their compatibility and communication because that will help them gain power? Are my cartoons secretly trying to teach me how to have fulfilling interpersonal relationships?
It is totally awesome.
I’m trying to come up with a good equivalent example in my repertoire of tv, but I haven’t thought of one yet.
Also hillarious: there are an inordinate amount of David Lynch references in this show. Someone is a fan!