Extra: Because I’m a girl?

Amulet_FortuneIf you want to keep Shugo Chara‘s plot (stop laughing) from being spoiled (okay, yeah, start laughing), you might want to skip this post as I’m about to go all feminist on the last few episodes of season two (Doki Doki).

Still here? You poor wearied soul. First off, I’m sorry you had to live through that, but comfort yourself with the idea that maybe Peach-Pit was just trolling. Somehow it feels better when you accept that headcanon. Moving on. Finale of Doki Doki. Let’s do this.

Firstly,  as Ikuto and Tadase fight, Amu asks herself,”is it because I’m a girl?” Obvious answer: “No, not it’s not. It’s because of the past and simple mind control.” Both facts are well known to her, making this entire scene horrendously ill-written. Of course, she had the chance to burst in and stop the fighting, claiming her right to fight for herself. Instead, she just stands there fretting about who will win and how it’s her fault and such tripe as that. In other words, being the most stereotypical damsel in distress I’ve seen in years. It was painful. And this pain was only heightened when she did decide to join in the fight and resorted to the commonplace pacifist attitude (right after declaring she could fight for herself). Why couldn’t she fight? She’s a magical girl, for pete’s sake! But, of course, when two men are fighting, a woman can’t really do much of anything except throw herself against one of them and beg them to stop fighting. Preferably with tears.

Secondly, the wedding dress. After all her different guardian characters and their “possibilities,” only one outcome is pointed to: marriage. Think about it. All her different futures combined and it made a bride of her. Does this mean that no matter what she does, that is her fate? Artist, athlete, baker or singer, she has no choice but to be tied to a man? Now, don’t get me wrong. Marriage itself isn’t bad. But I do find how they brought it about in this show as very bad indeed. Even the name stings: Amulet Fortune. The implication is pretty clear. No matter what occupation one chooses, all woman get married. Or should, anyway.

Of course, there is also the chance that it only refers to the wish to be married, which admittingly most younger girls have. However, again, it’s a shame the show continues down such a predictable and stereotypical road when so many paths are open and waiting for a better turn or two.

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Extra: How long is too long?

fairy tailThere aren’t many of them, but when you see them you have to wonder. Who funded all of this?

The answer isn’t really clear cut though. Anime is often funded by various companies and continuously funded shows depend a great deal on marketing, viewership and hundreds of other factors that determine if it’s worth keeping around. Which is what makes me wonder about some of these freakishly long shows, many of which brag well over a hundred episodes. Often these shows contain long story arcs connected by a very vague overall goal. For example, Shugo Chara’s overall goal is simply for the main character to find out who she really is. You can’t get much more vague than that. Fairy Tail’s overall goal is bit more specific, Natsu is looking for his mentor. But the how isn’t ever worked out and often that plot point is forgotten amidst the many missions he’s on thanks to his guild, the side stories based on other character’s pasts, etc.

While a few of these longer shows do a pretty good job of remaining entertaining, not all are the level of writing most preferable in a show. Perhaps this is due to the overall plot needing to be a bit vague and rather unattainable for it to continue on so long. Or maybe creators begin to depend on the show’s name pulling in viewers and not the quality of the show itself. It’s hard to tell. In any case, it makes me wonder, at what point should there be a line? Sure the companies funding these shows are the ones who usually decide how long a show can go on for (manga is a different deal entirely). However, when should anime fans draw a line? As a fan who has a rather… um… “high standard,” I wonder if some of these shows get more slack than others due to their length and popularity. After all, would one be willing to watch a show with the same amount of vague plotting in a shorter show? What about the characters? Could they be as stereotypical and lackluster?

There is a saying, “If you try to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one.” I can’t help but think that some of this holds true for longer running anime shows. Trying to appeal to too many fans at once can really wash a show out.

What do you think? Do you like longer shows? Hate them? Or do you think it doesn’t matter either way?