Time for today’s Moment of the Season, brought to you by the Anime Blogging Collective and a dozen others! Today, I bring you a turning point that signals not only a change in that particular show’s mood but a reflection of what has happened to anime fandom’s expectations in the past half year.
Day 3: When Pronouns Attack
It was so easy to mock at first, that pronoun titled show Myself; Yourself. It even had a pretentious semicolon. The first two episodes didn’t give us any significant reason not to mock it, either. It was a standard harem comedy/romance, filled with childhood friends and tsunderes and big boobed girls with Chiyo-chan voices.
Then came The Nice Knife in episode 3.
Look at that knife again–look how bloody it is. Consider the context in which it appears, a jokey fishing trip in a show full of jokes up to that point. Look at the way it’s being held, almost threateningly given the right mentality. And think about what I mean when I call it a Nice Knife.
The context in which this appears in fandom, of course, is post-School Days. That show, for better or for worse (mostly the latter if you ask me), has changed the rules of watching harem and romance shows. No longer can we assume that just because a show is a romance that it will not contain serious violence. Knives, trauma, and blood have to all be taken seriously now. My immediate reaction upon seeing that knife was–oh no, they really are going down that path, aren’t they?
And, of course, it turns out our fears have in part come true, as Myself; Yourself lurches into multiple genres and has become a dark, implausible melodrama. It really was a harbinger, and that it appeared at the time that it did was probably a coincidence–and yet this scene not only shows what the growing trend in this genre is but illustrates the changed expectations and gut reactions that its infamous predecessor has induced.
The harem genre, in other words, is no longer entirely safe. And this is the first time at least in my viewing where that sense was confirmed.
This is an Anime Blogging Collective post. Other participants include
- Roxas –http://jroxas.animeblogger.net/
- CCYoshi – http://ccy-eternity.blogspot.com
- Orion –http://www.epicwin.org
- Owen S –http://sorenara.ikimashou.net/
- Quinn –http://otakuism.animeblogger.net
- Xerox –http://niraikanai.animeblogger.net/
- Nekoron –http://anime.osiristeam.net
- Martin –http://www.concretebadger.net/blog/