Sometimes a show comes along that just deserves to be eviscerated. Perhaps it showcases the worst of anime’s stereotypes. Perhaps it takes an interesting premise and ruins it with befuddling plots or infuriating character arcs. Perhaps you think a show should literally be labelled a war crime by the Geneva Convention. That’s where the HATEWATCH comes in. When the show does it to such a degree, sometimes you need to watch it just for the cathartic value of demolishing whatever dreg of culture or bad taste it represents. This is #HATEWATCH 2017.
I can’t believe this. I wanted the #HATEWATCH to mostly be a joke. I did not think the actual feeling of pure hatred would come out of me so quickly and so soon. This is literally the trashiest, most self indulgent piece of crap to ever be put to ink. This is the level of writing you would expect from a 14 year old fanfiction writer. Trust me, I have experience with the subject. It really goes to show how writing does change everything. I assume Fushimi might be taking pot shots at Spice and Wolf, considering the allusions to having heroines naked in the very first volume. It’s a pretty weak objection, but it did make me rethink the start of that series. Was Holo’s introduction solely for titillation? Am I accrediting my feelings towards S&W to the more tasteful way the anime handled the nudity and ignoring how it may have seemed in print? Either way, whatever Fushimi’s gripes he falls into the same problem we’ve lambasted time and time again: It’s not clever to play your satire straight. Elf is naked, and we literally stew over that fact for a good couple minutes.
I can’t believe this ever sold anything. Is it really that exciting to read about a girl being naked? Or is it actually fun to learn about a writers qualms with everything in his industry as he whines from two different perspectives at once? Honestly, I feel like Fushimi is actually self-inserting himself into Elf this episode, as her tirade on deadlines and passion seems to align more with that quote Jel posted in the First Look post. He doesn’t care about the rules, and he doesn’t believe in hard work, clearly. I haven’t even gotten into how terribly written a cliche this is that she just happens to move in right next to him. I suppose you could argue she knew this was the ward Eromanga lived in, but still it’s the dumbest set-up for the two of them to get to know each other. They’re both writers, it’s not like it’s impossible they could have seen each other on a more regular basis otherwise. It’s really sad that Jel’s prediction was spot on last week: Elf really is just a genki-switched Kuroneko, as the frilly dresses get compounded with the same superiority complex and gross master/servant dialogue. Problem is you can’t really see any of the softer side of that character that actually made parts of Oreimo tolerable.
Marlin’s Ethics Lesson of the Week
There’s a theory in Aristotle’s work that if someone is so habituated to their vices, eventually they simply won’t be able to properly judge reality. Their decision making becomes so damaged that they are literally incapable, or at the very best unlikely, to make the right decisions. I’m starting to feel that this is what has happened with Japan’s male otaku. They have habituated themselves so thoroughly to indulging in their asinine pleasures and watching what is easy and vapid rather than thinking that they are literally incapable of recognizing quality. The concept of prudence, the practical wisdom to choose what is properly good for oneself, is completely lost to them. Thus, what we see as utter garbage actually can’t be noticed as garbage to these people. They’re literally numb to it. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju’s success proved that this is not lost in anime’s entire demographic, but it also basically just shows that female otaku, the main audience of that show, have not been corrupted to the same extent. The only way this will ever change is if a better raised and disposed generation comes to replace them. Considering the trajectory of Japanese culture, that seems unlikely.
- I swear, Japan’s biggest weakness in writing is that they seem allergic to having parents. Is it really that difficult to write a realistic adult figure? Do they really think that will so drastically get in the way of the plot? Tsukigakirei feels like a natural show because guess what: both protagonists parents are present and have real personalities.
- The amount of gratuitous shots in this episode went up by a factor of ten. I fully expect the final episode to be captured exclusively from a go-pro camera pointed down Eromanga’s shirt.
- I still don’t get how Eromanga’s identity is such a mystery. Did people really look at a twelve year old girl in those streams and not notice what they were seeing? Does Elf not realize the girl next door she can clearly see wears the exact same jacket?
- How did he get into the hallway with his pants still down?
- Why did I ever think this was a good idea? I can literally feel myself become corrupted by hate.
The silliness of #HATEWATCH aside, this episode validated every word I said after episode 1. The same topic we saw previously in Oreimo about writing what you think is good versus writing what sells is put plainly on the table, except it’s even more direct now that the author has created an actual light novel writer as his main character/self-insert. You could practically taste his resentment toward Elf’s success and her lack of work ethic. Of course the end result is the two finding respect for each other, since of course being a light novel author is the most noble of professions regardless of how you go about it. How gracious.
Ironically I don’t think the actual “buck naked mansion” part was that bad, at least grading on a curve compared to this show’s usual standards. I mean, why would you buy a creepy old mansion if not to play piano naked in it? The random camera angles that insist on looking up Sagiri’s shirt are way, way worse in that regard. Even so, my complaints this week lean more toward being annoyed by the show’s overall message more so than being raunchy. Not sure if that is better or worse.
I’m too lazy for a full “Random Observations” list but here’s one before I go: did you notice Elf literally has elf ears? What’s up with that?