Jul 24 2014
Japanese animation is an entertainment medium that’s often associated with geek man-children in spite of the fact that it often features complex stories with themes and metaphors that dwarfs most of what we consider adult entertainment here in America. Part of it is the lingering fallacy that anything animated must be for kids, but there’s more; specifically anime’s preoccupation with female anatomy. Bouncing bosoms of bodacious bulk and predictably polarizing portrayals of puerile pantyshots often turn viewers off of the excellent stories and characters. But is it really inherently wrong or immature to portray the human body in such a way?
Enter Kill La Kill, one of the anime hits of the moment and another instance of an overseas animated property being snatched up for streaming on the forever-ahead-of-the-curve Netflix prior to being dubbed in English (Attack on Titan was previously alone in that honor). Watching the early episodes of the show, it appeared to have been literally designed to both mock and celebrate some of the most damaging anime stereotypes: the ridiculously over-the-top action, the overly serious characters, the overly wacky characters, and yeah, the fashion choices of female characters.
Dressing women up in the most revealing of clothing and/or putting them in the most compromising position with the viewer given the most advantageous view is typical here. Naturally, there are plenty who don’t take kindly to this practice. Kill La Kill sets itself up as a self-aware parade of these kinds of tropes, but as the story finishes, it accomplishes more than it’s willing to give itself credit for in terms of providing context for this argument. Continue Reading »