Anime & Cartoons
Blog reader Lucas mailed us this: Kyoto Animation (the studio responsible for the animation of K-on, Lucky Star, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and others) released a teaser trailer this past March showing off the animation studio’s quality. Instead of showing clips from pre-existing series, this advertisement features sexy young male swimmers and showcased them doing various activities in and around the pool.
The advertisement has become so popular that anime fans have dubbed it "Swimming Anime" and it even has fan sites and artwork popping up for it all over the internet. Crunchy Roll, an online Anime Streaming service, even has an online petition urging Kyoto animation to expand the trailer into an actual series.
There are plenty of animes tackling subjects like being transgender in a rather creative way (Sailor Moon comes to mind) and there are even more about cross-dressing. Western cartoon on the other hand rarely ever dare to go anywhere near this. Until now. The Canadian/Australian co-production SheZow features the animated adventures of a twelve year old boy who becomes the worlds finest female superhero.
Twelve year-old Guy Hamdon is a natural cut-up who fancies himself an extreme dude with his own macho catch phrase, “It’s a GUY thing.” Guy lives the dream of every rough-and-tumble boy when he discovers an awesome power ring which transforms him into a mighty superhero! Pretty cool, huh? Well, there’s just one tiny catch… the ring that gives Guy his amazing super powers was only meant to be worn by a girl and the result is absolutely she-larious! Guy must use his super powers to battle mega-villains while sporting an outrageous female superhero costume… which actually ends up helping him tremendously on his own personal journey toward becoming one heck of a super man.
SheZow has more she-puns than you can shake a she-stick at, she-seriously. SheZow which is currently only available in the Australian television market on Network Ten with select episodes on the show’s official YouTube channel, is a new animated superhero show aimed at children in the 6-11 year old range. SheZow features the main characters of Guy with his twin sister Kelly and their best friend Maz, who explore the world of SheZow when Guy and Kelly discover that their aunt Agnes now passed, was the legendary super-heroine herself.
Kelly who is the president of the SheZow fan club and self described biggest SheZow fan and expert on the planet is excited at the thought of becoming the next in the long line of famous women to wear the SheZow ring. Her dream is dashed when Guy takes the ring and jokingly puts it on to taunt his sister, not knowing that anyone who wears the ring can never take it off until they pass away. Suddenly Guy is transformed into the super powered and over feminized SheZow, with his/her superpowers including but not limited to, sonic scream, super strength, light-saber lipstick, super slap, vanishing cream (which turns him invisible) and super speed in high heels.
Combined with a super smart computer named She-la and endless bright pink gadgetry, Guy as SheZow and Kelly as his coach on all things girly fight to save the world from an assortment of villains who spout just as many bad puns as they do.
The story of Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son) centers around a feminine 5th-grade boy named Nitori Shuuichi. On the first day at his new school, he is mistaken for his 6th-grade sister. He happens to sit next to Takatsuki Yoshino, a girl who wishes she was a boy. Both of them have secrets they cannot tell anyone.
Twelve-year old Aoyagi Ritsuka is left with his insane mother as his only family when his brother, Seimei, is killed suddenly. After moving to a new school, he meets Agatsuma Soubi, who claims to have known his brother. Ritsuka eventually discovers that Soubi and Seimei used to be a fighting pair, whereby Soubi was the "Fighter" and Seimei was the "Sacrifice". Now that Seimei is gone, Ritsuka has inherited Soubi, who will become his "Fighter". After learning that Seimei was killed by an organisation known as the "Seven Moons", Ritsuka decides to investigate into his brother’s death, with the sometimes useless help of Soubi, along the way.
Loveless has been called a “boylove anime” and by Western standards it is, of course. What else can a series that circles around the love affair between a 12-yearold and a 20-yearold be called? If in doubt, the series itself will provide you with the necessary clues. Like for example when Soubi’s jealous ex-boyfriend accuses him of having a “Lolita complex” because of his obsession with Ritsuka.
At the same time it should not be called a “boylove anime”. This anime is made for TV by a big production company. The aim is to earn money. And how do you earn money? By attracting a lot of people. And a lot of people are apparently attracted to the love between Ritsuka and Soubi. In the West, we call that boylove. In Japan, they call it sweet.
This text is a short excerpt from an article about Loveless in the first issue of the Destroyer Journal. You can order it at I Love Mags if you want to read the full story. A review can be also found here.