banner image, art by Akihiro Yamada for the lightnovel Twelve Kingdoms

When I was a small child, around 5-9 yrs old, I'd watch a lot of horror movies with my dad. Trashy and good ones. It went from the more critically acclaimed ones like The Thing and Alien to stuff like The Amityville Horror (2005), Ghost Ship (2002), The Hills have Eyes (2006), to all the remakes of Japanese horrors which was all the rage in the early 2000s. I was never extra scared of them and in fact I really enjoyed the movies, while my dad would always fall asleep in the middle of the film and I'd watch it till the end alone. After that my interest in horror waned. I'd watch the ocassional big horror movie here and there but I wouldn't call it an interest of mine or anything of the sort. I'd say I'm slightly more scared of horror movies now than when I was a child, but more often than not I find them very frustrating. It seems I can't handle the suspense. After I got into anime and manga I avoided the horror genre. Again, I watched a few things here and there but nothing major. I disliked the thought of reading through a horror manga as I thought it wouldn't be as interesting as a movie would be. Fast forward to this summer and I developed this strange almost addiction to horror manga, specifically seinen horror which tends to delve into ero-guro territory. I can't stop looking for grotesque stuff to read. I generally don't enjoy much violence, rape especially, yet the stuff I read includes both. I admit I don't like it when it's ultra serious, I prefer it to be comical or satirical in some way. I'm feeling a bit ashamed but I'm sure this weird interest I developed will diminish once I run out of stuff to read. I'm picky and there's not a lot of it. Also reading a lot of obscure stuff made me realize how manga is just not that well translated unless its shounen stuff, and also how a ton of stuff doesn't exist on myanimelist. I really love to keep track of things I read so this bothers me. Maybe I should start looking into adding stuff on my own.

Moving on, I don't think I'd be able to watch this kind of stuff in anime form now. I think it would feel more gratuitious but that might be hypocritical to say as the genre itself already has a lot of nudity. In relation to that, I love depictions of nudity and sex in manga. I feel like such a coombrain for saying it, but I always liked naked bodies as in human forms just existing, even outside of a sexual context. I don't really read hentai in my free time, I just like adults being depicted as adults without the readers sexual satisfaction being the primary goal of the story.

I'm thinking maybe this is some kind of an outlet for my stress but let's be honest, it's probably just sick curiosity that's been with me since I was a child.

Before you continue reading know that I only watched 1 episode and dropped it so you won't get an in depth review of the plot and characters, just me raving and ranting.
So I was looking for stuff to watch this season, even though I still haven't finished the shows from last season but whatever. My dear boyfriend thought this would be a good fit for us, as we like to watch cringy otaku-ish romance/comedy anime here and there (like wotakoi for example) so we went in blind, especially because I saw it was a seinen so I was expecting something a bit.. less like this. Oh how wrong we were. This anime perfectly encapsulates everything I hate about anime today.

I don't know where to start. Oh right, the seinen part. So the manga was published in a seinen magazine so I was expecting something not really aimed at teens? Or not with an early high school setting at least? But no, the characters are fresh high schoolers, meaning 15. The main guy was honestly not giving me 15 year old boy vibes at all. The """gyaru""" girl looks 25 and definitely doesn't act like a 15 year old. Nothing about the characters seems early high school to me. Maybe if they were 3rd years I'd be able to suspend my disbelief enough to buy it but idk. The art style is partly at fault here but their bodies are just way too mature looking. A university setting would make more sense, especially considering what else I'm about to say later. Half of the episode is spent with the MC wailing and complaining about having no friends and how nobody likes him yada yada. He has an interesting hobby of making dolls and clothing for them that he basically got into because of his grandfather who seems to be extremely skilled at it. He feels super insecure about it because one girl in like primary? middle? school said it's lame. So now in high school, he has no friends. Because one (1) girl insulted his hobby? And basically now he feels super duper sad about it :(. He's ashamed that it's a girly hobby, I guess. Anyway now he's in class and his internal monologue is still him feeling bad for himself and being like "i'm such a loner nobody likes me I don't fit in anywhere im so lame and different from everyone" when a big breasted gyaruish girl bumps into his table and takes interest to him. Later that day, he's cleaning up the classroom alone :( :( and this girl comes in and she starts cleaning up with him and talking to him. I tuned out to their conversation but my god, I never felt this insane urge to point out how this reads exactly like some loners fantasy of a magical high school life where he a loner, gets a popular girl to take interest to HIM and SHE'S the one to start talking to him etc. So I think to myself what is it with men, Japanese men, and their obsession with getting a hot girl in high school that saves you from your miserable life. Your life doesn't end here. For the love of God, stop fantasizing about it you're like 30. AND THEN I FIND OUT THE MANGAKA IS A WOMAN, but on that later. Anyway next day he went to the classroom with sewing machines because his sewing machine at home broke and she of course enters the classroom and sees him sewing. A hilaaaaarious scene ensues where he's super ashamed for being caught doing something feminine :( how awful, but ackshually this girl is a Cool Girl (tm), not like that stupid bitch from middle school that ruined his hopes and dreams, and this Cool Girl (tm) with a HOT body actually wants him to make cosplay for her!!!!!! In all honesty I thought this would be a cute premise but the way it was executed was so ugh. Those dolls seem interesting to me, and the mangaka has some sewing knowledge too. Now, the reason why this is a seinen I assume is because of the massive coomer vibes? Idk what else would classify it as such. In the first episode we got - titty shots, ass shots of a 15 year old girl wearing mature lacy red/black lingerie lolok, a girl huffing and panting erotically but like not really xdxd it's a joke she's just excited lololol, her stripping and being like uwu don't look uwu.

So this sounds super generic right, I mean, why did I even bother getting annoyed it's so cliche and overdone and million shows like this before came out and will come out and whatever. I know, but usually I avoid this stuff. I avoid it like the plague. And now that I finally accidentally watched one episode of an anime like this, all my negative thoughts about this.. style/type of anime have been confirmed and justified and now I just want to shit on it. There is something kind of special about it, however. Well about modern anime and it's watchers in particular. The word "wholesome". I've been seeing it in a lot of places lately, when it comes to anime like this. This wish-fullfilment crap, with a pretty nice artstyle and coomerish vibes. Oh it's always described as wholesome. Goofy, sweet. Why? It's full of shots that could've been taken from any random ecchi. The panting scene is incredibly erotic but ultimately played for laughs with the comedic timing. Looks like any random hentai manga screencap of a horny girl.

Why are people saying it's wholesome??? I feel like I missed out on something. The opening is also full of equally ahegao-lite grimaces and expressions and no doubt the rest of the show will be too. That's kind of the main girl's thing. So why is this wholesome, I ask again. Because the MC isn't an outright pervert? Is that really all it takes? Because their interactions are sort of "clean" yet the "camera" still acts as if the opposite is happening? Oh the MC is autistically observing the seams of her badly made cosplay, but the camera is ogling her HOT and CURVY 15 year old body. Yeah yeah, that's not new in anime and I should be used to it by now. But I'm irked by the way audiences describe it and perceive it. I told my bf that the moment we ended the episode, even though I didn't hear any reviews/thoughts on it yet. And lo and behold, I went to MAL (I know, high iq anime discussion) and the first thread about it is "WOW THIS ANIME IS SO WHOLESOME CHUNGUS I LOVE IT SO CUTE WOW!!!". What? At least in your usual scenes of sexualized teens, I get the feeling we're seeing it because the MC is perverted, or well, a typical teenage boy. Panty shot - oh funny haha nose bleed scene. There's absolutely 0 reason for this anime to have so much of it though. It bothers me, incredibly so. ESPECIALLY because it was made by a woman. But hey women can be coomerbrained too haha equality!

I feel like I'm only now perceiving these things so negatively because I'm an adult. I can deal with high school settings, sure. But do the kids have to look like adults? Why not just make them adults at that point? Could make the interactions more raunchy as well. Why not? What compells one to keep making something that keeps being done, over and over and over and over and over, it's so over saturated. Why not another Genshiken? Wotakoi? I feel like I'm jumping on this mangaka in particular, because her brand of wish-fulfillment happened to offend me greatly. Which brings me to the mangaka. The artstyle is very shojo-ish but I've been fooled before, so I thought this must have been made by a made. But, It's a woman, apparently, judging by her twitter. A lot of cat pictures and she has small hands. Well anyway, I called it wish-fulfillment earlier, but now it makes much less sense! I can only guess she knows what appeals to lonely men because she grew up surrounded by similar media. Or she wishes to be a manic pixie dream gyaru, maybe. I know I at least wished that for a while, when I was also 15. But that's the thing, I don't think she's 15. MC at least has some interesting hobbies I suppose. Her cat is cute it seems he likes to stand on two legs a lot. That seems to have calmed me down from this dumb rant.

I'm also kind of disappointed in the whole handling of a "feminine" hobby. Something to be ashamed of, of course. Despite the mc having a really positive male role-model in his life? The only person (so far, but I only watched ep 1 so I'm prolly wrong) who seems to have teased mc was a girl. She's the reason of his insecurities. Realistically, most women would react like the main girl did tbh... Most boys I knew as a kid that shamefully played with dolls, played with girls and we offered no judgement. It was always the boys that would be quick to ridicule and roast. Something rubs me the wrong way about this... I'm probably thinking about it too much at this point.

Back on the "wholesome ecchi" topic though, because a similar thought has been brewing inside my head for a while now, although I haven't seen anyone else feel like this. So I watch Demon Slayer because of my boyfriend, I don't really like it. Yea the animation is wowie kewl at some points, and nezuko is cute I suppose but that's where my interest for the anime ends really. Nothing I haven't seen before, and sometimes I truly do like me some generic shonen! I noticed however, the whole world, and Japan in particular went CRAZY over it. Absolutely nuts, their prime minister promoted it, whatever. And the first season was relatively tame, typical sexualisation wise. I thought it makes sense, it seems to be aimed at all audiences anyway. And then the second season happened... Well, even the second season lacks your typical ogling camera shots but something really weirds me out and maybe I haven't paid much attention to it in the first season but, the artstyle makes everyone look incredibly short stacked (nothing wrong with that, I think it's kind of cute) and literally ALL the female characters sound like they're 10 (except for the evil sexy demonnesses of course) AND they all suddenly have massive tits so coupled with the short stacked art style it just looks off. I'm not hinting at anything pedophilic at all actually, but it's so out of place. Their voices are JARRING. Those little girls taking care of the boys are incoherently squeeking all the time, those adult WIVES from that jojo rip-off dude sound like they're in kindergarten. Why does everyone sound so retarded. The boys sound normal? In this season, women are literally just wives and caretakers or second grade warriors or whatever, or actual literal prostitutes. I just sound like a raging feminist now but yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. Nezuko of course, when she gets more powerful she obtains big breasts too lmao. It's just. Interesting implications idk. And she's only powerful because she's been literally corrupted. Hmmmmmmmmmm. But anyway this anime is totally wholesome chungus too, as described by the audiences! Lastly, this is a plot thing that annoys me a bit and it's unrelated to everything, but if Tanjiros dad was some super mega powerful dude with super mega rare strong powers, why does everyone in his proffession know jack shit about him and his breathing technique that seems to be the origin of all others, except for that dead red dudes dad? Oh well, rant over. My energy has been spent.

Except wait, I'm not done yet. The wholesome pervert trope existed for ages, that is true. Look at Golden Boy for example. But I kind of have a soft spot for Golden Boy. He mainly interacts with adult women, and he truly seems like a swell guy, plus it's a comedy that doesn't take itself seriously, and it knows that. It doesn't hide its perversion behind "wholesomeness" and "you thought this would be something perverted but actually it's not, tricked ya!!!". Ok, now I'm done. I swear.

Boichi is a South Korean manga artist mostly known for his manga Sun-Ken Rock and Dr.Stone which he illustrated. He's well known for his art, often described as powerful or testosterone filled. My first real introduction to Boichi was through the Dr.Stone anime, which I begrudgingly watched because my husband's anime taste is really juvenile sometimes. Even so we seem to have dropped the second season on episode 3. I don't think I'll remind him of that. The first thing I noticed about Dr.Stone was the art. Boichi's artstyle is quite distinctive but a certain feature of it's distinctiveness is where my annoyance with him lays. The women. The way he draws female characters is so, SO porny. While his male characters certainly are drawn often as muscular sexy statues there's still some kind of realism and respect for anatomy, there's varying body types, certain levels of stockinness and so on. If his male characters were as ridiculous as his female characters, they'd probably look like that one Rob Liefeld's illustration of Captain America. You know the one.

The female characters are 99% all tits and hips, no waist. Not to mention the faces, female and male faces just don't look like they belong in the same artstyle. Refer to the image above. They're not allowed to age. Have wrinkles. Men of course are!
This image was composed by some kind anon and I thank her for that. It's partially the reason why I'm rambling about Boichi today. Anyway, if you click on the image to enlarge it, I hope you can see what I'm complaining about. Another absolutely retarded thing is the clothes they're wearing. While men's clothing is somewhat functional, female ninjas and warriors are running in skimpy outfits that look like they were made of the scraps of remaining fabrics which were used for the male character's outfits. Fitting. The heels are stupid but hey, at least the male characters are wearing them too :). Not to mention that men seem to be wearing actual underwear/shorts under their robes, while women are wearing thongs??? Or nothing at all! Judging by the random hip exposing holes in the sides of their dresses.
I wouldn't be sperging so much if this was a seinen manga, but it's not. It's very clearly aimed at children due to the concepts it explores and explains. It's meant for kids and early teens at most, yet the designs are so fucking coomerbrained. It's pretty educational, which I found endearing. That's the thing though, from what I've seen, Boichi's work is mostly seinen. He also made ecchi, and hentai. He's no stranger to adult focused manga. And I guess that pornishness just can't help but seep through into a manga made for actual children.
His art wasn't the only reason why I'm writing this. I started reading his manga Hotel. I only managed to get 3 chapters in. The manga is a compilation of his short stories. The first chapter had an apocalyptic theme. To remind themselves of their mistakes for destroying Earth, humans built a huge tower in which they stored their DNA. As only a small amount of samples could be stored - the main leader of the project chose not to store his DNA, out of noble reasons or some shit. Pic related is him and his wife.

Next mini chapter, is a different post apocalyptic setting, this time featuring an old man and two young girls he considers his daughters. He decides that in order to prolong the human race, he has to sleep with them. Haha...

The next chapter centers around a student confessing love to her professor. He "honorably" declines her but she oh so romantically declares that she will be with him once she graduates. They marry, some bad shit happens and she wakes up after a two month coma, having only three days to live. One of the things she says first to him is this:

After reading this chapter, I dropped the manga. I didn't really care to find out whether the next chapter will have another age-gap relationship, or the chapter after that, or the chapter after that... My patience is wearing thin. My tolerance for shit like this is running low. What makes it necessary that 3 chapters in a row feature age-gaps where the male is old and decrepit and the woman young and oh so willing? Why is the wifes only function and goal to please her husband after she was in a two month coma?? Why does a man have to "control" his desire? Unga bunga male powerful animal, woman serve! I remember the wife and husband character in dr.stone (the ones from the International Space Station, how much involvement he had in this I don't know) also being in an age-gap relationship lol. I don't know what this fetish is, but it seems to be such a turn on for Boichi to the point that he can 't help but not include it in all of his works (all might be an overstatement, but I don't care enough to find out). It's not just age-gaps, it's the way he portrays female characters. They're ditzy, stupid, foolish, silly, horny, cutesy. Unaware of concepts such as honor or righteousness. In the meantime his male characters are serious, concerned with life and death, deep in thought, conflicted, doubting, thinking. And that portrayal is reflected in the design, so hard. His male characters have frown lines because they're allowed to think, it seems. No amount of technical skill can make you see women as human beings, I guess.

Decided to go through my backlog and I caught myself dropping stuff really fast. So let's go through some of this stuff.

  • Artiswitch: Premise sounded cute. 3D animation is utter shit but I was willing to stomach it since the episodes are only 8min long and at least the backgrounds were pretty. Main characters outfit is overdesigned, something modern anime-related media suffers from (looking at you Genshin Impact, vtubers and gacha games). The cringy dance sequence at the end of the first episode made me drop it.
  • Battle Programer Shirase: Pedobait too in your face, even for an early 2000's anime. Didn't want to see more of that.
  • Kachou Ouji: Cool, the main character is an adult with a wife and kids! Not cool, the main character is fantasizing about fucking a blond bombshell at the end of the first episode. High schooler gets to escape his dull life by the help of a mysterious girl is cringe, but it's even more cringe when aimed at adults. A bit sad I won't get to experience the iconic pissed off black dude voiced by a random gaijin scene but I didn't feel like watching a dude cuck his tired wife stuck raising his child for however long. My heart is too soft.
  • Franken Fran: I really wanted to like this because people used to praise it so much but.. but... idk just didn't vibe well with it. I don't mind nudity but something about this was too coomerish for me. Idk.
  • Chimoguri Ringo to Kingyobachi Otoko: Main girl is too MPDG like, didn't like the fanservice. Girl in swimsuit make my peepee hard unga bunga vibes.