Battle of the Genres: Romance, Harem and Hentai Dec12

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Battle of the Genres: Romance, Harem and Hentai

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Battle of the Genres: Romance, Harem and Hentai

by Max Vader

Let’s kick this off with a big one, shall we? In the following article I intend to show you that two of anime’s most popular genres are inherently trash and ruin every show made with them in mind. Furthermore, I will illustrate that Hentai, generally speaking, is superior to both of them in many ways.

I can already hear many people furiously banging on their keyboards to tell me that I am wrong and also a giant homo or whatever else they can come up with on the fly. Therefore I will attempt to clarify what I mean and am trying to prove before we actually dive in.

First off, let me explain my stance on Hentai. Despite the fact that I will claim it is superior to those two genres, that is not meant as any sort of endorsement. I’ve yet to see anime porn that wasn’t either disgusting, ridiculous, plotless spank-off material or a combination of the three. So when I’m comparing Hentai favorably to those two genres, it is not a compliment to the supposed quality of Hentai, it is a way to demonstrate that romance and harem-anime are so atrocious, they make Hentai look good. More on that later.

I’ll elaborate on what I consider to be a harem or romance anime now. You see, there are some shows that contain either romance or harem elements that I wouldn’t classify as a harem or romance anime. Take Spice and Wolf, for instance. The romance between the main character and his furry waifu is an integral part of the plot, after all. However, Spice and Wolf has more than just romance – namely a plot, developed characters and things to keep you interested (economics, for instance). So when I speak of romance, I mean shit like Ah My Goddess and Clannad and when I speak of harem, I mean shit like Astarotte’s Toy and Highschool D&D. In other words, 99% of all harem/romance anime. The ones that either have no plot or the plot is so retarded and vapid it might not even exist. The ones that have no characters, but instead blank slates for the viewer to insert themselves into and sentient cliches with different hairstyles. So now that we have established all this, let us actually begin with our examination.

Will they won’t they actually they won’t – Romance

“JUST FUCK ALREADY!”

-Tristan Taylor

Sometimes, the anime industry baffles me. One of the things that especially confuses me about them is their love for creating more romance anime. You see, the idea of making a romance between two (or multiple) fictional characters the one and only focus of your story is stupid from the very beginning. The entire crippling flaw of romance animes can be summed up in two words: NOBODY CARES. Seriously, you can have all the sweeping shots in the world of the characters staring wistfully at each other, but precisely at what moment are we provided with a single reason to give a shit? Unless we are talking about celebrity gossip, cheating or bigotry, nobody gives a toss who is in love with who in the real world, so why would you care about the love life of vapid cardboard cutouts you don’t know and that aren’t even real?! If you don’t believe me, go to the average young couple that are completely obsessed with each other and see how many times you can listen to “I love you snookums!” “I love you too, pookie!” before you throw yourself off the Empire State Building. And before you say “but romance is more than just affection!”: You are correct, but it doesn’t help your point. After all, the only thing worse than listening to a couple being all cutesy to each other is listening to a couple arguing. It’s already bad enough if you actually know these people, so once again, why would you watch shit like that badly re-enacted by people that aren’t even real?! Seriously, nobody cares about other people’s relationships if they don’t involve them in any way. It’d be like if one of my friends came up to me to tell me in detail how awesome his girlfriend is in bed. Unless he is inviting me to test his claim for myself, this is completely useless information to me and I don’t care. Moving on.

Self-Inserts for Sad Sacks of Shit – Harem

If you *inhale* were in a high school anime, *inhale* and you had harems, *inhale* how many people *inhale* would you have in your harem?
-Anonymous Sad Sack of Shit 

As you may have already known, there is often some overlap between romance and Harem. This is because the only reason I can think of why anyone would want to subject themselves to an anime that is purely “romance” is the same reason why people watch harem anime: Wish fulfillment. Did you ever notice how so many harem protagonists are the exact same character – that is to say spineless, dickless, brainless whiny shitheads? That is because they aren’t really characters, they are vehicles that are supposed to fulfill two different yet interconnected functions. Their main reason for existence is so that the aforementioned sad sacks of shit can project themselves into their shoes and have imaginary women fawn over their lonely, unloved repulsive asses. This explains why they are spineless, brainless and whiny – after all, if they were anything else, the intended audience couldn’t relate to them. What about the dickless-part, though? Well, this is where we get into the second task of the harem protagonist. As if arisen from a 21st century-revamped second circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno for Bodypillow-fornicators, Harem protagonists always live though the same torment with minor variations. Whether the show has lolis, token robot girls or excuse plots, it is always the same: They are cursed to be constantly thrown into extremely sexual situations but will never, ever be able to put it in. Somewhere, Il Palazzo is crying.

So why is that? After all, even the most pathetic HentaiKey-subscribers would still be all over these women if they were real. Just look at Christian Weston Chandler. Well, the reason for this is a pretty goofy one that is part of the mentality of japanese nerd-dom. You see, otaku really like it when something has an official couple. However, if it isn’t the couple of their choice, they get pissy. So how do you prevent your audience from being smaller than it could be because your show alienates the part of the fandom that thinks the main character should be together with the loli robot maid instead? You just never let him get his dick wet or respond to their advances, thereby preventing any serious relationships from forming and placating the loli lovers. The entire thing is in fact very similar to the situation with shitty boybands/”singers” (pardon the redundancy) like One Direction or the infamous Bieber. They are not allowed to have a relationship because if they did, the fangirls couldn’t rub one out to the fantasy of being their girlfriend anymore. It’s the same shit with harem anime. If the self-insert were to pick a girl and it is not the one your otaku-audience likes, you will lose viewers and, even worse, merchandising dollars. So by making your main character dickless, you’re gonna keep raking in those sweet, sweet bodypillow-dollars. (Even if you have to rinse them off before going to the bank.)

Dumb, disgusting and damn funny – Hentai

“We both got buckets of chicken. Ya wanna do it?”
-The Scout 

I believe the most infamous genre of anime needs no introduction, so let’s get straight to the point: Why am I saying, even if it’s only half-jokingly, that hentai is superior to both romance and harem anime? Let’s take romance first. First off, hentai has infinitely more entertainment value than romance anime. Shows like Clannad aren’t even accidentally entertaining, interesting or engaging while the right doujin or hentai can prove to be a laugh riot or be accidentally thought-provoking, even if it’s only though sheer insanity. Unlike hentai, you aren’t getting anything out of romance anime – not even semen. If the animated equivalent of a fleshlight has a more valid reason for existing than your attempt at a “serious” story, it’s pretty sad.

As for harem-shows, I’m going to use a comparison here that I’ve made before: Hentai is to harem anime what hookers are to stripclubs. Yes, it is a pretty pathetic thing to hire a hooker, but at least they do something for you. Strip clubs are essentially nothing but a place where you exchange money for blue balls. To use yet another analogy, if getting a hooker is like going to McDonalds when you’re hungry, going to a strip club is like paying other people to eat food in front of you when you’re hungry and you can’t have any. Think about how pathetic THAT is and you will have captured the essence of harem shows.

Besides, just like romance anime, all this harem shit is oftentimes not even accidentally entertaining. You can have many valid criticisms against hentai, but lack of variety and predictability aren’t among them. With harem anime however, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. It doesn’t matter if the paper-thin backdrop shows giant robots, medieval japan or sci-fi space adventures, it’s always the same shit. Dickless shithead of a main character, tsundere, token loli, mega-slut, bathing scenes, wacky misunderstandings, rinse, repeat. Sometimes it’s nothing but lolis or they throw in some incest, but the formula is adhered to so rigidly, you’d think it was dictated to them by Ninja Jesus himself. And that’s just depressing.

Let me expand on that a bit more before we move on. I’m sure you are familiar with the fact that including a scene with no purpose in your story is bad writing. For instance, if Game of Thrones suddenly had a scene that was nothing but King Robert eating for a few minutes, you’d justifiably feel like the show just wasted your time. Romance anime is practically nothing but an endless string of scenes like that. The reason for this is because if the entire focus of your story is two characters falling in love, then you can’t have them immediately confess to each other. After all, then the entire show would only be five minutes long and you couldn’t sell endless amounts of DVDs and merchandise of it. Therefore, the formula goes like this:

  1. Set-up which shows that the characters are attracted to each other.
  2. At least ten episodes of pointless meandering “will they won’t they” bullshit, with maybe a few half-hearted attempts at comedy thrown in.
  3. They confess to each other.

Step two is completely pointless, boring and unengaging, but if they cut it out, the show wouldn’t last ten minutes. The formula in harem anime is very similar.

  1. Introduction of the characters and their one defining trait.
  2. At least ten episodes of pointless unfunny scenes of the different girls fawning over the unlikable main character.
  3. Half-hearted attempt at any sort of ending whatsoever.

So in other words harem anime is just like romance anime, but without the main character actually confessiong to a girl at the end. Hence, it’s even more pointless, if you can believe that. Some might argue that the entertainment value of harem shows lies in their “comedy”, but that falls flat for two reasons. First off, as I mentioned earlier, if you’ve seen one harem show, you’ve seen them all. They have barely any differences between them. Secondly, something like “main character accidentally walks in on girl bathing and she punches him in the stratosphere” is not a joke in this or any other dimension. Neither are giant sweatdrops or angry forehead veins.

Now, contrast this with the formula for hentai.

  1. Setup, involving sex
  2. Conflict, involving sex
  3. Conclusion, involving sex

You might notice that despite it’s ridiculous nature, hentai most of the time actually follows a narrative structure. The narrative may be shitty and/or just an excuse for more sex, but at least it’s there. Take a look at Bible Black for example. There is a setup (we get to know the characters, Minase finds the book), a conflict (Minase gets tempted by Kitami and starts going over to the dark side) and a conclusion (Kitami is defeated, sort of anyway). Most harem and romance anime don’t even have THAT. And that fact alone is more pathetic and damning than anything I could ever say about them.

“Believe in Wonderland” – Conclusion

After talking about why romance and harem anime suck so bad, there is only one question that remains: “If they suck so much, why does the anime industry keep making them?” It’s actually a pretty easy question. Why is anime swamped with shitty shows? It can all be traced to one single factor – the source of the entire problem.

YOU.

If nobody bought this vapid, pathetic shit, the industry would stop making it. We on The Other Side like tearing into shitty directors and studios, and with good reason. However, the biggest problem is and has always been the anime fandom itself. Why are you willing to let them find success with this brainless moe garbage? If you supported quality shows, then that’s what the industry would be trying to produce instead! If you wouldn’t allow them to skirt by with a shitty show just because they threw some pedo-pandering in it, nobody would ever have to deal with another Astarotte’s Toy! If you wouldn’t reward sameness and shameless ripoffs, Black Bullet would never have existed! If you had your fill of cliché’d bullshit, we wouldn’t have to suffer though more Naruto and it’s hundereds of identical shonen-brothers! Imagine, a world where anime wasn’t mainly shit like Kodomo no Jikan, Sword Art Online and generic shonen manga Nr. 1998 but instead shows like Attack on Titan, JoJo, Cowboy Bebop, Excel Saga, Monster, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood…

…and it’s not some sort of utopian fantasy, YOU COULD MAKE IT HAPPEN! Why aren’t you already!? We could do it! After all, why do you think my co-hosts and me do what we do in the first place?! It’s not just because making fanboys rage by shattering their delusions with the truth is fun, it’s because we want anime to get better! By making our opinion known, we are doing our part in showing that we all are sick of shitty, sub-par shows. We show them that while they serve us shit and expect us to pretend it’s chocolate fudge, we can chase them right back to hell with the truth. This is why our reviews are the way we are, because we actually care about the things we talk about. Some people say that’s a bad way to review, that reviews should be completely detached from anything even remotely subjective – and if that’s what you want, then go to a certain anime news and review site and see how accurate their “objective” reviews are. I want to see people have some passion, personally. I want to see people who actually give a shit about the state anime is in. I want to see possessed podcasters and reviewers! Yes! I want to see people like me, rising up with hate, laying about them with fiery eyes and steaming genitalia – possessed by ancient volcano gods from the polynesian islands, waving vast breasts and improbable penises at the anime studios of the world – naked glowing god-podcasters tearing apart lolis twenty-four hours a day, a new planet earth…

…oh, excuse me, I seem to have temporarily turned into Spider Jerusalem. Well anyway, you get my point. I hope you enjoyed this article. Until next time, folks.