theotpodcast
Feel free to share any more general thoughts here or post a new topic if you want to dive into something specific that was talked about.
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Unregistered
First of all, great episode! It really took me back to my days as a baby-fan getting my first taste of fandom through shows like Sailor Moon, Escaflowne, and Fushigi Yuugi. It was really interesting looking back and reflecting on the differences between fic for Western media and anime/manga canons, many of which I'd never recognized consciously until they were brought up in the podcast.

The only thing that kind of irked me in your discussion was when you were talking about genres in anime/manga canons, and brought up the example of Puella Magi Madoka Magica as a tricky-to-categorize example in between 'shoujo' and 'shonen'. You didn't bring up 'seinen' or 'josei' at all, which I assume was just because too many terms might be overwhelming for the audience. But in your discussion of Madoka and the controversies surrounding it in Western fandom, it felt like the term you were dancing around was 'moe', which is a sub-genre/style within the 'seinen' genre, which is media primarily directed towards adult men.

I just think it's a rather important thing for Western fans to be aware of when they're getting into anime/manga canons for the first time. Because from a Western perspective, a lot of the tropes in 'moe' shows (i.e., a bunch of girls with agency whose lives don't revolve around male characters) at first glance, look like a reflection of feminist ideals, when, in reality, these shows are directed towards men who like watching 'cute girls doing cute things' for their consumption without the perceived 'competition' of male characters who could potentially compromise those female characters' 'purity'. Without knowledge of the 'moe' genre and the cultural context surrounding it, it can be very easy for newcomers to anime/manga to confuse 'moe' for 'shoujo' series, which is part of informed the controversy about Madoka in Western fandom.
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marmolita
I actually was not familiar with the term "moe," so it's possible our other contributors also were not.  Thanks for the information!  Maybe we should do an episode sometime about the intersection between target audiences of media and the audiences who end up consuming them (as in your example of anime targeted at adult men, but perhaps consumed by younger women).
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Unregistered
Good episode, but man were there some annoying inaccuracies: Shoujo/shounen/josei/seinen are generally not ambiguous. If there's a manga that is serialized in a magazine, that magazine's marketing category tells you which it is. It's just a target marketing demographic, not a marker of whether there are relationships or violence. If it seems like there are strong patterns, it's because 90% of everything that gets big in the US comes from Shounen Jump, which has a house style, not because shounen overall or shoujo overall are restricted to particular content. On a similar note, 'shounen ai' means something different in Western fandom from in Japanese. Same with the other terms for gay manga. Fanfiction.net existed by 2000. I agree that it wasn't super popular yet, and I personally didn't know about it yet, but it was there.
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Osidiano
I gotta agree with the two Unregistered commenters above me. It also seemed like there was some confusion between style, marketing, and genre, which honestly surprised me coming from the show because you’ve all been pretty good about that in episodes before now. Clamp has a style, yeah, and likes to have certain themes and tropes present in their works (don’t we all have our faves as creators?), but they’re definitely not their own genre. Sometimes they make magical girl stuff like Rayearth and sometimes it’s romantic comedies with sci-fi elements like Chobits. Naoki Urasawa has a very distinct style, and even though he’s considered a national treasure in Japan and is a Pulitzer Prize winner, he’s not his own genre. That would be like saying that Whedon or JJ Abrams or Nolan or Del Toro are their own genre, instead of just writers/directors with distinct creative styles who make lots of movies in different genres. 

Like, we treated shonen and shoujo as genres in this ep. This was really startling, especially because you talked about how translators were realizing that not all anime was for kids. Like, yeah! Berserk and 20th Century Boys and Ghost in the Shell are all seinen, not shonen (they’re not meant for boys, they’re marketed to adult guys), but those aren’t in the same genre (Berserk is dark fantasy, 20th Century boys is a psychological sci-fi thriller, Ghost in the Shell is straight-up cyberpunk). I think maybe this was so difficult to wrap our heads around because we’re used to treating teens so dumb in the West? (And because we pretend that YA is a literary genre when it’s. . . Not, really.) I mean, I’m not very familiar with josei stuff, because even Nana is considered shoujo (and that deals with some heavy dark stuff later in the series), and in a Western series I wouldn’t see that kind of depiction of pregnancy, or unhealthy relationships, or addiction, or characters struggling with being bi-racial. But it kind of feels like, in the West, we use the terms shonen and shoujo as a shorthand to describe the series, but that’s actually super not helpful or accurate, because it would be like talking about the rating of a movie or a fic instead of it’s genre.
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