25 CommentsAnime Analysis / By Scamp /

Love, Sex, Sluts and Vampire Wars

Like almost all of my terribad reviews, my Vampire Wars review was considerably longer prior to ruthless editing. Most of what I cut out was talking about how poorly the relationship of the main couple was handled. The crux of my argument revolved around him being a giant man slut and this made his love seem fake, which is a dangerous path to go down if I’m unable to explain myself properly. But I still want to talk about it, so that’s why I’m writing this post. Treat it like a supplemental.

There’s a big issue in anime…well, actually with the world in general, but it’s considerably more noticeable in otaku culture, with the purity fixation. The idea that the girl of your dreams should remain pure and untainted, where even the slightest hint at the possibility that she may have slept with someone before instantly devaluing her asset as a waifu. It may seem like a joke that only the craziest of otaku complain about, but then you hear the story of how the pre-orders for Ano Hana plummeted after a next episode preview hinted that Anaru might sleep with another guy. Let’s repeat that for emphasis. The sheer possibility that she may sleep with a guy caused massive outrage that directly effected sales.

What this means is creators are unwilling to create female characters who even had previous boyfriends, let alone be slightly promiscuous or anything of the sort. While this may be limited to a smaller section of fandom who purchase these kinds of anime, anime is buoyed largely by these sorts of people, so any anime being created has to consider that they’ll be alienating a large potential audience by giving their female characters relationships with men. This is fucking awful, simply from a story-creation point of view, because it means the market is limiting what kinds of female characters can be created, especially when it’s something as big a deal to a teenage girl’s life like having a boyfriend. It gets to the point that even characters who are supposed to be pregnant aren’t even shown to have a physical relationship with another guy (oh hi there Clannad After Story).

This may sound like an over-reaction, and yes it sort of is. It’s hardly like all anime are effected by this purity fixation. But a less extreme version of this culture does exist outside otaku circles with the slut shaming culture. Now I am hardly an expert on the subject of sex, as you can probably tell by the fact that I write an anime blog, but the idea that someone’s love is less real because they’ve had considerably sexual experience is pervasive in popular culture. The otaku version we see over cases like Ano Hana, Kannagi, or even K-ON for a bit before they assured us that Mio didn’t have a boyfriend, are just extreme examples of this mindset, and it creeps into the stories and damages them as a result.

So back to Vampire Wars. My complaint was that the main character’s confession of love didn’t feel real because his only previous display of attraction was that they had sex, yet the main character had casual sex with another girl earlier on in the OVA. I’m on shaky ground here pushing into the purity fixation, so I want to clarify my position. The problem with Vampire Wars was the romance between the main character and his lady friend never felt genuine. All he ever did was grunt, shoot things, and stand around looking buff, while she panicked, acted useless and eventually turned into an alien and killed everything (spoilers btw). The only time they had any interactions that implied a relationship was when they had sex. Which is fine, but he had sex with another girl earlier on in the series, and there didn’t appear to be any difference in the levels of attraction he had for either girl. Vampire Wars didn’t do a good job of explaining why this time it was different. Why he had stronger feelings for this girl rather than the other one. Their romance was never believable because they didn’t do anything to distinguish it as a romance, bar the having sex thing, which the series had already established he does for girls he doesn’t love already.

Yeah, this still sounds worryingly like the purity fixation, but it’s different really, I swear! I’ve put way too much effort into explaining why this stupid anime is bad, I should just stop now.

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  1. Ty-chama
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    You’d have a field day if you read Hardy’s ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ Scamp!

    • Posted December 9, 2011 at 3:19 am | Permalink

      Great point, actually. Also, Jude the Obscure. Hardy wrote and wrote to get rid of this purity fixation but I guess it hasn’t reached Japan yet (or most anywhere else).

      BTW, “Now I am hardly an expert on the sub­ject of sex, as you can prob­ably tell by the fact that I write an anime blog..” = best aniblog line of 2011 :D

  2. Suzushina Yuriko
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    I don’t really want to say this, but these types of otaku really are pathetic. The purity thing applies to the voice actors of the characters too.

    You don’t seem like the type to pay attention to this kind of news, but the voice actor of K-ON’s Yui was suspected to have a relationship with another musician which caused quite an outrage. One crazed fan even went as far as stalking her to her house and confirming that they were living together by sending a mail package for the signature verification. He then proceeded to post this on 2ch to stir up even more rage.

    What do they think they can accomplish by expecting their beloved female characters and voice actors to remain “pure”? It’s completely illogical. In the anime female’s case, it extremely limits her character and personality like you said. In the voice actor’s case, it’s really none of their business what she does with her life outside of voice acting but they get butthurt anyways and call her a slut if she shows any sign of having a relationship with someone else.

    The sad thing is, anime sales are mainly supported by this group of people. Perhaps the reason there are so many useless Yuji-everylead the Blands is because they can insert themselves as the protagonist and imagine bagging the heroine instead.

    noitaminA has already been corrupted by this mindset and officially said in an interview that they were going to start targeting the otaku demographic due to lack of sales (which explains Guilty Crown). It used to stand as the pinnacle of storytelling quality in anime. Now it stands for nothing. UN-GO might just be the last old noitaminA-esque show we’ll ever get.

    …wait, I was supposed to talk about Vampire Wars? Oh well.

    • Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:57 am | Permalink

      “Per­haps the reason there are so many use­less Yuji-everylead the Blands is because they can insert them­selves as the prot­ag­on­ist and ima­gine bag­ging the heroine instead.”

      Except none of said bagging ever transpires. Hell, hugs don’t even occur on a regular basis. These main characters are so directionless and pathetic that they can’t actually work up the nerve to manage a show of their affection, and have to rely on ham-fisted plot devices to literally shove intimacy onto them, which they then fiercely reject.

      So if these characters are supposed to represent the thoughts and feelings of the target audience, why do they go to hilarious extremes specifically to avoid getting with the girl they like?

      • Suzushina Yuriko
        Posted December 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps otaku love the tsundere personality so much that they’ve become a variant of one themselves.

      • Scamp
        Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Except they then hoover up NTR doujins about the characters. Funny how that all works out eh. It’s ok so long as it’s not canon

  3. Someone Else
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Actually I wanted another Kannagi anime, and see how her past relationship is. Not all anime audiences hate used goods(borrowed SankakuC terminology) anyway plus lately I’ve been watching shoujo anime so I guess I became a bit open minded to these things nowadays. Oh wait on the second thought, shoujo anime doesn’t help at all -_-

    All I can say to those people is, please be realistic and grow some brains.

    I loved Clannad after story since they actually got a kid though. Funny thing is these Otaku crazy idiots like hentai as well but doesn’t know that sex makes babies. They fantasize them as if it won’t make the girls pregnant at all! LOL XD

    Also what the hell is vampire wars? Some 90s anime again we never heard of?

    • Someone Else
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 5:27 am | Permalink

      Whoops I take back vampire wars comment, sorry I just don’t watch terribad reviews due to some reasons

  4. Posted December 9, 2011 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    I think you highlighted it already. Money is everything. Trying to portray realistic relationship histories with characters will only lead to massive drops in sales. I think the best thing to do altogether is to try to avoid those series to begin with.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Outside of the more male otaku-aimed sphere, the problem is less pronounced. Yeah there’s the teenage girl phenomenon of getting incredibly worked up over boyband members having girlfriends, but this problem hasn’t worked itself into anime from what I can see. I have seen fangirls go nuts when their supposed yaoi pairing gets crushed when one of them turns out to be *gasp* straight, but I haven’t seen it effect what is being made as of yet

  5. Stef
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    You’re too focused on otaku population. Fixation over one’s virginity is present in all societies, to the point where trying to explain the phenomenon on such a small scale like anime fans is nonsensical.
    But it’s too big of a subject to make an entire comment about it.

    Also, I get what you’re trying to say about the romance in Vampire Wars, but my advice is just to let it go. It’s a stupid anime. There’s no point in over analysis.

    • Ryu
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      I think Scamp’s gripe is that the ass backwards Madonna/Whore dichotomy is so widespread and Vampire War’s romance is an exemplary display of this trope.

      • Norman McLaren
        Posted December 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Actually, I don’t think that’s what Scamp was getting at. More like he wanted to differentiate his gripes with the relationship in Vampire Wars from the purity fixation complex seen elsewhere.

      • Ryu
        Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        damn I should really work on that whole reading thing, but who’s gonna make that purity complex accusation about vampire wars which uses its female characters solely as a vehicle for fanservice?

    • Scamp
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      @Stef I did mention that it was just a small part of a much bigger picture of slut shaming culture. I just wanted to give a quick overview of how this mindset negatively effects anime before talking about Vampire Wars

      @Ryu She is an important part of the story though. The anime ends on them confessing love to each other, which means the anime was leading up to this point. She’s not just a vehicle for fanservice. What I was trying to describe was how the show failed in depicting their budding love

      • Stef
        Posted December 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Right on. But I wouldn’t expect any effort to be put in a romance in an anime named Vampire Wars. So yes, part fanservice, part “why not”

  6. Fulluphigh
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    I really don’t think you have to make an effort to clarify that this is separate from the “purity fixation.” Really the only thing relating what you’re talking in this anime and that is sex in general. You’ve got a good point, another reason this terrible anime is terrible, but it’s not related at all to purity fixation apart from sex, so there’s really nothing to defend here. =p

    • Scamp
      Posted December 10, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Eh, it bugged me enough to write a post on it

  7. Erif
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Great article, my friend.

  8. Sarif Fice
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I have noticed that this purity fixation has even affected Penguindrum in comparison to Utena. Utena had a lot of rape incest, consensual sex and the like while every female in penguindrum (save the actress) are pure as can be. even if it is suggested early in the show that they are going to rape someone or participate in incest it never turns out to be the intent. In Utena the two main characters sleep with the main villain and end up hating one another for a period of time. I wish penguindrum packed this same sort of punch and wasn’t backing off at the last second with all of it’s potentially twisted love stories.

    Sorry for the only barely related rant.

  9. lmm
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I wish I wasn’t this guy, but: please, affect, not effect.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 10, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      …damn, that’s one I’ve always been bad at

  10. Suigintoh
    Posted December 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Well, it all depends. Nana (for example) is quite popular in Japan.

  11. Posted July 30, 2013 at 3:39 am | Permalink

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