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.