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wedgew
Mon Nov 11 19 06:53pm
(Updated 2 times)

I appreciate the question MYBODYISREADY. I've been commenting on the Internet since the days of dial-up AOL message boards. I've learned long ago to let that very mantra of "How am I helping" guide me when I choose to comment or not. I'm glad that seems to be your motivation also.

As far as it not being clearly made for me, I'm not sure how you can deduce that. I'm a potential viewer of animated programming. And the comments I made said nothing about whether I will be more inclined or less inclined (or neither) to watch the show because of Gou's design. That strikes me as an assumption.

It seems to me someone who is happy to hear about the thought process that went into Gou's design should in no way be obligated to be less happy because of my comments. Everyone is entitled to their own tastes. But a philosophy that says one shouldn't express anything besides excitement because people who are excited might not like it (which, correct me if I'm wrong, seems to be your point) is not, I suggest for consideration, a long-term healthy approach. It seems to tacitly affirm the notion that people shouldn't be, or at least probably won't be, as excited about something if they find out others don't share their enthusiasm. I personally believe that to be false. It also discourages discussion between people with differing viewpoints, and that presents a whole host of problems.

That isn't to say one should be a jerk about things. But that's different from expressing a lack of enthusiasm. We have different tastes, and that's ok.

As for my post itself, to be clear, my intention was not to tear the decision down. It is their choice. I was making two points.

1. The importance of not judging hastily. Regnilla characterized this design choice as "non-binary/gender fluid representation." But, given the history of the anime genre, having a character that is not visually clearly identifiable as male or female does not indicate actual non-binary/gender fluid representation. The Japanese voice actor did not say that Gou is non-binary or gender fluid, or that such considerations were behind the decision to make Gou's gender not immediately identifiable through the visual design. So, with no context to go on, the praise might have been premature.

2. I'm disconcerted at the focus on 'representation' in media today. Again, not that there's anything bad with representation, per se. But for many reasons, I see the fixation with it as quite possibly a bad thing. From an entertainment perspective, character identity and representation often seem to be coming at the expense of meaningful character development and solid storytelling these days. From a psychological perspective, I'm concerned about what the fixation suggests. Do we believe people's ability to empathize is so limited? If so, are we right? Do we believe people's ability to admire virtuous character traits in fictional characters is so limited? If so, are we right? Do we believe people look primarily to media depictions, and in narrowly defined categories, in order to find value in ourselves and others? If so, are we right? These are, I believe, important questions. And if my posts have encouraged at least one person to ponder such things, then I believe I have helped.

Incidentally, I disagree with the notion that if some product isn't 'made for' a person, said person's input isn't necessary. I mean, is anyone's input necessary? But beyond that, someone who is not a member of a product's target audience can still have something meaningful and useful to say about the product.

Thanks for reading.

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