TRIGGER WARNING: THIS POST DISCUSSES RAPE AND CHILD ABUSE.
(This post also contains spoilers for Grisaia no Meikyuu and the Grisaia no Rakuen anime up to episode 2, but it’s more about the fan reactions than the actual story. The actual story is pretty stupid, so don’t feel bad about being spoiled unless you’re really interested in the series.)
Whenever I think about anime humour, the first thing that occurs to me is that it is very often self-deprecating. This is especially noticeable whenever a joke centers around a male character. He may be a brainless pervert, a loser geek, clueless about girls (and in many cases, all of the above), and he will often be teased by the female characters, sometimes even physically abused in a slapstick manner.
I’m not going to pretend that anything about “anime humour” is unique. If you’ve ever watched a Japanese variety show, you’ll understand that the tendency towards exaggeration and silly jokes is hardly confined to anime. And, of course, the gender bias in slapstick is a common media trope in general.
Still, I did get to thinking about how “anime humour” and “fandom humour” overlap. It certainly makes sense that fans of anime would engage in self-deprecating humour themselves. You can see this in words like “waifu” or the common fandom joke: “Your favorite anime is shit!”
In general, people use self-deprecating humour to create an aura of approachability. There’s really nothing inherently wrong with it. It’s good to have a sense of perspective and the ability to laugh at yourself.
Self-deprecating humour can also be indulgent and self-serving, though. In the fandom context, it can come across as a self-defense mechanism, a way of deflecting outside criticism while carving out a distinct identity for oneself. By making fun of themselves, fans establish themselves as an in-group. Outsiders can only laugh at them, not with them.
To entice you to read this post, here is a picture of two guys kissing from one of my favourite shows.
There’s a lot of miscellaneous stuff I want to mention about certain anime that I never felt deserved a post of their own, so I decided to write about them all and slap them together in one post. This is going to come off as a bit unstructured compared to my regular posts, but bear with me.
As a whole, Spring 2013 was a nod towards the old school. None of the titles captured the best of their respective genres – this will probably be remembered mostly as a spring season of mediocrity across the board – but the pleasant throwbacks to older times made each series pretty worthwhile for the hardcore anime fan. As usual, we got a lot of variety to pick from.