Bloggers on early AKB0048

I already blogged Nova, who spoke to my sensibilities. Nothing about Nova's narrative changed after seeing the material for myself, but I am not entirely satisfied for other reasons and tried to find some good naysaying. Unfortunately, the pickings were slim.

Peter S. disappoints completely. Take a load of this:

There’s no reason given for why [entertainment is] forbidden.

All I can say to it is: Have you not watched Oh Edo Rocket, man?

trite personal stories

Woa, epinions. But suppose I have low standards. Now, is this claim falsifiable? What kind of personal story would not be "trite", in AKB0048?

Otou attempted a high road, and I really wanted him to explain what sucked about AKB0048. However, his parsing went like this:

Specifically, how far does the entertainment ban go? What exactly are kids supposed to enjoy doing? I suppose you can beat a stick against a tree like we used to do back in the day when I was little and electricity scared us. But this is a modern society with TVs (do they only show the news?) and the internet, not to mention space travel. And fashion. Look at Nagisa’s shorts, the little hussy, or any of the other girls’ outfits. They’re not exactly wearing burlap sacks, are they? So tell me about fashion. Does it fall under entertainment? Without entertainers, who’s going to distribute the styles to the masses?

The right answer is to go with the flow, of course. But let's become enough of a stick in the mud and consider: is what they showed us impossible? I once lived in a society where jeans were considered extremely unpatriotic and could lead to beatings. And yet, people still wore them, with care; then joined in the beatings. The setup turned upon the universal hypocrisity: say the right words, do the opposite. Let me underscore: it was a real life, not anime, where rooms like Nagisa's existed[1]. Granted, entertainment was not banned, but it was... distributed — exactly in the manner that Otou questions. A government committee determined what was permissive, literally[2]. With an adjustment to moefication, I find the setting quite familiar.

I am sure Otou knows about Islamic State, Iron Curtain, and Cultural Revolution, yet appears not to have a visceral idea what it was, or is, to live there. Therefore, for him, AKB0048 lacks in fidelity. It does not help me find where it sucked.

His another issue was this:

I don’t know a ton about AKB48, but I do know that they’ve gotten some heat for some of their more risqué lyrics and videos which their critics think aren’t fit for their young members, let alone the audience.

I plainly refuse to deal with his point above. He seems to be hinting at a certain moral judgement, the kind often baffles me in America. For example, I overheard a segment of TV news today, where they tried to make beef of a woman who was convicted for prostitution working as a school bus driver. I do not mean the bullshit of hanging a misdemeanor on a sex worker, in a country that is about to legalize gay marriage. But the issue of her occupation here is exactly what? Nobody in the idiot box brought up any particular hazard from the woman working the job. Instead it was indignation over a shared understanding. Remove the shared understanding and what do we have left?

Why does he join the the "critics"? He is supposed to be more open-minded than I, but some orwellesque anti-sex "critics" are enough to poison AKB0048 for him.

Evirus gave me some hope, but ended with "AKB0048 is mostly terrible" and "not memorable" because the anime "seems little more than a celebration of the real-word AKB48 idol troop". Okay, but isn't it supposed to be just that? What did he expect? The rest was the standard finger-wagging at AKB48's rotation, in oblique phrasing.

So far, our intellectual betters completely failed at operationalizing the hate of AKB0048. I think all we've left is Omo, unless help arrives from an unexpected direction. [Or god forbid you have write it yourself — Ed]

[1] Note that Nagisa's father had nothing against Nagisa engaging into entertainment, only with the appearances. In particular, remember his reasons for prohibiting her to take the audition. They didn't have anything with entertainment being wrong.

[2] Sometimes, they let some things slip through. For example, Flying Ghost Ship, an anime from 1967, was officially approved for unlimited distribution. My mother belonged to a special movie club, located at a semi-closed scientific base, which managed to show Disney's Fantasia and 1936 King Kong. So I actually watched all 3 versions of the latter. The club weren't hiding all that much, but were getting away with it because of the locale.