Episode 548: Insufferably Aho

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Let the alcohol flow through you! Let it consume your speech, and rid you of your coherent thoughts. That’s right, buzzed Joseph is back with a drinking Andrew this week. First up Joseph talks about Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Andrew quickly blasts through some opinions on anime he’s not going to preview. Industry news sees Joseph talk about an email from a listener, and Andrew mentions how PSG fans used a really expensive banner of Goku. Then comes a joint review of a very violent man and a very dumb girl.

Show Notes

Music

Intro – “DragonBall-Z Tapion Melody” by ikiratv from Royalty Free Anime Music

Outro“Neko Mimi Mode by Dimitri from Paris from Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase

Reviews

Aho Girl – Netflix (Joseph) & Netflix (Andrew)
Wikipedia

News

Top 10 Worst Mojo Harem Choices

PSG Fans Use Goku Banner

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40 thoughts on “Episode 548: Insufferably Aho”

  1. “IMHO” is meant to be “In My Humble Opinion”. Wow, I feel old as no one seems to use that abbreviation and in fact too many double down and just state their opinions as “facts” and harass people that don’t agree with that. Anyway, personally I feel that life is too short to waste on bad Anime and if a series doesn’t grab your attention after 3 episodes, it is best to drop it and move on and I wouldn’t slate you for making an opinion based on that. But that is just my very humble opinion. 🙂

  2. I don’t know if it was the alcohol but you two felt really lively this week. Had a great time listening to your banter while outside in the darkness and heavy snowfall. Swedish winter is so much fun.

    WatchMojo is actually an occasional guilty pleasure of mine. I know their lists are always going to be pretty bad, but it’s kinda fun to tune in to them every now and again to see what kind of crap they’ve slapped together. That said, “let’s shit on bad top 10 lists” seems to be a staple of all the anime podcasts I’m listening and I kinda enjoy it as well. Makes for a lot of discussion at least!

    I can’t really comment on Aho Girl since I haven’t watched it, but since I’m tired of the old “I’d NEVER approve of violence against women” chivalry bullshit I’ll at least give it points for just running with the male-on-female violence gag without pussyfooting around it like so many other shows and manga (I’m looking at you Ranma 1/2). I say this as pacifist. If you’re gonna have violence don’t be afraid to have it go both ways, or you’re better off not having it at all.

    -Crooh

  3. On my end that would likely be the alcohol, as I was a little excessive this week (and the following). Probably should be careful this doesn’t become a bad habit though I’m glad you were entertained. Those weather conditions sound romantic.

    Yup I can understand folk getting enjoyment out of WM in that way. I guess in the same way Top 10’s are easy to shit out because the structure is already there, it’s also easy to pick it apart piece by piece.

    Hoowee, that may feel awkward to read aloud next week.

    Peace,
    Chandrew

  4. Sorry about that, I might’ve unintentionally been a bit abrasive in the last part. It’s one of my personal pet peeves, so I got a bit too passionate about it. My apologies.

    Anyway, my point was that there are a lot of studios and mangaka who seem really uncomfortable with depicting male-on-female violence in their medium, despite setting or context. Whenever it does happen they’ll try to dial it down, find some way around it, or in the worst case scenario have a male character outright refuse to fight back against a woman.

    That’s why I said I prefer it to go both ways where all the characters, be they male or female, are allowed to beat the tar out of each other without a lot of ifs and buts. It’s just really weird narratively to have a character who’s supposed to be unapologetically violent suddenly pull their punches or have someone proclaim how violence against women is bad while he’s busy blowing a guy’s heart out of his chest with the five-point palm exploding heart technique. I’m against violence IRL, but if you’re gonna do violence in fiction I prefer it to be equal-opportunity.

    Rant over, sorry for getting lengthy and giving you even more crap to read out next week. xD

    -Crooh

    1. Oh no need to apologise, I was half joking (hence the ‘hoowee’) as I’m pretty sure we’re all adult enough to take a bit of hyperbole. I wouldn’t want to discourage someone from expressing themselves passionately anyways so as far as I’m concerned go all out. I mean if no one gets hurt where the harm eh?

      All that said I do get where you’re coming from. It wouldn’t stick out so much as an issue if it wasn’t so one sided in the medium. People can choose what to watch or read if it offends them but there is a distinct lack of equal-opportunity choices out there as you say.

      No worries, lately I prefer reading out community stuff instead of trying to find anything in my life to talk about anyways, so type whatever, whenever m8.

      Sincerely,
      Andrew

    2. Are they uncomfortable depicting violence against women? Is refusing to fight a woman showing respect, or is it kind of sexism? There have been serveral cases in anime where a male character will say “I don’t want to fight a girl” or some such thing.

      If mangaka and animators are afraid of violence against women, I don’t know if there’s a lot of proof of that. I’m sure there’s many gifs of females being kicked, beaten down, etc. Maybe less violence than the 80s. Oh boy, the 80s. Everyone was getting torn apart.

      1. I know of one clear example which is basically anything by Rumiko Takahashi. It’s pretty well-known that she doesn’t like boys hitting girls, to the point where she’ll either make all female character overbearingly violent towards the male characters, who’ll just weep and suck it up, or otherwise try and think of some forced way to work around it. Hell, I think Ranma’s sex-switching powers actually came about so just that Takahashi could have him fight girls.

        Thankfully the most egriegous examples are all from older shows and stories, though writers still occasionally play up a male character’s concern over the vulnerability of a female character to score instant good guy points. The most recent example that comes to mind is from Beatless, where the main male lead doesn’t want the female android waifu to fight and promises to protect her… even though she’s a superweapon and he’s a wet blanket.

        1. I would bet that a lot of female writers either flip the abuse or refrain from it. What’s that gif from a scifi show where a dude slaps the hell out of a woman? Again, the 80s was nuts.

          There was a really good (meaning bad) example from recent anime. It was called Rowdy Sumo Wrestler [something]taro It was based on an old manga, but it doesn’t fit in current times at all. He was a big dude getting rough with everyone and having his way because there weren’t a lot of people could stop him. This was a very unpopular show, but Joseph would find this especially distasteful.

          1. It’s not just female writers, male ones do it as well. I know Eiichiro Oda tends to try and avoid having men beat up not-ugly female characters unless the man in question is a bad guy. There was one case where Ivankov, the hormone man, decides to turn himself into a woman when fighting a female opponent and another where Usopp manages to win a fight against a woman without ever actually hitting her once.

            Oda isn’t the worst in this regard, but it’s still an example of how many authors are hesitant to portray violence against women even though they’re fine with violence against men. To bring it all back to Aho Girl I give it points for reversing the girl-on-boy slapstick dynamic without shame. It’s not the first one to do it, but it was the subject of this episode which is why I commented on it in the first place. Anyway, sorry for instigating a lengthy discussion. Assuming Andrew isn’t going to abbreviate most of it he’s gonna have a looooot to read next episode…

          2. In real life it’s underrepresented, women beating the holy hell out of dudes. We definitely have enough wife beaters. So having girls punch guys to the moon is refreshing.

            PS: Oda’s awesome. That really has nothing to do with the conversation. I just want to say that.

          3. The reply button is not appearing below the last comment in this chain so if I click ‘reply’ here will it appear at the bottom? I thought it would be funny if we actually made 20 comments but yeeeeeeeeesh…

  5. So Andrew’s issue with Watch Mojo is that they don’t write lengthy explanations about the anime they’re discussing. I think that’s your area of expertise sir! 😉

  6. Yeah that’s sort of right, I’ll briefly clarify that next recording. I take that as high praise that someone considers that to be an expertise of mine, cheers! 😀

      1. Yeah I don’t have difficulty getting a lot of words down when it comes to anime. I just need to be mindful of the quality as it’s more important and something I need to keep working at. Wildfire is one of the live listeners right? Or perhaps an ex-host?

        1. I said this early on, but I think what you can work on is flow. Both hosts write reviews, but does it sound good when spoken, or is it meant to be read only? I think when you did reviews with gimmicks, that got people’s attention the most. Not that I’m saying to do a fun angle every single time.

          Wilfdire’s “on” Manga Pulse enough to be the third mic. He’s a listener. I think i’m spelling his name wrong. He commented recently. I think it was in an AP comment.

          Also, i think he’s said that Wildfire is actually two people using one screenname?

          1. Thanks for the feedback, I’ll go over the steps I’ve been taking to improve ‘flow’ next recording. The only gimmick review I’ve done to my knowledge was the Gyo one, not sure what made me decide to do it that way but obviously I can’t rhyme all my reviews. Yeah currently not sure what I can do to make them fun even if I wanted to.

            Ah yeah that’s right I do hear his name being mentioned frequently on MP. Can’t recall if I’ve seen him on the AP side and I check the comments pretty frequently.

            So Wildfire. is. legion.

  7. On the negative commentary on Hajimete no Gyaru “My First Girlfriend is a Gal” (I will just refer to it as “Gal”), I get why one might be initially offended by the male protagonist and his circle of outcast friends. It is _meant_ to be offensive, and I sensed early on that they are given these faults so as to provide room for the MC to grow. So, curious to see if my hunch was right, I managed to work through all of the 10 episode season.
    On Junichi and his cohorts, they immediately reminded me of a less capable, poorly realized version of the characters in “Prison School” (Kangoku Gakuen). I.e.: cringe-inducing bumbling fool stereotypes who are cultural outcasts and, at first appearances, wholly unsympathetic as protagonists. I figured that if “Gal” followed this trope, then it would be through the actions of these seeming pariahs that the audience/reader learns that the MC and to a lesser extent his awkward friends are not as bad as they first appear. We are supposed to observe their actions and come to see them with if not a positive viewpoint then at least a more neutral stance on their characters. That is, something along the lines of “You can’t judge a book by its cover” sort of message. Just as these fools have to learn not to judge girls like Yukana, the show’s titular Gal character (get your minds out of the gutter), by her appearance, so too are we not supposed to prejudge Junichi and his friends on their first appearance.
    And true enough, with each progressive episode, Gal does try to redeem the MC and his associates. Junichi proves to actually develop a natural affection and respect for Yukana, despite his perverted immaturity. He still cannot seem to help himself at times in ogling his fan service prone leading lady, but the two seem to end up really caring for each other, I guess.
    So it’s not nearly as bad as one might at first think, but it does rely on some pretty lame tropes to get us there. And in comparison to Prison School, well, Gal is by no means anywhere as spectacularly hilarious, but instead tries to go for a more “sweet” approach (which still fell flat for the most part, but at least they tried.) I can’t say the animation was all that consistent either, and was poorly done in a lot of places. So, meh.
    In truth, I nearly dropped this series too early on, especially with the callousness they were treating the pedophilia of the character Minoru, downplaying a perversion that is an offensive hot-button issue for myself and most right-minded people. But I persisted nevertheless, mainly because I was, as I mentioned, curious to see if they would attempt to redeem the characters over the course of the series or not. They did, but it is debatable as to how successful they were in that effort.

    1. I DEFINITELY have not watched as much Gal as you have, but the characters are a case of “having your cake and eating it too” The giant oppai loli is still a giant oppai loli you can oggle at, even if she is a joke.

      Yeah, the theme of Gal is that people have prejudice expectations of certain people, but I think that it’s mostly the main female character who is the one not to be prejudged.

  8. Wow, lots of comments this week! I heard mention of “Dance with Devils” in the WatchMojo top 10 and I had to comment – I watched this! It’s not only reverse-harem trashy goodness, but it’s partially a MUSICAL. Yes, the characters have often-cheesy song breaks to explain their feelings/ accompany their actions. It also has vampires and exorcists. But it’s a pretty mild reverse harem – it’s kind of outright stated that most of the male cast is trying to use the female protag as a tool to find the location of a powerful grimoire, NOT that they’re all trying to get with her (though some do totally try romance to get her to trust them). Feels kind of like the WatchMojo team just wanted to slide a reverse harem in and found this one as a recent example that has a goodly share of WTF, especially with the musical element (which, of course, they didn’t even mention…). I watched Eiken too. It’s… exactly as bad as portrayed. It’s actually so bad you’d think they were trying to lampshade harem tropes like crazy oversexualized girls and over-the-top fanservice. But nope, I think it’s actually meant to be taken straight!

    But I tend to kind of forgive WatchMojo to a degree… like for MidnightCrooh, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Especially the ones where Todd Haberkorn does the voiceover. XD

    Fun fact! On paranormal romance – “Twilight” actually spawned “50 Shades of Grey.” 50 Shades began as Twilight AU fanfiction; all the author did to publish was to trade all the Twilight character names in for different ones.

    1. Yup luckily I won’t have to read out the ones I posted otherwise the community section next episode is going to be bloated. Anyways that’s rather interesting, a harem that’s a musical sounds at least a little unique. Of course the video doesn’t mention that because that would mean they’d have to do more than read the blurb. Eiken…. I try not to judge without watching but THAT looks to be an exception. Yup, self-aware parody is the only way it could probably salvage itself.

      Fair enough on the guilty pleasure point, everyones got those after all (gives me an idea for a forum topic). I didn’t even know they managed to get a legit voice actor to do their videos, a pretty decent one too.

      Oh yeah I heard that one about it starting asTwilight fanfiction. if anything I appreciate how graceful Stephenie Meyer was about the whole thing.

    2. Ah, the target audience of lady harems has revealed herself!

      I didn’t watch far enough into Dance with Devils to know if it had merit, but I certainly didn’t want to continue. Have you seen the harem show out this season, BTW? It’s on HiDive, but I forget the name. It’s kind of goofy, which I appreciate in an otome harem. I actually didn’t drop it after the first episode, which is high praise for that genre.

      So what are the chances that WM even watches enough of these anime to know what’s up, anyway? They could scour forums and comments to see what other people say, or have like one person on staff who’s seen all this stuff. I think it would be too much anime consumption for them to come up with top 10 lists on the regular

  9. I gotta say I watched a couple of scenes from that diabolik lovers (however you spell it). Not my cup of tea. The watch mojo list for me never really seem to be accurate but they are fun to tear apart, my brother and I argue over them constantly. Definitly a guilty pleasure.

    As for anime that made me cry, I think my most memorable one was from trigun. I remember staying up late and watching the show on toonami whenever it was on. I really liked Nicolas D Wolfwood as a character and when he died I balled my eyes out, and clanad… I don’t think I need to go into details there.

    Question for Joseph do you know of any anime or manga where there are 2 or more yanderes going after the same guy. I feel like that would make for a great read/watch

    Question for Andrew what is your preferred brand of tequila. When I turned 21 an older friend of my introduced me to ‘sipping’ tequila and it was my favorite but I never caught the name. He told me he had to buy it by the case and could only get it every so often so he had to stock up on it. It was very smooth and could be had neat or on the rocks. It was great. Ever had anything like that?

  10. Thanks for the feedback, I’ll go over the steps I’ve been taking to improve ‘flow’ next recording. The only gimmick review I’ve done to my knowledge was the Gyo one, not sure what made me decide to do it that way but obviously I can’t rhyme all my reviews. Yeah currently not sure what I can do to make them fun even if I wanted to.

    Ah yeah that’s right I do hear his name being mentioned frequently on MP. Can’t recall if I’ve seen him on the AP side and I check the comments pretty frequently.

    So Wildfire. is. legion.

  11. I came across a compilation video of some of the violent moments in “Aho Girl”. Yoshiko is obnoxiously stupid but Akuru, on the basis of what I’ve seen, doesn’t engender any sympathy from me. In fact, I would go as far as to say Akuru is just as stupid for using beat downs in retaliation to Yoshiko’s antics, as they never seem to make her change.

    1. A-kun does a get a little from me by the end of the last episode. Still I’m kinda surprised how much conversation about this show has revolved around this topic on what I thought was just slapstick style humor. I was just kinda taking it like a Looney Toons or Tom & Jerry skit but maybe I’m missing something lol

      1. I think the problem with Aho Girl is that it is semi-realistically depicted people, which makes it, for me anyway, fall just a little too much into domestic violence. Maybe it’s also to do with age. Funny you should mention Tom and Jerry cartoons. I think back on those cartoons I used to watch as a child and think “Man, that was some violent s**t! WTF?!”. lol

        1. Yup how real it comes across seems to be important. If they were more abstract like the Simpsons or Family Guy (or just reverse the gender dynamic) maybe people wouldn’t get hung up on this. In that regard, to me it’s cartoony enough visually, the characters certainly act cartoonishly enough and no one sustains permanent damage from anything that happens like a cartoon, which is why I don’t mind.

          Yeah and you know I recently watched a more recent episode of Tom & Jerry when my kid cousins came over and…. not as funny. Despite it looking clean and modern the violence has a lot less punch to it and there’s less of it. It’s what they mean by jokes being based in misery. I also watched them as a kid and it didn’t make me violent as much as I’m sure Aho Girl won’t influence domestic abuse.

          But hey I could be wrong, what do I know? 🙂

          1. Briefly getting back to the whole thing about gender dynamics: If female-on-male comedic violence doesn’t make people draw paralleles to domestic violence or encourages people to be violent themselves, then why should this be the case for the reverse dynamic? I guess I just don’t understand how people can be outraged at some violence in media (namely male-on-female) yet if the dynamic is reversed there is little to no reaction from them. Either you find depictions of violence acceptable or you do not. Trying to have it both ways just comes off as hypocritical.

          2. It’s because we live in a very moe society, whether it’s Japan or elsewhere. We tend to want to protect females over males, because we tend to see women as less physically capable. Then that seeps into our media.

            I think if you showed Aho Girl to people (specifially Americans) who don’t watch anime, they’d be stunned or horrified, and some would take it very seriously, even with the context.

      2. I think it’s just a tiny bit more realistic than when Team Rocket goes “blasting off again” so that’s why it gets such attention. Also, it’s violence in response to someone just being their natural idiot self. She can’t help if her IQ’s in the single digits.

  12. From the way Aho Girl sounds I can only relate it to a similar show called Pucca only in reverse. The titular character is in mad love with her “boyfriend” Garu, a ninja who is none too keen on her outlandish displays of affection. Often with sheer overwhelming force, like what A-kun does but up to 11. Also i’ll pass on that info to Millennium about him review.

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