ppl are like “kaworu just coddles shinji’s flaws and stops him from growing as a person” but like did u even watch the episode kaworu gives this big talk about how shinji is afraid of connecting with other people and how that means that even though he’ll never be betrayed, he’ll always feel loneliness and later on shinji opens up to kaworu about his life before being an eva pilot in a manner he’s never opened up to anyone before. these are good things. they are steps towards shinji learning to connect with people
*goes to a basketball game* what the fuck this isnt kuroko no basket
There’s been a lot of speculations on why Makoharu wins the general favor of the Japanese audience, whereas the MH and RH ratio is more evened out on Tumblr. Why is that, exactly? I’ve heard “biased translations” attributed as a reason among them. However, there’s one very crucial factor that’s often overlooked. No one can pinpoint a perfect cause for this, but I think there is a definite correlation on how Matsuoka Rin is generally viewed. The difference?
It has to do with culture.
Aahhh… first off, I need to preface this by saying a friend linked me to this just to discuss it further, and it was a very interesting (not to mention well-structured, because I love well-structured) read! I also never meant to actually write a follow-up, because that seems somewhat intrusive and I understand that not everyone is as obsessed with dissecting this show and its dynamics, and even I sometimes get lazy and cut around the corners with my meta just to wrap things up faster. So you can basically ignore everything I’m gonna write here by saying “well that’s what I would have added if I wasn’t a lifeless loser like you” and point taken haha.
The reason I was inspired to comment, though, is because as far as discussion of individuality and collectivism goes, I was expecting Haruka’s name to pop up – and it never did. I understand this text focused on Rin first and foremost, but since the subject of Harurin lies at the crux of the argument (as in, why the Japanese favour Makoharu more), it felt to me that by pinpointing Rin to exist at the root of this schism for his individualistic traits alone, it’s… actually kind of overlooking an important part about the show: Rin isn’t necessarily the biggest “anomaly” in Free!.
I personally feel (and will argue below), that this person? Is actually Haruka.
Wow. These are very interesting points, honestly. Didn’t think the concept of tatemae will ever be used in fandom. I do think that it is integral in every part of any series.
The point of collectivity is also interesting because, while true to Japanese society, the idea of a common hero being one of the crowd just doesn’t sit well in literature. At one point, any hero, common as his beginnings are, will always rise above or beyond the normal. Of course, it’s hard to argue what’s “normal” in any society. If Japan’s biggest manga series is One Piece, does this mean that Luffy counts as “normal”? This makes me want to reflect on this further.
Another factor that came up in my head is the idea of precedence and establishment. Without reading too much in the text and simply looking at the behaviour of Japanese fans in response to the text, signs of MakoHaru came first, hence fans leaned towards that.
Now, this is where the power of fans come in. Sometimes, the original text is not enough to set a ship sailing. Sometimes, all it needs is a couple of great artists to keep a ship sailing for other people to follow suit. If any of you guys are following pixiv, you’ll see the amount of fantastic artists under MakoHaru.
It’s a fandom within fandom. One girl does an awesome art and comic and people ship it. And in this case the Japanese fan, she might not be any different than us Western fans, she will follow that ship. And you know what, she’s a fantastic artist too and she will draw awesome art drawing her fans towards her ship. And fans of the fanartist will follow and this inspires an armada of shippers.
One of the biggest MakoHaru shippers is Aoi Levin, a professional manga artist but she’s really more known in dojinshi and her dojin work. If you’ve read her dojinshi work on D18, there you go. She has been known to carry ships and turn people towards that ship. When Free! was out, she literally littered her twitter with tons of MakoHaru art which have long been replied and retweeted by fans. The same thing with Yoneda Kou’s 8018.
The language of participatory culture is surprisingly universal. Although the rules, logic, and history of Western vis-a-vis Japanese participatory culture is entirely different. In the case of Free, the ship of MakoHaru was established first and for the longest time, in relation to the text. Yes, we saw bits and pieces of HaruRin but it wasn’t until the final episode that a lot more people truly acknowledged Rin. Prior to that, the knowledge and logic behind MakoHaru has already been running in fandom for more than two months and that’s more than enough to set fandom to produce content to inspire others towards that ship.
Also, there’s a somewhat hidden rule in Japanese fandom to favor non-canon ships. The less obvious it is, the lesser the series validates it or pays attention to it, the more the original text denies its possibility, the fandom will rear that ship until it’s real to them. Utsumi’s acknowledgement of Rin and “Harurin” points that the series itself will deliver their fannish needs for that ship. Hence, Japanese fandom will pay attention to the one that has been sidelined.
Ah Free~ the discussions you inspire sometimes.
KHURSTEN I LOVE YOU
and by which I mean I love your knowledge and insight into the mystical world of bl and fandom from a purely scientific point of view because this stuff is seriously interesting. Given that I had little factual information to comment on the actual topic at hand –why Makoharu is so popular in Japan– myself, this was an awesome addition so I’m reblogging for everyone to see.
Also, shorter, but worth the read as always, Cait’s 2 cents on private vs public sphere.
|—||me every day. every moment. every second. right now. (via zarijenkins)|
I bet Mikasa would send such mom text messages like:
"Sasha, did you wash behind your ears."
"You need a hair cut, Jean."
"Armin did you eat all your vegetables."
"Eren, don’t slouch at the table."
"It’s past your bedtime, Historia, you need to go to sleep."
my last words will probably be like “tell Daft Punk I love them”
you’re cute but do you like anime?