Demichangs

I guess I don’t read too many anime blogs these days but I’m glad someone blogged about Demi-chan’s disability discourse. It’s an easy one to make as people like myself (as in most people educated about literary analysis on some level) would see fantastical characters as some parallel, real-world analogy. He makes the same point I make–it’s easy to take that comparison to the extreme (which is, anything outside the lit mechanism we’re using) and it’s kind of ableist to make these sort of claims. To that end I think it’s much better to just say what the mechanism is–by creating these fantasy characters with unusual daily challenges it lets us appreciate people who are different from us, that the real-life-parallels in some cases┬ámay have challenges we’re unaware of or unable to appreciate. It’s racist (as a joke–I guess)? If you think of Demi-chan as a work to express some thematic concerns to the Japanese manga-reading audience then the cultural context would be a lot more black and white for that very homogeneous society (speaking as an American living in a ideologically and racially diverse metropolitan area) known as Japan.

Would we have this discussion if they were X-mens? Let’s not even mention the rarest character of them all–the mid-30s adult harem lead–but that a daily-life take forces the analysis from, say, plain racism, to ableism? That’s a nice trick, one that might make Miyazaki proud.

I do want to talk a bit about the succubus character and the trials she puts up with in order to not let her special powers bother the human people around her. It’s just so charming. It’s a kind of gap moe. It’s a kind of seeing something genuinely new and unusual with familiar material. It’s kind of what Monmusu was missing for me (even if I don’t quite expect that from anything). This is kind of why I watch anime at all, because I can’t imagine anybody in the west would make a story like this in a multimedia format.

OK, back to packing for P-meeting. Hopefully I’ll be able to write up that prompto.


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