Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Scanlation editorials and unexpected fury

My turn for a little rant thing. So I've been reading last week's One Piece (691), blah blah blah, ridiculous shounen fights, wacky hijinks, etc. Business as usual, end of chapter, nothing left to see, right?

Hold up, there's still the scanlator's remarks and credits. Wait, wait, what is this sexist bullshit???

Seriously? Seriously? Wow, way to be a sexist prick. "Oh, look at me and my manly awesome interests that totally teach me such valuable lessons in life; you stupid girls with your pop music that is as shallow and effeminate as you are would never be able to grasp its greatness which is why I am so much better than you."

It's not like I don't know what you're going for. You, crazy obsessed One Piece fanboy that you are, you merely seek validation for your adoration of this entertaining but ultimately rather juvenile piece of culture. I mean, if you really need a sense of moral superiority to justify to yourself every time you enjoy something, that is your problem, not mine.

But in this case, you are only getting your precious validation by mocking and shaming others for their interests. In this case, the target is adolescent girls, a group already subject to a good deal of unwarranted contempt from all sorts of sources already, whose responses to things regularly get dismissed anyway. Putting down the easy targets just to make yourself feel superior is not exactly the high point of class.

Now consider the following points:

1. Assumption made of the girls that they were justin bieber fans to begin with-- note the lack of any indication of this in panel one, yet your stated assumption is immediately confirmed to be true. Being a girl and being fond of neither Justin Bieber nor blanket assumptions on my gender, I am displeased by this.

2. The females depicted in this comic have no sense of inferiority, despite different hair colors. They speak and move only in the collective, and even their faces become the same after a while. Contrast this with the males who are both presented as individuals and have their individuality emphasized by the narrative. It's like, compared to dudes, gals are not even like actual people, just an amorphous blob of shallowness and female!

3.  Bieber is not known for being the high point of culture, true, but even the positive message that the girls take away from his music is trivialized and dismissed. Like everything you might get from anything you enjoy is shallow compared what this dude gets from his precious One Piece.

4. The character examples from One Piece are pretty strongly masculine examples. Partcularly Luffy, whose default image is not hypermasculinized and hence apparently required a more masculine image and a more aggressive image as supplements? Also note the distinct lack of "lessons learned" from Nami and Robin, two females who have undeniably moving character arcs. Hell, not even anything from Usopp, who does not fit manly stereotypes b who easily gets the most interesting character development in the main cast!

Alright, am I just being nit-picky and petty right now? Yes, I am, and I know that. But really, the first time I saw this thing I practically slammed my laptop closed with rage. Then I kind of yelled "WHAT THE FUCK" out loud for a bit. It was that offensive. Seriously, you could make a comic about all this cool shit you learned from One Piece WITHOUT bashing on others and being a sexist prick. I mean, wow, way to be an asshole! You massive ass-damming piece of shitfuck!


Okay, okay, okay. I know, I know. There's a lot to be said for manga scanlators. They do a lot of things that make manga so freely accessible to people like me who mostly read this stuff online. I am really, really grateful to the work that they put into this stuff. And yes, I do understand that you have the right to editorial comments and other stuff like that since you're putting it together to begin with.

And it's not like I don't expect any sexism at all, because it's shounen which is a demographic not known for its fantastic depiction of women. But I was not expecting sexism, particularly something this bad, coming from the editorial stuff left at the end by the scanlators. It was like an unexpected and completely unwarranted and unnecessary punch to the kidney.

And this wasn't even the first time you did this! I recall seeing this comic at the end of at least two other chapters when I was reading through One Piece the first time. Did you really think it was so funny that you had to keep on putting it in?? Do you realize that you are continuing to come across as assholes in doing so? It seriously makes me want to rip something soft and fleshy apart--

Yes you have the right to like and insert this ragecomic, but I have the right to kind of hate you for choice to do so. Seriously, can't you just stop and use one of the innumerable other fan-things people make that aren't offensive and rage-inducing? 

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