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 Because Kids Shows!

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RLinksoul
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PostSubject: Because Kids Shows!   Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:30 pm

I decided to make this thread here since it pertains to things Magical Girl and not.

The term "It's a kids show" makes me kinda irked because it's often used as an excuse to write off bad storytelling and that people shouldn't take problems with it seriously because of that.

But once in a while there comes a show that does a thing. It could be a scary thing or an emotional thing and you just think "This is for kids!?" And so I decided to make this thread, to talk about examples of shows where being a kids show is used to pass off bad things, and being a things that come from a kids show being downright unnerving.

There's also those times when a kids show does something so sad or tragic that you just think "Kids in Japan would probably cry for a year."

First, let us never forget that time Cure Ace's arrival royally confused a little girl in Japan. A lot of the writing slop that that season was is often written off as simply being "a kids show" but after seeing shows like Ojamajo Doremi, I know that's a load of bonk.

Modern Spongebob is another example of bad writing being brushed off for this reason, but also the reason for why a lot of the "jokes" in this show tend to be downright unsettling. Squidward having toenails and eyebrows horrifically ripped out, jokes about STDs and sex toys that aren't at all subtle, Spongebob's obsessiveness with Squidward reaching levels of creepiness that are as startling as casting Robin Williams in One Hour Photo. That's just the tip of the iceberg for the decay this show has seen.

Courage the Cowardly Dog is no stranger to creepy imagery, but since it's made for kids I imagine it's nothing too bad. There was one episode that is surprising not for graphic imagery, but for its very adult themes. An episode titled "The Mask" which deals with themes like abusive relationships. 

The reason this ends up being a very good episode, rather than a Spongebob episode is because it handles these themes maturely and respects its audience. It doesn't expect you to laugh at the misery of the female characters or try to say that the abuser should be accepted for who they are.

Legend of Korra had some serious guts to work with themes like racism (of the fantasy kind, as non-benders are oppressed by a society that favors bending) and terrorism (The equalists doing things like bombing the arena) in a Saturday morning cartoon. 

This is especially jarring because America has been pretty sensitive about this kind of stuff for thirteen years. They stopped airing episodes of Pokemon with titles like "The Tower of Terror" and "A Scare In The Air" which had absolutely nothing to do with what happened on 9/11.

Ojamajo Doremi is one of those shows with a cutesy art style and so much fun going on. It's also a deceptive monster that will rip out your heart, chew it up and spit it back in your face. I dunno what the deal is with Japan specifically, but themes like suicide and miscarriage are apparently perfectly fine to show in kids shows. And don't even get me started on the second season's finale.

On the "Cry for a year" side of Japanese kids media, the episode of Sonic X featuring the destruction of Emerl is one that even I can't watch with dry eyes. After bonding with this robot for so long, Eggman uses the power of a Chaos Emerald to send it into some kind of berserk super mode, and Cream of all people (who also bonded with it the most) ends up being the one who takes Emerl down, all the while a montage of heartwarming moments play out. The episode ends with Cream sobbing hysterically as Emerl's underwater explosion sends water raining down, and creates a rainbow.

Digimon Tamers is apparently a deconstruction of the whole "Monsters battling alongside children" thing. And since deconstruction seems to mean "up the grimdark" it goes as far as a kids show can go, with one of the main girls watching her Digimon permanently die in front of her, then being captured by the eldritch abomination known as the D-Reaper, where she is repeatedly psychologically tortured so that her despair can be fed off of. Supposedly a scene was removed from the dub where said girl tries to kill herself. Yea.

I'm still not ready to talk about the sword episode of Steven Universe...
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PostSubject: Re: Because Kids Shows!   Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:45 pm

Man I love Courage of the Cowardly dog, but that show had some really freaky moments. I always kind of freaked out at some of the endings. lol Like will they be okay!?

Ojamjo Doremi will make me cry my heart out. 

Hell I cried during the Fresh Movie.....



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PostSubject: Re: Because Kids Shows!   Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:05 am

I think it really depends on your attitude towards it as an artist.

Walt Disney & Don Bluth had the belief that kids like to get scared as long as there's a happy or funny ending. (Which is why all their movies have one 'wtf' scene per movie)

a show like Courage the Cowardly Dog, Invader ZIM, and Gravity Falls I think walk in this same way of thinking.


But Japanese kids shows - hahahaha
I think the attitude is more like "welp, better learn about the hard facts of life now" like 70s shows were absolutely brutal. (I'm currently scanning pages of an old BL manga, in which one boy commits suicide after succumbing to his feelings - and this ran in a magazine for young girls in 1970! yay!?)

There's also less of a religious leash on Japanese society, so things like Homosexuality are a more.....public? its still not socially acceptable and there's a lot of misinformation, but your average 9 year old has heard of it and their parents wont flip out.
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PostSubject: Re: Because Kids Shows!   Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:06 am

@BunnyBelle wrote:
I think the attitude is more like "welp, better learn about the hard facts of life now" like 70s shows were absolutely brutal.

That reminds me of the story of the creator of Evangelion wanting to air the show during kids time slots, because kids need to know how cruel and harsh the world is.
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PostSubject: Re: Because Kids Shows!   Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:17 am

@RLinksoul wrote:
@BunnyBelle wrote:
I think the attitude is more like "welp, better learn about the hard facts of life now" like 70s shows were absolutely brutal.

That reminds me of the story of the creator of Evangelion wanting to air the show during kids time slots, because kids need to know how cruel and harsh the world is.

For the 70s shows, its more like how to teach kids how to remain kind and hopeful even in dark times. Candy Candy for example is about an orphan girl who goes through so much drama and sadness - but she keeps her stiff upper lip, speaks up against unfairness, and remains kind to others in need. She remains hopeful that one day she'll find a family that loves her, and she ultimately does.

those manga and tv shows were all made by people who probably grew up in a post WWII environment and had to struggle to try and rebuild (or atleast be around their parents trying to rebuild) so that can lead to some dark but inspiring tales I think. 

now that kids anime is more of a business than an artform, I think that's why its much more of lighter than before
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PostSubject: Re: Because Kids Shows!   Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:05 pm

Has anyone seen Grave of the Fireflies? 1 That movie is messed up. 2 That movie was made to teach "punks" the harsh reality of life.



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PostSubject: Re: Because Kids Shows!   Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:27 pm

@Mew Ami wrote:
Has anyone seen Grave of the Fireflies? 1 That movie is messed up. 2 That movie was made to teach "punks" the harsh reality of life.

I have that movie XD I bought it so I could have a complete Ghibli movie collection, but I don't have much interest in watching it again XD

And It's a little more complicated than that? like its message is more like "respect your elders" and what they fought for
and that the economic growth that Japan was undergoing in 1988 is (and was) temporary so things do have a low point 
and to not let your ego and pride get in the way of whats important (In the movie's case Seita being unable to apologize to his aunt for the greater good of protecting his sister)
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PostSubject: Re: Because Kids Shows!   Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:29 pm

Yeah the message has more meaning. I couldn't remember it at the time when I wrote it. I just know it was written to send young people a message about life and what not. That movie made me cried and I felt so depressed while watching it. A movie has never made me feel depressed from beginning to end. My friend owns it. I will never watch it again.



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PostSubject: Re: Because Kids Shows!   Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:18 pm

Whenever I hear "it's a kid's show" I do expect a certain amount of repetitiveness and predictability, but not lazy writing. This is actually why I have watched so little of recent cartoons as the characters are stupid for the sake of being stupid without any one to react to it. It isn't necessary to have a fixed straight man/funny man pair but that dynamic is vital to comedic timing.



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PostSubject: Re: Because Kids Shows!   Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:05 am

I remember a little while ago I was watching a whole bunch of episodes of Doki Doki Precure in a row. At that point I was frequently using my account on a site called Hummingbird (Which I have since left and never went back to) to keep track of my anime watching and occasionally I'd post my thoughts on anime I had watched recently. Which, as many of you probably know, would involve a lot of complaining in the case of Doki Doki Precure. The site basically works the same as Twitter so anything you post on your wall will be in the feed of your followers.

Now if a bunch of people came to my profile and told me something along the lines of 'Stop rambling on about magical girl shit' or 'no one cares' they'd probably be justified in saying that. But instead, I just got one guy with absolutely no experience with the genre telling me 'Dude, it's a kid's show! It's supposed to be stupid!'

I don't see why people seem to think that being a kid's show automatically means it's stupid and childish. It does excuse it to a certain extent but that certainly doesn't mean any criticism of something aimed at kids is null and void. Being a kid's show certainly didn't do anything to prevent Cardcaptor Sakura from being a fantastic series. In fact, it doesn't stop Doki Doki Precure from being a good series either. What stops Doki Doki from being good is Doki Doki itself.
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PostSubject: Re: Because Kids Shows!   Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:30 pm

I LOVE Japan's kids shows most of the time, for the reasons you pointed out: they have BALLS. They don't care if their content traumatizes children or not. They want to tell stories the way they want and they do it no matter what. I wish America had that attitude. In fact, many of my favorite shows and books of all time are for kids, and they're not afraid to explore things like poverty, death, classism, parental abandonment, child abuse, hardship, sickness, etc. (Dog of Flanders, how I love thee)
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