Anime, Other 0 comments on Let’s Talk: Body Shape/Size

Let’s Talk: Body Shape/Size

Anime has always been known for it’s specific art style and the various artists with their own take on it. But what we don’t often think about is how that style can sometimes be portraying real stereotypes we find within out own society. The squad here on Ashley’s Anime, Adam Barba, Becca Davila and Allison Wolch, discussed what being body positive in anime really means and what it does for its audience.

I’ve seen this happen a lot in anime, but after last season I sort of saw the need to host a podcast discussion about body positivity in anime. The recent show Kiss Him, Not Me was an anime that really did plus sized women no favors in the portray of Kae, the main character who’s a large woman that loses weight and gains the attention from several of her peers. Now, sometimes when people lose weight, it can change a person’s attitude in a positive way and that brings more people around. But that’s not really the case with this anime. Kae stays consistent in her personality and thinks very little about her size and figure; the attraction is purely physical.

I’ve heard a few arguments in defense of Kiss Him, Not Me. It usually revolves around how some of the characters realize how they like Kae regardless of her size, even though there are a few characters who already liked her no matter her size. But that doesn’t really stop some of the unnecessary attributes that are given to Kae; her voice is a perfect example of this. As a plus sized woman, I can confirm that I too always sound like I have inverted hamster cheeks (this is sarcasm for those in the audience who are not mature to view this blog).

But Kiss Him, Not Me is only one anime amongst the many that give poor portrayals of plus sized people, not just women. As you’ll hear in the podcast, the squad had some pretty interesting points to bring up about the issue at hand, but we all came to the agreement that this issue can be seen in almost every anime show, especially one’s that have plus sized characters. It’s a trope you can find happening often, and one that makes me feel like a I just ate a tub of acidic slime.

For anime that doesn’t portray any plus sized characters, the narrative still plays off of an ideal image that men and women “need” to conform to. Men are always extremely muscular (sometimes to a ridiculous size) and women are always big in areas like breasts, but skinny in their waist. This isn’t just a part of an art style; the look is too much like the stereotype and it still causes the same damages.

We might not think that an animation can cause any sort of damage to people’s mentality, but it very much can. It still perpetuates and idea amongst the populous that people need to fit a certain size in order to be desirable. And if that wasn’t enough, just look at how it effects the cosplay community. Plus sized cosplayers can be met with scorn for not looking like a character because of their weight.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. By criticizing and calling out anime that pedals certain ideas of plus sized people, we can start to critically think about how we chose to consume anime and what sort of bottom line messages it’s trying to tell us.

For more on the podcast, listen to it here! And to read more into what I thought about Kiss Him Not Me, read the official review here! And also be sure to check out Becca’s cosplay page on Facebook!

blog, Other 0 comments on Body Positive Anime Segments!

Body Positive Anime Segments!

Welcome back anime lovers! In an earlier post, I’d mentioned that we would be making a body positive series here on the blog! I’m here to announce that this will be a reality. But each episode will be a little different, so I’m going to tell you who’s currently going to be on the podcast for each of these episodes and how we are breaking them up!

The categories are:

  • Body Shape/Size: Becca Davila, Allison Wolch & Adam Barba
  • Disability: Dylan Wickersham
  • Gender: Dylan Wickersham & Adam Barba
  • Skin Tone: Becca Davila & Clover Grayson
  • Body Parts: Becca Davila, Allison Wolch & Dylan Wickersham

Some of these lovely people you may know from previous work done at Black Moor, which is where we host our own podcast as well. Becca has been on Ashley’s Anime before (granted, it was known as Geekery Gears back then) but she also voices Hattie on Bosh & Brave. Clover Grayson also voices Paige Hopkinson and Adam voices captain Alex Stranwood. If you’re unfamiliar with their work, you can check them out here!

Dylan and Allison also work with Black Moor, but on projects that are not out yet. Until then you’ll get to hear their awesome comments in this new series we’re producing. We honestly look forward to it as these topics are something we’re genuinely passionate about. We can’t wait for you guys to join us and listen in! As with last time, there will be an article component to each podcast but you should definitely take a listen!

Also, fair warning, with scheduling issues and other mishaps, this list is likely to change as we begin producing the series. So please stay tuned! Subjects may be added, dropped/fused with other and people may have to back out. Regardless, we will try to hit everything we can within this series. And if we don’t, it only means there’s room for next time!

See you then cuties!

If we missed something and there’s a topic you’d like to hear us discuss, leave it in the comment section below! 

Anime 2 comments on Let’s Talk: Cosplay With Juvia!

Let’s Talk: Cosplay With Juvia!

Cosplay is one of the biggest aspects in not only the anime culture, but the geek culture overall. This week on Geekery Gears, we have a pretty special component being added to the blog. Do you remember what it is? Of course you don’t, baka!

A podcast! This weekend I got to interview a beautiful local cosplayer, Becca Davila, and you can listen to the entire thing on Black Moor Productions (which you better do). But as we all know, the book is different than the magazine so without further ado, I will be telling you guys just what about cosplay is special and how Becca’s experience proves it.

^2C2A540A5D9ED6124118C32B1868DE9F892FECF9CE526CDB66^pimgpsh_thumbnail_win_distrFor about three years now, Vegas conventions have been seeing Becca show her talent as a cosplayer for hours on end; and she’s popular, let me tell you. The last convention we went to, I remember her walking around greeting people she’d met before and being recognized all over the place as “the Juvia cosplayer” (a certain Gray cosplayer was involved in there somewhere I think).

I’ve seen her in action, and it really is incredible. Becca gets into character, playing a perfect Juvia role, and really does bring others into that Fairy Tail fantasy (bad pun). “Of course I still act like myself, but if someone’s talking to me or I talk to someone new, I’m always acting like Juvia…” Becca stated.

Her main cosplay has been Juvia, but she’s also planning to cosplay Diane from The Seven Deadly Sins and Ruby from RWBY. With each of these characters, Becca has identified part of herself. The preparation, time and care Becca has put into these cosplays has paid off well.

Any convention I’ve ever seen her at, I’ve never seen her receive a negative reaction. I can’t count how many times we lost her in a crowd because she’d been stopped to take a photo with someone. But it isn’t all just hard work and applause.

^AE69EF80B32B8ED76B2C9C0E91EE10B9329F35AD5287B46EBF^pimgpsh_thumbnail_win_distrGetting into some of the negative sides of cosplay, Becca described a lot of the experiences she’d had while dressed up. “There are always the few select who are like, ‘Oh, you don’t fit the body type… Or the skin color… Or the gender of this character…’,” Becca said.

However, Becca still has her supporters that encourage her. ” Usually I get a lot of acceptance, especially being a plus-sized person.”

Becca described what it’s like when you don’t see your size, ethnicity or even gender being reflected in the cosplay community. To think that cosplay is only meant for a certain group of people is extremely ridiculous. When you think like that, you limit the countless possibilities for different cosplays as well as diversity in people who experience it.

Becca’s hopes for her cosplay career leads toward more recognition in the community, which I think makes her an inspiration to a community who really needs diversity in cosplayers.

^CFD334812FFAC11FC37F0A370F0EFCAC49DFDB86EE268B4E75^pimgpsh_thumbnail_win_distr“Don’t let anyone discourage you.” Becca stated. “Find those friends and that community that supports you and you have fun with and always just be yourself.” Her advice to future cosplayers speaks volumes as to what we should all keep in mind and also keep working towards for an anime community. Ms. Davila truly is the cosplay inspiration this generation needs.

But there’s so much more! Listen to the podcast one YouTube, Soundcloud or Itunes! (Note: Itunes is being a butt so it may take a while for this link to work. I will update it when it stops wigging out.)

You can find Becca at: 

Tumblr:

http://beccaboopsyournose.tumblr.com/

http://juvichan.tumblr.com/

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/beccaboopsyou/

The next convention Becca will be at is Lvl Up Expo in Las Vegas! Sneak peak, I may also be there doing some coverage so you may want to show up. It’ll be a trip.

What about you? Have a cosplay experience you want to talk about? Have any advice? N-not that I care, but post it in the comment section below!