The Draw to Shonen (Mania.com)
By:His Lordship Chaos
As I sat back reclining in my beanbag chair this evening...it tried to eat me. Now this is not something to be surprised at. My carnivorous chair has many times in the past tried to end my cute little super-deformed life by swallowing me whole. As I got sucked back by this beanie Hoover vacuum, all that could really be seen of me were me legs sticking up.
And then it struck me. No, not an idea.
Feeling the concussion slowly work its way through whatever bits of my brain that I hadn't already donated to charity, I was suddenly given an idea on what to write for my first entry. Yes, I have been given a column by my generous (albeit foolishly naive mortal) Anime on DVD webmeister, Chris Beveridge.
It would seem only fitting that I do something complimentary to August's other DVD contest, which discusses the reasons we are drawn to shojo Anime. Now while I enjoy pining for such strange shapes as a lover's dodecahedron, we really should be discussing shojo's opposite.
This rant's topic is thus the "Draw to Shonen (Guys) Anime."
And it can probably be summed up in two words: body parts. Be they severed or attached, all that really matters is how much air they get in being flung across the screen. You can't have called it a good--let alone successful--battle if all your dead opponents are intact. It's just not a manly thing to do.
It's almost artistic to watch the blood spray, a magical connect the dots if you will. Now this isn't the spritz or two of blood you see in horror flicks or even your token John Woo film. It is a well-known fact that the average human body carries within itself about 5.5 liters of blood. The average Anime character carries over 16 liters. And no matter where you strike them, this blood erupts in an excessive and messy spray. You could give someone a paper cut on their pinky toe and the ensuing geyser will be enough to send you rowing away in a canoe.
As a result, you don't get this trickle or even a slight stream of blood when someone's taken down. Nope, you get the effect of fully pressurized firehose going off, nicely watering the lawn. And it'll keep on going...and going...and going....
You know, if you don't mind red flowers, just throw a few plastic gnomes or pink flamingos next to a ninja's decapitated body (which someone manages to still stand there despite the head having just been bowled down the laneway five minutes ago), and you've got a wonderful garden-variety conversation piece!
Just remember to bring your umbrella.
Strangely enough though, you never see any vital organs. The victim (9 times out of 10 being some poor ninja who won't ever live down dying in his black pajamas now) could have his chest look like a donut and you won't see anything. Just the flashflood of crimson as something punches through his ribcage at Mach 2. Now I don't mean to be either vulgar or picky, but shouldn't his spleen be hanging somewhere on the tree behind him?
Now don't get me wrong. I hold a special place in my heart for shojo Anime. I've seen all of Marmalade Boy that I can get a hold of, and I'm a heavy Clamphile.
But let's be honest people. You put Hana Yori Dango (Flowers over Boys) against something like Ninja Scroll, and leave it up to me to choose one of two shows by their opening song/scenes, give me a take-no-prisoners (at least live ones) martial arts master over a bunch of teenagers doing some sort of Broadway rendition dance number. Actually, I'd take a third option: Jubei from Ninja Scroll hacking apart the Hana Yori Dango cast as they do their Broadway dance number.
Nothing personal. Really.
It's all just body parts anyways.