The Souls of Roach Folk (2/2)

You know, it’d be something else if this show was at least fun to watch

Mo Black
Mo Black
Dec 2, 2019 · 44 min read
(Used under Fair Use)

This essay is a continuation from the first part, which can be found here.

Part 3: The Not-so-Obvious AKA Does Chad Shower?

Okay so I need to talk to y’all about Posititity because this shit drives up the wall.

(Used under Fair Use)

When I watch anime, I watch the dubs by default.

I promise this is going somewhere.

I’m not going to make this a whole tangent about subs vs dubs, but my preference for dubs basically comes down to the fact that anime is an audio-visual experience created with the assumption that you can understand what the characters are saying through your ears while you watch. When a show is dubbed in a language you understand, that’s closer to the original intended experience than spending 20%-50% of your attention at the bottom of the screen reading.

The thing about dubs, though, is that, politically speaking, they are guaranteed to be the most filtered form of the story you’re consuming. When a manga or light novel gets made into an anime, some of the… let’s say rougher edges are cut down to appeal to a wider Japanese audience and make that money off the backs of underpaid animation staff. But then when the anime is dubbed and brought to the West, more edges are cut to make more money off the backs of underpaid voice acting staff.

Somehow, the end result is still fucking awful.

So if you’re me, watching the dub, disgusted by how gross a particular anime might be, it literally can only get worse. There’s nowhere to go but down. You dig into the source material and things just get worse and worse and worse.

So, Posititity. Who is she, and why do we care?

There’s a woman on the Annex I named Eva Frost. She serves under the German squadron. She’s very annoying as a character. She’s scared the entire time, she pisses her pants at one point, she whines some more, and then she dies.

(Used under Fair Use)

This is what her character bio looks like in the manga:

In socialist utopia, all character sheets are rendered illegal (Used under Fair Use)

Alex says of her in episode 1,

“What is this chick’s deal? She’s got nice tits, but she’s super negative.”

To which Marcos responds,

“Yeah, Ms. Negatitity.”

Nice one, Marcos. Stellar wit. Thank you for your input.

In episode 2, we meet another woman, Elena Perepelkina. She’s also annoying. We meet her in the shower with her boobs flopping around everywhere because she “““forgot””” to “lock the door” of the shower.

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She kind of stares at Eva and Sheila for an uncomfortable few seconds before saying, unprompted,

“Tell him how you feel. Women are meant to fall in love. Whatever may come. Older men? That’s not really my thing though.” [cackles while walking away]

Elena later dies a horrible death.

So does Sheila, actually. And like a bunch of other female characters.

Just mercilessly slaughtered by those evil Africans. And always as to give some Japanese or white man somewhere a reason to carry on fighting the good fight.

Huh, weird.

Hopefully the idea that the purpose of women is to fall in love with a man is sexist enough to be obvious. Women aren’t “meant” for anything related to men, they just kind of are. Packaging that idea inside a sexualized, hyperfeminine mouthpiece is also awful, because the show is asserting that this is what a “real woman” looks like with “real woman thoughts” who understands the plight of her less experienced (and less endowed) acquaintances.

I’m really more interested in Eva’s response, however.

“I guess she’s Ms. Posititity, or something.”

We have entered the Anarcha-Feminist, Hegelian dialectic phase of huge anime rack discourse. Posititity and Negatitity clearly represent the duality of man. But if we dig deeper, we’ll see that the two also illuminate the permanent bifurcation of womanhood that took place after the advent of the sexual revolution, and the ramifications of the consequences of the rapid spread of awareness of international patriarchal oppression across class lines.

I’m… I’m fucking with you, of course. It means nothing. As usual.

This is my hobby. This is what I’ve reduced myself to.

The gags are supposed to be funny, I guess? But it’s only funny in that it’s awful in every way. I was a little too curious to take such a bizarre running plot line on face value. So I compared these scenes with their subbed counterparts.

In the Japanese dub, Alex isn’t complimenting Eva’s tits, even. The conversation instead goes like this:

Alex: Not only does she look unfortunate, but she’s super negative.
Marcos: Yeah. She’s negative boobies.

Likewise, Elena is “positive boobs”. It’s a direct translation of the Japanese. I know this because the Japanese is formed with an English loanword for “negative”, and then “oppai”. Sometimes it’s really not that hard.

Someone decided that it would be in show’s best interest to swap Alex’s naked disdain for Eva looks with him creepily talking about her body out of earshot. And I guess Marcos making a pun too? Some executive somewhere was convinced this was the route to making as much money with this property as possible.

Capitalism and competition always lead to innovation. Especially in the arts!

People read the words “Posititity” and “Negatitity” and fucking thought this was acceptable writing. Like, they gave it to voice actors who had no choice but to birth it into reality to keep a roof over their heads. Posititity and Negatitity have existed and will always have existed. This was someone’s eternal contribution to the human experiment.

But it gets even more bizarre.

You thought I was done? Ha ha, if you did you must be new here.

(Used under Fair Use)

In the manga, Alex doesn’t make a comment about her body at all. He just says she’s negative, and Marcos makes a crude, one-off joke.

Oh, yeah, one-off joke. As in, “positive boobs” is not a thing in the manga. The entire shower scene where Elena forgets to lock the shower door and we see her boobs falling out of her costume does. Not. Exist. In the manga.

In the manga, Elena is introduced in the same sequence she dies. In the anime, they bump her introduction earlier to the shower scene.

Her boobs aren’t even that big in the manga, they upped her cup size for the anime by like maybe a factor of two or something? I don’t know. I don’t wear bras. I’m eyeballing it here.

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So now think about the entire evolution of Posititity from the source material to the dub.

In the Terra Formars manga, the author writes in a random Russian/Soviet (I don’t know, the story kinda uses the two words interchangeably for “some reason”) woman who exists to die for shock value. There’s also an exchange near the beginning of the story where two characters calls a different girl “negative boobs” because she’s negative. These two characters are not related. They never speak to each other once.

The people making the Japanese version of the anime realize intrinsically that there are probably too many no-personality female characters that get dismembered brutally for no reason other than the original author views female life as disposable, or only useful for making men take action on things.

Someone on the Japanese writing staff, presumably after snorting a fat line of cocaine and slamming his head full force against his desk, thought the way to fix this would be to relate the random soviet character with “negative boobs”.

Presumably this comparison works because they both… have boobs. They both get double the titty mass, just to hone in these character similarities. This is what us in the business call “organic character interaction”.

But when they rework the manga into the anime, they just call one of the girls ugly. This doesn’t come back or lead to anything. They just do it because why not, right?

And then the Western dub makers come along. The writer’s room is looking at the script for the Japanese dub. One writer says “This line might be a little problematic for Western audiences. Any ideas on how to change it?”

And some other guy shouts “NEGATITITY” and everyone claps and he gets a raise and then they graft that onto “positive boobs” too because they have to for the aforementioned “organic character interaction”.

Anime fans watch this show. Female fans see it and they’re like, “Hey this is kinda sexist, y’know?” The weebs rise up in retaliation, united against the scourge of SJWs infecting their safe spaces with “politics”.

KEEP FEMINAZISM OUT OF ANIME. STOP BEING SO SENSITIVE. THIS IS NORMAL STORYTELLING. RRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

The story of Posititity is probably the most clear example of just everything wrong with how the industry treats female characters.

My notes say to put an image here, so here’s an out of context shot from a totally unrelated anime (Used under Fair Use)

There is a systemic problem of underwriting female characters. Too many manga and light novels just get published with flat, and uninteresting female characters that get used as plot devices. Combined with capitalist pressures to extract value out of female sexuality and a lack of female representation on the creator and consumer sides of the fandom, anime ends up being this unholy mess of degrading imagery, undeveloped female characters, and unrealistic body proportions.

If you’re wondering why you can’t watch Fire Force without some awful ecchi scene showing up every three seconds, or why your favorite female characters from this or that shounen don’t get developed, or why scenes that are basically men groping women without their consent keep getting put into otherwise normal shows… this is why.

This is the thing right here.

Instead of rejecting stories with this kind of inherent misogyny, the industry signalboosts them. Instead of fundamentally changing the kind of stories that could be told, the industry gives us half-solutions and quick-fixes to sweep these attitudes under the rug.

These practices make everything awful, and they’re not accidental. The anime fandom has been cultivated by ultra-rich capitalists to be receptive to this kind of stuff. Anime has perfected the art of turning sexism into a profit.

I wish I could say this was only the case in the shows more seasoned anime fans consume. I wish I could say that the more forward-facing, Western-friendly anime were better. But that’s simply not true.

My Hero Academia stumbled into a minor (I repeat, very minor, don’t let the anti-SJWs blow this into a bigger deal than it was) Twitter controversy recently over the how it translated some of the characters for the show’s upcoming season from paper to animation.

(Source. The news site is garbage but I site my sources anyway (Used under Fair Use))

The studio that produces My Hero Academia, Studio Bones, is extremely good at replicating the art-style of the manga they adopt into anime. However, somehow, when it comes to female characters and only female characters, the girls that fall outside the four corners of a very narrow, very specific, very profitable beauty standard get… “tweaked”. Always “tweaked” and always in the exact same kind of way.

Source. Good article. It’s in French tho (Used under Fair Use)

Keep in mind Kohei Horikoshi isn’t trying to make some feminist statement with his female character designs. He just finds the girls more attractive if they “have a little meat on them”. Horikoshi just wants to see thicc bods in skimpy suits. The industry won’t even let that stand, let alone honest artwork that treats female sexuality with dignity.

I hope it’s becoming clearer why there’s no time like right now to talk about Terra Formars. Because, while Terra Formars might’ve spent its 15 minutes in the anime sun years ago, and while its MAL scores may be lacking, the fundamental, institutional problems that let this show exist and let it make as much money as it did still exist. They still plague our media right now.

In addition to the Posititity debacle, which I will continue to reference in my private life for the rest of time, Terra Formars goes out of its way to make sure we know where it stands on the question of if women deserve equal rights or nah.

There’s a false rape accusation that makes an underdog male character hate society and commit acts of violence with impunity.

I’m not going to spend too much time on this. I think there’s some sort of rule that every dumbfuck reactionary anime has a false rape accusation somewhere in its lore.

I’m just going to drop a source here that says that false rape accusations are exceedingly rare: *boop*.

I’ll add in a canned, common sense statement:

“Just because some rape accusations are false that doesn’t mean you can’t take any seriously when they come up and that doesn’t mean you can use that as a justification to hate half the population you inbred morons.” ~Past, present, and future me

And we’ll move on. Sometimes, the more you argue about shit everyone should know, the more you make it look like there’s a debate. There isn’t.

So around the beginning of the story, after the crew of the Annex I lands on Mars, the Japanese-American squadron lands near a body of water created from the sub-surface ice that’s been melting on Mars for the past 500 years. Michelle Davis, the American squad leader, drops this line en passant.

(Used under Fair Use)

As a non-lady, I admit that the first time I heard this line in watching the anime, I let it slide. There are plenty of aspects of the female experience that are probably not intuitive to men and vice versa. It wasn’t the most important line, and I was still busy processing Posititity anyway, so I didn’t think about it much.

But after I read this in the manga, I started to ask questions. Like, why exactly are women needing more water than men?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had “the talk”, I went through sex-ed. Still, I was curious enough to learn more. I’m willing to accept that there may be obvious stuff I don’t understand. I opened up a trusty incognito tab on Google Chrome and googled “women need more water than men”.

One study published in 2005 by the Institute of Medicine in The National Academic Press entitled Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate (Source) states that on average, men over the age of 19 consume 3.7 liters of water per day, compared to the 2.7 liters of water per day of non-pregnant, non-lactating women. The only group of women the study found consumed more water per day on average were lactating women at 3.8 liters of water per day. As a reminder, none of the principle characters in Terra Formars are lactating.

Even then, these values aren’t recommendations for how much water men and women should be drinking. Rather, as the report states:

This is one volume in a series of reports that presents dietary reference values for the intake of nutrients by Americans and Canadians. … The development of DRIs [Daily Recommended Intake measurements] expands and replaces the series of reports called Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) published in the United States and Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) in Canada.

Think of these numbers as more of a sophisticated average that found that cis men in the US and Canada drink more water than non-lactating cis women. It’s not saying “drink this much or you’re unhealthy”. In fact, it admits that there are challenges to establishing such a thing.

Given the extreme variability in water needs that are not solely based on differences in metabolism, but also on environmental conditions and activity, there is not a single level of water intake that would ensure adequate hydration and optimal health for half of all apparently healthy persons in all environmental conditions.

The paper set out to determine four types of values to help doctors in helping their patients improve their diets. The type of value relating to water intake is called an “Adequate Intake” (AI) level, described as follows:

… the recommended average daily intake level based on observed or experimentally determined approximations or estimates of nutrient intake by a group (or groups) of apparently healthy people that are assumed to be adequate.

On the AI of water specifically, the report states:

Although a low intake of total water has been associated with some chronic diseases, this evidence is insufficient to establish water intake recommendations as a means of reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Instead, an AI for total water is set to prevent deleterious (primarily acute) effects of dehydration, which include metabolic and functional abnormalities.

The report continues,

As with AIs for other nutrients, for a healthy person, daily consumption below the AI may not confer additional risk because wide ranges of intakes are compatible with normal hydration. In this setting, the AI should not be interpreted as a specific requirement.

And, just in case that wasn’t clear enough, a footnote states that:

The AI is used if sufficient scientific evidence is not available to derive an Estimated Average Requirement. The AI is not equivalent to a Recommended Dietary Allowance.

So dubious evidence at best that there’s such a thing as one sex “needing” more water than another, or even the idea that there’s a set amount of water that any human “needs”. And, if there were such a distinction, biological men would seem to need more water, not biological women.

There are average amounts of water that people seem to be able to drink and not get dehydrated, and as long as you feel fine, there’s really no need to stress out over your water intake.

I’m not a doctor by any means. If you’re worried about your health, please see a licensed practitioner. However, the scientific evidence does suggest that if most people drank when they’re thirsty, they’d be fine.

At this point, I was very confused. Bad science? In my anime? Heavens no! That’s unheard of! Literally impossible. I have lost my ability to can. Chief drunk texted me to politely let me know that this really ain’t it. Chief threw up later, but he’s fine now.

So I talked to some friends, one female and the other not. They both more or less told me that they have no idea what womanly thing women could be doing to femininely consume more water than everyone else.

Terra Formars desperately wants to be a “scientific” story. It’s constantly quoting scientific papers and books out of context and mangling with scientific facts found on Wikipedia to give the narrative a superficial sense of authenticity. If I read a scientific paper for everything this story got wrong, we’d be here all day.

I decided to drop it. This little bit was actually not supposed to make it into the essay. The author has some unscientific misconception about biological sex, metabolism, and water intake. So what? It’s no worse than that the other time the author used mating behavior in some bird species to try and explain female infidelity in humans.

That’s a real thing I had to read!

I’m slowly losing my mind (Used under Fair Use)

But then I came across this line, and I realized something.

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Despite how much I loathe this story, I was still giving it too much credit.

It’s not that the author has a misunderstanding about biological sex and metabolism. It’s not that he misstated an obscure scientific fact.

It’s that he literally believes bathing is for fucking women.

Holy shit, I am going to lose my mind. Sometimes it really is that simple.

ONCE A WEEK SHOULD BE GOOD ENOUGH (Used under Fair Use)

Keep in mind these characters are fighting for their lives every day. They’re undergoing immense physical strain. They’re living on a planet with limited plumbing. They’re covered in sweat, dirt, and blood all day.

If this author says a shower a week is good enough for men, that’s a shower a week at most when things get tough. That’s a shower a week maximum. Maximum.

Day-to-day, we’re talking even less from this guy!

I just…

I checked. Up until this point in the story, one (1) male character takes a shower. And it’s a scene that was cut from the anime and replaced with fucking Posititity.

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Look.

I am trying to understand the mindset you need to be in to unironically believe “Chad doesn’t shower”. I can’t do it, it’s breaking my brain.

It could be said that it’s convenient that only women have to take showers, as then we only ever have to see the girls get naked and objectified.

But the thing is, the shower fanservice is entirely a product of the anime. The source material is weirdly titty free.

(Used under Fair Use)

So to summarize, in case you’re having as hard a time keeping all this straight as I am.

There’s this racist prick somewhere alone in his basement who hasn’t showered in a month because personal hygiene is pussy shit. He hates women, and he’s just pushing this abject garbage into the world, rubber stamped by manga publishers.

Otaku in the US and Japan are reading this and going “this is great no problems here make this into an anime please”. And then some anime executive took a look at the story and was like “eh it’s not bad the only problem here is that there aren’t more naked anime boobs”.

I am dying (Used under Fair Use)

“There we go. Now it’s perfect.”

I think I need to go scream into a pillow now. See you at the next part, okay?

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Part 4: Colonialism AKA Exterminate the Black Organism

The bullshit asymmetry principle, introduced by Italian programmer Alberto Brandolini, states the following:

The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.

It’s a law applicable to most situations and generally if you want to be smug about something you can pull this one out of your back pocket.

However, when it comes to media criticism, there’s kind of a bit of truth to the idea.

Storytelling is a more powerful and efficient way of getting ideas across than theory is. This isn’t to say theory, philosophy, facts, and, yes, logic too, aren’t important. We need people knowledgeable on the data to implement policies that will help people in the long term.

But if your goal is a moral argument, to convert people to your principles and sense of right and wrong, rather than to simply relay stats and figures, a story will always convey this kind of information better.

It’s an idea I explored in a Hot Take I did a while back on Dexter’s Laboratory.

It’s also why the Left needs to stop trying to recruit people with “READ MARX” or “READ BREAD BOOK”.

This comes with a downside, if a story or joke conveys bad ideas, bad morality, and bad principles, a lot of people are going to absorb those principles without even realizing that that’s what’s happening. Stories can certainly fight bad principles, but a direct refutation of propaganda requires it to be addressed directly and stated more plainly, lest that story also be recuperated by the oppressive ideas it’s trying to fight.

And therein lies the fundamental imbalance in essays like this one. Through visuals, framing, dialogue, and plot, Terra Formars can argue that black people are genetically inferior to others, that women need to keep themselves clean more then men, or that immigrants are ruining civilization, all in the space of what amounts to a little more than 26 standard-length anime episodes. That’s 9 hours of content: three to five full length movies. The Star Wars films take longer to consume.

If that sounds like a lot to you, try to imagine how long it would take to get this information by reading theory: You’d start by reading Nietzsche, chiefly Thus Spoke Zarathustra, then you’d move on to Charles Darwin’s The Origin of the Species. Next, you’d read Francis Galton and his fundamental text on eugenics, Inquires into Human Faculty and Its Development. You’d then have to read some Alfred Baeumler and Alfred Rosenberg. Throw in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan just to get a good treatment on the “benefits” of authoritarianism. And who could forget Julius Evola, the premier thinker of fascism and traditionalism? And that’s just the start.

(Not all of these philosophers were fascists in and of themselves, and not all of these texts are inherently fascist, but all of these texts form the basis of fascist thought in the West. If you pick up any of these authors for any reason, please be careful.)

The next bitch who quotes Darwin gets the guillotine (Used under Fair Use)

This silly anime about cockroaches on Mars and boobs synthesizes all of that into a 9-hour study session where it doesn’t even feel like you’re learning half the time. Maybe you lack the facts and the philosophy of reading fascist theory, but you have the ideas. And, if you’re unlucky, you believe them.

Nowhere is this dynamic clearer than looking at how Terra Formars treats colonialism. The answer lies in the very premise of the show.

We’re presented with a scenario where a pristine, empty land is ripe for the taking. The only problem? Hoards of lesser being already live there, and they need to be exterminated to make room for the new, civilized population.

I use the world “exterminate” here quite literally. On the Bugs II mission, before most people realize that the cockroaches have evolved, the text says literally that. They land on Mars to spray a planetary-scale pesticide to make room for the human race.

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The mission doesn’t change once it’s confirmed that beings do indeed possess human-like qualities. I’d actually argue that, the stronger and more capable we learn the cockroaches are, the more that justifies ever-increasing violent action against them.

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And now here’s the part where we realize that, historically speaking, this cavalier attitude towards extermination of a people for the expansion of civilization and the exploitation of land and natural resources isn’t new.

The United States is a settler colonialist state. Here are what some of its founders thought of the native populations their country would eventually replace:

“If it be the design of Providence to extirpate these Savages in order to make room for cultivators of the Earth, it seems not improbable that rum may be the appointed means.” ~Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Ben Franklin (Source)

Or how about:

“The immediate objectives are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops in the ground and prevent their planting more.” ~George Washington, Letter from George Washington to Major John Sullivan (Source)

And one more. Comedy tends to come in threes, after all:

“This unfortunate race, whom we had been taking so much pains to save and to civilize, have by their unexpected desertion and ferocious barbarities justified extermination and now await our decision on their fate.” ~Thomas Jefferson, Letter from Thomas Jefferson to David Bailie Warden (Source)

It’s not particularly relevant that the author probably didn’t know enough about US history to make specific reference to these specific figures. The important thing is the attitude is the same. No matter the culture, no matter the time, when you see your group as civilized and foreigners as not, when you see land as a resource to exploit and deplete, when your concern about “uncivilized” peoples is so low you feel nothing at the idea of killing them all, you converge to the same sentiment.

Terra Formars doesn’t need to specifically be aware of America’s history of colonial attitudes to forward those attitudes itself. The colonialist attitude is simply much more global than any one country.

Part 5: Nationalism AKA Friends Only Exist in Japan

Terra Formars has some oddly specific hang-ups when it comes to what different people from different cultures can and can’t understand.

The funniest and clearest example of that is this bit here, when the manga asserts that Americans don’t have the concept of childhood friends.

(Used under Fair Use)

To be perfectly clear, the quality of the translation can often work to make something look more or less stupid.

(Used under Fair Use)

The very concept of childhood friends is not uniquely Japanese, though. I’ll give you that in Japanese culture, osananajimi might have tropes, interpretations, and significations that are specific to Japan. But that’s a different take entirely than “only in Japan does this very rare phenomenon of kids growing up as friends and staying that way happen”.

That kind of thinking requires, y’know, nuance or something.

I bring this up not to be pedantic and nit-picky (though those things are mighty fun), but because it’s emblematic of a larger trend in the series.

Terra Formars makes a clear effort to highlight the competitive nature of individual nation-states in geopolitics. This isn’t inaccurate or anything, but the text doesn’t seem to realize this is a bad thing. In fact, it takes this nature of politics as a given, instead advocating for its own side, Japan first and foremost, to “win” at the expense of others.

We return to Victoria “tin can” Wood. Because, y’know, of course we do.

In this chapter, Japanese crew member of the Bugs II mission Ichiro Hiruma hand-wrings about how because Japan doesn’t have nuclear weapons, it gets pushed around by larger powers. If only Japan had a strong, powerful military with which it could assert its interests.

To which Victoria responds, in at least one translation, “Hm. Japan’s going through a lot for the prosperity of their people.”

The nationalist tendencies of the text are more subtle, baked into the background of the show’s assumptions, rather than some of the more overt forces we’ve seen in the story thus far. The nationalist undertones of the series are better understood when we zoom out for a bit and talk about the broader ideology of the series.

Part 6: Selective Breeding AKA fascism_irl

This is a long essay. Longer than normal, even for me.

There are a lot of moving parts that are important to consider if we’re looking at Terra Formars as any kind of whole.

This is in part because, unlike with a lot of other problematic anime, Terra Formars was written with a highly developed sense of ideological purpose. Any one sexist can throw a false rape accusation into their story. Hell, a ton of authors who are otherwise not sexist will still end up writing their female leads into the same three kinds of roles, and ogle at their bodies with the camera. A lot of well-intentioned centrists and liberals who just don’t know two things about Africa will default to the same tired stereotypes and cliches about Africans. And character designs can always take on a racist or insensitive tinge if an artist isn’t careful enough.

The fact that regressive propaganda can be made by “accident” doesn’t change the fact that these kinds of media are still regressive propaganda.

However, it does differentiate itself from propaganda made for that purpose.

Any one of these things I’ve talked about so far could in and of themselves be their own Treatises. The fact that we’ve got all of this crammed into one story means there’s something else going on here. This isn’t just subconscious anti-black bias leaking into the character design and world-building. This isn’t just thinking men don’t shower. Terra Formars is instead well aware of its own ideas, and funnels almost all of its storytelling and world-building efforts into selling you those ideas.

Yeah, that’s right. Terra Formars brought politics into MY anime.

The missing ideological piece that collapses each of these ideas into a single, super-heated nucleus of utter bullshit can be found in one character: Joseph Gustav Newton.

Daily reminder not to do steroids (Used under Fair Use)

On the Annex I, Joe was the leader of the European-African division. The story (as it pretty much always does if I’m being honest), tells us what we need to know about him. In this case, one character has a flashback to a time another character was dryly rattling off a whole character bio for some reason. It’s really stellar writing.

“Joe? Oh yeah, Joe. The track-and-field star. I first saw him on TV. In his junior year of high school, at the age of 17, he won the gold metal in the world decathlon. People called him The King of Athletes. But that’s not the whole story. After graduating, he quit track and field. He studied for exams, got high marks, and earned a spot in the EU’s top university. He then attended an elite Air Force academy and graduated at the top of his class, earning him an Air Force Officer’s rank, and master’s degree in biology and aeronautics. His success is a testament to his intellect and grit, but he got a lot of help from people in high places.”

So Joe’s an Ivy League bourgeois brat. Or what Republicans call “lifting yourself up from your bootstraps”.

(Used under Fair Use)

Okay, sure. Continue.

“Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that he comes from a noble family.

I’m sorry a what?

“I’ve heard rumors that his family has, in a way, engineered itself to perfection. Supposedly, for centuries, members have picked spouses not for their wealth, connections, race or nationality. They’ve based their selection on three factors alone: looks, talent, and resistance to disease. In other words: his family has engaged in selective breeding.

Oh my God.

“For starters, they’re working with the mightiest predator in the animal kingdom: humans. With the endurance and lung capacity to run 42 km/hr at full speed. The throwing power that drove the mammoth to extinction. The intelligence of a person with an IQ of 186. An accelerated metabolism capable of immediate digestion and absorption of nutrients [???]. The ability to create any kind of military weapon, and use it like a master.” ~Michelle Davis

Please. Please stop. I’m begging. We can have a nice, civil conversation, just —

“It’s taken 600 years. Behold the pinnacle of humanity! A human being created in the perfect image of God. ~Joseph Gustav Newton.

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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (Used under Fair Use)

“The Mosaic Organ Procedure for military combatants depends on the individual’s innate strength and abilities. So, there was never any doubt. We know he’d be the strongest. He is rank #1. Mars Ranking 1: Humanity in its ultimate form. Joseph G. Newton. ~Michelle Davis

I like how the G isn’t in hiragana for no reason (Used under Fair Use)

Fuck it. We’ve gone full mask off then. This is just fascist propaganda. That’s the missing piece. The story is just fascism with extra steps.

I want to remind you that this anime fucking censored characters being undocumented immigrants and made sure to add in naked anime tits but it didn’t censor, like

y’know

SELECTI▼E BREEDING

Sigh

I do not know where the fuck to start with this trainwreck of a passage.

Maybe I could start with the fact that things like “talent” are usually not hereditary but a result of years of practice and study. What people often refer to as “intelligence”, scientists and sociologists are now beginning to consider a combination of different skills that can’t accurately be measured by something like an IQ test. If nothing else, the strongest indicator of IQ is parental income, so things like “hereditary intelligence” are far more likely to be the by product of wealth hoarding.

I could point out that we can’t breed “perfection” into people, if there even is one standard of perfection people an hope to attain. I could ask why the fuck “perfection” and “in God’s image” seem to mean blond-haired and blue-eyed.

I could point out that the history of thinkers asserting that the Abrahamic God/Jesus is/was an Aryan is intertwined with the development of fascist thought. Seriously, the history of Positive Christianity in Nazi Germany basically redefined the story of Jesus of Nazareth as one where Jesus was an Aryan man who was betrayed and killed by the Jews.

Positive Christianity was the Nazi-party’s attempt to incorporate Germany’s white Christian majority into the fold of the Nazi regime before de-Christianizing the country as a whole. The whole “every soul is equal under the eyes of God”, “the meek shall inherit the Earth”, and “love thy neighbor” stuff apparently just doesn’t jive well with an ideology based entirely around exclusion and hierarchy.

You can’t tell me that because the author Japanese there can’t be a connection here the dude makes a literal fucking cross with his body as the music swells to a climax. If this was any more blatant we’d be reviewing a Zack Snyder movie!

I could talk about all of that. But I think there’s one, important observation we need to make about the idea of Joseph Gustav Newton.

I think it’s kind of interesting that we’re told outright that the Newton noble family “isn’t racist”. By that I mean, it’s specified that their selective breeding does not care about race or ethnicity. They just pick the “objectively best” mates on the planet for hundreds of years and this is the result.

You know I’ve actually, unironically seen this as a defense for the show.

It doesn’t mean anything that “Humanity in its ultimate form” just so happens to be a blond Aryan. That’s just how it turned out.

I’m going fucking jump off a cliff.

No. No no no. Nope. Nah. Nada. Non.

What the story actually asserts is the opposite. That if we objectively rated the genetic quality of the entire planet and picked the “best” traits: the best looking people, the smartest people, the strongest people, the fastest people, the people best suited for combat, and we bred those genes into people for generations on end, the only group of people who would have a significant role to play, the group of people this process would produce, would be Aryans.

I’m sitting here. It’s like 8:26 PM. On a Saturday. No one invites me out to things. Trying to explain in words how racist this is to the void of the Internet. And I cannot. It’s like proving the sky is blue.

I also don’t want to gloss over the fact that Joe is a man. Not just a man, but a cisgendered, heterosexual man. It is codifying one of the most dangerous ideas in the fascist’s ideological toolbox: the Nazi interpretation of Nietzsche’s übermensch, the overman. Nietzsche’s original idea was still masculine, he considered it woman’s job to rear the overman into the world instead (it’s somewhere in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Just go fucking read it somewhere). But the Nazis took that and asserted that their race was the only race capable of producing the overman, and that they actively needed to do so by controlling who got to breed in their country and who didn’t.

Terra Formars took the idea central to Nazi philosophy. An idea that led to the most devastating war in human history, six million Jews dead, millions of German ethnic minorities dead, millions of LGBT people dead, millions of disabled people experimented on or killed, and just propped it up on full display for the world to see.

Like an old man flashing his wrinkly dick to 4-year-old girls at the park at noon, Terra Formars is shameless, obvious, and disgusting. And somehow, despite all of this, I’m like one of five people that’s written about this in any way.

People watched this or read this and didn’t see anything wrong. Not only that, but then they went on the badger all the “hyper-sensitive SJW snowflake cultural Marxists” for being “too sensitive” and “whining” and “making everything political” when there’s a story pedaling Nazi talking points out in the open.

When I was 15, I was on the wrong side of Gamergate. I fully bought the narrative that Anita Sarkeesian was an unhinged, man-hating radical Stalinist feminist who was just looking for a reason to cry “racist” or “sexist” for money.

I was fully steeped in anti-PC, anti-SJW culture. I was on r/TumblrInAction all the time, a Reddit forum supposedly there to mock crazy Tumblr feminists, otherkin, and beauty at any size activists. I regularly listened to YouTube personalities such as TL;DR, SargonOfAkkad, and other such “content” “creators”.

And you know what I distinctly remember from that awful, awful time? Whenever these people attacked a feminist for going crazy or some “race baiter” for making something about race when it isn’t, there was always this veneer of responsibility and civility.

“When I see real racism, I’ll of course call it out. When I see real sexism, I’ll of course call it out. When I see real homophobia, I’ll of course call it out. But this specifically is just bullshit.”

Guess what never actually happened for the years I spent in those online circles?

Yeah, that.

I eventually figured out something that, to this day, I wish I knew sooner. These professional nitpickers who obsess over liberal and Leftist journalists, content creators and bloggers, harassing them, taking them out of context, engaging in bad faith arguments, and in general doing everything they can to discredit them or get them to stop making content. These people are racists. They are bigots.

There is nothing they will not defend. The same logic that they use to attack 16-year-old Tumblr progressives who haven’t studied enough to have good takes all the time is the logic they’ll use to attack anyone else that’s actually trying to dismantle actual bigots, actual neo-nazis, actual racist policies, and actual hate.

Rather than being the pinnacle of human evolution, Joseph G. Newton is instead the pinnacle of all the toxic ideas the anti-PC internet crowd is willing defend. They are fascists. This is what they want. And the more people they have who don’t know better, who reflexively parrot the same three anti-SJW talking points whenever someone tries to point out how problematic media can be, the larger their numbers.

I’ve unfortunately taken my analysis of this series from a Eurocentric lens. The truth is, I just don’t know enough about Japan. Books on Japanese nationalism in English are actually sort of hard to find. I got this one book on my Kindle but like…

I think it’s broken.

Thus, a full breakdown of nationalistic tenancies in Japan, how they interact with neo-nazi movements in the West, and how Terra Formars fits in the larger Japanese conversation of inclusion and race is sadly just not something I’m capable of doing.

I can say that the story has of course adopted many of the same ideas fascism has in the West, from white supremacist patriarchy to colonialism. I can say that the story tends to frame the Chinese, both the people and the country itself, as a geopolitical scapegoat. I can say, given that the Japanese today see China as the biggest current geo-political threat to world peace (Source), and given the numerous war crimes that Imperial Japan committed in China that many would argue still have not been properly repaid or acknowledged, that the constant need for the story to have Chinese characters betray all of humanity probably definitely plays into the story’s fascist narrative.

I can say that in choosing the five global superpowers of the 27th century to be: The Roman Federation (Italy), Russia/The Soviet Union (again, I’ve seen it translated as both), The United States, China, and Japan, the story seems to want to recreate a situation where we redo World War II except Japan wins.

I can say that, one by one, the countries either fold or betray Japan. We talked about China already, but the Newton noble family and Joe himself, who run the Roman Federation, end up turning on Japan too for geo-political reasons. Japan more or less ends up being the last good country standing.

I can say that there’s a German commander named Adolf. Adolf Reinhard. Not to be confused with this Reinhard from a show actually worth watching.

Oh yes (Used under Fair Use)

Adolf the German commander sacrifices his life for his country, under attack and surrounded by all sides. Adolf “not a failed art student” Reinhard married a woman who cheats on him with a very ethnic looking Asian man.

Adolf “does anyone else hear that dog whistle” Reinhard forgives his wife, only to find out later that their first son isn’t theirs.

The story makes sure to call her a whore and slut, in case you were wondering.

Adolf “I’m not a Nazi I’m an ultra-traditionalist who believes in strong borders” Reinhard is told by his mother to “never stop fighting for what he believes in”, whatever that is. He’s also an Aryan.

(Used under Fair Use)

He was born on Christmas.

The fucking ship is literally called the Annex I. Like let’s annex one third world pls.

How much more of this show must I consume to prove that this is just fashy nonsense? How many chapters into the 200+ manga chapters do I have to read? How many sequels and prequels do I need to read?

Part 7: What Is Terra Formars? AKA Steve Biko and Where We Go from Here

So we’ve finally gotten to The Point: Terra Formars is fascist propaganda written by a fascist and, despite the controversy that surrounded this show when it first aired, no one’s caught on to this.

“Oh great there the SJWs go again calling everyone a Nazi!”

No. I’m a writer. I choose my words pretty carefully. I disagree with Ben Shapiro, and you’ll notice that in the section I talked about him, I never called him a fascist or a Nazi. This is deliberate: words have meaning.

I don’t think that Terra Formars was written by a Nazi. It was written by a fascist.

The Nazis, by successfully entering history as humanity’s ultimate bad guys, often end up getting used as a petty insult. Your friend’s a “Grammar Nazi” because he’s a dick on Twitter. Your physics professor was a total Nazi because she wouldn’t even give out partial credit when you made a rounding error on the midterm. Liberals are Nazis because they don’t want you misgendering people.

This, coupled with the fact that US history courses tend to focus on the history and the numbers behind the Nazi regime during World War II, and not the ideas that fueled this regime, where they came from, and how they still shape politics today, people don’t have a good grasp as to what fascism is at the level of ideas.

The fascists of course, love this. They don’t care if they have to drop the label “fascist”. They care about their ideas, and if people are accepting them. If the mainstream hates “fascism” but accepts all the core tenants of the ideology under words like “identitarianism”, “race realism”, “chauvinism” or “alt-right”, that’s fine for them. If people hate Adolf Hitler in the abstract but ultimately seek to build society around his values, that’s fine for them.

Fascism is an ideology that maintains that humans can be split into distinct, scientific races. It asserts these races exist in an objective, universal hierarchy, where some races are more evolved than others. It asserts that the best way to organize society is for each race to have one or more nation-states: authoritarian governments which implement the will of the race they serve. Fascism is an ideology that maintains the superiority of masculinity over femininity, and seeks to have female sexuality controlled.

Fascism is concerned with the genetic strength of the race its nation-state serves. It seeks to purge genetic inferiority; race-mixing, disabled people, the poor, and LGBT people; from the population. If inferior races and populations must live within the nation, they must prove themselves by directly serving the needs and interests of the superior race. Fascism seeks to prevent the “degeneration” of the superior race by controlling breeding and culture through the state.

Fascism is not exclusive to white people. Rather, in societies where white people hold the majority of the power and capital, fascism that holds the superiority of white people over others is especially dangerous.

Fascism maintains that each nation-state is entitled to take whatever action it deems necessary to better its own population. It is inherently imperialist, in the sense that the conquest and exploitation by the strong nations of the weak will always be seen as natural.

And always in fascism is there a scapegoat. A group of powerful people who have betrayed the efforts of the fascists. A group to help explain why their side isn’t winning.

When I say Terra Formars was written by a fascist, I’m saying it was written by someone who fundamentally shares this worldview. And when I say the story is fascist propaganda, I’m saying the events of the story are constructed to buy into these ideas, either in part or in full.

Plenty of people have said that the story is racist. Plenty have pointed out its obvious sexism. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have thought this story is fascist to some degree.

But I am one of the only people to write about it like this.

That means one of two things. Either I’ve gone off the deep end this early in my writing “career” and I’ll never be the same again.

Or we’re bad at recognizing fascist messaging in our media. We’re bad at recognizing when we’re being propagandized to. Fascists and people with fascist sympathies have such a grip on Otaku culture that any conversation in the opposite direction stops before we can get anywhere useful. Fascists have such control over Otaku culture that fascists are seen as neutral centrists, apolitical people, even by people who, in any other context, would staunchly position themselves against this ideology.

I’ve presented the history, the context, the source material, the facts, and my analysis in the best, most honest way I know how: an hour-long profanity laden essay plastered on some Internet server I don’t own.

Steve Biko was a radical anti-apartheid activist. He died in prison at the age of 30 in 1977. While alive, Biko created the South African Students Organisation, a student’s group created to mobilize young black people into pressuring the South African regime into systematic change and the advancement of black people in the country.

Through the SASO, Biko was at the head of a philosophy and movement known as Black Consciousness. Black Consciousness was a pan-African movement that asserted first and foremost that liberation for black people cannot truly be achieved unless black people lead the movements for change and set the terms for the end of oppression. In Biko’s own words,

“I am not sneering at the liberals and their involvement. Neither am I suggesting that they are the most to blame for the black man’s plight. Rather I am illustrating the fundamental fact that total identification [by white liberals] with an oppressed group [blacks] in a system that forces one group to enjoy privilege and to live on the sweat of another, is impossible. . . .

[I]n South Africa political power has always rested with white society. Not only have the whites been guilty of being on the offensive but, by some skillful manoeuvres, they have managed to control the responses of the blacks to the provocation. Not only have they kicked the black but they have also told him how to react to the kick. . . . [H]e is now beginning to show signs that it is his right and duty to respond to the kick in the way he sees fit. . . .

The call for Black Consciousness is the most positive call to come from any group in the black world for a long time. It is more than just a reactionary rejection of whites by blacks. The quintessence of it is the realisation by the blacks that, in order to feature well in this game of power politics, they have to use the concept of group power and to build a strong foundation for this . . .” ~Steve Biko, 1971 speech “White Racism and Black Consciousness” (Source)

This goes without saying, but struggling to overthrow one of the most evil forms of government on the face of the planet and, like, anime being bad, are not remotely comparable. I don’t want this essay to do anything more than it already does: to entertain, educate, and warn about the intersections between pop culture and politics.

However, there is an idea of Biko’s that I think works well in what we’ve talked about so far.

(Encyclopedia Britannica. © Everett Collection/age fotostock)

2014’s Gamergate allowed the far right to openly colonize the Internet, and they’ve especially taken advantage of nerd communities — communities known to have an over-representation of cishet white men.

I’m not saying that weebdom was a stateless, classless, moneyless utopia before Gamergate or anything. But the connection between anime culture and reactionary politics was, far, far more blurry. It’s perhaps always been hard for minority groups to express their concerns in anime spaces, but I think it’s safe to safe that Gamergate has turned anime fandom, as well as gaming, comic books, movie fandom, and many, many more fandoms into spaces that are openly hostile to anti-fascist, anti-sexist, anti-racist, and anti-capitalist ideas.

What’s needed is a new consciousness in nerd culture. We need to start choosing how we react to these kicks. Not just a black consciousness, but one that encompasses all the people and all the ideas that the alt-right has been working so very hard to suppress.

We can’t expect that consciousness to come from the “anime establishment”. The overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly straight, overwhelmingly male politics of mainstream anime fandom will never recognize something like Terra Formars as something that merits a debate, let alone as a problem. This new consciousness needs to instead come from us. From the people stand the most to lose from the alt-right co-opting our hobbies to make it harder for us to live in our own countries.

It’s long past time we stopped tolerating media that hates us. It’s long past time we stopped letting people who are the least affected by the proliferation of fascist ideology tell us when we’re being “too sensitive” or when things are “just jokes”. It’s long past time that we tell the people who want to keep “politics” out of their hobbies that it’s always been political.

It’s always been political for the gay and trans people who are mocked through caricature and fetishization. It’s always been political for the women who have to watch their experiences with sexual harassment and assault be made light of, encouraged, and sexualized. It’s always been political for the black and brown people who are constantly told that they’re inferior, and that the world would be better off without us.

We don’t have to stand for this shit anymore.

Part 8: Conclusion

So here’s a question out of the blue: You’re a writer. How do you make an army stronger?

I’ve been pretty critical of reactionary fans of problematic anime hyper-focusing on the apolitical, on the aesthetic, on the core mechanics of functional storytelling an anime as a way to avoid discussion and criticism of the types of media we consume and trust. However, for this last point, we’re going to need to take off our revolutionary hats and look at Terra Formars from a purely mechanical lens.

The “plot” of Terra Formars more-or-less doesn’t exist. The enjoyment of the series is hedged almost entirely around the threat of the Martian roach people themselves. The characters need to survive wave after wave of violent mobs that know nothing but to kill. It’s a standard thriller, mechanically speaking of course. Nothing standard about it at all, politically speaking.

The “villain” of the series swaps hands between various political factions that stand in the way of Japan’s national interests, however, The Villain™ is this ever-present army of Terra Formars. The issue with villains is that, if you see them around too much, it gets harder and harder to justify why the heroes should ever be afraid of them, especially the heroes always win.

If the villain of the story was a single person, we could do a rivalry, where both the hero and the villain are constantly growing and getting stronger, and thus we can’t know which character is going to win the next encounter.

The Terra Formars aren’t a single person. They’re an army. How do you make an army stronger?

Maybe we could just make the army bigger? Maybe, but the story blows its load on this front way too early. We’re effectively told that there’s an infinite number of these creatures on Mars. The Martian roach people never mourn their dead or otherwise fight in a way that conserves their troops or resources. They just attack, attack, attack in huge swarms.

What else can you do?

Well, in a nutshell, the army needs to get better at killing. Maybe the army finds a new weapon that’s a lot stronger than anything the heroes have. Maybe the army has improved its organization. Maybe its soldiers fight with new forms of martial arts.

To do any of this requires the army be capable of growth.

To do any of this requires the army be human.

Terra Formars spends a lot of effort through its dialogue and framing to dehumanize the Terra Formars and, by extension, people of color. These people must be subhuman, the show argues, so that they can be purged from existence for the benefit of the “real humans”, the master Aryan race, its Japanese equivalent, and a handful of other minorities that have proven themselves to be “one of the good ones”.

Yet, to continue the plot, the roach people must be humanized. Over time we learn they have complex social structures, understand technology, are capable of learning science, are capable of formulating battle plans. Some even learn to speak human languages.

(Used under Fair Use)

If the Terra Formars are intelligent enough to be a threat, are they not also intelligent enough to be reasoned with?

How are the roach people both smart enough to constantly threaten the existence of the master races, yet be too primitive and inhuman to aspire to be anything more than killing machines? How is their wholesale slaughter justified when, as the story progresses, we see them act and feel as humans do?

This contradiction is at the core of all fascist movements. The Jews/Muslims/Central Americans/Koreans/Chinese/Africans/gays/whoever else are all too degenerate, uncivilized, and undeveloped to run their own societies. Yet, if we let them in our countries, their mere existence is enough to destroy our way of life. They’re so sophisticated and organized they can singlehandedly end civilization.

As Italian thinker Umberto Eco puts it in his essay Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt,

“… The followers of [fascism] must … be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.” (Source)

In this specific case, mechanical storytelling and ideology become one in the same.

Sure, fascism is always contradictory. But Terra Formars is forced to contradict its own world-building, dialogue, and aesthetic for the story to be anywhere close to enjoyable. It’s mathematically impossible for this story to be good. It was doomed to be a self-defeating mess from the start.

And that’s just glorious.

I think it says something else too. It can be discouraging to look at the world, see the rise in Right-wing politics around the world, especially in the face of destabilizing geopolitics and climate refugees. Fascists work to make us feel unwelcome where we ought to belong. They work to question our abilities, our worth, and our claims to equality. But the fact is, any time fascists do so much as breathe, this same contradiction exists in the back of their heads.

The fact that they are so afraid of us, the fact that they hate us enough to want us gone, is in and of itself proof of our worth. To be a fascist is to acknowledge that your so-called enemies are intelligent and capable enough to defeat you. And to be afraid as a fascist is to acknowledge your enemies are just as human as anyone else.

Samory Touré oki fag
They killed Samory Touré
Almamy Touré oyi faga
They killed Almamy Touré
Ba bemba oki faga
They killed Ba Bemba
Lumumba oki faga
They killed Lumumba
Tafawa Belewa oki faga
They killed Tafawa Belewa
Victor Biaka Boda oki faga
They killed Biaka Boda
Haïlé Sélassié oki faga
They killed Haïlé Sélassié
Marcus Garvey oki faga
They killed Marcus Garvey
Malcom X oki faga
They killed Malcom X
Martin Luther King oki faga
They killed Martin Luther King
Steve Biko oki faga
They killed Steve Biko
Diallo Telli oki faga
They killed Diallo Telli
Sékou Touré oki faga
They killed Sékou Touré
Anouar El Sadate oki faga
They killed Anouar El Sadate
Amilcar Cabral oki faga
They killed Amilcar Cabral
Kwamé N’krumah oki faga
They killed Kwamé NKrumah
Anga mouné kê ayila
What wrongs have we committed?
Anga mouné kê ayila
What wrongs have we committed?
Anga mouné kê ayila
What wrongs have we committed?
Anga mouné kê ayila (afôh n’gné bi)
What wrongs have we committed (tell me)?
Anga mouné kê ayila (afôh n’gné)
What wrongs have we committed (tell me)?
Ambê yé Allah dén’hou yé
We are all children of God
Ambê yé Allah danfin ouyé
We are all children of God

Bory Samory by Alpha Blondy, 1984

This essay was made possible by Mo Black's backers on Patreon:    i cant think of a pseudonym
Spooky
Darth Cyrax
Farah Qusous
Raghava Kovvali

Part 9: Epilogue

If you liked this any, the first person I have to thank is /u/Trenov17 over on Reddit. They were the ones that gave me the idea and now it’s a thing.

I was actually almost not about to do this essay. Terra Formars was just so glaringly obvious and awful that I assumed someone had already done something like this in the years this property has been public. But nope :/ So it had to do it to ’em. You know this, fams.

As usual, I’d like to thank Raghava Kovvali/Kranas Angel for reading this over. I’m not sure who’s holding the record for best human right now but they’re about to yoink it from you. Try being a little less awesome sometime around, dude. It’s hard to compete with.

The next Treatise is NOT Fire Force. If you’re backing me on Patreon, you’d already know this, because I did an update about it. Basically, Fire Force sucks and is bad. More specifically, while it’s problematic in some areas, and impressive in others, it’s not consistent enough in terms of quality or themework to do much of a Treatise with.

There sure is a lot of isekai this season, though, huh? Fall 2019 has like, what, 600 of them?

I’ve got a Frankfurt School vs Isekai Treatise floating around in my head. Instead of roasting a single anime I’mma end an entire genre. It’ll be great. Or not. We’ll see.

Ssssooooo if you’ve got an isekai or any other story where a person from the real world gets stuck in another world (yes, I’m counting Western media in this) that you’d like to maybe see reviewed send it my way and maybe you’ll see me write about it all smug-like.

I’ve already got

  • The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious
  • Re: Zero — Starting a Life in Another World —
  • Sword Art Online
  • Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!

On the watch list, as well as the American webcomic Erfworld.

Don’t give me Shield Hero, though. I did that. That train passed.

And speaking of stuff I’ve done…

Make sure to follow me on Medium and YouTube. If I have to plug myself anymore I might just fall over.

This is it for now.

See ya 💕

Mo’s Home For Treatises and Hot Takes

Long form essays in anime/media criticism from an anti-fascist, egalitarian point of view. Credits to Akane-K and Free-Photos on Pixabay for the logo.

Mo Black

Written by

Mo Black

Leftist. Media analysis, fiction, and the art of writing the perfect story. YouTube: https://bit.ly/2tfI7pb || Support: https://patreon.com/moblack

Mo’s Home For Treatises and Hot Takes

Long form essays in anime/media criticism from an anti-fascist, egalitarian point of view. Credits to Akane-K and Free-Photos on Pixabay for the logo.

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