Latest posts by Alex Tinsley (see all)
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- Breaking the Narrative Episode 42: In Lieu of a Question, The Mary Sue Has an Answer?!” - April 10, 2017
Well then it seems that Ms. Amelia Cook is at it again finally, perhaps this will quench my anime bloodlust. Today I found upon her site a review of a new show called Frame Arms Girl. As of this writing the show is on its second episode and will be on its third soon after the release of this article. The show is being simulcast and subbed by Sentai Filmworks in the US on various platforms and the like. (I’m not going to plug anything specific – if you love anime you know where to go).
Now before we go into her review, I want to go into some history of this franchise, because she flat-out refuses to even research the source material as per standard with feminists like this. Frame Arms is a model kit line by the company Kotobukiya. Now I haven’t mentioned this before as it has yet to come up really in the past but I’m a real model kit junkie, I love building the shit. These kits are marketed as 1:100 scale models and are typically about 8 inches tall. To compare, the much more common Gundam models range between 1:100 scale at 12 inches tall and the simpler 1:144 scale kits at 6 inches. If you were to scale these kits up appropriately a Gundam is about 18 meters tall while a Frame Arms would be closer to 15 meters. So now that we have that out of the way the main gimmick of a Frame Arms kit is that all the kits have the same base frame, a core body with various ports to use to attach the armor pieces which you can interchange between kits.
The line has been around since about 2008. Its hard to look up due to the series not being as well documented in English, because such things have more of a niche audience. Here in the states they only started to really get noticed in 2011-2012, though Kotobukiya had been in the high cost statuette industry for years before that, even making some parts that can be considered ‘compatible’ with Bandai’s lines of kits. Of course these are all military themed and named as such. The prime kit Gourai (轟雷) or “Roaring Lightning” is illustrative of this aesthetic. These are tools of war, so what is a Frame Arms Girl then? Well as it goes with many things in our gynocentric society today, if you make something, there has to be a special version of it just for girls. In this case, instead of the armature frame there is an “Artificial Self” which the show makes reference to, of modified versions of these armor pieces set to be equipped to what looks like a Lolita doll of some sort. This line started in about 2014-2015 as popularity of such model types started to grow. As such it is one of their highest selling lines. This was after Gundam hit its success with the Build Fighters series in 2013. So with this the subject matter far predates the anime – a vast rarity today. Now that we know a little about what we are talking about Let’s Hammer This In.
So we start off with a shoddy re-telling of the premise of the show, it must be first put forward that Ao is of high school age and lives on her own while her parents are working overseas. She also presumes to be a gift from her dad what turns out to be a free sample she was randomly drawn for. In addition, Ao guesses that Gourai is just a simple doll until she activates her accidentally while inspecting the small robot. It is after this that Gourai explains what she is and requests to be equipped with her parts which Ao has to build herself. At this point that they refer to the manufacturer of the Frames Arms kits by the brand of the ‘nippers.’ Though Cook is about to refer to this as we are about to see, I’m just pointing this out now to emphasize the poor quality of writing. Then she jumps on the pictured pantyshot and makes note of the unit’s intelligence level. What she forgets to mention is the learning subroutines, and as you’ll see further on in this, she neglects an entire half of the first episode. Granted this is in two bits per singular episode. In fact, I wonder if she even got through the entire first episode or just stopped half way through. Of course she ads in the small ‘Master’ bit and calls it ‘vaguely creepy’ yet also boring, mentioning all of this stuff basically out of context of the show while ignoring that this is a robot meant to fight. Leave it to feminists to try to dehumanize men while humanizing a genderless automaton because it is called a ‘Girl.’
Here is what I mean about the refusal to research. I watch a lot of anime. I have a few shows that I knew nothing about before I actually looked at it but most of the time I try to see if there is a synopsis or anything that precedes it so I have a base idea of whether or not I might find it interesting. Now, I don’t always stick with it but sometimes its enough of a hook. For example, a show from 2016 and 2015 called Bubuki Buranki which I enjoyed the first season of after learning its a mix of mecha and mysticism. The second season lost my interest because it broke with what made the first season so entertaining by adding more teams of 5 to try to remember.
Then, there is this bit where she doesn’t realize the point of the joke about the tools and the kit quality because she doesn’t know PlaMo culture. There is a culture among otaku both in Japan and abroad that enjoy building high quality replicas of items from their favorite anime. Add to that the parent company Kotobukiya is so well known for its craftsmanship that it’s in their logo. She even ignores that over all, most anime and shows in Japan are huge on merchandising. This was a jab at that aspect to tell the viewer “hope you weren’t hoping for anything serious, because this is gonna be a straight-up parody!” Its not ‘ham-fisted laziness.’ Its something to set the mood. She then ruins this bit about how well rounded the two characters are (the only thing she gets right this entire review) by mentioning that she finds the outfits of the FA Girls (In series acronym) to be ‘creepy.’ Huh, I just realized that I could shorten that to FAGs… So Amelia Cook finds FAGs creepy. Remember that, boys.
Wait, that was positive? I’d hate to see what you’d call negative, Ma. Cook. Here, she not only completely glosses over the two other characters introduced, Stylet and Baselard, but after doing so well to keep with the spelling depicted in the previous picture, she misspells Gourai’s name. Considering that according to what I’ve seen, Cook is also the editor, as she runs the site I think she needs to get someone to proofread her shit before she posts. Then, she shows that she waited for a sexual joke before paying any real attention to anything. In addition, I’ve seen various types of bodysuits and…. you get to see through some of the action in the show that this case counts, though they do lampoon the panty shot concept because like I said before, this is a parody series. Next we are treated to a presumption about the term ‘Master’ as it was used in full English here. What she fails miserably to do is denote that in Japan the term “Goshujin”（ご主人）which is anglicized to “Master” is a genderless term not like over here where we have the Master/Mistress dichotomy. I thought the social justice crowd was supposed to be for de-gendering terms. Now here one goes again about ignoring the moe~ value of ‘protect the little sister’ by trying to sexualize the encounter. In episode 2 they do make sure to mock that concept too. I’ll touch on that trigger later.
Also, child-grooming? Really now? And you indoctrinating children to hate biology is not creepy right? Thats not ‘grooming’ is it? Also assuming your audience is going to call you an idiot for this interpretation? That’s new. And then following up the recharge port joke… now this is where that research would have been really useful. Lets look at the back of both the FA Girl and Classic versions of Gourai without most of the armor.
First thing you’ll notice is with the original Gourai the frame without any of the parts will work with ANY other Frame Arms kit. In fact you can buy just the Frame Architect separate from any of the armaments. Any part from any other FA kit will work on this frame, and you can see by the ports on the Girl version these two units can share parts between them as well. Second, look at where I have highlighted the back of the kits. Sure one is in a less ‘compromising’ place but even on the girl that’s not where an asshole would be. That’s the base of her spine. That’s right, these both are supposed to use charged batteries as their generators, just a different scale for them both. Another reason I decided to go from this point is to show that yes, that is a bodysuit, and those parts are molded into the plastic, so since the charging port is essentially how Gourai ‘eats,’ she is pleased by eating. This can also be a parody bit joking about another anime that has been popular as of late known here as Food Wars, where the main characters have ‘foodgasms’ because of their succulent gourmet feasts. This is reinforced by Ao showing a preference for sweets and going as far as to buy the 8 inch tall droid a birthday cake as big as she is, not realizing that robots don’t have stomachs, especially at that size. So yeah, the charging port IS put there as a convenient little joke to poke fun at once and a while.
Hold up, that’s it? Like I said earlier, she glosses over an entire half of the show in this lame ass excuse for a review, one that introduces two other characters in the form of Stylet and Baselard, effectively Gourai’s rivals and later compatriots as they get battle data so Ao can get paid to test them in their ‘Sessions.’ Forgot to mention that fact did you? This main character is being selected to be a lucky as fuck paid tester of a new product while in high school. How is that not something a feminist wouldn’t want? Hell, anyone for that matter, to be randomly picked to get paid to test out a new product without even trying? I know I would. Also, this anime fits the Bechdel test as no male characters are effectively introduced as a major plot point. The closest they get is mentions of her father as the potential provider of Gourai, and in conjunction with her parents. It’s a passing note quickly dropped. I also watched the second episode and I have to say its funnier than the first because it shows honest humor about women, including the bit where they make fun of each other behind each other’s backs. Also there’s one bit where this ends up being the result during a battle session.
I’m not spoiling what leads to that, as its part of the comedy, but you’re welcome. So their loss. Do I recommend this series, which will end up being 12 episodes? Yeah, it looks like its going to be some really good humor that can be understood cross-culturally based purely around female characters. You’ll especially like it if you like things that are very slice of life. This also shows the minimalism of actual Japanese living and even has some humor about delivery drones. Yes, this series also pokes fun at Amazon. So enjoy. Well, that scratched my anime itch for the time being… gynoids two weeks in a row. I hope this isn’t becoming a pattern. It might make me stale. I’m not going to bother predicting what I’m going to write about next week because in this climate it could be absolutely anything. Instead, I’m going to grab the seat of my pants and slide on down the slope towards the void we seem to be circling. Fuck global politics, until next time please remember to Game Freely!