atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

Magical Fairy Persia

I watched the first episode of Magical Fairy Persia (MFP) yesterday morning, before going to bed. I was encouraged by what I saw.

MFP is another magical girl show, of course. The main character is a girl named Persia who is given powers by a fairy in the Dream World. Her task is to collect enough love energy to end the long winter which has descended on the Dream World. To help in this task she is given a magical head band which allows her to transform into someone older than she is; in the first episode she turns into a policewoman. How this helps her collect "love energy" is, as yet, a mystery.

MFP is of the same vintage as Magical Angel Creamy Mami--I suspect it's a shade newer--so it's not terribly surprising that the main character's magic makes her appear older. The series makes an homage to Creamy Mami when Persia tries to use part of Creamy Mami's incantation ("Pimpuru? Pompuru?") to activate her magic. (For the record, Creamy Mami's incantation is "Pimpuru pompuru pimmy pom pum!" It is the silliest magical girl incantation I have ever heard.)

Something which has not (yet) been well-explained is Persia herself. At the beginning of the series she is apparently living in Africa among the animals; yet her parents are Japanese and run a small grocery store there. She is wild enough that she is uncomfortable--at first--wearing typical Japanese clothing (something resembling the sailor-suit uniform worn by middle-school girls) rather than the pseudo-leopard-print shift she's wearing at the beginning of the episode.

It's only the first episode out of a total of 45, so I expect that these things will be cleared up, eventually.

And now...

A Disturbing Trend in Older Anime

In Creamy Mami and Magical Fairy Persia the protagonists are 10 or 11 years old. I have seen more panty shots in these two series than any other series other than Yawara! and Najica Blitz Tactics (which came with a pair of panties in the box set).

Of course the showing of the underwear is non-sexual. Hell, at the time that MFP was made, TV stations in the United States were running "Underoos" commercials which showed pre-pubescent kids dancing and singing in underwear, so I suppose it's really not all that big a deal. In some ways our culture has gotten far too uptight lately about these things. Try running commercials with underwear-clad kids in them these days, and see how fast you get sued--I bet the commercial wouldn't even be through its first run before the lawyers started calling. Still, I would be a lot happier if it was the transformed characters whose panties we were seeing; they are at least a convincing simulation of adults.

As I understand it, the showing of underage underwear in anime is typically meant as an indicator of innocence; the underwear is not intentionally shown, and the girl in question isn't even thinking about what her skirt is doing while she's running or jumping or climbing over an obstacle. It just kind of happens, and the skirt is behaving realistically rather than acting as if it has a length of 3/4" steel chain sewn into the hem.

Still, it's a directorial decision. In Wedding Peach we never see any panties despite the fact that the characters are always wearing mini-skirts which behave like real skirts would. In Najica Blitz Tactics the animators bent over backward to throw in as many panty shots as humanly possible, and quite possibly more. In Yawara! the original comic artwork features many panty shots featuring the title character, so it wasn't up to the animators. Yawara-chan is 17 when the series begins, though, so that's not really a big deal compared to the situation with MFP.

Speaking as a guy-type otaku, I'm all for fan service (the showing of panties and otherwise scantily-clad women) when it features adult women. I'm not sure the panty shots in MFP even are fan service, to be honest, unless they're fan service for whatever young boys might watch a show which was originally targeted at young girls.

And yes, panty shots (and other forms of fan service) show up in series aimed at girls, all the time. For example, in Hana Yori Dango--which is arguably a total shoujo (girls') title--there is fan service in the latter episodes. In Chobits, which was aimed at an older male audience (ages 17-25-ish) there is hardly any fan service at all, even in the inevitable "beach vacation" episode. (And I was disappointed with that. Yumi-chan's bra is a Japanese E-cup and she got next to no screen time in her bathing suit....)

Too Much

1) Out in Monee there's a Fiero GT for sale. It's been for sale for about 5 years, now. It hasn't moved from where it sits in all that time. The asking price is $3,500.

...$3,500 for a 1986 Fiero GT with automatic transmission, an interior in poor shape, a big hole where a stereo should be, and over 100,000 miles on the odometer. Running, it's worth maybe $1,500 at the outside. Not running, I'd be generous and give the guy $500--the body panels look good. With it having sat there for 5 years, on grass, I expect the undercarriage and space frame to be half-rotten by now, anyway--and certainly the buyer would end up having to evict a lot of wildlife from the car, as well.

2) I've been trying to find a donor vehicle in order to fix my Escort. So far I've found three vehicles which could have fit the bill, but ended up not doing so. One was a '94 which had rust all over the rear clip. Asking price: $1,800. Okay...that was not all that unreasonable but it was 'way more than I was going to pay for a parts car. Another was in the right price range but all the parts I needed--you guessed it!--were riddled with rust. The third was sold before I could even look at it--stupid expensive gasoline.

3) The story of the $2000 GMC pickup is an entry in itself, but the short form is that the salesman sold me on the wrong thing: he convinced me to leave his lot and never come back.

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