A New Gundam and the Importance of Lewd Anime
The J-List site was down for several hours on Thursday and Friday, though it’s back up now. To thank you for your patience, we’re giving everyone a $10 coupon this weekend only! The code is JLIST10, good for $10 off $40 or more.
I’ve been a fan of the Mobile Suit Gundam series since before I knew three words of Japanese, discovering the series in the early 80s. Gundam is the grand story of humanity extending its civilization into space, living inside orbiting space colonies and on the Moon. Because of a convenient technology called Minovsky particles, long-range radar and targeting systems became non-functional in war, forcing humans to create mecha called mobile suits for close-range and hand-to-hand combat. Gundam is the “Star Trek” of anime because it tries to present a semi-realistic vision of humans finding their destiny in space, whereas Macross is the “Star Wars” of anime, throwing realism out the window and just having fun.
There’s a new Gundam show this season called Gundam Build Divers, which extends the excellent Gundam Build Fighters, the only Gundam set in our universe. In the show, characters build plastic models of their favorite mecha then “pilot” them inside a complete virtual world, fighting in an international sports league to become the best.
The new show is lots of fun so far, but I’m honestly not sure it will catch on like the two previous series. The reason is, well, there don’t seem to be any “lewdable” characters like Rinka Iori from the first series, who was so hot and sexy, a specific fandom developed around her jeans-covered butt. It’s not something to be proud of, but the reality is that in the modern, impure world we live in, fans often need a “lewd angle” to get into a show, some character or (usually yuri) relationship to latch onto in order to get the dopamine flowing. Yuru Camp was a recent example: a pleasant show about girls discovering the joy of camping, but it positively exploded after the hot springs episode caused artists on Pixiv and elsewhere to start “lewding the campers,” which brought in even more fans. Other shows that benefited from fans making off-color fanart include Love Live, KanColle and Kemono Friends.
Do you know who the first modern Vocaloid character was? It wasn’t Hatsune Miku, but a Vocaloid called Meiko. The reason Miku became a household name was, well, her shimapan covered butt. Or rather, the initial zing! of seeing the shimapan-specific fanart that started to emerge ten years ago helped create a positive feedback loop in our brains that formed a lasting emotional connection to the character today.
So the next time someone makes lewd anime images of your favorite show, remember that they might just be doing it a favor!
J-List site was down for several hours on Thursday/Friday, but it’s restored now. To thank everyone for your patience, we’re having a flash $10 coupon this weekend only! From now through Monday, get $10 off any order of $40 or more with code JLIST10. Thanks for your patience and understanding, and have a great weekend!