Neptunia – Episode 1

Management: Yeah, you read that title right. I basically wrote this piece on a drunken bet, so… well, I mean, I go into caveats at the beginning of the rant, but I really should double-clarify. This is essentially a roast, and as such, it basically breaks every single rule of thoughtful, respectful criticism I’ve ever articulated. If you want sensitivity, look elsewhere today – this gets angry pretty quick, and gets mean soon after that. Now that I’m sober and coherent, I’d just like to say if you watch Neptunia, I don’t actually hate you as a person – I really do think it’s extremely sexist and I really do think that rewarding stuff like this with financial success means we get more empty, pandering fluff, but that doesn’t diminish your right to watch what you want in the privacy of your own home, regardless of what drunken-me may try to convince you of in a moment. Your watching this show doesn’t hurt anybody, especially if you torrent it and fail to reward its’ creators. And… er, I guess I just preemptively apologize. This post is not a thoughtful critique meant to start a compelling discussion – it’s just pure, raging id. Alright, Dr. Jekyll signing off.

Hopefully anyone who’s reading this knows my schtick. I critique stuff, I talk about storytelling, I get passionate about things I find compelling and get pissy about things I find offensive. Anyway. It was recently brought to my attention that maybe a couple people might find me writing up something as inane as Neptunia amusing, and it just so happens that right now I am quite drunk (I’m on vacation leave me alone) and not terribly interested in watching anything worth paying attention to. So here we are. Caveats!

  1. I really am drunk. Not even “comedy-writeup Free! semi-drunk but still focused and determined to create comic narratives” drunk – I am actually inebriated. That means I’m probably going to be more loose with the words and the judgments than the level I generally try to maintain
  2. This is fucking Neptunia. I’m only watching it because people want me to destroy it. And destroy it I shall – my only knowledge of this show is that it’s based on a videogame that postulates “what if the game consoles we depressingly identify with were personified as moe fuck-things?” and that every image I’ve seen of it involved some astonishingly brazen rape fantasies
  3. I have yet to write (and honestly may never write, since I don’t know what audience would actually appreciate this) my essay chronicling the course of the moe aesthetic from Rei to K-On to OreImo and Sakurasou. Long story short: I think there’s an element of moe that does indeed fall within a protective, parental instinct, and I think there’s another element that wants to fuck the shit out of helpless vegetable-women. Guess which side I think this show will fall on

I THINK THAT COVERS IT. Welcome to the show, motherfuckers. It’s Neptunia

Episode 1

0:00 – My head is so deeply sunken into my hand right now. Can’t believe I’m watching this

0:16 – The city is called Gamindustri. That resembles a joke

0:27 – It really has been quite some time since I’ve watched any serious bullshit. The imaginary anime industry bubble I have created for myself (composed of the the 2-3 good shows and 3-4 semi-respectable ones each season) is indeed a pleasant fantasy, but I suppose it is only proper that I occassionally visit… this

1:13 – Their entire fucking population is sexy anime girls?!? Seriously people, this is so goddamn stupid. There is so much porn. WHY are you spending time listening to this hackneyed, embarrassing exposition when you could just be watching the actual anime sex you’re clearly here for? So many people worked so many hours to create this drivel. THERE ARE THEMATICALLY UNENRICHED CHILDREN IN AFRICA

1:27 – “Today, we rise. This dress is no match for our strength!

Gawd I can’t believe this shit. How far in are we? Minute and a half. Great. Making good time.

Alright, no, this is good. This is a test. You know that “I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” shit? This is like that, except for me and my policy of “everyone gets to like what they like and that’s fine.” Because seriously, I couldn’t imagine more banal, tasteless, pandering shit than NO! I CAN DO THIS. I CAN RESPECT PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO ENJOY NEPTUNIA.

Okay. I’m cool. Moving on. How far in are we? Fuck.

1:33 – Fascinating. Seriously, there really is a lot of actual porn out there. Not lying

1:52 – HOW can shit like this even PRETEND to have a plot? WHYYY

2:20 – Right, because no amount of tits will make otaku accept an actual woman as a protagonist. Nope, better switch back to our genki moe thing

2:36 – Wait, now each of the leaders transforms back into whichever school of dere fetish they represent? Is this secretly a parody? No, right, it’s just honest

2:51 – Porn has better writing than this. They have given you a genki, tsundere, kuudere, and ojou/tits, and now they are going to have them walk in circles and dance for you. I fail to see how adding a sad, stunted narrative to this actually improves the gratification

Alright, at this point I should probably just add a fourth rule, since this shit is clearly going to demand it

4. Attacking Neptunia pretty necessarily involves attacking the entire mindset which would consider Neptunia a thing that should exist in any universe ever. Every moment I am watching this show, I am imagining all of the dollars and man-hours that were spent making this a real thing that exists as opposed to something which has even the slightest ounce of legitimate value to any living creature. I am begrudging it those dollars and hours. I am taking it out on anything in the vicinity

2:58 – Deeply moving ceremony? I’ll drink to that. And never stop drinking

3:06 – She plays videogames! Just like you! You have so much in common. You are validated. Never change, never grow. Consume

3:38 – Because we didn’t already know this show was talking directly to its audience.

4:08 – What can I possibly say about this show. It is the summation of the self-destructive culture forcing anime into an artistic ghetto. If it were any worse it’d be Ro-kyu-bu

4:59 – “We’re the strongest party with 100x the bonds! You’re one of us too!” This OP is remarkably honest about this show’s intentions. As OPs tend to be

5:20 – Fun fact: No one has ever run like this. Ever.

4:57 – She fidgets as the camera focuses on her thighs, and then moves the meaningless plot forward. What is the point of mocking something that is more porn than story

6:09 – “Wrong! You know where Shares come from, right?” Nope, but I’m fairly sure you’re going to gracefully explain it. I assume the camera will continue to focus on tits as we get through this tedious exposition

6:52 – So all these characters are supposed to represent computer or videogame things, I guess? That sounds like a thematically rich vein

7:16 – “Man, I hate getting lectured.” It’s like the show’s actually using how uninteresting its’ conflicts are to make us empathize with its archetypes

8:05 – “I have no intention of helping an enemy.” Aww, you’ll come around. Your audience’s interest in the fantasy you represent demands it

8:57 – In this world, all your computers are moe archetypes, and all those archetypes have little sisters. Please. Please just let me die

9:10 – So I guess the current conflict is the leader of one of this universe’s actual countries is lonely and wants a friend. Glad to see I wasn’t wrong to not take the worldbuilding seriously in the slightest

9:27 – Wait, the show is actually expecting us to care about the emotional problems of these transparent tropes? What’s the pitch for this show – “it’s like porn, but much more tedious”?

9:55 – Oh look, she’s following in her sister’s tsun footsteps. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be endearing or mockingly self-aware

10:05 – God this show is boring

10:28 – Oh jeez, kuudere gets two imoutos? They’re really going out on a creative limb here

11:31 – Of course ojou’s tits bounce every time she talks

I really don’t understand what makes this watchable. It’s porn + the most obvious, cliche, uninteresting narrative possible. I just…

12:01 – “Teach her how to be a goddess out on a mission.” Oh, thank god, maybe something will actually happen.

12:35 – I guess they didn’t think we understood the point of this outfit.

12:39 – Get it yet?

13:19 – “Sure, I want a great country too, but I’d rather things be fun!” That is correct. Do not attempt to improve your circumstances. Consume. Neptunia understands you. Consume

13:39 – Sure, why not

14:36 – “Rule three: impress people by making a good showing.” What does that even mean? Does that just mean “impress people by impressing people?” Oh, right, I was supposed to just be looking at the tits during that line

15:13 – Haha, they die just like in a videogame! You know, like those ones you play? Consume

16:11 – In a normal show that wants you to actually care, I’d talk about how the lack of any definable stakes here renders the conflict utterly without tension. But of course, that’s not the point here – the point here is to sell sex and CDs and videogames and hopefully a lifestyle that continues to prioritize such things

16:19 – Oh boy, it looks like we’re selling something even more special today

16:24 – And you thought your rape fantasies weren’t welcome here! This writeup might seem a bit hyperbolic, but I have literally never watched anything nearly as bad as this, at least as far as a single episode goes. This is quite easily the worst thing I have ever seen

16:28 – YOU SEE HOW OVERT THIS IS, RIGHT? People, this is WHY MOE IS CONSIDERED CREEPY. Yeah, okay, maybe some of it is about fatherly instincts or whatnot. But this, right here? This is about RAPING MOEBLOBS WITH THE MINDS OF CHILDREN.

I don’t know what to say. If you assign me a show that is everything wrong with anime, I’m gonna say it is everything wrong with anime

16:31 – Welp, I guess someone’s into it

16:47 – The face of terror

17:08 – I rest my case

18:13 – Oh jeez, I hope tsundere doesn’t get in over her head, forcing her to be rescued by the power of friendship or anything!

I just… it’s a show filled with stories and characters designed for children, but they’re all also portrayed as sex objects and molested by monsters. I hope these animators are proud of their work

18:59 – And there’s step one…

19:08 – …and step two. Again, I guess that’s not what I’m supposed to be paying attention to. But also again, in that case, why bother with this silly charade? Re: so much porn

20:05 – Little girls who transform into women when they’re in trouble. I wonder what fantasy that’s playing to… hm…

20:57 – Aww, don’t you love it? Because our market data indicates you should love it. Consume

21:01 – That’s right, guys. Because when you get past all the gross exploitation and simplistic plotting and one-note characters and inane concepts, we’re all really here for the half-baked, openly demeaning moral center

21:42 – And the camera pans to a mysterious glowing artifact. Could this be the key to some greater conflict? Are dark forces brewing in the dark darkness? TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO-

22:07 – Oh look, it’s Team Rocket. So I guess they’re just openly admitting this story is as mature as Pokemon, except designed for people who want to fuck the characters

22:54 – “Woopsie, I forwarded the rape pictures to the entire country! The comments are all pretty positive, though.” Of course they are! Here in videogame viewer fantasyland, everyone understands that rape fantasies just mean you love those characters even more!

And Done

Holy shit done. Am I EVER done. I don’t think I have ever been more done with anything in my life. Time to go wash my hands. And then take a shower. And then shear off every finger that touched the keyboard attached to the computer which harbored these tainted, cursed files. I mean, I knew anime got bad, but this is… this is so bad. Dear god. I can’t even… what could possibly compel someone to…

I’m gonna go lie down

6 thoughts on “Neptunia – Episode 1

  1. Yeah, the Hyperdimension Neptunia games are some of the blandest, most pandery and convoluted jrpgs there are. About the only upside I can see to the anime adaptation is that it’s being made by David Production, who adapted Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure last year and are probably one of the more interesting studios out there. If Neptunia nets them enough money to make Jojo season 2, I am ALL FOR IT. Otherwise, eeewwwwww.

    It does make for an interesting case study of the otaku subculture though, doesn’t it? This stuff is a marketable niche in Japan, and as bad as it seems I doubt it’s even the worst of it. Pretty horrifying.

    • Yeah, these things being successful is QUITE the statement. Even the shows I like often have traces of these instincts, but stepping fully into the anime dark side is kind of terrifying. And yeah, I’m very sure this isn’t the worst of it.

  2. Neptunia would NEVER produce a deep plot (even if there is actually nothing inherently preventing the premise and setting to have one). You can blame the fandom reactions to the Bad End of the second game to this, because the Conquest End of Neptunia MK II probably has the closest thing resembling an attempt to have a serious plot (note, attempt, because that end does have it’s flaws, even if it’s better written than most of the game). And that attempt to be serious was taken very, very badly by the fanbase.

  3. Pingback: Summer 2013 Halfway Point: Season So Far | Wrong Every Time

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