I'm actually a big fan of this feature, and I've always been annoyed with myself that it dropped off of my Saturday to-do list. So I'm going to make an effort to bring it back, and I hope you enjoy! Here's what you need to read, watch, and do this weekend. (But mostly read.)
I also want to note all the way up here that I'm considering a new addition to Required Reading that will offer up a weekly contest. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom if you're interested!
Let's start with Okazu's Erica Friedman, who offers up some fantastic insight on fans, Fans, fan delusions, and what fans “really want.” One of my personal favorite offerings:
“A 'Fan' (with a capital 'F') often reinterprets things in the series, or in the character, to better fit the story to their own worldview. This could mean writing an Alternative Universe story, where the character doesn't die, is actually gay, goes to school at their small agricultural college and meets their cousin who happens to have the same name as the author.”
We've all seen that time and time again, haven't we?
Actually, Friedman deserves a lot of credit for this week's Required Reading. She and I had an interesting discussion on Facebook when she suggested my referring to the Phoenix Wright Takarazuka Revue show as a “crossplay musical” was misleading. So if you're interested in learning more about the history of Takarazuka and what it's REALLY all about, as opposed to the “tee-hee women in suits pointing and singing!” attitude that, admittedly, most of us writing for a general audience tend to offer, here are some links:
Takarazuka and Tezuka: a history, plus information about the relationship between the grandiose romance of Takarazuka shows and Osamu Tezuka's own works effectively creating the shoujo genre of manga.
The Takarazuka Revue on Wikipedia. An obvious choice, perhaps, but well worth the look nonetheless.
- And then there's the TVTropes wiki entry, which briefly discusses examples of Takarazuka influence in anime.
Hopefully that will both get me off the hook for not explaining Takarazuka in its entirety in the first place AND provide you with some interesting reading material. Seriously-- so much of the showmanship of Takarazuka appears in anime, it's well, well worth reading, even if you don't think you'd want to attend a show yourself.
But I'm not going to leave you with nothing but the intellectual stuff, guys, so don't worry. Here's a cute, hand-drawn cartoon by what I believe is a Norwegian artist named Maiken Tennøy. It's pretty cute, and the next time someone doesn't get the idea of yandere, you can pass this to them.
But wait, there's more! Here's another YouTube video, this one...well, kinda cool and kinda creepy at the same time. It's how to basically paint anime eyes on your eyelids. Hmm.
is...a tentative addition feature, but if you guys like it, I'd like
to turn it into a contest with a weekly prize of some kind. So that's
your bribe. But basically, I'm going to offer up a couple of
questions, and I'd like you guys to offer your own short essays
(think 3+ paragraphs) in response to either or both. If I get enough
response I'll spotlight the answers in the Userday feature, and, as
previously stated, work it out as a prizetacular contest.
Note that these essays should be posted to your blogs! Though if you just want to give a short answer, the comments are fine. (And if you want to take the questions to your off-Vice blog, that's a-okay with me!)
Here are this week's questions/prompts:
Find some Takarazuka elements in shoujo manga or anime series-- OTHER than the following: Utena, Princess Knight, Rose of Versailles. Note that the mention or appearance of Takarazuka (such as in Ouran High School Host Club) isn't the same as the series actually containing “elements of” Takarazuka!
Have you ever experienced “fan delusion” (as described in Friedman's article, mentioned above)? Do creators 'owe' fans anything, and if so, what? Do fans owe anything in addition to payment for the creators' works?