Jun. 3rd, 2012

the_sun_is_up: Satan from Dinosaur Comics saying "What, what, I am in hell and that is the worst thing I've ever heard!" (dinos - the worst ever)
Okay. Okay. Yeah.

So this Magical Girl Project thing. In an ideal world, I would watch every episode of every single show included in the project, but for various reasons, this just isn't practical. As a compromise, I've been trying to watch at least a few episodes of every show, so that I can have a first-hand opinion on it and get a general feel for what its deal is. Unfortunately, this does mean every show, even the horrendously bad ones, and there are two shows in particular I've been dreading having to watch. Moetan was one. Ultimate Girls is the other.

To explain why, allow me to simply describe the premise of the show:

Our leads are a trio of schoolgirls, natch. One is a shy, quivering, trembling moeblob who's frequently on the verge of tears, one is a perky otaku chick, and one is an ice queen who secretly has a quivery moe filling. They're tasked with protecting Tokyo from giant Godzilla-esque monsters. They do this by transforming into giant versions of themselves, clad in superhero spandex, so that they can fight the monsters head-to-head. Unfortunately, their power is on a time limit: shortly after transforming, their clothing starts to shred off. However this is a good thing, because their superpowers run on something called M.O.E., which is a silly acronym that basically means "female shame at being naked in public." The more embarrassed the girls become at their disintegrating clothes, the higher their power level rises.

The otaku chick is the only one who reacts to the shredding clothes with some level of poise by going "Eh, I'm a badass superhero, a little nudity isn't going to hurt," but of course since their powers run on shame, this means that she's the weakest of the bunch and gets curb-stomped on her first mission because she failed to generate the necessary levels of humiliation. On the other hand, the ineffectual wibbling too-moe-to-function protagonist is the one with the strongest power, even though she's also the least effective fighter, the most reluctant about the whole superhero gig, and the most traumatized by the public nudity. Early on, before the source of their power is revealed, the ice queen chick has the bright idea to grab some banners off a nearby skyscraper and fashion herself a makeshift bandage bikini. But of course this cripples her power, and the mascot mentor tells her that she needs to strip off the bandages right away and succumb to her shame if she wants to beat the monster.

Also, the news media nicknames the three girls based on their breast sizes.

I just. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THIS, YOU GUYS. Like, I would try to do some kind of feminist analysis of this dreck, but my feminist faculties have thrown up their hands and given up. No scratch that, they haven't just given up — they're gone, they've bounced, they're sacked out on a beach in Tahiti knocking back daquiris. But do I even need to analyze something like this? I feel like it kind of speaks for itself!

As for its place in the Magical Girl genre, Ultimate Girls is going about its work with tongue firmly in cheek, spoofing both the MG genre and the Ultraman franchise. The show is actually kind of funny when it's not being awful — when the girls transform in eps 2 and 3, we're treated to a photograph of the Tokyo skyline with an arrow pointing to a location in the city, and a caption saying "So-and-So is transforming here, please wait," and there's a loading bar showing the girl's progress — and there are some neat shout-outs to other Magical Girl shows, like in the first episode when the heroine ends up in a cosplay outfit of Corrector Yui (both shows have the same director). I feel like there's a halfway decent fun silly Magical Girl parody in here somewhere, buried under all the DEAR GOD PLEASE STOP.

Also, Ultimate Girls is (obviously) a very extreme example of making a Magical Girl show for a male audience. It's like the showrunners were trying to wring as much cheesecake and moe pandering out of the genre as was humanly possible. I haven't yet mentioned the transformation sequence, in which the robotic mascot sticks out a rod that looks suspiciously like a penis, and the girl grabs ahold of the rod, causing the mascot to have an orgasm and spray thick white fluid all over the girl which then turns into her new clothes. Then we're treated to several zoomed-in shots of her spandex-clad crotch. It's some of the sleaziest, creepiest camerawork I've ever seen in a fanservice anime. This may be a show about superheroes who are powered by shame, but it's clear that the showrunners have no shame whatsoever.

Speaking of the showrunners, Ultimate Girls was made by a studio that appropriately enough call themselves "m.o.e." The acronym stands for "Masters of Entertainment." Seriously. Guys, methinks you would've been better served to just paint a target on your chest, especially since you're the studio who made CosPrayers. And indeed, the Irony Gods did not let this act of hubris go unpunished: Ultimate Girls was the last show made by the studio, in 2005, and since then it looks like they've kicked the bucket. Pardon me while I completely fail to hide my glee.

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the_sun_is_up: Panty from PSG wearing glasses. (Default)
Sing me a bawdy song, make me merry

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