Rant - Joxer: Warrior Prince
By J. Andrews
What will stop the bastardizing of Japanese cartoons here in North
America? It's bad enough that Sailor Moon and company are now
Scouts and nearly all of them have had their names changed
for no good reason. Worse yet that Zoisite was turned into a girl.
But to wreck perfectly good female role models is unforgiveable.
What are young women to do? Who are they supposed to look up
to? Are they supposed to follow Ash and his exploits as he captures
all the Pokemon? Well, of course they will, because our
society hasn't given them any choice. My generation at least had
She-Ra, though I didn't like the show.
Well, of course, this generation has Sailor Moon and
Powerpuff Girls. Is it any wonder that girls of all ages are
sporting PG T-shirts? They don't have any choice! As for
It's all well and good that we have quite a number of strong female
characters in this show. We even have a great diversity of
personalities and goals. We have Amy - the intellectual, Lita -
the tough cook, Mina - the elegant fighter, Serena - the screw-up
with a good heart. Good. Great. Yay! But did they have to ruin two
very cool characters?
Oh, Amara and Michelle still have their cool moments, I admit. How
could they not? Their animation is that of Haruka and Michiru, so
they're bound to have some cool moments -- when
neither of them is talking.
Now Haruka is a famous race car driver, she's one of the very best in
Japan. She also plays a mean piano, races motorcycles, and is just
overall doing very well for herself. Competing in a man's sport is a very
tough thing to do. And she does it well.
Michiru is a very talented violinist and a famous artist. She is also
doing very well for herself. It's very difficult to excel in two vastly
different fields like that. I'll also mention that Haruka and Michiru are
very intelligent, do well in school, and have other great qualities that
just make them phenomenally cool. Not just to the Sailor
senshi, but to us, the audience, as well.
So when they transform into Amara and Michelle, how could they
possibly lose all these cool qualities? Easily, with a few well-placed
words by our trusty re-writers. Amara and Michelle both give up
their dreams -- racing, painting, music -- not to pursue their new
destiny (fighting as senshi), but because they're "not good enough".
Not only are they very bad racers, artists, and musicians, but they're
quitters as well. That's right, girls, just give up if you don't think you're
talented enough. Hard work doesn't count for anything.
As if that wasn't bad enough, Michelle later gets tagged as a "social
failure". In the original, that line was meant to indicate she was
somewhat of a recluse. Nothing wrong in that. But how did that get
translated into "social failure". My word!
Is this a ploy to make the inner senshi look better? It sure seemed
like it once Pluto showed up. Her voice is entirely too
young-sounding for the very old Pluto. It makes Darien look like the
most mature of the lot, when it should rightfully be Pluto. But back to
Amara and Michelle.
Why do they have to be cousins? You can't be close with another
person unless they're your cousin? You can't care deeply for
someone unless they're related to you? You can't sacrifice yourself
for their sake because they're just a friend? What kind of message is this
sending to girls and their best friends?
And now I come to the title of this essay, or rant, whatever you'd like
to call it. Card Captor Sakura has been perverted into
Cardcaptors, but it might as well be called Card Captor
They entirely cut the episodes where Sakura is finding out about the
cards and learning how to capture them. They skipped all the
scenes where we get to see her acting independently with only
a semi-helpful Kerochan to assist her. They jump right to the first
episode with Li-kun. Then they jump around some more to find
episodes that feature him prominently.
You cannot take a mahou shoujo (magical girl) title
and turn it into a shounen (boys) title. Well, I speak falsely,
apparently you can. But it's a travesty that they felt it necessary.
What? Girls don't watch cartoons? Of course they're not watching
Pokemon which is on before and after it, because Pokemon is a
shounen series! Don't try to draw the girls in and get their
ratings. That'd be just terrible. More people to market to. More people
buying all the anime goodies. Sigh.
This rant has been brewing in my mind for awhile, but what finally
set it off was the commercial I saw today for Cardcaptors. We're
treated with a very lovely clip of Li shouting his lovely rhyming
incantation. You know the one, about releasing the light. Did we also
get a clip of Sakura, the heroine and main character of the show? No.
Did we at least get a clip of her best friend, Tomoyo? No.
No. Of course not.
Carry this to its logical conclusion, folks. If what was done to anime
were done to other shows, Joxer would be sky-rocketed to stardom.
It wouldn't matter that he's not in every episode. It wouldn't matter
that he's only a supporting character. It wouldn't matter that Xena
and Gabrielle are very strong, talented women who could carry
the show themselves.
It would only matter that Joxer was a man.