Being a fanboy or an otaku or a nerd or a geek or a *insert semi-derogatory euphemism for “person who likes weird shit” here* is all about fetishes.
Not necessarily sexual fetishes– although there’s plenty of room for that in this equation– but fetishes in the sense that you tend to like shit based on whether a particular movie or TV show or whatever caters to some hyper-specific, relatively obscure detail that non-fans wouldn’t notice even if they watched the damn thing ten times over. It ain’t about the story or the characterization or the so-called “depth.” Nope. Being a fanboy is all about the details. And I think I just discovered a new detail that turns on the fanboy faculties of my brain:
I’ve been watching Maji de Whatever, and It’s been surprisingly amusing. The first episode was filled with the right kind of action-packed weirdness and craziness that catches my attention, but it also had the seeds of lameness sown about it as well. It had the inexplicable action that amuses me, and it had a lead chick that may as well be Hamyuts from Book of Bantorra, but it also had the groundwork for a shitty harem comedy in the form of a bunch of chicks that all want in the pants of the main character.
While the second episode had those same shitty harem elements strung about it, it had one gag that put everything in a new perspective. A Matrix Dog.
The jist of the second episode deals with the main cast being hired by some faculty member of their school to find his fugly mutt. It was basically the second episode of Cowboy Bebop all over again, except instead of watching Spike try to find a dog that’s probably smarter than he is, the cast of Maji de Whatever have to find a dog that’s probably a better martial arts master than they are.
It chase starts of fairly typically, with the sorts of gags you expect from this sort of chase scene. Then it escalates to the sort of stuff you know you’ll see in an anime version of this sort of chase, what with the dog wall jumping to get out of a corner and ninja shit like that. But when the depraved dog sneaks into a bathhouse and peeps on the girls as a way of taunting them and the girls drop all pretenses and start trying to outright attack the dog in an attempt to knock it out, the dog goes full Neo on us. The archer chick, whose been established as a badass marksman who can hit shit from ridiculous distances, isn’t able to hit the damn dog because he starts going bullet time and spins out of each attack with ease.
I shouldn’t be cracking up over this as much as I am. It’s such a trivial detail– some throwaway detail that has no bearing on anything– but that one bit sold me on Maji de Whatever. It told me “Yeah, this show’s more about the gags than it is about some lame incest fetish.” You don’t bust out the Matrix Dogs if your heart is focused entirely on a brother and sister wanting to fuck. That just isn’t how nature works.
Also: This week’s episode of Squid Girl had a Matrix Dog as well. When Squiddie takes her stalker’s dog on a walk, they encounter a big dog that wants to eat Squid’s sandals. The dog’s able to dodge Squid Girl’s tentacle attacks in a way that only Chizuru has demonstrated.
Anime’s lousy with the Matrix Dogs this week. It’s a beautiful thing.