Sunday, February 5, 2017

Response to review of Descending Stories: Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū Episode 5 by Gabriella Ekens,

I hate writing these kind of pieces professional reviewers are hard working and far better writers than I but honestly this review is another place where Gabriella Ekens has allowed her ideological presuppositions to get in the way of reviewing a series objectively. Let it be forgotten this is the same woman who reduced Archer and Shirou's fight in Fate/Stay Unlimited Blade Works to being about her Feminist conception of Masculinity. None of this I think is disingenuous or an attempt to get people to read her reviews out of a desire for controversy to bring up page views. I think she really does believe the things she writes about but this review simply feels like a case of the reviewer reaching so that a point can be made and really this is the problem with Ekens review of this episode. From only allowing the one possible interpretation of The Tale of Genji because it is germane to the point she is making. While also for no reason working in an post-modern understanding of Gender that feels like a thinly vailed reworking of Susan J. Naiper's work on the subject in Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation. While the reviewer's obsession with making Rakugo about Kiku's supposed Homoerotic attachment to Sukeroku is flimsy and the text of the series only makes this a fact by torturing it into this mindset. With this episode now Transgenderism is posited there is absolutely no textual evidence for this in the episode it is simply a will-o the wisp manufactured out of the Reviewer's imagination and importation from the Mangaka's other works. Which are not the work being reviewed you simply do not get to import themes from other works an author has written to stack the deck for your pet interpretation especially when your dealing with different genres. In short this all feels like an reviewer looking for a way to build and artifice of perceived facts to defend a pet interpretation of an admittedly complex series. I wouldn't say I expect better because it is a well written piece but a well written piece of illogic is still illogical I can not simply import my own presuppositions and response to the text I must read the text as it is written. This is simply someone unaware of their own biases or aware of them and unconcerned with doing right by the text and interpreting it fairly this doesn't even have to be conscious as often times presuppositions are just assumed. In conclusion a well written review that belies a abuse of the text in service of a world view. In short what does the text say should be the beginning middle and end of the reviewing of a work of fiction not what can I make the text say to fit my world view

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