Mimi Yoon Fights for Free Artistic Expression

http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2014/01/artist-mimi-yoon-fires-back-in-powerpuff-girls-cover-controversy/

So, a little while ago, IDW unveiled a variant cover for The Powerpuff Girls #6 drawn by Mimi Yoon featuring older versions of Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttercup in a background standing triumphant over a defeated Mojo Jojo. The idea behind the variant was female empowerment. However, there were a few people who didn’t see that concept, and instead gave IDW and Yoon crap, accusing them of “sexualizing” the young protagonists and comparing the art to “perverted writing fan fiction writers”.

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This is the variant cover art in question.

It should be noted, however, that Yoon does not intend to let this madness go unaddressed. She released the following statement defending the artwork:

“DO KNOW THAT I AM DAMM PROUD OF THIS WORK OF MINE.

my objective was to illustrate modern, pop cultured, SASSY (not sexy), and humanized Powerpuff Girls who have just beaten the crime lord and have him on the ground. yes, the girls are wearing latex costumes… SO?!?!?! don’t all superpowered heroes wear latex?

unfortunately, the comic book will never make it to the stores… yes, i’m truely disappointed… because a perverted mind decided to see in this image what his dirty mind has conjured up, and barked loud enough. worse, he brought up kids and used protecting kids and kids’ perspective in his reasoning/excuse. does he think kids are dumber than him?”

A little later, she made the follow-up statement:

“i find all of the accusations for my Powerpuff Girls image sexualizing minors not only ridiculous but also embarrassing (for the accusers) and disturbing especially since it’s started by a person of such value as seen in the pictures below.

a person argued that i’ve gained popularity from the situation, but I’VE NEVER ASKED FOR ANY OF THIS, ESPECIALLY IN THIS MANNER. and i’m curious to know why are all the arguments about trying to keep the image away from the girls? what about the boys?

by the way, it’s too late now…. the image has spread wider now than it would ever have as a comic book cover in stores.

computer savvy children are seeing it and will see it for a long long time easily too on their computer monitors, even the ones who would never have if this nonsense has not started by that one perverted mind who conjured up the nonsense in his dirty mind. how is he going to stop the kids from seeing the image on the internet now?”

First off, I would like to say that I applaud Yoon’s defense of her work and resolve to stand by the original ideas behind her work. I’m not surprised that some numbskull would make the argument that was made against the art, but I still have to scratch my head. I frankly don’t see anything sexual about the artwork and consider the “sexualization” argument to be not only inappropriate, but also damaging for all those involved with the creation of the variant. I think I should also say that I agree with Yoon’s comments on the “protect the children” idea/excuse, as well as the arguments focused on keeping the image away from girls in particular. We don’t see anyone trying to prevent young boys from seeing the image, now do we? But all kidding aside, I actually find the argument of “we must protect the children!!!” to be nothing short of a joke. Nothing more, nothing less. The “think of the children” mentality is among the oldest excuses for this pundit crap and also one of the most ridiculous. Comics aren’t exclusively a “kids media” anymore. They’ve evolved into a form of storytelling and artwork that is every bit as diverse and expressive as Hollywood movies, or TV, or novels, or video games if you really want to go there. When an artist steps up to defend their work and explains the true story behind their work, that is truly something to commend. Mimi Yoon’s counterargument in response to all this nonsense is likely to prove inspiring for more than a few aspiring creators seeking to enter the industry. Nothing is more inspirational than an artist who refuses to take crap from a few numbskulls who pretend to know what they’re even talking about.

-Dan

The Moe Corner: YuruYuri

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I’ve recently been re-watching YuruYuri, and now I would like to share my personal opinions on the series, which is, in my opinion, an endlessly fun show with lots of character.

YuruYuri is easy to follow, since it’s basically just a slice-of-life comedy, but with strong yuri elements. However, what helps the series stand on its own feet is its wacky humor and quirky, likeable characters. Kyoko is lovably goofy, Yui is serious without being too dull, and I can’t begin to imagine how they managed to make a running joke about Akari’s lack of presence so entertaining. However, my favorite characters would have to be Sakurako and Himawari. As if relationships are difficult enough with just one tsundere, imagine what it’s like when both of them are equally cold and quick to anger toward one another. It’s freaking hilarious!

Now, as far as visuals are concerned, YuruYuri does the job pretty well, I must say. The animation is fairly clean and fluid, the character designs are very cute, and the backgrounds are beautiful.

Now, since YuruYuri is, esentially, a yuri series, there will be fairly explicit(albeit not very progressive) elements of that genre in the relationships of the characters, and these elements are even closely woven together to the point that they’re somewhat complicated, with half the cast being involved in intersecting character relationships. To illustrate my point, I will give as close to a brief rundown as I can. Kyoko instantly develops a crush on Chinatsu due to her resemblance to the magical girl anime heroine, Mirakurun, but she ends up terrifying Chinatsu and she instead develops feelings for Yui after she stops Kyoko from terrorizing her, and Ayano, the student council vice-president, has her own feelings for Kyoko that she has trouble expressing and instead ends up distancing herself from her. Meanwhile, Ayano’s friend, Chitose, fantasizes about Ayano and Kyoko(Another running gag even involves Chitose suffering sometimes harmful nosebleeds during these fantasies) being together and even makes attempts to push them into a relationship, but Chitose’s twin sister, Chizuru, prefers to see her sister together with Ayano and is openly hostile towards Kyoko, who tries to befriend Chizuru to no avail, usually through dim-witted ways that only serve to irritate Chizuru. Whew. Okay, so that wasn’t quite a brief rundown, but hopefully, I’ve made my point. Even so, the complexity of the relationships has no effect on other aspects of the show, and thus does not harm it in any way.

Next up is the audio aspect of the series. The background music matches the sometimes relaxed nature of the show. The voice acting is fairly a show like this. Every character’s voice matches her personality perfectly, with no problems with tone and pitch. It’s a rare example of a perfect voice cast.

YuruYuri is an incredibly amusing show with plenty of silliness for comedy fans as well as enough yuri elements for fans of the genre. It also brings both of these genres together in an entertaining way. If you enjoy humor or yuri, then this anime should be right up your alley.

Positive: Lots of humorous running gags and laugh-out-loud humor, perfect mix of comedy and yuri.

Negative: Yuri fans desiring more resolution in their character relationships may be left wanting.

Final Score: 14 out of 15