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January 26 2018

How Do We Do It? #7

For the first time in a long time, it's time to ask that boiling question of How Do We Do It?

Today we're looking at Teen Titans, both the original and the new Teen Titans GO! to see how they can both use comedic female nudity to their advantage. We're only looking at the girls this time since the boys rarely have it happen to them.

Raven
Raven's a snarky girl, a moody teenager in both of her appearances. In GO! she serves as the straight man with a silly streak. Anything involving her would involve her being very angry over being caught in an inconvenient moment.

Starfire
Star is just the opposite. She's the kind of girl who doesn't care at all, and this has been proven in the comics. The gag here is obvious; her not caring leads to flustering by the cast. GO! could even take this to its logical conclusion by having Starfire fight without an outfit and be censored by everything in the way, making the objects more humorous along the way, like a pair of watermelons and a cat... on different places than you'd expect.

Short entry, but my compy is malfunctioning. Hopefully I can get it to work right soon.

April 21 2017

How Do We Do It? #6

After seeing so many ways that it can be done, now it's time to ask the question of How Do We Do It?

For this look, we're taking a peek at Codename: Kids Next Door, and for this one we have a special guest commentator! My boss, Leonardo McDowell aka Darkton has been writing fanfics for the show for years, to the point where he made a dedicated timeline for the show. If anyone knows KND, it's him. Here's what he said:

"First of all, you're crazy, Arc, for getting me to do this. And not just do this, but do it TWICE! Why didn't you keep a log of what I said before? Ah, still, I'll see what I can do to remind you, because I'm such a nice guy.

Kids Next Door is a series that takes typical childhood concepts and dials them up to eleven to turn them into epic adventures. Eating a Brussels sprout POISONS OUR HERO!! Brushing your teeth IS MUTILATING YOUR MOUTH!! Stuff like that. The two big examples of nudity, BUTT and DUCKY, involved these concepts. He lost his swimsuit at the beach, NOW THE ENEMY HAS BLACKMAIL TO GET HIM TO STOP FIGHTING!! He doesn't want to take a bath AND GETS SUCKED ONTO A SHIP OF LOST SOULS!! Any new story should play off those elements. I bet you could write a rockin' fic about a horrific game of Doctor WHERE THE DOCTOR IS A MAD SCIENTIST!! Still wonder if that'd be better from a girl to a boy, though; Doctor is all based around the differences between the two, and I don't think you'd want it to look like sexual assault (I don't).

There's also those brief, quick gags that cartoons love to use. For example, the Nude Torpedo in ARCTIC that you seem to like (a lot) or Tommy mistaking what a Birthday Suit means to the KND. Stuff like that really needs no explanation, just use it wisely.

One more thing; KND is a show based around the idea of a central continuity, with consequences from one episode taking place in another. This was introduced when the age-changing cigar was brought back for the Season 1 finale, and it's been used all over the place, like with the Boyfriend Helmet from Season 1 being used back in Season 4, or Tommy putting Father's DNA into the Code Module in Season 3 coming back to haunt him in Season 5. Perhaps you could find a practical use for the Nude Torpedo, like destroying a kind of armor of some kind, like an enemy's strong one, or a cursed one hurting a friend.

Anyway, I'll leave you back to whatever you're doing. And lay off the nanos, they ate buildings and objects more than clothes (never)."

That's all he wrote! If you're looking for advice, feel free to ask him for more. His name's Darkton93 on DeviantArt, where he spends most of his time. Tell him Arc sent you!

April 01 2017

How Do We Do It? #5

What am I coming to, posting one day's entry late but not the other?! I better not do this for tomorrow's entry. In fact, I might have to post it a little early.

Anyway, once again we're asking the question of how do we get females naked in animation and not have it be gratuitous, we're asking How Do We Do It?

Today's subject is The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy so we get two characters to work with each.

First, the two it happened to.

Billy can best be described as the village idiot. He's stupid, says stupid stuff, does stupid things; stupidity is the defining aspect of his personality. Take the time when a future version of him traveled nude to the present in one of the movies, Billy assumed it was Terminator-style, but he wanted to feel the breeze. Stuff like that happens because he's an idiot and acts like one.

Irwin has only had it happen to him a few times, but his role in the series is of someone who's both immature and luckless, like the time he turned into Mojo Jojo. The most memorable nude scene with Irwin in my mind was when he turned back to normal from being a werewolf naked in front of a crowd. Stuff like that happens to him a lot.

On to the two girls.

Mandy is a snarky, sadistic, callous little girl. She's pure evil in the form of a child, but prefers to express that evil in acting like a condescending brat who places herself above everyone else. Sometimes, however, things don't go as planned for her, and those moments are when nudity humor can be used, like her beach trip in "No Body Loves Grim."

Mindy with an "i" is Mandy's rival. As good as Mandy is, Mindy is better. She's more popular, and more successful to boot. Mandy doesn't like her and often tries to put her down a peg. Situations where Mandy orchestrates humiliating nudity for her can work really well for this, and as a bonus it showcases how evil Mandy can be.

Simple stuff. I don't know why I have so much trouble writing these, maybe because I've already written this stuff before...

March 25 2017

How Do We Do It? #4

On to the segment of the show where I talk about ways to get nudity to characters it doesn't happen to, it's time to ask How Do We Do It?

Today we're looking at a show that's shown up once or twice around these parts, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi. Now, one thing to consider is that this show is a little bland, but I'll do my best.

How does one add the element of female nudity to this show and make it seem organic and humorous and not just sexy? Well, I already covered that the animators seem to think their representations of the two are sexy, so how do we mitigate that? The answer, I think, lies in a simple bathing scenario, something the girls might to for fun.

The two seem to live on their tour bus, and since they don't get a lot of business in Japan, they might come to miss the place. As such, they might try and find ways for their bus to resemble their homes back in Japan, so I suspect they might have a Japanese furo as part of their bathing arrangements. Those are often done for relaxation as well, so they can be used for time off.

Something I see happening is perhaps the two get covered in gunk as part of the episode, then we see them clean off in the furo while they have their end-of-episode friendship talk, all while something unfortunate happens to Kaz in the background. There's also a chance that Harmony could appear while they bathe suddenly showing up in the tub to announce her fan status. That kinda thing.

Also, something a lot of 2000's cartoons liked to do is some kinda "character has to get to safe spot while naked and avoiding detection" plot. Dexter's Lab did it, Fairly OddParents did it, even The Simpsons did it. So maybe Ami and Yumi could get stuck outside an onsen in just their towels and have to get to the bus or find something to wear without being caught. Maybe they could lose them, too and be caught onstage naked...

Suddenly I wanna do that with an artist. We'll see...

March 03 2017

How Do We Do It? #3

This was around the time the last blog went kaput. Fortunately, we've been stable the whole time, thank goodness. It's time for us to take a look at how a show used its characters for nudity and ask How Do We Do It? to a girl.

Today we're covering Dexter's Laboratory, and since I already introduced it, we're only gonna be focusing on two characters, one who got nude, one who didn't.

The one who did is Dexter. Dexter's role was as the main character, a know-nothing know-it-all who had a mastery of the scientific world, but couldn't handle the day to day life of being a kid. He would do things like hit himself up with gamma radiation to become more able to eat vegetables, or invent a machine that would reverse one's actions. These always backfired in amusing ways; the gamma radiation turned him into a Hulk-like monster if he didn't get vegetables, and the reverse machine was hijacked by his sister and used to reverse everything he did. And sometimes his failures would often result, at the very end of the short, in him losing his clothes for humor's sake, like some kind of cherry on top of a sundae of suffering.

The one who didn't was Dee Dee. She, in contrast to Dexter, was more street savvy, more in with society. She was kinda stupid at times, very giddy, and always messed with Dexter's experiments. Funnily enough, an episode focusing on her problems in her day-to-day life could have her go through the same difficulties Dexter had, only with a more active threat, and could probably end the same way. Alternatively, she could get caught in the blast of one of Dexter's devices exploding and share in his humiliation. One thing I do whenever I depict a nude Dee Dee is, in addition to the leaf Dexter gets, give her a pair of daisies over her chest, just to make her seem more the Eve to Dexter's Adam.

Short episode, but not much to talk about. Maybe next time will be longer.

February 23 2017

How Do We Do It? #2

Well, regardless of the current situation starting to change, we've still gotta ask the question of How Do We Do It?, and to do that we're gonna look at some people who got naked, and some who didn't.

Today's focus will be on something I wanted to do for a long time, but couldn't until just now: The Simpsons. Due to the nature of the show, there are a lot of characters who have differing reasons for their nudity, including some nameless ones. For this one, though, we're sticking to the Simpson Family, minus Maggie since she's a baby.

Homer was portrayed as something of an everyman in the early seasons. He was in over his head, with a job he hated, kids who didn't respect him, and a lazy approach to everything he did. When he did have nude scenes, they used to be about those factors, and always complimented the story. Losing his clothes in "Call of the Simpsons" tied into trying to teach Bart how to survive in the wild, doing so by instructing how to create their own covering. His first nude moment in "Homer Badman" tied into his sexual exploitation case and how people see what they want to see, while his second case showcased how he didn't even have any privacy in the shower. As the series went on, Homer became wackier and louder, and his nudity started becoming the joke in and of itself, as opposed to a segment of it.

Bart was the prankster, America's bad boy. Homer was a hero to the adults of America for representing them, while Bart was a hero to the youth of America for being a rebel to society's standards. He talked back to his elders, he called his father by his first name, and was so much a troublemaker that in "Whacking Day" the school put him on par with bullies like Nelson and locked him in a closet. He even has a whole file of incidents to himself, labeled by name. And part of that included that he, at least in the promotional material, would moon someone. Though, I'd say, at least early on, his nudity was to be portrayed as shocking and part of that rejection of television standards we saw in every aspect of the show in its first years. As things went on, Bart's personality was toned down, but he still had a lot of nude moments, though those were probably just because they were to be expected.

As the first female to be talked about on this show, Marge understandably had the fewest moments in the series. Her character was of a typical housewife, and she was described often as a Plain Jane. Early on, her material was mostly for love purposes, like she'd be naked in bed for the purpose of making love to Homer, and there was one episode where she was in the shower. The transition from the older episodes to the newer episodes started to experiment, likely the result of shows like South Park trying to compete for being the "offensive" show. So to not seem old news, two episodes with larger swaths of Marge nudity were made, "Natural Born Kissers" which showed her butt, and the more conservative "Simpsons Bible Stories" which had her as Eve. "Kissers" was part of the story of Marge and Homer having to make it home while naked, which made it neither humorous nor sexual, but more tense and worrisome, the bigger problem being to avoid being seen naked. As for "Bible Stories", that was more a consequence of her being Eve, since Homer was Adam. Later seasons used her nudity for more sexual purposes, like showing large breasts to an audience, getting peeped on by a robot, and she even started having sex with Homer on a more regular basis.

So if there's a pattern here, it's that the early seasons used nudity for their own purposes, but they did so outside the usual dichotomy of "male nudity = funny, female nudity = sexual", so without further ado, let's talk about the elephant in the room.

Lisa's role is different in the early episodes compared to the new ones, like the other characters. Early Lisa was more a troubled youth, trying to balance her intellectualism with her childish impulses. One episode had her asking for a pony and getting it just to appease a dying relationship between her and her father, another would have her battle sexism with her favorite toy doll. For each episode that saw her engaging in a struggle to better society, there was also an episode where she suffered problems like getting addicted to a hotline for dating "Corey's", or enjoying a theme park. The definitive Lisa episode, "Lisa's Substitute" focused on both these aspects of her to great emotional effect. Of course, as the series went on, Lisa's childishness fell apart and she became more of a hippie liberal, with her becoming a vegetarian, a buddhist, a skeptic over an angel skeleton, expressing difficulty with a rival Republican, and countless other situations that portrayed her as less a child and more a political icon.

So with that said, how do we reconcile these two sides of her? Her childishness is easily represented in having Bart play a prank on her in the bathtub, or skinny-dipping somewhere for its own sake. She'd probably be good for something like a quick gag, something that lasts no more than 5 or 10 seconds. But how does this play out with Modern Lisa? Each character went through changes in how they were portrayed nude to more reflect how society typically uses nudity, so that doesn't bode well for our yellow little girl. The sad truth is that these days, a Lisa Simpson nude scene is impossible to do. Between Yeardley Smith's attachment to the character, Matt Groening's desire to make her look good at all times, Fox restricting what level of nudity is "acceptable" and society saying all nude females are sexual and no one wanting to sexualize children, there are too many factors working against using Lisa for nudity. The one factor I can think of that would work these days is if the family visited a nudist colony, but that goes against the fact that Fox won't allow them to use their best jokes. Back in 98, Fox didn't want them to do "Natural Born Kissers" for having too much nude Marge, and now that they hold more power than ever they can prevent female nudity from being used to that degree ever again.

And in fact, it's possible that the reason the early seasons didn't give us that many naked Lisa scenes were... well, there just wasn't a good opportunity for a perfect joke. Every joke in the early episodes of The Simpsons is meticulously constructed to hit the mark every single time. And each naked moment fit with the characters' personalities. Homer was overwhelmed and never had a moment to himself, and his scenes reflected that. Bart acted outside the norms, so his scenes were also outside what was acceptable at the time. Marge was a housewife, so she was in these positions for lovemaking purposes with her husband. Lisa... forgive me for being blunt, but Lisa doesn't lend herself well to this kind of thing. She wouldn't streak voluntarily, she'd find that too mature. But she's still too young to be used in adult situations, so she needs to do it for childish ones. That doesn't lend itself to many opportunities for nudity humor. I think the main reason the staff didn't give her any nude scenes to begin with is they couldn't find a way to make them into jokes, which is a massive achievement since they could take anything and make it into a joke. Politicians? Yup. Vegetarianism? Yahuh. Conspiracies? Mmmhm. If anything could baffle them, then the task is probably too much to ask for. And now that society's standards have taken over, it's too late to do so now.

So sorry, you can't have your naked Lisa. That is, unless everyone's doing the whole nude thing at once. It's too much to ask for. And considering what isn't too much to ask for, that says a lot.

February 16 2017

How Do We Do It? #1

This is gonna be a little difficult. I didn't want to have to retype this all over again from the beginning since this is such a long post. Sadly, here we are. For those who don't know, on Thursdays we do a bit of analysis, specifically on the reasons why some characters got naked moments according to their role in the series, then look at others roles and find good moments for them. This is what we call, How Do We Do It?

For this first series, we're taking a look at Dragon Ball in all its forms.

Now, there are two kinds of characters in Dragon Ball: combatants and noncombatants. Combatants means the fighter is involved in at least one battle in the arc, and noncombatants means they are not. This can fluctuate over time, like Yamcha being a combatant in his early appearances, but not his later ones.

All combatants have an easy way to disrobe them: battle damage. Of course, Toriyama would find it hard to have to censor all the time, and he's notoriously lazy, so he only did highly-exposing stuff with kid Goku in the Red Ribbon Arc (his entire lower half) and Recoome in the Namek Arc (his butt). Presumably, depending on how far the magazine is willing to go, this could extend to a female character (like Android 18) to expose her chest, or at least her cleavage. After all, these characters should have some muscle on them, to turn off all but the most fetishistic. Still, care must be made to avoid making it seem sexual, like not having a pervert make a comment or having the girl react until after the battle is over.

All characters enjoy the luxury of having bathing facilities available to them, which could work for males and females. Vegeta and Bulma both had sexy showers at some point, so if you need an easy moment, that'll do it.

That leaves the analysis that'll become standard as the series goes on. We'll start by looking at the disrobed characters.

Goku as a kid was portrayed as a bumpkin, someone who didn't know the rules of society. So when he got nude, it was to show he was lacking in social skills, like the time he was willing to fight nude in front of the World Tournament audience.

Gohan only really got disrobed as part of a reversion back to normal from his ape form, or a bath. He's probably bookish and shy, so he'd surely mind. Movie 3 demonstrates examples of both kinds, with a bath scene with Goku and a naked reversion from ape form, complete with a silly scene at the end with him and Hire Dragon.

Goten and Trunks have always been portrayed as stupid little kids, but Goten was definitely stupider and more like a cute little brother, while Trunks was more a scamp. They both had a shared bath scene with Goku, Goten had one with Gohan in a TV Special, and Trunks mooned both versions of Broly in movies 10 and 11.

Now on to the characters who didn't.

Chi Chi historically has been a character who's... complex. As a kid, she only knows about love from magazines, and got attracted to Goku because he touched her down there. As such, if she were to get nude, it'd be to join Goku for something like a swim, maybe something she calls romantic. She'd be great for a Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen kinda thing, with Goku not minding and Chi Chi being conflicted between the "romantic" prospect of spending lots of time nude with her "partner" but at the same time knowing society says keep covered.

Pan started off as a toddler at the end of Z, but had so little character there wasn't much to do with her. As a 10 year old in GT, however, she was one who presented herself as a tough, capable tomboy. Still, she had moments where she wanted things to go according to a "ladylike" image. She'd probably be good for a battle damage disrobing, or maybe having a bath interrupted.

Mai is reverted back to child form in Super, and her characterization is different from the movies and TV shows. Movie Mai maintains her adult criminal personality, so a gag could be made of her trying to seduce someone but failing completely because, well, she's a child and thus not sexy. Super Mai, however, has the personality of a little kid, and'd get naked in the general comedic gags kids tend to get.

So that covers it for today. Now to decide if I want to answer the same question I did last time...
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