Escapism: You’re doing it wrong

November 27, 2007 on 10:55 pm | In Anime Industry News, Anime Scene, Anime Writing, Site News | 2 Comments

Witnessing the horror that is the turmoil in the anime industry today, I came to a realisation about myself: my reason for watching anime seems to have changed. Having very little to concern myself with in my personal life at the moment (I mean that I have no inner turmoils, not that I’m a blank sack of potatoes), I realised that I’m watching anime to escape from anime.

With a DVD in hand – and I’ve got literally hundreds of them unwatched – I have a hermetically sealed universe: a pact between myself and the series, divorced from any outside influence. For twenty minutes at a time, I don’t have to worry about the fact that Geneon died in the US, and that people are killing each other over “dorama” on the internet (and the fact that they get a cheap thrill simply from the act of typing “dorama”). I’m living for the moment with my DVDs, feeling free to cry, yell, or shake my fists at whatever developments throw themselves at me. Obviously the internet has been fairly indispensable in the development of my direction, but I feel a disenfranchisement that cannot attach myself to it for too long. I like interacting with other anime people, but only to a degree. Going to a convention is rather akin to going to a horror show, except I’m not the one kicking people and performing “Singin’ in the Rain”. I think that the second my brain imploded, beyond all of the shouts of “yaoi power!”, was when I was in Melbourne for Manifest, either ’04 or ’05, and a fat girl in a costume asked to get by me by saying “sumimasen”. These are not my people. These are not people at all.

The reasons I don’t watch fansubs right now are transparently simple: discounting the fact that I really prefer having something tangible to show for my efforts, my computer presently isn’t strong (or conveniently located) enough to warrant the effort, and all of my favourite shows when I was on the circuit appeared to be the ones that would receive the least attention from the fansubbers. For example, Angel Heart has been over for more than a year but the subs are only up to episode 42. I like having an entire series on DVD to devour at my own arbitrary pace rather than someone else’s.
I loved being part of the “blogosphere”, much as I hated that word – and now it looks like it’s been overtaken by 4chan, and a common language has been murdered by bastardisations like “weeaboo”, “copypasta” and that ilk. These are concepts that remove the need for independent thought and encourage a hive mind of unpleasantness; scientific research has proven that people who use “lulz” in all seriousness are more likely to make me cry at the state of humanity – and also to threaten people with planted child pornography, ignoring the fact that they would have to have obtained it in the first place.
I know for a fact that there’s still a lot of good stuff going on, but even as I’ve emerged from yet another personal shell, I’ve regressed back to a man, a DVD and a TV when it comes to anime. I’ll share my results with you, don’t get me wrong – I know that some readers like the past, too! – and I’ll try, oh Lord, I’ll try … to participate a bit outside of my bunker, too.

So I’ve got no answers to the current quandary. Depressing though it may be that a good ship like Geneon has sunk (this site was started on Pioneer, dangit), I can only take comfort in the knowledge that I have my DVDs, and they sure as heck can’t be taken from me. That being said, I either expect a fire, flood, or DVD plague to hit my house. I’ll continue to report back to you from the battlefield that is paid-for anime, and I hope you’ll either start, continue or resume reading. Over the Summer, I will learn discipline in writing, and you will learn … love. Or double your money back.

Come sail away with me, you guys.

I don’t hate anime

October 27, 2006 on 12:37 am | In Anime Scene | Comments Off on I don’t hate anime

I’ve been consumed by a lack of motivation in the face of anime the last six weeks or so. Apart from the Nana clip episode, I can’t remember if I’ve watched anything since I want to return to that day.

Working hard on pretending to be ready for my Japanese speaking test tomorrow (including the memorable line “I’m so glad that the Cold War has ended. Russia, banzai!”), I had the opportunity to steal my speaking partner’s library of music.

The folder was filled with a plethora of obscure songs from obscure titles, and before long I was rocking out to “Horizon”, the ED of Argento Soma:

Music has the power to send you back. I was instantly transported to those fine days when I was provided with one of my few true moments of anime shock and elation.

Heck, as I sit here avoiding work, I’m listening to the first ED of Suzuka. A lot of the time, music can be better than the show it supports. Suzuka had the makings of greatness but it ended up with the endings of suckness.
Even as I sit here, I’m drawn towards Sakura Diaries once more. That’s effed up romance done right.

The big watershed moment for me was listening to Hayashibara Megumi’s excellent ED for Abenobashi. That’s a case of double nostalgia right there.

All I need to say is this: I don’t hate anime, and I’m looking forward to reliving my glory days with the DVDs. Those days when things were that much simpler.

I’m not ready yet; don’t expect me to check back in for proper until mid November at the earliest. I might let you know that I’m still alive from time to time, and I’ll probably keep updating my other half in the meantime.

Dystopolypse now!

May 12, 2006 on 12:14 am | In Anime Scene | 3 Comments

In my Film and History tutorial today, the idea of dystopic societies came up in relation to Mon Oncle, Jacques Tati’s farce about the vapidity of high society.

Now, I couldn’t really relate the idea of a scathing critique of consumerism to any real sort of dystopic ideals, because this was simply a dystopia of the mind – petty bourgeoisie consciousness.
I cited Kiba‘s Neotopia as an example of the worst kind of dystopia: one in which its citizens don’t realise that they are being oppressed, and thus gleefully accept the horrid punishments meted out by their corrupt governments. I then directly compared the public execution scene in episode 5 with a similar scene in V for Vendetta … and I got away with it.

I can’t believe that I brought up Kiba, of all things! Anime that handles such big issues with all of the subtlety and grace of a meerkat eating a hippopotamus! In retrospect, I should have cited Brave New World, which has a genuine veneer of respect. It’s a different kind of government conditioning, but it works so much better. In that it doesn’t make me feel filthy.

In summary: damn you, Kiba! Damn your insidious didacticism! Damn you all to hell!

April! Time spent bloggin’

April 1, 2006 on 11:59 pm | In Anime Scene, Site News | 17 Comments

You know my daddy blogged anime for his whole life
And he never knew nothing more
Yeah and his daddy done the blog like his old man
Who had blogged before the war
And though she couldn’t have known till I was born
My poor mama God rest her soul
Like them I come out bloggin’
-“Bloggin'”, Cowboy Bebop: Knocking on Heaven’s Door

I presently have no idea where my laptop is, but it contains four updates. I’ll put them up when my precious cargo has been safely returned to me.

It’s April 1st in some parts of the world, and it looks like the anime community has been swept up in a storm of “I’m quitting!” messages. The one written on Equivocal Resolution mentions that each entry takes about two hours to write.

Now I’m not sure how to take that, it might be a blatant lie. But it did make me wonder how long people spend writing their entries. Mentar once said that it takes him about four hours to write up an episode.

In comparison, I’m kind of ashamed to admit the amount of time I spend on my site nowadays. There have been some entries (such as Sugar) that have taken me literally months to write – and I’ve never been satisfied with those – but almost all of the entries I have made in March have taken me between ten and thirty minutes to write and I don’t think the quality has suffered as a result: if I say what I intended to say, then my mission has been successful. (this figure does not include image preparation, which used to take me so long that I would just swear at my computer for hours at a time)

I think that when the words come easily, there’s no fear. I’ve been working on a Rozen Maiden article since December that I will amost certainly add a few words to and just kick onto the site so that I can finally let it go and allow myself to watch Traümend.

So, to all anime bloggers: how long do you spend on an entry? Do you release things you’re not satisfied with onto an unsuspecting public? My scheme might change now that I’m on top of things, but it’s always interesting to see what the “other side” is thinking.

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