Mike’s New Year’s Blogging Resolutions

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In 2009, on Anime Diet, I resolve to:

  • Write some kind of post at least every other day. Even if it’s just a filler news post.
  • Reply to everyone’s comments.
  • Try to write comments more often on others’ blogs.
  • Release podcasts the same week they are recorded. Today’s release is a good start–it’s a new record for me, a mere 3 days after recording!
  • Release podcasts much more regularly as schedule permits. Twice a month, at least.
  • Not promise or pre-announce posts I end up not writing. Or videos I end up not making.
  • Try my very hardest to release con video diaries within one day of their shooting. This is admittedly very difficult sometimes, but lots of Youtubers seem to be able to do it…

I’m also reconsidering the utility of episodic blogging, a style that I’m not sure I do my best within. I like the big batch reviews I started doing for the end of the Fall season. It makes pontificating pretentiously so much easier.

That’s it for me for 2008. What are some of your blogging resolutions? Happy New Year, everyone!

Anime Diet Radio Episode 29 – Auld Lang Syne

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Update, 4:08 PM EST: The chapter marker timing problem in the AAC/iTunes version is now fixed. Redownload it if you got one of the early, incorrect versions. Also, apologies for the popping and blowing noises on my end of the audio–that’s what happens when you only have a cheap desktop mic with no pop filter! (Cue double entendres in 5, 4, 3….)

This is our final show for 2008! We talk about the troubles with Sakai’s library regarding BL manga, Keanu Reeves’ desire to play Spike in the Cowboy Bebop live action movie, and talk about the best and worst anime of 2008 in our Roundtable.

The episode begins with a little help for our friends at Anime Genesis, with whom we had a panel at AX 2008, and Dancing Queen at Howagirlfigures.com. They’re having a panel at this week’s Anime LA convention, January 3rd. Go check them out! (And stay tuned for details about our own panel coming at 2009’s AX…)

Well folks–that’s it for 2008. Happy New Year, everyone!

Show Order

  • (00:00-00:30) – Promo for Anime Genesis/How a Girl Figures Panel
  • (00:31-04:23) – Intro
  • (04:24-18:46) – News 1: BL Manga in Sakai City Libraries
  • (18:47-26:47) – News 2: Keanu Reeves and Cowboy Bebop
  • (26:48-54:30) – Roundtable: End of the Year Reflections
  • (54:31-end) – Conclusion

Show Notes

Web Links

  • (1) http://tinyurl.com/6w7ok7
  • (2) http://tinyurl.com/4d9new
  • (3) http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/07/30/rumor-keanu-reeves-as-spike-in-cowboy-bebop-movie/

5th Day of Christmas – A Song for a Roach

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This fifth installment of the ’12 moments’ series is about True Tears, which was the best show of last winter amid some rather lackluster selections. True Tears was not always the most realistic or the most well-plotted of series, but it did have good animation and took its characters seriously enough to make them more interesting than not.

One of the best parts of the show’s conclusion was the last song Shinichiro sings as he bids Noe farewell. The breakup between the two was one of the strongest parts of the entire series, because it managed to strike a good balance between the recognition that Noe had changed his life for the better and the knowledge that he really loves someone else. The show was notable for its animal analogies–roaches, chickens, among others–and at first glance they should have been too hokey to work. That they did to an extent is a testament to the relative strength of the characters.

3rd and 4th Days of Christmas – Fast Talking and Self-Mockery

As I have a much larger article to write tonight I’ll keep this one short and sweet.

If Woody Allen were a pedo and an anime writer--oh wait

The 3rd moment is a memorable, cleverly written scene from episode 3 of the slice of life/action/loli dramedy Kure-nai–the three way conversation between Shinkurou, Murasaki, and Yuuno. The rapid-fire, back and forth conversation was, if anything, reminiscent of a sharply written stage play or a Woody Allen film. Witty dialogue isn’t much heard in anime and it was one of the things that made the show, whatever its flaws, one of the notable shows of the spring season.

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The 4th moment is really, in some ways, a holdover from the most notorious show of 2007–it’s the final scene of the School Days: Magical Heart Kokoro Chan OVA. It is, in many ways, a fitting tribute and acknowledgment of the biggest anime meme of the previous year, though arguably the moment the creators themselves do it is the moment when it loses its cachet. This wasn’t as immediate as the Nice Boat reference in last fall’s ef-a tale of memories, but it’s an example of humorous fan-pandering.

Endings: Kannagi, Rosario 2, Hyakko

Of course everyone makes up and kiss up (blood sucking, nevertheless), but of course, another happy ending in Otaku season (catering to Japanese and some Asian Otaku – remember, unlike American ones, Asian Otaku don’t like sad endings and rather not be cynical) Ready? OK! Here it goes –

Continue reading Endings: Kannagi, Rosario 2, Hyakko

2nd Day of Christmas – Stand Up For Your Otaku Woman

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Today’s moment is brought to you by on of more interesting shows from the summer season, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, in which all of Haruka’s friends stand up to her father in defense of her fandom.

A number of titles in recent years have either questioned, poked fun at, or even demonized certain kinds of otaku fandom. Titles like Genshiken, Welcome to the NHK!, Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, Chaos;Head and even Kannagi have spoke directly about otaku to otaku. Nogizaka Haruka stands out not only for its sincere romantic elements–which, for a change, is actually mutual rather than one-sided–but for its full throated defense of fandom as contained in the scene from eps. 7 captured above. The show itself was of course one huge pander, with many of the cliche elements that go into otaku romance shows, but it’s also pretty bold in offering such a direct appeal: though one can argue it’s just preaching to the choir.

Haruka is the second major anime heroine after Lucky Star’s Konata to be a female with male otaku tastes. There’s clearly a wish fulfillment aspect involved here, though I’ve known plenty of women who were into the same shounen action shows that many other male fans are into–though that probably doesn’t really overlap much with the moe/romance/dating-sim culture that is the dominant strain in Akiba and in Asia. (In that respect, the anime blogosphere is, in my experience, not an accurate reflection of American fandom, given how much we tend to go gaga over shows like Toradora and the like.) The show could be seen as another instance of the anime culture growing more insular, though it was one of the more entertaining and well-done examples. I still enjoyed it (the parts that I saw that is…).

1st Day of Christmas: The Release of the Tower of Druaga

Well–here’s my first salvo in the “12 Days, 12 Moments” project. Why so late and out of sync with the rest of the blogosphere? Well, as someone with theological training, I couldn’t bear to be so liturgically incorrect as to misidentify the 12 Days of Christmas as the days prior to Christmas, could I? After all, the first day of Christmas is actually Christmas Day, continuing until January 5, the day before Epiphany, and couldn’t people just look things up on Wikipedia and—

–oh fine. It’s really because I was lazy and I couldn’t be bothered to start until now. Anyways…

(This was inspired by a comment JPMeyer made some time ago, and my reply.)

Continue reading 1st Day of Christmas: The Release of the Tower of Druaga

Chaos; Head 11 – the two faces of an Otaku.

Nisijou Takumi the wheel-chair ridden VS Nisijou Takumi the deep otaku, which one is the real representation of the general otaku population?

Which one is better?

Neither. They’re just two faces of the same group of people.

Nisijou Takumi the wheel-chair-ridden, or “shogun”, probably loaths himself, that’s why he created the other one. But the other one isn’t a great person either. I don’t know what the game’s explanation is, but I know this: for an otaku audience, the “healthy” Taku serves two purposes:

1. He’s something that the audience can identify. He sits in his base (cage), surfs the net all day and keeps seira-tan figurines; he’s terrible with people and he feels like he was created into the world to be lonely and rejected; also see Shinji in Eva.

2. He serves as a pet on the back of the audience, especially when he decides to save Rimi. Even though he’s been acting like a Shinji, he gathers courage and finally pulls out of the sword of the stone and stops being the reluctant hero. He’s like what Otaku wish to be – someone who likes Otaku things and cowers most of the time and yet, when it’s time, he’ll stand up and fight – see Densha Otoko Test performed in Akiba on Youtube.

Shogun also serves two purposes for the intended audience:

1. He serves as a reminder that there are worse conditions than being an otaku. I mean, hey, at least the healthy Taku gets out sometimes, goes to school, and have Rimi who practically upholds him (does this really happens in real life or I’ve just been unlucky not meeting it), oh, not to mention he’s to meet all these girls in the outside world and becomes the savior. But look at Shogun, he can only gives hints and messages and he’s either in bed or in a wheelchair – not to mention he looks like he’s 90 years old!

2. He’s a warning and the physical representation of most otaku’s inner character – shrivel, shrunken and weak. He’s the real Takumi; he can’t go anywhere and he has to use the power of delusion (not imagination, delusion) to create someone who’s not even popular, hot/cool, athletic and the like. If he had an ounce of healthy character and self-respect left, he’d create a young god. However, as an Otaku, I see the parallel of his physical body to the inner characters of a lot of otaku – inward pulling, outside rejecting, stays in a safe shell, social skills shrunken. I mean, Shogun only had two girls – his sis and RImi – as friends! But in real life (yeah, I definitely never had the luck to be cared like that), he’d be alone and dying in the ward.

As for the rest of the story; it’s the end game and Taku finally gets the courage to fight, even if he’s really only care about saving the princess and notice this, he cares to fight only because someone loves him first.

As someone who’s trying to recover from otakuism, I heartily recommend anyone who’s like that to go out and reach first; maybe someone will take your hand after 1000 demons reject it!

Hey, I never said people were great!

The episode summary and plot? Well, if you cared to read this you probably watch the episode already! If you didn’t…well go watch it!

Akane iro ni Somaru Saka – yes, sis fucker!

Woohoo! I guess Aya-chan’s popularity makes her the winner! Woohoo! Alright lil’ sis, bend over now and yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

Well, yeah, I know there are huge hints that they’re not blood related at all, but hey, big bosoms FTW!

I enjoyed this show solely because of Kugimi VS Aya-chan, with occasional flavoring from Rieie, but honestly man, this is one of these shows that at the end of the series, I ask myself: “Why the fuck did you watch it, you moron?”

“Well, how the fuck should I know? Aya-chan’s character was cute and hot! And incest forbidden love with a nice-body girl rocks!”

Man, some quirkiness, good computer-aided animation, plot holes that opens like a gaping p*##y plus having 3 of my favorite seiyuus playing cute character certainly makes an Otaku smile.

What, I didn’t say everything mashed well together!

And you know the best part? Not only Junichi get to be sis fucker, Yuuhi is back in the house and in the doujin world, that have a simple and yet descriptive technical term for it.

3P.

Enough said.

Kurozuka 11 – Suprise…Surprise…Suprised?

At this point, to me it seems pretty clear that there is no thousand year old “Omniyoji”, that somehow, she’s behind everything from the very beginning. I don’t know and I’m not saying that is the truth. In fact, when other people often guess the plot or the ending to a movie (back in college, one of my friends figured out the ending of “Seven” about 30 minutes before the ending), I have to see the end.

I was surprised that the Noh play wasn’t like some sort of introduction device, but was actually taking place in the story itself! All the Japanese references were foreign to me and so I didn’t know what the masks meant. But I was stunned by the outcome of the episode anyway.

It was satisfying to see Hasegawa down the hatch and it was good to hear the chime when the job was done.

A big part of the element of this show hinges on Kuro’s memories, but few episodes ago there didn’t seem to be any hints that if they were true or false; although I did get suspicious about his recollections, but more and more, little hints here and there started to point out that his perfect eternal lover wasn’t so great after all.

To me, clue one wasn’t the part where she cut his head off; it was in the village where the painter guy painted a grotesque picture of her.

Now, there are some things that I’m not satisfied with:

1. Kuro’s protector when he was Minamoto (anyone still remembers that) – what happened to him? Why did he betray Kuro? If the Omniyoji isn’t real, then that subplot doesn’t hold up. Unless the reality is that Kuromitsu seduced him as well.

2. The many flashbacks – some of the stories never panned out and never seemed to have any importance, they’re there to confuse people.

3. The lack of any explanation at all as to how the “Omniyoji’s organization” survived and became the Red Emperor’s organization, especially if the Omniyoji wasn’t real.

It was implied that Kuro slept with Rai…But damn, with her severe bodily damage, how could they do it? Just thought I’d point that out for thoughts.

Let’s see what happens in episode 12.