Tag Archives: editorial

I got those post-convention blues…

If you are of the geek/otaku persuasion, July is a busy month here in Southern California.  The beginning of the month brings along Anime Expo, the biggest anime convention this side of the pacific, and it is quickly followed by the granddaddy of all cons, San Diego Comic Con.  Each event has their own individual perks and problems, the least of which are the logistics of actually attending.

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Let’s begin with Anime Expo.  As the biggest Anime Con in the US, it easily takes up nearly all the Los Angeles convention center.  From the sales floor, to the (cosplay-filled) lobby, to the jam-packed panels and events, to the gaming area, you would be hard-pressed not to find something to like about the convention.  Even people who’s only anime experience is watching an episode of Sailor Moon 15 years ago, can attend and enjoy a tutorial on origami, take pictures of outrageous costumes, or learn about new video games.  The main issues stem from actually trying to do those things.  If you don’t line up more than an hour before your My Little Pony: Origami is Magic panel, chances are you won’t get in.  And it doesn’t help that the panel is in a room that fits 200 people, while there are nearly 400 people in pony ears waiting in line.  That’s a lot of pissed off Bronies.

However, in a way, that’s a good thing for the growth  of the con.  When different fandoms can share the same space and all attending are able to find something to enjoy, it opens up new experiences and cultures to learn about.  If the big cheeses then say, “Hey, we put the Skullgirls panel in this teeny tiny theater that holds 150, but the turnout was 500… next year we need to put them in one of the bigger spaces,” then that is a win of sorts.  Maybe it will also help them think and examine what the current hot commodity is before room assignments are dished out.  Research, then assign, people.  Also, letting their staffers know when to cut off a line could help too.  It’s a thankless job for those poor red vest workers, having angry fans in blue hair giving them the stink eye, but you would feel the same way after waiting in line 30 minutes, just to find out you can’t get into the panel.

For San Diego, it truly gives you a unique experience like no other, where you can bump elbows with your favorite movie star, get a sketch from your favorite artist, or even catch a sneak peek of the next big thing before it becomes the current big thing.  That is, of course, if you can get in the front door.  Due to its astounding popularity, which grows exponentially each year, it gets more difficult just to enter the hallowed halls of geek Mecca.  Registration for your badge has become such a chore in itself, soon the show runners will need to resort to a Hunger Games style lottery system to determine who can attend. Picture a dystopian future where every fandom must send two representatives into a death battle royale, and the winner’s group will have first privilege to buy badges to that year’s Comic Con.  Just imagine Trekkies versus Bronies, Marvel Zombies versus Johnny DCs, and Anime Otaku versus Twihards all duking it out for the right to stand in a line, to stand in another line, to wait 5 hours for a free t-shirt and then shake Seth Green’s hand.

Once you are inside, you can stare in awe at the elaborate setup of the convention floor.  Many companies spare no expense just so that they can have the biggest and best booth that is able to be seen anywhere from Hall A to Hall H.  Each is planned down to the smallest detail, so to be 100% accurate to whatever pop culture phenomenon they happen to be peddling. Of course, you can’t help but notice all these details and gaze at the decorative arrangements, since you won’t be able to move.  People pack into the San Diego so tightly, it might just be some titan’s plot to create the perfect can of human sardines.  If you wanted to eliminate 90% of the nerd population on earth, this would be good place to start.

Despite all this, once both conventions are over and done with, the realization sets in that you are going to have to wait another year for July to pop back around.  You begin to forget all the bad things and focus on the good stuff.  You think about that great limited edition toy you have been searching for, the one you just happened to find at a corner booth at the end of the show floor, and for a reasonable price.  Or that time you shared an elevator with Neil Gaiman, but you were too terrified to talk to him and tell him what an inspiration he has been to you.  And when you asked  the art director for Stand Alone Complex to sketch a picture of Major Kusanagi for you, and he wrote Happy Birthday over the top just because you mentioned it was your birthday.  These are all experiences that could only happen at a convention, and once it’s over you suddenly feel like something is missing from your life.  Something you had for the briefest of moments, but you didn’t appreciate it at the time, then it was gone.  So you sit and you wait for the next year roll around, wondering who you will meet or what rare trinket you will find.  This waiting, my friends, is what we call the post-convention blues.  And I got it bad right now.

Diary of an Anime Lived: The Slice-of-Life Age, Part 3 (FINAL)

On the strands that make up “slice of life” in our day, and what it means to be a fan in this time where it is the predominant standard of quality and popularity.

Continue reading Diary of an Anime Lived: The Slice-of-Life Age, Part 3 (FINAL)

Diary of an Anime Lived: The Slice of Life Age, Part 2

The first period of my anime fandom ended with my college years. While I never stopped watching anime, the age of discovery was over, and I saw relatively few new shows from 2003-2005. By the time I returned to active fandom in 2006, an entire generational shift had happened in anime.

Continue reading Diary of an Anime Lived: The Slice of Life Age, Part 2

Waiting for Haruhi; or, My Anime Series Can’t Be This Original!

The howling critical reactions (and counterreactions) in the anime blogosphere about the fourth episode of Oreimo have prompted some further thought, as a follow-up to wintermuted’s last essay and my own thoughts on Oreimo 3: have many of us gotten so desperate for anything surprising in anime that we will grasp onto even the barest scraps of originality and quality? It’s almost as if we were waiting for a great series to sweep us off our feet and remind us of why we love this medium to begin with. It’s almost as if we were waiting…for another Haruhi?

Continue reading Waiting for Haruhi; or, My Anime Series Can’t Be This Original!

Goddamned weak sauce season summer 2010

Why oh why am I writing like this again? Because my life sucks right now! XD Why is it when I know some smartass kid out there is going to use some internet term and patronize me and tell me that get the fuck over it? Because writing rant is fun and this century has managed to suck hairy balls EVERY SINGLE MOTHERFUCKING YEAR. Not anime-wise, thank ye gods, but life-wise and worldwise…

Ya, ya, back to summer 2010 season it is. All right, with a claymore in one hand and a can of Kirin in another, here we go.

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Anime Diet in Vegas – a special report from the perspective of an Otaku

So…what did you guys do last weekend? Well, Mike and I decided to hit Vegas. We booked everything in advance, and only afterwards discovered that it was Memorial Day weekend: crowds and traffic galore. We didn’t think too much about it, though.

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“Human Couples: Threat or Menace?” Inspired By The Otaku Diaries.

Okay, so the wonderful folk at Reverse Thieves as well as Ogiue Maniax have been discussing the phenom of dating between fans of anime/manga, and I can honestly not only speak from experience, but from years of having friends who have come out of this tattered yet all the wiser. It is a popular notion in this day and age to want hobbies to remain exclusive with a hope that the other in their lives would just respect it. Makes sense. One could only hope that another person can identify with ,or at least understand those little things about us that separate us from the pack. But anime fandom has grown exponentially since the quiet days of 80s fandom, and must be taken into account. Much like a love for science fiction has been a give-and-take cornerstone of relationships, anime love definitely has an integral place in identification when speaking couples. To merely dismiss the validity of a mutual love of a certain hobby due to deficiencies elsewhere in the relationship is not only misguided, it is incorrect on multiple levels.

Continue reading “Human Couples: Threat or Menace?” Inspired By The Otaku Diaries.

Believing and Striving.

Bubblegum Crisis - Art Pack

Hi all. Seeing this title, if you actually read this far, I congratulate you. After all, why bother reading someone’s effort pouring out his heart? At the same time, I’m elated to see all the interaction we have on the site – praises and criticisms, loves and hates, positives and negatives. All that means we have people reading, getting up and responding. That’s what we thirst for, really – interacting with y’all and knowing that, positive or negative, we’re being read. After all, why bother leaving the comment section open if we didn’t want to hear what you have to say?

I can be such an ass sometimes and a loser at other times; I get angry and reactive easily toward comments I don’t like; I’ve been know to respond in unkindly matter and not just taking it in. But that’s me; I take all your comments seriously and I answer each one with one comment field, not bunched together in the same reply. Maybe I am an idiot; maybe I take it all too seriously. In today’s world, nobody takes those things seriously; I mean, there is real life and there is the net; only teen people sometimes gets quite serious about it and yell back and forth.

However, sometimes I still feel as if though it mattered, no matter what the rest of the world thinks. When called, I still stand up sometimes and answer as the fool, receiving all the mockeries and jeers and  blush. Does it mean I care? Who knows? But sometimes, even though it’s once in a blue moon, I’d do something special, and someone says in the comment section:

You’ve made my day.

Heh. You know I made that into a sentence on its own because I did it on purpose to demonstrate a point. But yes, that tend to make me feel really good.

Even though, in my sometimes very humble and other times very proud opinion, I’m just a loser not too different from trekkies and other nerds wishing that someone out there  would understand and agree with their views on a certain article.  After all, like them, I’m just another nerd with a different title – “Otaku”, and feeling oddly proud of it.

It’s the fact that even if I were the only person in the entire world that’s listening to “Lost Type Rival” on Bubblegum Crisis CD right now, I’d still enjoy it and wishing that I were in 80”s Japan. Even if I were the biggest idiot in the world for liking what I like, I’d still like it.

(Yes, I’ve been drinking and it’s 12:56 AM in Taipei.)

Mortality in anime and manga

Two things have me thinking about death: Ray’s commentary on  the unappealing nature of sentient, disposable objects, and Kabitzin’s review of Kishimoto’s latest round of killings. (SPOILER ALERT for both that article and this one.)

Ray’s already put Akikan in a coffin, but bear with me while I drive the nails in.  You know, I can’t help but think of an old Garfield strip whenever I look at this show.

Jon: What if our appliances could talk?  That would be great!

Garfield: No it wouldn’t.  Every time a lightbulb burned out it would be like a death in the family.

This is largely what is wrong with the idea of sentient disposable objects – to wit, if they really are sentient, your characters have exactly two options: either love them and care for them and be heartbroken all the time, or be callous bastards.  (Or, you know, psychotic satsujin angels. I was assuming they weren’t doing the killing themselves, but the world of anime is large.)

Dokuro-chan: more terrifying than a yandere.

Continue reading Mortality in anime and manga

Episode Reviews vs. Editorials: Why the Divide?

Editorial, episode review: it all starts with this.
Editorial, episode review: it all starts with this.

In an astonishing wildfire meme that has spread throughout the anime blogosphere, and this time without the quota set by Owen’s agricultural collective, people are talking about the merits of episode blogging vs. editorials. Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is and why they’re being treated as mutually exclusive categories at all. I’d like to propose that an episode review can be an editorial just as much as anything else.

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Do You Ever Talk Back to Your Anime?

Here’s an example……a bad example.

Do you ever talk to your anime? One of the things that they used to teach me in media literacy class is that an effective means to combat the passivity most TV watchers have is to talk back to the TV–to say out loud what one really thinks or feels at the moment something happens. Especially if something particularly dumb or cliched happens. It helps keep your brain active and involved, and it’s also a useful reviewer exercise.

I talked back a lot to the episodes of Kimikiss and Myself;Yourself I reviewed tonight. Normally, I do that sort of thing for only two kinds of shows: shows that are really easy to make fun of (Myself; Yourself episode 1, the suddenly ominous parts of episode 3, the really awful bathos of Saikano), and shows that are really, really funny and/or entertaining. I don’t ever do it if I’m genuinely bored. For serious drama or genuine shock, my complete silence is usually a very good sign, though silence is also sometimes a sign of boredom. I especially like shouting things out when harem cliches come along: pigtails on the tsundere, the non-related girl calling the guy “onii-chan,” the moment when it’s revealed that this is a childhood friend. The moment when the guy can’t say his true feelings. Dragonaut brings out the yaoi jokes and the Eva comparisons.

So what do you like to shout out to your TV? Have you ever played drinking games to anime? What inspires your audience participation, either by yourself or at cons and anime club showings?