It’s been a good long while since I’ve done anything on Anime Solstice, well I’ve actually kept myself quite busy over the last couple of months:
I’m still keeping up-to-date with my regular column, Neomo’s Otaku Theater, on the US-based group blog, The OASG. As well as my weekly review of hand-picked shows, I occasionally write full-lengths about certain things that have happened that anime season.
At the beginning of this year, I joined the team at the UK-based news site, Japan Curiosity, where I alternate between reviewing British home video releases and reviewing anything new that appears on Netflix anime-wise.
Offline, I will be beginning my studies to become a English-language teacher overseas. I’ve had a lot of ‘what-the-hell-am-I-doing?’ moments; you get more of them when you actually have nothing to do. As my trading card business idea fell through, I am using this direction with the hope of not only finding work but seeing the big wide world.
As for this place? Well, I’m keeping it around, as I can be unchained here. Will I be resurrecting the ‘What happened when I watched’ posts? Perhaps. Will I think of some other project to do here? Who knows. Will I even have time to write on here, what with 2 other sites to write for plus my upcoming studies? We’ll see.
Pop Media Holdings, which owns Tokyopop, has a mobile app, POP Comics. It’s basically an app where manga/comic creators can publish their work for app users to read. Their website seems to love the words ‘interact’, ‘monetize’ and ‘awesome’…plus it’s free to read as ads incorporate the app. All sounds cool, right? I mean it’s a decent enough sounding platform for indie artists to show off their work to the public. They get paid, the public see something new, and Stu Levy is more chuffed with himself.
Putting in a nutshell, POP Comics can do whatever they want with their app without informing the user (or the creator who is publishing their work) beforehand. They can pretty much revoke your “creator-owned” status without telling you first, and if you have a problem with that, then you’d have to go through Hong Kong law instead of your own home country’s one. Also, if you have a problem or dispute with using the app (eg. a creator has issues with POP Comics showing certain stuff), you don’t have the right to actually file a lawsuit; something what is known as arbitration is used instead. Arbitration is favoured by companies because it doesn’t necessarily involve a real judge, and is much much cheaper for the company.
First we have a lot of people doubting whether Tokyopop is even worth its resurrection, then its issue of ‘raising awareness’ of shows by uploading whole episodes onto Youtube without the licensor’s permission, and now this? Sure having these dodgy-looking terms and conditions in a mobile app is something people are going to jump up and down about…besides there are better way for creators to show off their work.
Pixiv / Deviantart / pretty much any image-based social media platform
At this rate, I may end up writing more shit-hurling posts about Tokyopop (complaining how they should have stayed dead), and turn me into one great big SJW. Perhaps I should quit using WordPress and turn straight to Tumblr instead……I’d be able to both be chummy with other SJWs and at the same time have shit hurled in my face for no apparent reason.
Love goes to Bunnycartoon for finding this out and influencing me to write this. She haz teh conneketionz!!
Thanks to The Infinite Zenith for nominating me for the Sunshine Award; I really really appreciate it, since I don’t think many people actually bother to read this blog. I figured since I changed the format from writing all generalised posts to posts concerning bad shows, it would get more notice, and yeah, thanks again dude!
No offense to the award people, but I don’t really like any of the designs, so I chose a more suitable little gif instead. Go me.
…and he set me with 5 quite interesting questions that I’m happy to answer. A bit of a break from watching bad shows:
What factors motivated you to begin writing about anime in your blog?
Well I had my Livejournal back when I was 17 or 18. Back then I didn’t have any purpose to write about it; after all, every purpose of having an LJ was to bitch and moan about how mean their parents were to them, or how bad school was that day. So as more shows landed on me, writing about it just seemed natural, The LJ lasted until my friends left and found other various social media to play around with. But I wanted to stick with the writing.
This blog has had several renovations and makeovers; perhaps that’s not the best sign, but despite that, talking/writing about my thoughts/ideas on something I have loved for nearly 20 years feels…good inside.
Branching out has helped too. Last year I joined the group blog Organisation Anti-Social Geniuses, and I have always had the pipe dream of actually going pro. But it is a pipe dream.
What aspects (for instance, story, artwork, voices) constitutes a masterpiece anime in your opinion?
Definitely a mixture between artwork and story. A pretty picture is a pretty picture, but a pretty picture with words is better,,,umm…does that make sense?
One case study: Madoka Magica. In the space of 4 years, it’s become an uncontrollable franchise. The almost flawless mixture of colourful and eccentric artwork and a story that challenges the idea of a magical girl. As of the moment, I consider the 12-episode show (or the recap movies Beginning and Eternal) as the whole of the story. I was very very disappointed with Rebellion; while the artwork just kept getting better and better, I felt the story turned into more of a convoluted mess.
People have varied opinions on Rebellion, but they still acknowledge Madoka Magica as something of a masterpiece, as it has great quality in all three fields.
If you recognise an region in an anime, would you be interested in visiting that location?
Well as the vast majority of all anime is set in Tokyo, the suburbs of Tokyo, the outskirts of Tokyo, Tokyo in a distant future, Tokyo in the past, or in a city on a planet named after Tokyo, I’d say the options are a little limited. To be honest, my answer would be no, as I have no real desire to visit full-stop. I’m fine where I am.
If you have attended an anime convention, what would you suggest to first-time attendees? If not, will you consider attending one?
Well I’ve been to several, and have volunteered for several too. I can say a lot of things to first-time attendees, like health, hygiene, being sensible with money, etc……but from a personal stand, my suggestion is not to bring a ‘free hugs’ sign. You will be labelled a weeb at first sight. And it’ll be your worst nightmare.
What are your opinions on anime reaction blogs, whose sole purpose is to post a controversial opinion for the sake of increasing their readership?
Well could you say I’m a little biased, considering I’ve turned this into a blog that bitches about anime I find damned awful?
I think it depends on how the writer writes their blog posts. Normal anime review sites can be fine enough, as it shows that every viewer has different ideas on the shows they watch, and pick out stuff others miss, and air what they think is stupid. The ‘news’ site Anime Maru is a blog I find amusing because it mixes current affairs with current anime trends to make articles and reports that look like something from The Onion. Sarcasm may be seen as the lowest form of wit, but there’s a serious lack of it in the aniblogging scene, so Anime Maru is something that’s certainly refreshing.
So I have no real qualms about blogs that want to increase readership by being controversial. I like to read variety when I look at anime blogs.
Nomination time. Part of the Sunshine Award rules: answering your five given questions, selecting some blogs you want to be nominated, and give them five questions.
Fantastic Memes: College kid humor. Plus a good fine mixture of opinions regarding current shows. And he translates novels.
Illogicalzen: I envy a lot of bloggers who go into great detail with their posts. This guy is one of them, and I’ve always liked when he waxes philosophical.
Beneath The Tangles: A look at anime from a Christian point-of-view, which is very interesting, as issues of spirituality, religion and mortality are brought parallel.
Narrative Investigations: Books, graphic novels, manga, artwork, all sorts. Anime isn’t the be-all and end-all, like people like to think.
…and my questions……
Is there any show/manga you like but was never entirely sure about the ending? If so, then what would you have done to change it?
Are you frustrated how online streamers don’t release the material you want?
Do you think the mainstream West will ever understand Japanese media?
Studios and mangaka who focus on school rom-coms and slice-of-life seem to want to release material that have tiny interesting ideas. If something that had lots of ideas (may they be good ones or bad ones, or a mixture of both), how would you react?
Do you think moe is dying? Or do you think it can be saved?
Spare a thought, won’t you? So many poor girls are being led down the golden path; that yellow brick road of fame and wealth and happiness. But spare a thought of what awaits them as they’re practicing their dance routines, their stretches, their singing and their smiles in their tiny mildew-infested sixth-floor studio. At middle-school age, these poor girls will be plucked from their vain and pathetic little lives and become superstars, where their fellow schoolmates will look down at them with pure jealousy and evil. Their families will be invaded by the paparazzi, demanding to know how their daughters like their beef cooked. And when they reach the age of 25, they will be shown the fire exit……or, if they’re smart…they’ll be able to write their own song, which is a one-hit wonder that disappears into nothing within a few months…at best.
The one very thing that we know about anime is that it has so many genres for every kind of anime fan. While my family and other non-otaku friends take a look at it and simply see cartoons (my parents in particular are guilty of that); something that doesn’t actually exist in RL and therefore cannot (in their own metaphorical words) as entertainment. I used to hate it when they said that, but then that’s pointless; each is to their own, of course.
Me? My tastes can go from school to romantic comedy to parody to magical girl. I mean, I can just take one glance at my animelist and see every show is, kind of, the same in terms of genre. Do I like every single show of that particular genre? Of course I don’t. Maybe I just have too many high standards; they specifically have to have this and have to specifically have that in order to make me even the slightest bit interested.