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Anime Bloggers: Wandering on the Edge of Adulthood?

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With the major upheaval at blogsuki still going on, I’m pondering a very related issue here, often discussed in anime and manga - Growing up.

The vast majority of anime bloggers are in their late teens or twenties, and this is the period when boys and girls grow into men and women. The transformations that take place during this period are drastic and everyone starts displaying certain traits and losing others.

The biggest change is probably the increased maturity bringing about an ability to look at an issue from multiple angles. This much-lauded trait reduces conflict and increases uniformity/peace. Those who present arguments solely from their angle are deemed "childish" and dismissed. Hot topics of discussion quickly extinguish due to everyone agreeing with each other. I find myself always falling into the trap of confusing "political correctness" and "maturity". Do I agree with the majority for fear of offending them if I do not? Or do I really agree with them?

Why am I talking about this? This is of course, related to the blogsuki fracas. There are too few dissenting voices on blogsuki, not just that, everywhere as far as anime blogging is concerned. I enjoy a multitude of opinions and a good verbal jousting now and then. But anime blogging simply does not provide this. Look at the sheer number of posts which agree with each other. The general trend nowadays is one of elitist uniformity, where everyone thinks they are correct and mature, and the few who disagree lack the mental capability to follow the former’s preferences. There was a post by Jeff Lawson on Lovehina and the collective opinions of people on it, entitled, "My favourite shows sucks.". In that article, he slams the general community for their "conventional wisdom".

I just proved my point on a lack of dissent by totally agreeing with that post. Anyway, I do feel this is the biggest problem plagueing the anime blog community, not an "oversaturation of blogs". There is no such thing as too many blogs. It is the monotony of uniformity that is the killer. I’m going slightly off course here and shall revert.

Hiding the Truth
Adulthood brings with it the inherent urge to avoid conflict. It is childish to fight, our parents chide. People would much rather suppress their true feelings just for peace and harmony. Kids do not feel this way and they regularly bare it all (hey lolicons) with reckless abandon. Look at the threads on Bleach and Naruto. Most anime bloggers, "mature", scoff at these posts. But I see one bright spark in them - Passion and Honesty. Hey that’s two bright sparks.

Raw passion wanes with age. A kid is more likely to go gaga fan mode than an adult. The adult will probably set up a site, gather some like-minded friends and discuss. A kid will go "COME ON UKIYA SHUN AND CLAUS!!! LAST EXILEEEEE IS THE BIBLE IN DISGUISE!!" or something. Both have their virtues but I’m lamenting the fact that many of us no longer show the passion buried deep inside by the rubble of growing up. A grown-up , faced with a situation where everyone thinks his favourite show sucks, will quietly sulk in a corner or just go along with the flow, influenced by others’ opinions. An anime blog is truly a weapon of mass influence, so we need our writers to display fervent passion that makes them not susceptible to outer pressures. It seems now, because all the blogs agree, all the readers agree. And the minority who don’t get stamped down or ridiculed. I have a friend, his name is Xak and he loves Mai-otome. In our real life anime circle, most of us do not like it and think it is what comes out of cows’ rectums.  What happens is, whenever he makes a comment about MO, the others bite into him like the plants of Jyu Oh Sei. So Xak soon stopped talking about MO. I would have much preferred it if he continued even if it causes the ire of the others.

Honesty is the other bright spot. We, readers, want to know bloggers’ true feelings! Not some politically correct, conflict avoiding, conformist article. I’m not sure if it’s intentional or are we really sheep with few individual opinions. Adults say stuff they think people want to hear. Kids say what they want to say. I know the price of honesty is high. It may cost you your place, your readership, your RSS listing, your reputation and even your pride when people do not agree with your honest opinions. But what good is a blog if all it has are yet more boot-licking content? We have all to behave like normal adults in real life so treat blogging as an escapade from it. At work, I constantly have to lie and manipulate my superiors so I get less work or looser deadlines. I also have to agree with them since I don’t want to spend 2 hours hearing them re-explaining why they are right. I no longer want to come back home, and spot the same attitude on blogs. I really admire honest people but they just do not survive in the real world. But on the blogging realm, they will. The most honest person is Hanai from School Rumble and he’s thought to be an idiot.  He should start a blog, "The Yakumon Love Love Page". It’ll be popular.

Tangible Stamps of Achievement
Adults also seek tangible ways to justify their efforts. In society, unlike what our teachers say, the end result is of absolute importance and processes don’t matter much. I’m sure when people cry for a "purer" approach to blogging, not caring for pagerank and readership, they mean a reversion to the age when fun was of top priority and nothing else mattered. However, realistically, this is no longer possible. Adults have a job, university which they cannot flunk because it affects their career, family matters and other issues that are really a hell lot more important than their hobbies. When they do take the time and effort to indulge in hobbies, adults will want some sort of tangible achievement besides the enjoyment they get. Take golfing as an example. Why don’t they just scrap the scoring system and just say, "Hey let’s play for fun! Points don’t matter, skill don’t matter. Our combined love for golfing brings us altogether!"

In the case of blogging, you can still see the above ring true. It’s pure idealism to think that you can have a mature and analytical blog that does not value its readership statistics. I may be cynical, but I certainly do not believe it totally when people say that they do not care about hits at all. They surely do, even if it’s to a lesser extent.

The youngest blogger I know of who maintains  a high standard is Darkmirage. This tinytot (15 when I first read his posts) is wise beyond his years and armed with skills many adults would dream to have. He seems more of an adult than a kid but he does show the kiddy attributes of honesty, passion when he blogs on Mai-otome, Lacus etc. Blended with more analytical posts on a variety of other topics, his blog is well-balanced and is one of the more unique ones out there.

The majority of youngsters however, possess the raw passion and honesty but lack the ability of thought and maturity to craft articles well. This is because of their age and I’m sure many of the "ZOMG NARUTO KING KING WINNNNNN BLEACH THE LAMME"  posters will graduate to create articulate and interesting blogs of their own someday. Or Not.

Conclusion
I feel old really. Yet at the age of 20, I’m in the process of losing my status as teen and expected to behave like a true adult, that is, a boring workaholic who drinks and plays golf. Reading pictorial books with cartoon girls, watching cartoons, playing with cartoon girls made into PVC figurines and now, killing virtual monsters and completing virtual quests in a fantasy online world, are not exactly things one expects an adult to do.

I’m sure ALL anime bloggers, with their undying love for "childish" things, can dig out the powerful values of honesty, bravery and passion,  and can unleash their very own unique opinions and say what they truly think in their hearts.

As I said in my previous post, this site will be undergoing a radical overhaul in terms of content packaging. Expect cruder terms and a complete lack of "safety pruning", the act of re-reading a post to spot for points that may incite hate or anger.

To mark this transformation, I proclaim what I think of that grossly overrated show - Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. C’mon fan boys, stop wetting your pants over it. It is not Eva standard, it isn’t even the best Haruhi show around, that title belongs to Ouran High School Host Club. Suzumiya may be God, but Fujioka Haruhi makes her look like Dog. Other than that excellent first 2 episodes, S Haruhi has been steadily in decline. The beach episode was rubbish. Even the much heralded animation is slipping. It is nothing worth drooling over. From this season alone, I can name 4 shows that easily surpass it. Ouran, Black Lagoon, Jyu Oh Sei and SR season 2 easily thrash S Haruhi to pieces. If the animation wasn’t done by Kyoani, if the designs weren’t Itoh Noiji, would S Haruhi even be 10% as big as it is now? It is pure fluff. The slick animation, fashionably moe/loli/tsundere/weird characters and the Winner of an ED propels it into the realm of Ultima Level Anime popularity but I am disgusted that it is supposed to be better than the NeoBible, Last Exile , Eureka seveN, Gatekeepers etc. It’s not a bad show but just overrated as much as Steven Gerrard is.

Oh please discuss.


Fujioka Good, Suzumiya Rubbish

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29 Responses to “Anime Bloggers: Wandering on the Edge of Adulthood?”  

  1. 1 Alex 26 comments

    I’ve taken on the stance of conceding the weaknesses of things that I like. I can understand that a lot of my tastes - City Hunter, Digimon - aren’t going to be held by the world at large. I worry about the passion dying sometimes, but you can always find something to rekindle it.

    I personally don’t see the point of dissing things all over the place on my blog because I prefer spending my time on things that I like doing. Even if I profess to dislike Kiba and Girls’ High I’m obviously still getting something out of them because my negative takes are actually a kind of fun.

    I think that the world works best when we each get something different out of everything. When I go to the movies with friends, I love discussing them. However, my friends aren’t really that talented at expressing their feelings about such things. They see anime as something to be watched and enjoyed, then forgotten.
    I live with an analytical mind, one that forces me to think about what I’m doing. This is why I could not enjoy Mission: Impossible III - it could not engage my brain in any form. You’ve got Black Lagoon on the other hand, which is supposed to be a mindless action anime, but it has appealing characters and subtle statements on the Japanese business system and an apt application of metaphor all over the shop.

    I’ve kind of started using my own blog as a platform to express my previously non-existent political views through the spectrum of what has happened in a given episode, and I think I’ve become very critical of the horrible pandering that the industry performs for its fans. They’re frequently not innovating, but reinventing a wheel that’s still a wheel, but more wheelie than ever before. If a fan loves wheels, we’ll give them bigger and more wheels, and we’ll point out how contrived the wheel situation is to give us free reign over our unimaginitiveness!
    Okay, that wheel analogy made progressively less sense; it’s quarter to midnight here.

    The point is, some people can’t engage on multiple levels. They will see “melon-pan” and see only that, not realising that the studios are taking their (metaphorical) money by simultaneously making fun of them and giving them what they want.

    I think that ultimately the joke is on us, and that we must wring whatever entertainment that we can get out of this situation, while recognising that it is a situation. I don’t like to think of myself as a cynic, but I can call a spade a spade. If I like something, I like it. If I don’t like something, I write it off and walk away. Or come right back to it again and again …

    Anyway, if you blog status quo lies, what’s the point of blogging at all? That’s when you really are just adding to the noise. We are all delicate and unique snowflakes, damnit, so let’s try to capitalise on that!

    (I lost my point about seven paragraphs ago; sorry!)

  2. 2 kwok 51 comments

    Stop bitching about being dropped from blogsuki and move on.

    On another note, you shouldn’t diss melancholic Haruhi because it has very suitable lessons for the average fanboy. The problem is that the average fanboy will not understand what the message behind melancholic Haruhi is. You’re dissing it because you’re just sour over what’s going on.

    And stop saying Last Exile is the Bible.

  3. 3 tj_han 921 comments

    Omg Alex your comment is the longest ever here. It’s almost longer than the post itself.

    Anyway Last Exile is not the Bible, it is going to replace it. Just like how the men of Jupiter study Gekiganger 3 as their religious text.

    Anyway, Haruhi is good but not as great as people say it is. I’m just making an example out of it. Yeah it has secret references, lessons and all but that’s about it. I haven’t read the novels so I’m just talking about the anime.

    Hey I’m not bitching about blogsuki am I? Maybe I didn’t put the point across. I was just thinking how as adults now (sort of), our speech patterns and everything is changing. And I realised this is part of the equation when it comes to anime blogging.

    And I just received 2 new figs so this will be the last post on the issue ever.

  4. 4 tj_han 921 comments

    I forgot to respond to Alex.

    I’m not advocating dissing per se but rather a freeer form of expression. Like we don’t have to quietly mention that we watch Fighting Beauty Uuron and hide in shame, but we can make a big post about why Fighting Beauty is a great show. (It isn’t though). Dissing things are just one of the many forms of expression.

    Frankly, I’m just plain sick of people agreeing everywhere. Kwok and Alex here have kickstarted the debate well.

    Btw Last Exile is amazing.

  5. 5 suguru 8 comments

    I think you’re overrating adults a little–I’m 32 and believe me, I’ve seen plenty of 40-50 year old CIOs and executives who throw tantrums in meetings like they’re five. I had a manager who used to throw staplers across the room when he was pissed off (fortunately they were never aimed at people, but it wouldn’t have surprised me if one day he did). My wife works at a company where her boss’s boss is so reviled for not being able to communicate or compromise with anyone that three people reporting to her have quit in the last week. Yes, adults are “supposed” to be more mature, but to be honest I think a bunch of 40-year-olds would get in the same debates as we’re seeing on BlogSuki now, minus maybe the more blatant name-calling.

    I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with people agreeing that they like a show, though–it’s just natural that the more popular shows will see a lot of agreement. When it’s a show I don’t like, I get sick of it too–hell, it seems like everyone on Earth raves about Eva, and frankly I wasn’t impressed with it at all. But that’s not a problem with too much agreement, that’s my problem with Eva in particular. It’s just a function of my personal taste, I generally dislike giant robot shows and it doesn’t take much for me to see a series crossing the line from good drama to whiny melodrama. I love Haruhi, but that’s partly BECAUSE it’s fluff–after a long day at work, if watching it puts a smile on my face, it’s a good series in my book, and I really couldn’t care less about its depth. I love Urusei Yatsura too, and no one ever accused it of being a bold statement on the weaknesses of the human condition.

    I think anyone, Jeff included, gets irritated when you hate a show everyone else raves about, or (in the case of Amaen-da-I-can’t-remember-how-to-spell-it with Jeff) there’s a show you like that everyone else slams on. I guess I’ve learned to accept that’s just the way it is–the majority of fandom will love Eva although I don’t, and the majority of fandom will see Urusei Yatsura and Pretty Sammy as “old school” and not worth a glance. But in the end, so what? Everyone has different tastes–while the MAJORITY of anime fans may like one show or another, if you put 100 fans in a room I don’t think you could get a unanimous opinion on ANY series. Pick any show you like and at least one of those hundred fans will hate it, and vice versa.

    Anime is just too broad a medium for everyone to agree on everything, even though it seems like it sometimes when 20 people are blogging Haruhi. I think blogging makes it appear there’s more agreement than there actually is in the “community”–for example, Haruhi blog entries are likely to be read by…well, Haruhi fans, so of course the comments you see on those will be mostly positive. I don’t read blog entries for series I don’t like, since I just don’t have an interest in them. But if I read the comments on Haruhi blog entries or Shana blog entries I’d think everyone on Earth loved them, which just isn’t true.

    I’m rambling now but I remember a quote saying something along the lines of “I only became an adult when I stopping worrying about what was childish” and I think that’s very true. I’m married, have a mortgage, etc., but I love anime and I’m pretty sure I always will. To me, it’s the best entertainment medium there is, and while some shows I like and some I don’t, life is too short to NOT watch anime. See, us eldery folk can ramble too…unfortunately, now I have to get back to work…

  6. 6 Anga 16 comments

    I don’t know, if i try to write “show x sucks”-post i have to justify why it sucks. And that takes time. I don’t feel it’s worth it and in the end just ignore 95% bad stuff and write how something totally kicks ass. Haruhimania right now is good example, i am already so tired reading how awesome it’s and writing myself about it is last thing i want to do.

  7. 7 suguru 8 comments

    >I may be cynical, but I certainly do not believe it totally when people say that they do not care about hits at all. They surely do, even if it’s to a lesser extent.

    Argh, forgot one more thing I was going to say–I can say with certaintly I don’t care about hits because I don’t track them at all. I tried SiteMeter for a month but turned it off when I caught myself looking at the stats each day and thinking “hmmm, today dropped off, I need to post something.” For me that was an epiphany–I have a job already, I don’t need a second one. I want to blog for fun, just for the love of anime, when I want to and not for the sake of getting more pageviews (half of which are probably bad google searches anyway). I sincerely beleive anime bloggers would have more fun if they didn’t track their stats and stopped obsessing over pageviews–just write what you want to and have fun, after all life is too short to make a hobby into work.

  8. 8 Skane 57 comments

    I do not mind if people diss an anime series, since it is different strokes for different folks. I do however, very much prefer if they explain properly why they hold that viewpoint.

    To provide an alternative viewpoint, I have a friend who does not enjoy SHaruhi( the antithesis of the point of your friend that likes Mai-Otome). Unlike me, he does not like to engage his brain much when watching anime. He prefers straightforward comedies like School Rumble, Love Hina, Ouran High~, etc… Sweet stuff like Lamune, Full Moon, Happy Lesson, etc… Ecchi stuff like Green Green; and yes, action anime like Black Lagoon.

    He does not like the following. SHaruhi, Ergo Proxy, Fate/Stay Night, RahXephon, Rozen Maiden, etc…

    I on the other hand, did not like Lamune, Green Green, etc…

    Each time we meet, we would exchange the same dialogue. He would pester me to watch Lamune, and I would pester him to watch RahXephon. ;) Both of us in the knowing that Hell would freeze over first before either happen.

    Yet, the one thing that remains constant, and the point that I wish to highlight, is that we are pretty civil in our disagreement. I do not flame Lamune for not being to my liking, and neither does he bash what he dislikes unreasonably. Instead, we both make efforts to explain why we do not like a particular anime.

    Shouting, “NGEvangelion sucks to the max!” means nothing to me. Explaining why you dislike NGEvangelion on the other hand, encourages intelligent and healthy debates( trolls non-withstanding). How does one begin to respond to the former? His simplistic view simply does not compel me to reply( ergo, waste of my time). The latter however, has presented a rational explanation. I am therefore able to make a coherent reply( whether in agreement or not).

    This is one of the reasons why my current favourite blog is Hop Step Jump! by Jeff Lawson. The nature of his entries is good for lengthy discussions, which is what I like. Random curiosity is another blog that I enjoy reading, due to the detailed episodic summaries, but I am rather apprehensive of posting there, due to the sheer number of “Me, me too!” posts( sometimes I get the feeling that they are bots, not posters…).

    How about animeblogs that have episodic reviews that can still encourage paragraphic( may not actually be a word) comments? I can think of three, but the one I shall highlight is Hontou ni Taihen desu. His episodic reviews are more comment than summary, and his wacky ways encourages equally wacky replies. Not to mention that his entries are peppered with unanswered questions that prompt readers to answer them.

    How about Sea Slugs! Anime Blog? Some of their reviews are pretty damning of some anime series, but they do so in a non-flamy way. At the end of each series, they make a conclusion entry that covers the pros and cons of an anime series, and they do so with rapier wit and flair. In some cases, their entries entertained me more than the actual series itself.

    ~~~~ ~~~~

    In conclusion, being an adult does not mean that you have to be a sheep. There are mutiple ways of disagreeing in a mature way. Age has nothing to do with it, as you have already pointed out.

    Debate, not argue.

    Explain, not declare.

    Disagree, not rebel.

    Rationality, not implusiveness.

    As a fellow resident of Singapore, I shall use the following metaphor for people who wish to go against the norm. Remember, it is just a metaphor, not a political statement. ;)
    “Be a Chiam See Tong, not a Chee Soon Juan.”

    Cheers.

  9. 9 DrmChsr0 157 comments

    I agree with many of the points.

    Now then, about Suzumiya Haruhi…

    If the entire fucking Akihabara district is going gaga over SuzuHaru and friends, 2ch reporting 20K SuzuHaru threads within two weeks(Fate, on the Other hand, took 2 months to rack up that much), then we must investigate this phenonmenon.

    This involves me summoning a tentacle monster from some other region. God Help Me.

    As for me, I’m utterly random and a little crazy, but I do have an analytical and logical mind. It’s what keeping me from flipping out.

    Now, while Haruhi may never reach the high levels set by Last Exile(I highly doubt any show can reach the levels of Last Exile), It’s still pretty popular, no matter how you hate it. Hell, while I enjoy Haruhi like most people, it took a litle association to breach the barriers (HEAR THAT KYOANI, SEND IN NANOHA AND FRIENDS). And I’m still not all that convinced that SuzuHaru is superior(As seen in my blog).

    Hell, I think Mushishi is a whole lot better than Haruhi. I mean, any series that does not make me instantly think of teh yaoi deserves a lot of attention.

  10. 10 T_T||| 472 comments

    Hmmm… On one hand, because I love to troll blogs and diss whatever I dilike personally, which makes me a kid in your terms, I am being consoled that I am being honest. On the other hand, a 20 year old being called a kid doesn’t feel good.

    Yeah and fuck blogsuki kudasai. Your blog is of substance, you don’t need a RSS aggregator to get you traffic or readership. Kwok’s doing well with his blog. My own blog has less visitors since last October till now than your traffic in a day. But do I care? I still blog as if millions are reading. lol. If blogging in English is the way to get readership, I’d rather not have the readership. Don’t alter your way of writing on purpose because of the surroundings. Blog it your way.

    P.S. Haruhi rocks. It might not be EVA standard and the animation in episode 6 dropped, but it’s far more entertaining and intriguing than HSG or Rasengan-ing a piece of dough.

  11. 11 tj_han 921 comments

    Thanks Suguru for the insights! I suppose I was referring to a more generic type of adult. You know, the “ideal” one. Or a stereotypical one. I was just reminded of how some 30 year olds drive at 140 km/h and then swing baseball bats at those who horn at them. Let’s just leave those out of the equation.

    So I was cynical after all and there are good people out there who don’t care about their pageviews. Hmm maybe I shall try your approach for a while and see how it goes. But to me, it’s sort of like taking a test and not knowing the grade. Which I actually did… I never did find out my Japanese test results for the recent course I took. And it still bugs me today.

    And actually I just used Eva as an example. My favourite shows are Last Exile and Gatekeepers but they are not widely known to be great shows.

    You make a very good point when you said that the number of agreements is less than what it seems, because only people interested in say Haruhi will view haruhi posts and agree with stuff. I assumed that forums are more open than anime blogs when it comes to debate.

    Anga: I write about stuff that come to mind. Normally I update at 7 pm after work, but I get all my ideas while in the shower so I just write anything that pops up in my head then. It’s time saving because then my brain isn’t idle during the shower. It’s become a daily ritual. So if I’m having negative thoughts about a show while in the shower, I write a negative post. And why is it more difficult to justify why something is bad rather than good? Isn’t it the same?

    And finally, I like fluffy shows too because it’s a lot less taxing after work. That may possibly explain why I still follow Magical Pokaan.

  12. 12 jpmeyer 68 comments

    Did somebody say…PASSION?

    I think part of the problem with dissent is that if you don’t like something, you’re probably going to drop it. I thought Shana was dreadfully boring and stopped watching it, then started watching it again because people kept raving about it, and then forced myself to watch the last couple eps just so I could write about it, but quite frankly since I didn’t really care, I didn’t have much to say.

    That said, when you do get to dissent, you’d be surprised who comes out of the woodwork, like when I said that the first half of Gundam Seed Destiny was the second best Gundam show. Of course, is it still dissent then or another “me too!” bandwagon? If you’re really dissenting, you’ll frequently just get ignored. Like when I proclaim my love for Pretty Cure.

  13. 13 tj_han 921 comments

    Yes Jpmeyer I ignore your Pretty Cure posts.

    Hey I don’t hate Haruhi. I do watch it, I like some bits but it’s in the “I’ll carry on in case something good happens” category. As for Shana, I demand my time back.

    Skane! Great comment. I enjoyed reading it. Actually my evil plan to foster discussion has succeeded anyway. And the fact that you and your friend both actively promote various anime even if you both know its futile, is a sign of passion isn’t it?

    Of course there’s no point in declaring something without an explanation. Doing that would be a playground brawl “u sux I am better than u.” Adding an explanation would be “u sux i am better than u because my daddy genetically modified my genes when I was a zygote to give me unlimited hit points, permanant youth, supersonic speed and the figure of Tifa.”

    The blogs you list are all good ones which I frequent as well. It helps that Zyl is from Singapore too.

    Finally, DmChrso, you have been crowned most random commentor ever. I think you are also the first to mention the words “tentacles” and “other region” in a sentence together. Lol.

    T_T||| also wins an award for most vulgarities accumulated in total. I am a level 8 Troll Hunter on WoW, I hunt you.

  14. 14 Anga 16 comments

    Maybe it’s just me. But when i see something good it’s much easier to explain hours how i like heroine’s earring. With not so good stuff, i usually just think “this is boring” and move on without particularly thinking why it’s boring.

  15. 15 Michael 23 comments

    You said that Gundam Seed Destiny was the second best Gundam show? I completely disagree with that.

    GUNDAM SEED DESTINY SPOILERS!!!

    The characters in GSD:
    A. Are one-dimensional (Shinn)
    B. Don’t develop (as in, undergo any maturation or character changes) over the course of the series until the last episode (Athrun)
    C. Don’t even make anything but five second appearances until half-way through the series, and then suddenly return to center stage because the original main character is a whiny bitch (Kira replacing Shinn).
    D. Undergo the most random personality changes to suddenly become the reincarnated form of the villain of the last series (Rey)
    E. Receive a completely unwarranted “tribute episode” after they die…which happens to be one of the most cliche death events in the history of anime (Meer Campbell)

    END SPOILERS!!!

    So, that’s why GSD is at best a mediocre show populated by poorly developed characters. The only thing that GSD did well was to create a moment during each episode (usually starting about a minute before the episode ended) and make it the most emotionally compelling minute ever. However, in order to hit that last minute, you had to wade through incredibly monotonous, repetitive conversations (”I am so annggggrrrryyyyy!!!” - Shinn). It just isn’t worth it - and I actually watched the whole series.

    The best Gundam series/movie was Char’s Counterattack. The second best was Gundam 0083 (except for the plastic romance between Kou and Nina).

    And if Last Exile is the Bible, then Alex Rowe is Jesus…for blatantly obvious imagery in the last episode or two. Sorry I didn’t really respond to the post, but I had to write about GSD.

  16. 16 tj_han 921 comments

    I SAID NO SUCH THING!! Where did you read that I thought GSD was the 2nd best Gundam Show?? Hell no I never said that!!! Now that is one claim I have to refuse with all my might.

    The best gundam was 08th MS team and the 2nd best is MS Igloo. Then the rest aren’t too fantastic anymore.

    I think Ukiya Shun is Jesus. I have to get a copy of Gatekeepers 1985 and translate it so you guys can find out why.

    And to conclude, I never said I thought GSD was the 2nd best series. You must have read wrongly. I said something like I enjoyed the first 20 eps of Seed D.

  17. 17 Xak 64 comments

    Well actually I gave up on proclaiming my like for Mai Otome just so we could have peace and quiet. I still love it, in spite of all the faults it has. Personally, I don’t care what people think of what I watch. If I like it, that’s all that matters, right? I don’t have to bow to pressure and do a 180 degree change of view. But then again I will give every argument due consideration, and if it is true, I will acknowledge it, but that doesn’t mean that I have to change my viewpoint. Like Mai Otome for example. I know the plot is not spectacular, and that a lot of fanservice was included, and that the ending was rather cheesy and felt kind of rushed. But I enjoyed it nonetheless, and that is all that matters to me. And luckily I have such an attitude, or else I’d be guilted to death. I still love Belldandy and Chi, and no matter what I still think Magic Knight Rayearth was quite good. And so what if I’m labeled as simply a mahou shoujo fan? It is true I still prefer magical girl shows to mecha but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate both. That is what I don’t like about showing off passion; people start to stereotype you and the shows you watch. Though that shouldn’t really bother you, the ensuing discussions might since they would tend to degenerate into ranting sessions, just like when I try to explain that despite Mai Otome’s numerous flaws, there are some gems within that, in my opinion, outweigh the flaws, making the show enjoyable, I used to get shouted down by the rest. Thankfully, my standards are abysmally low, so I can watch anything and proclaim it superb and wonderful. Another reason why I don’t want to display my former levels of passion is because I would be asked why am I taking time to watch lousy shows like Mai Otome and Strawberry Panic instead of watching great shows like Last Exile, Tsukihime and Full Metal Panic.

    Ok that was quite random I don’t know what point I was trying to make, if any at all. Anyway I too agree with you with regards to Suzumiya Haruhi. I do think it is a great anime and one of the best in this season, but it is way over hyped beyond its actual level of quality. Though I wouldn’t say Ouran High School Host Club is definitely better, I do know that I enjoy both, together with Utawarerumono, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Disgaea, Himawari and ARIA the NATURAL, as my top favourites of the recent onslaught of new anime. So I resolve to be more objective in my assessment of anime and not be swayed (too much) by popular feelings. Like I still do not like the first episode of Suzumiya Haruhi, though I can appreciate how relevant and good it was.

  18. 18 tj_han 921 comments

    Hey you read this, Xak? I’m pleasantly surprised.

    Anyway, being judged is inevitable when you stand in the limelight. That’s a reason why people shun it by going with the flow.

    I think in terms of music, sheer entertainment and likeable characters, Ouran beats SuzuHaru hands down. Shissou is a great song. But the first episode of SuzuHaru was pure genius.

    Btw Disgaea is really rotten isn’t it? HAHAH. It’s probably one of the worst anime I’ve watched and it butchers the game completely. Fight back.

  19. 19 Michael 23 comments

    In regards to GSD - I was actually responding to jpmeyer’s comment that he had, at one point, said that GSD was the best Gundam series ever. Glad to see you agree with me with such intensity, though.

  20. 20 tj_han 921 comments

    Oh my mistake then. 2 comments were made from the time you started typing till the moment you pressed submit. I’m sure everyone’s pretty edgy about being accused of liking Seed D. My workplace has a internal forum which has an anime and manga subforum. The most popular threads are of course Bleach and Naruto but the Gundam Seed D one ranks third. One thing that GSD was amazingly powerful at was marketing. They created a mass legion of fanboys and girls who snapped up merchandise like an Eva uses battery power. You have to respect the creators who managed to garner such a fanbase using the same old animation clips, same character faces and just variations of Gundam models.

    A funny anecdote to share:

    After Seed had finished and before Destiny started, I liked Seed a lot and purchased some of its model kits and figurines. My non-anime friends were intrigued as well and I kept telling them that Seed was great. "Yeah Gundam Seed is really good you guys should watch it! It’s much better than even Kenshin!"

    Fast forward a year. I hadn’t seen most of them since they were in basic military training while I was posted to be a news writer. And when we met up again, they casually asked me, "Hey remember you said Seed was good? Now that we have time, why don’t you lend us the show and the second season (Destiny) too?"

    I then did what I did for the above post. "NOOOO SEED SUCKS it’s really bad, I never said it was good!!" My friends were all shocked and confused by the 180 degree change of stance. I quickly changed the subject because it was embarrassing to talk about Seed D. It’s like getting caught taking voyeur pictures of a deformed cow’s genitals.

    So the point of the story is, I used to like Seed but please do not remind me of the dark days.

  21. 21 Hopeless 18 comments

    Wonderful, wonderful post.

    The trouble with dissenting or following the trend is that while there is an infinite range theoretically of opinions, realistically you are either going to agree, disagree or fall into ” the “no comment” box. Hence, while one could state the overwhelming love of Haruhi Suzumiya as trend-following by some, the question remains as to who started that trend in the first place, and if the show’s unbelievable success can mainly be attributed to the quality of the show. (for the record, my opinions on the show are similar to yours - I adored it at first, but recent installments have just been good rather than skyscrapping masterpieces of modern anime storytelling, even if I really liked the murder mystery set-up of episode 6).

    As for the topic of youth, I’m, shall we say, underage myself, but I’m probably not imbued with the ability to blatantly state “I think show X is worse than *infinitly awful act Y*.” I have passion for anime, and do sometimes express my intense dislike for a show, but generally I’ve had pretty vague, average opinions in the past. I have childish bursts, and at the moment I am on a snarkcasm tangent. The style of my blogging is the result of how I feel after the episode; if I’m completely blown away, I won’t hestitate to exclaim “best episode of all time ever” (generally applicable to every SR or Ouran episode this season, and Mushishi in earlier months), but I hardly ever feel that way.

    My opinions are mainly (I’d like to think) personal , but there could well be an element influenced by others in there. Oddly, though, I find that as I have moved marginally closer to the end of childhood, I have enfound I care less about masking what I think to appease others. I dislike Evangelion, for example, but when I first entered the online anime community, I would not seek to express what I really thought; it took a while for me to even say I didn’t think Evangelion was as great as the majority believe it is. It is only lately I’ve really felt like I can exclaim that actually, I believe Evangelion is an insipid pile of trash and then back it up with my own evidence and views, and Jyo-oh-sei, which seems to be getting mainly possible reviews at the moment, is a throwaway title.

    I’ll stop now, since I’m beginning to rant on a bit, but my main point is that I feel like I am becoming less and less conformist and more passionate as I age, be that just a handful of years.

    And Last Exile is not the new Bible - Gankutsuou should take that tistle. Actually, considering my opinion of the Bible, perhaps High School Girls should take its place. :P

  22. 22 Stripey 41 comments

    Actually I’m rather suprised at your claims that anime blogsphere is in a sense conformist or of a herd mentality because I have always thought the strength of the anime blogsphere was diversity. There are sufficient opposing perspectives on every anime if one trawl the blogs. You mention Zyl and he’s a solid example of one who is unabashedly frank about anime. He often offer counterperspectives and vigourously debate from his point of view. There are many in the blogsphere like him (well, he was convenient to quote since you mention him and I know him personally. :P)

    These bloggers don’t just have passion. They have the literary skills and keen mind to back up their arguments. (Crap, I hope this doesn’t like up I’m buttering up to Zyl LOL!) That brings me to what sets a ‘mature’ blogger apart. Someone who is able put strength behind his words not because they’re louder or vulgar but because it makes sense in his context. IE he is able to justify it and he adds value to the discussion. As opposed to the “GSD sucks so you suck” kind of argument.

    Have faith, there are many very excellent bloggers with backbone and sharp minds to check out (not mine though, you may be disappointed at the mindless fanboyism). After all, the whole anime blog biz to for us to express anime love and to add to that vibrant/bustling anime scene so that more unsuspecting folks would be infected with anime related afflictions like buying figures. :P

    Btw I’m really looking forward to the reviews of your new figures. :) Keep writing!

  23. 23 FFox 2 comments

    The Haruhi vs Haruhi thing? since you want a discussion on it, I guess I’ll try to talk about them.

    But first:

    Looking back before this anime rape of Spring 2006 started, looking what these fanboys was going on about: SR season 2 seem to got some hype (mainly due to how kick ass the ova i think), Nana and XXXHOLiC looked like they was going to be the break out anime of that time and I though that Black Lagoon was going to be that crazy ass OTT John Woo Acton that I haven seen for a bit.

    Now? SR season 2 had started good, but now I feel is getting a bit carp. XXXHOLiC aired in 4:3 losing it’s movie “wow” and the anime did not feel like it’s manga sexy or dark overtones which I feel the movie had (and Watanuki bitchs and acts like a 5 old kid too much for my liking). Nana seems too slow (which is fair, unlike say FSN), so the best may still to come and that’s also goes for Black Lagoon (which only a bit of the OTT Acton I was looking for).

    The 2 Haruhis came out of nowhere, Haruhi S didn’t even show up until the end of ep 1 (which was so wtf was going on) and big up her movie with a lot tech mess and plotholes. Haruhi F on the other hand, looked like a boy at first but is found out to be a girl (does this sound like something I seen before, ahhhh fuck it) and takes the piss out of the mess she found herself in.

    Wait a min, is that what Kyon does in the SOS dan?

    That what I find so funny, Haruhi F is not so diffrent from Kyon, only that one is a cool girl and one is a normal joe. In saying that, Both Kyon and Haruhi F seem to have gotten themselves in a very “fluffy” mess, but most (fan)girls I think would kill to be in Haruhi F shoes, I can’t say the same for Kyon.

    So, I guess Ouran uses of fluff like cool/kid/cold shit aimed at (fan)girls, is set in what seem to be a pink/yellow/roses/unreal place and done by the lovely art masters Bones to boot?

    Maybe I should go: I’m disgusted that it is supposed to be better than killer lolis, Ginko Pimp, H&C, Osaka and her m8’s.

    But yeah I guess they are not bad I guess, but I do know that I hate typing rants out… I’m no blogger, FFox out (E3!!!E3!!!E3!!!)

    P.S “Did God, Buddha, Allah and Ukiya Shun get together to create Last Exile?”
    You sound like those “OMG Haruhi is god” fans.

  24. 24 Xak 64 comments

    Haha T_Tlll pointed it out to me. Since I’m mentioned I’m kind of obligated to reply. :P
    Firstly, I will refrain from commentint about Ouran’s music. Because I’ve been skipping the OP and ED so I haven’t really heard enough to have a proper opinion of it. But nothing beats the Mai HiME OSTs in my opinion. They are simply damn well made. Perfect at conveying the desired mood, especially with Mezame and Enishi.

    Disgaea is funny and enjoyable. That’s why I like it. I don’t care if the characters are drawn badly or anything else. I watch simply because the characters are lovable (Flonne-chan!) and entertaining (Prinnies!). For such an anime, stuff like music and animation quality are just icing on the cake. So take your cake and eat it! (Ok that was just for being lame) Btw I’ve never seen the game so I can’t compare.

    And right before I went to sleep, after I’d turned off my com, I realised what point I was trying to make in my previous comment. But now that I’ve woken up I forgot it again. XD

  25. 25 T_T||| 472 comments

    Xak, if you forgot your point, post your vector.

  26. 26 tj_han 921 comments

    Assuming both shows are lighthearted and comedic, (Haruhi S does have a bit more substance deep down), I’ll judge them based on just the level of pure entertainment provided. And F Haruhi wins.

    For SR 2, it may be a comedy, but the elements of romance are the main meat of the series, and the comedy just makes it very great to watch. The immense details of every character and their actions in SR leaves room for a lot of character analysis. Check out the WF forums and notably Swampstorm’s posts for a good example.

    Anyway the poll question is of course, an exaggeration joke. Try not to take it too seriously. Do the people who voted for monkeys made it, really think monkeys made it?

  27. 27 kokanaden™ 175 comments

    I think I am one of the last few to pen my thoughts on your article tjhan. My 2 cents worth:

    Personally, I feel that you’re reading too deeply into the whole fracas. The internet is in essence, an eworld. Who the fuck cares if blogsuki drops you from the list if your site is really good? If it is THAT good, your site will still continue having loads of good hits. However, as I told you the last time, if you think blogsuki is a piece of crap, then start an alternative to challenge blogsuki’s supremacy (is it that supreme in the first place?). I concede it’ll take alot of effort, but hey, if you’re passionate about it, sex can last for hours too.

    As for the part on following trends, all I can say is that it is human nature to try to influence and resist influence. For example, I was never a fan of anime (just the occasional episode here and there on arts central on wed-fri nights), until T_T||| introduced me to the wider world out there. Since then, I’ve been watching anime, but of course, I’ve been pressured (influenced) by various others to stop watching/watch more anime. I’ve ignored both. The thing is, if you think it is really good, then say its good. The fact is, influence occurs only when you allow it to affect you (which i think you’re smart enough to avoid). Most people agree/disagree not because they really have an opinion, but because they do not want to be singled out for criticism/attention.

    I think the summary to my post is: Just do it. If you think it sucks, so what? Be a Xak and stick to your guns to the end. I may get ridiculed about liking Mitsuki/Bai Su through and through all the time, but i don’t flinch, and they have all given up trying to dissuade me, or getting me to watch more anime/less anime anymore.

    “Stand tall, stand proud,
    Dissenting voices are crying out loud”

  28. 28 FFox 2 comments

    From your post and some others I have look at, I kind of miss those deep ed type post on some bloggers and e-mags like www.animefringe.com which steps back from their anime fanboy view and looks at it from a another stand point. But doing things like takes time and energy, many people rightly have other things in life which take up those things or find it more fun by going with the flow and see where it takes them. Most of the blog today are like this due to these factors, most people would choose to see the good than force themselfs to dig so far to maybe find nothing.

    Still its good to see people try to break out of that mold, otherwise we just see mindless fanboys and fangirls go on and on…

    I can see why Haruhi F show may be more fun than the SOS dan show. It is very mindless and very self piss taking show, there is no real questons to be asked, the fans can do what ever they what with the characters due to the lack of detail (unlike as you say in SR), all very good fun.

    The guys going the SOS dan show are trying to mess it up, starting with that ep 1 which makes you think it’s a one off OVA, then try to mess with you by jumping all over it’s timeline of events and by in doing that, shows you sides of the character it’s really all about: Haruhi S, get you to, like it or not, ask the queston “who is this madwoman?”.

    For me, this gives Haruhi S over Haruhi F (who really could really easly be a side character in the SOS dan) and makes her stand out more than the rest at this time (like Osaka was) hate it or love it.

    Some of SR 2 characters are making me watch on, but the romance and the comedic with some of characters are getting dry, good thing they go off from the manga style and give some oddball comedic at times.

    Fanboying is Fanboying, I had to point it out in that vote, monkeys lol.

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