12 Days of Something IV: Shirobako, Quitting One’s Job and The Greater Economy

shirobako11aOver the past few episodes of Shirobako, a show about a group of girls trying to make it in the world of anime production, there has been a pretty surprising theme. Quitting a job is a perfectly fine thing to do in pursuing one’s passions. At the same there’s some risk involved in doing that for at least 1 of the people who did it as well as someone still considering quitting their own different job.

I bring this up because it’s had a bit of an impact on my own life. In order for that to be the case I’ve really had to have been thinking about this for a while. You see, basically I’ve been trying to rationalize reasons why I continue in my own job. I think many people out there do this as well, but they have perfectly legitimate reasons for staying. However, I’m in a point in my life where I can probably do something else with my own life.

Shirobako simply brought up my own thoughts on wanting to quit my job. For the first time in my adult life it feels like the job market out there is good enough to take a chance. I think I can pursue happiness away from this demographically cursed part of the country and start anew. Even the number of people quitting their jobs around the country is growing and that is a good sign.

So in the coming year I will try to pursue my happiness. It will hopefully take me somewhere that I don’t feel constantly cold, alone and with little prospect of changing. I just needed a group of people involved in animation production that like Ideon a little too hard.

 

12 Days of Something IV: FOOOOTTTBAAAL and Fuck Tom Brady

During the NFL season, there is a group conversation a bunch of anime/sports fans have as the games are going on Sunday afternoons. There’s even a fantasy football league that is in it’s third season. I thought I did alright, but I didn’t make it to this week’s championship game as everyone really wants to be. But that’s not the part any of you care about, it’s the team names:

ff2014_tableThis end of regular season look doesn’t include the period when team names were changed to mock someone who actually liked the ending of Kimikiss. Who really liked Mao at the end of that series anyway?

I really don’t want to relive getting dumped out in humiliating fashion by Kelloggs, so instead, I will just provide some highlights of these conversations. Which include making fun of tweets like this:

Heralding the birth of the greatest trophy in the history of college football:

Mocking Kobe Bryant’s shot selection as he tried to pass Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list:

Laughing at the University of Michigan’s football team:

Strong takes

My favorite Breaking Madden gifs of the year:

And as always, completely out of context anime screenshots:

12 Days of Something IV: Ladies versus Butlers Will End You

Because I clearly don't get enough mileage out of LvB

Because I clearly don’t get enough mileage out of LvB

So a couple months back as I had been part of the recording of the fall season previews for the Friday Anime Podcast an idea was born out of pure stupidity. Kelloggs, who was also a part of this had regaled us for a while of stories about getting unusual people to watch harem anime. The end result of this was a set of rules for consuming alcohol to a bunch of harem tropes. While keeping in mind that this was built with To-Love Ru: Darkness in mind, Kelloggs, Aeroblip and I were set to try this on Hagure Yuusha no Aesthetica. Plans were made, then Kelloggs had other stuff to do. So in a moment of stupidity, and because it’s my most popular post on the blog, I suggested trying it out on the first episode of Ladies versus Butlers. Not the greatest idea.

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12 Days of Something IV: Life Lessons from Ecchi Manga

This is the start of something.

This is the start of something.

As I’ve covered the last two years, I tend to read manga that is pretty terrible and shouldn’t really exist. I don’t feel bad for doing it even though I am bad for it and should feel bad. I can’t help but think that it was still a pretty good year regardless from the manga that I do read, though without a doubt you will not think for one second to pick up any of these.

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12 Days of Something IV: A Ranking of Anime I Want to Watch But Would Probably Regret

horizon_header_gifThere are any number of shows that I really do want to watch, but for some reason I never get around to watching. These shows are invariably terrible, but there’s just something that draws me in, but not quite.

1. Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere
2. Golden Boy
3. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
4. Evangelion 2.0 (I actually have a copy that has been sitting unwatched on a bookshelf for almost 2 years)
5. Nozaki-kun
6. Baccano
7. Log Horizon
8. Yuruyuri Season 2
9. One Outs
10. Aria the Animation
11. Code Geass R2
12. Toradora
13. Getting Hit By a Car: The Animation


14. Kill La Kill
15. Space Dandy

12 Days of Something IV: Anime Burnout the 2nd Edition

Last year as part of this series, I ran a post where I decided to write about the experience of watching as many random shows as possible in a single day until I felt burned out. So once again I will be using a random number generator to go through the catalogue of a certain large streaming site where the number of available series has increased significantly over the past year. Instead of 269 to choose from it is now 478. That number will actually be fewer that that since I will not be watching anything I have already completed, and I will be picking up from the last episode after dropping it. I’m going to need a bit of help getting back after this.

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12 Days of Something IV: 12 Years and Finding Oneself

nourin12bThe 5th of June 2002, early morning Central Time, watching a sporting event half a world away more in hope than anything else. I was on summer break from school at that point so I could afford to be awake at whatever time I wanted. The event I was watching was the United States versus Portugal match to open group play at the World Cup from Suwon, South Korea. While it’s nice enough to talk about that particular match in the context of the result and how it came to pass, I’m going to take a different angle on this.

It’s been over 12 and a half years since the match was played. Of the 28 players who took part in it, only 2 can still be considered professional players. This particular post is inspired by the 2nd youngest player that day one Landon Donovan. At the time of the tournament he was pretty much unknown to me. He had burned out at German club Bayer Leverkusen before returning to the States in ignominy and San Jose Earthquakes were basically not on my radar. Yet he had so much promise with that shrug of his after his cross was turned in for an own goal in that Portugal match. Here was the future of the national team, his age would ensure that he would be around for at least the 2014 World Cup and 2018 at a push. To think that the lasting impression of him at a World Cup would be this moment four years ago:

Now that his career is presumably over, I think I want to talk about how we as a culture can fail to take into account the emotions of public figures. After that first World Cup, there were visions that he could become that world class player that would play for massive clubs. Then as time passed, he became known as soft, misunderstood, Landycakes, not willing to put in effort and probably the worst thing that could be said in some circles, content to be in his comfort zone.

At the end of the 2012 MLS season, he went on a sabbatical from playing. He embarked on a world tour just to do whatever he wanted to do for a few months without having to worry about being a professional athlete. Among the things he did was play another game barefoot in Cambodia with a group of locals. I think I started to understand him at least a little. He wanted to play the game because it was fun and not because it was a job. Even well paid people can hate their jobs too because it can sometimes be all that they know how to do.

The best example of this I could find in anime this year was in Nourin. That is a show about an idol who retires after really finding that she lacked passion for being an idol. She goes to attend a school in the countryside that is about as far away from the popular idol lifestyle as possible. By the end, she finds herself caring about crops and the small group of friends she makes at the school more than she ever really cared about the mass of idol fans. Sometimes it just takes a little time away to realize what a person really is. I think that’s something we as a society could definitely do better.

12 Days of Something IV: On Hate Blogging Anime

Trying to drink the substance that powers terribad anime straight from the tap.

This is how at least 80% of anime bloggers manage to make it through the shows they write about.

There’s a stereotype out there that if one blogs about anime they will eventually come to hate that which they watch. Paradoxically, this also makes them more popular with readers. Now I have been doing this blogging thing off-and-on for more than six years now and I can’t really say I’ve come to hate it any more than I did at the start. Does that also explain my perpetual lack of readership to this blog more than anything else?

Writing about any sort of visual medium tends to break down into three different types in my opinion. First is the completely neutral factual approach. That would be taking the Wikipedia approach and saying something like “Sora no Method was created and written by Hisaya Naoki who also worked on Kanon while at Key.” Nothing controversial about that style, but it’s probably the most useful in general. Second is more of a constructive criticism approach along the lines of “Sora no Method is written by Hisaya Naoki and while promising at the beginning fails to live up to the standard of his past works.” That’s pretty straightforward as well, but it can seem a little too forgiving of a series where a reader might be looking for a black or white opinion. Finally, there’s the full on advocacy/hatred angle which would look like “Sora no Method is yet another fantastic show from former Key writer Hisaya Naoki that will appeal to everyone who has taste/Sora no Method is yet another crap work written by Hisaya Naoki since he learned from Satan incarnate Maeda Jun.” That last approach will appeal to a larger audience than any of the others for the simplicity. It also does not make it any less valid a way of making a point either. If a writer loves/hates/is mixed about a show, they can go whatever direction they want.

So when it comes to shows that have been covered by myself over the years, I’ve been largely neutral with a few exceptions. For instance, when I wrote about Koichoco a few years back, I really did not like the show by the end of it. I really wanted it to be better the whole time, but it let me down. I still felt that the experience of watching it and the fun challenge I had in writing one particular post left me feeling that I was a better viewer for having watched it. So I hedged a bit on the opinion and probably felt that I didn’t convey my thoughts on the whole show with a sufficient edge to reflect how much I did not like it after all.

To conclude this particular post, I will just answer my own questions. Do anime bloggers hate the anime they watch? A good number do and probably feel pressure to continue watching those shows because they get the most views/comments from readers. Does that make them more popular because they hate them? I would argue instead that they are better able to reflect an opinion that many people hold, so it draws readers to them. Does my lack of loving/hating certain anime make me less popular? It clearly does not since while I can start writing hate posts about Kill La Kill or Space Dandy all I want, my opinion does not hold much weight, nor am I really putting that much work into expressing a contrary opinion.

12 Days of Something IV: Ipswich Town and Hidden Power Levels

This was a long time ago and I once thought it could be a regular fixture.

This was a long time ago and I once thought it could be a regular fixture.

I’m a person who is generally in two different camps of fandom. For most people in the anime group, I think that ends up being anime and some form of gaming. For me seeing as the title of this blog is Lower Mid-Table, that has always been anime and football of the association variety. (Note: I generally just call it football on my own, but I let context of conversation determine whether I go for soccer or not. I’m not against calling it soccer by any means.) I’m going to date myself very heavily here and say that I really started getting into it around the turn of the millennium.

One of the things that really makes someone get into this particular sport is to pick a team. The English Premier League was about the only league that even had a highlights package airing in the US at the time, while MLS games at the time were played in sparsely attended giant stadiums with the exception of Columbus. With newly-promoted Ipswich Town  putting up a challenge for a Champions League place in 2000-01, they seemed like a fun team to choose. How I sometimes wish I had chosen differently!

What followed the next season was a few rounds in the then UEFA Cup, getting knocked out by Inter Milan, and ending the season in the bottom three. But you know what, I was invested in this fandom enough to want to really be involved anyway. Reading about winning the title in the club’s first ever season in the top flight, the FA and UEFA Cup wins, even being on the wrong end of the biggest defeat in the Premier League were facts I had to absorb.

All in all, it’s proven to be a decent conversation starter with people I’ve met from or in the UK, or why there would be a person at an anime convention wearing an Ipswich Town shirt. As the sport has become more popular over here, it’s become much easier to talk about with every day people. Being supported by major broadcasters at times of the day when people are normally wake helps with that thing. The only point of embarrassment that comes from talking about my own fandom is mentioning that the club I support has been stuck in the second tier for 13 years and having to explain promotion and relegation to some groups of new American supporters of clubs that will never be in danger of not playing in the Premier League.

In contrast, there’s anime fandom. One must always suppress power levels or whatever that bullshit is called. At least in the US, I would safely say that more people watch some anime than watch any soccer. Yet, the idea of liking it has this perception that it must be carefully revealed only to other fans. There’s at least 2.5% of the population here that is staying up late on Saturday nights to watch, but it seems to be stuck in only willing to be underground.

I say all of this because I really just want to be able to express who I really am in public. I don’t think the consequences of doing so will be terrible other than possibly losing my job, but even if that wasn’t a problem I probably would keep it hidden. It shouldn’t just be a realm of socially isolated college students and dicks who harass people on Twitter. I would like it more mainstream, that’s all.

12 Days of Something III: Moments of Anime

spacebros42a1. Space Brothers moon accident (Episodes 40-43)

In January when I was still watching Space Brothers, there was an event I knew was going to happen from watching the live action movie last year. Hibito did end up crashing the lunar rover into a massive crevasse. What happened with the next few episodes was the series at its very best. The dumb light moments were gone for that span and it was replaced with a drama where the threat felt real. Hibito did get out of that situation, barely, but the scars would last. The conclusion of that arc later took a hit in my mind when I found out the inspiration for the astronaut figure left on the moon. After that, the old Space Brothers returned and I could no longer enjoy it in the same way.

haganai20h2. Sena and Kodaka talk over coffee (Episode 7 – Haganai Next)

Sometimes the best insight into characters can come at the most surprising times. When the Neighbors Club took a shopping trip there were the usual antics that come with a harem comedy. In the middle of this was a conversation at a coffee shop between Sena and Kodaka where we learn more about the latter than all previous episodes prior. It’s brief, but we learn that he has a massive inferiority complex. He doesn’t feel that he deserves to be loved by anyone and at that point it’s obvious that he is willfully ignoring the feelings of the girls around him. This conversation really marked the transition of the series from one about girls falling in love with Kodaka to a show about helping him find his confidence.

Older Maid Sister is in fine form3. Older Maid Sister’s Speech (Episode 9 Maoyuu Maou Yuusha)

While this show disappointingly ended with Hero subjected to Female Knight and Demon King shoving their chests into his face, there were moments of genuine quality in Maoyuu. Having taken Crimson Scholar’s place in being subjected to public execution, Older Maid Sister gave a speech that wasn’t so much a call for her own safety as much as a call to destroy the existing order that was drawn from her own experience of being taken in by Demon King. Even as she is being beaten her will shines through and she will not have her spirit crushed.

htms01b4. A Demon Lord and His Minion Land in a Rough New World (Episode 1 – Hataraku Maou-sama!)

The spring season opened with a 2nd show involving a demon king only this time they ended up in modern Japan. There wasn’t much glossing over what happened on Maou and Ashiya’s arrival though. Here were two foreigners who did not speak the language trying to figure out a way to make some money and find a place to live. Their social support network consists of just the two of them and their mysterious landlord Miki. A long struggle to survive in low-wage hell looked set to begin.

yuyu07a5. Pikachurin (Yuyushiki Episode 7)

Yuyushiki is at it’s heart a show about 3 cute girls doing cute things as friends. Their club activities fittingly involve looking things up on the internet revolving around a theme of the day they come up with on their own. The moment I think that best summed this up took place in the 7th episode. When talking about Yuzuko’s unusual eye color she ended up coming across a Wikipedia article for the protein that sends information from the eyes to the brain. Yes, Pikachurin. In this show of many tangents, a discussion that begins with cat’s eyes concludes with speculation on the gender of the children a scientist has. That’s Yuyushiki research in a nutshell right there.

muromi11b6. The Quest for Happiness in the New Economy (Namiuchigiwa Muromi-san Episode 11)

It’s not much of a stretch to say that Muromi-san isn’t exactly heavy in social commentary. What little there is is run through the character of Otohime the former business owner under the sea who has to work in a fishing shop. The episode is about much more than that though. There’s the convenience store worker who had dreams of his own, but with his girlfriend now pregnant those dreams may be permanently on hold. Otohime herself is looking to stand on her own terms after she lost her business, but it doesn’t look like that is happening. Her frequent fights with Muromi always seemed to be about how Otohime had fallen, but this episode revealed that they were really a frustration with how things change. Life can’t simply go back to how it was before the economy tanked. The episode ends fittingly with an all-night drinking session outside of the convenience store talking about business in an unstable economy.

c3bu04b7. Yura’s Imagination Comes to Life (Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C3-bu Episode 4)

C3-bu ended up turning into a sort of gunsoft version of Rambo when the protagonist Yura was questioning why gunsoft didn’t love her as much as she loved it. Early on in a quest to improve her skills the club goes to a temple and sets Yura a goal of being able to shoot a single 5-yen coin from across an archery range. After failing for the day and having left her gun at the temple, Yura returns and enters one of her vivid delusions. The next day she returns and imagines herself in the middle of an ancient battle and fires a shot through an incoming arrow. Did it really happen? Was Rento also sucked into Yura’s imagination? Or did she simply shoot into the hole of the 5-yen coin?

hsdxds207b8. Akeno Makes Her Move (High School DxD New Episode 7)

Having saved his friends from Kokabiel in the last episode through force of will, Issei and the rest of the Occult Research Club embarked on a more pedestrian mission; cleaning the school’s pool. The feelings of those around him had swung fully in his direction. When even Yuuto is confessing his feelings for him, you knew Issei was in the form of his life. So when he had to have more of his dragon energy sucked out of him by Akeno, the audience was in for a show.

kinmosa12f9. The Kinmoza Musical (Episode 12)

Having wrapped up the series proper, Kiniro Mosaic started a take on chuunibyou and ended up turning it into a short musical number. Going completely off-script in the adaptation happened to yield the best of this series. The musical number relied on being interested in these characters and their idiosyncrasies, but the case could be made that the musical number could stand on its own. I’d be interested to see if anyone who did not watch any of Kinmoza would understand the musical bit.

noukome01b10. Noucome‘s History of the World Through Choices (Episode 1)

For a high-concept harem comedy about a character who is forced into making ridiculous choices, the opening scene is one of the most ambitious narratives of the year. They try to tell history as a series of choices made by people who would go on to be famous for those decisions. Unfortunately, it’s hardly a successful story as it drags on for far too long and it is followed up by Furano, Ouka and Kanade being involved in dirty jokes. Failed ambition is better than not even trying.

wa207a11. A School Festival Concert (White Album 2 Episode 7)

There were hints of this in the opening episode that the relationship between Setsuna, Kazusa and Haruki would hit its peak. The concert’s three songs sum up the series perfectly. The first was the song that brought them together, the second was a dialogue between Kazusa and Setsuna about romantic conflict and the third was about love lost. The performance captures everything that made this series the surprise of 2013.

oc12a12. Outbreak Company takes on ‘Cool Japan’ (Episodes 11 and 12)

Outbreak Company was one of the better shows this year with its attempts to portray a divided society and in the final episodes the attention turned to the Japanese government and the place of otaku in society. Imports of anime and manga were restricted early on in the 11th episode. It became clear that this was the dark side of trying to spread culture. Matoba revealed that it was all a plot to have the people learn Japanese and to become more interested in anime and manga than developing their own culture. When Shinichi learns of this he and Minori become expendable because they do live on their own. Ultimately, he uses the ties that he has forged in his new land to get protection after he tells Petrarca they should make their own anime, manga and light novels. That was a potentially dangerous thing to do.

12 Days of Something III: My Favorite Anime is Toronto Politics

For ideal reading experience please play the embedded Soundcloud clip:

Rob Ford.

Think about that for a minute. There are just so many things that can be said about the mayor of Toronto in title only. I will just let this list of stories do the narrative work for me.

Rob Ford: While we were watching the circus

Is Rob Ford just too honest?

Mayor Rob Ford says he knows what Toronto wants: a casino

The Best of Toronto’s Insane, Terrible Mayor Rob Ford: an Introduction for Americans

Weary Toronto likely to shrug off latest Rob Ford escapade

Snow emergency? Mayor Rob Ford says call him – at home!

Mayor Rob Ford: Working hard or hardly working?

Rob Ford won’t be prosecuted for alleged election violations

Mayor Rob Ford still asking lobbyists to donate to his football foundation

Sarah Thomson: I thought Mayor Rob Ford was on cocaine

Support for Mayor Rob Ford steady despite Ass-gate

Rob Ford: ‘Intoxicated’ Toronto mayor asked to leave military ball

Three councillors now claim Rob Ford has a drinking problem as Toronto mayor is encouraged to seek treatment

Rob Ford hires his high school football coach

Here’s Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Walking Face-First Into a TV News Camera

Mayor Rob Ford offers to ‘explain how politics works’ to Toronto women over coffee

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he coached latests shooting victim: He was ‘one heck of a football player’

Toronto artist-turned-councillor plans his next masterpiece – a portrait of Rob Ford

Rob Ford In A Maple Leafs Jersey Posing With The Hamburglar?

For Sale: A Video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Smoking Crack Cocaine

Rob Ford crack scandal: Fears Ford’s aide sought video spark police probe

Rob Ford. Unstoppable?

Etobicoke family find themselves at heart of Rob Ford photo mystery

Police learned of alleged Rob Ford crack video during year-long gang probe

Why Mayor Rob Ford’s gravy train has hit a dead end

Meet Neil, better known as Slurpy, the Rob Ford lookalike at centre of scrapped plot to film fake crack video

Torontonians celebrate all things Rob Ford at massive barbecue

City of Toronto deeper in debt under Mayor Rob Ford

Gawker Rob Ford ‘Crackstarter’ cash going to four Ontario groups

Rob Ford Shares Parenting Advice For Royal Couple

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford remains shadowed by crack video scandal

Rob Ford urged to seek help after videos capture Toronto mayor partying after ‘a couple of beers’

Why Rob Ford shouldn’t clean up his act

Mayor Rob Ford bests Hulk Hogan in arm-wrestling bout (or so it appears)

‘I smoked a lot’ of pot, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says, but he won’t say when

Rob Ford offered 14 chances to comment on crack story, Toronto Star tells press council

Possible Rob Ford connection sought in sealed police warrants

Rob Ford portrait unveiling thrills mom – and the mayor

Mayor Rob Ford’s popularity climbs to nearly half in latest poll

Rob Ford’s friend offered pot for missing phone, report says

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford defends robocalls, says more to come

As Rob Ford calls for firing of ‘sleeping’ worker, web unearths photo of mayor allegedly asleep at City Hall

Rob Ford’s billion-dollar boast not worth a dime

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admits to smoking crack

Rob Ford caught on video in violent rant

Rob Ford Denies “Eating Pussy” During Live, Televised Press Conference

Rob Ford police investigation: ‘Domestic assault’ call at Ford home sidetracked police sting

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford takes in NFL game – and steals singer’s seat?

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to join D.C. sports radio show

Sadly, Rob Ford epitomizes what Canada has become

Rob Ford vs. Justin Bieber: Who is Canada’s greater embarrassment?

I literally took one headline per week in constructing all of that above. There was no shortage of headlines to pick from most weeks. I even had to leave all the stuff about his being stripped of powers by the city council because of the other stuff he was doing at that time. Anyway, I have to give a special thanks to this post to Tim whose Twitter bio was the inspiration for the title of this post. He also does great work in making the politics of North America’s 5th-largest city as funny as they are.

12 Days of Something III: Maou-Economics

maoyuu05bThis was a strange year for the fact that there were three series with a very strange common element. Yes, judging by the title of this post, they all have to do with demon kings venturing over to a different world and having to deal with the economic consequences of their actions. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, Hataraku Maou-sama and Yuushibu deal with this concept in different ways even as they are filled with light-hearted moments throughout. For the purpose of this post, I’ve decided to evaluate them on how deeply they get into the realm of economics.

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12 Days of Something III: Basking in Glorious Failure

At the beginning of the fall, players everywhere prepare for the epic contest that is Fantasy Football. In the quest to choose the best players to build a title contender, there are many hours spent researching who will succeed and who will fail with late round draft picks. That’s generally what happens with fantasy football leagues. But, what would happen if you made things different and rewarded failure?

You basically get a draft like you do on the right here. Brandon Weeden first overall didn’t quite pan out as planned, with him suffering injuries and being replaced by Jason Campbell.

The actual fun part of participating in this league had to do with the scoring. 25 points for interceptions run back for touchdowns will do that. Cheering for interceptions to be run back against your own team does have a downside though. It’s much easier when your own team sucks than if they are competitive.

Also, it goes without saying that it actually turned into a mutual love fest on the weekly calls admiring the bad quarterbacking throughout the league. When Matt Schaub was on his historic run of interceptions returned for touchdowns, it was like the Chicago Bulls run of NBA titles.

Blaine Gabbert started only 3 games this season and averaged over 50 points a start. This would make him the Wilt Chamberlain of the Bad Football League. However, no one would be able to stop the rookie bad quarterbacking sensation Geno Smith. The Jets quarterback leads the league in interceptions and is the joint leader in interceptions run back for a touchdown.

Those weekly calls are really the big reason I participate in ventures like this. They provide a seemingly endless source of fun on my Sundays. It doesn’t matter if we discuss the state of our respective fantasy football teams or the latest anime that we have watched (This is a group of anime fans after all) or how Linda from Golden Time is the worst human ever if she really existed.

While basking in the glorious failure of well compensated athletes paid to throws an oblong leather object can be fun. I can safely say that it’s really about the community involved in doing so. Mainly, I need to do more stuff like this in the future.

12 Days of Something III: A Year in Classy Manga

Minamoto-kun Monogatari, still as great as ever.

Minamoto-kun Monogatari, still as great as ever.

I probably don’t talk about the manga I read as much as I should on this blog. I do read much more than the average person on MyAnimeList.That would be 63 different manga at the time of this post being written. Almost all of them seem to fall into the realm of unlicensable, borderline eromanga . That said, I do believe there is some quality in that list that I’m going to use this post to highlight.

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12 Days of Something III: The Future of Failure is Now

These are gigantic viewer counts from my perspective.

These are gigantic viewer counts from my perspective.

With the advent of the next generation consoles complete, it is now possible to more easily stream gameplay and commentary to audiences on sites like Twitch or Ustream. I bring this up because it’s very much relevant to the history of this blog and my social presence on the internet in general. Mainly, it’s impossible popularity to be attained when the potential pool grows beyond a certain size.

Earlier this year, I had tried briefly to stream some gameplay of a game I owned on Steam on the Twitch channel that I had set up. No viewers at the time and that didn’t really matter because who really wants to see me fail at Surgeon Simulator 2013? Fast forward to last month and with it now being easy to use to both view and stream on a new console. The end result. No viewers and my being left wondering what the hell the point of the new technology is.

The way I see it is that it will be much more common. I’m not alone in thinking that.

There is an inherent advantage that those who have built up an audience have. They have the networks to publicize their work playing games and even to get paid money to do that. I don’t see anime blogging ever getting to that point since the audience simply isn’t there to enable that, but the fact of the matter is that those who are able to first leverage technology get the full benefits from it. It’s completely just that it is that way. So best of luck to those trying to pull in an audience streaming on your PS4 or XBox One in the near future. Try to keep it small and social. It’s better that way.

12 Days of Something III: Randomized Anime Sampling

I had this idea before when I went through all of the dropped anime I had to find whether I would watch the next episode and actually like it. This post shall imbibe some of the holiday spirits and expand on that even further by including even those shows that I dropped. Streaming anime makes ideas like this possible, whether that is a good thing for one’s health and sanity will be found out below. The following is my day of randomized anime sampling.

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12 Days of Something III: The Definitive List of Best Girls, 2013 Edition

dal04b

This isn’t a post intended to raise debate. The answers have already been settled. These are the best, acceptable and worst girls from harem anime this year, objectively.

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12 Days of Something III: What FAL Says About Me as a Person

fal_header

In the last couple of spring and fall seasons, Fantasy Anime League has taken place on MAL. While some people out there take this deadly seriously or devote entire pages of coverage to how they are doing in that particular edition, I haven’t much talked about my own entries into the competition. That’s because I enter each time without any sort of clue what the hell I’m doing.

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12 Days of Something III: The Year in Bad Drops

This is generally how I look when I drop things

During the course of a normal year watching anime, I drop a lot of shows. It ends up being about 9 out of every 20 from my reckoning. That said, I make many, many mistakes in the eyes of my readers, followers on twitter, or people who even think of the name Emperor J. That includes those who have lived in mountain monasteries their entire lives and have no concept of blogging in their minds. So to further their confirmation bias of my taste, I present to you the list of my worst drops as rated by MAL and other comments throughout the year.

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12 Days of Something III: …and Special Guest, Wooser

wooser06a

When Wooser aired last year, I pretty much dropped it immediately and dismissed it as poorly executed perverted comedy on the basis of just a single episode. It wasn’t until recently that I went back and marathoned the series in a single hour. Honestly, though I can’t say that I revisited solely on the basis of curiosity or because some random number generator told me I should. Actually it was more moments like this:

senyuu01bThat’s right, the first episode of Senyuu featured Wooser playing with a hula-hoop as one of the prospective heroes. Alright, so the perverted mascot character makes a special appearance in another short anime that was hinted at in the final episode of his own show. That alone wouldn’t be enough for me to be interested. No, he would have to make a guest appearance in a post-apocalyptic show to really do so.

monochrome04aAnd here’s Wooser making his grand appearance in Miss Monochrome. So in this scene he was locked out of the mascot character festival as the Nendroid version of Miss Monochrome took center stage. While that’s awful luck for everyone involved; Wooser losing popularity as Miss Monochrome only became popular as a Nendroid rather than an idol, that wouldn’t be enough for me would it.

monochrome09aWell what do you know, Miss Monochrome is a post-apocalyptic anime. At least it’s more realistic than Coppelion. So I went ahead and gave Wooser another chance. It was pretty good for the short format if woefully inconsistent. The 2nd season begins airing in January.

12 Days of Something III: That Time I Ruined the Gibraltarian Economy

Another edition of the game that destroys marriages and students.

Another edition of the game that destroys marriages and students.

In May of this year, Gibraltar became the 54th member of UEFA after over a decade of Spanish protest. I don’t intend to get into the politics of Gibraltarian sovereignty, treaties signed over 300 years ago, European law regarding its border with Spain or the domestic politics involved in the current standoff. No, instead this is about Football Manager and the costs of cheating at a game that is a series of spreadsheets.

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12 Days of Something II: 12 Moments of Anime

So this 12 Days thing is running near a close, so I thought I would actually do something most people do with this sort of topic, actually write about 12 moments in anime that occurred this year. I know, really original, right? So I’ll try to avoid some stuff I’ve gone on-and-on about over the course of this series of posts and limit myself to one thing per month. Can I pull it off? Find out below.

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12 Days of Something II: Complaining About the Realism in Fiction

A selection from one of the classier manga I read regularly

A selection from one of the classier manga I read regularly

One of the things I’ve never really covered in this the space of this blog is that I do read manga. Actually a ton of it to a level that is not healthy. What do I do with this time I’m reading it? I pretty much spend it complaining about the realism in fiction. Continue reading

12 Days of Something II: I’m Rubbish at Anything Anime Music

When there was an opening/ending music quizzes going around Twitter the other day, I had one of those terrible revelations that made me think that I wasn’t a true fan of the stuff I blog about regularly. So after weighing in with something like 8% out of a little over 100 entries, I thought it would make good post material to talk about this subject. Continue reading