In Which I Ask, Do I Qualify for Aniblog Citizenship Now?

Tsk, looks like it's that time of year to do this post again.

Tsk, looks like it’s that time of year to do this post again.

So it’s that time of year again where I am legally obligated to point out how long this particular blog has lasted. It’s now reached the point where in many nations I would now be qualified for citizenship for simply being able to hold down a job and not commit any crimes that would see me deported. The caveat to that being that I’m working in the aniblog fast food joint washing dishes while others who emigrated with me are now captains of industry.* That’s enough for the depressing bits in this post (and the many other drafts that are far worse than that you will not see). Instead, I’m going to keep things simple with five things I’ve learned since this blog started.

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12 Days of Something II: I Timed This So Badly

Shockingly, Nisemonogatari doesn't make the list.

Shockingly, Nisemonogatari doesn’t make the list.

What you are reading here is the beginning of this blog’s 500th post. I worked it out so amazingly well that it falls dead in the middle of another bunch of posts and so it will be buried for weeks on end. So in that spirit, I’ve decided to do a list of my top anime. The humiliation won’t last all that long because of when this is scheduled thankfully.

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Sakamichi no Apollon 02 – It Only Takes an Instant

And with faith comes the drop in confidence in writing on this show

The 2nd episode of Apollon focuses on the developing friendship between Ritsuko, Sentarou and Kaoru. The episode begins with Kaoru trying to get an understanding on how to play jazz on the piano, which he picks up rather quickly from the record he purchased at the end of the last episode. Then after school, he is surrounded by a few of his male classmates who want to bully him, but his friends save him in the end. He then plays with a live session on the piano with Sentarou, Ritsuko’s father, and their neighbor Jun. Finally, the three meet at the start of summer vacation for some outdoor fun among other things.

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Where I Answer A Bunch of Questions Answered by Others

I’m not too big on bandwagon jumping. My votes in the Anime Power Rankings reflect that. Plus, the spring isn’t actually looking all that promising. So following Inushide, Lostty, Caraniel, and Yumeka (along with many others who have probably done it, but I hadn’t seen) I’m answering a set if 50 questions that have been going around this particular blogosphere.

I’ve been slacking of late as far as the non-episodic posts. Blogging 4 series at the same time tends to lead to burnout rather quickly, so I plan to get to that when times aren’t as busy. Now that it’s down to 3 series I have a programming issue I haven’t had to address in many a year. I guess people want to see more insight into the personal lives of the people they are following because it makes it easier to relate to them. There’s quite a bit of that on Twitter, but these questions are supposed to address that. Here goes nothing

1. Who is your favorite male anime character?

This is really a hard question to start with because I generally have a hard time deciding on one. Ask me in 10 minutes and my opinion would change. I’ve gone from thinking Vegeta was utterly badass to going through various generic main characters because of the rest of the cast. I even had Kuroda from Giant Killing in this high tier of characters. Ultimately though I had to settle on Jinto from the Seikai franchise. The man takes action when necessary, and fully commits himself to the one he loves.

2. Who is your favorite female anime character?

The aftermath of the night that would change the Empire forever.

This one is actually much easier. That would be one Hildegard von Mariendorf. Who could not like a character who was the perfect foil for the man who conquered the entire galaxy? Her marriage was rather farcical given that it came as a result of the two of them giving n to their passions. If anything, it actually made her character that much more endearing.

3. What is your favorite anime soundtrack?

I’d probably go with the OSTs of Macross Plus. It was the first anime I watched where it felt like the music mattered. It was essential to the plot as is the case in most of the Macross series. It then led to a rapid gathering of much of Yoko Kanno’s collection to that point. This was over a decade ago, I should add and this OST still gets into my music rotation.

4. What is your favorite anime opening + animation?

Eden of the East, at least the broadcast version because the music from the Mancunian band does feel necessary. The animation itself actually gives a full synopsis of the plot and the sense of desperation coming from Akira and Saki.

5. What is your favorite anime ending + animation?

Oh boy, endings. I don’t really watch many of these. Kare Kano probably doesn’t count since it isn’t animation. I’ll go with the ending from the 7th episode of Hanamaru Kindergarden. A tribute to silent film before a silent film could win an Academy Award. Unfortunately, I think everyone involved has probably moved on to a different studio by now.

6. What is your favorite anime scene?

Episode 82 of Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Anyone who’s watched it will know exactly what scene.

7. If you could meet an anime character who would it be?

I’d probably go with Fumihiko Matsumaru from REC. The guy works in an office all day and probably has good tales to tell over large amounts of beer.

8. What anime character is most similar to you in terms of personality?

Watashi from Tatami Galaxy, in the worst possible way.

9. What is your favorite thing about anime?

If I was completely and totally honest, I would probably say because it’s different. Not different in the way that those straight-to-Sci Fi Channel movies were during my teenage years, rather it’s more like a grocery or liquor store. There’s a section devoted to stuff from abroad, which makes it seem unique from everything that’s considered normal. It may cost a little bit more, but it seems like it’s different.

10. What is your least favorite thing about anime?

The thought that it could be considered a special product just on it’s own. Anime is capable of being just as bad as even the worst live-action movies and TV shows. I guess this is more an indictment of certain fans over anything else. So sticking entirely to the topic, I’d split it between the name used to define a block of 12 episodes at a time and the phenomenon of officially shortened titles.

11. Who’s your favorite anime couple?

Jinto & Lafiel from Crest/Banner of the Stars. When the question going around the aniblogosphere was “What anime would you want to see?”, all I could think of was more of those two. I don’t think anything else comes close.

12. Who is your favorite anime animal?

Leader from Honey & Clover. Though if we can count just non-human entities I would go for Chizuru from Kanokon, purely for superficial reasons.

13. What anime would make a good game?

The World God Only Knows as a dating sim would be incredibly meta

14. What game would make a good anime?

This is going to be a bit difficult as I don’t play that many games that translate into a story. Just for the hell of it, any of the new Street Fighter games to be adapted as top quality terribad viewing.

15. What was the first anime you ever watched?

This is sort of a difficult question. It could really be a number of things when I was a kid, like Speed Racer, Voltron or Robotech. Purists may not count that, but under other conditions it could also be Dragonball Z, Ranma 1/2 or Sailor Moon. It’s not a simple question to answer.

16. Do you think you’ll ever stop watching anime?

I could make this question morbid, but I’ll just settle for it’s highly likely that I would at some point in the distant future.

17. What is your favorite genre of anime?

I’m not really one for picking a favorite genre. That said I do usually consider what genre a show is trying to be when trying to rate it.

18. What is your least favorite genre of anime?

See the above answer if I’m trying to be fair. If not, then I would just stick to the “slice-of-life nothing happens ever” genre.

19. Are you open about watching anime with people you know?

There’s one guy at work who I took to ACen last year who knows. The rest of the people I know have never even bothered asking what I’m into. So I guess it’s more of an “if I’m asked directly about it” question than not.

20. Have you ever been to Japan?

No, but maybe some day when I actually have the money to do so.

21. What anime was the biggest letdown for you?

Clannad, which was supposed to have this emotional appeal to a large audience. I just wanted to violently throttle Jun Maeda into unconsciousness after watching it.

22. What anime was better than expected?

Probably Kaiba had the biggest jump between what I was expecting and what I watched. I really high on the show based on initial impressions and how poorly the show did in sales, and that it’s unlicensible outside of Australia. Turns out it was an absolute joy to watch. It’s a shame there’s little interest in it.

23. What is the best anime fight scene?

This is actually a pretty hard one, simply because I really don’t want to count mecha battles. For the way this battle concludes with the completely out of left field athletic ability of one of the participants, I choose this:

24. Who is your anime waifu?

I never really understood this concept. What the hell does it even mean anyway? As soon as someone can give me a logical reason for having one, I will get around to choosing one.

25. What was your favorite video game as a child?

Probably Sonic 3 & Knuckles, that locking mechanism was state-of-the-art for 1995. Think I got hundred of hours out of that game.

26. Most embarrassing moment?

You would have to talk to me in person to get this story, sorry.

27. Can you drive?

Yes, though it feels like I have a target on my rear bumper sometimes.

28. Are you mature?

I don’t think so. I do lots of stupid crap all the time and waste time and energy on things that I really shouldn’t.

29. What year were you born?

1983, 16 years after the Summer of Love.

30. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Dogs because cats just use people for their own ends.

31. Describe yourself physically.

6 feet even, and otherwise I don’t stand out in any particular way.

32. What would you name your first child?

I honestly haven’t thought about it because I’ve never thought the possibility I could have a kid was realistic.

33. What is the worst injury you’ve ever had?

I impaled my leg on part of a tree when I was 8, that’s probably about as bad as it gets.

34. What is your worst habit?

Always hiding who I really am from people. So fear is my worst habit.

35. Do you drink or smoke?

Yes…alright, I don’t smoke is that fair enough?

This is about the state I'm in when writing Amagami posts

36. Do you have a tattoo?

Of course not. I just think any tattoo on me would look terrible.

37.  Are you a morning or a night person?

Mornings because that’s just how I grew up in maximizing video game time when I was a kid.

38. Have you ever slept past midday?

Now that I think of it, probably not.

39. Do you regret anything?

Tons, I have that recurring wish that I could go back 11 years ago and change what I did then. I’d probably use that ability for evil, though.

Let's just say this image is a part of my biggest blogging regret

40. Can you count the number of friends that you have on one hand?

Sometimes it feels like I have many, other times it feels like I wouldn’t need any hands to count. It really just depends on when I’m asked this.

41. Do you wear glasses?

I go with contacts. I was picked on when I had glasses as a kid, plus my parents basically picked for me. I still have a pair, but it never goes out in public.

42. Are you a picky eater?

Not really, I’ll actually try most things that look somewhat edible. I used to hate anything with mushrooms, and though I don’t love them, I will at least eat stuff with them in it. I do know people at work who consider pizza a vegetable, so I’m not terrible.

43. Would you die for someone?

As I am now, I probably wouldn’t. If I had kids then it might be a different story.

44. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Charisma to the extent that I could convince anyone to do anything I wanted. I’d be like the guy in these commercials:

45. Do you believe in the supernatural?

Not really, that’s something used to make more money be those selling supernatural goods or the idea itself.

46. Would you rather be rich or famous?

Rich, so I could use the money to become famous. Like donating enough money to have a hospital wing named after me, or kicking my Congressman out of office.

47. Have you ever committed a crime?

You’d have to ask me in person to get the answer, it’s related to the earlier question.

48. Time traveler or ghost?

Time traveling because screwing around with history and having untold consequences sounds exciting.

49. Does anybody have a crush on you?

I think my existence probably doesn’t register enough to make this possible.

50. Are you in a relationship?

Oh heavens no. I don’t think I deserve it either.

See?

Pointless Debate #20: Evaluating the End Results in Honey and Clover

Mayama's expression just about reflects how I felt when I hit that Publish button.

It’s been several months since this feature was last used, and someone out there actually admitted they liked it. Regardless, I thought I would take the inspiration from ajthefourth and go back to the roots of this feature with a simple look at the end game results in Honey & Clover.

In trying to rank who won and who lost at the end of it all, I quickly realized that in reality there were a whole bunch of winners and definitively 1 loser from where I stood. Call it a case of a reverse Anna Karenina. I stress that this is just a subjective ranking, and feel free to disagree in the comments.

The look down in horror at the rest of this post

1. Mayama – Rika

This relationship represented an ideal ending from my point of view. Mayama’s sheer persistence in chasing after Rika, even to the point of quitting his previous job and essentially hiring himself to work with Rika. She got the ability to continue her work with someone determined to support the both of them, and finally she appeared to be able to move on.

I should have mentioned Leader somewhere else in this post.

2. Nomiya – Yamada

I actually liked how this one came about. Nomiya seemingly went in trying to force Mayama to make the decision between Rika and what seemed to be his 2nd option in Yamada. Then over the course of their frequent interactions between each other, something happens. The playboy finds love and Yamada is able to move on from her unrequited love.

Who represents true freedom better than him?

3. Shinobu

So why do I put one of the people who ends up with nothing on the romantic side so high on this list? For a start he’s able to help in his brother’s revenge plot. He had already made a ton of money from his work in Hollywood. Even after he loses the battle, he still has the freedom to create whatever he wants, where he wants and whenever he wants with whomever he wants to work with. It’s not an ideal end for him, but the possibility of being tied down really didn’t suit him as a character.

That looks yummy

4. Shuuji – Hagu

My reaction to this happening was a rather audible “What the hell is that?” when I first watched it. I guess it was really the visible age difference between the characters, but with Hagu that would have been the case with anyone. On a different level, this sort of represents compromise to its fullest extent. She gets someone to take care of her without having to worry about holding back, while he finally seemed to realize what gave his life meaning in the first place. This no doubt ranks far too low for many, but the manner of it being forced by the sudden injury to Hagu really bothered me a lot.

What else is there to him other than misdirected energy and limited targets?

5. Takemoto

Takemoto is a character with whom many identify. His ending is given a relatively soft touch. He’s able to find a job with the group he came across during his bicycle trip, and most importantly he seems satisfied that he lost. What this seems to conveniently ignore is the fact that Takemoto would probably be doomed to a life of subsistence living which would have made it most unlikely that he would have come across another opportunity at love as great as he had. He offered all he had, but it wasn’t much at all.

With that little ranking out of the way, you’re more than welcome to comment on anything here. If I’ve missed anything out from here, you can also point that out too if you want.