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.
Writing while Traveling is Fine, but It Will Cut Into Quality and Sleep
On the 27th of July last year, I woke up at 3am with the express purpose of watching the latest episode of Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate as quickly as possible while taking as many screenshots as possible. Ten hours and 3 cities later, I walked into the Holiday Inn Express in Baltimore and the 2nd question I asked was, “How did my post look?” That post by the way was viewed just 209 times by individuals who didn’t happen to be in that hotel lobby that afternoon. I don’t mean that day, that’s total*.
So what was the downside of all of that. It didn’t really come until about 12 hours later when going around to various gatherings of anime fans in the city and I looked absolutely shattered. Was Koichoco worth losing 90 minutes of sleep in the morning and potential fun later in the day? The answer is quite easily a no.
So let’s step ahead to the 3rd of July this year. Having again woken up early for a flight out to Los Angeles and not to watch Koichoco or something similar, I found myself later in the day in the longest queue of my life outside the Los Angeles Convention Center. So the process of what happened next went like this: this looks like it will take a while so I will watch this episode while I’m standing here…that is done, now what do I do next?…I’ll see if I can write a post to take my thoughts away from the person who collapsed in this queue…It’s done and posted…Crap, I’ve only moved 30 feet in the last hour. For the record, that has 113 views in the 4+ months since it went up.*
Overall the lesson from this is two-fold. One, I really should not travel and write on the same day. Second, I also have no business writing episodic posts.*
Urobuchi Will Be Forever Linked to Michael Bay in My Mind
At one point in history, I liked the work that both of these individuals did. It was really fun stuff marketed at teenage boys that also appealed to my sentimentality at the time. I liked Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon just as much as I thought the episodes of Phantom I have seen and the early episodes of Madoka were fun as well. Which gets to an important question of whether my tastes evolved away from that sort of material, I became too critical of it or whether there is a legitimate problem with their works now.
As much as Pearl Harbor was a terrible movie, it wasn’t until Transformers that I truly felt contempt for a single individual responsible for something I was watching. I don’t know how a children’s toy from the 80s gets turned into sexist trash like without an astonishingly terrible person being responsible for it.
With Urobuchi that same thought arose as I was watching Psycho-Pass. It wasn’t just Akane serving as cover for everything else that was happening as she watched her friend get brutally murdered in front of her without lifting a finger, or a woman being burned to death, or the woman being beaten to death in public with no one doing a thing or the high school girl meeting her end in the most slow agonizingly painful way possible. It was just the way that I felt dirty for having watched it. That same feeling carried over as I was watching Gargantia earlier this year. While he didn’t write much of that, he was involved from a production standpoint and his fingerprints were all over it. It’s so bad that I even view Madoka negatively because of it. I can now see it as the story of girls being punished for having the audacity to want to be empowered. Urobuchi simply will not allow that in his vision of humanity.
Then again, maybe that’s why I’m not in his target audience. I’m sure all of his stories work for teenage boys who happen to be up late at night. I also see he’s involved in the new Kamen Rider series as well. Because why shouldn’t he bring his sensibilities to an audience of young, impressionable minds?
My Views on Shows I Do Watch Are Typical, But I Choose The Wrong Shows to Watch
This came up in The Cart Driver’s big attempts at coming up with data on the aniblogosphere’s views on everything they had rated. After that first post, I wanted to see how deviant my views were from the community of which I am on the periphery.* I ended up finding out that I was about in the middle of how I rated everything compared to the group that Scamp put in the comments of that first post.
Then that second post brought in Kadian, who defeated me emphatically in a podcast last year* and doubled the number of bloggers involved in the ratings count. The thing I first picked up on is how many of the highly rated shows I had not finished. Out of the top 200, I’ve completed something like 67 of them. I don’t think this would be a problem but for the fact that as of this writing I’ve completed 722 anime and the list is over 1500. So in essence, the issue with my taste seeming different is not so much that I hate shows people like and vice versa, I just don’t give the shows that my peers like the same chance. Would watching some of those highly rated shows and talking about them here make me a better aniblogger?*
Contrary to the Only Post That is Seen on This Blog, Ladies versus Butlers Was Not The Feel-Good Harem Anime of 2010
My most viewed post on this blog which still gets relatively* tons of views is this one from the time when I tried to be clever and post on 2 different shows at once nearly 4 years ago. If I’m perfectly honest, it’s not a very good post at all and does not deserve to have any attention on it at all, but you know once you put a picture of a girl sitting on token harem lead’s face it will get views. So I present the 2010 Harem Anime in order of Feel-Goodness, a completely arbitrary statistic that I have come up with for this post:
- The World God Only Knows
- Mayoi Neko Overrun!
- Ladies versus Butlers!
- Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou
- Sekirei: Pure Engagement
- Motto To Love-Ru
- Sora no Otoshimono: Forte
- Kiss x Sis
- Omamori Himari
- Shukufuku no Campanella
- Yosuga no Sora
That should officially end all arguments over what the most feel-good harem anime of 2010 was so all of you just looking up that maid sitting on Hino’s face can just go back to searching for other perverted harem anime pics.*
I Might Possibly Be The Worst Person at Recommending Anime to Any Other Person
With the Reverse Thieves Secret Santa once again underway, I have to undergo scrutinization of any picks I make to anyone else. In fact they took away the idea of mulligans after I did this (though I can’t say it was because of me, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t). So now I have a group of people out there who secretly hope that I do not draw them. The only way that happens is if I don’t participate, and out there another blogger has me this year.
So now 2 years later, I have decided to recap what exactly happened on that day.
I had drawn Aiden over at T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews and gave him 2 safe options and one that Processr would kill me for if I ever recommended it to anyone else. That’s Honey and Clover, Gurren Lagann and Macross Frontier for those of you scoring at home. Since there was no reason given for the mulligan, I assumed that my taste was being rejected so I gave him the terribad platter. Does that make me an asshole? Yes.
Understandably, he turned down the choice between Tsukihime, Chaos;Head and Itsudatte My Santa to go back and watch Macross Frontier. The end result was that he watched something outside of his preferred genre and gave it a 4/5. But regardless of that result, the ending did not justify the route to get there.
There’s more to this story than just that particular episode. When it comes to strongly recommending shows that are not very popular, there are only a few that come to mind. Those would be the following:
- Sengoku Collection
- High School DxD
- Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer
- The entire Seikai franchise
To date, I think I’ve convinced 2 people to watch Sencolle and 1 person to watch High School DxD. I mention the others because they consist of one of the best directed anime films of its time, something that left me a blubbering mess and the fact that it is the greatest romantic saga in the history of anime (so much hyperbole).
So the lesson from all of this is that I have a deserved reputation for being an asshole when recommending things. I’m expecting to get the hammer this year since I’m already seeing that they are bored with the one they chose. Maybe there will come a day I can make someone happy. Maybe not?
*-I guess I couldn’t avoid all the depressing points, so I’m highlighting them to show just how easily I end up slipping them in subconsciously.
12 thoughts on “In Which I Ask, Do I Qualify for Aniblog Citizenship Now?”
5 years, right?
Also those were some solid shows you gave for the Secret Santa. So they were asking for it!
To be fair, they were probably expecting shows that weren’t mecha and/or a drama with heavy romantic overtones. I was completely unable to provide it for them.
That was an interesting post to read.
One thing though. You don’t like Urobuchi for his gender portrayal, but are OK with High School DxD and generic harems like KoiChoco?
For the record, by the end of my watch of Koichoco I was completely hating it for how dumb the plot turned. As for the larger point of gender portrayal in harem anime, I think it has to be put into context. I can only think of one example of a harem show that takes such delight in destroying women for the sake of having ambitions that don’t involve men and that would be the infamous Love Love. The worst thing that harem anime generally does from a character perspective is get lazy with character concepts and make most of them 1-dimensional based on a single attribute. Those are just poor shows in general.
Pretty sure they do much worse things than that, but I don’t really wanna argue that here. It’s a minor disagreement, I enjoyed the post a lot and would rather that was the emphasis.
I’m not sure why you’ve made it quite so personal with Urobuchi. Surely he’s not the only Japanese writer/creator to have a skewed gender perspective in which female characters are dealt the worst of the cards?
Seikai is easily the most underrated franchise in anime. It’s a shame that space opera is now considered so passe that it’ll never get the recognition it deserves.
With Urobuchi, it’s really the fact that there’s this perception that he’s incredibly good at what he does. It’s really the aggressive way that he deals with the gender perspective that bothers me most about him.
Normally I’m against amnesty, but that chick with the beer changed my mind.
That changes most minds. The fact that she had it on tap in a school classroom makes it even better.
Even if most of your taste is utter crap, I’m willing to overlook it due to your inclusion of Crest/Banner of the Stars.
Thanks…I guess. The Crest/Banner of the Stars is probably one of the most well written shows as far as it’s portrayal of character relationships and also depicting chaos on and off the battlefield. It’s a shame that so few modern shows live up to that standard.
I forgot all about Crest of the Stars!
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