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.
I’ve mentioned before in this space repeatedly how I always seem to miss out on the shows that people are watching. Either my taste is so different from the norm or I’m desperately unlucky. So just to keep you all entertained, I present the following list of shows that I dropped or didn’t feel the need to watch and some of the things that have been said on why I should have watched them.
I’ll start by saying that I was inspired by the first episode of Space Bros into writing this post. Actually, it was more a case of the opening few minutes in how milestones were marked. The older brother Mutta was born in the aftermath of the Agony of Doha, when the Japan conceded an equalizer to Iraq in the final 1994 World Cup qualifier. Hibito was born as Hideo Nomo was putting the finishing touches on his first no hitter in Major League Baseball. The day their lives changed was on the same date as the 2006 World Cup final.
I was just impressed that milestones in their lives were marked by sporting events. It’s just something people who are really into something do. There was an episode of This American Life in which one of the interviewees uses Penn State football to remember dates and more. In my own experience, those same dates in order I was an annoying 10 year old who was vaguely excited about the World Cup coming to my country the next summer, I was watching a cut-in on the no-hitter and I was in a cramped room live blogging the World Cup final while IMing one of my former college roommates. The temperature in that room was near 40 C, but I shall spare any additional details. Even in that, you can tell that there’s more detail as I was more emotionally involved in what was happening and where I was.
I’ll just continue on with sports fandom a bit. I like to think of the time between games as a non-fiction narrative. Fans talk to each other about their teams, creating a level of expectation for the next game or for an entire season. For generations this has gone on, and it has only been enhanced by the emergence of newer and more interactive sources of media.
I always wonder if people feel the same while watching their favorite shows. As an example, do people remember what they were doing right before the final 2 episodes of Madoka aired? I can’t seem to think of any sort of marker in watching anime, apart from maybe January 3, 2009, though that was more relevant to writing now.
That has had me thinking that perhaps I’m just not enough of a fan. I may have seen many series over the years, but maybe I don’t know enough about what I’m watching. I sometimes feel this blog lacks enthusiasm because I’m not solely dedicated to the media I write about. Then again, I was enough of a fan to actually put my thoughts out in long form so that must count for something.
Actually what I’m really interested in is finding out what other interests people out there have apart from anime and manga. Do you feel as passionate about that and contribute to that community as often as you do in this part of the internet? Am I being too serious about this topic as well?
This is part of a series of shorter posts recapping some of the more whimsical aspects of 2011, and not necessarily having to do with any of the main topics covered by this blog.
The winter season was dominated by one series when it came to discussion, Madoka. The SHAFT series captured a large audience for its twist on the magical girl genre. Homura’s journeys back in time weren’t revealed until the latter stages, but then the conclusion of the series was delayed by the tragic earthquake in March.
This allowed for plenty of time to speculate on what the conclusion might be, I even sarcastically suggested Madoka could make a wish that could end the series. When it finally came to the conclusion, Madoka made her wish sacrificing herself for a safer world where magical girls wouldn’t feed into another never-ending loop of tragedy and despair.
The general consensus I could gather was that it was a happy ending creating hope out of nothing as Madoka became the goddess of a new world. I took an opposite view that even blowing up the world and starting anew meant that magical girls were still needed and that in fact little in this world had really changed. That gulf in opinion bothered me for sometime, but ultimately it really doesn’t matter in the end.
After watching the conclusion to Madoka Magica a couple of weeks ago, the first thing that came to mind was how nihilistic the whole ending was. In the context of its genre, the series could easily be seen as revolutionary. I, on the other hand, have come to see it more as a work of revolution than a revolutionary work. Continue reading Finding the Revolutionary Spirit in Madoka Magica
Being the serial dropper of series that I am, I set a new challenge for myself for the spring season. I would not drop anything I started. This was not without a few caveats for I had several already existing rules on what to watch:
Nothing from Madhouse (also known as the Grenoble rule which expires May 27)
No starting anything that would have no definitive end as I don’t want to spend a decade watching filler
Anything made for children under the age of 8 was no good (feral children scare me so why would I want to think like them?)
Finally, no sequels of shows I failed to complete the first time around
No worries however as I’m going to try to make this as entertaining an experience as possible. Just one more reminder, don’t expect much in the way of serious analysis (that was all used up on Giant Killing).
Since the episode in the post title aired, I have read many comments about the episode which have been almost universally positive. Whether that was down to a sampling irregularity or not, I just couldn’t bring myself to feel the same after watching it. Being able to spend more than a week thinking about it, I became more convinced that there was something fundamentally wrong with the episode. That said, I doubt that the rest of this post will really convince anyone.