14 CommentsRandom / By Scamp /

The readers have spoken part 2

Terribad video? Sorry, still on holiday. Too busy rotting on buses and getting drunk tipsy by 1000 foot high cliffs to be doing any of that nonsense. So instead, here’s more responses to reader’s questions. Next post will be the last piece of responses I’ll be doing, so speak now or else forever hold your peace.

Tell me, light novel fans: Is there a trend in light novels that the first volume tends to be heavily story based, only for the later volumes to lose sight of what made it unique and delve further into trite cliche? That’s what I’m seeing in a lot of adaptations. They tend to lose sight of their unique qualities after the first 3 episodes. In my mind, it seems obvious why. Author sends in first volume with grand idea. Publisher loves it, publishes it, books gets popular, and author is asked to write more. Problem is, he doesn’t know where to take the story from here, and he’s not allowed to end it. So instead it’s padded out with the same bland sameyness every light novel turns into.

I still find it shocking that the latest big news in kids cartoon television is an anime propagating the glories of poaching. From the country that has serious problems with whale poaching, I really struggle to wrap my head around how Toriko was made.

I’m ashamed to admit the only Macross I’ve seen is Frontier and the first episode of the original Macross. Not that it was bad, but yikes was it ever dated.

Strangely, I get almost no commenter douche-baggery. You would think, what with me being rather undiplomatic, that I’d get far more. Even the ones I do get tend to be the type who say something like “this is funny because you’re so retarded”, which I don’t really mind because hey, at least you’re enjoying yourself.

Lurkers: Get out and make your voice heard if you have something to say…is what I’d like to say, but I know I’ve never left a comment on one of LittleKuriboh’s or Zero Punctuation’s videos, despite being a rather hopeless fanboy for both of them. Now this is partly because they get so many comments that mine would simply get lost in the heap, but it’s perhaps even more intimidating to comment on someone’s post that has far less comments. But that doesn’t mean you should follow my example. Stop lurking and get out there! Let your voice be heard!

Me trying to appear fair? I do not understand this suggestion. Fair to who? The creators? It’s hardly like Bakuman’s original author is reading my posts. I mean, I’d love it if the director of Steins;Gate read my posts about how he uses far too many dutch angles to the point that it ruins scenes where it would otherwise be effective and improve in his later works, but of course they don’t. Or am I supposed to be appearing fair to the fans? To that I just say: lol

As for how I got started blogging, I direct you to my About page.

I assume what you’re talking about here is that both BL and yuri aren’t aimed towards actual LGBT folks. They’re the products of tropes rather than actual real life romances, where rape = love is rife, and girls are apparently all insufferably nice to each other. So yeah, they exist. Can’t really say that more about either, because they aren’t genres I’m particularly fond and therefore don’t watch/read many.

This would essentially be a long list of “these things move, these pages don’t”.

How? I’m not sure ‘how’ I readjust expectations. The latest episode was better than expected, expectations go up. The latest episode was bad, expectations go down. I don’t do that deliberately, my mind just readjusts itself naturally. Some people subscribe to the school of thought that you should go into everything with low expectations because you will either be happily surprised or smug when proved correct. I see the logic, but having rock-bottom expectations means I don’t necessarily enjoy something as much as it probably deserves.

OK, first part: No, because I don’t want to step on people’s toes simply for the sake of stepping on people’s toes. Mikoto/Fangzhao/Flomu can get away with that because that’s his shtick. His internet persona is built up so that he can ‘get away’ with doing that (for a given value of ‘get away with’) and I’m glad people like him exist. Someone needs to give various parts of the blogosphere a kick up the hole every now and then. It’s just I don’t want to be that person. I’m too much of a pussy to do that so directly.

The ASIA thing is something I have had thought of before the OEG came into being. For those who don’t know, the Otaku Elimination Game were a group set up by a bunch of people who were really angry that people were calling themselves otaku when they really were just following some sort of mainstream ideal of what otaku meant, generated partly by Danny Choo. So they set up a site to critique various anime websites and give a verdict whether they were a true otaku or not. They were really just a bunch of trolls, only aiming to piss people off, but what took them by surprise was how many people asked to have their sites participate. Anime Bloggers are the type who are so starved for recognition that they’ll even sign up to a bashing contest if it means someone will tell them what they really think of their blog.

I think that alone shows that there is the demand out there for some kind of critiquing system like you’ve suggested. I’d add that you would only review blogs that ask to be reviewed, because there’s no point in offering criticism to a blogger that doesn’t want it. Also it might be a good idea to have a few anonymous panellists, because then they’ll be more likely to be blunt with their assessments. Will I run it? God no! I don’t want anymore meta projects on my hands. Too much hassle and drama. But good luck to the brave folk who do try set it up. I’ll be cheering on from the sidelines.

Also Gunbuster sucks.

I wrote about this back in those 80’s and 90’s OVA’s, but one thing I’ve noticed is the evolution of the panty shot. In the past, it would be a boring old pair of plain white panties, flashed briefly for a second in to the point that you find yourself wondering whether you’d even seen them and whether that was deliberate or not. The modern pantyshot is a full screen flash with a noise to imply that you’ve just seen panties, like the tinkling of a bell or something. It’s rather more blatant about the whole process.


OK OK, Fate/Zero talk then. I like Gen Urabochi, the author of Madoka Magica, Saya no Uta and Fate/Zero. The man can write really damn well. His writing is tight and succinct with well crafted purposes and themes. He doesn’t include redundant text for the most part and there’s a purpose to each story I’ve seen him write. He has two key problems though. One is that he can’t write comedy, which isn’t an issue so long as he doesn’t try to write comedy. The second is that he can’t write a character, only collections of ideals held together by plot points. This is where the Fate/Stay Night universe steps in. I think nasu’s writing is completely impenetrable, but he can write interesting characters. Combine the two and you get Saber written by someone who knows how to actually write.

Whut? I dunno what you talking about. Anime is fucking awesome. No really, I love this shit. Steins;Gate, Redline, Arrietty, Bunny Drop, Madoka fucking Magica. That’s just anime that have been released this year alone that I love. Fuck yeah anime!

Man, I am such a weeaboo…

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  1. mcm38
    Posted August 22, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Well, readjusting your expectations. I agree with you there. There is not much you can do about it intentionaly. But what might help is trying to rewatch it while only concentrating on just one (or a few relative) aspect of it.

    For example: Let’s say we have an antique table. An antique collector would give it a ridiculously high price. But if you try to sell it to a timber workshop you’ll only get its physical value.

    Try watching it with eye on animation quality and effects. Or only the story and how it builds up. By doing so your opinion may change for the better or the worse because you’ll be highlighting some of the animes better or worse aspects.

  2. Posted August 22, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Penguindrum, Tiger & Bunny, Steins;Gate, Usagi Drop, No. 6, Natsume Yuujinchou, Redline, those were all currently airing/aired this season alone. And all are various amounts of awesome.

    Nuts to that last question.

  3. Mr. Anon
    Posted August 23, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Manga action is harder to follow than anime action due to lack of animation, but the story is easier to follow due to relatively more dialogue, narration, etc. What do you know, it’s a tradeoff!

    Saying anime > manga or manga > anime is lacking in appreciation of the different strengths of the media.

    As for the light novel thing, the same thing happens to a lot of manga (and their anime adaptations). Compare for example how great Blue Exorcist started and the high school bullshit it was followed up by. It still has its moments, but they are few and far between.

  4. Posted August 23, 2011 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    On fanservice, then and now: I’ve been watching the retro ecchi anime Golden Boy recently, and it seems like the Queen’s Blade of the 90s. While ‘modern’ fanservice consists of obnoxious pantyshots and boobage and corresponding whole-body censoring, Golden Boy is basically half-porno. It features intentional nudity and masturbation, as opposed to OOPS, I’M SITTING ON YOUR FACE! or “oh my, I tripped and ripped off your jacket and unbuttoned your shirt accidentally!”

    Same level of obvious fanservice, but modern is more annoying.

    Relevant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_service#History (of course, you take a look at “magical girl” show Panty and Stocking and…)

    I would’ve agreed with Gargling Mouthwash a couple of months ago (imo 2009 and 2010 were some terrible years for anime), but these last couple of seasons have been top-notch. Not that I’m watching anything this season, but I do hear and see the hype!

    …and I’m glad people like him exist. Someone needs to give vari­ous parts of the blo­go­sphere a kick up the hole every now and then.

    I am flattered, scamp-kun~<3

    Also Gun­buster sucks.

    nevermind (also I get it, platonic)

    • Mr. Anon
      Posted August 24, 2011 at 12:54 am | Permalink

      Golden Boy is also fucking awesome (and hardly as graphic as you make it sound). There is a great story to it, it’s not all about fanservice … I doubt we can say the same for Queen’s Blade.

    • Posted August 24, 2011 at 2:10 am | Permalink

      Well, it does have a half naked woman masturbating on a motorcycle. In general, the fanservice it does deliver is more graphic (and always more intentional) than what we see today.

      But yeah, it does have a great story. The show’s great!

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted August 23, 2011 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Aww, you didn’t answer any of mine </3

  6. Thrashy
    Posted August 23, 2011 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    I have to admit to the same thing about Macross — though I gave up on Frontier midway through because the musical bits annoyed me (I know, it’s Macross, what was I expecting?). As for the original Macross, it’s not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just that the animation doesn’t stand up well after all these decades. and there’s something about the script-writing — or maybe the voice-actors’ delivery — that reminds me of watching He-Man reruns.

    The one to watch, though, is Macross Zero. The animation is great, the short OVA format keeps the plot moving along briskly, and it fills in some of the backstory of the Macross universe that doesn’t get as much attention in the other iterations of the series.

  7. Posted August 23, 2011 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    “Anime is fuck ing awe some. No really, I love this shit.”
    Made my day.

    Actually, the target audience for 90% of yuri is female. Even the SonoHana games spend more of their time talking about feelings and emotions and how much they mean to each other etc. than the actual porn.

    • Anna Ki
      Posted August 24, 2011 at 3:42 am | Permalink

      This is going to be a very stereotypical, generalized theory, but that’s probably because non-pornographic manga dealing with relationships are generally aimed towards women, regardless of the sexual orientation of the characters involved. In contrast, males, when they’re in the mood for some fappery, will go for the more pornographic stuff regardless of their own sexual orientation and the sexual orientation of the characters in question. Hence why most hentai is straight, with a healthy dose of yuri (or orgies/multiple-somes involving some degree of f/f sexing), and then there’s bara or traps. The softer, less explicit, story/relationship-oriented yaoi and yuri are therefore targeted towards women. Of course there’s sex in these so-called “softer” works. But it’s like the difference between sex in hardcore porn and sex in romance novels. Genitalia is often obscured, less detailed, even hidden from view altogether by shadows or blankets or whatever, while the focus is on facial expressions and gestures of affection. In contrast, works targeted towards men (be they bara or yuri or trap works) feature intensely detailed, exaggerated genitalia and orifices, to the extent that showing cross-sections of the women’s wombs/vagina has become commonplace. This even extends to things like tentacles: in hentai targeted towards males, the tentacles tend to have very prominent textures and protrusions, while in yaoi targeted towards females, tentacles are drawn with soft, smooth, vague lines with very little structural detail.

      So, generally speaking, works targeted towards females tend to focus more on relationships/romance, regardless of whether they’re yaoi or yuri or straight works, while works towards males tend to focus more on the sex, whether they’re bara or yuri hentai or trap or shota or tentacles or whatever.

      I’ve actually heard that it was more of a 60/40 split when it came to yuri manga. Does anyone know where to find some real data concerning this issue?

  8. fathomlessblue
    Posted August 23, 2011 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Just watch Macross7; it ticks one box, plus if you make it to the end the Dynamite ova is about hunting space whales! You’re killing two birds with one stones.

    Hey, even if you (in all likelihood) don’t finish all 50+ episodes at least you’ll have new material for another terribad vid. It’s a win/win situation!

  9. Posted August 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Madoka Fucking Magica biatch!!!!!! also Rin is cute :3

  10. Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Hurrah for Madoka fucking Magica

  11. Golos
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    “Also Gun­buster sucks.”

    Wait… really?

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