Archive for ‘meta’

September 3, 2011

kadian1364 on Filler in Anime (and Cowboy Bebop)

Original Post: Cowboy Bebop ep 06 “Sympathy for The Devil” and The Episode as a Jam Session


kadian1364 says:

September 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm

I believe a strict definition of “filler” should describe an episode that doesn’t make any significant development in character, plot, setting, or theme. However, common fandom parlance throws around the label for episodes that are unrelated to the main plot and are of perceived lesser quality. But in either definition, “Sympathy for the Devil” doesn’t qualify because of its strong emphasis on character, setting, and theme, and the masterful workmanship of Bebop that’s evident in all of its episodes. There is no valid justification of calling Bebop filler; it’s either a thoughtless attempt to detract the work as a whole, or someone genuinely believes Bebop would be better off as a six episode, plot-centric series. Those people can have that show if they want it, but I’ll take my sweeeet harmonica riff and enjoy my show.


August 13, 2011

animekritik on fascism and the postmodern

Original Post: On The Interpretation of Anime (or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bog)

animekritik says:

August 13, 2011 at 10:32 am

Bad idea rewatching Utena in the middle of Penguindrum, unless you’re thinking of dropping Penguindrum :D

As to this fascism and post-modernism issue, it seems to me that to the extent that the Nazis tried desperately to hold onto a myth of German superiority, they were the antithesis of post-modernism and superflat worldviews etc. However, yes, I think the desperation you saw in some of these Germans betrayed a creeping awareness that not even the Germans escaped from this annihilation of absolute values (especially not the Germans). So that in a twisted sense post-modernism can be said to descend from the fascist project even though it opposes it. Put another way, if a German wakes up one day in 1945 and realizes all of a sudden that his race has no absolute claim to anything, then the only thing that’s left to him/her is to accept that no other race has any absolute claim to anything. And of course, we might dislike the way this realization plays out, but that doesn’t affect in any way its truth value.


August 9, 2011

ghostlightning on growing into adulthood

Original Post: I’m 20 Years Old? FFFFFFFFFFFF Why Can’t I Look Like Sakurano Kurimu?!

August 8, 2011 at 12:39 am

I want to be Son Gohan, all of 6 years old and the strength of a T-Rex. I can delve pretty big holes all by myself. I want to be an a room full of all the Lego bricks in the world and make Gundams for a month, then emerge from it as a fully formed adult and show my shit off on the internet.

I want to be a little girl just like my little girl so we can play and wrestle and dance together, then after a few hours I’ll turn back into her father so I can lift her up and adore her until my heart explodes.

I want to meet my wife again when we were both teenagers. Then a few days later be ourselves again so we can laugh: she at my long hair, me at her braces.

The wish to be a kid again never, ever goes away. So does the wish to never grow older than how you are at any time. But I realize I seldom wish to stay a particular age: like, I’d wish I was 18 again, but only for a few days, or maybe be 23 while backpacking through the world over a year… but nothing like to be a certain younger age again period.

To disappear from one’s milieu is to abandon one’s relationships in a way. Their relationship is with me, me the adult, the 34 year old husband, and father. I can’t be 18 and leave my wife at 36. That wouldn’t be fair. I wouldn’t like myself that much if I did. It would be a supremely selfish choice. And this, has less to do with being mature or adult, but just being loving.

The adventures I want to have are adventures with them. Sure I have 25 year-old friends who I probably can’t keep up with partying, or I won’t be able to join traveling. I accept this. I had my adventures at that age. The adventures I need to have, are those with the people I’m with and who I love.

Right now, you’re surrounded by people your age, and it’s easy to feel the things you’re feeling. The game here is to just live, go out and do things. You’ve done a bit of that, now do more, while you can, so that whatever you’re doing at whatever age will be things that feel right, because the things you haven’t done yet will be there for you to do, and the things that you miss, are already things you’ve done.

Happy Birthday bro. When I turned 20 it was both the best and worst day of my life. I would never ever want to go through that day and night ever again. But I would never change anything.


February 10, 2011

ghostlightning on The Death of the Author (and The Intentional Fallacy)

Original Post: Cyborg Soldiers: Child-Machine Weaponry


February 9th, 2011 at 9:56 am

I have a very clear stance on the “Death of the Author” thing (as well as intentional fallacy — which is a distinct but related thing).

I think it is wrongheaded to dismiss the author’s statements, or any writing approaching the work using the creators as starting points or as dominant subjects.

What I rather think, is that the creators’ statements is part of their own readings of their work. I give them no further privilege beyond the novelty of their proximity to the work itself.

But it doesn’t mean that theirs aren’t interesting. Theirs undoubtedly are, and will continue to be as they prove to be interesting individuals.

What I object to is to treat the authorial reading of the subject work as definitive, sacrosanct, and as intellectual forcefields marking the borders of what are acceptable readings of the texts.



February 10, 2011

jpmeyer on Anime Blogging (history, nature, growth and decline)

Original Post: Is The Anime Blog Dying Out?


February 7, 2011 at 11:00 am

Two other things:

1) The first big bump in anime blogging occurred in 2006, which comes as no surprise since that was also the peak year in anime production.

2) The decline in anime blogging can also be somewhat attributed to the rise in fansubbing. Anime blogging started out as mainly consisting of blogs that posted episode recap summaries back around 2004 or so, and that model really endured for years despite becoming increasingly obsolete. There was a demand for these since not everything was being fansubbed and what was being fansubbed could still take a while to come out. And when I say a “while” here, I don’t mean being butthurt over it taking a couple hours for subs to come out. I mean taking weeks to show up.

As a concrete example, people Garten and Momotato got large audiences when they would post episode summaries of My-Hime because the subs for the show were almost two months behind and it allowed (the many) people that were following raws to understand the parts of the episode that they couldn’t follow purely based on the visuals alone. Subs still weren’t really coming out for everything (or in a quick turnaround) until around 2007 or 2008, so there was a need for these recap blogs to provide a place with information about shows.

I would also attribute the constant decrease in anime production as a source of declining need for anime blogs since it’s a lot easier now to watch everything that you want to watch in a given season. We noticed that we were writing episode summaries for something like a dozen shows per season back in 2006. Right now, there’s only about 4 or so shows per season we even watch.

Additionally, Wikipedia took a while to take off. Nowadays, there are pages for anime up well before they even air. My-Hime didn’t even have a Wikipedia page until it had nearly aired, so if people wanted to find out about it, it was blog time. It’s almost like why there are no “fan pages” any more. There’s just no need for them. Similarly, there’s no point for most people to write episode recap blogs any more. People will have seen the episode.

Finally, has anyone ever really stopped to think if maybe the whole “anime blog” thing is kind of weird? I’m really having trouble thinking of some sort of equivalent for Western TV and film. It’s more like Television Without Pity-ish forums, or posts on professional sites which basically serve more as a comment thread for people to talk about the show like they would in a forum. I never see stuff like “Here are my thoughts about moe, and by moe I mean women in Ice Road Truckers. And then tomorrow I’ll ‘interpret’ Dancing On Ice With The Stars.” Or “Here are the plots of this weekend’s movies”?

jpmeyer February 7, 2011 at 11:07 am

Oh, one more thing:

In fandom studies, one reason that fans are drawn to fan activities and purchasing memorabilia is an attempt to extend the pleasure derived from the object of one’s fandom. Think about if you’re a fan of say, Firefly. You watch the show a few times, but then if you want more Firefly-related enjoyment, you’ve gotta do other things than watch the show. I’d wager that part of the growth of anime blogging had to do with there only being so much accessible anime back in the day (even if the amount produced by Japan had been higher), so people needed to come up with other things to do if they wanted some more “anime experience”.


jpmeyer´s last blog ..Why is everyone raving about Kimi ni TodokeMy ComLuv Profile


October 12, 2010

Suiman on Discovering Broader Perspectives on Anime Through Blogs

Original Post: Remember the Moment When You Really Fell Hard for Something?


September 29, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I graduated from a Catholic high school way back in 2005. Unlike some of my fellow freshmen, I never experienced any culture shock during the start of college. Despite seeing conflicts between various political and social groups, I was too busy playing DOTA to actually care. My anime consumption was mainly composed of harem comedies-for the boobs, mecha-for the pew pew and NSFW- for the…. It was a very happy go lucky college life. During my junior years in 2007, a friend recommended Darker than Black saying that the action scenes were good and that Amber looked like C.C. It was an enjoyable yet forgettable experience.

After two years, for reasons I cannot yet pin point, I became more involved and critical of my surroundings, inside and outside of the university. I started reading newspapers and watching the news seriously. I felt guilty that it was only then that I became aware of the numerous atrocities happening around the country. Bad news far outweighed the good ones. I started valuing my immersions with various people, from the Right and the Left, the elite and the impoverished.

Teasers then appeared about DtB s2. Since I enjoyed s1 to some extent and found the new protagonist to be really hot (I picked some very bad fetishes along the way), I rewatched the first season via Animax. Watching without subtitles really helped me appreciate the visual aspects of the show. After the first two episodes, I was amazed and frustrated. I cannot believe that there was so much depth and content that I missed from the series outside Hei’s badass moves and Yin’s DFC. Hei did not help the people he met because he was a “good Samaritan” expected of a hero but because of his common field of experience with them. He was able to relate to them as I was able to relate with the show. Societal and personal oppression and “development through the enlargement of people’s choices” were some of its themes that captivated me. I fell in love with DtB.

It ignited a spark within me. I needed other perspectives to broaden my insights. Unfortunately, my friends were into the shounen holy trinity and did not share my enthusiasm in discussing anime beyond “Who is stronger?” or “Who is sexier?” which I still sometimes participate in. Luckily, some blogs participated in a DtB rewatch. Reading their works showed similar and different analyses from mine. I was surprised with the depth and variety of interpretations these bloggers were able to derive not just from DtB but from other anime as well. This motivated me to expand my aniblog lurking, WRL among others. I started rewatching and interpreting anime such as Elfen Lied, NGE, TTGL and FSN. My love for DtB has changed the way I now view anime and led to the enrichment of my guiding philosophies.


August 23, 2010

OGT on Post-modernism, or Post-post-modernism, or Post-post-post-modernism

Original Post: Adventures in Criticism: Otaku 2


18 August 2010 at 10:57 am


it’s less that the grand narrative*, with all its glorious Meaning, has died out, to be replaced by a vacuous, empty database that transforms itself simply to create more consumer goods (which is what Azuma means, I think, by his “database animals” concept), it’s more that the database is newly operationalized and split off from the grand narrative.

Which means that rather than having preferred means of revealing Meaning (formalism), creating a hierarchy of culture (high-middle-low), we now have the understanding that Meaning is not inherently tied to a particular form and that you can utilize elements from any given form(s) to point at a Meaning beyond the shuffle of forms in the foreground (c.f. Scott Pilgrim OH YEAH I WENT THERE). Of course, now we also have pleasure taken just from the shuffle of forms in the foreground (and damn any extrafictional Meanings), so it’s a double-edged sword here.

What seems to be happening in culture in general, as a result of this, is that you have all sorts of differing forms competing with one another, trying to assert themselves as the new “high culture” (SF is Important Philosophical Literature for the Modern Age arguments, Anime is the Vanguard of Groundbreaking Revolutionary Animated Narratives arguments, and so on). This gets so bad that many seem to get much more concerned with whether or not their favored form(s) are considered high culture (or upset that they’re considered low culture, or pissed off at the arrogance of other claimants to high culture, or embarrassed about their enjoyment of low culture, or whatever), which links status not to societal position, but to which forms of fiction one enjoys.

*Surely to God we can think of a different word to phrase that concept as so that it stops sounding so terribly confusing.


August 9, 2010

Baka-Raptor on the Cost of Understanding

Original Post: We Remember Love Editorial Folio Vol. 3: Meditations on Fandom


August 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Understanding should cost you if you’re serious. Anyone can drop a show after a few episodes and say, “I understand that different people have different tastes. This show just isn’t for me.” That kind of superficial rationalization doesn’t qualify as understanding. If you really want to understand why other people like something you don’t like, you need to get down and dirty. The more you dislike it, the dirtier you need to get.
To discuss a show meaningfully, you need to watch enough of it to develop a meaningful opinion. Then when you’re discussing the show, you need to reflect on all the parts of the show you didn’t like and try, often repeatedly, to see them through the other person’s eyes. This can be very painful. Think Poo-tan from Cromartie High School.
I want to like everything I watch, but I don’t try to like everything I watch. I believe it’s the show’s job to make me like it. When I actively try to like a show I instinctively disliked, I more often than not end up disliking the show even more. When I dwell on it to try to understand it, I end up hating it. I do come away with some understanding and appreciation, but it doesn’t make me happy.


April 24, 2010

2010digitalboy on Blogging Anime vs. Posting on Forums

Original post here: Loving Your Fellow Fan – It’s All A Rich Tapestry! (Also: I Learn to Truly Understand the Thirst for Akihabara)


April 23rd, 2010 at 7:32 am ·

Yeah, I don’t like forums in general, because they tend to have all the people there generally get inside of each-others’ ass. That’s why I left the megatokyo forums (which omo is admin of, and you know he’s the king of fully immersing himself in the asses of other people) just cuz it was so… ‘ugh’ is the best word. I like blogging because you are a community, but you don’t have to be up each-others’ asses. It’s kind of like the difference between a big city and a backwater village.

Meanwhile 4chan is a sprawling metropolis, which can seem a little too unfriendly, but if you’re an Andrew WK of the internet, then you’re gunna have a blast.

(this is one of the best things I’ve ever said. Put this on your ghosts of discussion thing.)


February 9, 2010

RP on the Demise of One’s Own Anime Blogging

Original Post: The two-year death and history repeating itself in the aniblogsphere

(Submitted by Scamp via @ghostcomments)


Posted February 9, 2010 at 12:47 am | Permalink

It’s funny, I always think of a Nightwing quote from the old Bat man car toons where he says: “Things changed! I changed! The games over, Batman! I quit.” when it comes to topics like this. It seems oddly fitting.

Sadly, the cycle is what it is — unavoidable. I don’t think any one ever starts with the intention to quit, but it’s like relation ships that last a couple months, or a job you leave after a year or two. You never start things expecting to end it. But things change. People change. And priorities shift. It’s sad to see old faces go, but the world is a huge place, and soon, another face pops up. I hate to say we’re interchangeable pieces, but I guess that’s exactly what I’m saying :-)

Even I wonder how long I’ll stay in this game. I think I may have caused myself undue anxiety in my anniversary post by mentioning that I wanted to stick with blogging “for the long haul.” Not that I don’t, but the last thing I ever want to do is have blogging become a chore I feel like I have to do, than some thing I want to do. And that state ment seemed like an albatross in the making. Plus, how can I know? What if I end up get ting a new job that takes up all my time? What if I strike up a serious relation ship with a certain special lady? I’d like to think I could con tinue unabated, and I cer tainly think I could to some degree, but even the optimist in me would admit that I’d devote less time to it.

But I think it’s always interesting to reminisce about things like these, not because any one has any answers, but because I think in the back of our minds, we’re all thinking similar things.


January 15, 2010

Sorrow-kun on A Sliding Scale Instead of Dichotomizing Objectivity and Subjectivity

Original Post: Defining a ‘good’ anime


Posted January 14, 2010 at 1:56 am


Is discussion of opinion just meaningless mental masturbation in a group environment? I mean, I don’t doubt that’s part of it, but I think there’s more to it than that.

Opinion might be subjective, but it’s formed out of interpretations of observations, and part of that process is objective. Thinking about it from this point of view, a clear divide between “objective” and “subjective” is probably an overly simplistic way to think about it. If you look at science, which values and strives for objectivity, the main point is to draw conclusions by analyz ing and interpreting the data. But it’s still possible for two people to draw different conclusions from the same set of data. That’s the whole point of scientific controversy, and from the debates that follow, these conclusions turn into test able hypotheses for future experiments, with the aim of trying to find out which conclusion is closest to the true nature.

The point I’m try ing to make is that, while judging anime is largely subjective, and science is largely object ive, neither is completely one or the other, simply because of process and human nature. I think we need to start think ing of subjectivity/objectivity as a scale rather than a dichotomy. Because if we define objectivity as “without opinion” as opposed to “without emotion” than nothing is truly objective, because opinion is the inevitable consequence of interpretation, some thing that must be done with everything we experience.


Submitted via twitter @ reply to @ghostcomments by Scamp.

January 13, 2010

Daryl Surat on Not Being a Jaded Anime Fan


Daryl Surat

January 13th, 2010 at 01:07:54


I don’t think my tastes are THAT specific, and I don’t even think I’m all that negative. The majority of my thoughts on anime are expressed by way of either my podcast reviews or my Otaku USA articles, and I would say that 95% of what I’ve chosen to review over the last 4-5 years is something I enjoy. In looking over Wikipedia’s seemingly incomplete list of all the anime made from 2000-2009, I counted roughly 1500 different titles. Of those 1500, about 170 were things I considered “worth watching.” Ties in nicely with the Internet’s 2nd favorite law about how 90% of everything is crap, with a percentage point or so margin of error.

But the unstated portion of that law is that nobody agrees on what falls into that 90% and what doesn’t. So it is that my 170 or so anime titles are a very different set than the set several other people come up with when presented with the same list. And so, even though I pretty much stick to talking about what I like, if I throw in an offhand remark about something I don’t particularly care for, that part’s all anyone remembers.

The most typical shorthand criticism levied towards me used to be “Daryl only likes shows from before 1990,” which was never true. Now it’s “Daryl only likes shows from before 2000,” which is also untrue. It’s just the inevitable result of a scenario by which there’s an increased output of titles available for viewing but a constant level of quality.


Submitted via twitter @ghostcomments by 21stcenturydigitalboy

December 2, 2009

Kadian1364 on Watching Great Shows Regularly

Orignal post : Anime and Manga Related Moments 2009: Those Who WON’T Make the List


December 2, 2009 at 10:38 pm


This is a terribly obvious thing to say, but watching great shows regularly has been incredibly rewarding. Right now, everyone’s bemoaning the crap seasons, how the economy and moe is declining the industry, even predicting the death of the medium itself. And right now, I love anime more than I ever have, with a reverent knowledge of the classics and deeper appreciation of the trailblazing efforts of those that pioneered the medium in the past, and those that continue to test the boundaries of visual storytelling today. […]