An often unfortunate fact about the anime biz as a whole is that it is entirely self-aware of its place. It knows that it is a relatively niche medium and it also knows that, for the most part, a significant portion of anime viewers are not casual ones but ravenous beasts consuming series after series that’s churned out. It means it knows its audience well and it plays to their desires, making almost a sort of feedback loop. We get into watching anime because we like what it’s doing and somewhere along the way anime starts to specifically do things because we like that and want more of it. Moe as a concept is probably the most widespread phenomenon of this sort, such that many shows every season are thinly veiled excuses wrapped around a nougaty moe center.
Nov 12, 2015
I grew up on weird obscure titles found in our small town VHS rental store as well as, a bit later, whatever I could scrounge up from the deep reaches of the early internet. Which is to say, not much, because back then there was no YouTube nor Crunchyroll. At first there were a few websites, then there was DirectConnect, then shitty KaZaA, and, if you were adventurous (like me), there were the archaic-but-useful IRC channels for the various anime fansub groups. Ah yes, XDCC. How you saturated my poor slow internet connection with lovely AVI files. I still have hundreds of CDs burned with those old treasures. Later we would get the wonders of BitTorrent but until it caught on, things were rough. I mention all this because it pertains to the old title I finally, after so many years, got around to.
Nov 10, 2015
Well… shit. Where does one begin when reviewing the titan that is Attack on Titan? Yeah, you know the one. Maybe you didn’t see it or still plan to or saw some screenshots and figured it wasn’t your thing. Maybe you watched it every week as it aired. Regardless, you’ve at least heard of it. I know you have. During its run, and long after, you couldn’t go anywhere near Crunchyroll or any anime community and not see an ad, a picture, or a mention. The looming titan face with exposed muscle and bone is now practically iconic (see below). There are several spinoffs and tons of merchandise. AoT dominated everything, at least until Kill la Kill and then Sword Art Online II dethroned it (but I’ll deal with those behemoths another day). Don’t even get me started on all of the parodies. It was fantastically popular and still is, and the second season is just around the corner now.
Sep 3, 2015
Cool colors, dark vignettes, and high contrast do nothing to innovate yet are certainly appropriate and striking. But alas, the actual result is that of a frustrated high school girl’s fanfic of “dark gothic vampires” that inevitably becomes a masturbation fantasy of her repressed desires for sexy despicable devils to consume her innocent life and literally fight over her body. It would be deplorable in an anti-feminist way, despite the tell-tale trappings and obvious catering to a female-dominated audience, if it weren’t just down-right silly and sad.
May 20, 2015
Leaving a job is never easy. Doubly so if you liked it and/or the people. The obligation to those you leave behind is, at least for me, also a bit daunting and agonizing. I don’t like schmaltzy farewells or half-hearted platitudes. But, I also don’t hold it against folks because I know it’s hard to do well and, frankly, it’s rarely worth it nor is it required in the first place. At best it is a polite consolation.
Recently, another co-worker moved on but, before departing, she dropped an incredibly long and heartfelt bomb on us via email, where she talked about where she was going, why she was thankful, and even went through each of us one by one to give a personal shout-out. It was like a giant wot-i-think about us all and it was very honest and from the heart and also just a tad psychotic but the best humans in life often are. Needless to say, she’s now set the bar super high for whenever anyone else leaves.