Let’s Talk About Anime YouTubers

August 18, 2017

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Look, I enjoy thoughtful analysis. The problem that no one seems to address is the value judgment that seems inextricably linked to it. I’d love for channels to do a critical reading of anime, breaking down the themes, using different theories to pick apart the structure of the narratives and writing. I’d love to hear people discuss Narrative/Database Consumption, the Media Mix and Phallic Girls. But the arrogance that comes with it just annoys me to no end. The elitism, the pontification, the proselytizing, it’s so grating.

Why would any serious anime academic listen to these YouTubers when they could just read the works and theories straight from the source? I’ve had a much less stressful time reading Marc Steinberg, Ian Condry, Azuma Hiroki, Otsuka Eiji, Susan Napier, Anne Allison, Sharon Kinsella, Koichi Iwabuchi, Thomas Lamarre, Saito Tamaki, etc… They don’t spend half the book criticizing their readers (most of them, anyways) and I think anime YouTubers could stand to learn a thing or two from them. Cut the bullshit, rein back the pride and pretension and maybe people will be more interested. If you want to teach people something, the last thing you want to do is to make them feel stupid.


“How” Do You Love Anime?

May 6, 2017

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Yes. Not why, but how.

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Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale Movie Review

February 20, 2017

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Okie, I’ve just come back from seeing the Sword Art Online movie so let’s talk about it. But before that, because of the nature of the “fanbase”, I think I have to preface this review by telling you guys where I stand on the franchise.

I am by no means what you would call a big fan of the franchise. I have never read the original Light Novels nor have I ever played any of the games. I haven’t even bought any merchandise (…aside from a couple of figures). I have only watched the original two anime seasons. They were entertaining, serviceable shows with fun characters, sweet moments, cool concepts, interesting worlds and great action. I had no big issues with it. At least, not any that would warrant me trying to crucify the series and burn it at the stake. As much as I liked it, I never really did get into it and I never latched on to any of the characters except for maybe Sinon and Yuuki.

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(I’m sorry, but Sinon’s waist is a thing of beauty. Yes, I have a thing for shapely waists, but I digress.)

So, being neither a big fan nor a hater, I went into this movie with zero expectations, like I try to do for all movies. And as it turned out, even for a person like me with hardly any attachment to the series… I had an absolute blast! (^o^) After a dearth of anime movie sequels that actually succeeded in being little more than hollow, nostalgia-bait projects, it was refreshing to see that this movie does pretty much everything right… in my opinion, of course. Let me substantiate that.

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

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The Difference Between “Otaku” and “Weeaboo”

July 14, 2016

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From what I understand. In 460 words or less.

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Why the Kamen Rider Gaim Toy Line is So Grape

November 16, 2015

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Being a Kamen Rider fan for many years, I’m no stranger to the fact that the franchise is just one big toy commercial. However, to succeed in its endeavor to sell toys, both the show and the toys need to be good in their own right and play off each other’s strengths and unique characteristics. On top of that, in order to keep the long-time fans buying, innovations and improvements must be made to keep things fresh and updated.

In my opinion, the 2013/2014 Kamen Rider series, Kamen Rider Gaim, is a phenomenal show. Whether you love it or hate it, we can’t deny the fact that it took the series to new heights and took a concept as silly-sounding as Fruit Samurai and turned it into something serious, epic and mature – a series full of intrigue, twists and high-stakes that even non-Kamen Rider fans could enjoy. Hardly surprising, if you ask me, considering it was written by none other than Urobuchi Gen, famous for his other works including Saya no Uta, Psycho-Pass, Fate/Zero and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Yes, that Urobuchi Gen.

However, I don’t think that the show’s success can solely account for the 390% increase in toy sales and a total revenue of 10 billion yen over the course of the series run. No. If you ask me, the toys had a part to play as well. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at various aspects of both the show and the toy line to see why it’s just so ingenious.

WARNING! There are spoilers for the show within this post! While there aren’t any plot spoilers, the various forms and abilities for a number of the Riders are discussed!

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Redefining and Recontextualizing Moe: A New Dimension to Sexualized Cuteness

October 27, 2015

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After getting approval from my supervisor and head of department, I present to you my honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore.

I decided upon the topic of moe for my research as it has been a very hot-button issue in anime fandom for quite some time. I hope my paper will give you a clearer understanding of the concept, why moe might be far more useful and essential to the otaku than you might have realized and why moe isn’t insidious and does not spell the death of anime. Also discussed are gender issues and virtual child pornography.

ABSTRACT

By adopting a cultural studies approach, this paper seeks to redefine and recontexualize moe. This paper argues that moe is used as a coping mechanism by the otaku to reclaim agency and remain connected in a more individualized society as opposed to a tool that legitimizes the subjugation of women in society and homogenizes anime. This is done through the possession of fictional characters via the creation of dôjinshi, attending events and going on pilgrimages to the real-life settings of their favorite manga and anime. In addition, because moe is an element of the kawaii art style, it is separate and distinct from the other elements of an anime, allowing creators to retain creative freedom while simultaneously catering to the otaku and appealing to a wider demographic. Instead of being exploited by producers, the kawaii art style facilitates the production of character merchandise that the otaku purchase and use to aid them in reclaiming agency and connecting with fictional characters and other otaku.

Continue to the full text after the jump. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to link to this post! (^o^)

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Honors Thesis Submission – Dreams Do Come True

March 27, 2015

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…and with that, I’ve come to the end of my University education. The years just flew by and I am still in shock at how fast it felt (in retrospect). People say that dreams don’t always come true and that sooner or later, you’ll have to face cold, hard and harsh reality.

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