Kokou no Hito is a manga adaptation of a Japanese novel by Nitta Jirou that journalize the mountain climbing exploit of a real Japanese hard ass mountain climber in the 30s named Kato Buntarou who have written essays of his solo climbing expedition that were used to adapt to the novel which then again got adapted to the manga by artist Sakamoto Shinichi with help from the adaption of the novel’s story by Nabeta Yoshiro even though Sakamoto Shinichi did the story after volume 4.

Yes, it’s a complicated web of multiple authors but Sakamoto Shinichi is our guy here because it’s ultimately his own story. He deviate a lot from the novel which took place in the 1930s and modernize it. I personally deduced that this complicated web of different authors explained the different in directions and focus the comic book took after the first few volumes.

The first few volumes acted like a shonen sport manga. Our hero Mori Buntarou(before he changed his name to Kato Buntarou), an anti social student with a mysterious past got inspired by a hard ass shonen hero’s rival and took up mountain climbing as a hobby. The story then introduced us with a passionate mentor and a likable innocent love interest that will act as the pivot of the love triangle between our hero and hard ass shonen hero’s rival. Not only that, it also introduced a mysterious bishonen rival that seems to be related to our hero’s dark past. It’s build up as a competitive adventure that will teach us valuable lessons on bonding and friendship through the sport of mountain climbing.

And……….. all of those got thrown away after the first few volumes. Our hard ass shonen hero’s rival became a con man and a worthless adult throughout the comic. The passionate mentor got a rock in his face and died. The love interest became a prostitute that stole our hero’s money because she is a bitch. Mysterious bishonen rival only appeared in 2 chapters and shown to be dead in the K2 mountain by the end. Our hero learned that he really enjoyed the solitude after all his buddies died during a dangerous expedition. Every time he tries to play the friendship game, it will hinder him and the only way he felt at home is by going solo without any friendship and bonding bullshit to bog him down. Most of the time when he meet new characters, they are awful human beings that are selfish little piece of shit that hinder his mountain climbing ambition.

Awesome.

If there’s a deconstruction of shonen manga, Kokou no Hito is the one. It’s an anti thesis of shonen sport manga. What you normally think that will build up as a hot blooded shonen plot, it will then subvert the shit out of it and tell you that this shit will never fly in real life.

In the end, the manga is not really about mountain climbing but a psychological analysis and character study of Mori/Kato Buntarou . It’s all about how an outcast with no other desire than mountain climbing live and feel. All the other side characters(that got thrown away like garbage) and mountain climbing stuff are tools to develop Buntarou as a character . You get lots of interesting metaphorical imagery to describe Buntarou as a human being.

Buntarou is an interesting characters and his story gave you a interesting perspective of a different lifestyle of solitude without condemning or approving that lifestyle . Normally, stories will tell you that bond is good while solitude is bad and even though Kokou no Hito does slightly adhere to that moral near end, it also says that solitude isn’t really that bad and bonding might not be that amazing either. In the end, you need a bit of both, be considerate to people around you while still living your life aloof.

I remembered this little embarrassing gem that’s Stu Levy’s America Greatest Otaku. I was livid and felt second hand embarrassment when I first watched it in 2011. Now I just find it hilarious.

Why the sudden change in attitude?

Because I don’t identify myself as an anime fan anymore. In fact, I don’t identify myself as anything. Years entrenched in different communities and I ended up realizing that I don’t really care about labeling myself. Self entitled labels of anime fans and otaku are just titles that hold no meaning. In fact, why even label yourself? Labeling is just putting yourself in a preconceived box and asking people to define what you are with a simple label.

I don’t want simple labels to define who I really am, I don’t wish that a single word could define my personality because I hope to believe that I am much more complex than that. That’s why I have a problem when people say with such pride that they are nerds, gamer, geek, anime freak or whatever. Why would anyone want some single word labels with tons of preconceived generic personality to define their life?

These includes all labels be it nationality, schools and whatever. No idea how people can have such pride just by belonging to some communities when the honors and hard work were all done by other people. On the other hand, you shouldn’t even feel embarrass if someone in your community did something stupid because your are still an individual and a community is not this hive mind bullshit where everyone is the same. At least I hope that’s the case.

Sure, I do join communities because you do need them for social reasons but I don’t really identify myself with them in the sense that I don’t categorize myself as a generic type that’s supposed to act this way in this supposed type of people belong in this community. Like minded friends are awesome but the world will be so boring if everyone in the community act and work in the same fucking way, so much so they can be categorized as types.

That may be the reason why I don’t really like the Mbti personality test, sure, maybe there are only so many  personalities that you can describe all of them with merely 16 different categories but I don’t wish to resign to that because that will mean that there can’t be a duality and inconsistency in personality. Duality and inconsistency are what make the world a bit crazier and more exciting to live in. What I am saying is that you need The Pandas Friend and Dennis Rodman in this world to make life more interesting. Hey, fuck it, in fact, I would like to believe everyone is a bit of everything so we are all inconsistent anyway. It’s not either extrovert or introvert. You can be both at different moments or even at the same time so MBTI is all bullshit.

Now that I think about it, I would only accept the labels of crazy and unpredictable because they aren’t really labels as you can’t define them well enough to fit them in a mold. YES! Everyone should think about an elephant heads with dicks as ears and no body part except of feet when they are bored. Or stories about DBZ’s piccolo penis acting as piccolo, the real music instrument, because it’s so obvious due to piccolo not having a dick and such. The world will be a better place that way.

Outlaw Star:

The first episode seems like fun. I like how it utilize live action cinematography namely the focusing in and out of a character. The animation is also top tier with fluid fights and gorgeous character designs. The characters visit prostitute and such so it’s quite interesting. I heard that the plot only happen in episodes 23-26 but I don’t mind interesting hijinks of characters fucking around if they could maintain the level of direction and animation. I have enjoyed stuff like Haruhi, Kill La Kill, Champloo and Vandread when they are just fucking around without moving any plot forward. I don’t know if it’s fun like the shows I mentioned though so I need to watch more to find out.

G Gundam:

I don’t hold Gundam as this highly regarded real robot show that is heavy on its realism factor. Hell, the first Gundam has super robot like gattai sequence so I don’t really think G Gundam deviate that far from what Gundam means. However, I don’t really know if G Gundam is worth 49 episodes of my time. I like hot blooded manly stuff but I don’t think my idea of manliness= macho. I hated GaoGaiGar for example and think that it’s a piece of shit. I can’t find anything to convince me that this stuff is worth it.

Seiha Girl:

It’s still good. Very hardcore in sega references. For example, I don’t even know the existence of Border Break because it’s a 2009 Japanese arcade game. How deep do you need to go to know about that? I think this shit is the real nerd show because your enjoyment really depend on how nerdy you are.

Blue Blazes:

Blue Blazes is the best anime in 2014, even though it’s a live action show. Go watch it.

Legend of Black heaven is about a 40 years old salary man facing mid life crisis and wonder if he is truly happy by being caught in the drift and gave up on his rock and roll dream for a more down to earth life. You would think that the premise of the show will be heavy and tender but not really, it’s a comedy and the only heavy stuff appears in episode 5. The rest is just his attempt to recapture his dream of rock and roll.

Now, I can see why people are impressed because you seldom see such premise appearing in an anime. That’s true but if you step out of anime, the story of mid life crisis and recapturing your childhood dream is actually done to death. Not only that, they are done better with more personality because Black Heaven don’t really say much about its character and what they are facing. Beside episode 5, it doesn’t really implore what Oji is thinking and how is he dealing with that. Even with that, during episode 6, he just turn ok after getting beaten down by reality when a hot woman send her a guitar under a snowy sky. Ok, I thought I would see more introspection and drama but all right, whatever.

In fact, I enjoyed the realistic dynamic between Oji and his wife and how disconnected a family can be. But it doesn’t really dwell on it too much because rock and roll and hot alien woman are more important. Beside the first two episodes of tender moment of husband and wife, his wife was just relegated as an obstacle and nuisance for his dream and nothing more after that.

Episode 4 where we are shown how disconnected Oji and his son was is also fucking terrible. First, Oji is a terrible father, he left his son alone in the park because he is a irresponsible, self absorbed adult who wants to play guitar. In the end, he put his son in danger and what did he receive in return? Adoration from his son instead of resentment. Realistically, his son should realize that his father love guitar more than him but no, the anime don’t have the balls to go there. It doesn’t want to show you how to solve this complicated issue. Instead, it went the easy way out of showing the heart warming moment of father saving son when it was the father who put his son in danger in the first place. FUCK!

Layla is also a terrible character. Tell me, what’s the point of her beside being a plot device that will stand by Oji no matter what he face. She’s that perfect girl friend character in your generic harem. You think harem only happen in high school anime but nope! Wish fulfillment applies to everyone.

The music was all right but that guitar riff and the colorful silhouette were overused. It was cool the first time round but it well on and on in each episode. What the hell?

I am now halfway on episode 9 and I think that his friend will go to see his concert and relinquish their passion in forming a band. Then they will have this power of friendship reunion and team up to have this epic space battle, win the shit out of it and relinquish their youth. It will then tell you that you shouldn’t forget your dream because dream is the pursuit of real happiness.

I actually hope I am wrong because if that happen, no matter how well done or how I am a sucker for the old men friendship thing, Black Heaven would just be an all right cartoon that offers nothing new.

I bought and read like 70 volumes of Naruto but I pirated the last 20 chapters because I heard that the characters have kids and want to see if Naruto and Hinata got together. In the end, that’s the only thing I really care about because the story turned into woman alien planned this shit and Sasuke is so feeble in his motivation that you can lie to him that eating shit makes him strong and he will believe it. Like “Yea, Sasuke, hatred makes you strong, eating shit cause you hatred and make people hate you, you won’t have any friend if you eat shit so your destiny is to go eat shit.” and he will proceed on in eating shit without knowing that you duped him.

To be honest, I am quite impressed by Naruto, sure, it’s not tightly written but it didn’t succumbed to its own weight by having really obvious plot holes( though it did crumble on its own weight by getting overly convoluted and contrived to cover these plot holes). Most shonen manga like Dragonball and Hokuto no Ken gave the shit up and blatantly recon the shit out of things and having tons of plot holes just to lengthen its story. That’s not to say that it’s planned very well because it did pull a lot of things out of its ass and it’s obvious that Kishimoto dropped a lot of things like Byakugan being strong, Zabuza and swordsmen, Rock Lee’s side story and  basically all the other side characters arc. He even wanted to salvage Ten Ten by showing that she might be able to use the Six Sage items to do something but nope, Ten Ten is still fucking useless.

The early Naruto is actually pretty good because they have strategic battles and villains aren’t really that overpowered, you feel that anyone could really beat anyone. Even though this lessen the tension because our heroes are in lesser predicament but in the long run, after seeing overpowered shit like Madara and Kaguya, I think it’s really for the better. Because in the end,  only Naruto and Sasuke could do something and battles are decided by who could make the biggest kamehameha.It did try to have some strategic fights but after seeing the trick of clone techniques for the one millionth time, you couldn’t really call that smart. In fact, beside Shikamaru’s fights, most fights in the second part are kinda sub-par.

Onto the characters, Naruto’s woman characters are at least league better than most other stuff in term of gender equality and strength. Yea, they are still not good enough but at least the poison is less poisonous on this side. The other characters like Rock Lee, Hinata, Killer Bee, Kekkaishi, Minato, Naruto’s mom and many others except are good to above average characters. Hell, besides Sasuke and Sakura, I don’t really dislike any of them, even  if they are useless like Sai and Ten Ten. Seriously, what’s the point of Sai and Ten Ten?

Oh, and the twists. I guess Itachi was planned to be a good guy because I have that vibe since he first appears(It’s a cop-out reason to kill everyone just because you are very evil, Kishimoto had since shown through Zabuza that he at least put some thoughts into character building. Though Itachi’s story is really not that good and sensible and it’s really a disappointment because I expected better written stuff that is not contrived) and it’s very obvious that Naruto’s father is the 4th Hokage earlier on. Other stuff like Tobi, Madara, Black Zetsu, Kaguya and such? Nah, don’t think so, they are all made up as they go. Very contrived, twist for the sake of twisting, I don’t even feel surprise or whatever and just let it goes and accept whatever shit it throws at me without thinking too much.

It may seems like I hate Naruto and think it is a piece of shit story but well, in actual fact, I think Naruto was worth the money and effort. I liked Shikamaru and some of the characters like Jiraiya and Killer Bee among many other likable stuff. The good strategic battles, the really great first 26 volumes, great detailed wtf did he really drew that in 1 week art, the hot blooded and cool lines, the grand scale of chaotic summoning battles, the above average characters that try not to be generic and really inventive jutsus far outweigh its flaws. It’s not even far fetched to say that Naruto is one of the best Ninja anything because honestly, name me another serious, non b grade good ninja anime/novel/manga/movie whatever. Basilisk? Dagger of Kamui? Ninja Trilogy(Ridiculously awesome but not really serious) movies? Ninja Scoll that is more like samurai than ninja? Path of Assassin maybe. I like Flame of Recca better but honestly, Naruto is the better written work.

There’s a justified reason why it got so popular and ran for 72 volumes, it has its own charm and a veneer/illusion of depth that are league better than run of the mill generic shit even though it’s not good enough to be in the top tier, unlike One Piece.

Themes? What themes? I just want to see ninjas fighting ninjas and don’t really care for consistent theme. I don’t learn moral lesson from this shit. Fuck moral lesson but children should really learn from Naruto because beating up dog is very cool and talent reign supreme over hard work. It’s all about the genes and bloodline dude. Hard work is bullshit without talent because you can’t be the best without talent. Children should understand that and don’t hope for anything that’s untrue.

P.S: Woah, I read the internet and Naruto fans love to over think shit. Maybe you can analyses why it got so popular but hell no should you over-analyses the plot of Naruto so much, it’s not that even that deep. There’s even delusional fangirls that still ship Naruto and Sakura by finding things that are not even there. Woah! Dude(err, woman dude so GAL?), move on.

After years of trying, I have no idea how to critic shit. I gave up on it because I don’t watch cartoon critically. I watch it for  inspirations so here’s my meaningless thought on stuff I watched recently.

 

Kill la Kill: It was pretty good, but I am disappointed that it just stay good when there are hints of promises that it can reach a greater height. My issue with it is the lack of a strong core in the story. The central theme of “strange people having the right to live” is kinda tacked on halfway because they have no idea what the hell the cartoon is going to be. The reveal that took 16 episode to build up is lame. I joked about the finale being alien coming down shooting everyone’s asses with dragonballs and I wasn’t that far away from it. Most fights from episode 3 to 16 don’t have any point in them. To sum it up, I think there’s a lack of focus in its plot because they have no idea what to do with it. Are they trying to make a comedy with new sketches for every episode, or are they trying to go for narrative? In the end, they mashed the two together and ended up not excelling in any of them, but they are good enough to provide good enough entertainment in this piece of ADHD Frankenstein sheep.

 

Galaxy Express 999: I joked about 10 years old committing cold blooded mass murders with no remorse. It’s true but I think that’s just the sensibility of the 70s. However, it’s quite jarring when they delve on about the deep melancholy of the human psyche while not giving a shit that this 10 years old is killing people left and right without giving a single fuck! That’s just a minor funny thing I have on the back of my mind.

For the show proper, I like it a lot. The idea of traveling to space and visiting a whole new imaginative planet is very romantic. There are a lot, and I mean a lot of melodrama happening in these planets. People are just depressed and sad. Couples commit suicide in a formless planet because everything with a form will end up deteriorating, homeless woman wanting to please her parents by pretending to have a husband and every citizen in the planet turned into stone and you being the lone survivor. It contains pretty much all the sad and lonely stories you can think of. I love these kind of melodrama, I especially love the melancholy and poetic summary for the theme of the planet at the end of each episode.

On a side note for the characters, Maetel is MILF moe and Tetsuro is a happy go lucky spoiled brat that don’t like to bath and commit mass murder. I also like how they add personality to the train conductor by showing moments such as having him slept through his work.

Kawai Complex and Whatever the title is: This is like those feel good fluffy romance series with a soft touch that J.C Staff(I know it’s Brainbase) used to love making. It’s an enjoyable show that tries to take harem cliche and turn them around. The seemly perfect girl is an anti social with personality flaw, the usual breast to face  turned into elbow to face and the pervy side kick character is a true masochist.  It’s pretty light hearted fun with excellent use of contrasting colours with semi interesting characters with hints of natural flowing non generic dialogs. It pretty self aware but still not self aware enough to turn it into something different.

Blassreiter: I heard complains about teenage characters in anime. I don’t really mind them as my qualms with characters have nothing to do with their age, I just care if they are interesting or not.  Blassreiter has tons of adult characters,  boring adult characters. It also have a lot of terrible cg in fight scenes. I don’t mind cg animation but I do mind shitty fight scenes and gonzo is not good enough to utilize cg to create impressive fight.

One Week Friend: Same as Kawai complex whatever, soft fluffy romance series with a gimmick that fuels melancholic episodes.  They deal with that depressing melodrama pretty well but honestly speaking, I doubt they will care about her if she’s an ugly fuck. There’s a hint of wish fulfillment in that I, nice guy otaku number 1, is the only human who understand this cute waifu’s flaw and thus provide me a convenient excuse to get easy date with my waifu.

Seha High School Girl: Gdgd Fairies is awesome because it has interesting wacky interesting dialogs that flow naturally. It’s like a conversation I will have with a group of friend. Similarly, Seha girls has the same wacky dialog with an interesting focus in deep nerdy sega references that only hardcore ass will understand. If you don’t get the references, it can still be funny because they have interesting dialogs such as believing everything you heard from the Internet. Oh, and Masayuki Kibe, that writer of Game Center CX and certified Sega nerd is the co-writer for the script so you know the Sega knowledge is true and hardcore as shit.

Captain Harlock: It’sok but not as good as GE 999. I only seen one episode of it. I would like to stay in a world where it’s socially acceptable to watch tv(albeit propaganda shit but I am sure there are gems in there also) everyday without the need to work so I don’t understand why Harlock is so piss that he wants to revolutionize the system by becoming a pirate..

There are many ways a fiction works. There are  no strict prerequisite on what constitute a great fiction. I think I said before that I love creating stories in my mind and I like it when these stories gains an emotional response from myself. This helped me gain an entirely new perspective on how people make stories for anime, novel, movie and even games. It made me realise that the only guideline you need for a good story is whether is it interesting.

There are many ways to make a story interesting. You don’t even need to have an interesting plot to make things interesting. If a book is written in an interesting way, it’s a interesting story. It can be a stupid story about a boy running away from home and die in the drain but if it’s written with a very unique approach, the story is interesting.

For example, Finnegans Wake is pretty interesting. I have no idea what the hell it is or does it even mean anything but I like reading excerpts from it because they are kinda insane. Sayonara Gangster is very interesting. The plot is something about a poetry teacher who met this gangster girl and don’t know she’s a gangster girl but she realized finally that she’s a gangster girl while subplots of indescribable thing with no shape became a chair and poetry master Virgil turned into a fridge happened. Maybe there are some message in there? I don’t know but it’s interesting because it gives me interesting images.

Another great example in film is Gravity. Gravity plot is about this female doctor escaping from space. You have seen this story before, you know how it would end but it doesn’t really matter because the effects and experience are interesting. The way it cuts its music to portray vacuum and the pov shots to illustrate the physic are interesting. It’s more of show that you experience than trying to tell an interesting story.

Georges Méliès shorts are great examples too. One of its famous short shows a rocket launching to the moon and it got stuck in the moon’s eye. What’s the message of that short? What kind of story is that? Ignoring that, what I actually like to ask is, is it interesting? Yes, it is because the imageries are interesting. It’s a good fiction because it has imaginary visuals.

Messages, implications, plot,  these are ways to make things interesting and I understand why people used them as the only barometer to gauge a work. Pointing out the flaws in these categories are great ways to showcase why you might not fancy a piece of fiction. I do that too. I personally hate Slumdog Millionaire because I think the way on how they portray every Indian as an asshole is very narrow minded. It’s also a caricature of India trying to act as if they are portraying  the true India. It’s implying that India is a terrible place to live in and everyone is an asshole and the only good people are the American tourists who show sympathy to the slum kids. As a foreigner trying to make a film about other’s culture and act as if it’s a true representation, I felt that they should be  more responsible in making things more neutral and shouldn’t exaggerate the mean spirited side of things.

However, I think it’s very narrow minded to only use these categories to gauge a work and question people’s opinion on how can they like a piece of work when something failed in one of that 3 components. I don’t think less of those who liked Slumdog Millionaire or challenge them with my opinions and demand an answer from them when they might be focusing on different aspect of the film. Maybe they love the sledgehammer approach of the movie? Maybe they don’t felt like it is over antagonized and love the raw power of the message? Or maybe they just like the cinematography and the bright coloured shots or how the film relays its intensity.

If they have any semblance of justifications on why they find a certain fiction interesting,  I don’t really see the issue.

I know the message/plot/implication flaws( Five being a throwaway, Lisa and 12 are very useless in the end, no serious commentary about terrorism and so on and so fore) of Zankyou no Terror. I just don’t think I need to defend them because I don’t really care and there are other great reasons to find the show interesting.

In terms of message, despite its questionable approach, I can sympathise with the characters. Wanting to make a mark in the world knowing they will die sooner or later, needing to rely and be relied on and trying to find a place to be in a world that seems to isolate you are things I can get by. I personally felt that these are the core themes the anime is trying to show instead of saying something about terrorism. The act of terrorism is just a tool to keep these themes going. 12 wanting to forfeit the plan because he found being depended from Lisa. Lisa found a place to live with 12 and 9 taking part in terrorism act so he can find a reliance in Shibazaki(who is a cool character on his own term). How much more plot can you even jam in to illustrate these core themes? If you don’t fancy these themes then that’s that I guess.

I am very impress by how well it can relays its abstract and complicated themes. By abstract and complicated, I don’t mean its depth, but rather the difficulty on how to translate it into visual. Feeling of solitary and unwanted are basic thematic stuff that we have seen before. It’s nothing new but translating it to visuals like how ZnT had done is fucking difficult. I got what they tried to say instantly and what they tried to relay is very difficult to translate to visuals but I got it thanks to its great direction. Great direction examples? The shot of running in the grass field, the lone figure of 9 watching the aurora in the last episode, 12 and 9 scenes in the ferry wheel, people responding to Spinx by idolizing them, Shibazaki showing that he is a figure worthy to be relied on by solving the mysteries and believing in their promise in episode 4 and way too many other examples I could list.

I guess I am way too impressed by the technical aspects of Zankyou no Terror than I really should. I think the reason why is because I have my fair share of failures in trying to translate way simpler concepts into visual and understand how difficult they are so I am utterly dumbfounded by how they did it so masterfully.

I am also very impress in how they make Lisa character design likable just by looking at it. That’s very difficult and it cannot be accomplished by just drawing cute pictures. There’s a reason why Stallone and Arnold are more well liked than some other action stars like Van Dam. Van Dam looks ok compared to Stallone but the screen presence of a character is not only about look. Ok, maybe it’s about look because if a thing looks likable they are likable but what I want to say is that looking likable is not that easy and not everyone can do it. Just imagine this, people drew a character and you have a response even without knowing the story behind the character, how impressive is that?

 

 

Mediocrity is worse than just being plain bad. People remember bad stuff but they forgot those in the middle. There’s a wide range of mediocre anime during 2000 to 2007 that became more obscure than something like say, Del Power Miracle or something. That’s because there are people like me and others who seek out obscure shit for the joy of it but not many people look back at these mediocre stuff.

Those who have seen these mediocre stuff such as Petopetosan and Mamoru-kun ni Megami no Shukufuku wo! are the privileged few who seen them while they air. Not many people outside of those who watch it during that era will seek these mediocre anime out after finding them in a database. I am looking through some list and found myself thinking what the hell petopetosan is when I have known fairly obscure series like Osamu Tezuka Monogataru:I am Son Goku by Rintaro.

The only reason why they were being watched is because they were on. The sad thing is those who watched them most likely have since forgotten that they even exist. Sure, people might heard of them but the image in their mind is just mushy piece of shit that couldn’t link up to anything. For example, what excatly is Avenger(that Beetrain anime) about? What the fuck it is? At least I know Call Me Tonight is this exploitative 80s ova but what the hell Avenger is? Why can’t I even remember anything about it?

You see, they have a sad fate of having no fan or being remembered in spite of all the effort they put in. It’s just miserable and I can’t help but  sympathize with their plight. Getting zero to no recognition, ceasing to exist and couldn’t escape the inevitable fate of being forgotten forever without making any mark in any person life. That’s the worst thing that can happen to anything that wanted to be an art… …

Anyway, among these mediocrities like Goshujin sama Ninomiya kun, Grenadier is the only one that I remember the most after 7 or so years. That’s because in spite of its mediocrity,  the boob reloading is something so outrageous memorable that you couldn’t forget about it after your first viewing. I guess what I am trying to say is that you really need something special so that people will remember you. It’s so entrenched into my mind that I can tell you more on what happened in Grenadier (something about cutting bullet in half, missing panties, balloon, boob reloading, hot spa, empress queen double) now than I can remember about something decent like err, House of Five Leaves( yea, what happened in this show again? Something about kidnapping and revenge against kidnapper? Did he succeed? I forgot.) I think having a non complicated plot helps a lot as well.

So next time if you intend to make something mediocre, have a memorable gimmick and make your plot so simple that it will be committed into your memory least you cease to exist in the public mind. Be Grenadier, don’t be Petopetosan.

By the way, I just finish reading the Grenadier manga and it’s awesomely trainwreck-ly rush and very different from the anime. It’s hard to believe that the anime is more competently written than the manga. Very clear that the manga is getting canceled so the author creates like 100 over plot points out of nowhere and solve them within 5 pages. Suddenly, the manga asked you to care about the origin of its main character and used solar powered MECHA Godzilla to explain it then went on wrapping it up by destroying MECHA Godzilla with boob reloading bullets.

Very ridiculous but fast paced fun. It’s like watching someone desperately salvaging a sunken ship by pumping it with steroids as if it would help and made something so crazily stupid. It’s way more memorable than the anime ending which I still remember but not too clearly( I just remember something about fake empress and bullets dropping out from cleavage which is the metaphor of how you should opening up your heart).

I have consumed so much media now that I appreciate it when I got any response or memories out of anything even if it’s not technically competent. Also, it’s not enough just by being plain bad, you need something really out there and I genuinely like Grenadier for being able to do it for me.

P.S: Some other mediocre series I have fond memories of are Myself;Yourself and 11Eyes. They have withstood the test of time and I still remember most of their plot .

A central plot is the core of the story, a reveal waiting in line to show itself after all the build up.

I am interested in writing about this because I was watching Kill la Kill and Zankyou no Terror recently. Kill la Kill is visually interesting and outrageously ridiculous without forgetting some tender moment. An episode of Kill la Kill is like the moment of the newest southpark episode where the unsympathetic coach of Washington Redskin earned his redemption by getting mowed down repeatedly times ten. Hilarious, outrageous but very tender and sympathetic for the whole 24 mins. I like it but I can’t seem to bother watching the next episode because it lacks a intriguing central plot.

I have seen 5 episodes and all I got are abstract promises that maybe something with high payoff will happen. However they are weak promises based on the track record of the creator and not from the show itself. Its central plot is quite vague with all the things about uniform and whatever. Kill la Kill is shown to be outrageous so their payoff might just be happen to be ridiculous.

There isn’t any intriguing question for the show to keep the viewers engaged. Who are they? A schoolgirl with a talking uniform. What are they doing? Show you cool moves. What will happen? Maybe a dinosaur will appear in the next episode. You see, if the finale is an alien appears and shoot dragonballs into everyone’s ass, I wouldn’t even be surprised. If that’s the case, the plot direction is definitely unexpected but they are not something I look forward to.

I guess what I want to say is that, It doesn’t seem to bring you to places where great thing will happen and keep you interested in what will happen next. There’s nothing to lure you into expecting some great reveal because everything is all whacked up anyway. This makes individual episode interesting but it doesn’t give you enough reason to click on the next one.

It reminds me a lot of the first few episodes of Guerren Laggan, 7 interesting episodes but no central plot to speak off. It just seems like it will be this hyper active robot show with underground people that goes no where. However, it ended up with a great central plot that kept you interested and that transcend it from good to great. In fact, the track record of TTGL is the only promise I had for Kill La Kill to bring me to great places.
Now Zankyou no Terror on the other hand has one hell of an intriguing central plot. It’s the same as Kill la Kill in the sense that it has a vague central plot. However, this time it works because it’s a mystery that seems to promise a great reveal. It’s easier to believe in it than Kill la Kill because it’s not whacked up and the characters are all very serious so you know the conclusion won’t be outrageous. Who are these fuckers? What will happen to that girl? Why are they doing what they are doing? Is it revenge? How would they fare?I don’t know but I am interested to find out. You see compare to all the outrageous answers I have for the same questions in Kill la Kill, I will not expect anything beside a great payoff because chances of stupid things happening is lower. Instead of alien coming down and shooting people ass, I expect a great reveal because that’s what the central plot demands. If the reveal fails, everything will fall apart! It has a larger responsibility than Kill La Kill to promise you that it’s worth it so I am more interested to know. This is why it’s easier to click on episode 3 of Zankyou no Terror than episode 6 of Kill La Kill and how an intriguing central plot makes a show addicting.

I used to have lots of qualms when people like something that is obviously flawed. It’s like this show is sexist, how can you like it and say you don’t really care? If you do that then you are just an intellectually lazy bastard!

Wow, intellectually lazy, how full of myself. I couldn’t even do basic discrete math and I go around blaming people for being intellectually lazy, all that scorn and judgment because of a fucking tv show! What’s wrong with me? It’s a tv show, people watch it for entirely different reason. They are intellectually pursuing some other stuff maybe and tv show are something that they don’t really care. Ask yourself, why are you intellectually lazy about seemly important stuff like prime factorization of large numbers? That is basically the security system used on your fucking PS3 and maybe even your fucking Internet bank account! You don’t seem to care while you pursue these intellectual debates on fucking anime. Why?! Because maybe not interested is an entirely legit reason.

I also find myself trying to defend flaws and justify liking a show in spite of these flaws. Why? I don’t really understand why. Maybe it’s just to uphold my personal standard and hope to show everyone I have great taste. Which is entirely stupid because flawed works have something interesting about them anyway. If something grasps your attention, it’s entertaining and what you should do is describe to people how and why they grasps your attention instead of defending its flaws like your whole life depends on it. You shouldn’t even touch on issue if they don’t really bothered you. Social issue is not an issue in terms of your personal enjoyment, you aren’t really obliged to care because it’s a fucking tv show so it doesn’t matter.

If you don’t like it, don’t watch it is entirely valid argument.  They have the rights to exist. In fact, they already exist! Did you see anyone badly affected by it? No. If a movie is sexist and racist, so what? There are tons of them floating around and I don’t see everyone turn into a monster after getting in touch with them. It’s still unproven that all these movies deepen the patriarchy society structure or allows society to condone racism. I grew up with them, watched them, enjoyed some of them and I still understand why sexism and racism are wrong. Why? Because maybe the influence of media is not as huge as we thought? That we are intelligent enough to separate facts from fiction? Just like how every father mother son is saying that playing GTA doesn’t turn you into a giant motherfucking serial killer?

However, you still see sites like IO9 going overboard with that spider woman ass stuff as if it’s a parasite of this world and it’s best that it doesn’t exist. What?? That’s going hyperbole and there will be a large group of people not taking you seriously when you do that. Those who agree with you are already on board so what you are trying to do is to get those who are on the fence but you pisses them off by getting all hyperbolic on seemly minor shit.

I find feminism a good concept but they have some bad PR because of these hyperbolic stunts pulled by some bad apples. Yea, sure, you might be right but being right is not good enough to get your message across. If you have ever participate in an election rally, you would understand that being right but getting on peoples nerve is as good as being entirely wrong. There are ways to get your message across without pissing people off, you might think they are ignorant to be pissed off but it still remains as a fact that you have failed in delivering your message. It doesn’t work if you just stand on your high ground and accuse people of being non critical if you really want them to be on board with you. If you do that, what you would get are just echo chamber cheers from people who are already on board and what good does that even does?

Sure, it’s cool to use sexist movies/game as a platform to jump start on social awareness, I like it when they are used like that but the mere existence of them is really harmless. Maybe you are saying that the existence of these media reflects that the society at large is still entrenched with these terrible values but is that always true?

Let me share with you something,  I am always thinking and creating stories in my mind. When I create something, it’s because I find them interesting, not because I have something I want to address. Sure, sometimes I find a thing interesting because I think it has a unique message but the origin is still trying to make something interesting. What I want to say is that, when things get interesting, I don’t really care about social issue. When I care, it will not be my truest intention and it will be diluted into some Frankenstein shit that tries to appease everyone. For example, I always only have male characters in my head and don’t balance up on gender equality because the hotblooded story of brotherhood manliness influenced me the most so that’s that, and I had read up on feminism for years and in total support of them!

I read a lot of interview from artist and they kinda do the same. They just do what they do and put them out there because they think it might be interesting. The message can be a afterthought or people’s interpretation. You look at something like Boyhood, what’s the message in that movie? Richard Linklater pretty much make shit out as it goes and do things that felt right. He didn’t really start with a core message but just do things because it’s interesting. He thinks it is interesting to see how a boy grow in 12 years, any message or whatever might just be an afterthought. What Boyhood teaches you? Err, it’s interesting to see how people grow and change? Ok.

On the other hand, do you think it’s in his intention or did he even care when he  portrayed all stepdad as an alcholic shit and thus can be interpreted that stepdad creates miserable family? No.I think  he did it for the pure reason of it will be more interesting that way.

Not to mention, you also find people interpret weird stuff that’s not the author’s intention all the time so that’s that.

I remember when Bakuman anime aired, there are people on both side defending and criticizing the sexist issues as if they really care.  Every episode review is about sexist these and sexist that, it became fucking boring. It’s like you can’t talk about it without addressing it. It became an obligation when there’s no rule to state that you need to address them.

I don’t really know the intention on why people addressed it in every post but personally, I was being pressured and felt that without defending Bakuman’s sexism issue, not caring about its flaw would somehow means that  the flaw will inherit into my personality. It’s like if I like something sexist, then I am a sexist monster! But I am not! I was so angry because I am not! Why are you accusing me of being sexist! You see, somehow an attack on a show became an attack on me. It’s stupid and makes no sense but it just happens because people thinks that a show reflects who they are because it gave them so much emotional response.

Pardon me for getting off tangent but I want to talk about the moe issue. I don’t understand why I hate them so much in the past. Yes, sure, I still don’t like them because most of them are boring and not because of some social justice issue. But it was about social justice issue back then and that’s the problem I have with my past self.

What did moe done wrong? Nothing. Firstly, I thought the amount of great non moe anime would lessen because they would be overwhelmed moe but that’s not even true. Moe started very early since the 1980s(I dare to wager it’s budding since the 70s) but it only geared up and became what it is after around 2006. If you look at the output from 2006 till now, sure, there are more moe content but I am also sure that the amount of  non moe stuff remains the same. Why? Because there are still people that make all kind of great arts because they want to. I can assure you that if care about the preservation of great works, the artists who put their life and soul into it care more about it than you.

Next, I used to care because I want anime as a hobby to reflect myself in a positive light. All these moe kawaii stuff makes it very embarrassing and hinders anime in becoming a mainstream hobby that people can be proud of. I don’t have an answer for that except that who the fuck cares.

There isn’t really any use in criticizing what it becomes. There’s no proof that if it will be more accepted if everything is Cowboy Bebop. It’s unrealistic for everything to be Bebop standards anyway. Not to mention, sometimes the bad image of anime is just an imagination of ours because we have seen too many shitty people and shitty things to make us think that it’s impossible for anime to have a good image. However, you would be surprise that the public aren’t really aware of that.

Also, you know what the best way to give anime a good name? Create your own stuff, make a name of yourself and say anime influenced you. Become fucking Einstein and say you got interested in quantum physic because of Muv Luv Alternative.  Become the next Kubrick and tell them that Mind Games influenced you. That would be more effective than criticizing moe on the internet.

Finally, I don’t like it when people criticize moe by criticizing people who are into the moe waifu stuff. I used to do that but I finally understood that people are people, they have the right to live life however they like. You can think that it’s unhealthy and creepy but it’s really none of your business if they harm no one.

There’s no inherent purpose in life so there’s no correct way of living life. If they don’t harm anyone, who cares? Let them fuck their pillows, it doesn’t concern you.

It’s wrong because it’s not normal? What’s your point of reference of being normal? Gay was not deem as normal 30 years ago but thankfully it’s more accepted now. Who defines normal anyway? They like their virtual girlfriend so be it.

Why you shouldn’t mock them you asked? Because first of all, most of them are joking. Secondly, hikikomori who love their waifu is definitely an issue, but talking about how they are unhealthy does nothing to help them. You think they will somehow recover after reading your angry rant about how pathetic they are? Fuck no! Thirdly you really care about them? You have so much empathy in how people live their life? Good for you but too bad! Telling people you care on forum doesn’t help! Do something if you really care.

Virtual girlfriend doesn’t challenge you and won’t make you grow as a human being?  Maybe they are challenged by other stuff? Otaku that married their pillow earn enough to buy expensive pillows. Where do you think they get their fucking money? Huh? Not to mention, just because something challenges you and might help your growth doesn’t mean you need to do them. Fucking math and physic is way more challenging and help you grow a lot more and I don’t see everyone reading academia journals everyday.  Fuck, doing volunteer work help you grow empathy for human beings and not many people do them. Why? Because they are just not interested maybe?

Also, what if these virtual waifu otaku have tons of friends and social connection? What if they have a great life? What do you say to them now? Romantic relationship is just a fucking subset of your overall life. Not that big of a subset anyway. Great people can die single as well. It doesn’t really matter much.

So if not that then is it the loli issue? Pedophilia maybe? I am not a fan but whatever, if they don’t act upon on real children, who the fuck cares? You are disgusted by the existence? Don’t read them then!

Maybe people are happy with their virtual waifu and find it fruitful? How would I know? How can I say their feelings are shallow and my way of doing thing is the correct way? Are you worried that they are not being productive? Are you worried that they are pathetic and it’s in you to mock them in their face so they can grow up? What are you? What gives you the right to mock them? You are just a fucking human beings that might be as clueless as they are.  It’s fucking condescending to judge people like that.

For example, I personally think that you should have some form of physical fitness least you die with unnecessary illness. Being able to do at least 20 proper pushups and some pull ups is a good gauge. You shouldn’t be a fat fuck because there’s no good reason for you to be fat. You can be slim but you are not doing it because you are lazy. You see, being fit seems like the “right and healthy” ways of living life but people are still fat as fuck.  So are you saying that it’s justifiable for me now to mock their pullup abilities? To mock them for being a fat fuck? No! I would be an condescending asshole if I did that!

With that, I think this will be my last piece on my thoughts on anime blogging and the whole moe stuff.

TL;DR: Stating your opinion about stuff is cool and awesome, just don’t go around expecting everyone doing the same.

IWICSYI

  • I agree in the sense that what Bakuman said is realistic and applicable, but I do agree it's sexist and society as a whole needs change. 1 day ago
  • Is it sexist? Yes, but is it true? Yes. Men generally don't like women to be better than them even though it's a fuck up way of thinking. 1 day ago
  • And finally, I agree with the statement Bakuman made about girls, they are more approachable when they are shown to be less competent. 1 day ago
  • What else? Dragonball is very imaginative and good? Naruto is pretty tight for something that clearly has little plan? Gantz is trashy pulp? 1 day ago
  • I don't like Evangelion TV because the plot is all made up on a fly with no planning. No consistent plot direction with tons of plot holes. 1 day ago

RSS My MyAnimeList

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Categories

Blogstats

  • 87,604 hits
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.