Ack! Coronavirus is sapping my will to live. At first, it was novel. Then it was alarming, and now it’s like an old sock hung up next to a stinky shoe.
I could go on about all of the horrible traits of humanity that this disease has highlighted for me, but I’d rather talk about anime or at least something anime adjacent.
While I was talking about RahXephon, a lot of people tagged me in tag posts that I just didn’t respond to. Either because I was busy watching anime or I was busy writing blog posts or I just was feeling run down and burnt out. I felt bad too. I love the idea of tag posts. I love the idea of asking people random questions. I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
Well today, I’m going to respond to Keiko’s and Keni’s Mystery Blogger Awards. Not in the least because they’re probably dealing with far more concerning things about the coronavirus than I am in my rather comfortable world.
So the award was created by Okoto Enigma, and according to Keni, it was aimed at giving not-so-known bloggers a chance to shine. Anyways, I like both Keiko and Keni. They’re good folks and you should like them too.
As with any tag post, there are rules, and here they are.
- Display the award logo on your blog.
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- Mention the creator of the award and provide a link.
- Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
- Answer 5 questions from the nominee.
- Nominate 10-20 bloggers (So I only did six because I wanted to finish this up.)
- Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog
- Share 2 links to your best posts
I’m going to combine the three facts sections, mostly because I doubt I can come up with six interesting facts about myself.
I’m a mile wide and an inch deep: I don’t talk about what I do for a living, because I really don’t want to. One of the issues with it is that I know a little bit about a lot of things. Want to understand why a lawsuit was won or lost? I can probably help you. Want to understand why that business can’t go on that street without a special permit? I probably can help you. Want to understand why the money you’re seeing in your city’s budget isn’t being spent on the thing you think it should be spent on? I probably can figure it out.
Want an in-depth understanding of how a particular feminist theory applies to a particular piece of work? Yeah. That’s not me.
The danger in this is that I often think I know more about a subject than I do and can walk into a trap. I tend to paper that over by assuming the other person does know more than me until they show me otherwise or I do research.
I’ve only been to one anime convention: At one point in my life, I went to Otakon when it was still in Baltimore. That was probably in 2006 (or so.) I’ve always had mixed feelings about cons. I don’t really have a lot of friends, more out of choice and habit than anything else. I think conventions are something that is better shared by a group of people who are all interested in similar things.
My other issue is that I really don’t like crowds. They make me nervous, and I already have a rough time hearing when there is a lot of background noise, which makes me feel more isolated.
The weird part is that I always think I want to go to another convention. I’ve thought about going to Pax or Sakuracon, or even ECCC, but I imagine that I would end up feeling nervous, isolated and just faintly miserable.
Anime is only one of my many, many hobbies: I am an all-purpose geek. If it can be read, watched or played, then I’m willing to give it a shot. Right next to my anime shelves, I have stacks and stacks of movies. Next to that, I have stacks of gaming discs. Next to that I have comics and books. I have so much media in my house, there are times that I’m frozen by indecision about what I want to do.
It’s kind of sad.
Posts that I wrote and liked
Sometimes I have an idea and I’m not sure where it’s going to lead. This post started as two ideas. One was that the Yuu really is the bravest character in Girls’ Last Tour. It wasn’t a big jump to see Yuu as really the character who acts morally without thought.
The other idea was that Girls’ Last Tour really is just Waiting for Godot of the Wastelands.
It really took me watching Waiting for Godot and then watching the video that I linked in the post that I started putting the pieces together. Then I started writing the post.
The version that ended up on the blog is the second version of the post. In my first version, I felt like I was floundering around a bit.
It’s funny that I picked two posts that are tied to literature. The James Joyce reference here is a bit of a throwaway.
But this was another post that came as a realization. When I started rewatching RahXephon, I was so caught up in the idea that it was the anti-Evangelion. But as I started, I became surprised how little it was the anti-Evangelion and how much it was another show entirely.
This post was kind of a mirror of a post that I made about Evangelion talking about its central theme, which I also liked, but other people didn’t.
Q: You get pulled into an isekai anime, which anime are you pulled into?
So am I bad fan, if I’ve never seen a modern isekai anime. I mean I’ve seen the classics like Escaflowne, Fushigi Yugi and the like, but this modern trend of truck-kun sending you to a magical land where you suddenly have magical powers. That is something I’m not familiar with.
I think I’m going to go with an oldie but goodie here. I really love the world of 12 Kingdoms. It’s such a strange place. Granted you only have a good life if you manage to find yourself in a country with a good leader. But it’s really easy to tell if your country is run by a good person.
Q: What character are you within this isekai (it can’t be a character that already exists.)
One of the interesting aspects of the world of 12 Kingdoms is that people are transported from the magical land to Japan through whirlpools. Honestly, the best job is being king or queen, so that it what I would want to do.
I know it’s not that interesting, but being in charge is really the best superpower.
Q: What is your power in this isekai?
Well, I kind of answered this one, but it’s being in charge. Being in charge is the best superpower.
But the other neat thing in 12 Kingdoms is that the rulers can understand everyone. The idea of having a universal translator is pretty neat. I know we’re almost there with Google and Facebook translations almost at the point where they sound natural, but it would be neat to be able to communicate easily with people.
Q: Would you settle in one place or try and go on a journey in this isekai?
I think all great adventures should have an element of journeying, but I’m not sold on it one way or the other. I have a feeling that there would be a journey whether I wanted it or not.
Q: Would you try and find a way out or embrace the new life?
I think it really matters if this is me as I am now or me as I was 15 years ago. If we’re talking about old me, then sure I’m all in. But right now, I like my life, and I would probably like being king less.
Being in charge may be a great superpower, but it does come with some drawbacks.
Q: You were tasked with an immeasurably difficult journey to defeat Saitama from One Punch Man. Which anime character would you pick to help you? Why?
To be honest, I have not seen One Punch Man, so I do not have a good answer to this question. I do know the general idea, but I think having a fistfight would be a lost cause. No one in the world is going to help me beat Saitama.
So I’m going to enlist the best Mahjong player in the world — Akagi. Hopefully, he can mentally break Saitama, so I don’t have to fight him at all.
The best victories are the ones where your opponents don’t even realize that they are fighting.
Q: What is your favorite food?
This is a tough one. I like a lot of different foods. But for today, I’m going to say danishes (or bear claws depending on where you get them.) I love a good one that is made by a professional bakery where they put enough cream cheese in there with good filling.
But I also love the bad ones that come from the local gas stations that have gone slightly soggy inside of their wrappers. Those are really good too.
They’re horrible for me, so I don’t eat them that often, but I still eat them… because… you know… danishes.
I can widen this out to most pastries in general. I’ll even scarf down cinnamon rolls, which I’m not a big fan of, because they’re good.
Q: What type of music do you mostly listen to?
This changes by the day, but I can give you a range. Mostly I listen to some sort of pop, rock or indie music. The hardest that I get is Five Finger Death Punch. I know that they’re disliked by the most hardcore heavy metal nerds, but I like anything that takes itself so seriously that it becomes kind of hilarious.
On another side, I really like folk punk, like Days n Daze and Ghost Mice. They are another branch of music that also doesn’t take itself serious.
On another side, I listen to a lot of alt-country or just straight folk music. I really like Joe Pug, Josh Ritter, Drive-by Truckers and Mountain Goats. It’s all stuff that I can turn on and I don’t worry about it.
I also listen to a lot of 90s music. The type of stuff that I grew up on. Though, honestly I listen to that less than I used to, but I still like it.
Q: How do you imagine your dream job to be like?
Well, I always wanted to do what I do right now, so I don’t really have to imagine. But my real dream job is a job that doesn’t exist. I would love to just do research. That would be the one thing I would love to do. Just to sit around and learn stuff that I could hand off to someone else.
But until they invent that job, I will just keep doing what I do now.
Q: Sub or dub?
It’s funny. My opinion has changed on this one over time. I used to just watch dubs because I felt like it was hard to keep up with subtitles.
That has changed. I don’t know if I’ve gotten more used to them, or I’ve gotten more sloppy in my reading or what happened. My answer now is that it depends on the show.
For instance, I watched all of Tiger and Bunny subtitled, before there was ever a dub for the show. So when I watched it dubbed, the voices sounded off, the delivery wasn’t as good and switched back to subtitles.
Then there are shows like RahXephon, which is far better dubbed than it is subbed. The Japanese doesn’t carry the same amount of pathos that the English version does. I don’t think it’s a script problem, but I do think it’s an acting problem.
Then there are shows like Concrete Revolutio, which I watched dubbed, but I thought the acting was a bit flat. I mean it was OK, but I might have liked it better subbed.
To me, subbed vs. dubbed just isn’t an argument anymore.
Here are my questions:
- What piece of media is on your “pile of shame” that you probably will never watch? Why?
- What anime, movie or comic do you love even though it’s probably terrible?
- How many draft blog posts do you have? Is there a post you would like to make, but don’t think you’re able to?
- How often do you write posts?
- Would you rather have a million followers who never comment, or 10 really dedicated followers who leave insightful comments?
So I tag people because it’s part of how this works, but please don’t feel obligated by a tag. I’m hoping to spread the love around as much as possible.