So here it is. All 12,000 words and 50 posts that were part of The Jon’s Creator Showcase for August 2020.
If I missed your post, please let me know. I believe I got everyone, but I also believed that I had everyone when I first came up with my list. Then I found out that I had missed a couple of posts.
I’m glad that I did this, and I hope that you all enjoyed it as well.
I’m starting work on this on Aug. 16. It’s a Sunday. I’m doing that for two reasons. The first is that it’s the beginning of my weekend. The second is that I really want to give myself enough time to get through the roughly 50 or so posts and videos and at least one YouTube channel.
It’s really hot today, and I’m just grateful that I get to have my air conditioner and I don’t have to deal with that ridiculousness.
Talking about being uncomfortable. The first post on my list is a game.
Now I love games. I play more than I watch anime. I’m making a deep run in Skyrim and playing Yakuza Kiwami.
But game creation is kind of a mystery to me.
I realize that that was all apropos of nothing other than to say, I’m not really sure what to say about Jon Spencer’s Ducks in a Row game.
It has ducks. You need to get them in a row. I kind of understand the idea of a worker placement game, but that is about it.
What Jon’s game does remind me of it a quote from Mark Rosewater, the chief game designer for Magic: the Gathering. He talks a lot about how having restrictions breeds creativity because once you have parameters it’s easier to find a way work within them.
That’s what this contest entry is an example of. How to use limits to come up with a creative solution. Personally, I like the idea of limiting game pieces to 18 cards. I’m always a bit overwhelmed when I open up a game box and see hundreds of pieces and cards and a few tracks and a game board.
Anyways. I haven’t decided whether we’ll have banners here, but you should check out Jon Spencer Reviews Ducks in a Row.
While you’re at it…
Is that a good segue? Probably not. It’s definitely not a good Segway because that’s a motorized scooter.
All right, enough of the transitions. Let’s talk about Aria and budget manga deals.
I always appreciate Aria’s thoroughness in putting together posts like these. I’m not much of a manga reader, but I do have some thoughts about deals. I never buy stuff at full price. Well except for groceries.
Entertainment has a shelf life, and, if you can wait, you can usually get anything for a deal. (Though you don’t want to wait for too long or else it will become rare, and stupid expensive.)
What I find interesting is that digital products are changing the length of that shelf life. It used to be that it would take a matter of weeks before something started to be less expensive. Now, because everything is essentially print-on-demand, it sometimes can take months before a piece of entertainment starts to lose value.
If it ever does.
Well except for bad stuff. That always becomes cheap really quickly.
I do suggest checking out the list. It’s very useful.
And speaking of words that I don’t understand.
How was that? Was that a better Segway? Where’s the motor, you say? Where’s the smug 30-something yuppie throwback, you might ask?
OK. You aren’t asking any of that. You probably aren’t even reading this.
Let’s move on to Nabe-chan, who has taught me two things in the first two paragraphs of her post. The first is that there is a genre called yuusha, I think, and that it’s basically the plot of every late 90s early 2000s JRPG plot ever.
I was going to bloviate about Joseph Campbell and the monomyth and how all stories start with the call to action, and blah, blah, blah, blah.
Instead, I will talk about just how freaking charming some of these stories seem. I’m not really a manga person, but I really like some of the descriptions of these stories. In particular, I want to read the one about the farmer turned dead hero. I also appreciate the demon who is going to fall in love with the main hero story.
Yes. I know it’s been done. I know it’s tired ground. But sometimes I just want a story where the heroes win, the guy gets the girl and they go live up on house on the hill happily ever after.
Did you notice that I managed to work bloviate into a everyday conversation. Look at the big brain on Brad.
And talking about galaxy brain, mind warping stuff, let’s talk about Hideaki Anno.
I’m not sure where to start. The fact that I respect Anno’s works, or that there was a lot of research put into this by Scott. I am impressed by how much effort he put into his biography of Hideaki Anno.
I’m going to ramble here. You’ve been warned.
My own relationship with Anno is that I really like Kare Kano. I know it’s an adaptation, but Anno is the master of visual storytelling. I saw this even in my own experience rewatching Evangelion. He is able to make the camera tell a story even larger than just the script.
It’s hard for me to see Anno as anything less than a visionary. I don’t love everything he’s done, but when he’s firing on all cylinders, there are few other anime directors that really compare.
It’s always fascinating to me that Gainax started being relevant with Royal Space force, and kind of stopped being relevant with Gurren Lagann. It kind of started with genius and had genius leave it.
What is interesting to me is that he had such a rebellious youth. I wonder how much of that was from frustration at the education system, and how much was just the desire to do his own thing.
I often wonder how possible it is to “make it” when you work from outside of the system. Sure, we can all point to examples of people who did it, but the reason we know these stories is because they’re so rare.
It’s a fascinating conundrum.
Any who are you calling an oldtaku?
Oh man… This post by ShoujoRambings is unexpected.
Among my deficiencies is a real technical understanding of poetry. See, I understand fiction on a structural level. You have the presentation of the problem, rising action, climax, resolution and denouement. There are tropes within all of that.
But poetry is all out the window. Yes. I know that ShoujoRamblings put together a song, and it’s not exactly the same thing as poetry. But isn’t all poetry just songs without the music?
The other problem is that I haven’t seen Given either. I hope someone else can help me understand the significance of this. Please read it.
Help me overcome my ignorance.
But it looks good. I’m sorry I’m not better at this.
So I went to get my eyes checked today. It’s the first time I’ve done that since sometime in 2015, I think. I’ve had vision insurance for years, but this is the first time that I’ve used it.
It’s kind of nice to live in the cocoon of adult responsibility.
That said, I wanted to talk about something I was thinking as I started writing this. I was pondering getting weird with The JCS.
I’m a fan of trying to be avant-garde even if it’s not to everyone’s taste. I thought about turning this into some sort of post-apocalyptic diary to force people to read through my scribblings. I’ve also considered purposefully linking people’s posts to the wrong sections, or putting multiple links that are scattered throughout the post.
All of this is meant to make people read beyond their own post, or to read these weird musings that I’m putting here are the beginning of my work for the day.
And I’m still not entirely ruling it out. I could just be seeding this here as an explanation for when I get really weird.
That said, for today, I’m going to play it straight, as I work through another five posts.
So today we’re starting off talking about Tiger’s review of Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun. As should already be apparent, I have not read it or watched it. In fact, I’m not a fan of comedy. This could be because I have a dark hole where my soul was and now I can only laugh at the absurdity of existence while staring into the giant void of humanity’s foolishness (my own included.)
That said, Tiger does make the show show sound charming, and that can do a lot for me.
It’s really one of the things that made Wandering Son work for me. No matter how silly it seemed, the show kept being charming. I really wanted to know what was going to happen to the characters. Even though many of the threads I expected were never pulled, I didn’t feel like I lost time with it.
Now that I think about it, March Comes in Like a Lion was another of those shows. So, maybe my soul isn’t just filled with the wailing of despair.
Good on ya, Tiger. Good on ya.
From cute charming anime, we go to talking about cute charming… dice.
OK, not my best motorized scooter, but I’m keeping it.
No, that joke hasn’t gotten old.
But let’s get talking about the dice-hoarding habits of people who like shiny things. By the way, I like shiny things. I have a collection of 1943 steel pennies, and the centerpiece of that are a mint set that are stored in plastic. They are so pretty.
So I understand Nerd Rambles’ and the need to collect dice because they are pretty too.
I’ve always been bad at keeping dice though. I will buy a new set and within a week, I’ll have a D20, a D4 and maybe a D6.
(For the uninitiated, the “D” system comes from old-Dungeons and Dragons as a way of telling you which dice to use. The formula is D-number of sides. So a D6 is a six-sided die.)
Enough of that though. I don’t think there is ever such a thing as too many things, as long as your things make you happy and aren’t just cluttering up your life. Case in point, I have to stop myself from buying new video games that I already own, just because I don’t have it for X-system or Y-platform.
I really don’t need my fifth copy of Skyrim, or my fourth copy of Witcher 3. I already own those games and I have a place to play them.
That’s to say, that I reject the idea that you can have too many dice. You have as many as you need.
From talking about dice buying habits, we’re going to talk about… gatekeeping.
That transition makes more sense if you read the last section. If you just happened to come into this at the middle, then I don’t know what you’re doing.
So I feel like the realities of gatekeeping are a lot more nuanced than we give them credit for. For the people like me, who grew up in the before time, we feel protective of our hobbies. I think it’s because even letting your freak flag out a little bit was to open a doorway to derision, so we tied our self worth to our obsession.
When we see an influx of new people, who are obviously cooler than us, we feel threatened. Yes, I put myself in the camp of gatekeepers. I have that tendency as much as anyone from my generation does.
The last time I caught myself gatekeeping, I was doubting John Boyega’s anime cred when he said, “I like Gundam.” Now I feel like I have good reasons for that. I feel like if I asked him, “Well are you a UC or AU fan?” His answer would be, “Well I’m not sure. I just like what I’ve seen.”
Is it fair? I don’t know. Is it gatekeeping? Yes. It’s probably not healthy overall, and it definitely doesn’t serve a purpose.
That is an awfully long way of getting around to BlerdyOtome talking about Otome games. Honestly, I’ve never played them. They seem kind of puzzle-y (I think), which is not my thing.
But not being my thing doesn’t mean that they’re bad.
I’ve always found this distinction between real gamers and casual gamers a little bit forced. I play all of my games on easy. I’ve even thought about writing about what makes a good easy mode and what makes a bad one. Does that make me less of a gamer?
I don’t think so, but in some people’s eyes, I’m sure it does.
The same is true about this ideal of casual games. Just because someone plays a game on their mobile phone doesn’t mean it’s less of a game.
Also if you want to get into the misogyny of gaming culture, I don’t think you need to look any further than the fact that we consider mobile games “casual.”
Quoting from RealtyMine:
“Our data revealed that more women play mobile games than men – 66% of men play, while the same figure among women is 70%. In terms of the time spent gaming, females beat males at all times of the day – an average gaming session for women lasts 25% longer than for men.”
OK. Enough of me just pouring out my thoughts. Let’s move on to ThatNerdyGirlNews. I always dig her blog posts.
I’ve never thought being an anime fan is hard, but I just try to not talk about it with normies. It’s a defense mechanism I developed way back when. Don’t like your freak flag fly.
That said, there are people who think anime is all tentacle porn and loli chicks, so that is a hassle.
I continue to be surprised that 20 or so years after I became a fan of anime that the sub vs. dub debate is still a thing. Look if you like a thing, it doesn’t make you any less or more hardcore. It means you like a thing. I prefer RahXephon dubbed, I prefer Tiger and Bunny subbed.
Is there a right option? I don’t think so, but some people will tell you that there is.
I will say that the idea of Twincest is disturbing. I mean if it floats your boat, fine, but, Jiminey Christmas. |
From Twincest, we move onto a genre that seems to be disappearing — shoujo.
I’m with That Random Editor. I also think that shoujo, in it’s most traditional Marmalade Boy form, has faded away. There was a time where we talked about Fushigi Yuugi and The Rose of Versailles, but it seems that those times are past.
I put the blame on Western influences. The money from Netflix and others has turned anime from a varied medium that catered to a wide audience to one that is becoming increasingly geared toward a safe (or predictable unsafe) medium. The ways that anime is Japanese seems to be getting more and more shoehorned into predictable patterns.
I often wonder if Leiji Matsumoto could produce Space Pirate Captain Harlock today, or if it would seem too rigid, too formal and a bit too cheesy.
What I can say is that I miss a good shoujo love triangle. They were always better than the ones that crop up in shounen romances.
Today is Aug. 18, which means it’s the beginning of my work week. My job can often become a whirlwind as I’m shuffled onto different assignments and in different directions.
All of this is to say, that I’m not particularly inspired after finishing work.
But I do have a very large list of entries to get through. I always take my responsibilities seriously, and I chose this.
So let’s go!
Among my failings is a lack of knowledge about BL. I looking into the future I will probably have to admit to more failings, but now I need to talk about a Mr. Mini Mart review in a meaningful way.
I’m sorry Fujishitings BL Reviews. I am going to fail you.
That said, I think BL is an interesting corner of the fandom. I mean I never thought I would read a line that wants to make sure things are “squishy.” I can guess what that means, but I don’t want to stick my foot in it just in case, I’m wrong.
That would be a whole different kind of squishy.
The other part I can sort of relate to is the predictability of plots. For me, it’s a factor of watching too much of a show. If there is a husband and a wife and a mysterious death, I can almost guarantee the husband did it.
I apologize again that there is no squishy in this write-up.
And from BL we go back to the world of shoujo and talking about Fruits Basket.
One of the things about being an oldtaku is that I’m surprised when something old becomes new again. I have to admit that I haven’t watched Fruits Basket either time it was popular. It’s not from a lack of opportunity. It’s more because I really didn’t like Ranma ½, and Fruits Basket also had people turning into animals, and high school hijinks.
Yes. I am that shallow.
That said, I like the idea behind Dewbond’s post. I don’t limit it just to Bleach or Fruits Basket. Depending on the genre, you could call it the “Sheldon” problem or the “Raistlin” problem or the “Rorschach” problem.
The problem is that main characters are, by design, bland. They are meant to be an entry point for an uncertain audience. This is why Leonard or Tanis or Night Owl are not lauded as the “best” characters. It’s the edgy, conflicted and complicated side characters that draw our eye.
I would say that sometime in the mid-2000s, those characters started taking center stage in our stories. Inherently, I find these stories less interesting. I don’t care about Walter White or Light or any of those other characters.
Granted, I may have just blathered on and didn’t have anything useful to say. I’ll let you decide.
So finally something I know something about — The 90s.
I remember when I was in high school and everyone was talking about Nirvana. I remember jamming out to Green Day. Yeah. The 90s were great.
Wait. Matt was born in the 90s.
He was born in the 90s.
OK. For me, the 90s was Blink 182 and Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Law and Order (back when that was cutting edge.)
Sure I remember N64, but that was the weird console that they came out with after making the all-time best console ever — the Super Nintendo.
Honestly, I’m half joking about all of this, because one of the things that makes blogging great is that I can see the world through someone else’s eyes. I didn’t grow up with Pokemon. They were something that came about after M:tG was big and then had faded into the background.
My childhood on the other hand was Transformers, GI Joe and He-Man and the Masters’ of the Universe. (I would like to point out that the Masters’ of the Universe doesn’t make much sense to me now that I’m older.)
I remember Animaniacs, but from the point of view of someone who enjoyed how it subverted normal cartoon tropes. It was cool. I’m a little too old for when boy bands were a thing.
The point is that there is a whole section of the 90s that I didn’t experience because I was a teenager (or young adult) in the 90s.
And from the 90s, we move into School Days and a very interesting conversation between Infinite Zenite and Dewbond.
To be honest though, I could (and have) talk at length about what I like and dislike about the series. I’ve been thinking about doing a ranking of the shows that I’ve watched through Anitwitwatches. Believe it or not, School Days would likely top that list.
It’s a show I like for two reasons. One is the overwhelming sense of dread I felt, especially in the middle episodes. Even more than Girls’ Last Tour or Wandering Son, this show knew how to create a mood and it nailed it, every single time.
It generated some passionate arguments in a way that The Rolling Girls never will.
The other reason I like the show is that the artificiality of it is not a detriment, it’s the reason it exists. It’s not supposed to be realistic. In fact, the realism is only there to highlight how unrealistic it is.
Even when the show dives headlong into fantasy, (I put this at episode nine. Others might put it later.) it’s still serving its themes.
It’s a show that is dedicated to what it’s doing and it’s doing it with all of its heart.
That said, I do think those things are what keeps it from being a great story. It’s so dedicated to its idea that it doesn’t care whether the choices make sense or the characters track. They will serve the theme, and you either accept that or you won’t.
And, yes, people disagree with me. But I think that’s what makes it likely one of the best shows I’ve seen in the last year. It’s like Eva or Beserk or even Serial Experiments Lain in that way. We can talk about it, and come away with different opinions about it.
And we finish today with a a lovely manga review from the lovely Al’s Manga Blog about some lovely people who are falling in love.
But really, I want more pleasant love stories. I miss watching stories like Suzuka or Toradora, where we had a lovely love story that progressed between two nice people. There didn’t have to be any sisters or cousins or older man/younger woman or semi-abusive relationship-turned-around. Just a nice love story.
Is that too much to ask Japan? Do you all remember how to make those in anime any more?
I miss them.
It’s Wednesday Aug. 18. My work week starts on Tuesday and ends on Saturday so today is my Tuesday, but it’s really Wednesday.
I know for most people time has lost meaning with COVID-19 forcing us all to stay at home. For me, time has always been a little bit weird. Whether it’s late night calls or weekend assignments, my work life is forever unpredictable.
Oh and stressful.
Today was one of those weird days when the most stressful part of the day came at the end. In my line, work comes when it comes and I had a lot of work come at the end of the day.
So I don’t really have anything funny or exciting to talk about today.
But I am committed to get through today.
Let’s start talking about war?
Sometimes I wonder if I fail as a fan. I’m pretty sure the title of Illusion Purple’s post (When the war enters real life: Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen) is referring to the fact that this is a real-life adaptation of a anime.
(Checks the Internet for Kaguya-Sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-Tachi no Renai Zunousen) Yep. I’m right.
(Reads synopsis) OK. So this is a love story.
I’m not sure if this is a love story that I’m interested in watching or not, but I do like the costume design. I’ve never made the jump into J-Drama. Part of it is a bit of snobbishness on my part. I want good production values and quality acting, and I’m afraid that I’m not going to get that if I make the plunge.
I also dislike the attempt to be slavishly loyal to either the anime or manga source material. It doesn’t translate well to me, but that might just be my problem and not a problem with the actual material.
I don’t think this is really the place I should start, but I wouldn’t mind finding the adaptation of Nodame Cantible or Honey and Clover and seeing how they came out.
And now we move on to talking about A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun.
But before I move onto Takuto’s post, I have to say I really like the titles of both of these shows. There is something kind of Victorian about starting with A Certain. You could say A Certain Green Notebook, and it would sound somewhat mysterious.
What’s interesting is that I was talking about these series with my sister earlier this week. So I watched A Certain Magical Index way back when it was initially coming out through less than legal means. I never wanted to see Railgun though, mostly because the character was off-putting.
But if you think the series is daunting now, Takuto does give you a good guide for engaging with the series.
It’s also part of the OWLS Mini-Con which is a wonderful idea. Honestly, OWLS is kind of a great idea. I’ve said this before, but I”m always a big fan of things that bring the community together, and that’s what OWLS does.
So good on you.
Moya and Primes really spend their time going through the final episode of Toradora. I was particularly delighted about the wedding reference that we get in the first episode.
Also I have to talk about Taiga and her Tsundere-ness. One of the interesting things that the beginning of a trope is probably when it’s at it’s best. For instance, 48 Hrs is a much more interesting movie than Lethal Weapon because it’s in this middle ground for buddy cop movies. It shares move in common with movies like The French Connection and even Midnight Cowboy.
Lethal Weapon may be the model of a buddy cop movie, but it’s all shaved corners and clean lines. It’s good, but it’s not interesting. (If that makes sense.) Granted, I think Shane Black has spent the rest of his career coming up with really interesting variations on Lethal Weapon that are arguably better, but that’s not really my point.
What I wanted to say is that Taiga is a tsundere, but she is almost the prototype tsundere. She is disagreeable because she’s a disagreeable person, not because she’s filling a role.
That’s one of the wonderful things about Toradora. It’s a show with really well developed characters that aren’t just designed to fit into well-crafted holes.
You want to know how BL and Mecha shows are the same.
Well you aren’t going just find a copy of Blue Comet Layzner by strolling into your local Walmart. It’s not available streaming (that I’ve been able to find.) The only way to get it is through piracy.
That is what I was thinking as I listened to The Yaoi Shelf’s talk about piracy.
I have a lot of feelings about piracy. I mean I benefited from fansubs, and I bought most of the shows that I enjoyed. There are some though that I never did.
Here are my short feelings about it. Piracy is theft, and theft is always wrong. Blaming translations or “corporate greed” is an excuse. Normally, they are flimsy excuses.
That said, not all theft is equal. Grabbing a television off of a store shelf is not the same as grabbing a candy bar. The amount of harm caused is different. The amount of harm I cause by finding a Dougram illegally streaming is far different then the amount of harm I cause watching My Hero Academia through illegal means.
Not only that, it’s much easier to do the right thing in MHA’s case than it is with Dougram.
Give them a listen though, you might come out with a different perspective about it.
Today is Friday.
Well really it’s my Thursday, but for the rest of the world today is Friday.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how people perceive the world. My days off are Sunday and Monday, and to make it feel like a “normal” workweek I call them my weekend. They aren’t the weekend. It causes other people no end of consternation when I say, it’s Monday when it’s Tuesday.
But it’s the construction I use to make working on Saturday just that little bit more bearable.
That’s one of the reasons I structured The JCS this way, is that the structure of doing five posts a day makes the load of work ahead of me more bearable. And sure I could put them into organized areas so you could find them easily, but I prefer these small, bite-sized chunks where both you and I can easily peruse the new people’s posts every day.
Without much further ado, let’s talk about dubs.
Sometimes I read a post and I find myself finding something new that I agree with in each paragraph. That is how I feel about this post from The Backloggers talking about watching the dub of Haikyuu!!. It’s full of some really salient points about why a dub isn’t inherently worse than a sub.
I’ll be honest. I’m still shocked that dubs vs. subs is still a thing. Way back in the before time, it did actually matter because anime was sold on VHS and you had to pick. Either you wanted the dub or you wanted the sub.
Now depending on who you talk to and depending on the anime, the dub or the sub could be uniquely superior (and it was usually the sub) but since DVDs it doesn’t matter. If you like the sub, watch that. If you like the dub, watch that.
What I do want to add is a point that GeneralTofu appeared to miss. We can tell how poorly a dub is acted. When I tried watching the dub of Legend of Black Heaven, it was bad. It was so bad that it actually changed the meaning of the show.
When the acting in a sub is bad, we can’t tell. Well unless you’re a native speaker or have studied the language, then you might be able to tell. I have a feeling that this is what underlies a lot of the elitism over subs.
Well that and the exoticism of anime. People equate the fact that they’re watching something in Japanese to mean that somehow they’re more cultured. Like somehow engaging with a foreign language makes it cool.
Yeah. Sorry about that. Anyways, go read the post. He writes far more eloquently than I am.
Sometimes it’s a small pebble that shifts the mountain, right?
Did that even make sense?
Amanda Actually wrote a wonderful post about how the mad King Ludwig changed her life, or at least became an obsession and seeing his castles was a highlight in her life.
In 2015, I went back to Maryland and visited Gettysburg. My parents lived about an hour south in the town of Frederick, so my wife and I stayed with them and traveled up there. What is strange is that I had lived in Maryland for three years and never visited any of The Civil War sites.
While I was interested in the decades leading up to the war, I was never really interested in was the war itself. It seemed so anticlimactic. In retrospect it just seemed like the thing that had to happen.
But with such a large piece of American History in front of me I had to see it. I’m glad I did. I’m a cynical person, and I was moved and felt small in front of that giant open field. It somehow made the magnitude of it all more real. I realized that while it had to happen, there was no guarantee that it would end that way or that it would end well.
Yes, I know there is a historian that is chomping at the bit to tell me that I’m wrong, and I would agree with him or her if I talked about it logically, but standing there at that time, I’m not so sure.
It was good experience and I’m glad that I had it.
About a year later, I lost my Dad.
It was not sudden, but it wasn’t long. Either way, and no matter how I shade it, it was awful. The worst time in what was my worst year.
As I was sitting in a Seattle restaurant waiting for my plane, I wrote a Facebook post. It didn’t carry all of the pain I felt. I don’t think that is a thing that could happen.
Now every year, I see the pictures from Gettysburg in my FB memories at the same time that I see that post. It strangely enough makes that moment in Gettysburg feel happy in comparison.
I am curious if Amanda’s loss colored their perspective of Ludwig’s castle.
Well where do we go from that.
Let’s move on and talk about a YouTube channel Boujge Fujoshi. Now I’m a fake anime fan, so when I see the term Fujoshi, I just think it’s going to be something awful.
That is what anime is — 70 percent niche things that outsiders thing are horrible, and 30 percent niche things that are probably awful but we like anyway.
I mean is there really an excuse for Camille Bidan? Is there? Really?
Now that I looked it up, it’s not really awful at all. It’s a BL fandom thing. Man, there is a lot of BL fandom out there. More than I ever thought. I mean that’s great. Whatever floats your boat.
Strange enough, I actually think I know what Bougie means without looking it up. It’s a slang shortening of bourgeoisie because who needs French. Sometimes I can go down rabbit holes on the Internet, I found out that the origin of bourgeoisie comes from people who lived in walled towns.
And it was co-opted by merchants, professionals and manufacturers who wanted political influence. The transition from medieval politics to current economic theories is interesting.
Anyway, I’m off the topic.
I appreciate that she knows what manwha is and that it’s different than manga. So she gets my vote.
OK. On to talking about Demon Slayer.
Again, I am a fake anime fan. I have not watched this show. What I will say though is Annime’s description of the “training arc” reminded me of something I really liked about Kenichi. He really is pretty bad in comparison to his teachers, and that is consistent for the entire show.
She does a wonderful job of summing up her thoughts on the show.
Demon Slayer seems to be a show that polarizes people in a way that helps the show’s popularity, but it probably more than the show really deserves.
It seems like Twilight in that way. People get upset about sparkly vampires, but that’s probably not it’s biggest problem.
So I have an addiction to a game called Battletech. It was a miniatures game with giant robots set in a futuristic world where people have fallen back on feudalistic systems of royalty. The setting is a wonderful combination of pulp and mecha, and is the closest that the west ever came to anime.
Yes. People could bring up Avatar, but they are different things.
Anyways that’s not the point. A couple of years ago, Harebrained Schemes came up with a computer port of the game, and released some DLC. I started playing a couple of months ago, and I’m obsessed.
Then I found a mod, which makes me even more excited.
This is a long way of saying that I’ve been put off my schedule because I was playing Battletech. But I’m back on track now.
So let’s go and talk about some posts.
I have a deep and abiding love for both Paradise Kiss and Nana. I want shows that make me feel something. As I talked about on another day, even if I don’t love a show, if I’m emotionally invested in it, I will give it a much wider pass.
NANA and Paradise Kiss are worlds that I want to live in. They are stylish and beautiful along with moments of casual cruelty that hurt me. It’s like real life only better.
That is what good drama should be.
It’s no surprise that a show that is steeped in music and pathos would inspire so many AMVs, which the Apprentice Mages compile into a great post.
Go on. Live your best life.
Now, we move on to everyone’s other favorite Austrailian, LitaKino and Nobunagun.
To be honest, I’m sold without even reading the post. I love big splashy spectacle shows. I don’t love them in the same way that I love heart-wrenching emotional dramas, but I do love them. It’s nice to sit back and let the bright lights and pretty colors wash over you and hook you.
Japan has a fascinating relationship with its historical figures. We often see our folklore heroes as troubled men here in America. Sure at one point we were in love with them, but we all know that Davie Crockett might have killed him a bar when he was only three, but he also helped oppress an indigenous population.
Or at least he would have, if he was real.
Japan seems far less introspective about their historical heroes, and choose not to examine what they might have done that is unseemly. I wonder if that is a factor of having a largely homogeneous population, or if it’s some other reason.
Anyway, I will have to check out Nobunagun, because it looks like my kind of show.
One of the things I find myself doing as I write about these posts, is latching onto one facet and talking about to the exclusion of everything else. I think that’s what is going to happen with Matt Doyle Media’s review of The Fandom.
You should go read his review of the documentary, which he gives a 5 out of 5. Even more you probably should watch the documentary itself. That is how you learn things I think.
What I’m saying next, has no reflection on The Fandom or anyone else. It’s just an idea that popped into my head as I read about how mainstream media casts aspersions on furries.
I often wonder who is better equipped to tell a fandom’s story — the participant or the disinterested party?
This is not a simple question. Everyone, including me, tends to cast ourselves in a positive light. We aren’t generally truthful with ourselves about ourselves.
That said, outsiders don’t really understand the nuance of a situation. People can be ham fisted in their interpretations. They can be quick to judge.
To be honest, I didn’t realize there was a non-sexual component to furry fandom until I saw Sonic Fox playing fighting games.
OK. Time to stop before I dig this hole any deeper.
And from here, let’s go on a tour of the history of licensed video games.
FuckBoiOpinions takes us on a tour of video game tie-ins, which was a world that I’ve been in before. I remember staying up very late playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the NES. In fact, I played both the bad tie-in game and the one that came out that was kind of a port of the arcade game.
You could do an entire treatise about how those two games demonstrate the two sides of how to do a tie-in. One is a clumsy platformer and the other is a charming beat-em up that captures the spirit of the cartoon.
Tie-ins have this strange balancing act they need to maintain. If they’re slavishly tied to the source material, they can seem like they’re just shoving game elements into a story. If they’re too divorced from it, they can just have Batman shooting across the screen.
First and foremost, tie-ins need to be good games and then they need capture the essence of what made the source material special.
Though I thought The Stick of Truth and the Fractured But Whole were well-received. Maybe, I’m wrong.
Anime is never canceled and you are (not) alone.
So I’ve been reading the OWLS posts about the mini-con, but LynLyn surpassed my expectations. They put together an entire course syllabus that would includes watching anime like Ghost in the Shell, Your Name and Princess Jellyfish.
I wish I attended this class.
One of the things I wish college did more was take modern pop culture and analyzed it. For instance, I think the difference between X-Files and Fringe tells us a lot about how 9/11 impacted people’s view of the government. (Yes. This is my pet theory.)
But we can take a look at the arc of sitcoms from I Love Lucy to All in the Family to The Cosby Show and see how South Park is not a break in a trend, but a continuation of a pattern.
This may be why I have an anime blog that I write in occasionally.
Some days finishing a day of writing to come back and write some more isn’t as much fun as I imagine it would be.
I would classify large portions of my life as a struggle between my sense of responsibility, and my desire to just let the world go to pot. I know that sounds horrible, but it’s not really intended to be that way.
But I know that the 90 percent of everything is attitude. So today, I’m not going to do a horrible job because everyone is counting on me, and I will lose all credibility, and I will need to go and…
OK. It’s not that dire.
Let’s talk about some posts.
I’m going to start with Never argue with a Fish, which is undoubtedly the best name for a blog ever. It sounds like something straight out of Douglas Adams.
Unfortunately, Arthur had never read page 8,545 of the guide, which clearly states that you should never argue with a fish. Except in the case of the Scully Gulwumpus of Caviorn-7, where arguing is the traditional greeting.
OK. Bad Douglas Adams impressions aside, we have another show that I haven’t seen, but sounds delightful: Princess Connect! Re: Dive.
When did anime start using Re: as part of their sentences. I feel like it’s a bit of English that looks “cool.”
I’m finding that as I get older, I like the occasional show about nothing. They’re pleasant and relaxing and going on finding delicacies sounds awesome.
Man. Do I watch anime?
Crow, who I respect as the guy who also enjoyed Fairy Gone, is presenting everyone with the Episode 4 review of The Misfit of Demon King Academy. Yes. You guessed it. It’s another show I haven’t seen.
That said, I do like his pleasant description of sisters stabbing each other and coming back to life. Even if I don’t have any context for it.
Maybe I’ll check the show out.
Anyways, lets’ move on.
I like the title 5 years of Summer Anime. I feel like I’m going to start a journey like 500 days of Summer. Though that is a romance, Ang’s post at Couch and Chill is a blog post.
Yes. That is redundant.
One of the interesting things about anime is that it can have quite a few hidden gems circulating during all of the seasons. I think Ang comes up with a pretty good list of anime that came out during the summer of the last five years.
I mean it’s a little less of a romantic journey of 500 days of dating a girl named summer, but it is a journey.
I’ve even heard of Mob Psycho.
God, I’m such a fake fan.
So 9 Tailed Kitsune posed an interesting question. Is it bad to be a typical shounen protagonist? While I might bicker a bit about some of the finer details of Mia’s definitions, it is an interesting thing to talk about it.
Mia definitely goes one way with the question. She looks at all of the good qualities that being the protagonist in a shounen fighting show normally brings. They’re kind. They’re compassionate. They teach us to perserve and never give up.
They tell us to take the drill of our dreams and pierce the heavens while screaming.
Manly tear to be shed for Kamina
That said, shounen heroes have the classic gunslinger problem. There is always someone younger, better or stronger that they need to challenge because the world is in peril. So their life is always war. Would that really be a good way to live a life?
Let’s finish off today with talking about the year that was.
I heard a great joke today.
A man walks into the bar and says, “I want two hurricanes and a Corona.”
The bartender replies, “That will be $20.20.”
This year has been one of those years where dreams die and we just cling for dear life to anything, even as all of the things we would normally cling to vanish like fog on a summer morning.
Anime Expo is no different. I appreciate Animated Andy’s talk about his experiences with the California convention. While cons aren’t my thing, I can appreciate what drives someone to go to one. I also appreciate the communal spirit.
But really what I think Andy’s post really highlights is that you shouldn’t let the possible opinions of others stop you from doing the things you like (within reason.) You’ll never know if you’ll get another chance to do it.
So I started posting The JCS on the blog yesterday, and as I was doing that, I forgot that on the second day I made a comment about thinking about doing something really weird. When I was considering it, I thought about maybe trying to turn these intro sections into some sort of diary of the apocalypse, or tracing my eventual descent into anime madness.
You might be wondering why I didn’t do that. Well, it’s for three reasons really.
The first is that I would mostly be trading in tropes of the madman tortured by floating images of moe girls and being chastised by Chirico Cuvie. While it might be entertaining in the short term, it’s not a joke that would carry past a couple of days.
As someone who is never afraid to let a joke go unbeaten like a dead horse, that is hardly the main reason I didn’t do it.
The second reason is that it would breed confusion. Inevitably, the people would wonder why I’m talking about the Before Times and having to hunt rats for food as I’m discussing their posts. I don’t expect people to read more than one or two of these, so that seemed like a non-starter.
This played some factor in my decision. I like clarity even if it’s boring.
The third reason was really the one that sold it to me though. It wasn’t fair. I always knew that I was going to work in semi-chronological order of when people submitted. This means the people I know the least well would likely be going last. It seemed horribly unfair to stick them with my bad jokes when the people at the top of my list weren’t going to be.
Maybe next year.
OK. That is enough navel-gazing, let’s talk about some posts.
So I’ve been wanting to talk about Fred’s post about How Not to Summon a Demon Lord since he added it to TheJCS post.
One of my biggest failings is that I don’t like to watch things that I don’t think I’m going to like. I have no desire to challenge myself. I don’t care how many people say it’s good, I’m never watching Breaking Bad or The Sopranos or the rest of Game of Thrones.
So when others do that, I’m happy.
This is why I’m glad that Fred has watched this demon lord anime, so that I don’t have to.
I’m not really interested in harem shows unless it involves sad girls in the snow (and then only sometimes) or if it is Toradora or Higurashi (and it’s only sort of a harem show.) I find that kind of pandering male fantasy bothersome. I want characters struggling to understand each other. I want pathos and character growth.
I want some goddamn josei in my harem show. Give me more Honey and Clover.
I always appreciate that Keni comes up with interesting questions like Is Watching Anime Childish? I saw that Aria took a crack at this question as well.
Please go read Keni’s post before reading my response here, because I think it’s worth seeing what other people think. His underlying message is beautiful.
I think we need to be careful to not conflate simple with childish. Most anime are simple stories. There is a good guy who needs to defeat a bad guy or horrible things will happen. This may sound reductionist, but I think that basic plot can be applied to most adventure stories.
Indiana Jones needs to defeat the Nazi’s by finding the Arc of the Covenant or else they will have access to a weapon that could destroy the Earth. Luke Skywalker needs to rescue Princess Leia so she can get the Death Star plans to the rebels to prevent the Empire from winning.
These are both simple stories. It’s very clear who is good and who is bad. When there is a shade of gray in there, it’s often to redeem a character.
These aren’t challenging stories, but that is OK. I don’t think simple means childish though, or at least, I think a story needs to have more than just being simplistic to be childish.
But maybe I’m wrong, and everything I enjoy is childish.
There are two types of cover songs. There are covers that try to recreate the original faithfully. They can range from decent to bad, but they’re never better than the original. Even Weezer’s version of Toto’s Africa, which is amazingly close, is just like listing to Toto’s Africa.
It feels like a waste of an effort.
On the other hand, I love covers that take the original and put it into a different genre. There is a bluegrass version of Thunderstruck that I love, or the jazz version of Eminem’s Lose Yourself.
That is why I like AMVs. When they’re done well, they recontextualize the show and the song. Sometimes they use the anime to tell the story of the song, and sometimes they use the song to tell the story of the anime. And occasionally they just make something that is completely disconnected from either.
I like tfwanime’s AMV using Fire Force and Robin Hustin’s song Feelings. It’s definitely fun and you should watch it.
From cover songs to the ultimate original of all time — Alice in Wonderland.
Here it comes, I have not seen Kyousougiga. I mean looks wonderful. Even though I’m not a fan of most isekai, I’m willing to give this one a try. The folks over at Galvanic put together a nice video about how the ties of family bound the main characters.
I have to give kudos to the person who wrote the script and edited the video. Well done guys. And the two actors were wonderful.
But I really want to talk about Alice in Wonderland for a little bit because I think we often forget just how weird that story is. The Queen of Hearts is really just a small part of it, and so is the Red Queen and the Catepillar, etc.
I want more isekai like that. Give me more Spirited Away and less truck-kun please.
So let’s finish up with talking about something I really enjoy talking about — difficulty settings.
How’s that for a motorized scooter?
Anyway, Frostilyte put together an interesting idea about how to make games more accessible to more people. Make different aspects of games have different difficulty sliders. In particular, he was talking about The Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Though, I can’t imagine playing any of those games without the paint. I would be so lost. I love all of the remake games, but I wouldn’t say I’m good at them.
That said, it lets me talk about my favorite difficulty setting which comes from Morrowind. In there you set a percentage of how difficult you want the enemies to be. I usually set it on 20 percent below median and it’s just challenging enough for me.
Having a slider control conversation difficulty would be interesting, but I have a feeling if a dev was going to put all of that work in, they would just make it apply to everything.
Well I’m in the home stretch now. What’s funny is that everyone who is reading this is seeing it over the course of a few days, and I’ve been working on it for more than a week.
It doesn’t help when I’ve had an exhausting day.
Like an emotionally draining day where I wonder if I did the right things, and how much pain and suffering have I caused by doing what I’ve done.
These are the days when I don’t want to write about anime blogs. These are the days when I just want to find a way to hide away from the world and pretend that it doesn’t exist.
Being an introvert in an extrovert’s world is just too much sometimes.
But responsibilities being what they are, let’s forge ahead.
Let’s start with Lynn Sheridan talking about Princess Connect Re:Dive.
Isn’t this the show about … Yes. It’s about the food eating guild. I still love the idea of this show, even if I haven’t watched it. I think Lynn does a good job of selling it.
It looks like there is a little more fighting and a little less eating than I thought there would be. I’m still OK with that. I don’t really have anything substantive to add because I haven’t watched the show.
What I do want to talk about is that if you get the characters right, then you can do anything, which is his takeaway. (Or at least part of it.) On the one hand I agree. If you have compelling and charming characters who drive the plot forward, you are more likely to have a successful show.
Especially if those characters have dynamic relationships that smack of authenticity.
But I wonder where that is broken but you still have a good show. Arguably, a show like Girls’ Last Tour has very subdued characters that don’t change much. Large sections of the plot happen to them, and when they drive it, the stakes tend to be relatively low.
What limitations does that make? Is that still a good show?
Anyways, let’s move on.
On to talking about manga.
So I Read a Manga over on YouTube put together a collaboration video about the manga they’ve picked up over the summer.
I have to admit that while I do watch anime (nominally), I don’t read a lot of manga. I do have the first volume of Claymore somewhere around here and I read through the first volume of Yona, I find that I only have so much time for entertainment in a day.
Maybe on the day when I strike it rich and am able to live a life of leisure.
That said, the cover of JoJo’s is just beautiful. I love it. I love it lots.
So let’s talk about A Certain Scientific Railgun.
Or in this case, Railgun T.
In my younger days, I must have been very naive. See when I watched A Certain Magical Index, I never thought it would explode into a multi-series franchise that has spanned more than a decade.
Though I can say, that even back then the railgun character was probably my least favorite. Granted this was 10 years ago, so my opinion might have changed if I watched it now.
I do like seeing people who are fans of series as they engage in a new installment of it, and that is what the appropriately named Railgunfan 75 has done. It’s like reading a fan’s letter to a series that they really like.
It’s almost enough to get me to watch A Certain Scientific Railgun.
Get in the Mecha Shinji.
OK. I said it. Now, I’m going to talk about the lovely Get in the Mecha podcast and their discussion of the role of animation in creating characters.
Good, well-planned animation is often the difference between a mediocre show and a great show. It’s one of the reasons why Evangelion works. I always go back to episode four where we see Shinji staring at the floor as people appear and disappear around him.
It conveys a sense of his loneliness and isolation without ever needing to have dialogue.
Now, I’ll be the first one to talk about how well-crafted dialogue can change the meaning of a show, but powerful moments played quietly are often just a powerful.
Just get in the mecha.
OK. Now time for about how 2020 is a disaster
COVID-19 has made for strange times for us all. What is strange is that it’s turned me from someone who doesn’t like to leave the house into someone who doesn’t leave the house.
Well unless I need to, but that is pretty rare.
That’s why I don’t really relate to Later Level’s talk about Lockdown Gaming. I mean I do, because I’ve also had burnout when I play a game or watch a show for 13 hours straight and I hate myself for staying up until the sun was just cresting the horizon.
But I can follow the same pattern of get up, take a shower, go to work, play games and go to bed for months.
It’s probably not good for me, but I like it.
Here we are at the end of The JCS. I always find that these long projects become equally harder and easier as they reach the end.
The easy part is that the amount of work left for me becomes smaller. What at first looked daunting now looks manageable. I can imagine a world where I finish and don’t let people down.
The hard part is that I worry that I might try to speed through. What you, the audience, aren’t seeing is that I started this project in mid-August and I’m finishing it on Aug. 30. I could have already finished, but I put it off and didn’t work as hard as I probably should have.
Now I’m left with 10 posts that need me to be as good as my worst day, because I owe it to these folks as well.
I also feel a little sad finishing it up. There is something bittersweet about a long project coming to the end, but I probably should finish before I bring that up.
So let’s go.
I’ve found in the last five years that I’ve come to really like playing video games. See I grew up in the era when you had to have dedication and mad skillz to beat video games. Somewhere along the way developers made games for fat-fingered people like me.
I feel like I missed several video game series out of fear that I would get stuck or because I would rather spend my money on anime.
Paper Mario and Mario RPG is one of those series. I appreciate Adventure Rules’ discussion of how the The Origami King utilizes its overworld.
I wonder if the creators were trying to build an emotional beat by having you restore the world, and then giving you rewards for doing it. One of the aspects of The Witcher that I really loved was that the side quests had emotional resonance. That isn’t easy to do with a series of perhaps three to five story beats in a side quest, but it managed to do it.
So we go from game design to games and relationships.
Wait. I was drawn in by RNG’s clickbait title about video games making him hate his wife.
Is he talking about about fridging? Yes. Yes he is.
For people who don’t know, fridging is when the main character’s wife or girlfriend is killed to provide motivation for the main character. The term comes from a 1994 Green Lantern comic when Hal Jordan came home and found his girlfriend cut up and put into the fridge.
While it is normally associated with a violent death, I also include any time a male character is motivated by the death of a woman in a way that isn’t really story-driven. Sure. There are stories like Firewatch where the death does serve the story, but there are more stories like Super Mario where the Princess is just a meaningless prize meant to be won.
He does raise a couple of interesting questions. The most important being whether the main character in a game is supposed to be a self-insert. I don’t think that is a clear answer. There are games like The Last of Us where the main character is definitely not supposed to be our creation. We are an accomplice in the actions of others in those games.
For games like Skyrim, we are certainly meant to shape our character around how we want to engage with the world. But we are much more active in how those decisions are made.
Then there are games like the aforementioned Super Mario, or even Chrono Trigger, where the story is already predestined, but we aren’t given much in the way of personality to get in the way of us and the inserting ourselves as the hero.
I’m not sure it really matters for his main point, but it’s an interesting idea as games have increasingly complex characters and stories.
Does anyone else remember Space Quest. Not the movie, but the Sierra puzzle games that were all a bit of tongue-in-cheek.
I always felt that they were tongue-in-cheek as a way of covering up the lackluster graphics of the time. It looked like the funny pages, so giving it a sense of silly humor was a way of deflecting potential criticisms and a way of poking at the super serious puzzle games of the time. (I’m looking at you Shadow of the Comet.)
All of this is to say that the art in Last of Us Part 2 really is beautiful. Gaming Omnivore did a good job of collecting some great screenshots from it.
I wonder if we will ever move to a time when graphics actually reach real life levels. Will we see actors come back from the dead through the magic of computer programming and with the help of other actors.
Here is another of my pop culture failings. I’ve only ever played the original Zelda. (See my earlier commend about hard video games.)
What I appreciate about Zelda though is that through an overriding vision and a devoted fanbase, I know more about Zelda’s design and lore than any other game I’ve never played.
This is all a long way of saying that Zelda is The Girl’s passion in talking about the best dungeons is palpable. I don’t really have a frame of reference, because the closest I’ve gotten to Zelda in 30 years has been playing Moonlighter.
Though, that is a good game.
So we move from Zelda to coping with loss.
I’m hardly in a place to put myself in Ace Asunder’s position. She ended up ending a relationship with her Best Friend, and it ended up hurting her mental health and leaving her in a dark place. While I do think grief and suffering is a personal thing, and no solution fits everyone, I do think it’s worth listening to others stories when they share them.
At the very least, it gives us a chance to see the world from someone else’s point of view. We should all do that more.
Also if you need help, please get it. Everything might look like crap right now, but it won’t be that way forever. I promise.
A long time ago, I read a Hitchcock magazine story where a traveling salesman comes to town and plants the seeds of doubt and distrust. The person’s actions destroy a family.
I remember being chilled to my core.
The story of the stranger who comes into town and exposes a community’s flaws and skeletons is nothing new, but it’s also can be chilling and fascinating as we see the veneer of civilization stripped away. That is what it seems that Girl from Nowhere does.
Inks of Midnight talks about the Thai live-action drama in this post, and after I finish watching some other stuff I might give it a go.
Have a look.
Now we turn to The Review Heap, and what is one of my favorite over-the-top Hong Kong (or American) action inspired series ever created – Black Lagoon.
I love that series.
I always cringe a little when people say that they feel a character is realistic. It’s reflexive for me to start looking for the seams. Fiction, by it’s nature, is heightened reality.
Black Lagoon doesn’t try to pretend it is realistic. We see our heroes jump a boat into a helicopter and that is the tone of the series. That said, the struggles the characters go through feels real. I don’t get the feeling like the hand of the author is dictating their actions, or they need to do things to sell toys.
When the characters interact in this shadow world it feels realistic.
I realize that I’ve spent this long waiting and I haven’t talked about Ashley Capes’ post at The Review Heap that inspired this post.
Go check it out.
OK. I like midnight snacks, and I like the the YouTube channel Midnight Snacks.
Like I said earlier, I do find that it’s hard to talk about an entire YouTube channel. I clicked on her most recent video and it starts with Shrimp chips, and are those chips made out of shrimp or flavored by shrimp?
I also appreciate other people who like Kurama, who was my favorite character outside of Yusuke in Yu Yu Hakusho.
It kind of makes me want to go back to watch that show again.
This is the video game portion of the list it seems. As we moved further on in time, I ended up having more and more posts that ventured out of the traditional anime posts and into video games.
That is fine. I like talking about video games.
Robot Heart Beat came up with an interesting list of Comfort Food Games. As I was thinking about it, I was having a hard time coming up with my list.
I mean there are old stand-bys like Morrowind. I have put more than 80 hours into that game and never finished it. I love it because it’s just so open ended.
Then there is a list of my favorite rogue-lites — Dead Cells, Everspace, Moonlighter and Void Bastards. These are games I can just turn on, play a run and then turn off. I don’t ever feel committed to finishing them, but playing a run is a good way to just shut off and let myself relax.
Then there is Bioshock Infinite,No Man’s Sky, X3: Terran Conflict, or a half dozen other games that I turn on when I just feel like I’m in the mood. I have a feeling that Battletech is going to be another one of those.
OK, before this turns into me just talking about my favorite games, let’s move on to something else.
We are closing out talking about another of my favorite video game franchises, The Witcher. In particular, my personal favorite game The Witcher 3.
I think AmbiGamingCorner does a fantastic job of detailing both the fundamental problem of romance in video games and the ways that The Witcher 3 sidesteps that.
The talk about the problem reminded me of what I did in Fable 3. I spent the game romancing all of the flirty women just so I could go through the funny sex scenes. The romance in those games largely boils down to a series of minigames. I think even in the more mature depictions of these relationships, they still boil down a a minigame.
That is where Wtcher 3 is different. The romance is a choice by the player, but it’s not a quest. Even more interesting, you really need to choose Triss, otherwise Yennefer seems to be the “default” choice.
I think it says a lot about both Geralt and Yennefer that they are the default relationship, and Triss has to be a choice.
To be fair, I chose Yennefer. I think that probably says more about me than it does about Geralt.