The Otakusphere: Borderlands, navel gazing and kicking the tires

So my put-put engine got itself in gear, and I’m back to blogging. 2020 was a rough year for me in real life, and when the going gets rough, I generally turn to video games; escapism at its best.

If I’m going to be back, well I need to roll the car out of the garage, put some new tires on it and take it for a spin around the old Otakusphere.

Image Courtesy of Jon Spencer Reviews

I have to say that WordPress reader was giving me some fits, so I’m only able to go back a couple of days. That said, I’m hoping that I have an interesting enough selection for you all today.

But first, let’s get some tunes going.

Talking about video games, did you know there was going to be a Borderlands movie? I vaguely remember that. I was reminded by this post from A Richard Wood Text Adventure, and that it has Eli Roth at the helm.

Now I love Borderlands. Mostly because I like media that doesn’t take itself seriously. I blame this on being a Gen Xer and having grown up with the MOST SERIOUS STORIES. I mean Doom and Wolfenstein might seem a little hokie now, but, man, watching monsters explode was some serious business.

I could see a world where this is good. I mean it’s not a big world. It’s probably a small world. With a hidden vault on it. And a monster.

Yeah.

Sometimes the best blog posts are the ones that send me down a rabbit hole of navel-gazing. Rose’s reflections on social media over at The Wretched and The Divine did just that for me.

Let me add that not only is that a great name, but Rose was born a year after I graduated high school. Am I just a Steve Buscemi meme?

That said, I would love to lie and say that I’m not looking for validation when I write blog posts. But that wouldn’t be the truth. Whenever I post something, I can almost guarantee that I will be checking the stats at least 15 or 20 times, and every time I get more than 20 views, I feel like I won.

And every time I read that someone got more than 100 views, I feel like I lost.

That is my secret shame.

Talking about prolific and inspirational bloggers, let’s talk about Irina. I always enjoy her reflective posts about her experiences with anime or with blogging. I mean really Irina could write the ingredients on the back of a box of cereal in a delightful way.

What struck me is that I like writing blog posts for fun. Generally they come out of a need to express something that I can’t simply fit onto Twitter and I don’t want to let it ferment in the back of my brain.

I appreciate that anyone can do this every day especially with a job on top of it. There are so many days that when I get done with a day of work, I can’t form a complete sentence, let alone a witty or clever one.

Anyways, go have a look at her post about her misconceptions when she started blogging. It’s delightful.

So I came across this post from Full Frontal Moe in a response on Twitter about how Evangelion is making fun of otaku. Now, I don’t agree with the very oversimplified examination of Shinji on Twitter, and I’m not sure I entirely agree with this response to it, but I do think it’s worth reading.

Here is what I took away from it. Evangelion is not a revolution. It is not entirely original. It’s an evolution of existing tropes written by people who were fans of those kinds of fiction.

And it again drags out of the ghost of Space Runaway Ideon. I would watch that show, but I hate Tomino.

I’m never really sure what the term “deconstruction” really means. People seem to use it when they mean that a piece of fiction points out the tropes of that kind of fiction and plays with them in a way to show their fundamental flaws.

While I still believe that Shinji is a postmodern hero, I also agree that Evangelion is not critiquing giant robot shows or escapist fiction, or at least, I don’t think it’s doing it on purpose. Eva is less Watchmen and more Game of Thrones. When GoT came out, it shook the fantasy world. No more was the prevalent storytelling wrapped around a chosen hero battling a dark foe, now stories needed to involve a cast of morally ambiguous characters pursuing their own ends.

That said, people could look and tell me that Memory, Sorrow and Thorn did that same thing years earlier.

One last thought, after reading through my own last post on Eva. I think Eva is a tragedy. Even in those “hopeful” middle episodes, you can see the seeds of the tragedies to come. I don’t think Asuka’s introduction really changed anything.

Anyways, go and read the Full Frontal Moe post. It’s long, but it’s worth it.

And to wrap up, let’s talk about the psychological damage that is Elfen Lied. This is a show that has haunted me in a way since I first saw it many years ago. I still have it sitting on my shelf, but I haven’t been brave enough to revisit it.

7Mononoke has in interesting examination of the diclonius and their fundamental damage and how they cope. It’s worth a read.

Well that is all I have for today. I hope you are all having a nice weekend, and I will see you around The Otakusphere.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

4 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: Borderlands, navel gazing and kicking the tires

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