The Otakusphere: Likes, dislikes and that’s just your opinion, man

It’s another week, and I have, by all measures, managed to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune without shuffling off of this mortal coil. So let’s talk about anime and blogging.

I believe I drank one too many beers last night, so I am going to be cruising along with my hangover, a cup of coffee and a mild sense of ennui as we look out at the Otakusphere this week.

But first, let’s get some tunes started. Here’s a ditty that is very on topic for this week’s news.

Let’s start with Edy’s post about Gotoubun no Hanayome. First of all, I have no idea what this show is. I’m glad that shoujo still exists in this My Hero Academia world, but this seems like something that I shouldn’t be that excited about.

That said, I do want to bring up two interesting statements in this post. The first is that 7,000 in anime Blu-Ray sales is considered a success. If you ever needed more proof that anime is a niche within a niche, then that statement should be it. Although, I have to admit that I didn’t fact check this, so it may not be true.

If I assume that it is though, 7,000 in sales is not a lot. Even at Japanese prices, that is just over $500,000 gross. When you put that up against a successful movie, that is chump change.

Courtesy Jon Spencer Reviews

Also, when did the art in 90s shoujo become bad. I understand complaining about how generic the character designs were in the early 2000s, but the 90s gave us Sailor Moon, Marmalade Boy and Utena (though your mileage may vary on that last one. More on that later.)

There’s nothing wrong with 90s shoujo.

But talking about unpopular opinions, Scott over at Mechanical Anime Reviews unleashed some dislike on some darling series. I’ve been considering putting together a blog post about shows that I don’t understand the praise that they get. (I will save most of it, but Revolutionary Girl Utena is on that list.)

It’s interesting because I’m not sure I can agree with him about Black Lagoon. But that is a show that they looked at my collection of heist movies and action films and made it just for me.

I mean I have a copy of Lucky Number Slevin on my shelf. I haven’t watched that one for a while. I should go back to it.

And talking about disliking a show that everyone likes, Yomu raises the age old question: Can a piece of fiction be objectively good?

This is a question I started thinking about more than 20 years ago when I first started thinking about moves and anime reviews. Most recently, I was thinking about it when I was reflecting on Kanon.

Where I sit right now is that there is craftsmanship in storytelling. I can look at a show like Kanon and see what they did with camera angles, music, artwork and dialogue and see the craftsmanship in it. The pieces are put together in a seemingly competent way, but it just doesn’t land for me.

It’s like looking at a house and seeing that it’s built well, but still thinking it’s ugly.

So I do think something can be objectively well-built, but I reject that it actually makes it good because on some level a piece of fiction needs to connect with the viewer or reader.

Oh and talking about pieces of fiction that are universally beloved, but I don’t like. Let’s talk about Dune.

Jonah has a really interesting review of the art of the cover of Dune. What I find interesting is that the Dune cover has been remarkably similar from the first copy that I ever saw. Which had the nomad people standing to a kind of unnatural looking Dune with one of the cities in the distance.

I guess that the focus of Dune has always been on the alien setting.

There is a cover for the graphic novel that I really do like that seems to have Paul front and center in the artwork and a captivating font used for the title.

I do think looking at the cover of a book as a separate piece of artwork is neat. They are just advertisements for the books, but that doesn’t make them any less intriguing.

Let’s wrap up with a plug for something that gripped my corner of the Otakusphere for a couple of days this week. K a the Movies put together a personality test based on bloggers.

It’s cool to take a test and actually have it come up as myself. It’s kind of reaffirming. Even after asking K about how the sausage was made, it’s interesting to see how other people perceive my Internet persona.

So let’s wrap up with that, and hope that you all have a wonderful week.

As always, thanks for reading.

One thought on “The Otakusphere: Likes, dislikes and that’s just your opinion, man

  1. Thanks for responding to my post! I don’t even think that Shoujo Art in the 90s is even bad… it just feels awkward when the show tries awkwardly mixes an overdone background design with characters that don’t have that cell animation touch that shows like Utena did. Then again, I’m sure I’m less appreciative of most shoujo elements then most are. I really enjoyed reading your whole post!

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