The Otakusphere: Pac-Man Tetris, bad plots and it’s the pandemic, man

Well, it’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m running a bit late for my cruise around the Otakusphere. I wanted to write about Ideon, Eva and influence yesterday, so that’s what I did.

The post is doing surprisingly well. I think most of the people who normally read my blog probably have already read it. If you’re interested, it’s here. I’m still processing all of the lovely feedback I’ve gotten on it, so I apologize for not responding to the comments.

Anyways, let’s put on some tunes, and get back to short commentary on other people’s posts.

If you’re old like me, you might remember a time when Tetris was THE GAME. Now, the idea of lining up falling blocks seems so normal that it’s hard to imagine how much the video game industry rallied around that idea. Every franchise had its version of Tetris.

Evidently, Pac-Man is no different. Granted, it didn’t start its life as Pac-Man Tetris, but that’s what it became according to this post over at MoeGamer. It’s interesting to watch, and it makes the game more complex by adding a second element to the Tetris formula.

Go on and check it out.

You know what else I would like — an anime that is legitimately about the day-to-day drama of the Japanese government. And by day-to-day, I mean that kind of day-to-day drama as written by Aaron Sorkin in The West Wing, not the day-to-day paper-pushing drudgery that is real government life.

Well, I’m not the only one who wants something like that. Dewbond over at Shallow Dives in Anime came up with a fun list of shows he would like to see in anime. Here is his list.

One of the things I’ve been considering for a while is how mainstream culture reacts to the increasing representation of different types of people in fiction. But something I feel like gets left out of that conversation is how those representations make people in those groups feel.

Us mainstream folks always see ourselves reflected in culture. Is it so much of a cost to have a black Spiderman or a gay James Bond? What do we lose?

The other side of that is what do other people gain by seeing themselves in those roles? I would guess that they gain far more than we lose. Ace Asunder did a good job of capturing that in this post about representation.

That might be a little condescending thinking like that, but it’s just what I’ve been thinking about.

And on the topic of interesting and thought-provoking questions, let’s take a moment to think about whether you would rather have a good plot or good characters.

Yomu has been doing some interesting writing prompt posts over at Umai Yomu. This one is trying to answer the question of whether you would rather have good characters with a bad plot or bad characters with a good plot. I feel like this question is really, “Would you rather watch 80s action movies or 2000s indie films?”

I hate to be indecisive, but my answer would be either, sometimes both and sometimes neither. Good characters should move the plot forward. But without consistent and interesting challenges for the characters then all you have are anime girls eating parfaits. That can be entertaining for a while, but I would lose interest in it really quick.

And talking about shows that I didn’t have a lot of love for, Sirius Writes put together some thoughts about Kanon. I always find it interesting to see why people like shows that I didn’t. Especially when he singled out.

Let’s finish out by talking about what may be a depressing casualty of COVID — anime conventions. In particular, Oguie Maniax talked about the dire straits that Otakon finds itself in.

Of all of the things that I think maybe the most hurt at the end of the pandemic, conventions may be the most affected. This will especially be true of those that are in the hands of volunteers and exist on a year-to-year basis. While I believe some sort of Mid-Atlantic conference will continue to exist, I don’t doubt that Otakon is in real danger of not existing.

That would be a shame.

That is all that I have for this week. Have fun, be careful, learn a lot and, as always, thanks for reading.

3 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: Pac-Man Tetris, bad plots and it’s the pandemic, man

  1. I actually did read your previous post with interest but–seeing as I have not watched either subject series–I had no feedback to offer.

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