The Otakusphere: Recommendations, history and a whole lot of reviews

Here we are at the end of another week or the beginning of one depending on how you look at the passing of time. Personally, I’m not thrilled about the hurly-burly of another week ramping up, so I will just take a lazy Sunday for what it is.

And like the families of old, who would push their cars out of the driveway to tootle around the countryside, I’m backing out of my metaphorical driveway to go on a trip around the Otakusphere.

But before I get too far, I just wanted to practice a bit of self-promotion. I, like several other bloggers, was just featured in Infinite Zenith’s #TheJCS. He always puts a massive amount of work into the project. It’s worth taking a look.

Also, Scott over at Mechanical Anime Reviews posted my interview with him. Please forgive my misspelling. I didn’t proofread. He’s been doing these creator showcases. It’s worth going over and filling out a form if you haven’t. It’s pretty fun and easy.

Now that those are out of the way, let’s get some tunes going on tour The Otakusphere.

Image Courtesy of Jon Spencer Reviews

One of the dangers of being me is that I know a little bit about a lot of stuff. I can tell you about the Legislative process in the State of Washington. I can explain what probable cause is to a reasonable degree. I can probably even explain the difference between urban fantasy, magical realism and low fantasy.

What I don’t have is an encyclopedic level of knowledge about any of those things. So when Matteo over at Animetudes put together this project on the Kaneda school. Well, I’m impressed. I’m looking forward to learning more about who this is and what his impact on animation is.

It’s a good introduction, go check it out.

And talking about commitment, Scott over at Mechanical Anime Reviews has nearly caught up on One Piece, and put together a blog post about it. What I find interesting about it is his comparison with Lord of the Rings. While I don’t know if any direct connections can be drawn between modern fantasy and anime, there are a lot of similarities in their storytelling.

Here is the gist of it. They all have a basic setup that goes like this: A young man (or woman) with a secret power is tasked with defeating a greater darkness using that. They always feel unequal to the task, but still, they set out on their journey, and through the help of that secret talent and their grit they manage to accomplish that task.

Sounds like every shounen fighting show? It should. It’s also the plot of a lot of fantasy novels.

Granted, I’m sure someone would also say that it’s also Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, and, sure, they have a point. But I’m not going to go there.

Ever since I watched Garo: Vanishing Line, I’ve been interested in tokusatsu. So when I come across a post about Japanese superheroes fighting bad guys, I’m always interested. There is one of those over here at Anime Pad. I know that most of toku is live-action, and I would have to bite that bullet if I wanted to plunge in, there is enough red-blooded action to get me interested.

Maybe, I will give it a shot.

And talking about recommendations.

OK. That wasn’t a great transition, but I did come across this great post from Karandi and Irina about recommending anime, and the dangers that lie within.

To be honest, I’m not particularly careful about my recommendations. I think everyone should watch Samurai Flamenco because it’s awesome. I think Tiger and Bunny and Honey and Clover are also great and you should watch them.

See I’m doing it right now. But I do think there is a difference between a blanket recommendation, like watch Rurouni Kenshin, and trying to force that down someone’s throat. I used to have a friend who did that with fantasy books. He wasn’t always wrong, I do think Princes of Amber was good, but it can get frustrating pretty quickly. Especially when you’re not in the mood for a particular series.

So on to the less savory side of life. Jack Scheibelein over at Animated Observations shared a big of news about a complaint that Toei Animation refused to negotiate with an X-gender person. Honestly, this is one of those things that companies should just not do. Just treat everyone the same, and fairly. It’s pretty much that simple.

Let’s finish out with a couple of reviews of things that are interesting. The first is this review of Gundala over at MiB’s Instant Headache. Anyone who has read my ramblings for any length of time knows that I have a fascination with foreign films that for some reason do not make a big splash over here in the US. Gundala, which sounds like Luke Cage with lightning powers, is an Indonesian superhero and sounds interesting.

At the very least, he has a cool name.

On the other hand, Leo the lion of literary adventures has been reading through the classics lately. While he didn’t enjoy 1984, he did have a positive review of Animal Farm. Both of the stories that I enjoyed when I read them back in high school. Animal Farm in particular has left a lasting mark on my opinions about politics. Just remember: Donkeys live a long time.

And one last shoutout to Thaliarchus over at 327 Robots. He has been teasing me with a possible blog post for the last two weeks. I’m sharing his post about nostalgia in hopes that it will shake something loose.

Anyways that wraps up my day for today. Just remember to be good, be careful and learn a lot. Not necessarily in that order.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

4 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: Recommendations, history and a whole lot of reviews

  1. Interesting opinion piece about the Toei chase. Also, I love the music video–there’s a whole subgenre of current music done in mediaeval style, and the video you posted is one of several I’ve collected on YouTube. Good seeing it get some attention!

    1. I thought it was interesting as well.

      I’ve seen a lot of those hardcore videos on YouTube. I really like finding covers of stuff where the genre is changed. Sometimes it can change the whole tone of a song.

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