The Otakusphere: Kyoto, Nendroids and let’s all be nice

Here we are on another Sunday in the early afternoon getting ready to take a casual tour around the Otakusphere.

My week has been pretty good. I’m now officially 15 episodes into Galaxy Express 999 and 52 episodes into Monster, and eventually, I will finish both of these series. I will say that posting one post a week about the space train has let me start to accumulate a backlog.

It’s time to kick up some tunes and get ready to cruise for another trip around the Otakusphere.

Twitter talk this week has been dominated by Wonder Egg Priority because of a post put on Polygon. While I compiled my thoughts on what you should expect from video game enthusiast press talking about anime, Planet Jane compiled her thoughts around the Magical Girl Twitter’s reaction to the column.

Honestly, I may have another post in me about it, but I’m not sure if I really should or want to revisit the subject. Jane makes a good point. If the author’s worst crime is being misinformed, shouldn’t people act with compassion and empathy? Weren’t we all neophyte fans at one point? I hardly think any of us popped out with a head full of Yoshiyuki Tomino and Osamu Tezuka.

Also, as Fred said, it’s just flashing lights and moving pictures. Aren’t there bigger problems in the world?

Talking about meeting cool people and figuring out your place in the world. I came across this wonderful blog post by Jessi Silver on Season One, Episode One about SK8 Infinity. The feeling about being less adequate than your peers is something I can understand.

I’m always a fan of deeply personal takes on what a piece of fiction means to someone. Art, at its best, should be a personal experience and highlight our struggles in a way we weren’t expecting.

Granted, I write about anime for fun, so I don’t have the same experience as Jessi, but I do understand what it feels like to wonder about what your place is in the larger world.

But what if you could pick your own world?

OK. I’m proud of that clever transition.

Anyway, since Keiko has left anime blogging, I haven’t gotten as many daily doses of anime blog question lists. Shoujo helped me out by talking about which anime world she would want to live in. She picked Clannad.

Personally, it depends if I’m a hero or if I’m just an NPC. It would be pretty cool to exist in a super-science world like Full Metal Panic! Or as the hero in one of those shounen romances where it feels like everything will work out in the end.

And if you’re looking for a real place that looks like another world, well Blubbyweb put up this awesome travelogue post about going to Kyoto.

Kyoto is on my shortlist of places I would love to see one day. It’s right up there with St. Petersburg, the Sistine Chapel, London, southern Spain and Rome. But, I likely will just have to be happy with hanging around the Western United States at the moment and enjoy Blubbyweb’s pictures.

Edy at Convoluted Situation posed an interesting question this week about writing negative reviews — why is it so hard?

Personally, I didn’t find it hard to share my relatively negative opinions about Kanon (although I didn’t hate the show), and it was only slightly ironic that I came across this post from JonahRants about his disappointment in God of High School. Although, he does share what he liked about the show.

So even in these two cases, they’re not all negative.

Maybe, Edy has a point.

Generally, I don’t think people finish things that they aren’t at least interested in. If you’re going to invest 12 hours into a show, you likely enjoy it at some level, even if it’s because it is bad. This is why you’re more likely to find positive reviews than negative ones.

Now, let’s talk about plastic toys and the anime fans who love them. To be honest, I’ve never been that big into merch. It always feels like it’s not utilitarian, so I shouldn’t engage in it.

That said, I do like seeing other people buy merch. I get to live vicariously through their excitement. That’s why I like this post from the Animanga Spellbook about Nendroids. Aria’s description of them reminds me of Funko Pops, but they’re much prettier.

Yes it is, Yuichi. Yes it is.

Let’s wrap up today by talking about smart characters. Karandi over at 100 Word Anime raised an interesting question. What makes a good smart character in an anime? Or maybe it should be phrased, how do the writers make the character feel like they’re smarter than the world around them.

It’s a tricky balancing game, to be honest. My favorite smart characters, like Yang Wen-li, bring knowledge to a situation that I don’t possess. In many cases, Yang will share his knowledge of the setting’s history or about a certain military tactic and apply it to the current situation.

I haven’t gotten deep enough into Death Note to have an opinion, and evidently, I need to watch more of the second season of Code Geass to see Lelouch recover the cleverness he had in the first section.

Either way, I think it’s a good read and you should check it out.

Well, that is all that I have for this week. Just remember to be good, be careful and learn a lot, but not necessarily in that order.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

3 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: Kyoto, Nendroids and let’s all be nice

  1. Thank you for the shout-out! I wasn’t sure if anyone would ever read what I’d written, but I’m glad I was able to leave a good impression 🙂

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