The Otakusphere: Let’s get personal

It’s the beginning of March. The days are getting longer. It’s getting warmer here in the Northwestern U.S., and I can see the dreaded summer months just past the curve.

Damn you, summer! Why do you have to exist just to ruin my day? Why can’t you just be late spring or early fall? Why must I suffer through 100 degree days?

Well, I suppose if I didn’t, then that would mean that the world had somehow stopped rotating around the sun. That would be like that one Twilight Zone episode where the Earth is headed toward the sun, and it just keeps getting hotter and hotter. The person wakes up, and we hear news reports about how the Earth is going out into the depths of space and everything is getting colder and colder.

It’s no good either way. That is a long introduction for what promises to be an Otakusphere filled with personal blog posts and some technology stuff.

Anyway, let’s buckle in, put on some cruising music and get going for another trip around the Otakusphere.

I’ve had this song stuck in my head all week.

One of my favorite types of blog posts start in a direction that I assume will be sanitized and safe and instead takes a turn into deeply personal territory. Not like it’s too much information personal, but that it’s more personal than I expected. I’m not sure if I’m a horrible person for liking to see a little bit of metaphorical blood on the page, but I do enjoy it.

TheNerdyGirlNews does this a lot (and I love it), but I’m not talking about her this time. This time, I want to share Jessi Silver’s post about anime clubs over at Season 1, Episode 1. What I thought was going to a post praising anime clubs turned into an exploration of how we treat other people, especially how our opinions about ourselves and others change over time.

To be honest, as someone who has looked back at my past behavior and cringed, I grok what she is saying here. I don’t want to ruin it too much. It does help if you were around the Internet during the mid- to late-2000s when moé was a thing.

Fred over at Au Naturale One talks about his experiences a lot. His post about wanderlust, Tennyson, and Nomadland is an equally fun read. When I was a teenager, I dreamed of just going out on the road and picking a direction and going in that direction.

Of course, I soon learned that traveling means being stuck inside a vehicle for hours on end while you marinate in your own sweat and desperation. I rode the bus a lot between 18 and 20 years old. It’s a lot less romantic than it seems at a distance.

In another post about people talking about feelings and stuff, Irina over at I Drink and Watch Anime republished a post about negativity in online spaces. This made me feel guilty about an online interaction I had with her a few weeks back.

The Internet is a strange place. Well, people are strange creatures. We tend to place more importance on negative news. An evolutionary psychologist would probably say that this is leftover from the time when negative information literally met the difference between life and death.

I wonder if this also makes it hurt more when someone dislikes the thing that we like.

To wrap up the personal posts, Zoopraxiscope shared images from the erupting Reykjanes volcano in Iceland. They are beautiful.

The blacked earth reminds me of what a sagebrush field looks like after a wildfire has swept through. It’s blackened and dead, but you know that a short time ago, it was burning like mad.

Moving on from talking about personal stuff, let’s talk about how technology has changed how the medium we enjoy is made. Thaliarchus over at 327 Robots put together this thought-provoking post about how sound effects have become less prominent as the quality of televisions has improved. I also would add that the animation process has gotten easier.

This made me think about Galaxy Express 999. There are images in the show that I’m sure are created by physically changing the cell. I’ll put a few images up just so I can show what I mean.

The planet surface here looks like it was made by putting water drops onto the cell.

Computers have made animation easier and widened the reach to more people, but some things it can’t seem to duplicate.

I don’t usually share a lot of reviews on the Otakusphere. This is mainly because I have large gaps in the stuff that I’ve seen, so I don’t always have a lot to share.

That said, I want to share a couple of reviews that are likely to motivate me to go out and watch more anime. Alo’s Watchlist wrote about Penguin Highway, which honestly sounds like a cute show. I mean, who doesn’t like penguins, and why wouldn’t I want a movie about them magically appearing.

Then Scott, who is in the middle of Mecha March, wrote about Space Warrior Baldios. I’ve been slowly expanding the mecha shows that I’ve seen. One of these days, I really want to go back and watch the rest of Linebarrels of Iron, just so I can see if the character stops being a jerk.

There are two more for my ever-expanding watch list.

Let’s finish off with Aria’s post about Double Decker and genetics. Honestly, I haven’t seen Double Decker (no surprise there), so I’m lacking a little of the context, but it’s interesting to see what Aria’s friend had to say about whether it was realistic.

That is all that I have for today, folks. Just remember to be good, be careful and learn a lot, but not necessarily in that order.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

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