The Otakusphere: Genres, heroes and all of the shows I should have watched

Welcome! Welcome! It’s another Sunday afternoon, and like usual, I have a curated collection of anime- (and some not anime-) related blog posts for you today.

It’s been a relatively quiet stretch for anime, considering that we seem to be nearing the end of a season. At least judging by the fact that bloggers are talking about episode 11. I’ve never been good at following seasonal anime. In fact, I’m terrible at it.

Like seriously, I haven’t even watched Madoka Magica. That’s how bad I am about keeping up with seasonal anime.

That said, let’s get our engines started, put on some tunes and begin our cruise around The Otakusphere.

I’m fascinated by genres. Breaking down and categorizing stories by their component parts and deciding the importance of those component pieces is the kind of activity that possesses my mind during quiet times. What is the line between urban fantasy and magical realism? When does something stop being steampunk and just become historical fiction or alternate history?

When someone starts talking about making those distinctions in shows that I don’t know anything about, it’s exciting. Planet Jane over at The Magic Planet started defining Battle Girl anime. Now, I’ve been playing around with the idea of watching Symphogear. (You know, right after I watch Madoka Magica.) And it’s interesting to try to trace the path back to where a genre started and what seemingly influenced it.

Anyways, PlanetJane does a better job explaining it than me. Go and check it out.

Talking about genres, I’ve been watching Flag recently, which is really good; like, “Oh my God, where have you been all this time, Ryosuke Takahashi” good. So I’ve been interested in exploring more about the roots of Mecha.

AnimeHerald put together this interesting primer for the 1980s and mecha anime that is worth a read. I might not like Zeta Gundam, but I can certainly appreciate its place in anime history.

Also, I’ve had Genesis Climber Mospaeda on my “to watch” list for going on two or three years now. I really need to get to that.

A few weeks ago, I featured BlubbyWeb’s tour of Kyoto temples. I’ll be honest, I am super jealous. I’ve never had the opportunity to leave my country, let alone visit Japan.

Likely the closest I will ever get is looking at other people’s travel blogs, which is why I’m grateful that BlubbyWeb took us on a tour of Japanese flea markets.

While flea markets in the U.S. look like a large and dusty yard sale, the pictures here look much more like what would be a farmer’s market out here.

And I really want that lacquerware. It’s so pretty.

Talking about something less than pretty, let’s talk about the long-lost fan gathering known as conventions.

The Traditional Catholic Weeb put up a post about the controversy around Anime North trying to figure out how to safely hold a convention in the time of COVID. I wonder how many conventions are going to muddle their way through being shut down for two years.

The recommendations read more of desperation than they do of someone trying to “make money at the risk of causing more problems.” It’s not a surprise that they canceled the convention. There is no way that you could run a convention under those kinds of rules.

But don’t just accept my hot takes; go read the post.

Oh, talking about that new anime season, Jonah Rants shared his thoughts about My Hero Academia’s upcoming season. (Another show that I haven’t watched. Are we starting to see a trend here?)

I enjoy his discussion of what makes a hero. I feel like anything I say will either get me into trouble or spoil the post, so go read it. It’s worth the time.

Finally, let’s finish up with a couple of reviews of other entertainment that I haven’t seen yet. I feel like this is a running theme for this post.

7monoke over at Anime Rants put up a review about Ajin, which, strangely enough, is an anime that my wife has seen, but I haven’t. Just reading through her review of it, it looks enjoyable enough to put on the list.

An Ospreyshire over at Iridium Eye Reviews has hunted down yet another gem. This time he came with a documentary about Sara Gomez, an Afro-Cuban filmmaker. To be honest, I’ve never thought about Cuba having a film industry. It’s been shut off from the U.S. for most of my life, and I’m not even sure what the relationship is now.

What I can say is that he brought up a fascinating discussion about how we don’t talk enough about filmmakers from different races and ethnicities. Even the more celebrated avant-garde filmmakers tend to be white men.

Go take a look, and don’t be like me. Watch something that broadens your horizons.

On a personal note, I’m playing around with an idea where people can help me watch more anime (and maybe other stuff.) I haven’t decided if it’s going to be written or a podcast, but keep an eye out for it.

Anyway, that is it for this week’s trip around The Otakusphere. 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: Genres, heroes and all of the shows I should have watched

  1. I think I’m even worse at catching up with seasonal anime than you 😂😂 For instance did you know it took me until 2020 to finish the first season of Attack on Titan alone? (My best friend showed me ep1 6 years ago, during my non-anime days, and it was only late 2020 that I decided to finish it) Not to mention I have yet to watch any recent anime, like from this year or Boku No Hero Academia’s 4th season.

    By the way, thanks for the shout out! I’m happy you enjoyed my post! I hope conventions can come back in full swing one day.

  2. Thanks for the shout out. I do want to check out Sara Gomez’s filmography. To be honest, I’m not that familiar with the Cuban film scene besides what I’ve reviewed like Vampires in Havana and the Cuban co-produced documentary of The Black Mozart in Cuba, but the directors are a Trinidadian and Guadeloupean couple. It’s so fascinating finding out about the styles and ideologies of directors who don’t get the spotlight and you brought up some good points about that, too.

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