The Otakusphere: The XXL version

For the first time in a long time, I binged an anime series. I started watching Bunny Girl Senpai on Friday night after wrapping up Gargantia. Then on Saturday, I kept watching it. And I kept watching it. When midnight rolled around, and I figured I only had three episodes left. So I finished it.

Now I have a Bunny Girl Senpai hangover. I want more of it, but I’m not sure what exactly will fill that Bunny Girl Senpai-shaped hole in my life. I probably should go in a completely different direction. Maybe I’ll finally get around to watching Patlabor. I’ve only had that on my shelf for more than a year.

So we’ve got a giant-sized Otakusphere for you today. I really couldn’t get it down to only a few posts. Let’s get to it.

But first, some tunes.

I really want to start with a pair of posts, one from YuAlexis and the other from We Be Bloggin’ that focus on S8 The Infinity’s shipping potential. Well, Yu is more interested in what the potential ships are, while We Be Bloggin’ feels like there should be some romantic payoff rather than just teasing it.

To be honest, I can understand being frustrated by romantic tension that remains unresolved. What they’re describing seems to be just that. I often wonder how intentional it is. In some cases, it’s apparent that they want you to pair two characters. Which makes this kind of teasing that much more frustrating.

But really, go check out their posts about it.

From shipping characters, we go to talking about aspect ratios.

Over at Get in The Mecha podcast, Jamal put together this fascinating post talking about how to look at 4:3 aspect ratios in a 16:9 world. They aren’t just strange technological artifacts. The space available on televisions limited what could be done and created a different kind of visual language. Especially when you compare it to more modern anime.

When he brought it up on Twitter, I was instantly reminded of this post about RahXephon that used letterboxing as both a thematic tool and a storytelling one. This is my blog. I’m allowed to self-promote here.

And now for a brief interlude into school pictures. KS Blogs shared his experience with the nerve-wracking experience that is taking pictures for identification.

I’ve never had a picture for an ID that I like. So often, I just look like some sort of bland and bored cast member from The Office. And not one of the cool ones.

So I grok this complaint about having official picture day.

Something I’ve always liked is Higurashi. Yes. That is a transition.

I’m not sure whose image this is. I definitely do not own it.

Deal with it.

But really, Jon Spencer Reviews put together his first video focused on whether the remake/sequel is worth visiting or would it be better just to watch the old series. Higurashi, the original show, is one of my favorite horror shows. In part because it juxtaposes moe character designs with brutal violence.

In many ways, I feel like this is why so many Stephen King stories are based in rural Maine. You have that safe picture of Americana that ends up being violated by violence. Sometimes it’s supernatural, and sometimes it’s just people being jerks.

None of this answers whether you should watch the remake/sequel. For that, go watch Jon’s video.

But I really need to rewatch the show.

Talking about watching shows again, Scott over at Mechanical Anime Reviews talked about going back to shows. What I think is interesting is that I’ve watched a lot of shows three, four, twelve times. Then there are shows that I’ve never really wanted to watch again.

To be honest, I have about a three to four year shelf life on my memory. After that point, the details of any show start to become vague. It’s one of the reasons I’ve started Monter four times before finally finishing it this year.

Streaming really has changed how many anime I have available.

Sometimes it’s nice to point out a different opinion on a show. Most of what I’ve heard about Way of the Househusband has been pretty roundly negative, but Rose over at the Wretched and the Divine has a positive take on it.

To be honest, I really like this kind of fish out of water stories where a hoodlum has to fit into a non-hoodlum job. Great Teacher Onizuka is one of those shows.

Definitely take a look at her take on the show.

One of the things I really like about good storytelling is that it can use the medium to convey its theme. Frostilyte makes this case for Firewatch, a game that I really ought to play since it seems like the height of the “walking simulators.”

What caught my attention about the write-up is the description of the game as a tale about perception and confirmation bias. This is a difficult theme even in typical fiction, but when you’re responsible for making the choices that lead you down those routes, well, it makes it even harder to convey.

Check out how Frostilyte believes the show has succeeded.

Talking about games, Richard Wood’s Text Adventure gave me the chance to talk about my issues with Skyrim. So he’s talking about Monster Hunter Rise, the latest iteration of the Monster Hunter franchise. What struck me is that his complaint seems to be that it’s not what he wants out of Monster Hunter.

This was my complaint about Skyrim. It’s a good game, but I never felt the excitement of journeying to the far edge of the map and coming across a strange cave and worrying around what is behind the door. Everything in Skyrim felt sterile and safe by comparison.

But it’s not bad. It’s just not what I want from The Elder Scrolls.

Talking about character advancement…

Talking about character’s advancing?

Talking about character arcs, Irina over at I Drink and Watch Anime brings up what I think is one of the most compelling subjects to think about. Is it more important to have a compelling plot or compelling characters?

OK. She really is talking about whether characters should be dynamic or static, but I’m more interested in the characters versus plot question.

Not surprisingly, I fall down on the plot side of that equation. Ideally, I want characters to drive that plot, but well-choreographed action combined with music and pretty colors can make up for many sins. That said, sedate characters, no matter how complex, do not conflict make.

OK. I’m wrapping up with two short notes. First, Third Impact Anime podcast brought Tim Eldred and Ed Hoff to talk about the new book of essays on Leiji Matsumoto. Anytime there is a chance to hear Tim Eldred talk about Matsumoto, it’s worth listening to.

Finally, BlerdyOtaku provided an update on her life. Just go over there and give her some support. Sometimes that is just a nice thing to do.

That is all that I have for this week. Remember to be good, be careful and learn a lot, not necessarily in that order.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

7 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: The XXL version

    1. It does. I remember it being a big deal when it came out, but I haven’t ever gone back to play it.

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