The Otakusphere: Education, media and pretty pictures

It’s Sunday again, so I’m back for another tour around the Otakusphere, and I feel like every time I start looking around, I come up with a bevy of blog posts that all are pretty great.

This week is no different. We have a little bit of Mother’s Day, a little bit about social media and some conversations about a newbie’s reaction to anime. And just like those Ginzu knife commercials, there is so much more.

But first, let’s get some tunes going. I just wrapped up watching Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki, and, man, that ending really makes me want a second season. But from what I hear, it’s not likely to get one. I’m super disappointed. Maybe. Just maybe there will be a miracle.

That said, Tomozaki has one of the best OPs that I’ve seen for a while. So let’s Ganbatte! And go on our tour of the Otakusphere.a

So AniCourses took a few months off but has come back in a big way in the last few months. In particular, I wanted to share this post about educational video games. Honestly, I have to agree with the premise that the biggest problem with educational video games is that they are trying to be educational first and entertaining second.

If you want an excellent example of how to avoid this, the Assassins Creed games have put a lot of effort into being at least semi-realistic. They even have created options that let people tour their historical settings outside of the gameplay and learn more about them.

Honestly, I feel like history is the easiest subject to study using video games for this reason. Because it’s a setting rather than actually involved in the mechanics of the game. Then again, I feel like a game like Getting Over It would be a good model to study physics, or a game like Firewatch could be used to look at psychology.

Anyways, go check it out.

We all know who Irina is, right? Every time I share one of her posts in the Otakusphere, I feel a bit like I’m saying, “Please notice me, Irina-senpai!” But, this post about “What do we owe our readers?” gets at why I write the Otakusphere.

I hope that someone will come here and notice another blog post that they are interested in. It’s my attempt to give back to the larger community. Plus, it gives me a reason to read through all of the wonderful blog posts out there.

So please click on a link in this post. It would really make my day.

Tetsuro. Don’t go through the floor.

Last weekend was Mother’s Day, and we have two posts that are about Favorite Anime moms. First, Mari, over at Starting From Zero, put together a list of their favorite living anime moms. I got a chuckle out of this, mainly because the dead or missing parents are such a trope in anime. It’s always nice to see a list of parents that play an essential role in their children’s lives.

Along a similar line, DarkDaemonPK2 over at My Anime Room put together a similar list. I don’t have a lot to say about the picks on these lists since I haven’t seen these shows (except for Your Name.)

But neither of them had the mom from Toradora!. She was great.

Let’s go from talking about moms to talking about social media.

As someone who lived in the before times before MySpace was a thing, hell, before America Online was a thing, I find social media a curious rabbit hole. In a lot of ways, I use it to talk to people who have similar interests as me. My Twitter feed is primarily a bunch of people talking about anime.

Rose over at the Wretched and The Divine has a post about how she uses social media. Really, it’s the second of two posts, but it raises the issue of activism on social media. A topic that I find fascinating. I try to stay out of those conversations because I’m concerned I will say something that offends someone. I always feel it’s better to keep my mouth shut and to listen to other people.

On the topic of people getting offended, Colin over at Buffalo Gaming brought up another brand of Internet denizen. The type of person who takes offense at stupid stuff because it will garner them attention. I have met these people. They are annoying. Go and check out his blog for more.

Talking about dead moms.

From talking about social media, let’s talk about the news media.

I’ve had a lot to say about gaming enthusiast media coverage of anime, and most of it can be applied to general news source outlets. Look. I hate the term mainstream media because it’s overused by people who want to sell you an ideology. Trust me.

In fact, I don’t really know anyone in “the media” that uses the term “the media” to describe the news profession. They’ll say television, or cable television or newspapers or magazines or websites.

Sorry. It’s just a pet peeve of mine.

That said, Scott over at Mechanical Anime Reviews hits many the same points I would make. You can’t expect expertise from people who are probably being thrown into a world they don’t really understand. For a lot of people, anime wasn’t a thing before Attack on Titan. And to be honest, the explosion in anime has been pretty recent.

Anyway, go read his take.

Talking about people often using generalizations to describe complicated stuff. I love American history.

American history, while pretty short, has a lot of depth and stories that either haven’t been told or haven’t been entirely told. Iridium Eye Reviews brings up a documentary on one of those blind spots in American history with a look at the documentary What Would Fannie Lou Do?

This look at civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer sounds pretty fascinating, even if it also seems a bit short. History has a tendency to pick a few key figureheads to represent a movement. A few examples would be Eugene Debs or Susan B. Anthony or Martin Luther King Jr. Then we look at other figureheads in comparison to them.

My experience is that history and reality are far messier than that. There are often dozens of people pushing in a direction to make change happen. I’m glad that this documentary exists to capture one of their stories.

Talking about politics and anime.

Wait, are we still talking about anime? We weren’t. Well, we are now.

Flawfinder put together this post about wanting more politics in anime. As someone who thinks that all human relationships are by their nature political, I’m not sure if I agree with this point.

But if what they’re talking about is wanting more examination of governmental systems, well, that I can get behind. Psycho-Pass is among the anime that I will eventually examine, largely because I think the government/societal system is pretty fascinating. And I think the anime uses it to explore the idea of intent as opposed to action.

Anyways, let’s go on a trip with pictures.

If you have some secret dream of ending up on The Otakusphere, there is one quick and easy way to do it. Take pictures. Take lots of pictures of places that I will likely never see in person.

(But, really, if this is your goal, dream bigger, man.)

In this case, BlubbyWeb shared more pictures of Kyoto. To be honest, Kyoto is probably my number two place that I would like to visit in Japan, right after Hakodate. The temples are so pretty. And the bamboo forest is so pretty. And everything is so pretty.

Anyway, go check them out here.

This was literally the first anime that I watched on VHS.

Do you remember when you first started in anime? For me, I didn’t even know what fanservice was, and I didn’t have a preconception of anime. I just thought it looked like cool cartoons.

That is what makes reading this Interview with an anime newbie over at Reasons to anime really interesting. The person being interviewed had some idea of what she was getting into before she started watching. Now, it’s been a long time since anime was a “guys only” club here in the states. That must be different there.

Or maybe, I just have a strangely progressive view about the anime fandom.

Let’s wrap up with a few quick hits.

Yomu over at UmaiYomu put together a post about remaining diplomatic in reviews. I’m not sure entirely how I feel. I think it’s important to give the reader some level of space to have their own opinion. Still, I also believe it is vital for the reader to understand that just because someone has a strongly held opinion, it doesn’t invalidate yours.

Then MagicConan/Aria over at the Animanga Spellbook put together a series of thoughts about life in the anime fandom. One of the ideas I find interesting about anime fandom is that the average amount of time stays an anime fan is about two years. Now I think that may depend on how you define fan, but that is the number I’ve heard. This generally leads to a lot of long-term institutional memory loss within the fan community.

This is generally not as true among bloggers, according to what I’ve seen.

Finally, Infinite Zenith wrote about SuperCub, and Pinkie wrote about Darkman. Two properties that couldn’t be more dissimilar, but both of which I have been wanting to watch at some point.

So that is everything that I have for this week. Just remember everyone to be good, be careful and learn a lot, not necessarily in that order.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

16 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: Education, media and pretty pictures

      1. I love reading your posts and look forward to every Sunday where I read and connect with posts you feature.

  1. Thanks for linking my post on your page. It felt really surreal when I saw this after I checked wordpress earlier. I forgot to include that mom from Toradora for some reason. I probably just forgot about her altogether.

    1. Thanks for reading my blog. I’ve just been thinking a lot about Toradora lately, which is why it popped into my mind. No judgment. You just brought up a lot of stuff that I haven’t seen.

    1. You’re welcome. Thanks for taking pictures of Kyoto for me. It really is beautiful over there.

  2. Politics or Political is one of those words that I suspect I’m not using like other people are. I regularly see people saying that anime should never be political and all I can think is art is inherently political so how would that work?

    1. I would take it a step further. Personally, I think politics is about human relationships. So any human interaction is inherently political in some way. So many stories are by their nature political because they deal with human interaction.

      1. I usually think of politics as a subset of human activity. More specifically it is the decision making process within and between groups. My definition is that politics is discussion, debate and competition between ideas.

        If everyone were agree on what should happen, there’d be no politics. Just my humble opinion.

      2. To me the act of creating a story is human interaction in and of itself. I would say all stories are political in nature. All of them are a product of the social conditions of the person who created them up to a certain point and all of them are subject to the conditions of the audience that is interpreting them.

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