The Otakusphere: Mecha, magical girls and my own shortcomings

Good morning, afternoon or evening where you are out there in internetland. It’s Sunday in my corner of the hinterlands, which means it’s time for another edition of The Otakusphere.

It’s been a bizarre week out there in animeland. In particular, a bizarre start-up cropped up and claimed to have a plan to stream anime for free to people. Granted, they didn’t have any licenses. They had never talked to any of the U.S. rights holders or the Japanese rights holders. Oh. And the founders evidently had tried this garbage before and had gotten caught.

This led to a load of outrage and memes and outrage on Twitter. But my favorite post had to come from Anime Maru The site has some fun Onion-like articles, normally. I won’t spoil the joke. Just click here and check it out.

That said, in my personal anime watching, I wrapped up watching After the Rain, which was good, and started watching s-CRY-ed, which is still good. Since I’m sure I’ve already shared some reckless fire with people, I’ll throw up After the Rain’s OP, which was pretty good.

So let’s get ready and start our engines for another tour around The Otakusphere.

I want to start with a post that I think is from Animehistorian that showed up on I Drink and Watch Anime. That was the name that showed up on my WordPress Reader, at least.

Either way, the post deals with one of those eternal questions of mecha fandom: Are mecha viable war machines? Now I think the post goes into why they aren’t in far more detail than I can do here.

My point would be that having a bigger point of contact with the ground makes machines more stable. They may not be as maneuverable, but in most cases, that isn’t going to matter compared to stability, ease of transport and the available firepower.

That said, we may get power suits at some point. But could you imagine what the upkeep on those would be?

Anyway, let’s go from talking about mecha to talking about magical girls.

Magical girls are mecha, right? I mean, they get into their own powered armor through a special means and battle various monsters. Mechanical girls?

Anyway, Scott over at Mechanical Anime Reviews revisited Madoka Magica with one of the more intriguing titles — Madoka Clones Can’t Exist. Scott is going after one of the persistent problems with anime. When a show gets popular, people see similar shows as “clones.”

It’s a problem that I don’t think anime will ever really escape or any genre fiction for that matter. It has its foundation in a cynical way of looking at the creative process. (One that I have kind of endorsed at least once.) People believe because something is popular, the only thing anyone can do is just to make copies of it. Then they’ll wrap everything around that belief.
Granted, Madoka, much like the rest of anime in general, is still on my to watch list at some time. You know, after I get to everything else, I need to watch.

Maybe I can call Madoka a Wonder Egg Priority clone. Or maybe I can call them both VOTOMS clones.

That would be sure to make someone angry.

Chirico Cuvie is behind it all.

Talking about shows that didn’t make me angry, I wanted to talk about some reviews for series that I liked. Well, reviews and one character analysis.

Let’s start with Sae with a K, who talked about Oregairu, otherwise known as My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, or My Teen Romantic Comedy is Wrong As I Expected. Sae just wrapped up his journey with that show. A journey that I took on a frantic weekend when I binged it.

Interestingly, after reading what is in the after story, I don’t want any more of that show. What I want is to learn more about Yukino, who I feel gets short shrift. That said, I love the show. It gave me all of the feels.

Go read the review of episodes 11 and 12 of the third season.

Now let’s talk about Back Arrow. Because Back Arrow is a great show that happened.

Oguie Maniax has this post about how the show doesn’t ask for too much from its audience. It’s an opinion I can agree with that. Unlike Oregairu, I was not frantically clicking to the next episode. But I did pleasantly watch another episode or two the next day.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a show that I buy on disc, and then in five years decide to watch again.

You know what other show is like that? Tiger and Bunny.

I bought both sets of that from Walmart of all places shortly after they came out. This was after having watched the show on streaming. I definitely want to go back and revisit them after seeing this review by Ashley Capes over at The Review Heap.

You like that transition? I was pretty impressed with myself there.

Anyway, it’s a good review. You should check it out.

Finally, let’s talk about another of my favorite characters from a show — Satsuki Kiryuuin from Kill la Kill.

Kill la Kill has been among my favorite shows since I watched it a few years ago. I find Imaishi’s energy pulls me in whenever I watch it. The same thing happened with Gurren Lagann and me. I do think your enjoyment of the show is mainly contingent on whether you like the directing or not.

That said, 7monoke over at Anime Rants put together a compelling look at her character and helpful background if you still have questions after watching it.

A+ work right there.

Now, let’s get a bit serious here. Most people who have read the Otakusphere know that I like personal blog posts. Especially ones that get into how people

The Grand Fabulous Tofu King over at BibloNyan broached their struggles with ADHD and watching anime. I don’t deal with ADHD, and I still struggle to sit through a 12 or 24 episode series all of the way through. Usually, I watch two to five anime series at a time, and I watch one or two episodes a day.

This is certainly not an attempt to conflate my short attention span with their struggles. I just bounce off things quickly. I rarely watch an entire movie in one sitting. That is what makes anime a great medium for me. A 22-minute episode is a great length, and if I want to watch a couple of them, they don’t add up so quickly.

OK. Hopefully, I didn’t stick my foot in my mouth so far. Here is my next chance to do so.

Nora over at All the Fujoshi Unite! put together a post about her journey of using English on her blog. I knew that she was from Turkey, but I was surprised that her blog didn’t start in English. I know that is awfully American of me. And I realized that Turkey was not an English-speaking country, but her writing is good.

Anyway, it’s interesting to see what her journey has been.

Finally, let’s wrap up this section on this post from Blerdy Otome about why she prefers indie titles to the more classic otome games. To be honest, I didn’t know how big otome games were until I started getting back into anime and read a post from Blerdy about otome games.

I’m impressed with the size and depth of that world. I wonder how much work goes into producing otome games and if that might impact her enjoyment. If a similar amount of work is required, the indie games might have a better production schedule and just more stories total.

Just thinking.

I did want to mention this post from DarkDaemonPK2 about Ai Kayano and the Yasukuni Shrine Incident. It’s always fascinating how people in each culture deal with the atrocities committed by their country. This certainly isn’t meant to forgive the horrible things done in China, Korea and the Philippines in World War II, but I can understand that growing up in the country, those probably weren’t emphasized during school.

Kind of like I learned about the revolution and settling the U.S. a lot, but they kind of skipped the fact that white people brought a host of diseases with them when they came to the new world and wiped out many indigenous populations.

Finally, let’s finish on three posts.

My dear readers can’t escape travel posts or food posts, and we have a little bit of both for you. BlerdyOtaku put up a video of her buying a box of Japanese snacks using her credit card. I will be honest, I want some Japanese snacks right now.

The Resurface to Reality went and visited Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios in Osaka. That is so cool. I want to go there. The pictures are well worth checking out the post.

Finally, the Anime Herald put together this examination of the animation industry in Taiwan. While I know Taiwan exists and has a tenuous relationship with China, I didn’t know much about their animation. It’s worth checking out.

Anyway, that is all that I have for this week. Please, if you find any of these interesting, click on the link. It makes me happy to know that this work leads people to something new.

Until next week just 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: Mecha, magical girls and my own shortcomings

  1. The posts I’ve read so far were pretty good. Scott was on point about the whole Madoka issue. It really ticks me off when people just throw the terms “clone” or “ripoff” with no basis or for shallow reasons. Even I don’t do that and this is coming from a guy who’s reviewed Paprika, Battle Royale, The Christmas Toy, and multiple parts of the Kimba the White Lion/Jungle Emperor Leo series! I’ll check out some of the other promoted posts on here.

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