Good morning, afternoon or evening where you are in the world. It’s Sunday in my corner of the Hinterlands, which means it’s time for another trip around The Otakusphere.
So I’m wrapping up my vacation today, which is a bit depressing. It’ll be back to the grind tomorrow, but overall, it was nice to get to spend some time away from it. I’ve almost finished Kaiji, and I’ve gotten a little closer to getting done with Galaxy Express 999.
And in the anime world, Hideaki Anno has now finally and definitively finished Neon Genesis Evangelion. Like completely. There will never be anything more. This is it. Now he’s going back to finish KareKano.
Hah. I can be topical.
For our traveling music, I’m going to do something different. I came across this tune on Umai Yomu Anime Blog. It was a catchy tune, so I’m going to share it.
So let’s go, and see what this week has in store.
OK. Let’s start with the meanest bully around — Goku. Sometimes I listen to a mythology podcast and based on those stories, I could believe that Son Goku is a bully. But K at the Movies isn’t talking about the monkey king, though. He’s talking about the Dragon Ball character based on the monkey king.
Because Journey to the West is everywhere. We can never escape it.
Anyway, K set up a fight between DBZ Goku and a series of characters that his Twitter friends suggested. I won’t ruin the video. You should get it out.
Talking about ruining things and slick transitions, the Indiecator had a post about spoilers.
Many of the gaming blogs that I follow have been participating in Blaugust, a community blogging event where they post nearly every day. In this post, Magi takes on what he thinks about spoilers.
This is something I’ve been thinking about recently. There are some shows where the title sets an expectation, so it limits what you can spoil. Take Ruroni Kenshin, for example. The show is named after the main character, so you can assume that he will live throughout the series.
This means the central question isn’t about whether he will win but how he will win. So you can’t really spoil the ending of the show. Kenshin wins, and the bad guy is defeated. What you can spoil are the individual plot elements. Essentially the steps the show takes to get there.
Then there are shows like Astra, where I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone on anything that happens in that show.
I don’t have a good transition here, but I liked this post from Karandi about prequels and sequels in anime. So I think there are shows where the second season is more sequel than a continuation. If you consider Berserk, the original series told a complete story without the need for any additional story. But if you continue to animate the manga, then you would have a completely different tale.
Karandi makes a reference to this, so I’m not really treading new ground here.
I have a mixed reaction to these. I don’t like Psycho-Pass 2 or GitS: SAC 2nd Gig. Mainly because they took the least interesting elements of the first season and made it the focus of the next season. On the other hand, I’ve heard the second season of Bungo Stray Dogs gets good, but you have to trudge through a really miserable first season to get there.
Yes, I know there are people that like Bungo Stray Dogs, but man, I did not like that first season. It was tedious.
On the subject of varying opinions, I liked this post from The Otaku Author about Otherside Picnic. I’ve heard many negative views about the show, and it was interesting to see a review where the writer really loved it. I’m sure that nearly every piece of fiction has at least one person who loves it.
Seems like it might be worth checking out to see what I think.
Talking about something that I have some feelings about. Let’s talk about Yukino Yukinoshita.
So I loved My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, and I was happy to see that Armchair Anime also liked it. Watching Hachiman progress throughout 36 episodes led me to binging most of the series in a single weekend.
The point that really struck home with me was that they really wanted to see more Yukino. That is also my complaint about the show. So much hinges on her home life, and the audience gets so little information about it. Instead, we’re stuck focused on Hachiman, who is still pining for her.
Overall, it knocked the series from a 10 to an 8 for me. But still well worth the time.
Talking about more divided opinions, 7Mononoke over at Anime Rants talked about Lisa Mishima in Terror in Resonance. That was a show that I remember liking when I watched it maybe six or seven years ago, but I haven’t gone back to watch it again. The post made me want to see if I agree.
And continuing on the train of controversies, DarkdaemonPK2 over at My Anime Room brought up isekais. What were once just the occasional adventure stories about teens traveling to new worlds has become an obsession for animation studios. They came up with a list of isekai they liked before isekai became a thing.
There are a couple of shows on this list that I was not aware of. I would add Twelve Kingdoms, which is still among my favorite shows.
Aria over at the Animanga Spellbook also raised another question that I probably should explore in a longer post. Should we stop using demographic labels to describe genres in anime and manga?
Personally, I’m not sure. My short answer is that some genres, like romance and science fiction, translate pretty easily between East and West. Others, like fighting shows, don’t.
Still, there are definite differences between a romance show aimed at boys and one aimed at girls.
But there is also the question of whether it’s helpful to people starting off in the fandom to keep those labels.
Anyway, it’s an interesting issue.
Continuing on this trend of possible controversies, I wanted to share this post from Anthony Gramuglia over at The Anime Herald. So he is questioning whether cyberpunk in anime is too friendly to authority figures, namely the police.
Talking about genres, I think we could have an entire discussion about whether cyberpunk really exists in anime. Sure there is a slick, stylized future in shows like Ghost in the Shell, but is that all you need for something to be cyberpunk? I guess that is Anthony’s point as well. It’s worth checking out his post.
Sometimes we have old controversies like showing the death of a main character to 8-year-olds on the big screen. The generation old enough to remember the original Transformers movie probably can still picture that scene in their minds. I don’t know why I’m avoiding spoiling it, but I am.
Anyway, Takamaki Joker put up this review of Transformers: The Movie. The movie where we all cried when our heroes died.
To wrap up this train of debates, Blerdy Otome explores what the definition of otome is and should be. And whether it should involve LGBTQ. Semantics lead to some of the most dogged fights. That isn’t to be dismissive of it. How we define words is vital for understanding each other.
As someone with no stake in the debate, it was compelling to see this exploration of it.
Now for something we can all agree on. Silvercrow1 over at Anime Everything Online makes a valid point that anime is good when it sparks the imagination. Granted, I think there are good anime that don’t inspire anyone’s urge to cosplay, but there are plenty that do. And motivating people to participate in something they enjoy is always worthwhile.
Finally, let’s wrap up with a few quick hits.
Even after watching as much anime as I have, there are plenty of things I don’t know about the culture. Obon is one of those things. I found this post over at We be Bloggin’ helpful in telling me about a celebration that I never heard of but have probably seen depicted.
Then Ideas without End took a look at Daimajin. It’s a series of movies about a giant statue come to life to punish people who broke the dictates of the gods. What struck me is how close this comes to The Big O. That is another giant metal monster that rose up to enforce the dictates of gods.
Now, let’s finish out with something a bit close to home for me. Infinite Zenith talked about Far Cry 5. One of the things that struck me about that game was how much it reminded me of the American mid-northwest. (Montana often gets included in the Northwest, but I am skeptical.)
So that wraps up another week here on The Otakusphere. Please, if you could check out some of these posts, it would really make my day.
Until next week, remember to be good, be careful and learn a lot, not necessarily in that order.
And, as always, thanks for reading.