The Otakusphere: Turkey Day, Different Opinions and, man, do I feel old

Good morning, afternoon or evening wherever you are in internetland. It’s Sunday in my corner of the hinterlands, which means it’s time for another trip around the Otakusphere.

We are fast approaching Thanksgiving here in the United States, which is a holiday that I’ve never really been a big fan of. Sure, the food is nice, but family gatherings were either sedate affairs or huge dramatic disasters.

That said, I always take a long weekend on Thanksgiving. It’s nice for a break, and sometimes I even venture out on Black Friday just to see the mad rush of humanity engaging in consumerism. Black Friday is my kind of holiday.

Anyways, I finished watching both seasons of Megalobox and started watching Fruba, but I’ve gotten stalled out in the middle of the first season. Either way, Tohru is charming.

For music this week, I think I will go with something different. There is a mid-2000s anime called Otogi Zoshi with two really fabulous openings. I’m going to use the second one.

So here’s some music. Let’s get cruising.

Like I said in the opening, it’s almost turkey day here in the U.S., which means it’s time for many people to think about cooking and what food goes with what food. Well, Anime Hanabi took that idea one more step and posed the idea of what anime shows pair together nicely.

This idea got me thinking. Do you look for shows that share similar DNA but are different enough, like Gurren Lagann and s-CRY-ed? Or do you go for two shows that are drastically different, like Ruroni Kenshin mixed with After the Rain?

What are your thoughts? You can share them with me, or with Anime Hanabi or both.

Talking about things I found intriguing. Ryder K. Rose over at The Kitten Eats Ramen posed an interesting idea in the age of working at home — taking anime breaks.

The pandemic has changed a lot of things for many people, but the biggest thing for me is that I’m not going somewhere else for work. The problem is that I don’t have someone looking over my shoulder, which makes it easier for me to get distracted by my phone or fall down an internet rabbit hole.

It’s something that happens a lot more than I want to admit. Ryder poses an idea that I don’t think would work for me but might work for you. You can check out her experiences with it here.

Now let’s talk about being an older otaku. I’ll be honest, that is going to be a theme this week, so if you aren’t in, well, I’m not sure what to say.

Something about The Otaku Exhibition’s post about the edgy Platinum End brought me back to the days when Death Note was the anime everyone was talking about.

I’ve posted my thoughts on trashy anime, and Death Note has all of the makings of being a great trashy anime. It also has the makings of being a really taught thriller.

My impression of watching the first few episodes was that it failed at both and was really about an edgy edgelord given the power of life and death. Light is not a particularly interesting character, and everyone in the show feels so deprived of humanity that I just don’t care.

But I like The Otaku Exhibition’s thoughts on whether another edgy edgelord show by the same people is worth watching.

On the subject of disagreeing, I liked this post from Crow and Dewbond about The Asterisk War and Chivalry of a Failed Knight.

I’ve enjoyed this series of discussions that Dewbond has with various other bloggers. What stood out to me here was the very different opinions about aspects of both shows, but it was respectful and civil. Something I could definitely work on for myself.

I just wanted to point it out because it was a great example of what I believe people aspire to.

Then there is this review of Mars of Destruction by Casper over at Reasons to Anime. I’ll be honest, I love reading reviews of shows that people hated. The level of anger and frustration in this post is awesome. It’s worth reading for that.

The show, well, it sounds pretty mundane.

Ah, fiction. One of the things about my work is that I often see first-hand the difference between the way things are portrayed and how reality plays out. People will often take the “facts” they learned in fiction as literal truths rather than considering how authors used a little dramatic license to make reality more compelling.

I bring this up because Irina of I Drink and Watch Anime fame put together this list of stuff anime lied about. One of the factors in anime that I’ve loved is that it’s from a different culture, which means it’s working with a different baseline of things that are known. Everyone in Japan knows what a Japanese high school is like.

When I watch anime, though, I do not have that baseline. That always makes me curious about the gap between fiction and reality. Sometimes I learn the shows are closer to the truth than I thought. Sometimes they’re not.

Not sure if any of that made sense, but we all know that Fist of the North Star is a documentary? Right?

I’m not sure if I’ve said this on the blog before, but I’m a fan of cross-medium adaptations. Not because it’s always done well, but because it’s interesting to see how creative folks turn a video game into a movie or turn a movie into a book.

That is why I wanted to point out this post from Matt Doyle Media. He talks about what types of video games he would like to see from different anime. To be fair, anime has done the best job in making the leap from show to game and from game to show.

It’s worth checking out to see what Matt thinks.

So there comes the point in any genre where writers start poking fun at the genre’s tropes. In fantasy, Terry Pratchett is pretty famous for his Discworld novels. Those certainly poked fun at the tropes while telling some pretty compelling stories.

Now it’s isekai’s turn. Al’s Manga Blog reviewed the first volume of The Exo-Drive Reincarnation Games, which seems like one of those stories that gently pokes fun while using the tropes to tell its own story. I’m sure this isn’t the first isekai story to do this, but I liked the idea of it, so I’m sharing Al’s post.

It’s still my blog, right?

Anyway, let’s talk about Yandere Simulator or at least Lost to the Aether’s post about Yandere Simulator. I didn’t know this was a game. I am intrigued by the idea, but the description seems like it would be more challenging than really worth it.

Go on and check out the post.

I’ll be honest, I don’t have anything really clever to say about this next post. I’m always intrigued by games and stories that are trying to recapture the lightning in a bottle that existed for the original. That is what Nexomon sounds like.

Secluded Anime Observation shared their thoughts about the game, which seems like many other games where you catch monsters and put them into dogfighting pits and make them battle it out.

Really, there is something vaguely dark about Pokemon.

The more I think about it, the darker it gets.

OK. Let’s move on before going on an entire rant about the cheerful animal fighting game.

I love the incidental dialogue in video games. You know the type that happens when your party is walking toward their next objective, and two of the party members pipe up to share their thoughts. But it can get surreal when you’re in a life or death battle, and people pipe up like everything is fine.

It’s not OK, guys. Everything is bad.

Shoot the Rookie pointed out some of the funnier moments from Xenoblade Chronicles where characters say things that, in context, are funny or don’t make much sense.

Now for a couple more posts that make me feel old. It’s hard to imagine that Skyrim is 10 years old. Elder Scrolls is my favorite fantasy video game series, even over Dragon Age. Mostly it’s because of Morrowind, but both Oblivion and Skyrim are good follow-ups.

I love that the world in those games feels alien and hostile. There is something about coming around the corner and suddenly having a troll running at your character.

Anyway, Leeks Plays shared her thoughts about one of Bethesda’s most beloved games on its anniversary. Also, is anyone else really excited about Starfield? I’m so pumped for that game.

Finally, on the me getting old front, Oguie Maniax reminded me of a different time on the internet. A time when the flavor du jour was trying to care less than the other guy. This has been one of the significant cultural shifts in the past 15 years. In the mid-to-late 2000s, we were all playing the Battle of Who Could Care Less.

Now, everyone cares, all of the time, about everything. I’m not sure if the cynical detachment was better or worse than what we have now, but it definitely was different.

It is worth reading Ogiue Maniax’s opinions on the Something Awful forums and the blog’s ties to them.

Oh yeah. Did you know that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out 20 years ago? That’s the movie, not the book. The book came out in 1997.

Yeah. I feel old now too.

Finally, I have some fun posts to wrap up the week with.

First, Anime Bloom Reviews talks about the Tokyo Treats Snack Box. It looks good enough that I almost want to spend the $35 to buy it. Granted, I’ve been busy buying other stuff first. And paying for subscriptions.

Then there is this post from Matt-in-the-Hat about his Funko Pop collection. I’ve never been a big fan of merch, but I like seeing other people’s merch. That and I’m a collector of stuff too, so I can appreciate the lengths people go to so they can get the exclusive thing that is only available at the one place.

Third, here is a post about souffle pancakes at Wretched and Divine. They look delicious.

And let’s wrap up with this post about the Oriental White Stork and the Hyogo Park over at Going Batty with Matty. Because I love learning about things I didn’t know about, and you should too.

That is a wrap for this week. I hope you all are having a good Thanksgiving if you’re in the U.S. or just a good week if you’re not.

And if you could check out one of the sites I linked, I would be grateful. It means a lot to me.

Until next week, remember to be good, be careful and learn a lot — not necessarily in that order.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

25 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: Turkey Day, Different Opinions and, man, do I feel old

  1. Lots of good posts to check out! I’m familiar with Irina’s I drink and watch anime, but there were a lot of good blogs that I’ve never heard about. Thanks for the heads up, and the links! And thank you so much for mentioning my blog! No one’s ever done that be for, I feel so honored! Thank you, you made my day.

    1. You’re welcome. I enjoyed the post. I was thinking that you could mix School Days with SNAFU for a pretty interesting mix. 🙂

  2. I remember those old days on the internet. Things really were different back then.

    And I have to disagree with you on Death Note, at least as far as its appeal goes. There is a lot of edge on it, but I liked the central battle of the series between Light and L even if they were both unrelatable weirdos in their own ways. Then again, that all might have gone well with the mid-2000s internet too, where I remember Death Note being really popular.

  3. That’s a lot of blogs/posts you mentioned and linked. I’ll try to check those blogs out! I’ve been wanting to read other blogs so I’m glad I read this.

  4. Well, to be fair, Yandere Simulator isn’t finished yet, so not a game right now, exactly. Although yeah, still a very involved, slow-paced experience until you get to the yandere parts.

    Personally, I go for drastically different shows. If I’m watching a battle shonen or isekai or whatever at the time, that scratches that itch, and I don’t need another going at the same time. So I’ll hit up something different. I don’t watch a lot of shows at a given time but the ones I do tend to be rather varied.

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