Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Heading Down The Rabbit Hole!

And reading poetry with Nagato...

When I started this blog about a year and a half ago, it was an act based on the opinions of a couple Anime Suki friends - Dr. Casey and Heatth - that my lengthy comedic reviews of that encouragingly erotic Endless Eight were overly endless themselves, at least for posts on Anime Suki. As such, I created a blog, primarily to provide episode reviews, and overall feedback, on what was probably the anime world's biggest controversy of 2009. Little did I know at the time that I'd still be blogging about anime a year and a half later.

I soon found that I greatly enjoyed blogging, as it provided a nice outlet to me when inspiration struck, so to speak. I didn't really want the burden of feeling obligated to write in-depth blog reviews of each and every episode of a new anime that I watched, but I did and do like being able to put together long posts on anime, its industry, and its fandom, when I felt that important points needed to be made about one or more of the above. In addition to this, some particular animes have left a strong enough impression on me (good, bad, or mixed) for me to do series reviews of them.

Of course, all of the above is just one man's opinion, of no intrinsic greater worth than any other opinion.

But, the strength of each and every opinion, is that it comes from an unique source, as each person has their own distinct background that helps to shape how they see the world around them.

In my case, my background is very atypical for an anime fan, as I grew up mostly on DC and Marvel Comics (and its associated cartoons), and Star Trek. I only became an anime fan in my 20s, for while the Timmverse of DC renewed enthusiasm, on my part, for the animated medium, the other North American cartoons where not enough to satisfy that enthusiasm. And so, I turned to anime.

I think that this background sometimes gives me a very different perspective from most other anime fans, and I hope that this perspective can make helpful contributions to the anime fandom as a whole. Aside from voicing my own personal preferences, tastes, and opinions, I often try to ask "What would your average North American think about this?" when approaching a new anime, or an issue surrounding it. I do this because I want to see anime's popularity to grow, and to take a greater place in the western world as well.

But, long story short, it is now time for me to move on.

It's time for me to move on like Alice in Wonderland, by heading down the Rabbit Hole. ;)

My bad pun aside, Rabbit Poets is a very high quality anime blog which seeks to put forward varied viewpoints, rather than just the viewpoint of one individual blogger. And so, I was asked by that blog's chief contributor and manager to join its ranks. A flattering request that I thought about for awhile, and eventually decided to accept. It's been a nice run being the "sole proprietor" of this anime blog, but joining a more established team can only be good.

For as Haruhi Suzumiya herself learned, it's often better to be part of a brigade than to operate alone. ;)

So, to my regular blog readers (all three or four of you ;) ), please join me over at Rabbit Poets, where you will find more postings by me there. I should have my first post up there within a few days. As a spoiler, it will be about this:
 
 



From those three pictures, can you figure out what it will be about, my friends? ;)

Anyway, a big thanks to all those who supported this blog over the past year and a half. It's been a blast, but it's only going to get better, so please continue reading my blogging over at Rabbit Poet's site.

Any and all final words for "Assessing the Anime" would be greatly welcomed and appreciated! ^_^

And with that, "Assessing the Anime" is now... signing off.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Interesting News From Japan...

As far as Japan is concerned, at least, maybe Keima is right...


While I liked TWGOK, there was one episode I found slightly disturbing.

It was the episode where Keima stated a strong preference for "game idols" over "real idols". In essence, a strong preference for fictional female characters in a game over real girls in real life.

Now, there's certainly nothing wrong with engaging in some fulfilling fantasy from time to time (I myself certainly do this), but at the end of the day, fantasy shouldn't completely take the place of reality in a person's life.

However, as the old saying goes, fiction reflects reality, as there may be quite a few real-life Keima's.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pavlovian Entertainment: What is Plaguing Anime Today

Of fangs and maid outfits...


In the field of behavioral psychology, there is something called classical conditioning.

Classical conditioning is a form of associative learning that was first discovered by Ivan Pavlov. Classical conditioning, when put into layman's terms, makes one think of "Pavlov's Dog". The idea behind Pavlov's Dog is that the dog would automatically salivate in the presence of meat powder, but that if the presentation of meat powder became associated with another form of external stimuli (such as the appearance of the person who typically feeds the dog), then that other form of external stimuli could, in and of itself (separate from the presence of meat) cause the dog to salivate.

Pavlov took observations like the one above pertaining to dogs, and used them to formulate classical conditioning.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Anime: Now Completely Under Siege

Faces of Anime's Past and Present, Reflecting a Troubling Future...

This blog will be one of the most important ones that I ever write. It reflects fears that I've had concerning the anime industry for some time now. Two recent (but in some ways looming) events now come perilously close to confirming that those fears are justified. The picture above is presented here for multiple reasons. For one, these faces are those of prominent anime characters, from animes that can effectively serve as two bookends of a period of incredible growth in the anime industry. 

From 1995's El Hazard: The Magnificent World to 2009's The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie, anime has been a place of grand and compelling narratives, and of entertaining and psychologically fascinating characters, able to rival the best that other entertainment genres and mediums could muster. It is true that there were great animes both before, and after, the dates of these two animes, but I personally feel that 1995 to 2009 is where you find the bulk of great animes, and where the industry had both the quality and quantity of material to put it on par with even the best that other narrative mediums could offer. 

But that may sadly be about to end...

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Moe/Star Trek Connection AKA Defending Moe Part Two


To boldly go where no otaku has gone before...
  
As many of my readers know, I've been a part of multiple fandom communities over my life. Currently, my main entertainment passion is anime, which is why this blog exists. There was a time, however, when Star Trek was not only my main entertainment passion, but was also what captivated the imagination of a young Grade 6 student, who would make a point to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation each and every weekday evening at 8:30 PM just before heading to bed to prepare for school the next day.

Capt. Jean-Luc Picard was a noble hero to me, and a fictional character that I looked up to, and enjoyed cheering on in episode after episode of TNG. In fact, I had an Elementary Teacher that even looked and acted a bit like Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, and he tended to treat me as a student wunderkind, not unlike one Wesley Crusher, I must admit. ^_^;; 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Why is "The World God Only Knows" struggling so much?


The most hardcore anime fans, such as many regular posters on Anime Suki, usually have a pretty good idea of which animes will be successful, in the sense of ratings, DVD/Blu-Ray sales, and related merchandise sales. They keep persistent track of which animes will be coming up in the following season, which animation studios will be handling each of them, how popular the source material (if there is one) for the various animes are, and the overall vibe surrounding each of them. They tend to have their finger consistently on the pulse of the anime industry, the anime fandom, and key related fandoms (manga fans, light novel fans, eroge fans, etc...). I myself follow anime somewhat closely, but I don't keep tabs on this wondrously wider world of the modern otaku with quite the admirable thoroughness and zeal as these folks do.

So... when an anime does significantly worse than initially expected or hoped for by these hardcore anime fans, it becomes an intensely intriguing intellectual curiosity for me. This was true when the heavily hyped Umineko anime bombed, and it's also true now with TWGON (which is the acronym I will use through out the rest of this post to refer to The World God Only Knows) likely suffering a similar fate.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

K-On!! Review Part 2 of 2



First off, apologies to long-time readers for not getting to this sooner. I know that I scrounge up regular readers about as well as Afternoon Tea Time scrounges up new members for the Light Music Club, but still, Ritsu would not have left you hanging for almost two months, and I should not have either. 

That out of the way, I'm going to pick up this series review where I left off at the end of Part 1. Just to remind everyone, Part 1 of my series review dealt with the first 13 episodes of K-On!!, while Part 2 will deal with the second half of the anime. And also to further refresh memories, Part 1 of my review dauntlessly delved deeply into the inner conflict and workings of this anime's leading group: Azusa, Mio, Mugi, Ritsu, and Yui

There I spoke at length of the ideological conflicts pitting the lighthearted procrastinators Ritsu and Yui against the relatively stern and serious Azusa and Mio, with Mugi caught inbetween. I perhaps exaggerated the severity of that conflict, as the second half of this anime quickly resolves it, and is mostly free of it.