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About Me

Current hobbies include a lengthy history of classical piano as well as origami. Apparently, he has the time to be on the internet every day. This is despite his less than favorable grades, which in turn dismay his "A-prus famiry".
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Dec 27

simpooru in a Danbooru

I attended a few cosplay panels out of boredom at Fanimecon 2014. One of them, in a last-minute effort to fill in for a last-minute absence, featured a bit about making props for cosplay. What I mean by props is things like weapons, armor, ornaments, and the like. The guy who was doing the talk had managed to create a full set of Predator armor and Saiyan armor using cannibalized sports equipment, and the results were pretty impressive to say the least. But the most important thing I got out of that panel, and perhaps the most valuable lesson when it comes to low-budget cosplay, is that youíll figure out the best ways to complete your costume by complete accident.

The speed by which I completed my first iteration of the Danbo cosplay was similarly due to pure accident. Appropriating scraps from other components of the costume, casually walking by items at the store that I didnít know I needed until that moment, and even finding old boxes at home that coincidentally fit my measurements were factors that, when put together, got the costume done within one week. I had to learn a lot of new things I hadnít really thought about before, like taking apart old flashlights for their electronics or the seemingly innocuous skill of using a soldering iron without burning yourself. Considering I started the project a week and a half before Anime Expo started, accomplishing all of this without doing any all-nighters was nothing short of a miracle. And thus, I was able to bring a legitimate cosplay to Anime Expo 2014.

(You can read the rest of this post with images at my blog)
Posted in Anime on Dec 27 2014, 03:08 AM · No comments
Dec 3

Let's Play Fire Emblem (Gheb Hack) Chapter 19b

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Only two years to go, more like.

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Shut up.

Chapter 19: RE: Trap


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So, uh, tune in sometime within the next year. Yeah.

Team Lineup:
Glass Lv. 19 Champion
Gheb Lv. 9 Master Gheb
Vanessa Lv. 11 Wyvern Knight
Selena Lv. 8 Sage
Colm Lv. 19 Rogue
Lyon Lv. 14 Necromancer
Ewan Lv. 13 Bishop
Batta Lv. 14 The Beast
Ross Lv. 15 Ranger
Hans Lv. 19 Raider
McCartney Lv. 20 Bard
L'Arachel Lv. 7 Great Bitch
Violet Lv. 20 Halberdier
Kiwi Lv. 11 General

Added because lol17people:
Moulder Lv. 18 Priest
Ai-ke Lv. 11 Rogue
Ephidel Lv. 8 Druid
Posted in Games on Dec 3 2014, 01:19 PM · 3 comments
Aug 9

Aldnoah.Zero and Emotional Unavailability

Can be read over on my blog
Posted in Anime on Aug 8 2014, 07:02 PM · No comments
Aug 12

Let's Play Fire Emblem (Gheb Hack) Chapter 18b

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[radio edit].

Chapter 18: Failed Omellete


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obby

Team Lineup:
Glass Lv. 6 Champion
Gheb Lv. 3 Master Gheb
Vanessa Lv. 9 Wyvern Knight
Selena Lv. 8 Sage
Colm Lv. 17 Rogue
Lyon Lv. 13 Necromancer
Ewan Lv. 10 Bishop
Batta Lv. 14 The Beast
Ross Lv. 14 Ranger
Hans Lv. 19 Raider
McCartney Lv. 18 Bard
L'Arachel Lv. 5 Great Bitch

On Reserve (because lol12peoplelimit):
Violet Lv. 14 Halberdier
Kiwi Lv. 9 General

Benched:
Valter Lv. 13 Wyvern Knight






Posted in Games on Aug 12 2013, 01:45 AM · 2 comments
Apr 16

So I co-manage an anime club. Note #11

Also viewable on my blog.

I should talk about what happened during that publicity thingy that I mentioned last week.

I arrived about 10 minutes late to the outskirts of the Student Resources Building, one section out of a long line of booths that were also set up for the same purpose. That purpose? Well, the event was based around inviting prospective freshmen (high school seniors at this point and time) to tour the campus and get to know more about the variety of campus organizations that were also present and available. Naturally, since we technically qualified as a campus organization, we were also given the chance to publicize our club. In our case, we needed to find the poor saps who sought salvation from their shitty high school anime clubs. Was it a success? Well, yes and no.

I'll first explain why it was a success. The beginning of our long and arduous journey of <em>having to converse with strangers for five hours</em> did not start well. Rather, it's fair to say that even though I was ten minutes late it hadn't started at all. President Madarame-sempai was already at our assigned table, but something was missing from the table. Want to know what that something is?

EVERYTHING.

The table was completely bare except from the campus-colored tablecloth and the dinghy plywood club sign in front. If that wasn't bad enough, there was also nothing to give out to the passersby. What do I mean by that? Flyers, business cards, goodies, anything to attract people to the table and anything to give to them in order to remember the encounter. We were perhaps woefully unprepared for this situation. I myself was rather woeful in other contexts. We needed to think of something fast, before the real rush of people begins.

So, I suggested to sempai that he prepare flyers and bring the raffle merchandise from his room in order to spice up the tabletop a bit. Since there was now an additional person to man the table (namely myself), it allowed him enough leeway to abandon the table and prepare as much stuff as possible. I wish I had taken pictures because we did a decent job sprucing up an empty table with miscellaneous anime merchandise, manga, and random origami stuff I made on the spot. It was pretty cool.

Not that I was truly expecting many people to stop at our location, though. We were competing against other, more prepared organizations that had their shit together long before we even thought of the concept. The table to the left of us was a club that informed people on safe sex, which had all the necessary handouts as well as a rather appealing "spin the bottle" wheel that landed on a quiz category, which the people manning the table ask a sexually oriented question to demonstrate their knowledge of sex things. The table on the right of me was a variety dance club that showed off their moves every once in a while in tandem to a fitting piece of music that came up every now and then. Blaring Jpop right next to them would have been extremely rude.

Nevertheless, decorating the table proved to be quite effective and we were able to hand out over 20 flyers (which I think is pretty damn fine). Granted, most of these people are high school students and are as likely to forget about the flyers as they are to perhaps choose another campus to waste four years in. The important thing in this case is that people know that our club exists. I've told you before that our presence on campus has always been near nonexistent and the side-remarks now and then along the lines of "I didn't know we had an anime club" continue to haunt us in this day and age. At the same time, is publicity and membership all that important in terms of having a quality club experience? Well, yeah. If I thought otherwise I wouldn't have attended in the first place. A club can always have more members. A club should always welcome new members.

I do have to wonder, though, if we did it right.

The reason why I part of this exercise was a flop was because I fear we didn't send the right image of our club. We had anime-related merchandise and manga on the table to make it more visually appealing, but we almost never talk about manga, nor are we buyhot hunk of manmeats. Additionally, it doesn't help that me and sempai as a combo don't necessarily advertise well. I'm pretty sure I can do it sufficiently, but it's clear that we're inexperienced at working in tandem because we cut each other off and have awkward pauses at times. To be fair, I'm sure they didn't notice because they're way more nervous about this whole college thing than we are about seeking new and fresh membership for our club.

I also had to remember that the target audience is high school students. That apparently means their exposure to anime is basically no less than the Big Three, Fairy Tail, and maybe possibly Soul Eater. When that realization hit me I became quite aware how niche my fandom, and the aniblog fandom, really is. I mean, when I was part of my high school anime club (for a brief time during 10th grade, I might add), I was pretty well aware of series such as Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Samurai Champloo, and even lesser-known-at-the-time stuff such as Clannad and Claymore. From personal experience, I assumed that everyone else was at least familiar with anime that mostly comes out from the popular streaming sites (or, heaven forbid, Crunchyroll). In retrospect, I really should have expected that most people who would come to an anime club would not necessarily be updated on the latest shit to come out of Japan. Hell, I remember the first week I came to this club as a regular member and the room was totally packed with people. Once it became apparent that the main focus was not about the popular shounen anime, however, about a quarter of them left immediately. Immediately, I tell you. I'm worried that something similar will happen again.

We iterated during the event that our main purpose is to watch the latest anime to come out of Japan, barring things that are way too long like the Big Three and others such. However, I feel personally that our purpose can be reworded more as "introduce you to the wonders and marvels of Japanese animation". The people who attend club are much less a fandom and much more a hive of unpolished thoughts dying to be shared to other people. And if we do end up alienating people as a result... well... while it is our fault for not making that point clear enough, I really don't feel like accommodating for people unwilling to graduate from the preliminary levels of anime appreciation. And if anyone complains about fair treatment, We'll just address that as put aptly by the anime doctrine of Shugenics,

Ouma Shu
Guilty Crown
"We're not discriminating, we're distinguishing."


Addendum

-I have to admit that Hare Hare Yukai took high schools across the nation by storm when I was in 10th grade, which was 2007, so knowing about that one was common knowledge. These days in 2013 I think they're raving over things like Sword Art Online. Think about that for a while.
-I asked every single one of them if they knew what JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was. None of them knew. NONE. OF. THEM. Mark my words, once they get here I'm going to indoctrinate the shit out of them about the variety and wonders of this thing they like called anime. And they're going to have OPINIONS about them and it's going to be infinitely more interesting at anime club.
-Or, at least that's what I'm hoping will happen once the time comes.
Posted in Anime on Apr 16 2013, 12:19 AM · No comments
Apr 16

So I co-manage an anime club. Note #10

Also viewable on my blog.

So, the topic of publicity came up tonight.

Cue the simultaneous dropping of forks, spoons, and samurai chopsticks. The gobbet of rice near my mouth falls onto the table and crumbles across the tabletop. At first our expressions remain stone-faced, but soon it turns into disbelief.

"Haa?" Exclaims Tomoe from across the table. His reaction is the first to turn into one of those generic "mouth agape" expressions. Haro, Freddie, and I are still in a bit of a daze hearing something that weird coming out of the club president's mouth.

Madarame-sempai is unfazed at this reaction and keeps talking.

"There's a club publicity event going on this Saturday and I signed up for a table. I need suggestions on what to do."

We've never been a club that's especially concerned about membership. In fact, we're perfectly comfortable with the assumption that about 99% of the campus population doesn't even realize we exist. Our club is exceedingly small and given our shared sense of shyness we never expect many people to come in every week to view anime.

However, we do take solace in the fact that the people who end up visiting our meeting place do so because they explicitly want to be there. As of right now, the only way to know whether my campus has an anime club is to Google search for the possibility. In this case, I am no different than anyone else in the clubroom.

Yet, the prospect of gaining more publicity still seemed like a lucrative option. Who wouldn't consider the option, truthfully? The only problem with that is actually going about gaining publicity.

To do this, the club must consider a variety of things, many of which tie into the concept of advertising. What do we advertise about anime club? One would assume that if we're an anime club that we would have a group of people who are deathly addicted to things such as cosplay. Or dancing. You know, visual things to promote a club that's mostly about visual media. We'd need posters, posterboards, flyers, a pair of balls... whatever it takes to make our club look like the funnest thing ever to the closet anime fan who is still unsure whether his or her hobby is worth sharing with like-minded people. But back to my first point, we'd still need people who are visually attracting.

Believe me, I'd love to be able to give my time into making some sort of cosplay that I can abuse for the rest of my college life. Yet, given that I have never gone to a convention nor have I ever been open about my little hobby until sometimes within the past two years or so, putting myself out there like that is still a wish that has yet to come true. I don't even know if I want that wish to come true. The rest of the club is like this too; most of us primarily go to anime club to watch anime and nothing else. It's kind of sad, really, when you consider the lengths you'd expect other anime club people to go to. Additionally, it's saddening to visualize my other friends from high school who manage to spend the time to cosplay and have a blast at conventions while I just sit at my computer slaving away at these things called anime seasons, like I don't have a choice in my anime fandom but to watch the latest stuff. Maybe in that regard I can understand people who follow different TV shows religiously, albeit in a more legal method.

What do I say to a person who asks what our club is about? Do we just sit around and watch anime, awkwardly looking side to side as others shift uncomfortably in their seats and are as afraid to talk to other people as they are? It hits too close to the truth and, unfortunately, is the truth. As much as there are different types of socially awkward in the clubroom, the most prevalent type of person is the one with little practice in <em>actually speaking to other people</em>. Hell, if you look at my daily schedule I almost never get to speak with anyone (since I live with my parents) and I'm still more conversational than the people who are forced to live in dorms and subsequently forced to interact with people on their floor. I just don't understand how someone can stay unsociable in such an environment. Do they shut themselves in, perhaps going out for about 10 minutes of sunlight as they move from lecture hall to lecture hall? That would only put themselves at the same level as me, and I still would win that trade.

Despite everything I say when it comes to people who are hopelessly unsocial, I recognize that it's out of nervousness than an actual desire to shun their surroundings. Us staffies are not the best at being social either, and the President and I carry the brunt of the work when it comes to public relations. The rest of the staffies sort of peter out and converse with each other whenever we aren't watching anime in the clubroom. I suppose it's something that we have to straighten out, but at the same time it's hard to tell people the same age as you what to do. Or is it? I haven't tried to do that in an overt manner, even though I'm Vice President, because I also value my relationship with them as friends. I should learn to distinguish between the two when assuming executive power (my colleagues deem this as "zipping up your mansuit").

I guess the only option as of now is to keep those facts in the dark and let them experience the anime club meetings in person. This also means that I have to step up my game in being sociable, too. I have great pride in being able to hold a conversation longer than most people, but my social skills are still lacking. I may have experience, and I may have the tools available. I just need a bit more courage and initiative to actually get the ball rolling and be that great if niche anime club I first envisioned when I heard such a thing existed here on campus. Frankly, I doubt that will even happen within my time here as a college student. The least I can do is try.

"Would any of you be able to table with me on Saturday?" asked Madarame-sempai.

None of us had anything better to do, so we agreed to go. If it does end up being a flop, at least we all have our bitchin' 3DSes to fight each other with.

Isn't it weird? Watching anime has got to be one of the most isolated things we can do to ourselves. Yet in order to go to an anime club you must come out of isolation and enjoy yourself in the company of others. You must also, with great adventures in trial and error, find the right place in your personality to converse with others in a cordial and positive manner, even in the midst of heated debate. In order to accommodate for new people and get new people to stick around, I have to suck up my shyness and put myself out there for everyone to see. To prove to them that, yes, there are sane people who just like anime and don't have to get into the nitty gritty of otaku culture to be accepted as a whole. Along with battling our own social inexperience, there's always the uphill battle of rejecting the negative stereotypes that latch onto anime fandom no matter where we go.

So perhaps a lack of cosplay helps in that regard.

Now to explain why we're going to blare obnoxious Jpop as loud as possible on our speakers when we start tabling.

Maybe we're not so innocent after all.

Addendum

-We are going to pose and fight each other to the tune of "Bloody Stream" and it will be as awkward and fabulous as you may be envisioning it.
-Man, this iPad keyboard boosts my productivity like tenfold during lectures
-Like seriously you have no idea how much I love this thing.
-I'd be lying to myself if I said my current lifestyle doesn't make me feel lonely. But, that only makes me feel better about myself once I actually start talking to people as if I wasn't alone the entire time. Maybe I have Skype to thank for that.
Posted in Anime on Apr 16 2013, 12:14 AM · No comments
Apr 16

So I co-manage an anime club. Note #9

Also viewable on my blog.

All is well and good when some cares enough about anime club to offer suggestions about how it should be run. I mentioned before about a particular woman who cares quite a bit about the representation of women in anime, and that our current lineup wasn't gelling quite right. Since I've known her for a while, I figured that it would not be such a huge setback to oblige and find new stuff to show, even though it's pretty much halfway through the year by this point. I had few problems with this very notion. Freddie, Haro, and Tomoe-san also did not have a problem changing up the schedule to favor older anime. The one problem we had, if we were to fulfill this to the end that she wanted, was dealing with the president. Because [radio edit]all if the president starts talking about what kinds of anime people might like best.

I had become lax and unaware because of the president's bout of inactivity in the first half of Winter quarter, but this recent debacle has rekindled his apparent interest in actually doing stuff as the club president. Not that there's anything inherently bad in a president wanting to do president stuff, because that's technically what a president is supposed to do. In fact, in most cases you would want a club president to be as active about their own club as possible. For us lesser staffies, however, it's not a good thing. That's because none of us like his tastes in anime.

Allow me to put this into perspective. Every week we occasionally get on Facebook and discuss what should be shown next in club (because that's, like, important mang). Also keep in mind that at this point we're still constrained into watching things from the current season. For the majority of this quarter, Madarame-sempai has stayed out of the decision-making process because he's been super-busy with schoolwork and the like. Since it's his fourth year probably going into his fifth, shit's kinda important right around his time. Now that the one lady starts complaining to us about how much our lineup sucks, he finds some inspiration to involve himself more in deciding what ends up on screen. To come extent, when someone in a position as important as the club president starts deciding things, you'd think that given his position and his experience in the club he would know precisely what the audience would like, right? ...Right?

Wrong. First thing he suggests is to start GJ-bu and continue with Kotoura-san.

In the end, we must relent to these decisions because he's the mother[radio edit]ing president of the anime club, but he did get an earful out of that one lady when Kotoura-san showed up. Satisfaction of that happening aside, it boggles my mind as to how someone as old as Madarame-sempai can be so... I don't even know how to say this without sounding mean. I completely disagree with his taste in anime. In fact, I am so against what he wants to show (others being moreso against) that we end up politely disagreeing with each other over Facebook about what shows can be constituted as good and bad for the club.

Sometimes I think he mixes up what <em>he</em> likes as being what the <em>club</em> likes. Actually, no. I was choosing shows based on that sentiment as well. However, I also have a better sense of knowing what a college audience might appreciate and I do not regret putting myself out there like that. I really do have a better sense of what might gel well with the club than Madarame-sempai thinks. Maybe it helps that I'm one of those elitist [radio edit]s that has to blog in order to keep oneself sane and not feel as foreveralone.jpg as they actually are (if you haven't noticed I just did a pisstake at all you anibloggers out there, because face it we are elitist as all hell). You can at least commend me for putting faith in Maoyuu and Kotoura-san, right? You can at least understand why I avoided anime like Mondaiji, Cuticle Detective Inaba, and GJ-bu, right? Perhaps it only comes to this point because Winter season as a whole sucked balls, but it has become the President's tastes against my tastes. We obviously compromised as you can see from the images in this post, but it's still wholly frustrating how my opinions on anime are the exact opposite of his opinions.

How do I even explain why he likes certain shows more than others? I can't say that it's because he's a dirty otaku because he's clearly not. In fact, Tomoe-san is even more of an otaku than most anyone else in the clubroom can even begin to claim. I named him Tomoe-san because his Tomoe Mami is his waifu, and he has the pillows and the pictures on his laptop to prove it. He enjoys the shit out of fanservice anime like no other, much like Madarame does, but he at least has the awareness to know that not everyone appreciates fanservice anime. Another reason why I like having Tomoe-san around more than Madarame is because, despite his tastes in anime, he enjoys the shit out of The Tatami Galaxy. We instantly became better best friends after I found that out. The president, however... Bleh. He's a lot less approachable that you would expect of a club president, and a lot less able to communicate with the rest of us. Our secret pet name for him is Entei because he's so hard to get ahold of. I should totally start calling him Entei instead. That's a terrific idea. Anyway, the main point is that even though I should know a lot more about him than I do now it's kinda difficult when he makes it all awkward and stuff.

Well, complaining about how much my president's tastes in anime suck balls is going nowhere because we already compromised on an order that keeps us (somewhat) satisfied: reserve the first two shows for the current season, and have three slots for past shows that we can keep showing for the rest of the year. As much as I preach that we must take the opinions of the audience into account, it's become a battle between ourselves in the staff against the club president. I actually think right now that the anime club doesn't give much of a shit what we end up watching as long as we stay consistent. If there's anything implying that we're on bad terms with the president, there isn't. We're all friends at the end of the day because it's tough to hate one of the few people on campus who bother to come to anime club as much as they can. It also helps that we've known each other for at least a year by now so we know exactly what set of tastes belong to who (I'm the resident elitist btw). I really should be happy that I at least got three-fifths of what I wanted, but it's hard to ignore that I fundamentally disagree with my authority figure on almost everything.

Addendum

-ololol it now occurs to me that we pulled a three-fifths compromise. thatsracist.gif
-Was changing the schedule worth shutting the girl up? I honestly don't know. Her rants were half constructive criticism against what we were showing and half bitterness that we weren't evening out the playing field with equally sexualized material aimed towards fujoshi. It's good advice, but it comes from a bad motivation.
Posted in Anime on Apr 16 2013, 12:10 AM · No comments
Feb 14

So I co-manage an anime club. Note #8

Also can be viewed on my blog. This is new content I swear.

There exist people who don't like JoJo's. Allow me to explain that later.

I mentioned before that choices in anime club are preferably geared towards what is entertaining versus what is boring. Spring 2012 would tell us that Jormungand would be preferable to Sakamichi no Apollon because the former is inherently more exciting to watch. It tells us that Space Bros. would take us by storm through its sheer novelty and how we as adults could somewhat relate to the not-so-grown-up attitude of Mutta. Mysterious Girlfriend X would be met with little understanding, maybe some gags here and there. What decides this, though? From what I have observed, the ideal show for this anime club is a show that:

-Entertains
-Has little to no fanservice
-Gives people an excuse to laugh, whether justified or not

Of course, when the opinions of others are also involved in the club, finding shows is hardly a unilateral action. When it comes to the opinions of other people, what criteria do I choose from when looking at what anime to watch? Well, that goes into a territory called the "No Fun Zone", and let me tell you all about it.

1. You don't talk about the "No Fun Zone".
2. You don't talk about the "No Fun Zone".
3. You can't leave the "No Fun Zone".
4. While in the "No Fun Zone", you must defenestrate your personal tastes in anime.
5. Attempts to leave the "No Fun Zone" result in immediate and loud complaints concerning your supposed tastes in anime.
6. You do not know that you've entered the "No Fun Zone", and subsequently relinquished your tastes in anime, until you are already in it.
7. Complainers get to retain their tastes in anime like it's their property and stuff.

And so on and so forth. How far do you think we should take into account the tastes of other people when deciding as a staffie group what should be shown? I honestly don't know the answer right now, given recent events. Actually, this issue has been an aspect of anime club ever since I came to attend this place. The pervading sentiment for the last year or so is that we should be watching the newest anime to come out of Japan, not unlike what we as anibloggers do now. Some consideration is put into showing anime from the past, and it's always been a sentiment that I share wholeheartedly, but this is how the club has operated for the longest time and they would be hard pressed to change that model. Until this week happened.

Let us talk about another member of the anime club, this one being a woman. She's one of the few people in the club who do not like JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Naturally, like anyone else here would, I asked why. Was it the shallowness of its themes? Was it too dumb? Because like it or not, JoJo's does draw a lot of its entertainment from being outlandishly dumb. It's merely a question of whether or not you can appreciate the dumb. But no. That's not why she doesn't like it. Her problem is that she can't handle the violence, which is fair. You can't expect everyone to be jaded towards gore, censored or not. This is also one of the reasons why we did not end up watching Psycho-Pass too. Actually, the violence in Psycho-Pass came second to what seemed to be a more pressing issue to her, which was rape. So, we ended up dropping Psycho-Pass not because it was violent, not because it would become entrapped in Butcher Gen conventions that we've all seen before, but because there was rape.

If it sounds like I disagree with that sentiment, I don't. I think it's valid, and I think it's a serious concern. What I also think, however, is that most of these types of situations can be also be diffused as a non-issue when the narrative ends up not pursuing it. Everyone remember how the first episode of Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun went? Yeah, she was all over that one too. I hesitate to say that she's a feminist, because there are certainly more traits to feminists than merely thinking about a woman's well-being, but I can definitely say that her opinion is one that I wish I had for the club. She may be ruining other people's fun by disparaging what we end up watching every now and then, It's not like I don't agree. She isn't contrary to us because it's fun for her. Since she's been around for a while, probably longer than I have, I like to believe that she has the club's best interest in mind when saying that shows like Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun are bad to watch because they promote bad themes. Her criticisms are more focused on the content of a series rather than their entertainment value, so that means that most of the anime we end up watching end up as a no-no. I used to think that way, so I could identify... but that was when I wasn't an officer. When you get into a position like mine, there's a lot more to be thinking about than what she worries about. Hell, the criteria I outlined in the beginning of this post is moot if I take her completely seriously.

Maybe I get a bit on edge when she says things like this because I made the effort to pick out shows. And if it's any indication by now, what I choose does not necessarily reflect upon my own tastes and desires. I've already said that Winter 2013 anime sucks, but because we're stuck choosing shows from that criterion I have no choice but to keep going. To clarify, though, her suggestion to us doesn't consist of "watch only good anime pls", and if I connote anything to that extent that's really not what I mean. She's fine with things like JoJo's as long as there's other things to balance it out. If we pander to otaku, we must also pander to fujoshi. If we must cater to those who love violence, make the effort to watch things that are less offensive to balance it out. It's a valid suggestion and we're thinking of implementing this by next week. Watching older series was an issue because the president prioritized watching newer series over older ones, for no reason other than to stay current, or "fresh" as he might call it. This often led to leaving a bunch of shows imcomplete with each school year, in favor of catching up with the newest thing. Honestly, when we look for quality series, that's a risky gamble in and of itself. It would make much more sense to just to show something that's already known as good by a fair amount of people.

Then again, this is just one woman and a couple of other people on her side making this complaint. Out of maybe 25-30 people who frequent the club. How far should her opinion change what has been relatively successful? I still think things can and should change, because honestly most people who go to anime club don't care whether something is new or "fresh" or whatever. Technically, we don't even need to show the fanservice-y anime if we don't need to, because the otaku group is just as small, but that's not what I want out of this club. I'll explain this with another post sometime in the future.

Addendum

-Thinking about it, how would an actual feminist survive anime pop culture? That shit is sexualized and misogynistic to the point of ridiculousness. I also think it can make rash judgments on anime such as Psycho-Pass or Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun just because they use the concept of rape as a plot device. This particular woman doesn't watch new anime on her own time, so she's somewhat immune. It's just unfortunate that a majority of anime that ends up being screened in anime club seem to promote these kinds of themes relentlessly, every season, perhaps every year. Being Western fan of anime is suffering.

-As much as it doesn't have to be this way, I wish I could share her opinions on what we show in club. Thing is, since she said that she doesn't like what we have been showing recently (which is heavily influenced by yours truly), it's kind of a smack to the face. I try to think about what's best for anime club, yes, and I also want to implement her complaints somewhere along the line. It kind of sucks, I can only access the majority of what people want by denying my own preferences.

-We're still watching JoJo's until the end, because damned if we don't end up finishing a single anime series this year.
Posted in Anime on Feb 13 2013, 07:24 PM · 1 comment
Feb 14

So I co-manage an anime club. Note #7

Also can be viewed on my blog. I am speaking about THAT GUY again because I hadn't done so on the other blog yet.

Let me wander off into some other topic that I didn't say I was planning to do. To put it in precise terms, I wonder exactly what gets people to come to anime club.

I've already mentioned that the club itself doesn't go to great lengths to recruit new members. Instead, we take the easy way out and have a website for people to find or look for. I think it's a nice business model because we only encounter people who are genuinely interested enough to actually look for an anime club on campus. That's certainly how I, in a fit of boredom in my first year of college, came to attend this place and get to know all the wonderful people I know today. Well, I wouldn't say "wonderful" in the successful, social sense. They're all nerds.

I say "nerds" because I hesitate to say "otaku". I certainly don't see myself as an otaku. I'll label myself as an anime fan, as will most other people I've encountered in anime club, but there is a certain subsection of the group that are irrevocably and without a doubt otakus, and I don't identify completely with them. See, like most people who end up blogging about anime, I see myself as one of those people that commenters will label as an "elitist". You know, the person who tries to sound smart by talking about narrative themes and meanings in anime. I don't go as far as to completely disparage other, "lesser" anime, though I can certainly recognize that my tastes direct me away from the cheesecake (slang for female sex appeal for those who don't know) and into a bizarre fruitcake and jell-o salad combination (a term I made up on the spot to describe my tastes in anime) that's best left appreciated rather than eaten.

I believe anibloggers can get comfortable agreeing with each other about how certain series are consensus bad or which ones are universal in their quality. They might argue about the ones in the grey area, but that's where I think the discussion is the most truthful about a person's taste. There are people who like it, people who hate it, and people who attempt to qualify their ambivalence or frustration towards the material in question. Maybe it's not a matter of good or bad and it's instead a matter of interesting or boring. For example, Tamako Market is certainly a good series (when you look at it from an atmospheric, magical realism perspective), but it is boring to watch if you don't see it that way. I saw that particular divide during the club once episode 3 rolled around. Then there's the series that is certainly interesting, but you can't say that it's good. For this season, Kotoura-san takes that slot. It's dramatic and whiny and BLUHHHHHH, but not in a good way. Sure, that turnaround in the first episode was cute and all, but that wore away fast. Maoyuu got tiring fast because of reasons I have already explained. Everyone laughs away at The Unlimited as usual.

Maybe it's just because Winter 2013 anime sucks. Maybe that's the reason why attendance is a bit low for these two weeks. Or maybe it's because it was both a Friday that was raining hard and a subsequent Friday that was the Friday before midterms. There is no way to win people over their acadamics with your Chinese Pornographic Cartoons. At least, not the serious and studious ones. My friends are none of the sort. They attend as many meetings as possible while I am one part obligated and one part devoted to provide anime to watch each week. In a way, being the proactive Vice-President in comparison to the laziness of Madarame-senpai makes it my sworn duty to watch as many anime as possible to see which ones are good or not. We staff converse with each other on Facebook and it is by virtue of my position that I end up deciding what to watch. Does that mean I have complete control over what we end up watching? Not necessarily. There's always a snag or two about an hour before the screenings actually start. Mostly from the president himself because he decides at the last minute that showing something else would be a better idea. After knowing him for a year by now, I am fully aware that not all his suggestions (OreShura, Senran Kagura, Mondaiji) are necessarily the greatest ideas. With him, it's always finding the thing that offends us the least.

Oh yeah, I haven't even gotten around to the types of people who come to anime club, have I? Well, there's several people I could talk about, and I obviously won't label them by any name because that would be downright disrespectful (because even though I try to be fair I end up sounding condescending when I do these kinds of things). Let's talk about this from a conceptual standpoint.

Say that there is this one person in your anime club that is socially awkward. No, not the shy type that is unsure how to respond to your questions with anything other than silence and nods, I'm talking about the guy that won't shut up about this hobbies and interests.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX-CqQPWQvc[/youtube]

Imagine that he's a huge fan of riffing bad sci-fi movies, and subsequently bad anime, and then note how many times he is able to weasel this little tidbit into every aspect of the conversation with each chance he gets. He lacks volume control and tact, two things that could get a person berated at a movie theater, much more at some dinghy anime club screening where the consequences of being loud are a bit, well, louder. Now, we are no strangers to riffing. We do it all the time with bad anime because it's a method of coping in the absence of anything truly good. Anibloggers do this with at least one show each season (Not this one because everything equally sucks except maybe Chihayafuru which I still need to watch). Now, imagine if you tried to do this with every show you ever watched.

This guy is the pinnacle of good intentions gone awry. Almost all of his words go down the drain because his speech is unfortunately loud and nasally. This is further compounded by the fact that he's ignorant about current anime (as in he doesn't stay current with anime like we do). Keep in mind, most people who end up in anime club don't actually stay current with each anime season in Japan. Some of them don't even watch anime much on their own free time. Keep in mind though, it just makes it worse to hear these kind of things from the guy I speak of. Suffice to say, I don't think anyone in the clubroom especially appreciates his presence. Perhaps our consideration and patience will wear thin. Or maybe he'll grow up.

He just reminds me of my own embarrassments and beginnings as an anime fan, about maybe seven or eight years ago.

This guy is probably my age. That hurts a bit, you know, to see him represent my younger, foolish self in real time.

Addendum

-Expect future updates to be more of this format than anything planned or scripted. This is all drivel out of the top of my head.

-Amazing how a month's worth of time can dilute your thoughts about a subject like this into mush.

-I've been stuck in the FE Awakening universe to write much i sowwy
Posted in Anime on Feb 13 2013, 07:22 PM · No comments
Jan 14

So I co-manage an anime club. Note #6

I'll continue to update here, but the majority of my activity has been relocated to My WordPress blog: Perpetual Morning. Feel free to berate me for my terrible opinions any time.

It's been more than a month since we last had a meeting. Chuu2 and Tonari ended long ago enough that none of us really want to continue with them during club. Perhaps at some other time we will finish them as a group, but honestly I think enough people watch these anime on their own time that they don't care whether or not it happens. I'm pretty much done with fall season. That said, life without anime club is one that's become, quite honestly, a bit boring. That is, as long as you admit yourself to having nothing else to do with your day other than study. I admit to having nothing else to do with my day other than study and go clikkityclackin on the internet for no particular reason other than to, you know, write posts, watch anime, go on Twitter, edit my MAL, play LoL, drool at some sweet Steam deals, listen to music, wander aimlessly on YouTube you know what I think people are full of bullshit when they see people on the computer and assume that they're doing nothing not because it isn't usually true but because the kinds of people who make this assumption are people who never use the internet. There's obviously plenty of things to do on the internet and it doesn't mean that I'm slacking off or anything to that note. I'm just glad I'm now in a place where I don't get berated for this daily. Maybe this is also a bad thing. Now I'm not so glad. Shit.

I say this in spite of being in contact with all my friends in anime club during the break. Being Facebook butt-buddies with most of them was also a big help. Of course, over the break, I was less inclined to stay on the computer and more interested in catching up with my extended family, since I don't, you know, talk to them quite as much as I do with my friends. I only have one cousin who is also into anime, but he's more into things like, uh, Gintama or Fairy Tail and such. He's also like my other friends who are more into American/British TV shows than anime. We had spent the majority of our time watching seasons of Supernatural. Before I get even more off-topic, let's turn back to the main point of discussion, which was the actual meeting.

Campus life is peculiar for me. My living quarters are not directly on campus, so I need to take a bus in order to get there. Unfortunately, from where I live, the last bus to take me on campus operates about two hours before the meeting actually starts. I'm pretty sure that I don't have to reiterate anymore that I have little else to do because of my usual habits, so suffice to say I was perfectly content with arriving at the room about two hours early. I had ulterior motives for doing this too, for that matter. You see, I still needed to download a couple of anime, and the room had reliable Wi-Fi up to a point, so I could just sit there and go clikkityclakkity and be happy with myself. I do hate, though, that this network does not allow torrents. It'll allow those DDL sites where they purposely restrict your bandwidth because they're assholes like that, but given the amount of time I had to wait for everyone to get there it was ample opportunity to finish downloading.

Perhaps if you haven't noticed by now, I don't have very many friends outside of the club right now.

I say that I'm the Vice President of this anime club, but I can't honestly affirm that I have all that much power, nor can I say the same of our president (whom I have dubbed the name Madarame-senpai). Us, plus Tomoe, Freddie, and Haro, make up pretty much the brains of the organization. We decide what to show during anime club and also discuss smaller things like get-togethers, additional screenings, things like that. I'll tell you more about them later as time goes by, but for now it's just us dweebs watching anime every week and talking about it. It's at least enjoyable that I can talk comfortable with each and every one of them, even though I know our tastes do not align in the slightest.

Anyway, as for the actual meeting, there wasn't much of a turnout. We're not so personal with the people who visit every now and then, so it explains why people don't particularly have a strong connection to the club itself and are prone to spend their Friday Nights in different ways, like partying and such. Despite that, we do have our share of regulars who we pretty much expect to come, though they are a handful. Not that I particularly hate it, because more people for the most part means more trouble from an administrative and management standpoint, but it's always a bit disheartening when you see empty seats. I'd hazard a guess and say that about 15-20 people showed up that night. I'm just going to assume that people chose not to come because it was cold and rainy as balls that night. It's pussy weather here on the west coast, but it's cold enough to scare off the uninitiated. While they were trickling in, I was twiddling with the projector since it's my laptop they're using to screen the anime. When you have power like this, it's easy to take advantage of both the projector and the speakers and just start sharing things on YouTube like zefrank's True Facts series or the HowToBasic channel. I honestly can't believe no one had heard of those channels before I got to them.

It's curious as to how people trickle in, too. We are for the most part casual about entering and exiting a room, much like how a lecture during the daytime works in a college campus, but that also means that it's easy to spot which people are quite social and which are super shy or something. Our club is insular and underground in the sense that people have to search for us in order to know that we exist, but even when people make that big step to attending a meeting I'm met with all colors and shapes when it comes to personalities and interests. I'll speak of them on an individual basis as the weeks go by.

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

Since the second episode of Maoyuu came out that night, we decided to put that series at the front of the list by screening both episodes. I know how the bloggers reacted, and I know how my friends reacted, and I was pretty damn unsurprised at how the audience reacted the same way. There were two big reasons why all of us reacted this way (dohoho cwutididthar its funny because two boobs), but another thing I was getting from everyone was that the dialogue was getting a bit drone-y and condescending. Which is a valid issue, on my case and others, because those of us who are at least fluent in the basics of economics know how simplified the story is assuming of the human world's economic state. Not that anyone in the audience particularly cares, mind you. They're just torn between the drawn-out dialogues and the boobs. I'm going to guess that they are going to stick with it because of the boobs. And the occasional otaku pandering, like with the pillow and the "No one hates maids" line from the Head Maid, grandmaster of meido-do.

One thing I noted was that we were for the most part silent during the entirety of the two episodes. Usually, as I've seen in previous quarters, this is not the case. The kinds of people who flock to anime clubs are either quiet or extremely awkward on a social level. Now, when I say socially awkward I hope you are not thinking of shy, quiet, unassuming people who sit in the corner of the lecture hall and read books all day. That is not what socially awkward means. It actually means that you're the kind of person who talks in the movie theater, the kind of person who knows no sense of tact or respect. Perhaps they're loud and abrasive, or just loud, but whatever it is their voices just get on your nerves. I hate to admit that sometimes the club gets rowdy enough to make the anime itself hard to hear, but it's not such a bad thing to start commenting on it as if you were part of an MST3k-fest. It's not so different from having live group watches with people on the internet.

That does not apply here because for the most part they were quiet, which is a rarity. Well, it's a rarity only because we end up not speaking when the anime is being serious, and Maoyuu is for the most part a serious anime when it's not being bouncy. Additionally, we also tend not to follow anime which are overly serious, like Psycho-Pass or Shinsekai Yori. That's another thing I'll speak of later. Maoyuu got good reception in general, though all the infodumping was apparently "hard to follow" at times. I honestly don't know how some of these people get into college in the first place.

Tamako Market

Tamako Market got a much bigger response because it's much more light-hearted. When we met the flower shop owner I heard murmurs of "That's a guy" and "Yeah pretty sure that's a dude", which was hilarious. We had the same phenomenon when it happened in Ixion Saga DT last season. Tsundere Mochizou and the slightly bratty Anko were also pretty endearing because Kyoto Animation will make anything moe as [radio edit], even old men sweating in a mochi shop or a bathhouse. I can't believe I just typed that. Anyway, what obviously got the rest of them rolling was Mochiyucky, the exceedingly fabulous, outrageous talking bird. The moment he started talking, the moment the smooth sax starts playing, a friend blurts "Can we keep watching this I want to watch this it's amazing can we watch it" and other things that cause people to foam at the mouth in excitement. It might be important to know that people don't usually watch anime on their free time, and that coming to anime club is partially a means to catching up with current anime. Well, actually most people don't care about whether the anime we watch is current or not. They just care if it's entertaining enough. Tamako Market was, for the most part, entertaining.

Kotoura-san

Given my personal reception of this anime's first episode, I was honestly expecting more people to not like how it was handled. Because honestly, you cannot look at the first ten minutes of that anime and think to yourself that her story is in any form realistically portrayed. It was too easy to laugh at. I get that it's supposed to be tragic so that the resulting 180 garners more shock, but when watching it alone it wasn't that great of a reaction from me. After watching this episode, however, I have come to the conclusion that I'm just an unfeeling son of a bitch. It ended up being a lot more enjoyable to watch because people weren't expecting anything great or profound to come out of it. The cut into the guy's obtuse thoughts got the most fascinating reaction out of people, which was enjoyable in and of itself aside from my own reaction to watching it on a bigger screen. Unfortunately when watching this on my own time, I got caught up in the potential of the story while everyone else was satisfied in how the drama and the comedy ultimately balanced out. We had discussions about this earlier where we had to promise ourselves not to laugh during the first ten minutes because that would make us horrible people and we'd go to hell or something. Really, though, it was the right amount of high school comedy and heart-wrenching drama to get people to enjoy the hell out of it.

Courtesy of Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited - Hyobu Kyosuke

Sometimes a little sprucing up of a subpar script is all it takes to turn a pile of junk into comedy gold. The key to doing this with The Unlimited was to not-so-discreetly switch the original subs with the joke script that Whine-Subs included with their release. I have no idea how long they will continue with this trend, nor will I really know how effective this will be for the entirety of the show since apparently no one knows how long it's going to be, but I hope they keep doing joke scripts for this anime forever. It's that good. I mean it. Dark_Sage's special brand of humor hits hard and it hits us right in our corrupt otaku feels with lines such as "Tastes like stick" or "Hey, chillax, my nigs" or "[radio edit] yeah, fortune cookie!". No one cared that roughly a quarter of the translation was being lost in the process because it made us laugh so hard, and for the right reasons this time. The key to making a great joke script is making sure people understand the plot while making fun of the places where the dialogue is obviously filler. I firmly believe that they did a great job with this release because of how well it was received in club. Here's to hoping that they continue to do this.

Addendum

Future posts this quarter will focus on people and general behaviors of anime club itself rather than audience reactions to episodes we've already seen. This is mostly preliminary information to get you guys to understand the feel of anime club.

It mostly fell square on my shoulders to make a lineup for that night's showings. The president came up to me later to commend me on my excellent taste. Take that, internet.

This post brought to you by the Tamako Market ED. Mawaru mawaru record~

You may have noticed that the language here is a bit redundant. That's because I'm still establishing the context over at my other blog.
Posted in Anime on Jan 14 2013, 12:21 AM · 1 comment
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