Should I put a [sic] there? I guess not. Anyway, Oreimo season 2 web radio has this corner where they are reading international fan mail. So it’s really neat. What’s even more awesome is how the web radio page got a translation so you can just waltz over and type in nonsense and hit submit. I think it would be great if all the oversea viewers of OreImo got to send their messages to the radio show.
To do it right, I think you also need to try a few things.
If you have some Japanese ability, try to write your message in Japanese. It’s okay to use terrible Japanese if you are a legit gaijin, and I think it’s kind of a good thing, as that gives them something to talk about. But it’s also impressive if your written Japanese is top notch.
Approach the message like a letter. Write a “Dear Miss Taketatsu and Miss Hanazawa” in there or something. It’s okay to close with “sincerely yours” but it’s probably not as important as the initial bit of the letter. It’s tempting to treat it like an internet blog comment, but this is a radio show still, folks.
Include where you are from in the letter. And generally stick to topic.
Additionally if you can handle listening to the previous episodes (well, just ep 2 and 3), give it a spin and hear what they say about the segment to give you an idea what to write.
I ended up using machine translated text. Great thing about Google’s web interface is that it has text-to-speech, so I can translate the text and hit playback to at least make sure what I wrote sounds okay, even if I can’t read it.
Most of these tie-in radio shows are pre-recorded, and so is this one. New episodes come out twice a month on alternating Thursdays (Japan time), but it makes me think that they’re recorded at the same time. At least, given episodes 1 and 2. I’m guessing if we submit comments to the show today, it probably won’t show up in the next week’s episode.
I think this is a great way to show that oversea fans can represent. They’re asking for it. Let’s give it to them.
I was listening to this at some point before my trip in which the interviewee, a internet-popular personality defines meme as an idea that passes through generations a way DNA does, but just faster. Then I thought about Jojo.
I viewed Jojo TV marathon-style, but in sprints. The first 6 episodes I took it weekly, then I watched like 7-14 in one shot, and then 15 to the end after maybe a 3-month gap. I thought it worked well, except that the last chunk of it I was kind of just plowing through while half-tired and jetlagged, on a plane.
Feeling tired while watching the climatic end to Jojo made it a little less dramatic. But watching it marathon style does nothing to hide the feeling that the same formula in which the same kind of thing happens in the first arc was used in the second arc. Maybe it’s a good way to see how the 1800s isn’t so different than the 1900s. I don’t know if it’s true or not, at least when it comes to the content of our heroes’ hearts and the curse of the super-species of man that started eons ago.
It feels like memes are the anachronism for the future? Like, it is both a pot mark in the past in which the future can “understand” (eg., via name dropping) and also a way in which the future can connect to the past (eg., generational). It’s just the vantage point differ, since there’s that arrow of time and all.
I really enjoyed Gargantia episode 5. It’s got fine girls in skimpy bikinis (Hanaharu wau), giant robots, ocean-side BBQ, a light-hearted aero-plane race, a foot chase up a spiral tower, high-vantage landscape shots (complete with water-umbrella-rainbow-all-that-jazz), unconventional use of beyond-high-tech, fine weather, sunshine, relaxing in the shade, girl talk, retro scuba suits, teasing the AI, sauce, party, and this:
 This episode gets to the heart of Gargantia, and its true meaning as a statement of sociopolitical solidarity with Japan’s young generation of much-maligned NEETs and freeters. Urobuchi has said the show was intended as a statement for these young people about to enter the world.
And frankly, it’s a little too on the nose. It’s not even subtle.
Here’s Ledo, poor guy finding himself uncertain about his life for the first time. He’s been raised in a strict, regimented educational system that prioritizes efficiency and is dedicated to only one thing: passing exams, er, killing space monsters. But in this new world, vaporizing people is looked down upon. He has his Master’s Degree in Space Monster Vaporization and it’s completely unsuited to the needs of the post-wormhole economy.
And on top of the unemployment he’s saddled with massive debt he doesn’t even begin to know how to pay off. Sure he has some neat technological gizmos that allow him to do cool things, but what can he *himself* do? He’s not sure, and it seems that no matter where he looks on the ship, there’s no place for him.
I think it’s not even subtle since the beginning. And for people watching anime this way, it’s not the first time we’ve seen a show that served this up like that roasted hog with an apple in its face. It’s been a while since people are cheeky enough to adopt post-bubble philosophies into their stories–probably in the early-mid 00s.
For the sake of completeness, please read this from our dear Butch, who too had to struggle to make a living and get to the point he is in his own career. I suppose he’s just enjoying the fruit of his labor!
What do you hope people take away from the experience of watching Gargantia?
For the Japanese audience, I would like “young people who are about to enter society” to take the message, “Don’t worry. Try. You can do it”. For the larger audience in the world, I want them to have the message, “Whatever could happen, we, human beings, will be alright. If we all together open the path, the future will always be ahead of us”.
Looks like they really want to get that message across. That said, Murata is probably a good reason why the show has such a positive vibe.
If opinions are figures, then narratives are molds and 4chan is like, I don’t know, Native or something. ANN would be like Kotobukiya where they are steady and yet erratic. There would be no Good Smile Company.
The recent FREE “Swimming Anime” thing (seetheseposts for an idea) makes me realize a few things about looking at the story about women and JP home video sales. I think it’s safe to say that if you take 1000 units sold of any given anime, you will find at least one unit purchased by a woman, and one purchased by a man.
The best data to refute people who say women don’t buy anime is to just restate that assertion (and it’s not backed up by any facts, mind you) in the form of “So all 310 thousand people who bought Eva Q have neckbeards that would have made Toren Smith proud?” What I’m trying to say is to appeal to people’s native sense to statistics. One in 310,000 is pretty damn small odds. A hundred in 310,000 is still pretty damn small. But how about a hundred thousand in 310,000? Just how many people who bought Eva Q are of the XX chromosome? I don’t know.
And the truth is, anyone making these kind of assertions don’t know. So we can only guess. And if you guess, you’re really just having fun on the internet playing a guessing game. What I find is that if someone has some ulterior agenda besides playing the armchair anime producer game, their inquiries will vary by a lot. For most, even the bros furthering the “girls don’t buy anime” narrative, they don’t deviate from this mold. Maybe that’s okay. It just means they will be off their game because they want to stick a round peg into their preferred holes shaped like “girls don’t buy anime.” Maybe they can get away with enough strength of persuasion, but there will also be a better rebuttal. And invariably their arguments are not completely wrong, just wrong enough that they should know better.
I think there is more to the numbers than that though. For one, it is very difficult to categorize anime in a way that illustrates what is “made for girls” and what isn’t. Let alone what is made for whoever. Truth is far majority of anime out there have crossover demand. I mean duh, anime that panders to both males and females, on paper, will sell more than anime that panders to only male or females, given equal everything else. This is why I don’t watch Gintama, but lots of girls do. That is also why I don’t watch Gintama, but lots of guys do, too. I mean, what is this? Who buys Fate/Zero? And what is Fate/Zero marketed to? Why are there four seasons of Marimite? Even FREE–it might appease the sakuga otaku if it comes across as top-notch animation. And most sakuga otaku are proably guys. Probably. Does this mean this anime sells to girls? Who knows? Who can know? All we know is that the promo material feels very much like fanservice for girls.
And more importantly, what is anime made for girls? How is that different than anime that is made for girls, but guys can also enjoy? And how is that different than, simply, One Piece, Naruto, or most Jump titles? Does the DVD/BD divide matter? Do clock-shows work on a different framework? How about movies and ONA and OAVs? Can we extrapolate from manga or light novel sales figures and breakdowns?
I think that’s the kind of questions I would like answers for. It is the logical next step.
My own narrative on this is more about how the late-night otaku-targeting anime system is still relatively new (circa 1997) and while there has always been anime made primarily for women as the audience (to the exclusion of men of any age), shows like FREE belong to a newer breed that uses the late-night otaku anime format. It might not be a notable difference to the audience but it’s a notable thing when it comes to the business end, and this is partly where it shows in terms of Kyoto Animation doing it as a new type of committee based on an original concept. Thing is, anime of this kind is a growing scene, and we should expect more titles season after season in the near term. Maybe they’re just trying to head off a new trend.
It still doesn’t explain why I like Tsuritama. Or why I don’t think KyoAni’s original titles have really found any real lift.
On the flip side, if I was a producer for FREE I would probably care less if girls or guys buy the show–as long as people buy the show. The information only helps to focus marketing and pitch any subsequent production. Which is why it would be great if 4chan/a/ decide to post pictures of broken Blu-rays as if their Waifu Animation Studio got impure. And also why, in the end, demographic doesn’t really matter. It’s just one more thing to obfuscate the truth (if such thing exist) as to what will sell. Given Kyoto Animation’s track record, everything they makes will sell pretty okay. Even Nichijou.
I think I can make 99 jokes based on FREE, the newly announced Kyoto Animation project. This TV anime will hit the airwaves in July 2013. It’s roughly the same anime people have been clamoring for since the Animation Do KyoAni commercial of the same subject matter aired a couple months ago. Today, the characters have names, voice acting, and are part of some story.
I don’t know, really. After Tamako Market I’m definitely skeptical about another original Kyoto Animation work. I still like/am biased towards original works, so I’ll definitely be watching it when it comes out, even if the visual signals are clearly saying it’s not for me. And it isn’t as if Tamako Market was not fun to watch; just nothing special short of that one episode.
As for the ongoing discourse, to put it broadly, it’s all about Kyoani putting their foot down on female-targeting fanservice. There’s a lot of different reactions out there actually, but what is kind of amusing and bothersome at the same time is the meta-ness of it. There are probably more blog posts and reactions about people who might be against this manflesh anime pandering than actual complaints about the anime, let alone complaints about the anime being manflesh pandering. I’m sure there’s a healthy contingent of whiners, those so-called moe otaku or whatever, but isn’t that true for just any other anime out there? Shouldn’t all this complaints be characterized in a way where it’s normalized against some average? At this point it feels like people are just having fun against a strawman, and yeah, arguing against a strawman is pretty fun.
The way I see, it’s a simple formula of KyoAni fanbase clashing with the truth that there are probably a helluva lot of girls actually working at Kyoto Animation, slaving away at your Hyouka or Chuu2Koi, and now they are doing a project that flies their flags, so to speak. That goes against the typical work Kyoani has produced, so naturally some people are kind of irked. Like all those people hoping for a Full Metal Panic work. (Funny thing is you can’t even really makefun of these guys (at least not full bore) because FMP is at least a cut above, say, an eroge adaptation). I like this–this flag flying–because people tend to draw their best when they draw stuff they like. But, really, just how many girls are working at Kyoani today? Why do I get the impression there are a lot of them?
To take even a bigger step back, I feel this is just an anime hipster kind of thing to do. It’s like there’s this overarching dialog over there in the video game scene about women and sexism, and anime peeps are just making their own version up, in a monkey-see-monkey-does kind of way. I mean, it’s too disingenuous to even call it prosecution. It’s just silly. It doesn’t even address any of the core issues, or real issues involved.
For one, this is about fanservice. It’s clearly not about moe (or anti-moe or whatever). Yet moe gets flagged, why?
Second, more people need to watch Tsuritama. Or KimiBoku. It’s not otaku entertainment if it doesn’t have discourse, and without familiarity of the discourse I don’t know if you can really make sense of it. Like a good doujinshi, it needs context, it’s from fans, to fans. You really get a nice dose of it in the promo material for FREE. In fact I think that’s part of the problem–so far the various promos offer little in terms of what the show will be like besides the fanservice part. There are high schoolers swimming, and…?
To circle back about fanservice and moe, I think maybe it’s more about misidentifying Kyoani fandom? There was all this hoopla about Little Buster and Air and Kanon, after all. I think it’s just yet another chapter in KyoAni’s varied history–from Munto to the Kanon remake to Haruhi-isms to Yamakan. Now this.
And like every misleading narrative, it distracts attention from real issues, like the regularly-issued bomb threats for Kuroko’s Basketball events, or, well, Kyoto Animation hasn’t been able to do an original anime to make a living off of. Will whining about whiners whining about the homoerotic undertones or manflesh or whatever of Free, change any of it? Or improve the lives of women interacting with anime? Doubtful, unless you count the good feels those tumblr campaigns or laughing at internet strawmen bring home. It’s normal for guys (especially nerds) to get squeamish about the naked body; it’s not normal for BL doujin events to get canceled because of bomb threats. I think it’s just sad when people can’t get that straight.