Omonomono Newsletter

While I’m sitting home, working from home, and eventing from home under this COVID-19 scheme of things, the world keeps on ticking. Just because life may have paused somewhat for me, the world has not. Which is just to say, I feel like this blog could use a change.

I thought about doing a newsletter type format thing for this blog for a while now, and maybe that makes more sense. Of course, to make a proper email newsletter, it’s a different type of syndication. I will probably still post the letters on this site for posterity sake. It is going to have a similar voice.

Nonetheless a newsletter format of journaling seems a bit more appropriate for the things I’m thinking about. It takes a lot of time to germinate ideas worth the while for public posting, and then survive the iterative review I do. It’s not like my unpublished draft count is going down… Only a portion of what I write is gets published in the end, no matter how stream-of-conscious the rambling gets. I don’t have a formal clipboard process but that might change as a result?

In short, below is an example from this week. I’m not committed to a set schedule, but I’ll aim for a weekly schedule. I’ll post them in the emails at least, and probably on the blog too, as I go. You can subscribe to it by entering your email below. At some point those emails will go out, when I figure out how this works anyways. Meanwhile I’ll post them on the site for now.

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Prima Doll and the War on Terror

Key and Visual Art created this multimedia franchise called Prima Doll. It has some popular voice actresses in the Japanese release of the anime. It’s quite amusing to me, because it takes some staple moe otaku tropes, add Visual Art’s tried and true value props, and shoop it on top of this post-war world-story that resembles Steampunk Taisho (in other words, Sakura Taisen’s setting) and features these androids and war robots as well as other robotic humanoids doing various things. I guess at one point in the past they all went crazy so they’re now outlawed in the country the story takes place in?

Spoilers ahead for Prima Doll anime.

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Stepsister Ex Is Mid Light Novel Culture

My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex, which is also Mamahaha no Tsurego ga Motokano datta, or Tsurekano for short, is exactly what it says it is. It’s a light novel about the main characters becoming step-siblings who were dating just half a year ago. The amusing thing about this series is that the anime adaptation had all the trappings, except not really.

It’s probably a better question as to what do people think of a story like this without first reading it, in anime form? What do they expect? It isn’t exactly surprising to find, 10 episodes or so in, that Tsurekano broached themes like “can you have truly platonic cis male-female friendships” and exploring the limits of intimacy between non-romantically involved couples. Or the more amusing framing that I like to take, which is what is the difference between best friends and lovers? Ever see those obnoxious Jared jewelry ads? But if you asked myself 3 months back, I would not have had guess this outcome from a series titled as such.

What’s really lovely about Tsurekano is how it’s really about two introverted bookworms who approach their romances very much in the same way, and while the same standard tropes are not exactly missing in action, the way they play up is basically exactly the opposite of what you typically see in this type of anime and manga. It captures a lot of the cuteness you imagine that could happen in this sort of setup, and turn it around and make it hostage for the romantic tension, or the lack thereof, the story tries to create.

I guess, it can be boring? There are no sticks to slap, as the term goes. I think the verbal humor can really get hefty, especially having to deal with a J->E translation in process. The female lead in the story goes through this development process from a timid middle schooler into this stereotypical popular honor student type as the characters enter high school and reunited by their parents’ situation. In all, it is almost mundane. The male lead goes through a similar process but they do not really explain his motivations, if anything, it’s the dull, smoldering heat that drives the whole engine. The mundane everyday that cloaks the story is almost is as good of an example of actual light novel culture as practiced by human beings as anything else, given how much both of them live and is surrounded by such things.

I did title this post and called Tsurekano “mid” and that is because this is the ultimate callout for blogs and writers like myself. In a recent episode Tsurekano named dropped I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, which is only too appropriate. Now that’s high light novel culture, the kind of writing that Tsurekano never wants to become, and also never can surpass. But that’s also the whole point. If you are tried of renting girlfriends, tutoring your future wives, or dating influencers, maybe give this a try.

Omonomono Newsletter, August 23 Update

One letter a month is too infrequent for my liking but I’m not putting in the time so I’m not sure I can get any better. What’s a good frequency?

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Omonomono Newsletter, 2022-08-23

See you at Anisama? I’m going to Japan again, after this blank of 2.5 years or so. Although I will only be there for about 4-5 days, it would be great to meet up with anyone who I’ve not seen for some time.

Otherwise, yeah, the usual dog days of summer, work, churning into this season of anime, churning into baseball (grats to Tohoku’s first Koshien winner), and accumulating quality family time.

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Otakon 2022: Wrap

It’s really nice to get back to my “home” convention and run through it as if nothing happened since 2019. I enjoyed the humid Chesapeake Bay summer as much as I ever could enjoy…humidity. Otakon was packed to the gills with things to do in 2022 and things I wanted to do, even if much of it is just hanging out. On top of seeing some old timers that I haven’t since, I would chalk it up as a great time, if too short time all together.

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