Escapism: You’re doing it wrong

November 27, 2007 on 10:55 pm | In Anime Industry News, Anime Scene, Anime Writing, Site News | 2 Comments

Witnessing the horror that is the turmoil in the anime industry today, I came to a realisation about myself: my reason for watching anime seems to have changed. Having very little to concern myself with in my personal life at the moment (I mean that I have no inner turmoils, not that I’m a blank sack of potatoes), I realised that I’m watching anime to escape from anime.

With a DVD in hand – and I’ve got literally hundreds of them unwatched – I have a hermetically sealed universe: a pact between myself and the series, divorced from any outside influence. For twenty minutes at a time, I don’t have to worry about the fact that Geneon died in the US, and that people are killing each other over “dorama” on the internet (and the fact that they get a cheap thrill simply from the act of typing “dorama”). I’m living for the moment with my DVDs, feeling free to cry, yell, or shake my fists at whatever developments throw themselves at me. Obviously the internet has been fairly indispensable in the development of my direction, but I feel a disenfranchisement that cannot attach myself to it for too long. I like interacting with other anime people, but only to a degree. Going to a convention is rather akin to going to a horror show, except I’m not the one kicking people and performing “Singin’ in the Rain”. I think that the second my brain imploded, beyond all of the shouts of “yaoi power!”, was when I was in Melbourne for Manifest, either ’04 or ’05, and a fat girl in a costume asked to get by me by saying “sumimasen”. These are not my people. These are not people at all.

The reasons I don’t watch fansubs right now are transparently simple: discounting the fact that I really prefer having something tangible to show for my efforts, my computer presently isn’t strong (or conveniently located) enough to warrant the effort, and all of my favourite shows when I was on the circuit appeared to be the ones that would receive the least attention from the fansubbers. For example, Angel Heart has been over for more than a year but the subs are only up to episode 42. I like having an entire series on DVD to devour at my own arbitrary pace rather than someone else’s.
I loved being part of the “blogosphere”, much as I hated that word – and now it looks like it’s been overtaken by 4chan, and a common language has been murdered by bastardisations like “weeaboo”, “copypasta” and that ilk. These are concepts that remove the need for independent thought and encourage a hive mind of unpleasantness; scientific research has proven that people who use “lulz” in all seriousness are more likely to make me cry at the state of humanity – and also to threaten people with planted child pornography, ignoring the fact that they would have to have obtained it in the first place.
I know for a fact that there’s still a lot of good stuff going on, but even as I’ve emerged from yet another personal shell, I’ve regressed back to a man, a DVD and a TV when it comes to anime. I’ll share my results with you, don’t get me wrong – I know that some readers like the past, too! – and I’ll try, oh Lord, I’ll try … to participate a bit outside of my bunker, too.

So I’ve got no answers to the current quandary. Depressing though it may be that a good ship like Geneon has sunk (this site was started on Pioneer, dangit), I can only take comfort in the knowledge that I have my DVDs, and they sure as heck can’t be taken from me. That being said, I either expect a fire, flood, or DVD plague to hit my house. I’ll continue to report back to you from the battlefield that is paid-for anime, and I hope you’ll either start, continue or resume reading. Over the Summer, I will learn discipline in writing, and you will learn … love. Or double your money back.

Come sail away with me, you guys.

Watch Renaissance!

September 22, 2006 on 12:34 am | In Site News | Comments Off on Watch Renaissance!

Hello there! The movie Renaissance opens in America on September 22nd, and I advise that you see it.

I have written very briefly about it here: Renaissance. More importantly, I’ve put up a trailer which shows to some extent the visual intrigue offered by the film.

This is as good a time as any to tell you folks about my other, recently launched log of things on the internet (a “blog”, if you will … but I hate that word with all of my soul): Batrock: VGMM. That’s Australian for “Batrock: Meaningless Acronym”. It covers things that I like that aren’t anime, mainly movies so far. There have been a couple of obscure video game reviews, too, and a mention of Scissor Sisters.

Please treat me well!

PS. Kimagure Orange Road: I Want to Return to That Day soon. Unrelentingly horrible film!

Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong

September 2, 2006 on 11:53 pm | In Site News | 3 Comments

… Can you hear me, Major Tom?

With the second half of semester coming up, I’ve got less time to watch and write, because I don’t want to plunge into last second panics any more. Unless I contradict myself and do otherwise, I will no longer be flooding your aggregators.

In addition to this, my passion for the fansub scene is fading as I grow more and more nostalgic and swim in my pool of DVDs. If you could see how far behind I am on the season, you would weep. The tears would form another pool for me to swim in.

Long story short: I am not going to be writing 51 posts in September 2006.

Gettin’ old fast

July 7, 2006 on 11:17 pm | In Site News | Comments Off on Gettin’ old fast

I finished Dragon Quest, but my G4 died for the second time this year and my internet connection decided to quit. As I haven’t been able to get onto my ISP yet, I have not only not been able to get, say, the final episode of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, I don’t even know how it was received. I don’t feel that bad about missing Honey and Clover II because apparently the first episode was a mere recap, which seems kind of counter-intuitive, particularly for a show with such a large fanbase: a fanbase doesn’t need to be told what happens, they just know.

Hopefully I’ll be back online this weekend with the backlog of stuff I’ve written, but I’ve still got a billion episodes of other stuff to power through. I’d say that I’m free of the clutches of Dragon Quest after 88:45 play time, but there’s an extra quest of some extent as a * file. You know how it is.

Update: Internet is back. Kicking things will commence soon.

Second Around

June 30, 2006 on 11:38 pm | In Site News | Comments Off on Second Around

Watched Nana 11 today. Somehow they managed to make bishounen even more stereotypically bishounen than he already was. I was also disappointed that it featured a fake confession: I hate those.

I wouldn’t normally make several “excuse” posts in a row, choosing instead just to leave the site silent and update in my own good time, but I think this one is important: I didn’t write tonight because I saw Superman Returns. That’s the same reason as last night, if you’re keeping track. Yes, Lois Lane totally goes to the hospital from my office.

Commence regular schedule, and less procrastinating, tomorrow. Unless Dragon Quest eats me. I’m screwed, aren’t I?

Bonus points: For these last three days my computer has been running at dial-up speeds. Our community totally sucks if you’re an interpleb! Then again, you wouldn’t be downloading this stuff anyway, and you almost certainly wouldn’t have the patience to order it from internet stores.

Work is the death of creativity; the workplace is the Return of Superman

June 30, 2006 on 12:33 am | In Site News | 4 Comments

I’ve watched Digimon Savers and Ouran High School Host Club but have not had the time to write anything about them yet. I’ll share three of my notes from the latest Ouran High School Host Club with you, though:


That’s some Ouran for ya right there.

Tonight I saw Superman Returns, which was something near brilliance. It was filmed in the streets surrounding my office, so I could recognise a good deal of the locations. The Metropolis Hospital was directly opposite my office (to the point that you could actually see Lois Lane walking in front of my building), and there was a geographically hilarious car chase which began midway through Martin Place (one street behind my office, and coincidentally where my previous office was and where the “woman in the red dress” sequences from The Matrix were filmed), and ended, after a trip through some streets, at the top of Martin Place.
Don’t even get me started on the earthquake in O’Connell Street – that’s where I buy my candy from! Superman Returns was kind of like going to work for me, except with more explosions and less fatigue.
Anyone else who lives in a big city might be thinking “beh, I recognise locations from my city all the time and don’t care a hoot about it”. When I watch Australian films (what very few there are), I don’t care about the locations. When I watch a film allegedly set in America, or a fantasy version thereof, it’s fun to recognise actual places.

So stop watching anime for a second and go out and make Brandon Routh rich and forgive Bryan Singer for his crappy X-Men aesthetic: he’s finally getting the hang of CG without overblowing it.

Make no promises and break no hearts

June 26, 2006 on 10:43 pm | In Site News | 2 Comments

It appears that I have rented out a corner of the internet in which to post things about anime, and that I have neglected it for the past week. This can be explained by a cocktail of exams and Dragon Quest (the ratio of exams to Dragon Quest is actually quite disturbing).

Apart from two episodes of City Hunter, I have not watched any anime in the last seven days. I’ll see what I can do about getting some stuff into me, but Lord Rhapthorne is just so compelling, dangit.

Oh, in case you were wondering how the exams went: they were a mixed bunch, with the highlight being today’s “Imagining America” subject. It consisted of two essays. My reaction to the first was “Huckleberry Finn, motherbitches!” and the second was “Gangs of New York? I’ll kick you in the face!”
See, writing for Anime Pilgrimage makes you just that good at writing about books and film.

The Battle of the Bulge!

June 12, 2006 on 12:57 am | In Site News | 3 Comments

Due to an assignment on Wong Kar-Wai that I was working on last week (his films are good, you should watch them), I took a little holiday from the anime watching and writing. Then I took a two day break from most of the internet, and it was kind of liberating not checking a computer every five seconds for news of the mark.

On Friday I bought Dragon Quest: Journey of the Cursed King (Dragon Quest VIII to you non-PAL people) and it has proved quite fun so far; I’ve already played it for about 20 hours, which means I could have watched about fifty episodes of anime in such time. The thing that makes me want to mention this fact is not the Toriyama designs, or the godawful dubbing (Look! They hired real British people to play the fantasy land denizens! Except they appear to have had the actors read all of the sentences on different takes and jumbled them altogether, meaning there’s absolutely no flow to the dialogue). No, the fact is sex appeal. The sole heroine of the party, Jessica, can “realise her innate sexiness” if you allocate her stat bonuses well enough.
Furthermore, there is a buxom witch character who had a move called “Puff-Puff”. That’s right: “pafu-pafu”. There’s a screen of birds and so on for the actual puffing bit, but there’s no doubt as to what happens, because the shot cuts after the witch grabs her breasts.
This nefarious attack was carried out against all of my characters. Bandit Yangus and devil-may-care bishounen Angelo grinned stupidly and were unable to battle. Jessica won her own battle of the wills as she was confident in her cleavage.
What happened when this witch tried to use the wiley attack on our hero, Alex?

“Alex is not interested.”

I felt betrayed, like Zapp Brannigan when Kip would not accept the sentence of death by snuu snuu. “What are you, gay?”

So I’ll update tomorrow (technically today), having already “missed” the boat on several key “exclusives” I had going. Keep puffing, everyone.

Brain Exploded. Please stand by.

June 6, 2006 on 9:07 pm | In Site News | Comments Off on Brain Exploded. Please stand by.

Zegapain will be updated when I manage to dig up my thoughts from the void. I’m not quite sure what it all means yet. In the meantime, I’m going to go and watch Mushishi!

A long, long time ago, and I can still remember how the Mushi made me smile …

I’ll do it later: brief insight into what I’m not updating tonight

May 15, 2006 on 10:13 pm | In Site News | Comments Off on I’ll do it later: brief insight into what I’m not updating tonight

Due to a combination of tiredness and an overriding desire to finish Southern Cross tonight, I’ve decided not to prep my images despite having written up most of the episodes I’ve watched today.
Here are my impressions:

Utawarerumono, episode 6: this is becoming uncompelling and silly.
Nana, episode 6: we receive no plot progression and are left with an episode substantially the same as the first with a little taken out and a little added in.
Angel Heart, episode 15: this is more inline with the City Hunter ideals. Slightly inconsistent character modeling, but infinitely better than episode 14.
Ouran High School Host Club, episode 6: Tamaki again shows his compassion and is rewarded with respect but is ultimately stabbed down into the ground.

Full articles tomorrow, possibly with the next installment of my Rose of Versailles series and the conclusion of Southern Cross.
I really need to find more time to power through my DVDs. You know, hoodrat anime.

Update: Just finished Southern Cross. What the eff was that ending, man?

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