What Are You "Otaku" For? (OR How Do You Otaku? You Fight For Otaku, You Plug Otaku In)

Konata scouts for otaku!

Konata scouts for otaku!

As I’m sure everyone in the goddamn universe is aware by now, the phrase ‘otaku‘ as it is used in modern Japanese slang refers to a person who has obsessive interests. The earliest definitive otaku self-declarative work, Otaku no Video, explains how there are anime and manga otaku just as there are special effects otaku, weaponry otaku, and cosplay otaku. While you may cross otaku ‘classes,’ to be an otaku about something, you must be obsessed with it to the point that no matter how you look at it, it’s a major part of your life. You know everything about it, and you are constantly engaging in practices pertaining to it. But while there are a lot of kinds of otakudom that are pretty close to the conventional anime otakudom, such as video gaming and film appreciation, I also know a lot of people who are anime otaku have other, more distant otakudoms. So I’m here to ask, what are you “otaku” for?

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Immersion – Why Talking to Every Person in Town is a Good Idea

I'm sure he'll be psychologically stable later on.....

[Marked spoilers for the first hour or so of Xenogears, but the post isn't about the game]

Immersion is an elusive thing that every writer hopes to accomplish, I would think. When you are immersed in a work, you become connected to it, and you allow it to effect you emotionally. You take in the world that you are witnessing, and, on some level, allow it to become ‘real’, whether you are a participant in it, or a bystander to the events that take place. In any medium, immersion is how a work truly connects to the viewer/reader and becomes a part of them – an actual experience in their life that they will carry with them. But in some ways, it’s up to the consumer how immersed they will get.

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Uncharted: Drake's Fortune Review – Digging For Fun and Striking Gold

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is an incredible cinematic experience in gaming that uses nearly perfect pacing and a superbly fun combat system to offer maximum thrills, memorability, and replay value. It also marks my own return to gaming by being the first game that I’ve ever beaten to 100% completion. The word of the day here is ‘fun’ and Uncharted is ready to show you how it can be had in a great variety of ways.

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My History with Video Games and Favorites

I’m not going to make some kind of wild and insane statement like ‘I’m getting back into video games’ because that’s the kind of thing that is never definite. However, I have accomplished something today that I don’t believe I ever have in a game, and I’ve got time as well as interest in other games as well. Because I didn’t want to clutter an upcoming review with talk about video games in general, I’m making this post instead.

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Kill All the White People! – Blaster Knuckle Review

[BGM: Kill All the White People – Type O Negative]

Have you ever wondered what early Berserk would be like if the Black Swordsman were actually black, the demons he fought were members of the KKK, and the whole thing was set in the American southwest of 1880? Well, Blaster Knuckle is the answer you your questions.

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Andrew Cunningham on Translation vs. Editing and the Importance of Translators

For those who have never heard of Andrew Cunningham, he is a translator who has done such series as the Boogiepop novels, the Kino’s Journey novel, Gosick, Missing, Death Note: Another Note, Goth, Parasyte, XxXHolic Another Holic, and several of the stories in Faust. Cunningham has received massive praise for his work from the few out there available to recognize him, and is one of my personal favorite people around in general (to the point I will pretty much buy anything he translates, and I actually follow his livejournal.) While there is no way to make this a definitive statement, it’s best to just consider Andrew Cunningham the absolute king of Japanese-to-English translation, namely in the light novel department. He is also a member of Eastern Standard, a general anime blog he shares with two others, which used to be a review site.

Long ago, on his LiveJournal, Cunningham made some very insightful and interesting notes on the importance of a translator and the difference between translating and editing. It’s a must-read in my opinion, especially for light novel and video game fans – the last paragraph in particular being something that I cite often. I am reposting this both to spread the word on this as well as to have an easy citation source as opposed to an impossible-to-find livejournal entry.

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Future Diary (Mirai Nikki) Volume One Review – Sick, Breakneck, Modern Psychological Fun

Sakae Esuno‘s Future Diary (or Mirai Nikki as it is known in Japan and still know by most fans) is a psychological thriller that might be one of the best entry points into modern Japenese young adult fiction around. The first volume, which has recently been published in the US by Tokyopop, moves at an insane, whiplash-inducing pace that burns through plot elements, action scenes, character interaction, and emotional development so fast you might not even realize at first that any of it happened. However, whether you have just finished your first blast-through or are turning the pages again for a closer look, there’s no doubt that you’ll find something enticing in the pages of the Future Diary.

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