Yes, this is a rant, or a tangent, at least. I can’t really pick a concise topic due to the nature of my blog as being a place where I just talk about anime in general, and since my life is pretty much “anime and school” there’s a lot to talk about.
So, where to start? I watched Gankutsuou this past weekend, having seen 16 eps previously but going back to watch it all at once. If you’ve seen it, I probably can’t say much to you, and if you haven’t I won’t spoil anything. To call it the most incredible visual experience ever might be an understatement and saying it had the best special effects ever might be a rushed statement, but that’s how I feel. All around, it’s something not to be missed if you take anime seriously.
Oh snap! Was that a topic I just cleverly segued into? Taking anime seriously is something I do to an extent and something I’d like to gauge in the people I talk to sometimes. There are many reasons to watch anime, and two people watching for different reasons will have a hard time agreeing with or understanding each other I think. It’s not so much about genre, because there are anime that will simply please every kind of viewer, but there are also those that plain won’t. I haven’t given this subject quite the thought in order to categorize the people who watch anime, but I’ve got some ideas like ‘people who watch to be entertained’ or ‘people who want to find a deeper meaning’ or ‘people looking to the medium’s artistic expression’ and of course, some people want all of these things.
I’m more than sure that there are people who watched NHK and found it funny, some found it reflective, some found it sad, and I thought about it too much. I rewatched NHK over the last 3 days as a reaction to the ADV incident which seems to have washed away already and found it to be as good as I remembered. That’s great, because after so long and having read the extremely great novel, I had a very blurred memory of the anime but was thinking I wouldn’t like it as much the second time because of the extreme difference from the superior novel. However, I was wrong, and instead found the show and novel to sort of be on level if only because their messages really were the same even if portrayed differently, and either road is fine for getting the point across.
What I did find interesting was that I seem to have accepted the morals as a fact of life, finally. After years of reading and rereading Boogiepop and Others, watching and reading NHK, and having seen Hitohira, broken down after Manabi, and being sobered by Niea_7, I was rather used to the idea that every time I was reminded of the dark nature of the future, I would become depressed. Most of those things I experienced at times of great indecision in my life, however now that I saw NHK again it was not so much depressing as inspiring. Even if you realize that the ending is ultimately sad, you can still take joy in it just by seeing the smile on Misaki and Satou’s faces.
Of course, it helps that I watched Lain again recently, and know the way the ending really would have been. It’s honestly a kind of unrelated subject from the other shows I mentioned as far as the theme goes, only connected by the fact that both deal directly with society. And overall, the fact that two shows perceive society differently means they are different, and Lain is surely different, plus more up my alley. I’m not going to sit here and talk about my perception of reality, but if you watch this show and think about it in anywhere near the same context I did, you will probably feel the same way about it.
So, what do I watch anime for? I will say that I always try to look at everything that an anime is. When I decide what it is, I won’t be picky about it, though. Say I decide a show is, in fact, thoroughly shallow. I will accept it as such, but it’s not like that determines my enjoyment. If I see the show as deep, it only means it’s deep. Some people probably think that sounds obvious, but when I loaned Boogiepop Phantom to a friend he had the nerve to skip an episode and refuse to watch it. I know that he liked the show, but I can’t possibly accept that he really saw it on the level I did, nor did so with the novels.
That isn’t a bad thing. I don’t mind that someone else read Boogiepop and Others as a good but “kind of boring” supernatural horror story, but of course he won’t have the same opinion of it as I do, seeing it as the ultimate culmination of societarial fact and emotional journey. Perception and reason are still two different things, though.
I watch a LOT of anime. But overall, the ones I enjoy are ones that teach me something, and that lesson can be anything. It can even just be ‘yes, this exists’ but when I see it, I will be happy. ef gave me a new definition of story, inspiration, art, direction, and so much more, so I love it. However, Hatenkou Yuugi has shallow plots, an episodic nature, and uninspired animation, but you’d be hard-presseed to find better dialogue or more fun characters in any other anime.
Sometimes, I forget what I’ve learned and need to rewatch something. Occasionally, I’ll even realize upon rewatching that there is something I need to study. However, with every lesson I gain from anime, I feel like the entire medium grows in importance for me, and I can’t tell you how great it is to add a new show to my top 10, even if it makes me only question how far I’ve come, showing me how much more is still out there.
A week ago, I got my friend to hack into my computer and IP ban me from otakuboards.com because I used to go there too much, and I’ve since watched a lot more anime, having had more time. However, as always, it’s less than I schedule myself for, haha! today I was to go back to the start of Blue Drop and watch the whole thing. While it’s good again, I don’t really feel like I’m in the mood for it. Mostly this is because of my getting a little involved in the annual Anime Grand Prix on Megatokyo’s Forum which left me in an odd mood. I am very poor at disagreeing with people, because I like my opinion a lot. For me, anime is my life and my opinions are my everything. I spend a lot of time recommending things to people and such just trying to get them to see wh
I see, because it is my dream for people to feel the same way I do about things. However, a contest literally forces yourself to disagree with people, and more often than not, they aren’t actually able to be convinced away from their opinion, which just tends to piss me off.
However, right after watching many great series in a row, I really feel the need to be moved by something and inspired. Part of my reason for giving myself extra time was to get started on a project of my own, but I’m still at a little bit of a standstill deciding which direction to go in. I just need to find a way to convince myself of something new.
On another note, my new time has gotten me to return to gaming somewhat. On Saturday I bought No More Heroes and GrimGrimoire which I’ve been meaning to get for a long time, only convincing myself I’d never end up playing it. I’m near the end of No More Heroes which is pretty great. It’s the first Wii game I’ve ever gotten into. There was a small amount of disappointment because I kind of expected it to be the OMG greatest game ever, but what there is is still great fun and entertainment. It is definitely a game that begs you to play it more than once, which I may end up doing, which is very rare for me outside the occasional handheld.
If do get back into gaming, I’ll be sure to incorporate that into this blog. If only because the video game industry doesn’t see enough variety to have as unique interests as I do in anime in music.
(holy crap, I didn’t have a boogiepop tab?) (or an ef one? WTF?)