Another Forced Interrogation

What the hell do I care if my blog is flooded with meta posts? I haven’t had an image to cling to since 2010, man. It’s not like I’m gonna give my buddy ak a post response, only to snub my buddy schneider. So here’s more questions.

(Not to mention I love answering questions; infinitely moreso when they’re asked by someone I care about.)

1. Do you have anime that you want to watch, but couldn’t? What is this anime, and why can’t you watch it? (It should exist.)

Schneider’s response indicates that this is meant to be a show which I literally couldn’t watch because of unavailability or lack of subs.

Four years ago, I tried to watch Giant Gorg, which I found two episodes of on youtube. (If I remember correctly, they were dubbed.) It caught my interest, but no more of it was available at the time. At Otakon that year, I’d attended an “Old Dude” anime panel, where these three really old otaku were talking about all their wild otaku adventures over the decades. I mentioned Giant Gorg in a question to them, and one of them offered to give me a set of DVDs of the show (I guess he had it on him?). However, I was too shy to approach him afterwards and rushed to the next panel instead. I think Giant Gorg is available in full now, but I haven’t bothered checking it out.

There have been many things like this over the years, where my interest was caught, only to be unable to continue. I made a post earlier this year about the manga Kirarin Revolution, which had a number of translated chapters, but then suddenly was taken over by the manga equivalent of babblefish subs. This has happened no shortage of times when it comes to manga especially.

That post also reminded me of the ultimate one: Kesson Shoujo, the Bikko manga by Romantic Fool. Everyone knows about it, but no one’s been able to read it. Supposedly, of the limited volumes in existence, the author does not own any, and no one who claims to have a copy is willing to break the binding and scan it. This is among the most legendary cases of a work being completely unavailable to anyone, yet tons of people are aware of it and making asstons of fanart of it. (I even tried to do a Bikko doujinshi with c2switch once, but it fell through.)

I could go on like this, especially with manga and doujinshi. The funniest to me are manga which I actually had a hand in scanslating and still can’t finish. I proofread a handfull of chapters of Deus x Machina, which I was reading, but I ended up dropping from the slow-moving project because the chapters would be translated out of nowhere and I’d be too lazy to work on them. The series is complete in Japan and still moving at a completely sporadic rate in scanslation. There’s also Nekogami Yaoyorozu, which I led the scan effort for myself, but the girl who was translating for me said she’d do chapter two, then never contacted me about it again.

2. What things would you like every anime fan to know?

Every person who works on anime has their own position, and while it can be confusing to figure out exactly who did what, it makes a huge difference to be aware of these things. Each person leaves their own mark on the work, and you’ll never truly be able to talk about who made an anime good or bad for what reasons without knowing this stuff.

Everything changes in a studio on a fluid basis. If you wonder why a studio does great work sometimes and shitty work at other times, check the staff. It’s very possible that the studio is broken up into many sub-studios that have their own personalities entirely, yet put out their work under one banner. It’s possible that half of the studio defected elsewhere, and was replaced with new people right before the new show started.

If two anime are very similar, it’s extremely likely that the same people were involved in both. Even though RahXephon was made by Studio Bones, and Evangelion was made by GAINAX, the two shows share a ton of writers, episode directors, and other staff, which is why they have so many similarities.

The careers of anime creators can go all over the place. Everyone starts somewhere, most move around a lot, and studios aren’t always static. Most of the big anime writers and directors of today got their start working on kids’ shows. Moreover, they make friends and connections which sometimes follow them throughout their career.

The producer probably doesn’t know why the writer chose certain names for the characters, or why this and that appeared in the background of X scene. The director might not know what inspired your favorite line in episode five. It’s possible that the writer finished writing the show years before it was produced. These people all know their own part of the process, and their own input. Ask them about their own work!

Animators especially go a lot between studios. There are some studios which genuinely produce high-quality animation across the board (Kyoto Animation), but when it comes to your average late-night anime, the best-looking scenes are probably the responsibility of freelance animators who work on all sorts of shows each season. Look into it.

There aren’t a ton of resources out there for keeping track of creators, but it’s doable. Anime News Network usually has pretty good staff lists for shows, and more and more 2channel posts about this kind of thing are being translated. All of it helps. Most of everything on Ani no Miyako and The Vanishing Trooper Incident is a must-read.

3. What show needs to have more fans? And why doesn’t it have many fans in the first place?

(Keeping to stuff in my canon)

Canaan was a great show, but thanks to mood dissonance between episodes and a plot that didn’t make much sense, many people ended up hating it.

Sora no Woto didn’t net as much audience as it could have because many serious fans were distracted by the moe designs and the relaxed plot progression, whereas moe fans were turned off by mood dissonance in later episodes.

Strike Witches, while well-liked by an intimate fanbase, will never get the recognition it deserves because of its insistence on pantsless girls and dumb fanservice. It is nonetheless an amazing popcorn action movie.

Kyouran Kazoku Nikki scared off many viewers early with its awkward character designs and constant mood-whiplash. It turned out to use mood-whiplash really well across the series, and was a very good show about family.

Alien Nine is an awesome OVA that straight-up not many people have heard of. Riding Bean is similarly a great OVA which won’t get much recognition today because it’s a 90s pulp thing that is very 90s. It’s overshadowed by Gunsmith Cats, which saw US release and attention.

Kuuchuu Buranko is an excellent feel-good arthouse show that for some reason didn’t get the kind of attention that other artsy Noitamina shows get.

Mugen no Ryvius is one of the most well-made anime of all time, but seems to go way under the radar thanks to largely mediocre and mixed reviews from the time of its release, and because it was released before the anime boom, then overshadowed by everything else in the boom when it saw US release.

Seikon no Qwaser. Holy shit.

Texhnolyze probably deserves to not have much of a fanbase because it’s brutally difficult to watch. It’s a show for masochists and artfags.

There gets to be a point, though, where telling what shows are actually recognized isn’t easy. You have to parse it between what’s recognized in Japan, what’s recognized in the fandom subset which we occupy, and what’s recognized in the greater Western fandom.

I still consider MyAnimeList to be the best metric for this because it has a good balance across the subsets, and its results appear to make the most sense.

4. What wouldn’t you mind seeing in any anime? To rephrase: what makes everything better?

I’m usually pretty stoked when lesbians appear in anything. They don’t always do much to improve a show, but they almost never work to its detriment. I also can’t ever complain about sakuga animation. It’s always a good thing.

5. What’s the most unpopular opinion you have? What kind of flak did you receive for it?

It’s really hard to determine what is *the* most unpopular opinion I have, nor even the one I’ve caught the most flak for. I’ve caught so much flak over the years (this is, btw, a subtle gay joke involving lolikitsune), I don’t know where to begin. I remember getting flak for liking Astarotte no Omocha and insisting that it was good, which is about the most recent one. I’ve caught plenty of flak over loli and fanservice shows in the past. I’ve also caught flak over glorifying lots of “otaku” lifestyle choices. On a lighter note, ak won’t stop giving me flak over my KonataXKagami pairing, but that’s hardly unpopular.

I feel disconnected from all of this, because I don’t feel strongly about anything these days. The only people still giving me flak are trolls. I don’t think I’m the controversial blogger anymore that I once was.

That wraps up the questions from Schneider! If I get tagged yet again, I’ll do it all again!

9 thoughts on “Another Forced Interrogation

    • I think the blogger that set it up said it ends on september 1st, so as to prevent this endless eight scenario. i’ll answer your questions soon..

  1. Can you recommend me some good blogs about Sakuga animation ??? I always find them interesting to read. Aside that, I agree with you that Canaan and Astarotte no Omocha are a bit overlooked.

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