Dull Sword 4.44 and the Fate of the Acadime Awards

Maybe on my 4th anniversary I’ll post this site’s “version history” lol. (Yes, the numbers actually mean something.) And somehow I keep doing status posts even though I claim to hate them, but I guess it’s always been that way.

 

Art by zero

You’ve probably noticed how this site has been moving farther and farther in an obscure direction, which is a good thing because that’s what I’ve wanted it to do for a long time. (Maybe I’ll finally fulfill my dream of becoming anime kritik.) You guys have made it clear that you support whatever decision I decide to make with this site, so I’m very happy to know that I can make changes without feeling like I’m disappointing someone. Those changes will continue.

The next step for this site is to generalize its anime culture content more. As of now, I post almost solely on anime—before, I covered a broader field, but I tried to narrow it down to just anime last year. This year, I’m broadening it back out again. The trouble with doing that is that I have an established audience who doesn’t care as much about those other things, but I’ve gotten used to posts that no one reads and don’t mind it anymore.

So, I’ll talk a lot more about anime-related light/novels, continue my ongoing seiyuu-fanboying stint, maybe talk about some video games if I ever actually play them, bring manga back, etc. What I’m also considering is integrating the posts from some of my inactive side-blogs into this one so that I can finally shut those ones down. I’ll definitely be doing so for my “secret” manga blog, Is That You, Moatilliatta. Once I import the posts, depending on whether they show up in my feed or not, I’ll make a post linking to them so that you can check them out, since they’ll probably sort themselves out by original date of publication.

UPDATE: Looks like the posts all showed up in my feed LOL

 

Art by yuuki keisuke

While I’m talking about version updates, let me take this opportunity to once again welcome my co-blogger Thoughtcannon whom I’m not entirely sure everyone knows is writing here now lol. He’s already published some great posts here, which I’ve linked to below.

Ai-Pon and Spectrums of Cute

Freezing: Ender’s Game With Tits

Feels Good Man: Spring 2011 (assist)

For those who like to be able to keep up with everything I write (typing that sentence feels surreal knowing that some of you do exist, and I love you guys), here is a list of all the places you can find me right now and what you’ll get there (this site excluded).

Shameful Otaku Secret – I’ve been quite active on Otou-san’s site, where I’ve been posting about current shows, some episodically.

Scarlet Monochrome – Since I’m pushing all anime-related content, no matter how small, to either this site or SOS, Scarmono should become a site entirely for either personal stuff with no connection to anime, or music.

Cirno and Purple Steve – This is a web serial I’ve been posting twice weekly for the past three weeks. I like the way it’s been turning out so far, so if you’re interested in reading some silly experimental short fiction, then by all means give it a go.

Modal Hsoul Productions – Despite existing for about two months, this site is just now becoming active. I’m considering it my main operations hub for all creative works. Currently I’ve been posting short stories there, but it will eventually be linked to all of my future projects, so if you want to follow my writing career, follow this site.

Lately I’ve been focusing mostly on my fiction writing, but it clearly hasn’t detracted all that much from my anime blogging, so no matter what I say, don’t expect this site to go anywhere soon. As for social media outlets, I’m still on indefinite twitter sabbatical and with any luck, I’m never coming back. A lot of people are still contacting me on twitter, so I’m still checking it regularly, but if possible it’d be great if you could contact me through one of the ways mentioned on my about page instead.

 

Art by yukaman

Now, the thing you’re all wondering about: what the fuck is up with the Acadime Awards? Last I mentioned, I promised they were still running, and that was over a month ago and the second post never came out. Well, I did work on a few posts and nearly finished them, but never did finish them, so they never came out. I kept assuring myself I’d get around to it because I don’t want the work of all the contributors to go to waste, but clearly I have no real desire to continue working on the series.

So, instead of doing it properly, I’m just going to post the winners of each category and put up the write-ups from the contributors, and maybe add some other comments of my own in some cases. I apologize again for my being such a huge flake and promise I won’t let something like this happen again.

To those who have not yet completed their write-up or didn’t start because they weren’t sure of the fate of the program, I leave it entirely up to you to decide if you want to still finish. I’m just going to post the completed ones that I’ve received one at a time until I run out, and then I’ll post any others I receive after the fact. The posts can be expected to begin as early as tomorrow.

And, that’s all for now. Once again, I’d like to thank everyone who’s still reading me through this period of relative obscurity, and will be happy to see some of you follow the many other writing projects I’ve got going on as well.

My Sword Can’t Possibly Be This Dull: The Inaugural Post!

(Scroll for actual Ore no Imouto content~)

No, seriously.

Yes! The hiatus is over! Rejoice! This was by far the longest I’ve ever been down. Digital Boy’s Anime Blog/Euphoric Field/Fuzakenna!/My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull has been around for nearly four years and suffered three major drags: first in June of 07 when I stopped watching anime for a month; next, two and a half weeks in January 08, which felt like forever; things got a lot more consistent last year when I *almost* reached 365 posts, but the gears rusted until they jammed over the course of 2010.

I simply ran out of things to say. At this point, I’ve exhausted all the broad concepts I can think of. Things that would’ve made a full post in the past can now be condensed into 140 or 280 or 420 characters. My personal life has been completely shoved over to tumblr. Eventually, the well ran dry, so I took up my shovel and dug until I hit oil.

So why the name and site change?

In early 2009, I was faced with graduating high school and having to enter the world. In my naive and desperate mind I thought, “what if I could turn anime blogging into a career?” I also wanted a better page design than what WordPress offered, so I bought hosting and a domain name (very cheaply, I might add.) Eventually, I realized that nothing was marketable about my blog and that my web design sense was shit, and by now, I don’t feel the need to make a statement with my blog anymore. Plus I kept crashing the host server, so I had to hide some posts and shrink my front page.

The first idea to change hosts came when I set up a different blog using wordpress and discovered the Under the Influence theme, which didn’t exist “back in my day.” I thought “fuck, if this theme had existed back then, I never would’ve had to buy hosting!” (Not true, back then I wanted a three-column, elastic layout, but whatever.) Feeling like I was wasting money on a blog that was ugly and hard to maintain, I came back to wordpress.

I wanted to change the name because I do so at every opportunity. If you were reading me when this was Euphoric Field, you might remember how I changed the full name constantly to things like “Euphoric Field ~Suspended Animation Dreams~” and “Euphoric Filed ~ULTRA BEATDOWN~”. (I stopped when I realized it was fucking up my google ranking.) However, Fuzakenna was such a perfect brand that I didn’t want to throw it out.

fuzakenna.wordpress.com was unavailable, though, so I said fuck it, changeroo!

Keep your pants on, I'm getting there!

The theme for this change in style is returning to my roots. I want to get back to being a guy who basically talks out loud to himself and is super-happy when someone turns out to be listening. Discovering other blogs changed me irreversibly, which I’m glad for, but over time I’ve stopped reading other blogs and have begun to distill my style to a core that pleases me. I don’t blog for anyone but myself anymore—I do it because I love it. I’m happy if you like my stuff, but I’m not going to try to appeal to you anymore. From now on, I’ll post things that’re more obscure, more ‘who the hell cares kono-otaku!’, and less hipster stuff. That said, I’m totally covering this entire season in a number of ways.

The best title for my new blog, I thought, would be a reference that was very important to me as well as very obscure. I almost used a Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou cross-reference in the form of “Does Alpha Dream of Electric Sheep?”, but besides it being a little too muddy, I haven’t read the book nor the manga, so I’d look like a poser.

After much deliberation, I turned to a different kind of ‘favorite’ of mine: Garzey’s Wing. I love Garzey’s Wing to death, and there’re so many lines from it that’ve become memes among my friends. My favorite part of the OVA is how the main character constantly complains about his shitty weaponry, including the randomly-shouted line, “My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull!” —And there you have it.

Now, since I’ve gone and made the title of this post a reference, and because I’d hate to kick off my new blog with a boring status post, here’s some actual anime blogging!

Sex face. Art by heirou.

Meditations on Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai!

The prevailing conversation on Imouto has been about the underlying incestual themes present in the series. This was to be expected, and while it’s disappointingly predictable, I admit there’s not a whole lot else to talk about in the show. That’s why I’m covering my angle on the issue.

For the sake of alleviating confusion in this post, I will refer to my 17 year-old brother as “Zack” (since he’s playing Zack Effron in a school play), and to my 13 year-old brother as Cirno (because he worships Cirno.)

I don’t have a sister, so I can’t claim to understand what real brother-sister relationships are like. Moreover, my sibling relationship isn’t like any that I’ve seen in anime (except maybe FullMetal Alchemist and Binbou Shimai Monogatari, for Zack and Cirno respectively.)

My brothers and I are all ultra-super close. We all know each-others’ business, spend time together every day, and get along very well (although I constantly aggravate Zack because I’m an ass.) I don’t know what it’s like to have siblings that you don’t pay much attention too, don’t know very well, or don’t like, which seems to be how most siblings work.

I do, however, have two very close friends with younger sisters that fall into the same age gap as Kirino and Kyou-chan. The younger friend (17) has a terrible relationship with his little sister. The two of them are hardly on speaking terms, so they’re not a good example for this. However, the older friend (19), AKA No Name, has a younger sister in the 9th grade, and with his family also being Asian, they make for an easier comparison to Imouto (albeit they’re Vietnamese.)

The relationship between Kirino and Kyou-chan matches my outsider’s perspective of No Name and his sister very well. In their case, No Name is the super-god-level otaku and certainly doesn’t need a family member’s council, but pushing away the superficiality of the show’s plot, let’s look at the people that are the characters.

She's so happy I'm finally getting to the point. Maybe. Art by mishima kurone http://gelbooru.com/index.php?page=post&s=list&tags=mishima_kurone

In episode 6 or 7, Kirino screams “you’ve ignored me up until now, and suddenly you start acting like my brother?!” or something to that effect. I thought, “oh, Kirino, you’re brother’s grown so much, and so have you!”

Kids are brats. Teenagers are angsty. Even the more mature teenagers only get level-headed around the 16-year-old range.

Growing up, my brothers never got along. Zack was always jealous and angry at the spoiled little brat who always got his way, and he grew up to be an impressively angry individual (not violent, just angry). Throughout his childhood, Zack treated Cirno like shit—I mean, he resented him to the point of bitterness—and Cirno, being a bratty, spoiled little kid, didn’t make it any easier on himself.

As time went on, Cirno became a big kid (and, having been spoiled, was much brattier than either of his predecessors had been), which inspired even more rage in a now-tween Zack who resented that a creature so bratty could’ve come from his family (I’m kinda dramatizing this).

Now, I was always the super-nice big bro to Cirno, so he grew completely attached to me and slowly learned to give Zack his angsty space. Finally, as Zack began to grow up, he learned about tolerance and recognized his responsibility as an older brother (a huge relief for me who’d been wholly responsible for both of them). It helped that Cirno was now entering double-digits and learned to be a lot more sociable.

There was a period of time where it seemed like Zack was coming into realization that he was, in fact, an older brother, and he attached himself to Cirno and started feeling it was his job to protect him, accompanying him to places and keeping track of what he was up to. It was kinda cute.

It wasn’t long-lived. Soon, Zack finally became social, and now, in his senior year, school consumes his entire existence, so I’m back to being the only one spending time with Cirno; but I’m sure you can still see how this comes back to effect my perception of Kirino and Kyou-chan’s relationship.

We're getting into it now!

Getting back to No Name: he and his sister don’t have the ultra-gay, super-close relationship I have with my brothers, but they do in some way love one-another. I’ve heard them argue a lot over the phone and at home, and it sounds almost exactly like the shouting matches Kirino and Kyou-chan have.

(Aside: I love Kirino’s tongue-sucking sound whenever she’s irritated at Kyou-chan—totally an annoyed-little-sister thing to do.)

While I’ve mostly seen No Name and his sister stay out of one-another’s business, they still do things together and hang out every once in a while. No Name’s mentioned how his sister will just show up in his room and ask to watch some anime or play some video games with him. As he puts it, he doesn’t really get why, and probably no brother does, because, hey, little sisters, what can ya do?

My point in this whole story is that I don’t think Kirino and Kyou-chan’s relationship is incestual in the slightest, even if it implicates such for laughs because of the plot backdrop. Kirino’s discovering love for her brother is just that—love for her brother—sibling love that the two of them are only now mature enough to have together.

The fact is, siblinghood is full of ultra-gay moments. (Mine probably more than most, what with Cirno constantly fucking hugging me.) Siblings occassionally do things together out of boredom or loneliness that maybe they wouldn’t have thought they’d do with their sibling. I loved the scene in episode 7 where Kirino drags Kyou-chan to a love hotel, because I could completely see something like that happening.

Brother+sister doesn’t work quite the same as other sibling relationships—close sisters might do something like practice kissing together—close brothers might look at porn together (ah, youth)—a close brother and sister aren’t likely to get so embarassingly intimate, but really, who better to trust your visit to a love hotel with? A hell of a lot better than if she went with someone outside the family, right?

Siblings exist for stuff like this! Helping each-other out with things that we couldn’t possibly ask anyone else for! We torment each-other one minute, and the next, we’re asking for the most embarrassing help in the universe!

As a theater student, my brother knows how to apply makeup, and as much as I know my mom would love to do it, if I ever needed to know how, I’d come to him. Ultra-gay, but less embarrassing than my mom doing it!

So, uh… yeah. WELCOME BACK, DIGIBOY!

BONUS: If you haven’t seen this yet, you truly owe it to yourself.

Hey Guys

I know I said I don’t do hiatuses because I always end up posting anyway, but this time I’m for real. Fuzakenna is going on hiatus for a while, and when it comes back, there’ll be a bunch of posts already queued up. This hiatus includes the Character Database series, which has run out of previously queued posts, so it’ll come back when everything else does. I’ll still be posting on Scarlet Monochrome.

There’s no particular reason for this hiatus other than that I have no ideas for posts anymore, and don’t want to have to publish each new post I come up with as soon as it’s written in order to keep the blog alive. The bad thing is that the blog dies for a little while, but the good thing is, it’ll come back really strong. This in combination with my lessening twitter, tumblr, and greader usage will make me seem like a ghost, but I’ll still bubble up to the surface whenever I hear the call – phantasmal, like bubbles.

Rebuild of Fuzakenna 3.33 – I Can (NOT) Stop Here!

I won’t lie – for at least the first two years of the three that this blog has lived through, my writing sucked. Most of the posts said very little in far too many words, and any post with salvageable ideas either has or should be redone. For the most part, I’m happy with what I’ve been producing since September of last year, but since then I have still been learning to tighten up my ideas and write more fully realized posts. In this past month, I’ve been proud of every post I’ve put out, having felt that I’ve been doing a much better job of fully expressing my ideas. However, I’ve begun to take issue with my writing style from a more technical standpoint.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been trying to build a reputation as an “Otaku Gonzo Journalist,” and this is still my goal. To accomplish this, I try to pour myself into every post and allow the reader to grasp my perspective on the topic. Sometimes, doing this to the most extreme extent possible works for me, as it did in my Evangelion 2.22 post and my Kara no Kyoukai post, which were very special and rare cases that I was writing solely for myself. However, in most of my work, my misguided attempts at gonzo have lead to overly lengthy and complex posts that should have stayed in the editing stage for a while longer.

This hadn’t really become apparent to me until my English teacher brought it to my attention in my draft of our first assignment (detailed in these posts on my tumblr.) Upon realizing just how excessive I was with unnecessary details, I went and reread my most recent post and was floored by how much crap was not important to the central idea of the post. It had come to 1300 words, and I realized that it could have easily been 500+ words shorter without losing anything.

I admit that I suffer from an addiction to being contrary. I am the type to brag that I am ‘breaking convention’ or ‘being myself’ when I am really just being hard-headed, and will usually come to realize this way down the line. I’ve bragged about the fact that I write my posts all at once, revise quickly, and then push them out, but this is actually a problem. I realize now that I should hold my posts back until they have been really finished and tightened for maximum readability.

Basically I want to be more like Touko. Art by nichiru http://gelbooru.com/index.php?page=post&s=list&tags=nichiru

I’ve also defended my garish red-on-white color scheme, which I chose because red, black, and white were my thematic colors (“Scarlet Monochrome” as I call it) even though the scheme simply did not work for a blog, where ease of reading and clarity of images are important. As you can see, I have dramatically changed my blog layout and colors. The idea was to find colors that would work well with the dark red that permeates every page of this blog, so a rustic style seemed most appropriate. You might think of the color scheme as a parallel to my change in writing style – I’m still the raging red ball of passion that I’ve always been, but now more subdued, readable, and, I hope, accessible all-around.

The reason I shut down the blog while I changed the theme and made this post is that I want to view this as a fresh start of sorts. In anime terms, this will be like moving into the third season with a much higher budget and better animation studio. Or better yet, it’s like the Rebuild of Evangelion – the same old story that I love to tell, but in a more focused and complete style.

Feedback on the new layout and colors would be very appreciated! Nothing is final yet. If you think the type is too big, or should be a different font (if you think that, please recommend one), or just completely hate the colors, let me know. Depending on who you are, I might take the ideas to heart ;D