Would’ve done this a little sooner, but March of the Movies was still going on and I wanted to get a few anime reviews out of the way.
A giant thank you to Naja B. for nominating for this award. She recently released one of the lewdest things I’ve ever seen from her blog, so if you’re into hot bishies and BL/Yaoi visual novels (and the occasional Pokémon/Fangirl moments), she is the gold standard. Really, she is. She’s also the only person I follow who talks about the stuff, so my word is definitely safe and unbiased.
I’ve been nominated for this post before, so if you care to read more about the deep, dark secrets of my personal life, I welcome you to do so.
1) Display Award
2) Thank the person who gave this award (and include a link to their blog)
3) Share seven things about yourself! (Anime Edition)
4) Nominate ten bloggers
I suppose I’ll continue along with this “Anime Edition” shtick. Makes things more interesting in the long run.
Seven Things About Me (Involving anime)
1. My First Anime was Dragon Ball Z… I Think
Many have heard the age-old question: What was your first anime? Dragon Ball Z is a fairly common answer for people around my age who were exposed to a particular block on Cartoon Network called Toonami. However, I can’t say with certainty that it was the first anime I’ve ever watched, as there was another anime that I remember being fond of very early in my life.
I’ve been meaning to re-watch the show for a long, long time now, but have never taken the time to actually do so. Maybe I will tomorrow. Anyway, Tenchi Muyou! is somewhat infamous for being among the first attempts at a streamlined “Harem” anime. Imagine something like Love Hina or Nagasarete Airantou. Tenchi Muyo was almost like the forefather to these works. Thinking back on it, I don’t recall a lot of the show in general, but certain events stick out in my mind, particularly the little fuzzy thing turning into a spaceship and something about Tenchi pulling out a sword that harbored a space pirate’s dead soul… or something? I think I just liked it for the sci-fi-esque setting and goofy romance.
2. I Don’t Really Know “Why” I Watch Anime
At first, the prospect of anime was interesting to me because it was so vastly different from American-standard television. I was engrossed with the possibilities that anime could entail with a multitude of genres and studios. Almost like American film companies, except they’re churning out anime. I suppose the feeling of “something new” (despite having experience with anime in the past) was so gravitating that once I watched Deadman Wonderland, I became addicted to wanting more.
Now-a-days, I feel all anime has a base potential of being average.
Many can go to my MAL page and look at my horrible 5.3 average rating for 300-something anime viewed, but I can’t really help that. At this point, I feel I know just about everything I really need to know from the medium. And once that sinks in, anime becomes a lot like the American television I originally wished to shy away from. It becomes too ordinary, too predictable. For me to still be watching anime at the rate that I do, despite my lukewarm impression of it in its entirety, likely boils down to one thing: it’s what I know. I’ve had a few hiatuses and/or breaks in the past, but I still come back.
3. I Think Most Mainstream Anime Are Overrated
Anyone who knows me even in the slightest knows this already, but just for those who aren’t completely sure of it, I’m a pretty cynical dude.
Now, let it be known that I haven’t seen many of the more popular Shounen titles, a la One Piece, Bleach, and/or Naruto because they’re so damn long and I’d rather better my schedule with shorter series. I also haven’t seen every mainstream show ever, but the ones that I have are generally met with either dismay or base enthusiasm. Titles such as Code Geass, Hetalia, Sword Art Online, Shingeki no Kyojin, Angel Beats!, No Game No Life, One Punch Man, and most recently, Yuri!!! on Ice. Popularity isn’t an indicator of quality to me, and extended hype for any particular anime makes me more motivated to look at it as sharply as my critiquing eyes can possibly muster. That sounds jaded, though I assure anyone reading I’d rather enjoy something than trash it… usually.
It’s not that I go after popular titles to preach of their inadequacy, it’s just a lot more reassuring to know of my own impressions of something I’m constantly told is God’s gift to anime. Sometimes I only watch popular anime just to ascertain my own opinion of them. And usually, they turn out opposite of God’s gift to anime. I’m just a stick in the mud, I suppose.
4. My Favorite Anime Has Been Decided, and It Will Never Change
What exactly does this say about me? How about loyalty? …Okay, it’s more like stubbornness. My favorite anime of all time has already been seen, and I saw it very early, being only the third anime I viewed since coming back to anime. Those 300-something anime titles on my MAL? Toradora! was number three.
It has this special magic and—you know what? I’ve already explained this before, like, twenty times, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. Toradora! is the best anime I’ve ever seen. Not because it’s the most objectively sound anime out there, but because it came at a time in my life that simply blew away all of my expectations and essentially ruined all anime (romance in particular) to come after it. Toradora! is a personal testament to what got me hooked into the anime world, hitting all the right buttons I didn’t even know I had. Even after seeing it three times, it remains as magically poignant to me as it’s ever been. So as presumptuous as it may be, Toradora! is my favorite anime, and it will never not be.
5. I Loathe Shounen in General
Some may see this as harsh. Unfortunately, it’s happened too many times in the past to ignore. If not for Harem, Shounen would be my least favorite genre in anime. Coincidentally, a lot of mainstream anime are Shounen. Interesting.
For me, Shounen typically coincides with everything about anime I tend to roll my eyes at: loose writing, one-dimensional characters, overuse of magic powers, THE POWER OF EMOTIONS!!!, and sappy moral sugar-coating. Not all do this; frankly, I haven’t seen enough to confirm how many actually do. All I know is that when I see “Shounen” as a tag for an anime or manga, I hesitate.
Reminds me of when I tried to watch Fairy Tail… Yeesh.
6. I Don’t Rate Anything I Don’t Finish
I can have predicted or tentative scores, but nothing is concrete if I haven’t observed every second. It’s easy to rate something based on what one has seen up to. For me, I feel that’s a little unfair. I can’t help but wonder what could’ve been. Perhaps the last half of the anime is worse or better? If I never find out, I’d rather just leave it up in the air.
There’s not much more to say on the subject.
7. I Once Looked Up to ThatAnimeSnob
Who’s your favorite ani-tuber? Gigguk? Glass Reflections? Demo? Digibro? For a time, mine was none other than ThatAnimeSnob, also known as Roriconfan.
For those unaware, ThatAnimeSnob is notorious for being incredibly snide and cynical about anime, especially modern ones. His shtick continuously made fun of “filthy casuals” as he spit poison at anyone who didn’t believe in his standard. For the record, Legend of the Galactic Heroes is objectively the greatest anime of all time. No objections. While this turned off just about anyone with any shred of empathy, there’s evidence that shows Mr. Snob takes his character very seriously, constantly bombarding popular ani-tubers’ comment sections/anime discussion boards with his “correct” opinion and how everyone else is wrong. I’ve seen it firsthand. He even highlights his behavior through his Youtube channel.
Despite his controversial persona, his “teachings” actually make sense. They do to me, anyway. Not all, but there are a number of things that he’s preached that I’ve noticed have some correlation with anime. One of the most memorable “Anime truths” to me was the “It Never Gets Better” claim, where he argues that anime never gets better than the first few episodes. It can only stay the same or get worse. I actually still kind of believe in this, as most anime I watch usually don’t get better with time.
I haven’t watched a video of his in a good while, but he’s still going strong. He’s resorted to reaction videos now-a-days, which really turns me off. Honestly speaking, I think he’s worth a follow simply for how different he is from all other anime critiquers. Not “follow follow,” per se, but… watch some of his videos. He’s like an endangered species.
Not too many this time, as
I don’t follow anyone I don’t feel like nominating people I’ve already nominated. I’ll simply nominate a few people I feel deserve a little recognition.
Thanks again to Naja, and thanks to anyone who read through all of this! Have a good night!
10 thoughts on “I’ve Been Nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award (Again)”
Thanks for the nomination! I’ll have to get on that soon.
So Toradora tops your list, tell me what you thought of the ending, I liked the show an awful lot but the ending gave me a sense of…..incompleteness. One of the shows I owe a rewatch but I do remember it fairly clearly.
I had a similar feeling, but came to terms with it in the sense that it’s a “young love” story and sort of needs that incompleteness as a resolution in a way (ghostlightning explained it better).
I think there’s definitely something to be said for the normalization of anime after having watched so much of it. It’s hard to speak retroactively about such a thing but I have to imagine the viewing experience is pretty different when you know a medium inside and out. You probably don’t have nearly as many “oh, it’s this kind of show” kind of moments on the front end of your viewing.
“It Never Gets Better” is an interesting idea but I can’t say that I agree with it. There’s the similar notion that you can gauge a show’s quality by its first episode alone and while I can acknowledge that few shows manage to surprise or excite me after lackluster openings, I’ve never felt the ability to knock them. I think perhaps, it’s less about the show’s potential to ‘wow’ you in the future when it didn’t before and more about the general affinity you build over the course of additional episodes. It’s a topic I need to put more thought towards for sure.
As I’m sure you know, I also don’t rate anything before I finish. The attempt to do so has become more veiled with time but I typically don’t even bother attributing a score until I’ve written the review (if there is one). I do think I’m more likely to form an opinion in more extreme circumstances though – if something is blowing my mind every week or making me want to drop the show every episode, I think I come to my conclusion a bit earlier despite my reservations.
While I have to agree that the hyper-typical shounen show is pretty forgettable (for all of the accurate reasons that you cite), I think there’s some great stuff out there. Maybe give Hunter x Hunter, Magi, or Taizai a shot, though I doubt that last one would do much for you as it’s already an extreme fringe case for me.
Toradora! holding strong I see.
Also followed Psychime. Good nomination.
Congrats on the award. Just curious if there are any shounen you do like?
Based on what MAL considers Shounen:
Hitsugi no Chaika
Shingeki no Kyojin
Not one rated over 7. : ] Enjoyed ’em, nonetheless.
They class Hitsugi no Chaika as Shounen? This is why I only use MAL to see what is coming out in the future.
Some interesting facts here, had a good time reading them.
Interesting that Toradora is your favourite show. I’d never have guessed that to be honest.
As a big fan of Shounen, it saddens me to hear about your distaste for them, but I don’t blame you. I’d recommend giving the 2011 reboot of HxH a shot if you ever find the time however. It’s pretty subversive and makes Shounen fun again.
Ahhh, the Snob. I know how it is, I used to be in that guys social circle back in my elitist reviewing days. I was in his Skype chat and everything. Those were dark days.
As a human being, outside of the whole Anime thing, he’s actually alright. I’ve had a few half decent conversations with the guy about normal stuff.
Can’t say I’m a fan of his approach though. He consistently claims to be “unbiased” which he isn’t and he’s a terrible researcher when it comes to the industry, often sharing false information and just being plain incorrect about many points.
He’s also watched far less Anime than he claims. Most of the shows he critiques, he’s skipped entire episodes of, then claims he’s seen it all. Something he admitted to me many years ago (I’m unsure if he still does it now).
His Anime Truth videos can be alright though, especially the ones that focus on broader concepts to do with writing and story structure etc. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t learn a thing or two from them.
I wouldn’t say the guy influenced me, but there was definitely a time I looked up to him as well. My approach to critical thinking has changed a lot since then though and his channel has recently regressed to meme-tier drama videos about Digibro and Chibi.
I’m a little torn on the “it never gets better” thing too. 90% of the time that’s the case, but many of my favourite shows became my favourites by “getting better”. Snob is kidding himself if he thought that Legend of the Galactic Heroes “never got better” after episode 1 (which it did, significantly).
Some good nominations too, I’ll be checking them out for sure!
I appreciate the nomination. Wasn’t sure if I was going to do this (since I’ve been bogged down with college work and such), but might end up doing one if I get the chance.
Toradora! is a great anime. Not my favourite, but up there.
Congrats! Interesting how you don’t like shounen. Don’t find too many people with that view.
If the responses to this post are any indication… heh. Yeah.