This Cyber Monday… Find the true power of soft power.
Flood the market with sweat labor from the K-ON voice actors?
This Cyber Monday… Find the true power of soft power.
Flood the market with sweat labor from the K-ON voice actors?
Reproduced and transformed entirely without permission:
LET’S READ IT DEEPLY!! KAWAIIKOCHAN NO SUPER KAKKO II ANIMATION TALK!! [Actually in strip 1 koma 1 but w/e]
Masaka: Kyou it’s “Kill la Kill!!” Genre is “I’ll Use All My Power!! AAAAHH”
Masaka: It’s really interesting, so let’s do our best with kawaii power!!
kawaiikochan.com – @kawaiikochans
T/L Note: “kakko ii” – cool, “kyou” – today
Masaka: Kyaa~ What’s this?!
Caption text 1 [Indicate...side comment from Masaka?]: Episode 7 “Such a Dope…Which I love”
Masaka: A dishwater is also Famicom?!
Caption text 2: Was it really made?!
T/L Note: “machigai” – mistake
Majide: There’s no machigai here.
Caption text 1: Episode 4 “The Sun Came Up, It Was Bad”
Majide: It’s certainly GB’s Dot Matrix display.
T/L Note: “sekai” – world
Caption [indicate both speaking, graphics indicates Masaka speaking and Majide nodding]: In Kill La Kill sekai… gamesoft must exist.
Masaka: A harsh sekai with such battle, you’d think…
Masaka: “There’s no time for gamesoft! We have to battle more, ka na~” like that.
Masaka: Maybe minna needs gamesoft. [heart symbol next to speech bubble...probably should go in the text]
Masaka: But it’s not!
T/L Note: “minna” – everybody, “deshou” – right, “fascism” – form of radical authoritarian nationali[sic][i c what u did thar]
Masaka: But it’s fascism. Deshou?
Masaka: Super ruler Satsuki-sama…
Masaka: As for gamesoft, she’d only allow one victory company.
T/L Note: “iya” – no
kawaiikochan.com – @kawaiikochans
Majide: And there’s only Nintendo.
Majide: Therefore– iya.
Majide: Such a thing…
[Masaka has some question marks by her head.]
T/L Note: “Kanojo” – she, “kanashii” – sad
Majide: Ryuko-chan will never get to play Sega gamesoft!!
Majide: Kanojo will– Kanojo will never know!!
Masaka: It’s kanashii. It’s certainly so.
I have also inadvertently made the Kawaiikochans harder to read than it already is. Go me. And it does feel as if Ryuuko-chan is a Sega console in a Nintendo world. There’s a certain lyricism to it that is appealing. Like the whole ’80s schoolgirl thing the ED has.
Let’s do this Anime & Database thing.
And I don’t mean Anime Planet or MyAnimeList. I mean the way I report what I watch in a way where it can be further processed. Usually this means the MAL kind of way, for example, to keep track what you have watched, to keep a running clock of all that you watched, as a way to keep notes on what you watched (rating), and a way for people to collect aggregate data in order to provide additional services (my anime is better than your anime, recommendation system, etc). But that’s not what I mean.
I mean it in a way where the relationship drives the data, not the objects of the relationship.
For example, I always try to watch at least one episode of anything that piques my interest, each season. I think I skipped Megane-bu, for example, because while I’ve seen some caps that piques my interests, I doubt it can have a hold on me for even one whole episode. I guess for the same reasons I watched one episode of Freezing S2, but that’s more because I saw all of the first season. I clearly don’t always make the right choices, but I do try. But I also probably couldn’t even if I really wanted to do it, because my attention span is only so much and I can only spare so many cognitive cycles hunting out shows nobody is talking about.
I do this because in general, I don’t trust the average anime preview–they have a terrible batting average, and I can evaluate the same pre-release information just as well if presented on a plate; which is what most anime preview posts should do. Since, after all, most of us are just guessing; some are better at it than others, but the best (IMHO) also present information I care about. Like notable directors or writers, actors and composers, the way the marketing is put together, the release type, the back story to how the anime or IP came to be, what have you.
But even with a mountain of information (and surprisingly we rarely have this much before something airs) anime is such a visual medium that you really have to see it to believe it, so to speak. Unlike manga and light novels, it takes hundreds of people to make a TV anime–that’s a lot of places where things can go wrong. And then there are the original works where pre-release info is much harder to come by. And for that matter, in my opinion most anime come across complicated enough that few, if any, bloggers can do enough justice as a substitute for my own evaluation of a work. At any rate, a group consensus in the community might help guide my own opinion on something, but until you see for yourself, how do you know the consensus is full of crap? It isn’t frequently the case, but it has been the case before, and more over, I’m not sure how many people are just a part of some internet echo chamber or people with legitimate opinion that they care enough to voice in order to reinforce things. Is the community consensus even a relevant indicator? How do we even know on an individual basis? I imagine it is relevant sometimes, but few bats 1.000 with consensus–that’s weird and rare in a large enough of a community.
And even more importantly, once I reach a certain threshold of caring in participating in this nerd culture, I might as well partake the source material. I would rather poop on SAO, for example, because I watched it and found it enjoyable to poop on, than because it’s the cool kids thing to do. I owe it to SAO for at least that much. I owe it to my non-simulcast-enabled predecessors to enjoy this modern marvel (to illustrate another relationship I have with fandom that may be unique to a small group of people). It also counts for what little intellectual honesty that probably matters the most, at the end of the day.
Of course, it’s also kind of dishonest to enjoy a show because you dropped it like a rock 3 episodes in, even if that might be a perfectly honest thing to say. It speaks about your relationship with the scene as much as it does with the objective qualities of said anime. It is self-expression, purely speaking. (As opposed to constructive criticism or evaluation of the anime being dropped.)
The point here is that for every show that I watch, I treat the activity of doing so as a part of the overall experience that I have with a show. Maybe I watched some trailers. Maybe I read a preview post that talks about who and what is going to be in next season’s new shows. Maybe I follow certain animators or actors and they’re in so-and-so show next season. This is the sort of data that interests me, in that it captures why I am interested in a certain anime or how likely I might enjoy a certain to-be-aired anime. I might use that information to ultimately decide if I want to watch a show or not, but it’s just one aspect of a relationship, much like how watching the show is just one aspect of the relationship (see SAO example above). And to some extent any concerned fan would follow a similar process, I would hope. In a way for people who are still watching anime (a big assumption), word-of-mouth recommendations, marketing material and reviews ought to be not the only things we go by. Maybe those are just channels, and these channels relay the important stuff (like stuff you’ll find in a MAL entry like genre, director, etc) in which you have an existing relationship with. And channels are a built-in filter in a overwhelmingly noisy world, so to speak.
It’s in this way that we nerds naturally make decisions based on this relational data in order to make sense of a much more complicated set of data (eg., what’s on MAL), such that we can make good decisions (eg., what anime you will watch next season). And I think marketing is a step of most people when it comes to modeling the sort of information that we obtain, that we want to obtain, and what enable us to make good decisions. Well, this is nothing new, at any rate–reviews, blog posts, advertising, the usual stuff. It’s just that even these things are mediated by the relationship we have with the particular channel. For example, if we don’t like certain visual signals coming from one marketing campaign, some of us will write it off immediately because they may never encounter any false-positives when evaluating works carrying those visual signals. To use a concrete example, such as half-naked teenage boys swimming–a lot of people reacted to that visual signal, particularly because it’s relatively new and it generally yielded no false-positives.
Simoun is a good counterexample to Free, because it’s a very good example of a false-negative. If you understand why, then great, maybe people can understand my blog posts after all.
The picture is further clouded in that sense because now you have shows that serve multiple roles or aspects. The high profile examples of these are, say, Aikatsu or the more recent Precure shows in the past few years. Or maybe even Gundam Build Fighters. And like proper otaku media, it builds a narrative with its viewers in a self-selecting sort of way, and it uses wide channels common to mainstream media. It’s also a problem with the MAL-style of analysis. It’s unlikely everyone out of the hundreds to tens of thousands of people who watched a show did so for the same reasons. I would posit a step further that it’s likely a significant number of people watched a show for reasons not clearly marked in a “database” sort of way in a MAL (or any other) DB entry. I would say it’s likely that at least one person may be watching a show that I passed judgment on for reasons entirely beyond my scope of understanding and comprehension, beyond my calculus. And it might be a great reason, if you are that person. It even goes beyond a simple right-or-wrong sort of situation–that’s down right silly to work within that framework, speaking as someone who has gotten more OCD about xkcd.com/386/ the older he gets. For example, who am I to say that “Noto kawaiiyo Noto” is a bad reason to watch any show? And it wouldn’t be obvious as to why someone watches a show unless you’ve established some kind of relationship with someone to understand that is why they may be watching a show.
Anyway, this post is brought to you by the need to recognize and be cognizant of the signals you are taking in, often because the signals are never as simple as they seem, and this is a better database than the one based on IP. But that’s like saying vectors are better than bitmaps and looked at how far that got them, so what do I know…
American food culture is horrible. I don’t think pointing at gamer food drives home the point, because it’s more an ironic ludicrous nonsense sort of thing. What it does show is that how corporate marketing drives food culture in America, so much so, that it dominates the mainstream thought; it’s more about profits than refinement of arts. The point I want to make, though, is that we will probably never see a US-developed game with a food culture as rich as, say, Final Fantasy XIV.
I mean, seriously. Take a look at this list–this is just what people can create at a few months since launch of the game. I mean, like, ugh, it makes me hungry while playing. Speaking of which, no thanks to Log Horizon, I took the plunge to another MMORPG. I hope it doesn’t impact my productivity–veteran MMORPG players don’t just know how to play the game, they know how to control themselves…right? And I think that’s my problem with Log Horizon (or why it’s great): playing an actual game with friends is just that much better of an experience. On the other hand, for people in the peanut gallery, maybe they can wax nostalgia hard to it. I sure did. The story itself is interesting but what can I say? It’s just one story, told by an NHK anime. You either find it appealing or not. It’s not really special; just like how everyone out of the hundreds of thousands of people playing FFXIV has his or her own story.
Anyway, FFXIV has a pineapple pound cake in it for crying out loud. I mean, when’s the last time your average CODer had some cheese souffle? I don’t even remember the last time I’ve had a pineapple pound cake, and I eat a lot of different sort of things all the time. This is like, Japan’s best foot forward for an internationally appealing audience. And it’s very similar what you’d see at a world-class Japanese food establishment, if you get what I’m getting at. This is their food culture, and it kicks the crap out of ours. It’s not to say Americans don’t eat well or don’t have delicious foods, but the issue is that unless you watch, say, Bizarre Foods America, you would have no idea what’s actually delicious that can be had in the US outside your local area. There is a different “food culture” in the US, but it’s a far departure from mainstream US food culture. More relevantly, the delicious part of American food culture is not glamorous or fashionable. So instead you have companies trying to create the Lowest Common Denominator sort of an appeal, and what you get is 20th century-style mass produced stuff that tastes pretty good, but is a far cry from what Americans can actually create in terms of a culinary heart & soul sort of thing.
It would be pretty neat if playing FFXIV means eating gamer food appropriate to the game. Mmm grilled trout. And this is also why food is a plot point in Log Horizon. I hate to say this but food culture might actually be one thing that anime has that western equivalent lacks.
And here is another thing: crafting MMORPGs. You know FFXIV is a big budget game when it incorporates the most elaborate crafting system in a standard dungeon-and-adventures type game. This is yet another thing I don’t expect most western MMORPGs to get. A good crafting game is not exactly a sandbox game like Minecraft or Second Life. Or I should say, in the genre of crafting MMORPGs, freer is not always better. I think of these more limited-form crafting games as a form of gameplay themselves, more along the lines of say, EVE Online, where the gameplay come in a more holistic sense with regards to player economy and other aspects of the game (means of using the goods or creating an epic item for example, desire and demand for trade goods and skills). In short, crafting should be a game in itself. It’s like going into a dungeon, except it feels like a series of quests where your trade skill mettle is being tested, rather than clicking on plus signs to unlock talent trees or learn new spells.
It’s a bit like tabletop D&D where you need the right reagent to cast spells. Reagents are dumb these days, but only as a requirement for common spells. They ought to be how we look at trade skills–in a lot of ways that’s how modern MMORPGs treat trade skills. I think a successful crafting system has to marry both of these aspects.
Mamachari aside, from Ask John:
For example, contemporary Japan places a fairly heavy emphasis on consciousness of the greenhouse effect, leading Japanese homes to exclude central heating and Japanese residents to hesitate running their “aircon” air conditioning systems for fear of depleting the ozone layer.
Since 3/11, isn’t the point of cutting back on AC to save electricity, since there’s a shortage? And the central heating thing… I’ll cut him some slack because he lives in Florida, so he probably hasn’t had to pay the heating bills for a New England winter, for a house over 90 years old…
What I do want to know and discuss is the nature of conservation in the Asian consciousness in light of the question being posed: why do Japanese homes use space heating rather than centralized heating? Well for one, my hypo is just common sense: it’s a matter of cost and economic development in terms of construction of private properties. Old houses don’t have central heating (or cooling) by default, so there needs to be some incentive for people to add them. in the US, old houses have central heating/cooling often because it’s the law, and also because nobody would buy such a house without central heating and cooling. Central HVAC is considered a standard feature in single family homes today, and even in most apartment housing. It’s less so for single-room apartments and dorm rooms, since it also makes sense to just use room-size heating and cooling solutions in those cases. Of course, in general, good, up-to-date HVAC solutions will save energy AND money in the long term than relying on portable space heating and cooling. But this is balanced by the nature of space usage in that heating and cooling compartmentally saves energy because you are only warming up or cooling down the room of the house you are in, and for most people (especially nuclear families with few/no kids, and singles) they tend to stay in the same room the whole time they are home, like 95+% of the time in the same room. You might get up to go to another room many times, but in terms of time spent it’s pretty extreme. Of course this is not even true in some cases, such as rooms with high ceilings or very efficiently designed HVAC systems, but usually that’s the case.
So here’s the funny thing, space heating is probably a lot more efficient, from an energy use point of view, in places like rural Japan or suburban America, because space is plentiful and houses are bigger, with more rooms. In urban Japan it makes less sense because your 4.5 tatami dorm is pithy small to begin with, it’s not a whole lot more power to heat up 4 or 5 of them versus what you can save in terms of energy efficiency by using a larger scale HVAC system. If you live in a flat or something, space heating gives you the option of controlling the local temperature to what you like, but it’s overall less efficient. Unless, I guess, an apartment building don’t have full occupancy and then space heating will save, under some breaking point of occupancy.
I suppose this could also be a matter of practice and customs. Like, paying your rent, managing your power and gas bills, and not paying for a management fee that goes into HVAC costs. So here’s another theory.
Anyone actually knows how it is and why it is? I’m thinking new houses in Japan have HVAC as well, simply because today’s technology in heating/cooling is so much better than off-the-shelf solutions that a central system just make more sense. I guess there are single-room solutions that are also very efficient (and probably largely sold only in Japan/East Asia). And it isn’t even a gas/oil/power issue, since most East Asian housing have some kind of gas delivery system baked in, unless we’re talking about rural areas where people still get canisters delivered to them.
Of course, western-style and modern housing built today probably has HVAC built in, even in Japan. There’s also the philosophy about warmth as something regulated via the individual rather than heating a space. But I don’t know what is more likely true than not. Green…I don’t think that one is particularly right.