Should I put a [sic] there? I guess not. Anyway, Oreimo season 2 web radio has this corner where they are reading international fan mail. So it’s really neat. What’s even more awesome is how the web radio page got a translation so you can just waltz over and type in nonsense and hit submit. I think it would be great if all the oversea viewers of OreImo got to send their messages to the radio show.
To do it right, I think you also need to try a few things.
If you have some Japanese ability, try to write your message in Japanese. It’s okay to use terrible Japanese if you are a legit gaijin, and I think it’s kind of a good thing, as that gives them something to talk about. But it’s also impressive if your written Japanese is top notch.
Approach the message like a letter. Write a “Dear Miss Taketatsu and Miss Hanazawa” in there or something. It’s okay to close with “sincerely yours” but it’s probably not as important as the initial bit of the letter. It’s tempting to treat it like an internet blog comment, but this is a radio show still, folks.
Include where you are from in the letter. And generally stick to topic.
Additionally if you can handle listening to the previous episodes (well, just ep 2 and 3), give it a spin and hear what they say about the segment to give you an idea what to write.
I ended up using machine translated text. Great thing about Google’s web interface is that it has text-to-speech, so I can translate the text and hit playback to at least make sure what I wrote sounds okay, even if I can’t read it.
Most of these tie-in radio shows are pre-recorded, and so is this one. New episodes come out twice a month on alternating Thursdays (Japan time), but it makes me think that they’re recorded at the same time. At least, given episodes 1 and 2. I’m guessing if we submit comments to the show today, it probably won’t show up in the next week’s episode.
I think this is a great way to show that oversea fans can represent. They’re asking for it. Let’s give it to them.
I was listening to this at some point before my trip in which the interviewee, a internet-popular personality defines meme as an idea that passes through generations a way DNA does, but just faster. Then I thought about Jojo.
I viewed Jojo TV marathon-style, but in sprints. The first 6 episodes I took it weekly, then I watched like 7-14 in one shot, and then 15 to the end after maybe a 3-month gap. I thought it worked well, except that the last chunk of it I was kind of just plowing through while half-tired and jetlagged, on a plane.
Feeling tired while watching the climatic end to Jojo made it a little less dramatic. But watching it marathon style does nothing to hide the feeling that the same formula in which the same kind of thing happens in the first arc was used in the second arc. Maybe it’s a good way to see how the 1800s isn’t so different than the 1900s. I don’t know if it’s true or not, at least when it comes to the content of our heroes’ hearts and the curse of the super-species of man that started eons ago.
It feels like memes are the anachronism for the future? Like, it is both a pot mark in the past in which the future can “understand” (eg., via name dropping) and also a way in which the future can connect to the past (eg., generational). It’s just the vantage point differ, since there’s that arrow of time and all.
I think I can make 99 jokes based on FREE, the newly announced Kyoto Animation project. This TV anime will hit the airwaves in July 2013. It’s roughly the same anime people have been clamoring for since the Animation Do KyoAni commercial of the same subject matter aired a couple months ago. Today, the characters have names, voice acting, and are part of some story.
I don’t know, really. After Tamako Market I’m definitely skeptical about another original Kyoto Animation work. I still like/am biased towards original works, so I’ll definitely be watching it when it comes out, even if the visual signals are clearly saying it’s not for me. And it isn’t as if Tamako Market was not fun to watch; just nothing special short of that one episode.
As for the ongoing discourse, to put it broadly, it’s all about Kyoani putting their foot down on female-targeting fanservice. There’s a lot of different reactions out there actually, but what is kind of amusing and bothersome at the same time is the meta-ness of it. There are probably more blog posts and reactions about people who might be against this manflesh anime pandering than actual complaints about the anime, let alone complaints about the anime being manflesh pandering. I’m sure there’s a healthy contingent of whiners, those so-called moe otaku or whatever, but isn’t that true for just any other anime out there? Shouldn’t all this complaints be characterized in a way where it’s normalized against some average? At this point it feels like people are just having fun against a strawman, and yeah, arguing against a strawman is pretty fun.
The way I see, it’s a simple formula of KyoAni fanbase clashing with the truth that there are probably a helluva lot of girls actually working at Kyoto Animation, slaving away at your Hyouka or Chuu2Koi, and now they are doing a project that flies their flags, so to speak. That goes against the typical work Kyoani has produced, so naturally some people are kind of irked. Like all those people hoping for a Full Metal Panic work. (Funny thing is you can’t even really makefun of these guys (at least not full bore) because FMP is at least a cut above, say, an eroge adaptation). I like this–this flag flying–because people tend to draw their best when they draw stuff they like. But, really, just how many girls are working at Kyoani today? Why do I get the impression there are a lot of them?
To take even a bigger step back, I feel this is just an anime hipster kind of thing to do. It’s like there’s this overarching dialog over there in the video game scene about women and sexism, and anime peeps are just making their own version up, in a monkey-see-monkey-does kind of way. I mean, it’s too disingenuous to even call it prosecution. It’s just silly. It doesn’t even address any of the core issues, or real issues involved.
For one, this is about fanservice. It’s clearly not about moe (or anti-moe or whatever). Yet moe gets flagged, why?
Second, more people need to watch Tsuritama. Or KimiBoku. It’s not otaku entertainment if it doesn’t have discourse, and without familiarity of the discourse I don’t know if you can really make sense of it. Like a good doujinshi, it needs context, it’s from fans, to fans. You really get a nice dose of it in the promo material for FREE. In fact I think that’s part of the problem–so far the various promos offer little in terms of what the show will be like besides the fanservice part. There are high schoolers swimming, and…?
To circle back about fanservice and moe, I think maybe it’s more about misidentifying Kyoani fandom? There was all this hoopla about Little Buster and Air and Kanon, after all. I think it’s just yet another chapter in KyoAni’s varied history–from Munto to the Kanon remake to Haruhi-isms to Yamakan. Now this.
And like every misleading narrative, it distracts attention from real issues, like the regularly-issued bomb threats for Kuroko’s Basketball events, or, well, Kyoto Animation hasn’t been able to do an original anime to make a living off of. Will whining about whiners whining about the homoerotic undertones or manflesh or whatever of Free, change any of it? Or improve the lives of women interacting with anime? Doubtful, unless you count the good feels those tumblr campaigns or laughing at internet strawmen bring home. It’s normal for guys (especially nerds) to get squeamish about the naked body; it’s not normal for BL doujin events to get canceled because of bomb threats. I think it’s just sad when people can’t get that straight.
From Up on Poppy Hill hails as the first full-length animated feature helmed by a father-son combo. The Miyazakis did a pretty good job here, with its usual features that we’ve came to expect of the typical Ghibli production. Even if it’s an adaptation.
The US dub is, as usual, competent. It falls just short of being a really great dub, but I think it suffices quite well nonetheless.
Watching it on debut weekend on the coattails of the NYICFF takes a bit of air out of it because the screening didn’t count for the box office numbers. It’s kind of weird but those screenings are eligible to be watched by festival pass owners (It’s like $250 or something). Maybe that is why they counted separately.
The real angle I have on this movie is that it has a strange cultural bubble that the narrative swims in. My first reaction after finishing the film was “man, I need to get the JP version and rewatch it.” Thankfully, it will make a fun rewatch. The subdued and awkward teenage drama is as cute as quaint can get. I mean, only if Hyouka was even 10% as cute as this. It’s too restrained to catch up to Whisper of the Heart but this might be the very first Ghibli film since Kondo’s masterpiece which attempted at real teenage awkward-laughing-at.
Poppy Hill makes a very strong parallel with Umi’s home at the Coquelicot Manor and the Quartier Latin, one that is made explicit half way through the movie. I guess it’s typical for the movie to help us out in this way.
In Porco, there was a scene (or two?) where you see these shiny American bombers doing rounds in the sky. I wonder if this is how it feels when Poppy Hill shows us its smoky, 1964 landscapes in Yokohama. It’s all this figurative “flag language” that surrounds the film which makes it doubly more interesting if you knew what it spoke.
PS. I wonder if we can say, fairly, that the difference between Miyazaki Sr.’s film and Jr.’s film being the difference between Shun and Oreki.
I wish I have something to add to JManga’s last announcement, but I don’t. It’s the imagine conjured up in my mind whenever Japan tries to innovate regarding media. Which is to say, yeah, as much as I love you for trying, you guys just got that proverbial long ways to go left to go. I hope the people who were working for JManga find a nice landing place. I also hope I get to read all the stuff I bought off JManga but didn’t finish reading yet, before they cut the cord.
The saying also goes “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” I think we’re pretty much stuck at that stage of the game when it comes to new media. You have to execute. In fact just willingness of these big corporate dudes in playing the game, as another saying goes, is just half of the battle. It feels none of the execs or corporate bodies on the list of controlling entities are known for innovation. Manga publishing? Hah. Maybe you could point and say it’s in the DNA.
It takes an incredibly different mindset to be able to serve the world beyond Japan’s borders, and the truth is nobody over there has proven this is something possible domestically. It’s not that they are incompetent, but it seems like they just don’t get it.
I’m also tired of this naysaying. So instead let’s see what JManga did right after all. It’ll help me switch gears from whining about Google’s decision to kill Reader.
Open up the service more like a title library than a catalog – They listed a bunch of stuff they didn’t translate, but were possibilities. It’s a nice touch.
Bring over guests to cons – You do this, you’re all right in my book–it’s about connecting fans with creators.
Mobile apps – They eventually had this, and it’s increasingly a must for new media to cater to relevant platforms.
Regular communication – For the most part they’re pretty okay at this.
Sales – It’s nice to have. Especially periodically and at first.
High definition images – They exist, although it could be better, it’s good enough.
Translation options – It’s good to have the option to read in raw and in English or any other language available.
…and I’m spent. Fact is I just haven’t used it much. Certainly not enough to really get to know the service–as much as you can after reading a couple volumes and browsing for a while. The downsides and things it got wrong held me back. And that’s the temptation–for every one thing it did right I can probably name 2-3 things it did badly or wrongly. It’s so easy. I remember when JManga launched in 2010 I sent feedback to them about their point system, and in some ways they never outgrew that. Maybe they were doomed from the start.