Category Archives: Modern Visual Culture

The Yakkai Eventer, or Why It’s Complicated

Here’s my take. It’s probably just tackling a portion of the larger debate about being yakkai, nonetheless we should start somewhere. These are more philosophical and principles about calls and the like, and not so much guidelines or about specific things…

In a nutshell, it’s about cultural differences and personal opinions on unsettled parts of newly developing culture. TL;DR is that do what you want, just don’t make trouble (which usually means do what the locals do).

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Year in Review 2016: N-listing

I’m putting this out first because the other post can stand by itself, introspection or not. Hey, it’s not March yet.

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As Expected, Nobody Understands Girlish Number

When I watch Girlish Number I think I understand the story from the point of view of a seiyuu otaku. When I read this post I’m not sure what is going on. But rather, let me consider this hypothesis: I don’t understand how non-seiota approach the show not because they don’t understand (or even care to being to understand their ignorance, and if they did know, they don’t care anyway), but because I don’t want (or care) to understand the plebs and their alternative approach to digesting something and repurposing it for their own entertainment.

Chitose may or may not be a bitch and that’s besides the point. The idea is that a heroine like her is, as the large number of Batman x Oregairu memes preordained, Chitose is the heroine this (or our, my precious) rotten industry deserves, not the heroine it wants. This is not unexpected given our passive-aggressive mastermind behind Girlish Number’s creation. Actually, I was surprised, when the dialog almost outright said this in one of the drinking sessions.

Which is just to say, it’s a form of gap analysis, to put it in different terms. I mean, that’s the essence of passive aggression as an expression after all. But it all comes down to the core ask I have: If you don’t understand what the gap is, why would Girlish Number even be interesting? Chitose embodies the broken ideals that makes Girlish Number sting, and sing, in that her strength overcomes her flaws, that she appeals to the shallow but it’s where rubber meets the road in this corrupt world she operates in. Yae, for example, is not only like a real female seiyuu in the same disposition, but is personification of this gap. So if you didn’t know or can then review your own otaku culture and digest the commentary/criticism, trying to enjoy Girlish Number is being just as shallow as Chitose? Surely not.

If anything, it’s kind of amusing to see how outsiders think. It’s like a typical staple shonen manga plot/character where the newcomer who revolutionizes the situation because she doesn’t play by the rules. Chitose probably plays by the rules too much, that she forgot some of the other ones? I don’t know. But it’s the calculations that my brain does when I watch the show. Not the fact that Chitose’s attitude bother me, but rather, what does it really mean?

And I think that’s the kind of literary analysis that should go without saying, similar to that  how Chitose is still self-aware enough about her predicaments, in that both she doesn’t give a damn (since she has no chance in hell to make her dreams true %-wise) and she gives all the damns in the world (since she’s in it to win it, it’s her dreams and passion and what her personality demands). It’s that kind of shitty industry after all.

And it’s like a beta-nerd thing to passively and pre-emptively guard yourself by saying your anime suck, Watarin. Suck it up like Chitose! I guess this is why she’s the heroine.


Hibike! Euphonium! Hot Take

First, read this translated interview from the novel author, the creator of the series.

Then go watch the series, it’s really good! Also because there will be spoilers.

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Mahouiku Is Actually About Magical Girls

Spoilers about Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, or Magical Girls Raising Project: the TL;DR is that it’s a story with consistent and overarching thematic points that make sense, despite seemingly underhanded ploy to appeal to emotion through relatively cheap tricks (of killing people). More details after the jump, but it is at least something I can deal with mentally after it’s all said and done.

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