Year in Review 2013: Introduction

It didn’t feel like Christmas until the calendar turned the corner on American Thanksgiving, which is really the main signal for American to switch gears from “normal” to “holiday.” Given this year Thanksgiving was at its latest possible date, the whole holiday feel sprung on me very suddenly. But it didn’t hit home until I saw this in the news.

People have already been rolling up the holiday preps. I see people doing end-of-year blogging (at least writing it, not publishing it) and what secret santa things. I will do my two cents worth of sprucing up the holidays here.

Chihaya, Miki, Haruka

Looking back in 2013, it’s a year when a lot of things came together. On the internet, I’ve been doing more writing than ever, and a lot of it is on Japanator. For better or for worse I’m kind of writing for them in a capacity that I imagined I would for the longest time. I guess this does mean I am now forced with the choices of cutting something somewhere so I can write more consistently. For better or worse, I am also watching more anime now than ever, which just means my novel reading has come to almost a halt. I think I finished 2 books in 2013. Blame it on LTE technology, I guess. And video games. Having all three Shiny Festa games on the iPad, or that I own a Vita now, or having the opportunity to crash through Project Diva and Ni no Kuni, stuff like that.

In some ways I wish I could’ve seen 12 Ghibli films in a month, again, but instead I will spend time getting ready. Or getting L@DY as they say. Thing is, I’ve been doing this crap for too long to shortchange the depth and passion of the Producer fandom. iM@S Ps. Nerds who love idolm@ster. Whatever. That has been kind of a thing this year more so than 2011 or 2012.

But that hasn’t been a theme, if you get what I am saying. What has been a theme is that slowly what excited me beyond anime and manga has consistently been simply things that enhanced the experience. Like meeting a seiyuu I like or going to a concert full of music from shows I loved. Both of these things happened this year (and somewhat surprisingly, every year in recent times). I mean, Otakon 20, man. If I didn’t already jumped the shark back in 2009 this would have been one awesome memorable Otakon, not that it wasn’t awesome. Cons are still tiresome but that is about as tiresome as not getting sleep; I could have skipped out on sleep to marathon some crap anime or play some video game, too. What I’m saying is just that, the totality of the fandom experience for the monetary enabled, hardcore otaku overseas has narrowed closer to the Japanese, in recent years, by some significant amount. And the simulcast business is just a small piece of that pie.

It’s just easy to point to Daisuki and Anime Sols, I guess, because they are entities out there promoting themselves. But this Producer-wannabe (I feel unworthy to truly partake in this fandom, but I will still make some business cards) is trying to board an airplane comes February to go see M@STER OF IDOL WORLD 2014. Having made a similar trip in 2013, it really kind of unsettles me in that I am not sure if, well, I will be ready for two Japan trips within 12 months. It feels that the logistic and legal hurdle between Japan and its distributed works are slowly but surely eroding. I guess that’s great if your business operates on hauling butts across the Pacific in giant flying metal cages. Or the Atlantic as I met my first UK Producer this year, heyo.

The “World Is All One” aside, I did have a good time in 2013. I just wish I could do my next trip not just purely to hit up concerts, as this trip is shaping out to be another “stay in Tokyo the whole time” kind of thing. I guess I could sight see on a day trip to go to… Mt. Takao or something. LOL. I mean they have a Yama no Suzume trail right? Right?

At least that hike is short.

Year in Review 2013 Index:


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