Monthly Archives: January 2017


I guess I don’t read too many anime blogs these days but I’m glad someone blogged about Demi-chan’s disability discourse. It’s an easy one to make as people like myself (as in most people educated about literary analysis on some level) would see fantastical characters as some parallel, real-world analogy. He makes the same point I make–it’s easy to take that comparison to the extreme (which is, anything outside the lit mechanism we’re using) and it’s kind of ableist to make these sort of claims. To that end I think it’s much better to just say what the mechanism is–by creating these fantasy characters with unusual daily challenges it lets us appreciate people who are different from us, that the real-life-parallels in some cases may have challenges we’re unaware of or unable to appreciate. It’s racist (as a joke–I guess)? If you think of Demi-chan as a work to express some thematic concerns to the Japanese manga-reading audience then the cultural context would be a lot more black and white for that very homogeneous society (speaking as an American living in a ideologically and racially diverse metropolitan area) known as Japan.

Would we have this discussion if they were X-mens? Let’s not even mention the rarest character of them all–the mid-30s adult harem lead–but that a daily-life take forces the analysis from, say, plain racism, to ableism? That’s a nice trick, one that might make Miyazaki proud.

I do want to talk a bit about the succubus character and the trials she puts up with in order to not let her special powers bother the human people around her. It’s just so charming. It’s a kind of gap moe. It’s a kind of seeing something genuinely new and unusual with familiar material. It’s kind of what Monmusu was missing for me (even if I don’t quite expect that from anything). This is kind of why I watch anime at all, because I can’t imagine anybody in the west would make a story like this in a multimedia format.

OK, back to packing for P-meeting. Hopefully I’ll be able to write up that prompto.

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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Taiyoucon 2017: Wrap

Last year I didn’t hit a proper anime con in the States until Anime Boston over Easter, but this year I started off with Taiyoucon on the very first weekend of 2017. Taiyoucon is a little anime convention out in Phoenix, Arizona, boasting about 3000 warm bodies in its 2016 iteration. The 2017 version is its 7th ever and 3rd at the Mesa Convention Center, which is this little sleepy mess of ballroom and conference halls in the same complex as the nearby Marriott.

How do I explain this con? It’s one of the smallest con I have attended–about the same size as the first Animazement I attended in 2005 (~2700 warm bodies). The complex is broken up by curvy walkways and walls, so it was kind of hard to get a crowd shot. I didn’t go into the dealer’s room and that might be the single largest open area at the con. There were some large outdoor areas for gatherings but none of them were in a central area so most people didn’t stick to any one of them for lounging or cosplay shoots. The event setup is pretty cozy, as I can go from my hotel room on the 11th floor to anywhere in the con in less than 3 minutes basically. There weren’t that many people and the venue is all pretty small-like.

Not unlike the 2005 Animazement convention, Taiyoucon drew me there partly because it featured Kanda Akemi and Sanpei Yuko as guests this year, along with Lotus Juice, Hirata Shihoko, and Teddyloid. Did I ever mention how small Shihoko is?

Anyways, my goal at the con was just to pester the two seiyuu guests as much as possible by attending all their events, and to hang out with both con friends and some local friends who recently moved out there, plus getting a first person view of the AZ Ps working that con. It was pretty chill and laid back, more so because there aren’t that many people there and when we weren’t getting autographs or attending the seiyuu panels, we were either eating, lounging in the live viewing panels, or at a concert or a party of some sort.

The entertainment for Saturday at Taiyoucon is either the cosplay lounge (this year they have a monster girl theme) or at the VIP party with Teddyloid (invariably also including LJ and Shihoko). It was a good time at the VIP party but we didn’t do that much. I was there more for goofy photo OPs and listening to some Panty & Stocking musics, and trying the themed alcoholic drinks.

The drinks were not expensive but watered down like how the actual Characro IM@S cafe drinks were. And there was also this…

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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.