So, Froggy-kun nominated me as a part of this Liebster Award thing, which is basically just a way to give some exposure to the smaller blogs around. Of course, this just makes me feel even worse about being so terrible with updates recently, but alas, posts are in the works, I swear!
The gist of it is that each person nominated answers 11 questions, nominates 11 other blogs, and presents their own 11 questions. As fun as this sounds, I don’t think I even follow 11 blogs, let alone 11 small blogs, so I’m gonna skimp on the nomination part and just answer the questions. If you wanna know what blogs I think are worth checking out, my blogroll should suffice.
Alright, let’s get to it.
1) How many waifus is too many waifus?
1 waifu is too many. 3D girls are a lot more fun. I feel like even being ironic, having “waifus” is fundamentally a bad way to approach any fiction, since it fundamentally objectifies the characters, which goes hand-in-hand with other hobbies I’ll never understand like figurines. This is just not the way I want to approach stories.
2) ‘Fess up. Did you watch all the filler episodes in Naruto?
I stopped caring and dropped Naruto just before the Pain arc, but I did in fact watch all the filler up to this point. A bit strange in retrospect, but to be honest, I don’t think I’d even clicked at the time that whole arcs of the anime were original material, not adapted from the manga.
So I watched them, but maybe only because I hadn’t realised they even were filler.
3) Favourite Shakespeare play?
Haven’t read all that many Shakespeare plays, but I remember enjoying As You Like It when we studied it in high school.
4) Between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, which is the better old-time group?
I’ve listened to The Beatles an awful lot more than I have The Rolling Stones, so if I rectified this my opinion might change, but hands down The Beatles. What an eclectic, wonderful band.
5) Do you have an anime OTP (One True Pairing)? If so, what is it?
Honestly, shipping in general isn’t really something I buy into or feel at all compelled to take part in. Though I have to admit, gay pairings are a lot of fun to root for, particularly when there’s already plenty of subtext to go off. I spent a good portion of Valvrave just assuming HarutoxL-Elf was canon.
To give a more satisfying answer, I’ll change the question to: What couple in an anime really resonated with you?
Before Nisemonogatari and Monogatari 2nd Season made me completely detest Araragi’s character, AraragixSenjougahara would definitely have to have been one of the most satisfying couples in anime for me. The fast pace, the power play, the disarming moments of brutal honesty. It feels much more real than almost any other romance in anime, and Senjougahara is such a single-mindedly compelling character, I wanted to root for them, which is rare.
I can’t say it really resonated with me, but I found ShoumaxRingo from Mawaru Penguindrum thoroughly charming, for whatever reason.
6) “Death Note is better than Code Geass.” Agree or disagree?
Thoroughly agreed. Death Note may have fallen apart in its final third, but the incredible adrenaline rush it delivered at its peak far outshone anything Code Geass ever provided.
7) Have you ever cried watching an anime?
Yes indeed, though only once. I hate to admit it, but Clannad ~After Story~ got me. I wish I could give an answer that wasn’t so thoroughly predictable, but that’s the truth of it.
8) Your opinion on Justin Bieber?
Could not care less. I feel like paying attention to him would be validating him, so I pay as little attention as possible.
9) Judging purely from the pictures below, which of these two shows would you rather watch? (You’re not allowed to say neither!)
Undoubtedly the second. I have a real fondness for the shoujo/josei aesthetic. It’s a (admittedly relatively small) component of my love for Utena. Sure, it can get overly saccharine, but it just really gels with me.
KyoAni and I just don’t see eye-to-eye these days, and their artstyle is definitely a sizeable portion of that.
10) Which anime character would you SHUDDER at the thought of being married to?
I’ll limit this to characters from shows I actually like. Even then, way too many to list, so let’s just name the first ones that pop into my head:
Eva Heinemann (Monster)
Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop)
Literally any of the girls from Clannad
Nino (Arakawa Under the Bridge)
Misa (Death Note)
I’m sure there are plenty more, but that’ll do
11) Read this article. Is Hayao Miyazaki spot on or is he just a grumpy old fart?
To give a boring, non-committal answer, I agree and I don’t. Let me elaborate on that a bit and hopefully make it less boring.
On the one hand, yes, absolutely, compelling drama, heck, just compelling stories in general are borne out of a good understanding of people and their interactions, it’s a big part of why I can’t get into something like Oregairu, it’s all so warped and wrapped up in its own otaku lens of how people should behave, that is to say, almost nothing like real people.
On the other hand, reading Azuma has made me realise that masturbatory simulacrum is basically what the industry is built on at this point. In a way, its weird little hyperreal mess of meta-reference and imitation is what defines the subculture and its particular niche, perhaps more than anything else, so to lose that would be to lose a large part of its identity. What’s more, good things have come of it, like Bakemonogatari, and, to a lesser extent (in that it is less borne of otakuness, not that it’s less of a triumph), Mawaru Penguindrum. Both brilliant shows that could exist in no other medium, and very much a product of that insular, introverted otaku culture. The trick is that both these shows are injected with a real understanding of people and emotions, great stories in a broader sense as well as being more specifically great within the context of anime.
With this is mind, I guess I lean more towards agreeing with Miyazaki than disagreeing.
A couple of things I’d like to say to your answers:
1) and 5) Shipping and having waifus really seem like shallow ways to engage with fiction and when taken too far, they tend to compromise the consumer’s ability to appreciate a work in its holistic sense. I think they’re legit forms of interpretation, though, and shouldn’t necessarily be ignored. I freely admit that I’m into that kind of stuff, because I strive to pursue the interpretation that gives me the greatest appreciation of a work as it’s intended, but there’s a time and place for them. In practical terms, discussions on shipping and BEST GIRL feel very dull and offer no new insight. But figuring out what exactly in the work gives people that urge to ship and to objectify characters… that’s the kind of fascinating stuff which drives literary discussion. I feel that in order to understand it, I need to embrace it on a gut level first.
9) I agree that shojo > moeblob. The moe aesthetic is one that has simply never clicked with me, however much I understand it from an intellectual standpoint.
11) What I don’t like about the debate around this subject is the “us vs them” mentality between otaku and non-otaku. (Not that you’ve fallen into this by any means, but it’s a general thing I’ve noticed.) As fascinating as the otaku subculture is, anime is just as much about individual expression. And I’m not being an “elitist” for encouraging writers and directors to strive towards that. How hard is to comprehend that just because A > B doesn’t mean that B automatically sucks? It’s okay to like both kinds of anime.
I should have said in the post, by the way. Pretty great questions, actually quite telling about one’s mentality towards aspects of the culture, so I tried to answer them with this in mind.
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