Anime Blogger Interrogation Game – Highway Edition

Hey there everyone! Sushi did this a week ago, and it seems to be my turn, as Iso got me this time. Unfortunately for everyone else, I’m going to be a bit of a dead end, as I don’t really know any other bloggers to tag with this, but I’ll still answer the questions and add some of my own.  The rules are in both of those linked posts, so I’m not going to repaste them here.  So on to Iso’s questions!

1) How did you discover the animeblogosphere and what made you decide to join it?

I’m really new to aniblogging, and I’ve mentioned (like all the time) that I’m pretty new to anime in general. Basically, I started watching anime again in October 2011. Before that I’d had periods of interest, watched Cowboy Bebop, Bubblegum Crisis 2042, and a couple other shows, but it was just too hard to find more to watch. So when we got Netflix streaming, and I realized it had a whole anime section, I started watching some shows there. Then I realized that “Hey, this is pretty cool, but these dubs aren’t that great.” After asking some online friends, I found out about fansubs, and started watching in Japanese (I also decided to start learning Japanese at that point, and I figure I’ll be working on that for a long time, but it’s fun). Anyway, around about March, I started being enough through the older shows I had been watching to be interested in new shows. As I started to watch as current some of the new Spring 2012 shows, I found that I wanted to discuss aspects of them, and the large forums for anime that I’d found just have a terrible signal to noise ratio. So in the effort to find some worthwhile discussion about Nazo no Kanojo X, somehow, I found lvlln’s posts about it on Metanorn, and that was really what I’d been looking for: Actual discussion of a show, that takes so much more of the content into consideration. Not just “OMG Urabe’s boobs!” I mean, they’re nice and all, but there’s so much more to most anime shows than just boobs and asses. So anyway, my introduction to the wider aniblogosphere branched out from there, and really coincided with the Aniblogger Tourney (See? it was a great idea as far as I’m concerned!). I’ve found more sites that have good commentary and welcome good comments, and have been both happy to contribute comments and also glad to learn more about anime. From older show recommendations to current shows I’d never heard of to even things like discussion of music and animation methods.

As far as becoming a blogger myself, that happened after I decided to try Metanorn’s irc channel for more real-time discussion. This was right at the end of the aniblogger tourney, so there was a lot of traffic in there, and it was mostly fun. But that’s where I met Sushi, and after chatting with him there for a few weeks, he gave me the offer to start blogging here. I’m really glad for that, I’ve tried to set up my own blog before (for general blogging) and it’s really a hassle. I consider it a real gift to have the opportunity to blog on a site that’s new and energetic, but also that has a bit of an established feel to it. And I like not being the whole source of content (like my own blog was). The pressure really gets overwhelming, so group blogs really help carry the load. Now I just get the opportunity to share my thoughts and (hopefully) witty observations about the shows I’m watching.

2) What type of blog posts do you like to read?

I try to write the kind of blog posts that I want to read. Mainly I like a synopsis of the story, with observations by the writer as they go along. I like when writers expand on their thoughts, or tie earlier parts to what’s happening now. I also like relevant asides, explanation of phenomena that might have happened in the shows. I like a few pictures, but not too many, since I think they can interrupt the flow of a post. And I like when the writer speculates on what’s going to happen, and then engages with commenters. That’s kind of my blueprint for making blog posts, and that’s what I like to read.

3) What is/are your favourite anime/manga genre(s)?

My favorite anime genres really lean towards romance, rom-com, slice of life, and ecchi. The setting doesn’t matter that much, and the target audience doesn’t even matter that much, if I think it’s a good show, I’ll watch it.

4) What is one important lesson that you learnt from watching anime or reading manga?

Well, this isn’t really a lesson taught by a particular show, it’s a lesson I learned from the reactions that other people had to me picking up anime watching as a hobby at the unusual age of 41. That lesson is “It doesn’t matter whether other people accept what you like to do. If it doesn’t hurt other people, and if you enjoy it, don’t be embarrassed about it.”

5) What is your horoscope? As a bonus, do tell us what traits/characteristics that are associated with that horoscope do you possess if you would like.

Well, I’m a Pisces, but horoscopes really have no bearing on my life.

Now, for some questions I choose to answer.  Some of these are going to be questions that other bloggers have used as well, that I just want to answer.

1) How do the musical features of anime figure into your enjoyment of it (OP, ED, Inserts, OST BGM)?

I love music, and have been playing it almost all my life (in school bands and rock bands). To me, I love the fact that anime keep the OP and ED songs, when so much of live TV is getting rid of them, or minimalizing / trivializing them. For anime in general, having so many great songs just multiplies my enjoyment. And the songs can even link me to the emotions I feel while watching an anime. It also helps that so many of the songs are in genres I really love, and don’t really have English counterparts (Power pop is pretty much dead in the US and Europe).

But I am pretty much limited to the discrete songs. I’m really not the biggest fan of soundtrack or background music. I mostly just notice it when it’s wrong – missing, inappropriate, overly loud.

2) Do you read other mediums associated with anime shows?

Part of the reason I’ve started learning Japanese is to be able to read manga and Light Novels without translation. I’ve read some light novel translations, and a few manga scanlations, but generally they leave something to be desired. I plan to read more as I learn more Japanese.

3) What was the first anime you watched? How did it get you interested in watching more anime?

I’m going to go from my “Modern Era”, after I started watching again. The first one that really caught my interest in anime was Sekirei, which I watched on Netflix. I have no idea why I picked it, maybe cause it was cute girls on the cover. And for all the silliness of that show, the depth of the story captured me. Yeah, it’s a pretty standard harem show, and the Male Lead is a bit of a wimp (he’s a huge wimp), but he also made decisions and helped, and felt connected with his harem. I was also kind of amazed at the content: nudity on US TV is not something you ever see. That it was shown seemingly so casually was something that really appealed to me, because I’m not a big fan of the US attitudes towards sex. And the final thing that really wrapped me into the show was the OP and ED songs, sung by the cast, especially Saori Hayami. I think having the VA talent on the show sing the related songs is a HUGE benefit to a show, even if they might not have the best voices, if they can do a credible job, then it just helps wrap more involvement into the show. So after finishing the first series, I wanted to see the story continue, so I had to go look for Pure Engagement (which wasn’t on Netflix). And that opened up a huge new world – the internet.

4) How do you feel about anime elitism (Trying to find every fault within an anime)?

I thought Sushi came up with a good question here, so I wanted to answer it. I generally try to find the positive stuff in an anime I’m reviewing. I’ll mention some things I don’t like, or things that don’t make sense, or things that I think are problems. But I don’t think it does the viewer or our blog audience any good to be very negative.  If you don’t like a show, don’t watch it.

5) What is your one favorite anime?

Prior to Spring 2012, I would have said ToraDora! I love the love story that played out there, and it was a lot of fun. But Nazo no Kanojo X really took it to a different level for me. It just clicked right with me, every aspect of it.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to take these questions and answer them on your own if you’d like! Or even offer your own answers in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Anime Blogger Interrogation Game – Highway Edition

  1. Thanks for sharing about yourself! It was an informative read.

    I like your statement “The setting doesn’t matter that much, and the target audience doesn’t even matter that much, if I think it’s a good show, I’ll watch it.” as it’s true for me too; I’ve picked up random anime series’ that are out of my usual tastes and some of them have turned out to be surprisingly good. But of course, some luck is necessary too; some series I picked up on a whim turned out bad.

    I think trying to write something that you yourself would enjoy reading is a great way to go, because anime blogging is about sharing your own opinions in the way that you like. Staying true to yourself helps one find like-minded people who resonate at the same frequency/wavelength as you do. Personally, I prefer to skip the part about giving a synopsis or summary of the story because
    1) It is a hassle to write and
    2) I presume that the reader has already watched the episode if s/he is reading my impressions.
    I tend to make references to certain parts of the episode in my posts, which means that they contain quite a number of spoilers if a person has yet to watch the episode. I like to think about what I’ve just watched, so I definitely write in my posts anything that comes to mind whilst I am watching an episode or after I’ve watched an episode.

    And bravo, well said about doing what you like as long as you’re interested in it and it doesn’t affect anyone else. I really respect that.

    • As I think about it, a lot of the anime I watched over the last winter were things I liked, but things that a lot of people wouldn’t exactly recommend first. Not being in touch with anyone else who was very interested in anime kind of left me self-directed, or ‘related-stuff directed’. So a lot of the shows I ended up watching were MAL recommendations. And if I liked it, I watched it. And luckily, I’ve only found a couple shows that I just gave up on.

      I see what you mean about the synopsis, and maybe I meant more of a quick rehash of the high points of a show. I also find that I write a lot of words, and I feel that I should cut that down, so one of the first things to go is the stuff that everyone knows. Thinking about what you’ve watched is something that’s important to me also. I like to partially write a post, and then let it sit overnight. Then I can come back to it, see if I like the road I was on, and see what I need to change, remove, or expand on. I really find giving myself time for reflection can really help.

  2. Pingback: A First Year of Anime – From Dubs to Blogging – Part 1 | Sushi GoKart

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