Advertisements

A Study of Japanese Anibloggers: #1 Uozanankyoku [NSFW]

tumblr_m4rewbcYWi1qf186f

One of the things that’s always escaped me is what Japanese people think of Japanese anime. Looking at the sales figures provides you with some measure of an average Japanese anime fan’s taste, but what about their first-hand reactions? People generally know about 2ch, but what about the Japanese aniblogsphere? Do they have a comparable blogging culture to ours, with there being a general (though somewhat skewed) perception of “blogger = elitist/critic/hipster/etc.”?

As of now, I’ve only just skimmed the surface of the Japanese aniblogsphere, but the early returns suggest to me that their blogsphere has evolved in an entirely different way from ours. English aniblogging is a niche over here, with a small number of bloggers holding a large amount of sway over a relatively closed community. The Japanese blogsphere, meanwhile, is huge. Compare the scale of their aniblog directory to Anime Nano and you’ll see that blogging for them is a rather established thing. The blogs are even being ranked in terms of some kind of arbitrary scale that I have not quite worked out yet.

Naturally, this suggests that the Japanese blogsphere is more likely to represent the mainstream Japanese fan’s opinion than that of a “snob”.

In this sporadic series of posts, I’ll introduce you to a Japanese aniblogger’s website, tell you about their tastes from what they’ve written about themselves and then translate one post which I feel is representative of their writing style.

First up: Uozanankyoku from To Love Ru Love. As you might be able to guess, he likes To Love-Ru.

Brief Bio: A diehard otaku, Uozanankyoku is extremely fond of male-targeted romance series. He’s also a fan of Anohana, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Interestingly, while he describes himself as a “KyoAni Believer”, he is critical of Kyoukai no Kanata and states that he finds the story to be rather bland.

But of course, his main love is To Love-Ru, and he covers every chapter of the manga when they come out. He writes humorously, with a good deal of lewd jokes, and his commentors appear to be like-minded. His style of humour differs from the sarcastic wit one stereotypically associates with English anibloggers and makes liberal use of emoticons and the boke/tsukkomi routine.

A Typical Post By Uozanankyoku:

So there we have it: As shown below, I procured the early release of the January issue of Jump Square, which was sold on December 4th.

to_101201_001

Once again, this month’s issue of To Love-Ru Darkness is a centre colour piece. Furthermore, the showcase is a gorgeous double-spread poster. As usual, hell yeah Jump Square, giving our Lord Yabuki the preferential treatment. lol

Now then, here is the poster in question:

to_101201_002

tlr1

Showing the four first-year heroines’ nipples in colour right from the beginning – this manga sure escalated quickly…

By the way, this was on the back.

to_101201_003

The back was a Motto To Love-Ru poster in the style of Darkness. Fine by me, heh.

Now for the story. This week’s fanservice component you’ve all been dying for…~

k003.27

k003.28

THE NEW CHARACTER MEA-CHAN!

tlr2

Mea-chan has immediately fallen into Rito’s clutches. Good plot is good.

k003.32

AND AGAIN HE TOUCHES HER TITS キタ━━━━━━(゚∀゚)━━━━━━ !!!!!

Why does Yabuki-sensei have such fondness for soft-core porn? Eh, not that I’m complaining.

k003.30

Also, this week, Mea copped an eyeful of Rito’s you-know-what. ’tis the rewards of the industry.

I mean, at first I was thinking what if Mea-chan didn’t show any skin, but she came clean after all. Good plot…

Continuing on, while Mea-chan’s fanservice was quite the eye-opener, when it comes to fanservice scenes, naturally that character is unbeatable.

k003.33

tlr3

to_101201_009

tlr4

Damn, what a horny chick… She moves quick…

On the other hand, what’s even more intriguing than Momo’s scene above is this shot of Yami-chan.

k003.38

tlr5

to_101201_011

tlr5

to_101201_012

tlr6

  • Final Comments

“I am currently working on touching up the artwork in the tankobon release! Wonder if I made Nana and Mikan’s breasts too big.” – Yabuki

tlr6

(Translator Notes)

  • This blogger liked to use polite-style language to introduce the topic “objectively” and then follow it up with dirty language and fanboying for humorous effect. I tried to capture that in my translation.
  • The chapter in question was TLR Darkness chapter 3. The reaction to the infamous Momo blowjob scene is comparable to the reactions the English fandom had.
  • One thing you can say about To Love-Ru fans, they sure have a keen eye for detail…
Advertisements

Posted on November 8, 2013, in Blog Posts, Translations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. I’ve been under the impression that Japanese anime blogging culture is pretty different from our own so it’s neat to read that it actually is. This reminds of a forum post by a NISA employ where he basically said it was embarrassing to have to explain to their Japanese partners why American fans hate each other so much.

    I imagine they still have plenty of “critics” who don’t understand the goals of a particular anime though? I’m super envious if they don’t…

    • There are elitists in pretty much every subculture, so yeah, I expect to find bloggers who dislike certain anime without attempting to understand it. For example, there was one blogger who was very harsh on Shinsekai Yori and criticised its characters, and then turned around and gave Symphogear G a perfect score. If someone did that in our blogsphere, they’d be promptly accused of trolling.

      Different standards, I guess?

      • That’s about what I expected I guess. I find I’m often at odds with English anime blogging. It makes me wonder if I’m simply more inclined to like things the Japanese fans like than what the western fans like because I understand it better. This is pure speculation on my part based entire off feeling like I understand what anime is trying to better than a lot of bloggers do, arrogance? maybe so, I hate never being able to feel 100% confident, just not enough to actually learn Japanese I guess.

        Expectations are incredibly important and I feel like the western anime blogging scene only gets about half the picture 90% of the time and which half is different from one blogger to the next. It can make talking about anime less fun when you have to argue what an anime is before you can talk about it if you know what I mean.

        All of that to say It’s neat to see this kind of thing in a feature. I hope you will do more of them.

  2. Ah, I’ve always been curious about this stuff. I hope you keep doing this.

    I find myself wondering whether the JP sphere has its contingent of uber-analyzers. Say, its comparative lit students who blog anime on the side, its people who want to be Hiroki Azuma when they grow up. It was a tough slog to find an audience for that in the English sphere until a couple of years ago — readers seemed to have a hard time understanding that giving a shit is not pretense — but I’m guessing they’ve had a lot more time to acclimate to it over there.

    • There are a number of blogs that identify themselves as being involved in “Research and Inquiry”, although the Japanese academic sphere is very different from ours, especially in terms of how they approach anime. There’s less focus on “art criticism” as we understand and apply the term and more on the sociological aspect.

      I’m planning to cover one of these styles of blogs in my next post in this series, though it might take a while, since the language is a lot trickier!

      • That’s interesting because, unless things have changed recently, anime research in actual academic settings and publications in the west is mostly confined to social science, too. I never saw many lit and film people bothering with it (same for video games, actually). If we have more aesthetic criticism in our blogs than the JP sphere does, I wonder if it’s because that’s how we got around a relative lack of it in the academy.

  3. I remember, when blogging Penguindrum, we received a comment from a Japanese reader who claimed that there was “nothing like” what we were doing in the English blogosphere in terms of how we went about disseminating thematic elements/references/social commentary/etc. If I had to sum up the comment in internet speak, it would sound something like, “Thank you guys for being so lolDEEP, there’s nothing like this in Japan.” which admittedly made me morbidly curious about the Japanese anime blogging scene.

    One thing that I find interesting, or rather indicative, of an anime blog in English (this includes any/all bloggers worldwide who are blogging in the English language) is the tendency to use literature written in English (and to some extent other European texts translated into English) to frame our viewpoint when looking into a work. That is, we find a framework that is most comfortable to us, as English-speaking viewers, and as we are unable to shed our own biases/education, we apply this to viewing even the most inherently Japanese anime series. I feel that a large amount of either references/setups for humor/even simple visual styles or scene blocking are perhaps already apparent to a Japanese viewer, and therefore they do not feel the need to elaborate on them.

    Regardless, I’m looking forward to future posts in this series, should you choose to continue it. ^ ^

    • I think that’s exactly it. If I had to generalise, I would say English-speaking bloggers tend to see anime as an art form, whereas Japanese bloggers see it as culture. That said, I have come across some otaku-academics, but they’re not as interested as we are in analysing a specific series and and are more interested in the subculture as a whole.

      Thanks for the encouragement! I can’t promise the next post very quick since translation is a lot of work, but I’m really interested in seeing where this research takes me.

  4. Good stuff. I’ll be back for more!

  5. Simple. These guys are not tripped up over self-analyzing their collective otaku lives. They’re simply living it.

    • ^ this

      I should add that I think Western fans, especially on this blogsphere, are so concerned with analysis because they don’t want to identify as that type of otaku. They want to understand it, but they don’t want to live it. We’ve developed our own niche subculture where it’s simply not cool to be an otaku. That’s a topic for another post, though.

  6. …a general (though somewhat skewed) perception…

    Sssshh!! Don’t say sh*t like this out loud.
    Nice post, btw.

    • did I just offend all the hipster-critic-elitist-bloggers out there

      sorry ’bout that

      We’re all such nice bloggers and we ALL think To Love-Ru is the beacon of modern Japanese art

  7. Oh yeah, that blog was awesome. Had a lot of fun reading that one, and the hentai jokes sent me laughing. Nice webtoons as well, by the way.

    To be honest, I don’t read a lot of blogs, and the only reason why I followed yours was because of your light novel post way back. Same goes for Japanese blogs. Personally, I just write what I want, without caring about analysis, other people (I assume nobody reads my blog so I just write whatever I want whenever I feel like it), but it seems that most other bloggers write with an audience in mind? Hmm……interesting.

    • Yeah, the the reason I wanted to translate that post into English was because I found it so hilarious. Am pretty envious of this blogger’s ASCII skills myself.

      Oh, you don’t read blogs? The more popular bloggers do write with an audience in mind, and it’s the sphere of influence they create that we call “the blogsphere”. I’d say the vast majority of bloggers would be like yourself – not reading other blogs and regarding their blogging as a purely personal activity. These bloggers would be outside the blogsphere and a lot of the generalisations about anime bloggers would have nothing to do with them, at least not directly.

      As for me, I do have an audience in mind when I write my posts. Not specifics, mind you, but I always aim to say something that would interest other anime fans and not just myself.

      • Nope, I don’t read many blogs other than yours, and perhaps a friend’s. I didn’t realize there is a blogsphere, though, but yeah, I guess I fall under the category of personal activities.

  8. This is really interesting! I’ve never really had the time (or the translation skills – my own level of Japanese is still pretty much in its infancy) to examine the Japanese blogsphere before in anything but the most superficial of ways, but it’s something I’ve been quite curious about. So thank you for taking the effort to post this, and I’m very much looking forward to more of this series of yours.

    • For some reason I assumed you would have madskillz at Japanese since you live in Japan. Hahaha, and I can’t say I’ve looked too deeply into Japanese blogs myself but it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to getting into more when time permits.

      • I never studied any Japanese at school or university, so basically everything I know is from first-hand experience – and I’ve only been living in Japan for just over a year now. That said, I don’t think my spoken Japanese is terrible. My written skillz, on the other hand, leave much to be desired.

  9. Pretty interesting read. If Uozanankyoku’s style of blogging is a close resemblance to the general style of Japanese bloggers, then the way Japanese blogs – it’s as if they are exchanging long-version twitter messages. Short, concise but fun, additionally with pictures to bolster that humor effect xD Though in our case, instead of using ASCII, I think we are more inclined to use things like demotivational posters to achieve similar comedic effects.

    • I think out of our bloggers, he’s pretty similar to Kurogane, but saying Uozanankyoku is representative of the Japanese blogsphere is like saying you or I are representative of the English blogsphere. Uo is pretty popular, though.

  10. I’ve had a few Japanese readers on my blog, many of which ran my page through google translate to understand it. I got some emails from them too, they seemed pretty interested in what I had to say and one would ask me to try to clarify some points in my unfortunately juvenile/stiff Japanese. >.< I always wondered what their blogsphere was like, but I'm nowhere near fluent to be able to read anything there at a glance.

    • You get emails from Japanese readers? Legit. I get a lot of Japanese spam but no actual comments lol. But I think from what you and some others have told me, Japanese fans are pretty interested in what we foreigners write about their cartoons :)

  11. I think the act of blogging in Japan is like what happens with blogs of TV shows in the West. TV shows blogs has a similar style to this japanese blog like an account of impressions more casual than a detailed analysis of plot, direction, writing, etc. The detailed critical analysis is left to the TV “specialized critic”, which are paid for this, and publish their reviews in magazines and reputed websites. Example: http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching

    In Japan there is a specialized critic like this? Specialized anime critic. If so, this would explain the style of Japanese blogs. In the English community there are no specialized anime critics, so bloggers end up filling this spot.

  12. One particularly thing about Japanese Anibloggers that I like is that there is bound too be some posts about any anime regardless of its actual popularity. I was personally surprised when I saw posts about Gaist Crusher, which I considered the weakest anime of this fall season and being said to be ignored by most people. Perhaps they are more willing to watch anime in wider target demographics and genres than westerners. Anyway, I’m looking forward for your next study!

  1. Pingback: Blogathon Blitz: Fantastic Memes | Illusions to Illusions

  2. Pingback: A Discussion about Ecchi, Lolicon and Politics with the Owner of Fapservice.com | Fantastic Memes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: