This year, it was surprisingly easy to throw together a top 5 anime list. You see, I only finished about 5 anime. As I will explain in tomorrow’s post, this has a lot to do with my shifting interests as a blogger. If you want opinions on the latest shows, there are plenty of other blogs and reviewing sites you can go to. Personally, I don’t think that I add much new to the discussion.
But oh well, this post is for anime, so here we go!
Romeo Tanaka’s New Visual Novel: Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu – An Insider Look at the Visual Novel Industry
Romeo Tanaka is best known in the English-speaking anime fandom for writing Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, one of the better light novel series out there. He’s also a visual novel writer, and two of the titles he’s worked will be getting anime adaptations next year: Rewrite and Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu.
Today, I’m here to hype up Kouya. The full version of the game hasn’t actually been released yet (it’s coming out on the 25th March 2016), but a trial version came out a couple of days ago. I played it and I have opinions. I feel it is my God sworn duty to hype up the game and its upcoming adaptation for all you visual novel fans out there.
For those of you who don’t care about visual novels, there is no hype. The anime will be shit. I guarantee it.
I remember coming across this blog post a while back calling Fumiaki Maruto “the romance specialist you’ve (never) heard about”. White Album 2 appears to be his most critically acclaimed work, and I can see why. It’s a coming-of-age drama that deals with the darker sides of teenage insecurity. The VN even depicts the characters in their adult years, still struggling to make difficult choices. The anime adaptation only tells the first part of the story, but it’s still gut-wrenching stuff. While I remain conflicted about the ultimate purpose behind all that suffering, I can’t deny that the emotions and relationships between the characters felt very real to me.
As a general rule, English-speaking anime fans (including me) aren’t terribly knowledgeable about visual novel writers, so it’s a shame Maruto has been going under the radar for all these years. Recently, though, he has been steadily carving out a name for himself in the anime world. Earlier this year, he helped adapt his light novel series Saekano into an anime, and this season he worked on the script for Classroom Crisis, an anime-original series. So now is a fitting time to remind you all that Maruto is indeed a great romance writer, maybe among the most talented working in the otaku industry right now.
Whenever I think about anime humour, the first thing that occurs to me is that it is very often self-deprecating. This is especially noticeable whenever a joke centers around a male character. He may be a brainless pervert, a loser geek, clueless about girls (and in many cases, all of the above), and he will often be teased by the female characters, sometimes even physically abused in a slapstick manner.
I’m not going to pretend that anything about “anime humour” is unique. If you’ve ever watched a Japanese variety show, you’ll understand that the tendency towards exaggeration and silly jokes is hardly confined to anime. And, of course, the gender bias in slapstick is a common media trope in general.
Still, I did get to thinking about how “anime humour” and “fandom humour” overlap. It certainly makes sense that fans of anime would engage in self-deprecating humour themselves. You can see this in words like “waifu” or the common fandom joke: “Your favorite anime is shit!”
In general, people use self-deprecating humour to create an aura of approachability. There’s really nothing inherently wrong with it. It’s good to have a sense of perspective and the ability to laugh at yourself.
Self-deprecating humour can also be indulgent and self-serving, though. In the fandom context, it can come across as a self-defense mechanism, a way of deflecting outside criticism while carving out a distinct identity for oneself. By making fun of themselves, fans establish themselves as an in-group. Outsiders can only laugh at them, not with them.
Today, I turn twenty one.
I don’t feel old. I used to fear growing up, but I’ve come to the conclusion that even if the passage of time causes me to lose things, there are many more things that I will gain, simply by being alive.
At the same time, I’m amazed at how quickly time flies! It only feels like yesterday when I started up an anime blog with a stupid name. My blog still has a stupid name, but now it gets well over 1.5k views every day. I don’t post as often as the more dedicated bloggers, but I’m glad my readers have found something to keep coming back to. I still blush whenever someone leaves a kind comment.