Blog Archives

My Opinions on the Latest Anime (Summer 2014 Edition)

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What I’m currently watching: Akame ga Kill!, Ao Haru Ride, Barakamon, Free! Eternal Summer, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Haikyuu!!, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus, Sword Art Online II, Tokyo Ghoul and Zankyou no Terror. (As of August 01 2014)

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“Feminist Otaku” = An Oxymoron?

A "feminist otaku"

A “feminist otaku”

I have been thinking a lot about feminism lately. Specifically, I have been thinking about how gender politics relate to the anime fandom. It’s widely acknowledged that otaku culture is sexist and that the vast majority of anime marginalise women by objectifying or “Othering” them. But what about the individual people involved? Ordinary people like you and me who don’t necessarily think women are inferior to men but still involve themselves with anime culture anyway?

So I got to thinking… am I sexist for being an otaku? Am I a big, fat hypocrite for calling myself a “feminist” while also calling fictional female characters my waifus and buying merchandise featuring anime girls in sexual poses? This isn’t just a matter of enjoying ecchi anime – this is stuff I actually do, even if I intend it jokingly or ironically. Lately, I have been doing some hard thinking about what it means to be a “feminist” and what it means to be an “otaku” and I wonder if the two are mutually exclusive.

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Kirito is an Asshole

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Kirito is a really overpowered guy who attracts all the ladies by not doing very much in particular. I think he’s an asshole. But I kind of like him.

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The Current State of English Light Novels

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LN translation is in a similar place fansubbing was in before Crunchyroll and other forms of legal streaming came along. There aren’t too many light novels officially translated into English, and many series are out of print and discontinued. As a fan translator, I do my part in making Japanese LNs available in English, but I know that what I’m doing is actually illegal. But in many ways, it really can’t be helped, at least for now.

The good news is that the situation is changing, little by little. With more LNs being adapted into anime than ever before, people are taking notice of LNs (for better and for worse). Yen Press has recently licensed the guaranteed cash cow known as Sword Art Online, with other popular LNs like Kagerou Daze on the way. And with the shift from print books to Ebooks, LNs have a better chance of finding exposure at a cheaper price. The digital revolution has opened up possibilities for every literary subgenre  imaginable, so it’s not as if there is no market for LNs, even if they will remain niche for the foreseeable future.

Beyond translated LNs, there’s another type of English light novel, one that’s been eking out a humble living in the dark corners of the internet up until now: original English light novels, written by English-speaking anime fans. It’s this kind of LN I’ll be focusing on today.

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The Problem With Reading Yourself Into An Anime

I identify with this guy so hard ZOMG

u mad, bro?

I’ve been really amused by the shitstorm around Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. I got into the show expecting the usual anime bullshit and cliches that I love and adore, and ironically ended up finding much more entertainment outside the show itself.

The shitstorm occurred for the usual reasons shitstorms happen in anime discussion. Someone (usually a critic or aniblogger) points out something that is morally questionable about an anime’s message or worldview, to which the fans immediately spring up in defence saying stuff like, “OMG U FAG WHY DO YOU READ SO MUCH INTO IT? IT’S JUST AN ANIME, HAVE FUN, CALM YOUR TITS.” Ironically, it is usually these fans who look like they are in need of having their tits calmed, seeing as they are the ones getting overly emotional in the discussion and all.

The problem stems from liking an anime so much and in such a specific way that you end up reading yourself into it. It’s like the anime becomes part of you, and if anyone criticises the anime, they criticise you, too.

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Anime Figurines – Are They Worth It?

Prof-L

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know, I actually don’t have much of a collection of anime/video game stuff. My room isn’t nearly as impressive-looking as Yumeka’s. This basically comes down to two reasons: 1) I haven’t been collecting anime stuff for very long, and 2) I have a uni student’s budget. (Like, I buy my textbooks secondhand and I prepare my own lunch every day just to avoid spending money. I’m so hardcore, amirite?!) Mind you, whenever I have a spare cent, it does go straight towards my anime addiction, but even then, I can’t help but feel somewhat guilty about my consumer habits.

At the back of my mind, I ask myself: is this really worth it?

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Advertising New Anime Blogs [Liebster Award]

The year is 2014. Japanese cartoons featuring googly-eyed anime girls have taken over the world. What better way to spend your days in this post-apocalyptic world than to start a blog where you can freely complain write about your love of anime?

In all seriousness, I really encourage anime fans to express themselves and to get involved in the community. So here’s a post advertising some up-and-coming blogs under the guise of an award.

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What I Learned From Writing A Trashy Imouto Light Novel

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November has been a weird and wonderful month this year. I crapped out a novel and I actually kind of had a good time with it, so here’s a story about all the heartwarming lessons I learned while trying to write an imouto incest fetish story.

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How To Write A Light Novel In Five Not-So-Easy Steps

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2deep4me

As everyone knows, anyone can write a light novel and get famous. But since satire is a cheap form of humour, that is not actually the route I’m going to take with this post. Say you (hypothetically) wanted to write a light novel in English and get it published, how would you go about doing it?

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Understanding “Otaku Pandering” in Anime and Light Novel Culture

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One of the most common complaints critics have about anime is that they pander to the otaku. Because fanservice and stock anime characters do nothing to further the plot or the themes of the narrative, this is generally perceived as an example of poor storytelling.

My intention with this post is to challenge this assumption.

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