Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

Blogger Interrogation Game!

I’ve been tagged by Charles of Beneath the Tangles to answer some questions.  I’m not the biggest fan of chain letter posts, but as I’m recovering from a recent computer crash, my writing resources are limited while I get my system back in working order.  So I’ll roll with it.  First here’s the rules.

Introduction

  • Each person is supposed to follow the rule of fives. You are allowed to ask 5 questions, after which you can tag up to 5 bloggers by hyper-linking to their blog; 5 questions because it’s not too many to flood another blogger and occupy too much of his/her time, but yet a large enough number to ask your most important questions, and 5 bloggers to avoid spamming. Hence, prioritize your questions, and who you wish to ask!
  • Those tagged are obliged to answer the questions in a blog post, and after which, they are entitled to create their own 5 questions and tag 5 other bloggers, so on and so fourth. You should answer your own 5 questions as well. You are allowed to tag the person that tagged you in the first place. Also, copy and paste this section on your blog so others can understand how the game goes.
  • In the case where a blogger strongly refuses to answer a question, he/she must instead post a nice anime image, wallpaper or cosplay picture, et cetera in response to that question.
  • To make things interesting, a blogger can include wildcards in his/her 5 questions by placing an asterisk, (*), after which those tagged are obliged to reveal something interesting about themselves that others did not previously know. There is no limit to the number of asterisks one can place (which means there can be up to 5 wildcard questions).
  • Anyone can feel free to start the game; you don’t necessarily need someone to tag you. Just create your 5 questions and tag your 5 people of choice. However, the catch is that you must answer your own 5 questions as well.
  • To potentially prevent an endless game, this round of games will end on the 8th September 2012, 12pm JST (GMT +9). After which, no more bloggers can tag others to answer their questions.

My Answers

Here are some of my more candid personal opinions.  Below are the questions Charles asked of the people he tagged and my answers.

Q1. What was the last anime that made you think…“WOW”?

A1. To some degree I’m constantly wowed by anime.  It’s one of the reasons anime is my greatest passion.  But if I was to choose my most recent, biggest “WOW” unsurpassed by any subsequent “WOWs” as of time of writing, there’s only one anime I can think of—Madoka Magica.  Easily the greatest breath of fresh air anime has seen in years, a revolution for the magic girl genre and simply gorgeous in every category imaginable.  I don’t foresee anything topping this paragon anytime soon.

Q2. Has any anime changed the way you feel about a particular topic or issue?

A2. Anime has opened entire worlds to me that I never would have thought about had I never discovered its richness.  I talked about this subject at length when I first started out as an anime blogger and wrote a piece for Charles’ Aniblogger Testimonials, but The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was greatly influential on helping me reach new philosophical conclusions I’d been grappling with at the time it started airing.  She brought me out of my religious upbringing and helped me realize that god(s) didn’t create us in their image.  We created gods in our image.

Q3. Do you consider yourself spiritual or religious?  Both?  Neither?  And why?

A3. Neither.  I’ll keep this short.  I’m a realist and a humanist.  Given what I’ve seen of this world, I don’t see how I could reach any other conclusion.

Q4. What’s been your favorite series/movie you’ve watched this year (anime or otherwise)?

A4. I’m going to split this up into two parts—anime and otherwise.  My favorite anime series thus far this year has been the Black Rock Shooter TV series.  At eight episodes, it’s short, well-paced, mixes drama and action creatively and seamlessly and says everything it needs without a second of waste.

My favorite non-anime series this year is Grimm.  Aside from the fact that it’s loosely retelling fairy tales from around the world, I like the original concept of this TV series and how it balances good amounts of mystery and action with fantasy in a modern setting.

Q5. If you were given the resources to create an anime series, what kind of show would it be?  What would the story be about?*

A5. I have a nearly completed manuscript for a children’s novel I’ve been working on for about ten years.  It’s a fantasy / science fiction story and at its core is a theme that the world is—quite literally—what we make of it.  That’s the story I would tell if I could make my own anime.

Now for my questions

Q1. What is your favorite anime of all time?  Then, objectively speaking, what do you think is the best anime of all time?  Explain why you chose these anime (especially if you chose the same anime for both questions).

Q2. Same as question 1, but for your least favorite anime and what in your objective opinion is the worst anime of all time (for this question try to choose an anime for which you’ve actually watched a respectable number of episodes and try to avoid small titles that nobody has ever heard of).

Q3. What initially led you to anime and what keeps you interested in anime?  Do you think it will continue to be a lifetime passion?  Why or why not?*

Q4. Do you think it’s possible to integrate or use ecchi content or themes to enhance a story rather than simply as fanservice that detracts from the overall work?

Q5. I think many would agree that some otherwise respectable anime have been let down by lackluster endings.  What anime do you most want to change the ending—not because you disagreed with it, but for quality purposes.  Then how would you change it and why?  (I understand spoilers may be unavoidable when answering this question)

My answers to my own questions

A1. My favorite anime of all time is ef – a tale of memories.  A great group of young people overcoming darkness in their pasts to find romance all told with some incredibly stylistic and heart-pounding drama, amazing use of visual design and drawn in the gorgeous style of Naru Nanao.

Objectively, the best anime of all time has got to be Cowboy Bebop.  Its art style doesn’t go too far onto the anime side of the border, which leaves it accessible to a more mainstream audience.  But it still looks great and it fits nicely with the action-packed, dramatic story that balances enough interesting asides to compliment the central story that it doesn’t feel too distracted or overwhelming.  Couple that with the best English dub you’ll ever hear outside of a Studio Ghibli movie and the fantastic composition of Yoko Kanno and you have something that nobody can dismiss.

A2. My least favorite anime is One Piece.  There is pretty much nothing in it that I like, but if I was to point to one thing that irks me to no end is anime that aren’t drawn in the “anime style.”  I’ll admit that I’ve only watched about ten episodes, but that’s enough for me to conclude that it’s an ugly, never-ending, cash-cow series.  Weird and nitpicky as it may sound, I think the title is annoyingly misleading because when I think of “one piece,” I think of either a dress or a swimsuit—not pirates.

Am I the only one who thinks the DBZ characters sound constipated?

I can’t say with complete objectivity that Dragonball Z is the worst anime of all time because my reasons for this choice lean a bit more towards the opinion side of the spectrum and in all likelihood don’t overlap with other people’s experience.  I also have to temper my opinion a bit more than usual here because DBZ comes out of what I call the “Pre-Evangelion Dark Age,” a time before which I’ve never seen a single anime that I’ve liked.  So I’ll try to summarize objective points that I think most people can agree upon.  It’s padded for length (entire episodes seem to go by with the characters doing nothing but having a staring contest), action sequences have no intelligent strategy and can be summed up as an arbitrary succession of heroes and villains just “powering-up,” and the characters are all expressionless hunks of meat.

A3. I was attracted to anime initially because of its art style.  Looking back on Escaflowne, gives a bit of a perspective on how much anime’s appearance has changed over the years, but I maintain to this day that there is no other style of drawing “cartoons,” that is more aesthetically pleasing than anime.  But what has kept me interested in anime is the storytelling.  Japan just has a flair for telling some incredible adventures that the west simply lacks.  Where else can you watch an animated series that can challenge your long-held beliefs about the definition of morality?  It’s for this reason that I believe anime will be my life-long passion.

“There is no part of my body that I am ashamed of.”

A4. Yes, I think ecchi can be used as a fine tool for storytelling rather than a garish blurb that says “hey, look at me!”  A terrific example of this is in Medaka Box.  After finishing the series, I realized—with one or two small exceptions—the only source of any ecchi comes from Medaka herself.  All the other girls keep themselves covered, but fanservice on the part of the flamboyant heroine helps to establish her confident character and makes her the center of attention at all times.

A5. Canvas 2—worst…ending…ever—of all time.  Everything in the episodes leading up to the ending had indicated that the hero was finally going to win the affection of his high school sweetheart.  But with absolutely no reason he suddenly falls in love with his cousin all within the last episode.  I don’t know what happened to the writers to think this was good storytelling, but an alternate ending where he ends up with the girl he had been courting all series would greatly make up for this phenomenal gaff.

Who to tag?

I don’t have many associates that I regularly converse with in the Aniblog community, so most of the bloggers I’m tagging are simply my top commenters.  This means that Charles is going to get a tagback, but I’ll leave it up to him if he wants to write another blog post about answering questions.

Charles (Beneath the Tangles)

Medieval Otaku (Medieval Otaku)

Justin (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)

Goldy (Spines of Golden)

Cosplayjp (Cosplayjp)

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11 responses to “Blogger Interrogation Game!

  1. medievalotaku August 18, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Thanks for tagging me. I’ll do my best to give interesting answers! Though, I will confess that whether an anime has changed my opinion on an issue is presently drawing a blank, but I’m sure that one of the anime I’ve seen fits the bill.

    It’s awesome that your favorite anime is Ef – A Tale of Memories. Both that and its sequel were very unique among anime, had some powerful messages, and excelled in using the media of anime to its fullest potential.

    But, I must disagree with your objective worst. Surely, Dragonball Z is at least better than Neo Angelique Abyss or Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica? :) Though, the quality of DBZ did noticeably drop off after the battle with Freeza.

    • Marlin-sama August 18, 2012 at 10:54 am

      Again, I can only rate anime I’ve watched. I have never even heard of the two anime you’ve mentioned, so I can’t have an opinion on them. I know that DBZ was a childhood favorite of many of today’s anime fans, but it bored me to tears as a kid. I didn’t even know it was anime at the time and that’s fortunate. Sometimes I gasp at how nearly I came to never watching another anime—that’s now little I think of DBZ.

      Also you don’t have to answer TWWK’s questions. Only my questions and your own original 5 questions. If you want to answer TWWK’s…that’s ok, but it wasn’t in the original rules of this tag game.

  2. Justin August 18, 2012 at 10:00 am

    *sniff* Ok Alexander, I’ll do my best to answer all five of your questions, adding to my total of 15 questions I have to answer at some point -_-

    (Yeah, I’ve been tagged too many times :( )

    • Marlin-sama August 18, 2012 at 10:57 am

      Um, I’m not sure how you get 15 questions. You don’t have to answer the questions TWWK asked me, you only have to answer my questions and your own original questions. Of course, feel free to answer TWWK’s questions if you want…but that’s on you. ^_^

      • Justin August 18, 2012 at 11:28 am

        I had two other bloggers tag me, so I have 15 questions to answer (including my own that’s 20 lol)

      • TWWK August 18, 2012 at 11:35 am

        He got tagged by someone else, too.

        Btw, I’ll definitely get around to yours…I might wait a few days and answer a number, if I get tagged again (I’ve now been tagged three times…).

        You have to watch some GOOD Pre-Evangelion stuff! I looked at my AP list and here are some series/movies pre-1995 I gave an 8 or above to:
        Tenchi Muyo (original OVAs)
        The Irresponsible Captain Tylor (TV)
        Kimagure Orange Road (series and films)
        Maison Ikkoku
        And a bunch of Studio Ghibli

      • Marlin-sama August 18, 2012 at 11:58 am

        Yeah, I didn’t like Tenchi Muyo, Captain Tylor or Orange Road. And I sort of make a generous exception for Ghibli because…well it’s Ghibli.

      • TWWK August 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm

        :O

        Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since our opinions are often so disparate. :P

        If you didn’t like Orange Road, you probably won’t like Maison Ikkoku. Touch, which I didn’t mention, is in the same vain but has more depth, so that might be worth watching.

      • Marlin-sama August 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm

        Shallow as it may sound, a big part of the reason I don’t like a lot of older anime is the simple fact that I don’t like the art style. Aesthetics are important to me and if I can’t stand to look at it, then how can you expect me to watch it and enjoy it? As I said in this very blog post, what originally attracted me to anime is its elegant visuals and I don’t think anime at large really found the distinctive style that I would call “beautiful” until the late 90s or even the 2000s in some cases.

        Anime like One Piece, Dragonball Z, Panty and Stocking, Viewtiful Joe…if you showed these to me dubbed and with no contextual knowledge that they were created by Japan, I would not guess that these series are anime and I would be inclined to discredit them very quickly (and quite often I dismiss them right away, anyway). Call it “judging a book by its cover” if you want, but I maintain that without its distinctive style, (for me at least) anime would lack one of its most important qualities.

  3. Pingback: Sunday Spotlight: This Genius, Involved In The Aniblogger Interrogation Game?! | Organization Anti-Social Geniuses

  4. cosplayjp September 29, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Hi Marlin-sama, I apologized not to reply on your feedback for a long time. Also thank you very much for linking my blog to your site. It is not easy to answer all of the questions, but keep in touch!

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