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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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)