Favorites of the week: Blog Posts

Here we take a look around the sphere and talk about my favorite blog posts. This is not an objective “best-of” list because I obviously do not read all the blogs. Also some posts, even if written by my favorite bloggers, may be about anime or episodes I haven’t seen, or subjects I don’t understand. This is why some posts won’t be listed, outside of plain ignorance on my part.

My ignorance is diminished somewhat, thanks to the effort of bloggers like Owen, usagijen, and most notably Lelangir who I’ve been relying on to send interesting posts in my direction via Twitter, Google Reader, and ani-tations. Here they are, in no specified order:

Cruel Animeposted by Gaguri, December 10, 2008,  Ha Neul Seom

Technically this post should’ve been included in the previous week’s list, but I discovered this on the 15th thanks to bastezi via twitter. I found the post’s idea very interesting, and I hope that the comment I posted actually fit the parameters of cruel anime that Gaguri set out and requested for.

This cruel act of externalisation works similarly in Honey and Clover (second season in particular), as real life conflicts aren’t trivialised and neatly resolved like hollywood flicks in a happily-ever-after fashion. Characters run in vain, find their insigfnicant existence shrouded by those more talented and cry hopelessly at the prospect of losing one thing they cling to in life. There is no power of efforts, no power of love to save the day. It’s cruel and painful but you are affected by something more primal, raw and true, almost as if your heart is being torn off.

The blog is really new, and totally reminds me of how I wrote my first few posts two months ago. I’m looking forward to more from Gaguri.

The Now and Then of an Anime Blogger – December 15, 2008 by omisyth, Anime Chatter

I favor introspective posts. I’m interested in anime to be sure (Macross for reals), but it is a social activity for me, and blogging is even more so. I’m interested in the bloggers. I can’t be bothered to read personal blogs, but getting to know people through anime and blogging anime in particular is highly enjoyable to me.

But at the same time that wouldn’t be me, the way I write or what others would, dare I say, expect from me. Perhaps it’s just a weird hang-up, some strange issue stemming from my childhood or a deep scar on my psyche screaming out “LOVE ME!!!” but whenever I post something, I first ask myself  “Are you happy with this?” and most of the time I am (at least I’m not being a perfectionist) and others seem to be as well.

I think a lot of us bloggers do what we do in part because we want to write better – in general. I take it quite seriously (in a manner of speaking) because I’ve always wanted to write and I haven’t been doing so in an enjoyable and comfortable, but stimulating way for over a decade.

Anime Music Has Taken Over, Please Send HelpDecember 15, 2008 by LBrevis, East Anyhow

This post just plain got me. I was just casually reading and I felt I was caught, red handed, stealing cake from the fridge. My otaku has gone the ongaku way, and LBrevis calls it soooo right.

a terrible thought occurred to me. When was the last time I listened to music that wasn’t from an anime? I wracked my brain until I remembered. Ah yes, a few weeks ago I went to see a friend and while driving around LA we listened to the radio… and I kept inwardly wishing that somebody would call the DJ and ask him to put on JAM Project.

Wait a minute. I couldn’t really be this far gone, right? There was only one way to find out so I went to my iTunes and did some quick calculations.

Total: 3,785 songs

Anime related: 3,118 = 82%

Non anime related: 667 = 18%

OHHH SHIIIII—! Late last year I had the pleasure of watching the Nodame Cantabile dorama which led to an explosion of geeking out over classical music. I was listening to my newfound heroes (Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Rachmaninoff – Mechafetish and I even went to concerts of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra!) until Kanno Yoko and MACROSS FRONTIER OST 1: NYAN FURO arrived and ruined me. I’ve been listening to the Macross Frontier OSTs to this day. Goodness, after reading omisyth’s post above I went emo and listened to some Diamond Crevasse.

Moment the Eleventh: Sing on, Silent Bob – By Pontifus on 15 December 2008, Super Fanicom

I knew it was just a matter of time before I find a favorite from one of my favorite places in the aniblogosphere (I still don’t like that word). I already mentioned above how I favor introspective and revelational posts. This one’s part of CCY’s 12 Days of Christmas blogging series that I failed at joining. I’ll annotate this post by quoting my comments on it directly.

You may wonder why this particular scene got to me like it did, and, to be honest, I find myself wondering the same thing. I think it has to do with how closely I identify myself with Athena. She’s not my favorite character, by any means, but those characters who most make me think about myself rarely are. I tend to think of myself as occupying a position on Earth (or Manhome, if you prefer) similar to Athena’s place on Aqua; I come across to most people as thoroughly unremarkable, but when things get serious, I can pull myself together for epic, albeit brief, forward charges. I’m a good person to have at your back, in other words. In doing no more than exercising her talent in the eleventh episode of Aria the Animation, Athena demonstrates that, for all their flaws, people like her — people like me — are worth far more than the credit they’re given by most.

Thanks, Athena. Sometimes I really need that.

My comment:

  1. ghostlightning:
    December 15th, 2008 at 6:22 am What a beautiful post. Pontifus you make me feel so good about blogging anime.I rather enjoy how bloggers reveal themselves directly – as opposed through having to decode them through what they don’t say.

    You make it a success in the same terms you described for Athena’s moment: sufficiently cheesy, neither particularly bad or good, full with the possibility for love. You brought an awkward symmetry if that’s possible: and the fact that I see it, makes me feel so good to be me.

    So fuck you Pontifus, for introducing me to Aria and making me feel things I never asked anime blogs to make me feel. Favorite post of the fucking year.

Anime of the Year – Posted by: coburn | December 19, 2008 , Claiming Ground

One post to rule them all award show type posts. Coburn invoked the power of GATTAI, and forged the year’s most awesome anime possible.

But how exactly to travel between floors as they ascend the tower? By spaceship? Giant Robot? Bicycle? Airship? Rocket-powered skateboard? Anime offers so many forms of amusing transportation. But no-one yet has thought to combine the best of all vehicle features to invent the hydraulic humanoid space bicycle. See what we can gain from a little crosspollination…

READ THIS NAO! If you haven’t yet.

Face Off: Ray and Mike on Gunbuster vs. Diebuster! Part 1 and Part 2 – Posted by Mike on December 18, 2008, Anime Diet

I’ve been wanting to write about Gunbuster since I started blogging, but I don’t think I’ll do so for a while thanks to otou-san, Lbrevis, and the folks over at Anime Diet who all made me remember the love I have for these shows. Here’s an observation that I haven’t thought of that these guys presented:

Mike:Actually I think it makes sense. That’s the journey that Lal’C is going through, from disbelieving in that to believing it, inspired by Nono. I think a huge reason for this is because there is no “Coach” character in Diebuster to urge both of them on. Coach is huge. He is really key to why Gunbuster works the way it does.

Ray:Well, he’s like the Japanese Dad that actually came around. Since a certain time in anime history, all of a sudden, father figures are no longer around, or very much distant, more like real life. There’s an emotional investment for anyone who understands and even experienced that kind of culture.

Mike:Actually–the absentee father theme is a big subtext in Gunbuster, too. Noriko loves her dad, but her dad was almost never really around. And I was going to say, this is a big Anno thing–there’s almost no Anno production without daddy issues!

I haven’t seen enough anime perhaps to verify the claim about absentee fathers being a theme, but thinking about Code Geass, Gundam 00, the totality of the Macross Franchise – fathers are either antagonists or in the case of Macross, absent entirely. In part 2 of the review, Mike declares his main complaint about the sequel,

Mike:That was taken straight, almost verbatim, from the first Gunbuster.
Except the roles are reversed. And it took places in episode 5, not 6.

And that leads me to my main complaint about Diebuster. At the end of the day, everything wrong with it can be summed up in one word: sequel. It’s parasitic on the first one. It really isn’t all that special except in relation to the first one. It’s an extended homage to the first one at best. Its self-conscious humor is almost all dependent on knowing references from the first one (as opposed to knowing references from other anime, which was there in Gunbuster).

This prompted me to think about my own favorite franchise (from the comments section):

ghostlightning on 20 Dec 2008 at 3:10 am

I’m going out on a limb here, after reading your comparison of the two shows I’m starting to see a similarity between the Gun/Diebuster shows and their relationship with each other, and SDF Macross/Frontier and their respective relationship with each other.

I can see how Macross Frontier fails to provide the same emotional value that the original gave its fans the same way you see the inability of Diebuster to rise above being a plain sequel.

Macross Frontier did something really well though: the nostalgia fanservice was epic. The references to the 25 years worth of shows were beautifully and grandly done. I don’t see how nostalgia fanservice can be done better…

…save for a moment in Diebuster. You both know what it is. Lal’c staring to the sky watching the two lights enter the atmosphere, giving us the privilege of being in the midst of 10,000 years of human gratitude lighting up the surface of the Earth…

And that’s it! Again I have no fixed criteria with regards to choosing these posts. The past week was pretty huge in terms of awesome posts. Awesome posts don’t necessarily mean they become my favorites though, this listing is as arbitrary as they come. But do check them out, and perhaps they may have value for you as well.

What did I miss?

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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5 Responses to Favorites of the week: Blog Posts

  1. Mike says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, ghostlightning! We’re glad you found our post worth your engagement and we hope to write more. :)

  2. otou-san says:

    but thinking about Code Geass, Gundam 00, the totality of the Macross Franchise – fathers are either antagonists or in the case of Macross, absent entirely.

    Gendo, anyone?

    Considering Diebuster was conceived largely as an anniversary tribute to the first Top wo Narae!, I think it was fitting. But I’m aware of enough people who haven’t seen the first who still seem to enjoy it that it must possess some of its own value.

    And like I said in my post… what a great way to tie them together.

  3. Pontifus says:

    Thanks again. I’m still a little surprised that that post was so well-received.

    aniblogosphere (I still don’t like that word)

    Cuchlann keeps tagging posts over at Superfani with “otaku-rhombus” and “blogohedron,” and those are kind of fun, if you’re looking for alternatives.

  4. ghostlightning says:

    @ Mike

    Happy to participate!

    @ otou-san

    Gendo of course. Would you say that the quality of fanservice carried the day for Diebuster!?

    Also, can you confirm is the first incident of ‘Gainaxing’ did occur at Gundbuster? …before Otaku no Video coined the term.

    @ Pontifus

    Sometimes I play with ‘blogscape’, but I haven’t met the word that matches my personal threshold for usability and the ease of understanding for the rest of the… aniblogosphere.

    I need some whiskey.

  5. omisyth says:

    W00T, hit the double mention ^^. Also, edited Weekly Highlights, sorry ’bout that.

    Really think that gaguri’s something special here; you should definitely check out Now and Then, Here and There if you haven’t and like to be depressed.

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