Finding a way in.

I’ve wanted to join Oi, Hayaku even before I had my own anime blog. When there was a call for multiple authors, I immediately submitted my application. Part of the requirements was for me to submit the essay below, the essay was to answer the questions:

1. What is your favorite anime, and which anime character do you see yourself as?
2. What role do you see yourself playing in Oi, Hayaku?

Riex engineered these requirements so as to prepare the best introductory post for a new writer. Here’s mine.

Super Dimension Fortress Macross

I first saw this show when I was around 7 or 8, then read the Robotech books in college, then saw the Robotech series twice or 7 times, before seeing the original SDF-Macross early this year c/o fansubs. I mention this because I’ve seen myself as different characters in this series throughout my life as a fan. I have the distinction of being one of the active bloggers who are lifelong fans of the franchise, for at least 24 of its 25 years of its existence.

When I was a boy up until after college I held on to seeing myself as Ichijou Hikaru. One of the awesome things about him is that he completely identified himself and his destiny to flying. Flying is awesome! He was an ace, but not THE ace. It was Max, whose talent Hikaru acknowledged even as early as when Max flew in the Vermilion team as his subordinate. This actually prepared me in life to have great relationships with people who have more talent than I have. In high school and parts of college I had a number of garage bands where I played guitar and sang. It was no big deal that the other guy who played guitar smoked me, or that the drummer sang better and wrote better music, even though in high school the very image of a guitar and a rockstar wannabe was associated with me. We played better and rocked harder and without drama and I can look back and remember love fondly.

A few years ago, I started identifying more with Roy Fokker. I was older and now had friends who were younger than I am and were/are still finding their feet in life, in business and careers, or in common pursuits. I’m there to support them and It’s a role I’m quite happy with as Roy was for Hikaru. I’m not as cool and suave as Roy; in person I’m more like Basara who’s a real loud guy. But I identify with Roy because of the similar roles we play in the lives of our friends. And like him I won’t take kindly to the Lin Kaifun’s who pick on them. The fact that Roy had a stable relationship with Claudia LaSalle also really works for me, as I look forward to celebrating my 2nd anniversary of wedded bliss to the most awesome wife in the galaxy, the love of my life.

But I feel limited by this Identity these days. Blogging anime is my new hobby (it’s the new flying) and it’s a powerful and vibrant thing, and I feel awkward and thrilled and nosebleed-y that I’m a part of its world now. To me, it’s culture. It was like seeing miclones kiss for the first time when I started reading awesome exchanges over the different blogs’ comments sections. Reading a blog post sing wonderful praise about a show that I like, was music to my ears. I didn’t realize it until now, but who I am is Breetai, the Zentraedi commander who fought Macross long and hard but is distinguished by his acceptance of culture and the subsequent alliance with the humans.

I can discuss military anime with anyone; only I’d remain an entrenched Macross fan who didn’t care much for Gundam and wouldn’t be as interested in seeing the new and the different. Participating in the anime blog community transformed me. It was like when I first flew on a plane and saw the tops of clouds, lightning bolts dancing in the far distance. I tried hard to pretend I was Hikaru, though I can’t quite imagine him enjoying flying on coach. Blogging to me is like singing in flight. Zooming through space making people listen to my song gave me such release, such freedom. Like Breetai, I’m new to this culture, but I will give all I’ve got in building it and finding its new frontiers.

Oi, Hayaku! is the Super Dimension Fortress-2 Megaroad 01. While the SDF-1 Macross was a battleship, the Megaroad 01 was the first colonization ship. It really was the first attempt of the joint human and Zentraedi races to explore space, find a new home, and spread culture (which was why Minmei was on board). We Remember Love is my home, but it is decidedly a blog that celebrates the past. Oi, Hayaku! looks to create the new, to make the future. I want in on that. I didn’t really want to build my own blog at first because I thought it was too much work. I wanted to join OH! as soon as it was launched, but I had nothing to offer and nobody knew me.

But with the support of friends and many of OH!’s writers I made one. In 6 weeks We Remember Love became a place where blog-readers and commentators can come to feel good about their anime hobby, and to drink the Macross Kool-aid from a tap that never runs dry. What I bring to the table for OH! is posting on the studies of character. I often bring abstract ideas to my posts, but they are also very confessional. Distinct from the posts I’ve done and will continue to do for We Remember Love, I will bring characters to life, in front of me – as if we sat down together and smoked a pack or two. And I’m there with them – as Po Bronson was when he’d share about the different people who sought their calling in his book ”What should I do with my life?”. It will be about me too, though never as much as it would be about the subject; who, could be any character at all (I would normally stay away from leads, and characters that I would obviously like). Breetai will always have new eyes (one mechanized) to see these characters, and it’ll be a refreshing voice for OH!’s readers to listen to.

In that same book, Bronson shared about his time in San Francisco where he and other creative friends would rent an apartment and call it the “Writer’s Grotto”. This was their workplace. They were people who risked their careers to become creators. They were there to work, not to escape from work. There Bronson learned specific writing skills just by being around those who had them. This is the possibility of OH! for me as well, and I also come bearing gifts; of the likeness that is best discovered naturally and in due course, and not through the promises of an application essay.

So pick me, Oi, Hayaku! There’s space for Breetai on your ship.

…So they did, here I am and I couldn’t be happier.

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.
This entry was posted in how to remember love and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Finding a way in.

  1. Hoshi says:

    Wow. Blogging makes you feel “nosebleed-y”? That’s the coolest thing ever! Serious.

    :] Anyhow, another writer at OH~ Looking forward to whatever you’ll write in the future.

  2. wtf. Oi Hayaku has devoured yet another blogger.

    SDF Macross is so old that I should not have watched it in the first place but I did. Guess what? It is probably my favourite show of all time, until something else usurps its position.

  3. Omisyth says:

    Great to have you on board, god knows your more worthy of being here than I am. Don’t tell Riex though 😛

  4. lolikitsune says:

    Don’t tell Riex though 😛

    Don’t worry.

    It’s a secret to everybody.

  5. schneider says:

    Congratulations on making it.

    As for Breetai, damn that pipe! It’s given me nightmares in Macross Ace Frontier.

  6. ghostlightning says:

    @ Hoshi

    I think it happened when Owen asserted that Code Geass was the pinnacle of mecha anime. Of course I disagreed, but my goodness I couldn’t believe people were writing intelligent material on big robots. It took me awhile to overcome my nerves and stop lurking and start commenting, but yeah. I was like, DEKURACHAAA!

    @ The Sojourner

    They had an opening, so I found a way in. Like I said, I wanted to be a writer here before I started my own blog. We Remember Love is the spawn of OH! anyway, or at least provoked into existence by Lbrevis, bless her Cowboy Bebop-themed intro post.

    @ Omisyth

    Comments like that bait me into hemorrhaging walls of text, as I did in my previous post and the comments sections of Digiboy’s and Lelangir’s respective replies. Worth/Value even though socially determined, can be self-determined (see TTGL’s Simon…) GAH, MUST SHUT UP NOW!

    @ trollikit

    This post would never have happened without you (~_^)

    @ schneider

    Breetai owns. Lord save me from Macross purists, but I really LOVED reading his duel with the Invid Regent in Jack McKinney’s ROBOTECH: The Sentinels books. Dude’s so badass, he walked several kilometers IN SPACE, WITHOUT A SUIT (OR EVEN A MASK) trying to chase Max’s VF through a hole in the hull of his ship.

  7. digitalboy says:

    That last paragraph was truly great to me for my own reasons, and all around nice post.

    If I were a Macross character, I’d definitely be Minmei. I’m adorable, have a great singing voice, and am fairly stupid.

  8. Pingback: Badass Battloids on a Budget: How I celebrated my debut at OH! « We Remember Love

  9. beanbrew says:

    I don’t have much experience with the Macross ‘verse, but if I were a character, I’d be some some sort of psycho lesbain that molests lolis. Just ask rice.

  10. Lbrevis says:

    This was a great post and it made me put on the Macross OST and listen to my favorite songs… and now I can’t get kyuun kyuun out of my head. Anyway, glad to have you on board!

  11. @ beanbrew

    Your character is due in the next sequel as far as I’m concerned. Though they should make you part of the core team that rapes enemy lolis, to deviate from the usual friend/rival but otherwise goody two shoes character.

    @ Lbrevis

    Macross OSTs rule. I can’t thank you enough for getting me started and giving great advice along the way. I’m very glad to be here an am excited to collaborate.

  12. D.J says:

    Funnily enough I just watched disc 2 of the Original Macross saturday night and you know what? STILL TOTAL AWESOME SAUCE!

    This post is total culture ^-^ the part about your wife was really sweet! ^-^

    I look forward to reading your posts ghostlightning they are always a pleasure to read. I agree that over time you change and so identify with different characters. My usernames in various places are probably reflections of that.

    When I met hubby my username was nerfer (I’ll let you all guess what fandom that comes from 😉 as I got back into anime it became Kagome and now I’ve morphed into a Sakura. Not young Sakura, but the older, more kick-ass Sakura. CHA!!!! I understand her vulnerabilities and I respect her determination to not get left behind, to work hard and to protect those she loves.

    There is always some Macross music on my nano and my current ringtone is actually Sheryl’s “What bout my star?” and Alto’s salute during the final battle is my phone’s wallpaper.

    I’m a dork I know, just ask Riex he’ll confirm it. 😛

  13. Lbrevis says:

    By the way, I’m surprised that you only watched the real Macross earlier this year after being a fan of the Macross portion of Robotech for so long. Wasn’t that a huge shock? I’m curious to know how huge the differences are and if seeing the original changed your opinion of the show at all.

    I was going to e-mail this so as not get too off topic and spam up the comments here but you don’t have any contact info on your blog. How am I supposed to get in touch in the event that the Megaroad 01 lands in my backyard and Minmay tells me she’s looking for a certain Ghostlightning to take with her to the next planet?

  14. D.J says:

    @ Lbrevis, maybe he’s just trying to avoid a Waifu smackdown of Minmay 😉

  15. @ digitalboy

    Adorable > Stupidity; sometimes stupidity + adorable = moe.

    @ D.J

    I just got home bringing 2 foreign students part of the Ship for South East Asian Youth Program. One’s from Singapore of Indian ethnicity, and the other is Japanese. Upon seeing the insides of our flat both concur that I am a strange strange otaku.

    It’s official: a Japanese person declares me a dork.

    My message alert is Iijima Mari’s “Tenshi no Enogu” acoustic version (Mari Sings Minmei album) and my ring tone is Mylene’s cover of “Watashi no kare wa pairotto”.

    @ I re-watched SDF Macross early this year but I first saw it as a Philippine dub in 1984. A decade later Robotech arrived, and confused me quite a bit – since at that point I’ve forgotten much about Macross and took Robotech as canon. It wasn’t until I had regular access to the internet that I was able to distinguish. So, Robotech in a way was more influential than Macross for a time – because I certainly couldn’t get enough of it then and I’ve watched it so many times (including Southern Cross and Mospaeda which I never saw in their original form). Furthermore I’ve read and re-read the Jack McKinney books all the way to The End of the Circle too many times (I actually won’t mind reading them again).

    I was already very much into Macross as a kid and even had a VF-1J transformable pencil sharpener.

    You can get my email from the ‘manage: comments’ tab on WordPress, since I register my email to comment on East Anyhow. I’d definitely want to pursue this conversation, because I do believe that Robotech deserves MUCH LOVE despite what the Macross elitists say. (But they’re right that the Robotech Minmay is deplorably straight damn irredeemably awful).

    @ D.J

    You called it. Waifu has only RAEGHAET for Minmei. She only saw Robotech, not interested in re-watching SDF-Macross, no matter how much I beg.

  16. coburn says:

    “I will bring characters to life, in front of me – as if we sat down together and smoked a pack or two.”

    Obviously glad to have you on board under any manifesto, but this sentence is what made this post exciting to me. Baited breath.

  17. ghostlightning says:

    @coburn

    Oh you. I have my next post on its second draft… and I wrote it having you as my “invisible reader”. It’s as if our discourse from my post re Ikari Gendo never stopped. Maybe you have a clue on which character I’ll be writing about now.

    Before I get carried away discussing writing schticks and stuff, thanks for the welcome. I first found out about OH! on Claiming Ground, and you basically sold me on this site (as I didn’t know any of its other writers then). Now I feel I’ve passed a critical milestone: with Lbrevis and you welcoming me here, I now feel I’ve been let into the game (not just to run with the players, but to actually be given the ball).

  18. Pingback: The Party of Awkward Hats is Diminished: I was drunk, but many interesting guests are leaving and it’s a sobering thought. « We Remember Love

  19. Pingback: Old News: Robotech Sucks; News: Not-Robotech is Awesome (Even if it’s Still Called Robotech) « We Remember Love

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