Alternate title: Maintaining Threadbare Connections; I Just Can’t Let This Blog Die
I’ve had a sense for many years of being disconnected from current anime fandom, first as part of growing older and not being interested in much of the new stuff and then as someone who doesn’t interact with most of the people from my college days or with friends I made through connections and conventions. Part of that is everyone having their own lives and being busy but another aspect was me becoming more detached from social interactions while trying to find a job after graduating law school and between bar exam attempts.
I rarely watch new anime series every season (too many isekai!) and I’m only vaguely aware of what is popular through things I glean from Twitter/memes or while browsing YouTube. I barely touch gacha games anymore and I’m even starting to feel disinterested in virtual streamers – I rarely watch VOD stream archives of the ones I follow and occasionally watch clips.
The last twelve months have been difficult for everyone – social disorder; worldwide illness, and deaths from COVID-19 and its variants; remote interactions failing to be complete substitutes for in-person interactions; and a contentious U.S. election cycle.
I’m hopeful that current coronavirus vaccine distributions and more competently managed public health initiatives will lead to a modified return to regular life. I’m not eager to go back into a movie theater anytime soon but I would consider attending a convention this summer/fall if the risk of attending has been significantly reduced by then. Large anime conventions are being rightfully cautious: FanimeCon recently announced it will be all virtual this year after last year’s cancellation, Anime Expo will not hold a physical show this year, and Crunchyroll Expo will go virtual for the second straight year. So it might be a stretch to think there will be a quick resurgence of in-person conventions.
Hey there. I realized a couple days ago that it’s been 14 years since I published my first anime blog post on May 14, 2006. The time feels longer than that to me while I’ve been looking through many of my older posts that I may eventually re-publish/salvage here from web archives. (Some posts are more embarrassing than others…) I still get small ideas of things to possibly write about but almost none have been strong enough to motivate me to compose actual blog posts.
I continue to telling myself that I’ll revive Sport in Fiction in the near future, even though I encounter the same sort of inertia that has long hampered my standard blogging. I would also like to chronicle any forthcoming attempts to slowly read Japanese manga – those might become blog posts or maybe just Twitter threads.
Hi there! It’s been a number of months since my last update. Too busy with law school courses.
I watched Cromartie High School and the first season of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion with my regular classics anime watchgroup. Cromartie was hilarious and silly as a delinquent slice-of-life comedy, though I would’ve liked its episodes to be longer than 12 minutes.
While we were watching Code Geass, I started to make sense of some things I recall online communities and bloggers talked about when the show was first airing more than a decade ago. Things like the agony of Orange (aka Jeremiah), Cheese-kun and the frequent appearances of pizza, Nina’s obsession with Princess Euphemia, and “JIBUN WO” from the anime’s first opening theme.
I plan to participate in this year’s Extra Life charity fundraiser by streaming myself playing video games in a marathon during the weekend of November 23 & 24. (Here’s my Twitch channel.) I’ll be raising money to support UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals as part of the Giant Bomb team. I’m thinking of going through my backlog of PC/Steam games and also play some older-generation sports games. I don’t think I’ll be able to do a full 24-hour marathon, but I’ll try to go for at least 12 hours.
2018 was a long year for me. I moved to another city and started law school. The Winter Olympics happened in South Korea and the FIFA (men’s) World Cup happened in Russia, but unfortunately, I don’t recall much of what transpired in either of those sports competitions other than the U.S. women’s hockey team winning an Olympic gold medal over Canada and France winning the World Cup.
New anime series I watched most during the year included Pop Team Epic, gdgd Men’s Party, Takunomi., Laid-Back Camp, Crossing Time, Ms. Vampire who lives in my neighborhood., and Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san. You might notice the majority of those are slice-of-life comedies or series with short episodes.
I also watched many older anime series and movies with a group that I likely would not have watched on my own: Genesis of Aquarion, Simoun, Crest of the Stars, Mononoke, the first season of Minami-ke, the 1985 Night on the Galactic Railroad movie, the 1979 Galaxy Express 999 movie, and the Birdy the Mighty OVA series as well as re-watching Beck, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and Ouran High School Host Club. (You can read more about some of these in the “Check-In” posts I wrote earlier in the year.)
There were many buzzy new series I didn’t get to last year that I’d like to sample this month, particularly A place further than the universe, Cells at Work!, Darling in the FRANXX, FLCL: Progressive and FLCL: Alternative, Golden Kamuy, Hinamatsuri, Planet With, Wotakoi, and Zombie Land Saga. Add that to the unwatched and unfinished series carried over from 2017 & earlier and I suppose I don’t have an excuse if I claim I’ve got nothing to watch.
The San Jose Convention Center during Crunchyroll Expo 2018
Hi there. I’ve been busy with my first semester of law school and with work projects, so I haven’t had a lot of free time lately. I was able to watch some anime series and go to an anime convention, though.
In the three months since my last post, I finished watching Aquarion and Ouran High School Host Club (a re-watch for me) with an anime classics watchgroup. Aquarion was an interesting mecha action series with character-building episodes and goofy moments. Some parts of the Ouran anime series don’t hold up well 12 years later, such as when the club meets Haruhi’s cross-dressing father the first time, but I still enjoyed hearing Maaya Sakamoto play the snarky “commoner” Haruhi Fujioka and revisiting back stories about the host club members. I’m thinking about reading the manga sometime.
I also attended Crunchyroll Expo in San Jose during Labor Day weekend and had a good time re-connecting with friends and making a few new ones. I made a Twitter moment that you can scroll through with pictures from that weekend. Continue reading