Sunday, 24 June 2012

Getting annoyed at the internet

I'm all for a certain amount of elitism when it comes to online communities. Lurking seems to be a lost art these days, and a healthy dose of hostility towards those who obviously haven't put any effort into learning the etiquette for a particular community can be a good thing. And as much as people constantly deny it, it works. On boards like /a/ you still see posts by people that are painfully new, and they're often ridiculed for using emoticons, told to watch Boku no Pico, told that their favourite anime is shit and all the rest of it. But the fact that the only posts that stand out are from people who are very new suggests that they quickly leave, or they stay and learn the ways of the community. (/jp/ is a possible exception, with all the ironic shitposting xD I honestly can't tell who's who any more.)

That's all well and good, but it annoys me when this elitism seeps into other areas. I'm referring largely to people dismissing anime as being mainstream, for plebs, [word]shit, and so on. I'm aware that it's largely just trolling, or what passes for trolling these days, but it does make it hard to have a meaningful discussion if the topic of discussion can just be dismissed as being, say, haremshit. Why are harem anime intrinsically bad? Cue the circular reasoning. What if you criticise something for being needlessly and pointlessly complex? It's clearly 3deep5u. On the other hand if the plot seems a bit too superficial, well you're just a DEEPfag. Anything that has any female fans must be fujoshit, and the only possible way you could like something like Madoka is if it's the first anime you've ever watched - babby's first, if you will. "Otaku pandering" is another great one, which can pretty much be applied to any title ever, and let's not even get started on the 2ch imports like niwaka and chuuni.

The worst offenders at the moment tend to be the MATURE ANIME FOR MATURE PEOPLE SUCH AS MYSELF type, who can get quite aggressive against anything that doesn't live up to their sophisticated standards - mostly stuff that you'd call shounen or moe. Upotte!! didn't look very interesting to me, I enjoyed Nyarlko but would hardly call it a masterpiece, but calling people morons for liking these shows is a bit off base. I don't think that anyone would argue that these shows are great literary works, but they can still be enjoyable and (dare I say) fun*. I like the more complex shows too, but that doesn't mean I look for intellectual validation from every show I watch. These shows certainly have their flaws but if you want to talk about them you'll have to make a stronger starting point than "moeshit".

One of the things I really like about 4chan is the unfiltered nature of it. If someone's an idiot, you can tell them as much. But this doesn't mean a whole lot if you don't also tell them why they're an idiot, and that's something that's best done with more than just a one-word label. Don't get me wrong, I still much prefer it to the forum-style heavily moderated approach ("you say it's bad but i don't see YOU making better anime :)") as well as the more "intellectual" forum approach that requires you to write a damn essay every time you want to make a point, but there's got to be a happy medium. And despite the problems, I still much prefer 4chan to other forums/boards.

I guess I'll just blame it all on summer, put on my nostalgia goggles and relive the glory days of the past. Remember when /a/ was good? /a/ was never good.

*I think that it's perfectly valid to enjoy something without being able to explain why, but you're still stupid if you bring that up in a discussion thread. It's no more conducive to discussion than any of the words and phrases I'm complaining about.

I could also rant about how the internet at large doesn't understand what the fuck an opinion is, but I think I'll stop for now and leave you with a picture of the alert system at the hospital I'm at.

>implying we need a nurse in the female bathroom

Sunday, 17 June 2012

I want winter to leave

My weekend was a little bit of a disaster. Late last week my external hard drive died, and so did the power adapter for my laptop. This was very annoying at the time, and meant that instead of spending the weekend playing Diablo 3 and Dota 2 at home, I had to chase around new parts on short notice as well as frantically try and organise a whole lot of unrelated administrative stuff (where I'm studying next month, next year, and some parts in between). The real downer is that I'm only getting every other weekend off at the moment, so I won't be going home for another two weeks.

It's not all bad though, I at least grabbed enough new shows/games to keep me entertained in the meantime. And when I got back to my accommodation just an hour ago, one of the nurses I'm staying with told me she's cooking a stew for everyone tomorrow, which will be a very welcome break from instant noodles.

I finished Symphonic Rain earlier last week. I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would (vague spoilers follow). The end of Fal's route seemed like a big "fuck you" to the reader, and the "twist" at the end of Lise's wouldn't have happened if the protagonist hadn't been a complete moron. Seriously, I'm all for twists and sad endings and what have you, but there's nothing particularly gripping about a "rocks fall, your love interest dies" type scenario.

Torta's and Phorni's routes were better (no surprise as they're the main girls) and the events towards the end of their stories weren't nearly as out-of-nowhere. I predicted what would happen beforehand, but it's not a massive twist or anything so it didn't matter. I liked the game music, didn't particularly care for the art though.

Next is Deardrops. I liked Kirakira, so we're off to a promising start at least.

I've also watched the first couple of episodes of Horizon. I have no idea what's going on, but I'll keep watching.

Have a good week.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


One of the (few) perks of having terrible terrible internet is that I've found myself watching a lot more anime and playing a lot more games in my free time. With decent internet I find myself wasting most of my time just sort of browsing around different sites, so this temporary change of pace is quite nice. Well, not nice, but bearable.

Over the last two weeks I've watched two shows from my backlog: Baccano! and Kaiba. Only two? It doesn't actually seem a lot, but I had a lot of shows from this season to catch up on, and some assignments to complete as well.

I didn't go into Baccano expecting a lot. I'd seen Durarara, by the same author, and thought it was above average but nothing amazing. I remember liking the first half of the series but feeling that it dragged a bit towards the end, and I didn't much care for some of the characters. The first episode of Baccano didn't do much to change my mind, it was very hectic and I wasn't quite sure what was going on. I'm glad I stuck with it though, because as the cast were introduced and the plot was set into motion, I was getting hooked. I liked pretty much all the characters. Isaac and Miria were great, and I also liked Ladd, Claire, Rachel, the various mafia families, I could go on. The English/Italian names were a bit dubious though, with "Jacuzzi Splot" being one of the odder ones.

I'm glad I finally watched it, I thought the show was pretty damn good, and definitely better than Durarara.

No context needed

Kaiba on the other hand was a show I had quite high hopes for: I loved Tatami Galaxy and Mind Game, both also directed by Yuasa. Kaiba certainly had a pretty distinct art style to it - the detail was kept low, and outlines and body shapes were kept fairly loose. The music was very atmospheric starting from the OP, which was pretty good for having English lyrics sung by a non-native speaker. The setting and story itself were both very interesting, with the amnesiac protagonist escaping from his pursuers across multiple worlds and bodies while trying to find out who he is. There were lots of side characters along the way, and I felt really quite attached to some of them even if they might have only been in a single episode.

The last few episodes were a bit hard to follow in parts, and some of the revelations were a bit unexpected. It was a very good show, though I probably preferred Tatami Galaxy (yes I know they're not exactly comparable).

I've also been playing a bit of Master of Orion 2. My laptop isn't very powerful but it can handle DOS games at least. I'm not very good at the game yet, though I'm sure I'd be better if I didn't keep running my colony ship into the Guardian in the very early game. It turns out it's usually best to scout with scouts rather than very expensive non-combat units. My race of rock-eating fish-men-things would live to see another day, thanks to the easy AI very much living up to its name.

I'm also going to finally start on my VN backlog, like I've been meaning to for ages. I have Symphonic Rain and Deardrops installed, and I think I'll start with Symphonic Rain as soon as I'm done with this post.

Oh, and after reading the comments on my last post I downloaded Sakamichi no Apollon and Natsuiro Kiseki. Then completely forgot to transfer them to my external hard drive. If I were an anime girl I'd probably bump myself on the head while sticking my tongue out to the side and making a cute noise right about now.