Sunday, January 6, 2008

The CCY Q&A: Having a conversation with Eternity.

Occupation: High school student, which explains why I'm not mentioning my name or age.

Location: San Jose, California

Q: I noticed that you've mentioned that you started watching anime with Card Captor Sakura, what was the next anime series you watched? How long have you been a fan?

A: Ah, my second series I think was D.N.Angel, a typical action/romance show that I think was female-orientated. But those two shows lasted me for a few years (I first watched CCS around 2001-2002); the first anime of my 'true' fan phase, which began around January this year, was Tokimeki Memorial ~only love~, a bread-and-butter harem/romance. Very tasty bread, though.

Q: So how much do you watch in a week? Do you have a particular time of day that you watch anime? Any kind of rituals that you perform before watching it?

A: I watch an episode (or two) or anime every night as the last activity of the day; I probably average 10 episodes a week. As for the rituals, finding pigs to sacrifice got a bit tedious, so I usually just sit down in front of my computer (I'm a fansub person) and start watching.

Q: I've noticed that you've said you like to watch shounen harem shows and magical girl shows on your blog, what is it that draws you to them? Do you think the harem show is an overlooked genre? If so, why? If not, why? What type of show do you avoid like the plague? Is there any show that you're embarrassed to admit that you like?

The harem genre is kind of a mixed bag to me; it's like what I picture the shonen action genre as: something that has both a lot of really good content and a lot of really base, boring tripe. The harem shows I watch are usually adapted from visual novels and don't feature a lot of fanservice; what I like about them is the wide variety of likable (in both personality and looks, but mostly the former) characters and the vast stories that such shows have. There are some pretty neat twists that keep you watching; plus, I'm kind of a romantic, so that quota gets filled too.

Magical girls shows, admittedly, I talk about a lot, but I've only dabbled in a few: CCS, NanaDrops, and Shugo Chara being the ones I remember. I do like how the female leads are surprisingly complex and entertaining characters, and how the feel of the anime is usually pretty heartwarming and relaxing.

The harem genre, as a whole, I'd like to say is overlooked because a lot of people think it's fanservice and pandering central, but to be honest, a lot of it is. I think some of the harem-types that focus more on the characters and the romance deserve attention and a serious look rather than being dismissed as 'moe crap', though, so I guess I do think it's overlooked. It's like going to a flea market; a lot of stuff is uninteresting and unappealing, but there are a lot of gems hidden if you look around.

What shows do I avoid? I've had a bad stereotype against shonen action for years; I don't know if things like Naruto and Bleach are really bad, or just hated for being popular, but I've never found out. Also, I'm usually pretty harsh on anything that's overly fanservicey without a reason.
Any show that I'm embarrassed to like? Well, I'm a guy that admits he likes harem shows and magical girl shows, I think that answer is clear! :P Seriously, however, Shuffle! might come the closest, since the first half is, in the words of the main character, "breasts [among other exposed things] everywhere I look", but the second half is very dramatic, very different than the norm, and completely justifies the show in my view.

Q: What type of things do you enjoy about fandom? Do you go to conventions? Do you cosplay?

A: What I like about fandom is that we're all crazy in a sense. The extent to which we go to analzye every last detail out there means that I can always find a good discussion on something, whether it be of the symbolic references, character justifications, or just plain merit of some show.

Although, occasionally, we're a bit too crazy (although I probably am too), which leads to your next question: I haven't gone to a convention (and thus, haven't cosplayed) yet, but I am considering doing both for the first time to the local Fanime in 2008.

Q: If you had to pick your top five anime, what would they be?

A: Kanon (2006) and Cardcaptor Sakura for sure. I'd like to circumvent the rules and pick the Tsukihime visual novel as number three - it may not be anime specifically (although there was a pretty poor conversion made) but it's one of the most gripping and emotional stories I've seen.
For the last two...I've seen a lot of 'really good' anime, but none that I would for sure call one of my 'favorites'. I'll go with (Gambling Apocalypse) Kaiji, which is still airing, actually, for manly mindgame fun, and School Days, which, while maybe not a 'fun' anime, was an extremely attention-capturing one that broke all the rules of harem as we knew it.

Q: What is the one thing about you that you think would surprise your readers?

A: Well, I'm not really a blogger. I'm actually an astral projection of my former self who is...

Man, if I had a penny for every time they used that trick in the anime I watch, I'd have...four cents. But seriously, this is a tricky one; I don't talk a lot about myself on my blog, preferring to discuss what they came here for - anime - but in terms of that, it might be that I've never really seen anything shonen past my dubbed Pokemon days.

There's been so much hype about newer shows like Gurren Lagann, Code Geass, Death Note, and whatnot that I begin to wonder if I missed something. Maybe when I have more time and less romance anime I'll find out.

Q: When did you start blogging? And why do you blog?

A: I started blogging in April of this year (2007), to make funny jokes about Kanon and other shows I watch, since I didn't know of a lot of the anime community at the time. I've continued to blog to sharpen my writing skills, and to have kind of a soapbox for whatever rants of anime that I come up with.

Of course, I do enjoy a good discussion about anime (especially the conspiracy theories) with my readers, or on other blogs.

Q: If you had to classify your blog as a particular type of blog, what type would that be?

I'd call mine an 'argumentative' blog. I tend to shy away from episode recaps unless it's something really shocking that deserves to be talked about. Instead, I like ranting about various meta-style parts of anime. The merits of a specific genre, the logic (or lack thereof) behind the use of a specific anime stereotype/cliche/event/etc, that kind of thing. I also enjoy writing about 'old' anime series (early 2000s, not current season, etc), to bring back some titles into the spotlight that deserve it.

Q: Where does the title, "What is eternity doing tonight?" come from? And what is eternity doing tonight anyways?

Ooh, thought I'd hear this. XD

The short answer is 'Engrish'. The title is actually a wildly misquoted lyric from the OP theme to Kanon (2002). I was looking for something other than "Name's Anime Blog", and I decided upon this random question as my title. I'm not fully sure what I meant it to mean (perhaps some contrast between the longevity of 'eternity' and the immediacy of 'tonight'?), but it sounded cool at the time.

Unless some readers are really attached to it, I plan on changing it to something that rolls easier off the tongue next time I renovate the blog.

Q: What type of blogs do you read? What type of blogs do you avoid?

A: I read blogs that I like. I don't read blogs I don't like. XD

Anything that's particularly analytical, I can usually enjoy; I like seeing how deep people can dig the rabbit hole, and reading a good deconstruction of a show's inner meaning is really interesting, especially when I can't figure it out.

Humorous episode recaps are a favorite of mine too, providing the jokes are good.

Episode summary blogs aren't my thing unless they fall into the above category; blogs that take 90% of the post as the summary and 10% as the impression don't usually appeal to me, since I only read these posts after I watch the episode. Spoiler watch, and all.

Also, internet drama and lots of flaming / swearing isn't particularly interesting.

Q: If you had to pick three posts that were your best, which ones would they be?

A: Hmm, that's a tough one. I'd rather someone tell me, since all my posts are structurally the same; think of an idea in advance, sit down, write in one continuous block, post.

Well, for humor, I'd go with my fall 2007 season half-time review post, which was a lot of fun to write and covered a lot of series.

For argumentative, I like "Why Watch Harem?", since it's something that I felt strongly about, and as such, hopefully turned out well.

And for series review, kind of a subset of the above, I'd say the one I did for School Days didn't turn out too bad. It was an emotionally charged series, and I think that fueled me to write a pretty in-depth post on it.

Q: Any closing thoughts?

A: Yuki Nagato for life!

Uh, no, wait...thanks for the interview, and I hope that I'll be able to work for you in, still wrong.

Well, first off, in case you couldn't tell, I like to be funnier than perhaps my serious style above insists, it's just that I typically write Serious Business analytical posts.

But really, I'm looking forward to having my blog torn apart or whatnot, so we'll see how this goes. I don't get much reader input on the blog outside of the posts, but I don't know how much emphasis is placed on this stuff.

Also, this Q&A session is about 1.5 times the length of an average post of mine. Wow.


No comments: