redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Shiki" (pic#5113210)
Right here.

Funnily enough, the first post reads like it could have been written by me. Pretty much everything I have ever said or felt about this character is accounted for.

This is the bit that most got me:

His family treats him like a second class citizen, he has very few friends (unless I am forgetting someone, only Toru... and even Toru called Natsuno his best friend even though he was new in the town and Masao and him were friends for years...that must have hurt)

Hooooly fuck yes! It's so obvious to me that this is the main reason Masao doesn't like Natsuno. There may be other factors in play (certainly neither of their behavior helps matters) but that's probably the biggest driving factor--Masao is most likely terrified that Toru will abandon him in favor of someone more interesting or popular. And ultimately that's exactly what happens.

Losing a friend is always painful, but its very different to lose a friend when you have +1000 friends than losing a friend when you can count your friends on one hand...

And that's almost certainly how Masao sees it too. Whether or not this reflects the objective reality, or lines up with how Toru sees it, is a different matter, but it's beside the point.

I will say that the poster seems to be very anime-focused. They go on about how innocent Masao is and how he never actually wants to hurt anyone...all of which is arguably true in the anime, but in the manga he's a lot more openly villainous. They also posit that his family has always treated him as the unfavorite, whereas the manga makes it clear that he used to be something of a favorite before his nephew came along. They're not wrong for zeroing in on the anime, since Masao isn't a completely consistent character between the anime and manga; but it's still a bit weird, especially since this is a website primarily for manga fans.

I also find it interesting that the people who attempted to argue with this poster all seemed to say something to the effect of "Well why didn't he try to fit in better?" or "Well why didn't he just TELL Toru about his inferiority complexes?" or "He still deserved what he got for not trying to grow and improve!" (as if most of "Shiki's" cast improves in any really major way, rather than just getting worse). Did it never occur to these people that maybe he can't? The series makes it pretty clear that when he says something obnoxious, he tends not to know why the other characters find it obnoxious in the first place. I'm surprised nobody suggested he might have some sort of disability, because that's been my theory for a long time (I'm disabled, and he reminds me of myself from a time when I was a stupid kid who didn't know any better).

But still, it's good to see that something new has been written about him since I last went looking. It feels as though every time he appears on Tumblr in a non-bashing context is from when I first ventured into the fandom (that is, three some years ago)!
redwoodalchan: (pic#7834867)
This is just me wanting to make a fan soundtrack for my favorite "Xam'd" character. The songs I picked are as follows:
Contains MAJOR spoilers (also some rather creepy sexism and suicide references) )
redwoodalchan: (pic#7834867)
 So apparently there exists in the Pit a fanfic crossover of "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" and "Xam'd: Lost Memories." Oh, yeah! Why anyone would think it would be a good idea to combine a series for six-year-old girls about ponies and an adult anime series that prominently features such delights as a teenage boy eating his own head and parents lamenting the disappearance of their children, I have no idea. I've briefly read through the three chapters or so of the fic, and...it seems that it basically follows the storyline and even the script of "Xam'd" pretty much line by line, only the "Xam'd" characters are replaced by characters from "My Little Pony." Did the author even watch "Xam'd" past the first two or three episodes? Did they just assume that friendship was as important in "Xam'd" as it was in "My Little Pony" (which isn't true, BTW, or at least not in the simplistic "Friendship can do anything!!" way I commonly see it touted in children's entertainment)?

In short, what the fuck?!
redwoodalchan: (pic#6681426)
 Disclaimer: I’m talking about Satyajit Shyamalan, the villain from the first season of the anime “Birdy the Mighty: Decode” here; I am not talking about the filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan. I’m just saying this to make doubly sure no one gets the wrong idea.

Read more... )
redwoodalchan: (pic#7834867)
So upon further consideration, a large chunk of that rant is her going "Making my favorite characters die is bad bad bad! Oh but I don't have a problem with these OTHER deaths because X Y and Z!" Like that time she talked about how it was okay for Goku to die because it feeds into Japanese spiritual beliefs--something that could be said to apply to Jessie and James as well, were one so inclined. It makes me wonder if that rant might have been more sensible and acceptable if she'd simply spelled out, "Look, my favorite characters are super precious to me, so just don't kill any of them in any stories you send me, plzkthnx," and left it at that. But that would require a level of self-awareness that she didn't seem to possess at the time.

It also makes me really glad that I haven't been a Cori-esque fan for years, if I ever was. If I reacted the way Cori did every time one of my favorite characters died in a show I wouldn't be able to watch at least half of my beloved anime shows. If I tried to watch "Xam'd" with her mentality I'd be throwing a fit every episode from the quarter-way mark on!
redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Shiki" (pic#5113210)
 And I can't even watch the far-superior "Shiki" afterwards, because I left it at home! Sigh....

Ahem, I first watched this show when I was a teenager, and I remember liking it but not thinking it lived up to my expectations. As the years have gone by and it's processed further, though, I've become quite angry with it. So I decided to tune in again, to see if it still holds up, and maybe redeem it in my eyes (though frankly, that almost certainly won't happen at this rate).

At the current rate, I think it's a dead ringer for a sporking. I've actually been compiling notes of things to talk about for a sporking of this show, in fact. Since it's an incredibly violent show I figured I'd pitch it to Mervin first to see if she's okay with it (obviously I wouldn't show any pictures of naked people or violent scenes) and if she doesn't give me the green light I'll probably still spork it on my own journal or something. I've got a bone to pick with this series, and truthfully it goes beyond the story's actual quality and content (though they both suffer from obvious flaws). I'm just so sick of people treating it as some sort of high water mark of mature anime, while series that can do the exact same thing it can and be smarter and more mature about it languish in the shadows of obscurity!
 
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 Okay, so I've been doing some thinkin' about cons, and I've been trying to work out exactly which ones I should go to this year (bearing in mind that I don't know when or where my last con will be). Since they cost money and time, I figure that I shouldn't go out of my way to go to cons willy-nilly.

So here's the plan:

Cons that I will almost definitely go to barring unforeseen scheduling conflicts:

KotoriCon (near my home)
Genericon
ToraCon

These three are the baseline. Everything else will depend on how my summer and jobs and everything look like they'll be playing out.

If I don't get a job (that I want) for this summer, I won't go to any other cons at all. I'll spend it finding work/applying to grad school/whatever.
If I land a job with the BLM or some other domestic environmental/ecological organization, I can treat myself to one extra con at some point this year.
If I get the Malaysia Fulbright I applied for, I can treat myself to two extra cons 
If I get a job with the Peace Corps, I can treat myself to two extra cons if I find time
If I get a Luce fellowship, I can treat myself to three extra cons (if I can find time)
redwoodalchan: (pic#7810517)
 Why? I mean that. What actual reason do you have for thinking the OVA is better? I'm just dying to know, because I cannot for the life of me engineer any reason that makes sense.

Birdy is awesome in both so that can't be it. Is it Tsutomu? Tsutomu actually strikes me as less of a wimp in "Decode" and more of a normal high school boy. He's certainly no less helpful to Birdy than he is in the OVA. And if you liked the balancing act of the OVA where Tsutomu was the brains and Birdy the brawn, well, "Decode" doesn't do that because it's reductive, and both Birdy and Tsutomu have to feel like people and not just constructs that compliment each other.

As for Tsutomu's high-school friends, they're so much more likable and interesting in "Decode" that there's no comparison. The boys actually have hobbies and personalities that don't revolve around porn, and he's got more friends who are girls, and they too have hobbies and personalities that are actually relevant to the story--it's not like in the OVA where Tsutomu had one female friend who existed basically to be his love interest. His love interest in "Decode," for that matter, is clearly shown to be a nice girl who seems good for him and the things they bond over are actually explained.

Is it the villains? I fail to see how that could be it. Geega and Bacillus are, if anything, actually more interesting and fun in "Decode" than they are in the OVA, and better integrated into the overarching plot. As for Shyamalan, he's easily more threatening than Hikawa ever was--and is more complex to boot. It is true that the OVA gives much more screentime to Christella Revi herself, but even in the original OVA Christella Revi didn't have much of a personality other than being a generic supervillain, so it's not like it's a great loss to have her mostly in the background. And once again, "Decode" if anything expands upon her more and makes her more interesting because she's actually shown to have a history of wanting to use her skills to make things better for her own people, something the OVA version conspicuously lacked. Or are you one of those people who thinks that bad guys who have tragic or sympathetic pasts or motivations are inherently weak and wimpy, and would rather your villain be a two-dimensional cutout than show even a hint of vulnerability or sadness?

It's true that "Decode" has very different art and music than the OVA, but it's not inferior on that score, just different. I know some people get nostalgia kicks from the 90's animation of the OVA, which I can't say for myself because I'm not old enough to remember most 90's anime. Still, nostalgia alone is not a good reason for declaring something objectively better--Pokemon fandom is a testament to that. And as for English dubbing, there is no comparison--"Decode" has the superior dub, all the way.
 
The one criticism I hear of "Decode" that seems actually somewhat well thought out and that I might actually be able to understand is that it's slower-paced than the OVA. This is perfectly true--certainly the OVA was able to tell a story in four episodes the equivalent of which took "Decode" thirteen episodes and change. However, the reason why "Decode" is slower paced is because it actually takes time to introduce and develop the characters and set the scene, and flesh out its themes. The OVA barely bothered to do any worldbuilding or give its aliens any sort of culture or background, and all the characters, human and alien, were painted in broad strokes. As a result, it doesn't have the well-developed alien worlds and histories or the deep, rich, nuanced characterizations that make "Decode" so enjoyable for me.

So is it just personal preference? Then why in the hell would you try to argue that the OVA is objectively better? Why do so many of you hate on "Decode" when "Decode" is the one that gives us an alien world that's actually developed, characters that are actually complex and nuanced, and surprisingly on-point social commentary? I'm really starting to think that you're just like the nostalgia whores from Pokemon, and are bashing "Decode" because you were already a fan of the OVA which it dares to deviate from.

Whatever.

redwoodalchan: (pic#7810517)
 Here it is. Contains potential first-season spoilers.

Mostly all I'm getting from this is that whoever this person is, they completely missed the point of the series (case to point: "Birdy the Mighty: Decode" is NOT an action series--it is an action series in about the same sense that "Heat Guy J" is an action series and if you knew anything at all about the person who made it you'd know he doesn't DO straight action series). However, it's still pretty funny, and an absolute goldmine of "Birdy the Mighty: Decode" screenshots, which I'm grateful for since I'm putting together a powerpoint about this show for a panel on its creator.

Also...I'm glad I'm not the only one who picked up on how creepy Shyamalan is. I wouldn't go so far as to outright call Shyamalan a pedophile or a date rapist (since he never actually rapes anyone in-story, at least as far as we know), but this person isn't wrong when they say that there's something not quite right about the way he treats Sayaka....
redwoodalchan: (pic#7810517)
 So, having watched the AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL AND SPECIAL "Birdy the Mighty: Decode" just last week (and that's not sarcasm, BTW), I decided to check out the 4-episode OVA it was (loosely) based on as well so I'd have a point of comparison (very important considering I'm planning to feature "Birdy the Mighty: Decode" in an anime panel I'll hopefully get to present at cons this upcoming season).
Read my thoughts )
Other characters appear to be forerunners of many of the characters in "Decode's" first season. Tsutomu's classmates had greatly expanded roles in "Decode." Tsutomu's crush from the OVA, Natsumi, seems to have been split into two characters for "Decode," one of which got her name and appearance and the other, Sayaka, got her personality and role as love interest (in the first season, anyway). Tsutomu's two male friends, who do nothing in the OVA other than try to get Tsutomu to look at porn, seem to have been developed in "Decode" into two specific characters, who fanboy Shion Arita (Birdy's alter ego, who is a model and idol singer) and abandoned buildings in equal measure. Tsutomu's other friends seem to be "Decode's" own creation and have no equivalent in the OVA. In the villains' camp, Hikawa from the OVA appears to be a forerunner of Shyamalan, the main villain of "Decode's" first season, as he, like Shyamalan, is a human who makes contact with the aliens and experiments with a thing they're also interested in because he thinks he can control it (though exactly what he's doing differs--Hikawa created a serum that can turn people into super soldiers, which he plans to unleash on Tokyo, while Shyamalan is seeking out a weapon of mass destruction that he wants to use to kill all but a select few humans). One key difference between them is that while Shyamalan is obviously a villain he's much better than Hikawa at looking like a nice person. There are two reporters in the OVA who investigate the various alien-related crimes, and may have influenced the character of Muroto in "Decode." Pretty much every other character who appears in "Decode" seems to have been created specifically for "Decode."

Also, the English dubbing is MUCH, MUCH better in "Decode" than in the original OVA. Give me Luci Christian as the heroine and evil Todd Haberkorn any day.
So yeah. I enjoyed both of these shows, but I definitely think that "Decode" is infinitely the superior work. Apparently that's a minority opinion. I sorta chalk this up to the same reason we have nostalgia whores in Pokemon fandom--many of the people who have seen "Decode" are huge fans of the original OVA and hate on "Decode" because it's different. I guess in that sense I can admit bias because I hadn't seen the OVA before watching "Decode." Oh, well....
redwoodalchan: (pic#7810517)
 This started as a response to a "Heat Guy J" review I saw on TVTropes, but it isn't limited to "Heat Guy J" fans (or else this rant might not exist...).

redwoodalchan: (pic#7810517)
 You know one thing that really grinds my gears? People who can't tell the difference between liking something they see in media and condoning it. People who think that liking a nasty or unpopular character automatically means that you would support that character in real life.

And, I recognize that there will always be people for whom the likes of Edward Cullen really are their perfect men. But I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the notion some people seem to have that merely liking a character automatically means that you support/want to have sex with that character, regardless of your actual reasons for liking him or her. The hatedom against Snape from the Harry Potter books seems to be a classic example of this--there seem to be a few people who will always believe the worst of Snape's fans, as though the mere fact that they like him and find him sympathetic means that they support him calling Lily a bad name or picking on Harry. There have even been people who've tried to peg fans of Snape as racist (which admittedly partly had to do with the genuinely bad behavior of a few people who happened to like Snape, but STILL).

But that's simply not how it works. I like lots of characters who do lots of really reprehensible things, but I recognize that their behavior is wrong and don't try to emulate them. Liking Legato Bluesummers from "Trigun" does not make me a mass-murdering cannibal out to destroy humanity. Liking Clair Leonelli from "Heat Guy J" does not make me a mad bomber. Liking Mao from "Code Geass" does not make me a deranged psychopathic manchild who'd cut up her love interest with a chainsaw. Nor would I condone the behavior of any of these characters if I met them in real life. So why should liking Snape make anyone a racist? In all likelihood, there's a goodly amount of people (such as myself) who like characters such as the ones above, probably only because they're not real and their actions have no real-world consequences. Isn't part of the point of fiction escapism? And isn't part of escapism the idea that you can get close to things that horrify you while still remaining perfectly safe?

In addition, there is a difference between merely liking something and liking nothing except that thing (the latter of which I'd argue actually is cause for concern). As much as I love Mao, for example, I'd like to think I'd be freaked out if I met someone who went on about how he was the GREATEST ANIME CHARACTER EVER!! and every other anime character was worthless. In a similar vein, the mere fact that I happen to own a Cannibal Corpse album shouldn't mean anything by itself--but, if I refused to listen to anything that was not Cannibal Corpse, then I could see how my family would be worried.

...Yeah.
redwoodalchan: (pic#7834867)
 FINALLY I have a "Xam'd: Lost Memories" themed icon! Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, my absolute favorite time of the whole entire year!

And it's got cute little cuddly-wuddly Furuichi on it, of course (it's wrong that I relate to him) XD
redwoodalchan: (pic#7810517)
 This one I didn't make, either. I found it while browsing an old 'Heat Guy J" comm on LJ which appears to be pretty much dead.
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
All the anime I've watched so far, and where I think they fit throughout the year!

See the calendar )
redwoodalchan: (pic#6681426)
Legato is seriously the best name for a male Gardevoir in the history of ever.

*Sigh* In other news, I'm debating whether I should continue to capitalize the names of pokemon or whether I should switch to using the lower-case versions. This just came up because I'm writing a research paper on RL animals, and while some reports capitalize their names (it's apparently quite common in birding circles, for example) most don't. I'm inclined to think I will continue to capitalize them, just because if it's consistency I'm after, it'll look a lot less consistent if I suddenly switch to using lower-case names.

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redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
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