Yet Another Abandoned Anime Blog

Back in 2019 I created an anime blog and then gave up on it in less than a week. I was able to recover the posts I made on that blog, so here they are.

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Back to Square Minus One

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I am on Sword Art Online episode 15 and 16. As Kirito says now he is a cheater. The villain was disappointingly one of those evil rich rape faced characters trying to rob the relatively poor Kirito of his comatose girlfriend because apparently there aren’t any other women. This is poor writing, it is cheap because it is a cheap attempt at trying to get us to pity Kirito.

I wonder if the anime should be called Sword Art Online anymore as the setting is no longer the eponymous game. I think that things could get potentially more interesting given that Kirito is not always stuck in the video game and there isn’t the threat of death to prop up the stakes.

Kirito’s sister looks a bit too much like Sachi even though I believe her character design is hot it is almost as if Sachi was still alive which I do not like.

The return of Yui as a navigation character was not the best thing but I think I understand that the anime needed some sort of askman character so that Kirito wasn’t just on his own. Kirito is stupid and should have tried to hide is powerlevel. There was no reason that he had to save that blonde elf girl given that there is no death. Such a flagrant show of power is just asking for human game masters to come and have a look at his character

I don’t like how the anime skipped through the fact that Kirito would have to train again by giving him all his old skills. This could have been a good occasion to show Kirito suffer from the start in order to save Asuna just as Asuna sacrificed herself to save Kirito.

The sword fights in SAO were actually pretty boring so I am looking forward to the magic. It would be interesting if Kirito dies in game a few times though I doubt that this will happen.

This game looks more like a fantasy setting than a game for now. I hope that the game doesn’t go too much towards the fantasy aspect as one good thing about SAO is how it looked like a game and how the fights even looked like fights in an MMO.

It is good that Kirito lost in the fight with his sister because it would have been ridiculous if ingame sword skills could be applied just as well outside the game.

Asuna didn’t look as sick as Kirito did. She looked more like a sleeping beauty too much so. The nightmares that Kirito had were kind of cliche.

I like the fact that the new game introduced a gimmick like flying because I have heard of such things been added to MMORPGs and games in real life too.

Speaking of real life I have heard of all sorts of fantastic stories in mmorpgs which could challenge those of sword art online and yet everytime I have played one of these games they felt inferior to ordinary rpgs in story, animation, artstyle and the chief attraction of the other players merely being an annoyance. The problem is that it is too easy to solo play mmorpgs (because that is what people have been asking for) but because of this they have become inferior versions of single player games which require an internet connection to work.

Not a lot has happened in the last two episodes which is strange compared to the hurried pace which gave me plenty of stuff to just mention off in my posts. Hopefully there won’t be any more time skips. One can hope.

I watched the swort art online abrdged series episode 11 to see Kabaya’s reason in the abridged version. Honestly it was a lot worse than I had expected and even worse than the lack of clarity of Kayaba in the original series. What I found even more disappointing was how the commenters below the video were claiming that this was a better version than the original series. Or even worse how the fact Kirito said that he loved Asuna means that he did not love Asuna in the original series. As if such things need to be said. No I am more and more convinced that the audience, the western audience anyway set out to hate Kirito because it was fashionable to do so.

The reason that Shinji and Kirito alike are hated in the western anime community is that they are not powerful enough to defeat their enemies without any real loss to themselves. It is bully worship pure and simple for those who form these opinions and for those below it is just a matter of repeating the same thoughtless phrases without knowing what they mean in an attempt to appear thoughtful.

Certainly SAO does not squeeze out most of the substance which is to be found in the premise but at least it does not meander around irrelevant nonsense as the .hack series does or for that matter Serial Experiments Lain which is nothing more than reactionary nonsense fear mongering about the technology with all the intelligence and subtlety of a medieval witch doctor.

I feel that SAO gets a lot closer than the rest to the issue of this decade, maybe even of this era but that is something that only the future will say, certainly of the now. Just like the postwar era anime, that is the closer you get to the postwar and the creators of that generation you will see that it is about space travel and peace like Space Ballteship Yamato because that is what the future seemed to promise. What the future seems to promise now is gaming, video games and virtual worlds. Perhaps mmorpgs are a thing of the past and less indicative of a possible future than they used to be when SAO was written and when it came out. Certainly MMOs like World of Warcraft have fallen down a steep end into irrelevancy but still development into gaming and to a much lesser extent virtual reality still goes on. Space exploration on the other hand seems to be dead.

A large part of this was the scare of the malthusian human hating population bomb explosion reactionaries who simply assumed that people would go on breeding like brainless animals until the earth could not support them and so instead they would have to go into space. Far from this we are becoming more efficient less wasteful for that is what the market does. That is what capitalism does. The problem that we are facing is a shrinking population. Even Africa the last continent which is still growing and will continue to eventually will slow down.

To put as extravagantly as the space exploring anime put it I would have to imagine a world with a lot of automation and people running economies inside mmorpgs as an alternative way to compete with one another rather than with the machines. For example there are plenty of cars faster than Usain Bolt and yet great numbers of people can admire him even if there are so many machines faster than him. The same goes for physical strength.

I am like Koestler a short term pessimist. I don’t think that paradise on earth is achievable in my lifetime because of our idiotic political class and the people who lead them by voting their asses in over and over again into the house of commons.

Never the less so long as the market has an inch in, that is the real will of the people as opposed to whatever they would like their will to be – as presented in the ballot box, in the long term perhaps a few millennia we will have paradise on earth. I would like to believe in progress as slow and as grueling it is.

True the pathetic left-wing vermin and right wing vermin await to shame and sneer. The idiotic criticisms of SAO are nothing but a sign of this. And yet today SAO can exist and it can be liked by many who have not been corrupted by the misplaced snobbery, hypocrisy, dishonesty, cynicism, power and bully worship of the intelligentsia.

I feel that SAO, that virtual reality is a window to how people may behave if they did not have to worry about earning a living. Or in other words they would be like Americans in the midwest before the American civil war. Like Mark Twain’s characters. Or in other words they would be the opposite of our constipated lfe hating death loving intellectuals. There is indeed a intellectual honesty and freedom which is to say selfishness that our self-flagellating, self-hating, self-righteous intelligence cannot bear to look at neutrally.

It doesn’t really mean anything

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I watched Sword Art Online Episode 14. The only question that was on my mind till now. Kirito asked Kayaba this question and Kayaba’s answer was that he did not remember. The question of course is “Why? Why trap a bunch of people in a virtual reality game?”

The way in which Kirito found out who Kayaba’s ingame identity is very questionable. So is Kabaya’s adulation of Kirito as someone who was able to go beyond the rules of his game.

I was not satisfied so I googled it a few minutes ago. Apparently a silly reason is given in the youtube abridged version. If so I might as well watch SAO abridged ep 14 even though I do not like it because I think people remember it as the real version. It is the same with the Hellsing Abridged version but I am more okay with that because overall I agree with its protrayal especially of the Nazi Major.

In the search results there were some who interpreted his vague lines about wanting to see that steel castle, wanting to see a world without limitations but at the same time which felt real hence the perma-death.

My guess is that Kabaya wanted to create a new world but after he created it it seemed rather pointless and so to add a certain level of realism he trapped a bunch of people in it and introduced death because otherwise there would be no real risk and without real risk it would only be a fake world no matter how greater than this one it is in every other aspect.

I understand that much but I wonder at what moment he decided to trap a bunch of people in there. I don’t know whether he actually achieved what he wanted in the begging or perhaps he did and once he had achieved it he wanted more.

Frankly I was kind of bored. I don’t understand how Kabaya wasn’t bored about of his mind watching this farce which in the end was more limited than the real world and at the same time just as limited. I think what sent this point through my head was watching  Kirito and Asuna kiss each other in despair that they might not see each other. What can be more ordinary and bound by the laws of normality than this? What made this scene really jarring was that it came right after Kabaya’s monologue about how he wanted to create a castle in the sky and visit it.

I know that Asuna is going to come back to life but I hope that Sachi does not come back to life. Not because I hate Sachi, she was rather sweet though it seemed that that sweetness was rather a result of her realizing that Kirito could protect her – but the reason for this is that it would spit right in Kabaya’s motivations (or at least my guess of them).

The excuse I have seen for Asuna’s undeath is that Kabaya promised Kirito that he would not let Asuna kill herself during Kabaya’s battle with Kirito. Indeed this may be why much is made of Kabaya’s sense of fairness in the wikia page on him.

I think that this would have been a good place to end the story but then maybe it is better that it did not because otherwise Asuna’s death would have been the only thing which entered into people’s minds and nothing about Kabaya’s motivations.

Anime has a way of making me interested in its subject matter. Especially sports anime. For example if I am watching a netball anime then playing netball is presented as the most interesting thing ever, if it is about being scientist then science is presented as the most interesting thing ever, if it is about playing music in a band then playing music is presented in the most interesting ever, if it is about playing tennis then tennis is presented as the most interesting thing you could be doing right now – and you know be like the characters you see. The same goes for anime about drawing manga or writing a novel or whatever. I think that SAO has in a slight way also induced some interest in me about MMOs about Virtual reality. Of course I will soon forget this interest once I watch an anime which glorifies some other thing or other.

In fact what is most strange to me is that even after all this time having seen so much anime I can still feel “oh this would be cool if it were real.” Of course most MMORPGs are boring just like Tennis, drawing manga, playing netballl, playing music and oh god researching science is boring. It is incredible the effect that anime can have on the way I view things even if only momentarily. For example a green scenery here in Scotland that I would pay no attention to when I see it with my own eyes can seem really beautiful when it has been animated. Part of it is that I know that a certain amount of effort and dare I say talent (which I do not posses) which went into drawing that scenery over and over again and animating it. The real thing, the real scenery is by comparison to my eyes unglamorous. The people who work on the land to make it look as it is are as indistinguishable as the scenery is – if not even more – to my eyes.

I am not impressed by Kirito’s detective nonsense but I want to see more of SAO. It seems that Kabaya makes no more apperances until SAO: Alicization and that then it is as a deux ex machina for Kirito but still I find this to be an interesting premise and I would enjoy to see characters acting in it for a bit longer just as I imagine Kabaya did although I have no interest in creating another virtual world which really is essentially not different from this. I will try to keep an eye on Virtual Reality and MMOs though. I subscribed to an MMO youtube channel called MMOByte which makes videos about upcoming MMOs. As for virtual reality I have yet to find any publication worth following with news about Virtual Reality. Does anyone of you know anywhere to find news about Virtual Reality?

Here are another 1000 words

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Romance in Limbo and Unlimited Deathflags: Sword Art Online Episode 13 and Please don’t Bully me Nagatoro Chapter 47

There were so many death flags in this episode. This is because an anime finds it difficult to remain interesting after the romance has taken off. Sword Art Online is unusual in that the main couple actually get on with it fairly soon.

A more typical example would be Please Don’t Bully me Nagatoro which having decided not to go the harem route is grasping for reasons not to progress the romance between the main couple because if the two protagonists say that they liked it each other then there would be nothing left to the story.

Bully Worship And Victim Worship

The Ladybird version of Jack the giant killer which I read back when I was a child always left me with a feeling that the giant was in the right and was wronged and yet for some implausible reason Jack is shown in a positive light.

Yesterday when I wrote my thoughts on Sword Art Online in the chat page of an online game called Habitica someone felt it necessary to say how much they disliked SAO. When I asked them why the reasons they provided amounted to accusing Kirito of being a bully who is presented in a positive light. I think that she was wrong about Kirito being a bully at least given what I have seen upto episode 13.

Vae Vicitis, the creed that might is right is wrong. But is weakness right? I think that the problem people have with SAO is not so much Kirito being a bully who is presented in a positive light but rather that the weak are often presented as bullies in a negative light. I think this setup offends modern people’s sensibilities.

Basically vae vicitis but these critics don’t think that there is a plausible enough reason for him to be strong. This is fair enough.

Having said all that I think what is more revealing is that when you think about it Kirito’s goodness stinks because he is strong.

Kirito’s character stinks of an health which is disliked today. I think this whole arc upheld the things which are not felt to be genuine. In fact are regarded by many intelligent people on reddit to be things worthy of sniggering towards, and the denizens of reddit are not alone. Almost every hollywood film of any intelligence at least since the 60s regard these things as an illusion painted ontop this or that power struggle.

The Englishman’s home is his castle. These ridiculous (by ordinary modern standards) words kept popping into my mind as Kirito and Asuna went on about wanting to just remain in that house in the woods away from the battle. I also liked that Asuna was intelligent enough to realize that their real bodies were degrading. Actually by this point all their muscles should have atrophied and they should be unable to walk again without rehabilitation.

I think another atypical thing about the romance in SAO is that Kirito and Asuna never stop to think about why it is they love each other. Whereas in more intelligent writing there is a tendency of laying bare every sordid motive behind every beautiful thing. For example the modern writer would have made it clear that it was all about seeking power in one way or another in prettier words of course but all the same.

I wonder whether what goes in the main character’s mind is made clearer in his thoughts in the novel because I didn’t get many moments in which the main character is acting as a narrator of his own thoughts in the anime as is typical for light novel anime.

There was a CGI monster at the end of the episode which was ugly and disappointing. Thankfully the minatour in the opening was actually 2D animated. Speaking of the opening I think that at this point we have finally seen all the characters in the opening. I haven’t checked how many episodes there are left. I don’t want to know that because then it is easier to get a grasp where the story will head.

Nagatoro looks cute. I think that her faces are the only thing keeping this manga going at this point. I have to say I am thinking of picking up a serial web novel because the pace at which new manga chapters are released is incredibly slow. In fact I think that this is the main reason why manga has fallen behind even light novels in some quarters of the internet.

Quantity over quality has always been the mantra of animanga writing. More so light novel writing. And even more so in web novels. For this reason I want to read a serial web novel. Writing that has been edited too much tends to look like an overpolished turd. This may be because people tend to regret almost everything they have written afterwards so the instinct is to make everything as dull as possible.

Asuna’s and Kirito’s character designs look good, but everyone else’s clothes look like some randomly generated mmo clothes. I think that I am still struck by how much like a game SAO looks like. It is not just the stat screens and silly looking recall crystals. I really feel like playing an mmo but I just cannot find a good one. Everyone seems to have their opinions on which is good and everyone seems to agree that mmos have become too easy and therefore worse for it.

Virtual Reality Seems Illusive

When I searched youtube for virtual reality there was only a small amount of new popular content about it. The most interesting thing I could find was a video of first person shooter game made a year ago.

There was also a video of the first floor of SAO being recreated in VRchat. The problem with VRChat is that well it is just a chat program. There aren’t any hard coded features to make it exciting.

And Another Thousand Words

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Evangelion vs Sword Art Online: What Does SEELE want? What does Kabaya want? A Final Solution to The Human Problem.

Asuna and Asuka are one letter apart from each other. They both have red hair. They are both stronger in character than their male counterparts but are physically weaker.

Come to think of it Shinji and Kirito both have similar body-types and faces. And they are both hated by a large section of the anime community.

Is this a coincidence? Probably yeah.

I am on episode 9 and 10 of SAO and honestly it felt bad a bit watching episode 10. It reminded me of something I had refused as silly, improbable and irrational.

Episode 9 was good. Kirito lost a fight and had to face the consequences for it and was saved by Asuna, something that those critisize SAO (even in the Kissanime comment sections of SAO) as the Kirito show do not mention because they cannot see it in their blind mob hatred.

The villain is an ugly bastard which is cheap writing but at the least the method which said ugly bastard tried to use to kill Kirito was semi-intelligent and took into consideration that Kirito was stronger. That said his motivations for trying to kill Kirito were paper thin unless there is something from the novels which explains it.

Another thing which bugged me was that the old the characters in the higher positions of power looked like stereotypical old guys although there seems improbable given that this was a game mainly aimed at young people. Perhaps there may be a plausible explanation but it is not conveyed through the story so it is irrelevant.

Evangelion is the darling of many of those who hate SAO. I wonder why that is? I also love EVA and I wouldn’t let SAO anywhere near the pedestal I have placed EVA on in my mind.

Now it may sound strange to compare such different anime from such different genres and times however it makes sense as anime is like a deep well. In fact it is disappointing how all the different anime tropes came to be because it no longer feels like a mystery. After the puzzle has been solved you can only stare at it so much before it gets boring.

There is a section at the end of the Evangelion tv series where we see what fans assume to be Shinji’s ideal world where he is a sort of light novel anime harem protagonist, a bit like Kirito I guess. Of course outside Shinji’s humanity is coming to an end.

In both anime the events are set forth by a conspiracy involving mad scientists. In one case the world comes to an end and in both a fake world is created. What were the motivations of these mad scientists?

In Eva, SEELE wanted to create a world with no suffering through the human complementary project. In SAO, Kabaya wanted to trap a few thousand people in a game for what reason? It could be for some stupid edgy voyeuristic reason or for some awfully practical reason (i.e. to trap someone he hated inside the game) but perhaps we may get some clue as to what Kabaya may have wanted by looking at the way those who were trapped in the game are shown to act.

The people trapped in the game act as they would have acted outside so it seems rather pointless. The only difference is that now people expect that the game will come to an end when they game is cleared – in which case the value of all their achievements in the game would be more meaningless than ever. It is possible to experience something similar if one reflects too much on death and all one’s efforts will be lost in time like tears in the rain. The only one who is shown to be intelligent enough to marginally comment on this however is Kirito. To be fair at least at first there was a constant fear of death but now it feels more like a mmorpg with permadeath with its playerbase being a bunch of 14 year old boys. Is this what Kabaya wanted? I wonder.

“It isn’t all fun and games” Kabaya is supposed to have said in a magazine interview before the game’s launch. These are the only words from Kabaya as of now. Actually the only one who seems to even think of Kabaya and his motivations again is Kirito. I may be setting myself up for disappointment if Kabaya’s wish turns out to be some trivial edgy nonsense. It is just that in anime like this the mad scientist’s case, as in SEELE’s case or Kayaba’s case is rarely made. All that we see from 1984 onwards is the insurgency failed or not.

Funnily enough looking at Kabaya’s name quote today when most mmo’s have failed because they have become all fun and games – they have become too easy. Very often the consequences for dying and the ease of getting new stuff and the idiotic inflation just make it impossible for real bonds to form over these games because they feel nothing more than games – certainly not world’s of their own anymore.

Habitica:  A Real Life RPG

I am on episode 11 and 12 of SAO. That bad feeling that came to me towards the end of episode ten reduced by 11 as the following episode affirmed my faith that it was silly and childish.

Ten thousand people is not a lot. I live in a Scottish town called Perth which is in the middle of nowhere and there are maybe fifty thousand people living in the vicinity. The number of people in SAO has decreased from ten to six thousand. I have heard rumours that the dead will come back to life through deus ex machina. Truthfully I don’t think that this would detract much from the story as it never was about the horrors of war and at any rate war means nothing much more than a word to its intended audience.

There is some kissing in episode 11/12 of SAO but none of it comes close to the kiss at the end of episode 10. In fact it was boring looking at the peace that the characters had desired being temporarily achieved and put into practice. It kind of reminds me that pilot from Area 88 (OVA) who abandons peace and returns to a battle in which he could have most certainly have died.

I could feel the same in the pacifist spaceship/mecha battle anime where the characters fight for a peace we the audience are so bored out of that we need to make up stories about them killing each other in robots.

Anyway I am playing a game called Habitica RPG which is basically a stat screen for forming good habits and getting work done. I wrote this post as part of that. It hasn’t got enough features for it to be considered an mmorpg but there are some limited social features such as guilds and parties.

I was unable to find any mmorpg to which I felt I could dedicate a lot of time and in lieu of that I am “playing” this habitica “game.”

And Yet Another Thousand Words

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This is my third day writing one thousand words related to anime. My brain feels emptier and emptier.

Writing is Hard: SAO is Okay For Now And Is Better Than Recovery of An MMO Junkie

I have reached episode 8 of SAO. I know that Kirito is overpowered(I had seen the clip on the bridge where Kirito gets no damage), I know who Asuna is and that there is a short scene with a loli and a tentacle plant monster. But other than these things and that there was some convoluted murder plot somewhere I did not know anything more prior to watching this anime. What I had heard about it made me decide that I would watch it later again and again but now what has changed? Well, I find myself disagreeing with the people who disliked SAO on some other series so I decided I would see whether they were wrong about SAO too. It’s a bit like the Twillight saga movies. I watched them and felt they were okay but then I forgot about them and started hating them like everyone else until I realized that I was hating it just because it was popular to hate it. Of course it is too soon to say whether SAO is worthy of the hatred it gets. I am only 8 episodes in.

The main reason I hesitated to watch Sword Art Online until now is because I heard that the villains were all disgusting bastards with faces like rapist in the act in order to make the protagonist look like a saint in comparison. A disgusting and cheap tactic that writers use to paint the protagonist in a fair light but basically destroys any possibility of their being an interesting villain. Fortunately I have seen no such thing up to episode 8 and the victimization of the protagonist has been minimal and within the limits of plausibility.

The second reason that I was apprehensive about watching SAO was the time skips. Given what I heard for not at episode 8 it’s not too bad, though I see so much lost potential in not showing how Kirito got strong, sure we are told that he fought a lot but because we do not actually see him suffering for it then that robs the sympathy which the audience may have for him if it had been shown. What I am asking for is basically a Dragonball style training arc. Sometimes I didn’t understand the motivations of the characters but luckily the kissanime comment section filled in the blanks with bits from the light novel. There was also at least one case where the translation made Kirito more an ass than he ought to be.

The animation was smooth and other than an ugly CGI ice dragon it was better than I had expected though nothing spectacular. The battle choreography leaves a lot to be desired though and the constant cuts during battles do not help but it is nothing atrocious. The reason I expected something a lot worse than this is that Sword Art Online feels like it came out forever ago.

The character designs look cute, the clothes in particular reminded me of final fantasy. The designs for the monsters and bosses looked on point as what I would image bosses would look like in mmos.

In terms of pacing Recovery of an MMO Junkey suffers from the opposite of what SAO suffered from. Whereas SAO suffered from too much content being crammed into few episodes Recovery of An MMO just has too little content spread too far apart padded with pretty visual gimmicks.

The music is okay but other than coffee soda give me pasta soundtrack and the opening nothing that good as of yet.

The mystery aspects were a bit battlefield. I did not expect it to turn into The Adventures of Detective Kirito and Dr. Asuna show for two episodes when so much was packed into single episodes earlier. The mystery was not that bad as a mystery but when I think of being stuck in a fantasy-setting video game I do not think of solving murder mysteries.

An acquaintance of mine recommended the SAO abridged series on youtube. He told me that the plot was exactly the same as the actual anime but that it was greatly improved by the characters not taking themselves so seriously. I tried watching it but almost immediately I couldn’t stand the American voices (sorry I live en Angleterre) especially those of the female characters who just sounded so much older than the character designs looked.

More importantly Recovery of MMO Junkie pretends too hard to not be what it is, an empowerment fantasy but because it has a female protagonist this escapes the notice of our anime critics who have only been educated to notice and dislike male empowerment fantasies. The reason for this is probably that most anime critics are men and so watch and read stuff aimed at men.

Korean Dramas have a more female audience and what one will notice immediately in them is the smell of money and generally a wish to live beyond one’s means – which is no more realistic than the male empowerment in Sword Art Online and to be honest it stinks more of dishonesty.

This is basically the plot of Recovery of an MMO Junkie: The main character is a 30 year old hikki neet woman who just happens to fall in love a well-off businessman through a multi-player game. If this does not scream self-insert character or empowerment fantasy then I don’t know what does. And yet none of the reviews I saw anyway point in anyway to this effect whereas many of the negative reviews condemn Sword Art Online for the same reason. I wonder how of it is just up to the fact that it is popular among the herd of independent writers to level such moralistic criticism against what the ordinary anime viewer likes. I also think that this is because it is easier to see the bosoms or lack of bosoms as the case may be of cute girls whereas it takes some effort to smell the scent of money and luxury and of bully worship in entertainment which girls prefer. Writing is hard so I don’t blame these anime critics of being blinded by their biases and toeing the line so easily.

I think I am going to play some 2D mmorpgs

Because of SAO I have been looking hard to find an mmo that suits me. The genre seems to be slowly dying largely due to the rise of casual gaming and developers seeking to make everything easier to cater to casual viewers to the point it may all be automated. Obviously I haven’t played an mmo so I may be talking out of my rear.

My first requirement is that the mmo should be 2D because I have not seen a 3D game that does not offend my eyes yet – doubly so when it comes to mmorpgs (the promotional artwork for mmorpgs often looks laughably better than the actual gameplay graphics). Also my computer is slow as I am not a gamer so I imagine a 2D game would be more suited to it.

Due to my low specs and my intolerance towards computer generated graphics I tried playing a full a few MUDs (Multi User Dungeons). I really liked how simple the commands were but unfortunately they too were plagued by scripting to the point that the games often seemed to be playing themselves. Also reading the same text over and over again can get tedious. Maybe I wasn’t social enough, at any rate given that I am looking for something similar to Sword Art Online I should go with some mmorpg which was representative of mmorpgs around 2003 which seems to be the type of games which influenced the writing of the sword art online web novel.

Evangelion vs Gunbuster: Who lives if Japan dies?

Japanese nationalism is dumb and pathetic there is no way around this but so is sophisticated western left-wing self-flagellation. Honestly I am not sure which is worse but it seems to me that the former has been artistically more fertile than the latter. Literally of course they are both lacking in virility judging by the birth rates but that’s another story.

Gunbuster came out at a time when Japan might have become numba wan before the lost decades during the boom. Before the bursting of the property bubble in Japan (during the premises in the Japanese Imperial gardens in central Tokyo were as valuable as all real estate in California – to give an idea of what a bubble it was). This was the age when OVAs which were anime sold in video cassettes which did not air on TV or go to the cinema could get a lot of funding which went to create beautiful and violent hand drawn animations. One of these animations was Gunbuster. It was the directorial debut of Hideaki Anno, the director of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Both Eva and Gunbuster are about robots fighting aliens but they couldn’t be any more different.

Evangelion came in 1995 on Japanese television. Unlike Gunbuster it was a TV anime not directly sold to fans and so were subject to direct censorship by the government and indirect censorship by advertisers who would provide funds. At this point the Japanese animation industry, and indeed the Japanese economy in general was at a low ebb and pessimism abounded at the failure of  the promise of Japan becoming the world’s economic power. Hideaki Anno and Gainax were not happy for many reasons among which the fact that there wasn’t the money to create the kind of series he wanted to create anymore.

Gunbuster certainly looks a lot neater than Evangelion but Eva is popular whereas Gunbuster is known only to few.

The premise of Gunbuster simply goes like this: America not Japan sneak attacks Hawaii then Japan defeats America and proceeds to become the number one empire in the warudo. Now in the twenty first century the Japanese imperial navy sends huge fleets of spaceships into space but an alien race of giant insects kill the fleet commandeered by the admiral who happens to be the father of our cute energetic determined but klutzy bra-less young Japanese girl protagonist who wants to be like her sempai so she goes to a highschool where they do physical exercises in mechs where she gets chosen by the manly instructor with sunglasses who has a brain-tumour to pilot a giant super robot mech to exterminate the giant insect like alien invaders (definitely not American invaders). Oh and by the way the soviet union is still around in the 21st century because this anime was made before that house of tanks and breadlines fell apart. Despite the way I have described it, it is a beautiful hopeful anime. Though I would rather you didn’t watch it so I can be one of the few chosen ones who has seen it.

The only parts which stink are the Japanese nationalist propaganda in the background (which you can’t read because it is mostly in Japanese) which looks laughably pathetic to us now as we know that Japan is not number 1 but number 3 behind China. But Gunbuster is not just about a hope about Japan but also a hope about Otaku.

Gunbuster was one of the first shows which pioneered fan service as we know it and for which we ought to be grateful. The reason that I say that it is a hope about Otaku however is not just because of its pioneering of fan service but also because the otaku grew out of the science fiction community in Japan. And one of the greatest hopes of the science fiction community was the conquering of space by mankind (or peoplekind if you are a virtue-signalling pharisee and destroyer of the English language). By the nineties this came to nothing – the next millennium – and this is a very hard thing to imagine for me as a millennial – was not going to be the century of rising otaku nor of a rising Japan. The sun had set on the hopes and dreams of Gunbuster.

And from this seed of disappointment grew the flower of Evangelion which was to push TV anime and anime in general into its next stage in that difficult time. Otaku and Japan remain defeated though – I mean just watch Isekai light novel anime protagonists like Kirito whose audience wants to die of truck-kun and be reborn in another world, and the gdp per capita adjusted for purchasing power parity graph of Japan – just forget about the fleets of Japanese war-spaceships in space!

Compare the premise of Evangelion to that of Gunbuster I have described above: Japan is destroyed and just a pawn of some, the protagonist is some girly unmanly reluctant, apathetic, pathetic, sexually frustrated Japanese boy much closer to the audience (so far removed from the protagonist of Gunbuster which is what the audience desired). The super robots are not the works of the greatness of the future mankind but uncontrollable reverse-engineered ancient creepy but beautiful biomechanical beings who rather than the Wellsian ode to the powers of makind’s reason are instead the deepseated animalistic irrational instincts expoused which control their behaviour. Where there was steely military determination and glory now there is only reluctance, civilian fear and shame. Where there was manly self-sacrifice now there is a labyrinth of conspiracies. Where there was a will to live now there is a wish to die only kept at bay by a fear of pain.

To cut a long story short at the end the entire world ends. Who lives if Japan dies? If the dream of Japan as the great economic power which would bind the world in peace has been shattered. If the hopeful ambitions of early Otaku who created anime as a place to create greatness has degenerated into hiding place for those running away from reality then it may be better if no one lives. There is a very unconvincing exposition at the end of the end of evangelion but if we go by “show don’t tell” and ignore what is told by what is shown then that is the conclusion of evangelion. I have not gone to any length of Evangelion because you, yes you, should know it. To put it bluntly the answer Evangelion provides to “Who lives if Japan dies?” is “no one.” Everyone should just die as our protagonist almost says. There is some nonsensical exposition about you can be happy just like turning a tap on or off but if you take it literally which is to say if you take it seriously then it is nonsense. Arigatou Gozaimasu.

I have written more than two thousand words does that mean that tomorrow I can just write nothing? No if I don’t push my limits like some shounen manga protagonist I will never become a better writer. Though what I am mostly worried about is that I will run out of things to say about anime and will just end up repeating and pretending to know about something in order to write something different. I should also try to not burn out. AH how complicated.

I apologize to any Japanese nationalists (Japanese or most likely otherwise) but rather than mincing my words, sharpening the blade beforehand seemed like the merciful thing to do.

Yet another 1000 words

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Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurection sequel movie is A-okay

My expectations weren’t that high when going into this movie but by Code Geass standards it was okay. Turns out we were right that Lelouch was alive after all. I mean he came back to life or something but who cares about the details. The reason which made season 1 of Code Geass fun was watching Lelouch coming with semi-intelligent plans and unilaterally beating the other side’s ass. Season two suffered from severe Gundam Syndrome where that scientist with glasses started introducing a super robots into a show that was supposed to be real robo. Basically when one of Robot can destroy hundreds of robots any semblance of “tactics” or intelligence is gone. Code Geass is also sometimes unintentionally funny – remember Zero’s plan of running away by disguising thousands of people as Zero. Well, in Lupin the third green jacket Lupin does the same thing to rob a museum and it is all played as a joke. At any rate come season 2 any attempt at plausibility was abandoned and characters would hate each other’s guts five minutes later will sacrifice their lives to protect each other’s lives.

If you don’t raise your standards too high in this movie you will find some of that nifty enjoyment in Season 1 of Code Geass. It is nothing special and it just felt like an OVA. Sadly there weren’t any adverts for Pizza hut and the story writers had to pull a villain out of their arse nevertheless it was an okay clever with a geass which could challenge Lelouch’s geass. The way in which Lelouch found out the other side’s geass was stupid but the solution which he came up with to neutralize to put the villain into an eternal “sleep” was actually clever. I will not beat around the bush too much basically the villain has the ability to go back 6-8 hours in time when she dies (like in a video game or like in Steins;Gate) whereas Lelouch has the ability to enslave anyone by looking into their eyes. It is not overwhelmingly clever but it was certainly better than any plan in Code Geass season 2.

Season 2 of Code Geass was ultimately saved by the  ending which now been undone by this movie but in my mind I can still enjoy that ending by considering that Lelouch’s sacrifice was meant to be eternal by Lelouch himself and was only undone by C.C.

I am looking forward to season 3. I am so old now that I feel it hard to get into anything new and not immediately forget it. As for this movie I would only advise it for those who are already fans of code geass. If you were dissapointed by the Exile movies with no Lelouch and his too clever by half plans you will certainly enjoy this.

Nanbaka, Princes Tutu and Berserk are not animated enough

My eyes seem to have grown accustomed to a minimum level of effort in animation. I wasn’t like this – I could watch anime where there would be endless panning over backgrounds with fighting sounds in the background during battles to give an appearance of animation but not anymore. A few months ago I tried to watch the masterpiece of Berserk 1997 and I just couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was watching a glorified powerpoint slideshow during the battles. The same thing happened a few days ago when I tried to watch Nanbaka on the youtube crunchyroll  account. Nanbaka is a cheap animation show and now that I have been told what the methods to save money are used when animating anime I can’t help but see them. I often wish I had not been told about cgi because before I had before I had been told about it I did not notice it. The vehicles in most anime to me now look disgusting whereas before watching Intial D I did not even notice that almost all the cars in anime were 3D pigs.

The most striking example of this however came in the form of my second viewing of Princes Tutu. I had watched the first episodes in Italian a long time ago and my feeling at the time of I watching it the first time and until my second viewing was how beautiful the artwork and animation was. After watching the rest of the anime many years later after my first attempt at viewing it however I could see all the still images which somehow had escaped my attention earlier. To put this another way I guess you could say that when I was younger I didn’t differentiate much between artwork and animation – and somehow viewed the same as one with more attention on the artwork than on the animation.  A think that a lot of animation for children could be a lot more memorable with beautiful designs and less animation because I feel that children concentrate more on the artwork than on the animation.

Even now my bias is towards the artwork and not the sakuga animation. I don’t care how beautiful something moves if it is ugly when it is still. Doubly so when it comes to the character designs. The backgrounds I am fine with as long as they are realistic. This probably explained why it took so much time for me to notice the cgi vehicles whereas the cgi characters even when they are background characters are just so damn ugly. I wonder what an anime with 2D characters and a 3D backgrounds throughout would look like. The closest thing I can think of is the monogatari series, well at least some outside scenes and a few indoors scenes. The fan service probably helps because with an ugly background the cute girls stand out even more.

Manga are better than webtoons but web serials are as good as light novels

Recently a lot of illegal manga reading sites have been inundated by Chinese and Korean webtoons. I am not going to explain the differences between manga and webtoons. I am sure you are perfectly capable of googling that your self. The long story short is that manga are meant for books and webtoons are meant for mobile screens. Showing coloured images is cheaper than printing couloured pages therefore webtoons tend to be coloured which does not make up for the inferior artwork when compared to black and white manga. Part of this is that manga are professionally produced whereas most webtoons are fan made; Doujinshis are fan made too but rarely serial in the same way as webtoons and manga so they do not count as an exception to this rule.

Another factor which is against webtoons is that a large section of webtoon are girls which means that there is a bias towards more static scenes as opposed to the moving battle scenes in comics aimed at boys in Japan. American comics aimed at boys are kind of static too but that is more because of how full of text they are American comics may be considered more like illustrated novels than its more visually inclined offshoots in Japan, Korea and China. There is a small malaysian and south east asian webtoon industry but they are not worth mentioning in any detail yet.

Perhaps another reason that manga is superior to korean webtoons is that the limitations of paper in size and colour have made their artwork shine to make up for the limitations of it’s medium? Or maybe mobile phone screens are just too limited in horizontal size and too unlimited in scrolling vertical size? Maybe but another reason which I do not like to acknowledge but which is probably true is that Japanese manga have a lot of more editorial oversight to the extent that editors of manga magazines can have total creative control of a manga creator whereas there tends to be less editorial oversight in webtoons so webtoon creators can push out imperfect products so long as they get paid for pushing out something on time to websites like

Basically what it comes down to I think that the webtoon “industry” is as fast if not faster than manga but isn’t as cut-throat as manga. A webtoon creator could slowly publish an ugly comic that no one reads so long as he can squeeze out the time for it.

I would say that this is the difference between print and online with print being superior in quality and online superior in quantity but there is an exception to this rule. That is in web serial novels. The average popular light novel is not much better than the average popular web serial novel. This is even made stranger by the fact that a lot of light novels have been adapted from web novels. And the web novels on which these light novels are based are not much worse than the light novels made by adapting them – so editors have a minimal effect. Then to make things more complicated there are the web only Chinese web novels which are pay to read. You basically have to buy tokens or if you are an english speaker just head over to novelupdates and read the english fan translations.

I must admit that these Chinese web novels are not exactly my cup of tea. I prefer the Japanese light novels nevertheless millions of people read these Chinese novels so there must be something goof about them.

Finally I think that the survey’s that Japanese Manga magazines ask their readers to send back are an essential quality control missing in webtoons. Sure when it comes to webtoons you can count how many views each webtoon gets more accurately however those who bother to answer back manga magazine must actually care about them more than a casual viewer. The bar to entry to vote through a survey is higher than the bar to entry by voting by simply viewing a webtoon – this means that the vote of a survey counts more than merely being a viewer. In political terms, I guess you could call survey’s a limited franchise like the American electoral college leading to more high quality results than non-discriminatory popular vote where everyone gets to vote. Obviously it isn’t exactly the same thing but I think you get the point.

I was able to squeeze another thousand words out of my brain tangentially related to anime once again. I won’t be able to keep up with this for much longer but I will give it the old college try.


Another thousand words

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Another post in my attempt to write a thousand word a day in order to improve my writing.

Please don’t Bully me Nagatoro

I caught up with this manga which used to be popular on 4chan a few months ago. I can see why it is not popular anymore. I can see why it is no longer that popular for the same reason Watamote and Oregairu ceased to be popular(pun intended on watamote’s title). Basically what made them popular was the relatability of the protagonist as a socially inept loser and the struggles to avoid being in this situation. However once protagonist ceases to be a loser, and there are signs of this in Chap.46(the latest chapter) of Nagatoro, and instead slowly becomes an ordinary harem protagonist or just plain ordinary then they cease to be interesting protagonists. Basically there ceases to be any conflict so there is no longer any struggle upwards. A similar thing also happens in Ranma 1/2 which starts off great but then plateaus and repeats itself in so many ways to the end where it has outlived its characters and just feels fake.

Should I watch Hunter X Hunter?

I feel like Hunter X Hunter is one of those Shounen manga based anime series that I would have enjoyed when I was young. It also seems to be miles away from the usual otaku ligtht novel based based anime rom coms that I prefer. The thing is that Shounen anime of this kind cannot have certain ecchi and romance elements. Perhaps I should check it out to get out of my bubble of ecchi rom coms and serious and violent old anime like Evangelion. It has so many episodes though so I feel I would rather watch yet another twelve episode anime instead… Still I feel that Hunter X Hunter is one of those anime that one should have watched… though I have seen people with questionable taste recommend Hunter X Hunter (you know the kind of people who have maybe watched Death Note and Dragon Ball), nevertheless I have seen others make. Having said all that my biggest gripe however is the seeming lack of cute girls in this anime which me repels me from it – you know all those those tropes from Rumiko Takahashi, I love them and I feel they will be missing from this anime. I will still watch it though perhaps even now that I have been burnt out of light novel anime after watching The Asterisk War season 1. Light novel anme is the best when it keeps away from magical system mumbo jumbo. But I want to watch something that will immediately get on with it and I am not sure Hunter X Hunter is that anime… I will watch it.. at some point.

I wonder what happened to the code geass sequel movie. It was not immediately available on illegal anime websites so nobody talks about it.

Attack On Titan Used to be good

I have stopped reading the manga. It feels like anything could happen and the characters are just a bunch of rag dolls the author throws around in every direction. After every body started getting their own titan it became absurd. I am listening to some sound tracks which reminded me of how good it was. The way in which every little bit of soil was regained through an incredible a great expenditure of blood, sweat and treasure was what made Attack On Titan great. When the humans within the walls and all this conspiratorial nonsense was out of sight it was great. I am listening to “Counterattack Humanity” from the attack on titan soundtrack and I advise you to do so too to remember those feelings before attack on titan bit off more than it can chew. Sure now Attack On Titan covers more themes and has a more defined lore but it is all the worse for it because it only serves the themes through allegories which do not explain anything. Go listen back to lyrics of the opening to the first season back when Eren could not turn to a titan at will it was that feeling of humanity fighting back amid desperation rather than the stupid confused mess that tries to be an allegory for the second world war, for Japan as this island full of fucking snowflakes who are almost Jews. This is all stupid and unimportant compared to the first season.

Hong Kong Will Not Be Free And You Know It

Unless some freak political accident occurs I don’t see any change for the better in Hong Kong. Hong Kong will fully become a vassal state of the Chinese Communist party. Perhaps there is some hope if the current economic slowdown in China worsens to an extent that Hong Kong could return to have more leverage on the Chinese economy but I doubt. The clock is ticking in HK for the count down to the end of the agreement with Britain. Perhaps if then a weakened China may see some use in leaving Hong Kong relatively free then it may remain free. I haven’t seen many old or middle aged people at the protests in Hong Kong which means that they are probably more okay with Peking than the young – this is not good because it implies that the current anti communist party movement is a youth movement and youth movements have a tendency of coming to nothing without support from other parts of society.

Do You Remember Haruhi Suzumiya?

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya became popular and lost its popularity. When I watched the anime and the movie I felt bored. Nevertheless I felt its themes to be very relate-able. And even though escapist the only way for an anime not to be escapist is to deal with the subjects of here and now rather than escape into the past, into the future or into fantasy. This is what I like about Otaku-pleasing anime, it gets to the heart of things without getting absorbed in its purity like Ghibli movies and most non-otaku and anti-intellectual entertainment. At any rate despite how boring it was I feel very sympathetic to MHS.

It seems that I have written a thousand words of something. Amen.

A thousand words

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I have decided to write a thousand words everyday to improve my writing skills. The problem is that I haven’t haven’t anything in mind to write much about.

Orwell’s war diaries etc…

I ahve been reading a bunch of essays, letters and notes by Orwell lately. He was definitely leftwing. God damnit this is supposed to be an anime blog but there isn’t much anime that I have watched that I can say much about.

Owari no seraph

Owari no seraph was okay and not too gay like Free! The relationship between the two male leads is kind of cute. The anime had really bad animation but not astoundingly bad like Berserk 2016 just a bunch of CGI vehicles. I have already written about this anime elsewhere so I will just copy and paste it here at a later time. The plot ceases to make sense in the manga with too many conspiracies and mystery boxes just messing up the story.

Github is biased so I am leaving it. I am back on twitter

Github has definitely chosen a side in politics and so has microsoft too. It is not my side so I will be censored there if I get any attention. is biased too. I remember about how a lot of blogs were banned because of a certain conspiracy which was inconvenient to a certain political side. I shall say no more than that.

I have also decided to get back on twitter because there are more reasons to than not to. The way not to get banned is to clearly present one’s case with through an example without using stock phrases which are taken to mean different things to different people. Don’t gaslight and show don’t tell.

There is no point in running into a corner and huddling together to become an easier target. This is why I am returning to twitter. I have noticed that the user interface of twitter has considerably gotten worse than the last time I was there. As for github the only reason I was using it was for the github pages because I wanted to create a website that was not platform dependent and not full of ads like here on may become livejournal

I have been noticing on that the amount of views that gets has reduced and basically plateaued at around 500 million views. I have also noticed that there aren’t as many free blogs on google/duckduckgo results as there used to. I wonder whether this has got something to do with

I read an interesting blog post which I am not bothered to find it. Basically it argued that the reason that the anime community has died is because of twitter and the other facebook derived websites like reddit. In particular it argued that the old anime community on has moved to twitter and today I came across a post discussing an hashtag used by a few anime bloggers to write their thoughts about an anime while they watched this. I wonder whether this is really a bad thing, in a way twitter is just complementing the missing features of as a note-taking and discussion forum (blog comments always feel tacked on).

I am intending to check out the anime blogging community on twitter more closely to see if I can get to see whether I am correct.

No, it is not youtube’s fault that anime blogging has become irrelevant

The article I mentioned above was also dissing anime youtubers, saying that anyone child could just speak to a microphone. He also added that youtubers are misinforming its viewers to an extent the anime blogging community did not at its height. Interestingly today I listened to Digibro, an anime youtubers say that anime blogs are written by children who can’t speak to a microphone about anime bloggers. He also added that no one reads anime blogs anymore though he apparently does. I think that Digibro is right and that bloggers and writers are merely jealous that youtubers have stolen their thunder.

I think there is a lot of content that anime blogs can do more justice to than anime youtubers if for no other reason then because starting a free blog like this is a much lower barrier than making a youtube video – otherwise many of these bloggers would be the youtubers who they envy for their viewership numbers.

In particular I think anime bloggers should abandon the episode reviews and instead to straight anime reviews or other editorials. In a way the criticism that anyone can just talk into a microphone about the anime they like is true but because of this youtubers have a tendency of telling you what a story is about without meandering too much – on the flipside because it is easy to talk a lot of youtubers take a very long time unwittingly repeating the same points whereas in writing it is easier to spot.

More subheadings

Finally I think anime bloggers should use more subheadings in their posts because they have to understand that the truth is that most people first skim through their posts and then if they spot something of interest to them then they might check out the rest of the article (especially if they are so inclined to make a reply). Subheadings make it easier to skim through an article so use them.

Less Pictures

I understand that anime is a visual medium but one picture in enough to give an idea to the viewers what an anime looks like and any more should be there for a reason not just because there needs to be a picture. If they wanted to see pictures of a show then they would just google it – don’t make them scroll through and wait till images load.

Blogger on mobile?

Google owned seems to be testing out a mobile friendly layout to the backend for the bloggers. It is surprising that bloggers is still online – unless it is some sentimentality by google then I think that they must be making some money from a few blogger blogs with ads. I imagine these blogs are not in English which is why we don’t come across them. I imagine these users come from poorer countries where people cannot afford web hosting but they might be able to afford a domain.

If the blogger blogs were connected like here on through the reader then I would be using instead of wordpress. Instead of that failure that was google plus that is what google should have done. At any rate I hope that blogger keeps on existing. Actually even if was not connected like on if only blogger could be self-hosted then I would have used it.

I have written more than a 1000 words. Amen.

By Otaking, or The Good Student