Posts Tagged “fandom”

Doraemon scolds Makoto.

Seeing as I was easily disposed of in the first round of the Anime Blog Tournament, I accepted it as all being right and good with the natural order of things, and moved on.

However, I was reminded of this again with all the blogger commentary about the loss of Random Curiosity (note that it's often referred to as "Random Curiosity's Loss", rather than "Listless Ink's Win"), which apparently came with a lot of baggage that I had honestly not been aware of. It is like walking along a pristine garden path, noticing an interesting stone, lifting it up, and seeing things wriggling underneath.

It is not a good advertisement for anyone.

As someone who is mostly on the outside of all of this (I don't have time to hang out in #animeblogger like I used to), I explored the commentary with a sort of morbid fascination. A lot of the back-and-forth is apparently on a new cycle; the initial volleys had been fired long before, and the only evidence of their existence are their echoes, and the inference that something must have happened to keep these people tilting at each other like this.

Remember Koom Valley.

From what I can tell, the contest organizers… didn't like Random Curiosity? Liked Random Curiosity? Didn't like RC, but voted for RC? Didn't like RC, voted for RC, and then somehow fixed the match such that RC lost? I don't know anymore; denials and recriminations fly hard and fast, and I feel a little sorry for Listless Ink that their blog was caught up in all of this through no fault of their own.

I've never quite grasped the concept of the Anime Blog Tournament anyway, mainly because the organizers had better things to do (like, say, actually running the tournament) than answer my insipid questions. On the one hand, we're assured that no action on our parts need to be taken, which implies that the ABT organizers would deal with the advertising of their own tournament themselves, on top of the inevitable drama that accompanies a competition format.

And drama will exist, because this is the Internet, where everything posted becomes a sort of performance art. Quite often, the commentary on a given subject makes it obvious that the commenter is simply not interested in a meaningful discussion, from the way it is phrased. The comment is no longer a contribution to the discussion, but has turned into stand-up comedy. Hecklers do not wish to engage in a formal debate, I think.

Early on, I asked what would happen to the losers of each bracket, once the voting is over and the post falls off the main page. I still have not obtained a definite answer, but one thing which got tossed about was "you'll get more hits on your blog due to exposure". Let's see how this worked out:

Before the Anime Blog Tournament: About 500 to 700 hits daily, with spikes peaking over 1000 hits when someone links GamerS on a forum or something.

During the Anime Blog Tournament: About 600 to 700 hits daily. GamerS did not pick up any new viewers during this time.

After the Anime Blog Tournament: About 500 to 700 hits daily, with spikes peaking over 1000 hits when someone links GamerS on a forum or something.

How many of these are spambots will be an exercise left for the reader, because I haven't a clue how to find out.

An anecdote does not make a statistic, but lacking other sources, it is the only thing I can present. My blog was respectably unknown, remained respectably unknown during my time in the tournament, and will apparently remain respectably unknown until the end of time, or until the servers die, whichever comes first.

Presumably my life as an anime blogger will have the same general arc in the eyes of the general public: blog started, screencap comic irregularly updated, blog ended. So it goes.

While I'd appreciate a larger readership, what I really want is a larger commenter base. This tends to come with the larger readership anyway, in the sense that the more people there are watching a train wreck, the more likely there will be someone in there willing to wade in and help. And yet, this doesn't really answer for the other people just watching.

It is like performing your finest acts, displaying your masterpieces of creation, in front of a silent, faceless crowd. You cannot tell whether they are unmoving, or unmoved.

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Because I cannot in good conscience consider my blog to be in any way superior to the other in this… you know, I'm not even sure what this is supposed to be. A tournament? A cursory comparison? Something deeper and far more sinister? It is a mystery.

  • I have little to no interest in actually designing this blog. I just take a template (Mandigo, in this case), stick in the necessary links, and then forget about it for the next couple of years or so.
  • I don't plan my posts. (And about five hundred readers per day go "yes, we know.") It's all based on what floats through my brain at any given moment.
  • I don't actually have a target audience defined, apart from possibly myself and my increasingly-poor memory. It helps to keep a record of my opinions on something or other… which I end up ignoring anyway because I can't be bothered to look it up in the archives.
  • I have absolutely no idea how I even caught the organizers' eyes. I've never gotten around to truly advertising this blog around. Considering the state it's in, I doubt I ever will.

I would have posted this sooner, and possibly make some sort of significant difference, if I had kind of sort of actually known about this… competition thing? I'm sorry, I'm still not sure what it's supposed to be. It says "Tournament", but it's one where we don't have to prepare or do anything, and it doesn't seem to have any prize or penalty? Curious.

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Some character I don't know. The tag said Touhou.

Secondly, after realizing you're not a girl, I automatically assumed you were gay until I again had another realization that you're really, and actually a genuine straight guy who writes like a girl. – ThirteenSugars on Impz

Congratulations to Impz and ThirteenSugars on their matrimony, which apparently took place on the 26th of March, if rather briefly announced. Congratulatory messages are being sent from around the world even as we speak.

All hail the power of the Internet.

I credit Impz-senpai for inspiring me to start blogging anime, so now you know whom to blame. Despite the flippant tone I am apparently unable to excise from my writing with a shovel, I honestly and sincerely wish him and ThirteenSugars many happy returns on their marriage, along with the warning that this being the Internet and us being anibloggers, we will never stop making fun of the whole "trap" thing, even unto the far, indeterminate future.

Just so you know.

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From Chocotto Vampire.

Through no real deliberate intent on my part, I seem to have drifted away from what I suppose could be broadly called "the anime blogging community". I suppose I'm technically still a part of this "community", in that I am blogging anime, and thus I can be considered to be part of the anime blogging community by default. And yet, I don't actually participate in any of the activities that would make me a Part Of The Community beyond that which is conferred merely by existing.

I suspect that a part of it is due to Real Life. The pace has either stepped up, or my brain has stepped down; both possibilities are equally plausible and disturbing. Apart from the obvious side effect of leaving me with less time to enjoy my hobbies, anime watching and blogging being among them, it does mean that I cannot quite eke out the mental fortitude to engage in the spirited volleys that passes for conversation among fandom.

Very few blogs, this one included sometimes, actually want to engage in discussion. Most of the time, it's just a venue to air our viewpoints, however we see fit to do so. In many occasions I've tried to be patient and rational in a debate with someone who is clearly not interested in dialogue, a fact which is borne out when the other party says in effect "actually I don't care what you or anyone else says, I'm just venting". I have no inherent objections against venting if it is made clear that the rant is not a topic to be discussed in depth. Otherwise, the failure in communication just wastes time.

This gets even worse when it comes to the statement of opinions. One thing I learned to do is to make sure that when it comes to touchy topics, it is abundantly clear which parts of what I am saying is fact, and which parts are opinion. The rule of thumb is that if it's not firm enough to be printed as a reputable source (ie "go to press"), then it's opinion. It's a little like that quote about journalists calling murderers "the alleged murderer" and the King of England "the alleged King of England" to avoid defamation suits.

What it all boils down to is that I have the option of Participating In The Anime Blogging Community by sparring with the people involved, or staying out of it all and spending my time watching anime instead. I simply do not have the Copious Free Time or emotional willpower to engage in both activities at once on a regular basis. It's difficult enough to come to terms with my own unpopular opinions, such as with the run of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's "Endless Eight" (summary: I really liked it), but when I see another post bashing it (fine) with incorrect language (not fine), I have to hold my figurative tongue rather than get into an argument I know I cannot finish.

So it goes.

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From the last chronological episode.

There are times when it is best to avoid certain parts of the Internet, specifically the locales populated by the more excitable features of fandom. Like a gathering storm, one might be able to see the dark clouds in the distance, forming an eldritch vortex centered around the site of momentous events, often enshrined in a multi-stage boss fight with pseudo-Latinate choirs. The wisest course of action in these cases is to Be Somewhere Else.

I feel oddly detached from what has been described as Kyoto Animation's "god-level trolling". I am entirely satisfied with the first and thus far only season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, being a fairly complete story of reasonable quality. The rumours of a second season are welcome, but not essential, like the much-touted need for New Fans, or Fans Who Need To Keep Their Interest Up. Personally, I believe that if a show is good, then it is good, and does not require constant infusions of new content to be enjoyable. This is not a MMORPG, paid for monthly; it is a regular game, paid for once (with a rather larger amount of cash) and done. Theoretically, at least: the endless stream of patches most games go through are a worrying sign of the times, and the analogy breaks down somewhat, since by the time you get to pay for an anime (putting aside digital distribution), it has already been "patched" to a final-ish version with the animation corrections on the DVDs.

My blase attitude could be due to my self-identification, among others, as a gamer: if I were affected intensely by every delay and cancellation, I would not be able to see the humour in the developer definition of "soon". I know I am not alone in this, as I've heard Haruhi S2 described as anime's Duke Nukem Forever, with some wondering if it would turn into a Starcraft Ghost.

Comments about "leaving the franchise to die" are equally misguided, as my favourite anime of all time bar none is Card Captor Sakura, now coming on to a decade of existence, and I certainly don't believe that it has been abandoned. My love of the show is not ephemeral and weak. When I named The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya as my second favourite anime, it will remain my second favourite anime until something even better comes along, but it will not lose any of its lustre with age.

Besides, I'm still busy with the side project of genderswapping the characters, so I will be in the fandom for a very long time to come.

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Various girls (and misc) from Da Capo 2.

There is, I have found, a difference between being a fan, being part of a fandom, and simply liking something. An excellent illustration can be seen with the Fallout games: there is the fan-ness of being a fan of the games, and there is the fan-ness of liking the games. These are not mutually inclusive, as is the status of being in the Fandom. As an example, I like the games, and I will be happy to discourse upon them with any others holding the same view, but since I like Fallout 3 a great deal more than Fallout 2 (I have not played Fallout 1 or Fallout Tactics yet), I have been firmly told that I am not a "true fan", and therefore I am forevermore barred from being in the Fandom.

This is not a new position for me. Throughout my years of being in Internet fandoms, I have been in the general vicinity of American comics fandoms, but apart from Astro City, I have yet to really delve into the foetid depths of the convoluted histories of the various popular comics characters. I realize that life in comics is not all about Marvel and DC, but considering what the stores here actually stock, I have to wonder sometimes. And so, when I joined the community at the American Superhero Comics Inspired MMORPG City of Heroes, I have been shunned by some for not coming to the game from the viewpoint of a comics fan. I mean, I really like Astro City, but apparently that is not enough.

Yes, I understand that this is a minority view, and I have been given a sort of pass on the basis that I like CoH/V due to my anime-esque ideas. Apart from my well-known constant requests for More Magical Girl Costume Options, I still await the advent of Paper Control, partly because I can make my own Read or Die Paper Master, and partly because the ofuda-slinging Combat Miko is a common staple in supernatural-oriented anime.

In any case, since this is an anime blog, I have to tie this in to anime. The obvious link here is in the reputation fans have, due to the fandom they may or may not be a part of: if you should feel favourably inclined towards, say, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, you may call yourself a Haruhiist, or you may not, depending on how much a part of the fandom you are. There is no shame in being a fan but not being in the fandom: gods know I'm perfectly happy to put a great deal of distance between my being a Fallout fan, even if not a True Fan, and the Fallout fandom, who I would imagine know what constitutes being a True Fan, ie not me.

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Nana Mizuki sings.

A psychiatrically-minded (pun unintended) reader might infer from my frequent rants about the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha Original Character creation community that I have some sort of grudge against certain people. I don't remember if I've said it before, but to be safe, I shall reiterate: I am but one side of this multifaceted story. Others may have different viewpoints, and several are probably more convincing than mine.

In short, the obvious: don't take just my word for it.

I don't actually have any grudge per se, at least consciously. My primary distaste is with the habit of forceful arguments, using loaded words and condescending dismissals; it gives me an actual physical headache, possibly through some psychosomatic influence. There is the unnerving feeling that the debate is not being conducted logically; the participants are not playing fair.

This also explains my decreased presence in the AnimeSuki thread. The rules of the forum state that there is one, and only one, thread per topic, and "Original Characters In The Nanoha-verse" counts as one topic. So if I encounter friction with other regulars of that thread, or at least their debating technique, there's not exactly anywhere else I can go other than "away".

I also have no illusions that this post will make me in any way popular with the community. So it goes.

In such an emotionally-charged situation, possibly no other collection of three words can cause as much ill feeling as "suspension of disbelief". We all know that the Nanoha-verse is not a place with especially stringent physical laws, at least as we understand them in Real Life. While endless entertainment can be had in speculating whether characters would act in a way claimed by a fanfic, human behaviour being somewhat unpredictable, natural laws are supposed to be marginally consistent. (On a macro level, as a rule of thumb, and several other disclaimers to satisfy the nitpicky out there.) The Nanoha-verse, however, asks one question first and foremost: is it cool?

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As per the events in volume seven.

So I've been busy these past few weeks with preparations for and the actual celebration of Chinese New Year, as well as my sister and her husband visiting from the US. That's right, not only do you, gentle readers, get an improbably weak excuse for my lack of anything truly substantial, but there will be an accompanying pointless ramble to fill the blank white space on your screen with Big Words of Little Consequence. These may even be sesquipedalian.

Also, some random picture(s) from an imageboard or other. This is a blog about moe, after all.

Now, I will be raising various seemingly unrelated points, and then joining them together into what I hope would be a vaguely coherent whole by the end of the post. Therefore, do please bear with me while I jump from topic to topic.

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