This is part 2 of the Q and A for my 400th milestone. Thank you for the wonderful questions, everyone. This is a great success, and I would love to do it again. For now, I hope you enjoy reading this little milestone celebration of mine. Cheers.
Me! Me! Okay, what is you’re absolute most favorite anime in the whole wide world. Like, you know every line by heart, movie or tv 🙂
This is sent in, last minute, by a recent twitter follower. Thank you for the question, novnatus. And this is a very unusual question for me, specifically. It’s mainly because I don’t rewatch anime, so nothing really stems as being my absolute favorite that I would know the show line by line. The same goes for movies or TV series. Sure, I watch a lot of The Simpsons when I’m bored and I pop in a Disney movie from time to time, but nothing to really truly be in love with. I was strangely hooked by the soundtrack of Frozen though, but not necessarily the entire movie.
As for the general question of what is my favorite anime in the whole wide world, meaning an anime I’ll never get tired of watching, then it’ll have to be Kino’s Journey.
bluepikmin11 over at twitter sent a bunch of questions. Thank you for being an active follower, and I will answer them all!
Have you ever visited Japan?
No, but of course I always dream of watching the cherry blossoms over there. Right now, I have no means of ever leaving my country but this is definitely one of my long term goals.
When and where did you really start to become attached to anime?
I learn to love anime back in college. When I was young, I was already watching anime on TV but anime saved my life back in college. During my thesis, anime would help me relieve stress. Natsume Yuujinchou especially became a huge part of my anime binging days. But I fell head over heels for anime thanks to a KyoAni show, and it really opened the door for my love of animation in general. Of course, that anime would be K-on.
No, f*ck K-on. It’s The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
When I saw the referenced heavy OP, the insanely detailed dance moves of the ED, and the complex story of the show itself, I was blown away. Anime has broken new ground, and I want to be a part of it. I want know how far anime can go, and I see the trend change over time since then. Haruhi Suzumiya gave me deeper appreciation for anime.
What is the hardest thing to do when it comes to anime reviews?
The hardest thing to do in an anime review is doing the first paragraph. Even after 400 reviews, there are still some shows I have no idea how to properly start. Actually, Clockwork Planet is a good example. I had no idea how to start that review, because I didn’t know which point to talk about first. If you read a lot of anime reviews, you can often tell how forced the first paragraph is. It’s mainly because it’s just really tricky to do. Do you start out ranting/gushing about the show? Do you go philosophical talking about the themes? Do you just plainly state how much the anime sucks? If you point it out early though, then you can’t explore it better in later paragraphs. So, the first paragraph is the hardest part of an anime review.
Do you desire to create anime/manga one day?
Oh gosh, yes, if I have the means, I would love to work on an anime or even just a cartoon. I just love animation in general, so I would love to be part of the process, in any means possible.
As for manga, I’ve never thought about it but I can totally write a story if I want to. I can also storyboard them, and that’s basically a manga, right? It’ll take time, but I guess I’d love to explore it as well. Maybe I have some good use for GISS after all, mwahahaha.
In what way does anime inspire you personally?
A lot of anime requires an open minded approach to it, so it’s often a practice of “giving it a chance” more than anything else. This kind of ideal approach to anime is something I use in real life as well. Anime has inspired me to really give a lot of things a chance. Even though I absolutely hate some things, trying them out is a unique experience I don’t regret doing. Whether it’s trusting a person you should never trust, doing an activity you wouldn’t dare do, or even trying things outside of your comfort zone, an open minded approach to life can do wonders and anime taught me this very important lesson. It’s also very important in reviewing shows, because there are some shows that don’t deserve a review but I still do them. Anime inspires me to do it, and I often hate myself for it.
What genre of anime do you feel holds the most potential in creating a story?
Every genre really has potential to be amazing, as long as the execution is done right. I personally love shows that combine genres, because they’re often too complex to execute right but it’s often amazing if actually done properly. A good example is Haruhi Suzumiya, which has Sci Fi elements while also being a School Life anime. This anime called “Now and Then, Here and There” starts out as your classic Shounen anime with a boy being transported to another world. It’s actually a drama though, and we spend majority of the anime watching the boy tortured as part of the casualty brought on by the war. A female character is even raped by soldiers in this show, so it’s a kind of storytelling a single traditional genre can never pull off. I’d be remiss if I don’t mention Puella Magi Madoka Magica as well. It gives us saccharine and then nihilism in twelve episodes.
If I were to create a story, I’d love to mix some good genres. I’d explore what makes this genre good, and then I’d force it to blend with another genre. I think Romance, Sci Fi and Drama are a good mix, and Saikano delivered it wonderfully with a love story that literally ended the world.
What keeps your motivation into doing anime reviews?
My motivation has never changed. It’s still the same ideal BS about giving every anime a fair shake. Before I started reviewing anime, a lot of reviews are negative stuff about how much the blogger disliked what he watched. They often don’t give us the show’s positives, and I always feel that it’s unfair to just sh*t on a show without giving it its proper dues. So I always review anime with this in mind. Some good shows often go under the radar, some decent shows are extremely overhyped and some good shows are treated unfairly, and I always believe that there should be one review out there that should fairly judge the anime on its own merits. I want that review to be mine.
What do you hope to accomplish through doing these reviews?
I don’t expect much, really. I started this site when I searched for a review of an anime I wanted to watch, but there is no review of it. Some reviews are also not helpful, so the initial goal of this site is focused towards people like me, who searches for a review of a show they plan to watch. I especially want it to be treated like an archive, where people can just look up a review and go from there. To this day, I still get a chunk of views from my older posts mainly because someone out there is curious enough to watch Yosuga no Sora. You should totally watch it, by the way.
Have u ever met any of ur followers? or if ever you’d be given a chance, who would you want to meet and why?
Megane is a recent twitter follower. Thank you for the question, and the follow.
And no, I have no chance to really meet anyone in real life. I am also very hush hush about being TPAB in real life. I would love to meet my followers though, and I do wish I get that chance someday.
As for people I want to meet, it’s mostly fellow Filipino bloggers. In fact, me, Czai, Fomafoo, Shizumi and Leap almost met in real life. We planned on meeting in a con, and I actually tried to set it up. We never found a good day to meet though, since we are busy with our lives. We plan to meet in an anime convention, but we couldn’t find a good one. Before you know it, I think some of them have gone abroad now. I’d still love to meet them though, and we’re FB friends so it’ll be easy to assemble the usual suspects when we plan it again.
How would you imagine TPAB would be like in 10 years time, assuming you’re still blogging by then?
Kai is one of those old bloggers I met five years ago, and I’m actually glad I still see some old faces around these parts. Give him a follow, and tell him what you think about Aikatsu.
I would definitely still be blogging by then, and that actually depresses me a bit. But in 10 years time, I just plan to finish this 1000 anime goal and figure things out from there. I want to expand my reviews as well. Maybe do some manga reviews and some movie reviews as well, and I also have this blogging thing as a second career when I am tired of being a teacher. I plan to do my reviews on youtube, and maybe profit from them. That’s the initial plan, but I am not really preparing for it for now, since it’s a long ways to go at this point. Right now, I’m just focused on one anime review at a time till I reach the end goal.
What is the first anime you watched and how have your thoughts about it changed over time (if they have changed)?
Hikki is a new follower, so thanks for the question!
My first anime is Sailormoon. I’m not proud of it, but I watched it on TV along with my siblings (who are all girls). They have the remote, so I don’t have a choice. I do like Sailormoon, and I recently checked it out as well. The anime is so badly outdated, but I actually love it. As a fan of animation, I mostly love hand drawn stuff and Sailormoon is a testament to the efforts of the animators. The movements are limited, but I’m just in awe at how much they tried to make the manga come to life. The imperfections are obvious, but it’s actually part of the charm. The show also does old tropes, like running to school with a bread in your mouth, and they’re rare to come by now. Sailormoon shows its age, but it’s also a show I deeply appreciate. I still laugh though, because the show has those old disks that could barely contain one word document. It makes me laugh knowing how much of a time capsule the anime is.
Aww, my Girl In Summer Shorts has a question. What is it, dear?
No. I don’t take notes when I review anime.
This is something that helps me pay attention to anime more, and it also helps me in real life. I used to do notes, but they often mess up my watching pace. I often have to stop watching just to jot down notes. I gave up on it early on, and I realize you can easily do talking points without any notes. It’s also a good way to really pay attention to the anime. I can figure out the genre, the themes, the clichés and tropes, and everything else when I watch the anime. You might be asking if I ever forget them, and the answer is no. I try my best to remember them, but I have the screenshots to help me remember as well. I’ve gotten used to a pattern though, so it’s often just relying on a checklist in my mind when I watch a show and then just paying attention to the story.
I know it’s hard, but it’s a good practice when reviewing anime. I don’t encourage other people to try it, since we all have our ways, but relying on my memory retention is also beneficial for my job. When you interview troubled students or make home visits, having notes freezes the people you’re talking to and it makes the entire thing moot. So I ditch them, and should I ever need notes in my job, I use recording devices. I don’t use them as much still, though.
where did you learn to write like you do?
its so well structured and analytical
like are you a language major or something?
or just naturally really good at breaking apart the things you see?
This was sent in by Jessipotato, a supportive fan from tumblr. They reblog a lot of my stuff, and I’m actually glad I got one question from someone over at tumblr. I hope you give them a follow, since they’ve been supporting me for a long time now.
This is a very interesting question, because I’ve never really gotten any comments about my quality of writing. Firstly, I’m not a language major. English is a second language for me, and I actually never learned it from traditional school textbooks. I pick up the language from watching TV, so I always consider my writing style as informal. Even my MAL editor said so, and I would always get tons of edits over my bad grammar. I mix in slang, informal words and I use some words incorrectly. Mainly because the rule of English I know comes from TV shows. You can be wiggity whack about your pom-poms as long as the other cheerleaders can chant it, right? See, I’m stupid like that. Unsupervised TV watching taught me a lot of things, and even my love for animation stems from constantly watching old Disney movies at night.
As for breaking apart things, I mostly learned that from my five years of reviewing anime. When you’ve done it for a long time, it soon becomes second nature to you. I am still improving though, since I would read my old reviews and feel that I could’ve written it better. It goes back to my lack of proper English, since I am trying to improve ways of delivering my critique with as much brevity as possible. I have a process with reviewing anime though, and I just rely on the checklist in my mind when I do it. As for the MAL guideline, you focus on the story, animation, characters, sound and the art. Over the years, my checklist expands to also look out for themes, the directing style, the impact of the ending, the use of the genre, the adaptation tropes, and the influence of the studio. When I watch an anime, I just spot what I’m going to review, put them in my checklist and then see how they do till the end. It sounds complicated, but things just soon become a habit when you review anime constantly. Categorizing the show in a checklist also helps in making a smoother review that flows naturally, and it helps connect one paragraph to the next to help make the analysis easier to read.
I hope I answered your question satisfactorily, but I want to write a separate post about my review process though. This question does deserve a deeper exploration, and I think that my review process is easy enough to explain but too long to really feature here. Look out for it. Thanks.
Are you going to stop when you reach a 1000 reviews?
By Hikki as well, and damn, it’s the big one.
Truthfully, I don’t know. I personally hate watching anime now but I actually love doing reviews. If I’m broken down just 400 reviews in, then reaching 1000 will be a huge challenge. As I said before, I’m not really thinking that far ahead and I just do it one review at a time. As I think about it though, I actually don’t know the answer to this?
Should I stop? Can I stop?
I figured I’d be far ahead in my career, and in life in general, when I reach my 1000 goal so I guess I have the option to stop. But I do hope on continuing this site, maybe hiring some writers to do anime reviews in my long format, and even branching out to youtube. I think it’s plausible, but again, nothing is really set in stone.
What do you guys think? Should I stop at 1000??