Sardonic

sardonic (sahr-DON-ik) adjectiveMarked by scorn, mockery, and cynicism.

Today I am peeved about people being sardonic towards infatuation with anime characters. I suppose I should be more specific about what I mean by infatuation….I mean literal infatuation. Although some people may take this too far, I’d like to look at most anime and manga fans in a more positive light and think that these crushes are not taken further than just really liking the character. Of course some characters are hot, they are meant to be that way to appeal to a larger audience and acquire a fanbase, but using an adjective like sexy crosses the line for me. I know I have my handful of anime crushes such as Vegeta, Kakashi, Minato, Grimmjow and so on, and yes I do wish we all looked more like anime characters, but there is no way I could ever fathom myself usign any of those cheesy pictures of these characters topless on a beach or something on my desktop, wall, etc. and on top of that doing something ridiculous enough such as masturbating to these images. That is what hentai is for although I do not see the appeal in that either. Regardless, obsess over these characters, have fun but please refrain from making this public such as in facebook groups…I am sorry but seeing you comment that Sai is soo sexy and whatever else, is very nauseating.

Now back to the issue at hand. I could expand this to encapsulate any piece of media containing fantasy genres such as books, live action movies and so forth, but I find the same applies. What is the difference between obsessing over a character in a book (lets use a popular example, Edward from Twilight [the novel!]) versus a character from an anime or manga. If anything, being infatuated with an anime character is more justifiable because not only do you have the characters personality present, but also a physical appearance (Versus a book that is). Even when that book becomes a movie, these characters are even less real to obsess over since the person actually playing the role is NOT the person, versus anime and manga, kakashi is kakashi. Yes i know these characters are mere cartoons, lines and colors, but I will tell you right now (if you don’t watch anime), these characters will captivate you, touch your heart and make you cry like no other. These series have amazing emotionally penetrating effects on the viewer capable of creating a stronger attachment and emotional response than any live action nonsense television show you will see on American tv.

 

What brought this topic to mind was a conversation I was having with  a friend. She is a peer of mine and loves Twilight. When discussing the movie/book and the characters, of course blablabla and blablabla is so hot came up…so I proceeded to tell her I wish she watched anime because there are so many hot characters…and I think she really thought I was nuts…I tried to show her pictures such as the one below that I have to admit, I LOVE…but still I don’t think she will understand until she gives anime a chance, and that probably won’t happen. Blah I wish I could get feedback on here about this, but I think I am the only one who reads my entries. My Anime List.net has too many kids who are obnoxious and ignorant so that is a definite no…oh well.

kFanmade picture by whom I don’t know but it is great.

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Ablution

1 a: the washing of one’s body or part of it (as in a religious rite) bplural : the act or action of bathing

  Although the term ablution has nothing to do with the general subject matter of this entry, i thought i would include it as the title since it was a new word for me which came from a text i read which inspired me to post this entry. Ablution was included in an essay I read about the appeal of anime. When discussing Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away”, the term was used in describing the main character Chihiro’s psuedo epiphany while working in the bathhouse.  I would link the essay here but it is a work in progress and think it would be best to be posted to the public through this venue when the author determines it complete. Generally, the essays intent was to focus on the appeal (despite certain facts that might be thought to be limitations) of anime.

I would like to respond to certain points made in this piece. I will only complain this one time about the lack of proper sentence formation amongst a heap of other grammatical issues this paper has–and ignore them to the best of my ability considering the author specified on the top of the first page that it is a work in progress. It also specifies not to quote without the author’s consent so I will discuss the points I felt obliged to discuss as loosely as possible.

A point was made that anime is interesting to its audience because it geneally conflicts with what humans have come to accept as the truth regarding themselves and their surroundings. Although it was stated that this is not specific to anime only, I suppose the proliferation of such a tactic due to the prominence of the fantastical in many series is clearly a recognized strength. Going off topic and bringing in a text I read in the Little Boy catalog (ed. by Takashi Murakami) from the show at the Japan Society (there were many amazing essays and I cannot remember offhand, nor is the catalog available to quote from, as I am at work), probably an essay by Midori Matsui or Noi Sawaragi, but anyway, it involved a light discussion about otaku and their obsession with anime and manga due to the ability of it to help them escape reality….i feel this is very common and probably a theory already proposed by a scholar on anime or japanese visual culture, but I thought it tied in well…being an avid watcher of anime, I can greatly understand and agree with the idea of anime swalloping up reality and engulfing the viewer into a world of fiction and fantasy. Despite the powerful effects of anime in this case, not everyone is affected by this so called otaku syndrome. It is our personal interests and habits that make us unique and as long as one’s life is not entirely consumed by the fantastical, there is no problem with it…i know i would not be interested in anime if it were devoid of the amazing and fantastic. Consider this point, which will help the transition into another issue and problem I had with the article…this has to do with linking audiences of fantastical and epic western stories (ie: Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Twilight series, etc..) with anime…I think that the audiences of these two very similar but different phenomenoms are very alike, and this is not to say that justifies the over obsessing, life consuming tolls both these examples may have on its audience…it is just very interesting how it seems now in the last few decades (the release of the LOTR trilogies onto the big screen, I am aware the books were written much earlier) this concept of the fantastical has been taken to such great heights, in both Japan and the US. I am by no means an official studier of literaturer, nor am I aware of all the pieces of literature to come into existence from period X to now, but I think it would be interesting to acquire someone knowledgable in the area’s opinion on why there has been such a prevelance in this genre…Going into a problem I had with the paper, which is a minor detail, but perhaps some information on ‘anime’ emerging out of other countries aside from Japan might provide useful or may even strengthen the author’s central point (I only watch anime from Japan so this is a guess).

This essay used a lot of science, primarily psychology to assess certain points–I felt this was a different means of analaysis, unique to other papers I have read and a successful one. One point was brought up about the difference in a child’s ability to compute and convey unrealistic renderings of real life, depending on the age. Older children are able to create more unrealistic renderings (imaginative, a person with extra appendages persae) intentionally versus a younger one who’s ability to convey a human will be as realistic as they can possibly produce. This notion leads into the authors concept that a child at a certain age would not be able to fully enjoy/grasp certain anime movies/series because of their inability to grasp such concepts that exceed the everyday reality. Although I am not familiar with progamming intended for this age, I can’t help but consider shows like Teletubbies, where there is very little reality, and a dominance of fantasy, and shows such as this are intended for such an audience. Anyway, the author continues on saying an older age group then the aforementioned would have a better and more successful time watching these anime movies or series because their brain has the potential to accept this bending of reality…this just seems weird to me. Furthermore, and most importantly, a comment was made that most adults would just see the series or movie as a cartoon. It seems this author makes a generalization about adults and anime which anger me considering I am part of what I think is a very large community of adults  who enjoy and study anime. Furthermore, the author lacks discussing the difference in perception between the second age group mentioned and adults, as it was mentioned between early aged children versus older aged. Additionally, due to the infusion of religious allegories (buddhist and shinto concepts for example), abstract and mature concepts (such as time travel and death) and heightened violence and emotional content (many times), one would think such anime (most anime I watch, there is anime created for all different age groups, and at times they can overlap due to the universality of the shows and their stories) would be best suited and more appropriate for an adult…nevertheless, young kids watch the same shows and perhaps leave with a different experience than an adult, which in my opinion, such versitility makes anime so wonderful. I carry a Naruto lunchbox to work with me and I love it, yet my coworkers probably think I am a nutjob. You can probably see someone half my age using such a lunchbox in school. Oh well, people need to be more open minded. Although I have issues with the point that adults will find anime as just cartoons (also it was mentioned that adults if they watch anime, will only watch it once usually–this generalization also angered me–call me a nerd or otaku, whatever, but I cannot wait to rewatch certain shows, and have already done so on many occasions)

blah sorry for just complaining and going on about this…the actual link to the essay was sent through the email ring I am a part of which focuses on studying anime and many of the members are quite pompous and arrogant….so I steer away from discussing things with them if I can, and anyway all I really wanted to do was vent and partake in a mentally stimulating writing exercise.

Also, I wanted to just have this information for ym own personal reasons somewhere electronic versus where I currently have it (on a piece of paper in my work drawer) so pay no mind to it if you’re not interested,  also I should probably specify that it can be a SPOILER for Naruto fans who are not as far as I am in the manga. So here, NARUTO SPOILER ALERT (do not proceed through this entry and be wary of reading the previous one if you are not up to date with Naruto).

Who taught who in Naruto:

3rd Hokage (Sarutobi) –> Jiraiya, Ochimaru, Tsunade (Legendary Sanin)     Jiraiya–>4th Hokage (Namikaze Naruto)…..later on Uzumaki Naruto                    4th Hokage (Namikaze Minato)–>Kakashi, Obito                                                        Kakashi–>Uzumaki Naruto

Uzimaki Kushina (whirlpool?) married to Namikaze Minato

Uchiha Madara…..Nagato, Conan & Pain

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Hypergelast

The definition of a hypergelast is one who laughs excessively. I decided to use this term for this entry in describing my brother. Today he graduates from Abilities, which is a vocational type school for individuals with disabilities. My brother Adam, has learning and social disabilities and is quite the hypergelast when around friends and family. Below is a picture of us from his high school graduation

Adam and I at his High School Graduation

Adam and I at his High School Graduation

Adam’s friend Bill, whom he actually carpools to his job in which he attained through Abilities will be making a speech. My stepmom and I will be attending the ceremony this evening and are very proud of him.
NARUTO! Although I have read through all the Naruto and a great deal of the Shippuuden manga, I only recently started watching the anime and am around episode 55ish. I do not understand you people who claim that reading mangas are fun and/or better. I only read the manga to make the time go by at work. The only positive thing I can say about reading manga is that it is devoid of fillers. Otherwise, being bereft of colors, movement, voices and sometimes illegible images and text, these are just a pain in the ass. Watching the anime I feel I pick up on so much more than I did in the manga. Also, I have to stress how terrible the show is in english. Please do not watch this show dubbed. There are a million sites hosting subbed versions so please consult those! The english is awful.
I know I am late in my watching of Naruto and I would like to justify that. Due to the influx of tweens watching the show as well as the uber nerdy cosplaying as characters, I just couldn’t get myself to do it. If young teens were watching this show, I felt the show could possible be too immature…but I was wrong. Despite Naruto’s farting and incessant bantering, the show is indefinitely for people of all ages to enjoy. As the main arc progresses and deaths occur, I begin to wonder how appropriate this show is for the younger crowd…Furthermore, in the Shippuuden manga, there is a lot of cursing and mentioning of penises by Sai which I find hilarious, but perhaps might be deemed inappropriate by parents of those tweens…OH WELL, the parents of these younger generations have a lot more to worry about then Naruto considering each generation after the next seems to be shitter than the latter.
Now, I always notice similarities in shows, books and so forth and two major ones I’ve found while reading and watching Naruto are as follows. Orichimaru reminds me of Lord Voldemort so much. Secondly, when Naruto is falling from the cliff after Pervy Sage pushes him, approaching death, he suddenly is depositied in a scary, eerie old office type building where he encounters the nine tails and asks for its chakra. This reminds me so much of Ichigo from Bleach when he needs to learn the name of his sword (tensa zengetsu) and constantly visits this strange world filled with blue skies and tall buildings. Here, Ichigo talks with Zengetsu about obtaining the power of the sword. He also fights and confronts his dark or evil side which I suppose is where his vaizard abilities stem from? I don’t know that part confuses me still and I am not up to date with the weekly releases  but anyway I just see an instant connection between Naruto and Ichigo talking to their inner s ource of power in settings that are not found commonly in the series…
The New York Anime Festival is going to happen at the end of September and I really want to cosplay. I think despite it being played out quite a bit for many years, I’d like to do Naruto. I think it’d be awesome If I dressed up as Ino and my friend as Sakura (although we both equally cannot stand either one of those characters, I think we can do a good job dressing up as them) which brings me to another issue I would like to yammer about. But before I do, I just want to add to my last thought that I hope my boyfriend and our three guy friends agree to dress up as well; I could easily see them doing Shikamaru, Kiba, Sasuke or Itachi and maybe Iruka? two of our friends haven’t seen Naruto and I am not sure if they will..but I am just picking out characters who best fit my friend’s appearance….Okay now my huge issue with anime….Why are there never any really badass awesome female characters…why in most shows are girls depicted as weak, not so strong or always associated with healing. This makes my cosplaying selection so limited if I were to base it on a character I would actually like to be. So far, Bleach is the only show that has some awesome females yet not nearly enough time is spent on their character development (for just reasons as it may not fit within the context of the arc) such as Yoruichi, Soifon, Neliel and Halibel. i really wanted to cosplay as Nel for NYAF last year but her selection of outfits was so meh. And let me point out, Matsomoto is SO lame and makes no sense as Hitsugaya’s lieutenant. What is that?! Now here are my examples for healing females in animes:
– Winry from Full Metal Alchemist
– Orihime from Bleach
– Tsunade and Sakura from Naruto
– Bulma from DBZ (although a bit of a stretch since she normally fixes robotic type things (ahem capsule corp) ) nevertheless she helps out android 16 and everyone with her wealth and connections to engineering…which kind of puts her along the same lines as Winry who always fixed Ed’s armor as well as Al’s).
I wonder if there are any academic papers written on this. I have watched my fair share of anime and am aware of the abundance I have left untouched but in the many I have experienced I find this as a common element. NONE of my favorite characters are females…Let’s see: Vegeta (DBZ), Sorata (X), Sha Gojo (Saiyuki), Kakashi & Rock Lee (Naruto) and the list continues deft of females. ** Sailor Moon and any other shoujo does not count, I don’t care that Tokyo Mew Mew has an all female cast who battles, they are lame and this show would have been amazing if I was 8 but I am 23. Also, I would like to exclude the female protaganists from Miyazaki’s anime and mangas–despite their valiant struggles and heartwarming stories, they do not make me shake my fists and say to myself “so cool!” haha. This makes it very difficult to name things after anime characters and dress up. I keep wanting to name my two female kittens Goku and Vegeta…and here I am settling on cosplaying as damn Ino…I was considering Tsunade but I envision her as being accurately portrayed by someone older than I am or an asian woman. 
I think I will bring up this to an email listserve (i think that is what they are commonly referred to as) which tackles anime, manga and japanese visual culture from an academic perspective. I also will spend the rest of the day looking at previous cosplay examples, forums and cosplay stores.
Happy Wednesday, the work week is halfway over at this point.

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Floccinaucinihilipilification

The definition of floccinaucinihilipilification is the action or habit of estimating something as worthless. I decided that with each new blog entry, I will do my best to incorporate an obscure but fun word for it’s title that will (hopefully) apply to some extent to the entry. This blog will probably serve as a floccinaucinihilipilification to those who come across it as its true purpose is to give me something to do while I am at work. Therefore, the entries will span but include anything from me complaining (which I do a lot) and ranting and raving regarding art, anime and manga.

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