[Men OP Destiny] The 08th MS Team (Arashi no naka de kagayaite)

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OPs for OVAs tend to be different from OPs for TV shows. Unlike TV OPs, which are primarily concerned with catching a channel surfer’s attention, OVA OPs can afford to be more experimental or less grounded in formula, because the viewer has already bought or rented the show.

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[Men OP Destiny] SDF Macross

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One day, while I was rewatching a bunch of mecha anime OPs to brighten up my day, the Macross OP made me realize something that’s missing in the “modern” anime OP: a coherent narrative. As anime switched from being plot-driven (Yamato, Gundam) to character-driven (Evangelion, Haruhi, umm… -gatari?), the OP has evolved into a vehicle that showcases characters.

All anime OPs ask the same question: “how do I introduce the show to a prospective viewer?” The modern anime OP twists this into, “how do I introduce the characters?” Instead of packing a coherent mini-narrative that gives insight on the show, the OP of today often becomes an exercise in cramming as many characters into its one-and-a-half minute of running time, throwing in a key scene here or there with little context.

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12 Days of Meditations #12: What’s the point of this all?

Why do bloggers blog?

It’s a simple question, but you’ll probably get different answers from everyone. For me, blogging is a form of introspection, an outlet, a tool for reach out to like-minded people. It’s great to have a site where you could post your thoughts, anime or not. It’s a space where you should feel safe, and believe me when I say that’s not as easy to maintain in the online world. I try to keep this blog disconnected from my real life, not so I can rant about people behind their backs, but so I can have more freedom in posting.

(After all, if your meatspace friends or even your boss can read your depraved Japanese cartoon blog, it’s going to open up a can of worms.)

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12 Days of Meditations #11: On taste

If you go to any discussion board on anime, chances are you’ll stumble upon a discussion of taste, or the lack thereof. Anime fans use taste as a way of curating friends–after all, it’s very natural to seek out people who agree with your preferences.

Anime fans also use taste as a way of mocking and demeaning other people.

How does this differ from other kinds of media, then? Admittedly, I haven’t put much thought to this, but if I may hazard a guess, anime as a niche media engenders geek behavior, and one of the most repulsive aspects of it is elitism.

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12 Days of Meditations #10: Tackling shows with difficult continuity

Some anime are harder to tackle than others. It’s not because they’re niche or complex or even plain old, but because of length and the lack of an obvious starting point.

I can divide them into the following categories:

  1. Anime that are very long (Legend of the Galactic Heroes, One Piece)
  2. Anime with multiple shows/movies (City Hunter, Sailor Moon, Slayers)
  3. Anime with different timelines/continuity (Gundam, Getter Robo, Patlabor)

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12 Days of Meditations #9: Terribad

Terribad. It’s a special breed of anime that is “so bad that it’s good”. How does this work? Surely something full of bad writing, bad art, or bad animation shouldn’t be entertaining, right? Are some people really just masochists, trying to judge which is the worst anime ever made with their own eyes?

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12 Days of Meditations #8: On character death

As I was reading The Saint, the second Gaunt’s Ghosts omnibus by Dan Abnett, the author himself talks about the collection of books in the preface, saying that “these are the books where people start to die.” Important people, he means, as the series has always had a high bodycount every book, being a war story set in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium. And he follows up on his word.

I wasn’t mad, or bewildered. The death was a logical progression to things, even though the execution was quite clever. I didn’t begrudge the author for that, and welcomed how it would shake up the status quo. Maybe I had been forewarned and forearmed for it, but it was still a powerful event in the overall narrative. It was written well.

As a medium known for its stylized action and violence, anime has had its fair share of death. A lot of shows have made their name for their shocking deaths, of which can’t be ignored when discussing them. How many people have told their friends to watch a show up until a certain episode, where a major character dies shockingly? I know I have!

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