Rieze's Blog

January 11th, 2017
Is There A Definition For Anime?

"Anime" has experienced many different definitions during its lifetime. There are arguments constantly, within the community, about what is and is not considered anime, as well as what defines an anime. I have assembled my own definitions based on what I have experienced and read during these forum/comment arguments. Each one of the following definitions has a valid point for their existence and the use is acceptable depending on the situation.

Here are 3 examples I know of.

  1. Anime - Noun - Animation that originates from Japan - This definition is mainly used when referencing anime from a non-Japanese perspective to effectively distinguish animation that comes specifically from Japan.

  2. Anime - Noun - A style of drawing/animation that is inspired from Japanese animations - This definition is used when referring to a stereotypical art style and appearance. For example: if fan art was made of The Simpsons to look more "anime", then the appearance of the art changes but not the values of the actual item. This definition is contradicted because of the existence of "anime" that borrow traits from western animation.

  3. Anime - Noun - "term" to reference animation in Japan - Many online people have pointed out that SpongeBob SquarePants, and other such non-Japanese animations, are addressed as anime because it is just a "term" to label animations while they are inside Japan, regardless of their country of origin. This definition is very inclusive to the entire world, which is a good thing.

In conclusion, the most realistic use and definition for "anime" would probably be #3 because of the inclusiveness and the appropriate way the word/term is being used. #3 does not discriminate but rather includes everyone, creating harmony.

#1 and #2 are very shallow with their definitions because it only makes sense if you look at it from an external point of view, when we should really be inside the mind of Japan when referring to their culture.

If I missed a definition, then I am sorry.

This is blog post is somewhat of a response to the comment section of this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsWSm1U1q3o
Posted by Rieze | Jan 11, 6:38 PM | 0 comments
Decade Sport Anime Differences

Sport anime, of this modern anime era, have been noticably more focused on the characters and their relationship with each other, as well as developing fanbases for character shipping, yaoi-vibes and "making da money." In my opinion, sport anime have changed their dynamic and direction from the old school motivated sport anime. In the past, sport anime would consist of characters whom were displaying and conveying stronger evidence of determination and dedication to their sport, rather than just pandering to a fanbase for the extensive reason of creating sequels and as a result, merchandise sales for "that sweet dough."

The modern sport anime I am targeting are mainly Free! and Yuri on Ice. These 2 anime are well-known for their male characters who have muscular/fit physiques. Purposes for this characteristic can include fanservice and/or portraying the top real-life athlete physique in their respective sports. This makes it very unrelatable but in return satisfying for viewers to watch. My main point is that sport anime are starting to lose their relevance with the sport they are involved with. For example, swimming in Free! but with no primary focus on the actual sport but rather the focus has shifted towards the characters friendships. Pretty sure the same thing could be said about Yuri on Ice, but don't quote me on that ;)

(About the next section below: I could have chosen an older sport anime from the 90's, or something older, but I was too lazy to do research and I felt more confident with the one I chose)

An older sport anime I want to mention is, something not too old but old enough to make this comparison, Eyeshield 21, which was only released in the previous decade. Already, if you have seen all the mentioned shows, you can see obvious and distinctive differences between them. In Eyeshield 21, the characters are of variety of shape, size and physique, which makes the anime more inclusive to audiences by showing that anyone can play this sport as long as you know the rules. This is a forgotten thing of modern sport anime to move along the plot as if the "sport element does not matter as much." As a result, the characters are more relatable because it can represent different sizes of human. The major point you should take away from this minor comparison is that modern anime is not focusing enough on promoting the sport, however, you could argue that the publicity of the anime itself promotes the sport and not the content of the actual anime, but then what would be the point of producing 20+ minute episodes that lack focus.

Haikyuu is another sport anime that is on the border between the qualities of an old or new sport anime. It contains both the pandering friendship element of modern anime along with the focus on the sport from older anime. Even though it utilises character development pandering, it does manage to dedicate a lot of screentime to the sport gameplay. That is why it is on the nose and I have no immediate issue with it.

In conclusion, these are just my thoughts on new sport anime and also a reaction to the Crunchyroll Anime Awards being dominated by the Yuri on Ice fanboys/fangirls.

Crunchyroll Anime Awards are stupid because they are based on popularity and not quality. There is no point in calling something "BEST" animation while judging it by a popularity fan vote system.

Yes, I am one of those people who are salty about the Crunchyroll Anime Awards because Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu didn't win anything since it wasn't POPULAR enough :(
Posted by Rieze | Jan 11, 4:23 AM | 0 comments
January 9th, 2017
There's No Such Thing as a "True" Anime of the Year

So a few days ago, I found out about the Crunchyroll's The Anime Awards 2016. My first and initial thought was this is a good idea, but that didn't last long because that impression was only from me hearing about it. As I visited the website and saw the method for voting, award categories and the nominations, I was shocked at how shit this award show actually was.

I am not sure how the world works, but the ideal award show should be based on a group decision and critical/observational analysis "best anime" awards. However, it seems crunchyroll is deciding their awards by fan vote. I am not sure if it is entirely fan vote, or not, but all I can tell is that fan voting is a big part in the process.

There are many problems with these Awards. Firstly, the issue of bias. As Crunchyroll only provides for a certain region legally, the only people who will vote are those who know about it, and those who have been promoted it by YouTubers or online media. This creates a misunderstanding abou the Awards. As a result, many are convinced that these awards mean something, when in actual fact, it means almost nothing (same as this blog I'm currently writing).

Bias is also present because of the difference in number of fanbases. When you have an award, such as "Anime of the Year", you really need to avoid bias otherwise you will get a lot of backlash for implied bias. For example, a lot of the anime community were disappointed by the fact that JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable was not featured as a primary nominee, despite being one of the most promising and anticipated anime of 2016. To avoid backlash, I recommend a simple change to the award title such as "Crunchyroll's Anime of the Year" in order to specify the audience who have voted and decided this insignificant award winner.

The true title of "Anime of the Year" can only be decided by ignoring the fans and their emotions and personal beliefs and systematically judge an artwork as they do in proper art competitions. I am a victim of artwork rejection, I know the feels. When you have a strong artwork (I am not just saying this because it is mine) and you are rejected because "it's too dark (the theme of it, not the lighting)", that kind of personal insult hurts. It's insulting that the large fanbase are willing to exclude other smaller anime that are, most likely, equal, if not better, to their choice for "Anime of the Year." It is a shame to see this development in the Western anime audience and also to see that having a narrow mindset ruins the opportunity and potential of other great anime to be left unrecognised and dedicated by their comparatively smaller fanbases.

In conclusion, there are still numerous problems with Crunchyroll's Anime Awards but there is nothing we can do to change that without direct contact.

If an anime wins a particular award based on POPULARITY and not judgement of quality, which is a 99% possibility, remember that the "Crunchyroll - The Anime Awards 2016" is 100% biased and stupid (unless the anime you voted for won, and in that case congratulations to you)

Basically I'm ranting about these Awards because my pick for anime of 2016 is Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, which is not getting the recognition it deserves.

So technically, I am a hypocrite because I am complaining about bias, even though I am being biased myself. I love our world sometimes ;)
Posted by Rieze | Jan 9, 5:27 AM | 0 comments
January 8th, 2017
Anime Relations: Bakemonogatari Recap
Anime Exposition

Exposition in anime can be seen as both good and bad. However, the difference is the importance and significance of the exposition. For example, if an anime can only be understood from an "information dump" on the viewers, then that anime is technically considered weaker than a vast majority of others. The exception to this is if the exposition is only a small portion of the interest towards the show. An example of this would be elegant storytelling and a combination of cinematography with dialogue from the Monogatari Series. Besides a majority of the original light novels being mostly dialogue, the anime adaptation relies heavily on the dialogue accompanied by the patterned visuals of Studio Shaft's signature aesthetic.

Another scenario is if an anime requires mass exposition in order to setup and establish a "new" world with different functions from our modern society. In this case, exposition is almost certainly needed, however, not mandatory. The best anime would be able to convey details and information about a setting through interaction and demographic of an area.

Consider this: Anime#1 is about a character who came to a new place and a friend of theirs is walking them around, givin' 'em a tour and information dumping about the new location. "This place is where that fire destroyed the building with my parents inside..." This example made-up dialogue is probably something conveyed as "emotional" but is honestly just a bunch of lazy writing.

Now consider Anime#2, which is based on the same story but conveyed differently without dialogue exposition and boring information dumping. Imagine this: the main characters friend, from this place, standing a bit infront across the street from the burnt building. They only show his face and torso below his eyes and fade his face with some shadow for dramatic effect, representing deep thought of some sort. The friend has some sort of item (for this example let's use a pocket watch with a picture of his parents inside, but we have no idea what's inside). This friend clutches the watch and begins shaking and trembling with his head down. The friend behind him is worried but remains silent to not ruin the mood of the setting. People continue walking as if nothing is happening but they remain in this isolated state. After a few seconds pass he approaches his friend slowly and gently. Puts a hand on their shoulder as a symbol of support and care. The friend snaps back to reality... etc. You get the picture... hopefully. Basically, there's a lot you can do without dialogue to explain everything and take the fun out of cinematography.

And finally, consider Anime#3, which again is based on the same story. Except with this anime, it is entirely dialogue, but this time not information dumping. Because the characters are friends, they catch up at a local, yet calm and peaceful, location within the place. They begin asking each other questions and catching up on each other's lives but the key thing is that the tones of the responses and questions reveal more and more about the characters. Gradually, as the audience observes their characters being drawn out in the conversation, they start to understand the mentality and personality of these 2 characters. All of this from a simple dialogue scene that is NOT an information dump.

In conclusion, this is just a ramble of my thoughts on exposition in anime. Basically to summarise, there are some that do exposition correctly, and there are those anime which get it completely wrong and as a result become boring.
Posted by Rieze | Jan 8, 10:22 PM | 1 comments
December 24th, 2016
Anime Relations: Death Note
Are They Mental?

My personal experience with SOME Light/Kira fans has been rather unpleasant, particularly in 2016.

NOT all Kira/Light fans are annoying/stupid. Only the specific group of fans that I am writing about.

There irritating fans are under the impression that Kira/Light was a righteous, justified and good person. The problem with their decision to support the mentality of Kira is that they are publicly admitting that "human rights do not exist." This should not be allowed to go unaddressed.

The fact that these Kira fans can stupidly/blindly follow immoral ideals such as "killing fellow humans for justice" makes me sick. However, if their country does permit the death penalty, then I can understand how they had come to their conclsuion. Also if they had a really poor and unhealthy upbringing when they were young and the mentality has stuck with them that any humans out of line are immediately deemed as "scum."

Few months ago, I had an interaction with a QuizUp user from the Anime Topic. They were arrogant and ignorant of the Human Rights. "Every human has the right to live" is a major key point of the Human Rights convention. If these Kira fans are willing to defy the existence of such universally implemented rights, then they are on an equal level with Hitler. Violating human rights is never acceptable.

This user's reply to my human rights defence was "Kira reduced crime rates of the world by insert_number...%" Which clearly demonstrates their naivity to fall victim to the trickery of the character of Light. In accepting Kira's actions as "good" they reveal their own individual weakness to basic argument structure because they dismissed their own life fundamental to support a "chinese cartoon"/anime character. *Clap, clap...

Another argument that this QuizUp user tried to use was "Kira was trying to make a peaceful world, free from crime." The problem was not Kira's motive but rather his method for achieving what he had envisioned. The tactic, which Kira is using in an attempt to achieve a crime-free world, is striking fear into the civilians. This is low and cheap, as well as degrading, and should not be supported in any way. Supporting Kira for this behaviour is not different from allowing a bully to continue distributing violence upon other students. The bully = Kira, because the bully then establishes his/herself as the dominate figure and keeps everyone else in-line, while Kira is portrayed as a "god" for keeping (potential) criminals in-line. Once again to reiterate, this mentality should NOT be supported by anyone who is even remotely sane.

In conclusion, not all Kira/Light fanboys/girls have a horrible/terrible mentality and way of thinking, only the ones who are truly crazy enough to dismiss the peaceful way of life that the world is trying to accomplish.

I truly hope that world peace can be achieved through good terms and reasonabe resolution, as opposed to "Kira tactics."
Posted by Rieze | Dec 24, 2016 3:32 AM | 0 comments