Report Vasilivros's Profile

Statistics

Anime Stats
Days: 26.2
Mean Score: 6.85
  • Total Entries227
  • Rewatched7
  • Episodes1,523
Anime History Last Anime Updates
Choujigen Game Neptune The Animation
Choujigen Game Neptune The Animation
Apr 18, 4:59 PM
Watching 5/12 · Scored -
Mob Psycho 100 II
Mob Psycho 100 II
Apr 18, 4:34 PM
Watching 12/13 · Scored -
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Apr 18, 4:34 PM
Completed 64/64 · Scored 8
Manga Stats
Days: 12.9
Mean Score: 5.96
  • Total Entries92
  • Reread0
  • Chapters2,088
  • Volumes257
Manga History Last Manga Updates
Murciélago
Murciélago
Apr 18, 4:52 PM
Reading 69/? · Scored -
One Piece
One Piece
Apr 18, 4:51 PM
Reading 71/? · Scored -
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Watanagashi-hen
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Watanagashi-hen
Apr 18, 4:49 PM
Completed 12/12 · Scored -

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All Comments (157) Comments

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Fvlminatvs Apr 19, 9:50 AM
Well, I was expecting something that amounted to "all style, zero substance." While I'm not as harsh as MAL user ZephSilver on VE (read his review, it's good), I still agree with a lot of his criticisms. Yet I don't think those criticisms really account for why he gave it a 6 whereas I gave it an 8. VE nails its premise, and a lot better than I think Zeph gives it credit for. It COULD have been an absolute classic. It's damn close. But it isn't. I think I enjoyed it so much was because I was expecting it to have been a victim of the hype machine and went in with low expectations. While it WAS a hype-machine victim, I thought it was still very good.

The Monogatari series suffers from the issue of translation. To truly appreciate it, you have to be fluent in Japanese. That much is patently obvious. So far, though, I think it is very interesting. I need to rewatch it--direction is either ingenious or pretentious and I can't decide which, yet.
Fvlminatvs Apr 18, 6:38 PM
Heck yeah. I was surprised by how good Violet Evergarden was. Damn, dude. Watched Jojo's season 1, liked it a ton. Nearly done Ranma 1/2 after slowly crawling through it for nearly a year (I only got up to halfway through season 3 in the 1990s). Watched the Dirty Pair TV series (I had missed it back in the day). Finally watched Bakemonogatari and liked it a ton as well.
Fvlminatvs Dec 26, 2018 5:26 PM
Eh. It may not be very wise to put your streaming habits in print in public. And I'm playing with my cards close to my chest.

I'll say this, though: I certainly SYMPATHIZE with people who stream unlicensed or unavailable anime through pirate sites. Or stream uncensored/unedited versions (in some cases, original, unaltered versions) of anime when moral busybodies decide something needs to be modified. I certainly sympathize with those people and really, truly understand why they do it.
Fvlminatvs Dec 25, 2018 7:48 PM
I haven't seen Diebuster yet. I'm waiting to see Gunbuster first. And waiting is quite annoying.

I prefer to watch shows that have been properly licensed through legitimate means. PREFER. And that's all I'll put in print in public about my own activities.
Fvlminatvs Dec 24, 2018 9:02 PM
Bro's got Diebuster on DVD/Blu-Ray but Gunbuster isn't licensed in my country yet. I want to watch those legally. I'm running out of patience, though.... I DESPERATELY want to see it.
Fvlminatvs Dec 4, 2018 1:36 PM
I was reading the forums and was just like... "fffff-----....."

I'll be honest, I'm old. I think everybody is a big crybaby. Everybody legitimizes being a crybaby and wants to make everything under the sun about some kind of political crusade. Everybody thinks they've got this "hot take" or "insightful epiphany." Everyone hypes stuff then gets disappointed when it doesn't live up to hype. Everybody argues about their preferred genre or their favorite waifu and nobody can just disagree politely or just sit down and watch stuff. Everybody wants to be important and nobody wants to just sit down and enjoy anime and talk about it cordially.

I mean, back in the day, we used to argue but nobody took it seriously. Nobody got insulted. Yeah, we'd get people complaining that normies watching Ranma 1/2 was "ruining anime" and we'd kinda chuckle and say stuff like, "come on, dude, you're overreacting." All these "elitists vs casuals" and "shonentards vs whatever" didn't exist. Girls who watched Urotsukidoji or La Blue Girl thought it was hot and not some sort of oppressive symbol of whatever. You could watch Dragonball Z and Legend of the Galactic Heroes and like both of them and nobody would bat an eye. Even though it was harder to communicate and everything was e-mail lists or newsgroups, it felt like we had a community--there isn't any sort of cohesive community today because everybody is just an asshole.

I barely watch anything the younger generation watches, these days. I haven't watched much as it is, these past few months. Ever since Crunchyroll lost Funimation (and I was almost finished Slayers Try, too, when it happened), I've kinda been in a non-anime mood. And now that Evangelion's coming to Netflix, every hater on earth who thinks they're edgy and smarter than everyone else is waving their "Eva sucks" flags. Jesus.

So, yeah, I guess it's pretty salty.
Fvlminatvs Nov 1, 2018 11:11 PM
Okay, asked my friend, the lit guy I knew in Grad School, what he thought of your questions. I wasn't sure how to tackle them. So, here's what he had to say:

"Ok, looked at his question [about anonymous authors and whether knowledge about the author is important]. The biography question is something readers have had to deal with ever since written narratives have existed. He might look at how people consider the Bible, Homer, Gilgamesh, Beowulf, etc. He could look at Barthes and the Death of the Author, Deconstuctionism, but specifically that era. Any time you look at Barthes, you have to consider what was going on in France politically at that time."

In short, yes, knowledge of the author is important. It's just not all-important. It can help understand the work, the work's purpose, etc. The same goes for the time period and cultural/social setting in which the piece was written. All these things provide context that not only shaped the work but shaped the perceptions of the audience of the work when it was first released. A good critic will try to understand ALL of these things as best as they can.

My friend went on to say:
"As for the different dramatic structures, he should study those with an eye on what works are specific examples employed by developers of those structures. Which works influenced their creation and which works were deliberately written afterwards that adhered to them.
He can ask himself why Shakespeare wrote plays with 5 acts and why most French plays are in three. He does note different types but it might be best for him to focus on individual structure archetypes than sweeping theories of drama.

"Honestly, outside of that, maybe you can imply that questions like that are asked by academics who spend their whole career on them and ultimately may add to the endless body of inconclusive studies that tackle those issues. They certainly like to throw the big questions at you."

That's the thing. You're starting to ask questions that go far afield of my limited knowledge and wisdom regarding art and literature. Not that that's a bad thing. I hope that my friend's advice, though, can give you a bit of direction to start looking for answers beyond me that are better than me as well.
Fvlminatvs Oct 28, 2018 11:18 AM
I'll get back to you in a few days. Kinda busy right now.
Fvlminatvs Oct 5, 2018 7:41 PM
What about those new ones? There a few manga I read where I just cannot find any information about the author aside for things like age, or blood group. Of the top of my head I can name Rojiura Brothers, Murcielago and Kuro. What then? Do we just learn about the author IF/WHEN it's possible?


Well, considering the language barrier, yeah. That's the best you can do. That or learn Japanese and read interviews and stuff. But that's easier said than done.
Fvlminatvs Oct 5, 2018 11:50 AM
Do you consider the knowledge about the creator to be important while analyzing their work, and if yes, why?

Important, yes. It helps you figure out what their intentions are/may be in creating the work and can indicate where their subconscious concerns, ideas, and desires bleed into the work. Barthes proclaimed the death of the author but that was a reaction to the previous period being obsessed with the author. So, they went in the opposite direction with reader-response, but they went too far in creating that method because they run afoul of the Affective Fallacy just as much as their predecessors ran aground upon the Intentional Fallacy.

Learn about the author, absolutely. Just don't be obsessed with them and consider as many perspectives on a work as you can.
Fvlminatvs Oct 2, 2018 12:49 AM
Look, the people who rely on objectivity and subjectivity alike are basically being utterly myopic and solipsistic. The objectivity supporters think their taste is somehow superior and backed up by rules, thereby justifying their opinions. The subjectivity people use their own inability to get out of their own headspace and examine a piece of art from other perspectives to protect and shield their uninformed opinions. That's the long and short of it. Nobody approaches this concept with any degree of nuance whatsoever. It's ridiculous. Neither side is even remotely correct in their approach. Actual people educated in the appreciation of an artistic medium (and I mean EDUCATED, not somebody who sat through classes to get a piece of paper) don't think this is even a thing and when they're made aware of it they think it is shortsighted, demonstrates a thorough lack of understanding, and is, to put it bluntly, pedantic, immature, and stupid.

I wish it would die. I'm tired of talking about it. I'm tired of seeing other people talk about it. It's dumb. Dumb as hell. It's something that people should be disabused of by the time they hit junior year at university. It's also intrinsically tied to the whole elitist vs casual bullshit, which I am frankly utterly sick and tired of as well. It's why I basically never go on the forums anymore. The conversations constantly circle back on themselves ad infinitum. Nothing gets resolved. Nobody moves forward, everybody stays right where they are without actually learning anything. I'm done with it. I don't want to see or deal with it anymore. Nobody listens to me when I try to explain that this debate isn't even a thing among the academics.

One of my closest friends in grad school specialized in literature and this entire debate just boggles his mind. It actually makes him sad that people are so damn close-minded, uninformed, and simple, meanwhile they strut around like peacocks thinking they're so damn smart and their opinions actually matter. Christ, I feel like I'm the only goddamn person on Earth who is actually willing to learn from somebody else.

I'm not angry at you, Vas. I want to make that clear. I'm angry at the so-called "community" that refuses to basically drop this pointless, stupid argument and keeps rehashing it like a bunch of idiotic middle-schoolers.
Fvlminatvs Sep 30, 2018 9:35 PM
God. Do I have to? I desperately want this entire debate to die. Desperately. Anyone with any decent level of education in art or literature (and I don't mean a bachelor's degree, they're worthless anymore) thinks this entire debate is insanely immature. I know, a good number of my colleagues are highly educated in art and literature.
Fvlminatvs Sep 26, 2018 10:16 PM
Man, you really need to talk to my English department friend from grad school. I'm going to have to ask him about this to help me flesh out what I mean. I'm not sure how to clarify what "art" is and how that applies to criticism. I mean, to me, these ideas are self-evident. But that's to me. I've never really tried to define art.
Fvlminatvs Aug 24, 2018 10:04 AM
Talking in a second language can sometimes be annoying. Sorry.

It's fine. Don't worry too much about it.

I ONLY think that flaws and merits can be identified and pointed out.

Well, one man's flaw can be another man's merit. For example, there are people that absolutely love bad, sloppy, low-budget movies with poor acting and bad direction. Movies like that can become absolutely hilarious if you are in the right mindset and mood. Look at Red Letter Media and their "Best of the Worst" episodes, for example.

While I would agree that specific traits of a text can be merits and flaws most of the time, under certain circumstances they can be flaws. For example, if a specific type of narrative is considered very serious in tone (say, Darling in the Franxx), but a lot of over-the-top, goofball stuff occurs throughout the narrative (that was great in less serious shows like, say, Kill la Kill or Gurren Lagann), then that goofball stuff becomes a flaw because it clashes with the tone.

That's just one example. It is impossible to go through all possibilities and codify them into a singular metric because there are simply too many variables with infinite permutations. That's why I say we can't be truly objective. On top of that, we can't really quantify all of these things because (pardon the really bad analogy) they're analogue not digital. Or maybe imagine quality as a sort of sliding scale without clear numbering. I don't know if I'm communicating this idea well.

If you "get" jazz, but don't enjoy it then... you don't... enjoy... it.

Well, let's see. Again, it's not an "either/or" situation. I can appreciate jazz when I hear it. I watched Ken Burns' documentary on it at least three or four times. I can listen to it from time to time. However, I don't dislike it. Maybe instead of saying "enjoy" I should probably say, "prefer." Again, this is a matter of taste. I'm not sophisticated enough to really, really comprehend what's going on in jazz. I've never played it. I do get the drumming involved, at least, because I've been playing the drums since middle school and I know the talent and skill required to play jazz drumming well. So I do get that. Overall, though, my taste lies elsewhere. I am not sophisticated in that I don't know all of the various musicians (only a few), I only know a few of the most salient and important compositions in jazz, I don't know enough terminology and jargon to comprehend everything about it.

One needs sophistication to GET a work of art (which you seem to do with jazz:" I can certainly appreciate the talent and skill it takes to play it. I respect it. ") but enjoyment is a seperate thing. Isn't it? I'm totally confused at this point.

Yeah, sophistication and "getting" a work is separate from enjoyment but the more sophisticated you are and the more you "get" a work, the more rewarding that work is. Enjoyment isn't the only thing we can get. It's a subset of "engagement." I don't enjoy getting my ass kicked in a video game, but so long as the challenge is something I can eventually overcome, I will be engaged. I don't enjoy watching people get massacred on the beaches of Normandy in the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan but I am certainly engaged.
Fvlminatvs Aug 22, 2018 6:27 PM
Whether something "makes sense" or not can be evaluated objectively, like anatomy errors in drawings or plot-holes in plots. Whether one is sophisticated enough to see those things accurately is a different story.

We've already had this discussion. Purpose is something that can't be objectively evaluated, even if the author him/herself tells you the purpose (cf. Barthes), so if art deviates from norms, you can't measure how much the author intended for that and why with any sort of real yard stick. Similarly, plot holes don't entirely matter if they don't really damage the storytelling (cf. Chandler and the novel and screenplay of The Big Sleep). If a plot hole in The Big Sleep ruins the entire story for you, well... that's your subjective taste, since most of the viewers think it is a fine example of hardboiled detective fiction and cinema. It all depends on the size of the plot hole(s), their frequency, etc., and each individual's ability to suspend disbelief is going to be different, so these issues will inevitably be somewhat subjective.

You are right, though, about sophistication but there are different kinds of sophistication. I don't possess the sophistication required to really enjoy jazz, although I can certainly appreciate the talent and skill it takes to play it. I respect it. But I'll be honest, I do not enjoy it or get much out of it. A less open-minded person could say, "Jazz sucks." Well, it does for them. I don't think it does, but my tastes lie elsewhere.

So what? There's still a good reason to try and develop one. Chances are, we'll fail again! but, we'll have a BETTER method than before, so isn't THAT good? By giving up you're guaranteed to not develop anything.

Actually, I completely agree with this statement--so long as it is personal and not some sort of universal methodology. That might not make any sense but hear me out.

The important thing about all of this is discussion. Discussing a work of art is what is important. The more points of view and the more perspectives you have from which to draw, the better. The problem is that, in the end, art is always consumed by individuals. Yes, oftentimes masses of individuals in large groups, but individuals nevertheless. Even then, those individuals will often talk about the consumed work with one-another, and even if they have simple, unsophisticated understandings of the piece, they'll still come away with different thoughts, different things that resonated with them, and different takeaways from one-another, even if the differences are small.

How much more, then, will people with varied backgrounds, unique artistic or critical training, and different avenues of sophistication, come away with different perspectives on a single piece of art that is highly complex? If they have closed minds, though, the discussion will go nowhere. If they have open minds and are willing to consider one-another's perspectives, when they revisit the piece, they'll often have a slightly new experience at the least, if not a wholly new experience entirely. Heck, I've reread Frank Herbert's Dune novels and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings throughout my life more times than any other single piece of media I've consumed and each time, my age and life experience alone impacts my reception and interpretation of the works tremendously. How much more, then, have my discussions of the texts with colleagues and friends from English departments and other fields?

I'm not trying to marry objectivity with enjoyment. If that's the impression I'm giving you, then I'm not really communicating my thoughts. The problem is, also, Vas, that I'm still figuring all of this out myself. Remember, I'm a historian by trade. I discuss this stuff with my colleagues and friends a lot. I'm always learning.

But going back to your original quote, that we can totally use objective gauges as guidelines... you're right but that's a sort of "yeah, well, duh." I can't say, then, "The animation is good" or "the animation is bad" because those come off as subjective, right? Well, do you want me to put "the animation goes off-model 10% of the time" and a whole list of other checkpoints? I'll be dead honest, Vas, that stuff is beyond my ability to tabulate or gauge. Whether or not I even notice smoothness or not is up for grabs. I do notice really bad animation but then, I have to ask myself, "If the animation is bad, does that ruin the story?" Or, "if the animation is good, does that overcome the story's flaws, holes, bad characterization, etc.?" To top that off, I'm still learning about how to judge animation itself. I don't draw, which puts me at a huge disadvantage when compared to people who actually do have artistic training and talent and can tell when a character in an anime suddenly doesn't fit correct anatomical proportions because of shoddy cell artistry. So learning about this stuff is an uphill battle for me already.

Hell, I'm more invested in brushing up on my Japanese and actually starting to dig into the discussion going on in Japan. Personally, I'm far more invested in that angle. Opportunity costs.

I agree, we shouldn't make terms so vague they can apply to everything but, well, I'll reiterate, my ratings description is for me, primarily. It's a guide I look at to figure out where to put a work. It's not there for you or anyone else. And at the moment, it is not really worthwhile for me to spend time creating this super-complex methodology and writing it out on paper because 1) it'll inevitably be longer than I have time for and 2) it will never be finished because I won't even get through the first hundred pages before I've learned something new and now have to revise everything I've already written.

Finally, I'm not standing here saying "Vas, you're so totally wrong." Actually, what I'm afraid of is that you've planted your flag somewhere and are now refusing to move from a position. I'm trying to get you to 1) consider that you'll never the finished building your own personal criteria and standards and 2) embrace that reality.

The problem with most people is that they've all planted their flags and don't move. They've either never evolved their tastes beyond 6th or 7th grade or they've stopped evolving their tastes once they received a few drops of sophistication and now think they've got the keys to criticism all down pat.

Let me give you two examples using the Clannad case I already brought up. Person #1 loves Clannad because it elicited a strong emotional response in them and so, when I voice my objections to the show, they tell me to turn off my brain. That's not helpful at all because it tells me, basically, "Make yourself stupid to enjoy this show." Person #2 tells me Clannad sucks, period, end of story, for basically the same reasons I felt. Now, I could be like that guy or I could be open minded and listen to my friend, who continued to improve his sophistication, telling me about all of the subtextual and metatextual substance, the subtle illustrations of otaku mentalities woven throughout the show, and all these other things that I should look for if I give the show a second chance. We disagreed, man, but I was willing to give this guy the benefit of the doubt because he 1) admitted my criticisms were valid but 2) didn't tell me to turn my brain off. Instead, he tried to explain the appeal of the show on a more sophisticated level. I watched the show with these new insights and it has helped me evolve how I view anime as a whole, not just that one show.

That's what I mean when I say, don't just plant your flag in one place. That's why I say we can't ever be totally objective. At the same time, I do believe objectivity should be striven for because doing so will always make us better critics. So, too, can be to get out from inside our own heads and try to understand what other people think, especially some of the more sophisticated viewers. We can agree or disagree with them all we want, but in the end, our perspectives should always shift and we should always learn something from the exchange.