Category Archives: foundational

Concepts which underpin the way I think about anime

Brief Praise of Stock Footage

I’ve said this a couple of times, but because it suits my prejudices I think it deserves its own post.

Recycling material is fine so long as the material is good. And often it is good, especially when it’s a more formalised, expected component like a transformation or combination or launch sequence. I don’t mind watching goodness several times. In my better moments, I rather like the idea of watching goodness several times.

Furthermore, stock footage has a certain reliability. However dull the rest of the episode is, at least I can bank on the manly combination to be great. This is an efficient way for animators to spend money and time.

And if you’re not convinced that repetition has its place, consider the two most commonly recycled elements of your standard anime episode, which we all take for granted: the OP and the ED.

(Would I take much the same stance on grander kinds of re-use, like repeatedly using the same premise? Of course I would. Of course.)

How I Failed Axiology 101

Objectively not great, but emotionally 3x better than any other AMV.

The (dis)connection between love for anime and anime’s good quality is something that’s been bouncing around in my head for a while, and Demian’s recent post on ‘Liking Bad Anime’ (hopefully to be followed in the future by Baka-Raptor on ‘Hating Good Anime’) was all the provocation I required. Yes, my post is a sterile piece of amateur thought and no, you don’t have to read it.

An apology is in order, as I don’t normally permit myself to write this kind of entry. Normally I try to briefly explain any necessary jargon, but I’ve just forged full steam ahead here, because I imagine readers who are interested will either understand any jargon that there is here (I’ve trimmed as much as I can), or look it up. I should probably also apologise for muddled thought, but there’s not much to be done about that. Continue reading

Just For ‘Fun’: A Condensed Theory of Moe

Moe In A Box
As my Japanese is nonexistent, I’m just hoping it’s nothing scurrilous written on the box.

1. Where does moe (or moé for the pronunciation pedants among us) happen? The site of moe must be in the viewer. When, therefore, we say of a character that she or he ‘is moe’ we are identifying the presence in her or him of traits which provoke or stimulate moe in us (and perhaps in an imagined community of ‘people like us’).

Continue reading

GAR (V): Why GAR is Good For You

Lt. Burning
‘This battle will be decided by whether or not you two stop acting like a pair of screaming amateurs.’¹

[This is part of a series of entries considering GAR. The first one sets out what’s happening, the second reinterprets the epic tradition through the lens of GAR, the third examines the relationship between GAR and gender and the fourth makes the case for moral GAR.]

Moving away from moral GAR back to GAR considered in general terms, I’m now going to explain how GAR can make you thin in just 28 days! why GAR is (mostly) a good thing for the anime viewer. [I’m keeping The GAR Diet to myself ’til the patent comes through.] Continue reading

A Generic Entry

Psychological thriller which will probe the very darkest depths of the human soul

Genres are words – labels – we attach to things, as part of some giant, messy and Escher-esque Venn diagram. As genres are words, it’s all a matter of definition by example, which I have harped on about before. Continuing my commitment to be descriptive rather than prescriptive, I thought I’d throw down [?] a few thoughts on the way that we classify anime.

[The first two parts of this post are the boring bits. The third part is the interesting bit. Feel free to skip ahead.] Continue reading

Curmudgeon, Recusant, Mediated Viewer

I positively refuse to use this image’s obvious caption

I am usually reluctant to write introspective entries. I fear that they all-too-often degenerate into uninteresting, solipsistic musings. If I wanted to put that sort of thing on the internet, I’d get a LiveJournal. But I was recently convinced that introspection can, on occasion, produce something interesting. This, in combination with a throwaway sentence in the Search for Number Nine, set me thinking about my own viewing habits. Continue reading

Death of the Animator

Mayu (G-s N-k)

A strange and twisted journey into methodology, during which I will kill off all animators, everywhere, namecheck the Father of Western Literature and (the ultimate challenge) talk about Gundam without boring people who aren’t interested in Gundam.

Why the busty succubus? Read on to find out, or perhaps to find out why that’s the wrong question. Alternatively, if you’re not very interested in ‘Theory’ with a capital ‘T’, go read another anime blog – there are plenty of good ones out there – and wait for my next entry. Continue reading