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There is a five questions meme floating about WordPress at the moment, and Medieval Otaku dropped my name. It amuses me so here goes.

1)      Each person is supposed to follow the rule of fives. You are allowed to ask 5 questions, after which you can tag up to 5 bloggers by hyper-linking to their blog; 5 questions because it’s not too many to flood another blogger and occupy too much of his/her time, but yet a large enough number to ask your most important questions, and 5 bloggers to avoid spamming. Hence, prioritize your questions, and who you wish to ask!

2)      Those tagged are obliged to answer the questions in a blog post, and after which, they are entitled to create their own 5 questions and tag 5 other bloggers, so on and so forth. You should answer your own 5 questions as well. You are allowed to tag the person that tagged you in the first place. Also, copy and paste this section on your blog so others can understand how the game goes.

3)      In the case where a blogger strongly refuses to answer a question, he/she must instead post a nice anime image, wallpaper or cosplay picture, et cetera in response to that question.

4)      To make things interesting, a blogger can include wildcards in his/her 5 questions by placing an asterisk, (*), after which those tagged are obliged to reveal something interesting about themselves that others did not previously know. There is no limit to the number of asterisks one can place (which means there can be up to 5 wildcard questions).

5)      Anyone can feel free to start the game; you don’t necessarily need someone to tag you. Just create your 5 questions and tag your 5 people of choice. However, the catch is that you must answer your own 5 questions as well.

To potentially prevent an endless game, this round of games will end on the 8th September 2012, 12pm JST (GMT +9). After which, no more bloggers can tag others to answer their questions.

The Questions That Tagged Me

The questions that were put to me by medieval otaku were:

1. How else are you involved in Japanese culture?

Not much to be honest.  I did study some Japanese when I was permanently in Melbourne but starting a fortnightly interstate commute pretty much ended that.

For the record getting on an aeroplane once a week gets really old, really fast.

2. What anime turned you into a fan?

Vampire Princess Miyu

Vampire Princess Miyu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been an anime fan for a long time so the first anime that really hooked me was the Antarctic fansubs of Vampire Princess Miyu, and by that I mean the 1988/89 OAVs and not the 1997 TV series. I enjoyed  the TV series but it wasn’t as good as the OAVs.  I’ve written more about that here.

3.  Who are your two favorite Japanese VA’s (one male and one female) and two favorite English VA’s (also one male and one female)?  For the English VA’s, you can substitute actors in another non-Japanese language.

Pulse (Megumi Hayashibara album)

Pulse (Megumi Hayashibara album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been a while since I’ve really paid attention to the voice actors.  Back at JAFWA the prolific nature of Megumi Hayashibara was always amusing – there was at least one night at JAFWA in the early nineties when Ms Hayashibara was in all 6 – 8 items on that night.  Minami Takayama and the late Tomoko Kawakami were also VAs that have gotten my attention over the years.

For the English language VAs, I do have a soft spot for Lisa Ortiz’s Deedlit in the Lodoss Wars dub, and Carrie Savage’s performance as Rakka in Haibane Renmei.

Male VAs? Short of resorting to google? I don’t think I can name any…

4. Out of the shows you’re currently watching, which is your favourite?

Despite initially giving the pick to Sword Art Online I’m probably now leaning towards Tari Tari from the summer season.

Tari Tari has been tackling some serious issues such as body image, and doing so in a fairly non-exploitative manner.  Overall the character work in Tari Tari has been outstanding, and this is moving it steadily up the rankings of this season.

5. What is your favourite era for anime and why?

This question is open to multiple interpretations: production and setting.

The eighties to nineties had, for me at least, a higher strike rate of good series.  It was also the apex of the OAV market when alternative stories that weren’t locked into 13/26 episodes had a better chance of seeing the light of day.

That said it was much harder to get my hands on the anime in the first place, and I’ve long suspected that I simply didn’t find out about most of the dross.

The last 5 to 10 years have had sharply higher production values, much easier access, and much more dross to drop like hot potatoes.  Then again it has also seen such wonders as ARIA, and Seirei no Moribito.

In summary there are pluses and minuses throughout and I don’t really have a favourite.  So long as I can find good stories, I’ll be happy.

In terms of setting my favourite would have to be anything science fiction with good world building.  Some of my favourite examples for world building that just sing are: Patlabor: The Mobile Police, Planetes, Freedom Project, ARIA, and from this year Bodacious Space Pirates.

However, good and sympathetic characters can be placed anywhere and I’ll watch for that first.  Good world building is just a bonus when I get it.

The Questions That I Tag Others With

I was so tempted to cheat on this by picking 5 of the posts from my Thirty Days of Anime and recycling them.  Consider yourself lucky that I didn’t. So here’s what I came up with instead:

1. Come up with a cryptic but accurate description for an anime and see how many people can guess which show it is. Ideally the show should be better than it sounds.

2. What is the one thing about a show most likely to make you flee in terror screaming “My eyes! My eyes!”

3. Name a show where the opening is the only good thing about it

4.Favourite Pokemon

5. Favourite Dub

My answers to the questions

1. Come up with a cryptic but accurate description for an anime and see how many people can guess which show it is.  Ideally the show should be better than it sounds.

Conscripted child soldiers fight for their lives and perform an assisted suicide in order to go home.

2. What is the one thing about a show most likely to make you flee in terror screaming “My eyes! My eyes!”

Excessive fan service, particularly of underage characters, is likely to be the biggest deal breaker for me. I’m just so tired of seeing this come up again, and again. Oh look, there it is again.

There are shows on CrunchyRoll I have dropped for this before finishing the opening credits, or within 30 seconds of the opening credits.

If given a choice between the fan service trope or the magic skirt trope I will pick the magic skirt every time, even if the character is doing cartwheels.

3. Name a show where the opening is the only good thing about it

Those Who Hunt Elves. The opening Angel Blue is a total earworm as I demonstrate below.

The rest of it? To paraphrase the Monty Python Australian Table Wines sketch: this is not a show for watching, this is a show for laying down and avoiding.

Or, in terms of the previous question: “My eyes! My eyes!”

4. Favourite Pokemon

A dead one.

I couldn’t resist doing that. 🙂

English: Card Captor Sakura, Artbook III CLAMP

English: Card Captor Sakura, Artbook III CLAMP (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back when I did Thirty Days of Anime this was a topic I swapped out in favour of Favourite anime companion/summoned creature. The answer then, and now, was Kero-chan from Card Captor Sakura. I won’t mind if anyone chooses to use this as an alternative.

5. Favourite Dub

Whilst I may not pay attention to who the voice actors are (see number 3 from Medieval Otaku’s questions above), I usually prefer the original Japanese dialogue.

For the most part the only time I’ll watch a dub is as part of a formal review.  There have been very few cases where, in my opinion at least, the dub has approached the quality of the original voice actors.

In this competition I would give Record of Lodoss Wars the bronze, and Haibane Renmei the silver. But the all time gold medal winner for me is El-Hazard: The Magnificent World which is actually funnier in the English language version.

The Targets of the Tagging

For the record I despise “compulsory” memes.  As far as I’m concerned this is entirely voluntary, I did it because it amused me.

Besides the only blogs I’m likely to tag – Shojo Corner, Pixels and Panels, Beneath the Tangles, and Medieval Otaku have all done it at least twice I think.

To paraphrase the Two Ronnies: That’s enough for them, and that’s enough for me.