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sunshine-blogger-awardI’m surfacing after an intense but successful project[1] and finally noticing some blogger awards that have come my way. These are basically a fun way to prompt posts with a bit of a Q&A format, so here goes.

The first order of business is to thank the lovely Artemis over at Otaku Lounge.

The “rules”[2] here are basically:

– Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog. (Did that)

– Answer the 11 questions posted by the person who nominated you. (Getting there)

– Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions. (Working on it)

– List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post. (You just read them & see above).

So, here are the questions:

Artemis’ Questions

1. What was the first movie you ever saw in a cinema?

I’m not sure I can remember that far back. I do vaguely remember going with the family to see Star Wars when it first came out (I would have been 10), but I could well have seen a Disney before then.

2. If you could snap your fingers and be super-talented at any one (non-fantastical) thing, what would it be?

The Japanese language. Because, DUH!

3. Is there any food you absolutely can’t stand?

Not quite a food, but I can separately taste ethanol to anything else that’s in a drink and it’s bitter beyond belief. So, anything alcoholic basically, because that level of bitter for someone who used to put sugar in hot chocolate is never going to be fun.

4. Based on your own personality, which Stock Japanese Character would you be?

If I’m being honest, a salaryman of some sort with dreams of being more. In fact Kinoshita from Rocket Girls was the character I felt most akin to in a long time.

5. Assuming it was totally safe and you had the time and money, where would you most like to spend a week’s vacation?

I’d probably go on a tour of Japan, preferably a cycling trip if I was back in shape and could get the trike there.

I am also currently planning [REDACTED] for 2017 because [REDACTED][3].

6. What natural disaster is the most terrifying?

Here’s the thing: I’ve never really had to deal with natural disasters so this is a bit abstract for me[4]. I’d probably go with an earthquake if I experienced one.

7. Have you ever broken any bones and if so, how?

My eldest brother accidentally[5] broke my nose when I was really young. It did leave me with a nice ledge to rest my glasses on.

8. Even if you’ve only watched a few minutes, what’s the single worst anime you’ve ever seen?

OK, longish story coming up. WAY back in the days of VHS tapes, Australian fans faced a barrier to accessing anime that U.S. fans didn’t: the horrors of NTSC[6]. Now, VCRs that handled both PAL and NTSC were available in Australia, but cost up to $500 more.

That’s in early to mid-90s dollars by the way. I actually took out a personal loan to buy my first NTSC-capable VCR in about 1990[7].

However one of the JAFWA founders had a converter that could be used to convert an NTSC signal to PAL, and for a significant stretch of time I was looking after it. During that time the arrangement was that if a JAFWA member bought a tape that they couldn’t play, we’d do a conversion.

However getting things running right often required me to watch at least the first and last few minutes, particularly if I was converting multiple tapes onto one copy. That happened fairly often – the commercial tapes would have 2 – 3 episodes, but a blank 3 hour tape could hold 6 and change.

So, I name no names but there was some utterly atrocious hentai on occasion.

9. What charity would you donate a million dollars to?

I’d probably split it between cancer research, and artificial organs/transplant rejections. Because I’ve lost too many friends to cancer already, and those who know me well enough know the reason for the second[8].

10. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Hard to say. In anime it is increasingly fanservice in shows that should have enough of a story to not need it.

11. Did you ever believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, or the tooth fairy?

I suspect all of the above when I was young enough, although I don’t remember when I stopped.

Inrosegalaxy’s Questions

The next set of questions came in from the most kind Inrosegalaxy at Risembool Ranger Anime Reviews. RRAR is a useful anime review blog in that Inrosegalaxy attempts to rate anime for content, particularly content that parents might be concerned about. This is quite rare in my experience, and worthy of commendation.

1. How much has the first anime you ever watched aged?

Back when I did 30 Days of Anime I picked 3 “first anime” – the first that I didn’t recognise, the first that I watched unsubtitled, and the first anime I bought. So I’m going to answer this for all three:

  • Robotech: Sigh. The biggest problem with Robotech is Harmony Gold. Who are, to be blunt, dicks. I haven’t seen the show for years but I suspect it’s aged reasonably well; it had a decent multigenerational story which is still fairly rare in science fiction visual media.
  • Gall Force: Sigh. I suspect that this will be getting a whole new lease of life soon. Gall Force was a product of the Cold War and resonated strongly in that setting… which we may very well be going back to.
  • Vampire Princess Miyu: Miyu is still a very clever, and elegant, set of OAVs. You don’t see that sort of Elegant Horror genre very often, and it still has a lot to recommend it.

2. If you somehow got yourself into working for an anime company, what job would you likely hold? Direction? Production? Cast? Art?

Production probably.

3. What’s one Japanese dish you’ve always wanted to try but either never got around to trying or are too scared to try?

To be honest, I’m not sure.

4. If you could become a part of a show just long enough to shake some sense into a character, which show and character would you traumatize?

Well, going back to Thirty Days of Anime again I mentioned Hiyama Hikaru from Kimagure Orange Road in this sort of context but mostly because the:

But that was life doing it, not me, and to be honest I’m happier not to be doing that sort of thing.

5. Which anime (or general) trope do you most want to die?

Fanservice inserted into serious shows because there’s apparently a “need” to keep people’s attention that way. No, there really isn’t.

Note that I’m not objecting to the existence of fanservice-oriented shows like the currently screening Keijo; there’s a market for that[9] and I don’t mind if people want to watch that sort of show.

No, where I mind it is in shows where there’s a serious story to be told, but fanservice is added to “keep people’s attention” at the cost of the story. Pass.

6. If another season for an old anime long forgotten were to be announced for next year, what show would you most want it to be?

Rocket Girls. Because there are two more light novels that will never see the light of day in English.

7. Japanese or Western sweets?

Western for me.

8. What two unique genres would you most like to see blending well on screen?

I generally don’t know about these sorts of combinations until I see them.

9. Your top show of this year?

At this stage I would probably be leaning towards Hibike! Euphonium S2, noting however that I missed most of the fall season. Also for various reasons I didn’t review everything I watched this year, so my recollections are a bit off.

10. Got any New Years/beginning of the year traditions?

Boardgaming with friends. I’m really looking forward to it.

11. On a scale of one to ten (one being “don’t care either way” and ten being “*expletives while binge eating chocolate*”), how done with 2016 are you?

Expletives and chocolate whilst realising that in 2016 the Diplopuppy[10] is only the President-ELECT.

2017 will have the Diplopuppy as the actual President.

My Questions

Here’s the hard part: coming up with a list of questions of my own. Since I’m on holidays[11] I’m going to crib from 30 Days of Anime again. So:

  1. What’s the most epic scene in anime?
  2. What’s the saddest scene in anime?[12]
  3. What’s your favourite summoned creature or companion?[13]
  4. What’s your favourite anime music video (and provide a link if you can)?
  5. What’s your favourite opening or closing (and provide a link if you can)?
  6. It’s been a terrible day. You just need to chill out. What’s your go-to show for that?
  7. Inrosegalaxy asked how your first anime aged, but what was your first anime? Do you remember what you thought of it at the time?
  8. If you can, pick a franchise you like that’s had multiple series/instalments. Which one was the worst?
  9. If you can, pick a franchise that you’re not a fan of. Was there an instalment you actually liked?
  10. Pick a genre you like. Apply a reality check to it.
  11. Is there an anime classic that everyone else seems to like that you don’t?

Nominations

Pretty much everyone I’d like to see get nominated for this already has been. So consider this a general nomination to everyone who’s following me, and feel free to just drop your answers in the comments.

So, have a merry Christmas, a safe New Year, and sound off in the comments.

The Snark(ier) Bits

[1] Most days of this project left me with a mental state equivalent to tofu or minced tofu. I spent a lot of time playing Sentinels of the Multiverse to decompress. Holidays are a wonderful thing.

[2] Well, they’re mostly guidelines. What, did you think I’d pass up an obvious Pirates of the Caribbean joke like that?

[3] Details not finalised yet, but you can assume that if this trip comes off it will be heavily reported here when it happens.

[4] Which showed up in my reaction to Your Name.

[5] It really was an accident, and I partly contributed. I don’t remember all that much about it.

[6] Never Twice Same Colour.

[7] I was a low level public servant at the time. I just didn’t have a $1,000 lying around.

[8] If you don’t know, don’t ask.

[9] It’s not me, but whatever.

[10] In terms of diplomacy and governance generally The Donald is a new-born puppy who doesn’t know how not to poop on the floor. Meanwhile the adult (Obama) is about to leave the puppy alone in the room and not ever come back…

[11] And therefore in lazy mode.

[12] Noting that you are not required to pick any scene from Grave of the Fireflies.

[13] Phrased this way so it’s not “favourite Pokémon” which will avoid the obvious answer to that version of “a dead one”.