Thursday, November 11, 2010


SO this blog has now seen one thousand views! Seems like a lot, but it really isn't. Most of them were probably me from before I set it up not to track my own views, and most of the rest are from unfortunate souls using Google Blog Search for some obscure album I mentioned on some list and probably expecting a download for it. Sorry! It's like, 1000 views, 1000 disappointments. But moving on now:

My 1000 Favorite Things Ever:

1000. The episode of Seinfeld where they go to India
999. The program "Notepad++"
998. The video game "Mario Party 4"
997. The episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force with the Ancient Egyptian T-Shirt
996. This is a stupid idea for a blog post.
995. Moving on now:

I am Watching Another Anime

It is this one and I honestly cannot tell you what I think of it. Well, no, I can tell you that I enjoy watching it. And I can tell you that I find it pretty funny and it's well animated and I like the characters and crap. And I can even go as far as saying that the general plot amuses me and feels relatively fresh and compelling. But that's not really the what there is to think about it.

The series raises two questions to the viewer. Or rather, it presents two sort of situations and leaves the questions to the user's imagination:

Situation one: A person does not have hobbies that fit with their personality otherwise.
Situation two: INCEST!?!!??!?!?

The second one I don't really have thoughts on. Being an only child, I pretty much have a free pass to watch this sort of thing without anything being implied by it, and as such I've never really considered it. On a biological level, it's definitely wrong, but I have no personal point of reference for it on a moral level or anything like that. All I can say is that it leads to wacky misunderstandings on shows like this and Arrested Development and such, so that's appreciated? This show itself really just seems to hype it up for the purpose of attention when the real plot is more about the first situation.

OK so first one is that the titular character is all about the doujins and such but that doesn't mesh with her appearance or lifestyle or anything. So the obvious sort of meta thing is that the show itself isn't too far off from the sort of thing this character is into, so when she gets chastised for it and such, the viewer is getting chastised as well. This is different from something like Welcome to the NHK, where the viewer, although probably pretty similar to the protagonist in many regards if I'd have to guess, isn't actually experiencing the same things as the character when viewing the show. When they did an episode in Welcome to the NHK about him becoming a lolicon, the show did not become a lolicon show. But in this, the protagonist is obsessed with moe culture and the viewer is watching a moe show.

So it's kinda brilliant in that regard, because it can set up this feedback loop where they know what appeals to the viewer is the same thing that appeals to the character and, on top of that, the show/character itself is part of the appeal to the viewer. I'm not saying this is wholly unique or whatever. It's like a show on nature being hosted by a cartoon elephant or something. I dunno maybe it is unique. At any rate you can sort of see what I'm getting at. I mean, when I read One Piece, it's great because I want to see Luffy do the same things that he wants to do, so the reader and character are working together and the story seems natural. But then think of how much more effective it would be if the thing I wanted Luffy to do was read One Piece and instead of One Piece I meant moe shows and instead of Luffy it's a moe character.

And by effective I obviously mean marketable, as moe shows and everything even tangentially related to them sell like hotcakes these days. K-On did wonders to the sales of headphones that were just seen in a five second scene. Even I wanted them, they're good headphones! Ore no Imouto goes even further by marketing itself in the same way. Characters buy multiple versions of the same show with pride, stand in line at Comiket, obviously never pirate anything ever, etc, etc. It gives moe a moe appeal, the very idea is mindbogglingly lucrative.

Going back to the actual conflict of the show, though: a show based around the adventures of otaku couldn't just ignore the stigma that comes with it... Oh wait no that was Lucky Star and it was fantastic and I loved it and would not change any aspect of it ever. But this show can't because it wants some dramatic moments and such too, which is cool. The theme is usually "defending the sister's interests as an important part of her that doesn't detract from anything else" and the delivery is usually impassioned speeches. Again, an impassioned defense of the sister is also an impassioned defense of the viewer, and the way each episode shoots down stigmas of otaku (Weird looking/acting people are nice if you get to know them! Your family/friends will be fine with your weird habits if you truly love them! Spending money on this stuff is totally OK! etc etc) is probably as effective as it is pandering. I'd actually argue that getting these otaku warmed up to the idea of making friends with similar interests and getting out of the house and such is positive, plus a message that's constantly used is that Kirino's hobby is only OK because she's still getting good grades, has a job, etc, so viewers should probably prioritize that as well (cynical reading: studios have realized that if their viewers had jobs they'd probably buy more stuff).

Of course, that in turn leads to a whole other discussion about NEETs and what's up with them and all sorts of stuff I'm still figuring out. I haven't even finished watching this show yet so I'll put aside these subjects for now. Moving on:

Do you know how difficult it is to do a day's work with the song "WOO HAH! (GOT YOU ALL IN CHECK) (WORLDWIDE REMIX FEAT. OL' DIRTY BASTARD) stuck in your head?

Because it is very difficult.

Also I have been giving a lot of thought to abbreviations that people use in lieu of the full word for censorship purposes. Stuff like WTF or ODB, that's pretty easy to make sense of. The actual swear word would be inappropriate, but to people familiar with the abbreviation it gets the point across without risking offending someone who doesn't know the meaning. Where it gets neat (I think) is when the abbreviation is used for censorship of secrets. So I'm sort interested in private trackers and such, but I'm kinda lazy/indifferent about it at the same time. I join up with interesting ones when they're offered and certainly wouldn't mind jumping through a hoop or two for an Exigo or Pedro's invite, but I don't actively try to climb the ranks. Anymore, at least. I did have a passing interest in it but whatever. Anyways I find the way people refer to the really elite ones as just an abbreviation to be pretty cool, makes me feel like I'm "in on something". Sure it's pretty ineffective and often doesn't really even disguise much - for example, I was a few light-years away from getting an account on FTWR, a now defunct tracker that was one of the most elite and secretive, but even I know that it stood for "follow the white rabbit"; not that does you any good, as googling that gets you nowhere while a search for the abbreviation gets you their URL as the first result - but I still think it's pretty neat. Even when they just obscure the full name of the tracker like they often do with Exigo - wait crap maybe my mentioning it will ruin my chances of ever getting in aw crap oh no.

Uh but where was I going with this? Elite secret organizations are neat when referred to as code words. Gravity's Rainbow had a bunch of cool stuff like this. I also kinda wish I didn't know what the KGB stood for, stuff like that, even though the "Kremlin Guard Brigade" is a very cool name.

Speaking of which, Donkey Kong Country Returns is going to be excellent, even without Kremlins.

What is the point of this long and rambling blog post about nothing when you should be working on the November novel dealie, or coding your game, or practicing the piano?

I DUNNO, I just can't motivate myself to do those things right now even if I want to. BUT I WILL NOW.

nah just kidding i'm gonna write comics now i think?

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