On One’s Perception of Change — in Weebs

So this piece is a little different than my norm, and therefore I worry that it’s painfully self-indulgent and masturbatory. That being said, if nothing else it could act as a kind of primary source document for some of the things contained in it? That’s a question mark because I have no idea. Anyway, my point is, I want to talk about what I’ve noticed about the anime fan zeitgeist in my time within it.



New games, old stories: the mythic element in video game series

Well, today is Memorial Day in America. If you’re not from America, what that means is A: it’s the ritual opening of the summer season, as compared to the astronomical/meteorological beginning next month. B: people are cooking out everywhere. C: it’s the holiday for recalling the actions and sacrifices of soldiers – it was originally the day of celebration for the treaty that ended one of the World Wars, I think the first one. Many families use it as their family reunion date, and do more or less military-themed stuff as they prefer. Why does this matter? Well, other than my assumption that many of you will actually see this tomorrow (Tuesday), I also thought it would be the best opportunity/excuse I had to finally write about something I’ve been thinking of – game series and their critics. That’s vague. Let’s say, games like Mario and Zelda and their critics. That’s, uh, a little better.


On the nature of mystery itself in Hyouka

Well, turns out Hyouka has not one but two posts on the old Super Fani already. I guess I shouldn’t write one of my own then? I mean, that’d be overkill. Except, of course, that Pontifus was wrong. So let’s fix that, shall we?

How was he wrong? Well, in “A Hastily Erected Shrine to Historiography in Hyouka” he claims the show isn’t a mystery, but a slice of life show. Whoops.


What’s behind this door? More pants-pissing, and probably something that will eat me.

Let’s get a little personal again. I feel like I should tell you about the most recent time in which I was scared shitless. Unsurprisingly, it was while playing Amnesia: the Dark Descent. Yes, my life is boring enough that a scary video game is the scariest thing happening right now. I mean, dissertation existential drama is at a low right now, as it’s mostly carry on and write about slug people. So, yes, Amnesia.


(Penguindrum I) Authentic apple

Mawaru Penguindrum 2: Wait right there, Ringo, we'll get back to you.

Throughout the Penguindrum series, I’ll return to a concept I don’t like to talk about much, and one I don’t invoke lightly: authenticity.

I want to devote this first installment to explaining what that word means to me. It’s necessary, given that “inauthentic” is one of those terms most often used as a blunt instrument vs. things people don’t like. And, anyway, how can art be “authentic,” which is to say true to life, when it is literally a distillation of the endless, unsolvable complexities of subjective human experience into something comprehensible and, hopefully, entertaining?


Play Up! Play Up! And Play The Game – Ace Wo Nerae As A Public School Story

NOTE: This article is also available at Ideas Without End here.

There’s a breathless hush in the Close to-night —

Ten to make and the match to win —

A bumping pitch and a blinding light,

An hour to play and the last man in.

And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,

Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,

But his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote —

‘Play up! play up! and play the game!’

Vitai Lampada, Henry Newbolt

The British public school story, from Tom Brown’s Schooldays through Billy Bunter, The Owl of the Remove to Harry Potter has an almost mythic status – it depicts an educational ideal but more than that promotes an ethos so strong it inspires war poetry like Newbolt’s poem quoted above. Being a good student for someone like Newbolt, in his optimistic war poem, is not simply excelling at school, it is embodying Britishness and being taught how best to be a good citizen.