Genshiken has made me Depressed

Young and innocent me has created a demon of depression with my experience of Genshiken. For about six months prior to the big reveal of who Madarame picks, I was hyping myself up for the decision day so strongly. I absolutely NEEDED to know. Well, I absolutely NEEDED him to pick Hato. And I was disappointed. This brought me to tears. I was legitimately depressed for a couple of weeks. But then I started to get better. I could move on. Now I’d be able to witness even more Hato, right?

Well, wrong so it seems. Now nobody is doing a full translation of Genshiken that I could find and I’m not going to satisfy myself with a simple synopsis. I am prevented from being able to truly move on. Instead I must fall behind and hope and pray for the day to come that the next translation comes. I’m thrown into darkness. I staked my hopes and dreams on this one thing and it has been stolen from me, never to return.

 

Why K-On! Falls Flat P2

I was rummaging through the four-chans and the read-its and I found that Hyouka was a show on lots of people’s favorites list. Now, I saw this show a while ago and was absolutely bored and I rewatched an episode recently to recall why. The visuals and music in the show is phenomenal. I love it. It’s beautiful, the character designs are slick and stylized. It’s fantastic. Same as most of the KyoAni shows. But I’ve become aware that it’s hard to enjoy shows centered on character relations and how they change over time since I’ve already seen the shows that to me champion that in Genshiken and Hourou Musuko. If you’re looking for purely how a person causes another person to change, then look no further than Kuragehime. I’ve had my need for character development fulfilled in fullness. Hyouka and K-On! just don’t feel as real and the character feel less three-dimensional in comparison.

Does this mean everyone else would find Kuragehime and Hourou Musuko and Genshiken better than Hyouka or K-On? Maybe??? I honestly don’t understand why Kuragehime and Genshiken aren’t super popular. Hourou Musuko I can get since it can be a bit sappy and it’s paced so slowly. But honestly, Genshiken and Kuragehime and some of the funniest but also most interesting things I’ve ever seen. Character development? Check. Good jokes that a broad audience can enjoy? Check-ish. I guess a lot of people won’t pick up on some of the references. Good pacing? Check. Interesting morals? Check. Enjoyable to binge watch? Check. Enjoyable to savor and watch over a long period of time? Probably check.

Is it the age of the characters? Is it because the characters aren’t traditionally beautiful but more just realistic in appearance? Do people hate Hato that much but also not like the original part of Genshiken because it’s a sausage fest? Is it the fact that both shows question gender and societal norms? What don’t you love about it? What makes K-On! better?

This Kind of Writing

I’ve been attempting to improve “this” style of analytical writing since I enjoy analysis of anime and just most all art I consume. As I’ve been doing this though, it’s become evident that I kind of suck at writing coherently for things like this. I love being swept up in the romantics of writing and going all-out on the fantastical and artistic side, but this conflicts with normal analysis-style writing often since the point is to write in such a way that you can communicate your interpretation of an artwork to someone else. I’m not so sure that I can do this.

The other big point of uncertainty is that I usually don’t have that much to say about a show? Often I have ideas for why I like some aspect of some anime or manga, and the idea is complex enough to take up 500 words, but I’d love to be able to go full-out Hearts of Furious Fantasies style with the 10,000 word posts. I think I do have that much to say about my favorite shows, but I don’t have that much to say at a given time. I tend to be pretty binge-y, both with how I consume media and how I create media, so if there’s a central idea I want to have to a post I have to write it all at once. The only feasible way for me to make a real and lengthy analysis of Hourou Musuko or Kuragehime is to just make a whole bunch of mini-posts and then compile them into something larger, which would have the disadvantage of being totally disconnected from part to part. I’d just be compiling a whole series of completely separate ideas about a show. That’s all.

So what should I do? I don’t think I’ll hear from you guys, since nobody reads me right now and I’m not putting myself out to be read yet. I’m still in the practice stage! I feel more comfortable practicing and then letting people see my past work once I’ve made something good, but I have yet to make something I feel confident about it being good.

Kuragehime: How to Cry and Laugh At the Same Time

I love Kuragehime. One of my favorite anime and manga. It has an incredible sense of realism (and no, I’m not talking about the scenes where the Nuns turn to stone. If you look at it in a broader context it is realistic, especially compared to most SoL shows), it’s genuinely moving, and it makes you laugh even when you see the joke coming.

I kind of want to do a “What’s in an OP” for Kuragehime in the style that Mother’s Basement does his, but I’ll save that for later. Regardless, the quintessence of how this anime can capture these contrasting feelings within minutes of one another while seeming natural is kind of amazing. I’ll watch a tearful and heartbreaking scene of Tsukimi remembering her mother, and then Kuranosuke round-kicks her away from his brother out of jealousy. Or perhaps the scene where Landshark shows her sex photo to Kuranosuke and Tsukimi, making her run away crying? Yes it’s hilarious since they didn’t have sex and she’s so adamant despite Kuranosuke calling out her bullshit, but at the same time I personally empathized with Tsukimi and saw how sensitive she is.

Which touches on one of the most important parts about the show: Tsukimi is kind of adorably sensitive. Kuranosuke sees her grouped in with the rest of the residents of Amamizu-kan and Tsukimi groups herself in with that crowd and they all accept one another, but fundamentally in a way that only the viewer can really understand she is so different. Kuranosuke is given tastes of it in scenes like where she sips on her tea while the rest of the Nuns are boisterously chomping down their ham or when she tries on the sheet as a wedding dress. The rest of the Nuns have fully become the NEET; the ultimate deniers of men and, indirectly, femininity.

If you can’t tell by my favorite anime, I love shows that question gender norms and gender in general. Kuragehime subtly brings up how the Nuns conversely become more masculine in order to avoid males, because it opens the opportunity to relationships and the end of NEEThood and not being normie (see Welcome to the NHK for how love trumps being a NEET). Ultimately the source swinging the Nuns into the hipster crowd though is a woman, Kurako, teaching them the ways of fashion and bringing out the inner artist in Tsukimi. Wait… But there’s yet another layer! In reality it’s the man, Kuranosuke, who breaks down their barriers by force and brings them into the most feminine of worlds: fashion. It is a man who is feminizing the nuns, just as is their fear. Yet he isn’t feminizing them indirectly by attracting them with his own handsomeness. He is there directly. Blunt, bold, and charismatic. Shamelessly crossdressing, he waltzes into the no-man-zone and breaks down their abhorrence of normies.

It’s curious that Tsukimi’s discomfort with Kuranosuke when he isn’t crossdressed is out of a worry of chemistry or attraction between the two, yet she’s clearly blind toward his actual moments of expressing interest, between when her eyes are literally closed to whenever she does something actually kind of adorable in Kuranosuke’s eyes like staring at the jellyfish moon. There’s something beautiful and complex about how gender separation in nerd circles occurs, and Kuragehime dissects this while sidelining the anime/video game/manga otaku aspect of the whole nerd world. Had all the girls been fujoshi or otaku, I don’t think the show would be less original per se since while there are numerous other fujoshi shows that have come out (and were coming out around the time Kuragehime aired), none of them focused on habitat and etcetera in such a way. Yet by further distancing itself from otakudom, Kuragehime is able to create its own unique bubble yet to be explored in other media.

Ultimately, you can still draw comparisons to shows like Welcome to the NHK, Genshiken, and so on and so on, but nothing has come out in the same way as Kuragehime filling the same niche. It’s interesting. You’d think I’d be able to find a dozen ‘normal’ anime with the same level of character interactions and plot as Kuragehime that don’t feature NEETs and crossdressers, but you’d be at least somewhat mistaken. I will admit that ParaKiss and Nana also feature interesting character interactions and etcetera, but ParaKiss DOES include a transgender character and Nana is…

Uhh…

Well, now I must talk about Nana, mustn’t I?

Another day! Another day! I must have the pretense of an ordinary sleep schedule despite it being 3:00 AM.