Thanks

zip scan 12-profile pic cutI don’t know for sure what I’m going to try to do…
I’m afraid this will just turn into a list of apologies or assurances…
when what I’m really trying to say is that this project, NewAnimeThursday, is reaching a close.

Since falling off my routine of regularly writing reviews for anime due to a concussion, I’ve started pondering my reason for continuing. And even though I’d like to say that I’m just too busy to keep writing or that I want to start a new project, it boils down to a lack of energy and drive to continue NewAnimeThursday.

I’m by no means ending my obsession with anime, manga, etc. I still plan on moving to Japan (though now I’m looking more into being an ESL teacher), and I still love being enraptured in current anime, as well as marathoning completed series that people recommend to me. I just have no reason or enthusiasm to write and continue running a full blog. And it’s not like I’m dropping off the face of the anime side of the internet. I’ll still quip on Twitter, and I’m regular on Facebook on the pages You’ve got to be Squidding Me and The League of Emotional Otaku. I’ll also keep reading the blogs on my Google Reader (and probably comment more). And I’m still on Skype (belden.otaku) too if you want to chat.

tooru-pp-cut-21octWhether or not I return to blogging, either on a new NewAnimeThursday or some other blog is uncertain and probably unlikely in the very near future, but who knows. As one project ends, another begins. I’ve gained a lot through NewAnimeThursday, friends I love communicating and discussing with, and I’ve expanded my curiosity and interests far beyond what I had just 2 years ago. Through NAT I’ve “found my voice” in writing, and by that I mean I’ve come to learn that my “voice” is a changing, adaptive quality that’s served me very well, both in blogging and in the real world, where I’m now more well-spoken in classes and able to cut through and understand complex topics with an objective viewpoint.

Though I’d hate to add to feal’s dead blog count, if I were to continue simply to avoid that, I’d be doing it for the wrong reasons. If I were to continue, I’d want to enjoy it like I should and not feel obligated to do so. Not that I do now, I just don’t have the desire to anymore. It’s not necessarily a growing tired of, but more of a growing out of NewAnimeThursday. I’m going to leave the site active (until WordPress decides I’m too inactive or however they kick off pages), and I’ll get an email if anyone comments on an old post, so I’ll be sure to respond.

I’m not sure how to end this, other than to thank anyone who read, followed, and commented. I hope you continue to remain awesome.

– BeldenOtaku

Thanks for reading

Thanks for reading

BeldenOtaku’s Best: A Sampling of NewAnimeThursday’s Finest

If you’re not familiar with the Aniblog Tourney currently in progress, first, I’d like to welcome you back to the surface (as you’ve obviously spent quite some time under a rock), and second would like to point out that NewAnimeThursday is up for vote on 23 April. So, in light of this, I’ve realized this is a rare opportunity to make a mass first impression on lots of new readers. So I compiled a list of various things I do, along with sampling of what NewAnimeThursday is all about…

Anime reviews: Each season I pick up airing series to follow and episodically post about, usually about how the episodes struck me, what I liked, what I disliked, where I think it’s going, possible plot problems, etc. I’ll also end each season with a final review of every show I’d been following, recently I’ve also taken to attributing a grade to each series (similar to an academic score where anything above 6.0 is passing, with 10.0 being a perfect score) based on qualities such as visuals, audio, plot, character sets, and the like.
Here are a few series I particularly enjoyed reviewing: Guilty Crown, Tamayura~hitotose~, , and Steins;Gate.

Occasionally, I have an idea…on a rare occasion, I have a good idea. So I write about it. I have them labeled as Editorials. I ponder and ramble about everything from being an otaku in real life, aniblogging, and other anime-related stuff. (I’ve only been doing editorials for a few months now) Editorials also give me an excuse to post A Channel photos :3 Some of my favorite editorials (which are also the most commented posts) are “For the last time, I don’t hate shounen…”, “The Problems with Anime Blogging: From the Writer’s Perspective/From the Reader’s Perspective“, and “Why it’s hard to admit I love anime (at least where I live)”

So now I should say something that sets me apart from other aniblogs…something like I DO SPEED DRAWS!!! :3 Speed draws are where I draw characters from various anime, record said drawing, speed it up (because 3 hours of drawing and coloring are kinda boring), throw in some music, upload it to Youtube, and claim the internets as my own. Here’s my favorite one so far, Tsukasa Hiiragi (Lucky Star)…

Other’s include Hakase Shinonome and Sakamoto (Nichijou), Mio Akiyama and Yui Hirasawa (K-On!), and NAT Banner Winter 2012 (with Tooru Ichii).

Thanks for your consideration in the Aniblog Tourney :3
Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

50 Questions

Originally done by Ace Railgun, and subsequently popularized among anibloggers like MarthTsurugiarashix, and Yumeka, “50 Questions” offers a look in the little details that makes each anime fan unique and is also a good way for someone like me to make a post when I’m too conked out on pain meds (see author’s note at the end of my previous post) to keep focus on any new anime. So, here’s a mixture of anime and personal questions, without further ado….

1. Who is your favorite male anime character?
Haruaki Yachi, from C³: CubexCursedxCurious. I guess I just appreciate that, unlike 99% of all anime male protagonists, a naked girl appears in his kitchen, and he takes it like a boss! :3

2. Who is your favorite female anime character?
Tooru Ichii, from A Channel. I’m infatuated with this girl, she’s so cute and I love the way she’s so protective of Run. And it drives me mad when she puts on such a tough exterior when she’s really incredibly sweet on the inside!
 3. What is your favorite anime soundtrack?
My musical preferences change like the damn seasons, but right now I really like the Guilty Crown soundtrack. Lots of concerto sounds and Bios is really trippy to me. Makes me feel so epic when I’m simply walking to class but listening to it with the volume cranked up! (My taste in music is admittedly crap, but it’s what I like, so…)

4. What is your favorite anime opening song + animation?
The second opening to C³: CubexCursedxCurious, Kirika’s dance and the reverse snow fall are stunning to watch, and Shirushi is one of my favorite songs of all time.

5. What is your favorite anime ending song + animation?
Right now, it’s most likely the Kill Me, Baby ED. Although it needs more Agiri, I love the dance and anyone who can do this in real life is a god to me. This song is also pretty catchy as well.

6. What is your favorite anime scene?
The scene from episode 22 (or close to that)  of Lucky Star, where Konata Izumi’s mother visits her family in ghost form. It was very touching and always leaves a tear in my eye as they finish off with Konata and her father wondering what to do with the haunted picture he took using his new digital camera, in which Kanata posed in the background, unbeknownst to her husband or daughter.

7. If you could meet an anime character, who would it be?
Hmmm, Tooru Ichii. No, wait, Lelouch vi Britannia. Hold on, Ika Musume. Actually, Black Rock Shooter. Acccck! This is too hard…really? Only one?!

8. What anime character is most like you in terms of personality?
The more I thought about this question the harder it became, so I asked a friend. After a while of thought, she came up with the answer: a mixture of Maes Hughes (Fullmetal Alchemist) and Azusa Nakano (K-On!), you’re serious when you need to be, but when it comes to comparison, no one can compete with your confidence.
I’m like “seriously?”. I always see myself as shy and kinda quiet, but maybe that’s just with people I’m not so comfortable around…

9. What is your favorite thing about anime?
That’s there always something more to watch or enjoy! And even if you can’t access something you haven’t seen, rewatching anime is just as enjoyable!

10. What is your least favorite thing about anime?
Too much anime, not enough time :3

11. Who are your favorite anime couple?
I’ve never really thought about it, but I’d have to say… Horizon Ariadust and Tori Aoi from Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. I love the idea of him taking on the world to save her and then to retrieve her personality remnants.
 12. Who is your favorite anime animal?
Easy, Sakamoto-san from Nichijou. How can you listen to his smooth tones and not love the coolest cat in Japan?

13. What anime would make a good game?
I’ve always wanted a real, playable version of “The World” from the .hack series. Not a story-mode driven game, but a fully opened RPG MMO. Maybe throw in a conspiracy or two to make it interesting.

14. What game would make a good anime?
I honestly can’t think of a game that wasn’t already an anime that would make a good anime… I don’t play very many video games, though the few I play, I play A LOT.

15. What is the first anime you watched?
I can’t be certain, but (with like 60% probably) I’d have to say Dragonball. Seeing as it was the most likely anime to be watching on TV when I was little. Other early anime include G Gundam, Zoids, YuYu Hakasho, and a little Sailor Moon, though I don’t remember much of Zoids or Sailor Moon, simply that I would watch them.

16. Do you think you’ll ever stop watching anime?
I honestly hope to raise my kids on anime, seeing as I want to be animator. Watching anime for me is like researching, studying different animation styles and how they work with the genre of anime they portray is good to know for any aspiring animator. For example, a simple style like Kill Me, Baby works to play off the comedic nature of the series, while a more detailed, hard-lined design of a series like Guilty Crown helps portray the stark reality of the world they live in.

17. What is your favorite genre of anime?
Slice of life, it’s my bread and butter. Gimme a good slice of life series any day, it warms my heart and makes me happy. It also doesn’t give me the anxiety of longer, more action-based shows.

18. What is your least favorite genre of anime?
Least favorite would be… shounen, simply because the popular ones are too long and have some of the worst plots in my opinion. (Read this before you comment with your annoying butthurt) That being said, some of my favorite series are shounen, but they’re limited compared to series like Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. FMA is only like 60 episodes, but the plot moves every step of the way. This is a little off topic to the question…

19. How open are you about watching anime with the people you know?
You get one chance, if you can’t shut up or generally ruin the experience, don’t expect me to hit you up for an anime showing anytime soon. You should also be okay with me pausing some to take screenshots :3

20. Have you ever been to Japan?
No, but I’m planning on studying abroad for a semester in Fall 2013. Hopefully going to Ritsumeikan University’s College of Image Arts to learn animation.
 21. What anime was the biggest let down for you?
Right now, Kill Me, Baby! It’s proof that what works in a manga doesn’t necessarily work in anime.

22. What anime was better than expected for you?
Nichijou. Going in, I knew it was funny, but I had no idea I’d spend hours hunched over on the floor from laughter.

23. What is the best anime fight scene?
Any fight scene from Ben-to, there’s something primal about fighting for your meal, using your hunger to power your ambition and drive to win.

24. Who is your anime waifu?
Tooru Ichii (see question #2) :3 though I’ve “adopted” Tsukasa Hiiragi, Azusa Nakano, and Chris Yukine. :3
The first step to Waifu Recovery is to admit you have a waifu, step two is acceptance. I accept this part of me, which leads to step 3, understand. You need to understand why you chose to have a waifu (though I developed mine inadvertently). For me, Tooru is a placeholder in my mind for the girl that I hope to meet one day and marry. Smart, maybe a litte shy but irresistibly sweet, cute (to name a few qualities). If that makes any sense…

25. What was your favorite video game as a child?
Pokemon, still is…

Now for some more personalized questions, most are taken directly from Ace Railgun or others, or I changed them to make them easier (or more fun) for me to answer.

26. Most Embarassing moment?
I can’t really pin down a most embarrassing “moment”, but 5th-6th grades were probably the most embarrassing time of my life.  This was when my muscular dystrophy (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease) became very pronounced and I walked on my toes all the time. My heel never touched the floor and elementary school kids did as elementary school kids do, attributing various not-so-empowering reasonings to as to why I “walked funny”. The most awkward was the rumor that it was because I was holding in flatulence… Though I had it corrected and only partially stand on my toes today, I endured teasing and misunderstanding through middle school and most of high school. Luckily I had good friends who would actually listen to why I stood like I did, and thought nothing less of me because of it.

27. Can you drive?
Yeah, I have a license and a hatchback (I need the room to carry art supplies), though when I can, I bum rides because I’m not good with directions and I’d rather enjoy the ride than have to focus on driving. I’ve only had two accidents, the first one when I hit a tree in the dollar store parking lot, no real damage other than a few scratches to the hood, but the second time I rear-ended a truck after having to stop short behind the truck that had to stop for a car cutting through rush hour traffic. My car was totaled but no one was hurt and the guy’s truck didn’t really get damaged.

28. Are you mature?
Maturity is relative, and like my answer to #8, I’d say I can get serious when a job needs to get done, otherwise I’m pretty laid back (unless you’re being a dick, running up and down the hallway at 3 in the morning on a school night…if you lived in my dorm, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about).

29. What year were you born?
1992, my parents didn’t vote in the general presidential election because I was also born on election day :3

30. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
Not that I really prefer one over the other, but cats make better in-house pets (and I’ve always wanted a kitty to call my own :3)

31. Describe yourself physically?
6 foot and about 1 and a half inches tall, only 120 pounds. A side effect of my muscular dystrophy is that I can’t gain any muscle mass and since I have a fast metabolism I don’t have body fat. I get thrown around easily, but it’s okay because I have a cute demeanor. I’ve also shrunk about 2 inches in the past year…which is strange.

32. What would you name your first child?
I probably shouldn’t be naming my first (or any) child, they’d mostly be names like Azusa, Tooru, Fu, Chris, (you get the picture). I should stick to naming pets. But I will say this about having kids, I’d rather have a daughter to dote on, because I’ve taught children’s classes before, and boys don’t gain any common sense until around age 20 (and some still don’t). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to keep a young boy (various ages) from ramming his head into a wall. For no reason, other than he could…girls seem easier to handle and reason with (at least for me), plus it’d be less awkward (I’m a lot like Konata Izumi’s dad if I think about it).

33. What is the worst injury you’ve ever had?
I’ve broken my leg twice while simply walking. Not kidding, just walking. In August 2010, I was walking through church when what sounded like a gun shot (to me) came from my foot. Turns out that because of my muscular dystrophy, my foot was turning on itself and putting all the weight on the small bone on the outside of my left foot. After healing and returning to normal shoes, I broke it again in December 2010. I then wore a cast or a brace until May 2011, which started a series of surgeries over the summer to place pins in my foot that would prevent it from turning. Now my foot gets sore whenever the air pressure changes or when I step on a loose manhole.

34. What is your worst habit?
Procrastination, if I can get started, I’ll keep going until I finish, but that’s the problem, I’ll put off something saying “Oh, I’ll just relax for a bit, then hit that” or “I’ll have plenty of time to do it tomorrow” (I sometimes do this with anime reviews when I’d rather play games or do nothing…doing nothing is quite the past time for me).

35. Do you drink or smoke?
No, never. Smoking is like signing your death certificate, and it’s bad enough I have to breath in the second hand smoke from people on the streets (I think of it has puffing out little doses of cancer for whoever has the misfortune of being downwind). And as for drinking, I don’t have a problem with responsible drinking, but I’d rather never touch it myself. I’m already chemically dependent on caffeine :3

36. Do you have a tattoo?
Nope, and never will. Too scared of needles, and besides, who would want a permanent anything on their skin forever?

37. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Most definitely a night owl, why, in fact, I wrote this post at 3 in the morning (not kidding).

38. Have you ever slept past midday?
More than once a week…

39. Do you regret anything?
I try not to regret the past and instead learn from it, there are things I’m ashamed of, but nothing I can’t grow from.

40. Can you count the number of friends on one hand?
While I’d say I have different levels of friendship, from friends I’ll be hanging with 20 years from now to people that I converse with sometimes merely by proximity in class, I mostly definitely have more friends than I can count on my fingers.

41. Do you wear glasses?
No, I had to wear reading glasses for a month because I was getting a headache from doing test prep quizes every day in junior year, but other than that, I’m the only one in my house that doesn’t need glasses and one of the few in my whole family.

42. Are you a picky eater?
Not picky, but I get hungry in moods. By that, I mean that although I like fried chicken, sometimes I don’t want it. I’m (hypothetically) game for anything, but sometimes I only want certain things.

43. Would you die for someone?
For a certain someone, of course…

44. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I’ll take Haruhi’s power to alter reality, thank you!

45. Do you believe in the supernatural?
Not really, but it’s not like I won’t piss myself when someone else dies in Another.

46. Would you rather be rich or famous?
Rich, simply so I could easily provide for my family and feed my anime addiction.

47. Have you ever committed a crime?
I don’t think so, unless you count PIPA or SOPA-esque crimes. In which case, every damn day. (But media companies need to understand the benefit of sharing their product and the growth produced by 3rd party generated content. )

48. Pirates or ninjas? (Time traveler or ghost?) Esper or Alien?
I’ve seen enough Melancholy to confidently answer “alien”.

49. Does someone have a crush on you?
I wonder…probably not, I’m not the “dreamy” type. Though it’d be nice to know if someone could possibly have deeper-than-normal feelings for me.

50. Are you in a relationship?
Nope, never have. I don’t date really, I hate seeing the “dating culture” in America. I’ll only date someone if I feel like I could start a lifelong commitment to that person, too often I see people dating for the status. That’s not to say I haven’t had a few crushes in my life, but I’ve gotten over them. I’d much rather start a relation with a good friend than go and “pick up chicks” like I see most guys do. Though, to be honest, I’ll probably be infatuated with her for quite some time beforehand.

Take me as I am, I may not be perfect, but I'm the best me I can be!

Well, there’s some answered questions about me and then some. It’s been fun, especially the parts where I ponder my being while hopped up on narcotics :3 I’m more than happy to answer additional questions or go more in-depth on a topic if asked. This’ll probably clear up a few gender confusions I’ve seen as well (yesh, in fact I AM a guy…though very very VERY effeminate).

As far as my health goes, my surgery went off without a hitch and now I’m trying to gather my wits together so I can stay awake for an hour to review a show. I also need time to download here (not under normal connection circumstances), so I’ll get back on the regular schedule soon. I’m also wanting to make a new banner with video to go with it this week using my time off, provided a few other things can get done as well, I’ll have that ready (hopefully) by next week.

Thanks for reading and thanks again to Ace Railgun for starting this “50 Question” phenomenon, it’s been really fun and I’m sure someone is really enjoying these glimpses into anibloggers’ personal lives.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

Why it’s Hard to Admit I Love Anime (at least where I live)

I just saw that otaku run past here, let's split up and find that #^%^&!

We all have a pre-disposition as to whether or not, and how soon, we confess our obsessions to normal people in society.  That’s not to say anime/manga/VN is bad, I’m just saying it’s not the FIRST thing I tell someone (I like to make them think I’m sane before I show them the dark, twisted abyss that is my inner-mind).   But why is it so hard to get someone to take you seriously when you do serious things involving anime? I personally can’t get any serious responses from advisors at school when I tell them “animation” as a career, and that’s not even bringing up anime.

Oh? Anime? That's...uh...interesting...

In my experience, there are two general responses another person will have when you tell them you’re into anime/manga/VN (assuming they aren’t as well): the first being the playfully dodging response of “Oh, that’s neat” or “Really?”. No offenses intended, but at the same time they’d rather not get into it. They (at least somewhat) respect your hobby and respectfully wish to not discuss it, as they probably have no interest in it themselves. The second being more annoying, the condescending “What? Really!?”, “Oh mah god, that’s soooo middle school”, or “Whatever, nerd”.  While, admittedly in context, these are rational responses, I still wonder why is there such negative connotation towards something that really shouldn’t garner that kind of bad press (aside from the obvious darker side, but it’s not like mainstream media/hobbies aren’t R-rated in some ways and fashions as well).

For the (what I’m calling) “average” otaku/anime fan/manga reader/VN enthusiast, we typically keep to ourselves, occasionally sharing our pass times with others like-minded. So it would seem we shouldn’t attract such degrading responses.  But a large part of the not-so-hospitable comebacks to our hobbies, I feel, lies in the more spotlight-attracting fans of the genre.  Most often referred to as “weeaboos”, they are usually seen as the “scum of the non-Japanese, Japanese-enthusiasts”, or anyone of non-Japanese descent (i.e., European, African, Latino, etc.) who is overly obsessed with the culture of Japan, to the point where they play ignorance towards their own. I like this definition from Urban Dictionary: A non-Japanese person that either considers themselves Japanese, or wishes they were. Often confused with the word otaku which in Japanese is usually referring to a geek, while in English it usually means someone is obsessed with anime, unlike a weeaboo, who is not only obsessed with anime, but the whole entire culture. They are known to use Japanese words in the middle of English sentences, and they are hated by society. (source)

-BeldenOtaku :3

In case you’ve never read my pen-name at the bottom of each post, I go by the username “BeldenOtaku”, “Belden” being a reference to where I once lived, and “Otaku” being an obvious reference to the japanese word for “geek” (specifically, and often derogatorily aimed at, geeks obsessed with anime/manga/VN). While “otaku” carries some negative connotation in itself (and I understand why some prefer not to use it), I see it more in the way “nerd” or “geek” is used today. Only hurtful if you don’t embrace it is as a title befitting your obsession, I reference a phrase I’ve heard a bit: “Nerd and Proud”, and it seems “otaku” is the only word I can fittingly use to describe myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had “otaku” thrown at me in negative fashions before, but, as stated, if you take it as your own, you become what defines it, not letting others use it to wrongly define you.

Shirt should say "Not a Weeaboos, and Proud!"

This brings me back to the original point, why can it be so hard to admit to others I spent more time writing anime reviews than I do on an average school assignment? Maybe it comes down to the terrible nuisance that is the “weeaboos”, who give off an air of petty, narrow-minded obsession whereas I’m more centrist, understanding why people do and do not like anime/manga/VN.  Or maybe it’s just a simple culture shock, seen as unnatural to be interested in something that isn’t homegrown and socially accepted in the mainstream.  To be wrongly pre-defined is injustice and ignorant, but I’m worried if we, the rational fans and readers, are in some way partly to blame, or is there something we can do to fix this? Right now, I still don’t spend too long in the manga section of my bookstore, or openly engage anyone with Americanized anime/manga in public, for fear of being associated with someone who tarnishes what I strive to be a respectable pass-time (it may also be the social anxiety, but mostly the first thing)

What are your thoughts? It does no good for one person to ramble about it if it isn’t shared in the hearts and minds of other fans….

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

NewAnimeTwitter

Hey minna,
if you’re really observant, you’ll have noticed the twitter feed on the right-hand side of the main page.  I’ve been using my twitter account to circulate NAT posts somewhat locally to some friends, but I guess I can better utilize it like I’ve seen other bloggers do.  I’m mostly just trying it out right now, if I like it, it’ll stay, if I don’t, no harm done.

Aside from auto-tweets on new posts and reviews, I may also use it to share anime-related stuff that doesn’t necessitate a post on the NewAnimeThursday main page.  We’ll see how it goes, feel free to follow, I can’t guarentee I’ll follow you, but if you have good stuff, I may just have to (though, be warned, I don’t check twitter as much as I would, say, Facebook).

Every post needs a pic, and this way I can plug the phrase “Check out NAT on your mobilular cellphonic devices!” :3

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

A Channel….♥

Hey minna,
it’s a bit unorthodox, but, because I didn’t have anything slated for viewing today, I found myself reminiscing.  Looking through past series and updating log files, when I came across this, and felt I should share…

It’s the 4-in-1 PV for A Channel, a slice of life series that really got me into a lot of things (keeping track of series, blogging, etc.) anime-related.  And, once again, I find myself shaking with anticipation. Why? You ask… A Channel (along with new manga volumes every so often) will be having an OVA this winter.  Probably a test of the waters for a second season (that I hope and pray for).

I can’t really review A Channel thoroughly because, as denoted by my profile pic and fan art page, I’m a *teeny* bit biased in favor of it. Tooru, words can’t express my admiration for this character. Run-chan, funniest airhead I’ve ever seen, and I typically don’t like airheads. Nagi, smart, level-headed….well, usually. And the bombshell, Yuuko, while (in my opinion) not as adorable as Tooru, she is still a klutzy, but cute character to be fond of.

Whether it be singing karaoke, running home in spite of the rain, taking a trip to the beach, or just surviving school, these girls are okay so long as they have each other. This made the ending all the more touching when Tooru becomes distraught at the thought that Run, Yuuko, and Nagi, all a year older than her, will soon be leaving her…

Again, sorry that this isn’t to my regular style of writing, but I felt a little background was due on my part.  So, now you know my deepest obsession, I hope one day you’ll join me in eating, sleeping, and breathing A Channel :3 which has enough media to keep even the most discerning fanboy happy, from extras and music tracks to plushies and coffee mugs.

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I desperately need a second season, but an OVA is a nice step in the right direction. Fingers crossed, prayers said….now, wait…….is it here yet?

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku