The fun I had last week …

Manga: I watched a Youtube video about “Shonen Anime’s Biggest Problem”, and while I agree with the core idea that power escalation is a huge problem for battle-focused shonen stories, and that making the fights bigger and more badass is meaningless without finding believable emotional stakes … Yeah, well, but I am mostly struck by just how few shonen titles people even know these days! And yet they try to make sweeping generalizations about the genre of shonen battle manga. In this video, there’s an attempt made to lump shonen manga in three sort of groups: first wave, second wave and third wave. Not only does he basically claim that Hunter X Hunter isn’t really part of any “wave”, being ~too unique, a ~deconstruction. He also shows a picture of Yu Yu Hakusho alongside Dragonball (as “first wave”), implying that he believes this to be another generic old shonen manga that just throws bigger and bigger enemies at the heroes, without depth or self-examination. Which is simply ludicrous! In YYH, Togashi already did many of the things he’d later do again in HxH, things that newbies today consider to be ~unlike anything that’s ever been done in shonen manga~.

It’s kind of sad how Rurouni Kenshin is never talked about in these videos or written analyses. It’d blow their minds! Because Kenshin is genuinely atypical in many ways, but it’s still a classic, famous and successful Jump manga. But … it doesn’t have a recent anime adaptation that can be watched on Crunchyroll, so it simply doesn’t exist for today’s crop of “shonen experts”.

Anyway, I just automatically lose respect for people when they say Hunter X Hunter is “not really a shonen manga” but a “deconstruction”. HxH is a shonen manga, and like many other shonen manga before, it plays with the reader’s expectations and comes up with a couple of surprising new takes on familiar tropes. That doesn’t mean it’s no longer a shonen manga, it just means it’s a good one. But that’s what happens if your entire shonen horizon begins at Bleach and ends at Naruto, and DBZ memes: you don’t know what you’re talking about.

I don’t know a lot of shonen manga myself, which is why I try to avoid blanket statements about the category as a whole. I don’t want to embarass myself, mostly.

Videogames: I am still busy with RPG Maker Fes. This week, I finally learned how to use variables to create a sidequest. I really find it oddly relaxing to think within logical commands. Obviously, it’s challenging and requires concentration and figuring things out, but it’s a kind of concentration that relaxes and satisfies me. At least … if it works. Sometimes I regret that Mathematics and numbers never clicked with me, because there’s something nice about their order and precision, quite different from the diffuse chaos of words.

TV: I don’t know what came over me, but I binge-watched Doctor Who‘s tenth season this weekend. I hadn’t watched any Doctor Who in years and really had no interest whatsoever. But … it was actually quite nice! I like Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, and I really like Bill as a companion, and it’s kind of funny I get attached to them now that the season and their time on the show is basically over, haha. Hmm. The thing is, I really like the stand-alone episodes of Doctor Who, but whenever it goes for complex and longer story arcs, I put up some kind of inner resistence, and don’t connect with it so well. I wonder why that is. Maybe I just like things low-key.

I generally really like stories where normal people get drawn into something supernatural and weird, with creative, unusual monsters or alien threats. Some of my favourite bits of 3×3 Eyes essentially did this in combination with a POV shift, so you also get to see the main characters from the perspective of a clueless newcomer. One famous example of this occurs right after the timeskip, when “Pai” has lost her memory and lives as a normal schoolgirl, until creepy puppets try to kidnap her and a strange young man claims to know her from a past life. And that’s Yakumo, our protagonist! (I love Yakumo.) And the creepy puppets are like something out of a Doctor Who episode, totally, especially when their backstory is revealed … and ultimately it’s about humanity and stuff. Aww.




The fun I had last week … lazy edition

Hey, I did it! I wrote three long-ish blog posts in the past week. This here’s technically a fourth, but I don’t think it counts since it’s just rambling. I’m really tired, so this is probably going to be a short post anyway.

Watching the opening of the new Duck Tales TV show makes me really nostalgic. Not necessarily even for the old TV show, but all those comics! I know it wasn’t a thing in the USA, but in several European countries, Disney comics were big. And they were wonderful. I think the next rainy weekend afternoon will be spend bingereading Don Rosa’s The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck …

Despite the fact I have a lot of unread manga waiting on my shelf! Reports of an upcoming Pluto anime has reminded me of the fact I still haven’t finished reading the manga. I should probably do that, too. But we’ll see when I get around to that …

I’m still making my way though Dragon Quest VII. I don’t think I’ll finish it in time for Ever Oasis, but I’m confident that I won’t take too long now. And I’m happy with my progress. I actually did a little bit of mini medal collecting and stuff like that, even though that does not advance the story and is therefore technically a waste of time (if you’re trying to finish a game quickly). But it’s much more fun to play more leasurely and not always be 100% focused on the next goal.

I have not really kept up with E3 news! I know that Hironobu Sakaguchi is going to reveal a new Mistwalker game next week, and that Nobuo Umatsu is involved, so that’s something I am curious about. Some artwork has been teased so far … Oh well, just a few days left.

Saturday Ramble

I must apologize for the lack of updates during the past week. I really wanted to blog more, I even had a bunch of ideas, but ultimately lacked the energy or motivation to sit down and write. Or even do the necessary thinking and wondering. :( I blame it on … work and the weather. Well, that sounds boring, but it’s absolutely true! No kidding: Yesterday I couldn’t find my keys in my handbag because my fingers were so cold that I had no sensation in my tips! I guess my body isn’t made for -15°C.

I watched Moana – or Vaiana, as it’s known in Europe for copyright reasons. I really liked the movie, and I’m impressed with how thematically coherent it is. Even the songs all kind of tied into the film’s themes. Just … the obvious contrast between Where You Are and How Far I’ll Go, and how  – spoilers! – at the end, these two songs (together with We Know The Way) are combined into one song and it’s just satisfying. That’s exactly how songs should be used in musicals! (And Shiny is the greatest Disney villain song, and be it just because Tamatoa doesn’t stop singing his song just because he starts kicking the heroes’ ass. It’s brilliant … no pun intended.)

I haven’t really advanced far with the videogames I’ve been playing. (I am considering the theory that this unusually cold and snowy winter is the universe trying to tell me to finish I Am Setsuna.) But even though the actual playing of videogames has been neglected, I still feel good about myself because I managed to find our old SNES console, and have started to repair the old, broken controllers – with great enthusiasm! There is something satisfying about taking things apart and putting them back together!! This is the sort of thing I should have discovered as a teenager, so that it could have set myself off into entirely different directions, on completely different career paths …! Anyway, I took apart one controller, cleaned it thoroughly, fixed the broken R key (without glueing anything to myself! That’s a first!) and put it back together.

Anyway … I still want to try and stick a three-posts-a-week schedule, so I hope I’ll manage to get over this slump, and into a rhythm.





Status report!

How do people find the time to blog during the week? I barely find time to do the things I would blog about if I found the time to blog about what I found time to blog about during the week.

What I mean to say is that it will probably still be a while until I can make another Bravely Second post. It’s SUCH a great game, but I’m taking my time with it now. I’ve reached this phase of … just wanting to do stuff. Upgrade equipment, do sidequests, master abilities. I love this game, it is so, so good! ;___; (88 hours played)

I love Gloryhammer. Just … watch … listen!I regret that I don’t know enough people who can appreciate the brilliance.