A Call for Questions

A number of years ago, a Japanese girl named Yurika Kino (currently a 19-year-old student living and working in Tokyo) spent part of the summer with our family as part of an international exchange program. She visited our family again recently, and when we got the chance to reconnect, I found out she’s a fan of anime. I decided this would be a good opportunity to interview an actual Japanese anime fan, since there isn’t much opportunity for the English speaking fandom to directly interact with Japanese fandom. I figured my listeners might have some questions they’d be interested in hearing the answers to, so I’m putting up a post for you to submit questions to be asked in an upcoming episode of Third Seat by the Window. Just leave a comment if you have a question you’d like asked, or if you’d prefer to ask more privately, shoot a message to my gmail at daladybugman.

Update: The recording date has been set for June 13th, so get any questions in before then!

Scum’s Wish: The Treason of the Artist

When rereading Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” for my first Philosophy and Psycho-Pass post, I rediscovered a quote from it that stuck with me the first time I read it and that stuck with me again: “The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”

Why do I bring this up? Well, because it’s basically impacted the way I’ve viewed Kuzu no Honkai, AKA Scum’s Wish, which as of this writing, is five episodes into its anime run. This Le Guin quote is basically the antithesis of Scum’s Wish, a show whose thesis is basically “Pain and suffering are tragically beautiful.” While most people have been praising Scum’s Wish (and rightfully so, as it’s a very well-produced show), I’ve been hesitant to do so. Read More

In Which Buggy Writes A “Best Anime of 2016” Clickbait Article

Sometimes you write things because you have something insightful or meaningful to say. But sometimes you write something that you know everyone else always writes and that you know people are still going to click on for the sole purpose of hoping you reinforce their own opinions. And you feel a little shame at selling out so. But you write it anyway because it’s fun to write and sometimes you just have to write something for you, goddammit.

This one’s a post about my favorite (and least favorite) anime of 2016 and you can bet your ass I’m writing it to satisfy me and me alone. Read More

Anime is not Anime

Fairly recently, a debate broke out in the anime community after moderators on Reddit’s r/anime board banned discussion of the music video for Porter Robinson’s “Shelter” on the grounds that, despite being animated by a Japanese studio (A-1 Pictures), it’s “not anime” because of an American creator’s involvement. This upset many people who saw no reason not to define it as anime, and the whole “what exactly is anime” argument broke out again.

I think I’ve come to a pretty clear stance on where I draw the line that everyone’s trying to discuss (anime is an animated product in which culturally Japanese creators have the biggest influence), but I’m actually going to take another stance in addition to this: anime is not just anime. Read More

MeganeToast Episode 2: If Her Flag Breaks

Chris and Buggy break down as they attempt to break down Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara, AKA If Her Flag Breaks, AKA Gaworare in this episode of MeganeToast. They’ve seen this abomination 7 times between the two of them and they still haven’t figured out what the plot is or how the flag system works. Or even what to use as the title of the show. Also, Buggy’s a bit intoxicated throughout the entire episode, but, I mean…can you really blame him? Read More

A Year of Podcasting

It started simply enough. I was excited for the premiere of Digimon Adventure Tri and was reminiscing with my friend Chris about the first season. I made a pretty straightforward suggestion: “Hey, Chris…do you want to try a podcast?”

“Hell yeah, I do,” was his response. I then extended the invitation to some friends on Facebook to get another cohost or two, and got a few responses. We hastily through something together, and on October 26, 2015, after adrenaline pushed me through a weekend filled with recording and editing, I published the first episode of The Digicast on YouTube.

It’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since then. In that time, we’ve put out 8 episodes of The Digicast, 7 episodes of Third Seat by the Window (5 as “The Bugcast,” with one of those being a special anniversary episode), 1 episode of MeganeToast (with the second one on the way soon), 2 experimental live episodes of Dropped!, and 2 guest spots on other podcasts. That’s 20 podcasts in the space of a year, which is way more than I thought we’d put out. And when I say “we” put out those episodes, I mean it, because, while I’m technically the guy running the ship for all these (except for the guest spots, obviously), I’ve done none of it alone. Read More

Special 1 – The Bugcast Episode 0

It’s been one year since Buggy and Chris started podcasting, so to commemorate it, Buggy has finally edited that one episode he should have put out before anything else and released it now, in all its amateur, low-quality, awkward glory. If you’ve ever wondered how they’d answer the “5 of your favorite anime/3 anime you hate” question they ask all their guests, this is the podcast for you. Read More

So Why Anime, Then?

In the anime Twitter sphere I’m a part of, there’s been a lot of discussion lately about animation. More specifically, about the role animation should play in the evaluation of anime. Some people whose opinions I respect have posited that, since it is the element that separates anime from other media, it is inherently the most valuable. And honestly, I don’t personally value it all that much. It’s not that I think it’s valueless. It’s just that how well something is animated isn’t often primary, secondary, or even tertiary to me. And yet anime is still my favorite medium, which forces me to confront an important question:

“So why anime, then?”

For me, what makes anime good isn’t the elements that are exclusive to it. It’s elements that aren’t exclusive to anime combined or executed in ways that are nearly exclusive to the medium. I don’t think “anime” as we define it can simply boiled down to one or two elements, so it’s not just one or two elements of anime that I love.

So why anime? I guess this is as good a time as any to break out listicle format. But don’t worry, it’s not like I’m going to call this post “The Top 5 Reasons I Love Anime (Number 4 Will Blow Your Mind)” or anything. Read More

The Lain Test

In that lull between the Spring and Summer 2016 anime seasons, in which the old shows are ending but the new ones have not yet begun, I took the opportunity to finally watch Serial Experiments Lain. Now, Lain is a fantastic show, but it’s one that’s incredibly dense, surreal, and confusing, and I found it hard to watch more than one episode at a time. However, it’s one that I kept wanting to return to regularly. Then, when the new shows started airing and most of them were bad, I found myself partway through the episode thinking “I could be watching Serial Experiments Lain right now instead of wasting my time with this drivel.” I shot a few tweets off expressing this sentiment, the idea got picked up and used as a discussion point and episode title on the Anime Insiders Podcast, so I guess now the Lain Test is a thing that I want to try to flesh out a bit more. Read More

A Love Letter to Mafuyu

WARNING: this post will be NSFW. The writer has attempted to lean away from it as much as possible, but due to both the subject matter and the character featured, discussion of sexuality is unavoidable. It will contain links, images, and text related to sex. You will likely find it weird, awkward, and a little uncomfortable. Your opinions of the writer may be tarnished. If any of these things are things you don’t wish to see, please turn back now.

Falling in love is weird and painful. Falling in love with a fictional character is really weird and really painful. But there are few things as painful or as weird as falling in love with a character from animated pornography. Read More