Bugshrugs: 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. Continue reading “Bugshrugs: Anime is not Anime”

Third Seat by the Window Episode 3: We Talked About Light Novels So We Chose an Obnoxiously Long Episode Title?!

Buggy and Chris are joined by J-Novel Club’s Sam Pinansky, who shares his experiences with the light novel industry and why he launched the site. Continue reading “Third Seat by the Window Episode 3: We Talked About Light Novels So We Chose an Obnoxiously Long Episode Title?!”

Spiral Radio Episode 1 – Monogatari Part 1: Kizu Genesis

What do you do when a highly acclaimed series that you should theoretically love doesn’t click with you? Is there some flaw in the series? Is the problem with you? And most importantly: if you try to approach the series again, this time with an open mind and determination to finally get the appeal, will you finally be able to love it? Andrew “Buggy” Koerner explores these questions and more in the debut episode of Spiral Radio. Continue reading “Spiral Radio Episode 1 – Monogatari Part 1: Kizu Genesis”

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? Continue reading “MeganeToast Episode 2: If Her Flag Breaks”

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. Continue reading “Special 1 – The Bugcast Episode 0”

Digicast 8: There’s No Such Thing as 2 (Tri Part 3)

Buggy, Tom, Chris, and Maduin run the full gauntlet of emotions regarding the third part of Digimon Adventure Tri. Also, they manage to go an episode without any tangents, so long as you politely overlook the ones on Kingdom Hearts voice actors and how the rest of the world feels about America’s role in WWII.

Continue reading “Digicast 8: There’s No Such Thing as 2 (Tri Part 3)”

Third Seat by the Window Episode 2: A Hole in the Water

Buggy and Chris are joined by Amphituber to talk about the horror genre in anime and to try to get to the bottom of why exactly it has a reputation of sucking. Continue reading “Third Seat by the Window Episode 2: A Hole in the Water”

Bugshrugs: 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. Continue reading “Bugshrugs: So Why Anime, Then?”

Digicast Episode 7: The Horny Episode (Tamers Part 1)

Buggy, Tom, Chris, and Maduin return once again to cover the first part of one of their favorite seasons of Digimon. You probably shouldn’t listen to this episode, though. Like, seriously. It’s really horrible and depraved, even by our standards. Unless you want to hear us talk about pegging, fisting, and furry loli yuri as we discuss a show aimed at kids. But hey, momentai! Saying momentai means we’re off the hook, right? Continue reading “Digicast Episode 7: The Horny Episode (Tamers Part 1)”

The Writer’s Guide to Anime: Darker than Black and “Show, Don’t Tell”

One piece of advice that writers are very frequently told is “show, don’t tell.” Inexperienced writers have a tendency to explicitly tell a reader information, which at best makes a read feel dry and at worst can feel condescending. They are instead often encouraged to show that information instead, or convey the information without flat-out stating it. To give an example: “Bob was sad when he read Alice’s letter” is telling. Showing would be more along the lines of “Bob’s hands shook as he read Alice’s letter. Her words became harder and harder to make out as he fought back tears.” The first example just tells you Bob is sad. The second also tells you he’s sad, but it shows it through how he reacts rather than just stating it.

Darker than Black isn’t a masterpiece by any means. However, one thing that’s always impressed me about it is how it handled worldbuilding. In worldbuilding, so many works will fall into the “telling” trap by awkwardly shoehorning in an explanation of how things work so that the audience understands. This is usually done through the use of a newcomer to the world (or someone who’s more removed from it and is consequently inexperienced) who acts as an audience surrogate for a mentor to explain things to. It’s something that I’ve seen in so many fantasy series. Darker than Black, however (at least the first season; I’ll get to S2 later), manages to avoid using those archetypes and manages to drop you into a world in a way that feels completely natural just by showing you how it works rather than telling you. Continue reading “The Writer’s Guide to Anime: Darker than Black and “Show, Don’t Tell””