Inquiring Minds Want To Know #35: What do you think of Chinese Co-Productions?

Another week and another fantastic question. I’m still seeking questions to keep this series going a little longer so if you have something you want to know, be sure to fill in the simple survey below and I will definitely get to it.

Question: What do you think about Chinese co-productions? Do you think they’re necessary for anime to reach a global community? From Aria

bloodivores3

I honestly haven’t given much thought to co-productions either between Japan and China or Japan and America or Japan and anywhere else for the simple reason that I like stories when they are told well so I’m more concerned with the quality and entertainment of the finished product than who may or may not have been involved in its production. However, after getting this question and thinking it over, I have to admit, a lot of the shows I know to have been Chinese co-productions have been very rough around the edges (even Spiritpact which I ended up thoroughly enjoying).

That said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the idea of co-productions. I love anime for the wide variety of stories it tells and different ways it presents them and co-productions bringing in different people from different backgrounds and cultures seems like a great way to ensure the medium continues to include a large variety of ideas. Whether or not individual co-production efforts have yielded anything good is a subjective discussion and it is kind of like discussing whether live action anime adaptations are good or bad because there will be a lot of different opinions and sure there’s plenty of evidence of ones that don’t work but occasionally there’s one that does and there’s hope that going forward they’ll improve.

As to the second part of the question, I don’t believe they are necessary for anime to reach a global community but I do think that money coming into the animation industry from outside of Japan may very well help long term given we all know there are issues in the industry and co-productions can certainly help with distribution of a title. There’s plenty of benefits from collaborating and very few benefits from assuming the closed position some anime purists might that anime much be produced in Japan by Japanese people.

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Another great question and as I always, I’d love to know the thoughts of my readers so be sure to let me know in the comments below what you think of Chinese Co-Productions. And if you have a question for me, be sure to fill in the survey below. 


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #34: How did you decide on your avatar?

Another week and another fantastic question. I’m still seeking questions to keep this series going a little longer so if you have something you want to know, be sure to fill in the simple survey below and I will definitely get to it.

Question: Perhaps someone asked this at one point, but how did you decide on your avatar? Did you draw it yourself, and does that reflect in any way what you look like? From Moyatori

horriblesubs-inu-x-boku-secret-service-04-720p-mkv_snapshot_04-20_2012-02-03_22-04-52

I think I’ve mentioned it somewhere before on my blog, but my avatar is just kind of there. Honestly, I didn’t expect my blog to last very long so I didn’t put a lot of thought into it when I started. I’d previously been trying to discuss anime with people in the Crunchyroll forums (with incredibly limited success) but one day someone started a thread for people to create an anime version of themselves and post it. I don’t even remember what I used to create the avatar but she’s designed to look like a cuter version  (much, much, much cuter version) of me when I was in my teens.

The colour of the hair and clothing is pretty accurate but the eye colour is way too bright as mine are closer to blue-grey or blue-green and pretty pale. The chin is too pointy and the nose is well just totally wrong. I like the accessories she’s wearing in her hair and her necklace because they kind of fit with what I was going for as a teen, though they are a little bit dated for me nowadays.

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I actually really liked how it turned out though as I’ve thought more and more about making my blog a full time thing, I’ve started to think I need something designed specifically for the blog (if for no other reason other than not being sure about whether or not I’m supposed to be using that image the way I do). And that is why I set up the account with Ko-Fi as my goal with that is to have enough to commission some art that is made for the purpose of the blog.

I think if I ever do reach the goal and look at getting an avatar made specifically for the blog, I’d probably like her to look a little bit older (I am in my thirties after-all) and while the book is a cute prop, it really doesn’t have anything to do with being an anime blog. There’s also a specific style pendant I’d love to have included as I wear it almost continuously.

On that note, if you are or happen to know someone who is looking for an art commission, I’d love it if you could pass their name along and some samples of work because it is something I really would like my banner, logo, and profile pic to all kind of look like they were designed purposefully and not just kind of thrown together. While I’m not at a point where I can pay for this yet, I’m working on it so research is always good.

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This was a great question and as always I’d love to know about my readers as well. So, how did you decide on your avatars?


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #33: What do you think of live action adaptations of anime?

Thanks to everyone who responded to the question drive but if you didn’t get a question in, remember you can still fill in the survey at the end of the post or use the link in the sidebar to send me a question. This week we get a very timely question and I really enjoyed going back and thinking about some of the live action adaptations I’ve watched since becoming a blogger.

Question: What do you think of live action (dramas or movies) adaptions of anime? Any favourites? from Rise

Netflix Live Action Bleach

I’m going to be perfectly honest here, live action adaptations of anime have an incredibly patchy history and a fairly well deserved reputation for being less than stellar. The Dragonball Evolution isn’t just a poor adaptation of the source material, its just a terrible movie to have to endure watching.

Still, that isn’t every adaptation. Okay, the Full Metal Alchemist adaptation wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible.Ghost in the Shell worked well enough for me but that’s probably because I’m not a fan of the anime in the first place and just took it as a generic sci-fi kind of movie and it succeeded at that. Death Note angered me at first and then I detached my expectations from the anime and realised that as a cheap horror movie it could work just fine so got over it, but none of these have really stuck.

DeathNote5

That actually leaves me with two live action adaptations I really enjoyed just because they were really enjoyable and not because I looked for some positives amongst a mess of an adaptation.

The first is Erased the series. I really enjoyed seeing this story brought to life and feel they did a great job of it. I know the live action is based more off the anime so most of the changes between the anime and the live action are more because the anime veered off course, but I actually feel from a plot point of view the live action is stronger. I still really love the anime but I prefer the ending as presented in the live action series.

Erased2

The second is one that just came out and that is Bleach. Given how incredibly on the fence I was about the idea of a Bleach movie and the fact that I went in really expecting to be severely disappointed, this movie actually put my concerns to rest and delivered what is a fairly decent movie in its own right and probably the best kind of adaptations I could have hoped for. It remains true enough to the feel of the anime that what I loved about the franchise is recognisable but it makes sufficient changes to sit relatively comfortable as a movie. It really is just good fun and one I definitely recommend.

Bleach Netflix Live Action

Thanks for the question this week and I’d love to know what my readers think and what some of your favourite live action adaptations of anime are (or if you hate them). Please leave me a comment and remember if you have a question for me you can simply complete the survey below.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Full Metal Alchemist the Sacred Star of Milos Art Book

Inquiring Minds Want To Know #32 – Favourite English Dubs?

And this week we have another question from Naru. Reminder, you can use the link in the sidebar or click here to go to the survey if you have a question for Karandi.

Question: What are some of your favourite English dubs? from Naru

Steins;Gate2

This one was actually a really easy question to answer because there aren’t many anime where I would actually say I like the English dub (of course I don’t watch a lot of dubbed anime so that limits the options). Of the anime I do watch dubbed my favourite is probably Steins;Gate. This isn’t just because the characters talk so often and quickly that the subs can sometimes take up a fair chunk of the screen, but they’ve just done a great job of really injecting personality into each and every performance and the English cast are absolutely great to listen to.

Another anime I really like the dubbed version of is Ghost Hunt. That’s probably because the dubbed was the only version I had access to originally and by the time I saw it subbed I was already used to the voices and translations in the dubbed version and I ended up kind of disliking the subs.

Though one anime where I just enjoy the English because I do, is Darker Than Black. This makes it an anime I regularly introduce non-anime fans to because I’ll happily watch it in English. I think it is Kate Oxley who does the English voice of Kirihara and she does an absolutely amazing job.

GHunt1

Those are my picks for dubbed anime that I quite like but I’d love to know what some of your favourite English dubs are so please share in the comments below. And remember, if you have a question for me click here.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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An Update on Patreon

Yuri on Ice Episode 5

Earlier today I celebrated reaching 10,000 views in a month on my blog. This was such an exciting milestone to reach and one I’m incredibly happy about. But it made me reflect on what is actually next for the blog.

Over the past year and a half (since deciding to try monetising the blog) it has occurred to me that I am really bad at selling myself. Okay, I already knew that given I’ve previously described myself as a ‘mostly functional human being’ in a job interview or words to that affect, but it has occurred to me how contradictory I am being. On the one hand, I really want my blog to end up being something full time and not a hobby which means I need to sell myself as a writer but on the other hand explicitly promoting my Patreon always feels pushy.

The occasional tweet reminder and the small button at the bottom of posts is usually about all I really do to promote my Patreon page because any other time when I go to write something I just think it sounds like I’m being obnoxious. And if you find it obnoxious, I’m going to warn you, now is the time to bail out of this post because what this post is going to be is an outline as to why I feel people should become Patrons of 100 Word Anime, a thanks to those who have been patrons, and a look toward the future.

So, full disclosure and no trying to sneak in a sales pitch. This is a sales pitch for my blog and hopefully you stick around to read it.

Cells at Work Episode 8

Why Should You Become a Patron?

Every person will have a slightly different reason as to why they will decide to become someone’s patron, but the shared idea is that they feel the content is worth supporting. However, I am going to be specific and lay out the reasons why I feel it is worth your time becoming a patron of my blog by the end of September:

01. By becoming a patron for even $1 per month, you will gain access to patron only posts that are currently password protected. While there aren’t as many of these as I would have liked for this year with sickness and a few other issues making it harder to do extra content,  there’s still a fair amount of content that you will gain instant access to. This includes some audio blogs, episode reviews of Darling in the Franxx and the currently airing Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi, and my so far only video review for Darling in the Franxx (both the first and second versions of it).

While that isn’t an amazing amount of content, it is a growing pool of content created for patrons as a thanks for helping me to achieving my goal of one day being a full time anime blogger and looking at other forms of content other than written (even if written content will remain my primary focus). While working full time and maintaining my usual content takes a lot of my time, I’m going to keep working to increase output for patrons to help them feel that they are getting a little something back for their support.

The other part of being a patron is that should you wish to have a say on content (a particular show you would like to be reviewed for patrons during the season) being a patron gives you access to this. The Summer season didn’t have any requests so there isn’t a title being reviewed for patrons only, but as we enter the Autumn season we will see if anything gets suggested.

Franxx19d

02. The second reason for signing up to be a patron by the end of September is because all of my patrons have been offered a PDF version of the book Thoughts on Anime 2017, and anyone who becomes a patron before the end of September this year and maintains their status as a patron until at least the end of December (so $4 total if you pledge $1 a month), will have access to 2017’s book immediately after September and the second release, Thoughts on Anime 2018 in PDF form which will be released in January and already has much more content packed into it than last year’s release. Seriously, it needs an edit but it is already topping 200,000 words and contains my features, top 5’s, episode and series reviews for 2018 to date and will also have some small amount of totally new content added in once I’ve got it into a state that doesn’t make me want to delete it.

Thoughts on Anime

03. If you happen to pledge more than $1 a month, you start opening up access to requests for post topics, guest posts for your own blog, or requested reviews of streaming anime where each episode review will include a link to your blog as the person who has requested it. While none of these are amazing rewards, it does give you increased access to control over the content on 100 Word Anime. I’m also fairly open to discussion about what else could be offered to patrons so if you think of something you would like as a reward let me know via my contact page or a DM on Twitter.

If you want to know all the reward levels, be sure to check them out on Patreon. And again, if you want to negotiate your own reward I’m very happy to discuss.

I am aware that many people out there are struggling and while they might like to be patrons it just isn’t possible. I’m very grateful for all my readers and the support you give the blog through visiting and reading content, your likes and comments, and making me feel like a welcome member of the community.

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A Million Thank-Yous

Now, I know some of my Patrons aren’t listed and some of the links need updating. Part of this is because some patrons have chosen to remain anonymous and part of it is because I haven’t got the current link or name the patron wants to list. However, I want all of my patrons to know how much I appreciate you. Over the past year I’ve started closing in on that first goal of $50 a month and I am definitely continuing to work on developing more content for you. As always, if you have suggestions of things you would like to see on the blog or improvements I could make, message me. I value your input greatly and I want 100 Word Anime to be a blog you enjoy.

And, if you are a patron and you are missing from the list below, or your link is wrong (and you didn’t ask to be anonymous), please contact me. I will update the about page and ensure your links are accurate and I also want to add links into the sidebar of my blog for my patrons so I want to make sure they are correct. I’m going to contact you sometime this month requesting an image you would like associated with your link so that I can put this together. If you continue to not want to be listed, that’s also fine.

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The Future

As we continue on this blogging journey, I’m continuing to work to improve the blog and ensure there is content people want to read on it. When I reach that first target of $50 a month, I am aiming to ensure that patrons gain access to video content on a semi-regular basis in addition to the normal blog content.  At $100 I am going to remove WordAds and minimise all other advertising on the blog. Should I actually make it to $500 a month, the goal is to produce to video posts every month in addition to existing content, as at that stage I will be able to step back in my role at my day job and focus more on blogging.

Looking beyond that point is hard because I’m not really sure how long it will take to get there. Still with reaching the 10,000 view goal, I really feel positive that I can achieve this. I do know that whatever direction the blog goes in, I’m going to continue to work hard to make it the best it can be. If I were to look really far into the future when the blog was actually a full time job I’d certainly be looking to take on other writers at some point in order to expand the range of anime covered here. However that is a very distant future goal (or feels like it at this point).

Cells at Work Episode 8

For those who made it to the end of the post, thanks for your time and thanks for listening to my sales pitch. As always, you can use the links below to support the blog by becoming a patron, buying me coffee, or you can make a one off donation into PayPal.

Let’s have fun discussing anime now and into the future.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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100 Word Anime Hits 10,000 View Milestone in August

So, way back when I started this blog in May 2016, I don’t think I ever really imagined reaching 10,000 views ever, let alone in a single month. However, as my followers grew in number I began to think maybe it would be possible, one day. So at my first anniversary, I set the goal: 10,000 views in one month. That said, the closest I ended up getting was 9600 views in January and that was the highest month of my second year of blogging (still really happy about that one). So imagine my surprise when I noticed my stats in August leaning in the direction of 10,000 views.

Realising that without a little bit of a push I would once again fall short, I turned to twitter and asked for a little bit of a hand. Thanks to everyone who responded and helped share content over the last few days. I really appreciate you helping me to achieve this goal. With two hours to spare for the last day of the month, I finally hit the 10,000 view mark.

View Count

I can’t tell you how excited that makes me as I watch my blog continue to grow. However, what I value more than this arbitrary number I decided upon, is the interaction it has brought. So to celebrate this milestone, I want to thank each of my followers and those who visit my blog. Unfortunately, I just can’t do individual thank-yous for every single follower. Hopefully you will accept a big thank-you to you all and know how happy I am to be a part of this community.

thank you

However I would like to do some shout outs to those who have commented or shared my posts in the past month. I know I’ll have missed some people and a few are missing because their comment tracks back to an email address rather than their blog, but know that I thank you as well for visiting my blog, for taking the time to read my ramblings, and for joining me in a conversation around anime. Hopefully you continue to enjoy the content and continue to want to talk anime with me because I certainly love this part of the community.

That said, a special shout out to Raistlin: my number one commenter pretty much every month and all round great guy. If you’ve been following my twitter you know that in four days time we’ve got something special cooked up so keep your eyes peeled for it.

Also, a special shout out to Arthifis. Not only an amazing blogger, but someone who has given back to the community. I don’t doubt that I hit this target this month because I employed a number of his tips for helping your blog come up in searches and I know that August had almost as many search engine finds as reader finds. Thanks so much for sharing with the community.

The Master of Ragnarok Episode 8

If you don’t follow any of the people below, be sure to drop by. They are all fantastic members of the community and I am so happy that I’ve met them through blogging. And yes, I know I’m inconsistent in using the name of the blog or the person, but I didn’t prewrite this post because I didn’t want to jinx hitting the target so I’ve had a very short editing period for this post.

✨The Flying Tofu  ✨Mel in Anime Land ✨Tiny Ugly Animal✨ BlazTavern✨ Shadowlight’s Blog ✨Edgy Anime Teen ✨Daiyamanga✨ Write Thoughts✨ ShoujoRamen✨ Derek L✨ Lone Wolf93✨ BiblioNyan ✨MoeGamer ✨Arsene Lucifer✨ Neetaku86✨ Irina ✨RossiRoad✨ Umai Yomu Anime Blog ✨MIB ✨The Spooky Red Head✨ LilyPandaBlog ✨Crow’s World of Anime ✨Merlin’s Musings ✨ Weeabros✨ Amelia ✨Jon Spencer  ✨Satired of Anime✨ Matt Doyle Wretched and Divine ✨Aria✨ Kapodaco✨ AnimeSunday ✨My Fujoshi Life✨ The Lost Voice ✨The Fullmetal Narcissist✨ Animehead’s Retroworld ✨The Geek Astronaut✨ Galvanic✨ Xenodude ✨The Moyatorium ✨Luminous Mongoose ✨KingDylBagBlog ✨Scott ✨Lesley’s Anime Blog ✨Sakuras Galleria ✨Average Joe✨ Cactus Matt ✨Negative Primes

Cells at Work - Episode 2 - Platelets

The thing about reaching a goal though is I now have to set a new one. One friend suggested that given the scale now goes up to 20,000 that should be my aim. I’m pretty sure the look I gave him spoke volumes. And really, I don’t think my goal at this point is about more views per month (though that would be great), but it is more about ensuring that people who view my site enjoy the content and get involved. On that note, I’ll have an update on my Patreon out later today.

Still, just for now, I’m going to bask in having achieved something that always just seemed out of reach and have now made a reality (with a lot of help from everyone). It kind of makes me want to reach further and see how far I can go and I hope you will all come on this journey with me.

Fireworks.gif


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #31 – Terrible Anime That You Like?

Reminder, you can use the link in the sidebar or click here to go to the survey if you have a question for Karandi.

Question: What are some of your favourite anime that you know are terrible? from Naru

King's Game Episode 3

I think I’m pretty honest about the fact that I have a very weird preference for bad horror stories (regardless of whether they are anime or not). As such, anime like King’s Game, which is objectively terrible no matter which attribute you choose to look at (music, characters, plot, pacing), I actually find really enjoyable even as I will happily criticise them.

Then again, I’m a huge Sailor Moon fan from the original series with its original dub and I think if I’m honest there’s a lot that could easily be criticised about that series as well. I have no intention of doing so because Sailor Moon is awesome and I will love it forever, but I don’t know that it would actually hold up under any kind of critical analysis given it has a repetitive episodic plot structure for most of the first season, characters who literally get power ups just because they need them, and relies on a power of friendship ending to defeat the bad guy. Yeah, not exactly compelling writing and yet despite all of that it works.

Finally, I’d have to throw Inu x Boku SS in this list. I just finished a rewatch of it (as it is one of my go to shows when I’m awake in the middle of the night and can’t sleep – two or three episodes later I usually manage to crash again). For all that I like Ririchiyo as the main character, the story is really not good and there’s some fairly questionable characterisation for most of the cast if you think about it (the whole show works better if you switch your brain off and just let it roll over you).

Ultimately, I watch anime for fun so even if a story isn’t particularly good, or even if some element of the anime isn’t well done, provided I’m still enjoying myself I’ll happily watch. Horror anime, few and far between though they are, almost always tick the box for enjoyment even if they aren’t good. Supernatural anime have to be particularly bad before I’ll drop them. And I’ll try most isekai anime even though the majority end up being decidedly average. Bad isn’t as much an issue for me as feeling unengaged by the subject matter.

King's Game Episode 11

I am now going to turn this over to my readers and ask you for some of your favourite terrible anime. However, this is the last question in my backlog so if you have a question you would like answered in the inquiring minds series, please use the link in the sidebar or click here to go to the survey. Looking forward to the next round of questions.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #30 – Thoughts on anime influencers?

Reminder, you can use the link in the sidebar or click here to go to the survey if you have a question for Karandi.

Question: I wanted to ask your thoughts about anime influencers in the community. I’m certain some are good people, but do you think the status sometimes impairs their vision? From ShirayukiX

Food Wars6

To be perfectly honest, this question stumped me. For one, even though there were a handful of names I might have thought of when thinking of influencers in the community, I don’t follow any of them. Most of them are on YouTube and while I’ve seen bits and pieces of videos or even a whole video that’s been shared on a blog, I don’t spend a great deal of time on YouTube for the simple fact that I tend to enjoy reading more than viewing (weird but true). More importantly, I’m just not that concerned with whether I agree with someone’s opinion or not. People who I enjoy reading or watching I’ll watch or read whether or not I agree with them and then I’ll happily go about finding and watching the anime I was interested in.

So I turned to Twitter and asked my followers who they thought the ‘influencers’ in the community were (and thanks to everyone who threw some names my way). Some fairly common names like Gigguk, Digibro and Mother’s Basement floated to the surface but what really surprised me was how indifferent most people were or unaware of who the ‘influencers’ actually were. Perhaps that is just because my sample is fairly small, but by and large people were more questioning whether a name they put in the list was actually an influncer than confident about it. I kind of drew back from the thread altogether once someone threw my name into the ring because I just don’t see myself as being anywhere near big enough for that (but then again, no one can agree on how big you need to be to be considered an influencer so what do I know).

Having determined that no one really knows who the influencers even are I did some research, watched some videos, read some posts, from the names that did come out of the discussion and ultimately, I don’t think I can answer the question. I certainly found content from most of the big names that I disagreed with, but that doesn’t mean the person in question has impaired vision so much as they have a different view on the situation.  And without watching or reading significantly more material from any single one of these names, it seems really unfair to make a judgement about their overall perspective from the small sample I did look at.

Therefore, I’ll look at my own experience as a blogger and point out that I do not think it is possible to remain unaware that you are writing for an audience once you reach a certain point. When someone tells me they will pass on an anime I just pulled apart I wonder if maybe I was harsh or biased and just sent someone away from something they may have enjoyed, or someone tells me they will definitely check something out I start running through all the flaws in the show in my head that I didn’t mention in my review and wonder if maybe I should have.

But while I am aware that I have an audience, I don’t let that change my view. I like what I like and I dislike what I dislike. I try to read my posts before they publish to ensure that even if I hated something I’ve been fair to any points of merit that are worth noting. I try to balance praise with some of the more negative points when I’m writing a rave. But ultimately, I’m expressing an opinion, explaining my reasons, and leaving it to my readers to make up their minds. Which is what I would hope most people would do.

Food

So, I haven’t really answered the question and I don’t think I can, but I think this question has raised quite a few other questions that I’d like to turn over to my audience.

01. What does it take to actually be an ‘influencer’ in the ani-blogging community?

02. What impact do influencers actually have on viewership, if any?

03. Who is an influencer that you follow or like and why?

04. Who is an influencer that you you don’t like and why?


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #29 – What anime/manga do you feel receives more criticism/hate than it actually deserves?

Okay, I’ve changed where I’m running the survey momentarily just to try a different service and see which one is more manageable. For now, if you want to ask me a question there’s a link in the sidebar or you go straight to the survey. The old link will still work and I’ll still check there for questions. I’m just trying something a bit different because some people were having trouble with the other survey.

Question: What anime/manga do you feel receives more criticism/hate than it actually deserves? From anon.

Sword Art Online Episode 1

I’ve never made any attempt to hide the fact that I am an SAO fan. I’ve seriously been considering a rewatch and reviewing it episode by episode (much as I have started with Yuri on Ice, but for this one I didn’t have the blog or streaming services when it first came out). While I will happily admit to many flaws in Sword Art Online, and the increasingly diminishing returns of further arcs, the Aincrad Arc remains one of my very favourite narratives to watch.

Clear purpose, evolving characters (go on, tell me Kirito doesn’t develop as a character in this first arc, I can already hear the screams), fantastic action, skipping over the grinding and just cutting to the points that make a pivotal difference to either the characters or the quest… A real sense of danger as their actions and choices matter and one mistake could be their last… The soundtrack… Okay, fan-girling big time.

What I like most about the first arc of SAO is it is accessible. I have many friends who aren’t super into anime but they don’t mind games or action so Sword Art Online is an easy sell to get them to try an anime. I’ve only had one person out of perhaps ten who have watched it with me end up not enjoying it. Most of the others have not only binged watched the whole arc but have then asked me what other anime I would recommend.

Why does it get so much hate? Well apparently it is popular to hate on SAO. Apparently it gives you credit as a ‘real’ fan or someone who watches ‘real anime’. Again, I’m not going to proclaim it a perfect work of art and I’m pretty critical of every arc after the first myself. But statements like it is the ‘worst anime ever’, a ‘steaming pile of…’, or that Kirito is a ‘Gary Stu’ who never changes just make me wonder if the person watched the show in the first place or just someone else’s review of it and whether they’ve watched all that much anime.

It isn’t that I don’t think people should criticise Sword Art Online. I just wish the criticisms were grounded on actual observation rather than just going with the flow of hyperbole that anything connected to Sword Art Online must be some fanboy’s delusions of grandeur on crack. I do not understand how people can say Kirito doesn’t change. Watch episode 1 again. Skip forward to episode 10. Do you see the difference? If not, try again, and this time actually pay attention to his attitude to himself and others. That development occurs, incrementally over the first arc.

Admittedly, that’s where it plateaus and part of the trouble with Sword Art Online is the concept is really a one arc story. Everything that came after that is just forcing more problems on characters who’ve already had their drama play out and the characters aren’t really getting anywhere after that point nor is the sense of danger or excitement still present.

So yes, easy question to answer though I suspect I might get some more interesting comments than normal on this one.

That said, it isn’t though Sword Art Online is alone in being the flavour of the month to hate on. Diabolik Lovers finds itself targeted quite regularly, and I’ll be honest and admit I’ll happily tear that to pieces any day of the week. Fans of it probably aren’t thrilled by the negativity, though I think vampire sexual and emotional abuse is probably a little harder to justify than what might be classified a slightly bland power fantasy. Just my opinion.

Sword Art Online - Episode 4

Alright, over to you. Do you think Sword Art Online gets more criticism than it deserves? Is there another series that you feel is needlessly bashed around by critics just because it is cool to do so? Just remember, play nice.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know #28 – How do you find a balance?

If you have a question be sure to ask it here. Previous questions that have been answered can be found here.

Question: How do you balance your job and hobbies? What’s your routine? From Lita Kino.

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Let’s be real, there is no such thing as work/life balance in the modern world. Work hours are insane for those who are lucky enough to have secure employment, meanwhile others are unable to get a foothold in the market. And yet, instead of reducing stress and workloads by actually hiring more workers and sharing the load, employers keep tightening their numbers and push more and more work onto people not secure enough in their job to actually say ‘no’.

I actually really love my job but in 2017 was hitting 55 – 65 hours a week at work regularly and a firm life resolution in 2018 was cutting that back regardless of what it cost or how guilty I felt leaving at the end of the day. While I still tend to do an average 50 – 55 hours a week I haven’t hit 65 yet this year and so am feeling a bit better about things (though my job list at work is looking pretty tragic and there are some things I’ve just openly dropped off my list and decided it isn’t worth the effort of following through).

So finding a balance is more or less impossible given the hours work eats up. That said, I firmly believe that you will make the time for things that are important to you. You can’t find time. There are 24 hours in a day, divide them as you will. While most of us have limited control over working hours, how we use the rest of our day is entirely in our hands. And for me, I’d rather spend my time on anime and writing my blog then sitting on the side of a football field, going to the pub or the club, or many of the other ‘entertainments’ available in my very small town.

Essentially that means if I’m not at work, asleep, or doing housework, I’m probably going to be doing something related to anime, movies, games, or reading. Because that’s what I love to do. For sure there are other social interactions that do occur, but if I get to choose, I’ll probably be typing away at my computer or watching something on TV.

As to a routine, it should be fairly well known that I don’t really sleep much (an ongoing habit of mine). Again, 2017 was a terrible year with my average sleep dropping to barely four hours most nights, but I’ve clawed back to five hours for now. However, that means I wake up really early and so I usually spend an hour or two on the computer before work reading blog posts and replying to comments. I don’t tend to watch much anime in the morning, saving that for evenings, but I try to touch base with new posts from followers and follow up on any emails or messages. Then my actual alarm goes off and I have to get ready and go to work (one of these days I’ll sleep long enough to hear my alarm from my bed and wonder why I left it next to my computer).

After work I try to do another quick visit of blog posts, though I tend to comment less and like more on posts I read after work due to usually being brain tired, and then I catch up on the anime of the day and draft reviews.

Weekends, outside of exercise and cleaning, tend to involve a lot of watching and writing and reading though I have no real set routine on weekends. I just kind of do what I feel like doing and then wonder where my day went. That’s of course when I haven’t brought work home with me, then I usually promise myself that when I finish task A, I can watch an episode of this show or this one, and that usually keeps me working.

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This one is probably a great question for readers. How do you balance your job and your hobbies?


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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