Criticism and Analysis As A Part Of The Western Anime Fandom (rant)

You know what I personally love about Anime as a medium? The variety. It seems to me that there are a wide spectrum of shows with massively different messages. I would posit that this is partially due to the heavy amount of adapting when it comes to ANime production. Only one or two people have to work on a Manga or Visual Novel or a Light Novel and as such it’s much easier to keep a singular or maybe dual vision intact in the core of your project. This is unlike cable television where getting a singular vision on any project is a rarity.

Like anything there are advantages and disadvantages to this. On the one hand artists have less people interfering with their vision and this can lead to great things like Steins;Gate. On the other artists shit ideas can be left unchecked, think the Star Wars prequels as a rarer western example of this.

Along with this wide range of shows comes a wide range of criticism and analysis. This is a natural thing for any artform, people know what they like but often want to know why they like what they like. Those who don’t possess or use analytical skills on what they watch or those who wish to hear another perspective will flock to critics. And usually critics have a big effect on how things are made. If a number of big critics pan a movie like Batman v Superman and praise the Marvel cinematic universe it leads to things like the Suicide Squad reshoots that added in more humorous scenes. Movies and TV are a collaboration between art and business in which almost always the business takes precedence.

So with this power these critics can dictate to a degree what entertainment is like, by proxy the audience dictates the sort of stuff that comes out. Sure not every movie is good but there’s a reason we get 3 marvel movies seemingly every month. It’s because people go to watch them.

But when it comes to Anime there’s a bit of an issue with this, specifically within the western fanbase.

Western Anime critics have almost no influence on Japanese entertainment trends. Studios have to cater to their main demographic which 99% of the time is Japan. So what do critics do in this situation?

At this point their role is not to shape the Anime that come out but to try and shape people’s opinions about anime only. Think SAO and it’s perception before and after DIgibro analysis. It really doesn’t matter what westerners think of the show for the most part, as long as it’s popular in Japan it will continue to be made and make it’s way to us for the foreseeable future.

Digi’s analysis showed what was wrong with the show. It gave people who didn’t like it but didn’t know why a reason and ability to vocalise negative opinions on it. Those that still liked the show now had to defend their stance on it. At a certain point there was nothing anyone could do to change the new split perception of the show, an analysis of the second season was for the most part pointless. It wasn’t going to change people’s opinions about the show all that much nor was it going to impact how the show was made. This isn’t about whether Digi was right or wrong in doing this, I honestly don’t care but it’s more about this mob mentality this can create.

When attacking a studio or show makes little difference the audience turns it’s attention to the critics. Because we can see real results in doing so. People seem to subconsciously try to align their tastes with their favorite anime critics even when their tastes may not fully align. I can attest that I myself have done so in the past. I latched on to Digi because of his ultra positive reception of Psycho-Pass but now I realise I don’t even fully agree with his analysis on the show itself let alone everything else he reviews.

But when you idolise the opinions of others like this any attack on them becomes an attack on you and as such you strike back. I’ve seen countless arguments in comment sections where it is clear neither side has even watched the show they’re arguing about.

Analysis should be about finding both the good and the bad in any given show. I have negative things to say about Psycho-Pass and positive things to say about Eromanga Sensei. It seems however that Anime discourse is at a stage where a show is either amazing, awful or just OK and not much inbetween. It’s less and less an actual discussion about what makes a show good or bad but more so a competition to see who has superior taste, something that’s itself pointless due to the subjectivity of it but I digress. Instead of trying to come to understand why our peers like or hate something that we don’t we just naturally assume they’re wrong.

For ages I thought that those who didn’t like Psycho-Pass just weren’t thinking about it hard enough or were at least seeing something different in it than I. But people can see exactly what I see in something I love and hate it for those exact reasons. It’s hard to come to this conclusion and even now when someone hates on the show my instant reaction is “What is this idiot talking about?” and I have to try and catch myself.

I really don’t care that we criticize critics or that people engage in pointless bickering, you do you. But what I hate is that this sort of stuff comes in between the ACTUAL FUCKING ANALYSIS OF ANIME.

Why are there so few taking a scalpel to numerous Anime and trying to explain why they’re so great? Someone like SuperEyepatchWolf does this fantastically. His content is mostly about trying to get people to watch stuff that impacts him and potentially have it affect them in the same way. When it’s negative it’s usually from a place where he wants to like something but can’t, his videos on Berserk for instance. Of course negative criticism is important but I think that it only works when it’s used in conjunction with positive criticism.

You see critics blatantly ignoring positives in shows they don’t like or glossing over problems in their favorites because their favorites can’t be flawed. Instead of making things so black and white why not talk about why an issue that plagues a show you like and a show don’t destroy one and not bring down the other?

Again I don’t really care what anyone does but in my perfect world anime analysis is, you know, about anime analysis. For every time a critic has pointed me towards a great show I can only imagine how many times I missed out because they couldn’t make a video or blog post about a certain show because of the potential back lash they would get. Once one person says a show is bad it becomes so much harder for someone to say it’s good.

I don’t even really know where I’m going at this stage, this is all just stream of consciousness. I should wrap it up here.

This isn’t meant to be an indictment of anyone but more of a personal observation. I want the fanbase to be about analysing things but that doesn’t mean everyone does. Time will tell what people want from their anime critics.

Thanks for reading,

Psychime

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Nobody Should Be A Ghost In A Shell

I don’t want to be Motoko Kusanagi. Or more accurately I don’t want to be a ghost in a shell. I recently watched a video by The Jorlosopher titled Everyone Should Be A Ghost In The Shell. He makes a compelling argument for why he wishes to become a cyborg like Motoko. His arguments are well founded, the extensive list of benefits he touts (including heightened durability and interchangeability) seem great. He also refutes several arguments against the idea of cyberization before they can even be brought up. He makes a great case for why humanity should embrace cyberization.

But here’s the thing. I am not humanity. I am me. What is in the best interests of humanity may run counter to my own ideals. Ultimately Jor’s reasoning for wanting to become a cyborg is this: he as an entity is made by his memories and not by his body. This is something I agree with, logically then by extending the lifespan of those memories you can continue to exist for a longer period of time.

I don’t think this is a good thing. You see while pseudo-immortality would indeed be soothing for humanity I think it takes away the most important thing a human is capable of conceiving. Meaning. A life without limits is inherently a life without meaning.

To quote Nietzsche: “Without Music Life Would Be A Mistake”

This is a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with. Art is something that only humans are capable of creating, no other species we know of is capable of creating art. We can convey emotions and complex ideas through it, I personally believe that it is our defining capability.

I think immortality would kill great art. A prime motivator in creating art is our impending mortality. It extends our life artificially by making our ideas into something non-perishable like music or film. Without such a motivator much art would be wiped out.

I think their is a fantastic example in the history of Queen for this. By 1984 the band had nearly broken up and were in the midst of one of their least critically and commercially successful spells ever. Freddie Mercury was partying his life away and just having fun. Then he was diagnosed with AIDS. Instead of wasting away however this bombshell actually made him MORE productive. He got back in the studio with Queen and the band went on a run with multiple No.1 albums and their first solo number one single in the UK since Bohemian Rhapsody with Innuendo. The period between those two songs spanned a staggering 16 years, a second no.1 after that length of time is unprecedented.

Mercury is noted as having said to his bandmates regarding his illness “I want to make music till the day I fucking die” and he stuck to that promise, downing shots of vodka to record through the pain and recording up until he could no longer get out of bed to get to the studio.

Innuendo is my favorite Queen album and it would not exist without the inevitability of death. Am I willing to trade it and so many other great works for a shot at psuedo-immortality? The point is to keep yourself, your memories omnipresent but without those works I am not me. They have shaped me. Death is ultimately the at root of almost all art because it is our only constant.

Psycho-Pass deals with a very similar concept to GiTS in that Senguji is almost fully cyborg bar his brain. He shares a very similar sentiment to Jor in regards to cyberization. The SIBYL system as well preserves the memories of it’s inductees for what could potentially be an eternity.

So when Makishima, a man who champions his own individual characteristics, who prizes his ideas is offered a chance to join SIBYL what does he say?

He refuses. He acknowledges that it may be “fun in it’s own way” to become some from of omnipotent but he refutes the notion that he could simply become to world’s umpire. He says that he can’t enjoy “the game” unless he is participating.

“And I love this game people call ‘life” from the bottom of my heart”

“I want to keep playing forever and ever”

And there it is. What is the point in living without death? In fact what is the point of anything if it does not end? You wouldn’t start a race without a finish line. You wouldn’t watch a movie without an ending. You shouldn’t start a life without it one day ending.

Conclusions to things are important, they give us resolution, closure. Without them there is no point in having the points between the start and the finish. Who would want to watch Jojo if it was just the gang traveling to Egypt forever and never reaching Dio? Without an ending the middle has no meaning, by artifically stopping death you inherently rob yourself of ultimate satisfaction with life to me. It is not a matter of being human or not it is a matter of being alive, what it means to exist and how that is different to what it means to live.

Thanks for reading,

Psychime

Tsuki Ga Kirei’s Fatal Flaw: The Overabundance Of Coincidence

Tsuki Ga Kirei is a good show. It’s also a very flawed one. While the artstyle is very appealing it’s actual animation was often lacking just as a singular example. I however feel a show can overcome it’s flaws if it plays to it’s strengths often. Tsuki Ga Kirei does exactly that crafting likable and realistic characters and giving (what I would consider) a pretty realistic depiction of a functional middle school relationship in the 2010’s.

Azumi does a lot of shit I might have done a few years ago, Akane reminds me of people I used to know. The characters created were very realistic, no quirks or gags were included that removed them from reality, this could’ve just as easily been a live action show. The show almost always feels natural and that’s it’s biggest strength. Unfortunately the key word in that previous sentence is “almost”. It’s time to talk about the one flaw that kept popping up in the show, detracting from it’s biggest strength.

Coincidence.

What do I mean by this? The problem the show has is that despite creating such realistic characters it could not find a way to have them move the story forward by themselves and as such it was almost always pushed forward by coincidence. A really good story should be moved forward by it’s characters not by external forces (in most cases). Akane and Azumi like each other too much for there to be consistent issues with their relationship and as such external factors cause those problems, think Akane’s phone shutting off just as she’s about to message Azumi, Azumi’s phone getting taken off him by the teacher after he has to wrestle it back from his friends, Akane dropping her stress toy, things of that nature. Individually there is nothing wrong with these scenes but when they start piling up on each other it wears my patience thin.

This is one thing in which fiction has a disadvantage in relation to reality, to stay believable it sometimes can’t be as crazy as reality can get. You’ve heard the saying before, truth is stranger than fiction and it certainly holds true here. I’m sure far more coincidental things have happened in order for actual middle school relationships to occur but that doesn’t mean I don’t question it in fiction. The problem being that every coincidence after a certain point made me remember acutely that what I was watching was in fact fiction and in a show where believable character relationships are it’s strength this is a major problem. I want to be consistently invested in Azumi and Akane’s relationship, not questioning the absolute perfect timing with which things happen for the benefit of dramatic tension. Every time Hira and Akane are together it seemed to be timed to perfection for maximum effect.

I know this is obviously what a show does and is meant to do but Tsuki Ga Kirei didn’t do a good job masking that fact. A good show usually has one main coincidence, it’s set up, from there the story should arise in a way that feels like it’s the result of the characters decisions. One or 2 coincidences are fine but too many stretch one’s immersion beyond repair. Unless fate or external influence is explicitly implied to be a thing in any given shows universe (think Kokoro Connect) then I can never get behind a show where coincidence is as big a narrative influencer as the entire cast.

I do think the show does a hell of a lot right, if you watched it at a certain age I could even see it being your favorite show, I’d say it connect on a real level to kids of similar age to the cast. But not me, maybe I’m too much of a cynic. As good as this show was at one particular thing I don’t think it fully made up for the rest of it’s shortcomings.

Expect a more personal response to the show in the future though because even the parts which I thought were good were pretty unenjoyable to me, this show was a pain to watch exactly because of what it did well. For another day though.

Thanks for reading,

Psychime

Digibro: Gay and Dead – Album Review

(This is a critique of Digibro’s music not of the man himself)

It’s so odd seeing an artist you like stray out of their chosen craft to pursue other ventures. Usually it’s an absolute disaster, for every 8 Mile there’s about 100 bad movies starring musicians (most of them probably star Madonna).

Digibro is a particularly interesting one as he is a critic of art and as such you would expect any art he was to create to at the very least be self aware. It’s not.

It’s odd, for as much as I am entertained by most of Digi’s output, including those that stray from just Anime analysis, I have never been grabbed by his music. His style just doesn’t appeal to me.

I love Hip-Hop, more specifically lyrical Hip-Hop and that seems to be at least partially what Digi is going for. I don’t think I have the knowledge base or taste range to criticize music in general but Hip-Hop is my zone so OK with commenting on this album.

Let’s cut to the chase, the album is not very good.

Right from begining with the opener “Broken Brilliance” the album sets an unappealing tone it can never recover from. The instrumental here is not great, the instruments feel way too synthetic and Digi is nearly drowned out in the mix at parts. Both of those things being prevalent issues throughout the album’s 40 minute runtime. Mixing aside most of the beats are just not good and some are even wholly unpleasant to listen to.

Delivery

Another problem on this track that plagues the album is Digi’s delivery. It’s dreadful. He tries to bend words to make them rhyme but it ends up coming off incredibly forced (attempting to rhyme “8 A.M” and “Humans in this case). He has neither the accent or technical skill to do something like this. It’s something that Eminem does often, if you look at his songs on paper a lot of words that rhyme in the song don’t rhyme in reality, it’s called a slant rhyme. Digi is not very good at inflecting his words in such a way that they sound natural when rhyming artificially with others.

Then there’s his voices. When rapping on this project Digi’s voice is not consistent. He changes it between songs and has many occasions where he will attempt to portray another character by imitating a voice (poorly). He needs to stick to his regular voice when rapping, the delivery on some previous projects of his is not half bad. He is outshined immensely delivery wise by Endless Jess whenever he appears as a feature on this album. Plan B’s “Raking The Dead” is a fantastic example of how to do this right, in one verse he raps as a cop, a suspect and a narrator, going back and forth between them whilst keeping the voices distinct.

 

On the song “Paradise” with it’s tropical beat that seems like it may have come straight from Bikini Bottom, his delivery is neither laid back enough to match the beat nor aggressive enough to be juxtaposing against it. It’s just left hanging somewhere in the middle, his delivery often doesn’t mesh with his instrumentals intensity wise.

His multi tracking is almost never used well and it makes the song “Body Rolls” an incomprehensible mess. He seems to do this intentionally but it really makes the song unlistenable.

He’s at his best when he’s just concentrating on sticking a flow and not anything else like on “Freak Power!” one of the two tolerable tracks on this album. Without worrying about voice effects or trying to sound experimental the focus is solely on one of his better skills.

Lyrical Content

But what does delivery even matter without good lyrics?

Now I’m a but obsessive over lyrical skill. I pour over rhyme schemes endlessly and spend a lot of my time trying to make clever rhymes just for the fun of it. Digi’s rhymes are at best basic and at worst non existent.

He will often do this thing where he switches his rhyme about a line too early. Typically a skilled artist will use in rhyme to smooth the transition and failing that they’ll switch from rhyme A to rhyme B after an even number of rhyming lines are complete is complete. Digi will often switch his rhyme on the the 4th line, which can be used for emphasis when done right but being that he doesn’t seem to be saying anything of particular importance when he does this it just comes off as sloppy and jarring.

As for what he’s actually saying there isn’t much there either, I couldn’t find any particularly clever lines on my couple listens through only being caught by the seemingly stupid ones. “I’m as dead as a doorknob” is not a particularly poignant statement, most inanimate objects are pretty equally dead. On the song “Quarter” he will rhyme fuck up with itself which is a rap nerd sin unless it’s done with some clever switch in meaning between the 2 lines. On “Buttfuckers Anthem” he says “I’ll stuff your muff” which if I’m not mistaken is the wrong slang word for that title but hey I’m just nitpicking.

One constant throughout the album is the theme of sex. Look, Digi simply cannot pull off what he’s going for her. Hearing him rap constantly about sex makes him sound like an unironic Filthy Frank. I’m not sure how tongue in cheek it’s meant to be but it comes off as as Digi trying to sound cool. He can’t. “Fat and Dangerous” is a prime example of this. Digi is not innately suave enough to pull that sort of thing off, he’s not Big Pun.

 

I don’t know if he lacks self awareness about the topic or is willfully ignorant but he should take not that rappers like Pun and Biggie usually had an air of a player about them because of who they were and in spite of their physical appearance. There was a point on the song “Gayer than God” when I thought he was being insightful about this as he rapped about how he didn’t have much of a sex life but then my hopes were dashed when he chalked it up to apathy. He says earlier on that he’s cringe by design. Cringe and sex don’t go together unironically. If he wants to make songs about sex (and he clearly does) than do it like Lil Dicky does, funny and truthfully.

Finally I have to bring this up. He raps the word nigger. Now I know people have differing opinions on the appropriateness of the word’s usage but a white guy should never use it in the context of Hip-Hop.

I’m Irish, the word has never really been an issue in any community I’ve ever been apart of in real life. With the advent of Hip-Hop it is used often in an ironic sense around and by me. I personally don’t think it should be considered offensive under certain contexts regardless of who’s using it. But you’ve got to be respectful to the art form you’re using it in. As a white guy, saying nigger in a Hip-Hop song is disrespectful. Eminem has talked about this before when a tape of him saying the word leaked. He has black friends so he has obviously used it before but would never use it in a song because he respects his craft. Hip-Hop is a black artform first and foremost using the word in it, ironically or otherwise, is disrespectful to the artform. Just think about it, if I were to make a 9/11 joke right now, I think most people would be OK with it or at least wouldn’t be too offended. But if I were to make one outside the Freedom Tower in New York? I’d be killed. You have to be aware of these things, ignorance does not fly in cases like these.

Themes And Concepts

I’ve made it clear I did not care for most of the tracks on an individual level. So what about the album as a whole?

Even though the tracks seem to fit together sonically I found it hard to pinpoint a general theme. I guess there are nihilistic undertones throughout but they’re never tackled with any nuance. He just sort of lays out the fact that he’s somewhat nihilistic and ponders existentialism often and just leaves them there. It’s the equivalent of just screaming “We’re all gonna die and it doesn’t ultimately matter” for 40 odd minuets. Why can’t he expand on these topics? There’s only one way to convincingly rap as a nihilist, it’s to not rap as a nihilist. Eminem does this very effectively on his first album “The Slim Shady LP” letting us know of our impending mortality and then rapping about literally anything else because he doesn’t care, because he takes life as a joke. He raps about doing drugs and murder as a form of escapism and then juxtaposes it with the occasional depiction of grim reality on songs like “Rock Bottom”.

As for existentialism it’s again not delved into any further than surface level insight. The man’s what, 27? Surely you have something to say about these topics that extends past what a Wikipedia entry could provide. I don’t think you have to try and convince us your ideology is correct but try and make us understand why you believe it if you’re going to bring it up so often. For such a critical thinker his music does not seem to go very deep a lot of the time. Sure he’s bringing up complex ideas but if he’s not doing anything with them what’s the point. Ideological rappers such as Kendrick Lamar are so great because they take complex ideas and tell them through the use of metaphor amongst other techniques. Kendrick’s message gets across because he doesn’t shove it down your throat, it’s there for those who seek it, his style emulating his faith in god. I don’t agree with his religious sentiments but the way he tells it is so clever that I’m intrigued regardless.

Ultimately this half assed attempt at thematic throughlines and insight leads to a very boring album.

Final Thoughts

One of the worst things an album can be is boring. I have absolutely no desire to listen to this again. It’s not good enough to keep me coming back for more nor is it bad enough to stick out in my mind. I had to constantly reference my notes and relisten to tracks to remember which songs were which.

It’s not even very interesting as an insight into Digibro, it didn’t seem to offer too much in that regard. Even artists worst albums can have merit when they provide insight into the artist themselves.

It fails as a rap album lyrically, sonically and delivery wise. There’s very little here to like.

Final Score: 2/10

Thanks for reading,

Psychime

 

Attempting To Define “Psychological” Anime

If you go onto the “Anime Search” function of MAL you’ll be presented with a list of genres to choose from, with the purpose of narrowing down your search. Most of these are straightforward like “Drama” or “Action” one should know exactly what they’ll get from shows with these tags. Some are a bit more loosely defined, especially the Anime specific ones like “Seinen” or “Shonen”. These tags tend to describe the target demographics (Shonen means boy, for instance) and as such one can expect certain things from that.

Look across the list though and there’s one tag that stands out. Psychological. The tag stands out to me for a reason. What the fuck does it mean? In this context specifically, what does Psychological refer to?

The definition of Psychological is as follows: of, affecting, or arising in the mind; related to the mental and emotional state of a person.

How would one apply this to a show? It’d be a very difficult thing to do. Take it too broadly and you could use it to define every show that attempts to make you think (which is basically every show). Going too narrow though and it’d be a very subjective tagging, being only for shows that make you question your fundamental beliefs, which of course would differ from person to person. The real problem though is the lack of a middle ground.

Let’s use comedy as an example. Not every show with a joke is a comedy but it is not a tagging one ascribes to specifically to things they found funny. There are such things as bad comedies. We strike a middle ground here, shows with a distinct emphasis on making you laugh are comedies, whether or not they succeed at doing so. There’s a reason notoriously bad films like “The Room” are not classified as comedies, because all the humor comes from it’s ineptness at being a drama.

So where do we find this middle ground with Psychological? Where does one draw the line for how much a show has to affect your mind to be classified as Psychological? The more casual definition of a Psychological show would be “a show that gets you thinking” but that is of course way too broad.

I ruminated on this for a while to attempt to come up with a definition. The reason being that when I look at MAL’s “Psychological” line up, I strongly disagree with the classification of many shows with that tag. But I didn’t exactly know why.

Here’s the 10 most popular shows with that tag followed by whether or not I consider them worthy of such a tagging:

  • Death Note (Yes)
  • Mirai Nikki (No)
  • Tokyo Ghoul (Mostly No)
  • Elfen Lied (Yet to watch)
  • Psycho-Pass (Yes)
  • Madoka (Yes)
  • Evangelion (Yes)
  • Kisejuu (No)
  • Erased (No)
  • Re:Zero (No)

Basically 4/9. What is it that separates those shows though? What unifying feature do they have that the others lack?

Ambiguity.

The conclusion that I’ve come to is that a Psychological show is not one that only makes you think about crucial moral issues but offers no one definitive answer to the questions posed.

I’ve talked about utilitarianism in Madoka and how no one answer is presented to the audience. Psycho-Pass is a show I constantly praise for it’s use of multiple viewpoints on any given issue. Death Note asks the question of whether or not we should kill for good and presents this as neither right or wrong, you could conceivably side with or against Light (at least at the start). Eva, from what I have seen of it, presents multiple different ways of dealing with depression through metaphor.

The other shows lack this unifying lack of a concrete stance. In Erased it’s obviously a good thing that the girl was saved. Re:Zero is much more of a character study of Subaru than anything else. The idea of Mirai Nikki having any consistent thematic purpose is nearly laughable unless of course the question being posed is whether or not it’s OK to have a Yandere girlfriend (The answer should be a universal no).

I hesitate to outright say Tokyo Ghoul isn’t, it has hints of open ended questions about it in regards to what makes one human, but they are so often overshadowed other elements that I feel that the show isn’t Psychological.

To me a Psychological Anime is one that presents the audience with moral questions and lets them decide for themselves what the answer is.

 

This one’s been on my mind for a while. I’ve always had a general sense of what a Psychological show was but was never able to pinpoint exactly what made one Psychological until I really thought about it.

The definition I gave is not definitive, I’m very open to other interpretations, I just feel that the current definition (if there even is one) is way too ill defined to be functional. Anyway let me know what you think below.

Thanks for reading,

Psychime.

Anime And Visual Novels As Enablers Of Escapism (And How They Have Affected My Life)

(This one got a bit personal, I hope you’ll read regardless)

I’ll be real for a second. I have used Anime increasingly as a way to replace social interaction. I personally probably have a slightly different reason as to why than most but that doesn’t change the fact that I do it. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

This is a complex issue for me so I’d like to try and get my thoughts about it down on “paper”. At the same time I want to show how easily one could fall into this escapist trap and, depending on ones reasons for doing so, how that could be extremely harmful.

How It Relates To Me Personally

So why would I actually want indulge my escapist tendencies like this? Well that’s very much to do with personal philosophy. My Mother’s side of the family has always been a bit anti-social to begin with so that’s definitely part of it. But I personally have long seen mass social interaction, and romantic endeavors in particular, as a waste of my time.

The way I was raised, in a largely atheist family with a mother who encouraged a bit of narcissism as a way to prevent me having her self-confidence issues, has left me with a very one track mind. I want to make art. I want to be famous. I have to be famous for making art.

So one might be able to see why I value my time so much. But unfortunately I am only human. Such is the hypocritical nature of my own feelings, sometimes I absolutely feel like I have to have some social interaction. Like going out and trying to find a girl might make me happy. Based on past experiences I know how fleeting these feelings are and if I were to actually find someone I’m interested in they could derail my life. I am a very single minded person. If I find a girl I like they will comprise most of my thoughts.

So instead of actually indulging these potentially destructive impulses, I’ll throw on a harem show or if those feelings are incredibly persistent I’ll play through a visual novel. Why would I bother getting into such a long and potentially complicated relationship (or at least attempted relationship) when I could do one of these two things? The girls are all beautiful, they all love me and I can be fairly sure that my ultimate goal of getting with them is a sure thing. And if it’s not I can just try again. Most importantly though I’ll only ever sink maybe 10-15 hours most into a visual novel and 4 hours into a harem series. It sates my needs and doesn’t take too long.

Until recently I was very content with this, especially considering I do keep in regular contact with a few close friends. So why am I concerned about it now?

The Return Of Plan B

No not my plan b but the artist of the same name. And also not the Spanish language duo called plan b either. I’m sure most of my audience save for one or two will have heard of this guy but Plan B is a British rapper/soul singer and he’s one of my favorite artists of all time. When I got into his music back in 2014 he hadn’t put out an album in 2 years. This is pretty normal for any artist so I waited patiently for an album announcement. It did not come. 3 long years I waited. I knew the possibility was slim. He’d had a kid and suggested in an interview he was going to walk away from music to focus on being a father.

Then this past month he came back. After 5 years of almost total media silence, he returned with a new single and an enlightening interview with the BBC. He explained his absence in this interview saying that by the time he released his 3rd studio album in 2012 he felt that he had been a celebrity for so long that he hadn’t had a chance to live. He said he didn’t feel comfortable writing music about life when he was so out of touch with it. He wanted to go away get some life experience and then come back with music he felt was up to his standards. And his new single is amazing.

So this is what got me thinking about this topic. By simulating life in this manner do I risk any art I ever create of being too out of touch with reality to be relateable? Ideologically I’m already in a minority so alienating myself further may be too much. Is this even a problem? I don’t know. This is a serious question I don’t have an answer to yet.

The problem is the hypocrisy of my mindset. I don’t care for many people’s opinions but I need those people to like what I do to achieve my goal.

So for me it’s a question but for others…

This Could Be A Real Problem

So my problem is not that I can’t engage in social interactions it’s a general disinterest. But what about people who use these same products to simulate social interaction that they really want? People that really want to make friends but just don’t know how. These products could be like a drug to them. It gives them a simulated feeling of socializing but it doesn’t help them gain social skills because these games are usually fairly far from reality (that’s sort of the point).

It’s a viscous cycle, the more these people play these games the harder socializing becomes relative to the easy interactions of a pre-scripted game world. In a world where social interaction is already being warped by the internet games and anime like those I’ve described enable a potentially awful lifestyle for certain people.

I don’t think I’m even really the right person to comment on this but I do think it’s a serious question, not even just in Japan anymore as Japanese media has become so popular out west.

Anyway I think that’s the gist of it. Let me know what you think. Should I be worried for myself? Is this a problem? Why did kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch?

If you have a comment or a question about anything here please leave it down below.

Thanks for reading,

Psychime.

 

Eromanga Sensei Just Became Earth Shatteringly Retarded

I Actually didn’t think this show could sink much lower. I already hated so much about it, it’s characters, story, attempted fan service etc. that I didn’t think I could find anything more to dislike about it. I couldn’t will myself to complain about all the little stupid things like how when Sagiri lends 3 books to Megumi the bookshelf she takes them from appears in shot behind her with those same books still on it. I couldn’t find the strength to care about the scene preceding it which amounted to one 12 year old girl sexually assaulting another.

Then episodes 7 and 8 aired.

There are many things about these two episodes that anger me but it actually starts at the tail end of episode 6. We find out through conversation that Masamune has sold 220,000 copies, pretty impressive for a 15 year old who’s been published for at most a year and a half.

Then we find out Elf-cunt has sold over 2 million copies. Even more impressive for a 14 year old who’s been writing for 2 years at most.

This is all found out in a conversation about Masamune entering a light novel competition for rookie authors which his editor says she’ll “use her influence” to get him into.

Then Muramasa (who just fucking popped in for the lulz) also signs up to this competition after finding out the person she’s sitting beside is Izumi-sensei her idol. So firstly if she’s such a big fan why didn’t she recognize his face, he’s done book signings before there’s no way she wouldn’t go. Secondly, if it’s a stretch for Masamune, an author with 220,000 copies sold, to enter this competition how does one reconcile a girl with 14.5 million sales entering. Firstly she wouldn’t be allowed, no way in hell. Second, it’d really hurt her career, she’d be seen as trampling on competition that had no chance, it’d be like the Golden State Warriors signing up for a kids basketball summer league and just dunking all over them. Third FOURTEEN AND A HALF MILLION?!?!?!

It’s later said that she can’t write her battle series because Masamune stopped getting his published. This would imply she’s only been writing her most popular series for about 1 year so a large chunk of these sales must be from then. Actually now that I think about it, Masamune’s battle series was cancelled, if Muramasa had just told her editor that she wouldn’t write unless they continued his series they absolutely would have continued his series but anyway.

Do you know what this means? Two of Japan’s best selling authors are under the age of 15. To give you some context, per this article here, Sword Art Online as of September 2016 has sold 16.7 million copies making it the 3rd most popular LN series ever. Add up our 3 authors total sales and it’s the exact same figure. They did that in 1-2 years. Sword Art Online did that in 7. (It should be noted the Anime even scales this down in the Novel it’s 140 million sales for Muramasa, which would be the same as the top 9 best selling series of all time combined).

This is earth shatteringly retarded. You expect me to believe kids who just learned how to spell without fucking up half the time can even write novels that could sell like that? But it doesn’t even end there. In episode 8 Sagiri is watching TV when an interview with people attending a Summer festival comes on. It’s Kuroneko from Oreimo and her sisters that are being interviewed.

Apart from this being the most blatant case of sucking ones own dick on the part of A-1 studios and Fushimi (the author) that you may ever see this connects the two into a shared universe. Why is this retarded? Well because Kirino from OreImo, who is also 14, IS ALSO A BEST SELLING LIGHT NOVEL AUTHOR!!

Her novel gets a an anime adaptation too, something Elf-cunt’s is only just getting now that she’s sold 2 million copies. I’m not eben going to go back and reasearch exactly how many she sold (if it’s even mentioned at all) but it means that 3 of Japan’s best selling authors are teenage girls. And the reason this is an issue is because sometimes Eromanga Sensei tries to be serious but when it does it just seems so out of place in an illogical world like this one.

When this show runs it’s course I’m willing to bet it will have been the worst Anime I’ve ever watched and I plan on making a video to that effect. I genuinely don’t see what anyone gets from this show, I am baffled by it’s seemingly unironic popularity. I get SAO’s popularity, I got OreImo’s as well. But this show has broken me and I don’t think I’ll ever understand.

Please kill me,

Psychime