Does a love of anime always lead to a love of Japan?

It’s not unusual for people who become anime fans to also become interested in the country that anime comes from – Japan. I’ve seen this interest in some form or other in most of the anime fans I’ve encountered, ranging from mild to extreme. There are people who take up a slight interest in an aspect or two of Japanese culture, and perhaps learn a few Japanese words, but otherwise don’t pursue Japan/Japanese things…all the way down to what the Internet calls “weeaboos” and “Japanophiles,” or people who convince themselves that Japan is superior to other countries and they insist on incorporating Japanese words and cultural habits into their everyday lives, becoming a Japan connoisseur in terms of things like music and food, yearning to go to Japan, and even wishing they were Japanese. But does every person who gets into anime necessarily take up an interest in Japan, whether mild or extreme?…

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Why Guilty Crown isn’t that bad

Despite being produced by the respected Noitamina and Production I.G., Guilty Crown has garnered a lot of criticism from fans, especially amongst bloggers. By the first episode, people were already deriding it as too full of cliches and having an annoying protagonist, many dropping it before the episodes even hit the double digits. But while everyone around me was hating on it, I continued to enjoy it (seriously not mockingly). Throughout its 22 episodes, I tried to see what’s so despicable about it and couldn’t find anything that was that bad. Do I think it’s a great anime? No…but do I think it’s a good, or at least a decent anime? I’d like to argue so…

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How Twitter has changed the anime online community

There’s no denying that Internet social network sites have rapidly changed the meaning of communication. We can now instantaneously share all manner of news, from breaking political events to what we’re having for lunch. One such site – Twitter – has brought about a massive change in terms of how we relate to each other with this ability to share links, videos, pictures, and our thoughts in real-time. As someone who’s been running an anime site for nearly a decade now, I wanted to discuss how I’ve experienced Twitter change the anime online community, especially in terms of blogging…

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Nisemonogatari and the art of ambiguity

Nisemonogatari, the anticipated sequel of 2009’s Bakemonogatari, has recently finished airing. I didn’t become as enamored with Bakemonogatari as a lot of others did, but I found it to be a unique and memorable series nonetheless. It was a rather strange and ambiguous anime too, though not necessarily in a bad way. And, much to some fans’ pleasure and other fans’ dismay, Nisemonogatari ups the ambiguity even more…

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The paradox of an anime’s quality versus its popularity

In a recent post on Anime September, Alterego9 brings up a great point about a paradox that exists between our individual view of an anime and how popular it is among the general populace. When an anime that we really love is also very well received among overall anime fandom (which can be seen through merchandise sales and social networking discussion), we rejoice in this and use it to further bolster our belief that it truly is a good anime. However, when an anime we really love isn’t popular among overall anime fandom, we say the reason for that is because the overall fandom has bad taste and so popularity is irrelevant when determining quality. It’s a very interesting paradox and one that I felt like examining further…

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50 questions

A list of 50 questions recently posted by AceRailgun has been making its way to various anime blogs, with the respective bloggers taking a shot at answering the questions. The questions are a mix of anime-related and personal questions. It looked like fun, so I decided to give it a go…

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What is a guilty pleasure?

When someone calls an anime they watch a “guilty pleasure,” they usually mean it’s a series that they know is bad but they enjoy it anyway for whatever reason. There are some people who enjoy nothing but anime that others would call guilty pleasures, whether they agree with that label or not, as well as people who don’t enjoy anything they can find significant flaws in. With such a wide range of feelings on what exactly defines a guilty pleasure amongst anime fans, I want to explore the subject further…

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The value of silence in anime

A couple of weeks ago I went to the theater to see The Secret World of Arrietty, the latest Studio Ghibli film being released in the US by Disney. Unfortunately I saw the movie on President’s Day, so the theater was packed with kids and families who had the day off. But despite this, the kids weren’t as loud as they could have been throughout the movie and it was indeed a very good film. However, it also got me thinking about a very noticeable difference between an anime production like Arrietty, and most other animated films kids here are exposed to nowadays…

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