Category Archives: otaku

Instant Message from I.M. #8

After visiting a video game collectible store, my husband and I were pretty quick to throw down at least $166 some dollars for: Deadrising 2 Collector’s Edition, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Silent Hill 2, Sonic: Mega Collection, Mega Man X Collection, Street Fighter Alpha anthology, Silverload, and Spectral Load. We still didn’t come close to getting half of all the things we wanted ha ha!

I want to add that these games are in near mint condition, except for Silverload, which was somewhat scratched with a banged up case….but that game is so rare that it still cost me $19. Take this into account: currently? A MINT CONDITION Silverload goes for $500 minimum. Did I snag a deal? You bet’cher ass I did!

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#1: Women in Geekland – Nothing More Than Glorified Eyecandy?

Lady Death and her ‘Crusader’

Because no creature of evil can defend against the MIGHT of a Crusader’s sword.

 

So why is it that girls always seem to be dealt the bad hand in video games, comics, anime, and movies?  Heck, that’s an easy one to answer.

It’s because guys make the majority of the market.  We all know it.  But does that justify things?  Should female otaku and girl nerds stand for a community SO used to seeing women in submissive/background roles, that even when they try to place women in a more complimenting role, they just inadvertently press onto them all the stereotypes of the female gender?  I’ve read comics, played games, and watched shows that’ve successfully managed to undermine female achievement through such pitfalls as, “Sentementality,” or “Sexuality.”  …Personally, I think it’s all baloney.

Maybe it’s just because most of these guys (in this world of action figures, special edition trading cards, and cosplay) can’t relate to women.  I mean, let’s face it, alot of anime and video game fans are socially inept.  Or maybe they’re just misogynists who LIKED the big-breasted beauties of the comic/anime/video game universes.

Now…I’m not trying to seem like a crazed femi-nazi…but it DOES get a bit frustrating walking into a comic book store only to earn the suspicious and condescending glares of the guys present there.  My friend and I lament the fact that we, as girls, can hardly EVER walk into these sorts of stores without feeling like aliens.  And what gives?  Women read comics too, and they play games, and they watch anime…granted they are the minority in terms of the marketplace—but does that justify overlooking us?

Others don’t think so.  Through a serendipidous entry into Google search, I stumbled across a winner of a site called Girl-Wonder.org, which is (yes) a feminist site designed to fight misogyny in comics.  Now, normally I shy away from this sort of thing because alot of times I find these places to be a little too extreme…but I think these people are very fair.  They aren’t asking for girls in comics to be made stronger.  They aren’t asking for them to be made ‘ugly’ or ‘intelligent’.  They’re only asking that women in comics be depicted REALISTICALLY.  That means without being objectified, without being shoved unfairly to the side, without being used as tools for violence and degradation

The site mascot, Stephanie Brown, was Batman’s ‘Girl Wonder’.  Her death in 2004 raised a very big uproar among many fans—not so much because she was killed, but rather, how she was killed.  I cannot claim myself to be a Batman reader (as of yet, that is…I plan on getting into the story through those big anthologies they’ve got) but I read background information on Stephanie Brown’s death and read some interesting discussions in the forums.  I quickly realized that what DC had done really was unfair.  As a girl, a budding comic-geek, and an aspiring comic writer, I cannot stand for this sort of attitude to continue.  It’s ignorant and old-fashioned—a trend that hasn’t stopped since the fifties for cryin’ out loud.

If you look at the bigger picture, I think we can all agree that comics have entered a bit of a slump in the past few years.  It’s been largely due to its inability to attract new readers.  These movies they keep coming out with have helped, but the majority of comic readers are still of older age…and male.  They haven’t tried to change their ways.  It’s a stubborness that has fueled the continuous refusal to give comic heroine’s a better deal.

I don’t know if any of you have tried, but jumping into the middle of a long-running comic series is like jumping dead into a hurricane.  Marvel and DC have made it extremely difficult for new readers to get interested in their products because they’re too busy making more comic books for their older readers—the readers who have been reading since they were kids

But that isn’t right.

The long-time readers are beginning to stop collecting, and the storylines and alternative universes are getting so muddled that it’s no WONDER no one new has joined the ship.  So what should Marvel and DC do?

Try marketing to the youth.  Try marketing to the women.  Try spreading to other demographics and revitalizing the industry.  Didn’t I say that the comic business was elitist?  It’s a bitch to get in, and easy as hell to fall out.  Women and minorities are misrepresented in stories.  Themes that had been done to death are recycled for another regurgitated tale of heroism.

How about something new?

Comics have the potential to do so much socially, artistically, hell—ECONOMICALLY.  Some comic creators have already set off doing their own thing, doing just what should be done:  Stopping the stereotypes.  But they don’t get enough attention.  People aren’t hearing about them, because big time comic book companies are blocking our view with their antiquated themes and characters.  It turns potential readers off. 

So all in all, I think the last thing we’re going to have to admit is this:  the big-boys are going to have to clean up their acts and try making their products more universal if we want to see the industry pick up again.

And that means stopping discrimination and eliminating many archetypes.  No more Stephanie Brown’s.  It’s not just good for women, it’s good for comics.  Period.

#1: My Anime List – An Anime Enthusiast’s Record…

    What I’m Watching now (Episode # next to watch):
    ————————————————

  • Kare Kano (ep. 9)
  • Death Note (ep. 26)
  • Negima!? (ep. 16)
  • Maria-sama ga Miteru (OVA 4)
  • Bleach (ep. 126)
  • Bubblegum Crisis 2040 (ep. 20)
  • Blood+ (ep. 39)
  • Basilisk (ep. 2)
  • Hitohira (ep. 10)
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (ep. 4) — technically ep. 7
  • Gokusen (ep. 7)
    What I want To See:
    ——————-

  • Read or Dream
  • Gunsmith Cats
  • Ninja Scroll (movie and tv show)
  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Lost Innocence (movie)
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2nd Season – TV)
  • Miyazaki Films (aka – Steam Boy, Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc…..)
  • Desert Punk
  • Fruits Basket (?)
  • Someday’s Dreamers
  • Akira
  • Gantz
  • SoltyRei
  • Blue Seed
  • Nanoha StrikerS
  • Black Lagoon
    What I Started A While Ago and Want to Finish:
    ———————————————-

  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Chobits
  • Nana
  • Read or Die (OVA)
  • Ghost in the Shell (tv series)
  • Tenshi na Konamaiki
  • Rurouni Kenshin
  • Fushigi Yuugi
    What I Have Finished:
    ———————

  • Samurai Champloo
  • Ergo Proxy
  • Strawberry Panic!
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Azumanga Daioh
  • Hellsing
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena
  • Paranoia Agent
  • Fooly Cooly
  • Digimon: Tamers
  • Digimon: Adventure
  • Kannazuki no Miko
  • Mai Hime
  • Final Fantasy Unlimited
  • Final Fantasy VII: Last Order
  • Love Hina!
  • Ouran High School Host Club
  • Oh! My Goddess!
    Anime Movies I’ve Watched
    ————————-

  • Blood: The Last Vampire
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Spirited Away
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Street Fighter: Alpha
  • Tokyo Godfathers
  • End of Evangelion
  • Tekken
  • Bleach: Sealed Sword Frenzy
  • Bleach: Memories in the Rain
  • Inuyasha (something…castle?)
  • Ah! My Godess!: The Movie
  • Pokemon: The Movie
  • Pokemon: The Sequel
  • Dead Leaves
    What I Started But Don’t Care to Finish:
    —————————————-

  • Simoun
  • Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
  • Noir
  • Naruto
  • Yami to Boshi to Hon no Tabibito
  • Inuyasha
  • Excel Saga
  • Full Metal Panic!
  • XXXHolic
  • Witch Hunter Robin
  • .hack//SIGN
  • Mai Otome
  • Trigun
  • Full Metal Alchemist (?)
  • Kiddy Grade
  • Wolf’s Rain
  • Madlax
  • Digimon: Adventure 2
  • Honey and Clover
  • Elfen Lied
  • Love Hina: Again!

(?) = Uncertain

So I watch anime…but am I an expert?  Do I know the names of japanese voice actors, anime artists, and distribution companies?  Do I have an extensive collection of opening and ending themes from various anime shows?  Do I buy dolls, accessories, models, and clothes from anime?

 …Um.  No.  I don’t.

 But have I watched alot of anime?  More than most people, yes.  Have I written fanfiction for said anime?  Yes, for some.  Do I read blogs for anime?  Yes, a few.  Have I read the manga’s ADAPTED into anime?  Yes.  Have I read manga that have YET to be adapted into anime?  Yep.

So can I call myself an Otaku?

…No.

 My interest in anime is like my interest in everything else I like:  I have a journeyman’s knowledge of the topic and can speak rather passionately about it.  Get too much into detail, however, (like cultural analysis, names of specific actors and creators and what they’ve done, business specs, etc…) and you lose me.

That’s why I refer to myself as an “anime enthusiast.”  Otaku’s are fanatics and incorporate anime into everyday life.  I, do not.

But I still like art, and I still like good stories and cartoons. (Because that’s what anime is—japanese cartoons.  They’re more a cultural product than anything else.)  So there SHALL be times when I critique an anime series or discuss my feelings on an anime episode here.  Fear not, I will not post about an anime I have not done a bit of reading about (because I, personally, dislike it when people speak on a subject and not know enough about it.)

But will I be using japanese/anime terms here?  …Most likely not.  To be honest, I only gained much of my esoteric knowledge this year.  Last December, I had no idea what the word, “tsundere” meant.  I also did not know what “moe” meant.  I didn’t even know what “loli” meant, either. (granted, I’m not sure you can say that the term ‘loli’ comes from anime…)  So there you have it, I’ll avoid esoteric words and shoot for more universal terms.

And my update schedule shall hopefully be as follows: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Things may of course happen to change that, but I’ll try to make a habit of posting on those days.

Until Friday, then…