Moe Sucks, Then and Now

blogging

I’ve been busy lately, so I haven’t had the time to play much of Tales of Xillia at all. I can’t write an update to the LP series tonight, so instead, I guess I’ll ramble. About what? I’m not quite sure. I guess I’ll just talk about where I come from — with regards to anime, of course — and what I expect for the future of this blog — if there is one. Plus, this post will answer a lot of the frequent questions I’ve been getting on Ask.fm. Questions like, “What was the first anime you ever watched?” and “What made you start up Moe Sucks?” I figure I may as well take the time to answer them in-depth.

I wouldn’t say I’ve had a long, rich history with anime. Certainly, I’ve watched a lot of anime over the past five years as a result of running this blog, but I never really grew up with it. If it’s cool to have watched anime continuously for the past decade or something, I guess I’m just not one of the cool kids. But seriously, having lived most of my life in the United States, my only exposure to anime as a young kid was stuff like… Speed Racer, Sailor Moon, and, of course, Dragon Ball Z. Used to watching cartoons like Rugrats, Scooby Doo, SWAT Kats (yeah, i watched that shit on Cartoon Network), I never really got the appeal of Speed Racer. But I can hardly remember anything about the show now other than that the characters talked funny.

Naturally, I didn’t watch Sailor Moon growing up. I think my mom would’ve looked at me funny, and hey, back then, that sort of thing mattered to me. My first real exposure to “anime” didn’t come until I found myself waking up at 7AM one random Saturday, and bored out of my mind, I turned on the TV to see Piccolo shoot a laser through Raditz as Goku was holding him in place. At the time, my parents devoured these TV series from Hong Kong about Chinese folk heroes. Y’know, guys like Wong Fei-Hung and Hung Hei-Kwun. Needless to say, I ended enjoying that pulpy nonsense too. So Dragon Ball Z for me was like animated martial arts… but on crack. Holy shit, that guy can destroy an entire planet with his finger tips! That’s crazy!

dbz

But if you grew up watching DBZ in the ‘States, then you must remember how the English-language release went… or, more appropriately, didn’t. There were constant re-runs as I waited and waited and waited for Funimation to dub new episodes. Eventually, new episodes just stopped appearing altogether, and in the middle of the Frieza arc, too. The only thing I could do was read spoilers on my AOL-powered internet. By the time Cartoon Network picked up the show, I had moved on. The show might be a nostalgia trip for a lot of fans these days, but I can’t watch that stuff anymore without getting bored out of my mind. That’s why I haven’t touched any of the Dragon Ball Kai stuff. Not only that, I never really got into a shounen series again. By the time I heard about Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, etc., they just didn’t appeal to me. I think I watched like the first episode of Naruto before writing it off completely.

Back then, video rental places were still a thing, so I used the opportunity to watch Akira. Of course, at the time, I didn’t know I was watching an anime classic. I just thought it was a really cool cartoon from Japan. Other than that, the anime drought continued until, I think, late middle school. I was big into video games back then, and I read video games-related publications too. One magazine, Gamefan, would always have a short feature on anime in the back, so I could read all the hype for shows like Neon Genesis Evangelion. Unfortunately, I didn’t have money for anime, nor did I even know where to begin getting my hands on them. They didn’t exactly sell anime DVDs at Target. It wasn’t until I started wandering aimlessly through Fry’s Electronics one day that I came across a huge selection of anime DVDs. After looking through a few of the covers, I settled upon the first volume of Serial Experiments Lain on a whim. It looked cool.

And it was cool. Cool enough that I still think about writing a post on Lain one of the days. The problem was, however, anime was incredibly expensive back then. Hell, I’d still say it’s way too expensive now, but I digress. Of course, I got an allowance as a kid, but it didn’t really matter. With my Asian parents, I still had to run any major purchase by them, and yes, an anime DVD was considered “major.” So even though I had personally saved up enough money to buy the entire Serial Experiments Lain DVD set, and eventually, the Haibane Renmei DVD set as well, it was hard to justify the costs to my parents. 30 dollars a DVD for a bunch of cartoons? Are you fucking mad, son? After Serial Experiments Lain and Haibane Renmei — and a single odd Boogiepop Phantom DVD that I didn’t really enjoy — I stopped watching anime again for a while. I heard that Cowboy Bebop was really cool, but hey, how could I watch it? Don’t worry, I ended up watching all of these hyped shows later.

escaflowne

I did have some friends who were in my high school’s anime club. I guess I could’ve joined the anime club myself, but… I didn’t see myself as an club person, much less an anime club person. But through them, I got to watch some bootlegs of stuff like Escaflowne and Blue Submarine No. 6. I think I ended up disliking Escaflowne after ten or so episodes primarily because of the love triangle between Hitomi, Van, and Allen. Even as a kid, I abhorred love triangle subplots. They’re just a drag to sit through. As for Blue Submarine No. 6… it was so short, I actually can’t remember a damn thing about it anymore. But that was it. The last thing on my mind during high school was seeking out anime to watch. One of my friends fantasized about becoming an animator and moving to Japan, but all he ever drew were ugly catgirls. I suppose I could’ve given him more encouragement, but I honestly just didn’t give anime another thought for a long time.

The next anime series I would actually watch from start to finish was… The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. Yeah… Blue Submarine No. 6 to Haruhi. That’s a long gap. And honestly — I’m not going to lie — I enjoyed Haruhi back then. Not because of the story or anything, which I thought was pretty lame. Not because of the humor either. I liked it, because, well, I was kinda into romances back then, and I had really hoped to see Kyon and Haruhi become an actual couple. Was I shipper? At the time, I didn’t even know what a shipper was. But y’know, it’s anime, so anime characters rarely ever get together. And even if they did, the series would immediately come to an end, which I thought was stupid.

As a result, I tried to scratch my itch by watching other anime series with romance in them, but I relied on the internet, which just pointed me towards shows like Shuffle!, Magikano, and Zero no Tsukaima. You have to understand, of course, I didn’t really get the whole shounen/shoujo/seinen/josei distinction for quite a while. Maybe if I had gotten better recommendations than a bunch of shitty harems, I would’ve enjoyed anime more. I did also watch stuff like Buso Renkin and Zegapain — and also some show where a guy’s right hand had a girl attached to it… — but they were middling shows at best. Eventually, I just grew exasperated with the medium, and my interest faded again. Sure, I enjoyed movies like Princess Mononoke, and I had fun marathoning Eureka Seven in a few days, but finding the good stuff was difficult. They felt more like the exception than the rule. I wanted to like anime, but it just seemed as though I didn’t.

spinzaku

Still, by now, the internet had changed. It was easier to try out new shows, since certain intrepid souls would upload new episodes onto Youtube. I didn’t have to plunk down 30 bucks a DVD just to try a new show out. So even though I still had stopped trying to watch anime on a regular basis, I kept my eye on it. I would hear big things about a certain show, watch it, then get bored with it after a while. Y’know, stuff like Death Note, Clannad, and Code Geass. No matter how many of these shows I tried to watch, they just never really hook me. And yes, I would finish these shows later — well, not Code Geass — but I still never really thought much of them. But what was fun… was watching anime with my girlfriend.

My girlfriend wasn’t really into anime herself either — and she still isn’t — but still, she liked cutesy stuff like Lucky Star or comedy series like Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu. So yeah, I sat through Lucky Star with her. The entirety of Lucky Star, too. Brrr… Yeah, I didn’t like the show, but it was a tolerable experience with my girlfriend. So later on, I was like, “Yo, Kyoto Animation made Lucky Star, and you liked it. Let’s watch this K-On! thing that’s about to come out!” Aaaaaaaaaand K-On! sucked. It really, really sucked, Luckily enough, another anime series that season managed to draw us both in: Eden of the East. Unfortunately, everywhere I went on the internet, people just kept gushing on and on and on about K-On! Maybe I just didn’t read the right blogs or whatever, but I just found it ridiculous that not a single anime blog out there expressed a viewpoint that I could identify with it. I’m not saying nobody else liked Eden of the East, but even when I did read posts about the show, they didn’t express what I really felt. After much hemming and hawing, I finally decided to start my own blog.

Throughout this entire post, you must notice that I keep saying, “Oh, I lost interest in anime… but then I came back!” Why did I keep coming back? Did I just want to love anime? Actually, yes. There just aren’t a lot of Asian-related media in the US unless I wanted to read another goddamn Amy Tan novel. So even though I struggled for a long time to get into anime, I wanted desperately to connect to something that had been produced by an East Asian culture. Maybe that sounds stupid to you guys, but that was my justification at the time. There wasn’t and still isn’t a whole lot of Asian representation in the West. We’re either nerds or kick-ass kung fu specialists like Jackie Chan. I just wanted to watch something where an Asian character did anything other than do homework or throw punches.

super moe

But as you can see, this stop-start, stop-start pattern continued even after I started Moe Sucks. Over the blog’s past five years of existence, I’ve gone on so many hiatuses that I’ve lost track of them. Not only that, I’ve left so many series of posts unfinished… posts on anime I honestly wouldn’t mind finishing one day if I had the motivation to do so. But like always, my interest in anime comes and goes. I don’t think I’ve ever blogged continuously for twelve consecutive months. In fact, my current period of activity is probably the longest I’ve ever stuck around. I think I started blogging again back in late December? And hey, it’s the start of August now! I’ve been at this for almost eight months! If you ask me, I think I’m overdue for another lengthy hiatus!

But what exactly do I even want to accomplish with Moe Sucks? I don’t know. I don’t think I ever had any concrete plans. When Moe Sucks first started, my intentions were a bit more… critical, I guess? I wanted to focus more on how much, well, moe and everything moe-related sucked. I had also spent some time studying modern Japanese culture in college, so a few of my older editorials were inspired by what I had read and learned. Over time, however, I guess I’ve used the blog more as a way to make anime seem more enjoyable to me. Remember how I said watching anime with my girlfriend was more fun than watching anime by myself? That’s why Moe Sucks is an episodic blog, I guess. Whatever that means.

Personally, I don’t try to get too hung up on the distinction between editorial vs episodic blogs. My primary goal is to just talk about anime. As soon as I watch an episode, I want to talk about it immediately. If that makes Moe Sucks an episodic blog, eh… so be it. This is also why I don’t consider Moe Sucks a blog that reviews anime. I don’t review anime. At least, not in my mind anyway. To me, a review goes through the pros and cons of a show, then tries to quantify it all with some sort of grade. I don’t really do that. When I write about an episode, I just imagine what I’d say about that episode to a friend. I mean, just look at my Mahouka and SAO posts. They aren’t reviews. I’m just shooting the shit as though I’m with a bunch of friends. So it’s always hilarious when people accuse me of being subjective in my reviews. “Shit, I didn’t know I had written a review!”

anime owns

And this also ties into why I watch so many “bad” anime. Cookie-cutter genre shows. Harem shows. Gary Stu-dominated shows. Etc. Why do I waste my time watching them? Because if I can get a post out that some people can enjoy, I don’t really feel as though I’ve wasted my time. What else am I going to do? Write about some old anime series? I could do that, but I don’t know… I like staying in the moment, I guess. I like talking about things that are happening now, and that includes currently-airing shows. So what else can I do? Make up some bullshit about how continental philosophy relates to Mawaru Penguindrum? I mean, sure, I’ve come up with some outrageous theories of my own too, and it’s fun to draw all these connections. But Moe Sucks’ goals have changed since I first started blogging.

I’m not trying to educate anyone. I’m not trying to steer anime towards the promised land. I mean, why even bother? These bad shows aren’t going to go away. I’m sure they make plenty of money, so they’re here to stay whether I like it or not. And y’know what? I may as well enjoy them in my very own way. At the end of the day, I’m just shooting the shit. Even with a critically-acclaimed show like Terror in Resonance. I’m not trying to tell you what it truly means. I don’t know what it truly means, and I don’t think I’d ever know that. I’m just talking about it the same way I’d talk about it with a friend. I can only put on paper — or on blog, rather — what the show evokes from me. Is that subjective? Hell yeah. But I’m fine with subjectivity. It doesn’t bother me one bit.

Where does Moe Sucks go from here? Oh, I don’t know… if I continue to stick around, I guess I’ll just stay the course. I have no big plans for the blog. For the time being, I just want it to remain a little corner on the internet where I get to talk casually about anime. Ultimately, I just want to have one foot in a piece of East Asian culture while I continue to live my life in the West. I never even expected for the blog to ever get to a point where people would actually look forward to my posts. I’m not close to being a big name blogger or anything — I’m certainly not under any delusion of grandeur that Moe Sucks is even a blog anime fans recognize — but still, it’s strange to get any attention, positive or negative. In any case, I’m grateful for those who have stuck around for years and given the blog their support.

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33 thoughts on “Moe Sucks, Then and Now

  1. alsozara

    That was a fun read, cheers for sharing.

    As a side note, I don’t get what so many people’s fear of subjectivity is based on. I’d be pretty bored if any commenter or critic I read or watched showed no signs on an opinion that was uniquely theirs. I think you strike a pretty good balance mostly between personal reaction and more, for lack of a better word, objective critique. It might be why people DO mistake these entries for reviews sometimes.

    Whatever the case, glad you still get enough enjoyment out of this to keep it up. You’re a unique and welcome presence on the aniblogosphere

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      As a side note, I don’t get what so many people’s fear of subjectivity is based on.

      I don’t think it’s a fear of subjectivity so much as this ironclad belief that objectivity is our one true king.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Aw man, it’s funny because when I started watching anime the internet also lead me to Shuffle!
    This is pretty interesting, your blog is pretty cool, I think I’ve been following it since…around the time sao came out? Thought that’s not too long ago I guess.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Loved hearing your story about anime. I definitely experienced the Asian parent stare of disapproval as I saved new year money to buy anime… Your blog posts always give me something to think about, I look forward to future posts! :)

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I definitely experienced the Asian parent stare of disapproval as I saved new year money to buy anime…

      Man, there was disapproval for everything, even books (“Why can’t you just go to the library?”).

      Reply
      1. Rae (@CSrae)

        Eh? My parents thought books were OK, but you’re right I had to spend more time at the library than I wanted to when I was kid =(

        Still love libraries though.

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          Eh? My parents thought books were OK,

          It was okay up to a point. Then it’s like “Are you sure you need to buy all those books?” So it put a damper in my interest in books for a while. I used to love wandering around a giant Barnes & Nobles store. I mean, sure, the library has books too, but lots of old books.

  4. Valerie

    Very interesting to find out why and how you started the blog.

    I found your blog in May when I was so pissed how an ep of Black Bullet was so bad. The anime wasn’t ever that good but it still keep me interested in that world until one ep was just too stupid to me, I dropped it. I’m not really the one to rant online because I’m nervous about getting hate. So I usually look for rants and just agree with them. But I just found blogs and videos of people talking about how great the ep and show was.

    So I found your blog when I typed “Black Bullet ep 7 sucks” or something like that, in google. I was really happy to see that I wasn’t alone in thinking that the anime was so cliche that I even left a comment about it (I knew I wasn’t the only person but I couldn’t find them!).

    I now read a lot of your blog posts, even on shows I don’t watch, I just don’t leave comments. Sorry. I just commented on a few where I felt like sharing my thoughts too. But I don’t really have anything to add usually because I, so far, have been agreeing with your thoughts on a show or episode. I even have looked up older shows in your search bar on the blog so I can read your thoughts on them and I have enjoyed reading them. It doesn’t matter if you liked the show I like or hated the show I like, I enjoy reading and agreeing to all the cliches and plot holes in shows that you point out.

    I have lots of favorite anime but I’m not blind to their annoying and bad moments. So, seeing how you like Terror in Resonance so far but still point out little cliche things that it has, makes me really happy to found this blog because other reviewers wouldn’t say anything bad at all to their favorite shows. No matter how little the “bad” things are. And if someone else points it out, people are calling them haters or complainers just for saying any negative thing.

    If I were brave enough to not care what others online think, I would like to talk about my thoughts on shows too. (I said something about a video game on tumblr a year or two ago and I got hate for it so I ended up deleting that tumblr.)

    I usually never keep watching shows if its so bad, I just drop them. I don’t know how you are able to sit down and watch a whole season of a anime you don’t like and then take time to write about it. But I’m glad you do because it’s so fun to read your posts. lol

    Thank you for posting your thoughts =)

    Reply
    1. Herr Regisseur

      Mien gott! Valerie basically took the words right outta my mouth.
      E Minor, mein freund. You are a man I salute, and though we’ve yet to come to any differences in opinion big enough that I would immediately point out, I don’t think there’ll ever come a time when I stop visiting this horrid, yet beautiful place. Maybe when you stop posting for good.

      I hope that day never comes in this decade, if ever is too much of a distant dream.

      Reply
      1. E Minor Post author

        I hope that day never comes in this decade, if ever is too much of a distant dream.

        I don’t know, hard to imagine writing about anime well into my thirties…

        Reply
    2. E Minor Post author

      No matter how little the “bad” things are. And if someone else points it out, people are calling them haters or complainers just for saying any negative thing.

      Yeah, I know how that is. It’s part of the reason why I stopped blogging Mawaru Penguindrum. I mean, shit, I enjoyed the show overall, but it wasn’t perfect. But god forbid I try to criticize anything about it without people jumping down my throat. That was then, however, when I would let comments get to me more.

      If I were brave enough to not care what others online think,

      We’re only human. Psst, in the past five years, I’ve thought about throwing in the towel when the response to a post gets really negative. These days, however, I just filter out the particularly negative people. I have a simple policy. It’s fine, I don’t mind criticism. If it’s personal attacks, however, everyone gets at least one shot at me, then I ignore you forever.

      Reply
  5. Rae (@CSrae)

    Naturally, I didn’t watch Sailor Moon growing up. I think my mom would’ve looked at me funny, and hey, back then, that sort of thing mattered to me.

    B-but tuxedo mask D: I see your point though. I didn’t actually know SM was a anime until um, middle school. yeah same with pokemon and digimon.

    But if you grew up watching DBZ in the ‘States, then you must remember how the English-language release went… or, more appropriately, didn’t. There were constant re-runs as I waited and waited and waited for Funimation to dub new episodes.

    I remember this orz. I swear so many shows on CN never got to the finale arc and then it’d just re-run forever. IDEK why they bothered to bring over sequels of DB. when they couldn’t even finish one season.

    With my Asian parents, I still had to run any major purchase by them, and yes, an anime DVD was considered “major”.

    The more things change, the more thing stay the same¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    It’s still incredibly embarrassing to my other family members if they were to find out I *still* liked anime after all these years. Yes, anime DVDs were pretty expensive … considered to books, which could be used to study so I can get into a better college :>

    I think I ended up disliking Escaflowne after ten or so episodes primarily because of the love triangle between Hitomi, Van, and Allen.

    It gets better? Well, I always found it creepy that Allen was interested in Hitomi considering he’s in his late 20s. What. It had a nice OST if that counts.

    And even if they did, the series would immediately come to an end, which I thought was stupid.

    Yes, one of the main reasons I had to stop reading/watching shoujo because I’m tired of 100+ chapters of Will-They-Won’t-They? nonsense for plot. OK, romance stories but I reallly don’t care about HS dating if it goes on for a few months. I mean, don’t these people have other friends? hobbies? school?

    And yes, I would finish these shows later — well, not Code Geass — but I still never really thought much of them.

    Likewise, I tried my best. It goes gets so silly and convoluted even with a MC w/super powers.

    Unfortunately, everywhere I went on the internet, people just kept gushing on and on and on about K-On! Maybe I just didn’t read the right blogs or whatever, but I just found it ridiculous that not a single anime blog out there expressed a viewpoint that I could identify with it.

    Eh, not really a fan of HS-musical-comedy shows but I did see K-On! everywhere on forums and MAL. It’s kinda weird how you mentioned that no one else seemed to dislike it.

    Did I just want to love anime? Actually, yes. There just aren’t a lot of Asian-related media in the US unless I wanted to read another goddamn Amy Tan novel.

    I know what you mean orz. I guess, you can always look into Asian dramas or live action movies? For some reason, my grandparents like them and I never felt quite that interested to follow it like anime. Lol, Amy Tan…I read one book because reviews. It’s OK.

    I just wanted to watch something where an Asian character did anything other than do homework or throw punches.

    YES, I try explaining this to my other non-Asian friends but they Still Don’t Get It. I’m tired of the tropes Asian characters are often boxed into all the time in mainstream media. Anime is imperfect but it has *variety.*

    If you ask me, I think I’m overdue for another lengthy hiatus!

    The Fall 2014 season looks awesome though D:

    I won’t blame you if you do want to take a break though because everything in moderation is a good idea.

    Why do I waste my time watching them? Because if I can get a post out that some people can enjoy, I don’t really feel as though I’ve wasted my time.

    I did wonder sometimes but I can understand now because one of my favorite LPers reviews some awful games for fun.

    I’m not close to being a big name blogger or anything — I’m certainly not under any delusion of grandeur that Moe Sucks is even a blog anime fans recognize — but still, it’s strange to get any attention, positive or negative.

    Moe Sucks shows up ranked fairly high on Google when I did a search on “moe” :>

    I think one of the reasons I like reading the blog because it’s very informal? I mean, we’re all pretty much Internet strangers but when I comment on shows it feels almost like we’re in a virtual anime club? Many of my friends aged out of this hobby and I rarely find decent discussion online. I have commented on other places but I never got a sense that well, the authors read it despite me being one of the 3 people who posted.

    FWIW: I’m not saying that I needed someone to thank me for visiting each time but I’ll run of ideas soon if it feels like I’m basically talking to a brick =/

    Thanks running the blog on a daily basis. As always, I’ll look forward to your future posts.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      It’s still incredibly embarrassing to my other family members if they were to find out I *still* liked anime after all these years.

      “You still watch cartoons?” “You still play video games?” “When are you going to grow up?” I have no idea what their idea of growing up even is. Am I supposed to just sit there every night and watch live dramas like they do? Is that growing up?

      Yes, anime DVDs were pretty expensive … considered to books, which could be used to study so I can get into a better college :>

      That’s what my parents thought too. If only they knew that all Asians are perceived to study hard, so if I wanted to stand out, they should’ve pushed me more into other stuff like sports, band, etc.

      It’s kinda weird how you mentioned that no one else seemed to dislike it.

      Well, I didn’t read discussion forums back then, and I still don’t. I’m not saying I’m 100% right that everyone loved the show, and I’m just this lone crusader who decided to strike out against the masses. Nah, nothing like that. I’m just describing my perception, and what led to my ultimate decision to start the blog. At the time, I simply checked out the first few blogs that would show up on Google’s search results, and those blogs were all positive of the show. Since I had spare time, I decided, “Hey, why not just write my own posts?”

      I guess, you can always look into Asian dramas or live action movies?

      I once went through a phase where I binge-watched Asian live dramas. I like the more light-hearted stories, I guess. When they try to do action, because of a low budget, the action always seem mega corny to me. As for actual drama, these shows dial it up waaaaaaay too high. I just can’t take it. I realize I’m not the target audience, but holy crap, when these drama shows tearjerk, they tearjerk mega hard. That’s why I stopped watching live dramas altogether. Kekkon Dekinai Otoko is still my favorite Asian live drama, if that’s indicative of what I like.

      YES, I try explaining this to my other non-Asian friends but they Still Don’t Get It.

      I think the need for representation is often just taken for granted. Sure, I could try and put myself in, say, Batman’s shoes, but you can’t deny your skin color forever. And at some point, I just felt — and I’m sure a lot of Asian kids growing up in the West felt the same way — kinda left out. Growing up, there were a lot of TV shows about white families (Boy Meets world, Home Improvement, etc.), obviously, and a lot of TV shows about black families (Family Matters, The Fresh Prince of Bel-air, etc.). There is even a show about a girl and her gay best friend living it up in New York City (Will & Grace). I’m glad other minorities have their representation; this isn’t about taking them down with me. But I’ve always wondered, “Man, where’s the show about an Asian family living it up in America? We’re here too, you know.” You just don’t see it. And people can say all day, “Oh, it’s just economics. Don’t take it personally.” But when this is the reality for years and years on end — for my entire existence, even — you can’t just tell me to ignore the fact that, well, I feel sort of left out.

      I’m not saying that I needed someone to thank me for visiting each time but I’ll run of ideas soon if it feels like I’m basically talking to a brick =/

      Yeah, I read every comment. I try to respond to every comment too, but sometimes, there just isn’t anything to say, especially if I’m in agreement with a comment. It’s just like, “Uh, thumbs up?”

      Reply
      1. Rae (@CSrae)

        Am I supposed to just sit there every night and watch live dramas like they do? Is that growing up?

        I feel like it’s a bit of a paradox since there is the pressure of filial piety and at the same time if one ends up being too independent then it’s a problem too (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

        That’s what my parents thought too. If only they knew that all Asians are perceived to study hard, so if I wanted to stand out, they should’ve pushed me more into other stuff like sports, band, etc.

        Well, it’s not just *any* instrument it’d have to be something “classical” for example violin or piano. Much of it is trying to box me into “worthy” hobbies over others they considered less “worthy.”

        When they try to do action, because of a low budget, the action always seem mega corny to me. As for actual drama, these shows dial it up waaaaaaay too high.

        When I visited China I got the opportunity to watch a few popular dramas and I actually liked the kung-fu/martial arts comdies orz. I liked it over the melodramatic soap opera set in ancient cities because it feels a bit emotionally-manipulative? I mean, surely not everyone is pure evil to the protag because he/she can? It felt 2D even though they had high production values for sets, costumes, and actors =/

        But when this is the reality for years and years on end — for my entire existence, even — you can’t just tell me to ignore the fact that, well, I feel sort of left out.

        I think there is the series “Fresh Off the Boat” which features a Chinese-American family on TV. It has some problems and controversy but I think that’s the only recent show with Asian characters.

        I had the same feeling when I used to read a lot of young adult books because 95% of authors were white and I rarely read fiction by ABC or Asian authors until college? I mean, some authors try to play the half-Asian card to add “variety” but it feels like lazy writing because somehow he/she always loses touch with their asian “side” and secretly want to be “white”? ಠ_ಠ

        Don’t get me started on authors who do poor research and decide to combine all the asian cultures into one giant one. Suddenly, half the important royal characters have Japanese names set in futuristic China is one of the worst offenders.

        Reply
        1. Rae (@CSrae)

          I used to love wandering around a giant Barnes & Nobles store.

          True, bookstores tend to have updated stock over libraries but we solved this problem by letting me stay at the B&N for hours…to read all those new books :D

          I’m not talking about 1-2 hours, I’d be left there for up to 4-5 hours and I’d finish half or most of a manga series sitting in the couches (before they removed them). This is how I finished many of my series because $10/book adds up over time but I can always go and read them for free.

          Umm, whether this is ethical is still debatable but reading is a great way to pass time when my parent’s were busy working.

        2. E Minor Post author

          I’m not talking about 1-2 hours, I’d be left there for up to 4-5 hours

          Yeah, same.

        3. E Minor Post author

          Well, it’s not just *any* instrument it’d have to be something “classical” for example violin or piano.

          Yeah, they weren’t too happy when I picked trombone, but uh, c’mon, my school didn’t have a symphony. Just a wind ensemble.

          I liked it over the melodramatic soap opera set in ancient cities because it feels a bit emotionally-manipulative?

          Ugh, I avoid anything from before the 1900s like the plague. I just don’t connect with any of it.

          I think there is the series “Fresh Off the Boat” which features a Chinese-American family on TV. It has some problems and controversy but I think that’s the only recent show with Asian characters.

          Hm, never heard of it. Wiki tells me it hasn’t aired yet. I guess I’ll take a look when it finally sees the light of day. If it’s just stereotypical fobby Asian jokes though, ehh…. Honestly, my mother was technically a “fresh off the boat” immigrant, but the Asian mom jokes never resonated with me. They seem on par with redneck jokes, a a cheap ploy to help Asians appeal to non-Asian audiences.

          I mean, some authors try to play the half-Asian card to add “variety” but it feels like lazy writing because somehow he/she always loses touch with their asian “side” and secretly want to be “white”? ಠ_ಠ

          I guess some kids do, so then it becomes a thing that is repeated over and over like a meme.

  6. bithynia

    I found your blog one day after I’d watched the first episode of Code Geass. I couldn’t believe how bad it was and yet the internet was full of these fawning posts about it – so out of idle desperation I typed in “Code Geass sucks” on google and I found your article/editorial/review/whatever on it. It damn near made my day.

    Yours might not be the most popular anime blog out there but by god, it’s the best.
    (And I may be speaking for myself here but I would actually love to read your thesis on race relations in regards to Rawlsian justice, if you ever feel like publishing your less anime/related writing)

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I didn’t write the “Code Geass Sucks” post, though.

      (And I may be speaking for myself here but I would actually love to read your thesis on race relations in regards to Rawlsian justice, if you ever feel like publishing your less anime/related writing)

      I’ve waffled on publishing it or not (on a different blog, of course). Maybe someday.

      Reply
    2. Roa

      Ironically enough, I came here by following your exact opposite mindset, bithynia.

      I liked Code Geass at the time (and, for the most part, still do), but wasn’t really too thrilled by many of the fanbase vs. hatebase wars that sprung up around it. As with a fair number of shows that become both extremely popular and yet also extremely divisive, there’s often too much of a shouting match to maintain rational conversation. There’s a lot of exaggerated praise for the series, yes, but also a lot of exaggerated criticism. In short, those of us who are left standing somewhere in the middle between two extremes tend to struggle a lot under such pressing circumstances.

      Which takes me back to the point. While I could neither personally nor intellectually agree with most of the content of the “Code Geass sucks” post made by TheFin all those years back, as I’ve already mentioned elsewhere…I did appreciate the fact that there was at least an effort to bring the conversation to another level. Of course, even if it was from a perspective that doesn’t match my own opinions, analysis or conclusions concerning the series, but that’s another can of worms (for instance, the silliness is an integral part of the package, right from the visual design style to the various in-jokes and over-the-top theatricality, meaning that more is gained by embracing it rather than fighting a losing battle against such a thing).

      What is most relevant here, however, is that I’m still regularly reading the rest of the blog since then. I don’t always agree with E Minor’s posts either, but despite our differences….upon closer inspection we may have more opinions in common than what I initially expected. I guess that’s ultimately a fact of life. I usually do find something either amusing or interesting enough to catch my attention, and as long as that is the case I’ll be around.

      Reply
  7. Boytitan

    Well guess i will share how I found your blog. At the time I was playing cosmic break the only mecha p.c game with a decent multiplayer group around at the time. Well Cosmic Break became infested with moebots. And for the most part the prebuilt Moes were made stronger than the mechs. This resulted in me looking up what moe is for 1 and hating it for 2. I hate the very concept of moe I don’t get it so googled moe sucks to see if anyone shared my views. And for the most part we do. Only difference I love martial arts always have since being a kid and I am currently a decent mixed martial artist. So as long as not to stupid and well choreographed I love a good action anime here and there.

    Reply
  8. catonwall

    Wow, now that I think about it, it’s been a while since I found your blog! I remember that I was searching for someone who had read Warau Kanako-sama (because I thought that it was a really good manga) and then I found that Fin’s post about it. I went full-tard mode and read almost everything you guys have written. I remember clearly that Hashire, Melos! post. That was just too awesome. Since I’m rather awkward in English, I didn’t comment at all those days, but well, I got enough of watching in the shadows.

    I turned into a hardcore fan of your blog with your posts about No.6. I always wanted to read a critical point of view in anime, and there isn’t a lot of blogs in Spanish that satisfy me. You know, there are moments when I watch an episode and run to your site to see what you have written about it.

    Congratulations on your blog, I hope you keep enjoying writing for us! <3

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Since I’m rather awkward in English, I didn’t comment at all those days, but well, I got enough of watching in the shadows.

      I don’t notice anything off about your English. Plus, as long as we understand each other, perfection is overrated.

      You know, there are moments when I watch an episode and run to your site to see what you have written about it.

      Damn, that’s flattering.

      Reply
  9. Boytitan

    I see no problem with blogging about anime once you hit your 30s. Adam Sessler still talks about video games and he is in his 40s I think.

    Reply
  10. Osef

    I have a question. How do you find the time and motivation to watch about 20 shows a season and blog about them? Especially since, out of the 20, there are maybe 2 good ones per season.

    Anyways good job. Your rants are pretty funny and remind me of someone I know in real life.

    Reply
  11. ismael

    i didn´t know a lot of english but all the spanish anime blogs just go with the common opinion and don´t think when they saw THE (NEW) BEST ANIME EVER , and give the same opinion, that´s why completely bored of that, i tried to read an english blog and almost give up because of the excesive use of the slang or the excesive seriousness of the post , but a friend suggested me this page and i´ve been following this blog since then , thank you for the almost objective critic

    Reply
  12. A reader

    Dude, I think you’re thinking too much about your audience. Me and my friend a lot of the stuff you write, just relax and write about stuff you like/don’t like. Everyone loves hearing opinions whether they like them or not, that’s what enriches our view. So please, do take a hiatus or a creative break or whatever the fuck its called if that’s what you need. But if you keep writing, I’ll and several other people will keep reading, so don’t worry.

    Reply

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