Category: meta stuff

2014: It All Comes Tumbling Down, Tumbling Down, Tumbling Do~wn

So, if 2013 was the Agincourt of weblogging, 2014 was The Battle of Little Bighorn.

Not that I feel too sorry for myself – I had thought early in the year that I’d rather spend time on other things than web logging, though I did expect to get up more than ten posts. At least most of them turned out fairly well, including a couple retrospectives, one on serial experiments lain and another on Neon Genesis Evangelion. Speaking of Evangelion, I also wrote about the January theatrical release of Evangelion 3.0, which still hasn’t come out on glorious blu-rei. I also shared my thoughts on the other big anime theatrical release this year, The Wind Rises, which has come out on home video; based on my re-watch of the film on blu-ray, I think these early impressions still stand.

Among the normal review posts, I actually wrote about a few live-action films, which is unusual. The best of these was probably The Chekist; I also came up with a sequel of sorts to the Uncle Walt-a-thon with The Jungle Book, and wrote about the strangest book I read this year, Uzumaki.…

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2013: The Agincourt of Weblogging

That’s Agincourt from the French perspective, as last year’s success turned out to be shorter-lived than I expected.

Well, maybe “Agincourt” is an exaggeration, but it’s been a lousy year for me on all fronts. Leaving aside personal stuff, post quality was less even than I’d like, and update consistency fell apart in the second half of the year. I do seem to have gotten back on track now, though, and there were some good points throughout the year, so here’s the highlight reel for Everything Is Oll Korrect! in 2013.…

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2012: An OK Year in Review

So, with only two weeks left in the year, I thought I’d take a look back and share some thoughts on how Everything is Oll Korrect! fared in 2012, and share some of what I consider the best, or at least most interesting, posts of the last year.

Overall, the blog fared pretty well. It is, by far, the most successful year yet for Everything. Post quality has evened out, at least in my admittedly biased but self-critical opinion, and for the first time I can claim with a straight face that I update regularly. There’s been a post every week except two, in late March and late November. A few weeks had two posts, making my average just above one update per week. I also had more views and comments than ever before, though this is still far from a popular blog.

Now, I don’t go back and re-read my old posts very often, but for the end of the  year I did go through the archives and come up with what I think are the highlights of 2012.…

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A Few Thoughts About ‘Everything’ and its Future

As I’ve mentioned before, when I first began this blog I intended to take an academic approach and post mainly essays and commentaries on works of literature and religion. Even after I started blogging seriously, the only result are a couple lackluster posts on Mishima Yukio, Confucius, and maybe one or two other things that even I can’t remember anymore. The best idea I’ve had for Everything Is Oll Korrect! was changing focus to sharing my impressions on individual works, essentially a reading or viewing journal.…

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Post 100

This is post number 100 for ‘Everything is Oll Korrect!’, and it’s also been about a year since I registered this domain. I have mixed feelings about the relevance of the landmark – though ‘OK!’ has been around a lot longer than most blogs (since Autumn 2007), it’s been mostly an on-again off-again affair since its beginning as a school project. Only this year have I taken this at all seriously, and only the the past half-year have I begun to find a voice, so to speak.

The biggest change is that for most of this blog’s history I tried to take an academic tone. Gradually, though, I shifted to something a little more personal – and, though I mostly write impressions and reviews of what I read and watch, I think of this blog as very much a personal project. I’ve found that writing about my impressions helps immensely in clarifying my thoughts, and I can better appreciate the media I consume.

I do hope, though, that my enthusiasm for writing and my subjects comes through, and I’m thankful for those who have stopped by and read my blog. I have some plans for this site that I should be able to execute over the next several weeks, including making some progress on the Zetsubou-Sensei fansite, continuing to post regularly on the “America First” blog, and a redesign and possibly renaming this blog. Please look forward to it.

Now, it’s getting late, and I’ve a lot of writing and reading to do!

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On Selling Out to New Technology

Earlier today I set up a Twitter account (CheshireOcelot, if you want to know). I had created one four years ago for a couple weeks as part of a class on computer mediated communication (the same class that prompted the creation of this blog, in fact), but I deleted the account a few weeks later. Before I write or say anything, I always ask myself, “Is this worth sharing? Will my audience be informed, delighted, or moved?” In 140 characters, the answer is almost always “No.”

Now, even then I realised that those who get the most out of Twiter use it primarily to follow interesting people and share links to quality content, rather than to inform others that I’m currently eating lunch, going to bed, at the urinal, or otherwise leave people in despair by overdramatising meaningless statements. However, at the time, not many people used Twitter, making this somewhat theoretical. Four years later, now that everyone but me has an account, I figured I may as well hop on board, though it did take the catalyst of my little sister joining for me to follow.

Facebook presented a similar case. I joined in 2006, but deactivated my account after a couple months, and not having an account was a point of pride for me. By 2010, though, I caved in. Almost everyone I knew expected me to have an account, so much so that I missed a couple events that I’d have liked to go to because the invitation was sent via FaceBook. The specific catalyst was a friend’s birthday; for some other reason she had called me that January day, and happened to ask why I hadn’t shown up for her party. Of course, I hadn’t heard anything about it, and she said, “I sent the invitations through Face- oh yeah…”

I was similarly late to get my own cell phone, laptop, iPhone, and current-gen video game console (PlayStation 3), but I’ll save those stories for later. As for Twitter, I don’t know what I’ll do with it. I doubt I’ll post much, but I’m already following several other people, so probably I’ll just use it for news and such.

I do wonder, though, how many people besides me join these things not because they have a use for them but simply out of peer pressure.…

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Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (Comic)

I’m currently creating a fansite for Kumeta Koji’s comic, Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. For now, it’ll be a fairly simple affair, with reviews and reference information about each volume. Since one can find most basic information about the series from Wikipedia and fanart on any of a number of fanart sites (e.g., Danbooru or Safebooru), I’ll focus on my own impressions of the series, and some more detailed information than what one finds on more general sites, like when different memes or characters are introduced, or how the different translators have dealt with the source material.

For now, here’s a draft of my overview of the series as a whole:


So, introducing Kumeta Koji’s Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. Though much of what I’ll present on this site is plain, factual information, perhaps I’ll say up-front that I adore Zetsubou-Sensei. With the sole exception of Yotsuba&! (its spritual opposite, I suppose), it’s my favourite comic series, and the anime adaptation is one of my top five. So, though it’s not my style to go over-the-top fanboy, almost everything about the series appeals to me so much that I can only write from the viewpoint of a fan.

With that disclaimer, I’ll start with a few words on the series as a whole. The title means “Good Bye, Mr. Despair,” possibly a reference to James Hilton’s Good-Bye, Mr. Chips. That is a literal translation, so why the North American publisher, Del Rey, decided to use the Japanese title here confuses me. The fansub I have of season one of the anime uses the title “So Long, Mr. Despair,” which has a decent ring to it, I think, better than the unwieldy (in English) “Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei,” and gets the meaning across just fine. At least the average anglophone can look at it and know right away what it means. That said, Del Rey did mostly redeem themselves by adding the subtitle “The Power of Negative Thinking.” The twist on Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s classic The Power of Positive Thinking fits the tone of the comic very well. I don’t know if they consulted Mr. Kumeta, but I imagine he would probably have approved the addition.

Regarding the comic itself, Kumeta uses a satirical tone throughout the series, and almost every chapter revolves around roasting some societal problem or personality quirk, like shut-ins (hikkikimori), perfectionists, stalkers, media hype of all kinds, comic conventions – there’s even a page on TV Tropes dedicated to listing the tropes Zetsubou-Sensei undermines!

As one would expect, Kumeta definitely favours a dark sense of humour. The protagonist’s rampant cynicism is the comic’s hallmark joke, which leads him to attempt suicide multiple times per volume. He even tells a student in chapter four that the true love is best expressed by double suicide.

Kumeta also keeps up a frenetic pace. Text fills some pages like wallpaper, and jokes come fast and often, not only in dialogue but in the background art and text lists on the sides of panels. Luckily, the minimalist art style prevents the panels from feeling too chaotic. There’s no unnecessary detail, and no colour. Literally, black and white dominate the palette – even shades of grey are kept to a minimum. The art does its job well, though – the characters are distinct, the action is clear, and overall I find it quite stylish and appealing.

The series does have the fault, though, of falling into a pattern after the first two or three volumes. Most chapters begin in the classroom, a topic is introduced,  Sensei declares that some aspect of that topic leaves him in despair, there’s some dialogue, then everyone goes into town and finds examples of that topic. Though the solid material usually holds up the unimaginative presentation, the series could use some more variety in its later volumes.

On a final note, I’ll mostly cover what’s available in English, and at least for now I’ll focus on the comic rather than the anime. Though both versions are excellent, the comic is currently more easily available, though once I get caught up with the comic I’ll probably look into adding a section for the anime, as well.…

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