Category: personal stuff

The Anti-Waterworks – My (Not So) Emotional Reactions to Fiction

Last week, Charles over at Beneath the Tangles asked “What scenes from an anime or which series have evoked a powerful (and perhaps unexpected) response within you? Why?” It’s an interesting question, but I couldn’t think of anything off the top of my head. So I thought about it some more later in the day, and found that even if I broaden the question’s scope from anime to media in general I still couldn’t come up with much.

I can’t think of any fictional work that’s moved me in the sense of changing the way I think or behave, at least not in any way discernible to me. As for a simply emotional response, I’ve never been an emotional person; I’ve never cried over a novel or film, and never really get worked up over real-life events, either. During an election, for instance, my father commented that he wished he had my stoicism. Even if we broaden the question further still to non-fiction, the only such work to effect an almost-immediately discernible change in me is Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quadragesimo Anno.

After some reflection, though, I can name a small handful of works that, even if they didn’t move me to tears, did provoke a fairly strong emotion, whether that be sadness, fear, or just a great sense of satisfaction.…

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A Birthday Reflection on Ezra Pound

As you may have guessed from the length of my last post, I admire Ezra Pound.

I’ve found, though, that I’m one of a relative few. His poetry seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it affair, and I can certainly understand those who don’t care for him. Much of his poetry is difficult, his references obscure, and his politics generally right-wing but eclectic enough mostly to just throw people off, except that he vocally supported Benito Mussolini, and even those critics who appreciate, say, T.S. Eliot’s conservatism will draw a line at that.

Yet, with the sole exception of Eliot, Pound is the best poet I know of the past 400 years or so since Shakespeare. He’s also the most important, because even if one prefers some other writer of his generation, Pound very likely knew and influenced him to at least some degree. For example, a professor of mine once commented that Pound’s hand in editing Eliot’s The Waste Land is so great that one could almost call it the first Canto.…

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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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Analects of an Autodidact

Don’t you hate it when a blogger introduces a post by apologising for only being able to write up something short and quick, because he’s been busy with school?


Well, anyway, vocational training aside, it’s been an exciting week for me, because I’m in the home stretch of Sandberg and Tatham’s French for Reading, which I’ve mentioned before. All the main lessons are finished, I just need to get through a final section of reading passages, which I’ll probably finish this week. After that, I’ll start taking my newly-gained ability into the wild, starting off slow with Le Petit Prince, then parallel-text editions of Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, all of which I already own. Once I’m reasonably confident, I’ll order Les Miserables.…

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Maynguh Memories: In the Very Beginning

As I mentioned in my Anime Autobiography series, when I first became interested in anime in high school, I couldn’t really afford much of it. However, I could afford the graphic novel versions of these shows. Since this was 2005/6, Tokyopop had standardised the $10 price point, so for the cost of one anime DVD, I could get two or three volumes of the graphic novels.

Once again, I’m not sure how I first encountered this stuff; I’ve always been an avid reader, though, so I probably stumbled on the ‘Manga’ section of a bookstore, and went from there. In any case, one of the first books I picked up, around spring 2004, was Megatokyo, by Fred Gallagher and (for the first couple volumes) Rodney Caston. Yes, I know it’s not Japanese and thus outside the scope of my retrospective here, but it is a starting point for me. After reading the dead-tree version, I started following the online updates. From there, I joined the forum in November after lurking for a while, where I still post occasionally as ‘Wavebird_Ocelot’, and it was in that forum that I started reading about what shows and comics were popular.…

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Travails of a Language Autodidact

A couple months ago, I put my Japanese study on hiatus and bought a copy of French for Reading, by Carl Sandburg and Edison Tatham. I did so partly because four years of studying Japanese started beating me down. Though I’d made several strides with James Heisig’s book Remembering the Kanji, my progress with that slowed to a crawl. So, I decided to move to a textbook that could be completed relatively quickly, but still give me something to show for my efforts at the end.…

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Anime Autobiography – In the Modern Fashion

<– Previous: Anime Autobiography – Endless Delinquency and Despair

In 2010, my university career ended with a whimper, and I entered the “real world.” Actually, I just continued at the job I already had and spent most of the next year or so wondering what to do for a career. It was a somewhat depressing time, in a way, but hey – I still had my Japanese cartoons.

Now, at this point I’d seen enough that fewer and fewer shows offered really new experiences for me. Most of the shows I saw in 2010-11 stood out because they excelled at something that I’d already seen elsewhere. I also find it difficult to say much about some of these shows because they’re so recent that I can’t quite contextualise them yet. After reflecting on how to go about sharing my experience from these years, it occurred to me that the most significant event is probably a shift in how I watched anime. So here we go – how I watch anime in a modern fashion.…

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Anime Autobiography – Endless Delinquency and Despair

<– Previous: Anime Autobiography – Into the Bowels of College

Sometimes, one discovers the right show at the right time. In high school, I found Azumanga Daioh, early at university I found Genshiken, and early in 2009, the second half of my junior year, I found Welcome to the NHK!, about a seemingly hopeless shut-in who dropped out of college. Having already noticed a pattern in the shows I watched, I thought, “Is this what I have to look forward to?”…

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That 50 Questions Meme

I saw this meme, which apparently originated at Ace Railgun, over at Mainichi Anime Yume and Mono no Aware, and since I enjoy both reading and answering these types of questions, thought I’d do this as well. After all, as I’ve said before, blogging is all about saying “Me, too!”

1. Who is your favorite male anime character?

Kamina, that paragon of masculinity, from Gurren Lagann. I like strong, masculine characters, and his problem-solving method of total self-confidence and brute force is just so much fun to watch.

2. Who is your favorite female character?

It’s a tough call, but probably Triela, from Gunslinger Girl. She appears to be the oldest and most mature of the girls, and thus takes it upon herself to look after the rest. Her uncertain relationship with her handler also makes her and Hillshire the most interesting pair in the show.

3. What is your favorite anime soundtrack?

Evangelion 2.0, which I imported not too long ago. The battle themes especially, though I like almost every piece. I even learned to sing “Tsubasawo Kudasai.”

4. What is your favorite anime opening + animation?

The third opening to Goku Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei.

5. What is your favorite anime ending song + animation?

Unlike openings, there aren’t many endings that I care for. I suppose season one of Spice and Wolf, though there’s not any actual animation. That or “Hare Hare Yukai,” from the first season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

6. What is your favorite anime scene?

A couple scenes come to mind, but I’d say the climax to Evangelion 2.0, when “Tsubasawo Kudasai” is playing. After a TV show and four films, we finally get to see Shinji man up, with beautiful animation, a very good song, and overall it’s just such a satisfying end to the film.

7. If you could meet an anime character who would it be?

If it’s just one meeting, I’d love to dance with Princess Tutu.

8. What anime character is most similar to you in terms of personality?

There’s no perfect matches, of course, but I’ve always identified a bit with Madarame, from Genshiken. His passion for his hobby, but also, unfortunately, his hesitancy in certain things, like moving on from college or telling his romantic interest his feelings.

9. What is your favorite thing about anime?

Creative animation. I love shows like FLCL or most anything directed by Shinbou Akiyuki that just go all-out on changing up styles, or tend towards abstraction. Basically, doing things that are impossible for live-action.

10. What is your least favorite thing about anime?

The obsession with high school settings.

11. Who are your favorite anime couple?

It’s not something I’ve really thought of before, but I’ll go with Lawrence and Holo from Spice and Wolf.

12. Who is your favorite anime animal?

Mesousa, who was the most entertaining part of Pani Poni Dash.

13. What anime would make a good game?

I don’t play video games anymore, so I don’t know and don’t really care.

14. What game would make a good anime?

I could see Final Fantasy VI working as a series. Again, though, I don’t really know.

15. What was the first anime you ever watched?


16. Do you think you’ll ever stop watching anime?

I enjoy traditional animation, so I doubt it. If the West starts producing a lot more of it, I’d probably watch more of that than the Japanese, but that seems very unlikely at the moment.

17. What is your favorite genre of anime?

I watch a bit of everything so it’s hard to pick, but I do seem to watch more slice-of-life comedy than anything else.

18. What is your least favorite genre of anime?

I can’t think of any I’d refuse to watch, but I do try to avoid fanservice-heavy shows.

19. Are you open about watching anime with people you know?

Yes; over half the shows I watch, I’ve watched with my little sister. I’d also be willing to watch with any friends who’d be interested.

20. Have you ever been to Japan?

No, though I’d like to go someday.

21. What anime was the biggest let down for you?

His and Her Circumstances. I’d always heard it was really good, and the first few episodes lived up to that, but it really fell off a cliff. Same with the comic.

22. What anime was better than expected?

I don’t watch a show unless I think there’s some chance it’ll be good, so I don’t have a good answer. Cromartie High School is one I put off watching for a long time, and I’m kicking myself for not checking it out sooner.

23. What is the best anime fight scene?

Another one I’ve never really thought about, but I’ll go with one of Araragi and Mayoi’s scuffles from Bakemonogatari.

24. Who is your anime waifu?

Belldandy, from Oh, My Goddess!, who actually would be a perfect wife.

25. What was your favorite video game as a child?

Super Mario World is the one I played the most, so I’ll go with that.

26. Most embarrassing moment?

Though I’ve made a fool of myself many times, I don’t recall anything really worth sharing.

27. Can you drive? Do you own a car?

Yes and yes.

28. Are you mature?

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Anime Autobiography – Into the Bowels of College

<– Previous: Anime Autobiography – Anime Clubbin’

Going into 2007 and ’08, the combination of university, work, and commuting between them destroyed the vast amounts of free time I’d enjoyed in high school, though having my own car and a decent income for a college student did take some of the sting off that. My hobby of collecting hobbies, though, had to go. I dropped the time-consuming video games, especially the RPG’s I liked, as well as my attempt at learning to play guitar. Literature remained, and though I did as much leisure reading as I could manage, as a literature major I got most of my fill of that in class. Most of my leisure reading, in fact, consisted of graphic novels.…

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