Friday, February 22, 2008

Well-Worded Angst

Sometimes Miri has trouble wrapping up her novels, like now. So Ink tries to cheer her up.... with disastrous results. For your entertainment, we present one such happening:

Pssst: if y'all could drop us a line, it might encourage her. Power in numbers, yanno.[/desperate plea for comments]

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Ten Stages of Anime Addiction

So, Ink and Miri are both pretty serious anime fans, though they both know people who are moreso. And they decided to look at it mathematically, as they're both broke-ish most of the time:

Naruto: 27 volumes currently available at $8 apiece for $216
Bleach: 23 volumes currently available at $8 apiece for $184
Fruits Basket: 18 volumes currently available at $10 apiece for $180

That’s the Big Three for a total of $580. And that's just the start.

This ballooned into a full-blown analysis of anime addiction. All this is based on the generalization that the Subject has a steady source of income and/or inherited Bill Gates's fortune, so there'll be some variation between this list and any number of real scenarios. Still, we think it's a pretty good generalization.

First stage: Big Three. Given most people’s interest specificity, we’re also going to assume that you’ll only be drawn to two of the three. You saw one episode on television, became interested, and realized they were books. You have yet to lay down any cash.

Second stage: Killing Trees. Bought two of the big three on your own and were referred to the third by a friend (because by now, you’ve met up with other anime fans). You’ve also started watching other ones, including original English language shows and super-popular-in-Japan shows that aren’t necessarily mainstream in the U.S.. You’ve also started learning Japanese honorifics in order to keep characters straight.

Third stage: Getting Digital. You have at least DVD of either one of the Big Three or one of the anime standards and listen to anime openings and endings. You’ve memorized at least one theme in Japanese and could give a rough translation if pressed.

Fourth stage: On Spec. Laying down money on faith, browsing bookstores instead of going straight for the books you know you want. Learning basic Japanese and could probably write your name in it with some kind of proficiency. You’ve also begun dabbling in cosplay and have probably attended at least one con. You’re also buying merchandise from your personal faves and anyone who comes in your room could tell at a glance who your top three characters are.

Fifth stage: Fully Hooked. Your wardrobe is taking a decidedly anime turn, including two or three T-shirts, several Naruto headbands, and a wristband or two. You’ve subscribed to Shonen Jump and one of the other fandom magazines. Now you are becoming a manga pusher yourself. Anyone who sets foot in your house watches at least one episode of Naruto before they leave (including door-to-door salesmen) and you completely deny that Zhao/Jet/Hughes/Ray Penbar is dead, even though you saw them get drowned/pummeled/shot/heart attack’d.

Sixth stage: Old Friends, New Obsessions. You’re watching two hours minimum of anime each day in a crazy mixture of online and TV that you recorded at 2:30 in the morning. You have two or three friends, maybe, who aren’t anime fans—the resilient buggers. You have developed a passionate loyalty to at least one major-league voice actor, and your budding interest in all things Japanese has led you to at least one (rather mainstream) video game.

Seventh stage: Borderline Stalker. You can give a brief biography of every voice actor in Fullmetal Alchemist and at least two other shows, including parts they auditioned for but didn’t actually get. You can quote anything long and quote-worthy from at least four different shows and can recognize nine of ten shows on Cartoon Network based on a single frame (and probably give the context of the frame). You have a DVD library and re-watch whole series on a whim. Also, your collection of manga would put most independent bookstores to shame.

Eighth stage: And Culture, Too. You can speak Japanese with a decent amount of fluency and read both kana scripts as well as you do the English alphabet. You are an amateur manga-ka and know what that means. You have stopped making up your own sentences: you simply tailor anime quotes to fit your conversational needs. Any tan your skin once had was replaced by a pallor of midnight YouTube anime binges.

Ninth stage: You’ve met one of your favorite manga-ka on a visit to a con (and salivated all over him or her). Your house is a shrine to an obscure anime character who only lasted twelve episodes. Your mother refers to you not by your name, but as "Anime Zombie."

Tenth stage: You’ve moved to Japan.

Next week (or, let's be honest, whenever we get around to it) we'll mathematically compare the cost of an anime/manga habit versus other habits. Like coffee. Or crack.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

What. The. Fluff.

Seriously, what end of the pig is this coming out of? IT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE ANY SENSE.

I know I'm a bit slow on the uptake and that this kerfuffle's been going on for a couple days now, and Ink and I had The Ten Stages of Anime Addiction all ready to post, but...

I'm just a wee bit upset, if you can't tell.

You know what? I'm a YA. I am the audience that "those books" are aimed at. And yet I do not consider myself to be any less of a critical reader in search of a great story than the glaring majority of adult readers. In fact, ask Ink or the crit group - I'm a nitpicker to the umpteenth degree.

And yes, I want to write YA, but that's not even why I'm upset here. My favorite books - all of them - are YA. Some of the books on my shelf are mediocre, but a huge number are amazing, the kind of books I read ten or twelve times for sheer awe of the story and love of the characters.

I'm a pretty easygoing person about insults. Country? Fine. Region? Fine, y'all. Religion? Used to it by now.

But don't you dare mess with the books I love.

I'd like to see you write one.