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WO's March Top 10: Random Things

Well, I'm finally back from taking a brief break; been away for a bit doing some proper rest time, and visiting my fiance in Missouri.

So, now that I am back, it's time to get another month's top ten out of the way. I'll do everything I can to keep this one from going so dang long.

Anyway, jumping right in; this month I am not adhering to any theme, so it's going to be random stuff in the fandom.

10: Waiting On Word
One thing fans of anime and manga hate or get so worked up over is of course waiting on word of their new favorite show. Whether it is news of it's arrival in America, or news of acquirement, or even news of who is going to be voicing which character in the up-coming dub.

Most of the negative feedback that comes from the fan-base is due to a company's inability, either un-knowingly, or willfully to keep this vital information out of the general mosh pit.

09: Re-Issue
We all love our shows, and there is no denying that some jump at the first chance to buy an anime the very moment it comes out, regardless of whether it has a good dub, or comes subbed only; some going so far as to pre-order their product weeks and even months in advance.

On the opposite hand, you have those that wait patiently for a company to reduce an anime in price, and see it's life transformed from a full-blown 40+ dollar set to a super saver's special.

It's no big deal to some of us, because the average anime will make its total sum profit, within the first 180 days of it release, so the fact that a title even has a re-issue at a new lower price tag speaks to its popularity and longevity on the full price shelf.

What is annoying, is when a company, in an attempt to breathe some new life into a dead archaic title, sees fit to re-re-issue it as if it was something that just occurred to them, and never mind the fact that it is still the same damn price, but only features slightly different box-art.

What sort of morons do they really take us for? If I didn't buy the piece of crap while it was full price, and I didn't buy it after it failed to make money as a full priced hunk of crap, what makes them think that I want to buy it in it's third generation of crap-dom with just a crappier image on the front of the box?

08. Playing Favorites
It's usually not a big deal when two fans get together and swap their preferences for different anime, and in all truth, that's what it's supposed to be about. You know, good times and such?

But it's when one fan tries to force their favorite on another that typically isn't at all interested in the title, or the franchise, or the fact that your favorite might be some archaic relic from anime past, that barely had a passable audience in its two season run on some obscure network.

I have some shows that I love, and some that I won't go within a thousand miles of, and while I myself try to make a habit of not pushing my favorites on others, it's not fair that I have to listen to how much better some other person's favorite is.

Well, most likely my reasons for disliking something are a little deeper than their blind liking of something. I mean I love most things that others just plain hate. And I hate some things... well, a lot of things that others absolutely worship as the best anime on earth.

Just because you masturbate to every waking moment of One Piece doesn't mean that I have to.

07. Cry Spin-Off!
Just how many damned shows does a franchise have to have before it can ultimately rest in peace, or just flat out die?

It isn't as if we didn't already enjoy the other seasons, but often in what seems like a predesignated attempt to milk money from the fans, studios will invariably create spin offs to popular shows.

Pretty Cure, Tenchi, Haruhi Suzumiya, Gundam... the list just goes on and on!

And it isn't like the shows get much better. The Haruhi-Chan spin off to the popular Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya series is nothing more than 4 to 8 minute episodes of random nonsense, packaged in two parts by Bandai to make more money off of starving fans eager to see more Haruhi, at almost any cost. It's so disgusting to watch fans grovel for more scraps from the industry it makes me want to slap them and scream, "Have some pride you retard! You SICKEN ME!"

06. Anonymity is Power
The best thing about being an anime and manga fan on the internet these days is that it doesn't take long to find more like minded individuals, but the worst thing about being an anime and manga fan these days is the fact that it's become a place where no one really bothers to care about anyone or anything.

Anime fans can make complete fools of themselves, and be ass-holes and ingrates, and it doesn't matter in the least, because there is no one there in real life to slap their internet hands, and tell them to behave.

It's gotten to the point that I hate internet message boards, and online forums. I've no time to spend with cowards that would rather troll, and spam, so I limit my involvement, and hope that the day will come that fans of anime take a little more pride in themselves.

The worst things about anonymity, the internet, and the anime and manga fandom, is that there is little to no recourse for our actions, and it's a perplexing and saddening fact of the fan-base as a whole.

05. Too Much or Not Enough?
So you are walking down the grocery store aisle, looking for orange juice, and you suddenly are halted in your tracks because you are confronted by eighty different varieties of O.J.. Some of it has berry mixed in, some banana, and some kiwi--why the hell banana and kiwi in my orange juice should be good is beyond me.

Well as you stand there, in the process of picking a flavor of "ORANGE" juice, you realize that perhaps "less is more", and sometimes variety only leads to too much choice, and too much hostility, because despite how we may want it, we can't really have it all.

What does this have to do with anime and manga?

I'm glad you asked.

With anime, well, at least anime back in the time before fappers with a keyboard, there was usually only one version of the show. There was no such thing as dual-audio, or subbed, especially when dealing with the VHS era. Sure some anime was only released subbed, but that still limited the choices of a show.

Now with so many options for shows; the dual-audio, the subtitles, and the multitude of fan-subs (each with their own unique distinctive flavor and grammar usage) it's no wonder the fans are angry and nasty.

Too much choice means that they actually have something to complain about. Like my favorite beef, manga vs anime... which is just an excuse for them to unjustly bitch and gripe about filler. No, filler isn't when a show gets adapted for television that it gets some expanded scenes and episodes; filler is when I ram your holier than thou manga up your ass till you stop complaining about ever single tiny thing that doesn't exactly follow every panel of the manga.

Too much variety has made a lot of good fans into unrecognizable tyrants, and bad fans only worse. Sometimes I wish we could go back to the days of old, and have a little less in our stew-pot to chew on, and pick out.

04. Rising Stars
There are quite a few success stories about people in the world breaking into the industry, whether that be the film or TV industry, and even the book industry. But there are not that many stories of people breaking into the Voice Acting industry as of late.

Sadly, many fans have illustrious dreams of grandeur about getting into the anime or manga industry, and while I am not here to squash anyone's dreams, I have to say that it isn't an easy road to go down.

Sure they fall in love with a VA and practice imitating their lines, or sounding like Chris Sabat while doing Piccolo, or Monica Rial as she voices Jo from Burst Angel, but the fact is, if that is all you are doing... then you might as well hang up hat. Studios want flexibility, and range, not you trying to imitate Goku or Revy, and they sure as hell don't want a kid that hasn't graduated from high school yet to be in their many seasons of shows, you think you are going to get.

VAs don't get rich over-night, and unless you are in hot demand, then you might not need to be quitting your day job. In the real world, Voice Acting is what live Action Actors do when they are between films and TV series.

If you want to be a rising star in the industry, then you best be prepared to endure a lot of training, vocally, and mentally. Go to college, and major in vocal music, with some drama, acting and even dance. Take courses that will give you the edge, then when a company has open casting, like the anime industry NEVER does by the way, then you might be on your way to stardom, and little nerds in their mother's basement can fap to the sound of your voice as some hot anime chick that they virtually stalk.

03. The Good Old Days
Let's be honest, when we as fans talk about "the good old days" of anime, what are we really referring to? Is it some grand epic adventure so large it could barely be contained within one small television screen?

Chances are, we are desperately trying to regain that special feeling we had when we were ignorant children that liked to sit on our asses in front of the television and watch something explode. It probably has little to do with great anime from back in the day, and more to do with nostalgia.

Sure there were great anime back when I was a kid, but what good does any of that do now? Voltron is long since over-shadowed, Speed Racer has lost the race for popularity, and Robotech is so old hat that we always move it aside in the video section to see if there is something better behind it to buy.

I'm sure we all feel a twang of good feeling memories when we think back to simpler times as kids that we didn't have the burdens of the fandom weighing down on us, but let's face it folks, the industry isn't gonna wait around for your good feelings and fond memories of days gone by, it's gonna press forward to newer shows, and better audiences.

So while we can get away with being fuddy-duddies and turn into anime geezers that refuse to try anything "new fangled", we won't be able to use the excuse of "Good old Days" for much longer, as the anime of the 90s and 2000s will have turned your vintage stock into a pile of retro backwash.

How about instead of sitting back and complaining about the past being better, you sample a few subbed anime, and some new modern classics, and see that the industry isn't taking any more steps back than it did two decades ago.

02. Social Acceptance
Some of us older generation of fans and even a few of the younger crowd have had to endure some pretty hard times when is comes to our fondness of anime and manga. Sure there was always some small foothold into the entertainment culture of America, but those stints were always short-lived and seldom lasted for very long.

Those of us that found ourselves between those times when anime wasn't frowned upon, had to make hard choices, and much harder sacrifices in our lives. We would go to great lengths to conceal from our family, our friends, and even the general public that we were fans of anime.

In Japan the term Otaku is a dirty word, it's not something that even very socially acceptable to the culture that generates anime and manga; mostly because the definitions of Otaku differ vastly from East to West.

In Japan, one is expected to be a raving fan, without it compromising their social and ethical standards, their way of life, and their contribution to society. But in America, it has come to signify a marker of extreme hardcore fanaticism, which couldn't be any further from the truth.

It seems that the biggest similarity we as American fans have with our Japanese brethren, is that personal inhibition over anime taken too far is unacceptable behavior, and that when we let our fandom and our passions cripple us to the point that we are no longer productive members of society, then we all should have the plug pulled, and go on a serious anime cleansing.

01. This Is Dedicated To The One I Love
When I first got into anime, I was in my early twenties, and it wasn't hard to fall into a "Aww she's so kawaii cute" attitude for many of the girls in anime. I had a particular fondness for Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura, and enjoyed seeing her character types, and there were times that I probably imagined some of the girls in anime a little too much.

But these days, I am older, I have a fiance (actually in the real world, yeah I can kiss a real girl too), and some of the innocent crushes that I once had are more or less just passing chuckles, and sideways glances.

A lot of fans, however are sadly taking the anime crushes too far. And it's hard to figure what is too far, and what is just down right un-healthy.

Am I saying that fantasy infatuation with a 2D girl is wrong? No I am not. But when we take this infatuation to the point where we handicap ourselves to the real world, and make believe that real girls are not as good as 2D girls, then we are one french fry short of a trip to the looney bin.

In all truth, I don't really have a problem with people being idiots and wasting their lives on girls that will never love them back, because that just gives some poor chap out there a shot with a girl they didn't have the balls to date and marry.

But in all honesty, I'd much rather have a flesh and blood girl that I can cuddle against, and press my lips against, and know beyond a doubt that the love I give is returned, than a character I have to draw into sheer moments of delight, and sew into a strip of cloth and hump in the night.