So according to others, I was apparently supposed to be part of the “12 Days of Christmas” craze that’s sweeping the blogosphere, and I’m kinda confused on how that impression came to be. I’m planning on doing what I did last year with the “Impressions on a Year 2008” coming soon after Christmas, but nothing of the sort was happening before the holiday. At the same time, I feel guilty when I see links from other blogs saying that I’m participating in it when I’m not, so I figured that I should go and do something about it. And from the outset be lazy and selfish about it. So, instead of covering my thoughts on the year of anime that I saw, I decided to write about what I thought were the best posts on DMAB this year, even though December isn’t over yet. Of course there’s bias involved here (yay self-horn tooting!), so if you have different favorites than I do, please feel free to say so. Nor is this post itself going to be the pinnacle of good writing (as I’m tired and lazy right now), but I feel that this helps people who haven’t bothered to check out the blog before, and at least it gives me some time to reflect on things.
While there are most posts than usually in January compared to how things usually are on the blog (4-5 posts/month), only two posts “stand out” in my mind. A Sorta BigNtrospection, or “Because I Love This Community!” came out of some introspection on my part (as a lot of posts tend to do) in terms of what anime has had to do with where I was at in many areas of life, where I had come from beforehand, where it might lead me into the future, and what it has meant to me in a way. I still think it’s a good way to keep things in perspective, especially when I feel like I’m putting more into this hobby than I should be. On a lighter note, as I needed (and still do) a Hidamari Sketch fix in while waiting for x365 to come out, I felt like letting some steam off with A “Character Study” on Hidamari Sketch with Pictures and Sentences. Duh. I’ve focused on characters before, but never really in the context of a whole show before. It helped that said show focuses more on the characters than the plot, and I really felt like I got things right in terms of what I knew about the characters back then. Course, that knowledge has only grown muchly since then. 😛
February heralded the 1 year anniversary of Drastic My Anime Blog, and with each passing day, I’m still amazed that the blog is still going strong, especially as things only get harder for me as I progress through medical school. During this month, among the many shows during the Winter season, Spice and Wolf was the talk of the town, and while I loved the character interaction aspect of the show, I felt the show failed in explaining things economic. Later on, I found that it was probably the subbers (sorry BSS) that didn’t explain things well, but even so, without Wolf, Spice, and Currency: The Economics of Wolf and Spice from Nomad Otto, I’d be more lost with what the “bartering genius” Lawrence was trying to do in wasting all of the hard earned money he, Horo and Nora harnessed. I only hope things will get better on that end for him in the second season.
March brought the end of the Winter season, and another one of the shows that people were talking about during the period was True Tears, with some even proclaiming it the best show of the year (prematurely I thought, and still do). And if people were talking about the series, they’d inevitably bring up the first main love triangle of the year (sorry Aiko ;_;), and who Shinichiro would eventually choose between Hiromi and Noe. While I was on the Noe side of the camp, I wasn’t quite as passionate as other members were, where while I could easily see Shinichiro choosing Hiromi, I wasn’t fine with it because I felt like she still had some issues that she needed to deal with first hand. The post There’s Something About Hirom(ar)i notes those problems, and I was satisfied to see that Hiromi acknowledged and attempted to get through some of them at the end of the series, and at how it didn’t bring out drama from the comments, because I was a little worried about that. I’m still sad for Noe though. The soul still burns.
April gives me three posts that I find memorable in some way. As a member of the Anime Blog Awards main committee for it’s first time out, I wanted to get my thoughts out on what I thought the awards were about, my worries about how I felt some people missed the point, and my props to those that I nominated for their respective award groups. Somehow, ABA Nominations From The “Third Wheel” of The ABA Committee: For I Am A Copycat And An Attention Seeker came out reasonably well in that regard, as my thoughts were a jumble at that time, and I wish the main committee for ABA 2009 the best of luck (you’ll see more of it from me though in the future, so stay tuned :P). For the second post, Nomad in Who, What, Where, Which? analyzed Utena on the basic of time as a whole, tying themes together in ways that I haven’t really seen done on the show before. And my meditative side comes out again for the last post of the three, I Need To Get Over Myself, or How Watching Cosplay Is a Starting Step in Self-Contemplation, where I start to come to terms with how shallow, elitist and egotistical I can be with the anime fandom without realizing, and how that never feels good.
That led to a May where I let myself get worked up about the last post, focusing on the subject again, only turning the lens onto myself and everyone else for Down That Slippery Slope to the End of the World. In it, I was wondering about why anime fans were so afraid of how they were perceived by society to the point of criticism overkill (which jpmeyer in a recent example so deftly pokes fun of here, if I interpreted hopefully interpreted it right) for groups of fans that tended to act “outside of the norm”, as evidence by my own actions. It was also the first time where I felt like some people were missing the point, where some commenters reaffirmed the actions that I felt are problematic and should be confronted. But on a lighter note, while Code Geass is still a show that I need to watch more of, Nomad provides a good case as to why he likes the show in Code Awesome: Nomad of the Bloggers, filled with interesting concepts and spoilers.
June brought with it the milestone of the blog’s 1000th comment, and some more fun posts. I had never really written a post to directly refute someone else’s before this point, but I felt like I had to respond when Owen threw down a gauntlet in my eyes. Of course, the matter wasn’t serious business, but in Hidamari Sketch As “Better” Slice-of-Life than Lucky Star, I felt like I had to respond as well as I could with my fanboyism to Owen’s claims of the opposite. If anything, I jokingly felt like I caused the months of hiatus that followed after his point with my powerful arguments, but obviously that wasn’t the case. And speaking of that, the post LOL TOUHOU HIJACK! came from my amazement at of the imagination that ZUN had in creating the open-ended world of Gensokyo, as well as the imaginations of the many fans that create the material at such a huge amount.
By July, Kurenai had already ended for a couple of weeks, but it was only until this month that I was able to get out something I thought worked for it. In The Ties That Bind, I attempted a comparison between the patchwork family that the main cast members set up, and the bonafide family the Kuhouins were, as loose as the contrast may be. On the fan anthropological side of things, Nomad Otto’s post Clubbed to Death and Con-fused tried to paint a picture of how anime clubs came to be, why they existed, and how things were changing. Whether or not you found it successful (though I did), it’s an interesting look on the evolution of how anime fans associated with each other. And as I always like trying to defend series that I feel get unnecessary knocked before people even try them out Well, The World Hasn’t Ended Yet is my try at doing so for Strike Witches, which is actually a decent show despite how it may appear.
August brought with it Otakon, which was my first anime con that I’ve gone to, and I chronicled my results as best as I could. Can’t Wait Till Next Year sums up how I felt about the whole thing (it was fun times), though if you want more of the nitty-gritty with what I actually did there, then the other Otakon posts should work for you. The month also came with a new co-author in dm00, and his first post An anime-obsessive visits Paris is a great look at some places to go in a country with an anime culture that hasn’t really had much outward representation in the blogosphere. And while I had been doing my Hidamari Sketch x365 posts for a while You Can Get It If You Really Want was the first time I felt really comfortable with tying together my thoughts from watching the show. Yuno tends to do that (and for those wondering, I will complete this series of posts. Trust).
September didn’t really have strong posts in terms of substance, I feel, but it at least brought with it some discussion. New Anime Seasons and Our Selection Methodologies: “Because I Love This (insert buzzterm here)!” was basically a ramble about what makes people decide what they watch for the future, and from the response, I was able to get cool insight into how some bloggers and readers do so.
Things go outside of the box a little bit in October, where dm00, using some leeway, brings us interesting animations that aren’t Japanese by nature (but the Japanese definition, are still “anime” if you want to get anal about it), while in On IRC: To Be Broken Is To Be?, I ruminate about an IRC conversation in trying to understand the rationale for the using term “broken” to refer to a specific group of fans, as negative as the world sounds.
In November, Nomad, who abhors hearing sound in space, writes about another pet peeve of his that the current season of Nodame Cantabile brought out in On the Suspension of Disbelief. And in a repeat of last year, with Thankful for Anime, 2008 I tried to again list some of the shows that have grabbed my attention over the year, and to give them their credit in doing so during the Thanksgiving season. I didn’t mention all of the shows that have done that for me, but I like to think that the feeling is there whether I put them down or not.
And as we come to a more than half finished December, I tried to get what I thought was the main point of the currently running Toradora in Well, It Certainly Grabbed Mine, and showed of some music fanboyism for Macross F with Some Macross F Vocal Collection Nyan Tama: Blown Away By Love Power.
Are these the best that I think Drastic My Anime Blog has had to offer for this year? Well, some of them at least. But if haven’t really checked out the blog before, or if you want to relive some memories of 2008, I think this is a good place to start. At least it gets me feeling like writing again.