Interrogated By Another Blogger

…and thankfully it’s by Webkid94 over at Oasis Crossing and not the Recording Industry Association of Japan or something. Could you imagine?

Anyway, the rules (as set forth by Iso at Nabe!!):

Rules »

  • Each person is supposed to follow the rule of fives. You are allowed to ask 5 questions, after which you can tag up to 5 bloggers by hyper-linking to their blog; 5 questions because it’s not too many to flood another blogger and occupy too much of his/her time, but yet a large enough number to ask your most important questions, and 5 bloggers to avoid spamming. Hence, prioritize your questions, and who you wish to ask!
  • Those tagged are obliged to answer the questions in a blog post, and after which, they are entitled to create their own 5 questions and tag 5 other bloggers, so on and so fourth. You should answer your own 5 questions as well. You are allowed to tag the person that tagged you in the first place. Also, copy and paste this section on your blog so others can understand how the game goes.
  • In the case where a blogger strongly refuses to answer a question, he/she must instead post a nice anime image, wallpaper or cosplay picture, et cetera in response to that question.
  • To make things interesting, a blogger can include wildcards in his/her 5 questions by placing an asterisk, (*), after which those tagged are obliged to reveal something interesting about themselves that others did not previously know. There is no limit to the number of asterisks one can place (which means there can be up to 5 wildcard questions).
  • Anyone can feel free to start the game; you don’t necessarily need someone to tag you. Just create your 5 questions and tag your 5 people of choice. However, the catch is that you must answer your own 5 questions as well.

Webkid94’s Questions, My Answers

1. What is your favorite anime soundtrack?
You’d think with all the times this question pops up, I’d have a ready answer, but the truth is that my mood really dictates what I enjoy in any given moment.

In most instances, the ARIA soundtracks hit all the right spots as they gently sweep me away through the choro and piano melodies which ripple forth with a sense of soothing calm and an aura of wonder that’s present in every note. When I’m in a drama-y mood, Akira Senju’s Red Garden soundtrack gets my favor as he channels that mood of despair and sorrow, but transitioning it into waves of hope. But when I’m in the mood to venture out and experience a thrilling journey, nothing works better than Yuji Nomi’s score to The Cat Returns (though Hitoshi Sakimoto’s Romeo x Juliet soundtrack comes close). Do give “Baron’s Theme” a listen and go forth upon the wonderful journey that its melody beckons you towards!

2. What anime would you give a second chance to?
Looking over at my list of stalled works, the prize would go to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. What turned me off from watching this is the show’s attempt at comedy, which often came in at the wrong moments and interrupted the serious mood that was brewing. My expectations coming in was that this show would focus on the drama, the action, and the tragedy – basically, the elements that made the first incarnation as enjoyable as it was. Had they ditched the comedy, I probably would not have let it sit in the limbo it’s currently at.

That said, there are forces in my life that are pressuring me to continue on. I shall heed these calls at some point. Not anytime soon though. I don’t feel beaten down quite yet.

3. What are some of your favorite blogs and why?
Good thing this question doesn’t say anime blogs even if it meant to! This means I have free reign to pick and choose.

First pick goes to David Sirlin. He’s a game designer who’s worked on a variety of stuff ranging from fighting games like Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix and tabletop games like Yomi and Puzzle Strike. The site touches on a lot of elements, from the mindset one should have when it comes to competitive games to the psychology of games and, of course, game design. His approach to game design is definitely worth reading in that it’s very sensible and easy to know where he’s coming from even if you disagree with his stance.

Next up would have to be the Valve Economics Blog. As someone who dabbles in the dismal sciences from time to time, I really love to see how economics is applied to game worlds. Video games are fairly fascinating entities to examine, especially if you’re like me and evaluate it as a ruleset that some designers have put in place and use those rules to create incentives for people to behave a certain way. Yanis Varoufakis takes that one step further and talks about concepts like arbitration and bartering/exchange in gaming on a level that’s very enlightening.

Do I need to list at least one anime blog too? OK, fine, how about Baka-Raptor? In addition to having thought-provoking commentary presented in a way that’s entertaining, I can definitely get behind a guy whose favorite Idolm@ster character would say something like “Ramen is culture. Ramen is progress. Ramen is possibility.” Now if only he’d learn to use that combo of chopsticks and ladle spoon like I showed him…

4. Would you watch an anime series even if you have a personal objection (religious/political/etc) to some of the themes/content?
My personal objection to bland male leads surrounded by a ton of females who want to bone him has never stopped me from watching shows of that ilk in the past. It’s kind of discouraging because I never quite understood why those women run after those vapid guys rather than madly swooning over my wit and charm.

Also, I did somehow survive watching School Days: Magical Heart Kokoro-chan. Man, if I can sit through that, I think I can sit through damn near anything.

5. What is your favorite English dub and why?
Seeing that my experiences with dubs of any reasonable quality consist of watching Princess Mononoke and Cowboy Bebop, I’ll have to throw my lot in with Cowboy Bebop. Faye’s sultry voice certainly is one of the highlights and somehow fits into the role better than Megumi Hayashibara’s.

My Questions (and People I’m Tagging)

1. While you’re watching an anime, what makes the soundtrack/music so memorable you’d actively seek it out?
2. What do you think about Crunchyroll’s business model’s survivability 5 years down the line and do you think Hulu or Youtube are capable of becoming a stronger competitor?
3. What would it take for you to contribute to an anime that is aiming to get crowdfunded through a site like Kickstarter?
4. Which anisong artists who’ve debuted in the past 3 years do you predict will still be popular 5 years from now?
5. What is the biggest barrier that prevents anime from being more popular in the West?

Tagged targets: I think Omo, Akira, Kylaran, and Calaggie might have interesting contributions/insights to share in this area. Anyone else who finds these questions worth tackling is free to piggyback on top of this.

My Responses to My Own Questions

1. While you’re watching an anime, what makes the soundtrack/music so memorable you’d actively seek it out?
There are two components in general that’ll make a soundtrack stick out. The first is the distinct flavor that the soundtrack brings to the table and sets it apart from all the others. Now, that flavor can take the form of atmosphere (think about how skip-happy Tsuritama’s soundtrack is), some oddball instrumentation, or a style that’s particularly engaging (Fairy Tail’s soundtrack’s Celtic rock anyone?).

The second would have to be the extent to which the work is thematically cohesive. One of the more recent albums, Chihayafuru’s soundtrack, is a great example of this. It’s composer, Kousuke Yamashita, is able to inspire us not only through the main theme, but in the way he arranges the theme to suit other moods while retaining the emotionally-stirring melody that I never tire of listening to.

2. What do you think about Crunchyroll’s business model’s survivability 5 years down the line and do you think Hulu or Youtube are capable of becoming a stronger competitor?
The reason I asked this question is because I’m not as well versed in the Western anime industry as I’d like. What I can say is that it looks like their viewership is increasing, spurred along not only in the anime segment, but also by the growth in the popularity of other Asian media like live-action dramas (both Japanese and Korean).

Simulcasting is here to stay and if nothing else, it offers Asian media companies an avenue to showcase their work and gauge audience reception. I’m not sure whether Asian media companies’ distribution arrangements are exclusive to Crunchyroll though (could they decide to release a DVD without Crunchyroll getting a cut of pie?).

I do like Crunchyroll’s market position though. Their expertise lies in Asian media and they are wholeheartedly dedicated to providing the best streaming experience for this niche. Until Youtube, with Google’s cash hoard standing behind it, decides to focus more on this niche, Crunchyroll doesn’t have much in the way of competition. My attempts at using Hulu for anime has also been mixed and I don’t see any competitive threat coming from there.

3. What would it take for you to contribute to an anime that is aiming to get crowdfunded through a site like Kickstarter?

Plot. Animation quality. Evidence of past successes.

I probably vet my purchases a bit more than most, but those three factors are really key if I were to invest in a new anime project. The first two parts are pretty self-explanatory since those are the two components that grab my attention the most when watching anime (Yes, music isn’t in the top 2. Ain’t that a shock?). But the third part is critical. Past successes lend a project a lot of credibility and it makes me feel better knowing that my money isn’t going to some untested (key word here) talent fresh out of art school but to someone who has been able to produce.

4. Which anisong artists who’ve debuted in the past 3 years do you predict will still be popular 5 years from now?
Oh, hell if I know! I never did wade into the anisong pool that deeply to begin with so I never did have a grasp as to who’s popular and who’s not. That said, I did like Azuma Hitomi’s work on Fractale’s OP/ED single and her subsequent releases have been decent. I don’t think Etsuko Yakushimaru really counts even if her first individual single was released in 2009. Sasaki Sayaka… maybe? Asami Seto can also sing decently.

5. What is the biggest barrier that prevents anime from being more popular in the West?
I think animation still has the perception of being for children and anime has even bigger hurdles in that it’s a foreign product that US media companies are loathe to take a chance on. That said, the latter issue will grow less, what with Dreamworks and Pixar getting the bulk of the success in American animation by catering to audiences of all ages. Anime’s foreignness is a tougher hurdle though and I’d like to think that shows like Avatar, the Last Airbender are getting Western audiences more used to the art style and storytelling.

zzeroparticle

Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

2 thoughts on “Interrogated By Another Blogger

  • September 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm
    Permalink

    “Ramen…for it is not merely food. It is the path of devotion to daily inquisition, it is ‘mankind’ itself. Ramen is culture. Ramen is progress. Ramen is possibility.”

    And if that’s how Crunchyroll subbed it, the lines were probably even more poetic.

    Reply
    • September 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm
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      “Noodles firm, broth spicy, double vegetables, pile on the garlic oil”

      Reply

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