A Little Cloud’s Liebster Curiosities

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New year. Old tunes. And some questions to start things off.

So there’s an event circulating around the anime blogosphere called the Liebster Awards that’s designed to get people exposed to new blogs or blogs with a smaller number of readers by tagging other blogs and asking the writers a series of questions. Cloudy over at Cloudy’s Blog nominated not Anime Instrumentality (technically), but the Anime Music Tourney. In the interest of keeping things separate since the AniMusicTourney site should generally be used for all contest-related things, I’ll go ahead and answer Cloudy’s questions here. Without further ado:

1) If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Your Mastermind’s Mastermind

2) Why did you start blogging?
Since this question is aimed at the Anime Music Tournament, the reason for it coming into being was as a last hurrah that would close out an event from my past called the MALKeionbu. Back in 2009, I started a weekly event on MyAnimeList where people would nominate anime music based on a certain theme like “action” or “love” and people would then nominate 10 tracks they think fit that theme well. Once all 10 tracks were assembled, they would vote on the tracks they enjoyed and thought fit the theme best.

The event managed to stick around for a year until I became bogged down with other life events, leaving me with very little time to organize it. It never did get the close it deserved though since the club exposed me to so much music, expanding my awareness to the extent that I felt it needed a proper send-off. Hence, the Anime Music Tournament came into being, giving people beyond the MALKeionbu-ers the opportunity to expose themselves to anime OP/ED/Inserts they might not otherwise have listened to. Overall, the event was a net positive, especially for those who took the time and put in the effort to listen to all of the music on offer.

3) What’s your favourite anime or manga character and why?
Tough call. I particularly like the Count from Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo simply because of his magnificent bastardly ways as he plots out his vengeance. Honorable mention goes to Dr. Kenzo Tenma from Monster, whose idealism, though naive at times, persistence, and level of empathy towards others is admirable.

As for why I started Anime Instrumentality, well, I wanted to talk about anime music, no one else was talking about it, so I did something about it.

4) Who is your biggest inspiration in life?
The biggest inspiration crown has floated around between different people throughout the years, but I think I’ve finally settled on Bill Watterson (the creator of Calvin and Hobbes) as my chief source. Even reading Calvin and Hobbes two decades after I first laid hands on the strip, I can still find many messages that deeply resonate, whether the characters are philosophizing or making observations about the world. That I’m still able to mine a lot of value from those comics is a testament to how timeless his work is.

And if that weren’t enough, his Kenyon College speech is a really good read. I make sure to read it once a year to remind myself of what’s truly important and how to navigate the curves that life sometimes throws your way.

5) Do you think being an introvert or extrovert is more advantageous as a blogger?
Neither. Introverts and extroverts can play to their strengths and be successful in their own way, whether it’s by thought-provoking observations or asking questions that get others to think more deeply about the anime/manga they watch/read. I’ve met a fair number of anime bloggers in person and the ones I respect come from a wide spectrum of personality types.

If you ask me, the most advantageous trait a blogger can have is persistence and the desire to improve their craft.

6) If you enjoy books, what’s your favourite genre?
I tend towards fantasy though I’ve been lax on that as of late. Still on the first page of George R.R. Martin’s Feast for Crows even though I’ve had that sitting on my shelf for awhile. I’m reading more non-fiction than anything else these days, actually.

7) What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned thus far?
The most important lesson to learn is to never stop learning. Always be curious about the world around you and find opportunities to make yourself useful by getting things done.

8) If you were a superhero, what superhero name would you take?
Teflonator, mostly because most things don’t really stick to me.

9) During a zombie apocalypse, what weapon would you go for?
If only my job interview questions were like this! My pick would still be a Death Star though. You’ll find there are few things a Death Star can’t deal with, pesky X-wing pilots who may be related to you being one of those few exceptions.

10) Do you prefer sweet snacks or salty ones?
Given that choice, sweet snacks. Spicy snacks triumph over both, though.

11) Where do you see yourself in three years?
3 years is a lot to plan for since if I’d looked back on the past 3 years, my life has gone in directions that I never quite expected, especially in terms of career and life. Things that are constant though would be me continually plugging away on the subject of anime music, being ever so wiser about the world around me, and having a lot more life experience to deal with the bumps on the road ahead.


And that’s a wrap! Normally the Liebster Awards protocol is for me to tag other blogs and ask 11 questions of my own. Since I’m not quite sure who to tag and I’m not sure if I can come up with 11 compelling questions, I’ll just post whatever questions come up in my head here and open it up to anyone who wants to answer them:

1) Since you became an anime fan, in what ways have your anime tastes or tendencies changed or the ways in which you express your fandom?

2) Has anime brought about a greater interest in Japanese culture or history? If yes, what activities have you partaken in or plan to partake in to further that interest? If not, why not?

3) Given the board games I own and the ratings I’ve assigned to them, what game that isn’t Caylus should I add to my collection next?

4) What do you think it’ll take for Yuki Kajiura or Hiroyuki Sawano to try something a bit different from what they’ve showcased in the last 2 years?

5) What soundtracks have I not reviewed do you think deserves a Masterpiece rating? What soundtracks that have been reviewed on this site deserve a Masterpiece rating but didn’t get one? More importantly, why?

About the author

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 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. Acid says:

    Fun to learn a little more about you. Some of your questions are a bit specific so I don’t know if I will be able to answer them.

    1. I’ve been an anime fan for…well over 10 years, since I was in middle school. It’s hard to say but I know it’s shaped me as a person. I don’t cosplay or draw but I’ve done some vector artwork and made anime wallpapers. I’d say it helped me learn a lot of digital art skills I can apply towards other areas. I also pretty much listen to music that comes from Japan in some form, be it Jpop, anime music, video game music, etc.

    2. Yes. I actually took a college course on Japanese culture. I now cook some Japanese food from time to time, especially curry. I drink a lot of Japanese beer too. It’s my dream to visit Japan for many reason. The culture, the food, the music, the women. I want to go to either Animelo or AnimaX Musix if possible.

    3. I really don’t know much about this topic. I’ve played some Brainiac games like Hoopla and stuff. Also Apples to Apples and Cards against Humanity. Not sure if those are even the same type you are talking about.

    4. I think someone just needs to approach them with a project that interests them that is out of their norm. I’d love to see Yuki Kajiura compose a soundtrack for a love story type anime. Something like Toradora or Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. Just to see how she would do(I’m sure it would be great). I think both of them are pretty typecast though so sadly I don’t know if we will see it.

    5. Personally, I don’t really consider this kind of thing. I just make playlists of the songs I list from soundtracks and ignore the songs I don’t like. Of course some have better quality overall but…it’s really hard for me to say.

  2. Alex says:

    1) Since you became an anime fan, in what ways have your anime tastes or tendencies changed or the ways in which you express your fandom?

    I don’t think my tastes have changed all that much, partly because I’ve on been watching for a few years. The ways which I expressed my fandom have changed though. I used to just talk about anime with my sister and my one or two friends who also watched. Now I can also blather about it on Twitter XD. I also buy a few more CDs now, instead of pirating everything.

    2) Has anime brought about a greater interest in Japanese culture or history? If yes, what activities have you partaken in or plan to partake in to further that interest? If not, why not?

    Not really, I’d say. I got interested in the language for a little bit, but gave up after half a year.

    3) Given the board games I own and the ratings I’ve assigned to them, what game that isn’t Caylus should I add to my collection next?

    I don’t play board games :-(

    4) What do you think it’ll take for Yuki Kajiura or Hiroyuki Sawano to try something a bit different from what they’ve showcased in the last 2 years?

    I’m thinking we won’t see much change from them. But maybe putting them outside their comfort zone would get some different music out of them. Yuki Kajiura’s music is usually stringsy, neoclassical type music sometimes with dance beats and guitars. So maybe it would be cool to get her to do a sci-if anime with an electronic-style soundtrack, or some kind of battle anime with a hard rock/metal groove. In those cases, she probably wouldn’t be able to use her usual tricks. I’m not as familiar with Hiroyuki Sawano, I’ve only heard some of his Sengoku Basara, Titan and Kill la Kill works. From what I’ve heard, he seems to do a hard rock/electronic/orchestral fusion. I’m thinking maybe a fantasy anime with a folk sound would be good to get something different out of him.

    5) What soundtracks have I not reviewed do you think deserves a Masterpiece rating? What soundtracks that have been reviewed on this site deserve a Masterpiece rating but didn’t get one? More importantly, why?

    The Fairy Tail soundtracks as a whole (I think only OST 1 has been reviewed, and not by you). I probably wouldn’t place them as Masterpiece, but in between Excellent and Masterpiece. I’m not the biggest soundtrack fan, but the Fairy Tail soundtracks captivated with their unique blend of Celtic and rock/metal (and I love both genres haha). In the anime, they worked really well to capture they excitement and fury of the fights, but also had more relaxed folk tunes for the softer moments. They’re also easy to listen to outside the context of the anime, whenever I want an exciting instrumental to listen to the Fairy tail OST is my go-to music.

    Fairy Tail probably fits my musical taste better than yours though :-)

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