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kamomesan

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kamomesan last won the day on February 12

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  • Favourite Anime
    Kino's Journey, Gurren Lagann, Mushishi
  • Favourite Genres
    Adventure
    Mecha
    Psychological
    Slice of Life
  • Favourite Characters
    Rei Ayanami, Eikichi Onizuka, Kamina
  • Favourite Character Type
    Kuudere - Set 2

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  1. Now that things are somewhat returning to normal, my Dungeons and Dragons group has been starting up again. My improvisation is dreadfully out of practice, but its been great to physically sit around a table with people again and have an adventure. Speaking of tabletop roleplaying games(TTRPG), did you know there was a Sailor Moon RPG? Released in 1999, the game guide is impressively detailed from the barebones RPG “starter kits” I’m used to seeing today. There are full length character pages describing the attributes and abilities of the main cast, villains and supporting characters. And they’re not just generalized rpg encoutremont, these are things that actually appeared in the show and each description cites episode numbers to look to for examples. The booklet is full of still frames from the series, and little interjections of things appropriate to the characters. It includes example adventures to play, summaries of the first 82 episodes and a timeline of the Sailor Moon universe. In general, way more immersive information than I could digest without knowing the series already. In terms of actual game mechanics, the Sailor Moon TTRPG is fairly standard. It retains familiar systems of stats, rolling dice to determine performance, magic/weapon based combat, and roleplaying between characters and GM. Anyone who has played D&D could be plopped into a game without the need to learn much more. Compared to the depth of the lore, there is not much that’s special about the actual gaming component. But that’s perfectly fine: if you’ve gotten this game, its because you liked Sailor Moon, not because you wanted a completely novel system to play with. Its at this point that I’d like to disclosure that I’ve never watched Sailor Moon before. Beyond funny moments from the dub (viz. the usage of “cousins”) and other memery, I have no real idea of the plot. If I had, I might have been able to say more about the accuracy or effectiveness of making a RPG about the series. This was just an anime-related game that I found while looking for unusual TTRPGs to goad my friends into trying. And though we won’t end up playing the Sailor Moon game, I think that I could have been a half-decent magical girl if I had just been given a chance and a skirt. But fear not, more anime TTRPG are on the way! It appears a Konosuba themed game is being released this fall. If I wanted, I could be everybody’s favorite Blue Thing at my friends’ weekly gaming session… What a horrifying thought. Thanks for reading!
  2. Seacliff already put in a good word for the Pokemon Adventures manga above, but it really is a great series. The author, Kusaka, keeps it rooted in the gen I games, but aren't afraid to re-imagine a more detailed version of events and characters. In terms of art, Mato's emphasizes the story's childhood charm without resorting to moeblob cuteness, which is a plus. Every time I reread the series, its incredibly nostalgic.
  3. Bit of an error that I noticed when browsing through the anime database today. Sections where reviews would normally be displayed shows the following text: The message seems to be consitent across available site themes and the web browswers I have access to. Idk if this is a known issue, but today has been the first time I've seen it.
  4. Its perfectly reasonable, as an independent artist, to break the one week release schedule. There's too many creators that burn themselves out like that, trying to meet arbitrary expectations. Engaging with fan communities seems more effective at retaining audiences than keeping up with rigid release schedules, so its unfortunate that this is still standard practice.
  5. IIRC Tezuka did something like this with his manga. He treated characters like actual Hollywood stars, so they 'played' different roles for different series he produced. Its fun little way to add personality to his fictional universe. I guess it could get confusing if you're not expecting it though?
  6. In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki is an odd essay about traditional Japanese aesthetics. It is haphazardly composed, switching between discussions as disparate as sushi recipes and Noh actors. But amid the stream-of-conciousness-like writing, there is a central theme: in the Japanese sense of beauty, the presence of shadows is the key influence around which any artistic situation should be desiged. For example, the author reasons that miso soup is best served in earthy laquerware rather than white china because the broth takes on a murky, obscuring quality. Although Tanizaki’s writing concerns the period in which basic Western technology – such as electric lighting – is being introduced to Japan, I was curious to see what insight the essay might provide to more modern forms of technology. In particular, I wanted to examine Serial Experiments Lain as the best known anime concerning this particular topic. Does the series demonstrate the same traditional appreciation of shadow that Tanizaki writes about? Or has the influence of technology created a disposition towards different sensory compositions? These are the central questions I wish to answer here today. I am not foolish enough to claim I understand the plot of Lain but I hope that in understanding the work’s relationship with shadows, some new understanding can be gleamed from the series. The first scene in SEL shows the sillouhuette of powerlines before cutting to a couple walking down a street at night. We see neon signs and faint reflections off of urban architecture, but not much else. Besides the few lights, their surroundings are entirely black. If we go by the strictest interpretation of Tanizaki, we might say that the glow of electric lights immediately disqualifies the work since he thinks them to be too harsh. However, if not to the letter, the scene certainly adheres to the spirit of In Praise of Shadows: We’re given an impression of the location while the details hidden in the darkness are left up to the imagination. I mention the above alley scene because it was the first to occur, but the same things can be said virtually any time that the background is obscured in shadow. For example, the first time we see Lain’s room, we see only a small circle of light from the window and Lain at her desk. The majority of the screen – and the room – are invisible to us. Even when the camera angle changes, half of the space is in darkness. Logically, we suppose that there must be another half to the room, but given the surreal nature of the show, even this conclusion should be questioned. For audiences returning to Lain, every aspect of the show should be treated with scrutiny, but it is scenes like this, when shadows create large ambiguities, this is when we should be at our most attentive to what Lain is experiencing. So we know to pay attention to shadows, but do they change over the course of the series? Perhaps the most prominent evolution of shadows concerns Lain’s room. What in episode 1 is merely the absence of sunlight quickly evolves into shadows of a muted blue, made that way by the Navi screens she accumulates. Though her world is still shrouded in obscurity, it has taken on an unnatural quality. In these dim corners of the show where reality seems to be uncertain, the digital, electronic world begins to play at ambiguity. Here, I can say for certain that Tanizaki’s sense of shadow is lost completely. Instead, the traditional sense of shadow must give way to a modern, computerized shadow – one in which anonymous Knights, men in strange equipment, and god-like entities can slip through with ease. The other main difference in shadows that reccurs over the course of the show is that not all of the them are dark. A second type of shadow occurs, and occurs often in the show. They are most often potrayed as cloudy lumps of purple and black, with splotches of red that reminiscent of blood splatters. What do these shadows mean? It seems as though the characters are not aware of their strange appearances – we might then hypothesize that they have been designed that way as part of the art style, solely for the appreciation of the audience. I’m unsure of what to say about them. For me, the odd appearance added a surreal element to the series. They tend to occur in otherwise brightly lit scenes (though not always), so they tended to stand out. “These shadows don’t look right. Is this really reality?” was what I thought whenever they appeared. They are perhaps not aesthetically murky like Tanizaki’s conception of shadows, but for me, they created a sense of murkiness to the plot, by making me question why the world would produce these strangely-patterned shadows. Technology and shadow might be opposite things to Tanizaki, but Japan has advanced tremendously since he wrote In Praise of Shadows. I think in the time since then, the two have found a new, modern relationship with one another, one that is demonstrated in Lain. The series without its shadowy elements simply wouldn’t have been quite as impactful as it is. It is an anime that is appreciated best when the aesthetics and plot can be just barely discerned from deliberate obscurity. If I can give some cliched words of advice to appreciate the anime, I’d have to say: “Live in praise of shadows. And, let’s all love Lain.”
  7. Started Nichijou. Hakase seems more malicious than she is in the anime. Poor Nano...
  8. Recently found out the YKK manga is getting a French translation. Incredibly blessed news

     

  9. From experiences in coding communities, I'll just say it gets annoying when newcomers ask the same questions without putting in the effort to lurk already existing posts and documentation. Its unfortunate that people are overly hostile towards casual users like this, but it does help set expectations about what participating in technical communities actually entails. With that out of the way, in communities that are more socially-focused, gatekeeping is an awful thing. We've commoditized culture so much that acquiring specific knowlegde and experience is more important than actually enjoying an activity. In the anime community, the biggest thing that's stood out to me is the idea that anime is a secret club for socially outcast nerds/geeks/weebs. Anime and Japanese culture has become a lot more accepted (at least in the US) over the past decade, and that's taken away the stigmatized, but exclusive outsider status these things once had. Its always sad to see literally who's on Twitter and other social media reacting to this growth so angrily... That makes our communities and members seem more negative than we actually are.
  10. Experiencing episode 1 of Dallos for the first time. The blend of 80's music, cel animation and futurist space imagery is rather nostalgic
  11. Just finished Gabriel DropOut. Imo, Raphi is a critically underappreciated tenshi when it comes to fan favorites
  12. Howdy howdy, Always nice to have more people in the community. Hope you enjoy it here!
  13. Came across this and initially saw it as a meme, but now I've kind of unironically adopted it. "Suffering builds character" just wasn't cutting it as a reward for studying anymore.

  14. Kenji Miyazawa - Once and Forever Came across an old bare-bones html website a while ago on this interesting poet. Out of curiosity, I picked up a translated collection of his stories. The tales so far have been simplistic and folksy, but incredibly comfy reads. Miyazawa's stories have been adapted into children's anime, so I might go poking around for those after I finish the book.
  15. Yo, happy new years? I feel like these past weeks have been difficult for everyone. Here's to hoping the rest of 2021 goes by better.

     

    Hope you all had a safe and happy holiday season

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