Monday, December 14, 2009

AniMeh

I have to start this review with an admittance: I don't know shit about Anime. I know as much about Anime and Asian film as I do about Indian culture, which is basically nothing, as a few commenters were so kind to point out to me a couple of weeks ago. To those "commenters" (some of whom I suspect may have been or known the reviewed blogger) I want to make it clear that my critique of a blog written by a person who belongs to a culture outside of my own is not a reflection of my feelings or opinions about all the people who belong to that particular culture. In other words, if I hate your blog it's because your blog sucks. My hatred of your blog has nothing to do with your ethnicity, country of origin, hair color, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. I'm not swayed by what you look like, what you weigh, where you're from, or what you do for a living. When I review, what I give is only my personal opinion, which you asked me to reveal, and I base that on the merit of your skills as a writer and story-teller. And for the love of of all that's holy and unholy, if I compliment your grammar or language skills don't get your panties in a bunch and start accusing me of being racist and condescending. If you ask me to review your blog, then an honest comment on your skills as a writer is appropriate. You can shake your fist to the sky and whine and call racism and your blog will still suck and I will still hate it. Only after all that, I will also hate you. Got it?

Back to my review of JapanCinema, an Asian Film/Anima Review database. My only peripheral experience with this film genre was in college when I knew this guy who spent most of his spare time watching it and obsessing over it. He eventually got so depressed that he was hospitalized in a locked psychiatric ward and needed electric shock treatments. It was a fucking horrible situation. Did watching big eyed cartoon characters deal with cataclysmic world events drive this guy to madness? Probably not. I'm fairly certain there's no causality between him watching Anime and developing severe clinical depression, but since that time the two have become inextricably linked in my mind. So when I saw my review assignment was an anime film review blog, I had to resist the urge to swallow a handful of pills from an old prescription for Zoloft sitting idly in the back of my medicine cabinet.

The bottom line is that if you watch Anime/Asian films, then this blog may be of interest to you. Otherwise, there is really no point to reading it at all. The blogger, whose name is Marcello, acknowledges in many of his reviews that he is writing for an audience already familiar with the genre, such as in this recent post where he says, "I won’t waste time giving you a synopsis. Those of you interested in reading this review should be familiar regardless". He is self-aware enough to realize that his blog is a niche blog and writes his reviews accordingly. He makes no real attempt to appeal to a wider audience.

I do admire this Marcello's obvious enthusiasm for Anime. He has a deep respect for the artistry involved in the creation of the films. In fact, his passion for the beauty of some of the reviewed films is almost enough to make me want to risk a mental breakdown and pop one in my DVR. He even provides some helpful preview videos of the movies he's critiquing. I have to agree that the animation is quite lovely on some of these films. Those big-eyed children are a little creepy but also beatifully drawn and interesting. This blogger also reviews live action Asian films and some American films that were inspired by, or direct remakes of, Asian films (i.e. The Departed, which is based on the Chinese film "Infernal Affairs").

Truthfully, though, most of Marcello's reviews read like a junior high school book report.
The one thing that really annoyed me about the movie was the ending I can’t say why to much because that it’ll give it away but it is heart breaking with what happens to one of the characters in the movie.
Amusingly, he has the tendency to make up words, such as "dramatical" and he makes some odd word choices, such as here where he uses the word "nature" rather than the more logical "name" - "Eureka Seven...is of course another film based off of the popular tv series of the same nature." There are also some careless spelling and grammatical errors ( i.e. "In terms of story
this didnt left me with an empty feeling"). It's actually hard for me to believe that this guy even managed to publish a children's book, but according to his About Me he did. Perhaps Marcello is capable of better writing but gets lazy and fails to edit any of his posts before publishing them. I sometimes make grammatical errors when I write, but I don't make a habit of it. If this blogger has any respect for his readers and himself, he should spend a little more time and effort editing his work before posting it.

He also might want to read over some of his reviews to make sure that they actually make sense. Take this contradictory excerpt for instance:

I was very skeptical as to whether or not I’d like this movie, since I didn’t particularly enjoy the time I spent with the TV series. The movie was breathtaking. The animation quality, the art style, character design, everything in the artistic realm of this movie has been improved from its television form. Again, I’m not sure how much it would appeal to fans of the TV series. However, if you’ve never seen Escaflowne, I’d say this is a good place to start. It feeds you the plot with relative consistancy, and it’ll probably get you itching to see the TV series, too. But if you’re like me and you love the show and everything about it, then you may walk away complaining.
So does he like the original television series or not? I'm not going to pretend like I care about the answer to that. But maybe his readers do. I'm pretty certain that they want him to have a consistent opinion.

As for the template, it's very functional and easy to navigate. If you're anything like me and seeing use of the phrase "love da laydeeeez" makes you die a little inside then I would suggest avoiding the About Me section of this blog altogether. The sidebar is very busy. Is it really necessary to have sections called Categories, Archives, Popular Reviews, Newest Reviews, and Anime Series Reviews? That's overkill. On top of all those, he has a damn Twitter feed. I have an irrational hatred for Twitter feeds on blogs. If you must include your Twitter in some way on your blog, then I just feel that a "Follow me on Twitter" link should suffice.
There's a part of me that wanted to give this blogger a flaming finger or two. But I can't bring myself to do it. So it's a

13 comments:

  1. Never actually seen an Anime film. My only exposure is the dubbed and turned into kid's tv stuff like Voltron or Sailor Moon.

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  2. This is about how much you hate all Asians, right?
    Just kidding.
    I know very little about Anime, but I think a blog reviewing anything with which I am unfamiliar should manage to, at the very least, interest me enough to look into something new.
    After reading through this blog, I have no plans to look into Anime.

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  3. I saw a few Japanese movies so I'd be a bit more excited about that. I mean, Takashi Miike made Audition and Ichi the Killer, so to have that first post introduce his latest movie is kinda fun for a nerd like me.

    But you're right about the writing. He wants his blog to be an authority for Asian movies, which means he has to act like an adult reviewer.

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  4. I see we're still being all defensive and whiny. Entertaining.

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  5. "We" We We We We We We We We We We, We Are The World! We are the Children! We Are The Worrrld, we are the children. Thanatos, can't we all just get along!? It's Christmas time!

    There's no need to be afraid
    At Christmastime,

    we let in light and we banish shade and animated tears

    And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy; crush the pain of Asian emo! Kill kill kill!

    Throw your arms around the world (if they bathe; I mean I don't know about you, but I ain't goin' there if you know what I mean) at Christmastime

    But say a prayer (for me, for We; dirty people are icky, no? ew)

    Pray for the other ones, and Indians and Anime people, too!

    At Christmastime it's hard, but when you're having fun, drowning out the tears with drugs

    There's a world outside your window

    And it's a world of dread and fear and Amime and darkness

    Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of animated tears

    And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of Asian cartoonist doom

    Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you! Go speed racer Go!

    And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime; there won't be any tips in India ...

    The greatest gift they'll get this year is life

    (Oooh) Where nothing ever grows

    No rain nor rivers flow; but tears of meh and Anime

    Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

    Do they?

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  6. Hmm. Whatever you're high on, I'll take two. Unless that's christmas spirit, in which case whiskey will suffice.

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  7. Oh, man, far to niche for me. Kudos to you, Ms. Wrath, for finding the fortitude to take your job seriously. I would have gone straight for the pills just to get out of having to review this blog.

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  8. I'm sober, thanks, and I don't like to share that much anyway. Maybe you can go hit up that weird guy who got reviewed a few months ago. I bet he has good drugs.

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  9. With these cartoons, all the props and plots aim towards a Japanese theme yet the fucking characters are usually white people with bug eyes and slit lips. Combine that with "As The World Turns" and you got Anime.

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  10. upset waitress

    I'm engaged with your blog. Help me I clicked and I can't click off.

    You're fucking killing me.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree, it is important that the person blogging is passionate about what they're writing about-- but why don't they know which to/too/two to use?

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    Cheers, Catch You About.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete

Grow a pair.