What’s up, my Traveling Toyboxers? Nothing? Bored? Excited? In any case, here’s another week-swept mega-cast to fuel your anime and otaku flames! We’ll blast through internationally bursting bubbles, dig into personally detonated distractions, escape under exploding red-cliffed enemies, battle between buxom red-headed babes, and scale over red-raging blog-shifting transitions! Lots of red indeed! No, not red Mother’s Day roses, haha. But pretty much everything else! Now enough of this procrastinating prattle. Get ready. Get set. Go! Now let’s start this scarlet-tinged show…
Part 1 of 5 > International Downfall of Anime
Starting off, if you’ve been following the anime news over the past week, you’ll know that the state of the anime industry has been called into question. Beginning with the Anime News Network article “Anime is a Bubble that Burst” (04 May 2009), and followed by the Sankaku Complex post “Anime Bubble is Burst” (05 May 2009) and the Danny Choo post “Anime Decline” (08 May 2009), the ongoing issues of fan-subbing, file-sharing, and quality versus quantity resurfaced with a finger-pointing intensity once more.
Here’s the Anime News Network article.
Here’s the Sankaku Complex post the next day.
And here’s the Danny Choo post several days after that.
But is everyone missing the bigger picture? The bigger point?
While everyone seems to be focussing their attention on the flashy mediocre quality or flooding over-repetition of “moe” and “mecha” titles within anime, there may be a larger concern. It may not simply be a matter of two or three over-saturated genres within the anime spectrum, but in fact, it may be a matter of the over-saturation of the entire “anime” genre within the full-ranged live-to-recorded-to-animated television spectrum! Fortunately, all is not lost, lol. Just as music genres ebb and flow with an over-abundance of “hard rock” then “metal” then “grunge”, television genres fall and rise in the same way with viewers flowing from “sit-coms” to “sci-fi” to “dramas” to “reality” to whatever else might be the fresh flavor of the day.
So why not anime too? Cyclically rising and then falling?
Think of it this way. Even if every new anime production shines with spectacularly high-quality animation, vocal performance and fan-subbing at the same high-volume rate of distribution and downloads for the next ten years, does that mean viewers will never be over-saturated with too many titles? Will they never turn to live-action television? Or reality shows? Or sports?
Haha, George Lucas (Blog 195) might have the right idea with his current 3D-animated “Clone Wars” series (Blog 194) and upcoming live-action “Clone Wars” series too! Yup, he’s a genius after all, lol.
Part 2 of 5 > Personal Downfall of Anime [Part 2]
Now from “international downfalls”, let’s zoom in on “personal downfalls”, so to speak, lol. To begin painting the consuming context, let’s refresh ourselves with a stream of loosely connected quotes. First, on her infamous post “K-On! Sucks (Rant Rant Rant)” (15 April 2009), one of Angry Mimi-chan’s various comments included the following characteristic quote, haha.
“Geez this is my blog… and it’s the internet. I can say whatever the hell I want.”
~ Angry Mimi (20 April 2009)
Next, from his introspective post “The Disappearance of the Mysterious Youth” (04 May 2009), Aprilius20 made an unexpected reference to an impromptu quote I made on one of his previous posts, lol.
Here’s my impromptu quote.
“A true rebel tends to be a loner. While a true loner tends to, well, disappear.”
~ xJAYMANx (01 May 2009)
With these posts and quotes in mind, I stumbled upon one of Danny’s latest “inspirational” posts “7pm in Tokyo – Lalaport” (04 May 2009), listing his current goals over the next several years. Buying a new house. Opening a new restaurant. Opening a new zakka store. Impressive goals indeed.
Naturally, Danny’s post reminded me of my own humble path. From Architecture student to Civil Engineering student to Technical Writer to Online-Help Web Developer, and if we skip the dot-com-crashing detours into Mortgage Agent and Real Estate Agent, finally returning to Technical Writer by day and Otaku Blogger by night, lol. In turn, these thoughts reminded me of my previous “goals and destinations” post “Blog 128 > Downfall of Anime” (02 March 2008) over a year ago!
Here’s one excerpt from Blog 128.
Nahhh, I don’t think anime itself is falling or failing, but perhaps my ongoing time and energy (and thus need) for anime is fading into my own personal “downfall of anime”. Let me explain… While I still love anime and admire the artistry it symbolizes (and will continue to symbolize) in my life, I no longer feel an overwhelming need to “escape” into it for hours, days, or months at a time. Funny how I didn’t really see anime as a “psychological escape” or “social crutch” until I somehow found myself standing outside it.
And another excerpt.
Danny Choo and his blog still represent a significant part of that artistic admiration. But I also admire him enough to respectfully disagree with his views, as they apply (and don’t apply) to me. I guess that’s the mark of becoming less of a follower and more of a traveller setting out on my own path… Perhaps not everyone can find his “true destination” in life. Some may be “lucky” to find one. But others may be just as “lucky” not to find one. For myself, the journey itself holds more meaning than any destination. Which naturally entails many destinations, whether they’re willfully sought or unintentionally found. Here’s a quote below which still strikes a chord in me.
“If you knew where you came from and where you’re going, it wouldn’t be a real journey. On a real journey, you’ve already forgotten where you came from, and you have no idea where you’re going. That’s what I think it’s like. Yeah, everything is just coincidence on a journey. It’s nothing but a string of coincidences.”
~ Yukito Kunisaki, traveling puppeteer from the anime film “Air” (2005), directed by Osamu Dezaki and written by Makoto Nakamura, based on the visual novel of the same name by Key. See Wikipedia article.
While I don’t think “everything” is comprised of “coincidences”, the idea that a “real journey” holds no “true destination” carries a ring of truth. I admit this could be interpreted as an excuse for sloth or indifference… Not everyone can find their purpose or goal in life, or even be assured of happiness if they do find it. Some are destined to find purpose or happiness through hard work. Some are lucky to find it by chance. But for those who don’t, maybe they can find their meaning simply through the search itself. Not a careless or heartless search, but perhaps a more mindful and heartfelt one.
On rare occasions, I wonder what my life might’ve looked like had I found that one unshakable purpose. And other times, I’m happy where I am, whom I’ve met, and what I’ve accomplished just because I wanted to… But don’t worry, I haven’t given up on my anime figure photoshoots yet, lol.
~ xJAYMANx (02 March 2008)
Hehe, to be fair, a reader on my Blog 128 pointed out that Danny pretty much said the same thing in his New Year’s post “Destination” (01 January 2006) more than two years ago! Which I vaguely remember reading, lol. Here are some excerpts from that post.
One doesn’t have to decide on just one destination and have that as the be all and end all. Destinations may change from time to time but we need a destination, a direction that we should be headed in. If you are interested in getting what you want from life then I recommend that you always have an idea of where you are going and how you are going to get there…
So just an example, one of my “destinations” is to eventually start my own company and be wealthy from the company’s earnings – and at the same time enjoy the path I take…
So how about those who haven’t discovered their destination? Well there are some who don’t particularly care but if you do care then you could start to take a look at what you like and what you do best. You will always end up excelling when you are doing something that you enjoy and are passionate about – passion is like an orb of energy within you that enables you to be engaged and focused on your destination.
~ Danny Choo (01 January 2006)
While the pursuit of material wealth or fame has never been my highest priority as much as nurturing an ongoing relationship or marriage, whether or not it ultimately ended in separation or divorce, I’d be lying if I said I never thought about being rich, lol. Who hasn’t? After all, wouldn’t it be nice to take a few intercontinental cruises every year? Drive a few different luxury cars every week? Especially with a girl I can share them with? Nevertheless, as I write this, I’ve been content to live within my means, create within my imagination, blog within my interests, and love within my passions… Now there’s a decent quote right there, haha.
Having said all that, from “blogs and hells” to “rebels and loners” to “goals and destinations”, here’s one final quote to tickle your fancy and quench your reality.
“Goals and plans are simply organized distractions. After all, everything in life is a distraction, planned or not.”
~ xJAYMANx (09 May 2009)
Part 3 of 5 > The Battle of Red Cliff [Part 2]
Speaking of distractions, on 04 May 2009, I finally finished watching the 2009 Chinese film Red Cliff – Part II (2009), the spectacular two-hour conclusion to the first two-hour chapter Red Cliff – Part I (2008). In other words, epic distraction! If you want to see an Asian-flavored “Lord of the Rings” without all of the crazy elves, ugly dwarves and weirdo wizards, then by all means, catch these films now! Indomitable 5 of 5 stars!
To celebrate, here are several glorious high-resolution posters for “Part II”.
That was “Part II”. Now here’s “Part I” once more. To refresh your flickering memories, here’s my dazzling review “Blog 163 > Battle of Red Cliff” (21 September 2008) from last year, lol.
Spectacular! Absolutely spectacular!… If you love foreign dramas set in ancient history, weathered with military struggles, and endowed with an epic grandeur reminiscent of “The Lord of the Rings”, you’ll love the 2008 Chinese film Red Cliff (2008).
Centering around two of my all-time favorite Asian actors, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (Chungking Express, 2046, Infernal Affairs, In the Mood for Love) as military commander Zhou Yu, and Takeshi Kaneshiro (Chungking Express, House of Flying Daggers) as military strategist Zhuge Liang, the two must work together to defeat a common imperial threat. Not to spoil it too much, but my favorite scene is when the commander and strategist take a rare moment from inevitable military decisions to indulge in their musical expertise on the Chinese guqin zither. Quite a duet (or duel) to behold! Not afraid of the occasional light-hearted relief or breathless touch of romance to cast the violence into perspective, this film delivers an unyielding 5 of 5 stars!
Here’s the musical duel from “Part I”. Master versus master!
And here’s the riveting trailer for “Part I”!
A couple of pretty posters!
Plus a half-dozen wicked wallpapers!
Need I say more?
Part 4 of 5 > The Battle of Redheads
Who’s Ignis? What? You’ve never heard of her? You’ve never heard of one of the most-popular figures of 2006? Haha, have you been living in a cave? In a red cliff? LOL, well, I first blogged about her in my pre-Toybox post “Post 427” (30 November 2006) over two years ago. Then two months later, in my Toybox post “Blog 036” (10 January 2007). The pose. The dress. The detail. The hair. The blazing red hair!
So to continue the periodic “unlocking” of my ancient figure photoshoots, here’s my fifth “unlocked” photoshoot. Here she is! Here is Ignis (Max Factory, 1/7th-scale) from the “Chaos Gate Jingai Makyo” eroge!
Damn! Not bad for a two-year-old photoshoot, eh? Even now, I still think she’s one of the finest figures in any respectable collection. Don’t you agree? I mean, Ignis and her scarlet katana could slice down Yoko and her oversized rifle, any day and any night, lol. Not only that, Ignis’ black-and-white outfit blows Yoko’s wardrobe malfunctions out of the water! Although I wouldn’t mind seeing Yoko in that black-and-white dress either, hehe. Redheaded catfight anyone?
For more eye candy, here are my previous unlocked photoshoots! Enjoy!
Previously Unlocked Photoshoots
I’ll ask again. Redheaded catfight anyone?
Part 5 of 5 > The Melancholy of Mimi’s Rage
Haha, nahhh, no melancholy here. Just transitions and congratulations. Yup, congratulations, Angry Mimi-chan, on your move from AngryLoli@Blogger to AngryMimi.com! You finally graduated to WordPress.org, lol. May your blog live long and prosper! Angrily ever after!
So feel free to check out AngryMimi.com. “All hope abandon, ye who enter here.” Hahaha.
Yes-yes, my Tiger-Toothed Toyboxers! How did we do? Did we fuel your anime and otaku flames? Yes? Did we blast through internationally bursting bubbles? Dig into personally detonated distractions? Escape under exploding red-cliffed enemies? Battle between buxom red-headed babes? And scale over red-raging blog-shifting transitions? Yeah, I know, I know. Like I said, lots of red! Of course, let’s not forget to thank our guest Toyboxers! Thank you, Sankaku, Danny, Aprilius, the cast of “Red Cliff”, redheaded Yoko-chan, redheaded Ignis-chan, and as always, Angry Mimi-chan! Did we forget to thank our Moms? Did we forget to wish them a Happy Mother’s Day? Nahhh, I’m safe, lol. For now. Are we done?
Till next broadcast. Peace. Out.
“Hi Raquele, lol.”