Reviews, rants, and tidbits from an overpassionate novelist

Posts tagged ‘anime’

DENSHA OTOKO: BEAUTY AND THE JAPANESE GEEK

train-mna-movie1

Last week in my class Japanese Society and Culture through Film we watched the movie Densha Otoko directed by Shosuke Murakami. The subject of the class: the otaku.

I’m not kidding. My college is the best.

I enjoyed the movie for personal reasons and quickly realized I had to blog about it.

As defined by my professor, “Otaku is Japanese geek.” Really, there’s a bit more to it than that. An otaku is anyone with an obsessive and possibly “nerdy” interest, such as anime, computer games, video games, computer software, etc. I have long considered myself a mild anime otaku. So does my roommate, and so do a good number of my friends from Fort Mill.

This movie concerns itself more with the “hardcore otaku”: the type so lost in their own worlds of anime and computer games that they care little for contact with the outside world.

Train Man, the movie’s main character (called Aoyama in the TV show), is based on a 23-year-old Akihabara dweller. Yes, it’s a True Story story. One of my absolute favorite kinds. One day on the bus, he spies a beautiful girl. When a drunk starts harassing her, our timid, nerdtastic little hero stands up, setting in motion a train of events that will change his life.

The things I liked about the movie included the creative approach to creating the otaku’s world. The opening credits and the pixelated fireworks, the ways they portrayed his chat with various people and used the chat messages to creative ends. That much was amazing. So was the movie’s ability to get a room full of college students laughing. When you’re with a group, the boy with the bunny is hysterical.

Then there was the climax, which seemed to take forever. In American and Western fiction, a climax is generally one moment, one scene, one critical point. In Japanese ficiton, I’ve noticed, climaxes drag out. They function less as a point and more as an extended segment. A part of me feels like whining, “Get on with it,” even though it’s probably a more realistic approach to storytelling. In real life, there’s rarely a neat one-scene climax.

Also interesting is the attractiveness of the supposedly repulsive otaku. Even in his horrible getups or his horrible moments of pathetic weakness, a majority of the girls in the classroom were sighing and saying they wanted to hug him. The boys couldn’t believe it. You have more allure than you think, nerds!

To be perfectly honest, this movie is probably not great. But I enjoyed it profoundly. Therefore, I shall grant it:  3 1/2 Stars!

But I love it. ❤

More later!

Pheonixes, Nightmares, and Anime

3 changes to discuss.

1)  Everything in my own life, as a few of my readers may know, is about to change. I’m about to uproot and reroot a little bit closer to the sea and everything else in my dreams. In 17 days, I will be moving to the new Honors dorm at the University of South Carolina.

Meh new homme!

Meh new homme!

Scariness. To me, this feels like a death–a phoenix death–and I’m looking forward to my ashy renewal. I’ve just got to get the dying part over with.

In honor of this new change, I’m going to change some things about my blog.

2)  Blog change number one:  I’m going to add a dream diary. At the bottoms of posts I’m going to update the number of partial requests I’ve received and my book 2 word count, but I’m also going to share one of my freaky over-imaginative nightmares : D

3)  Blog change number two:  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since I posted Studies of Storytelling, which shares my thoughts on using everything from Disney movies to anime to internet emails to help us writers improve our craft.

If that’s the case, why should I only review books here on my blog? I can share thoughts about anime and movies as well.

This sounds like so much fun to me. More later! ❤

Book 2 Word Count:  6000

Partial Requests:  3

Dream Diary:  I had a nightmare that a truly vicious classmate who tormented me through middle school and sneered at me through high school was in two of my college classes. (Cue shrieking violins) Have I mentioned I’m ready to be in Columbia? Change is nice.

HORROR, WEDDINGS, AND CROCHET :)

I went to the bookstore yesterday on a high from the conference. Never a good idea. Then again, I may singlehandedly save the industry at the rate I’m going.

I’m kidding. What I actually did was sit down with a HUMONGOUS stack of magazines. Like:

This.

This.

Except not that neat.

I looked over the entire back wall of a Books-A-Million and picked up anything that looked interesting to me. I picked up crochet magazines because I used to love to crochet. I picked up wedding magazines because I’ve had some pretty cool wedding stories in my life. I looked over film review magazines because that’s something I want to learn how to do. I looked at horror magazines because that’s a little like fantasy–but, as I decided, not much.

I flipped through to see which one took fictions and checked out a few other sections that I might like to write for. Then I picked a handful that seemed like the best winners for me (and my budget):

Writer’s Journal
Realms of Fantasy
Writer’s Digest
American Girl (which I’ve already discovered does not take fiction submissions)

I also picked up Otaku USA because I’m also running an anime review blog under a persona.

The final think I bought was The Waters and the Wild by Francesca Lia Block. Four things to say about that:

1. I want Jennifer Heuer to do my jacket cover.
2. The synopsis of this book grabbed me…and then I discovered it didn’t do justice to the first chapter.
3. That name is too pretty to be real. It’s either a pseudonym or the lady’s parents are overpassionate.
4.  $17 is too much for that tiny hardback. I only bought it on a binge.

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