RWBY: It IS an Anime

Anime.  What is it?  And what is it not?  Don’t ask me because I don’t know.  And neither does a good majority of the anime community.

Let’s be real here, as much time as we all spend watching anime, not many of us really know what defines an anime as an anime.  Sure, we know that an animated series or movie created in Japan is anime.  That’s a no brainer.  But, when we are confronted with shows that look like they’re anime, but not made in Japan, or shows that have elements of an anime, but again, are not made in Japan, the lines become heavily blurred.  This is where conflict arises.

It really depends on who you ask in the anime community whether a show is an anime or not.  Some specifically restrict the heavenly title of “anime” to series and films only made in Japan.  However, you can ask someone else and they will tell you that as long as it’s in the style of anime — big eyes, over exagerated expressions, ect — then yes, it is an anime.  Then there are people who will shrug and say that they don’t know and move on with their day.  Normally, I am that last person.  However, that doesn’t exactly make for a good blog post does it?

If you ask me, it really doesn’t matter whether these questionable shows are anime or not.  A show is a show and as long as it’s good and I like the art style then I really don’t think it matters.  I’ll watch what I want to watch; end of story.  If you don’t agree then that’s completely fine as well.  As long as you don’t create a superiority complex around that, or begin picking on people because they either are a “nerd” for watching an “anime” or accusing them of not being a “true anime fan” because they watch something that’s a questionable anime, then you do you.  My point is to just be nice to other people.

However, I digress, despite my heavily neutral standpoint on this issue, I would like to put my two cents in on this argument.  I personally lean towards the side of “if it’s in the style of anime, then it’s an anime”.  This is because I feel that it’s slightly exclusionary to put labels on these shows that fall into a grey area just because they are not made in Japan.  Furthermore, there are a couple of points that support these questionable shows.  Here, I will be addressing them while using RWBY as an example.

I could use several other series as an example — Avatar: The Last Airbender for example — but because I am a enormous RWBY fairy, I shall be using this series as an example.  Plus, I haven’t watched any other questionable series — that I know of anyway.  Sorry.

Wow, this is a really long intro.  If you haven’t skipped over it yet, I applaud you!  However, this is getting too much even for me, so let’s begin!

1) It Adheres to the Japanese Meaning of the Word “Anime”


Huh. Uh, well last time I checked, RWBY is an animated series. Can we move on now?

2) It Adheres to the English Definition of the Word “Anime”


Key words, “style of animation originating from Japan” and “a Japanese style”.  Nowhere is it stated that the show must be from Japan.  The requirements for a show to be an anime are very loose, and therefore shows that a lot of the so called “standards” a show must meet in order to be categorized as an anime are very much so made up by the anime community.

Furthermore, the couple of optional things that the definition gives as notes to identify a show as an anime are things that RWBY meets.  Colorful art and characters?  Check.


Futuristic setting or fantastic themes?  Check.  Violence?  Check.


Sexuality?  One word.  Yang.


I think it’s safe to say that RWBY fits the English definition of anime pretty well.

I think that’s that then.  Of course if you don’t agree then that’s completely fine.  This isn’t exactly the debate of the century here.  I do however reccomend you watch RWBY regardless of this topic.  The animation is nice and it gets better and better as the series progresses.  The same can be said about the plot.  If you enjoy video games you will probably enjoy this series as well.

This was a rather silly post, and I don’t think it went anywhere but I still hope you enjoyed reading it all the same.  However, if you are going to take away anything from this post then it should be to just be nice to people, and not harrass others because of silly issues like this.  Just be nice to people.  End of story.

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Mainstream Animes: Why I Don’t Watch Them


Yes, the “mainstream animes”. These are animes like Attack on Titan, Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and One Piece. The things that non-anime fans first think of when they hear the word “anime”.

There is nothing wrong with these animes, just I don’t like them nor watch them. Nothing really more to it than that they really aren’t to my personal taste. I guess what I’m saying is that if you like the more “mainstream” titles of anime then that’s completely fine and I am in no way saying that there is something wrong with that; all I am going to address here are my personal reasons for not liking the more “mainstream” titles.

Usually, I wouldn’t post content that addresses something that I don’t like since I don’t really like stirring up more negativity than there already is, but in case you don’t follow my Twitter — which you should do since that’s where I post updates — I am traveling right now. What does this have to do with anything? Well recently I went into I guess an “Asian Gift Shop” where they sold various good from the general Far East; one of the things they sold were “mainstream” anime merchandise. As I looked around at the items I couldn’t help thinking to myself “ugh, I wish I was more into the mainstream animes so it would be easier for me to find merchandise”. Then I began thinking, why don’t I like “mainstream” anime? As a result, I have come up with these two main reasons.

Keep in mind that this is all based on my own personal opinion and my own likes and dislikes. This blog post is in no way hating on “mainstream” animes, but just explaining my reasoning for why I personally do not enjoy them.

1) They are LONG

You are probably thinking “oh but Beijing, what’s wrong with an anime being long?” Well there isn’t anything innately wrong with an anime being long; after all, a longer series means more content, right?  One of my very few problems with long animes is that they are almost impossible to catch up on if you start them when the series is already pretty far in. Me being a student, I just don’t have the time to get through fifty-plus episodes of anime.

Furthermore, I find that most animes when they run on the longer side, they easily become repetitive and boring; at least to me. The usual formula is, meet new people, gain new power or go to new place, conflict arises, fight — or have confrontation with — people, fight — or have confrontation with– more people, win, rinse, wash, and repeat. I get that the situation is different every time and that it’s all steps to reach the main goal, but after the third or fourth time, it gets really boring.

2) Most of Them are Shounen Titles


I’m probably going to get killed for this, but, I don’t like — most — Shounen or Shoujo titles. I’m sorry but I find most of these quite boring. I like animes that make you think of deeper meaning and pull out curve balls, and I don’t mean “rabbit-out-of-a-hat” tricks like defeating the enemy with “nakama” power. I of course like cute fluff but I personally prefer reading a Yuri or Yaoi manga if that’s what I’m looking for. Sorry, but that is just my preference.


The only Shounen anime that I really enjoyed was Nanatsu no Taizai, or The Seven Deadly Sins. This anime was wonderfully done, and the manga is even better. Why is it that this is the one Shounen anime that I enjoyed? Nanatsu no Taizai does a wonderful job of blurring the lines of “good” and “evil”. It makes you think about who really is right and who is wrong. This idea is one that I entertain frequently and to see it presented in the way Nakaba sensei has is interesting, thought-provoking, and extremely engaging.  I highly recommend the manga and if you are not able to read it, watch the anime.

Where am I going with this you ask? Most Shounen titles focus more on the team work and friendship aspect or simply showing death. There is nothing wrong with these themes, but for me personally, they do not capture my attention as much as theories on morality.

If you enjoy “mainstream” animes then that’s perfectly fine, and in fact, that’s great actually; you get to have an easy time finding merchandise. I envy you honestly.

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Ship Wars: Why They Have to Stop

The feared ship war.  Ship wars are the scary and sometimes downright terrible side of shipping.  They create unessecary drama, tears, and blood shed, and if you think I am over exaggerating you have not seen a real ship war before.  Depending on the fandom the simple disagreement of a ship could be the tiny spark that sets off the giant explosion.  Ranging from cussing to outright cyber bullying, ship wars are no doubt the source of a lot of sentiment in the anime community.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a fangirl with several ships of her own, and I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having a fun little debate here and there about those ships.  However, when death threats and messages telling another to “kill themself” because of something they ship begin to get thrown around, that is where the line must be drawn.  There is a difference between a debate and a war, and I do not feel that that line is addressed enough.

Shipping is supposed to be fun, and honestly, shipping wars take all the fun out and replace it with negativity.  A person shouldn’t be afraid to announce what their favorite ship is on the internet because they fear the angry mobs of fans that will hunt them down for it.  Ships are not politics people; take a chill pill.  Honestly, this shouldn’t even be a thing that needs to be addressed, but the internet being the place that it is, I guess it sadly does.  I get that the internet is not a “happy, happy, fun-time, la la land” but if we can’t agree that cyber bullying someone for a ship is wrong and bad, then I genuinely fear what kinds of negativty will get thrown at people who disagree about bigger issues.  Shipping itself is supposed to be a stress relief, not something to create more stress.

Here I will be discussing my top reasons as to why I think shipping wars should stop.  Keep in mind however, this is all based on my personal experience and opinion, and I in no way, shape, or form represent the opinion of all anime fans or anyone else for that matter.  Now with that out of the way, let’s begin!

1) They are Opinion Based


No matter how canon one ship may be, there will always be people who ship the unpopular ship, and this perfectly ok. You can argue that a ship is based on the facts of the canon material, and if you are one to ship the canon only things, that is completely fine.  However, what shipping really boils down to is what the fan in question believes to be the cutest combination of characters.

Of course, if you are a person who is shipping something that clearly is not going to become canon (for example, Natsu X Lissanna in Fairy Tail) then don’t be shouting and complaining when it doesn’t become canon, but that’s not my point.  

You know how in Elementary School we all learn about the difference between a fact and an opinion?  Well ship wars just throw all that knowledge into the dumpster when people begin to think that a ship is a fact, not an opinion.  By participating in ship wars you are basically telling the person you are attacking that their opinion is wrong.  It is literally like someone telling you that your favorite color is orange when it’s actually blue.

As much as all of us fans like to think that our ship is the “right ship” and all other ships are “wrong”, that is not the case at all.  Everyone is allowed to have an opinion about something, and that opinion belongs to them and only them.  In no way, shape, or form are you at all allowed to decide another’s opinion for them.  You can persuade them if you choose to, but outright telling them that their opinion is wrong then proceeding to push onto them your own opinion is not right.

2) It Accomplishes Nothing


I’m sorry to break it to you all, but no matter how much we cry, plead, or hurt each other, the editors and authors are the only ones that get to have a say in what happens to our beloved characters.

As a writer myself, I can tell you that most authors plan out their writing way in advance, and that includes who the characters end up with.  As for the authors who do not plan their material out all the way through are still the sole person who knows their characters best.  What I’m trying to get at is only the author and those who are directly working with the series really can make one ship canon or not.  Even a million generations worth of shipping wars can’t change that.

Furthermore, if we take a series like Hetalia, where literally anyone can be shipped with anyone and no ship is going to become canon, ship wars are even more useless.  Why do I say this about Hetalia?  Well think about it, Hetalia is funny, random, little series where majority of the “plot” in it comes from the fandom.  Furthermore, the entire “plot” comes from real events in history, because world politics is forever changing, there can really never be a true “canon ship”.

Really, the only thing that ship wars accomplish is making others feel bad, afraid of expressing their opinion, and stressed out.

3) All it Does is Spread Hate


As I have repetitively expressed throughout this blog post I strongly believe that the only thing that ship wars do effectively is spread a whole lot of negativity.

Ship wars justify yelling, insulting, and threatening people with the claim that they done out of good fun and with good intent.  I’m sorry but that all sounds like a whole lot of lies if you ask me.  As I have already stated, there is a clear difference between a debate and a ship war.  It’s a simple switch, just have nice conversations and friendly debate when speaking of ships instead of hating on each other for their honest opinions.

The anime community is meant to be a fun place to escape the harshness of the real world.  There is no need to add more fear, stress, and hate to this world.  So can why don’t we all just take a chill pill and enjoy anime and all of it’s wonderful ships for what it is; fun stories and relationships.
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Otome Games and Anime: Reasons Why They Shouldn’t Mix!

Ah yes, the infamous otome game; otherwise known as the dating simulation.  The mere mention of it’s name can make even the most devoted and accepting fans of anime cringe.  Filled to the brim with “attractive” guys, useless filler scenes of fluff, and the constant reminders that the main girl lacks a brain, the anime adaptation of otome games have become shun worthy material in the anime community.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the vast majority of anime adaptations of otome games are outright bad. Everything from a brainless main character to episodes of plotless fluff that seemingly have zero connection to the rest of the plotless fluff, otome game anime adaptations have all the qualities of what would be considered as a “bad anime”.   At the same time however, these adaptations have widespread popularity amoung (mostly) women….. as guilty pleasures, which really should not be the case.

Otome games are great.  They contain in depth characters and interesting plot lines when handled correctly.  They make you feel warm and fuzzy inside when you play them and sometimes there are even deeper storylines hidden beneath the surface.  However, when companies try to adapt a game where the storyline changes based on the character of your choice, well, the results are obvious.

Here I will explain the reasons why the anime industry should stop making bad adaptations of otome games.

Keep in mind though that this is all based on my own experience and observations that I have made from being in both the otome game and anime communities.

1) They are Looked Down Upon by the Anime Community/They do not Serve their Purpose as Commercials


Let’s just use Diabolik Lovers as an example.  This anime is infamous for being the absolute worst vampire anime in existence.  Why?  Because the heroine is the ultimate Mary-Sue, all the guys are jerks, the plot is confusing, the episodes hardly connect, traditional vampire lore is completely rejected, none of the characters are developed, and that is only the tip of the iceberg!  But wait…. If this anime was so bad, then why does it have such a large following?  Because the game is just about 10000% better than the anime!

Ok, I will admit, when I first found out about this anime I thought it was absolute crap as well, but after doing a bit of research, I actually found that this was an amazingly done otome game.

The entire point of this game was to appeal to an audience that enjoys BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism) and more specifically, masochists — or just general subs.  All the guys are purposefully made sadistic, and if you actually play the game, you find that they all have wonderful backstories and do not treat the heroine as a blood bag to just pass around.

By trying to showcase all the routes at once in a 12 episode long anime the plot becomes muddled and a lot of key information is left out.  The guys become presented not only as sadists but as complete and utter jerks, and the brainlessness of the heroine becomes painfully apparent; all things that make anime only fans walk away thinking that otome games and their fans are stupid.

2) They are Marketed as Reverse Harems


You may be thinking “Oh Beijing, what’s wrong with that?  They are essentially reverse harems, right?  So what’s the problem?”  The fact that they are being set up to fail is the problem!

Some of the best and most well known romance animes are reverse harems and by putting these already bad adaptations in with those big fish is nothing but a recipe for disaster!


Let’s just start by comparing Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club, one of the most well known reverse harem animes, to Haruka from Uta no Prince Sama, one of the most well known otome games with an anime adaptation.

Haruhi has a distinct personality that is rather unlike most average girls; she is strong-willed, tomboyish, independent, harsh and blunt at times, a realist, and naive about romance.  She is her own character but is still compatible with all of the other characters in the series.  At the same time she also succeeds at not being a Mary-Sue.

Haruka however is generic, bland, naive about everything, optimistic, “perfect”, and flat out clueless at some points, and that is all on purpose!  Anyone who has played at least 2 traditional otome games can tell you that otome game producing companies make their heroines (MCs in otome game terms) as genetic and bland as possible so any girl can pick up the game and be able to connect to the MC in at least one way.  Furthermore, the MC’s personality changes slightly depending on the route chosen so that she is as compatible as possible to the chosen character.

3) The Plot Becomes Muddled


This is Alice in the Country of Hearts, infamous for being the most confusing anime adaptation in existence.  The sad part? This is my favorite otome game with a plot to die for.  I will try not to give away any spoilers but if you haven’t heard of this game before go check it out; it’s absolutely amazing.  I know there isn’t an english version of the game (sadly) but there is of the manga (someplace, I haven’t found all of the volumes yet) and some very nice people have done english translated walkthroughs.  Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

This otome game actually is very confusing in itself (but what else would you expect from an Alice in Wonderland adaptation?), but it is done well and dare I say, perfectly.  The madness of it all actually enhances the dark and mysterious (but still sweet) plot of the game.  However, the way that the game developers got away with such a thing was by doing a distinct separation of the MC from the rest of the routes depending on who the player picked.  In simpler terms, it would be impossible for all the routes to be showcased at once.  So if that’s true?  Then how was an anime adaptation created?  If the point of an anime adaptation is to showcase all the routes, then how would that be possible with this impossible game?  Well by purposefully making the sequence of events totally jumbled and out of order apparently.

In case you didn’t know there is actually a “legend” surrounding the anime adaptation of Alice in the Country of Hearts.  It’s said that only those who have played all the games and read all the manga volumes can understand the adaptation.

…..

I’m sorry but I fail to see the logic in that.

I get that by doing that it forces anyone who wants to watch the adaptation to play all the games and read the manga but that is still beyond ridiculous.  The adaption just makes the entire franchise seem stupid to an unknowing viewer.  Honestly, whoever thought that adding more madness to something that had found the perfect equilibrium to madness and sanity has to be fired.

Hopefully one day soon we will see a day when an otome game gets a good anime adaptation, but honestly, I don’t see that coming anytime soon.  For now, all of us otome game fans must just endure the pain of only being able to see our precious games as bad adaptations and suffer through the hours we take out of our days to explain that otome games aren’t that bad to anime only fans.

And to all of you anime only fans.  We are not stupid.



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