anime and games, art, media, music

Niconico Douga and how Japan’s Phenoms are born

The Japanese have a talent for creating awesome media and getting it in front of an audience. This article will explore a bit on how and why.

On this day in 2008, ryo from Supercell posted his song “Black Rock Shooter” named after the character created by Ryohei Fuke, better known as ‘Huke’. The song became a Vocaloid legend – a relatively rare achievement for videos on Niconico Douga, a Japanese video site.

https://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm3645817

Like ClariS – who went on to sing Connect for Madoka Magika – artists on Niconico Douga have a chance to be noticed by a big company and become music or artistic phenoms.

How? I’m not a big name producer, but having used Niconica Douga, I find it MUCH easier to discover popular music there than on Youtube, especially new stuff. If you’re looking for what’s popular in Japan, chances are you’ll see it on Niconico long before someone uploads it to Youtube. Side note: Niconico’s video player is also better that Youtube’s in my opinion, but unless you have premium membership, you aren’t allowed to play multiple songs at a time.

Continue reading

business, media, tv, unsorted opinions

Common Beliefs due to False Advertising

A little more lighthearted article today, getting the soft stuff off my plate.

Society today is often shaped by advertising. Most advertising contains some truth and some lies, but because it’s on TV, the vast majority of people are passively absorbing info without really questioning all of it… Either that, or they don’t have a public channel to state their dissenting opinion. THANK YOU, INTERNET! Ads have caused a number of misconceptions or at least debatable points, so let’s have a look at a few.

Continue reading

anime and games, media, movies

Spirit of the Rain – Weathering With You Review

As if heaven itself knew I’d watch the film, the day I went to see the film, it was a downpour, and when the film ended, it had stopped raining. Quite the coincidence, eh?

Tenki no Ko (literally, “Weather Child”), known in English as “Weathering With You” (which, as you may note, “weathering” is a word rarely used in English these days) is a story about a “sunshine girl” and a boy who moves to Tokyo. The boy goes to work for a man and his niece who write a mystique sensationalist magazine that looks into astrology and anything weird that is said to be occurring around Tokyo – you know, the kinds of bogus-info-filled magazines you see in the checkout line at Walmart. The city experiences lots of rain, and most people around town would like it to stop. Contrary to what the previews suggest, it’s NOT a story about escaping a mafia.

Continue reading

Christianity, history, media, movies

All That Remains review

Today I’ll be reviewing the based-on-a-true-story film, “All That Remains” by the studio Pixel Revolution.

My dedicated readers may recall I once reviewed “The Wind Rises” by Studio Ghibli. Both that movie and this one are more dramatized biographies than actual entertainment pieces, so they deserve lighter criticism in that regard. However, let’s keep this short and simple.

Continue reading

media, movies

Enemies and the Dark Side of the Lego Batman Movie

Or “Degradation of Society, Part 2”. (Just found this article on my PC. I wrote it awhile ago and forgot about it.)

The first time I wrote about this film, I spoke about the family as it was addressed in the LEGO Batman Movie. The second time, I compared Joker to Satan. This time, I’ll be talking about the secondary theme of the film: Being an enemy. There’s more talk about Satan and spiritual things here, so skeptics will be… skeptics. haha.

Continue reading

media, movies

Lego Batman and the Offer of Satan

Finally got around to this follow up to a previous article I wrote some time ago. This is a short article. For another take and slightly more in-depth look, see my next article.

Let’s have a “relationship”. What an ambiguous term. Everything has a relationship. Neptune has a relationship with the price of tea in China… albeit a very distant relationship but a relationship nonetheless. (For example: The price of tea in China affects the spending power of the people, which in turn affects the costs of other commodities – locally and abroad – such as iron, which is used for making telescopes, spacecraft, and artificial satellites responsible for analyzing the surface of Neptune.)

Continue reading

art, media, videogames

A Beautiful Journey – thatgamecompany and the Aesthetics of Mysticism

I like how video games have a way of drawing the secrets out of people. We can put on social facades in front of our friends and acquaintances (our “public face”, which the Japanese call 建前 (tah-teh-mah-e)), but in private settings, we can express our true feelings (本音 (hone-nay)). Games have a way of making the private known public in a statistical way because people don’t pay for what’s fake; they like having entertainment that appeals to their deepfelt desires.

Continue reading

anime and games, art, books, media, tv

Introducing FLAT STUDIO

There’s a new animation studio making its debut this month on the animation scene. Named “FLAT STUDIO“, it’s run by none other than pixiv‘s famous artist “loundraw“.

The company was launched back in January when loundraw set up a website and declared he was recruiting. And according to the look on loundraw’s twitter page, he still is. He stated the company would be very open, and although now he has a bunch of people, you might still try your luck to get in the door.

loundraw as an artist has an impressive background – or should I say, prolific. He has quite the eye for light and shadow, which makes his works – now including animation – more fascinating. Critics are already saying he may be the next Makoto Shinkai.

Continue reading

anime and games, art, comics and manga, media, tv, visual novels

Regarding the Funny Thing of Anthropomorphizing

(Featured image is 軍服 (Military Outfit) by 凪白みと)

Ever since ancient times (going back probably farther than even bear worship and the Egyptian god Anubis), people have put some kind of human attributes into non-human things. It’s easy to do. After all, we have a consciousness (which is in the soul),  personality, and character, leading to likes, interests, and traits that can be expressed through a body – ANY body. Pick a body or put eyes and a mouth on something – a planet, a tree, a potato chip bag – and you have a face.

Faces are quite critical in projecting our consciousness and human traits into something else. You could put arms and legs on a tree, but it wouldn’t seem human. But give in a face, and somehow we can affiliate with it.

Continue reading