12 Days of Anime #8: The Pain and Triumph of William Massachusetts

In all the awful roar GamerGate has created, it’s sometimes hard to remember that the angst at its core is actually a real and tangible thing. Many people do come to games because they feel the world “isn’t fair,” or that they have no talents relevant to it – and shows like Sword Art Online or Mahouka tap into this unhappiness, and to the desire for control it creates. Log Horizon is smarter than both of those shows, and so when Log Horizon addresses the fundamental sadness at the heart of “gamer pride,” it does it with both empathy and a larger scope of understanding. William Massachusetts knows what he is, though his view of the larger world is fractured and flawed. And William Massachusetts is proud.

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12 Days of Anime #9: Kakyoin Doesn’t Trust Babies

I certainly had my issues with Stardust Crusaders, but whatever my quibbles with the narrative structure, I can’t deny that no other show featured one of its protagonists desperately trying to outwit a killer baby. Well, except for that one scene in Cross Ange, but let’s not go there. There’s not much to say about this event – I know what I like, and what I like is apparently Kakyoin staring daggers at infants as they plot murder in their crib.

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12 Days of Anime #10: The Rise of Ask Bobduh

So I guess I’m a narcissist, or something? I dunno how it happened, but my ask.fm profile has somehow become one of the central parts of this whole internet-personality gig I’ve got going on. Answer a couple thousand questions, and suddenly everybody wants to know what you’ve got to say!

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12 Days of Anime #11: MISTER JUSTICE

It was really, really tempting to make this entire list out of moments from Samurai Flamenco. I mean, it’s not like the show’s lacking them – from Miami Ballerina to “THE POLLS GIVE ME STRENGTH” to “actually it’s Flamwenco,” Samurai Flamenco is clearly a rich treasure trove of beautiful, inspiringly ridiculous moments. In the end, I settled on just two moments, and the first clearly had to be the proud, majestic MISTER JUSTICE.

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12 Days of Anime #12: My Neighbor SAO

Hey guys! Yeah, I’m participating in the 12 Days of Anime – an aniblogger project where bloggers put out one post reminiscing on some anime-related moment or memory from the year on each day leading up to our day of pagan tree worship and reverence to our god, consumerism. Considering I already put out basically a post a day, this may not be the most intelligent of choices, but I don’t think anyone’s ever accused me of making many of those. I’ll probably alternating these more or less between personal moments of stuff I either worked on, did, or failed to do and straight-up Perfect Moments in Anime, so look forward to a broad scattering of posts over the next couple weeks. Today I’m starting off with one of my many not-so-bright ideas – going on a journey with Sword Art Online.

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Ask Bobduh: Writing Action Scenes

As an enterprising writer, I’d like to ask… how do you go about crafting action scenes?

Action scenes are really tough in prose – never is a picture more worth a thousand words than when those words are turning a series of dramatic actions into a dry recitation of motions. There’s a variety of ways to tackle the problem – you can make quick poetry of it, you can make it matter-of-fact and let the reader paint their own emotional picture, you can frame it from a secondary/adversarial character’s perspective to actually give a better perspective on your characters’ actions. But you’re asking me, so I’ll tell you what I do.

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Ask Bobduh: Storytelling and Videogames, Part One

Management: I mentioned back in… uh, May or something that I was planning on compiling/archiving some of my more worthwhile Ask.fm answers into miniposts on Wrong Every Time. I’ve been distracted by a variety of things since then, but have finally gotten a few together that seem worth keeping, and so here’s the first of them. Enjoy!

Maybe you’ve already answered something like this, but what’s your favorite example of video game storytelling?

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Plots Twists and Other Parlor Tricks

Look at this rabbit in my hand. See the rabbit? Surprise! It’s actually a turtle.

Pretty impressive, huh?

Alright, maybe that one didn’t work on you. How about this one. Look at this character – she’s just a mild-mannered high school student, right? Surprise! She’s actually an evil wizard.

Still nothing? Hm.

Okay, one more. Look at this upbeat, slice of life story. Got a good picture of it? Surprise! It’s actually a dystopian sci-fi drama.

Alright, you get the picture. Let’s talk about plot twists.

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Rough Notes Archive: Revolutionary Girl Utena

Management: Once again, got some requests for some of my original show notes. As before, these aren’t in any way formatted for readers – they’re my notes to myself, containing immediate reactions and anything I thought might be useful for pulling together the motifs and themes of the series. They just go straight through from first episode to last, but of course you can ctrl-f to find the scattered references to any particular topic. The occasional bolded sections are stuff that I thought were key points at the time, or pieces I was sure I’d use for my eventual essay.

Anyway! That’s all for preamble. These are mainly for the crazy few people who are into this sort of thing, so don’t feel obligated to read, there’s no prize at the end. This really is just a whole goddamn ton of Utena notes. Enjoy!

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Discussion Response: A Few Last Words On Mahouka

Management: If you check my Ask.fm page, you may have run into these pieces before. Recently, I’ve realized I’ve been writing pretty much weekly mini-essay responses on Ask.fm, and since there’s no way to actually search or intelligently archive that text, they’re essentially sinking into a vast ocean of nothing. So I’ll be slowly archiving the more interesting or fully articulated pieces here, and I figured I might as well start with something that’s probably nearing its expiration date – Mahouka criticism.

How do you feel about the idea that Mahouka is an ode to Objectivism?

That it is. 100%. Not even a question.

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