First post of 2017!
As the title states, this is the Sunshine Blogger Award, and I’ve been nominated for it!
Here are the rules for this one:
- Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
- Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write then 11 new questions.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
That checks off 1/4 of the list. Easy goals make me feel so fulfilled!
So right off the bat I want to thank Lita Kino for the nomination. She only ever has nice things to say about me and fellow bloggers. It’s really no surprise to me that she has built up a successful blog based off her strength of character. I will always have respect for individuals that channel their passions into positivity that everyone gets to share in. Here are a few of her accomplishments…
- 1,200+ Followers
- 27,000+ Views
- Regular Blogger Feature Series
- Podcast with Shay! (Anime Review Girl)
- More posts than I could count
- Loyal Reader base/Community
…and more! There is no doubting that Lita works hard, so if you haven’t checked her blog out, please do~
1) How have you found blogging so far?
Blogging has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me, even if it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. I am someone who gets really invested in my own thoughts, so having a website to channel it all out is a refreshing feeling. I think when you have a lot on your mind, even stuff that isn’t necessarily negative, it puts a lot of strain on you personally. In lesser cases this is just busy work but in stronger cases it can amount to real anxiety and stress. Writing is a great outlet for that. Since everything you think gets ‘put on paper’ so to speak, you no longer have to worry about forgetting things or not finding the right words to articulate yourself on the fly.
The fact that you can get real interaction and support at the same time is an added bonus. You’re not locked in a cage of your own design, but a network of like minded people, all with their own perspectives on things. I put a lot of weight into how others perceive things, so when I watch something and go “I don’t get it” there is always someone out there that will ‘flip the painting upside down’ so that it suddenly all makes sense. Blogging helps form those connections and in turn exposes me to more than just a reflection of my own worldview. I can only speak for me when I say this but I believe that is the pathway to becoming a better version of myself.
Though despite all of that, I can’t not address the fact that I quit blogging at one stage. It was a tough time for me both personally and online. I’ll save the behind the scenes stuff for another time but as for “All Hail Haruhi”, it was a struggle to define myself. I wanted to be academic, yet I hate the dominant trends in academia. I wanted to be casual and laid back, yet I couldn’t push aside the conversations I loved seeing in order to accomplish that. At the same time I was feeling the crushing pressure of social media. In a not too dissimilar position as with my ego in aniblogging post, I was far too concerned with performing the ideal ‘Haruhi’. I felt the weight of every word I spoke, meaning that each slip up, each failure to convey what I truly meant, was outright painful.
Being misunderstood or misrepresented is so incredibly taxing. So much so that I deleted my twitter account and put the blog on the back burner. I don’t know if turning my back to it all was the best choice in hindsight but since I’m here now it can’t have been all bad. I’m rejuvenated with a better approach to my work, to social media and to the future.
So to sum it up for the question, yeah, it’s been alright!
2) What is your favourite anime genre you know you can watch over and over?
This is reeeeeaaally difficult one to answer.
I think the more of a genre of anime I’ve seen, the less…special(?) it becomes. Nothing actually changes about it, only that once you’ve seen enough of any one thing you have a clearer picture of what the average is. You know, if you’ve seen only 5 comedies and they were all amazing then that leaves a great impression. Then you hit 50 comedies and now there is an even split between the good/okay/bad, so you can no longer turn around and say that comedies are a definite winner.
With that in mind all my highest rated genres, both with numbers and purely from memory, have a really low sample size to draw from. So for example I want to say Josei, because stories aimed at adult women tend to resonate with me more, but then again I’ve only seen 8 if a quick check is to be trusted. How can I say my favourite genre is something I haven’t seen much of?
So my tentative answer would be Josei, a perhaps safer answer would be SciFi. Ghost in the Shell, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Planetes would all fit under that label & they rank in my all time top 10 so I think that’s a good reference point. I love these kinds of anime because they don’t need to concern themselves with the rules of reality and making logical sense. Instead they can explore more intimate details through character drama and escapism.
I hope that is enough to answer the question!
3) If you could have any anime character as your boyfriend/girlfriend who would it be? and why?
This is literally something I never think about, which makes me somewhat of an outlier in most anime circles. It also doesn’t help that lots of anime characters tend to err on the youthful side of things. I can’t exactly detach their age from a boyfriend/girlfriend perspective as easy as it would make things.
With so few options to choose from, I have to go for the cop-out. I like the relationship between Holo & Kraft Lawrence, because they have this elaborate game going on while still having the introspection to address their flaws and lean on each other for support. Individually they are both great but separating them would ruin it all, so I’ll just be the third wheel instead!
4) A bad habit you have?
Organization skills, no hesitation answering. I constantly set myself deadlines that I won’t meet, usually because I underestimated the work needed or didn’t account for unexpected variables. This has on more than one occasion left me scrambling around not being able to make heads or tail of what needs doing.
I’ve tried using planners and reducing distractions but it only helps me –so- much, the rest has to be genetic or something. Anything to excuse myself I guess! Bad habit number 2? Nah, I don’t usually dodge responsibility with these things. I wish I was better organized but at least I’m not totally hopeless. If anime klutz are to be believed then all I have to do is act cute and softly tap my head for my mistakes to be forgiven.
5) Apple Pie or Cheesecake
(the world collectively cries out in anguish)
I’m genuinely not a desserts person. You don’t know how hard it can be having to politely turn people down all the time when they offer some. It’s worse when they think it’s because you’re dieting, since that makes them all the more insistent about it!
6) What’s another hobby you like to do besides blogging?
Hmm, I binge on films and TV during random sabbaticals from anime. I sometimes play games but not that often; I don’t like having to work for my entertainment. This is a deceptively hard question, because how I define “hobby” is by how much I interact with it externally. So for example for me to consider reading a hobby, just reading books wouldn’t suffice, I’d have to be writing reviews or following famous authors and keeping up with the latest news. There is nothing I can honestly say I do that for apart from anime. Films come close, but I haven’t been in on the movie scene in almost a year.
Thinking about this question makes me long for a physical hobby like skiing or fishing. Things that don’t require you to be part of a team but still get you out of the house. I remember doing basketball for a short time. It was hard on the back though and I mainly just practiced shot taking, so no life long skills earned there.
Now I’m having an existential crisis. Best leave it at that.
7) What’s an embarrassing moment you’ve had in your life?
I like the wording on this one. Obviously the most embarrassing moment is something no one would ever admit publicly.
The best one I can think of on short notice is when I lost my debit card. I was out in the city with friends and wanted to take some money out of my account to get snack stuff. Check my clothes, bags, everything, couldn’t find it. Commence search party. Have friends checked around, I went full eagle vision on the floor, retracing my steps. Still couldn’t find it. Hand in identification, description and contact details to the local shops to make sure they get in touch if it turns up. Obviously devastated so I go home to start calling the bank and get it voided.
Boom. Right there on the table at home. Made for awkward conversation with friends when we next talked.
8) Whats your opinion of how anime is now compared to back in 2000?
I didn’t watch much anime back then, which is reflective of the market space it had in 2000. I can only speak for the situation in the UK but anime wasn’t all that common. All the kids shows made their way over but I don’t remember seeing anything in stores with the exception of Cardcaptor Sakura.
Side note: I got introduced to Cardcaptor Sakura because the dvds were in a bargain basket in the now non-existent Safeway.
So yeah, my opinion has had a lot of room to change. Anime has gone from being a niche thing that at times I wouldn’t have even been able to tell what was made in Japan and what wasn’t, to being the very thing I’m writing on now. With the knowledge I have now I would say I do miss the directorial talent of some pre-2000 industry figures. I also wish I could’ve gotten to experience the evolution of anime over the last two decades first hand. Perhaps this is a question I can revisit in another 17 years time.
9) Whats a manga you love and connected with easily?
Confession time- I haven’t read a lot of manga. Only the fairly mainstream stuff and even then not all of it. Think of Fullmetal Alchemist and Haruhi Suzumiya when you hear me say that. I’ve touched on works by Inio Asano as well, who always writes in layers and themes. A shojo here and there.
Due to my relative inexperience with manga I struggle to answer this question in a way that I believe is going to be as respectful to the medium as it deserves. I’ll say Bakemono Recchan, because it was short and to the point on an issue in society that I find important.
10) What kind of people annoy you?
Not in the sense of having a phobia or getting cold feet, those are normal and legitimate. The ‘cowards’ that annoy me are those who have a voice, yet refuse to stand up for someone when they are uncomfortable or suffering. If one person is being horrible to another then that is an issue, but the more egregious thing is watching it happen and not reacting.
I don’t want anything to do with a few folks in the anime community because of this, which is a shame since I respected them so much up until a point. It’s a trust issue really. If I can’t have faith that you’ll have my back when I’m bloodied and bruised then how am I supposed to keep talking to you after the fact. Where were you?
It’s even more frustrating when said person doesn’t want to get involved because they want to be “neutral”. If you are letting this go on and you have the power to stop it, then you are not neutral, you are complicit. The confusing part is that often times they don’t have anything to lose. There’s nothing to stop them from making a statement and taking a stand but they refuse.
When you can feel someone else’s discomfort as your own, then that’s more real than words. Once you have a sense for what it’s like then I can’t ever imagine being content to sit on the sidelines again.
11) Blueberries or Oranges?
I’ll admit peeling them is a chore though. If I was a millionaire the first thing I’d do would be to hire a personal assistant to peel/slice fruit for me. I swear I’d each so much more fruit if it was that convenient.
We’re three quarters of the way there! Now I only need to nominate 11(!) new blogs to receive the award and write then 11 new questions.
But I was born to rebel. So instead I’m going to nominate only one person. Maybe I’m romanticizing it but I feel it would be so much more meaningful if I singled someone out for the award, instead of giving it out like candy to a group of eleven.
So I nominate Toritsukamanga (Acacia Aurora)
This a blog that is still relatively new but growing fast. Auri presents herself with humility and respect, already achieving a goal that I’ve set myself for 2017. Whether you are interested in manga, anime or literature, you can find a bit of everything over at Auri’s blog. I’m particularly fond of her poetry, which is already far better than what I put out as a teenager. Please go take a look!
So here are your questions Auri. There’s no pressure, so if you don’t want to respond, or if you only want to answer some and not all of the questions, that is completely fine. Do whatever you’re most comfortable with.
- Who inspires you the most in life?
- What do you want to do after your formal education is finished?
- Describe one quality that makes your best friend your best friend
- Which anime do you relate to the most?
- Beautiful name! What’s the story to it? (if there is any)
- Share a good memory you have from 2016
- You’ve won the lottery! What’s the first thing you do?
- Have you learnt any Japanese?
- How do you spend your free time when you’re not online?
- Favourite animal?
- Name one place you’d love to visit
Conjuring up eleven unique questions is more difficult than it looks. Good luck Auri, and to everyone else…
…thanks for reading!