It’s finally 2021 and I didn’t write a monthly post for January due to it being the holidays. With that, there is a lot of things I want to share throughout the two months.
Ex-Arm – Censored Yuri, Homophobic or Rather, The Worst Anime Ever in Recent History?
If you have read my thoughts on Crunchyroll’s decline, it’s obvious that they want to control anime. As expected, some of the productions they have control over were a disaster or looks too much like western anime (e.g., Onyx Equinox). Moreover, High Guardian Spice existence is still unknown.
The latest Crunchyroll Original, Ex-Arm, which made a bold claim that they will “declare war against all of the science fiction around the world” is a huge flop. Obviously, that didn’t go so well with the initial trailer, which have poorly done CG. Sure, there is a heated debate over 2D and 3D anime, but I think an all-3D animation can look good if it’s done right, although it’s not really my thing. Yes, while the second and third seasons of Bang Dream look jarring at first with the CG, at least it looked decent.
On the other hand, Ex-Arm is an absolute train wreck, which the western and Japanese audiences mocked. Sure, a lot of people hated the trailer by how bad the animation looks, but it gets worse from there. Not only the animation looks janky with the uncanny valley of 2D characters standing next to 3D ones, the eye and mouth movements of the characters are creepy and awkward. Moreover, the 3D animation looks like it came from a PlayStation 2 game.
To top that off, we probably have two instances where viewers became really offended. Yes, they censored the yuri kisses between Minami and Alma. While most people will think that this is homophobic and everyone should shame this show out of existence, it’s not intentional. It’s obviously not censored in the original manga. The animators simply cannot animate a kiss and Canipa confirmed this in a tweet.
Not censored at all! The faces aren't animated in the show at all, so they just put a bright white light over the kiss because they couldn't animate it. https://t.co/bC8nyjrF6I
— Canipa (@CanipaShow) January 19, 2021
That said, with the show having a director, story writer and an animation studio that have absolutely no experience in creating anime, the resulting product will obviously become a disaster. It appears that the production team spent most of the money on the voice actors/actresses instead of balancing it to make a half-decent production. Yes, with a studio that can animate.
This fiasco proves that you shouldn’t have the west try to control anime as they will mess things up or take out the things that make anime popular. The biggest loser in this fiasco is of course Crunchyroll Originals. This will tarnish the reputation of the brand and put into question about its future.
To be clear, I am not against western studios creating anime-style anime. What I am against is trying to control the whole thing. Obviously, this won’t go well, especially since it can ruin the things that everyone likes about anime. Also, I don’t think the Japanese will react kindly to the west trying to westernize it. Look no further to the poor performance of the PlayStation 5 in Japan as Sony focused too much on the western market while alienating the Japanese one.
With that, this brings me to the next topic
Sony/Funimation buys Crunchyroll
Obviously, people saw this coming as there are rumors that Sony is in the process of buying Crunchyroll. After all, the parent company that owns Crunchyroll, AT&T is in a lot of debt and needs to unload it. This is unfortunate as this deal will lead to Sony owning most of the western anime market. In other words, Sentai Films/Hidive will be the only anime streaming service competitor against Sony.
This is kind of bad since Sony has a near monopoly and they can start abusing their market position. Of course, Sony already faced numerous controversies over censorship and inserting politics. The question remains, will Japanese studios band together to create their own streaming service? We’ll see how everything plays out once the deal comes through. What we know for sure, Sony will most likely kill off Crunchyroll Originals, especially after the whole fiasco with Ex-Arm. After all, Sony owns Aniplex, so they don’t need it. To me, I think this might be a good thing given the mixed option towards most of the titles.
The Future of Anime Conventions in Doubt
It’s obvious that the Covid19 pandemic has ravaged the leisure sector of the economy, especially conventions. With the Covid19 pandemic still not under control, organizations who plans and manage these conventions are in a precarious situation. The organization behind Otakon, Otakorp recently revealed that the event might potentially close permanently.
This is not too surprising since Covid19 is highly transmissible, mass gatherings are obviously out of the question. Not only that, having guests come becomes very difficult, if not impossible due to travel restrictions.
With the vaccine rollout being slow thanks to the incompetence of the previous administration, there is a chance that conventions will mostly be dead until the latter part of 2021, when most will hopefully receive a vaccine. Even so, variants like the South African one can derail the effectiveness of the vaccine and may delay the return to the new normal until early or mid 2022.
Still, it will be sad if anime conventions go the way by the dodo bird. Not only conventions allow fans to meet up with others in person, fans can interact with creators, voice actors/actresses, and people in the anime industry. Online interactions/virtual conventions are not the same compared to in person ones.
That said, even if there is an oft chance that Otakon 2021 happens, I still won’t go since even with a vaccine. After all, a vaccine does not completely prevent you from catching the virus. I will probably hold off until 2022 before I start attending them for the first time.
WordPress.com Likes are Toxic and Killing Engagement, and Why You Should Not Use Them
For a while now, it’s been very frustrating to see a decrease in engagement on my blog, especially in 2020. I feel that the like button is a contributing factor in this as its disincentives people in engaging on the blog through comments. Blog comments are very important as it not only bring other insights, but new ideas for posts. Contrary to belief, the number of WordPress.com likes does not push your content up in the rankings in the WordPress Reader.
To make matters worse, the Like button is very toxic, especially on social media. I know people like to push the like button since it’s what they do on social media. While it’s fine there since the content is short form, but not so much with blog posts. They are an arbitrary number that contributes nothing positive to the blog, even promoting posts. It only leads to frustrations to people who spent hours writing editorial posts and receive no comments in return.
The funny thing is that after putting text at the end of the post telling people not to use the like button, people are still clicking the like button in WordPress Reader, which makes me annoyed. It’s apparent that people who are liking my posts are not reading my content, but clicking that button like its Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.
If you like my content, please refrain from using the like button and instead consider leaving a comment, linking my post back in your post or share it on social media. I’m happy that more people are following me on twitter as of late and promoting my posts through tweets or likes on Twitter. It goes a long way in promoting my content.
What Is on My Mind
Since the post is already long, I want to share a brief on what I am up to lately. Of course, I finally updated my sound systems for my projector setup where I usually watch anime and listen to my music and my home office.
In my bedroom, I upgraded my speakers to Bowers and Wilkins 607 Series 2 Anniversary Edition and they sound great for music, video games, and watching anime. I also ditched my Bose speakers in the home office for Bowers and Wilkins M-1 speakers.
Yep, I caught the audiophile bug. Thankfully, this is how far I am willing to go in improving my setup since I am satisfied with it. The next things on the list are replacing the two office chairs with ones that will last for years. Otherwise, I plan to spend money on my hobbies, and I don’t anticipate in making that many big purchases throughout 2021.
Lastly, I finally hit my 1-year mark at my federal job after 52 weeks. This means I passed my probationary period with flying colors. I will receive an automatic grade increase next week with the last being in 2022. Even so, I’m relieved after spending three hard years finding a job, especially how competitive federal government jobs are.
Also, I plan to share why I work in the public sector in an editorial I planned to write about Sakura Quest soon. Even so, I’m grateful to still be working as many my age struggle in the Covid19 economy. I hope things will get better for them very soon.
With that, feel free to share your thoughts on the topics I shared this month in the comments (also, do not click the like button please). As always, we have done these posts since June. These posts come out towards the end of each month. Feel free to check them out: