I Don’t Hate nor Like Mineta

Ever since Boku no Hero Academia’s popularity exploded when S2 started, I’ve been seeing a lot of hate toward Mineta. This brings to mind something I see all the time with many people regarding how they consume fiction: they dislike or hate on non-villains that make stupid decisions or ones with problematic attitudes, then regard them as bad characters. My impression is that this is how majority of people are.

I just don’t think like that at all.

Mineta has a problematic attitude, particularly when it comes to women. I completely agree with that. Maybe he’s a bad person, though I wouldn’t simplify such a strong black and white label down to being a pervert. Everyone has stains on them. Some, their fault, some not. Some, society’s more accepting of and some unacceptable for society. And I’m not the type who’s so confident and convinced by my righteousness to throw stones at people characters.

But the moral aspect isn’t what I disagree with. It’s how they label him as a bad character. A bad person, I won’t disagree or agree yet. But a bad character? As long as he doesn’t act out of character and fulfills his role effectively whenever the plot demands an active role from him, he is not a bad character in my opinion. Yes, his character could’ve been written without his pervertedness and HeroAca would still work since he’s not a main character. But that doesn’t have any bearing on whether he’s a good character. That’s just changing character’s traits. Traits don’t define a good character, writing does.

If it’s about sending the wrong message or enabling the problematic attitude he has toward women, I don’t think HeroAca’s ever treated what he does as something to be celebrated. I think he’s just being portrayed as a perverted classmate who happened to be on the side which isn’t evil. He’s just there. I don’t think there’s any celebration in that. Do people really think every middle school or high school classmate they had who acts perverted are shitty people? I would say it’s probably a mix of shitty and non-shitty ones.

They can hate Mineta as much as they want. Their reasons are justified. I just think calling a character bad because you dislike the character’s qualities as a person is overreaching. Mineta just happened to be a good example to use in expressing this sentiment of mine. And I really can’t relate to feeling so strongly on characters. You may call me cold-hearted. I didn’t cry at Clannad: After Story after all.

But I did feel strong enough about people equating a character they hate to a bad character to write a blog entry on it lol.

I Will Always Remember Looking Up at the Half Moon

Sometimes — or in my case, often — you just can’t explain why something is special to you. Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora (Looking Up At The Half Moon) is an excellent example of that for me. I’m talking about the anime, by the way.

I had a problem with how it handled the drama at times, especially with the doctor. Production value was just decent on average, or maybe I just didn’t like that art. Even through my first watch of the series, I assessed it as such.  And yet, despite its apparent problems, it has always felt like one of my favorites, especially if  we only talk about romance titles.

In the end, it’s really how something made you feel that sticks with you, rather than the details. It wasn’t realistic, but there was just something pure and real in it that captured me. It was bittersweet. It was so bittersweet, yet in the end the bitter was drowned out by the sweet. And not because the sadness disappeared, but just because the pair chose to feel their happiness to the fullest.

I don’t know what else to talk about in this series but I wanted to write a short post remembering it. I haven’t rewatched it for years now and I don’t plan on rewatching soon. I haven’t read the light novels. I remember there was a live action adaptation I didn’t continue watching lol. Also the OP/ED are so good. I’ll just end it with it.

Eccentric was Eccentric

So Keyakizaka46 just performed Eccentric on TV for the first time, months after the song was released. It was the first time the dance can be seen by non-concert/live goers like me. And after watching, I didn’t even need to check reactions to know it was polarizing. Of course it was. It was truly eccentric.

And I loved it.

I was almost disappointed already because of how it started. I expected something else to properly represent the lyrics. But TAKAHIRO was just building it up! Thank you TAKAHIRO! You exceeded my expectations. The girls also danced well enough. Techi was so into the awkward shake your shoulder move that I truly felt like she didn’t care!

♫ I am eccentric ♫
♫ I’m fine with being strange ♫
♫ I’ve learned it’s so much better to let them misunderstand 

It wasn’t eccentric for the sake of being weird. It embodied the lyrics, not caring if the girls looked lame, uncool, or ugly. It started with “boring” solo lines. Standard emote on screen moves, complaining about how people are. Take off the shoe, say you’re fine with being strange. Just let people misunderstand. Don’t care. Throw it, and break free. Then finally, eccentric dancing! It had me laughing at the audacity of the dance to be that unusual and uncomfortable. That was something else. I can’t wait for a full song performance.

Most of all, it was still the Keyakizaka46 that conveys the messages of their songs through their dance just as much as the lyrics. And it was still the Keyakizaka46 rebels I wanted to see. You wanted a cool dance for a cool song? Nope. Keyakizaka46 rebels. I don’t want that to disappear.

Of course this would be polarizing even to fans and more so to non-fans. And that’s perfectly fine because this is a B-side track. Fukyouwaon is the main single. I have absolutely no problem that many disliked it. If the polarizing quality generates publicity then even better for our Keyaki-chans. I guess Keyakizaka really only catered to a smaller subset of the fans today with that dance and luckily, I was part of that.

♫ Don’t be concerned with their stares ♫
♫ Stand out from the crowd ♫
♫ That’s what freedom is 

People like to use the word ‘weird’ and call themselves weird. But are they truly weird? Weird has taken on another meaning now. People like being different, but not too different. If you’re too different, you’re the one isolated from the weird people.

If Keyakizaka’s dances were always like this, Eccentric wouldn’t be eccentric. It was because Eccentric had the gall to be too different — and in the most fitting song — that it amazes me.

It’s awkward, it’s disturbing (but less so if they were wearing street clothes), and it’s genuine. That’s why it’s Eccentric.

That’s why it’s amazing.

⊿⊿

My hype just won’t go away so I wrote this entry to channel it into something semi-productive. This entry wouldn’t have been written if I pushed this for later because lol lazy.
-Lyrics TL from UKN48 subs.

Relatively Progressive Animation Works

This is not an attempt to convince or argue. This is just me expressing my feelings in one sitting without much planning because I’m lazy.

The news about P.A. Works’ Animator Training Course and Salaried Animators Program made me remember how people reacted when the circumstances of an animator went viral in the anime space of the internet.

I feel like they were misdirected at best. Even singling out the anime industry, and ignoring how many industries around the world are just as harsh in similar and different ways — I still feel that way. Yes, the conditions were harsh, but all those reactions were directed at a studio that is one of the better places to work in that harsh industry and are even doing things to improve the working conditions for their employees. Continue reading