Couple of weeks ago when I was asked to write an article, I could not figure out what I wanted to write. I knew there were many anime based on Jump comics on Crunchyroll, so I thought about writing one on Jump. I briefly went through the list of anime on Crunchyroll to see which Jump anime there were, and found School Days instead, stealthily hiding beneath the busy traffics of Naruto, Gintama, et cetera. Quite simply, the biggest attraction to me for this title is its history. Just a day prior to the airing of its final episode, a police officer in Kyoto Prefecture was murdered by his own daughter. Due to the resemblance to this incident, the show was abruptly cancelled, replaced by a half hour travelogue of Norwegian Fjord, accompanied by soothing classical tracks.
So, to briefly summarize this murder case, around 4 a.m. in September 18, 2007, a 16 year old girl murdered her father with a hatchet. About an hour later, she called the police by herself, informing that she had just murdered her father. When the police finally arrived, they saw a girl wearing her black dress, soaked in her father’s blood. Her motives, although not really clearly known, are speculated to be anywhere from her father’s extramarital relations to his physical abuse on her.
I watched both School Days and Higurashi no Nakukoroni for the same exact reason; I was genuinely interested why they had to be canceled. Now I cannot and would not argue whether censorship and the likes are good or bad, because it seems to be a meaningless argument at this point. Whether we like it or not, some information will always remain hidden, and we are left to play around with whatever that is out there. In a strictly contemporary sense, School Days is not at all censored. You can even watch it on YouTube, although I believe the subs were in Spanish, and the quality isn’t as satisfying as in Crunchyroll, fo sho. But the fact that the show got canceled is more important than the cancellation itself. I am quite sure that many people watched School Days for the exact same reason I watched it; simply because they heard it was canceled. And as I write, I am hoping that you would also be interested in watching this series, probably with similar reasons as mine.
I believe it is human nature to desire things that are forbidden to us, hence the biblical apple and what not. If a show is canceled, especially with a reason as intense as an actual murder or even better (?) in this case with such brutality as a patricide and cop killing all at the same time, I think the censorship itself will ironically function as an utmost advertisement. Unless we were in a totalitarian state where curiosities might lead to our own death, such vulgar nosiness is a proud portion of our constitutional rights. And with the help of internet, I was able to attain this sort of information, and best of all, watch the actual anime in question. Now it is my turn to spread this gospel to the fellow anime fans in the United States, who has not yet watched School Days. This series surely would satisfy your postmodern Japanese brutality/insanity sort of fantastic fetish.
Characters: The main character Hideyoshi, was annoying and useless throughout the entire show. It took her an episode and a half to figure out that she had been sent to another dimension, something the entire audience figured out in 30 seconds, and even then she had to be told outright. Not to mention every battle that happened she was either to the side, or tied up. Nobunaga easily steals the show with her commanding presence, helped along by a great performance by the amazing voice actress Megumi Toyoguchi. The talking dog Shiro was also annoying because other than providing the same "I'm a pervert" joke over and over and over he added nothing to the story.
Music: The Op ("Kagerou" by Tenka Tori Tai) was alright, it didn't absolutely stink like the Op for Chobits, but it didn't blow me away like Gosick's Op did either.
Animation: The animation is up to today's standards but it just never made me stare in awe at the drawing like "Seitokai Yakuindomo" or "Angel Beats!" did.
Will the rest of the anime be as plot oriented as the last two episodes? I would hope so. Is it worth watching 8 episodes of bad stuff just to get to the meat and potatoes of the show? I'll leave that for you to decide.
Ah, anime conventions. Is there anything that’s more exciting for us anime nerds out there? The atmosphere of a con is a very difficult one to explain to those who have never been there in the first place, and it’s safe to say that it is almost a different world from the outside. Sure there’s the anime merchandise and the marathons running throughout the con, but for yours truly the real attraction to going to an anime convention doesn’t lie within all the scheduled events (though it’s awesome to meet and greet your favorite voice actors), but rather the people you meet.
Indeed, it’s that one time of year in which anime fans from all across the area (and some from way out of town) can gather and socialize with other fellow fans who would never have met each other otherwise. While it’s one thing to build a strong community through the internet, it’s an entirely different thing altogether for said members of the community to meet face to face. Due to the very nature of anime fans you tend to get a lot of extreme personalities when you go to these conventions, and quite frankly this alone is reason enough for anyone to go and experience them!
However, you’ll also notice quickly that just because people are anime fans doesn’t mean that they all think alike. Fan wars for certain characters notwithstanding, it goes without saying that any given anime will attract a variety of people within the fanbase. You go to enough conventions, and you’ll start to notice that many fans fall into several types. No matter where the convention is or what its focus may be, one will notice that every convention attracts the same kind of people. Knowing how to interact with such characters at a con will not only enhance your experience, but would also help one to make new friends! And who knows where this can take you later on in life?
So for those with keen observation and an itch for socializing, I am going to present to you a list of the kinds of people one would likely meet during a convention. While I can never guarantee that every person of a certain “type” will always act the way I speculate, I can say with confidence that these traits will be present. More times than not, these traits would also blend in from one kind of fan to another, so it’s very possible that one person can display several signs of several different kinds of fans. Odds are even that you the reader might share some of the traits that I’ll list in my observations. Who knows? Let’s get started.
The Yaoi Fangirl
If there’s one thing that we all know about anime it’s that there will always be ridiculously pretty boys. These boys in anime are so gorgeous and borderline feminine that there is rarely a male in real life who lives up to these expectations. However, it’s also this impossible level of beauty that attracts much of the female fanbase to the show. When you mix ridiculously handsome guys with young teenage girls with weird fantasies, the result is the yaoi fangirl.
Online the yaoi fangirl is extremely prevalent and outspoken wherever creativity is encouraged, usually at sites such as Deviantart or Fanfiction.net. Whether they are amateur writers or experienced artists, they will have a peculiar obsession for pairing up two of their favorite characters from any given anime. What is the logic you may ask? I’ve learned early on that when it comes to this breed of fangirl that logic need not apply. So long as any two male characters look good together, this is all the fuel the yaoi fangirl needs. It could even be as much as clashing personalities that could cause these fangirls to start random mass shipping, and rarely do these ideas ever end well.
Interestingly enough their boundless energy will carry on once you meet said fangirl in the convention. While there is no way to tell who amongst the crowd is a yaoi fangirl based on looks alone, odds are it will come out in their actions. If you’ve ever heard uncontrollable squeeing or giggling at the very mention of a crack pairing, then odds are you’ve found a yaoi fangirl. The fangirlish tendencies to hyperactively glomp a good-looking cosplayer may also be present, but that usually depends on a case by case basis. Many times you might see the fangirls themselves cosplaying as their favorite male characters and reinacting their sugary sweet fantasies as they see fit. Whether or not they are in cosplay, you can be sure that a yaoi fangirl will be carrying the infamous “Yaoi paddle”, a fraternity style paddle that is used in ways I care not to mention at this point.
Any anime series will have yaoi fangirls if you look hard enough, but there are some series that appear to embrace this part of their fanbase much more readily than others. There are even instances where the creators of a series will write situations that almost specifically target the yaoi fandom, such as the first episode of Naruto in which Naruto and Sasuke accidentally kiss each other. Generally speaking, however, just look for a series that has a large male cast with pretty designs. I guarantee that if said series doesn’t have a yaoi fanbase yet, then it will in the next couple of days.
Despite their strange fantasies, these fangirls are known for being extremely friendly and very open. They’re definitely worth talking to and a lot of fun to hang around with, especially with their addicting enthusiasm. Just don’t try to dispute their favorite pairings, or it will be at your own peril.
So this concludes the first of many articles about anime convention culture and the people you’ll meet. Do you readers out there have any suggestions as to what other people are worth looking out for? Are there any points I may have missed that should be addressed? Please contact me and let me know! Perhaps your suggestion will make it in the next round.
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