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A Brief Letter Letter on Kyoto Animation and It’s Impact on My Life

Clannad Lights

I want to start this piece with a small apology. One of the biggest difficulties I’ve ever had as a person with an interest in media has been my combination of Asperger’s and ADD, which can be a particularly brutal combination when it comes to reflecting and thinking about my own emotions. The one can make processing emotion hard, the other interfering with the remembrance of emotion.

So instead, let me start with a story.

Growing up in the early 2000s, my taste in anime was very much what you might expect of a young boy: Pokemon, Digimon, Dragonball Z, Yu-Gi-Oh, Naruto, etc. . Occasionally you had your Cardcaptor Sakura or Hamtaro that broke through, but I was a pretty consistent shonen kid. Parallel to this was also my first forays into fanfiction and roleplay. Again, being that early 2000s young teen, that often-meant Gaia Online, plus a few tepid steps into Proboards. As a hobby, it was a perfect mixture of letting me play with the settings I liked and the social interaction I was kind of missing out on in the real world.

One day, I end up in a Cardcaptor Sakura themed roleplay, where someone was using a brown-haired girl in a tannish-brown uniform as what we call a “face-claim” (basically an image of a character used to represent your OC, if you can’t do arts). Eventually that RP died, like many Gaia Online forum RPs do, but the character always stuck in my mind. In fact, she stuck in my mind so much that when I spotted my brother watching her on Anime Network I had to stop and ask “Hey, what anime is this?”

That answer was Clannad.

Now, I’ll admit I’ve never been good at the whole industry thing, so I think technically my first Kyoto Animation was probably like Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. In terms of impact, however, Clannad is probably one of the most important anime I have ever watched. It probably helps that my family situation is…complicated (parents separated when I was 2, and that’s been a balancing act ever since), and so stories about family absolutely kill me. What family means, the complicated relationship with a parent you think has failed you, what it means to be a parent. An anime that tackles these subjects seriously is pretty much guaranteed to get me crying (related: Violet Evergarden episode 10 absolutely destroyed me, in a good way).

But like I said, I’m not great at talking emotions, so back to the story. Because after seeing Clannad, I started a roleplay site. Now, I’ve run a lot of sites in my days, most of them die within a few months from boredom on my part or the players. That Clannad RP, however, was something special. I wanted that to succeed, and if I had to roleplay by myself for an entire month, going back and forth with an original character (basically self-insert cause hey, I was young) and my attempts at Fuko Ibuki, I was going to do it.

That site, by the way, is still going. I left it about five years ago and returned to it just in time for it’s 10th anniversary, which was just earlier this month. It says something about the impact that show has when a small handful of people stubbornly refuse to let a site die like that in a hobby where even the bests sites often last a year, at best.

But, Clannad had much more of an impact on me than just good roleplay fodder. Somewhere in the bowels of Livejournal, which I have recovered just for this essay, is my first attempts at anime review and analysis. Like, we’re talking short essay long character spotlights detailing character arcs. Admittedly a little summary heavy  (and probably some comments here and there that are a little “eh” in retrospect) but hey, I was new.

The point is, I had always liked anime, in the same way anyone likes a TV show. What Clannad ultimately did was make me care about anime and, by extension, media in a way that recognized the impact it can have on us, and on me.

At this point, though, I’ll admit it’s a little weird to have focused so much on Clannad on what is supposed to be about Kyoto Animation. As I noted earlier, however, I’ve never been really big on keeping an eye on what studios did what. Unlike more dedicated anime reviewers, I’m basically ignorant about the industry. It is only in the last few years I’ve tried to be better about that, and it is in that extent that I began to realize just how much of my tastes and feelings about anime have been driven by Kyoto Animation. If anything, it is sad that is only in the face of this recent tragedy that I’m getting so much information on their broader impact and realizing just how important they were (and will hopefully continue to be). In particular, their dedication to good working conditions and the uplifting of women in an industry that is heavily male-dominated and plagued by crunch and poor worker treatment is to be commended, and makes the loss that much harder.

Like I said, I wasn’t planning on some poetic remembrance of Kyoto Animation: never been good at that. Still, with the impact that their work has had on my life I thought it would be good to write a little something of appreciation for a studio that has contributed so much to the lives of so many people, a recognition of the talent lost or that never had a chance to shine, and a statement of hope that, someday, Kyoto Animation will continue.

Thank You,

Whammy

PS: For anyone who is reading this, a reminder that there are several ways to provide a little help to the studio. The first ways has been to go to Kyoto Animation’s website where you can purchase digital download of art (guide here). The second has been through a GoFundMe set up by Sentai Filmworks.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: OC Survey

Survey collection regarding OCs? Why did I not know of this thing before! Also, love the trend being presented here and hope to see it continue.

Lady Geek Girl and Friends

Way back in the day (okay, so it was when I was in high school) I decided to pick up statistics for my math class. While it was challenging, I completely fell in love with the idea of being able to discern trends in data and extrapolating them for a larger purpose. Though since my times at college I’ve fallen out of love with the study itself, my love for percentages and trends lives on almost as strongly as my love for astrology—if you follow my Tumblr, you know that’s a lot. What better way to re-experience this love than through other people’s original characters (OCs)?

web crush wednesdaysI don’t know about other people, but I know that over the years my fan characters have managed to build a life of their own and turn into their own, multi-universe original characters. And, as I said, while I can’t be completely certain…

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The Very Model of a Good Utilitarian

The Very Model of a Good Utilitarian.

Just a fun thing I found regarding utilitarianism.

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In Somepony’s Shadow

It’s been several months since the Alicorn Amulet incident, and so much has changed for the Great and Powerful Trixie. Her reputation damaged once again, she continues on with her magic act, determined to try and turn over a new leaf. But with Twilight Sparkle, The Great and Powerful Trixie’s rival in magic, now a new alicorn princess, Trixie finds old emotions of jealousy and envy creeping up. Nightmares and sleepless nights ensue, drawing forth the attention of Princess Luna. Understanding of the showmare’s feelings, and reminding her of her own past, the Princess decides to intervene. What follows may change both of their lives forever.

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Fimfiction

deviantART

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100 Subscriber Special: Questions and Answers

So I finally hit 100 subscribers a little while back and finally was able to answer a couple questions you all asked me.
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My FimFiction: http://www.fimfiction.net/user/Whammy
Lunaverse: http://www.fimfiction.net/group/760/the-lunaverse
Them!: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/119865/them

Pragmatism: http://www.iep.utm.edu/pragmati/

The Fun Has Been Doubled: http://funhasbeendoubled.proboards.com/

We’re Kind of Magical: http://kindofmagical.proboards.com/

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March 23, 2014 · 2:30 pm

Mysterious Mr. Enter: Filli Vanilli

Know what, I don’t need to do my own episode reaction ramble this time around. Because Mr. Enter right here basically did it for me. So want to know what I think about Filli Vanilli? Basically just watch this.

Like, literally, the only thing I’d add to this would be a discussion about Fluttershy’s anxiety issues. That’s it, so I might do that later. But for the meat of the issue here, Pinkie Pie’s behavior, just watch this.

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February 17, 2014 · 8:23 pm

Some Literary Theory Ramblings

“When, for instance, we say that a literary work is good or bad, we are making a value judgement. But when we are asked to substantiate that judgement, we have recourse to criteria that are not values in themselves, but simply denote features  of the work under discussion. We may even compare these features with those of other works, but in differentiating between them we are merely extending the range of our criteria, which still does not constitute a value. The comparisons and differences only serve to condition the value judgement and cannot be equated with it. If, for instance, we praise a novel because its characters are realistic, we are endowing a verifiable criterion with a subjective assessment, whose claim to validity lies at best in a consensus. Objective evidence for subjective preferences does not make a value judgement itself objective, but merely objectifies the preferences. This process brings to light those predilections that govern us. These can then be seen as an expression of personal norms – i.e. not objective value judgement – and in being exposed they open up an intersubjective means of access to our value judgement.”

-Wolfgang Iser, The Act of Reading

Yeah, I’m making a little effort to look into reader-response theory of literary criticism on a sort of indirect recommendation from stormingtheivory since it was mentioned once that I apparently had some views about criticism that was similar to it. Enjoying Iser’s book so far, and I plan on digging into some of John Dewey’s aesthetics because I’ve enjoyed his other stuff so far and it seems to be in a similar vein in that aesthetics isn’t some objective measure independent within the work but an act involving the person viewing the work.

…obviously more to that and I’m sure there are differences, but should still be interesting nonetheless to see any similarities.

The paragraph that Iser writes after the one I quoted brought up an interesting thought to my mind though. In this next paragraph he discussed C.S. Lewis vs F.R. Leavis’s views on the work Paradise Lost, quoting C.S. Lewis as saying “It is not that he and I see different things when we look at Paradise Lost. He sees and hates the very same that I see and love.”

The reason I considered that interesting was it got me thinking about the episode Magical Mystery Cure”, and the divisiveness of the episode being a musical. I recall a lot of people disliking it because the songs basically compressed a lot of the action into a few short minutes while there were others, like myself, who liked the songs…because it compressed a lot of action into a few short minutes XD.

So for example, let’s take “What My Cutie Mark is Telling Me.” We both probably wanted the same thing such, as, say, to get a real sense of the confusion and mayhem this cutie mark mixup was having on the group. The difference being then, I think, is that those who hated the song hated it because they wanted to see individualized scenes played out. Meanwhile, I thought the song was fine because I would have found those scenes repetitive, with the song getting the point and emotions across in a much shorter and more compact method.

Not sure if that’s exactly what Iser meant, but it’s what I thought of at least *shrug*.

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Gallop Poll: Commissioned from a Friend

Gallop Poll: Commissioned from a Friend

So here’s another drawing of my ponysona, Gallop Poll. This time not vectored by me, however, but drawn my talented friend Coffee, who does not have a deviantART account but has given me permission to post it on my own ^_^. Won the right to this awesome image back in our Nightmare Night Contest on “The Fun Has Been Doubled!”, the MLP Roleplay forum I run (with Coffee as co-admin).

Might take this (or the version she made without the books) and make a new header image.

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December 31, 2013 · 1:16 am

These Are a Few of My Favorite MLP Things

You know, with the premiere of Season 4 coming out, I think I’m gonna do an article or video of something just a little less philosophy intense and a little more fun:

My Favorite MLP Things, where I’ll talk about a smorgasboard of my favorite things related to MLP, such as:

1) Favorite Letter to Celestia
2) Favorite Background Pony
3) Favorite Minor Antagonist
4) Favorite Major Antagonist
5) Favorite Mane 6 Member
6) Favorite Song
7) Favorite Fan Series
8) Favorite Fanfiction

If there are any other things you want to ask about in terms of “favorite MLP” things, please feel free to send something to me and I’ll see about responding to it in the article.

TLDR: Basically another attempt at Q & A, but with a focus on favorite things.

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Q & A: Taking In Questions

So I got some time left before school starts, and while I’ll be trying to get out an article or video before then I was wanting to do something a little easier; a Q & A. So if you got any questions about myself, my thoughts on anything in the fandom, other fandoms, or just whatever, please let me know and I’ll answer them in either an article or video depending on time ^_^.

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