Burntlettuce (Level 14)

spam, I am an idiot.
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I often wonder, when did I become so critical? When during my endeavors did I become such a prick? Why do I get so angry at ignorance, and why do I feel it necessary to wave my opinion around in everyone's face? Why am I now part of this group that has been labeled as elitist?

 

 This new attitude that I have adopted of being overly critical on the entertainment I view; is the direct result of my anime viewing. I started off as any other wistful teenager, perfectly content viewing my Naruto and Bleach each week. I didn't need anything else, in my narrow scope these series were good, amazing and I spent so many hours watching the anime and reading the manga. This did not last though, I started to view more anime, started to pick up on tropes, the cliché's that managed to show their ugly heads in every series. I started to get angry, annoyed, even stopped watching anime. I then, for a short while became a movie buff. However, the cycle repeated itself. I became disturbed, thought that I was the one at fault, for not accepting these. I looked around and everyone else seemed to enjoy the series, but I couldn't, not anymore. I grew aware of these problems while others simply ignored them, but I couldn't ignore them.


I decided to give anime a chance again, approached it in a narrow view and was able to start taking it face value again. Anime was entertaining, the flashy explosion, excessive fan-service, the cliché and tropes, I embraced them all, was full aware of their existence, but enjoyed the shows in spite of them. I watched and my understanding grew, I became to appreciate entertainment as that, entertainment. I looked away from the faults of shows, but at the same time grew to appreciate those that stood above the rest on a higher level.


Then I mistakenly became active on the internet. I wanted to discuss anime with others, because I had so few friends in my life that actually enjoyed anime. I browsed forums, blogs, and offical websites. However, as I surfed I got the same overwhelming response, every show was the greatest, and every show was the worst. The ability to look away from the surface level in anime seemed to be missing from the communities. People either loved a show or they hated it, there was no middle ground. If someone loved a show then it was blasphemes to say anything negative about the show and if you defended a show that someone hated then you were flamed for it. It was all personal feelings, nor constructive arguments or anything of the sort.


Eventually I grew tired of the nonsensical flame-wars that seemed to engulf the the anime community. I started to lash out, pointed out the problems in shows, in often very arrogant tones. I became desperate to convey any sort of sense to these fans. I eventually gathered the title of an elitist. At first I was annoyed at this title, but I grew to welcome it. I searched for my other so called elitist and found the arguments and conversations to be more stimulating. Bashing and flame-wars still existed, but where much less frequent.


It was like a haven, a place where I could be myself. People understood each other, we/I knew what entertainment value was, but we also knew to analyze a series, how to pick out the faults of it. There was no turning away, I was able to list my favorite series and have conversations about them, why I enjoyed them and even accepted the criticism that came with it. I became more aware of what it was that drew people to a certain show, movie, or anime series.


I matured with the tittle and it grew on me. I welcome the title and the criticism that comes with it. I no longer mind being called an “jerk” or any of insults that were thrown at me. I like having an opinion, we all do, there is nothing wrong with it. Everything at the end is subjective, but I embrace this feeling that I can share my opinion with others and have not it cast aside, but rather embraced and discussed. I have an opinion, and what's more I know why my opinion is that. I am able to look at the wider range of things, my vision isn't narrow, I understand this. I welcome this elitism because it will always mean a wider range of opinions and a larger scale of discussion.  

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The creation of an original idea does not always mean success, just like the meshing of ideas already in circulation does not mean failure. Harry Potter would've been just another book about wizards and magic if it had not been for Rowling's superb writing and the inner working of her characters. Just like The Hunger Games would've been just another survival book aimed at young adults if it weren't for Suzanne Collins ability mesh all of these idea's into something truly masterful. 
 
Suzanna Collins "The Hunger Games"  takes place in a futuristic North America, where this power called the Capitol is in power, and controls 12 districts, originally 13, but one was destroyed during a rebellion. Because of this rebellion the Capitol has started the The Hunger Games, to show their absolute power over the districts. The Hunger games involve two tributes from each districts, one male and one female between the age of 12 and 18.  This year from District 12 Katniss, a women of the age of 16 takes the place of her little sister, and a boy named Peeta of the same age are chosen. They are then put in an arena and set to fight to the death until only one is standing. 
 
Sounds like nothing new, and that is correct, at first it's nothing new. But the underlining premise of any story only takes it so far, after that it is the author's job to continue the story. Which is why, originality in the premise is not the key to a good piece of literature, but it's the originality of the execution of the story. Something that Suzanne Collins was able to do. She was able to take all of these ideas and mix them together into a brand new story not seen before.  
 
The Hunger Games itself has got a little something for everyone, suspense, drama, romance, humor, action, survival, the list goes on and on. But nothing in this book ever feels forced. Which is probably Suzanna Collins strongest ability as a writer, she lays everything down in front of the reader in such a logical manner were everything seems to make sense. The suspense that comes in watching our two main characters survive the intense, and always changing hunger games, the touch of romance in the story, the wit that comes off the characters when they are talking to each other. Nothing ever feels out of place, it's like a puzzle that comes so perfectly together that it is actually turned back into the original picture.  
 
It should be noted before anyone goes into read this book to understand that it is part of a three book series. So yes some things feel out of place, or not quite answered. And yes the characters haven't had the ground breaking evolution that always catches my eyes. But Suzanne Collins can only do so much in one book, she has to leave quite a bit open for her following books. But never the less don't less this pull you away from this amazing series. Suzanne Collins has written one of the most engrossing books of this past decade. The Hunger Games will leave you turning each page in such a suspense that you can't wait to find out what happens.  
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Everything below this line may contain spoilers, read at  your own risk.

 
Now, please, before any Clannad fan jumps down my throat for the following(Since they are always so defensive about there show), read what I am to say. I enjoyed Clannad a great deal, and would have been one of my favorite anime's had not been for some flaws along the way, and me feeling like I was stabbed in the back at the end. 
 
I have across a few sites various Clannad rants. It's probably the anime I love to troll the most in, mainly because the fans are always so defensive. And that is my first problem with Clannad. Never before have I seen so many stuck up fans for one series. Across forums, say one thing bad about Clannad, and they jump down your throat. Such as pointing out your displeasure with the show is like some huge slap in the face. These fans are some of the few that I have found incapable of taking any sort of criticism.  
 
But I digress, as this was not one of my original problems with the show. It should be noted that most of my problem lies with the second season, After Story. I didn't really have any problems with the first season, since it played out like a typical harem show.   
 
Clannad After Story first got me really annoyed with the first 10 or so episodes. That really added nothing new to the table, and felt mostly like filler. Instead of showing the characters from the first season(Whom after episode 10 you shall never see again), no they focus on some minor side characters that no one really cares about. Giving these episodes a feel of something that is just be dragged on to give this series, 24 episodes. It improves vastly later on in the series, that is safe to say. But I can't overlook these horrid first episodes.
 
Another problem I have with Clannad lies within these light orbs that you see ever time Tomoya does a good deed. These orbs are clearly there, and do give the sudden Deus Ex ending a little more credibility. But the fact that these orbs appear for the sole purpose of the deus ex ending, makes them  a fairly poor plot device. They really serve no real purpose other then the ending or saying "Hey kids, do good things and get rewarded", a message I expect to take away from Saturday morning Cartoons. Not something that is meant for a mature audience. I think this can be seen most with the Fukko arc in the first season. The characters of the show literally gain nothing, but because Tomoya did something good he gets a light orb for the future.
 
Everyone is so quick to justify the Deus Ex ending, saying that this is suppose to be an anime with a theme of "Family" attached to it. Everyone claims that there are all of these family themes in this anime ect...But there really isn't. There are problems between people in this show, that just happened to be related. All of these problems, and people coming to conclusion with them, would have worked out even if the family tag was removed. There are very few parts of this show that have any true value of family attached to them. Nagisa's parents giving up on there dreams for her sake, Tomoya and his father, and Tomoya and his alienation of Ushio are the only instances of actual family meaning in this anime. Everything else is just cliche plots, derived from other anime, or media and thrown in the family tag.  
 
Which might be my biggest problem with this anime. I would have loved the Deus Ex ending if we got to see the family, you know be a family. It would have been nice to see Ushio's first steps, her first words, them taking her to school together. Maybe Nagisa getting a part-time job, it could have been expanding on so much better. But instead we get this shitty deus ex ending, that leads into two episodes that didn't even need to exist in the first place. Which again upsets me dearly. We have examples up above of instances of family coming together and expecting one another for there flaws, but we never get to see a family, actually be a family. 
 
My biggest problem with Clannad of course is the Deus Ex Ending. I think other than the fact that it's a cheap plot device, that didn't have it's groundings laid very well in the show. What got me most upset with this was how betrayed I felt. This show made me cry. Episode 18 literally brought me to to tears, and episode 19 may be one of the best in history. But then key decides to take a baseball bat, beat you in the face, trying to force as many tears as they can out of you(With Ushio's sudden death), and then say, "Aw Never mind about all that, it was just a dream lawls".  I had never been more upset in my whole life. Tomoya figuring out what it was like to be a father and coming to terms with his was by far the best part of this series, and they decide to take all of those feelings and throw them back in my face. Why wouldn't I be upset? Now please don't come in here and be like "OO he remembers everything though", because I already know that. But that doesn't change the fact, that episode 18 and 19 never happened. He may remember them, but it actually never happened. 
 
It's very annoying to see a show with such great promise as Clannad. Go towards this highly realistic ending, with some amazing character growth. To do nothing but take a U-turn into one of the most cliche happy endings ever.  
 
Anyways I am done with my rant. 
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We all have those series, the one's we just turn our mind off to and sit back and enjoy. They aren't written to be on the epic scale of Shakespeare, they don't have masterfully woven together plots, or emotionally deep characters, they are just fun and entraining.  Anime doesn't have to be like LoGH to be good, it can be something as simple as Gurren Lagann(I use these to series because they are completely different in there methods to entrain us). Now I am not saying that LoGH, isn't good, by no means am I saying that. I am just saying that it is on a different level than Gurren Lagann. LoGH focuses on it's central plot, it's vast universe, and deep characters. It's much more story based. While Gurren Lagann, focuses on very flashes explosions, impressive animation, and great action. Neither of these two things are bad, they are just different tools in which someone tries to entrain us. The reason I bring this up is because to often I have seen people bash show's for there "flaws". But there is really only one "flaw" in shows and that is the failure to entrain the viewer. If the creator's fail to do this, then they failed the very first original mission they sat out on when the first sat down and starting creating this series. Now that is not to say that some of these show's aren't good/bad. There are still good and bad shows out there, but enjoying a show is something entirely different. Each and every series will have it's ups and downs, but at the end of the day all that matters is that the show entrains said viewer. 
 
I apologize for my rambling, the above was stated because I thought it needed to be said. But the original purpose of this thread was to talk about show's that I sat down to and just had a blast watching. Nothing extraordinary about them, just good old plain fun.  
 
Gurren Lagann - No surprise that I started out with this one, as I talked about it above. I started out hating this series, with a passion. Almost dropped it on several occasions. I hated the animation and found Kamina to be highly annoying. But my opinion sharply changed after episode 8(Do not talk about the contents of this episode, I would hate to spoil it for anyone). I was totally taken back by this episode, firstly because I didn't think this show had the balls to do what it did in episode 8. But mainly because this was the catalyst. This was the start of the real series. I quickly realized that this series was much like FLCL in the fact that the main character is growing up and trying to find his place in the world. But I quickly became sucked in at how fast things intensified. Everything just kept growing, and while the show maintained it's predictable path to it's ending, I didn't care one bit. I picture myself being one of those kids in cartoons. When some explosions happens when they are watching TV they eyes enlarge and they become fixated one the screen. This was me, I was totally absorbed by everything and right up until the giant mech battle that spanned galaxies.  
 
R.O.D. OVA - This series was something I completed not to long ago and I was so impressed with it. I remembering going to my friends house after I finished it and talking about it, he asked me to describe it, and I could only say one word "fun". The animation, the awesome soundtrack, and the action all came together for a great experience. Only three episodes long series moved along quite nicely, not to much down time. It kept moving at a quick pace, and kept me engaged at the same time. Plus the whole controlling paper thing was so well done in this series, I actually had a dream about having that same power.  
 
Hellsing Ultimate - I am a big fan of the Hellsing Manga, so like many people I was really disappointed with the first series. But this OVA did not disappoint, even in the slightest. It was everything I could ask for. Lots of gore, plenty of Alucard and Seras and again amazing animation. The deaths may be over the top, but that is the charm of Hellsing, and it didn't lose any of it in this series. There isn't to much I can say about show, this is one of those were I have few weirds expect "Wow what a fun ride". 
 
Azumanga Daioh - It doesn't have to be all about the action for me, everyone needs a good laugh. Azumanga Daioh delivers on this, such a totally nonsensical anime that just totally makes anyone laugh. It follows no central plot, just random events in the characters life and there interactions, and it's fricking hilarious. Lovely Complex may be my favorite anime that involves comedy, but this show without a doubt was funnier than Lovely Complex. Every episode I found myself laughing uncontrollably. It's such a simple, but well executed comedy. The thing it most impressed me with, is how it could take a reaction of the character to a joke or a comment, reply it three or four times and have it be funny. Of course my favorite part of the show was Kimura. Wasn't a time I didn't laugh my ass off when we was on the screen, everything about him was just so funny. 
 
Well that is all I can really think of, it's really late and I lost the original copy of this ><.
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