katmic (Level 10)

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I think i mentioned it somewhere that it wasn’t until 2007 that i first began watching anime and reading manga with gusto, having had little exposure prior, precluding YuGiOh! which is devoured with intensity during my earlier years.

Sufficing to say my approach to anime and manga is a little different now than it was a few years back, a little less discerning; it was probably because my exposure to anime back then was so limited that i pretty much devoured whatever i encountered-so long as it fell within specific battle oriented categories.

Only now, with my tastes slowly expanding and transforming, can i say that i have gathered a pretty intricate perspective on anime, at least based on what i have watched and read; and its only now, after so many years that i can begin to appreciate just what anime and manga has to offer as a pretty unique medium of entertainment and, more importantly, all the flaws that it has been known to present to its viewers.

Though that description might in itself present some issues; after all how do you separate a fault, a failing, from an attribute; it’s like complaining that no one ever dies in comic books, not taking into account that the triviality of death is a deep rooted attribute and characteristic of the comic book universe, if it is to continue down its current structure of story telling.

In this post i attempt to cover all those elements and factors of anime and manga that i have found irksome and irritating over the years.

Though i would qualify that by saying that not every element or attribute mentioned in this post is applicable to anime in general, but rather specific facets, types, genres of anime that i have come across.

Equally important is the fact that the negative nature of some of the elements mentioned is only determined by their usage; in other words certain elements might prove irksome in one scenario but brilliant in another; most times it comes down to execution.

So, without further delay, what irritates me, sometimes even downright infuriates, me about anime:

1. NAKAMA POWER- I intend to elaborate on this issue in another post, but for now i will say that there is probably no bigger sin that has ever been introduced in anime than this irritation known as nakama power. The idea that the outcome of battle would be determined by the feelings and positive hopes one one party makes my blood boil.

I was highly amused while watching this one anime in which, after spouting a grand speech on heroic ideals and determination and wanting to protect others, the hero found himself soundly defeated by an enemy that went on to remind him that no amount of resolve could close the distance in strength between them.

Even within the fictional world of anime one expects a level of logic and realism to prevail; and there is no plausible realm in which great resolve can translate into raw power and skill, and 99% of the anime that utilize this concept are completely ruined by the presence of Nakama power.

Notice that even Dragon ball z, the cliché of cliché’ anime, somehow managed to avoid the use of nakama power, instead depending on ridiculous power ups, a silly tool still way more justifiable than Nakama power.

Note worthy examples include almost everything in Fairy tail, One piece to an extent; though bleach [sort of] escapes this category, instead finding its poison elsewhere. Not forgetting Guilty Crown

Acceptable uses of the concept can be found in Gurren Luggan and History’s Strongest Disciple. Though series like Blood+ and Fullmetal Alchemist has proven this concept largely unnecessary.

2. RANDOM POWER UPS- I HATE random power ups almost as much as i detest Nakama power, and while it fares more positively in comparison Nakama power, the sudden emergence of hidden abilities, earth shattering powers, never before hinted upon weapons will destroy the credibility of an anime (at least in my eyes) faster than the dumbest plot holes.

And the coincidence of all such circumstances, always timed to unleash in time to contend with some unstoppable force, rendering any strategy or battle plans meaningless.

And yes i consider Ichigo’s sudden uber hollowification against Uluquiora to be a random power up, just one of the few that worked but only because the Esparda’s defeat by any other means would have been, as otaku like to say, an ass pull.

And here’s where i appreciate series like Naruto and One piece that showcase a primary protagonist’s slow rise to power; because the majority of shonen anime depend upon sudden power ups to turn wimpy incompetent heroes into formidable opponents to near invincible villains.

One wonders why they create such powerful villains if rationally defeating them will eventually prove impossible outside some previously unknown super saiyan mode.

And am now hearing rumours that Hunter X Hunter does just this with Gon during the Chimera ant arc; though one can only assume that, given Togashi’s track record, he, along with the likes of Gurren Luggan, will be one of a few that can pull this off brilliantly.

3. GENIUS PROTAGONISTS- Its difficult to believe that some years back many Naruto fans were floating the idea that the series would have been better off with Sasuke as the lead, which doesn’t make sense because natural born geniuses in anime strip the tension out of most story lines, making things seem too easy.

There is no place for geniuses in anime and manga outside of support roles or as antagonists; thought its worth mentioning that those anime which effectively utilize genius protagonists balance them out with even smarter villains and acceptably challenging obstacles. Just look at Death note where no victory was achieved without considerable struggle.

4. BATTLE GENIUSES- Back to picking on the big 3; I am talking about characters that, while barely average in intelligence, will walk onto the battle field against a superior opponent and almost always emerge victorious, always adapting in the last instant against a power initially overwhelming to them.

And this pretty much describes Ichigo, always spending the better part of an hour getting skewered and battered, only to discover the opponents weakness through pure observation when challenging an invisible attack, or gaining that extra boost of speed to match a demonically fast enemy.

It’s always the same dumb nonsense, that an ability to adapt in the field can literally serve you against any and all enemies, one wondering just how discovering your enemy’s weaknesses after an hour’s battle will aid you at a point in time where you should be in no physical shape to achieve victory.

It’s probably why i appreciated Jiraiya’s death so much in Naruto, that even after discovering the enemy’s true power, he found himself incapable of doing anything other than sending this information off to his pupil, dying in the process.

A lesser mangaka would have eliminated that particular plot, instead having Naruto display uncharacteristic intelligence in the midst of battle.

5. NAKAMA- Maybe there was something initially endearing to this concept upon its conception who knows how far back, but i am tired of anime and manga that possess little to no plot outside of the protagonist’s need to defend his nakama.

This term has been severely misused in story telling, the topic of many grand speeches to justify one unnecessary conflict after another.

6. FAN SERVICE- It would be a strange otaku that would complain about the presence and level of fan service in Queen’s blade, because that’s pretty much all the series is about. However one such Otaku would be more than justified in making the same complaint against a series like Freezing Vibration, essentially attempting to take a darker tone with its story but ruining the tension created by attacks that do little more than rip cloth and expose flesh.

Fan service has its place in anime, and a few splashes here and there in even the most serious anime isn’t likely to disparage its quality. Unfortunately most fan service proves to be quite unnecessary.

I should also probably mention the weird and unrealistic body sizes and proportions.

7. WHINY VILLAINS- I have elaborated on this fault in a separate post detailing the traits of a great villain. And reiterating those complaints, i have just about had it with villains in anime and manga whose primary purpose in life seems to be to elicit sympathy from the audience.

That so many villains these days have to berate use with a sob story about their lives, that we are expected to forgive and relate to fiendish characters whose only saving grace is the ridiculously unrealistic levels of torture they underwent during their youth; that almost all anime today end with the hero and villain weeping incessantly over the course their lives took. It irritates me to no end, that anime cannot bring to us some truly evil villains.

Tortured pasts and complicated origin stories do not necessarily make great villains.

8. GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE- I have come across what i would refer to as some considerably strange otaku who will not touch an anime unless it spills blood and guts in liberal amounts. I don’t get the appeal.

Action series devoid of blood in any form are unrealistic and make absolutely no sense. However there are series whose only selling point is the glorious amounts of blood spilt in each episode.

Too many anime series use gore for shock’s sake, attempting to keep fans glued to the screen with the promise of a thousand unique and gruesome deaths. It’s the reason i failed to watch Final Destination, which is just one massive death fest.

Great offenders here include Afro Samurai and Shigurui. Again i understand the place gore has in anime; however more than half of the bloody anime i have come across felt like they were forcing gore for gore’s sake.

9. LENGTHY BATTLES- I wrote a post on this particular topic a while back, comparing short and long battles in anime. And i remember concluding that both forms of battle had a role to play in an anime, and how positive a long or short battle proved to be was always determined by the the circumstances in play.

In other words there are times where lengthy battles are indeed a necessity. This unfortunately doesn’t apply to most anime, who have no problem allowing duels to run into the dozens of episodes at a time.

Most such anime simply fail to keep the clashes fresh, and over time the battles become repetitive, basically bringing to the screen too many of the intricacies of the fight, basically a blow by blow telling.

10. COMPLEX TERMINOLOGY- One of several reasons mecha as a genre simply doesn’t appeal to me; the idea that an anime would waste precious minutes explaining to us viewers the intricacies of some of these scientific and engineering concepts simply baffles me.

I understand the need to create realism in one’s story, but do we need to waste time listening to characters blurting out gibberish about how the central triflorating coil impacts the heating of the semi concrete switch.

90% of all mecha and sci-fi series feel the need to fill us in on how their false science works. Outside of actual elements of an anime that are key to understanding the concept that drives a series, they all need to stop.

11. UNYIELDING PROTAGONISTS- During my first two hundred episodes of One Piece is seriously considered dropping the series, not because of its quirky style but primarily due to Luffy, a hero that, no matter how many times he was decimated by his enemy, always got up, again and again, ready to take loads more punishment.

Now am not saying that Luffy never went down during those initial 200-400 episodes; I am saying that when he did go down, he still stood up to face his opponent once more, most definitely unconscious but none the less indomitable.

I am curious. Medically speaking if i snatched a club up and knocked a human being down, unconscious and all, would it be within their ability to rise up none the less and continue engaging in battle? Because i might be wrong and Luffy could well be within the limits of reality.

12. BATTLE MONOLOGUE- I understand why combatants would choose to express themselves in battle; what i don’t understand is why any being of average intelligence would decide to reveal the secrets of his ability to his enemy.

I mean, isn’t that part of the strategy, keeping your enemy guessing and basically ambushing them during a fight? I get that we the viewers need to understand what is going on in a given scene, but writers could be smarter about educating anime fans.

It’s probably for this reason that i still appreciate the old Samurai X anime, that each major clash included a bystander that basically provided us, the viewers, a blow by blow of the fast paced events occurring on the battle field; that’s actually a more believable tool that Kenshin simply spilling to Sato the rational of his legendary skill.

13. INBALANCED CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT- Krillin says it all. I would have had much greater appreciation for Ichigo’s growth during Bleach’s progress if there was anything akin to favourable development for support characters such as Rukia and Sado.

Anime series, especially those with large casts, need to learn to provide balanced development to all core cast members of any given stories. The idea of a single character driving the success of an entire story is long obsolete.

14. THE ONE- This harks back to my 13th point; the idea of that so called singular hero born and bread and chosen to rise, rule, save the world has a tendency to turn me off. Though, as i have mentioned before, certain series have the uncanny ability to pull tropes such as this off brilliantly.

Again it all comes down to execution; and anime that choose to gush over a single core character at the expense of all other important characters will kill an anime for me.

15. AMATEUR HEROES- Now this isn’t necessarily a criticism, but more of a…consideration. I understand the idea of anime, especially shonen, being targeted primarily towards certain audiences; but i can’t be the only one to notice that 95% of all heroes in all anime universes a younger than 12 years of age.

The idea that, on a vast planet of diversely skilled individuals, one ten year old stands as the best hope of humanity against one threat or another. This was my problem with copellion (Anime), whose organization had the opportunity to engineer their heroes into being rather than simply choosing them from the masses.

And they still chose to create restrictively skilled high school age girls and boys. I sometimes find myself rolling my eyes at the idea of a 7 year old acting no different from a 30 year old, commanding great power and respect and displaying even greater wisdom.

And again this isn’t always a bad thing; after all i love Naruto. But some of these kids shouldn’t even know how to tie their shoe laces, yet i am supposed to believe that they can concoct genius level strategies and pilot super robots?

16. WHINY CHARACTERS/CONFLICTED HEROES- I think most Otaku will have at some point encountered these most irritating of characters. More often than not, the most conflicted heroes are also the most whiny. You know them, those protagonists that simply cannot make their minds up, will spend most of the series fleeing from responsibility or a calling, whining and crying about their supposedly poor lives, before finally making an appearance at the end.

I can probably accept a little whining, but characters spending nearly two thirds of the series weeping extremely irritate me.

17.USLESS FEMALE CHARACTERS-

I have to confess; i have come across very few female characters in anime and manga that i actually like; and it has nothing to do with the fact that so many of them play little more role than the damsel in distress…okay maybe that’s partly the problem.

However i am most irked by how useless most of them are to the plots of their respective series, besides contributing to fan service and ecchi components.

18. BEACH EPISODES-

I get it; they’re filler, supposed to allow us a glimpse into the lives of our protagonists as they wind down from the stress of daily life, should be funny, supposed to be enlightening, but i am sick to death of them.

If every anime chose to strike these beach/camping episodes from their structures, i would be greatly pleased. The only exception i have found is Another, which actually used the beach episode to pull off a shocking death.

19. CONTRADICTING AGES- Characters with 12 year old bodies that are supposedly several years older-for the record, i am not talking about vampires and the like, but basically human characters; this goes back to my complaint about a silly abundance of teen and pre teen heroes, which is what most such anime do, supposedly bringing older and more mature protagonists to situations, but still determined to bring a child like attitude and atmosphere to the series.

20. PAEDOPHILIA- There are certain anime series that can pull off some innocently funny situations between considerably older and considerably younger characters. Most however come off as quite disturbing.

And that’s it for this rant about those dark sides of anime that infuriate me; though strangely enough, its because this is anime we are talking about that i am not actually advocating for any of these to get eliminated from basic anime story telling.

Anime has a reputation for taking the mundane and squeezing magic out of it; i am certain that, by putting their heads together, anime writers, producers, creators can take any of these elements and transform them into items that can generate considerable entertainment.

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With only a few years of experience under me in terms of anime and manga, each new year and each new batch of anime that i experience brings to my attention new aspects about, and new genres or subgenres of anime that i simply cannot stand.

Asura Cryin is, well, i don’t even know how to describe it outside of the generic genre descriptions you find on Wikipedia, and am not sure there is a name for it.

THE PLOT:>

Natsume Tomoharu is a normal high-school student in every way with one exception: he's being followed by the ghost of his best friend, Misao.

After moving into his brother's old house, Tomoharu expects to continue living his normal life when, one day, he receives a mysterious and locked briefcase.

He has all intentions of leaving the case in storage, until his house is invaded by multiple groups of people chasing the briefcase. Unaware of its true purpose, in escaping with the briefcase Tomoharu and Misao are thrust into a world of conspiracies as they try to unravel the strings connecting Misao and the case and why its use has consequences for the whole world.

MY REVIEW:>

There’s a sequel? Really? Why? I usually prefer keeping my reviews brief (ish) and somewhat general in describing the overall structure of an anime, this including characters, plots, villains, whatever caught my attention.

I won’t bother doing that Asura Cryin, and not only because i came four episode short of actually finishing the first season. If you haven’t seen it, there are ghosts that can turn into robots, are summoned out of dimensional portions and can do battle with unique abilities.

And as always the primary character is gifted with the most powerful mech of all-well, maybe second most powerful, i will assume that, as per the title, the Asura Cryin is the most powerful.

As always he does his best to stay out of trouble, basically choosing to keep all the chaos of his new life at an arm’s distance, intent on enjoying average life despite the dangers facing him or those around him.

That is until a girl’s thrown into the mix, a girl who, having tried to kill him earlier on, finds herself on the wrong end of a sword. And suddenly he’s the gallant hero, ready to throw his life on the line for this stranger, and as always spouting some nonsense about right and wrong.

I can’t be imagining it, right? That all these male characters suddenly find their righteous spirit when the plot throws a girl into the story; and suddenly they are willing to throw all on the line for sudden and supposed justice.

And why do all these girls fixate so intently on a single male character after only one or two acts of kindness? And they always bloody move in with him. Either that or an important figure in said female’s life entrusts them to the protection of the suddenly important male character, the same male character that can barely protect himself in the best of circumstances.

-Oh, and by the way, that is Tohomaru for you, along with Kanade, Ania, Christina and more; let me just say that i hate dormant male protagonists, the kind that receive mysterious suit cases and choose to lock them away rather than expend energy seeking answers.

I don’t want to bother criticising Asura Cryin, or comment on its fairly acceptable characters, uninspired music, okay voice actors or even the generic artistic designs. Because i know or rather i think i know what this anime was trying to achieve, but i don’t think it had any idea.

VERDICT- I would be curious to find someone who could defend Asura Cryin’s quality to me. The male lead is weak in every way and its because he has no stake in the conflict, no interest in its intricacies that he can go around both fighting and befriending both sides like a buffoon, playing absolutely no role in progressing the plot.

The action hits both extremes, either over the top or underwhelming. The female characters were all TERRIBLE; its like whoever was writing this chose to reserve all the corniest lines of dialogue and plot points just for them, especially Kanade.

And why do they all have to be so pitiful and pathetic, only in existence to search for that hero that will save them. And did i mention how terrible Tomoharu was? Or maybe it was his whiny character that infuriated me.

I have no idea how to describe anime and manga such as this; but i am certain there is word for these sorts of situations.

RATING:>3/10; seriously, how did this anime make it to season 2. Though i might give it a look for curiosity’s sake.

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I am starting to wonder if its too late to extricate myself from monthly manga; because as good as some of them are, every manga has tame chapters, lulls in the story that, on a weekly basis, can be acceptable; but which, over the period of one month can become irritating.

Mother keeper chapter 44 wasn’t terrible; and maybe i can point out some entertaining moments…actually no i cannot, because this chapter was only 15 pages long and did nothing to advance the story.

THE CHAPTER: The invasion continues

MY THOUGHTS:

Really, nothing really progressed in the story from the last two chapters, and that probably has something to do with the very short run of this chapter.

Was i looking forward to Torukisu Vs. Ricalna? Yes, and for all intent and purposes it pretty much…well no, i can’t say it delivered, because again it was only 15 pages. The battle felt like it closed just as it was starting.

Rather what i will say is the art in this chapter was pretty good, specifically the battle between these combatants, the panels arranged in such a way that the carefully choreographed moves were fast paced yet easy to follow.

That’s it, that’s all i can say about this chapter; because Lint facing off against the Chaos tide thugs wasn’t much of a cliff hanger, nothing to keep me be glued to the series till the next chapter.

We have always known what the rebels were after, mother, the same thing Ricalna tried to obtain when he first infiltrated Eden; so it isn’t like we learnt much from the chaos tide conversation.

Well maybe its worth pointing out the fact that they said if mother was all they acquired from the invasion, they were as good as victorious in their endeavours; which means they probably have secondary objectives besides taking Eden’s CPU.

Now that would be a great mystery if we hadn’t seen the rebels dragging a massive rocket into Eden; i guess that goes back to the question of their motives.

But by destroying Eden and killing a number of its inhabitants, they will formally lose entitlement over the description of hero. And i can’t see Ricalna returning to their side after that.

RATING: 4/10; sure, great action sequences, but also very short.

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I will commend Copellion here for almost pulling a fast one on me; it was at the end there, as the series came to a close that i found myself wondering at the thoughts sauntering through my head, that this anime might have been a pretty good series to invest my time into.

Which isn’t the case, unfortunately; probably worth a lazy afternoon with absolutely nothing to do, but nothing to really engage you in any entertaining manner; though that doesn’t take into account the fact that Copellion is artistically beautiful.

THE PLOT:>

In 2016, the meltdown of a nuclear power plant creates a big catastrophe in Tokyo. 20 years later, the city has become a ghost town due to the high levels of radiation. From that area a distress signal is received. The Self Defence forces dispatch three girls from the special unit Coppelion to search for survivors. But why aren't they wearing any protection against radiation?

MY REVIEW:>

With a series that proffered me mild enjoyment, this is where i would normally talk about the potential possessed but wasted; but i don’t know if that is the case with Copellion, because in speaking of potential, am pretty certain the only thing i would be referring to is the animation, which also fails along the way.

I have heard Copellion referred to as an anime of contradictions and that is something i can believe, when you consider all its parts:

1. The Concept- first of all, what’s with the high school girls? Someone in Japan is clearly lagging behind in the times, because i feel that this is one of those tropes that should have been left back in the early 2000s.

Sure i was intrigued when the series first kicked off, expecting some dark and tragic story with the way the series initiated; and is that what i got? Unfortunately yes, a boat load of it, an seemingly endless parade of miserable characters wallowing in despair, whose only purpose in the series was to create an unnecessarily gloomy atmosphere over our main characters.

Basically, there was way too much wailing and whining, initially necessary and eventually excessively overdone, the series clearly determined to attract cheap pity and sympathy for some really pathetic characters.

And what was with Copellion? Who the hell are they and what do they do? I know, it seems obvious especially in the premise described above, or the first episode; until you progress further, only to realize how ambiguous the entire concept is.

It’s almost irritating to watch, when you consider how irrational the entire idea is, that a government would genetically engineer kids, put them through high school and send them into a danger zone, instead of crafting strong, emotionally stable soldiers with the wits to operate professionally.

This reminds me of all those mech shows that leave me wondering why, following an alien invasion, the creation of giant mechs to compound on the destruction levels would be the first solution the world would turn to.

Rating: 3/10

2. Characters- Really can’t say i liked any of the main characters; first the whole school girl thing just seemed odd and irrational to me, and why the hell were they wearing school uniforms during field work?

More importantly could there have been a more mismatched and handicapped team ever assembled to provide emergency services and contend with the warped minds of villains?

The first episode quickly starts by building upon Ibara’s character, natural born leader, head strong, willful, physically capable, determined; then as the series progresses she seems to contradict every single one of her traits, firstly a little too generic in terms of skills, always, and i mean always breaking down, and so pacifistic and idealistic in her determination to do no harm as to be ABSOLUTELY STUPID.

She quickly becomes irritating and again its something i commend the series about, that in those last few episodes i seemed to forget that.

Aoi made no sense as part of team Ibara, COMPLETELY USELESS; and i mean that literally, in that she spent every episode screaming, crying, running from danger, getting kidnapped…you really cannot understand how someone so incapable made it to her station.

Admittedly she stood out as one of my favorite because she, at least, proved consistent, from beginning to end, and her antiques were pretty funny after a while, especially during the last few episodes, as she came face to face with her former bullies.

Taeko was, well, Taeko. And the villains, well, let’s just say that no matter how vile any of them presented their agendas to be, i haven’t seen bad guys this lacking in passion and determination in a while, basically present only to make grand speeches to dumb and naive Ibara.

I want to latch onto someone, anyone that made this series worth the time spent making it; but the entire cast was simply unlikeable.

Rating: 1/10, 1 star for Aoi

3. The Plot- but can you really blame the characters for their lackluster nature with a plot as bad and pointless as what Copellion gave us? Because the simple fact is this; Copellion had absolutely no idea what it was doing, its characters randomly wandering from one accidental meeting to another, new interactions launching new missions with little to no purpose.

Precluding the finale, there was a definite aimlessness to the series, which reminds me of the utter incompetence of Copellion, the organization in this series.

Rating: 3/10, seriously this really could have been something great, but…

4. Art- If there is one element in this whole series that made it worth watching, it was the art. No, that is the only reason i actually stuck around till the end, because no matter its failings, Copellion is absolutely beautiful to look at, a master piece at that.

And not the entire creation, but rather the backgrounds, the landscapes and buildings in their desolation; there was a realism i couldn’t help but appreciate, the colors vivid without being unrealistic.

Copellion is an anime worth viewing if only to marvel at its artistic presentations.

Rating: 10/10

5. Animation- Now one has to wonder what happened with the animation; not bad, by the way, but somewhat…blotchy, inconsistent; only made worse when contrasted with the aesthetic beauty of the background elements in each episode.

It kind of infuriated me to tell you the truth, almost confused me, trying to figure out what was wrong with a scene that should have been breath taking to look at.

Rating: 4/10

6. Music- Not even worth mentioning, largely inconsequential to the series as a whole. And i can’t say i was impressed with some of the voice actors, especially Ibara.

VERDICT:

I could rant on for a few more pages about why this anime simply missed its mark, but what would be the point? Because Copellion isn’t trash or anything, it’s simply…unfocused, almost unplanned, with little to no objective. If anything there is more effort injected into spreading an environmental awareness message than in telling a good story.

There is something to be said about the tragic elements at the end, which seemed less forced than usual.

RATING: 5/10, Okay i wasn’t actually bored during the series’ run, simply uninspired to keep watching by any of the elements in the anime.

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So here we are 2014, not just another new year, but the final 12 months of Naruto, or so Kishimoto says; this wouldn’t the first time a manga ran a year or two beyond its expiry date.

The end of Naruto leaves me with a disturbed feeling; all series come to an end, and Naruto can only ran on for so long before entering Dragon Ball Z territory, yet i cannot deny that its exit will leave a massive hole in my Anime and Manga world.

Yes, i have been following Naruto for that long, since the very beginning of my life as an Otaku; this will be nothing less than the end of an era in the otaku realm. Besides merely re-confirming what we already knew, several elements struck me about Kishimoto’s 2014 interview, particularly two in fact, which i thought i would make a comment about.

--First, Kishimoto- he comes off as a rather interesting character, more humble than i presumed; i don’t think i have ever given Kishimoto the person much thought, but i always imagined the life of a mangaka as no different from that of a Hollywood super star.

Part of me expected to see his and those names of more famous mangaka littering architecture of major cities where i to ever visit Japan, thousands whispering his name as he made his regular rounds to the store.

Sections of this interview however present Kishimoto’s life as a relatively simple one, quiet; which makes sense i guess, because as a mangaka, you are likely to spend more time drawing than partying.

But then again Kishimoto did admit to spending 36 hours of his week drawing, little more than 3 days, which allows him four days of downtime; subtract one or two days for idea generation and story structuring, and you still have a few days of down time each week.

Two days that probably find Kishimoto holed away in his house, if he is indeed so isolated as to, as he says, not realise just how popular his manga is; its an interesting admission, because on the one hand it shows that Kishimoto should take a leaf out of Kubo’s book and do a little travelling, engage with his fans in the different manga and comic conventions out there; something he clearly does not do, not often anyway.

But maybe it’s a matter of a humble outlook on life; or, more than that, simple dedication to his craft, drawing his manga not for the fame or money but for the satisfaction of creating something of considerable brilliance; it makes sense he would struggle with the itch to draw even on his off days.

And that probably goes to the advice he gave about dedication and success in the manga business; because unless you’re ready to give 200% to your art, success is likely to remain ever elusive. Here’s to hoping that, for his honey moon, Kishimoto chooses a location close by, because that is one individual i would be interested in meeting.

Because even after all those interviews, i still cannot envision him as a person; despite having seen numerous pictures, as i am reading his voice in his numerous interviews, it is always that character, Ando from heroes, that jumps to my head. Strange. Anyway.

--Secondly Naruto- something in this interview struck me, the comment Kishimoto made about his editors, that got me wondering if we as fans are always a little too quick to jump down the throats of Mangaka for shoddy manga chapters.

Because we know (or so Bakuman tells me) that the editor, especially of a powerful brand like Shonen Jump, will wield some power with regards to the content produced by the mangaka on a weekly or monthly basis.

I mean, would it be too irrational to consider the possibility that editors do contribute to bad chapters and plot lines as well as good ones? One needs to ask just how much power the editor has in commanding his charge to kill off a character, save another, turn a two chapter shinobi battle into a ten chapter brawl between super powered beings.

It’s an interesting consideration in a field as competitive as manga-and as a Fairy tail fan with a lot of complaints to launch at Hiro, i have to wonder how much control Mashima-sensei has over who lives and dies.

I have to wonder what Kishimoto might have been referring to when he made that remark about remembering to reference upon ideas at an earlier stage before expanding upon them in the future. Can’t say i have come across any concepts in the series whose introductions i found to be unsatisfactory in terms of pacing and explanations.

I really can’t say that i care about seeing Kakashi’s face and would prefer it remained a mystery.

-With March approaching fast, the year is still fairly young; which means there are many more months of Naruto still to come, more months for me to locate a worthy replacement for his juggernaut of a series.

As Naruto fans all we can do is cross out fingers and hope that Kishimoto gives us one heck of a finale, worthy of the legacy of Naruto; i was struck by Kishimoto’s words about the end that he would finish the series conclusively; clearly he has no intention of leaving Shonen Jump or anyone else with room to expand the series into Dragon Ball GT style chaos.

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