A bit of a shocker in the news a few days ago when Japan’s Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo resigns from the post… blah blah blah.
While I don’t think that he would transform Japan into Akihabara Country… blah blah blah.
Don’t get your hopes up though, Aso may not even win. I’m not too keen on Japanese politics… blah blah blah.
On the other hand, if government offices start hiring maids wearing gothloli Rozen Maiden-like outfits I would be pleasantly surprised. Sound impossible? Remember this is Japan, anything goes.
[You already heard it from me last year->japan-needs-new-pm], but this time it’s with full certainty that Rozen Aso will be Japan’s new PM, assuming the LHC machine on the far side of the world didn’t brainwash the majority party or its supporters in Japan. And so a million otakus rejoice, stocks of manga companies rise, and the rest of the world don’t care much.
I need to go back to my hibernating and see how this plays off. If it opens the door to more exposure to Japan’s subculture, it will be a rocky road ahead. Don’t get me wrong, for example: If mainstream discovers Taro Aso reads Rozen Maiden, mainstream will wonder what the hell Rozen Maiden is, and people (over the world, not necessarily just Japan) will either love it (and by extension, Shugo Chara will be more popular yay!) or hate it (oh gawd loli dolls Japan’s PM roricon domo me). It’s always not a good thing, you know. Can’t have your cake without a lie or two.
This season… the stakes are higher… well not exactly.
I’m aiming for the JLPT3 this coming December. After my [little victory->jlpt-verdict] last year with JLPT4, I seem to have a measure of where I am now in the hopes of living the Japanese Dream (?). Why not level 2? That one is downright impossible right now. There is indeed a huge gap of skill between level 3 and 2, something which would be addressed by 2010 when the test format will be revised.
This won’t be as smooth a ride as last time. With me [losing->losing-japanese] some of my knowledge and not being able to immerse myself in Japan during this past year, things will be tough without proper training. Any kind of entertainment (anime, manga, game, drama) won’t be enough. I should start reading textbooks, and hope to find someone to converse with in Japanese.
And this is one test I really want to pass, as this is related to my career path right now. I may have been airing some of my work complaints on Twitter, and to tell the truth, I want to resign and find a better job. I don’t know if attaining a bit more Japanese proficiency can help in my CV credentials, especially if the companies I’m applying to don’t care about that. But hopefully, this would say to employers that “this guy can achieve something”…
…or would it backfire? “This guy is an otaku.” lolz. Hope not.
Shugo Chara 43 was awesome. So awesome, I don’t know how they can top this afterwards. With the season ender fast approaching, the anime almost reaching the latest manga stories, and the announcement for yet another year, who knows what kind of Shugo Chara we’ll see next. Some rumblings around the blogosphere about how this will ruin Shugo Chara because of filler, or about how happy they are that there will be more anime, or about how happy they are that there are more fillers, or maybe even about how happy they are that it will be ruined because there will be more anime and fillers, or maybe even about how happy they are that some people are catfighting about it, etc. Sometimes fangirls are scary, but then again I am too… I’m a “non-girl” fangirl.
So just a short snippet at this. If Cardcaptor Sakura managed to have awesome fillers, why not Shugo Chara? Full Moon wo Sagashite anime totally strayed from the manga plot, and that’s still an awesome anime right? Heck, argue that Ojamajo Doremi is 95% filler, but that’s the best (IMO) mahou shoujo around. So let’s give those filler anime producers a shot at it before bashing around. But then again, I got reminded about how I stopped watching Pretty Cure after a string of non-interesting episodes, and I have a similar experience with Mermaid Melody. And we do already have examples of a string of average fillers within Shugo Chara itself.
What keeps me entertained about shoujo anime are primarily the characters first. The stories mostly become secondary to me. This is where most filler anime makers get it wrong. In fillers, they always invent new and original characters that just disappear after 1 freaking episode. Almost every shoujo anime has that kind of inclination, whether it’s based on a manga or not. For a show mostly for kids, that seems to produce unnecessary clutter. You are made to care about new characters, only to realize you’ll probably never hear about them again. What about doing the CCS way, make a entirely filler character (Meilin) that’s ALWAYS THERE? Almost integral to the story (Shaoran’s fiance and cousin), and many episodes related to her? Or why not build upon existing characters? Ojamajo Doremi succeeded in that arena.
So, with 50 or so episodes more for the next season, why not take advantage of already-established characters, filler or otherwise? I’m sure they’ll find more stories about Rima’s ongoing family problem. More antics of that Indian Prince whose name escapes me. Kukai’s childhood friend returns? Or maybe a sub-arc with Utau getting pitted against that beautiful celebrity who got married to Amu’s cousin? Remember the ballerina? The love rival? And how the heck did Nikaidou became just a mere happy smily teacher after his super-dark chara arc? I was half-expecting him to pop up being the cool pillar of sleazy looks when he may come face-to-face with Easter. Finally, I noticed Yaya is still under-established. How did she get her chara-nari without much backstory aside from her relationship with her baby brother?
And as a kicker, I thought the whole point of Shugo Chara is finding your naritai jibun/would-be selves? Reaching your dreams and aspirations? “Character Development” is the point, and somehow it shines whenever the manga story is in full gear, and dims when it comes to fillers. It looks like I’m still divided over the topic, so I’ll end this with Utau and Amu-chan’s awesomeness.
If you ask me, Utau WINS over Amu-chan in this one. Seraphic Charm is the awesomest chara-nari, and none of Amu-chan’s 6 crazy variations can top that. Amu-chan can only muster to carry a helicopter, while Utau cleanses a thousand X Charas. I may not approve of the siscon (or maybe I do?), but if Amu is Cool and Spicy, Utau is… er… I can’t think of any, so let’s just go with: