Friday, May 29, 2009

Spirited Away?

OMG WTF has happened to Friendless? He hasn't written on his blog for a month except for that piece of crap about the harem which wasn't even funny, and just look at how few games he played in April:

Has he lost interest in blogging? In gaming? Has he stopped playing with himself?

I think it is a bit of some of those. I know I haven't felt like playing complex games so much, preferring to carry around games that are easy to teach rather than those that are interesting to play. Sometimes, when you teach five games in an evening, it's just not so relaxing. Critical Mass is now every week, which is kinda good, except I'm teaching games all the time. New people are being trained up as geeks... one day they will teach me games.

Besides that, Scrabblette is working hard in the evenings and I have no regular opponent. The kid is now obsessed with youtube and some sort of really fricking annoying dancing and music and on-line games and so on, so he's no use to me either.We've also started going to the gym so I spend quite a bit of time physically exhausted. However, there is one much more sinister thing going on in my life...


I bought the kid a couple of volumes of manga (Japanese comic books) for Christmas, and read one of them on the bus on the way home from work. It was Death Note volume 1. Holy dooley, it was so good! Over the next few months I bought all of the other Death Note volumes (12 volumes at $15 each), and several other series as well. None of them are anywhere near as good as Death Note, but some have my interest.

Then in about March we discovered there was an anime (Japanese animation) meet-up near us, so we started going along to that. The kid had a great time because he got to hang out with cool people who knew the same pop culture as he did, as opposed to people like me who got bitten once by Harry Potter and aren't having a bar of that Twilight crap. So I asked the guys for anime recommendations and ended up watching X by Clamp and some Studio Ghibli movies (such as Spirited Away).

I recognised what was happening to me from what happened to me when I discovered BGG - I'd found a new topic of interest and I was trying to become an expert in it. That's how I operate. I was reading anime sites, browsing shops, asking for recommendations from everyone I could find. Once I realised that, though, I decided I could do it a bit smarter than I did with board games where I had to buy pretty much everything I wanted to try.

I discovered that the Brisbane City Council library has a reasonable range of anime and manga, so I've been borrowing lots of those. I've discovered I don't much like the boys' manga (such as Naruto) and the girls' manga (such as Peach Girl) is more readable but tediously boring. I do like Hayao Miyazaki's movies, but otherwise the things I enjoy are pretty hard to find. That's why I'm confident that anime won't take over from board gaming.

Nevertheless, doing all this research takes a long time. I almost own all of the Studio Ghibli movies now, which Scrabblette's niece approved of when she visited, but it took me maybe a dozen evenings to watch them. Hayao Miyazaki is the creative genius behind most of them. He combines "nice" stories with stunning art and (preferably) some spiritual elements to produce some very cool works of art. When I get my harem my concubines will love them.

There's a whole new world in manga. Japanese people have very different ideas on sex to Westerners, so there are genres like "yaoi", which titillates teenage girls, and "ecchi" which titillates teenage boys... and these are astonishingly popular. Everyone's heard of "hentai" which involves tentacles, and then there's all the fighting anime which is put on Western TV to get five year old boys hyped up. In Japan, there's manga or anime for every taste, and I really do mean every taste.

Anyway, this thing will sort itself out. Eventually I will be sick of crappy anime and look for something to do, and Runebound will still be there, waiting for me.


Ken Lee said...

If you are able to find it, I highly recommend Cowboy Bebop. It's got great story, characters and music.

Hiew Chok Sien said...

I'm a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki too. I recommend the manga version of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds. I read it first and loved it. 7 books. I actually disliked the movie, which I watched after reading the manga.

For manga, I also recommend Pluto, 20th Century Boys, Monster, by Naoki Urasawa; Historie, Kiseiju (not sure whether there's an English name) by Iwaaki Hitoshi.

Ozvortex said...

You realise, don't you, that you're now only one step away from cosplay.

Hiew Chok Sien said...

NNNOOOOOOO.... no cosplay for me... I'm just a long-time manga reader. Not really very much into anime. I have watched most of the Hayao Miyazaki movies, but only a handful of others. I liked Tokyo Godfathers, which I watched 5 years ago and don't quite remember what it was about now.

Friendless said...

Although playing dress-ups with teenage girls has definite attractions, I can't see it happening.

Steerpike said...

Of course the answer is simple - combine the two and read "Hikaru No Go".

Friendless said...

Steerpike, we have disks 1 and 2 of Hikaru - that was Scrabblette's idea. They cost $A30 each, and there's lots of them, so it's a big investment. My plan is to buy anime in boxed sets because it's cheaper, but that requires better planning - no way I'm going to drop $90 on something which sucks. Unless it's by Kramer and Kiesling.

Steerpike said...

lol - I was refering to the books not the DVD. Much cheaper and the characters don't have annoying voices.