Tag Archives: DNA

Let’s Begin

21 Apr

By: Stephanie Weirich

Welcome, dear reader, to my humble corner of the internet. As you may have realized from the title of this blog, this here is the place for all things anime. If you’re into that sort of thing, awesome, welcome, lets bro down hard. If you’re not, it’s probably best to click away as fast as you can. Because it’s about to get SWEATY in here.

So sweaty it sparkles.

So sweaty it sparkles.

What if you’re into anime, but you’ve been looking for a certain type of fan page. Something a little more serious. Insightful. Thoughtful. Maybe you’re looking for someone who takes anime (perhaps) entirely too seriously. Well great, because that’s me! What exactly does that mean, and by extension, what exactly will this blog feature, you might be asking. And I’m so glad you are, because I am dying to tell you.

I am not here to wax poetic about pantsu and fanservice. I am not here to expound upon the virtues of moe and tsundere. I am not a weeaboo. I am not here to be a pretentious, poisonous and dismissive dick. I’m not here to be one of those fucking guys that you meet at every con. What I am here to do is to gush expansively, passionately and at times in a very long winded manner about one of the things I love the most in this beautiful little world. I take anime, as an art form and an artistic medium, very seriously. And I think (hope) that you do (will) too if you’re
still reading this.

Allow me to give you some background on myself and my intentions for this blog. I’ve been watching anime since I was a teenager and all we really had to choose from was Pokemon and Dragonball. The first series I watched in its entirety was Evangelion (natch). The series that got me hooked was Naruto. At least the 120 or so episodes of Naruto (Sasuke. It was all about Sasuke). After that, I had a hunger. A deep seated craving. And the only thing that could sate it was MOAR ANIME. I watched everything I could get my hands on. Every genre. Every level of quality. Never ending shonen shows and short and sweet shojo love stories. Whole 26 episode series went down in a matter of days and then it was on to the next. I devoured it all and never fully digested any of it. Such is what happens at the beginning of any intense fandom.

But at some point, I slowed down. I started to pay attention. I started to read about the history of this medium. I started to learn more and more about Japan and the strong cultural mores that had played an integral role in creating this thing that I loved. It is no exaggeration for me when I say that anime is what led to my long standing love of Japan. I think most of us feel that way deep down, and I think most of us are grateful to have found this art form.

What’s even more insane is that anime is ultimately what compelled me to live in Japan. The more I learned, the more I knew I didn’t know and the more I knew I had to know. And I knew that the only way I was ever going to know what I needed to know was if I went and lived in Japan. So I applied to the JET Program, got in, and then I went and lived in a rural town on the island of Kyushu for 2 years and taught English to a mess of Japanese kids. While living there and watching anime, so many things clicked. So many cultural cues that I had missed, moments and sayings that didn’t make sense were suddenly crystal clear through the very experience of living within the context of it all. I realized that there were so many things that the creators of these series were saying; they had infused their work with so many subtle and at times incendiary themes and cues that I had never noticed prior to directly experiencing the culture that had produced those themes. There was frustration and anger, helplessness and existential crises transpiring in these technicolor wonders.

I suddenly understood why Shinji was such a whiny bitch. I also understood why his father felt the need to force his only son to sit inside of the mutated and re-appropriated DNA monster that was once his mother. I understood why so many shows focused on the idea of an outsider becoming one with the larger group. Why so many exceptional characters tried so hard to downplay their exceptionalism. In short, I felt like I had gone Super Saiyan.

Now get inside of your mother and fight the monsters for your Papa.

Now get inside of your mother and fight the monsters for your Papa.

So to answer the question of what this blog will be about, there’s your answer. I want to share these experiences. I want to wax ecstatic about all of the many layered things that are being said in these shows that we love. I want to peel back those layers and show you what’s hidden. I want to deeply and critically analyze anime. And I want you to come along for the ride.

Won’t you?

If you answered yes, here’s the timeline of what I’m going to do. Each new anime season I’m going to cherry pick the shows I want to watch. I’m going to do write ups of the first couple of episodes that I watch. I’m then going to decide which ones to go all the way with. The write ups for these shows will continue, because I’m a giving lover. While doing this, I’m also going to go back and revisit many of my favorite shows and write gloriously long winded critical interpretations of them. It’s going to be just like upper division college courses, only nerdier!
So get ready to have your socks knocked on your ass! It’s anime tantrum time!