Thursday, April 24, 2014

Guess what? Blogs have "Unique Linguistic Character"

Okay. That's it. I can't take it anymore. I need to write.

I'm researching blogs for an English class, and I can't stop thinking about my experience in the blogosphere. It makes me want to read aniblogs and write, even though I really don't have the time. So, here. I'm rebelling against my responsible self for just a few minutes. I want to write and share my reactions to what I'm researching, and I want to take longer than 140 characters (those of you on Twitter have seen some of my thoughts).

That top book's useful, along with one I'm
renting on Kindle, Internet Linguistics: A
Student Guide.
To my amusement, some of the academic articles - even recent ones - refer to blogs as "weblogs." This is their fuller and older name, and rarely used outside of these kinds of articles. I suspect that these scholars are out of touch with their subject, despite their good insights. Then again, perhaps they must translate from informal lingo to academic-ese for the sake of their fellow academics' comfort and understanding.

I have, however, found one very well-informed author, David Crystal, who uses more common terminology. I'm using a couple of his books. He acknowledges the diverse ways blogs are used, unlike some, who can't seem to move beyond the diary analogy (granted, some of what I've read is quite old in internet time, but Crystal recognized the diversity even back in 2006). He appears to be on of only a handful of experts on Internet Linguistics (that is, the study of language as used on the Internet).

Crystal and others say blogs have "unique linguistic character." Our posts can't be fit into the same box as most printed writing, and, obviously, blogging isn't the same as speech, even though we love to use words like "say" and "conversation" for what we're doing. So blogs require a separate analysis... as do other forms of Netspeak - which I've been able to read a little about.

Oh, and by the way - did you see my use of ellipses and a dash in the sentence above? Yeah, linguists find that kind of thing notable, 'cause it's so different from what gets into standardized print.

I'm having fun with this research... but the 6-8 page paper is due in less than 22 hours, and I haven't even finished the pre-writing stage. And there are other things due tomorrow, too, so I'd better get back to work.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

So Swamped, I Forgot to Post

Wow, this is a first. I completely forgot to write a Rewind post, and Friday is now over. My apologies for the lateness... I actually had a few spare moments to write, too. Well, sort of. It's probably good that I forgot. I have a huge research paper due next Friday, and I haven't even done the research for it. Other homework demanded my attention the last couple weeks. And other homework continues to demand my attention. So, really, writing a post would have been an unwise use of my time and brain energy. 

In a couple weeks, I'll be on summer vacation. Finally, I'll be able to write more! I'll need to read several weeks' worth of other people's blogs, too, to see what I've been missing. I look forward to it. In the meanwhile... there's sleep. And homework. And I need to spend some time journalling, too. When I'm stressed, I need to sit with my journal and my Bible even more than usual, and I haven't set aside the time. Plus, it's Easter weekend. That should give me extra motivation to get my priorities straight.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rewind: Trigun

I watched Trigun after seeing it featured several times on Beneath the Tangles, most memorably around Easter a couple years ago. At first, I didn't think I'd like it. It sported an "episodic" tag on Anime-Planet, and I had a serious bias against "episodic" anime. How could anything with that tag have good character and plot development? Plus, I didn't like what I'd seen of the visuals - it was gritty and a bit dated in my eyes.

Finally, Beneath the Tangles and other sources wore me down. I decided to give Trigun a solid try. Turns out that it does have character development and a significant underlying plot. It's set in the future, on a deserty planet that echoes America's Old West in style and action. The hero, Vash "the Stampede," has a goofy and open personality, but he remains an enigma in many ways until the end. He has serious skill and is nearly invulnerable, but he's also sympathetic - basically, an all-around likable protagonist.

Vash in Episode 25 at a sentimental moment. I forget the details of the
moment, but the cross belongs to a friend of his.
Throughout the 26 episodes, we learn about Vash and his past as he makes friends, beats bad guys, and sidesteps the bounty hunters who are after the 60 billion on his head. In the end, the mystery of his nature is solved. There's a climatic confrontation, which I enjoyed, and the show wraps up as well as any non-episodic anime.

I liked Trigun a lot. It's not even close to making my list of favorites, but I'm glad I caved in and watched it. I needed to put my discrimination against episodic anime away for good. It's not smart to judge shows based on their plot style, animation style, genre, or pace before I even watch them. It's a lesson I've had to learn through experiences like this.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Swamped: Club Edition

Well, I'm swamped again. But this time, it's not just because of exhaustion and homework! I've got club activities.

At the beginning of the school year, I wrote the post Advice from Anime: Join a Club. This year, our club gained more members, we did more things, and I made more friends. We only have one more month left before the end of the school year.

What's your favorite club anime? Sports anime don't count... well, they sort of do, but you have to mention an anime with another type of club, too. Sports anime aside, I suppose one of my favorites would be Chihayafuru. It's also one of the few club anime to come to mind.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Rewind: Yumeiro Pâtissière

Today, I feature another anime from the ancient days, from when I used this old PC all the time and wasn't as obsessive about taking screenshots. Those were the days of anime binging and genre phases, when I searched out every acceptable vampire anime, and then every enjoyable cute anime. In other words, I watched Yumeiro Pâtissière three years ago, around the same time as La Corda d'OroGauken Alice, Lucky Star, and Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. In that time of my life, I appreciated anything that would help me escape from reality, especially if it made me smile or, better, laugh. Yumeiro Pâtissière had just the pleasant, innocent, fun atmosphere I longed for, and between the first 50-episode series and the second, single season series, it wrapped me in comfort for several hours.

My biggest complaint with Yumeiro Pâtissière was the same thing that gave it major cute points: the art. Everyone looked much younger than their actual age, even by anime standards. The adults looked like high schoolers, and 14-year-old Ichigo and her classmates looked like elementary students. It was easy to forget their real ages. Of course, if I wanted realism, Yumeiro Pâtissière was the wrong place to look. It had fairies.

Cute characters looking cute in the 32nd episode. And cupcakes
looking yummy... there's a lot of mouthwatering food in this one.

Before you dismiss this as a kids' anime (which it sort of is), let me tell you that I found the story quite entertaining.

"Sure, Annalyn," you say. "But you've already admitted you were an anime binger, and you weren't very discriminating."

Actually, by 2011, I could differentiate between what would completely, grossly waste my time and what anime was worth wasting my time on. Plus, enough people shared my positive opinion of this show to give it an average 4/5 stars on Anime-Planet. I binged, but I binged on decent quality anime.

Here's some of what kept my attention in Yumeiro Pâtissière, at least from what I remember:

First, Ichigo had a special skill (amazing sense of taste), which was identified by a professional chef. She was invited to a special school, at which she would slowly rise from the bottom of her class cooking group and become a great chef. There was competition and everything. Basically, there were several of the same qualities I enjoy in sports anime.

Second, there was a bit of romance. This anime is no where near entering the romance genre, but there's enough to make me smile. Actually, Yumeiro Pâtissière has some reverse harem elements, as she becomes close to three guys... and, as you may recall, I used to have a weakness for reverse harem (I'm pretty sure I've grown out of it... though it may just be that I haven't found a decent reverse harem in a long, long time).

Third, it made me happy. Look, I don't remember all the details, but I smiled and chuckled and had an all around pleasant time. That's all I wanted.

Yumeiro Pâtissière inspired a little story that I posted on this blog, a hypothetical Valentine's Day story of sorts. That story takes me down memory lane even more than looking at old screenshots. A lot has changed in the past three years... Anyway, I wrote it when Yumeiro Pâtissière was fresher in my memory, so the short introduction probably gives better information about the show than this post does.

---
P.S. I just got the news: My Macbook is finally fixed! I'll get it back on Monday, when I return to school from Spring Break. This old PC of mine has been a real trooper, and I always enjoy getting reaquainted with it, but it will be a big relief to get back on the laptop I'm most comfortable with. Plus, I've been using the small inventory of screenshots on this PC to decide what to feature in my Rewind posts. I prefer not to watch anime (or any videos) on this dear, slow, old thing. It will be nice to have the freedom to move about at the speed and ease my younger laptop allows.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rewind: Durarara!!

I heard that Durarara!! is getting a second anime series. I don't know when, but if it's supposed to be part of the ten year anniversary for the light novel, I would assume it will come out this year. No, I didn't do much research; this post is called "Rewind," not "Fastforward." Go Google it yourself while I focus on the first series.

Screenshot from ep 11, in which, uh... actually, I don't know how to
explain without spoilers. So, something cool happens, and Mikado gets
the best of someone my records call "the bad guy." I'm sorry, but my
computer situation is making it hard for me to get new screenshots.

I loved Durarara!! when I saw it three years ago, but it took me two tries to get through it. The first several episodes failed to catch my attention the first time around. The storytelling is unconventional but ultimately intriguing, the action is exciting, and the characters both interested and surprised me. Durarara!! comes from the same studio, staff, and original author as Baccano! does, and it's obvious... even without the Isaac and Miria cameos.

It's been several years since I watched Durarara!!, so see my old Survival Guide to the World of Durarara!! for 7 tips on how to survive Ikebukuro with the main character, Mikado. I included more of my thoughts in the "headlines" in the bottom part of that post. The spoilers aren't too big, but they're present.

For more information and videos, see Anime-Planet's page for Durarara!!.

Oh, and punctuation tip, because it's hard to remember how many exclamation points to put on these Japanese Titles:

Baccano! came first and only has one exclamation point.
Durarara!! came second and has two. But it has three "ra"s, which makes its name about as long as that of its predecessor.

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On an unrelated note, here's a computer update: It looks like the hard drive cable on my Mac is broken again, and I won't get it back for more than a week, and that assuming the wonderful guy in I.T. is correct in his diagnosis (I'm on Spring Break now, and no longer in the same city as my Mac). I'm using my old PC, but it's in serious need of updates... and protection... and speed... and a new battery (not gonna happen)... and the fountain of youth, while we're at it. 

I miss Crunchyroll, and I miss reading people's blogs. I feel out of the loop. Now that I'm on break, I hope I'll have time to catch up a little using my phone and my Mom's computer, but I do have to be diligent about homework if I want to have a pleasant April.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Rewind: Fortune Arterial

I'm still swamped, and I'm having computer problems on top of that, but the show most go on! I'm using my old backup computer right now. Normally, I don't use the internet on this, but I decided to make an exception.
The main girl, Erika, in episode 7. She's a vampire. The main character is human.
   

I watched Fortune Arterial three years ago, during my vampire anime phase. Halfway through, I wrote the post "First Half of Fortune Arterial." While I enjoyed it well enough, there wasn't as much about the vampires as I hoped in the first half. It picked up more in the second half and even had some action. Still, I decided it was a mediocre harem anime with fangs. I gave it 3/5 stars, which means I probably wouldn't give it more than 2.5/5 now. I used to be quite generous in my ratings.

With that, I'm off to do homework.