More than Just a Pretty Face

Reproduced from my reaction to Bluemist’s blog entry entitled The Melancholy of Idols.

At first, I look at this thing with complete indifference, thinking it’s worse than current-gen pop music (be it Western or, God forbid, K-pop). But then it took me considerable time of research, delving into what motivates a girl to become an idol, despite the negative perceptions associated with it, as well as seeing a unique symbiosis between her and the audience (guess I’ll read more about Drucker and the utility of an employee or a corporation towards society).

In peeling away the artifice and the manufactured image, I find her imperfections, vulnerabilities, as well as character strengths and possibilities that she thought to be dormant and untapped.

Even the producer/creator/songwriter himself, the man in charge of the idols under his care, also has his imperfections and rarely do they admit to anything or take the risk of being transparent and frank about the creation he engendered; in the chain of command, he takes the most blows and criticism, and should the situation demands it (in case of grave scandal or misconduct or total disaster) he offers himself to resign.

Eventually I find in her things that I could relate with, things that make her human more than just a commodity or a product.

Finally, what diligence she made from her audition into what she is now, has struck me as I discover parallels between her development and that of the classic geisha; a geisha serves a magnate or a politician in privacy, while an idol performs in service to hundreds, thousands or even millions. Both have made personal sacrifices in an attempt to attain perfection and an ideal image of themselves and to society, as though they share a common link with nuns, priestesses or monks.

Like the geisha, an idol is a servant, but emotionally in control and her resolve and diplomacy strengthened by experience and expertise, a potentially powerful individual who could convince more than any geezer of a Japanese politician could ever hope to get in their lifetimes… So, even if the chances could be remote, I will not be surprised should, say, someone resolute like Takahashi Minami becomes the first female Prime Minister of Japan.

That said, “hate” is too much of a harsh word.


Blood & Water 04 (44): Consensus

AUTHOR’S NOTES: Finally, after a very long spell and procrastination caused by severe breaks of concentration and distraction, and real life eating up so much time that should’ve devoted to this fic, I’ve finished writing this chapter.

Sure I had the images in my mind, but between the release of the last chapter and now, I could barely write a few more paragraphs, as it was maddening that I be disrupted badly, and before I could return to this chapter I feel tired.

But, anyway, I’m relieved that finally I have the time to work on this again (and other fics still waiting to be worked on). I hope that after this I’ll have enough motivation and energy to finish this and more… and as always, C&C is welcome.

I’m back.

A Philosopher-Scholar Shouldn’t…

…waste time and study grants in philosophy trying to justify his high moral chair by criticizing the biggest pop group on the planet instead of doing something meaningful.

Like actually being on the ground and helping the homeless victims of the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami.

Mister Issei Takehara, you don’t want to be called a windbag, right? Otherwise Sayaka Akimoto, Team K Captain, 2nd Dan black-belt in Aikido, might as well come over and show you the true meaning of life.


Fandoms are where like-minded individuals would congregate and enthusiastically share their thoughts and ideas about the things they love. But however, there are those who profess their puritanism that not all ideas are accepted, even if it actually came from the creator of, say, an anime show or an idol group, which would’ve been considered significant for their respective fandoms.

As for me, I’m an open-minded individual who likes to see new ideas, bet on dark horses, and observe how the unthinkable would work.

I’m talking about this:

As you can see, when this PV came out, the general perception was negative in several areas, including character design and concept, which, therefore didn’t sit well with some fandoms. In some cases, it reminded them too much of the much-criticized Idolmaster: Xenoglossia series.

And just yesterday, in two major fora, the thread discussing this show received  nearly the same response from their respective admins, who are also hardcore fans; one (a mecha-core) said he’d rather be seeing another serving of his favorite anime than this PV, and another (a wota) said that he doesn’t like anime, and therefore strongly feels it doesn’t belong to his forum.

What I learned in one day is that not all fandoms have my best interests in heart, especially as I try to discuss, elaborate and clarify about this new show.

To them, it’s sacrilegious and, sorry to say, either ugly or too cute or “kiddie”.

But to me, I consider AKB0048 highly significant because of the huge amount of production power behind it, and a unique combination of veteran seiyuu and real-life idols, as this show is a collaboration between Shoji Kawamori (chief director) and Yasushi Akimoto (producer), who are respectively the (co)creators of Macross and AKB48.

Above all, I concede the show as being an iconoclast, because it doesn’t fit the norm of either fandoms on both sides.

Sadly, most fans base their perceptions on just one PV, so often first impressions — positive or negative — can last. But the thing is, it would be a grave mistake to estimate a new anime show’s success or failure based on this PV alone, and given that there’s little information other than provided on the official site and press releases, we cannot be sure how the story would unfold until the day of first airing.

Who knows, given the combination of cute character designs (by Risa Ebata) juxtaposed against gritty backgrounds (a post-disaster landscape) and grim situations (a dictatorship), it could be a sleeper, just as last year’s Madoka Magica proves.

We can only wait and see how this high-risk experiment would unfold.

In Defense of Rinne no Lagrange (and the Revitalization of the Japanese Collective Psyche)


Just a single word provoked me to write down a more solid defense of a newly-discovered passion, so let’s begin with me quoting an exchange:

Me (after watching the first episode): DAMN, THIS SHOW HITS THE RIGHT SPOTS! Surprisingly fabulous, even if some of the characters are reminiscent of those from a show years ago, except for ebullient Madoka.

Stevie_Nix: Like I said before, Madoka is the anti-Shinji.

Me: Maybe I’m overstating this, but this show is one of the many bottles of morale-boosting tonic that Japan needs in these trying times; makes you feel real good, from start to finish.

Stevie_Nix: I really hope Japan starts making more upbeat, happy series. I am really enjoying the mood, and upbeat, positive Madoka is the best. Even if we might not get cannon Yuri, I am really, really enjoying Lagrange.

From Animesuki Forums

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Blood & Water 03 (43): Unilateral Declaration of Defiance

It’s short, but still it’s a sign that I’m committed to keep on until it’s done.

Blood & Water 02 (42): Code Orange

Sorry for the long delay, but here it is now!

The block that is my albatross…

I know. It’s been some time after the last chapter, and right now I’m still stuck on the next one, not sure where to go next, as it’s becoming hard for me to imagine the scene or to construct the dialogue.

Maybe I’m deep into somebody else’s business, worrying about their problems instead of me to deal with it on my terms… No, lately my time management has been shot to hell, a complete contrast to the time more than a year ago when I was able to chug through even two chapters in a single day and then post them every week.

Maybe it’s my 35-year-old eyes, now straining more than ever, squinting against the harsh light of the monitor, a sign of my inevitable aging, the slow loss of physical youth, which means I’ll have to get a new pair of eyeglasses.

Maybe I’m in a tight corner, having to juggle several disciplines (love, family, politics, military, science, philosophy) at once, yet I’m really overwhelmed by the resulting immense scale that is the End of Eva.

That’s it, I made the universe of my fanfic so big that it has encompassed everything else I have read about fan-written Eva stories… Must be my imagination cracking at the seams, almost to its fault limit, beyond design specifications.

But, geez, to be honest, through my hand I want to see the fic end on a good note, and it looks to me that I have to shake off all other distractions, save for a vital few pieces that are integral to my writing experience.


It’s time for me to begin the process of completing the story, where I have left off weeks/months ago.

As a friend once posted on her account: “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Time to port out from Kansas. Wish me luck. 🙂

Blood & Water 01: Recovery


Nineteen #03: Prayers for the Dead

Title: Nineteen
Category: Maria-sama ga Miteru
Character(s): Sachiko O.
Genre(s): Drama/Suspense
Rating: Rated: T
Summary: Sachiko is at the cusp of womanhood, in peace and studying in college, when tragedy leaves her as the sole heir to the business empire. However she’s unaware that an old adversary is about to strike violently and take over, saving her for last.