So this past week I found out about a little something called the Liebster Awards, because two lovely people, krystallina at Daiyamanga and crimson613 at My Fujoshi Life, were kind enough to nominate me for it. Which, first and foremost: THANK YOU! I’m super flattered and seriously grateful that you both thought of me.
The thing is… I’m not sure I’m actually eligible for it.
See, there’s a series of rules for this award, as shown below:
And while my WordPress follower number is fairly low, that’s largely because most people know me and access my stuff via Tumblr, where I’m well over the 200 follower limit. So as happy as I am that people would consider me for this, I really feel like this award should be a way to let folks know about newer, lesser-known blogs, and I’m not sure mine quite fits into that category.
So, instead, I’d like to bow out and instead nominate my good friend Cara, whose new blog Geek Girl Senshi is packed with fun, nerdy energy and posts to match. Have a nomination! (And y’all should go check her out, too!)
That said, seeing as how both krystallina and crimson613 put in the time to come up with some great questions, it only seems fair that I put in the time to answer them, too. (And Cara, you gotta answer at least one set of them, too, so prepare your typin’ hands accordingly!) So let’s have a little Q&A session, starting with the first nomination from krystallina:
1. If you had the opportunity, would you go see a musical based on an anime or manga? My Hypothetical Japan Dream Trip Itinerary includes a Rose of Versailles Takarazuka show, so yeah, I’d say that’s definitely something I want to do someday.
2. PC, Mac, or other? PC. Mac prices confuse and anger me.
3. What Internet browser do you usually use? Chrome. All hail our Google Overlords!
4. iOS, Android, Windows Phone, other, or none? Android, because of open-source apps, easy screencapping capabilities, and dirt-cheap prices. Also that bit about our Google Overlords.
5. What’s your favorite holiday? If KU wins, then the first weekend of March Madness (that counts, right?). Otherwise Tanabata, because as you may have all suspected, I’m a big ol’ romantic weeb at heart.
6. Do you (or have you ever) played an instrument? Yep, clarinet and
bazooka bassoon for about 5 years or so. I ended up quitting because our high school made you do marching band in order to do concert or pep, and I hated approximately everything about it.
7. Have you ever traveled outside of your country? Sure have – to Mexico, Bahamas, Italy, Germany, Austria, France, and England! Shockingly still haven’t been to Japan, but it’s at the top of my “new countries to visit” list, I swear.
8. What’s your favorite decade? I love reading and watching stuff about the 1920s, but you couldn’t pay me to live in any decade before 1990.
9. What’s the last movie you saw in theaters? Inside Out.
10. What’s your favorite type of cake? Tiramisu~
11. What’s the weirdest anime or manga you’ve ever watched or read? Well, the weirdest I ever finished was The Severing Crime Edge (Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge). I’m not even sure I could properly explain it. Something about murderers and hair stylists as a metaphor for adolescent aggression and sexuality? But…I just couldn’t seem to look away…
One down, one to go! Your eyes’re getting tired, huh? Here, have a gif break:
And now it’s time for crimson613’s questions! Round Two – FIGHT!
1. Why did you decide to start blogging? I loved watching anime and getting my IRL friends into new shows (and especially introducing people who’d never watched anime to some awesome series), and at some point I decided that I wanted to do that for a wider audience, too. So I put together a little site that was supposed to be really welcoming and newbie-friendly (and hopefully I’ve succeeded to some extent). Plus it was a good way to channel all that leftover critical energy once grad school was over and my brain wanted to keep analyzing things.
2. What are some of your hobbies outside of anime-related stuff? Tabletop RPGs; reading comics and novels of all shapes and sizes; following other geeky TV series and films; playing video games (mostly RPGs) while riding my stationary bike (exercise!); I claim to be a kids/YA writer, although I haven’t done much of that recently; and watching a metric crap-ton of sports, from college and pro football to hockey to baseball. And KU basketball, of course, but that’s more a religion than a hobby, so…
3. What are some of your OTPs/FavCouples and why are they your favorite? By its very name, there can be only One True Pairing, and that pairing has and always shall be:
THESE TWO DORKS. ❤
As for why… I mean other than the fact that I’ve loved them both for 15 years, wrote more fanfics about them than I care to admit, and am now DEEPLY invested in their future happiness… honestly, I could write an essay about Why I Ride The Rocketship, but in brief, I always appreciated the traditional gender role reversal, their shared history and loyalty to one another, and how well they play off each other, often compensating for the others’ weaknesses and pushing each other to do things they might not otherwise.
Also. I mean. Just LOOK at them.
…Ah-hem. Anyway. Where were we? Oh, right:
4. What is your opinion on being called/considered an otaku/weeaboo? “Otaku” doesn’t bother me at all because in English-speaking circles it’s generally not considered a slur. “Weeaboo” tends to be more mean-spirited, referring more to a negative anime fan stereotype, so while I’ve never been personally called one, I don’t care for the term. “Weeb,” on the other hand, I kind of like, because it feels more affectionately disparaging, like calling yourself a “band geek” or a “drama nerd.”
5. What are some characteristics you like in main characters? Initiative (as opposed to passivity), conflicting actions/beliefs, and some kind of dynamic arc. I want to see a protagonist who changes, even if those changes are for the worse. Those are really my only “must haves,” I think. Past that I’m okay with most traits as long as they make sense in context.
In terms of just pure, subjective, “protagonists I enjoy the most” though, I really like characters who are driven, passionate, even stubborn, but also empathetic, capable at some skill (it doesn’t matter what, just something they’re good or work hard to improve at), and funny. If they can make me laugh I’m just about guaranteed to like them. Seemingly contradictory layers are great, too. I have a fatal weakness for “cheerful on the outside, serious on the inside” types.
6. Is there a certain format you follow with your reviews and do you find it hard to always stick with that style? Depends on the type of review, but yes. The hardest part (outside of coming up with witty captions for my screenshots) is keeping the word count manageable, especially in my Midseason and Season digest posts. I constantly worry about whether I’ve adequately expressed myself, so I tend to over-write just to make sure I’m not misunderstood.
7. Are you mostly an anime enthusiast or do you delve into anime/manga scholarship? Yes? I used to think I could separate the fan from the critic, but they’re both pretty much always there, hanging out next to each other and yammering about this or that series. Although they do sometimes get into fights, like: “THAT WAS AWESOME!” “But the way it handled its female lead was sort of…” “SHUT UP IT MADE ME FEEL FEELINGS, DON’T RUIN THAT WITH YOUR FEMINISM, NERD.” And so on. ^^;
8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? (You can’t pick Japan bwahahahaha) I’ve got kind of a huge history-crush on the Tang and Song Dynasties, so I’d really like to go to China and hit up all the historical sites one day.
9. When you listen to music, how important are the lyrics in deciding if you like a song? They’re super-important for when I’m putting together one of my many themed playlists on Spotify (hey, y’all knew I was a nerd), but otherwise I’m not too picky. As long as they aren’t too egregious (lookin’ at you, “Blurred Lines”), I’m willing to let a lot of stuff slide in my music lyrics that I wouldn’t in, say, a novel or a TV series.
10. How do you juggle anime into your life’s schedule? Does it take up a lot of your time? A fair bit, but fortunately I work from home, so it’s easy for me to squeeze shows into my mornings and afternoons. I watch almost everything over a meal, actually, so I’m able to integrate it into my daily life without much struggle. Now, writing about it can take some serious time, but I have specific evenings set aside for blog posts, and sometimes I can chip away at things during little lulls at work, too.
11. What is one of your life’s dreams and how do you plan to accomplish it? I’d really like to put my very expensive MFA degree to use and actually get a novel published one of these days, but I’m so picky and critical of my own work that I can never convince myself anything is good enough to send out to an agent. So, I guess in terms of “planning to accomplish it,” Step 1 is mustering some damn confidence. Like most things, it’s a work in progress.