Living with a Chronic Illness – Chronic Depression

Writing of Chronic Illness:

How and why do you write of something that’s as ever-present in your life as the eyes you look at the world with, the air that you breathe, or the internet in your net-addict life? Where do you start approaching it from, as it is impossible to untangle from every other facet of your life, due to its presence permeating anything and everything else?
Well, you just talk about it. You talk about your life, and you talk about the thing, and you don’t try to separate the two.

The Death of Orpheus- Henri Leopold Lévy, 1870

Ah, Orpheus. Making it to hell, and back again, and then dying.

As for why I am writing about this thing, even though reading others’ accounts of the same malaise actively makes things tougher for me? Because I know it helps others. Though helping others isn’t actually my goal here. I’m writing of this thing for the simple fact that I feel like it, and it’s a blog, a personal blog, at the end of the day. Besides. There are plenty of people I care about who read these things, and this is as much a part of me as my penchant for writing in poetic prose or being annoyed by spelling mistakes.

It is not my goal to tell an uplifting story, give you life lessons, or be a spokesperson for every chronically ill person, not even for everyone who shares my own sickness. It might happen, because, again, this is a story of handling things, and of my life, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to write for the sake of writing. To share for the sake of sharing. The goal is to be. But we’ll get to that.

Continue reading

Journey with Kino’s Journey – Second Stop – Hard Questions (Monthly Watch)

I am now watching Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World (also known as Tabi no Kino in Japanese). The series has an episodic, metaphorical, and allegorical nature, reminiscent of Gulliver’s Travels or Voltaire’s Candide, but more sombre. As such, I think it lends itself well to being watched one episode at a time, and also to being discussed, or kicking off discussion, so that’s what I aim to do. The first four episodes have been posted before, but had been put on hold due to how much energy writing them demanded of me. I’m excited to resume the journey once more, and will be bringing over the older comments as well.

There will be a new post on the second (or third if it begins early) Monday of every month (next post: March 11th) , each covering one episode of Kino’s Journey, or the films. You can buy the series here, or watch it dubbed on Hulu here, if you live in the United States. Each write-up might differ in style, length, and focus. I might spend more time on the episode, its ideas, or what it made me think of, or feel. These write-ups assume you’ve watched the episode, and the discussion that’ll follow could be had on the episode, the points I raised, or the questions I pose. Well, let’s get to it.
(Also, sorry, I miscounted the weeks this month, which led to this post being a week late, sorry!)

Episode 2 – “A Tale of Feeding Off Others -I Want to Live-“

Kino's Journey anime episode 2 / Kino no Tabi anime episode 2 - Being alive

Is it just me, or did the head-slaver look like the “monk” from Princess Mononoke? Quite a bit, actually, and their characters are quite similar as well.

Questions Are Interesting:

Before we get further, I have a question, how many of you didn’t see where this will go from about halfway into the episode? I think the whole nature of the episode, and its title, and the fact this is a show more about human nature than random observations about nature, more or less told us it’d go something like that. I dunno, I think once they spoke of their “Homecoming Festival” I was sure. I did suspect them from the get-go, that they’d attack Kino after she caught the first rabbit. They just struck me as “off”.

Continue reading

Journey with Kino’s Journey – First Stop – The Value of Experience (Monthly Watch)

I am now watching Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World (also known as Tabi no Kino in Japanese). The series has an episodic, metaphorical, and allegorical nature, reminiscent of Gulliver’s Travels or Voltaire’s Candide, but more sombre. As such, I think it lends itself well to being watched one episode at a time, and also to being discussed, or kicking off discussion, so that’s what I aim to do. The first four episodes have been posted before, but had been put on hold due to how much energy writing them demanded of me. I’m excited to resume the journey once more, and will be bringing over the older comments as well.

There will be a new post on the second (or third if it begins early) Monday of every month (next post: February 11th) , each covering one episode of Kino’s Journey, or the films. You can buy the series here, or watch it dubbed on Hulu here, if you live in the United States. Each write-up might differ in style, length, and focus. I might spend more time on the episode, its ideas, or what it made me think of, or feel. These write-ups assume you’ve watched the episode, and the discussion that’ll follow could be had on the episode, the points I raised, or the questions I pose. Well, let’s get to it.

Episode 1 – “Land of Visible Pain -I See You-“

Kino's Journey anime episode 1 / Kino no Tabi anime episode 1 - Jealousy of birds

Well, this was interesting. This reminded me more than a tad of Mushishi. Travelers who do not wish to get too involved, a new place and a new story each time. Likewise, I suspect the best way to watch this series would be an episode a day. After catching up with what the anime-club needs, I’ll probably watch it that way. Also, like Mushishi’s Ginko, I suspect we’ll see Kino and Hermes taking a more invested stance at some point. Continue reading

Netoju no Susume – On Compersion and Virtual Identities

Netoju no Susume anime review - Recovery of an MMO Junkie anime reviewYou know that feeling where you’re watching kids run around, laughing, and it brings you joy? Or perhaps when your best friend is celebrating a promotion at work, and you feel happy for them? Or, say, when you watch a romantic comedy, or an underdog story, and when the couple kiss or the protagonist overcomes all struggles, you fistpump and/or cheer? There’s a term that encapsulates this feeling, this emotion, which comes from the polyamory circles, and that term is “compersion,” take to mean, “Joy at the joy of others.”

To some degree, one could say that all romantic comedies operate off of our desire to see the couple hit it off, but while some romantic sub-genres (see Harem RomComs, as per my write-up on Nisekoi) work more off of wanting the story to take its “natural pathway,” some shows, such as last season’s Netoju no Susume (or either “Recovery of an MMO Junkie” or “Recommendation of the Wonderful Virtual Life” in English), really do bank on us feeling compersion for the characters, and desiring them to be happy, because our own happiness depends on it (to some degree, don’t get too crazy here).

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that rose in my mind as a result of watching the show. There will be spoilers for the entire show.)

Continue reading

Three Perfect Science-Fiction Books

In my many years of reading, I’ve encountered three “perfect” science fiction books, and I’d like to share them with you, because they are more than worth your time.

As a short preamble, this isn’t a listicle, and this isn’t a “Top 5 Sci-fi Books!” for two reasons: One, I hold a distinction between “favourite” and “best”, and not all of my favourite books are likely to also be yours. Second, I’m not going to share the runner-ups here, this list is about perfect books.

Science Fiction Library - Perfect Science Fiction books

Second, before we get to the list itself, I want to say a couple of words about science-fiction. Science-fiction isn’t merely futuristic or in space, but it’s about stories that ask questions, that posit changes and explore them, or advocate for said changes. The setting can help, but isn’t necessary, for instance, Star Wars is famously an Arthurian fantasy series, that happens in space, rather than a science-fiction story.

Continue reading

Guy is Back, Back Again. Guy is Back, Tell a Friend.

I don’t know whether you guys missed me or my writing, but I missed both: Both writing, and engaging more with you lot, and having some form to have longer form anime discussions.

Without Me - Enimem - Crossed with Limecat

Wait, I seem to have gotten ahead of myself. In case you hadn’t noticed, this blog suddenly grew extremely inactive towards the end of May 2016. Sadly, in case you hadn’t been following my Twitter, or hadn’t noticed, I was basically out of commission due to a chronic illness flaring up around that time. While the last couple of times this blog has gone on hiatus had been due to me getting sucked into video games or just taking a break from anime, this was not such an occasion, and while I kept wanting to both watch anime and blog, I could do very little of either. I actually started and did work on a couple of anime season previews that hadn’t gone up.

Continue reading

Spring 2017 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

Holy smokes, the spring 2017 anime season began today. Where did time go?! Also, did I really not publish anything since the Winter Season Preview? Turns out that is the case. Real life was busy, mood was low. But things are looking up, finally. Anyway, it’s time to look towards the new season, and put behind us a season where I watched literally nothing, though I looked forward to quite a bit.

As always, in these posts I cover shows I plan to follow, or have thoughts on why I will not follow them, or considered following and decided not to. As always, I try to strike a balance between giving you enough information on the show, and telling you why I think it is or isn’t worth watching. Shows ordered by day, and by expectation within the day, as that affects pick status. The “Almost In” category describes shows that I’d pick up in prior seasons, but decided to put aside in order to make more time for backlog, after growing unhappy with how many of the shows I pick up ending up “not worth the time”, let alone “good”.
Much space is given to the people involved with a show, as premises are easy, but execution is hard, and it’s people who are in charge of that. You’re likelier to end up with good shows that way.

Most of the information about the shows can be had from the helpful Neregate Chart, and what I’ve happened to see on various sites, such as The Cart Driver. Check them out if you want more information, or information on shows I didn’t cover (such as follow-ups to shows I don’t watch). I planned to write only when I really had something to say this time, but turns out, as always, I had a lot to say.

Sunday:

Uchouten Kazoku Season 2 anime - The Eccentric Family Season 2 anime 2Uchouten Kazoku 2nd Season / The Eccentric Family 2nd Season – Uchouten Kazoku was my 7th favourite anime series in the very strong year of 2013. And although I didn’t dedicate an entire piece to it, I did touch on its storytelling in my piece on Kyousougiga (Capital Craze). It was a story about loss, and family, and trying to fall in love. It got very emotional at times, while being silly, or ponderous in others. A good show. A second season? I’m watching, you can bet on it. Of special note is that season 1’s Series Composer Suga Shoutarou (OreGairu, Isshuukan Friends) is not working on the second season, but has been replaced by Higaki Ryou, who worked on the first season’s script, and also worked on Kuromukuro, Another, and Dimension W. Feels like a definite downgrade. Also, for those who don’t know, it’s based on novels by the same author as The Tatami Galaxy.

You can read my notes for the first season here, which are much shorter than my usual notes, as I only wrote them after watching an episode and not as it aired – didn’t want anything to get between me and the show.
Interest Rating: 2.5/3. A more serious yet not overwhelmingly so show. Comfy and emotional, no idea what the second season is about, but I’ll check it out. I do hope the change in Series Composer won’t be detrimental.
Airing Date: April 9th.

Continue reading