Here’s answers to some questions I get on my Curious Cat.
Who are your favorite movie directors?
Akira Kurosawa, Hayao Miyazaki, George Lucas, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, Sion Sono, Stephen Chow, Spike Jonze…that’s all I can think of at the moment.
Do you take suggestions on possible topics to write for your blog posts?
The most you can ask for is what anime or game you want me to write about. I’m not open to specific topics like the increase in anime piracy, any of the controversies surrounding ANN, or what specifically you want me to say about a show because if I’m not interested in said topic, it affects my writing.
What is your favorite Youtube LP you’ve seen?
I like some of Kagato The Final Boss’s stuff.
How come do you don’t like your older blog posts pre-2016? It seems like you are more “positive” with your blog posts these days.
Mostly because I churned out my old stuff like a factory because I felt like I had to if I wanted the blog to survive. Also my mindset has changed a lot since starting the blog to the point that most of what I said at the time doesn’t hold up anymore.
How often do you rewatch movies? Do you have a list of movies to rewatch or is it mainly what mood are you in?
It really depends on my mood. And I tend to rewatch the top of my favorites the most.
To what extent do you care about your popularity when it comes to your blog? Do you prefer being shut-in instead?
I stopped caring about my popularity a long time ago. Part of the reason is how I failed to click with the anime community like my more popular colleagues have, but honestly that was a good thing in hindsight. When the Youtube anime community became the leaders of today’s anime fandom and the big blogs of today became incredibly professional to the point that they needed Patreon and such to survive, I realized the old days of blogging were over. Now my stuff was incredibly amateurish even back then, but I at least had freedom. Take away the freedom and you take away the fun of blogging, as well as time you could be spending on real life. And unfortunately, being popular tends to mean a hefty decrease in freedom.
Not that I mind getting more well-known in the future, but if I do, it’s going to be on my terms. I put a lot more effort into my writing these days so that people will want to read me, but I still choose when and what to write about. And if I’m being honest, it’s getting hard for me to write about anime these days. I don’t watch anime weekly anymore beyond one or two titles, most of my non-working hours is spent on other stuff, I’m not fond of writing about anime that aren’t current, and I can’t think of anything interesting to say about anime as a whole these days because I feel like everything has already been said by me and others.
What is your favorite sci-fi movie?
Probably the Star Wars series
Would you ever do a review and/or mini-essay of Serial Experiments Lain given you rewatched it recently?
I never feel motivated to write about my personal favorites unless they’re recent. Feels like I’m one of those people who can only look at anime in the past and never move forward towards its future.
What’s your least favorite movie sequel and why?
Blues Brothers 2000 was draining. Staying Alive was pretty horrible too. Blair Witch 2 was obnoxiously cruel. And the less said about Spectre, the better.
What is your favorite anime series that you rewatched recently?
Probably Guilty Crown. Most of my favorites require me to take a break, but I can burn through that show FAST. Like, a lot faster than I expected.
What are your most hated anime?
I don’t really see the point in answering this question since there are too many bad anime out there. I even exclude a few from my worst lists because they’re too easy targets.
How come you don’t use much Twitter anymore?
Keep getting unfollowed by people who don’t like me when I open my mouth. That and Twitter is not a safe place for any sort of discussion.
How come you make so many references in your reviews?
Mostly because I base my opinions on stuff I’ve already experienced and build from there.
What are your thoughts on Kawai Miki character from A Silent Voice?
Terrible person. Also worst character in that movie because they tried to make it seem like she changed without any sort of realization on her part. At least Ueno was slimy on purpose.
Would you make a blog post about recommending anime to watch in Dub instead of Sub and reasons for this preference?
No because that sounds like someone who has a big ego regarding the different languages would write. Also, I don’t care what language people use in general, although I highly advise not watching Black Clover in Japanese if you value your ears. Seriously, what was the voice director thinking?
What is your favorite Netflix movie and TV show?
I don’t really enjoy Netflix movies. As for shows, I don’t love any of them, but most of them are good for what they are.
What is your least favorite anime cliche/trope?
Bullies. Absolute hate them in most fiction, and anime portray them way too over-the-top/self-serious/unfunny for my taste.
What is your opinion of Zack Snyder’s style of filmmaking? What do you think of his strengths and weaknesses?
Hit-and-miss. I don’t think his style is ugly and I think he’s ambitious, but he can overdo it at times.
How come you don’t like Shirobako that much?
Mostly because it focused too much on the comedy and the process of making an anime at the expense of the characterization and story about trying to make it into the workforce. Never been a fan of those edutainment-like shows, plus I have a feeling most of the acclaim Shirobako got was because of the subject matter. I know a few people who liked Sakura Quest, but it didn’t exactly set the world on fire, and it’s not hard to see why.
What is your opinion of “Tournament arcs” in anime?
They’re like most anime cliches in that I don’t mind when they’re in service of something else, but on their own, they don’t do it for me.
What is your favorite Godzilla movie?
Well to tell you the truth, I’ve only seen the original, the Emmerich one, the 2014 film, Shin Godzilla, and Planet of the Monsters. Can’t choose a favorite based on just that.
How often do you torrent anime/movie/TV shows?
Ever since I got hit with copyright strikes, not very often
Do you have any interest in visual novels? I’d love to see you write about them, though I guess the audience is still pretty small in the west.
Have you not seen me around Danganronpa? Also, I generally enjoy the Zero Escape and Ace Attorney games.
If you’re talking about the ones with virtually no gameplay, generally no, but I’ll play and/or review them if they have a story worth critiquing. I’ve reviewed Doki Doki Literature Club and I did have a Steins;Gate 0 review that no longer exists. Steins;Gate itself is something I plan to do one day as well, and I do own a copy of Psycho Pass Mandatory Happiness.
What type of review styles you don’t like reading and why?
Can’t stand “objective” reviews that analyze the product based on a pre-manufactured algorithm of quality. I find them very soulless and boring to read.
I also can’t stand reviews that are more about the reviewer or the team behind the product rather than the actual product, unless it’s for a joke. Can’t stand when people say “I’m reviewing this as a huge fan of the prequel” or whatever because why does that matter? Also, there was this one Occultic Nine review I read that talked a lot about the reviewer’s history with occult stuff, and all I could say was “I don’t care”.
Finally, if you call someone a hack in your review, I’m automatically not reading anymore. That is not a word you should ever say to someone who works hard in the industry to entertain their audience, even when they produce utter crap like Chaos;Child. I don’t care if the official definition means “someone who produces dull and unoriginal work”, which a lot of people in the entertainment industry does. Nowadays, it seems to mean “I don’t like this guy’s work, so I’ll insult him”, and as a guy who took that philosophy too far in his early years with his critiques, I can definitely say that word is anathema to me.
Do you use PC or Mac?
Mostly Mac. PC I only use for Steam games.
Do you think your enjoyment of Guilty Crown is highly dependent on the type of humor you like? Because I never heard of anyone else interpret Guilty Crown as a comedy or a caricature of anime tropes like you do.
Lots of people have done it before me. Also, have you seen the Symphogear fans and how they interpret the show? We kind of live in an age where lots of anime fans are willing to see things as post-modern.
What are your favorite movies/anime/TV shows where the romance in it doesn’t have a completely positive ending?
5 Centimeters Per Second, Saturday Night Fever, Her, Scum’s Wish, Sakamichi no Apollon, Persepolis, In the Mood For Love, the movie version of Clannad…that’s about all I can think of at any rate.
Besides Breaking Bad, what other shows you’ve seen that you think are good but you can’t get into the premise/style/genre?
Ghost in the Shell, Fargo, Game of Thrones, American Crime, Moribito, Showa Genroku Rakugo, Mad Men, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Yamato 2199, Gundam, Rose of Versailles, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, Red Dwarf, Invader Zim, Avatar the Last Airbender, and I’m sure there’s at least a hundred more. I have my own preferences after all.
Are there any reviews by Chris Stuckmann that you enjoyed watching?
I tend to like his anime reviews more than his movie ones. Standouts to me are ERASED, Ocean Waves, and Mary and the Witch’s Flower.
Why did you leave the MAL Community? (i have a good guess but i’d like to hear it from you)
Because if I hung out there for one more second, I’d have to ask Siri how to delete all of MAL.
You seem to mention Saturday Night Fever a lot in your blog, can you write a review of the movie then?
Nobody seemed to really be interested in anything not related to anime on the blog during the time period I was reviewing them more frequently, so I doubt it. Hell, the anime(?) stuff isn’t all that popular to begin with.
Would you make a blog post about anime genres that you are not interested in why?
No, because that’s just ego-boning. If I saw a post/Youtube video with that topic, I’d ignore it right away. There’s a difference between having an opinion and just flat-out stating you have an opinion to the world y’know.
What anime can you think of where all the things you don’t like about it is the exact reason everyone else likes it?
I’m not into ironic moe, but lots of people seem to think it’s an effective means to tell a story. If you don’t know what that is, Glass Reflection recently did a video on it.
What are your favorite anime(s) where you prefer the Dub over the Sub?
Great Teacher Onizuka
What’s your favorite Shinichirō Watanabe show between Cowboy Bebop, Terror in Resonance or Sakamichi no Apollon?
Probably Bebop. It has more fat than the other two, but I like its strengths a lot more as well (ie Jupiter Jazz).
Which movie/tv show/anime had the most offensive depiction of “Bullies” you’ve seen?
It’d be easier to answer which pieces of fiction didn’t portray bullies so horribly. In which case I’d go with The Simpsons (because Nelson is hilarious), Back to the Future, and A Silent Voice.
Why do you keep watching something you don’t like? You should drop what you don’t like and watch something you think is good. Don’t become that anime snob.
Snob’s problems go beyond him not liking the majority of what he watches. He’s a trollish nostalgia-blinded elitist whose judgments are too binary to be engaging. Which is incidentally my problem with a lot of anime writers who only watch what they like: too binary, too quick to dismiss something they don’t agree with, eventually enclosing their minds to the point that they only see a very small subsection of anime, and worst of all, judging anime based on set expectations over just looking at it for what it is.
And I absolutely refuse to be one of those anime fans who judge an anime based on pre-expectations. That’s like one of the worst ways to form an opinion I’ve ever seen, and watching bad anime and understanding why they fail is a good way to alleviate that. My favorite reviews on the blog are still the Uchouten Kazoku 2 and My Hero Academia S1 reviews because I found dissecting the truth (well, my perception of the truth) underneath the hype/expectations to be a rewarding experience. Why should I praise something like Uchouten 2 when it’s just Uchouten 1 again except in a different package (especially since both series do that story-less approach to plot that I never got the appeal of)? I believe that’s a fair question that has yet to be answered by anyone, fanboy or hater.
Besides, some of the bad shows I’m watching might get better. It’s not likely, but you never know (cough My Hero Academia cough).
How come you don’t like Shinsekai Yori?
Not scary. Horrible animation. Reactionary characters. Annoying camera tricks. Too much world-building at the expense of plot. Doesn’t get good until the 2/3 mark. Storytelling seems to be catered to people who like Twin Peaks, and I’m not a fan of that show or its revival at all.
What video game genres that you don’t find appealing?>
Mostly RTS games like Command & Conquer and multiplayer shooters like PUBG. Even the fun anime ones like Overwatch, I only do on occasion.
I also don’t like playing fighting games, but they’re fun to watch other people play, and I do like some of the lore behind them.
What is the most pretentious anime you’ve seen in terms of the anime trying way too hard to instill meaning when there really isn’t?
Wouldn’t say it’s the most pretentious, but pretty much all the science adventure shows outside of Steins;Gate are nonsense. A lot of visual novel melodramas are also pretty stupid with their meanings as well.
How do you approach in writing a review/criticism for a show or movie that relies mainly on mood and atmosphere?
If it’s a bad one, I complain about my distaste for story-less storytelling. If it’s a good one, I tend to focus on what that mood conveys.
My Opinions on Big Anime Names:
A-1 Pictures: Awful. And I’m not saying that to be hip with the young crowd, as I was hating on them before it became popular to do so. In addition to hating their business practices and lack of identity in their animation, I can’t stomach pretty much all of the shows that most people like about them like Shin Sekai Yori and Silver Spoon.
Brains Base: Their animation is so coma-inducing that I can’t even bother to pay attention to the substance half the time.
Bones: They kind of flip flop between being really interesting and really dull. Also, they’re much better at superheroes than they are at mecha.
Chiaki Konaka: How did that woman ever get as much work as she did? She’s got to be one of the worst attempts at promoting more female recognition in the industry I’ve seen.
Comix Wave: Probably my favorite anime movie studio at the moment now that Ghibli is no longer a thing.
David Production: Terrible studio. All that Jojo money and they can’t make one show that doesn’t look like ass?
Deen: I don’t really like nor dislike Deen.
Dogakobo: I tend to forget they exist. Not into the slice-of-life genre and that’s pretty much all they do.
Ei Aoki: Horrible visionary. Seems to think he’s a live-action director rather than an animated one, and not a good live-action director either given how much he likes to have characters stand around and talk me to death.
feel: Been getting better lately, but they’ve been atrocious for most of their life.
Gainax: I never liked this studio even back when they were popular. Don’t see the appeal in over-the-top wacky animation at all.
Gen Urobuchi: Really hate how ever since he became big, people pay more attention to the staff rather than the actual anime. Otherwise, he’s fine.
Ghibli: Best animation studio on the planet, and I’m not exaggerating there.
GoHands: GoHands is one of the most hilariously wrong things to ever grace animation, period. Their shows are a load of boring nonsense, but the reactions they produce are legendary.
Go Nagai: I understand his stuff was influential at the time and gave birth to many classic anime (including Evangelion and the Shin Megami Tensei franchise), but by today’s standards, most of his works are too much style as substance to care about.
Goro Taniguchi: Ever since Geass, he’s just been there to me. His early career was pretty solid though.
Gonzo: Used to be good then they got so bad that it’s seriously sad.
Haoliners: So bad they’re not even worth putting any effort into hating. It’s like bullying someone who’s confined to a hospital bed due to losing all of his limbs.
Hayao Miyazaki: Great visionary. Love how he refuses modern trends and carves out his own niche. If he ever caved in to anime culture as of today, he’d lose what makes him so interesting.
Hideaki Anno: Not exactly my favorite director, but I admire how unique and committed he is to his projects.
Isao Takahata: Wasn’t exactly the biggest fan of his when he was alive, but I’ve re-evaluated his work since then and they’re some of the most visually captivating products in the medium. Also a little fucked up when you look deep into them.
J.C. Staff: Very forgettable. Not necessarily the anime they produce themselves (although that’s usually the case), but I always forget who it was that made Honey & Clover and Danmachi.
Junichi Sato: Haven’t liked anything he’s made. I know there are people who enjoy his stuff, but I just don’t see the appeal of watching an anime to relax.
Jun Maeda: One of the first visual novel writers to try to go into anime, and also one of the lousiest. He does tend to fail in spectacular ways though, which is more than I can say for other VN writers.
Ken Akamatsu: Guy really sucks when it comes to anime. He should stay in the manga world where he shines, although to be honest, UQ Holder is about as lively as a dead fish.
Kenji Kamiyama: More of an ideas man than a storyteller in my opinion. The stuff people really like from him leaves me cold, and the stuff I do find interesting tend to fall apart after a while.
Kenji Nakamura: I used to hate him due to how his post-Mononoke work has been massively shallow up until Gatchaman Crowds. Now I just go “oh yeah he’s around”.
Kinema Citrus: No opinion, as the only thing they’ve made that I can bother remembering is Made in Abyss, and a single anime isn’t much to go by.
Kyoto Animation: I have a lot of respect for them, even though their good intentions don’t always work out. Whenever they make a hit though, boy does it land.
Leiji Matsumoto: Not really into the space opera genre so I don’t keep up with his universe. Have seen several adaptations of Harlock, most of the Yamato 2199 remake, and the movie version of Galaxy Express 999 though. I remember liking 999, but the others didn’t click with me.
Lerche: Sucks. They have this weird obsession with trying to make subversive anime for the sake of it and it has rarely worked out well for them.
Madhouse: Ever since the 2010s, they’ve been very disappointing. I found Death Parade and ACCA to be hot garbage that people only like because it makes them feel good, and this is their big stuff. Their lesser stuff has been even worse. Before then, they were the shit though. Not exactly a consistent heavy hitter but the risks they took in the old days were amazing.
Makoto Shinkai: One of my favorite anime directors/writers. I’m kind of surprised at how much new ground the guy has managed to cover since making Voices of a Distant Star with just a Macintosh.
Mamoru Hosada: Too safe with his visuals and the stories he wants to tell to make anything great. But there are worse things in life than being consistently fun/okay.
Mamoru Oshii: Often times takes being deep waaaaaayyyy too far for my taste. And I think that aspect has only gotten worse up with time until he moved to live-action. Haven’t seen any of his live-action projects so I can’t comment on how he’s doing now.
MAPPA: They’re okay for the most part. Loved them more when they were fresh. Kind of don’t expect much from them these days, but I trust ’em more than I do other studios, especially the new ones.
Mari Okada: This woman has a lot of fans and I don’t understand why. Her writing is childish and her understanding of the teenage mind is shallow.
Masaaki Yuasa: Genius trump card of anime, and that unfortunately includes the negative effects of being a trump card. Because when you use it so many times, it loses its effectiveness and eventually becomes flaccid. It’s like Johnny Sin’s dick: sure it’ll last longer than most dicks, but it’s going to run out of use eventually.
Naoka Yamada: I do think she’s the only one of the directors at KyoAni who is actually progressing consistently in her career, hence why she gets her own entry. Also, so far she’s the only female director to have made an anime I really like (A Silent Voice) with a lot of the quality coming from the visual storytelling, and I’m looking forward to Liz and the Blue Bird, especially given how different the art style is from Sound Euphonium.
Naotaka Hayashi: Way too obsessed with robots and sci-fi terminology at the expense of story. Can come off as worse than Jun Maeda when it comes to transferring from games to anime.
Osamu Dezaki: I’m sad to say that I don’t like as much of his stuff as I probably should. Seen quite a bit from him and the only time I’ve gotten interested is when he made those Key films.
Osamu Tezuka: Not into manga so I don’t care about his legacy. Based on what I’ve seen of him though, his works are horribly dated by today’s standards, similar to Go Nagai.
PA Works: I’m not into Kyoto Animation, but I understand the fan appeal (especially lately, although the backlashes to their work are ridiculous) due to their production values and willingness to try new things. But why the hell is PA Works considered a big studio? Their animation is this weird combination of identifiable but sterile, and they haven’t made one memorable thing since Shirobako made them famous.
Passione: Their animation sucks so bad that their attempts at fanservice can be unintentionally hilarious.
Pierrot: No opinion at all. They exist.
Polygon Pictures: Not really into most of their stuff, but the directing by that guy who does the Sidonia anime is so engaging even if the actual animation is horrible.
Production I.G.: Kinda hit-and-miss with a lot of their stuff being surprisingly forgettable despite their policies and vision.
Production IMS: Awful awful AWFUL!
Rie Matsumoto: I don’t get why she has so much fame that people will watch something simply because she’s attached to it. She’s only made a few anime and they didn’t exactly cause a revolution.
Rumiko Takahashi: Loved her when I was a kid. Don’t really care for her now.
Satoshi Kon: I honestly respect him more than I like him. His appeal has faded over time due to the number of people who have copied and improved on what he contributed to both animation and film to the point that it’s like watching The Godfather after seeing more current and really good mafia stories.
Saya Yamamoto: Probably the female director I respect the most. Yet to really love anything she’s made beyond her openings, but she’s got a vision for quality that you don’t see often and I’ve got to respect that.
Science Saru: I see Yuasa is having a lot of fun with his new studio and that’s more than enough reason for it to exist, even if you don’t like what they make.
Seiji Kishi: He’s been getting better lately, but his resume is mostly disastrous and he still relapses into tonal issues at times. I liked his Danganronpa anime more than most people, but I really hated Humanity Has Declined.
Shaft: Pretty whatever ever since they stopped being a cult studio, ironically. These days, they feel more like a meme rather than a company that’s legitimately talented.
Shin Oonuma: The guy has sucked for so long it’s actually kind of admirable. Most of us wouldn’t do anything for as long as he’s made terrible anime.
Shinichiro Watanabe: Love the guy’s work. He has this really addictive style of visual storytelling that tends to keep me interested even when the substance is less than stellar (the comedic episodes of Samurai Champloo for instance).
Shoji Kawamori: Guy’s obsession with robots and flamboyance isn’t something I share. Seriously, what’s the appeal of a mecha that can sing and dance?
Silver Link: I respect the occasional well-received thing they make even though I don’t necessarily like them (Non Non Biyori for instance), but most of the time they’re just really shitty. Especially when they have a light novel as their source.
Studio 4C: One of the best visual studios I’ve seen, although their actual substance is a mixed bag. They also don’t make anime too often so I can’t necessarily rely on them when I want to see something good.
Sunao Katabuchi: The best successor to Ghibli’s legacy given the direction he took his career after working there. Also, it’s kind of hilarious how he says there’s little difference between his slice-of-life work like Mai Mai Miracle and his action stuff like Black Lagoon.
Sunrise: You never want to go too Sunrise. It will blind you.
Tetsuro Araki: Probably the only guy I know who can actually do camp properly in anime. His unique vision to action and drama is some of the most hilariously awesome treasures of the medium.
Toei Animation: Really whatever due to how they focus more on anime franchises than actual self-contained visions.
Trigger: Massively overrated, but I don’t dislike them.
ufotable: The most tech demo-y animation studio I know, and that’s saying a lot.
White Fox: Maybe I’d see their appeal if they stop making anime belong to genres I hate (4-koma adaptations, light novel adaptations, visual novel adaptations). Their manga adaptations haven’t done much for me either. Steins;Gate is alright I guess, but I found Re:Zero to be frustratingly repetitive and underdeveloped.
Wit: Easily my favorite of the newer anime studios. They took a little longer to warm up to me compared to MAPPA due to the production issues they faced in their early years combined with a lot of their more ambitious projects like The Rolling Girls bombing like mad, but I’ve always respected them for their willingness to try new things and the unique vision they give to stuff. Especially the action genre. Goddamn I am so sick of Shonen Jump style fights. Give me some of that Kabaneri ultra-violence any day of the week.
Xebec: Don’t care.
Yasuhiro Yoshiura: Not really sure what this guy’s appeal is supposed to be. His take on sci-fi tends to be dated and trying to make your projects look like an animated version of an independent film does nothing for me because I don’t like it when you can just make the anime live-action and there’d be no difference. Also, I’m not an indie film lover in general. Harmonie was alright though.
Yoshiyuki Tomino: Ever since the 90s ended, he’s been out of control and out of touch regarding his projects. And he wasn’t exactly the most sane man ever when he brought Gundam to the world.
If there’s anybody you want me to add, comment below.