What I’ve Been Up To – July to October 2022

Aaaaand I’m back! Unfortunately, my time and energy have been lacking at times over these last few months. Which means I’ve been sitting on these mini pieces for a while. Instead of letting them disappear into the void, I decided to touch them up and put them all together. So here it is: a couple of cool things that I was up to at various times from July to October.

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My Fav is Problematic – Enna Alouette and Online Accountability

I regret to inform you that Enna Alouette – the foul mouthed songbird of Nijisanji EN – is problematic. During a stream with fellow Nijisanji member Kyo Kaneko, she referenced a series of hurtful stereotypes about black people in America. As a huge fan of hers, I felt hurt and disappointed. I also didn’t really know the best way to respond, or if I should be saying anything at all as a white person from suburban Australia. But the wide range of reactions said a lot of things about the online culture around accountability, and how we respond when people show their ignorance towards social justice issues. A lot of those responses were… not good.

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What I’ve Been Up To – June 2022

Oh, hey! It’s been a while. The last couple years have been busy for me, and unfortunately I haven’t been able to get much writing done. Not for lack of trying, either! My drafts folder has piled up with all sorts of pieces that I never quite finished. So, I thought it would be nice to tackle something a little less daunting. Here’s a brief rundown of what media I’ve been getting into in the last month or so.

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Dragon Quest XI – First Impressions

Dragon Quest XI has been one of my big fixations lately. As someone with limited Dragon Quest knowledge, I’ve found it to be a wonderful and very accessible JRPG. It has the visual polish and scale of a modern big budget game, while also sticking to the roots of its turn based fantasy roleplaying. If you want a shiny modernised entry into old-school JRPGs, you really can’t go wrong.

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Media Pet Peeves – ‘Overrated’

We all pick up bad habits from being constantly online. The way we talk about fiction is no exception. Our feelings about media are personal and often vague, but we want to sound like we know what we’re talking about. We want those snappy one-liners that makes us sound smart and confident. I’ve been guilty of it myself, and don’t think I’m above being silly and wrong. But after years of thinking about fiction and writing about it, I feel like I have at least a few things that are worth saying. So today, I want to talk about one of my pet peeves: the word ‘overrated’.

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Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0: A Spoilerific Analysis


I feel truly blessed to have seen Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 in its original run. For those who don’t know, I live and work in Japan! My Japanese isn’t perfect, so I’m not crystal clear on every last detail. But I got the majority of the film! I’ll be going into a lot of the juicy details, and my current feelings about this final installment in the Evangelion rebuild series. So if you don’t want spoilers, THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING!!

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Representation: Why Does It Matter and What Are Its Limits?

Years ago I wrote about representation in media. I think I made some good points, but I also feel like it was a bit vapid. My thoughts on the subject weren’t much deeper than “representation is good, and there should be more of it”. Yes, that’s absolutely true. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve reflected more often on what it actually means. I’d like to talk about the value of representation here, as well as its limits. I want to emphasise what it means to see yourself in media, but also what it means to boil systemic issues down to this purely cultural conflict. Basically, representation is complicated.

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Sorry To Bother You and Class Struggle

Sorry To Bother You may be one of my favourite films of all time. I only saw it very recently, but it’s no exaggeration. Sorry To Bother You is a satire that captures the material realities of modern capitalism in a way very few mainstream films can. It doesn’t just make cute gestures at revolutionary politics. It shines a light on the anxieties of everyday people, and their desire to still make something of themselves in this soul-crushing system. And it does it with a wild sense of humour, and perhaps even a cautious optimism.

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Sword Art Online: Alicization (2018-19) Review

CONTENT WARNING: Discussion of a scene involving sexual abuse is included. It’s been clearly marked, in case you wish to skip it.

Sword Art Online continues to be an enigma. Its issues are varying and pronounced, but I can’t help but have a soft spot for it. Sword Art Online, for all its faults, is achingly sincere. It wants to be a good story, and despite its blunders I admire the spirit to keep trying to be better. Sword Art Online: Alicization is the beginning of its most ambitious story arc yet. It remains flawed, but it’s a fairly compelling effort.

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Barakamon Review (2014)

barakamon 10NOTE: This is a rewrite of something I did many years ago.

Barakamon is an easily endearing show. It’s a series brimming with warmth and passion, one that even people who don’t watch anime could easily get drawn into. It’s easy to gush over stories like these as a creator of any kind. One that connects with how many of us feel, brimming with self-doubt and constantly trying to get in touch with why we do what we do. Barakamon doesn’t always nail the full extent of these ideas, but it’s an immensely charming work that makes some wonderful statements.

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