Bugshrugs: Crunchyroll Expo is Already a Shitshow

For better or worse, Crunchyroll is perhaps the biggest face of anime fandom in the English-speaking world. They currently have the largest catalogue of streaming anime, they provide news articles and blog features, and they have a heavy social media presence, to the point you could argue it’s much too heavy. They have their detractors, sure, but they’re unarguably one of the biggest players in the game. So when they announced they’d be holding their own convention, it was a logical step that plenty of people were excited about. But as I look through the guests they’ve announced to this point (the morning of August 8th), I’m worried that it’s going to be, as the title of this post implies, a fucking shitshow. Continue reading “Bugshrugs: Crunchyroll Expo is Already a Shitshow”

It Bugs Me: Fate/Still Confused

The Fate franchise is a fantastic and exciting one that I absolutely love. On paper, that is. In practice, it’s something I think I’d really be into, but it’s tied up in a whole bunch of convoluted bullshit that I’ve approached the wrong way, dipping my toes into only enough pools to gain a vague, incorrect understanding of what’s going on. Continue reading “It Bugs Me: Fate/Still Confused”

Bugshrugs: My Thoughts on Piracy

Boy, piracy sure has been a hot topic in the anime community lately, hasn’t it? Hulu has removed their free subscription option and removed much of the anime from their back catalogue. Anime Strike’s double paywall and inaccessibility in regions outside of America causes controversy. Many people were forced to actually confront Netflix’s model of only releasing airing anime after the series has finished when they got the rights to the highly anticipated Little Witch Academia. Crunchyroll came under fire for quietly lowering the video quality on much of their back catalogue.  And most recently, the most well-known and popular anime torrent site has shut down. So the conversation has become incredibly relevant again. Which of course means it’s time for me to weigh in.

Short answer? I’m not anti-piracy. Continue reading “Bugshrugs: My Thoughts on Piracy”

Scum’s Wish: The Treason of the Artist

When rereading Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” for my first Philosophy and Psycho-Pass post, I rediscovered a quote from it that stuck with me the first time I read it and that stuck with me again: “The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”

Why do I bring this up? Well, because it’s basically impacted the way I’ve viewed Kuzu no Honkai, AKA Scum’s Wish, which as of this writing, is five episodes into its anime run. This Le Guin quote is basically the antithesis of Scum’s Wish, a show whose thesis is basically “Pain and suffering are tragically beautiful.” While most people have been praising Scum’s Wish (and rightfully so, as it’s a very well-produced show), I’ve been hesitant to do so. Continue reading “Scum’s Wish: The Treason of the Artist”

In Which Buggy Writes A “Best Anime of 2016” Clickbait Article

Sometimes you write things because you have something insightful or meaningful to say. But sometimes you write something that you know everyone else always writes and that you know people are still going to click on for the sole purpose of hoping you reinforce their own opinions. And you feel a little shame at selling out so. But you write it anyway because it’s fun to write and sometimes you just have to write something for you, goddammit.

This one’s a post about my favorite (and least favorite) anime of 2016 and you can bet your ass I’m writing it to satisfy me and me alone. Continue reading “In Which Buggy Writes A “Best Anime of 2016” Clickbait Article”

Philosophy and Psycho-Pass Part 1: Sibyl’s Republic

Perhaps the most common misconception about Psycho-Pass is that it depicts a dystopia. A dystopia, by definition, is an unpleasant or undesirable society. Perhaps a select few lead good lives, but in a dystopia, the majority of society is in ruin. It is easy to mistake Psycho-Pass as depicting a dystopia, as it focuses on the negative aspects of the world and the series explicitly references a large number of dystopian works, such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Phillip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.” What it portrays is actually a utopia, just one that unfortunately comes at the expense of a few. However, viewed from a purely utilitarian standpoint, the Sibyl System has provided the ideal society. In fact, the chief of the bureau herself quotes Jeremy Bentham almost directly when she says in episode 13 that the Sibyl System has “achieved the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.” Continue reading “Philosophy and Psycho-Pass Part 1: Sibyl’s Republic”

Bugshrugs: Anime is not Anime

Fairly recently, a debate broke out in the anime community after moderators on Reddit’s r/anime board banned discussion of the music video for Porter Robinson’s “Shelter” on the grounds that, despite being animated by a Japanese studio (A-1 Pictures), it’s “not anime” because of an American creator’s involvement. This upset many people who saw no reason not to define it as anime, and the whole “what exactly is anime” argument broke out again.

I think I’ve come to a pretty clear stance on where I draw the line that everyone’s trying to discuss (anime is an animated product in which culturally Japanese creators have the biggest influence), but I’m actually going to take another stance in addition to this: anime is not just anime. Continue reading “Bugshrugs: Anime is not Anime”