Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Throughline

After much of the extensive pausing that has graced the walls of this blog over the last year-plus, it has nagged me what it is that binds a majority of my writeups/reviews. Considering it as some mildly consistent body of work comprised of hours upon hours of grinding through whatever thoughts were found floating about in need of some manner of home, while discomforting in some respects, also deserves examination if even for a moment. Which is hopefully why these words are coming out in rapid succession this morning, at the beginning of the year of the Water Snake. Perhaps with some calm resolve, this could help clear up the fog of so many recent breaks. While real life has taken a significant point in matters, it hasn't been without thinking endlessly about what topics make for good editorial, be them here, or at AD, or any number of places. Daily schedules notwithstanding, it is also about finding something new to consider, even if the subject itself has been adequately written about elsewhere. So where does the Kaijyu seek out its own brand of thought?

Likely within an insufferable need to clear the air between fan behavior and an awareness of more grounded social context. And while none of it is entirely successful, it does feel very much like a common denominator that binds even the most gonzo peek at a bloody post-tokusatsu tribute. Which is also why the occasional darker than average piece of horror or doc comes my way and has to attain some manner of coverage here. Even the more obvious multiplex experience can carry with it some manner of social challenge that the average crowd might consider in between the opulent production value and explosive sound mix. One of the bigger things that film school helped me understand was that everything created is equally capable of coming through with something that is beyond the often extraordinary trappings we are sold into watching it for. Ostensibly it's just looking out for some semblance of the personal that could transcend the package. When novelty wears off, especially in a media climate such as now, one may find it important to seek out just what it is that draws them to certain works. What does one walk away from them with? What did it help us consider? What is it to be truly entertained?

And it these thoughts continue through at places like Anime Diet, where the occasional cartoon review, or look back at fandoms of days past reside. Attempting to sum up feelings about a medium that has meant so much to me since childhood remains a challenging and occasionally rewarding part of my online life. And its also hard to imagine a medium more telling of a culture and its social nuances than anime, so there is often a wealth to be mined by looking at the trajectory it has granted itself in half a century. And like anything else, it is riddled with a need to make a quick yen, but it also has within it, the power to encapsulate a time and attitude like few other forms of art. Its often visceral nature is not unlike varying types of rock music from folk to punk to sheer noise. And whether or not we acknowledge such a thing, it never ceases to raise an eyebrow or two, or jolt someone into a soap-box-stepping frenzy. And it cannot merely by a reflection of the fans themselves so much as the work that helped illuminate these feelings that were brewing under that surface in the first place. "Just look at that passion all over those walls" It's a visceral, occasionally beautiful kind of love that is hard for some to see the value in, but still deserves some much needed examining from the ground floor.

So what it all comes together as, perhaps is best summed up as a multi-tentacled means of figuring out where one goes after the flaming fanboy begins to cool down. Where one can truly roost, and still appreciate the past whilst looking heartily toward the future. It can just as easily be magical as it could be gritty, horrific as it could be gorgeous, honest as it is bugnuts crazy. It isn't nearly as tonally schizophrenic as one might have imagined. After all, it is imperative that a wanderer seek themselves whilst being lost. It isn't easy to chart a map without a north star, or a compass, but the work brought forth by the challenge makes it all worth while. We are all visitors, and it remains to be seen how many choose to remain as tourists. So there is indeed value in staking out all possible hidden paths. The magic is in knowing where these paths intersect.

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