I want to explain why my posts have become almost exclusively anime focused lately. The answer is quite simple, really: Anime is my pulp revolution.
The whole idea behind the pulp revolution and the “Regress harder” mantra is that modern entertainment has lost a lot of what makes media…well, enjoyable. Pulp appealed to everyone, because pulp was good. Many of the most iconic stories and characters ever written were created in the pulps or during the era of the pulps. Since then, similarly iconic characters and stories have become few and far between. It is pretty obvious that modern media has lost something that the pulps had.
I know a lot of the Castalia crowd came to the realization that modern media was missing something when they read the pulps. But for me that wasn’t it. I never connected with the pulps; I still can’t get through “A Princess of Mars”. I have no specific criticism and nothing against it; it’s just that the style didn’t resonate with me personally. I liked the bit of Conan I read but I didn’t love it – ditto Solomon Kane. Burroughs and Howard just didn’t excite me.
Again – to be clear – it really has nothing to do with them as far as the quality of their work, their influence, or any specific issues. I just don’t connect with the style. It happens with certain authors; I recognize the genius of Gene Wolfe too, but I don’t really like reading him most of the time.
Anime is different. Anime made me see and recognize just how much I was missing. It opened me up to a whole new world of storytelling possibilities.
Tired of typical medieval European epic fantasies? You have “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”, “Magi”, and “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba”, three wildly different shows with wildly different settings that are like virtually none of the cookie cutter door stopper epics made by western authors nowadays as a rule. For three of many possible examples.
Want a mystery/thriller that doesn’t feel like every other John Grisham airport novel? Take a look at “Death Note”. How about a superhero story that isn’t getting infected by SJW virtue signaling and that doesn’t follow the same Marvel/DC superhero tropes copied and pasted ad nauseum? “My Hero Academia” has your back, and “One Punch Man”, and “Tiger and Bunny”.
How about slice of life shows that don’t randomly and pointlessly insert characters of various races specifically to fulfill some sort of diversity quota (“Silver Spoon”)? And the last comedy I saw in theaters that wasn’t also a comic book movie was the Konosuba film, and it’s one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.
Or even having cartoons that aren’t A) Calarts and B) Geared towards older age groups despite not being comedies?
The sorts of stories regularly told in anime – even with the otaku wish fulfillment garbage mixed in – are simply not told in the west nowadays. They are more original, more daring, more creative, better crafted.
Anime opened my eyes to the sorts of stories that could be told. And you know? It made me a little angry – there’s no reason we can’t be making stories like that. But for some reason, we’re just not. There are lots of explanations as to why, but that’s how it is right now.
So expect me to continue with the anime content. The Spring season has been quite good, with “Somali and the Forest Spirit”, “Keep Your Hands off Eizouken!”, and “In/Spectre” all being standouts.
The quality of shows coming out of Japan recently has continued to be fantastic and original in ways American media just isn’t. I can’t wait to see what comes next.