(Details coming soon!)

© 2015

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As lackluster as it may be, I personally found the name of my blog-turned-website too fun to let it go unused in some other capacity.  To this end I have started a pet project that’s been on the back-burner for what seems like an eternity: an off-the-cuff, opinionated discussion of various anime titles along with my good friends.

The podcast itself, as with its tie-in to the blog, is very much a work-in-progress, so my apologies for the spontaneous nature of any future progress.

Special thanks to Paden and River for their time.  I hope to have them on additional episodes.

As with DYKA, I hope to use this platform to make updates known, but I recommend subscribing to the YouTube channel for best results.

Thanks for reading, watching, and now, listening!

– J. G. Lobo

© 2014 (text and voices)

Foreword:

As yet another excuse for lack of output on the blog (my apologies), I also felt the need to preface this particular review with a few words, as I have had a special connection to the subject matter before its release and during its run.  My colleagues and I at Tenchiforum.com have vigilantly kept our fingers on the pulse of Ai Tenchi Muyo! since before it was first officially announced.  All throughout its three months of airing we have kept the English-speaking world in the know via podcasts, public appearances, and most notably translation of the source material.

Though I have provided commentary and support along the way, in reality all credit for English subtitles of the series goes to my friends and fellow film junkies known by their usernames Crazed, Dagon123, Nil Admirari, and TITANOFCHAOS.  Suffice it to say, unless you’ve been there yourself, between translations, timecodes, cultural insights and a myriad of other miscellaneous minutiae, you can scarcely imagine how much work goes into such an undertaking.  Thank you gentlemen for your dedicated efforts.  

– J. G. Lobo 

If ever there were modern-day testament to my former professor’s adage of a particular work being “art masquerading as popular culture,” in the anime world it would surely be Ai Tenchi Muyo! (2014).  The latest installment in the multifaceted Tenchi Muyo! franchise, Ai essentially resurrects what would otherwise be a dying (albeit classic and fondly remembered) series for a new generation while catering to old-school fans.

Directed by veteran auteur Hiroshi Negishi—who has been intimately involved with previous incarnations such as the television adaptation Tenchi Universe (1995) and the feature-length films Tenchi Muyo! In Love (1996) and Tenchi Muyo! In Love 2: Haruka naru omoi (1999)—the fifty episode miniseries goes above and beyond its pragmatic function of promoting tourism for its native Takahashi and Okayama Prefecture (the real-life backdrop of the original OVA).  It also accomplishes more than merely revitalizing a nineties staple for the current anime climate.  Though encased in a veneer of conventional tropes and modern aesthetics, Ai is truer to its source material than any animated version since 1999.  The original cast returns nearly in its entirety, and blends well with up-and-coming voice talent as venerable characters and new faces alike eloquently cohabit the screen.  The show’s writing is remarkably keen and efficient, making full use of each episode’s four-minute storytelling window.  Despite its unorthodox format, large ensemble of new characters, and its inherited, tarnished reputation brought on by its predecessors—the commercially ill-fated Tenchi Muyo! GXP (2002) and the financial debacle that was the third installment of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki (2003-2005)—Ai Tenchi Muyo! has brought its forbearer back from the brink.  It has renewed interest among viewers and proven that Tenchi Muyo! has marketability potential over twenty years since its heyday.

Available on Blu-ray shortly after the televised airing of its final episode, it will be interesting to find out not only how much remaining interest for Tenchi Muyo! as a whole resides in its home nation, but also abroad internationally, particularly in the West (as is the norm nowadays, it has already been subtitled by fans).  As patrons speculatively await additional content (follow-up television series, manga, or even another movie), it would seem Ai Tenchi Muyo! continues the tradition of blissful irony insofar as its desirability parallels the time-honored juxtaposition of the series’ title (commonly translated as No Need for Tenchi!) and its subject matter of an irresistible, plot device of a protagonist.

© 2014

Though this goes against my previous statement somewhat, in order to keep myself better organized I am going to attempt more of a definitive transition from this URL to my own domain (which again can be found here).  As previously stated I will continue to attempt updating this “wordpress.com” address periodically, however these occurrences will likely be only once a month (at best) as I will, by default, concentrate first and foremost on the new site.

On that note, it seems I forgot to re-post several Did You Know Anime? updates, so if interested please check out “whocaresaboutanime.com.”  (The categories should be self-explanatory.)  Since my announcement post on the matter we’ve had a number of additional videos added to the repertoire, including episodes on the classic Space Battleship Yamato, the sci-fi/rom-com Tenchi Muyo! and the Shōnen staple Yu Yu Hakusho.  We are many-times-over indebted to our voice-over talent.

Finally, partially in celebration of my humble blog’s one-year anniversary and, admittedly, due to the fact that my other commitments still as of yet inhibit me from creating lengthy, original analyses or Theory-related postulations, I will be re-uploading my previous posts to the new domain for posterity (plus, it could use some decorating, couldn’t it?).  Let the re-posting begin!

Stay tuned for re-posts, updates, new material, site overhaul and continued DYKA installments in the future!

© 2014

Once again, I am gladly obliged to talented people for bringing one of my writing samples to life.  The latest episode of Did You Know Anime?  spotlights the whimsical, history-spewing and stereotype-skewering work known as Hetalia: Axis Powers.

Writing this script in particular was challenging, in that anyone familiar with Hetalia can tell you the animated series itself is already chock-full of general historical trivia related to its characters (anthropomorphized versions of the nations of the world) and its WWII setting.  In addition to one-off facts and common knowledge, I also made some of my own well-grounded postulations (corroborated by academic peers) such as the series’ subtle commentary on China’s one-child policy via the catalyst of the character China and the fan-fueled ambiguity surrounding his gender.

Special thanks to narrator Aevynne and once again to editor and friend Michael.  Now sit back and enjoy your work!

Thanks for watching!

Click here to check out our narrator’s YouTube channel!

© 2014 (text)

Due to a number of people taking interest in the content of this blog, and bearing future possibilities in mind, I have taken the first small steps of many towards expanding the online presence of “Who Cares About Anime” by obtaining this web address.

For past subscribers, I plan on continuing to update the “wordpress.com” domain alongside the “.com” website for the foreseeable future to make any potential transitions (or lack thereof, as the case may be) as seamless as possible.

As always, thanks for reading!

– J. G. Lobo

Full site (New address.)

Old site (You are here!)

© 2014

For those unfamiliar with some of the ‘isms’ and general vernacular associated with an anime-related lifestyle (or those who may simply need reminding) I present a handy reference guide to aid in the consumption of this blog.

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Anime:
Simply put, “anime” refers to animation from (i.e. produced in) Japan.  I don’t care if it’s an OVA (original video animation), feature-length film, or a children’s cartoon (yes, though neither always synonymous for, or exclusive to, what our culture would refer to as “cartoons” anime by definition encapsulates such forms of entertainment programming)–if it’s produced by Japan and it’s not live action (aside from a few exceptions) it’s anime.

Manga:
Illustrated, narrative-driven works that incorporate artistic innotavtion while adhering to well-established forms based on longstanding traditions.  Though a unique edifice of Japanese culture not interchangeable with Western comics, for the purposes of correspondence and understanding one could make the case of categorizing manga as an Eastern, pre-existing analogue to Western comics and graphic novels.  Note: many television series in Japan are based on popular manga serializations.

Otaku:
Used to refer to an individual or a group of people who actively engage in the consumption of anime and anime-related materials; in Japan it tends to have a negative or shameful connotation more so than in the West.

OVA:
An original video animation–interchangeable with the term OAV (original animated video)–in a Japanese context specifically has anime-related connotations.  The exact definition is broad, and may vary depending on context; for example, original video animation often means just that: the anime began as an original idea pitched to a production company on its own merit as opposed to the far more common approach of adapting a prior work (almost always in the form of a manga).  It can also refer to standalone or tie-in compliments to a series or franchise at large for the purposes of teasing audiences of the continuation of a series, or for ‘testing the waters’ before budgeting the production of new content.  Other distinguishing traits include more flexible running time for episodes and greater budgets for production.

Weeaboo:
A derogatory slang term arising from the ether of the internet to describe Western patrons of anime who are enthralled with a perception of the Japanese lifestyle to the point of preferring it over their own native culture.

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Obviously this list is not all-inclusive.  Time allowing, I plan to update this post in the future as needed.  Questions, comments or suggested (ahem, possible) corrections are welcome!

 

© 2014