Monday, July 20, 2009

"Who's Got the Sweetest Disposition? One Guess--That's Who. Who Never, Ever Starts an Argument . . ."

There's a video online of Yutaka Yamamoto now apologising for the "Endless Eight" Haruhi Suzumiya story arc. Yamamoto used to work for Kyoto animation, the studio that produces The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but left before the new season began. I find this video fascinating for several reasons--for one thing, judging by comments on the video that are in both Japanese and English, I think this is illustrative of the fact that Japanese and English speaking fans are drawing closer together.

Now, it should be noted that Yamamoto was never in charge of Haruhi Suzumiya--that was Tatsuya Ishihara in the first season. But, as lousy as it was of the guy video taping to upload the video in spite of Yamamoto's specific request for people not to share what he was saying on the internet, Yamamoto really had no business apologising. Whatever he might think of what's happening, a lot of people put a lot of hard work into these new episodes and people who might otherwise go along for the ride and try to be open to the experience can very likely be shut down by a statement like this from someone seen as in charge. Doing something like "Endless Eight" is bold, and people are frightened of boldness, and otaku are typically terrified of boldness. Audiences are delicate, sensitive, whiney little creampuffs and if the artist doesn't exude confidence, the audience isn't usually going to supply it. It's not even that they're not bold people in their daily lives, it's just that they expect art to expect very little from them.

And let me just reiterate, too, how much I love "Endless Eight" and how much more I love it with each instalment--the feeling it gives of motionlessness, the desperate need to figure out some way to change this lack of motion without having a clear idea of what the root problem is--the end of each instalment where Kyon stands up as Haruhi walks out of the restaurant and he racks his brain, trying to think of some clue in something that Haruhi has said--that he can't find it, even after having gone through the same cycle over 50,000 times according to Nagato, the alien character. It's a wonderful story that transmutes the concept of feelings that can't be addressed because of a fundamental inability to directly communicate.

The fact that Tim tells me that posters on anime forums are losing their minds over it only makes me love it more, I have to say. Tim says they're accusing Kyoto Animation of "trolling", which is yet another example of the word's apparent new misappropriation to mean anything someone doesn't like. A troll used to mean someone who went to a forum with the explicit intention of causing discord. Haruhi Suzumiya does it just by existing, and as I've been called a troll for the same reason, I have to say Kyoto Animation definitely has my sympathies.

My tweets from last night;

I have eaten too many Ritz crackers.
Need to find another unsalted snack.
Generic pasta sauces seek backers.
It's only celebrity sauce I'll back.

Picked up some more unsalted peanuts to-day as well as some citrus blossom honey--that stuff's great, it tastes sort of like marmalade. Mixed with hot chai tea it tastes a bit like mead.

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