This post probably contains spoilers for Toaru Kagaku no Railgun. Read at your own risk.
Honestly, I didn’t think I’d have enough for this.
How the heck does Kuroko change her pose when she teleports? If she’s displacing herself to another location, she should theoretically maintain the same pose. She has been seen going from a standing pose to a crouch, which is physically impossible in the brief moment in which she teleports. Meaning there has to be more to her power than just simple displacement.
Why is Accelerator always shown only fighting one Misaka clone at a time? He’s supposed to kill 20,000 clones. At that rate, it should take him over 50 years to kill them all, yet he has somehow killed over 10,000 so far. So he has had to fight many of them on the same day…in fact, assuming it hasn’t been more than a year, he has had to fight at least 20 of them in a single day on some occasions. So why is it that we only see him when he’s fighting one at a time? The most we’ve seen is two in a day, 10031 and 10032 according to the schedule Touma found. And 10030 died the day before at the same time that 10032 was scheduled, meaning that there wouldn’t be any more that day, assuming they follow a pattern.
I’ll try to be brief about this one. I’m not sure I can believe how quickly Misaka was able to perfectly simulate the countless impulses that the brain sends out for motor function. Literally five seconds of twitching as she gets up, then she moves as though nothing is wrong. Honestly, there should at least be a time lag caused by the extra effort needed to move. Everything I know about neuroscience is telling me I shouldn’t accept this.
Tiny nitpicking things:
A medication taken orally like Febri’s lollipops should take more time to have an effect.
Misaka and Kuroko were able to survive a fall from presumably the upper limits of the Earth’s atmosphere. Is Kuroko’s teleportation momentum-canceling?
I don’t know if these questions were raised in Index because I never finished it, but some things have been on my mind:
If Touma is only able to cancel abilities with his right hand, why is he able to stop the railgun? Theoretically, it’s an attack that utilizes EM fields to hyper-accelerate a physical object. I would think his power should only be able to stop the coin from accelerating further…he still should be ripped in half by the already-fast-moving object. The iron sand might be explained away by the fact that his ability should dissociate the sand, returning it to its origin and unhardened form (so he’s basically getting sand thrown at him).
Why can Kuroko use her powers so easily? We’ve seen that she can teleport objects into other objects, as evidenced by the glass-into-pillar stuff she did. So it should be possible that she teleports herself into another person…which probably won’t end well. However, she readily teleports into rooms or other places when she can’t possibly see what’s inside. If it were me, I’d be terrified of the possibility that someone or something is standing somewhere I’m not expecting. The likelihood is low, but the consequences are quite dire. Based on her entrances, she seems to have some minor knowledge of her destination…which could mean her teleportation is manifested by her opening a portal to her destination which she can briefly look through…this would mean she has quite impressive reflexes, though, if she’s able to adjust so quickly on-the-fly.
Why does Capacity Down work? We saw during the Level Upper incident that Saten is perfectly capable of exhibiting a power, just lacks to ability to do so. Presumably a Level 0 would be similar to any other level, but with no grasp of their own power. Admittedly, this point is a little flimsy. Theoretically, she could have been copying another person’s skill (which makes no sense because every other person’s skill was amplified). Back to my point, though…how is Saten unaffected by Capacity Down? Is it just because of her low level? Does that mean that Uiharu should be least affected and Misaka most affected? It can’t be because Saten doesn’t have an AIM field…she has to if she was able to use Level Upper.
Tomorrow marks the end of the first full year that I’ve written for this blog (I started in June 2011, so the year was already halfway done). I don’t like to do milestone posts, so I didn’t write anything for the one year mark. However, I’m low on content this week, so consider this a sort of make-up post for it.
How do people normally start for these things? I guess they start with how they’ve changed in the time that has past. I started the blog mostly out of a fit of boredom…I thought it might help with my writing ability and it was on a topic I enjoyed. In the beginning, I only had a few reviews and my posts were fairly summary-heavy, which is something I’ve worked to move away from.
I’ve kept to my style of screenshots for episodic posts and wallpapers for everything else. I moved to my owned domain…changed my layout a couple of times. My posts are a lot more structured, which makes it easier to keep up with the post count I keep (not sure how much that works against me). That about sums it up.
Things I could improve upon? I’m still fairly indecisive, so my opinions are usually easily swayed and likely very weak. But I dunno how I’d even go about changing that. I’m sure my website appearance is due for another rework, but that will come when I’m willing to put in the effort. I’m still low-confidence when it comes to this site too…I stop myself from advertising it because I feel it’s not good enough.
I really have no idea how long I can keep this up. Who knows what will happen…especially if I get a demanding job. I think the reason I’m so strict about not missing a day with my posts is that I fear that when that crumbles, the blog will be on its way to decline. Kind of funny when I think about it. Anyway…that’s all I got. Thoughts? (Note: this is actually the second revision of this post…the first one actually sounded pretty whiny. I hope I was about to get rid of that).
While I choose not to believe in the existence of the soul, I can’t say I haven’t found it an interesting concept to ponder in my free time. Since this is potentially a touchy subject, I will start by saying that similarly to my time travel post, this is just my personal idea that may be right or wrong. I really don’t know. It’s simply what I have rationalized in my own head. I’m throwing out a theory, so if I see something like “You’re a bastard for insulting the beliefs of others”, I’ll be very upset because that’s very much not what I’m doing.
So what’s the plan? First, let me state that I believe that the existence of the soul is impossible to confirm or deny because the very concept of the soul requires that there is no physical evidence of its existence. I believe that the soul is meant to immune to the influences of the physical world, and thus the physical world shouldn’t be able to detect it. It acts as an anchor in a world where memories can be lost, bodies can become comatose, and personalities can change with the passing of time. Essentially, the soul remains constant through all of this. With that said, the rest of the plan is to explain this definition a bit and then I’ll go into the implications of this.
While there are varying interpretations of the word “soul”, I would say that there are a few common aspects. First, it is immortal. When a soul is “created”, it cannot be destroyed and it will never decay. Second, a soul is intangible. As I mentioned before, it would follow that there is no physical evidence of its existence and that no force that we can perceive should be able to manipulate it. And third, the soul acts as a form of identity…as in each person is tied to a single soul. Note that this is saying that we are unique in life, but not necessarily in death (an example being reincarnation).
Those three properties may seem to be exclusive, but I would say that they all stem from the idea of allowing our existence to continue indefinitely. Why do humans have a concept of a soul? I believe that the soul exists as a sense of security or comfort…an assurance that a person’s identity will last forever (hence the immortal bit). Why is a soul intangible? Because while our minds and bodies can be altered by our environments, something intangible cannot (I’ll explain this in a second). This creates the sense that in a world where minds and bodies are subjected the harsh forces of the environment, part of our identity remains constant. A clear way to say “this is who I am.”
Please note that I’m not saying that a soul and an identity are interchangeable. Let’s take the example of numbers. A number, being intangible, can’t be manipulated in any way through tangible means. We can combine them to create new numbers, but within those new numbers, the number remains (if I add 1 and 2, 1 is technically still a piece of 3). We can change the identity of a number, for example calling the number 1 “four” or something like that. Does this make 1 any different than what it was when we called it “one”? No, it doesn’t. That’s basically how a soul works. It is constant, and therefore humans choose to link their identity to it.
What does this all mean? Let’s look at Kokoro Connect and the idea of “soul swapping.” Normally I would try to say something like “they call it soul swapping, but they’re actually swapping _____”, but I really can’t with this show. The only way I can rationalize it is to say that their souls move to the new body, overriding the conscious mind of the new body. They don’t retain the memories of the new body, so they must be suppressed somehow. Also, they do retain some aspects of the subconscious of the new body (demonstrated with Yui’s androphobia), which rules out the possibility of simply switching brains. This does bring up some implications of connecting souls with the conscious mind, but that isn’t really my concern (because I’m trying to stay as general as possible).
Well, in the case of Kokoro Connect where the soul is being shifted around, this kind of soul allows the identity to remain constant. If Taichi and Iori swap, then whichever body contains Taichi’s soul is Taichi and whichever body contains Iori’s soul is Iori. This sort of distinction isn’t quite as clear in science. If we look at Aoki and Yui’s swap, what is the identity of Yui’s body? Aoki is technically the one in control, but it’s demonstrated that Yui’s mind still has some level of influence. There’s no part of Aoki’s brain transmitting androphobia, so it must be some remaining “piece” of Yui’s brain.
With two “half-brains”, which one could we use for identity? Say we copied Aoki’s memories on to Yui’s brain. Would we have then “created” a “new” Aoki that just looks like Yui? You could argue that Aoki’s memories generate identity, but then you could ask if amnesia creates a new person. Can you see how that can be a bit tricky? But I’ll leave the identity stuff up to the philosophers. It isn’t really my point. I’m just saying that this is the reason the soul exists.
So since that may have been confusing, let me make this clear. What you have just read is 1) what I think a soul is, 2) why I think the concept exists, and 3) why I believe it’s pointless to argue for or against its existence.
After reading a recent post from Yumeka, I wanted to write about my own theory of time travel, in a sense rewrite the comment I made. Let me preface this by saying that basically everything here is pure speculation. I simply look for an explanation that has the fewest inconsistencies…it could be totally wrong for all I know. Time travel is a topic that is often rife with paradoxical scenarios, so I just try to address as many of these as possible. Also, this is a purely theoretical interpretation of the concept with no considerations to the practical implications of actually creating a device that can achieve it (I don’t really care about black holes and whatnot for this).
In general, there are two broad interpretations of time travel. First, there’s the idea that time is immutable, so any trip back in time would have already happened. In this scenario (let’s call it the “constant theory” of time), it’s impossible to change history because whatever you do should already have happened. The second case (let’s call it the “variable theory” of time) is simply the opposite, where going back in time creates a new timeline with an altered future. Each case has a subset of cases with minor differences, but for the most part, all theories of time travel will fall into one of these categories.
My idea is a subset of the variable theory of time, so let’s look at the constant theory first. This is a hypothetical scenario that a friend of mine proposed in a random Skype conversation. Say you’ve been offered this choice: you could gain Jedi powers (he’s a huge Star Wars fan, can’t you tell?) or gain access to a Delorean like the one in Back to the Future. My friend asks “why can’t you just pick the Delorean, then travel back to the past to tell yourself to pick the Jedi powers?” Well, according to the constant theory of time, a second “you” would appear as you’re making this brilliant plan to tell you to go for the Jedi powers.
In order for the constant theory to hold, you must somehow be stopped from choosing Jedi powers because doing so will change history. But in this scenario, the choice is a result of your will, so there really isn’t anything stopping you from just changing it. It’s almost as if some personification of time itself has to stop you. Granted, the whole scenario is a bit much, but even in popular media, it seems like there is some unknown force that makes the protagonist repeat the actions from his past (almost like everything is too convenient).
For example, when Kyon goes back in time in Haruhi and when Harry Potter uses the Time Turner, they are both instructed not to do anything that could cause a temporal paradox because of the horrible consequences or whatever. But what exactly is it stopping them from just doing whatever they want? What’s to stop Kyon from taking the younger Haruhi to a police box rather than help her sneak into the school? What’s to stop Harry from just pushing his past self off a cliff? I don’t know about you, but I have trouble accepting something like “time will find a way to maintain everything.”
Now that I’ve successfully rambled for a bit, let’s get on to my own theory (let’s arbitrarily call it “Y theory”). The basis comes mostly from Steins;Gate: the concept of an infinite set of timelines (I say they’re parallel in Y theory whereas Steins;Gate has branching of lines to account for alternate futures). In Y theory, it’s almost like a time traveler is moving across dimensions rather than moving forward or backwards in time. So let’s say you wish to travel back to the year 1934 at some specific date and time. Rather than moving yourself backwards in time, the idea is that you somehow move yourself to a nearby parallel line with a universe that is identical to your origin, but has only reached the year 1934…theoretically possible in an infinite number of lines.
That’s the core of the idea. Notice a few things:
Obviously, this idea stems from the many-worlds interpretation by Hugh Everett from quantum physic. Basically, it’s a theory that for every universe, there exists an infinite number of universes for all possible scenarios within that universe, and it’s a theory I’ve always liked.
In Y theory, you can change the future, but only in the destination timeline. It doesn’t change the events that have occurred in your point of origin (the idea being that you can change, but you can’t undo).
You’re going to a timeline where the events up to 1934 have occurred, but that doesn’t mean that the events after 1934 will occur. This idea assumes that there is no encompassing force governing time, so there is no “hard drive” holding “history data” for events after 1934. This may make little sense going backwards, but it makes a lot more sense going forwards. If you travel to a timeline in a future year, then returning to your timeline doesn’t ensure the events that you have seen because you’ve only seen one of the possibilities.
If you wish to believe the idea from Steins;Gate of determinism of certain events, that’s perfectly fine in Y theory (I think they call it an Attractor Field). The thought is that if you travel to a line within a certain divergence factor of your origin, events such as a person’s death will always gravitate to a certain point in time despite a difference in events leading up to the death. Although, Steins;Gate attributes this to a converging point in the world lines, it’s fine to think of the same idea happening in parallel lines.
To finish up, I want to specify something that differs from what Steins;Gate proposes in order to cover some inconsistencies. When Rintarou travels to the past in some parts of the show, he basically overwrites the Rintarou of that past time period and takes his place. While this idea makes for a very entertaining show and it follows the logic of the show (sending messages back), I feel like it runs into some issues. For example, what happens if you travel to a point in the past further back than your birth? There would be no “you” to inhabit.
Would you inhabit someone else to make up for it? If so, what are the parameters for who it must be? There would likely be plenty of ancestors available. What if the only two ancestors available are both comatose and will awaken later and fall in love? In my theory, a time traveler is moving to another dimension, and is thus “an outsider,” an extra person in that dimension. So if Rintarou traveled in the way I have outlined, he would go back and be a second instance of himself (which he does later in the show).
And that’s basically it. Marth’s theory of time travel. If you were able to follow all of that, then great! Let me know what you think. If something isn’t explained well enough, let me know in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do to help clear things up. I have a lot of fun thinking about these sorts of things. Sure hope it was entertaining…
So the question for today is pretty simple. When it comes to watching anime, how much does knowing the story affect how you perceive the show? Most specifically, I want to look at first impressions of a show. For example, you’ve read the manga or played the visual novel and you’re finally seeing your favorite manga/visual novel in anime form. The general consensus I seem to see is “the manga was better.” But let’s take a look into why that is the case and what we can conclude from that.
The simplest explanation is disappointment when it comes to personal expectations regarding the anime. I’ve read some blog posts about Medaka Box and I often see people who have read the manga saying something to the effect of “the characters didn’t sound the way I expected.” Stuff like that. While I don’t often have the opportunity to watch an anime after already completing the manga, I feel like I don’t run into this sort of idea when it does happen (like with Bakuman). Is my perception just different? Maybe I’m not thinking hard enough when I’m reading the manga. I wonder if I just accept the anime as the true adaptation, regardless of my own perception of the story.
While this explanation works pretty well with manga, how well does it hold up with games or visual novels? They have the benefit of voicing (and the characters even have color). Video games even have moving characters. I guess it’s just that the animation isn’t as good for when the anime comes out? I don’t usually notice those things, so how could I really comment on it? I thought that Persona 4’s anime adaptation was great. Even if you take out the RPG in the story, it was still fun to watch. However, game adaptations usually run into problems when they become anime. Taking out the battles or the level-up system seems to lower the effect of the show. But it seems weird to me if an RPG’s main selling point is the story.
In fact, I might argue that this perception of original into anime happens in reverse. Take Code Geass as an example. It’s no secret that I loved that show. But reading the manga was just a disappointment. Possibly because of all the things they changed or skipped. Is that just how things are? Is it that we will always be disappointed by what we see second? Or is it just that any adaptation that a company makes for a franchise will never be able to live up to what was originally created?
So maybe the problem just boils down to the difference between creating a story and already having the story. I guess just having the content already there and being forced to work with it is so restrictive that it naturally decreases quality. Maybe adaptations are just doomed to failure from the beginning and some truly talented people will be able to manage a good adaptation.
The question that comes from all of this is what does this all say about how we approach anime? Should we constantly avoid the manga until we finish the anime so that we have a “pleasant surprise” after we watch the anime? Or should we cut anime altogether and just read manga all the time if there is one available? My personal approach is that I avoid manga while a show is airing (that’s why I haven’t continued reading Tasogare or Sankarea now that I’m following them). When the show finishes, I will start reading (like I’m about to do with Mirai Nikki).
Haven’t written one of these in a while. Not an April Fools joke, I swear. The question today is pretty simple: at what point is it appropriate to cut off and start a new season as opposed to ending an arc and continuing the season? Let me use an example. Code Geass spans two seasons, each 25 episodes long. Meanwhile, the first season of Gundam SEED (which honestly can stand alone) spans 50 episodes in one season. Why is it that one show decides to stop the season and restart again while another show keeps going?
The obvious answer is funding. These shows are usually planned out pretty far in advance, so sometimes you can only get funding or you can only justify a certain number of episodes. This would also explain things like inconsistent season lengths (the first season of Darker than Black is 25 episodes while the second season is only 12). I can definitely understand companies only wanting to invest in a certain length. If you embark on a 50 episode show and it starts tanking at episode 8, you’re in a lot of trouble. But is that it?
My next concern is arc completion. Let’s look at shows like Guilty Crown or Death Note. They are both longer than a typical one cour show (just for clarification, a cour is a measurement of season length, usually 13 episodes) like The World God Only Knows or K-ON!, but the latter two shows are stopped and later given a second season, while Guilty Crown and Death Note run to completion, despite having very distinct points where an arc can end. I might even argue that K-ON! didn’t have that sort of distinct stopping point.
Let’s assume that it isn’t all about funding. Is there a certain level of arc completion that has to be attained in order to end a show? Was Guilty Crown’s first arc insufficient in some way as an ending? I’d say that the ending of Code Geass season 1 didn’t give nearly enough answers, but it was still stopped there. I can’t argue that Code Geass ran longer either because The World God Only Knows and K-ON! are one cour shows. If there are certain qualifiers for season completion, I can’t imagine what they would be.
For example, it can’t be a time skip, as Gurren Lagann uses a time skip without a second season, while Gundam 00 uses a time skip with a second season. Even Naruto uses a time skip to separate the seasons. It’s not enough to say “when the story ends” because any arc could be argued as a stopping point for a story. What could it be? Is funding simply the answer to everything? I refuse to believe that it’s the only thing determining how this is. What is your input on this? Am I over-thinking things? Is there some hidden aspect or meaning that I’m missing? When do you think is an appropriate time to end a season? Do you think that Guilty Crown or Death Note should have been two seasons? Or maybe you thought that Code Geass should be one glorious season (I don’t really think that >.>). Personally, I think that 24-25 episodes is a nice number for season length as long as there is a decent place in the story to stop.
Recently, I re-did my reviews page and I realized that I’ve actually done a decent number of reviews. So I wanted to pose a question about the format of my reviews. Up until now, I’ve been trying my best to avoid any form of spoilers when I write reviews, assuming that the reader has no knowledge of the show, and I wonder if that is a good approach. I still consider myself relatively novice at reviewing, so I’m curious to hear the opinions of others on the matter.
I’ve always seen my reviews as a way for people who dropped a show or don’t know a show to find out more about that show, or at least my own opinion of it. That’s why I try to avoid giving anything away. Still, when I look for reviews, it’s usually after I’ve already finished the show, so I’d almost prefer that the reviewer talk about certain points of the show and how they reacted to it. I’m almost getting an impression (may be true or false) that people reading my reviews are like that as well.
Of course, while it’s true that my approach to reading reviews is such, I have to step back and really think about it. I wonder if I avoid reading reviews before I finish a show because I know that there are people that use spoilers in their reviews and I want to be careful not to see them. If everyone was spoiler-free, I feel like I might be more inclined to read reviews to find out more about a show.
Let’s use an example. Last season, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon was a show that I started watching with basically no clue of its premise and plot. Because of that, the first few episodes ended up being pretty confusing, as I couldn’t tell the direction. I start to wonder how my impression would have changed if I had read a review beforehand with a foundation of the plot or something. But reading a review with a spoiler might not have made it so fun.
Still, spoiler-free reviews run into a lot of problems. I know that when I write reviews, I’m leaving some things or some people out to keep everything hidden, like if it contradicts an event in the first episode. For example, in the Code Geass review, I had a hard time deciding whether or not to mention C.C. because of what it would give away if I emphasized her.
So what do you think? Does my current style work? Should I make a switch and re-write all of my reviews? Should I burn myself out by writing two reviews for each show, one of each type? This would also be the place to list any other gripes you have with my reviews. I take feedback very seriously, so let it rip (be gentle >.>). I’ll write more soon, I promise!
So, with Symphogear late, let’s take a look at another mystery while we wait. So while it was tempting to talk about gg fansub’s addition of the Mameshiba ads in some of their releases, I meant this in a sort of blogging sense. Basically, I wonder about your opinions about the role of advertisements on actual blog websites. It’s not like you haven’t seen them before (unless you have a really good adblocker).
I know that whenever I tell my real life friends (yes, I have them!) that I write a blog, they ask if I make any money out of it. Part of this is because half of them are economics majors, but I guess that’s sort of the perception of the general public towards websites as a whole: that people make them to get money out of it.
Personally, I’ve always been against the idea of putting ads on my site, but I also dislike the people who think better of themselves because they do that. I can certainly see how ads can be a distracting thing on any website. But still, my omission doesn’t somehow make a better person because I don’t care for the revenue gain or something. In fact, I would like nothing more than to be paid just to watch anime and write blog posts every day. But in my opinion, the potential revenue I could gain from putting ads just doesn’t seem worth the hassle to me.
But I definitely understand that there are those out there that put a lot of time and effort into their blogs and would just simply like for something tangible to come out of it. I would never discredit anyone for thinking that sort of thing…it’s perfectly logical to expect some sort of compensation, especially when clicking an ad is optional and requires very little effort from the readers. What I don’t like, though, are people who put a bunch of ads on their websites and then ask that anyone wishing to be linked have few ads (*cough* Animetake).
In all, the important question is “what do you think about this?” Do you have an adblocker and just ignore the ads, so websites can do whatever they wish? Does seeing a single ad make you fly into such a rage that you never visit the site again? Are you the type of person that clicks ads out of sheer pity or sympathy for the webmaster? I imagine most people would be in that moderate category where they have a limit to how many ads they see before they get annoyed.
By the time you read this post, I’ll probably be in a plane headed back to America. But when I get back, I’ll be ready for the new season. So today, I wanna talk about fansub groups, who spend a lot of time enabling all of people like us that are too lazy to learn Japanese.
So before I started working with fansub groups, there were many things about fansubs that I never really paid attention to and I was wondering whether others were really looking into these sorts of things. Naturally, I saw things like grammar errors and spelling mistakes, which tended to give me a good chuckle.
However, recently I find I’ve started to naturally see timing errors with subtitles. Specifically, I’m starting to see when a timer doesn’t let the subtitles stay on the screen long enough or when the subtitles stay on screen during a major scene change when the person’s stopped talking. So I naturally wonder if these are things that people normally see or only after you find out about them?
Also, I wonder how people choose the fansub groups they watch for shows. I used to just watch whichever group released the subs first, but then I fell victim to gg’s troll subs (sigh…Hidan no Aria). Nowadays, I tend to watch Commie (just because they sub so many different shows), UTW, and Doki.
Do you find yourself generally watching the same group’s releases? Or is every series that you watch subbed by a different group? Or maybe you just follow the blue highlighting on NyaaTorrents? Maybe you know Japanese and have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m curious about what makes a popular fansub group popular.
And if you’re curious about these fansub groups and helping out, I know it can be difficult to jump in when the recruitment posts always have all these qualifications and whatnot. But I’d be happy to lend a hand where I can…I’m still fairly new, but I’d say I have a decent idea what I’m doing.
A final note: if you ever want to know which groups I’m watching, the urls for the screenshots I post usually have the group name in the picture name. And the big question I have for everyone reading this: what’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to subtitles? Anything you just really hate to see?