meta: Critical Thinking

See in alphabetical order

2017


On Missing Out And Yet Not Missing Out 
How to stay honest and review what sincerely interests you, when there's so much out there that clamors for your attention
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2016


I'm Gonna Carry That Weight 
How I almost folded Ganriki.org's tent, and how I decided against it
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The Long And Winding Review 
Covering an ongoing series can become an exercise in minutiae or futility. Here's the strategy I chose to keep my involvement active without also having it eat me alive
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The Long And The Short Of It 
What kind of story is best told in a short form versus over the long haul?
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The Kids Are Alright (But The Grownups Are Cool, Too) 
On the benefits of anime featuring adult characters -- even if it isn't anime for an adult audience
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2015


What's Different This Time Around? 
How all the ways you change between re-watchings of a favorite show give you new perspective on old things
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(Video) Gaming The System 
Is it possible, or wise, to critique anime adaptations of video games as if they had come from from any other source?
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Meet Me Halfway, Would You? 
Fans shouldn't be peeved when material made to satisfy them first and foremost isn't welcomed by audiences with no obligation to meet that material halfway
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What I Did (Not Do) On My Vacation 
For the first time in years, I attended Otakon as a fan and not press, and felt none the poorer for it
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High Standards Or Impossible Standards? 
Do the impossibly high standards some fans set for anime come from the material itself, or from the way they're introduced to it?
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A 'Legend' Without The Myth 
With 'Legend of the Galactic Heroes' finally licensed for English release, it's all the more important to examine it critically, not reverentially
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Finishing Someone Else's Work 
When does it make sense to have others continue work left unfinished by the creator's death, and when is it best to just leave well enough alone?
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Making A Case For The Old School 
Is there any way to get around the prejudices of a modern audience that looks at a classic show and just sees something 'old'?
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The Live-Action 'AKIRA': Still A Movie Without An Audience 
Yet another attempt at a live-action 'AKIRA' has geared up, but the main problem remains: who would bother seeing it?
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Anime's (Partly) Crowdfunded Future 
Direct financing of anime, both original works and the distribution of reissues, has just begun to show both its limits and its promise
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Somewhere Between Spectacle And Sincerity 
What constitutes a 'classic' in anime, and what does it mean to define that?
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In Praise Of Slow Viewing 
Binge-watching has its pleasures, but so does pacing yourself -- especially when honing a critical mentality
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A Brain Has No Off Switch 
A critical mind, once engaged, is hard to disengage -- but needs to be counterbalanced by the will to be entertained
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Another Lowdown On High Praise 
More on how the hype cycle creates problems for fans and critics alike
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The Lowdown On High Praise 
How hyperbole for 'Steins;Gate' led to thoughts about how hyperbole can be counterproductive
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Why Sony's 'Robotech' Is A Better Idea Than It Sounds 
Of all the anime-adaptation projects contemplated by Hollywood lately, 'Robotech' stands a better chance than most of surviving the transition
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Yes To The Canon, No To The Sacred Cows 
Anime needs a canon, for fans both new and old-- but one that manifests as a process, rather than as a list
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Mistakes Are Not Unmade 
On learning from one's errors in the wake of the 'Robotech/Macross' article
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What We Talk About When We Talk About Anime 
Seven of the questions I ask myself about any anime, and the questions they in turn provoke
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Three Episodes, No Waiting 
Just how much of a chance should you give a show before you bail?
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How Gary Whitta's Live-Action 'AKIRA' Screenplay Got It All Wrong 
An interview with the screenwriter for the Western remake of 'AKIRA' only underscores all the more why such a project makes no sense
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On 'Princess Kaguya's Lack Of An Oscar 
What if the real meaning of 'Kaguya's Oscar loss is that we should stop waiting for validation from all the wrong places?
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Influence: Good, Bad, And Ugly 
There should be no shying away from how the influences left by our favorite works are not always good ones
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A Critical Path To Japan 
Is our enjoyment of anime enhanced by having an intimate knowledge of Japan, or is that something only those who call themselves critics should worry about?
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In Print Or Out Of Reach? 
Centering criticism of media around available, in-print titles is useful in the short run, but deprives both audiences and critics of real food for thought in the long run
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2014


Confessions Of A Not-So-Former Anime Crate-Digger 
How the near-disappearance of physical stores has transformed one of the classic pleasures of anime fandom: stumbling across hidden treasure
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One Year Of Ganriki, 30 Years Of Fandom 
On the first anniversary of Ganriki.org's launch, a look back at our initial year -- and anime's past thirty years
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Well, Is Anime A Genre Or A Medium? 
How people see anime, as genre or medium, says as much about how we label cultural experiences generally as it does about the beholders
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Does The Packaging Make The Fan? 
Why deluxe packaging and other such marketing stunts may make it harder for fans to express their devotion, not easier -- and not just because of the pricetags
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Why We Don't Need 'Objective' Anime Criticism 
What's needed in anime criticism -- and in most any good criticism of art or entertainment -- is to lay our prejudices on the table first
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All Aboard The Fandom Train 
Does introducing people to anime make them into fans, or does anime fandom arise more spontaneously than that?
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On Older Anime Characters: A Touch Of Gray Would Suit Us Anyway 
When will we see older characters in anime as things other than supporting cast members, comic relief, or objects of repugnance?
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Anime: Now A Major Motion Picture 
How the practice of shifting anime from TV broadcast or video to theatrical release first has delivered a new form factor -- and a new aesthetic
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Like Someone In Love 
Our love for things and our critical distance from them don't have to be in contradiction with each other
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Honor Between Thieves 
If Hollywood is allegedly plundering anime for ideas and inspirations, that only shows it has good taste -- but it's an awkward thesis at best
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The Wrong Kind Of Faithful 
Should adapting something also mean attempting to improve it, even when its flaws are a big part of how it is what it is?
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Why Miyazaki's 'Otaku' Problem Is Everyone's Problem 
A creative industry shouldn't be led by its own least common denominator of taste
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2013


Why There Will Be No 'Next Miyazaki' 
It's a mistake to use Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli as a yardstick for other anime creators -- and not despite their greatness, but because of it
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Cheap Thrills Or Lofty Boredom? 
How a 'good-bad' movie (and a 'bad-good' one) changed my thinking about Makoto Shinkai, 'Tekken: Blood Vengeance', and my own critical standards
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Just Like Me: The Otaku Protagonist 
Why a growing number of anime feature otaku as a protagonist, for reasons greater than audience identification alone
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The Spinoff Film Problem 
Why no feature-film spinoff of an anime series is ever going to work as more than a distraction
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