But first, a few fun statistics.
Top views to date by country: Third place is the U.K (which narrowly beat out Australia and the Philippines), Canada is in second, and first place easily goes to America. Happy to see that New Zealand is still in the top third of all countries though. Brazil, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia also all made strong showings.
Most popular search engine terms to date: Well well, ain’t this telling. ‘Yuri anime’ gets almost double as many searches leading to this blog, and it’s followed by the terms ‘yaoi anime’ and ‘yaoi animes’. In fact, of all the search terms in the double digits or higher, over half of them have something to do with yaoi, yuri, or pornography. Charming lot, you guys are.
Most popular categories/tags to date: Other than ‘anime’ (because that accounts for the vast majority of my blog posts), ‘review’ and ‘sexuality’ get by far the most hits, followed by a fair few specific anime/manga titles – surprise surprise, mostly of the yaoi and yuri variety.
Most popular posts to date: 5 Decent Yaoi Anime is waaay in the lead, followed by 5 Decent Yuri Anime.
Most commented on post to date: 10 (Allegedly) Unpopular Anime Opinions.
Top commenters: The top 5 are Guy (Geekorner Geekulture), Alex (Tsukiyo no Hikari), Buri-chan (San’in Monogatari), Vrai (Fashionable Tinfoil accessories), and John Samuel (Pirates of the Burley Griffin).
Well, that was… informative. And now, onto the meme.
1. Who is your favorite male anime character?
It’s a tough call, but I think I’ll go with Shizuo from Durarara!! – the ex-bartender with serious anger management issues, super-human strength, and a heart of gold. His short fuse and penchant for throwing around everything from road signs to vending machines is all the more amusing given his extreme dislike of violence, while his ultra-protectiveness of his younger brother, intense hatred of Izaya, and bromance-like camaraderie with Celty all make for some interesting (and often hilarious) relationships. It also doesn’t hurt that his character is voiced by Ono Daisuke and Crispin Freeman in the sub and dub respectively – two of my very favourite voice actors.
2. Who is your favorite female anime character?
Balsa from Moribito. I like pretty much everything about her – but particularly the fact that she’s a mature woman who actually looks, sounds, and acts her age. An extremely skilled spear-wielder who doesn’t see the need to wander around in tiny or tight-fitting clothes, Balsa is also intelligent and pragmatic, but not lacking in a wry sense of humor. Her at first reluctant but later almost motherly attachment to Chagum is depicted very well, as is her restrained but incredibly endearing relationship with Tanda.
3. What is your favorite anime soundtrack?
Almost anything composed by either Kajiura Yuki or Kanno Yoko is automatic win – Pandora Hearts, Tsubasa Chronicle, Noir, Madlax, Wolf’s Rain, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell … all fabulous. If I’m looking at complete soundtracks rather than specific songs though, .hack//Sign is probably my favourite. ‘Key of the Twilight’, ‘Fake Wings’, and ‘A Stray Child’ are my favourite tracks right now, but I also really like ‘Yasashii Yoake’ and ‘In The Land Of Twilight, Under The Moon’.
4. What is your favorite anime opening?
I have a lot of favourites, but the most immediate that springs to mind is the first Durarara!! OP. Theatre Brook’s ‘Uragiri no Yuuyake’ (‘Sunset of Betrayal’) is one of the single catchiest tunes to come out of J-pop/J-rock within the last decade – it’s jaunty and funky, and fits this fun but twisted and crack-tastic story perfectly.
5. What is your favorite anime closing?
Normally I’d go with something like Kuroshitsuji’s second ED (‘Lacrimosa’ by Kalafina) or the second ED to Tegami Bachi (‘Hikari no Kioku’ by Angelo), but the problem I have with so many EDs is that there’s no decent video accompaniment – just still frames or one constantly repeating scene. So for something that actually tells its own little story as well as being a song I really like, I’ll go with the second ED to Gundam 00 – Stephanie’s ‘Friends’.
6. What is your favorite anime scene?
Anything that literally has me rolling around the floor laughing or else bawling my eyes out, since I don’t do either very easily. There’s only one anime I can think of that’s done both in the space of a few minutes, and that’s Angel Beats!. Despite its sometimes bad rap, I’m not ashamed to admit that I found myself incredibly moved by this series, as well as immensely entertained. There are a lot of great scenes for me to choose from, but I think my favourite would have to be either the hilarious exam shenanigans of the SSS in episode 5, or the tear-jerker goodbye between Yui and Hinata in episode 10 – it really depends on whether I’m in the mood to giggle hysterically or else make a dash for the tissue box.
7. If you could meet any anime character, who would it be?
Clow Reed from Cardcaptor Sakura, perhaps? Being able to meet a bona fide magician – and an extremely powerful one at that – would strike me as being pretty damn cool, but I feel that Clow’s character is quite interesting in its own right as well. While much of his personality remains a mystery, it’s implied that he’s generally a happy person but also rather eccentric and mischievous.
8. What anime character is most similar to you in terms of personality?
Maybe Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh. Thankfully I’m not getting constantly bitten by my neighborhood cats (who I do indeed adore), but like Sakaki, I feel that my physical appearance doesn’t necessarily match my inner personality. I’m fairly tall, and when I was at school people often mistook me for being standoffish or a snob since I didn’t talk with my classmates much. In fact, I was just painfully shy. Here in Japan I get stuck with the ‘coolly confident’ label a lot, but it usually feels like nothing could be further from the truth.
9. What is your favorite thing about anime?
I suppose the general aesthetic. There’s of course plenty of artwork I don’t like, or that I think is just plain ugly, but there’s also a special, indefinable something about the general visual style of anime that draws me in. I first saw it in Sailor Moon back when I was a kid and it’s something I still see today, even though I’m none the wiser about precisely why I find this particular aesthetic so attractive.
10. What is your least favorite thing about anime?
Needless dialogue. So many great scenes are ruined by completely pointless talking or ridiculous monologues when silence would be far a more effective tool. Or we have characters explain things to other characters in scenes that are nothing but blatant excuses to get in awkwardly-timed info dumps. This doesn’t mean I necessarily dislike dialogue-heavy shows – I just prefer my dialogue to have an actual point, and for a series not to feel like it’s afraid of quietness. This is why I really appreciate anime titles that can and do use silence effectively; Studio Ghibli movies and shows like Usagi Drop or Mushishi come to mind when I think of this.
11. Who are your favorite anime couple?
I’m not a huge shipper, probably partly because I tend to prefer couples that are either canon, or are at least portrayed as realistic enough in the show to pass for canon if the audience isn’t explicitly informed of a relationship. For example, I think my very first ship was Touya/Yuki from Cardcaptor Sakura, which is easily canon thanks to CLAMP’s whole soulmate couple thing. And it’s been a while since I’ve watched it, but I remember thinking that Evangelion’s Kaji/Misato would have made for a pretty cute couple in their earlier years.
12. Who is your favorite anime animal?
Speaking of Evangelion. Pen Pen is pretty awesome – I certainly don’t know of any other warm-water penguins that live in extra freezers. He also watches TV, reads newspapers, drinks beer, and probably knows far, far more than anyone suspects. But I also adore Natsume Yuujinchou’s Nyanko-sensei, the straight-talking, sake-loving cat whose true form is an enormous and powerful Inugami.
13. What anime would make a good game?
I’m not a gamer, but if I was, I could perhaps see myself playing Sword Art Online or something similar. I like fantasy, and since the anime is already based around the idea of people trapped inside a video game, it strikes me as a fairly good option. (Yes, I do realise that SAO has already been adapted into game format. Which I haven’t played, never actually intend to, and know absolutely nothing about.)
14. What game would make a good anime?
Again, this is difficult because literally the latest console game I played was Pokemon HeartGold. Before that, it was probably Alex Kidd back on the Sega Master System, or Command & Conquer: Red Alert if we’re talking PC. I’m therefore basing this answer on design appeal alone rather than by how well a story could actually be adapted – in which case I could see myself going for a full-length Final Fantasy anime series, so long as the production qualities were high enough. Preferably VIII or X because of all the Shiny.
15. What was the first anime you ever watched?
Sailor Moon was the first title I watched without knowing what anime was. However, the first title I watched (albeit completely by coincidence) while consciously being aware that it was anime was the Evangelion TV series.
16. Do you think you’ll ever stop watching anime?
17. What is your favorite genre of anime?
I don’t stick to any one genre exclusively, but I’ve always loved fantasy – not just in anime but also in other forms of media. However, because I like it so much, I also tend to hold fantasy anime to higher standards. As a result, only a handful of my favourite anime are of this genre. I also have a big soft spot for slice-of-life shows.
18. What is your least favorite genre of anime?
Probably shounen battle anime, which seems to encompass nearly all of the shows that I either have a profound aversion to or otherwise succeed only in boring me. Whether it be animal battling (Pokémon), game battling (Yu-Gi-Oh!), or martial arts/magic/sword battling (Naruto, Bleach, Samurai Deeper Kyo), I just don’t tend to like them. Mostly this is because I just dislike most shounen action titles – and even more so if they’re long-running – and battle manga happens to be a very popular genre within that frame. There are one or two exceptions however, such as the gloriously over-the-top Sengoku Basara.
19. Are you open about watching anime with people you know?
To a certain extent. I have no problem owning up to the fact that I’m an anime fan if people ask me outright, but I’m a little careful about the level of my enthusiasm around those who I either don’t know well, or who I know for a fact are not fans themselves. For one thing, there are few things duller then hearing someone go on and on about a hobby that the other person has absolutely zero interest in. More importantly though, being an anime freak in Japan is more complicated than one might think. My very first article here on Otaku Lounge dealt with this exact topic.
20. Have you ever been to Japan?
I’ve been living here since mid-2012. I also visited Japan two years before that for a couple of weeks while touring around with my university-affiliated taiko group. (I don’t play taiko myself though; it was more of a ‘with the band’ kind of deal).
21. What anime was the biggest let down for you?
The conclusion to the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime was terrible considering how great the rest of the show was, but since Brotherhood more than made up for that, I’m not particularly bitter. I also thought of shows that lacked any kind of solid conclusion like Hellsing or Kare Kano, but I’m honestly not as bothered by these kinds of endings as many other fans seem to be. So I’ll go with an entire series that should have been good but wasn’t – Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. CLAMP, I love you. I adore just about all the characters from Cardcaptor Sakura too, so this alternative universe should have been fabulous. I certainly can’t fault the brilliant soundtrack, but ultimately the anime is a big disappointment, crammed as it is with uninspiring filler, glacial pacing, and still no conclusion after 52 TV episodes, 5 OVA episodes and a movie.
22. What anime was better than expected?
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. I watched the opening episode when it first came out and then promptly dropped the series out of disinterest. Some months after the internet had finished exploding, I tried re-watching it, this time with a couple of fellow anime fans at night on a big-screen TV. The first thing I realised was that this was some of the smoothest animation for a televised series I had ever seen. The second thing was that the first couple of episodes were nothing but a setup for the rest of the show, which is gloriously dark and still filled with eye porn.
23. What is the best anime fight scene?
I’m not a big action fan, but there are two major things I appreciate in a fight scene: realism (as in, generally adheres to the laws of physics) and not too much dialogue (because nothing spoils a good fight scene like pretentious pontificating). I’m sure there are quite a few fight scenes that adhere to this, but the two that I immediately think of are the spear fights in Moribito, and pretty much any of the fight scenes in Cowboy Bebop.
24. Who is your anime waifu?
I’m assuming a guy wrote this meme, so I’m going with husbando instead – Yue from Cardcaptor Sakura. Because not only is he prettier than an elf, a fairy and an angel all put together, but as seen in the anime, he can apparently clean a whole house remarkably quickly. Domesticity definitely not being my strong suit, I figure I should pick a husbando who would balance out my own deficiencies.
25. What was your favorite video game as a child?
No comment, see question 14.
26. Most embarrassing moment?
Peeing my pants on one of my first days at elementary school because I was too scared to break the silence in the classroom by asking where the bathroom was.
27. Can you drive?
I can, but I don’t like to. Moot point anyway really, since with my current New Zealand license I’m not legally allowed to drive in Japan.
28. Are you mature?
That depends entirely on who’s asking, and also on whether or not I’ve been drinking chocolate milk. But I’ll tentatively go with yes.
29. What year were you born?
30. Do you prefer cats or dogs?
I don’t dislike dogs, but cats are way better.
31. Describe yourself physically.
On the tall side at 177cm, blonde hair that’s currently styled short in a pixie-cut, tanned and slender thanks to all the swimming, blue/green eyes depending on the light.
32. What would you name your first child?
I’m not really sure why this meme is assuming I’ll ever have children, but I guess I’ll just roll with it. For a girl I’d probably go for Selene or Lilith. For a boy, Alec, Eli, or Leo.
33. What is the worst injury you have ever had?
I’ve never had any especially bad injuries – nothing I’ve been hospitalised for overnight, at any rate. The most painful one I can recall was when I was sledding on a mountain as a kid and hit a rock, jarring my body hard enough to bruise the bone in my lower right leg. As a toddler, I also earned myself several forehead stitches by jumping around on the bed and smashing face-first into the headboard, but I don’t remember much of that.
34. What is your worst habit?
My worst physical habit is my nail-biting, although these days it’s nowhere near as bad as it once was and now seems mostly stress-related. My worst internal habit is beating myself up when I feel like I’ve failed in some way.
35. Do you drink or smoke?
I’ve never smoked, and I go out drinking maybe once every couple of months with my coworkers. I’ve only been completely off-my-face drunk once, and I’m not eager to repeat the experience.
36. Do you have a tattoo?
I have two – one on my lower back, one on my left hip. The back one is a pair of wings that are sort of like my own version of yin/yang. The other is of a crescent moon with a Celtic design inside. They’re both small and simple but have a lot of personal significance.
37. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Definitely more of a night owl. I can operate in the morning if I need to and I’m actually pretty good at getting myself up and going early if I have no choice, but I usually feel most active in the evenings and love sleeping in if I can.
38. Have you ever slept past midday?
Yes. I used to work the night shift for one of my part-time jobs back in university undergrad, so I started at about 9pm and usually got to bed sometime around 4am. This meant that I often woke up sometime after lunch.
39. Do you regret anything?
I regret having not punched someone in the face when I was in elementary school. Or middle school. Or high school. It probably wouldn’t have mattered who – if I had seriously stood up for myself just once, even if it meant getting into trouble for it, I probably wouldn’t have the confidence issues I did back then, and to some extent still deal with today.
40. Can you count the number of friends you have on one hand?
Friends that I feel completely comfortable and relaxed around? Yes. Probably two hands if I include family members.
41. Do you wear glasses?
I used to. After I finished my PhD I saved up enough money to reward myself by getting laser eye surgery. Expensive, but one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
42. Are you a picky eater?
Not really. There are a few foods that I dislike (raw tomato, beetroot, asparagus, gamey meats), but even these I could eat if I had to. In general, I’ll eat whatever’s put in front of me.
43. Would you die for someone?
Right now? Probably not.
44. If you could have any super¬power, what would it be?
To be fluent in every language.
45. Do you believe in the supernatural?
I guess that depends on how you define the supernatural. I don’t believe in vampires or kappa or people who claim they can tell the future, and I also wouldn’t describe myself as religious. However, because I do believe that there are some things that can’t and probably never will be explained by science, the short answer is probably still yes. The long answer is more personal, but I’d rather not get into that here.
46. Would you rather be rich or famous?
In my daydreams I’m a famous rock star (even though I can’t sing for shit or even play a musical instrument anymore), but in reality I’m way too shy and thin-skinned to be famous on any large scale, so I guess I’ll go with rich. At least then I could design my own house with an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, not to mention my obscenely large anime library and team of appropriately pretty male masseurs.
47. Have you ever committed a crime?
Nothing beyond littering when I was a kid, or accidentally speeding as an adult.
48. Time traveller or ghost?
I’m more attracted to fantasy and the supernatural than to science-fiction, so if I was reading a book or watching a show, I’d rather the story be about a ghost than a time traveller. If it was me personally though, I’d much rather have the ability to travel through time than to come back as a ghost once I died.
49. Does someone have a crush on you?
Was this meme written by a 10-year old? In any case, I don’t know. Statistically speaking, I’m sure there are people that find me attractive, but unless I’m interested back or someone actually tells me they have a crush on me, then I don’t really view it as any of my business.
50. Are you in a relationship?
A romantic one? I expect that would be telling.
Question of the post: Purely out of curiosity, will you take this poll? I have a strong suspicion that the majority of my readers (and anime bloggers in general) are male, but it’d be cool to be able to get a better idea of who’s around. There is of course no way to stop people lying, but naturally I’d prefer if they didn’t. 🙂