On trolling, shipping, and living
You must forgive me for my excursions into the world of ‘fansubbing (and subsequently trolling):’ the past weeks have been crammed with deadlines and requirements to be submitted that I didn’t want to even think about anime. I haven’t exactly turned my back on anime; I am still quite the avid fan of it, but it has had taken a back seat to my academic responsibilities. I’m not even killing myself studying: on the contrary, I just performed whatever was necessary of me so that I could be one step closer to graduation. Do not take it as laziness, however: I have had sleepless nights just to prepare for the examinations (I just had three). What I meant was that while I could have done a lot better with my studying, I did what I could in the time that remained. As could be expected, I (think I) didn’t perform well in two of those exams: I had to prioritize a subject, and I prioritized physics. Aside from being my forte, physics has also the most gravity as regards my weighted grade this semester. I’m hoping that I don’t get atrocious scores for the other two subjects, but I did study enough to avoid failure in the worst possible way.
Our supposed logo for Houseki, if only it didn’t offset the audio
This attempt on ‘fansubbing,’ however, did take a toll on my studying. I did waste hours of my precious time attempting to polish our fansub, and these were hours which could have informed me more as regards my exams. I have no regrets: the attempt was a most enjoyable diversion from the hell of academia that every university student suffers as the end of the semester approaches. While some people take this stockpile of headaches to be a challenge, I’m part of the majority who thinks it to be something abominable.
The idea of what to sub (and dub) was of course entirely mine. The subbing, however, wasn’t only done by me. In fact, I am perhaps the member who has done the least in the creation of the fansub (although I did waste some important hours which should have gone into studying for one of the other exams): I only quality checked, and that wasn’t doing much. The script was short and stupid, and I did not need to elevate its dialogue into Kantian disquisition.
The art and the production of the ‘anime’ also wasn’t anything to be proud of. My dormmates (and friends) laughed their way through the ‘OVA;’ one of them, who draws really well, wouldn’t have sat beyond the second minute if we weren’t there to goad her on. I think the crew of the fansub, from RyanA to even `Nergal (who was really helpful in ‘spreading’ the ‘anime’), did it primarily for the laughs, and while I couldn’t speak for the rest of Bejeweled, I often found myself in paroxysms of laughter. I guess I understand why Owen trolls all the time: it’s really exhilarating.
Even at this resolution, can you not see the QUALITY?
Our ‘mode’ of trolling, however, wasn’t really provocative or controversial. I believe it was a deliberate yet practically harmless attempt at sharing the fun to others. It must be admitted that if one looked at Houseki (or Jewels) as a travesty of anime, one cannot help but laugh. In the back of my mind, aside from our target of lulz, I had wanted people to appreciate what they called ‘bad anime’ more.
There are some people that bash a whole lot of anime series just because they think it’s bad. I guess I’m among those people, seeing that I bash Code Geass R2 most of the time. I still think it’s bad; but I am genuinely entertained by it. Beneath all the unresolved plot threads, beneath all the perplexing (wut) moments, beneath all the FABULOUSNESS and whatever stupidity it contains and has contained, I absolutely love it.
I love how CLAMP designed the female characters in Code Geass; I love laughing at the bathos and the excesses; I love poking fun at the pseudo-tactics and chess! Most importantly, however, I love rooting for happy endings, especially for couples that I think deserve it.
I love rooting for CC and Lelouch. While this has serious repercussions if ever R2 ends in tragedy (i.e. CC and Lelouch not ending up together), I am optimistic that they will get their happy ending. Romance always has been a draw for me when watching any anime series: in the end, I won’t mind a bad anime series as long as they end their series excellently with regard to the romance of their characters. Also, in the end, I would love an excellent series all the more if it tugs at my heartstrings (I sound homosexual that way, but yes, I’m not joking).
The discovery of Houseki set things into perspective for me. I realized that despite the existences of universally panned series (in terms of art and animation quality) like Yoake Mae, they are still more than notches above than insults to animation such as the former. I’ve gotten to realize that despite the inconsistencies of R2 it remains to be a very enjoyable watch with notable production values.
Animated, for your pleasure!
I’m sure most people look askance towards this idea of romance in R2, arguing that the series is nothing more than a Sunrise troll, a trainwreck, or not really about romance. These objections are quite valid. I’m not, however, arguing the ontology of R2; whether it’s truly a Sunrise troll, a trainwreck, or ‘not really about romance’ are objections against the quiddity of R2. I view the romance in R2 as something that exists because it is something that I perceive, and in that something that I perceive I believe there is meaning. I am also a firm believer that love power saves the universe. I’ve said it then, and I’ll say it again.
Is it inhuman of me to wish for the happiness of two people who I believe has been jaded by their existences? I think not. On the contrary, I would even argue that this is an ethical wish: qualitatively speaking, I would side with providing a woman who has not found love for more than centuries the affection that she seeks yet conceals than a woman who is in the spring of her youth, a woman that can swoop any man off their feet. This is because only Lelouch knows what CC truly desires, and I believe it is only him who she trusts could provide that affection.
Of course, this is all a matter of optimism. For all I know, she may die this Sunday (although I think Sunrise’s buildings will burn if that happens). Still, it’s one of the few remaining draws (at least for me) for R2: a love that persists despite suffering and tragedies is a love that will transcend even life. 🙂
P.S. I am grateful to our fansub team who have done their best to bring what we aimed into fruition. Cheers!