Expansion/Reconstruction (LAB Notes)
Back in the the heady 2000s, (or the Aughts, as Wikipedia informs me) I wrote and managed a rather uninspired anime blog called LAB Notes. The LAB stood for Lyrinoir (my primary screen name) Anime Blog, and it was mostly just a place for me to complain about how most American anime fans were hurting the local industry by refusing to recognize quality anime and promote it. I wanted to prove that there was a significant segment of Japanese anime that could stand side by side with American primetime television and come out looking better, if only the entire genre wasn’t being dragged down by the misconceptions and stereotypes that anime has acquired.
At the time, I was marginally in charge of a college anime club, which I managed with more or less the same philosophy. Much to my chagrin, most of my membership didn’t care about what I perceived as quality and were just as happy watching shit as they were watching the the high quality stuff.
All of this is tangential to the fact that I really enjoy anime. While it is true that the weaknesses of the format are many, and a majority of the shows are horrible experiments into the depths of fan service, there still exists a worthwhile core of programs that are not only worthwhile, but just as valuable as classic Hollywood movies, top notch live action dramas or even literature.
And now I’d like to try my hand again at making that valuable core visible. Starting this Monday, Deconstructive Criticism will be hosting anime reviews. You will all be subjected to my slightly irrational love of Studio BONES, Kajiura Yuki, and anything by Watanabe Shinichiro. But the primary goal is to make these reviews accessible to both fans and the completely uninitiated. I’m not sure how that process is going to look exactly, but I hope that input from my readers will help determine the direction these reviews take.
There are some guidelines I know I’ll be using. We’ll be reviewing whole series, partly because of the time commitment needed to review individual episodes, but also because the best way to evaluate the quality of any multimedia work is to look at the whole, rather than the component parts which can vary wildly. The current goal is to post a new review every other week. Some of these series will be ones that I’ve watched before, and re-watched for the review. Others will be brand new to me, based on recommendations.
The first show on the block is Xam’d: Lost Memories. Let’s see how this goes.