Zalis's avatar

Zalis

  • The Midwest
  • Joined Jan 21, 2008
  • 33 / M

Nothing much to tell; I'm an ex-graduate student in his late twenties living in the Midwestern USA. I first became aware of this thing called "anime" in the late 1990s when Sailor Moon aired on Cartoon Network. Several years later in 2003, I starting collecting that show and eventually got into anime and its fandom as a world that I could immerse myself in. I try to experience a wide diversity of anime across almost all genres, and I hope to share that knowledge with others through reviews, commentary, and recommendations. Living the classic fanboy lifestyle of being unemployed and living in my mother's basement helps me achieve those goals, for those who were curious. But that won't last forever :( I'm also a convention junkie, attending as many anime cons as my time and resources allow me to afford.

Vital Stats:

Sex: Male

First anime that I knew as anime: Sailor Moon

Favorite non-anime movies: Pleasantville, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Meet Joe Black, A Few Good Men, most Disney animated movies without a number attached, with Toy Story 2 as a notable exception

Favorite non-anime TV shows: (from when I used to watch US TV) Friends, Survivor, Star Trek TNG, Dawson's Creek, any David E Kelley show (Picket Fences, Ally McBeal, Boston Public), the short-lived FOX series "Opposite Sex".

Some current US TV shows I occasionally watch: Liv and Maddie, Good Luck Charlie, Shake it Up

Favorite and only real-world news sources: The Daily Show & The Colbert Report

Favorite Drinking Companions: Captain Morgan, Jack Daniels, Ezra Brooks, Evan Williams

Favorite Drink that doesn't make me funnier, more outgoing, and more attractive: Mountain Dew

Non-Anime Hobbies: Roads/Traffic geekery, playing the piano, pre-1999 video games

Favorite Game System: Super Nintendo

Special Skills: Proficient/fluent in Spanish, reasonably competent in Japanese, trivia competition pwnage

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My thoughts on a few fandom issues:

Sub vs. Dub -- does it really matter anymore?? Seriously, ever since DVDs with both language tracks available at the click of a button supplanted single-language VHS tapes, it's been an irrelevant issue. I used to be a hardcore purist/sub fanatic, in part thanks to the bad English dubs I experienced in my "early fandom days" with Sailor Moon S/SuperS and Love Hina. All that changed in the fall of 2005. I had been checking out a few English dubs before that, but ADV's release of Ghost Stories (and its extremely liberal English dub) proved that "different from the original Japanese" did not have to mean "worse," and that the actors involved did in fact have some talent, especially when they weren't constrained to lines meant to be in another language. So nowadays I try to watch both langauge tracks whenever possible. While my main preference is still the Japanese+subtitles versions, the English tracks help keep things fresh for re-watches. People complain about how English dubs are edited/censored, but those people are living in past; only a few mainstream/mass-market titles ever get any editing, and even most of those get uncut releases on DVD.

Fansubs vs. Official Subs -- After picking up some Japanese from anime and then studying it actively for awhile, I can conclude that profesionally-translated subtitles are more accurate than fansubs, as a rule. Pro translators, aside from their experience and creditials in the Japanese language, have access to the written Japanese scripts, whereas fansubbers (until the recent advent of transport-stream raws with Japanese closed-captioning tracks) only have the audio. Plus the pros can consult with the original producers whenever things are unclear. But fansubs are hardly the shoddy productions that some make them out to be; in the cases where I've compared good fansubs side-by-side with the official subs, the fansubs came out only slightly behind. People whine and moan about how "ugly" DVD subtitles are, but that's only because they've been spoiled by fancy fansubs. I spent over a year watching anime exclusively on DVD, and I don't see how DVD subtitles cause "eyecancer" or anything like that. At least DVD subtitles always contrast with the image enough to be readable. Unlike fansubs, whose subtitles are often chosen to "fit" the anime by blending in with backgrounds, hair, and clothing rather than readability, which is the whole point of subtitles in the first place. Beyond that, official subs are nearly always intelligible to the average viewer who doesn't know Japanese, By contrast, some fansubs are so full of untranslated Japanese that they practically become "fan-closed-captioning." See Otaking77077's YouTube documentary, "The Rise and Fall of Anime Fansubs" for details.

So what I value in any translation, fan or official, are "liberal" subtitles that actually resemble spoken English, rather than sounding like literal translations that try to duplicate Japanese sentence structures and wind up as awkward, broken English. To me, it's more important to preserve the intent of the original Japanese than the composition of the original. In short, I prefer "a.f.k. subbing" over "Eclipse subbing." And that's what you can expect from any fansub release where you see my name in the staff credits.

To buy or not to buy -- I don't condemn anybody who DLs fansub or R1 DVD-rips, because I'm not above doing either of those things myself. It's natural to want to see television programming before making a decision to buy it or not. Excel Saga director Watanabe "Nabeshin" Shinichi counters this argument by saying "Ever seen a movie trailer? They don't show you the whole movie, do they?" Yeah, well do the producers of TV shows like Lost or Heroes make one episode available to the public (or worse, as is often the case with anime, a 90-second trailer) and then expect the public to pay 30 cents per minute to see the rest of it? No. And it's worth noting that one of Nabeshin's recent shows, Nerima Daikon Brothers, didn't sell that well (according to anecdotal evidence), despite the fact that it was never fansubbed.

So not everything we see is necessarily worthy of paying collectors'-level prices for. But I see an extreme mental disconnect between highly enjoying / falling in love with an anime and not spending a single dollar/euro/whatever on it. In these troubled times, the anime industry worldwide *needs* its fans to support it, whether it's through buying original Japanese (NOT "IMPORT" BOOTLEGS!!!) releases or legitimate overseas releases. I know many have issues with the North American licensee companies or other foreign distributors, but at the end of the day, the presence of more money in the system can only be a good thing for the Japanese producers. So I advocate putting more money in that system by buying anime if it's available and affordable in one's area. And if that area happens to be North America, anime has never been cheaper, thanks to all the bargain-priced re-releases and initial-release season sets that are coming out these days.

Life on anime

  • 46 Minutes
  • 9 Hours
  • 4 Days
  • 3 Weeks
  • 9 Months
  • 0 Years

Anime ratings

  • 5
  • 4.5
  • 4
  • 3.5
  • 3
  • 2.5
  • 2
  • 1.5
  • 1
  • 0.5

1,221 total

Comments

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youkais says...

I loved your profile, it is like a real profile.

I will take a look on your list (I speak spanish too)

Aug 17, 2011
mentalstatic says...

I consider myself a pretty die hard anime fan but jeebus christ, where you find the time. respect.

seem to like similar anime, nice to meet you

Nov 23, 2010
kureshii says...

Just wanted to point out that your anime ratings distribution is the closest to a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution that I've seen from any ratings distribution, lol.

Apr 8, 2010
rigel says...

Hey there! Just randomly clicked on recent user activities thingie and saw that you have 728 shows watched, I envy you! I hope to catch you when I grow up to your age, heh. I also saw Fafner is your no 1, I agree its a damn good show

Mar 22, 2010
Kari5 says...

(Im Kari5 from the forums)

When you finish writing the symopsises for those SW OVAs PM me on the forums with them, so I can email them to Sothis in one email.

Jan 20, 2009