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Juniper Berries, vol. III

Joutsenlaulu

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by , 3 Jan 2014 at 11:03 pm (106671 Views)
Does anyone remember who I am?

Recommended background music: "Last Train to Trancentral" by The KLF and "What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 2)" by DJ Shadow.

Does Juniper the Justified Ancient ring any bell? Right now I am feeling a little more ancient than back then, but not nearly as justified. Not on AnimeB, anyway.

A year and a half ago, I announced my plan to save "Juniper Berries III" by simplifying it. None of it ever worked out. Even in that very blog entry I stuck with my old practice, unwilling to let go of the style that had made this blog what it was.

There is a handful of reasons behind the downfall of "Juniper Berries". One of them is the fact that I read less comics to be reviewed. It might be said that serial art rose to become the chief ingredient of my pastime in 2005 or perhaps already 2004, and that it went down during 2012. I believe I have consumed more comics per year than the average Finn for much of my life, but that eight-year period was when my love for them defined me more than anything else.

Another reason, which was not that clear in 2012 but has become so, is that I have drifted away from the AnimeB community. The HKSS era, the Kalmar Union era, the NBB era and the AIVAS era... Six years or so in total, with a huge influence on my view of the world. The last one of my AnimeB eras seems to have concluded since Yonathen and H-rei gave up their everyday or weekly forum activities. And as I do not check back on a regular basis to see what is going on, it takes a lot more to start writing a blog entry even on the rare occasion when I have a recently finished comic plus enough time or obsession to put my views on this figurative paper.

Furthermore, there are no more long-running comics I would be following the way I used to follow "Megatokyo". As I have ranted earlier, Piro (Fred Gallagher) has become so slow at producing new pages that following MT does not feel like following any more -- even though the new material still means a lot to me. Meanwhile, Takako Shimura has given up both of her major works, "Aoi Hana" (Sweet Blue Flowers) and "Hōrō Musuko" (Wandering Son). This happened rather unexpectedly last summer, and I have failed to find out any reasons. While she has kept updating her blog until last November, Google Translate cannot quite handle it. It has shocked me that there are seemingly no western fan sites discussing what is up with her work since the big decisions. Piro's webcomic and Shimura scanlations have been the most notable long works of serial art that have hit me through the World Wide Web, and no real challengers have come up until today. There were things like "Rice Boy" by Evan Dahm and "Mystic Revolution" by Jen Brazas, but in the long run they did not speak to me in a similar way.

In these days, I have returned to the first volume of "Ōkami to Kōshinryō" (Spice & Wolf) by Isuna Hasekura and Keito Koume. Page 84 of the English-language edition brought back a moving AnimeB memory. "...Like so, like a wolf," explains Holo in one panel. Åh, I am sorry those days are gone.

Digging in the crates, there would be lots and lots of stuff to share with you folks, but I just do not have the time and energy. (It has surprised me that I can still write my faulty English this fluently.) One thing though -- I could not forgive myself if Hinnamon never heard about this: Almost exactly two years ago I put a lot of work into a most intertextual blog entry on "Raimu-iro Senkitan" (~ Lime-iro Senkitan), a war/magical girl/harem eroge with an anime spinoff, the story of which takes place as early as 1904. In my eyes, the concept of Raimu-iro Senkitan is pure greatness; every fan of "Strike Witches" should get acquainted with it, and it could even be that there would be no Strike Witches at all it it was not for Raimu-iro and a few other pioneering works. The bad news is that the first episode of the anime handles its harem clichés so clumsily it hurts. My good spirits regarding Raimu-iro took another major blow when I noticed that the superb AMV entitled "Raimuiro Senkitan Soviet March 0001", probably published by Wario257, had been taken down from Youtube. Let me share those favorites of mine I still can:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raimuiro_Senkitan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmTmm8Lu_2w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwgoZG8Ee04
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2bCeBks7G8

By the way, you should not forget that I used to be a thread necromancer. While this entry is intended to be the swansong of "Juniper Berries"... You never know what years to come might bring about.

Thank you, my dear readers, whether any of you will ever read this entry or not.

Updated 4 Jan 2014 at 12:03 am by Katajainen

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Comments

  1. Ammaranth's Avatar
    Swan song you say? Perhaps a black swan spreads its wings. Time teaches us the meaning of what Umberto Echo said when remarking that the most valuable books in his library were the ones he *hadn't* read. Though I think there's still room for dear old friends.

    Less philosophical, or at least less cryptic, I understand, at least in part, what you mean about how a medium can so define a period in one's life. Around the time when I was most active on AnimeB, there was a really great local anime club that met around here, and had a solid running track record of finding, watching, and finishing really good shows.

    I miss those times. I think part of what I miss the most was the consistency. Every week, we'd watch 1-2 episodes, or at most, a whole disc. I never liked to binge watch an entire series in one or two sittings. Things have more power, and more lasting effect if they are spread out over time. Watching in this way, a series has an even greater chance of getting interwoven in the fabric of our lives. I still remember some of the important events of my life which took place while the first run of Negima was being released -- I could even pin it down to which disc, and get the release date, and narrow it to the week, if not the day certain things happened.

    Such might make an interesting exercise. Now, with so little time, and so many other responsibilities, marathon sessions are the rule, because if I do get any free time, I have to try to maximize it, and watch as much as I can. Even in posting this, I am robbing this time from at least three other things, stealing a moment here, a moment there, like a thief in the night, sneaking away to dash off a few lines.

    But it is worth it. A little sleep deprivation is better than a little folding of the hands, I suppose. I hope you do continue to update this blog. Even if it does take years.

    Amm
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