Sound the Gong: Ogiue Maniax Status Update for August 2017

Otakon is this month! With guests like the director of Eureka Seven, JAM Project, and more, I’m unbelievably hype for this year’s convention. If you happen to spot me at the con, feel free to say hello.

Thanks to all of my Patreon sponsors!

General:

Johnny Trovato

Ko Ransom

Alex

Diogo Prado

Viga

Yoshitake Rika fans:

Elliot Page

Hato Kenjirou fans:

Elizabeth

Yajima Mirei fans:

Machi-Kurada

I want to talk about Twitter for a bit. In the past, I’ve never really had any of my tweets go wild; the most successful one I had for the longest time was this:

That was almost two years ago. But all through July, I’ve been hitting it out of the park in ways I hardly expected. I was never good at the social media game, so seeing my tweets go viral again and again is hard for me to wrap my head around.

Have I figured something out? Only the future knows…

Anyway, here are monthly post highlights:

 

Gattai Girls 6: The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Jeanne Fránçaix


After three long years, it’s finally the 6th entry in Gattai Girls review series! I look at mecha anime starring female robot pilots.

Pre-Evo Thoughts: Video Games vs. Chess Analogies


Gamers love to say that their favorite game is comparable to chess. But couldn’t we think through the analogy more?

Bootleg Products and the Defiance of Value


Bootleg stuff is often either demonized or written off as harmless, but what effects does it have on a fandom’s ability to grow itself?

Patreon-Sponsored

Aikatsu and the Power of Not Running Jokes into the Ground
The Aikatsu !posts continue! This month, I look at how great the humor is in this series. You might think I’m being paid by the creators or something, but it’s just that my biggest patron is a huge Aikatsu! fan!

Return to Genshiken

Return to Genshiken: Volume 4 – Ogiue Descends

Ogiue’s finally here! Starting this volume, I’ll be using the Japanese books along with the English ones for my re-reads.

Closing

Hopefully the next Gattai Girls post won’t take nearly as long. I’m waffling between… Patlabor and BBK/BRNK. What do you think?

Anyway, see you at Otakon!

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Twitter and the Control of Conversation Space

I’m sure that tons of people have commented on the idea of Twitter, what makes it unique, why it has been embraced where other forms of social media have failed. I, however, have not read any of those comments, and so everything I say is my own thought, even if it overlaps immensely with common knowledge.

When Twitter first started getting popular, many others including myself questioned the usefulness of it. We already had IMs, chatrooms, blogs, messageboards, maybe Usenet, and dozens of other ways to communicate with others and do that “online social networking” thing if need be. And when I first got my Twitter account, I did so because I was tired of not being able to read interesting conversations that were happening on it. Inevitably however, I started to participate as well. Not greatly, mind you. I still don’t tweet nearly as much as some of my contemporaries, but it’s more than I expected I would, kind of like how I didn’t expect myself to still be blogging after all this time. There’s a niche Twitter fulfills, and I think I know what it is.

Twitter’s most defining characteristic is likely its 140-character limit, which depending on your language can mean a lot of space (Japanese) or very little (English). This makes it a perfect match for cell phone texting and its usual 160-character limit and is part of why it is used by those who are a little less tech-savvy, but I think the 140-character limit is only a piece of why Twitter has caught on. The real appeal of Twitter in my opinion is that it is easy to control the space of conversation while leaving it open for others to jump in.

With Twitter, you follow who you want to by saying that you will follow them. It is an active choice to see the remarks of others. However, it is not in your control for other people to see your comments unless you purposely make your account private. However, not being the default choice means a lot here. Twitter can be both public and private at the same time, and it is up to the user to determine the boundaries of each. And by doing so, you have a situation where a conversation can begin one-on-one, but then another person can interject and deliver his or her point, and then another, and then another. But to those first two people engaging in that dialogue, it can still exist as a one-on-one conversation. What is being said and the scope of the discussion changes depending on who is reading and who is participating and who wishes to see the participation of others.

This is where the 140-character limit really comes in. It makes everything you say on Twitter bite-sized and easier to digest. While discussions can go on for a while, the point at which a person chooses to step in is in reply to one of those 140-word tweets, as opposed to say, a five-paragraph-long comment. Your words are already broken down into specific chunks, and so another person on Twitter can zero in on that, and while their reply can be in response to everything you’ve said so far, they have chosen to reply to that specific tweet and bring emphasis to it.

So basically, Twitter conversations can exist at multiple sizes simultaneously due to the brevity in encourages and the way the users can determine in their own space the number of participants. It is both a closed discussion and an open one, and yet your choices also do not impact the choices of others for the most part. There is near-total control, but that powerlessness over others is also what allows it to expand. And unlike chatrooms or forums you do not have to opt to ignore the words of another, as it is the default. Twitter is as comfortable as you make it.

Ogiue: The Bond Which Transcends Space and Time

A few days ago while doing my routine “Ogiue” keyword check on Twitter, I noticed that someone had created an Ogiue Bot on Twitter which sends Ogiue catch phrases every so often into the wild.

The creator of the Ogiue Bot also has a Twitter account of his own, and unlike me and my shameful Avatar-based betrayal, he sports an Ogiue icon.

When I saw it, my first reaction was, “Ooh, that’s a nice Ogiue.” My second and more important reaction, however, was, “This looks oddly familiar.” After a bit of memory-jogging and browsing old sites, I realized just how familiar it really was. That Ogiue drawing up there is one of mine.

You may remember a few months back when Anime News Network got their current Answerman that I sent in an Answerfans response where I talked about my communications and befriending of Ogiue fans in Japan. The above oekaki is from that period.

I have to thank Soramugi, as I had all but forgotten that image, and I’m especially grateful to him for liking my drawing so much. It was kind of an unreal experience just seeing a drawing of mine being used like that, and I know Soramugi is just as surprised that he got to meet the artist behind his icon. He even posted about it! You can also see our correspondence, albeit in Japanese.

I’ve got a good feeling, the kind of feeling you get when you know you’ve earned a comrade.

As an aside, I thought it was pretty cool that I was actually able to recognize my own drawing style.