Introduction – “Just tell me where to sign.”
Greetings and salutations, gentle readers. I’m Passerby, your new writer here on Random Curiosity. That would make me the grotesque by-product of the recent recruitment drive, foretold in the prophecy. That’s all great, but as the fresh addition to the all-star cast you already have I’m apparently also going to have to moonlight as Lackey #1. Still, even as the redshirt, it’s hard to contain my excitement about this opportunity. Dearly did I wish to write for RandomC, and here I am. All it cost was my soul! What a bargain.
I am sure you are all wondering what manner of exotic beast has been ensnared for your entertainment. Hard to say myself. I hail from a strange and alien land girt by many seas. Some call it Terra Incognita. Some call it Australia. If I accidentally use some extra vowels or dip into nonsensical slang please chalk it up to distractions from our deadly native fauna. My background is in law and politics (mea culpa) with an unflattering stint in drama. Otherwise I’m the complete geek package. I read fantasy, play games, turn to ash in the sun. And, of course, I watch anime. Which is, rightfully, the important part. That’s what you’re all here for, right? My qualifications? My nerd cred? Gotcha.
To date myself: the first ‘anime’ I watched was a film (on VHS! How arcane!): Miyazaki Hayao’s Castle in the Sky Laputa. I was four. To put this premature development in context, I spent my formative years in Hong Kong. As everyone knows as indisputable fact, Hong Kong has historically had two great imports: opium and anime (ask your parents, kids). Only one of these was suitable kid’s entertainment so Saturday morning TV was occupied by the Japanese like it was 1941. As with the other young couch potatoes of my generation I devoured it all indiscriminately, but thanks to an art snob uncle I ended up watching more Ghibli than Gundam. Since I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying it was probably just robots shooting lasers either way and otherwise I just watched whatever was on TV at the time. After I moved to the Great Down Under, I naturally fell into the habit again. Get all the boring details on my modern anime viewing habits from my hastily assembled MAL. But tables are boring and my list sketchy so here are some TV series that I have loved: the sci-fi examination of the human condition that is Cowboy Bebop and its dystopian spiritual successor Darker than Black. The strangely coherent absurdity of Excel Saga and the gentle soul-cleansing of Aria. The introspective shounen adventure of Fullmetal Alchemist and the parental love drama of Clannad. And more, and not just anime. I also do videogames, manga and visual novels, feasting on an omnivorous diet of cross-cultural media.
Let me say this, though: it actually doesn’t matter all that much what my geek levels are (and frankly, it’s not even 9000). I’m no great scholar, no Professor of Japanese Animation. I’m not a font of sage wisdom or a celebrity tastemaker. I just like talking about what I love. What geek doesn’t? And I imagine all who visit RandomC to have at least a kernel of that passion. So here’s what we’ll be doing each week: I’ll write a slab of text and hopefully that’ll facilitate a free, honest and civil discussion of our hobby of choice. My promise to you all is that I’ll do my best to stay open-minded and self-aware. If I like something, I’ll try to explain why. If I dislike something, I’ll give it a fair autopsy. And I’ll try to stay positive and light-hearted throughout the entire affair, which I hope won’t devolve into just lampooning everything I watch. Let’s see what happens. It’ll be an adventure.
That’s enough out of me for now; I’ll see you all in my baptism by fire where I’ll be covering Persona 4 the Golden and, depending on the whims of the stars, Hanamonogatari. I’m open to all comments, criticism and general feedback and I’ll love to hear from everyone; please, you’ll be helping me. So at the risk of putting on airs, let us exchange the appropriate pleasantries: