Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Posts Tagged ‘ writing ’

You’ve noticed it. Those series’ titles, those band names, and those Japanese celebrities with very particular spellings.

CANAAN is CANAAN, all caps, and not Canaan. LUCKYSTAR has that star in the middle if you can manage to remember the keyboard code for it. LoveCom has a different star, though many will make do with Love*Com. s-CRY-ed is not Scryed. NieA_7 is not anything but. Baccano! has an exclamation mark. L’Arc~en~Ciel is L’Arc~en~Ciel and not L’arc-en-ciel or Larc en ciel. They are tildes, not hyphens, and make sure you capitalize that ‘a’. Dir en grey fans spot the new and the ignorant by chastising those that write Dir en Grey or, heaven forbid, Dir En Grey. Yoshitoshi ABe always has that ‘b’ capitalized; he is never Yoshitoshi Abe. Someone once told me that hyde, the vocalist for L’Arc~en~Ciel, is spelt in unassuming lowercase when associated with that particular band, but spelt as HYDE when associated with his solo work. This doesn’t always seem to be the case, but that’s one hell of a confusing thing to remember, huh?

You're doing it wrong!

You're doing it wrong!

Being a grammar nazi and supremely anal retentive in general, of course I always do my best to ensure I’m spelling things the way they were intended to be spelt, but sometimes, it’s just a pain in the ass, and sometimes, it’s just impossible to tell.

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About a month ago, MyAnimeList revised its review system (this thread seems to have been damaged in the recent server problems; curiously, Xinil has chosen not to repost or fix it as he had done several other affected threads. I had to dig out this link from my browser history. Clicking the “last” post link on the page doesn’t work, though you can still manually navigate the thread up to page 8, after which it redirects you to page 1). This involved three major changes:

1) The hiding of the score breakdown for every review. Previously, every review on MAL showed not only the overall score, but the individual scores for story, character, animation, sound, and enjoyment. Reviews can still fill in the subscores… there’s just no way for readers to see them. (Later, Xinil conceeded and re-added the subscores, though users have to go through an extra click to get to them.)

2) The removal of BBCode support for all reviews. Reviews can no longer contain any kind of BBCode, including basic things like bold, italics, underline, and strikethrough.

3) The relocation of reviews on profile pages. Reviews are now to be accessed at the top of each user’s profile instead of from the side. Users can choose to favorite reviewers so that their newest reviews appear under a tab in their own profile.

A handful of people expressed their disapproval of change #3, but most of the dissenters were more concerned with changes #1 and #2, and I was among those ranks.

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Review: Spice and Wolf

November 24, 2008 Review Comments Off on Review: Spice and Wolf

I finally finished watching Spice and Wolf last week, so here’s the review for it. I can now say that I’m looking forward to the upcoming sequel of it. Hurray!

I seem to have this big issue with swapping tenses in my reviews. I’m never sure whether I should be writing them in past or present tense, so I inadvertently end up jumping around a lot, which is really annoying. (I’m sure most people don’t notice anyway, but I do when I go back to read them sometimes…) History papers are in past tense because we’re talking about the past. English papers are in the present because the book is fictional and we’re discussing it in the actual present. As far as I know, you should still use present tense even if its historic fiction. I suppose according to that reasoning, reviews should also be in present tense because we’re discussing it in the present and they’re fictional works… I just need to remember this next time I write. It’s way too much trouble to go back and fix everything I’ve written now… Bugger.

So I’ve been writing reviews for a long time, sometimes for websites, sometimes for no reason other than to satisfy my own obsessive compulsive ways. I had a brief stint years ago writing reviews for Kiji-Anime.com before they folded, but other than that, most of my stuff has been self-published in my personal journals and websites like TOKYOPOP.com and MAL. I was wondering if there’s really a difference in standards between casual reviews and “professional” reviews in magazines and news sites aside from the obvious stuff like tone and grammar. Maybe professionals should be more objective, but I think it’s kind of funny that there’s such a strong general belief that reviews should be as objective and unbiased as possible when a review is essentially the exact opposite — it’s an opinion, what the reviewer thinks of the reviewed work intended to give the reader an idea of what someone else thinks.

What people probably deem as objectivity is just a reviewer’s ability to explain and justify his assertions. Or, it could just be that the way some people write make it exceedingly obvious when they’re emotionally invested in a work and those are easier to pick from the crowd. This is especially true for anime and manga reviews because fandom is so prevalent in our subculture. It’s really hard to write with an objective tone for a series you really, really like, especially if you’ve just seen it and are cruising along on that fandom high. But I wonder, is that really so bad? Clearly if you like the series that much, you’re going to write a positive review regardless, but should your apparent enthusiasm take away from your analysis if you’re still able to provide reasons for why you liked it so much?

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