[Review of Funimation Series 'Shuffle.']

Asleep an hour because chatter [question prompt for writing group], that's why.

Why review an anime and call it inspiration?

Is magic an excuse for the stylishness of pointy ears, or vice versa?

Who cares? No excuse is needed for a panty shot or thirty.

[image of Shuffle characters missing]

What it lacks in creativity, even cohesiveness, it more than makes up for with unpredictability and urgency. Frankly, I look for (and very rarely find) anime that challenges conventions beyond even its own genre. This is therefore not the type of thing I'd buy, but it was the kind of thing I'd lose sleep to keep watching. Shuffle's classic one-two-three punch of slapstick-titillation-tears begins as a rousing shadow bout, but gradually takes off its gloves, then puts on brass.

Only anime can capture that ineffable quality of a kids' cartoon for grownups, and perhaps that's why it wields the 'harem' theme so well. What is four or more girls vying for one guy but a "have your cake and eat it too" fantasy? As sexist, even misogynist as it may seem, the guy in these love polygons is rarely a womanizer. If anything, he is shy yet intensely supportive of any girl in any of his corners.

To Shuffle's credit it does address, though sparsely and perhaps shallowly, the dangerous complexities of both shared and suppressed love. For better or worse, though, the ceaseless intensity of the characters' emotions makes it as impossible to assume as it is to dismiss their sincerity. They often become parables then parodies and back again until it all seems like a perpetual crusade for the holy land of Love where nothing can grow for all the commotion. Qualify the differences between love and worship how you will, but worship is ultimately a form of objectification no matter how divine, or devout. An idealized cartoon, however, by virtue of being that much more a character, that much more an icon, an object, may yet prove an ideal subconscious tool rather than a conscious manual.

Do any other narrative genres/mediums, by their very nature, weave themselves more effectively into certain themes?

[Much Later]:

Art is Magic. Fanfiction is Black Magic

Today was the day I was ready to set down and move on from the fanfiction chapter I've been trying to move on from for half a year. The chapter involves a character doing a strip tease to Type O Negative's "Christian Woman."

Yesterday Peter Steele, leader of Type O Negative, died.

In early and mid Junior College, I thought I could fight my TV addiction with a vow coinciding with the airing of the last episode of the Tenchi Universe series. From there I went online, found character tributes, and fanfiction. From there I vowed to write a fanfiction that would surpass and dominate all others. By this time I'd stopped physical self-mutilation, but the process of finishing that story was only so much pushing loathsome toward awesome that my concept of myself as a writer still makes me want to die as much as it makes me want to live.

Full circles come around easily, so I planned to write a fanfiction again, 'for fun', to let myself grow, vent, etcetera. When interest in that story fell away, I dwelled, swelled, expelled, tried drastic mental exercises and rituals, tried new feats of procrastination, and now I'm here, ready to move forward because there's nowhere else to go.

This Synchronicity with Mr. Steele makes me look at myself, my work, and the entirety of existence. I want to write like a writer, not someone who believes that if they write with enough hate they will undo and redo the written word and reality itself.

I'm going to finish this anime fanfiction


I'm going to try to get attention for it, but I will let it be and do what it will.