I’m afraid I have to show you something. I’m unable to prevent myself. And, I’m aware that, in total, I will not be bringing you joy. No, in fact, what I offer you is a vacancy.

However, I would point out that the road I point to you now is paved with joy. Pleasure is what has shaped the bricks that you will walk upon, so in that, at least, I am satisfied.

That’s actually a lie. I just have to show you this shit.

I should get this out of the way right off the bat: there is no last chapter to the story I’m linking here for you. And, let’s be clear: the lack of that final chapter is the origin of the suffering I mentioned above.

Yet, if you are wired as I am (and, if you’re reading this, I gotta assume there’s a reasonable amount of correlation there), after seeing

Mario Brothers – Part I

you will be unable to prevent yourself from treading, in full knowledge, into the empty abyss that awaits you.

Here’s the path: Mario Brothers – Part II, Mario Brothers – Part III, and… uh, Mario Brothers – Part IV

I’ll put this here, just to fuck with you: Mario Brothers – Part V.

And, if you are one of those lucky bastards who don’t mind a tale with no end, who can cavalierly accept the joys of the moment, without needing a closed, meaningful resolution, then fuck you, and the horse you rode in on. I’m not jealous of you, and I wouldn’t admit it if I was.

Have you watched at least the first one? Go watch it. Yes, all the way through.


So, here’s something I want you to think about. The startling thing to me about this kind of presentation is that the amount of emotion I’m capable of generating over this stuff is roughly equivalent to the emotion I churn at a pretty good movie.

But that’s people. This is a flash animation of a 2D side-scroller.

The same principle applies, I think, in anime. Anime as a style has distilled the communications necessary to generate emotion in the viewer down to their barest essence. Sudden shot of dramatic event (say, building collapsing), with our hero in frame, seeing what we are seeing… flash cut to their face, with pure amazement and/or fear, shaking camera… and that’s all it takes. Amazing thing… character we empathize with in presence of amazing thing… emotion of said character… yaaaay! Entertainment!

There’s more to say about this… specifically about how American media differs in their approach, but it’s complicated, and I haven’t really gelled the thought yet. Maybe later.