Now This is Only My Opinion the Fourth

May 31st, 2007

Here we go…

1. What is the harshest criticism you received for Shoujoai ni Bouken (and/or Saiyuu no Ryokou), and how did you respond to it?

A very sweet fan accosted me over why Yuriko, although Japanese, has blonde hair and blue eyes. My stock answer has always been, “because I like blondes” but that didn’t satisfy her. So I tried to explain that it was like a manga, you know – crazy hair color…but she was no less unhappy with that. At that point I was out of reasons and she started to get insistent that I have a better, more sensible reason. After nearly half an hour of this, I ended up protesting feebly that it was fiction and she’d just have to accept it.


2. What do you consider to be the most irritating and pointless pairing in all of Yuri?

All of the ones that don’t make any sense.


3.What’s your favourite piece of fanfiction of all time (that you or someone you know didn’t write)?

Case of the Philosophers Ring. Sherlock Holmes meets Aleister Crowley. It’s out of print now, sadly. It’s a total wank. But at the time I read it, it seemed brilliant. The key to fanfic is to write in a fandom that has gone out of copyright – Sherlock Holmes fanfic writers have all the luck.


4. Pepsi or Coke?

Nice cup of tea.


5. Meeting eyes across a crowded room or dark smoky bar?

Caught you looking at me in the stacks in the library.


6. Where did you meet your wife?

Mrs. Welty’s American Indians class in middle school.


7. What advice would give to another human being?

Don’t take yourself seriously. Never, EVER use absolutes. It’s not personal.


8. So, who is this “A. Niles Bocon” person, and why are you using his email?

Obscure alchemist, best known among devotees for developing a foolproof system for turning gold into lead.


9. If you could have a plushie of any one character (not of your own creation, but any other book/anime/manga/movie/ova, etc are fair ground) who would it be, and why?

A talking Friday Monday plushie complete with pathetic evil laughter. If I can do real people, I’d want an Adam Smith (author of Wealth of Nations) so I could beat the shit out of it every once in a while.


10. What kind of world will we be living in? in 50 years? 80 years? (or the kind of world you see yourself in) Apocalypse?

The same. Only with slight differences.


11. What is your favourite anime/manga that doesn’t have even the slightest trace of yuri in it?

Hands down, no hesitation, Patlabor.


12. What do you usually have for breakfast?

Half a bagel with cottage cheese and coffee.


13. Where is that “Nonsense! I don’t agree” picture from?
There’s no source for it on that page, though.


14.What is the stupidest thing you have ever done?

Followed a kid we didn’t know into the souq in Cairo to go to a store that (hopefully, supposedly) sold belly dancing stuff, because the wife wanted to shop. If he had led us straight to a slaver, no one would have ever known what happened to us.





15. What’s your middle name? (if you refuse to respond for reasons of identity theft, I’ll understand)

Lee – I’m named after a grandfather and a great-grandfather.


16. Why do people still use Yahoo! and AOL? (or more appropriately, why did they ever use them in the first place)

Free and OMG! Free CDS!


17. Should i really be concerned about sodium benzoate in soda pop?

Among other things. To be on the safe side, stick with water, or failing that, grain alcohol.


18. What is your favorite place on Earth? What is your least favorite?

Most favorite: My house, followed closely by Ikebukuro, Tokyo and Brecon, Wales. Least favorite: Ohio and Florida.


19. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

No. Not even a misdemeanor. But if I did, I would hardly tell you, would I?


20. Do you find that people respond differently to you when you talk about your “wife” as opposed to having simply referred to her as your “girlfriend”? Or did you always just call her your wife?

No one really reacts around here these days. Except to say, “what’s her name?”


20. When are you going to summarize next Marimite novels?

When I get around to it.


21. Serious. I have been thinking for some time and come up with a theory: Any series that markets itself _primarily_ as ‘yuri’ or ‘yaoi’ is going to be, at best, second rate – for the same reason that we are knee deep in asinine Harem animes. For example, Utena contains a strong yuri component, but that isn’t what the series is about primarily; similarly, Tokyo Babylon contains a strong yaoi component, but, again, it isn’t what it is about primarily. And both of those are first-rate. Yet, anything that tries to base itself _primarily_ on that will, at best be second-rate – witness Simoun, Devil Lady.

Your Thoughts?

I think I pretty much disagree with all your specific comments while mostly agreeing with your premise. I think Simoun and Devilman Lady were brilliant – and the latter was in no way marketed as Yuri. Nor do I think Tokyo Babylon was anything like good. I found it inexplicable and stultifying. I also disagree that marketing is why we are knee-deep in harem anime. The reason we are knee deep in harem anime is that the large bulk of anime fans are guy who dream of being surrounded by girls with crushes on them.

I don’t think there have been very many good Yaoi/Yuri anime because there aren’t really that many *good* anime in general. It’s a matter of percentages. And, apparently, taste.


21. First Spurious question: What the most annoying type of Yuri fanfiction out there?

Anything that pairs two characters together that shouldn’t/couldn’t/can’t be together. I don’t think a story has to be realistic, or even possible – but it should be plausible. Pairing two characters that show no sign of any feelings for each other is just…weird.


22.Do you believe in fundamental gender differences between men and women? If so, then how?

I believe in fundamentals differences between people. And similarities. It’s awfully complex.


23. What yuri manga do you believe would make a great feature film? Maybe specifically an American feature film?

The Japanese can make movies of their manga, because they don’t mind nothing happening, or strange pacing. For any manga to be made into an American live-action, it would essentially have to be rewritten completely, thus rendering the question moot. I’d personally find Maya no Souretsu to be a great over-written, campy, creepy, late-night horror movie, though.


24. I’m scared of getting old, really, I feel life can have gruesome ways of pressing, so.. any advice/info/insult on this?

Getting older rocks. And really…what are you going to do about it anyway? Worry about something you can do something about.


25. Why do you think boys like Yuri? (and I’m talking about non-hentai yuri)

Girls are pretty, soft and smell nice.


26. Based on their characterization, what do you think are the chances of Sachiko and Yumi ending up together (not necessarily in the novels themselves but at least in the imaginary “after the novels” time)?



27. here’s a question I’ve been asking myself for some time, and I’ll use this occasion to ask it to you. I’m sorry if someone already asked it before.
As a fanfiction reader and writer, what do you think about the concept of throwing the cast of a comedy in a dark and dramatic story?

The wife and I did it in reverse once. ^_^

Writing “hand of god” tragedy is the easiest thing to do. Writing comedy is hard – writing farce that’s even remotely amusing is next to impossible. Writing comedic characters in angsty situations is what nearly every fanfic writer in the world does to start.


28. What does IMHO mean?

It means “In my humble opinion” but I’m not likely to ever be accused of being humble, so in my case I use the alternate “In my honest opinion” which is completely true.


Well…you know, I was kind of disappointed with your questions. Not very funny, really. You all need to go back to comedy improv class. For the ones I thought weren’t going to be fun to answer, I asked my wife to answer them instead. Because *that* is comedy. ^_^


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10 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    A follow up question: Why don’t you like Florida?

    I was born and raised in South Florida, and while it has changed dramatically over the past 27 years, I feel is has a lot to offer. Lots of people seem to feel the way that you do about my lovely state, so I’m curious as to your reasoning.

  2. Because it’s hot. Don’t take it personally, plenty of folks hate New Jersey – and we like it that way. If people knew how beautiful it really is, they’d want to live here and we really don’t ant them too…. :-)

  3. Fanusi Khiyal says:

    *laughs* For all the kvetching about the lack of humerous questions, I notice you skipped over mine about the Cardinal Ratzinger fanclub t-shirt.

    Which I maintain is one of the most amusing ones around.

  4. I’m sorry, but I didn’t think it was as funny as you did. I’m not against bashing absurd thought, but bashing religion, religious fanatics and religious figures publicly is just poking sticks at bicycle wheels to cause an accident. Not good comedy at all.

  5. kaei says:

    We’re sorry to disappoint :D In order to prepare for next time so as to get a better sense of what amuses you, which of the following do you consider funny?

    Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert/Bill O’Reilly/Paris Hilton/Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan/The Oscars/The Tonys/The Wing Bowl/Pizza/Sushi/Politics/Canada/South Park/Lucky Star/Crayon Shinchan/Ebichu the Housekeeping Hamster/2008 Olympics/2008 Presidential Election

  6. Anonymous says:

    No! I wanted to cry when you said you didn’t think…Sachiko and Yumi would…stay together…waaahhh. All my misguided teenage hopes resided in them…How sad is that.

    And I would like an Adam Smith plushie to beat as well. I hope you dislike him as much as I? The death of creativity and individualism…

  7. Fanusi Khiyal says:

    >>I’m not against bashing absurd thought
    *blinks* To be honest, I didn’t see it that way. I own one of those shirts, and it just strikes me as one of the more interesting t-shirts out there.

    I mentioned it for more or less the same reasons that I mentioned to Erin of “And Shine Heaven Now”. Sorry if it appeared I was being offensive. I just thought it might work well with a certain kind of rather cool character (witness Yumie/Yumiko and Heinkel in Hellsing).

    Sorry about that.

  8. No need to apologize – and you didn’t offend me at all, not in the least.

    Okazu, for better or worse, is a public space. I have to be willing to stand up to any scandal/confusion/outrage I cause with my words. Which means I’m going to pick my battles.

    The idea that one religious nut cottons on to your question and my snarky response, and starts a campaign about how this lesbian heathen is bashing the Pope…the image isn’t pretty.

    Pope jokes are Jay Leno material, anyway. Not really fun for me.

  9. Anonymous says:

    For whoever wrote this:

    “25. Why do you think boys like Yuri? (and I’m talking about non-hentai Yuri)”

    Let me add that IMO for some it’s a kind of solution to emotional repression. Men (in the US at least) are taught that male heterosexuality is incompatible with intense affection (unless expressed in a “male” way, which is double talk more often than not) and that women are the more emotional gender; and Americans in general are taught that romantic love must involve and be a cover for sexual desire. None of these ideas are true, but people get drilled in this from an early age. Men especially – they absorb the example of their fathers’ behavior, and it gets reinforced through peer socialization. By the time they are adults it’s just one of those things “everyone knows” – men “can’t” really love other men without being homosexuals.

    This isn’t true, of course, but they can’t admit it without endangering their identity, so they repress it. Until they see an example of it among women, because that scenario involves the other gender and is therefore non-threatening to them. And then they exult over MariMite or something similar, for no clear reason.

  10. Anonymous says:


    i could’nt have agreed more with your answer in #25

    just to add a bit of guy perspective (if thats ok…) the reason why i like Yuri is mainly after watching fat lots of anime…i always get that aftertaste that the main guy seemed undeserving of getting the main girl cuz he was pathetic and that another girl also rocked in that anime and then those girls shouldve just ended up together.

    Which is a totally immature perspective and obviously…will never happen in “for *all* males” anime.

    So here comes Yuri…:D

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