This is a little post that I’ve had in my head for a little while. Especially since playing Anime Music Quiz at least once a week. It is a game that I play on Jon Spencer’s discord server every Thursday as some sort of ritual and group hang out. Get to talk about some of the going on’s of the anime that we enjoy (or do not enjoy) as we listen to the small snippets of openings and try to see if we can get the right answer. It is a fun game and I wouldn’t try that small amount of time for anything in the world, but it does make me worry about just turning the anime we watch into data points rather then pieces of art. A minor worry, but something to think about.
When it comes to anime data points, there is an even worse challenger put into the mix. Anime listing sites. Sheets that are just spread sheets just to keep track of the anime that I or anyone else watch just so there is a record somewhere. Not a problem in of itself because I have an anilist that not only holds my anime I watch, but reminds me when seasonal episodes come out each day. The problem is when it comes into something to brag about because one can hold so much credit having watched over 500 anime or 1000 anime series. Or the challenges that appear on some which turn anime watching into just data point gathering which kind of hurts that experience. (Not going to talk about some anime listing communities.)
That anime data point listing does translate to Anime Music Quiz quite a bit. Especially the anime list that you carry is added into the shuffle and/or algorithm for what shows up. So you can see in that way, considering that music is being played from your list no matter the setting, that the spread sheet is being turned into something. Some gamifying too, but that is the point as well right? The data points themselves turn into music data points where those who haven’t heard the song will remember those that they here. It is a game after all over fighting through data points. I do wonder sometimes if something is lost in art, which anime is, if this is a product of it.
Then again this is a recent of the anime we love, or don’t love, and just enjoying it for what it is. I sometimes think that my head really does push this thought a little too hard. Especially when we are a group of people that have fun playing and talking with each other with a little bit of competition to push things forward a little bit. Still, Anime Music Quiz is one of those rare games (at least in my mind) that helps boost remembering an anime series. Especially after watching so many series that not all of them stick in the head very well. So there is data points, but there is also the fact that its keeping anime alive in such a unique way that its nice to hear once again.
So in general, I suppose Anime Music Quiz is a good thing when played in the right contexts like everything else. Especially with someone like me who doesn’t want or pursue playing competitive in a way that takes it too seriously. I hope at least.
Oh, I remember playing something like this at the last con I went to! Of course the songs weren’t selected based on what anime the audience had watched, the anisongs were just picked at random. But I did remember that I had a lot of fun! And I won a chibi Naruto key chain.
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Oh, that sounds pretty cool!
I just had a lightbulb moment, reading through this post: is the anime community the only one that sanctifies the opening and ending music as much as it does? Even cartoons and movies normally call their opening “[this series’s] Opening Theme”.
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I wish I could have a complete answer to that. Especially when au of western live action shows or even cartoons don’t have opening themes anymore. The ones that do are kind of special.
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