This week I caught up with popular online blogger Artemis, owner and operator of Otaku Lounge. We discuss her life as an anime blogger, her thoughts on various films, and advice for anyone looking to get into the blogging world.

Artemis brings her wit, creative content ideas, and excellent writing ability (not to mention a PhD) to the anime blogging world and really makes some amazing stuff.

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How long have you been blogging about anime?

I first started Otaku Lounge in April 2013, although for a couple of years before that I had been writing about anime on my personal blog on LiveJournal.

What is your overall philosophy about anime blogging? (Why do you do what you do?)

Anime has been a passion of mine for many years, and sometime after finishing my PhD on the topic of representation of sexuality in anime, I decided I wanted a space where I could write about anime in a much more informal and less academic way. I also see anime blogging as my way of being part of a wider community. I was never one for posting on forums or directly involving myself in any specific fandoms, but blogging probably gives me a similar sense of belonging.

What do you like about anime? Like, what sets it apart from other mediums like western television or film?

Even after all these years, that’s still a question I struggle to answer. Part of it is definitely the distinctive aesthetics, which attracted me to the medium as a kid long before I knew what anime even was or that it was a product of Japan. And although this is becoming more common in Western animation, I also like that mainstream anime – sometimes even those aimed at quite young audiences – isn’t afraid to deal with themes that would often be considered too complex or too mature for its viewers. Basically, I like that anime doesn’t try to talk down to its audience.

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Cowboy Bebop is a great example of an anime show with both a unique aesthetic, and very mature themes.

Do you have a favorite director in the medium? Or a favorite studio?

If I listed all of the anime directors I admire then we’d be here a long time, but I think Miyazaki Hayao truly is one of the greatest of all time. I also have an enormous soft spot for Watanabe Shinichiro and Yamamoto Sayo. I don’t have any solid favourites when it comes to anime studios; sometimes studios I tend to love produce duds, and sometimes I’m surprised by how much I enjoy a title from studios I tend to dislike. However, I will say that Production I.G., Bones, and MAPPA have all produced some pretty great titles over the years.

Do you have a favorite sci-fi anime film?

There are a great many that I have a lot of respect for, but purely in terms of personal enjoyment, my favourite to date would probably have to be Time of Eve. The 6-episode series preceded it, but I like the film (same content, just different packaging, so to speak) just as much.

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Time of Eve (Yoshihura, 2010)

What are five anime sci-fi films that you would recommend to my readers?

Many readers may have already seen these, but aside from Time of Eve, I’d also recommend The Place Promised in Our Early Days, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Memories, and the Mardock Scramble trilogy.

What are your thoughts on the original Ghost in the Shell? Have you seen the new film?

I understand that the original Ghost in the Shell, both the anime film as well as the manga on which it’s based, is a classic, and I can certainly see why it’s labelled as such. Personally though, the only part of the franchise I’ve wholeheartedly enjoyed so far is the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex TV series (and a good part of that enjoyment stems from the amazing soundtrack). I haven’t seen the new film yet, but I probably will eventually just out of curiosity. If nothing else, I hear the visuals are pretty good. Otherwise, I don’t expect to like it much.

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Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex is a widely acclaimed anime television series that is a spin off of the films.

What are your thoughts on Akira?

Again, total classic of the medium and for good reason. I should probably watch it again at some point, since the last time I did was probably a good decade ago and my views on anime have changed a lot since then. I wouldn’t list it as one of my favourite anime films of all time, but from a historical and cultural perspective, I can’t help but admire it.

Do you have any advice for any new bloggers looking to break into the medium?

Just do it. Don’t plan it out too much or overthink things – there’s always time to refine what and how you write, but if you get stuck in the planning stages then you’ll never write anything at all. Don’t be afraid of how others will see you, either. It’s fine to write just for yourself at first and then think about how to better appeal to whoever your target audience is later on. And finally, be involved yourself on other blogs that post about similar topics. Not only is this how you’ll get far more page views and comments than you otherwise would, but what’s the point in blogging if you’re only talking at people rather than with them? If you want to be part of a community, you need to be willing to actively participate in it.

It was  great for Artemis to take time out of her schedule to be interviewed, especially considering the fact that she lives in Japan and is on a totally different time table than this Minnesota boy.

If you want to check out her blog, (I highly recommend it, if you even moderately tolerate my blog, you will LOVE hers.) Here is the link to the main page: https://otakulounge.wordpress.com/

Here are a few of my favorite posts of hers:

-This post digs into her top 5 favorite feel good anime, because who doesn’t need a pick-me-up every once in awhile? https://otakulounge.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/top-5-feel-good-anime/

-This post is the first part of a four part series that digs into the history of anime and how I has evolved over time.

https://otakulounge.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/a-history-of-anime-the-super-abbreviated-version-part-1-of-4-1907-1970s/

-As someone who loves to experience the joy of watching something truly horrible, (one of my favorite movies of all time is The Room (Wiseau, 2003), this list was AMAZING, and filled with good recommendations.

https://otakulounge.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/my-top-5-worst-anime-of-all-time/

 

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18 thoughts on “An Interview With Artemis of Otaku Lounge

    1. Here at Ghost in the Cel, I aim to keep you entertained by my content; as well as interested. So, who doesn’t love a little bit of meta-content?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Solid job on actually interviewing a blogger and sticking to the assignment! The interview posts I’ve seen so far haven’t been with bloggers in the topic, simply fans or participators. Unfortunately, I fall into the category of someone who didn’t follow the rules! Anyways, I like this post a lot. The interviewee, Artemis, seems very credible and definitely knows her stuff! I learn a little bit more about Anime every week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The topic of representation of sexuality in anime is something I’ve never thought about before, so I found it interesting that Artemis studied that for her PhD! Interesting insight coming from someone who is knowledgeable on the topic of Anime. I really enjoyed reading her advice for new bloggers. You asked some great questions for this interview, and I definitely learned a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear! And yeah, some of her blog posts deal with that specific topic and how it relates to various examples in anime. Really good stuff.

      Like

  3. Landen,

    This was such a great interview all around! You asked really great questions about the world of anime as well as blogging. The answers you got were also perfectly said and i could tell they were well-thought out giving us a ton of insight to both anime and how to start blogging. I think it’s really cool that you got the chance to interview her all the way from Japan too! Technology can be a beautiful thing when it lets us come in contact with so many new people and cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yeah, I was really excited when she said that she could do it, as I wasn’t sure if I would be willing to follow through with an interview like that, were I in her position. Technology really is amazing!

      Like

  4. Who would’ve thought you could get a PhD in something related to anime films and studies! What fun classes those probably were – especially for her because she’s so into anime! I checked out her blog. I’m impressed by what she’s done with it since 2013! I hope to have that many posts in a few years. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That PhD thing is super awesome, and it really shows in her content; which as you noted, has been going strong for a quite a while and is all super solid! With the right tenacity, I think you would be able to get to that many posts!

      Like

  5. Cool post! I like how you reached out to another blogger that is involved in anime so much. While I do not know just about anything about anime I think it is so interesting that you guys are so interested in the details there are in anime. Hope you the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It was nice to be able to interview someone with soooo much knowledge on the subject, it really made for a great interview. Artemis is really good at finding a lot of interesting points involving the details of specific anime if you check out her blog!

      Like

  6. I would definitely agree that Miyazaki is the best of them all. Akira is also one of the best anime films out there, like you said in your review of it. Each of his movies are absolutely incredible and I always find myself so invested in his characters and story. I haven’t seen any of the five anime films she listed, but I am excited to watch them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miyazaki is unquestionably phenomenal, that guy could animate event and turn it into the most beautiful and self-reflective thing you have ever seen! I have seen “The Place Promised in our Early Days” and “The Girl Who Lept Through Time” and both are really really good. While I cannot speak for the others, I do highly recommend those two for sure.

      Like

  7. Great job with the interview. I see a lot of similarity between you and the blogger Artemis and both of you guys knowledge seems very credible. I like that you asked a lot of questions about topics that you have already posted on and give us readers a chance to go back and put that post into context with Artemis point of view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting (and noticing that) that was exactly my plan all along, because I really wanted to tie together everything that I had written so far, as well as to give another perspective on the things I had done, to further try to convince you guys how legitimately great all of these films are!

      Like

  8. Landen, your interview questions were fantastic, it really gave way to in depth answers! I like what Artemis had to say about her own personal blog and the way she uses it as more of an informal outlet to write about something she loves. The way you tied your previous posts into the interview was also really cool and made the interview more substantial for us readers because we’ve got the background you’ve given on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yeah, thanks for noticing that I tied all of my previous posts together! That was exactly my intent for doing it. Plus, it would be foolish of me not to ask her a few questions about anime, so I figured I could kill two birds with one interview!

      Like

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