The Null Set Reaches 1,000,000

There are many ways to measure the success of a blog; any honest blogger would rightly say that numerical standards are not the best judge but that same honest blogger would admit that having good numbers is a nice thing. So, I’d be lying that I’m not psyched that The Null Set reached such a lofty level as getting a million hits (or page views, if you swing that way) because it must mean I’m doing something right but this elation is tempered with the knowledge that I still see much room for improvement before I’m satisfied with my work here.

My most heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone that’s stopped by over the years; I’m glad The Null Set was able to be of some use to you.

And now since I’m making a meta post, I might as well mention a few other items. The first is that I finally broke down and decided to make an account at MyAnimeList. I realize MAL is so 3 years ago but it finally dawned on me that I’ve watched loads of anime and the point is approaching when I won’t remember everything I’ve seen. I’m still getting use to all that I can do with MAL but I have finished my list. The other benefit is now I can add the nifty widget so people can see what I’m currently watching because the world has been desperately curious about what anime I’m watching 🙂 .

The second starts after I got tired of how limited the Archive widget is. I decided to create my own because I wanted to include a way to pick out my best/favorite/interesting posts so they could be found by newer readers and others that may have missed them. You can click on the link in the top bar to see the result. For each month it states how many posts there were and links to a listing of all the posts for that month. Additionally, within each month’s block is the title and link of my best/favorite/interesting posts that were written in that month.

The third is to mention my new banner. Like the one it replaced, it includes Alpha from Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou – my favorite manga – and it uses a picture I took. I don’t know if I believe what I’ve heard about how the sunsets over Lake Erie are some of the prettiest in the world but they are definitely, at least, beautiful. I can just imagine Alpha sitting, contemplating and enjoying them.

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9 thoughts on “The Null Set Reaches 1,000,000”

  1. Try to get a shot of the sunset on a cloudless day, when the sun is still 20-30 minutes from dipping past the horizon. It should look better then.

    My anime list looks like it has some features, so I might consider transferring my data over and migrate.

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  2. They made Yokohama into a UN military base (restructured after the first UN got wiped out by incompetence) as part of the Far East Defensive Line in ML Alternative. The funny cultural bit is that they had sakura trees lining the road to school in reality 1, but in reality 2, they also had sakura trees lining the road to the military base. In the first universe, it was to put a seasonal spin on spring, the initiation of a new school year. In the second universe, it was replanted after Yokohama was retaken, to commemorate the lives lost. Sakura trees represent both beginning and end when they bloom, for as they fall 5 centimeters per second, they easily disappear after blooming. Both Yokohama and Kyoto were on the potential target list for fat man and little boy. Due to bad weather preventing a clear sight line, the tertiary target was chosen over K*****, a major arms manufacturing center. Military industrial presence was prioritized for targets and cultural or diplomatic importances were used to downgrade a target’s priority. It’s these little details that make places interesting to learn about. What happened, but what also didn’t happen but could have in a different path. Many people think wars and battles are just bombs dropping on people like it is random chance; the bigger military and the bigger bombs always win. Not quite.

    I also marathoned through Gurren Lagann today. I was surprised at how similar it was to Heroic Age in terms of development and scale. Although the comedy themes were not focused on in Heroic Age: Age had greater development towards realistic politics and fleet actions. Because of GL’s expansive covering of satire, comedy, romance, scifi, and so on, they weren’t as complete in episodes 16-17 as they could have. That was the only significant defect I found. While in Fantastic Children, that kind of inconsistent detail in the script marked it off .5, it was because they kept doing it at a critical plot turn. GL was more of a transition period, so it was passed on over pretty quickly and was not central to the parts of the story before or after the transition. GT also had far more content, in terms of plot events, so that significant defects were overwhelmed by the higher quality of other events.

    I give it a final overall score of 5/5. On the basis of dramatic tension and success. On the basis of plot development, interesting events, and storytelling ability. On the basis of interesting character development and battle dynamics. What I love about Japanese story telling is that unlike the Wheel of Time or the Game of Thrones, the story actually gets told before you reach your 2nd, or third, or fourth, or fifth decade of life. Its only flaw was the political dynamics which was focused in the middle episodes, but the damage was spread out and wasn’t very serious. While I harbored a different idea of what people should have done, the plot developed fast enough that I could forget about that stuff, which saves on intellectual disharmony, aka cognitive dissonance.

    Compared with HA, GL’s difficult moments were in the middle transition, whereas HA’s difficulty rested in the ambiguous and complicated ending. However, the romance angle ended up rather better off in Heroic Age than GL. Naturally, when more dev time is given over to the couple itself. The good thing about HA’s complexity is that when I keep rewatching it, I pick up stuff I didn’t notice initially. I understood every scientific or scifi concept in GL, especially the ones that were remarked as difficult words. It helps to have a greater than average understanding of science, physics, and quantum physics. Although some stuff they fabricated to make the analogy of space=water more significant. There were also some small defects concerning plot consistency, but they were mostly overlapped by the content quality/quantity.

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  3. Derp, whenever I read posts like these I’m simultaneously discouraged because of how unsuccessful my blog is, and encouraged by how people have managed to do such things.

    Your archives is still a bit… shall I say, long? Perhaps you could pick out your top five or so ‘best’ posts and put them at the top, so that people new to your blog could read some good entries. (I think that’s what a lot of people did during the tourney last year?)

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  4. @Joojoobees: Thanks. At this point I just wish I could get myself to write more frequently 🙂

    @Panther: Thanks

    @ymarsakar: Okay, I’ll try that the next time I’m taking sunset pictures 🙂

    I have no problem with the US using nukes to end WW2 but even knowing what little I know about Kyoto, I’m really glad it didn’t get nuked. I find history and the potential what-if’s very interesting. I remember reading a book what contained speeches that were never given but where written if circumstances went a different way. For example, it had the speech Nixon prepared if the first moon landing had failed. It was a real tear-jerker.

    Glad you liked Gurren Lagann. I agree the politics episodes could have been done better and covered longer but having what it had still surprised me and it was at that point that I started mentally pushing the show into a higher category then just being “good”.

    @fanaddict22: Thanks

    @Mushyrulez: That’s a good point about the archive being too long, I almost have something like that scattered amongst the About tab but maybe I should consolidate.

    As for increasing traffic, I’ve found the surest way is to get listed on AnimeNano and the Animeblogger Antenna. Also naming the pictures on your site from what show they come from instead of something random will help get google image searchers to come to your site. Also, I’ve noticed with my google search results, for whatever reason, to start getting consistent returns for an anime post like a series review it takes a minimum to 6 months or more, so some patience is needed.

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  5. I figured out what they were trying for in terms of drama and plot development. I wouldn’t have needed longer time or more episodes to accomplish the same, at a better quality and consistency level. That’s because you really don’t need much (resources) in political mystery-dramas. All the work is really in the exposition or coup de tat ending.

    The crudest form of propaganda control of morale, meaning a person’s spirit or zetsubou kibou balance, is intentionally lowering people’s morale with a tragic or horrible event, then hitting them right afterwards with victory or hope. Most people won’t be able to perceive this being at work, so they are much more affected by it. 10 years ago, I got really upset/depressed over having favorite characters die serially at the ending of a book. This was the same morale method, but reversed. Instead of creating a huge uplift in morale, it instead produces a huge decrease in morale as it hits rock bottom. In military terms, a unit that believes victory is at hand, who then gets surprised and devastated by an enemy flank attack, collapses really fast. Really fast: morale “shock”. Anyways, back then I wasn’t very well aware of these methods and was less mature, so I experienced them more strongly. Now a days, I recognize them quite easily. They will have to do much better to be able to affect me as strongly as before.

    I say crudest because studying propaganda isn’t what most people in entertainment do. They study advertisement or public opinion massage, but not quite the art of propaganda explicitly. This is evidenced by their own inability to resist other people’s propaganda… or even their own. Believing in your own propaganda… probably one of the fastest ways to disqualify oneself from being a student of propaganda. What I would have done for Gurren Lagann would be to create more natural motivations and reasons for the behavior of the politicians. Coincidentally, there was a great reason why the Supreme Leader was… distracted at the time and unable to properly initiate defensive measures. The plot would then have developed according to the more consistent and natural motivations, which will drive the politics, rather than the other way around. The best way to hide a lie, or a coup de tat, is to present an outer onion layer that is 100% consistent, truthful, and logical. The reason why it is 100% is because that is what it is: it is no lie or deception. But what’s also true is NOT mentioned: hidden underneath the deeper onion layers unseen. People will see the surface and try to dig deep, to see the truth, and that is all they will see. Because they didn’t dig deep enough. Lagann’s political episodes were flawed, so I think it was a good thing they didn’t dwell on them or use them as the basis for anything important: it was just to setup the you know what.

    Btw, be sure to read the message box in your profile at MAL, Steel. I have some recommendations for those who liked Gurren Lagann’s plot scale/type.

    People who liked Lagann’s plot scale should also like Heroic Age’s plot. Big difference in aesthetics though. Something I usually don’t mention is that I rate anime with a hidden subjective criteria called “aesthetics”. If the music and artwork really pulls on my soul, I approve of the aesthetics, independent of whether I like the characters or the plot. Fantastic Children had a great OP song and mysterious/sad BGM. Heroic Age had great ED/OP music and choreography. Summer Wars didn’t have much of anything that appealed to me here, hence the reason why it was 3.5/5 rather than 4/5 to me. Chrno, was maddening depressing at times and other times a joy to watch: due to the strong emotional impact and choreography of the ending drama, characters, song, and visuals, I gave it something like a 4.5/5. Even though I hated the ENTIRE ending plot line, but couldn’t really say the ending episode itself was bad. Heard the manga had a different plot line. Too traumatized to read it afterwards.

    When I was thinking about Pandora Hearts (you dropped it at 12/26 i believe) and Fantastic Children, I keep thinking you dropped it too soon. The great plot type animes are like Fantastic Children or Erin no S. They have a very slow leadup and you basically cannot figure out what the ending is. (I sometimes get taken for a trip there, even though I can usually figure stuff out pretty accurately) For example, I never would have predicted Lagann had two climaxes. That’s not something I expected, but when I do see it, that’s like a triple bonus. Ein no Aselia, pc visual novel (all ages), had several “climaxes” to the story line. I was always thinking “okay, it’s ending. It’s been a long trip but worthwhile”. Then when it didn’t end… I was like, what else is next? Then when it still didn’t end, I started feeling a little lost. Just how much more to the story is there? I have been trained by American media to expect stories that have 99 cliff hangers and only about 5 gets finished in each book, which requires a wait time of 2-3 years before the sequel comes out, which finishes just 2-5 cliff hangers more. Coincidentally, I also recall that FC and Erin were both series that you had a tendency to drop early and then came back to.

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  6. Congratulations on your milestone! I am sure you’ll reach many more in the coming years 🙂

    I like the sunset banner 🙂

    Ah, a MAL account… Soon, you will be proselytized to Twitter! 😛

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