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The Octave of Anime Christmas – Day 5: When George R.R. Martin Says It’s Too Much

Since Christmas landed on a Sunday this year, after Midnight Mass finished, my parish priest read the weekly announcements and it was the typical list of things until he reached the list of those parishioners whose funerals were in the past week. In total, he read six names. I was flabbergasted, in the ~20 years I’ve been member of this parish I’ve never heard of that many people dying in a single week; the norm is 0 – 1 with two being uncommon, three being rare and four being exceptionally rare (and I’m sure I never heard of five).

Almost my first thought was – geez, 2016 isn’t done with us yet.

I realize a year is hardily an entity with thoughts/desires/etc. but it seems difficult by me and many others to not personify 2016 in a negative light.

For today, as the hours tick down the end of 2016, I want to remember one of my favorite anime bloggers who unfortunately passed away this year. His name was Steven Den Beste and his blog – Chizumatic – was one of the blogs I most frequented. Truth be told, I still frequently end up at his blog because I’ve so ingrained the habit of clicking the link on my blogroll to Chizumatic that I’m probably there at least once a week. And my reaction continues to be the same – I notice he hasn’t posted anything new and then I remember that there won’t any more posts.

  • There will be no more posts bemoaning the abundance of overly dark and cruel anime.
  • There will be no more posts about beavers turning his local stream into a pond/lake.
  • There will be no more posts about beating the summer heat with blocks of ice and fans.
  • There will be no more posts about which anime series made the best source for his cheesecake laden banner rotation.
  • There will be no more posts about the world that a retired engineer found noteworthy.
  • There will be no more posts about trying to understand bites of the Japanese language.
  • There will be no more posts about the problems of keeping his network up after the latest patch by Microsoft stupidly changed something.

It’s easy to start following blogs where the author has a distinctive voice that is enjoyable to read, as was the case of Steven Den Beste at Chizumatic; but, what really made me such a fan was that he had a distinctly different view of what anime is to him. He wanted anime that entertained him and relaxed him. He normally just flat out avoided “serious” anime and actively hated overly dark and cruel anime. This was a mindset that was hard to understand at first, but, as the years passed, I slowly saw more and more wisdom in this view.

Farewell, Steven Den Beste. You will be missed.

And this might be a bit selfish of me, but, I better not have to make a similar post next year. That’s right – I forbid every anime blogger on my blogroll from dying next year.

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