Spitz’s Soapbox takes the stage in Aprils blogspotlight
Question 1: Could you tell the readers a bit about your blog? What can we find on your blog?
“Spitz’s Soapbox is a blog focused mostly in video games and anime, but I don’t limit my posts to those two topics alone. Aside from monthly articles in which I go over the games and series I’ve played or watched over that past month and give a brief review of them, other types of posts include rants about any number of pet peeves or opinions of things, proper written reviews for specific games, as well as short stories. I try to avoid being too negative on the blog, and instead just try to relay my thoughts on something as I might someone who is sitting next to me.”
Question 2: What made you decide to start your own blog?
“A couple things. I’ve always had an interest in writing, and the blog is a good way to practice. It’s also a helpful exercise of diligence, since I try to at least get the two monthly articles out both at mid-month, and at the end of each month. There have been scrambles come time to hit that Publish button for sure, but it’s good to be forced to adhere to a schedule, regardless of how lenient it is.
Lastly (but not the least), the blog is a good way to get the word out to people. I would still write on the blog whether I get two readers a month or two thousand, but I like the idea of sharing the things I see or play with anyone who happens to wander in. Maybe they’ll hate what I thought about an anime series or game which they loved dearly, or maybe they’ll read an anime monthly and stumble across a series they’ve never heard of before.”
Question 3: How did you get in touch with anime and other Japanese media?
“This might be the same case with a lot of people my age, in that the thing which brought anime and Japanese media to my attention when I was younger were the Pokemon games. It was a craze when I was little, and while I remember seeing a stray episode of Cardcaptor Sakura or Sailor Moon (masculinity, I know) on television from time to time, if I had to think back to what the first anime series was that I was legitimately interested in seeing, it would be Pokemon.
I haven’t gone back to watch it with my current perspective, but the Pokemon anime (being handled by 4kids) wasn’t exactly an eye-opener back then, and actually had me disinterested in anime more than curious for more. It wasn’t until high school when I gave a few more series (Vandread and Vampire Hunter D) chances, and realized “Maybe anime is more than dumb kiddy stuff.”
Question 4: What is the element that you like most in anime?
“There are two big reasons I love anime over other entertainment, and the second reason somewhat goes hand-in-hand with the first.
I love the freedom which is found in anime. One day you could be watching something heartfelt and endearing such as Clannad, and then the next you could be watching something a little more abstract and otherworldly like Madoka. The medium, being focused more on art and animation gives creators a near infinite amount of freedom to express their ideas, and unlike with film and video games, the defining limitation seems to be the imagination of the creator(s), and not the practicality of translating their ideas into a tangible thing.
The second thing is the sharing of philosophy which is often found in anime. Two or more characters having scene-long philosophical conversations is something you don’t see a ton of in games or movies or Western tv, and while some series can seem to put their head up their own behinds with it, more often than not it’s done properly, and gives you a window into the way the series writer thinks about the world around them.”
Question 5: Do you have a specific genre you love to watch?
“I’ll watch anything, but for me (and with a few exceptions of course), the closer a series can get to being grounded in reality not only by terms of setting but also in plot, the more easily relatable I find it, and the easier it is to get invested. For this reason I find myself getting a lot of enjoyment out of slice-of-life series.”
Question 6: What is your favorite series? Can you tell us what made it so special?
“It’s tough to pick just one favorite series because there are meny different series which are my favorite at doing specific things, but some of the series high on my list personally are Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!, Another, and Madoka Magica. There are quite a few others, but I’d say those are my top three.
The way Chu-2 draws you into the characters through comedic nonsense early on is great, and the first season of that series had a wonderful ending that really struck me at the time I saw it.
Another isn’t one of the best series I’ve seen, but I always enjoy watching it. They just completely nail the atmosphere in that series. The interactions between the characters, the sometimes dreary but sometimes oddly colorful artwork and especially the soundtrack just sucks me right into it. It’s also a horror series that doesn’t rely on gratuitous gore, and instead it plays out like a morbid mystery story.
And while I can understand why some people may dislike Madoka, to me, the way it looks as amazing as it does, and the story unfolds in such an interesting and unorthodox way caught my attention right away. It’s great, and each time I go back to rewatch it I love it even more. Readers, watch this one!”
Question 7: What do you dislike in anime?
“Going back to the freedom in the medium mentioned before, it’s tough to really talk about the things I dislike, because generally speaking, the sorts of things I’m not particularly fond of (reliance on pointless action scenes/ excessive violence/ needless exposition/ unnecessary fan-service/etc.) can usually be avoided by simply sticking to the types of series which I do like.”
Question 8: You feature games on your blog. How and when did your gaming hobby start?
“Video games have always been around since I’ve existed. As a kid, me and my brothers shared an NES, so there was a lot of Mario Bros. going around back then. One year, my oldest brother gave me his Genesis as a birthday present, so a lot of my childhood was spent playing Sonic the Hedgehog games and being terrible at the Genesis version of Mortal Kombat.”
Question 9: What games are you looking forward to?
“Persona 5! While there are are few games here or there which I’ll be interested in checking out once they’re available, such as Watch Dogs or Destiny, the only game I’m actively looking forward to seeing is Persona 5.”
Question 10: What does the future hold for your blog?
“Oh if only we could see into the future… but unfortunately I’m unsure. As of right now I’m relatively happy with the types of articles I put out each month, though I would like to try and get a few additional, smaller things out here or there to close the gap a bit. I’m always thinking of new things to do, or new ways to do old things, so things might change here or there in the future, but until then I suspect things will stay the same.”
Question 11: To make this post a little more personal. Can you give us a random fact about yourself?
“Back when I was young, I thought I wanted to become an archaeologist, and mostly only because I loved the look of Egyptian hieroglyphs. I vaguely remember writing secret notes in a script which I had copied from a magazine, and I think maybe figments of what I thought was so interesting about hieroglyphic writing is what has spurred my interest in a certain other logographic written language.
I later grew up a bit and realized that archaeologists were tasked with doing more than exploring ancient pyramids though, and the interest faded away.”
I want to thank Spitz for taking the time to answer my questions and don’t forget to give him a visit!