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2012: The Year I Rediscovered My Love For JRPGs photo
2012: The Year I Rediscovered My Love For JRPGs
by AdzPearson

[A wild Bloggers Wanted promotion has appeared! Fellow Britannian AdzPearson shows us that we have nothing on his ability to KO a JRPG without relying on back attacks! Hit the jump to see if the games he felled this year are worth tackling yourself. Remember, you can write something yourself in our Community Blog section, and we just might promote it to the front page like this one! Check out the guidelines for this months "Bloggers Wanted", and be sure to vote for your favourite anime of 2012, too! - Chris]

Back in the late 90s/early 00s, I started playing a number of JRPGs. Final Fantasy 7 was the catalyst of it all. The gameplay and storytelling instantly clicked with me. From there, I started looking for other games like it. Some I liked, some I didn't. At one point, I ended up enjoying them so much that I actually started importing JRPGs that never made it to the UK. I couldn't get enough of them. It didn't help that I knew a few people who were into them at my college. 

However, when I started university (yeah, it's different from a 'college' in North America) in 2007, I didn't really have the time for them. As a result, I drifted away from my favourite genre. There were plenty of games I wanted to play, but I knew it would be futile to start them with my busy schedule.

...it wasn't until this year when I finally got back into them. How did it happen, you ask? Let me explain...

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Best OPs and EDs of 2012 photo
Best OPs and EDs of 2012
by jel x

[The first promoted article for this month's Bloggers Wanted! The wonderful jel x has given us what he believes to be the best opening and ending music from 2012! Hit the jump and see if they match your own, but if they don't, why not write your own blog showing us your own top tracks of the year? Check out the guidelines for this months "Bloggers Wanted" for the chance to show off your own writing on the front page! - Chris]

Aside from my general Best Anime selections, my next favorite arbitrary year end list is naming the Best Anime Opening and Ending Songs. There were plenty of great songs to choose from this year, ranging from fun, energetic tunes with silly dances to more subtle, pensive and moody musings.

But enough of my rambling, let's get to the songs! Kick back, turn up the volume, and enjoy some of the best OPs and EDs 2012. Afterwards feel free to agree, disagree, or give a shout out to your own personal favorites.

[Quick Note: I apologize for not embedding the videos as many of them were not available on YouTube BUT I have a feeling if you click on the pictures something magical just might happen...]

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Bloggers Wanted: Best of 2012 photo
Bloggers Wanted: Best of 2012
by Chris Walden

It's finally December, so now you can go ahead and put up your decorations and play Christmas music in public. What, people have been doing this since late October? Way to spoil the fun!

The start of the new month means we have another Bloggers Wanted theme for you lovely folks that like to grace our C-Blogs. Us folk at Japanator are currently preparing to write about the shows we enjoyed the most this year, so we'd like for you to write about what you enjoyed this year! However, you won't have as many restrictions as us.

Title your blogs 'Best ___ of 2012', placing in whether you're talking about an anime, manga, Japanese video game or whatever. Why not think outside the box? Best voice actor of 2012? Best product placement of 2012? You could even write about an older anime that you just happened to watch this year. Be sure to explain how it relates to 2012, in that case!

As always, we'll be keeping an eye out for the lovely things you end up writing, and we'll slap a bunch of them on our front page for all to see! Just remember that if you disagree with something, feel free to write you're own blog and perhaps we'll feature that too! Best example of terrible anime 2012, perhaps?

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Ecchi with plot: The Ambition of Oda Nobuna photo
Ecchi with plot: The Ambition of Oda Nobuna
by Rank57

[How about another promoted article? Rank57 shows us that there is more to The Ambition of Oda Nobuna than just a gender-bending harem! Hit the jump and give it a read to see if he can persuade you to check it out! For the chance to get yourself on the front page, all you have to do it write something in the community blogs. We read all of them! You can also try out the current "Bloggers Wanted" for a better chance! - Chris]

It was my biggest surprise of the year, anime-wise. I was catching up with the recent anime like I always do when the summer season has ended. People were talking non-stop about Sword Art Online, which I found amazing at the beginning, then started to become a clichéd love story. Okay, on to the next one. Binbougami ga was a great comedy, full of parodies. Then I hopped to Tari Tari, which you can read a great review by Derrick Crow right here. Next was the one that I consider the best of the year, and will write about it next; Humanity Has Declined. But the biggest surprise had yet to come. 

 

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An Open Letter to the Manga and Anime Industry photo
An Open Letter to the Manga and Anime Industry
by CharismaJustice

[The first promoted article for this month's Bloggers Wanted! Charisma and Justice combine for a letter to none other than both anime and manga industries. Follow the jump and give it a read to see if you share the same thoughts! Check out the guidelines for this months "Bloggers Wanted" for the chance to show off your own writing on the front page, and remember that anything goes! - Chris]

A note to begin; ecchi and moe in anime and manga are not necessarily a bad thing. However, the abuse of ecchi and moe ideas (in particular) is beginning to become alarming, not because of their existence, but because of how centered they have become with the mediums.

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Bloggers Wanted: An open letter to... photo
Bloggers Wanted: An open letter to...
by Chris Walden

Can you smell that? It's the smell of a fresh, new month! That means it is time to change the Bloggers Wanted topic, so get those caffeinated drinks and start thinking of something cool to write!

Oh yes, better explain what I want from you guys first. 

First of all, thank you to everybody that participated in the topic for last month! We read each and every post that ends up in the C-Blogs, Bloggers Wanted related or otherwise, so it's great to see people whacking keyboards for our sake! Of course, there were some great posts that didn't make it to the front page last month, but don't get disheartened! You could still make it to centre stage with this months topic!

What we want you to do is write a letter. This can be to anyone or anything, living, dead or fictional. It could be a fan letter that shows how much you appreciate Oda-sensei a famous figure, a letter that voices a complaint about a show or event, or just something extraordinarily creepy. If you can't think of a person, why not a letter about a specific thing? An open letter to ban anime recap movies, perhaps?

There are plenty of possibilities, so get your thinking hats on! Title your C-Blog 'An open letter to', followed by the subject. We'll then pick a few over the course of the month and throw them on the front page for everyone to see!

Incidentally, us folk at the Japanator underwater HQ have been thinking about answering any questions you might have. If you have something to ask us, on any topic, send it to tips@japanator.com and we might respond to it in a post in the near future. Let us know if you want to stay anonymous, and don't be too mean! You could ask us what our least favourite shows are, what we like to do in our spare time, favourite ice cream flavours... anything! Give it some thought!

From all of us here, good luck and have fun!

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Coming Back Again and Again: Cowboy Bebop photo
Coming Back Again and Again: Cowboy Bebop
by Satisfaction

[Yet another promoted article for the current Bloggers Wanted! Satisfaction is guaranteed as we learn just why Cowboy Bebop and his computer are so darn good. Seriously guys, this show is worth watching just to observe Spike's hair! Check out the guidelines for this months "Bloggers Wanted" for the chance to show off your own writing on the front page, and keep your eyes peeled for the new topic on Thursday! - Chris]

Cowboy Bebop is a special show to me; it's the type of show that never gets old, no matter what episode, arc, or moment, which is really a remarkable concept. Cowboy Bebop has been an Adult Swim mainstay for almost a decade now, and I've been watching it for about half of that, which is no small feat for a 26 episode series. Anyways, after extensive soul searching, I think I've isolated what makes Cowboy Bebop so magical in my brain, along with the brains of others, as we've clearly been watching it for a decade now.

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Promoted Blog: How to fix Capcom photo
Promoted Blog: How to fix Capcom
by The-Excel

[Community member The-Excel's got quite a lot to say about fixing up Japanese gaming giant Capcom, and a mind to share his thoughts with everyone. If you've got some awesome insights of your own to share that beg to be shared with all and sundry, write something in your community blog, or participate in our regular "Bloggers Wanted" invitations! The best and brightest ones just might get on the front page! - Josh] 

When I read the post on Destructoid about a new game called Rockman Xover, I got a pretty good laugh. I laughed because I totally saw it coming and a lot of people are upset that the all-important silver anniversary of Mega Man is going to be celebrated with what looks to be a trashy cell phone game. I'm usually not one to judge on early appearances, but there's precedent for this one not looking like it's going to be a barn burner, and even the venerable Tony Ponce agrees. I've gone on record multiple times playing devil's advocate for issues like this. This time, I see a solution. Hear me out, because it's not going to be easy.

A lot of commenters on that post and the original source they cited are understandably farty over this announcement, claiming that Mega Man Legends 3 and Mega Man Universe were canned to make room for this and the infamous Mega Man X port on iOS, among other travesties, like they always do when a Mega Man thing is announced that isn't a new game. I think they're wrong, because Capcom made the right call pulling the plug on those projects when their hearts weren't in it. They know that a whole new game is too much for them to handle, so they don't do it. I'd rather have nothing at all if the developers would not have been proud of the result had they continued. For that reason, I tend to side with the developer when a game gets cancelled and I still do in these cases. I know what it's like to abort a project I invested a lot of time and effort into and how much it sucks, so I sympathize with the developer any time they announce a big cancellation. (Update: It's been suggested to me that their hearts actually were in it and it was cancelled because the executives wanted it dead, not the actual coders. If that's true, it doesn't change the points I'm about to make.) 

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Going back to it: Summer Vacation photo
Going back to it: Summer Vacation
by Chris Walden

[Another promoted article for you guys! This one was sent to me by an anonymous lady, so check it out and leave a comment for her! Remember folks, the month is yet to end, so check out the guidelines for this months "Bloggers Wanted" for the chance to show off your own writing on the front page! - Chris] 

I'm not really a writer, but I wanted to tell you all about what it is I keep going back to. I'm not really into anime and manga like most of you guys here (I'd rather just get stuck into a good book), but there is one thing I keep going back to. I had such a great time, which is why I keep going back to the memory of my summer vacation. 

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Coming Back Again and Again: Sket Dance photo
Coming Back Again and Again: Sket Dance
by Rank57

[The first promoted article for the current Bloggers Wanted is here! Rank57 tells us all about Sket Dance, and why it's impossible to quit! I haven't seen the show myself, but doesn't it get you curious to try it out? Remember folks, the month is yet to end, so check out the guidelines for this months "Bloggers Wanted" for the chance to show off your own writing on the front page! - Chris] 

It may be too soon, since the anime just ended with episode 77 being aired at the end of the summer season, but I am already watching it again from the beginning, and will watch it again and again in the future. If Sket Dance is not my most favorite anime of all time, it's close to that, and let me explain to you why.

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Comparison to the West: A Tale of Two Monkeys photo
Comparison to the West: A Tale of Two Monkeys
by Sideshow

[Here now is the next entry in community member Sideshow's awesome series of C-blogs about Journey To The West. In case you haven't been following it (for shame!) here's the first and second parts. And don't forget, if you've got some awesome insights that beg to be shared with all and sundry, write something in your community blog, or participating in our regular "Bloggers Wanted" invitations! The best (or craziest) ones just might get on the front page! - Josh] 

(Before we get into today's...post(?) I need to correct myself. Last post I called Hakkai - Sandy and Gojou - Pigsy. After watching the second episode it turns out I've misread names. Sorry about that. Good thing we're talking about this *points to next paragraph*.) 

This is the time where we get to take a break from writing about the stories in both shows and compare the main characters to see how they've evolved from the 1970's. And hey, just for a little fun, lets comprise our own four pilgrims from both shows.

So with that, lets begin!

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Bloggers Wanted: Coming back to it, again and again photo
Bloggers Wanted: Coming back to it, again and again
by Chris Walden

[Welcome to Bloggers Wanted, our way of asking you, our dear readers, questions, and checking out your insights, the ones too big for podcasts or mere comments. Deep thoughts like that deserve recognition, and this is where we can make you Internet-famous! - Josh]

You may remember that almost a month ago, I wrote out a post asking you lovely readers exactly what changes you would like to see on Japanator. Well, we've been listening, and we noticed that a number of you wanted to see the return of our Monthly Musing column. Well, it's back! Don't let that new name fool you!

If you've ever wanted to write a blog about something you care about, but you have had trouble finding the audience for it, this could be the answer! Every month we'll be setting a new topic to discuss, and you budding bloggers will be able to write about it in our C-Blog section. We'll be keeping a close eye on what you are writing, and we'll be putting the best ones up on the front page for everyone to see! Also, for the bragging rights. Everyone loves bragging rights.

In all honesty, I'm glad to see it finally return. Many of us regular writers participated in the old Monthly Musing column before joining the site (myself included!). It's a great way to practice your writing while showing it to others with similar interests. What's to lose?

Enough waffle, on to this months topic!

I want to make it nice and simple for the first Bloggers Wanted, so I want you to tell me what you keep going back to. This could be anything so long as it's related to Japan in some shape or form (yes, you can stop writing that blog about your toilet!), so whether it's an anime, a manga, a convention or even a location, we want to hear from you! Why do you like it so much? What makes it so special? What puts it above the rest? You can write as little or as much as you like, just be creative!

Myself and the rest of the Japanator team look forward to reading them! Good luck everyone!

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