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I would like to thank YAHARI BENTO!! for nominating me for the Sunshine Award.  I really have no idea what it is.  As you all may know I don’t know shit about the blogging world but this seems pretty cool.  But I have ventured out from behind my history books and anime streams to fill out this questionnaire.  Hope you all like this!  Also, I hope to see you all at Shumatsucon!

  1. Your favorite anime series/movie in this year?
    1. Brave Witches
  2. Your favorite genre?
    1. Historical of course!
  3. Old anime series you want to watch again is…
    1. Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato
  4. 3 favorite characters in anime/manga are…
    1. Shiroe – Log horizon
    2. Hibiki – Kancolle
    3. Sanya V. Litvyak – Stike witches
  5. Let me know favorite anime in this season.
    1. March comes in like a Lion
  6. You are aniblogger, but do you play games too or not?
    1. I play League, Second Life, Warhammer Universe games, Civilization, and anything else that strikes my fancy
  7. Which main characters from which anime do you want to descend from anime world to appear in front of you?
    1. Any gundam
  8. While you are playing internet, what do you like to eat while do that?
    1. Cant eat and internetz at the same time, serious business
  9. What do you like to drink? Coffee, Tea, Milk, or fruit juice?
    1. Water, all. the. time.
  10. If this world will not produce any anime anymore, you will…
    1. I guess I would have to read?
  11. Right now, are you sleepy, aren’t you?
    1. Not sleepy, too much energy!
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Gate and the Oprichnina

34049-gateIf you watched GATE this past weekend you might have been presented with an unfamiliar term: Oprichnina.  Oprichnina is not a Japanese word but rather a Russian word originating in the 16th century.  Loosely put, the Oprichnina was a series of institutional changes to Russia enacted by Ivan IV, also known as Ivan the Terrible.  See, after the failure of the Livonian war in 1558 Ivan had developed a deep distrust of the aristocracy, known as the Boyars.  So, after staging a fake abdication of the throne Ivan IV makes a series of demands that were accepted by the Boyars.  The first was the creation of a special zone within the empire directly under the control of the Tsar.  Now you may ask isn’t everything already controlled by the Tsar?  Well yes but the governance of different regions is controlled by the local lords and their taxes are what gave the Tsar wealth.  Now the Tsar has his own land to create his own wealth independent of the Boyars.  This served the lower the power of the Boyars in relation to the Tsar.  To police this new territory Ivan IV created the Oprichniki which served as Ivan IV’s personal body guard.  These Oprichniki were used to force out Boyars on the newly designated Oprichnina land and to forcibly move peasants to new farmland.  The latter action effectively institutionalized serfdom for the next several centuries.  So, in GATE I have mixed feelings on the term being used.  First, calling the secret police the Oprichnina is incorrect, it should be Oprichniki.  But semantics aside I do not feel that Zorzal El Caesar is acting in a way similar to Ivan IV.  If the writers wanted to look to a secret police to enact the policies of a war-bent emperor, perhaps they would have been better suited to use the term Kempeitai.  The Kempeitai were Japan’s secret police up through WWII that committed human rights abuses on a scale on par with genocide.

America! Fuck Yea!

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So love it or hate it Hetalia is still going strong in anime culture after all these years.  To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of it but I can appreciate what the creators have done in terms of presenting the nations in a historical light.  I wanted to focus on America after hearing his American voice actor, Eric Vale, speak on him.  To paraphrase, he said he wanted to embody America as cool, cocky, and arrogant and while this may have been how American soldier’s entered the European theater, this attitude was quickly put in place after fighting veteran German units on the march to Berlin.  See, for the early years of World War II, America was supporting the Allied powers with both supplies and finances.  During this time America was gearing itself up for total war manufacturing.  The State Department worked with major manufacturers to retool their facilities to create everything from parachutes to ammunition.  By the end of the war, American manufacturing was incredibly efficient.  American industrialists applied assembly line production techniques to everything from planes to boats.  It has been argued by many historians that it was American (and Russian) mass production that overwhelmed the German army.  In short, Eric Vale’s cocky attitude is perfect for depicting America in Hetalia.

Welcome

Hello everyone!

This is a new project of mine where I will be writing about historical accuracy of various form of media, concentrating mostly on anime.  It will be a fun, quirky, sometimes emotional, and always entertaining journey using animation as a gateway to learning more about history.  I look forward to sharing this journey with you all!

-Robert