Welcome Our Newest Writer, Dr. Steve!

I’m happy to announce that we’ve brought a new writer onto our team—Dr. Steve! If you’ve followed us the last couple of years, you may have noticed that he’s written some excellent guest pieces for us, and if you frequent blogosphere, you may also have noticed that he has been actively blogging these last few months. He’s going to be a great addition, and I’m so excited about showing his work to you!

It’s tradition here to introduce our newest writers through an interview! I asked him the questions below—please read through and get to know Dr. Steve, and be sure to also welcome him in the comments!

Q1. You’ve quickly become a part of the aniblogging community since you started blogging a few months ago. What motivated you to start your blog?

A lot of things. One of the most important is the community! I’ve enjoyed reading BtT for several years, ever since I got back into anime. After my wife’s latest pregnancy, I had the wonderful task of putting our baby son to sleep at night, and used to occupy myself by watching Crunchyroll while walking and rocking him. One late night, after watching Interviews with Monster Girls, I got an idea for my first article and, on a whim, shot off a note to BtT to see if you would be interested. Annalyn responded quickly and with great encouragement.

As the kids have gotten older, I’ve found myself with a bit more time on my hands, and for quite a while I’ve had a dream of being a professional blogger. So I finally took the first step in December. The aniblogger community has been extraordinarily supportive and welcoming! It’s really refreshing to see people from all kinds of backgrounds enjoying each other’s company around something as niche as anime.

Q2. My experience was very similar! We’re glad to have you as part of the community! Here at BtT, we maybe know you best as Dr. Steve, a writer of pretty serious guest pieces here on blog. But that’s only one of your online identities: could you tell us a little about the differences between them and what you do with them?

Sure thing! I chose “Dr. Steve” as my BtT handle because a lot of what I can contribute to anime discussions comes from my academic background. I have a Ph.D. in literary studies, and having spent years learning numerous ways of interpreting narrative has, I find, substantially enhanced my enjoyment of watching anime or reading manga. That’s one of the key ways I feel I can give something back to the anime community.

When I decided to start a blog, though, I thought that “www.DrSteve.com” would probably give the wrong impression—it sounds like some MD promoting a diet fad! So after brainstorming and trying out various ideas, Curiously Dead Cat was the only one I liked that hadn’t been taken by someone else already!

I decided in January to try streaming video games on Twitch. My Twitch account was already under my gaming handle, NegativePrimes. I hadn’t initially planned on ‘going public’ as a gamer, so I hadn’t put a lot of thought into a handle, and now I was more or less stuck with it!

I go by any of these. But to keep things simple here I’ll continue to use Dr. Steve on Beneath the Tangles.

Q3. And what about anime? What are your favorite anime/manga series? Do you have a favorite genre?

Oooh, where to start?! My favorite anime for a long time has been Gate, though that’s not what I would consider the best anime. That would be FMA: Brotherhood, as your polls have shown for two years running! Although I’ll be content if My Hero Academia wins this year. 😉

As for my favorite manga, if we’re talking about currently running series I think it’s hard to beat The Promised Neverland. The art style, the plot, the story’s world, the characters… everything is done so uniquely and so well.

I think my favorite genre has to be isekai, in all its varieties. SAO hit some incredible high points, and I’m looking forward to the new spin-off series. Log Horizon had some truly innovative twists that I don’t think have been found much elsewhere. Gate, despite some pretty stock characters and overly-nationalist themes, had a wonderful blend of humor, good art, fantastic music, political intrigue, and plenty of action. Some of the more recent members of the family haven’t been quite up to these levels—thinking of In Another World with my Smartphone and Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody here—but even in these I found a lot to enjoy. And I think the genius of Outbreak Company is seriously underappreciated (perhaps because you need to watch nearly to the end to realize some of the depths of the plot). Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Konosuba, which is probably the funniest anime I’ve ever seen!

A similar genre, but technically distinct, is the “alternate Earth with multiple intelligent species.” That’s kind of a long name, so I generally just call it “monster girl” anime, since so many of these series feature such characters anyway. Interviews with Monster Girls would be my favorite example; others would be A Centaur’s Life or The Ancient Magus’ Bride.

Finally, there’s also those anime that just bring something unusual to the table: You’d think a show about a high school kid learning to farm would be boring, but Silver Spoon is amazing. I’m not sure what genre A Place Beyond the Universe is supposed to be (e.g., it’s not CGDCT, unless you think going to Antarctica is cute), but it sure is fun!

Q4. What about other hobbies—if you have time for others, that is!

I really like variety streaming on Twitch. My favorite thing is to take a game that’s recently gone on sale and, without learning anything about it, jump into it cold. Other things I enjoy include crocheting, the guitar, and computer programming. And I’m something of an extrovert, so having fun with others, regardless of what we’re doing, is energizing. B-)

Q5. And seeing as this blog is Christian-focused, can you tell us a little about your faith background? How would you describe your faith as it is today?

That’s a difficult question for me: Faith, like any relationship, is always changing. I’m a “cradle Catholic,” for starters, and to me that means an ever-deepening way of seeing and experiencing reality. More than a creed or confessional statement, though of course that’s part of it, too. As Jesus called the church to go and convert all nations, baptizing them, so I feel called to ‘baptize’ ideas, activities, and institutions. Anime, for instance, which is why I want to support BtT. Ditto for video games and Twitch. Mother Theresa used to say we should “do something beautiful for God”, and this is my way of doing so.

In the current stage of my life, it feels like God and I have a love-hate relationship, like He loves me and I hate him, because I feel so much resentment towards Him for the suffering of my family even though I know He’s taking care of us and working everything for our good. But if I weren’t honest with Him about my feelings, how could I open my heart to Him? Loving God right now takes the form of being honest with Him about how where my heart is at, in addition to trusting Him.

Q6. Thanks for sharing—I think a lot of us can relate. Well, just to close us out, where else can we find you besides here, now, on Beneath the Tangles?

My personal blog is Curiously Dead Cat, where I talk about anime, manga, literature, video games, and spirituality. I’m on Twitter @crslydeadcat, on Twitch at negativeprimes, on Discord and Steam as NegativePrimes, and on Blizzard as NegaPrimes. You can also email me at curiouslydeadcat@gmail.com.

I really like variety streaming on Twitch. My favorite thing is to take a game that’s recently gone on sale and, without learning anything about it, jump into it cold. Other things I enjoy include crocheting, the guitar, and computer programming. And I’m something of an extrovert, so having fun with others, regardless of what we’re doing, is energizing. B-)

Thanks, Dr. Steve! I’m so glad you’re part of the team, and I can’t wait for you to share your writing with our readers!


8 thoughts on “Welcome Our Newest Writer, Dr. Steve!

  1. Thanks for the interview! Happy to get to know you more Dr. Steve. I’m going to check out that manga you suggested, I looked very quickly at the first chapter and yes, the animation is amazing! I wonder how many other manga like that I’ve slept on that aren’t currently anime…

    1. Thank you, Samuru! It’s great to be on board and working with you! Yeah, Promised Neverland is *amazing*! They need to do an anime for that, and then for My Hero Academia: Vigilantes. 😀

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