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Web Video / Mother's Basement

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Geoff Thew, self-proclaimed Anime Pope and professional shitbag. Profile picture from his second channel BasementEscape.

"I'm Geoff Thew, professional shitbag, signing out from my mother's basement."
Geoff Thew, at the end of the majority of his videos.

Mother's Basement is a Youtube channel led by Geoff Thew. Here he mostly talks about anime in the form of reviews and analysis. On occasion, he makes videos about other media than anime, such as movies, tv-series and games, although anime stays the most prominent topic. He's also a fan of video games.

His earliest videos on the main channel date back to 2015, starting with a series called "What's in an OP?" Here he breaks down the meaning and layers of anime openings. Later on, he would do a couple of reviews, although most of these were about certain movies, tv-series or games. In early 2016, he did the first Weebcast with Beatrice The Golden Witch (going by Digibro at the time), Best Guy Ever and Subsonic Sparkle, which was hosted by Beatrice. During fall 2016, he would start to feature the series on his main and later on his second channel. The Weebcast is a podcast consisting of multiple anime YouTubers talking about and discussing certain trends within the anime community, most often seasonal anime.


As of May 2020, he has gained over 1 million subscribers.

Mother's Basement contains examples of:

Tropes discussed on Mother's Basement:

  • Archive Binge:invoked He admits that he once did this for One Piece; he points out that he'd been at it for eighteen days and all he accomplished in that time was "inch dangerously closer to becoming a furry..." and he still had 100 chapters to go.
  • A Wizard Did It: Geoff has a thing for phantom thieves and stage magic, so it frustrates him when a bad anime extensively featuring such characters and premises never explain how said characters pull off the tricks they do, leading to implications (or just outright shows) that it's literally just magic rather than cool smoke and mirrors.
  • Colbert Bump: invoked
  • Doing It for the Art:invoked His summation of the late Stan Lee's foray into anime and manga is that they're all So Okay, It's Average at best. But what Geoff found remarkable was how willing Stan was to experiment with mediums he was fascinated with when he really didn't need to.
  • Expy: Combined with invoked Older Than They Think. Geoff points out how Alice in SAO: Alicization appears to be just another Saber clone as a blonde, sword-wielding waifu. He then notes that the original Alicization web novels were written around the same time Fate/stay night had released, meaning Alice isn't a Saber clone, but one of the first Saber clones.
  • Fanservice: Geoff usually makes note of the sex jokes and objectification of women common in anime but has expressed a willingness to let it slide since he understands that none of it comes from an intentional desire to hurt anybody.
  • Flat Character: His primary criticism of Hand Shakers is that all the characters are nothing more than a single quirky character trait being given human form, comparing it to Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist having nothing else about his personality other than his Berserk Button about his height. It's to the point where he considers the best written character to be the one whose tendency to throw out a Hurricane of Aphorisms turns out to be forcing this trait on herself.
  • Gateway Series:invoked In his video where he points out good things about Sword Art Online for once, he explains that this trope is ultimately the show's biggest strength. For as divisive as the series can get, even its strongest detractors begrudgingly admit it (at least its first season) is what got them into anime in the first place.
  • Ham and Cheese: invoked Chow Yun-fat as Master Roshi is an extremely lively and physical performance that makes him one of the more expressive characters in a cast full of Dull Surprise. However, Geoff deconstructs this a bit by pointing out that by juxtaposing such a Large Ham against bland performances, Roshi comes across more as an insane lunatic than a fun Eccentric Mentor. And Geoff is saying all this within the context that Chow Yun-fat is not necessarily a bad actor in the film.
  • Hard-to-Adapt Work:invoked Gibiate's art direction was based on renowned and acclaimed artist Yoshitaka Amano's concept art, which is so detailed and distinct that it is near impossible to animate while keeping the style intact; as a result, the character designs look like pale imitations of Amano's original designs, often looking stiff and awkward when animated or standing still. Geoff cites Hiromu Arakawa's adaptation of The Heroic Legend of Arslan, the original of which Amano had provided the illustrations, as evidence of the necessity of streamlining when doing adaptations, as Arakawa significantly simplified Amano's designs for the manga and the anime adpatation.
  • Incest Is Relative: Anime finds a way and Geoff is never happy about it ("DON'T FUCK YOUR SISTER"). However, he willingly plays Devil's Advocate and attempts a Tropes Are Tools for this by keeping it in his Fix Fic for SAO's Alfheim Arc, pointing out that at the very least Suguha's attraction to her brother/cousin is portrayed as one-sided and tragic in the story. The problem is that the anime simultaneously uses Male Gaze to turn Suguha into an object of fanservice; this muddles the fact that Kazuto does not see Suguha in a sexualized way, and detracts from the message by encouraging the viewers to be thrilled by the prospect of forbidden love. Geoff's fix is to get rid of the incest fanservice and show Suguha's attraction to her brother as a sympathetic but misguided phase that concludes with her learning to let it go, so that she'll be more mature and happy in the future.
  • Indecisive Parody: When discussing My Sister, My Writer, one of his biggest critiques was that the show often made overtures towards being a parody of light novel cliches (hypercompetent Little Sister Heroine, rampant fanservice, indulgent wish fulfillment), but for the most part, those elements weren't any sillier than the sort of thing you'd see in an actual light novel and still seemed to be written with fans of those cliches in mind. For instance, its fanservice, though framed a little more comically than the norm, was still clearly intended to be sexy, and comedic fanservice is hardly atypical in the genre (being a joke doesn't stop people from being turned on by it).
  • Jerkass Dissonanceinvoked: He theorized about the reasons Aqua, Darkness and Megumin from KonoSuba are generally well-liked despite them having unlikeable characteristics. Eventually, he concluded that this is not only because their antics make them funny but also because their personalities are genuine, which creates a sense of them being comfortable around the audience and the audience feeling familiar with them. That, and possibly because their designs are cute.
  • Late Export for You: He noted that Your Name took a year after its Japanese release to reach Canadian theaters, but Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale took only a month. Given Geoff's dislike of SAO, he was rather miffed about it.invoked
  • Let's See YOU Do Better!: The main motivation behind his Fix Fic of SAO. Geoff also goes ahead to pick this stock No, You response apart by pointing out how creating and criticizing art are two completely different beasts and, realistically, he cannot hope to possibly go through with the challenge completely since producing anime is an expensive and demanding workload.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Hand Shakers has an egregious case of Product Placement where a real life Japan-exclusive card game is significant to a character's powerset and a story arc involving him. Geoff goes further to discuss the hurdles and effort needed to be able to make this work (even playing the Yu-Gi-Oh! theme to make his point known) and points out how this in-story advertisement grinds the show to a complete halt that doesn't make any logical sense In-Universe.
  • Off-Model:
    • One of the many reasons he detested the fight scenes in Master of Ragnarok was the poorly drawn anatomy of the characters even in Limited Animation shots.
    • He notes that one of My Sister, My Writer's many problems is how distressingly often the characters go off-model, to the point that it looks like what would happen if you had Picasso on keyframes.
    • A rare example of this not being bad, this is why he loves the anime adaptation of KonoSuba. The Off-Model animation works well for comedy, and since the series is mostly that, it helps create some of the funniest moments in the show.
    • Similarly to KonoSuba, Geoff notes that while he feels the writing and voice acting more than makes up for it, the first season of The Quintessential Quintuplets has less than impressive production value and he expresses understanding but concern that viewers who can't look past it will have their viewing experience ruined by it.
  • Opinion Myopia: invoked Played for Laughs in Waifu Wars - Public Service Announcement where the narrator tells you how you can figure out who's the enemy: anybody who doesn't agree with his (read:the narrator's) opinions.
  • Rape as Drama:
    • One of the biggest criticisms Geoff gives to SAO is its rather tactless usage of sexual assault, i.e. serving only as Kick the Dog moments as opposed to actual plot or character advancement. One of the few positive points he gives to Alicization is its usage of sexual assault to actually drive the plot forward, but even that he considers mitigated by the fact that not only is it presented in a somewhat comedic manner (intentional or not is unknown) initially, but it creates a giant Plot Hole in its Worldbuilding as a result.
    • Also discussed in his video on the infamous rape scene in Goblin Slayer. Among his criticisms is the fact that the scene seems to only exist just to establish that goblins are evil and that the anime sexualizes what should be a horrific moment. He feels that the scene does little but scare off people from what, in his opinion, is a fun dark fantasy.
  • Relationship Writing Fumbleinvoked: An inverted take on this trope is brought up in his video about Dragon's Dogma, where he notes that he can't tell if Yang and Leni, the two characters of the week in "Sloth", are supposed to be lovers, friends or even siblings. He eventually concludes that Yang is "in a very vague sense, some form of Leni's man".
  • The Scrappyinvoked: Discussed in his "What's in a Scene? — How SAO Became the Worst Anime Ever" video. Geoff heavily dislikes Yui because in his opinion, she was responsible for setting up the downfall of the show for him, since the scene of her "death" caused such massive amounts of Fridge Logic and an Ass Pullinvoked from Kirito to save her that the series ultimately went downhill and never recovered from. In a way, Yui, at least for Geoff, ended up being something of a Franchise Killer in terms of his ability to enjoy it, and for said reason, he heavily dislikes her character.
  • Second Season Downfallinvoked: Discussed in "How DARLING in the FRANXX Wrecked its Worldbuilding", and the follow up video; "DARLING in the FRANXX — What the HFIL Happened!?". The second season of the series went so drastically into a different genre for several of its run-time, than shifted to explaining as much about the setting as possible, before becoming a copy of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Any good will people had towards the series effectively died after the second half of the series started, and the ending basically trampled any hope for a good conclusion.
  • Show, Don't Tell:
    • A point of high praise Geoff had for DARLING in the FRANXX...a point which he angrily took back as the show decayed and it ruins its Worldbuilding mystique by having an Info Dump episode.
    • A consistent criticism towards SAO is its tendency to have boring and long Info Dumps mostly with characters sitting in a cafe and talking.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plotinvoked:
    • One of the reasons he hated the Alfheim Arc of Sword Art Online was that the story never even remotely addressed the Big Bad and his evil plan to create mind control technology using the still trapped SAO players. In Geoff's eyes, it was simply used as a way to raise the stakes, but never actually mattered since the plot point itself had no usage at all. Another important plot point he discusses being wasted was how Kirito himself points out that Asuna is as strong as he is, if not potentially more, and argues that the story really seems to suggest a fight between the two will happen, but never actually does. In his "Fixing Alfheim: the WORST part of SAO" video, he addresses these by combining both plot points by having a mind controlled Asuna fight Kirito.
    • He notes that the gothic horror setting of Assassin's Pride, where it's Always Night and people constantly live in fear of Tim Burton-esque monsters, has the potential for some interesting stories. Unfortunately, the story itself tends to focus more on harem antics in a Wizarding School instead.
    • Much of the reason for his dislike for High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World amounts to this, as he felt the premise (a group of highly talented individuals needing to rebuild society from the ground up in a fantasy world) had a ton of potential. However, he found the fact that their new government is essentially just the modern Japanese government to be both unimaginative and carrying a rather ugly implication that said system is perfect, and he pointed out that despite the premise, functionally the only characters who actually make any important decisions are Tsukasa and Masato (who are, of course, two of the only three male characters in the main group), reducing everyone else to the typical agency-free battle harem. He heaped particular dislike on the stage magician Akatsuki, because he was interested in the idea of how a real-world illusionist would cope in a world with actual magic and in seeing the explanations for his tricks—instead, the show never explains Akatsuki's bizarre feats, and therefore he ends up being functionally no different from a standard fantasy mage.
  • Verbal Backspace: In "I Miss English Anime Openings":
    "I bet you didn't even remember Mon Colle Knights existed until just now, and I blame that 30 seconds of farting tubas, because the show was awes-... goo-... okay, look, I liked it."
  • YouTuber Apology Parody: In this video, Geoff tearfully apologies for leaving Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun out of his best anime of 2019 video.


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