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25 Days Of Blogging Day 13: Ending Superficial Fanboy Elitist Bitterness

I’m not one to fanboy.  Okay, let me take that back. I can be bit of a fanboy, but I don’t see myself being a fanatic for anything – except for Fire Emblem.  I love Fire Emblem. I truly do.  It’s my favorite video game series of all time.  Thracia 776 is not only my first Fire Emblem game but it’s my favorite game of the series; as well as my second favorite Super Famicom game (my first being Final Fantasy 6). Genealogy of the Holy War is my favorite video game. Nothing can beat it.  I could go on and on about how it made me appreciate politics, wanting to create my own linage with my last name,  how I love the tone change Chapter 2: Disturbance in Agustria brings to the game, and how I almost got banned from Serenes Forest for “slut shaming”  Lachesis: the Incestuous Slutty Half-Sister Wonder back in the late 2000s.

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Not only is she’s a slut, she’s a pedophile too.

Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with Nintendo’s other franchises; I love Smash Bros, I think Zelda is a great adventure series. Pokemon, a childhood favorite, is still going  24 years later. F-Zero is dead. And Star Fox is a dead series for sexually confused furries in denial.  But, there’s something  magical about Fire Emblem that draws me into more than any other Nintendo series.

I’m glad to have witness the rapid growth, reinvention, and renaissance of the Fire Emblem series this past decade.  Awakening saved the series (and yes, to you spaz ass emotional ass FE super fanboys who gatekeep the series because you’ll never create anything original worth gatekeeping in your lifetime; I know their marketing campaign saved the series). Echoes proved that the younger fans can appreciate unforgiving brutality of the classic Fire Emblem game’s mechanics. FE: Heroes is gacha garbage. If Cowmila was a real girl, I’d pay her to give me a  lapdance along with Tharja while Azura sings over an Dirty South trap remix of Lost im Thoughts on my birthday because Azura and Camilla are the only good things about Fates besides Lost in Thoughts All Alone  being a remix of this song. Finally, Three Houses has not only dominated the strategy genre, but proven itself to be a mainstream Triple A juggernaut of a game.

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Three Houses MCs from left-to-right: Some white girl, Neil Patrick Harris, and Prince.

 

 

 

 

It is an understatement to say this is the best time to be a Fire Emblem fan.  Words cannot describe the fact of how happy I am to be a Fire Emblem fan today.  There is none. With that said, you will be surprise to learn that this wasn’t always the case.  In fact, during the start of the Fire Emblem renaissance, I was a bitter, angry, gatekeeping old school fan that hated the reinvention of the series and the fans. And by old-school, I was one of those annoying, assholish Shouzou Kaga dick riding FE fanboys who thought he was superior for playing the older games (who am I kidding I’m still am an assholish Kaga fanboy).

Let’s go back to April of 2013.

Fire Emblem: Awakening made it to the states after a year after the Japanese release. The American Fire Emblem community was at abuzz. We were all excited to get our hands on the new game.  Well, not me actually.  My money management at the time was foolhardy at best; so  I didn’t save up for both a 3DS and the game. Nevertheless, my excitedment couldn’t be contained for long, so I decided to check online for news surrounding the game over here in America.

 I was met with the following:

“This is a fucking waifu simulator!” “This pissed on Kaga’s legacy!” “Fire Emblem should have stayed dead!” “Not only is Lucina’s a Mary Sue, she made me realized that at least I’m not AS flat chested and flat ass like her!” “The fanbase is stupid and refuse to play the older games!”

I was shocked.  The beloved series that I loved since high school became a weeaboo waifu simulator pandering to new gen anime fans.  The new fans are talking reckless about the older games.  Worse: classic FE fans stated that Awakening was a cheesy anime game than a tactical game about warfare, life, death, and the horrors of war.  Overtime, I became angry at the fandom – bitter even.  How could a weeaboo trash entry of Fire Emblem outshine the rest of the games in the series ?

How dare this so called Fire Emblem game became the one to save the series from death!?

I wanted to talk about the other games prior to Fire Emblem (sans the Wii and Nintendo DS garbage FE games), but the newer fans only wanted to play Awakening.  Some had the nerve to call Thracia 776 and Genealogy of the Holy War archaic…which is kinda true but man, that hurt. Nevertheless, I wanted nothing to do with Awakening besides bully the Thraja fanboys for  being fans of an abusive woman and bully Lucina fans for thinking a Mary Sue character is a good one.

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Lucina dealing with the trauma of war and her hate within the fandom. Source: https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/1108249-fire-emblem

But, like the Grinch, something in my heart changed.
As time passed, it dawned on me: If it was not for the popularity of  Awakening, nobody would be talking about the Fire Emblem series – because the series would had died.  Because of Awakening, interest towards Fire Emblem began anew – especially the older games – and especially Genealogy of the Holy War.  Awakening used the paring and generation mechanics of FE4 (where in the first half of the game, you must pair a male and female unit together in order for them to have a child unit to fight in the second half.)  The newer fans started to get curious about the origin of Awakening parent/children system. Naturally, a few of them started playing Genealogy of the Holy War along with the older games.

Rather than gate-keep and bully them (as I saw a few older fans did), I welcomed the newcomers to the series and gave tips for Genealogy and Thracia. Some complained about the massive maps  of FE4 and difficulty of FE5, but I appreciated the fact that they at least tried the older games.   Some stayed with those two games while others went on to play the GBA era FE games.

Fire Emblem’s popularity was starting to rise again.
And my bitterness towards it began to wane.

***

 

Naka-Kon 2015

While I was walking back to my hotel after hanging out with one of my  Umineko no Naku Koro ni  cosplay buddies at the convention center, I spotted a girl who couldn’t be no older than 16 cosplaying as Celice/Seliph: the second generation Lord of Fire Emblem 4. I was shocked.  Normally, anyone who was cosplaying from the series were only cosplaying as the newer characters — not the older characters. I wanted to take her picture of the Celice cosplayer and tell her how I appreciated that she was cosplaying a character from my favorite video game,  but by the time I had turned back around to get off the escalator, she was gone. Oh well. I was just happy to see the next generation of Fire Emblem fans taking appreciation of both the new and older games.

To see that somebody as young as her cosplaying as the classic Fire Emblem characters made me realize that the newer generation of fire emblem fans do have an appreciation for the older games. Plus,  it made me fully aware how foolish I was to be angry at something as superficial as the popularity of Awakening. The anger temporary blinded me from seeing the bigger picture:

Fire Emblem – my favorite video game series – was receiving love and appreciation again.

Until next time

-Yuki The Snowman

 

 

25 Days of Blogging 0

25 Days Of Blogging Day 12: Cosplay: A Quick Rundown

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WHAT IS COSPLAY?
Cosplay, using the combination of the words “costume” and “play”, is the performance art in which people (or cosplayers) wear costumes and fashion items modeled after a specific character from movies, anime, manga, TV series, books, comics, Western animation, and etc.

The term “cosplay” was coined by movie producer Nobuyuki Takahashi after he attended the 1984 World Science Fiction Convention (or Worldcon) in Los Angeles.

The following is an excerpt from Brian Ashcraft’s and Luke’s Plunekett book’s Cosplay World on how Takashi came up with the word “cosplay”:

“In the 1970s, Japanese college students began dressing up as manga and anime characters. These young people had grown up on a steady diet of comics and cartoons, and when they attended manga and anime conventions (as well as school and university festivals), going in character was, as in the West, a way to express fandom.

Sci-fi conventions had existed in Japan since the 1960s, but in 1975 Comic Market (aka Comiket) launched, creating a venue for self-published comics. It was a fan convention and, in this environment, what would become cosplay in Japan started to flourish. There was already a Japanese term to express the concept of dressing up: kasou (仮想).

However, the word carried a nuance of disguise and didn’t quite capture the spirit of what cosplay had become. In the West the word ‘masquerade’ could be used to refer to costuming, but when Takahashi and some university friends tried to translate ‘masquerade’ into Japanese for a magazine article they were writing, it sounded ‘too noble and old fashioned’. According to Takahashi, ‘We needed to find another way to express the concept.’

Various terms were floating around. ‘We had heard the English word “costume” and seen events with names like “Costume Show”, “Kasou Show”, “Hero Play” and whanot,’ says Takahashi. In Japanese, English and other foreign words are often combined and/or shortened, for brevity’s sake. For example, the Japanese for ‘remote control’ – rimooto kontorooru – is shortened to rimokon. ‘So we started to think of different combinations,’ Takahashi says. ‘Finally, we came up with “cosplay”.’ The term was a portmanteau of ‘costume’ and ‘play’. It was perfect.”

Source: https://kotaku.com/where-the-word-cosplay-actually-comes-from-1649177711

WORD ORIGIN OF COSTUME:
Early 18th century: From French and Italian costume ‘custom, fashion, habit”. From Latin consuetudo, which means custom or useage

WORLD ORIGIN OF PLAY:
Old English pleg(i)an ‘to exercise’, plega ‘brisk movement’, related to Middle Dutch pleien ‘leap for joy, dance’.

HOW DID I DISCOVER COSPLAY?

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G4 Tech TV’s G-Phoria 2003 award show:
One day in 2004, I came home from summer high school to discover that my dad brought new channels on the cable box – G4 being one of them.  The first show on G4 was G-Phoria 2003 award show (in preparation for the 2004 live show). Never seen an award show for video games, so I sat down and watched.  After a few gaming presentations, there was for Kingdom Hearts – featuring cosplayers doing a skit based on a scene from the game (One of them in black face. Dunno how they let that one slide on TV).

After that, they brought out around 15-20 cosplayers on the stage, each posing and showcasing their costumes and props.  I never seen this kinda shit before.  I never knew people made costumes based off fictional characters for fun.  Went online and saw that people cosplay at conventions and how there were anime cons all over America were people do the shits.  I was blow away to say the least.  It made me wanted to go to conventions.

…and then I played a romhack of Final Fantasy 6 (FF3 in  the USA) called “Awful Fantasy 3” where the romhackers made fun of cosplayers, the art of cosplay, and how cosplayers  are highly immature and love causing drama  at conventions.

Thanks Something Awful for that reality check. I never went to a convention since.

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A Relm cosplayer kills her unwanted baby during a cosplay skit in Awful Fantasy 3

 

WHO COSPLAYS?
People of all races, backgrounds, nationality, and ages cosplays.  From Teenagers wearing their first store-brought cosplay online to 20 and 30 something professional cosplayers who craft their own cosplays from hands and brought shame and embarrassment to their family, to even old ladies in wheelchairs rockin’ schoolgirl uniforms, everyone cosplays.  No matter how old or young, people cosplay. And they cosplay whoever they want to.

Now, you do have those in the cosplay community who think certain people shouldn’t cosplay (i.e.; racist white elitists cosplayers who think dark skin and Black people shouldn’t cosplay as Asian people even though these white boys and girls are cosplaying as Asian characters), but that’s a topic for another day where I make low-self-esteem having  racist cosplayers by attacking their insecurities rooted from childhood until they commit suicide by blowing their brains out in their Sailor Moon or Goku cosplays.

WHERE CAN YOU COSPLAY?
Well, you can cosplay anywhere, but keep in mind that cosplaying outside of convention events will mark you as a weird ass socially awkward  idiot unaware of social cues. With that said, the world is your backdrop for your cosplays.  Go dress as Marisa Kirisame from Touhou high off shrooms in the woods.  On casual Fridays at the gig do homage to Urien’s pin stripped suit from Street Fighter V by matching his grey pin stripped suit, purple oxford shirt, cognac colored belt and shoes.  Dress as Junko Kanno from ZombieLand Saga while completely coked out like any other 80s pop music star at your college’s music hall.

Cosplay anywhere you want.

For the rest us who have common sense and understand the rules/norms of society, save the cosplay for conventions or do them subtly in public or in the workforce. If you live in a society where public cosplay in frown upon or even forbidden outside of events (i.e. Japan), don’t wear your cosplay to the event.  Pack it in a small carry-on bag and don’t put it on until you get to the event.

Sources on the Japan’s negative views on public cosplay:

How Do You Cosplay in Japan by the Cosplay.com Community?

https://cosplay.com/archive/thread/5dgg46/how-do-you-cosplay-in-japan

What To Expect When Cosplaiyng in Japan by R. Lowen”

https://aroundakiba.tv/stories/cosplaying-guide-japan/

The Lowdown on Japan’s Cosplay Industry

https://japantoday.com/category/features/lifestyle/the-lowdown-on-japans-cosplay-industry

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Don’t cosplay in public.

WHERE AND HOW CAN YOU BUY AND GET COSPLAYS CREATED

There are options.

If you’re cosplaying as a character who wear everyday clothing (examples includes Shirou Emiya from the fate series with his grey and white baseball v-neck shirt and blue jeans or Reigen from Mob Pyscho 100 with his suit and tie) then it’s just as simple as going your local clothing store (such as Goodwill, JC Penny, Nordstorm, Jos. A Bank, Tom Ford, etc.) and buying the clothes there.  You may have to do some alternations, but they’re minor.

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Useful store to buy casual cosplay pieces

For cosplaying characters with unique clothing that you can’t find in stores (certain school outfits,  armor, body suits such as Solid Snake’s sneaking suit), then you going to get them custom made.  Amazon and eBay have stores where vendors sell pre-made cosplays or you can go online for website that specialize in creating cosplays. Please keep in mind that online cosplay shops tend to be a little on the cheap and mass produced side of the game, so the quality may not be of that of a professional made cosplay.

If you do not want to go on the cheap side of the cosplay game and you want high quality, then you will have to pay a decent amount of cash to get your cosplay created. Don’t know anyone who creates cosplays? Then check your local convention city scene for cosplay creators (such as anime con Facebook groups).

And if you really want to do it yourself, you can learn how to.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COSPLAYS

With so many people of different backgrounds, races, ethnic groups, and creativity it’s nearly impossible to list all the different type of cosplay within the realm of cosplay. With that said, here are the most common type of cosplays you will find at conventions.

  1. The classic anime schoolgirl. Easily ID’d by her (or his) sera-fuku, pleated skirt, penny loafers, white blouse and ribbon. On the the preppy side of the school uniform game , the schoolgirl cosplayer wears a blazer, button-down shirt, v-neck sweater, tie, etc. Commonly seen at anime cons.
    monika_off_ddlc_cosplay.jpg
  2. Armored cosplay. A cosplay that revolves around armored characters (fantasy characters, giant robots, mech suits, etcs.) Can be found at sci-fi, comic, and anime cons
    greatest_iron_man_cosplay.jpg
  3. Superhero cosplays. Leaping out the colorful pages of American comics into the real world, these cosplayers focus on the larger-than-life heroes from Marvel Comics, Darkhorse, DC, and more.  Can be recognized by their long capes, one piece zentai suits, and hero emblem.  Often seen at comic book conventions but have been making their way into anime cons.
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  4. Closet Cosplay. Cosplays that uses everyday clothing (as mentioned earlier) that can be found at stores or in your own closet.  Very simple and easy to pull off – but, in order to stand out from other closet cosplayers – you need to put in the effort (mixing high and low cost items, using a high quality wig, etc.)
  5. Genderswap cosplay. As the name states, it’s cosplays in which the cosplayer switches the canon gender of the character.  Example: a grown ass man with a full beard gender swapping Shouko  Komi (form Komi-San Can’t Commicate). Instead of wearing her red skirt, he swaps them out for red chino slacks. For the vice versa: a woman cosplaying as Goku (Dragon Ball series).
  6. It’s crossdressing, but in cosplay.
    sailor_bubah.jpg

WHY COSPLAY?
Because you have no personality whatsoever and nobody loves you unless you put on an outfit based off a fictional character.

Plus, ever dressed up as Oishi from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni doing  Hennessy shots with a dude cosplaying as Keiichi  while his homegirl cosplaying as Rena Ryuguu gotten into a drunken fist fight with  an Ai Enma cosplayer over some internet weeaboo con drama while a  Terra Brandford is grinding her ass on a Celes Chere cosplayer at a hotel party on an average day?

Didn’t think so.

Until next time!
-Yuki The Snowman

25 Days of Blogging 0

25 Days Of Blogging Day 11: Don’t Be Sorry

“Do you know what the most convenient phrase in the world is? It’s “I’m sorry.”
-Shadow Maya, Persona 2: Innocent Sin

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A baby-boomer father and his millennial aged son are walking down a busy street in Harlem.  The father, John Shaft II is giving advice to his son, John Shaft Jr. (or J.J.), about being brave towards and around women, having a powerful manly spirit, and never being and saying sorry towards women.

J.J., perhaps due to his upbringing by his single mother and cultural influence of being a Milliennial, whole heartedly disagrees with his father’s teachings. He believes that women don’t like being told what to do. Shaft II counters his son arguments; stating that men used to be men in his day; while the men of the millennial generation worried too much about what women think and feel. To Shaft II, the millennial men  are embarrassing themselves, and that men always own up to who they are.

However, J.J. believes that real men should take reasonability for their wrongdoings.
He is both wrong and right.

(Note: If you don’t know already, the scene described above was from the 2019 movie Shaft 2019. I was going to upload a video of said scene, but WordPress won’t let me.)

In most situations (keyword for you idiots who tend to get emotional over this topic matter: MOST), you should never apologize for your actions and who you are as a person. Example: There are people who aren’t confident with whom they are.  They will be comfortable with their selves.  So, when encountering others who have accepted themselves – flaws and imperfections included – they are fuming with jealous and envy.  “Who the fuck does that asshole think he is?” they might say to themselves.  Or, they might say “That bitch think she’s hot shit when she’s really not!”  out of spite and anger.  They’ll say some passive aggressive statement towards their target of hatred in order to make them conform and/or to knock them down a peg.

If you find yourself in a situation with such a person, you must do two things:

  1. Stand strong, be yourself and check them on the spot.
  2. Run far away from them. They will do nothing but poison your mind and bring you down to their bitterness.

You must never  say sorry to them.

Constantly saying sorry when not needed can be a sign of weakness or worse – manipulation – may the latter be done consciously or unconsciously. If you’re constantly analogizing to everyone over the slightest little error or mishap, people will not take you seriously. They will get annoyed with you quick.  Saying sorry every three sentence during a casual lighthearted conversation will turn people off towards you.  It shows that you’re way emotional.

Now, I understand that some people who grew up in an abusive household with narcissistic parent(s) or older sibling. Others were in an abusive relationship with a controlling, manipulative partner; so saying sorry to others is common. You’re dreadful of offending others due to ill experiences with toxic people.  Therefore, I understand why you might say sorry constantly. To that, I say this in the most living way possible: please seek professional help and don’t beat yourself up.

Using abuse as a segue lead for the topic; saying sorry can be used as a tool of manipulation.  Let’s say an abusive male hits his girlfriend after a heated argument over his flirty, cheating nature.  He might say “I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me.”, knowing full well his anger of him being caught up in his web of lies got the best of him.  Because the abusive man knows his girlfriend is emotionally dependent, he lies and says it won’t happen again to keep her – until it happens again and the cycle repeats.

You’re not sorry.
You’re full of shit.

You may be wondering when should you say sorry.  Well, there are a few situations when you should say sorry, mean it, and be cautious to not repeat the offense again.  If you offend a person through your actions (actual offense: not this politically correct nonsense these social justice warrior liberals believe is offensive) and you know you were in the wrong, the yes: say sorry. If you loudly barge into a quiet, peaceful room (on accident) and disturb the peace of the room, then say sorry and never do it again next time.  If you bring somebody into a situation they didn’t want to be in, take them out of it and say sorry.

Other than that, never be sorry.  Never say sorry.

Until next time

-Yuki The Snowman

 

25 Days of Blogging 2

25 Days of Blogging Day 10: Branching Out

25 Days of Blogging.  It’s like the 25 Days of Christmas, but without the creepy uncle tramazing you during the family’s holiday party. 

Day 9

As per yesterday’s post, I stated that while sticking to one thing is good, and you need to perfect one trade, rather than to tackle multiple trades at once, sooner or later, you will need to branch out to prevent burn out (as well as reinventing yourself: a topic I will cover much much later in the future).  Branching out and reinventing yourself is a great thing for personal growth. I feel that once you have mastery over one field, you should branch out into something else.

I myself have done some branching out lately.  Perhaps one of my best post of the year, The Guts To Be What You Wanna Be is a prime example of me branching out of comfort zone of anime blogging. Rather than sticking with anime for the entirety of the post, I used the iconic restaurant scene from Scarface to describe how you should draw power and courage from being yourself in a world full of cowardly fake men and women (who aren’t honest with who they are).  Of course, anime was later involved (as I mentioned anime series Megalo Box and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya for the post).

For the past few months, I’ve been slowly getting into live action shows television and films. The other day, I brought a DVD copy of Shaft 2019 after watching the movie on a flight to St. Louis from Atlanta this past November.  I’m also thinking of buying the first two seasons of the hit FX crime drama Snowfall: based around the 1980s cocaine boom of Los Angeles.  I was put on to Snowfall by my friend and podcast partner, The TV Guru 108/Super Lost Fan 108 after recording a podcast episode a few months ago.

The first episode of Snowfall I watched was Cash and Carry of season 3.  If memory serves me right correctly, Franklin was being screwed over by his cocaine plug, Avi, who was trying to use Franklin money for an offshore banking account (for Avi’s money laundry scheme). Avi arranges a trip to Panama Islands for them both in order to put Franklin’s cash in the account. Franklin quickly realizes Avi’s scheme to screw him over. So, Franklin starts putting him in check: forcing  Avi to pay him back, using Avi’s staff members against him, and makes Avi turn over his own private plane for Franklin’s personal usage.

It was that time I realized how powerful storytelling in live action TV could be over anime – perhaps even superior.

franklin_checking_avi.png

 

Now, let’s say I were blog about live action television and films (which I’m planning to do in the future).  By targeting fans of the live action demographic, I’ll have an increased fan base beyond anime and otaku culture.  An increased of topics to talk about means an increase of people.  More people due to having various topic matters of entertainment means more traffic to my blog. More traffic means more money in my pockets.  The more money I have, the more likely  I have freedom from the 9-to-5 rat race; thus, I have more time to talk and blog about television shows and anime.

You don’t necessary have to branch out for money reasons like I’m aiming for (however, I also love talking about anime and TV shows in general). For you, you might want to branch out for personal growth.  You’re tired of being in one place all the time, so you decide to dive into something new to better yourself as a person.  Certain ventures require new skills to be learned.  Having new skills in your arsenal means you’ll have more doors open for you in this world.

It could be for personal growth. You want to add more skill sets.  It could mean more doors opening for you.  An increased of options can be given upon to you if you branch out.  Your net worth and network grows larger.  If you’re tired of being stuck with one thing I highly recommend branching out.  It’s great for your brand and personal life.

Until next time

-Yuki The Snowman

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The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

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25 Days of Blogging 0

25 Days of Blogging Day 9: Sticking To One Thing

The 25 Days of Blogging.  It’s like ABC’s Family 25 Days of Christmas, but 25% more vulgar and offensive like your drunk ass Uncle during your family reunions. 

Day 8

Jack of all trades yet a master of none.  An all-arounder. but he is never staying with just one thing. Skilled and involved in many trades and he has complete dominance in neither nor. He wears many hats but you can’t pinpoint his trademark head wear.

We might know this guy. He bounces form one project to another.  One day, he’s working on a blog.  The next, a podcast.  Next week he opens a successful online drop shipping business.  The following month he’s flipping old clothes online for profit.  Next year he is running an anime YouTube channel.  He’s all over the place. You can’t pin him down – and not in a good way.

After a while (may it be from burnout or multiple projects failing), he starts to slow down.  He backs off from YouTube and podcasting for the written word: blogging.  He ends his drop shipping business and focus on flipping clothes.  He has realized that sticking to one thing and direct complete focus onto a single field is the best choice.

Since he stop podcasting, he saw an mass increase in his blog traffic.  Ending his drop shipping business means he can focus on his clothing flipping business; netting him more income than his previous side hustle.  Overtime, he winds up becoming a master of the art of blogging.  Realizing he’s making more money blogging than flipping clothes, he stops selling used clothes online and become obsessed and dedicated to blogging alone.

When you stick to one thing alone, magic happens.  You’re not spread out; tiring yourself and burning out. People see you as a respected authority figure because you’re not juggling five different things.  You are netting yourself more attention with one project than multiple. Your audience won’t feel alienated or confused because you’re not playing the switch up game every day.  Your brand won’t have an identity crisis.    And, if done right, you’ll become the top 10% of your field.

Let’s use Son Goku of the Dragon Ball series as an example of mastery of one field.

master_UI_Goku
What mastery of one thing looks like

Goku sticks with only one thing: martial arts.  Since childhood, he spent every morning, afternoon, and night training his body, mind, and spirit through the combat arts. Nothing else.  Goku wakes up, trains, learn from masters, “protect” the world from bad guys, sleep, and repeats the process.  You’re not gonna see Goku playing the guitar with Kaori from Your Life in April.   He isn’t going to spread himself out by running a shady business on the dark web like that Devil Arcana guy from Persona 3.  He is obsessed with fighting and fighting alone. It’s why he can throw down with the best in the universe.

***

On the flip side, sticking to one alone can grow stale if you’re not upgrading or reinventing yourself.  Eventually you will get bored.  You’ll hit a peak and struggle.   Your audience will want something new and leave you if you can’t provide anything fresh.  You want something new.  Therefore, you should branch out.  If you’re a blogger, perhaps branch out into the world of podcast after you spent years mastering the art of blogging.  If you’re a cosplayer, try entering the world of fashion. If you blog about anime start watching live action shows. If you never grew up watching classic shows, then you can talk about the shows you miss out thanks to your fresher mindset.

There’s nothing wrong with branching out.

Until next time

-Yuki The Snowman

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

Instagram: YukiTheSnowMan314

My Facebook Page:
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25 Days of Blogging Day 8: The Power of Going Out Alone

Spring 2015:

While I was still playing the violin on a serious level, I applied for a violinist position with the Colossalcon’s Symphonic Anime Orchestra. I figured that playing with an orchestra (may it be a professional or community orchestra) would be great for a musical resume.  Sent their orchestra director a few videos of me playing the violin, details of my skill level, and why I wanted to play with them.

A few days later, I received an e-mail from the orchestra director that I landed a violinist position with their orchestra.  Go me.  I relay the news to my friends whom were interested in going to Colossalcon. Initially, they were all interested in going.  We heard how legendary Colossalcon’s nightlife and party scene was, how the convention center double as a water park, and the vibe of the nerds  who ran the con (at the time) and the con-goers were chiller than most conventions (most anime conventions and anime nerds have a stick up their ass about partying and alcohol; Colossalcon don’t give a shit).   We got together and started to plan the trip.

Then, bullshit started to happen.
But, the bullshit was a silver lining.

My friends told me that they were low on money, so they couldn’t have the funds to go.  Their jobs wouldn’t let them off. The dates of the convention clashed with events planned prior.  Whatever.  . Perhaps this was the universe telling me I can’t rely on my friends and others forever.  Maybe the universe was giving me a sign that I need to leave  my comfort zone and experience the world – alone.

Thinking quickly, I went to the Collosalcon room share group to see if anyone had space in their room.  Found a guy named Martin whom had space in a suite with his family and friends.  Room space obtained.  Following that, I brought round trip Greyhound tickets to Sandusky, Ohio. Sixteen hours of hell both ways, but it was an amazing experience traveling alone either way.  Got the days off from my dickhead ass former boss. Finally, I counted down the days before I had to depart for my trip.

The day came.  Me, by myself, going alone to Sandusky.  Trust me: it was scary going alone. But, it was worth it at the end.  Up until then, I relied on my friends to travel with me outside of the St. Louis area.  I was too dependent on them.  However, I wouldn’t grow as a person until I learned how to travel and make moves as a solo act.

And you know what? It was the smartest move I made in and with my life.

Going to Colossalcon alone meant that I didn’t have to worry about somebody who lost their room key, therefore, making me drop whatever I was doing at the con and get them a new key.  I didn’t have to fear that my more awkward friends couldn’t control their awkwardness for longer than 15 seconds (I know it’s an anime con but being at your precious little weeaboo festival doesn’t mean that you should throw your social skills out of the window).   Didn’t have to stop a hot headed friend from fighting people because somebody hurt his pride.  I could do whatever whatever I pleased.

It was a peaceful con experience outside the drunk ass nerds wandering around the con.

***

There’s power in going out alone.  It shows that you don’t rely on others to have a good time.  You are more than willing to make moves without approval or dependence of others.  People don’t hold you back. Moving freely around to bars, clubs, etc. gets easier.  You can come and go at your own time. Making new friends and connections is much easier. Yes, you do need at times to hang out with others.  Isolating yourself from others is dangerous.  You shouldn’t cut people out of your lives – especially your (good, true) friends.  There’s nothing honorable about being a loner.  Nobody will praise you for being alone. They might be inspired by you to going out alone one day, but don’t expect praise.

However, you can’t depend on others to have a good time.

Question: Have you ever gone to a club, bar, event, or social outing and you had to leave it early due to the stupidity of one friend?  I have.

One time in particular, I had to leave a bar an hour after being it.  A friend of mines had a little bit too much to drink prior to hitting the club with our crew.  I do not know what happened, but apparently, somebody checked him and put him in his place (he might have been hitting on somebody else’s girl knowing him). He got in his feelings and tried to fight a few people – only to get his ass beat and thrown out of the club.  If you’re riding solo, you don’t have to worry about a friend like that.

Going solo also means that you don’t have to deal with certain friends who have bad social anxiety disorder (translation: being a bitch disorder) flaring up because they’re too many people around in a place.  A few years ago, a friend and I went to a huge concert in the downtown area of my town.  Wanting to break away from him and do my own thing (meaning walk around, talk to people, and hit  a makeshift bar up), I separated myself from him.  If he needed me, I he could text me on my phone.  As I’m walking away from the large dance pit, I saw this dude following me – everywhere – like a lost dog.  I asked him why was he was following me abd he was like “Well, I can’t do large crowds. My anxiety gets bad when I’m alone with too many people.”

Want to learn how to overcome your social issues? Get out and be more social – alone.  I am not saying it’s easy. It fact, it’s never easy the first time. But, you gotta over it.  You can’t always roam around the world, let alone your hometown with friends forever.  Your friends have jobs, families, careers, and other things to worry about over you trying to convince them to hang out (I’m talking to you bitch made cowardly males and females who make passive aggressive statuses on Facebook over this topic). Do you know what will happen if you don’t get out into the world alone? You will grow up and bitter with others. You will be like the millions of the elderly in nursing home filled with regret and remorse for the actions they didn’t take in life; hating on others until the day you leave this earth.

Get out there. Explore the world – alone.

-Yuki The Snowman.

P.S.
Sorry for the super late post, a lack of a featured image, and grammatical errors. I overslept this morning due to going out last night by myself at a local bar.  I should have had taken a picture of me going out alone as the feature image.  lol whoops. Didn’t want to break this daily blogging streak.

FURTHER RESEARCH ON GOING OUT ALONE:

25 Days of Blogging 0

25 Days Of Blogging Day 7: Social Media: The New Age Drug

The 25 Days of Blogging.  Instead of cheesy lame Christmas movies you get superior knowledge and information form a drunk, Holiday hating Grinch.

(Day 6 and Part 1 of Social Media: The New Age Drug)

Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Marijuana. Alcohol. Heroine.  What do they have in common?  Free, easy dopamine access and effects.  They give their users worthless, unearned highs.  Why put forth the effort and hard work for a natural high when you can net yourself an alternate that requires no work? Stick a needle to your arm. Press down on the syringe.  Let the drug flow through your veins.  Instant high. Instant dopamine. Repeat.  Stick your phone’s camera up to your face. Press down on the record button. Talk endlessly about a subject matter. Get likes.  Get comments. Instant high. Instant dopamine. Repeat.

One method is legal. The other is illegal. But, they’re still can be destructive.

Let’s do a few strange comparisons. Social media is the modern day drug house where hopeless, lifeless junkies gather; searching for their next high to escape their horrible reality. Instead of crack whores sucking on a crack pipe, you have physically beautiful, yet mentality vain and narcissistic young women sucking on phallic-like items for the attention of and validation from thirsty guys. Socially awkward depressed white nerds are your drug dealers who supply your memes they created in their drug houses (meme pages).  They get their follows hooked on their content and the followers can’t stop coming back for more.

(The difference is that real drug dealers have a social life, courage, and can get women – unlike meme page owners).

Such with illicit drugs, shares, likes, views, and comments make social media junkies feel better about himself or herself.  As soon as they hear a “ding!”go off or a bird tweet, you can bet that they will quickly reach for their device and see what content they posed got a like or a comment.  It’s worse if they run a popular page on Facebook or Instagram.  They can’t stop raving about the thousands they like generated a day. Nor will they won’t shut up about how many mindless zombie followers they obtained a month.

Fucking digital druggie e-hippies.

These digital and drug junkies love using these drugs as a means to deal and escape their problems. The lowly worker gets himself doped up before work to deal with their shitty boss.  The straight edge lowly social media whore recklessly rants about their boss on their page. Men get drunk at the local bar to cope with their horrible relationship with their wives.  Little boys go online to talk shit about their girlfriends.  It makes them feel good. The lowly worker doesn’t have the courage to tell their boss to fuck off, walk off the job, and become their own boss.  These boys and men don’t have the courage to cheat or their wives and girlfriends.

You can’t tell these addicts any different.  You try to say that their addiction is an issue and watch them go off the rails. “I can stop anytime I want to!  Just let me take this one last hit!” “I can get off Facebook at any time!  Just let me post one more sad selfie of myself for attention!”  They’re hooked! They feel the heat of withdraw.  They can’t stop going back.

Ever notice how both internet and drug junkies love talking down to others who aren’t addicted to the bullshit? To my straight edge readers: ever had a drinker or a weedhead shame you for not drinking or smoking?  Had it happened to a straight-edge associate of mines a few years back ago at an anime convention after party. Some drunken fat party weeaboo chick tried to shame him because he doesn’t drink and smoke.  She shoved a drink to his face, pressuring him to drink.  He knocked the drink away from his face and walked away: chest out, face up, back straight. The fat weeaboo chick went on a triad and left.

You tell somebody who’s addicted to their phone that you’re not on social media because it’s a waste of time and watch them go beserek.  “How can you not be on social media? You must have no friends! Nobody must like you! You’re so lame” No bitch. You’re the lame one with no friends. That’s why you’re on the fake world a.k.a social media. You would kill yourself if Facebook or Instagram shut down for good.

I’ll say this: Despite the condescending tone of this post (I’m highly aware of it) I’m not straight edge – nor am I totally against social media usage.  I enjoy drinking alcohol and smoking weed. Hell, I even do shrooms  from time-to-time. I’m on social media as well.  Just like I love connecting with old friends and family on social media and interacting with fellow nerds on my weeaboo page, I love drink a bottle of wine with a blunt on a side at the park after work.

But, everything in moderation.

Until next time

-Yuki The Snow Man

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

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25 Days of Bloggig Day 6: Misinterpretation. Misinformation.

Billy-Dee-Williams-fluid-sexuality

“Billy Dee…you’re too old to that claim you’re “gender fluid’”.

Like any sensible person, I was confused and dumbfounded  when the “news” broke out that famed actor Billy Dee Williams “came  out” as genderfluid.  It’s not that I would have anything against him for being LGBTQ, but something about this “news” didn’t sit right with me.  If he was gender fluid, gay, bi, whatever, we would have known it by now (since Hollywood insiders love talking about and exposing people’s personal lives and matters).  Additionally, I can’t imagine a man who’s near 90 being aware of a Millennial/Zoomer term such as “genderfluid”.  Older people can learn new things, sure, but something was just bothering me about it.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

“What the hell is ‘gender fluid?”
“Welp.  I bet everyone who thought he was coming out, praised him for doing so, and told me I was in the wrong got egg on their face.” I said to myself as I celebrated my amazing and superior logic once again. The article from The Undefeated described how media outlets twisted  Billy Dee Williams’s comments on his views his feminine and masculine emotion; he was comfortable with showing his softer, emotional side.  They didn’t catch that Williams was referring to Carl G. Jung’s theories of the conscious/unconscious mind as it relates to the anima and animus (female and male self). Clearing the air, Williams finally stated that he isn’t gay (he simply made the mistake of “using” fluidity as sexual orientation).

Was this simply an honest mistake by  media outlets?  Well, given  how mainstream media operates, especially during the Holidays (the Holidays/end of the year historically is always been slow, lacking and unexciting for major news), in my opinion, nah.  The world unwitty assumed that Billy Dee Williams was coming out of the closet. You can’t really fault the  internet for this one. Even if one were to fact check the story to debunk the media’s “claims” of Williams’s sexuality, every news source would state the same story: Billy Dee Williams came out of the closet.

Of course now, we know that’s not true.  The beloved actor is a straight man who is aware of his emotional side (and is knowledgeable on the shadow self of human nature).

However, it a great lesson on how quickly misterpreted information can spread across the internet.  In this era of the information age, incorrect material and information can reach millions in a matter of seconds. By the time anyone can correct the mistakes; people would have already believed it to be true and shared it with others globally.  Not even ten minutes could have past, and people are having intense and in-depth dialogue over information that may not be completely factual. People can read the misinformation and have their viewpoints completely changed – unaware that they have received incorrect knowledge and info.

Remember: if everyone thinks it’s true, then, it must be, right?

***

It’s amazing how we live in this era where we’re blessed to have knowledge, wisdom, and information at our fingertips. As the singer of the gambling anime Kakegurui xx’s second theme song singer JUNNA puts it, “There’s too much knowledge to be able to dream in this age”. She’s right: with all this knowledge out there in the world for us to search and hunt for, we can no longer dream about things of the “what if”, of the “who was”, of the “when is”, of the “where is”,  or the “how to”. Yet, what’s good is that all knowledge if there’s a chance it’s misinformation throw into the mix?

As we experienced with the Billy Dee Williams interview a few days ago, misinformation can spread quickly online.  This isn’t limited to superficial celeb news either. The ease of internet access for all has given rise to fake news and false information.  All it takes is one person or one entity to generate a news report or story lacking facts or truth, post it online, and have the masses  spread and share it with others.  Within minutes, the false information and fake news is out onto the world.

It’s why I hate it when people go “Well Google it then!” when dealing with a complex subject that many may not have an understand (due to their own ignorance or public schooling).   What if I do google something and find information on the subject matter?  I bring the misinformation to you, wholeheartedly believing that I have the correct information, only to have you go into an emotional fit because it was wrong all along? It’s frustrating! All because you didn’t want you back up your claims with trusted sources. I have every right to be angry at you for sending me on a wild goose chase because you wanted to please your own insignificant ego and were afraid to be proven wrong.

We are living our lives abound with so much (mis)information.

Until next time.

-Yuki The SnowMan

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

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25 Days of Blogging Day 5: Social Media: The New Age Drug (Part 1)

social_media_drug

I have a question for those who are 25+ of age: Do you remember a time when social media didn’t exist?  A time where cellphones were either comically massive or barely small enough to fit in your pocket? A time when cellphones could only browse on certain websites and do emails due to limitations. Performing a video chat on phones was merely a pipe dream that you only saw in futuristic sci-fi movies.  The internet existed, but it was limited to dial-up phone lines; no “invisible” WiFi connections. Limited to computers; not phones.

It was a time where the only means of talking with with others from across towns or across the globe online was through message boards, websites,  chat rooms, and emails.  That was our “social media”.  Our social commutations came from – wait for it – going outside and interacting with others.

We lacked technological distraction. In fact, using technology as a means to netted you the label of a social impaired nerd. If you wanted to talk reckless to somebody, you actually needed a pair of balls or ovaries to step up to a person you didn’t like and fight them (keyword: fight, not dox/swat or pull a gun and kill them on them on some bitch shit)

Then, the 2000s hit.

The 2000s brought along broadband internet connection (killing the dial-up game), the dot-com bubble burst, an everlasting slew of message boards, chat-rooms, and of course, social media. Computers and internet services became cheaper: increasing the ease of access for both items. Japanese electronics company Sony brought board band online gaming to the world in 2001 with the PlayStation 2.  Their Western competitor, Microsoft dropped XBOX Live in 2002. A year later, MySpace – one of the original social media websites launched followed by Facebook in 2004.

Within the first four years of the 2000s decades, the seeds of social networking where planted; paving the way for others companies to create their own social networks such as Bebo, Black Planet, and Gaia Online. Facebook of course, would grow into the innovating but social destructive juggernaut that would plague humanity today.

In unison, phone technology evolved with the internet, computer technology,  and social media. No longer were phones’ internet services were limited to only email a select few web pages.  Overtime, you could browse full web pages without flaunt.  You could chat with your friends using your phone’s camera (a feat only seen with computers’ webcams). Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter created their own apps for phones. The  phones themselves became cheaper and more powerful; easing access for consumers – like their computer counterparts did years prior.

Here were things took a turn for the worse.

Let me say this: technology and social media are amazing tools – if they’re kept it as that: tools.  You use tools. You don’t let tools use you.   Alas, society has allowed itself to be used by these tools.  Social media was meant to connect people with friends, family, business prospects, consumers, et cetera. But, as I stated earlier, gaining access to these tools became easy. Too easy in fact (you simple, entry level smartphone from Net10 or Tracfone have social media apps).

People started to figure out a few things:

  1. The internet allowed them to paint a fictional story of their lives.
  2. Strangers and friends alike could like your content
  3. Social media is a highlight reel

When you combine those three, you create a dangerous issue for humanity.  Let’s be real: whenever we get a like or a comment on the content we created, we get a sense of joy (me included). And isn’t an one-time deal.  The more content you produce for social media, the more likely you will have people liking and commenting on it. This creates a near endless cycle of producing content for likes – may it be real or false.  The more likes you get, the more “happy” you are.

That’s a dopamine effect. You know, dopamine: the same chemical in your brain that reacts to drugs such as marijuana, coke, heroine, ketamine, etc. Social media is a drug; a legal drug at that. You don’t need to go to a shady black market dealer to get it.  Just need a device with internet connection and content to post.  And, as with any other drug, once the effects are gone, you need even more. Your next fix. The urges are stronger.  It’s hard to break away from the drug.

Ever notice when you aren’t getting likes and comments from people who think they should stroke your ego every chance you get when you post something? You feel angry, moody, and depressed.  So, you start to post even more mindless, pointless content in hopes that somebody will like your stupid stuff so you can get that high again.  You even start refreshing your page thinking that it will help. It’s like a druggie indulging in more drugs to get that dopamine fix again.

When that doesn’t work anymore, you feel empty. You feel empty so you go in search for something to fill the void. It becomes an addiction.

And addictions are dangerous.

Until next time,
-Yuki The SnowMan

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

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25 Days of Blogging Day 4: You Can Watch Anime At Any Time

25 Days of Blogging.  It’s like ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas, but you won’t shoot your eye out reading my content. 

watamote

 

“Rising of the Shield Hero came out this past Winter! It’s old!  Nobody cares about it anymore. You’re too late!” I laughed as this ashy cornball nerd with a Stevie Wonder styled hairline, draped in clothes he brought from the local Goodwill tried to nerd check/gatekeep one of our administrators of a Black anime nerd group  I help run for not watching  Shield Hero during its original run this past Winter 2019.  I asked the cornball why our admin had to watch it while it was airing, not on his own time, and as well as stating that he’s still a fan regardless of when he watched it.

He didn’t say anything.
So I muted him for a week.

Admin power abuse to the side, I never got this train of “logic” that you need to watch anime while it’s currently airing. According to many anime nerds out there, you’re not a true a fan of an anime if you didn’t catch it while it was airing, or only watch it because of hype.  For most shows, I like to wait until at least a few arcs are completed, or wait until the entire season/show has finished to watch a few episodes a day.

But some nerds don’t like waiting.  You have these people who love bragging about being a part of the anime fandom conversation; because they want to be like everyone else due to their lack of testicular or ovarian fortitude of separating from the weeb pack mentality.  They log into social media to boast about how much they love the last episode of a show to others. It’s so they can generate likes in the virtual world because nobody likes them in the real world.  They want to be in the know for the sense of community and camaraderie

Inherently, there’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s natural to seek out fans of products that you enjoy to build a community around it; it’s why we go to anime conventions, interact with anime fans online, and wear graphic tees featuring our waifus out in public.  It does, however, become wrong when you decide to gatekeep and check somebody for getting into an anime series months or years after the show ended.

I hope I hurt some feelings by saying this: If you only watch a show, regardless if enjoyed it or not, just so you can brag about how many shows you’ve watched a season, you’re not a fan.  You’re just a nerd who’ll never produce anything of high value and quality: so you only exist to consume media for consumption sake.  You’re just mad that you can’t just wait until something is over to watch it,  or don’t have the courage to be your own person in the anime fandom; because you’ll never be shit without it.

Why does it matter that somebody waited until then to become a fan of the show?  Why do people need to watch the show while it’s airing?    I’ll never understand that.

-Until next time,
Yuki The Snowman

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

Instagram: YukiTheSnowMan314

My Facebook Page:
Yuki The Snowman
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25 Days of Blogging Day 3: Being (And Becoming) the Best Version of Yourself

25 Days of Blogging: It’s like ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas, but without the white people level of cheesiness, bad acting, and family friendliness.

vlcsnap-2019-02-19-11h28m56s086

Day 2

Yesterday, I spoke on why being yourself isn’t a good idea for most, if not, all situations.  In short, being yourself can get your screwed over, make you lose your job, and lose respect.  At the end of the post, I stated that you want to be the best version of yourself instead.  Well today we’re going to continue on what that means.

Being the best version of you simply means that you’re tackling problems, situations,  and issues through smart and hard work, experiences, and learning from not only your losses, but wins as well. You won’t know how to grow as a person until you go through it and learn from each and every trial life throws at you: positive or negative.

These experiences can come from dealing with losing love ones (giving you a stoic mindset of accepting death as a part of life), cutting shitty “friends” out of your life (so people of high value can come into your life to better it),  sacrificing short-term pleasure for long-term goals/satisfaction, embracing failure (which we will go in-depth  later on), and traveling the world to experience the cultures and customs of others  (gifting you a worldly view of the world) to name a few ways to pave your path to the best version of you.

Becoming the best version of you also means knowing what masks to wear.  You don’t want to keep your mask off when at work; rather, you want to put on your worker’s mask. This means that before you even come to work, you mentality and physical prep for work at home (eating a protein heavy breakfast for energy, making sure your freshly washed and clean clothes are ironed and pressed , and leaving personal issues at home when you leave the house). Next, when you enter your job, you go over what you need to do to generate the best results through your performance and enter your zone until it time to clock out.

 

When it comes with dealing with the world through the general public, you must be aware that you still need to be the best version of you. You leverage this by taking care of and being self-aware of your appearance.

Who do you think is going to be respected: some 20-year-old kid who’s growing a poor excuse of a beard with his pathetic, patchy stubble who’s wearing dirty, dusty shoes with the tongue leaning, mismatched socks, baggy cargo pants, and a graphic tee featuring an big breasted anime woman who’s about to burst out of her bar while doing an ahegao face; or a 30-year-old man sporting a clean, shined dress shoes, socks that matches his tailor fit pair of chinos, a wrist watch, fitted oxford dress shirt, a tailored blazer, and has a his beard trimmed or cleanly shaven off?

(Please weeaboos: Don’t put emotions into this)

The man is clearly showing the world the best version of him is going to be respected over the stupid kid wearing that weeaboo shit.  Are both people in the example above being themselves?  You can argue that yes, they are.  But, we can all agree that the man is being the best version of himself – not being himself (he could also be an anime fan like the kid, but he isn’t going to wear a graphic t-shirt of  anime women doing something sexual out in public).

Being the best version of yourself requires you to get over your fears: may they be failure, rejection, pain, and setbacks, whatever.  For those unaware, the featured image is of this post is that of Ai Mizuno from the hit Fall 2018 idol anime Zombie Lang Saga.  Without giving too much away, Ai is trying to convince friend and fellow zombie idol group member Sakura to get over her fears of bad luck and failure that plagued her life before death.

Ai tells Sakura that she doesn’t view failure and mistakes as bad things; as they’ll help her with whatever comes next on her path. Only then, by overcoming those things, she’ll become the best version of herself (a callback to an interview Ai did during a TV special with her old idol group which inspired Sakura to pull herself out of her depression and becoming an idol before her death and zombification).

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Wallpaper of my work laptop for 2020

People who don’t overcome their fears block their own progress of becoming their best version.  It’s natural to have fear, but it’s unnatural to allow fear to control you.  You will fail.  You will face rejection.  You will be hurt. You will be met with setbacks.  But, you have to embrace those things in order to become the best.  Being the best version of yourself doesn’t mean doing what makes you happy (although it does help a lot), but doing the things that make yourself uncomfortable.  But you gotta get yourself out of your comfort zone.

Only then, will you be able to become the best version of yourself.

-Until next time,
Yuki The SnowMan

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Weeaboo dude image source:

Man in blazer and chinos:

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Uncategorized 2

25 Days of Blogging Day 2: Never Be Yourself

25 Days of Blogging: It’s like the 25 Days of Christmas, but without the cheesiness, horrible family members coming to visit you, and dealing with soul crushing holiday depression. 

Day 1: The Type of Isekai  I Want To See

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Throughout life, people will offer you this horrible piece of advice: “Be yourself”.  Why is that?  Because, apparently, being yourself somehow gets you everything you want in this world.  People will treat you with respect if you’re just being yourself.  You can make a lot of friends being you.  If you just be yourself ,somehow everything else will fall into place for you.

I’m going to tell you something that is the opposite of what your parents, peers, and teachers taught you: Never be yourself.  Being yourself can set you up for failure.

Example: Let’s say, naturally, you’re a nice person. You’re kind and sweet to everyone, never wanting to rock the boat or step on the toes of others.  You go through life with your head down; never making a scene and avoiding conflict.  That can be amazing until people see that you’re a pushover whom can be taken advantage of.  Somebody ask you to do something that you know you don’t want to. Yet, because you’re too much of a cowardly bitch to say no, you agree to it. Now, you’re filled with regret.

Can’t be nice all the damn time – it doesn’t get you far in life.

Not a nice person but you have a backbone?  That’s awesome.  I respect people who make sure others don’t come after for them and won’t take advantage of them.  I have high levels of appreciation for those who stand strong and plant their feet on the ground against others.   You may even have an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, and that’s perfect…for some situation.  Having a no fucks given attitude can either hurt or help you.  Having a no fucks given attitude towards not landing a job after an interview can help you not give up on future job interviews because you don’t fear rejection.

Showing up to work smelling like weed and alcohol because you don’t give a fuck about your job anymore will hurt you: because now you’re unemployed, the lights of your house got shut off, and the dude who fronted you that eighth of loud has been blowing up your phone for the past week asking for the money (that you don’t have any more because you don’t have a job)

Being you isn’t always the best course of action.  Just because you love wearing your Pikachu shirt in public to express how much you haven’t grown up you love anime and video games doesn’t mean you should wear that shit to a professional setting  such as a business conference or meeting (remember: people will judge you based off appearance).  On the opposite side, being all about business and work will turn others off.  It’s okay to have a hobby such as Pokemon if you’re a businessman.

You may be wondering what you should do instead of being yourself?
What you should do instead is be the best version of yourself, which I will cover tomorrow.

Until next time,
-Yuki The Snowman

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25 Days of Blogging 0

25 Days of Blogging Day 1: The Type of Isekai I Want To See

25 Days of Blogging: It’s like the 25 Days of Christmas, but without the cheesiness, horrible family members,  and holiday depression. 

If you know me, then you know thatI can’t stand isekai anime.  I hate the concept of a main character (or M.C.) gifted with immerse, god-like powers after being transported into a new world without working their ass off (to gain those powers).  The idea is tired, corny, goofy, and I don’t get nor understand why weeaboos enjoy that shit.

Well, I lied. I do understand why.  Isekai fanboys (and most anime fanboys) live horrible, bland, and uninspiring lives.  In the real world, they’re not shit. Nobody likes them. Nobody knows who they are. They will never be anything in life. They need (isekai) anime as a means to live vicariously through their fictional heroes’ adventures – it’s their only joy. Of course, once the isekai trend dies out, these nerds will wind up committing suicide because they will nothing to live for.

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Isekai fangirl jumps to her death

 

Now, despite my hatred towards isekai anime, I’ve discovered one that I’ve actually enjoy so far and another one that’s on my radar: Ascendance of a Bookwork and The Rising of the Shield Hero. Let’s start with Ascendance of a Bookwork first.

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Urano, the star of Ascendance of a Bookworm, was a young Japanese college woman who loved nothing more but sticking her nose behind as many books as possible. Her life dream was to travel the world’s largest libraries and document her findings of rare books held in these libraries. Urano was one step closer to achieving her dream (by obtaining her librarian certification) until she was killed in an earthquake (crushed to death by her massive collections of books). Near death, Urano prayed to God that in her next life that she would be able to continue her lifework.

Answering her prayers, God transported into a world full of books – but only for the wealthy elites.

Urano, now a sickly five-year-old white girl named Myne, has been reborn in the medieval ages.  She wakes in her new world to a disturbing discovery: there are no books. Worse, she doesn’t see anything that indicates a writing system. Myne starts to panic and break down.  Myne’s new mother walks into her room and asks her what’s wrong, in which Myne asks her if there’s any books around.

Myne’s new mom laughs at her and makes her upset.
She’s such a loving mother.

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Myne would later discover that books do exist in this new world, but only for those who can afford them (as her dad puts it: buying a book for her would cost the family’s entire income for the year).  Copying books is also an issue that she would also come to understand, as they must be copied by hand ; costing as much money as buying a new book. Despite these setbacks, Myne is determine to  not only read, but to learn the  new writing system of her world so she can create books for the commoners of the world.

She doesn’t want the rich elites to have the joy of reading alone.

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I admire Myne’s willpower and drive.  Rather than to bitch about her current situation, she seeks out solutions for her problems; even if it means pushing her sickly body to its limits to yield desired results.  While most isekai heroes are given unbelievable god-like powers in their new world to make living in that world easy, she is given nothing more but her raw imagination, wits, and determination. Hell, the girl she was reborn into almost died from a nasty fever. Her doctors told her parents that it would be a miracle that she lived. Worse, Myne lives in a world where many children don’t live past the age of seven – and Myne is five years old.

To say that the odds are stacked against her is a clear understatement.   But, that’s life.  There always will be certain odds stacked against you. You don’t ask nor beg for greatest.  Nobody is born with it.  You have to work your ass off year-after-year for greatness.  Myne’s on the path of working towards greatness (even if she might have a mana cheat code built into her, but that’s for another blog post).

*****

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I have yet to watch Rising of the Shield Hero.  I have the series downloaded on my computer (can’t wait for the easy moralist weebs to get on my case about that  calling me evil for bootlegging anime while they probably got loli hentai and other fucked up shit downloaded on their phones), but I haven’t gotten around to watching  it yet.  Here’s what I know about the series from what I’ve seen and read from spoiler reports, screenshots, and video snippets:

Protagonist Naofumi is summoned into another world with three other young men from parallel universes to become Cardinal Heroes. While the other heroes are given offensive weapons and support from the people of the kingdom, Naofumi is given a shield. He also has no public support: as he’s falsely accused of raping the kingdom princess,  Malty Melromarc  Bitch a.k.a Slut (who was once his sole supporter before robbing him of his gear and accusing him of rape).  Throughout the series, the cynical Naofumi must learn how to trust others; as well as work with the shield class’s limitations to not only become a legendary hero, but to clear his name.

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Again, like Myne (cool nice Myne not Bitch a.k.a Slut’s fake name), Naofumi is an isekai hero who isn’t overpowered nor was blessed with anything special. He must work his ass off in order to get what he  wants in his new world – even if it means playing dirty. He has to gain the public trust and prove his worth to a world that wants him humiliated and dead.

I want to see more and more isekai anime where main characters have all the odds stacked against them.  They don’t need any special superpower that makes him top or god-tier from the jump  I want to see the M.C. forced to adapt to his new world and be forced to work his ass off to get what he wants.

I wanna see an isekai where the MC is a lame ass cornball ass goofy ass dude who has no luck with women.  He gets mocked for his horrible taste in fashion. Nobody wants to fuck with him due to his low social standing.  He dies in an accident and while he’s dying, he makes a wish that in his next life, he’s reborn into a man that’s fly. A man that all the women want. A man that has high social status.

And he gets that wish.
But, he has to work for want he wants.

In this new world, he is still the lame ass cornball ass goofy ass man that no woman wants.  After living in this world with anger and bitterness towards it, he realizes the only way he can get what he wants is to put forth the work. First, he figures out a way to make a lot of money through learning new skills through different trades.  Once he gets the money, he gets the power. Money + Power = High social status and respect.  High social status and respect = women (Yes, that was a Scarface reference).

Do you know how many male otaku isekai loving idiots would get inspired by an isekai anime like that? Do you know how many of them would want to be like that guy in the made-up isekai anime I just broke down that I know somebody will steal from me, turn into a light novel that will be adapted into an successful anime and never give me credit for it? Jokes aside, that’s the isekai we need in the world.

Stop with this power fantasy shit in iskeai.
It’s getting old.

-Until next time,
Yuki The Snowman.

 

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Uncategorized 1

The Guts to Be What You Wanna Be

 

Drunk. Quiet. Angry.

There’s a lonely man slumped in his in chair in a high-end restaurant filled with so-called “good” rich people.  They’re piercing stares of shame, judgment, and disgust do not faze him at the least. They can be heard whispering and chattering about his pathetic state. There’s a few seconds of silence followed by the man demanding the people “what you looking at?”.

Silence.
Then, the man speaks.

“You’re all a buncha fuckin’ assholes. You know why? You don’t have the guts to be what you wanna be!”

He slowly rises from his slumped state and resumes his triad.

“You need people like me! You need people like me, so you can point your fucking fingers, and say ‘that’s the bad guy’!”

He’s stumbling: effects of the alcohol and drugs he consumed earlier kicking it. Despite his impairment, he glares at the rich people, whom are clearly at unease at his actions. He asks everyone if – unlike him – they’re good because he’s bad.

No response.
He answers for them.

“You’re not good. You just know how to hide.  How to lie.”

Following that, he declares that he doesn’t have a those problems.  He proudly states that despite being a lair, he is always telling the truth.  As his bodyguards guides him towards the exit, he asks everyone to say goodnight to the bad guy; as this is the last bad guy of his caliber that they ever will see in their lifetime.

The scene described above is of course the iconic Scarface restaurant monologue.  Our lead and titular character, Tony “Scarface” Monata, has infamously built an ill rep for himself throughout the Miami underworld, news media, and public as a multi-millionaire criminal overlord.  He is all aware of his sins – and he’s not ashamed of it.  He knows who he is.  He knows he is a sinner. He knows he’s a bad guy. Rather running away from it, he embraces it.

He has the guts to be what he wants to be.

*****

Tony Monata is a fictional character.  His tale is of fiction. However, we cannot deny the fact that what he spoke in that restaurant is reality.  It is the truth. When you have guts, you’ll be met with opposition. Either they’ve given up on being who they want to be, or they hide it from the general public; shamming those who’re doing “ill” deeds (while hiding their worse deeds from the world)

They cannot stand the sight of those who are confident with whom they are.  They are envious of them: as they’re a reflection of what they can never be in life.  The people of Miami hated Scarface.  Not because he was a drug dealer, but because of his courageous, outlaw spirit.  It is because he brought to light what they do in the dark.

We see this in the real world often. A black man speaks out against the vile actions against his community at the hands of white supremacist. The powers that be silence him for it.  They know he’s telling the truth.  They know that they are full of shit.  History is filled with proof of their inhumane deeds that they deny.  They fear that he’ll wake his  community up. If they wake up, they will create a resistance group against white supremacy and expose their lies. So, they pull up his criminal record and ill deeds from 20 years ago. If he doesn’t have one, they make one up.  They speak of his ill deeds of the past.  Anything to discredit and sully his name in order to keep their hands clean.  It doesn’t bother him one bit.  He has the guts to be true to himself.
It takes guts to stand against an oppression system.

A young actress speaks out against the sexual abuse within the entertainment industry. She has witnessed Hollywood executives and producers coerce teenage girls to perform sexual favors for roles against their will.  She makes the world know what is going behind closed doors in Hollywood with the notorious casting couch.  Her heart forbids her to allow these foul actions to continue. So, she blows the whistle against it: exposing their deeds to the world.  The cowardly predators smear her name.  They blacklist her; making sure she never lands a major role in a movie or TV.  She cannot get any work.  She’s labeled as the bad guy. But she is unfazed by it all. She’s labeled as the bad guy.  She knew that saving young girls from this will come with a heavy price.  But, she doesn’t care.

It takes guts to defend your gender against an oppression group.
You can not let cowards rule this world.

In the realm of anime, anime is filled with many valiant characters who embrace who they are without fear.

The spirited  Gearless Joe of the Spring 2018 hit anime Megalo Box refused to throw match after match, despite the pleads of his chicken-shit trainer and manager, Nanbu.  He cares not for the politics of Shirato group’s Megalonia boxing tournament, the tournament’s prize money, the fame that goes with it, and throwing matches for the illegal gambling ring surrounding the tournament.   He wants the fight of the lifetime with the champion, Yuri.

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Haruhi Suzumiya, titular character of the iconic light novel and anime series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya embraced this ideology at a young age.  She vowed to let the world know that she exist through her life mission of making every day an adventure for herself by discovering interesting and mysterious people and things.  Rather than to fade into the background of the world stage, she was driven to become the main actress on it; regardless if she lived in Japan – a nation known for hammering down nails that stick out.

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In this world, you cannot be bothered by what others think of you.  You’re given a limited amount of time to live your life.  If there’s something you want to do, then do it. Yes: People will judge you.  Yes: people will shun you.  Yes: People will no longer be friends with you or want to be in your circle. They will call you “weird”, “an asshole”, “strange’, whatever words they can think of to make them feel better about their lack of courage and make you feel bad about your everlasting levels of it.

But, you have to embrace that.  Having the guts to be who you want to be comes with that. Don’t get me wrong: I am not telling you do anything illegal or immoral.  If you are, you deserve to be shun. You deserve to lose your friends.  Other than that, embrace who you are.  Don’t live in fear over what others think.  You don’t have time to do that.

Wasting your time being in fear of what others may think of you is for cowards.
Do not be a coward.

 

Fakeness fears realness.
Cowards shun the courageous.

Zombieland Saga 1

Memento Mori: How ZombieLand Saga Teaches Us About Our Life, Death, and Living

Studio MAPPA’s Zombie Land Saga (ZLS) is a hilarious, interesting, and refreshing take on two separate yet equally bland and tired genres: zombie horror and idol anime.  The fusion of these two genres, along with tackling mature themes such as PTSD, unethical practices within the entertainment industry,  depression, gender identity, and of course, death, Zombie Land Saga became a sleeper hit during the Fall 2018 anime season.

With the success of Zombie Land Saga, it’s no surprise that MAPPA is working on a second season of the show, churning out merchandise online, the voice actresses performing  songs from the anime throughout Japan, fans globally are giving their own creative spin on the characters through cosplay and fanart, and  making analysis videos on the series.

While roaming through the ZLS fandom side of the internet for analysis videos and essays, there was one thing that caught me by surprise: the lack of discussion around the overarching theme of death of the series.  Now, I get it: death is a sensitive topic, but I feel that it’s something we should talk about when it comes to this amazing series.

It might sound strange to you readers and listeners out there, but ZLS reminds me of how we need to appreciate life and respect death – not fear it.

PART 1

Death Has No (Age) Limit

“Death is not a hunter unbeknownst to its prey.
One is always aware that it lies in wait.
Though life is merely a journey to the grave, it must not be undertaken without hope.”

-Igor, Persona 3

Behind the (dark) humor of Zombieland Saga lies tragedy. The tragedy of seven girls who lives were cut short before reaching adulthood; with Lily being the youngest (aged 12), and, if we were to exclude the 20-something Tae, Junko as the oldest (aged 19). Like all youthful girls, Lily, Sakura, Yuugiri, Ai, and Junko were all youths filled with hopes, dreams and ambitions – only to die early deaths.

As a titan of the great idol wars of the 2000s, the prideful and unmovable Ai, along her group Iron Frill, dominated the music charts. No other idol group could reach their level of success. Each venue hall they performed at sold out: proof of their musical superiority.   Yet, on the night of her biggest concert of her blooming career,  Ai’s life was cut short when she (foolishly) stuck her hand out  towards the sky during a thunderstorm (Iron Grill were performing at an open air arena). Ai lived for a few minutes in excruciating pain and suffering before dying on arrival at the hospital.

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As one of the founding mothers of the 1980s Idol boom, Junko graced television screens and concert halls throughout Japan with her presence. Her powerful voice and air of mystery would lead her to nationwide popularity and stardom.  Sold out concerts.  Highly rated TV specials. High volume record sales.  Nothing was impossible for the rising starlet. However,  her rise to the top came to an abrupt, violent end. While on tour, the engines of the plane she was on malfunctioned midair; causing it to plummeted to the Earth.
Everyone on board was killed  – Junko included.

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Despite lacking proper training, Lily made it her mission to become an child actress to make her TV loving papa proud.  Lily was a natural; an artistic  prodigy even.  One could always expect to see her on a major prime-time show and big budget film.  There was no doubt that Lily could had grow into an extraordinary actress past childhood and into adulthood. Alas, the strain of a brutal workload, coupled mental shock of facial hair growth, and her father pushing her to her physical limits,despite her demands for rest, ultimately killed her. .lily_death

Sakura was a young bright girl with both scholarly and athletic success. Whatever she put her mind towards, she would go after it.    However, despite her relentless drive towards success, she was met with setbacks and failures; driving her into depression in her teenage years. One day, during a depressive episode, she caught an TV special featuring Ai’s rise to success with her band. During this special,  Ai brought up that she doesn’t view failures and mistakes as bad things; as they will help her with whatever comes next in life.

Touched by this, Sakura would attend Ai’s concert in Saga.  There, shebecame inspired by Ai’s marvelous performance to the point that she was able to pull herself out of her depression; deciding that she would become a singer like her idol.  She applied to join Ai’s group with this newfound inspiration and  reason for living.

Sadly, on her way to mail the application, Sakura was hit by a truck and died instantly.

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****

Death doesn’t care if you just pulled yourself out of years of depression.  Death doesn’t care if you’ve been happy all your life.  It pays no mind to women who are successful and women who are failures. It is merciless to both celebrities and average men alike.  Death doesn’t hold biases towards the young and the elderly. It doesn’t  matter to death if your smart or did stupid  things (like Ai).   We are all equal when it comes to death.

As you read above, there were three girls who were celebrities and one girl who was not. In the  world of Zombieland Saga, the world once knew of Lily, Ai, and Junko; while Sakura was a nobody.  In it , Lily, Ai, and Junko are in the history books while Sakura will forever be lost to it. 

But, at the end, death came for all four of them – despite their status and age.

 

PART 2
Memento Mori

“Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to throw away. Death stands at your elbow. Be good for something while you live and it is in your power.”
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Memento Mori, or “remember: you too will die/you too are mortal.”  Within the Stoic community and philosophy, death is a topic that is covered and approached without fear.  The Stoics of Ancient Rome and Greece kept death in mind; not out of some twisted morbid curiosity, but they confidently accepted that it’s a normal part of life.  It’s a motto to guide a person to live in the moment and to think about the future: forgoing thinking about trivial, superficial things that will not matter in the long run.

With Zombie Land Saga, I believe we can approach this Stoic ideology with the anime itself.  Remember: the ladies of Franchouchou are zombies for a reason; not because of some weird shady music producer, but because they lived and died young.  Like you and I, they too, were mortal. We too, will die like our favorite singing zombie girls.  With this (and death) in mind, we must be aware of our own morality. We must act that as if each day is our final day. We are not immortal. We not not invulnerable.  We are all in the cross-hairs of death; waiting for it to pull its trigger.

As young girls in life, I am doubtful that Sakura, Lily, Ai, and Junko cared about death  as most young people do. When we were young, the thought of a  possible early death and planning for the future never crossed our minds.  We weren’t concerned with taking care of ourselves nor did we want to.  We foolishly believed that we had all the time in the world to do whatever we pleased; as if we could live into old age without flaw nor issues.  However, at some point , we figured out that we do have to take care of ourselves and that our time on Earth is limited. Sakura, Lily, Ai, and Junko learned the hard way that life is short — as many young people are learning that fact today.

Now, You may be wondering, why did I left out Saki, Tae, and Yuugiri thus far.
There’s a reason for my exclusion of those three.

Saki is somebody I believe took the Memento Mori mantra to the extreme. Saki was a gangsta. She lived the gangsta lifestyle and died because it.  In that respect, we can assume she had absolutely no fear of death. As a gangsta, why should you? You knew what you sign up for once you get yourself involved street activity. If you don’t escape it, the gang life  will either land you in prison or in a casket.  But Saki didn’t care. Hell, she prided herself on having guts and courage and respect people who are also full of courage like herself (as most gangstas do).  She probably knew that she would die young from being reckless; which is why she took a game of chicken (way) too seriously.

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Goddammit Saki

Tae is an oddball as we have absolutely no information on her. However,  according to Studio MAPPA, she was in her late 20s at the time of her death.  We can guess that by the time she died, Tae had understand the concept of life and that she will die.

Finally, there is the case of Yuugiri the Stoic (not her official title but bare with me here).

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And this is why Yuugiri is best Franchouchou along with Junko

Yuugiri is somebody we can assume clearly understands this stoic philosophy of life, death, and not caring about trivial things.  She’s a woman from the Meiji Restoration Era of Japan; an era in which Japan was littered with violence, political shifts, social revolution, social unrest, and rapid industrialization (to name a few things that were going on during that time period).  With constant history changing events unfolding in Japan, it makes sense for  Yuugiri to have calm, peaceful approach and mindset towards her new life as a zombie and the new era she is living in.

There’s no point in getting in your feelings over simple things when major events are unfolding in your daily life.

Example: During episode 6 of ZLS Lily was concerned that Yuugiri would be confused with everything in the modern world by asking her if she is okay and if she could follow what is going on (in terms of Franchouchou upcoming fan meet and greet).  Yuugiri replies that she will accept things as is and as they come; as being confused about anything wouldn’t help.

 

 

This is a philosophy we should take to heart as we’re on our life’s journey to the grave.  Why waste time worrying about things that you can never change as death lies in wait for us?  Is there any good questioning the things that we can never change? Instead, we must spend our time doing  things  that makes us happy and give us the best results every day. Think back of all the stupid things you had worried back in the past and ask yourself “was it worth wasted effort, and energy, and time directing my thoughts into those pointless things?”. I bet you’re kicking yourself  right now over them.  Did those things matter still in your current, present life?  Of course not! Focus on what’s important for today and for your future.

I’m not saying you should be careless about things nor pay no mind to issues that could result in major harm or  disaster in the future: that’s foolish! And I’m not saying you should accept absolutely everything that has an impact on your life. If there’s something that truly bothers you that you think could negatively impact you, do something about it.

Otherwise, don’t trip off the things that won’t matter 5 seconds or 5 decades from now.

Can you imagine if Yuugiri, or any other member of Franchouchou spent their time wondering why they came back to lives as zombies instead of reliving life itself and having fun as zombies and idols? They wouldn’t get shit done. They would waste their and Tatsumi time doing nothing but rotting away for eons.

Aimless wondering and wandering over pointless things doesn’t make you human.
It makes you a mindless zombie.

PART 3
There Is No Second Chance: Live Your Life

“A zombie that doesn’t dance is just a regular zombie. The others are zombies, but they’re trying to live. Just how long do you two intend to just rot?”
-Tatsumi to Junko and Ai, Zombieland Saga Ep. 3.

“You’ve got all the talent in the world, but the two of you girls are giving up without giving it a whirl!”

-Sakura to Junko and Ai, Zombieland Saga, Ep. 2

 

The ladies of Franchouchou were given a second chance at life thanks to their shady necromancer music producer who wanted to give seven people a chance to recapture their dreams.  Dreams that  they were never able to achieved due to their lives being cut short.  Through hard work, pain, and relentless challenges, Franchouchou were able to become idols in the country town of Saga, Japan.  Of course, such a story is a work of fiction; cute singing anime zombie girls will never exist in the real world. Once you’re dead, you are dead – there’s no coming back – no second chances at life. You do not get a reset. Nor do you net yourself a redo.

With that said, spend your time on earth wisely and work  bettering yourself: just like our favorite characters from Zombie Land Saga before their untimely deaths.

Both Junko and Ai became major pop idol stars as teenagers. Can you imagine how excited they were when they got their first record deal as kids?  Lily became a sensational television and movie star as a child and worked hard to make her father proud of her. Just think how much her dad smile when he saw her on the tube (as Junko would say). Saki and her biker gang wreak havoc on the streets and highway of not only Saga, but most of Japan itself. She was a street legend. Little is known about Yuugiri’s past life, but we can assume that thanks to her playing her role as the perfect courtier ,she was a legend of her time period.  Sakura, despite dying a few days afterwards, was able to pull herself out of and defeat her depression while working on her goal on becoming an idol singer.
And Tae…well, she was the leader of the Sailor Scouts and a pirate empress in her time.

tae_is_actually_sailor_moon_in_a_alternate_universe_were_sailor_moon_dies_and_is_never_brought_back_to_life.jpg
Source: https://www.pixiv.net/en/artworks/71839177

Meta jokes aside, we all yearn to live a great, long life.  During our lifetime, we must seek to achieve great things, hit milestones, and make an impact on the world around us.  It is important to set daily goals and make a great effort to accomplish them.  We must set up targets and aim right dead at the center.  Take risks, take a chance, and make things happen for you: You only have one life, one chance at writing the book that is your life story.

One final thing: You reading  means that you greatly value yourself and education. You understand that there’s more to life than to a mindless zombie consuming pointless things until death.  You understand that each second draws you closer to death and that you find ways to better yourself before death comes for you.

And to you for that, I say, thank you (but also read other people works for self-improvement, not just my essays).

Remember: you are mortal and you will die.

 

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The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.
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I post cool pics of my convention travels, weeaboo memes, and make reckless and wild ZombieLand Saga memes using screenshots from the series such as Sakura finding a cure for her depression  having Saki steal credit card infomation , and turning Junko into a drug dealing degenerate 

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Japan 2

Hikikomori: The Digital Age Hermit

Editor’s Note:  This is a text version of episode 32 of my friend and I podcast “The Swarthy Nerd Podcast” . It has been edited for this blog.  You can listen to the episode in full by clicking on this link. Please enjoy! 

 

Japan: A nation rich in cultural tradition, technological advancement, animation innovation, and an unreal politeness. It’s a peaceful county that holds the status quo on the highest pedestal.   From childhood to adulthood, the Japanese are expected to follow the status quo, daring not to stand out from the crowd; as they will be hammered down like a nail sticking out from the board.

You’re expected by society and by your family to work hard. At school, work, and for the general public, Japanese citizens must put on their best face (or tatemae 建前, たてまえ lit. “façade”); regardless of what they might be going through in their personal life thanks to the nation’s intense conformist nature.

But, what happen when this intense conformist nature Japan is known for becomes too much for one person to bear?  Let’s say a salary-man gets chastise by his boss for a one minor mistake that can be easily fix.  In America, we might get in our feelings over the matter for a split second then seek to correct the issue.  In Japan however, the salary-man will cave in, withdraw into his shell, and finish the work for the day – never returning to work the following day.

Instead, he’ll lock himself away in his disgusting, trashy room of his parent’s house in a state of deep depression for months or even years. He doesn’t interact with the outside world beyond the virtual, online world – a world in which he feels is much safer than brutal reality.  He wastes his time and life away watching anime and playing video games; never contributing to society.  His parents provide his need out of “support” until they grow old and die.  They don’t know what else to do with him or get him out of this state.

This man is a member of Japan’s missing one million: hikikomori (ひきこもり or 引きこもりlit. Pulling inward, being confined).  A social phenomenon with origins dating from the mid-1980s and appearing in the Japanese mainstream in the late 1990s, the hikikomori is the modern-day reclusive hermit who has withdrawn from all social interactions.

According to the 2016 Japanese census report, 540,000 people aged 15-39 are considered hikikomori. However, some experts has estimated that the number is 1.55 million (since hikikomori do not interact with society and prefer to be hidden) and growing.  This condition can go on for years – even decades – and this is a problem that Japan must address before it worsen.

There are hikikomori that in their 40s (the first generation) who have not left their aging parents’ house in decades, leading to Japan’s “2030 Problem”; an issue in which the hikikomori baby boomer parents are entering their 60s, 70s, and 80s; therefore, they  cannot provide for their hikikomori children (due to retirement, illness, and death).  With the parents dying, this causes concern as many are wondering who’ll take care of these hermits and what to do to help them come out of their shells.

In this episode of the Swarthy Nerd Podcast, we will explore one of Japan’s infamous dark side: the hikikomori. What is a Hikikomori?  Why so many men in Japan are withdrawing from society and causing a strain on the Japanese economy and their family? And could America experience their unique version of the Hikikomori.

JOIN US!

 

PART I
BREAKING DOWN THE HIKIKOMORI

 

Before acknowledging why Japanese youth are becoming Hikikomori, we must analyze what causes and does not cause Hikikomori. 80% of Hikikomori are male; with the reminding 20% are females. The average age of Hikikomori is around mid-20s. However, there are reports of   Hikikomori in their teens and 50s. A Hikikomori must’ve not partaken in society for a period exceeding six months.

They are not employed, seeking employment, or in educational training (NEET). Forms of entertainment fill their time, for example: video games, internet, and television.   While it’s possible for some Hikikomori to suffer from pathological problem disorder such as autism, borderline personality disorder (BPD), schizophrenia, et cetera, Hikikomori itself isn’t considered nor treated as a pathological disorder.

The following items are what don’t make one Hikikomori. Simply going from home to work and only having interactions with people from those places doesn’t make the criteria for Hikikomori; as you’re employed and interacting with society.  Non-conformity isn’t hikikomori.  While Hikikomori itself is an extreme example of non-conformity, the act itself isn’t inherently Hikikomori. Japanese Herbivore Men who don’t desire a relationship with the opposite sex aren’t Hikikomori; as most are social.  Understanding what makes and does not make a Hikikomori based on the factors listed above; we can begin to look into the reasoning behind the why.

 

PART II

WHY JAPANESE YOUTHS ARE BECOMING HIKIKOMORI

Referring back to the introduction of this essay/episode, Japan is a conformist nation where individuality is frown upon. Their youth are expected to aim high towards academic, social, and career success.  Matt Davis’s article for BigThink.com on Hikikomori and the rigidness of Japan goes further on such expectations:

“Like most behavioral issues, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what mechanism lies behind it. However, there are some common features.

Japan is a very rigid, structured society, and the pressure starts early. Students are expected to study constantly, the school year lasts six weeks longer than in the U.S., and, when the Ministry of Education reduced the school week from six days a week, many parents began enrolling their children in juku, or “cram schools,” to fill in the extra hours with as much education as possible. Because of the emphasis on exams in Japan, about half of all junior high students in Japan attend juku.

Combined with the fact that the period from 1990 to 2010 saw very little economic growth in Japan, many students questioned the purpose of their high-intensity education when there was little guarantee of work at the end of it.

Social life in Japan, too, is highly structured and etiquette practices can quickly become complex depending on the situation and the others involved. For example, Japanese has many grammatical structures that vary depending on the exact nature of the person being addressed, whether they’re a superior, an employee, a customer, an older woman or man, a younger woman or man, and many others. Giving gifts is common, but certain items are considered impolite. Giving a kitchen knife to a newlywed couple is a no-no, since this implies separation.

What’s more significant than the specific rituals and rules in Japanese culture, the general, pervasive sense of propriety and correct behavior can be stifling. It is impossible to go through life without embarrassing yourself socially at least once, but in a culture where correct behavior is highly valued, slipping up in this regard can be traumatizing.

Often, a triggering academic or social failure prompts young men and women to withdraw from society and become hikikomori. It’s also been speculated that this social phenomenon is due, in part, to a culture of shame surrounding mental health issues. Depression wasn’t even recognized as a real condition until the late 1990s in Japan, and it is sometimes still seen as an excuse to take time off of work. Rather than be labelled as depressed or anxious, the term hikikomori paints people with a broader brush.”

And from William Kremer and Claudia Hammond’s BBC News article Hikikomori: Why Are So Many Japanese Men Refusing to Leave Their Homes:

The trigger for a boy retreating to his bedroom might be comparatively slight – poor grades or a broken heart, for example – but the withdrawal itself can become a source of trauma. And powerful social forces can conspire to keep him there.

One such force is sekentei, a person’s reputation in the community and the pressure he or she feels to impress others. The longer hikikomori remain apart from society, the more aware they become of their social failure. They lose whatever self-esteem and confidence they had and the prospect of leaving home becomes ever more terrifying.”

Let’s refer back to the word tatemae.  As tatemae literally means “façade” or “pretense”, you will display a sort of masquerade of “happiness” and “carefreeness” for society: never revealing your true face, or honne (本音 ,ほんね). What is honne? Honne literally translate to “true voice” or the dark thoughts you keep hidden from the world. Thoughts such as “My boss’s idea is so fucking stupid; he needs to be fired!”,  “I want to kill my bullies”, and “I’m tired of you crying about your problems all the time”.

The clash between tatemae and honne births inner conflict. You want to speak out about what’s bothering you or how you truly feel about a situation, but you live in Japan: a country of conformity – with tatemae a major component of Japanese social conformity.

Balancing between honne and tatemae for the Japanese can be stressful to the point that it can drive many to isolation.  Why face the world with a façade, never being allowed to express your true thoughts when you can alienate yourself from said world?    However, isolation is a dangerous trap.  Having others support you won’t work well in the long run.

PART III

The Strain Hikikomori Cause

Hikikomori refusing employment and educational training to support themselves causes an ill effect on the Japanese economy and their caregivers.  The Japanese workforce is dwindling as the numbers of Hikikomori increases.  Aged  Hikikomori whom decided to return to society find  reintegration difficult; as they lack the (job) skills to generate income —  especially as they’re entering the worst job market in modern history (the lingering effect of the 2008 market crash).

When discussing the caregivers of Hikikomori, we must bring up two set of numbers: 2030 and 8050. 2030 represent the year in which the first generation of Hikikomori will turn 50 while their caregiver parents will turn 80 (with some Hikikomori turning 65 even).  By this time, the caregiver parent(s) of their Hikikomori child have long since retired and eventually died; leaving the Hikikomori without their primary support system.

Diving into the morbid, there are reported cases in which parents of the Hikikomori have passed away in their house. Due to Hikikomori’s lack and fear of social interactions, few Hikikomori have spent days or even weeks with the decaying body or bodies of their decreased parent(s) for days or weeks before contacting law enforcement.

Example 1: Late November-Early December 2013: 34-year-old shut-in  man from Osaka, Japan was arrested for corpse abandonment after reporting his father passing in their house – two weeks after his death.  Did not contact the police due to Hikikomori state  Source: https://soranews24.com/2013/12/16/man-finds-dead-father-lives-with-the-body/

Example 2: November 9th, 2018: 49-year-old shut-in from The Kanagawa Prefectural arrested for failing to report the death of his 76-year-old mother after sister of the Hikikomori male discover their mother’s body in her bedroom. The mother died in mid-October. Source: https://nextshark.com/japanese-hikikomori-mom/

Now, imagine hearing multiple reports of rotting bodies of the Hikikomori parents discovered in their houses because of the Hikikomori’s extreme social anxiety in 2030. I fear that it’ll be the norm come 11 years from now.

PART IV

The American Hikikomori

 

For decades, it was believed that the Hikikomori phenomenon was a Japanese exclusive problem; a cultural issue of sorts.  While not as extreme in Japan, there have been case studies of the Hikikomori in the United States.  In her February 2019 article for the New York Magazine titled When ‘Going Outside Is Prison’: The World of the American Hikikomori, Allie Conti spoke with 21-year-old reddit user “Luca” through private messaging about his case of Hikikomori dating back from the age of 12.  During class, he’d become so anxious that he’d forgot to swallow.  The anxiety led his mother to remove him from school and take online classes – which he would soon drop out of those courses as well.

After watching the anime series Welcome to the N.H.K (an anime about a Hikikomori man “discovering” Japanese broadcasting company N.H.K, or Nippon Hoso Kyokai, translation: Japan Broadcasting Corporation conspiracy to transform Japanese youths into shut-ins), Luca decided to quit school and forego work as a personal rebellion against the world (meaning he’s a lazy ass white boy who needs to grow a pair of balls).

University of California researcher Alan R. Teo theorized that Hikikomori-like conditions are coming into the light in America. In 2010, the mother of a 30-year-old anime fan contacted Teo after her son, “Mr. H”, read one of Teo’s translation; leading him to diagnosed himself with Hikikomori.  From the New York Magazine article:

“Teo encouraged Mr. H. to come by his office at the University of California in San Francisco for treatment, despite the fact that would mean stepping outside for the first time in three years. Mr. H. wore a leather jacket that reeked of cigarette smoke, had mangy hair, didn’t shower, and had long fingernails. “During the first and most severe year, he remained within a walk-in closet, ate only-ready-to-eat food, did not bathe, and urinated and defecated in jars and bottles,” Teo would later write in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry.

“He passed the time surfing the internet and playing video games.” Tests run on Mr. H showed seemingly conflicting results. While he exhibited traits consistent with obsessive compulsive and schizoid personality disorders, various scales and inventories concluded he had neither. Mr. H. claimed his reclusiveness was based on something pretty simple: He just didn’t want to be a part of the world, which is both what hikikomori in Japan had long said and basically what Luca told me.”

Throughout America, a large number of young men are isolating themselves in their parent’s basement bedrooms.  They cannot cope with work, school, and lack motivation to launch themselves. Recent economic crisis combined with the labor market has discouraged recent college graduates, especially given when 12.6% of college grads are underemployed (source: https://www.epi.org/publication/class-of-2016/) Princeton researchers suggests that technological usage such as video games and social media has led to a 23-46% decrease of young men working in the labor force (source: https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/maguiar/files/leisure-luxuries-labor-june-2017.pdf).

We must not also forget that the 69% of college grad are entering the real world with with an average of $29,800 worth of debt – something that an average min. wage job cannot pay off (source: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/20/how-much-the-average-student-loan-borrower-owes-when-they-graduate.html).

With seemly unpayable debt, a weaken work force, and an economy that’s expected to crash soon, more and more American youth are partakning in the hikikimori lifestyle to escape reality.  This is not good for the American society.  If this problem continues in America I fear we will see the same problems with Hikikomori in Japan with Americans – especially with most male Hikikomori in the West are radicalized through white supremacist and incel groups.

FINAL PART

Yuki’s And TV Guru’s Thoughts on Hikikomoris

 

Yuki: “First off Japan, stop shamming people for failure: everyone fails. There’s a difference between failure and stupidity.  Shame people for being stupid, but don’t shame them for failure.  Another way to prevent hikikomori is reduce the workload on workers and students alike.  You got people in Japan working 12-18 hours a day and it’s literally killing them (karoshi lit. death from overwork). Finally, stop shamming people with mental health issues; people in Japan are afaird to admit their issues due to the stigma link with mental health. Why would people admit they have mental health issues if they are being shammed for it?”

TV Guru: “Same thing, you can’t be fucking shaming somebody for failing. But, that’s the pressure they put on society.  You can’t pressure somebody into working hard. Yea Japanese people are smart because they spend hours studying but all that long-term studying comes with a price…”

****

“The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere – everyone has to protect themselves.  A fortress seems the safest.  But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from – it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target. Better to circulate among people, find allies, mingle.  You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd.”

“The weight of society’s pressure to conform, and the lack of distance from other people, can make it impossible to think clearly about what’s going on around you.  As a temporary recourse, then, isolation can help you gain perceptive. The danger is, however, that this kind of isolation will sire all kinds of strange and perverted ideas.  You main gain perspective on the larger picture, but you lose a sense of your own smallness and limitations.  Also, the more isolated you are, the harder it is to break out of your isolation when you chose to – it sinks you deep into its quicksand with your you noticing.”

-Robert Greene