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Dragon Ball Super 0

The Emotional Brilliance of Dragon Ball Super Ep. 118

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The word “tragedy” for the episode title of DBS Ep. 118 is fitting.  Beerus losing his twin brother, Champa.  Universe 2 was destroyed e despite their cheer and support for their team.  Piccolo had to defeat warriors of his own race to survive. Valdos was in grief as she saw her hand pick warriors and good friend Champa disappear from existence.  And finally, Vegeta’s anger as he saw once again, his proud warrior race destroyed.

This was truly tragic.  Hiroshi Yamaguchi’s genius writing of Episode 118 should be celebrated and analyze. He graced Super with such emotions that haven’t been felt since the Future Trunks arc.  It must be brought up!  Since I love me some good writing, I decided to break down why this episode is so brilliant. Let’s go!

PART 1: The Beautiful Power of Love

‘Without love, it cannot be seen.’
-Ange Ushiromiya, Umineko no Naku Koro ni

 

Episode 118 opens up with the revelation that Team Universe 2 was broadcasting the tournament to their citizens. The people watched in despair as Ribbranne admits she – and the rest of the Kamikaze Fireballs – were defeated.  She begs her beloved fans to cheer on the final three warriors with their supportive love.  As requested, they start to cheer and send love. The power of their love empowers Zaolin, Zarbuto, and Rabna and pushed them to defeat Universe 7.  They mentioned that the weight of Universe 2’s love is a heavy burden, but they must bear it to save their universe.  This shows us that  Team Universe 2  is loved by this fans.  This can be proven not just story-line alone, but visually as well (as many of their fans were wearing t-shirts  with members of Team Universe 2 printed on them)

With this power of love, Team Universe 2 takes charge towards Team Universe 7.

Time passes and Universe 2 is struggling. During their last stand, Zaolin, Zabun, and Rabunra summons a black heart of love.  I love the symbolism used in this seen.  Obviously, the heart is the symbol of love, but one should note the color of the heart: Black. Going by color theory, the color black is used as a symbol of death.   If an Universe loses in this tournament, they’re erased.

Being erased means death.

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Universe 2 explains how the Black Heart entraps its victims with it crushing, unbearable weight.  The weight of the hearts forces itself to sink to the ground. We can take two things from this.  One: the weight of this heart is the burden that Team Universe 2 must carry to protect the people they love. It represents the trust, faith, and love of the people has towards them.

Two: The sinking is symbolism of Universe 2’s defeat and death – not the defeat of Team Universe 7.  You see, Goku is a simple man.  While he (barely) understands the power of love, he prefers guts and spirit over it.  He’s not going to let love bring him down. And so, Goku overcomes the burden of Universe 2 with a Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken Kamehameha.  The Kamehameha breaks overpowers Team Universe 2, knocking them out of the ring.

Universe 2 is defeated – and destroyed.

 ‘It’s so beautiful.  The moment before imminent destruction.’
Sailor Saturn, Sailor Moon Infinity

Universe 2 has fallen.  Yet, despite destruction approaching, they accept their fate with grace.  The Universe 2’s citizen still happy and celebrating their warriors. The Kamikaze Fireballs perform one final formation; thanking their fans for their loving support.  Then, we have Kakunsa’s final line:

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It’s like the real world: When a love one dies, it is just their body that is dead. The precious memories, love, spirit, support, and bonds, they are still alive in the hearts of the people they touched.

Those feelings will never die.

Universe 2 kept their pride, spirit and love to the bitter end.  They refused to wallow in grief.  Instead, they chose to show love.  They reminded true to themselves, touching the hearts of those they impacted.  A sad approaching event turned into short lived happiness and grace.

PART 2: The Emotional Connection of Universes 6 and 7

While the destruction of Universe 2 is depressing, the true tragedy lies in the destruction of Universe 6: Universe 7’s twin universe.  Bear in mind that members of Universe 7 have personal connections with Universe 6 (Goku and Hit having respect towards one another, Vegeta as Cabba’s mentor, etc.).  In the real world, fans have grown to know and love Universe 6 since their introduction during the Unvierse 6 vs. 7 Tournament arc. Seeing Unvierse 6 being destroyed was a heavy toll for the fans.

 

After Universe 2 charges at Goku and Andorids 17 and 18, there is a scene where Champa is mocking Universe 7 (as Goku is struggling to fight against Universe 2) Valdos chime in to remind him that Universe 6 is at near defeat and follow up with her usual jests and jabs.But   More on that later.  Let’s focus on Piccolo first.

 

Piccolo (along with his son Gohan) are struggling against the Universe 6 Nakemians.
Gohan and Piccolo’s victory over the Nakemians means that Piccolo will, by proxy, wipe out his own people.  Nakemians from another universe, but they’re still Nakemians. Back in DBZ,   Piccolo had to liberate his people who were suffering under Frieza’s rule.  For Piccolo to have to wipe out his own race is a heavy burden – but it’s either his universe or theirs.

The Universe 6 Nakemians go on the offensive against Gohan and Piccolo.  The father/son duo is overpowered, with Gohan jumping in to protect his mentor and father figure. .  Piccolo asks for Gohan’s forgiveness (as he let the fear of the Nakemians’ overwhelming power get to his head).  This mirrors Dragon Ball Z when Piccolo had to risk his life to save Gohan’s.  To see Gohan protecting Piccolo can be consider full circle in this sense.  The two regain their composure fire back at the enemy.


Gohan, along with his (real) father  Goku, both charge up their respective Kamehamehas against their enemies in unison.  Both engage in a beam/energy struggle against Universe 2 and 6.  Gohan is grabbed by Pirana in a failed attempt to stop and attack Gohan.  Piccolo backs Gohan up with a Special Beam Cannon, stopping them. At the climax of the distinct Father-Son Kamehameha, Gohan and Goku overpower their enemies at the same time.

Universes 2 and 6 have dropped out.

The defeat of Universe 6 is a victory for Universe 7, but it’s not something to be celebrated.  As I mentioned earlier, Universe 6 and 7 are twin universes.  Members of Universe 7 (such as Goku and Vegeta) formed personal relationships and bonds with members of Universe 6.  Goku lost Caulifia – a girl he promised he would train and mentor.  You can even say that Caulifia looked up to Goku as an older brother. Piccolo defeating Universe 6 means that he – by proxy – helped wiped out members of his own race.  Vegeta was promised by Cabba that he’ll give him a tour of Planet Salada to see the Saiyans of that race.  Vegeta was longing to visit the King of the Saiyans of that race; since Vegeta himself is of royal blood.  Vegeta will never have get that chance (assuming he does not win the chance to use the Super Dragon Balls).

What make this disheartening and tragic for Vegeta is that this man just witnessed the total destruction of his people once again.  Vegeta grew up experiencing the Saiyans of Universe 7 suffering and dying under Frieza’s rule.  To find out there were full-blooded Saiyans still existing in other universes made him happy.  Now, they’re gone.

He isn’t happy.

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Then there’s the tragedy of  Beerus and Champa.  Yes, the twins did fought and get into arguments, but they’re brothers; that’s natural.  While they didn’t show it, you can tell they still loved each other.  Even if Champa was being goofy towards Beerus at the bitter end, he still loved him. Even if Beerus was stoic about his brother’s death, you can’t say he wasn’t hurting inside.  Beerus want to show it, but he has to keep it together for his team’s sake.

And that’s hard.

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‘I was always thinking of you.
The reality that squeezes my heart
I was always longing to see you
And I’ll continue to forge ahead with that memory’
70cm Squared  Window by Rottengraffy (DBS ED 10)

 

The destruction of Universe 6 reminds me of two lines from the full version of  Dragon Ball Super ED 7 “An Evil Angel and Righteous Devil”.   The first: “Either destroy yourself or destroy everyone else.”  Piccolo had to destroy Pirana and Saoneru.  Gohan, a man who finds no joy in being maliece and hurting/killing others, had to help Piccolo do it.  It was either their universe losing, or defeat Universe 6.

The second line reads “Winning or losing doesn’t benefit anyone – Everyone is simply hurt, crying at the end.”  I’m reminded of this line by Valdo’s grief of losing Champa.  Yes, she did make jabs and jokes at him. Yes, she did call him out on his bullshit at times.  But she did care about him.  She did enjoy his presence…even if she made fat jokes towards him from time to time.

It’s safe to say that those two were good friends, maybe even best friends.

This is Dragon Ball and no good popular character stay dead or erased forever.  There’s the chance that somebody will use the Super Dragon Ball to bring everyone back to life and everything.  I just wish with the emotional driven episode we got with Hiroshi Yamaguchi’s writing that this arc could had been a series finale arc.  Perhaps Toei should had introduce this tournament arc after there was an arc were we got to know all the universes in this tournament a little better.

Just to have that stinging pain of losing them in the Tournament of Power/Unvierse Surivivial arc.  Even people who hated Universe 2 (myself included) were upset and sadden by their deaths.  They went out carefree and happy.  They stay true themselves and rather than cry and complain about hteir last moments of life, The Kamikaze Fireballs and Hellios decided to just be graceful and be themselves.

That in itself, is tragic.

That’s the emotional brilliance of Episode 118. This is why many of us are consider this as the best wrirrten episode of the tournament so far.  It reminded us how the emotional power of Dragon Ball in general.  Dragon Ball is a simple Shouen  action battle anime series that’s more logical than emotional.  But there are times were the emotions do reveal themselves and they hit hard when they’re showcased.  I hope Hiroshi Yamaguchi returns to Super to write yet another emotional episode.  His writing surprising works for Dragon Ball Super.

He deserves so much respect for this episode.

 

Anime community 2

The State and Culture of Anime Conventions in Five Years

Note: This is merely my prediction of the convention scene based on my seven or so odd years of experience a member of the anime and sci-fi convention scene.  As such, these predictions may not hold weight.  Please do not hold it against me if my theories or predictions aren’t right in  2022.

Browsing through the East Coast convention group “Casual Uncensored Congoers Kindred Society”, I encountered an interesting question asked by the administrator of the group.  He asked how do we see the convention scene changing within the next five years. He then followed up with if we think American voice actors will still remain as the dominate guests, if cosplay remain a money generating commodity, and if there will be new content featured at conventions based on upcoming new ideas and trends.

 

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The Facebook group “Casual Uncensored Congoers Kindred Society”

 

Replying with my thoughts, I stated that I don’t care if people make money off cosplaying/cosfame (while realizing that bubble will burst). I also predicted that the type of guests that we will see a shift from voice actors to social media personalities, cosplay guests, etc.  As I typed, I started to deeply think about the future. Things will change in five years; I have no doubt about it. Personally, I believe we are starting to see this new change of the future today.  With social media growing each day, it’s easier than ever before to communicate with fellow fans – as well as the ability for content creators to showcase their talents and gain attention.

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Cosplaying and attending conventions are both niche hobbies.  As niches, it’s natural for the two to evolve and change overtime.  What changes do I personally think hold for the future of these hobbies?  Well, let’s talk about it!

 

PART 1: The Current Scene

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We cannot discuss the future without addressing the present, and how it’ll shape the upcoming years. From what I’ve noticed, the current state of the convention scene is run by four major elements: Social media (the umbrella for both cosplay and personality fame), money (such as businesses and corporations), the mainstream (such as the “nerdy is cool” trend” and the general convention public and corporate influences.  As stated earlier, I could care less if people attempt to make money through social media and cosplay.  You should take advantage of both cosplay and  social media – as it’s a useful tool to fill your bank account (if you’re smart and work smart – not hard)

If you have to do a lewd cosplay version of Reimu from the Touhou series to get a stack, go for it.  If you have to perform goofy acts as Deadpool at a convention for your social media platforms, go for it.  Money and fame attract people.  Attention follows the money.  The Money pays attention.  I’m sure you heard the story of the Japanese cosplayer who claimed that she made over $100,000 in a course of two days during the Japanese anime convention Comiket a few years back.  I bet you that many are attempting to emulate her success once that report came out.

The fastest route for some (mainly female cosplayers, blessed with great generics) to make big bucks is through lewd cosplayers: a rather controversial career path within the cosplay community.  If done right, a lewd cosplayer could easily make $10,000~$13,000 a month through Pateron, sales, etc. Sex sells and people are buying.  There are some (mostly jealous, insecure women and beta male virgins) who believe that lewd cosplayers are ruining the community.  They think that the focus should be on cosplayers who have craftsmanship skills – not tits and ass.   Non-lewd cosplayers are vocal about their hatred for sexy cosplayers. It doesn’t help that most of these sexy cosplayers are involved with some form of controversy – which will slowly ruin the image of this trend if not taken care of.

Assuming if these controversial lewd cosplayers and cosfame people continue to generate controversy (and if people stay in their jealous, hating feelings), then I can see this trend’s bubble bursting.  Too many people will enter this bubble in hopes to make it big.  While sex sells and attention pays out, you still need a great (and marketable) personality and brand.  Jessica Nigir, whom some consider to be one of the founders of the lewd cosplay trend in the West, still makes money – despite she doesn’t do lewd cosplays as often as she used to; Thanks to her brand.

 

With the “nerdy is cool” trend, there’s an increase of attendance from those who may not be true nerds.  With nerd culture and hobbies becoming more acceptable each day, people are hopping on the bandwagon to take advantage of it.  More people (may they be real nerd or not can be ignored here) means more money for conventions – especially for conventions who’re profit.  Corporations are taking notice; therefore, they want in through sponsorships.  This leads to conventions becoming corporate.  This isn’t necessary evil, but one must understand that few may not accept the idea of larger conventions going corporate.

From my personal research and experiences, the general convention and cosplay public community is divided on the upcoming changes.  There are some who view the corporate changes, the (lewd) cosplayers who cosplay for money, and conventions going corporate as great things for the scene.  Opposite, the old-school nerds are fighting against these changes in hopes that it won’t ruin and “corrupt”   the traditional, imitate homely feel of conventions they’re used to (and thus, will be driven out). They refuse to accept the fact that things change.  Will the corporatization of conventions become a problem within the next five years?  We must wait and  see then.

Discussing the future is impossible without addressing the present.  Lewd cosplays and social media personalities are cosplaiyng for the money.  Nerd culture is slowly becoming accepted in the mainstream.  Fans fear that the convention spirit will be lost overtime, while some see this as a great idea. Or there may not be any changes. Only time will tell us in the future.

 

Part 2: The Future of the Scene.

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The trends of today will influence the trends of tomorrow.. We’re seeing the seeds of the future planted today.  With the advent of  easier access to information on anime series , fans can research creators and artists of their favorite series effortlessly (thanks to the Sakuga community providing comprehensive information on these creators). Because of this, I predict that these creators will become the main guests for conventions. Now note that larger conventions such as Anime Central and Anime Expo were ahead with this, but mid-size conventions will follow suite once they increase their budget to emulate this.

Social media has impacted this new era. Like it or not, social media personalities/”celebs” are becoming more known – so much that they’re too are becoming guest of honor.  Digibro – the prolific (and infamous) anime vlogger was a guest at Anime Expo 2017.  Veteran Dragon Ball historian YouTuber  Geekdom 101 is hosting his own convention (KamehaCon).   Social Media is the superior choice for content creators in this community to become known. The more you’re known (because of your content), the more likely one could become a guest at conventions.

Social media has also created the lewd and non-lewd cosplay money boom.  As with any major boom, this bubble will burst Once that happens, I imagine the following scenarios:

1. The majority will be out of work and money.  They’ll be too scared to make a move  and give up.

  1. The minority will take advantage of the bubble burst (as well as a few others). They will work harder and smarter to stay relevant and make money during this time. Think Amazon during the Dot Com bubble burst and how they survived it through smarter tactics.

It will be a hard time for the cosfame people to recover and find work during this burst.  But the smart ones will rise.  Besides, sex sells.  People love seeing their waifus being lewd up by a sexy woman.  The bubble will recover and the trend will start anew.

Larger conventions will become corporate.  They will increase prices on badges and will become stricter to appeal to a boarder consumer.   The possibility of these conventions losing their homely, fan feel is high.  But do not dread! If there’s a positive to this then it’s the fact that these corporate conventions will have more money to bring in bigger names from the industry. Not every convention will go with the corporate flow.   Smaller cons will still have their welcoming, personal home-like vibe and will refuse to do this.

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Finally,  we will see the end of the norimes who are bandwagon “nerds”.  I see them out once either nerd culture becomes a part of everyday culture.  They will stop caring after this.   You already know that this will make the gatekeeping elitist nerds happy: seeing the normies whom once bullied them for liking anime out of their nerd club.  Do I think this will bring us back to the old, golden days of the conventions?  Possibly not.

Trends come and they go.  The cosfame trend bubble will burst. We’re seeing upcoming social media personalities as big guests. Trust me: Do not sleep on them – social media is the new television.  Conventions will become cooperate, and some will lose their classic fan feel. And the norimes who were on that fake nerd shit?  They will go away.

 

Hopefully…

Part 3: What Will Remain?

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Drinking while cosplaying is timeless.

 

 

Tupac famously said that “some things will never change”.

We can say this about the convention community.  Despite this community changing every day, (for better or for worse), there are some accepts that will never change. Humans are social creatures who thrive to connect with others.  Conventions will always be a place for fellow nerds to come together. With that said, this also brings in drama.  Drama will never end.  People will always start shit and bring their beef to the conventions.  Smaller and mid-size conventions will refuse to grow big and corporate.  Those conventions will remind fan run.  There will always be those who want to cosplay because they love to: not because they want money or fame.  Opposite to that, cosfame and lewd cosplay will be hot; given that sex sells and people love money  and will seek to gain it by any means in this capitalistic society.

Finally, what will remain are the various guests of the industry ranging from voice actors, online personalities, artists, creators, and so forth.  We appreciate the people who gave life to our favorite characters through their vocal talents.  We give much respect to the personalities who sit in front of a camera and passionately analyze their favorite series.  We will continue to celebrate our favorite creators whom dedicated their lives and time to create such marvelous creations. Our love for these creators will never change.

Our love for this hobby is forever.

It’s interesting to speak about the future of the convention scene as we’re seeing the changes of the present impacting the unseen future.  Currently, the cosfame appears to be a dominating force with the prize of money behind it.   Larger conventions becoming corporate seem unavoidable, but some already saw this coming and accepted this. The unseen future reveals that social media stars of nerd culture could become major guests; as they’re growing ever popular.    Change can be either scary or great – some will embrace it and work with it.,  Others will attempt to fight against the change and either become successful, or lose.

YouTuber’s illacertus’s states this about change in his animation summary of  Robert Green’s book The 48 Laws of Power, and this is my closing statement:

Don’t fight change.  When you catch yourself in the futile attempt to resists a new order, remind yourself that did you not only missed the opportunity to predict it, but to adapt to it in time.

You have to be anti-fragile.

 

 

Image Sources:
Cover image:
http://www.animegator.com/article/best-anime-convention-cosplay

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/herocomplex/la-et-hc-anime-expo-20160701-snap-story.html

http://www.hxchector.com/crunchyroll-expo-2017/

 

Dragon Ball 0

“Say Something.”

With Beerus asking somebody to  “say something” moments after the death/erasure of his twin Champa in episode 118 of Dragon Ball Super, fans are speculating if this was meant for Champa, the Angel Whis, or the narrator/audience (breaking the fourth wall).  While I understand that there are reasons to believe Beerus was talking to the narrator (as the narrator spoke immediately after), I’m led to think that Beerus was talking to Champa.  Beerus just lost his twin brother.  Yes, they did bicker.   They did fight and argue.  But that it’s natural for brothers to act against each other.

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At the end, Beerus still loved his brother.

You can theorize that Champa’s death has yet to sink in for Beerus.  Therefore, he’s in a state of disbelief.  If you have ever lost an one love, then you can understand that it’s something unexpected and sudden Minutes before, the twins were mocking and messing with each other in the bleachers.  They took turns taunting each other as warriors from each one’s universe were dropping out.  Then, as Universe 6 was down to just two warriors, Beerus’s attitude changed.  He wasn’t his cheerful self as Whis pointed out.

The defeat of Universe 6 meant its erasure – and of his beloved brother.

The time came.  Soon after the defeat of the Universe 6 Namekians, Universe 6 was erased. Despite facing death, Universe 6 was cool: as if they accepted their fate.  Champa stands up and yells out for Beerus.

“Hey, bro!”

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Beerus, acting stoic, looks over.  Champa inhales deeply as if he is going to say a meaningful goodbye.  But it’s Champa, so he did not. Champa sticks out his tongue and pulls down his eyelid.  He keeps this goofy look on his face for his brother as a final, playful taunt before being erased.  Beerus stares at the spot where his brother once stood, turns his head back towards the arena.  He retains his stoic expression.

“Say something.”

It is the emotional writing behind Episode 118 and Beerus’ reaction to his brothers’ death that makes me wish that the Tournament of Power arc was a series finale arc.  Universe 6 will be brought back. It’s Dragon Ball: the important characters never remain dead. But still, I just wish that this was it.  Beerus’s sadness of losing his brother would have been the perfect end of his character arc – especially if the Super Dragon Balls didn’t have the power to bring back erased universes.  Just imagine how utterly upset Beerus would have been upon hearing that the Super Dragon Balls couldn’t  do something like that.

What did you guys think? Do you believe Beerus was speaking to his brother?  Was this just a simple fourth wall trick?  Let me know in the comments below.  And thanks for reading!

‘Winning or losing doesn’t benefit anyone –
Everyone is simply hurt, crying in the end.’
-“An Evil Angel and Righteous Devil” by “The Collectors” (Dragon Ball Super’s 7th ED)

 

Character Connection 0

On Characters Connecting With The Audience

It was February of 2001.  I was watching Outlaw Star for the first time.  Gene, the lead character, was struggling to perform a spacewalk to repair his ship; as he was experiencing traumatic flashbacks of his father’s murder (who was killed by space pirates during a spacewalk). Story-wise, I was lost,  but the episode was interesting enough to hook me into the series.  The episode ended and the ED starts to play.   A single guitar chord rung out multiple times, followed by a woman’s vocals:

‘Oto no nai mahiru
Kaze ha tada akarui
Sukoshi nemutasou ni
Hanabira ga yureta

Nani ge nai kono omoi
Nee, hito ha donna kotoba de yondeiru no’

While I didn’t understand Japanese at the time, I was taken away by the sadness of not only the song itself but the sorrow in the singer’s voice.  I didn’t need to understand Japanese to understand the pain of the woman singing.  Fast forward to episode 21. After arguing with Gene, Melfina runs off to an empty, rocky landscape to clear her head and indulge in some short-term peace and quiet.  As she stands on a short cliff overlooking the barren, rocky field, Melfina starts to sing:


‘I don’t know what words I can say
The wind has a way to talk to me
Flowers sleep, a silent lullaby
I pray for reply
I’m ready

Quiet days calm me
Oh, serenity
Someone please tell me
Oh what is it they say?
Maybe I will known one day’

Melfina was singing the first ED in English (although not a direct translation).  With the song in English, non-Japanese speaking Western fans were given a personal insight into her character and pain.  As an artificial creation (or bio-android), Melfina struggles with and questions her existence (as explored throughout her character arc).  The normal people that she encountered will never understand how she feels. They will never relate to her pain and struggle.

Melfina will never have anyone that she can relate her sorrow.

Some of you reading this may experience this feeling of unrelatable sorrow.   You may be going through some things that many will never experience — and therefore, they can’t connect with you.  Let’s take African-Americans for example.  We can never truly express our pain and suffering to other races; as they never experienced the trauma and hardships of being Black in America.  Outside of race, let’s use people who struggle with mental health.  People with mental health problems find it difficult to explain to those without any mental problems on how they feel.  When they attempt to do so, they’re usually met with “Oh, it’s just all in your head” or “Well, at least you’re better off than others.”

It’s frustrating.

As a story-telling medium, anime must convey realistic emotions with its characters that the viewers can connect with.  Combining elements such as visual, music, sound,  and plot, the artist can craft ways for the viewer to become invested in a character they find interesting.  The artist must be clever enough to manipulate our emotional connection with a character subtlety.  Art must speak to a person by using a direct link to make it feel real.  The right buttons must be press. This is why some fans of Dragon Ball find themselves connecting with Son Gohan.  They may find themselves as a fan of his character because they can relate to his studious, bookworm nature.

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Let’s take this a step further.  Chances are, if you’re a fan of the anime and manga series Watamote, you will find strong correlations with the socially awkward otaku  Tomoko and her levels of anxiety and yourself.  Tomoko, as much as she wants to be popular, can’t with her anxiety holding her back.  While a simple task of ordering food at McDonald’s is easy for most of us, for some, interacting with a cashier is a brutal, painful challenge.  It’s a draining task of combating your nerves and trying to stop yourself from overthinking (that the cashier is judging and mocking you).  As you attempt to speak, your voice is low, quiet, and shacky.  You’re looking down at your feet because the thought of making eye contact terrifies you.

The following thoughts flood your mind:

‘Is she judging me?’

‘I hope she won’t make fun of me.’

‘She probably thinks I’m too stupid to order food.


‘They’re going to make fun of me in the back.’
(Spoilers: they do. Take it from somebody who worked in the food industry for years.)

You know that scene where Tomoko struggles to order food? I’m sure some of you can understand and relate  Tomoko’s situation during that scene.  It’s not a fun place to be in: interacting with others praying to God that they won’t judge and/or belittle you.  Again, like with Melfina, Tomoko’s awkwardness and anxiety work with her character and you –  the viewer – connecting with her because it’s rooted in realism.

In Bakemonogatari, lead heroine Hitagi Senjougahara is a self-described tsundere with severe trust issues.  She closes herself off from most if not, all people (sans her father) due to her mom – whom she trusted – setting her up to be raped by members of the ult she was involved with.  Her parents divorced soon after and  because of it, Senjougahara feels that she’s a burden on their family.   Following that, she ran into six con men who claimed they could solve her issue (her weightlessness and burden). She was ripped off by each man, furthering her mistrust in others. With these acts of betrayal and rip-offs, Hitagi does not open herself up to anyone: fearing that they will take advantage of her.  It wouldn’t be until years later when, with the help of Ararargi (series’s main character) not taking advantage of her trust, she was able to trust and open herself to others.

 

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In life, there are some who wall them self off from others –  because of trust issues.  It’s hard for them to open themselves to others. It can take people years for them to start trusting others again. Even if they do find someone to trust, they still have their guard up until they can feel like they can truly trust them.  Hitagi’s oddity of the crab makes sense once you break things down.  Crabs have hardened shells and sharp claws to defend themselves from predators.  Crabs attack anyone who attempts to get near with claws.  Remember: Hitagi did attack Araragi with a pair of staples (a symbolism of a crab’s claws) and was still defensive around him as she thought he would run his mouth about her oddity to others.  She did warm up to him and lower her guard over time.

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Anime is a storytelling medium.  As such, it’s the job of the creators to give us the emotional connection to characters. Through clever crafting due to the creator, it’s possible for a fan to feel a direct connection with a character; especially if said character acts similar to that one person.  If you spent your teen (or later) years feeling socially awkward and struggling with anxiety like Tomoko Kukori, chances are that you’re going to find that personal connection with her. That’s how art and character connection work – with realistic characteristics from said character.

Everyone, thank you for taking the time to read this article.  If you like what I wrote, please give me a link, leave a comment, and feel free to share.  Tell me, which characters have you connected with and what, to you, makes a character relatable.

 

Sailor Moon 2

The Power of a Brand: Sailor Moon

The Jumpman.  When you see this iconic silhouette, you think of  Micheal Jordan and his Jordan’s shoe line.  The long-running  Jordan brand has this…magical effect on its fans. Because of the name and man behind the shoes, and their limited supply at each release, people will line up for hours their local shoe store  – just to obtain them. Few fans are so passionate about Jordan’s that they will risk the safety of others to obtain a pair.  That’s the power of Jordan’s.

 

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Jumpman

Sailor Moon: The iconic champion of love and justice.  She is recognized by her blonde, twin tail odango and sailor suit.  Sailor Moon inspired many around the world to better themselves, fight for good and be a kind-hearted person to their friends.   Sailor Moon is a character many look up to and draw inspiration from.

 

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In an alternate timeline Sailor Moon inspired children to become shooters.

 

 

 

 

It seems that being an inspirational,  long-running recognizable brand from the 90s is something both Sailor Moon and Jordan have in common. And that’s about it.  Sailor Moon is a role model of kindness and selflessness.  Jordan…yeah.  Just type “Micheal Jordan Asshole Stories” on Google and have fun reading the stories about how much Jordan is a piece of shit on the court and off.  You never heard any stories of Sailor Moon being a horrible person to others.

For a week, I ran a giveaway on my Yuki The Snowman Facebook page for the Loot Crate exclusive Sailor Moon Bottle Opener.   The requirement for entry was that you must state your favorite Sailor Scout and why she is as such. I expected nothing more but basic replies such as “Sailor Mercury is my favorite because she’s smart”,  “I love Sailor Jupiter because she’s my tall waifu.” and “Sailor Pluto is the best Scout because I like older women and I want her to mommy dom me”.  I wasn’t expecting that people will go in-depth with their favorites.  It’s a simple Sailor Moon Bottle Opener; there’s no reason to write a motivation post on their favorite character just to win a tool to support their alcoholism.

 

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I feel attacked.

 

After adding some final details (and shameless sharing on Facebook and Instagram), the contest started. The first few comments were basic answers as I expected. However, as time went on there were a few that caught me by surprise.

One commenter stated that her favorite Sailor Scout was Uranus (Haruka).  Uranus was the first positive queer icon she saw on TV – and seeing her as such helped shaped sexual identity.

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There was a fan who revealed that as a child, she imagined herself as Sailor Moon to help her get through an abusive childhood.  During the time of her abuse, she would pretend that her parents were monsters from the Negaverse and that as Sailor Moon, it was her duty to defeat the monsters (her parents).  She went on to say that being recused from her parents felt like she was Sailor Moon being recused from the grasp of Prince Demande.

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On the lighter side, a Sailor Moon cosplayer revealed the reason why Sailor Moon is her favorite because she aimed to be like her: caring, loving, and a supportive friend to all.  She took the (rather cheesy) Sailor Says PSA took heart and let them mold her into becoming a better person in life.

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After reading these comments it hit me: The Sailor Moon brand touched so many lives.  The series gave power to these fans; may it be to do better with their lives, inspire them to do good for others, or help them through troubling times.  It’s not uncommon for fans of fictional media to have a favorite character based on traits they see in a character they relate to.  For some Sailor Mercury fans (like myself), they connect to her because they might have been bullied and outcasted during childhood for having great grades and/or spending time reading books.  Seeing a superheroine like Mercury reading books made their childhoods a little easier, and inspires them to hit the books – regardless of what their peers may think.

It’s goofy to say, but these Sailor Scouts empowered us.   They inspired us to do better or to find ourselves.  This I believe is why the Sailor Moon brand has a strong, 25 yearlong following – netting new fans every day.  I wonder: did Naoko Takeuchi ever thought she would create such a legendary and empowering series when she started creating the series back in the 90s.    I wonder if she’s proud and happy that she made such an impact on the lives of her fans because of her brand.

If you’re out here reading this article and you have a brand, please – keep working on it.  You never know if it could help people and make them a better person.

 

Dragon Ball Super 0

Mechanical Madness: Clash of the Artificial Humans! (Dragon Ball Super Ep. 116 Title and Summary Leak)

Title: Mechanical Madness: Clash of the Artificial Humans!

Summary: Nearly 25 years after the Cell Saga, brother and sister duo Androids 17 and 18 unite in combat once again!  Ordered by Mosco – Universe 3’s God of Destruction – Panchla, Borareta, and Koltsukai start to hunt down the Android twins.  Unmoved by their oncoming attackers, the Androids smirk at each other before charging at the threat with such great and furious offense.  They appear to show dominance over the robots but…

““Gattai!”

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STAFF LISTING:
Producer: Hiroyuki Sakurada
Storyboard: Masanori Sato
Planner: Kōzō Morishita
Script: Hiroshi Toda (Scenario writer for the TV special Dragon Ball Z: History of Trunks) 
Animation: Yuya Takahashi
Music: Norihito Sumitomo

What do you guys think?  I’m excited that Androids 17 and 18 are teaming up again, it makes me excited. The term “Gattai” (lit. “Combine”) is used in many classic mecha anime and Super Zentai . With Kale and Caulifa fusing into Kefla from this past episode 114, I wouldn’t be surprised if Panchla, Borareta, and Koltsukai fused into a super robot.  Given Toriyama draws influences from Super Zentai shows and sci-fi movies, seeing those robots fuse is not out of the realm of possibility.

Also, if you believe any of this, well good sir or madam, you’ve been duped. You deserve to be fooled by misleading and false information on anything Dragon Ball Super related. I hope you’re tricked by clickbait articles and vlogs from the likes of Blasting News and Double4Anime until the end of time.

Seriously.  There’s no source from any official websites or trustworthy members of the Dragon Ball community.  As Akira Toriyama famously said in a May 2013 JUMP Magazine interview:
Do not believe anything you read on the internet about my works, upcoming projects, and episodes from unconfirmed, unofficial, and untrustworthy sources – even if they list staff members from Toei. They’re trying to trick you into giving them your views. To be blunt, I’m sick and tired of the misinformation in the community and fanbase.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.’

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Universe 3 robots fusion mock-up source:
https://otakukart.com/dragonballsuper/one-universe-already-have-3-warriors-to-do-a-new-type-of-fusion/

Anime community 2

Stop Crying. Not Everyone Will Like Your Favorite Anime.

As a person who brutally reviews and talk about anime with joyful smite, you come across people who get mad at you because you don’t like an anime they enjoy.   Shoot, you don’t have to be an anime reviewer to run across these folks.  You know, the people who go “Turn your brain off and enjoy the show!” or “You’re not allowed to talk about a show you like” and my personal favorite, “Fuck you, you darkie for trashing my waifu this is why you blacks get shot by cops and lynched!”

Anime fans are goofy.

 

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Typical entry-level visual novel fan.

 

I don’t see the idea of getting all in your feelings over the negative opinions on an anime. I get it:  you invested endless hours on a show.  I know what it fell to fall in love with a character that you have a personal connection with.  That’s cool.  What’s not cool is being all mad because somebody said something like “I don’t think this show wasn’t that good.” or “This show was trash.” They just didn’t feel the show the way you did; that’s okay.  You cannot expect everyone to think your favorite anime is awesome as much as you.  You cannot hold everyone to your standards when it comes to appreciating every show this medium has to offer.

You will be disappointed.

If you come across somebody who says “This show suck” or something, just ignore them and move on.  You are confident (I hope) with the show’s enjoyment level.  You love the show.  Why does it really matter if others don’t like your favorite show?  Why do you get in your feelings because somebody negatively review a series you enjoy?   If you get all angry over the opinions of others over a cartoon that you did not even create, you need mental help.  Like forreal.  Does Wit Studio send you a Chise Hatori cosplayer to give you head for every 20 time you defend The Ancient Magus’s Bride?  Let me know because I would totally defend Touhou Project to get head from a Junko or Yukari cosplayer.  Space MILFs and older gap women are two of my things. But really, what is the point of defending your favorite show against somebody who will never change their opinion about it?

Let’s be honest: Everyone is critical about something.  You included.  It’s human nature to judge something and either have a positive or negative reaction to it.  Anime is not excluded in this.   I bet you there are many shows that you’ve watched and did not enjoy.  Don’t bullshit me. People who say they’re not judgmental on any anime are full of shit.  We all have anime series that we don’t’ like enjoy.  We all have shows that we love to bash.  I bet you there’s a show that came out this Fall 2017 season that you straight up hated and spent your precious time talking shit about.

I know I have. 

 

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And it’s’ fun seeing the results of having a negative review on a show.

 

To conclude this little rant, people won’t like your favorite show.  Deal with it. If you love a show and somebody else doesn’t, that’s on them.  The simple fact that you like that show should be more than enough for you to not be bothered by somebody else’s negative opinions.  You need forreal help if you get angry about it.

You’re not Aqua.  Please stop crying.

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Vector trace Aqua source:
https://the-old-y.deviantart.com/art/Vector-Crying-Aqua-672981501

Butthurt entry-level visual novel virgin fan:

My Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

higurashi no naku koro ni 0

Playing Favorites: Shion Sonozaki of Higurashi

Warning: Blood, gore, spoilers, bad grammar, and no direction in the post I needed to capitalize on the Halloween Holiday before it ended.  You’ve been warned.

Happy Halloween everyone!  While some of you guys are out partying and drinking, I’m out here working.   While ya party, I work and get shit done like a real nigga. Real niggas do real shit.  We ain’t out here partying like ya broke ass lames!

…okay, I’m not out here making moves.  I wish I could go out tonight and get drunk in a costume.  Being a responsible adult working a full-time job is suffering.

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Me after I’m finished with this post

Since it’s Halloween, I decided that I should talk about my one of my favorite anime horror characters: Shion Sonozaki from the anime series Higurahsi no Naku Koro ni.  We’re first introduced to her in episode 5 of Higurashi with her all cheerful and laughing that she made Rika stab herself to death (Great first impression dear, you made a child commit suicide).  She doesn’t seem fazed that Rika’s blood gotten all over her.  Heck, I say she even seem interested in the whole “Rika Is Killing Herself Again!” thing.  Granted, she was dressed like Mion, and everyone thought it was Mion doing all the killing but we’ll get back to that later.

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She’s watching a 10-year-old kid kill herself and she ain’t even worried about it.

 

Anyway, before that whole Shion snapping and killing people because she couldn’t ride Satoshi’s dick anymore thing happened, we see her at work at Angel Morte as a cosplay maid or some shit.  Shion seems like a normal girl. There’s nothing off or strange about her.  She’s nothing like her twin sister “crazy” ass (with that whole Mion trying to inject Keiichi with “drugs” an arc earlier). While Mion is more headstrong, rough, a bit boyish,  and traditional, Shion is mellow, chill, has feminine charms, and a bit of a rebel (she did escape her from her boarding school and was dating a boy who her family members hated).

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She also can be a bit…scary.  I mean, it’s Higurashi who isn’t a little scary or crazy?

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Today’s  lesson: foreshadowing.

 

But hey! Shion isn’t crazy or scary at all, right?  She’s just a normal girl who likes doing normal things.  Normal things such as teasing her sister, falling in love with a boy, sneaking into a holy shrine with a built-in torture chamber, and beating the shit out of her crush’s little sister. Normal things that every girl does at her age during the 80s.

Beating the shit out of your crush’s little sister isn’t normal, ain’t it?

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About that. One lovely summer afternoon during school, Satoko spilled her lunch all over the ground.  She starts to cry for her brother Satoshi and Shion gets all in her yandere feelings.  Rather than helping the poor child (who clearly was stressed out due to a lot of abuse at home) to win dick points with Satoshi, Shion channels her inner R. Mika off Street Fighter Alpha 3 and throw Satoko across the classroom.  Satoko, rightfully terrified, calls out for her brother to save her.  Shion gets enraged and starts throwing shit at Satoko.  As she tells her to go suffer and die alone, Shion picks up a chair and threatens to cave Satoko’s skull in, but is stop by Rika, Rena, and Satoshi.

And that boys and girls, was any and all chance of Shion getting with Satoko.   I get having crushes.  Crushes are cute.  Crushes are fine. Hell, I have a crush on somebody that will never grow into anything serious.  But crushing a 10-year-old girl’s head in to get with her brother won’t get you laid – it’ll only land you in jail for murder.   Also why the fuck was Satoshi still fucking with Shion after the fact she beat his sister’s ass.  Like bruh, crazy pussy is amazing pussy but it ain’t worth it in the long run.

 

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Sure.  Go ahead and apologize to the bitch who almost killed your sister no wonder your uncle and aunt beats you

I digress.  Remember how I said that Shion is a bit of a rebel in her family?  So Higurashi season 1, Shion wasn’t really supposed to get close to Satoshi because Satoshi’s family doing that pro-dam bullshit. She also didn’t suppose to sneak out of her boarding school either.  Her family got word on both things and fun stuff happened to her; like her nails being forcibly removed from her fingers one-by-one (well three but eh).  That didn’t discourage her from wanting to be with Satoshi. She’s loyal.

 

Speaking of Shion’s loyalty towards Satoshi, she even covered his ass when he was a suspect in the murder of his aunt. Shion made up an alibi for the nigga.  She stood up to him when Oishi tried to bring him in for questioning as well.  And then later Satoshi “disappeared”, Shion got angry, and horrible things happen to a lot of people.  Shion kidnapped Mion, their grandma, Satoko, and some old dude and killed them one-by-one (watch/read Higurashi I ain’t obligated to explain shit).

Oh and after killing Satoko, Shion remembered that Satoshi told her to watch over Satoko if something would happen to him.

Yeah…Shion fucked up.  Bad. But hey!  At least in the Beyond Midnight manga arc, she became a total sexy badass adult of the future whose total older woman waifu material…even if it was just Shion’s body being controlled by the ghost of her dead sister in an alternate timeline. Still, Shion truly shines in that arc and it was nice to see her portrayed as a hero after watching her villainess yandere bullshit in the anime and visual novel.

 

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I would seriously kill for a hack-and-slash action game of the Beyond Midnight comic

 

 

However, her heroism wasn’t just a manga exclusive. In Higurashi Kai, we’re treated to a kinder, gentle, big sister Shion.  Kai Shion is way mellower and chiller compared to question arc Shion.  Yeah, she’s still pretty pissed about Satoshi’s disappearance, but she ain’t bloodthirsty about it.  She even starts to treat Satoko like a little sister she never had (as opposed to treating her like a punching bag and pin cushion).  Shion loves Satoko and is willing to do whatever for her – even if it means killing her abusive Uncle.

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Shion may have chilled the fuck out, but she still has problems with her temper and anger issues.  But this time she isn’t going around plotting to kill people in cold blood. Shion wants to kill Teppei to protect her little sister. And really, can you blame her? Yea?  Okay I get you,  she was kinda sorta on some premeditated murder type shit with Teppei so…

I guess this is the part where I explain why Shion is one of my favorite anime characters.  To be honest, I hate most yandere characters.  Hell, I’m not really a huge fan of the dere-archtype unless the character has a great reason to be dere (such as Hitagi off Monogatari being a tsundere because of abuse).  Shion gets a “pass” for being a yandere since her family pretty much rejected her for being a twin or some shit (it’s been a while since I last watched Higurashi I forgot).  Then, she had to deal with that bullshit from her family because she was in love with Satoshi.  There’s also the fact her family sent her away to boarding school.

Okay.  Maybe she does have her reason to be a yandere.

I admire Shion’s rebellious spirit.  I’m not a guy who likes tradition (especially Christian traditions — long stories lol).  Seeing Shion marching to her own beat and doing her own thing, rather than to do things to please her family, reminded me of me.  I don’t get traditions.  I rather do my own shit.

There’s also Shion’s anger.  While her anger wasn’t justified at all in the question arc, I totally understand her anger when she found out Satoko was being abused.  I feel her on her wanting to kill Teppei to save Satoko, and not rely on the justice system to make a move.

Overall, Shion is a cool character whom I would love to go more in depth and analyze her character in the future.  But for now, I’m going to end this here so I can spend the rest of my Halloween evening watching horror animu.

Later.

Conventions 1

Hey Broke Weeaboo! Let’s Get Your Money Right For Your Next Convention.

The 2018 convention season draws near. You’re always broke from spending $500 on half-naked anime girl figurines. You love to spend $300 on anime Blu-rays, but somehow, you don’t have enough money for a convention. Do you think your mommy and daddy are going help you pay for your weeaboo dress-up festival? Of course, they’re not! You’re a grown man (or woman) now.  Just like your friend whom you borrow money from for cons, they’re tired of funding your hobbies.  Maybe you’re not broke, but you suck at money management. You’re the type of person to not have their priority together and splurge your cash on useless crap.

 

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Bedroom of a man who disappoints his their parents.

 

Because I’m a nice person, I’ll teach you how to get your money right.  I’ll promise you that with my guide, you’ll  have more than enough money saved up for you next convention adventures. It’s my duty and ethical obligation to help my fellow nerds stack money for their passion.

 

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Your friends prasing  you for saving and stackin your money up oh wait you don’t have friends my bad.

 

My guide is not for you begging ass, broke ass nerds (who always mooch off their friends). This is not for people who refuse to make money on their own.  This guide is not for skeptics who believe saving money is impossible.  Go away.  You’re wasting my time and yours – but mostly my time. Do you tend to blow a check, or dip into savings for wants, rather than needs and raining days?  Good.  Get the hell off this guide – people like you will never learn.  My advice is only for those who are serious about saving and getting their money right.  I only help people who are willing to better themselves.

If you’re still here then that means you’re serious about wanting to save for conventions.  Let us begin.

HOTEL

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Obtaining a hotel room should be your utmost priority (next to buying a badge/pass).  There are two categories for convention hotels: The main hotel(s); where most of the action takes place, and the secondary Hotel(s); for those who want a cheaper option and/or avoid crowds.  The main hotel’s full price can range from $230-$1500 depending on the convention, location, hotel brand, days etc.    Secondary hotels range from $180-$1000.

Most conventions hotels will accept room bookings about eight (8) months in advance (before con starts).   Normally, the convention’s social media team will provide an update on when this will happen.   Once they give the dates for room bookings, you want to start stacking up immediately.

Let’s say that you want to book with the Waverly Hotel (the host hotel of Anime Weekend Atlanta [AWA]).  The hotel will allow room registration on October 3, 2017,* (the time of this writing) and the convention starts on September 20, 2018.  The total cost of staying at the Waverly for four days is $700. This gives you about 50 weeks (or about almost 12 months) to stack.  Ignoring assets and other forms of income, let’s say you get paid bi-weekly. You’re given 24 paychecks prior to saving if you’re working a regular 9-to-5.

Let’s do some math.

$700/24= $29.16. $29.16/2 bi-weekly paychecks = $14.58   $14.58 is how much you need to take out of your check a pay period. Put the $14.58 in a savings account (or any other accounts you do not have normal access to). If need be, consider opening a new bank account separate from your main one.  If you bank at Bank of America, open an account with Commerce Bank, and then deposit the hotel money in that bank.  Destroy any and all credit/debit cards linked to the bank – you do not want to spend any money on that account.  Repeat until you reach your target goal.

(Please note that many banks are different with their savings account.  Some may require you to have a minimum amount of savings to keep the account open.)

What if you’re splitting a room with four people (you included in this four)?  Well, that’s simple! $700/4 people = $175 per person.  Take your $175 and divide it by 24 checks.  That’ll equal to $7.29 a check that you need to put aside.

Regardless if you’re alone or with a group, keep taking the money out of your check and stack it up until it adds up to the total amount of what you need.  Remember not to touch it until it’s time to transfer your funds into your checking account, or when you need to give the money to whomever the name is on the hotel’s bill.

With the hotel taken care of, it’s time to tackle your badge situation. Now, should you save up for a badge, or go all in and buy one ASAP? That is dependent on you and your situation.

(*NOTE: AWA has yet to accept room bookings at the time of this writing)

The Badge

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Is it better to just go all in on a badge and pay for it now?  Should you stack up for badge overtime and buy one in the future?  Let’s go over each option and decide which is best for you.

ALL IN:

Let’s say the badge is $45 at its cheapest (usually the first tier of pricing). If you can spend $45 and not be hurt by it, then go for it.  Yes, you’ll lose money, but you won’t lose time waiting for your badge in line at at-door registration.  Trust me: Losing time is worse than losing money.  Money, we can gain back – time, we will never recover.  You’re investing $45 in extra time – extra time you can spend on panels, autograph lines, chilling with friends, etc.   To be quite honest, that’s a win-win.

Losing both time and more money is lose-lose.

SAVING:

So you can’t afford to invest in a badge quite so soon.  That’s okay; you can stack up to the desire tier pricing. Maybe you want to save up for the second tier that’s coming up in two months.  Or perhaps you want to wait and save for the final tier before online registration ends in six months.  That’s cool. I can work with you on either or.

The second tier badge price starts at $55, the price increase will start on December 3rd, 2017. This gives you four paychecks until December 3rd.  4 paychecks divided by $55 equals $13.75 ($55/4=$13.75)

For the six months option (October 3rd to March 3rd): 12 paychecks/$75 = $6.25 a check.  Again, just like your hotel money, place this money in your savings and do not touch it until you hit your target goal.

Travel

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How you will get to the convention is up to you, and it will be different from person-to-person.  Sadly, humans cannot teleport, so you must figure out a mode of transportation.  This section will be broken down into four sections: Air, Road, Rail, and Public Transportation/Ride Share

AIR:

Admittedly, I have never traveled to a convention by air.  From what others told me, it’s best to book your flights as soon as your hotel and/or badge.   I would personally put aside around $100-$200 a check for about 8-10 months if you have 100% confidence that you’re traveling by air. You might go a little over your target goal for the tickets, but it’s better to have more cash than what you think you need. Do not delay as airline tickets will increase their price as your departure date draw nears.

It’s not wise to wait.

RAIL:

In general, you want to book your rail tickets (such as Amtrak) months in advance.  I say that you want to buy your train tickets around the same time you booked your hotel rooms and/or badge.  The sooner, the better.  Why?  Because you don’t want to waste more money as time passes.  Use the same method for booking and saving money for an airline flight as you would use for plane tickets as mentioned above.

CAR:
This will depend on how far you’re traveling, your car’s MPG, and how many people you have riding with you.  A trip to STL to CHI will cost you around $60-90 in gas.  From STL to ATL will cost you $90-120.  Again, this is dependant on your car and the people riding/driving with you. I would start saving up for gas money about three months before the convention.

Let’s take St. Louis to Atlanta as an example.  When traveling with my friend to ATL, he charges me around $40 for the trip.  I put aside about $20 a paycheck a month prior to us heading to Atlanta.

I really hope I don’t have to break down this simple math for you guys.

PUBLIC TRANSIT/SHARE RIDE:
If you need to use public transit, taxi services, or a shared ride to get to a con, please research what bus, train, etc. you need to take for the convention.  Bus and train fare will be dependent on the city you’re in, as well as share riding to a convention.  In general, I say put aside at the $10-$30 for your choice of public transit and share ride a month before the convention (if need be).

If I know I’m doing a $20 Uber to get to my convention hotel, I put aside $5 from each paycheck about two months prior.  So $20/4 bi-weekly checks = $5 I need to put aside.

Don’t  forget to tip your driver.  Don’t be a cheap ass.

FOOD

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You gotta eat and stay fueled up.  Ever danced at a rave on an empty stomach?  It’s not fun. Fast, cheap food or dine-in at a high-quality restaurant?  Cook your own food if you have a kitchen suite?  Again, this section depends on your budget and needs.  If you’re planning on eating out in fast food places, your budget should be around $40-100.  Are you planning on eating out at non-fast food places?  You want to save around $130-200.  If you’re cooking your own food, I say around $60-200 depending on how many people you’re feeding.  Before I forget, you should have about $20-40 aside for a snacks budget just in case you’re walking around the convention center all day and you need lite fuel (such as cereal bars, fruits, etc.)

If I’m planning on eating out at fast food places, I place my budget at about $60 for the convention weekend. Knowing this, I give myself a month before the convention to put aside $30 a paycheck until I hit $60.

When I’m in Chicago for Anime Central, my friend, his crew, and I go to Hofbräuhaus for one night and dine in.  Knowing that he preps for this dinner, I put aside around $40 two months prior. Two months gives me four bi-weekly paychecks.  With this, I put aside $10 a check until I hit $40 and keep that $40 in my savings until it’s time to transfer my funds into my checking account.

 

PARTY GOODS

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Same

 

This section is optional and you don’t need to party to have fun at cons (but it’s better that way).  If you’re like me, then you’re about convention partying life. Therefore, this section is for you.  In all honesty, this varies from person-to-person and their needs.  If you’re just going to one party, you may need just one or two bottles, a few mixers, and a case of beer, which will run you about $35-$75.  If you’re hosting a room party, then you may need to spend about $150-$1200.  Feel free to check out my “So You Wanna Host a Room Party” article for more information.

https://yukithesnowman.com/2017/05/12/so-you-wanna-throw-a-convention-hotel-room-party/

 

I usually wait until after I check into my hotel and have everything ready before I buy my liquor.  You do have those people who love to drop out of the hotel room at the last minute.  That extra money could help in a situation.  It does suck though.

Boy does it suck.

But you can make it not suck by stacking up six months prior to the convention if you’re 100% sure you’re hosting a room party.  I’m projecting that my room party for Anime St. Louis* 2018 will run me $600 in alcohol, mixers, and other goods. Given my room party will be on that Saturday (May 5th, 2018), I must plan on saving my money aside for the party on December 5th.  For two weeks up to May 5th,  I will put aside $50 until I hit my target goal.

Math time!

$600/6 months = $100 must be saved each month.

$100/2 bi-weekly paychecks = $50 taken from each check.

Of course, your room party budget will be different from mines.  This is just an example of breaking down the math and planning.

*Disclaimer: I am not hosting a room party for Anime St. Louis 2018. Do not come up to me asking if I’m running a room party.  This was just an example.

Adding it all Up

We have the numbers; now let’s add them all up.  The total will be your target goal for savings. Below is an example based off my personal funds for major conventions, so your numbers will vary.  Some will save more money than I.  Others will save less.  This is all dependent on the conventions you’re going to as well as funds and time.

 

HOTEL: $700
BADGE: $45
TRAVEL (Road): $40 for my share of gas money
PUBLIC TRANSIT: $6
FOOD: $100
PARTY GOODS: ~$120

TOTAL: $971
I’m going to take that $971 and divided by 11 months (until Anime Weekend Atlanta).

$971/11 months = $88.27 I need to put aside each month until the week before AWA for 11 months.  By going bi-weekly paychecks I can put aside $44.13 per paycheck.  This does exclude any forms of secondary sources of income.  Applying my other sources of income to build up will make me reach my goal faster and earlier.  This is giving or taking some items away (such as badge and alcohol)

Tips on Making (More) Money

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Conventions aren’t cheap; that’s not a secret.  I know people are struggling to make ends meet as well as putting towards their hobbies.  It’s a cash drain, believe me.  I understand.  However, you can always make extra money to add to your funds.  I’ll break down a few simple and easy ways to make extra money for you to use for the con.

WORK EXTRA HOURS/USE PTO

This is the simplest way to gain extra money.  If you see that there are extra hours or shifts to be picked up at your job, jump on that chance.  Does it suck that you have to give up free time to make more money at the job?  Yes.  Is it awesome to have a little bit of extra cash in your pockets for the convention?  Yes.  Go through some hardships now so you can have a better time later.  If those hardship means working more hours at a job you don’t like, so you can go to a convention and escape from the workforce for a few days (or even work on your business AT the con), then do it.

If your job allows it, you can use your Paid Time Off (PTO) hours that you’ve stacked and use those hours on your off day.  Then, when you get paid, put the PTO money into savings.

SELL/FLIP PRODUCTS ONLINE
Do you have old video games, comics, mangas, etc. laying around at your house that isn’t of use to you?  Sell them on eBay to make extra dough!  After you research and study the value of the items you want to sell, just create a listing for them on eBay, Amazon, Craig’s List, etc. You can either sell your own product if you have your own business or flip other people products.  I personally flipped items from Loot Crates to gain extra cash for funds.

SELL DRUGS/INVEST IN A DRUG  DEALER
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Don’t do it. You’re not a dope boy/dope boy investor in college anymore. If you are a dope boy then all I have to say is be careful and watch out for the haters and fake friends.

…Althrough you could sell drugs to the partiers at conventions to make extra cash.  Just a thought.

INVEST IN A LEGIT BUSINESS
Your homeboy is a real estate investor or owner and has a great track record of returns on investments?  Invest with him.

If you need more ideas to increase your income or have a new source of income to fund your weeaboo hobbies, I recommend the following, as they have helped me with increasing my income and manage my money:

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
The 10x Rule and If You’re Not First You’re Last by Grant Cardone
YouTuber Miniory Mindset
YouTuber and Rapper Nino Brown (Find the Balance Between Having Fun and Having Funds is a great video of his on saving money for the future as well as Chapter 3 of his audiobook Mackin’ and Stackin 3)

FINAL THOUGHTS

Saving money for conventions shouldn’t be so hard.  Yet, so many weeaboos struggle to do so.  Sometimes,  people attend conventions without a budget or money at all!  Having a budget and money saved aside will help you out in the long run, as it’s nice to have extra money.  Not having money at a con isn’t fun.  Nobody will help you out – it’s up to you to have cash.  With this how-to guide, I hope you learn how to save and manage your money for future convention events.  I believe everyone should have money save up to maximize their fun at cons.  Start saving now!  Do not wait until it’s less than a month before the convention to save.  Apply what you’ve learned from this guide for the future!
Besides, nobody will feel sorry for your broke ass.  Get this money and save it.

Thanks for reading!

IMAGE SOURCES:

Otaku Room:
http://www.dannychoo.com/en/posts/slide/71664

Hotel:
http://www.monaco-denver.com/hotels-near-denver-convention-center/

Pikachu Plane:
https://nipponhamfighters.files.wordpress.com

Yuyuko and Goku eating:
https://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=25590837

ACEN 2016 Badge:
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

Midari Ikishima (girl in the featured image) and  Kakegurui copyrighted 2014-2018 Homura Kawamoto, Tōru Naomura, Sqaure Enix, MAPPA, and Gangan Joker.

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The Prince (Or What In The Hell is This)

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Soo…I’m currently “The Prince” by Machiavelli and I am utterly confused by it.  Was this dude a psychopath? Am I suppose to deeply analysis his ideas and interpret them in a special style.  Cuz this dude is confusing and he was clearly fucked up in the head.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good book and it making me interested in politics and power, but there’s a good reason a Dark Triad was named after him

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Kino no Tabi: Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should. (VIDEO)

In the first episode of Kino Journey’s – The Beautiful World-, Kino encounters a man who desires to live in an infamous country where murder is not frowned upon. However, this man learns a life-ending lesson on action and reaction when he attempted to rob and murder Kino. Just because you can do something doesn’t necessary means you should go out and do it. It can cost you greatly — even your life.

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THEORY: Universe 6 is Doomed (Thanks Frieza!)

Episode 112 of Dragon Ball Super has me thinking; Frieza will be the one to defeat Universe 6. You may be asking “How so?  How can you be so sure?” Well, this odd theory I have  comes from the fact that the final warriors of Universe 6 are made up of two Saiyans and two Nakemians.  And as well all know, Frieza has a fantastic history with members of those races.

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His hand slipped. 

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Frieza hates Saiyans.  I’m talking your racist neighbor getting mad every-time he sees those “illegal” Mexicans across the street level of hatred.  The mere sight of those uncivilized monkeys fuels Frieza with great, furious anger.  Frieza wants nothing more but to kill any and all Saiyans – even if they’re from another universe.   Frieza mentions to Cabba that wants to play fun  with Kale and Caulifla.  Frieza, he’s a fan of games with full cooperation from others.  Those are his favorite type of games after-all. Like the classic chocking game.  That’s a game where Frieza wraps his tail around his buddy’s throats, and starts squeezing the life out of them until they choke to death.

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He’s also a fan of the game “Shoot people’s pressure points with non-lethal Death Beams Barrages until they’re begging for the sweet release of death.”   I think Kale and Caulifla will become great fans of those games.   It’s going to suck when Frieza decides that he’s bored and stops playing with them.  Maybe he might bring them back with the Super Dragon Balls if Universe 7 wins.  Plus, having two Saiyan monkey girls just means he’s respect diversity and equal gender rights in the work place!

Diversity quotas don’t fill themselves now.

Now, let us imagine Frieza meeting the Universe 6’s Namekians.  Just picture his joy! He’ll become so happy that Universe 6 has Namekians too! Frieza will get all warm and nostalgic – reflecting on his youthful days of Planet Namek.  Days where he made those green people bow at his feet. Ahh, that was a great period in his life.  Shooting Dende in the head. His troops hunting and killing the lot of them.  Ripping that one Namek who look like Piccolo arm off.  I think his name was Nail or something I dunno they all look alike. Frieza strikes me as a fellow who loves reliving his glory days of being a ruthless dictator on Namek. I mean, look how happy Frieza was when he was healing Goku.  It brought back lovely memories of Namek.  I hope him meeting those Nameks of Universe 6 will re-spark that happiness once more.

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Nail vs. Lord Slug

 

Here’s where my theory comes to play.

It’s strange that the final four warriors of Universe 6 include members of  two races that Frieza has a past relationship with.  In the past five episodes or so, Frieza was given some shine story-line wise. We can assume that Toei wants to build some focus on Frieza, the Saiyan girls, and the Namekians (whom were given a little shine in Episode 111).  Before I forget, let me bring reminder you that universes who were shown to have low numbers (sans Universe 11) were doomed to erasure (as we’ve seen with Universe 9 and 10).

See where I’m going with this?

I predict that in the near future, Frieza will take out the Saiyan girls and the Nameks. Therefore, with their elimations, Universe 6 will be erased.  They’ve lost their leader and strongest warrior — Hit.  Their morale is low. Frieza’s hatred for Saiyans has no bond.  He also doesn’t take too kindly to Namekians either.  I may be wrong, but I think Toei is hinting that Frieza will be the one who will slaughter Universe 6.

That or this all a red herring from Toei.  The Namekieans are going to get a Toriyama handjob, the Saiyan girls are going to get a Toriyama finger bang, and get an asspull powerup and defeat Frieza and we’re all being mislead by Toei and Trollriyama.

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VIDEO: STUPID JERK LET’S TALK SOME REAL DEEP $#!T!!! (Persona 4’s Marie and being real)

 

In the third episode of Persona 4 Golden The Animation Marie questions her friends on what does it means to be your true, real self. As I’m watching the cast give their answers (taking from being comfortable with your hobbies, living your life the way you want to, etc.), this made me think: What does it mean to be real? I think to be real means doing whatever you please — regardless of what others may think (as long as you’re ethical about it and not on some illegal shit).

Being real also means facing yourself and admitting you may have some weakness and issues to work on. So, what does being real means to you? (also unless you’re a hardcore Persona 4 don’t watch P4GA its typical A1 Pictures garbage. The music, fanservice, Yukiko, and Marie are the only good things about the anime)

http://www.yukithesnowman.com

anime 4

This Anime is Faithful Virgin Trash

You only get one shot.  If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me, it’s getting dropped. So, did My Girlfriend is a Shob**h impressed me in its first episode?

No.

It’s often said that the best way to court attention is to generate controversy.  Companies and brands understand this well. Let me use some examples real quick. During the 2000s,  Rockstar Games used the negative press of their Grand Threat Auto series as a positive in order to boost sales.  It worked in their favor. Vince  Mcmahon, CEO of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), saved the company with the Attitude Era; a controversial period during the late 90s that used politically incorrect and sexual themes aimed at adults. Hell, there’s a certain notorious cosplayer right now gaining attention through controversial lewd cosplays.

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please don’t lewd the time loop lolis please don’t lewd the time loop lolis please don’t lewd the tie loop lolis for the love of Oyashiro-Sama don’t lewd Rika or Hanyuu

So, when I first heard the title My Girlfriend is a Faithful Virgin Bitch, my eyebrows rose a bit.  The title alone was enough to grab my attention.  “Jeez, Japan.  You guys are getting bolder.” I told myself.  For real, who goes around calling their girlfriend a “faithful bitch”?  I’m not a domestic violence expert, but I’m sure that’s a red flag for an abusive relationship.  I mean, congrats on finding a girl who ain’t fucking other dudes behind your back, but did you really have to call her a faithful bitch?

With a controversial title like that, I had to do some research on the anime.  I went to My Anime List and some anime pages on Facebook to gain some knowledge on Shobitch. Fans of the original web manga were going around telling others not to panic!

“It’s not like all other trashy, horrible romcom anime out there today!  Shobitch is different!”  One zit face ridden weeb stated   “Shobitch is not bad at all! It’s funny and cute!  Don’t take the title at face value.”

For a second, I had faith in this stranger’s words.  Maybe he’s telling the truth, and Shobitch isn’t like all the other romcom anime series out there.  The title is just something to bait people into watching it.  I should give it a chance.  Just because the cover art shows the main girls looking at a banana, commonly used as a  phallic symbol, doesn’t mean this anime is going to be ecchi trash. Have faith in these weebs, Benjamin!

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…And  then I remembered why I don’t have faith in most anime fans.

I went to my favorite source for anime, pulled up Shobitch, and played the file.  The anime starts with a boy and girl in their teens in some field lookin’ stupid.  The girl speaks.

“I, right here and now…will raise my skirt and display myself to you.”  Joy. Oh joy.  Another romcom opening up with a panty sho- hold up! Did this bitch straight say she ain’t got no panties on?  Am I 10 again sneaking into the living room at 2AM to watch that Wax-a-Million music video on  B.E.T. Uncut?

But seriously.  This anime isn’t opening up with a panty shot.  It’s a straight up vag shot.  A censored vag shot, but a vag shot regardless.  Or maybe not, as the dude was dreaming the whole thing. Doesn’t matter, really. As I’ve stated before in my Hajimete no Gal first impression review, if your anime opens up with panty shot, then you have no confidence in your work.  So, if your anime opens with a girl flashing her vagina in the opening scene, then you should never work in the anime industry.

Just quit my man.

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Goddammit, Wax-a-Million

Dude wakes up and gets an eyeful of some girl’s ass.  Great.  I see where this is going now. Next, he spots his crush (the girl in his dream) and talks about her in some inner monologue bullshit that I don’t care for. Kosaka Whatsherface is her name. The guy wants to be her boyfriend. He plans to confess to her later that day.  They meet up after school.  He confesses and Kosaka accepts.  Not only does she accepts, Kosaka tells dude that she’s gonna learn 48 different positions for him so they can have a good time.

…what?

 

“Benjamin. Abandon ship.  Why are you torturing yourself by watching trash tier anime? Go play that Fire Emblem 4 romhack with those Touhou characters.  Go watch better anime.  Don’t do this to yourself.” My gut was trying to tell me to stop but I refused.  It’s my duty, obligation, and responsibility to tear apart bad anime – no matter what ill results may come to me and my mental health.

I should have I listened to my gut.

The OP begins.  We see Youmu Konpaku, err, Yuki Nagato, wait no, Kosaka Whatsherface (look, all silver hair, blue eyes anime, and video game girls look alike to me.  I don’t care; I’m anime racist) half naked and dressing.  As she leaves her house, the camera pans up to her skirt for a panty shot. At that point, I stopped watching the OP. I went on my phone to watch some fight compilation on World Star Hip Hop (WSHH) to past the time.  As I’m scrolling through WSHH my eyes peep the TV screen to check if the OP finished   I was greeted to Kosaka, completely naked, sitting on a cake.  Oh, and she was taking a loud of white frosting on her face in a suggestive matter.

Whew boy.

The OP ends and the episode resumes.  We get some annoying brunette girl screeching, running down the hall and glomping Haru from behind. She’s followed up by another girl wearing some catgirl bullshit trying to take both of them back home with her like she’s Rena off Higurashi or something.  Later, Haru daydreams about Kosaka. He debates if he should talk to her about her about asking her hobbies and interests.

To the surprise of nobody,  Kosaka appears. Haru gets all giddy inside.  He has a chance to ask her what she enjoys face-to-face.  And hey! Kosaka has the same idea in mind.  She wants to get to know her new boyfriend better as well.  You know, it what makes a strong, solid relationship. Communication is key in these things.

You gotta ask your new boyfriend or girlfriend things. Things such as what they’re favorite color, what type of foods they love, who is their favorite music artist, and what do they like to do for fun.  Oh!  Don’t forget to ask what kinda fetishes do they have in the bedroom.  Yeah, Kosaka asks Haru what type of fetishes he’s into for some odd reason.

…at least she’s thoughtful.  I guess.

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The scene transition to a boob gag to remind us that Kosaka is well endowed (as it wasn’t obvious enough in the OP).  As she helps their teacher, she places her breasts on top of the books, and carry then them out.  She then asks Haru if he’s a masochist because…I don’t know nor do I care anymore.  In less than eight minutes, I could tell that this anime was just going to be terrible.  It was at this point I started asking myself questions:

“Do I hate fun?”
“Am I secretly a masochist and is my pain kink is watching terrible anime?”
“Is this what they mean to turn your brain off and enjoy something even though its horrible?”

Besides this anime sucking, what also sucked that I drank all my alcohol from the day before (to relieve work-related stress).  That bottle of Peach New Amsterdam vodka sure would have helped get me through this trash. Maybe being under the influence of alcohol would have made this a little bearable.  Wait, actually no.  It wouldn’t.  It would have just me even angrier that I was wasting my time on such bullshit.    Then again,  in retrospect, Drunk Ben is smart enough to turn off this anime so he wouldn’t have to suffer any longer.

(Goddammit angry Alcoholic Worker Ben! Was getting afternoon drunk worth it?)

The next scene shows Kosaka eavesdropping on two girls talking about their relationship issues.  Kosaka butts in. She tells the girls that the best way to get their boyfriend’s attention is to say “Nyan” after each sentence.  Ya know,  like one of ‘em socially awkward annoying high school weeaboos who wear cat ears all day. Her next advice to the girls was to not wear any panties around their boyfriends to make ‘em happy.  Yeah.  This is the character of Kosaka: A perverted airhead who think sex and being a catgirl will solve everything in the world.   Kosaka is a tad bit off (as her peers states) Maybe she doesn’t know how a relationship work.  Maybe she thinks sex should be a priority in it.  It’s her first time having a boyfriend, so I should be a little merciful.  But I won’t.

 

At was at this point I got bored with this anime. I simply turned off my TV, went on social media and started ranting about how terrible Shobitch is. After my rant, I dropped the anime.

I’ve concluded that I shouldn’t do these types of shows.  Maybe there are good, romcom anime that isn’t utterly perverted (or the perverted jokes are actually funny) but I haven’t discovered them yet.  My Girlfriend is a Shobitch isn’t one of them.  The jokes doesn’t make me laugh (given I’m way out of pubtery I gues).  Both main characters are utter idiots, with Kosaka being an airhead, monotone pervert.   Her voice is as boring as the show.  The only good things I can say about this show is that the animation is decent and  the girl is more sexual forward in a genre where its the male who is sexual forward. Also, I will admit it was (laughably) cute to see  Kosaka work hard to be a good girlfriend to Haru.
This show is getting dropped.  I have better shows to watch and review.

First Impression score: 2.5/10

+The animation is decent
+Kosaka is a pervert rather than the male lead unlike most romcom shows
+It feels a little different from most romcoms
-Jokes weren’t funny
– Jokes were obvious
– Too overly sexual
-Episode opened with a vag shot
-Obvious harem set-up
-Fanservice transition shots
-Alcohol did not make this show better – only worse
-Kosaka looks like a lame ass version of Yuki Nagato off Haruhi

My Girlfriend is a Faithful Shobitch (c) 2017 Diomedea, Studio Blanc