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Reality Over Fiction: Why Real Life Empowerment is Better Than This Nerd Crap

“This Tupac museum is way better than going up to that little anime convention down the street!” I told a mother and daughter who asked me if I could take their picture next to a collection of notebooks from legendary rapper the late Tupac Shakur. Both women laughed and nodded in agreement. I myself was in awe reading his original, hand-written drafts of some of his iconic hit songs such as Troublesome ’96, To Live and Die in L.A., All About You, and California Love. From the pages, you could feel Tupac’s drive to make each of his works a masterpiece.

I was originally in Los Angeles during the 4th of July 2022 weekend for Anime Expo: the annual anime convention in which broke socially awkward weeaboos with disposable income spend their money to help support Los Angeles’s train wreck of an economy (and to an extent, California’s own train wreck of an economy).

Anime Expo 2019

However, in the planning stages of my L.A. trip, I came across an advertisement for the Wake Me Up When I’m Free Tupac exhibit hosted in L.A. Live. I figured that it’d be great to take a break from all the weeaboos who finally learned some social skills and take care of their personal hygiene during the COVID shutdowns in order to do something more laid back. Plus, as someone who’s a fan of hip-hop, the arts, and a proud Foundational Black American, I felt that it was my duty to pay respect to the man who not only changed the world but especially inspired Black people globally to rise up against systematic white supremacy and to better themselves.

Anime conventions come and go. Most offer the same thing that you can experience at any other convention. But, a once-in-a-lifetime pop-up museum revolving around the life of a Black man who changed society, well, I had to go and check that out before it was too late.

Not mere seconds upon entering the exhibit, I felt powerful energy and drive that I’ve never experienced at any anime con. The energy of Black Empowerment. The drive to better myself as a Black man. Reading stories of Afeni Shakur – the mother of Tupac – and her courage to stand up against white supremacy as a member of the Black Panther Party during the 70s made me feel proud to be who I am.

Seeing how driven Tupac was in his short 25 years of life to create and produced only fueled my own creative drive. Reading about how he was able to produce many hit songs even in jail made me realize how much I threw away so much free I was blessed with during the 2020-2021 COVID lock-downs. Freetime that could have birthed work. Work that could have birthed content. Content that could have birth funds for me to have a much better and longer time in Los Angeles and Anime Expo. Don’t get me wrong: I had a hell of a time in Los Angeles and Anime Expo this year – but – it would have been nice to have more money in my pockets and more time on my hands out there.

Hell, if I wasn’t such a moron who let his inner darkness take control which turned into a destructive mental slump over a simple minor medical issue like heart failure (that landed me in the hospital for a week), I could have produced so much high-grade content for my blog and YouTube channel. That in turn could have birthed new traffic flow to my website and subscriptions to my YouTube channel. I could have grown big enough to land myself a free press or industry pass for Anime Expo; thus, saving me money and netting those glorious industry connections (only for me to lose them given how quickly they will discover how I could never be in their industry like that with my savage mouthpiece).

I know that you should never compare yourself to someone else. It’s a dangerous mental trap, but I gotta get this off my chest. Tupac spent time in a hopeless situation like prison and was able to produce hits after hit. Yet I wasted a year of my life feeling sorry for myself. A year where I could I could have risen up from the darkness and into the light and just produce masterpiece content like him.

As Foundation Black Americans, it’s a skill we’ve mastered due to 400 years and counting of going through the most horrific and sinister shit in human history. Honestly, being in that exhibit (as well as a real friend giving me a kick in the ass about my behavior) just gave me the realization that I have to go back to my old-school ways (producing content like crazy like I did during 2017-2019).

Like Tupac, I had to take control of my own life and direct my own fate.
That’s true empowerment.

*****

In contrast, the night before, I was at Atlus’s Persona 25th Midnight Masquerade dance party that was held during Anime Expo 2022. After waiting in the general admission line for over an hour, I had arrived just in time to hear this Asian DJ stop playing music (it wasn’t even Persona music, mind you) and start whining like a little bitch about as a child, he felt insecure about his racial heritage; wishing that he wasn’t Asian. As things couldn’t get more awkward, he sang a song about his struggles of being Asian in Canada. I wish that I would have recorded that, but I, along with my crew, felt second-hand embarrassment from that turn of events and left to chat it up with some Persona (and Shin Megami Tensei) cosplayers in the bar area.

(I can’t believe you early admission tickets guys really paid $25 to get in early only to hear that mess).

That was just pathetic. I couldn’t imagine being a young Asian person up at that party and hearing another Asian whine about how insecure he felt in his youth. How’s that empowering to anyone? Let me be that DJ! If I was him, I’d be up there talking reckless on stage about great Asians are because we made Persona, anime, and cosplay.

I would be like “If it wasn’t for us Asians making Persona and getting cosplay poppin all over the world none of these non-Asians motherfuckers would be here today dressing up as OUR characters! A lot of these dudes are only gonna get laid tonight cuz our race made characters like Ann Takamaki, Kasumi Yoshizawa, and Rise Kujikawa cuz these little cosplay hos are dressed up as the tonight! That Maya cosplayer looks positive and I ain’t talking about her always saying ‘let’s think positive’ in Persona 2 or COVID! Any guy getting with her later tonight better wrap up it! Anyway, We’re the master race – not the whites! Yellow Power! ”

I would MAKE sure neither Atlus nor Anime Expo hires me to DJ their events ever again!

That wild fantasy aside, that lack of knowing oneself through empowerment. It’s the mindset of most nerds. You have these white male nerds who have been given everything handed to them due to white supremacy. So, when something does go bad for them, they lack the willpower to get through it. That’s why you see these little white boy incels degrading shooting up public places, and getting involved with alt-right groups.

For the non-white nerds (and the white nerds who aren’t on board with white supremacy) they lack the courage to push through the hardships of life. Most only look forward to the past with blind nostalgia because they don’t see a hopeful future. Pride in oneself is absent from their psyche.

They use fiction as a shield to withdraw from and protect themselves against the savagery of this life. By hiding from life, they don’t have the foresight to see how amazing and beautiful life can be despite its cruel, twisted darkness. Most of these nerds don’t use any of this geek junk they indulge in to empower themselves. They hate on the alpha male and alpha female nerds who have the testicular and ovarian fortitude to not use nerd culture to hide from life. Why do you think there’s rarely any true self or communal empowerment at these conventions?

This is why I named this post “Reality Over Fiction”. I felt more driven to better myself in the two hours I spent at the Tupac museum compared to the 10+ years I’ve gone to these geek conventions across America. Honestly, you can’t find empowerment or people who want to better themselves at these conventions. Why? Because self-empowerment demands that you take a deeper look at yourself and force you to question what the hell have you been doing with all your life. They don’t want to realize they’ve wasted their life not doing anything with it. Funny, given the heroes they look up to (may they be fictional or real) rose up and empowered themselves.

Guess it’s easier in fiction than in reality.

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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 nerd culture. Every Tuesdays we drop episodes containing serious and laidback topics while Saturdays we drop episodes talking about TV shows, anime, film, comics, manga, and video games.

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Welcome to the Self-Reflection: An Welcome to the NHK Anime Retrospect Part 2: Hitomi

NOTE: This retrospect will only explore the anime version of Hitomi as I am only on chapter 6 of the original novel at the time of publishing. If I had missed anything about Hitomi’s personality from the novel then I ask for forgiveness on that front.

Link to part 1:
https://yukithesnowman.com/2022/01/27/welcome-to-the-self-reflection-an-welcome-to-the-nhk-anime-retrospectpart-1-introduction/

You know, if Welcome to the N.H.K came out during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hitomi wouldn’t be just a beloved character: she would be the Waifu Queen of the anti-vaxxers who would share their views of conspiracies with vigorous, all-mighty passion. They would swear up-and-down that mask mandates and stay-at-home orders are secretly about control. They’d proclaim that COVID vaccines could alter one’s DNA. Finally, they would express that COVID itself was the ultimate plan of the world’s elites to reduce our population. Horny anti-mandate Hitomi fanboys would wish that she was real so she could step and spit on them; begging her to call them her cute little submissive kouhai while she talks about how COVID-19 is a conspiracy to dominate us while she dominates them.

On the flip side, however, those who’re pro-vaccine/mask mandates would do everything in their power to make Malty Melromarc of Rising of the Shield Hero fame look like an utterly innocent angel compared to Hitomi. On Twitter, they’d mindlessly rant about how Hitomi inspires vaccine “misinformation”. They’d wage war against those who’re Hitomi fans: stating that their waifu is the reason why there’s an increase of COVID deaths and variants. Hitomi cosplayers would be bullied at anime conventions by morons who can’t separate fiction from reality. Japanese and Japanese-American women named Hitomi would flood their local circuit courts to change their name to something like…idunno, Heather, or some shit. Why? Because they can’t bear the shame of having the same name of a cartoon and novel character who might be anti-vax.

Goddammit Tatsuhiko Takimoto, why couldn’t you just had been born about 10-15 years later?

In any case, ladies and gents, I hope you’ve enjoyed my humorous introduction because that is the only humor you’ll get from this article/essay today because I’m going to go into some dark territory. If you’re bothered by subject matters such as depression and suicide, then I advise you to turn back and check out some of my other content on this website (I mean, if that does bother you then why are you a fan of Welcome to the N.H.K in the first place?)

With that said, let’s get into it!

*****

Alex Jones’s waifu.

Seen in a flashback in episode 1 (but officially introduced in episode 4) Hitomi Kashiwa is Satou’s senpai from his high school days. Bonding over playing cards, having debates on conspiracy theories, and being the only members of their school’s literature club, the two would quickly become friends. Due to Hitomi’s fascination towards conspiracies, plus his lone-wolf social status, Satou’s worldview would be wrapped by her3. This in turn led him to believe that his hikikomori state is the result of a conspiracy itself.

Despite her unfeasible hopes of a future with him, Hitomi would find herself extending intimacy with Satou. From this, it’s possible that Satou and Hitomi were (sexual) lovers. However, this is merely hinted at via directorial imagery: such as Satou playing an erotic video game starring a senpai in a relationship with her younger male kouhai, cards from the Heart Suits lying on the club’s table, and Hitomi’s lips wrapped around the tip of a straw in episode 5.

In the cafe’ scene of episode 5, Hitomi notices that Satou isn’t looking well, so she offers him drugs to boost his mood. Satou questions her on this, to which she responds by declaring “Being a working adult is tough, you know.”. It’s clear that Hitomi is abusing substances to cope with her life. This is further proven in episode 11 as Hitomi is popping pills in the shower, on the streets, and while she’s browsing through forums dedicated to the discussion of suicide and suicide pacts.

As we’re given a peek at her everyday life, we come to understand why she abuses drugs. She’s in a strained relationship with her boyfriend Akira due to his busy work life. She earns no respect at work: often belittled by her superior and coworkers. Moreover, she struggles with mental health (which we’ll get into soon).

Excluding the boyfriend thing (as I’m into women), I couldn’t help but partly relate to Hitomi. Working bullshit jobs were people older than you try to test and mess with you because they’re screwed up in the head and don’t know how to cope otherwise. Disrespectful middle-management bosses who think they’re hot shit (but are utter pussies when the cool district and regional managers come by to visit) acting like they’re above you (when they can be easily fired like you). Having to cope with the stress of work through my vices: drinking and smoking. Admittedly, dealing with the bullshit lead me to some darkness (which I’m still dealing with today, but I have better control of it).

At times, I wouldn’t come straight home after work at night. I would hit up a grocery store on my way home and buy at least buy some beers (or if I was feeling really down, a bottle of hard liquor), head to a park near my house, prep some weed for a blunt or my bong if I have any, and indulge in my vices.

Then, the darkness would come as I sat.

Maybe if I didn’t waste all my money and time partying and going to bars/clubs nearly every weekend trying to make up for all the times that I never got the chance to party during my high school days due to being unpopular. Why did I decide to be a nerd living a square ass life instead of a normie street dude who could make fast, easy money and stack the money up for something better in life instead of working at this bullshit ass job.”

Drinking and smoking weren’t enough for my dark side. It got to the point where at times, I would browse through Facebook and other social media platforms just so I can see others suffering worse than I was; finding joy in their misery. Now, before anyone thinks I’m a monster, I had a code like I was Dexter Morgan from Dexter when it came to my darkness. I only laughed and mocked those who I knew and could prove they were horrible people or those who had wronged me in the past and never apologized for it. I do not and will never find joy in seeing good, kindhearted innocent people suffering.

I convinced myself that as long as the other person whom I was laughing at and mocking was proven to be bad, it was okay to tap into that horrific darkness to find joy in their misery. It was my personal stress release. “I know it doesn’t make it right but the world doesn’t operate on right or wrong: only winning and dominance!” I told myself.

Just like how Hitomi’s drug abuse only made her temporary “fix” her issue, that too was merely a temporary solution. I knew this. But I kept at it until I realized I was only hurting myself at the end as I only sunk further into my darkness.

Thankfully, I didn’t reach the point of darkness where I was suicidal….

I swear to God I want to just slit my wrists and end this bullshit
Throw the magnum to my head, threaten to pull shit
And squeeze until the bed’s completely red
I’m glad I’m dead, a worthless fuckin’ Buddha head
The stress is buidlin’ up, I can’t — I can’t believe
Suicide’s on my fuckin’ mind, I wanna leave
I swear to God I feel like death is fuckin’ callin’ me
But nah, you wouldn’t understand

-Biggie Smalls, Suicidal Thoughts (1994 hip-hop single)

Hitomi’s stress would reach its peak as we see her planning to end her life in the middle of the series. As mentioned earlier, we see her browsing through and posting on a suicide forum: expressing how she wants to end her life and will go through with it the next day. Following that, she invites herself over to Satou’s house with beer, snacks, and stories of their high school days. Satou can’t help but notice that the usual “conspiracy-mania” Hitomi is in a blissful mood.

This happens quite often with victims of suicide. Examples: the night before she ended her life, fashion designer Kate Spade was reported to “sounded happy” by her husband. The wife of Linkin Park’s frontman Chester Bennington shared a picture of Bennington smiling with their family; stating that the evening before his death, he seemed like he was at his best. In both cases, the spouses admitted that there were warning signs, but they never picked up on them before it was too late. For Satou, we can say the same. Hitomi showcased the warning signs of depression and suicide, but he never picked up on them (sans the fact that she saw her go through this in the past from when she broke up with her boyfriend).

It’s not until he unwittingly joined her at the OFF group suicide pact meeting that he realized there was something wrong with Hitomi.

We know the rest: The members of OFF realized they had lives worth living and called off the group suicide – excluding Hitomi. Struggling with the idea that nobody neither wants nor needs her, she convinces Satou to end it all with her: making him promise if they’re reborn at the same time to play cards again. However, when Akira arrives at the meeting spot for the suicide group, Hitomi changes her mind as Akira express that he wants her hand in marriage: to which she happily agrees (much to Satou’s dismay)

Hitomi isn’t seen again until the final arc of the series. During New Year’s Eve, Satou meets up with Hitomi (after he and Misaki are separated by a crowd). The two bar hop with Hitomi drunkenly suggesting that they should have an affair while Akira is away on business. Satou shoots down the idea: telling Hitomi that he doesn’t want to destroy her newfound happiness towards life. Hitomi, smiling, agrees with him. Finally, she drops the news that she’s pregnant with Akira’s child (which she delivers in the series’s epilogue.)

I myself never try to take my own life, nor had suicidal thoughts, so I’m not going to pretend that I understand Hitomi’s situation. As much as I talk to those and have empathy towards those who’ve experienced such thoughts or even try to take their lives, empathy doesn’t equal understanding. But, I can see why some people would want to end it all. With the state and stress of the world, it is clear why some people believe they have no other option or outlet. Over the years I’ve come to learn not the judge people with suicidal thoughts because we don’t know what goes on in someone’s mind. Additionally, you or I could easily find ourselves in that state of hopelessness.

Japan is famously known for being a country that holds the status quo in the highest regrade. Working hard and providing for your countrymen nation is expected of you. You must put on your best face (or tatemae, 建前 たてまえ, lit. “facade”) no matter what. You are not allowed to express your true feelings (or the honne, 本音, lit. “true sound”). Expressing oneself in Japanese culture is taboo; even if you’re going through emotional pain. So, it is understandable on why Hitomi wanted to kill herself before she got better.

Honestly, it’s messed up.

Being a working adult is truly tough, you know? There’s nothing you can really do about it as you need to work to survive. Living this life comes with stress: may the be from bills, competition against and from others to advance, and dealing with things that take a toll on both your physical and mental health. You can’t ask the world to help you; as this world is not an ally, but rather, a cruel and unforgiving enemy.

But it isn’t all bad.

While the world itself will never be your ally, you’ll find people who are willing to be your friend if you can form that bond with them. In turn, they will be willing to help you get through life.

Are there conspiracies in this world that make it hard for someone to live a good life free of stress, pain, and suffering? Of course! But, we must acknowledge and face them head-on – no matter what. It doesn’t mean that we should use said conspiracies as crutches or excuses to not do good for ourselves. Hell, in fact, those behind the conspiracies would love it if we give up and give in to the darkness of the world. So we must do good for ourselves. We must treat each other with kindness. We must show empathy to those who aren’t doing too well mentally; showing them that they’re not alone in this cruel, cold world.

That’s how we defeat the conspiracies of the world.

Next: Welcome to Yamazaki.

AFTERWORD :

1. I find it funny that Hitomi names herself “HANA-HANA” on the OFF suicide forums when Hana means “Happiness” in Arabic and “hope” in Kurdish as Hitomi was neither happy nor hopeful. I do not know if Takimoto (or the writers of the anime version of NHK) was aware of this and used that as irony.

2. At the time of this article’s publishing, I am on Chapter 9 of the original novel. However, I probably will not edit said article to reflect anything from the novel because I’m lazy.


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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 nerd culture. Every Tuesdays we drop episodes containing serious and laidback topics while Saturdays we drop episodes talking about TV shows, anime, film, comics, manga, and video games.

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anime 2

Welcome to the Self-Reflection: An Welcome to the NHK Anime RetrospectPart 1: Introduction

You know, the arts have so much power – anime include. There’s something about anime that can change people for the better. It’s common to hear anime fans declare that a certain anime made them a better person. I myself am not immune to that power.

As I’ve oft-stated, the anime that changed me was Kyoto Animation’s (in)famous The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. First, it was my first “non-normie” anime. Second, it opened my eyes to the wild, wild world of internet otaku-ism (the mid-to-late 2000s was an amazing time to be an anime fan on the internet). Finally, and most important, it inspired me to want to leave my mark on the world – to show that I exist.

Haruhi’s existence monologue still resonates to this day.

Around the same time I got into Haruhi in 2009, I was introduced to Welcome to the N.H.K (N.H.K) from a former friend who was willing to let me borrow his copy of it. Foolishly I decline; as I thought it was about the actual Japanese TV broadcast network NHK WORLD-JAPAN. I (at the time) had no interest in television production.

Plus, can you blame me for assuming that it was about TV production based on the title? Hell, I even thought Satou was a stressed-out TV producer who drank a lot (because of the open beer can on the promotional art). I also thought that the bunny girls (Hitomi and Misaki, I assume) on said promotional art was Satou’s playful and flirtatious interim who were complete screw-ups who caused Satou to drink.

…I should have actually researched the show first before blowing it off back in 2009.
If I did, maybe NHK would have changed my life more than Haruhi did.


*****

It wouldn’t be until 2016 when I learned the truth about N.H.K. The truth? N.H.K is an anime based off a novel written by Tatsuhiko Takimoto about a 22-year-old college dropout named Satou Tatsuhiro who has been living as a hikikomori for the past four years; believing that his condition was influenced by an evil organization named the “Nihon Hikikomori Kyokai”. The group’s goal? To transform healthy young adults of Japan into socially inept shut-ins.

Now, knowing this, did I give N.H.K a chance then?

Well, everyone, the answer to that is….


Nah! 🙂

I dunno why, but I waited until late Summer 2019 to finally watch N.H.K…up until the final arc where I put it on hold for anime such as High Score Girl season 2 and Ascendance of a Bookworm. When both of those shows ended, did I pick Welcome to the N.H.K up again?

Of course, I did!

…on January 22nd, 2022 when I found out that the 20th anniversary of the novel was a week away. That’s when I decided to restart the series so I could write about it for said 20th anniversary!

(Better late than never, right?)

As I restarted N.H.K, I started to think:

‘What if I had seen this way back in 2009 when I was 19 instead of 30, then finishing it at age 32? Maybe I wouldn’t have this habit of starting anime and TV shows and never finishing them or putting them on hold forever? I would have seen Satou waste four years of his life doing nothing which would have led me to not waste time like that. Would my life right now would had been way better than it is currently? I wish I never blew this series off because I KNOW it would have changed my life…’

NHK made me reflect. Not just on the show, but on my life for the past decade. Not saying I wasted most of my 20s, but I could have done a lot better with my 20s. I swear, if I would have given N.H.K a chance in 2009, I think my life would be greater than what it is right now.

It didn’t help that I saw myself in each of the main characters of the anime. While fans stated that they find themselves in one of the four core characters, I can’t. In fact, I found myself in ALL of the four main cast members. Hitomi. Karou. Misaki. Satou. Each of them I could say represent different parts of my 20s.

For the next few weeks, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the original novel, I’m going to explore each of the main characters and not just reflect on them, but on myself. Because I truly believe the anime and novel are life-changing and it deserves more praise, more fans, and more love in general.

If you’re down with that, then join me as I explore the conspiracy maniac Hitomi and how her words, “Being a hard-working adult” hits home with me!

Link to Hitomi Retrospect:
https://yukithesnowman.com/2022/01/27/welcome-to-the-self-reflection-an-welcome-to-the-nhk-anime-retrospect-part-2-hitomi/

RELATED ARTICLES/ESSAYS BY ME:

  1. Hikkikomori: The Digital Age Hermit
    https://yukithesnowman.com/2019/09/03/hikikomori-the-digital-age-hermit/

    2. Fandom: The Ultimate Secuirty Blanket
    https://yukithesnowman.com/2020/06/25/fandom-the-ultimate-security-blanket/

    3.Handcuffed by Geek Culture
    https://swarthynerd.com/handcuffed-by-geek-culture-ep-123

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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 nerd culture. Every Tuesdays we drop episodes containing serious and laidback topics while Saturdays we drop episodes talking about TV shows, anime, film, comics, manga, and video games.

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The Passion of the Weirdos: My Dress-Up Darling First Impressions

I can fondly remember the day when I discovered the extravagant world of cosplay. It was during my freshman year of high school when I was getting into the SNES era Final Fantasy games through Final Fantasy VI. As I started to fall in love with Final Fantasy VI, I was curious about what more it had to offer after my first run of it.

So, one day, I stumbled upon a romhack of Final Fantasy VI titled Awful Fantasy 3: made by the clearly great and righteous people of the Something Awful forums who totally aren’t toxic folks. I won’t go into many details because I forgot about most of the story of Awful Fantasy 3 due to the passage of time (and the passage of alcohol, weed, and shrooms through my body over the years), but I do remember that the game mentioned cosplayers a lot.

According to Awful Fantasy 3, cosplayers were deranged people with possible mental health illnesses who gathered around at convention centers across America. These people spent their time at conventions creating conflict and engaging the vilest of debauchery one human can do in a weekend dressed up as their favorite characters from nerd media. Awful Fantasy 3 drove the point home that cosplayers were the enemy of the society who deserves to be purged to cleanse the world of their filth.

The years have taken a toll on poor little Relm.

As fate would have it, a few days later, I managed to catch a replay of g4’s G-Phoria 2003 Game Awards Show during their lead-up to their 2004’s Game Awards Show. What made this special was that there was a special cosplay segment for fans to show off their cosplay celebrating video games and anime. However, what caught my eye from the segment was a short, two-minute skit featuring cosplayers from Kingdom Hearts. One of them was a grown-ass man with a five ‘o clock shadow dressed as Sora. Another guy was dressed up as Ansem.

In blackface.
On national TV.
Yeep.

And nerds wonder why they got bullied and judged for being nerds before the 2010s.

So, after seeing that blackface cosplay mess in G-Phoria 2003, I came to a great and enlightened understanding of why the folks over at Something Awful wanted to purge the world of cosplay and cosplayers. Me too. Fourteen years old Yuki wanted to round them all up with their families, put them in a sporting venue, tied them to stakes, and gun them all down in front of their loved ones like we’re in North Korea best Korea. But for real, that was a horrible first impression of the world of cosplay and cosplayers.

(My disdain for you cosplayers has yet to wane.)

However, what didn’t leave me with a horrible first impression when it comes to the world of cosplay and cosplayers is Cloverworks’s latest animation series: My Dress Up Darling. Directed by Keisuke Shinohara My Dress-Up Darling centers around co-protagonist Wakana Gojo: a young first-year high-school student who yearns of becoming a hina doll creator. It is because of his hobby of doll maki- wait, sorry, hina creation (y’all know, we gotta be culturally correct to make it less disturbing that a high school male is making dolls) hobby that Wakana has never made any friends.

That is until the popular gyaru Marin Kitagawa crash lands into his life.

In an alternate universe, she lands on her neck and dies.

Marin is a giant otaku cosplayer. Or she would be a cosplayer if she didn’t have the sewing skills of a special needs snail. However, she makes up for it in being a pervert who likes to talk about ero-games that features sex slaves, gothic lolitas in bondage chains being gagged, and super happy endings (it’s up to you to come up with what she meant by “super happy ending” given that Marin’s a perv) out in public. Because, you know, if you gonna have an anime girl who was clearly designed to be waifu of the season and possibly waifu of the year, you gotta make her a pervert to cater to males who’ll never have a chance with real women who enjoy things like cosplay, being perverted, and fucked up h-games with sex slaves!

Marin, look, people don’t generally talk about their kinks to people they barely know.

After talking to Wakana on why he shouldn’t let his classmates take advantage of him, Marin decides to take advantage of Wakana by asking him to make her an outfit based off her favorite hentai video game character. This is due to her seeing Wakana sewing in the old sewing club room of their school. She becomes all giddily that someone in her class can sew and help her bring her favorite anime porn game character to life through the magic of cosplay!

Typical anime rom-com hilariously pops off. Marin strips behind Wakana to put on her shitty, raggedy cosplay while Wakana is being a scared little pussy scared of the pussy. Marin projects her creepy fetishes (and possible crimes of harboring sex slaves at her house and having non-consensual sex) onto a fictional character so Wakana doesn’t freak out and assume that Marin is a degenerate.

Later, we see that Wakana truly doesn’t have any experience with girls as Marin comes over to his house so that he can take her measurements for said cosplay while she’s wearing a swimsuit. Wakana is incredibly flustered by it. But’s it’s cool because Marin also winds up also flustered when Wakana has to get up close and personal to measure her inseam. And wow, how amazing. They discover that they’re both awkward little weirdos when it comes to the opposite sex and what they’re into.

How profound!
How fuckin’ inspiring for all the awkward ass nerds watching this show!
Little dipshits!

But, I can’t lie: As cliche as it is, I do find it admirable that both Wakana and Marin’s friendship blossomed over the fact that they are weirdos who’ve struggled to share their most sacred passion with others who get where they’re coming from. From their new friendship, they found empowerment in being able to express themselves with their art.

And that’s a great thing.

I wholeheartedly believe that people deserve to share their hobbies with those who won’t judge them for said hobbies (as long as the hobbies are ethical and morally right, of course). From what I’ve noticed from the first two episodes, acceptance and passion will be two of the core themes of My Dressup Darling…outside of the whole cosplay thing, obviously.

While on the topic of noticing things, I couldn’t help but be aware of the highly detailed and amazing character design, art, and animation. I mean, you would have to be a fool to work on an animation project that is catered around cosplay (and fashion I assume) and not place your focus on the visuals. I love how Marin’s “cosplay” visually looks like it was put together by someone who didn’t know what they were doing down to the horrible, careless stitching job.

You can feel the passion that Marin has for Shizuku-tan and the game she’s from as she talks about her with expressive body movement at the beginning of episode 2. It’s like talking to that one incredibly passionate friend who’s expressing her love towards something that gives her joy; seeing them become alive through their words, tone, and body language.

On the subject of Shizuku, she has a beautiful design with her purple, red, and black color scheme as well as her being a gothic lolita. Don’t be shocked when we see a lot of women cosplaying as Shizuku during the 2022 anime convention season.

Okay, I now see why Marin is a fan of Shizuku. Me too.

I also gotta give praise to the clever usage of lighting in this show. Now, I’m not gonna act like I’m some pretentious dipshit elitist film school student who hasn’t done anything with their knowledge of filmmaking outside of making YouTube videos over the lighting. But, I love how in the first episode when Wakana is having his inner monologue about Marin and her friends, there is this brightness that surrounds Marin; telling us about Marin’s nature without actually telling us. In comparison, when Wakana talks about himself, the shot is dull and dark. This tells us that Wakana’s life perhaps hasn’t been the best: with him being an orphan, battling insecurities, and being friendless. It isn’t until he becomes friends with Marin that shots with him are bright.

At the time of this article’s publishing, My Dressup Darling is a wonderful show of how people can come alive when sharing their passion as well as helping others take said passion to the next level. I can’t help myself but root for Wakana to get over his fears of being judged for what he like as well as rooting for Marin to bring her favorite character to life through the power of cosplay. The two have clear chemistry that is driven by their love for their hobbies. I’m tempted to just say screw it and read the manga to get ahead because I am curious about these two and their story.

My only gripe I have with this show so far is that Wakana is, again, your typical high-school male student who is scared of being around a (half-naked) girl when Marin visited him at his house to get measured. Seriously, Japan, kill this trope – now. Yall wonder why your birthrate is so low and yall can’t get young men to get into physical relationships with women.

If you’re someone who loves sewing, cosplay, ever dealt with struggling to express your passion, or just want a feel-good rom-com about two passionate weirdos, I can’t recommend My Dressup Darling enough. With how popular it is and the community talking about it daily, I wouldn’t be shocked if it becomes a contender for anime of the 2022 winter season. I’ll even go as far as saying that it could be anime of the year.

(…don’t come after me if it doesn’t become either anime of the season or year.)

(Just wanted to add this cool shot of Marin messing with her hair)

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 nerd culture. Every Tuesdays we drop episodes containing serious and laidback topics while Saturdays we drop episodes talking about TV shows, anime, film, comics, manga, and video games.

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Our Experience With 90s/2000s Internet (Swarthy Nerd Podcast)

https://swarthynerd.com/our-experience-with-90s2000s-internet-ep-135

Yuki and TV Guru remembrance over Wild, Wild West days of the internet as they talk classic websites such as Rotten.com, Angelfire, and Geocities.  They also talk about early chat rooms and anime websites.

(The Swarthy Nerd Podcast is the world’s first and only Black Nerd Empowerment podcast in existence today. Join my co-host The TV Guru 108 and myself, Yuki The Snowman every Tuesday and Saturday as we talk about comics, anime, gaming, TV, and film as well as serious topics such as white supremacy in geek culture)

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The Need For A Renaissance Black Nerd

Black nerds, especially my fellow Black nerds who can trace their lineage to American slavery, you greatly disappoint me.

How is it that we live in a time where nerd culture is the dominant culture in entertainment, Black Americans have proven themselves to be the masters and creators of mainstream culture itself, yet, we have Black nerds who refuse to better themselves? Why do many of my fellow Black nerds use their nerdom to hide from their reality and problems as opposed to embracing and dominating them? What will it take for you Black Nerds to stop talking about nerdy things all the time and have other interests? When will you guys wake up and realize you are Black first and that being a nerd won’t save you from systematic white supremacy?

For the past few years, these are a few things I have pondered over with other Black nerds. Some have agreed with me while most others think I’m an asshole who doesn’t need to think and talk about race with nerds all the time because I make them and their white friends uncomfortable (by the way: I’m not an asshole – I’m the asshole and your white friends like me more because I have balls unlike your cowardly, weak Black ass).

Either way, it made me realize something: We need a Renaissance Black Nerd. You know, like a Renaissance Man, but he’s a Black nerd instead. Now, you may be wondering: What’s a Renaissance Black Nerd, why do we need them, and how to become them?

Well, let’s get right into that!

WHAT IS A RENAISSANCE BLACK NERD

A Renaissance Black Nerd is a Black nerd whose interests span beyond nerd culture. He refuses to be just a nerd with superficial knowledge and hobbies; knowing that it won’t get him far with others and in life.

He must have swagger, charm, and balls – the latter being the most valuable. The Renaissance Black Nerd makes it a point to explore topics that normies can relate to as to not alienate others or himself from discussions.

He can be a fan of live-action mainstream shows such as Power, BMF, and Empire as well as being a fan of anime such as My Hero, Jujutsu Kaisen, and Demon Slayer. He could go one step further and watch anime that isn’t on the mainstream’s radar like Troublesome Old Man and Odd Taxi or classic anime like Project A-Ko and Dirty Pair (1985); introducing both normies and entry-level anime fans to lesser-known shows in addition to holding conversations with hardcore otaku who’re fans of older and obscure anime.

He works diligently to improve himself. He takes care of his health by working out and avoiding fast and junk food. He doesn’t allow escapism media to neither control his life nor shields him from reality. He views his hobbies as luxuries – not necessities.

Finally, The Renaissance Black Nerd wants not to be a better nerd – but a better person. Seeking to be merely a better nerd only places limitations, but being the best version of you never does. He acknowledges that the Black nerd community needs someone like him; even if he has to step on a few toes and piss people off to get his way and change the community for the better.

WHY DO WE NEED A RENAISSANCE BLACK NERD

With the understanding of what is a Renaissance Black Nerd, we can look further into why we need them for the Black Nerd community.

First, there’s a disturbing amount of Black nerds who’re either cornballs, goofballs, coons, or willfully ignorant towards white supremacy in and out of geek culture and circles. They desperately yearn for attention and acceptance from white people – especially white nerds. This could be rooted in not being popular with their Black peers, befriending mostly white nerds, and nerd culture not being socially accepted before the 2010s…supposedly.

I say supposedly because the Black community in general (especially Foundational Black Americans) do love gaming, movies, TV shows, anime, and comics. We are some of the biggest, if not, the biggest consumers of them. However, most of us didn’t allow those things to consume our lives and use them as a way to build a false identity via escapism unlike the few who did (emulating their cornball white nerd “peers”).

Second, Black nerds generally need to have outside interests as there are some who are handcuffed by and to geek culture. No one neither respects nor cares about your fantasy fist-fight between Mileena from Mortal Kombat and Komi from Komi Can’t Communicate” while Komi is peeing herself out of fear for her life and Ren Yamai is collecting her pee to use later on at night when she is laying up in her bed having dirty thoughts about Komi.

That’s not interesting. It won’t get people interested in you. You know what will? Exploring and branching out of your comfort zone (more on this later). Stop sticking to only watching anime and watch live-action TV shows. Keep up on what’s going on in sports. Follow both local and national news and dive deeper into the world of politics so you can talk to people.

You’ll get more respect from upping your game that way.

Finally, to conclude, Black nerds need to do better. We need to be aware of how we present ourselves to the world. Image is everything: from your grooming, to the clothes you wear, and yes, even your weight. It doesn’t hurt to get a haircut every once in a while. If you’re gonna wear an anime shirt in public, at least make sure it fits (know that people still going to think you’re immature for wearing one, regardless). Don’t shy away from dressing maturely. Not saying to go out and buy a suit, but you want well-fitting clothes for every occasion: work, interviews, upscale bars/clubs, casual/romantic dates, etc. If you’re fat, exercise! If you’re a skinny twig, build muscle! Take care of your body, health, and mind!

Better your social skills – even if you’re an introvert! Not saying you to become the master of charisma, but work on building some charm to draw people into you. This is accomplished by following what I stated earlier above.

HOW TO BECOME A RENAISSANCE BLACK NERD

Armed with the knowledge of what is and why we need a Renaissance Black Nerd, you can now learn how to become one.

To start, branch away from and slow down on the nerdiness. You shouldn’t forgo it completely, but you can’t entertain or empower yourself or others with useless nerd triviality. People (especially women) love those who are well-versed in many topics and display self-empowerment, growth, and useable everlasting tangibles. If you can do that then you will be rewarded greatly.

Next, you must be willing to escape your comfort zone. Say you only leisurely travel out-of-state for conventions weekends. Get out of your comfort zone by spending 3-4 days before the convention exploring the city in which the convention is hosted. Explore Chicago if you’re going there for Anime Central. Make some time to spend a few days wandering Los Angeles if you’re there for Anime Expo. Don’t be scared to talk to the locals of the city and learn about the people who live in them daily. Ask them what’s going on in the city, where are the best restaurants, bars, parks, and sites to visit. Who knows? You might love it to the point that you want to return to that city not for a convention, but because of how dope the city’s culture is.

Lastly, you must embrace your Blackness. You are Black First and foremost. Believe it or not, these white folks respect Black men and women who aren’t buck dancing, shuckin’ and jivin’ brown-nosing coons on the job. They can’t run games on Black men and women who showcase superior intelligence and stand up to the system of white supremacy in the white-run and operated workforce.

Do this, Black nerd:

At the next event you’re attending (may it be a party, convention, what have you) talk to these white folks about politics, current events, nerd/pop culture, and history. Be casual and friendly with it at first, don’t start aggressively. Disarm them with a smile. Ask them about where their family originated. Example: When talking to someone who claims their roots are Italian, ask them if they’re family from North Italy or South Italy. If they respond with South Italy, say “Oh, Sicily! I can tell you’re from Sicily because of the darker skin and hair!” Throw in some history with how the Moors conquered Sicily during the Medieval Ages and that’s why they have dark hair and skin.

(They’re also talking shit about you behind your back because you reminded them that they have that Moorish blood in them despite claiming white)

To conclude, the Black Nerd community needs more of us to become Renaissance Black Nerds. While it’s cool to love being a nerd, it doesn’t hurt to use your nerdy ways to empower yourself. We need to make sure that the cornball goofball Black Nerds get overthrown and replace with a Renaissance Black Nerd that’ll better the image of the Black Nerd. Nerd Culture is on the rise and has become mainstream. Now more than ever, it’s cool to be a nerd. Black Empowerment is on the rise.

Let’s use that for our advantage my fellow Renaissance Black Nerds!

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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 nerd culture. Every Tuesdays we drop episodes containing serious and laidback topics while Saturdays we drop episodes talking about TV shows, anime, film, comics, manga, and video games.

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Beloved One: Why I Love Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (Part 1)

NOTE: This article essay will contain spoilers for the video game Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War. If you are planning to play this game in the future then I HIGHLY recommend going in blind.

Also, for you weirdo cornball hardcore Genealogy of the Holy War fans: For the most part, I’ll be using the modern fan translation names for characters, items, and locations. For in-game quotes, however, I will be using the Reparation 0.78d translation patch script from Serenes Forest. Why? Well because I’m old enough to remember when that patch first came into the community. I’m also old enough to have some fun with both your young aunt and mom while they’re dressed up as Deidre and Tailtiu while I’m recording everything and I got some Marvin Gaye music playing in the background so don’t try me. Plus, I don’t feel like replaying the Project Naga patch for quotes.

Anyway, let’s get to it!

A few months ago, I was watching Projared’s retrospective on Final Fantasy VI. In the introduction, he mentioned that most gamers have that one special game that had made the biggest impact on their life. It is that one single game that shaped us into becoming the person we are today.

A game that we will never forget.

For me, that game is Intelligent System’s Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War, released on May 14th, 1996 for the Super Famicom (the Super Nintendo in the West). Genealogy of the Holy War or FE4 for short is a strategy role-playing game, serving as the fourth installment of the famed Fire Emblem series that is often hated on by pedophiles Super Smash Bros. fans. Directed, designed, and written by series creator Shouzou Kaga and produced by the late Gunpei Yokoi, the game take place on the continent of Jugdral (which is based on some Norse myths of something, idunno I’m not that much of a nerd).

Jugdral is divided into eight countries. They are The Kingdom of Grannvale, The Kingdom of Verdane, The Kingdom of Agustra, the Munster District, The Kingdom of Thracia, The Republic of Miletos, the Kingdom of Silesse, and the Kingdom of Issach.

Map of Jugdral

Mentioned in Kaga’s designer notes, Judgral exists in the same world as Archanea; the continent in which the events of Fire Emblem: Dark Dragon and Sword of Light (FE1, i.e. the irrelevant Marth’s game)take place. Historically, FE4’s events predate FE1’s by thousands of years.

In the Grann Year 757, barbaric warriors from Issach raise an army to attack the city of Darna: southwest of the Aed Desert. Upon hearing the news, Prince Kurth of Grannvale and his confidant Lord Byran of Chaply set out to investigate.

Taking advantage of the brewing conflict, Verdane builds an army to invade Grannvale. Leading the invasion (on orders of his otherwise pacifist father, King Batu) is Prince Gandolf (and no, not the Gandolf portrayed by legendary fruit booty actor Sir Ian Mckellen, mind you). Gandolf successfully captures Junby Castle; slaughtering most of its knights and civilians. Following that, he proceeds to kidnap Junby’s princess, Aideen to take her as his bride.

Hearing news of his childhood friend’s kidnapping, the main character Sigurd; scion of Chaply and son of Lord Byron, vows to deliver justice to Verdane. Joining up with Sigurd are his loyal knights: Noish; a proper and diligent man, Alec; a playful flirty guy, and Arden; the slow one.

This is Sigurd. He almost got the world destroyed because he nutted in and married an one-night stand.

FE4 starts simple. Aideen’s kidnapping can be akin to her fellow yet mainstream Nintendo princess contemporaries Zelda or Peach’s kidnapping in their games and it’s up to the hero to save her.

But that’s where the comparison ends in terms of princesses getting kidnapped and such.

Aideen’s kidnapping and the invasions were two smaller steps of a much larger and insidious plan for one cult – the Lopty Cult – to not only rule the world, but plunge it back into the darkness it once suffered under centuries prior.

It doesn’t just end there.

While the invasions were orchestrated by the Lopty Cult, it must be mentioned that the cult had “help” from an ambitious leader who desired to end bigotry and discrimination by any means. Even if those means include pretending to be an ally for multiple leaders only to set them up for death – and personally murdering Sigurd himself so he can rule Granvelle alone as emperor.

Not so simple, huh?

If you’re like me, you didn’t expect things in FE4 to play out the way they did. Neither you nor I could have predicted that something as innocent as Sigurd marrying Deidre would lead the world to near ruin. Furthermore, Sigurd would face his own personal tragedies in his short life.

Tragedies such as:

  1. Branded as a traitor by his beloved motherland after being framed for the assassination of Prince Kurth.
  2. Forced into fighting his best friend Elidgan to the death.
  3. Hearing news that his little sister Ethlyn and brother-in-law Quan were murdered in an ambush by King Travant of Thracia.

And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg of FE4’s story and how dark it can get.

Genealogy of the Holy War is the darkest entry of the series (don’t listen to those Scared Stones fanboys who claim that game is the darkest; they don’t know what they’re talking about all they know is how to indulge in their necrophilia kink through Orson). The story features controversial themes and topics such as incest, rape, abuse, and children sacrifice.

It’s not a tale of happiness, glory, and triumph.

Even when our heroes are ultimately victorious, the continent of Grannvale has been torn apart by war. Royal families have been split apart due to petty differences or lust for power. The children of these once-grand and proud families are forced to repair their bloodline’s reputation. Smaller nations are either engaged in civil wars or have been completely abandoned by the empire; left at the mercy of savage bandits and thieves.

To quote a gentleman from The Godfather of Harlem: “I’ve learned one thing about war, Bump. Nobody really wins.”

***

Shouzou Kaga paints war not in black and white, but with spots of gray. While of course there are enemies that the player must defeat leading up to the ultimate big evil, Kaga likes to portray these enemies as heroes in their own right. This shines clearly with certain villains.

Examples:

Ruthless King Travant of Thracia is viewed by Grannvale as a despicable man who, through the eyes of others, thoroughly disrespects the code of knighthood. He, along with his famed Dragon Knights, is often compared to hyenas: willing to slaughter anyone for cash.

In Chapter 5 of FE4, Travant uses Quan’s 3-year-old daughter, Altena, as a human shield during an ambush attack by Thracia against Quan’s troops. Travant threaten to murder Altena if Quan didn’t surrender his holy lance, the Gae Bulg to him. After killing Quan and his wife Ethlyn, Travant raises Altena as his own daughter: not out of love or guilt, but to use her as a weapon against her own people and surviving family members in the future.

However, if one were to dig deep into Thracia’s situation, one will come to understand Travant’s actions.

Travant: The true hero of Thracia.

Travant’s kingdom, South Thracia, is surrounded by steep mountain ranges that can barely provide resources for its people. For years, Travant requested aid from North Thracia (as North Thracia’s soil and land are heavily enriched with minerals) only to be shot down by Quan and his family. Therefore, South Thracia suffers from systematic poverty.

To combat poverty, men take up mercenary and farming jobs. Women take whatever job they can to provide for their family (they’re selling that poverty monkey on the “Me love you long time” side of the game).

South Thracia’s situation is beyond dire.

While outsiders of South Thracia see Travant as a cutthroat man, his people view him as the liberator who’ll deliver them from poverty. Travant is a patriot who is fed up with his people’s suffering.

In-game map of Thracia from Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War

Next, Arvis – the ambitious leader who spearheaded most of the game’s events. Arvis’s a tragic man who, as Seliph (son of Sigurd) puts it, “a victim swept by fate”.

At the age of seven, Arvis witnessed his father, Victor, committing suicide. His mother, Cigyun, ran off with another man (Prince Kurth) due to Victor’s womanizing actions (he even raped Cigyun’s favorite maid; impregnating her with Arvis’s half-brother, Azel). From these events, Arvis was forced to ascend the throne at an early age.

Through Cigyun, Arvis is the descendant of Maera: a holy man who had the moral courage to fight against his oppressive kin: The Loptrian Empire. Maera was a good man; however, he had the blood of the demonic god Loptous coursing through his veins.

Arvis: A man whose only crime was to free people (and the crime of raw-doggin’ his half-sister Deidre and making her spawn a demon child nine months later)

Now, for those unaware of FE4’s lore (why are you even here?), you may be wondering who’s Loptous and the Loptrian are. Well, let’s go back to how Judgrall is connected to Archena.

Avris (and Maera)’s ancestor, Galle I, was a simple bishop who traveled the world in search of the legendary Earth Dragon tribe. Landing in Archena, Galle would encounter the Earth Dragon, Loptous. In exchange for raw power, Galle would offer his body and soul as a vessel for Loptous.

Later, Galle returned to Judgral; using his new powers to organize a mass army to effortlessly conquer the continent. Galle and his decedents would ruthlessly rule Judgral for two centuries. The Loptrain Empire fell when Galle’s decedent, Galle the Seventeenth was killed by the Twelve Crusaders (ancestors of some of the major heroes and villains of FE4), with the help of Maera: Galle’s younger brother.

Before his death, Maera moved to the Spirit Forest: a secluded forest hidden from the outside world to protect his descendants from harm. He’d issue both a warning and an order to his descendants. The order and warning: they are only allowed to produce one child per generation.

Why?

If a generation produced multiple children, it’s possible for the off-springs to engage in incestuous relationships to produce a child with major Lotpous Blood – therefore reviving the dark god himself and returning the world back into the darkness it was once saved from.

Guess who has Lotpous blood in his veins?
Yep. Arvis.

If that information were to be leaked, Arvis would be executed regardless if he worshiped Loptous or not. Manfroy, the current leader of the Lotpous Cult, knows this. Therefore, he seeks to take advantage of Arvis’ cursed bloodline and vision of anti-bigotry by blackmailing Arvis; forcing the duke to comply with Manfroy’s wishes (allowing the Lopty Church to operate in the open once Arvis ascends the Grannvale throne among other things).

Everything mentioned up to this point is the reason why Arvis wants to be the champion of all those who’re facing oppression just for who they are. He doesn’t want other people to live in fear because of their ethnic background like him. He wants to end bigotry by any means necessary – something that would eventually become corrupted thanks to Manfroy.

And since we’re on him, let’s talk about the man himself: Manfroy.

Note that Manfroy and the Lopty Sect’s actions are heinous and inexcusable. No amount of unjust suffering and oppression have been done unto them because of their ancestor’s actions gives them pardon for continuing the pattern of death and destruction.

Manfroy. He kinda had the right idea with liberating his people, but…

That said, we must understand the reasoning behind the Lopty Sect’s actions. Let’s refer to a scene in Chapter 7 of the game: Crossing The Desert.

Upon capturing the Lopty operated Aed Shrine, Seliph, and his advisor Lewyn, examine a temple underneath the shrine. As they walk around the ruins, Lewyn tells Seliph of how descendants of the Lopty Empire were forced to live within the depths of the Aed Desert after the defeat of Galle the 17th and the fall of the empire; as they feared execution due to their bloodline. He expresses doubts that they differed much from himself and Seliph in terms of life, but over time, the descendants succumbed to the darkness and evil within their hearts.

Seliph replies that it’s like the decedents are being punished for their forefather’s sins. Following, he discovers a prayer for the revival of Lopotusu written on the walls. He’s stunned that the prayer was written by a child.

Levin finishes the conversation by stating, quote,: “You have to be careful when placing labels on good and evil, Seliph. Never waste your anger on individuals. Always focus it on the evil within all of us.”

Personally, Levin’s statement and Seliph’s shock hits hard here. Imagine being oppressed for generations just because of your background. Often told that you deserve to be punished simply because of those who fear what you are capable of due to your genetics. Your oppressors strip you of resources to ensure your people won’t survive. Hopeless, you turn into the darkness within your heart. Maybe if you had a little bit of power, you could get back at your oppressors by any means – even if those means include doing unthinkable things to them and their children.

(You know, maybe Manfory and the Lotpy Church had the right idea with their methods).

***

Prior to me playing FE4, the villains in the games I played (excluding Final Fantasy VI) were your simply plain and honestly, cartoonish bad guys. Evil guys doing evil things simply because they were evil. Nothing else. Nothing more. The games never drove into why they chose the route of evil and darkness; they just told you that they were the baddies and that you had to defeat them. However, the thing that I love about Genealogy of the Holy War is that Kaga designed and wrote the villains in a way that makes you understand why they were “evil”.

Villains like Manfroy, Travant, and Arvis presented their reasons behind their cruel actions with depth. Reasons that some players could relate to. You might have lived in an area that was stricken by poverty. You saw how people struggled to put something on the table for their families. You know first hand the despair that comes with poverty. You could click with Arvis and Manfroy because you’ve faced systematic oppression just because of your race. If given the power and opportunity, you would do what Manfroy and his crew did to liberate your people and do unimaginable harm to your oppressors just so you can make them suffer like they made you suffer (again, maybe Manfroy and his people were in the right).

Today in gaming, it’s common to have well-written villains with depth beyond them being evil for the sake of evil. It’s almost a requirement in gaming nowadays. However, (to my knowledge), back when FE4 first came out, villains with the depth of the FE4 bad guys weren’t common in gaming. I’m not saying that it was a huge groundbreaking game-changer for the video game industry, but still, it was something different.

Overall, that’s one thing that I love about FE4. However, what other things about the game that I love about it to the point that I’m always talking about it? Find out in part two!

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pop culture 0

Fresh Eyes: Experiencing New Media For the First Time

(Podcast version: https://swarthynerd.com/the-benefits-of-fresh-eyes-ep-119)

Recently, I’ve been watching gameplay streams of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 by new players.  As a fan of both games, it was interesting seeing their first experience as they reminded me of when I had first gotten into the Fire Emblem series nearly fifteen years ago. Admittedly, I was quite jealous of their fresh experience; something I’ll never have again.   

At the same time, I decided to watch a few classic films that I’ve never seen.  These films were Full Metal Jacket, The Big Lebowski, Sixteen Candles, Beverley Hills Cop, Ferris Buller’s Day Off, and The Breakfast Club to name a few.  All greats that millions already seen, however, I’ve just now discovering them.  Hell, there are countless popular media pieces I’ve yet to experience that everyone praises.  I have a few reasons for that.

For video games, I simply didn’t have the funds to buy new consoles (and if I did, I decided to use the money to travel).  For movies and TV shows: either they didn’t draw my interests, or I didn’t care.  When it came to anime, it was a nightmare to access a series before streaming services like Crunchyroll existed.  You could go to hell if you wanted me to buy a volume of an anime series that only contained three episodes on a disc for $100+ back in the day. 

(Thank God for torrents services dedicated to anime)

The undefeated champion for broke anime fans in the 2000s

As I grew older, branched away from my media comfort zone (anime), and became more involve with the Swarthy Nerd Podcast, and this blog, I’m starting to go back and view movies that I never watched in the past.

As my podcast co-host The TV Guru always tell me, I do have a few golden advantages that comes with not watching these old movies before:

  1. Because I’m watching these movies years after they were release, I am not blinded by the bias of nostalgia that most fans have who can’t let go of the past.
  2. Most of my takes on the media I’ve never seen prior are fresh and different from most others. I bring something special unlike most others.   
  3. Veteran fans will be interested in what I have to say as a newcomer (until I start to completely tear apart their favorite film)

That said, this brings us to the topic of this post: Fresh Eyes: Experiencing New Media For the First Time.  We’ll discuss how and why being new to a piece of media years after its release can have its benefits in terms of fan discussions.  However, as a counter, we’ll also go over how there are flaws of waiting too long to consume older media.

PART 1: THE BENEFITS  OF FRESH EYES

As a newcomer to older media, you have a few advantages that seasoned fans don’t have.  The obvious one is being that you’re having that new, first-time experience that long-time fans will never have again – no matter how many times they try with their select favorite.  While they’ve been spoiled, you haven’t.  Therefore, you can make remarks on certain unfolding events, create predictions, and give personal first-timers insight during your journey.  It’s fun to be either proven right or wrong about your predictions and have people react to them.

For example, when I was watching The Breakfast Club, I made a rather wild prediction that Claire/The Princess was going discover Alison/The Basket Case hanging herself from a stall in the girls’ bathroom given Alison looked mental. 

Can you blame me?  I mean, look at Alison! She appears as if she’s one of those weirdo, possibly autistic white girls with no friends who smells like boiled hotdog water and flaming hot corn chips (she clearly don’t take care of her hair). Hell, maybe she got bullied by some popular girls and that made her withdraw from the school’s society.  Dudes ask her out, but it’s either as a joke or they wanna brag about how they were able to rail the weird girl. Therefore, Alison winds up hating herself even more to the point of offing herself (in my head, of course).

Seriously, she looks deranged and mental. Can’t blame me for thinking she was gonna top herself.

Obviously, I was wrong about my predictions about Alison wanting to off herself.  It was Brian/The Brain who wanted to end it all.  All because he got a bad grade once and doesn’t have the balls to tell his parents that they can’t project their views they have about how he should be as a man onto him.

(But hey! At least I was kinda right about one of the kids wanting to kill themselves!)


A second benefit of having fresh eyes towards older media is that you may discover things that the vets may had not catch or will never catch without your input.  This can come from you injecting your own past experiences dealing with media you’ve already consumed or from education.   From this, you could teach others something new or give them an original insight that they would never have before.

You may understand how framing works as well as why directors place characters in a certain position in the frame in film.   From there, you can educate those who don’t know the power of character position in frames and what the director is trying to tell the viewer.  If you’re musically incline and have knowledge within music theory, you can give insights on why the music composer wrote the movie’s theme song in a certain key signature. You can even joke a bit by saying something like “The key signature of  Axel F (the theme song of Beverly Hills Cop) is in the key of F Minor as a play on his name!” (funny enough, the key of F Minor is describe as a key to describe death and loss.

Remember: Axel F’s went to California to solve the mystery of his friend’s murder).  For those gifted in the visual arts, you can explain how characters wearing certain colors give hints on their personality or how colors are used to give insight on the scene.  Your gift can help those appreciate their favorites a lot more. 

Finally, the last benefit of being new to a form of old media is that you can invoke feelings of nostalgia within older fans as you discuss your fresh experience.   As you discuss your viewpoints and impressions, there’s a chance you’ll encounter a fan commenting on their own experiences, how it made them feel years or even decades ago and show their appreciation that something they loved has a new fan.

Going back to my statements of watching newcomers play older Fire Emblem games, people in the comment were talking about how certain scenes, story-beats, and reveals  made them feel on their first playthrough.  The streamer would leave his or her remarks with the viwers responding back.    

You often see this reaction with older people when young people review older media on social media.  If a 20-something is watching an older film from the 80s or 90s, you’ll see those who grew up in those decades reflect on how simple life was back in the day.  You might have a person comment how they remember watching said 80s or 90s film at the theater with their girlfriend who later became their wife.  

There are many benefits with having fresh eyes towards older media ranging from invoking nostalgic feelings when talking about it with older fans to bringing new views to the table that others may not have. 

However, what happen if you’re trying to enter a fandom of an older media piece way too late?  What if you try to get into something old only to find countless spoilers online?  Let’s answer those questions!

PART 2: The Flaws of Fresh Eyes

One of the most fatal flaws of  having fresh eyes when consuming older media late in the game is that you could wind up entering a dead or dying fandom.  There are media that are evergreen; thus, they’re blessed with being timeless.  However, some media don’t have those blessings – especially within the anime fandom with seasonal viewership having the possibility of killing an anime fanbase.

Let’s take the When They Cry franchise as an example.  Before it had its recent renaissance and revival thanks to Higurashi Sotsu/Gou, the Umineko on Stream and Ciconia no Naku Koro Ni, the When They Cry fandom was dead (or at the very least, inactive) Sure, we had some minor Higurashi and Umineko material and news from 07th Expansion for the hardcore fans to enjoy, but nothing major that would generate new interest or fans.  If the renaissance didn’t happen, the When They Cry fanbase would have died out.

With the nonsense discourse Higurashi Gou/Sotsu brought the fandom perhaps the franchise should had indeed died.

Second, when it comes to consuming older media, you do risk being spoiled; either by accident or by some cornball asshole on purpose who think you should had consumed it when it first came out (regardless of accessibility and level of obscurity).   While some iconic spoilers can’t be avoided and have entered the mainstream conscious, your best bet to avoid spoilers for older media is to – and I know it’s hard for most of you guys – stay the hell off the internet or avoid searching for that media online.

Finally, the last flaw of coming into a media late in the game is that you’re too late.  Meaning, everyone has covered every topic in terms of analysis, and discussion. People moved on to other things.  Nobody cares about it anymore.   Your input won’t mean shit.   It’s over. Therefore, it is always good to strike while the iron’s hot.  Be the master of timing in that regard. 

You have to move on to something new, Firefly fans.

This show is more boring and bland and overrated than your little sister’s OnlyFans page.

CONCLUSION

Does it matter the time of  when you consume media in any point of your life?  Well, I say if you’re doing it for yourself and your own personal enjoyment, no it doesn’t.  You can partake in indulging in something within the arts whenever you feel like it.   It’s better late than never as they say.  Some may joke and dog on your for being late.  However, even if you’re late to the party, some may chat and pick your brains about the media you saw. 

When it comes to timeless classics, there will always be people talking about them, so don’t dread about not seeing it sooner.  Now, that said, some media is best consumed while the iron is hot: meaning you should do your best to participate while it’s still popular (don’t be one of these cornball hipsters who only mess with art when it’s no longer popular). 

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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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anime 0

Why You Should Watch Ikebukuro West Gate Park

We have been blessed with many great anime series this Fall 2020 season.  With new thrillers such as Talentless Nana, fresh Shounen series like Studio Mappa’s beautifully animated Jujutsu Kaisen  and returning classics such as Haikyu!!, Yashahime (the follow up to Inuyasha), and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gou, there’s something for everyone right now.  It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in the anime community that there are plenty of buzz throughout message boards, social media pages, and streaming services over these 30+ new shows airing currently in addition to shows still running from the Summer 2020 season.

However, one show that I don’t see being often talked about is studio Doga Kobo’s urban street crime mystery series Ikebukuro West Gate Park (or IWGP for short, which I will refer to the series as such throughout the rest of this article).  Based off famous Japanese author Ira Ishida’s 1997 urban mystery novel and 2000 TV series of the same name, IWGP follows street mediator Makoto Majima’s adventures throughout the crime-ridden, gang infested Ikebukuro district of Tokyo as he seeks to bring peace in its streets and relief tension between rival street gangs. 

I cannot fault anyone who may had overlooked IWGP this season; especially as it is in competition with heavy hitters such as Akudama Drive, Yashahime, Tonikawa: Over the Moon For You and Higurashi Gou to name a few.  Additionally, with real life issues in the foreground of the world’s stage right now, it’s easy to understand why some people may not want to watch an anime like IWGP; as the anime deals with heavy themes such as poverty, drug trafficking, gang violence, murder and so forth.

However, don’t let those real world issues and season’s best and brightest anime shows prevent you from watching IWGP.  In fact, if you’re tired of the fantasy driven and laid back anime airing this Fall, and you want something more real and brutal, I have three reasons why you should watch IWGP.

  1. It’s grounded in realism

Unlike most of its animated peers this season, IWGP is grounded and based in reality.  You won’t find our hero in an outlandish Shouen-styled battle with senseless asspulls and plot amour. There isn’t anyone here with magical powers that can wipe out a horde of enemies in mere seconds.  If you’re hoping that story arcs end with an Eleventh hour deus ex machina stunt, my friend, you’re out of luck (and you should really stop watching anime that does that cliché nonsense due to bad writing).

Instead, IWGP offers normalcy through simple human vs. human interactions and interpersonal growth by the means of daily life in a major city.  Street life, normal people having normal interactions,  gang warfare and underworld business control the reality of IWGP.  Due to that, you’ll find the stories of episodes to be realistic and easy to follow/understand – especially if you are a street person or been involved in street business.

The characters and events that shape the world of IWGP can easily found in the real world.  When watching this anime, you may pause and say “I know someone as gentleman-like yet brutal like King” (the secondary hero of IWGP).  It’s possible that you could find yourself reflecting on your own street days and starting trouble like the kids in this show. 

In fact, I must say that the one thing that IWGP has an huge advantage over the rest of the show this season is that you can easily relate to the cast and the world, which brings me to my next point on why you should watch IWGP.

  • 2. It’s Relatable

Even if you’re not a street person, you can relate to the tales of IWGP with its down-to-earth setting. Each episode of IWGP deals with a person or a story that you can easily find yourself connecting to in the real world.  Do you hate drugs and the negative impact it brings to a community?  Episode one of IWGP has something for you as Makoto and King bust up an illegal growth house. Mion, the female lead of that episode, had her life nearly ruined by a junkie after they ran her beloved mother over while he was under the influence of a new drug. Mion seeks vengeance to the degree that she’s willing to burn down the building that is a front for the drug operation – even if people are killed in the fire.  Her rage towards junkies and drug abuse can echo through the thoughts of those who saw the destructive nature of drugs first hand.

Episode four (which is consider so far at the time of this writing as the most depressing episode of the series) explores what it means to seek justice for the death of a love one as Makoto helps cab driver Ando find the people involved with his son’s Toshi’s death as well as Ando coming to terms with the fact that his son caused his own death with his gangbanging life and short, violent temper.

Now, don’t get me wrong, IWGP isn’t completely dark as an anime, and you don’t need anything dark and gritty to find the characters and their adventures relatable. There’s a rather goofy and childish guy who is building his YouTube career up by performing incredibly childish and wild stunts throughout Ikebukuro; a reflection on how so many young children and adults will do anything to get that YouTube shine.   In episode 6, Makoto is rope into playing a major role in an indie film by his film loving friend.  It’s like the anime is telling us that is okay to take it easy and have fun.

With that said, it’s time to get into my final point of this article.

  • 3. It’s Different

If you haven’t gotten the point by now, IWGP is different than most other shows currently airing.  Not to say there’s anything wrong with wild fantasy shows to help you escape your crappy life, moe blob trash to help you feel better about yourself, or entry-level shounen action shows because you can’t branch out to other anime genre, but it’s okay to have something fresh and different to watch.   Not every anime needs a girl to do fanservice shots.  Not all shows need someone to fight with martial arts training.  Sometimes, you need that grounded reality to balance yourself out and IWGP goes a great job in that right.

So please, do yourself a huge favor and check out IWGP.  Its grounded nature in terms of its storytelling allows IWGP to be accessible to most anime fans who may not be into the more outlandish anime that is out there today.  The people who make the world of IWGP are highly relatable to the point it can be scary; especially if you find connections between yourself and a certain character.

If that sounds great then please check out IWGP every Tuesdays on Crunchyroll. 

[IKEBUKURO WEST GATE PARK PRODUCTION STAFF NOTES]


STUDIO: Doga Kobo (Himouto! Umaru-chan, Yuru Yuri, How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift?)
ORIGINS: Crime novel and live action TV series
CREATOR:  Ira Ishida (4TEEN, Akihabara@Deep, Hapi Navi)
DIRECTOR: Tomoaki Koshida (Zoku Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru, Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san)
CHARACTER DESIGNER: Junichirou Taniguchi (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun, Your Name, Puella Magi Madoka Magica).  He’s also the chief animator director for IWGP.
SERIES COMPOSTION:Fumihiko Shimo (Air, Amagi Brilliant Park, Clannad, Higurashi Kai)
MUSIC COMPOSER: Ryuichi Takada (Soul Calibur, Tekken, Katamari Damacy)

Uncategorized 0

Anime Review: With A Dog And Cat, Every Day is Fun!

Short on time but you still wanna watch anime? Check out “With A Cat and Dog Everyday is Fun.” on Crunchyroll!

B1Daily

Despite COVID-19 shutting down the world and forcing life for many to slow down, there are some people in this world who are still busy working at home. Oftentimes they may not be able to enjoy multiple, 20-25 minute an episode anime series a season. Sure, you may have some who can squeeze in a few anime a week, but for most of these busy people finding time to consume anime can be a chore all in itself when it comes to balancing work life and otaku entertainment.

If you, dear reader are one of these busy people who may not be able to catch up and watch currently airing anime, may I suggest an anime that is only one minute long and simple to enjoy? Do you own pets or at the least love animals? Then I have the anime that is right for your busy life:
With a…

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The Call for Black Weeaboos to Get On Code

B1Daily

Growing up, I always thought that finding fellow Black nerds who shared the same passionate energy towards anime that I had was hard.

I don’t mean simply watching what was on Toonami or [adult swim] at the time. That was easy; everyone and their mothers watched anime on those two programming blocks.

What was hard (and I must repeat myself) was finding fellow Black nerds who were really passionate towards anime.

The ones who would spend countless hours browsing online researching and studying the studios behind such hits such as Gundam Wing, Sailor Moon, and Dragon Ball Z.

People told me that being a passionate anime fan doesn’t matter. That I was too invested into anime.
Discouraged, I kept my passion to myself (or on the wild wild west of the internet of the early 2000s with fellow outcast weeaboos who were discovering themselves) for years.
It wasn’t until…

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Top Fall 2020 Animes to Watch NOW Part II

Part 2 of my Top Fall 2020 anime you must watch NOW!

B1Daily

Salutations fellow weeaboo’s, we hope your anime watching is as fulfilling as our commentaries, now let’s get right into this new must watch list!

Ikebukuro West Gate Park (IWGP)
In Ikebukuro, both violent street gangs and the Yakuza roam freely in its streets without fear.
As it is with the nature of both street and organized gangs, war is inevitable between rival factors.
Makoto Majima, a youth who makes Ikebukuro his home, serves as Ikebukuro’s street mediator between gangs. Makoto aims to resolve disputes with rival gangs in effort to protect his love ones and friends involved on the square side and the street side of the game.
Makoto works alongside with G-Boys, perhaps Ikebukuro’s largest color gang ran by the sharply dressed gentleman Takashi “King” Andou; Makoto’s old classmate.
Takashi may comes across as a goofy and joyful man with an affinity towards high end suits …

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Fire Emblem 0

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light Switch Port: My Raw Random Thoughts

Editor’s Note:  

This is a collection of notes I’ve written down in my notebook about my thoughts of the Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light Nintendo Switch port that due for release on December 4th, 2020. Given the nature of sudden shadow drop of the reveal as well as me working on an article for a news website, I did not have time to properly organize this post like my past articles.  I did my best to fix more grammatical errors, but if there are any lingering please forgive them.

NINTENDO’S BULLSHIT LIMITED RELEASE PRACTICES

Once again, Nintendo has pulled their Limited Release practice with another of their beloved franchise:  Fire Emblem.  On October 22nd, 2020, Nintendo shadow dropped a trailer of their latest retro re-release: Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.  If you want to learn  more about the release, you can check out this link because I do not have the time to explain every little detail about the digital release and the physical special edition collector’s package at the moment.

As with  Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light will have a limited release time window starting from December 4th, 2020 to March 31st, 2021. It is unclear why Nintendo chosen March 31st, 2021 to end production of both Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, but people have theorize that the March 31st 2021 deadline relates to Nintendo’s ending of their fiscal year on the same date.

Some believe with the March 31st, 2021 date, this will give investors and stock holders a chance to analyze the market to see if there are enough customers to justify doing normal runs of video game re-releases or to continue with the trend of limited run releases.  Others view this as an ill-will form of  pseudo scarcity: purposely creating a limited amount of copies of Super Mario 3D All-Stars and the collector’s edition of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light to claim that they sold out of copies where they can easier make more or keep the digital copies of both games online.

With that said, we as not only fans of Fire Emblem and Mario, but as customers must be vocal in our demands with Nintendo being more open and transparent about their Limited Run practices. 

We have the right  to know if  March 31st, 20201 means that Nintendo will no longer produce digital and physical copies of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Super Mario 3D All-Stars ever again, or if there will only be digital releases Super Mario 3D All-Stars through the Nintendo eShop/Switch Online.  The same apply with the new Shadow Dragon English release.  This in turns creates a scalper culture of sorts.

Now, I have nothing against scalpers and hustlers who purchase 2-4 copies of Super Mario 3D-All Stars to resell at a premium. I won’t have any issue with Fire Emblem fans doing the same with the collector’s edition.   We live in a capitalist society and we are free to make money by almost any means (as long as nobody is getting hurt, killed, trafficked, abused, etc.).

Hell, even I plan on doing some short term flipping with these limited run items myself so I can take advantage of all these feeble-minded  Fire Emblem and Mario fans  with their fear of missing out.  What I do have a problem is with Nintendo enabling people to do these moves rather than producing more games for “quality control” of their products.

Nintendo, listen: creating pseudo scarcity doesn’t make for a thrilling gaming experience.  It only creates a situation for morons with fears of missing out to do fuck shit with your limited releases because they’re mentality weak men and women.

SAMMY SMARTASS KNOW IT ALLS

If you go on twitter right now, you will see people who I like to call “Sammy Smartass” ranting about how it’s pointless to purchase a digital copy of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.  In their pointless, uneducated opinion, because we live in the a world of advanced technology where smartphones can play the Famicom version of Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light or the remake of FE1 through the way of Mystery of the Emblem or the re-remake of FE1 through the way of NEW Shadow Dragon and Sword of Light via emulation.

I will say to you that is yes, little Sammy Smartass, people could (keyword: could) play FE1 through emulation.  Hell, we can even go as far as to say that they can buy a physical copy of Fire Emblem: New Shadow Dragon with a DS or 3DS console.  However, there are a few issues with your “counterpoint”, Sammy Smartass.

First, the average consumer may not be into playing a game through an emulator on a computer, phone, or console separate from the game’s original console.  Sure, you have some outlier normies who may know how to download and operate an emulator and a rom file of  any Nintendo Entertainment System or Famicom game on their phone or computer without destroying their device (because they know a safe rom and emulator hosting website).

But  again, that’s an outlier.

Now, I know what you’re going to say next, Sammy Smartass. “Yuki!  Emulating a Famicom console is much easier than say emulating a Nintendo 64 console.  A five year old can put a Famicom console emulator on his iPhone in less than 3 minutes.”

Correct. 

But again, the five year old  ain’t the average consumer.  And emulating Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Blade of Light isn’t an average task when you consider having to find a stable, complete (perfectly translated) English patch to even enjoy the game (as FE1 is text heavy).  

Following that, you have people and their legality fears.  Keep in mind that downloading roms of official Nintendo games is still illegal unless you own a copy of said game physically. 

While the Nintendo Ninjas aren’t going to go to every person house that download roms of their games and slit their throats in front of their children or parents, some consumers are going to have that fear in the back of their minds. Because of that fear, they won’t mess around with emulation.

Speaking of fear, some rom and emulation websites are littered with viruses, spyware, adware, Fire Emblem hentai porn, whatever. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can easily run into one of these shady rom websites with those things on said website and destroy your computer/smartphone. 

Best case situation you just get flooded with hentai ads and your computer and/or smartphone will be safe. However, nobody wants to explain to their boss or parent why Marianne off Three Houses  is giving her favorite horse Dorte a handjob in a hentai website ad on a rom website because they wanted to play Genealogy of the Holy War that badly on the work or family computer.

“But Yuki! If they are scared of viruses and their boss walking on them looking at a hentai ad of Marianne jerking off Dorte and making her face a baby horse daycare center on a rom website, why don’t they just buy an original copy of FE1 and a Famicom console? Better yet, they could either buy a copy of FE1’s two remakes, Fire Emblem: New Shadow Dragon on the Nintendo DS AND a (3)DS or buy a copy of Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem on the Super Famicom with a Super Famicom console.  The remakes are clearly superior!”

Sammy Smartass, please listen; because you’re have become more retarded than your friend Ricardo the Ritardo.

Nobody, unless they are a hardcore collector, a hardcore Fire Emblem fan, or a gaming historian, is going to go out and buy an original Famicom – an obsolete console from the 80s, an original copy of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Sword of Light that came out in 1990. Nor will they go out and buy a copy of the 1993 video game Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem for another obsolete console, the Super Famicom.

Now, you may have an argument with New Shadow Dragon on the DS as the Nintendo 3DS, despite Nintendo stopping production of that console as of 2020 (the year of this blog post), is readily available at online and brick-and-mortar retail stores. 

However, let’s do some math and logical thinking:

A brand new New Nintendo 3DS XL runs at average about S145.99 on Amazon. Fire Emblem: New Shadow Dragon ranges from S21.99 for the game alone to about $120 if you want the game new and sealed. $145.00 + $120.00 = $165.00 before shipping and taxes.  For an extra $50.99 or so, you can buy Nintendo’s current console, Nintendo Switch Lite (a modern console that still being supported) and Shadow Dragon and Blade of Light as opposed to a remake of the first game and an console that has been discontinued and won’t have any games made for it again.  

You can apply the same logic with buying a Famicom or Super Famicom alongside FE1 and FE3.

Therefore, with all of that stated,  the average consumer who isn’t your outlier normie co-worker or 5 year old cousin is going to want ease of access to FE1; even if it means paying $5.99 on the Nintendo eShop. They would rather pay the money for an official localization copy of FE1 than go through unnecessary extra steps to enjoy a simple old Famicom game from 1990 that nobody besides weeaboos who enjoy their little precious weeaboo chess game with RPG elements.

Also, it’s natural for people to look at the origins of the things they love.  Just like with new Spider-Man fans want to read Amazing Fantasy #15 to see the origins of Peter Parker’s alter ego, people are going to want to play the game where Marth first came from. 

Humans are curious after all.

 ON COLELCTOR EDITION SCAPLERS AND SPECUCLATORS

With a fantastic collector’s edition package for Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, nobody in their right mind should be shocked that collectors and speculators are drawn to this product.  Like with all things in the realm of limited edition video game collectables, Nintendo limited run practice with the latest re-release of Shadow Dragon has drawn criticism from not only the Fire Emblem community (who may not know how capitalism works), but form the general gaming community as well.

Limited produce copies/pseudo scarcity means speculators and scalpers are going to purchase as many copies of the special collector’s edition as they can and re-sell said copies online for a profit.  Naturally, this causes fans that may not be lucky enough to get the collector’s edition to become piss off at these online hustlers re-selling the package at a premium price. 

I must say to you guys is that don’t hate the hustle.  Hate Nintendo for their bullshit practices.

If you do plan on flipping the special edition package of Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light on Switch, you must study the market, think logically and realistically, and plan your flip out on paper.  Go on ebay and see how often and daily pervious Fire Emblem special edition packages have been sold. Check the average prices that reseller are charging for each special edition.  This will tell you if there’s a market out there for those who are willing to buy a special edition package of Fire Emblem

With thinking logically and being a realistic about flipping the Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light special edition, you must ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Is it possible that Nintendo will come out with a reprint of the special edition package months after the March 31st 2021 cutoff date; therefore, lowering the value of my sealed copy of said game?
  2. How long am I willing to hold on to my copy to make a profit?
  3. Is there a cut-off date for me to use the digital code that comes with the special edition?
  4. Who can I realistic sell this to?
  5. What can I realistically get for this game in terms of making a quick profit?
  6. Why do I want to re-sell this special edition copy of Shadow Dragon for profit?
  7. What will I do with the money once I sell at a profit?
  8. Will this collector’s edition increase or decrease in value over the next 2-5 years?

If you can answer each of these questions truthfully and remove all emotions, you will do well in re-flipping the special edition.  Now, if you’re one of these Sammy Smartasses from earlier who think holding on to the special edition version of Shadow Dragon for the long term (15+ years) as a viable investment, please do not waste space in your closet through the way of 5 copies of the special edition package.

WHAT THIS COULD MEAN FOR OTHER JAPANESE ONLY FIRE EMBLEM/NINTENDO GAMES?

If the official English localization of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is a success, this will open doors for other Japanese-only Fire Emblem games to be officially translated by Nintendo with major quality of life changes.  Just imagine if Western Fire Emblem fans could finally experience Shozou Kaga’s masterpiece Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War with Nintendo providing quality of life changes as well as fix all the issues that Genealogy of the Holy War is plagued with.  If Nintendo sees that fans want this, there will be more releases in the manner of Shadow Dragon.  We could get an official English localization of Famicom Tantei Club: a Nintendo visual novel on the Famicom Disk System.  Mother 3 may get an official translation.  Hell, Nintendo did it before with Earthbound Zero/Mother 1

Who knows?  There’s so many possibility to think with these Nintendo Japanese-only English re-releases. So, let us hope that Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of the Light have that much success.

Just please Nintendo, stop with these Limited Run release shit.

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New Fall 2020 Animes To Watch NOW Part I

My top picks of new anime to watch this Fall!

B1Daily

Fall is finally here and you know what that means…

It means that you’re staying indoors like the perfect little weeaboo N.E.E.T (Not Employed, in Education, or in Training) that you are.

What? Thought I was going to say having bonfires with your friends while you guys sip on hot coca and eat S’mores? Now, you know good and damn well you don’t have any friends.

So, what you’re going to do instead my N.E.E.T friend is watch some currently airing Fall 2020 anime for the next 3 months! With over 35+ anime shows including both original newcomers such as Akudama Drive and returning hard hitters such as Attack on Titan, you may be overwhelmed with the choices of anime to watch this fall as you sink further into your seasonal depression and escapist fantasies in hopes that 2020 will get better! (spoilers: it won’t.)

Luckily for you, I…

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Inside the 2020 Foundational Black American conference

B1Daily

We as Foundational Black Americans (FBAs) needed this conference.

Nowhere else on this planet could you find a gathering of like-minded, on code Black individuals that could politic, network, build, and create without the overbearing shadow of white supremacy lurking in the background trying to disrupt Black progress.
For almost ten hours, FBAs transformed the Georgia World Congress Center into a sacred place where we can be our true, proud selves without neither the dominate society questioning why are we expressing our heritage with boastful pride, nor non-FBA goofy Black immigrants sambo coons trying to stop us.

For too long, we as Black Americans have grown comfortable in allowing outsiders to get into our think tanks; thus making us to ponder why our progress was halted by invaders and why our movement was hijacked.
The historical first anniversary of the Foundational Black American Conference 2020 (FBAC2020) stopped that.

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Uzaki-Chan and Fake Otaku Outrage [VIDEO]

Fake Otaku Outrage: Artificial, baseless  outrage generated by those of the anime community to stir up and create conflict, “controversy”, and complaints over and from petty superficial topics and subject matter.  Certain otaku will find the most minor thing to complain about as a way to create  gossip and discourse that do not lead to anything tangible overtime.

Why is there fake otaku outrage towards Uzaki-Chan and how do you prevent yourself from being swept up by fake otaku outrage?

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