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Hi Score Girl 0

Why Hi Score Girl Works As A Romantic Comedy Anime/Manga: Part 3

WARNING: Contains spoilers for the manga and events from the manga that have yet to appear in the anime. Learn to read the damn manga.

PART 2: https://yukithesnowman.com/2018/08/26/why-hi-score-girl-works-as-a-romantic-comedy-anime-manga-part-2/

I’ll be honest with you: I’d be happy if Hi-Score Girl ended with Akira moving to America and never returning to Japan (not saying there should have been only three episodes, of course).  Harou would have to move on, deal with his feelings, and handle his first heartbreak as the series finale or something.  A realistic, relatable ending to viewers who experienced such pain in their youth.

They had feelings for somebody they cared about, spent endless hours with them, realized that person touched their heart and wanted to be with them until they were separated by uncontrollable forces.

That’s probably why I enjoy the third episode of Hi-Score Girl: because it hits close to home.

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That’s one way to never return. 

Years ago, there was a girl I had a crush on.  We were in the same class and hung out with each other often. I don’t remember much about her besides that her family was poor. So poor that she only brought peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.

I couldn’t care if she was poor or anything, she was a good friend and somebody I had feelings for.  One day, she told me that her dad got a better paying job. As a result, her family was moving out of the city (for the job). I was happy that her family finally got money, but I was sad that she was moving away and that I would never see her again.

Heartbroken even.

(My first childhood crush is probably hooked on heroin now because it’s the Midwest)

Even if the series didn’t end with Akira moving, it would have been impactful if Akira never returned,  Harou moved on with his life and got in another relationship with a girl (which he does).  In episode 4, we’re introduced to the new female protagonist, Koharu.  She’s a bit of an introvert and goody-two-shoe who’s a little curious about video games (thanks to her dad running a small arcade outside their house).

Koharu, despite being a normie girl, has uncanny natural skills in fighting games, which catches Harou’s attention. Later, the two start to hang out after school. Harou gets her into gaming and helps her hones her gaming skills; therefore triggering the start of their relationship.

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Koharu

I’d be fine with Koharu replacing Akira as the female lead.  Her character devolvement from a quiet normie girl who cares about nothing than to study to a sadistic, jealous, straight-forward gamer girl is the best in the series.  However, this is a bit overshadowed by  Akira’s return.

Not to knock on it, but it cheapened the emotion events of episode 3 (and could have ruined it if there weren’t other factors that will save it later down the road). Granted, it was foreshadowed that she was going to return to Japan (with Guile telling Harou that his fight with her isn’t over yet), but I do feel some type of way by it.

It’s a shame because like Akira’s relationship with Harou previously, Koharu interest and relationship with Harou is rooted in realism.

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As stated earlier, Koharu is curious about arcades, video games, and why Harou likes them.  Despite being the model student, Koharu hates studying. She wants to know what it is like to have fun and freedom; which is why she’s drawn to Harou (since he has those two things). After school, Koharu is caught in a snowstorm while attempting to return home.  Harou spots her and gets her to come inside a candy shop until the snowstorm dies. Harou convinces Koharu to play Street Fighter II (as she explained to him she never played a game before).

Despite being new to games, she was able to pull off advanced moves such as anti-air attacks, punishing on blocking the opponents, and 360-degree joystick motion special moves with ease.  Mind you, this is with Zangief: a character who is not at all newbie-friendly.

 

They continue to hang out with each other, strengthen their bond and Koharu’s interest in gaming. This would lead to Koharu’s strong crush on Harou, which in turn lead her to convince her parents to buy her a Super Famicom (Super Nintendo) to not only get into gaming on a hardcore level but to make Harou jealous of her.

 

On the topic of jealousy, Koharu and Akira are jealous of each other, and they are not shy to showcase their mutual dislike.  After a session in the arcade, Akira spots Harou and Koharu hanging out with each other. She gives them a death glance (from the safety of her car).  The next day, Harou tries to speak with Akira (after finding out she was at the arcade), who simply ignores him.   She refuses to speak with him until he comes clean with his relationship with Kaharu (which he states the two are only friends and he has no romantic feeling for the blonde girl).

 

When it comes to Koharu’s jealousy, it’s more severe than Akira’s. When she hears about Akira initially, she’s not concerned; as she was happy that Akira’s a fellow gamer girl with supreme skills (and even admires her for it). That changes when she finds out that Harou and Akira had a relationship in the past, which sparks her envy. This envy drives her to get better at fighting games: Darkstalkers mainly.

This drive isn’t out just mere self-improvement, but to beat Akira in order to win Harou’s love.

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In Chapter 24 of the manga (after the second time skip), Koharu confronts Akira; bluntly asking her rival if she and Harou once had a thing.  Akira is silent, making Koharu push the question further.  Upon not getting a response from her rival Kaharu flat out tells Akira that if she doesn’t make a move on Harou, she will.  On the surface, Akira doesn’t seem bothered by Koharu’s plans but later on in the chapter, we see that she’s afraid that Koharu will deliver on her promise (but more on that in a future post).

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At the end of Chapter 26, Koharu challenges Harou in a best of three wagers with a selfish ultimatum: If she wins, Harou will have to end his relationship with Akira and date Koharu instead.  If she loses, she’ll let him be.  To say that she might be a sucker for love is an understatement but its young love.

Young love that is fueled by jealousy, but young love regardless.

I do not know the mindset of women when they’re in love, but I’m sure jealously and the fear of being replaced by somebody else plays a huge role in crushes.  Koharu was in fear that Akira’s skills and friendship would cause her to be replaced.  On the other hand, Akira feared that Harou replaced her after she had moved.

I can’t blame Harou for being close with Koharu (even if it was on friendly terms). He assumed that Akira would never return and moved on.  Of course, she was on his mind for the two and a half years that she was away (as we saw with Harou admitting to Akira that he was longing to see her again) His sole purpose was to improve himself so if Akira did return, he’ll be ready for her.

It’s funny how Akira was the centerpiece for both Harou and Koharou’s quests for self-improvement although while one reasoning is innocent, the other is in malicious intent.  Harou wants to get better for his rival.  Koharo wants to separate Akira from Harou and keep him to herself.

It’s a bizarre love triangle: two girls fighting over a guy because of video games.

Continued in Part 4

AFTERWORD

Me personally, if I was Harou, I would do some playa shit between the two girls and date both of them behind their backs)

Hi Score Girl 2

Why Hi Score Girl Works As A Romantic Comedy Anime/Manga: Part 2

Part 1: https://yukithesnowman.com/2018/08/14/why-hi-score-girl-works-as-a-romantic-comedy-anime-manga-part-1/

Scenario: Let’s say you and another person are deeply in love with each other. You both have unprecedented chemistry. Every little thing that person does never fail to charm you. You can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy around each other.

You guys are inseparable.

One day, however, you’re forced to leave that person – forever.  Your family is moving far away. You got a new job in a new state.  That college you wanted to get into accepted you.  You murdered somebody and now you have to leave your country for another one where your homeland can’t legally remove you from that new country before the police catch you.  How would you tell that person and would you do anything within your power to stay with them – just for one more day?

This is the situation for Akira in episode 3 of Hi Score Girl.

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Episode 3 starts with Akira losing to an A.I. controlled M. Bison (Vega in Japan and Dictator in the competitive Street Fighter scene).  Normally, the gaming genius Akira shouldn’t have any problems fighting against M. Bison (as he took him out with only two buttons from a damaged arcade cabinet), but she’s losing her edge. Even if she’s only commutates through body language, Akira is being eerily quiet.

Harou sees this and assumes that she’s upset because summer break is ending; therefore she won’t have time to spend at the arcades. However, he’s ignorant of the fact that her situation is far worse than a mere end to summer vacation.

In a few days, Akira’s family is moving to Los Angeles, California.

 

The next day, the duo is invited to hang out with their classmates at a local theme park, which both of them take up on the offer.  As the day progress, Akira and Harou decide to ditch them and hang out with each other in the arcade instead. Akira is more than happy to do so, as she wants to spend time with Harou alone.

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Plus, I’m pretty sure Harou doesn’t wanna be stuck with this girl all day…

There’s a part during the arcade scene where Akira spots the light-gun game Space Gun. Harou takes it that she wants to play with her simply nodding yes. He starts to tease her; telling her that she might piss herself because it’s a scary game (given she hates horror-driven media) but she goes with it regardless.

As they play, Harou tries to get Akira to advance the game by having her move her foot off the pedal (as holding down the pedal makes the characters retreat from the enemies).  She refuses. Her leg starts to shake. If she moves her feet off the pedal it’ll only lead her closer to their unavoidable separation.

 

Akira is desperate for time. Harou doesn’t know it, but Akira has feelings for him.  Remember: Akira spent her young life as the heir to a rich but brutally strict family. Akira was never allowed to enjoy life as opposed to the average girl who could go out and play with friends. It was only recently when Akira decides to defy her family’s wishes and escape to the arcades to get away from her miserable home life.

Flashing, colorful lights blinding the eyes. Furious adults screaming vicious profane words at each other after defeat.  Chocking tobacco smoke poisoning the air.   Such a vile place wouldn’t seem right as a safe haven for Akira. But she needed a safe haven to escape the unwanted responsibilities place upon her.

The safe haven where she met Harou: the boy that brought joy to her life.

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Akira and Harou continue their journey through the park; traveling through a magic mirror house, riding a roller coaster and a scary ride.  At one point, Harou asks Akira if her parents ever took her to a theme park, to which she shook her head no in response.

To say that Akira is a sheltered child is an understatement.  To Harou, the trip to the theme park was normal.  Every (normal) child has gone to a theme park at least once in their life. But, to Akira, a girl who never experienced the joy of having a normal childhood; this was a new, life-changing event for her.

I’m sure some of you out there may have been sheltered by your parents and can relate to  Akira. They forbid you to play outside after a certain time.  They didn’t allow peculiar forms of media in the house like anime or rap music.  Anime was a tool of Satan so they banned it from your house. Maybe one day, you had enough of their bullshit and decided to go out into the world and do your own thing, just like Akira.

(Akira’s gonna wind up doing hard drugs and drink straight from vodka bottles later in life. That what usually happens to sheltered kids once they get out in the world.)

 

The more time she gets to spend with Harou means the more time she can live normally. She doesn’t have to worry about her high status, school work and the pain those things brought her. The pain she never asked for.  Pain that was mended by Harou’s company, understanding, friendliness.  They spent the reminding hours of the day playing until sunset, eventually heading home on a bus with Akira falling asleep and resting her head on Harou’s shoulder.

The sunsets on their summer vacation – and their relationship.

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The next day brings in the new school year – and the horrible news. Harou hears about Akira’s family moving away.  He’s shocked.  It hits him – hard. Rumors start to fly such as “her parents got a divorce” or “they got a new job in America.”  Harou refuses to believe he’s hurt about Akira’s sudden move. He tries to play it off by acting happy that his rival is gone. Finally! He can rule his castle (the arcade) in peace; he shouldn’t fear Akira invading it.  She’s gone forever!

Deep down, he knows he’s full of shit.

 

Akira wasn’t any girl that played video games casually. She was a gifted monster who dominated them.   Any game she touched she mastered it. Only he was able to come “close” to her skill level – but it simply wasn’t enough.  Akira forced yet inspired Harou to improve in Street Fighter II.  She never judged him for his gaming passion but encouraged him to get better at it.

They started out as rivals. He was disgusted at the fact that Akira bested him time and time again. He couldn’t stand the fact she was around. However, as time went on,  they grew as friends.  He respected her.  Harou was happy that she was her equal. In  his time of reflection (and holding back tears) he  became honest with himself:

Harou had feelings for Akira. She touched his heart.

 

 

With newfound determination, he runs after her; rushing to the airport to see her one more time.  He arrives in time and tries to convince her to stay (as she’ll miss all these new games coming out such as Fatal Fury by SNK).  Then, he gives her a good-bye present: The toy ring from the first day they hung out together as friends – not rivals. She rushes to him, breaking down crying. She’ll never see her first friend again.

Her first love.

 

 

Continued in Part 3 (because fuck SEO suggestions I’m not making this a 1600 word post also my bad for making this a summary than a reason why this series work)

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Cells At Work 0

Yuki’s Halftime Report: Cells At Work

This is The Yuki Half-Time Report, sponsored by Crunchyroll!* We’re halfway through Cells At Work with only seven episodes reminding.  How does Cells At Work! stand right now?
Cells at Work is still going strong despite some minor issues I have with its progression. While I do like the show, it’s clear that the show is following a formulated plot guideline: Introduce the monster-of-the-week (bacteria, infection, virus, etc.), break down how they attack the body, let them do their business, good guys defeat them. Done. Next.

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When your boss catches you stealing from your job

I am not a fan of this: it’s boring and a bit played out in my eyes. With episode 6 being set up as a two-parter or story arc where our heroes are facing off against a cancerous cell it seems that the formula is taking a break (for now).

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Cancer Cell (Masquerading as a healthy cell) 

I’m disappointed that the Type A Influenza enemy problem from episode 3 wasn’t resolved in episode 4. This left me wondering what happened and why this was skipped. The writers went to another storyline and I’m not too happy with that  – especially since it was set up as if it was going to be a two-parter episode.  If you’re going to set something up, resolve it,  It looks goofy when you don’t and you got people wondering what happened.

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If somebody beats me in a fight and does this pose after I’m shooting them on sight next time.

.Cells At Work retains its cute charm which continues to work in synergy with the educational and action sides of the show  The art and animation remain consistent  (although I admit that I’m not trained in spotting animation errors) and there haven’t been any major changes to the art.

Storywise, there hasn’t been any changes to its simple manner. Again, bad guys show up, good guys win.  There are some slice-of-life scenes here and there but nothing to write home about.  Episode 6 featured a flashback story for the first half with how Red Blood Cell-Chan came to life,  got assigned to her job, and meeting White Blood Cell-Kun.  She was a clumsy, goofy, and cheerful in her childhood as she is now as an adult.

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Nah you still gonna suck and not do well as an adult.

With the cancerous cell making its appearance in episode 6 going into episode 7 it appears that the show will be taking a serious, drama-driven approach. My predictions going into the future of the show?  There will be a few character deaths on and off screens from the cancer cells.  Things will be dark and painful but I can’t wait for it.

 

With that said I hope you enjoy this halftime report. I’ll catch you guys in the next one.

*Legal disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Crunchyroll lmfao I pirate most of their shows. (And there goes any chances of me being sponsored by them ever)

Hi Score Girl 0

Why Hi Score Girl Works As A Romantic Comedy Anime/Manga: Part 1

I hate romantic comedy in any form of media – especially in anime; as most romcom anime are unrealistic and littered with cheap, perverted jokes.  From my reviews on My Girlfriend is a Shobitch and Hajimate no Gal, it’s clear I detest this genre. These shows were clearly written by otaku virgins who never had a relationship with the opposite sex and are living out their weird, lonely otaku fantasies through anime.  So, when I discovered that J.C. Staff’s latest project, Hi Score Girl, was not only a (loose) history piece of the second arcade boom in Japan, but a romantic comedy as well, I was I amazed by how they show a realistic portray of a relationship blooming and evolving over time.

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May I dare say that this romcom anime has even charmed me by how pure the relationship between main characters Akira and Harou is?  You take two characters who’re seemly “opposite” of each other but somehow,  they click. Akira’s the popular, high-class rich girl who excels in every subject – performance arts included.  She’s the type of girl that every boy in school wants to date and every girl wish to be.  Harou, however, is “hopeless”.  His scholarly performance is a joke. Artistic skills? None. He gets teased often by his peers for his bad grades.  He rather wastes his day ruling over at his castle: the local arcade, installing fear in peasants with his mastery in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (SF2).

 

Harou believes that Akira is out of his league.  Can’t blame him for his wrong line of thinking.

Akira, despite her academic achievements and financial background, loves playing video games. In reality, she’s socially awkward, can’t make friends, doesn’t express herself verbally, and hates that her family controls her life. She visits the arcades often to escape her rigid lifestyle,  blow off steam, and be her true self. Funny enough, like Harou, Akira is an SF2 player – except she’s the top player in their scene – as Harou will learn the hard way.

After witnessing  Akira’s 30 win-streak performance against other players in SF2 Harou challenges her.  He loses to her Zangief – badly. To save his pride, Harou defeats Akira by using Guile’s defensive “Turtle” style and “cheap” throws tactics. Akira gets pissed and starts attacking him; it’s the start of their rivalry that will bloom into friendship and eventually, the two having feelings for one another.  During their summer vacation, the two hang out at various arcades, testing their skills against each other and thus deepening their bond.

For Harou, he’s happy he has an equal. For Akira, she’s happy that she finally made a friend.

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A friend that she likes to beat up, but a friend regardless. 

Right from the start, Hi Score Girl destroys the bullshit idea that opposite attracts we see in romance-based media by having our main characters falling for each other over a mutual interest: competitive video gaming. Let me ask you people who have a mate a question: How did you guys fall for each other?  Surely it wasn’t the fact you guys were opposite of each other. It was because you and your mate had things that click with each other and that turned you on towards them.  Sure, there are some differences, but overall, you were drawn to them through your similarities (and other factors of course).

Social and scholar level wise, Harou and Akira can’t even compare. Akira shouldn’t be hanging around with a “stupid” kid like Harou. Harou shouldn’t have the chance to be with Akira. Still, they were able to overcome those minor differences. They grew close through their powerful love for competitive gaming, relentless desire to win, and mending their after-school loneliness.    Who cares for social status differences when you and your friend vibe over a powerful passion?  What’s good are having excellent grades, popularity, and cash flow when you’re lonely and your parents dictate your life?

Those superficial ideas don’t matter when they’re outweighed by shared attractiveness on a deeper level beyond mere opposites.

Continued in Part 2.

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Spoilers for you non-manga readers my bad yall! 

 

 

 

Doki Doki Literature Club 0

Yuki’s Path to DDLC’s Good End: Round 2: Natsuki (Freewrite)

Disclaimer: Possible spelling and grammar error below I’m just knocking this out of my way so I can work on this Hi-Score Girl review.

Round 1: https://yukithesnowman.com/2018/05/15/yukis-path-to-doki-doki-literature-clubs-good-ending-round-1-sayori/

Continuing from where I left off, I was able to obtain the CGs for Sayori’s route in order to unlock the true ending.  Re-playing her route gave me a new insight into her accurate portrayal of people suffering from depression (such as feeling numb, hopelessness, lack of desire, etc.) made me appreciate her character. I want to see more educated takes of characters struggling with mental health in fiction –because done right, it can hit hard.

Since I’ve “completed ” Sayori’s route, I’m going after Natsuki’s next.  I haven’t done her route since my first run through, which is perfect given I need to go through her route before replaying Yuri’s.  Going through Yuri’s route in Act 1 requires me to witness Sayori’s death scene; therefore ruining my plans to get the game’s true ending.

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For cut down on time, any previous read dialogues are being skipped unless I find something interesting and worthy of being talked about.

I like Natsuki. She’s slowly becoming a favorite character of mines. I’ve said this many times, but I hate the tsundere trope in anime – unless a writer puts realism to the trope (as we see with Natsuki).  She’s a “tsundere” but her aggressive, angry nature is a resulted of her being physically and emotionally abused by her father. It’s common for victims of child abuse to struggle with anger issues and develop an inferiority complex. Obviously, Natsuki hides her insecure nature (from the abuse) by acting tough and hard-hearted (but of course, she secretly cares about other people and don’t wanna see them down or hurt).

Playing Act 1 again, I couldn’t help but laugh at MC’s awareness of overused anime archetypes as Natsuki did her little “tsundere” bullshit such as “It’s isn’t like I did this for you” and hiding her love for cute things through acting hard and tough.  It almost made me forget that DDLC was a psychological horror VN.  Almost.  With that said, I can’t help but find some parts of my personality in her (as weird as it might sound).  There are some things I do enjoy that I’m kinda shy to admit (some moe’ blob anime like Lucky Star, classical music, reading about heart-warming stories , and shedding a tear or two at emotional scenes in anime to name a few).

…that’s as far as my softer side y’all gonna get from me.

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Tsunsuki

The first night of the poem homework for Natsuki went smoothly.  And by smoothly, I cheated and save scummed because I accidentally got a few reactons from Yuri and Sayori that completely override my goal to have MC romance Natsuki.  Eh. I dunno what cute shit fictional girls like. Or real ones at that.  I suck at the romance thing.

After starting over I got MC to interact with Natsuki,.  There’s a hint for shadowing/mockery here as Natsuki talks about her favorite manga,“Parfait Girl” MC makes fun of the cover, which offends Natsuki telling him the old adage of never judging a book by its cover and how things may have more layers than it appears. A subtle jab at the true nature of the game.

I can’t help to think how Natsuki’s character mirrors that of the otaku. Otakus are quick to defend their passions – may they be anime, manga, gaming, etc.. Sometimes, they find inspiration in them (such as with Natsuki becoming a baker and a cook from reading her manga) and opening up to those who also share their passion. Natsuki struggles to share her love of manga with her friends. Every attempt has been met with ridicule by them (since they believe she’s still childish for not growing out of her manga phase).

I’m sure you guys had to deal with this in the past (maybe even today as adults for the older people reading this).  With nerd culture growing ever popular by the day the stereotype of nerds and anime fans being childish and immature is dying. The stigma is still there, but it wasn’t as bad as it was decades ago.

I was able to have MC make Natsuki fluttered with the poem with him writing something that matches her style.  Guess she’s not used to people appreciating and sharing her passion.  I know that feeling.  Doesn’t excuse her from acting goofy about it but I get it.  As Natsuki share her poem with Monika Monika tells MC how Natsuki’s writing style is similar to late author Shel Silverstein: “childish”, but with adult themes and straight to the point by using fewer words than necessary.  I like that lowkey.  I believe that you can say more by saying less and the more you talk and ramble, the less interesting you are to people.

Make people think about what you say and keep them in wonder by saying less.

Everything goes per normal so let’s skip ahead to Natsuki and Yuri’s fight.  Stated in an earlier post (I think, it’s been a while and I don’t feel like searching for it), I went to Yuri because she’s my favorite character and I like her character archetype, but for this one, I went for Natsuki.   She gets happy, proud that somebody like her childish, but blunt writing style.  Real shit,  I get her.  It gets annoying when people talk down about your style (without any advice to improve it, mind you).  When somebody sees the beauty of your style, it reminds you that it is not bad.

You do get a little egotistical, however.

Following the second poem writing,  there’s a funny scene where Natsuki  is struggling to get her manga collection from the top shelf of the clubroom’s closet.   Natsuki, dealing with her short complex, tries to reach for them but fails.  MC tries to help out, but couldn’t, as he was put in an awkward situation – either hold the step ladder  that Natsuki had (while innocently looking up her skirt), or let her fall in which she hits head hard against something, crack it open, bleed out and die; thus ending her route and the game .  The two fall down and shit scatters, with one of her manga being damaged.

(…okay so she didn’t fall to her death.)

Natsuki gets upset, snaps off on MC, but then starts to  cry, saying things like “I’m just having bad day” and “every day, it just gets harder”.  Subtle hints to Natsuki’s homelife and being abused by her dad.  Of course, you won’t catch it on your first run (unless you read the spoilers).  You assume that Natsuki acting childish or overreacting, not knowing that her acting out is a result of her stressful home life.  Over time, it’s going to take a toll on any child dealing with abuse.

There was an interesting theory I came across on a DDLC Facebook group months back that not only Natsuki’s dad belittles her for reading manga, it’s possible that he may have destroyed a few from her collections.   It’s not uncommon for abusive parents to destroy their children’s personal items. I have friends who during childhood, their parents would break their things as a form of “punishment”.

Natsuki could be hiding her manga at the clubroom to avoid any further damage from her dad.  Monika fucking with her collection adding to how horrible her home life is only fueled by Natsuki’s paranoia that she may lose her manga – her way out of reality for a little bit. Really wish Dan did more with Natsuki character.  There are layers about her that need to be explored.

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Continued in  Round 2 Part 2.

(before I go I gotta say some of you Natsuki fans need Jesus)

Cells At Work 2

Osmosis Jones, But For Weeaboos (Cells At Work First Impressions)

You’re a science teacher in Japan.  You’re passionate about teaching children about cells and how they work. Yet, your students don’t give a damn about that shit.  They’re some stupid ass, Bebe Kids ass, hopeless ass children who don’t wanna learn anything in life.  No matter how hard you try to make learning interesting, they refuse (to learn).

You decide to fail them all – you have no hope for their future.

You head home after a stressful day of dealing with those dumb ass kids.  You kick back with a can of beer in one hand while having a blunt in another as you watch TV. Bill Nye The Science Guy – an American educational classic showing kids how much science rules – comes on. A smile appears on your drunken, stoned face as you remember how much Bill Nye inspired you to become a science teacher with his down-to-earth, caring, and loving approach to science education.

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Bill Nye before his happiness was ruined by stupidity. 

Bill Nye ends and it’s followed by a classic cult movie: Osmosis Jones – a comedy movie about Ozzy, a disgraced white blood cell cop who, with the help of his partner Drix, defends the sickly body of some depressed zookeeper with unhealthy grief coping skills. After watching both the movie and Bill Nye you get inspired to come up with your own manga series to entertain children while also valuing their education by teaching them about cells and the human body.  You down another beer, roll up another blunt, and relentlessly get to work on this new project for the next few months.

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You retain the White Blood Cell character from Osmosis Jones; making him a stoic killer of germs instead of a street-smart cop. Drix? You replaced him with a cute yet clumsy girl, giving her the role of a red blood cell. As you brainstorm ideas for different cells, you come up with cool designs that will appeal to both children and adults.  The children of Japan need this. It may be too late for your slow ass students to learn anything but future children will appreciate your efforts. Once you finish the first draft you pitch it to Kodansha.

They love it.

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Ozzy & Drix The Comic Book

Over time, this manga becomes a sleeper hit – mostly because you made the Red Blood Cell a waifu character that everyone will look up ero doujins of her getting a train ran on her  by the Killer T cells troops along with Macrophage-Chan – but because of how innovating your manga was in terms of teaching people about how cells work.  And that’s how Cells At Work became to be.

Trust me: My father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate used to be drinking buddies with Akane Shimzu and he told me this on the phone last night.

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Bullshit aside, I’m impressed by Cells At Work.  It’s secretly adorable and I admire how the creative forces behind it use Shounen style action to sell its educational value to fans. Furthermore, the roles of the cells and how they interact with each other are explained in a down-to-earth manner. If you’re a complete idiot like when it comes to science, you won’t be lost, confused, or feeling even dumber than you already are.

(And trust me: You’re probably just as dumb as I am thanks to the American education system.)

Cells At Work is a  simple anime (which is good because it doesn’t need to be complex or deep for the show to share its message).   Each episode, there’s a situation with the human’s body is attacked by a variety of ailments such as basic germs attacking the city in episode one,  an invading army of infections in episode two, and the world battling against invasive bacteria in episode 3.  They win of course, but in that classic rule of three (episodes) style, they get fucked up and ROFLstomp by the series’ first major enemy. In this case, it’s Type A Influenza.

Granted, the heroes will win through some asspull bullshit by episode four.

Main character Red Blood Cell-chan (RBC-Chan) is a clumsy girl trying her best on her first day at her new delivery job.  During a delivery run, she (along with the citizens of the “world” of the human body) are attacked by monsters – germs attacking the body. They’re about to be killed when supporting hero White Blood Cell comes to save them by mercilessly butchering and slaughtering the germs with combat knives.

As with any Shounen series, Cells At Work uses violent action to keep fans engaged.  We are first hinted at this fact during the OP; which features a squad of White Blood Cells, armed with knives, hunting down a germ. This is followed up by an elegant maid walking around gracefully in a flower field…and she’s carrying a giant ax while her hands and face are covered in blood.

What makes Cells At Work works (besides the violence) is the usage of implanting classic anime tropes and personality with each cell. The Killer T Cells are personified as merciless, battle harden combat vets, the  Helper T cell becomes a military commander,  Macrophage cells are portrayed as elegant, classy maids who like to chop up their victims with their giant axes and blades.

Do you remember those educational “entertaining” science films back in school?  You know what I mean – they’re cheesy, boring, trying too hard to have style but it’s so dry.  Cells At Work throws that shit away while still retaining the knowledge.  Knowledge at a simple level but still knowledge regardless.  That’s why famous personalities – may they be fictional or not, such as Bill Nye, Carl Sagen, Miss Frizzle, and Ozzy (Ozzy and Drix) are beloved.  They taught us the knowledge of science through their unique personalities. Of course, I’m not saying you’re going to get layered, in-depth personalities for each character compared to story-driven anime series such as Durarara or Monogatari  but when you’re selling an anime centered around science and the human body you better make it entertaining.

As of this writing, I’m caught up to  episode four  (somehow that Influenza enemy thing didn’t get resolved) of the anime and from my positive reaction, I’m going to stick around with the anime until either the series end or something utter bullshit makes me turn away from it.  While I do believe it’s going to be one of the best shows of the seasons, I can’t confidently say it’s anime of the year material but we will see once the series end.

If you’re looking for a different anime series that still share the familiar style of your shounen shows while also learning why you should take care of your body and the cells in it, then Cells At Work is right for you. If not, you’re the reason why the education system is such a failure today.

(Before I go, Let me go on record that Red Blod Cell-Chan and White Blood Cell are those two co-workers that you know have a thing for each other and they’re gonna get caught fucking in the employee bathroom by the janitor when they thought everyone left the office building that night)

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Life 0

“No Way I Can Stay At The Same Level”

At the beginning of the Dragon Ball Super Movie: Broly trailer, Whis asks Goku why he seeks further power (than he already has).  Goku replies that battling in the Tournament of Power has opened his eyes; understanding that there’s no way he can remind at his current level. This is typical of Goku. Every time he encounters powerful warriors on his journey, he gets inspired to better himself.  Despite having marvelous power, Goku realizes that it’s not enough.

He must always seek to improve himself.

I’m not a Goku fan.  He’s a bland, average Shounen battle anime/manga main character.  Yet, I can’t help but admire his drive to better himself.  He loves to fight against those who are stronger than him.  He’s willing to learn from those who may not have much strength, but are masters at techniques he’s curious about (the Kaioken from King Kai,  The Mafuba from Master Roshi, and  Instant Transmission from the Yardrats).  Goku is always learning. Always improving.

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Listening to Goku’s response,  I couldn’t help but feel a relation to his words. ‘No way I can’t stay at the same level I am now.’.  I’m all for self-improvement and bettering yourself (beyond your current talents and levels).  You should always work your ass off to reach new heights no matter what.  Life isn’t fun if you remain where you at.  If you want the best things for yourself, you have to level up no matter what; may it be learning a new skill, working on your purpose/passion, or traveling to a new city you have yet to explore.

In early July of 2018, I was in Los Angeles for Anime Expo (AX) and to see what the city has to offer to travelers wishing to explore it.  As I scoured the city soaking in the culture, I fell in love instantly.  The blend of multi-cultural natives and travelers speaking in their native tongue.  Fashion heads donning their outlandish appeals without fear of  (too much) judgment. Massive, striving businesses bringing  income for the city. The ocean breeze cooling down the warm city. People minding their own business and not mean mugging (like in my hometown). Entertainment surrounding the area at each turn. World level cosplayers showcasing their talents. The crowded convention venue filled up by passionate otakus.  Witnessing all of inspired me to do better in life.  I want more from it.

There’s no way I can stay at the same level I’m at now.

My visit to Los Angeles changed my life. Extreme?  Yep. But, you something extreme to happen to you if you want to change.  I spoke about this in a previous post, but seeing that gigantic Fate/Grand Order poster towering over the Wells Fargo bank in Downtown L.A. sparked an inspiration fire within me.  It brought a huge smile to my face.  Not because I’m a Fate fan, but because it served a reminder to me that even the most popular, beloved series had to start from the bottom( to reach the top).

The Fate series started out as a bit of a niche yet popular visual novel in Japan.  While beloved in Japan,  it took years for the love to reach Western fanbases (sans the small circle of Western fans who love the visual novel) to the heights we are seeing today. Type-Moon (the creative force behind the fate series) had to put in the years of hard and smart work to reach their current levels in the otaku world.  And it paid off.

If they can put in that hard work to reach the top, so can I.

 

Since I’m on the topic of visual novels, I was at a Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC) cosplay meet up during AX (cosplaying as a last minute genderswap version of Monika) on Days 2 and 4.  As the meetups were wrapping up, Dan Salvato (creator of DDLC), came through and chat it up with the fans.  The fans (including myself) show nothing but love and support for the dude.

I was able to talk to him about how the character Yuri have impacted me the most out of the four characters (as I used to shut myself out from others and not talk about my love due to being teased and bullied for them like Yuri herself).  He brought up how Yuri  (as well as Natsuki) was based off his childhood experiences which made me appreciate both characters more (since I got a little deeper understanding on how they came to life).

Again, I was inspired by the love he was receiving and how he showed the love back. Like with the Fate/Grad Order poster, that experience showed me why I must get on my grind to produce content that people will love.  If I can create something that can inspire others and want to better their lives, then I have finally done my job for the world.

Hard work pays off.

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Me with Dan Salvato after the DDLC meetup at Anime Expo

Outside the convention,  my friend and I were invited to an Anime Expo Discord chat meetup at an outdoor bar (forgot the name of it). As we drank and chop it up with everyone, one of the guys brought up how it’s goofy that some weeaboos will spend thousands and thousands of dollars to fly out to L.A., buy a convention badge, and hotel costs just  to go to the convention and not explore the city to see what it has to offer. Our (my friend and I) faces lit up and nodded in agreement, as we had a talk about this while we were smoking hours earlier.  While the main goal was to attend Anime Expo,  we were more excited to explore the city.  If you’re going to a city for an anime conventions and nothing else, you’re an idiot.

After the meetup, my friend and I went to be some little degenerates and smoke some legal weed.  As we smoke, we reflect on our new friend’s words and how we’re truly making it; as we met like-minded people who understand why we can’t be around those who put limits on themselves.

A sign of progress.

(Below: Spoils from Little Tokyo)

 

Exploring L.A. outside the con gave me the chance to talk to people from not only L.A. but from all over the world.  One gentleman whom I spoke with was a dude born in China who moved to the New Jersey area in his youth and then to L.A. when he got older.   We spoke about our home cities and compared it to L.A.  He didn’t like living out there as, in his words “people in L.A. are rude assholes and there’s always some nonsense going on compared to New Jersey.”.  I told him St. Louis was the same but couldn’t see how L.A. was that bad (granted I was only a visitor and not somebody who was living in the city,).

A day before I left L.A., I spoke with a rather liberal Middle Eastern women for a bit.  She was an L.A. native who guessed that my friend and I weren’t locals due to our mannerism.  Apparently, those who are native to the L.A. area tend to be assholes, but (depending on where they from), travelers and tourists are kind and aren’t on any bullshit.  I had to agree with her on that.  It felt that those who weren’t locals or born in L.A. seem chill and laid back while the rest were niggas who clearly didn’t get whoop by somebody when they got out of line.

During a weed run, my boy and I ran into a street rapper, Chase, who wanted us to give him a topic to freestyle about.  After his freestyle, we started talking about where we from.  Come to find out, Chase was a fellow Mid-Western from Chicago who visited St. Louis from time to time. He came to Califorina to connect with other rappers to network with other rappers and build his brand. I am not that much of a spiritual person, but I can’t help to think that meeting was the universe telling me something about even if I try to leave home for a while, home will find me.  But this was a positive experience.  Three Midwestern’s finding each other on the West Coast and speaking about our journeys and what we want out of it.

As time passed on and I traveled, I wanted more out of not only L.A. itself, but for me as a person.  There’s something magical about that city. I can’t put my finger on it, but it brought out something in me that I knew was there – I just needed something to draw it out.  Maybe it was that Fate/Grand Order that was the trigger.  Perhaps talking to a creator and seeing the love he got brought it out.  Could it be that me getting out of my hometown caused all of this?  I dunno.

What I do know is that if I want this again, then I can’t stay at the same level I am now.

 

 

 

Fate 2

How a Fate/Grand Order Poster Inspired Me (FREEWRITE)

Note: This is a raw, unedited, freeform post. 

I love my trip to Los Angeles and attending Anime Expo.  It was a life-changing experience of consuming and getting involved in local and global cultures that I’ll never experience in my hometown.  While I foolhardy limited my travels to Downtown L.A. and Little Tokyo, the drive to go back to the West Coast is eating me up (in fact, limiting myself is the reason why I must go back because there’s more of L.A. I want to see).  The trip sparked a fire within me to better myself finically (through having multiple sources of incomes) and improve my creative talents so I can justify visiting L.A. in order to growth (or better yet – if I decide to live in L.A. for a few years)

While wandering around the Downtown area searching for a CVS, I encounter a massive fate/grand order towering above the Wells Frago bank in the area. A huge smile came across my face for two reasons.  One, because I am a bit of a casual fan of the series and that I’m happy on how the series has come this far.  Two, it served as a reminder (to me) that even the titans of the industry I am a consumer of had to start at the bottom to reach the top.  The creators behind the fate series were just people like you and me who had the vision to breathe life into something they felt could change their industry, the world, and their lives.

As my eyes focused and analyzed the mighty fate poster, I started reflecting on my own goals and dreams in life (and how I want to create something that will be loved by many).  My mind brought up the struggles it took me to get to not only Los Angeles and Anime Expo, but my current level of life and how I persevere to push forward with my goals despite the pitfalls, doubters, haters, etc..

‘I wonder what sacrifices these fate dudes had to make to get to where they at today? How hard and smart did they work in order to become icons in the otaku niche.’ I asked myself.   The poster spawned endless questions in my mind.  Questions of hard work, sacrifice, brand building.  I became a curious child who was given a brand new toy and was obsessed with what the toy can do.  At that moment,  I started planning on what should I do with my own goals and desires and how in order to bring them to life.

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Me posing in front of one of the Fate/Grand Order posters in Downtown L.A.

The people who created the fate series were given the same two hands, two eyes, two feet, two legs, and a similar creative brain like me at birth.  The difference between those guys and me is that they got off their asses and bust them to bring their vision to the world. Yeah, they were met with problems, haters, doubters, and people telling them to give up on their dreams.  Yet they push through the noise.  That’s the struggle every creative person will face.  I am no exception to this law.

If we wanna reach the real shit, we must go through the bullshit. That’s the only way our dreams can come true.

Uncategorized 0

Post-Cali Blues

As per my April 2018 article, I don’t get post-con blues.  I never got the idea behind it.   If you get depressed after attending a weeaboo festival (and aren’t willing to do anything about it), you’re a loser. There are conventions held almost every weekend in major cities in America and across the globe that offers the same shit (for the most part).  As a result, conventions get boring after a while. The passion behind them get lost and you’re (well, I) are left wondering “well, what’s next for this little otaku hobby of mines?”.  After attending Anime Expo in Los Angles however, I must admit I’m feeling the blues.

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The entrance of Anime Expo

Am I’m upset that Anime Expo has come and go? Nah.  Too many rude, smelly ass weeaboos I had to deal with that won’t make me miss the con (still going back though).  I had to stop myself from losing my temper and beating the shit out of a disrespectful, shut-in nerd who almost bumped me into a wall; all because he wanted a picture of some Ichigo and 02 cosplayers from Darling in the Franxx that he’ll never get to fuck in his lifetime.  Having to walk twenty minutes to Kenta Hall when it normally would have taken me five minutes wasn’t that fun – especially since it the crowds created a fire hazard (risk our safety for the all mighty dollar, huh). Trying to find a panel room for twenty minutes only to find out I needed a wristband to prove I was over the age of 18 ain’t fun.  I’m not blue over those factors. What I’m feeling blue about is the fact I am not in Los Angles anymore.

I have Post Cali Blues.

Los Angeles Skyline Photo

I miss California.  For the short week I was there, I felt at peace.  I felt that I could be myself despite not being within my comfort zone.  The fantastic, 80-degree weather that felt like it was 60 degrees thanks to the ocean breeze.  The luscious women from all over the world.  Bruh, they were bad! People who mind their own business and who didn’t mean mug you.  The welcoming and acceptance of those from different cultures. Being surrounded by striving businesses at every corner.  This what sold me on California…expect for the high taxes and cost of living you guys can miss me with that bullshit.

I gotta go back to Cali again.

If you guys don’t know, I’m from St. Louis, Misery (or Missouri) – a small Midwestern city that hasn’t seen progress in nearly 60 years.  St. Louis isn’t shit when it comes to wanting to better oneself in growth, business, career, etc.  The hopeless, passionless idiots who never left this city think it’s great and there’s nothing absolutely wrong with it (despite the high murder rates, extreme poverty, racism, right-wing politics, etc.).  These people love to bring down anyone with a dream or desire to expand their lives beyond St. Louis.

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Fuck St. Louis

As a result, there are many haters and jealous niggas in the ‘Lou. California has its shares of crimes, haters, and hopeless idiots, sure. but I rather be stuck in a state that has legal weed, a chance for me to grow as a person, and network with those within my industry as opposed to continuing living in a city where I feel that I have no chance to do anything with my passion. What did that little dude say in FLCL? “Nothing amazing ever happens here”.  Yep. That’s St. Louis.

St. Louis sucks.

During downtime at Anime Expo, I went decided to explore L.A. for a bit.  It felt magical. Every turn, my eyes here treated to blooming, striving business helping bring L.A. income.  Downtown St. Louis? Every other business building is abandoned.  Downtown L.A. featured a fashion district.  Not a fashion store, mall, or outlet.  A fashion fucking district.   Did I mention legal, safe weed? Kush mind you, not no reggie or unknown kush with bug spray on it.

Legal. Fucking. Weed.

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Besides my degenerate lust towards weed, I’m a man of culture. Given that L.A. is a large city with over 3.7 million living in it, you’re going to get people from many cultural backgrounds telling them your experience.  As one Lyft driver told me, L.A. is made up of people from all over the world – not just native people.  With that, you get to talk to people from Asia, The Middle East, Africa, Europe, etc. and learn why they came ot America and how are they dealing with things here as their cultural experience clashes with the ones in America (as that adage goes; you can take the man out of the hood but you can’t take the hood out of the man).  St. Louis is cultural as well (we have strong Middle Eastern, Chinesse Mexican,  and Bosnian, communites) don’t get me wrong, but there aren’t as many international people here compared to the West Coast.   I personally that shit is cool.

 

To conclude, the post Cali blues is hitting hard for me right now. To be honest, I am a little disappoint that I didn’t explore much of L.A. beyond Little Tokyo and Downtown.   If ther ewasnt’ a convention in between my exploration, I feel like I could had gotten much more done in a week.  I’m kicking myself for not hitting up Hollywodo (Despite the latter being a tourist trap).  Venice Beach and Santa Monica are beautiful beach spots.   I low-key wanna explore Compton and study  one ofhte major parts of hip-hop history before it gets completely gentriflied by the liberals. I am going back to L.A. for my homeboy’s birthday and Anime’ L.A., so that will grant me a second chance to do the thigns I couldn’t do on my first trip.

I’m going back to Cali.

DRUNK AFTERWORD:
To those on my Facebook friend’s list who were mad about my post-con blues post: the fuck ya were gonna do besides be mad and not fuck with me anymore cuz I spoke that shit about post-con depression?

flcl 1

On FLCL: Progressive Lack of Charm (Freewrite)

FLCL: Progressive is weird.  I don’t mean that it matches the original FLCL weirdness that fans celebrate and praise it for.  It’s awkwardly weird.   It doesn’t have the fluid, bold experimental animation, the zany characters, and the upbeat music as its predecessor.  The story’s a  bit of a  rehash (with the main character not seeing anything exciting about life until Haruko comes along) but with new elements. There are only two episodes left of Progressive and it’s unfair to judge  and compare,  but it’s hard to wait  – especially with the internet buzzing on how Progressive isn’t as glamorous as the first series.

Why is this?  Surely Production I.G. and Studio TRIGGER could have delivered the same excitement from the classic with  Progressive (as the original team members are all on board).  The thing is, FLCL classic was an experiment for Gainax to test new animation software at the time.  The team was allowed to go off the rails with the software, art, and story writing to push the limits of their new toy and their artistic talents.   That’s it.

That’s why FLCL classic was charming…well that’s my theory.

With FLCL: Progressive, the production team isn’t using new technology (to my knowledge).  They already proved themselves to the industry (serval times mind you).  There’s no need to reproduce the charm from FLCL Classic with fancy new software.  From the four episodes I’ve watched, I’m assuming that Production I.G. and Studio TRIGGER are focused on delivering a solid story than just being silly with animation software.   There’s FLCL: Alternate coming out in later this year.  Perhaps it’ll recapture the outlandish feeling that the original gave us so we can only wait and see.

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Champion Joe 0

“They Don’t Make Tombstones For Stray Dogs”

What’s a name?  Obviously, it’s a set word(s) to identify a person, place, or thing.  Some names are linked to a famous brand (Nike, Nordstrom, or  Nintendo for example). Others are associated with a person in your life ( brother, sister, cousin, etc.)  There are names famous throughout the world — regardless of culture, race, etc (Micheal Jackson, Bill Gates, Shigeru Miyamoto).   Depending on the person, whenever we hear their name,  we either react with disgust or with love.   Names are important as they are the basis of who we are as a person.  Some fight to preserve their name in history — even after death.

In episode 2 of the Spring 2018 boxing anime Megalo Box  the Junk Dog Gearless Joe squares off with Megalo Boxing champion Yuri. Before their fight, Yuri requests Joe’s real name, as he states that “I can’t imagine you want a ring name on your tombstone” in which Joe  replies “They don’t make tombstones for stray dogs.”

Regardless if Joe wants to use his real or ring name,  he wants his legecy to be known.  He refuses to die without anyone knowing who he was in life.  The line is simple, yet powerful.  Joe is right: they do not make tombstones for no names.

Question: Do we recognize people who never done anything in history?

No, we don’t.    Those who achieved greatness have their names embedded in history.  The ones who don’t are forgotten. The story of the Gearless Joe is one of the classic underdog story.  Joe is a young man of lower class status yearning to escape the strife and trap of poverty through boxing.  With his boxing skills,  he believes that if he becomes the Megalo Boxing champion, his name will live forever.  Joe refuses to die as a nobody.  That’s not his fate in this world.  There’s no glory in being another unknown background character in a world of billions and billions of people.

Nobody gives a shit about a stray dog.

People fight until their final breaths to keep their name and brand relevant.  We may not understand why,  but there are many in this world who do not want to die as a nobody.   Utliziing their skillsets and talents, they put themselves out there in hopes that one day, their legacy will be celebrated. Deep inside them, there’s that drive for certain humans to make their mark on this world by any means.  If they don’t, they will die with the regret of not becoming the icon in their niche or even the world.  That’s why they fight.

They don’t make tombstones for stray dogs.
 

Current Events 6

History Repeating Itself: Doki Doki Literature Club Blamed For A Teen’s Suicide

What’s the best way to generate an increase in sales and downloads for your product?  It’s simple: controversy.   This effective yet infamous trick has worked well for the video game industry for 30+ years.  Mortal Kombat came under fire by the U.S. Government for its high level of gore and violence (at the time).  Middle-Class suburban parent groups demanded that the game should be removed from arcades and stores; as they believed children would become influenced by the game’s brutally  Their anger and protests only generated more support and sales for Mortal Kombat.

Rockstar used this trick as well with the Grand Theft Auto series. As with Mortal Kombat before it, parents and government groups were horrified by the pixeled violence and sexual acts displayed in Rockstar’s landmark series. They demanded the video game company to cease production.   Guess what?  Their crusade against it only helped increase sales, support, and popularity for the series. Rockstar knew the controversy would work in their favor.

On June 25th, 2018, the Manchester Coroner’s office issued a warning to school officials in the United Kingdom after the suicide of 15-year-old child back in February 2018.  Prior to the suicide, the child was playing the popular free-to-play visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC).  The coroner and the child’s father suspected that the mental health themes of DDLC played a part in the death.

I gotta say: history is repeating itself.

It’s  unfortunate that the child killed himself.   He needed therapy.  However, it’s funny to blame DDLC (for triggering the child’s death). Are we really going to do that again (blamming video  games)?   Shit’s played out.  Then again, it’s easy to play the blame game as opposed to be more open to the struggles of mental health illnesses and finding support for those suffering from.  We are quick to shun anyone with it.  We are quick to shun video games.  But we aren’t quick to help people.  We only use people with mental health issues for selfish gains.

Take that as you will.

DDLC being linked to this latest  video game controversy will only generate more popularity, support, and downloads.  People love negativity. Humans are a curious lot.  That warning will make  can children curcious about the game, share it with their peers, and of course, produce an expansion of its populairty and downloads. History is repeating itself.

To the Manchester Coroner’s office: Congrulations on helping Team Salvato net furhter attention and support.  Ya did well.

Doki Doki Literature Club 0

Monika and Taking Advantage of the Game of Power (Drunken Freewrite)

Disclaimer: Wrote this when I was drunk.  

Just imagine: You’re a normal schoolgirl living a normal life in Japan, America, or whatever the fuck you’re from.  You do normal schoolgirl things like homework, talk about boys, join clubs, and worrying about if the beta incel loser who think women owes him pussy will finally snap and shoot up the school. You live an average life with you and your friends having fun and thinking about the future after high school.

One day, you have an epiphany: Everything you know about your life was a complete lie.

 

You’re not a real person – you’re a computer game character trapped in a visual novel made by some computer nerd who used to make mods for a children party game that was ruined by a bunch of sad, loser ass manchildren who turned it into a “fighting” game.  Your peers are nothing more but data.  The school you love?  It’s a simulation.  Your friends?  Programmed to fall in love with some sad virgin weeaboo jacking off to hentai of said friends after the finished playing the game while you sit on the sidelines questioning your existence.   So what you going to do with your new Godlike self-aware powers?

Brainwash and Kill your friends,  disrupt the game and force the player to fall in love with you of course!

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Monika gets a lot of shit in the DDLC fandom.  People claim that she’s a sociopath.  People hate on her because she killed their cliche’ waifu. Fans of Monika (like myself) are accused of being morally bankrupt and corrupt.  Me personally?  I think Monika is a power player and was a G for taking advantage of her situation.  If you had absolute power, or seek it, wouldn’t you do anything by any means to get what you want?

Monika was simply playing the game of power to her advantage.  She understood that her friends were nothing more but lines of data.  She wasn’t killing anyone real. Besides, what would have happened if one of them became self-aware? Surely they would have tried to take out Monika and anyone else in their way.   Knowing this, I can’t fault Monika for her actions.

She had to do everything within her power to ensure victory.

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What are the goals for dealing with rivals in sports, business, the workplace, what have you?  Take out anyone in your way, dominate and intimidate them all. You take them out by sheer force and superior skills. You dominate by being better,  maintaining your number spot, and being innovating.  Finally, you intimidate through brutal, savage actions – making sure nobody else tries to step up to you and knock you out of first place. Monika did all three. Screwing with the game’s programming was intimidation.  She made Sayori hang herself, Natsuki snap her neck, and Yuri stab herself to death: taking out the competition. And finally, she dominated the system.  Simple power plays if you ask me.

Don’t hate the player or the game.  Be the player and take advantage of the game.

Dragon Ball Super 0

The Tournament of Power’s Important Lesson (Drunk Freewrite)

Disclaimer: This freewrite was written under the influence of alcohol. It may not make logical sense.

Dragon Ball isn’t deep.  There are deep themes, but it isn’t that deep than other anime.  Dragon Ball is a goofy, battle action manga and anime series created by some crazy Japanese dude who bread and butter is gag comedy manga (Dr. Slump). Expecting Dragon Ball to be meaningful and insightful is like trying to find one’s dignity at a drunken,  drug-fueled  anime con orgy:

 

It ain’t gonna happen.

This doesn’t mean that Dragon Ball can’t teach us lessons about life.  After all, Goku’s journey is a lesson that if you want to better yourself, you must go out and travel; putting in the hard (and smart) work to and learning under those better than you to obtain whatever you want in life.  Baby from Dragon Ball GT  teaches us that people who were treated unfairly (through oppression) will come back to take revenge against those who oppressed them – even going as far as hunting down and killing innocent people if they have to.

Dragon Ball Super with the Tournament of Power arc is no different.  There are valuable lessons to be taught about that arc, one that is obvious and yet – it’s the most important lesson.  In order to achieve what you want, emotions need to be put aside.

In episode whatever it was in Super (I’m drunk: I don’t feel like looking it up), Majin Buu succumb to his deep sleeping habits; putting him out of action for two months.  Thing is, it would have been okay for Majin Buu to take a two months break from combat…if he wasn’t a team member of Universe 7, and the existence of their universe was at risk of being destroyed by Zeno-Sama.  With their ranks shorten, Team Universe 7 had two options:

  1. Find a replacement for Majin Buu
  2. Operate at a loss and/or risk destruction

Logically, Team Universe 7 should have put Majin  Buu in the Time Chamber (Room of Spirit and Time for your purist elitist weeaboos) but logic doesn’ work in anime. While everyone else was in a panic, Goku came up with an ideal replacement for Majin Buu: Lord Frieza – mortal enemy of the Z Warriors.

The Z Warrirors weren’t happy with Goku’s suggestion.  They had every right to.  Krillin and Vegeta were murdered by him.  Piccolo’s race and home planet was destroyed by the cruel tyrant.   Plus, Frieza’s a snake.  Who knows what kinda of shit Frieza would pull on the Z Warrriors if given the chance.  If he wanted to, Frieza could had kill members of Unvierse 7 for shits and giggles.  (Un)forutnetly for Team Universe 7, Freiza’s an asset to their surivivial.  Yes, Frieza did horrible things to Z Warrrios and caused suffering to the unviersse.  But what’s worse; Having a powerful, yet psychopathic warrior on your side who can get the job done with ease or losing your exsitance because you got emotional over somebody you don’t like?

I thought so.

In dire situtaitons, you have to put aside your emotions and focus on the ultimate goal.  Emotions are great.  They make us humans.  They drive us to do amazing things.  But emotions can fuck you up if you can’t control them.   Let’s look at what happen to Lerbron James during the 2018 NBA Finals.  Game 1.  He got in his feelings over a teammate’s mistake.  He gave into them and got swept by The Golden State Warriors.

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What would had happen to Universe 7 if they gotten emotional over Frieza’s includcion to their team?  You might say “But Ben, they could had went with Yamcha instead or maybe even Cell!” You’re right.  They could had went with Yamcha or Cell.  But Yamcha would had gotten slaughter within the first five seconds of the tournament.  And Cell doesn’t give Toei Animation enough money like Frieza in terms of product sales.

Don’t get emotional when trying to hit your targets.

Cosplay 4

Competition in Cosplay: What’s So Bad About It?

“Competition” is a dirty word in the world of cosplay. It scares and angers some; as they dread the idea of “elitists” approaching cosplay with such a mindset. Recently, I came across a tweet by @0Becki expressing concern towards those with this mentality.  They felt that cosplay is a hobby and not a competition, that they should share tips with others, and they should hang out with cosplayers (who are cosplaying as the same character).

I’ve mixed feelings about this.  I agree; cosplay is a hobby. People should share tips, be friendly,  and help others.   But they aren’t entitled to do such things.  People have the right to be competitive with their passion. Competition is natural in any field.  Competitive cosplayers enjoy it as it pushes them to work hard on their skills and talent to become the best. As long as it’s not toxic, competition isn’t bad.

We need competitive cosplayers.

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Competitive cosplayers have the driving need to win and outperform everyone else in the niche.  To them, every little detail matters to ensure victory. The perfect wig.  Professional grade makeup. The exact color contact lens.  Superior craftsmanship. They have no tolerance for error. It’s the difference between being just a cosplayer and becoming the cosplayer. First place or second place in a cosplay contest.  And trust me: nobody remembers the second place winner.  For the hobbyist cosplayer, this might be hard to understand.  That’s okay: you lack the competitor’s spirit.  Unless they attack you, don’t hate on these people.

It’s who they are – they can’t help it.

It’s funny how hobbyist cosplayers get angry at the “elitists” for their competitiveness.  Yet, they love these high-performing manga artists, ruthless anime directors, passionate game designers, what have you.  Why it’s okay to praise those people for their high levels of desire and drive but it’s wrong for cosplayers to act the same?

You’re a hypocrite if you praise one group but shame another for the same thing.

Competition is great.  It drives others to better themselves.  It forces you to become innovating.  It encourages change. If a cosplayer above your skill level trashes your cosplay, instead of being mad and pissed, use that as inspiration to prove them wrong and better your cosplay.

They talk shit about your wig (or lack of)? Buy a high-quality wig. A snobby cosplayer thinks your skirt for your cosplay is trash?  Hire the best seamstress in your community to make you one better to prove that asshole wrong.  Better yet, study the best cosplayers in your community and learn how they won rewards, got their fame, and so forth.  Use that anger, the power of the dark side as you will, to better your cosplay game so that one day, nobody will ever talk shit about your cosplay again.

Or beat their ass.  I don’t care.

REVERSAL:  Not everyone is competitive.  Hobbyist cosplayers far outnumber the competitive.  I’m not telling you to be humble or lower your standards, but keep in mind that your attitude could offend – thus furthering tainting the cosplay community. It can also ruin your reputation, which you must guard with your life.   To quote Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power: ‘Know who you’re dealing with – do not offend the wrong person.’ and ‘Think as you like but behave like others.’

Yes, be competitive but only compete with those at or above your skill level.  Simply acting arrogant and prideful towards those below your skill level will only stir up hatred and anxiety against you.  Nobody will want to work or be around you if your attitude is nasty.

If you know a group of cosplayers are having fun, don’t ruin it for them.  Suggest ways to help them improve their cosplay skills in a friendly, loving tone.  Don’t mock a cosplayer for something they can’t control (such as race, color tone, gender,  disabilities, etc.). Remember: you too were once a hobbyist cosplayer who didn’t know any better. So spread the knowledge (but not too much of it)

Sometimes, it’s better to feared than loved.  Sometimes, it’s better to be loved than hated.

Cover image source:
https://www.kotaku.com.au/2015/09/australias-best-cosplayer-will-win-this-sexy-golden-dragon/

Uncategorized 0

Death Grounds: Anime Expo

30 days.  30 days until I need to get my shit together for Anime Expo. 30 days to structure my perfect battle plan. 30 days to mentally prep for the largest convention I have attended yet.  30 days of disciplining myself when it comes to money management. 30 days to get things right or lose everything I desired for my brand and personal growth – for at least a year.  30 days isn’t enough time when you’re planning out big moves. But you best use those days wisely.

I’m on death grounds.

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What is death grounds?  Death Grounds is a warfare strategy use as a reaction to desperation tactics in the face of not defeat – but death.   It’s based on Sun Tzu (author of The Art of War) desperate ground, which he defines as follows:

‘When you have the enemy’s strongholds on your rare, and narrow passes in front, it is hemmed-in ground.  When there is no place of refuge at all, it is desperate ground.’

In short, when pushed against a corner, an army must go all out to survive. If they don’t, they’ll be slaughtered by the opposition.  Failure isn’t an option.

It’s kill or be killed.

I know I’m coming off as dramatic over plans for a nerd convention, but put yourself in my shoes. Since Fall of 2017, I’ve been planning and going around telling my peers that I’m going to Anime Expo.  I’ve invested $350 on a plane ticket. I saved up $440 for my share of the hotel cost.  I invested $475 on an AX Premier Fan pass (a fancy way of saying VIP pass to avoid the long lines).  I’m ordering pieces for my Monika cosplay this week (only because I made a drunken post on social media stating that I’m doing a genderswap cosplay of her) which will run me around $150. Too much money has gone towards this trip for me not to go.

When you invested money into something, you better fucking make sure it happens.

I must gather my resources, wits, tools, and wisdom together to make it out to AX.  I either get to kill it at Anime Expo and achieve a milestone for my brand or die.  Of course, there’s next year, but let’s say if I miss out on this year’s AX.  I run the risk of losing opportunities this year I will never get next year.  There’s an influential guest or person at this year’s AX I could have met who could help me get to the next level.  He or she won’t be at any conventions again in their career.  I missed out on that network.  Death. Worse, I miss out on AX this year and a few weeks after the event, I die.  Death.

Scary, huh?

Here’s something scarier: Allowing myself to be on  Death Grounds is fun. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s fun.  I guess it’s my borderline masochist nature, but I find it motivating. Why? Because I want to see the end results of this 10 months of planning. . All my shit talking,  planning, and performing massive action must pay off.  I can’t fuck up now.  In fact, there are no fuck ups allowed on death grounds.

Either you win or die.