Anime community 2

Anime Fans: You Need To Travel!

Recently, I bought my first plane tickets; booking a flight from St. Louis (my hometown) to Los Angeles, California (for the convention Anime Expo).  The purchase marks major progress for not only the Yuki The Snowman brand, but for my personal growth too.  In my years of traveling, I’ve met strangers who turned into friends, visited unexplored places which became my favorite spots to hit up, and unknown cities which became my home away from home.  Of course, I visited anime conventions in these different cities (that I grew to love). All of these experiences I earned thanks to traveling.

Trust me, you want these experiences. Let me explain why you should travel as an anime fan.

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You’re away from your hometown. You don’t have to deal with the same ol’ people from it.  You know; the mindless normies who make fun of you for liking anime. Traveling gives you the chance to explore a major, prosperous city; filled with innumerable cultured people who just get you and your passion. This is especially true if you’re into the arts – like anime, film, theater, music, etc. Your pathetic hometown isn’t filled with cultured people who appreciate the arts.  You need to go where your interests are appreciated and respected.

I know there’s a small voice in your head telling you to leave.  Don’t deny that voice.

 

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Get and AND travel the world they mean.

Traveling provides you with new experiences – experiences you’ll never have in your small town. In 2016, I traveled to Atlanta, GA. for the world-renowned Dragon Con.  Dragon Con is an American multimedia convention where over 80,000 from across the globe invade the entire downtown Atlanta: celebrating nerd culture for five days.

 

On Saturday of Dragon Con, there’s a massive parade for the convention that wraps around the downtown ATL area. This parade is full of cosplayers showcasing their talents and sci-fi themed floats.   Did I mention that throughout the event, Dragon Con has over thousands of non-stop programming that doesn’t end until the afternoon of Labor Day?

Oh, and it’s an open container party convention for you alcoholics and party nerds (like myself).

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My backward ass hometown doesn’t have cool shit like that.  We got conventions, but their main programming end between 7pm-1am (depending on the convention).  We have no parades celebrating nerd culture (because the local rednecks and ignorant Republicans here think the arts shouldn’t be celebrated). The thought of a convention being hosted in downtown St. Louis with over 80,000 nerds is viewed as a joke out here.   There’s only one convention that allows open container and partying (Archon, ya know I love ya).  If you try to throw a party at our other conventions, security and the police will shut your ass down.

I bet your small town has those issues as well. Even if it does have anime and sci-fi conventions, there are only about 500-1000 people who attend it.  Maybe 1500 – and the numbers are made from the same nerds you see in your community.  Your con’s guest list is made up of the same 10 voice acting and industry guests each and every year.  If you go out of town to a major city that hosts a massive convention, chances are, you’ll see over 30 industry guests. For conventions like Anime Weekend Atlanta and Anime Central, you may even get to see a voice actor from Japan.

Do you get why you should travel as an anime fan?

Traveling allows you to meet new people and gain new networks.  Let’s say you’re an aspiring vlogger, blogger,  social media starlet, whatever.  Your hometown will never support you because they see you every day. They don’t wanna support a person who they believe they will never get anywhere (despite how hard you grind to produce content), or if that person is making more moves (then the average person in their town).

Here’s where traveling to new cities come to play (for your craft).  As stated above, new faces in new cities mean new networks for you and your brand.  Let’s pretend you’re at Anime Expo, and this is your first time vlogging at such an event.  You’re interviewing a marvelous Beatrice (Umineko no Naku Koro ni) cosplayer who spent all of 2017 professionally designing and building her frilly dress and pipe (which is fully functioning).  You guys plan to kick it after you two get done with your business because you’re both huge Umineko fans and wanna talk more about the series and she finds you as a cool person (and also wants to smoke you out using her pipe).

Not only did you got a cool cosplay interview for your vlog, you now made a new friend off a love for an obscure visual novel.  I’m doubtful the ignorant bums of your small town have no clue what’s a visual novel is.  Hell, they’re probably too stupid to read a normal novel.

 

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Beatrice from Umineko

 

Additionally, it’s smart to meet new friend globally for growth.  Furthermore, you need to drop your (loser) friends. Friends who don’t appreciate and understand why you’re so passionate about the things you love aren’t worth having around.   What is worth it is having around are people who get you. You like people who like you; who vibes are just like yours. That’s why you must travel.

 ‘If you’re not feeling it, find new friends.’
-Gary Vee (from his video SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE)

Traveling allows you to grow.  It’s an outlet for a person to see new places and obtain experiences that their small town will never provide.  Exploring the world brings you to new faces that will support you and even befriend you. You need to get out of your hometown and grow.

This is an enormous world. Don’t be content with being in your pathetic tiny town forever.

 

Art and Photo Sources:
Summerdress Anime Girl:
https://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=80713
Dragoncon Parde Image
http://www.superherohype.com/news/314011-cosplay-photos-from-the-dragon-con-parade-2

 

Dragon Ball Super 0

Goku Black Didn’t Kill Jiren’s Friends and Family, You Idiots

Boy, the Dragon Ball community never ceases to amaze me with their stupidity. With the revelation of Jiren’s backstory in episode 127 of Super, fans are speculating who could have murdered Jiren’s family and friends.  One utterly idiotic theory floating about is that Goku Black was behind the slaughter of Jiren’s loved ones. Yea.  Goku Black.

Can I explain how stupid that sounds?

First, let me outline how this theory got started.  It’s real stupid but check it.  Niggas legit think Goku Black is behind the murders because of how the animators used a similar technique to hide the killer’s identity as they did with Goku Back’s. That’s it.  Nothing else to logically suggests that their theory is correct.

If Goku Black was the killer, Jiren wouldn’t be alive. Why?  Because Goku Black hates all mortals. He deems mortals as evil. He wants them all dead.  Jiren is a mortal. Goku Black would have killed him.  Furthermore, why would Toei Animation hide Goku Black’s identity if we already know who he is? That doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.

Back in Dragon Ball Z, Trunks was explaining to Goku about the upcoming Android threat.  During this, there was a scene where we see two figures whom we could not make out their physical appearance; similar to how we couldn’t figure out Goku Black’s identity.  It was to add tension to Trunk’s story and the upcoming storylines.

This isn’t exclusive to Dragon Ball either.  In many visual media (video games, comic books, anime, etc.), villains’ identity is concealed by shadows and lighting so the audience won’t know who they are until the climactic moment of their reveal.

 

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The face of the crazy ass science dude in Sailor Moon covered in shadow.

 

Let me keep going so I can break down this stupid ass theory.

Goku Black is just Zamasu in Goku’s body.  Because of that, Jiren would have tried to take out Goku from the start of the Tournament of Power for revenge.  Jiren would have believed that Goku was Goku Black. Then, he would have attempted to do anything within his power to beat the shit out of him and possibly kill him.  Jiren had no interest in Goku when Goku tried to fight him at the start of the Tournament.  If there were any interests towards Goku, it’d be related to the fact that Jiren believes that Goku is Goku Black – which he doesn’t – because it’s fucking impossible.

To close out my rant, you are utterly fucking stupid if you believe the theory that Goku Black was the murderer. You ate paste as a kid and you probably the same nigga who thought Goten was Goku Black.  I’m not sorry for calling you fucking stupid.

Have a blessed day that our Lord has made.

Life 0

Why Friends and Love Ones Won’t Support You

On February 07th, 2018, video surfaced of high school football prospect Jacob Copeland signing with the University of  Florida – expanding the young man’s football career.  As he proudly made his choice with friends and family members supporting him, Copland’s mother (sporting an University of  Alabama shirt and University of Tennessee hat) stormed off from the stage.  It’s clear that she disapproves her son’s choice.  What should had been one of Copeland’s greatest day of his life quickly turned both awkward and sad as he held back tears in the national spotlight.

His mother deserted him for his passion.

This is an all too common case of parents disapproving and shamming their child’s choices and passion.  Parents (especially in the black community) want their children to follow their predetermined path.  Should their child decide to walk their own life’s path, the parent will take offense. If you’d ever experienced this with your own parents, then you can relate to Jacob’s situation.  It’s bad enough for haters and naysayers to doubt your dreams, but they hate and naysaying comes from a parent, the emotional pain is unbearable.

You want your parents to accept and approve of your goals and dreams.

For us in the arts (performing, visual, etc.) and entrepreneurship, we’re often are bombarded by certain family member’s disapproval for taking a path with no security and little-to-no money.  We’re told that our dreams are stupid, too grandiose, senseless, and what not.  They cannot see the vision we hold for ourselves.  They rather want you to become a doctor, a lawyer, or teacher.  You know, average jobs with securities that average Americans love to brag about having.  It’s worse if you are from family line with doctors and lawyers. The moment you decide to do you and not them, it’s all bad from there.

You’re a shameful outcast in their eyes.

Fear is also a possibility. They fear that your growth will eclipse them. If you were to achieve great success,  it’d make them feel insecure about their failures.  They hate themselves for failing and giving up, so they want to bash your dreams.   Their (hidden) jealously, hatred, and envy flare up when a successful family member make their moves.  They can’t stand the fact that love one was able to become a success while they’re a complete and utter loser.

They loathe that person because they’re a reminder of what they could had become.

Love ones may not get your vision.  They can’t understand how you have these wild fantasies you want to turn into reality.  Your love ones want you see want you strive for overnight, not understanding that success takes years (as they say, an overnight success is ten years)  Because they know you for years, they know your process – not your progress.  As a result, when you bring up your dreams, they laugh because they can’t seem to understand why you of all people want to keep on doing you.

But you have to keep doing you no matter what.

To conclude, your love ones will not support you on your dreams because they do not see security in your path.  Some wish they had your confidence and drive to push themselves through for a future yet seen.  It’s crazy to think that love ones won’t support you and your drive, but it happens.  It’s hard, trust me, but you have to keep pushing.  You need to push out the htoughts of the naysayers of your family aside.

Never listen to them.  Never let their fears and hatred impact you.

 

 

Dragon Ball Super 0

Toppo: Pride Trooper of Destruction

As the Tournament of Power reaches its conclusion, I am constantly reminded of Dragon Ball Super’s 7th ending theme: An Evil Angel and Righteous Devil.  Towards the end of it, there’s a line that goes “Justice and evil both carry the same gun”.  I couldn’t help but think about the song when Toppo tells Frieza that “Justice…is worthless now” during their battle and Toppo’s resolve (to become a God of Destruction and forego his morals).  The theme of justice is played with Toppo throughout the Universe Survival Arc. Toppo is a proud warrior of justice; leading his Pride Troopers to battle after battle in the name of all that is righteous.

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From analyzing Toppo’s personality, he holds justice, morals, and honor with the utmost respect.  He fights fairs: preferring honest play over cheap tactics.  This is shown when Toppo snapped on Android 17 for attacking the Kamikaze Fireball (during their transformation).   He questioned the motives of the Tournament, The Grand Priest, and Zeno-Sama.  Toppo doesn’t feel right about fighting in a tournament designed to wipe out multiple universes; a tournament in which countless lives will end upon each universe’s erasure.

Toppo and his Pride Troopers initially entered the tournament to punish those who they deemed “evil”.  While survival was ideal, targeting evil doers were their prime goal. However in episode 104 of Super, Toppo started to change his mind.  With seven of his men gone and his universe at risk of deletion, Toppo decides that the Pride Troopers must kill their ideologies of justice and ethics in order to live.

There’s no place for justice and heroism in a war of survival.

Towards the end of the tournament, Toppo is struggling against Andoird 17.  After analyzing 17’s combat style (and discovering 17 has infinite energy), Toppo decides to end his battle with 17 with one blow.  However, he fails and is forced into a beam struggle with the Universe 7 warrior.    During the struggle, Frieza attacks Toppo from behind.  Frieza taunts Toppo while blasting him with Death Beams. Bored with Toppo, Frieza attempts to blast Toppo off the battlefield; enveloping him with overwhelming energy.

Despite the struggle, Toppo survives but is heavily wounded.

Frieza taunts Toppo once more.  He mocks the man, calling him trash.  He then points out how shameful it must be for Toppo to have his prized uniform of justice in shreds.  It’s here where Toppo snaps.  Coldly, Toppo replies that justice is worthless.  After seeing his men fall and the destruction of six universes before him, Toppo comes to a resolution.  Justice is worthless.  It has no use on the battlefield.  Justice doesn’t translate to survival.

In order to survive,  Toppo gives up on justice.  This same man who praised it with pride now sees it as a waste. A liability even.  Toppo decides to ascend to godhood: A God of Destruction.  Destruction – like war – is neutral.  It doesn’t care about silly ideas like good or evil, justice or injustice.  All it cares for is annihilation and death.

What good are both justice and playing hero if both things never ensure survival?

‘There’s only one difference between heroes and madmen: It’s whether they win or lose.’

-Lambdadelta, Umineko no Naku Koro ni

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Citrus 1

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Citrus

Question: Have you ever wanted to smoke an entire carton of cigarettes after experiencing a horrific event?   Smoking isn’t your thing?  Okay, how about drinking an entire bottle of Everclear with shots of 100 proof Vodka so you won’t ever recall those horrible flashbacks? Well, boys and girls, that’s my experience with Passione’s controversial anime Citrus.

 

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Yuzu and Mei. By the way, they’re stepsisters.

 

What is Citrus?  Well, Citrus is a high school anime yuri drama starring Yuzu Aihara: A gyaru who’s about to transfer to a new school. She plans on getting a boyfriend at her new school whatever the fuck gyaru do when they go to a new school, I dunno.  On the day of her transfer, Yuzu starts to prepare for her new adventure.  She crafts up a plan to get herself a boyfriend and make new friends.

You know, always start the day with goals and an action plan.

She gets to the new school, right?  The anime makes us play “Guess who’s the main character!” with the shot of her in the middle of her peers who are all wearing conservative clothing opposite to her liberal gyaru clothes.  The student body is in shock at this bold, new girl.  That nerve of that Yuzu girl being different and not conforming to their rules!   Out of the crowd, some nerdy girl comes up to Yuzu and tells her she’s setting a terrible example for the student body.  She demands her to remove her makeup and surrender her phone.  Yuzu – not backing down – refuses and gets in nerd girl’s face.  They start to argue for a bit until the reveal of the secondary main character: Mei – the student council president.

 

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Good luck on finding the main character!

 

Mei, being the good student council president that she is, intervenes; stopping the fight from escalating worse.  Such a magnificent role model Mei is…except for the part where she hugs Yuzu and starts to grope her ass and slide her fingers along her back;  Just to take her phone away.

Alright.  So our model class president is a low-key potential rapist.  Great.

 

The story shifts to Yuzu in the bathroom washing her makeup off and wandering about what kinda of shampoo Mei uses.  Despite the fact that Mei was on some creep shit with her, Yuzu is in love with her mango scented shampoo. We’re then introduced to Yuzu’s new homeroom teacher: Amamiya.  Yuzu starts crushing on him on sight: plotting ways to create the next Japan teacher-student relationship scandal by getting in his pants.

Pretty sure Sting and The Police had a song about this.

 

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Van Halen also had a song about this sorta thing.

 

After class, Yuzu thinks about getting Amaiya’s information so he can hook up with him (and use it for blackmail material when the relationship eventually fails).  She rushes outside with ecstatic flare to hunt down her crush.  Her hunt for her sensei is short.  She finds Amamiya…making out with Mei – the same Mei who is the school president mind you. She watches for a few seconds until Mei breaks off the kiss and make eye contact with Yuzu. Yuzu runs off like she just stole from her weed plug while Amamiya smoothly walks away like he ain’t did anything wrong.

Yep.  Just like that Sting song.

 

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JUST LIKE THAT OLD MAN IN THAT BOOK BY NABOKOV!!!

 

Yuzu decides that she had enough for one day and runs home. There, she receives some news about her new family.  First, her new step-father up and left their family to see the world (and by see the world, he probably regrets his marriage and is going to fuck around with different women behind his new family back).  That’s cool I guess. Second, her new father has a daughter before he met Yuzu’s mom.  This means that Yuzu has a little sister.  At last, Yuzu won’t be a lonely only child!

Oh and her new little step sister is Mei.

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You can feel the tension between the two when Mei arrivals, especially around dinner time when Mei treats her sister with death glares.  Her mom seems to like her new daughter so that’s great.   Fast forward to later into the night.  Yuzu attempts to connect with her new little sister, but to no anvil.  She tries to bond with her, but Mei ignores her.  Upset,  Yuzu starts to play dirty for her attention.  She brings up how she caught Mei making out with their teacher (and how much of a thrill it must had been for her).

Yuzu starts to taunt her sister about the kiss (just like any other caring big sister). She starts by Asking her if being caught in the act makes it hotter, was it her first kiss, and that she thought kisses were about feelings. Mei silently walks over to her sister…and forcibly kisses her full on the mouth while pinning her against her futon.

 

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Top 10 Haunting  Pictures Taken Moments Before Disaster

 

…I didn’t sign up this.  I didn’t sign up for any of this.  I thought this was just going to be a simple lovely-dovely warm-hearted yuri anime. Instead, I got incest, anime R. Kelly making out with teenagers, and more incest.  Also Mei totally sexually assault Yuzu.  I would be cool with the yuri if Yuzu was curious about the same sex and wanted to explore her feelings towards Mei if consent was involved (and if Mei wasn’t her step-sister). Especially given she never had any luck with guys and wanted to see if it because she is gay deep down or some shit.

From anime discussion groups I’m on, others seem to agree from watching he show’s second episode following the first.  I haven’t’ caught the second episode, but I heard and read that Mei does worse things to her sister that warrants sexual assault charges.   Not that I plan on seeing the rest of the series of anything.  I completely lost any interest in it.

I tend to read some spoilers before watching a show so I won’t be shock or taken surprise when something happen, but I didn’t for this one (because I was being lazy).  If I would had known that Mei and Yuzu were two step-sisters, I would had been cool not watching this show.

It’s a shame because the animation and art isn’t bad.  It’s not God tier by any means, but it’s pleasant to watch.  I love the soft, manga-style still art for the ED, the usage of 3D for some the shots inside of the school, and character design.  I haven’t spot any off-model shots or animation errros, but I admit I wasn’t paying that much close detail.

To conclude, if incestuous sisters exploring their lesbian feelings is your thing and you like that drama, then you should check it out. For the rest of us (myself included), this is a skip.

Hope you find this summary and review useful!  I’ll catch you in the next one.

 

First Impression Score:

Terrible_Sailor_Moon_S_Cloverway_Dub_Flashbacks.jpg

 

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Hey Broke Weeaboo! 2

Hey “Broke” Weeaboo: Stack Money. Invest Money. Act Broke!

You’re no longer a broke weeaboo.  You finally got yourself a job. You’re  getting into the money (legally or illegally I’m not judging).  You made enough money off your paycheck or hustle to afford some cool things.  In fact, after you paid the bills, you have money left over.  You’ve been eyeing that Darkness Ford Lalatina figurine off eBay for a minute.  However, there’s also an out-of-state anime convention that you want to attend.  You want both, but your funds say you can only have one.  You want a new figurine to add to your collection, but going out of state for a larger convention sounds fun.

Let me ask you this:  Would you rather go to the anime convention in a major city that’s new to you. A convention where there’s a bunch of fine ass Darkness cosplayers, and one of them may actually like you.  In fact, she might want to hook up with you with you (while she’s in character in cosplay mind you).  Maybe that Darkness cosplayer is a famous internet personality. She likes you and what you’re doing with your vlogging. In fact, she wants to do a collab with you in the future.  That collab could bring more people over to your brand. In addition, there’s an exclusive Darkness figurine that’s only being sold at that convention.  You’ve saved up enough money to buy two: One for yourself and the other to flip on eBay for profit.

Or would you rather have that lifeless Darkness figurine that won’t bring you long-term value?

 

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Darkness (Konosuba)

 

Yeah, I thought so. This is why you need to stack your money up and act broke.  Act broke so you can invest in yourself.  When you invest in yourself and things that will bring you long-term value, you better yourself over time. It is wise to save your money and use the money to travel.  Travel so you can grow your blog, vlog, brand, whatever. It’s smart.   Money can help you grow your otaku network you know – but you have to stack and act broke first.

Let me show you how.

The rich stay rich by living like they’re poor.  The poor stay poor by acting like they’re rich.
-Anonymous

 

PART 1
Save to Invest

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Multimillionaire CEO and author Grant Cardone said it best: “Save to invest, don’t save to save.” What does this mean? It’s simple: Don’t save for a rainy day or just in case.  Save to invest in yourself; which you want to do.   You need to save your money so you can invest in that trip which will grow your brand (if you’re active in doing so of course). How does one go about to saving to invest?  Well, it’s not hard.  Let’s say you receive $1000 on each paycheck.  70% of that $1000 ($700) should go towards your trip.  The rest you will need for bills (because you need your electricity on and your CrunchyRoll active so you can watch your bottom tier action anime series like My Hero Academia).

Once you put that $700  a check aside in savings do not touch the money. If need be, put the money in a scared account (an bank account, separate from your main account, where you do not have easy access to and aren’t allow to take money out until a certain date – only in). Repeat this process until you hit your target savings/investment goal.    Investing in yourself is important because as stated earlier, it helps you grow. You can make moves you wouldn’t normally do if you just save money just to save.  Saving is cool and I recommend everyone save their money.

It’s what you do with the saved money is up to you.

PART 2
Discipline and Acting Broke

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When you’re making more money than usual (or have a lot of money put aside), you’re tempted to take the money out.  You see that you stacked up over your goal and might be tempted to take a few 100s out. You may be thinking “Oh, it’s only $300 out of the $10,000 I saved.  I can recover the money.”   But what if you need that $300 for something when you’re out of town at this convention or you need supplies for your recording gear (for YouTube or Podcasting)?  Then you’re fucked.  Let’s create a scenario. Your friend invites you to party at a club or a bar.  You have extra money stacked up.  You want to go; you have all that money you can spend freely.

Or do you?  Let’s break it down.

Cover charge: $5
Food (cuz you don’t wanna drink on an empty stomach): $10
Drinks: $30
Bribe the bouncer cuz your I.D. is expired: $20
Food (after drinking): $10
Tips: $10
Total: $85
You just wasted $85 that could have gone towards your investments because you wanted to have fun at a bar for a night.  If you really need to drink and chill with your friends, just kick it at his place, buy some cheap liquor and food and call it a day.  Don’t waste your money trying to have fun all the damn time. You’re saving money for a convention in which will have multiple free parties after the convention with gracious party hosts that will give their liquor away for 2-3 days.

Which would you rather want?

When taking money out of your savings or blowing extra money, you need to think critically.  Ask yourself things such as ‘Do I really need to spend $35 on a bottle of Hennessy tonight?’ or ‘Is it worth to spend $20 to go to the movies when I can watch movies at home or get the movie from the  bootleg man or on Firestick?*’

*(Disclaimer: This blog does not support piracy.)

This is where you have to act broke.  How does one act broke?  By having your money on your mind and your mind on your money.   You need to train yourself to actively think about your money everytime you go out and spend money.  When your friend asks you to go out somewhere that will cost you money, you need to be like “No, I can’t go out tonight”.   Be a cheapass for a while.  Instead of dining in or ordering fast food, you should learn how to cook.  Cooking your own food saves you money.   You can use the money you saved towards your investments.  You have a lot of money in your account, but that doesn’t means that you spend it all.

You have to suppress the urge to spend and take money from your savings account.  You need to think towards the future – not the present.  Forgo temporary pleasures that won’t bring you long-term value in favor of long-term pleasures.  Think about your money at all times and ask yourself if you need to spend it.

CONCLUSION

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Me every night with my stacks.

 

 

With money, you must be smart with it.  This means that you must not spend it on anime figurines, body pillows, and manga all the time.  Stack your money up, save it, and invest in yourself.  Convention season is coming near and you need to expand your network and otaku empire.  Stop blowing your money on partying and figurines all the time.  You have goals that need to be met for your growth.  Even when you make extra money or go over your limit, you shouldn’t dip into your savings and waste your money.  That extra money can help you out in the long run.

2018 is the year for us otaku to be smarter with our money – especially for us content creators.

 

RESOURCES:
Nino Brown Stack Money but Act Broke:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa3HUMQ3vYY&t=179s

Nino Brown: Find the Balance Between Having Fun and Having Funds:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i58h9gj8Gc&t=96s

Grant Cardone How to Get Your Money Right:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DWSrntWKB8&t=155s

Grant Cardone: How to Save Your Money:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXEiJBdeTZI

 

Spoilers: No Darkness cosplayer will ever like you.

Dragon Ball Super 0

Jiren’s Respect

“Respect is earned, not given” is a controversial statement.  Some believe that respect should be given to all – regardless of who they are or what they have accomplished.  Others think that respect should only be earned through hard work, talent, skills, etc. In high levels of competition, respect is earned only if one is impressed by the superior flair of another person (most of the time).  In the Tournament of Power, we see Jiren giving his respect towards both Goku and Vegeta: calling both men warriors.  Jiren doesn’t use this term lightly, nor does he use it freely.

For Jiren, calling you a warrior is his sign of respect and admiration.

In Episode 122,  as Jiren squares off against Goku, the two engage in conversation.  Jiren asks Goku why does he seek to become stronger.  Goku simply replies that he doesn’t know why; he just wants to.  Following, Goku asks  Jiren if he too wants to be stronger.  Jiren states that what he wants is beyond mere, selfish thought of strength. This is a change from how Jiren initially viewed Goku (from their first fight).  At first, it appears Jiren had no respect for Goku.  But, after proving his worth against Jiren, we can assume that he’s a little curious about Goku’s strength and goals.  It should be noted that Jiren calls Goku by his name: “Son Goku”, rather than a title like “Saiyan” or “Assassin” (as he did with Hit during his battle against him).

With this, it’s safe to say that Jiren respects Goku.

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In Vegeta’s case, Jiren gives him the title of “Warrior”. As  Belmod and Khai both stated, Jiren calling Vegeta “warrior” is his  sign of respect Now, originally Jiren viewed Vegeta as arrogant. He even dismisses his brash fighting style as too prideful – taunting his Saiyan heritage in a sense. When Vegeta was able to hold his own against Jiren, that’s when Jiren was able to show his respect towards the Saiyan Prince.

Jiren’s respect doesn’t end there.

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When Goku fought Jiren in Ep. 123, Goku overwhelmed Jiren. Not by brute strength, but by tactics and strategy.  Using a combination of teleportation, Ki landmines, and Destructo Discs (or Kienzans for you purist weebs), Goku was able to knock Jiren out of the ring.  This forced Jiren to use a hint of his true power to recover and combat against Goku.  In turn, Goku tapped into his reserves; going Super Saiyan Blue with Kaikoen x20 stacked.  Vegeta tapped into his hidden power, breaking his shell and limits.  The fact both Goku and Vegeta drew out power beyond their limits could suggest that Jiren want to see both warrior’s true power in combat.

Jiren sees them as truly worthy warriors. Goku and Vegeta have earned Jiren’s respect.

 

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Jiren using a hint of his true power against Goku

 

 

Anime community 0

Hey Broke Weeaboo! Don’t Blow Your Income Tax Money.

Congratulations! After pimping you out of your hard earn money for a year, the government has given you back $2000 on your tax return!  As a hardworking former NEET (Not Employed, in Education, or in Training), you deserve to treat yourself with that pathetic amount of money. So, what are you going to do with that $2000?  You gonna blow it on a big tiddy Hotaru Shidare mouse pad?  You really gonna drop $500 on a catgirl Yumeko Jabami figurine that will only collect dust over time?  You thinking that wasting $50 on a fake Supreme shirt with a half-naked Sailor Venus sippin’ on lean and a lit blunt in her hand while Sailor Mars snorts cocaine off Venus’s ass gonna make you look like your rich?  Boy, are you stupid?   Don’t use your income tax money to stunt like you’re Jo’on off Touhou 15.5 for a week. Especially if your bank account says you’re living like Shion for the rest of the 51 weeks of the year.

 

 

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Jo’on (left) and Shion (right)

 

Use that income tax money to invest in yourself.  Income tax money should be viewed as an opportunity to expand your otaku empire. You want to be a content creator on social media? Good.  Then use the money to buy a high quality camera.  Spend it on audio tools such as pre-amps, condenser microphones, pre-amps, and studio headphones (especially if you’re going the podcast route).  Your income tax money should fund and fuel your passion (may it be becoming an anime vlogger, having your own show, etc.) Putting income tax money towards on a Megumin wall scroll isn’t an investment.  It’s stupid (unless you’re doing it for you YouTube channel then go ahead).

Are you tired of going to same, small to mid-size conventions in your hometown each year?  You never been to Los Angeles before and want to go to Anime Expo?  Perhaps  you’re interested Otakon in Washigton, D.C. and wanna hit it up. Perfect.  Use the money to travel to those cites and hit up those conventions. Leave your hometown for once.   If you’re a vlogger, then you can vlog about your first experiences at those conventions. Plus, this is a great way to meet new people and expand your network.  In addition,  if you go to these larger conventions, there’s a great chance you might meet Japanese voice actors and creators that your small, local conventions will never have.

Trust me: You want that experience.

Income tax season come and goes.  You will only get that money once a year. Once it’s gone, it is gone.  Knowing that, you should be wise with it and spend it on things that will help you grow as an otaku.  Putting that money towards traveling or your anime YouTube channel is smart.  Blowing it on anime figurines that won’t bring you overall value is stupid.

Please don’t be stupid.

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Dragon Ball 0

The Pride of Vegeta: Ego is the Ally.

“Indeed, I am arrogant.  But, to me, that’s precisely what my pride as a Saiyan is!”

After his ego and pride were belittled by Jiren, Vegeta felt that he had to defend who he is as a person.  As a proud Saiyan Elite prince, Vegeta dedicated his life to the art of combat, surpassing others, conquering planets, and of course – breaking his limits.  It shouldn’t  shock anyone that Vegeta took offense to Jiren’s criticism.  Is Vegeta arrogant?  Perhaps to some. However, I don’t see it as arrogance. I think he’s confident and prideful of what he has accomplished over the course of his life.  After all, he has every right to act as such. Vegeta earned his high self-esteem and self-worth through hard work.

Hard work thanks to his greatest ally: His ego.

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All champions have big egos.  Without a big ego, they would have never become a champion.’
From Victor Pride’s article The Importance of Having a Big Ego

Why does Vegeta have a big ego?  Well, it stems from a few factors. Prince Vegeta is a Saiyan.  Saiyans are naturally physical, competitive warriors.  Vegeta is also a paragon and of royal blood.  He achieved master-level combat skills and knowledge as a child.  Seeing his power, King Vegeta (his father) took him under his wing and the two conquered (and destroy) planets for years.  Now mind you, Vegeta did all of this before he hit puberty – and he wasn’t finished yet.

Even as a child, Vegeta proved himself to be an outlier.

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Being controlled and abused by the tyrant Frieza also impacted his ego.  The Saiyans could have been a prosperous race if it wasn’t for Frieza.  Frieza murdered King Vegeta.  He betrayed the loyalty the Saiyans by killing them and destroying their planet.  Following that, he reduced Vegeta’s status to that of a common, low-ranking lackey – completely disregarding his royal heritage.

To say Vegeta was bitter towards Frieza’s treatment is an understatement.

Then, you have the case of Kakarotto – or Son Goku.  Son Goku was thought of a low-class Saiyan who would never amount to anything (in the eyes of the Elite Saiyans).  Vegeta was disgusted at Goku (due to Goku’s kindhearted nature – unnatural for Saiyans).  He didn’t view him as a real Saiyan – nor worthy of becoming a Super Saiyan.  Even after believing that Goku was the Super Saiyan of legend, Vegeta held resentment towards Goku  for obtaining such status and power.  Vegeta was convinced that only he – a  royal Saiyan Elite – deserved the title and power of the Super Saiyan.

It was his birthright.  And Kakarotto took it away from it.

Yearning to not only obtain the Super Saiyan transformation but also surpassing Goku, Vegeta spent three years’  training to acquire his goals.  He worked mercilessly – even to the point of death. It was at that point of near death is where Vegeta finally gained the power of the Super Saiyan.  After years of pain and suffering, the prince reclaimed his title of the prince of three Saiyans.  He even “surpassed” that blasted Kakarotto!”

(And by surpassed I mean Goku caught the heart virus and was out of commission for most of the Andoird conflict. Therefore, Vegeta was the strongest due pure “luck” on his end).

Vegeta didn’t stop there.  Super Saiyan wasn’t enough to quince Vegeta’s competitive thirst.  After Goku told Vegeta that they must go beyond Super Saiyan, Vegeta took this chance to prove himself as the superior Saiyan.  Vegeta trained for another year in the Room of Spirit and Time (or the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for you FUNimation weebs). Then, he gained power that exceeded Super Saiyan: Super Saiyan Grade 2 (or simply, Ascended Saiyan).

Vegeta yet again surpassed Kakarotto!  Oh, how Vegeta praised himself for his efforts. And then a few hours later, Vegeta was curbed stomp by Perfect Cell. See, Vegeta – although proud of yet another accolade – let his ego get the best of him.  Cell tricked Vegeta into obtaining his Perfect form and made the Prince his bitch.

That was funny.

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Let’s fast forward seven years.  With Goku dead, Vegeta had nothing better to do.  Well, besides training (because of that competitive nature).  Vegeta got news that Goku was returning to the living world for the 25th Budokai Tenkaichi Tournament. He sees this as a chance to finally beat Goku once and for all.  See, Vegeta never got over the fact that Goku was the better warrior.  Vegeta was envious that Goku achieved so much (despite him being a low-class Saiyan).  Vegeta wanted to prove once and for all he was the best.  And he could have if shit didn’t go south during the tournament (the Majin Buu and Babidi conflict).  During the Majin Buu conflict, Vegeta allowed his jealousy to get the best of him and let Bababi brainwash him into Majin Vegeta.

All because he wanted to show his superiority towards Goku.

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The evil prince has returned!  At last, Vegeta could dominate Goku in combat…by killing a bunch of innocent people and allowing the release of Majin Buu.  Then Vegeta realized that his ego is problematic and that he had to sacrifice himself to take out Majin Buu – all because he fucked up.

Okay, so maybe Vegeta had some minor issues with his ego.

In the real world, high-level athletes, performing artists, and businessmen are viewed as egotistical. Their self-sense of pride are off-putting to some – but they have the right to be prideful.  These people pour countless hours into their craft.  Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of our time, is viewed by many as arrogant. But when you won six Championships rings, brought money to your team’s city, and created a multi-million-dollar brand, you earned the right to be arrogant.  Kanye West, a rapper hated for his ego, won over 92 awards over the course of his career.  He better be egotistical. Entrepreneur Tai Lopez, (in)famous for his “Here in My Garage” video (where he showcased his then-new Lamborghini)   was criticized for showing off the luxury sports car and the thousands of books in his personal collection.  Then again, when you are the investor and advisor to over 20 successful multi-million dollar companies,  I think it’s okay to show off your trophies – and how you earned them through knawledge.

These guys have earned the right to be egotistical, cocky, and arrogant, whatever you wanna call their high levels of self-esteem.  Why?  Because these guys worked their asses off to get to the levels of where they are today.  Vegeta is like that.  Vegeta worked his ass off to maintain his Prince and Elite status.  He dedicated his life to push himself beyond his limits. He earned Super Saiyan 1, Ascended, Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan God, and Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan.

It’s understandable to see why Vegeta was angry at Jiren’s remarks about his ego.  Vegeta had to back up his pride – the thing that drives him to better himself.  Vegeta himself stated that he can never throw that away.   It what makes Vegeta.

Vegeta is an arrogant man.  And what’s wrong with that?

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‘Being humble doesn’t work as well as being aware.’

-Drake, (From his 2014 single The Catch Up)

 

FURTHER RESOURCES:
The Importance of Having a Big Ego:
https://boldanddetermined.com/big-ego/

Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday (the inspiration for the article’s title):

DISCLAIMER: I am not associated with Amazon nor Ryan Holiday. I do not make any money off this.

Sailor Moon 0

What If Chibi-Usa Never Meet Hotaru Pt. 1 (Original Manga/Crystal)

Chibi-Usa and Hotaru: two inseparable best friends. After a fateful meeting at a park (or a lab run by a crazy ass mad scientist depending on which version of the story you prefer), these girls became close, great friends; mending each one’s loneliness.  Chibi-Usa was Hotaru’s first friend in her life; a life plagued by sickness, isolation, and pain. It was Chibi-Usa’s kindness and warmth which led Hotaru to awaken the powers of Sailor Saturn and save the world from destruction (at the cost of her life). Who would have thought that Chibi-usa losing her hat and finding Hotaru would have led to the world being saved?

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But, what if Chibi-Usa never went to the park that day?  What if her hat never flew off her head? How would the events of the Sailor Moon Infinity arc had played out if they never met? Well, to answer these questions alrighty guys it is Yuki here and I will analyze this what if scenario!  I will explore how character interactions among the Sailor Scouts would have changed, how the series moving forward would progress, and if Hotaru and Chibi-Usa never becoming friends would have resulted in a positive, neutral, or negative outcome.

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What if these two never met?

Given the original manga and it’s Crystal anime adaption differs from the 90s Toei anime adaption of the manga, the best way to think about this situation is to split it into two plotlines: Plotline A and Plotline B. Plotline A handles the Naoko Takeuchi’s original vision of the events of the Infinity Arc in which Chibi-Usa never met Hotaru at her father’s lab. This plotline also takes notice of a more depressed Hotaru than compared to her 90s anime counterpart.

Plotline B follows the Toei Animation’s vision of the Sailor Moon Inifity arc where Hotaru isn’t nearly as depressed and sick as she was in the manga;  As her father is more active in her life and covers how his sacrifice of his free will may  influenced Hotaru for the better.

I must also note that while this what if theory focus on using logic to provide an accurate prediction, I will use some creativity to ensure the path to the final battle between the Sailor Scouts and Death Busters happen almost per normal as in the anime and manga.

 

With that out of the way let’s get started.

PLOTLINE A

 

With Plotline A, we have to take account and remove the event in which triggered Chibi-Usa and Hotaru’s friendship in the original manga: Chibi-Usa’s hat flying off towards Tomoe’s Lab (where she first met Hotaru).  With this event removed, we can say that Chibi-Usa would have finished her day in the park with her family and return home.  Hotaru would have her coughing fit, recovered and return home as well.  Thus, they would have never met.  It’s logical to theorize that Hotaru’s life and depression would have grown increasingly worse.  Hotaru herself stated in the manga and Crystal anime that Chibi-Usa’s friendship made her life better.

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The trigger.

Remember: Hotaru doesn’t have any friends (thanks to her creepy powers from Mistress 9).   Her body is covered in scars from the injuries that she suffered from as a child (from the explosion at her dad’s lab) which she is self-conscious about (as she covers her body with dark colored, long sleeve shirts and long pants).  She’s also frail and sick from the cybernetic implants and the Mistress 9 alien egg inside her body. She has little interaction with her father Souichi outside of him working on her implants. Judging from those factors, it’s safe to assume her mental state is poor and her outlook on life is shit.

 

Moving forward, logic dictates that the story should continue as normal. Kaolinte would start her search for the Three Talismans and the Silver Crystal (per Pharaoh 90’s request).  The Inner Scouts conduct their research on Professor Tomoe and the Infinity  School; as they believe he and the school are behind the strange creatures (the Daimons) attacking citizens around Tokyo.  Next, the Outer Scouts will still attend Infinity School to investigate the Death Busters and Professor Tomoe.  Finally, Mamoru and Rei will have their visions of the world’s destruction.

Logic also dictates that the Outer Scouts will theorize that Hotaru is Sailor Saturn – the goddess of destruction. They inform the Inner Scouts and Sailor Moon about Sailor Saturn and their plans to seal her away to prevent the world’s end.  However, they won’t reveal to the Inner Scouts that they believe Hotaru is Saturn until the time is right.  There is no change from the original story sans Chibi-Usa and Usagi visiting Hotaru, which never happen in this theory.

You may be thinking “But Yuki!  Chibi-Usa’s  Silver Crystal was key in Mistress 9 gaining full power! Mistress 9 saw Chibi-Usa Silver Crystal and went all giddily!  How will Mistress 9 get her hands on the Silver Crystal if that never happened!?”  Well, I thought about this problem.  We have to get a little creative here, but it should solve the problem.

We can take a wild guess that Kaolinite communicates with Pharaoh 90 who tells her that he believes one of the Sailor Scouts holds the Silver Crystal.  Not Sailor Moon, but maybe Chibi-Moon.  It’s possible that Mistress 9 could have sense the power of the Silver Crystal and the Holy Grail during the Sailor Scouts’ battle against Cyprine and Ptilol.  Mistress 9 and/or Kaolinite then can confirm that either Sailor Moon or Sailor Mini-Moon indeed have the Holy Grail and the Silver Crystal in their possession

Yea, it’s a bit of a stretch and borderline fan fiction, but we need that Silver Crystal to ensure  that Mistress 9 gains full power.

The story proceeds normally.  After the battle against Cyprine and Ptilol (and Sailor Moon gaining her Super Sailor Moon upgrade), the Outer Scouts give their warning about the awakening of Sailor Saturn – which will lead to the destruction of the world.  The Outer Scouts then reveal that Hotaru is not only the daughter of Souichi Tomoe, but also Sailor Saturn herself.

They plan to kill Hotaru before she can awaken as Saturn.

 

Now, while the Inner Scouts have no emotional connection with Hotaru in this what if story, they still think it’s disturbing that the Outers want to kill a child.  The Outer Scouts think nothing of it.  Pluto tells everyone that Hotaru wasn’t supposed to survive the lab explosion (which killed her mother and scared Hotaru physically and mentally), and that the only reason why she’s alive is because Professor Tomoe outfitted her with cybernetic implants. The cybernetics implants – although being advance technology – has shorten Hotaru’s lifespan. The implants are also destroying her body, thus making her frail.

The Outer Scouts believe that killing by Hotaru, they will put her out of her misery and prevent Saturn’s awakening.

Despite the Outer Scout’s “reasoning”, the Inner Scouts protest against their idea as in the manga. Chibi-Usa, despite not knowing Hotaru, doesn’t feel right about killing somebody who isn’t that much older than her.  Therefore, she sides with Usagi and the Inner Scouts.  The Outer Scouts are dead set in killing Hotaru (which logics still dictates) and go through with their plans. Chibi-Usa follows the Outer Scouts to Hotaru’s house in hopes to prevent the killing.

The events here happen similar to the manga.  Chibi-Usa spots The Outer Scouts hiding in a tree outside Hotaru’s room.  Chibi-Usa spots Hotaru lying on the ground and fears that Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto have already killed her.  Chibi-Usa runs up to the window …only to be taken surprise by Hotaru waking up.  “Hotaru” is alive!  But Chibi-Usa won’t be for long.

“Hotaru” summons a burst of energy so powerful that it destroys the windows of her room (the glass should shred Chibi-Usa to pieces but whatever).  The sheer force of “Hotaru”’s energy is felt throughout the area with Professor Tomoe taking notice. “Hotaru” doesn’t seem to appear like this frail, weak girl that the Scouts view her as.   She starts to transform: not as Sailor Saturn – but as Mistress 9.  Mistress 9 proceeds to attack Chibi-Usa, snatch her Silver Crystal, and Chibi-Usa dies.  Okay she doesn’t die (just yet) but still.

Mistress 9 runs off with Chibi-Usa’s Silver Crystal, but not before attacking the Sailor Scouts.  The story resumes as normal. The Sailor Scouts retreat and recover (as Mistress 9 is far too powerful for them right now). Mamoru and Usagi take their child to the hospital, and then to Mamoru’s place (to use his own life force to keep Chibi-Usa alive).  Finally, the Sailor Scouts prep for their battle against the final members of the Death Busters.

Meanwhile, Professor Tomoe and Mistress 9 are having their fun little chat. Tomoe praises his self for his superior work and brags about turning his daughter into a robot and planting Mistress 9’s alien egg inside her.  Hotaru is heartbroken and angry about this just like in the manga.

While they’re chatting, the Sailor Scouts storms Infinity School and engage in battle with all remaining enemies. Mistress 9 swallows the Silver Crystal and gains a massive power boast.  Professor Tomoe brags about creating superhumans while his daughter (now a spirit) looks at him with disappointment, betrayal, and disgust.  Later, Sailor Moon and the Outer Scouts confront Dr. Tomoe. Tomoe transforms into Germatoid and talk some good shit.  Sailor Moon blasts him away – killing him in one blow.

So much about him being a superior superhuman.

The Inner Scouts get ROLFstomped and steamrolled by Mistress 9 and die. Their spirits are in another realm. Hotaru notices this but doesn’t do anything. She has no connections with Chibi-Usa nor the Inner Scouts.  She’s still in shock that her dad put her through such turmoil throughout her short, young life.  At this point, she doesn’t care that she’s dead.  She just wants an end to her pain.

Mistress 9 engages in combat against the reminding Scouts and overpowers them – even a Super Sailor Moon.   Mistress 9, now in her true Daimon form, starts to wreak havoc on the planet.  The reminding Scouts use their powerful attacks against the monster, but she only absorbs their powers.  Master Pharaoh 90 appears and merges with Mistress 9.  Fused with his partner, Pharaoh 90 starts to cover the world in darkness.  Seeing no other way to defeat this oncoming threat, Sailor Moon summons the Holy Grail. Just like in the manga, she plans to suicide bomb herself inside Pharaoh 90 to save the world.

This would work if Sailor Moon was more power than Pharaoh 90.  But she isn’t.  The only way to defeat Pharaoh 90 and save the world is by summoning Sailor Saturn.  The Outer Scouts don’t want to do this, but they have to .  Maybe Saturn had a change of heart and won’t blow up Earth.

…Nah.

The Outer Scouts’s start to react. They raise their Talismans high towards the skies.   The Holy Grail appears as well: reacting to the power of The Talismans. The lights from these scared items ascend to the skies with force.  The world is veiled in darkness.  The earth shakes, the wind stops, and the sea is wild.  The earth begins to rot.  The Sailor Scouts wait.

Their only hope: Sailor Saturn.

Finally, Sailor Saturn has been summoned.  She does her epic speech on why she’s the best Sailor Scout, on how Hotaru was supposed to die years ago, her role as a bringer of destruction, and her thing about her being an uninvited guest (she loves to smoke everyone’s else weed and drink everyone liquor but she don’t match people on blunts and don’t bring her own bottles to parties so nobody invites her to shit).

She reveals that she will bring down her Glaive to the world and destroy it.  Everyone starts to freak out.  They beg her to stop and think about what she’s doing – but she refuses.  If Pharaoh 90 isn’t stop, then who knows what he will do once he destroys Earth.  A single planet with what, Billion people on it vs. an entire galaxy filled with countless lives.

I think you know where I’m going with this one.

Saturn, having no choice, lowers her Glaives.  Silently, she speaks three words:

“Death Reborn Revolution.”

The world is torn apart as auras surround everyone and everything.  Everyone says their final goodbyes and what not as the world ends.

Negative outcome.

You might be wondering “Why this is a negative outcome”.

Well, for a few reasons:

  1. Hotaru pretty much had nobody who cared about her. Yes, her dad took “care” of her by making sure she was “healthy” or what not, but he was a piece of shit that used her pain for his advantage.  As noted earlier, she barely had any interactions with him (as he was busy with work).  It doesn’t help that Souichi turned Hotaru into a cyborg and implanted an alien egg inside her against her will.  Hell, the dude bragged about it.
  2. Chibi-Usa befriending Hotaru influence her for the better. Chibi-Usa treated Hotaru like a human and show kindness towards her. Chibi-Usa was the only person who was nice to Hotaru and treated her like a human despite her health issues.  Even when Chibi-Usa freak out about Hotaru’s cyborg body, she regerted her actions and wanted to apologize to Hotaru.  No Chibi-Usa being friends with Hotaru means no Hotaru telling Chibi-Usa she loves her and  that she appreciated her love at the end of Infinity.
  3. Hotaru pretty much was borderline suicidal throughout the Infinity arc as she questioned why she is even alive if she has to suffer. Her body was falling apart, she had an alien in her, and she was growing weaker each day.

Honestly, this is why Chibi-Usa befriending Hotaru is important for not only for the Sailor Scouts, but for Hotaru’s own mental health and the sake of the world. Chibi-Usa helped Hotaru get her mind off her own worries for a little bit through their interactions.  Hotaru had someone whom she can hang out with and depend on.  Chibi-Usa made Hotaru’s life felt it was worth of value.  Because Chibi-Usa helped Hotaru, Hotaru returned the favor by not only saving Chibi-Usa’s life (by saving her soul and protecting it), she saved the Sailor Scouts and the world.

Yeah, Chibi-Usa may be a bit of annoying brat and a pink little shit, but she did become utterly selfless upon meeting Hotaru.

Now, if I want to be positive and make this a somewhat good or neutral end, Hotaru could had recovered the souls of the Inner Scouts  as she heard a voice (Saturn) telling her she must fight back against Mistress 9 and protect the Innners from her. Maybe Hotaru would have had a change of heart and saw that life was worth living or something.

Other than that,I do not see any positive outcome that suggest the world would had been save if it wasn’t for Chibi-Usa becoming friends with Hotaru.

This concludes part 1.  Part 2 to come soon.  In the meanwhile, please watch this Dragon Ball “What-If” analysis which inspired this Sailor Moon what-if article.

Katawa Shoujo 0

A Bitter-Sweet Hustle: Katawa Shoujo

2017 marked the 5th anniversary of the Western visual novel “Katawa Shoujo”,  produced by 4 Leaf Studios (4LS).  The game (set in a boarding school for disabled students) touched countless lives and inspired many to better themselves. Except me; I’m still on some asshole shit even after finishing the game years back, but whatever. In the summer of 2012, 4LS ran a Kickstarter for their official Katawa Shoujo artbook titled Tomorrow Today: A Katawa Shoujo Illustration Book for the Anime Convention “Anime Expo”.  4LS requested backers for the book with rewards such as receiving a copy of the artbook and button set from the game.

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My copy of Tomorrow Today before I sold it.
As both fan and future hustler, I saw the chance to support the project. I love the work 4LS put into Katawa Shoujo.  Plus, I never owned a video game artbook before. I went ahead and donated a dub for an ero video game artbook where you have sexual relations with physically and mentally fucked up girls (Hanako, Rin, and Emi got some fucking issues).   23 year-old me was like “Bruh, this gonna be worth some money one day.  Buy that shit and save it.”  So I did.  Back the Kickstarter and a few weeks later, the artbook arrived. I was impressed by the quality of the production (and the beautiful art) – and I was seeking the money.

 

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Hanako “Bacon” Ikezawa

After consuming the art in the book a few times, I put it aside in my closet in a box and let it sit for five years.  2017 came along.  I decided that I should start to work on my dreams of increasing my income and use the extra income towards my goal of producing infinite cash flow.  Around this time, Doki Doki Literature Club  (DDLC) came out on Steam.  Weeaboos were once again celebrating a feels-like Western visual novel masterpiece.  Some bold stated that DDLC was the second coming of Katawa Shoujo and many agreed.  WIth Wester Visual novels making a come back an idea popped in my head.

“I should take advantage of the success of another popular Western visual novel like DDLC and flip that Katawa Shoujo artbook.”

‘While we out here, say the Hustler’s Prayer
If the game shakes me or breaks me
I hope it makes me a better man, take a better stand.’

-Sky’s the Limit by Biggie Small

 

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Shizune and her creepy lesbian or possibly bi friend, Misha.

With Doki Doki Literature Club’s release and people comparing it to  Katawa Shoujo, I saw my chance. I made a listing for the book and put in on the market.  Within seconds, my friend hit me up asking if she could buy it off me. Within seconds, we made a deal for the book: $40 –  twice as much as I back the Kickstarter (yeah there’s that five years’ worth of price inflation and all that fun shit but whatever I don’t feel like doing inflation math).  That was about a week ago.  Today, as I’m waiting for my friend to come through and pick up the book, I started to reflect on Katawa Shoujo, the art book, and how bittersweet this sale is.

From my own estimation, there are only maybe 1,000 of Tomorrow Today in existence.  I am doubtful that the other owners of this book are willing to part with it (that or they’re smarter than me and waiting for the value to increase as the years pass by).  The chances of me encountering the book on eBay are rare (a copy was on auction on eBay  last weekend  and I almost won it…but I was signed out of my ebay account five seconds before I was going to snipe it for $48)  4LS stated that they will never touch Katawa Shoujo again, nor will they expand on the game.  The story of KS began and ended in 2012 – never to be retold again.

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Katawa Shoujo changed me.  No, fictional crippled animu girls didn’t make me a better person. I cracked jokes at Hanako’s pain (because she’s not a real person). I made fun of people who cried over this game. I sneered at anyone who got overly emotional about Rin.  I told fans who called Emi a slut  for having a boyfriend and sex drive that “They’re just mad because no woman will ever fuck them in their lifetime.” I got myself banned from the Katawa Shoujo forums for trolling, shitposting and overall keeping it real.   Yea, Katawa Shoujo didn’t make me a better person within the fanbase, online,  or in real life.

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Them five years ago: “You’ll never contribute to anything.” Me five years later: Working on my hustle and brand based off my internet tough guy persona.  Remember kids: Chess, not checkers. 

What Katawa Shoujo changed within me  however was my creativity. From playing Katawa Shoujo, it hit me: If these random dudes online can   get together and make their own shit for the world to see, then so can I.  In fact, I can do it better than them because there’s nobody better than me. Like  I’m on some Vegeta from Dragon Ball or Lute from Fire Emblem 8 type shit. Egocenteric pride aside, KS fuel some sort of creative fire in me and got me focusing on my craft.  I want to create something that has the same emotional appeal as it.  I long to create a visual novel that was consider a milestone of Wetern visual novels.  That or just write about otaku culture in a crude, spiteful matter.

Have my name in Western otaku history, you know?  No, global Otaku history.

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Katawa Shoujo touched many people.  Katawa Shoujo inspired those who played it.  I was inspired to sell my Tommorrow Today book for $40 to fund my hustle.  But, it’s bitter-sweet.  One part of me wishes that there was a follow up to Katawa Shoujo, but I understand why there will never be one.  And that’s okay.  Parting with the artbook feels like I’ve finally parted away from Katawa Shoujo for good.  It’s been five years, it’s time for me to move on.  I best use the $40 to wipe the tears away.

Money makes great tears wipers.

 

Dragon Ball Super 0

The Emotional Brilliance of Dragon Ball Super Ep. 118

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

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

PART 1: The Beautiful Power of Love

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

 

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

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

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

Being erased means death.

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

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

Universe 2 is defeated – and destroyed.

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

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

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

Those feelings will never die.

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

PART 2: The Emotional Connection of Universes 6 and 7

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

 

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

 

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

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


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

Universes 2 and 6 have dropped out.

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

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

He isn’t happy.

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

And that’s hard.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

That in itself, is tragic.

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

He deserves so much respect for this episode.

 

Anime community 2

The State and Culture of Anime Conventions in Five Years

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

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

 

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The Facebook group “Casual Uncensored Congoers Kindred Society”

 

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

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

 

PART 1: The Current Scene

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Part 2: The Future of the Scene.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hopefully…

Part 3: What Will Remain?

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Drinking while cosplaying is timeless.

 

 

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

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

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

Our love for this hobby is forever.

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

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

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

You have to be anti-fragile.

 

 

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

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

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

 

Dragon Ball 0

“Say Something.”

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

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At the end, Beerus still loved his brother.

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

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

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

“Hey, bro!”

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

“Say something.”

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

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

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

 

Character Connection 0

On Characters Connecting With The Audience

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

It’s frustrating.

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

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

The following thoughts flood your mind:

‘Is she judging me?’

‘I hope she won’t make fun of me.’

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


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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Sailor Moon 2

The Power of a Brand: Sailor Moon

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

 

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Jumpman

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

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I feel attacked.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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