Skip to content

Category: anime

anime 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With that said, let’s get into it!

*****

Alex Jones’s waifu.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then, the darkness would come as I sat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honestly, it’s messed up.

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

But it isn’t all bad.

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

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

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

Next: Welcome to Yamazaki.

AFTERWORD :

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

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


CHECK ME OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in nerd culture. Every Tuesdays we drop episodes containing serious and laidback topics while Saturdays we drop episodes talking about TV shows, anime, film, comics, manga, and video games.

Instagram: YukiTheSnowMan314

My Facebook Page:
Yuki The Snowman
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

“Personal’” Facebook:
Yuki Benji
https://www.facebook.com/yuki.benji.1?ref=br_rs

Tumblr
YukiTheSnowMan314
https://yukithesnowman314.tumblr.com/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/weebtrashyuki


anime 0

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

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

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

Haruhi’s existence monologue still resonates to this day.

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

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

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


*****

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

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

Well, everyone, the answer to that is….


Nah! 🙂

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

Of course, I did!

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

(Better late than never, right?)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RELATED ARTICLES/ESSAYS BY ME:

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

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

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

CHECK ME OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in nerd culture. Every Tuesdays we drop episodes containing serious and laidback topics while Saturdays we drop episodes talking about TV shows, anime, film, comics, manga, and video games.

Instagram: YukiTheSnowMan314

My Facebook Page:
Yuki The Snowman
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

“Personal’” Facebook:
Yuki Benji
https://www.facebook.com/yuki.benji.1?ref=br_rs

Tumblr
YukiTheSnowMan314
https://yukithesnowman314.tumblr.com/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/weebtrashyuki

anime 0

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

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

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

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

The years have taken a toll on poor little Relm.

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

In blackface.
On national TV.
Yeep.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s a great thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in nerd culture. Every Tuesdays we drop episodes containing serious and laidback topics while Saturdays we drop episodes talking about TV shows, anime, film, comics, manga, and video games.

Instagram: YukiTheSnowMan314

My Facebook Page:
Yuki The Snowman
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

“Personal’” Facebook:
Yuki Benji
https://www.facebook.com/yuki.benji.1?ref=br_rs

Tumblr
YukiTheSnowMan314
https://yukithesnowman314.tumblr.com/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/weebtrashyuki

anime 0

Why You Should Watch Ikebukuro West Gate Park

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

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

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

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

  1. It’s grounded in realism

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

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

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

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

  • 2. It’s Relatable

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

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

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

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

  • 3. It’s Different

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

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

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

[IKEBUKURO WEST GATE PARK PRODUCTION STAFF NOTES]


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

anime 0

How Being Gameless Can Cost You With Rent-A-Girlfriend [VIDEO]

Join me as I break down how being gameless and having a lack of self-awareness can cost you big in this world by using the hit romcom Summer 2020 anime “Rent-A-Girlfriend”. What is game?  Why do you need game to better yourself as a person? How do you value yourself as a person?  What could Kazuya could done to better his situation?

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast:
https://swarthynerd.com/

anime 0

We All Need A Sayaka Kanamori

sayakabestgirl

Everyone needs a Sayaka Kanamori.  Everyone.  From couples to best friends. From bosses to employees. To businesses both massive and tiny. We all need a Sayaka Kanamori.  Sayaka’s fellow cast mates Midori and Tsubame; the former who’s an anime fanatic and aspiring animator and the latter; a teenage socialite/fashion model who seeks to escape from the limelight through her artistic skills, both need her.

Why you may ask?  It’s the same reason why your grounded friend has to anchor you when you start to daydream or steer away from a placed goal. Sayaka brings guidance to those without guides.  She provides realism to friends who’re (too) fantasy-like in their thoughts.  While everyone else is crying over a difficult situation, she can shut her mind off and tackle the problem head on with laser focus.  We all need somebody who process the ability to focus on the bigger picture without distractions.

She doesn’t allow herself to be emotionally attracted to things easily.  It doesn’t means that she’s callous, cynical, and cold. In fact, she’s quite the opposite.  She truly cares about her friends’ passion for the arts. She wants to see them become successful.  However, due to her high levels of emotional intelligence combined with her cool, calm nature, it only appears that seems callous, cynical, and cold.  And that’s okay; somebody who’s always calm in any situation is always welcome in a group.

Finally, Sayaka pushes her crew to strive for both excellence and self-betterment.  She quickly reprimand Midori and Tsubame after the artist duo were beating themselves up over minor issues (such as Tsubame’s parents forbidding her to join an anime club and Midori believing her art isn’t good enough).  She reminded them both that they had youth on their side and the power to take chances/risks. We all need somebody like that who can bring us back to reality and build us up when we speak lowly about our skills.

Without Sayaka, there wouldn’t be an Eizouken…even if some of her intentions to build Eizouken revolved around gaining money.

sayaka_smell_money

-Until Next Time,

Yuki The Snowman.

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

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

Instagram: YukiTheSnowMan314

My Facebook Page:
Yuki The Snowman
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

“Personal’” Facebook:
Yuki Benji
https://www.facebook.com/yuki.benji.1?ref=br_rs

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/weebtrashyuki

Tumblr
YukiTheSnowMan314
https://yukithesnowman314.tumblr.com/

anime 0

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

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

watamote

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Until next time,
Yuki The Snowman

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

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

Instagram: YukiTheSnowMan314

My Facebook Page:
Yuki The Snowman
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

“Personal’” Facebook:
Yuki Benji
https://www.facebook.com/yuki.benji.1?ref=br_rs

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/weebtrashyuki

Tumblr
YukiTheSnowMan314
https://yukithesnowman314.tumblr.com/

 

25 Days of Blogging 0

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

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

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

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

anime_fangirl_jumps_to_her_death.jpg
Isekai fangirl jumps to her death

 

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

vk61f3ttxaq31.png

 

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

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

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

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

ascendanceofabookworm2.jpg
Myne would later discover that books do exist in this new world, but only for those who can afford them (as her dad puts it: buying a book for her would cost the family’s entire income for the year).  Copying books is also an issue that she would also come to understand, as they must be copied by hand ; costing as much money as buying a new book. Despite these setbacks, Myne is determine to  not only read, but to learn the  new writing system of her world so she can create books for the commoners of the world.

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

Bookworm1-9.png

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

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

*****

sheild_hero.jpg

 

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

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

naofumi_wins.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Until next time,
Yuki The Snowman.

 

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

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

Instagram: YukiTheSnowMan314

My Facebook Page:
Yuki The Snowman
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

“Personal’” Facebook:
Yuki Benji
https://www.facebook.com/yuki.benji.1?ref=br_rs

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/weebtrashyuki

Tumblr
YukiTheSnowMan314
https://yukithesnowman314.tumblr.com/

anime 0

Failure Isn’t Bad (Zombieland Saga)

Throughout her short seventeen years of life, Sakura Minamoto dealt with everlasting failures and setbacks that mentally wrecked her. In the third grade, she landed the intense star role of Snow White after months of relentless practice to master the role; only to become sick and bedridden on the day of the performance.

 

Gifted with superior athletic skills, Sakura was selected as captain of her school’s relay team.  She trained day after day in hopes of leading her school to victory against other schools in the Saga district.  Alas, on the morning of competition, she tore up her hamstring; forcing her to retire.

kevin_nash_as_an_anime_girl.png
This is why you stretch before any physical activities, children.

But, those past failures wouldn’t hold her back. Determine to eradicate her bad luck, Sakura (now a sixth grader), had her sights set on academic mastery; vowing to shut everything out of her life in order to enter the best high school in her school district. Friends. Family. Entertainment.   If it wasn’t a tool that’ll help her gain scholarly success, Sakura ignored it. Nothing mattered to her sans entering the ranks of the educated elites.

Two years later, Sakura’s near psychopathic drive towards success would pay off for her. She aced the mock entrance exams days before the real deal.  Finally! Victory was near.

Or so she thought.

On her way to take the real exams, Sakura ran across a few sick elderly women who needed her help.  Instead of ignoring the women and letting them die on the streets (which she should: they had their chance at life), Sakura decided to help these poor women out. However, this drove Sakura into an intense panic; as  she feared that she’ll be late for and miss the exams.

Thankfully, she was able to make it in time. But, the stress from the fear of missing the exams gave Sakura extreme test anxiety – causing her to fail the exam – and missing out on her chance of success once more.

vlcsnap-2018-12-13-19h16m50s586.png
Should have let the old ladies lay there and die, Sakura.

***

Now in high school, the defeated , depressed, and hopeless Sakura rejected offers to hang out with friends, join any after-school clubs, and work on her scholarly and athletic gifts. Nothing mattered to her anymore. She knew that anything she attempted to try would only make her feel worse about herself.

 

Every day after school, she headed straight home; numbed to the world. She lay up on the couch, mindlessly watching TV and rotting away as life passed her by.  One day in peculiar, Sakura caught a TV special featuring the rise of singer Ai Mizuno: the center performer of the idol group “Iron Frill”.  During the special, Ai was asked about her work ethics, as well as why and how she works so hard.

Ai replied:

“I guess it’s because I don’t think mistakes or failures are a bad thing.  Because they always end up helping with whatever happens next.  And I really believe I’ll only be the best version of me once I overcome it all.”

Mistakes aren’t bad.  Failure isn’t bad. If you study your failures and mistakes, learning from them in the process, you’ll always better yourself.

(Now, let’s not forget the fact that worse girl Ai is a stupid fucking idiot who got herself killed by sticking her arm out during a thunder/lighting storm while holding a mic at an open air concert on live TV/internet broadcast; therefore traumatizing her friends, family members, band mates, and fans for life. Plus, she made her parents cremate and bury her, so there’s that)

ai_wins_a_darwin_award.jpg

You fucked up on a test.  Cool.  See what you were struggling with, study, and do better.  You got rejected by the girl or boy you liked.  That’s okay.  Be happy and reflect on the fact that you finally control your nerves, got over your fear of rejection, and you went for it. It’ll all be helpful the next time you ask different girl or boy who captured your heart out. You might get turned down from the company you’ve dream of working for since your youth.

Look, you will fail at something – it’s unavoidable.  Your return on invest for your efforts might wield negative results at the end.  Whatever you’re working on, sometimes, it won’t turn out the way you hope for.

And that’s okay.

You should embrace failure.  Appreciate it.  Respect it.  Failure means that it wasn’t the right time to execute your plan.  You selected the wrong moment for your course of action.  Something didn’t line up right. Your approach wasn’t correct. Even so, you should inspect what went wrong so that next time, you will do better and better; until the day you are successful.

vlcsnap-2019-02-19-11h28m56s086.png
 “There’s no better than adversity.  Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”-Malcolm X

Inspired by the TV special, Sakura attended their Saga concert. There, Sakura was captivated by Ai’s high spirited performance to the point she was moved to tears.   It was there where Sakura found the willpower to pull herself out of her depression; yearning to  attack success one more time.

One more shot.
One more try.
One more chance.

Sakura set her sights to become the girl that she always dreamed of.   She applied to join Iron Frill as an idol.  She wanted to perform next to the singer that – as cheesy and white girlish as it (always) sound – saved her life.  This was it.  She’ll no longer let the set-backs and disappointments of the past drag her down.  With the finished application in hand, the high-spirited Sakura ran out of the house to mail it…

…And then she got hit by a speeding truck and died on impact.
The End.
Thanks for reading!

(Just kidding.  Sakura lived for a few more seconds in the air from the force of being hit before dying.)

 

 

***

“Failure is deceiving; it’s a good thing! You want to and should fail –it’s the learning process!” -Grant Cardone, CEO and real estate investor

Sakura’s journey to success wouldn’t end at her death. In fact, her death (and zombification) was the start of her finally capturing victory. As the center of the all zombie girl music group Franchouchou, Sakura had to lead her team and new friends through failure after failure on the path of success.

idolhood_face_of_death.jpg

You could say that their first concert at the death metal show was a near flop.  First, Sakura was the only member of Franchouchou (or Death Musume as they were first called) who regained her human conscious upon awakening.  The rest of the girls were still in their mindless state.  This resulted in everyone (sans Sakura) not being able sing or play instruments – let alone perform in unison.

Second, they were dress in bright, colorful idol outfits; ill-fitting for a venue hall catering to savage and cutthroat fans of death metal.  Finally, the crowd wasn’t feeling them. They believed that Death Musume was mocking death metal with their idol get-up.

Death Musume proved their doubters wrong.

Thanks to their enhanced zombie  bodies and minds, Death Musume surprised the metal heads with their brutal, (literally) broken-neck style head banging, ghastly growls, hard hitting stage dives that would had injured or killed a normal human, and caused mayhem in the pits after the show.

Even if the show was a (so-called) “flop”, Death Musume gained the respect of the metal heads (whom normally dismissed idols).  They even earned two metal heads as loyal fans after the event. Fans who once were discrediting them admired their savage spirit so much that they followed Death Musume’s journey to success everywhere they performed.

 

Their second concert was almost a complete disaster (compared to the last).  Despite regaining their senses, Death Musume (now Green Face), weren’t in tune with one another.  Their movements were awkward and stiff (due to not building up chemistry with one another yet; not because they were zombies).  The audience seemed uninterested in their performance.   Tae had yet to regain her senses; so she was still roaming around mindlessly.

Worse, she tried to steal somebody’s dried squid snack. Sakura attempted to restrain her friend; only to cause Tae’s head to fly off her body into the crowd – therefore causing panic and confusion.

In panic, Sakura played everything off as a magic trick. While Sakura struggled to regain order, Saki started to dick around. The two girls started fighting over Tae’s head (Saki took Tae’s head off her body while Sakua tried to put it back on, annoying the latter). Pissed, Sakura snapped on Saki and snitched on the fact that they were all zombies. Saki snapped back: leading to the girls auguring on stage. Understandably, the audience was shocked.

Total disaster indeed.
But, most damages caused by disasters can always be fixed.

Tatsumi saw this as a chance to switch the show’s direction. Seeing Sakura and Saki argue as if they were rival rappers, he began to beat box.  Best zombie girl Yuugiri provided a melodic instrumental on her shimisen. Lily channeled her inner Flavor Flav and played hype girl.  Worse zombie girl Ai stood around looking stupid, awkward, and useless. Second best zombie girl Junko was also standing around looking stupid and awkward.  Sakura and Saki turned their argument into a rap battle.

Together, Green Face was able to take a losing situation, turn it around into something positive, and became victorious.
Franchouchou improved each passing day.
They didn’t avoid failure – they embraced it and turn it around – into success.

They failed to get a business sponsorship from a drug company (due to Sakura being an idiot). That’s okay; they cut a deal with a local restaurant a few days later; netting a promotion deal with them.  Tae accidently wore said restaurant’s mascot t-shirt after winning a sporting event instead of the shirts featuring their band’s name and logo (for promotional reasons). It didn’t matter: Franchouchou gained more fans from the sporting event.

Lighting struck the stage and the girls during their first major stage performance.  What would have killed any normal human the lighting gave Franchouchou (thanks to being zombies) not only gave the girls the appearance of angels, but enhanced their voices; giving their fans a musical experience they never forget.

mastered_idol_instict

“Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back.”
“If you’re a real winner you know how to bounce back!”
-Big Sean, Bounce Back

Like Franchouchou, you must use failures as a tool to net you a positive outcome. The path you were on turned into something else. But, you need to take advantage of that.  History is littered with people whom “failed” at one thing but was able to turn it around into greatness.

Japanese Horror and visual novel author Ryukishi07  Ryukishi07 first draft of the ever beloved Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni (lit. When They Cicadas Cry) murder-mystery visual novel series was a short play titled  Hinamizawa Bus Stop.  Inspired by a friend, he submitted the play to his college’s theater group for a contest.  He lost.  After college, Ryukishi07 tried to enter the video game industry with no luck.

Yet, despite the setbacks, he was determined to let the world know about the mysteries and horror of the small village of Hinamizawa. His passionate drive would pay off in August of 2006 when Ryukishi07 dropped Higurashi upon the otaku world at the massive Japanese anime convention Summer Comiket 2002. The game became a global sleeper hit; with the series branching off to light novels, mangas, two live-action movies, a TV series, remakes of the games, and of course, an incredibly successful anime adaption by Studio Deen.

Intelligent System was failing to keep the Fire Emblem series afloat.  After back-to-back failures with titles such as New Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the series was at risk of being killed off by Nintendo.  Finding themselves on death grounds with the series, nearly everyone at Intelligent System that has ever worked on a Fire Emblem game pour their heart, soul, guts, creativity, love, and focus into  Fire Emblem Awakening. They truly believe that Awakening was going to be the final Fire Emblem game in Nintendo’s (and gaming) history.

If Fire Emblem: Awakening was going to ultimately fail, at least  Intelligent System had the balls to try to revive the series everyone counted out with everything they had.  And as we all known (despite what the old-school autistic elitist assholes in the fandom may say), Fire Emblem: Awakening brought the series back to life: saving it from total death.

See how you can turn failure into victory?

We live in a world where failure is viewed as a bad thing. If you failed, you’re nothing (according to lowly people with their inflated egos who will never fix their own failures).  In Japan, failure is viewed in such a negative light that young school students have killed themselves from the shame of failure (may they failed a test, failed to get into an elite high school, etc.).

They would rather end their life than to face society (after failure).

The American school system have mentality wrecked children for decades; because teachers, parents, and the education system paint failing as the ultimate sin. Who knows how many children in America are suffering from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety because of how aggressive we are against failure?

Social media is now on a level where people will share your failures and humiliate you for it within seconds.  We would rather mock those on Facebook or Twitter for their mistake(s) than to encourage them to recover and give them advice on how to do better.  A screw up can easily be shared and display on the world’s stage without a second thought. It’s a shield to hide our own failures.

Why display your shame to the world where you can cover it with another man’s shame?

Society is not only fearful of failure – it uses it as a weapon.

But, you can’t be scared of failure.  I’m not saying you should go out in purposely fail; that’s foolish.   I am also not saying that some failures aren’t your fault; because your own stupidity and unchecked ego/pride can cause you to screw up. If you’re doing something that is outside the realm of logic, and your friends/family are telling you so, and you can’t prove them wrong, then don’t do it. Because that’s truly is failure.

You need to go into something knowing that there’s a high possibility that you will fail and that you need to bounce back from the failure.  Beating yourself up over failure won’t  get you to success. Having a defeatist attitude because you screw up won’t fix the screw ups.  People will use your past failures to mock you; in order for you to give up.  But, you can’t allow that. Try again until success.

As Sakura said to Junko and Ai in episode 2, and this is the closing statement:

“Quit coming up with excuses on why you can’t win. If you got even a little chance, try to do that then!”

 

 

 

SELECTED RESOURCES:

[Alux.com] (Dec. 15th, 2018) How to overcome FAILURE and start from scratch? [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs6PU5jQQBc

[Nino Brown] (Oct. 16th, 2019) Fail Your Way To  Success [Video File], Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO99GJwtsOk

[Alpha Male Strategies – AMS] (Oct 3rd, 2018) Why I Love Being A Failure [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58wu8k4CjnI

Grover, Tim. “#1. When You’re A Cleaner… …You don’t recognize failure; you know there’s more than one way to get what you want.” Relentless: From Good To Great To Unstoppable

 

AFTERWORD:

I lied about the whole “Ai worse girl” thing she’s actually became my favorite character as I wrote this essay and re-watched ZLS due to her relentless drive to re-write her legacy after death.

Seriously, I wouldn’t spent nearly $25 on this shirt if I thought she was the worse girl:

ai_and_junko_best_pair_shirt.jpg

(Plus, I love how she G-checks Tatsumi when he’s on his bullshit)

I’m also going to work on another Zombieland Saga essay that tackles the  morality of men, how we should make the best of our limited time on Earth, and  and a touch of Stoicism to go along with it within the following months.

In addition, there will be an audio version of this essay in the near future.

anime 0

DRAGON BALL SUPER: BROLY (2018) HD UNCUT FULL MOVIE! (Chill Toei, it’s just a clickbait title for a review)

Recently, my friend the TV Guru and I went to see Toei Animation’s blockbuster hit movie Dragon Ball Super: Broly at the theaters and man, it was an experience as both an Dragon Ball and anime fan that I will never forget. The experience of watching such an critically acclaimed film  based on an iconic and influential anime series with many other anime and Dragon Ball fans touched us so much that we had to give our unbiased (drunken) thoughts on the movie.  Trust me, if you’re a Dragon Ball fan and did not saw this movie at the theaters, you did yourself a disservice.

Also in this podcast we chop up good game and mock CrunchyRoll’s infamously hilariously and terrible  nomination for their annual trash tier entry level anime awards.

Check us out!

http://swarthynerd.libsyn.com/swarthy-nerd-ep-04-dragonball-super-broly-uncut-full-movie-hd-2019

And if you’re a weirdo who likes to burn their battery life and data plan by keeping the YouTube app open, here’s a link to our review on YouTube

 

AFTERWORD:

I have a podcast now so if you’re a long-time follower who have been wondering where the fuck I’ve been, now you know.  Don’t worry; I’m still  gonna write blogs.  This is a side project I’m working on with a friend.

anime 0

Be Your Own Person (Mob Pyscho 100 S2)

“Be your true mind.”
-Revelations: Persona Japanese tagline.

Starring into the screen of the gaming P.C. I brought off my friend during the 2018 Holiday season, I noticed that there was something missing: A wallpaper – a good one.  I was using fanart of Yugiri from Zombieland Saga as a placeholder until I could find wallpaper that I wouldn’t mind always seeing. Don’t get me wrong: Zombieland Saga is an awesome anime and  Yugiri is best undead girl, but I needed something better. A wallpaper to serve as a reminder to do whatever the fuck I want to do throughout the year 2019

I hooked up an old external hard drive containing over ten years’ worth of anime and manga fanart, screenshots, manga panels, and memes; most of them were  perfect to use as wallpaper, but I desire one that would be my mantra for 2019.  As I browsed through the drive, there was a certain image with a manga panel snapshot that spoke to my soul.  It was of Kyoko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica with a pocky stick in her mouth offering a box full of them to somebody off-screen.  As she chew on the snack, she says the following:

“Who cares what anyone else thinks? It’s your life – do whatever you want to do. That’s the right way to live.”

kyoko_who_cares.png

There was no hesitation.  Instantly, that became my wallpaper; vowing to never change it until January 1st, 2020.  Throughout my life (until I got into my 20s), I was concern about what others thought about me.  Wanting to not offend my friends, family members,  and bosses (surprising, right?); I followed their suggestions, putting my own thoughts to the side.

I believed that if I put myself first, it would paint me as a hard-headed selfish asshole.
I should had been an asshole.

“To be quiet and do as you’re told, that’s the cowardly choice.”

-Gearless Joe, Megalo Box

Go to church because the rest of the family were going; despite the fact I’m secretly don’t follow religion. Enroll in a community college my parents wanted me to go; regardless if I wanted to go to one outside the Midwest (my home region). Hang out with friends even though I actually wanted to stay and relax at home.  Go into work on my off day when I knew I wanted to tell my boss to fuck off.

Deep within my soul, my “easy-going” public persona was clashing with my true feelings.
I truly didn’t want to do what people told me to do, but I didn’t have the balls to admit it.

This went on until I turned 23.

I dropped out of college. Smartest move of my life.  I stopped going to church. I don’t need Jesus to be a good person. I ignored my boss’s phone calls for me to come into work.  He got the point soon after.   I cut off friends who didn’t respect the fact I didn’t feel like hanging out with them when I was tired. They were fake friends – I didn’t need them around.

It was liberating.

mob.jpg


Soon after I selected the image of Kyoko as my wallpaper, I got a reminder from My Anime List that Mob Pyscho 100 Season 2 was starting soon.  Fitting.  Mob (the hero of the Mob Pyscho 100 series) is a kid who decided to follow his own path in life; as opposed to listen to others people’s suggestions for his life.  For example: when the supernatural club at his school tried to get him to join (because of his psychic powers), he rejected their offer. He joined the athletic club instead to build muscle.

The anime is one of the ultimate showcases of being your true self.
But, Mob may have appeared to have forgotten about this.

Wanting to impress his crush Tsubomi, Ichi (who catches Mob sneaking a peek at Tsubomi) comes up with a plan for Mob to court her attention: Have him run for the recently vacant student council president position (it was a ploy for Ichi to have Mob gain popularity so she could have him as the new leader of the recently dismantled (LOL) cult). She even went as far as writing a speech for Mob, in her own words.  Despite not caring for school politics and social structure, Mob agrees to Ichi’s self-centered plot – reluctantly.

vlcsnap-2019-01-09-15h34m53s211.png
And by reluctantly, I mean that Mob completely froze during his speech.
On stage.
In front of the entire student body – his crush in the crowd included.

vlcsnap-2019-01-09-15h36m09s843.png

It’s goofy that a guy like Mob, who was always dead set on doing his own thing, decided to follow the path of another person. Sure, it was to impress his crush, but the plot wasn’t from his own driven nature and ideas.  Despite the public embarrassment, Mob “won” the heart of a female classmate: Emi.  She was “impressed” by his courage to stand on stage in front of the school, which spurred her into confessing her “feelings” to him. The two started dating soon after.

Obviously, their relationship is rooted in compete bullshit.

vlcsnap-2019-01-09-15h38m34s439.png
Emi

When Emi asks what type of work he does, Mob is about to tell her about his supernatural works and adventures but feared that she’d be creep out.  He comes up with  a bold-face lie; claiming he works for a bookstore. This excites Emi as she’s an active and avid reader and is writing her own novel.  She even offers Mob to read it, which he agrees to.

Later on, as Mob reads Emi’s novel, she confronts him. She asks why he still walks her home from school after  he rejected her. Furthermore, she reveals that she knew Mob was going back to his club after he had walked her back home; thinking that Mob was afraid that he would upset her if he stop.

She also makes the connection that Mob only ran for class president because somebody told him to do it, since it was clear that he didn’t write his own speech. Then she bluntly asks if he has trouble making up his own mind and following his own feelings, which Mob confirms.

Finally, she reveals a secret about herself: She too struggles with being her own person – like Mob himself. She only asked Mob out on a dare and was pressured by her “friends” to do so (based on Mob’s pitiful performance during the elections). She was scared of being rejected and seen as a laughing stock by her “friends”, so she followed through with their cruel prank.

They agree to end their “relationship and part ways soon after – only to meet up again.


The “friends” Emi worked hard to impress and not offend?
They weren’t truly her friends.

Emi regroups with her friends after receiving a text message from them.   She decides to show her “friends” the novel that she was working on.  One girl snatches it from her hands and started to laugh and belittle her work along with the rest.  Another girl, while trying to hold in her laughter, ask Emi if she was being serious about it.  Emi (clearly upset and defensive), gives off a weak chuckle and replies she was only doing it for fun. The girls starts to laugh cruelly as they destroy her novel.

 

Emi became the thing she feared the most: a laughing stock among her friends.
Not because she didn’t “date” Mob, but because she had a passion for writing.
If they were truly her friends, not only would they not pressured her into dating Mob (something she never wanted to do), they would have encouraged her to keep writing.

As Mob walks back home, he sees the girls destroying Emi’s novel. He confronts them, telling them how wrong they were to do that to her and her hard work.  He starts collecting the pieces off the ground. Confused, yet feeling appreciated, Emi helps Mob out and her fake friends leave the duo to be.  The two try their best to recover the novel but the reminding pieces are blown into the wind. Emi gets discourage and decides that they should call the novel a total lost.

At this point, Mob decides to be honest with Emi (as she did with him) and reveal his true self: The fact that he’s a gifted esper. He uses his powers to completely restore the torn novel; which impresses Emi (as well as Tsubomi – who was watching the events from afar). Perhaps it was because that Emi was honest with Mob about her feelings, fears, and insecurities that led Mob into helping her. Maybe Mob was happy that he knew somebody who too was scared to be their true self and wanted to help them.

Regardless, at the end of the episode, both Mob and Emi was able to embrace who they truly are without fear.

vlcsnap-2019-01-09-15h49m32s453.png

***

I believe there’s a lesson to be learned from the first episode of season two of Mob Pyscho 100 2.

The lesson?  Put yourself first, be honest with who you are, and never fear about what others may think about you. Once you can do all that, you have truly become free.  People may call you selfish or self-centered for being you, but in reality, humans are selfish by nature. Some humans are braver with their selfish nature than others.  If somebody complains about your egocentric nature , don’t take it personal. They more than likely are projecting their anger of not having the courage to be selfish.

Right now, there are people who are completely unhappy with their lives. Why? Because they were controlled into following somebody else’s path. They never had the courage to stray off the path that wasn’t design for them. There are doctors, lawyers, and dentists in those positions who are completely miserable because they decided to listen to their parents’ wishes. They feared to bring “shame” to their family and enter a career field they hate.  If only they would have follow their heart instead, perhaps they wouldn’t be miserable.

Remember this: You have the freedom to be your own person.
It’s your life. Who cares if anyone gets upset?

“Your life is your own, ok? It’s OK to run away!
If you’re capable of it, it won’t be a mistake.”
-The Mob Choir

anime 0

Rascal Does Not Dream Of Yet Another Light Novel Anime Adaption

Editor’s Note:
These are the mere free-flowing, raw, and unedited thoughts of mines on the first three or four episodes of the Fall 2018 anime “Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai” and my first impressions on it.  There is no structure nor order on how I talk about this show.

A boy wakes up next to a girl around his age sleeping peacefully in his bed.  He looks at her as she awakens and treats her with a “good morning”, in which she returns the greeting back.  As they slowly wake up and indulge in playful teasing and banter of their lack of sleep, I am taken by surprise at the fact that the first episode has opened with our lead male and female characters in bed; suggesting that they are in an intimate relationship.

vlcsnap-2018-11-20-10h43m01s422.png

Additionally,  the male lead looks and acts like an alpha; a rarity in anime today, as most male teenage leads are doormat simps (just like 90% of male anime fans globally). Finally! A young male anime hero with balls! This is great!  Too great.  Too great to be true.

No, really, it was.  I accidentally downloaded the third episode, not the first.

Because I decided to get stoned out of my mind before watching this anime, I unwitty download episode 3; thinking it was episode 1. Sure, I spoiled myself by seeing Mai and Sakuta together in bed. However, it was a spoiler that I welcomed. I assumed that they got together by the end of episode 2 at the least.

I went back to KissAnime to download episodes 1 and 2.  Episode 1 starts to play and its opening shot was the same opener from episode 3, except with different dialogue.  Mai asks Sakuta if he is going to kiss her, in which Mai disappears and Sakuta awakens from his dream.  Said dream foreshadowing future events.

I shouldn’t be surprised by this at how bold of a move that was.  After all, Rascal Does not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai was written by light novelist Haijime Kamoshida (notable for his works The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, and the beautifully written original coming-of-age high school drama anime Just Because! from Fall 2017).

208404.jpg
Hajime Kamoshida

While I’ve never read The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, I’m a huge fan of Just Because! due to Kamoshida’s approach towards clichéd high school anime archetypes. Example: Rather than to write main character Eita as a new mysterious transfer student who enters a new school during the middle of his first year (like almost every other high school anime), Eita is a senior who transfers back to his hometown’s school district during the second semester (Eita moved away from his hometown during middle school).  Eita’s “new” classmates at his “new” school district are actually a few of his friends from childhood.  Komoshida effetely kills the “mysterious transfer student” idea off and replaces it with a character that’s already established and known by his peers in his city.

Komoshida is a clever writer in that sense, and Bunny Girl Senpai is no exception.

Before discovering that Kamoshida wrote Bunny Girl Senpai,  I had no intention of watching it. Even hearing the show’s name alone made me (foolishly) believe that it was going to be, yet another, fanservicery, run-of-the-mill, below-average light novel anime adaption with a disposable trash waifu. A trash waifu wearing a skimpy bunny girl outfit that Cleverworks will produce figurines of her in said outfit for the fanboys of her to jerk off to and nut on.

00_388b6663-b0e3-4abf-84c6-fdcbb4e54f50_1024x1024.jpg
Anything to pander to lonely otakus to get that second season.

These untrue, biased, stupid assumptions were slaughtered once I ran across Mother’s Basement video analysis on the show, explain that Kamoshida wrote the original novel, and discussing the themes of the show (such as bullying, facing rejection, social norms, etc.) So I figure I would give this show a watch.

Glad I did.

The first episode truly proved my earlier assumptions wrong.  I was an idiot to think that this show was going to be garbage!  Why did I allow myself to judge a book by its cover? In my defense, this current era of light novel anime adaptions is stale and bland.  This is not the mid-2000s anymore when we had hard-hitting, thought-provoking, and creative light novel anime adaption coming out left and right.

Remember when the iconic juggernaut The Melancholy of  Haruhi Suzumiya came along and kick everyone’s asses in 2006? That was a light novel anime adaption that not only define light novels and light novel anime – but it was the start of a generation of otaku culture. The success and global cultural impact of Haruhi Suzumiya laid the groundwork for other light novels to be adaptive into TV anime.

I miss those days.

(Of course, that Haruhi laying the groundwork for light novel anime statement is up to debate)

Currently, light novel anime adaptions are a mess. The Goblin Slayer anime spat in the face of its light novel ancestor with its ugly CGI, lack of character development that was found in the original, removing important story plots from the light novel, and a controversial brutal violent scene that was not necessary for a first episode.

Every year, we’re “treated” to another boring, uninspiring isekai (another world) light novel adaption that just has a different gimmick that doesn’t change anything or do anything groundbreaking.

Sword Art Online needs to be taken to the backyard and get shot in the back of its head so it can be taken out of its misery already like the dying, useless dog it is.

of_sword_and_men.png
10/10 Photoshop skills. I have a Ph.D.  in Graphic Design from the highly educated university St. Louis Community College Forest Park

Oh, how the era of the great light novel anime adaption has ended
…or so I thought.
Bunny Girl Senpai’s first episode changed my mind.

Off the jump, we see the heroine parading herself around in a public library in nothing but a skimpy bunny girl outfit.  Such a daring, lewd, and perverted act performed by any woman would certainly create attention for her.

But for Mai, – a well-known and beloved actress – there’s no way anybody could ignore her. Questions and comments such as “is she doing this for clout?”, “is this for a movie?”, “is that actress secretly an exhibitionist?”, and “she has fallen so low…” are gonna be said and asked. Everyone is glued to their phones.  Everyone is addicted to social media. Indisputably, people seeking likes, views, and money for viral moments are going to document such an event on their smartphones.

Alas, she goes unnoticed.  No. For real. They don’t notice her. She even bends herself forward towards a salaryman in a way that her breasts are in his face. But since the salaryman doesn’t have the time or the love for these hos, he doesn’t give her an ounce of attention.  You know, maybe they’re just playing pretend.  Mai has done this so often at this library that everyone decided to act like she doesn’t exist because they don’t wanna give her any attention.

me_on_my_grind_these_hos_2

Except they’re not playing pretend.
Mai doesn’t exist – both figuratively and literally.
She isn’t doing this for cheap thrills; it’s a legit cry for help.

Her existence is at risk and unless people notice her, she will die.

Moments later, Sakuta uses his main character powers to spot her walking about and confronts her. Mai, in return, copies Hitagi Senjougahara’s mannerism that she got from the Monogatari playbook and threatens him; demanding that he forgets what he saw and to never associate with her. And because the Monogatari playbook is public domain, Sakuta decides to steal moves from the Koyomi Araragi section and explains to Mai that he knows about her condition (due to personal experience) and that he can help her.

The condition? Puberty Syndrome: a rumored illness that causes sensitivity and instability among youths infected by it.

Mai believes him and accepts his help; thus starting the latest installment of the Monogatari series!
Kidding, of course. (That joke is getting old).

As mentioned (and me making fun of it) earlier, Bunny Girl Senpai (audaciously) borrows ideas from its influences (such as Monogatari) and other classic anime/light novel tropes, stereotypes, archetypes; using them to its advantage to add layers to each character personality. Therefore, the characters are more third dimensional compared to most others in anime that follow said archetypes and stereotypes.

Sakuta is your typical brash, blunt, and bold protagonist who doesn’t give a shit about following the rules, values, and order of society and freely operates outside of them (think Yusuke from Yuu Yuu Hakusho or Travis Touchdown of No More Heroes).  Because Sakuta is an outlier, he is outcast by his peers – even to the degree that his homeboy’s girlfriend tells the man to stop being friends with him; because it would ruin his and her’s high social standing in school (granted, Sakuta tells the girlfriend to fuck off).

 

This could be seen as social commentary, as Japan is a nation of conformity and holds value in being non-confrontational. Standing out and being a person who enjoys confrontation in Japan will get you mocked, ridicule, and disowned: three things I’m sure Sakuta has experienced in his young life due to his mannerism, but I doubt he cares.

“To be quiet, and do as you’re told…that’s the cowardly choice.”
-Gearless Joe, Megalo Box

His sister, Kaede, plays the annoying imouto, or little kid sister role. Kaede affectingly hugs her big brother often, loves getting him out of bed or get in his bed (even if he’s trying to sleep), and she is almost always at his side. She’s soft-spoken when around strangers but truly shines and becomes herself when Sakuta is around.

Pretty annoying, right?

vlcsnap-2018-11-15-18h54m34s932.png
Kyon’s Sister

Well, Kaede is a victim of (cyber) bullying at her school. She received death threats from her former friends and cruel messages from her classmates telling her that she needs to kill herself. The relentless bullying and vicious messages caused Kaede to withdraw from society to the degree that she became a shut-in. She hates social media and modern technology; as we see her freezing up out of fear when she hears Mai’s phone rings in one episode. Because of her trauma,  Kaede sees Sakuta as a protector of sorts which results in her being close to him.

She finds comfort in her brother.

vlcsnap-2018-11-13-12h52m27s254.png
All she had to do was walk away from the computer and close her eyes.

Mai, as we saw in the first episode, is clear fanservice bait. Even in the anime promotional art, she’s wearing her bunny girl outfit in public. For this, I can’t blame anyone for thinking Mai does this for attention or thinking that she was designed to be trashy waifu bait. The fanservice and waifu material bits are turned on their heads once you understand the grave reasoning behind Mai’s acts (and character design).

__sakurajima_mai_seishun_buta_yarou__sample-b710a88630d19a3fb01e03bb056db4f2.jpg
Haruhi Senjougahara

Mai must do everything and anything within her power to court attention at all costs. Initially, the actress loved the peace and quiet that came with not being in the public’s limelight: something she had been under since childhood. Like any aspiring child actress, she was in “everlasting” bliss that people knew who she was thanks to her  TV and movie roles.  But, over time, the toll and stress of childhood stardom got to Mai and she wanted out of showbiz.

Her breaking point came about at the hands her manipulative manager and agent – her own mother.

During a commercial shoot for cereal (correct me if I’m wrong I don’t remember the full details), Mai’s mother and the video producer suggested that Mai should wear a revealing bikini. Mai refused: as she was in middle school at the time and was understandably disturbed by the idea. Her mom snapped on her; calling her own daughter a disappointment.  It was at that point where Mai decided to retire from show business and stray away from the limelight.

She got her one true wish – at the cost of her existence.

vlcsnap-2018-11-20-11h56m11s167.png

“The limelight. The actor who steps into this brilliant light attains a heightened presence. All eyes are on him.  There is room for only one actor at a time in the limelight’s narrow beam; do whatever it takes to make yourself its focus. Make your gestures so large, amusing, and scandalous that the light stays on you  while the other actors are left in the shadows.”
Robert Greene, “The 48 Laws of Power”

(It’s ironic to think how Mai desperately worked hard to avoid any form of publicity and attention after her semi-retirement from the entertainment industry and yet, she was hunting it down once she realized that she could die if nobody acknowledges her.  Maybe I’ll do an analysis essay on that one day.)

Watching the first episode (and parts of the second), I’m reminded of the golden era of the light (and visual) novel to anime boom.  Text-based tales coming to life through animation.  Stories crafted by otaku who dare to explore deep themes and issues about society, cultural norms, and life. There weren’t just mindless cartoons that otakus would simply watch and enjoy.  They were shows with layers, messages, themes, and meaning.

It’s refreshing to see Bunny Girl Senpai bring such classic writing back into otaku marketed TV anime.

At the time of this writing, I am currently on episode 3. Sakuta is desperate to keep Mai’s existence alive. He has even gone as far as sacrificing his health by not sleeping (since anyone who’ve sleep after seeing Mai in her “invisible” state will have traces of her existence erased). Mai slips a sleeping pill in one of his caffeine drinks (probably deadly, but okay). She knows that this will erase her existence for him, but she doesn’t want him to put his health at risk – because of the fact she loves him.   In tears, she thanks him for all he has done for her, and fades out of existence.

She’ll come back of course; thanks to Sakuta’s no-fucks-given attitude, however.

Bunny Girl Senpai has been an interesting anime to watch so far.  The mystery of Puberty Syndrome keeps me wondering about how it impacts people and how it shapes society .  The cast has wonderful chemistry with each other, as Mai and Sakuta have amazing banter with one another that helps keep fans interested in their relationship.  Komoshida blending real-world issues such as bullying and blending in with sci-fi and supernatural elements is genius and I can’t wait to see how the writers of the show take his writing style to the next level.

I do hope this anime becomes a hit because I want to see more like it that is otaku driven and uses themes from anime to build layers for its characters.   With people praising it online I sure my hopes will come to life.

…even if it does borrows from Monogatari.
A lot.

-Yuki The Snowman.

 

P.S.

I’m actually caught up with the show and currently waiting for episode 8. I have a theory that the main narrative theme of Futaba’s arc is accepting yourself (as Futaba has to deal with the fact that the second Futaba is the personification of her repressed but true self and she needs to understand it’s a part of her personality). I’m lazy as hell so I didn’t feel like rewriting the bit about episode 3 or whatnot.

vlcsnap-2018-11-20-12h04m15s202.png
Shadow Futaba

P.P.S

The most real shit I’ve seen in anime in a while love how Sakuta speaks excellent game on standing out and being your own person:

 

 

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

My Facebook Page:
Yuki The Snowman
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

“Personal’” Facebook:
Yuki Benji
https://www.facebook.com/yuki.benji.1?ref=br_rs

Instagram:
YukiTheSnowman314
https://www.instagram.com/yukithesnowman314/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/weebtrashyuki

Tumblr
YukiTheSnowMan314
https://yukithesnowman314.tumblr.com/

anime 0

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

 

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

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

http://www.yukithesnowman.com

anime 4

This Anime is Faithful Virgin Trash

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

No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

5e9a284713f2ed033c9cf46e9c4e74e21504884623_full

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

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

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

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

Just quit my man.

vlcsnap-2017-10-18-11h36m53s535.png
Goddammit, Wax-a-Million

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

…what?

 

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

I should have I listened to my gut.

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

Whew boy.

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

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

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

…at least she’s thoughtful.  I guess.

vlcsnap-2017-10-18-11h52m01s029.png

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

First Impression score: 2.5/10

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

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

anime 0

When Do You Drop an Anime? (Video)

 

Not all anime will have the honor being great and watchable all the way through. There are many shows that you will wind up dropping due to the low quality of the show.

At what point do you drop a show? I usually drop an anime on the first episode I can sense and predict it won’t be great beyond that point.