August 10th, 2017 marks the 15th anniversary of the hit visual novel series “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni”. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni was adapted into a successful animated series by Studio Deen in 2006 – setting the standard for horror anime which many series have tried and failed to emulate since. In reflection and celebration of the series 15th anniversary, I will be providing my raw, unedited thoughts of the anime throughout the month of August. I hope you’ll enjoy!
It was about ten years ago during my senior year of high school. I was at my computer in business class, browsing Google for anime wallpapers. While aimlessly browsing the images, I came across a wallpaper that stood out to me. The wallpaper featured a young teenager with a baseball bat, blood splatter, and film frames with the young boy the frames At the bottom there was layered text that read “Please uncover the truth. This is my only wish.”
I didn’t think much of who was the character, what anime he was from, or the text in the image. I just saw this wallpaper as a cool and edgy anime background for my computer. Yet, there was something about this it that made me drawn to it. Overtime, I became curious about the character on my screen and the meaning of his words.
“Please uncover the truth. This is my only wish.”
“What does that mean, ‘uncover the truth’?” I questioned. Beyond that, I thought of nothing else. My dumbass wasn’t smart enough to google that line at the time, so that mystery wasn’t going to be solved , at least during high school that is.
Little did I know back then that the image would mark the prelude of one of my most beloved series of all time: Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni (lit. When The Cicadas Cry). So, when and how did I discovered the series? Well, let’s fast forward to my sophomore year of college in Fall 2009. A friend recommended that I watch Elfen Lied so I could learn the OP “Lilium” on the violin after class. Once I was completed with classes for the day, I hurried home, pull up the YouTube app on my Wii, looked up Elfen Lied, found the first episode and enjoy it. Upon completion of the first episode, another anime appeared on the suggestion playlist.
“Higurashi no Naku Koro ni? What is this?” I asked myself. Curious, I clicked the thumbnail and laid back on my couch.
“This better be as good as that crazy ass Elfen Lied anime.”
The video starts to play. The show opens with a young teen boy violently smashing the bodies of two lifeless, bloodied girls with a metal baseball bat. Immediately, my eyes widen as I continued watching this dude beat these two girls to death. The young boy dropped his bat as the camera focused on his carnage. Finally, the focus was on the kid’s face as he panted, his eyes widened and blood on his face.
“Holy shit. ” I said to my self quietly. “What is this show?”
I’ve never been much of a horror media guy. I find them boring and cheesy (due to American films) and thoughtless gore fest. Most of them are just the bad guy slicing and dicing up their stupid victims, lacking focus on true fear – psychological fear . But the first 30 seconds of Higurashi felt different. This feeling was solidly in the OP animation and music.
The distance, distorted haunting vocals, the fast-paced arpeggio bass-line, the visual contrast of of a bloodied Rena walking on glass barefoot, Satoko alone in a flower fields crying, and Shion surrounded in red with her face twisted in rage. Each character’s expression and the color usage of their introduction told me that this anime was not like any horror media I’ve seen prior. Just off the OP, I could understand their feeling of sadness, confusion, rage, etc. Emotion plays a huge role in the show I assumed; based off the OP.
This sold me to watching Higurashi.
So, I watched. I watched in confusion at Keiichi waking up in the morning and chilling with Rena and Mion – the two girls he had killed earlier. Was that a dream? A vision he had? I did not know but I stay glued to my seat, wanting answers. Yet, the more I watched, the more questions I started asking.
“What’s with this Himizawa muders and are those girls behind it? “ and “Are they pretending to be happy and carefree to lure Keiichi into a trap?”
As I progressed the first few episodes, I started to figure things out about Higurashi , how the time-loop work, how each arc featured a character just one misstep away from snapping and killing everyone or themselves. And it wasn’t just for say edginess like Elfen Lied, these characters legit have psychological reasons behind their actions.
Rena was bullied and almost raped by two male peers. She (justifying) snapped and beat the two boys with a baseball bat. Keep in mind this: she was already emotionally wrecked by her mom cheating on her dad and splitting the family up, so the bullies attacking her was her breaking point. Shion was treated as a black sheep by her family, and was further disowned by them when she fell in love with Satoshi (a boy who is hated by her family). Satoko (Satoshi’s sister) is a completely wreck mentality due to her the murders of her parents, the disappearance of Satoshi, and her uncle physically abusing her. Rika’s parents were murdered as well and suffers from hopelessness from living thorugh 100 of years of timeloops ending in the same result – death.
Hell, even the series final villain Miyo had issues that lead her into becoming the bad guy; She was left orphaned after the death of her parents. She was taken in by a government run orphanage which was abusing and torturing the children in it. She was no exception to the abuse. Thankfully, she was taken in by her dad’s mentor who treated and loved her like his own granddaughter, but the damage done to her by her abusers at the orphanage took it toll. Stack that with her witnessing her “grandfather” being belittled by his peers for his research, fueling her revenge against everyone that did him (and her) wrong and you got Miyo’s desires to become a God – desires that resulted in the massacred of 2,000+ innocent people a couple of years later.
You just feel so sorry for these characters and understood why they’re behave the way they did throughout the series, ya know?
Anyway I’m going to end this raw freewrite thoughts here but don’t fret! To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Higurashi VN, I will be dropping more raw freewrites on my love for the series and possibly an analysis article .
Also sorry for the bad grammar I have to get to my gig ASAP
You only get one shot. If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me, it’s getting dropped.
Did In Another Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy World impressed me on its first episode? Well, if I’m making fun of the title and its originality, then no. It did not impress me at all.
In Another World With My Smartphone is disappointing. I’m talking “shut-in, black sheep in the family who watches anime all day, cosplays at anime cons, and doesn’t play sports like your father wanted you to; thus he disowns you” disappointing (kinda like some of you weeaboos out there reading this).
I was optimistic that this’ll be a good show based on its premise: Our hero, Touya Mochizuki, is resurrected and sent to a new fantasy-like world of his choosing by God (who accidently killed him by throwing down lighting towards the Earth, striking him). In this new world, Touya can still use his smartphone as it’s powered by magic. In addition, his phone is still linked to his former world, allowing him to receive information and news from it.
It’s an interesting concept that I haven’t seen in any other form of media. Seeing modern day technology powered by magic as it technology itself adapts to the fantasy world. It’s such a great idea and you think the writers of the show can do some amazing ideas with that, right?
Nah. All they give us is yet another cookie cutter otaku fantasy anime with world harem undertones, with some decent and cool ideas to help keep it little original. Outside of the original ideas however, this anime failed to impress me in reasons which I will go over.
The anime opens with the recently decreased Touya chilling in heaven alongside God (who looks like a regular lookin’ grandfather; with his glasses, normal clothes, and all). God explains to Touya that his death was accidental to His own carelessness, and begs for Touya’s forgiveness. Touya’s rather chill about the whole mishap and forgives God, understanding that people make mistakes and you must forgive them for it. I mean, yeah, he did died at such a young age and he didn’t fully experienced life, but at least he doesn’t have to live on Earth with all its awful people and problems. And God’s seems like a very chill, mellow, and sincere dude.
You gotta think positive sometimes, ya know?
Impressed by Touya’s forgiving heart, God makes up for his (literally) fatal mistake by reviving him into any world of his choosing (a fantasy world as mentioned earlier), as well as making his smartphone operate in this new world and gives him His number.
Following that, the OP animation starts to play. It starts out normally – upbeat music plays, there’s panning of forest landscape, Touya’s face’s appearing in the foreground, and annoying singing by some J-Pop idol girls, and holy hell it’s so annoying. Many red flags are going off in my head like I’m a Commie.
Things went from “this show won’t be bad at all!” to “this is going to be yet another annoying, generic otaku harem fantasy world anime ain’t it?” To start with my disappointment towards this aniem, Touya transforms into Kirito Clone #314 with a white pallet swap of Kirito’s school shooter trench coat. That alone should had made me drop this anime as soon as saw that, but I decided to curb my anger just for this review.
What’s with light/web novel characters having trench coats
What’s with light/web novel characters having trench coats
And why they have the same facial features?
nd why they have the same facial features?
(Seriously, I’m not anime racist but, what’s with these light/web novel characters looking alike?)
Alas, my anger would soon dominate my chill and zen mind as the weeaboo-like OP music increased its awfulness. Like forreal, the music makes me want to choke out its producer. I’m willing to stack up and piss away $3500+ for a trip to Japan, just so I can personally strangle the anime’s music producer in hopes he or she will never make awful trash like this ever again.
That, or just master the song on the violin and make money off tips at anime cons from fans of this show. Hustle off these weeb kids and adults because they pay good money to hear violin covers of their favorite weeb song but I digress.
As for the OP animation, it’s what you expect from a Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy World Anime: The first phase of the OP is character introductions. First, we have two girls roaming the countryside. We can assume that they’re twin sisters due to their similar hair and eyes color, facial structure, and clothing. Any clues of their personalities and how different they are aren’t presented as their introduction but if I can take a guess, one is an introverted shy twin and the other is more extroverted, open, and brash.
This is the look of a girl who’ve seen some things.
Next, we’re introduced to some samurai girl who looks like the love child of that girl with owl off Samurai Showdown and Reimu off Touhou. She appears to be just like any other average and plain samurai girl in anime of this type so let’s move forward.
Owl Girl (Samurai Showdown)
Following, is the obvious upbeat Himedere princess. I’m basing this sterotype off the fact of her position in this shot, the color coding of her dress, facial expression, and how her arms are up and spread like she’s a decision maker in her country.
She is followed by who I can assume to be another princess, perhaps a rival princess from another country. I can take a wild guess that she somebody close to her is either dead or missing based how she’s staring outside her window and the depressing look on her face. That, or her weedman whom she called two hours ago is on drug dealer time and is wondering why it’s taking him so long to come through.
We move forward with a below average gothic lolita reading in her dark and gloomy room filled with creepy stuffed animals. Then, we have some random minor character introductions. After that, is a quick ascending shot focusing on a floating island which is followed up by shot of a MILF and her daughter, maybe? Her student? Some kid she kidnapped? I dunno the connection between the two other than they have the same weird purple and white hair clips. Speaking of connections, is there a connection to the floating island and these two, given they had their introducing shots back-to-back with the same quick ascending panning.
Next, the OP focus back on that Himdere Princesss and she just look annoying with her overly happy childish Genki anime girl expression and animal mascot sidekick. She looks annoying and I hope her animal sidekick bites into her neck and drags her across the ground violently like Mantecore the White Tiger did Roy Horn. Just snatch all her shit up and maul her to death.
This is the most punchable moe’ face I’ve seen in a while
Then, we’re introduced to a secondary male character. He’s totally gonna be Touya’s rival or something with how he is position in the middle, there’s that speed lines pointing directing at him, and there’s a close up of his smug face. He has white hair, so he probably has a tragic past or something that will make the fangirls feel bad for him or something. Or “he” might be a cross-dressing girl with masculine features thus making everyone question their sexuality because it’s a harem show and we need to carter to every type of niche of animu girl archtype here – even reverse traps.
The OP transition to battle showcases and boy, are they boring. Every battle that is shown here lack any sense of direction towards urgency, excitement, or high stakes in terms of life or death. The brawler twin just curb stomps some dragon as she slams her fists into its body while her mage sister cast magic against….invisible enemies? Oh and we don’t know what kinda spell she just cast. I guess an explosion spell maybe? I dunno.
Reimu and Owl Girl’s love child fighting style example is one of the worse of this phase and here’s why: So Samurai Girl runs up on one lizard man) and lizard man puts up his shield to protect himself, right? But it looks like either Samurai Girl slice the shield or stomach of the lizard man but it’s hard to tell based off the camera angle and the awkwardness of the animation. Then she charges into two other lizardmen.
We can tell she’s charging into them based off the animation speed lines, but that animation just fades as she slices the first Lizardman’s shield, runs (with the speedlines re-appearing), the camera moving awkwardly behind her as the speedlines disappear and she attacks two more lizardmen. Just like with the first lizardman, we can’t tell if she hit them or not due to how weird the animation appears.
(Refer to the OP video link above as my GIF creation program wouldn’t work at the time of posting this review)
The scene quickly transition to the second princess firing a magic bow towards a group of some damn dirty apes who were just minding their own business. Not much to go on here, so let’s tear apart Touya’s battle.
Touya fights against some old dude in an empty arena for no reason. The fight choreography is lazy as there is no effort and direction with the sword fighting. The sword swings has no force or power behind them as they side step to the right. There’s small sparks at each clash of their blades but it’s not anything grand. In short, this is the worse battle of this phase due to the animator not caring or pressed for time and completion.
The OP finally ends with Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy MC (I’m not calling him by his real name anymore) and the girls standing in front of an unknown mansion. Will this be his personal penthouse for him and his harem where they all live in harmony? Are they going to do some The Great Gatsby type partying here? Is it some random dude’s house they just rented out the front lawn for this shot alone? Oh well, it doesn’t really matter.
At this point, my gut was telling me “Hey Benjamin, drop this now! It’s not worth your blood pressure rising due to your anger.” I ignored my gut’s warning.
“Nah, let’s see how laughably terrible this anime will get!” I rebuttal as I aggressively tapped my left index finger against the side of my laptop while punching the wall with my right hand in anger from witnessing such a generic show of a OP. I mean, this anime isn’t that utterly horrible. I can see why some folks may like it, but its’ not my cup of tea. And yet, I swear if I kept watching this entry level moe’ harem filth, I’d commit mass murder against all lonely otaku who love to project their harem otaku fantanties on main characters like this Touya..
I need to listen to my gut more often.
Once the awful OP ends, we see Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy MC lying in a field unconscious. He awakens, sees that he’s okay, and heads to town. As he questions how he’ll survive in this new world, Generic MC receives a call from God. After confirming that Generic MC is okay he informs him that he upgraded his phone to help him get through the new town with ease such as installing a map program detailing the area.
Once receiving the map updates, Generic MC heads to town, but is stopped by some weird, overly excited, possibly gay tailor; He begs the MC to sell his “bizarre” school clothes to him in exchange for some gold pieces and clothing to help blend in. The scene cuts away to an eye-catch of a recycled image of the MC checking his phone and annoying MMORPG-like music jingle.
“They’re gonna use this often, aren’t they? I hope not this is annoying.” I asked myself. “Eh, probably not, it’s just a one-time thing, right?”
Oh Ben, you’re so full of hope.
After receiving his new clothes (and being creped out by the tailor sniffing his old outfit), Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy World MC wanders around town, seeking the Silver Moon Inn as mentioned to him by the tailor. He needs a place to lounge in and settle in the new world. While searching for the inn, he encounters the set of twins from the OP being harassed by some thugs in an alley. The girls sold the thugs a damaged glass antler piece and believe they should not pay full price for it. They demand the girls to lower the price, which they refuse.
Touya decides to step in and help the girls. And once again, a red flag pops up in my head.
“Let me guess: Dude’s gonna play hero, somehow overpower the two thugs who’re in better shape than he is, and the two girls will sworn over him and befriend him, despite being ignorant of his origins.”
My theory will be soon proven right.
The thugs try to attack the kid but he takes them out with ease. During the strife, we’re treated to a sample of his powers bestow upon him by God. As the smaller thug charges towards the MC with a knife, he dodges the blade. He notices that he is moving so fast that the world feels like it’s in slow motion. Taking advantage of this, he smashed his elbow into the spine of the attacker, knocking him out cold. The anime doesn’t show what happens to the other thug.
Guess he saw his homeboy getting that ass whoop and was like “Nah bruh, I’m good. I didn’t even want that glass piece anyways.” and dipped off screen.
So Touya, or Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy MC. This kid’s a Gary Sue – blessed by God who enhanced his natural abilities. He managed to whoop one thug’s ass so badly that his homeboy ran off on him like he just ripped off the plug. In under ten minutes we’ve encounter awful OP music, a harem set up, a generic fantasy otaku dream world, and now a Gary Sue MC who’ve just impressed a set of twin girls with his powers.
The cynical me was yearning for the kid to act all cool and cocky against the thugs, only to have his skull caved in by them. Kinda like Subaru (Re:Zero) was put in his place for playing hero by the two thugs harassing Emila. Granted, In Another World With My Smartphone is a campy “stuck-in-a-fantasy-world”anime compared to Re:Zero, and the kid did died at such a young age. He earned the right to live out this fantasy life of being overly powered and have girls fall of him day one. But still, this lazy writing and train wreck anime makes wanna drink. I need to get drunk tolerant this trash.
Touya and the twins (Elze; a headstrong brawler and Linze; the quiet mage) are quickly acquainted. After revealing some information about his background, he tells the girls that he’s searching for the Silver Moon Inn. To the surprise of nobody who understand lazy writing and are knowledgeable in classic RPG troopes/clichés, the twins are staying in that exact inn and agree to let him join their adventure.
There’s another cut away shot with some awful guitar music playing while the voice actresses of the twins are humming along to the melody (off beat mind you). They sound bored; as if they just wanna get their paycheck and forget the fact that they worked on this show. I don’t blame them.
[Skipping several unimportant scenes ahead]
Later that night, we see Touya lying in bed checking his cell phone. The phone is still connected to his old world, so he still receives news updates from it as we see him reading an entertainment article on a popular band from his world breaking up. I personally like this, as it shows that life in his old world has move on after his death. This makes me wish that I wasn’t dropping this anime, because I want to see the writers play with the idea of Touya checking his phone for news updates in his old world.
The next morning, Touya, Elze, and Linze scan a bulletin board searching for quests to earn money. After the twins get Touya hip on how the guild system work, the three apply to hunt down and kill five horned wolves, collecting their horns as proof of killing the beasts. Before heading out, Touya arms himself with a sword – furthering the point home that he’s a generic action-fantasy web/light novel hero
Toyua tears through and flawlessly kill two wolves as expected (because you know, can’t have the Gary Sue MC get torn apart and slaughtered by wild beasts ass in mere seconds), one of the wolves being an extra kill just because. After the battle, he mentions that he wants to learn how to read and write in the language of the world he’s living in, given he lacks the knowledge of knowing how to. Furthermore, he wants to learn magic as he was inspired by Linze’s spell casting.
Let’s break this down: he gets to live in a world that he’s happy in (fair enough due to reasons mentioned earlier), he takes down thugs flawlessly, links up with twins, kills two monsters with ease (one which was an extra kill), and now he wants to learn magic. As a Gary Sue kid with an unprecedented natural learning rate and talent, he’ll master magic with ease of course.
As they’re chilling back at the Inn, the twins tell Touya that in order to learn and master magic, he must have been born with strong aptitudes. Linze (born with strong aptitude) showcases her magic spells to Touya through elemental stones. Linze shows Touya a weak water magic spell, filling a small tea cup up with water. She passes the stone to Touya, who on his first try almost floods the table. The twins are shocked and even impress by this and suggest that they go outside to have him practice with the othert stones before he destories the inn.
Of course, Touya shows impressive display of skills of each stone’s magic. He has no hassle in using their powers a few steps above the average. It’s like he’s of the Master Knight class from the stagery RPG Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War – he can use all magic and weaponry. Expert unlike say Lachesis of Leaf (two Master Knights) who had to work their asses off to get that class, this kid would start off as a Master Knight right from the gate.
After seeing the kid showcasing how much of a Gary Stu he is, I decided to drop the episode right there and then. I had enough of it.
In Another World With My Smartphone isn’t too terrible, but it’s not great either. For what it’s worth, this show works well for its target audience and demographic. It’s a campy, fun show that doesn’t take itself or clichés seriously. I can see it as a show for somebody who just wants to relax on an easy day with a beer (or juice for the younger folks) and chill out after a long day of work or school. As for people like me outside it’s demographic, I can’t recommend it.
I was really hopeful that this anime would have been different with using modern technology in a fantasy world that still work due ot magic. That is an amazing concept that I wanan see more in anime, because it’s something I’ve never seen before. While I did drop the episode, I did manage to peep at the scene where Touya is explaining how to create ice cream with magic thanks in part with his cell phone. I thought that was cool him showing the resident of his new world how the technology of his former world works.
I must also appreciate the RPG like aesthetics of this show. It made me felt like I was watching a campy RPG come to life and I personally wouldn’t mind playing a RPG game like this. The music itself has that classic smartphone RPG vibe with it light orchestral soundtrack playing the scenes. Granted, I will say it got annoying at certain points.
Sadly, the predictable overpowerness of Touya and him learning magic and weaponery with ease is a huge turn off. I get that he was blessed by God to have his natural abiblities increased ten folds, but it comes off as cheap and lazy. However, it seems like Touya will struggle with reading and writing overtime so I guess that’s a fair trade off.
In short, just skip In Another World With MY Smartphone if you dislike OP’d Gary Stu characters and overly capmy RPG troopes. It’s not worth wsting your time watching. If you don’t mind it and just want a warm, upbeat show to watch then I say watch it.
I would give this show a 4.5/10, but it’s that modern day technology in a fantasy world idea is great and I think if done right, it could be sometime exciting to see in future anime series. Plus
I’m tempted to give this show a second chance just based off how relaxing of a show this is. Also I just saw how the other thug was defeated after writing this. Dude was knock out by the brawler twin but I’m too lazy to edit that in lol.
Higurashi in the only power of friendship anime I respect.
In life, we experience pain. Betrayal. Abuse. Hopelessness. Lost. Suffering. Depression. Anxiety. Whatever. The point being is this: life is brutal. However – the support of (true) family and friends can helps ebb our pain. With their help, we can push forward and grow better day-by-day.
07th Expansion and Studio Deen’s Higurashi no Naku Koro ni show us how the power of friendship can pull us up through our darkest Moments. Moments that make us believe we’re hopeless. Movements that makes feel that there’s nobody who can understand what we are going through.
This is where the beauty of Higurashi comes in.
The main cast (Rena, Shion, Mion, Satoko, Rika, and Keiichi) are suffering from various degrees of pain. Rena suffered from trauma of bullying and her mother cheating on her father. Shion is the Sonozaki family’s blacksheep, thus straining her relationship with her love ones. Satoko…poor Satoko. Keiichi suffers from the guilt of his past sins. And Rika with despair and hopelessness. They all believe that nobody understand htier pain and suffering, until they reached out to their friends at one point in the series.
Example: Keiichi reaches out to Rena whom was suffering from paranoia. She believed that nobody understood her pain and took it out on her friends. Keiichi opened his heart to her, allowing her to express her pain to him. Keep in mind that in a different world of Higurashi (long story), Keiichi murdered Rena – whom he believed was trying to kill him. Rena in reality was literally reaching out to him, knowing that he was going through the same paranoia that she experienced years prior.
“The Power of Friendship” of anime is so cheesy and Higurashi is one only anime that I’ve personally experienced the troope executed right with realistic themes such as child abuse and mental health. Higurashi teaches us that we have a support system and that we must never allow ourselves to think that we are suffering alone and that people do not understand what wer’re going through.
With that said, I hope you enjoy this very raw, unedited, poor grammar freewrite. Tell me in the ocmments if you too are a fan of Higurashi and appericate its usage of the power of friendship as a narrative.
In Another World With My Smartphone is disappointing. I’m talking “shut-in otaku, black sheep in the family who watches anime all day, and doesn’t play sports like your father wanted you to, thus he disowns you” disappointing (kinda like some of you weebs out there). I had so much hope for this anime when I first heard about it. The idea of the main character using modern day technology in a fantasy world, and said technology is powered through magic. That’s sound amazing! It’s something I’ve never seen in anime before (or in any type of media), and I was curious on how that will play out in the series.
Sadly, my hopes were crushed when I realized within the first two or three minutes of the episode that this anime was, yet another , cookie cutter otaku fantasy harem series. You know, we’ve seen time-after-time before; Thanks due the popularity of Sword Art Online. Plus, I should had know this show would had been garbage from the jump given it’s a light novel series cratered to lonely otaku who yearn to live out some weird harem fantasy that they know deep down will never happen.
I mean they can’t talk to a single women, let another collect multiple women to add into an harem.
Stay tune in the future for my more in-depth review on episode one of In Another Generic Otaku Harem Fantasy World in the near future.
‘I think it’s time we blow this scene. Get everybody and the stuff together. OK. 3 2 1. Let’s jam.’
I’m going to make this bold ass statement: If series such as Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Pokemon jump started the Western anime craze of the 1990s, then Cowboy Bebop snatched that craze and carried it to unimaginable heights during the early 2000s – thus shaping how anime is viewed in the eyes of mainstream America today. If Cowboy Bebop never made it to the States or became such an overnight hit, then (maybe) mainstream interest in anime here in would had die out. Don’t get me wrong: those shows did well here in the States, but Cowboy Bebop was a game changer. I (personally) believed that the show helped changed the stereotype that anime is childish in America.
Putting my major (and fact-less) bias aside, Cowboy Bebop is Sunrise Studio’s 1998 legendary anime series produced by the equally legendary team up of director Shinchiro Watanabe, writer Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshiro Kawamoto, and composer Yoko Kanno. The series revolves around the adventures of a ragtag crew of bounty hunters attempting to make ends meet day-by-day.
The crew consist of the zen, free-spirited Spike, his best friend; the wise and mature Jet, the provocative opportunist; Faye, and finally, the quirky teenage super-genius; Ed. What’s unique about these characters is their connection to their (tragic) pasts, and how it crafts their present-day lives and personalities.
Spike declares himself “dead”, due to his past with the Red Dragons crime family, as well as feeling guilt towards Julia – the only person he truly cared for. This results in his “Whatever happens, happens” mantra in combination of his carefree spirit. Jet’s struggles with his past is rooted in the betray of his friend; whom ambushed and shot him – resulting the loss of his arm. Faye perhaps has the most unstable, complex connection to the past (next to Spike) of the main cast. She lacks knowledge of her own past due 50+ years of deep cryogenic sleep. Further in the series, she learns about it through an old, homemade Betamax recording of her younger self. It’s revealed that she was an once a hopeful, shy, kindhearted, innocent kid full of wild dreams. Those dreams were ruined after her family were slaughtered by space pirates, leaving her the lone survivor. The injuries she suffered from the attack forced doctors to put her in deep sleep, which resulted in her memory lost and personality change.
Oh well, whatever happens, happens.
What makes Cowboy Bebop my highest rated series is how it was such a game changer for me as a teenager. Prior to my encounter with it, I was used to shows such as Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, and Outlaw Star to name a few. Great shows mind you with good stories, but they weren’t really deep or thought provoking (Outlaw Star and Sailor Moon S did made me think a little bit with their themes, but it wasn’t like Cowboy Bebop level deep). Cowboy Bebop had this more adult branding to it; it made me feel in love with the series. You had jazz music playing in some of the major fights, characters drinking, smoking (both weed and tobacco on screens), poppin’ pills and trippin’ off shrooms. There were beautiful, kickass female characters who were treated not just as eye-candy, but humans. Cow or Bebop showcased characters that had legit issues that you could relate to such as debt, struggling with the past, burdens etc. No longer was I limited to anime that had your typical fuckin’ bullshit “defeat the monster-of-the-day” or “I wanna be the strongest in the world” fantasy shit.
Cowboy Bebop was the real shit because it was real.
‘Once upon a time, in New York City in 1941… at this club open to all comers to play, night after night, at a club named “Minston’s Play House” in Harlem, they play jazz sessions competing with each other. Young jazz men with a new sense are gathering. At last they created a new genre itself.
They are sick and tired of the conventional fixed style jazz.
They’re eager to play jazz more freely as they wish then… in 2071 in the universe… The bounty hunters, who are gathering in the spaceship “BEBOP”, will play freely without fear of risky things. They must create new dreams and films by breaking traditional styles. The work, which becomes a new genre itself, will be called… COWBOY BEBOP’
-Cowboy Bebop’s tagline pitch
29 days down, just one more. Day 30 – Your Favorite Anime.
This…will be fun.
While you’re waiting for that, please check out these amazing video by Digibro on Cowboy Bebop:
With episodes four and five’s plot of Mary and Yumeko teaming up to regain their humanity and lives, I figured that now is a great time to drop a theory I have on two possible narrative theme elements of Kaegurui; The theme of power and freedom. Both episodes (including manga spoilers) and the ED provided me with more than enough evidence and clues to support these claims. Hell, I’ll throw in some theories I have about Yumeko’s personality because why not.
The first phase of the ED opens with separate, close focus shots of Yumeko’s ass and bouncing breasts; branding Kakegurui as a series of near hyper sexuality. Next, we see Yumeko walking in the rain unprotected. She doesn’t appear to mind the rain, or the problems it brings. This tells us that Yumeko is carefree: She loves taking risks and finds comfort in being reckless. In short, she marches to the rhythm of her own beat.
Sakaya reflecting on Yumeko’s carefree spirit.
Sakaya reflecting on Yumeko’s carefree spirit.
Sakaya reflecting on Yumeko’s carefree spirit.
In the background, there is a peony flower – the Japanese symbol of daring bravery and wealth. People with bravery and wealth are powerful. Yumeko is a brave girl; she’s not bothered by high risk stakes or manipulation by outside sources. In fact, she enjoys it. To say she gains pleasure from it is a statement not far from the truth. Hyakkaou itself is rich in wealth, bravery, and power. Seeing the peony flowers in various Kakegurui manga covers and promotional materials is no coincidence in that sense.
The peony cycles through four colors: red, green, yellow-green, and purple.
In color theory, red is use for power. Now, what are the Hyakkaou students gambling for? Status and power above all. But, before you get the power, you must get the money. This leads us to the next color – green.
Green – most associated with money – and greed. Money makes the world go round. Money never sleeps like Wall Street. If gambling is the backbone of the school than money is the lifeblood. The student body is made up of the children of some of the richest and most powerful connected families of Japan.
Power is everything. Money rules all.
‘You gotta get the money first. Then when get the money, you get the power.’ -Tony Monata, Scarface (1983 American film)
‘All my life I want money and power.’ -Kendrick Lamar, Backseat (2012 American hip-hop single)
Next is yellow-green. We already analyze green, so let’s focus on yellow. Yellow represents logic, analysis, and brain stimulation. Gambling itself is a mental game; As you much analyze and read your opponent’s moves. Logic can greatly dictate the flow of a gambling match (if you’re extremely smart and/or know how to play the system that is). Yellow can also represent joy and happiness – something Yumeko tend to indulge herself in a lot through gambling.
Finally the color purple. Purple represents royalty, power, luxury, and nobility – four things in which the upper-class students either have obtained or inherited. The lower-class/livestock yearns for these four things they lack. Purple is also a mysterious, yet beautiful color. This works with Yumeko, as we do not know neither her origins, nor background. She’s also rather beautiful as her male peers were captivated by her beauty at first sight (and it’s implied Ryota has a crush on her based on her beauty).
This phase of the ED continues for a few bars of music, which builds up as the vocalist and instruments are layered in the melody.
There are quick, close focus shots of Yumeko’s chest, skirt, opened shirt, and finally, her lips. The animation of her lips sync with the vocalist singing “tagitte shimau wa!, or, “I’m overflowing!” in English.
Now, we’ve heard Yumeko say this line before in episode 2; as she gets aroused through gambling. Gambling excites Yumeko profoundly. Perhaps a bit too much however.
The ED transitions into phase two. The peony flower has exploded into red pedals. The pedals start to rotate around Yumeko. Now, remember that red means power. Who has the power in Hyakkaou? The student government has the power of course. Now, could that possibly mean that Yumeko will break up the student council’s power game, and have them wrapped around her fingers as the series progress?
These lyrics of the ending theme seem to suggest so:
‘So have your way with their souls.
Make them dance in the palm of your hand!’
Then again, this could also be a reference to how the student council control the lower class; removing their humanity, treating them as livestock, and dictating their lives through the Life Schedule Plan (more on that later).
After that, Yumeko tosses her blazer aside carelessly; her dress shirt open, revealing her cleavage and pink bra. Her arms are spread slightly. She walks with fluidity as she sways her hips back and forth, still soaked by the rain. Liberated from her “restrains” (the blazer and buttoned shirts), she wears a wide smile; As if she’s happy that she can be free. Perhaps this symbolize that in the future, she’ll finally be happy that she can be her true self – a fearless, limitless gambler.
There’s a bar of rest in the music, followed by an upskirt shot from the ground up. The downbeat directs us to the final phase. Yumeko’s arms and hair are raised high above her head. She walks with more confidence in each step. Multiple lights sync with the percussion, alternating between blue and pink at each bar. Five or six peony flowers appear in the background, each rotating like roulette wheels while the pedals of the original peony still dance around Yumeko.
The imagery increases with intensity, working in synergy with the music’s crescendo. The animation transitions to a set of poker chips ascending; This might hint that Yumeko will raise above the ranks of Hyakkou and the student government.
Finally, the ED ends with a focus shot of the Yumeko’s face. It’s blushed, her lips are parted, and her hair a mess. She appears she just been pleasured sexually for some odd reason (sex sells I guess). Also, note how her hair are red – just like the peony pedals. Perhaps she gains power and triumph over the student government overtime. Maybe I’m thinking way too deep into the shot, but whatever.
By analyzing the ED, I’ve theorized two the possible themes of Kakegurui are freedom and power.
Freedom plays a large role in the series. Students yearning to free themselves from their “pet” and “livestock” statues, as well as debts they owe to others. We first see this through Ryota and Mary’s game from the first episode. Of course, Ryota lost to Mary and became her pet as a result.
Later, after her defeat against Yumeko, Mary is force to surrender her life, and live the life that the student council crafted for her: the Life Schedule Plan (getting married to a senator, baring his children, etc.).
She enters a debt forgiveness gambling match with Yumeko (also suffering the same fate as Mary). The two join forces to lower their debt, thus one step closer in retaining their humanity and freedom. During this match, we’re introduced to Nanami, a young girl reduced to livestock status. She’s forced to partner up with minor villain Kiwatari. After realizing that she was coerced (as well as emotionally and mentally abused) into working for Kiwatari, Yumeko convinces Nanami to grow a backbone, fight for herself, and free herself from Kiwatari. Despite losing the match (coming in second place) and still having debt, Nanami gains a sense of freedom and confidence for herself.
As for the theme of power, it’s quite obvious. From episode 1 to the recent episode 5 (and the manga of course), power and status is played heavily in the series. Mary has power over Ryota for a time. Yumeko displays her power through extreme wit and intelligence. Students with status and money have power over the pets. The student government (made up of high ranking gamblers and students with political and financial connections) rule the school through their power. We see the fincinal status and connection with Itsuki (as her dad is the CEO of a toy company) and the political pull and ruling of the current ruthless Kirari Momobami.
Power is everything in Hyakkaou.
‘No one man should have all that power.’
–Kanye West, Power (2010 hip-hop single)
How did you like my analysis and theories? Think I’m spot on or am I’m just overthinking an ED and the music? I’m excited how things will play out in both the manga nad anime, as things are starting to get wild in episode 5. I’ve yet to read the manga but I heard from a friend that it’s nuts. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Mother’s Basement analysis of the OP of Kakegurui. Although this further inspired me to do this ED analysis, I wasn’t initially inspired by the video. I was more inspired by Anime Live Reaction analysis of Dragon Ball Super ED 7 to analyze anime lyrics and ED.
NOTE: If you’re wondering why I haven’t done days 29 and 30 of the “30 Day of Anime Challenge”, it’s because I’ve been too heavily focus on other major projects right now. They will return soon.
Now, that’s something I’d say back in 2007. Today, both shows are back on the air: with Dragon Ball with Dragon Ball Super and Sailor Moon with Sailor Moon Crystal.
Go me and reliving my carefree childhood!
To be real with you guys;there aren’t any anime that I wished never ended. Yea I mean, it suck that some shows ended abruptly(say Elfen Lied) or due to studio carelessness and lack of interest (think Studio DEEN with their terrible adaption of Umineko no Naku Koro ni). If an anime ended, it just means that. Just gotta deal with it. Move on and watch new shows to enjoy.
If the finished (or canceled) anime you enjoy has an currently running manga, or other form of media (gaming, visual novel, etc.), then give the different media a try. Join an online forum full with fans of the series you enjoy and talk to them about how much joy it brought you.
To end, are there any shows that I wish never ended? Nah. Not really. Sometimes, some series get rebooted or continued through a new entry. Some might end forever. Others may continue on through other media, or the source material is still active. And finally, you just simply have to move on to other anime.
(…okay so I kinda wish The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya kept going.)
You only get one shot. If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me, it’s getting dropped.
So, did Hajimete no Gal impressed me on its first episode? Absolutely not!
I had to straight dropped this disrespectful-to-the-source-material trash in under eight minutes. It’s that horrible. However, I figure I’d watch the episode in full. I wanted to thoroughly explain why I don’t like this anime. Plus, I need to confirm my theory that it’ll be garbage overtime.
First off, the opening scene is a panty shot. No warnings, explanations, or buildup leading us to why we’re seeing Yukana’s crotch on the screen. Nope. Just straight up panty shot. To me, that’s just NAZ saying that they’re lacking confidence in the success of their adaption. If using a panty shot as the opening scene is a way to hook the viewers in, then your anime is going to suck.
The manga didn’t open up with a panty shot. The first pages were just Junichi groveling on the ground at the feet of Yukana, with his head lowered in shame. There was a panty shot towards the end of the chapter, but it was directed so that it made sense that. Junichi caught a peep of her panties from the angle of his position. The opening shot of the anime didn’t give that information or sense of direction. That’s why it was off putting.
The opening page.
Notice the lack of panty shots?
Next is the gosh darn annoying opening animation song and animation. The song, “The First Season”, sounds like some generic, entry level weeaboo J-Pop music that you’d normally hear on some weird Japanese-only rhythm game. For example, that Project Diva game that lonely spaz ass weebs play at anime cons. It’s easily forgettable, and could be passed off as a theme song for any other generic romantic-comedy anime.
The OP animation gives off the impression that series might be directed as a harem, as three others girls are introduced: A bubbly, cute, yet graceless chubby girl, a tanned gyaru (who may be the Yukana’s best friend or something), and a graceful, modest girl (whom we can assume is either popular, or has high status, given she’s surrounded by many peers).
Excellent. Not only did that unnecessary panty shot didn’t help anyone who may be skeptical about Hajimete no Gal, the OP is an extra strike for anyone (myself included) who hates harem, or overly perverted material in anime with no substance or reason.
(Admittedly, I’m on chapter 5 of the manga, and I’ve yet to encountered the other girls besides Yukana. Junichi and Yukana are already dating, and Yukana likes him. I don’t know what’s with other girls; if they’re further in the manga or what, but I digress.)
While I’m on the subject, the girl’s design looks plain and lazy. Uninspiring even – lacking depth and clues about their personalities. Also, why does each girl (sans the modest looking chick) have large breasts? Not every female character needs large tits my dude. Sigh. The opening animation pisses me off. The opening shot pisses me off. This episode pisses me off. If I were to watch this entire anime, I’ll lose my temper.
With that said, lets examine the rest of episode.
The anime begins similar to the manga; Junichi frets entering the new school year as a kiss-less virgin. His friends, a group of outcast nerds (Shinpei, Keigo, and Minoru) are in the same boat. Together, they make a pact to lose their virginity. Or at the least obtain new girlfriends before the end of the school year.
While Jun will achieve in getting a girlfriend (he’s the main character, he gets the girl first), his crew talks that good game about getting with a chick to smash and date. Mostly smash. Heck any chick is great for them. White chicks. Black chicks. Asian Chicks. Tsundere Chicks. Dandere. Yandere chicks. They’re all free game – even if the chick looks clearly like a loli.
And here is where things goes from bad to just utterly wrong.
I respect the fact that animators and writers must create filler scenes for manga-to-anime adaption. If you directly apadate the manga panel-by-panel without filler, you’re going to have a very short anime. With that said; when did Jun’s crew became a bunch of pedophiles, trying to smash a girl who’s clearly in middle or grade school? In the manga, they were some petty haters; mad at Jun because he got with Yukana. Cool. They’re still assholes in the anime. That ain’t changed.
But lusting after a little girl? Fam, what the hell? Like, after Nene is introduced (way too early mind you), Minoru starts asking and making some rather suspect questions and statements about Nene. I’ll let these screenshots speak for themselves:
Moving forward, The Virgin Brigade (sans Jun) make an unanimous decision to look at porn magazines in class. They drool over the models’ physical attributes, making rather lewd comments about them. Jun is pressured into reading one. He refuses, but gives up and reluctantly accepts one. While reading it, Junichi is startled by Yukana’s disgust towards the group. Junichi clumsily throws the book behind his back, landing at her feet. Jun hurries to recover it, stumbles, and falls near her. She glares downwards towards him and calls him disgusting. Needless to say, Junichi is utterly embarrassed at what has just transpired.
After school, Junichi confronts his friends about the incident. They tell him to chill and to take advantage of the recent situation. Next, they explain to him how easy(going) gyaru are; suggesting to him that he should pursue Yukana. Once again, he is pressured by his friends into another unwanted situation. In fact, his crew wrote a confession letter addressed to Yukana from Junichi’s point of view. He’s understandably pissed but he catches himself and calms down. He fantasizes about smashing Yukana, inspired after gaining a peep at her panties earlier. He figures that if he confesses and luck out, he’ll get to see more than just her panties, and loses his virginity. They slip the letter into Yukana’s locker and wait.
Later, Yukana receives the letter and meets with Junichi after reading it. They two meet up , and Junichi “confesses” – by getting on his knees, lowering his head, and begs her for a date. Yukana is disgusted once again, but starts to laugh and tease him, questions him if the only reason why he wants to date her is so that he could to lose his virginity. Dude starts to (over)think that he screwed up, but regains his confidence as Yukana tells him that she finds him cute and wants to get him know him better. She decides that she wants to go out with him, much to his disbelief.
The episode ends with Junichi shouting in victory at his success. Same as the manga.
To conclude, let me explain why I’m dropping this trash adaption. The extra scenes with Yui (the popular and modest girl) and Nene felt unnecessary. It made me assumed that the series was going to stray far from its manga roots; with Junichi attempting to get with every girl (as opposed to the manga where Junichi only had eyes for Yukana). If I had lacked prior knowledge of the manga. and watched the anime fully blind, seeing that possible harem set-up would had made me drop the show off the OP alone.
I’m that strict.
Then, we have Junichi’s crew. His friends are haters in both the manga and anime. They’re a group of young dudes interested in girls and sex, which is normal. What’s not normal is these dudes wanting to have sex with Nene just because she’s a loli.
Despite my overal harsh criticism, I will say that I appreciate that the animation team accurately animated panels from the manga shot-by-shot such as the guys looking at porn in the classroom, Junichi’s sexual fantasies, and his confession to Yukana.
As for the animation itself, it’s not too terrible. However, it’s not amazing either. There doesn’t seem to be any inconsistent, off models shots (from what I’ve noticed) or anything that would be jarring. Yet, there’s much more to be desired from the visuals, as many shots lack details, as many parts weren’t “animated” (example – the scene were the students are being lovely-dovely should have had arm moves, kissing, etc like Jun’s fantasy with Yukana were she’s slowly undresses herself, lick her lips, teases Jun, etc.)
Overall, Hajimete no Gal isn’t a completely terrible anime, but it’s not great either. Hell, it’s not even good. It feels like an sub-par romantic-comedy anime that could had have a lot going for it; given how amazing the source material is.
Sadly, the adaption falls flat on its ass due to its overused of fanservice, lack of detailed animation, and uninteresting premises that sway far from its source material. Maybe things will get better as the series carries along in the summer season, but from what I’ve been infromed by die hards fans who’ve read further into the manga than I and watched episodes 2 and 3, I shouldn’t have any hopes that the anime will do the manga justice.
On the bright side at least this review and score isn’t as brutal as on my Facebook page:
EDIT: Strong language removed so I can run this post as an ad for Facebook lol
NOTE:This is the text version of the audio discussion between my friend DJ Killzown and myself on the same topic. The link to the YouTube will be provide below.
Conventions are a wonderful place to have fun and let loose with fellow nerds. However, conventions can also be overwhelming for newcomers, lacking knowledge on what to do. So, out of the kindness of my heart (and because I need to clean my public image), here are a few things to do at conventions!
Wanna learn interesting tidbits and facts about your favorite series, gain knowledge that’ll set you apart from your peers, or learn more about your favorite voice actor or creator? Go to a panel! Usually, conventions will have four types of panels: Fan, Interactive Industry, and Guest.
Fan panels are run by passionate and all-knowing fans of a series, sharing their expert knowledge to others fans and newcomers alike.
Interactive panels are panels in which you can partake in the action and/or have an hands on experience in relation to the subject. Examples include sake tasting, sewing tutorials, murder-mystery solving, cooking anime inspired foods, and hypnotism panels.
Industry panels are run by industry guests such as Funimation or Viz Media. Industry panels will host series reveals, news on upcoming projects, and the industry hosts will answer your questions about what’s currently going on in the industry. Sometimes, industry guests will reveal get exclusive news andcontent about a project first at their panels before the rest of the world get the information.
Finally, guest panels. Guest panels are of course hosted by the guests of honor. It’s worth your time going to one as you can learn about your favorite voice actor on a more personal, learn how they got their start, and even learn how they feel about their co-workers that they normally wouldn’t say in front of their face (did you know that a lot of America voice actors hate Vic Mignogna?).
One of the best experiences of a convention is meeting your idol and having them autograph their materials for you! To start, learn when and where the guest(s) that you want to see are hosting panels and autograph sessions and attend them. Did they make your favorite manga? Get that shit sign. Are they a voice actor you really love? Get your DVD signed by them! Do you want to know how your favorite voice actor got their start? Go to their panel! Be aware that popular gusests tend to have a long waiting period for autographs sessions. Be sure to have fully charged cell phone or a book to read on standby while you wait!
Higurashi and Umineko cosplay meet
Met new friends within you fandom and show off your cool (or trash) cosplay!! You can find information on meet ups in the program booklet or on the convention social media and website. Showcase your cosplay or just chill and kick with fellow fans and make new connections.
The dealers room is a hall or room full of offical merchandise, fanmade items, wigs, cosplay materials, etc. They’re open all weekend but it’s best to wait until Sunday for the best deals and discounts on products, as merchants want to reduce the amount of items they have to take back home Sunday or Monday.
Play video games here with other cons goers (or be that one asshole who hog ups the console all day because you couldn’t even make friends at an convention) Setups can range from the old school, current games, arcades, or a mixture of all three. Tournaments (such as Street Fighter, Project Diva, Mario Kart. etc.) are often held here, so you should try to join in a tournament if you’re confident in your skills.
Relax! You’re with like-minded people! Cons are a great place to make new friends and networks that can last for life (or a few years until some petty drama comes up and ruin your friendship)! You are all here for a common passion and love. By networking and befriending fellow comic book nerds, weeaboos and otaku alike, you will build a network that can help you find and learn about more conventions in the area and other cool nerd shit outside of cons. Who know what new connections can lead you in the world of convetions.
For you bloggers, vloggers, etc – make sure that you have a business card if you’re networking with others in your field (thanks for that DJ Kill Zone)
Dress up as your favorite character and join the cosplay gatherings and meet. Take pics taken of you in your cosplay, never to find them online! Cosplay is a wonderful hobby that will bring joy and new people into your life! At least do one cosplay in your life if your curious about it!
That wraps up my “What do do at cons” post! I’ll hope our tips will help you enjoy the con!
Well, this challenge well be easy as hell, given I do not have a solid favorite anime movie. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a lie. Genius Party by Studio 4°C is a favorite of mines, but I don’t wanna break down seven films, especially if I don’t have access to the movie right now (plus I’m working on some other projects today, so I gotta focus my time and energy on that). They’re great short films by the same team behind Cowboy Bebop. You should check them out if you like art house like short films.
Since I’m lacking knowledge in anime movies, I need ya help! What anime movies do you guys recommend me watching? I’ve watched Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan and enjoyed all three (although the Broly movie’s story is garbage). I wanna see Kizumonogatari and Sailor Moon R: The Movie in the future.
‘Real niggas do what they wanna do, bitch niggas do what they can.’ -Tupac
Ken Kubo of Gainax’s 1991 animated/live-action comedy-documentary “Otaku no Video” is someone who otaku can relate to. He’s otaku and proud – and wants the world to know. He’s passionate about otaku culture. So passionate in fact, he winds up quitting tennis, drops out of college, and becomes a full pledge, full time otaku with best friend Tanaka. After being dumped by his girlfriend Yoshiko, being belittled by normies for his passion, and unsuccessful job hunts, he declares that he’ll become a total otaku. He yearns to be not just a total otaku, but the ultimate otaku – The Otaking. Inspired by Ken’s declaration, Tanaka too quits job hunting and joins him on the quest to achieving their dreams.
The two start a figurine production company from Tanaka’s house. Day and night non-stop, the two stay on their grind, selling garage kits to fellow otaku. Overtime, their small two-man company grew from a small business into a giant multi-million company, becoming the leading company for figurine production. Not happy with just owning a big business, Ken envisions a theme park for otaku, by otaku – Otakuland.
Ken thinks and dreams big. He wins big, no matter what. Even after losin his company to greedy bankers, Ken doens’t give up and thinks of winning again. He bounces back from rock bottom, and starts grind the all over again. he builds himself up agian and obtain massive success beyond his initial success off his figurine company. After finding an animation studio and creating an anime series that took the world by storm, Ken not only brought back his old company, but becomes the most richest and successful man in history – thanks to his passion.
Ken’s journey to the top as an otkau and businessman inspires me greatly. As otakus, we are often criticized and ridicule for our passion. We’re told to grow up, stop watching cartoons, or whatever bullshit people pull out their ass who don’t understand our love for anime. But we don’t let that shit get to us. We don’t change just to be accepted by those who don’t get us. Instead, we keep and stay to our otaku roots and raise above the naysayers, like Ken himself.
It was the Fall of 2009. Current, but lessen known (by the mainstream) anime series were appearing on YouTube. Suddenly, I had access to shows that I otherwise couldn’t. Browsing YouTube, a peculiar anime caught my attention : The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (THMOS). I was previously hipped to the series thanks to 4chan’s /a/ and various anime message boards. Otaku communities everywhere were praising it, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong watching it.
The titular character, Haruhi, is interesting. She’s egoistical – nobody couldn’t compare to her (in her mind at least). The normal and average bores her. Haruhi’s only interested in the extraordinary. Haruhi wants the world to revolve around her. She believes the world is her stage. In fact, the world belongs to Haruhi – literally.
If you ever watched TMOHS then can you really fault Haruhi for her views? I mean, if you had a realization at age nine that you’re just one in the world of billions, you start questioning your reason of existence as well. You’d want the world to notice that you’re not just a nobody, but a somebody. You would want to stand out from everyone.
‘Have you ever realized just how insignificant your existence on this planet really is’
The moment that I realized that Haruhi would become one of my favorite female character came at episode 13 of the first season.
Walking home from school, Haruhi tells Kyon a story from her childhood. The event of her and her family attending baseball game catalyzed her need for notability. Haruhi was amazed by the sight of the overflowing, sold out stadium. She perceived that the entire population of Japan was gathered there. In reality, as revealed by her father, the attendance was 200,000 people – only a small fraction Japan’s population.
This shocked Haruhi, causing her to break the population numbers down deeper. After arriving home from the game, she starts breaking down the numbers driving her into fractions. She discovered that the attendance was merely two-thousandth of Japan’s total population at the time (128 million in 2006). Haruhi thus concluded that she was merely one person in a world of endless billions. She was just like everyone else – nothing more. Upon this realization, Haruhi understood that in order to stand out, she must do it herself.
Sitting around waiting for change wasn’t a choice.
So, in her first year of high school, Haruhi made every effort to stand out and leave her mark. Even if people were bother by her actions, thought if she was weird or crazy, she wouldn’t stop. In fact the thoughts of others didn’t bother her. Haruhi is doing her without holding back. That what makes her stand out – her self- expression.
Her want of notability.
Watching Haruhi drive herself towards her goals without fear inspired me to do the same. I wanted to stand out and let the world know I here. That I will drive myself to make my mark upon the world. The drive to stand out. That’s what I want from life.
That is why Haruhi Suzumiya is my favorite female protagonist.
‘ I’d let the world know I wasn’t a girl who was happy sitting around waiting. And I’ve done my best to become that person. ‘
Let me tell you something; I love villains who’re the catalysis of their series, like Lord Frieza of Dragon Ball Z. Frieza man, he was the direct cause Goku’s grand expanding adventure. If it wasn’t for Frieza aligning and betraying the Saiyans, Goku would had never been sent to Earth to conquer it (which of course he never did). To say that the Dragon Ball series would had been different would be an unbelievable understatement.
There wouldn’t be anyone to stop the Red Ribbion Army’s ambition of world domination. Goku and Piccolo Jr. wouldn’t had their epic match at the Tenkaichi Budokai. Cell wouldn’t had been created (as Cell had both Goku and Frieza’s DNA). Beerus would had never gone to Earth to search for the Super Saiyan God. The list can keep going on how much things would had been different if Frieza wasn’t around.
Frieza is the key of the almost everything that went down in the series.
Besides his domino effect on the series, what makes Frieza perhaps one of the best anieme antagonist, or at the very least the best villain in the DB series, is his psychotic, sadistic nature and his pure evilness.
I mean, Frieza does not give a literal fuck. He has no conscious about his ill, brutal actions. Torturing helpless children to death or blowing them up. Killing surrendering men as they beg for their life while in tears. Laughing in joy in the destruction he causes throughout the universe. He has no care about anything he does. He simply loves what he does best – killing and causing pain.
In fact, using pain, as well as fear, torture, murder, and destruction is how he build his empire. There (for the most part) are no negotiations or win-win with him; It’s either you work for him, reign over your planet, or he’s gonna kill you, the planet’s entire population, and reign over it.
Regardless, he’s getting what he desires.
Frieza – you’re truly the worst.
‘Unresisting, the people run and hide
Even those who bow to him are burnt to cinders
Genocide, armed oppression
The dictator laughs as he tramples them’
Kinzo Ushiromiya; the patriarch of the (in)famous multi-billion dollar Ushiromiya family. He’s a superior demon summoner and black magic user, owner of the private island of gold: Rokkenjima, diligent businessman, and an abusive, psychotic piece of shit. This man, boy. Let me tell you why I hate this how horrible dude.
Prior to the Umineko series, he lost his lover, Beatrice Castiglioni (who died during childbirth) and was grief stricken. Honoring her, he named their (illegitimate) daughter “Beatrice”, after the mother. Cool. Whatever helps you overcome grief . What’s not fucking cool was Kinzo raping and impregnating his teenage daughter – because she resembled his lover.
That’s fucking sick.
Oh, it gets worse. This wouldn’t be the last time he abused his children. Yes. Children. I did say Beatrice was his love child. So, what about his real children? Well, to “toughen up” the others (Kruass, Eva, Rudolf, and Rosa) for the real and business world, he physically, emotionally and psychologically abused them. Naturally, his abusive ways caused his children to disdain him. Worse, his children would pass down the cycle of abusive towards their own, and in many causes, the siblings would abuse each other – Kruass (the eldest) being the worst offender.
Due to Kinzo’s abusive parenting and teachings, Krauss emulated his dad’s abuse. He would emotionally bullying his little sister, Eva (as well as being sexist towards her). This created much disdain in and anger in her heart, which she passes down to her husband, the kind-hearted Hideyoshi (who loves Eva to death), and her only child, George. Further in the future, Eva passes the abuse down to her niece, Ange, but more on her later. Let’s focus on Eva’s sister, Rosa.
Rosa (just like her only sister Eva), was too abused by not only Kinzo and Krauss, but her other siblings as well (due to her status as the youngest). Lacking someone to hurt in their family to soothe her rage, she had nobody to further the chain of abuse, until she had her daughter, Maria. Rosa (never recovered or attacking her pain in a healthy matter) starts to abuse Maria, verbally and physically beating her.
See how Kinzo’s chain of abuse goes further? Kinzo abuses Krauss, whom abuses Rosa, who in turn abuses her daughter, Maria. Now his grandchildren are affected by the abuse her created. Speaking of his grandchildren, let’s go back to series best girl Ange.
So Ange. Her entire family (sans Eva) was massacred on Rokkenjima (due to Kinzo’s bullshit), leaving her orphaned. Eva, being the “good” aunt that she is, adopts Ange. The two somewhat got along, until the stress of her family’s deaths (as well as the media accusing her for their murders) took its toll on her. Eva in turn, took her anger out on Ange, putting her through the same abusive treatment as her father did her. This ruined Ange’s already troubling mental state. Due to Eva’s abuse (among other things), Ange would grow to hate herself, becoming suicidal. In one scene, Ange is seen lashing out on her best friend, Mammon and her sisters. She calls them “useless” and wish that they all die.
Even after his death, Kinzo’s abusive cycle continues.
Remember how I said that the massacre of Rokkenjima was due to Kinzo’s bullsht in the last paragraph? Well, Kinzo is not above having his own family members killed for his own desires.
As mentioned earlier, Kinzo dedicated his life to learning summoning and black magic, and studying occult spells. His plan was to master black magic in order to revive Beatrice. Not his lover Beatrice, but their daughter. The same daughter that he raped. He wants to see her once more So, he successfully revives Beatrice, right? However, as exchange for her revival, Kinzo must sacrifice a few people.
Kinzo selects his own family members as sacrifices. He seems them as vultures after his riches. He believes his nether children nor his grandchildren gives a damn about him (as they rightfully should not), and wants them all dead. Beatrice kills them for him, nad in turns – kills her abuser Kinzo.
Kinzo if you think about it, is the main source of his entire family’s pain and suffering, from him raping his daughter, abusing his children. The same abuse in which was passed on to his kids down to their own. By direct and indirection action, he ruined his family.
Fuck you Kinzo.
Whew. I didn’t expect this post to go on that long, but I figure I would provide details and proof to show how much I despise this dude. This would had been much longer if I would had gotten drunk to write about how much I hate Kinzo as I originally planned lmfao (all the liquor stores in my area were closed at the time of writing the first draft.. You know those 3 o’ clock A.M. alcohol laws can be.
Ahh late 90s/early 2000s English anime dubbing. Cloverway way cool with a nine year old girl trying to hook up with a horse, but two lesbians Sailor Scouts dating and loving each other was wrong. So rather just censor them just a little bit as say best friends (who were a tad wee too close to be just best friends), let’s make them cousins. In fact, let’s not just make them cousins, but also keep their original Japanese never incestuous-in-the-first-place lesbian relationship intact – thus creating two cousins who were fucking each other like they’re from Alabama, USA.
Great job Cloverway!
Ya younger Sailor Moon fans best be happy ya didn’t have to deal with such awful (and homophobic) censorship. These niggas just could had called them best friends (who were a wee bit too close to be just friends) but cousins? Sigh.
“My first kiss was with was Brad, the cutest guy in school” lmfao get that bullshit out my face.
But yea, Haruka and Michiru, they’re my favorite anime couple because of how well written they are as a same sex couple. I love how they were treated like a normal everyday couple, and not like some freak show just because they were homosexuals. (Remember kids, this was the 90s when homosexual and minority characters were written as jokes or “magical”.)
Haruka and Michiru’s relationship also felt legit, like what you see any other couple do in real life – holding hands, teasing each other, natural chemistry off each other, etc. It didn’t felt force at all – like a real relationship.
Hope you enjoy this quick post. Tell me in the comments section below who are some of your favorite anime couples!