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Dragon Ball Super 0

The Emotional Brilliance of Dragon Ball Super Ep. 118

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

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

PART 1: The Beautiful Power of Love

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

 

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

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

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

Being erased means death.

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

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

Universe 2 is defeated – and destroyed.

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

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

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

Those feelings will never die.

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

PART 2: The Emotional Connection of Universes 6 and 7

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

 

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

 

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

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


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

Universes 2 and 6 have dropped out.

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

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

He isn’t happy.

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

And that’s hard.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

That in itself, is tragic.

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

He deserves so much respect for this episode.

 

Sailor Moon 2

The Power of a Brand: Sailor Moon

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

 

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Jumpman

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

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I feel attacked.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dragon Ball Super 0

Mechanical Madness: Clash of the Artificial Humans! (Dragon Ball Super Ep. 116 Title and Summary Leak)

Title: Mechanical Madness: Clash of the Artificial Humans!

Summary: Nearly 25 years after the Cell Saga, brother and sister duo Androids 17 and 18 unite in combat once again!  Ordered by Mosco – Universe 3’s God of Destruction – Panchla, Borareta, and Koltsukai start to hunt down the Android twins.  Unmoved by their oncoming attackers, the Androids smirk at each other before charging at the threat with such great and furious offense.  They appear to show dominance over the robots but…

““Gattai!”

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STAFF LISTING:
Producer: Hiroyuki Sakurada
Storyboard: Masanori Sato
Planner: Kōzō Morishita
Script: Hiroshi Toda (Scenario writer for the TV special Dragon Ball Z: History of Trunks) 
Animation: Yuya Takahashi
Music: Norihito Sumitomo

What do you guys think?  I’m excited that Androids 17 and 18 are teaming up again, it makes me excited. The term “Gattai” (lit. “Combine”) is used in many classic mecha anime and Super Zentai . With Kale and Caulifa fusing into Kefla from this past episode 114, I wouldn’t be surprised if Panchla, Borareta, and Koltsukai fused into a super robot.  Given Toriyama draws influences from Super Zentai shows and sci-fi movies, seeing those robots fuse is not out of the realm of possibility.

Also, if you believe any of this, well good sir or madam, you’ve been duped. You deserve to be fooled by misleading and false information on anything Dragon Ball Super related. I hope you’re tricked by clickbait articles and vlogs from the likes of Blasting News and Double4Anime until the end of time.

Seriously.  There’s no source from any official websites or trustworthy members of the Dragon Ball community.  As Akira Toriyama famously said in a May 2013 JUMP Magazine interview:
Do not believe anything you read on the internet about my works, upcoming projects, and episodes from unconfirmed, unofficial, and untrustworthy sources – even if they list staff members from Toei. They’re trying to trick you into giving them your views. To be blunt, I’m sick and tired of the misinformation in the community and fanbase.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.’

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Universe 3 robots fusion mock-up source:
https://otakukart.com/dragonballsuper/one-universe-already-have-3-warriors-to-do-a-new-type-of-fusion/

Anime community 2

Stop Crying. Not Everyone Will Like Your Favorite Anime.

As a person who brutally reviews and talk about anime with joyful smite, you come across people who get mad at you because you don’t like an anime they enjoy.   Shoot, you don’t have to be an anime reviewer to run across these folks.  You know, the people who go “Turn your brain off and enjoy the show!” or “You’re not allowed to talk about a show you like” and my personal favorite, “Fuck you, you darkie for trashing my waifu this is why you blacks get shot by cops and lynched!”

Anime fans are goofy.

 

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Typical entry-level visual novel fan.

 

I don’t see the idea of getting all in your feelings over the negative opinions on an anime. I get it:  you invested endless hours on a show.  I know what it fell to fall in love with a character that you have a personal connection with.  That’s cool.  What’s not cool is being all mad because somebody said something like “I don’t think this show wasn’t that good.” or “This show was trash.” They just didn’t feel the show the way you did; that’s okay.  You cannot expect everyone to think your favorite anime is awesome as much as you.  You cannot hold everyone to your standards when it comes to appreciating every show this medium has to offer.

You will be disappointed.

If you come across somebody who says “This show suck” or something, just ignore them and move on.  You are confident (I hope) with the show’s enjoyment level.  You love the show.  Why does it really matter if others don’t like your favorite show?  Why do you get in your feelings because somebody negatively review a series you enjoy?   If you get all angry over the opinions of others over a cartoon that you did not even create, you need mental help.  Like forreal.  Does Wit Studio send you a Chise Hatori cosplayer to give you head for every 20 time you defend The Ancient Magus’s Bride?  Let me know because I would totally defend Touhou Project to get head from a Junko or Yukari cosplayer.  Space MILFs and older gap women are two of my things. But really, what is the point of defending your favorite show against somebody who will never change their opinion about it?

Let’s be honest: Everyone is critical about something.  You included.  It’s human nature to judge something and either have a positive or negative reaction to it.  Anime is not excluded in this.   I bet you there are many shows that you’ve watched and did not enjoy.  Don’t bullshit me. People who say they’re not judgmental on any anime are full of shit.  We all have anime series that we don’t’ like enjoy.  We all have shows that we love to bash.  I bet you there’s a show that came out this Fall 2017 season that you straight up hated and spent your precious time talking shit about.

I know I have. 

 

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And it’s’ fun seeing the results of having a negative review on a show.

 

To conclude this little rant, people won’t like your favorite show.  Deal with it. If you love a show and somebody else doesn’t, that’s on them.  The simple fact that you like that show should be more than enough for you to not be bothered by somebody else’s negative opinions.  You need forreal help if you get angry about it.

You’re not Aqua.  Please stop crying.

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Vector trace Aqua source:
https://the-old-y.deviantart.com/art/Vector-Crying-Aqua-672981501

Butthurt entry-level visual novel virgin fan:

My Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

higurashi no naku koro ni 0

Playing Favorites: Shion Sonozaki of Higurashi

Warning: Blood, gore, spoilers, bad grammar, and no direction in the post I needed to capitalize on the Halloween Holiday before it ended.  You’ve been warned.

Happy Halloween everyone!  While some of you guys are out partying and drinking, I’m out here working.   While ya party, I work and get shit done like a real nigga. Real niggas do real shit.  We ain’t out here partying like ya broke ass lames!

…okay, I’m not out here making moves.  I wish I could go out tonight and get drunk in a costume.  Being a responsible adult working a full-time job is suffering.

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Me after I’m finished with this post

Since it’s Halloween, I decided that I should talk about my one of my favorite anime horror characters: Shion Sonozaki from the anime series Higurahsi no Naku Koro ni.  We’re first introduced to her in episode 5 of Higurashi with her all cheerful and laughing that she made Rika stab herself to death (Great first impression dear, you made a child commit suicide).  She doesn’t seem fazed that Rika’s blood gotten all over her.  Heck, I say she even seem interested in the whole “Rika Is Killing Herself Again!” thing.  Granted, she was dressed like Mion, and everyone thought it was Mion doing all the killing but we’ll get back to that later.

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She’s watching a 10-year-old kid kill herself and she ain’t even worried about it.

 

Anyway, before that whole Shion snapping and killing people because she couldn’t ride Satoshi’s dick anymore thing happened, we see her at work at Angel Morte as a cosplay maid or some shit.  Shion seems like a normal girl. There’s nothing off or strange about her.  She’s nothing like her twin sister “crazy” ass (with that whole Mion trying to inject Keiichi with “drugs” an arc earlier). While Mion is more headstrong, rough, a bit boyish,  and traditional, Shion is mellow, chill, has feminine charms, and a bit of a rebel (she did escape her from her boarding school and was dating a boy who her family members hated).

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She also can be a bit…scary.  I mean, it’s Higurashi who isn’t a little scary or crazy?

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Today’s  lesson: foreshadowing.

 

But hey! Shion isn’t crazy or scary at all, right?  She’s just a normal girl who likes doing normal things.  Normal things such as teasing her sister, falling in love with a boy, sneaking into a holy shrine with a built-in torture chamber, and beating the shit out of her crush’s little sister. Normal things that every girl does at her age during the 80s.

Beating the shit out of your crush’s little sister isn’t normal, ain’t it?

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About that. One lovely summer afternoon during school, Satoko spilled her lunch all over the ground.  She starts to cry for her brother Satoshi and Shion gets all in her yandere feelings.  Rather than helping the poor child (who clearly was stressed out due to a lot of abuse at home) to win dick points with Satoshi, Shion channels her inner R. Mika off Street Fighter Alpha 3 and throw Satoko across the classroom.  Satoko, rightfully terrified, calls out for her brother to save her.  Shion gets enraged and starts throwing shit at Satoko.  As she tells her to go suffer and die alone, Shion picks up a chair and threatens to cave Satoko’s skull in, but is stop by Rika, Rena, and Satoshi.

And that boys and girls, was any and all chance of Shion getting with Satoko.   I get having crushes.  Crushes are cute.  Crushes are fine. Hell, I have a crush on somebody that will never grow into anything serious.  But crushing a 10-year-old girl’s head in to get with her brother won’t get you laid – it’ll only land you in jail for murder.   Also why the fuck was Satoshi still fucking with Shion after the fact she beat his sister’s ass.  Like bruh, crazy pussy is amazing pussy but it ain’t worth it in the long run.

 

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Sure.  Go ahead and apologize to the bitch who almost killed your sister no wonder your uncle and aunt beats you

I digress.  Remember how I said that Shion is a bit of a rebel in her family?  So Higurashi season 1, Shion wasn’t really supposed to get close to Satoshi because Satoshi’s family doing that pro-dam bullshit. She also didn’t suppose to sneak out of her boarding school either.  Her family got word on both things and fun stuff happened to her; like her nails being forcibly removed from her fingers one-by-one (well three but eh).  That didn’t discourage her from wanting to be with Satoshi. She’s loyal.

 

Speaking of Shion’s loyalty towards Satoshi, she even covered his ass when he was a suspect in the murder of his aunt. Shion made up an alibi for the nigga.  She stood up to him when Oishi tried to bring him in for questioning as well.  And then later Satoshi “disappeared”, Shion got angry, and horrible things happen to a lot of people.  Shion kidnapped Mion, their grandma, Satoko, and some old dude and killed them one-by-one (watch/read Higurashi I ain’t obligated to explain shit).

Oh and after killing Satoko, Shion remembered that Satoshi told her to watch over Satoko if something would happen to him.

Yeah…Shion fucked up.  Bad. But hey!  At least in the Beyond Midnight manga arc, she became a total sexy badass adult of the future whose total older woman waifu material…even if it was just Shion’s body being controlled by the ghost of her dead sister in an alternate timeline. Still, Shion truly shines in that arc and it was nice to see her portrayed as a hero after watching her villainess yandere bullshit in the anime and visual novel.

 

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I would seriously kill for a hack-and-slash action game of the Beyond Midnight comic

 

 

However, her heroism wasn’t just a manga exclusive. In Higurashi Kai, we’re treated to a kinder, gentle, big sister Shion.  Kai Shion is way mellower and chiller compared to question arc Shion.  Yeah, she’s still pretty pissed about Satoshi’s disappearance, but she ain’t bloodthirsty about it.  She even starts to treat Satoko like a little sister she never had (as opposed to treating her like a punching bag and pin cushion).  Shion loves Satoko and is willing to do whatever for her – even if it means killing her abusive Uncle.

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Shion may have chilled the fuck out, but she still has problems with her temper and anger issues.  But this time she isn’t going around plotting to kill people in cold blood. Shion wants to kill Teppei to protect her little sister. And really, can you blame her? Yea?  Okay I get you,  she was kinda sorta on some premeditated murder type shit with Teppei so…

I guess this is the part where I explain why Shion is one of my favorite anime characters.  To be honest, I hate most yandere characters.  Hell, I’m not really a huge fan of the dere-archtype unless the character has a great reason to be dere (such as Hitagi off Monogatari being a tsundere because of abuse).  Shion gets a “pass” for being a yandere since her family pretty much rejected her for being a twin or some shit (it’s been a while since I last watched Higurashi I forgot).  Then, she had to deal with that bullshit from her family because she was in love with Satoshi.  There’s also the fact her family sent her away to boarding school.

Okay.  Maybe she does have her reason to be a yandere.

I admire Shion’s rebellious spirit.  I’m not a guy who likes tradition (especially Christian traditions — long stories lol).  Seeing Shion marching to her own beat and doing her own thing, rather than to do things to please her family, reminded me of me.  I don’t get traditions.  I rather do my own shit.

There’s also Shion’s anger.  While her anger wasn’t justified at all in the question arc, I totally understand her anger when she found out Satoko was being abused.  I feel her on her wanting to kill Teppei to save Satoko, and not rely on the justice system to make a move.

Overall, Shion is a cool character whom I would love to go more in depth and analyze her character in the future.  But for now, I’m going to end this here so I can spend the rest of my Halloween evening watching horror animu.

Later.

Conventions 1

Hey Broke Weeaboo! Let’s Get Your Money Right For Your Next Convention.

The 2018 convention season draws near. You’re always broke from spending $500 on half-naked anime girl figurines. You love to spend $300 on anime Blu-rays, but somehow, you don’t have enough money for a convention. Do you think your mommy and daddy are going help you pay for your weeaboo dress-up festival? Of course, they’re not! You’re a grown man (or woman) now.  Just like your friend whom you borrow money from for cons, they’re tired of funding your hobbies.  Maybe you’re not broke, but you suck at money management. You’re the type of person to not have their priority together and splurge your cash on useless crap.

 

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Bedroom of a man who disappoints his their parents.

 

Because I’m a nice person, I’ll teach you how to get your money right.  I’ll promise you that with my guide, you’ll  have more than enough money saved up for you next convention adventures. It’s my duty and ethical obligation to help my fellow nerds stack money for their passion.

 

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Your friends prasing  you for saving and stackin your money up oh wait you don’t have friends my bad.

 

My guide is not for you begging ass, broke ass nerds (who always mooch off their friends). This is not for people who refuse to make money on their own.  This guide is not for skeptics who believe saving money is impossible.  Go away.  You’re wasting my time and yours – but mostly my time. Do you tend to blow a check, or dip into savings for wants, rather than needs and raining days?  Good.  Get the hell off this guide – people like you will never learn.  My advice is only for those who are serious about saving and getting their money right.  I only help people who are willing to better themselves.

If you’re still here then that means you’re serious about wanting to save for conventions.  Let us begin.

HOTEL

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Obtaining a hotel room should be your utmost priority (next to buying a badge/pass).  There are two categories for convention hotels: The main hotel(s); where most of the action takes place, and the secondary Hotel(s); for those who want a cheaper option and/or avoid crowds.  The main hotel’s full price can range from $230-$1500 depending on the convention, location, hotel brand, days etc.    Secondary hotels range from $180-$1000.

Most conventions hotels will accept room bookings about eight (8) months in advance (before con starts).   Normally, the convention’s social media team will provide an update on when this will happen.   Once they give the dates for room bookings, you want to start stacking up immediately.

Let’s say that you want to book with the Waverly Hotel (the host hotel of Anime Weekend Atlanta [AWA]).  The hotel will allow room registration on October 3, 2017,* (the time of this writing) and the convention starts on September 20, 2018.  The total cost of staying at the Waverly for four days is $700. This gives you about 50 weeks (or about almost 12 months) to stack.  Ignoring assets and other forms of income, let’s say you get paid bi-weekly. You’re given 24 paychecks prior to saving if you’re working a regular 9-to-5.

Let’s do some math.

$700/24= $29.16. $29.16/2 bi-weekly paychecks = $14.58   $14.58 is how much you need to take out of your check a pay period. Put the $14.58 in a savings account (or any other accounts you do not have normal access to). If need be, consider opening a new bank account separate from your main one.  If you bank at Bank of America, open an account with Commerce Bank, and then deposit the hotel money in that bank.  Destroy any and all credit/debit cards linked to the bank – you do not want to spend any money on that account.  Repeat until you reach your target goal.

(Please note that many banks are different with their savings account.  Some may require you to have a minimum amount of savings to keep the account open.)

What if you’re splitting a room with four people (you included in this four)?  Well, that’s simple! $700/4 people = $175 per person.  Take your $175 and divide it by 24 checks.  That’ll equal to $7.29 a check that you need to put aside.

Regardless if you’re alone or with a group, keep taking the money out of your check and stack it up until it adds up to the total amount of what you need.  Remember not to touch it until it’s time to transfer your funds into your checking account, or when you need to give the money to whomever the name is on the hotel’s bill.

With the hotel taken care of, it’s time to tackle your badge situation. Now, should you save up for a badge, or go all in and buy one ASAP? That is dependent on you and your situation.

(*NOTE: AWA has yet to accept room bookings at the time of this writing)

The Badge

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Is it better to just go all in on a badge and pay for it now?  Should you stack up for badge overtime and buy one in the future?  Let’s go over each option and decide which is best for you.

ALL IN:

Let’s say the badge is $45 at its cheapest (usually the first tier of pricing). If you can spend $45 and not be hurt by it, then go for it.  Yes, you’ll lose money, but you won’t lose time waiting for your badge in line at at-door registration.  Trust me: Losing time is worse than losing money.  Money, we can gain back – time, we will never recover.  You’re investing $45 in extra time – extra time you can spend on panels, autograph lines, chilling with friends, etc.   To be quite honest, that’s a win-win.

Losing both time and more money is lose-lose.

SAVING:

So you can’t afford to invest in a badge quite so soon.  That’s okay; you can stack up to the desire tier pricing. Maybe you want to save up for the second tier that’s coming up in two months.  Or perhaps you want to wait and save for the final tier before online registration ends in six months.  That’s cool. I can work with you on either or.

The second tier badge price starts at $55, the price increase will start on December 3rd, 2017. This gives you four paychecks until December 3rd.  4 paychecks divided by $55 equals $13.75 ($55/4=$13.75)

For the six months option (October 3rd to March 3rd): 12 paychecks/$75 = $6.25 a check.  Again, just like your hotel money, place this money in your savings and do not touch it until you hit your target goal.

Travel

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How you will get to the convention is up to you, and it will be different from person-to-person.  Sadly, humans cannot teleport, so you must figure out a mode of transportation.  This section will be broken down into four sections: Air, Road, Rail, and Public Transportation/Ride Share

AIR:

Admittedly, I have never traveled to a convention by air.  From what others told me, it’s best to book your flights as soon as your hotel and/or badge.   I would personally put aside around $100-$200 a check for about 8-10 months if you have 100% confidence that you’re traveling by air. You might go a little over your target goal for the tickets, but it’s better to have more cash than what you think you need. Do not delay as airline tickets will increase their price as your departure date draw nears.

It’s not wise to wait.

RAIL:

In general, you want to book your rail tickets (such as Amtrak) months in advance.  I say that you want to buy your train tickets around the same time you booked your hotel rooms and/or badge.  The sooner, the better.  Why?  Because you don’t want to waste more money as time passes.  Use the same method for booking and saving money for an airline flight as you would use for plane tickets as mentioned above.

CAR:
This will depend on how far you’re traveling, your car’s MPG, and how many people you have riding with you.  A trip to STL to CHI will cost you around $60-90 in gas.  From STL to ATL will cost you $90-120.  Again, this is dependant on your car and the people riding/driving with you. I would start saving up for gas money about three months before the convention.

Let’s take St. Louis to Atlanta as an example.  When traveling with my friend to ATL, he charges me around $40 for the trip.  I put aside about $20 a paycheck a month prior to us heading to Atlanta.

I really hope I don’t have to break down this simple math for you guys.

PUBLIC TRANSIT/SHARE RIDE:
If you need to use public transit, taxi services, or a shared ride to get to a con, please research what bus, train, etc. you need to take for the convention.  Bus and train fare will be dependent on the city you’re in, as well as share riding to a convention.  In general, I say put aside at the $10-$30 for your choice of public transit and share ride a month before the convention (if need be).

If I know I’m doing a $20 Uber to get to my convention hotel, I put aside $5 from each paycheck about two months prior.  So $20/4 bi-weekly checks = $5 I need to put aside.

Don’t  forget to tip your driver.  Don’t be a cheap ass.

FOOD

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You gotta eat and stay fueled up.  Ever danced at a rave on an empty stomach?  It’s not fun. Fast, cheap food or dine-in at a high-quality restaurant?  Cook your own food if you have a kitchen suite?  Again, this section depends on your budget and needs.  If you’re planning on eating out in fast food places, your budget should be around $40-100.  Are you planning on eating out at non-fast food places?  You want to save around $130-200.  If you’re cooking your own food, I say around $60-200 depending on how many people you’re feeding.  Before I forget, you should have about $20-40 aside for a snacks budget just in case you’re walking around the convention center all day and you need lite fuel (such as cereal bars, fruits, etc.)

If I’m planning on eating out at fast food places, I place my budget at about $60 for the convention weekend. Knowing this, I give myself a month before the convention to put aside $30 a paycheck until I hit $60.

When I’m in Chicago for Anime Central, my friend, his crew, and I go to Hofbräuhaus for one night and dine in.  Knowing that he preps for this dinner, I put aside around $40 two months prior. Two months gives me four bi-weekly paychecks.  With this, I put aside $10 a check until I hit $40 and keep that $40 in my savings until it’s time to transfer my funds into my checking account.

 

PARTY GOODS

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Same

 

This section is optional and you don’t need to party to have fun at cons (but it’s better that way).  If you’re like me, then you’re about convention partying life. Therefore, this section is for you.  In all honesty, this varies from person-to-person and their needs.  If you’re just going to one party, you may need just one or two bottles, a few mixers, and a case of beer, which will run you about $35-$75.  If you’re hosting a room party, then you may need to spend about $150-$1200.  Feel free to check out my “So You Wanna Host a Room Party” article for more information.

https://yukithesnowman.com/2017/05/12/so-you-wanna-throw-a-convention-hotel-room-party/

 

I usually wait until after I check into my hotel and have everything ready before I buy my liquor.  You do have those people who love to drop out of the hotel room at the last minute.  That extra money could help in a situation.  It does suck though.

Boy does it suck.

But you can make it not suck by stacking up six months prior to the convention if you’re 100% sure you’re hosting a room party.  I’m projecting that my room party for Anime St. Louis* 2018 will run me $600 in alcohol, mixers, and other goods. Given my room party will be on that Saturday (May 5th, 2018), I must plan on saving my money aside for the party on December 5th.  For two weeks up to May 5th,  I will put aside $50 until I hit my target goal.

Math time!

$600/6 months = $100 must be saved each month.

$100/2 bi-weekly paychecks = $50 taken from each check.

Of course, your room party budget will be different from mines.  This is just an example of breaking down the math and planning.

*Disclaimer: I am not hosting a room party for Anime St. Louis 2018. Do not come up to me asking if I’m running a room party.  This was just an example.

Adding it all Up

We have the numbers; now let’s add them all up.  The total will be your target goal for savings. Below is an example based off my personal funds for major conventions, so your numbers will vary.  Some will save more money than I.  Others will save less.  This is all dependent on the conventions you’re going to as well as funds and time.

 

HOTEL: $700
BADGE: $45
TRAVEL (Road): $40 for my share of gas money
PUBLIC TRANSIT: $6
FOOD: $100
PARTY GOODS: ~$120

TOTAL: $971
I’m going to take that $971 and divided by 11 months (until Anime Weekend Atlanta).

$971/11 months = $88.27 I need to put aside each month until the week before AWA for 11 months.  By going bi-weekly paychecks I can put aside $44.13 per paycheck.  This does exclude any forms of secondary sources of income.  Applying my other sources of income to build up will make me reach my goal faster and earlier.  This is giving or taking some items away (such as badge and alcohol)

Tips on Making (More) Money

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Conventions aren’t cheap; that’s not a secret.  I know people are struggling to make ends meet as well as putting towards their hobbies.  It’s a cash drain, believe me.  I understand.  However, you can always make extra money to add to your funds.  I’ll break down a few simple and easy ways to make extra money for you to use for the con.

WORK EXTRA HOURS/USE PTO

This is the simplest way to gain extra money.  If you see that there are extra hours or shifts to be picked up at your job, jump on that chance.  Does it suck that you have to give up free time to make more money at the job?  Yes.  Is it awesome to have a little bit of extra cash in your pockets for the convention?  Yes.  Go through some hardships now so you can have a better time later.  If those hardship means working more hours at a job you don’t like, so you can go to a convention and escape from the workforce for a few days (or even work on your business AT the con), then do it.

If your job allows it, you can use your Paid Time Off (PTO) hours that you’ve stacked and use those hours on your off day.  Then, when you get paid, put the PTO money into savings.

SELL/FLIP PRODUCTS ONLINE
Do you have old video games, comics, mangas, etc. laying around at your house that isn’t of use to you?  Sell them on eBay to make extra dough!  After you research and study the value of the items you want to sell, just create a listing for them on eBay, Amazon, Craig’s List, etc. You can either sell your own product if you have your own business or flip other people products.  I personally flipped items from Loot Crates to gain extra cash for funds.

SELL DRUGS/INVEST IN A DRUG  DEALER
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Don’t do it. You’re not a dope boy/dope boy investor in college anymore. If you are a dope boy then all I have to say is be careful and watch out for the haters and fake friends.

…Althrough you could sell drugs to the partiers at conventions to make extra cash.  Just a thought.

INVEST IN A LEGIT BUSINESS
Your homeboy is a real estate investor or owner and has a great track record of returns on investments?  Invest with him.

If you need more ideas to increase your income or have a new source of income to fund your weeaboo hobbies, I recommend the following, as they have helped me with increasing my income and manage my money:

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
The 10x Rule and If You’re Not First You’re Last by Grant Cardone
YouTuber Miniory Mindset
YouTuber and Rapper Nino Brown (Find the Balance Between Having Fun and Having Funds is a great video of his on saving money for the future as well as Chapter 3 of his audiobook Mackin’ and Stackin 3)

FINAL THOUGHTS

Saving money for conventions shouldn’t be so hard.  Yet, so many weeaboos struggle to do so.  Sometimes,  people attend conventions without a budget or money at all!  Having a budget and money saved aside will help you out in the long run, as it’s nice to have extra money.  Not having money at a con isn’t fun.  Nobody will help you out – it’s up to you to have cash.  With this how-to guide, I hope you learn how to save and manage your money for future convention events.  I believe everyone should have money save up to maximize their fun at cons.  Start saving now!  Do not wait until it’s less than a month before the convention to save.  Apply what you’ve learned from this guide for the future!
Besides, nobody will feel sorry for your broke ass.  Get this money and save it.

Thanks for reading!

IMAGE SOURCES:

Otaku Room:
http://www.dannychoo.com/en/posts/slide/71664

Hotel:
http://www.monaco-denver.com/hotels-near-denver-convention-center/

Pikachu Plane:
https://nipponhamfighters.files.wordpress.com

Yuyuko and Goku eating:
https://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=25590837

ACEN 2016 Badge:
https://www.facebook.com/yukithesnowman/

Midari Ikishima (girl in the featured image) and  Kakegurui copyrighted 2014-2018 Homura Kawamoto, Tōru Naomura, Sqaure Enix, MAPPA, and Gangan Joker.

books 0

The Prince (Or What In The Hell is This)

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Soo…I’m currently “The Prince” by Machiavelli and I am utterly confused by it.  Was this dude a psychopath? Am I suppose to deeply analysis his ideas and interpret them in a special style.  Cuz this dude is confusing and he was clearly fucked up in the head.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good book and it making me interested in politics and power, but there’s a good reason a Dark Triad was named after him

Dragon Ball Super 0

THEORY: Universe 6 is Doomed (Thanks Frieza!)

Episode 112 of Dragon Ball Super has me thinking; Frieza will be the one to defeat Universe 6. You may be asking “How so?  How can you be so sure?” Well, this odd theory I have  comes from the fact that the final warriors of Universe 6 are made up of two Saiyans and two Nakemians.  And as well all know, Frieza has a fantastic history with members of those races.

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His hand slipped. 

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Frieza hates Saiyans.  I’m talking your racist neighbor getting mad every-time he sees those “illegal” Mexicans across the street level of hatred.  The mere sight of those uncivilized monkeys fuels Frieza with great, furious anger.  Frieza wants nothing more but to kill any and all Saiyans – even if they’re from another universe.   Frieza mentions to Cabba that wants to play fun  with Kale and Caulifla.  Frieza, he’s a fan of games with full cooperation from others.  Those are his favorite type of games after-all. Like the classic chocking game.  That’s a game where Frieza wraps his tail around his buddy’s throats, and starts squeezing the life out of them until they choke to death.

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He’s also a fan of the game “Shoot people’s pressure points with non-lethal Death Beams Barrages until they’re begging for the sweet release of death.”   I think Kale and Caulifla will become great fans of those games.   It’s going to suck when Frieza decides that he’s bored and stops playing with them.  Maybe he might bring them back with the Super Dragon Balls if Universe 7 wins.  Plus, having two Saiyan monkey girls just means he’s respect diversity and equal gender rights in the work place!

Diversity quotas don’t fill themselves now.

Now, let us imagine Frieza meeting the Universe 6’s Namekians.  Just picture his joy! He’ll become so happy that Universe 6 has Namekians too! Frieza will get all warm and nostalgic – reflecting on his youthful days of Planet Namek.  Days where he made those green people bow at his feet. Ahh, that was a great period in his life.  Shooting Dende in the head. His troops hunting and killing the lot of them.  Ripping that one Namek who look like Piccolo arm off.  I think his name was Nail or something I dunno they all look alike. Frieza strikes me as a fellow who loves reliving his glory days of being a ruthless dictator on Namek. I mean, look how happy Frieza was when he was healing Goku.  It brought back lovely memories of Namek.  I hope him meeting those Nameks of Universe 6 will re-spark that happiness once more.

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Nail vs. Lord Slug

 

Here’s where my theory comes to play.

It’s strange that the final four warriors of Universe 6 include members of  two races that Frieza has a past relationship with.  In the past five episodes or so, Frieza was given some shine story-line wise. We can assume that Toei wants to build some focus on Frieza, the Saiyan girls, and the Namekians (whom were given a little shine in Episode 111).  Before I forget, let me bring reminder you that universes who were shown to have low numbers (sans Universe 11) were doomed to erasure (as we’ve seen with Universe 9 and 10).

See where I’m going with this?

I predict that in the near future, Frieza will take out the Saiyan girls and the Nameks. Therefore, with their elimations, Universe 6 will be erased.  They’ve lost their leader and strongest warrior — Hit.  Their morale is low. Frieza’s hatred for Saiyans has no bond.  He also doesn’t take too kindly to Namekians either.  I may be wrong, but I think Toei is hinting that Frieza will be the one who will slaughter Universe 6.

That or this all a red herring from Toei.  The Namekieans are going to get a Toriyama handjob, the Saiyan girls are going to get a Toriyama finger bang, and get an asspull powerup and defeat Frieza and we’re all being mislead by Toei and Trollriyama.

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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.

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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!

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…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.

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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.

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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

How-To Get Your Non-Anime Watching Friends and Family Members into Anime

Your father has finally given in!  After years of belittling and disowning you for it, he wants to watch those weird, girly “Chinese cartoons” with you. Your football jock buddy has been curious about those anime cons you attend often.  He wants to bang him a hot, but depressed/mentality disturbed cosplay girl.  But he wants to watch some anime first (so he won’t appear like a total tool).   Your African-American youth pastor just heard about this Bible Black anime and wants to know if it’s about Black people going to church (spoilers: it’s not).  Your entry level weeb girlfriend has finally grown some taste. She doesn’t want to watch Dragon Ball Z or Sailor Moon anymore.  She wants something more deep and artsy.

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Suggesting anime to newcomers and casuals alike can be a difficult task.  The world of anime is full of diverse shows begging to be watched.  The effort to suggest a show to your normie friend might be overwhelming; as there are millions and millions of anime out there in this world. You can’t choose one over another to start them out with. You may be thinking “Well, I can show them the classics! Everyone loves the classics!”.  You’re right.  You can show them a classic anime series. Good luck with that though. Some people don’t have the time to watch 100+ episodes of a “classic” series (whatever that means).  Your friend might not like a classic anime series like Fist of the North Star.  The violence and length of the series might them him off.

You could try a short and sweet classic series. Like, let’s say High School of the Dead.  It has that 1970s grindhouse movie influence with the violence, gore, and sex appeal. Yeah!  That might work.  Then again, you don’t want to show your dad an anime full of fanservice and big tiddy animu girls (it’ll give him clues on why you’re such a kissless virgin).

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“But Benjamin! I can suggest Cowboy Bebop to my normie dad, right?!  It doesn’t have high school girls being sexualized like HSOTD! It’s a modern classic!” Sure!  You can do that.  But what if they hate space adventure sci-fi series?   They’re gonna be bored with Cowboy Bebop and drop it after five minutes.

(And you wonder why you’ll never have a great relationship with your father.  No wonder he’s more proud of your sports playing older brother than he is with your Chinese cartoon watching ass!)

Now, do you see why it’s hard to suggest anime to non-anime fans?  Many of you assume that they’ll  like an anime because it’s a classic.  No son, it doesn’t always work like that.  But don’t fret!  I, Benjamin “The Greatest of All Time” Snow, will use my oh-so-superior, borderline arrogant, and elitist anime wisdom to great use. I myself will help you suggest great anime to your non-anime watching friends.  You can trust me; you guys already know my tastes are great (and if you don’t know, now you know). So, how do you go about suggesting new anime?  Well, it’s real simple and easy.

Check this out.

The best way to suggest anime to non-anime fans is this: show them anime based genres, TV shows, movies, etc. they already like.  That’s it. Seriously.  It’s neither complex nor deep.  Your dad, he loves the sport of boxing, right?  He loves boxing movies such as Rocky and Million Dollar Baby.  Get him to watch the classic boxing series Hajimete no Ippo by Studio Madhouse.  Simple. Very simple.

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Your brother, he’s a kung-fu film fan, no? He spends hours emulating spinning kicks and karate chops in front of the mirror.  He idolizes Jackie Chan: the legendary martial arts master and actor.  The classic martial arts adventure Dragon Ball is right up his alley!  Dragon Ball was inspired by many kung-fu movies that Toriyama (a major movie fan) watched in his spare time during the development of Dragon Ball. Your brother might catch some classic kung-fu movie references in this epic series.

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Is your friend a sci-fi nerd who loves long-running, story-driven space epics like Star Trek?  Have him check out Legend of the Galactic Heroes; a series with vivid characters of various backgrounds.  He might even enjoy the military and political narrative themes of Galactic Heroes.

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Now, that wasn’t so hard, right?   You just need research anime series that will match non-anime friend’s interests.  Don’t suggest shows that you like – your friend may not like them.  Remember: one bad experience with a show could turn them off from all anime forever. You don’t want that.

Now, what if your friend or family members are already casual anime fans?  They have a few popular series under their belts such as Death Note or Naruto, right?  Yet, they want to branch out to other series but don’t know where to start.  I gotcha, it’s just as easy as suggesting anime to non-anime fans.

Since you have a  general idea of what shows they like, you can suggest new series based around their favorites.  If they like Bleach then, they may like Yu Yu Hakusho.  If they like fanservice, have them watch Monogatari. Your little sister enjoys Sailor Moon?  Have her watch  Card Captor Sakura or Madoka next.  Over time, you can show your casual friends more artistic, deeper anime such as Paranoid Agent or Ani*Kuri 15.  It will take some time for your casual friends to get into series that aren’t considered mainstream.  Be patient.

Before I go let me say this:  Do not get offended if your non-anime or casual anime fan friend or family member doesn’t like the shows you do. If they like a show you don’t, let them enjoy it.  Attacking shows that they like, or getting upset that they do not like the shows you enjoy only makes you an insecure little bitch.

Don’t be a little bitch.

(Note: The Shit Art Online image is for clickbait views only.  Never suggest such a trash series to anyone it doesn’t deserve money or more fans.)

 

 

anime 0

First Impressions: Love is Like a Cocktail

You only get one shot.  If the first episode of an anime doesn’t impress me, it’s getting dropped.

So, did Love is Like a Cocktail impressed me on its first episode?  As an alcoholic anime fan, yes.  Yes it did.

(Warning: I was drunk when I wrote this)

Let me start out by saying that I feel personally attacked by this anime. I swear, this  anime was created for somebody like me: a hardworking 9-to-5 employee  with an addiction  appreciation for liquor and spirits.  I can relate to Chisato Mizusawa –the main female lead of this show.  When somebody suggests  going out to drinks or invites me over to their house for a fine cocktail or some beers, I get excited.  Like Chisato, my lips parts as if I am about to sip on some Hennessy on the rocks.  Mention alcohol and hanging out and I’m down for whatever.  I match you a bottle or a case of beer.

 

Honestly, which hard working adult doesn’t enjoy an after work drink?  May it be at a bar with a few friends, at the homeboy’s crib, or coming home to see your husband or wife treating you to a cocktail that they created themselves?  Sora (Chisato’s husband) knows what he’s doing.  This dude is a real husband.  He treats his wife to a fine cocktail and dinner each time she comes home.  Fellow men: this is the type of husband or boyfriend ya need to be, especially if your mate is a hard working woman.  Real talk, if I ever get married, I want to be like Sora, man.  Helping my wife feel better after a long day of chaos at the office or the gig.

Sora, you’re a real man.

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Anyway, remember how I say I feel attacked by this anime?  Well, like Chisato, I’m not really good with alcohol myself.  Despite my love for booze, my alcohol tolerance is shit. A single cocktail can get me drunk?  Yeah.  That’s me.  I can respect a tasty drink like Chisato. I mean, just look how happy she looks when she drank her husband’s cocktail, the Plum Splet.
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Man, I gotta give props to this sho.  They even go the extra mile by showing the  viewers how to make the drinks so you can make them at home.  That’s awesome  to me,  given  I have a hobby for mixology.  My only complaint is that they don’t tell you if you need to shake the shit in a cocktail or go into details on how to make it.

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I also like how they show Chisato’s true personality show when she drunk with her “I get weird when I drink” line.  And like Sora said, there are some people who can’t be themselves unless they’re drunk.

Kinda strange how alcohol work that way.

To conclude, I’m looking forward to this show.  Chisato’s a cute female lead character whom I can relate to and I love her interaction with her husband so far.  The mixlogy information is a nice ad that I did not expect and personally, its gonna help me out with my hobby with that.   If you love a sweet romantic comedy and alcohol, then I recommend you watch this series.

I have high hopes for this show.

Anime Analysis 0

Higurashi and the Power of Friendship FINALE: Satoko (And The Unity of Hinamizawa)

‘I won’t show pain.
Never…

I’m not crying…I don’t cry…
Hide my feelings…smile!’

“Sukizuki Nii-Nii” by Mika Kanai (Satoko’s image song)

With all the hardships she went through, I’m pretty convinced that Satoko is Higurashi’s punching bag (and it’s pin cushion). To say that her young life is rocky is an understatement.    To start, she killed her own parents (whom she believed were trying to kill her) by pushing them off a deck. The village of Hinamizawa treats her like an outcast.  Her uncle Teppei abuses and belittles her. Finally, her beloved brother (who would protect her from the abuse) is missing – leaving Satoko all alone in the world.  Well, she has Rika, her best friend. The two  are for each other greatly; as if they were sisters.  The hardships they’ve suffered in young lives drew them closer to one another, creating a everlasting bond between the girls.

Rika and Satoko are inseparable friends.

 

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Expect for that one timeline where Satoko was a bullying bitch to Rika.

One day, Satoko went off on her own without telling Rika (which alarmed her) and haven’t return since. She fears the worse – her Uncle returning to the village; therefore forcing Satoko to move back with him.  Acting on this fear, Rika decides to confirm or deny her worries, and makes her  way to the Houjou’s house. Rika arrives, with Satoko  showing up behind her (who was returning from an errand at the “request” of Teppei).  While Rika is relive to see Satoko “safe” and alive, she is shocked at her physical and mental state.  Satoko appears drained.  She’s not her normal, happy, and cheerful self.

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Alarmed, Rika hits up Oisihi’s line.  She requests  to get in contact with her friend Mamoru , hoping he can  save Satoko.  However, Mamoru was away on vacation, ending her plan before it could start.  Rika then decides to visit  Dr. Irie and Miyo  at their clinic.  Rika figures she could convince the two to mobilize their personal militia (the Yamainu) to kill Teppei (in order to save Satoko, or at the very least, rescue her without violence).  The two decline the request; stating that the Yamainu couldn’t move to attack due to the police investigating Teppei (he was the pimp of Rina, who was found murdered days prior).  At best, they would have to wait until after the Cotton Drifting Festival to attack Teppei – which by then would be too late (due to the time loop).

Rika snaps.

The next morning, Rika’s classmates are asking why Satoko hasn’t shown up to school.  Rika (who is visibly depressed)  ignores them,  but decides to inform Chie-Sensei on the situation.  Chie-Sensei figures she should contact Child Counseling Center (an even worse version of the terrible real world child protective services [CPS] ) to see if they can intervene. Rika see this as hopeless, since Satoko filed false reports of abuse on her previous step-fathers, but Chie decides to take action regardless.

Chie  visits the Houjou household in an attempt to talk  Teppei into letting her speak with Satoko and get her back to school – which fails.  Chie returns to the school, telling The Club about her lack of success.  Shion goes off, demanding answers on why Chie backed down against Teppei. In her rage, Shion decides that rather than wait for the legal system to make a move, she would kill Teppei  and rescue Satoko herself.   She doesn’t want Satoko to suffer anymore hardships.

Shion attempts to leave but is stopped by Keiichi.  He tries to talk sense into her, telling the girl that she’ll only regret killing him later. Shion ignores him and threatens to kill him first (if it means getting to kill Teppei).  Mion tries to stop her but is quickly stopped by Rena.  Rena has faith that Keiichi will calm Shion down and convince her to see the errors of her idea.   Shion picks up a chair and smashes  Keiichi’s head with, which calms her down.  As Hanyuu attempts to cheer Rika up (since they’re able to prevent their friend from killing Teppei), Rika refuses to believe that things will resolve in a happy ending.

Rika’s depression and doubts reminds.

Later, Mion, Rena, and Keiichi discuss strategies to save Satoko without bloodshed.  Rena mentions that she was scared that Keiichi was going to mimic Shion’s actions and ideas of killing Teppei.  This is funny, given Keiichi actually did kill Teppei in a timeline before (which Keiichi tells the girls he had a feeling that she once did kill the him) They come up with the conclusion that it is best for them to fight without resorting to harming Teppei.

The next morning, The Club visit the CPS office to influence them to rescue Satoko.  CPS tells everyone that they’re working on it, but Keiichi calls them out on their bullshit;  Stating they failed to act upon the first reported case of abuse.  He tells  the case worker to not believe Satoko’s words,  as she hasn’t shown up to school.

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Reflecting on the situation at hand, Rika breaks down in tears.  She starts to beg Keiichi to save Satoko and not give up. His words gave Rika courage and inspiration to fight.

Rika’s hope is restored.

‘Gift of the silver tongue.  They say it’s the mark of a good officer.’
-Revolver Ocelot, Metal Gear Solid 2 (2002 Konami video game)

The next morning.  Keiichi and The Club rally their classmates save Satoko.  Keiichi – the magician of words – utilize his talents to convince everyone to save her.  He reminds the class of Satoko’s suffering, unhappiness,and how much she needs them. Keiichi ends his speech by informing the class that CPS  weren’t taking the matter serious. It’s up to them to fight for Satoko.

With his zeal, Keiichi is able to successfully recruit his classmates into his army.

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With his unit, Keiichi marches forth to the CPS offices to negotiate against them.  The two groups go  back-and-forth, with Keiichi’s unit not backing down.  Despite their efforts and emotional appear, The Club loses.  Yet, they will not give up hope. They must regroup and try again.   They can not give up.  Keiichi’s unit needs the support of everyone, no matter what.

Keiichi gathers new allies from all over Hinamizawa.

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After a successful night of enlisting new recruits, Keiichi and the others go over their new battle plan against CPS. As they talk, they’re surprise and relive that Satoko has  returned to school.  However, Satoko looks like hell: She show signs  of physical, emotional, and mental abuse. Everyone surrounds her, happy to see her again, but thigns don’t seem right.  Satoko lies about having a fever. Cleary a cover up for abuse given nobody asked if she was sick.

Keiichi questions Satoko, asking her if thing are hard for her, which she denies. Satoko then  mentions her brother; Telling Keiichi while it’s hard for her, she must stay strong for Satoshi’s sake.  Keiichi gives Satoko a friendly, yet sorrowful smile and praise her for her hard work.  As a reward, he pats her on the head.  Satoko starts to weep as Keiichi and everyone else reach out to her.  They want to help their friend; they don’t want her to think that she has to suffer alone, but she refuses the help.

Until she has a trigger.

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Satoko hears footsteeps in the distance.  This alone causes her to have a panic attack (as she thinks her uncle was coming to hurt her again).  They manage to calm her down with injections (to combat her HImiizawa Syndrome) and let her rest.  Rika and Keiichi talk  about what they should do.  Rika reveals that Satoko was forced by her uncle to stay with him; as he threatened to burn and destroy Satoshi room.  This enrages Keiichi, who now wants to kill Teppei.  Rika manages to talk sense into Keiichi by calming him down.  Keiichi regains his focus. At this point, they can’t afford anyone to lose it this far – victory draws near.

The Club regroups with new allies.  They march back to the CPS.  While talking to Hanyuu, Rika analyze the events leading up to this point.  She realize that while she has been rooting for her friend, it was just at the sidelines.  Rika was just a mere spectator, refusing to take center stage .  She takes it up to herself to fight at the front lines.  She plans to convince Satoko to admit to the abuse.

She can no longer just stand by and watch her best friend suffer any longer.

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After the meeting, Keiichi receives word from Chie that they have stir up ill will from the elders who still hold a grudge against Satoko’s family (as they opposed the village during the Dam Wars).  The villagers believe that Oyashiro will curse them for allying themselves with The Club, but Keiichi continue to fight undisturbed.

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Keiichi stands up and steps up to the elders.  He outs them for bullshiting around, preventing Satoko’s resuce, and letting the conflicts of the past impact the present and future.  He gets bold – demanding the elders to tell him if they are his foe or ally.  The rest of The Club then expose the elders’ connections with the government (as they were getting favors from them).  They know that the elders don’t wanna lose that connection.  Using this to their advantage, the Club forces the elders to play with their cards. Keiichi’s relentless spirit and logic works:  He successfully recruits the elders to his side.

With the elders and youth in his army, there’s one more person whom Keiichi must convince to fight in his war – Oryou Sonozaki – the head of the Sonozaki clan:  The elder who still harbors hatred towards the Houjo family’s past sins.

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Keiichi confronts her.  He presents his case to her in hopes that she’ll let go of her anger towards the Houjous for just a little bit to help Satoko.  When she doesn’t bulge, Keiichi threatens to kill her and  make Mion the new head of the family. This isn’t a smart move on  our talented magican of words as Oryou threatens to kill him.   Keiichi tries again, begging her to change her mind.  She still won’t buldge but it isn’t hopeless.  Shion and Mion’s parents seem supportive of helping Keiichi’s cause, which pisses Oryou off.  Keiichi goes off on her once again, which doesn’t piss off Oryou but her daughter, Akane.  Akane tells Keiichi to fuck off and return once he matured.

Keiichi’s effort (and perhaps his stupidity) pays off:  Oryou agrees to join his side and save Satoko.

The next morning, CPS is bombard with phone calls from the villagers of Hinamizawa.  The pressure and heat is on and the CPS office can feel it.   Supporters from not just Hinamizawa, but other villages and towns join forces to express their concerns of CPS delaying efforts to investigate the case.  Somebody even pulls up on the rally with a protest van equpired with speakers.    The CPS director starts to freak out.  He’s corner and knows it.

Victory is in sight…or so it seems.

Oishi pulls up on Keiichi’s protest.  He informs them that their assembly is illegal and they must stand down and break up, or risk arrest.  Keiichi refuses.  They cannot give up.  They’ve come so far and worked effortlessly.  Surrender means defeat;  not only for theme – but as Satoko well.

Inside the office, the director is planning to escape, but is thwarted.  Central office is calling.  Elder members of the Sonozaki clan have reached out physically to the central offices.  Learning this, the director surrenders to the demands of the people.  With the pressure on, he decides to take action and calls the Houjou household.

Meanwhile, Satoko is assaulted by Teppei…

After beating her, Teppei answers the phone.  The director requests him to speak to Satoko, which he agrees to.    Before handing the phone to Satoko,  Teppei violently grips her shoulder and tells her to tell the director that they’re a happy family.  He threatens to burn Satoshi’s room down if Satoko betrays him.

Satoko speaks with the director while Teppei behind her, installing fear in her.  Keiichi speaks to Satoko first.  He tells him how the village is rallying for her.   He promises her that nobody will ever bully or harass her again, even if she is a Houjou.  The same village that once outcast her  and her family is now rooting for her.  They want to see her safe and sound.  For a second, Satoko ponders if there is any hope for her to live a happy life in the village that once rejected her.

Keiichi then puts Rika on the phone to talk to her best friend.

Rika reiterates Keiichi’s statement. She promises her that nobody will mistreat her again.  Rika tells Satoko that she almost gave up, until Keiichi show her otherwise.  Rika then tells Satoko that she knows that she was doing all of this to atone for her sins.  She tells her that if she wants to make up for that the sins, t she must also ask for her friend’s help. It is the job of Satoko to reach out like her friends did for her.  Rika hands the phone over to the director.

The director asks Satoko if there have been any problems with her and Teppei since she returned to live with him.  There is a tense pause followed by stuttering from Satoko.

“He…He-help me!” At last, Satoko admits she needs help.  She stands up to Teppei, telling her abuser that this is her and her precious “Nii-Nii” (older brother) house; she will do anything to protect it – even if it means forcing him to leave.

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Teppei snaps. He slaps her, knocking the girl to the ground.  He then picks her up from her hair and slams her to the ground, threatening to kill her.  Before he can do further damage to her, the police force their way in, arresting Teppei and saving Satoko.

Satoko steps out of the house, greeted with the sight of her friends: friends whom all joined forces to save her.   Satoko spots Rika, runs over to her arms and break down crying.

Satoko is finally free.  With her courage, Satoko was able to stand up to her abusive uncle and confess she needed help.

Satoko has finally reached out to her friends.

Series concluded.

Anime Analysis 0

Higurashi and the Power of Friendship Pt. 2: Rena

‘Oh I get by with a little help from my friends.
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends.
Oh, I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.’
“With a Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles (1961 rock single)

Rena, despite her naive and ditsy nature,  has a rough past. She harbors hatred towards her mother (who cheated on her father and tore apart their family).  Her “friends” from middle school tried to rape her.  She fought back however, savagery beating them with a baseball bat. Following that, she went on a rampage at her school, smashing all the windows in it.  Following, Rena was admitted to a mental health clinic (due to the stress of the incidents).  After recovery, Rena and her father moved back to Hinamizawa in an attempt to continue their lives as normal.

Rena managed to move on, regaining her happiness and enjoying the company of her new friends, Rika, Satoko, Mion, and Keiichi.  Together they formed “The Club”, a clique created from their  friendship; spending many happy days with one another.

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The Club

Yet,  Rena’s happy days would come to an end thanks to her heinous acts of murder.

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‘I do you one better and slay these niggas faithfully.
Murder is a tough thing to digress
It’s a slow process
And I ain’t got nothin’ but time.’
“Dead Presidents II” by Jay-Z (1996 hip-hop single)

Discovering that Mamiya Rina and her pimp Teppei Houjou entrapped her father into a badger game (with Rina pretending to act as her father’s boyfriend and Teppei coercing him into a payment plan), Rena decides to take action. She lured Teppei and Rina into her hideout (the garbage dump).  First, she barbarously smashed Rina’s skull in with her lead pipe. Later, she cleaved Teppei’s head with her billhook – taking their lives.

The next day, The Club decides to check up on Rena, who was absent from school.  Upon arrival at her hang out spot, they see Rena dismembering the bodies of her victims.  Keiichi goes off on her; demanding Rena to explain why she committed such acts.  He also asks why she didn’t ask for help before killing the two.  Rena tells him that they couldn’t help her. She only sees friends as people to only have fun with – not as an outlet for emotional support. Because of past betrayals, Rena fears that she can’t disclose painful information to her friends.  She doesn’t trust them to help her. She believes by murdering Teppei and Rina, she made the best choice for her life.

Keiichi calls her out on her bullshit; telling her that she crying and suffering.  He presses the question of why won’t t trust her friends.  Despite her crimes, he wants to forgive and understand her.   The Clubs shares his idea, as they too want to still remind friends with her and help her (including helping her burying Teppei and Rina’s remains).  They assure her that they’ll never turn their backs on her – and that they’ll still be friends.  Rena thanks everyone for helping her out and understanding her actions.  Rena feels that she no longer has to bare the cross of her sins alone.  She can trust and rely on her friends.

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And yet, this period of trust and reliance wouldn’t last for long.

Time has pass since the Cotton Drifting Festival. Oishi visits one classroom school of Hinimizawa,  requesting to speak to Rena.  The two have a little chat in his car, with him informingthe girl that Tomitake is dead and Miyo is missing. As the two talk, a flashback plays.  Rena and Miyo are chilling at the library, speaking about  Oyashiro’s  curse  and the influence it has on the village and Rena herself.

We learn from this flashback that Rena “broke the taboo” of leaving Hinamizawa.  Rena believes that the cause of her being cursed by Oyashiro was in relation of her family leaving the village years ago. The incident at her school and her parents’ divorce was punishment brought upon by the resident god to her to suffer from.  Rena then tells Miyo that she the god spoke to her, telling her she must return back to Hinamizawa.

“Believing” her story, Miyo gives Rena her bullshit “research” scrapbook. (Granted, Miyo only gave her this to agitate Rena’s Hinamizawa). Upon learning about Miyo’s disaperance,  grows paranoid.   With Tomitake’s murder and Miyo’s disappearance, Rena believes she’ll be targeted next.  She hits Keiichi’s line up, informing him on the situation, and theorizes that the Three Great Family had Miyo (and the rest of the Cotton Drifting Festival victims) murdered  in order to revive the Oyashiro curse.

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Rena’s paranoia worsens.  The following day, members of the Yamainu unit visit the Hinamizawa School for an “inspection”.  Rena takes notice and investigates.  Going over the information left behind by them, she calls their business number, only to discover that the company doesn’t exist.  Rena thinks they’re after her , decides to leave school early, and goes into hiding. Worried about Rena’s behavior, Keiichi decides to search for her.

Learning that the both the police and Sonozaki clan are after her (given she stole money form the later), Keiichi grows concern about Rena’s wellbeing.  Assuming that she’s hiding out in the dump, Keiichi searches for her there.

Meanwhile, Rena is indeed hiding around in the dump – with the police nearby. While evading them, she overhears a dispatcher (from the radio) telling the field officers that she has been spotted at a warehouse near the Sonozaki land, thus making the police leave the dump to confirm this information. This should relive Rena, but she’s freaking out.  She thinks that she has been clone (thanks to Miyo’s bullshiting Rena in her scrapbook)!  It doesn’t help that Rena’s paranoia has gotten worse and the Hinamizawa Syndrome is screwing with her head.

Rena attempts to leave the dump (and the village) but she is caught by Keiichi.  He tries to convince her to return to the village but she refuses. She’s pretty pissed off at Keiichi. Earlier, she had went to check on the burial site of the victims and discovered that their bodies weren’t there. Keiichi tries to explain to her that Mion had her family exhume the bodies from the original burial site to their secret mass grave site  (due to government deforesting).  Rena doesn’t believe this.  She  feels betrayed by Mion (despite Mion was covering Rena’s ass for her own good) and snaps on Keiichi.

Keiichi begs Rena to trust The Club and Mion’s action but Rena is blinded by rage.  In her anger (and derange fits of laughter) she tells Keiichi a little secret – a secret  that Keiichi hidden for years.  Before Keiichi moved to Hinamizawa, he was facing legal issues. Due to stress, Keiichi hunted down young girls and shot them with a BB Gun (with one of the victims losing an eye). In her normally sweet voice, Rena taunts him with this reveal, calling him a shameless pervert (for attacking little girls) and that it must had been fun for him to install fear into young girls for his actions. She finds joy in making Keiichi cry and forcing him to beg her to stop, but Rena keeps at it. Rena finish her sadistic taunting by telling Keiichi that she’s not his friend and for not telling The Club about his past.

She leaves Keiichi alone in his pitiful state.

‘I think we all have stories we don’t want to share of misery, sadness, mistakes, or even memories we don’t want to recall.’
-Mion Sonozaki

The morning after, Keiichi reveals his past to the Club. When questioned by his friends on why he’s revealing such things, he tells them that he doens’t feel right about it from them.  To his surprise, Mion and Rika tell him that he shouldn’t feel shame from it.  Satoko follows suite, telling her friend that he’s a good person now.

His friends’ words of forgiveness and kindness trigger yet another seemly forgotten past:  his distrust towards his beloved friends – and of him killing Mion and Rena in another world.

Keiichi freaks out, weeping in front of the others.  He remembers his delusions of Rena and Mion plotting against him. In reality, they were only trying to help him get better.  Especially Rena whom, even at the final seconds of her life (of that world) literally reached out to him to tell him that it’s everything is okay – to believe in her.

Keiichi laments over this. He questions himself on  why he couldn’t see the fact that his friends wanted to help him. Rika calms Keiichi down and tells him that she forgives him. She knows that he’s a good person now.  Fully aware and understanding what Rena is going through (and awared of the multiple worlds), Keiichi is inspired to fight against fate and save his friend – and to atone for his own sins.

The following school day Rena, who hasn’t shown up to class in a while, finally shows up! To celebrate her triumphant return, she decides to take everyone hostage!  Yea, she pretty much went completely insane.  She forces Keiichi to join her side, as he was the only one who “believed” her story( along with Oishi)  As time passes, things get worse.  Rena starts to spread gasoline around the classroom.  You know, just a simple insurance policy, just in case things go south.

It’s normal in hostage situation trust me.

Rena takes her anger out on her best friend Mion.  She beats her with the blunt end of her billhook, screaming at her. “I trusted you!” She yells, slamming her billhook downwards on to her friend’s forehead and busting her open. Keiichi tries to stop Rena but she threatens to blow up the school right then and there.   Despite Keiichi telling Rena that Mion only had the bodies moved to a secured location; Rena still neither trust nor believe her friends.

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Observation: It can be theorized that Rena does not trust her friends because she experienced mistrust and betrayal from people she once trust in her past.  Remember: three of her former male friends attempted to raped her years ago, friends that she probably trusted.  Additionally, her own mother lied to her father about her having an affair with a coworker.  This coworker impregnated her.  The mother tried to convince her to leave her father, which she refused.   Perhaps in Rena’s head, Mion and Keiichi’s acts against was yet another betrayal.

Her so-called friends violated her trust – therefore, they must be punished.

The day passes.  Keiichi (through an earpiece provided by the police) is informed about a homemade bomb crafted  by Rena, which is hidden in the school.   Keiichi sneaks out of the classroom in search of it.  He encounters Satoko, who concludes that the bomb was hidden away in the school’s storage room. Satoko then gives Keiichi a weapon – her beloved brother’s baseball bat.

Observation:  This scene can be considered a full circle of sorts. During the events of the first arc Keiichi “borrowed” Satoshi’s bat.  Keiichi was planning to use the bat for self-defense Rena (during his bout with paranoia).  This made Satoko upset.  Flash forward to the Atonement Arc. Satoko trust Keiichi.  She trusts him so much that she allows him to use her brother’s bat – one  of the few items she has to remember him.  After giving him the bat, Satoko  is staring at Keiichi, quietly saying “Nii-Nii”.

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What we can take from this is two things:
1. Keiichi reminds her of Satoshi
2. Satoko sees Keiichi like an older brother.

(This is very important for the finale of this analysis series)

Keiichi finds the bomb and disarms it (with a second to spare).  As the hostages escape and the police charge in the school to capture Rena, she encounters Keiichi on the rooftop.  The two talk some shit, mostly with Rena speaking about aliens and Keiichi calling her an idiot.  She then challenges her to a fight to prove who’s right.  During their clash, Keiichi jokes about making Rena his service maid if she loses.  He brings up that their rooftop battle is like their old fun water gun fights and other past club games and ask if her she wanna go back to those days.

The two fight again but then stop when Keiichi thinks of all the fun things he would do to Rena if she was his maid.   He then asks what she would want if she wins, which are the same rewards of the battle he requests.  Rena tells Keiichi that regardless of the winner, they will still be together and happy.  Rena will still have her friends – something she truly wants.

Before they prep for their final blow, Keiichi brings up that this was fun, which Rena plies that it was fun for her too.  The two charge at each other, with Rena wining it by disarming Keiichi of his bat and knocking him to the ground.

“The fight’s over now, right?” Rena asks him.  Keiichi replies once she swings her weapon towards him for the finishing blow.  Rena – regaining her sanity – breaks down crying.  She doesn’t want to hurt her friends.  She weeps as she questions herself on why she cause her friends to suffer and shaming herself for not believing in her friends who only wanted to help her and ruining the happy, fun days they had.

Keiichi then tells Rena that she was right to be suspicious when she sensed something was wrong – anyone would have done the same.  He then follows up with that if there was something painful going on in her life she needs to talk to her friends about it.  Reazling this, Rena starts t ocry uncontrollably in Keiichi’s arms.

It is then that Rena realized her mistake – she needed her friends for support.

‘Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
Buy if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on’

-“Lean on Me” by Bill Withers (1972 soul single)

Series continued in part 3.

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Rena and Keiichi’s fight video source:
https://sakugabooru.com/post/show/18796

Anime Analysis 0

Higurashi and the Power of Friendship Pt. 1: Keiichi, Rena, and Mion.

 

‘Friends…
How many of us have them?
Friends…
Ones we can depend on.’
-Whodini, Friends (1983 rap single)

The power of friendship is a tired concept in anime. It’s  a trope used as either a final hour plot device or a moral boast given to the  hero from their freinds  as a power-up, or a motivation toll to push forward  in the face of despair. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni isn’t exempt from this.  However, how Higurashi tackles this theme makes it stand out from other series that uses the power of friendship such as Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh.

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Oh you’re my best friend…

Using mature and controversial themes (such as child abuse, mental health, trust issues, etc.) for its overarching narrative, Higurashi makes the power of friendship, and the benefits of it feel realistic compared to other anime series.

With series main character Keiichi, we see Rena and Mion attempt  to reach out to Keiichi in his time of stress and paranoia, whom he couldn’t seem to trust.  Rena herself would wind up untrusting of her friends; accusing them of betraying her (as she believed they snitched on her for murdering Rina and Teppei).

Finally, The Club unites the village of Hinamizawa to rescue Satoko Houjou from her abusive uncle – including villagers who once outcast and hated her.

Join me in part one of my analysis of the Power of Friendship in Higurashi as we explore how Rena and Mion reached out to help their friend Keiichi, only to be murdered by him due to his paranoia.

Keiichi, Rena, and Mion

‘Give me a reason why not to adapt in this way,
or judge me to be guilty of  so many incurable sins
Tell me why, or why not, complaining way too much,
Maybe I overlooked something fatal for me’


“Why or Why Not” by Katakiri Rekka (Higurashi no Naku koro ni  ED 1)

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Ever since he moved to the small and close-knit village of Hinamizawa, Keiichi grew close with new friends Rena and Mion.  They walk together to school, play after-school games and kick it and chill with one another as good friends.  It’s clear by their interactions and the time they spend with each other that they’re bonded by friendship.

A bond of destroyed by paranoia and distrust.

Keiichi’s distrust towards his friends began when he was informed by Tomitake about the Hinamizawa Dam War (a protest conflict against a dam construction in the village). The “war” resulted in the unsolved murder and dismemberment of the project’s director.  Now mind you, this information was given to Keiichi after he was joking with Tomitake that Rena may had hid a body in the garbage dump (the land that was going to be used for the dam) where she normally hangs out at. We must also note that some of the remains of the project director have yet to be recovered at this point of the story.

This news doesn’t ease Keiichi’s paranoia. It will get worse after the Cotton Drifting Festival.

It’s the night of the Cotton Drifting Festival. After kicking it with The Club, Keiichi goes off  on his own to explore the area.  He links up with Tomitake and his girlfriend, Miyo.  The lovers get Keiichi hip on Oyashiro’s Curse: a series of unexplained “supernatural” deaths and disappearances occurring  at the festival for the past five years – with this year’s festival being the fifth anniversary. This new information in combination of the murder and dismemberment case freaks Keiichi out.

There’s more to the village than he is aware of.

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Miyo explaining the legend of Oyashiro’s curse. 

The following morning, Keiichi is visited by detective Oishi at his school. Oishi notifies the boy that Tomitake was discovered dead during the festival. In addition, Miyo is missing. He asks Keiichi if he believes these incidents are linked to the curse. Keiichi replies that he doesn’t believe in such things such as curses and gods.  Pleased, Oishi sees Keiichi as an useful person for the case . Oishi ends their meeting with him requesting that he does not repeat anything to anyone –especially to Mion – as she is a member of the notorious Sonozaki Yakuza clan.

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Oishi informing Keiichi that Miyo is missing.

Returning to class, Keiichi overhears Mion and Rena discussing the disappearance of past victims of the supposed curse.  Satoshi is mentioned, which Keiichi questions Rena about the boy later.  After school, Keiichi confronts his friends about the murders, the village, and the curse.  He suspects them of withholding information.  Rena counters this, asking him why he too is withholding information.  She brings up that she knows that he spoke with Oishi (contradicting his lie of him talking to their teacher).

The friends argue back and forth.  Rena grows hostile. In the height of their verbal fight, Rena questions the subject of Oishi and Keiichi’s discussion, which he dodges.     Rena snarls at Keiichi – accusing him of lying.  Returning to her normal sweet nature, she tells Keiichi that just like he has secrets, they too have their own.

Knowing that the Hinamizawa Syndrome causes paranoia, one can assume that Keiichi is imagining Rena becoming hostile in her actions. For all we know, Rena could have been teasing Keiichi for fun.  Maybe she was concern that Keiichi was talking to a police officer that he did not know.

Later that night, Keiichi receives a call from Oishi requesting new information.  Keiichi mentions Rena and Mion were talking about the curse, the murders, and Satoshi (with Oishi informing Keiichi that Satoshi was one of the victims of the curse the year before).  Keiichi links everything Rena and the others told him earlier – suspecting that he will be the next victim; Confirming his theory that his friends are withholding information from him.  The phone call is cut short when Keiichi’s dad comes up to his room to give both Keichi and Rena tea.   Keiichi freaks out. He never noticed Rena standing outside of his room, even though his father saw Rena going there. Keiichi believes that Rena might have overheard the phone call and starts to worry.

Keiichi decides to skip school the next morning.  Feeling sick, he heads to the doctor clinic. At the waiting room, he overhears that Miyo may had been spirited away by the demon.   Following that, he links up with Oishi for lunch (as well as to provide the kid with new information).  Oishi informs Keiichi that  Mion and her family were involved in the  Dam Wars. He also supplies Keiichi with new information on Satoshi’s disappearance. Finally, perhaps the most important pieces of information he can give Keiichi – Rena’s past as well the links the curse’s past victims and his friends.

Oishi reveals to Keiichi that a few years ago, Rena suffered a mental break down; resulting in her assaulting her friends with a baseball bat.  She was admitted to a mental health clinic following the incident.  It was documented that during therapy, she repeated the words “Oyashiro-Sama”. It was also noted that Rena believe Oyashiro was watching over her.

(Bare this part of Rena’s past in mind as it will be important later on in relation to Keiichi’s paranoia.)

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Oiishi then explains the link between Keiichi’s friends and the victims. The victims had a relationship with each friend.  The dam director got into it with Mion and her family.   The dam project’s supporters, the housewife that died in the fourth year, and Satoshi were kin of Satoko – blood or otherwise. The priest who died and his wife who disappeared were Rika’s parents.  Finally, Tomitake was friends with The Club.

With this knowledge, Oishi theorizes that Keiichi will be targeted next.

That night, Rena and Mion visits Keiichi out of concern (due to his absence from school).  They gift him with dinner and make him play a game to see who prepped it.  As they chat, the light-hearted visit turns into an interrogation of sorts.  They question Keiichi on his meeting with Oishi, which Rena brings up she noticed the two at Angel Mort. Keiichi starts to worry.  He tells Rena that they weren’t talking about them, but she doesn’t believe him.  Mion  tells  Keiichi that no matter what, she’ll find out his secrets between him and Oishi before leaving.

 

Keiichi examines the ohagai, suspecting nothing of it. As he takes a bite out of it, he starts to freak out and spits the food out into his hand. He spots a “needle” covered in “blood” sticking out and goes berserk.  He tosses the food in the garbage and screams.  Fearing that his life in his danger, Keiichi hurries back to his room, grab a piece of paper and starts writing:

‘I am Keiichi Maebara, and my life is in danger. I don’t know why or who. The only thing I know is that it has something to do Oyrashiro-Sama’s curse.’

In reality of course, the Hinamizawa Syndrome is clouding Keiichi’s thoughts.  As the disease grows, so does his paranoia – therefore, creating false perceptions of reality.  When examining the situation outside Keiichi’s perceptive of fear, you have to take in a few points:

  • The “needle” in Keiichi food (and the pain caused by it) is an illusion. The sharp, painful poke from the “needle” was actually spicy hot sauce (which also explains the “blood”).  This was a prank by from Mion used to mess with Keiichi and cheer him up.  We can assume that Rena and Mion both knew that something was bothering Keiichi and wanted to make him happy.  This can be further supportive with the fact the girls visited him to check up on him.
  • It’s possible that Mion and Rena knew Oishi and Keiichi were at Angel Mort through Shion; Mion’s twin sister and an employee at the café.  One could theorize that Shion informed Mion that Keiichi was talking to Oishi.  Keep in mind that Oishi and the Sozonakis have beef.  Oishi suspects that the Sonozaki are behind the mysterious murders.  The dam director (one of the victims) was Oiishi’s best friend and father-like mentor.  Taking this into account, you can assume that Mion thinks that Oishi is using Keiichi to get information off Mion. Mion could also just have been playfully teasing Keiichi (as well as telling him to stay away from Oishi because her family doesn’t like him due to reasons).

The following morning, Keiichi heads to school alone; planning his next course of action against his enemies.  He’s nearly run over by a van (driven by members of the Yamainu).   Thinking that they’re after him, Keiichi declares that he must not drop his guard. He must fight back.  Upon arriving to school, Keiichi search the lockers for a weapon. Coming across Satoshi’s locker he finds the perfect weapon – Satoshi’s metal baseball bat.

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At recess, Keiichi is “practicing” swinging the bat with aggression.  Rena and Mion see this, questioning why he’s playing around with the bat.  Keiichi lies, stating that he’s practicing for the national finals.  The girls looked on with confusion and concern.  They leave, letting Keiichi do his own thing. After school, Keiichi decides to drop out of The Club’s after school activities and tells them to leave him alone.

They’re worried about him.

Rena follows Keiichi to check up on him.  Keiichi sees her and snaps.  He points his bat at Rena with a threatening stance; demanding the girl to walk ahead of him.  Rena complies, but not before asking him why he’s emulating Satoshi’s actions from last year (as well as using his bat) Rena tells Keiichi how he and Satoshi are alike (such as carrying baseball bats despite not being athletic, being paranoid,  and dropping out of  the club activities). Then Rena asks Keiichi if he’ll “transfer out” of school like Satoshi did prior.  Keiichi uneasiness worsens.  He believes that he’ll disappear like Satoshi from the tone and body language of Rena’s words.

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Reality: Rena is troubled by Keiichi’s actions. She cares for him. She doesn’t want to see another friend suffering (remember: she regrets not reaching out Satoshi when he was suffering).  To take it one step further, Rena had her own bouts with paranoia, stress, and mistrust in others before receiving help.  She is by all means attempting to reach out and help Keiichi.

That night, Oishi calls up Keiichi again.  Keiichi tells the cop that he’s certain that Rena and Mion are trying to kill him (with the whole “needle” in his food ordeal and the Yamainu trying to run him over) Oishi asks Keiichi to find the needle for him for evidence.  Keiichi fails to do so (since the “needle” was hot sauce) and thinks he had accidently thrown it away.  Next, he explains how he got new information on the Satoshi situation from Rena to Oishi.  During this, he is startled by Rena ringing his door bell.  Keiichi goes answer the door.

Just like the other day, Rena brings Keiichi over food and checks up on him.  She asks him if he had anything to eat all night.  He lies to her, which Rena calls him out on.  Rena brings up that she saw him eating noodles and food  he brought from the market.  She starts playing around by yanking on the door chain of his house in an attempt to “break in”. Thinking Rena is out to kill him, Keiichi smashes her hand in the door several time, forcing Rena to leave.

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Now, if I was Keiichi and Rena came through to my crib while my parents were away for the weekend, I would totally invite her in for a few hours.  Just being real. 

Reality: Rena was reaching out and  checking up on him like last time (since he scared everyone earlier that day) Plus, Rena is close with his mom, so it is possible for her to know that Keiichi was alone without food.  And given that Rena has a playful nature, her attempting to break him was just a joke.

Returning to his room, he notices Rena standing outside in the rain, looking into his bedroom chanting “I’m sorry” repeatedly.  The following morning, Keiichi is back to practicing his swing with the bat.  Mion confronts Keiichi and orders him to stop.  Everyone is frightened of Keiichi’s unexplained erratic behavior.  He goes off on Mion, asking her why is everyone is scared. He also tells her that he knows that Satoshi never “transfer” (given his sister Satoko is still in the same school and town).  He tells her that he also knows about her fights with the dam war and asked why did she wasn’t truthful to him about that fact.

Mion breaks down in tears.   She becomes enrage soon after.  She assumes that Oishi – the “old bastard” – was the one who told Keiichi about her fights between the dam director and express regrets of not killing him earlier.  Keiichi ponders if the “old bastard” in question is Oishi.

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Reality: Mion is troubled by Keiichi’s actions.  Like Rena, Mion fears Keiichi will end up like Satoshi and run away.   Mion is also angry that Oishi made her seem like a ruthless killer to Keiichi due to her past with the dam director.  The stress of her family dealing with Oishi’s police force, as well as rumors of her family murdering people has taken its toll on Mion.  Therefore, out of rage, Mion snapped. Her wishing death on Oishi was due to anger.  Deep down, I just think Mion was blowing off steam.

Keiichi leaves school and walks alone again.  He spots Rena and  books it, hiding into the woods, but his efforts fail.  Rena catches up to him.  He notices her billhook in her hand and questions her why she has it.  She laughs at him.  She then explains about how Satoshi was doing everything that Keiichi was doing in the past, her regrets for not helping him, and if he knows about Oyashiro’s curse. She ends with telling Keiichi that only she and she alone can help him solve his problems and that she’ll save him.

Rena starts to manically laugh and Keiichi runs off in the woods.

Reality: Rena was carrying her billhook for one of two reasons:
1. To help her on her grand ‘ol treasure hunting adventures in the not-so-grand garbage dump
2. To protect Keiichi from danger, as it’s implied from Rena’s point of view of the Onikakushi-hen arc (which you can watch a video of that POV  below):

Rena is very observant.  Her watching Keiichi becoming like Satoshi and him pushing everyone away is something not out of the ordinary for her.  Like everyone else, she clearly noticed Keiichi felt and appeared troubled.  Thus, reaching out to him was a priority. She states that she felt regret for not helping Satoshi out with his problems before he left.  Perhaps she felt guilty for that and to atone for her it, she vows to save Keiichi.

Maybe, just maybe, she can save him.

A few hours later, Keiichi awakens in his room (he appeared to have been knocked out by a Yamainu solider).  In his daze, he notices Rena sitting at the foot of his futon.   He starts freaking out, asking her why is she in his house.  Rena tells him that she found him in the woods and decided to carry him back to his house to recover.  While they’re chatting, Mion comes through to the house, welcoming herself to his room.  Mion ask if Rena called the sports supervisor, given Keiichi has an “interest” in baseball. Keiichi (with his paranoia at its highest) asks who the supervisor is.  The girl simply laugh at him.

Mion suggests that they finish the Punishment Game before he comes, which Rena agrees.  Rena gets up, walks over to Keiichi, and restrains him.  Mion gets up and pulls out a syringe from her pocket with a sadistic smile.  Keiichi is terrified.  As he struggle to break free from Rena she asks what they’re about to do to him.  Keiichi remembers Oishi telling him how Tomitake died and they suspected drugs were involved.

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Keiichi overpowers Rena, grabs his baseball bat and beat the two girls to death with it in what he believes to be in self-defense.  After killing the girls, he spots Dr. Irie rolling up to  his house in the same van that attempted to run him over earlier that week.  Seeing this, he reaches into the back of his clock to recover the letter he wrote earlier.

Finishing the letter, he names Rena and Mion as suspects, list five adults in the van, and suggests that the “drug” that Rena and Mion were planning to use on him is the same as the one that killed Tomitake.   He then escapes the house, dodging Yamainu guards in the process.  Keiichi calls up Oishi from a phone booth, panicking.  In his dying breath, Keiichi tells Oishi that he thought the suspects were human, but at this point believes that Oyashiro’s curse is real and that the god is following him.  Keiichi starts to tear at his throat – effectively killing.

Reality: Keiichi murdered Rena and Mion in cold blood.  There were no drugs discovered at the crime scene.  The “drug” he spoke of was a marker. Rena and Mion never attempted to harmed or kill Keiichi – simply, they wanted to help him and be there for him as friends.  They wanted to cheer him up and wish him to get better.  Sadly, Keiichi’s perspective of reality was distorted from his paranoia and the  Hinamizawa Syndrome.   He could not see that his friends only wanted to help him, not harm him.

Because of his paranoia, three young lives were cut short.

The truth of Rena and Mion’s kindness and Keiichi sins would be later revealed in the Atoment Arc.  Rena, the airheaded, kindhearted girl, needed help herself.  Help from her own pain, mistrust, and paranoia.

And what better friend to save her than Keiichi himself?

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Continued in part 2.

(My bad about the spoilers fam  lmfao)

Kakegurui 0

Yumeko Jabami and Law 28 of the 48 Laws of Power

LAW 28: ENTER ACTION WITH BOLDNESS

JUDGEMENT:
‘If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it.  Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution.  Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness.  Any mistakes you commit thought audacity are easily corrected with more audacity.

Everyone admires the bold: No one honors the timid.’

-Robert Greene, 48 Laws of Power (Green, 1998, p. 227)

Pitted against the prideful  Mary in a gambling match of Card Rock-Paper-Scissors, the seemingly naive Yumeko bets two 10,000 yen chips on her hand.  In what seems to be a stroke of beginner’s luck,  Yumeko’s bet pays off; her rock card defeating Mary’s scissors. Testing her luck further, Yumeko ups the ante; betting 50 chips (or 50,000 yen) in round two.  Unshaken by this, Mary tells Yumeko that she’s  quite the gambler, which she politely denies.

As the game progress there is a tie, followed by two wins for Mary.  She’s feeling confident, perhaps a little bit tad cocky even.  The game continues with Yumeko betting 50 chips, only to lose to Mary once more, and owing her 1,000,000 yen.  The transfer student tries her luck again, betting her remaining chips, but it’s all for naught.

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As Mary stokes her ego, Yumeko requests her for one final game.  Despite Yumeko lacking any chips, Mary honors her request with a smile (while taunting Yumeko; calling her an idiot, etc.).  The prideful girl starts to praise her own genius.  She believes that she can force Yumeko into a debt – thus lowing her social status to  that of livestock.

What Mary didn’t expect was Yumeko betting 10,000,000 yen –  real cash –  not mere poker chips.

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Offended, Mary snaps on the bold Yumeko; calling her crazy and careless.

“There’s no way you can afford to bet so much on a single RPS game! You’re crazy!” Cried Mary.  She doesn’t think that Yumeko is actually putting down real money on the line. This is a joke!  Yet,  Yumeko is not joking – she is serious.   She sees the fun in her bold action and high risks. Mary is confused and angry at Yumeko’s recklessness.  She assumes that Yumeko is just mocking her with such fearlessness and is merely baiting her.  She refuse to go on with the game the bet but Yumeko mocks her as she turns away.

“Don’t tell me you have cold feet.” mimicking Mary’s earlier taunts with smug.   Hearing this, Mary reluctantly accepts the offer.

As the girls play their final cards, Yumeko reveals to Mary that she knew that she was paying off  their classmates to manipulate the game to ensure Mary’s victory.  Mary is enraged once more but regains her composure.  Mary thinks that Yumeko is simply bluffing for a win by getting under her skin.  How could she have this knowledge of her using her classmates to win? She is just a simple stupid girl.  She can’t be that smart. Regaining faith in herself, Mary slams down the paper card on the table with the highest confidence.

Alas for Mary, Yumeko held scissor – defeating her.

The bold action of betting with cash as opposed to poker chips and using her skills to dismantle Mary’s cheating system (and a little luck), Yumeko made a name for herself on her first day of her new school by defeating Mary.at her own game.  Her daring spirit took Mary by surprise, as she didn’t expect the new student to pull such a stunt off against her and win.

Yumeko’s brilliant fearlessness humbled the once prideful Mary.

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REVERSAL:
‘Boldness should never be the strategy behind all of your actions.  It is a tactical instrument, to be used at the right moment.  Plan and think ahead, and make the final element the bold move that will bring you success.  In other words, since boldness is a learned response, it is also one that you learn to control and utilize at will. To go through life armed only with audacity would be tiring and also fatal. You would offend too many people, as is proven by those who cannot control their boldness.’ (Green, 1998, p. 235)

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“Life or Death”, or “A typical day in South Chicago and North St. Louis”.

After accepting an invite to play against Yuriko in her modify roulette game “Life or Death”, Yumeko decides to act bold against the student council member.  Bolder than her earlier match against Mary mind you.  Rather than silently wait until later to reveal the cheating system of Yuriko’s game, she goes off on her with bravado.

“Your methods are the worst.”  Yumeko berates her with a smirk.  In her bravery, she admits to her that she knew that Yuriko baited Mary into the game.  Yuriko took advantage of the broken Mary; luring her with the hope of clearing her debts and reclaim her pride – only to mislead her and sink her further into it. Yumeko compares her to a loan shark, calls her the lowest of the low, and finally – a piece of shit.

Yuriko (trying to hide her anger) simply smiles warmly, brushing off Yumeko’s offensive language and taunts.  Yuriko seems to forgive Yumeko’s brashness, but is quickly angered again when Yumeko starts playing around with her family name, “Nishinotouin” –  calling it a proper family name for a cheap airhead like Yuriko.

Yuriko snaps.

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Yuriko’s happy face.

This was a tactic to force Yuriko into rage and bet everything she has blindly.   Yumeko knew Yuriko was cheating. Her personal dealer had  magnetic metal moles implanted in her hands. This was to control the blades’ location in order to influence where each blade landed.   Later, Yumeko explains how this cheat has no absolute guarantee for victory; as you can only control one blade and leave the rest to luck.

After bragging about her successful revelation of the cheat, Yumeko lost the match. Her boldness worked against her as she lost not due to Yuriko’s skills, but simple and pure luck.

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With this lost, Yumeko’s status is reduced to the levels of housepet.  But then again, Yumeko doesn’t seem to mind.

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