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Anime Analysis 0

Otaku no Video: Tatake Otaking! – Lyrics Analysis

 

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Lyrical analysis of the theme song of the 1991 anime OVA Otaku no Video, “Tatake Otaking!” (Fight Otaking!) by Gainax.  Tatake Otaking describes the main character’s journey to become the king of all otakus, becoming whatever he desires, despite others telling him  he’s wrong to pursue his otaking dreams.

‘Over the endless wasteland
I run alone for all I am worth
embracing the hope
of an unseen world far away.’ 

When you start  the dream journey you’ll be alone on the path.  The  faraway world of your dreams unseen, but you must keep on pressing on.

It’s your dreams. Chase it, even if you can not yet see the end results of it.

‘The only thing I believe in is glowing passion.
I will be a raging inferno!
No one will be able to stop
my heart’s beat!’

Believe in your passion, it’s your main focus and at times, it’s the only thing that you can believe in.   Envision yourself as an unstoppable inferno, and do not allow anyone to attempt to put out your flames.  There will be people who’ll want to stop your shine.

Do not let them.  No matter what.

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‘One of these days, I will find out the truth of
love. Everything in this world will be mine.’

Love created from  the passion of the grind and hustle from chasing your dreams and you doing you.
This world can be yours if you put your mind to what you seek, and imply effort through actions.

Also, does the line “everything in this world will be mine” reminds you of a certain quote from an early 80s gangsta movie?

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‘We’re bound together by friendship.
It’s a thick bond.’

The otaku community, for the most part, is a close-knit one.  Our community is forged from many outcasts, shun by society for the common passion, which we all come together and support one another.  Naturally, (everlasting) friendships are created from this.

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Our little group has always been 
And always will until the end

‘I won’t let anyone block me!
(I won’t let anyone block me!)
I will go my own way!
(I will go my own way!)’

You can never allow anyone to stop you from achieving your dreams, no matter what.  On this hustle and dream path, there will be people who want you to steer off it.  They will attempt to  block your progress, or tell you shit like “Oh, you can’t do this.” Or “You’ll never make it.”

Fuck them.  Do you. If they ain’t paying your bills, fucking you, or feeding you, don’t let their opinions get to you.  Do you.  Do your own shit.

Besides, people like a man or a woman with her own path and goals, and can stay focus on them.

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People will hate and ridicule.  Fuck them.


‘Fight! Fight!
Fight! Fight!
Fight! Otaking! ‘

A possible reference to the original otaking himself, former Gainax president  (and company co-founder) Toshio Odka.

 

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‘I abandon the one I love and keep on running
believing in a shining future
and staking my dreams on it.’

On the hustlers  and dreamer path, you may have to abandon friends and family members who won’t support you and your dreams.  If you have people like that in your life, cut them out now.  They’re holding you back.  Keep running towards the shinning future you want in life.   

Ken Kubo (main character) had to abandon his girlfriend  off, who was on his case for being otaku and chasing his dreams.

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Hey, she doubted his shit, so he had to cut that bitch off like K Camp.

‘The sweat that soaks my T-shirt
is the medal of a man.

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Yeah no.

‘My tears won’t stop!
I won’t forget the beating
of my heart’s refrain!’ 

(It’s not that deep)

‘I will rise above the drifting time and be reborn.
The time will come someday when I
will be known as Otaku.’

(It’s not that deep)

‘I won’t let anyone block me!
(I won’t let anyone block me!)
I will go my own way!
(I will go my own way!)
Fight! Fight!
Fight! Fight!
Fight! Otaking’! 

(Already given my analysis on the hook)

‘I’ve thrown away
everything in my life.’

For some otaku, in order to become the ultimate otaku, they’ve thrown everything out from their lives.  Friends. Family. Work.  Everything just so they can invest in their passion and dreams.  (Although I personally wouldn’t recommend tossing love ones and a job aside just to watch anime all day)

In some cases, you may have to throw many things out of your life, so you can pursue a better life.

You have to be willing to give up something to get the real shit.

 

My goal is the world!
(My goal is the world!)
I’ll be the greatest man!
(I’ll be the greatest man!)
Fight! Fight!
Fight! Fight!
Fight! Otaking!

 

Going back to the “The world is yours!” mindset mentioned earlier.  People with drive and purpose want the world.  They want to be noticed by the world, and want everything within it.

Who’s world is this?
The world is yours Otaking.   The world is yours Otaqueen.

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Hitagi Senjougahara: Trauma, Trust Issues, and Defense Mechanisms (Truth in Fiction)

TRIGGER WARNING: Rape, molestation, and child abuse mentioned.  If you’re bothered by these things, please please please, for the sake of your mental health, do not read on.  Thank you.

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A traumatic incident can screw up one’s mind.  It creates defense mechanisms, anxiety, and trust issues.  Hitagi Senjougahara, main heroine of the anime and light novel series “Monogatari”,  experienced such things.  To repay a debt owed to a cult, Hitagai’s mother  set her up to be molested and rape by a high ranking cultist. Hitagi resisted, hitting the cultist with a spiked shoe.  Afterwards, her dad filed for divorce, and Hitagi haven’t  spoke to her mom since.

Overtime, Hitagi grew distance, hostile, and untrusting of others.

‘And now you’re kinda cold to the people you met
Cause of something that was done to you by some creep.’
Whodini: Friends (1984 hip-hop single).

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Throughout the “Hitagi Crab” arc ,  we learn of the condition and causality of Hitagi’s literal weightlessness, as well as her hostile nature.  After Araragi (series’s main hero) saves her from an otherwise fatal fall, he discovers that she’s weightless. In fear that he might run his mouth about her state, Hitagi attacks him. She shoves a mini stapler inside his mouth, stapling his check.

After removing the lodged staple from his check, Araragi reveals his healing factor.  Hitagi was shock that there was somebody like her (in terms of weirdness).  Araragi offers to help her regain her weight, taken by a god crab spirit.

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As Araragi and Hitagi bike to Oshino’s (friend of and occult advisor to Araragi) residence, the two engaged in an interesting conversation.  Hitagi refers herself as a tsundere (otaku slang for a character who’s hostile and cold initially, but grows softer and warm towards close ones overtime).  This fits her well. Hitagi is cold, distanced, and hostile due to her mental trauma and physical condition. With Araragi’s reveling  his powers, understanding her situation, and knowing someone who could help her, Hitagi gradually warms up.

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Right!

There are two points I want to explore here:

Prior to meeting Oshino, Araragi asks Hitagi if he could hold on to her school supplies (which double as her weaponry). She responds “You set me up, right?”, pauses, and surrender her goods.  At the second point, upom meeting Oshino, Hitagi asks if he could save her.  Oshino responds with that only she could save herself. Hitagi snaps on him, stating that  five people prior told her the same thing, only to try to scam her.  She then asks Oshino if he was a scammer himself, which he only laughs off her (somewhat baseless) fears.

This made me wonder: are her worries defense mechanisms?  If so, you can’t blame her. Victims of traumatic experiences tend to be more defensive and aggressive towards others.   Traumatic experiences can changed one’s point of view, as Oshino pointed out to Hitagi about hers.

‘If I trust a person so easily, I don’t know how many times I would’ve been tricked.”
-Hitagi Senjouhara

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Fasting forward to episode 2’s ritual scene, Oshino asks Hitagi a series of questions.  The first few are basic: school life, date of birth, and favorite author. All to each she answered unhesitating.  When asked about her most painful memory of her life however, Hitagi freezes up, taking a sharp breath.  Regaining herself, Hitagi painfully recalls the attempted sexual assault.   She brings up that  her mother was punished because she fought back against the cultist.

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Her parents divorced soon after.   Hitagi felt guilt for her resistance, blaming herself  for breaking the family apart (of course, it wasn’t her fault). She felt anger towards  her mom;  she did not save her. Oshino tells her that these were her feelings, feelings that she can’t transfer to others.

Feelings that she must carry the burden on her shoulders.

In their conversation, Oshino uses the word “omoi”, which can either mean “Feelings” or Weight” (depending on the kanji).  What I like about the word usage is the  symbolism of the meaning. The feelings caused by horrific, traumatic experiences are a heavy weight to carry.   You go through life blaming yourself when you should not, closing yourself off from others and being on edge; unsure if people will hurt you physically, or emotionally.

A weight that you can never get rid of;  just only overcome  it with proper help and support.

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At the end of the ritual, Hitagi  confronts  the crab god whom stripped her weight.  Hitagi freaks out.  Her breathing is heavy, eyes widen.  Her body is frozen in fear , muscles tensed.  Hitagi asks if anyone else can see the crab, which the others reply with that they cannot.

Hitagi shuts down right as the crab attacks.  Oshino rescues Hitagi and destroy the spirit.  He explains the crab is the result of her  mental state.  Finally, after thanking him, she breaks down and starts to cry uncontrollably.

Hitagi’s freezing, fears, tense body language, breathing heavily, avoidance of the crab, and crying made me think:  was she having a PTSD flashback of the attempted rape? Yeah I mean, the crab is a supernatural force for storytellin, but her response to not confront it, in addition to her being asked about her most painful life experience, can be debated in favor of this theory.

When triggered, victims of traumatic events experienced symptoms such as heavy breathing, feelings of tightness, emotional break downs, and avoidance of anything that reminds them of the incident to name a few examples.

After Hitagi regain her composure, Oshino tells her that despite how much she longs for her family to return, and her desires to remove the pain, those things will never happen.  She must learn how to overcome it and grow stronger.  At the end, she gained a new friend (and eventually boyfriend) in Araragi and  gain her “weight” back as well.

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Ohhh…tired of the strain and the pain’
‘There’s so much pain…’
-2pac: Pain  (1994 rap single)

Special thanks and shout out to my homeboy Mr. Y giving me advice and tips and checking if my info on mental health was correct.  Check out his blog here:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/61835112

Further reading:

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder
https://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-defense-mechanisms/
http://traumaabusetreatment.com/trust-issues-after-trauma
http://childhoodtraumarecovery.com/2013/06/20/childhood-trauma-defence-mechanisms-resulting-from-stress/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/somatic-psychology/201107/effects-trauma-estrangement-family

Screenshots Source:
http://blog.seiha.org/index.php?s=bakemonogatari

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The Narrative Themes of Sailor Moon S/Infinity (Analysis)

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I’m a huge fan of the Infinity arc of Sailor Moon. I  love it. It’s my favorite arc of the franchise and was my first exposure to the series.  The soundtrack is amazing, the characters are lovable, and there are a slew of amazing scenes.  It is just a wonderful addition to the lore of the Sailor Moon series.

However, I think one thing that some people may have overlooked about this arc is the theatrical and narrative themes.  I believe that if one were to analyze and break down the arc’s themes, they could gain a better appreciation for it.

Join me as I go in-depth in the themes of the Infinity Arc.  I hope that after reading this article, you’ll gain greater love for arguably the best arc of the series.

PART 1

Science and Technology

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‘Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.’

Ian Malcom – “Jurassic Park”

The theme of science and technology is one of the best things of the arc.  It’s a refreshing addition to the lore of the series.   While prior villains Queen Beryl and Wiseman were versed in magical arts, Infinity Arc villain Professor Tomoe used science and technology to combat against the Sailor Scouts’.

From genetically engineering superhumans such as the Witches 5 (manga and Crystal anime), transforming his own  daughter  into a cyborg, implanting himself with an alien egg, and constantly performing experiments, Tomoe had various tools of in his arsenal in relation to science.  I mean hell, the man was even blacklisted from the scientific community for his illegal and unethical experiments (manga and Crystal).

The brilliant Tomoe wasn’t alone in using science against the Scouts.  His assistant, Eudial had her own tool set as well.

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Toasty!!

Eudial (of the Witches 5) fought the Scouts using her own tools such as poison gas, a shotgun that exacted a victim’s Pure Heart, a flame thrower that even surpass the strength of the Sailor Scouts,  and perhaps her most dangerous tool; her wits and mind.

While she wasn’t a total genius like her superior, her  wisdom could not be ignored.  The woman even wrote a computer program that hunted down possible owners of pure hearts and the Holy Talismans. In addition, she built a super computer made from peach cans.  Hell, she even worked on dimension transporter device in her downtime.

Granted, she did realize there were fatal flaws with the device. Something that her hater I mean partner Mimete learned the hard way.  Boy did she learn the hard way.

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It was at this moment that she knew, she fucked up.

I can’t forget the more science fiction elements of Sailor Moon S.  The invasion of the Daimons  felt like something out of sci-fi movie; strange aliens from a foreign galaxy attempting to take the  world over,  using humans as their host.  Or whatever cheesy plot they thought of.

Even Mistress 9’s theme sounds like a track from a sci-fi film:

I wonder, was Naoko Takeuchi and the Toei writing staff were on a sci-fi kick during the development of the Infinity manga and anime arc? The sci-fi aesthesis are way obvious.   Cyberpunk and sci-fi culture were dominating and influential in the anime and manga culture of the early 90s. I would not be shocked if Naoko and Toei were influenced by the cyberpunk culuture for the arc.  In any case, the sci-fi elements were a breath of fresh air after compared to two anime season and manga arcs of magic and fantasy.  It brought something new to the series.

PART 2

Father and Daughter

Father, you left me but I never left you
I needed you, you didn’t need me
So I, I just gotta tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

– John Lennon “Mother”

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The father and daughter  narrative isn’t anything new in the series. You have Usagi and her pops, Kenji. Then we have Chibi-Usa, and her dad, Mamoru (and of course, Chibi-Usa’s dark persona Black Lady with  her Electra Complex with Mamoru).

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When he finally lets you call him “daddy”.

Those examples of fathers-and-daughters are stable. However, with the introduction of Hotaru,it broke the mold of the stable father/daughter relationship in Sailor Moon (excluding Rei and her dad, but that’s for another alcohol fuled writing)

The manga and the original anime continuity depict Hotaru and Souichi’s relationship in polar opposites.  To put it nicely, Souichi was a piece of shit to Hotaru in the manga.  The selfish asshole viewed his daughter’s injuries resulted from a fire in his lab as a blessing. Taking advantage of the newfound “blessings”, Souichi fitted Hotaru with cybernetic implants, as well as genetically modified her by infusing the kid with the egg of Daimon Mistress 9 (given to him by Master Pharaoh 90).  Souichi’s selfish actions, and his desire for revenge ruined not only Hotaru’s body, but her life as well.

Hotaru had some well… daddy issues.  She went off on her dad, frustrated with him for allowing Kaorinite  in their house.  She also moped about her dad being consistently away, focused on his research rather than her. Thus, Hotaru felt lonely.

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Just an average day in the Tomoe household.

It doesn’t help Souichi’s case that he only cared about Hotaru to awaken Mistress 9.  In addition, he only saw Hotaru as a science experiment, a perfect hybrid of cybernetic, genetic, and alien technology.   Yea, the dude saved his daughter’s life.  Yet, he only did it to make her into a living puppet.

Sometimes, family ain’t shit.

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There’s something else Kaori likes to suck up from her dad but this is a Christian run blog. There are h-doujins of these two online if you’re into that.

 

Back when I was a child 

Before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me’

-Luther Vandross “Dance with my Father”

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When “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” goes horribly wrong.

When it comes to their relationship in the first anime, Hotaru and Souichi were close.  The two loved each other dearly.  Souichi gave up his freewill to Germatoid , in order to Hotaru’s life, who lost it in a lab explosion.  Souichi was supportive of Hotaru, always there for her and made the girl his number one priority.

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Despite not being his fault, Souichi regretted ruining Hotaru’s life.  In his defenese,  he wasn’t unaware that Germtoid made her a vessel for Mistress 9. Souichi even risked his own life to protect Hotaru, taking blows from Mistress 9 and attempted to restore his kid (Even though Mistress 9 used Hotaru’s voice to trick him and Sailor Moon).

While I’m on the subject on Mistress 9, I love the more sinister side of Hotaru and Souichi’s relationship; Germatoid and Mistress 9. Although indirect, they did have some interactions while under the possession of their alien overlords.

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It’s strange to think how opposite their relationship were when comparing the anime and manga. Souichi was willing to save Hotaru, even if it meant becoming a servant to Germatoid. While he was noble for doing so, it did spite him, as Hotaru would become Mistress 9’s vessel.  Souichi had enormous remorse for allowing Hotaru to be possessed, despite he knew it wasn’t his fault. Unfortunately his manga counterpart did not share that guilt.  He felt prideful about his actions, thinking of Hotaru as just a project and not his daughter.

PART 3

Conflict and Division

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Sailor Moon: Civil War

Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends
?

-WAR “Why Can’t We Be Friends”

Most fictional team up will have their time of division and conflict.  The nWo splitting between the nWo Black/White and nWo  Black/Red,  the Avengers splitting up between Team Iron Man and Team Captain America,  and Spider-Man and Venom’s team splitting during the events of Maximum Carnage.   It’s bound to happen.

With the introduction of the Outer Scouts, and their goal of saving the world by any means, including sacrificing the wielders of the Pure Heart Crystal, the Inner Scouts will face their biggest problem yet: Inner conflict and division.   It doesn’t help that the problem increased  with Hotaru revealed as the Messiah of Destruction, but more on that later.

I love the clash between the two teams. Right from the jump, the Outers didn’t play with Usagi’s optimistic, idealistic views.  Hell, they flat out told her to stop being childish and selfish; bigger things were at stake.

Episode 21 of Infinity arc, “The Death of Uranus Neptune?!” expands on this:

Usagi is desperately pleading Haruka and Michiru to join forces with the Inner Scouts.   You can feel her emotions as she wants the pair to unite with her team.  Usagi wants nothing more but to unify her friends.  Despite Usagi positive attitude, Haruka snatches Usagi’s transformation brooch and  gives the girl a chilling warning:

“Don’t ever show yourself in front of us ever again…Sailor Moon.  Or else.”

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Haruka and Michiru ain’t playing games, even if it meant threatening to kill Usagi to save the world.

Speaking of killing, The Outers had no issue with wanting to kill a sickly 12-year-old child, Hotaru Tomoe, whom was confirmed to be the Messiah of Silence, Sailor Saturn.  The second Saturn awakens in Hotaru, the trio went on the attack, not caring if this was a damn kid.  They wanted her dead, for the sake of the great good.

By the way, Hotaru is the best friend of Chibi-Usa, who just happens to be the future daughter of  Usagi.  One of the Outer Senshi is Setsuna/Pluto, who just happens to be a second mother to Chibi-Usa.

So this whole “Kill Hotaru” thing was going to be fun for all parties involved, right?  Two group of allies and friends split into two opposing teams.  You have one team aiming to save the person because it wasn’t their fault that they are a puppet for the bad guy.  Then, you have the other team wanted to kill the person regardless.

Hell, even our heroes weren’t the only ones with team work issues. The Witches 5 (anime) weren’t too keen on sticking together. Mimete and Eudial had their beef with one another.  In Eudial’s defense,  Mimete was a complete and jealous idiot who wasn’t  shit.  Their beef escalated to life-ending heights, with Mimete destroying the break system in Eudial’s station wagon, leading her to a watery death.

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Mimete’s petty shit starting would catch up to her, leading to her own death at the hands of another member of the Witches 5, Tellu.  You see, Mimete thought she was slick, calling up Tellu and pretending to be Professor Tomoe (using a voice changer), reliving Tellu of her duties.  All so she could could take Tellu’s spot in the upcoming mission.

Tellu wasn’t playing that shit.  Boy, she wasn’t playing that shit.

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Man, it’s such a damn shame that even the bad guys, who are supposed to work together in order to defeat the good guys, are beefing.

Teamwork makes the dream work but not with these fools…

 

PART 4

Messiahs

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‘The time has come
O Messiah.  O Messiahs.’
Dragon Ball Z Soundtrack “Day of Destiny – Spirit vs. Spirit”

Messiah of Creation.  Messiah of Destruction. They’re like ying and yang; one can’t exist without the other.  Sailor Moon is the fabled as the messiah; the one whom will bring hope and salvation against the taboo messiah of destruction and death; Sailor Saturn.

We are introduced to the Messiah of Destruction in Rei’s horrifying premonition.   The world is frozen, painted in red.  Rei, (the only person who isn’t frozen), spots a destruction force of light and energy approaching.  It’s dreadful.  As Rei is violently pushed back by the energy, a light shines behind her.  She turns to it and in despair ask is it the Messiah.

The light ignores her cry.  Rei can only watch as the darkness consumes her allies the world. Never get your hopes up, children.

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As the series progress, additional information of the Messiah of Destruction are presented.  In episode 30 of S, we are revisited by Rei’s nightmare.  This time,  there’s a feminine figure with a scythe (hmm…), standing on a cliff menacingly, illumined in a bright white light.  Rei’s vision ends with the figure violently descending towards Rei, bringing her scythe down on the girl ending with blood splatter.

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Rei awakens, recalling the dream.  She notices the figure has a recognizable face, but quite can’t put her finger on who it is.  It’s totally not Hotaru as Sailor Saturn who’s the malevolent messiah.   Trust me; I have never misled people on the internet.

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Not Hotaru.

As for the true Messiah, she is hinted as Sailor Moon. After Neptune’s death, and the revelation of the two being the Talimans wielders, Uranus questions the Messiah.  She asks their deaths were divine punishment for their crimes of their mission.   In her despair, she envisioned the messiah, whom in actuality is an untransformed Usagi.

Usagi envisioned as the messiah is fitting.  Time and time again, Usagi is willing to put her own life on the line for both the world, and her loved ones.  Usagi even risked her life to save Uranus, the same person who threatened her earlier in the episode.

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When the Outers tried to kill Hotaru, Usagi pushed the girl out of the way of a combine energy blast that may had otherwise killed her.  Usagi defends her new friend, stating that it’s not her fault that she is Saturn, and that she shouldn’t have to die.

Usagi still had the drive to protect Hotaru, even after her transformation to Mistress 9. Usagi took an energy blast from Pharaoh 90 head on, (who attempted to kill Mistress 9).  Before that, Usagi attempted to restore Hotaru back to normal by giving her the Holy Grail.  Granted, it was a trick from Mistress 9 (who was using Hotaru’s voice) to manipulate Usagi into giving her the Grail.

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Finally, Usagi tried to save Hotaru (as Saturn), who jumped into the core of Pharoh 90 to kill him and save the world.  Despite being warned by Saturn that she may not survive inside Pharoh 90, Usagi still went in. While Usagi “failed” to save Hotaru, who had  died using her destruction powers,   Usagi managed to recover a reincarnated, newly born Hotaru.

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By the way, did you notice that both Saturn and Moon were introduced as messiahs at right around the same time? It’s like both the Toei writing staff and Takeuchi knew how to directed these two  to meet at the end of the arc. It gives a sense of duality with Saturn, being the Messiah of Destruction, the one who would end the world, and Sailor Moon, the Messiah of Creation, the one who will save it.  Of course however,  Sailor Saturn became the savoir of the world, sacrificing her life in the progress.

‘If you have feelings for other people…anyone can be a messiah.”

-Hotaru Tomoe
Sailor Moon S Episode 36

PART 5

Sacrifice

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‘Logic dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one’

-Spock
Star Trek

The narrative theme of sacrifice returns in Sailor Moon Infinity and boy, do they shove it down our throats.  From Uranus and Neptune’s willingness to sacrifice the live of pure heart owners, to the two losing their own lives to ensure the world’s protection, to Profressor Tomoe surrendering  his freewill to save Hotaru in the anime, to  Hotaru herself  giving up her life to save the world, sacrifice plays a huge role in Infinity.

As previously mentioned, Uranus and Neptune’s prime objective was to track down the Holy Talismans, sealed within three Pure Hearts.   The Three Holy Talismans (The Mirror, The Sword, and The Garnet Orb) were tools to summoning The Holy Grail (or Sailor Saturn in the manga/Crystal anime).  Once summoned, the true Messiah will use the Grail’s everlasting power to stop the threating silence and Messiah of Destruction.  However, in order to unseal the Holy Talismans, the Pure Heart owners had to be sacrificed.

As time went on, Uranus and Neptune were revealed to be the wielders of two Talismans (by Eudial). Upon her death, Neptune ‘s Pure Heart transformed to the Deep Aqua Mirror. Once Uranus realized she too held a Pure Heart, she took her own life to exact it, in hopes that Usagi will use the Talismans to summon the Holy Grail and save the world.

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(Of course Uranus and Neptune were brought back to life, so their sacrifices were somewhat meaningless.)

After concluding that Hotaru was Sailor Saturn, the Outer  Scouts decided they needed to kill her in order to prevent the world’s destruction from Saturn.  Take an innocent girl’s life to save countless others.

It’s heavy, isn’t it?

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I do find this funny:  the Outer Scouts wanted to sacrifice Hotaru  life.  The Inner Scouts were all gung-ho against it.  Despite the conflicted groups’ back-and-forth aguring,  Hotaru ‘s life was still sacrificed.  Just not in the way anyone expected.  After Hotaru accepts that she is Sailor Saturn, she jumps into the core of Pharaoh 90, and destroys him, killing herself in the progress, but saving the world and her friends (and of course her father in the first anime).

While sacrifice was always a theme prior and after, I love how it’s portrayed in the Infinity Arc.  It wasn’t just about Usagi, or the other Scouts putting their own lives on the line. Others may have their own life sacrifice if needed be.   Eventually, one life was taken to save the lives of countless others.  This arc did brought up the ethics of sacrifice. It is like to to say is if really okay to (unwilling) sacrifice one person’s life to save the lives of others.

Conclusion

Sailor Moon S/Infinity is my most beloved and favorite of the series.  The narrative themes oof this arc made it interesting and analyzing the themes makes it a renewing experience.  The Science and Technology theme was refreshing in a magic based series. The paralles of the father-daughter relationship of Hotaru and Souichi from the anime and manga were conflciting,  The Outer Senshi brought in something that the Inner Scouts never dealt with in the past: division and in-fighting.  The Messiahs gave the arc a near  religious side to the series.  Finally,  the sacrifice theme presented the issue of is it ethic to take a life of a person to others.

On the surface Sailor Moon S appears to be that of a simple shoujo magical girl series but once you dig into the narrative themes with an analytical mindset you’ll uncover that there are hidden meanings behind this excellent arc.
I hope with this in-depth look of the themes of S you have gained a better apperication for the season as much as I have.  Thank you for taking the time out of your life to read this article.

Thanks to everyone who supported and believed in me.  Thank you so much.

Images Sources:
https://prettysoldierproject.com

 

Anime Analysis 0

Playing Defense for Dragon Ball Z (Rant)

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I would never imagine that one day I would be playing defense for Dragon Ball, a incredibly popular anime series,  against typical anime elitists.

You know, the ones who have a false sense of superiority cuz they took deep, more artistic anime series way too seriously.  Not that there’s anything wrong with deep anime.

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All great shows. Just don’t take ’em too seriously.

 

The depth of Dragon Ball gets slept on because people have this common misconception that Dragon Ball Z is nothing more then mindless Shouen battles.

It’s actually deeper than that.

The Dragon Ball Z series have various  theatrical theme such as nature vs. nurture,  fathers-and-sons, accepting your racial heritage,  and unity.

__son_gohan_son_gokuu_trunks_and_vegeta_dragon_ball_and_dragon_ball_z_drawn_by_katsutake__sample-a9ce3733f40b78980553625911e08d26
Fathers and Sons.  Art source in reference section.

The Saiyan and Frieza saga revolves around Goku’s struggle with accepting his Saiyan  racial background . A struggle brought on because he believed himself to be an Earthling all his life prior to Radtiz arrival.   As the Saiyan and Frieza saga progress, Goku slowly appreciates his racial background.

He realize his battle hungry nature is a result of his Saiyan nature.   The reason why Goku spare Vegeta was because he wanted to challenge him again.  Dude never fought anyone as strong as Vegeta before.

(Goku did not spare Vegeta because he saw good in him. That was a bullshit 90s dub change.  Sorry  English-speaking blinded 90s nostalgia fanboys who refuse to watch DBZ Kai or the series in Japanese!)

Goku Selfishly Spares Vegeta

The Buu saga is strong with the theme of unity. Goku and Vegeta fusing to defeat Kid Buu. The average non-powered humans coming together,  giving Goku energy for the spirit bomb. Majin Buu and Satan  befriending one another. You get the point.

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Vegito vs. Buuhan.  Unity at its best!

 

Also, we can not forget the theme of redemption of this arc.  Vegeta’s atonement of past sins with his sacrifice to save the world.  Majin Buu expelling the evil of his heart after Satan show him love and friendship.  Speaking of Satan, he also redeemed himself in a way. He managed to unite and convince  everyone on earth to donate energy for Goku’s Spirit Bomb.

Guess that kinda makes up for him lying about saving the world from Perfect Cell.

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Vegeta’s atonement.

 

Dragon Ball is fuckin deep. Sad that some folks don’t make the effort to explore the themes of this amazing series.

 

REFERENCES AND SOURCES

Fathers-and-Sons artwork source

Theme of the Cell Saga by Geekdom 101

Theme of the Saiyan Saga by Geekdom 101

anime 0

What Makes an Anime Great (My Opinion of Course)

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Lupin the 3rd (1971). One of my favorites anime series of all time.

Everyone has an opinion on what makes an anime great.   Some people love storytelling.  Others enjoy aesthetics and art direction.

I love storytelling and music personally.   I love direction synergy between art and music tones.

We all bring in our own personal bias and taste when viewing anime, considering what will make or break an anime.

Anime is a visual medium.  I like anime series that can play off the aesthetics of the series. Visuals are narrative.  It gives aids the story’s tone.

Directors can use visual tones to emote viewers’ emotional reaction.

Example: The conclusion of Yusuke and Suzuki’s fight (Yu Yu Hakusho).

Series animation director Akiyuki Shinbo uses vibrant surrounding white light transiting into black and. dark shading on Yusuke.   It sets a depressing feeling; that Yusuke died putting his life energy to defeat Suzaku.

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Yu Yu Hakusho (1992)

Along with visual tone, a great anime needs a convincing story. The story needs interesting written characters with motivation. I like characters that are written in a way that can relate to naturally.

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Son Gohan of Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn (1994).  I love his goofy and carefree nature as Great Saiyaman.

Most of my favorite anime characters are written like this. If I relate to a character,  I care for them. I root for them to overcome their issues and improve overtime.  This factor makes the character seem more human.

Mob from the 2016 anime series “Mob Psycho 100” is a character that fits this.

Despite  blessed with everlasting psychic power,  Mob wants to improve in other accepts in his school life.  Rather than joining his school’s supernatural club, he joins the athletic Body Improvement club.

He aims to nurture his weak psychical strength and body.

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Mob and Musashi. Mob Pyscho 100 (2016)

He wants to improve his weak body by strengthen it.  He could have easily joined a club suited to natural skills.  However, Mob wants something more in life than just relying on his natural gifts.

This makes him feel human. This makes me relate to him because I want to improve in life. We all do.

Finally, a great anime needs a prominent music.  Similar to visual, music sets tone.  Music is narrative. Music is expressive.   Music should  reflect the mood of the scene.

I want to experience the same shock and amazement of Kyon, a normal teenager, as he was spectating reality wrapping aliens Yuki and Ryoko fighting inside a data field.   Hell, I want the music to make me believe that I am Kyon.

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Ryoko vs. Yuki from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2007)

I believe music can do this to my emotions.  The right usage of a background song can impact and trigger the emotional accepts of my core.  This enhances the anime for me.

As diverse individuals, we have our ideas on what make a great anime.  We bring in our own taste and ideas that reflects what we want in an anime.  Visual, sound, character story and tone.  We  use those factors to build standard of quality.

REFERENCES:

Ryoko vs. Yuki Fight Theme
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Love the song’s usage of of techno-like percussion, violins, cellos, and synths to create an alien sound.

Why You Should Watch Mob Pyscho 100

Super Eyepatch Wolf’s in-depth analysis on why Mob Pyscho 100 is worth watching.

Aesthetic IS Narrtive

Digibro’s analysis on the importance of using visuals aid and aesthetics for anime story-telling.

 

Anime Music Analysis 0

An Evil Angel and Righteous Devil: Dragon Ball Super ED 7 Lyrics Theory Analysis

The Universe Survival” arc of Dragon Ball Super introduce fans to a brand new ending theme song for the series titled “An Evil Angel and Righteous Devil” by Japanese rock band “The Collectors” (ザ・コレクターズ).

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The Collectors.

The song is told in the perspective of a man stuck between an angel and demon with an unnatural friendship.  The man doesn’t know who is right and reflects on the options given to him by the pair. Towards the end he realizes whatever choice he makes will ultimately have the same sorrowful result.

Just like in the film and television industries, the anime industry use lyrical theme songs to narrative the plot for animated series’s arc (season) and Dragon Ball Super is no exception.

As both an anime and music fan I love when the ending theme of an anime provides clues to the story.  Music helps tells the narrative of any show in my opinion. In this post  I will give my analysis on the song and what possible clues and theories it may have in relation to the current arc.

(NOTE: This is all speculation and holds no solid truth to anything for the arc.)

“An angel and a demon are sitting together like friends
I’m in the middle
Which way do I face?”

The friendship of the demon and angel confuses the character.  This results in him not knowing who to face.  Normally demons and angels opposed one another but we have these two just chilling like bros.  It doesn’t help that the angel is evil and the demon is righteous.

It’s a twist on the classic Shoulder Angel and Shoulder Demon trope.  Rather than the angel and demon fighting one another to win you over,  they’re on friendly terms.  Seems pretty suspicious.

Dragon Ball fans have theorized that the angel and demon may have some influences on the Tournament of Power or at the least influences on a certain character.

“Either destroy myself or destroy everything else.”

The character has two dire choices.

Choice 1: He could destroy himself to escape the politics of the tournament, the  demon and angel who shouldn’t be friends by nature, and the tournament itself.

Choice 2: Fuck everything else.  Destroy them all for all he cares,

The theme of destruction is interesting in this line and for the arc as a whole.  Remember that the losing teams of the Tournament of  Power will have their universe’s existence destroy.  Survival means destroying all others to protect your universe.  In short: It’s destroy or be destroyed.

They scream it in my ear all night.
Is there a right answer to this?”

All sides are presenting the character with voices but none are the clear, right answer. This is assuming if there are any at all.

An interesting note: The music video of this song portrays a solider at war dealing with the politics behind it. Now, I am not a solider and I have never been in a war.  However I can assume being a solider at war is about making unclear moral choices and questing what you’re doing is right.

 

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Screenshot taken from the music video “An Evil Angel and Righteous Devil”

The Tournament of Power can be seen as a war.  You’re fighting a war to ensure the survival of your people.  As a warrior you must do anything to come back  home safe and alive.

What more is that you’re fighting for not only yourself, not even your love ones, but the universe you live in.  You must kill the opposing sides.  It’s doesn’t matter if the other sides have generally good people.  This is survival.

“The masks of angels on the faces of demons”
The Grand Priest and his children might be demons masquerading as angels.
They may not be literal demons but their actions and personalities may as well paint them as such if they’re the ones orchestrating the tournament.

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Organizing a tournament were the losing teams have their universe destroy and taking advantage of the two Zeno Kings’ innocent and naïve nature are pretty demonic things to do.

Angels, for the most part,  are perceived as good  in fiction. However, good isn’t always righteous.  How can pitting different people against one another for survival can be righteous?  Controlling two childlike beings who do not know better for your own personal greed isn’t good.

“They beckon to me and say to me
‘For the sake of goodness destroy all evil right now'”.

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HOLY SHIT ZAMASU AND GOKU BLACK COMEBACK CONFIRMED! (it’s a joke please don’t take this seriously)

 

The demons and/or angels are attempting to manipulate the character into thinking whatever he is doing is right  because it’s  justice.

Destroying evil for the sake of goodness may seem like a great idea.  However, you must realize people views of what is good and evil differs.   Some views on justice are twisted and perverted.

We saw this with Zamasu and Goku Black in the previous arc.  They believed wiping out humanity and killing the other Gods was “justice”.  Killing others for the sake of justice isn’t justice.  It’s murder.

“They say the world is waiting for me.”

This smells like a false promise from the demons and angels.  They want the character to believe the world needs him as a savoir.  They want to soup up his head to make him think what he is doing is for justice.  He’s doing this for the greater good of humanity .

It’s all bullshit.

While I did say I would focus on the TV size version of the song, there’s a verse in the full size single I found interesting.   It’s a depressing reflective on the impact resulted from the action the character selected to follow through:

Even if angels are demons and demons are angels
Even if the line between justice and evil are muddled
I will not be manipulated to worry about losing or winning
Because at the end of the day, any sort of action will only bring everyone sorrow”

The character knows that whatever action he decides to select at the end on will only cause the sadness for all.  Everyone wants to manipulate the character for their own gain.

It doesn’t even matter if he wins or lose the fight as long as the ones behind everything have their own greedy goals achieved.

Good and evil.  Justice and injustice. War is still war. War and fighting only brings in sadness, pain, and suffering.

War sucks.  Fighting sucks.
REFERENCES:

Music video of “Evil Angel and Righteous Devil”.
It’s a powerful music video even if you do not understand Japanese.

Kanzenshuu announcement article on The Collectors’s and Dragon Ball Super.
Short article detailing the band’s involvement on Dragon Ball Super.  Kanzenshuu is an awesome website for accurate Dragon Ball news in geenral straight from Toei Animation and JUMP Magazine.  They don’t bullshit.

Anime Live Reactions’s Analysis of “Evil Angel and Righteous Devil”
The inspiration for this post lol.  Follow him on YouTube for the most up-to-date and no bullshit accurate news for Dragon Ball Super.