Otaku no Video (lit. “The Geeks’ Video”) is Gainax’s 1991 two episode OVA (original video animation) celebrating otaku culture. Set between 1982-1999, the anime follows main character Ken Kubo’s journey from an everyman college tennis player, to his transformation into a diehard otaku, aspiring entrepreneur, the CEO of his a multi-million dollar anime figurine/garage kit company, and finally, the president of a successful multi-billion dollar animation company. Otaku no Video is celebrated throughout the otaku community; due to its overarching theme of otaku pride and positivity. However, there’s one theme of the OVA that isn’t discussed within the community: the hustle of Ken and his journey as an entrepreneur.
Join me as I discuss this underappreciate theme of Otaku no Video and how it even relates to the real world of entrepreneurship.
‘While we out here, say the Hustler’s Prayer
If the game shakes me or breaks me
I hope it makes me a better man, take a better stand’ -Biggie Smalls,Sky’s the Limit (1997 hip-hop single)
Towards the end of episode one, Ken (frustrated with his girlfriend dumping him, not being able to find a job, and dealing with the negative stereotypes of otakus) convinces his friend Tanaka to drop out of college and quit job hunting in order to start up an anime figurine manufacture company: Grand Prix (GP) . The ambitious friends worked and hustle non-stop; creating figurines out of their apartment and promoting the GP brand. Months later, they were able to buy a property – setting up shop at a storefront and hiring old college friends (to work for them).
Their business massively grew and they start to scale; buying up more property to open new shops. The public and media take notice of their brand; with Ken and Tanaka’s brand appearing on TV, newspapers, and magazines. Grand Prix grew into a power player within their industry – dominating the competition.
Finally, after a year of relentless growth, Grand Prix transformed from a small business to behemoth of a corporation.
In the real world, a company coming up from a small business to a major corporation within a year is a mere fantasy. However, the reality of business growth can be rooted in taking risks. Quitting a secured job and/or dropping out of college to one’s entrepreneur journey is risky. Successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg know this well. They had to drop out of college in order to grow their business massively. Daymond John (founder of the urban clothing line FUBU and Shark Tank judge) quit his job at Red Lobster to focus on his brand (although he did wait until FUBU became a profitable business before quitting). The greatest of entrepreneurs had to surrender something in order to build their brand – just like what Ken and Tanaka did.
The otaku duo where met with overwhelming success in a span of a year. Yet, like with many entrepreneurs, failure was waiting nearby.
FAILURE AND COMEBACK
‘Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is the part of the process of success.’ -Robert Kiyosaki
The impressive growth of the GP Company meant that Ken was able to expand the business overseas. In order to increase capital, Ken (now a multi-millionaire), set his sights on China (in order to build a warehouse for mass production). Taking out a loan with a bank, Ken travels to China and buys land for the warehouse; overseeing the production of it. Back in Japan, the figurine industry starts to crash – putting Grand Prix at risk of going under. With the company in financial trouble and the morale of his employees fading, Ken at is in danger of losing his title as president of GP.
The downfall of the Ken begins.
After the success of the warehouse in China, Ken is called to an emergency meeting at Grand Prix. The meeting is a front to fire him as president – with the entire company in favor of it – including his best friend Tanaka. Ken is forced to work as a regular employee at one of Grand Prix’s underperforming location and he begins to lose hope in himself. Later, during an event at a Grand Prix store, Ken encounters Tanaka (who too was fired from the company on false embezzlement charges) and confronts him (about Ken’s firing). Tanaka begs for his forgiveness: explaining to Ken that he was manipulated by the bankers to vote against him.
Ken forgives Tanaka as he realized they were both screwed over (by the same people). Putting his anger aside, Ken asks Tanaka if he wants to start over again. Tanaka agrees and the two join forces once again to build a new brand – separate from Grand Prix. Together, Ken and Tanaka start up a Japanese Adult Video (JAV) business with cosplay porn as their specialty.
…Nah I’m just fucking around they open up their own animation studio.
Tanaka and Ken begin work on creating their new company: “Giant X”. Tanaka suggests that they create homemade anime marketed towards otaku to sell through mail orders (as well as selling merchandise at events for extra income). Tanaka recruits Fukuhara: a former employee of Grand Prix as an animator. Together, the three start production on an original anime: Misty May. Misty May is a hit with the otaku market; putting Ken and Tanaka back in the national spotlight. Giant X – like Grand Prix before – dominated its market and industry without resistance. Ken, with the success of his new company, buys back Grand Prix and becomes a juggernaut of a businessman. Later on, Ken opens the world’s first otaku driven amusement park: An amusement park for otakus by otakus.
Finally, at the end of the OVA, Ken is the richest man in Japan and one of the world’s wealthiest CEOs.
‘Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back.’
‘If you’re a real winner you know how to bounce back!’ -Big Sean, Bounce Back(2016 hip-hop single)
Ken was able to bounce back from failure – like many entrepreneurs have done. In business and in hustling, you’ll have your fair share of failures, mishaps, disappointments, what have you. It’s all a part of the entrepreneur’s journey. In order to become a successful entrepreneur, you must bounce back from failure and never give up. Richard Brandon, the founder of Virgin, has seven well-known failures. But he still works as an entrepreneur to this day. Walt Disney, one of the world’s most influential animator and businessman, was fired from his first cartoonist job. His boss told him that he’ll never find success because he lacked imagination and his ideas were terrible. Today, the Disney Company is worth over 92 billion dollars.
Failure doesn’t always mean the end.
Otaku no Video is a wonderful OVA on otaku pride. It has inspired many fans around the world to love their nerdiness. Gainax shows the world that otaku can break the stereotype that nerds are hopeless losers that won’t amount to anything in life. However, what should be celebrated about this OVA is Ken’s grind from a young college kid to a rookie entrepreneur, to a successful businessman who failed but bounces back against all odds. Although Ken ’s wild story and the man himself is fictional, we can learn from and relate to him.
We dealt with failures, setbacks, doubters, and disappointment, only to come back from all of them and shine brightly. Our vision may seem wild and outlandish to some, but to us, they can come true – but only if we work our ass off for it.
We should be like Ken Kubo; staying focused on our goals regardless of what failure may come and embrace the hope of an unseen world far away.
‘I won’t let anyone block me!
I’ll go my own way!’
‘My goal is the world!’
‘I’ll be the greatest man’! -Lyrics from Fight! Otaking! (Otaku no Video’s OP theme)
From my last article, I stated how nerd culture has reached popularity that rivals mainstream culture. Years ago, anything nerdy was deemed pathetic – activities that only people with no lives enjoy. Today, it’s going through a renaissance. Superhero/comic movies are now major blockbusters. Video games are treated as a serious art form. Anime is no longer viewed as a joke (for the most part). Yet, despite those achievements, there are bitter nerds angry with the newfound popularity (of nerd culture). They’re upset at the past (as they were bullied for being nerds, weren’t accepted, etc.) They continue to cry about whatever happened to them in high school. Can I say something? If you’re this type of nerd, you need to get the fuck over it.
High school is over. Nobody (but you) gives a shit.
The past is the past; let that shit go. You need to stop being mad at your peers from high school just because they rejected you (for being a nerd). The popular preppy girl who wouldn’t dare date you because you played Pokemon? She’s now fat, have five unruly children from three baby daddies, and she’s working at a dead end job. She’s hopeless. The asshole who called you lame because you wanted to study rather than hitting up the weekend party? I bet you he ain’t doing shit with his life today. He’s strung out on drugs and begging people for money on the streets.
You, my friend? You’re doing well (I hope). You’re working on your goals, dreams, making money, and life-changing moves for the better. There’s a special somebody in your life that appreciate your nerdiness. You changed your wardrobe and rocking the fresher clothes of the season; clothes your bullies never imagine you wearing years after high school.
You changed, just like trends and the people who may have made fun of you.
Here’s what you need to understand. The bullies and assholes that made fun of you could’ve changed after high school. They could have realized that they were horrible to you and others. Perhaps one day they reflected on their hurtful actions of the past, realized what they have done, and made the effort to never repeat that shit again. Teenagers are pricks. They should know better, but it takes a while for people to grow and self-improve for the future.
People need to change for the future.
Let’s talk about the future. We’re living in the golden age (of nerd pop culture). Superhero movies are bringing studios hundreds of millions of dollars (the good ones of course). Adults are playing on their 3DS in the open without normies talking shit about them. Otaku are expressing their love for the anime medium without fear of ridicule. You can talk about the latest episode of Dragon Ball Super or My Hero Academia with your coworkers. Cosplay is getting the respect it deserves. Everything nerdy is slowly becoming accepted and not made as a joke to belittle the people that love it! I can bet money that in a few years, people will no longer be mocked or bullied for liking anime, video games, comics, etc. It’ll be too deep within the mainstream for anyone to go out their way to bully people over those things. So what if there are some norimes who think that shit is lame? Fuck them! Let them be stuck the past with that old mindset.
You gotta love bitter nerds. Ever since the emergence of nerd culture in mainstream culture, pathetic, dusty nerds have come out with their sob stories on women rejecting them (for being nerdy). You may have come across such stores like “Anime was the reason why women never like me” or “Now that comic books are popular ya wanna join the hype train but ya weren’t down with me back in high school!” If these sob stories describe your experience with women, then you need to hear the truth. You weren’t rejected because you like anime or video games. You got rejected because of you and you alone. Blaming your nerd hobbies only mean that you don’t have the courage to admit that you suck.
Let me explain why – because you losers need a wakeup call.
I know it’s hard to admit fault (for your rejection), but hear me out. The rejections happened because of your flaws. You’re a boring ass person lacking charisma. The girl you wanted like men who can wow her with their confidence and social skills – which you clearly lacked. Who wants a relationship with a man whose personality is that of the mundane Yuki Nagato off The Melancholy Haruhi Suzumiya combined with the unbearable stoic Obi-Wan from Star Wars Episode 1.
Next, your horrid appearance landed you that denial. You fucking stink. You smell like pure unwashed swamp ass. The last time you took a bath or put on deodorant was when Half-Life 3 came out. Your crusty dry lips are begging you to apply Carmex on them. You’re out here sporting disastrous, greasy unkempt hair. That doesn’t make you look cute. It makes you look like the three-way fusion of Post Malone, Digibro, and Mick Foley/Mankind. And that’s pretty nasty my man (no disrespect to the greats Digibro and Mick Foley). And your fashion sense boy! Did you really think rockin’ a fedora, a button down Dragon Ball Z shirt, and New Balance shoes was gonna get you some women?
How dense are you?
Enough your shit tier looks. Let’s talk your blame game. That shit’s weak. Yes, people are shallow and won’t date you over hobbies. That’s okay. I doubt you would date a normie girl with normie interests. With that said, wasting your life playing video games, jackin’ off to ero anime, and reading slice-of-life manga all day long as hobbies are turn-offs to some. Honestly, that’s boring. Nobody wants to hang around with a boring person like you. Find other things to enjoy, like watching live-action television, going out to the movies, reading things that aren’t manga.
Liking nerdy interests alone doesn’t make you special: It makes you uninteresting.
Gotta love bitter nerds. I mean, really. You can’t help but laugh at them for blaming their hobbies and others for their shortcomings. Are you amazed at how they can’t see their own faults and improve on them? Because I am. Look, if you are a nerd who does these things, you need to work on yourself and stop playing the blame game. Take a shower. Have confidence in yourself. Go update your fashion game. Indulge in cool shit other than nerdy shit.
Boy, the Dragon Ball community never ceases to amaze me with their stupidity. With the revelation of Jiren’s backstory in episode 127 of Super, fans are speculating who could have murdered Jiren’s family and friends. One utterly idiotic theory floating about is that Goku Black was behind the slaughter of Jiren’s loved ones. Yea. Goku Black.
Can I explain how stupid that sounds?
First, let me outline how this theory got started. It’s real stupid but check it. Niggas legit think Goku Black is behind the murders because of how the animators used a similar technique to hide the killer’s identity as they did with Goku Back’s. That’s it. Nothing else to logically suggests that their theory is correct.
If Goku Black was the killer, Jiren wouldn’t be alive. Why? Because Goku Black hates all mortals. He deems mortals as evil. He wants them all dead. Jiren is a mortal. Goku Black would have killed him. Furthermore, why would Toei Animation hide Goku Black’s identity if we already know who he is? That doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.
Back in Dragon Ball Z, Trunks was explaining to Goku about the upcoming Android threat. During this, there was a scene where we see two figures whom we could not make out their physical appearance; similar to how we couldn’t figure out Goku Black’s identity. It was to add tension to Trunk’s story and the upcoming storylines.
This isn’t exclusive to Dragon Ball either. In many visual media (video games, comic books, anime, etc.), villains’ identity is concealed by shadows and lighting so the audience won’t know who they are until the climactic moment of their reveal.
Let me keep going so I can break down this stupid ass theory.
Goku Black is just Zamasu in Goku’s body. Because of that, Jiren would have tried to take out Goku from the start of the Tournament of Power for revenge. Jiren would have believed that Goku was Goku Black. Then, he would have attempted to do anything within his power to beat the shit out of him and possibly kill him. Jiren had no interest in Goku when Goku tried to fight him at the start of the Tournament. If there were any interests towards Goku, it’d be related to the fact that Jiren believes that Goku is Goku Black – which he doesn’t – because it’s fucking impossible.
To close out my rant, you are utterly fucking stupid if you believe the theory that Goku Black was the murderer. You ate paste as a kid and you probably the same nigga who thought Goten was Goku Black. I’m not sorry for calling you fucking stupid.
As the Tournament of Power reaches its conclusion, I am constantly reminded of Dragon Ball Super’s 7th ending theme: An Evil Angel and Righteous Devil. Towards the end of it, there’s a line that goes “Justice and evil both carry the same gun”. I couldn’t help but think about the song when Toppo tells Frieza that “Justice…is worthless now” during their battle and Toppo’s resolve (to become a God of Destruction and forego his morals). The theme of justice is played with Toppo throughout the Universe Survival Arc. Toppo is a proud warrior of justice; leading his Pride Troopers to battle after battle in the name of all that is righteous.
From analyzing Toppo’s personality, he holds justice, morals, and honor with the utmost respect. He fights fairs: preferring honest play over cheap tactics. This is shown when Toppo snapped on Android 17 for attacking the Kamikaze Fireball (during their transformation). He questioned the motives of the Tournament, The Grand Priest, and Zeno-Sama. Toppo doesn’t feel right about fighting in a tournament designed to wipe out multiple universes; a tournament in which countless lives will end upon each universe’s erasure.
Toppo and his Pride Troopers initially entered the tournament to punish those who they deemed “evil”. While survival was ideal, targeting evil doers were their prime goal. However in episode 104 of Super, Toppo started to change his mind. With seven of his men gone and his universe at risk of deletion, Toppo decides that the Pride Troopers must kill their ideologies of justice and ethics in order to live.
There’s no place for justice and heroism in a war of survival.
Towards the end of the tournament, Toppo is struggling against Andoird 17. After analyzing 17’s combat style (and discovering 17 has infinite energy), Toppo decides to end his battle with 17 with one blow. However, he fails and is forced into a beam struggle with the Universe 7 warrior. During the struggle, Frieza attacks Toppo from behind. Frieza taunts Toppo while blasting him with Death Beams. Bored with Toppo, Frieza attempts to blast Toppo off the battlefield; enveloping him with overwhelming energy.
Despite the struggle, Toppo survives but is heavily wounded.
Frieza taunts Toppo once more. He mocks the man, calling him trash. He then points out how shameful it must be for Toppo to have his prized uniform of justice in shreds. It’s here where Toppo snaps. Coldly, Toppo replies that justice is worthless. After seeing his men fall and the destruction of six universes before him, Toppo comes to a resolution. Justice is worthless. It has no use on the battlefield. Justice doesn’t translate to survival.
In order to survive, Toppo gives up on justice. This same man who praised it with pride now sees it as a waste. A liability even. Toppo decides to ascend to godhood: A God of Destruction. Destruction – like war – is neutral. It doesn’t care about silly ideas like good or evil, justice or injustice. All it cares for is annihilation and death.
What good are both justice and playing hero if both things never ensure survival?
‘There’s only one difference between heroes and madmen: It’s whether they win or lose.’
You’re no longer a broke weeaboo. You finally got yourself a job. You’re getting into the money (legally or illegally I’m not judging). You made enough money off your paycheck or hustle to afford some cool things. In fact, after you paid the bills, you have money left over. You’ve been eyeing that Darkness Ford Lalatina figurine off eBay for a minute. However, there’s also an out-of-state anime convention that you want to attend. You want both, but your funds say you can only have one. You want a new figurine to add to your collection, but going out of state for a larger convention sounds fun.
Let me ask you this: Would you rather go to the anime convention in a major city that’s new to you. A convention where there’s a bunch of fine ass Darkness cosplayers, and one of them may actually like you. In fact, she might want to hook up with you with you (while she’s in character in cosplay mind you). Maybe that Darkness cosplayer is a famous internet personality. She likes you and what you’re doing with your vlogging. In fact, she wants to do a collab with you in the future. That collab could bring more people over to your brand. In addition, there’s an exclusive Darkness figurine that’s only being sold at that convention. You’ve saved up enough money to buy two: One for yourself and the other to flip on eBay for profit.
Or would you rather have that lifeless Darkness figurine that won’t bring you long-term value?
Yeah, I thought so. This is why you need to stack your money up and act broke. Act broke so you can invest in yourself. When you invest in yourself and things that will bring you long-term value, you better yourself over time. It is wise to save your money and use the money to travel. Travel so you can grow your blog, vlog, brand, whatever. It’s smart. Money can help you grow your otaku network you know – but you have to stack and act broke first.
Let me show you how.
The rich stay rich by living like they’re poor. The poor stay poor by acting like they’re rich.
Save to Invest
Multimillionaire CEO and author Grant Cardone said it best: “Save to invest, don’t save to save.” What does this mean? It’s simple: Don’t save for a rainy day or just in case. Save to invest in yourself; which you want to do. You need to save your money so you can invest in that trip which will grow your brand (if you’re active in doing so of course). How does one go about to saving to invest? Well, it’s not hard. Let’s say you receive $1000 on each paycheck. 70% of that $1000 ($700) should go towards your trip. The rest you will need for bills (because you need your electricity on and your CrunchyRoll active so you can watch your bottom tier action anime series like My Hero Academia).
Once you put that $700 a check aside in savings do not touch the money. If need be, put the money in a scared account (an bank account, separate from your main account, where you do not have easy access to and aren’t allow to take money out until a certain date – only in). Repeat this process until you hit your target savings/investment goal. Investing in yourself is important because as stated earlier, it helps you grow. You can make moves you wouldn’t normally do if you just save money just to save. Saving is cool and I recommend everyone save their money.
It’s what you do with the saved money is up to you.
Discipline and Acting Broke
When you’re making more money than usual (or have a lot of money put aside), you’re tempted to take the money out. You see that you stacked up over your goal and might be tempted to take a few 100s out. You may be thinking “Oh, it’s only $300 out of the $10,000 I saved. I can recover the money.” But what if you need that $300 for something when you’re out of town at this convention or you need supplies for your recording gear (for YouTube or Podcasting)? Then you’re fucked. Let’s create a scenario. Your friend invites you to party at a club or a bar. You have extra money stacked up. You want to go; you have all that money you can spend freely.
Or do you? Let’s break it down.
Cover charge: $5
Food (cuz you don’t wanna drink on an empty stomach): $10
Bribe the bouncer cuz your I.D. is expired: $20
Food (after drinking): $10
You just wasted $85 that could have gone towards your investments because you wanted to have fun at a bar for a night. If you really need to drink and chill with your friends, just kick it at his place, buy some cheap liquor and food and call it a day. Don’t waste your money trying to have fun all the damn time. You’re saving money for a convention in which will have multiple free parties after the convention with gracious party hosts that will give their liquor away for 2-3 days.
Which would you rather want?
When taking money out of your savings or blowing extra money, you need to think critically. Ask yourself things such as ‘Do I really need to spend $35 on a bottle of Hennessy tonight?’ or ‘Is it worth to spend $20 to go to the movies when I can watch movies at home or get the movie from the bootleg man or on Firestick?*’
This is where you have to act broke. How does one act broke? By having your money on your mind and your mind on your money. You need to train yourself to actively think about your money everytime you go out and spend money. When your friend asks you to go out somewhere that will cost you money, you need to be like “No, I can’t go out tonight”. Be a cheapass for a while. Instead of dining in or ordering fast food, you should learn how to cook. Cooking your own food saves you money. You can use the money you saved towards your investments. You have a lot of money in your account, but that doesn’t means that you spend it all.
You have to suppress the urge to spend and take money from your savings account. You need to think towards the future – not the present. Forgo temporary pleasures that won’t bring you long-term value in favor of long-term pleasures. Think about your money at all times and ask yourself if you need to spend it.
With money, you must be smart with it. This means that you must not spend it on anime figurines, body pillows, and manga all the time. Stack your money up, save it, and invest in yourself. Convention season is coming near and you need to expand your network and otaku empire. Stop blowing your money on partying and figurines all the time. You have goals that need to be met for your growth. Even when you make extra money or go over your limit, you shouldn’t dip into your savings and waste your money. That extra money can help you out in the long run.
2018 is the year for us otaku to be smarter with our money – especially for us content creators.
Chibi-Usa and Hotaru: two inseparable best friends. After a fateful meeting at a park (or a lab run by a crazy ass mad scientist depending on which version of the story you prefer), these girls became close, great friends; mending each one’s loneliness. Chibi-Usa was Hotaru’s first friend in her life; a life plagued by sickness, isolation, and pain. It was Chibi-Usa’s kindness and warmth which led Hotaru to awaken the powers of Sailor Saturn and save the world from destruction (at the cost of her life). Who would have thought that Chibi-usa losing her hat and finding Hotaru would have led to the world being saved?
But, what if Chibi-Usa never went to the park that day? What if her hat never flew off her head? How would the events of the Sailor Moon Infinity arc had played out if they never met? Well, to answer these questions alrighty guys it is Yuki here and I will analyze this what if scenario! I will explore how character interactions among the Sailor Scouts would have changed, how the series moving forward would progress, and if Hotaru and Chibi-Usa never becoming friends would have resulted in a positive, neutral, or negative outcome.
Given the original manga and it’s Crystal anime adaption differs from the 90s Toei anime adaption of the manga, the best way to think about this situation is to split it into two plotlines: Plotline A and Plotline B. Plotline A handles the Naoko Takeuchi’s original vision of the events of the Infinity Arc in which Chibi-Usa never met Hotaru at her father’s lab. This plotline also takes notice of a more depressed Hotaru than compared to her 90s anime counterpart.
Plotline B follows the Toei Animation’s vision of the Sailor Moon Inifity arc where Hotaru isn’t nearly as depressed and sick as she was in the manga; As her father is more active in her life and covers how his sacrifice of his free will may influenced Hotaru for the better.
I must also note that while this what if theory focus on using logic to provide an accurate prediction, I will use some creativity to ensure the path to the final battle between the Sailor Scouts and Death Busters happen almost per normal as in the anime and manga.
With that out of the way let’s get started.
With Plotline A, we have to take account and remove the event in which triggered Chibi-Usa and Hotaru’s friendship in the original manga: Chibi-Usa’s hat flying off towards Tomoe’s Lab (where she first met Hotaru). With this event removed, we can say that Chibi-Usa would have finished her day in the park with her family and return home. Hotaru would have her coughing fit, recovered and return home as well. Thus, they would have never met. It’s logical to theorize that Hotaru’s life and depression would have grown increasingly worse. Hotaru herself stated in the manga and Crystal anime that Chibi-Usa’s friendship made her life better.
Remember: Hotaru doesn’t have any friends (thanks to her creepy powers from Mistress 9). Her body is covered in scars from the injuries that she suffered from as a child (from the explosion at her dad’s lab) which she is self-conscious about (as she covers her body with dark colored, long sleeve shirts and long pants). She’s also frail and sick from the cybernetic implants and the Mistress 9 alien egg inside her body. She has little interaction with her father Souichi outside of him working on her implants. Judging from those factors, it’s safe to assume her mental state is poor and her outlook on life is shit.
Moving forward, logic dictates that the story should continue as normal. Kaolinte would start her search for the Three Talismans and the Silver Crystal (per Pharaoh 90’s request). The Inner Scouts conduct their research on Professor Tomoe and the Infinity School; as they believe he and the school are behind the strange creatures (the Daimons) attacking citizens around Tokyo. Next, the Outer Scouts will still attend Infinity School to investigate the Death Busters and Professor Tomoe. Finally, Mamoru and Rei will have their visions of the world’s destruction.
Logic also dictates that the Outer Scouts will theorize that Hotaru is Sailor Saturn – the goddess of destruction. They inform the Inner Scouts and Sailor Moon about Sailor Saturn and their plans to seal her away to prevent the world’s end. However, they won’t reveal to the Inner Scouts that they believe Hotaru is Saturn until the time is right. There is no change from the original story sans Chibi-Usa and Usagi visiting Hotaru, which never happen in this theory.
You may be thinking “But Yuki! Chibi-Usa’s Silver Crystal was key in Mistress 9 gaining full power! Mistress 9 saw Chibi-Usa Silver Crystal and went all giddily! How will Mistress 9 get her hands on the Silver Crystal if that never happened!?” Well, I thought about this problem. We have to get a little creative here, but it should solve the problem.
We can take a wild guess that Kaolinite communicates with Pharaoh 90 who tells her that he believes one of the Sailor Scouts holds the Silver Crystal. Not Sailor Moon, but maybe Chibi-Moon. It’s possible that Mistress 9 could have sense the power of the Silver Crystal and the Holy Grail during the Sailor Scouts’ battle against Cyprine and Ptilol. Mistress 9 and/or Kaolinite then can confirm that either Sailor Moon or Sailor Mini-Moon indeed have the Holy Grail and the Silver Crystal in their possession
Yea, it’s a bit of a stretch and borderline fan fiction, but we need that Silver Crystal to ensure that Mistress 9 gains full power.
The story proceeds normally. After the battle against Cyprine and Ptilol (and Sailor Moon gaining her Super Sailor Moon upgrade), the Outer Scouts give their warning about the awakening of Sailor Saturn – which will lead to the destruction of the world. The Outer Scouts then reveal that Hotaru is not only the daughter of Souichi Tomoe, but also Sailor Saturn herself.
They plan to kill Hotaru before she can awaken as Saturn.
Now, while the Inner Scouts have no emotional connection with Hotaru in this what if story, they still think it’s disturbing that the Outers want to kill a child. The Outer Scouts think nothing of it. Pluto tells everyone that Hotaru wasn’t supposed to survive the lab explosion (which killed her mother and scared Hotaru physically and mentally), and that the only reason why she’s alive is because Professor Tomoe outfitted her with cybernetic implants. The cybernetics implants – although being advance technology – has shorten Hotaru’s lifespan. The implants are also destroying her body, thus making her frail.
The Outer Scouts believe that killing by Hotaru, they will put her out of her misery and prevent Saturn’s awakening.
Despite the Outer Scout’s “reasoning”, the Inner Scouts protest against their idea as in the manga. Chibi-Usa, despite not knowing Hotaru, doesn’t feel right about killing somebody who isn’t that much older than her. Therefore, she sides with Usagi and the Inner Scouts. The Outer Scouts are dead set in killing Hotaru (which logics still dictates) and go through with their plans. Chibi-Usa follows the Outer Scouts to Hotaru’s house in hopes to prevent the killing.
The events here happen similar to the manga. Chibi-Usa spots The Outer Scouts hiding in a tree outside Hotaru’s room. Chibi-Usa spots Hotaru lying on the ground and fears that Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto have already killed her. Chibi-Usa runs up to the window …only to be taken surprise by Hotaru waking up. “Hotaru” is alive! But Chibi-Usa won’t be for long.
“Hotaru” summons a burst of energy so powerful that it destroys the windows of her room (the glass should shred Chibi-Usa to pieces but whatever). The sheer force of “Hotaru”’s energy is felt throughout the area with Professor Tomoe taking notice. “Hotaru” doesn’t seem to appear like this frail, weak girl that the Scouts view her as. She starts to transform: not as Sailor Saturn – but as Mistress 9. Mistress 9 proceeds to attack Chibi-Usa, snatch her Silver Crystal, and Chibi-Usa dies. Okay she doesn’t die (just yet) but still.
Mistress 9 runs off with Chibi-Usa’s Silver Crystal, but not before attacking the Sailor Scouts. The story resumes as normal. The Sailor Scouts retreat and recover (as Mistress 9 is far too powerful for them right now). Mamoru and Usagi take their child to the hospital, and then to Mamoru’s place (to use his own life force to keep Chibi-Usa alive). Finally, the Sailor Scouts prep for their battle against the final members of the Death Busters.
Meanwhile, Professor Tomoe and Mistress 9 are having their fun little chat. Tomoe praises his self for his superior work and brags about turning his daughter into a robot and planting Mistress 9’s alien egg inside her. Hotaru is heartbroken and angry about this just like in the manga.
While they’re chatting, the Sailor Scouts storms Infinity School and engage in battle with all remaining enemies. Mistress 9 swallows the Silver Crystal and gains a massive power boast. Professor Tomoe brags about creating superhumans while his daughter (now a spirit) looks at him with disappointment, betrayal, and disgust. Later, Sailor Moon and the Outer Scouts confront Dr. Tomoe. Tomoe transforms into Germatoid and talk some good shit. Sailor Moon blasts him away – killing him in one blow.
So much about him being a superior superhuman.
The Inner Scouts get ROLFstomped and steamrolled by Mistress 9 and die. Their spirits are in another realm. Hotaru notices this but doesn’t do anything. She has no connections with Chibi-Usa nor the Inner Scouts. She’s still in shock that her dad put her through such turmoil throughout her short, young life. At this point, she doesn’t care that she’s dead. She just wants an end to her pain.
Mistress 9 engages in combat against the reminding Scouts and overpowers them – even a Super Sailor Moon. Mistress 9, now in her true Daimon form, starts to wreak havoc on the planet. The reminding Scouts use their powerful attacks against the monster, but she only absorbs their powers. Master Pharaoh 90 appears and merges with Mistress 9. Fused with his partner, Pharaoh 90 starts to cover the world in darkness. Seeing no other way to defeat this oncoming threat, Sailor Moon summons the Holy Grail. Just like in the manga, she plans to suicide bomb herself inside Pharaoh 90 to save the world.
This would work if Sailor Moon was more power than Pharaoh 90. But she isn’t. The only way to defeat Pharaoh 90 and save the world is by summoning Sailor Saturn. The Outer Scouts don’t want to do this, but they have to . Maybe Saturn had a change of heart and won’t blow up Earth.
The Outer Scouts’s start to react. They raise their Talismans high towards the skies. The Holy Grail appears as well: reacting to the power of The Talismans. The lights from these scared items ascend to the skies with force. The world is veiled in darkness. The earth shakes, the wind stops, and the sea is wild. The earth begins to rot. The Sailor Scouts wait.
Their only hope: Sailor Saturn.
Finally, Sailor Saturn has been summoned. She does her epic speech on why she’s the best Sailor Scout, on how Hotaru was supposed to die years ago, her role as a bringer of destruction, and her thing about her being an uninvited guest (she loves to smoke everyone’s else weed and drink everyone liquor but she don’t match people on blunts and don’t bring her own bottles to parties so nobody invites her to shit).
She reveals that she will bring down her Glaive to the world and destroy it. Everyone starts to freak out. They beg her to stop and think about what she’s doing – but she refuses. If Pharaoh 90 isn’t stop, then who knows what he will do once he destroys Earth. A single planet with what, Billion people on it vs. an entire galaxy filled with countless lives.
I think you know where I’m going with this one.
Saturn, having no choice, lowers her Glaives. Silently, she speaks three words:
“Death Reborn Revolution.”
The world is torn apart as auras surround everyone and everything. Everyone says their final goodbyes and what not as the world ends.
You might be wondering “Why this is a negative outcome”.
Well, for a few reasons:
Hotaru pretty much had nobody who cared about her. Yes, her dad took “care” of her by making sure she was “healthy” or what not, but he was a piece of shit that used her pain for his advantage. As noted earlier, she barely had any interactions with him (as he was busy with work). It doesn’t help that Souichi turned Hotaru into a cyborg and implanted an alien egg inside her against her will. Hell, the dude bragged about it.
Chibi-Usa befriending Hotaru influence her for the better. Chibi-Usa treated Hotaru like a human and show kindness towards her. Chibi-Usa was the only person who was nice to Hotaru and treated her like a human despite her health issues. Even when Chibi-Usa freak out about Hotaru’s cyborg body, she regerted her actions and wanted to apologize to Hotaru. No Chibi-Usa being friends with Hotaru means no Hotaru telling Chibi-Usa she loves her and that she appreciated her love at the end of Infinity.
Hotaru pretty much was borderline suicidal throughout the Infinity arc as she questioned why she is even alive if she has to suffer. Her body was falling apart, she had an alien in her, and she was growing weaker each day.
Honestly, this is why Chibi-Usa befriending Hotaru is important for not only for the Sailor Scouts, but for Hotaru’s own mental health and the sake of the world. Chibi-Usa helped Hotaru get her mind off her own worries for a little bit through their interactions. Hotaru had someone whom she can hang out with and depend on. Chibi-Usa made Hotaru’s life felt it was worth of value. Because Chibi-Usa helped Hotaru, Hotaru returned the favor by not only saving Chibi-Usa’s life (by saving her soul and protecting it), she saved the Sailor Scouts and the world.
Yeah, Chibi-Usa may be a bit of annoying brat and a pink little shit, but she did become utterly selfless upon meeting Hotaru.
Now, if I want to be positive and make this a somewhat good or neutral end, Hotaru could had recovered the souls of the Inner Scouts as she heard a voice (Saturn) telling her she must fight back against Mistress 9 and protect the Innners from her. Maybe Hotaru would have had a change of heart and saw that life was worth living or something.
Other than that,I do not see any positive outcome that suggest the world would had been save if it wasn’t for Chibi-Usa becoming friends with Hotaru.
This concludes part 1. Part 2 to come soon. In the meanwhile, please watch this Dragon Ball “What-If” analysis which inspired this Sailor Moon what-if article.
It was February of 2001. I was watching Outlaw Star for the first time. Gene, the lead character, was struggling to perform a spacewalk to repair his ship; as he was experiencing traumatic flashbacks of his father’s murder (who was killed by space pirates during a spacewalk). Story-wise, I was lost, but the episode was interesting enough to hook me into the series. The episode ended and the ED starts to play. A single guitar chord rung out multiple times, followed by a woman’s vocals:
‘Oto no nai mahiru
Kaze ha tada akarui
Sukoshi nemutasou ni
Hanabira ga yureta
Nani ge nai kono omoi
Nee, hito ha donna kotoba de yondeiru no’
While I didn’t understand Japanese at the time, I was taken away by the sadness of not only the song itself but the sorrow in the singer’s voice. I didn’t need to understand Japanese to understand the pain of the woman singing. Fast forward to episode 21. After arguing with Gene, Melfina runs off to an empty, rocky landscape to clear her head and indulge in some short-term peace and quiet. As she stands on a short cliff overlooking the barren, rocky field, Melfina starts to sing:
‘I don’t know what words I can say
The wind has a way to talk to me
Flowers sleep, a silent lullaby
I pray for reply
Quiet days calm me
Someone please tell me
Oh what is it they say?
Maybe I will known one day’
Melfina was singing the first ED in English (although not a direct translation). With the song in English, non-Japanese speaking Western fans were given a personal insight into her character and pain. As an artificial creation (or bio-android), Melfina struggles with and questions her existence (as explored throughout her character arc). The normal people that she encountered will never understand how she feels. They will never relate to her pain and struggle.
Melfina will never have anyone that she can relate her sorrow.
Some of you reading this may experience this feeling of unrelatable sorrow. You may be going through some things that many will never experience — and therefore, they can’t connect with you. Let’s take African-Americans for example. We can never truly express our pain and suffering to other races; as they never experienced the trauma and hardships of being Black in America. Outside of race, let’s use people who struggle with mental health. People with mental health problems find it difficult to explain to those without any mental problems on how they feel. When they attempt to do so, they’re usually met with “Oh, it’s just all in your head” or “Well, at least you’re better off than others.”
As a story-telling medium, anime must convey realistic emotions with its characters that the viewers can connect with. Combining elements such as visual, music, sound, and plot, the artist can craft ways for the viewer to become invested in a character they find interesting. The artist must be clever enough to manipulate our emotional connection with a character subtlety. Art must speak to a person by using a direct link to make it feel real. The right buttons must be press. This is why some fans of Dragon Ball find themselves connecting with Son Gohan. They may find themselves as a fan of his character because they can relate to his studious, bookworm nature.
Let’s take this a step further. Chances are, if you’re a fan of the anime and manga series Watamote, you will find strong correlations with the socially awkward otaku Tomoko and her levels of anxiety and yourself. Tomoko, as much as she wants to be popular, can’t with her anxiety holding her back. While a simple task of ordering food at McDonald’s is easy for most of us, for some, interacting with a cashier is a brutal, painful challenge. It’s a draining task of combating your nerves and trying to stop yourself from overthinking (that the cashier is judging and mocking you). As you attempt to speak, your voice is low, quiet, and shacky. You’re looking down at your feet because the thought of making eye contact terrifies you.
The following thoughts flood your mind:
‘Is she judging me?’
‘I hope she won’t make fun of me.’
‘She probably thinks I’m too stupid to order food.
‘They’re going to make fun of me in the back.’(Spoilers: they do. Take it from somebody who worked in the food industry for years.)
You know that scene where Tomoko struggles to order food? I’m sure some of you can understand and relate Tomoko’s situation during that scene. It’s not a fun place to be in: interacting with others praying to God that they won’t judge and/or belittle you. Again, like with Melfina, Tomoko’s awkwardness and anxiety work with her character and you – the viewer – connecting with her because it’s rooted in realism.
In Bakemonogatari, lead heroine Hitagi Senjougahara is a self-described tsundere with severe trust issues. She closes herself off from most if not, all people (sans her father) due to her mom – whom she trusted – setting her up to be raped by members of the ult she was involved with. Her parents divorced soon after and because of it, Senjougahara feels that she’s a burden on their family. Following that, she ran into six con men who claimed they could solve her issue (her weightlessness and burden). She was ripped off by each man, furthering her mistrust in others. With these acts of betrayal and rip-offs, Hitagi does not open herself up to anyone: fearing that they will take advantage of her. It wouldn’t be until years later when, with the help of Ararargi (series’s main character) not taking advantage of her trust, she was able to trust and open herself to others.
In life, there are some who wall them self off from others – because of trust issues. It’s hard for them to open themselves to others. It can take people years for them to start trusting others again. Even if they do find someone to trust, they still have their guard up until they can feel like they can truly trust them. Hitagi’s oddity of the crab makes sense once you break things down. Crabs have hardened shells and sharp claws to defend themselves from predators. Crabs attack anyone who attempts to get near with claws. Remember: Hitagi did attack Araragi with a pair of staples (a symbolism of a crab’s claws) and was still defensive around him as she thought he would run his mouth about her oddity to others. She did warm up to him and lower her guard over time.
Anime is a storytelling medium. As such, it’s the job of the creators to give us the emotional connection to characters. Through clever crafting due to the creator, it’s possible for a fan to feel a direct connection with a character; especially if said character acts similar to that one person. If you spent your teen (or later) years feeling socially awkward and struggling with anxiety like Tomoko Kukori, chances are that you’re going to find that personal connection with her. That’s how art and character connection work – with realistic characteristics from said character.
Everyone, thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you like what I wrote, please give me a link, leave a comment, and feel free to share. Tell me, which characters have you connected with and what, to you, makes a character relatable.
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.
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.
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).
She also can be a bit…scary. I mean, it’s Higurashi who isn’t a little scary or crazy?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
$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.
TRAVEL (Road): $40 for my share of gas money
PUBLIC TRANSIT: $6
PARTY GOODS: ~$120
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
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
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:
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.
In the first episode of Kino Journey’s – The Beautiful World-, Kino encounters a man who desires to live in an infamous country where murder is not frowned upon. However, this man learns a life-ending lesson on action and reaction when he attempted to rob and murder Kino. Just because you can do something doesn’t necessary means you should go out and do it. It can cost you greatly — even your life.
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?
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.
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!
…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 Galfirst 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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
“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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
How many of us have them?
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?