In my 20+ years of being an anime fan, the thought of a twisted individual committing mass murder against those within the have anime industry never crossed my mind. Anime studios are known to receive death threats from disgruntled fans for whatever reason. Studios dismiss threats because those who send them never follow through with them. They are treated as people who talk a big action but never follow through. Thus, (and sadly) death threats aren’t taken as seriously as they should within the industry at times.
On July 18th, 2019 around early morning at the Kyoto Animation studio, 33 lives – mostly young people who not only just got their start in the anime industry, but in life in general – were senselessly taken from the world. Their stories, wisdom, ideas, and creativity for the anime industry will never to be brought to life for the world to see – because of one angry disgusting man whom decided to end their lives. Buildings can be recovered and restored, yes. Alas, we can not recover nor restored the talented lives that were lost.
It’s reported that the murderer was angry at Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) because they stolen something from him. It’s rumor that what was stolen from him was a light novel idea that KyoAni allegedly rejected and used said idea for one of their anime production. Out of anger, he broke into the main studio, pour gasoline on not only around the entrance of the building (to prevent people to escape the building) as well as inside it, but on his victims.
Even if KyoAni did steal this man’s novel idea, it is no reason for him to commit murder — let alone mass murder — through such inhumane means of turning a beloved animation studio into a death trap; burning people to death in the process. As a creative person, I understand the rage of having people steal your ideas/works and claiming them as their own. I would be livid if somebody stole my works and gain something from it. I even admit that I would go as far as to cause physical harm against a person if they stole my works. But, to commit (mass) murder over something I could prove was mines or creative a better version of it is maddening and illogical.
What was so valuable about that horrible man’s work that he had to take so many lives over it?
Is the love for one’s own art that extreme that people should be murdered over it?
As I was reading through the comments of my post inquiring information on the Ontario, California based anime convention Anime Los’ Angeles (ALA) and how it compare to Anime Expo (AX), there were a few comments that caught my attention. These comments focused on the fact that ALA was a fan run convention that will never succumb to corporate greed and draw in the normies (unlike Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con according to these commentators).
Personally, I’m a fan of corporate and industry ran conventions (or at the very least, conventions who have some sponsorship from corporations and members of the industry). Anime conventions with corporate/industry backing have the means to bring in the big name heavy hitters of the anime industry. In addition, they also allow the major players of the anime industry to have world premiere of new and upcoming anime projects that you (almost) never get the chance to see at your local small-to-medium size anime convention.
Content creators such as myself love attending conventions that feature big name guests as it gives us superior coverage and content for our brand. It’s not to say that fan-run conventions don’t make for great content, but let’s be real: You’ll get more flies drawn towards your honey pot if your honey pot just happen to have somebody like Mamoru Miyano in it because you reported on him talking about his latest roles during Anime Expo.
(And no, I did not attend any of his panels at Anime Expo because my Black ass KNEW any and all Mamoru Miyano related panels would be jam packed with fans and I am not willing to stand in line for 10 hours for a seiyuu I’m barely a fan of just for internet traffic).
As nerd culture steadily enter the mainstream limelight, there is this looming shadow of fear that has been overcast on the world of nerd culture. This fear is of both smaller and larger fan ran conventions yielding to the all-mighty dollar offered to them by major corporations – forswearing their humble grassroots beginnings.
Can’t blame them on this one, really. We see this happen often with conventions grew massive in size and income. They get accused of “selling out” (note: knowing your worth and the worth of your brand isn’t “selling out”; that’s broke jealous dusty nigga/hipster talk). Once they “sell-out”, the content of the convention becomes water down and lose focus on the fan-driven material in favor of industry related items presented on the programming. Therefore, the loyal fans of the con since day one up and leave the con.
Now, if you’re a critical thinker, you can see where this is going and know the solution to this problem. If people are dreading that some big conventions are “selling out” for big businesses, then that means that you are going to have people who are still in favor of fan-run conventions that won’t “sell-out”.
Think about it: you have a market of fans who don’t want anything to do with major conventions that have corporate backing and they’re going searching for cons that are operating on the grassroots level. They would rather spend their money towards conventions that favor fan-related content and programming over what some Japanese industry jackass who snorts cocaine off a teenage schoolgirl’s ass while she’s cosplaying Ichigo from DARLING in the FRANXX in his office at nighttime thinks what makes good programming at an anime con (okay, probably isn’t that extreme, but you get my point).
It’s that “for us by us” mentality that most nerds crave when it comes to anime conventions. Fan run content that shows the true passion and appreciation of fans of this medium in an event that provides the means for such fans to talk about their love for anime – in person with other fellow fans.
Fan-ran events means you have the freedom to express your fandom and love for anime through any means without worrying about an overhead busting your balls telling you what you can and cannot have in your programming (it’s not to say that fan run conventions have overheads busting balls as well, but they’re more lax than say somebody who works for a big anime business).
There’s a certain magic of fan-ran conventions that allow programming such as a room party block with free drinks, a massive cosplay parade downtown, ribbon collecting, and cosplay stripping shows that most of your major big business ran convention wouldn’t dare allow. This magic you can’t find at most industry ran conventions. Is it true that these industry cats understand what fans want in terms of content for their cons? Sure, but it doesn’t mean that they’re gonna provide the means to fulfill said needs.
So, will fan-run conventions go away anytime soon? No. Why?
Because there will always be a need for them – no matter what.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a (cleaner) copy and paste free write of my thoughts of the evolution and history of the Western anime fandom taken from my Facebook page Yuki The Snowman. As such, I was shooting from the hip; so it is unstructured and lacks research and sources to a few statements.
While out-of-state at a friends’ house catching up on old times, we were disusing plans on attending an up and coming anime convention in their area next year named Dokidokon. During the discussion, they mentioned how cool it would be for us to report on the convention, it’s growth, and recording the events as they unfold at the con. With glee, they stated that it would be exciting to take record of what we witness there. Further into the talk, it was mentioned that we’re living in perhaps the best time period for otaku history in the West and how it is important for us bloggers, vloggers, and content creators to record such events in history.
I started to ponder.
While my friends and I enjoy attacking the otaku culture with venomous scorn, taking cheap shots against anime fans whenever the chance presents itself, and mock the culture for its many faults, we still hold onto our great appreciation for how far the anime medium and fandom has come. This is especially true given how Western otaku culture and conventions came up from (to my knowledge, mind you) the underground college anime clubs and conventions of the 70s and 80s to the massive juggernaut in which we are a part of today where the modern anime community is an indescribable melting pot of distinctive demographic coming together to celebrate our love for anime.
For those who might be too young to remember, it wasn’t that long ago when Western anime culture and fans where pushed into the darkest corners of the pop culture world. We were treated as unwelcomed outcasts by – and please note – most (meaning not all for those who are from the remedial side of the education game) nerds and geeks from different sets of the pop culture world (film, comic books, gamers, sci-fi, etcs.).
In the past, Anime (in the West) didn’t have that unbreakable grip that it has on the Western pop culture world today. Thus, us fans were mocked and alienated by outsides (both normies and, ironically, non-otaku nerds who too where shunned for their love for comics, games, etc.) for enjoying something that most people didn’t get. Maybe it was due to xenophobia, lack of understanding, or the pure pride of the ignorant who didn’t want to study why people like and watch anime, but anime fans were treated like some weird nerds who were too much in love with some whacky Japanese cartoons.
Sure, you had timeless hits such as AKIRA, Ninja Scroll, and Ghost in the Shell making noise in America; planting seeds and paving the path for what we are witnessing today when it comes to the Western Otaku culture, but they didn’t have the weight to help put anime in that sweet postion that we call mainstream appeal (Dragon Ball Z would take that honor and run with it in the mid-90s despite what the anti-entry-level anime elitists may want to argue to deal with the fact their favorite obscure anime didn’t get the job done but that’s another topic for another day).
Time went on. The influence of anime in the West grew stronger. Its popularity increased with shows such as Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Pokémon. Television networks such as Time Warner, The Sci-Fi Network, Tech TV and Freeform created program blocks dedicated to anime (Toonami, Anime Unleashed, and Made in Japan) in order to carter to the blooming Western anime fanbase. Online bulletin board systems (BBS) and websites revolving around anime culture sprung up on the dial-up internet side of the game. Magazines dedicated to anime such as Anierica were sent out to the mailbox of the American anime fan. Video stores started carrying anime that never aired on TV in America.
It was inevitable that anime in the West would become a huge deal.
Today, you can go on your favorite streaming website (legal and illegal) and pull up almost any anime from the past or present. Popular or obscure. Modern or classic. If you can think of an anime, there’s a good chance that you will find it online. No more wasting time and gas money traveling miles to a nearby video store in hopes you can get your anime fix. No longer do we need to call up a certain BBS to communicate with fellow fans of a peculiar anime and wait two-to-eight hours for a response.
With the advent of modern day technology and social media, we can instantly chat it up with fellow anime fans moments after an episode finished airing. Best of all, fans can communicate and interact with voice actors, creators, production studios, and distributors through websites such as Facebook and twitter – something that was once only possible at annual major conventions and snail mail.
History is being made.
As content creators, we must take advantage of this era of Western anime history. We must take part and note of the trends and the happenings of the fandom – despite the fact if we love or loathe such trends and happenings. Remember: future generations of anime fans will be curious on how their favorite shows and beloved parts of the culture became to be. They will research the roots of their favorites and find connects to the past (that is currently our present). There needs to be a record of what is going on today in the world of anime: both in the East and here in the West.
Keeping record will perverse what is happening currently. It will prevent experiences from being lost to time and history. Just imagine if nobody recorded the famous viral video of the Filipino female prisoners performing the Hare Hare Yukai dance from The Melacholy of Haruhi Suzumiya or most recent, the ever popular live-action versions Chikatto Chika Chika dance from episode 3 of Kaguya-Sama: Love is War!! by energetic otakus cosplay as Chika herself.
It would be utterly depressing.
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From spending 40-45 hours a week cosplaying as a stable adult at my job for drug and alcohol money (for both anime con partying and to deal with life), to working with my homeboy The TV Guru on our new podcast The Swarthy Nerds Podcast, to reading books on how strengthen my troll game against people with the laws of human nature, and to downloading a ludicrous amount of best Monogatari girl Hanekawa ero pics and doujins as research material for an analytical video essay on her tits for the 10th anniversary of the anime series, finding time to watch (and talk about) anime can be difficult for hard working grown ass man reaching his 30s like myself.
With so many anime coming out each season (roughly 60 shows a season) and the ever growing desire to watch hard hitting classic shows such as Evangelion, GunBusters!, and His and Her Circumstances (Anno’s a beast director I wanna learn more about him beyond FLCL) which fills my everlasting backlog, it can be a struggle to discus and view anime with the limited amount of time I have.
Sure, I can watch old anime and ignore the new shows. With older anime, there’s no need to dread on the fact that the next episode of an anime won’t come out for a week. Plus, older shows already have an established fanbase, which makes it easier to talk to fans of it (sans the asshole die hards with no personality who think they’re better than everyone because they watch the show on its original run 10-25 years ago).
But, there’s a drawback to using my time to watch and talk about older, classic anime.
First, (most) older anime suffer from a lack of discussion (around the show). Unless it’s a timeless show such as Sailor Moon or Dragon Ball, the chances of me finding people to talk about an older anime is rather low (and if it’s an obscure OVA from the 80s, then the chances of me finding anyone to talk about it are neigh impossible).
Second, watching older anime will alienated me from the current discussion; where – thanks to social media – an anime that came out last season is consider old news. Example: Talk revolving hit Fall 2018 shows such as MAPPA’s Zombieland Saga, Studio TRIGGER’s SSSS.Gridman, and CloverWorks’s Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai has decreased since their finales.
The focus shifted to Winter 2019 shows such as Mob Pyscho 100 2 and Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War. However, with the Winter 2019 season finished, the community are going to talk about the Spring 2019 season with shows such as One Punch Man 2, Carol and Tuesday,Fruit Baskets 2019¸ and Aftertouch (Shoumetsu Toshi). I have to be willing to talk about the new shit if I want an active audience, so I can’t waste too much time on the past.
You have to be in the know, you know?
If you’re like me, a content creator with a “real” job, then you know how much of a chore it is to try to watch and talk about anime. It’s bad enough that we have to dedicate 40+ hours a week to earn worthless pieces of paper we call money (unless you’re using the money to help you buy and consume drugs at an anime con after party, then it’s not useless). But what’s worse is not having enough free time to focus on our purpose; just limited time.
All time is limited, of course. We could die today or next week, thus robbing us of all the time we could have had to work on our shit. Even if we do live into old age, some of us will spend all our time working until retirement. Retirement does nets us all the “freetime” in the world. But now you’re too tired and old to do what we want (bear in mind that you can’t compete against the younger generation at this point of life unless you’re a very late blooming outlier – which is rare).
With this in mind, we have to spend our limited time wisely to ensure that our messages of great weeaboo cartoons reach the masses. We have to manage time. For me, I work on my content before work and do light studying on the topic of my content after work. I may skip breakfast (which I don’t recommend) to have more time to work on a post.
However, if not eating breakfast for a while means having so much extra time to present more content to the world because I was able to turn this hobby into a career (that’s making me 3x the amount of money then working a 9-to-5 on a consent level), then it’d be worth it.
Even on my off days at work, there’s complete focus on my personal work.
I also tend to put forth a lot of work towards my projects on my days off, or if I plan on being a shut-in weeb and not kick it with friends at the bar. Time and sacrifices have to be made on my end in order for me to talk about anime through blogging, podcasts, etc.
Until I have made double, if not, triple the amount talking about anime in comparison to the gig; therefore enabling me to have access to as much time as I want to create content or just dick around and watch shows all day while still netting automatic (passive) income (thus not being hurt money wise), I must make do with the time I have and watch a few shows.
Does it suck?
But, in order to do what I wanna do (if you haven’t guess by now, talking about wacky Japanese cartoons for a living and eventually creating a media company from it), I gotta spend my time wisely.
So, readers, how do you make the time to watch anime? For my fellow content creators: do you find it hard to balance content creation and having a gig (if you work a normal job while building your brand)? Let me know in the comments!
CHECK OUT MY NEW PODCAST The Swarthy Nerds if you’re tired of autistic, annoying white nerds with nasty, unkempt beards who dress like they’re still in middle school telling you about nerd culture and you desire something more on the real side of the nerd game:
Throughout her short seventeen years of life, Sakura Minamoto dealt with everlasting failures and setbacks that mentally wrecked her. In the third grade, she landed the intense star role of Snow White after months of relentless practice to master the role; only to become sick and bedridden on the day of the performance.
Gifted with superior athletic skills, Sakura was selected as captain of her school’s relay team. She trained day after day in hopes of leading her school to victory against other schools in the Saga district. Alas, on the morning of competition, she tore up her hamstring; forcing her to retire.
But, those past failures wouldn’t hold her back. Determine to eradicate her bad luck, Sakura (now a sixth grader), had her sights set on academic mastery; vowing to shut everything out of her life in order to enter the best high school in her school district. Friends. Family. Entertainment. If it wasn’t a tool that’ll help her gain scholarly success, Sakura ignored it. Nothing mattered to her sans entering the ranks of the educated elites.
Two years later, Sakura’s near psychopathic drive towards success would pay off for her. She aced the mock entrance exams days before the real deal. Finally! Victory was near.
Or so she thought.
On her way to take the real exams, Sakura ran across a few sick elderly women who needed her help. Instead of ignoring the women and letting them die on the streets (which she should: they had their chance at life), Sakura decided to help these poor women out. However, this drove Sakura into an intense panic; as she feared that she’ll be late for and miss the exams.
Thankfully, she was able to make it in time. But, the stress from the fear of missing the exams gave Sakura extreme test anxiety – causing her to fail the exam – and missing out on her chance of success once more.
Now in high school, the defeated , depressed, and hopeless Sakura rejected offers to hang out with friends, join any after-school clubs, and work on her scholarly and athletic gifts. Nothing mattered to her anymore. She knew that anything she attempted to try would only make her feel worse about herself.
Every day after school, she headed straight home; numbed to the world. She lay up on the couch, mindlessly watching TV and rotting away as life passed her by. One day in peculiar, Sakura caught a TV special featuring the rise of singer Ai Mizuno: the center performer of the idol group “Iron Frill”. During the special, Ai was asked about her work ethics, as well as why and how she works so hard.
“I guess it’s because I don’t think mistakes or failures are a bad thing. Because they always end up helping with whatever happens next. And I really believe I’ll only be the best version of me once I overcome it all.”
Mistakes aren’t bad. Failure isn’t bad. If you study your failures and mistakes, learning from them in the process, you’ll always better yourself.
(Now, let’s not forget the fact that worse girl Ai is a stupid fucking idiot who got herself killed by sticking her arm out during a thunder/lighting storm while holding a mic at an open air concert on live TV/internet broadcast; therefore traumatizing her friends, family members, band mates, and fans for life. Plus, she made her parents cremate and bury her, so there’s that)
You fucked up on a test. Cool. See what you were struggling with, study, and do better. You got rejected by the girl or boy you liked. That’s okay. Be happy and reflect on the fact that you finally control your nerves, got over your fear of rejection, and you went for it. It’ll all be helpful the next time you ask different girl or boy who captured your heart out. You might get turned down from the company you’ve dream of working for since your youth.
Look, you will fail at something – it’s unavoidable. Your return on invest for your efforts might wield negative results at the end. Whatever you’re working on, sometimes, it won’t turn out the way you hope for.
And that’s okay.
You should embrace failure. Appreciate it. Respect it. Failure means that it wasn’t the right time to execute your plan. You selected the wrong moment for your course of action. Something didn’t line up right. Your approach wasn’t correct. Even so, you should inspect what went wrong so that next time, you will do better and better; until the day you are successful.
Inspired by the TV special, Sakura attended their Saga concert. There, Sakura was captivated by Ai’s high spirited performance to the point she was moved to tears. It was there where Sakura found the willpower to pull herself out of her depression; yearning to attack success one more time.
One more shot.
One more try.
One more chance.
Sakura set her sights to become the girl that she always dreamed of. She applied to join Iron Frill as an idol. She wanted to perform next to the singer that – as cheesy and white girlish as it (always) sound – saved her life. This was it. She’ll no longer let the set-backs and disappointments of the past drag her down. With the finished application in hand, the high-spirited Sakura ran out of the house to mail it…
…And then she got hit by a speeding truck and died on impact.
Thanks for reading!
(Just kidding. Sakura lived for a few more seconds in the air from the force of being hit before dying.)
“Failure is deceiving; it’s a good thing! You want to and should fail –it’s the learning process!” -Grant Cardone, CEO and real estate investor
Sakura’s journey to success wouldn’t end at her death. In fact, her death (and zombification) was the start of her finally capturing victory. As the center of the all zombie girl music group Franchouchou, Sakura had to lead her team and new friends through failure after failure on the path of success.
You could say that their first concert at the death metal show was a near flop. First, Sakura was the only member of Franchouchou (or Death Musume as they were first called) who regained her human conscious upon awakening. The rest of the girls were still in their mindless state. This resulted in everyone (sans Sakura) not being able sing or play instruments – let alone perform in unison.
Second, they were dress in bright, colorful idol outfits; ill-fitting for a venue hall catering to savage and cutthroat fans of death metal. Finally, the crowd wasn’t feeling them. They believed that Death Musume was mocking death metal with their idol get-up.
Death Musume proved their doubters wrong.
Thanks to their enhanced zombie bodies and minds, Death Musume surprised the metal heads with their brutal, (literally) broken-neck style head banging, ghastly growls, hard hitting stage dives that would had injured or killed a normal human, and caused mayhem in the pits after the show.
Even if the show was a (so-called) “flop”, Death Musume gained the respect of the metal heads (whom normally dismissed idols). They even earned two metal heads as loyal fans after the event. Fans who once were discrediting them admired their savage spirit so much that they followed Death Musume’s journey to success everywhere they performed.
Their second concert was almost a complete disaster (compared to the last). Despite regaining their senses, Death Musume (now Green Face), weren’t in tune with one another. Their movements were awkward and stiff (due to not building up chemistry with one another yet; not because they were zombies). The audience seemed uninterested in their performance. Tae had yet to regain her senses; so she was still roaming around mindlessly.
Worse, she tried to steal somebody’s dried squid snack. Sakura attempted to restrain her friend; only to cause Tae’s head to fly off her body into the crowd – therefore causing panic and confusion.
In panic, Sakura played everything off as a magic trick. While Sakura struggled to regain order, Saki started to dick around. The two girls started fighting over Tae’s head (Saki took Tae’s head off her body while Sakua tried to put it back on, annoying the latter). Pissed, Sakura snapped on Saki and snitched on the fact that they were all zombies. Saki snapped back: leading to the girls auguring on stage. Understandably, the audience was shocked.
Total disaster indeed.
But, most damages caused by disasters can always be fixed.
Tatsumi saw this as a chance to switch the show’s direction. Seeing Sakura and Saki argue as if they were rival rappers, he began to beat box. Best zombie girl Yuugiri provided a melodic instrumental on her shimisen. Lily channeled her inner Flavor Flav and played hype girl. Worse zombie girl Ai stood around looking stupid, awkward, and useless. Second best zombie girl Junko was also standing around looking stupid and awkward. Sakura and Saki turned their argument into a rap battle.
Together, Green Face was able to take a losing situation, turn it around into something positive, and became victorious.
Franchouchou improved each passing day.
They didn’t avoid failure – they embraced it and turn it around – into success.
They failed to get a business sponsorship from a drug company (due to Sakura being an idiot). That’s okay; they cut a deal with a local restaurant a few days later; netting a promotion deal with them. Tae accidently wore said restaurant’s mascot t-shirt after winning a sporting event instead of the shirts featuring their band’s name and logo (for promotional reasons). It didn’t matter: Franchouchou gained more fans from the sporting event.
Lighting struck the stage and the girls during their first major stage performance. What would have killed any normal human the lighting gave Franchouchou (thanks to being zombies) not only gave the girls the appearance of angels, but enhanced their voices; giving their fans a musical experience they never forget.
“Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back.”
“If you’re a real winner you know how to bounce back!” -Big Sean, Bounce Back
Like Franchouchou, you must use failures as a tool to net you a positive outcome. The path you were on turned into something else. But, you need to take advantage of that. History is littered with people whom “failed” at one thing but was able to turn it around into greatness.
Japanese Horror and visual novel author Ryukishi07 Ryukishi07 first draft of the ever beloved Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni (lit. When They Cicadas Cry) murder-mystery visual novel series was a short play titled Hinamizawa Bus Stop. Inspired by a friend, he submitted the play to his college’s theater group for a contest. He lost. After college, Ryukishi07 tried to enter the video game industry with no luck.
Yet, despite the setbacks, he was determined to let the world know about the mysteries and horror of the small village of Hinamizawa. His passionate drive would pay off in August of 2006 when Ryukishi07 dropped Higurashi upon the otaku world at the massive Japanese anime convention Summer Comiket 2002. The game became a global sleeper hit; with the series branching off to light novels, mangas, two live-action movies, a TV series, remakes of the games, and of course, an incredibly successful anime adaption by Studio Deen.
Intelligent System was failing to keep the Fire Emblem series afloat. After back-to-back failures with titles such as New Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the series was at risk of being killed off by Nintendo. Finding themselves on death grounds with the series, nearly everyone at Intelligent System that has ever worked on a Fire Emblem game pour their heart, soul, guts, creativity, love, and focus into Fire Emblem Awakening. They truly believe that Awakening was going to be the final Fire Emblem game in Nintendo’s (and gaming) history.
If Fire Emblem: Awakening was going to ultimately fail, at least Intelligent System had the balls to try to revive the series everyone counted out with everything they had. And as we all known (despite what the old-school autistic elitist assholes in the fandom may say), Fire Emblem: Awakening brought the series back to life: saving it from total death.
See how you can turn failure into victory?
We live in a world where failure is viewed as a bad thing. If you failed, you’re nothing (according to lowly people with their inflated egos who will never fix their own failures). In Japan, failure is viewed in such a negative light that young school students have killed themselves from the shame of failure (may they failed a test, failed to get into an elite high school, etc.).
They would rather end their life than to face society (after failure).
The American school system have mentality wrecked children for decades; because teachers, parents, and the education system paint failing as the ultimate sin. Who knows how many children in America are suffering from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety because of how aggressive we are against failure?
Social media is now on a level where people will share your failures and humiliate you for it within seconds. We would rather mock those on Facebook or Twitter for their mistake(s) than to encourage them to recover and give them advice on how to do better. A screw up can easily be shared and display on the world’s stage without a second thought. It’s a shield to hide our own failures.
Why display your shame to the world where you can cover it with another man’s shame?
Society is not only fearful of failure – it uses it as a weapon.
But, you can’t be scared of failure. I’m not saying you should go out in purposely fail; that’s foolish. I am also not saying that some failures aren’t your fault; because your own stupidity and unchecked ego/pride can cause you to screw up. If you’re doing something that is outside the realm of logic, and your friends/family are telling you so, and you can’t prove them wrong, then don’t do it. Because that’s truly is failure.
You need to go into something knowing that there’s a high possibility that you will fail and that you need to bounce back from the failure. Beating yourself up over failure won’t get you to success. Having a defeatist attitude because you screw up won’t fix the screw ups. People will use your past failures to mock you; in order for you to give up. But, you can’t allow that. Try again until success.
As Sakura said to Junko and Ai in episode 2, and this is the closing statement:
“Quit coming up with excuses on why you can’t win. If you got even a little chance, try to do that then!”
Grover, Tim. “#1. When You’re A Cleaner… …You don’t recognize failure; you know there’s more than one way to get what you want.” Relentless: From Good To Great To Unstoppable
I lied about the whole “Ai worse girl” thing she’s actually became my favorite character as I wrote this essay and re-watched ZLS due to her relentless drive to re-write her legacy after death.
Seriously, I wouldn’t spent nearly $25 on this shirt if I thought she was the worse girl:
(Plus, I love how she G-checks Tatsumi when he’s on his bullshit)
I’m also going to work on another Zombieland Saga essay that tackles the morality of men, how we should make the best of our limited time on Earth, and and a touch of Stoicism to go along with it within the following months.
In addition, there will be an audio version of this essay in the near future.
WARNING: Contains minor spoilers for the manga version of episode 5 of Mob Psycho 100
As I watched the end of Mob Psycho 100 II episode 5, I was reminded of Robert Greene’s controversial book The 48 Laws of Power. To be specified, it reminded me Law 2 “Never Put Too Much Trust in Friends. Learn How to Use Enemies”. Mob wasn’t trying to use his enemy, the class bully Minori for anything; there was no need to. It’s the fact that Mob saved and spared her life, despite Minori’s cruel and sadistic bullying of Mob for six months.
Yes, she was possessed by the evil spirit Mogami. Under his influence she hurt Mob. She tortured him. Made him feel lowly about himself. Now however, before she was targeted by Mogami, Minori spent her life bullying others. She loved belittling her peers who didn’t share her high social status. She found it thrilling to humiliate those who can’t defend themselves. That said, bullying (Mob) wasn’t anything new to her; it was her nature. Mogami wanted to show Mob that people like Minori deserved to die. He wanted to show that Mob would have been in the right if he killed her.
But, Mob believed that Minori could change if her life was spared.
It’s mentioned in Law 2 that those who have enemies never expect anything from them (besides revenge). When a man is spared from the guillotine from his enemy, he’ll become forever grateful towards that man; doing anything within his power to please them. Thanks to, or rather because of Mob’s kind and forgiving heart, Minori went on the path of bettering herself – vowing to never bully others again and to be kind to people as thanks.
To say that Minori was grateful (to Mob) is such an understatement – given her past with him. Remember: Mob lived in a world of despondency created by Minori’s negative feelings, memories, and history of bullying to make him suffer. Pouring sour milk all over him. Recording her friends ostracizing Mob. Threatening to kill the stray cat he was taking care of. Having her underlings beat him up. Anything that is all hellish to crush and break Mob’s spirit and driven him into a near inescapable depression for six months.
Could you blame Mob if he’d snapped and used his psychic powers and physical strength to kill her? Could you blame Mob if he gave in to Mogami’s trickery and have the man take her life?
He had every right.
But he chose not to.
Why is that?
Why did Mob spare his enemy and show her mercy?
“When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight.” -Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk
Besides the (obvious) fact that Mob is far too benevolent to murder a human being, let alone someone his own age, he knows that people can change (through positive interactions with others). He understands why people do horrible things. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Mob realized that Minori became a bully because she was fearful that she was going to be rejected and isolated by society. It’s possible that she was projecting her own fears (of social isolation) unto Mob through bullying (bully the outcast so you won’t become a bullied outcast sorta thing).
Like Mob, she too was a victim of horrific mistreatment. Minori was Mogami’s prisoner. The sole, lonely inmate inside a prison crafted from the darkness of her heart. Mogami wanted to make Minori suffer for her crimes before killing her. Who knows how long Minori was strapped and chained to a bed while Mogami controlled her body.
She was helpless as Mogami used her body as he pleased.
Finally, if Mob would have kill Minori out of cold blood, he would had a worse human than Minoir and Mogami. Pop her in the mouth for the bully? That’s okay. Beat her ass and put her in her place so she would never fuck with him again? That’s normal. But to outright murder her would only continue a tragic cycle.
A cycle that Mob had to break.
Sometimes, the best way to kill your enemy is with the guillotine.
Sometimes, the best way to kill your enemy is to show them mercy and kindness.
AFTERWORD: lmfao I know this episode is almost two weeks old and everyone is talking about episode 6, but work has been kicking my ass lately, so I didn’t have time to bang this out on the week of episode 5.
Also, 10/10 episode a lot of great narrative and real life themes in it.
(Also some enemies are beyond forgiveness and you can’t show mercy to them. Crush them totally. That’s just me being real.)
Recently, my friend the TV Guru and I went to see Toei Animation’s blockbuster hit movie Dragon Ball Super: Broly at the theaters and man, it was an experience as both an Dragon Ball and anime fan that I will never forget. The experience of watching such an critically acclaimed film based on an iconic and influential anime series with many other anime and Dragon Ball fans touched us so much that we had to give our unbiased (drunken) thoughts on the movie. Trust me, if you’re a Dragon Ball fan and did not saw this movie at the theaters, you did yourself a disservice.
Also in this podcast we chop up good game and mock CrunchyRoll’s infamously hilariously and terrible nomination for their annual trash tier entry level anime awards.
And if you’re a weirdo who likes to burn their battery life and data plan by keeping the YouTube app open, here’s a link to our review on YouTube
I have a podcast now so if you’re a long-time follower who have been wondering where the fuck I’ve been, now you know. Don’t worry; I’m still gonna write blogs. This is a side project I’m working on with a friend.
Professional wrestling history was made when future WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) legend Kevin Nash invaded rival company WCW’s (World Championship Wrestling) live show, WCW Nitro. Along with tag-team partner and friend Scott Hall (who invaded an earlier Nitro show before Nash), Nash delivered a warning to the WCW:
Idioms such as “[this is] where the big boys play” and “this is the big leagues” are often used to identify areas of intense and professional levels of competition. Areas reversed for the elites and only for the elites. Rookies are warned not to enter the big leagues unless they are mentality and physically tough and resilient enough to join.
Of course, you have the foolish rookies who – thanks to their ego – think they can go toe-to-toe with the harden vets (of the big leagues). Blinded by both arrogance and ignorance they try; only to be utterly humiliated, embarrassed, and humbled by their superiors.
This is the case of Erimi Mushibami: a little kid who thinks she’s hardcore just because she’s going through her baby’s first weeaboo gothic lolita teen angst phase. So hardcore that, the first thing that she does upon arriving at Hyakkaou Private Academy, is to challenge Yumeko Jabami and Midari Ikishima to a game of chicken.
An extreme game of chicken where players must place a finger inside a hole built into a mini guillotine with several cords attached to its frame. The guillotine blade itself is only held by single cord that – if cut – will send the sharp blade flying down; slicing its victim’s finger off. Removing your finger before the blade comes down will results in the player forfeiting the match and becoming a slave to the game host.
It’s the ultimate game of nerves.
Nerves that Yumeko and Midari both have an unlimited supply of.
Yumeko is insane and gets off to playing high risk/high rewards gambles. Midari is not only insane, she’s a fucking deranged masochist whose panties would be soaked if she got a finger cut off. The game is so thrilling to these women that Yumeko put aside her disdain towards Midari to team up with her against Emiri.
Erimi is a stupid kid.
Erimi gathers Yumeko, Midari, and Suzui into a room for her little game. Yuemko is relaxed. Midari is thrilled. Suzui is scared. Not for neither Yumeko nor Midari: he knows both of them are crazy. Who he’s concern for is Erimi herself – the girl who started this mess.
Erimi has yet to understand that her opponents are extreme gambling addicts. Both find joy in playing risky games – no manner how dangerous (the risks are). Furthermore, Yumeko and Midari are having fun playing Erimi’s game; even if the odds stacked against them. Erimi eventually picks up on her opposition’s carefree mentality towards her game and assumes if she pushes the girls to their absolute limit, she can break them.
Again, Erimi is a stupid little kid.
Erimi starts bragging about how her mafia-like family is full of torture freaks that used the guillotine game (and other fear tactics) to force confessions out of their victims. Yumeko isn’t impressed; she winds up finding the game boring as time goes on. Yumeko also thinks Erimi is a scared little bitch: as she believes that Erimi may have install a cheat to prevent her from losing her finger in things goes wrong and decides to go off on her.
Midari joins in on Yumeko’s verbal onslaught against the goth kid; reversing Erimi’s love for torture against her (remember: Midari wants to be tortured). In fact, she admits that the risk of losing a single finger doesn’t excite her; she wants more punishment if she loses.
Intoxicated with glee, both Yumeko and Midari pressure Erimi to cut the wires. Worse, Midari, out of her excitement and impatience, snatches the scissors off the table and decides to cut all the wires at once. Sure enough, the safety feature that Yumeko theorized that Erimi put in place was triggered; saving everyone from losing their fingers. But, even in a moment of grace, Erimi has broken down. In tears, she begs Midari and Yumeko to stop even after the game was finished.
The little girl wasn’t ready to play with the big girls.
Ego is funny thing. It’s the source of our ambitions, desires, and self-confidence. However, if left unchecked, the ego can lead us to disaster; as we saw with Erimi in episodes one and two of Kakegurui xx. Her wild ego and childish behavior made her believe that she could go toe-to-toe with two superior gamblers who outclassed her in talent, skill, and insanity. She could not handle the pressure that Yumeko and Midari rain down upon her; leading to her breakdown. Her plan to mentality break her opponents backfired – given they both love the thrill and dangers that came from her game. It’s the ultimate irony: Play with people’s fears only to be paralyzed by fear yourself. Pretend to be a big kid only to have bigger kids put you in your place.
Never attempt to play in the big leagues when you’re still in the little leagues.
Note: I am about to burn some bridges with people in the St. Louis anime convention and cosplay scene with this post, ain’t I? Bet.
Second Note: This is a freewrite. There’s no order of my paragraphs in terms of flow.
“You should all pay attention to me! I want people to take pictures of my cosplay! I work hard on it!”
An annoying, feminine voice behind me rang out in the halls of Gateway Convention Center during the morning hours of Archon St. Louis The owner of the voice is a bit of a…what the word I can use that won’t (easily) offend people of the LBGT community? A fairy. A very narcissistic, attention whore, drama starting fairy. But I’m used to him and his attitude. This guy, whom I shall call “Narcian”, is a well-known, highly egotistical, arrogant, eccentric (shit-tier) cosplayer (in our area) who believes he has magical, spiritual powers (trust me; that’s just 1% percent of his issues).
(And I thought my ego and narcissism problems were terrible)
His parents never gave him any attention or love; so he grew up seeking and demanding attention from others. I spent a good year and a half avoiding this man thanks to traveling to other conventions outside my hometown; helping me forget that he existed. As he tried (and failed) to get people to notice his cosplay (even photo-bombing a Marvel Comics cosplay gathering), I realized something:
“Wow! I haven’t missed shit while I was away from this con scene!”
Between Anime St. Louis 2018 and Archon 2018, I skipped out on other St. Louis conventions to work on myself, traveling(to Los Angeles and Atlanta), and to have a little extra money in my pockets. When I came back to the St. Louis convention scene, I was reminded – thanks to Narcian – that I truly wasn’t missing out on anything that St. Louis had to offer for their nerd culture cons. It was a reminder on why I decided to say fuck this con scene and explore other scenes across America.
The weeaboos here who never left the St. Louis area (or at the very least, aren’t bettering themselves) were doing the same shit: Bitching about how much they hate their current low paying 9-to-5 jobs, being stuck in the rat race, looking forward to going to the bars and clubs and conventions on the weekends, causing/starting childish drama and beef with people, and refusing to level up.
They love to complain about how their lives aren’t going anywhere, but won’t put forth the effort to make a change.
And don’t try to convince them to leave St. Louis for a larger weeaboo festival with superior guest lists (featuring Japanese voice actors and creators) and more to do that they love to fantasize about attending. They’ll hit you with excuses such as “I don’t want to travel by myself”, “traveling cost too much money” (but wasting money at the club/bar isn’t for some odd reason), and – my personal favorite – “You’re just going to do the same shit out of town you do at home!”.
Please. I’m doing the same shit at conventions outside my hometown (like exploring and spending more time in Downtown L.A. as opposed to Anime Expo itself) and yet you guys are okay with repeating the same things in your lives.
To them, being in a state of everlasting comfortable mediocrity is an amazing and great thing. Why apply yourself with self-improvement when you can have the same things you’re used to every day. Every week. Every month. Every year. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it – hell, don’t even upgrade it because there’s no reason or logic behind it! That’s how St. Louis runs; may it be politics, entertainment, or weeaboo shit.
Let’s take Anime St. Louis for example.
Anime St. Louis has been around for thirteen years (if we’re counting Kunicon: their first convention). Naka-Kon, another Midwestern Convention held in Kansas City Missouri/Kansas area, started around the same time as Anime St. Louis Naka-Kon brought in guests straight from Japan (such as the J-Rock band ALSDEAD, Nobuo Uematsu, Junko Takeuchi a.k.a the voice of Hinata’s husband, and Takashi Kisaki.
Anime St. Louis? I mean, they gotten voice acting legends and icons such as Richard Epcar, Keith Silverstien, and Troy Baker. But you can see them at any convention across America. Naka-Kon. In bumfuck Kansas. Can land guests. Straight from Japan.
And yet Anime St. Louis can’t do the same?
My grips with the St. Louis con scene don’t end with the convention either. The community itself is filled with toxic, drama causing, pathetic otakus who have nothing going on with their lives outside of playing dress-up as their favorite anime Chinese Cartoon Characters. As a result, they attack Black cosplayers for cosplaying outside their race, playing favorites during cosplay contests (and by playing favorites, the cosplayers and judges are probably fucking and sucking/eating each other out the night before the cosplay contest), and even spread their drama to other Missouri conventions: harassing anyone who aren’t in their clique and make them feel unsafe.
Don’t get me wrong: There’s drama in every convention scene around the world. You do need to learn how to deal with it and not get involved (and never create it). But there’s a feeling of joy when you go to a new con scene outside the hometown one and have a fresh start. Nobody knows who you are – making you automatic neutral to any conflicts. You dealt with drama and know how to read people so you can sense any drama-makers in a new con scene. Sure, once you’re cliqued in with a group drama might arise, but you can leave said clique.
This isn’t to say that all St. Louis cosplayers and con-goers have this loser, drama mentality. One of the first people to leave this scene grew popular outside St. Louis with her cosplays despite her haters here. I saw her recently at Archon and she looked incredibly happy with her life after St. Louis. Another major cosplayer from the St. Louis area (who’s a master of using duct tape and 24 hour cosplays) left town and blew up. He networked with some major players of the YouTube scene and is doing great with his life.
Hell, recently an associate of mines made a status about how they were felt discouraged on cosplaying at Anime St. Louis because the judge allows past winners (a.k.a their friends) to use the same cosplays that won them cosplay contests years previously. This inspired the associate to leave the St. Louis area to explore other conventions with their cosplays. Others have agreed with them and want to explore other conventions with the associate. Folks are giving up on the St. Louis and starting to understand that there’s more to the cosplay world than this small ass shithole city’s scene.
And to be honest, I am happy for them. I am glad to see people bettering themselves.
To conclude this rant of a freewrite, the St. Louis convention scene sucks outside of Archon (thanks to their old-school style of not playing the bullshit game). If you’re a seasoned con-goer who travel across America (or the world) for conventions, don’t come to St. Louis (unless its’ for Archon or work).
There is no progress here and you’re better off skipping over STL. If you’re a rookie con-goer, I do recommend coming to Anime St. Louis to get your feet wet and dip off once you earn enough experience. To the con-goers who keep doing the same old bullshit: Stop it. You niggas are Level 5 Terra and Locke off Final Fantasy 6 playing around in Narshe while we got people about to raid Kefka’s Tower at levels 60-100.
I’m about to get blacklisted from Anime St. Louis because of this I bet.
Oh well, I’ll show up to the con without a badge drunk as fuck next year and throw a giant room party (doubling as my Birthday party) as a final farewell to the St. Louis anime con scene on May 4th, 2019.
Note: This is a freewrite. This is an article without order or structure.
Disclaimer: To my fellow St. Louis weeaboos: This is not a jab towards the anime conventions Anime St. Louis (ASTL) and Anime Senpai. Although people wouldn’t have to jab at these cons and go outside of the STL area for bigger and better cons if these two cons weren’t doing the same bullshit every year.
There’s something magical about older, fan-run local conventions. I guess it’s because these conventions are run by fans who came from an era were conventions weren’t a place for popularity contest (through cosplay or otherwise). An era was being a nerd wasn’t mainstream or cool. Fans came out to these events and cosplay because of their passion, love, and respect for nerd culture.
To me, this is why Archon St. Louis stands out as the dominant force in the St. Louis convention scene. Plus, there’s the appeal of Archon allowing room parties and people to drink alcohol (in the hotel area) without stuck-up straight edge weeaboos being mad; Unlike other local conventions (such as Anine St. Louis) that claim to be “Family-Friendly”, but you have cosplayers high on hard drugs at the rave, weebs getting wasted on the con floor because they can’t handle their liquor, and otakus having orgies at the main con hotel.
(We still remember that Homestuck orgy from an ASTL long since passed you sick fucks.)
But what is Archon? Archon is an internationally known sci-fi and fantasy convention (they carter to other media pop culture group, but Archon’s bread-and-butter is the sci-fi and fantasy side of the game). Every year, Archon brings in world-renown figures hailing from the world of entertainment. Iconic figures such as George R.R. Martin (the first guest of Archon), Ray Bradbury, Billy West, and Phil LaMarr have graced Archon with their presence: bringing in thousands of their fans to their standing room only panels.
Sure, you can see them at panels at the bigger conventions such as San Diego Comic Con or Dragon Con; but what makes Archon worth going is that personal experience of being with these guests at their panels of say 500-1000 people; as opposed to those larger conventions and being in a room with these icons with 3,000-5,000 nerds. Would you rather waste thousands and thousands of dollars at these gigantic, cramped conventions where the odds of you meeting these guests and have a short chat with them are lower than you fucking a fine cosplayer at your hotel room?
Or would you spend the time and money traveling to a smaller, more warm and welcoming conventions where you can spend an intimate time with the guests?
Now that I think about it, it’s funny how I use the words “warm” and “intimate” to describe the Archon experience. Again, it does go back to how Archon is run by OG (original gangsta) nerds who came up in a time where nerds were bullied hardcore and weren’t welcome by normal society, but there’s that welcoming, warm vibe that surrounds Archon (because of what these guys went through).
Regardless of your nerdom (may it be anime, comics, sci-fi, movies, etc.), Archon welcomes everyone. Nobody will come up to you and get in their feelings on how you’re cosplaying as an anime character at a Sci-Fi/Western media convention (can’t say the same for you weeaboos who love to get in ya feelings and go up to non-Eastern media cosplayers saying they don’t belong at anime cons).
Believe me; check out these pictures of a few non-Western (influenced) media cosplayers I took (while drunk and stoned so that’s why their pics are blurry):
You may be wondering (due to the title of this post) at this point why I am doing just one local convention from here on out? It’s simple: Archon is much mellower and lax compared to the anime conventions in the St. Louis area. Wizard World St. Louis is an industry ran convention; meaning no freedom to go wild.
Anime St. Louis is “cool”, but larger conventions such as Anime Expo, Anime Central, and Anime Weekend Atlanta have better guests and have the funds to obtain guests directly from Japan. Anime Senpai just started their first year in 2018 and came from the remains of a few dead conventions that crashed, burned, and failed.
I have no hope for Anime Senpai lasting longer than five years at the most.
Archon has the longevity factor. It’s been around for nearly 45 years and each year they do something to make it better, bigger, and net new and old fans. Unlike other conventions in our area, they don’t play around. It’s a convention for everyone regardless of age and fandom. Have a cosplay even if it’s not sci-fi or fantasy? They don’t care – bring it to Archon! You will find people who enjoy it (if it’s not too obscure).
Archon is amazing and I love it.
‘What more can I say?
I wouldn’t be here today
If the old-school didn’t pave the way!’ -Brand Nubian
NOTE: This is a freely written article on thoughts floating about in my head. As such, there is no structure or order with this post. I’m shooting from the hip.
Admit it: You love controversy. It’s okay, nobody (except me), will judge you. In fact, you, the world, and I all love controversy. It doesn’t matter if the controversy is caused by a football playing taking a knee during the National Anthem against racism/police brutality, a disgraced rapper tap-dancing, coonin’ it up, and running a Minstrel Show for his massas at the White House, or an edgelord “Babby’s first fucked up anime” featuring a disturbing rape scene in the first episode. We love it. Love it so much that we waste time talking about whatever made us feel some type of way on social media, to our co-workers, friends, whoever may listen to us rant.
Even if we hate the thing that caused the controversy, we can’t help but talk about it.
Let’s take the newest Fall anime Goblin Slayer for example. Anime fan circles online are at abuzz at towards the new show. Not because it’s a great show or anything like that. But because (as previously mention), it’s an edgelord, shit-tier anime that featured the brutal gang rape of a female character and a young girl being stabbed to death. In fact, Goblin Slayer (the manga) heavily features violence against women (meat shield lmfao). And you already know that Left-Wing liberal college brats with useless college degrees and confusing genders are all up in their feelings about the first episode and the manga series as a whole.
They have gone to their tumblrs and their twitters to rant about how Goblin Slayer is a male-power/ rape fantasy series and believes that it trains males to disrespect and assault women. Others stated that if you like the show, you’re probably an edgy little brat who thinks violence in anime makes it mature.
They’re just giving the show free promotion at this point.
It’s funny: You’d think people would have the sense to not speak about the things they hate in order to not get it noticed. As we all know, that method never works. The more you talk about something you don’t like, the more awareness you bring to it. The more awareness it gains, the more it’ll grow. Example: Idiotic Right Wing conservatives (racially charged) rampage against former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and his deal with Nike. Kaepernick got a nice paycheck with his “Just Do It” advisement using his stance, activism, and platform.
Old, white men and women didn’t like that and decided to destroy their already-paid $50 Nikes that their poor, broke ass brought from Shoe Carnival or Ross’s (nobody isn’t stupid enough to destroy $150+ Air Force Ones, Jordan’s, or exclusives Nike shoes). Their anger simply only helped out the Nike brand and caused Nike to see an increase in sales – all because they couldn’t stop talking about their hatred Kaepernick and Nike’s supporting him.
And then Nike played everyone and use the funds to support Right Wing politicians.
As a child of the 90s, I am not a stranger to dealing with controversial against the things I love. The Simpsons (back when it was a great series) got a lot of heat for showing how truly fucked up the American family can be. Violent video games such as Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto, and Postal ¸ where under attack by family groups. Wrestling – especially The WWF, was considered too immoral for TV. Yet, despite the controversy and protests by parent groups, the government, and other entities, these things strived and generated sales and popularity from the backlash. Why? Because people are naturally curious about terrible things. They check it out and see that whatever shit is causing the uproar isn’t all that bad.
I think people just feel good talking about the things they hate (or love)
With that said, If you are going to ask me how I am going to deal with the controversy behind Goblin Slayer as an anime fan here’s my answer:
(Speaking of controversy, you should totally check out one of my favorite yet controversial blog post: Pirating Does NOT Hurt the Anime Industry and share it on social media so I can make people mad at me and have them talk about the article and my blog. I wanna make high-horse moral weebs in their feelings.)
FOLLOW ME ON THESE VARIOUS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS:
An Slow Idiot and Why Should Have Been Hard on Myself
Planning for Anime Weekend Atlanta went smoothly; despite it being a last minute con for me. As smoothly as somebody falling down a rugged mountain with jagged rocks and tearing their flesh apart. Originally, I wasn’t even planning on going to AWA. I was focused on putting my resources towards attending Anime Expo (which was a highly successful trip for me), and then Michigan for my friend’s wedding (which was canceled due to his girlfriend’s father having to do military-duty shit). With my friend’s wedding being canceled, I took any funds that I saved up for the wedding trip towards AWA. And weed. And liquor. And clothes.
So I’m kinda bad on saving and spending my money on stupid shit.
In any case, I had to remind myself that I had to be strict with my money management skills as I was the only one on my team who was going to AWA – initially. For once, I was going to a con solo without any outside help (I had gone to Collosalcon 2015 by myself but I roomed with strangers, so that doesn’t count). I had the funds saved to book myself a flight, buy a badge, and provide other needs for myself. My sights were focused on being an independent weeaboo who didn’t need anyone to help him on his weeaboo festival trips. It was going to be uncomfortable but in order to grow and improve you need that uncomforted.
Then – against all my best judgment and my gut feeling – I got back into my comfort zone.
My friend, “Sub-Zero” (A Sub-Zero cosplayer) hit me up and asked if I had a room for AWA. I was going to shoot him down, but I figured having extra funds with two people splitting the room would help me. Plus, extra funds meant I could stay in Atlanta for one more day and explore the Downtown area. I let him join me. Plus, he too wanted to stay in ATL a day extra so it worked out (or it would…).
A few days later, my friend “Noctis” (A Notctis cosplayer) hit me up asking if I had room for him. I wanted to say no, but he was having a bad time mentality and wanted to go to the con. Plus, he wanted to help me build our brand and get us noticed in the Southeast. So, of course, I had to let my boy join in on the fun. He has skills that I lacked in terms of brand building and a natural leader of sorts. Plus, more money in my pocket for that Sunday ATL adventure.
An adventure that never came to be among other things thanks to a bummy ass nigga.
A week later, my “friend” “Bummy Ass Nigga Who Thinks He’s The MC of a Harem Anime” asked if we had room in our hotel. I immediately lied and said “no”; being all-so-aware of the drama he caused my crew at AWA 2017 (I was chilling with another friend for the weekend, so I avoided 99.9% of their drama). Sadly, the bum ass nigga revealed that Nactus had told him Sub-Zero and I was seeking people to help room with us. The lie didn’t work. Fuck. I (reluctantly) let him join us – causing things to go downhill quick in planning.
Here’s where I should have been hard on myself.
Despite if “Bummy Ass Nigga Who Thinks He’s The MC of a Harem Anime” would have gotten in his feelings (as he often does when things don’t go his way), I should have fuckin’ lied to him and told him we weren’t looking for anyone. I would rather look like a liar in his eyes and never speak to him again based on that lie than to deal with con drama (that drained everyone mentality). We had more than enough funds set aside to cover the hotel. My greed, and being a cheap ass, got the better of me. What’s worse is that a day before he asked to room with us, my co-worker got fired; therefore, I picked up all his hours (which gave me more than enough extra funds for the trip). But nah. I wanted to be a “good friend” – against all judgment and logic.
The first of our problems came about when “Bummy Ass Nigga Who Thinks He’s The MC of a Harem Anime”, Noctus, and I had all meet up for them to pay me their share of the room. “Bummy Ass Nigga Who Thinks He’s The MC of a Harem Anime” suggested earlier that we should rent a car to drive down to ATL because his car couldn’t make the trip (and he was fearful that his car would get damaged by a deer like last year during their trip). Despite my gut. telling me to say no and book a flight instead, I went ahead and agreed with the rental idea. He needed about $70 from each person for the car. I told him that it would make logical sense for him to keep $70 of the money he owed me for his share of the hotel. He protested against the idea; telling me to keep his part of the money.
Should have pressed the issue.
Fuck me and my stupidity.
The next day, he went to the car rental place (he claimed). Apparently, he needed a $200 deposit to rent the car…despite him showing us a screenshot online of the rental details (unless he purposely hid that info in the screenshot which I heavily suspect). Fucking idiot. He suggested that we should meet up at our friend’s house again to resolve the issue. An issue he should had researched weeks beforehand by asking me for the money he told me to keep. Even though I told him multiple times that it would have been beneficially for the crew if he would have kept it from the get-go. I’m pissed. I just did a 10-hour shift at the gig running on only 5 hours of sleep. I just wanted to go home, smoke weed, and sleep. But those things never happened. Like an actual harem MC (Makoto from School Days) he truly lacked common sense and reasoning.
We had to suffer for it.
The day before the con brought a surprise that everyone was expecting: He didn’t get the rental. He gave us this long-winded, sob story how he was a shitty friend and that he was going to make it all up for us and get things right. He was on that abuser type shit trying to make amends for his shitty behavior to his battered victims (who he would blame/gaslight us for their abuse). Oh. He made things up alright. By using our money that was supposed to be for the rental and put it towards repairs on his car – that would benefit him in the long-run – not us. The repairs cost “$270” for a tune-up and oil change. Which, to be honest, doesn’t seem like it would run anyone $270. But what do I nor Noctus know who suspected he was trying to scam us for money?
The next day, We arrived at our hotel after a surprisingly smooth seven-hour ride from St. Louis to Atlanta. We got to the hotel and I decide to take a few “we made it” shots and got myself drunk. Sub-Zero went to get his badge leaving me and “Bummy Ass Nigga Who Thinks He’s The MC of a Harem Anime” alone in the room. He revealed something that would have made me murder him if I had absolutely nothing to lose.
The repair costs that he claimed were $270?
It was actually $450+. And he was actually “broke”.
So “broke” that he could only afford a badge and food.
Oh and he owed Sub-Zero $100+. Money that was supposed to cover the room and allowed me to keep an extra $100 in my own pockets.
I arrived at my hotel. I went over to my table where my crew’s bottles of liquor and mixer were. I took two shots of my friend’s E&J (sorry Rath!). After that, I grabbed a glass and specific bottles and mixers: Vodka, Captain Morgan Apple Smash, Midori, Pineapple Juice, and Sprite. One-by-one, I pour the liquids in the glass. Thanks to the efforts of the Apple Smash and Midori, the drink gave off a lovely green color. Perfect.
Just Monika I said to myself.
Just Monika is a cocktail I created for a party that I was going to throw at another hotel I had reversed (which was canceled due to unforeseen events). Initially, I was going to debut it at the party to celebrate DDLC’s first anniversary, but shit happened and I decided to do it for a friend’s party I was bartending for. I started sipping on it, letting the alcohol enhance my dark side and get me further in my zone (more on the dark side and “the zone” at the end of the chapter)
I hopped in the cold shower (cold showers help me stay awake when I’m tired) and kept Saiyan Pride on repeat. All my focus was on being the best genderswap Monika I could be (and in the world). I want people to recognize me. I want racist DDLC cosplayers to be mad at me for being a black man cosplayer a white/Asian character. I wanted to install fear in any other males doing a genderswap DDLC cosplay at the con. My aim isn’t to compete with other Monika cosplayers: Most are either women or dudes wearing skirts. I want(ed) to stand out (which I will explain in about five paragraphs below)
(Also, not gonna lie: There was a Monika cosplayer – who knew she had an ass and wasn’t shy about showing it off in a very short skirt who walked past me as I was returning to my hotel. I lowkey was thinking of shooting my shot with her in my cosplay if I saw her again.
Thank God for Atlanta.
Thank God for thick women.)
I got out of the shower, put on my Monika cosplay, and hit the con floor. And of fucking course, my legendary bad luck in cosplay had to hit me hard. I was the only Monika on the con floor. Awesome! But there weren’t any other DDLC cosplayers about. This always happen to me: Whenever I decide to put on a cosplay from a fandom, nobody is around. But when I am in not in cosplay it’s like everyone wants to wear their shit (hell, back in 2016 at Anime St. Louis, there was about 3-5 Umineko: When They Cry cosplayers in a group; a year where I decided to not wear my Goat Butler cosplayer, but I digress).
Maybe I should do my cosplays in the morning instead of in the late afternoon/night.
Not only that, nobody knew who I was cosplaying as or from. I had this problem at Anime Expo when I first did my Monika cosplay and I was doing it solo. I figured that the reason why I wasn’t being noticed was that I didn’t have her ribbon. To fix that mistake I went ahead and ordered one on Amazon for AWA…expect it was small as hell and wasn’t the size of Monika’s gigantic bow. Now that I think about it, I think I might just forego the hair ribbon and get a white headband without a bow and wrap it around the ponytail of my wig (imagine Ryu’s white headband from the Street Fighter Alpha/Zero series). Plus, I refused to wear a skirt for reasons.
The thing about these types of cosplay as a male is that every male fucking wears a skirt. If I was to wear one, I would be no different. Sure, I have my race as an advantage, but that is something I was born with that I can’t control: easy mode. I rather work smarter and harder to be different. I much rather have a blazer tailored made to fit my body type than to get a generic DDLC school blazer off some cosplay site.
I also am not a fan of competition. There are more female Monika cosplayers than male. I can’t compete against them: they’ll win. The average male Monika cosplayer wears a skirt as previously mentioned. Again, won’t compete against that. I rather dominate by taking a different route; making you Monika cosplayers study my style once I master that cosplay and get in known on a global scale.
You male Monika cosplayers can wear a skirt and be like every other males.
You guys can get your Monika cosplay outfits off ebay and Amazon.
I’m going to stand out – like Monika herself.
(My version of Monika is inspired by the Business Casual fashion look, so that’s why I wear jeans instead of a skirt. The example pictured below):
After being disappointed that nobody knew who I was cosplaying as, I headed back to my room out of discouragement (plus, a friend of mines told me he could smell the alcohol on my breath [I had taken more shots with a friend in his room prior] and advise me to get rid of it, rest up, and sober up. Thank you, John, for being real), a Froppy-Chan (My Hero Academia) cosplayer along with two of her male friends spotted me. “Are you Monika?” she said with a smile. I took off my sunglasses to make eye contact with her, replied with a smile, and said “yes”. We started talking about the game, the themes of it, and our favorite characters – although short because I was drunk as hell.
Man, she was cute. Maybe if I wasn’t drunk I could have more of a deeper conversation with her about the game’s themes. Maybe shoot my shot with her and make her male friends jealous at and hate on me.
Is it horrible for me to be inspired to sober up in order to either take somebody’s else woman or make her male friends mad at me cuz we were vibing a little bit? Yes. But it did awaken something deep inside me: What if I just not use a strong substance like liquor and have fun cosplaying as Monika and talk to women naturally who know the character? Even if I don’t get “physical activities” at the end, I still had done these things:
1. I made somebody happy that I was cosplaying as their favorite character and that would have brightened their day.
2. I could have made a female friend that was based on mutual, platonic interests and learn what makes women click and get advice on women by women.
3. It’ll be on some self-improvement shit. One Percent Better.
Maintaining my smile, I held my head up high and marched back to my room to recover and freshen up for the night. Even if one stranger knew who I was cosplaying as; that was it for me. Well, not really. I wanted more people to know me for my cosplay. It was motivation for me to keep doing it. Keep improving. Find flaws and errors in my cosplay and work on them. Always seeking to better myself.
This time around, I was going to do and act better. Don’t you fucking dare drink any liquor tonight, Benjamin. You don’t need that shit to talk to women or anyone else. Be you even if you’re cosplaying tonight.
Let me tell you guys something: This worked in my favor. More on that in a later chapter.
Way later in the night, I was walking around in my Monika cosplay, scanning the scene after the late night parties ended and the “secret panel” proved to be a bit boring for me without my friends around (who had retired to the hotel after a few conflicts and bullshit among us). I am about to leave when I hear a girl with a few male friends say “Hey Monika, come over here!” I walked over to her direction and she was all smiles and giddily about seeing a Monika cosplayer.
We started talking about DDLC and about our favorite characters. I remember her saying like how she likes Monika because of how it looks like she sticks her ass out when she talks to you (in her sprite) and how she wanted to select Monika but she didn’t have a route. I wanted to chop up some game with and spit but I didn’t proceed for a few reasons:
1. She looked underage. Which, now that I think about it at the time of this writing, she probably wasn’t; Given her and her crew were sitting outside the 18+ secret panel room (and the area the blocked off for anyone under 18) and they had beers. I blame myself for being an idiot who didn’t take a power nap to regain my mental focus after being up for 17+ hours with only 5-6 hours of sleep the night prior.
She had about three guys with her. It’s not that I’m scared of any dudes around their female friend(s), but given my mental fatigue, there was no way I could have an advantage for myself to spit game with her and beat out the competition (this is going to sound pretty fucked up but trust me; usually if a woman has a few dudes around her, they’re trying to get in her pants. This isn’t always true, however).
Oh well. A lesson that I had to learn to apply in the future (but at least I’ve gotten over my fears of talking to women and I accepted the fact I don’t need liquor to talk to them and be the best version of myself when I’m interacting with them)
Going back to the visual novel panel, I remember Chris saying how the Fate series completely dominated the visual novel anime genre (as it is the most popular VN anime of all time with how strong it’s going). Which is funny, because last year, I was attending a panel ran by Kana Ueda – the voice actress for Rin Tohsaka from the fate series. She talked about how for her, attending Anime Weekend Atlanta with her fellow voice actors and reuniting with a veteran Japanese voice who was once her mentor was “fate” (for them meeting there). Hearing Chris words on the VN scene, seeing people who still have a passion for it, and cosplaying as Monika, I couldn’t help but reflect on Ueda’s statement on fate.
Perhaps it was fate for me to go to that visual novel panel, network with him (being unaware that of his work Anime News Network), talking to people about how visual novels made them happy and being upset that the genre is on the decline. Was it fate that I saw that Hanyuu cosplayer after having two When They Cry related dreams? I guess. Did fate lead me to that Floppy-chan and that girl who was happy that I was cosplaying as Monika and made me want to do better with it and inspired me to not throw in the towel? Who knows?
As I am finishing this chapter out, I am reminded of a Facebook post I made about how I remember when the fate series was a bit of an obscure VN series that was popular in Japan, but didn’t get much traction in the Western otaku market beyond your hardcore VN fans. This wasn’t on some hipster, “I knew about the series before it was popular” shit: It was me being in awe that a game made by people of humble background reached heights that nobody could imagine for the genre or in anime fandom in general.
Some dumbass accused me of being a hipster and stated that “nobody gives a fuck about shitty visual novels”. I laughed. A week later, I was in Los Angeles for Anime Expo. I was walking around the Downtown area where my eyes met this massive Fate/Grand Order poster hanging over a bank. I was with my friend (whom I told him about the dumbass saying that bullshit) and we laughed. I wanted to post a picture I took of the poster and replied to his comment saying If nobody gave a fuck about shitty visual novels why they got this poster out here? on some petty shit.
To the dumbass who said that here’s something for you:
My unforgiving pettiness aside, I really do hope the visual novel genre does make a comeback. I’ll do more cosplays from it. Hell, even if it doesn’t, I’ll keep doing it – no matter what.
Continued in Chapter 3.
In the book Relentless by Tim Grover, Tim speaks on two accepts of the human’s psyche: “The Zone” and “The Dark Side”. The Zone is the dark, quiet lonely place within your mind. You shut everything in the world out to be in your own. It’s a calm, relaxing, and focused place.
The Dark Side is that: The darkness part of your mind where only you know your deepest, true desires – your true self (Persona lol). Rather than let your dark side control and ultimately – destroy you – you control it. You use the darkest parts of your personality to push yourself towards you end goal(s).
JUST MONIKA COCKTAIL:
1oz Light Rum
1oz Captain Morgan Apple Smash
4oz pineapple juice
Top with Sprite
Combine Ingredients sans Sprite in a shaker. Shake vigorously. Pour mixture in a Collins glass. Top with sprite. You can also rock the ingredinets with sprite and then pour the mixture into a Collins glass.
(The only reason why I used vodka in this story because my dumbass left my light rum in a homeboy’s hotel room the night before)
Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) left me starving. Starving for more. More networking opportunity. More ways to get my name out there. More ways to improve myself. On the final day of the convention, my crew and I went to smoke a blunt on our hotel’s garage parking rooftop before leaving our city for an eight-hour trip back home to St. Louis. As we smoked, we spoke about our successes and “failures”. Wins and losses. Triumphs and disappointments. Out of my team, I had the most wins; since I set my sights to hit the majority of my goals (such as making money bartending at a friend’s room party, networking with people within the industry, etc.).
They congratulated me for success and were happy for me.
But I wasn’t.
Sure, I hit a few goals. I went out and did what I was supposed to do build my brand. You’re not supposed to be praised for doing your job like everyone else. I wasn’t happy that I didn’t do more. I was disappointed at myself for allowing myself to get sidetracked and play myself. However, these disappointments, combined with my success started to fire me up. Disappointment turned into desire. Desire turned into drive. Drive turned into action and planning.
For once in my life, I was excited to go back home after a vacation. I needed to go back so I could plan out the next year con season, write about my adventures. And of course, work my ass off for the next con season and come back completely dominating it.
Anime Weekend Atlanta left me starving.
On Friday, I went to a panel that caught my attention weeks prior: “Whatever Happened to Visual Novel Anime?”. I have a slight interest in the genre and was wondering why visual novels and anime based on the niche have been on the decline for the past 3-7 years. I went; seeking knowledge from somebody who was much wiser than myself.
The panel started. The host introduced himself, spoke about his passion for visual novels ,and revealed an amazing fact about himself: The panelist – Chris Adamson – is a writer for Anime News Network.
I had to network with him; no matter what.
I was in awe by the deep knowledge Chris dropped on us about the history of visual novels anime and why they were not as popular as they were back in the 2000s. The answers were “simple”, yet layered with complex facts. The facts included the following: the lack of effort and innovation from VN creators. Long-time fans losing interest. Animators struggling to add every minor detail form the visual novels into the anime version. There were also the lack of sales of products relating to the anime and visual novels.
Chris broke down every little detail with graphs, pictures, videos, audio, cited sources, sales figures, you name it. He was armed and prepared to attack us with knowledge and education. Clearly, he studied this genre with depth. Clearly, he was passionate about visual novels and wants it to see it recover from its slump.
At the end of the panel, he left the floor open for questions. I shoot my hand up high in the air before anyone else (if you’re ain’t first your last) and asked him this question:
Do you think there will a renaissance of visual novels and anime based on anime, and if they the VN industry does crash, do you see it rising from its ashes?
I’ve since forgotten most of Chris’s reply (thanks to smoking weed all weekend and being an idiot for not recording the panel), but he brought up an interesting point: He does believe that visual novels could come back, thanks to the success of the American visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC) with its innovating meta-narrative (he even suggests that a DDLC anime could work through streaming services with Monika going through your watch history, fucking with the audio/video, etc.). Chris also mentioned that with more Americans entering the VN fray that could lead to the niche revival from a Western’s standpoint.
After the panel, I was completely floored and astonished by his wisdom. I had to network with him. Deep down in me, there was a fire building up. The fire of craving more knowledge. There were other guys with me who also had that fire in them. Out of the 20-30 people in attendance, only five of us stay after the panel (to speak with Chris). Two were working on their own visual novels, two were fans of the genre and also hungry for more knowledge, and of course, me; who was moved by this.
As we were finishing talking, a Yuri and Natsuki (DDLC) cosplayers walked past us. We all smiled as we were just talking about DDLC earlier. I smiled even harder; as it got me excited to rock my Monika genderswap cosplay the next morning on Day 3.
And by the next morning, I mean I decided to have shots of rum for breakfast and plotted to wear my “No Coonin’!” shirt to The People of Color (I fucking hate how black people us that term as a black man) Photoshoot in hopes of offending any self-hating Uncle Toms/Coons/Nergo Bed Wench nigga nerds with it at the shoot instead of cosplaying as Monika at the shoot.
Which, said plot was used against me.
I arrived at the shoot. Since it was a multi-media shoot, the host had people take group photos by genre (movies, anime, comics, etc.). Of course, you had cosplayers from comics, video games, and anime. Mainstream shit. However, nobody was cosplaying from any visual novels series (a testament of the decline of interest towards visual novels). I was sad and angry. Sad because there aren’t many Black nerds who are into visual novels. Angry at myself for deciding to (unsuccessfully) troll people with my shirt and not going to the shoot with wearing my Monika cosplay.
This is me being utterly arrogant, but I don’t give a shit: If I would have gone with that Monika cosplay, I would have been the only Black cosplayer in that group doing a visual novel character cosplay. Is Doki Doki Literature Club a normie tier meme visual novel? Yes. But it’s still a visual novel. And I would have earned that honor and respect of doing something out of the norm. A black man. Doing a gendswap cosplay. Of a visual novel character. A piece of media which black people don’t really fuck with.
I could have spoken good game about the visual novel niche and get my fellow Black nerds hip on it. I could have introduced people who never played a VN before into a new world; which in turn could have gotten people into playing them.
But I’m a fucking idiot.
(By the way, there’s going to be more of my arrogance later. Please leave if you’re offended by people having pride in themselves and their passion).
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
From The POC Cosplayer Shoot
I left the POC shoot and decided to take a few pics inside the convention center. As I’m wandering around I spot a black woman wearing a shrine maiden outfit. Red pants, disconnected sleeves, white top, and purple hair. For a split second, I thought she was cosplaying as the PC98 era Reimu from Touhou (Highly Responsive to Prayers, Lotus Land Story, etc.) and I was smiling from ear-to-ear at the “fact” that there was a black woman cosplaying as the old-school version of Red Sanae.
Upon further inspection, she wasn’t wearing Reimu’s trademark red bow, but rather black horns with cracks in them.
Wait, is she cosplaying as Hanyuu from Higurashi I asked myself.
I poked her on her shoulder and asked. She smiled and I started to geeked out. Somebody still has love for Higurashi and is cosplaying at the con; (to my knowledge) she was the only Higurashi cosplayer at the con. Either way, I was just fucking happy to see somebody cosplay as a character from one of my favorite visual novel anime series.
I took her picture of course and told her that her cosplay was lovely. My only regret is that I didn’t tell her I appreciate her for cosplay as a Higurashi character and that it made me want to do a When They Cry cosplay again (I used to cosplay as Goat Butler from Umineko for a while). I should had left my friends behind and let them go back to the hotel while I chopped up some game with the woman.
It’s funny because days prior to AWA, I had two When They Cry related dreams. The first dream was of me at Anime Weekend Atlanta. I was cosplaying as a genderswap Bernkastel, but I got kicked out from the con for being too drunk (Bernkastel drinks wine and gets drunk so I had to play the role you know even in my dreams), not wearing my badge, and telling con staff that I don’t give a fuck about having a badge.
The second one was of me at Anime Expo. I was wearing a way better version of my Goat Bulter cosplay. As I was walking out and about there was a group of Umineko cosplayers. A Bernkastel cosplayer spotted me and asked if I wanted to join them for a few photos, which I agreed to.
And then I woked up.
Back to reality. I marched back to my hotel. I started listening to an interview with Tim Grover (author of Relentless, the trainer of Basketball icons such as Kobe Byrant, Dwayne Wade, and Micheal Jordan). I was trying to think of a plan as I prep for my Monika cosplay. I was overanalyzing and overthinking. I remember in the first chapter of Relentless Grover stated the best don’t think,
They act. On instinct. And let their instincts do the work.
From that thought, I turned off the interview and started to listen to Saiyan Pride from Dragon Ball Super on repeat. The echoing piano notes. The percussion building up to the arrival the horns, strings, and bells. I was entering my Zone. I was inviting my Dark Side to do the work. Tunnel vision and laser focus.
I wasn’t going to allow myself to fuck up further.
This is The Yuki Half-Time Report, sponsored by Crunchyroll!* We’re halfway through Cells At Work with only seven episodes reminding. How does Cells At Work! stand right now?
Cells at Work is still going strong despite some minor issues I have with its progression. While I do like the show, it’s clear that the show is following a formulated plot guideline: Introduce the monster-of-the-week (bacteria, infection, virus, etc.), break down how they attack the body, let them do their business, good guys defeat them. Done. Next.
I am not a fan of this: it’s boring and a bit played out in my eyes. With episode 6 being set up as a two-parter or story arc where our heroes are facing off against a cancerous cell it seems that the formula is taking a break (for now).
I’m disappointed that the Type A Influenza enemy problem from episode 3 wasn’t resolved in episode 4. This left me wondering what happened and why this was skipped. The writers went to another storyline and I’m not too happy with that – especially since it was set up as if it was going to be a two-parter episode. If you’re going to set something up, resolve it, It looks goofy when you don’t and you got people wondering what happened.
.Cells At Work retains its cute charm which continues to work in synergy with the educational and action sides of the show The art and animation remain consistent (although I admit that I’m not trained in spotting animation errors) and there haven’t been any major changes to the art.
Storywise, there hasn’t been any changes to its simple manner. Again, bad guys show up, good guys win. There are some slice-of-life scenes here and there but nothing to write home about. Episode 6 featured a flashback story for the first half with how Red Blood Cell-Chan came to life, got assigned to her job, and meeting White Blood Cell-Kun. She was a clumsy, goofy, and cheerful in her childhood as she is now as an adult.
With the cancerous cell making its appearance in episode 6 going into episode 7 it appears that the show will be taking a serious, drama-driven approach. My predictions going into the future of the show? There will be a few character deaths on and off screens from the cancer cells. Things will be dark and painful but I can’t wait for it.
With that said I hope you enjoy this halftime report. I’ll catch you guys in the next one.
*Legal disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Crunchyroll lmfao I pirate most of their shows. (And there goes any chances of me being sponsored by them ever)
I hate romantic comedy in any form of media – especially in anime; as most romcom anime are unrealistic and littered with cheap, perverted jokes. From my reviews on My Girlfriend is a Shobitch and Hajimate no Gal, it’s clear I detest this genre. These shows were clearly written by otaku virgins who never had a relationship with the opposite sex and are living out their weird, lonely otaku fantasies through anime. So, when I discovered that J.C. Staff’s latest project, Hi Score Girl, was not only a (loose) history piece of the second arcade boom in Japan, but a romantic comedy as well, I was I amazed by how they show a realistic portray of a relationship blooming and evolving over time.
May I dare say that this romcom anime has even charmed me by how pure the relationship between main characters Akira and Harou is? You take two characters who’re seemly “opposite” of each other but somehow, they click. Akira’s the popular, high-class rich girl who excels in every subject – performance arts included. She’s the type of girl that every boy in school wants to date and every girl wish to be. Harou, however, is “hopeless”. His scholarly performance is a joke. Artistic skills? None. He gets teased often by his peers for his bad grades. He rather wastes his day ruling over at his castle: the local arcade, installing fear in peasants with his mastery in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (SF2).
Harou believes that Akira is out of his league. Can’t blame him for his wrong line of thinking.
Akira, despite her academic achievements and financial background, loves playing video games. In reality, she’s socially awkward, can’t make friends, doesn’t express herself verbally, and hates that her family controls her life. She visits the arcades often to escape her rigid lifestyle, blow off steam, and be her true self. Funny enough, like Harou, Akira is an SF2 player – except she’s the top player in their scene – as Harou will learn the hard way.
After witnessing Akira’s 30 win-streak performance against other players in SF2 Harou challenges her. He loses to her Zangief – badly. To save his pride, Harou defeats Akira by using Guile’s defensive “Turtle” style and “cheap” throws tactics. Akira gets pissed and starts attacking him; it’s the start of their rivalry that will bloom into friendship and eventually, the two having feelings for one another. During their summer vacation, the two hang out at various arcades, testing their skills against each other and thus deepening their bond.
For Harou, he’s happy he has an equal. For Akira, she’s happy that she finally made a friend.
Right from the start, Hi Score Girl destroys the bullshit idea that opposite attracts we see in romance-based media by having our main characters falling for each other over a mutual interest: competitive video gaming. Let me ask you people who have a mate a question: How did you guys fall for each other? Surely it wasn’t the fact you guys were opposite of each other. It was because you and your mate had things that click with each other and that turned you on towards them. Sure, there are some differences, but overall, you were drawn to them through your similarities (and other factors of course).
Social and scholar level wise, Harou and Akira can’t even compare. Akira shouldn’t be hanging around with a “stupid” kid like Harou. Harou shouldn’t have the chance to be with Akira. Still, they were able to overcome those minor differences. They grew close through their powerful love for competitive gaming, relentless desire to win, and mending their after-school loneliness. Who cares for social status differences when you and your friend vibe over a powerful passion? What’s good are having excellent grades, popularity, and cash flow when you’re lonely and your parents dictate your life?
Those superficial ideas don’t matter when they’re outweighed by shared attractiveness on a deeper level beyond mere opposites.