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Anime convention 0

I’m Starving (Or How Anime Weekend Atlanta Left Me Wanting More): Chapter 3

Chapter 2 

Chapter 3:

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.

pirate_erika.jpg

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.

makoto_school_days.jpg
The differences between Makoto and my “friend” is that at least Makoto had the skills and talent to be a player. My “friend, not so much.

 


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.

Fuck me. Fuck me and my kindness.

Contituned in Chapter 4.

 

 

 

 

Anime convention 0

I’m Starving (Or How Anime Weekend Atlanta Left Me Wanting More): Chapter 2

Chapter 1

Chapter 2:
Visual Novels (Part 2)

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.)

shrug_monika.png

 

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).

Shit.
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):

Jeans-should-be-avoided-unless-approved-by-management.jpg
What my Monika cosplay is based off

 

 

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My Monika cosplay.  I really need a brown beard dye  and wig freeze spray lmfao

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.

  1. 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.

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To the dumbass who said that here’s something for you:

gohan_chill!.png

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.

NOTES:

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
2oz Midori
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)

Business Casual image source:
https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/business-casual-men-attire/

Anime convention 4

I’m Starving (Or How Anime Weekend Atlanta Left Me Wanting More): Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Visual Novels (Part 1)

 

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.

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Note to self: Let the camera autofocus before snapping a pic.

 

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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.

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Coon train is coming!

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).

 

 

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.

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The Hanyuu cosplayer.
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.

I’m going to win. I said to myself.

(Continued in Chapter 2)

WHERE I COPPED THE “No Coonin’!” SHIRT:
https://shop.spreadshirt.com/theunapologeticblackman/

Hi Score Girl 1

Why Hi Score Girl Works As A Romantic Comedy Anime/Manga: Part 1

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.

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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.

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A friend that she likes to beat up, but a friend regardless. 

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.

Continued in Part 2.

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Spoilers for you non-manga readers my bad yall! 

 

 

 

Cells At Work 2

Osmosis Jones, But For Weeaboos (Cells At Work First Impressions)

You’re a science teacher in Japan.  You’re passionate about teaching children about cells and how they work. Yet, your students don’t give a damn about that shit.  They’re some stupid ass, Bebe Kids ass, hopeless ass children who don’t wanna learn anything in life.  No matter how hard you try to make learning interesting, they refuse (to learn).

You decide to fail them all – you have no hope for their future.

You head home after a stressful day of dealing with those dumb ass kids.  You kick back with a can of beer in one hand while having a blunt in another as you watch TV. Bill Nye The Science Guy – an American educational classic showing kids how much science rules – comes on. A smile appears on your drunken, stoned face as you remember how much Bill Nye inspired you to become a science teacher with his down-to-earth, caring, and loving approach to science education.

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Bill Nye before his happiness was ruined by stupidity. 

Bill Nye ends and it’s followed by a classic cult movie: Osmosis Jones – a comedy movie about Ozzy, a disgraced white blood cell cop who, with the help of his partner Drix, defends the sickly body of some depressed zookeeper with unhealthy grief coping skills. After watching both the movie and Bill Nye you get inspired to come up with your own manga series to entertain children while also valuing their education by teaching them about cells and the human body.  You down another beer, roll up another blunt, and relentlessly get to work on this new project for the next few months.

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You retain the White Blood Cell character from Osmosis Jones; making him a stoic killer of germs instead of a street-smart cop. Drix? You replaced him with a cute yet clumsy girl, giving her the role of a red blood cell. As you brainstorm ideas for different cells, you come up with cool designs that will appeal to both children and adults.  The children of Japan need this. It may be too late for your slow ass students to learn anything but future children will appreciate your efforts. Once you finish the first draft you pitch it to Kodansha.

They love it.

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Ozzy & Drix The Comic Book

Over time, this manga becomes a sleeper hit – mostly because you made the Red Blood Cell a waifu character that everyone will look up ero doujins of her getting a train ran on her  by the Killer T cells troops along with Macrophage-Chan – but because of how innovating your manga was in terms of teaching people about how cells work.  And that’s how Cells At Work became to be.

Trust me: My father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate used to be drinking buddies with Akane Shimzu and he told me this on the phone last night.

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Bullshit aside, I’m impressed by Cells At Work.  It’s secretly adorable and I admire how the creative forces behind it use Shounen style action to sell its educational value to fans. Furthermore, the roles of the cells and how they interact with each other are explained in a down-to-earth manner. If you’re a complete idiot like when it comes to science, you won’t be lost, confused, or feeling even dumber than you already are.

(And trust me: You’re probably just as dumb as I am thanks to the American education system.)

Cells At Work is a  simple anime (which is good because it doesn’t need to be complex or deep for the show to share its message).   Each episode, there’s a situation with the human’s body is attacked by a variety of ailments such as basic germs attacking the city in episode one,  an invading army of infections in episode two, and the world battling against invasive bacteria in episode 3.  They win of course, but in that classic rule of three (episodes) style, they get fucked up and ROFLstomp by the series’ first major enemy. In this case, it’s Type A Influenza.

Granted, the heroes will win through some asspull bullshit by episode four.

Main character Red Blood Cell-chan (RBC-Chan) is a clumsy girl trying her best on her first day at her new delivery job.  During a delivery run, she (along with the citizens of the “world” of the human body) are attacked by monsters – germs attacking the body. They’re about to be killed when supporting hero White Blood Cell comes to save them by mercilessly butchering and slaughtering the germs with combat knives.

As with any Shounen series, Cells At Work uses violent action to keep fans engaged.  We are first hinted at this fact during the OP; which features a squad of White Blood Cells, armed with knives, hunting down a germ. This is followed up by an elegant maid walking around gracefully in a flower field…and she’s carrying a giant ax while her hands and face are covered in blood.

What makes Cells At Work works (besides the violence) is the usage of implanting classic anime tropes and personality with each cell. The Killer T Cells are personified as merciless, battle harden combat vets, the  Helper T cell becomes a military commander,  Macrophage cells are portrayed as elegant, classy maids who like to chop up their victims with their giant axes and blades.

Do you remember those educational “entertaining” science films back in school?  You know what I mean – they’re cheesy, boring, trying too hard to have style but it’s so dry.  Cells At Work throws that shit away while still retaining the knowledge.  Knowledge at a simple level but still knowledge regardless.  That’s why famous personalities – may they be fictional or not, such as Bill Nye, Carl Sagen, Miss Frizzle, and Ozzy (Ozzy and Drix) are beloved.  They taught us the knowledge of science through their unique personalities. Of course, I’m not saying you’re going to get layered, in-depth personalities for each character compared to story-driven anime series such as Durarara or Monogatari  but when you’re selling an anime centered around science and the human body you better make it entertaining.

As of this writing, I’m caught up to  episode four  (somehow that Influenza enemy thing didn’t get resolved) of the anime and from my positive reaction, I’m going to stick around with the anime until either the series end or something utter bullshit makes me turn away from it.  While I do believe it’s going to be one of the best shows of the seasons, I can’t confidently say it’s anime of the year material but we will see once the series end.

If you’re looking for a different anime series that still share the familiar style of your shounen shows while also learning why you should take care of your body and the cells in it, then Cells At Work is right for you. If not, you’re the reason why the education system is such a failure today.

(Before I go, Let me go on record that Red Blod Cell-Chan and White Blood Cell are those two co-workers that you know have a thing for each other and they’re gonna get caught fucking in the employee bathroom by the janitor when they thought everyone left the office building that night)

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Cosplay 4

Competition in Cosplay: What’s So Bad About It?

“Competition” is a dirty word in the world of cosplay. It scares and angers some; as they dread the idea of “elitists” approaching cosplay with such a mindset. Recently, I came across a tweet by @0Becki expressing concern towards those with this mentality.  They felt that cosplay is a hobby and not a competition, that they should share tips with others, and they should hang out with cosplayers (who are cosplaying as the same character).

I’ve mixed feelings about this.  I agree; cosplay is a hobby. People should share tips, be friendly,  and help others.   But they aren’t entitled to do such things.  People have the right to be competitive with their passion. Competition is natural in any field.  Competitive cosplayers enjoy it as it pushes them to work hard on their skills and talent to become the best. As long as it’s not toxic, competition isn’t bad.

We need competitive cosplayers.

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Competitive cosplayers have the driving need to win and outperform everyone else in the niche.  To them, every little detail matters to ensure victory. The perfect wig.  Professional grade makeup. The exact color contact lens.  Superior craftsmanship. They have no tolerance for error. It’s the difference between being just a cosplayer and becoming the cosplayer. First place or second place in a cosplay contest.  And trust me: nobody remembers the second place winner.  For the hobbyist cosplayer, this might be hard to understand.  That’s okay: you lack the competitor’s spirit.  Unless they attack you, don’t hate on these people.

It’s who they are – they can’t help it.

It’s funny how hobbyist cosplayers get angry at the “elitists” for their competitiveness.  Yet, they love these high-performing manga artists, ruthless anime directors, passionate game designers, what have you.  Why it’s okay to praise those people for their high levels of desire and drive but it’s wrong for cosplayers to act the same?

You’re a hypocrite if you praise one group but shame another for the same thing.

Competition is great.  It drives others to better themselves.  It forces you to become innovating.  It encourages change. If a cosplayer above your skill level trashes your cosplay, instead of being mad and pissed, use that as inspiration to prove them wrong and better your cosplay.

They talk shit about your wig (or lack of)? Buy a high-quality wig. A snobby cosplayer thinks your skirt for your cosplay is trash?  Hire the best seamstress in your community to make you one better to prove that asshole wrong.  Better yet, study the best cosplayers in your community and learn how they won rewards, got their fame, and so forth.  Use that anger, the power of the dark side as you will, to better your cosplay game so that one day, nobody will ever talk shit about your cosplay again.

Or beat their ass.  I don’t care.

REVERSAL:  Not everyone is competitive.  Hobbyist cosplayers far outnumber the competitive.  I’m not telling you to be humble or lower your standards, but keep in mind that your attitude could offend – thus furthering tainting the cosplay community. It can also ruin your reputation, which you must guard with your life.   To quote Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power: ‘Know who you’re dealing with – do not offend the wrong person.’ and ‘Think as you like but behave like others.’

Yes, be competitive but only compete with those at or above your skill level.  Simply acting arrogant and prideful towards those below your skill level will only stir up hatred and anxiety against you.  Nobody will want to work or be around you if your attitude is nasty.

If you know a group of cosplayers are having fun, don’t ruin it for them.  Suggest ways to help them improve their cosplay skills in a friendly, loving tone.  Don’t mock a cosplayer for something they can’t control (such as race, color tone, gender,  disabilities, etc.). Remember: you too were once a hobbyist cosplayer who didn’t know any better. So spread the knowledge (but not too much of it)

Sometimes, it’s better to feared than loved.  Sometimes, it’s better to be loved than hated.

Cover image source:
https://www.kotaku.com.au/2015/09/australias-best-cosplayer-will-win-this-sexy-golden-dragon/

Nerd Culture 2

Are Nerds Trendsetters? (Freewrite)

Yuki’s Note: This is unorganized and I probably got a few things wrong about nerd culture in the mainstream.  Whoops. 

I love scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing ads from companies such as Sugoi Shirts and Kaomoji.  Seeing their flamboyant Japanese street fashion inspired clothing makes me smile at the expense of my wallet.  But who cares as long as it could make me look good. I just wanna rock a fuckin’ shirt with an anime girl with a censor bar across her eyes in public!  It just makes me feel good about myself and feeds my ever growing ego. But man, who would imagine vendors online selling stylish and fashionable weeaboo shirts on Facebook?

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Nerds have come a long way since the darker days of our passion when we were shamed for simply enjoying our nerd culture.  If I were to wear my weeaboo attire 20 years ago, people would mock me.  Today? People (for the most part) tend to mind their business.  Shit, just the other day,  when I  went to my local head shop the store clerk saw my shirt and we started talking about Fate series for a few minutes (he thought my sunglasses were something based off Fate).  It was a lovely chat until he said that Rin was the worse girl in the Fate series and that Saber was the best.

I ain’t never going back to that headshop.

Anyway, you wanted to catch a superhero movie in full cosplay back in 1996 and you were over the age of 13?  You got roasted!  Now it’s the norm for people to cosplay as their favorite Marvel or DC superhero at opening night. If there was a nerd in a TV show, they were the laughing stock loser who never get the woman.  They never got anywhere.  But shows such as Silicon Valley has ended the stereotype that nerds are losers and that their hobbies won’t get them anywhere.  I gotta say, this is the golden era of the nerd.

Everything that I’ve mentioned above now leads me to this question: Are nerds trendsetters?

The obvious question is yes, of course.  In fact, I even answered the question my self.  So leave my page.  I want to say that, but I do enjoy going deeper with my theories and exploring them. We (well, I) have come up with the conclusion that nerds are trendsetters.  But why?  Why are us nerds trendsetters, and how can we take advantage of this before the inevitable nerd bubble breaks and we’re back to being shoved into lockers and having our lunch money stolen by the jocks (well, you weak nerds are getting shoved into the lockers, I’m knocking anyone out who tries to do that to me).

This is my theory:

People were tired of the old shit and wanted something new.   Everyone and their moms love reality TV, watching sports, drinking at the local bar, what have you.  Meanwhile, the nerds were in the background; creating and working on their passion. We spent our time inside, communicating with our peers, showcasing our talent online.  As time went on and technology advance bringing the advent of social media people were started to take notice of the group they once shunned away: The Nerd.

Social media lead the way for nerds to showcase their creative talent (although we’ve been doing this shit years and years  before that came along through online forums, blogs, etc.) As more people gain access to the internet, the more nerds were given exposure.  Yes, there were TV channels such as the Sci-Fi Channel, Tech TV, and g4, but they were only viewed by their niche target market.

Now?  Well, I mean they’re still being watched by their niche market, but the normies are getting into them as well.   Oh and g4 is dead.  So perhaps that doesn’t count.  Shows that were once for nerds with cahs (meaning they could afford internet and cable packages) are available through streaming services such as Hulu, Crunchyroll, Netflix, etc..   The video game industry makes more than the movie industry.   Anime is…catching up.  It still has a some catching up to do, but with anime (slowly) creeping into the mainstream, I say it won’t be long until anime in the West is treated like film.

It’s funny to think about how nerds are shaping things up.  We’re like rockstars (almost).  Seriously.  Go on YouTube right now and you see that some of the top YouTubers are people talking about video games or streaming themselves playing games.  Two decades ago folks would scream at nerds that playing games isn’t a real career.   Today? Playing video games and screaming at a game for hours on end is considered a real job. Of course, you have those normies who think that isn’t a real career, but they’re just mad that they’re slaving away at some corporate or labor gig they hate while the nerds they used to bully are making hunder of thousands of dollars playing video games.

So, to anwser my own question: Yes. Nerds are trendsetters.

 

Freewriting 0

Playing The Long Game As A Nerd (Freewrite)

 

“You still watching Dragon Ball Z, nigga?  Grow up!”
“Stop acting white! You’re too old to watch cartoons!”
“Go get some pussy and stop playing video games!”

Growing up as a (black) nerd in a backward ass Midwestern city was rough (in the early 2000s). Throughout middle and high school if you had nerdy interests, you were deemed a loser amongst your peers.   Nobody (outside your fellow outcasted nerds) wanted to fuck with you.  You were bullied, teased, and taunted for your nerdy passion.  I too dealt with my fair share of bullshit from normies who didn’t have the balls to step out of their comfort zone; unlike us nerds who didn’t fuck with that fitting in shit.

I still remember how my normie peers would tell me how being a nerd was uncool and that I need to grow up.  They claimed that video games and anime would never get me pussy, popularity, or money.  Of course, they were wrong.  Hell, even with my near grandiose levels of ego, I knew they were wrong. Mainly because  I spent my free-time shit posting and trolling gaming and anime forums communicating with older nerds who went through the same shit I was going through back then.   Many of them had wives, families, money, and status at their jobs.  Some even talked about how they hooked up with an equally nerdy chick or a dude at comic and anime conventions.

I mean shit, I looked up to Bill Gates when I in middle and high school.  Here was a nigga that  was a total nerd in his school days.  Was bullied for being a nerd, spent his weekends working on computers for 40 hours while everyone else was partying and doing stupid, unproductive shit. He played the long game with his brand and within a few decades, he became the richest men in the world.

So much for nerds being losers.

Reading about Bill Gates’s success (as well as the success of older nerds online) made me realize this at a young age:  If I’m going to dedicate my life to being a nerd and building something for myself off it,  then I better play the long game. I just knew deep down that nerd culture was going to be popular.  I just had this gut feeling that nerds and geeks in America will stop being bullied.  That we were going to be trendsetters. Game changers.  The dominant culture in entertainment (The Big Bang Theory doesn’t fuckin’ count).

At the turn of this decade (the 2010s),  my vision was coming true (for the nerd community). Blockbuster superhero movies were the norm.  Video games were treated as a respectful, valued form of entertainment.  Anime (and otaku culture) was accepted.  Anime and video game clubs were poppin’ up in high schools across America.  While nerds were still being bullied, it was happening far less often then decades past.  Kids were free to wear their favorite anime or superhero shirt without fear of being teased or mock.  Conventions were getting mainstream attention.  Being a nerd was now consider cool.

Playing my first long game paid off.

Playing the long game with your passion isn’t easy.  Do not think you won’t face difficulties as a player of the long game.  You are fuckin’ stupid and clueless if you think there no errors or hardships with the long game.  You will have people talk to out of your passion (as they do not see nor understand your vision).   You will get called weird, mad, goofy, insane, whatever your hopeless, average, bottom feeders peers will throw up in your face.  As a player of the long game, you need to block those people out.  Cut them out of your lives even.   Link up with other people who share your passion and understand that success takes years to achieve instead.

How do you play the long game as a nerd?  Simple: Pick something you’re passionate about.  You love vlogging about the latest episodes of mainstream anime?  Good.  Stick with it for a few years. Do you find joy in making others happy when you play video game music on your violin?  Perfect.  Keep it up for years and years on end.  Don’t expect success to come overnight.  If you do, quit right now.  You ain’t cut out for the long game.

To those still bitter about the past and how nerd culture is now popular: Good.  Stay mad.  I need bitter ass suckers like you so I don’t have to worry about fighting other nerds to get that number one spot and dominate and intimidate everyone in the culture one day. Keep being miserable.

For the normies who made fun of nerds and are only on the nerd train cuz it’s popular: Thanks for being suckers!  I look forward to making money and build my brand off yall niggas.

For the rest of us nerds who are taking advantage of this trend: Play hard.  Work hard.  Success is ours for the taking.

Real Talk 0

Don’t Lose Your Head By Letting Victories Get to Your Head (Freewrite)

Matoko Itou of School Days thought he was a player.  He was able to court the alluring yet quiet Kotonoha; a girl many in their school deemed unobtainable (due to her wealth and lack of social skills). The two started dating, although it was one-sided as Matoko only wanted her for sexual reasons. Bored with Kotonoha, Matoko went after her best friend,  Sekai.  Sekai went ahead with his advances despite the fact that her homegirl was dating the man.  One would think that a man would be satisfied with sleeping with two girls (who both happened to be best friends), but this is Matoko Itou.  After screwing around with Sekai multiple times, the kid set his sights on different girls; including Kotonoha’s bullies the mutual friends of Kotonoha, Matoko, and Sekai.

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From left-to-right: Kotonoha, Matoko, and Sekai.

Matoko could have stopped right then and there.  He already slept with multiple girls but he wanted more.  He got more than what he wanted when Sekai winded up becoming pregnant with his child.  Upon knowing he would become a father, Matoko decided to stop his player shit – but it was far too late.  Sekai, anger by the selfish actions of Matoko, murdered him.

Kotonoha then finds Matoko’s body and severed his head.  She then killed Sekai out of jealousy.

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When it comes to victories, many men let the results of their actions get to their head.  They are ignorant of the dangers of that lies ahead of victories.  Error, pitfalls, and downfall lie in wait for foolish people who push past their mark.  You need to learn how to be happy with your results from your victories and check yourself so that you won’t be consumed by the greed of wanting more than you can handle.  It will cost you more than what it is worth.

Yes, Matoko earned the right to be happy and celebrate his success of courting a girl such as Kotonoha.  Yes, it was normal for him to feel great about it. But to pursue other young women when he had Kotonoha was foolish.

Seducing her went to his head. He lost it as a result – figuratively and literally.

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Can’t show gore here so here’s a nice boat. 

‘The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril. In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for, and by going too far, you make more enemies than you defeat.

Do not let success go to your head.’
Law 47 of the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

(Now, use your head and do NOT watch School Days. It is a dumpster fire of poor production quality and writing)

higurashi no naku koro ni 0

Higurashi is Back!

When I had first received word of a new Higurashi anime coming out, I was thinking to myself ‘This has to be a troll’.  The Higurashi series is over. There is  no casual anime fan that  fucked with Higurashi since Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kira (if even that)The visual novel side of the fandom is niche as hell.  You ask some norime anime fan they heard of Higurashi and they’re either going to look at you silly or think you’re a sick fuck that gets off to lolis killing each other. Higurashi is not and will never come back.

Or so I thought.

Right before I was going to take a power nap, my YouTube notification alert went off on my phone.  Subconsciously, I grabbed my phone to see what lame video some lame YouTuber has uploaded. As I scrolled down to unveil my shameful clutter of news in my notification bar, I was greeted with something that made my usual pathetic day better:

The haunting cries of the cicadas.  Rika doing her classic “Nippah!” catchphrase.  The yandere Shion in her Angel Mort uniform.  Mion…with a butcher’s knife.  Okay. She’s finally snapped or whatever but she’s back.  Our favorite characters are back…alongside some new characters that I don’t give a shit about.  One of them looks like series creator Ryukishi07. Okay,  it may not be him and I’m probably just being prejudice towards Asians.

 

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I mean, he looks like Ryukishi07.  I swear I don’t think all Asians look alike. I only think that about white people.

 

As I’m watching the trailer I couldn’t help but notice the text in the upper right-hand corner: Last Period.  ‘Did Ryukishi finally tell Studio Deen to fuck off and got with a new animation studio!?’ I thought to myself.  I went ahead to do some research on this “Last Period” and things became clear on why Higurashi was coming back.

Last Period is a smartphone RPG game.  Joy.  Fuckin’ joy. I mean, it’s awesome Higurashi is coming back in animation form.  However, it’s being pimped to sell a fuckin’ RPG. Ryukishi, did something happen?  I know BT’s death fucked your head up and everything but damn man, you broke too? Were those Umineko pachinko games secretly a front by the Yakuza for money and now you got too deep with them?  You owe them some cash?  You good bruh?

Jokes aside, I am happy Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is coming back. It’s one of those series that has a life-long impact on me as an otaku, consumer of art,  a creator, and as a person.  Even if Higurashi is crossing over with a smartphone JRPG series, I’m still going to watch anything Higurashi related.  Expect Kira.  That was a fuckin’ mess.  But really, I hope this collab project is a success because I want more Higurashi.  Hell, that might mean we might get a faithful adaption of Umineko no Naku Koro ni

…you know what, let me not get my hopes up.

 

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Bunny/Pervy Nurse Tanako was the only good thing about Higurashi Kira.

 

Maybe not all weeaboos on the internet aren’t all trolls trying to raise my hopes up. Maybe there is a God who actually loves me and wants me to be happy with my life.
Maybe Studio Deen won’t fuck this up. Regardless, there’s a new Higurashi anime coming out and I’m happy.

 

Sources:
Last Period x Higurashi no Naku Koro ni collab website:
http://lastperiod.happyelements.co.jp/collaboration/higurashi/

Last Period x Higurashi no Naku koro ni animation trailer

 

 

Anime community 5

Post-Con Blues: I Don’t Get It (Litterally and Figuratively)

In my eight years of traveling to conventions and browsing through convention social media pages/groups, there is one ailment that tends to impact many an otaku: Post-Con Blues.  Post-Con Blues is the feeling of depression and sadness at the end of a convention.  Many will have to wait a year or so to see their cosplaying friends and weird ass costumed brethren, dealing with the “normies” of the real world.  I’m going to be real: I do not get this post-con blues thing. It sounds goofy to me.  Ever since my first convention (Anime St. Louis 2010) I never felt this feeling of sadness.  Did it suck that I had to return to the real world after my first convention? Kinda.

 

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A Sayaka cosplayer crying in her hotel room while her Madoka cosplaying friend awkwardly looks on.

 

I say kinda only because I figured years ago if I go back to work, spend and save my money wisely, I could continue and traveling to conventions and write about my experience on them (althrough seven years later after my first convention but whatever, I’m lazy).  Going to conventions weekend after weekend would burn me out and destroy my bank account.  Seeing the same people and cosplays would bore me quick.

Another counter messaurement I have for post-con blues is my hobbies outside of anime.  I love reading books (business, self-help/education, money, etc.) – so I focus my attention on those things.  I kick it with my friends when we’re free. Watching anime helps as well…when I have the time (being an adult working 60 hours a week is brutal).

Something to help keep my mind off cons for a bit.

If I do get upset after a convention, it’s more so I’m leaving a more cultured city and returning to the hellhole that is Saint Louis, lmfao.  I remember being treated with so much love at Atlanta when my  crew went to Anime Weekend Atlanta back in 2014.  People were friendly, polite, helpful, and not on some bullshit back in St. Louis.  I love St. Louis, but we are fucking backwards.  We are too slow to catch trends and by the time we do get trends, it’s too late.  I’m not saying Atlanta is perfect, but when you know your city barely has any culture and you go to a city full of it, it changes your mind about your hometown.

Now, my next statement will be harsh. Cruel even.  But you guys know me – I don’t care for the feelings of others (for the most part).   I personally (again, I) think if you have post-con blues, that simply means you have no life outside of your anime hobbies.  Sorry, but that’s how I feel. If your life revolves around whacky ass Japanese cartoons (and you’re not making money or major moves off it), you live a sad life.  If you use conventions to escape your problems rather than reward yourself for solving them (that you can control mind you), you’re an idiot.

To conclude this short little essay or freewrite or whatever, I don’t’ get post con blues.  Never have and never will.  I feel that I have means to avoid that shit and do better myself, but that’s just me. If you have post con blues, then do something about it rather than whine about it.

Peace.

Nerd Culture 2

Spoilers Don’t Mean S**t!

(Warning: Major spoilers for Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War and Doki Doki Literature Club. I’m not dealin’ with ya weebaboos and ya hurt feelings.)

I can fondly remember when my homeboy (at the time) “spoiled” the fact that Hotaru was Sailor Saturn (Sailor Moon S) in grade school.  I had just finished watching my first episode of Sailor Moon (episode 117: Higher, Stronger! Cheers by Usagi) the previous day and was hooked.  I expressed my love for the Hotaru character and her awesomeness. Unlike Usagi and Chibi-Usa (who had to transform in order to gain their powers), Hotaru didn’t need to transform for her powers.  My dude smiled and said “You know Hotaru is actually a Sailor Scout, right?  She’s Sailor Saturn.  That’s why she has powers. In fact, not only is she a Sailor Saturn, she’s being controlled by somebody else.”

“Ahh!” I replied.  “No wonder she could do those things like blasting a monster across a track field.”  The spoilers about Hotaru’s truth identify didn’t ruin her character for me.  In fact, it made me more excited to watch more Sailor Moon S. I wanted to see Hotaru’s journey as a sickly, lonely girl to the Soldier of Destruction (who ironically, would save the world from destruction).

 

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Same.

 
Spoilers don’t mean shit.  Being spoiled about an event in the media we consume never ruin the emotional experience. In fact, it makes it better.  Some may say “But spoiling something will make you disappointed or change your mind about a character.” Okay, so what? Your views of a character are going to change regardless of you got spoiled on their actions or not. Why try to avoid the inevitable when it’s going to hit you sooner or later?

Let me change your mind about spoilers. I know I can.

 

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Spoilers: Don’t click the first search result for “Aeris Dies” at your job.

 

Spoilers neither ruins nor replace the emotional experience that you’d otherwise witness.  Spoilers are just words. They don’t provide the gut hitting visuals of seeing your favorite character die.  Spoilers don’t give you the sense of anger of seeing a “trustworthy” ally betraying his best friend on screen. “But Ben!  What about twists and surprises!?”  Oh well.  Once you consumed media for nearly 25 years you tend to get bored with surprises and twists.

Recently, I’ve been playing the popular Western visual novel, Doki Doki Literature Club/DDLC (not to be confused with the obscure PC98 visual novel Doki Doki Vacation).  Through my adventures (of playing the game), people were trying (failing) to convince me not to read spoilers.  They told me that it’s better to experience the game blind so I could “truly appreciate” the game for what it is.

 

Doki_Doki_Literature_Club.png
DDLC Girls(left-to-right): Knife-Chan the Pervert, Princess of Daddy Issues, Tears of a Clown, and Machiavelli. 

First off, I had to laugh at those who believed I should play DDLC by their standards. Second, telling me to avoid spoilers won’t work – it’ll just make me read them. Through reading spoilers, I discovered that Monika was the true villain of DDLC. Monika was a manipulative, angry, jealous, and lonely girl who wanted someone to love her and grant her freedom (from her digital prison and self-awareness powers).  Did those spoilers impacted and change my views on Monika? Of course, but in turn, it made more interested in her character (given that I enjoy manipulative/Machiavellian-type characters).

 

Here’s where I still felt the emotional impact of Monika’s cruel deeds despite being “spoiled”.

As Monika brags about killing Natsuki, Yuri, and Sayori, your character is forced to sit across from her in the Literature Club (now the Room of Eternity).  The distorted music, dark orange tint filling the room, and Monika staring at your eye gave me a sense of unease.  I felt anger as Monika casually – yet coldly – discussed how she murdered her friends.  Now, do you see how spoilers don’t replace those emotions?  Again, they don’t give you that visual treat.

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Reading those spoilers didn’t provide me with those emotions – but playing the game did. The spoilers just enhanced my journey, which brings me to my next point.

Around 2005, I started playing Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War.  I “foolishly” spoiled the game’s ultimate plow twist – Arvis murdering the main character, Sigurd. Furthermore, Arvis manipulated the nobles of  Grandbell to wage war against a few nations:  just so he could have the nobles kill each other. Arvis’s schemes prove successful.

 

Rather than being mad at myself (for “ruining” the plot), I became curious about Arvis’s “terrible” deeds and did research.  I discovered the game development notes of Shouzou Kaga (creator of Fire Emblem); gaining information on Arvis (that changed my mind about him). Arvis was angry at the nobles of Grandbell who abused their power – subjecting their citizens to levels of extreme poverty (while the nobles spent their riches on themselves).

Arvis – in his head – thought himself as a liberating hero for the common man.

The spoilers didn’t ruin the plot for me.  In reality, not only did it made me want to play the game, it made me respect Kaga’s complex writing of Arvis’s character.  Kaga’s notes help me understood the tragic (anti) villain archetype of media.  It was the kick that I needed to see the game all the way to the end – to see how the events unfold through Kaga’s craftsmanship.

See how spoilers can work in your favor?

Spoilers do not mean shit. This was a fact that I discovered back in my childhood with Hotaru/Sailor Saturn, one of my favorite characters of all time. Being spoilers on certain characters might change my views on them.  That’s okay: it was going to change either way.  Reading spoilers helped me understand why villains such as Arvis and Monika had to do the things they did – and I still got emotional when I reached their villain reveals in their respected games. The spoilers got me in the head of the creator and made me felt what they felt.  To me, that’s the ultimate sign of respect for a creator: understanding their works.

Spoilers don’t ruin the story.  They enhance it.

 

SOURCES:

Spoiler Alert: Spoilers Make You Enjoy Stories More by Adny Murdock
https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/spoiler-alert-spoilers-make-you-enjoy-stories-more

Spoilers Don’t Spoil Anything by Jonah Lehrer:
https://www.wired.com/2011/08/spoilers-dont-spoil-anything/

Spoiler Alert: Spoilers Don’t Ruin Stories by Melissa Dahl
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/body-odd/spoiler-alert-spoilers-dont-ruin-stories-after-all-flna1C6437232

Shouzou Kaga’s Comments/Designer Notes on Fire Emblem 4
https://serenesforest.net/general/designers-notes/holy-war/shouzou-kagas-comments/
https://serenesforest.net/general/designers-notes/holy-war/fire-emblem-treasure/
https://serenesforest.net/general/designers-notes/holy-war/playing-guide/

(Yuki’s notes: Arvis did nothing wrong as he fought for the greater good of the people.  Monika was wrong because she was a selfish simp.)

 

Video Games 0

“Comfort Misha” (Or How Did Ya Not Realize That Misha Was Trying to F**K?)

Katawa Shoujo is an old game.  Great game, but it’s old.  As with most old games, people rarely speak about it as time passes (sans hardcore fans).   The hardcore fans it alive through discussion groups on Facebook. Browsing through the Katawa Shoujo Fan Club Facebook group, I found a fanart/fake screenshot of Misha parodying some shit off Doki Doki Literature Club.  The parody reference the infamous “Comfort Misha” scene with the whole ordeal of one of the Doki Doki girls catching you trying to play another girl’s route.

Reading the comments, people were reflecting on how they did not realize that comforting Misha meant that she was trying to sleep with Hisao. Such a choice they regretted (since it led them to Shizune’s bad ending). I’m not even gonna lie to y’all: I was laughing at how their ignorance and borderline stupidity.

Let’s be real: Misha came up to Hisao’s room late at night – knowing full well that he’s her best friend’s  (Shizune) boyfriend.   That’s already suspicious. Next, no woman is going to come up to a man’s house or dorm or whatever late at night just to “talk”. Why couldn’t Misha wait until the next morning to talk, but whatever.  So, after Misha went up to Hisao’s room, she had the nerve lie up in his bed (while he was in it), get real close to him, kiss him and bury her head in his chest.

Yep.  She just wanted to “talk”.

At this point, you’ll say some shit like “Yeah no, ‘comfort Misha’ means sleep with her”.  I know I was.  I was like “Yea, this bitch trying to get some dick from Hisao”.  There’s no way you couldn’t figure that out. I can understand if  English isn’t your second language and you don’t understand subtle clues in that language.   But for those who can understand English with all of its subtle hints in the language, how did you miss all of this?  Even if you were never been in a friendly relationship with a woman prior to Katawa Shoujo, Misha’s action should have set off some red flags.

You’re pretty clueless. I’m not sorry.

Now, with that said, if you chose “Comfort Misha” as your first choice knowing full well it meant having sex with her, you’re the type of person that cheat on their boyfriend or girlfriend with their best friend.

Just saying.

(Also don’t blame Hisao for stickin his dick in Misha.  You were the one who selected that option.)

Anime Analysis 0

Otaku no Hustle: The Hustling (and Entrepreneur) Side of Otaku no Video

Otaku no Video (lit. “The Geeks’ Video”) is Gainax’s 1991 two episode OVA (original video animation) celebrating otaku culture.  Set between 1982-1999, the anime follows main character Ken Kubo’s journey from an everyman college tennis player, to his transformation into a diehard otaku, aspiring entrepreneur, the CEO of his a multi-million dollar anime figurine/garage kit company, and finally, the president of a successful multi-billion dollar animation company.  Otaku no Video is celebrated throughout the otaku community; due to its overarching theme of otaku pride and positivity. However, there’s one theme of the OVA that isn’t discussed within the community: the hustle of Ken and his journey as an entrepreneur.

Join me as I discuss this underappreciate theme of  Otaku no Video and how it even relates to the real world of entrepreneurship.

otaku-no-video-wallpaper-560x458
From left-to-right: Misty May, Tanaka, Ken, and Fukuhara.

PART 1
THE HUSTLE

‘While we out here, say the Hustler’s Prayer
If the game shakes me or breaks me
I hope it makes me a better man, take a better stand’
-Biggie Smalls, Sky’s the Limit (1997 hip-hop single)

Towards the end of episode one, Ken (frustrated with his girlfriend dumping him, not being able to find a job, and dealing with the negative stereotypes of  otakus) convinces his friend Tanaka to drop out of college and quit job hunting in order to start up an anime figurine manufacture company: Grand Prix (GP) . The ambitious friends worked and hustle non-stop; creating figurines out of their apartment and promoting the GP brand.  Months later, they were able to buy a property – setting up shop at a storefront and hiring old college friends (to work for them).

Their business massively grew and they start to scale; buying up more property to open new shops. The public and media take notice of their brand; with Ken and Tanaka’s brand appearing on TV, newspapers, and magazines.  Grand Prix grew into a power player within their industry – dominating the competition.

Finally, after a year of relentless growth, Grand Prix transformed from a small business to behemoth of a corporation.

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In the real world, a company coming up from a small business to a major corporation within a year is a mere fantasy.  However, the reality of business growth can be rooted in taking risks. Quitting a secured job and/or dropping out of college to one’s entrepreneur journey is risky.  Successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg know this well. They had to drop out of college in order to grow their business massively. Daymond John (founder of the urban clothing line FUBU and Shark Tank judge) quit his job at Red Lobster to focus on his brand (although he did wait until FUBU became a profitable business before quitting). The greatest of entrepreneurs had to surrender something in order to build their brand – just like what Ken and Tanaka did.

The otaku duo where met with overwhelming success in a span of a year.  Yet, like with many entrepreneurs, failure was waiting nearby.

 

PART 2
FAILURE AND COMEBACK

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‘Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is the part of the process of success.’
-Robert Kiyosaki

The impressive growth of the GP Company meant that Ken was able to expand the business overseas.  In order to increase capital, Ken (now a multi-millionaire), set his sights on China (in order to build a warehouse for mass production). Taking out a loan with a bank, Ken travels to China and buys land for the warehouse; overseeing the production of it. Back in Japan, the figurine industry starts to crash – putting Grand Prix at risk of going under. With the company in financial trouble and the morale of his employees fading, Ken at is in danger of losing his title as president of GP.

The downfall of the Ken begins.

vlcsnap-2018-03-06-12h20m32s210.png
Fuck bankers. 

After the success of the warehouse in China, Ken is called to an emergency meeting at Grand Prix.  The meeting is a front to fire him as president – with the entire company in favor of it – including his best friend Tanaka. Ken is forced to work as a regular employee at one of Grand Prix’s underperforming location and he begins to lose hope in himself. Later, during an event at a Grand Prix store, Ken encounters Tanaka (who too was fired from the company on false embezzlement charges) and confronts him (about Ken’s firing). Tanaka begs for his forgiveness: explaining to Ken that he was manipulated by the bankers to vote against him.

Ken forgives Tanaka as he realized they were both screwed over (by the same people). Putting his anger aside, Ken asks Tanaka if he wants to start over again.  Tanaka agrees and the two join forces once again to build a new brand – separate from Grand Prix.  Together, Ken and Tanaka start up a Japanese Adult Video (JAV) business with cosplay porn as their specialty.

…Nah I’m just fucking around they open up their own animation studio.

Tanaka and Ken begin work on creating their new company: “Giant X”. Tanaka suggests that they create homemade anime marketed towards otaku to sell through mail orders (as well as selling merchandise at events for extra income). Tanaka recruits Fukuhara: a former employee of Grand Prix as an animator.  Together, the three start production on an original anime: Misty MayMisty May is a hit with the otaku market; putting Ken and Tanaka back in the national spotlight.  Giant X – like Grand Prix before – dominated its market and industry without resistance. Ken, with the success of his new company, buys back Grand Prix and becomes a juggernaut of a businessman. Later on, Ken opens the world’s first otaku driven amusement park: An amusement park for otakus by otakus.

Finally, at the end of the OVA, Ken is the richest man in Japan and one of the world’s wealthiest CEOs.

‘Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back.’
‘If you’re a real winner you know how to bounce back!’
-Big Sean, Bounce Back (2016 hip-hop single)

Ken was able to bounce back from failure – like many entrepreneurs have done.   In business and in hustling, you’ll have your fair share of failures, mishaps, disappointments, what have you.  It’s all a part of the entrepreneur’s journey.  In order to become a successful entrepreneur, you must bounce back from failure and never give up. Richard Brandon, the founder of Virgin, has seven well-known failures. But he still works as an entrepreneur to this day. Walt Disney, one of the world’s most influential animator and businessman, was fired from his first cartoonist job.  His boss told him that he’ll never find success because he lacked imagination and his ideas were terrible.  Today, the Disney Company is worth over 92 billion dollars.

Failure doesn’t always mean the end.

Otaku no Video is a wonderful OVA on otaku pride.  It has inspired many fans around the world to love their nerdiness.  Gainax shows the world that otaku can break the stereotype that nerds are hopeless losers that won’t amount to anything in life.  However, what should be celebrated about this OVA is Ken’s grind from a young college kid to a rookie entrepreneur, to a successful businessman who failed but bounces back against all odds.  Although Ken ’s wild story and the man himself is fictional, we can learn from and relate to him.

We dealt with failures, setbacks, doubters, and disappointment, only to come back from all of them and shine brightly.  Our vision may seem wild and outlandish to some, but to us, they can come true – but only if we work our ass off for it.

We should be like Ken Kubo; staying focused on our goals regardless of what failure may come and embrace the hope of an unseen world far away.

‘I won’t let anyone block me!
I’ll go my own way!’
‘My goal is the world!’
‘I’ll be the greatest man’!
-Lyrics from Fight! Otaking! (Otaku no Video’s OP theme)

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Nerd Culture 3

Dear Nerds: The Past is the Past – Get Over High School.

From my last article, I stated how nerd culture has reached popularity that rivals mainstream culture.  Years ago, anything nerdy was deemed pathetic – activities that only people with no lives enjoy. Today, it’s going through a renaissance. Superhero/comic movies are now major blockbusters. Video games are treated as a serious art form. Anime is no longer viewed as a joke  (for the most part).  Yet, despite those achievements, there are bitter nerds angry with the newfound popularity (of nerd culture). They’re upset at the past (as they were bullied for being nerds, weren’t accepted, etc.) They continue to cry about whatever happened to them in high school.  Can I say something?  If you’re this type of nerd, you need to get the fuck over it.

High school is over.  Nobody (but you) gives a shit.

The past is the past; let that shit go. You need to stop being mad at your peers from high school just because they rejected you (for being a nerd). The popular preppy girl who wouldn’t dare date you because you played Pokemon? She’s now fat, have five unruly children from three baby daddies, and she’s working at a dead end job. She’s hopeless.  The asshole who called you lame because you wanted to study rather than hitting up the weekend party?  I bet you he ain’t doing shit with his life today.  He’s strung out on drugs and begging people for money on the streets.

Ed_ed_Eddy_Thugs_2.png

You, my friend?  You’re doing well (I hope).  You’re working on your goals, dreams, making money, and life-changing moves for the better. There’s a special somebody in your life that appreciate your nerdiness.  You changed your wardrobe and rocking the fresher clothes of the season; clothes your bullies never imagine you wearing years after high school.

You changed, just like trends and the people who may have made fun of you.

 

Here’s what you need to understand.  The bullies and assholes that made fun of you could’ve changed after high school.  They could have realized that they were horrible to you and others.  Perhaps one day they reflected on their hurtful actions of the past, realized what they have done, and made the effort to never repeat that shit again. Teenagers are pricks.  They should know better, but it takes a while for people to grow and self-improve for the future.

People need to change for the future.

 

peter-parker-flash.jpg
Peter Parker and Flash Thompon; Peter’s former bully.

 

Let’s talk about the future.   We’re living in the golden age (of nerd pop culture).  Superhero movies are bringing studios hundreds of millions of dollars (the good ones of course).  Adults are playing on their 3DS in the open without normies talking shit about them.  Otaku are expressing their love for the anime medium without fear of ridicule.  You can talk about the latest episode of Dragon Ball Super or My Hero Academia with your coworkers.  Cosplay is getting the respect it deserves.  Everything nerdy is slowly becoming accepted and not made as a joke to belittle the people that love it! I can bet money that in a few years, people will no longer be mocked or bullied for liking anime, video games, comics, etc.  It’ll be too deep within the mainstream for anyone to go out their way to bully people over those things.   So what if there are some norimes who think that shit is lame?  Fuck them! Let them be stuck the past with that old mindset.

We’re moving towards the future.

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Anime community 2

Your Nerd Hobbies Didn’t Get You Rejected: It Was You

You gotta love bitter nerds.  Ever since the emergence of nerd culture in mainstream culture, pathetic, dusty nerds have come out with their sob stories on women rejecting them (for being nerdy).    You may have come across such stores like “Anime was the reason why women never like me” or “Now that comic books are popular ya wanna join the hype train but ya weren’t down with me back in high school!” If these sob stories describe your experience with women, then you need to hear the truth.  You weren’t rejected because you like anime or video games.  You got rejected because of you and you alone. Blaming your nerd hobbies only mean that you don’t have the courage to admit that you suck.

Let me explain why – because you losers need a wakeup call.

stop_thes_sob_stories.jpg

I know it’s hard to admit fault (for your rejection), but hear me out.  The rejections happened because of your flaws.  You’re a boring ass person lacking charisma.  The girl you wanted like men who can wow her with their confidence and social skills – which you clearly lacked.  Who wants a relationship with a man whose personality is that of the mundane Yuki Nagato off The Melancholy Haruhi Suzumiya combined with the unbearable stoic Obi-Wan from Star Wars Episode 1.

 

 

Next, your horrid appearance landed you that denial. You fucking stink. You smell like pure unwashed swamp ass. The last time you took a bath or put on deodorant was when Half-Life 3 came out.  Your crusty dry lips are begging you to apply Carmex on them.  You’re out here sporting disastrous, greasy unkempt hair. That doesn’t make you look cute. It makes you look like the three-way fusion of Post Malone, Digibro, and Mick Foley/Mankind.  And that’s pretty nasty my man (no disrespect to the greats Digibro and Mick Foley).  And your fashion sense boy!  Did you really think rockin’ a fedora, a button down Dragon Ball Z shirt, and New Balance shoes was gonna get you some women?

How dense are you?

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Enough your shit tier looks.  Let’s talk your blame game.  That shit’s weak. Yes, people are shallow and won’t date you over hobbies.  That’s okay.  I doubt you would date a normie girl with normie interests. With that said,  wasting your life playing video games, jackin’ off to ero anime, and reading slice-of-life manga all day long as hobbies are turn-offs to some. Honestly, that’s boring. Nobody wants to hang around with a boring person like you.  Find other things to enjoy, like watching live-action television, going out to the movies, reading things that aren’t manga.

Liking nerdy interests alone doesn’t make you special: It makes you uninteresting.

Gotta love bitter nerds.  I mean, really.  You can’t help but laugh at them for blaming their hobbies and others for their shortcomings.   Are you amazed at how they can’t see their own faults and improve on them? Because I am. Look, if you are a nerd who does these things, you need to work on yourself and stop playing the blame game.  Take a shower.  Have confidence in yourself.  Go update your fashion game.  Indulge in cool shit other than nerdy shit.

Just stop crying.

Feature image source:
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Dude with the DBZ shirt:
https://www.reddit.com/r/dbz/comments/1nwsik/my_friend_says_that_dragon_ball_z_is_lame_so_we/

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