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Friday, October 3, 2014



 Starting this blog was an impulsive decision. I had a lot of thoughts and passionate feelings about anime and how it relates to life and I desperately needed an outlet because I normally don't feel at liberty to express myself in my everyday life.

And it has been an educational experience for me. I've written some real gems that got more views and likes than I ever dreamed! ...And I've also written some stuff that I'm a little embarrassed and even ashamed of as well. I think at this point I should do a bit of a general review of what I've done here and how I think and feel about it now that's it's been up for so long and had numerous posts published.

There are three things I have to address here that I think are most important:

1) Anime has inspired me to be expressive, optimistic, and heroic.

2) Anime has also led me to have a certain level of disdain and even hatred for the world because it falls so short of anime standards...

3) Anime may have encouraged me to be a bit of a jackass when it come to women and sexuality.

First of all let's look at the good anime has done for me.


Primarily, anime has given me really high and wonderful standards by which I want to live my life. Anime helps me to enjoy and express my most deeply and strongly held ideals for life. I really do want to have connections with people like the characters from Fairy Tail and to have bonds so strong that we will stupidly, foolishly, and recklessly charge into danger to defend each other. ( <--Origin of image.

I've written a lot about this topic because I wanted to express my sentiments and my ideas about how such virtues from anime could potentially come to exist. I believe that if we really try to be creative and open to crazy new ways of doing things we could actually have a real life Fairy Tail!

I've said in previous posts that I think we have to be willing to be a little more arbitrary in our ability to make choices. Like how Kirito merely embraced the idea of protecting Lizbeth because it's better for people to "die together than live alone" even though he didn't know her!!! Or how Rock from Black Lagoon frames his desire to help people as a mere "hobby" rather than a logical or moral imperative.

Life is a mystery and we don't know why we exist, or why we're conscious and why we feel anything at all. Pain, pleasure, understanding, confusion, etc, etc. etc...these things just...kind of exist with no real explanation. And fortunately, we can choose to be okay with that. But it requires exercising a great power we have. The ability to simply make a CHOICE purely because it's what we want without having to justify anything. I truly believe that I can choose to just be a loyal friend who will defend his comrades to the death. It's not a matter of rationality, it's what I want and what I need to be happy. I'm reminded of what Renji said when he fought Byakuya in the Soul Society Arc. He remarks about how he promised to save Rukia and Byakuya asks him: "To whom did you make this promise?" Renji responds: "No one...IT'S JUST MY WILL!"

Some things in life are truly a matter of will, because the universe is simply too big and mysterious to be completely captured by the rational thoughts of our tiny little blobs of brain matter.

This could be a hard pill to swallow because we live in an age where intellectualism and the scientific method are all the rage and everyone wants to look like a super smart smarty McPants.

But we don't know everything and that's okay. We still need our feelings...they aren't obsolete and we still need to be able to express them and figure out what to do about them so that we can be happy with the way we live our lives. A guidance counselor from my high school once told me "We feel how we feel, because that's how we feel." In other words, there is no call for justification. You may feel badly, and maybe you even feel things that seem "wrong" or are pushing you to do something drastic like suicide. But that doesn't mean you're a bad person. Feel how you feel, because that's how you feel. I assure you that there are people like me for example who will listen if you need someone to talk to. And you can embrace your feelings without shame so that you can know who you are and what you're dealing with so you can decide how to move forward effectively. Feelings let you know what important in your life, they're signals you have to accept and interpret to make better decisions.


There are a number of anime and manga that touch on this issue. Naruto is a pretty big one, especially in light of it's most recent developments in Shippudden. The prominent example is the discussion about the Uchiha's like Madara and Sasuke. Hashirama tells us that it was a misunderstanding to think that the Senju's were all about love and the Uchiha's all about power. He tells us that in fact, the Uchiha's value love and feel it far more deeply than anyone, and that it is this love that gives rise to the Uchiha curse. A great hatred and intense misery rises from the pain of losing who and what we loved most dearly.

I have found myself succumbing to the Uchiha curse myself, because I have values that are highly important to me. Friendship, love, discipline, fun, entertainment, humor, happiness. But when I get out into the world every day for my daily routines, I find I am often disappointed. People don't love and care as much as they should. People are often confused or suspicious because of attempts at over the top fun which is supposed to loosen us up and form bonds of friendship, and as this goes on day after day I can sometimes find myself really angry and hurt...WHY DON'T PEOPLE GET IT! I often ask myself.

But after a lot of soul searching, reading, and returns to my anime and manga I realized: I DO NOT WANT TO END UP LIKE SASUKE!!!

Nor do I want to end up like a myriad of other pain stricken characters. I don't want to be like Nagato/Pain, I don't want to be Emiya Kiritsugu, I don't want to be like any of them.

I get that these characters can often be really cool and badass...but it comes at a high price. To actually be like them would be to sacrifice happiness, friendship, love, and meaning in our lives. People who are actually like these characters in real life don't end up being as cool as them and they don't get much out of me I've been one of them myself...

So in the same way that we have to accept our feelings to deal with them effectively, we also have to accept other people and the world as a whole in order to live with strength and optimism in this universe.


Okay, sooooo I'm kind of a fan of...fanservice. Yes, I'm afraid I'm referring to panty shots, and boobs, and sexually provocative content that I see in anime. I have to face that part of myself. While many people roll their eyes in annoyance when yet another skirt gets torn off or blown by the wind, I myself get a bit of a laugh and a kick out of it.

I think that this colors a lot of my perceptions and ideals in life. I do tend to think that a lot of self-proclaimed feminists blow women's issues way out of proportion. And I also tend to think that men get too much criticism and hate for what comes naturally to them as men.

Of course I believe in the essential principles of feminism involving equality and respect. But I also think that there is a need for discussion of the legitimate natural differences between genders and what it really means to be a man or a woman. And the inevitable role of sexuality in our interactions with one another.

I must apologize for any offense that may be taken because of some things that I have published here on my blog. How ever, I must add that I feel that it is important that those thoughts and feelings of mine were expressed because they need to be addressed and I believe it would be worse not only for myself but for all people if I kept them suppressed.

Yes, my eyes did stay to the right of the screen here...and I don't really feel sorry...she's not even a real person don't judge me!!! (JK Here)

So, yea my mind is encouraged to embrace dirtier and more X rated thoughts because of anime and manga, because when you see these kind of things in entertainment it, in a way validates certain ways of thinking and feeling. I see fan service and think: "Hey, obviously the writers and animators are down with this perverted stuff." Or: "Hey, look at all these comments from my friends and these youtubers who enjoy the panty shots. I guess this is okay!" And then you have female cosplayers who make a choice, that no one is forcing on them to cosplay as the most scantily clad characters in the world!

One simple search on youtube has revealed to me that there are a plethora of videos all about how "Cosplay Is Not Consent" which is a perfectly fair point to argue. Just because women are dressed a certain way doesn't mean they are a certain way or that they are sending any particular kind of message.

But this requires a lot of conscious effort to deal with. Every one needs to put a lot of thought in how their perceptions are being shaped by everything they see, hear and experience. And we also need to think about how other people perceive the things that we do and say. This is not an easy thing to do, so it's not really a surprise to me that people get hurt, confused, and angry about these issues. There is a lot to deal with here. Sexuality and other emotions don't go away just because we demand order and respect. But respect shouldn't be forgotten just because you're at a Comicon where people are supposed to be having fun and being free.

We SHOULD ABSOLUTELY give people respect and give them their personal space and spare from them rude and selfish behavior. But come on...
Do you really expect a heterosexual man to see this and not find it even the tiniest, teeniest, smeeniest, least bittiest provocative and titillating? I don't think anyone in touch with reality could answer that question with an honest yes...

But what I've learned from this complex issue is that I while I need to embrace my own feelings, I also need to be on guard so that my perceptions of what's going on don't screw with me and make me do anything I would regret.

I totally respect women and I don't want them to be hurt or abused. In fact some of my favorite characters in anime are females who earned my respect and love without fan service like Haruhi Suzumiya or Taiga from Toradora or Asuna from SAO or Mikasa from Attack on Titan(I know two of them had some fan service but it wasn't really a factor for me.). I would never ever be one of those guys that thinks a woman is "Asking for it." because of her dress choices. But ladies, I have to be honest with you...if I complement your cosplay it's possible that I'm thinking as much about the things you were born with as I am about how you're dressing them...

So this is a really hard topic and I hope you read through everything I wrote before getting immediately angry with my opinions. I recognize my responsibilities as a man and that I must be honorable in my lifestyle and treatment of others regardless of their gender. But I hope that we can all appreciate and work through all the difficult details of it all by understanding each others feelings. Most especially when we are offending and hurting each other, and that we can all be liberated by the process.

And in the end we can become FAIRY TAIL!
(Note that Gray is a male fan service character and Juvia[not pictured] is a female stalker. Hehe)

Thursday, May 15, 2014


I'm starting to think that it really is impossible to change yourself deliberately. But of course in my natural insanity I have tried hard to find some way to work around this problem.

Of course I will have to use anime to illustrate the point, because this is supposed to be an Anime Thermos.

Pictured above is Sae Nakata a character in a lesser known anime called Amagami SS which I enjoy. Sae struggled in her arc with her shyness and couldn't do simple things like buy bread and talk to people. Kind of pathetic but also a real cutie. Her arc touched me because it addressed the prospect of changing one self to act like the person you've always wanted to be. I love Sae because I relate to her struggle. Always wishing to be a different kind of person so I could finally grab the things I want most.

But unfortunately when pondering the nature of Psychology I've reached the rather disturbing conclusion that you really can't choose to change yourself. The human brain simply doesn't have a mechanism to rewire itself according to our hopes and dreams. That's why we get trapped in habits and routines; because a combination of genes, chemicals, and experiences brought each of our brains to a certain wiring structure that prompts and inhibits certain behaviors at certain times.

But hell, I still want to believe in change and in the inspiring messages of Anime because that's how my brain is wired sooooo I'm determined to get around this somehow the way Urahara got around ten years of Bankai training with his man shaped doohickey that let's you get Bankai in Three friggin days. So here's what I figured: Anime actually has some good examples to show us how this works pretty well. I mean anime heroes don't just get up and decide to do things in as much a random manner as I and probably many others may have been led to believe. People do change in life and they do it because they received something that prompted and stimulated the change.

That's what happened to Sae after all. The whole plot of her story is that the male lead; Junichi got to know her after helping her get the food she wanted and ultimately became involved with her pursuit of a job as a waitress. It was Junichi with some help from his sister Miya who helped provide the guidance and experiences that Sae needed to break out of her "Shy Shell" as I so creatively like to call it.

There are many more examples of this situation:

Like Naruto who wanted to become Hokage because he was an orphan hated for his CLOSE association with the Nine Tails, or Lelouch vi Brittania who despised his father and country for the despicable things they did, or all the main characters of Bleach after the Vandenreich tore the Soul Society apart and freaking killed Yamamoto! And Kenpachi specifically who grew more mature and level headed after his bout with Unohana and the formal passing of the title KENPACHI. Hell, Bleach alone has a slew of examples that all have something very important in common.

Something or another happens in the lives of anime characters that forces the change! It's actually a lot like real life in this regard. We've all heard real life stories about growth and learning through trauma and difficulty and I think there is something to be learned from that. We don't really bother changing much in life unless we HAVE TO. Because that's the nature of the brain: "If it ain't broke don't fix it.". That's not just an opinion, that is the basis of brain function. It's actually a scientific fact that the brain, being a biological entity whose purpose is to keep you alive, likes to do things efficiently. That means that nothing gets done unless there is some compelling force insisting upon it. And if you think about it, it makes sense when you consider how important the story and the conflict is to any anime/manga or other entertainment medium. The success of the characters is in no small part dependent on whether or not we care about what they're going through, and in fact the experiences and challenges they face often define who that character is and who they will become as they develop.

I took Krav Maga for 5 years because I felt weak and scared growing up in a world where killers sniped random civillians, destroyed the World Trade Centers and killed thousands of American citizens, I kicked ass and got an A in my Experimental Psychology class full of complex equations and analyses because I failed the first exam and it terrified me that this class with a high failure rate might claim my life next...

Even Anime Thermos only exists because...


Hold on...Candice Catnipp is distracting me...seriously with the tongue and everything...I hope she somehow turns coat and becomes a hero because I'm loving her right now. THE THUNDER! Did I mention her name is CANDICE CATNIPP? Freaking incredible.

But I hope this is helping you see why change is so hard. Because we need to see that what we choose to do actually matters. If I write a blog I need to see the view counter go up and I need to see you readers up voting my stuff. And when I saw that I actually have a second follower recently that got me really excited! I don't just do this for nothing you know, even if I'm not getting paid I'm still looking for meaning, purpose, and results!

The point is we all need things to latch onto and strive for. You can't just decide to change at random because it's unlikely that you'll really want it enough or feel confident enough to actually follow through. We need things that stimulate us, I once had a Psychology teacher in Sensation and Perception who taught us that any and all stimuli actually causes the organism perceiving it to CHANGE. This means that every new experience really does change you. You may not have full control but when you try new things you become a new version of you so the key is not just to keep trying but to keep trying differently each time. If you can diversify your experience of life enough, eventually you're bound to become a much happier person because of everything that you learn along the way.


Saturday, May 3, 2014


Try picturing this:

One caveat though...try replacing that fool in the middle with my girl here:

I think Hinata is actually a fantastic candidate for being cast as the titular character of the very show she stars in as a supporter. In fact I would even go so far as to say that it was a wasted opportunity not to make the popular anime all about her! Unfortunately, it appears that my opinion conflicts with the tried and true tropes that are the staples of successful anime and manga. Naruto is a male protagonist with a never give up attitude and is incredibly stubborn. In the face of adversity he simply responds with a cocky attitude about how he won't quit and will absolutely lay the smack down on everybody that tries to do wrong and mess with his dreams and his friends and often goes through some kind of miraculous power up at the climax when it looks like he's going down. You Luffy, Ichigo Kurosaki, Kirito from SAO, Lelouch vi Brittania, the great Goku himself, Natsu, Erza, Gray,Lucy, Edward Elric annnnnd you get it right? The serious popular protagonists who are often males(not always) for some reason?

There are understandable reasons why popular anime and manga have certain things in common. I mean if it ain't broke don't fix it right? But it's not about anything being broken necessarily. It's about what anime is supposed to really be about and how the business side of it contradicts that spirit in a perhaps, unnecessary way.

Anime inspires me because it breaks molds and helps me to believe in greater things than what I thought were possible. It opens my eyes to new ideas and even helps me to embrace things that in normal circumstances would be uncomfortable to me like homosexuality or religion(Perhaps I'll write more on that in the future. Show some support if you're interested!).

My affinity for Hinata though is that she is more like a real human being than most characters. Generally when one speaks of making fictional characters more realistic and relatable it typically refers to having character flaws and weaknesses that people can understand and sympathize with.

But there is another component to making a hero realistic which is that they CAN'T BE TOO HEROIC! I'm referring to the fact that writers have a tendency to really push their main characters into the role of the hero or the savior that has to ultimately rise to the challenge and become the great person he or she was meant to be. But to me that is starting to seem increasingly artificial and forced.

Hokage is the title of the leader and protector the the Hidden Leaf Village. Naruto goes on and on about becoming Hokage to make it clear that he is supposed to be the hero that fixes everything...

Hinata is not heroic nor is she all that inspiring even as she enters Shippuuden. She is a pathetic little girl with a crush on a cocky trouble making boy. This is important, because a big part of good characters is relatability. And I imagine that most of us, if we're truly being honest with ourselves probably don't think that we're big heroes destined to change/save the world. Oh sure, we might want to be like that, which is why we love our over the top heroes, but we probably don't see ourselves as really being like them.

No, most of us are like Hinata, or Rock Lee, or maybe even Shikamaru. But that is the very reason why they don't get more prominent roles in the stories. They're too much like us real people so they can't work as super heroes. But I don't understand that, in a work of fiction couldn't writers know...make them into heroes? I'm guessing the problem is that it's a little too risky to venture a more unique approach to story telling. It's safer to stick with the tropes that have a reputation for turning out adventures that the audience loves.

But let me talk about why I think Hinata in particular would make a great main character. Hinata started out as a shy young girl born to a strict family. She, along with her younger sister were made to practice their martial arts on a daily basis. They were expected to produce good results always. But there was a problem... Hinata just sucked. For whatever reason her younger sister out shined her because she couldn't bring herself to push her limits...Hinata would fall often, but rather than pick herself up and keep working she would crawl away and pout...ashamed of her weaknesses. For these reasons Hinata was sent to school for Ninjutsu and put under the tutelage of a Jounin named Kurenai Yuuki. But life just got harder for her, for she still found struggle and failure in her training and studies...

Bullies from class are beating on her one day, making fun of her and picking on her...just because she's an easy target to vent their frustrations and cover their own insecurities. She's crying loudly, begging for mercy and then...NARUTO CRASHES IN! She'd seen him around before always shooting his mouth off about becoming hokage and proving himself. She had always envied his confidence and ambition and now...he was defending her! 

Now don't you tell me that wasn't a fantastic setup for a great story about a weak and unlikely heroine who could one day rise to greatness. I wasn't even trying that hard to write that story intro! Hinata's character pretty much just gave it to me(I drew from her canon back ground story.)! And yet, her story gets the back seat and Naruto's grand standing ambition establishes him as the central character. Because he has all the traditional staples of a hero and Hinata does not. But I feel that this fact makes him less interesting and relatable. The orphan wanting justice and dignity, discovering he has a greater destiny and that his heritage is actually quite prestigious, gaining the power he needs to succeed because he used his will power to build it up. The same old song and dance, I think it's starting to get boring hearing that story over and over again. I want Hinata's story! I want to see an anime where a character like her has to deal with being a weak little girl(And I do want a female protagonist for this.) by working hard and fixating on some inspiration(Like Hinata did with Naruto.). 

I mean hell, Hinata's not even the main character but I still find the development that she gets to be really compelling and heartwarming. Her fight with Neji in the first series was sooo epic as she finally took a stand with encouragement from her crush, even talking smack right back to Neji because he was putting her down. She stole the show when she stood up to Pain to save Naruto and even instigated his rage fueled power boost, sacrificing herself in the process without concern for death. And in the battle with Obito and Madara she sees Naruto wavering in his resolve(Despite the fact that stubborn resolve is his specialty...)and literally smacks the sense back into him! Even after her cousin had just been killed in combat!

I'm sure that many people(If not all) have felt the weakness of Hinata and very few of us have felt truly confident of reaching the level of Hokage. But that's why Hinata and those like her can be our real heroes. I would love to see a story where a "Hinata" has to cope with the pain of wanting to contribute and only finally pushing forward by the drive of her inspiration. To see her fail time and again but still insist on trying, because one day she's got to do it. She would keep us hoping and praying all the way until the end: Come on girl! Come on! You can do this! Don't you dare quit on us! GET...BACK...UP! Because that's exactly what we want to hear. When we fall, which we often do...every one of us, we don't want to hear boos and put downs. We want people to believe in us and cheer us on. That's why we would love Hinata as a heroine, because we would cheer for her and because in a sense it would be like cheering for ourselves...and not only that...but because we would feel that if she finally achieves her would prove that we can achieve ours as well...and that's what we want from our heroes. 

 The epicness and impressiveness of this scene was precisely because we knew that Hinata's actions were made of insanity born of love. Personally I didn't really feel compelled by the typical "Defend the world from evil." premise which has been done to death. What, really got my blood boiling was Hinata versus Pain! You go girl!

                                        HIT HIM! HIT HIM! COME ON HINATA GET HIM!
My God it hurts to see her trying so hard...please hurry before Pain...!

                                         NO! NO! NO! DON'T YOU TOUCH HER!

You see this was the stuff that really compelled me and made me feel like I was watching/reading a kick ass anime/manga. So why not just write the whole story using this gold mine of material? Just use the characters and basic story ideas that inspire these amazing moments. Oh, sure you're still not going to churn out perfection every single time, but there would be a vast improvement none the less. 

So there you go! This is my bid to get a Naruto revamp. Only this time the series is called "HINATA!" a story all about how Hinata Hyuga...ah okay you know it's probably too late to petition for a Naruto revamp. But come on guys! There must be someone out there who can make this idea happen. Give me a Hinata heroine!!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Anime: Beauty Easier To See?

Hello everyone!

I am back to writing on Anime Thermos because with the acquisition of more time and inspiration I am ready to get back to doing more of what I love!

                                                     An Image To Symbolize Renewal

In recent times I've been facing a variety of struggles. In trying to finish up school while also seeking meaningful employment, I have found that the two problems exacerbate one another and so on top of the problems each one gives independently, they together produce further challenges in tandem that they would not produce if contended with separately. But upon looking at a beautiful clear sky for the purpose of spacing out and relieving my mind of daily struggles I came to a realization. A realization of how hard it is to see the greatness, epicness, and heroism of ourselves especially in our most dire straits.

Notice the wheelchair;notice the greatness and beauty.
Notice how special this image is.

I often watch anime with a sense that I am watching something that expresses my deepest and most beloved ideals, dreams, and aspirations. Like someone reached into my heart, took all of my best materials and started making the great collection of entertainment called Anime. 

The thing about anime is that the artistry of the animation, the intelligence of the script writing, and the emotional power of the story telling give us a sensation of grandness and awe as we witness the characters live out their adventurous lives. I've noticed to myself that when I watch anime I often see parallels between what the characters are going through and what I know real people like myself experience on a day to day basis. And yet...the feeling often seems to be very different. When a character struggles with his or her weaknesses and failures and resolves to push forward it feels inspiring and looks awesome. They're heroes for the way they face adversity like that! 

One anime I love is Habun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora, it's a lesser known anime consisting of only six episodes...or so I remember. It's about a boy and a girl who meet in a hospital together and fall in love. Let me tell you, for a six episode show about two sick kids in a hospital it is a pretty great story. There isn't even any magical power or science fiction crap in it. It's a pure romance story. Yuichi is hospitalized for having a fairly serious yet totally treatable condition and comes across Rika, a girl with an illness that will in all liklihood cause her to die very soon...the way it killed her father before her. 

I understand the feelings that go along with this fear of imminent death. Not long ago I had a bad cancer scare with my mother sitting in the waiting room...waiting for the surgery to be over...waiting for the doctor to tell us...was it nothing? Or was it the worst possible thing? Will she be okay?

When facing such a challenge as the reality of my mother's mortality I could have been compared to an anime character like Yuichi or Rika. But if you would have made such a comparison out loud to me I probably would've been gravely offended. I was in no mood for making light of such a situation like that!

And yet when I watched this anime I was drawn in and inspired. Feeling like: "Yes, this is how you face adversity...this is how you rise to the occasion against all odds! Go Yuichi! Go Rika! Pursue your love! Support each other even though you known Rika may not have much time at all!"

I love anime for giving me this kind of inspiration. And yet so very often when my adventures come to face me. And whenever I have a challenge to test me...I don't treat it like my own anime adventure. I don't treat it like an anime heroes chance to shine. I treat it like a burden instead. I treat my adversity like I just think that life is kicking me around for no good reason at all.

Because very often that's exactly what I think. It's so easy to cheer on a fictional hero who manga writers have trained us to count on when it comes to pulling a victory out of their asses. Using sheer will power!

But when we look at life through our own eyes and see our own trouble, our feelings get the better of us so that we often forget what we hoped for and what we believed in at the start. Sobered up by the ugly truths of life. We're really not so very different from anime um supernatural powers notwithstanding of course. We just think differently watching a show or reading manga then we do when we're shall I say it...our business of life. Work, school, surprises, etc. etc.

Anime and manga forces you to think differently. The way it focuses all attention on a single character's life and experience. Nobody's doing that for you in real life. Look at this pic for example: 

Hell, look at any of the pics on this post and really admire them. Now tell me, is there any reason why real people couldn't recreate the scenes in the pics I'm using in their normal lives? I'd wager that the average person could totally do any of the things the above characters are doing here. But how many of you, while working as a waiter or waitress could feel like you're beaming and shining the way Kaoru Tanamachi is? How many of you could stand under a beautiful night sky overlooking a city and feel like there is elegance and meaning in your lives while facing a life threatening illness? How many mothers can push around a crippled young daughter and smile and laugh with her like life is going to be ten times better in the future despite her disability. 

Waitressing is a hard job, a crippled daughter with her mother makes for a harder life, and a lover with a deadly illness makes for one of the most difficult lives and deaths of all...but these are things many of us go through. Those of us that haven't may be in for a shock later because you never know what might happen. I mean just yesterday as of this writing there was an active shooting at a mall near my house!  A mall I've been to many times!

We love our anime heroes and cheer them on. We want them to persist and even when they fail we still love them. Yet we count ourselves out far too easily when we face the same storms they did. We let our positive and strong anime minds revert back to our negative and weak "realistic minds". 

I wanted to share these thoughts with you because, for one I think many people feel the same way. And for two I think that this is something we need to be conscious of in order to get better at life. So I'm going to offer some slightly different things in this post than I have in any previous one. I'm going to continue talking about anime and having fun. But I'm also going to try to inject practical and useful stuff in here to try and help all of you who read these posts. Hopefully I can provide tangible and useful support rather than just the typical emotionally sensitive yet vague and lofty support you often get from writings about idyllic lives!

Advice Section 1-Forming Groups

1 Tea Club)There are a number of realistic ideas for forming social groups that I've learned about from anime.
From Amagami SS I was quite fond of the Rihoko arc due in large part to the inclusion of Rihoko's tea club and it's two interesting and funny upperclassmen Manaka and Ruriko. As simple as the premise was the presence of interesting characters that could always provide an entertaining afternoon actually got me pretty well on board with the idea of a tea club. Now I know legitimate Tea Clubs in Japan do a lot of highly skilled mixing of serious tea brews and have a lot of rules about specific ceremonies. If you have the discipline for that then more power to you! But you could also just make up your own ceremonies or games you could play. But the important thing is to build your group identity around a common bond so that the group becomes passionate about what they do and thus will build trust, loyalty, and group customs. In fact if you invented your own ceremonies that would make the bond all the stronger as it would be something unique to your gang!

2-Lost Arts Club) Anime often depicts ancient Japanese styles of combat, ceremonies, mythologies and the like. I've often thought to myself that if would be fantastic to organize a disciplined group around martial arts, especially with respect to the old Bushido code and the honor and trust of samurais. That kind of thing could probable do a lot of good in our world and would make all its members feel proud, strong, and happy.Plus developing skills our world typically doesn't get to see would be incredibly exciting! And for those who are not so physical, you could take on an ambition like one that I still hope to achieve. Once I can afford the resources and learn the techniques I'm going to try to make my own old-style Japanese clothes like Kimono, Hakama, and Yukata. 

Advice Section 2-Self-Improvement

1 Training) I have good news for you! YOU ARE NOT PERFECT! I hope you understand what I'm implying when I say that. There is so much out there for you to learn and do! I personally would have a lot of respect for someone who mastered archery or marksmanship. If your good at sewing clothes I'd appreciate a few pointers. The thing is, your going to have to have faith that you are a great person for diligently working of tedious things. Concentrate on honing your craft and you can go far and live an epic life. Life right now I'm honing both my writing skills and my public relations skills as I post blogs that entertain and hopefully assist people. As for your tedious and hard training think of it like...A Time Skip! Sawyer7mage is an anime enthusiast youtuber of whom I am a casual fan. In one video he's advising about what to do in the face of rejection  and it simplifies his advice by say that you essentially have to go on a time skip. So when your dealing with what you think of as boring and tedious crap, just imagine that this is the part of the anime that you don't see. The time skips and the spans of time between where the scenes are cut together for a great show. These parts may be unseen and not very grand but they are an invaluable part of the whole show. They will set you up for greatness!

The Final Words

2 Look For Beauty) Anime and Manga are designed so you can easily see the beauty of what's happening even during the hard times. But in your own life you have to deliberately look for the beauty in your life. Be thankful for the existence of your life and your loved ones. Admire a starry night sky every once in a while, and take time to savor your meals. You have to appreciate yourself and everything you have, even if you don't have that much. Find something to hold onto and keep going. Find the beauty in your own life and hold on to it!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Anime Thermos Developments!

Hello everyone!

As you may or may not have noticed Anime Thermos has been on a lengthy hiatus. But fear not!

It is not dead yet! Though I don't know how long it will truly be able to live I am determined to put out some new material soon! I'd say in the next couple weeks.

Stay tuned!!!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Anime:Failing Tests and Acing Life!

This'll be my first Poke'mon reference!

I was involved in a discussion recently in my summer class with a classmate and a teacher about how tests that you have to take in school are really unreliable in terms of determining whether or not someone is qualified to actually do something. My teacher as it turns out, agreed very much. You see when you have to undergo formal assessments in life like written tests, interviews, applications, probationary periods and other such things, those assessments are designed more so for the convenience of the test giver often to the disadvantage of the test takers.

The ultimate goal of formal testing is to filter out the hordes of applicants vying for some kind of position. But unfortunately, as efficient as this process is it comes at the price of not being able to accurately judge individual skill and ability and passes judgement on people based on a few general factors. Believe it or not a lot of resumes get thrown out without even being looked at because at first glance they just didn't seem interesting or special...

Anime helps encourage our psyches' when we have to face this terrible reality however. Like with the cases of Ash Ketchum. Tell me, how does Ash win a lot of his gym badges? Think about it. He won on a fluke with Brock when the sprinklers broke, Misty's sisters just gave him a badge out of gratitude, Sabrina gave Ash a badge because he made her laugh when her whole life she never even smiled, Erica gives him a badge for putting out a fire Team Rocket started even though it wasn't clear he was going to win the gym battle, and with Giovanni well I don't really remember but he got it under some bullshit circumstances...

So what the hell?! Ash won like two gym battles and yet got all eight gym badges! That's not how the system is supposed to work!

                                          I bet he earned every one of them properly though!

I'm sure many of us have this nagging feeling that I have that we're being underestimated. It's been said that we judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, but others judge us by what we have already done. Which is damn right, and damn ridiculous because everyone of us starts life out having done absolutely nothing...then we have to prove ourselves on a pre-existing standard that is based on someone's interpretation of how skill and potential ought to be tested.

So yea, we don't really like the way we're assessed so harshly because we all know the world could be so much better than it is. Everything that should be yours could be yours would be yours if they only knew!

The world is so unfair...

Black Lagoon give another example of this with Rock being a peon who got into college a year later and got his ass kicked by his bosses on a daily basis. His only grip on sanity being the hope of rising to the top one day. But true to the arrogant nature of the system, his company throws Rocks life away to protect the special interests of the elite superiors. Rock is totally a failure of life's tests here. He obviously couldn't manage to do what his bosses did to get ahead and now his life is as good as lost. But, then something exciting happens! Rock hits his breaking point, becoming enraged at how everyone thinks they can just get their merry way at his expense. Well Rock decides he's had enough of this shit, and do you know what he does? I'll tell you...get ready if you're sure you want to know I'm about to say it...

Rock starts Acing life: After a bit of arguing with the Black Lagoon crew he manages to come up with a brilliant and insane strategy to take on a gunship that's preparing to make Swiss cheese out of the Black Lagoon and it's crew. They basically decide to charge headfirst at the enemy chopper and drive the torpedo boat right off a sunken ship turned stunt ramp to launch right up to the helicopter and blow it away with a torpedo turned surface to air missile! 

About here is where I got hooked on the show.

And how could I forget Naruto. Both the titular character as well as Shikamaru both prove that even if you're not too good in school you can still kick life's ass. Naruto went into the Chuunin exams dumb, deaf, and blind. Without knowing what he was in for he insisted that he wouldn't cheat (missing the point of the first exam) and that he would move forward full throttle to the tenth question despite not having answered even one of the previous nine. As it turns out Naruto's inspirational determination was the correct answer to the tenth and only important question in the entire test. As a result Naruto and the remaining group all pass the first exam!

Now a part of me called bullshit on this whole thing, especially in light of Ibiki musing about how he passed a candidate that didn't answer a single question. But on the other hand I felt a sense that this bullshit was actually serving justice, because it was giving a foolish underdog a fair chance to succeed in life based on the merits of his determination and positive character.

My father took an entrance exam for a technical school called Chubb Institute a long time ago and he BARELY made the cut to get in...yet during his whole time there he made straight A's. My mother who did not go to college was stifled in her previous job when she was lied to about receiving a management position she was promised and had it given to someone else and then some college graduates took up the positions of manager and director of later left that place and got her management job at a smarter place who could appreciate her ability. 

So in my life I've have plenty of experience with people not getting the credit and opportunity they deserve simply because they don't meet the FORMAL BS requirements. That's why I get all warm and fuzzy inside whenever my heroes of anime can get past the failed tests and ace life itself. Even better than Naruto's example was Shikamaru who apparently only did poorly in school because it was a drag for him (I tend to agree...) but when his intelligence was tested under the guise of a game it turned out he was a genius and he proved it in the Chuunin exam battle segment! Now on that note I'd say that there's an idea they should incorporate into real world tests. Similar to how the Chuunin exams test real world ninja skills, real life tests should actually allow you to demonstrate your abilities in action rather than relying on paperwork and applications. 

I say that people really need more opportunity in life to show everyone what they're capable of because we are so much more than what we are given the chance to reveal. That's the message that I think anime communicates and it's one that I want to reiterate. Give people the chance to be the best they can be, and let's find out just how far we can push the limits of life. 

I like the idea of being in such a position as picture here. ;)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Anime Thermos News

Not ready to post another blog just yet. I'll keep going as long as I can but I want to have the best stuff possible.