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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.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Anime Thermos Mission Part 2

 Well things have been going well I'd say. Though I still have a long way to go. I've made a few changes to my attitude and made a few decisions about what I'm going to do with my life. First I'll address the objectives I laid out last time in this blog.

As far as acquiring a kimono I did some searching around and determined that there is a severe lack of good looking men's kimono's available. It seems to me that the market focuses on making gorgeous feminine kimono's for the ladies and gets a bit stingy when it comes to making the men look good. So, I've decided to resolve this problem by going back to the old project of just making my own Japanese style clothing.

I'm shooting for an image like this guy...yea.

 On the next point I've found a very good way of introducing the spirit of anime inspiration by way of tried and true Japanese philosophy. I've advertised to family and friends recently about the high respectability of the Japanese culture. I cited to them a documentary I watched on the making of the Katana which was really great. The discipline and meticulous pursuit of perfection and reliability in everything they pursue. It takes half a year for a team of highly experienced experts to produce one single katana blade.

 I also like to alert people to the legacies of the Japanese. There is actually a Japanese inn that has been run by the same family for 1300 years! Not only that but while there were five sword schools in Japan in the 14th century, there are still only those five standing today! The discipline, the legacy, and the dedication are astounding. By points like these I can truly make a case that the inspirations I've gotten from Japanese made entertainment in manga and anime are not simply childish fantasies.

Anime features Katana wielders so much because of the greatness they are and the greatness that gives birth to them!

Also, I've made a decision about myself that is of the utmost importance. I have to train myself to be a far better human being if I am going to have any hope of success in rising above this world...

By my calculations the man I am now is only one one billionth of the man I need to be. The problem is that there are serious obstacles and opponents to overcome in order for any subculture to rise to prominence and be at least tolerated and hopefully respected. Unfortunately there is no hope of this unless strong men and women rise to the challenge and can manage to hold confidence in the face of adversity. This can only be accomplished if said men and women can build enough strength to bear the burden. I intend to be the first of these fighters. The dream life can't be lived unless the nightmare battle is fought and won first and foremost.

 Recently I have been inspired with some heroic visions that make me feel that I can do it after all.

Ul from Fairy Tail has become on of my favorite anime characters in spite of the fact that I'm only on episode 18 of that anime. She earned my respect so quickly because of the few short flashbacks in which I saw her raise two kids and seal the darkness of the traumatized Gray along with the great monster Deliora by making a badass and epic sacrifice of turning herself into an Iced Shell and doing it with a missing leg replaced by a prosthetic Ice one. I love this character immensely. It says a hell of a lot when a character can give so much quality with such a short amount of screen time.

Such quality... ;)

 I'm also rapidly coming to identify with and love Rikuo from Nurarihyon no Mago in both his incarnations...

Mostly the badass demon incarnation but I do like both...

 Great strength, rationality, and gentleness with a concern for his allies even though they are subordinate to him. Actually, because of the bad taste authority has left in my mouth through my life I tend to like any character in authority who is kind and caring to his/her subordinates.

 I am now engaging on a mission with three main parts to it. Number one is that I must build my strength in body and spirit and intellect to the highest caliber that I can achieve as long as I am living. Number two is that I will seek out true friends who will be my trusted and beloved allies in the adventure of life who will be by my side and I at their side as we build ourselves up to greatness. Finally, number three is that this group once formed is to embark on a life long quest to liberate the world from stingy outdated rules and regulations and advance the world on a creative, fun, and meaningful path with friendship, love, and family.

The goal is actually quite simple, but it's challenging because it requires a courageous step into unknown worlds. 

 I have written out carefully thought out principles that I hope will serve as a personal guide for me. Hopefully if they are good enough they will serve others as well. I have them laid out here:

Values (Operationalization)

Honesty, Integrity, and Trust: It is necessary for people to formally agree in direct, clear, and personal communication upon the standards and demands of one's relationships to others and responsibilities for ones position(s) in the community.

Discipline: We believe in decisiveness. we live by the decisions we make or fail to make and all decisions and promises must be followed through with maximum energy and effort.

Humility: We are all vulnerable to both failure and misfortune, to proclaim otherwise either publicly or within ones heart is to embrace a self-comforting yet ultimately unhealthy illusion which spawns arrogance and instills in people contemptuous and rude attitudes towards one another.

Compassion: Humility is understanding our own weakness' and vulnerabilities, while compassion is understanding weakness' and vulnerabilities in others. We must confess recognition of the challenges that our fellow humans must face, and help and forgive them insofar as it is reasonable to do so.

Zeal and Zest: We must decide to spend all of our time in healthy, productive, and fulfilling pursuits which promote happiness and love. We must always look for a way do survive and thrive especially after having failed at something!

Simplicity: We must maintain our health and the positive mindset needed to be the best we can be and so we must never push ourselves too hard or too fast with excessive complexity and overly numerous or strenuous tasks. If stress is a part of your life that is normal, but if stress defines your life it is too much. Success achieved by losing more than what is to be gained is simply a waste.

Unity:Individuals are of great importance, this is true of all individuals and so we must care deeply both for ourselves and those whose lives we connect with. People shall speak and act for the most positive possible outcomes for everyone including themselves.

Legacy: Whatever we know and learn will be passed down to newer/younger members of our family to carry on after we are no longer able to.

Spirituality: A reverence for the Universe and a belief in power within the soul. We assert that life must have meaning and value and that some higher power is at work in our lives. For who can account for the meaning of life without invoking some supreme universal force? The universe has a soul!

Statement of Purpose

We will work hard to learn as much as we can and build the highest quality things that make life of the greatest achievable quality. Furthermore, we will bond with one another through mutually beneficial speech and action that creates shared memories. Finally, we confess recognition that every reward demands a sacrifice and that this is an inescapable dilemma of life that serves to give our lives meaning. We will sacrifice what we must to reap the rewards that are of greater worth!

I've begun with the summer class I'm taking now, the CLEP test I'm taking in Spanish at the end of this month, and the surge in ebay selling I've begun doing. All of this developed within the past two weeks in accordance with my claim on this blog back then!!!

I'm going to learn Spanish and I'm going to do serious research and writing in my class. On top of that I'm starting to rekindle my profit making ability with my salesmanship. On top of this I am additionally going to restart my martial arts practice. I've got five years of formal training but then fell out of it for economic reasons. But now I'm taking it up again as a hobby on my own time with my own creative training methods. 

I am so very proud and excited that I've managed to work up the nerve to set forth on this endeavor to rise above my usual mediocrity. I pray that in time I will have a life that grows brighter and brighter with each passing day, with my happiness and power seeping into all who are around me!

Let's see this become reality!

Wish me well everyone!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Anime Thermos On A Mission!!

Oh my GOD...I have no idea what to talk about this time around.

 You see I'm feeling the tug of real life dragging me into stuff that I really need to take care of but really wish I didn't have to. Somehow it seems my favorite anime heroes have the most convenient possible circumstances for their insane ambitions. For example, there is this really nice unclaimed wooded area right in my neighborhood. For years now I've fantasized about setting up some kind of clubhouse or something right in there. I could just chop down a bunch of the trees there and use them to build. I'm sure with a bit of digging I could have a nice foundation or even a basement...a giant basement where I can have combat training sessions and barbecues!

And read shonen jump magazine!

 The only problem is that I really couldn't keep it a secret for very long. And when people found out they would be sure to give me a lot of grief over it. Building without a permit, probably building code violations even though I'm sure it would be a safe structure even if it doesn't follow the normal rules, and guess what... my town is managed by an association which is really stingy about how clean and nice everything looks and how it all affects the prices of the houses. The construction of a golf course a couple miles away shot the price up by thousands and we don't even use the damn thing! On the flip side, my clubhouse of dreams would probably drive house values down and piss a lot of people off...they're such sticks in the mud!

Come on Suzaku the rules aren't that important!!!

 I feel like I live in a world filled with Suzaku' really everyone has this love affair with following the status quo and many of them will even make themselves out to be heroes for defending those damned rules.
Unfortunately, I tend to go around acting like Suzaku too. It's too easy, to just fall into the narrative that the world likes to tell you. All about working hard and studying hard and sacrificing yourself for the good of society and if you do all that you'll be a hero rewarded with wealth and popularity and beautiful mates for the choosing.

 Here's a list of some of my favorite anime characters: Haruhi Suzumiya, Haruka Morishima, Lelouch vi Brittania, Saito the familiar of zero, Kisuke Urahara, Ichigo Kurosaki, Yoruichi Shihouin, Naruto Uzumaki, Hashirama Senju, Shunsui Kyoraku, and I could go on and on.

Not only would I like to be one of these characters but I would really love to have a dream team that is full of them. Really the only reason why I can't live the dream life of anime is because instead of being surrounded by brilliant weirdos I have to cope with a community of excessively sensible and average intellects...

Yea...I wish.

 Imagine now if I went to the local government and gave a rousing speech about the importance of anime and the sensibility of insanity. I would be laughed out of the town hall or where ever we would be for that!
I wonder now if maybe there might be a way to ease into it. You can't really shove crazy into people's faces too much or you'll traumatize them and make them turn on you.

Suzaku got mad about my inappropriate blog post about liking girls body parts but no worries, Lelouch won't give me up because he's a cool anti-hero. ;)

Sooooo, here's what I'm thinking. I'm going to start with some building blocks of anime crazy. In order to pull this off though I can't be bashful or shy about it. I have to confess that I usually hide my love for anime from people in my life. I've also been trying the geta and kimono projects in secret. I do this to avoid the ridicule. But maybe I can tap into my psychology knowledge and experience here. I'm going to try to give people ever increasing exposure to anime and on top of that I can sell it to them with the best advertising of all; the promise of happiness

 Ads today play on your desire for love and family and friendship to sell you things that won't get you even close to any of that. But I'm confident that anime inspired living can achieve that happiness. I'm sure of it because that is the underlying theme of many of the best anime's to have ever been made!

Love :)
Friendship :)
Family :)

 To make certain I succeed I'm going to define my first objective right here and now and I'm going to give myself until July 14th, 2013 to post a blog reporting on some manner of progress/adventure I have had with regard to the overall mission of bringing anime spirit into the general world.

Here's my definition of success for objective number one:

 Acquire a kimono and openly wear it for anyone to see.

 Meet people new and familiar with an open communication of my love for Japanese things.

 Refrain from being too crazy until comfortable rapport can be built.

Unfortunately by necessity I find I will have to be on fairly good behavior while I try to convince people that it's okay to be brilliant weirdos. I'll outsmart these normal folks with their own normal boring chatter and confuse them by infusing just a tinge of anime silliness at a time.

These fools will never know what hit them...hahahahahahahahahahahahahha!

Just sitting here at the computer looking normal while I slowly make the world more exciting. I even have a black rock with Japanese inscriptions I painted on it. Haruhi's pyramid thing there inspired it.

So there you have it. In roughly two weeks I'll be reporting to you guys with some manner of progress I've made with this undercover mission to save the world from dullness and anime from suffocation under the weight of that dullness.

I hope I'll make you guys proud!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Anime Thermos News!

 Sorry guys, but as with any hobby there are times when things impede my ability to post on this blog!
So I won't get anything up until Monday July 1st. Don't worry though I haven't abandoned this thing at all!!!

Thanks Guys!

Damn that's nice...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Popular Anime Theme: Soul Versus World

 Dear readers! What's the difference between a King and his horse?! I'm not talking kiddie shit like one's an animal and one's a person, or one has two legs and one has four! If their form, ability, and power are exactly the same how does one become the horse that carries the king into battle, and the other becomes the king who leads the battle?!

According to Ichigo's inner hollow Zangetsu there's only one answer...



 There's a theme that I found that serves as a predicting factor in whether or not I will love an anime or manga, and this seems to also predict whether most otakus will love a series as well. The theme is the glorification of the idea that an aggressive and strong spirit has the ability to overcome every challenge and defeat every enemy.

 Hollow Ichigo's speech on instinct to Ichigo makes my blood boil like hell. Whenever I've been stressed out by the challenges of life I like to relieve myself by playing scenes like that for myself in order to indulge in the dominating attitude of a powerful and crushing force of nature!

 Here's the deal: In order to be powerful we have to seek out the struggle and pursue domination tirelessly. The world is full of uncertainty, the laws of physics establishes that the universe tends to be disorderly and chaotic and the fact that there is any order and life at all is miraculous, requiring more and more energy to be constantly put forth in order to power any action. This means that the only thing we can truly rely on is the spirit within.

 I don't think that I became a master of statistics because it was just easy for me to understand but rather because I was so desperate after failing the first test that my survival instincts kicked into high gear and forced me to dedicate every ounce of energy I could spare to overcoming the hurdle of equations and word problems that threatened to ruin my life in quite a literal sense.

 It was the fear, the determination, the adrenaline essence it was the emotional and spirited force within me that drove me from a failed first test to a final grade of an A come semesters end.

 That was a really moving experience for me. It was an intellectual pursuit but it didn't feel intellectual. I was pushing forward with a force of spirit that I released from within myself. I can also attribute other successes I've enjoyed to the same thing. Learning to ice skate was a bit of a challenge because my body was not really accustomed to the way it had to balance and move. I found that when I tried to analyze and deliberately control my every movement I would trip and stumble constantly. The key to my success was something I struggle to find the words to explain. But I learned to skate through a process of allowing myself to adjust and adapt naturally and instinctively as opposed to trying to force some manner of control over the situation.

 For some reason we think we can and should try to control everything in life, and that worrying and fretting over things in a paralysis by analysis will somehow make everything perfect...

But I think that Urahara was on to something with his speech early on in the series.

When you attack, you kill.

 I love it so much when I feel my emotions validated here. It's like my heroes are assuring me that my feelings are valuable and that I can accomplish anything by sheer force of will. They tell me not to be afraid or doubtful because all I have to do is act with decisiveness. Don't try to accomplish but rather, make the decision that you will accomplish something.

I don't think that this reliance on will power is illogical or unrealistic or ignorant of our physical limitations in spite of the fact that it often sounds like that is the case. I believe that it is simply the best way for us to make use of our physical power and our intellectual ability and overcome our weaknesses and limitations.

Spiritual power is the basic necessity that makes all of our achievements possible. This creed is the driving force of popular anime and manga. Our favorite anime moments are when our favorite heroes unleash the power locked deep within them to overcome even the most oppressive and degrading of circumstances. Allowing us to vicariously live our dream of looking at our opposition and shouting a big F-YOU!

I'm not certain that I'm being very energetic and strong in this post but that's because I'm genuinely not feeling like doing that, but I'm going with what feels like the best way to communicate with you guys this time around. I communicating naturally and with the flow of emotion and events that happen in my life.

Here's the message that I wish to communicate this time around. Do not have faith that things will work our alright, even Ichigo would have died early on if he was just working on plain faith. The alternative that anime and mangas demonstrate to us is in spiritual power. Don't worry about things going a certain way, instead make a decision that you are going to accomplish a certain mission or task or lifestyle and then commit yourself to it 100%. Use all of the force you can muster just like Ichigo or Naruto and don't ever give up. This is not a pep talk or some kind of inspiring speech. I am literally just telling you what you ought to do.

 To summon all of the power of your spirit to do the job is always a perfectly reliable thing for you to do and it's the best advice I can give to readers I don't know. Because it applies universally. I don't know your particular life situation and I don't know what you're going through but I know that if you can make the choice to power through no matter what's in store you will be able to get things done.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Anime Outlandishness: Fake It To Make It?

I am in an interesting position to be writing this blog post right now. I was in a bad mood this morning because I feel that I've fallen so short of my ideals. To be an exciting and interesting person who makes people laugh and smile and to fight off all of the world's evils. But the problem is that I'm a real guy living in the real world and I don't have the pleasure of Tsundere witches to summon me to a magical world.

Anytime you're ready baby just call on me and I'll take good care of you!
I need to say that I was trying to come up with my next super entertaining anime blog to wow everyone and once again get myself some good ratings. But there's an interesting difficulty that comes with the weekly demand I placed upon myself for blogging. By requiring myself to post every week I put great pressure on my creative powers. It's no longer something I can just work on whenever I feel inspired, because now I've developed a routine of a once a week post that everyone can count on and if I have a bad week creatively I have to just take the chance of writing a poor post, which I believe I may have done a couple of times.
Me...on a week when I have no idea what to blog about...
The reason I'm writing about this is because I feel that in principle I have to be honest with you readers. I can't try to write some wild and philosophically significant post if I don't have an honestly significant revelation for you. But no matter what I always have my true self who can always just talk to you. So I will talk to you about something random and simple this time around.
Thinking back I really don't remember why I started this blog specifically, but I know it had something to do with trying to build something that might grow into a bigger project that gave me a worthwhile purpose in life. I used anime because it was something that I knew I could write passionately and abundantly about and I turned out to be absolutely right!
YAY! Cheer over...any excuse you have!!!

When I was a kid anime's were just another cartoon with slightly different looks. Interestingly enough it was only when I became more mature and came into adulthood that I really started to appreciate them as a separate genre with their own messages and themes.
In anime the characters you see don't fake anything that's really important. They will just be themselves and do whatever they can and amazing plots develop and thicken simply by the forces of their natures. That's what I'm trying to do now. I'm not going to bullshit you guys with some fake stuff that I conjured up in order to make some entertaining post to get my "ratings" up so I'm just communicating with you my current thoughts about anime as they come to me.
I'm currently watching an anime called Oda Nobuna no Yabou. It's turning out to be a fun viewing because of an ingenious female ruler of an ancient Japanese territory who is looked down upon because who she is doesn't agree with popular ideas of her time. That relates in a way to my life. Okay, maybe it would be presumptuous to call myself a genius but I have grand visions for what I think the world could and should be.
I picked the pic of this character because the big breasts caught my eye, because I'm a genius! ;)
 I don't believe in writing a blog that is strictly a simple review of anime episodes, so instead I fill these posts with my own personal thoughts about what anime is all about. But this blog is just the tip of my aspirational iceberg. I want to build a whole world on the inspirations I've gotten from anime.
Read this whole's worth it.
 But mainly my so called strategy for accomplishing my goals has been to just act as optimistic and funny as I can in the hopes of starting a bandwagon that gets on board with some lofty ideals of wild and crazy creativity which allows us to live in a much more free and colorful world.
 Truth be told, I'm still really scared. I don't want to screw it up because I want to be absolutely sure I have some really amazing stuff that I will totally be allowed to show you on this blog and everywhere else.
This is what I must do...

But what if I became just as unpopular and ridiculed as Naruto was as a child, or used and abused like Eleven rebels from Code Geass? Would you readers still believe in me? Would I still have some following somewhere that would be enough to allow me to maintain a good job with benefits and give me a reasonably good social status? I'm not so sure about that and that's why I'm scared to carry my anime inspirations all the way through. Because I saw the prices that my favorite anime heroes had to pay for their success, and I'm not so sure if I'm prepared to make the same sacrifices.
To look like a complete fool again just like I did at my old lose the respect of struggle and fight to get people to believe in me and what I offer...our anime heroes really are heroes to us all because they take the punishment we don't want to take but wish that we could.
I really desperately want to make that pay the price...but I'll need a lot of strength and courage to do it. Because I'm building an anime world, the likes of which have never been seen before. Or at least that's my dream.
Please forgive me if you were hoping for some simple entertainment here, because this time I just felt like talking to anyone who would read. I'm not just an entertainer, because I strive to be a revolutionary leader just like our favorite characters. Please cheer me on as I navigate this harsh world in search of the greatness of our heroes!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Anime Character: Where Should My Heart Reside?

 A mind blowing realization hit me a while back and I'd like to talk about it now. It concerns the complete and total cognitive dissonance that is wrought on my brain by anime and manga.

 For clarification cognitive dissonance is the holding of contradictory thoughts and behaviors within yourself which bring discomfort and an urge to set yourself straight. I get that crap waaaay too often... Let me talk a bit about the two guys pictured above who fittingly enough are both voiced by Johnny Young Bosch. Lelouch vi Brittania on the left and Ichigo Kurosaki on the right. Here's my problem or problems: I really love both characters. I admire their values and heroism and determination and I love their compassion for their loved ones and their fellow man in general which drives them to serve the worlds needs as best as they can.

 These two characters and their respective anime's/manga's have provided me hours and hours of entertainment, excitement, and philosophical value. Okay, now compare these two characters in your mind and see if you can figure out why my love and admiration for each of these guys strikes me as a problem...

I'll give you a few seconds...

 Did you notice yet? The issue I have is that these two characters are really nothing a like in any but the most vague and general ways. Their respective methods of protecting people and saving the world are vastly different. Remember when Ichigo left Ikkaku alive after beating him and even treated his wounds? This was an act of honor and respect in Ichigo's mind which he felt he owed to Ikkaku. Tell me, do you think Lelouch would have done any such thing? Not a chance in hell, when he cornered Prince Clovis and learned that Clovis had no knowledge or involvement in his mother's death and sister's crippling he went ahead and killed Clovis anyway because well, in his own words: "This is war, why wouldn't I kill an enemy commander?"  No remorse and no mercy.

Same deal with Ulquiorra and Princess Cornelia. After beating the hell out of Ulquiorra in hollow mode Ichigo insists that Ulquiorra cut one of his arms off because it "wasn't fair" to use the hollow mode or something stupid like that... but when facing Cornelia at Narita Lelouch had no qualms about having Kallen face down Cornelia while he shot the arm off Cornelia's knightmare from behind. Ichigo wants to fight fair and honorably where Lelouch just wants to kick some ass.

Cornelia got rocked! And not in a good way.
 The examples are far from over, but to get to the point I have trouble with my own choices of approaching all of life be because anime screwed my mind up. It tricked me in to sympathizing with numerous philosophies and perspectives, many of which contradict each other!
Anime makes deciding what to believe in really difficult for me because I fall in love with characters of all personalities and persuasions. Soifon from Bleach likes to maintain animosity and distance in her squad. Stating at one point that she doesn't like a cozy atmosphere and believes in keeping the soldiers on their toes. She constantly berates and beats Omaeda and she strikes me as a badass and sexy lady in Bleach. Just the one recent manga panel of her training and sweating her ass off struck me with awe and admiration.

 But then again, absolutely everyone, including myself and even Soifon (especially Soifon) absolutely loves Yoruichi Shihouin, and if you'll notice Soifon in nothing like her. Yoruichi is laid back and fun loving and as a Captain she insisted on being addressed very informally saying that skill and power was more valuable than manners. Also, she's has a lot of sex appeal is well aware of that fact and even uses it for amusement from time to time.

This scene is cannon and it is hilarious.

 So here are the questions I keep trying to answer for myself. Who am I really? Who do I want to be? Where does my heart reside? Is that the best place for it? What people both real and fictional do I most identify with and why? If I make a choice to go down one path then what am I to make of all the roads not travelled?
Many questions such as these plague my existence constantly. I have one constant that I do hold onto which is my desire to be a Main Character of life. I want to be someone who matters, who improves the world and makes people happy when he's around. Someone who entertains and protects and makes a good living too.
 This confusion I have can be seen in my blog postings. I've kept it mostly PG rated but you'll notice that the posts for Black Lagoon and Chivalrous Perverts detract from that tendency into more R- Rated stuff.
 That happened because it's my own attempt at real life personal character development. I'm trying to become a character myself. I don't want to play it safe anymore as a common person. I want to do all the exciting things that a charismatic and heroic anime guy might do.
I'd rather have this...but instead I have a lap top on me that's burning my potential children out of existence...
 If I really want to get to where my heart is I have to be honest about what I think and feel, and I have to confess to what really gets my heart racing as I indulge in my anime fandom. I am really a big fan of characters who are aggressive and tough. I like power and conquest and smartass remarks. I'm also very interested in lady lovin'. These are things I like.
 The really trouble I have is where my heart is versus where society and my life circumstances seem to insist it ought to be.
High School of the Dead: No I don't have a problem with the excessive fan service!
If it was my show Saeko would be real I would've picked her as my lady and she would be on me right now instead of my lap top and this blog could just go straight to hell for all I care!
 But noooo, I don't get to have my zombie apocalypse and my beautiful Saeko and instead I have this oh so sexy lap top giving me such an intense time that I might get carpel tunnel by the time I publish this damn post. Okay so maybe it's a bit harsh wishing Armageddon on the world just so I can live out my sicko fantasies but you know what? I need something to happen. I need to get my passion out because it's absolutely killing me to live in such a passive and nonchalant state when I know greater and more fun things are possible for me to do and experience! Here I am in the prime of my youth and all I've done is get mostly good grades in school and had a few laughs from time to time eating meals with people or ice skating or watching movies or anime where other people who are decidedly not me have all the fun.
 I have a lot of good things in my life but you know what? That's a load of crap, because what matters in not what I get from life but what I put into life! And I've failed miserably thus far.
To reiterate, it's not about what you take but what you do!
 I'm now noticing my penchant for fan servicey pics in this blog and my preference for a more casual writing style. This is a significant departure from the style with which I began this blog. It would appear that this post itself has been an experiment in finding my own heart.
Anime to me is something that is meant to capture the heart. That's the reason for all of the dramatic twists and turns and the epic speeches that get made throughout them. It's why characters say outrageous things very often and the get into really amusing troubles and quarrels because of it all.
I think that the reason anime is considered to be weird and crazy is not because it defies logic but because it defies the common cultural norm of suppressing our hearts. The status quo is to behave yourself strictly by following all the rules and observing proper etiquette and formalities. Anime characters often don't seem to even know what those words even mean!
 Anime has done me the service or perhaps the disservice of letting me live vicariously through the characters, the very kind of life that I don't have the balls to live myself because I've burned them away with this friggin' lap top!
I couldn't find a burning groin pic because I have not the patience for it right now, but this should suffice.

 So I'm not putting up with shit anymore. I'm going to take a stand for my heart and I'll trust that improvement can be sought through conflict and negotiation rather than wasting my life away in this damn bedroom on the freakin' lap top trying to solve the mysteries of life all by my lonesome. I'm tired of this boring sedentary lifestyle of watching some character who doesn't even exist get more action and make more money than I do.
 Derek Steiner is changing his ways right before you ladies and gentlemen, and I hope you'll like him as much as I do because I think it's gonna be a blast!!!
It would be cruel and stupid to wish for a zombie apocalypse. But if it happens I'm totally doing this.
Thanks for reading now get out of the house and kick life's ass!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Anime's Chivalrous Perverts: Indespensable or Irresponsible?


  Anime likes to push boundaries, there is no denying that. But I would like to share some of my thoughts on the way anime entertains many of its fans with highly sexual and perverted imagery and character behavior which would in real life be often viewed with at the least a sense of anxiety and unease and at worst viewed with great scorn and the urge to hand down great condemnation.

From Rosario + Vampire we have Kurumu Kurono first up to bat! One of my favorite female anime characters and she is designed primarily for erotic themed action in the show. As a succubus it's in her very nature to be sexy and seductive to the Nth degree and will stop at almost nothing to convince Tsukune to have his way with her. As you can tell from the above image, there is no attempt made to be subtle or clever about this. Throughout the show she's very overt in her pursuits by offering to show her panties to climbing sexily on him in bed when they're alone together to busting into his house during vacation wearing lingerie. It's absolutely shameless!
 I for one am very much entertained with these enticing shenanigans and it's one of the aspects of anime that I find most amusing when I'm in the mood for more lighthearted stories. But I sometimes find myself pondering the psychological and social implications of these themes we often see in anime.
 On the face of it we might simply classify this as a shallow technique to grab ratings...after all why bother doing all that work to writing a captivating story with relatable and compelling characters when we can effortlessly nab thousands more viewers with a few pairs of big boobs and some panty shots!?

                 Even Code Geass: One the most mature and thoughtful anime's I know is guilty of at least a few pervy shots...
There's an abridgement of Code Geass on youtube called Code Ment that I find to be very funny. In one of the episodes the maker has the characters repeatedly refer to Kallen Kozuki as the fan service to which she replies: "Why do you keep calling me that?".
I was asking the same question in my head and it's gotten me thinking. I've always thought it was very progressive that anime has a multitude of female characters in lead roles that keep up with the men but what if the writers only write female leads as an excuse to give plenty of screen time to hot female bodies? Is that possible?!
It's important for the plot development I swear!!!
 In my opinion this is likely driven at least in part by the shear entertainment value, people enjoy the perverse shot and so demand more of them and the writers and animators duly deliver the goods. Now many modern feminist minds might object to this debauchery, decrying fan service as objectifying and degrading women. You know, the same old feminist song and dance. I will concede that they have valid concerns with regards to such material, but I would like to argue for a more optimistic and pragmatic outlook.
 Humans are sexual beings...there I said it. Sexuality is simply a part of who we are as creatures on this planet and it represents a huge part of all of our lives. There is not a person who lives now or a person who ever lived who didn't get here through some love making. I think anime is just giving us an outlet where we can comfortably face and indulge in this R-Rated aspect of who we all are.
Terrorists need love too!!

My point is I don't think that fan service is demanded and supplied because of some sick conspiracy to put anyone down based on their sex or sexuality, fan service is exactly that; service to the fans!
We've come a long way as a species. Back in the day you pretty much had to pretend the sex didn't even exist and you just figured it out as you went along if you ever figured it out. Now we at least have it in us to admit that sex is a thing that exists that real people actually do on a regular basis, but there are still plenty of taboos about it. Hell, sexual harassment is the most abused charge in our country. Meaning that over sensitive fools will accuse you of sexual harassing them based on the most gentle and innocuous behavior. Just complimenting the wrong girl on her blouse can get you called out on the carpet now a days. I've even mentioned repeatedly that I myself was shamed and reprimanded for being "too friendly" whatever the hell that means.

 The issue with sexuality in my opinion is that sex in and of itself is an extremely powerful as well as a personal and intimate force of nature. It can make and break people in quite the literal sense and has been doing so since the first mates were chosen and babies made. With this great power you of course have those who wield it for the sake of good, for love and pleasure and procreation. Then you have those who would do harm with it by the devastating pursuit of domination for sexual abusers and the selfish pursuit of someone else's body for your own enjoyment with no respect for the persons needs and wants.
Don't worry he did the right thing and covered her up. ;)

I believe that anime let's us get in touch with this forbidden side of who we are in a context that is both safe and nonjudgmental. We all have these desires in us for the close and shall we say, energetic contact of people we find attractive. It's a part of being human and it's a part of what makes life worth living to begin with. It allows us to think about and deal with our sexuality and that of other people by making it a normal thing to see and talk about as we watch our favorite anime's.
I think, in truth that fan service actually does provide a legitimate if blush inducing service to the fans. It shows us that finding someone attractive and longing for the company of somebody you like is normal and natural and while we have to be respectful we need not repress ourselves.
I also think that this particular subject of sexuality that anime loves to play with is key to addressing the question of how we should live a more free, exciting, and genuine life as inspired by our favorite anime's. One of my best friends is female and though we are of the opposite sex to each other we have no trouble discussing sex and sexuality with one another. We unlike many people I know have confronted this elephant in the room and dealt with is so that we can let it be a valuable and enhancing part of our lives as opposed to an obstacle that constantly gets in the way because we constantly refuse to acknowledge that it's even there.
In order to live with maximum freedom and power we have to deal with the issues that cause the most discomfort and distrust between us as people and I think sexuality with all of it potentially dangerous power is a great place to start. I have put this into practice myself by addressing this with close friends both male and female and I've achieved relationships that have begun to mirror those we see in our favorite anime's with ridiculous characters bantering back and forth and ladies smacking the crap out of guys for stepping out of line.

I would totally give her swimming lessons, I admit it!!!
 So as I close this up I will make both a confession and a declaration. The confession by itself might shock and disturb readers, but I hope that combined with my declaration your minds will be put at ease and you will in fact come to know me as a trustworthy man.
Here it goes:
 I am a heterosexual male of 23 years of age as of the time of this writing. I find females physically attractive and I enjoy fan service in anime. I like breasts, legs, butts, and soft smooth skin with a pretty face. When I notice a pretty lady out in public I will sometimes try to very slyly check her out as much as I can without being noticed. The main reason I like the beach is because of ladies in bikini's and finding a mate takes up a good portion of my brain parts to try to make it happen. The goal of attracting pretty ladies influences many of my life decisions both big and small from my body posture and odor to my career path and philosophy on life. Ladies bodies and possible opinions they may have of me are always on my mind!
That's my confession and now here is my declaration. To all the ladies of the world I declare this, even to the ones that will never read this post. I say to you, I have the utmost respect and love for all of you regardless your looks or your body type. Though I may find some of you to be rather appealing in a variety of different ways, the fact that you are human beings with your own thoughts and feelings is certainly not lost on me. I care very much for you as people and I want you to be happy and healthy. I hope to find one of you that suits me very well and when I do succeed I will work to make her as pleased and she is sure to make me. Don't think I don't know that you ladies have the same urges as the guys have, so ladies let's get along and enjoy each others company to the utmost. When we recognize the forbidden and scarier parts of who we are, they'll get less scary and become useful to our health and happiness. Let's talk and communicate fully and learn how to live well together and give pleasure to each others lives!
Let's rock each others worlds!!!