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Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Anime Life Crash! Let's Shake It Up!

I've really gained an appreciation for a bird's ability to sit in a cage and entertain us!

I've got some exciting news for you! I'm thinking I would really like to traumatize the hell out of myself! Yep, reread that sentence if you'd like because I really mean it. I think we could all benefit from a crushing and frightening crash of our lives.

 There's a certain ironically predictable trend that you'll notice in anime's if you're a true otaku which is that characters tend to get the ball rolling on their crazy, life changing, and maturity inducing adventures. Typically something powerful and hard to reverse crashes into the characters lives which completely and utterly ruins the way of life to which they have become accustomed and quite effectively traumatizes their comfortable habits and ways of thinking. 

 In Bleach Ichigo Kurosaki's advancements are pretty much defined by ridiculous and upsetting things that happen to him. His mothers' death, the hollow attacks on his family, Rukia's execution sentence, the inner hollow threatening his sanity, Orihime's framing for betrayal and capture, the threat of Aizen's god mode, the Fullbringer's distortion of his friends' memories, and the destruction and death wrought on Soul Society and Hueco Mundo by Juhabach. After each and every one of these insane developments Ichigo is thrust into do or die mode and always ends up building an immense amount of strength to deal with the challenges ahead of him. 

 Get ass kicked...
...train hard...
...kick some ass, then repeat process!

So let me tell you what I'm up to now with regards to this information. Tomorrow I'm going to get up as early as I can to do some more studying for my last final of the semester which is at 6 pm tomorrow. After it's all finished I'm going to dive into my newest project ideas. I'm going to start with finally making my geta sandals!
I figured it shouldn't be too hard because I have an ample supply of good wood and the dimensions of geta are rather simple to measure out. Then I'm going to assess the costuming skills I will need to acquire in order to make kimono's and yukata's and I shall get that under way. 

 Now let me explain the relevance here. The reason all of this is such a big deal is because it will be a traumatic experience for me! The only reason I haven't already gotten these projects under way is because I have been terrified of them! I didn't really know where I should start or where to get the materials and I'm stressed out over how exactly a yukata or a kimono are sewn and put together. I've never done these things before, so who am I to dare attempt it!

 Never the less I have changed my perspective of life significantly over the past few months. Through this blog and with the inspiration of my anime's and manga's I have come to realize the great value I get out of a "Life Crash" my term for any kind of experience or endeavor that completely challenges you to learn and grow in order to get through it. It's reminiscent of your favorite anime characters getting thrust into a battle they never wanted to fight, like Kusanagi Godou from Campione! who receives divine power and is compelled to be a warrior against his wishes. Never the less this experience gains him great friends/lovers and makes his life so much more meaningful, happy, and entertaining. 

 One of my favorite examples though is from Amagami SS Plus in the Haruka Morishima arc. Haruka wanted Junichi to propose to her on her graduation day, but Junichi failed to get all of the very obvious hints about what she wanted from him. Soooo...Haruka's cousin, Jessica Sexy Morishima(Yes "Sexy" is her real middle name!) decided to scare the crap out of Junichi in order to get his act together. She made up a lie about Haruka going away to London forever and getting hooked up with another guy potentially, making Junichi think that he was on the verge of losing Haruka his great love once she graduated. So Junichi, in great desperate trauma made a huge ass of himself by getting the speech giving role at the graduation from Ayatsuji and grandly pissed her off when he declared undying love for Haruka and proposed right then and their in front of everyone!!!

 This makes me think of my brother's college graduation which took place on the same day that I am writing this blog post. Guest speaker David Boreanaz said to us all that fear can be a great motivator. This I think is a big part of how "trauma" in certain forms can be very stimulating and helpful for one's development. When you start a new adventure and/or endeavor you are forced to do well once you've decided in your heart of hearts that this is a real deal commitment that you've made.

The picture above is something I found on google, and it is my idealized image of the kinds of Japanese wear I want to produce by hand. One of my ultimate goals is to eventually have a nice Japanese style tea ceremony complete with kimono's, yukata's, high class tea, sweet sake, a kotatsu and wonderful company to make it all worthwhile! I've written this blog about it to initiate the Anime Life Crash of activity in my life that will force my hand. I have now made the commitment and publicized it to my niche community of otakus and I will be documenting my progress both for the readers of this blog and for my personal history with the friends and family who will share in the adventure with me. In truth this blog is more than just something for you to passively read, it the foundation of real action that's going to make this world a more exciting and happy place inspired by the Anime Mind and Spirit!

 So I'm not ready to fight any epic battles to save lives just yet, but I think a Japanese tea party with sake to liven things up is a really great way to Crash my life into the Anime Spirit of living for which I have been a very strong advocate.I also hope that with this blog of mine I can include all of you who read my work in a way that makes you feel like you're actually witnessing and even perhaps partaking in something that could bring our fantasies and dreams into the real world. With this we can take the first steps out of the escapist mindset and into the otaku conquest mindset in which our Anime fandom is a powerful strength as opposed to an embarrassing quirk of nerdy adult children!

 I hope that what I do will be a service to everyone in the world, including you dear mina-san.

Thanks and Enjoy!!!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Anime Faith and Flow!

 Faith and Flow! What have these to do with a life on the go? A lot of power and a spiritual glow!

 I'll let you in on a little secret, all of my blog posts however long or short are typically completed in one sitting within two hours or so(Not counting proofreading and editing though.). I don't spend hours on end planning and perfecting every little detail. I don't have any grand scheme here to attract and brainwash readers with my messages or anything complicated like that. My greatest works in life, whether they be blogs or statistics assignments or sewing projects or carpentry work are all produced with having faith that if I let myself loose and go with the ebbs and flows of life I can and will figure out the most intelligent, meaningful, and enjoyable ways to accomplish just about anything.

 Because of this I would say that I am living my life ever more similar to Anime! One thing that really amazes me about my anime heroes is how they are able to continue on with their battles and adventures no matter what is happening. Take Code Geass, even when there are "breaks" from the action of the war with Brittania the events that unfold remain perfectly relevant and even useful to the main plot. Early in his rebellion Lelouch has to contend with the character Mao who brainwashes Shirley (Lelouch's friend/love interest) and uses her as a pawn to screw with Lelouch, presumably as a part of his hunt for C.C. who is his whole world. Technically this arc is a departure from the main issue of overthrowing Brittania, finding the truth about Lelouch's mother and protecting his crippled sister Nunally, but the writers did an excellent job of keeping everything flowing together.

The image above here has some nice touches to it that are dependent upon the main story line. That gun Shirley is pointing at Lelouch is his own gun which he had under the guise of Zero, which she took from him shortly before learning his identity, while he was on a mission to capture Cornelia because of his failure to do so at Narita, which was where Shirley's father died because of Zero's/Lelouch's carelessness, which is why Shirley was involved in trying to find Zero's identity with the prodding of Viletta Nu, who had her Knightmare stolen by Lelouch just after he received Geass power, which caused her loss of rank which incentivized her find the boy who did that to her. Woohoo! That was a mouthful, but it beautifully illustrates the amazing and gorgeous flow of the whole situation!

 The credit owed to the writers for the accomplishment is enough of a reason on its own to marvel at this flow. But I want to look at the philosophical implication that the writers put forth with how the character's life choices create it. If you watch Code Geass you might notice that Lelouch accepted the terms of C.C.'s "contract" without knowing what the hell the terms even were! It seemed like a reckless decision he was forced into because he was on the verge of being shot dead and needed power to escape fast! But he went for it. In order to do this he needed complete faith that somehow this decision, though it may come with downsides and sacrifice was ultimately the best thing for him to do to achieve his goals so he took up the Geass power and went on to become Zero, a man who would have to make really tough decisions that would lead him to lose a hell of a lot including people he loved for the sake of conquering the mighty Brittanian empire that controlled most of the world, to free that world from the dismal past and moving it into a bright future..

 Now, I think there are great lessons to be learned here. How often have we all failed to carry out some kind of interesting and exciting project or adventure because we got hung up on the risks and rewards analysis or because it hurt too much to think about past failures with the issue of interest. I know I've done it a hell of a lot. For much of my young life I was a shy and sacred little boy who never fueled the fire for fear of being burned by it. I never liked living like that and I am not only proud but happy about the the fact that I am breaking free from it! I live my happiest life when I can dive into something and lose myself. I never would have thought that sewing a simple t-shirt would be so much fun because it seemed like a tedious and difficult task. But at some point I got tired of waiting for the perfect time, tired of waiting for the absolute set of perfect conditions that would enable me to become all powerful, I realized that that time would never ever come...

 But I didn't need it to come...

I decided that I just needed to have faith in myself and in life and just go with the ______. (You can fill in the blank.) ;)

                I just sifted through my collection of pics until I found something good. My friend sent me this to inspire my quest to make kimonos and yukatas.

I was stunned at finding a cure for my ADD. Let me tell you, I sat for hours at a time stitching and stitching and stitching. It was a lot of fun to do all that tedious work and that experience may have led to my ability to patiently work through intense statistics calculations that earned me three 100%'s in a row on stats exams with extra credit on top of that!

 In the Chuunin exams in the anime "Naruto" Shikamaru goes up against Temari in a duel and it's pretty obvious that Shikamaru doesn't want to be there. He muses about how great it would be to live as a cloud just going where ever the breeze takes him. This is normally framed as laziness on his part, but I see a connection between this lazy attitude and the Faith and Flow philosophy I'm talking about here. Shikamaru ultimately accepts the fact that he must fight the duel because there's really no other option, but he manages to go with it spectacularly. Temari thinks she can overcome his shadow manipulation and possession powers by staying out of range, but Shikamaru turns the tide by making use of what he's got on the board already.

 He waits for the sun to lower to extend the shadows, he throws his shirt in the air attached to a kunai like a parachute to make a shadow to extend it more, and finally her catches Temari with the underground shadows by going through a hole Naruto made in the ground! Noted as being super intelligent, the key to Shikamaru's intelligence and success may have a lot to do with his ability to just go with the flow. It's useless to wish for a better situation or advantages you simply don't have but that's okay. Just do what you can with what you have where you are and believe that it will be enough!

   As fun as reading may be we all need a break from the text...hell I even need a break from writing it at times.

Now I don't typically have people dying on me like Lelouch, nor am I risking my life on an ordinary basis like Naruto and friends. But we still have psychological hang ups that hold us back from taking even the slightest risks to get our rewards. I must confess I embarrassed myself a bit at the fabric store. You're supposed to take the cloth you want off the rack and then bring it to someone in the back to be cut to the amount you need...but I tried to just take the whole damn roll and buy every bit while getting confused looks from the cashiers...hehehehehe :P.

 I actually considered quitting out of shear embarrassment, but I was determined not to be so weak and pathetic so I decided that the best course of action was to just have faith and dive into the flowing river of life!

In the end I really enjoyed myself, I'm on the road to making my anime/Japan inspired clothing and activities and I also gained a story worth telling on my blog! This greatness and productivity and fun would never have happened if I had let fear and an attachment to excessive structure hold me back. 

 Ultimately what I'm driving at is that the flow of an anime story is a reflection of a well lived life. The way the characters decide that while they can't foresee every detail they will remain determined to succeed and press forward, everything being so connected we just have to find the one thing that we can pounce on to move ourselves forward. This concept will lead me into my next post which is about what I call the Anime Life Crash. That's what I like to think of as the first domino tipped to start the flowing chain of life's events!

 I encourage you to watch Code Geass if you haven't yet. It's one of my all time favorites! I also encourage you to believe in yourself regardless of your circumstances, because I believe that no matter what you're dealing with there are always options you can discover that will empower you to make progress! You don't know everything that will happen but that's precisely what makes stressing over the unexpected so pointless. Cry if you must, get angry if you must, and feel pain if you must, but don't ever give up. Have Faith and go with the Flow...

 I wish you well mina-san.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


 Hello everyone! I'm just reporting in that because I am in the final two weeks of my semester and so I am swamped with work that I must do well on! Soooooo, unfortunately I will not post my next big thing until later in the week. However, to make up for it I will be aiming for two nice postings within this coming week to keep up my rate of fire!

But to keep you in the loop the next posting will be titled "Anime Faith and Flow!". Think about that and relish your anticipation of it!

 If you care at all about this I am most grateful to you: Thanks A Bunch! You make the whole thing worth doing to begin with!