Monday, May 27, 2013

Thoughts on Naruto Shippuden Chapter 631


This post contains new footage from the Naruto Shippuden Manga. If you do not wish to be spoiled, stop reading. That is all.


   As much as I like Naruto, doing anime reviews just isn't my thing, but the most recent chapter was a bit too interesting to pass up. With a bunch of unexpected events occurring in the manga the last chapter was just as shocking. 

   We're still in the middle of war. Tobi's true identity has been revealed, and the Kages have been defeated. Tsunade is in two, and things are looking grim. While both sides are losing forces, the ninjas are actually losing living humans, contrary to Tobi and friends who are barely falling short or Zetsu clones.

   Sasuke's new resolve has proven to be useful. I'm somewhat thrilled about his change of heart, as he rises up from the depths of darkness. Yet, everything things to be happening so fast, one day he's evil, next he's good; what's going to happen next?

Somewhat odd that Sakura didn't recognize Minato. I mean...his jacket says Fourth Hokage.

   Anyways we get to see the Hokages again. They show up just in time with some new jutsu to seal away the Ten-Tails for the time being. Naruto isn't surprised by their appearance, apparently he sensed them long ago. Later Minato questions if Sakura is Naruto's girlfriend. Naruto somewhat agrees, which of course makes Sakura mad.

  Let's switch over and look at the shipping side of this chapter. If you dislike shippings just bear with me, okay? 

  I wonder what Kishimoto is trying to hint with the similarities of Sakura and Kushina. It seems like he's trying to set up Naruto and Sakura getting together, but what's going to happen now that Sasuke is back? She definitely still has feelings for Sasuke, and then there's Naruto's relationship with Hinata. I think we won't know for sure until this war has ended.

   Aside from the shipping stuff, Sasuke finally makes it to the battlefield along with a pretty unexpected announcement. He wants to be Hokage now, regardless of the crimes he's committed. Naruto of course isn't going to let Sasuke take over his dream that easily. 

One of the greatest moments!

   Team 7 stands again to battle the Ten-Tails. With Naruto fully healed and ready to go, Sasuke with his EMS, and Sakura who apparently has something up her sleeve, the next chapter looks interesting.

   Now, I feel that Sasuke is going to follow through with his plans to become Hokage. After all Naruto and Sasuke never settled their dispute. I think their next fight will not be to the death, but instead a battle for Hokage.

   That's only one possibility. An outcome could occur where they will both take the rule at the same time, similar to the relationship between Hashirama and Tobirama. Later Konohamaru will take the role of 8th Hokage.

   Another outcome I can see happening is maybe the death or injury of Naruto. It would be odd to kill off the main character, but Kishimoto probably has something planned if he decides to take it that route. Naruto will then allow Sasuke to take the role of Hokage in his place. For some reason, I doubt this will happen.

   The last possible thing I can see occurring is Konohamaru somehow becoming Hokage. Naruto and Sasuke do not survive the war, and Sakura is left as the only member of the trio, similar to the Sannin. (Before Orochimaru was revived) Again, this is pretty unlikely.   

   We're also left with a bunch of unanswered questions. 
  • How did Minato learn how to use Bijuu mode?
  •  Is he really going to give the other half of the Nine-Tails to Naruto? 
  • What's going to happen to the Kage? 
  • Could Orochimaru actually be on the good side? 
  • Are Sasuke's intentions true? 
  • Will he be forgiven for his crimes? 

    Still, the chapter was really good. I wait in anticipation for the next one. Seeing Team 7 again is a nice sight.

Coloring by codzocker00

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What Do We Learn from Anime?

   While anime is all fun and games, we're also learning without realizing it. I've been an avid watcher since childhood, and I picked up a few things. Do you ever question yourself and wonder why you act the way you do? Why is it that when I run into another otaku, I'm always greeted in such a friendly fashion? Is friendliness a running trait between an otaku? Is anime actually teaching us? Let's find out!

   The Language

   Majority of anime is in the Japanese. By watching series to series, one starts to pick up words that are commonly used in anime. For me, anime was the reason I became interested in the Japanese. I started researching words, learning different phrases and sentences. I listened to conversations in Japanese, and even started to speak it around the house. Of course my family had no clue what I was saying, but I didn't care. It was great practice.

   There are times when knowing a bit of Japanese has come in handy. First, it gives you an edge in the  news world. There's a lot going on in terms of anime, manga, and otaku culture, but a lot of it is in Japanese. The average Joe has to wait until everything is translated. Well, when you know how to at least read a bit of Japanese you don't have to worry about that. Then again, there's always Google Translate, but it's not the most accurate thing.

   Not only with new releases, they're times when you just can't wait for a sub. Sure, websites promise that they'll have the sub out ASAP, but no one is perfect. Watching anime episodes raw is a great way to pick up the language.

The Guts to Never Give Up

   Sound familiar? In most shonen, the male character has a common trait; they never give up. Watching the struggles of these interesting characters tends to change us. We start to pick up traits from them. We decide that we're not going to give up either. 

   Can you count how many people are fan's of Dragon Ball Z's popular hero Goku? What about Naruto Uzumaki? Don't forget a few other's like Bleach's Ichigo, and One Piece's Luffy. They're all heroes in our eyes. They don't give up either.

How to Treat Others With Respect

   One of the other traits we pick up from anime characters, is how to treat others with respect. In general, the characters are usually good people. They go out of their way to do good deeds for people, and are even sometimes seen as heroes. 

  To top it off, anime isn't something from our country. (In most cases.) Do you know how hard it is to convince some people to view foreign media? It takes a certain level of open-mindedness. Not everyone has that, but viewers of Japanese animation sure do. 

Opens Doors to New Opportunities

   Have you ever heard of this website? The whole site is centered around people writing about anime. Yep, they use the characters from their favorite anime to make their own stories. Sounds pretty interesting right? Now would they have encountered this opportunity without anime? The answer would be most likely not.

  Like I mentioned before, anime is a type of art. It is literature in the form of animation. To create the edge of your seat stories that it brings to the plate, quality writing is a must. The world of animation is immense. 

Who knows what you'll discover next?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why I Love Fillers

  Also known as the bane of anime, fillers are episodes hated by viewers. They are considered to be a complete waste of time and distraction from the original plot. Sure, that's what the majority has to say, but I actually like fillers. Before you write me off as crazy, hear me out.

   They actually add more to the story. Sure, they may not be considered "canon,"(a term that means part of the real plot.) but a few are pretty interesting. Have you ever picked up a really good anime or manga? Did you immerse yourself in the story until you reached the end? You're sometimes left with that empty feeling, a want for more. 

   The fillers provide me with a way to fill that emptiness. They draw out the story and show us parts of the character's everyday life that we wouldn't usually get to see. Maybe the things that go on aren't to your liking, or you might not  care. Still you shouldn't rid yourself of them, you might actually enjoy one.

   I also feel that not only are fillers overlooked, they aren't given a chance. While doing a basic Google search on "Fillers" I encountered many sites telling others to not view them. Reasons were given such as, "They're dumb and stupid." Other's stated "They were a waste of time." What kind of advice is that, it's not even constructive criticism. Now, how do we even know that people watched these things? They could have some personal bias against the anime for some odd reason. Who knows! 

   You have to realize that, unfortunately you can't believe everything you read. If you go into a new experience taking everything with a grain of salt, you will never enjoy anything. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blind to the fact that there are bad fillers and good ones, but if every one was bad the series would have a nonexistent fan-base. 

   Take Naruto Shippuden as an example. The franchise has had it's ups and downs but it still has viewers. For a series running for that long, they must be doing something right. While we're not quite sure if the fillers are non canon, we don't know if they are canon either. They can easily run the episodes by Masashi Kishimoto. (Creator of Naruto.) So who are we to judge when nothing is known for sure?

   Not only are they intriguing, they are helpful for the aspiring writer. Recently in my English class, my teacher advised not only to read for content, but to read for structure. By doing this we would become better writers. I think the same concept can apply to not only anime fillers, but anime, manga, light novels, and other forms of literary art. 
   When watching, I take note of the dialogue exchanged between the characters. I look at the story of the filler and compare it to the main plot. I watch the way they work in the casual episodes within the ongoing story. Writing notes down doesn't really help me, so a lot of this is done mentally. It's kind of hard to explain, but there's a difference between the main plot and other episodes. 

   Even if you aren't an fledgling writer, experienced novelist, or something else of the sort it's a good idea to pay attention to the writing. Many say that the writing in certain episodes is horrible, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't watch it. Learn from the bad to build yourself up!

   I've always watched fillers from start to finish. Even the really bad ones. No, I do not have too much time on my hands, I'm just interested in them. They're like normal episodes, with a twist. They don't follow the main plot, or the manga, but that's what makes them pretty interesting. Fillers are something new, a whole new taste of anime.

"Ah! Fillers are actually pretty cool!"


Friday, May 17, 2013

Japanese Music Spotlight # 2

Even if you haven't seen Bleach, you need to hear this.

Title ~ Hitohira No Hanabira

By ~ Stereopony

About Stereopony

Stereopony was a pop rock band that formed in OkinawaJapan in 2007 and disbanded in 2012. The three-girl band consisted of Aimi Haraguni (lead vocals and guitar), Nohana Kitajima (bass guitar), and Shiho Yamanoha (drums). They were signed to the Sony Records music label. The band released 11 singles and three studio albums.

Stereopony? Too bad they're no more...

Check Out My Cool Threads!

Here's some of the cool stuff I picked up at KhaoticKon!

Wall Scrolls

Was searching for a Sage Mode Naruto scroll, but unfortunately I was unable to locate one. 


B Gata H Kei is a slice of life anime. Instead of focusing on a male protagonist, the story revolves around a girl known as Yamada. She is a fifteen year old high school student. The story turns into a romantic comedy, and is quite funny. Quite a change from the usual high school plot.

Case Closed is a detective anime. The main character is a hotshot seventeen year old detective who is transformed into a young boy. He searches to find the criminals behind his transformation while solving cases despite his small posterior. 


Nendoroid Miku and Kaito. My brother absolutely loves Kaito. The parts swap out and you can change the faces and even body parts of the figures. It's quite interesting seeing Kaito's head on Miku's body.


A nice picture of Wind Waker Link and a magatama necklace. Mine is a bit different than the one pictured, but it's quite similar. 

That's all! I still wanted so much more!

Is Trolling Now the Norm?

No seriously, stop it.

Last time I promised to show a bit of my convention merchandise, but I would like to do a more serious post for the time being.

Pretty much everyone online knows about trolling. If you've never heard of it, trolling is basically the art of making fun or tormenting others for ones own enjoyment. No, it has nothing to do with trolls you see in storybooks and fairy tales. It's something that's become the norm in the online world.

Hold on a moment and replay the previous statement. Trolling is a norm in the online world. So it's pretty much normal to treat others badly? I don't know about anyone else, but to me that's not a good sign. We shouldn't belittle others for our own satisfaction. What does that say to us as a whole?

Then again, trolling is supposed to be for fun and enjoyment. It's not supposed to be serious. There's been an increase of these antics especially in online gaming. The video below show's the popular game Minecraft as example. Guides have been made with trolling specifically in mind.

Trolling is always followed by the signature troll face.(As seen in the video thumbnail.) When browsing the web you'll stumble upon this every now and then. I know it's supposed to be a joke, but could trolling have negative effects as well? What if one gets tired of taking such abuse? Well, apparently there was someone who thought the same way. Just take a look at this article.

It pretty much sums up the who, what, when, where, and why of trolling. The part of unintentional trolling especially; I'm sure some of us annoy or prank others without realizing what we're doing. However, could this be an effect of trolling in our online society? Would we all be nicer people if we weren't around all of these name calling and insults?

Well, the answer isn't clear, but I think so. Taking a look at the trolling techniques in the article, what makes trolling different from bullying? Just because the injury isn't physical, doesn't mean it's any better. It is extremely rage inducing dealing with trolls, especially when one is trying so hard to be good-spirited.

Be the one who leads, not follows.

Yet, when you try to act this way and ignore the crowd. You're bombarded with comments such as, "Why are you such a stick in the mud?" It's almost as if you're forced to join the crowd; it's another form of peer pressure. People even congratulate you for trolling, seen as a way of acquiring glory and fame.

So maybe trolls feel so worthless that they must result to hurting others to raise themselves up. Sounds a bit similar to bullies right? Why else would they do it? Feeling high and mighty because one's on the internet is no excuse. Just because they can't see you doesn't mean you should lose yourself.

I encourage everyone to take a look at their actions. Are you happy with yourself? Do you treat people with care? Joking around is all good and fun, but joking and trolling are definitely not the same thing. Try to stop trolling.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Difference Between Fandoms

   At a glance the otaku community seems completely united. Everyone comments on how "it's all the same." Apparently there are no differences between the fandoms. Sorry, but that statement is completely wrong. While it's hard to tell via the internet, I was able to compare and contrast each fandom in person. I began to notice minor differences between the actions and mannerisms of the members.

One of the best conventions I've attended.

   Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend Khaotic Kon. I had a fantastic time, meeting tons of new people. Of course I attended panels, enough to get a glimpse of the different fans that were present. One thing that I  noticed, aside from the lack of certain groups of people, there was little intermingling between the sections. (Again, this is just from my point of view, I'm no convention expert.) I was one of the few people to travel between different genres of panels, going from gaming to anime trivia to Pokémon. Only a few familiar faces stood out in the crowd during my trip.
   So what causes this? I'm not really sure myself, but I felt the personality traits were based upon the fandom's subject. A huge reference to my other post, right? To cut the explanation short I'll just go over my experience.

  Attending the first panel, I entered the room and took a seat. Gazing around the area, there was a very minute amount present. Only around ten or so as I estimated. It was my first panel of the convention, and I wondered if the rest would be just as empty. Well, it continued on like normal as they showed clips of gameplay. I noticed that there wasn't much interaction with the crowd, the panel was mostly centered on their opinions. We stopped every so often to have a quick discussion, but it mostly involved one con-goer in the room.
Why can't we be friends?

  It was nice to attend, but majority of the game choices didn't fit my style. I guess maybe because I'm not into what's considered "mainstream." I'm more of an fighter/rpg kind of person.

  Anyways, I took the time to examine the people sitting in the room. They were hunched over, leaned towards the TV screen, without blinking. Others sat writing notes down on the upcoming games. There was even talk about the Wii U, and how no one ever plays that. I was pretty much the only one in the panel who actually liked the console.
Get that game face on!

  What really stood out to me was when we had a few people peek in towards the latter parts of the panel. They didn't really acknowledge them much, or even speak to them. They left in a few minutes of entering, I guess they didn't feel much at home? To be honest, the atmosphere wasn't that inviting.

  One of them really stood out to me; a certain young man who entered the room. He asked what the panel was, followed by a few other questions. He wasn't rude or anything in his manner of speech, he was just talkative. They reacted to him as if he were a weirdo, and blew him off. For some reason, that didn't sit well with me. Later an argument ensued dealing with the games, which resulted in raised voices and profanity. I soon left after that confrontation.

   Let's skip to the second panel. It dealt with a little trivia game related to the names of anime. One had to name an anime starting with a certain letter of the alphabet. I won't delve too much into the rules, but it was pretty fun to play. I instantly picked up a difference between the two groups of people. The ones running this panel seemed friendly, and they invited others who passed by with open arms. The audience was pretty much the main focus of the panel, and they even spent time making small talk with some of the players. I also noticed that others started to help each other out, almost naturally. The panel was very interesting, and much larger than one before. It continued to grow in size as time passed.
Study time!

  The last panel, was the Pokémon Party. I arrived to this one a bit late, but I was glad I showed up. The room was full to the brim, with people standing up if needed. I had no clue that there was a panel this crowded, compared to the others which were either empty or of a normal size. The atmosphere was inviting, I felt completely relaxed seconds after taking my seat. The fellow next to me was pretty conversational as well; he had never met me in his life, yet we talked like best friends. The panel was completely focused on the audience. The people attending seemed different from the former panels, but of course there were a few like me attending multiple panels of numerous fandoms. One thing I can say about the Pokémon fandom is that they really know how to have a great time!

  That was pretty much my full experience, minus the minor details in between and trips to the vendor room. I'll post later  if you're curious about the cool stuff I picked up while I was there.

  As you can see, the fandoms are in no way similar. There were a plethora of differences between them, enough to stand out. I can't really say that any of the fandoms were my favorites, but they were all pretty interesting; even if they weren't as polite as they could have been.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Japanese Music Spotlight #1

Not really a big fan of Touhou Vocals, but this one really called to me.

☯ Title: 歴史書の笹舟 星と時を越えて

[The history book of a bamboo-leaf boat transcending stars and time]

☯ Original: 
ジャパニーズサーガ [Japanese Saga]
阿礼の子供 [Child of Are] 
Perfect Memento in Strict Sense

☯ Arrangement: yohine
☯ Lyrics: kiku
☯ Vocals: あさな [Asana]

☯ Doujin Circle: IOSYS
☯ Album: 東方年柄年中 / (IO-0157)
☯ Released: 2009/08/15 (Comiket 76)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fictional Characters, How About That?

Naruto Uzumaki

   People always say video games and television will rot our brains. I've never believed them, at least not about video games. Depending on what you read and experience, your own personality will change. Yeah, it shocked me at first to, but apparently it's true. 

  So take a look at yourself right now. Think about the character who you relate to, or maybe a character you look up to. Do you have that picture in your head? Now think about how they act, and then compare that to the way you act. There's surprising similarities right?

  This happens when you lose yourself in a fictional element or character. You start to take on traits of the person. There's an actual name for this, it's called experience-taking

2D versus 3D anyone?

   According to the research from this article, it can cause temporary changes, and even permanent changes in the viewer's personality. I think that's great for some of us who watch anime and such, but what about the ones that don't?

  Say a person has a meeting with experience-taking while watching a horror movie. They relate to the killer and or some other psycho maniac. Does this make them want to murder others and perform other grotesque actions? Who knows, but I see experience-taking as a positive or negative experience depending on what the person is actually watching. I'm aware that some can go without being affected by such images, but what about others?
Look how happy he is to see you!

  I can even use myself as an example. I started watching Naruto around 6th grade; was a mega nerd even before I discovered anime, mostly with video games. The character who is disliked by many, Sasuke Uchiha, always appealed to me. His fancy jutsu seemed cool compared to the others. His personality seemed somewhat arrogant, but interesting at the same time. He was known as a genius, smarter than most of the other ninja, something I related to. 

  This was the start of my Sasuke faze, as I started to act more like him. His negative traits started to appear in me as well. It could be just called teen angst, but I feel that my mindset had a lot to do with the problem.

   Eventually I was drawn to Naruto, and have been since then. I don't know if I've taken any of his traits, I can't really tell. Some would probably say I watched too much anime or I was to into it, but whatever. Nothing's wrong with getting pulled into a fictional world; if we looked at everything with a grain of salt all the time how boring would life be? 

  Anyways, I'd love to see other's thoughts on the whole experience-taking mess. If you've got something to say, post it!