Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Monogatari: One More Chance

If you're a new reader or if you haven't taken a look at my older post you might want to do so now. You can find it here. For a short summary, the post was about my experience with Bakemonogatari. My time watching was somewhat bitter, and I could not get myself to like the anime no matter how hard I tried. Of course I felt bad, as a close friend of mine greatly enjoyed and recommended the series.

At one point I could say that I absolutely hated the anime. Maybe not for good reasons, but for petty ones; such as popularity, repetition in the story, and dislike of certain characters. I was looking at the anime from a close-minded writer's point of view. When I started the first episode, I went into the anime with a bad mindset. I thought to myself, "There's no way I'm going to like this." Throughout the series I kept the thought in my mind, "This anime is terrible, there's no way for me to like it."

Like a writer, I picked up on different mishaps in the story. The weird style constantly gave me a headache as I kept trying to make an analysis. The characters seemed somewhat uninteresting and dull. Everything seemed pretty bad about the anime, and there was nothing that appealed to me. Looking at the whole anime this way, how exactly was I supposed to enjoy anything?

I'm sad to admit that it took me a while to actually change my view. Anime is something meant to enjoy. By analyzing every aspect of the anime and focusing specifically on the negatives, there was no possible way for me to enjoy it. However, this concept didn't really hit me hard until I had passed the sequels and alternate versions of Bakemonogatari, such as Nekomonogatari and Nisemonogatari.

Starting the new year I made my resolutions as usual, but this time I'm actually acting upon them. I'm not just setting goals for the sake of it, I'm determined to accomplish them.

So to reflect this, I went into the series yet again, by the advisement of that same friend. It started off the same way, and I was about to give up. Despite this I kept watching, keeping my mind open and not attempting to force positive feelings.. Eventually my headache and the disappointment I felt disappeared. I was actually enjoying the anime.

The anime itself seemed more fun, more interesting. Maybe it's due to the new year, or the new season, but things seemed different. I began to relate to one of the characters, Tsubasa Hanekawa, and found much of myself in her.

The series began to take me on an emotional whirlwind, ending with me frustrated and confused inside, but eventually led to my own improvement. I have never related to a character to this extent, watching her suffer the same struggles, deal with the same problems, face the same challenges, look at life the same was almost something magical. 

At this point it didn't even seem like an anime anymore, but an enchanting journey that I was taking part in, from the eyes of a fictional character. That hate that I had felt in my heart, soon turned to love. I have such a great view of the series now, without finishing it, that happened so suddenly and randomly it's near unbelievable. Even my friend was shocked, seeing such a quick and progressive change.

It was no longer just an anime, it was no longer fiction. It became a part of me. It made me a better person, it changed me. One more chance is all Monogatari needed.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Winter 2014 Anime Take a Glimpse: Sakura Trick

Since tons of new anime is airing, I decided to do introductions to the ones currently on my watch list. If you want a preview of a newer series please keep reading!

If you're not up to date on the story:

"The story revolves around Haruka and Yuu, two girls who go to a high school that is slated to be shut down in three years.
To share something special between them, they share a kiss, and their relationship deepens from that moment onward."

(Source: ANN)

For more info please see this link.

From my first glimpse of the anime, I expected simple Yuri; the kind that isn't in your face, but is subtle and can only be noticed by looking deeply into the plot. However, Sakura Trick proved me wrong. The first episode starts out like a normal anime as our main characters, Haruka and Yuu, get ready for a new school year.

However, as the episode continues the relationship between the two progresses very quickly. Before you know it, they are locked together in a kiss. From then on out other antics occur purposefully or not. We are also introduced to four other characters, who are also paired off like Haruka and Yuu. At this point it's kind of easy to see where the anime is going.

Yet I don't like judging a book from it's cover, so I could be wrong. I look forward to see where this anime will go, as the next episode doesn't put as much emphasis on the main two, so I feel viewers can look forward to more character development of side characters in the future. While the comedy was kind of childish, and the situations are a little unbelievable, it doesn't take away from the anime as a whole. The first episode was great!

If you don't mind Yuri, I recommend watching!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Find Your Flaws Using Anime

What good is a perfect character anyways?

Throughout my days of watching anime and being an otaku, I've seen that being perfect in a way, is flawed. Few people would be interested in watching a character who goes through life without any form of struggle or trouble. We love characters who are flawed because we can relate ourselves to them.

The one word you hear mostly when it comes to fictional characters is development. That flawed character of ours has to progress in some way right? Similarly to humans, characters change and grow during the series. These changes can be for the better or worse. Again, the same happens with humans.

I'm sure everyone who watches anime can relate to at least one character. There's one that stands apart from the others. You feel the same emotions as them, react the same way, maybe even share personalities; but they're almost like an alternate version of you.

Hold on a minute! They're not you...they may act and feel like you, but they aren't actually you. So how does this even relate to finding flaws?

Well, through interacting with and watching this character you start to discover more about yourself. You find that certain things bug you, while others don't. You discover that you may pick up things the character does that aren't really great, and later find yourself doing the same. Flaws may become more obvious when you examine yourself from an outside point of view.

It's not completely about losing yourself and becoming an anime character. It's not something that preaches relating to a character is bad or such. It's about developing yourself and finding your flaws through a character you relate to.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Winter 2014 Anime Showcase and Watchlist

It's 2014! That means it's time for Winter 2014 Anime. If you have no clue what's coming up next, feel free to check out the video below. It showcases the series and genre of the new season. I'm planning to watch a lot more anime this year, as well as cover them. I probably won't do episode by episode reviews, as I'm not really interested in that, but instead review the anime as a whole or examine other insights of the series.

These are subject to change. There's also a few other anime I might watch if I have the time to go back and view the sequels. I'm going to make this a new series of sorts, so my watchlist will be added to the bar at the top. Feel free to check it out if you're curious. See you soon!

Image Map
  Image Map

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Breaking the Stereotype

Throughout my years I've seen many people question the definition of otaku. "Am I an otaku because I watch anime? Is being an otaku a bad thing? What if people don't like me?" These are all excellent questions, and with something that is not common knowledge it's normal to feel confused.

The truth is, many of us consider ourselves otaku, yet the meaning differs from person to person. If you want a literal textbook definition of an otaku, one must be "an avid collector or enthusiast, esp. one who is obsessed anime, video games, or computer and rarely leaves home." (

Maybe this doesn't describe all of us, maybe it describes most of us, but there is no disputing the fact that this is the literal textbook definition. Yet even if we don't fit this exactly, we still label ourselves as such. Are we wrong to do so?

In my opinion, there is no wrong use of the word. While mostly everyone in the United States speaks English, we do not all speak it the same way. We do not all use the same words, phrases, and slang. The same concept applies to the term otaku; we all use it differently. I consider myself to be otaku, and by no means do I spend all my time at home.
Sadly, definitions like these lead to stereotypes. Certain pictures also fuel the fire.

Sure, we toss around terms such as weaboo, Japanophile, and otaku with ease, but should we be using these words? What makes them any different from your everyday racial slur? Who are we to label people and decide who they are?

I'm sure people can easily relate to certain situations. Getting called weird or odd for their unique interests. Being labeled as fat and ugly, because of their appearance. Labeled as hetero/homosexual due to an obsession with anime girls or guys. Or say no one likes your taste of music and it's hard to find others with the same hobbies.

It's happened to many of us, and it's made us feel less of a person, but it's not true. We're just a great as everyone else.

Sadly people will continue to label others, as prejudice and discrimination will always exist. As long as we as people are different, we will continue to deal with these things. So what can otakus do to fight the power?
The answer is simple, break the stereotype. The ways to do so is easy.

Get Active and Exercise

While watching anime, reading manga, and gaming it out can keep you sedentary for most of your life, but that's no excuse to be overweight! Crush the stereotype of the smelly anime fan that weighs 300 pounds, and even if that's you, there's no better time than now to change.

Not enough motivation? Don't have a good personal trainer? Still that's no excuse, especially with this new app. Who can resist a cute anime girl helping you get in shape?

Tie Anime Into Reality

On my blog I made a post dealing with the things we learn from anime. As otaku, we have to admit that anime has had some influence on our life. Without anime, I wouldn't be writing for you all today! So why not tie that into our daily lives? 

With all the inspirational anime out there, and the heroes that make the perfect role models we have a plethora of good traits to pick up. 

Take a look at Naruto. It might not be considered a "real" anime due to it's mass popularity, but the series deals with real world problems and tries to solve them. It's a great series in content and story, but it also makes our thinking gears turn as we consider our place in the world.

Show That Anime IS Good

As fans of anime, we need to spread the word. We need to show people that anime isn't just cartoons, perverted, or childish. We need to educate the world on the intelligent aspects of anime, the things we learn, the morals we inherit, and the stories in which we immerse ourselves. 

He's a common mention, but Danny Choo is already working towards this goal. His life is the American dream of otaku, doing what you love while making a living. 

The more we learn to not play into the hands of the judgmental population, the less such stereotypes will exist. Otaku aren't all obese, smelly, and unattractive. They aren't weird, and their hobbies are no different than someone obsessed with sports, or maybe cars. Otaku are people, just like everyone else. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year's Day 2014: Kimono Wallpaper Pack

Isn't she beautiful?

Happy New Year's Day! Here's a wallpaper pack for the occasion, full of fourteen wonderful pictures of anime girls in kimonos. Enjoy!

Happy New Year 2014: Fireworks Anime Wallpaper Pack

Happy New Year from East Coast America! Let's make 2014 a great year!

Wallpaper Pack and Preview