Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Denpa Kyoushi: Teaching is More Than a Job

Denpa Kyoushi Anime

The spring season of anime is coming to close with summer just around the corner. Every season, there are a couple of anime that are a bit hit with the crowd. They grow immensely popular, and everyone loves them and knows them. However, sometimes a few anime go underneath the public radar, lasting only as hidden gems for the "treasure hunters" to find. Denpa Kyoushi is one of those gems.

So what is Denpa Kyoushi? Dubbed as "Ultimate Otaku Teacher," this anime follows the life of a highly intelligent but non successful otaku by the name of Kagami Junichirou. Due to his lack of success, most of his time is spent on his anime blog and his other anime related hobbies. That is, until his sister scores him a job as a teacher. Thus, the anime follows his interactions with his students and focuses on Kagami's life as a teacher.

This post may contain minor spoilers, but nothing too major!

The Protagonist and The Anime

Denpa Kyoushi Anime

At first glance, this anime might seem a little bit stereotypical. We've had many series that describe the life of an otaku or a neet. Many portray the characters in a negative fashion, with them having little passion or interest in anything. Yet our protagonist, Kagami, is far from this description. He is very passionate about his interests and even seeks to succeed in the blogging world, struggling to maintain his place as the top anime blog.

Not only this, but he has been dubbed as a genius, finding ways to make the most impossible things possible. Or for instance, looking at the world and the way it works in a different way. He is a very unique character in this sense. 

Once he takes up the job of teaching, his character develops even further as he actually starts to like the career. His approach to teaching is much different than the average person, focusing more on using real world concepts and aspects that interest his students. For instance, on his first day he learns about his students and their personalities by watching them play a video game. 

Although his methods are somewhat unconventional and require a whole bunch of effort, I believe he is a good representation of how a teacher should act or teach, compared to the normal standard. 

What is YD?

Denpa Kyoushi Anime

The other interesting concept about this anime is the introduction of YD. This term might be confusing or unknown to most of you, as it is a completely made up disease that the protagonist uses in order to describe himself. In simple terms, YD means that you can only do things that you truly yearn to do. 

Although this is an anime, I feel that this is a very interesting way to live. Throughout our lives there is a heavy focus on doing things that we don't enjoy. People who drop anime series are sometimes looked down upon, and those who ignore things they don't like are told they are running away. Yet, in a way, maybe people who do these things just know exactly what they want.

Kagami may have YD, but this doesn't make him shy away from the necessary steps that are required to achieve what he wants to do. He knows that he has to do a few things that he doesn't like, but he's not going to give up what he really wants in order to put up with something less. He just does what he wants, and what he wants is usually the right way to go. 

I think this is somewhat like the mentality of a dreamer; the ability to only pursue something that you truly want to do and succeed at it. Instead of settling for something that is unhappy or less than best, you move towards what you truly desire. This is mostly referenced in Denpa Kyoushi by Kagami and his often mentioned pride of his otaku lifestyle. 

Then How About Teaching?

Kagami Junichirou

I believe the uniqueness of Kagami Junichirou and his outlook on the world is what makes him such a great teacher. He's not trying to be someone he is not when he's teaching. Therefore, he involves his hobbies into his work. Most importantly, he knows the hardships that come with life, but doesn't let them cloud his judgment or make him bitter. He conducts his students with the same mindset, giving them an optimistic view of the future while teaching them how to handle the oncoming adversity.

In a way, Kagami is definitely the ultimate otaku teacher, and one of the most inspirational otaku characters in existence. In terms of themes, Denpa Kyoushi highlights the fact that teaching is more than just a day job, or a job in general. Teaching is a lifestyle, and for those teachers who really care about their students, it carries on outside of the workplace. Kagami gives his famous lectures no matter what time, place, or location.

With this being said, I believe that Denpa Kyoushi so far is a great anime. I was surprised to see that it will be dipping over into the summer season as well, but I can't wait to see how things will turn out from this point on. I feel that this anime should definitely get more attention, and I hope that my post will somewhat contribute to that.

Like Kagami, I am also an otaku who loves my lifestyle and hobby, so I hope to share that wonderful feeling with you all!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Happy Birthday Sonic the Hedgehog!

Sonic the Hedgehog Birthday

Today is June 23rd, which marks the birthday of our favorite blue blur, Sonic the Hedgehog! Sonic the Hedgehog is known for his huge collection of fast-paced, platforming games, and more-so for being the mascot of Sega. Although Sonic has had his ups and downs, he still holds a special place in the heart of his long-time fans.

There are a few interesting traits about Sonic that make him pretty unique. For one, his ability to run and crazy speeds is his trademark. He's gone faster than the speed of sound at certain points. He also has a fair personality, which leads to him always taking the side of the weaker ones, protecting them and keeping evil at bay. Upon his older incarnations, he is mostly shown with his love of freedom and adventure.

With his birthday being on June 23rd, his astrological sign is Gemini. An air element of the zodiac. This goes hand in hand with his love of freedom and the constant theme of his personality being somewhat like the wind.

With being said, I feel that Sonic is a very important character to me. I grew up among many Nintendo games yes, but Sega always had a major role in a good amount of their consoles. Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 were probably my favorite Sonic GameCube games, along with Sonic Heroes which was the icing on the cake. I loved the adrenaline rush that came from his games, and eventually played a good amount of them. Despite ending up with a GameCube over a DreamCast, I have played mostly every Sonic game that has been released, outside of a select few that I haven't tried.

One of the most important things about Sonic is that his personality also reminds me of myself. Like him, I love freedom and adventure, and love to keep the world peaceful. In a way, he has been a role model or icon for me since I was young. His life-long partner Tails, is another character who I relate to a lot as well. Which is probably why I love the color orange quite a bit, along with blue!

So again, happy birthday Sonic! This make 24 years of awesome games, fun times, and chili dogs. Let's hope for even more success in the future!

Useful Sonic Related Links

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Splatoon: What Gaming Needs

Splatoon Video Game
Artist Credit

Splatoon has been the latest craze when it comes to Nintendo games and perhaps gaming in general. Some people thinks it's a little silly and others are in love with it, but what does Splatoon really mean for the gaming industry? This simple series that might be blown off as a children's game has captured the hearts of many, seemingly infiltrating the "hardcore" genre of shooting games.

Before reading more into this post, if you're unfamiliar with Splatoon you should try checking out a few of the following links below. If you understand what Splatoon is and the gameplay, feel free to skip over this section and get straight to the rest of this article!

Differences and Similarities Between Other Shooters

Splatoon Shooting Game

Although Splatoon is not a legitimate first person shooter, it shares many of it's elements. For one the "guns" are modeled after realistic models, with similar functions such as sniping, bombing, and other additions. Sniping specifically uses a scope system alike to that of other shooting games, depending on the weapon. Lastly, although it is not the main point of the game, you have the opportunity to shoot other players of course, despite it being a turf war.

So while these are the similarities, you might be asking what sets Splatoon apart? As a quick example, attacking and defeating opponents has little effect on the overall battle. The team that usually wins is the one that inks the most ground, instead of the one with the most kills. Also, you're forced to play on teams at almost all points of online gameplay. Despite this, there is little to no voice chat or communication as of late, however we may see updates to this in the near future.

So Splatoon takes a little bit of what Nintendo is known for, colorful graphics, emphasis on fun and friendly play, as well as implementing teamwork as a defining factor. In addition to this, Splatoon takes the weapons and gameplay from the shooter genre, implementing a serious ranked mode for high level play, and campaign mode for those who prefer a nice one-player story mode.

Why Splatoon?

Splatoon Inkling

Splatoon is special because it's different from other titles in this genre. It's not trying to be a hardcore series with blood and gore. Splatoon is just playing the role of a shooter game, that anyone can pick up and play, even if they are new to the genre. 

With the industry being diluted with titles like Call of Duty, Gears of War, Battlefield, and Halo, that all feature similar themes it was about time for something new to enter the market. Not to say that these are bad games, but the concepts are alike. 

I feel this sums up why Splatoon was brought into play, even though a game that followed the generic line of shooting games could have been created instead. In a time where a lot of mature titles are present and overflowing with popularity, we needed to be reminded that gaming is not always limited to specific traits. A good game can be cartoony or colorful. It doesn't need to always feature adult-oriented themes or heavy violence. It doesn't have to be overly complex or have moral value. It just needs to be a way for people to relax and have fun.

Up until now, we didn't really have a shooter with enough popularity to remind gamers of this lesson, which is why the release of Splatoon is so important. Other genres have defining games that differ from the norm. Many role-playing games put an emphasis on colorful and beautiful worlds and relaxing stories, while we have simple puzzle games like Dr. Mario and Dr. Luigi or Tetris, which keep that similar feel. We even have fighting games like Smash Bros. that place an emphasis on fun above all else, or comedic anime fighters like Aquapazza.

Splatoon, while probably not being the first of it's kind, has the popularity to ignite a change in the gaming community and industry. 

My Thoughts

Before we end this off, I'd like to put a couple of my thoughts into this, since I have a good amount of experience with gaming. For one, I am by no means a fan or expert of shooting games. Although I do not like them, I have tried out a few and ended up performing pretty badly.

One of the main things that kept me from shooting games is how realistic many of them are, and the amount of violence that takes place. I don't really like the act of shooting another player with a realistic looking gun in a graphic manner, so many of the games lost my interest immediately.

However, Splatoon pretty much solved all my problems when it came to the genre. There's none of the above present which allows for fun and smooth game playing for me. If you've kept up with my YouTube channel, I've started to even upload a bit of my game play up there. 

So I feel that although people like me may not make up a big group of the gaming community, we are still an important part of it, so hopefully other companies will take note and release more games that follow Splatoon's ink trail!

With that being said, I think this post sums up a good amount of reasons why Splatoon is such an important game, and why the release of it might have a lasting effect on the entire gaming industry. (Or at least the shooting genre.) Let me know in the comments below what you think about Splatoon. Do you like it or dislike it and why? Do you think its nice to see games that have something for everyone, or would you rather gaming companies to focus on a single group?

 As always, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Happy Birthday Nozomi Toujou!

Nozomi Toujou Love Live Birthday

Hey again guys! Today is officially Nozomi's birthday! This post goes out to her! For those who don't know, Nozomi is a member of the Love Live idol group μ's, (pronounced muse) and one of the driving forces to the group's formation and success. She was originally the vice president of the student council in the series, and is often looked upon for her advice and "spiritual power."

Her name in Japanese can mean hope or beauty depending on the kanji. However, her name uses the kanji that means wish, written as 希. A train in Japan known as the shinkansen also shares the name of Nozomi.  Being born on June 9th makes her a Gemini, an air sign of the zodiac.

For me, Nozomi wasn't originally an idol I liked. She isn't part of my favorite group, Printemps, but I liked how she was always ready to help and that her appearance seemed to differ a bit from the other girls. She always seemed like a mature-type in comparison which was an interesting addition to the group. Aside from that Nozomi shares a main color of purple, which is one of my favorite colors, thus adding more to my like for her.

Nozomi Toujou Love Live

Lastly, for fans of Love Live: School Idol Festival, don't forget to log in today to collect your free five love gems! You'll definitely need them!

So, let me know if you like this type of post. Instead of just giving you a post notifying about a character's birthday, I'd like to give you some background information on them and their design. While you're having fun and celebrating you can learn a little bit as well!

Hopefully those who enjoy Nozomi will have fun on her birthday!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Shooting Star Dreamer Blog Update June 2015

Blog Update Shooting Star Dreamer

Hello everyone, and long time no see! Yes, it's been a while since I've posted, I'm aware. (Technically almost a month.) I can say that I really hope I can start posting again soon, as things are finally settling down a little. So, you might be wondering where I've been and why content has trickled down over the past few months. I'll be talking about that a bit today, but I also want to post a few plans for the future of Shooting Star Dreamer for you guys. This post shouldn't be too long, so bear with me!

First things first, I have been very busy over the course of this school semester. Yes, school ended for me around the beginning of May, however I am now in my Summer semester which means more classes and less time for blogging. My schedule has been changing around quite a bit so it is taking a good amount of time for me to adapt to it. Along with that all the work has been seriously a killer for blog ideas and writing. Mental fatigue is pretty hard.

However, I don't want to use those reasons as an excuse not to blog. I really enjoy writing, anime, gaming, Japan, and most importantly I appreciate my many readers and followers. Even those who have only read a single post. (Maybe this one.) So I hope I can come up with new ideas and posts for you all in the near future. I'll also try to watch a lot more anime and actually finish them, and maybe share my thoughts and lessons here as well.

Moving away from myself, I really want to do a fresh overhaul of my blog and perhaps reorganize things. Not necessarily as much content wise, but more of layout and design. I would love for my website to be easy to navigate and appealing to most viewers, but without your input it's a little hard for me to go about with this.

I want to call this new project Shooting Star Dreamer: Rebirth, which I will explain in detail in the future.

So if you have the time after reading through the post, let me know what you like or dislike about my blog's layout. Is it easy to navigate? Can you find what you want? Is sifting through posts a chore or a breeze? Any input is welcome as long as it's constructive and not destructive. Please post about it in the comments below!

One of the newest additions is already being implemented as you're reading this; better thumbnails and title images for posts, along with more consistent post layouts and artist credits. I tried to keep the thumbnails simple, as I have to make them for each post, but still straightforward and to the point. The purpose of this is to sort posts outside of word categories but by colors. Thus, each post type that I specialize in will have a color associated with it, unless it's an oddball. (Like this one.)

That's all for now my wonderful readers! Hopefully you continue to stick with me through thick and thin, even though it's a little hard to get posts out at this time. This post was a little more personal, but I figured you all deserved to hear the truth behind my absence!

Until next time~