Friday, August 19, 2016

Anime Depictions of Introverts and Extroverts

Anime Depictions of Introverts and Extroverts

In our society, there are numerous categories that help define a person. When asked about an individual, it is easy to describe them by choosing a collection of these such as race or gender. While these groupings can be somewhat hurtful, they are mostly helpful in creating unity or learning more about ourselves.

One of the more controversial labels are those that describe our interactions with the world. The word introvert describes those who gain energy from within, while extrovert describes those who gain energy from the outside world. Neither type is better than the other, and both embody a similar relationship as yin and yang.

Of course, these types are stereotyped in various forms of media. Anime does a pretty good job of portraying them in a more positive and realistic light, but there are still mishaps. These generalizations stem from common traits, hobbies, and other basic characteristics of an individual that are usually unrelated to an outer or inner personality.

Introvert and Extrovert Stereotypes
In addition to these types is the ambivert, someone who falls in between. 

There are various traits that are unrelated to being an introvert or an extrovert. An extrovert can be intelligent and quiet. An introvert can be athletic and very social. Just because a person is a certain type, doesn't mean they have to apply to set rules. Destiny is not decided by someone's personality type.

However, it is good idea to be aware of your traits in order to grow and flourish. This is something that is highly encouraged in the professional world by various businesses and educational environments. This is also something I see anime characters go through as their character develops and they become more confident about themselves.

Honoka Kousaka Extrovert
Honoka Kousaka - Love Live. A (healthy) extrovert who has a warm and caring personality, thrives by working with others and brings them together under a common purpose.

When it comes to anime, introvert and extroverts characters tend to fit into these basic molds. The main difference is that, this is just their outer layer. Anime tends to reveal more and more about them as time goes on, until they literally break the stereotype. They take the cliche and then add a twist over time. I think this makes anime characters a lot more relatable.

Although, with these personality types, there can sometimes be too much of a good thing.  No matter what side you fall on (or even if you are between) there's a certain balance that is necessary to maintain.

Kanade Tachibana Introvert
 Kanade Tachibana - Angel Beats. A (healthy) introvert that is somewhat quiet, but cares deeply for her friends. She takes on tasks with great responsibility.

Usually we see the hero of the story starting off as an extrovert with little substance, or an introvert that has an acute case of apathy. This is usually paralleled by an antagonist or deuteragonist (the foil to the protagonist) that sports the opposite traits.

Usually the protagonists or deuteragonist grows with the series, their personality molding into a healthy version of their type, while the antagonist somewhat moves to an unhealthy level.  In anime where antagonist characters later become allies, we see a change similar to the protagonist.

What are instances of unhealthy and healthy levels of introversion and extroversion? Well unhealthy habits actually represent a few of the stereotypes that are present. An extrovert may over exert themselves and forget to spend time on themselves, while an introvert may shut themselves off from people in general, preferring complete solitude. Neither of these are healthy and they do not summarize the types.

Since in most cases, the stereotypical villain is an introvert, it's easy to see negative and unhealthy traits from them in anime. Otherwise, we may see negative extroverted traits from protagonists. Regardless of being introverted or extroverted, having a layer of substance aside from these types is what makes or breaks a character.

Konata Comptuer
Just because you  enjoy doing this, doesn't mean you're an introvert or an extrovert!

Now when it comes to actual anime fans, its a different story. The whole talk about unhealthy and healthy traits stay the same, but there's stereotypes that revolve in the anime community when it comes to extroversion and introversion.

From an outside view, it'd be easy to assume that the anime community is just a collection of introverts. After all, the generalization is that introverts are drawn to media, novels, writing, and similar hobbies.

Yet still, we have things like anime conventions. Some people have taken a liking to cosplay and being together with others, and even us anime bloggers gain our ideas from interacting with our world. The conclusion is: anime is a medium for both introverts and extroverts, and so is any other occupation or hobby!

So to finish things off, I hope to make the distinction between introverts and extroverts a bit more clear. Unfortunately, there's a lot of generalization, shaming, and incorrect portrayals that occur in the media, and I'd like to clear that up. Both types of people are genuinely awesome and you should definitely be proud of what you are! If you're in between the two, that is fine as well!

Coming from my view, I'm an extrovert who deals with a large amount of stereotypical introvert hobbies. I enjoy writing. listening to music, watching anime, and of course playing video games! So don't let it limit you!

For my readers, I'd like to offer resources to learn more about yourself and your personality type. These results shouldn't be taken as an end-all result though, just as a form of self-discovery and improvement.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cheer Danshi: Men and Pompoms

This is a guest post by Lem Enrile.

Have you seen a live cheer dance performance before? I know most of you have. Even if you are not so fond of it just because your friend dragged you to watch one, I’m sure that you’ll be amazed with the cheerleaders’ performance. Most often, you would see girls being thrown high up in the air as if they are flying, and then they would graciously land on their feet while wearing a goddess smile.

For a very long time now, girls have dominated the cheerleading world. Admit it. When you hear the word cheer dance, you would immediately think of girls with tight-fitted clothes and short skirts, armed with frilly pompoms. Or if there are guys on the team, they are usually the ones who lift and support the girls while performing their stunts.

If you are a fan of cheer dance, then you would probably like the anime, Cheer Danshi. However, Cheer Danshi has a different take on cheerleading – its members are all men, specifically, college guys. And these two young men here are the main protagonists:

Kazu and Haru

I know some of you will feel disgusted, thinking that an all-boys cheerleading group is gay. In fact, Cheer Danshi has been listed in Goboiano’s 15 most dropped summer 2016 anime – which is really sad. At first, I also had plans to drop this anime because it’s summary is just so… not that exciting.

But I promised to myself that before I drop an anime series this summer season, I should watch episode one first at least, because there are many times that I have dropped an anime due to its poorly written summary only to find out later that it is actually good.

333 people dropped Cheer Danshi!! :(

Maybe these 333 people didn’t realize Cheer Danshi’s awesomeness, or didn’t even bother to watch its first episode. However, your stereotypical view on cheerleading might change, especially if you start watching this anime.

Now, let me start giving you the good points why Cheer Danshi is worth watching.

If girls can do it, guys can do it too.

In this anime series, Cheer Danshi emphasizes that cheerleaders do not always have to be girls, that even guys can rival the girls’ cheer dance moves.

Today, cheerleading is not exclusive for the ladies. Yes, there is an all-girls cheerleading squad, a mixed one, and an all-boys cheerleading squad. So if you are a guy and wants to enter the cheerleading club, don’t be embarrassed to join.

Don't worry Haru. You'll still look cool even if you do that.

If you got the moves or even if you don’t, Cheer Danshi makes it clear that as long as you are determined to learn or want to try something new for yourself, it is never wrong to try and do your very best. So if the people around you are discouraging you to pursue what you want, don’t mind them; mind what you want to do.

Sports with balls aren’t only the cool and manly sports.

I think when it comes to coolness and manliness, Cheer Danshi doesn’t fall behind. Cheer dance is a sports for men too! I actually like Cheer Danshi being a nontraditional sports anime. This is in fact a rare find because most sports anime are basketball, tennis, baseball, soccer, or any other sports that involve balls.

Though Cheer Danshi doesn’t play balls, isn’t this cool enough?

If things aren’t working out, it’s okay to quit.

Most anime series teach us to “Try our hardest” but Cheer Danshi also understands that it’s okay to let go of your passion when you have already reached your limit. Haru was once a member of the judo club but because he was not delivering any results, he decided to quit. And later on joined the cheer dance club.

I know most younger anime fans live by this quote “Never give up.” But sometimes, holding on gives yourself more damage whether it’s love or dreams. If you quit at something, I think it is not actually that bad. When you quit, you are just giving yourself a favor of opening up a new chapter in your life. And you’ll understand this more once you became an adult.

Cheer Danshi revives the TRUE meaning of cheerleading.

A lot of people think that a cheer dance performance is only for entertainment. That it's just fun and exciting to watch. However, Cheer Danshi isn't only about entertainment and fun.

Honestly, a chord was struck in my heart when Kazu told his reasons for building the cheer dance club. Aside from looking up to his parents who were both once cheerleaders, Kazu revives the true purpose and meaning of cheerleading. And that is:

"Becoming a hero by supporting someone else. Gaining the strength to inspire someone to greater heights."

That's it! I hope you consider adding Cheer Danshi on your watchlist. Have you already started watching this anime? What are your views about it? Let me know in the comment box.

About the Author

Lem Enrile is a freelance writer whose hobbies are watching anime, reading manga, and taking photos of her three lovely cats. Follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Happy Birthday Honoka-chan!

Honoka Kousaka Birthday

Today marks the birthday of μ's team leader, Honoka Kousaka. Honoka is a character from the very popular idol anime Love Live, which is now airing it's second season known as Love Live Sunshine. She's born on August 3rd, and is a fiery Leo.

I've done a post before on Honoka Kousaka celebrating her birthday, but I wanted to give another quick shoutout to her today. Honoka is a huge inspiration to me and my blog. Therefore, I wanted to give her some spotlight!

For Honoka related pictures on Pixiv, please follow this link. Look below for a video featuring one of her songs.

Thank you for reading and Happy Birthday Honoka!