Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Your Personality with a Little Anime

Anime Myers Briggs

In many ways we are connected to anime; through our thoughts and our feelings. Since anime is a creation of the mind, it is natural for us to share traits with the characters. We may have common birthdays, similar zodiac signs, and ideals. Perhaps we even share personalities.

Recently, I've been doing a lot of reading on Psychology and personality types. The most fascinating aspect to me is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; a type of test to examine the way you think. It's primary goal is to assist in development and create psychological understanding.

At first, this test might be off-putting. Being summed up by a couple of letters may feel weird, and some may find it hard to believe. The key aspect of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is not to categorize and box people-in, but to reveal how the mind works and most importantly how you think.

This is done by the use of a four letter system. Each letter is ranked similarly to an RPG character creator, with scales of mental and emotional characteristics. The first consists of E and I which are extroversion and introversion. The second letter combo is S and N, standing for sensing and intuition. Following are T and F; thinking and feeling. The type finishes with P and J, Perceiving and Judging.

Myers Briggs Types
Source for this wonderful chart

After figuring out your preference, you'll end up with set of four letters such as INTJ. This is your personality type. The system is not completely black and white, each aspect is in percentages. You can be a little bit of an extrovert or a huge extrovert; you're definitely not limited to a binary category.

So how does this tie into anime you may ask? Well, MBTI also extends to characters in media. It may sound strange, since they technically can't take the assessment, but it is definitely possible to type them.

I'm not going to delve too deeply into this, but the indicator works when observing others and their actions, alongside thinking. We usually know a character reasoning and actions, so it's not too difficult to figure out the rest by following a type's functions. Functions are basically extensions to the typing letters and delve deeper into thought processes and patterns.

Fairy Tail Myers Briggs
Charts like these float around for different anime! Source Here

After taking the test, I ended up the type ENFP. What really convinced me of the test was looking at the characters who share my type. I found characters such as Naruto Uzumaki, Honoka Kousaka from Love Live, Jaden Yuki from Yugioh GX, and even Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender. They were all commonly (since there is a chance for error) typed the same as me and were characters I am inspired by or relate to greatly.

At that point is when I realized that there was a bit of truth to the whole MBTI thing, and of course it became more apparent when I applied these realizations to my own actions. I began to use the test to look at my way of thinking from an outside perspective, and focus on improvements.

When it comes to anime, MBTI is another way to discuss characters and it's just plain fun looking up types and their habits. You can also meet others with the same type or similar who enjoy things that you do! I think by taking the indicator seriously, but not too seriously, you can definitely benefit from it's results.

As a parting gift, I'd like to leave you all a few links to take the test, and to look up character MBTI types. I hope you enjoy them, and if you have anything questions let me know in the comments!

Links for MBTI

As always, thank you for reading!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Happy Birthday Nico Yazawa! (Nico Nico Nii)

Nico Yazawa Birthday

Today is July 22nd and marks the birthday of Nico Yazawa, a high school idol from the popular anime Love Live: School Idol Project! This post is a quick spotlight on Nico, a character who is not only adored by anime fans, but known around the internet.

As a quick overview, Nico is a pretty eccentric character. She is a third-year student in high school which is equivalent to senior level in the United States. This puts her age around 17-18, which means she's one of the older characters in the series. Despite this she still has a young appearance and is short in comparison to everyone else.

Being born on July 22nd makes her the zodiac sign Cancer, which is a water element. Characteristics of this sign are emotional capabilities and sensitivity. They also care deeply about the things important to them. This can be reflected in Nico's expressiveness and her devotion to her career.

Outside of the anime, Nico is also an internet sensation. Her trademark saying, "Nico Nico Nii" became a hit with fans and has gotten her recognition with the web community.  The video above showcases a popular remix using her saying.

With that, I'd like to wish Nico a Happy Birthday! If there's another character you would like to see on Shooting Star Dreamer, please let me know!

Thank you for reading~

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Splatoon 2's Marina: Examining Her Popularity

Splatoon Marina Titlecard
Credit to the artist: Balitix

With the immense popularity of Splatoon behind us, the sequel is off to a similar start. Although the game hasn't officially released, players have gotten a taste of what's in store through various previews. What's most interesting to me though, are the fan's responses to the new musical characters: Pearl and Marina. Although both characters are loved, I'd like to focus on Marina; specifically because she's drawn the most attention out of the two.

Marina At a Glance

Splatoon Marina GIF

In the game of Splatoon, Marina is a creature known as an Octoling. She differs greatly from the usual squid-kid characters called Inklings. She has octopus tentacles for hair and slightly different facial features. The reason why her inclusion is so shocking to players is because the Inklings and Octolings were pretty much enemies in the previous game. It's odd for her to appear and be welcomed into their civilization.

Marina is also described as being a "reserved" character. She appears to have trouble interacting with others (outside of her partner Pearl) and is depicted with nervous looks at all times. In her duet's with Pearl she sings mostly the background vocals while Pearl covers the main parts, representing aspects of their personality. 

What Contributes to Popularity

New Experiences

Octoling and Inkling
Octoling and Inkling side by side. Artist Credit

When something becomes popular, there's usually some sort of reasoning behind it. The popular anime of the time usually bring something new to the table like One Punch Man, while others take old tropes and change them up like Madoka. Regardless of the way it's done, popularity usually connects to freshness. 

I believe the newness of Marina is part of the reason why she's a fan-favorite already. Since Nintendo players got a hold of Splatoon, there's been one thing missing from the game: Octolings that are allies instead of enemies. Many begged for these characters to be playable and some preferred them over the Inklings. 

Although we still don't have playable Octolings, Marina is a step towards this becoming a possibility, which also hints that Nintendo is listening to it's fan base. I definitely believe there are more changes to come in the near future!

Connection to the Audience

Marina Splatoon 2

Introducing something new is usually not enough; people have to find some sort of relatability as well. There are times when characters are designed to be one-dimensional or perfect. They either embody a single trope or become an all-around character that has no flaws. When it comes to character design it's hard to find a compromise. 

With Marina, her personality is definitely something people can relate to. To put it bluntly, Marina appears to suffer from anxiety or social anxiety. This explains the fact that she always appears to be a bit nervous and perhaps ditsy at times; interacting with others definitely gives her trouble. 

This type of issue is actually a common problem for many, and seeing a character who goes through similar struggles is motivating in a way. The fact that Marina continues to perform and follow her dreams while dealing with these issues is definitely inspirational. 

Appeal to Diversity

Octoling Splatoon
The original Octoling design from Splatoon.
With the previous two points in mind, we have to remember that our world is diverse. Although the communities differ depending on your location, our world is a colorful one. We don't all look the same, and we're not all sharing a single personality as well. 

Marina breaks the original barriers of Splatoon by being a different race than the usual cast. On top of this, she also has a darker-skin tone which is quite different from other NPCs. The most fascinating thing is that people tend to take a liking to her because she's so different.

Therefore, I believe this has a relation to her popularity. It overlaps with her Octopus race origins, but the previous Octolings we've seen have all shared the same skin color. It's nice to embrace our differences as something beautiful.


So, there you have it! I believe from the get go, Marina was going to burst with popularity due to her character design. She brings so much new to the table and embraces a lot of things we haven't seen as much in Splatoon. I think the developers definitely made a smart decision by including her in Splatoon 2. 

What do you all like about Marina? Why do you believe she's popular? Can you relate to her? I'd love to hear your thoughts below, so don't hesitate to comment!