[OWLS Blog Tour] Losing Sight

Hi everyone, and welcome back to Archi-Anime’s stop on the March edition of the OWLS blog tour.

Wow. It’s certainly been a hot minute since I’ve posted here. As you’ve noticed, things have also changed around here in terms of layout. I recently downgraded my site due to inactivity. I’m going to try to change that by kicking off again with an OWLS blog tour. If you’re not familiar with our group: we are a group of otaku bloggers who promote acceptance of all individuals regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and disability.

We emphasize the importance of respect, kindness, and tolerance to every human being. Even though we come from all walks of life, each and every one of our amazing members are dedicated to our cause.

This month we’ll be talking about “Devotion.”

When we talked about fandoms, we show our appreciation and support by buying merchandise, cosplaying, writing fanfiction and etc. In fact, our appreciation can end up looking like a sign of religious worship. For this month, we will be talking about how certain characters express devotion to others, objects, and values. We will also be discussing how devotion can turn into an unhealthy form of passion and obsession and the implications of that.

It should be of no surprise, but if we’ve interacted during the last year and prior, the reason I took a bit of hiatus was because I got very deeply involved in the My Hero Academia series and it’s fandom. And, you know, maybe it’s time I started writing more about the series again on my blog, but time is always a heck of a factor.

But, the moment I saw March’s prompt, I had to jump onto it, because while I have my own level of devotion (read as obsession) to this series; more specifically to it’s main character Izuku Midoriya and the most current antagonist of the current season Overhaul, these two both express their devotion to their values.

Kai and Izuku are two sides of the same coin. They ultimately devote themselves to ideals they believe are for the benefit to themselves and to their community. However, while they both have good intentions, one is considered heroic while the other is villainous.

Izuku Midoriya & All Might

Izuku is a hero fanatic, but nothing beats his fanaticism with All Might. All Might is his inspiration to be a hero since he was a child, and the one person that gave him the motivation and reassurance that he too could be a hero.

Izuku’s not able to yield One for All at 100%, his body is not yet equipped to handle it as is, and due to his time limitations to get a feel and own it, he’s pushed into it and do his best with what he can use.

The thing about idolization is the need to be like that person, to emulate them and mimic them. Because it was given from All Might, not only did he feel the need to emulate him, but to carry on All Might’s legacy, and in order to do that he felt the need to mimic his fighting style completely. Yes, some of his moves also came from studying Katsuki, but that was mostly maneuvering than fighting.

For Izuku, inheriting All Might’s power and having studied him so obsessively made him narrow minded in what he could do with the ability of One for All, he even copies the names of all of All Might’s moves, and inevitably it only does damage to Izuku’s arms, to the point he could loose function of them if he continues to put strain on them.

Which brings us to the Provisional License arc, in which Izuku had to develop a special attack as his own, and finally came to the realization that he doesn’t have to copy All Might, and develops his own style using Shoot-style which inevitably becomes Izuku’s new fighting style.

Overhaul & The Yakuza

Overhaul, or, Chisaki Kai, was not a bad guy from day one. It was something he morphed into before taking on the moniker ‘Overhaul’.

Kai was an orphan when ‘The Boss’ adopted him and raised him. At the beginning too, we can see that Kai wasn’t adverse to physical touch, as he welcomed ‘The Boss’ giving him a head pat as a child. This later on changes as Kai hates being touched and develops mysophobia. Kai also views quirks as a disease that needs to be eradicated.

But, as time passed and the rising of heroes and villains with quirks, the Yakuza took a hit and essentially faded into obscurity. His entire life Kai has always felt thankful for having been brought in and a sense of pride for ‘the family’.

In an effort to bring the Yakuza back up to their original position of power, Kai schemes ways for them to earn money and establish their role as formidable adversaries.

When Eri comes into the picture, he sees her as the opportunity to bring the Yakuza out of obscurity. However, ‘the Boss’ shoots down the idea, saying going down this route will be the end of his humanity. Kai fully believes in his idea and that this is the key to help the yakuza out. Because ‘the Boss’ doesn’t want Kai to pursue this and is completely against it, Kai is convinced he is right and that he will prove it, so he uses his quirk on ‘the boss’ which puts him in a coma.

Unfortunately, this is when Kai develops the persona Overhaul, to be more menacing and intimidating. He becomes heartless and cruel in his misguided mission to not only bring the Yakuza back up but to erase quirks.

In the end, Overhaul’s devotion to his cause doesn’t bring glory back to the Yakuza like he had hoped, inevitably losing to Izuku in their battle.


Kai had good intentions, but the ends did not justify the means. His devotion became skewed and he became a deplorable chracter at the end.

Izuku, on the other hand, took him awhile to accept that he didn’t have to follow All Might’s footsteps to a Tee. Izuku now thrives after breaking from the shackles he put on himself in emulating All Might. He’s making the quirk his own, by creating his own style and adjusting every time he ups his power level.

We can see through both characters how devotion can bring upon your utter downfall, but if you can break from and realize how blind you are to it, you can work past it and thrive.

What did you guys think of Izuku and Overhaul’s levels of devotion, whether in manga or in the anime? Let me know in the comments below!

Also, don’t forget to read Matt’s post  found here.

And don’t forget to check out Nyan’s post tomorrow also found here.

Also, if you haven’t don’t forget to follow us on facebook as well as our twitter @OWLSbloggers and our official blog as well as our YouTube channel! And if you’re interested in becoming an OWLS member, you can contact us here.

[Fanfiction]: Enough

[Title]: Enough
[Author]: jfiacrez
[Category]: General, M/M
[Rating]:  General
[Fandom]: Run with the Wind (Anime) | 風が強く吹いている | Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru & Haikyuu
[Characters]: Kurahara Kakeru, Akane “Prince” Kashiwazaki, Kageyama Tobio & Haiji Kiyose
[Status]: Completed 
Part 3 of the “Of Stilted Conversations and RBF’s” series.

Kakeru has an epiphany in Paris with the help of Prince, Kageyama, and the Mona Lisa.

I was curious what I’d find in the Run With the Wind fandom of fanfiction, and it is pretty bare boned. But I had to check out at least one of the ships. To be honest, I haven’t really thought about ‘shipping any of our boys in Run just because this show really screams mentorship and brotherhood to me more than anything. But if I did ‘ship anyone it would be Kakeru and Haiji.

The context appears that this happens way after college a few years after the Hakone Ekiden. In this short one-shot, Kakeru comes to terms (belatedly) that he’s in love with Haiji. Prince has dropped hints on this odd trip of theirs to Paris.

Also an odd addition is Kageyama Tobio from the Haikyuu series as Kurahara’s step-brother. I think it’s funny that the author would have these two be step-siblings because they’re so similar in looks and personality – but who hasn’t made that parallel?

I know my notes above say Part 3 of a series, but I feel like these could be read as standalones.

Without giving away too much, I thought this was a short cute one-shot about Kakeru’s awkwardness and slow realization of having feelings for someone else because he’s always been too focused on running to think about anything else.

I’m alive…? Sort of?

Hey hey hey everyone. My, it’s been about 6 months since I “left”. And it is probably time for me to give some semblance of an update. Things might be changing around the blog as well to reflect this.

To be honest, the hiatus from blogging hadn’t been intentional. I had meant to study for my architectural exams, but its already September, and those plans fell through. So, what has Zel been up to and what has she been doing?


Long story short, I got very invested in my fic writing, and even created an alt-persona/twitter to handle my content. Will I be sharing it here? I have in my previous update in the beginning of the year, but I’m thinking I may keep it separate for the time being; unless I decide to fully adopt the alt-name. Mostly because honestly, I’m not sure how my followers on this blog will be receptive to the content, and I’d rather not deal with the backlash (as some of the fics have turned ‘problematic’). But if you’re that interested, let me know 😀

I got heavily invested in the BnHA fandom, and have met and befriended a lot of fic writers and fanartists along the way. The last time I updated, I wrote that I was focusing on two fics, that has definitely changed. Both of those fics have been sitting on the backburner as other storylines invaded my brain and those feel the need to get out faster than the previous two I had.


I made it 2 months of my new years resolution before life caught up to me and I just didn’t have time to do more BnHA portraits. I’ve had some sketches and other art pieces I’ve done, but again it’s fallen under my alt-name. I’m about to pick it up again.


Yeah, I swear. I’ll get around to these national exams. It’s hard to get motivated to study again when you’ve been out of school for so long. Maybe in 2020 I’ll get better at it. lol. Work has been especially hectic this summer, with two people leaving the firm and having to pick up the slack for lack of manpower. I still love what I do, and am very devoted and loyal to my firm. Hopefully they see my efforts by the time yearly reviews come around

General Housekeeping

I did pick up photography a bit when I went on vacation for Japan (a completely random trip my parents and I planned!) I’ll probably post those photos soon.

Some other wonderful things happened this year! I got to meet my blog bestie finally! MelinAnimeland came out to visit for Fanime 2019! We got to spend a whole weekend together and even got to explore a bit of San Francisco! I had a blast with her and hope to get to see her again soon!

I went to CRX again this year, I’ll try to write another “review” of my experience. I got to meet up with LynLyn for half a day! And that’s always fun!

Overall, I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a limbo; 2019 was suppose to be the year of creation and getting back on track, but a lot of things happened this year, the good and the bad. I’m hoping it turns around by time time 2020 rolls around.

I’ll try to be a bit more active here, and may end up downgrading my site back to wordpress.heyitszel.com. I don’t have the same drive as I used to as my anime intake took a huge nosedive this year compared to previous years. But I’m not abandoning this blog at all. I blame reading and writing wholeheartedly. I do love my blog and I miss interacting with you all!

Till next time!

❤ Zel

Is it Too Early to Plan? 2019 Cons!

Hey everyone! With a new year ahead of us, it’s bound to come up in a post or two, so why not just rip the band aid off and talk about them now.

Yep, that’s right. Conventions. I know, it’s just February, but early bird tickets have already started going on sale for a few events that I’ve been a regular at.

FanimeCon 2019, May 24-27 (Memorial Day Weekend)

image via fanime.com

Fanime is celebrating 25 years with their Silver Anniversary! I’m still fairly a newbie as this is probably my 3rd – 4th year attending fanime. Funny enough, a really good friend of mine all the way from middle school runs fanime with his fiance and some other friends. It never occurred to me that he had been helping hold this even since we became friends years ago.

I’m always looking forward to the cosplay gatherings and obviously the fanartists that come and table at artist alley. Last year I got to meet and talk with Gearous, Lowah, PsychosNRosesLucidSky, jimbobox, GunMetalR0se & RTrigger. Some of the above are regulars at fanime so I always make sure to stop by their table and grab a new print or whatever new merch they have.

This year, I’m looking to seeing those listed above and I’m especially looking forward to meeting Mir who will be coming for the first time. She’s done incredible drawings of Hawks from bnha and I’m hoping to commission her for while she’s in town.

CRX 2019, Aug 31-Sept 2 (Labor Day Weekend)

image via expo.crunchyroll.com


This marks the third year in which CRX has been around, and last year they actually moved venues. The first year I really enjoyed going to all the panels and what not and you can find my reveiw on it here. The second year, I didn’t do that as much, but I really hope to revisit the panel aspect.

So far, there have been no news in terms of artists just yet, but from the looks of the website the theme is “New Crunchy City” which makes me wonder, will they actually be constructing areas inside the venue to replicate more an urban environment filled with some sort of cityscape? I’m looking forward to seeing if they have any interactive environment as the images seem to be saying on the website.

Also, the one thing I find CRX still lacking is cosplay gatherings for photoshoots. I usually look forward to taking photos of the groups versus chasing down people in costume.

Those are the two local con’s I’ll be attending. Usually I get to meet fellow OWLS members and hang out with them for a bit. I also have my usual con-buddies Mark (I used to write on his blog – I’m not sure if he still wants me to contribute as he’s going through some upgrades and changes to his type of content) and Mary (from my community college days – she’s a cosplayer).

So, are any of my readers and other bloggers from the SF Bay Area? Which con’s will you be attending this year? That question is also for anyone not in the Bay Area, I’d like to know what Cons everyone attends to, for future research purposes 😉 Let me know in the comments below!

[Archi-Anime Anecdotes]: House for a Photographer

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Archi-Anime Anecdotes. Where I try to add back in the architectural side of my life to the blog in a non-anime related post.

This post has been sitting in my drafts for a spectacularly long time; and I’m trying to clean-up the drafts (but believe me they just keep piling!)

I think at this point it’s safe to say my architectural likes are also japanese influenced. So today, I want to share a home that stood out to me when I had been perusing Archdaily awhile ago.

Original Article:

House for a Photographer / FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

©Yoshihiro Asada via ArchDaily


Due to copyright stuff, I won’t be posting a ton of images of this house, but you can check out the link above for the gallery.

I’d just like to point out what I really like about the design and the aesthetics.

Modern Japanese architecture can  usually be characterized by the minimalism in both materials and right lines and sharp angles. You won’t necessarily crazy out there designs in Japan because they focus more on the utility and efficiency of a space. They make the most of their small footprint and I really love that. I wish I could live a more minimalist lifestyle but alas, I really enjoy my ‘stuff’ (*cough* anime merch *cough*)

This makes me think of Wabi-sabi; a world view that was a reaction in the post 15 century that focused on the importance and acceptance of transience and/or imperfection. It is a reaction to the rich materials and lavish lifestyle that was prevalent in japanese culture.

This house features long linear hallways that serve as gallery spaces. And there are two types of spaces that really stand out to me: the white spaces and then the wooden spaces. The largest space (atelier) is definitely a workshop type area, and a place to host. Further into the house theres’s a gallery that gives off that pristine professional gallery feel, but as you move deeper into the house into the more personal intimate spaces, the material shifts to wood which gives an inviting warmth to the home. A definite contrast to the “photographer” space. I also like that the little workshop area is mixed materials of wood and white, since the workspace is where you organize your work and lay things out, it makes sense that materials for both creating a comfortable space while maintaining a professional space intermingles so well.

I also think that all the openings into spaces are well planned out and picturesque in that they frame what is beyond perfectly. The wide sliding door that opens to the outside is also a perfect backdrop as the linear gallery wall is what’s beyond. The hallway leading to the opening gallery space features a skylight that filters light down casting a very pretty effect on the wall behind. It seems that i really love straight lines and sharp angles; which is the opposite of what my thesis was about when I was in school.

I really enjoyed writing and analyzing what I loved about this particular project, and hope you guys did too. I’ll try to write more in this style for future posts, as I hope they are somewhat educational to my readers.

If there was any archi-speak that didn’t make sense please let me know, I’d be happy to indulge more on what I meant.

I also mentioned wabi sabi very briefly and would like to expand more on the aesthetics of japanese architecture and design just because it’s super interesting to me, so I guess you can be on the look out for those kinds of posts in the near future as well.

Till next time!

[OWLS Blog Tour]: Misplaced Adoration

Hi everyone, and welcome to Archi-Anime’s stop on the February edition of the OWLS blog tour. If you’re not familiar with our group: we are a group of otaku bloggers who promotes acceptance of all individuals regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and disability.

We emphasize the importance of respect, kindness, and tolerance to every human being. Even though we come from all walks of life, each and every one of our amazing members are dedicated to our cause.

This month we’re finally talking about something related to Valentine’s Day! It only took about 3 years to do so, but this year we’re looking at the theme: “Adore”:

In February, we will be exploring love and romance. The word selected is “adore” because it has two main connotations: to be loved and respected or to feel worshipped. We will analyze characters that give us a feeling of admiration and explain why we love those characters. We will also be exploring different forms of love (familial, friendship, and even self-love) and how those types of love influence our lives.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Winter 2018 brought about a wonderful anime that was easily one of my favorites of the year. After the Rain ran for 12 episodes following a high school girl named Akira and Kondou, the manager of the cafe she works at.

At first glance, After the Rain appears to be about a teen pining after an older man, and perhaps the older man also reciprocating those very feelings in return. However, I personally found that this show was so so much more than that. It went beyond the superficial romance that it advertised it to be. To me, it was an incredibly crafted story about misplaced adoration and the idealization of romance.

Akira’s Adoration

screencap via amazon

Akira is shown pining after her boss due to a moment of kindness shown to her during one of her lowest days.  After suffering what seemed to be a career-ending injury, she was shown at a doctor’s office having it looked. On her way home she stops by Garden cafe to escape the rain and to essentially mope over her predicament. The manager gives her a cup of coffee on the house; the warmth of the gesture strikes a chord with her and this is how and why she gets attached to Kondou.

She confesses obviously, and while Kondou doesn’t think it’s appropriate; she’s a bit adamant in wanting to get to know him; to the point she really does want to date him, and this is when those idealizations of romance come to mind, which I’ll go into futher.

Kondou’s Ideals & Regrets

Kondou is a 40-year old man who’s been divorced and has a son. In a lot of his employee’s eyes he’s viewed as a loser. The thing is, Kondou really is a man of passion; though it’s become more of a hidden passion due to it becoming one of the things that causes his marriage to fizzle out. Kondou once had dreams of becoming a writer, and is an avid reader. He feel’s like he’s not amounted to much in his life in comparison to his friend that’s turned into a writer.

Because of his predicament, Kondou appears too eager to please and a bit spineless and clueless to his surroundings. Reading the air of his employees for one thing is definitely not his strong suit. He also prefers not to get involved romantically after his divorce because of this weakness – he’s essentially afraid of getting hurt and that extends to everything in his life.

However, Kondou doesn’t exactly try to push Akira and her advances away. I mean, if he really hated the attention; he could easily put an end to it. But he entertain’s her whims, despite his conviction that there’s just no way this girl could really be into him.

Fulfilling the Void

I found that by the two spending time together; the adoration they think they have for the other is just fulfilling a void. They’re both trying to deal with something they’ve lost in their lives. Honestly it almost feels that Akira could be exhibiting depression and latches on to Kondou.  Kondou’s kindness soothe’s Akira’s heartache with the warmth he exudes in his day to day efforts of becoming a better manager and the way he tries to care for his employees. Akira’s youthfulness and innocence sparks old feelings for him when it comes to some of the things he regrets in life. It’s only when he emphasizes that Akira’s still young and should not give up on her dreams of running that he realizes he probably should be following his own advice.

The symbolism of the rain was indicative of their moods, and often times those moods were lifted in those flashes of vivid colors and bright lights because in each other’s company they found warmth that seemed to be missing from their life. This warmth spurs on affection which could lead to attraction and the feeling of “love”.

Idealization of Romance

There were a few scenes that really hit home this idealization of romance. It clearly varied between the two of them.

With Akira we saw the typical shoujo effects that we see when a girl has a love interest. The soft focus, the pining from a far, the sparkly bubbles in the atmosphere when she thinks of him. This “shoujo filter” is something we view her love life through. We see her idealized romance; what could be. What would be if they were to happen to cross that line; if she could have the courage to cross that line.

screencap via amazon

On the other hand, Kondou’s approach to looking at Akira is viewed from a nostalgic point of view. The “attraction” he has to Akira is not so much the physical, but that he’s reminded of what could’ve been. A reminder of what he had. When Kondou looks at her; he usually imagines his younger self talking to Akira, not his current self.

screencap via amazon

In the image above, is the one of the few times he imagines his younger self talking to a beautiful girl, but later on in the scene, the vivid colors melt away as he’s shocked into reality when Akira talks about his son; effectively killing his daydream.

I found the contrasts in how they see one another really great. Akira is something that’s not really feasible to Kondou. He comes from a pessimistic jaded pointed view of love. While Akira looks at him like he’s the world. Due to her inexperience in love, she has ideals on what love and relationships should look like, and it only took one act of kindness  to draw her in.

Rekindled Passions

As the two spend time together, especially with Kondou finally laying down the fact that Akira doesn’t know anything about him and yet can claim to like him things get a little tense. The two start to turn towards the things they love after coming to terms with that emptiness that they feel in their lives. Akira rekindles a friendship that had been in disarray since her injury, and she finds that there is hope to getting back to her original running form with some therapy. After Kondou reconnects with an old friend that is a novelist, he comes to terms with the fact that he misses writing. He returns to making an effort into his writing again by dedicating his evenings to crafting stories.

After the Rain did such a fabulous job in exploring how these two found some kind of solace and inspiration from one another, despite their relationship having started from misplaced adoration.

Did you watch After the Rain? What did you love most about the show? There’s so much to talk about regarding this show and the symbolism but that will be for another day.

Also, don’t forget to read Taku’s post about on Go for it, Nakamura! found here.

And don’t forget to check out Megan’s post over at her blog also found here.

Also, if you haven’t don’t forget to follow us on facebook as well as our twitter @OWLSbloggers and our official blog as well as our YouTube channel! And if you’re interested in becoming an OWLS member, you can contact us here.

The World of Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis, Part I

Hey guys! So, after completing the last few posts on the anime No. 6, I’ve decided I kind of like that format, taking a few weeks (or a month) and really diving into the world of a particular series.

Sometimes I get too focused on looking for specific buildings that I forget to look at the overall bigger picture of the series. I have a bit of tunnel vision so to speak (so much so, my firm has noticed and called me out on my ultra-focused ways). So I’ll be proceeding with this format for awhile.

Don’t worry I still have more in-depth pieces about anime and architecture lined up, so that will be coming down the pipeline…hopefully sooner than later.

BUT, without further ado! Let’s jump into some Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis.

The series starts off in a town called Wytearp in episode 1, following our protagonist Favaro and his chaser Kaisar, those names should sound familiar as they’re the humans I described in a previous Man Crush Monday.


When I first saw this opening scene, I immediately thought we had to be in some european countryside. There are clearly some roman influences to the city, as these are quite similar to the famous Roman aqueducts that helped transport water to a town.


Europe has a lot of hilltop/mountain top towns, I especially looked into Italy, just because …part of the roman influence is rather prominent.


Of the first interior shots of the series we’re brought into a pub. And it’s aesthetics is reminiscent of my previous post on Attack on Titan  where I discussed Romanesque properties.

Just as a recap:

  • Romanesque is this style of architecture is often characterized by a large hefty appearance with semi-circular arches and small paired windows, as well as the groin vault. (see link for a more descriptive info on the groin vault).

The town of Wytearp is indeed similar with the use of half-timbering; but instead of the wooden structure being exposed we see more of the stone block construction stacked to create the walls of the building.

That wraps up some thoughts on this edition of Fantasy Friday. (sorry these are such brief posts!)

Let me know if there’s a particular show/episode you’d like me to take a look at! I’m considering taking a poll with suggestions.

[OWLS Blog Tour]: Growth in Tandem

Hello friends and welcome to Archi-Anime’s stop on the January Blog Tour.

Our January theme is: Metamorphosis

A brand new year means new beginnings and opportunities. We have a tendency to embrace the new year because it’s a time when we can start fresh. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring our favorite dynamic characters who undergo changes for better or for worse. We will analyze these characters’ transformations and how these transformations benefited or minimized these characters’ potential in becoming “great people/beings.” We will also use these characters as a way for us to reflect on our own lives and who we want to become. Lastly, we would like to say “Happy New Year, everyone!”

The Fall Anime season brought around one of my year’s favorite anime. It took a break over the holiday’s and now it’s back in the new year for the second half of it’s series. Yes, I’m talking about Run With the Wind. 

This show has really grown on me from the beginning. A ragtag group of college students, that were randomly (supposedly) chosen to run the Hakone Ekiden. I honestly believe that when Haiji was recruiting roommates he was looking for people with certain traits. But, that’s a theory and I could be totally off. But that’s besides the point of this post.

When I thought about the prompt, I had to talk about two of the characters on the show and one specifically that has been the talk of my small ani-blog community:

Akane “Prince” Kashiwazaki & Kakeru Kurahara

The relateable otaku of the series; Prince really emphasizes the idea of “metamorphosis” on two levels; while Kakeru has his own in tandem with Prince’s.

Prince’s Physical Metamorphosis – Butterfly Symbolism

This is probably a stretch, but when we first see Prince running, his pace is slower than the butterfly he happens to chance upon. Butterflies are one if not the most popular uses of a metamorphosis when it comes to symbolism. And, for a butterfly to be associated with prince is so fitting. Of all the character’s in our beloved cast, Prince is the one that’s had to make the most changes to become a somewhat decent runner.

screencap via source

When Prince starts off, we see that he runs around like a zombie: hunched over and his hands at weird angles. He also, is the character with the least interest in running. To be fair, that could probably be said about a lot of the characters in the dormitory. But Prince sticks out more because he’s an introverted otaku. He sits in his cramped room surrounded by manga and reads.

While everyone tries to actively run outside, Prince decides he wants a treadmill to help him; solely because he can accomplish more reading if he’s mostly stationary; this is his way of training, at least he can do what he loves by multi-tasking.

Unfortunately, Kakeru Kurahara is in the mindset that absolutely no one, especially Prince, is training enough to even consider being able to compete in the Hakone Ekiden.  It’s this episode where it comes to a point that Kakeru’s frustrations are literally running him ragged. Haiji has to pull him off the next race because he wants Kakeru that running isn’t just about speed.

Kakeru has the realization of the “team” and supporting his fellow runners. So, with that in mind, he decides to approach Prince first – because he’s the one lacking the most. The two try to understand one another and in the process really grow in tandem. They grow together as individuals and as teammates, and the episode that highlights this was actually one of my favorites.  They don’t have much in common, but they try to find a common ground, In the process they do become friends that spend time together.

During one of their hang-outs, Kakeru tries to understand Prince by picking up his hobby of reading manga. It’s in that moment, that Kakeru realizes as he watches Prince on the treadmill, that his posture is much better here than when he’s actively running, and it’s literally because of the way Prince holds a book while he’s on a treadmill.

running posture.PNG
screencap via source

Kakeru develops a theory for Prince when they go for their morning run, realizing that his hunched over posture and arm placement was stuck due to muscle memory of holding and reading manga. Kakeru only realizes this because after he has a fight with Prince that he forces to stick by his side to train. That’s when he realizes the difference in his posture by holding a book. By making a few adjustments Kakeru straightens Prince’s posture which helps him run a little better. Prince also realizes he needs to tie his hair up in order to see.

Slowly but surely Prince had been passing that butterfly on his runs; and while he’s still the slowest of the bunch, he still hasn’t given up. The change in running stance and posture has helped Prince improve his running tremendously, and honestly it’s great. He looks so much more determined to improve once he and Kakeru start to have a better understanding of one another.

Prince’s Mentality Shift

I love Prince’s change of attitude towards running; another metamorphosis. Although Prince was manipulated into running (Thanks Haiji!) I found that his mentality towards running to be really inspiring.

It’s so easy to say, “oh I hate running,” or “running just isn’t for me.” For someone as introverted as Prince, I had expected him to say he didn’t care for it and he’d be one of the people that would be against the idea of creating the running team. But, he took me by surprise. He still went along with it despite his reservations. And I think Haiji really ignited a spark in him by quoting a manga to him when they first started.

But spending time with Kakeru and fixing his running has really been helpful for them both. Prince learns to face forward and really aims to be a better runner and he makes such an effort.

And as for the latest episode. Seems like I chose the perfect date to talk about Prince as there are no words, to how emotional prince made me in this week’s episode. Prince is the LAST person who needs a qualifying time to even get him to the qualifier. With only two track meets left; he can definitely feel the pressure and you can feel the weight of being the last one standing radiating off of him the entire episode. He misses the qualifying time on one of the two; meaning he really only has one more left; everything is riding on this last run. So he ups his training game (which Kakeru also wants to help a somehow).

What really got to me was his drive to finish his run. He knew he couldn’t let down his friends, his teammates, and ultimately he didn’t want to let himself down. He’d done the work, he put in the time. As he gets ready for his last run, he can see everyone is just as nervous as him to finish. He then asks everyone to write something on his arm – to keep him motivated to finish.

“When they look at me like that, how could I not do my best?”

screencap via source

They write forward on his arm, something that Kakeru has also been saying to him since they fixed his running posture. With running, there is only one thing to do: keep looking forward; keep moving forward and dammit if that scene didn’t hit you in the feels when he crosses that finish line with the official record he needed.

Prince has truly embodied a metamorphosis in his entire being, and that can also be said about Kakeru and his outlook towards running.

Kakeru Kurahara

I won’t say too much about Kakeru, but I found his character development to happen in tandem with Prince’s.

As stated before Kakeru and Prince had a fight – clearly about how Prince just isn’t cut out to be running. Due to the fight ( and Haiji fainting) the two try to repair their relationship with Kakeru taking the initiative and trying to get to know Prince and his tastes by taking up reading manga.  And it’s because of the time spent together that they fix Prince’s running stance.

screencap via source

Kakeru has always always been running ahead of the pack and has never looked back at his teammates. It’s not until Haiji takes him out from the race and makes him observe from the sidelines. That’s when he realizes that everyone HAS been trying their hardest to train – he can see it in their faces, and he never understood the urge to cheer on his teammates because he’s never been seen it with his own eyes. After spending time with Prince, he even sacrifices having the fastest time in order to encourage Prince to move forward and not give up.


For Prince, we saw the physical and mental metamorphosis that changed him from being someone dragged into running to being someone that truly decided to make a conscious effort to get better. He took his running time from 29 minutes to 16 minutes which was probably in a span of a month if not a few weeks.

Kakeru had changed from someone that was solely focused on being the fastest runner and looking ahead to someone that really learned to care about his teammates and learned to look back and give a helping hand to those who need it.

Screencap via source

Episode 10 was truly a great turning point for both Prince and Kakeru in their relationship with one another, their relationship with the team and their relationship with running. They’ve come so far and it’s only halfway through the season. I can’t wait to see what happens to these two and the rest of their teammates as they make it towards the Ekiden.

What are your guys’ thoughts on Prince and Kakeru? Thoughts about Run with the Wind in general?

Let me know in the comments below!

Also, don’t forget to read Mel’s post about Kirishima from Boku no Hero Academia found here.

And don’t forget to check out Karandi’s post over at her blog also found here.

Also, if you haven’t don’t forget to follow us on facebook as well as our twitter @OWLSbloggers and our official blog as well as our YouTube channel! And if you’re interested in becoming an OWLS member, you can contact us here.


[Fanfiction] My Hero Academia | What He Left Behind

[Title]: What He Left Behind
[Author]: Ive_Ben_Writing
[Category]: General
[Rating]:  Teen & Up
[Fandom]: My Hero Academia | Boku no Hero Academia
[Characters]: Bakugou Katsuki + Class 1-A
[Status]: Completed 

Two weeks after Midoriya “Deku” Izuku defeated the dreadful successor of All for One and disappeared, the Hero Class of 1A tries their best to cope with their sudden loss. And just when the weight of their grief proved to be too much, they discovered that Deku lives on in a manner they didn’t expect.

Angst, angst angst. So. Much. Angst.

Ive_Ben_Writing writes a 7 chapter story on how everyone copes with the loss of Deku in their lives. They’re all still students in this fanfic, and if you’re not caught up with the manga, there’s a slight spoiler as there’s a character that is new and they’re a prominent figure who is deeply affected by Deku’s death and does not cope well.

We all know that Deku and Kacchan have known each other since they were kids, and we all know that Deku believes in Kacchan. They have a special bond, but their layers of miscommunication and misunderstandings have left their relationship in tatters. We also know that they’re trying to rectify the chasm between them and trying to restore some kind of relationship. These things are evident in the show and the manga.

What He Left Behind is a heart wrenching story that literally had me crying in every chapter. This story mostly comes from Katsuki’s point of view, and how he copes and deals with his newfound role in the wake of Deku’s death.

We see the effect that Deku had on each of their classmates, and how each of them are coping with the loss of their friend. They use his death as self-reflection and as a source of inspiration. The fact that he is able to move each of his classmates souls in a way no one else could post-mortem, is really mind blowing, and god, this just really pulls on your heartstings. And for those who aren’t coping or grieving as they should, well, you can only guess who’s there helping them along the way, because at the end of the day, what would Deku do?

This fic is such a ride, especially with Kacchan as the lead. Tasked with being the support, because a certain nerd believes in him, was the most emotional part for me. How he deals with being there for his “friends” and classmates, and as a stand-in for Deku is a great exploration of his character.

I seriously hope you guys give this one a read. It’s fic’s like this that make me understand and love Kacchan’s character and the potential that he has.

Goodreads 2019 Reading Challenge

Hello friends! Last year I picked up the 2018 Goodreads Reading challenge, and I didn’t really get to update what happened with that. I mostly did my readings towards the last three months of the year, and I was so so close to finishing my personal goal of 20 books. I ended up with 18! I had meant to read more during my company shut-down/vacation for the holidays but I ended up not going that.

I posted a photo of books I had wanted to read last year, but I ended up not reading many if not any of those and instead set upon a path of reading/buying manga. That being said I’m going to continue down that road, and try to incorporate manga reviews. However, I’m not sure how spoiler-free I can be when I’m writing, but I’ll put warnings all over the place.

image via goodreads

I want to say that I’ll be aiming for a healthy balance of manga to actual novels; but I’m going to be honest with myself and at least aim for 5 of my pledge of 20 to be actual novels. I have my 5 novels picked up, and I actually finished 1/20 books pledge by reading Volume 1 of Golden Kamuy.  I decided to pick up the manga because I loved the show so much, that it definitely seemed like I should read it, especially when a twitter mutual told me that the anime actually left out quite a few story arcs, and honestly I read one that was left out and am honestly sad that this particular story didn’t make it.

Anyways, I’ll try to update you guys regularly on this too, probably in the “Where in the World is Zel?” series.

But if you’re up to the challenge, and are on goodreads, feel free to follow me. My profile is here: Zel’s 2019 goodreads Reading Challenge

Again, here’s a snapshot of what I’m planning to read this year. Hopefully I can manage the actual novels. I already started one of them, since one of my fanfics revolves the geisha world.


What books are you guys reading this year? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂