The Foil of the Goddess of the 104th: Historia

It’s Wednesday y’all! I’m here with a pretty awesome WCW to get you through hump day!

Krista-Chara_DesignNow as you guys know by now, outside of my love for the sports genre I’m a pretty avid follower to the fandom that is Attack on Titan. In a previous WCW I featured Ymir; and that went into heavy spoiler territory. However, now with Season 2 under our belts, I thought it would be appropriate to feature this AoT character.

So without further ado, let’s talk about The Foil of the Goddess of the 104th: Historia.

When we first met Historia, she went by the name of Christa Lenz. A beautiful petite blonde girl with the kindest nature and personality; so much so that she’s labeled “goddess” by many of the men in the 104th. However, Christa’s true nature hides behind a façade. As I’ve said before these two are actually foils of one another; Christa’s friendly façade is really Ymir’s true personality, and Christa’s nature is actually the cold loner that Ymir pretends to be. Christa has been known to place herself in dangerous situations despite her meek nature. Ymir has called her out on her somewhat fake kindess because she’s wants to be seen as a “good person”. Ymir has also accused her of wanting to die a hero as seen on the Historia episode when she’s trying to save Daz even if it means putting her own life on the line. These rash actions of Historia deal with her backstory; all she wants is to be cared about and recognized.

Again, let me reiterate that I love the dynamic between Historia and Ymir. Previously, I mentioned before that they’re like soulmates; they’re understanding of another and their trust in their bonds have added another layer of complexity to the story as we now know who Ymir really is, and Historia’s true self is about to be unfolded.

Historia’s past is still a mystery in the season 2 of Attack on Titan; but we know for sure that she’s an illegitimate child of a nobleman and was forced to change her name and distance herself from the family if she wanted to live. Historia is on the brink of becoming a crucial piece of the puzzle. Warning: this will heads into spoiler territory past the episode of season 2 that revealed Christa’s true identity. So, proceed with caution after the break!

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Townsperson B: Hitoka Yachi

WCW is back!! I may start doing this post bi-weekly since I like to spend time really analyzing these women; I still haven’t decided quite yet. But today’s Crush is a bit on the more softer cuter lighter side of cool ass females; just because my OWLS post the other day was really heavy in content.

Hitoka Yachi was introduced in the second season of the sports anime Haikyuu!! She became Karasuno’s manager after Kiyoko Shimizu, the third year manager, recruited her looking for a replacement for when she graduates. Although she’s a first year like Hinata and Kageyama and mostly a side character, or as she would call it “Townsperson B”; there’s actually a few life lessons to learn in the very few episodes where she’s the center of attention!

5. Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover

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Very early on in her introduction she’s shown to quickly judge people by their appearances. For example, she judges Hinata, assuming that he was a manager due to his height; until Hinata corrects her and she sees him in action. She also makes a similar mistake when she meets Coach Ukai, she thinks he’s a delinquent that’s stalking Kiyoko based on his blonde hair, ear piercings, and flip flops and is completely embarrassed when she finds out that he’s actually the Coach of the team.

4. Don’t Let Negative Thoughts Cloud Your Decision

There will always be one person that will play devil’s advocate to anything you show interest in. They’ll question your motives, and whether it would be a good fit for you or not. Yachi’s Mom questions her motives which already causes her to doubt whether she’s fit to be a club manager and question why she would want to do it in the first place. It’s okay to listen to what these people have to say, even if it is coming from your own parents. But take it with a grain of salt, and let that help you make the decision rather than to deter you from a decision. If anything, it should strengthen your resolve.

3. It Pays to be Obsessive

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In Yachi’s case, she’s obsessive about details since her Mom is a graphic designer. I relate to this a lot, especially after seeing her share her notes with Hinata. I’m an obsessive note taker and actually do color code quite a bit in my planner and notebooks. It helps to be obsessive about habits because they’ll eventually help later on.  In her case, her obsessive note taking will help her become a better manager as it allows her to comprehend volleyball more and allows her to analyze the opposing team and maybe even come up with her own plays for when she takes over the managerial position.

2. Don’t Underestimate Your Skills/ Self-Worth | Be More Confident

Yachi is shown to be kind of shy, and timid, and clearly believes she has nothing to offer. She’s easily swayed by what her Mom thinks, but having someone as supportive as Hinata pushes her to realize that she should stand up for what she really wants.

When she overhears that Coach Ukai and Takeda Sensei discussion the teams lack of funds, she realizes there is something she can do; she enlists Kageyama and Hinata’s help. Having been exposed to her Mom’s graphic designer background she knows that a poster will be the best way to fundraise the necessary funds that the team needs. Once her Mother sees her passion in it; not only is she proud but starts to help her make a more efficient design. The poster gets the reaction she had hoped for drawing in the funds.

Due to her growing relationship with Hinata and by extension Kageyama, she’s the only one that seems to have the ability to reign in the two, which she doesn’t seem to realize but everyone else on the team acknowledges that due to her connection with them she’d be perfect to be the next manager. She needs to just be more positive about what she has to offer.

1.  It’s Perfectly Fine to Dive into the Unknown!

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Yachi has never been one to explore something on her own, been needed or expressed a huge interest in something hence why she refers to herself as “Townsperson B”. She see’s herself as a background character, a tag-a-long. She knows nothing about the sport, and her Mom makes sure to point it out that she can’t half-ass being a manager if she’s not serious about it and is doing it on a whim, saying that it wouldn’t be fair to those on the team that are completely serious about what their doing.

Her Mom may be right in some sense, but we all start from zero. You don’t know the results without at least trying; a little curiosity goes a long way. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something completely new will either be lead to success or to failure. But you’ll never know till you try!


That wraps up this week’s WCW! What do you guys think of Hitoka-chan?

Who Says Women Can’t Coach: Riko Aida

With Kuroko no Basket: Last Game on the horizon, it made sense to feature one of the very few females that are in a male dominated anime. Why I didn’t feature her sooner is beyond me, but I’m glad I thought of her for this week!

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Riko Aida, is one of two females that are regular characters on KnB. The two girls are exceptional females that can more than hold their own; but Riko stands out more for one simple reason: she’s the COACH of Seirin’s basketball team.  Let that sink in for a little; she’s a third year high school student, and she’s the COACH.

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From left to right:  Eiji Shirogane (Rakuzan coach); Masaaki Nakatani (Shutoku caoch); Genta Takeuchi (Kaijo coach); Kagetora Aida (Aida’s father);  Masako Araki (Yosen Coach; and the only other female coach in the series played on the Women’s Japanese National Team); Katsunori Harasawa (Touou caoch). The male Coaches of KnB were also players on the Japanese National Team alongside Riko’s father. 

Needless to say, a lot of the coaches from other schools, who are typically older males; doubt her for the obvious reasons. It’s pretty apparent that because she’s a girl a lot of people doubt her coaching abilities. Also, adding insult to injury, how can she possibly be a good coach if she’s just a student? Passerby’s and spectators of Seirin’s games always get confused when they see her; they think she’s the club manager and are mindblown when they realize she’s the one coaching the team. Even the first years that tried out for Seirin’s basketball team assumed that she was the club manager, only to have their jaw drop as they’re proven wrong.

Riko’s Scan Ability

But what makes Aida a capable coach? How versed is she in the sport of basketball? To be honest, she has no experience with the sport. However, she is more than competent as a coach. She’s the daughter of a sports trainer, who was a former basketball player for the Japanese National Basketball Team. As she grew up, her frequent tag-a-longs with her dad to the fitness centers gave her enough training as she watched him train and develop these athletes. By shadowing her Father, and watching him intently, she gained the ability to “scan” players bodies and accurately determine the statistics of the player ranging from: height, weight, strength, speed, and agility. She can also see the faults and weaknesses of each player. It is shown in the manga and anime, that when she looks at a player (particularly when they’re shirtless) she’ll see running numbers tagged to specific muscles. With the information that she gathers from her ability, she is able to tailor specific training regimens based on what’s best per player. On top of that, due to her training under her Father, again, who is a sports trainer; she’s also quick to notice when a player is overexerting themselves as well as injuries and can tape up joints quickly and efficiently. She’s also known to run her regimens by her Dad if she feels stuck; he’s shown to fully support his daughter’s passion for being a sport and never once deters her from doing it. However, he does try to deter her from staying up to late planning workout regimens just because he’s worried for her beauty sleep.

 

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Aida shadowing her Father at fitness centers.

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Planning a training regimen with her worrisome father overlooking her shoulder

What I love about her is that she doesn’t let her gender and sex get in the way of her coaching. Meaning, despite what people assume and how she’s viewed, she’s never once shown that it’s bothered her, and never has anyone on her team doubted her. If anything the team has nothing but respect for her because she clearly knows what she’s doing. She’s definitely depicted as a tomboy, often displaying a lack of femininity by being physical with her basketball team; often hitting them or putting them in wrestling holds (i.e. The Boston Crab) if they’re misbehaving. However, she is a girl through and through. She decides to grow out her hair when they enter the Winter Cup as a good luck charm. She also gets incredibly girly when Tetsu #2, the puppy makes his way onto the scene. Overall Aida Riko is a great female lead in this anime, and another inspirational female to add to list and is refreshing to watch in this male dominated show.


Have you seen KnB? What did you think of Riko? As always, thanks for tuning into this week’s WCW!

Lady Rapier: Asuna Yuuki

AH! It’s International Women’s Day today! WCW just happened to be today too! Epic coincidence! Really exciting to find that out but! I digress! For this week’s WCW I’m going to continue with my SAO theme this week and feature Asuna.

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Asuna is the deuteragonist and Kirito’s partner in the anime Sword Art Online. What I love about Asuna and Kirito is that their relationship doesn’t have either one depending on one another; but rather a relationship that is built on mutual support, respect, care and love for one another. They are able to draw the best out of their partners and that makes them a formidable pairing. They actually mirror each other quite well. They’re a great duo!

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Asuna is a great standalone character. She’s not the damsel in distress as she’s a capable fighter in the world of Sword Art Online. So much so that her skills with her weapon of choice, the “rapier”, has given her the nickname “the flash”. Asuna is also very kind hearted, mentally tough, trustworthy and physically strong. The girl’s got beauty, brains, cooking skills and incredible swordsmanship; she’s got it all!

Prior to meeting Kirito in SAO, she didn’t seem to care much about living or dying when it became apparent they couldn’t log-off. However, her chance encounter with Kirito opened her eyes and pushed her to strive for her own independence and survival  to get out of the game.

What I really loved about Asuna, was her determination to break free of the mold of perfection her Mother had wanted her to be. Her mom laid out her entire life via scheduling her school and after school activities. She had also planned to arrange Asuna’s marriage so that her daughter would have a comfortable future. This left Asuna feeling caged up more than anything. She struggled against these expectations she had from a well to do family. Due to the amount of pressure she felt in her real life and not being able to be the one in control she escaped to the world of gaming to oppose those ideals imposed on her and she found solace in her avatar. In SAO/ALO she was free to be who she wanted to be; and people loved and accepted her for who she was and her personal interest.

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She finally steels her nerves and confronts her mother and invites her mom to see her virtual world in order to get her point across of how she wants to lead. She wants to lead a life that leads to sharing bliss with one another; in support of one another rather than living for one’s own sake. She promises to her mom that she’d still study and work hard but at the same time she wants to do all the other things she also loves. She’s trying to repair the awkward relationship she and her mother have due to wanting different things for Asuna’s sake; but she gets her point across and her mom caves and allows her to continue at her current school and do as she pleases; just as along as she makes it to college; as well as becomes stronger to be able to support others the way she really hopes to.

Asuna, is yet another strong female lead that continues to inspire like the rest of the women that I’ve been featuring. She teaches us to fight for what’s really important especially in the face of adversity.


What do you think of Asuna? I know she’s definitely a fave of many of my readers! Let me know in the comments below!

Role Model: Haruhi Fujioka

Ah! Finally back with WCW, it’s been quite awhile I know. I took a break for work and also because as you know, I’ve been picking women to celebrate and write about for more than just their looks. I feel like I really need to take the time and do some research on these fierce ladies because they deserve the time. I’m still going to try to stick to a weekly post; but we will see.

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First off, Ouran High School Host Club may be a RomCom, but I find a lot of the topics covered a lot deeper upon a closer look. To restart WCW, I’m going to go with another classic favorite of mine. Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club. Haruhi is a classic example of what a role model is and should be for little girls.

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Haruhi is our heroine and MC on Ouran, and right off the bat at the beginning of the anime she’s shown as a boy in an elite private school. After having accidentally broken a vase in Music Room 3, where the host club resides, she’s enlisted as a Host to repay the broken vase. Most of the boys have no clue that Haruhi is actually a girl due to her appearance and don’t really treat her as such till after the revelation. The show depicts her life as a host and the romance that develops between her and Tamaki Suoh.

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Gender Views
Haruhi is a really relateable character; and I think of her to be a positive role model and influence just on sheer personality alone. She doesn’t care for looks or gender and this is one of the first things that I find incredibly mature about Haruhi. She doesn’t believe that gender makes that much of a difference on an individual’s choices. She’s straightforward in her beliefs which I find to be an admirable quality. She’s also quite the hit with the ladies in the host club due to her conversational skills giving her the “natural”type; which she actually embraces her skills to charm the customers as it helps her clear her debt to the club sooner.

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Smarts
Haruhi is also a bit of a bookworm. She enrolls in Ouran to follow her Mom’s footsteps. Her mom is her role-model like many of our own Mom’s are.  All children strive to be like their parents and also make them proud of their accomplisments. She holds her studies as her priority and this is something I highly believe too, another reason why I love Haruhi so much. She earned a scholarship into Ouran based on her entrance exam, which leads me to another great thing about Haruhi that I admire. Haruhi doesn’t come from an affluent background like her classmates. She’s had to work for her place at that school which makes her the more responsible of the bunch.

 

Independent
Most importantly, I love that Haruhi strives to be as independent as possible. It wasn’t easy having a single-parent raise her and she tried to be as indpendent as possible because she knew her Father was doing his absolute best for her. He may see it as her trying to push him away; but it’s actually her doing her own best to alleviate any undue burden that could befall her dad by helping out in her own way.

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Due to her belief in genders being equals; she often finds her self in a lot of trouble due to her stubborness about it. For example, the beach scene in the anime, Haruhi tries to “save” a few of the girls from a bunch of thugs that are harassing them by standing up to them. She believes that she’s in the right for doing that, while the hosts (especially Tamaki) are upset that even though she was right to do so; she easily could’ve been overpowered by both the men.

Haruhi is a great character and a great role model. She’s mentally tough, responsible, smart and fiercely independent. She doesn’t get swept away by the guys’ charms in the host club and is fairly reasonable, grounded, down to earth girl. However, it appears that when it comes to love she’s a bit dense as she doesn’t realize her growing feelings for Tamaki.

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I wish I had watched and heard about Ouran when I was a lot younger. Although, I have a lot of qualities that align with Haruhi’s now it would’ve been a lot cooler to have been able to relate to her as a kid when I was trying to figure myself out a bit more.


What do you guys think of Haruhi? Have you seen Ouran High School Host Club? Let me know in the comments below! I’m glad WCW is back!

Symbolic Armor: Erza Scarlet

This weeks WCW post is a bit of a throwback to the woman that brough about my WCW posts to begin with. Erza Scarlet is one of top favorite heroines, and her name is byfar my favorite anime character name; so much so that I use it every chance I get when given the option to name my character in a game. I like it because it’s feminine sounding yet also gives off a strong fiery presence.

In my previous post about her found in Day 4: Favorite Female Character Ever of my 30 Day Anime Challenge, I really focused on her backstory and her overall personality. This week I’m going to recap on some of the points that really stuck out to me and will hopefully try to expand on those a bit more.

Erza’s armor is one of the most defining characteristics of who she is. Her signature magic though is a spatial magic in which she can “requip” her armor at an amazing speed. She’s also known to be one of the few mages that can requip during battle; and it’s rumored that she has about 100 different types of armor in her posession. This type of specialization of “requip” magic is often called “The Knight.” Erza is known throughout the entire kingdom of Fiore for this type of magic giving her the nickname “Titania.”  Although she may have over a hundred pieces of armor at her disposal, I find her armor to be symbolic through two lenses. One lens is how her Armor represents an emotional state and the second lens looks at Erza’s femininity.

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Erza has stated on the anime that she found herself to be weak when she was a child. When she was a slave on the the island of “The Tower of Heaven” she had lost her eye due to being tortured. During her time as a slave, Erza cried a lot over how powerless she was, and when she was finally able to escape she cried because she still couldn’t save those who were important to her. When she left, I feel like she decided to lock away her emotions inside her armor to never expose how weak she really feels. She has also mentioned that without her armor, she feels insecure and uncomfortable. With her armor she’s able to use it to emotionally and physically protect herself from harm. Her armor represents the walls around her heart she’s had to keep due to all the heartbreak she suffered growing up. She only has one outfit in her arsenal that isn’t armored, her “clear heart clothing” which is essentially a white sarashi around the upper chest and a red hakama with a gold flame-like pattern at the bottom with black highlights, tied by white strings. This is the outfit represents her shedding or armor and opening up her heart again, and while armor often denotes defensive properties, this particular outfit allows her to focus on her offense.

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Erza Titania Scarlet by artist: LucidSky

Erza’s femininity is also expressed through her armor and choice of clothes. On one hand, her revealing outfits can be considered to be fan service, but I think it’s more than that. Erza is a strong, independent and capable character. She doesn’t need to rely on her looks for anything (unlike Lucy who likes to use her looks to get her what she needs). But I think that her armor is much more than that. Alongside this tough exterior she projects with her armor, it also exudes a high level of sex appeal. While most women will hide that, Erza celebrates it. It also shows that she’s comfortable in her body no matter what she’s wearing. Despite her being a woman by sex, she sees all her friends as equals, not placing gender and sex higher than the other. I interpret this in how she treats Natsu and Gray; the two boys she grew up with in the guild. They respect her and she respects them; and more often than not the two probably respect her more than she realizes because of how powerful she is rather than what her gender is. She’s also quick to include the boys no matter what the activity; even if it means bathing, which comes as a complete shock. Erza grew up like one of the boys, but even so she was still able to find her femininity and embrace it.

Again, I think Erza is just such a great female lead in the show: brains, beauty and brawn. I would say Erza is definitely one female characters I can relate with the most and one that made a huge impact on me as an anime viewer as of late. So much so that she was the sole inspiriation as to what made me want to create the Women Crush Wednesday series, which I’ve found to be incredibly successful so far thanks to everyone’s support!

 

TRANSCENDENCE: MOTOKO KUSANAGI

In school I was exposed to a lot of theories (after all our school was more theory and designed based than technical). On top of that we used cutting edge technology to build our architectural models and create images of them with software. Suffice it to say I became obsessed with the relationship between design theory and technology and our Philosophy of Technology class really stuck with me in the coming years. It’s helped open a new door of learning about Technology and it’s use in both a material world and on a deeper level. I know that might sound a bit odd, but I assure you it exisits out there. With that being said….

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This week I want to look at Ghost in the Shell’s Motoko Kusanagi. Another classic, strong female lead. This is also an interesting pick due to the current buzz that’s being generated from the live-action film for casting Scarlett Johannson as ‘The Major’ which is a hot topic of whitewashing in Hollywood. However, I’m not going to be focusing on race or Motokos’ femininity. The discussion of Ghost in the Shell and feminism, gender and race are all entirely different animals in their own right.

I’m choosing to talk about Motoko because her character transcends race and gender. For this discussion I want to talk about the metaphysical aspect. Stripped down to the bare necessities we’re talking about a cyborg. A cyborg that has human features, but she is not human, she was “born from the ‘net'”. The story goes beyond the issue of human versus cyborg and looks philosophically at Motokos’ struggle for her quest in gaining a spiritual identity. 

Kusanagi is a full prosthetic augmented cybernetic body. There are different interpretations as to how she came to be cybernetic; in the TV series (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) she was a human chosen to have superhuman ability or in the newest version Ghost in the Shell: Arise she states that she’s never had a human body. Within the original film (which is what I’m basing this post on), I think it’s safe to assume she’s purely cyborg as we witness her “birth” in the opening credits.

She’s aware that she is a cyborg, but is sentient and considers carefully what it means to have an identity of her own which is referred to as a “ghost”.  There’s a scene where she’s at the harbor with Batou in which she has a monologue:

Just as there are many parts needed to make a human a human there’s a remarkable number of things needed to make an individual what they are. A face to distinguish yourself from othes. A voice you aren’t aware of yourself. The hand you see when you awaken. The memories of childhood, the feelings for the future. That’s not all. There’s the expanse of the data net my cyber-brain can access. All of that goes into making me what I am. Giving rise to a consciousness that I call ‘me’. And simultaneously confining ‘me’ within set limits.”

She struggles with identfying what is her and what is considered the net; are they one in the same?  She also wants to make the connection between her body and spirit; although her body is cybnernetic she wonders what it is exactly that is animating her.

The puppet master is your quintessential bad guy of the film; however the puppet master also plays Devil’s Advocate to Kusanagi. The puppet master is also a sentient cyborg straight from the net. The puppet master offers Kusanagi to be free of her body and be apart of the net. The net as noted in the opening of the movie: “…future-corporate networks reach out to the stars, electrons and light flow throughout the universe,” it’s as infinite as space itself. In the search for her identity, does she want to be bound to a body, or does she transcend the body and become a part of a nonmaterial world and just exist?

Kusanagi ends up choosing the latter, opting for her ghost to be organic and something that’s free and not tied down to something physical like a body. However, the ending shows her subordinate Batou rescuing her by finding another body for her to occupy. But this time the cybnernetic body is that of a young girls. However, it’s clear that Kusanagi’s a bit different this time around, as she has already started to move towards being a non-physical entity, she’s become partially fused with the puppet master whose previous body was also destroyed in the final fight. As she regains her own conciousness over the puppet masters’ and the new body she inhabits she starts out again searching for her philosophical answer.

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Overall, this search for an identity is constantly changing and evolving as each person does. In this case, Motoko’s new identity is her transcending that of a physical nature and plainly exisiting and  wanting to be sorted into type of category. Midway through the movie, she quotes a bible verse from The Corinthians, “For now we see through a glass, darkly.” On a deeper level she’s still looking for herself, and an interpretation of this quote is that she’s looking at herself through a mirror, but the image isn’t quite clear yet. At the end of the film, she recalls this quote to Batou but continues with, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child. I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man I put away childish things. Here before you is neither the program called the Puppet Master nor the woman that was called the Major.” This scene is reminiscent of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave; she’s awoken as a different entity (stepping into the light) and no longer thinks of herself as the Major (the cave) and somewhat a little more enlightened.

To wrap things up, at the beginning of the film, Motoko is looking down from the top of the building and eventually takes a leap off the ledge and to carry out her mission. In contrast, the end of the film we’re back in a similar scene, atop a building, but the circumstances are much different. Here she openly asks herself, “so where do we go from here?” Instead of looking down, she’s looking up into the sky an equivalent to the net that cannot be seen. In her final line of the film, “the net is vast and infinite” she looks up at the sky, an equivalent to the unseen net, a hopeful expression on her face that convey’s her transcendent outlook as she continues to seek answers.

Ah, that’s as far as I can go with my analysis. Unfortuntately I know there’s probably another layer or two that can be done, but maybe that can be re-examined at another time.
Hope you guys enjoyed this week’s Women Crush Wednesday! What are your thoughts on the Major? I’d love to hear your interpretations of her!

Her Revenge on Life

First off, I want to thank everyone for all the great and positive feedback that I got for introducing WCW. I’ve mentioned this in a few comments, but I may have set the bar too high with using Utena Tenjou as the first girl. I’m not sure if ALL the women I choose can be as thought-provoking and deeply complex, but I’ll try my best. I’m really humbled by all the great feedback guys! I love you all!

I had started another post last night that ended up being another intense philosophical character; but I couldn’t bring myself to publish it. I still need some time with her; so I’m pushing her to next week. I’m totally doing today’s post on the fly, so I’m going to pick someone that might be less intense. But looking over this post, I think it’s still just as intense. But I won’t diverge from the fact that these women are a force to be reckoned with!

But anyways,  this week’s character is from Attack on Titan. I plan on featuring a lot of the characters from this series because they’re all vital to the story. I want to try to be spoiler free, but for the most part if you don’t want to know what happens to these girls I advise a lot of you to skip it because I can’t help not be talk about them beyond season 1 of the anime. So, let’s talk about Ymir.

Ymir is a supporting character in Attack on Titan. There’s not much to Ymir in the first season of Attack on Titan. But I’ll try to be spoiler free in this section at least. Ymir is uncooperative, cold and confrontational. She likes to exploit those that could be of use to her or owe her a debt that needs to be paid back. Ymir has a general distrust for people for the most part but with good reason too. She’s a mysteriously complex character as we don’t know her reasonings for wanting to join the cadets or joining the survey corps. After the break I’ll talk about her backstory and her vow to live for herself; her revenge on life.

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She’s a bit of a lone wolf in Season 1, until she meets Christa (whom I also intend to write about at some point too!). These two are actually foils of one another. Christa’s friendly façade is really Ymir’s true personality, and Christa’s nature is actually the cold loner that Ymir pretends to be. Christa brings out Ymir’s warmer personality, and Ymir has such strong feelings towards Christa that she’ll risk whatever it takes to ensure her safety. The relationship between these two is more than friendship; I would actually go as far as saying they’re soulmates. However, it’s probably best to characterize them as star-crossed lovers. I really enjoy the dynamic of Christa and Ymir; their understanding of one another, their trust in one another and the bond they shared added another layer of complexity to the world of Attack on Titan. Their story is on the verge of tragic, but that’s for another time! More about Ymir after the break! STOP HERE TO AVOID MAJOR SPOILERS.

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The Disease of the Ideal: Utena Tenjou

To offset the eye candy of MCM, I thought it would be neat to start Women Crush Wednesday. Not “crush” as in they’re cutesy but because these women are “crushing” it in anime. Crushing it, Killing it, or a more hip way to say it:  they “slay“. This blog series will look at female characters that are inspirational, unique, strong, and independent among many many other characteristics.

The first woman that I want to feature is one of my all time favorites. Utena Tenjou from the classic anime: Revolutionary Girl Utena.utena-small

Utena was a young girl when a travelling prince came along and consoled her at the funeral of her parents, he gives her a ring and tells her that they’ll meet again and the ring will lead her to him.  Typically the princess is often depicted as a damsel in distress and then falls in love with the prince and the story starts there. However, this is not how this story goes. Utena is so impressed by the prince that she vows to become a prince herself one day.

In her pursuit to become a prince first Utena breaks down gender roles. When we meet Utena again after her encounter with the prince, shes now a highschooler strolling through Ohtori Academy, wearing a boys’ uniform.. She gets reprimanded for not being ladylike because she doesn’t wear the girls’ uniform, but she argues there are no rules that say a girl can’t dress like a boy.

Utena represents the prince/knight in shining armor trope at her school. She garners attention from both sexes at her school. Girls swoon over her and boys recruit her to be on their basketball team. She refutes them because she’s a girl; the boys argue that she acts like a boy and dresses like a boy, so what’s the difference?  She insists that shes a girl, but wears the uniform to be princely, and declares that she wants to be a prince that saves the princess. So she’s usually quick to right wrongs, which may sometimes be misguided and she never strays from her path of being nobel and brave – because that’s what a prince embodies. It may look like she’s confused but due to her ambiguity to identify herself to either a male or a female, I find Utena to be androgynous which makes her so amazing. She’s just who she wants to be, she doesn’t want or need the label.

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Without going too much into the story, Utena accidentally becomes Duelist among the student council and wins Anthy, the “Rose Bride”. Though Anthy is considered to be a prize and objectified by the student council, Utena strives to protect her which further blows up her ideal to be act like a prince and save Anthy. Over time and after numerous duels, Utena struggles with her nobility and eventually has to confront her own hypocrisy concerning this “prince” ideal. There is also a lot of alluding to the relationship between Utena and Anthy, that it’s much more than just friendship which is another fantastic layer to this anime.

After losing a duel, her prince ideal comes crashing down on her, and it is a devastating blow to her character; she becomes unhinged and slips into damsel in distress mode where she is easily manipulated by the prince that saved her at the beginning of the story. This prince tries to convince her to be his princess, but Utena eventually snaps out of it, and revives her to protect and save  save Anthy once and for all, which shocks the prince.

Utena represents a coming of age story; a story that challenges the ideals of fairy tales, gender, sexuality and identity.  Utena at the center of it all, struggling against the world and more importtnatly against herself as she tries to carve out her own identity.

Revolutionary girl Utena is an incredibly deep piece that could be analyzed even further. It is a highly metaphysical, surreal allegorical series. I don’t think I’ve done Utena enough justice in this post. But I tried!

MCM & WCW PROMPT

The posts for Man Crush Monday and Women Crush Wednesday posts that are coming up were inspiried by my dear friend MelinAnimeLand’s 25 Day Anime Male Challenge. She created it on her own *applause*, and so to further be inspired by her, I wanted to post the prompt for the first 25 to allow my follower/readers to play a little game and guess based on my posts, and based on their conversations with me who might fill in these spots. I plan on continuing past the 25 with this series, but they won’t follow any specific prompt after that.

Some of these answers are probably floating around in posts for my 30 Day Anime Challenge series.  Can’t wait to see what people come up with!

  1. First Anime Crush
  2. Supporting Male Crush
  3. Favorite Sports Anime Crush
  4. Favorite Fantasy Anime Crush
  5. Favorite Supernatural Anime Crush
  6. Favorite Thriller/Psychological Anime Crush
  7. Favorite Comedy Anime Crush
  8. Favorite Yaoi Anime Crush
  9. Favorite Male Wearing Glasses
  10. Favorite Male Villain
  11. Favorite Male with Blonde Hair
  12. Favorite Male with Black Hair
  13. Favorite Male with Brown Hair
  14. Favorite Male with Blue Hair
  15. Favorite Male with Red Hair
  16. Favorite Male with Purple Hair
  17. Favorite Male with Green Hair
  18. Favorite Male with Pink Hair
  19. Favorite Male with White Hair
  20. Favorite Male with Gray/Silver Hair
  21. Favorite Male with Orange Hair
  22. Favorite Swordsman
  23. Favorite Gun-Wielding Male
  24. Favorite BL Pairing (canon or not)
  25. Ultimate Anime Crush

I’ll be using the same prompt for the first 25 females as well. It’ll be an interesting 25 weeks! Hope to see what people think! Also, you can just pick a few if you’re not sure you can fill out the entire thing. Some answers may be more obvious than others! 🙂