[Archi-Anime Anecdotes]: Blurring the Boundary

Hello! So this is a bit of a new section on the blog. I originally wanted it to be part of my Take Two! posts, but I felt like they would get lost in the sea of anime. This segment is similar to Take Two! the difference is the content. I’ll be showing articles on art, architecture and design. I figure it’d be a great way to introduce you guys to a bit of my world outside of anime. I hope you enjoy it! Continue reading

[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 11 | Left Alone

 note: One more episode left!! HUGE thank you to weekendotaku has been helping me a great deal by participating and creating these banners, and thank you to everyone that’s been keeping up with the series!


Kaoru manages to get Sentaro to stay! But after a practice runs late, Sen decides to chase after Kaoru to give him something he already forgot which leads him and his sister Sachiko to get into an accident. 

Emotions run really high in this episode! I’m going to talk about 3 scenes that stood out to me overall in this episode, and honestly they’re all Sen-centric!

Don’t be a Coward

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Sen tries to run away from home to save himself the trouble of having to face his (step?/foster?) Father. Kaoru is there waiting outside, I was half expecting that he’d pick up on the fact that Sen was acting a bit weird the previous night. They get into a bit of a tussle since Sen is trying to escape; but his plan is foiled as they are caught in the middle of their fight. This is the first time the two have gotten physical with one another, even though it’s a bit of an accident – you see Sen feel bad about Kaoru getting hurt for a split second. But Kaoru reminds Sen that “nothing good comes from being afraid” and he shouldn’t run away from his problems. This was exactly what Sen needed to hear, and he changes his mind and ends up wanting to stay and face his challenge head on.

Welcome Home

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This was a big scene for Sen! His feelings of insecurity with having his Father back is causing a lot of tension in the house. After seeing all his siblings receive presents I’m sure the feeling of tension was heightened; but he still did his duty as a son, carried his suitcase in to help him get situated. Sen sits at the table across from his Father while the kids play with their new toys, and he passes Sen a small box- a gift for him, a fountain pen. I was secretly hoping they were drumsticks but alas, I was wrong. Sen believes an expensive gift is wasted on him and his dad says:

“A child doesn’t go turning down a present from his parent

Sen so shocked leaves the room to admire the gift he received. Reiterating the words “child” and “parent” the two things that he had wanted most, acceptance and acknowledgement from his father. This is where the first of two motif’s (i’m stealing this word from weekendotaku’s posts on YLiA) of prayer that shows up in this episode. Sen holds the pen close to his heart and bows his head down, something we often do in church to offer our thanks go God. Not only is Sen thankful for such a beautiful gift, but is also thankful that his prayer had been answered. It seems that the delay in Sen running away ended up being a positive in repairing the relationship between him and his Father.

It’s Okay to Cry

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Gah, this scene hit me right in the feels. It was a great tie in to the first time they met on the roof in episode one. From the moment that Kaoru opened the doors to the roof and the scene was filled with light before focusing on the sky before panning down to the roof which cued the ethereal music track with the heavy guitar paired with choral singing…had me enthralled – kind of moved with emotion.  This entire scene, the framing, of everything was just…I don’t know surreal? Magical? When Sen started referring to Kaoru as an Angel he’d met before (the tie-back to episode 1) and started to describe what he was feeling, I was a bit shocked to see Sen so openly talk about it, because we rarely saw his inner thoughts about a lot of things. Honestly, like I said the framing of a lot of this scene was well done.

Maybe the roof was was the place where Sen went because it brought him closer to God; hence this scene framed the sky first and then panned down to the roof. Sen was clutching his rosary, in prayer for his sister, under the sheet. Maybe the sheet represented a layer of protection, which leads me to the last piece of symbolism in this scene. Once Kaoru steps onto the roof, he’s surrounded by all the laundry blowing in the wind; I felt like this represented the layers that Sen built up over the years of not letting anyone else in outside of Ri-chan. Kaoru runs through the laundry symbolically breaking breaking through all of these layers, and finally had reached the last layer. Kaoru physically pulling the last layer off of Sen himself and seeing Sen in his most vulnerable state. Fully understanding that Sen had locked away all these emotions and feelings of guilt bottled up and offered Sen a piece of solace; that it was okay to cry; that it was okay to let it out once in awhile and most importantly, he wasn’t alone anymore. I’ve watched this scene 10 times already and I have to say it’s a top contender for my favorite scene of the series.

As we all saw, in the end, Sen runs away right after his crying session with Kaoru. Causing a ripple effect in the relationships. On the bridge when Ri-chan and Kaoru discuss Sen’s disappearance and the effect it’s having on Ri-chan. The gap of space inbetween them already indicating the absence of  Sen’s big presence both physically and more spiritually. And when the priest at the church explains the rosary’s meaning in Sen’s life brings me back to the scene on the roof. He wore the rosary as a type of protection for himself because he felt so alone. But ever since Kaoru appeared in his life, he no longer felt that way and was able to let go of the rosary. It’s as if Kaoru really was an angel to Sen; having saved him from what he felt as misunderstood loneliness; but Sen should’ve realized that it was a two-way street. Their friendship had saved both of them; yet he left everything and everyone without a word. Kaoru is especially troubled by it since he has long held that fear of losing friends; and more importantly Sen’s friendship a few episodes back. Kaoru crying at the thought of never seeing Sen again, never playing jazz with him again was really sad. I’m seriously heartbroken by the situation too! I hope there’s a good ending to this all!!

As usual, the series links the title of the episode with it’s jazz counterpart as shown here:


What did you guys think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂 

 

[Take Two!] May 7 – June 3

Hey guys! Welcome back to this week’s Take Two! In case you’re new around here, this post essentially recaps last week’s posts among other gems found over the week onto one page! But since I was MIA most of May, I’ll have to recap most of my month!

PAGE JUMPS:
In Case You Missed it | This Week’s Interesting Reads | OWLS Blog Tour | Nendoroid News



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I seriously need to get more content out. LOL I’ve been sucked into the world of gaming the last few weeks! But here’s my round-up of posts:

PAGE JUMPS:
In Case You Missed it | This Week’s Interesting Reads | OWLS Blog Tour | Nendoroid News



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I’m going to do something a bit different here. I won’t just link anime related posts. I’m opening this up to gaming, architecture, art, anything I’ve found worthwhile on the internet! (I’ve crossed our architecture and art as I’m creating a new series on this subject matter since they’re not anime-related)

PAGE JUMPS:
In Case You Missed it This Week’s Interesting Reads | OWLS Blog Tour | Nendoroid News


OWLS POSTS:

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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.

Our April tour looked at the theme of “Strength”The prompt is as follows:

“Your greatest weakness can become your greatest strength.”

In anime, characters struggle with inner demons or physical weaknesses that make them feel insecure and prevent them from achieving goals. Yet when these characters overcome their adversity, they can finally be able to express who they are or in other words, “Free to be Me.”

For this tour, we will be exploring anime characters that have overcome adversity due to a personal insecurity or physical weakness. It is these type of characters that many anime fans may identify as role models because fans are able to feel empathetic towards these characters’ struggles and insecurities.

Here’s a list of this month’s posts:

And if you’re interested in joining us OWLS don’t hesitate to reach out and talk us via Twitter, Facebook, or the OWLS blog contact form, and check out our blog tour wrap up sessions over at YouTube.

PAGE JUMPS:
In Case You Missed it | This Week’s Interesting Reads | OWLS Blog Tour | Nendoroid News



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NENDOROID NEWS:

This section needs a bit of a facelift, but I’ll get around to it at some point. But so far! These are the releases for this week:

Going to Skip this section for this Post. There are just WAYY too many to be posting for the past month – and I’m contemplating if I want to break this one out into it’s own thing as well!

You can pre-order them either on goodsmile or otakumode.

These just released the last week, so I think there’s about a month left for pre-orders before they close! So if they are of any interest to you I suggest you get them while you can! 😀

PAGE JUMPS:
In Case You Missed it | This Week’s Interesting Reads | OWLS Blog Tour | Nendoroid News

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That just about covers my Take Two topics and other related news this week! Thanks for reading! Have you seen other posts, pieces of news that I’d be interested? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂 And as always, thanks for reading!

Man Proposes, God Disposes-nanodayo: Shintaro Midorima

This week’s Man Crush Monday is none other than the green-haired megane, Shintaro Midorima from the anime Kuroko no Basket. Yes, another KnB character! I unfortunately don’t know many green haired males outside of Midorima besides Freed Justine from Fairy Tail, and if I really had to choose between the two, Midorima wins hands down. But, still, special shout out to Freed!

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Shintaro Midorima is the Generation of Miracles incredible Shooting Guard from Teiko Junior High as well as their Vice Captain. In High School he becomes Shutoku High’s star players as his impeccable shooting skills has preceded him. Seriously though, I’m not kidding when I say his skills are impeccable; Midorima doesn’t miss shots, and his range of shooting takes up the FULL court. Yes, I know, that’s highly unbelievable and unrealistic because at best a seasoned NBA player could maybe possibly hit half-court shots consistently.  But aside from Midorima’s talent as a 3-point shooter, he’s a rather serious but really quirky character.

Overly Serious/Overconfidence

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Midorima’s demeanor is incredibly serious. You’ll most likely catch him with a straight face, if not a downright scowl on his face. It’s a rare sight to ever catch him in a smile, and even if he is smiling, its really well hidden. On top of his overly serious tone, he’s really confident; almost overbearingly confident, but as much as you want to hate him, you can’t because he has the skills to back it up. Besides, this serious tone adds to his charm.

However, despite his serious nature. He’s actually KnB’s resident Tsundere, as he often says he doesn’t care about things but deep down he really does. For example, he refuses to watch any basketball games with his Shutoku teammates, but he’ll show up in disguise to watch said game.  Takao is the only one that catches Midorima in his lies and laughs at him for having to hide how much he cares to begin with.

Unintentionally Funny

Midorima isn’t exactly one of the funniest guys’ in KnB, see above quirk. Despite that, he’s often used as the show’s comic relief, but it usually happens when his partner in crime, Kazunari Takao, is involved. Takao is quite what you’d call the ‘class clown’, and usually jokes are pointed at Midorima’s serious nature; more often than not, he loves to impersonate Midorima as he steals his glasses right off of his face.

Questionable Speech Pattern

There are a few KnB characters that have a significant speech pattern; and Midorima is number one on that list. Midorima is known to add “nanodayo” to the end of his sentences; which actually bears no real meaning. Some would say that “nanodayo” translates to “and so forth” or “and stuff”. I’ve also learned (by talking to my friend that is fluent in japanese) that this is more anime speak since no one actually ends their sentences with quirks like this.

In the clip above he says “nanodayo” or “dayo” alot at the end of his sentences. And actually, this is probably one of his comic relief scenes.

A Leftie’s Prerogative

Midorima’s has two discerning traits. One, he’s a leftie. Second, he’s really superstitious. As a left-handed person, Midorima is known to bandage his left hand religiously, and file his fingernails obsessively during a game when his hand isn’t bandaged. Quirky right?  Midorima is a left handed shooter. As such, he will do anything that is within his power to protect his left hand. He bandages it so that nothing can “influence” his left handed shot. Put more simply, he doesn’t want his good luck to rub off on anything else; so he preserves it as best he can.

Man of Superstition

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Midorima fully believes in luck and believes in Horoscopes. He also believes in “blood type compatibility”. He claims to not get along with Kuroko because their blood types are known to not get along (Kuroko is a Type A while Midorima is Type B). As part of Midorima’s obsessive quirky routine is to listen to “Oha Asa” daily horoscopes. He pretty much listens to it religiously and is relieved when he hears his sign, Cancer, will have a particularly good day. He also carries the daily “lucky item” as prescribed by “Oha Asa” to ensure that he’ll have a lucky day and will carry it everywhere no matter how ridiculous it looks.

“Man Proposes, God Disposes”
-Shintaro Midorima

Midorima adheres by the saying, “Man Proposes, God Disposes” as he does everything humanly possible and fate will decide the rest. Overall, all his quirks add up to the motto he lives by. I just love how these quirks are matched up with his serious personality. You’d think someone so serious wouldn’t believe in luck or superstition. But that just adds to Midorima’s charm!

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That just about does it for MCM. Who would be your favorite green haired male? Let me know in the comments below! 😀

Sunday Salutations | [ED]: Fantastic Tune

Hey guys! Welcome back to Archi-Anime’s Sunday Salutation| Op/Ed of the week! I’ve finally made it back to the blogging world.

So a bit about why I’ve been MIA. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts I was really tired and exhausted around the time of my OWLS post near the beginning of May. Following that my weekends became a bit packed. My cousin got married Friday the 19th, I had a bday dinner with some friends on the 20th and a family party the 21st. Then FanimeCon was upon me the following weekend. I’ll have a special post regarding that since I took the time to attend cosplay gatherings and take some photos. I didn’t take as many as I wanted since I’m shy to ask cosplayers for photos – but I’m getting better at it. This is my first free weekend finally.

Anyways, hanging out at the Con with my otome bestie and some other friends I’ve decided the next con I would try my hand at cosplaying. If anything I’ll start this coming Halloween. I’m mostly interested because I want to create female versions of male characters (i.e. Midorima Shintaro – KnB, Rei Ryugazaki – Free! for starters) from the many sports anime’s I’m obsessed with.

Title: “Fantastic Tune” | Artist: Kensho Ono | Show: Kuroko No Basket – Season 2

Continuing with this sports obsession is the Ending song from Season 2 of Kuroko no Basket. The protagonist of the series, Kuroko, is actually singing the ED, and the song basically encompasses the main character’s will to fight against all odds that are stacked against him.

I’ve got a ton of blog-stalking to do to catch up. I hope you all have been well! I’d love to hear what everyone’s been up to the last few weeks. Any memorable events occur for anyone else? See any new movies? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 10 | In a Sentimental Mood

note:  We’re in the final stretch of Kids on the Slope!! HUGE thank you to weekendotaku has been helping me a great deal by participating and creating these banners, and thank you to everyone that’s been keeping up with the series!


Spring is around the corner. Spring expresses a sense of change in our trio’s lives. A blossoming love for the future, and the past coming back to the present. How well will our trio deal with these changes?

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Ah young love! Kaoru struggled this episode with accepting the fact that finally Ri-chan has realized her own feelings for him even though she doesn’t outright say it. It’s implied with the knitted gloves; but he can’t shake the feeling that deep down in her heart she’ll always like Sen more. It probably doesn’t help him when Ri-chan does make comments in regards to Sen a lot; but she had a point when she lectured him about having confidence in himself. With their feelings reciprocated; I wonder if it’s public knowledge.

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Sen actually helped play matchmaker a bit this episode. I wonder if he picked up on the the two’s mutual feelings for one another just because Ri-chan was playing “Someday my Prince Will Come” or if it’s because he was surprised that Ri-chan hadn’t told her Dad about Kaoru being sick. Either way, I’m glad he was the bridge that closed the gap between Ri-chan and Kaoru because it eventually led up to them mutually expressing their interest.

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With the news of Sen’s step-father coming home, Sen looks a bit worried, with his Sister Sa-chan equally worried about the dynamics of the family once their Dad is back in the picture. After working hard to pass exams and start the new school year alongside Kaoru and even planning to be in the School Festival again with a new medley; he’s lied to Kaoru and is planning to run away. This caused my jaw to drop; Sen had done so well hiding his feelings that I was not prepared for him to really think about leaving!

Overall, this episode picked up a bit and I’m really excited for the last two episodes and what’s in store for us in the finale! 🙂

This episode’s title is based on the jazz song of the same name, as performed by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. It definitely does have a sentimental melancholic feel to it.  Give it a listen and let me know your thoughts on the song.


What did you guys think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

 

[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 9 | Love Me or Leave Me

note:  We’re in the final stretch of Kids on the Slope!! HUGE thank you to weekendotaku has been helping me a great deal by participating and creating these banners, and thank you to everyone that’s been keeping up with the series!


Another Christmas has come and gone and a lot has happened within that year. Ri-chan has finally realized her feelings for Kaoru and is hesitant to act. After Sen confronts her and apologizes for not seeing it sooner they reaffirm that in the end they are family and nothing more. Jun announces that he’s leaving for good and wants to leave Yurika behind, but can he really?

I really do like this anime, but the pacing of the episodes in terms of time is really throwing me off. Maybe I need to watch this all in one go to get a better feel for it. But literally a year as passed in a span of 3 episodes. When Kaoru mentions Sen’s birthday is around the corner and I’m thinking didn’t he just have one a few months ago? Not realizing that it was indeed Christmas time again.

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I’m glad that Ri-chan has realized her feelings for Kaoru and has found the courage to try to do something about it versus letting her feelings linger for so long like they did with Sen. However, I have a bit of a problem with how Ri-chan addressed Sen when he was trying to confront her about her feelings. Was she still trying to protect her relationship with Sen by telling him he was misunderstanding the situation? Did she think it was a lost cause that didn’t need to be discussed since she knew they would forever be like family to one another? She could’ve come clean and said she HAD felt that way, but she accepts that they’re nothing more than family to one another versus letting Sen believe that he was imagining things.

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This episode was a bit of a jaw-dropper in terms of Jun and Yurika. As touching as the scene on the platform was, I wished that the development of this relationship had been explored a little more leading up to it. I didn’t expect Jun to cave in so easily at the idea of Yurika not being apart of his world anymore when he’d been somewhat cold to her all along.  Will we see more of these two in the next few episodes? Or will their story die here? I hope we see some kind of follow-up. This episode’s title is definitely an embodiment of that final scene. Love me or Leave me is what Yurika is conveying to Jun, and he does exactly what she wants: love her.

Music makes it’s way back into this episode when Sen and Jun duke it out. The song they use to challenge one another is “Four” by Miles Davis. It was definitely the highlight of this episode. The featured jazz pieces in all of he episodes have always been solid pieces of work throughout the series. I’ve actually picked up on listening to a bit more jazz while I work these days. I can definitely thank Kids on the Slope for that.


What did you guys think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

 

[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 8 | These Foolish Things

note: guys, I apologize for having gone MIA on this watch-along and from the blog in general.  Last few weeks have been a bit rough; always felt exhausted with little to no energy after work and feeling under the weather, plus a busy family weekend followed by a con. I just felt like I needed a bit of a break..but I’ll be more in depth about what’s been going on on Sunday’s post.

a HUGE thank you to weekendotaku has been helping me a great deal by participating and creating these banners!


Kaoru’s popularity has risen exponentially since the performace at the festival. Instead of approaching him the girls decided to go through Ritsuko who is starting to question her feelings for both Kaoru and Sentaro.  Junichi tries to scare Yurika away, but her feelings remain steadfast while Sentaro is heartbroken upon witnessing Jun and Yurika together.

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Ri-chan is surrounded by fangirls of Sen and Kaoru; her heart seems to be wavering as her thoughts seem to be consumed with Kaoru over Sentaro; and she tries to convince herself that Sentaro is the one for her and there’s no way she’s jealous of the popularity that Kaoru is experiencing.

Sen agonizes over the discovery of Jun and Yurika, and uses the drums to express his frustration and disappointment. We’re shown another example of how music transcends words as Sen’s erratic drum playing signals Kaoru to also play erratically and strangely on piano in response. It becomes clear something is amiss and Kaoru picks up on it from the get go. I think it’s courageous of Kaoru to be able to put his feelings aside for Ri-chan and let Sen know that there is someone that does care about him; he just hasn’t noticed yet. Sen completely oblivious to whom it is but comes to the slow realization.  Does Sen know how Kaoru feels? Kaoru has never expressed his interest in Ri-chan to Sen himself so I’m wondering how Sen feels about it.

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I don’t know what to think of this episode to be honest. We got a lot of screen time for Jun and Yurika, but I still don’t know what draws Yurika to Jun so strongly and on top of that the drive to completely change who she is for him (she chops off her hair for goodness sake).  At least we know something DID happen in that basement and that his spiral into depression is not linked to her but with how he was drawn into a politics and then disowned by his Father for not listening or rather, being the ideal son. Overall, this episode left me feeling a bit confused and it felt a bit more disjointed compared to previous ones. I think its because of Jun and Yurikia’s storyline; I don’t have a sense of attachment to them as I do with our main trio.

I guess we have to stay tuned for episode 9! We’re down to the final stretch!


What did you guys think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

 

[OWLS Blog Tour]: Owning Your Weakness

Hey hey fellow ani-bloggers! It’s Archi-Anime’s turn for the May tour stop on the OWLS blog tour. Just a friendly reminded that OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group that hopes to spread the important message of respect and kindness to every human being. Our monthly blog tours that reflect this message of tolerance and self-acceptance, through various analysis of the anime medium; although it is not limited to anime.white-background-2

This month’s topic is Strength:

“Your greatest weakness can become your greatest strength.”

In anime, characters struggle with inner demons or physical weaknesses that make them feel insecure and prevent them from achieving goals. Yet when these characters overcome their adversity, they can finally be able to express who they are or in other words, “Free to be Me.”

For this tour, we will be exploring anime characters that have overcome adversity due to a personal insecurity or physical weakness. It is these type of characters that many anime fans may identify as role models because fans are able to feel empathetic towards these characters’ struggles and insecurities.

This prompt immediately made me think of the anime Kuroko no Basket. The keyword “strength” shows up in the anime on both the Macro-level (overarching story) and the Micro-level (individuals) of the anime. I want to look at what strength means for the main protagonist of the story: Kuroko, Tetsuya.

I AM THE SHADOW THAT HAS OVERCOME THE LIGHT

In any given sport there are several types of people. Those born with the God-given natural talent that allows them to succeed in it; and those that are not so well-equipped or coordinated for the sport. But, when you find a sport you love and can be passionate about, it’s only natural that you would have to hone and cultivate a craft that will allow you to join the ranks of those with talent because of your love of the game.  Kuroko is the latter; he’s the worst basketball player there is and on top of that he lacks presence. No amount of practice has allowed Kuroko improvement for the sport he loves so much; yet he plays it and trains his heart out. So, why would Kiseki no Sedai (The Generation of Miracles), a team of basketball prodigies, acknowledge him as their equal and as their sixth man?

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Kuroko is weak in both physical strength and in his physical presence. But instead of letting that be a hinderance he uses it to his advantage. With the guidance of the Teiko captain Akashi, Kuroko develops his own style of basketball that allows this weak presence to become a tool in helping his team win.  Kuroko’s style is known as “misdirection.” Misdirection is a technique that fools the opponent’s senses.  He pushes the opponents to focus their attention to someone else and then steps in unexpectedly. He uses his already weak presence and further suppresses his emotions on court to fool his opponents. By implementing misdirection, his opponent can’t see him, thus making it much easier to steal the ball and freely send it to teammates to make a scoring play.

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This is a perfect example of one’s greatest weakness becoming one’s greatest strength. Due to the impact of misdirection, it’s hard to find Kuroko on court and stop him from helping his teammates score. Kuroko is known to be the shadow of his team. He plays best when there’s a really strong Ace on the team; but as time goes on he starts to step out of the shadow role and into the light. As stated, misdirection comes with coordinating between teammates. Basketball is not a game that can be played alone; but not all players will believe in something like “team play”.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

The original members of the Generation of Miracles all at one point believed in team play, but as their talents grew the more they drifted into playing for themselves eventually competing with one another instead of the opponent. They started to believe that if you had to depend on your teammates then you were weak.  As prodigies they strive for one goal only: win. There’s no sense of camaraderie or trust in one another, which goes against everything Kuroko loves about basketball.

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The slogan “Strength in Numbers” is a theme for the Golden State Warriors. The idea of this slogan was to not rely on their star players, they relied on the depth of their roster which allows players to rotate in and out of the game more frequently and fluidly without breaking any rhythm in the game. It maybe be a real life NBA slogan; but it heavily applies to the principles that Seirin believes in. The warriors adapted a family-style type of environment; even incorporating dining together to create a bond within the team. It’s the atmosphere of support that really carries the phrase “Strength in Numbers”. If you can trust your teammates and believe in them the numbers will literally speak for themselves.

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Throughout the series, Seirin’s team is constantly underestimated because of their lack of a star player. They rely mostly on team play and coordination especially with Kuroko’s assistance. Even before Kuroko, Seirin was somewhat popular and successful in making it into the finals with a really good duo. Again an emphasis on a duo versus a singular player. They’re made fun of for having fighting spirit but not fully being on par with other school’s overwhelming talent. They’re looked upon as weak because they rely on one another.

Seirin may not have a lot of players on the bench; but throughout the course of the series you can really see that the team works together on improvement, on what they can do for the team not what they can do for themselves. But above all that, they never lose sight of their trust in one another, which inevitably allows them to consistently win their games.

The thought that relying on your teammates is weak slowly becomes a dwindling phrase that carries no weight. Eventually other teams acknowledge the true power of teamwork as exhibited via Seirin; and start adapting their own styles of coordination. This erases the idea of the team being weak and that there really is strength in numbers.

If we give our best in something we love, we’ll enjoy the victories from the bottom of our hearts. – Kuroko

In the end, Kuroko took both the things that were considered weak about him: his lack of physical presence and his ideals of playing as a team and turned those into strengths that people acknowledged and admired. He never gave up in trying to convince the rest of the Generation of Miracles that they were wrong to think that playing as a team and depending on others was weak. In the end his hard work and dedication really did pay off. Even though the Generation of Miracles had already acknowledged his talents before; they had a newfound respect for him after they were proven wrong.

Kagami is also known to say, “There’s no such thing as useless effort”. Even if you’re weak, even if you try your hardest you will always produce results. Kuroko never stopped believing. He accepted his weakness and instead of rejecting it or working to overcome it; he embraced it and went to greater lengths in crafting his weakness into his strength. Instead of staying the support shadow that he was originally intended to and became a light in his own right.


Well, that just about wraps up my tour! Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Feel free to leave any in the comments!

There are quite a few more posts coming up left from the rest of the OWLS members. Please be on the lookout for Steph (TwoHappyCat’s) post this Friday.

And check out these previous posts from other OWLS members from last week:

Crimson’s SHIROTANI’S MENTAL FORTITUDE AND HELPING HAND (IT’S OK TO NEED HELP SOMETIMES)

Kat’s Finding The Strength to Move Forward

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

[Kids on the Slope]: Episode 7 |Now’s the Time

note: a HUGE thank you to weekendotaku has been helping me a great deal by participating and creating these banners!

Also, I’m a day behind on the series! I have to apologize a bit for that; I’ve been feeling pretty exhausted lately and just absolutely had no energy for anything blog related yesterday. 😦


Kaoru has started avoiding Sen ever since the incident at the beach and has been volunteered by his classmates to be on the executive committee of the school festival alongside Ri-chan. Sen’s joined up as a drummer for “The Olympus” for the festival, but the day of the performance ends up a disaster which Kaoru sucks it up and comes in to save the day. 

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The episode opens up with Kaoru walking up the slope again like in the first episode; signifying he’s starting back at square one struggling with his isolation. Ri-chan tries to rectify the awkward situation but Kaoru is bent on keeping his distance, but that doesn’t go as planned.

ep7_sen_yurika.pngSentaro trying to make a move on Yurika after maybe a slight hint of who she’s really into after seeing what record she picks up seems like an act of desperation or an act of frustration? He ends up hitting Jun for getting in the way as it’s pretty clear something has probably happened between them for Yurika to run off crying.  Big Brother Jun is back and in pretty bad shape.

Ah, the last half..of this episode. This scene is what drew me into watch this series to begin with. The clip showcased this medley alone with no context; and the performance was so amazing that I just HAD to watch this show. I absolutely LOVED this half, and is probably my favorite episode so far.

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After realizing his mistake Kaoru decides to save the day by playing some piano after hearing Sen say, “I’m keeping my important partner waiting.” I couldn’t help but go “aww” and that scene of Kaoru finding a letter in the mailbox upon hearing that was really heartwarming. He comes out to bring the crowd back with piano, choosing the last song they played together in hopes Sen will respond with his drumming. It’s clear that the two of them are not the best communicators verbally, but through jazz where it almost sounds like a conversation between people you can really tell they’re reconnecting with one another again.

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Kaoru says, “Can we get it all back?”, a key moment at the beginning of their duet medley as this is the first conversation with one another since the fight. They can both express their feelings, and frustrations with their music. It was the best way for these two to make-up. I also couldn’t help but notice that Ri-chan’s having flashbacks of the songs that Kaoru plays because the songs he’s choosing to play in this medley are also the songs he used to express his feelings for Ri-chan. The duo’s performance practically moves her to tears, while leaving the entire audience stunned and speechless. Ah, I can’t get over this scene!!!

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After the end of the performance, Sen goes for a high-five but ends up grabbing Kaoru’s hand and dragging him out of school and down the slope. Kaoru remarks that he feels that he’s been born again and that he feels light on his feet. Is this the feeling that Sen feels when he runs down that slope? The feeling and the sight that Kaoru wishes to see from Sen’s eyes? Their relationship is so great. Unspoken words between friends with a mutual understanding of just how the other one feels. Seriously, probably one of the best bromances I’ve come to witness! That’s coming a lot from someone that’s obsessed with the sports genre and the bromances that definitely arise from there. I’m really glad that these two made up!!

Can I just point out another observation that I’ve made about these two! I’m almost gushing about this bromance; but you can’t help but notice that these two have changed one another for the better! First we have Kaoru, the new kid that everyone thinks is a little too serious and unapproachable. But, after clearing the air for Ri-chan when they tease her about the status of their relationship, they realize their initial impression of Kaoru is wrong, that’s he actually kind and soft-spoken. Usually the amount of attention he garners makes him nauseous; but surprisingly he’s not; could this be due to the friendship’s he’s cultivated with Sen and Ri-chan. They’ve helped him adjust tremendously and have also drawn him out of his shell quite a bit.  But the same could be said about Sen; the school bully. No one really knows what he’s up to and he’s huge delinquent at school. But after Sen stands up for Seiji against third years Maruo makes a comment about how nice Sen actually is; another misconception the classmates have. These two were labeled by their classmates without really having the chance to really get to know them. They were so intent on staying isolated because of their past experiences that they just accepted that they would always be the outsiders. That final scene of them running down the slope with the world turning more colorful. I can’t help but reminisce about one of Your Lie in April‘s theme of one’s world taking on color and sparkling. I know, I know, it’s referring to falling in love. But looking back at what Tsubaki said in the opening episode, ““The moment I met [her], my life changed. Everything I saw, heard and felt. All the scenery around me started to take on color. The whole world began to sparkle.” She didn’t say it was about love, but it is implied given the story, but….can’t that be said about the special people that touch our lives that aren’t love interests? I brought this up with my “brother” (quotes because he’s really not related to me; but he’s my best guy friend that’s like my bro.) and he’s been watching a long with me as well, and we have discussions about Sen and Kaoru. Since he’s also a huge YLiA fan, he knew what I was referring to. So when I asked if the same thing could be said about Kaoru and Sen, he responded with, “A relationship that transcends the boundaries of romance and genuine admiration. It’s also a mutual partnership that’s not easily defined. It’s easy to box their relationship into a category, but that’s just surface work. Can one have genuine admiration and desire for someone else in the absence of any romantic attraction?” I would have to agree, I think anyone that could have significant impact on us can make our whole world sparkle. That’s indeed how I feel about my bestie who is my total opposite, and how I feel about my “bro”. I may be on entirely off on a tangent, but I wanted to get those thoughts out there….lol.

I can’t stop watching the Medley so, I’m including the clip that originally hooked me into this anime!

 


What did you guys think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂