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)
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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)
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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!

[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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.

Conclusion

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.

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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.

 

[Zel’s Anime Breakdown] Summer 2018 : Volume 3

This volume of the breakdown is going to be biased because I’ll solely be focused on my favorite episode of BNHA finally being animated.

Scene-Stealer

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Dedicated to (my) best boys of the series, how can you NOT be impressed with this particular fight sequence? I’ve screamed to the heaven’s about this (on twitter), but Deku’s fancy footwork had me reeling!

 

Character Spotlight
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image source

Katsuki Bakugou

Have you read my OWLS piece on Kacchan’s pride? You can find it here. My feelings about this character have changed a ton since the series has started. He started off as my most hated character to being one of my favorites. This particular fight was pivotal for me in understanding Katsuki and his particular issues. Not only has he finally opened up about his issues, he’s finally reached out to the one person who he can openly admit these to, and can also be the root of those issues: Izuku.

He’s finally expressing the emotions he’d kept locked up for so long. The metaphorical cap of his insecurities has finally blown exposing a very hurt Katsuki filled with crushing guilt and fear.

He confronts Izuku about how he’s felt that the latter was looking down on him – the biggest miscommunication and misunderstanding of them all. Would their relationship had been different if Katsuki hadn’t seen Izuku’s helping hand as offensive? Yes, probably. His ego and his pride hadn’t been checked by anybody, so why would someone less amazing than him even think about helping him unless they themselves thought Katsuki was weak.

He expresses the guilt he carries for believing he’s the cause for All Might’s retirement; something that also plagues Izuku. But Izuku had no clue that Katsuki would feel this way. After all Katsuki is Izuku’s symbol of Victory; he envies his childhood friend for his tenacity and strength and has modeled himself after the blonde. Once Izuku expresses his adoration much more clearly, Katsuki finally understands Izuku (and their interactions in the manga since this event have been relatively cute).

He also starts to question his own motivations to be a hero. Both he and Izuku idolized the same person, and while he sees Izuku as weak and powerless; All Might looked at Izuku and saw something more. Was Katsuki’s ideals of Victory and being the indisputable number 1 wrong? Why did All Might acknowledge Izuku out of all the people in the world? As All Might later explains, Katsuki is wary and afraid of Izuku’s heroic heart. Izuku’s need to save and rescue is the opposite of Katsuki’s need to win and be victorious. They’re two sides of the same coin, and if they were able to work together, they’d be incredible.

Episode Breakdown*
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screencap via crunchyroll.com

 

Kacchan VS. Deku 2, Episode 61, My Hero Academia

A reprise of their first battle from season 1. The duo finally hash out their complicated feelings and misunderstandings the best way Katsuki knows how: battle. This battle doesn’t hold any real meaning other than as a form of catharsis for Katsuki.

The layers of miscommunication between this duo has been festering since they were children. Children. Let that sink in. Katsuki has misinterpreted so much of Izuku’s actions since they were toddler’s!

After the fight, the (wonder) duo’s relationship has taken on a different form, as Katsuki says, “Things will be different from now on”

One thing that I didn’t like about the episode was how they slightly changed the interaction between Izuku and Katsuki while they’re cleaning the dormitory during their house arrest. Though it is such a very subtle change, I feel that it deters from Katsuki’s character growth.

In the manga, Izuku doesn’t ASK Katsuki’s opinion about shoot style. Katsuki offers his opinon on his own accord. It showcases him reaching out to Izuku for once and initiating that change in their rivalry and actually seeing Izuku as an equal. Having Izuku ask for it invalidates that growth, because the context is completely changed in that small gesture.

There has been quite a few instances in which the anime has glossed over Bakugou’s interactions, and honestly they might make an appearance on the blog sometime soon.

General Thoughts

Hanebado
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image source

The series is finally over, and as much as I loved the premise and the animation, the struggle of Hanesaki’s love for badminton was an ultimate killer for me. It wasn’t really resolved by the end of the season, despite the whole let’s do this as a team! Her personal reasons for playing badminton are not apparent. I wasn’t convinced that she really loved the sport apart from the negative affiliation she has to it via her abandonment issues with her mom.

The next two are older series’ and oddly enough they are slice of life’s that I’ve come to really enjoy.

Hanasaku Iroha
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image source

A spunky highschooler’s life is turned upside down and she’s sent to live with her grandmother who runs an onsen.

I’m halfway through the series and really like this one. I haven’t watched much cute girls doing cute things, so this was a change of pace for me and was a very much appreciated change. I like Ohana’s spunky can-do personality, and her supporting cast offer diverse personalities that can be enjoyed in their own right.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori
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image source

Four guys running a traditional Japanese restaurant. It’s a good slice of life, but nowhere near as cute and endearing as Hanasaku. If anything Rokuhoudou had me craving to find a japanese cafe much like this here in the bay area. Not sure if I’ll eve be successful, but if any one of my readers are an SF Bay Area resident, please let me know if you’ve found a place!


That’s all I have to wrap up my summer series breakdown. I’m gonna attempt my Fall Breakdown soon! Thanks for reading!

What did you guys think of Hero Academia’s season? Let me know in the comments below.

Also, just as an FYI – BNHA will most likely be a huge topic around Archi-Anime, and may or may not get annoying. I’ll try to vary the content, but no promises because I’ll write what I want to write. 🙂

[My Hero Academia: Two Heroes] To the Future!

Hero Academia has laid claim to a special place in my heart. quickly becoming a beloved series in which I have invested a lot of time (and money) in. It’s also the first series in which I’ve really encountered a series’ “fandom” and the toxicity that lurks in the darkest corners of its universe.

But that’s another topic for another day, let’s talk about the movie. I’m gonna be honest, this is probably going to be straight biased because this series is so near and dear to me. You’ve been warned.


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Tuesday, September 25, was the premiere of My Hero Academia: Two Heroes movie out here in the bay area of the sweet sunny state of California (you like that homestate plug?)

I’m very fortunate to be 10-15 minutes to any theater that decides to show any of these anime films. Funimation’s outreach in the bay area is really great; I wish I could say the same about Crunchyroll’s Movie Night events (those are really hard to find, and I’m not about to trek an hour out to see it).

That being said, I almost missed the opportunity to catch Hero Academia because 1) I should’ve just bought the tickets the moment they were released and 2) I shouldn’t wait to get a response to see if anyone wants to go.

I decided to catch both the subbed and the dubbed versions. The dubbed was Tuesday night, and it was a solo night for me since the theater was so close to work. Subbed was Wednesday night with my cousins (also Hero Academia fans). It was midway through the subbed version when I realized, one time would’ve sufficed. LOL.

Set sometime after Season 2 before they go to their summer training camp, a lot of our cast heads to the moving I-Island, an island full of the brightest minds in the world, as guests to the I-Expo.

A Solid Core

Now, I’ve seen my fair share of off timeline movie spin-offs, and have always felt rather disappointed by just how far off they veer from their original content. However, Two Heroes does this incredibly well. The core of what I love about Hero Academia is not lost in this film, if anything it blends well with the main story line, and is a great supportive piece to the series. The campy humor of Uraraka’s jealousy and Bakugou’s outburts were there but didn’t overpower the scenes they were in. It was more like boom, there it happened now let’s move onto the next thing without having repetive jokes throughout the film. It just kept moving with no stalls. Of course my best boy Izuku was just splendid to watch, especially his moves and fight scenes, it’s such a progression from what we see in the series, and am glad to see such massive development in fighting style.

Memorable Characters

Another thing I found rather enjoyable about the film was the introduction of the our second lead next to Midoriya. Melissa Shield. She’s a student on I-island and her Father is a rather famous scientist, whose won something like a Novel Peace Prize. and All Might’s niece (not by blood) and she had so much to her character, that I really hope they would somehow tie her into the main storyline, but it’s unlikely because there’s already a character like her in the main cast (I’m looking at you Hatsume!) There was just a lot of depth to Melissa, that she quickly became someone I really loved in the span of the film. She was the more calm logical scientific type of person when it comes to support items, a far cry from Hatsume’s mad scientist ways.

The Future of Heroes

My takeaway theme of the film was embedded in the idea of the future. With the next generation underway in becoming the future great heroes they’re supposed to be, it was very heartening to see the bright future that could be led by Izuku and Melissa if they were to work in tandem at some point in their careers, much like All Might and David Shield. The parallel’s to the two pairs were really great; past and future, and the development of a great working relationship.

Overall the theme of “passing the torch” was prevalent to the film and was incredibly relevant to the series as a whole; especially with All Might’s impending retirement.


So, did you guys get to catch the film at the closest theater near you? What did you guys think of the film? Did you agree, or disagree with what I’ve said so far about the film?

I tried to not spoil the story for those who are anticipating a Crunchyroll release like Bungou Stray Dogs’ Dead Apple (I’m really hoping Crunchyroll does get it).

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

[OWLS Blog Tour] Architecturally Grotesque

Hello Archi-Anime lovers and friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in the OWLS blog tour! So without further ado, let’s look at our October prompt!

“Grotesque”

In honor of Halloween, we will explore what we find vile and ugly in pop culture.  For this month’s topic, OWLS bloggers will be exploring characters or aspects of the grotesque in a piece of media and how it is a metaphor or allegory for society, human nature, or some other philosophical or humane idea.

I’m not exactly the biggest fan of horror, I’ve got a weak disposition over it. It takes me days to get back to a normal sleeping routine after watching a horror movie. So, I just try to avoid them as much as possible.

While I’m not familiar with the genre, I can at least appreciate the aesthetics of the “grotesque” in terms of Architecture. When, I first started at my beloved alma mater SCI-Arc, I was really intrigued by one of the professor’s work there as he is exploring the term “grotesque” in terms of architecture.

Grotesque in Architecture

In the architectural world, the grotesque is correlated to the gargoyles you see in Gothic Architecture, or chimera’s that are considered to be decorative sculptural pieces, atop buildings from the medieval ages.

However, the aforementioned professor at SCI-Arc, Hernan Diaz Alonzo, took the meaning of grotesque and tried to apply it to the buildings themselves, as a way to challenge the surroundings. I should probably note, that he was very much inspired by the horror genre.

While the historical grotesque is denoted by sharp edges attributed to Gothic Architecture, Hernan’s work was more fluid in it’s shape, to the point some of the imagery can be unsettling.

Context

Architecture alone can be iconic, but what really helps architecture be iconic is the context of it. Context meaning the place surrounding the building. Integration into its surroundings (to me) creates something more than just a pretty building. Like Hernan’s work, it’s really how the architecture reacts to what’s around it.

The following scenes in anime, not only pose a lot of implications in the building itself, but really add to the context of the scene or the environment.

Berserk (2016), Tower of Conviction

berserk_tower_of_confiction.PNG
screencap via crunchyroll

In Berserk’s season 1, the main setting is the Tower of Conviction, and the surrounding site. It looks to be a fairly simple, straight forward tower, but let’s be real, what happens inside the tower is pretty heinous. The tower is representation of the imposition of religion. The heaviness of the tower, due to it’s materials also creates a daunting atmosphere that is intimidating.

Attack on Titan, Trost/ Shinganshina

attack-on-titan_ep1_shinganshina

In the vast realm of Attack on Titan, one of the most unsettling points of the series is the fact that along the perimeter of the walls, there are small pockets of towns in which majority of the population is gathered. They say that Titans are attracted and drawn in by humanity, hence the pockets allow for the Titans to be concentrated in these areas.

Again, the architecture itself isn’t unsettling (despite being filled with sleeping titans) but the fact that humanity is caged within 50 meter walls in these pocket towns is an unsettling thought, as they’re literally bait for titans.

Voltron (Clone planet, cemetary, organic planet) *

Voltron has several episodes that exemplify the unsettling and grotesque. My favorite example is when Pidge searches for her Father and Brother, and ends up on a planet that’s solely dedicated as a cemetary.

It’s my favorite because, it was depicted as a beautiful landscape, especially when Pidge actually arrives on site. She arrives as the sun is going down, often known as “The Golden Hour” a time of day that has perfect natural lighting.

Its a beautiful planet but gosh, is it unsettling to know that such beauty can be found with such despair.

*sorry guys, I cannot provide images for this particular example due to being unable to 1. find images of it online and 2. screenshots are not allowed via phones. please forgive me!*

Psycho-Pass, Sibyl System HQ

sibyl_system_psycho-pass.PNG
screencap via crunchyroll

The room in which the SIBYL system in itself is inherently grotesque. Basically a ton of brains store in one room run the entire  city of Tokyo. If you haven’t seen Psycho-Pass, I just gave away the major plot in the anime. Honestly, the whole layout of this room kind of makes me laugh, as I’ve had to design a lot of Data Centers at my job, and the fact that this room looks exactly like a data center, is kind of ironic.

sibyl_system_2_psycho-pass.PNG
screencap via crunchyroll

The image above is the exterior of where the SIBYL system is housed, and the exterior is eerie in that the pipes make it look like it has legs like a living breathing organism; a perfect reflection of what the system really consists of.

By the way, I have to plug an oldie but a goodie. Irina did a wonderful post on how to build your own SIBYL system, which is creepy in it’s own right, but in good fun. You should drop by and check it out here.


What are some unsettling, “grotesque” scenes featuring architecture that stand out to you in an anime? Again, the grotesque doesn’t necessarily mean horror, but rather unsettling in it’s theme, context and maybe even some of actual architectural elements.

Let me know what you guys think of grotesque architecture, in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out Matt’s post coming up next.

And in case you missed it, check out Megan’s post 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 One Liner Challenge

I’ve been lucky in being tagged by the wonderful Karandi to participate in this challenge. Honestly, I’m glad she did. My poor blog needs some activity, and these challenges are good ways to boost it. Thanks again for the tag! 😀

The Rules:

1. Accept and thank your challenger(s) by linking back to their post.
2. Make a post of one-sentence summaries and/or roasts of at least five anime.
3. No spoilers!
4. Link back to The Awkward Book Blogger so she can see your post.
5. Challenge as many or as little people as you want!
6. Have fun!

The Response:

Free!
Image result for free dive to the future
 image source

Build deep bonds of brotherhood and friendship with an angsty group of teenagers that can’t communicate properly.

Aoharu x Kikanjuu (Aoharu x Machinegun)
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image source

Ouran High School Host Club joins the growing popular past time: survival games.

Kiss Him, Not Me
Image result for kiss him not me
image source

Learn about the inner workings of a Fujoshi.

Ramen Daisuke Koizumi-san  (Koizumi-san Loves Ramen)
Image result for koizumi san ramen daisuki
image source

Planning a trip to Tokyo? Don’t miss out on Koizumi-san’s whirlwind tour of Ramen shops across the country.

Yowamushi Pedal
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image source

Learn to Team Build and Endurance Train with an Otaku.


Well, that was a fun and rather quick post (surprisingly from me) It’s hard to come with one-liners. But I admit it was fun to try and burn my favorite shows. LOL

So, for the following people, I hope you take a moment to do this post, its a ton of fun, and doesn’t require too much thinking. I spent the most time picking shows. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with. And if you’ve been tagged before..Sorry!

[Man Crush Monday]: Megane Day 2018!

Wow, it’s been such a long time since I’ve done a man crush monday post.

As you know, my dearest friend and fellow blogger Mel, wrote about Megane Day in a special post you can find here. And, since it’s on a Monday, what the heck, why not participate.

Just a quick apology here: I’ve not been active on here much, and I’ll probably do an update soon about what I’ve been up to, but hey, lets get on with the celebration of Megane Day!


So far this year, I’ve had three favorite megane’s. I’m sure one will come as no surprise, but the other two are from series that I’ve recently completed.

Tenya Iida, My Hero Academia

Image result for tenya iida screencap
image via source

Yeah, seriously no surprise. My Hero Academia has quickly become a beloved series of mine. The entire class is full of lovable characters, and Tenya is especially one of them.

The class rep is known to be a stickler for the rules, but heck yenno, he’s really great at rounding the class up and leading them when they need some guidance. So much so, he can almost be selfless, opting to get tagged in the provisional license exam in order for his classmates (like Aoyama) to pass.

Off the bat, I wasn’t too fond of Tenya, to be honest. Especially when he was so eager to write Izuku off so quickly in the beginning of the series. But, he realized his mistake and eventually becomes one of Izuku’s best friends, and often follows Izuku’s lead but also keeps him in check. They have a great camaraderie.

Hirotaka Nifuji, Wotakoi

Image result for hirotaka nifuji screencap games at lunch
screencap via amazon prime

Hirotaka is me. He’s all of us. Hirotaka is from Wotakoi: Love is Hard for an Otaku. And while he’s a stoic monotone personality, there was just so much of him that was relatable.

If you’ve seen the series, you’ll see he’s a gamer otaku. Always on a handheld console, at any free time he gets. And I get it. I get you Hirotaka, because I am you.

I laughed so hard when he was gaming at lunch at work, and his supervisor says, “Are you seriously playing a game at work?” and his response is to look at the clock and says, “but it’s lunch time.” It made me laugh because, I’ve been him. When Collar x Malice came out on PSP, you can get your a** I was on my PSVita any chance I got, and yes, that included my lunch break at work. I would eat and play the game.

He was an endearing character on Wotakoi, which was easily one of my favorites if not the only RomCom I’ve watching this year so far.

Murasaki, Hamatora

Image result for murasaki hamatora screencap
image via source

I realize this is an older series, but I happened to watch it this year. And once I started Hamatora, I couldn’t stop watching it. I rather enjoyed it, and I’m still in the midst of starting season 2.

Murasaki was probably my favorite of the series, and that might be because he’s more pragmatic of the two main minimum holders of the series. I also found him to be one of the prettier boys of the series. It’s funny that I would include him, just because his minimum is only activated when he takes OFF his glasses.


That wraps up this week/years Megane Day!

Who’s your favorite megane character? Let me know in the comments below, and please check out Mel’s post on megane’s! She’ll be doing a round-up post that includes everyone that’s participated.

[Zel’s Anime Breakdown]: Summer 2018: Volume 2

Hey guys and welcome back to Zel’s Anime Breakdown! The first volume was a success, and I’m glad you all like my little spin on the “weekly” review thing. Granted,  this one is coming rather late. Sometimes time just seems to pass by in the blink of an eye and yeah. But anyways, I’ll give a more personal update soon.

The season opener of Attack on Titan Season 3 takes the cake for the next two sub-categories.

Scene-Stealer
levi in action
screencap via crunchyroll

Levi’s action scene through the town, was just phenomenal. The sharp angles, the perspectives, there was just a high level of animation in this sequence that I just…I can’t. Levi has been one of my favorites coming into this series, and this scene was just as dynamic as the manga. Color me impressed really. Action-packed ending was great, despite the cliffhanger.

Character Spotlight
historia reiss history,
screencap via crunchyroll

Historia Reiss. I’ve been waiting for the longest time for this arc to be animated, and I’m just…so happy and excited. I’ve written about Historia before for a Women Crush Wednesday post, that could be found here.

She was a standout during the first few episodes because we got to learn more about who Historia is, and her facade has dropped and we see her for who she really is. She’s actually not the happy go lucky girl we knew and love from previous seasons as Christa. It’s really heartbreaking to hear how Historia was raised by an unaffectionate unloving mother who ignored her at every turn.  This scene especially was sad, she was happy that her Mother physically touched her, even if it was a shove to get Historia away from her. The look of pure joy at this gesture is just…*sigh*

Episode Breakdown*

“Class 1-A”, Episode 55, My Hero Academia, Season 3.

I have to say, as a manga reader of the series, this episode came a bit out of left field, and I had wondered why the content felt so foreign, and it’s because, it is.

The first half of the episode featuring Todoroki’s battle and Yaoyorozu’s battle were original content to the anime. It’s a bit of filler to the main story of Hero Academia, but it doesn’t detract from the main story. This episode was done fairly well in integrating these battles for several reasons.

todoroki solo battle
screencap via crunchyroll

Todoroki’s penchant for going solo into battle and trying to work alone is emphasized here in the anime, and I think it’s rather important for some key elements that will become apparent as the season draws to a close. In the manga, however, Todoroki’s battle was a mere single page-showing that he overpowered his opponents alone without any trouble – which is opposite to how it’s depicted in the anime. Todoroki is strong alone, but the fact that he works alone is a deterrent to his growth – the anime wanted to emphasize that, and I think it was successful.

yaoyorozu battle episode 55, season 3 my hero academia
screencap via crunchyroll

Yaoyorozu’s battle alongside Jirou, Tsuyu and Shoji can be broken down into a few elements. It continues to show Momo’s progress in her ability to quickly think through a situation. Granted, a lot of our female cast has been cast aside for a lot of Midoriya’s improvement alongside the other boys. But when they do highlight the girls, they do it incredibly well. Case in point, Momo’s opponent’s quirk is “IQ”. I mean, the girl’s quirk is to literally think through her situation, and yet she got bested by Momo. We already know that Momo is the smartest in her class, as she is ranked number 1 in terms of grade standings.

The more important element of this battle reinforces Aizawa’s speech at the end of the episode. I personally felt that the manga speech was far more compelling/eloquent than what Aizawa actually said, so I’ll be referencing that instead.

“When it comes to class 1-A, one thing becomes obvious after watching them long enough. They probably haven’t realized it themselves, but the class revolves around a certain pair.  It’s not that they bring everyone together or serve as pillars or anything like that. In fact, these two don’t get along. But at one point or another, they infected the rest of their class with their passion and fervor.  It’s odd, but at least one of them is sure to be at the heart of every storm. So, no, Joke, I’m not worried. I’m expecting big things. The very presence of those two…raises the bar for the entire class.”

class 1-a wonder duo
“Wonder Duo” – screencap via crunchyroll

Throughout the series, we’ve seen a number of classmates be influenced by our “Wonder Duo” (so aptly named by All Might – which the anime completely skipped on). Yaoyorozu’s battle, we see her and Shouji in a what would Midoriya do? moment.  Yes, she referred to Todoroki and Iida first, but at the end of her thoughts, it’s what Midoriya says that really sticks to her. We also, see how Midoriya’s tenacity has affected Uraraka moreso than anyone else. It’s why she likes him so much, (I’ll have to touch on Uraraka in a future episode because I find her development to be quite great). And, despite Bakugou’s rough nature, we see that he’s influenced Kaminari and Kirishima most. However, the duo in general has affected the entire class wholly, and are the baselines for achievement, and I, much like All Might, can’t wait to see what these two can do as hero’s that both win and rescue.

*note: I’m considering creating a separate post for episode breakdown just because this might be something I’d like to do for any number of series that I’m invested in. 

General Thoughts
Attack on Titan
Episode 38, 39 & 40

Kenny finally makes an appearance alongside what appears to be new and improved gear that’s meant to attack humans versus titans.  It’s clear that Kenny has influenced/raised Levi considering the level of understanding in how the other one acts and thinks in battle. However, since Levi has probably gained a lot more experience over the years of absence of the other – it’s no surprise that Levi is accustomed to adapting moreso now than before.

armin questions his humanity
screencap via crunchyroll

The level of blood and gore is still prevalent, and more so humanizing now that the Military Police is going after the Scouts. It’s not just fighting “monsters” but rather the battle between humanity inside the walls that had no reason to occur prior to the uncovering of some of the wall’s mysteries.  Levi makes killing look so effortless that I’m sure it stuns a lot of the younger soldiers – especially Jean, who’s starting to struggle with the fact they have to fight other humans now instead. The internal moral debate for Jean to take another life is an important theme being explored in the series as a whole, with special regard to the newfound information that Titan’s were at some point human. Whereas Armin has already embraced that it’s a kill or be killed moment; he questions his humanity after, how easy it was to just pull the trigger to save Jean, but let’s not forget that Armin was also the one to say, “To defeat a monster, you must be willing to throw aside your humanity and all that makes you human.” Levi has to instill in them that this is the only way they’re going to survive given the new climate they face, as they are now labeled as the enemy to the crown and Military Police. He’s even said that he himself isn’t sure what’s right or wrong. At his core, Levi only knows how to survive – which is clear since he decided to team up with Reeves even though he was working with the enemy. He’s doing what he can with whatever is at his disposal to get ahead. That speaks volumes of where Levi has been.

Seeing the kids in this season again, made me realize, they look so much more different than previous seasons. They’re so much more mature looking now. Whether that’s because of the stress and trauma that have caused them to age rapidly, or just the time lapse that’s occurring in the series, it’s jarring but it’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. It’s just taking me awhile to adjust to how they look.

Again, there are some slight differences between the anime and the manga, but they’re not huge deterrents. Granted, I stopped reading the manga sometime in the following arc. It became too much for me to comprehend. LOL, I’ll have to re-visit it sometime.

Banana Fish
Episode 3
ash lynx kicks garvey
screencap via amazon prime video

Ash is in jail, and Max Lobo has been asked to “protect” Ash. However, he’s definitely not the type that really needs to be protected. Max and Ash also come to the revelation that they have a link to one another, banana fish and Ash’s brother. Max has shown remorse for abandoning Ash’s brother when he needed help, but had no idea that the guy was still alive.

The plot thickens in this episode. Especially now that Eiji has been drawn in. I find it fascinating that Ash has already chosen Eiji as the person he trusts to help him out on the outside. Given how “innocent” Eiji is, I feel like this is asking for all kinds of trouble. What exactly is Banana Fish?  Is it a person? A drug cartel? The drug itself? I guess we’ll find out the more as each episode goes on. I’m quite behind on this, show..so maybe the next volume of this series will talk more about it.

Hanebado
Episode 3 & 4

I have to say, the melodrama is getting to be a bit excessive for me. I get it Hanesaki is dealing with some issues when it comes to her mom, but it’s starting to get a little drawn out.  I’d like to see more of the sports aspect of this than the drama. Also, Hanesaki’s opponents seem to just be a tad over the top. Animation is great when they actually do play badminton, and that alone is enough for me to continue the series.

Cell’s at Work (Hataraka Saibo)
Episode 2 & 3.

Each of these episodes have been quite cute, but I am afraid it has been pretty gimmicky like I thought in my first impression of the episode. Though I think the Influenza episode was scary just because they portrayed it as a horror with zombies. I felt bad for the naive t-cell but thought his progression at the end was hilarious.

Still a cute series, I’ll be continuing to watch whenever I get a chance.


What do you think of the series’ that you’re watching now that we’re more than halfway through the season? Have shows lost a bit of their shine lately?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

P.S. I’m also considering anime breakdowns of older series’ but still contemplating the name. Per usual, too many ideas and not enough time to execute them; so we’ll see!