[OWLS Blog Tour] Losing Sight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Izuku Midoriya & All Might

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

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

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

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

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

Overhaul & The Yakuza

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[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!

[OP] Odd Future | Sunday Salutations

OMG, a post from Zel! Yay! I’m sure that’s what you’re all thinking! (At least, I hope that’s what’s happening)

I’d like to say I’m back from my hiatus for the time being. Vacation is over, and I’m slowly adjusting back to real life. I miss Japan, and I can’t wait to plan my next trip over! But for the time being, I do have some posts planned that I’d love to get out to you about my adventures. As much as I was there for the Cherry Blossom season, it was also very much an anime trip. I’m lucky my parents were pretty supportive of the blatant spending I did in their presence; but hey I saved up the last few years for this! I deserved it! XD

Kicking off my return, I’m featuring My Hero Academia’s Season 3 OP for this week’s song. MHA is one of my most anticipated ones for the Spring Season, I even got to catch the premiere and the second episode while abroad (not that I fully understood it or anything).  I’m excited to see what the new season is going to bring us.  I haven’t really had a chance to look at the rest of the Spring line-up; and I may or may not post anything regarding spring season because I’m still playing catch up with winter season.

Title: Odd Future | Artist: UVERworld | Anime: Boku no Hero Academia S3

Aside from the training camp, and the development of the story, what are you looking forward to the most from this coming season? Personally, I’m invested in Todoroki so I’d like to see what kind of development he has, especially when they’re working with their quirks at camp. On another note, due to some of the spoilers from the manga I’ve seen, I’m looking forward to see more of the supporting cast’s story develop (Kacchan & Kirishima just to name a few).

Also, have you guys seen the MHA x Marvel Crossover stuff? Pretty fun. Deku, Uraraka, Iida, Todoroki, Bakugo, Iida & All Might introduce some of the characters; if anything I think they pick ones they loosely relate to.

bnha_marvel_season 3 crossover.jpg
image source

You can find the videos here: Hypebeast: ‘My Hero Academia’ & The Avengers Team up for ‘Infinity War’ Crossover Videos

That just about wraps up this Sunday’s post. 🙂 Thoughts, comments? Let me know in the section below. Have a great week everyone!

[ED] Datte Atashi no Hero | Sunday Salutations

Good evening everyone. It’s been awhile since I had a Sunday Salutation/ED of the week.

Posts have been scarce, and unfortunately it may continue this way for a little bit longer. But more on that in a little bit. First, let’s talk about my ED of the week.

With the spring season around the corner, and the highly anticipated Season 3 of My Hero Academia (and with the help of Mel) it was fitting to feature an ED from one of shows I’m looking most forward to this coming Spring. I haven’t done one of those “What I’ll be watching this season” type posts in awhile, and I think I’m okay with that.

This week’s ED comes from the second season of My Hero Academia, and is the second ending featured in episodes 14-24. The literal translation of Datte Atashi no Hero is “After all, You’re my Hero.” It seems to be set in a fantasy AU, with Deku posing as the protagonist traveler running into a few people on the way that help him in his quest.

Okay, let me just say, I literally picked this because, how can you NOT love everyone in these AU costumes? Especially wheny ou have a princely Todoroki who is riding on a white horse. I mean, how much more fantasy fairy tale can you get? Also his cute smirk, and the deadpan look on his face when his horse runs away from him.  Also, most of you know I’m just a die hard Todoroki fangirl, but there’s someone surprisingly slowly climbing up that list, and has ALREADY surpassed Bakugo. But I’ll save that for another day. Speaking of Kacchan, he’s looking pretty fierce as a dragon rider with a tattoo sprawling on his left arm. Forgive me for fangirling over his manliness. But yes, I’m leaving you with this ED.

Title: Datte Atashi no Hero | Artist: LiSA | Anime: Boku no Hero Academia S2

So, okay, there’s another reason as to why I’ve chosen this song. After listening to the lyrics, I just.. *sigh*. I’ll cut to the chase. This song makes me think of you guys, after having looked at the translation of the lyrics.

“I can’t imagine you ever giving up,
Though I’m sure even you have empty, miserable days.
If you think you might be facing any number of monumental efforts—
The kind that come only once in a lifetime—I wanna be there to see it!”

So many of you guys have been really great friends to me, whether it being regular visitors that engage with me in the comment section, fangirling with me on twitter/line/discord, or collaborating with me on posts, OWLS and the iNAP podcast. I’ve been so thankful for everyone’s kindness as I try to struggle on my path to architectural licensure and the never ending support from all of you has been nothing short of phenomenal. That being said, many of you guys have said similar things to me to the quote to the right (I’m looking at you Mel, and my iNAP podcasters), you’re all cheering for me and rooting for me to get through my exams. And I hope that when I do,  you’re all around to celebrate. 🙂

“Our many tales of failure… versions of ourselves we couldn’t love… if we can just embrace them, we’ll be unstoppable!”

It’s with a heavy heart I have to tell you, that I did not pass my exam a few weeks ago. I’m not gonna lie, I could’ve studied harder, but with work projects ramping up and tons of overtime, I struggled to find time to study. It’s hard to sit at a desk again when I get home after a long day of work, much less sit a desk on the weekend to study. I’m just mentally drained. I’m trying not to make any excuses for my failure, but this fail won’t deter me from continuing to pursue my goal. I’ve found some helpful study guides and post-vacation I’ll be back in studying mode pursuing the next exam date.

Hurray! Hurray! You have a talent for making me say it again and again!
So keep standing your ground. I’m getting my courage from you.”

So yeah, these are snippets of the translated lyrics of the songs. I just want to reiterate how thankful I am for all of you guys that continue to support me as I balance my career/studying and the blog. I won’t be giving up this blog any time soon it’s a great hobby. Because of everyone’s support I can keep a brave face and keep moving. So yes, I get all my courage from every single one of you that have impacted me in terms of friendships. I never thought I’d find such a great support system via an anime blog, yet here we are. I love all of you guys.

I’ll be going on vacation at the end of this week and I’ll be away for about two weeks. I may or may not update the blog outside of a few scheduled posts. I’ll be on twitter updating, and IG posting. I’ll still have the interwebz so I’m sure a lot of you will still be hearing from me.

When I come back, I’ll be making a few adjustments to the blog. My posting schedule is still TBD as I try to get some reviews out that have been sitting for awhile. May will also be an exciting month as I’m planning something with a couple of other bloggers. And well, I’m prepping to do something special as well in July for….obvious reasons to you, maybe they’re obvious maybe they’re not. You’ll have to wait and see.

If I’m not writing on the blog, I’ve actually been writing a lot of short story fanfictions based on a few of the otome’s I’ve been playing. I also have been writing fanfiction. But only so very few people have been reading it. I’m shy about it.


Also, I’ve gone and created a Ko-Fi account to help me out with the site. Hopefully you guys will buy me a few coffee’s when I make a full return to the blogging realm post-vacation and get quality content out.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Hope all of you have a wonderful week ahead of you. Speaking of vacations, is anyone planning on going anywhere anytime soon? Have any fun anecdotes you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!