A Little Thing About Yuri On Ice

A Little Thing About Yuri On Ice

 

I tried so hard to not talk about this show a lot. It’s overdone, it’s overhyped, I get it. But I love it with all my heart and for a good reason, which I decided I will share with all of you. I by no means think this was the best show in the world, as many people have made it out to be. Just putting that out there, so I don’t seem like someone blinded by the fanbase.

I genuinely never thought I would be remotely interested in a show such as this. The very first time I heard of it was about this time last year, when I was sitting in the dentist office waiting for my brother to be done. I think I was on Twitter and I saw Funimation’s Fall Dub lineup, this show being among them. I clicked on it and read the synopsis, deciding it was going to be the same as any other sports anime, which I’d also decided I didn’t like. I don’t know why I have such a vivid memory of this, but I just do.

It was only after seeing the immense hype over the show on Twitter that I decided to look a bit into it. Even then, I said I had no desire to watch it. My friend did decide to see what all the fuss was about in maybe October or November of last year, and told me that I should watch it too, but I put it off. It was January I finally did, and it has literally changed the way I view the world. Not to sound dramatic or anything.

I’m going to tell you the story of how I went from being an ignorant homophobe to the person I am now.

About two years ago, a specific time I remember was on Valentine’s Day and I was walking around the mall by my house. I saw two girls, wearing matching couple hoodies, and holding hands. Now, if I were to see this today, I wouldn’t think a thing of it. Back then, I physically looked away and avoided them. It truly hurts me to think back on how I used to be. I was about fifteen years old at that time, and I was already filled with such hatred.

Fast forward to about a year ago. I had this mindset where I thought I was accepting of people in the LGBT+ community. But really, I wasn’t. What I told myself was that I was fine with it, if I weren’t to see any of it. I was just the same as the year prior.

I thought it was fine. I thought the way I saw things was entirely okay. It wasn’t. If I truly agreed with it, I would have no problem seeing people who were trans, or gay, etc. But at this time, I was still a bit disgusted by it.

Then came this wonderful show, Yuri on Ice. It’s been done to death, I’m fully aware. But this show changed something in me, and I’m a ton happier because of it.

January of this year began my journey of acceptance.  I went through being a bit put off by people of LGBT+ to all of a sudden being entirely involved and practically a member. (I discussed this in my LGBT+ Representation in Comics post)

After watching the show, I became so obsessed with the fandom and any sort of post relating to it. Because of that, I got used to seeing a canon gay couple. From there, I ended up becoming fascinated by the LGBT+ community. And, if you don’t really want to read my post linked above, I think I’ve realized I’m aromantic/asexual. Which, sometimes is included in the community. So, Yuri on Ice has given me quite a journey.

yuri-on-ice

When I’d been told about the show, I was wary about watching it. I knew how popular it had become, and for some reason, I tend to avoid incredibly popular shows now. And, the only reason I decided to watch it was due to my friend bugging the heck out of me to watch it. I had no idea what I was getting into, and it’s now a fandom I’ve been in for nine months.

Another thing this show has really helped me with is coping with my anxiety and depression. Currently, I’m in a bit of a depression, as I lost my very first job because of something I couldn’t control. I know I can get through it, but it’s damaging my motivation.

As I’m sure most of you know, there are characters that deal with these. Specifically, Yuuri is shown multiple times with anxiety attacks, and seeing those happen made me feel a lot better. When he has them, others don’t think it’s a big enough deal to start crying over, but to him, it’s a huge deal. And, I have first-hand experience with this. That ugly, screaming crying is a real thing, and it happened when I heard my old manager tell me the news about my job. I kept my disappointment hidden when I heard it, but once I hung up that phone, I broke. It was so bad that for the past three days I’ve had a sore throat. I skipped my college class that night because I wasn’t in a mindset where I could drive.

aw no

During the months of March, April, and May, I was in this weird state where I was so depressed for no reason, I didn’t even post anything. I didn’t realize how long it had been until I posted my first post for May. I feel this in a way relates to the emptiness Victor felt when he realized that there was nothing to his life besides winning gold medals. Obviously, I was not at the extent he was, but I can relate to that feeling. It was strange to feel a connection to his character, since he seems so unreachable. But when it hit me that what I was feeling was so close to what he felt, it encouraged me.

yuri-on-ice-02-1

So, there’s my little rant on Yuri on Ice. Not sure if anyone’s too happy about it, but I’ve been dying to talk about it since the end of January, when I posted the second part of my thoughts on the show. So, you may be seeing more of it, but I’m unsure.

It’s also funny this post kind of relates to OWLS theme this month relating to mental illnesses, which I didn’t plan on purpose.

 

This post was a bit weird, but I really didn’t want to do two reviews in a row. And, this came to me suddenly, so I hope you enjoyed it. It’s not something I’ll do again any time soon, most likely. And, I’m sorry for posting late.

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

Advertisements

Tsukigakirei Review

Tsukigakirei Review

I’ve never done a review on a romance anime, but here we are now.

This show’s title translates into “As the moon, so beautiful” which I didn’t quite understand at first. I get it now, and it reminds me of a certain scene from my favorite manga of all time. So this show won me over just with the title.

Going into it, I thought it would be a generic, cliche-filled slice-of-life romance. But, I feel there’s something about it that makes it stand out. The animation was definitely not what won me over, like most shows. The main animation is fine, and the style is unique, but for some strange reason the animators decided it was a good idea to animate the background characters with CGI. It was a horrible decision. But still, the content of the show makes up for the awkward robot background characters.

 

I think my favorite part about this show is that both main characters get to pursue their passions separately. The male lead, Koutarou Azumi, is a writer and participates in a drumming club that performs at festivals. He reads avidly, but has average grades. The female lead, Akane Mizuno, runs track and has excellent grades.

tsuki1

They are clearly very different people, and do not meet in a club, as most animes show. It was a chance meeting. They both knew of each other, and coincidentally, their families both decided to eat at the same restaurant one night. They try avoiding each other, but somehow their families both realize that they know each other.

Eventually they end up exchanging LINE IDs and text fairly regularly.

I have a rule when it comes to pairings. I feel it’s fair, but maybe this is just because of my lack of dating knowledge. I will never pair two people together if they are not somewhat close friends first. Though, if I’m a fandom that has a million pairings and some like barely interact at all but people still pair them together, I’ll still respect it. Please tell me if this rule is fair, because I may just be oblivious. I’ve been flirted with, and let me tell you, it makes me incredibly uncomfortable if I’ve never met the person before. I just don’t get it.

Alright, sorry for that tangent.

The two characters were friends before plunging into the dating zone. So, we’re already off to a good start.

tsuki-ga-kirei-10-07-1280x720

The interactions between Koutarou and Akane are very stiff and awkward for quite some time. It’s only near the end of the series that they become entirely comfortable with each other. I think that’s pretty understandable and realistic, correct me if I’m wrong. They aren’t always touching, in fact it’s a rare thing for them to be physically affectionate until the last few episodes. I’ve seen this in a few other romance based anime, though I’ve seen overly affectionate more than anything. I actually prefer it when a couple is portrayed as less physical, because every interaction seems more meaningful.

As for the actual plot of the show, which I probably should have started with, there really isn’t a set goal. Both characters have dreams, but majority of the show is just their relationship gradually growing.

As I’d said earlier, Koutarou is a writer. He’s shown frequently typing away at his laptop, and actually gets to talk to a publisher. He’s very passionate about his writing, but is embarrassed to show anyone what he’s written. He wants to make it perfect before it’s out anywhere. Being a writer aside from this blog myself, I can understand this mindset. I used to put all of my writings on Wattpad, but recently, I’ve been keeping them to myself. I want to be able edit them and get them to the best they can be before even a friend reads them. I want to be able make a little bit of money off them at some point, considering how many hours I put into them. So, I understand this part of Koutarou.

518-tsukigakirei-06-5-04

Another thing I really like about his character is that he will add little quotes from an author in his narration of the show, which always relate to the topic of the episode. Generally, this would seem a bit cheesy and unnecessary, but all of the quotes are a bit obscure, and take a little bit to understand why they were said. It added a layer to the show that I really liked.

On to Akane. She’s really into track, and is very focused on it. She’s also quite intelligent and does very well in school. Honestly, anybody who can balance a sport and schoolwork is amazing to me. Even as a fictional character, she impresses me. Another thing that instantly made me love the show. Akane seems very put together and organized, but has some sort of anxiety. She keeps a little toy to fidget with when she’s nervous, and worries about things constantly. There is a scene where she explains this to Koutarou, and though it somewhat annoyed me, I also really liked that they included it.

maxresdefault

The things I didn’t like about the show:

There were shorts after the ending song, which I didn’t realize until about episode six, but they didn’t really add anything to the main story. Why did they exist? I have no idea. I said earlier I thought it would be cliche, and yes there are definitely cliche things in this show. Both main characters have a secondary character crushing on them. Of course. Have to make things more complicated than they already are. Akane’s best friend likes Koutarou, and a boy that’s been on the track team for years likes Akane. Okay, whatever. I absolutely hate this trope. But something that gets me going even more is how often adults would say things like “Oh, good job on getting a girlfriend” to Koutarou. I hate this. It sounds as if he just won something. No, because that’s not the point of relationships. It’s a mutual understanding between two people and take a good amount of work to maintain. Can we please destroy this cliche? It makes me so angry. Why don’t we say like “Oh, both of you are cute, you seem happy” or something like that?

But anyway, those are my only problems. It’s really not that bad.

Overall, I feel this was honestly one of the best romance shows I’ve ever seen. I didn’t think I was going to love it as much as I did when I started it, but the ending is what really got me. Of course, I can’t say much about it, but just know the ending was much more satisfying than expected. So, if you enjoy watching romance shows, I’d highly recommend this one. It’s cute, and awkward, and more realistic than a lot of romance shows I’ve seen.

 

Hope you enjoyed this review!

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

[OWLS Blog Tour: Treasure] Accepting Yourself Is Not Easy (A Silent Voice)

[OWLS Blog Tour: Treasure] Accepting Yourself Is Not Easy (A Silent Voice)

Hello! I’m back for another OWLS blog tour! This month, we’re covering the topic of depression, suicide, and other mental illnesses, so if that’s something that bothers you, be wary. I will be discussing how the characters in this manga grew past it, but I also discuss the dark reality of the things they faced. The topic is “Treasures,” talking about the people in our lives that tell us we are worth something, and that we are something to be treasured.

For those of you unaware, OWLS is a wonderful group accepting all people regardless of age, gender, religion, sexuality, etc. We try to show everyone that they are beautiful and loved no matter what, through different anime and pop culture. If you’re interested in joining, feel free to go to our website and fill out a form! We’re always accepting new members!

OWLS logo

Onto the topic at hand.

If you’ve been reading my posts since the beginning, you may remember my post Best Manga I’ve Ever Read. In that post, I discuss the manga, A Silent Voice. Even though I wrote that nearly a year ago, I still believe it is my favorite manga/comic ever. Unfortunately, I still have been unable to watch the movie adaptation, but will when the Blu Ray comes out in America.

In that manga, there are so many rough topics covered. So that’s why when given this topic, I immediately thought of it.

The story is majorly in the perspective of Shoya Ishida, a third year boy in high school. But much of the focus of the actual story is on a girl, Shoko Nishimiya, who is deaf. Both of these characters are constantly dealing with self-doubt, for different reasons.

So I don’t get a bunch of angry people after me, there WILL BE SPOILERS in this post. If you have not read the manga or watched the movie, I recommend you go and do that before reading this. I must talk about a lot of vital points in order to do this topic justice.

The Deaf Girl and Her Bully

Shoya was a bully in elementary school. He pushed Shoko around, taking advantage of the fact she was deaf. Day after day, he picked on her. He thought that doing this would make him popular, and be accepted by others. And he thought it was working. He stole her hearing aids, and destroyed them. He grabbed the notebook she communicated with and tossed it in a fountain.

Shoko just smiled. She didn’t fight with him, she just pretended like it didn’t phase her. Of course she was mad. But she’s never been good at showing her true emotions. Only once did she lash out at him, right before she transferred to a different school.

knkfight

When Shoko left, Shoya realized that all of the things he did was not helping him gain popularity. When Shoko left, he saw nasty words scrawled on his desk. They all blamed him wholly for what happened to her. He now became the bullied. He now knew how Shoko felt, and started distancing himself from the kids in his class.

The Past is in the Past

Five years pass, and it’s the time the rest of manga will take place. Both Shoya and Shoko are now in their final year of high school.

Shoko still doesn’t have many friends, but attends a sign language regularly, and feeds the fish in the river on Tuesdays.

Shoya has been suffering from his past ever since Shoko left their school. He never tried to mend the wounds he’d caused in other people. They see him and can only remember the bully he was, or they never get to talk to him in the first place. This distance causes him to still hate himself after all these years. He is so harsh on his past self, and won’t let that go to live his last year of high school in happiness. He’s once quoted as saying, “I wish I could kill him,” referring to himself as a sixth-grader. This self-hatred becomes so toxic, brewing inside him for so many years, he completely gives up.

He decides that as his final moment on the earth, he’ll apologize to Shoko for what he’d done. And then he would leave for good. He finds out about her meetings at the bridge on Tuesdays, and talks to her. Well, signs to her, as he’d learned sign language during those five years of not seeing her.

68e67d764a4e711f55968c64ede9538f4378854b_hq

To his surprise, she instantly accepts his apology, and they decide they can become friends. All of his previous plans are completely shot. He finds the new meaning to his life, to focus on being friends with Shoko and mending the broken bond between them.

The Present is a Demon

Shoko, however, moves past what happened back then easily. That’s not her problem. After all those years, people still insult her deafness. Or they just don’t know how to get around it.

People still hate her simply for having a disability. One girl in particular, who was part of the group of students who bullied her along with Shoya when they were younger, is the main one who targets her. Her name is Naoka, and she is a major factor in Shoko’s later attempted suicide. This wasn’t purely Naoka’s doing, as the problems had been happening to Shoko for years.

tumblr_ooov96m3am1tdx76oo1_1280

Naoka practically forces herself into the group of friends that forms throughout the manga. She confronts Shoya, and tells him that they are so similar, but that is not the case at all, and she wiggles her way into the group.

Things Naoka has done include: slapping Shoko, pulling at her hair violently, calling her “a blight” and “self-absorbed,” telling her she hates her, yelling in her face, etc. Shoko, being who she is, says nothing about the abuse Naoka puts her through. She smiles through all of it, acting as though nothing was wrong. As she does any time there is something bothering her. She actually reaches out to Naoka a few times, attempting to be friends even after what Naoka has done.

The event that puts her in the worst state of mind, though, is when the group gets into an argument discussing the past events of elementary school. Some blame Shoya for what had happened, and he retaliates with being so blunt with each of them, it hurts them. There is yelling, and Shoya physically sits away from the others.

07a23ad0820a84332ab1b2fd48510b22-silent-voice-manga-ishida-shouya

Because Shoko sees all of this, she is concerned for her friends. She doesn’t know what happened, since nobody was translating into sign language for her. She was completely confused, and walks away from the scene frazzled.

Yuzuru, her sister, later tells her the entire scene.

The group stays away from each other for the summer, but Shoya and Shoko continue to meet for much of the break. During the meetings, Shoko becomes even more unsettled due to Shoya’s strange behavior. He’s been thinking of what the others said about him, and makes him reconsider things.

Then comes the dreadful moment. During a fireworks display, Shoko leaves early to “study.” Her sister sees through her excuse and sends Shoya after her. He finds her seconds away from plummeting over the edge of their apartment building. He barely saves her, landing himself in the river below in place of her.

For about a week, Shoya was in a coma after this event. Blames were passed around. Who was really responsible for him falling? Answer: Nobody in particular. He did it to save his closest friend from dying.

The Future is what you Make it

The traumatic events of this manga are hard to swallow. I had a hard time reading it at moments, but it is so important to make it to the end. What happens to Shoya and Shoko could very well happen to anyone. Bullying and disabilities are something we must live with as a society. And, accepting them and addressing them is the most important part. Both of these things led to the main characters suffering with some sort of mental disorder, most likely a form of depression or anxiety, but I’m not one to diagnose.

Shoya’s fear over opening up to others crippled him socially. He was unable to accept himself, and believed that others wouldn’t either. He had to learn how to move on from the past that was weighing him down, and not let others get under his skin. He did this through confiding in Shoko and the others, and ignoring the harsh words others said.

Shoko felt like she was responsible for the others fighting. When she learned of what happened, she decided to jump, because she felt she was only causing them problems. Shoya worked hard to heal the relationships they used to have, so when things went badly, she felt she broke what he had built. The group had been working on a movie, but when the topic of bullying Shoko came up, they dismissed the project. She took that as being a nuisance, and the sole reason why they left. She felt this same way back when she was in elementary school. She was hated by people, and she took it all as there being something wrong with her. Even back then, she told Yuzuru that she wanted to die.

a_silent_voice_manga__i_want_to_die__by_holoismywaifu-dalapwh

I think the most important takeaway from this is to never drown in your emotions. Confide in others. Tell them what’s on your mind. Chances are, if they truly care, they’ll do everything in their power to help you back on your feet. If Shoko were to have told Shoya how she felt about the topic, things would have gone differently. He had no idea. Yuzuru was aware of how Shoko felt, and tried helping by taking pictures of dead things. Strange, but, she figured that if Shoko saw how ugly it was to be gone from the world, she’d never commit suicide. Unfortunately, this didn’t work, but it did keep her from doing it earlier.

The ending of the manga was a breath of fresh air compared to the bulk of it. Everything is calm. Shoko reveals her dream to move to Tokyo to Shoya, who reacts negatively. He doesn’t want her to leave him, since he would no longer be able to keep an eye on her to keep her safe. He’d dedicated the life she saved to living for her. He does let her go, but is wary of it still. The others are also pursuing their dreams, many of them also moving to Tokyo.

hqdefault

If Shoko and Shoya never met, I doubt they would still be alive. Definitely not pursuing their dreams. The connection they created through their suffering was what gave them new meaning. As I stated before, it’s important to have someone to lift you up when handling tough situations.

My Experiences

Shortly after I read this manga about two and a half years ago, I began having these strange panic attacks before bed (the attacks weren’t due to the manga, they just so happened to start after I read it, no worries). They went on for a good long while before I could figure out what it was. It was when I had one during the day that my mom figured it out.

For the most part, I kept these hidden from others. I was fearful of what people would say if I told them. They could tell me it was fake, or I was overreacting, or I’ll get over it. Instead, my mom told me I may need to see a therapist or be prescribed medication. This was worse than anything other people could say. When I was told this, I thought there was something horribly wrong with me. It was strange I thought this, since for years my brother had been taking medication for his ADHD, and I never thought much of that.

Since then, I’ve been able to adapt to it, and accept it as part of my life. I know my brain functions in a way that is not the same as others, and I’m okay with that now. I still haven’t gone to a therapist as my mom suggested, though I know I should. Things have died down a lot since that first attack, and I haven’t had a random one in about a year. I still have problems with calling people on the phone, or approaching a stranger in public to ask a question, or calming myself down when my friends don’t answer my texts right away.

I found that telling my friends and family about it did help, since the attacks became fewer and further in between once I told people.

My experience is nowhere near the severity of what occurs in this manga, but I can understand where the mangaka was coming from writing her characters the way she did. Neither felt the need to burden others with their problems, and in the end, it hurt them more than if they would have spoken up.

 

Hope you enjoyed this post! I absolutely adore this manga with all my heart, and felt it needed a mention again. I had to reread most of it again to be able to write this, which I’m totally fine with. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. Even though I spoiled much of the plot in this post, it’s not the same as experiencing what happens. It’s so memorable, and I feel that every person should be able to read it at some point in their life. If you’re not fond of reading backwards comics, the movie should be released in America soon, and hopefully to other parts of the world soon as well. From what I’ve heard, it does a decent job of highlighting the important topics discussed in the manga, and the artwork is just stunning.

Make sure to check out the other OWLS posts this month! Matt-in-the-Hat’s post was before mine, and new member, Miandro’s Side is after me.

Also, OWLS is doing a giveaway! You’d be entering to win a copy of Lighter than my Shadow by Katie Green, a book that highlights some of the disorders focused on in our blog tour this month.  All you have to do is comment on one of the tour posts! To enter, use this link.

See you guys!

Follow me on Twitter: @letstalkanime1

Join OWLS!!!

 

LGBT+ Representation in Comics

LGBT+ Representation in Comics

Ever since I watched the insane phenomenon that is Yuri!!! On Ice, I’ve been interested in learning about the LGBT+ community. And to do this, I’ve been scouring the internet for webcomics. And of course, the internet delivers to me to sweetest, most heart-wrenching comics to me. What I have listed below are only ones that I am caught up with or finished with. I have others that are on my “to-read” list, and maybe I’ll talk about those in a future post.

I know this is a bit of a strange post. I have never strayed from anime or manga, and I actually didn’t think I ever would. Though, I felt that this would be great to talk about. I have never shared my love for these comics with anybody else before, and I assure you that I have not been pushed to praise these comics. I genuinely adore them.

Always Human

tumblr_ny4c4bs4is1teo0c2o9_1280

This was the first LGBT+ comic I read, and I have mentioned it before, during my first OWLS post. Though, I felt that the little nudge was not enough to do it justice.

This comic is available on LINE Webtoon, where you can read a large selection of comics for free. This comic also has been completed.

Always Human was written and drawn by walkingnorth (this is both her author name on Webtoon and on tumblr).

There are countless things I adore about this comic. The very first thing that stood out when I saw the cover and read the description was the artwork. The coloration is a bit like a watercolor painting, and she uses vibrant colors, which only adds to the beauty. Another thing that stood out is that in every episode, or chapter, there was a song that went along with it. Each piece was written specifically for that particular section of the story, and every one perfectly captured the mood. It made the reading experience unique and memorable. Unfortunately, when I read most of it, I couldn’t find my headphones, and was unable to hear much of the soundtrack. Though, I plan on rereading it soon.

Enough of my art ramble, on to the reason I’m bringing it up. The story focuses on 22-year-old Sunati and 18-year-old Austen, two women who meet at a train station. After Sunati spots Austen at the station a second time, she works up the courage to talk to her. Shortly after this, they go on a date, and eventually become a couple.

tumblr_nwonicfpwz1teo0c2o5_1280

Though it seems like a simple romance story, there is a bit of a twist. It takes place in a futuristic society, where people can easily obtain things called “mods.” They can heal diseases, change a person’s hair color, maintain a person’s weight, etc. Sunati is someone who relies on mods heavily, as most people do, and she continuously changes her appearance. Austen, unfortunately, is unable to use mods at all due to something called “Egan’s syndrome.”

Much of the plot does not focus on Austen’s disability, which I thought was nice. It’s more about them just being human and in a relationship. They make mistakes, and have to work them out. Just like real people. And the fact of their gender isn’t brought up once.

The world is unlike ours not just because of the mods. Much of the LGBT+ community that would be ridiculed in our world are easily accepted without a second thought. Some things represented are: lesbian, gay, polysexual, asexual/aromantic, genderfluid, and agender.

tumblr_inline_o5m3l74qkn1rvha21_500

Rae is Sunati’s best friend and is also aro/ace

It was insane to see so many, honestly. Going in, I had no idea that it would be more than just the main relationship, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise.

I feel I’ve rambled enough about this one, you really do need to check out out, so here’s a link.

Heartstopper

tumblr_ocopidbwbn1vvm8l6o8_r2_1280

Oh boy. I’ve been obsessed with this comic for the past two months. As in, I’ve reread all of it at least three times obsessed. And it only gets worse every time it’s updated.

This comic is available for free on Tapas, and more of it is available on Patreon if you pay $5 a month. I’m about 60 pages ahead of everyone on Tapastic since I decided to pay, and I get a new page almost every day.

About the author: this comic is written by Alice Oseman, who has written two young adult novels as well and two novellas to accompany the first. All of her stories connect in some way, which I found was fascinating. There is no one way to read them. The comic is her most recent story, but I decided to purchase her first novel, “Solitaire,” and have been reading it just fine. Though, Heartstopper takes place about a year before Solitaire does.

 

For the most part, the story focuses around two high school boys, Nick Nelson and Charlie Spring. As you can most likely figure out from the list this is on, the plot focuses on their developing relationship. Starting from being classmates sitting next to each other, to teammates on the rugby team, to being best friends, and beyond.

tumblr_oi53cvl5zp1vvm8l6o9_1280

To clear things up, Charlie has the messy black hair and Nick has blond

Besides being a sweet story of two boys falling in love, there are some other themes that are in this story.

In the very first panels of the comic, Charlie is seen with another boy, secretly meeting in the library. This boy is Ben Hope, who claims to be dating Charlie, but on the side is also dating another girl. It’s assumed that Ben doesn’t want to be caught with another boy, but is craving the attention of one. It’s established early on that Ben doesn’t have any real feelings for Charlie, and is only using him. Charlie tries breaking off the “relationship,” but Ben is a complete jerk about everything and doesn’t listen. It quickly turns to be abusive, and Charlie does end up breaking it off eventually. This was something that I’ve never seen in media. Abusive relationships exist, and not only between men and women. It’s absolutely terrible to see a character in this situation, but I feel it was an important message to send.

tumblr_ofpl0q0syi1vvm8l6o6_r1_1280

Boy angrily stomping away is Ben

Another is how people view Charlie’s sexuality. It’s established that he’s very open about being gay, and even his family has known for quite some time. Though most kids at his school did not like this fact. He attends an all boys school, so some kids say that he should have expected being bullied for it. Obviously not fair to him. He was incredibly brave to say this to his peers, and all he got was rude comments and someone who abused him. The news had spread incredibly quickly, and suddenly his whole grade knew and most mocked him. This was very real, and hurt to read. I haven’t been in this situation, but I have been somewhat one of those kids. In eighth grade, my friend told me she was bisexual, and for some stupid reason, I wanted to avoid her. I thought that she would be interested in me, and it made me uncomfortable for a while. I decided it didn’t matter later on, but I regret thinking like that. I see where these kids were thinking, but it doesn’t make it right in the slightest.

Also, when Charlie joins the rugby team, many of the other members of the team ridicule his abilities due to his being gay. They think Nick was stupid to ask Charlie to join the team because they feel he’ll slow them down.

tumblr_oh5k1zyh1m1vvm8l6o3_r1_1280

On to some more lighthearted themes, let’s focus on Nick for a bit. Well, not really lighthearted, but more so than the previous two. When he and Charlie become friends, and hang out often, Charlie develops feelings for him. He tells his friend, who immediately tells him there’s no hope in crushing on a straight guy. Charlie, being quite pessimistic, takes the comment hard, and almost gives up right then and there. Meanwhile, Nick begins struggling with his own feelings. He lived his life never really considering liking someone who wasn’t a girl, so when he does begin to like Charlie, his head gets a bit muddled. He ends up questioning his sexuality for quite some time.

tumblr_oehb5j3j671vvm8l6o3_r1_540

I can’t explain much more than this, since things change at the part I’m at. I know I went a bit more in depth with this one, but as I said before I became a bit obsessed with the comic and am passionate about what is shown in it. If you go read it on Tapas, you’ll get the first two chapters, and the very beginning of chapter three. Though that doesn’t seem like much, each chapter is roughly 100 pages.

Overall, I’m completely obsessed with this comic, and I think you should go check it out. There’s equal amounts rough topics and pure, cute moments. Though, if you’re not cool with a lot of swearing, I’ll say there is quite a bit. I understand that in America, where I live, things are censored much more than in England, where the author is from.

Here’s the link to the first chapter on Tapas.

 

Under the Aegis

Screenshot_2017-08-27-00-10-26.png

This comic is available on Webtoon, and was created by Vimeddiee. I became a bit obsessed with this one as well, and read all of it in about a week. There are 85 chapters, none of them very short, and it all goes pretty in depth with the story.

I didn’t expect this one to have much involvement in the LGBT+ community, since it’s a futuristic fantasy. But the involvement it has is nice to see. It’s not the main focus, but it’s a sweet addition.

The characters we see are the six wielders of weapons that have been passed down generation after generation. There should be seven of them, but the last one is of a race that has been targeted for years and is unable to meet with the others immediately. Their mission in the beginning is to find their final member to fulfill their duty as wielders.

There is so much more to this story, but this is the briefest way I can explain without spoiling. All of the members are of different races, which make for an interesting combination. Some races have been known to hate each other for years and years, but when forced to get along, friendship blossoms.

I expected this to have much more action in it, but there really isn’t much. I’d say like 80% is just the wielders being buddies and hanging out, or researching on how to find their final member. It doesn’t seem interesting, but somehow the author did a great job of keeping me engaged. Things don’t get very intense until about five chapters before the end.

On to the representation: there are two cases of gay relationships, one lesbian, and one character is asexual. So that’s how it made it on the list. I don’t really want to name names on who is what, because I feel that defeats the surprise. So, go read it now and you’ll know.

Also, I couldn’t find any full pages on the creator’s tumblr and I didn’t want to screenshot from Webtoon, so all I have is one of the covers, I’m sorry. I searched at the last minute and couldn’t find a darn thing.

 

Anyway, here’s the link to this comic.

**Weird Announcement, Kind of**

So, with the end of this post comes something that I want to say. It’s really no big deal, but something I’ve been thinking about for the past few months. And, after looking into it a lot, I’ve decided that it is true. I realized that I identify as asexual, or aromantic, I’m not entirely sure which. In my 17 years of life, there has not once been a time I was truly interested in being romantically involved with another person. Sure, I had silly crushes

my flag

Asexual Flag

here and there, but it didn’t go past wanting to hang out a lot. I’ve had a lot of people say that it’s sad that I’ve never dated anyone, but I just tell them that I’m okay with it. I haven’t told anyone I know besides my brothers, and they don’t really care. None of my friends know, but they are aware of my anti-dating ways. I just don’t know if they’re aware that there’s a name for it or that it is sometimes part of the LGBT+ community.

 

There’s that. Not a big deal. I haven’t had anyone give me a real hard time. Just the typical “Oh, you’ll find that special someone” or “You’ll feel different when you’re older” and I just bob my head and go along with it. I may be wrong about this, considering how young I am, but right now at least, I feel it’s right.

I guess that was my “coming out” or whatever.

So, after that little tidbit of personal information, I hope you enjoyed this weird post. I’m thinking that maybe after I’ve read some other comics related to this topic that are on my “to-read” list, I could do a second post like this, if you’re interested.

I know it’s also late, sorry. I started college classes (I go to something called a middle college, where I take all classes on a college campus, but some are high school and some are college classes) recently, so I’ve been more focused on that. It’s hard to get adjusted to a new schedule all over again. Hope you guys understand, as I am human.

Also this is WAY longer than I intended, so I’m sorry if I bored you, haha. Nearly 2,500 words, jeez. I usually try to keep my posts around 1,000, but there are some I just have more I want to say.

See you next week, where I’ll be talking about the topic of “treasure” as a part of the OWLS blog tour. I’m excited to share what I’ve been working on with that!

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

 

All images, besides the Under the Aegis cover, were directly from the creators’ tumblrs, I do not own these photos, all credits go to the artists.

Always Human: alwayshumancomic.tumblr.com

Heartstopper: heartstoppercomic.tumblr.com

 

[OWLS Blog Tour: Bloodlines] Familial Bonds in My Hero Academia

[OWLS Blog Tour: Bloodlines] Familial Bonds in My Hero Academia

Hello all! I have returned for a third OWLS tour! I will try to participate in all tours, though there are no promises.

For those of you new to OWLS posts, we are a non-discriminant group of anime loving people. We accept people of all race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. and we show our acceptance by writing a blog post or making a video on the month’s topic, focusing around anime or other pop culture. This month’s theme was on “Bloodlines,” or the family connections we have in our lives.

OWLS logo

When given this topic of family and bloodlines, there were very few ideas I had, and this anime was the one that really stuck out. And I’m so glad I finally get tot talk about My Hero Academia! I had meant to write something but I was struggling with school around that time and never got around to it.

I will be talking about a few different characters separately rather than looking at it overall. Unfortunately, I can’t go without spoiling for this topic, so I will be going in order from oldest episodes to newest and I’ll put a rough estimate as to how far you have to be to read that section. Trust me, I wish I could go spoiler free, but man, season two hits family issues hard.

Izuku Midoriya (Anyone can read)

Can we all agree that Izuku’s mom is the sweetest woman ever? When they discovered that he had no quirk, and would probably never develop one either, she felt awful. She had been hoping that her son would be able to have at least a small bit of power, so he could eventually achieve his goal of becoming a great hero. When hearing the news, she was just as devastated as he was. She felt personally responsible for his lack of power. She apologized to him repeatedly for not being powerful enough to give her son a quirk. He began to cry when he found out, but he seemed more in shock than angry. His mother just loves him so much that she would take all of the blame.

IZUIKI

This kindness carries on into his middle school and high school years. She never stops supporting everything he does. And even though he’s being told by everyone around him that his dream of being a hero is a lost cause, she roots him on. She’s worried about him as well, since having no power causes bullying and constant negative comments, she doesn’t want him to become overwhelmed. She cares so much about him, which really is rare in shonen anime. Most protagonists either have terrible parents or no parents at all. I’m so happy to see that in this show, you don’t have to be from a broken family to be a hero.

His mother is not his only believer. All Might is just impressed by this kid’s sheer will power and determination. When he takes Izuku under his wing to teach him all about being a pro hero, he takes a liking to him. Izuku, from what we know, had a father who is now out of the picture. In a sense, All Might becomes his father figure. He teaches Izuku important lessons and watches over him to make sure he doesn’t overdo things. And I think this is one of my favorite aspects of the show. Izuku’s lifelong idol and inspiration becomes his mentor and father stand in. The kid who would quake in his boots to even see All Might stand near him now goes to All Might for support.

ye boi

Izuku and his mother prove that there is no reason for a parent to lose hope in their child because of a disability. Supporting them and being there for them through everything is the only thing a parent should do. And he and All Might prove that you don’t need to be related to consider each other family.

Ochaco Uraraka (Ep 14)

I really love Ochaco, and have since the beginning of the series. But in this new season, I’ve found more reasons to love her. And that’s simply because of the strong bond she has with her parents. Not many people her age would have the dedication she has to her parents.

In Episode 14, we get a little bit of insight on why Ochaco entered the hero course at UA. While other kids wanted to become a hero for fame, personal accomplishment, wealth, or proving their greatness, Ochaco had a much more selfless goal in mind. She decided that she would give back to her parents, thanking them for raising her the way they did, in providing their income. She explained to Izuku and Tenya that when she was growing up, her parents did everything they could with the money they had to provide for her and give her a fulfilling childhood. She doesn’t want them to live with barely enough anymore. She wants them to have a comfortable, easy rest of their lives.

determine

I nearly teared up listening to her say this. While other students still do have positive, respectable goals, hers was one that really sticks out. I’ve never heard a protagonist have this sort of goal in mind.

She has decided that she will live her life with only her parents in mind. This is the ultimate repayment, and it really proves what a close bond she has with her parents.

This really has gotten me thinking. I don’t have a bad relationship with my parents by any means. I am seventeen as of writing this, and many people say that this is the age that kids fall away from their parents. I have not felt that. I know how much they do for me, and I don’t feel I really appreciate all they do. Like Ochaco, I’ve grown up with not a ton of money. I’m not poor, and for the most part we do alright, but there have been months where my parents had to scrape the barrel just to pay the mortgage, and I had to provide money for groceries from my leftover Christmas money. So I really understand where she’s coming from.

cry ochaco

Would I do what she is doing if our world was flooded with villains and heroes? I don’t think I would have considered it. I’m not as selfless as her, though I wish I was. I have my moments of selfishness, as many people do. Ochaco doesn’t seem to really have these moments, though I don’t think this tarnishes her character.

Shoto Todoroki (Around Ep 23)

I was not a fan of Shoto at first, I felt he was a bit boring and far too powerful to fit in with the rest of the 1-A class. But after hearing the story about his parents, I began to feel sorry for him. His blank expression and avoidance of the other students began to make sense to me.

I am not certain of the exact episode the truth about his mother and father comes out, but it’s about midway through the first arc of season two. And I don’t feel I need to rewatch that episode, even though I watched it months ago. It stuck out prominently.

For all of the first season and majority of season two, Shoto only uses his right side — the side that controls his ice powers. It’s explained that the reason he has two sides of his quirk is that his father had the fire quirk, and his mother had an ice quirk. His father, the pro hero Endeavor, has been envying All Might for his #1 hero spot, while he was in the #2 spot. He determined that if he can’t claim the #1 spot, he should have a child to surpass All Might. To do this, he needed to have a child more powerful than he was. He chose Shoto’s mother, who has a ice quirk, and practically forced her to have children with him, until the perfect child came about. Shoto has three siblings, one sister and two brothers, though only his sister has been prominent.

freaking endeavor

His mother became ashamed of his left side, since every time she looked at her son, it reminded her who his father is. This, in turn, led to Shoto feeling ashamed of his left side. He refused to use it. It would make him feel as if he were listening to his father, and doing just as he wanted. If he were to become a hero, it would simply be because he wants to help others.

It must be awful to be in a situation like this. His parents don’t live together, and don’t seem to have any pure love for each other either. His father pushes him to beat all other students, not exactly encouraging him to have friends or to bond with others. He only cares about his son’s powers being better than all others. In our world, this could equate to a father pushing his son to always be at the top of his class. Not allowing him socializing time, an important part of growing up. This explains why Shoto was so anti-social throughout much of the series. Once he realized that the quirk he has is purely his, and his to use as he wishes, despite what his father says, he became much more open to Izuku, Ochaco, and Tenya.

todoroki

Shoto has grown immensely throughout season two. He confronted his father, announcing that he would not be tied down by what his father has to say. And he has also talked with his mother, who has become more accepting of her son. She knows that being ashamed will bring no good, and only will make Shoto more self-conscious.

I felt that Shoto’s story was shocking. His father is possibly my least favorite character in the entire show. Heck, even some villains are easier to pity. This man is so selfish, and controlling, that he ruined a woman’s life, and has made his children ashamed of their own last name. No person should ever have to live with something like this, and that’s why I think Shoto is a strong character. He has been able to move past these things with the help of others.

Tenya Iida (Ep 24)

In these recent episodes, Tenya has been really been proving himself. And because of this, I’ve been feeling some strong emotions for him. It’s safe to say that he’s climbing up to be one of my favorites. But this isn’t what I really want to talk about.

Early in season two, Tenya mentions his older brother, Tensei, who is the pro hero Ingenium. When he’s going into the sports festival, he says something about wanting to win to make his brother proud. Throughout the arc, his sole purpose for winning is to show his brother how well he’s doing and how he strives to be just like him. He has a great relationship with his brother, and like many younger siblings, wants to be just like his older brother.

bby iida and bro

Near the end of the sports festival arc, around episode 24, Tensei gets into an accident of sorts (keeping it vague for people not caught up) and Tenya doesn’t find out immediately. He had been calling his brother to tell him how he’s doing in the festival, but Tensei wasn’t picking up. This worried Tenya, but he continued on with the festival. Then later his mother calls him to give the news.

He rushes to the hospital to find that Tensei had been horribly injured, to the point that he would not be able to tend to his hero duties. He apologized to Tenya for not being strong, and for not being the person he looks up to. Tenya didn’t think that Tensei had done anything deemed less than admirable. He decided that from now on, he’ll do everything he can to be the best hero he can, to show all that his brother has taught him.

If anything, this accident was a boost for Tenya, and he began to show what he truly can do. He fights to show Tensei that there was nothing to apologize about. He still sees his brother in the highest light, no matter what. And now is more determined than ever to prove himself to the world.

Iida

I admire Tenya for pushing himself, even in the face of danger. He knows what he wants to fight for. He wants to be just like Tensei, and bring pride to the Iida name. If his brother is injured, he’ll take the place for the time being. He’s so sure of himself, something I almost can never say about myself. I’m always second guessing. My passion is writing, both this blog and my own stories. And I always second guess myself. Will they like this post? Does it even make sense? Will people want to read this book? Is that scene too cliche? It’s something that goes through my head constantly. Tenya seems to know exactly what he wants and what he needs to do to get to that point. And his brother is there to encourage and help him.

UA Class 1-A

In a way, all of the 1-A class is like a giant family. Not all of them may get along, but overall, they need to watch each other’s back. At the end of season one, they were attacked by that group of villains. If they were to have tried to take them on alone, they all would have been doomed. Rather than being selfish and going solo, they all worked together. They knew that if each person used their quirk in a certain way, they could defeat the villains.

class 1a

For how competitive this course is, they do work together quite often. They all want the same thing, and all of them have a long way to go before they are fully prepared to take on being a hero in the real world. They know that not all of them will make it. But yet there are many cases where they support each other. It’s something I truly admire about the show. They put the competition aside for a bit, and help their classmates when they most need it.

 

Thank you guys for reading my post! It’s a bit longer than I intended, but there was so much I wanted to cover, and could have continued for much longer.

Make sure you check out the other OWLS blog posts for this month. The one before me was Rai from Rai’s Anime Blog and the one after is Naja from Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. Or you can find the roundup at the end of the month and read them all in one go!

I’ve loved being a part of OWLS in these past months, and hopefully will be able to participate in all of the tours. So, you should see me again next month!

Follow me on Twitter: @letstalkanime1

Top 10 Anime Openings

Top 10 Anime Openings

I thought this would be a fun post, something I haven’t really thought much about. And let me tell you, narrowing it down to just ten is very difficult. I had thirteen I wanted to include, but that’s a strange number to have for a list, so I had to eliminate three. Like most of my lists, this is not in any particular order, just the one I wrote them down in. I hate playing favorites, and many things I say are my favorite are really just one of many.

Everything on this list I love not only based on the way the song sounds, but also the visuals that are shown when the song is playing. So I’ll show a screencap of each opening and also a link so you can listen to it yourself. And some songs also have English covers I love, all by either Amalee or NateWantsToBattle, so I’ll include those links as well.

So, without further ado, my very favorite anime openings.

Soul Eater: Resonance, Opening 1

soul eater

You all know my love of Soul Eater. Between my user image, my cosplay tutorial, how many times I’ve mentioned it in lists, and my first OWLS post, I’m sure my obsession is clear. And like most people, I prefer the first opening to the second one. I think both songs have lyrics that definitely match the show very well, and in a way I feel that the first one is in Maka’s perspective, talking to Soul. And the reversal for the second opening. But I’ve always been more fond of the first song for its upbeat tempo.

Soul Eater [Resonance]

NWTB English cover

My Hero Academia: The Day, Opening 1

mha

I really wracked my brain over this one. I knew I had to include a My Hero Academia opening, but I really didn’t know which one to have on this list. Everyone seems to like Opening 2, Peace Sign, but I really think the first one has a special place to me. Though I feel Peace Sign has better lyrics, this one has better music. Every time I hear it I know I’m about to watch an awesome superhero show. It’s so upbeat and I can’t help but bounce in my seat a little.

My Hero Academia [The Day]

NWTB English cover

Prince of Stride: Strider’s High

prince of stride

I talked about how much I loved this opening in my Prince of Stride review, but I just love this opening so much I need to showcase it again. This show isn’t spoken of often, as it’s not an impactful sports anime, but I still think it’s worth a watch. I’ve never been a huge sports anime fan, but I really enjoyed watching this anime. At least watch the opening and look at the art, it’s just gorgeous. And the song itself is pretty catchy as well.

Prince of Stride [Strider’s High]

NWTB English cover

Yuri!!! On Ice: History Maker

born-to-make-history

Oh, big shocker this one’s on the list. I thought about replacing this one with something else, but I just love it too much. I’ve practically memorized every move of the routine, I love it so much. I just think this opening is so unique and though it gets plenty of recognition I just needed to say it again. It blows me away every time I watch it. As soon as I saw the opening, I knew this show was something special. I realize I’ve only made two posts on this show, which isn’t a whole lot, but I have ideas for maybe one or two in the future.

Yuri!!! On Ice [History Maker]

Amalee Cover

Haikyuu!!: Imagination, Opening 1

Screenshot (171)

I jumped on the Haikyuu!! train, guys and I love it. I really didn’t think I would like it as much as I do. I’m only half way through season one, but I have already fallen in love with this show. Though my rambling about it will be saved for later. I just think the opening just matches the show so well, especially the lyrics if you’ve ever heard or read those. This song was probably what truly convinced me to watch this show.

Haikyuu!! [Imagination]

Amalee English cover

Assassination Classroom: Question, Opening 3

assclass

Ah, Assassination Classroom. Another anime I’ve mentioned on multiple occasions. Though, when choosing which opening to use, I didn’t struggle in the slightest. I’ve always loved the way this opening sounded. I’m not entirely sure why this one specifically, but it just stuck out to me. I love all of the openings for this anime, they always have so much going on and I couldn’t ever skip them because I was trying to notice all of the effects that were going on in the background. And you can tell when it’s an Assassination Classroom opening because parts of the song are sung by different people so it feels like the class is really singing it.

Assassination Classroom [Question]

NWTB English cover

Noragami: Hey Kids!!, Opening 2

noragami

Again, a show I’ve mentioned a lot. And I love the art that they use for the opening specifically. It’s all in black, gray, and white, except for the characters’ eyes, clothing, and the backgrounds. It’s such a unique way to do an opening, making it such a different style than the show. And I chose the second one specifically because of how it sounds, I initially didn’t like it as much as the first opening, but after listening a couple times, I loved this one more.

Noragami [Hey Kids!!]

Amalee English cover

Black Butler: Book of Circus: Enamel

black butler

I’ve recently been having my heart ripped out by the Book of Circus arc of Black Butler. Any of you who have watched this part will understand what I mean by that. But I’m not here to talk about the show itself. This opening is so amazing. The visuals are very eerie and beautiful at the same time, perfect for the show. And the music begins sounding like an old arcade or festival game, and gradually goes into a drumbeat. It’s so perfect I just don’t have enough words to describe it.

Black Butler: Book of Circus [Enamel]

Erased: Re:Re:

erased

I honestly would forget this show even exists if it weren’t for the opening. This is an anime that I wouldn’t be able to rewatch, due to the element of surprise being so important in enjoying the show. And because of that, it gets lost among the anime I’ve seen and can rewatch if I desire to. But, this is about the opening. I again love the style of it. Some pieces look like they are straight from the show, while other parts are in a completely different style. And though there are a lot of spoilers if you look closely, it’s really just visually appealing.

Erased [Re: Re:]

Amalee English cover

Seraph of the End: X.U, Opening 1

seraph of the end

I’ve expressed how unimpressed I am with this show in my previous post, which I recommend you read. But there’s something about the opening that I really love. The lyrics fit right into the show, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this song was written for the show. My favorite part of the visuals is in the beginning of the opening, when the vampire queen is spinning and the feathers at her feet twirl around. I’ve always loved the way some animes use rose petals, cherry blossoms, or feathers as effects. It’s so pretty to look at.

Seraph of the End [X.U.]

Amalee English cover

Some honorable mentions are: Ouran High School Host Club: Sakura Kiss, Blue Exorcist: In My World, Durarara: Traitorous Sunset, Fullmetal Alchemist: Again, Death Parade: Flyers, Attack on Titan: Shinzou wo Sasageyo

 

Hope you guys enjoyed this fun little list. I figured I would have something easier to prepare for this week since over the weekend I will be out of town again. I’m trying to post on Fridays, and clearly today isn’t Friday. And next week will be my OWLS “Bloodlines” post so be sure to check that out. I’ll put a link here in case you’re reading after it’s published.

Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Twitter @letstalkanime1

Review: The Royal Tutor

Review: The Royal Tutor

Right off the bat: this show surprised me, as it did many other people as well. I figured it would just be another show I’d watch on the side, nothing I really cared too much about. But I found myself anticipating the next episode every week. The music is great, the art is beautiful, the characters are lovable. Not much to dislike here. Oh, and it’s set in a kingdom, with princes as some of the main characters, which is my one weakness.

Continue reading