[OWLS Blog Tour: “Dreamers”] Nobody Wants to be Forgotten: Noragami

[OWLS Blog Tour: “Dreamers”] Nobody Wants to be Forgotten: Noragami

Hello! I’m back for my fourth blog tour with OWLS!

This month’s topic was a tough one. This month we are covering characters who have dreams, or goals, but fall short of meeting those goals, due to some sort of force stopping them. We’re calling those characters dreamers.

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I thought long and hard about this one, but the answer was staring me right in the face. And I mean literally, I realized how perfect it was when I looked at the poster I have from this anime hanging on my wall.

Anyone who has been following my blog for a while knows how much I love and have talked about Noragami. It was one of those that stuck with me, and I still love it to this day. The artwork, the characters, the soundtrack, the fight scenes, the sentiment, all are this perfect blend I will never forget. And it has some pretty comedic moments as well.

I have also read some of the manga, but I’m going to stick to the anime for simplicity. And I’ll mainly focus on season one for minimal spoilers. There are two minor, vague spoilers of season two, but they were necessary for my points. Unlike most of my posts with OWLS, this one doesn’t require full knowledge of the source.

Though, I want to talk about one character in particular, Yato. Even if you haven’t seen this anime, you may know who Yato is, as he’s generally the face of this show. He’s really not the main character, but the title, Noragami, stray god, is referring directly to him. And I feel he defines a “dreamer” fairly well.

A Stray God

This show focuses on Japanese gods, some directly from Japanese beliefs, and others made specifically for the manga/anime. Yato is not a real Japanese god, but he interacts with some who are.

At the start of the show, Yato is shown wandering along the street, searching for a child’s stray cat. This is what he does as a god. He spray paints his number on walls and train stations, hoping someone will need help with an odd job. He only charges 5¥, or 5¢ for my fellow Americans, for these tasks. With the money he makes, he’s hoping to save up enough money for a shrine, so he can be a real god. Since he was a child (I’m not exactly sure how gods age in this world, but it shows flashbacks of him looking maybe five years old), he’s dreamed of having a big shrine, and millions of followers to praise him for his good deeds.

noragami

The problem: he’s invisible to much of Japan. You mention his name to someone off the streets, there’s a 99% chance they will have no idea who you’re talking about.

Nothing But Disaster

Yato was born a god of calamity. His sole purpose in the world was to bring disaster for people. He was a sort of hitman, I guess you could say. He would get jobs to kill people. He was content with his purpose for roughly a thousand years, until the present day of the anime. Something changed in him to make him realize he could bring something better to this world than ending people’s lives.

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In the days of his killing, he had a companion who doubled as his weapon, Nora. She is also a stray, as that is exactly what her name means. When Yato left Nora, she became angry with him, and constantly tries to bring him back to his old life. She thinks his new goal of being a good god and bringing joy to people is ridiculous, and she does everything she can to bring him away from his dream.

Though, there are plenty of characters who help Yato with his goal. Hiyori, a girl who can shift between the human world and the god world, Yukine, his new weapon (regalia), Kofuku, the goddess of poverty, and her regalia, Dikoku. All of these people do what they can to help Yato in his mission, but even with their help, it’s hard for Yato to come close to that vision.

I Don’t Want to be Forgotten

I should probably talk about the title of this post, huh? The largest problem with Yato becoming a real, popular god is that people tend to forget him almost instantly. They hire him for a job, but the next day they’ll forget all about who it was who did that job for them. This becomes a huge problem between Hiyori and Yato, since Hiyori is a human still and can forget gods. If Yato is gone for more than a week, her memories of him become spotty. It’s terrifying for Yato, because if there is a time where nobody remembers him, he’ll have no use in the world and will disappear. He knows he must desperately hold onto Hiyori, no matter what, but sometimes his desires for popularity get the better of him.

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He has so few followers, unfortunately, and this is constantly on his mind. If only he were to return to his calamity days, he’d be remembered. He considers the option multiple times through the two seasons of the anime, and almost falls under the temptation fully. He’s in a dangerous spot between remaining with the people he’s close to: Yukine, Hiyori, and Kofuku; and rebelling against everything he’s worked for to return to his old ways with Nora. Does he fear being forgotten more than his desire to achieve his dream? I think he does.

The Weight of a Name

This is a slight spoiler from Noragami: Aragoto (Season 2), but it’s a huge point I’d like to mention. Yato is not his real name. It was not the name his father, a powerful figure in the godly world, gave him when creating him. His true name is Yaboku. This seems somewhat minor, but it holds a lot of weight to his character.

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Young Yaboku, and his sister Nora

He changed his name to hide his past. To move on and reach for his big dream. Anyone who knew the god Yaboku would never hear the name again. That god was dead. Yato now existed, his purpose the same, to perform undesirable deeds for others. But he was oh so different. Just as his name is.

When written in Japanese, Yato and Yaboku look the same, but depending on what form of Japanese it is, depends on how it’s read. So, kanji or katakana. Same symbols, same purpose. Different reading, different dream.

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I tried finding an already existing image showing this, but I had to write this myself. Hopefully I didn’t screw it up, haha. 

What Makes Yato a “Dreamer”

At the point of the ending of the anime, and even how far I’ve read in the manga, Yato has practically no hope of becoming this big, famous god. Heaven hardly acknowledges his existence. They don’t invite him to anything, and he doesn’t have any sort of recognition the other gods have. Nobody prays to him, so he doesn’t receive the tokens people buy for other gods. He has nothing compared to them.

That on top of his 5¥ fee, he will never have a big shrine, or millions of followers, or people tending to his every whim.

But this isn’t all that bad. The gods who have those things have reputations to uphold. There are certain things expected of them. Yato doesn’t have that. He finds joy in just scrubbing people’s showers and finding their lost cats. He loves to be around Yukine and Hiyori. Another small spoiler, Hiyori actually makes Yato a mini shrine, with his name on it and painted and everything. Knowing he’s loved by just her and the others who do believe in him should be enough.

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It’s nice to dream about fame and fortune, but sometimes all you need is right in front of you, as it is for Yato.

 

This was quite a fun one! I was so worried at first that I wouldn’t have something to talk about, but this was perfect! I’m so glad I got to explore this show again, it’s been quite a while since I’ve touched it. If you haven’t seen this show yet, get on it. It’s a fun ride, and the art is just gorgeous.

Make sure you check out the other posts this month too! Before me was Stephanie from Anime Girls NYC and after is Irina from Drunken Anime Blog, so make sure you go read theirs too.

For my regular followers, I’ll be posting a little bit of something special next week. I haven’t done this in a proper post since I started my blog, and I’m excited to share with you! For those only here for OWLS, I should be back for next month’s tour!

Hope you enjoyed this, as I did.

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

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Top 10 Male Anime Characters

I did a top 10 of female characters a while back with the full intention of doing this post immediately after, but I guess I forgot about it. Well, here it is now. I’ll have to say this list was much easier to compile than Top 10 Female Anime Characters, for reasons I’m somewhat ashamed of. I’ve realized that when I become attached to a male character, they tend to have one or more of the following traits: short stature, short temper, and blond hair. Which almost every character on this list falls into.

As with many of these lists, this is not in any specific order. I just can’t bring myself to rate these guys at all. I love them all, okay?

I’m gonna try to keep my fangirling to a minimum since all of these characters are ones I love for so many reasons, and one tends to be their, ah, character design.

Yukine (Noragami)

YUKINEEEE

There are many lovable characters in Noragami, but Yukine was the one that I grew fond of. His past is a mystery to everyone, because as a regalia, his memory from his previous life had been wiped. But it’s clear he had a rough past, and since he’s only fourteen, the way he handles things is a bit rash. He tends to go through rebellious phases, which hurt Yato severely, so they have to work together to get Yukine through whatever it is that’s bothering him. He’s far from a perfect character, he has a ton of emotional problems, but isn’t that what makes an interesting character?

Kyo Sohma (Fruits Basket)

KYO KYO

Kyo is another emotionally unstable one, though he tends to be more consistent with how he feels. I talked a lot about Kyo in my recent OWLS post, which you can read here. But, I probably should explain why I like him so much anyway. He has pretty bad anger issues, due to his zodiac animal. Being the cat means he’s left out of things. He’s ignored, called nasty names, and generally is treated less than human. Really, I feel bad for him. But in the manga, he learns that there are still people who can accept him for who he is, and he should ignore those who don’t. He’s a character who grew in both the anime and manga, and because of that, I love him a lot.

Yuri Plisetsky (Yuri!!! On Ice)

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Oh boy, I’m gonna have a hard time staying calm for this one. I’m still so absorbed in this show and it’s been like six months now. But, anyway, of the three main characters, I became the most attached to Yurio. Not because I relate to him, really, but more just he kinda impresses me. His skill is insane for his age, and his determination is so intense, it’s hard to not admire. I’m only two years older than him and I feel I’ve done nothing with my time when watching what he can do. I shouldn’t be comparing myself to an anime character, I know that. He’s just so impressive.

Tamaki Suoh (Ouran High School Host Club)

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And now this idiot. Gosh, I became obsessed with this show three years ago and I still bring myself back to this character. He seems like just a pretty face on the surface, but his heart is so kind. He’s so open to everybody, it doesn’t matter who you are. He flirted with Haruhi, whom he thought was a guy for one thing, and knew was poor. But he still felt he was obligated to make her happy in any way he could. He was open to learning about the way people like Haruhi lived, which is not something most rich people do. Tamaki honestly is someone who people should strive to be like: open-minded and accepting of all people.

Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist)

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Ah yes, another angry short blond. Well, more of the original angry short blond but anyway. I know you’ve all probably seen a million things about Ed considering how popular this show is and how long it’s been around, but again, I just kind of attached myself to him. I even have a hoodie that looks like his coat. I don’t think I need to go into detail about him here.

Izuku Midoriya (My Hero Academia)

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And the cute little hero that has stolen all of our hearts. This show shocked me so much, since it looked like a lame shonen, but in reality is such a beautiful story about believing in yourself. Izuku is honestly so determined and open-minded that he can set his mind to something and never lose sight of it. When the kids bullied him for not having powers, he showed them that even people without powers can be heroes too. He’s such an inspirational character, showing that even people who do not fit into the norm can do amazing, honorable things. We all could learn a thing or two from him.

Shoya Ishida (A Silent Voice)

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Now, I didn’t really think about adding him initially, but I’ve been rereading the manga so I can watch the movie and compare. And I realized how amazing Shoya is. Yes, he was a terrible bully and did some awful things, but he has learned from those mistakes. Every time someone brings it up again, he regrets it all over again. He’s the definition of a troubled character. He was close to giving up everything, but continued on and began fixing all of the wrongs he did. It’s a common saying that either “people change” or “people never change.” This manga/movie show both, and Shoya proves that when you are conscious of your problems, you really can change.

Soul Evans (Soul Eater)

Soul

This seems like an obvious choice, considering my clear love of Soul Eater. Now, at first I wasn’t sure if I should put Soul or Death the Kid on here, but it seems like Soul tends to not get enough love. So, here’s Soul. I never realized how great of a character he was until I began making my Maka cosplay last year and was watching the show to get references. Soul is the greatest partner Maka could ever ask for. He is so willing to take the punches she would be taking if he weren’t there to protect her. Though she never seems grateful for the protection he provides, he knows that it’s what he should do, so he does it without question. He looks out for her, as any good friend and partner should.

Nagisa Shiota (Assassination Classroom)

Nagisa yeh

Were you expecting Karma? I know he’s the fan favorite, and don’t get me wrong I love him too, but Nagisa beats him by a little bit. Kinda because of the whole thing where I like short characters. But there’s more than just physical appearance, I’m not that shallow. I’ve noticed many people think Nagisa is a flat, boring character, which I can see, and you’re entitled to think whatever you want. But really, I think he learned a lot by the end of the show. He began having no self-confidence whatsoever, being stuck in the class of delinquents and slackers. But by learning his abilities with the help of Koro-sensei, he finally sees his potential. A bit of a spoiler, but it’s not all that big, he ends up pursuing a teaching career. Nobody with a lack of self-confidence would be able to do this. He knows his skills enough to improve on them until he can teach others. Kind of ranted about this one, but as someone who wants to teach as well, this character hits a bit close to home.

Ken Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul)

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I’ve never actually watched this anime, but I’m on the eighth manga, and I don’t know if I’m just not far enough yet, but I prefer Kaneki with his black hair. Is this just me? I had to search “Kaneki black hair” to get this picture because there was only the white hair. Okay, enough about that. I really can’t say a ton about him, considering I’m on roughly episode two of season two. I’ve got a bit to go, so I’m unsure of everything that happens. But I just, accidentally, grew attached to him. Which I kind of wish I hadn’t because geez, my feelings were hurt reading the manga. He’s so sweet, why would you hurt him? And he’s adorable too.

 

I hope you all enjoyed this list, it was fun to put together. I feel I went a bit more in depth in this one than in my female character one, and I’m not sure why. I expected to talk a lot about how cute all of these guys are, which is true, but I delved a bit deeper.

I love doing these character posts, and I can promise more in the future.

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

Prince of Stride: Alternative Review

Prince of Stride: Alternative Review

I’ve never been much of a sports anime fan, due to my lack of interest in sports. I grew up never watching any sports, unlike most people living in the United States. So, when introduced to the genre of sports anime, I had a hard time finding ones I liked. The first one I watched was Free! and I thought it was alright, but I never got into it much. Next my friend showed me Kuroko no Basuke, but I only got through six episodes. Next came Yuri on Ice, which like everyone else, I loved. So, I decided to give sports anime another chance. I found Prince of Stride when scrolling through Twitter, since I follow Funimation’s page, and they were advertising the BluRay of it. I thought the art looked nice, and I recognized some voice actors in it, so I gave it a go.

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My Thoughts On: Yuri!!! on ICE Episodes 7-12

My Thoughts On: Yuri!!! on ICE Episodes 7-12

I finished this show last night at about 1:40 am. I was determined to finish it so I could write this, but I was also reluctant because that would mean I couldn’t watch it for the first time anymore.

This show exceeded all expectations I had. I’d heard about it sometime in early October before it was aired. I read the description, but it didn’t strike me as something I would love to watch. I would see posts about it on Twitter for months, but I generally ignored it all. Then in December, my friend decided to start it and convinced me to watch it. I didn’t start it until the beginning of this month, but once I did, I knew I made the right decision.

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My Thoughts On: Yuri!!! on ICE Episodes 1-6

My Thoughts On: Yuri!!! on ICE Episodes 1-6

Oh, of course. The show that has blown up my Twitter feed, whether it be voice actors of the show, fans, or bloggers. So, many people have exploded over this show. At first, I didn’t understand. “It’s just another sport anime,” I thought. And then I remembered, “Oh wait, this is the one sport I like. I guess I’ll try it.” And, boy was that a great decision.

I’m doing this in two parts because I just can’t wait until I’ve finished it to begin talking about it. I’ll probably have another post in between this one and the second part.

So, I started the first episode on January 4th, and within the beginning bit and the opening, I fell in love with it already. And my god, the opening blew me away. I’ve had the screenshot-42screenshot-45
song stuck in my head since I watched it, and that’s not even really what I love about it. The art style chanscreenshot-44ge is impressive, and the amount of movement for something like that is rare.  Most openings consist of already made footage, still images, and simple running or walking.  They made a whole routine out of it, and that’s incredibly impressive, and adding the fact that they change from one art style to another is really interesting.  I couldn’t tear my eyes away for two seconds to continue the dinner I was eating.

Enough with that, though, I want to talk about the first “competition” we see. And yes, I’ll talk about art again because that’s what I noticed.  If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m obsessed with anime art, and this show’s art is becoming one of my favorites.

What I noticed in the first “competition” between both Yuris, was that they have this distinctive way of movement that is unique to each of them.  And the way they animated it made it very evident to me. Though I understand the tracks chosen for each of them was supposed to contradict their instinct, they still managed to have their own style to it.  Yuri Plisetsky has a more fluid way of movement, making one move swiftly transition into the next.  This compliments the type of body he has, which is more thin and flexible.  I know this seems a bit weird, talking about their body type and the way they move, but I think it was important as to why the animators chose to animate them this way. Yuuri Katsuki is stockier and not as flexible, so his movements are stronger and bold rather than swift.  Which is fine, and it doesn’t exactly mean that I don’t enjoy watching his routines as much as Plisetsky’s.  This makes them very different, which makes it difficult for me to choose who to root for honestly.  They are both incredibly talented, and with being so different, it’s hard to compare.

Yeah that was probably boring, talking about animation style and body types.  But it really makes sense when they did it this way. Though it seems as though Plisetsky would have a harsher way of moving due yuri2to his personality, that’s not the reality of it. And you would think that Katsuki would have a more gentle style due to his insecurities and lack of confidence, but he’s very strong and sharp instead.

I think this was why those tracks were chosen, to reveal they way they truly skate, even if they didn’t think they could do it.  I say this because even when showing their individual practice, their style remains.

I feel I may be thinking too deeply about this, but this was seriously what was going through my head all of episode three.

As for the rest of the show, I think it’s hilarious, along with inspirational and just all around enjoyable.  The dialogue is very emotional when it needs to be serious, and just awkward enough for me to laugh out loud when the rest of my family is asleep.

So, when I wrote the beginning part of this blog, I had only watched up to episode four, I believe. Now I’m through episode six, so things have changed a lot.  Before anyone asks me about “shipping,” I will tell you that, yeah, I think

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D’aaaawwww

that the relationship between Victor and Yuuri is cute.  I’m not generally one who has gay ships, but I like this one.  I believe I have about three in total, so that tells you something about me I guess. And I don’t have any problems with people who only ship those types, in fact, you could ship a character with a wall and I wouldn’t care. I respect your opinion as long as you respect mine.

 

Now that that’s out of the way, on to what I noticed during the fifth and sixth episodes.

For one, I miss seeing Yuri Plisetsky as often as we used to in the first three episodes.  I yurihappen to like him a lot, I’m not entirely sure why, but I’m hoping to see him more soon. I guess it’s because of his impressive talent at his young age.  And he’s actually the closest to my age. Ooh! You now know I’m somewhere between fifteen and twenty-three. But that’s not important.

Oh, and before you go spoiling anything in the comments, please respect my pace of watching the show. I hate spoilers more than anything so please nothing beyond episode six.

I’ll now talk about Yuuri Katsuki’s development from episode one to episode six.

We know that in the beginning, Yuuri is disappointed with his performance at that Grand Prix competition, and how he had practically given up at that point. And once the video had gone online and Victor saw it, things began to look a little better.  We compare that Yuuri to the one at the competitions, and you can tell by the wayyuuri he acts that he’s a lot more confident in himself. He goes into the competitions with ease and really puts himself into the piece, which makes the same routine over and over again still interesting somehow. Even though in his interview he seems so nervous and shocked by everything, it’s still evident that he feels like he deserves the win.

I don’t know if that was evident to all of you, but I don’t really know what else to talk about besides my initial thoughts. I love this show, and it’s the first sport anime I could get into. And yeah, I actually love the sport part of it, unlike a lot of people watching the show. I’ve been obsessed with everything that’s been happening and I was dying to finish writing this so I can watch episode seven. The whole time driving home today I was thinking about the show. It’s bad because all I ever see is spoilers on my Pinterest account, but yet I still want to look at more pictures.

And let me tell you it was very difficult finding pictures for this, most of the pictures on Google were shipping fanart and I didn’t want to use any of that.

But yeah, we’ll see what I think about the ending, which I’ll probably have done by next Friday or so. I’ll have one other post in between these just so those who didn’t like this show will still have something.

Thanks for reading, I look forward to revisiting this weird and fun show.

Follow my Twitter: @letstalkanime1

Pictures:

Featured Image: YouTube.com

All opening pictures from YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u3RGhznctE

Yuri Plisetsky skating: randomc.net

Yuuri and Victor: fandompost.com

Yuri Plisetsky: tr.twipple.jp

Yuuri Kastuki skating: karice.files.wordpress.com