They Learned it from Somewhere (Anime Teachers)

They Learned it from Somewhere (Anime Teachers)

Anime has given us some of the most well-known heroes in pop culture. But heroes are not born, they must be taught and train to be great. And to be taught great things, they must have great teachers.

I’ve been sitting on this idea for a while, and this week I didn’t have anything to review, so here we are. I really wanted to do this since I actually want to become a teacher in the future, and the teachers in anime are sometimes the best characters who are just overlooked.

I’ll be looking at some specific teachers from anime I’ve watched, all of which I adore.

Izumi Curtis (Fullmetal Alchemist)

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Edward Elric is one of the most well-known anime characters, but he didn’t become great on his own. When he and his brother were about ten years old, they studied under a very talented alchemist, Izumi Curtis. She and her husband didn’t flaunt the fact she was an alchemist, and ran a butcher shop instead.

She used some interesting techniques to teach her young pupils. She would combat them as she read off alchemy concepts, until they would be able to take her head-on. She also once left them alone on an island to fend for themselves. She didn’t give them any sort of supplies, just each other and an island of resources. After about a week, they learned that they had to kill animals for food, and how to light a fire with a stick and a rock. After a month they learned the phrase “One for all, and all for one” which is a vital part of alchemy. Despite her strange methods, they learned some of the most important things about the art.

When I originally watched Fullmetal Alchemist, I hardly acknowledged Izumi, but after watching Brotherhood, I realized why she did the things she did. If it weren’t for her, neither Ed or Al would be as powerful as they are. There’s only so much you can learn from dusty old books.

Professor Stein (Soul Eater)

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I, like a lot of people, love Stein. Yes, he’s pretty insane. As most people are in this show. If you are familiar with the plot of the show, this can actually be used to his advantage. When the Keishin plot to unleash madness on the world, and he gets infected with the black blood that causes it, he just becomes a little crazier than he was before. And since he already knew he was insane to begin with, he used it to his advantage.

Enough about that, though, on to how he’s a fantastic teacher for the characters of Soul Eater.

It’s clear he knows what he’s doing when it comes to teaching young meisters and weapons. Though he doesn’t seem qualified when he rolls around on a desk chair, knocking himself over in the process. Or his daily dissections the class has to put up with. His unconventional techniques may appear strange and concerning on the surface, but the group of DWMA students end up growing immensely under his teachings. He accompanies them on a few missions, but allows them to be independent in planning their attacks.

Koro-sensei (Assassination Classroom)

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This guy is probably the last person you’d want teaching your kids if you just look at him. He looks like an alien, and blew up the Earth’s moon, planning to destroy the world soon after. But yet he’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever seen.

Yes, he wants to destroy everything, but for some reason, he cares deeply about teaching the kids of 3-E how to survive in this world. It’s almost like he doesn’t want to go through with his plan that badly. With his ability to go at a speed of Mach-20, he can teach every student personally, in the subjects they struggle the most with. All of them improve tremendously on their tests after learning from Koro-sensei, and they feel like they have a real future. Without him, they would remain the failures they thought the were, since they were placed in the dreaded “E” class.

Even more than this, he teaches them life lessons, that follow them throughout their time in the class and even in their future lives.

All Might & Eraserhead (My Hero Academia)

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How can I talk about the teachers of heroes without mentioning My Hero Academia? And I could have talked about more than just the two, with the mentoring arc, but I’m going to stick with the big two here.

I was initially only going to talk about Aizawa (Eraserhead), but I figured All Might should be a given considering the first five or so episodes of season one. He’s not a teacher of Class 1-A, but he’s still a vital part of every one of them growing stronger.

So, All Might. He’s pretty cool, right? And only the best hero ever, so there’s something. And he turned little, wimpy Izuku into a pretty strong kid. Both physically and mentally. Izuku had been told endlessly how stupid he was for dreaming of being something great, and though All Might was one of those people at first, he realized quickly how determined Izuku was. He knew that teaching him would not be a mistake, and how right he was. All Might now has total faith in Izuku, and supports him through everything. That dedication is definitely something to admire.

Now, Aizawa had quite a different approach in teaching his group of students. If you’ve seen this show, think back to that first lesson. He put each one of them through tests to determine their power level, and the one who did the worst would be expelled immediately. This was supposed to push them all to do their very best, and prove their power right off the bat. But it also instilled a bit of fear into them as well. Maybe not the best for all of them, but some did exceptionally well under the pressure. And then they saw how he had high expectations of them, so they could strive to impress him.

I think Aizawa seemed brutal at first, but quickly proved himself to be an excellent teacher by pushing his students so they could realize their true power. And the ones who did poorly could see where they needed to improve.

 

I’m sorry for posting this late, things came up yesterday, and I was busy with personal issues for some of today. Everything will be fine, so don’t worry, I will definitely have next week’s out on time, as it’s my OWLS post.

But, I hope you enjoyed this little list. It’s been something I’ve thought about for a while. And though they seemed like obvious choices, I still wanted to write about it a bit.

See you next week for my tour stop of our October OWLS blog tour, focusing on the theme “Dreamers.” Hope you enjoyed!

(Featured image from Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions)

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

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My Thoughts On: Haikyuu!! Season 1

My Thoughts On: Haikyuu!! Season 1

If you weren’t aware, I’m not by any means a fan of sports. I can count on one hand the number of sports animes I’ve watched and only half of those I actually enjoyed. But this show, for some reason, is absolutely incredible. I’ve only seen season one, as you can tell by the title, but even when I got maybe five episodes in, I knew I wanted to talk about it as soon as possible.

The way I even started watching this show was my friends over at OWLS are, ah, obsessed with this show. I swear, we can never do anything without the name being spoken. I knew about the series long before this, but had no interest since I kind of don’t like volleyball. I have some bad middle school flashbacks of standing in my spot, watching as everyone else scored all the points. My favorite part was serving, which I was terrible at anyway, and I enjoyed spiking practice but beside that I hated volleyball weeks. So, I’m quite surprised that this show was so good I began to enjoy volleyball. In general, I’m not into sports. As an American, it’s almost assumed I’d be really into football, and most people grow up loving a certain team. Not my family. Every one of us is more worried about comics and the latest Marvel movie than whatever athlete is at the top.

And this would be why I tend to stay away from sports anime. All of the ones I genuinely enjoy have been mentioned on this blog before. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them if I don’t enjoy sports. This seemed to be the case until Haikyuu!! came around. So, the two previous sports animes I’ve enjoyed are Yuri on Ice (no shocker there) and Prince of Stride. Even with both of those, I was wary. Yuri on Ice I seemed to be able to get into because when I was younger I liked watching figure skating on TV and I was in dance classes through all of my elementary schooling. For those unaware, Prince of Stride is about a variant of track, but with the addition of parkour and small, six person teams thrown into the mix. Though I tried doing cross country when I was in middle school and nearly vomited, I still ended up enjoying this show too. It was unique that it created its own sport. The other animes I’ve tried but failed to get into were Free! and Kuroko no Basuke. I know people will want to have my head for saying that but honestly, I didn’t find myself caring much about the characters winning or losing. I had to force myself to finish season one of Free!, and I could barely get through six episodes of Kuroko. Not saying they’re bad shows, I just couldn’t get into them.

Clearly, I don’t have a positive past when it comes to sport anime. So when I decided I’d start Haikyuu!!, I want to say I sat in front of my laptop for two hours, contemplating if I really wanted to watch it. I didn’t want to hate it and have to explain to people why I didn’t like it. But by the time I finished episode one, I had a feeling this would be a good one. I wanted to watch the next episode so badly. It was the same experience when I watched Yuri on Ice, though I hate comparing the two shows. I love them both, and I think they’re good in different aspects. In all honesty, I think I enjoy Haikyuu!! a bit more, but I couldn’t even tell you why.

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Now that my little sports anime rant is over, I’ll get to the actual review.

For those reading who have never watched Haikyuu!!, here’s a little synoposis  for you. You can skip this if you’ve watched it already.

The show begins with a short-statured third-year middle school boy, Shouyo Hinata, watching his idol, nicknamed the “Little Giant.” Seeing someone as short as he is being so successful and respected by the volleyball community inspires him to practice hard and go to a high school with a great volleyball team. Though, the middle school team he is a part of, just kind of sucks. The other boys who make up the team don’t really practice, so Hinata’s on his own to improve. He practices with everyone he can so he can be good enough to make it on a decent team. And in high school, he becomes a part of Karasuno’s volleyball team. The team had been suffering until the new first-years show up, and it gives the team more hope to do well in the coming year.

BABY CROW

He’s such a cutie

That’s basically episodes one and two summed up. That’s about it when it comes to a plot. For the rest of the show, it’s mostly just the team improving, facing difficult teams, and trying to win against those teams. Pretty simple.

Though, my absolute favorite part of this show is the chemistry between all of Karasuno’s players. It’s the reason I’ve given my soul to this show. When everyone meets initially, there are players who don’t get along. It’s amazing to see them grow as people and teammates until they can all communicate effectively and do well.

I know what everyone is probably wondering. Who is my favorite? Well, I actually do have an answer, fortunately. I love all of them, but if I do have to choose one, it’d be Suga. I’m not sure why, but he just stuck out to me as soon as he was introduced. By episode three, I determined I loved him the most, and even with all of the characters introduced throughout the season, he remained my favorite. I’m going to say it’s because in my friend group, I’m the most motherly as he is too. Of course there’s more to him that I like, but I’d rather keep this post somewhat short. I’ll get on to the others now.

SUGAMAMA

The others I adore the most are Kageyama, Kenma, Asahi, and Oikawa. So there’s that. I have such a hard time determining my favorites because it’s so easy to like the characters. The way they explain each and every one’s goals and past makes it easy to get attached. It also makes it easy to root for everyone. So when Karasuno doesn’t win I don’t really feel upset. Because the other team deserves to win just as much as they do. It’s such a weird feeling, but I love the fact they were able to make everyone so likable.

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This kid, I swear (This is Oikawa for those new)

So, I am in love with this show, and it has pretty much ruined my life now, in a good way. You are definitely going to see more of me talking about this show, though I’m so late watching it. And I’m sorry half of this was just a sports anime rant, I just felt I should explain myself a bit.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

My Thoughts on RWBY (Vol 1 & 2)

My Thoughts on RWBY (Vol 1 & 2)

For any of you unaware, RWBY is not technically an anime, but is often placed in that category. It’s a web series by the animation studio Rooster Teeth and has been popular for a few years. I’ve been told countless times to watch this show, and about two months ago, I started it.

From the very first episode, I fell in love with it. It’s unique, and the animation in the beginning felt a bit like a video game. I’ve always wanted a show to portray a main cast of women that didn’t sexualize them and wasn’t a slice of life, as I’ve seen plenty of both of those varieties. This show is fantastic, and I recommend every single person to watch it if you haven’t already. No pressure or anything. It has hiccups, as all shows do, but I feel it’s strong in the areas it needs to be.

I have only seen the first two seasons, but I still wanted to discuss it a bit. I’ll be doing a second post about seasons three and four if this one does well, and eventually something on season five when that is released next month.

Let’s discuss a few things the show does beautifully.

For one thing, the sound track is absolutely phenomenal. I never skip the opening or ending, and all of the background music matches with the mood of the scene every time. Even though I would binge this show and hear the opening like five times in one day, I never got sick of it.

The animation they decided to use was a risk. It’s not something you see in most series. It’s more complex, and takes longer to animate. Though, even from the beginning, it was clear they had some idea of what they were doing. The first episode is a bit clunky, but the character designs and background made up for it completely. I have seen a small bit of season three, and let me tell you I gasped when I saw the improvements they’d made. Everything is so smooth by that point, and I’ll probably cry if it gets prettier by season four and five.

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On to characters. I’m very picky about my female characters. All four of the main characters are lovely and unique, and I can’t help but love them. One thing media messes up with “strong female characters” is making them all intimidating and brutish. Why? Why can’t a female be strong and wear a pretty pink dress and lipstick? Those things don’t make women weak, which is what media tends to portray.

What I mean by this is the fact that two of the four wear dresses and heeled boots and are quite feminine, but are still portrayed in a strong way, is exactly what I’m looking for. The other two aren’t as “girly” but they aren’t immediately intimidating or brutish. They all can hold their own.

Now to get into some specifics. The four main characters are Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladona, and Yang Xiao Long. They form the team RWBY, which is an acronym for their first names. They attend Beacon Academy, and are training to become huntresses, who fight off monsters, the Creatures of Grimm. There’s more to the story than just this, but that’s it in its most basic form. There’s a main villain whose name I cannot remember who’s introduced in the first episode, and his accomplices are shown fairly heavily.

The other team the show focuses on is team JNPR (Juniper), which stands for Jean, Nora, Pyrra, and Ren. They are close friends with the members of RWBY and I quite like them as well. I could get into their characters, but I just wanted to state how much I like the fact they were included. The show would be a bit stale without some support characters.

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Personally, my favorite character of everyone is Blake. I was struck by her because of her introverted nature, and her love of escaping in books. She does work together with the others, and comes out of her shell, but something I like is the fact they never try to pull her out of being introverted. They don’t try to prevent her from spending time by herself. But they do let her know that they are there for her no matter what.

I also want to talk a bit about my second favorite, which is Jean. I was a bit surprised by how much I liked him, and when he’s first introduced, I figured he would be a jerk. He’s actually one of the sweetest, dorkiest characters ever and I love him so much due to it. I can’t really put all of my thoughts here, since that could take up an entire post in itself.

So, that’s what I think about RWBY. At least, where I’m at. I know it gets a lot darker and intense after where I’m at, and we’ll explore that in the second part of this. Wish me luck that my heart doesn’t break, and I hope you enjoyed this post! It’s probably one of the shortest posts I’ve ever written.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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:

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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

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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.

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My Thoughts On: Seraph of the End (Ep 1-12)

My Thoughts On: Seraph of the End (Ep 1-12)

I’ll say I was a bit disappointed with this show. I heard about it two years ago from a friend but never made any attempt to watch it. Then a few things happened that made me give in. 1) I recognized a few English voice actors 2) I became a bit obsessed with listening to the English cover of the opening by Amalee 3) I looked at how nice the art was. So here we are.

I’m sure if you’ve been reading my posts for a while you’ve noticed that I’m pretty lenient when it comes to anime. I can count pretty easily the number I’ve dropped. While I wouldn’t say this show was awful by any means, it’s just lacking in some important areas. Continue reading

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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