Anime Trick-or-Treat 2017

This idea has more or less failed for two years straight – but I’m going to do it anyway.  In the past I included rules, let’s forego most of those, they just make it more complicated.  Just think of this as anime-themed AMA and comment about any show, characters, tropes, powers, ideas, and so on to your heart’s content.  Also keep in mind I will totally cap this at 30 questions because I’m going to pump it out in one day.  If you’re interested in participating just leave a comment on this post and check the follow-up released on Halloween.  See you then.

A Lovely Reward from … the D

one-lovely-blog-award

Honestly I’m feeling some deja vu here.  The sudden flurry of awards sending me scurrying back and forth is more or less what happened months ago… In any event I’ve got another award and this time the one I must give thanks to is D, the man who made my Halloween 2016 post happen at all, and generally an all around thoughtful and interesting guy, thanks dude.  Onto the dreaded, rules and regulations.

Rules and Regulations:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog
  • Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Pass this on to as many people as you like (max 15)
  • Include this set of rules
  • Inform your nominees

Right now that that’s out of the way, let me enlighten you all about the wonders of me, because what else would you expect from a post with a tag like “Blatant Narcissism” right?

1: I can speak in a strong Scottish accent, though I’ve gotten a bit rusty since doing it for years pissed a sibling off, and will switch tot he Scottish accent without midspeech without any reason or warning.

2: One time I drove under a burst water pipe, technically I was the passenger but whatever I experienced it, and it was like driving under a waterfall, for a point of reference the pipe was shooting a substantial amount of water about 50-60 feet in the air when we passed under it.

3: I briefly tried kendo once upon a time (i.e. like 3 years ago) to get some exercise while also building up my otaku cred but I gave it up because it was so limited in terms of the attacks you were allowed to do.

4: I have tried to write up a plan for reworking one of my favorite video games, Gladius, three times now ( I’ve given up midway because writing out all the moves, lore and shit by myself takes forever) and I’m currently starting a fourth attempt.

5: I read prodigiously, and as a result I enjoy using big words most people never say in casual conversation like prodigiously.  If you want any fantasy recommendations my advice is start reading Jim Butcher’s work.

6:  Like many young men, I am obsessed with swords, but unlike many people I prefer finding the weird or most historically interesting weapons instead of more well known weapons like the katana.  Currently my favorite weapon is the falx, a two handed sickle-sword (not a great description but I’ve no other concise term for the damn thing) invented by the Dacians (ancient Romanians) because it was so good breaking at helmets the Romans were forced to redesign their helmets to reduce casualties.  Any weapons that gave the Romans pause has my respect, though the fact that was famous for cutting people in half is a bonus too.

7: I love to quote and reference Monty Python and the Holy Grail all the time no matter how much it confuses people, and to be frank I’m a bit discouraged by how many people just a year or two younger than me have never seen this work of comedic genius, it’s truly a tragedy.

The Chosen of Nurgle:

Fujinsei

Akko Anime

DataportDoll

 

A Unique Award From an Inventive Lunchbox

unique

In sudden turn of events I’ve been nominated for another award, after months the dry spell is over, that’s two back to back awards bitches.  I’m being facetious obviously, though I do sincerely extended my gratitude to Yahari Bento (he talks about shows like Magi and Bakemonogatari, which are great and therefore you should check his stuff out), who nominated me for this award.  If you are on of the lucky few who follows me, you should know the drill by now, it’s time for the ceremonial rites of this prestigious award!

Rules and Regulations:

  1. Shamelessly parade the Award on your post about getting the Award.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer the questions three asked of thee.
  4. Nominate 8-13 bloggers and ask them your own questions three.

The Questions Three Asked of Me:

  • 3 favorite anime in your mind are…

Katangatari, Utawarerumono and Kill la Kill.

  • The experience you want to encounter in “Kimi no na wa (Your Name)” anime film, is…

I haven’t actually seen this yet on account of wanting to avoid seeing Chinese subs all over the screen, but given that’s a body swap movie I’d want to switch places with a girl who lives nowhere near me to see if I could adapt to a totally different life.

  • The snack you will buy when watch the movie in the theater is…

Popcorn, and if that doesn’t count as a snack then Red Vines.

Without further ado I nominate the following eight bloggers as a sign of my devotion to the four gods of Chaos, may their darkness reign eternal:

D

Karandi

Anime_Girls_NYC

MOKA

Arria Cross

Delaneysloane

Holysorrows

Random Philosopher

And of these anointed eight I would ask the following questions:

1: What is the weirdest anime you’ve ever really liked?

2: What’s your favorite anime film?  Pick up to 3 if you can’t decide on only 1.

3: Pick an anime power system like Naruto’s ninjutsu, HunterxHunter’s Nen or Magi’s magic and develop your own technique within the limits of your preferred system, feel free to go in as much detail as you like about your move.

A Sunshine Award from a Moon Goddess

It’s been many long months but, it’s finally here.  Another award for me to boast about to my small, but slowly growing, virtual audience.  Today I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by none other than the Greek goddess of the Moon and the Hunt, Artemis.

                            sunshine-blogger-award

Why I’ve received a sun-based reward from Artemis is unknown, perhaps her brother Apollo owed her one, but I’m honored to receive this prestigious award from such a powerful divine being.  All joking aside, thank you Artemis, you’ve been one of the most active and interesting members of my small audience and I should be thanking you award or no.

The Ceremonial Rules regarding this award are as follows:

  • Thank the one who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions of asked of thee by the nominator.
  • Nominate 11 others for the award and ask of them 11 questions.
  • List the rules in your post and be sure to have the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

The questions asked of me are:

Q: What was the first movie you ever saw in a cinema?

A: Probably the first Harry Potter, or maybe Star Wars Episode 1, I don’t remember for sure.

Q: If you could snap your fingers and be super-talented at any one (non-fantastical) thing, what would it be?

A: Coding, because that way I could hopefully have a more marketable job skill while still being a creative.

Q: Is there any food you absolutely can’t stand?

A: Any cooked fruit, I like my fruit crisp and crunchy, not warm and soggy.

Q: Based on your own personality, which Stock Japanese Character would you be?

A: Probably the Ronin, I like the moral attitudes of Samurai and other warrior codes but I prefer to move to the beat of my own drum.

Q: Assuming it was totally safe and you had the time and money, where would you most like to spend a week’s vacation?

A: Egypt and the Middle East’s Mediterranean coast.  I’m a history buff and ancient civilizations are my favorite, if I had the money and knew I’d be safe it would be a crime against myself not to go.

Q: What natural disaster is the most terrifying?

A: Tornadoes, because the best way to survive one coming at you is to hide underground and that sounds very stressful to say the least, also even if you hide it still fucks up your house and stuff.

Q: Have you ever broken any bones and if so, how?

A: Not yet, and I hope not ever.

Q: Even if you’ve only watched a few minutes, what’s the single worst anime you’ve ever seen?

A: I’m so tempted to say Sword Art Online or Tokyo Ghoul, but I think this dishonor goes to Ikki Tousen, which I’m ashamed to saw I’ve seen all four seasons of back when I was an anime noob.

Q:What charity would you donate a million dollars to?

A: This is a tough one because as they grow, charities tend to serve the intended targets less and serve its members more.  So let’s say a newly formed charity group supporting veterans.

Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?

A: My biggest pet peeve is people acting like total assholes to people who don’t think like them and not recognizing how bad their behavior is, let alone owning up to said behavior, because they think the people they are insulting and harassing are all worse than them.  If this sounds like a bizarre pet peeve, you may not be aware of just how much venom is plaguing public spaces in America right now after the recently ended US presidential race, or you may be participating in the venom and not owning up to it.

Q: Did you ever believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, or the tooth fairy?

A: Yes, probably until I eight at least for Santa and the Easter Bunny, not so sure when I stopped believing in the tooth fairy.

Now that my trial is over, I’d like to nominate these 11 bloggers and put them to the test.  If you’ve already received this award or don’t wish to face the trial, feel free to ignore the nomination.  My nominees are:

D

Karandi

Anime_Girls_NYC

MOKA

Arria Cross

Delaneysloane

Holysorrows

Random Philosopher

Zaktaku

Jiraiyan

InspiroModus

Of these chosen bloggers, I would ask the following questions:

What is your favorite color?

Now take that favorite color and associate it with any feeling, character, noun or concept you like and explain why you associate that color with that thing.

What foreign culture or country, ancient or present day, interests you the most?

What is the capital of Assyria?

What is your favorite Anime OST?  This can be the entire OST for a whole series, an album, a single song, or even a song you don’t know the name of so long as you described what’s it from and the scene it plays during.

If you could use Nen from HunterxHunter, what kind of Nen user would you want to be (Specialist not allowed) and what would your power be?  Feel free to answer with a basic outline or idea, or get as detailed as you want.

What’s your favorite pair of Heroes and Villains?  This can be a romantic pairing, a rival pairing or two characters who just have awesome fights, they must be from the same show.

What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Let’s talk anime babes, name one of your waifus or best girls from any series and include a picture.  If you happen to be a woman, do name a favorite female character and add a photo.

Now let’s talk anime bros, name one of your favorite hot boys from any series and include a picture, if you’re a dude name one of your favorite male characters and post a picture.

What it the trashiest or worst anime that you enjoy anyway?

Anime Trick-or-Treat 2016

Hello everyone, it’s time to return to a (mostly failed) tradition.  Halloween is traditionally a time when everyone starts making videos, blog posts, and AMVs about horror anime.  So in the spirit of being different, I’m not going to talk about horror, at least not by choice.  Instead I’m going to do a bit of community outreach, which is a fancy-pants way of saying I’m taking requests.  The plan here is to take around 20 requests and compile them into one giant Halloween post, to make an anime candy basket if you will, for all of you.  If you want to get an idea of what this will look like, you can look at last year’s post as a short example.  The rules are below:

Rules and Regulations:

  • I will take requests from the time this post is published until 11:59 10/30/16, any requests made after this time will not be addressed. If I have not reached the 20 request limit by this time you may be able to sneak in a request during the wee hours of the morning on 10/31/16 before I get up and start working, I make no promises though.
  • For those of you making requests: ask of me whatever you like, I’ll do an entire series, or any scene, battle, character, group of characters/organization, weapon, spell, magic/superpower, physical ability or literary/anime concept; basically anything anime related you can think of. I will analyze these things in medium-sized blurbs as opposed to writing full reviews of 20 entire shows because that would be really hard to do in 24 hours.
  • You’re free to make as many requests as you like, however I’m going to cycle through everyone who makes a request and take their first request before addressing extra requests, so I may not get to all of yours if I get enough people making requests.
  • To make a request go ahead and leave a comment on this post and this post only. Any requests made on other posts will be treated as a separate thing and I won’t get to it until later.

Anime trick-or-Treat: My Shitty Candy Basket

Ok this little project was almost a total failure, I guess I’m less approachable than I thought.  But as I am a man of my word, I present to you the meager offerings I have.  Anyway onto the requests.

Request:  My Thoughts on the Demons of Black Butler

I admit the demons are something of a mystery to me.  Black Butler never exactly explained how most of its supernatural stuff worked and the demons in particular are a bit of a mess.  Also it’s been a long time since I watched the show, so that doesn’t help.  The only absolutes with regards to demons are that they eat human souls, must obey any order their summoner/master gives them when they have a contract, and contracts are more powerful the closer the seal of the contract is to the summoner’s eye.  I seem to recall, perhaps incorrectly, Sebastian saying demons couldn’t lie, but the demons in the second season definitely lied to their master so that may just be Sebastian’s personal policy.  Or it could have been true in the manga but have been dropped in the anime.  The most baffling thing about the demons however is how they are summoned.  There isn’t a specific rule or ritual as is typical of demon summoning in fantasy.  For example Alois, the blondie from season 2, intentionally summoned his demon after wandering into its hideout and speaking with it.  Ciel on the other hand summoned Sebastian without even knowing about demons.  The only common link between Alois and Ciel is the trauma they were exposed to as children and having some level of interaction with supernatural beings before making a contract with their respective demons.  The demon contracts and behavior draw most of their traits from the tale of Faust, tempting and serving humans in exchange for a chance to devour their soul.  It’s also implied that by forming a contract and working with the demons, the summoner’s soul becomes more ripe/tasty to the demons, which is why they bother with the contracts at all.  The demons are very hit and miss as characters.  Sebastian is great, Alois’ demon is in violation of serious Sebatian copyright infringement and is therefore less interesting, and Hannah and her three servants confused the hell out of me back when I watched Black Butler season 2 because Hannah’s behavior was distinctly different from that of her fellow demons.  I think the demons would be more interesting if we knew more about them, if you look at both seasons, because otherwise they raise too many questions and it hurts your immersion in the show.  If we limit it to season 1 it matters less because Sebastian did not really need to be explained the way demons as a whole do, it was always pretty clear why he was working with Ciel and why Ciel needed an amazing demon servant.  Anyway, with the demons addressed I feel morally obligated to tell any potential readers of this post to watch season 1 and only season 1.  Maybe you can try out the Carnival one since it was retconned into season 1 but I never watched it so I can’t vouch for it.

Request: Take an Analytical Approach to Explain Kimimaro and the Bone-style Kekkei Genkai and how it works with Chakra Control, Body Manipulation and Matter Conservation.

Well in true Naruto fashion, the reason why Kimimaro has this ability is because his clan inherited it from Kaguya.  But to because I was asked to do this analytically, you bet your ass I’m going to.  The three things mentioned in the request were chakra control, body manipulation, and matter conservation with regards to Bone-style.  Let’s start with matter conservation.  In the show chakra is basically just treated as an energy source and the laws of physics are never addressed, but if you pay attention it usually acts like super dense matter.  Take for example Neji’s Kaiten, Hinata’s Twin Lion Fist and the Rasengan.  All three moves use raw chakra and in each one the chakra easily deflects or smashes physical objects, even though the objects are usually larger than the jutsu.  In this sense chakra can be thought of as very dense matter.  This would also explain the huge increases in physical strength seen in Rock Lee.  In Lee’s case the huge surge of extra chakra translates to a huge increase in the density of his body, therefore he can deliver blows far too heavy for a normal human.  It also explains why the 8 Gates puts so much stress on the user’s body, if you demand your body to move super fast despite being much heavier than normal, thanks to all the extra chakra, you will suffer serious damage the same way an elephant would if it ever fell down moving at full speed.  As for elemental techniques, they can be thought of as chakra that has been given a specific type of charge.  Different types of charges will affect the way the chakra changes in surface area and density, it may also govern how it moves.

Body manipulation is nothing new, Choji has been doing it since the Chunin exams and several other characters like Jiraya and Juugo have demonstrated the ability to change their bodies.  Body manipulation also works with how chakra is super dense matter.  In Choji’s case, his techniques essentially allows him to convert the very dense matter of chakra into the less dense forms of matter found in the human body, which in turn causes his surface area to expand significantly.  Jiraya and Juugo use a similar technique though they also seem to do more than just adjust the surface area of their bodies or hair.  In fact most body manipulation is far more involved than Kimimaro’s, involving changes to flesh, size, and bone structure.  For Kimimaro the only thing that changes is his bones, though he can manipulate them to a far greater degree than most forms of body manipulation.  Which bring us to chakra control.  I think the best explanation is that Kimimaro and his clan evolved a chakra vein network that was completely concentrated in their bones instead of flowing near their major organs.  If their chakra flow was limited in this way, it make their bones more chakra dense, giving them access to far greater mass in a much smaller area.  All of that additional energy and mass, concentrated in a relatively small area would account for the drastic shifts in bone shape, mass and density that Kimimaro demonstrated during his battles.  So therefore my hypothesis is that Bone style comes from a rare genetic deviation in which the chakra vein network becomes intertwined with the skeletal system instead of the major organ systems like the pulmonary and digestive systems.

Anime Trick-or-Treat: Emergency Update

Hey guys just wanted to let you all know the Anime Trick-or-Treat special all-request post is having a deadline extension.  I probably won’t get around to writing it late tonight in any event so I have decided to continue taking requests until midnight tonight, a full 24 extension from the original deadline.  I’m also offering up an alternative.  Since Halloween is a time for spirits and weird happenings I was considering writing a Hidden Gems post for Hakkenden:Tohou Hakke Ibun since it is a show with a lot of spirits and weird happenings.  If y’all would rather I do the Hidden Gems post, leave a comment here or on the original Anime Trick-or-Treat post linked below, with any statement containing the word “Hakkenden”.  At the end of the day I will take which ever one has the most comments, guest requests (of which there are currently 2 out of a max 20) or the Hakkenden Hidden Gems post (which obviously has 0 comments at this point).

If you want to make a request, the rules, you can ignore the stuff about the dates, can be found in the original post linked here.

Anime Trick-or-Treat

Hello everyone.  Halloween is traditionally a time when everyone starts making videos, blog posts, and AMVs about horror anime.  So in the spirit of being different, I’m not going to talk about horror, at least not by choice.  Instead I’m going to do a bit of community outreach, which is a fancy-pants way of saying I’m taking requests.  The plan here is to take around 20 requests and compile them into one giant Halloween post, to make an anime candy basket if you will, for all of you.  The rules are below:

Rules and Regulations:

  • I will take requests from the time this post is published until 11:59 10/29/15, any requests made after this time will not be addressed. If I have not reached the 20 request limit by this time you may be able to sneak in a request during the wee hours of the morning on 10/30/15 before I get up and start working, I make no promises though.
  • For those of you making requests: instead of asking for me to do an entire series, limit your requests to any scene, battle, character, group of characters/organization, weapon, spell, magic/superpower, physical ability or literary/anime concept. I will analyze these things in medium-sized blurbs as opposed to writing reviews of 20 entire shows because that would be really hard to do in 24 hours.
  • If you want something reviewed that is not on my list of examples, go ahead and make your request and I will get back to you about whether I can do it or not. If you list something I’ve never seen I will also let you know and allow for an alternate request.
  • Let’s try and keep this one request per person. I will make a caveat, if you post a request and I have not met the 20 request limit 2 days after your first request you may make a second.  I will not take more than two requests from anyone.
  • To make a request go ahead and leave a comment on this post and this post only. Any requests made on other posts will be treated as a separate thing and I won’t get to it until later.  In the event I have not hit my 20 request limit by the deadline I may use the requests posted on different posts.

So I’ve Been Nominated for an Award… Yet Again.

wakuwafu award

So here I was settling down after a back to back challenge and award, when all of a sudden another award came my way.  This is the Wakuwafu award, created by the blog of the same name. Here’s the link for you guys: Wakuwafu 

A big thanks to Zaktaku of The Anime Analyst for nominating me for this award.  Let the proceedings commence.

Rules and Regulations

  1. Thank the person who has nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Choose any 3 things you would like to say about yourself to your fellow bloggers.
  3. Think up 3 questions you would like to ask the people you nominate.
  4. Give one piece of advice to your fellow bloggers.
  5. Make sure to tell us over here that you have been nominated (and/ or completed the award) so that we can put your blog up on the WakuWafu page! Make sure to put down your blog in the comments section!

The Questions 3 Asked of Me:

  1. Why did you start blogging?

I spent a fair amount of time watching passionate people make great reviews and videos about the things they liked.  Then I started to write some reviews for myself, just private projects for me to put my thoughts down on paper.  Then after watching more passionate people say more interesting things I thought “Fuck it, I’m one of those passionate people and I’m tired of just talking to myself”, so I started a blog.

  1. If you were making a time capsule, what anime would you preserve for the people who opened it?

This is a really tough question, there are so many to like and only one to save.  I would probably end up preserving Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, because our future youth needs to see how awesome we were back in the day.

  1. Where would you go if you could be anywhere in existence?

Another tough question.  I think I’d go back in time to let’s say Rome, right after the Coliseum was built.  I’d love to see what the world of antiquity looked like at the height of its glory.

 3 Mysteries of my Person Revealed:

  • I once played Halo 3 with a Pro StarCraft 2 player and won the round.
  • I have a pair of buoys in my backyard because my friends and I stole them from a nearby lake when the water was super low a few years ago.
  • I actually tried out kendo for a little while in an attempt to be more otaku-ish without resorting to cosplaying, fanfic or blogging.

My Sagely Advice to Other Bloggers:

Effort pays off, so even when you feel like nothing is going your way, don’t be discouraged and throw your all into your work.  Back when I first started blogging I had no hits for the first few days and then like 1 or 2 for the next couple.  But regardless of the results I wrote 2 posts a day for 2 weeks straight.  And now I’m on my third award nomination, I consistently get a decent number of hits and I’ve met a bunch of cool bloggers who give me support.  Hard work pays off, even when the results don’t happen right away, people will notice the effort and you will be rewarded.

My Nominees:

 Holysorrows

Akko Anime

DataportDoll

My Queries:

  1. What is your favorite genre of anime and why?
  2. What character or group of characters do you hate most?
  3. If you were suddenly attacked by an unarmed stranger and had the chance to grab one fruit or vegetable to defend yourself with, what would your food of choice be and how would you use it?

Letter of Challenge: Resolution

3 Day Quote Challenge

Day 3 of 3

First off I’d like to extend my gratitude to Akko Anime, who sent the challenge.  I was hitting some serious writer’s block and this gives me something fun to do, truly I can’t thank you enough.  I love quoting things and this has been a lot of fun.

Rules and Regulations:

  • Post one quotation a day for three days (they can be from other sources or one of your own).
  • Nominate 3 other bloggers to participate per post.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you

And the final quote is:

“Actually, I’m a deviant as far as Kyotouryuu is concerned.  But think of it this way, Chouchou-san.  Stances are useless to begin with.  If you change your stance in reaction every little thing that happens won’t you become slower?  I can read exactly what you plan to do next from your stance.  You’ve already revealed to me any mysteries your Kenpou might have had.  Just by taking that stance.  If I had to give mine a name it would be Kyotouryuu, zero stance: Fig Tree.  Or something like that.” -Yasuri Nanami from Katanagatari

Ok this quote needs a little context.  First off the character is talking about fighting stances (kamai) in case you couldn’t tell.  If you’ve done any kind of martial art or similar activity then you probably already know that stances are pretty important.  To give a simple example, anyone can throw a punch but not everyone is a boxer.  Why?  Because boxing requires you to maintain a certain fighting stance as you fight and that stance gives you an advantage, generally stances are designed to make your movements, attacks, and blocks more efficient.  It also takes a lot of focus and energy to maintain which is why boxing takes lots of practice and not everyone can do it.  So if a normal person told me stances were useless I’d call them stupid.  But Yasuri Nanami is anything but normal.

It might be hard to tell from the text alone but Nanami is saying all of this very nonchalantly.  I know anime characters generally rarely fear death in any series where battles are common and many get excited by the prospect of fighting someone strong, but it’s rare to find someone who is so comfortable and unconcerned just before a fight breaks out.  That’s usually a time for both sides to tense up and maybe trade some one liners before duking it out, not to stand there and talk with all the urgency of discussing the weather.  Not only that but what Nanami is saying is kind of terrifying, not only does she see one of the fundamentals of martial arts to be nothing more than a hindrance, she can turn what is supposed to be a strength into a weakness, stripping stances of all of their power with nothing but a glance.

As to why I chose this quote… have you ever seen a scene that scares you every time you see it?  Because usually when you know something is coming, that foreknowledge robs the scene or event of much of its power.  But not here.  I’ve rewatched Katanagatari many times but the scene where this little speech happens always makes my hairs stand on end and sends chills down my spine.  If anything my foreknowledge of the scene only enhances the power of the scene rather than takes away from it.  Unlike the other quotes I chose this one doesn’t have particularly noteworthy voice acting, in fact if all you had to on was the audio this quote would likely be kind of boring.  But it marks the rise of one the most terrifying fictional characters I’ve ever come across.  And in honor of that most auspicious occasion I figured that using the words which usher it in was fitting.  Also I can’t recommend Katanagatari highly enough, it is my favorite anime after all.

MY NOMINEES:

Rooster Illusion

Geekritique

Viewer Discretion is Advised