Recent Anime

Chibi Otaku’s blogging again after returning from a trip to Thailand! Be sure to check out this blog!

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Somehow, the anime in November kinda surprised me as it was pretty much better than what I had expected…

Some of the anime which I’ve been watching would be Yozakura Quartet – Hana no Uta, Tokyo Ravens, Outbreak Company, Log Horizon, Strike the Blood, Coppelion, Kyoukai no Kanata, and Kill la Kill. I have been watching other anime too, though I think that these are the ones which I prefer out of the rest.

I guess you could also say that I especially like Coppelion and Log Horizon.

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Coppelion talks about a nuclear meltdown in Tokyo, contaminating the area with high levels of radiation and loads of toxic waste. After most of the citizens evacuated, Tokyo was turned into a ghost town. However, some survivors still remain in the contaminated area, leading to the Japanese Self Defense Force dispatching 3 teenage girls from the special force called Coppelion. [Coppelion basically…

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November Crash

Well, dear readers, my inspiration never fails to dry up by some point in November. This is always followed by a loss in motivation to even reblog daily. In my case, I find my natural slothfulness exacerbated by me forgetting my computer at my parents home.

Fortunately, I’ll be getting that back by Wednesday and I’ll never need to write a post from my phone again, I hope.

But there are things to be gained by my temporary laptop-less existence. I find that my creativity increases when I am deprived of my computer for a time. So, I hope to turn out new and better articles following Thanksgiving.

But, I now realize that I need to come up with a more feasible idea for National Blog Posting month than writing one post per diem. Feel free to give me any ideas for next year!

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Reflections on an Atheist’s Prayer

District of Calamity



As a person of faith, it can be frustrating to intellectually engage  with atheists as their attitude is often smarmy, zealous, intolerantly proselytizing anti-religion.   So it was a pleasure to come across a post by “The Irish Atheist“, who had converted his horror of the war in Syria to compose “An Atheist’s Prayer“.  



In reproducing this creedal cri-de-couer, a bit of the phrasing has been modified to make it more universal– I hope that does not cause disfellowship.


I will not advocate war, because I will not support killing others to bring peace.

I will respect the government I helped elect, even when I do not agree with their decisions. I will always remember that I speak with both my voice and my vote.

I will take the time to educate myself on what is happening in the world around me. I will…

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Retractio Tabulae Proximae

Well, tabula is the closest Latin word I can think of for “post.”  Also, before anyone thinks I’m about to do something as horrible as take back all I said in praise of The Freeloader, let me note here that retractio means “reconsideration” rather than the English word it most nearly relates to: “retraction.”  St. Augustine, for example, was famous for writing multas retractiones, both during and especially near the end of his life.  That most humble of Church Fathers had a great desire for the exact truth as well as a thorough knowledge of human ignorance and errancy.  However, I wonder how many people read his retractiones, which must make his other writings that much more clear?

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What I need to reconsider is my error in not including an important figure in the development of The Freeloader.  If you guessed the writer, you’d be right.  Writers are the most ignored people in Hollywood, but is it not deplorable that a fellow writer should be guilty of the same fault?  For shame!  A most literate young woman by the name of  Clover SH is responsible for putting The Freeloader into cohesive form.  Sean Bishop actually asked me to place her name in the article, but it slipped my mind as I delved into the possibilities of the series.  Having read the treatment of the first episode and other documents, Mr. Bishop is most fortunate in having Clover SH on his team.  Good luck to the both of them!

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The Freeloader to be Animated

Well, the happiest result of me visiting the Baltimore Comic Convention was to learn about Sean Bishop’s The Freeloader comic, which I have since reviewed here.  We struck up an internet friendship, and I have been learning of Sean Bishop’s adventures and efforts to publish The Freeloader ever since.  With eager ears, I learned that he pursued his dream to the Golden State, where he met many people in the animation industry.

Here's some older designs for the Freeloader.

Here’s some older designs for the Freeloader.

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But, why I am speaking of the animation industry?  After all, Mr. Bishop is a comic artist.  The reason lies in that he is trying to make his comic into a cartoon, which pleases me to no end.  Modern American cartoons have rather paled in comparison to those of the good old days and now are relegated to the extremes of children’s cartoons and the vulgar fare intended to adults.  The sole exception to this recently has been Avatar and The Legend of Korra–both profoundly influenced by Japanese animation and wonderful examples of the potential for American cartoons to be great again.  Mr. Bishop is well versed enough in American comics and cartoons as well as anime to create a truly unique story featuring the best of both animation cultures, and his comic, as well as the information Mr. Bishop has shared with me, gives every indication that it shall.

Remember how I noted that Sean Bishop was influenced by Japanese anime?  Here's the original design for Aegea.

Remember how I noted that Sean Bishop was influenced by Japanese anime? Here’s the original design for Aegea.

The original Aegea and the Freeloader.  I really hope that he can use these designs one day.  They're beautiful!

The original Aegea and the Freeloader. I really hope that he can use these designs one day. They’re beautiful!

For example, sarcasm is rampant in American cartoons, which is funny on occasion, but tends to sicken the viewer when used with much frequency.  Avatar stands as an example of a cartoon which was sincere in its aims and eschewed overdoing the sarcasm.  The Freeloader‘s humor more relies on slapstick (tsukkomi and boke, actually), and one sees that same sense of sincerity found in anime.  The plot concerns a rather screwy kid trying to make a living as a bounty hunter.  He captures a woman named Aegea for breaking curfew, who turns out to have a criminal record worth a $50,000 bounty.  The officer in charge gives her the option to work off the bounty by helping Freeloader, Aegea’s nickname for her new cheapskate partner, in hunting criminals.  Unfortunately, Freeloader’s methods anger the powerful, and he soon gets into trouble with both sides of the law.

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This will make for a great story.  I can hardly contain myself as I wait for a studio to announce that it has accepted his story.  I’ll be sure to keep you all posted when it happens!  For now, here is a link to the author’s website: http://freeloader4hire.blogspot.com/p/legend-of-freeloader.html.

Autumn 2013 Episode Rankings – Week 6

Angryjellyfish does a wonderful job of keeping up with a large number of shows and giving us a weekly report. Always informative and amusing, here are the rankings for week 6.

Angryjellyfish's Blog

Late, because I spent three days visiting friends, and returned to a huge backlog of episodes. And as well as the usual end of week shows, I hadn’t decided what the 19th series that would be joining my rankings from this week on would be either, but somehow I was still able to get up to date with everything this afternoon!

So, in pursuit of another anime to add to my schedule, I checked out the 2nd/3rd eps of BlazBlue, Log Horizon and Ars Nova, and was left just as underwhelmed as I was by their first episodes. Clearly, my early impressions are becoming more reliable… and those same early impressions warned me against even wasting my time watching more of the season’s other sub par offerings. Apart from one show, which (while probably worse than everything else I’m watching) somehow managed to hold my interest second time…

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Top Ten Screwball Anime Characters

My lack of energy to write and rocklobsterjwt’s articles on his top heroes and villains have inspired me to write a list of anime’s top screwballs.  After all, rocklobsterjwt has a good lists of the good and the bad, so I wish to cover the ugly.  Enjoy!

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10.  Alice Malvin of Pumpkin Scissors

I practically fell in love with Alice after she shouted “Aku Soku Zan” at the start of the first episode.  She’s very fiery and zealous in regard to those suffering due to the effects of the war, and she tries to impress her zeal onto her subordinates.  All those showing a lack of enthusiasm soon feel her annoyance!

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9.  Maki Umezaki of Geobreeders

This girl seems to have done nothing but watch gangster movies her entire life.  Calling herself “the Red Shooting Star,” wearing a white suit, and wielding a pair of broomhandle mausers, she knows how to let lead fly as she references various Japanese crime movies.  In the first Geobreeders OVA, she even gains possession of a 20mm machine gun to use on a ship filled with phantom cats.

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Rarely does she ever seem so ladylike.

8.  Ayano Kannagi of Kaze no Stigma

One of the greatest hotheads in anime, Ayano vents her anger at Kazuma–a former member of her clan and hero of the show–by things like trying to kill him or consuming copious amounts of food as she declaims his faults.  The fact that her power increases in direct proportion to her wrath usually means that she is in a constant choler.

Seek the World of Ideal Forms...

Seek the World of Ideal Forms…

7.  Osaka of Azumanga Daioh

This transfer student always has her head in the clouds.  She can’t help but perform random actions and think random thoughts, mostly involving Chiyo using her pigtails to fly or turning Chiyo’s father into a cat.  She’s certainly one of the most entertaining characters to watch!

That picture says it all.

That picture says it all.

6.  Lavinia of Soukou no Strain

The episode “Lavinia’s Lovely Plot” alone makes her deserve a place on this list.  Basically, Lavinia finds herself attracted to Sara Werec and gets into ridiculous scrapes trying to get Sara to fall for her.  And the scene where Lavinia belatedly shows up to rescue Sara from some bullies with heavy machine guns is priceless.

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5.  Ichijo of Pani Poni Dash

She seems like a very capable person, but is always doing weird things, like praying for rain on school trips (successfully) and trying to poison the main character.  Her shining moment is when she negotiates with the All-Japan Banchou League in episode thirteen.  After convincing them to cease their hostile intentions against the school, she says “Are you okay with that?” and then proceeds to convince them that they would completely lose face if they do not carry out their attack.  That’s screwball at its finest!

This has screwball written all over it.

This has screwball written all over it.

4.  Papillon of Busou Renkin

After this character awakens as a homunculus, he takes to wearing a butterfly suit and showing off his sexuality most flamboyantly.  In addition to this, he seems to have a high code of honor and takes a great liking to his primary enemy, the protagonist Kazuki.  To highlight his screwiness, he goes to the beach wearing one of the most ridiculous swimsuits ever, which practically blows one of his henchman’s minds.

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3.  Lian Qin of Canaan

This wench is quite insane.  She has sadistic tendencies toward the heroine, Canaan, and an underling of hers and something like a sister complex in regard to Alphard.  She’s also careless enough about modesty to walk naked into a room of several men!  At the same time, the audience rather feels sorry for her, and her antics are unforgettable!

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2.  Rintaro Okabe of Steins; Gate

A self-proclaimed mad scientist, he goes under the pseudonym Kyōma Hōōin–extra emphasis on the O syllables!  He insists on giving people nicknames and knows practically every conspiracy theory there is.  I have to say one of my best friends reminds me of him, which only adds to my enjoyment of this character.

"Have you found Jesus?"

“Have you found Jesus?”

1.  Swamp Gordon of Coyote Ragtime Show

You can’t beat an afro wearing preacher trying to atone for a life of crime!  Mister, the hero of Coyote Ragtime Show, needs to enlist Swamp’s help for one last heist.  This character gets some great lines, and his accent is priceless.  He’s one of the most unique characters anime has to offer!

Honorable mentions: Ed of Cowboy Bebop, Fr. Alexander Anderson of Hellsing, Onizuka Sensei of GTO, and Tylor of Irresponsible Captain Tylor

So, what do you think of this list?  Any screwballs you wish were on it?

De Liberalitate et Peccato

While pleasantly smoking a pipe today, meditations on human nature and sin came to my mind.  This meditation came to my mind while I was thinking of my response to a Scrooge who said that it would be smarter to save my money by not buying anyone Christmas gifts.  I responded that I should be unhappy with myself if I took his advice.  Indeed, I’m not sure whether I could live with myself!

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But, why should I have phrased my response “be unhappy with myself”?  Surely, I could buy myself more books, anime, tobacco, wine, and other things which generally please me?  Though these things do please me, the fact that I should be depriving myself of the chance to make someone else happy would remove the pleasure I had in these things.  That is because, as Bl. John Paul II beautifully wrote, we are called to be self-gifts.  Indeed, the enjoyment of the above four goods could only be increased if I shared either the objects themselves or even my knowledge of them.

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But, sin enters the picture, which is essentially selfishness.  Fortunately, Our Lord entered the picture and bestowed on us the greatest example of self-gift: His Father becomes Our Father, His Spirit becomes the Spirit leading us into all truth, wisdom, and goodness, his mother becomes our mother, His divine Life becomes our divine Life, His Body no longer refers only to Himself but to the Church, and His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity–His whole Being–becomes incorporated in us through the Holy Eucharist.  Who could imagine grater gifts than these?  Before Christ came down as the perfect revelation of the Father, this generosity would have been beyond the mind of man and produces mute wonder and utter astonishment in those who believe.

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Yet, we still fall short of our election by sinning.  In addition to selfishness, there is another cause of sin: frustration.  That’s why “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (Prov. 16:32).  The impetus to offer oneself as a gift can easily lead people to doing so in the wrong way.  Think of a strong man who, instead of waiting for the right opponents, takes to preying on whoever takes his fancy or a beautiful woman who lies with the first young man to take her fancy rather than having her husband as her first.

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Sir Breunor le Noir and his bride. The former is one of my favorite characters and one of the most interesting knights in Mallory’s Le Morte D’Arthur.

However, the price of acting out of frustration is more frustration, because nothing is communicated by sinning–there is no generosity.  Someone may say, “But, an evil is communicated at least.”  But, evil is the absence of being and therefore nothing.  Rather than joining people together, sin separates them as it separates the people who sin from their true selves.  Instead of being a warrior, like King Richard the Lionheart, the strong man becomes a forgettable punk.  Instead of becoming a wife and mother of distinction, like Frances Cleveland (the wife of Grover Cleveland), the beauty becomes a body.

Therefore, let us exercise patience in our generosity and above all avoid the selfishness of sin.

Roy Revant: Hardboiled as they come?

Having finished The High Window and The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (reading the former in one day), I have become thoroughly addicted to his Philip Marlowe detective stories.  Of more interest to my dear readers is that I feel capable of examining Roy Revant as a hardboiled character, especially as compared to Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe.  There are a few other hardboiled characters in Solty Rei, but, as our hero and my favorite character, Roy makes for the most interesting to study.  I shall list the traits of a hardboiled character and see how Roy fits the type.  And, if you’re already tired of seeing the word “hardboiled” don’t watch episodes 84 and 85 of Gintama–I myself almost cracked in the first five minutes.

Biggest hardboiled wannabe ever.

Biggest hardboiled wannabe ever.

Tough Guy

For people like Roy, it’s a rough and violent world out there, so one needs to be tough.  Roy’s toughness combines traits from Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade.  He imitates the first by hiding a kind heart under a tough exterior and the second by refusing to abide nonsense and responding gruffly to those who don’t engage him with sincerity.  I’m particularly thinking of Roy’s first unpleasant conversation with Ashley, the Director of R.U.C.

I would say that Roy displays more physical courage than either of the above characters, who tend to use intimidation or cunning to extricate themselves from bad positions.  The necessity of physical courage derives partially from the nature of Roy’s antagonists, who cannot be intimidated or tricked, and partially from the fact that Roy is a rather stubborn and straightforward character.

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Cageyness

With the need to investigate certain particulars in his bounty hunting assignments, Roy does need to investigate like a private eye.  It pays for someone in his position to be wary and discriminating in which cards to show.  Interestingly, Roy is most cagey with people who wish to understand his feelings and to enter his personal life–usually the people closest to him.  This differs from the people Chandler’s and Hammett’s characters interact with, who are mostly strangers.  But, Roy is sufficiently cagey to get a passing grade in this department.

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Drinking

One can’t consider Roy a hardboiled drinker.  Hardboiled characters never become non functioning drunks, as what happens to Roy after the second most tragic scene in all of anime.  As a matter of fact, Roy only seems to place his hand to liquor so that he might become drunk.

Conversely, hardboiled characters drink every day–I suppose we’d call them alcoholics in this day and age; yet, they always hold their liquor.  Should something terrible happen to them, they might take enough licks of some scotch or bourbon until their head gets fuzzy and awake as right as rain the next day.  You can’t let misfortunes get you down!

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Occasionally Carries a Gun

Roy might be excused for always carrying a gun.  As a bounty hunter, he needs it most of the time.  Marlowe and Spade tend to only decide to carry when they suspect a sticky situation in the offing.  Otherwise, a hardboiled guy can talk himself out of peril or wrest the enemy’s gun away from him.

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Hobbies

This might not seem apparent, but hardboiled guys are loners.  Therefore, they need to find ways to while away their spare time.  Roy likes listening to music or watching television.  Marlowe–and myself for that matter–smokes a pipe and plays through chess games.  And, as Rose found out, Roy can also play a great game of chess!

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Skillfully Handling the Dames

A hardboiled man meets all kinds of women–often the dangerous kind with ulterior motives, making it necessary to know how to disdain feminine wiles.  Well, Roy, as an older gentleman, has little problem disdaining feminine wiles; but, he does let the women in his life get away with things, and he relies on Miranda to rouse him from self-pity and drunkenness.  Also, Roy lets himself get played by Rose so that she can stay at his apartment to lure Solty into a life of thieving.

Overall, I would say that Roy is the most hardboiled character in anime, despite breaking with certain stereotypes–especially by needing women to drive him to do the right thing.  Can any of you name a better hardboiled character?  Quent Yaiden, Tsume, and Hub of Wolf’s Rain and Dante of Devil May Cry come to mind, but they are not quite as concomitant with the traditional figure of detective fiction.

Servant x Service: First Episode Impressions

Another post which rather inclines me to watch Servant x Service.

The Infinite Zenith

Lucy Yamagami, Yutaka Hasebe, and Saya Miyoshi are introduced to the Ward Office as new civil servants and are placed under the care of their upperclassman Taishi Ichimiya, who is rather unreliable. Yutaka is very relaxed to the point of slacking off every chance he gets, while Saya is very nervous because this is her first job. Lucy is introduced to Megumi Chihaya, who is a very low-key and emotionless person. After the first few hours or so, the three newbies meet up again and share their disappointments. Saya was caught up in a long story with Mrs. Tanaka, unable to escape; Lucy was scolded by a customer for taking too long in directing her to the right window; Yutaka was disheartened to discover that he couldn’t slack off as frequently as he would’ve liked. Later however, Lucy is shown making great progress, much to Saya’s admiration. Afterwards, Yutaka, Taishi…

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The Timeless Wisdom of the Book of Proverbs

As a child, I read from the King James Version.  Two books struck me as profound enough to copy out twice in a notebook: St. Paul’s Letter to Timothy and The Book of Proverbs.  Until leaving college, I held Proverbs as my favorite, was pleased to find out that my roommate’s blanket quoted from it, and even more so to have an online quiz claim that my personality reflected it.  Within the Old Testament, there is not a better work for a young Christian to concentrate on due to its eminent practicality.  For example, Marlin-sama of Ashita no Anime, though an atheist, regards it as the best work of the Bible for that reason.

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King Solomon (no one better vex me with modern Biblical scholarship over the traditional attribution of authorship to Solomon) advises people to seek wisdom above all else: “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold” (Proverbs 8:10).  Anyone who hates wisdom “loves death” (8:36).  Both these quotes are from chapter 8, where wisdom calls to the simple to learn from her.  The most beautiful thing about this chapter lies in wisdom obviously prefiguring Wisdom Himself, Jesus Christ:

20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

*           *          *

30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

*              *             *

35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. (Proverbs 8)

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Comparing the first four verses to the beginning of the Gospel of John and the Nicene Creed indicates wisdom to be the Divine Logos.  Verses 30 and 31 show that wisdom is the delight of God and then that wisdom delighted to be among men, which refer to the incarnation of God the Son.  And verse thirty-five reminds one of John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  Of the many examples where the New Testament illuminates the Old, this stands as one of the most beautiful.

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The earlier parts of Proverbs hammer home that young men avoid sexual immorality.  A harlot or adulteress’s “feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell” (5:5).  The only other evil that Solomon warns against as strenuously is evil–especially criminal–associations.  But, young persons need especially be advised against fornication, because the modern world holds chastity in contempt.  Yet, what does one get from fornication except a diaphanous pleasure and a guilty conscience?  Far better to follow Solomon’s advice to stick to one wife: “Let thy vein be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth:let her be thy dearest hind, and most agreeable fawn: let her breasts inebriate thee at all times; he thou delighted continually with her love” (5:18-19).  (Here’s my only use of the Douay Rheims translation.  I had been sticking to the KJV for old time’s sake, but “let her breasts inebriate thee at all times” is priceless!)   Neither the Church nor the Bible are killjoys when it comes to sexual love, but let it be such that no one’s feelings are wounded or that people grow callous in regard to romance.

Ichika the most chaste.

Ichika the most chaste.

But most of the work consists of simple proverbs, sometimes repetitive and often humorous:

Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” (21:23)

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (6:6)

“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house” (21:9). (The verse on my roommate’s blanket.)

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief” (24:16).

“Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins” (10:12)

I could go on and on about this beloved work.  But, my dear readers, since it is better for you to read the book yourselves than my writings about it, I leave off here!

Hajime no Ippo and Losing Oneself in the Means

Curiously, the discovery of a fundamental flaw in my thinking causes me to depart a little from my intended program.  This flaw was exposed in an article on the uselessness of the liberal arts, which a friend, to whom I am eternally indebted, reblogged.  Basically, I had become an Ebenezer Scrooge, mistaking the means for the end and beginning to think of everything in terms of how they might be useful.  It embarrasses me to say that this kind of thinking had even begun to take root in regard to people!  Then, is my feeling depressed to be wondered at?  One cannot find happiness in the means, in the useful, but in things which are good for nothing because their goodness is in the enjoyment of them itself–not exactly pleasure, enjoyment.

Alastair Sim's performance as Scrooge has not been beat since 1951.

Alastair Sim’s performance as Scrooge has not been beat since 1951.

But, it mortifies me, an educated man who had read so many examples of this fault, to be guilty of it.  Let me instead write about its latest example in anime: Imae of Hajime no Ippo Rising.  Episodes four through six cover the build up and the match itself between Aoki and Imae.  These episodes manifest the sacrifices Imae made for the sport of boxing–going even so far as to jilt his girlfriend.  To Imae, Aoki appears to be a clown and Aoki’s very participation to be a detriment to the sport.  The existence of Aoki’s frog punch in particular angers Imae to no end.

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But, the two eventually begin to feel like they are similar to each other, despite Imae’s orthodox style and straight-laced personality.  The series amusingly highlights this by the appearance of Imae’s girlfriend, Kanako, who happens to be almost as unattractive as Aoki’s girlfriend, Tomiko.  The fighters are both high strung, which leads to excessive rigorism in Imae and scatterbrained antics in Aoki.  The latter case is amusingly shown by the extreme fluctuation in Aoki’s weight from Holocaust victim to porcine until he manages to lose enough weight before the match.

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But, the key difference between the two lies in that Aoki realizes that the end of his actions is happiness, while the purpose of Imae’s boxing is more boxing.  A critical scene takes place in the restroom, where Imae vents his anger at Aoki for his having sacrificed nothing for the sport.  After all, Imae even left his girlfriend, despite the fact that the two of them still love each other.  Aoki then tells him that Imae shall lose, because he has lost his goddess of victory.  Fighting ought ever have a goal; otherwise, it is a vain activity.

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At one point during their very exciting match, it even looks as though Aoki will win the match through using a special trick.  (I refuse to give it away!)  But, Imae sees Kanako in the audience and remembers that he took up boxing initially so that he could protect her.  This gives him the impetus and strength to avoid Aoki’s trick, and their bout continues through all ten rounds.  Imae no longer fights for fighting’s sake, but for his goddess of victory–his happiness.

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So, let us take a break from seeking things which are profitable and concentrate on that most useless and yet most desirable of things: happiness.  I’m as thankful as Scrooge in the footage below to God for patiently awaiting me to discover this truth again.

Un Programme d’Articles pour Novembre

My dear readers, having taken a three day break from writing posts, I have decided to scribble one of my favorite posts: the kind which lists several prospective articles.  Looking back at other posts where I have done this indicates that I usually write about 90% of these articles if not more.  I have had the good fortune of landing some work at UPS, which means that my struggle to write daily will increase; but, as my alma mater avers, virtus tentamine gaudet.  (“Virtue rejoices in trial.”)  The order of the articles is about the same order in which I hope to write them, and they shall be divided into anime or religion–though, you know that my favorite thing to do is to combine the two subjects.

Madonna And Child

Religion

1.  An editorial or review on The Names of Christ by Luis de Leon

2.  Book of Proverbs: timeless wisdom

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Anime

1.  How Kill la Kill Demonstrates that wealth and pride breed solitude and unhappiness (might contribute this one to Beneath the Tangles)

2.  Solty Rei and Hard Boiled Anime

3.  A review of The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye

4.  Tower of Druaga and the Jason-like hero

5.  Short Manga reviews of Fuyu no Hanabi, Tripeace, A Bias Girl, and Seishun For-get

6.  World Embryo and my love of Daisuke Moriyama’s work

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7.  Corpse Princess and my history with horror films and anime

8.  My fascination with Kouichi Mashima’s female assassins (Noir, Madlax, and El Cazador de la Bruja)

9.  My opinion of Bodacious Space Pirates

10.  Ys: an enjoyable 90’s fantasy anime

11.  A review or editorial of Soukou no Strain

Well, that’s a huge list, but it will provide me with only two weeks of articles if I’m good!  Of course, I reserve the right to include different articles, especially if they are about currently running anime.  Feel free to say which articles interest you most!

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Mako as the Greek Chorus of Kill la Kill

An interesting take on the role of Mako in Kill La Kill.

atelier emily

There’s something a bit off about Mako Mankanshoku.

The universe of Kill la Kill takes care in setting its presentation as a stage. Everything appears, six episodes into the performance, to follow a set script. Due to the death of her father, Ryuko Matoi is given a reason for arriving on the stage of Honnouji Academy, and her entrance additionally provides her the means, through Senketsu, to discover what she wants to know. To uncover her father’s mysterious past and the truth behind his demise, she must go through a series of weekly challenges by battling various members of the student body. If this sounds vaguely familiar, then you may have watched Revolutionary Girl Utena, which Kill la Kill is both influenced by and refers to directly. In turn, Revolutionary Girl Utena borrows heavily from classical theater and The Takarazuka Revue (a Japanese, all-female, performance troupe) in both…

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Otakon Vegas Announces Nobuhiro Watsuki as Guest

How I wish that I could go to meet my favorite manga author!

Lesley's Musings... on Anime & Manga

Otakon Vegas has announced that manga creator Nobuhiro Watsuki will be a guest at their first convention. Watsuki is best known for creating the Rurouni Kenshin manga series.

Otakon Vegas will be taking place January 3-5, 2014 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Arakawa Under The Bridge

Well, I have at last run out of steam. If you remember my post about my writing being like a hurricane cocktail, some ingredients are not there today.

But, that gives me to opportunity to reblog this excellent post from MIB’s Instant Headache. Arakawa Under the Bridge is a hilarious series, and MIB provides a great review of the show–as he does with any foreign feature to which he turns his pen. Enjoy!

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Arakawa Under The Bridge (Cert 12)

2 Discs (Distributor: MVM) Running time: 300 minutes approx.

Successful businessman Ko Ichinomiya, owes the success in his young life to the stern direction set by his father and a single maxim that has been adhered to by the males of the Ichinomiya family for generations – “never be in debt to anyone”. So strict is this rule that Ko has it embroidered into his tie. One day Ko is jumped by a gang of youths who throw his trousers high up onto the rafters of the bridge over the Arakawa river. Determined to get them back under his own mettle, Ko refuses the help from a young blonde woman named Nino, who was fishing off the bridge, but when he slips and falls into the river she saves him anyway. Now in debt to Nino, Ko is forced to live under the bridge…

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“Traduttore, traditore”: An Interesting Allusion in Kill la Kill

The above Italian proverb is famously translated as “Translation is betrayal,” but even that translation betrays the more literal “Translator, Traitor,” but we would all agree that the former carries the meaning better for English speakers.  In episode 5 of Kill la Kill, I noticed a rather interesting expansion of what was literally said.  Before I get into that, I would just like to say that episode five has by far been the most interesting episode thus far.  The show is starting to get into more of the plot as a new faction has appeared on the scene and we discover that Kamui have killed their wearers.

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But, the line to which I’m thinking of is Teme ni wa shindemo watasanee!”  If we were to opt for a literal translation, this would translate to “Even dying, I won’t hand it over to you!”  That does not  make to much sense to English ears.  Better would be “Even if you were to kill me, I would not hand it over.”  But this sounds a little wordy, and does not really seem to fit Matoi’s personality.  What did the translators for Crunchyroll do?  Reference Charlton Heston!  (Requiescat in pace)  “You’ll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands!”  A more excellent choice that anything based on a literal translation.

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One of the reasons I study Japanese is so that eventually I might not have to rely on the translators.  How much fun they must have though, especially those who worked in the 90’s!  Some anime of yore have hilarious translations, especially the many and varied ways they translate baka!  Well, wish me luck as I try to find time to tackle my kanji book again.

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