and these are two different interviews. :)

Meet Jelanii Kabita, a transgender man who dances to be free

  • Jelanii Kabita has dedicated his life to two simple principles: authenticity and dance. As his body syncs to the music, the boombox tattoo scrawled across his stomach dances along with each downbeat. It’s immediately clear that he was made to move.
  • “I dance to be free,” Kabita told Mic in an in-studio interview. “I dance to eat. I dance to live. I guess I perform dance to show other people that there’s other ways to express what’s going on inside of you.”
  • Kabita set himself on a path to freedom early on, after experiencing a rocky childhood in Kingston, New York. The 23-year-old first came out as bisexual to his mother in middle school. From that moment on, he endured severe abuse and was ultimately forced out of his home and into foster care. After finding his way to New York City, he found a sense of identity and belonging within the dance community.
  • Now, Kabita is the leader and founder of the Raiders of Concrete, a street dance crew composed of dancers from several different countries and backgrounds. Mic sat down with Kabita, who shared that he came out as transgender two years ago, and learned more about the story that brought him to where he is today. Read our interview with Jelanii. 

follow @the-movemnt

6

I like you wielding a gun. Did it feel good?

Hot Off The Press

Another AU where Jacky-Boy is a hockey player and Bitty has a job that involves hockey bc that’s my aesthetic. Anyway, I really know nothing about how the world of sports journalism works so there is probably some inaccuracies in here, but it’s an AU so who cares. Artistic license and all that. Very slightly NSFW (i just wanted to get all the warnings out there). 

***

“Are you into men?”

Jack has been asked this question before, but in such a subtle way (and typically involving Parson) that it’s easy to avoid. No reporter has ever straight out asked him. Besides, he’s not gay. He’s bisexual. So when Jack usually tells them, “No.” it’s not a lie. However, this time it feels different. Maybe it wasn’t just this particular time, but all the times added onto each other that’s finally causing him to really think about what hole he’s digging himself into.

The blunt question has him feeling panicky and the other presser notice his reaction too. Jack can’t say no, because that’s not true. He is into men. Jack’s panic quickly shifts, and now he just feels like shoving the microphones away and storming out, because this is hockey goddammit. Not E! news.

“Excuse me?” Jack clears his throat, trying to buy himself some time to think of a properly crafted response. Over the years, he’s developed a talent for that.

But everything is on overdrive and he feels his breath start to quicken again–

“Are you into men?” Another reporter asks, and it takes Jack a moment to realize that the reporter isn’t asking him. He’s asking the man who popped the question in the first place.

 All attention, including Jack’s, turns to the small blonde that got lost in the bundle of people. He holds up his mic towards the reporter who popped the question in the first place. 

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                                                         🎂

                                                         H A P P Y J I N J I N D A Y
Confident, observant and appreciative. He is someone who is so deeply in love with fans and fellow members; his eyes give it away whenever he looks at either one. Someone who would rather stay up all night and write lyrics than sleep. In some ways he’s careless, but thankful for every little thing. A true guide to the members and the fans. He worries about concerts, interviews, worries about his members, worries about whatever the members worry about, he worries about us, too. He’s Astro’s glue and Aroha’s leader. Thank you for being born, Park Jinwoo.♥

Yuri on Ice interview translation - CREA 2017/03 (p32-33)

This is the full interview with Mitsurou Kubo published on CREA. I actually wanted to translate all the YOI interviews together but some translations going around urged me to post this one before the others, as I wouldn’t be able to finish everything tonight.

It’s not really an interview, it’s more like a partial interview and a short commentary of each episode.

The other 4 short interviews are with Kenji Miyamoto (choreographer), Eiji Abiko & Junpei Tatenaka (figure skating animators), Yuuko Sagiri (original costume designer), Keisuke Tominaga (music producer). I will try to post them tomorrow night if I can finish them.

***If you wish to share this translation please do it by reblogging or posting a link to it***

***Re-translating into other languages is ok but please mention that this post is the source***


The reality as expressed by 5 people who created “Yuri on Ice”

Reality #1: Story x Mitsurou Kubo

“The reality of emotions” is what Kubo-san gave most importance to when she created the manga storyboard for this series. “Simply listing up the contents of the skaters’ programs and their score and connecting them together is not going to create something emotional. In my storyboard I tried to convey the feelings of all athletes, not just Yuuri, with their performances, to express them carefully, so that other skaters who watch them will in turn be influenced by them like in a chain reaction.”
An important tool to express those feelings are the monologues that can be heard during the programs, blended in harmony with the performance.
“Watching the footage of the choreographies by Kenji Miyamoto-sensei I realized that, even though he simply created them based on the songs, in many cases they perfectly match the athlete’s feelings too. I was so moved and thought that Kenji-sensei is an amazing person.”
As the series is pursuing reality, it does not contain any unrealistic techniques.
“If we had included something over-the-top people would have just said ‘that’s unreal’, so I thought that it was better to just go a little ahead of reality, and consulted with many people to decide the difficulty of the techniques to use. However, shortly thereafter real life skaters actually surpassed that level, which really surprised me. We did decide the level knowing that it would be surpassed one day, but we didn’t think it would happen so soon!”
The writer Mitsurou Kubo also needed a lot of courage to portray Yuuri determined to win for love.
“On the ice rink you can express anything, and that’s why, even if I had never thought about what true love is or represented it before, I decided to try my hand at openly depicting love as fiction. As a result, I myself was encouraged by the story I wrote and felt that I could make a fresh start after that.”

“I ended up being encouraged by the story about love that I openly portrayed as fiction.”

Highlights of every episode by Mitsurou Kubo

#1 Nan no Piroshiki!! Namida no Grand Prix Final
“I want you to watch the best figure skating animation”
Before the series was broadcasted I was worried, because normally original anime not based on a previous work and airing late at night take a long time to catch the viewers’ attention. However, my fear was swept away by the extraordinary skating scenes of the first episode, and the show gained a good reputation right away. Stunning images can provide the best promotion.

#2 Futari no Yuri!? Yutopia no Ran
“Figure skaters feeling more familiar”
This part is set during the off-season in Yuuri’s hometown. If we had showed special people battling each other in a faraway place from the very start the viewers would never have felt close to them, therefore I decided to start the story with the Russians, Victor and Yurio, spending time in the onsen of the castle town Hasetsu, eating katsudon and spreading news via the SNS, so that they would feel more familiar to the audience.

#3 Boku ga Eros de Eros ga Boku de!? Taiketsu! Onsen on ICE
“You can feel the growth of Yuuri and Yurio”
Once the Grand Prix series starts no one can afford to lose anymore, so I created this provisional match between Yuuri and Yurio to emphasize their relationship as rivals but also as comrades. I also wanted to show that a competitive program is progressively brushed up during the season based on each athlete’s pace. Originally I also thought of showing Yurio’s mother rushing to the scene.

#4 Jibun wo Suki ni Natte… Kansei!! Free Program
“Yuuri and Victor gradually become closer”
In the process of completing the free skating program Yuuri and Victor become closer to each other, both as coach and student and as equals. Yuuri’s gesture of poking the top of Victor’s head has no logical meaning. I think it symbolizes how Yuuri, acting on an impulse, breaks his own shell and steps into the territory of the person that previously was only considered a living legend.

#5 Kao Makka!! Shosen Da yo! Chuu-shikoku-kyuushuu Senshuken Taikai
“Check out the relationship between seniors and juniors”
Minami-kun, a skater that looks up to Yuuri, appears in this episode. I really like the scene where Yuuri, finally becoming aware that he is going to lead the current generation of Japanese skaters, silently hits Minami-kun’s back. As in the scene where he pokes Victor’s head, once again Yuuri uses a physical action, instead of logic or words, to try to communicate something. When it’s animated it looks really awesome.

#6 Kaimaku Grand Prix Series Yacchaina!! Chuugoku Taikai SP
“Check out Chris’ sexiness”
The tournament starts and many fascinating athletes make their appearances, but this episode is also an occasion to fully enjoy the charm of Chris’ ass. After watching Kenji-sensei’s choreography I decided to draw a beautiful ass in my storyboard, then its charm was further emphasized in the animation, and finally thanks to the voice actor’s absolutely sexy voice we could obtain the best ass animation ever.

#7 Kaimaku Grand Prix Series Yacchaina!! Chuugoku Taikai FS
“An FSP where Yuuri and Victor overcome their fears”
Yuuri and Victor were both anxious before the FS, and I feel that the strongly emotional scenes following that were represented in a very effective way. Regarding the last scene, I started receiving lots of questions from overseas, asking “Did Yuuri and Victor hug? Or was it a kiss?” and that’s when I realized how much the anime’s popularity had spread worldwide.

#8 Yuuri VS Yuri Osoroshia!! Russia Taikai SP
“JJ’s striking appearance is a must see”
This episode is where Jean-Jacques Leroy, aka JJ, one of the most likely candidates to win the gold medal, appears. What is scary about JJ is that he has the ability to paint any story in JJ color, overshadowing even the protagonist. Mamoru Miyano-san, the one who played his role, managed to take JJ to the next level with his natural personality and made him all the more convincing.

#9 Yuuri VS Yuri Osoroshia!! Russia Taikai FS
“When the absence of an important person makes you grow”
This episode is where Yuuri grows after fighting without Victor next to him. When we went location hunting at the Fukuoka airport there was a glassed-in corridor close to the arrival lobby, and as the director saw it she excitedly said “Yuuri and Victor are going to run side by side separated by the glass!”. I was like “they definitely are!”, and we started taking heaps of pictures. The airport is currently being remodeled and it’s not possible to recreate the scene.

#10 Chou Ganbaranba! Grand Prix Final Chokuzen Special
“Ordinary life episode the night before the last fight”
As the last part depicting ordinary life before the Grand Prix Final, I wanted to create a relaxing episode without skating scenes while at the same time introducing the athletes, but in the end so many things happened in it that no one could relax and I was told that even animating it was a pain. The ring Yuuri gave Victor also carries the meaning of a symbol that the two of them are like soul mates.

#11 Chou Chou Ganbaranba!! Grand Prix Final SP
“The speed leading to the last episode is impressive to watch”
The OP footage, that was gradually changed from episode 1 by adding colors, is finally complete. I was happy that we could welcome as voice actors Ken Gamada-san, who actually works as an MC in tournaments and ice shows, and Nobunari Oda-san as himself doing the commentary. With the pace of the story speeding up toward the finale, this episode was just chaos.

#12 Chou Chou Chou Ganbaranba!!! Grand Prix Final FS
“A final episode where you can catch a glimpse of everyone’s future”
Including Stéphane Lambiel-san’s debut as an anime seiyuu, which is something no one could have expected, the chaotic mixup of anime and reality reaches a climax in this episode. Beside the sense of fulfillment for the victory, I think that the contents also let you catch a glimpse of each character’s future. I was about to faint looking at the beauty of Victor’s tears.


Final note (this is just my opinion, it’s not part of the translation): There is a translation going around where the line about soul mates is translated as “proof”, but actually the word 証 (akashi) can have many different meanings, among which symbol/mark/token/proof/sign etc. In this case, I personally do not think it means “proof” (also to be honest when it’s “proof” usually they write it as 証拠 shouko). It’s more like symbol/token, as in “it’s meant to symbolize Yuuri and Victor’s deep bond that goes beyond a normal relationship”. Although the difference is only subtle, I still think it’s not the same. Also please understand that the Japanese word “soul mate” does not have the meaning that is used in fanfiction… I believe it’s actually the same in English too, but in normal conversation it means “two people that have a strong spiritual/emotional bond (that makes them suited for each other, be it either as friends or lovers)”, not “two people who were destined to be together from their previous life”. That is something you are free to imagine or fantasize about, however please do not twist the creators’ words just to fit people’s headcanons…

P.S.: And please do not misunderstand me. I love Victuuri, but I prefer to draw a line between canon and fanon, and I don’t really like it when words by the creators are “adapted” to accomodate people’s shipping ideas. I think what she says is deep enough even without mistranslating it anyway…

It’s an old music industry maxim: You have your whole life to write your first album, but only months or years to write your second. If there’s anyone who knows the pressure of the sophomore record, it’s Ella Yelich-O'Connor, better known as Lorde. Her 2013 debut album, Pure Heroine, sold a million copies in just five months and launched her to stardom, buoyed by the blockbuster single “Royals,” two Grammys and praise from the likes of David Bowie.

With such a heady start, it’s no wonder Lorde’s new album, Melodrama, took another four years to make. “I would go to sleep thinking about it and I would dream about it, and I’d wake up in the morning thinking about it,” she tells NPR’s Michel Martin. “Its grip on me was unrelenting. I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t make something different, singular and something that I would be proud of.”

Lorde On Dialing Out And Turning Inward

Photo: Annabel Edwards/NPR

Being a DC Superhero and Dating Tom Holland Will Include:

Originally posted by juliechavira

Bold - Tom Italic - You and Both - Someone else

  • You were casted as Supergirl for the new Justice League.
  • “You can’t tell anybody yet.”
  • But literally one day later, you accidentally told Tom and Harrison in a Video Call.
  • “You need to come with us! Marvel is so cool, okay?” “But batman is still the coolest.” “No, spiderman is.” “No supergirl is!” “Since when did you liked Supergirl?” “Since i became her! OMG NO NO i’m not her! UGH”
  • When DC finally decided to announce who’s the new Supergirl. Tom was literally waiting for the announcement. He literally haven’t got over it for 3 hours.
  • Your cast members teasing you about Tom. Especially Ezra and Jason.
  • “Oh come on is your baby missing you already?” “Shut up Jason!” “What’s his name again? Ah Spiderpig, oh no no spiderperson?” “Spiderman, Ezra. SPIDERMAN!”
  • Gal Gadot and Amy Adams being your best friends, even though you’re a lot younger than them. 
  • Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill calling you ‘child’
  • “Who’s this Tom Holland?” “My boyfriend, dads” “BEN! You didn’t inform me our daughter have a boyfriend!” “I didn’t know it either!”
  • Tom visiting you in set and everyone was staring at him surprised, because he’s working with Marvel.
  • Nevertheless Tom and the cast of Justice League became really good friends. Ezra literally became his best friend afterwards.
  • Harrison had the chance to meet Ben Affleck aka Batman, he literally fangirled over him for months.
  • Tom and You fighting over who’s better, DC or Marvel.
  • “No Captain America is better!” “Dude we have Wonder Woman who’s like both Thor and Captain America.”
  • But it always end up, you two having really heated make out session and sometimes sex.
  • You two are like Romeo and Juliet of the modern era and Hollywood.
  • Even though you’re from DC and Tom might get in trouble when he tell stories about you and him in Justice League sets, he still tell interviewers about it and always saying that it was worth it.
  • SPIDERMAN AND SUPERGIRL EDITS, FANFICS AND SHIP ALL OVER THE NET.
  • Going together in Award Shows even though sometimes you two are competing with each other. 
  • You two might be in two different jobs, you still love each other and no one will break things off between you two.
{PART 1} I Won’t Stop You // Jeon Jungkook, Vampire!AU

Originally posted by jengkook

Pairing: Jungkook x Reader

Genre: Vampire!AU, Fantasy, Angst, Smut

Summary; You drive to your boss‘s house with the intention of returning his wallet he left at the office. You feel uneasy, seeing his manor for the first time - Jungkook also feels uneasy, but for reasons that you could never begin to imagine.

A/N; This is the first instalment of a request I received that I decided to turn into a series that will contain smut. I’ll release a new chapter every Tuesday between 9pm-10pm (U.K Time), I hope you enjoy part 1 ^^

{Part 1} {Part 2}

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2

Angie Thomas’ debut novel follows 16-year-old Starr Carter, who lives in a gang-ravaged neighborhood but goes to school at Williamson Prep, where she’s only one of a handful of black kids. One day, she’s in the car with her friend Khalil when he is shot and killed by a cop. The case becomes national news, putting the dichotomy in Starr’s life into even greater relief.

Thomas tells NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro that, like Starr, she grew up in two very different worlds. “I went to a mostly white, upper-class private college … but I was from a neighborhood that is known for all of the wrong reasons and, for lack of better words, we will call it the hood. So I knew I had to fight against the stereotype of being a ghetto girl, and I had to fight even harder to show that I was intelligent and that I was capable of being there, just like my counterparts.”

Listen to our interview here: ‘The Hate U Give’ Explores Racism And Police Violence

I was watching Dunkirk interviews with my friend (who is a very casual larrie and a law student, and doesn’t have time to look into things, so she relies on me sending her updates from time to time) and after we were done she very rightfully pointed out the difference in the Harry Styles™ sold by his team, and the Harry we got during Dunkirk promo. He seemed like himself again, genuinely funny, goofy, silly, compared to the unmovable, yet charming person he was during the album promo (and this is coming from someone who mostly liked his album promo, sans the obvious cringey bits). He proved that he can sell the product he is promoting without the need of a girlfriend/Taylor Swift throwback/whatever they think it’s a good idea, just by his charm and actual talent.

Now, please correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know, the Dunkirk promo was handled by a third party team chosen by Nolan/the studio. I can’t imagine 20 different teams booking interviews with the same people, so I’m assuming it was one third party team. Ofc you had the individual interviews which I’m sure were set up by Harry’s team (Grimmy’s, Fallon), but the gist of it was done by another team. And my friend pointed out just how happy and comfortable he looks when he isn’t being exposed to the same promo cycles again and again. He actually responds to questions (as long as they’re not stupid ones about his hair), he laughs, he looks comfortable when he knows they aren’t gonna push different narratives on him. Yeah, he’s still being a twat by repeating word by word the same answers multiple times, but it’s mostly done in interviews who were already a bit biased to begin with (the GMA one pops into my head since the interviewers were so cringey and totally ignoring Fionn who just gave an amazing answer to their question tbh), but it was a mostly clean promo. I haven’t really seen people complaining about it, and what I’ve seen wasn’t directed at Harry, it was at the interviewers for making it awkward for everyone by putting the spotlight on him when the entire cast and crew were phenomenal. And if they did complain, it was nothing compared to the album promo.

I’m now curious how the Two Ghosts promo will be handled and if we’re going back to the “And I will stay inside my world, unmovable and cold” persona, or they will let him be this warmer version of himself. I do hope his team paid attention and took notes, let Harry do his Harry thing and everyone is charmed.

Secret Sign Language MasterPost

This is for @zenlikejen. 

Disclaimer: I don’t own all of these gifs (only some) so credit to the original owners of those i don’t own.

Okay so it has been clear from the start that some certain members from the band One Direction have gone to the great lengths (and most kind lengths) of leaning sign language. These two members are Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson and despite them using their new talent as a way to communicate to the deaf fans, they also have mostly used it to communicate with each other, and each other only.  

We firstly have this:

Here we clearly see Louis gives a small thumbs up before tapping his chest multiple times with his left hand at which Harry doesn’t notice properly at first. Also Louis realizes he is tapping with his wrong hand for what he is trying to say so therefore corrects himself by switching to his right hand and this time Harry sees; like so: 

When Louis taps his chest, in sign language it means ‘Mine’, so basically he is telling Harry that he is his and Harry replies with a small thumbs up, a common thing which I will talk about further down in the post. 

Louis also glances at Harry here and touches his chest, a year later and they still communicate through signing, Louis again telling Harry that he is his. 


Harry here signs to Louis something along the lines of ‘Later we talk, before kissing’ but the second part can also mean ‘I want the truth’ as its unsure if he touches his lip or chin.

And Louis replies back with this: 

Which would make Harry saying ‘Later we talk before kissing’ more reliable due to Louis’ answer. 

Still complete cuties here.


Again during an interview, Louis seems to rub his hands together which research says could mean the letter ‘H’. In this case, H for Harry; or H was also a nickname that Louis could have had for Harry.

He then taps his chest twice again (meaning ‘Mine’) except he uses his fist more which may take away its meaning, but they could of changed it up more so that the signing was more personal to each other. 


Now during one of their songs on the TMH tour, Louis and Harry were stood next to each other on the stage. Louis glances at Harry for a moment to get his attention before crossing his fingers and then placing his hand back onto his microphone stand, fingers still crossed. 

Now some say that this means ‘Hope’ however others say because of how Louis did it, it means ‘Forever’ so I guess its your own choice to decide which one you want it to mean. 


Then we have this:

Now everyone knows that in sign language this sign with another person means ‘Lover’/ ‘Make Love’.

So really there is nothing much to say about this apart from the fact that it is adorable as fuck and the most cliche thing that a pair of platonic best friends could do together. 


No we are on to the famous ‘Thumbs up’ sign that they both constantly used to give each other on stage, during interviews and at any moment they were happy, having fun or in each others company. Now I researched this and found that it meant different to what the ‘Lovers’ sign that’s above. Many use the thumbs up sign as a way of saying good or as a positive attitude towards things like ‘I am good’ or ‘This is fun’ etc; except it also has another meaning. More discreetly, this sign can mean ‘I love you’ or ‘Love’ but is different from ‘Lover’ and ‘Make love’ so the two signs should not get mixed up. 

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Uncle Gerry’s Family Fun Zone

by reddit user Red_Grin

This is a lengthy story but it is worth it:

I didn’t know Will could draw, I remember thinking as my friend’s hand quickly moved across the page. And then I looked more closely at Will’s impromptu sketch, and I immediately regretted it. I tried to unsee it. I shifted my attention to other things around me, anything at all that wasn’t ink on the page: the blur of Will’s hand, the beads of sweat gathering at his temples, the gentle autumn breeze creeping through the crack of the window.

Don’t look at the page. Just don’t look at it.

But I knew I had to. So I looked. And it was worse than I expected. Much worse.

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Translated parts of an interview with Dagbladet where they asked some of the actors what they want to do after SKAM

Iman (Sana) says she is going to serve in the military. She leaves July 25 and will be gone for a year.

Ina (Chris) says she still got two years left to finish at the theatre school.

Josefine (Noora) says she has a few different things lined up. She wants to study acting at some point.

Ulrikke (Vilde) says there is a lot of things she wants to change in the world. She wants to use her attention on that.

Tarjei (Isak) says he will without a doubt continue with his acting career.

Henrik (Even) also says he wants to continue his acting career.

-  David (Magnus) and Marlon (Jonas) are not planning on going the acting route, but they both said the experience has been so positive that they might head that way after all.

Sacha (Mahdi) says he plans to become a carpenter.

Thomas (William) says he doesn’t have any concrete plans but wants to continue acting.

[x]

Before the mythic American melting pot, there is the first generation.

This podcast explores the inner workings of the mythic American melting pot; what happens when your parents come from two different countries, cultures, or races. It’s the kindergarten-level foreign language you can speak to your aunts, the taste for “foreign” flavors you’ve known since childhood, and the distinct feeling of otherness projected onto your face because you look just a little bit “different.”

Starting May 1, this five-part miniseries will introduce you to stories of mixed race Americans who are grappling with questions about who they are, and what it means to be an American today.

Host Alex Laughlin will share her own stories and interview multiracial people about what it means to be mixed in America today.

Listen here! 

Jealous, Much?

Originally posted by red-blue-velvet

Tom Holland x Reader

Request: Yes

Summary: The reader is jealous of Tom and Zendaya’s relationship. However, Tom is there to reassure them.

Word Count: 2,580

Warnings: language, fluff, jealous!reader, reassuring!tom.

A/N: Sorry this took long to post. I’m not sure of this one and felt a little weird writing it tbh, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy!


In the beginning of the relationship, Tom and you were inseparable. He wasn’t overwhelmed with several acting gigs like he is now. You both were able to sit and enjoy each other’s company without too many stresses.

However, that time spent together soon started to disappear. Tom began his Spider-Man film, while you continued your everyday job, trying to fit in as many hours as you could. Yes, it was a lot you were putting on yourself, but you honestly wanted to distract yourself from not being able to have Tom with you.

You missed him.

Keep reading

Analysis: Romance in One Piece

Note: I’ll be posting condensed versions of this analysis in other sites

A) Relevance of plot and characterization AKA Unbiased Readers Vs. Delusional Shippers

“Who lives on ilusions dies from disappointment” – An old Puerto Rican saying

Most of us know One Piece is a very popular manga. Its high quality and popularity depends on several factors, among them we could name memorable and likeable characters along a deep, compelling, fun and action-packed story. The One Piece many know and love wouldn’t exist without the balance between these factors

When talking to at least 3 different One Piece fans, each of them non-shippers who analyzed the manga they all enjoy, I found interesting and pretty sound perspectives of the One Piece story and its nature. All of them value characters, story, development, consistency and logic; something I can totally relate to

But I also found a pattern; these 3 guys shared one single outlook on the very same subject: shipping. Regardless of their expectations, all of them expressed distate for shippers’ general mindset and “odd” viewpoint:

One of them called shippers out for ignoring characterization and very clear and direct statements made in the manga. His attention was centered on a Luffy pairing and how it contradicts his own character. Oda once explained that he writes Luffy as someone pretty straightfoward when it comes to expressing his thoughts and feelings, and this non-shipper said with brutal honesty that for the discussed ship to happen we would need to disregard and/or discard the very core of Luffy’s character. Meaning Oda would need to stop being consistent and faithful to his own story and characters

The next one explained how shippers tend to turn a characters’ relationship into a sappy teen love fantasy that doesn’t match One Piece at all. His analysis also exposed how integrating this kind of underdeveloped “love” into the story would severely damage One Piece originality, ruin the series and needless to say destroy the likable dynamics between several characters as well as their own development. This fantasy, this so-called “love”, is what the vast majority of shippers support and defend. The same kind of “love” most non-shippers, fans and critics dread

The third non-shipper gave me a more detailed explanation: this is even more rough than the other two as he describes that the common shipper mentality of “he/she likes her/him so they should be together” can “only be likened to that of elementary schoolers”. And how shippers take every little meaningless detail and blow it out of proportion with no regard for context, legitimate bonding or the canon story!

But we can’t put all the blame on shippers. Many manga authors seem to have no idea how to write a character-driven series or complex character relationships. In fact, mainstream shonen writers have their fair share of guilt into promoting this common shipping mindset by being notoriously bad at writing romance. Which results in underveloped premises that leave your average fan skeptical, and your average critic disappointed at a poor portrayal of emotional bonding and a severe lack of cohesive narrative in the “romantic love” department

This is the reason why many fans, critics and non-shippers hold the shippers’ perspective in a very low regard. Just like the third non-shipper states: “The blushing, longing stares, corny ass lines etc. That kind of poorly portrayed romance is the kind of thing dreaded by the average fan because it reduces the quality of One Piece to the level of such poorly written series”

So an author needs to build a relationship the same way one person would construct a building: stablishing a strong foundation on companionship, respect, trust, signifcant moments, and emotional bonding. All of this must come before reaching the status of “romantic interest". In relation to this subject, there’s a trope called “First Girl Wins”, a portion of its description truly fits this criteria:

“From a [extradiegetic] point of view, the Law of Conservation of Detail suggests introducing the Love Interest early. An early introduction allows you to get the audience interested in her and rooting for her, gives you space for Character Development, and gives her relationship with her (eventual) partner the most time to develop organically. And with all that said, it’s such a common device that in all likelihood, it sometimes gets played for its own sake.” – tvtropes.org, 2017

Notice this isn’t a cliché, this is a literary device to enhance the story. Pairing up two characters without meaningful moments, emotional build-up and development, is the equivalent to lazy writing. Having such elements firmly stablished for two characters and then deciding to go for a different “route”, pretty much wasting a well-developed relationship for the sake of a “weaker” premise, would be the equivalent to bad writing

Is Oda, the man who’s willing to die for One Piece, a lazy writer? Of course not! Is he, a man who planned the ending years ago and is still sticking to said ending, a bad writer? Being number 1 in Japan and having such a loyal fanbase all around the world prove he’s not!

Do shippers want Oda to be a lazy/bad writer? Facts already answered this question as many (although not all) fans value their own fantasies and delusions over the manga canon and/or the author’s take on the characters and their relationships

Many (but not all) shippers now have a war. Not only against rival ships but mainly against One Piece story and consistent development. Yet as the old saying goes, those who live on delusions will have to eventually face reality and disappointment, because Oda is not a lazy/bad writer like some people here would want him to be

B) Romance Dawn AKA The not so secret origins of One Piece

“If we don’t know where we are going, it can be helpful to know where we come from” – Jostein Gaarder

When debating posible outcomes, fans rarely look back at the time when One Piecewas a still a work in progress. Taking a look at Romance Dawn V.1 and Romance Dawn V.2 helps us to see there are constants present in all versions of these Works that made it into what would later become the most popular manga in Japan

But before discussing those constants I would like to clarify the meaning of the word: “Romance”. There are people who doesn’t really grasp the concept of “Romance” both One Piece and Oda work with. Luckily the first two non-shippers I meantioned shed some light on this subject:

Romance:

“A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful
“A long fictitious tale of heroes and extraordinary or mysterious events, usually set in a distant time or place”
“A narrative in verse or prose, written in a vernacular language in the Middle Ages, dealing with strange and exciting adventures of chivalrous heroes

– thefreedictionary.com, 2016

“A prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious
–  Merriam Webster, 2016

Romantic:

“Marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized
“Having an inclination for romance: responsive to the appeal of what is idealized, heroic, or adventurous

–  Merriam Webster, 2016

These definitions match pretty well One Piece and Oda outlook on this concept. Even Oda lampshaped this by giving his own translation to the title: 冒険の夜明け (“Bōken no Yoake”, “Dawn of the Adventure”)

So Oda’s “romance” covers a wide variety of themes: Adventure, heroism, mystery, virtue, idealism… we can find comedy and tragedy, happiness and sadness. And among the virtues and the idealism we find companionship and love. As the second non-shipper I mentioned explained One Piece is pretty much like an “Adventure novel”, which is why we’ll find in One Piece many of the tropes commonly used in those books

Among those tropes, we find a couple of constants in all versions of “Romance Dawn”

The golden-hearted protagonist and the “First Girl” who doubles as a female lead. Think about this “what if” scenario: If things would’ve played different back then and One Piece never went beyond “Romance Dawn V.1”. If that story were to be elaborated futher, which two characters would had shared the most moments to become endgame? The answer is pretty simple: The golden-hearted protagonist and the female lead!

But when debating, the weight of the argument depends on edvidence so we need to rely on what we can confirm. And we confirm this, what’s the constant in Luffy’s story in all versions of Romance Dawn? a Nami-like character

This becomes even more interesting when we discover that at an interview at “Manga no Chikara” and others, Nami was supposed to be the first one to join Luffy but her debut was postponed by Oda’s editor at that time. Edvidence of this being a last minute decision remains on the first color cover:

Yet as the second non-shipper noted: “her role as secondary protagonist was not altered” for “Nami shares with Luffy the largest character development in the entire series”. And as explained here we already know how the trope goes when someone seeks to write a natural growth for an emotional connection between two characters 

In fact, the relevance of Nami to Luffy’s story is implied in what Oda himself said about Strong World: “I really wanted to make a ‘hero saves the heroine’ story (ヒロインを助けるヒーローを描きたい the japanese sentence). [….]. You might think otherwise, but I had no intention of bringing in someone new to fill that [heroine] role. So when I had to think about whom to use for it amongst the straw hats of course that meant Nami

In Oda’s mind, Luffy is the hero and Nami is the heorine! We can tell that the hero and the heroine are meant to be the driving forces of the series, and therefore putting them together makes the most sense from a storytelling perspective

C) LuffyxNami AKA LuNa/LuNami

“Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men” – Thomas Huxley

Many shippers tend to ignore and disregard the importance of staying faithful to the canon story, and the author’s take on the characters and their relationships

To makes matters worst some of them even deem as illogical any argument solidly based on these factors. While considering stuff like lines, frogs, sweat, fire, nonexistent sexual tension, assumption of sexuality, and even assumptions of pregnancy, as legitimate proofs of a plausible outcome! In fact they even value comparisons to other series with a different tone, themes, and characters over anything that the One Piece author conveys through his work

There’s even people who goes as far as editing the wiki as if that would change the story to match their preferred pairing!

But in order to reach a conclusion that remains true to One Piece and its nature we have to rely on the very same foundation that was already described several times: mutual trust/respect, faith on one another, significant moments, stress in their relationship and emotional development. If the story doesn’t let you build your premises on these elements, the conclusion you’ll reach will obviously be flawed and stray away from what One Piece really is

So here I’m not only defending the premise I strongly support; I’m defending the very same story and build-up that contributes to this bond’s natural growth:

As explained before there’s nothing explicitly romantic about major interactions. But given we’re dealing with a good and dilligent writer, what we’ll get to see is how big to small moments stablish an emotional connection between two characters, and how that becomes the base for a even greater growth

First we have the themes of trust and faith: At first Nami doesn’t trust Luffy very much, out of her clear distate for pirates, until witnessing how far was Luffy willing to go to selflessly help others. Even then Nami treated their relationship as a mere business and later betrayed the crew

Still Luffy always trusted Nami to the point of putting blind faith in her. Even when given reasons not to do so. One remarkable example is when Luffy was informed by someone trustworthy (Johnny) that Nami apparently “killed” to Usopp, and Luffy not only kept holding onto his blind faith in Nami but he also threatened Johnny for saying such things about her


This becomes something remarkable when we take into consideration that Zoro quickly gave up on Nami and later tried to attack her without even a second thought! While Usopp just wanted  the Merry back…

And it would later become even more impressive in the Whiskey Peak Arc when Luffy came to doubt Zoro because of the words of wounded man he didn’t even know, and even doubted Robin during Water 7 until Nami told him and the crew the truth behind Robin’s desertion:

But what else makes this situation with Nami any different from others we see in the manga? Some might point to the saga where rescuing Robin was the primary objective; but in Robin’s case Luffy knew her life was in danger for Robin was planning to die for the crew, and he got the resolve to save her only after learning the truth. Others might point to the current arc, but he saw right through Sanji’s act and got desperate to rescue him only after hearing his life is in danger.

Here, Nami’s life wasn’t in danger as far as Luffy knew. And he constantly try to reach out to her despite her harsh attitude and the fact he knew next to nothing about her past and her current circumstances. It was only when he saw her cry he got enough motivation to beat Arlong, and it was only when he got a small glimpse of what she went through that he lost it!

How does Nami respond to this? Initially she wanted to get Luffy out of her villaje and her life. While Nami indeed grew fond of Luffy and the others she wasn’t willing to bond with any of them; she held on her distrust of others. But that changed when she finally hitted her lowest point, when she finally lost all hope. Then it comes Nami’s first major development as character: she realized she needed to rely on someone else, she realized Luffy was her only hope Nami decided to rely on him. The following scene marks the first time of many when Nami relied on Luffy to a emotional level. And the first of two times when Luffy entrusted his treasure to her in a touching gesture to provide comfort and hope:

From the very beginning the emotional build-up between Luffy and Nami was a key factor for one of the most meaningful and memorable moments in One Piece. The moment when Luffy becomes Nami’s “emotional anchor”

The effect Luffy had on her character was also quite powerful as we could see during the 2nd pass of the hat: back then at Skypiea arc Nami could still panic at dreadful situations: 

But as soon as Luffy gave her his treasure, the panic stopped and when he was later removed from the battle field, Nami was capable of drawing enough courage from Luffy to face the big bad from that arc:

Not to mention Luffy’s final move against Enel was combined effort of the two as well as an impressive display of mutual trust/faith

We can continue to appreciate their development even futher as the story goes on. As someone already pointed out, Nami during Water 7 displayed an impressive resolve and determination, but as soon as she got the chance to explain Luffy their situation she opened her heart to express how she felt, her anguish and her distress. When Luffy reassures her that he will save Robin, she doesn’t cry anymore until she reunites with Robin

Their bonding is even futher explored in the only One Piece movie fully written by Oda: Strong World. As this is the author’s take on their relationship is still a valid argument to support Luffy/Nami development:

We already considered how impressive Luffy’s blind faith in Nami can be. So after listening to most of Nami’s recorded message, Luffy gets enraged! Why?

Well, after all that time Luffy relied on his navigator without ever doubting her. He was likely expecting all his trust and faith in Nami to be reciprocated

Turns out Nami does return that feeling! And why can we say that? Remember the movie’s ending: Nami finds out everyone in the crew got her hidden “save me” at the end of her message… everyone but Luffy. Then when Luffy is about to play the recorded proof of Nami’s unwavering faith in him, what does she do? She tries to get rid of the “edvidence” out of embarrassment 

It’s easy to see then why Nami seeked out Luffy for hope and comfort during Zou. And how she did something similar to what happened in Water 7: she opened up to Luffy

I said it before, since Luffy is Nami’s “emotional anchor”, it makes sense for her to keep strengthening her bond with Luffy. And given Luffy needs a guide to new adventures and someone “mature” enough to sometimes keep him in line, it makes sense for Luffy to grow closer to Nami

She once summed it up pretty well: “He always talks big, but when it comes down to it, he knows nothing about the sea! He’s severely lacking in the ‘sense of danger’ area! And he always overdoes it…if I left him alone, he’d die. And he’s stupid, so I have to take care of him. That’s why I’m gonna help him!” - Nami, chapter 596

Still, none of this is explicitly romantic in the traditional sense of the word. But just like someone who’s contructing a building, we start dealing with the foundations to then proceed to make a solid structure: a well-written relationship that enhances the story

As someone once reviewed, Luffy and Nami dynamic doesn’t need to chance for them to become endgame for they already have anything they need to finish that “building”. And that’s what’s being a potent pairing means: having everything to your favor for futher development and growth. Luffy and Nami definitively have the major moments and the emotional bonding while remaining consistent to the One Piece canon to be considered a Potent Pairing

Bonus:

It’s interesting we find other interaction that proves how comfortable is Nami around Luffy: 

She doesn’t mind having Luffy around her, what she really minds is Luffy wanting to go to dangerous places But why is this relevant? In Thriller Bark we had a clear showing of how she reacts to pervs trying to accomplish what Luffy did here. She electrocutes them. We can confirm she haven’t changed in this regard because at the end of Fishman Island arc Nami electrocutes a perv for trying to peek at her while she was taking a bath

Another interesting detail about Nami’s attitude toward Luffy is a change we see in WCI. Of course we have the remarkable faith and trust Nami puts on Luffy by even boasting how him being the future Pirate King ensures their victory over Cracker’s ability.

But the real change is when Sanji brutalizes Luffy. Nami already stated she felt guilty for what happened when Sanji got taken. But when Sanji did his “little” number on Luffy her attitude changed, she not only begged him to stop but was also promising they’ll leave if he did (Luffy clearly disagreed on that)

After seeing the way Sanji treated her captain, Nami did something the could seem pretty justified because of what happened: she slapped Sanji and then sarcastically played along Sanji’s “royal” act.

When she goes to Luffy and finds out her captain is not relenting on his effort to get Sanji back, she gives us this little gem:

The Japanese text for Nami’s dialogue reads: “Luffy!! Why?! No matter what his reasons are, after he did all that to you…”

The term she used here for the line in bold conveys the idea of severe mistreatment. She was obviously mad at the way Sanji attacked and badmouthed Luffy and his dream. Ironically Luffy is the one who shows far more emotion to the prospect of getting Sanji back than Nami, she kept displaying far more concern for Luffy as the chapters went on

Nami is now showing, little by little, more of a emotional attachment to Luffy. Which makes a lot sense given what we saw in their story

Signal Boost

I’ve had two interviews at two different gas stations trying to get a job I can handle working, but so far have had no success in getting a second interview. Last month, I thought I was being called for a second interview, but it turned out to be a third first interview at a gas station across town I would have been unable to get to regularly. 

Because of this, I’m afraid I again have to ask for help paying my rent. I am disabled and because of this, I’m struggling to find jobs I can handle.

My rent is $375.00, and though in a few days I’ll have roughly fifty dollars towards it now, I don’t have any money towards it currently.

Thank you if you donate, and please reblog if you can’t. 

-Miri.

3

Interview: Attack on Titan’s Trina Nishimura & Yui Ishikawa.

by Zac Bertschy - Anime News Network.


Anime News Network just published an interview with Trina Nishimura and Yui Ishikawa (Mikasa Ackerman’s english and japanese voice actresses) that took place at Anime Expo!

In this interview they talk, among other things, about their work in Season 2, their expectations regarding Season 3, and Mikasa’s relationship with Eren.

Here’s an excerpt of some of the most relevant questions: 


Season 3 is coming next year. Since the manga’s been out for a little while, are the two of you going in blind or have you spoiled yourself for what’s coming next?

Trina: I don’t actually read the manga until after we finish recording because I don’t want to mess anything up and I like to go into each season and each episode fresh, not knowing what’s happened. And it’s awful. (laughs) Because I’m dying to know, and I know she reads the manga so I want to ask her questions, but I don’t want to spoil it. But I’m really excited.

Yui: Yes, I’ve read what happens in the manga in the future.


Is there a moment coming up that you’re the most excited to perform?

Yui: I’ve read what’s available so far, but I try not to reread too much ahead before the production of a season, because if I knew too much of the story, that could get in my way of performing for the story that’s being presented right now. I think that season 3’s going to take us to a certain part of the storyline where we can perhaps expect to see more struggles within humankind than humankind against titans. That story development will probably be very interesting in season 3 and would bring in more mystery to be resolved with some more clarifications on some mysteries. So I’m very excited and looking forward to taking part in season 3.


Season 2 ended with a big moment for Mikasa, when she finally confessed her feelings for Eren. In your opinion, do you think they make a good couple? Some fans say Mikasa needs someone more mature than Eren. What do you think of that?

Yui: Eren is not really reciprocating her feelings right now. So I’m not sure if they’re going to make a good couple at this time. For Mikasa it’s probably a little bit—it’s not enough for her, maybe? But hopefully. At the end, Eren did say to Mikasa “Yes, I’ll put this scarf on you over and over again.” Until that point, Mikasa’s always been chasing after Eren, but that was the first time Eren actually turned to her and said something like that to her instead. So maybe there is hope that they could make it.

Trina: I mean, I hope that they end up together, I hope that he—I don’t want to say “mans up” because that’s inappropriate—but I hope that he calms down a little and they ride off into the sunset together. That moment where she’s not straight-out saying “I love you!” obviously, she’s just kind of expressing how important he is to her and all of her motivation has been to keep him alive. For him, that moment says “I will always be there.” That’s such a touching moment, after the mental anguish of the scene prior, and then turning around and seeing her for the first time was so beautiful, and I hope that it works out, but he’s not the most reliable guy, so who knows?


Okay last question. Is the wait between seasons as hard for you as it is for the fans? Do you wish that it was a little bit more often than a year between twelve episode chunks?

Trina: Every day. I only know what the fans go through from what they tell me, and they’re very excited, and some even angry. Like, it’s not my fault! But it’s awful. It’s like the worst. I’ll talk to the English dub director, Mike McFarland, and I’m like “Is it here yet? Do we have it yet? Is it next month?” And he’s like “I don’t know, stop asking.” I’ll text him randomly, “Hey happy Tuesday. When’s it coming?” I’m very excited, very excited.

Yui: Yes, there were four years between season 1 and 2, however during that four years, the cast of Attack on Titan in Japan worked on a lot of different projects, games and various events and various collaborations, and also there was Attack on Titan: Junior High, so it didn’t feel like there was actually four years of waiting, because we were always involved somewhat. So it felt like when season 2 was decided it was like “oh finally!” but it also didn’t feel like it took four years. And within that four years, we had a deepened understanding of the characters, and I think we were able to bring that to season two and make it better, hopefully.


You can read the full interview here at Anime News Network.

Suga Kenta and Kimura Tatsunari
Livedoor Interview Translation

Translation continues under the Read More.  It’s important to note the actual interview took place about a month ago, it’s just this second part is now finally published.

Q: This will be my third interview with the two of you after the re-run “View from the Top,” and “Karasuno, Revival!” 

Kenta: Whoo! [applause] Thank you each and every time!
Tatsunari: That’s right, and for this particular production…
Kenta: Whoah whoah, no, too fast! [laughs] They haven’t asked us anything yet!

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