different girl is different and unique and all other girls are not as good

things i love about my hero academia

(not all of them because then this would turn into a 500 page journal that could be published and sold and no one would buy it because no one is as much of a nerd as i am)

  • our main protagonist is not a traditionally masculine hero. he’s small, he’s weak, he’s a crybaby, he’s sensitive. especially in the shounen genre, this is a pretty rare thing to see, and even as Izuku grows as a person and becomes more confident in himself, he’s still shy and anxious.
  • he’s also a fanboy!! and not in a bad way!! it’s his fanboy nature that allows him to express himself and show how smart, intuitive, and observant he is
  • the character who does get all the traditionally masculine traits is the character everyone in the main cast acknowledges is a total asshole who mercilessly bullied and abused his classmate/childhood playmate
  • it’s also very clearly seen that Izuku has been conditioned (unintentionally) to fear Bakugou because of all of that physical and emotional abuse. just because he’s a hero in training and he’s learning and growing and becoming more confident doesn’t erase all of those years of bullying
  • it’s also acknowledged that they are children and still have room to grow. Bakugou is an asshole, but he’s not totally villainized for his behavior and is given the chance to change and become a better person because he’s only sixteen years old and still has time to change
  • and he does!! he makes an effort to change and try to adjust his behavior to make a more positive impact (even if it is a slow and arduous process, we do see him make great strides throughout the manga)
  • it would have been really easy to just throw Bakugou under the bus and make him a villain, but instead we get to see his growth as a person as he matures and enters the world of adulthood
  • All Might is the no. 1 hero, the Symbol of Peace, the man everyone thinks is invincible, and he has a chronic condition. he’s missing his stomach, he’s had multiple surgeries, he spits up blood, he literally looks like a skeleton, guys. but even after the reveal, people still admire and look up to him as an idol because he’s still All Might and he still protected and saved a lot of lives and was still a hero
  • All Might’s relationship with Izuku just in general. seriously, i could make an entirely different list just based on their relationship and 95% of the fandom has already talked about them, so i won’t gush about their relationship too much here
  • the fact that most of the adults take responsibility when they fuck up. the police force realize they’ve relied too heavily on heroes, specifically All Might, and they make an effort to change that so they can help people. the teachers at UA recognize that they’ve neglected students who need psychological help. Izuku’s mom acknowledges that she should have encouraged his dream in spite of his quirklessness. most stories, even in the west, don’t have nearly as much adult responsibility as this series does
  • the elusive living anime mom
  • okay but seriously, Inko is quite possibly one of the best fictional moms i’ve seen in a long time. she’s loving and encouraging and she tries her hardest, but she’s not perfect. she’s a single mom caring for her son, who wants to go into this incredibly dangerous profession. and when he gets hurt enough times, when her limit is finally met, she puts her foot down and says “no. i love you, but i can’t let you keep getting hurt like this.” like any reasonable parent would. and the only way she relents is when she sees how much Toshinori wants to teach him and nurture him and encourage him and see his dream recognized and she sees how badly Izuku wants to continue down this path, even if it’s under her terms.
  • this series seriously tackles a lot of topics that you wouldn’t expect it to. you know you’re gonna get the usual topics like what makes a hero, what makes a villain, etc. but, it also goes over other subjects like bullying, parental abuse, discrimination, grief, inferiority complexes, how easy it is to create a monster, redemption. this is a manga about teenagers learning to be super heroes, how did it turn out like this
  • it would have been so easy to sexualize any of the girls. this manga, in the hands of a lesser author, would have featured a lot of fan service shots of the girls. Momo especially, considering she wears a very revealing outfit. and yet, none of them are sexualized?? in any way shape or form??? yeah, we see Momo shirtless a lot and some girls wear skin tight outfits. but, you know who else has skin tight outfits and revealing hero costumes? the boys. and when we do see a shirtless girl or boy, it’s not framed in a way where we’re meant to be objectifying their body. there’s a reason why it happened and we move on. it’s so refreshing.
  • (there are only two fan service female characters. one uses her sexuality to get free shit and the other is meant to make you uncomfortable. take it what you will)
  • we get a lot of unique designs for each of the characters. there are no same faces. each character has a unique quirk and a design that belongs to them. they aren’t interchangeable with one another. Izuku looks like Izuku. All Might looks like All Might. they all look unique with different shapes and sizes
  • (admittedly the manga still kind of falls under the trap of the boys get to have weird, strange designs and the girls all kind of look cute, but it’s not nearly as bad as some other shows. and honestly, if that’s my only complaint, that says a lot)
  • fighting doesn’t solve everything! there’s a really incredible few chapters in the manga dedicated to acknowledging that Izuku and Bakugou seriously need to talk to each other about what Bakugou did to him. they’re both incredible people in their own right and they can learn a lot from each other, but only if they stop fighting and actually communicate with each other. one of the chapters is literally titled “a meaningless fight”. because it is meaningless. it’s not going to solve their problems, fix past mistakes, or make them feel better. it’s a fight to get aggression out because Bakugou doesn’t know any other way to deal with his emotions and trauma.
  • kindness is rewarded!!! cruelty is not!!! i’m really sick and tired of TV shows and movies trying to sell this pessimistic outlook that everything sucks and that gives us the right to be assholes to each other just because it’s edgy. My Hero Academia is such a positive manga and it brings me so much joy and happiness and it sends such a wonderful message of anyone can be a hero if you have a good heart and that kindness will be rewarded, even if it takes a really long time.

i love this manga so much and it’s given me so much light and happiness in my life and if that makes me weird because it’s anime, then fine. whatever. i don’t care. i’ll love it for as long as i can, dammit.

Books you should read because I LOVE THEM

Dedication: For @kissmybruisedknuckles who told me to make this because she’s too lazy to make one lol

1. Strange The Dreamer - Laini Taylor

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

2. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

3. Unwind - Neil Shusterman

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

4. Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

5. This Savage Song - Victoria Schwab

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

6. The Darkest Part of The Forest - Holly Black

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

7. Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

9. Illuminae - Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more

10. Legend - Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

11. Angelfall (Penryn and the end of days) - Susan Ee

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

12. Caraval - Stephanie Garber

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

13. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

14. An Ember In The Ashes - Sabaa Tahir

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

15. The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.


16. The Wrath and The Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Masterlist [Boys Reactions]

Overall Masterlist: here


EXO

Reactions:


Winner

Reactions:


BTS

Reactions:


Seventeen

Reactions:


BAP

Reactions:


NCT

Reactions:


Big Bang

Reactions:


Jay Park

Reactions:


Dean

Reactions:


Monsta X


UP10TION


SF9


Astro

Yuri on Ice BD booklet translation (with Jun Shishido & Yuusuke Tannawa interview) - Volume 4

The full translation of the booklet of vol.4 is finally done… Actually, one of the reasons it took me so long is that I spent most of the time I was home from Thursday to Sunday watching Fuji TV’s live coverage of the World Championships, lol. And I’m glad I did because it was really exciting. It does make a difference to watch it live without knowing the results… I will work on the audio commentary and choreography part in the next few days, and hopefully on other stuff too.

The booklet has 3 parts:
1) Character introduction for Phichit, Chris and Guang-Hong.
2) “Topics”, in other words random curiosities. 
3) Interview with chief director Jun Shishido and screen designer Yuusuke Tannawa. Most of you will probably have no idea who they are (and their titles are by no means a good explanation of what their actual role was), but I really recommend reading this interview because it gives more insight on the creation process of YOI and maybe it helps understand how hard it is to animate figure skating. The parts in round brackets are exactly like they are in the original text, it’s not something I added.

***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***


He’s going to leave a mark in Thai’s skating history with his blades!

Phichit Chulanont
voiced by Kenshou Ono

Profile
Date of birth: April 30th, 20 years old
Height: 165 cm
Blood type: B
Thai

Introduction
A new hope for Thailand, that didn’t have any skaters who got remarkable results. His popularity is quickly growing also thanks to his spontaneous and pleasant skating style that mirrors his friendly personality. This season he is skating both his short program and free to songs from the movie “The King and the Skater”, which is something he had always dreamed of doing. He is the first Thai skater to have succeeded in a quadruple jump and he also obtained his first Grand Prix victory. He is continuing to rewrite Thai’s figure skating history.
He used to train under Celestino in Detroit, but from this season he has moved his base back to Thailand. He loves hamsters and has a lot of them. Posts about them can be seen on his SNS.

The lethal weapon made of sex appeal that shines on the ice.

Christophe Giacometti
voiced by Hiroki Yasumoto

Profile
Date of birth: February 14th, 25 years old
Height: 183 cm
Blood type: undisclosed
Swiss

Introduction
10 years since he moved to the senior class, he is one of the world’s best skaters fighting for the top. Beside his quadruple Lutz and his characteristic sexy moves, he is also praised for his unique and precise spins. As a veteran, he never breaks down too much, but he is a slow starter and tends to not perform at his best in the Grand Prix series, which is held in the first half of the season. Last year he came in 2nd in both the Grand Prix Final and the World Championships. With his long-time rival Nikiforov missing this season, he is one of the candidates to snatch the king’s throne.
He is a popular skater who captures the hearts of women all over the world with his passionate and alluring performances that ooze the sex appeal of a grown-up man. He has a cat.

To become, one day, China’s hero.

Guang-Hong Ji
voiced by Yuutarou Honjou

Profile
Date of birth: January 7th, 17 years old
Height: 160 cm
Blood type: O
Chinese

Introduction
A growing 17-years-old who moved to the senior class this season. In the Grand Prix’s America tournament he placed 3rd, achieving the amazing feat of standing on the podium on his debut performance. The success rate of his quadruple jumps, which he started training for this season, is also high, and as China’s new ace he is expected to grow further in the second half of the season.
He has a shy personality, but at the same time he also uploads many selfies on the SNS. It seems that he also bought a lot of clothes during his training camp in Canada. Together with his friend Chulanont from Thailand and Japan’s Minami, he is called by fans “one of Asia’s 3 cutest skaters”.

YURI!!!’s TOPIC

TOPIC 1: Grand Prix Series
It consists in a total of 7 tournaments: 6 tournaments held in different countries every year from the end of October to the end of November, and the final that sees the 6 skaters who got the highest scores in the other tournaments as its participants. The 6 tournaments are always held in the same countries (the order may vary), but the location of the final changes every year, and this season it’s Barcelona in Spain. The participants are chosen based on their results in tournaments regulated by ISU (International Skating Union), their world ranking, recommendations by the host country etc.; however, each skater can only participate in a maximum of 2 tournaments. In addition, only up to 3 skaters from the same country can participate in the same category of the same tournament. The period when the skaters’ allocation is announced is somewhat of a festival among skating fans.

*It’s night in Japan when the skaters’ allocation is announced
*The first 6 tournaments are held in 6 countries over the span of 6 weeks
*In every tournament skaters receive points depending on their placement (15 points for the 1st place, 13 points for the 2nd place and so on), and the final ranking decides who will participate in the final

TOPIC 2: Quadruple Jump
(*at the moment of the Russia tournament)
One of the techniques that decide the game in male figure skating is quadruple jumps. Since the number and type of jumps greatly influences the score, recently it’s common for skaters to include multiple quadruple jumps in their programs. However, according to the rules the same jump can only be repeated a limited number of times, therefore skaters try new types of jumps and train hard to be able to have more quadruple jumps to put in their programs. Currently, 5 types of jumps except for the Axel have been successfully landed in official competitions. The one with the highest score is the Lutz, which top skaters such as Victor, Giacometti and JJ are using in their programs. The quadruple toeloop, which has the lowest score, is successfully used by young skaters such as Kenjirou Minami, Guang-Hong and Phichit too. Yuuri can jump the toeloop and Salchow and is currently training to master Victor’s trademark flip. After the Lutz, the flip is the jump with the highest score.

*Yurio in his junior years getting scolded for jumping a quadruple that was not planned
*Seung-gil is the first who successfully landed a quadruple loop
*Emil is a jumper that has 4 quadruples in his free
*JJ jumps an amazing quadruple Lutz in the second half of his program
*Victor uses as his weapons 4 types of quadruples, except for the Axel and loop (in the EX he landed a loop too)

TOPIC 3: Support Item (cheering goods)
It often happens to spot flags and banners used as cheering goods in figure skating venues. After a performance flower bouquets and plushes are also thrown into the rink. Banners do not only feature the skater’s name and flag; sometimes they have a message or a portrait of the skater with which people try to show their support, and in some cases they are even made using photographs. Yuuri is often thrown plushes of food. The bouquets and plushes are picked up by children who are learning skating, usually called “flower girls” and “flower boys”.

*JJ’s cheering group, called JJ girls.
*Yurio’s hardcore fans are called Yuri angels.
*Flags are basic items. Some fans bring different types.
*Present snacks from fans for Yuuri who is on a diet?
*After popular athletes skate the flower girls and boys have a hard time picking up everything
*Sometimes skaters will actually put on the items that are thrown into the rink

TOPIC 4: Kiss & Cry
The kiss & cry is where skaters wait for their score after a performance. The name comes from the fact that it’s a place where athletes can experience both happy and sad feelings. Normally the skater and their coach will sit there, but in some cases there might be people from a country’s federation or the choreographer too. In many venues there will be a microphone, therefore skaters can also send messages to their family and fans. If you listen to the broadcast closely you might be able to hear the athlete and coach reviewing the performance or other conversations.

*Sometimes the coach might strike a pose too
*It’s also a place where athletes vow to make up for a defeat
*”Please support me!” addressed to the viewers
*The JJ style gesture in the kiss & cry is a recurrence
*Michele’s sister Sara can be seen in the kiss & cry too

Chief director / Screen designer
Jun Shishido & Yuusuke Tannawa interview

I want to make the gag scenes dynamic. (Shishido)
The opening of episode 11 was possible thanks to the viewers’ response. (Tannawa)

Shishido: I’m the chief director, but in fact I did a lot of things. Director Yamamoto was too busy, so she mainly did sound and editing, and then since it’s an original story she focused on the story composition…
Tannawa: Shishido-san was like the site supervisor. We would ask things related to the story itself to director Yamamoto, but the one who actually took action and gave directions was Shishido-san. Though in the credits I appear as “screen designer”, the anime’s screen design was created by the director of photography, and my job in this series mainly consisted in creating the footage for PVs, OP etc. and checking the final product before delivery. I started working on the PV at the beginning of 2016. I asked director Yamamoto what kind of layout she had in mind, and decided how to set the visuals of the series. Regarding the contents of the episodes I also discussed with Shishido-san about various topics – for example, “this processing can be done with camerawork, this expression can be recreated with CG” – and shared this information with the involved work groups.

-Trial and error to create the huge amount of skating scenes.-

T: In figure skating athletes perform while continuously moving around, therefore it was extremely difficult to understand where an athlete was and in what direction he was skating in each frame. In the 1st episode we created a CG model of the skater based on the real choreography footage and had it skate in a rink created with 3DCG, then we followed it with tridimensional camerawork and used that footage as a base for the animation. It was a very elaborate process. However, we realized that it was impossible to continue using this method with the production schedule of a TV series, therefore we switched to a different method where we would create camerawork on a general background map. Also, after episode 5, for certain characters we preceded the creation of the key animation with 3DCG. The final animation is all done by hand, but by having a base to use as a reference it was possible to calculate the available time frame and create the animations accordingly, thus shortening the working time.
S: Even if you suddently ask the 3D staff to create figure skating animation, of course they have almost no knowledge of the jumps and techniques. They create the animation based on the reference footage, but they cannot express complex details such as how athletes balance their feet the moment they jump, so for that I and (figure skating animators) Abiko-san and Tatenaka-san adjusted the animation. Among the people working on the series, the only ones who had technical knowledge about figure skating were the 3 of us and director Yamamoto. And it’s not something that you can just explain verbally, so we took on all those jobs ourselves. We checked… everything, probably. Actually, until episode 4 the skating scenes were all created by Abiko-san and Tatenaka-san, so I didn’t need to check them, but from episode 5 the amount of skating scenes became so huge that we asked Tannawa-san and the others whether we could get help from the CG team… I completely trusted Tannawa-san, because I knew that if we explained what to do he would understand what was needed.
T: I basically asked what they couldn’t do, and we did all we could to make up for that and reduce their workload. We would never have finished the series otherwise. That’s why for this anime no one ever said “isn’t that your job?”. For every episode, everyone just fought toward completion.
S: Everyone took responsibility for their job and worked with extreme care, like no one was going to double-check what they did afterwards. We thought, “if we don’t do our best, this series will not make it to the broadcast, therefore we must all be responsible and work hard”…

-A scene you especially paid attention to.-

S: All the storyboards for the skating scenes were drawn by the director, but I drew them for quite a lot of daily life scenes. I especially like the scene where Yurio gives a pirozhki to Yuuri (in episode 9). I was particularly careful to make Yurio look cute. I wanted to show that, even though normally he is rude (to Yuuri), he actually rather trusts him and they do get along. I also like gag scenes, so I had fun with scenes such as the hug competition at the end of episode 9. Gag scenes do not need to be drawn as neatly as serious scenes, therefore I decided to animate them in a very comical and dynamic way.
T: I paid a lot of attention to the opening. The way we changed it in episode 11 to reflect the current story development is something I myself suggested to the director. Actually, only the opening of episode 1 was still incomplete when it was broadcasted. From episode 2 onwards it was always the same footage, but the viewers wrote a lot of comments about it (and were wondering whether it was changing every time). Since everyone was watching it every time without skipping it, we decided to really change it in the end.
S: My favorite character is Georgi Popovich! He’s a man who can talk about love seriously. He actually makes a few appearances since the 1st episode. When we were working on episode 1 we only had Kubo-sensei’s character plans and the storyboard saying “a character named Popovich is standing here”. We made him stand out a little because we understood that he would show up in the story later on. And what a character he was, when he was introduced in episode 6!
T: He was so striking that I was actually shocked! I like Popovich too. Also, among the programs, I like Yuuri’s FS “Yuri on ICE”. It’s the first song I listened to working for this series, and at that time I used it for the PV without knowing that it was going to be Yuuri’s FS. In the PV Yuuri is skating in Hasetsu with his slender appearance from episode 3 onwards, and (the character designer) Hiramatsu-san commented “it’s a wonderful video, but now we have to make him fat”. I remember thinking “what is he saying??” (LOL).

-The power of the support that reached the studio.-

S: When we were creating the anime we were so busy with the work at hand that we didn’t really realize how much of a response the series was having. However, we received lots of presents, food, goods and letters of support from fans.
T: Even items based on the contents of the series, like (retort-packed) borscht. That made us feel that fans were really supporting us because they liked the series, and it boosted our morale. Knowing that there were so many people watching and cheering on us motivated us to our best even it meant working overnight without sleeping.
S: The charm of this series is the love of the original creators, director Yamamoto and Kubo-sensei, that you can feel from it. It’s just so strong.
T: It also feels like you are touring various countries to follow Yuuri and the others and watch their matches. You can watch it with the eyes of a spectator and think “I didn’t know a lot about this athlete, but now I see how he skates”. I think that another element that allows viewers to really get into the world of the series is how not only the matches but also the skaters’ practice scenes and the back yard are drawn with lots of details. Everything is detailed, even the different shape of each skater’s blades. The director herself is full of very sincere love for figure skating, and that was transmitted to both the staff and the viewers.
S: The animation studio had a very nice atmosphere. It’s the first time that I’m working with Tannawa-san, but when I saw his work I realized right away that he was someone I could trust. Trust and unity are something you find in the staff of many series, but for this one it was especially strong.


On a side note, Kubo & Yamamoto went to see the Worlds in Helsinki and are now in St.Petersburg. I am confident it’s tourism but with a spoonful of location hunting… (What a timing, though. I hope none of you or your acquaintances were personally affected by what happened the other day in the subway)

Something brilliant about the new BatB movie

Of all the changes they made, I feel like one stood out as being the most subtly ingenious - setting up Gaston as an outsider to the town like Belle was, but in a vastly different way.


First off, paying close attention, it becomes clear that Gaston views the town much like Belle does. When he says that it’s “simple”, he means it. And he strides in literally above everyone else on his horse, looking down on them. Gaston realizes that the townspeople are simple minded and that the town is provincial. While they bully and scorn Belle, he doesn’t (at least not in the same fashion or for the same reasons). You could argue that he only doesn’t mock her because he’s trying to gain her favor, but there is no indication that he would have ever had a problem with her reading or teaching other girls to read. He even fakes interest in her books instead of reprimanding her for her “funny” hobbies; he may have looked at this interest in a patronizing way, but it didn’t seem to personally offend him (like his cartoon counterpart who directly states that she shouldn’t be reading books). 

He also didn’t seem the type to get upset at Belle or any other woman finding a more convenient way to do chores. And when LeFou tells him the town is bullying her because of this, he doesn’t seem surprised at all by their behavior, almost as if he expected it. We also see hints of his being removed from the town when he tries to “comfort” Belle about the headmaster - I think he’s being truthful here when he says he wasn’t liked either. And, again, he outright tells Belle that their town is simple and that this is all they can expect. 

It’s also telling that he finds Belle “outrageously attractive”; some may interpret this as him merely wanting a conquest (which it partly is, no doubt), but I think he also is genuinely attracted to her uniqueness - he finds her argumentative and independent personality appealing, which would seem to imply some sort of free thinking and cleverness on his own part. In some weird, perhaps essentially inaccurate way, Gaston sees him and Belle as sort of kindred spirits - both too good for this town and this life, the “best” that belong together.

Let me digress a bit because now the question comes up as to why he stays in town and doesn’t seek his own “adventure in the great wide somewhere” (which, perhaps, his hunting is a substitute for). I think the answer to this is pretty clear - he’s found a small safe haven where he can get the admiration his low self-esteem obviously needs so that he can keep functioning at basic human levels. Due to sexism, Gaston’s outsiderness is treated very differently by the townspeople than Belle’s. Belle and Gaston are both detached and removed from the general masses, but whereas Belle is ostracized and side-eyed, Gaston is put on a pedestal and idolized (just compare the songs “Belle” and “Gaston”). Logically, this may have something to do with his very real accomplishments as a captain, but it’s also very much rooted in gender roles (Belle has stepped outside hers, while Gaston has not). But if Gaston were to leave, would he find himself being treated as special in larger cities? Probably not. And we see what can happen when Gaston’s self-value plummets - a screw pops loose in his head and he begins literally rampaging, hurting innocent people all in an effort to avoid facing reality. 

Back to the main point - one effect of making Gaston seemingly just as aware of the town’s flaws is that it sets him up as much more intelligent than the cartoon. He stays in this town because he’s worshiped, but you can tell he’s looking down his nose at them the whole time, encapsulated by his treatment of the fawning girls. This aligns with this new incarnation’s cleverness. Unlike the cartoon, this Gaston is not dumb. Belle calls him “brainless” because he’s not well-read, but he is in no way dumb. He’s probably not illiterate (he went to school, and he does quote Shakespeare), and he’s more than proficient at gaslighting and manipulating people to do what he wants. He’s also a clever strategist and soldier. 

So what does this all mean in terms of character? Why make Gaston as aware of the town’s narrow-minded provincial nature as Belle? Why make him smarter? Well, this has multiple added effects. 

1) It means he’s good at evaluating people - he reads and plays the people in the town easily, which makes the ending mob scene much more believable. He rallies these people not just because they admire him (arguably less than the cartoon town did), but because he knows what they want to hear and can play on their narrow minded prejudices (it’s interesting to wonder if he even believed any of the things he was saying about the beast himself). It also means that he may be fully aware of LeFou’s affections for him, and was choosing to ignore it and/or use it when necessary. 

2) It also means that his failure to acknowledge Belle’s feelings about marrying him are not due to obliviousness or stupidity; he is willfully deluding himself into thinking he has a chance. This adds an element of instability to him that becomes more and more dangerous as the movie progresses (just watch his reaction to Belle closing the door on his face - that’s some hardcore reality avoidance). Gaston’s sanity and self-worth is holding on by the thread he’s created in his own mind that he’ll win Belle.

3) It makes him scarier as well. Cartoon Gaston was scary because he was big. This Gaston is scary because you can see him evaluating, judging, and plotting. You can see him using his looks to get what he wants and, unlike the cartoon, affecting a sort of tender sincerity to deflect suspicion. His ability to be metaphorically outside looking in at this village makes him capable of manipulating everyone, except Maurice (and you can see how Gaston handles that)

4) It humanizes him too. One can’t help but wonder what he would have been like without that fatal need to be liked and admired and with some sort of societal boundaries to keep his ego and entitlement in check. Or if he had simply taken Belle’s rejection as the lesson in humility it should have been and used it to evaluate himself and his qualities, instead of letting it destroy him so much that his behavior devolves into irrationality and outright cruelty, even towards those that he seemed to care about at least a little at first (LeFou and even Belle). In fact, his transformation is a mirror reverse of the Beast’s - Gaston transforms into a monster as the movie goes on, while the Beast becomes more humanized. Both the beast and Gaston are subjected to a lesson in humility, and react in very different ways. 

Overall, I think if Disney had simply recreated the cartoon version of Gaston, he would have been a laughingstock - a character that seemed too unrealistic and static. But by rounding him out, he becomes dynamic and I think he’ll probably live on in this version as one of the best Disney characters (not just villains) of all time. 

What do I taste like?

What do I taste like?

“So what’s it taste like anyway?” you ask him flipping the page of the book you don’t even know the name of, you’re honestly so bored but Harry’s here and he looks delicious in his red button up and you didn’t want him to study alone.

He looks at you and waits for you to continue.

“You know…pussy” Harry’s eyes bulge out but quickly recovers. An amused glint in his eyes as he smirks. He knew you were curious about his sex life, he knew you would be jealous of the girl who’s been texting him. He knew you’ve wanted him for the longest time, he did too. He thinks you’re fucking sexy and so cute. How can you do that, be such a tease without even knowing it? Pisses Harry off really.

“I’m just curious is all” you can hear your heart pounding and you’re hoping he doesn’t hear it. He’s probably no stranger to it by now. Your heart pounds every time he smiles at you, or when he “accidentally” grazes his hand against yours while you two walk to the coffee shop near campus, or when he calls you baby in front of his friends, or when he bites his lip every time he sees you all dressed up for a party (which rarely happens so it’s an occasion really, especially for Harry), or when he plays footsie with you during class. His friends think you guys fuck all the time by the way you two act. But no, you’re different to Harry and he’s different to you.

“Where is this coming from?” He puts down his pen and pushes his books aside. His phone vibrates and you frown. You couldn’t get cuter he thinks. “I’m not sleeping with her” he winks. He needs to let you know that he’s single, at all times. He was never really anyone else’s after you came in his life.

“I just want to know what it tastes like” you tell him raising your eyebrows and he raises his. “Look, it doesn’t taste like chicken” Harry snorts. “Does it taste like tuna? Potatoes?”

You put your book that you’ve been paying no attention to what so ever aside when Harry scoots next to you. “It doesn’t taste like tuna or tomatoes” he tell you.

“Potatoes” you point.

“Neither” he chuckles. He can smell you, apples? Hmm apple pie, he could just eat you up.

“Then what?” You bat your lashes, trying to look as innocent as possible. His smile softens and he drops his head to the side. Harry’s so smitten it’s beyond him, he’s even gone as far as telling his sister about your pretty brown eyes and your coffee skin. He loves coffee.

“Well, some do smell like tuna…” he says, laughing at your disgusted face. “Only some, I’ve been very lucky in that case” he’s back with the smirk.

Your heart breaks a little at the thought of him going down on someone other than you. But you’re not gonna let that upset you. Of course he’s been with other girls, he hasn’t tried you yet. He’ll be sticking when he does.

“I’m not getting an answerrrrr” you tease and he rests his back on the headboard, mimicking your position.

“Well, it depends. It’s always a little different and…and it’s always little salty…and everybody’s unique” you stare at his lips and watch them smirk and taunt you the entire time. You wonder what he would think of you.

“What do I taste like?” You surprise him and yourself by saying that out loud. Your cheeks flame but you confidently look up, his eyes now different. From soft to very dark…hungry. Harry’s shocked, but he’s been waiting to do this for a while.

“Open your legs” his hand slowly moves between your thighs, leaving goosebumps. Your eyes widen and ears feel heavy. Is this even happening? He searches your eyes for a second, thinking maybe you’ll stop him. You would never, you’ve wanted his hand between your legs since forever.

“Open your legs baby” he tells you again and this time you oblige. Your legs open slowly and your skirt raises up. Harry’s hand slowly travels up and up and up and…oh.

He made sure to feel your silky skin. Harry wants to make you whimper and say his name and hold you till he’s full. But not now.

His fingers rub over the silk and he smiles when he feels the tiny ribbon on top. You bought this one with him not too long ago, he remembers of course. Harry loved teasing you, so he picked it out as a joke. But was it really?

Harry licks his lips, his eyes all over your face. Jumping from your eyes to your lips to your cherry cheeks, he was enjoying this.

You gasp as his cold fingers slide in your panties and he rubs you gently. He’s trying to be as soft as possible, you look so sweet and pretty and small that he doesn’t want to scare you off. He looks down at his hand between your thighs in awe and he’s so fucking hard.

“Shh” he whispers and slowly pushes a finger inside you. Your mouth opens and you hide your face in your left hand, right fisting his silky shirt. He twists and turns his finger, he thinks you’re so warm. So warm and tight and oh god Harry just can’t. He wants to feel you and taste you till the very last drop. How amazing would that be.

You uncover your face and let out a breath when he brings his finger out, out of your knickers and in his mouth. All the while his eyes remain on yours and you lose your breath all over again.

He leans closer so you can feel his breath on your neck. All Harry wants to do is lick you up and mark you all over so when he leaves you would feel him there for hours…and somewhere else.

“You taste so fucking good”

You think you just died.

Graffiti, Rap, and Sexual Awakening: An Analysis of Dizzee Kipling

This was a paper written for a course I am taking in gender, sexuality, and media on how a character in television or film’s gender intersects with other identities. I chose Dizzee Kipling because he’s one of my faves from The Get Down and I felt this show does a really great job of exploring intersecting identities anyway. This analysis is about 8 pages in Word so if you read it, I totally love you! I’m really proud of this paper and had so much fun writing it!

Keep reading

Pizza Girl || Ethan Dolan

SUMMARY - A new pizza place opens up in Southern California, instantly becoming the twin’s new favorite, meanwhile Ethan crushes on their new delivery girl.

WARNING - it’s fluff my dudes, rated G

WORD COUNT - 1,624 

AUTHOR’S NOTE - this is my dream. i aspire for this to happen to me irl.

REQUESTS - OPEN


The twins got kicked out of their last apartment for their second time in Los Angeles. They’ve just recently moved into their new place, which happens to be closer to Hollywood, where the area is constantly awake. In result, they’ve stumbled across a new pizza place that has gained popularity in their two months of business; Pizza Orgasmica. 

Keep reading

Illuminate

Summary: Erica convinces Derek to go to an acapella performance with her. Things go better than he could have ever expected.

Notes: I went and saw an acapella performance last weekend, and it inspired me to write a little fic! And I’ve been wanting to write singer!Stiles for a while, so it worked out well. (On AO3)


“Come on, Derek. Please?” Erica says pleadingly, wrapping her hands around his bicep and squeezing. She leans her head against his shoulder for good measure, looking up at him sadly. “I know you’re working on being a hermit, but please come out with me to this one little thing.”

This method works pretty much every time, and Derek sighs. “Why don’t you get one of your other friends to go with you?” he asks. Erica is far more of a social butterfly than he is, he knows she has more friends than the two he’s managed to make.

“They’re not into acapella vocal performances,” Erica says.

“And what makes you think that I am?” Derek asks, eyebrow quirked.

Keep reading

Cable Girls: Las Chicas del Cable

First impression about Cable Girls after binge watching:

I love how 4 women so diverse can be so amazingly strong in such different ways. How they show us the different ways men could have total control over women’s life, and how those characters face this oppression, each her own way, is well written while still realistic with the time period it’s written in. 

- Lidia/Alba’s character complexity is amazing. Her monologues fit so well with what’s going on and the actress is amazing. Her love drama makes me yawn sometimes though. 

- Carlota is probably my favorite. She’s so brave, determined, fearless, relentless. She is aware of her flaws and tries to be better. When she faces a situation she’s never contemplated (you know what I’m talking about) sit shows that she’s frustrated with herself for not being good enough. Her ideals are so rooted and her actions show so much passion. How she stands up against her dad and anyone who betrays her or messes up with her is wonderful to watch. 

- Marga is the most ADORKABLE person I can think of. Her puns and sentences make me soft and laugh at the same time. She’s so naïve but so determined to be better and independent at the same time. I just want to adopt her. 

- Ángeles is probably the hardest character to see on screen. Her growth process is heartbreaking to watch, and it feels a little bit rushed sometimes. But it seems they get to keep her on character while still showing how she changes her heart and mindset, and her strength is unique and different. 

About Sara. I love the job the actress does. She shows so much emotion in her actions, for instance, those huge heart eyes the character has for Carlota. It’s a character you don’t expect to surprise you in the first episode but it does. *spoiler alert* The relationship with Carlota and Miguel is surprising but it doesn’t feel forced. I liked they introduced polyamory in such a casual but powerful way, showing . About the last scene of this character… *Spoiler alert* [Sidenote: Sara’s transness is an assumption that everyone I’ve talked with about the series agrees on. That’s the interpretation I made of it and they way I’m addressing it]. I have such mixed feelings about it. I love the way they introduce the concept, it’s not explicit or complicated, it’s just hinted with Miguel’s shirt and a subtle but direct sentence of Alba in the background. The sentence though… my activist self just can’t digest it. *Spoiler alert* “Not being in the right body” it transmits trans people’s bodies aren’t right, which is a concept that most of the society has nowadays (I was going to say “had”, but in 1928 most people didn’t even register trans people’s existence). Their bodies are their business and whatever they want them to be. The perpetuation of this idea it’s heartbreaking. I’m guessing the reason it’s the same old “that’s how people understand it” and “it was 1928″ and “it would not have been obvious without that sentence”, but that’s just how transphobia is perpetuated. Anyway, I’m willing to see the development of the character next season and how they treat them. 

Elisa (Aka. Alice in wonderland) introduces us to how high class people with mental illnesses were treated back then. How they tried to cover up everything for what people might think, telling her about “her nerves”… I hope we get to see more of what being mentally ill implied in the 20ies, specially as a woman. 

I also love the adorkableness of Pablo, but love that he’s not perfect and really screws up (Her unsufferable girlfriend, come on). And Marglo is just <3. I liked they showed an open minded man like Miguel, although his free mind felt forced. I get what they wanted to do but it didn’t feel too on character tbh. We didn’t have much information about what went though his mind, about how he saw Carlota, what he thought about her and Sara more developed…  The effort is well appreciated though. They could have cut off some of the boring speeches of francisco and given him some more scenes to deepen on that matter.  

Francisco and Carlos (Aka. Tweddledee and Tweedledum) have too many scenes for what little they really do. Francisco is so boring. Period. Carlos is a more evolving character, who shows a development throughout the series. The best part of those 2 is the relationship they have between them, how they behave as really good friends and as brothers, *spoiler alert* even in the end when Francisco burns the new Will of Carlos’ father (Aka. the caterpillar).  

I also liked the number of aged women they show us: Carmen (aka. Queen of hearts), Victoria and Doña Lola, Mario’s mum. They all were great in their own way, had their strong suits. 

About Mario. I just can’t. It makes me anxious. I know it’s necessary and real and I love they did what they did. But it’s so hard to watch. In general, the sexism shown it’s drowning. Which is the purpose of the series. The hopelessness I felt with Ángeles and the no-divorce and Sara in jail was suffocating. 

The absence of POC was pretty obvious too. It might not be that far from reality from 1928 Spain, but that’s no excuse. I hope they get some time and interest next season to introduce the state of other races in that era. 

The show made a pretty good job with the topics it wanted to address, introducing complex and strong characters mixed with light humor and intricate storylines, addressing different forms of sexist opression, and keeping the mystery. It misses some intersectionalism, specially more education about LGTB stuff and some introduction to POC on those times. I hope we don’t find ourselves with another danish girl.

Smash Patriarchy Means End the Nuclear Family Model

What do feminists mean when we say “smash patriarchy!”? What is patriarchy and what does it look like? How do we destroy it?

The term patriarchy literally means “rule by the father” but in practice, as an institution, is acted out in the form of the nuclear family. This is because the nuclear family model is the direct enabler of patriarchy; if gender is a tool of oppression, then the nuclear family model is the factory which produces it. For this reason, the common family structure must change for the liberation of women and girls to be achieved.

Keep reading

The Appeal Of Kyoto Animation

I have seen many people saying how K-On is a cheap anime with no creativity and effort put behind this anime. In this blog I want to try to explain what makes Kyoto Animation so appealing and why this statement is not true.

Kyoto Animation is a popular studio which is known for great animation and their slice of life stories, with their unique character designs and very relaxing atmosphere. The funny thing is that what I just said is something you normally shouldn’t. Let me explain this.

I think we have all seen statements like “The animation from Studio Madhouse is amazing” or “Toei Animation always suck”. The reason why it’s not really fair to say that is because the staff for the most studios are usually changing. You don’t have the same team working on every Madhouse production. You don’t have the same director working on every Toei Animation production. Many animators are freelancer who have their own style and way of drawing. So if you see a scene which is really badly animated, it could be the result of just one or two animators screwing up. So blaming the whole studio is kinda unfair. The same can be said about great animated scenes.

Keep reading

Ten Minutes, Omegaverse

The third chapter! Here it is! Sorry for the delay, I remember that when I wrote this chapter it was the most difficult, it’s a little different from the others, what do you think? As alway thank you so much! Love you all

19 Days, Omegaverse AU

Chapter 3

He Tian x Mo GuanShan

In Between

The world is not just white or black, and as far as this concept for someone is pretty obvious, it is one of those things that He Tian had to learn on his own. Contrary to what many may think, it was a very difficult thing to understand, considering that in his family he was raised with relatively simple concepts: if you’re not strong than you’re weak, if you’re not rich you’re poor, you are someone or you are a nobody… you’re an Alpha, or you are not.

Keep reading

Epic Movie (Re)Watch #127 - Chicago

Originally posted by the-color-of-rain

Spoilers below.

Have I seen it before: Yes

Did I like it then: Yes.

Do I remember it: Yes.

Did I see it in theaters: No.

Format: Blu-ray

1) This film holds a lot of personal significance to me. I first saw it when I was 13 in one of the hardest months of my life. I was sick with pneumonia (diagnosed that day) and my great grandmother had just died, so the whole family was over because the funeral was that week. It was late and someone wanted to put in a movie so my dad pulls out Chicago. My mother was a little bit strangely strict about what PG-13 movies I could and could not see, usually forbidding more sexual stuff than anything else. So this was the most sexual film I had seen at the time and I had felt because of that, and the fact I was watching it with all the adults of my family, that I had been promoted to the adult table in some senses. I was really captivated by the music, the story, the moral ambiguity, it was just so different from anything else I’ve seen. I would not be Just Another Cinemaniac without Chicago. In some ways its as important to my film fan identity as Back to the Future.

2) The film opens with an extreme close up on Roxie’s (Renée Zellweger’s) eye, giving us our first inkling on how this is a musical in Roxie’s mind. But more on that later.

3) Note that we never see Velma Kelly’s (Catherine Zeta Jones’) face until she’s on stage giving a performance. This creates the feeling that Velma is ALWAYS putting on a performance.

4) Catherine Zeta Jones as Velma Kelly.

Originally posted by musemm

This film is pretty much perfectly cast, I think. 4 of its actors were nominated for Oscars, with another being nominated for a Golden Globe. Zeta Jones actually won her first (and to date only) Oscar for her role in this film, and for good reason to. She IS Velma Kelly. Zeta Jones is totally lost in the role, being able present all of Velma’s different qualities. Her showmanship, her rare vulnerability, her killer instinct, and it all just WORKS. You never EVER feel like you’re watching an actress. Zeta Jones IS Velma Kelly and as the first character we get a nice long look at, it is a great performance to start the film off with.

5) Hey, it’s Dominic West!

6) Renée Zellweger as Roxie Hart.

Originally posted by segel-sudeikis

Roxie is really the lead of this film, the character who we follow along and see the world through. The writing is really interesting. It would have been easy to start Roxie off as some innocent girl who made a mistake and goes on this big journey, but Roxie - despite whatever facade she puts up - is hardly some innocent girl. She readily and passionately has an affair even though her husband is a pretty nice guy (and not a “nice guy” where the guy acts nice but is really a jerk, but is actually pretty kind), murderers her lover just for being a jerk (there are better reasons to murderer someone), all while putting up this act like she did nothing wrong and is the victim. And I honestly think she believes it.

Renée Zellweger captures all these conflicting parts of Roxie’s character with true mastery. She also is able to handle Roxie’s transformation into a more cutthroat and determined creature with the same expertise. Like with Zeta Jones, you never feel like you’re watching Zellweger just giving a performance. She is - for all intents and purposes - Roxie. Originally Charlize Theron was cast in the part but after a change in directors there was a change in casting, and Zellweger had to learn signing and dancing for the film. It paid off wonderfully, as she was nominated for an Oscar for what is possibly her best role ever.

7) John C. Reilly as Amos.

Originally posted by mikewazowskis

John C. Reilly was also nominated for an Oscar for his performance in this film, and it is clear why. Amos is the only honestly good character in the film, and even then he is not without his flaws. He is not above losing his temper or being able to say when enough is enough when it comes to Roxie (you know, the woman who cheats on him, tries to have him take the fall for murder, and manipulates him in court just to get off). But - because this is Chicago - he’s the only main(ish) character to come out the other side being totally and utterly screwed over. There are some nice layers to Amos (mainly the loss of temper as mentioned above) and Reilly is just totally sincere in the part. It’s no wonder he was nominated for an Oscar.

8) This film sets itself apart from other movie musicals through the idea that the musical is all in Roxie’s head.

Originally posted by inlovewithaudreyhepburn

This creates a plausible explanation for why character’s burst into song and dance, allows the film to utilize some unique editing and art direction, and finally gives us a nice peek into Roxie’s head. This element allows us to see just how passionate Roxie is not only for the desire to perform but also the desire for fame. It also lets us know how she sees OTHER characters in the film (namely Billy Flynn, but more on that later). I think it is this key element that set the film up for such critical and artistic success, leading to its best picture win at the Oscars.

9) Danny Elfman provides a few nice instrumental pieces of score for the film which feel totally period Chicago. When you are adapting a popular musical such as Chicago adding extra music could be a challenge, but Elfman’s occasional score blends perfectly with the rest of the film.

10) Queen Latifah as Mama.

Originally posted by isabellenightwoods

Latifah rounds out the quartet of Academy Award nominated performances with her portrayal as Matron Mama Morton. I think it’s Latifah’s best performance. She is able to portray Mama as cooperative and a bit soft spoken, but still someone who deals with no bullshit from her inmates. She is as manipulative as any other character in this film, if not as in big a way. You often hear her tell Roxie and Velma EXACTLY what they want to hear knowing that it will lead to a big pay day for her. It is a crafty role which Latifah plays well, and her introductory song “When You’re Good to Mama” shows off not only this characterization but Roxie’s perception of her quite well. It also allows for Latifah to show off her impressive singing chops.

11) The Cell Block Tango.

Originally posted by queen-cii

Where do I even begin with this number? It is by far the most iconic and best part of the entire film. The filmmakers are able to use the idea of “the musical in Roxie’s mind” to create a visually unique and compelling number which is edited together seamlessly with the “real world” of the Cook County jail Roxie finds herself in. Each of the “murderess mistresses” is given enough time to create a unique character and create a sense of the world Roxie (and the audience) finds herself in at this time. I particularly find the use of ribbons to illustrate blood/murder wildly effective, noting that Hunyak’s ribbon (the girl who constantly claims she is not guilty) is white whereas the others are red. This suggest that she is - in fact - innocent.

It is also worth noting that while the first story starts off very much “I’m guilty, here’s what happened”, that by the time we get to the inmate who claims her husband “ran into her knife” ten times the stories have become more and more claiming of legal innocence. This is a trend which continues through Velma’s story, where she claims she blacked out after seeing her husband & sister having sex and came to with blood on her hands. We as the audience have actually seen NOTHING which contradicts this story, further creating a nice sense of showmanship within the film.

Originally posted by mymovieblogx

12) Okay, I am all for good female friendships on film and television, but I would be lying if I said the catty relationship between Velma & Roxie was not entertaining. I think this is a byproduct from good writing (with what we know about these characters, how ELSE could their relationship go?) and the wildly captivating chemistry between Zeta Jones and Zellweger. Their relationship is one of the key sources of conflict throughout the film and with those two actresses it just WORKS.

13) Richard Gere as Billy Flynn.

The number in Roxie’s head which introduces us to Flynn - “All I Care About” - is a pitch perfect example of expectations vs. reality. After what she’s heard about Billy (which isn’t much mind you), Roxie expects him to be this honest to goodness lawyer who only wants to save women from dying in by the noose in Chicago. What we get however is the craftiest, most manipulative skeeze ball in the film. So why is he so damn likable? Who is he comparable to the roguish Han Solo? Why do we root for him? I think that is all in Gere’s performance. It would be easily to play him as a disgusting slime ball but there is a charisma that Gere brings which I think elevates the character and the film. Originally offered to Hugh Jackman & John Travolta at different parts, Gere’s chemistry with the rest of the cast is great and although the film didn’t land him an Oscar nomination he did receive a Golden Globe for his work.

14) I think it’s worth noting that Roxie does not take too long to adapt to prison. Again evidence that she’s not as innocent as she wants people to think.

15) “We Both Reached For The Gun”

Originally posted by darker-than-light

I can never tell if this or “Razzle Dazzle” is my favorite number in the film, but I think for a visual standpoint it HAS to be this. This is once again where the conceit of “the musical in Roxie’s head” benefits the film GREATLY. The imagery of Roxie being a dummy operated by Billy to sell her story not reflects on their relationship in an incredibly clear way (as well as how Billy is literally using people) but also is just visually fascinating. Zellweger is a lot of fun during the number, and if you ever want to know why this film won the Oscar for best editing the year it was nominated just watch this scene.

16) The song “Roxie” when Roxie is at the top of her game is a great character study. It goes even deeper into Roxie’s desire for fame and admiration, a key quality in her character that drives pretty much all her actions throughout the film. It features gorgeous cinematography with its use of mirrors and presents us with Roxie’s ideal self. This ideal self is not a good person (not necessarily), but someone who is adored by her audience. If that doesn’t speak to who Roxie is as a character I don’t know what does.

Originally posted by barbara-stanwyck

17) A film is told in cuts, as in cutting from one moment to the next in as clean and clear a way as possible.

Velma [after Mama suggests she kisses Roxie’s ass to maintain some position]: “Over my dead body.”

[We cut to the mess hall, where Velma is seen smiling at Roxie]

Velma: “Mind if I join you?”

18) “I Can’t Do It Alone”

Originally posted by avengerassemble

Up until this point we have not seen Velma truly vulnerable. We have peeked more into who Roxie is as a character than who Velma is. That all changes with this number, which shows us that Velma is just as desperate for the spotlight as Roxie is. She NEEDS to stay relevant, she NEEDS the fame and the admiration, and only when it was too late did she realize that the murder of her sister took away one of the key things that made her so desirable to the world in the first place. This song is a fun number that adds nice depth to Zeta Jones’ character and shows off just how talented she can be with Velma’s vulnerability.

19) My heart broke a little when I saw Velma’s face after Roxie’s rejection of her.

And in that moment and that moment alone, I think I shipped the two of them together.

20) Lucy Liu’s glorified cameo as Kitty, the newest jazz killer in Chicago and the one who threatens to take away Roxie’s fame, is a perfect example of how easily Roxie can fall. But here’s the thing, Roxie is smarter than she appears. And more manipulative. It is her greatest strength that people underestimate her, so when she “faints” and mentions “the baby” everyone - from Velma to Billy - are all surprised by her.

21) I was a naive 13 year old. I didn’t understand that the doctor who said he’d testify that Roxie was pregnant had very clearly slept with her (hence Billy’s remark about his fly being open).

Originally posted by mulder-scully-gifs

22) “Mister Cellophane”

Originally posted by 80plays

Somehow this song not only shows us how ROXIE perceives her estranged husband as being someone who’s not worth caring about, but also makes Amos into a sympathetic character. He is not particularly whiny about the fact that he’s oft forgotten, he’s just a little sad about it. Reilly’s performance in the song is filled with soft sorrow and vulnerability we don’t always get to see from the actor, an honesty which carries the entire song on its back. It is a truly worthy number to be included with the rest of the film, with its Chaplin like art style and Reilly’s vocals, and I’m glad it made the cut.

23) In a lot of ways Chicago is a noir comedy musical. I say this for two reasons: Amos being kinda screwed over at the end, and the fact that Hunyak - the only innocent girl in the jail - is the only who is hanged. This also reminds Roxie of the fact that she IS on trial for murder and of the fatal consequences she could face.

24) “Razzle Dazzle”

Originally posted by barbara-stanwyck

If “We Both Reached for the Gun” is my favorite number in the film from a stylistic standpoint, then “Razzle Dazzle” is probably my favorite from a thematic one. Gere expresses Flynn’s belief that the courts are just a circus, simply entertainment to be manipulated, in a way which is just that: entertaining. I am always totally taken in by the song through its themes of craftiness, playful melody, and fun visuals. It is just a wonderful number which I love watching again and again.

25) If “Razzle Dazzle” doesn’t tell you how Billy sees the court system than this line will:

Originally posted by stilinska-archive

Hell, the non-musical court room scenes are in a lot of ways more dramatic than the musical ones.

26) This film had a song which was shot but not included in the final cut, one sung between Mama and Velma called “Class”. Still found on the movie’s soundtrack, “Class” had the pair discuss how the world seems to have gone to shit and how no one has any class. It was cut both for pacing issues and - largely - because it did not fit the theme of “the musical in Roxie’s head”. Roxie was at the court house and these two started singing after hearing about what was going on over the radio. It is a wonderful song but I think the film works better without it featured.

27) It took absolutely no time at all for Roxie not to matter. The press didn’t even want her picture after the verdict was read. Another killer, another star.

28) The final number of the film is a dual thing. The first of which is Roxie singing the song “Nowadays” on her own at an audition. The song is sad, somber, and lacks umph. This causes the directors to pass on Roxie. But when Velma and Kelly work together? When they’re able to work with their heat and chemistry and put on a duet of “Nowadays”? The umph is back and it is a wonderful number to end the film on!

Originally posted by damnafricawhathappened


I’m obviously biased through my own personal experience with the film, but I think Chicago is quite possibly the best movie musical of the 21st century (yes, even better than Les Miserables). The acting is incredible across the board, with Catherine Zeta Jones and Renée Zellweger being the obvious standouts. The concept of “the musical in Roxie’s head” allows for a musical which is unique and supports a wonderful art style. The songs are fun, the pacing and editing are great, and it’s a technical spectacle in its subtletly. Just a wonderfully entertaining film I think everyone should watch.

Undisclosed Desires (part 1)

Words: 1.5k

Summary: You have a secret history with angels that you’d rather not discuss with the Winchesters. Then you meet Castiel.

Warnings: Slight smut (very brief), language

A/N: I didn’t realize how perfectly “Undisclosed Desires” by Muse fits this series until it was mostly written. Just an FYI, the whole story is more than it seems. Master tag list is at the end. Let me know if you’d like to be added.

—————–

Every girl is entitled to her own secrets, right? Your life was full of them. Hunting didn’t exactly allow for telling the truth to everyone.

Even as you got closer to the Winchesters, you never felt you could be entirely honest with them about your past; you didn’t think they’d understand. It wasn’t a problem until they informed you of their relationship with an angel.

Keep reading

10 Reasons that explain Keyakizaka46 breakthrough in 2016

Rookie no more. The 48group has witnessed the birth of SKE, NMB and HKT and now was the turn for Nogizaka to get their own. But to expand in such ludicrous speed over a stagnating fanbase, the chance to make fans weary and bored increased tenfold. It is hard to not become “another sister group of…” and appeal to a japanese audience, now hard to convince. And yet Keyakizaka46 took the idol world by storm, and even ended 2016 by appearing in Kouhaku in less than one year. What were those key moments that made the difference? Through this small write up i will attempt to highlight what made Keyakizaka a force to be reckoned with.

1) Bringing Music back to the foreground

Music is a matter of taste. But there will be a difference in production, like how much resources you invest in an A-side compared to a B-side. To release a powerful song as first single was a smart move: the goal was to make people react and break the orthodox type. The use of hispanic percussions, accoustic guitar which oppose the pop auto-tune of regular idol release helped Keyakizaka quickly build an unique flavor. Not only Silent Majority, but Sekai ni wa Ai Shikanai is a bold release using poetry and heavily feature piano to stand out.

Idol industry, especially 48group, has suffered from lack of consideration musically wise, as they weren’t taken seriously or even not considered as artists. However, AKB48 proved it wrong releasing great songs like Oogoe Diamond, Iwake Maybe, Everyday Kachuusa and River in a row ( it was called the kamikyoukutachi era). It was possible to praise idol music, and Keyakizaka managed to bring it back to the foreground. In a recent Foreign survey (600 answers), Silent Majority was chosen “Song of the year” by fans.

2) Meaningful lyrics that strikes people hearts

Lyrics of their songs, most of the time dark and rebellious, helped to shape Keyakizaka trait. It’s still Akimoto Yasushi who’s in charge of lyrics, but this time, thanks to Keyakizaka easy-to-perceive personality, he succeeded in making lyrics consistent with music videos. We can quote the excellent B-side Yamanotesen, Hirate Yurina solo, that pictures well the melancholy of a girl lost in thought, or Bob Dylan wo Kaesanai, another B-side but this time from Yuichanzu, makes a smart allegory between the struggle to forget someone and the reluctance of giving back a Bob Dylan CD.

Idol songs are most of the time fluffy and light hearted. Keyakizaka A-sides developed other theme like pain, hardship, and willpower. More frequently, and with more intensity. Because those themes are unusual, they garnered more attention, becoming the “rebellious” group. Lyrics help the listener match his own feelings with the song; and thus getting more involved in the group.

3) A group-oriented choregraphy designed by talented dance teacher

Probably TAKAHIRO-sensei is the most respected staff by Keyakizaka fans, as he hugely helped Keyakizaka build their identity as a group. In a regular group formation (16 members line up), there’s the center on the front, and the choregraphy revolves around the center. However, TAKAHIRO sensei tought it would’ve been more impactful to design Silent majority into highly paced / synchronized sequence involving everyone, reminding the military pattern. Through this dance, Keyakizaka gained a lot of amplitude that others sister group didn’t have. In Kataru Nara Mirai wo, choregraphy reached another level thanks to signature moves like the cross-formation. ( 4x4 teams switching places with the same timing).

TAKAHIRO-sensei himself is a very reliable person that members can look up to, especially because they are inexperienced and need someone to guide them. With great professionalism, he encouraged the girls to have faith in themselves and to not shy out from excellence. Something Keyaki fans will be eternally grateful for. Takahiro biggest strength is probably to efficiently forward the meaning of the song to the choregraphy itself.

4) A powerful Ace, like Maeda Atsuko at her time

It’s debatable if having an eternal center does make a difference, but no one will deny that AKB48 golden age was when Acchan was Ace. Hirate Yurina draws attention thanks to her gaze, intense energy and maturity even though she was only 14 centering Silent Majority. The reason why a group need an Ace is to draw attention to neophytes, non-idol song listeners. General audience are different from idol fans, and react to songs and members differently. They won’t remember a member very well if you rotate the girls in front all the time. They won’t remember if the girl in front doesn’t give them a “raw” first impression. An Ace is someone able to trigger an emotion on someone in a very short of time. The first impression is probably the most important too.

Hirate “Techi” Yurina also has this particularity to “embody” Keyakizaka songs to perfection. She performs the song like she’s possessed, making her dance unique. Her kind of Ace aura is also different from others, as she is more known for her serious stare than her cute smile like top members Acchan or Watanabe Mayu. To hold a mysterious, intense Aura hooks people and make them curious. Not even mentioning the high level of performance that makes fans stay.

5) A wide range of members with strong personalities

Aside from having an Ace able to release the full potential of a song, it’s definitively all the members of the group that create the core fanbase. In AKB48 there was Acchan, but also the Kami7, which fans could easily refer to as their personalities were recognizable. An interesting group is basically interesting members, who have skills and qualities that make them stand out.

Hirate Yurina is the wondergirl, Nagahama Neru is the cute/girls next door, Sugai sama is the princess type, Moriya Akane is the majime type, Shida manaka and Watanabe Risa are the kakkoi (cool type), Uemura rina/harada are the loli type, Imaizumi and Kobayashi Yuis are singer, Oda nana and Ozeki are moodmakers, Suzumoto Miyu and Saito Fuyuka is the best dancer, koike minami and Yonetani are the cute type… In fact, the range of personalities in Keyakizaka ensure that fans can find the type he has the most affinity with. We all know that an idol fan relationship is a lot about feelings, and to see the girls growing their character is the reason why fans are liking the members even more.

6) Reaching brand new fanbase : female and youth

Something that could also apply to their sisters of Nogizaka (by being cool and elegant): to have build a rebellious, cool and strong character hugely helped in reaching a new fanbase. While AKB48 is targeting middle age man through gravure and cute song, Keyakizaka (or more like Sakamichi series) was able to increase their range where female fans yearn for members like Watanabe Risa and Shida manaka (who are good at danso/modeling) and young fans who are more into cool songs like Silent Majority.

This is a trend i’ve observed on Social networks like Twitter. Most of Keyaki fan accounts are the same age as the girls themselves, around 97′ and 00′. To have been able to appeal to this fanbase allow Keyakizaka to avoid this harmful stagnation that is suffering AKB48 (not in sales, but in handshake slots sold). You could also say that, by not splitting handshake events like 48group sister group, Keyakizaka has higher chance to sell their slots, but in the long term, to add multiple fanbase is the reason why they sales are high.

7) Promote music skills and ensure song diversity

Keyakizaka46 has found their identity and signature through the word “rebellion” with songs that follows a pattern (Silent Majority, Otona wa shinjite kurenai, Fukyouwaon) but lyricist and songwriter also vouch for diversity, like Futari saison being a meaningful ballad.It’s even more significant with B-side venture “Shibuyagawa” and “Tuning” from the duo Yuichanzu. Thanks to those retro-pop-folk refreshing songs from the showa Era, Imaizumi & Kobayashi Yuis succeeded in balancing with the rough and dark set of  Keyaki songs.

Something that strikes me is how one sided resources to make music are in the idol industry. Most of the time, it’s a huge use of synth and machines. It doesn’t do justice to the idol genre who emancipated through genre like Metal and Rock too. In the case of Yuichanzu, A-capella performances and acoustic guitars is hugely praised by fans who root for a comeback to basics. Imaizumi has yet to be center, but display great vocals that would be a waste to not capitalize on. Same with yuipon. Not also mentioning Keyakizaka obvious ability to make standard idol songs like “Aozora ga chigau” or “Matta atte kudasai” (Nagahama neru solo)

8) Proper promotion and financial back up from management

This must be an obvious statement, but it isn’t always applied (Hello SKE). Keyakizaka had the chance to have 1 regular TV show (Keyakitte Kakenai), 2 season of national TV show (Keyabingo), One drama (Who killed Tokuyama) numerous appearance in music show including Kouhaku Utagassen (because Silent Majority buzzed), recently Variety show (Nagahama Neru participating in Quizz show), radio broadcast ( Yurakuchou radio program, All night nippon radio program), exclusive modeling contract ( Watanabe Risa with Non-no magazine), countless photoshoot from top members ( Moriya Akane, Sugai yuuka, Shida manaka, hirate Yurina)

A group success is the meeting point between huge amount of tools and resources with girls holding huge potential. It’s also a lot about timing : Since management want to keep Keyakizaka active and in the forefront so people don’t lose sight of them, they release their single in a very solid pace. NGT debuted at the same time as Keyakizaka, but one group released only 1 single while Keyakizaka is on it’s fourth release.

9) A style and identity they can call their own

Nogizaka are cool and elegant. HKT are young and cute. SKE are energetic and positive. NMB are fun and native. Keyakizaka, in result of the music, the lyrics and dance, has found their own characterstic : Raw and untamed. Not only their high level of performance give them the aura of “professional performer” but also is coherent of the message they want to forward : “We give our all because we want to break of our chains” (freeedoooooom)

People recognize you when there’s something to recall. This is probably why underground idol struggle to go beyond their local market because they don’t have a style that make them different. I won’t say Keyakizaka is doing something original (because cool idol songs exist with Beginner, Uza, etc…) but that’s the adequacy between everything (dance, music, lyrics) that bring what’s unique in Keyakizaka and that other group can’t replicate. 

It was a turning point to have their identity quickly defined because Keyakizaka had started during Nogizaka’s great momemtum. To acknowledge kinship with Nogizaka and claiming their own at the same style was Keyakizaka key to success.

10) A potential that keeps fans enthusiastic

Keyakizaka benefit from the “rookie” factor : they are fresh and bring new blood to the idol scene. The momemtum is still high and Keyakizaka has still goals to reach, like bigger concert venue, increasing individuals outdoor work like their sempai Shiraishi mai or Nishino nanase or even starting other drama. The truth is, 48g has seen their endorsement contract fading one by one ( in Acchan era, AKB members endorsed 10+ product, now they barely make 2-3), which translate a loss of interest of idols from general audience. The challenge ahead of Keyakizaka, or even all idol group, is bigger than ever.

Keyakizaka has the potential to reach this level of visibility in japanese entertainment scene once again. But they need to keep their excellent level of performance and develop a network between production companies ( Ogi pro, Ohta pro, Watanabe pro…) to make each individuals viable in various field. In order to become national idols, you need to go beyond idols : become models, talento, actress and singer.

In conclusion, Keyakizaka has found success in fields AKB management failed to invest once again. But it’s up to the girls to turn their work opportunities into concrete realities. And as any project, it needs time to get return on investment. What’s interesting to point out, is that even though Keyakizaka is a rookie group, most of the girls are past 17 and are likely to seriously continue their path as idols ( in AKB group the girls are young without career opportunities, so they graduate after high school). This is a relief for all fans who want Keyakizaka to surpass the other sister groups. 

MITSU’S TOP TEN ANIME OF 2016

Wow what a shit year! Not for anime, I mean, it was okay at worst. I think we’re definitely at the upward slope of the anime renaissance now, but still at the very start of it. It’s hard to think about that when most of what comes out (and is somehow popular) is just…the most generic shit. Well, I did the work for you. I weeded and trudged through some of the worst anime around and even some of my shit favorites to bring you the actual good, worth watching anime of the year.

Yeah, not everything you saw or want to see on this list is here, but you can check my foreword from last week that explains all that garbage. Links to each anime’s respective review will be on the titles (and added for those that just finished). Know that this list is pretty fluid. From 8 or 7 up, it’s all very much I loved them, but the higher up, the more I recommend anyone watch them.

10. Magical Girl Raising Project

Madoka was cool. I finally watched it this year and I was just as blown away by the psychological aspects as I expected to be. It just lacked that extra bite it needed to really scare my pants off. MGRP however, did indeed take a few years off of my life. I’m really in ruins right now since I can grab you by the shoulders and tell you now: you’ll like a lot of these characters and their thought out designs and personalities, but don’t get attached, cus ALMOST ALL OF THEM DIE.

I have to put MGRP on this list because aside from its fun and original designs, awesome interactions, cool-ass premise and execution (sometimes literally), it had some amazing rewatch value. I watched this anime three times, which is a lot to do in one year. I just had to watch people’s reactions and seeing stuff hidden in the background and revisiting some foreshadowing was so much fun. Definitely worth a watch and I’ll cover more about it in my upcoming review.

9. Orange

Regrets, like I have over not putting Kekkai Sensen into last year’s list, are the main theme of Orange. Buried under the shoujo themes of romance, high school, and angst, lies the actual regret: letting a friend kill himself. The main story unfolds itself very slowly as the group of friends discover that is what they must prevent, but it’s done in a realistic way. The signs of depression and suicide are so jokingly cast aside; it’s no wonder people miss it before it’s too late.

The climax of this story was heart-pounding and gut-wrenching. You find yourself rooting so hard for there to be success, to save someone who may not want to be saved, but must be saved. It might also make you pay closer attention to those around you. It’s an important anime to watch. If you do want one with a little less romantic emphasis though, I recommend you see Colorful instead (or also!).

8. Sweetness and Lightning

I need to marry someone who can cook. It doesn’t have to be a five-star chef, though I wouldn’t complain if it were the case, but Sweetness and Lightning reignited my need to be fed well. The show is about how food brings family and friends together. Aside from the great character interactions, well written children characters, and for god’s sake, the beautiful, perfect looking food, this anime was so pure in the amount of love put into it.

The food tops even some shown in Shokugaki no Soma, purely cus it’s doable for someone with a low skill level (like me), the meals are made for picky eaters (like me), and there’s not a ridiculously emphasis put on the orgasmic nature of food. That’s a thing that Shokugeki no Soma and even Koufuku Graffiti used stylistically in a comedic manner, but it doesn’t fit in Sweetness and Lightning for good reason. This show is accessible in that way, making it easier to show to someone who might want to try anime, but doesn’t want all the sexy fanservice.

7.Drifters

Kick-ass and Metal come to mind when Drifters is mentioned. I love Kohta Hirano’s previous work, Hellsing, a lot. It was a massive gore and blood fest with a sprinkling of comedy in the mix. This is a war and gore fest with a, not a sprinkling of comedy, but more like Hirano accidentally knocked the bottle of comedy over when he was checking on the oven directly into said mix. It’s really funny, but also really awesome. I have a lot to say about it in my review, but I think a dog fight with dragons involved kind of state my case for me. Also Elves, Dwarves and other Tolkien demihumans and monsters abound. It’s fun.

The animation is also gorgeous, especially that stylized, graphic novel looking opening theme with the rock anthem “Gospel of the Throttle” making you “NA NA NA NA NA NA” along with the characters every opening. It’s an excellent show to watch with friends or get yourself pumped. Returning sometime next year!

6. Kuromukuro

How can something be so trope-y, yet so damn enjoyable? Kuromukuro isn’t an original concept, but is done in an original way. The samurai trapped in a machine for 500 years is the new exchange student. The reluctant heroine needs to board the mecha to fight the alien threat. The school festival has been compromised by an alien mecha entering the atmosphere. This anime is funny, but it’s also emotional and holds a much wider scope than I ever could have expected. P.A. Works has been putting out some good contenders in the last few years, and with their lovely art style and well-balanced budget, they were able to pull off this massive mech story in an engaging and entertaining way.

I applaud the cast for one of the best ensembles on this list, bringing forth some of the best and most memorable character chemistry of the season, and some hilarious situational humor. I also cried a little near the end, but honestly, a lot of anime on this list did that to me this year.

5. My Hero Academia

Shonen anime is such a delight now, always a favorite of mine as a kid, but not as firmly as now. I love the underdogs; I love the over the top villains; I love the powers, the fights, and the yelling to infinity. It’s just so exciting and blood pumping, and MHA made it so refreshing with such an interesting spin. These characters are children, inexperienced, with quirks that may or may not be useful. I love Deku because his anxieties and general feelings of being less than everyone else not only make it exciting to see him overcome them, but to use them to keep his head and ego from getting over inflated like some shonen protagonists. Bakugo is such a good foil to him, showing where this could be a major weakness to a shonen protagonist.

Also it’s coming back with THE TOURNAMENT ARC, and if you’re like me and haven’t started the manga yet, DO IT! You won’t regret it! I’m more than excited to see more of this awesome anime in action.

4. Flip Flappers

This anime, wow this anime. I’m so upset not more people are talking about it, but have you seen this delight for the senses? I’m looking forward to reviewing it now just because my jaw is still kinda on the floor. Beautiful animation, a crazy cool style, and some of the best nonsense in magical-girl but not really fight scenes I’ve seen in a while. This anime reminds me of something, but I can’t quite put my thumb on it. I do know it’s like an amalgamation of my editor’s anime “TYPE” so you’ll see more about that in the review.

But good lord did I love the heart of this show. The pure romance, the exciting battles, the trippy psychological horror. Let me just say, that one episode (the Maria Watches Over Us “GOKIGENYO”), probably has scarred me for life, but I love it. It’s just so different and good. It deserves a watch, just for how delighted your eyes will be.

3. Erased (Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi)

I love a story that can get you emotionally invested and cheering for or yelling at the character who you don’t have any control over. Erased was paced beautifully (though some might disagree due to the slight differences in adaptation), and its animation only made every silent, tender moment more enjoyable to look at before the lighting and mood would change and the feeling of bloodlust would stain the air. That’s how you write suspense.

I’m a little annoyed because apparently some other people were reading some character motivations “differently,” (looking at you crunchyroll), but I think it’s safe to say this doesn’t cross the line into romance, at all, and stays a thriller about growing up in a life-threatening situation.

2. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

I love the theatre, and I love comedy and storytelling. This anime manages to hit both of these points while showcasing some of the best animation I’ve ever seen. On top of the animation, there’s good directing, and supporting that is a great soundtrack. The story is vast and covers several characters’ lives over several decades surrounding World War 2.

The rakugo, though, is what makes the story. It’s not the first anime to touch on this topic, but it’s the first to do so in such an interesting way. It was very refreshing compared to a lot of titles on this list (though many of them are refreshing ideas!) with its originality. It’s heartfelt, it’s serious, it’s funny, but it also makes me want to cry. If it weren’t for the top spot being so hype as hell and generally a weekly freak-out among me and my friends, this would have been number one.

1. Mob Psycho 100
What can I say about Mob Psycho that hasn’t already been said? Its opening is gold, its animation is unique and interesting, its writing, directing, and characters are all praise-worthy. It is just hands down the best anime of the year. You may be thinking, “but Mitsu, One Punch Man was number one LAST YEAR. Isn’t Mob a little overhyped?”

No. Sit down and shut up. One is probably one of the best writers on the scene right now and is doing a lot better at writing genuinely empathetic characters and commentary on modern anime genres and tropes than most of the big budget barf fests. I think the “overhyped” talk is nonsense when it comes to mob. It genuinely does some interesting and groundbreaking work. That’s why it’s not only on this list, but number one. It never moved an inch since I decided it should be on the list.

Everything I’ve said has BEEN said by several really good reviewers and critics out there and you should definitely check out what they have to say about it too, because honestly, they’re a lot better than I am. I like Mob Psycho, I like One Punch Man, but I like Mob more. I’m so delighted that One Punch Man will be returning shortly and I only wish for Mob to also share the spotlight, as it deserves.

re·al·i·za·tion

noun

The moment of sudden clarity when feelings are finally recognized, or are made aware for the first time.


It hit you one random afternoon in the studio, a soft beat filling the silence in the small, dimly lit room as you curled up even more snugly into Yoongi’s blanket on the black leather sofa. His back faced towards you, bits of his blueish black hair sticking out from beneath his black beanie, his head bobbing slightly to the beat as he clicked away on his mouse. From the side, you could see the black mask tucked under his chin with one strap behind each ear, his fair skin strikingly pale due to the contrast with his dark clothing and onyx eyes. He chewed on his bottom lip in concentration, mumbling softly to himself as his other hand fiddled around with the different controls on his sound board. He was in the zone, as per usual, and over the course of the past few months, you’d come to learn very quickly that he did not appreciate being bothered while he was in this state. Just like the very first time you’d met in your composition class.

Keep reading

underrated songs from bands that had “one hit song”

You know what I’m talking about. A song gets overplayed on the radio and everyone eventually starts to hate it. But what about their other songs? Maybe they have potential? The radio can ruin songs for us, that’s why I limit my radio listening. I’ve always wanted to write out a list of songs from artists that have that “one hit song” that everyone knows. I’m just writing each one as it comes to mind, so the list will probably be all over the place. enjoy.

Keep reading

Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon Episode 4 Notes

These yellow hats are tsuugakubou 通学帽, “commuting to school hats.” They are required by many elementary schools in Japan; students must wear them when traveling to and from school (which most children do by walking, at least part of the way; school buses aren’t a thing) for various reasons. The most commonly cited is “to avoid traffic accidents” by making the children stand out, but others include preventing heatstroke, making them easier to spot for teachers, or differentiating which grade a student is in.

As the previous sentence implies, their design may change as you go up the grades (yellow for first graders, blue for older, as an example) or sometimes by gender. Depends on what the school wants to do with them.

Point cards are an absurdly popular way of encouraging repeat business in Japan, with lots of small business using non-electronic ones (marked by just a custom stamp). If you’re not careful your wallet will be overflowing with them in no time.

The “zuuun” sound she makes here is, as you could probably guess, the sound effect for this sort of emotional gloom or a sense of heaviness (physical or not).

Japanese has a huge wealth of these “sound effect” words, and they’re a pretty normal part of conversation—especially for kids, but also adults and to an extent even in formal situations. You’re surely familiar with “onomatopoeia” (also known as a phonomime), a word that sound like a sound; “buzz” being a common example. You may be less familiar with the words phenomime and psychomime; words that “sound” like actions/conditions of the physical world (something going “round and round and round…”) and words that “sound” like emotions/feelings/mental states (a “pounding” headache).

You’ll notice she says “kawaii” the first time, and “cute” the second. English is a required subject in most Japanese schools starting in late elementary school, so while people may not be able to actually speak it, they do know a bunch of random vocab words. And it’s reflected in Japanese media: you can just drop in English like this and expect your audience to understand it. It’s kind of a neat strength of writing in Japanese (and some other languages) that’s hard to reproduce in English, as there’s no standard second language everyone has to study—and not as much acceptance of randomly speaking other languages in the middle of a sentence anyway (somewhat ironically, given how many loan words English actually has).

She uses the verb 仰る ossharu here, which is a very formal/respectful form of “to say,” like how you would refer to something your boss or a client says. The impression it leaves in this case, at least for me, is like how a parent will sometimes sort of jokingly speak “humbly” toward their kid, like they’re a princess or something.

I think this is supposed to be “bud” not “bod,” but I’m not sure if it’s a mistake on Kyoani’s part or an intentional misspelling for realism, because that sort of mistake is a super common sight around Japan.

“Fancy” as a loan word in Japanese is not really associated with “expensive” the way it is in English, but is instead used to refer to cutesy decorative things. “Fancy Shop” is actually a word you can look up in (some) Japanese dictionaries, defined as “a store that specializes in selling ‘fancy’ ‘goods’.” (“Goods” being another common loan word, basically “merch” in English.) You can google image search “ファンシーショップ” (fanshii shoppu) and get a good feel for what it’s like.

Hello Kitty and that whole aesthetic is a decent example as well.

She uses another of those sound effect words here: chikachika. Basically the idea is a prickling sort of pain; it’s not just sparkling, it hurts to look at. It’s a relatively common gag line for an older person to say when looking at “sparklingly” youthful stuff, in that “I’m so old” sort of way.

That little face there is the henohenomoheji face—so named because it’s made out of the hiragana he (へ) for the eyebrows/mouth, no (の) for the eyes, mo (も) for the nose, and ji (じ) for the face’s outline and one ear. It’s a popular little doodle and you’ll see it on stuff like scarecrows or background characters in manga (when the author wants to lampshade the fact that they’re meaningless background characters).

|へへ
|のの “
|  も  /
|  へ /

カンナ is Kanna in katakana, the set of kana used primarily for foreign words/names; all of the dragons’ names are written using it. It’s another way “foreigners”* are different from Japanese in Japan, whose names are written in kanji. Well, generally, anyway; some people give their kids (mostly girls) hiragana or, even more rarely, katakana first names, and often very young kids will write their names in kana anyway due to not having learned kanji yet.

*Mostly excluding people from countries that also use Chinese characters to write names, like say China—though even then you can usually tell "oh this is a Chinese name” from the choice of characters.

It’s actually a pain sometimes, as some forms and computer systems are designed with Japanese names in mind, which basically means you’ll never need more than like 4 characters each for first and last name. If you’ve got a longer name, it often won’t fit in those cases.

Did anybody miss this joke? 

The sign, as you might expect, basically says “Sweets Erasers” and “Warning: Do Not Eat”.

The sign here is pointing out that these are those “safety buzzers” mentioned earlier…which you probably noticed.

This is a play on a disclaimer(?) message that is/was common on certain Japanese TV shows: “この後スタッフが美味しく頂きました,” basically “the staff enjoyed eating it after this.” Japan suffered some pretty bad food shortages around the end of WW2 and, as cultures tend to do after experiencing that sort of thing, developed a strong norm against wasting food. Due to that, TV shows that wasted food on set felt the need to show that message, “after filming we ate this and were thankful about it; it wasn’t wasted,” to avoid blowback from angry viewers. It sort of occupies a similar spot in the culture that “no animals were harmed in the filming of this movie” does in the US. Both arise from a real effort to hold studios accountable, but are also often used as material for jokes.

The sign in the back specifies that this is masking tape, not ribbon, in case that’s what you thought it was.

“Backpacks” here is actually a very specific type of backpack, mostly unique to Japan; ランドセル randoseru, originally an old loan word from Dutch: ransel. This type of backpack is exclusively used by elementary school students—and indeed a large majority of elementary school students use them, as has been the tradition for several decades. Like a lot of Japanese school traditions it originally started as a military thing that seeped into the mainstream while Japan was feeling particularly imperialistic.

As you can see, they tend to be stupidly expensive for a backpack. The cost is somewhat deserved at least, as they are mostly handmade from quality materials and will easily endure the whole six years of a child’s elementary schooling. The hard shell that keeps the boxy shape helps keep the kids from breaking or crushing crap they put in it too, so that’s nice I guess.

They tend to have a strong nostalgic value as well, and people will often hold onto them as keepsakes (i.e. stuffed away in an attic or closet to be looked at once every twenty years or so, probably).

In addition to the above (which would not get me to pay that much, personally), many schools have traditionally required, and continue to require, that students use one. Some even mandate the color, though that’s not quite as common as it used to be and nowadays you can get them in a bunch of different colors instead of the traditional black or red*. Even in places where it’s not required, it’s not unheard of for people to use them anyway, again due to tradition and not wanting their kid to be the only one without (which would probably lead to both teasing of the kid by their classmates, and gossip about their parents by other parents).

*Red being a traditional color helps explain why Kobayashi reacted as she did there. In particular, black=boys & red=girls used to be a thing too.

It’s possible to get them for significantly cheaper in places (like online retailers), though those will generally be of lower quality (or at least less fancy materials; you’re probs not gonna find a leather one for 7,000 yen). Fancy designer ones can of course go for absurdly high prices, though that’s true of any product nowadays.

By the way, as you can see here, nigh on everybody carries a bag of some sort in Japan. Since you’re not likely to be using a car, it’s not like you’ve got anywhere else to put stuff you might need to have with you when out and about.

Japan is still largely cash-based when it comes to individual purchases, a fact which provides a little context to this bit. Outside of large chains, many places won’t take cards, and until fairly recently debit cards basically weren’t even a thing—they still haven’t really caught on, but at least you can get one from some of the large banks now.

School uniforms and certain other supplies are largely purchased through small local stores like this; if you’ve lived near a school you’re likely to have seen one. As Kobayashi’s line implied, they often have deals with a school so that you have to buy through them. It reminds me of how you have to buy gowns/hats/etc. for US school graduation ceremonies through a certain vendor the school (district?) has a deal with.

As you’re probably aware, this is a common and powerful sentiment in Japan, especially the more traditional areas. There have been cases of schools forcing children to dye their hair black even if it was naturally another color, which is clearly an example of taking it too far. On the other hand, there is an argument to made for fostering a sense of equality with your peers by having the whole class in the same uniform, with the same shoes, carrying the same bag, etc., so it’s not like it’s purely hard-headed attachment to tradition and conformity. I guess.

Kanna writes the na in her name with hiragana by mistake (な instead of ナ). …Or so you’d think, but she was doing a good job writing kanji earlier, so I’m not sure if it’s an honest mistake or a calculated one to appear less infallible. Especially considering the fake tears we see later.
Edit: As has been pointed out, the Ka is also wrong in the same way: か instead of カ. Not gonna lie, I sometimes make that mistake myself when writing them out by hand, since the primary difference is just whether there’s that corner dash and it’s easy to add it out of muscle memory—hiragana is a lot more common to write than katakana.

As mentioned before, handwriting is seen as very important in Japan—in particular, the specific method of how you’re supposed to write any one character (including letters/numbers). I bring this up again here because Kanna totally writes the 9 the “wrong” way.

Cram schools (塾 juku) are private “after-school-schools” that parents put their kids into to improve their chances of doing well on the all-important school entrance exams. They’re often seen as a pretty shitty experience for the kid (who wants to go to school twice in one day? or on days off?), but a necessary evil in order to make sure they can get into a good middle school, to get into a good high school, to get into a good college, to get a good job, to have a good life.

These rags, blue/pink clips, and rack are a common sight in many places in Japan; typically schools and offices where the students/employees do a basic cleaning of the classroom/office.

As you may have noticed in other anime set in schools, students tend to do a lot of the work of keeping the school clean. Part of that is (probably) to save on cleaning costs, but it’s also intended to foster a sense of community among the students and get them feeling invested in the school, as well as teach responsibility.

In many workplaces this tradition continues, to a greater or lesser extent. A white-collar worker might not be cleaning the office bathroom, but they will likely have a weekly (or biweekly, whatever) cleaning event where everybody gets a rag and cleans up any dust, coffee/tea rings, etc. around their desk for a few minutes, maybe do a little vacuuming. It’s as much a team-building exercise as it is a cost-saving technique (in theory).

Of course, it also helps establish that it’s now at the end of the school day.

This is that phrase the dude in episode two was repeating: maji yabakune マジやばくね. The maji is just an emphasis thing, very similar to “really” in English (both like “that’s really weird” or “wow, really?”). “Seriously” works too, especially considering that maji is short for majime 真面目, which is a less slangy word that basically means serious (it’s more than just that but whatever). Depending on use, it may be closer to “rly” or “srsly” instead (interneeeet).

The second word is yabai (or more specifically the negated version of it*, yabakunai, or even more specifically the slangy/slurred way of saying that, yabakune). Yabai is a slang word that’s exploded in popularity over the last several years (though it’s roots are much older). It used to mostly describe a situation that is/had gone bad, similar to something like “oh shit.” Much like “shit” though, it’s become almost a catch-all word you can use to refer to basically anything. “This is shit.” “This is the shit.” “This is my shit.” Another example you’ll hear is using it to refer to people, like “that guy’s yabai,” which can mean anything from “don’t fall in with that dude he dangerous” to “that guy’s nuts” to “damn look at that dude go, fuckin beast mode.”

It’s not quite as vulgar though, so it’s not necessarily a bad word for kids to say.

*An extremely common grammar construction in Japanese is negating something and sticking a question mark after it to make a phrase similar to “Is that not ___?” in English. That’s what’s going on with “yabakune.”

So here, it’s Kanna processing the conflicting statements Saikawa made and being like a combination of “she nuts” and “danger Kanna Kamui, danger” (in a silly sort of way).

The line here technically isn’t want to be friends (友達になりたい tomodachi ni naritai or similar), but want to get along well (仲良くしたい nakayokushitai). It’s a pretty insignificant difference, but it makes slightly more sense in context for her to be saying it that way (at least in the Japanese, where both sound natural).

“Blundering” here is bukiyou 不器用, which is a common adjective for someone who’s clumsy (especially in a “bad with their hands” kind of way) or bad at expressing their emotions. If you’re familiar with the stereotypical gruff Japanese dad who can’t make himself tell his kids he loves them (unless maybe at end of an emotional story arc) archetype, this is the word typically used to describe them.

So basically the nuance here is that they’re all “you should have just said you wanted to be friends with her from the start, why’d you have to be all combative?” Which is probably something they think about her a lot.

For the curious, the words here are kurasu 暮らす and ikiru 生きる. The former is a verb for the act of “living” in a “what you do in your day to day life to get by” type of way; what house you live in, what food you eat, your routine, etc. The latter is “living” in a more philosophical sort of way, like “how you choose to live your life.” Or biologically I guess, like being alive versus being dead.

The way she words this, to me, implies less “for now, I can” and more “now, I can.” Like she couldn’t understand it before, but now she can.

Maybe a better way to put it is that the translation here seems to deal with the “now" and the “future” (she agrees now, but may not in the future) whereas the Japanese phrase used (ima de wa 今では) deals more with the “past” and the “now” (she didn’t agree with it, but now she does).

Also for what it’s worth, in the manga there’s one extra line after that: “Kobayashi-san is just that… [trails off]

Also going back a bit, this line. The phrase “骨をうずめる hone wo uzumeru” doesn’t really mean to destroy oneself. Literally, it means to bury one’s bones, and idiomatically, it means to “devote yourself wholly to something.” It is (or maybe was, when lifetime employment was still big) commonly used like “I will bury my bones at this company,” meaning you were devoted to your work at that employer (and had no plans to consider leaving for another job in the future).

So the idea here is that she had seen many of her fellow dragons who started with just “I’ll just spend time/get along with this non-dragon” and ended up becoming completely devoted to them instead (romantically or otherwise), but had never been able to accept/understand that feeling/decision—until now.

Also worth noting the “共に tomo ni” (together with) that she used with the bone-burying phrase—the same word she used twice earlier when talking about living with humans (tomo ni kurasu and, tomo ni ikiru).

So depending on how you want to interpret it, idiomatically or literally, the dragons she knew got “too” involved with a non-dragon and then either just became super emotionally attached, or died together with them.

This line is actually “いつの不良だ? itsu no furyou da?”. Furyou is one of the words you’ll see as “delinquent” a lot, and itsu is “when.” Basically the way they’re acting makes them seem like stereotypical delinquents from year 19XX, and she’s sort of reacting to both how out of date it is, plus the “delinquent” thing itself. If you were writing a similar scene from scratch in English, you might go with a “____ called, it wants its ____ back” style joke.

She’s saying “moe” here, in case you didn’t catch that. That sort of “moeeeee” squeal is pretty stereotypical (if sort of out of date) as a thing Japanese anime otaku would say when looking at something cute. When I say stereotypical, I mean that was kind of the perception even relatively normal people had about what otaku did, “oh those people who go like ‘moeeeee’ at anime, right?”

Get it he’s fat (American) and big (gorilla). Gorilla is a pretty standard jokey way to make fun of someone big and stocky. You’ve probably heard it used in several other anime/manga before (often PE teachers or judo club members, especially with square jaws like that).

The phrase here is kubi wo aratte mattero yo 首を洗ってまってろよ, the ever-popular “wash your neck and wait.” It refers to an old line from back in the samurai days, when it was a thing to wash your neck prior to committing seppuku—after you gut yourself, someone else is supposed to cut your head off, and it would be just dreadful for someone to have to cut a dirty neck, heavens me. Basically the idea is “yer fuckin dead mate.”

This is an example of a sutezerifu 捨て台詞, basically a parting line made by an aggrieved party, like “I’ll get you for this!” or whatever. In fiction it’s heavily associated with the bad guys. If you think of Team Rocket they’re a perfect example.

The phrase for picking a fight in Japanese is “selling a fight” (and “fighting words” can be “selling words (urikotoba 売り言葉)”, as here). Then if someone takes you up on it, they “bought” the fight.

Specifically she has no jinbou 人望, which is basically popularity, but in a “people would go out of their way to help you” sort of way; it’s not the same word you’d use to refer to a popular movie, for instance, or someone who’s “popular” but doesn’t have many friends (that would be ninki 人気).

“Explosive” here is actually the kanji for explode/explosion and heart, so it’s more like “Exploding Heart/Spirit.” It’s actually also the word for ground zero/the center of an explosion, though usually it has another kanji added to the end when used like that (爆心地 bakushinchi).

The ability to just toss whatever kanji together like this to create words that don’t necessarily have an actual meaning, but invoke a sort of emotional response, means you see this thing in titles and taglines and fiction (think attack names) a lot.

The phrase used to say “on a different level” here is ものが違う mono ga chigau. Chigau is different, and mono can mean many things, including “things,” and also including a euphemism for boobs.

She uses juurin 蹂躙 here, a fancy word for basically trample. It’s not a super common word, but it’s often used when talking about things like “trampled human rights” in news stories.

Another sutezerifu, and a particularly stereotypical one. Kobayashi doesn’t say “he’s beat up,” she comments on how absurdly stereotypical he sounds (こってこてだな).

Lucoa uses the first person pronoun “boku,” which is typically used by boys/men. Japanese has a bunch of words for “I/me,” and most of them are gendered to some extent or another; some common ones are ore 俺 and boku 僕 for men, atashi あたし and watashi 私 for women—though watashi (or watakushi) is used by everyone in formal/business environments.

Interestingly, the Japanese language is very gendered based on the speaker, but not so gendered based on the subject. So like in English it can be hard to tell someone’s gender online sometimes, but at the same time it’s useful information to know for pronoun purposes. In Japanese it’s easy to tell someone’s gender online (unless they specifically write to hide it), but at the same time you don’t even really need to know, for pronoun purposes anyway.

The phrase here is 姥捨て ubasute, an ancient (and possibly mostly mythical?) practice of abandoning elderly people (particularly but not exclusively women) in the mountains or elsewhere in the wilderness to die in times when food was scarce and the extra mouth couldn’t be fed.

You have to remove your normal shoes and change into indoor shoes (like slip-ons), when entering schools in Japan. In middle/high school you’ll typically have a shoe locker to keep those in, but in elementary school you often are required to have a bag to keep them in; hence the “slipper case” here.

Basically the same is true of physical education/gym clothes, hence the “gym clothes case.” The “gym cap” is basically the same deal as the commuting hat, but worn during gym/PE class. They’re often red and white (also reversible), and so sometimes referred to as kouhakubou 紅白帽 (red/white hats; “kouhaku” is a common word, as the red/white color pair has a lot of cultural significance, especially in relation to Shinto).

Bathrooms in Japan don’t have paper towels, so a handkerchief is an important item to carry when leaving the house.

The “pencil board” (下敷き shitajiki) is a thin plastic board placed under paper to provide a better writing surface (such as when writing in a notebook, which would otherwise have more “give” to it). Possibly due to the relatively intricate nature of kanji (look at this shit: 憂鬱), clean handwriting gets a lot of focus in Japanese primary education—calligraphy lessons, with brush and ink and all, are a regular feature of class—which I guess is where the mandatory status of these boards comes from.

The safety buzzer (“crime prevention buzzer”) is a common piece of equipment for kids to carry, so they can ring in case of kidnapping or similar crime; basically the “I need an adult” alarm. Since kids are generally walking to school unattended and there have been a few high profile criminal cases related to that, it makes sense schools would want to make sure these are something students are carrying.

Link to Episode One Notes
Link to Episode Two Notes
Link to Episode Three Notes
Link to Character Intro Pages