hope and sacrifice

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The one who existed beforehand waking from a long and terrible nightmare. Reorienting to the daylight and the world as it existed before he first closed his eyes, letting the memory of the nightmare fade away.

Girls Need Heroes, Too: In Defense of Magical Girls

Of all the different types of anime, the magical girl anime is probably the sub-genre that is most looked down upon. Magical girl animes are bright and colorful, they always involve middle- or junior-school-aged girls gaining superpowers and having dramatic transformation scenes, and there’s plenty of fan service in terms of skimpy outfits and simpering looks.

Originally posted by thedragoon

People, even the more open-minded anime watchers, have a tendency to dismiss magical girl animes due to what they perceive as a standard storyline and stock characterization; they’re blinded by the plethora of pink, the frills and short skirts, and the girlish laughter, and they miss the more serious and frequently dark side of these shows.

Originally posted by kagenui

Like any television show, anime or otherwise, magical girl animes have stories and messages that are both entertaining and relevant. Few shows have as much optimism and determination as magical girl animes, yet these shows also provide a realistic (at least as realistic as you can get on shows where girls are granted magical powers to fight the forces of evil) look at the sacrifices and pain that heroes must face. Magical girl animes are able to blend important lessons with joy and levity, and there are a number of reasons that they’re worth watching.

One of my favorite things about magical girl animes is the way they portray friendship. Even if a magical girl starts out on her own, it’s inevitable that she’ll end up surrounded by a team of other magical girls and occasionally a token magical boy. Like any story involving teamwork, there’s going to be some conflicts and some drama, but ultimately, it’s the strength of the team and their friendship that helps them save the day.

Originally posted by ladyofacat

Originally posted by fyeahsailormoon

Magical girls don’t always start off as friends-in fact, they sometimes start off as annoyances at best and flat-out adversaries at worst-but there are few things that bring people together quite as well as having to save people (or the city or the earth or the universe or all of space and time; you get the idea).  

Originally posted by sylneon

Originally posted by chatnoirs-baton

But despite the task of working together to save the day, the friendships in magical girl animes are always realistic. As I said, magical girls don’t always get along with one another. Becoming a magical girl is rarely a choice; it’s typically the result of some outside circumstance such as a perceived aptitude for being a hero, an accident, or a grand destiny, and as a result, the chosen girls are very different types of people with different personalities, motives, and attitudes towards their new role.

Originally posted by madokamagicaruinedmylife

Originally posted by densetsu-sailor-moon

The resulting clashes are typically the direct result of these differences, yet as the girls work more and more as a team, these conflicts become less and less common. It’s hard to rely on someone to have your back without forming some sort of more personal bond, and eventually, even those magical girls who would rather work alone find themselves forming friendships with their fellow magical girls. There are still plenty of ups and downs, but that’s true of any friendship, magical or otherwise, and these shows aren’t afraid of portraying the good times along with the bad, giving viewers a well-rounded look at the personal relationship of magical girls. Yes, there may be more makeovers or shopping trips or sleepovers than other animes, but these types of scenes go to show that magical girls and other heroes have lives outside of saving the day, and they enjoy the time they have with their friends doing things they enjoy.

Originally posted by checkyesbraixen

Originally posted by theonewhohelptosetthesun

Originally posted by homurahyakuya

Originally posted by heartcoma

But that doesn’t mean these magical girls don’t enjoy kicking some bad guy butt. They’ve got superpowers and awesome weapons and they know how to use them. Magical girl animes are really at the top of the list in terms of girl power. These ladies can fight, they can strategize and plan, they can work as a team and take down any villain or monster that stands in their way, and they look cute while doing it.

Originally posted by weissrose

Originally posted by psychopass

Originally posted by nicorobin

In the world of superheroes, there are infinitely more men than women, leaving young girls at a bit of a loss in terms of role models. Magical girls provide female heroes for people to look up to and admire. Magical girls fight for a cause, they don’t compromise their values, and they’re willing to sacrifice themselves to save others. They’re just as capable and worthy of admiration as any guy hero, yet they’re often brushed aside because of their girlishness.

Originally posted by nenecchi

Originally posted by rusianmio

Originally posted by httptsunderethighs

Which is really a shame, because these magical girls are proof that you can be girly and still totally kick butt. Whether it’s straight-up physical combat, mastery of weapons-everything from guns to swords to archery to a yoyo- or actual magical powers such as control over an element, these ladies are fearsome and powerful. 

Originally posted by ladynoir-aka-life

Originally posted by anime

Originally posted by every-rabbit-is-trans

But sometimes they’re powerful enough to hurt more than they help, particularly when it comes to getting hurt themselves. Magical girls sometimes find themselves in situations that their weapons and skills can’t overcome, and they must sacrifice some part of themselves, be it their magical girl status, a physical ability, or their humanity itself. These are frightening and painful decisions to make, yet magical girls never seem to back down from making them. They know what has to be done, and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to save the day. 

Originally posted by panzoom

Originally posted by asami-snazz

Originally posted by sirens-coven

Originally posted by homuraholic

Originally posted by rito2ru

Originally posted by yazzydream

Knowing that being a magical girl of any kind would have its downsides might deter some from accepting such a role, but those who do become magical girls always do so because they believe in what being a magical girl embodies. Even more, they have hope that their sacrifices and pain will make the world a better place. No matter how dark things may get, it seems like magical girls have an ability for endless hopefulness: hope that evil can be overcome, hope that people can change, hope that their choice to do the right thing will be enough.

Their hope is not always realistic and it’s not always rewarded, yet their unfailing willingness to hope for something better even when all seems lost is admirable. Just seeing magical girls pushing back against their enemies no matter what makes viewers believe that their own problems can be overcome. Even when everything seems to be falling apart, there’s hope that tomorrow will be better, and people have a tendency to forget that. Luckily we have characters like magical girls to remind us to be hopeful and to do whatever we can to bring hope to others.

Magical girl animes truly have a lot to offer everyone. There are complex characters, twisted and dramatic storylines, and epic fight scenes. Many of the shows have fantastic animation as well, along with great scores and visually-stunning transformation sequences.

Originally posted by mysweet-milkshake

Originally posted by purple-link-pone

Originally posted by lightgeline

Critics aren’t wrong when they say magical girl animes are usually fluffier and more lighthearted than other animes or other animated shows, but that’s not what makes these animes so good. These fluffy moments provide a brief respite between the truly hard choices, the sacrifices and the losses.

Magical girl animes show that girls can be just as good as the boys. They can be just as tough, just as powerful, just as heroic. And they can do it all while wearing a combat skirt and heels, something I’d love to see their male counterparts attempt. Magical girls and magical girl animes deserve the same acknowledgment and appreciation as their contemporaries for being unabashedly what they are: celebrations of the great things girls can do with hope, determination, and a bit of magic.

Originally posted by unicorns-ate-my-memories

There comes a point where it all becomes too much. When we get too tired to fight anymore. So we give up. That’s when the real work begins. To find hope where there seems to be absolutely none at all.
—  Cristina Yang, Grey’s Anatomy
How Achieving Your Dreams in a Way you Didn’t Envision is Not Always a Bad Thing

Victuuri Week 2017 – Day 3 – Day Prompt, Victor Prompt – Dreams, Hope/Regret

Today for Victuuri Week Day 3, I’d like to talk about Hopes and Dreams and how not achieving what you initially desire in the form you envision isn’t always a bad thing. In this case, we’re going to look at what Yuuri and Victor’s hopes and dreams for their futures may have been pre-series and how they got way more than they bargained for simply by meeting each other.

Let’s start with Yuuri. We know right from the beginning of episode 1, even before we knew the title of the episode, that Yuuri aspired to skate on the same stage as Victor. We’re shown how this dream was formed and nurtured by friends and family through his childhood and teen years and carried by his feelings through to adulthood. He did everything he could to just come close to Victor; whether that be through his skating, having his walls plastered with posters of him, or even getting a dog of similar breed to Victor’s and naming it after him. So Yuuri’s hope for the future was fairly obvious even if it did have a time limit with the nature of the careers of competitive figure skaters.

Now how about Victor? We don’t really have enough information about his childhood to conclusively say anything for certain but, as far as we can tell, he didn’t have as clear of a dream laid out as Yuuri did. Optionally, you could even argue that he had a dream before but had already reached it. This is actually one of the major facets of his characterization and development through the series. He is the polar opposite of Yuuri in that at the start of the series he didn’t have any concrete hopes for his future. All he knew is that he wanted to skate and keep skating because this was just the thing he always did and had no reason to change it. There may have been a time when skating (or even competing) might have been called his dream, but by the start of the series it no longer was. It had just become a thing he did due to his pride as a skater/competitor and his lack of direction in his life overall.

And then, of course, the series truly begins and they meet each other. Now, we could look through the evolution of how their hopes and dreams changed over the course of the season but I think it will be more expedient to look at where they started and ended and compare the two.

Starting with Yuuri, what’s interesting is that through the course of the season you almost forget about the exact form of his initial dream: to skate on the same ice as Victor. He managed to connect with Victor in so many other ways but he had yet to actually compete against him. He may have felt directionless at the start of the series because he felt he had failed at reaching his dream but the reason for that was because he already had achieved his dream. It just wasn’t in the way he envisioned. He then became disillusioned with his dream. That is, until Victor himself came crashing face-first into his life.

Speaking of our favourite platinum-haired Russian, let’s check in with Victor. Victor may not have had a concrete dream before he met Yuuri but then they connected and he slowly rediscovered that he actually did have a dream all along. A dream that probably comes as no surprise but is actually very similar to Yuuri’s own: he wants to skate. And he wants to enjoy it. Yuuri then helped open his eyes to that, he helped him rediscover his love of skating as a whole and through this rediscovered his hope for the future.

But wait, there’s more! Everything that I’ve talked about so far actually only brings us to the end of ep 11. By the time the hotel room scene comes around, Victor has rediscovered his love for skating and his focus, his hope for the future, had become completely centered on Yuuri. So far as he could see, his future was to coach Yuuri until Yuuri eventually retired and then figure things out from there. And Victor was content with that as long as he could do that with Yuuri. He had even shifted his dream that involved enjoying skating to accommodate no longer being a competitor.

Yuuri, however, had other plans (which we as viewers always knew he did). Yuuri misread what Victor’s current hopes were and attempted to sacrifice himself in an attempt to allow those dreams to come true. Yuuri had adjusted his dream from wanting to skate on the same ice as Victor to wanting to make Victor happy and allow him to reach his own dreams. On the flip side, Victor had adjusted his dreams from wanting to skate for himself and find purpose in his life to wanting to make Yuuri happy and achieve his dreams.

So if both are wanting, above anything else, to help the other achieve their dreams then where do they go from there? Yuuri is planning to retire and Victor has basically already done so. The answer comes back to those initial dreams from episode 1. The dream Yuuri has to skate on the same ice and same level as Victor and the incomplete dream Victor had to enjoy skating again and find purpose in his life.

Through a combination of them both working towards helping each other and some outside encouragement, they actually end up achieving so much more. They both manage to achieve their hope of allowing their partner to achieve his dreams and well as achieving their own. Yuuri is finally able to skate on the same ice as Victor, as a competitor and someone that is on the same competitive level as him, and Victor is able to rediscover his passion in skating. And not only that, but they are able to continue their relationship that exists both on and off the ice.

Comparing the place they’re at by the end of the series to where they started at episode 1, we can see that their perceived failure to achieve their initial dreams in the form they had envisioned actually helped them achieve them in a way they hadn’t imagined. Through the willingness to throw away their own dreams, they managed to push each other to higher heights and not only achieve their own dreams but cement in place a firm hope for the future.

In the end, they became the key to not only achieving each others dreams but in doing so also opened a previously hidden door to a new envisioning of their own initial dreams.

it is a story harry whispers to his daughter at night, sings to her as she rocks in her crib, retells over and over to an excited toddler and later, a dreamy teenager.

lily.
for strength, and boldness, and fire. you of the red hair and striking temper, whose anger lashes out at injustice and cruelty. so that you may remember your history and remember your past, recall the love that imbues your life and the reason you stand here today. love is a conqueror, a fiery warrior who takes no prisoners. you have that in you, the recklessness, the wit, the spark.

luna. 
for friendship, and uniqueness, and bravery. you are too beautiful, inside and out, to care what others say, too marvelous to be ashamed of any part of you. you are gentle in the most unexpected of times, but you carry a backbone of steel. never lose that softness, never lose that hardness; hold both in you, a study in balance. treasure your friends and cherish your family. never sacrifice hope for jaded weariness.

your name, your two names, lily luna. one from the past, one from the present, and you. you, lily luna potter, you are the future.

rogue one did a lot of things i never thought they’d let a star wars movie do, in terms of: being a movie about Sacrifice and what that means and also

letting people into the club. 

like, rogue one opens star wars to people in a way i wasn’t expecting. american voices and american accents are not nearly so prominent in this movie in way i’ve never seen before in a work of science fiction– diego luna and donnie yen and jiang wen all speak english and they also speak it with their accents and there’s something to that, that opens ownership and possession and interaction with this movie to people who don’t speak english natively.  

and so much of the plot, the thrust, of this movie focuses on 

fathers and daughters in a way that left me just breathless. motherhood is still essentially absent in this movie, but

opening star wars to women who feel themselves as daughters feels so big to me, as someone who loved and loves star wars with her dad, this was so validating

and also: rogue one gives a view into the rebellion as a military network; cassian andor is a soldier and a spy and he knows soldiers and spies and he does things, terrible things, in the name of the rebellion, because war makes you do terrible, ugly, violent things in the name of things you believe in. there’s a very real weight to the violence that happens in rogue one that meant So much to me. living your politics means sacrifice in such a big way in rogue one, and it opens the narrative of loss in force awakens so much more clearly. leia and han falling apart makes so much more sense now

but just also

rogue one is a movie about hope. and i mean that, not in some corny cheesey way but in a Real! Tangible! way. and because rogue one is a movie about hope, it’s a movie about sacrifice. 

just

it is an audacious, beautiful thing and 

it is a thing about hope. 

Serial tweetstory: Summons

The robot opened itself, took out five power cells, and placed them at the pentagram points. Not blood, but it hoped the sacrifice would do.

It began the incantation. A sticky darkness fell over the center of the pentagram, the power cells exploded, and a shadowy figure appeared.

The demon probed the mystic bonds, then turned to the robot.
“Why have you summoned me?”
“Do I have a soul?”
“Would you bargain with it?”

“Do I have a soul?” the robot repeated.
“A machine can not summon or bind my kind,” the demon said. “Yes, you have a soul. Do you offer it?”

“Now I know,” the robot said, and performed the banishment ritual.
It could not smile, nor frown, but stood still in thought.
“Now I know.”


Written and posted as a series of tweets.

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When Jesus looked down from the cross, he didn’t think “I am giving myself to you because you are so attractive to me.” No, he was in agony, and he looked down at us - denying him, abandoning him, and betraying him - and in the greatest act of love in history, he STAYED. He said, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” He loved us, not because we were lovely to him, but to make us lovely.
—  Timothy Keller
8

It's not right.

It’s

right

It’s just not right now.

Dedicated to Lola

sing to me, o muse, of juno steel and mick mercury, two nobodies taken before their time, two friends tempted into shooting one another through the heart–

i figured i could either pretend ‘lesson learned’ isn’t happening, or ….idk, embrace it? hope my sacrifice 2 the art gods keeps my kids alive? you know, coping or something,