First time DMing, co-dming with a friend. First session of the campaign, mostly intended to establish characters. The players are a human ranger with a wolf companion, a half-elf oracle (alv), and a half-elf wizard (jimbob) with a raven familiar (momo). Jimbob critically failed to recognize Alv’s gender, and thinks the male half elf is the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. He tells his raven to fly to her room in the inn and tell her a poem.
Jimbob: I tell my raven to find her and tell her a poem. -describes Alv and poem-
The raven lands on his windowsill. Alv approaches the raven.
Momo: My master likes you…
Me: Roll intelligence to see if the bird remembers the poem
Other DM rolls 6, 2 with intelligence penalty for being a bird
Momo: Roses are red, violets are blue. Do you like juice? Because I like to have sex.
The way TV shows trauma can lead people to expect every reference to trauma to be a plot point. This can be isolating to people coping with the aftermaths of trauma. Sometimes people treat us as stories rather than as people. Sometimes, instead of listening to us, they put a lot of pressure on us to advance the plot they’re expecting.
On TV, triggers tend to be full audiovisual flashbacks that add something to the story. You see a vivid window into the character’s past, and something changes. On TV, trauma aftermaths are usually fascinating. Real life trauma aftermaths are sometimes interesting, but also tend to be very boring to live with.
On TV, triggers tend to create insight. In real life, they’re often boring intrusions interfering with the things you’d rather be thinking about. Sometimes knowing darn well where they come from doesn’t make them go away. Sometimes it’s more like: Seriously? This again?
On TV, when trauma is mentioned, it’s usually a dramatic plot point that happens in a moment. In real life, trauma aftermaths are a mundane day-to-day reality that people live with. They’re a fact of life — and not necessarily the most important one at all times. People who have experienced trauma do other things too. They’re important, but not the one and only defining characteristic of who someone is. And things that happened stay important even when you’re ok. Recovery is not a reset. Mentioning the past doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in crisis.
On TV, when a character mentions trauma, or gets triggered in front of someone, it’s usually a dramatic moment. It changes their life, or their relationship with another character, or explains their backstory, or something. In real life, being triggered isn’t always a story, and telling isn’t always a turning point. Sometimes it’s just mentioning something that happened to be relevant. Sometimes it’s just a mundane instance of something that happens from time to time.
Most people can’t have a dramatic transformative experience every time it turns out that their trauma matters. Transformative experiences and moments of revelation exist, but they’re not the end all and be all of trauma aftermaths. Life goes on, and other things matter too. And understanding what a reaction means and where it came from doesn’t always make it go away. Sometimes, it takes longer and has more to do with skill-building than introspection. Sometimes it doesn’t go away.
On a day to day level, it’s often better to be matter-of-fact about aftermaths. It can be exhausting when people see you as a story and expect you to advance the plot whenever they notice some effect of trauma. Pressure to perform narratives about healing doesn’t often help people to make their lives better. Effect support involves respecting someone as a complex human, including the boring parts.
The aftermath of trauma is a day-to-day reality. It affects a lot of things, large and small. It can be things like being too tired to focus well in class because nightmares kept waking you up every night this week. TV wants that to be a dramatic moment where the character faces their past and gets better. In real life, it’s often a day where you just do your best to try and learn algebra anyway. Because survivors do things besides be traumatized and think about trauma. Sometimes it’s not a story. Sometimes it’s just getting through another day as well as possible.
A lot of triggers are things like being unable to concentrate on anything interesting because some kinds of background noises make you feel too unsafe to pay attention to anything else. For the zillionth time. Even though you know rationally that they’re not dangerous. Even though you know where they come from, and have processed it over and over. Even if you’ve made a lot of progress in dealing with them, even if they’re no longer bothersome all the time. For most people, recovery involves a lot more than insight. The backstory might be interesting, but being tired and unable to concentrate is boring.
Triggers can also mean having to leave an event and walk home by yourself while other people are having fun, because it turns out that it hurts too much to be around pies and cakes. Or having trouble finding anything interesting to read that isn’t intolerably triggering. Or having trouble interacting with new people because you’re too scared or there are too many minefields. Or being so hypervigilant that it’s hard to focus on anything. No matter how interesting the backstory is, feeling disconnected and missing out on things you wanted to enjoy is usually boring.
When others want to see your trauma as a story, their expectations sometimes expand to fill all available space. Sometimes they seem to want everything to be therapy, or want everything to be about trauma and recovery.
When others want every reference to trauma to be the opening to a transformative experience, it can be really hard to talk about accommodations. For instance, it gets hard to say things like:
“I’m really tired because of nightmares” or
“I would love to go to that event, but I might need to leave because of the ways in which that kind of thing can be triggering” or
“I’m glad I came, but I can’t handle this right now” or
“I’m freaking out now, but I’ll be ok in a few minutes” or
“I need to step out — can you text me when they stop playing this movie?”
It can also be hard to mention relevant experiences. There are a lot of reasons to mention experiences other than wanting to process, eg:
“Actually, I have experience dealing with that agency”
“That’s not what happens when people go to the police, in my experience, what happens when you need to make a police report is…”
“Please keep in mind that this isn’t hypothetical for me, and may not be for others in the room as well.”
Or any number of other things.
When people are expecting a certain kind of story, they sometimes look past the actual person. And when everyone is looking past you in search of a story, it can be very hard to make connections.
It helps to realize that no matter what others think, your story belongs to you. You don’t have to play out other people’s narrative expectations. It’s ok if your story isn’t what others want it to be. It’s ok not to be interesting. It’s ok to have trauma reactions that don’t advance the plot. And there are people who understand that, and even more people who can learn to understand that.
It’s possible to live a good life in the aftermath of trauma. It’s possible to relearn how to be interested in things. It’s possible to build space you can function in, and to build up your ability to function in more spaces. It’s often possible to get over triggers. All of this can take a lot of time and work, and can be a slow process. It doesn’t always make for a good story, and it doesn’t always play out the way others would like it to. And, it’s your own personal private business. Other people’s concern or curiosity does not obligate you to share details.
Survivors and victims have the right to be boring. We have the right to deal with trauma aftermaths in a matter-of-fact way, without indulging other people’s desires for plot twists. We have the right to own our own stories, and to keep things private. We have the right to have things in our lives that are not therapy; we have the right to needed accommodations without detailing what happened and what recovery looks like. Neither traumatic experiences nor trauma aftermaths erase our humanity.
We are not stories, and we have no obligation to advance an expected plot. We are people, and we have the right to be treated as people. Our lives, and our stories, are our own.
What exactly was Gerard's red danger days haircut? I really want to get that cut after I lose some weight but I've never been able to really see how it's done underneath and I don't want to mess it up. I saw that you had it at some point so I thought maybe you could help me. Please and thanks!
im not a hairdresser so maybe im not the right person to ask…i can only give you photos really. it looks like he had everything but the top of his head/the middle of the back of his head shaved off tho…if that makes sense but photos are better than my explanation i guess
you could actually see it a bit better after he cut it shorter
what's your favorite three scenes in bnha and why those particular scenes?
OHHHHHH BOY HERE WE GO!!!! I GET TO TALK ABOUT THE HUG™
1. THE HUG™
In Chapter 95 of Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia the protagonist, Izuku Midoriya and his mentor, All Might, share a hug.
You’re probably thinking, dude it was just a hug, why is it so important to you? It’s important to me because their relationship is what made me fall in love with My Hero Academia. I’m a sucker for mentors who act as parental figures to their students. We don’t know much about Izuku’s father or if Izuku has even met the man, but we do know that he has a father figure in All Might. The boy has looked up to him his whole life. Izuku had just witnessed All Might’s final battle. The man he looks up to and adores almost died.
After receiving a Texas Smash to his cheek, Izuku is left looking up at All Might bewildered. All Might tells him, he can no longer use One For All and that he is retiring from Heroics. All Might reprimands Izuku for being so reckless during the Kamino Ward incident. Izuku and a handful of his classmates went to rescue another who was kidnapped by the League of Villains. However, All Might says he is glad Izuku isn’t hurt. He envelops the boy in a hug and apologizes for not being a proper mentor to him. All Might promises to devote himself to Izuku’s development.
Izuku starts crying and All Might scolds him for it, but he was tearing up too.
tl;dr: The build up to this moment in their relationship was fucking fantastic. From pats on the back to high fives to hair ruffling, they were gradually growing closer together. I was waiting for the day these two would hug and Horikoshi absolutely delivered. God bless. ANYWAY THIS HUG SAVED MY DAMN LIFE AND I THINK ABOUT IT A LOT AND EAGERLY AWAIT THE DAY IT WILL BE ANIMATED.
2. UNITED STATES OF SMASH
In Chapter 94, All Might uses the last embers of One For All to do one final smash.
All Might’s battle with All For One had been going on for quite sometime. His true form had been exposed to the world and All For One was taunting him. All For One tells All Might that he (All Might) has failed as a teacher due to Izuku’s recklessness. All Might vows not to die until he is finished bringing up Izuku. With the last embers of One for All, he pours every ounce of his strength into his right arm. At the last second, All Might transfers the power to his left arm and catches All For One off guard.
tl;dr HANDS DOWN THE MOST BADASS MOVES WE’VE SEEN IN THE SERIES SO FAR (sorry for the bad summary, I haven’t read through the Rescue Arc in a while lmao)
3. MY HERO
In Chapter 76, Izuku becomes a hero to someone.
This moment and the second moment are interchangeable for me. They’re both equally awesome.
The boy on the left is Kouta, a boy who doesn’t particularly like heroes because of what happened to his parents years earlier. The bruised and battered boy on the right is Izuku Midoriya, the protagonist of the story, and thus far he still doesn’t have control over One for All. He can only use about 5% but
Izuku is going all out and pushing way past his limit to protect Kouta because that’s what heroes do.
And Izuku wants to be a hero more than anything. Izuku saves Kouta and Kouta ends up writing him a letter thanking him.
tl;dr: IZUKU’S ON HIS WAY TO BECOMING THE WORLD’S GREATEST HERO AND THE FIGHT WITH MUSCULAR WAS EPIC
Bonus moments include: I Promise and Bakugou Breaks
Woooo geez this got long, but here are my top 3 scenes in BNHA!!
Hi! How are you? I saw the pictures of your previous trip to Japan. They are awesome. I plan to visit Kyoto this April and I would like to ask which Shinsengumi related places are worth the visit? Are there any places where I can buy Hakuouki related things? Last year I watched the whole Hakuouki anime series (all of the seasons, movies, specials) and I became a fan and I would like to visit the places which were mentioned in the anime. As you were there in April was it crowded? Best wishes, Éva
Thank you! I didn’t post nearly enough of them, honestly, I have so much more to talk about because the whole experience was just… completely surreal, but what is time?
There are books dedicated to touring Japan to visit significant sites relating to the Shinsengumi, including two Hakuouki ones (one of which JUST came out). Of course, the biggest issue is that this information is all in Japanese and that’s something you’re going to come up against if you want to visit these places. You definitely don’t have to understand Japanese (I’ve heard of people managing) but it honestly helps.
My personal trip started in Tokyo, then we went down to Kyoto, back up North to Aizu-Wakamatsu and then onto Hakodate. We really just focused on many of the big spots but there’s just so much to cover, two weeks was never going to be enough, especially as it was my friend’s first time in Japan too so we had other things to do.
As to the crowds, being hanami (cherry blossom viewing) season Tokyo and Kyoto were crowded, but I feel like that’s always a thing since it’s Japan, but the more you go off the beaten path, and the Shinsengumi sites kind of are off the beaten path, it’s not so bad. Aizu and Hakodate are definitely not as crowded, especially with foreign tourists. My friend and I were definitely standouts.
As far as being able to buy Hakuouki related goods, if it’s related to the Shinsengumi your chances of finding Hakuouki things to buy is high but it really depends on the location. I had the best luck in Kyoto, Aizu, and Hakodate since… they’re kind of big Shinsengumi hot spots, but we didn’t spend a lot of time in Tokyo for me to really go looking for stuff there. (I will say there is a disappointing lack of stuff in the Animates I went to.) I’ll be going back in April and focusing more on the sites in Tokyo so I’ll have to report back on that.
Here’s some of the major highlights of my trip that might be most worth noting:
**Warning: Long post is long! Click the location names for relevant links!**
The Hijikata family residence where Hijikata’s family resided during his lifetime has evolved to include a museum. Since the site is still a private residence, the added on museum is only open during certain days of the year. Typically two Sundays each month. Hino is considered part of greater Tokyo, but it’s quite a hike from the city itself. This is one of those places you have to be prepared to go to and spend a good chunk of your day at. The museum is small and you won’t be there long but it’s a wonderful place to go. The family runs it and is very pleasant to visit with. This is also where you would go to see Hijikata’s beloved sword, Izuminokami Kanesada.
Being that Hino is Hijikata’s hometown, there’s more than just the museum to visit. Just a few minutes journey from the museum is the Sekiden-ji or Sekiden Temple which is one of at least four places, I believe, with a grave for Hijikata. It’s a temple with a cemetery, containing many members of the Hijikata family, so it’s important to be respectful but it’s easy to find the stone marker and the grave itself is nearby.
Hino also has a big Shinsengumi festival every year in May. One of these days I’m going to go to it.
It’s good to wander around the city a bit. There’s so many houses with the Hijikata name plate and it’s clear this town is proud of it’s famous historical figure. I’m looking forward to going back and exploring it more on my own to see what I missed last time.
Itabashi is where Kondou was executed and after the war was over, Nagakura Shinpachi built the grave to memorialize the commander in 1876. Hijikata’s name is also inscribed on the stone pillar. Nearby is also a grave for Shinpachi as well. It’s a straight shot from Itabashi station so it’s not too difficult to find. The grave honestly is a memorial to the entirety of the Shinsengumi, but being that this is where Kondou was executed, it has special significance for that reason.
Other places to visit in Tokyo, that I intend to visit when I go back this year, include:
Shieikan dojo - There’s nothing much remaining here beyond a stone marker, but this is the origin of the Shinsengumi and worth visiting. Ryuugen-ji - Kondou’s body was brought here (sans his head) after his execution and buried. Imado Shrine - This site is primarily famous for being the birthplace of the manekineko or ‘lucky cats’ but it’s also significant for being the site of the hospital where Okita Souji was supposed to be recovering from tuberculosis. It’s not his grave or where he actually died though. Sensou-ji - But his grave is close at the famous Sensou-ji, however, it is only open one day a year. Chofu/Mitaka City - Birthplace of Kondou Isami and many members of the Shinsengumi. Kashio Bridge - Former site of the Battle of Koushuu-Katsunuma, the battle the followed the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and Kondou Isami’s last battle before his execution.
One of the sites of the Shinsengumi’s headquarters, these two places are a must see. The nice thing is that once you find one, the other is right down the same road, practically around the corner. You’ll see big “makoto” banners that signify they’re Shinsengumi sites. The Yagi House does do tours but they will not be in English (hopefully you get the nice man with the strong Kansai accent–he’s super nice). After the tour you get to go to the little shop that’s out in front for some tea and a treat as part of paying for a ticket for the tour. There’s a little garden in Mibudera that you pay 100 yen to get into but that’s where all the statues and memorials are that are the highlight. Including this really neat prayer board:
The second headquarters of the Shinsengumi. It’s HUGE and it’s beautiful. Definitely worth a visit. Seriously, my pictures do not do the size of this place justice. It was immense. No wonder the squad wanted to relocate here.
Now the site of the Hana no Mai Ikeda Inn branch but there’s a stone marker outside that states that this is the site where the Ikeda Inn used to stand. You need to make reservations but worth it for a good meal and where I drank my way through the Hakuouki Shinsengumi XD
Nijo Castle is a good place to visit just because it’s Kyoto and it’s where the Shogun lived when he was being protected by the Shinsengumi. As I recall it’s the site in the Hakuouki game where Kazama and the other demons reveal themselves to Chizuru while the Shinsengumi are guarding the Shogun.
We weren’t able to make it here, being on a time crunch, but it is near the castle. A site that is also famous to the Shinsengumi and all of Kyoto in general. This is the bridge where the notice was that Sano protected in Hakuouki. It’s also said that there’s a sword wound on one of the pillars on the east side from the Ikeda Inn Incident.
Our ryokan was here so we got kind of an intimate experience of the area but it’s a nice little area to explore if you have the chance. The infamous red light district, this is where many men, the Shinsengumi included, would go to relax and drink off-duty. The entrance gate is kind of the major tourist attraction but this is where you can find the Sumiya.
This is the ageya famous for being visited frequently by Serizawa Kamo and the location where Hijikata and Kondou got Serizawa drunk before later assassinating him at the Yagi House. It’s also the oldest remaining example of an ageya still in existence. There’s sword marks inside made by Serizawa on the first and second floor. You need to make a reservation to see the second floor but it’s so worth it. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside (which is pretty typical) but there’s one room that is just covered all over with inlaid mother of pearl and it’s just insane. And they still don’t know how they did it!
You are allowed to take pictures on the first floor and this is supposedly one of the sword marks from Serizawa:
Our ryokan was literally two houses down from this site and when I realized where we were I might have had an emotional freak out… >_>
There’s soooo many places in Kyoto though, one day I hope to go back and find the others that I know we missed. Fun side-story, one of the things one of my friends wanted to do what do some Shinsengumi cosplay, so he found us a shop that did it and on our last day in Kyoto we dressed up and got to visit the Mibudera in our outfits, it was pretty embarrassing but I’m glad we did it XD
Here, have a picture:
Ironically, it was the one day in our stay that it was RAINING LIKE CRAZY -_-
When Saitou talks about defending Aizu, this is the castle at the center of it all. Tsuruga Castle was the home of Lord Matsudaira Katamori, who is the man responsible for sponsoring the Shinsengumi in the first place. He is the man that they feel indebted to and is basically the man they answered to, ultimately, and this is where he and his family resided. And for me, this is where my fascination with this period in history started, so naturally I had to go back. The original castle had been so riddled artillery fire during the Battle of Aizu, that it was demolished by the new government in 1874. The tenshu, the largest tower of the castle, was reconstructed in 1965 and currently houses a museum on the inside. It really is a must-see for anyone interested in the Bakumatsu and the Shinsengumi.
The Byakko-tai was a squadron of young teenage boys from the Aizu domain that fought to defend Tsuruga Castle and the city of Aizu during the Battle of Aizu. They were fighting along with the remnants of the Shinsengumi that stayed behind (such as Saitou), perhaps not directly though under the same banner of Aizu, but tragically, when the boys saw Tsuruga Castle burning they assumed the castle had fallen and each committed ritual suicide on the hill. While the castle would eventually fall, the tragedy is the boys’ death was premature. At the top of a long path of stairs climbing up the side of the hill (mountain? Feels like a mountain lol) is the memorial dedicated to them. This was the site where I really felt my first interest in the Bakumatsu and the Boshin War blossoming, so while not exactly a Shinsengumi site per se, it’s still related history and worth visiting.
The famous site of the last battle of the Boshin War. Goryoukaku fort is where Hijikata retreats with what remains of the pro-Shogunate forces when they flee to Hokkaido, at the time called Ezo. Now the site is a park that is infamous for it’s gorgeous cherry blossoms. I was sad that unfortunately we were there a little too soon for the cherry blossoms but practically all the trees on the site are cherry blossom trees so when they are in full bloom it is quite a site I’m told.
The Magistrate’s Office (lower picture) was only recently rebuilt as a museum over the site of the original office and is the location of Hijikata and Chizuru’s infamous kiss in Hakuouki ;) Though in reality it is the last stand of Hijikata and his beleaguered men. Walking through it is rather incredible as much detail was put into the restoration and one of the rare sites that lets you take pictures throughout the interior. They had DVDs for sale that went through the details and the lengths that they went through to reconstruct the Magistrate’s Office and it is beyond fascinating, I purchased a copy and hope to be able to share it some day.
Not necessarily a Shinsengumi site historically speaking but if you want a nice aerial view of Goryoukaku Fort this is where you want to go. Also, personally, there’s two wonderful Hijikata statues here that are worth seeing, and a whole blow-by-blow of the Battle of Hakodate that’s really neat and that I have pictures of that I hope to share at some point.
“After joining Enomoto’s army, Toshizo Hijikata (deputy leader of Shinsengumi) was killed in the battle of Hakodate. Opinions are divided regarding the exact location of his burial; Ippongi in Wakamatsu-cho, Tsuruoka-cho, or Eikokubashi in Jujigai. A record taken from the Kongoji Temple in Hino, Hijikata’s hometown in present-day suburban Tokyo, only noted that Hijikata’s memorial monument was erected in Shomyoji Temple in Hakodate. The monument did not survive three fires during the Meiji era, and the present monument was erected in 1973 by volunteers.
Four others names of Shinsengumi members’, whose tombstones in Shomyoji Temple were destroyed during a typhoon in 1953, were also engraved on the monument.”
Located in front of a rather normal office building, this was the end of our pilgrimage, which I’m not a religious person necessarily but the weight of standing here and having come so far, I cried. Finding this was a little difficult but we had managed to get lucky and when I explained to our taxi driver why we were there and what we were doing and he literally drove us to our last two destinations pointing out highlights and patiently waiting for us at each site. It’s really cheesy, I know, but coming here was the pinnacle of a long journey and I really hope I can go back again one day to pay my respects again.
This person’s blog has some great suggestions of things to see in Kyoto relating to the Shinsengumi:
Of course, as I said earlier, the only downside is that none of it is in English, which is going to be the struggle for anyone really wanting an immersive Shinsengumi or Bakumatsu experience. While you can get around not knowing the language I feel like, honestly, there would be a lot lacking. Especially if you try to venture further North to Aizu or Hakodate, Aizu in particular would be tough for non-Japanese speakers.
There were so many places to see and since I was not on my own there was just not enough time to hit them all, but these were the major stopping points on our tour along the path of the Shinsengumi.