one of the many moments i wish i could be an anime character

Yuri on Ice 2017/02/11 all night event report

I’m back from the event and I’ll write a report before going to sleep, mostly because I’m sure I will not be able to decipher my scribbles when I wake up… It’s not the full talk show since you can’t record it and also I couldn’t possibly write down everything, but I tried to take note of most things, especially stuff that has never been mentioned elsewhere. In the end it became quite long so I guess I was able to get most of the stuff down…

Needless to say it’s my notes, so other people might write about parts I omitted, etc. To be honest quite a few of the things they said especially in the beginning, like what the seiyuu think about their characters, is something I’ve read so many times in interviews that I could almost answer in their place, lol… I was a bit disappointed that one of the questions that was answered is the one about Chris’ mysterious acquaintance, because actually Kubo answered that in Pash already (it’s in the Q&A part I’ll be translating later), and I hoped they would feature questions about stuff that hasn’t been explained yet. Well I guess not everybody reads interviews, but still…

Due to the format of the report you can find my comments here and there, mostly in brackets.
Under the cut because it’s long.

I forgot to mention something important: the ones participating in the talk show were Mitsurou Kubo, Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Yuuri), Junichi Suwabe (Victor), Kouki Uchiyama (Yurio).

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Ch 93: Not the end for Ymir?

Chapter 93 gave us the confirmation that Ymir has in fact been eaten by Galliard, Marcel’s brother, seemingly marking the ending point of her character once and for all. Given the context of the new episode, as well as the little focus or pages dedicated to her apparent last moments, many of us are very upset with the seemingly lackluster climax of her character arc; and her decision to abandon Historia to save RB and let herself be killed seems to go very much against everything her characterization according to many fans. 

The point of this post isn’t to argue about any of that, but instead, to illuminate a possible indicator that we may have not seen the last of everyone’s favorite goddess.

Please let us think back to chapter 50; one of the most impactfull and monumental chapters in the entire series, for many reasons. It marks the only time so far in the story that Eren has successfully manipulated the founding titan within him, the godlike power at the center of the current (and probably final) plot, aimed at his very first enemy; that alone marks a milestone in the series, not to speak of the various character interactions happening along the way. Among others, this chapter also marks the moment Ymir chooses to abandon Historia, the person she seems to care for more than anyone else, despite the fact that the coordinate marks a real hope for the walled world to survive the dangers Ymir is aware of. 

Now, despite the fact that this game changing power debuts in this chapter, the narrator this time around focuses on one arguably lesser important event: the aforementioned separation. Let’s look at it.

“At the time, we didn’t know what Ymir’s actions meant. But after that, the armored titan stopped chasing after us”-narrator, chapter 50.

This narration is interesting for various reasons. First of all, it marks one of the rare occasions in which the narrator is not impersonal, but in fact identifies with present characters. Other notable occasions of this include Kenny’s flashback in 69, and Eren’s description of the photograph in chapter 85 (both chapters with heavy plot and thematic value for the story, just like ch 50, if I may add). Here, the narrator refers to himself as part of a group, but opposes themselves against the armored titan, implying narrator is not part of RB’s team, but in fact of the Survey Corps escaping back to the walls (most likely part of the EMA, maybe even Armin himself considering Marina Inoue typically voices the narrator. We should hear that animated soon enough). 

That’s not the only thing the narrator is implying though. The use of the past tense as well as “at the time” is crucial. It literally means that, although they did not understand Ymir during chapter 50; at the time of narration, some form of understanding is clearly present. If, at the time of narration, the narrator was still as clueless as back then, there would be no need for “at the time” of past tense, but this particular formulation very much implies that an understanding of Ymir’s actions is very much there in the present time. And here’s the thing: even though Ymir’s death has been confirmed, our characters among which the narrator finds himself have yet to reach a point of understanding Ymir’s actions.

First of, let’s determine “Ymir’s actions”. Ymir herself is a big mystery to our cast, but according to the narrator, Ymir’s actions are what directly precedes the armored titan not following narrator and co; in which case, “Ymir’s actions” has to refer to her abandonment of Historia and her helping out R and B. In that case, the narration above implies the following: the narrator part of the surviving SC forces will eventually come to understand the meaning behind Ymir’s betrayal. Now, as of chapter 93, let’s ask the question: Does anyone present back then understand Ymir?


Ymir herself expresses surprise at her actions, Ymir herself is unsure of her actions when writing the letter, which marks the most recent time anyone inside the walls has received information concerning Ymir. As of chapter 90, the last moment we spent with whomever the ch 50 narrator is, said narrator has yet to reach a point of understanding Ymir. OUR CAST STILL DOES NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF HER ACTIONS, AS FORETOLD BY CHAPTER 50. Isn’t that basically a confirmation that Ymir’s story isn’t done yet?

You may counterargue that its been 4 years and that Isa has changed his mind since, esp since he doesn’t want to drag the story out at anymore. But I find it so hard to believe that, in one of the most important chapters in the series, one that is still relevant to this day, the narrator focuses on this one plot point that simply ends up dropped over the course of the series. Chapter 50 is too important for that kind of redesign, wouldn’t you say? Who knows, maybe it’ll wind up different in the anime and will mark a retrofit by Isayama that fits better in line with 89 being the end of her story, but until we see it animated, I’ll chose to keep doubting that.

As for how Ymir’s story can still be told to our main cast? Here’s one possible option: Galliard

 According to the (admittedly bad) fan translation, Galliard understands Ymir and her wish to bring back her titan-something neither us readers nor the narrator in question do as of right now. Granted, this could just be terrible translation, but Galliard could wind up being the gateway between Ymir and the main cast. Or its something entirely different. In a story about time travelling memories, matter that forms out of thin air, and the literal power of a god capable of reshaping the planet and controlling an entire species, death seems like a far too small barrier to stop someone from being relevant to the story, one way or another.

Since the majority of this argument is based off the lines spoken by the narrator in 50, there is a minor chance this is all ridiculous blunder if the official translation turns out to somehow differ from the Japanese original, and if anyone knows if it does, I would appreciate if you could inform me. But otherwise, I personally will start taking those words from chapter 50 as heavy evidence Ymir’s story hasn’t fully been told yet. I don’t want to create false hopes for anyone, but until proven otherwise, I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to believe in it. 

Mikasa Ackerman and Historia Reiss

This review will be somewhat extensive, reading various analyzes of different people and my own 

Is obvious that Isayama has placed a few parallels between characters that are very different and shows in various panels.


Historia is similar to Ymir and Eren, but there is a symmetry in situations with Mikasa that separates them from the other two respectively and I think Mikasa is aware of this similarity, you could say that “they are like two sides of the same coin” ..

The whole life of Historia and Mikasa is about the basic cruelty of humanity.
But even the way to lose their mothers is so similar and contradictory at the same time.

In the case of Mikasa his mother died in front of his eyes trying to protect her, this was a fortuitous event by bandits.

In the second case Historia mother denied it with all her strength and before death I wish her death, this fact was something planned by the government.

Having listened to Historia story, I am sure that Mikasa is the one that more than any other person shown, would be familiar with that concept, human cruelty and obviously,

 I think that already felt something connected to Historia, because like She, she also had a special person in her life, this brings us to the next point:

Relations with your special person

Well as you know Historia is the girl who is always with Ymir (Mikasa herself mentioned it in 37).
Like Mikasa is the girl who is always with Eren.

Mikasa learned from Eren something that served him all his life “If you do not fight you do not win”, this would allow him to survive even without Eren as seen in Tross

Historia learned from Ymir something that would also serve him for his whole life “Living with pride every day” this allowed him to rise even without Ymir as seen in the Reiss Saga.

Even the scene in which Mikasa clings to Eren and when Historia clings to Ymir it is rather strange.

Are different in everything but at the same time that parallelism that was seen in the childhoods of Mikasa and Historia  persists, just watch

“When Mikasa sees him, he runs with a stunned expression, unable to believe it and instead opens without Titans.

"When Historia  sees Ymir dying she runs to her and starts to cry, not caring about the Titans.

"When Mikasa has him in her arms, she breaks down and burst into tears.

"When they manage to rescue Ymir, the queen holds her in her arms and holds her tears, and they take a sweet look.

At that moment Ymir was aware and Eren knocked out, and for the freckle that moment was everything for her and for Eren that moment did not mean anything for being knocked out.

If you came to this point you will see that this parallelism is something fascinating and I do not think it is coincidence

The truth is that this reflects many things and the nature of the two relationships.

Being honest, it is difficult to think that someone as wicked as Isayama wrote something so "Poetic”

Something that until recently I had not noticed is that Mikasa has sympathy for people who like her have a special person in their life.

For example a small thing that is seen in the manga and in the anime is not reflected well, is when Mikasa sees to Franks and Hanna and he listens to him when this one says to him “tranquilízate I will protect you” (this part of the review takes it from Another truth I saw it a few days ago I think)

In the manga it is more than clear that I wanted to do this with Eren and he does it but it did not go as she expected

The greatest example of this we can see in the Saga of “Clash of Titans”
As you know Mikasa is an extreme girl when it comes to Eren always protects what she loves and even though she dislikes killing she does it to those who oppose, without hesitation.

But none of her other opponents had ever found herself in a situation like Christa was at that moment, with which Mikasa herself could be identified.

Jean himself told him (not everyone is willing to die for Eren), but Historia was willing to do everything for Ymir and the freckle felt the same is something that Mikasa could realize even the moment in Udtgar will have reminded her when she herself I cling to Eren when he was reborn, for that kind of connection with a loved one is not something “easy” to find.

I remember when Ymir ate “Christa” all his comrades treated her as a traitor right there, Armin also but Mikasa looked more confused than the others by the action of Ymir 

The confrontation with Historia, is very well written and the truth reflects enough, their feelings of both and that so far are willing to arrive but in spite of the threats it was noticed that he was hesitating and did not have a real honor to harm them and I leave them Free.

Now let’s explore their relationship in the Reiss Arc

Now the development between Historia and Mikasa in this saga was very satisfactory, although to the beginnings of the sleeve they had no contact, since it is obvious that it was not seen around Historia because the future queen was a surprise character that the Much development In the arc of the insurrection

We can appreciate how Isayama to them two in the first chapters of the Arc Reiss put them in several panels together despite being centered in Eren and the royal family
In this arc there are things that happened were screen and is very easy to explain.

For example in that Arch it is obvious that Sasha will have asked his friends what happened to Reiner, Berthold, Annie, what happened to the people of Connie and Historia what happened to Ymir is obvious that they talked about this, but they are things that They are not necessary to show since you can deduce it after analyzing,

Now Mikasa and Historia is obvious that they also talked about what happened before (just when they are going to raise firewood and come back together)

It is obvious that Mikasa apologized for what happened and has an idea of what Historia is going through in those moments.

Mikasa in the last mission despite the dead was able to bring his beloved and his family alive, but the other could not and instead lived the worst nightmare of Mikasa, to be abandoned by his special person, to lose his “home”

Even Eren himself spoke of Ymir because he saw Historia very sad and downcast (knowing that he is very insensitive).

Another example of what I am talking about is in 52 When Eren and Connie are peeling potatoes while Historia and Mikasa are cooking

Connie starts to speak badly of Ymir and the little blonde intervenes defending her, saying at the end “I know her” before this Eren and Connie looks at strangers, but Mikasa looks at Historia, I think it’s impossible for her not to feel identified with this.

His reaction when Levi mistreated Historia is funny

The good thing about writing Isayama is that there are things that one has to interpret from the perspective of our characters and Mikasa is one of the deepest characters

Mikasa’s reaction to the news that Eren will die is very similar to when Historia is abandoned, even that emptiness in the eyes is so similar the way Isayama showed him his expressions and the feeling of loneliness.

Also if we think well both are suffering in the same way and that contradictory parallelism in their lives and relationships is present back, since Eren is with Mikasa for good or bad but at the same time is far away and away, while Ymir is Very far from Historia but at the same time this with her giving him strength is pure poetry xD

Historia can understand Eren and Ymir very well, as has been demonstrated in the manga but in spite of everything Isayama did something much more impressive with Mikasa, although the two have opposite personalities in the course of the 2 Months the queen was seen closer With Eren, Mikasa, Armin

Also with so many things that have happened including Ymir (his death announced in the letter although I do not think he is dead yet) and now with the future death of Eren by deterioration, you can deduce how your relationship in Time sky is obvious That they are going to talk about this since it is something that you can only talk to someone who has suffered the same as you and come to understand your feelings, this is one of the great reasons why I really think that between all of them have become More close and will be closer in the future by this connection

Well repeat something in a previous post

Although if they asked me if those two girls are alike, despite all my more sensible answer would be:

They do not look alike

Since one of the girls decided to live by herself for the only desire of his person appreciated and the other girl decided to hold on to that person he appreciated.

But both girls were the same, the two shared a look full of sadness.

This was a long review I hope you have enjoyed until the next

Yato Family - Thoughts

(I’ve been trying to get this post done for two weeks now, finally succeeded.)

It’s easy to fall into the mindset of trying to pinpoint who is right or wrong in the tragic Yato family past when I believe that no one is singlehandedly at fault. Everyone’s decisions contributed to the circumstances in some way, drove them to act as they did, and they all have valid feelings about what happened. Sometimes it is family who leaves the deepest wounds and sharpest stings.

Anyway, underneath the cut is a long post about the Yato family situation from my perspective – a semi-analysis, if you will. It’s almost 6,000 words, so kudos if you read it (can’t help it, I’m a writer and I also studied literature, so rambling is inevitable). There’s no pressure to read it, either. I just need a place to post my thoughts to. (Some spoilers ahead for next episode, I guess.)

If you cannot handle different opinions, then I would advise not reading further, because I speak honestly about this family, and I have no patience for people who will deliberately misconstrue it as hate because they don’t know how to differentiate between actual hate and an opinion that seeks to be objective in accordance with canon.

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Thoughts On This Winter Anime Season 2017 So Far. . .

We are about halfway through this anime season, so I’ll share my thoughts on the different shows I am watching this season, and what I like/dropped so far.  Keep in mind, there are so many shows this season, and I am only watching a handful of them, and these are just my opinions.  So, let’s get started then! 

Koro- Sensei Quest!:  

Chibi versions of my favorite assassins was exactly what I needed this season.  This show is freaking adorable, and hilarious.  There’s so many cute moments between everyone and ugh, this show is just gold.  If you loved Assassination Classroom, then you’ll love these short ten minute episodes.  

Gabriel DropOut:

This show is freaking adorable.I needed a moe blob this season where I could laugh and turn off my brain, and this is exactly that.  The angels and demons are so unique to the show, and the art style is really good too.  


Dropped.  Fuck.  I hate this show.  What started out as super promising turned out to be utter crap by episode three.  Fuck, it was so dull.  I really hoped for more from a show with great visuals.  It also has very cringeworthy, forced drama.  I know, I know, the manga is supposedly much better, but after trying to watch that, I doubt I’ll ever be able to get into the manga.  Also, for fuck’s sake, Fuuka put some damn pants on.  The panty shots are insane.  

Masamune-kun no Revenge:

Dropped.  Will I pick it back up later?  Doubtful.  The animation is really great, but the overall story is really dull.  I mean, it’s incredibly predictable.  I gave it five episodes before I lost interest.  

Little Witch Academia:

My only regret with this show is that I didn’t start it sooner.  I recently picked it up after I watched the Movie/OVA and oh my god, I freaking love it.  The animation isn’t as vibrant as it was in the OVA, but it’s still great, and I’m so glad it got this adaptation.  

Kuzu no Honkai:

I have a ton to say about this show.  I absolutely love it.  I am addicted.  I love how terribly amazing the characters are, and each one of them is fucked up in a special way, BUT THEY ARE ALL WELL WRITTEN.  Akane-sensei is the best villain of the winter season.  She is such a terrible person, and I fucking love that about her.  It shows the dark, twisted side of love and using others to fill voids.  It’s brilliant and so fucking dark and I’m fucking hooked.  

Super Lovers 2:

It’s much better than the first season.  Rin is adorable, and it’s just a cute yaoi show that I definitely needed this season.  


Best. Fucking. Season. Ever.  Fuck.  It’s amazing.  It’s fantastic.  It deserves all the praise.  I’m hyped for every. single. fucking. episode. every. fucking. week.

So, yeah, these are my thoughts as we reach the halfway point of the season.  Let me know what you guys think of these shows this season, and any others I should watch.  So yeah, thoughts?  


The train scene in Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is one of the most memorable, beautiful, and baffling moments in the film. So what does it mean? What’s going on? What is its purpose?

(I think I fixed the problem youtube was having with the copyright. So yay!)

Transcript below the cut:

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The Kiss That Made History

   Amidst the chaos of excitement from the most recent episode of Yuri On Ice, I don’t think some understand how important that kiss was. So I think I should explain it to those of you who are unsure of its importance. This is going to be a long post, so bear with me please!

   In Japan, they are not as openly accepting of homosexuality as people in the US are. Normally, if you wanted to see two guys, or two girls kiss, you had to either watch hentai/porn or a certain type of genre known as, “Yaoi/Shonen-Ai,” or “Yuri.” (Note: You may still see two guys or two girls kiss in an anime that qualifies for neither of these things, but it will be a mature rating because of it.) This is still standard.

   Now, why Katsuki Yuuri and Viktor Nikiforov’s kiss was important, was because it will change the future of the anime industry as a whole. Yes, you read this right. This show is making history in the most brilliant way possible.

   Since Japan is strict about censorship laws and is a very conservative culture, they (studio MAPPA and the director) could not show the kiss in it’s entirety. They used Viktor’s arm as a clever censorship, to get around the censorship law.

   If they had shown the kiss in its entirety, they would have either had to change their rating or their genre (or both), which is a hassle and will prove to have big problems for them.

   The director of the show has always loved putting gay characters in her works, whether it’d be a gay male(s) or a gay female(s). She loves to break typical Japanese stereotypes and tropes in anime and manga that are commonplace for gay characters.

   Now in anime, the most typical stereotypes for gay characters are usually as follows (I’m only going to be highlighting four of the most common tropes to avoid this list from getting even longer):

   The Weird Foreigner-

This stereotype is common in an anime with foreign characters. These characters are usually from outside countries or something as simple as the neighboring town/city.

This cliche or trope depicts a type of outlandish or sometimes over the top male or female foreigner who are perceived by others as having homosexual tendencies (sometimes towards the main lead(s).)

They dismiss this characters homosexual tendencies as simply being a part of the culture from where they are from, or blaming their homosexuality on their “foreignness.”

The characters will try to avoid him/her and call them strange or weird, typically negatively. They will sometimes show other characters from the same country as acting the same way as the foreigner.

   The Confused/Mistaken “Heterosexual”-

This cliche/trope depicts a character, usually a teenager or young adult, who has homosexual tendencies, coming to terms with their sexuality (usually at the beginning or middle of the shows run.)

They are told by the other characters that they’ll grow out of their tendencies, or worse, will attempt to teach them how to be heterosexual because the other characters believe that they are simply “confused,” or “mistaken,” about their sexual orientation. They will attempt to correct it by any means throughout the show.

Another worse stereotype that goes hand in hand with this one, is one I’d like to call:

   The Infected/Diseased Homosexual-

This trope goes hand in hand with the previous one, and is sometimes influenced by it.

It depicts a homosexual character who can turn others gay.

Yes, you read this correctly.

This character is avoided like he/she were diseased or infected, hence, the name of the stereotype.

One look or touch, or something as simple as being influenced by them, can turn a character into a homosexual too.

Often times, the other characters will try to help the, “infected,” or “confused,” character by teaching them of their heterosexuality.

But wait, there’s more!

   The Homosexual Pervert/Sexual Harasser-

This stereotype is the most common, and it is the most damaging stereotype/trope in anime and manga.

The homosexual character is depicted as extremely perverted and will do absolutely anything to do as they wish to any character of the same sex (typically the main character.)

This character may also touch, grope, or hold onto their desired character without consent and are typically represented as not taking, “no” for an answer.

On an even more damaging scale, these characters may also kiss, or attempt to rape a character of the same sex with no particular order or care for the feelings of the character they are attracted to.

The less serious on this scale, is a homosexual character that has an attraction to a character of the same sex, but they do not force themselves onto the character.

This character’s only purpose get in their desired character’s way, be obscenely annoying, or a nuance to the character or plot and may even be violent to the love interest of the character they are attracted to.

Which is not as bad, but is still a damaging trope nonetheless.

   Not only do typical anime and manga use and incorporate these stereotypes into their material on a regular basis, but Yaoi and Shonen-Ai also use these tropes too.

   Yes, you read right. The genre that features a gay love story/gay characters in an abundance, also uses these stereotypes just as much as other shows, if not, maybe more.

   You might be thinking, “Lyra, how could a genre about gay characters incorporate these negative stereotypes just as much as your typical anime or manga?”

   I’ll tell you.

   I have seen a lot of Yaoi, I have read a lot of BL, and over time I have noticed a predictable cycle of negative stereotypes and unhealthy romances that, after a while, just become background fodder.

   My most recent watch was JunJou Romantica, which was decent enough, but I cannot begin to describe to you just how many times I’ve seen the Homosexual Pervert/Sexual Harasser trope used in Yaoi, Shonen-Ai, and BL as a plot point.

   Typically, the main character will be in denial about his sexuality. The main character then meets his love interest. Now at this point in the story, the love interest will either be the aggressor and sexually harass the main character until he gives in, or there will be another character to sexually harass the main character, appointing the love interest to save the main character (usually out of jealousy or selfishness.)

   When the main character is out of danger, the love interest will typically do the same thing to the main character as the previous aggressor was just attempting, but it will typically have a different effect because, “it’s you, and you’re different.”

   Sound familiar? That’s because this is the exact formula for any BL or Yaoi story. There may be some changes or differences between some, but this is the absolute blue print for any type of unhealthy BL romance out there.

   Not only is this extremely disengaging and damaging, but there is another strange and equally damaging stereotype that is typically selective to Yaoi and BL.

   The Uke/Seme Mentality-

This trope is everywhere. In every single BL or Yaoi romance.

Now this usually is supposed to display who is more submissive and who is more dominant in the relationship. Nothing inherently wrong there, right?

Except when the uke is portrayed as more emotional, more womanly, and always submissive in the relationship. Especially when the seme is always portrayed as barely emotional, manipulative, and always dominant in the relationship.

This is inherently, imitating heterosexuality and is very inaccurate when it comes to two men or two women who share an equal attraction to one another.

Two men or two women in a relationship are equals, and one should not treat one as being the, “woman,” and the other as being the, “man,” in the relationship. They are both men/both women. They are equals.

   Not only are these stereotypes negative towards gay characters in anime and manga, but there a ton of regular romantic stereotypes that are just as unhealthy and forced.

   So much so, that any romance with these tropes is just hard to watch or practically unbearable to sit through.

   Here’s a brief list of some of these tropes (these should be obvious/self explanatory so I won’t waste your time explaining them):

  • Attraction is instant/rushed.
  • Attraction is only valid between a male and female lead.
  • Characters decide they love each other within the first moments/days of meeting each other.
  • Conversations between the two characters are rushed with little to no importance.
  • The romance hinders the plot and/or does not progress it.
  • The romance does not benefit the plot/is practically meaningless.
  • The romance is only valid when the characters kiss or have sexual intercourse.
  • One or both partners say/do things to their significant other without their consent.
  • One or both partners assume that since they are in a romantic relationship, they can kiss or have sex with their significant other any time they want to, and will ignore when they tell them to stop or that they are not in the mood.
  • One or both partners will consciously ignore problems within the relationship, instead of addressing them.
  • One or both partners will not fully trust one another.
  • One or both partners are consistently jealous of their significant other’s friends, exes, or family members.
  • One or both partners will not let their significant other have their own space or privacy.
  • One or both partners often fight or have miscommunications over things that people with healthy relationships would be able to address, discuss, and understand.
  • Miscommunications are often created to further the plot, and will be resolved haphazardly.
  • Any romantic attraction between two men or two women is often invalidated and/or ignored entirely.
  • One or both partners are pressured into relationships because they believe that they could never truly be happy without a significant other.
  • When one or both partners disregard their significant other’s feelings towards their actions or words.
  • When one or both partners do not confront their significant other for their wrong doing(s).
  • When one or both partners will not admit when they’ve done/said something that hurt their significant other and refuse to apologies for it.
  • When one or both partners are manipulative towards one another.
  • When a romance is built on lies or false pretenses/expectations.
  • When one or both partners only show care or affection for their significant other during sexual intercourse.
  • When one or both partners are not sure of the other’s feelings towards them, even after they’ve had sex or continue to show affection towards one another.
  • One or both partners do not appear to have any chemistry but will still say that they love each other, even when there is no existing connection between them.
  • One or both partners will have “crushes” on other characters to create tension between the two love interests, even if they are already in an existing relationship with other characters.
  • When certain characters are homophobic or disapprove of the relationship just to create high stakes for the plot.
  • When one or neither of the characters are likable or interesting and yet you are still expected to care about the romance between the two characters.
  • When one or both partners will pretend to not be in a relationship because they feel like others will disapprove/make fun of them because of it.
  • When little to no conflicts arise to draw the two characters closer, yet they end up together regardless.
  • When the two characters end up kissing or having sexual intercourse as a temporary solution to a problem or miscommunication in the relationship, instead of discussing it with one another.
  • The development of the relationship feels unnatural or off.
  • One or both partners will not benefit or better each other because of their relationship.

   Now seeing as how damaging these stereotypes can be in the anime industry and in romance in general, Yuri On Ice has managed to go above and beyond what any anime, manga, or romance has managed to do.

    Yuri On Ice has either avoided or destroyed these tropes entirely, and continues to do so magnificently.

    It has created both a healthy, unforced, naturally growing and developing love story that just happens to be between two men, and is also destroying some of the most damaging and commonplace stereotypes for romance and gay characters in the anime industry.

    Since Yuri On Ice had the guts to take on these problems head on, instead of turning away from the obvious flaws of the anime industry, it has set the bar high for other anime in the future.

    It has given us a much higher expectation for a healthy romance, well portrayed and matured homosexual characters, story, animation, and music. It will leave a mark on the anime industry and it will hopefully encourage other shows to do something like this in the future.

    Now, Yuri On Ice has always been iffy for me (not that I didn’t like it, I love this show). The reason it was this way for me was because I was nervous and concerned that they would abandon Viktor and Yuuri’s relationship, or sweep it under the rug and never resolve the feelings these two characters had for one another.

    Yet I had always had faith that the director would pull through, and they did so magnificently.

   Now since Viktor and Yuuri have kissed, people have began to say that this anime should now be in the Yaoi genre/category. That simply cannot be farther from the truth. If you’re confused as to why this is the case, this post summarizes it perfectly.

    When Yuuri and Viktor kissed (on screen, no less) I knew that Japan was changing. This is one of the first sparks, that will lead to a complete change in the anime industry. Now granted, Yuri On Ice was not the first to do something like this.

    No.6 was the first to feature a well portrayed homosexual lead and an unforced romance between two men without changing their genre or rating (which is seriously amazing).

    Just because Yuri On Ice was the second, does not mean that it has any less impact and importance. Now, a kiss between two male characters on screen, without any change in the rating and genre is astonishing.

   Having a show that’s so driven to destroy these damaging stereotypes and tropes that are so common in the anime industry, gives me hope that other shows will do this in the future.

   These two shows have set such a high bar for expectation from the media, and I have faith that Yuri On Ice will continue to make history.

breaking down my volleyball squad into thought-sized pieces

In a way, you could treat this as a character analysis. Perhaps even as unpopular headcanon, but here are some of my thoughts on the personalities of my favourite Haikyuu characters, past the first, second and third layer into their depths. Not entirely pulled out of my ass, these are just thoughts I’ve gathered from observing them in both anime and manga. Am I right, or am I wrong? There’s no answer, but you’re free to disagree.

Kuroo Tetsurou.

He’s my absolute favourite, but I’m not above picking at his flaws- one of the biggest reasons why I love this character so much. There’s so little revealed in the anime or manga, usually just as the ‘Captain’ or ‘Rival’ figure, but there’s so much underneath that gets glossed over very easily.

How much strength does it take for someone to pull together (and lead) a team that seems to be a gathering of strange misfits? Through in-game dynamics they seem to flow seamlessly, but if you think about it- the personalities of these people wouldn’t be the type to click together in a classroom or anything. Who binds them all? It’s Kuroo. There’s this solid, grounded feeling to him, when he needs to be. The keyword being need.

I have absolutely no evidence of anything I’m going to say next, but it’s a general feeling. Anyone with such prowess at provoking people, yet managing to admit their mistakes (e.g. pissing off Tsukishima), there’s definitely something. To me, Kuroo feels like the type of character that’s been there. He knows what to say, what parts hurt the most and when he needs to apologize because he’s said all these things to himself a thousand times in his head. He remembers the time when he chose not to apologize, or was too afraid to, and the consequences stung afterwards. He’s not a natural born genius at anything, but he has talent, and he’s honed his personality to fit what he has, over time, come to expect for himself. Kuroo Tetsurou knows what kind of person he doesn’t want to be- not necessarily the person he wishes to be- and he works to avoid it.

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Why I feel that YoI betrayed its own narrative - part 4

DISCLAIMER: I love Yuri on Ice. No, listen, you don’t understand, I! LOVE! YURI! ON! ICE! Deeply! It’s very special, extremely important to me. It has touched my heart in ways that few stories have, it’s one of my favourite things across any media. I’ve recommended it to everyone I know. There’s not a single character I dislike. I have cosplay plans. My phone’s ringtone is History Maker. Every night before bed I read fanfiction. I ordered the official soundtrack. Currently on my desk sits my mini christmas tree sporting an acrylic charm of the main trio and Makkachin. I’m wearing Yuuri on my shirt as I write this. Ok? We’ve established this. I love, adore Yuri on Ice, and I wish I could be feeling for the finale the same levels of pure joy the episodes have been giving me every week since it aired. But I’m not.

ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: Victuuri is god tier OTP. Words aren’t enough to properly express how much this relationship means to me. I never questioned canon status, I was even sure it would be achieved before it actually happened. I’m not questioning the canon status, I’m not questioning how important it is that we got a realistic romantic relationship between two men in a wildly popular sports anime. I’m looking at this purely from a narrative analysis angle when I say that Victuuri is one of the many elements of this anime that deserved better and was screwed over by the finale. 

  1. Yuuri Katsuki’s character arc
  2. Yuri Plisetsky’s character arc
  3. Victor Nikiforov’s character arc
  4. The resolution of Victuuri
  5. Missing pieces and inconsistencies

HUGE THANKS to @soobaki for doing the beta on this monster and for the constant emotional support as I wrote it!

Warning: this is a long post.

Victuuri - on inspiring each other and meeting halfway

When analyzing the progression of Victor and Yuuri’s relationship one must keep in mind that we’re actually following two very different stories that happen to have a series of points where they converge.

There’s Yuuri’s story.

And there’s Victor’s story.

And it’s not just their beginnings that are drastically different: Victor and Yuuri are on completely different wavelengths when it comes to their relationship during the entire run of the series.

This would not be a bad thing if, instead of “during the entire series”, it was “for 11 episodes of the series”. But alas, the finale robbed us of having a proper romantic resolution, which would be the point where their individual stories would meet halfway to form the first chapter of a new beginning for them. The finale probably thinks it delivered that, but it didn’t.

It really didn’t.

Which is a shame, because the progression of Victuuri is amazing! It’s honestly one of the best written romantic relationships I’ve seen in media… up until a point, where the progression just seems to stop. And derail. All the while giving off the illusion that it continued to advance as it should have through the use of meaningful visual metaphors that actually don’t hold nearly as much weight as they should have because they do not correlate with the characters’ actions. It’s frustrating, because they almost got it right.

Again, I am NOT questioning the legitimacy, importance, or canon status of Victuuri. I am questioning its unsatisfying resolution, because it deserved way better!

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Forever in our Hearts ~ Part III

Yes, it has been two days since Naruto finished and my heart is still very heavy. I feel like: What am I doing with my life now? But I’m not going to give up this blog. I wish that any single one of the characters is never forgotten and I do my best that Gaara will never be forgotten. ; W; * Tears up *

Here I continue with the third part of the wonderful story of my favorite character: Sabakuno Gaara. 
I know so many parts can be annoying. But such a great, emotional story is impossible to put into one post! That would be much too big and long, Tumblr would not create. : 3 That’s why I prefer to share it in Parts.

So, we were where Gaara had set off with his unit into the war. Alone that was epic enough, but now it goes into the legendary, fourth war of the world of the Shinobi and in this Gaara has shoewd incredibly often. It was great to see him there so often, even if some places were very sad or frightening, but I’ll come to that.

Now we come to an incredibly sad, emotional section of the entire anime: The fight against Rasa, his father and the fourth Kazekagen of Sunagakure. Weeks before it was already known that this would happen and I was so excited and could not wait to see this episode. 

But before that, Gaara was often shown in the episodes, if only briefly but hey! Gaara is love no matter how often and when you get to see him, right? :)

In front of his Alliance …

With the Tsuchikage …

In the Night before the first fight … 

The moment he saw his father in the distance. The moment before the big fight.

The next episode was super surpassing emotionality. The fight against Rasa, his father, the epic fight. The fact that Rasa wanted to evaluate him one last time and finally the truth about his mother, Karura.

The Flashback of Gaaras Death and rescue …

The Flashback of Gaaras Birth and Childhood …

I have to say it again and again: Rasa, this little Bitch. He kept Temari and Kankuro away from Gaara and did not let them play with him. He tried to kill him, several times! In his eyes, Gaara was a failure and it makes me angry when I think about it. Therefore: Small, dirty Bitch. I hate him for what he did to Gaara.

At last, however, in the fight, his conscience might be heard, and he began to tell Gaara the whole truth about his family, especially about his mother: people, really, I sat in front of my computer and cried like a fountain, like a rushing river . This still happens to me today when I look at the episode.

“Your Mother truely loved you!”

“Even after her death she is with you and wants to protect you.”

“After all this time, this is the first time I have received “medicine” from my father.”

“More than I ever could have hoped. You’ve surpassed me… I entrust the village to you now… Gaara…” 

Yes, this part has actually only related to this one episode, but I also find that it deserves so much. This episode was epic and emotional and I often look at it. This was a great milestone in Gaara’s story!

Part IV follows!

Want to read the previous parts?

Part II:

Part I

SnK Chapter 92 Poll

I’ll be closing the chapter 92 poll tonight so this is your last chance if you’d like to chime in. 

Take a Poll

I’ve received 406 responses thus far and 103 people have left comments. I especially appreciated this one

Did this very distractedly, watchin that Netflix show about OJ Simpson at the same time

Thanks, dude :P More chapter thoughts are below the read more

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let me kiss you

Perhaps kisses only feel right with people you love. Or, at least, people you’re attracted to.

alternatively, i finally wrote cheesy binu, go seal

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NJPW Wrestling Primer (Updated for 2017)

A while back I did a primer post to help introduce people to the wrestlers of NJPW, but it’s become out of date over time as things have changed since then, since wrestling always changes. So this is an updated version from mid-April 2017.

Kazuchika Okada - The greatest wrestler on the planet today, and one who is in the middle of possibly the best title reign of all time, which has featured numerous 4.5 and 4.75 star matches, as well as two 5 star and even a 6 star match. He originally made his legacy in NJPW with a now iconic rivalary with Hiroshi Tanahashi, but since has become a true ace for the company. He is the leader of the CHAOS faction and possibly Gedos son. Though, the position of ace wasn’t meant for Okada, it was meant for..

Tetsuya Naito - Naito was supposed to be the new top face of NJPW, but the fans rejected him. So during a US tour, instead of returing to Japan like most, he took a little soul searching journey down to Mexico, and met a man named La Sombra (you might know him as Andrade Cien Almas from WWE NXT) and his Los Ingobernables stable. This inspired a change of attitude in Naito, who returned to NJPW, and turned his back on the fans who rejected him, becoming one of the best characters and heels in wrestling in the process. He leads the Los Ingobernables stable, has had 5 star matches with Kenny Omega, Micheal Elgin (and imo with Tanahashi at WK11), and is just a master of working a crowd. He won the IWGP Heavyweight Title, and threw it in the air like a piece of trash. It was amazing.

Kenny Omega - Currently in NJPW, there are three men who could be considered the ace. Okada, Naito and Kenny Omega. Omega is probably the most popular wrestler in NJPW outside of Japan, due to him being Canadian. He’s the leader of Bullet Club, and is one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet today. Theres simply nothing Kenny Omega can’t do. But he has two modes: if he keeps his shirt on in a match, expect more comedy, but if the shirts off you’re in for the match of the night because thats when he gives 100%. Last year he became the first gaijin to win the G1 Climax Tournament, and went on to have a 6 star classic match with Okada in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom. Since losing, he’s been searching for the answer of “why can’t I win big matches”, and his current goal is to walk into the upcoming NJPW shows in America as champion, no matter what.

Hiroshi Tanahashi - The former ace of NJPW. He’s the man who pulled NJPW out of the dark ages. A wildly popular rockstar of a man, who is still one of the best big match workers in all of wrestling, even now that he’s slowing down. He’s had classic matches with just about every big name on the NJPW roster, and I don’t think you can count him out just yet. He’s currently a member of the weird Taguchi Japan stable, and doing lots of 6 man tag matches, but I can’t help but feel he’ll be chasing singles gold again soon.

Katsuyori Shibata - Shibata is an interesting case. He debuted alongside Tanahashi and Nakamura and with them he was part of the chosen future of the company. But when things got rough for NJPW, he jumped ship to go do MMA fights instead. With his 4-10-1 record, it is often considered pretty bad for him, but when he came back to wrestling, he seemed more legitimate than ever and wants to fight his way to the top instead of being handed the title. He’s the anti-hero face that everyone wants in wrestling, a true badass who will fight until the very end… which he might have in his recent main event with Okada. Due to a combonation of dehydration due a longer match than he’s used to, and a dangerous shoot headbutt spot, he had to get surgery on his head following the match and might never wrestle again, but if his music hits again, the pop will likely be thunderous.

Minoru Suzuki -  48 fights, 29 wins & 19 losses. That is the MMA record of former King of Pancrase Minoru Suzuki. He’s the leader of Suzuki-Gun, and someone who would break your arm off and laugh at your suffering. He’s the best bastard heel on the planet, a legitimate badass, and he scares me. He’s held both the AJPW Triple Crown Championship, and NOAH’s GHC Heavyweight Championship, and only needs the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to be one of few men to hold all three of Japans top belts, and even at 48 years old, age might not be enough to stop him. He’s an ageless badass.

Tomohiro Ishii - Ishii is one of the most underrated men in NJPW, as he can be slotted in as a top guy at any time and he’ll put on a fantastic match. Just an incredible worker when motivated in a singles match, but usually does tag work with other members of CHAOS, usually Toru Yano. But there are moments of brilliance in all of his matches.

Those are the major players in the company in my eyes but here’s some fun minor characters:

Ryusuke Taguchi - The funky weapon, who likes to throw his ass into peoples faces to win matches. When motivated he’s one of the most dangerous junior heavyweights on the roster, but he’d rather just have fun. He leads Taguchi Japan, which is a stable of random members of the roster who for some reason united under the flag of The Funky Weapon. It’s awesome just trust me.

Bad Luck Fale - A huge, slow beast of a man. Currently the longest running member of Bullet Club, being the first person to join Prince Devitt’s (WWE’s Finn Balor) new stable back in 2013. He’s a constant force that is protected in singles action and that makes him dangerous. In tournaments he’s a spoiler. Don’t bet against Fale, he’s kill your brackets and your dreams. He’s gotten singles wins over most big names in current NJPW, and is a hard guy to predict. Fear the Underboss of Bullet Club.

Tama Tonga - A future breakout star for NJPW, since his awesome performance in the G1 Climax last year, Tonga has just been getting better and better with each match. He’s got a unique in ring style where he uses his speed to confuse an opponent before striking. Always fun to watch, and I see singles success in his future, as well as more tag success with his brother:

Tanga Loa - Camacho. Does anyone remember Camacho? Teamed with Hunico in WWE? No? Well he’s in Japan now with his brother and they’re pretty great. He’s a brawler, and that’s about it. It works in tag matches but don’t expect much from a singles match with him.

Ricochet - The human incarnation of flippt shit. He busts out 630 sentons like they’re nothing, it’s incredible. But beyond that he’s just a fantastic and well rounded wrestler.

Will Ospreay - The best high flyer in wrestling but needs to slow the fuck down before he kills his knees. He’s only 23, and already one of the best in the world, and only gets better as he expands his style.

Jushin Thunder Liger - Iconic legend of juniors wrestling, character was based off an anime which is much less known than Liger himself, still wrestles but has slowed down a bit. He’s 52 years old and can still outwrestle most juniors on the roster.

Tiger Mask W - Not Kota Ibushi

Kota Ibushu - A freelancer who turned down a full time WWE contract to do weird shit in Japan, used to team with Kenny Omega as The Golden Lovers but they broke up and have soap opera level drama AND JUST NEED TO MAKE UP ALREADY. He’s also not Tiger Mask W.

Togi Makabe - Bruiser Brody 2.0

Ropongi Vice - Trent Barreta (yes, that Trent from WWE) and Rocky Romero just wanna have a good time in Ropongi, but have to wrestle too but are very good at it. Rocky is one of the best tag wrestlers around, and Barreta is becoming one of the best too.

Sanada - A member of Los Ingobernables De Japon. I can’t help but feel like NJPW has big plans for him. He debutted helping Naito win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and has had big singles matches with both Tanahashi and Okada, but has never held singles gold. (only member of L.I.J to not get a singles title) He’s an incredibly agile, handsome, and skilled wrestler, expect big things from him in the future.

Evil - A member of Los Ingobernables De Japon, is Evil and has lasers.

Hiromu Takahashi - The Joker mixed with Kefka mixed with a Pro Wrestler, he will kill himself so long as he kills his opponent at the same time. Has a fetish where he needs to lick everything he touches.

BUSHI - Evil Luchador who spits mist in peoples eyes and has really fucking cool masks.

Yujiro Takahashi - The Godfather but Japanese, the only Japanese member of Bullet Club, formerly teamed with Tetsuya Naito as No Limit

Micheal Elgin - The worlds strongest Canadian, likely lives in a gym.

Satoshi Kojima - Heir to the lariat, will take your head off with it, loves bread (seriously follow this guy on Twitter, his broken english tweets are as wholesome as his lariats are stiff)

David Finlay Jr. - Son of Fit Finlay, getting very good

Tomaki Honma - Gravely voiced fan favorite who usually loses but is always fun, he uses his head a weapon, started his career in Big Japan Wrestling where he was the first person to use light tubes in a deathmatch, and is currently on the shelf with a very major neck injury and might never wrestle again.

Toru Yano - A comedy relief wrestler who just wants you to buy his DVD and will keep beating your faves with upset victories until you do

Yuji Nagata - Some would say Nagata is the former ace of NJPW during the dark years, but no one really wants to take that title. But he’s a fantastic worker even in his old age, one of the last of his generation of NJPW.

Hirooki Goto - A man who could challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship a thousand more times and still choke every single time, but always have a good match in the process. Seriously, this guy loses 80% of big matches he’s in. He’s a stiff worker and it’s great, but get your head in the game Goto, you can win matches, I know you can!

Kushida - Have you ever watched Back the the Future and thought, ‘this is great but I wish Marty McFly was a wrestler’. Kushida. That’s Kushida.

and just so many more and I could go on forever. There are so many great wrestlers in NJPW, and you really don’t need to know the commentary to enjoy it.

What’s in a rival? Jean Kirstein in the Attack on Titan manga versus the anime.

Warning: Anime critical. These are just my thoughts, and I’m always up for further discussion, especially if there’s something I’ve missed! :)

Jean considers his options while grounded by defective equipment, episode 13.

In preparation for season 2, I decided to finally sit down and watch the Attack on Titan anime all the way through. I’ll cop to only having jumped around in the anime before, just watching my favorite scenes from the manga. My initial reason for avoiding the anime was that it’s hard for me to handle screaming and crying, to be honest. Then I read about some of the differences—particularly those regarding Annie—and those departures from the source material were disappointing to me. However, I love the Clash of the Titans and the Uprising arcs in the manga so I’m eager to see what the animators do with them in season two (I am particularly looking forward to: Gesumin, the Ackerman showdown in the saloon, YumiHisu, Ymir’s facial expressions, Jean’s fedora, Connie’s straw hat … and many other such important things xD).

Therefore, I’ve dived headfirst into the anime for the first time this weekend. As of right now I’ve watched the entirety of the Trost arc. 

There are changes I like and those I don’t. As I predicted, the death of Eren’s mom was difficult for me to handle with the addition of sound, although it’s incredibly moving and well done. I love when the “camera” pans out to show the beautiful scenery and the size of the walls; it gives a sense of scale that I think is missing from the manga, while also demonstrating why the denizens of the walls might think they’re truly in a time of peace. The character designs are all recognizable and sometimes prettier (particularly compared to the rougher art of the first few chapters), but I wish they didn’t put lip gloss on all the female characters. The music is awesome. Etc.

However, many of my biggest critiques have to do with characterization. One that I haven’t really seen talked about before (although it could be that I just missed it!) is the anime’s presentation of Jean. I obviously have a soft spot for Jean, so I might be hypersensitive to any changes in his character, but I think the alterations are worth talking about because they speak to an overall attitude shift between the manga and the anime. There are other character redesigns that also bother me (Annie and Hange, to name the two biggest ones) but I know others have already looked at those extensively and I don’t have much else to offer to those conversations.

For this piece I will sum up what I think of Jean’s characterization in the Trost arc in the manga first and then go through what changes in the anime. My thesis is that the anime!Jean is flattened so that his critique of Eren rings more hollow, making him less of a real challenge to our spirited young protagonist. While the manga uses Jean to present the merits of survivalist perspective, eventually arguing that Jean’s value for human life is what drives him to become a strong leader and the moral center of the series, the anime transforms Jean into a naive coward for Eren to convert. 

Jean in the Manga

Shadis’ assessment of Jean in chapter 18.

I think there are three important aspects of Jean’s pre-Trost character in the manga which make him a compelling rival for Eren:

1. Jean is a defeatist who genuinely believes that the titans will kill everyone eventually. His goal of getting into the interior is all about making the most of the remaining life he has left.

2. Jean is suspicious about the government’s motivations for the operation to “retake” Wall Maria and doesn’t like it when the higher-ups toss around words like “hero” when what they really mean is “bait” and “fodder.” Jean’s bluntness comes from his distaste for empty rhetoric.

3. Jean is jealous of Eren’s relationship with Mikasa and Armin. He dislikes Eren’s relationship with Mikasa not just because he has a crush on Mikasa but also because he thinks Eren will lead her to an early death.

Obviously, all of these points are connected. To speak to the first one, when we initially encounter Jean in chapter three of the manga, he straight up admits that he thinks humanity doesn’t have a chance.

Jean, the pessimist: chapter 3.

He then uses the operation to retake Wall Maria to justify his position. As readers we learn this important piece of information about the world from Jean, someone who we’re already beginning to suspect harbors resentment towards the royal government. 

Jean lays it all out for Eren in chapter 3.

This information helps us put Jean’s desire to live in the interior into perspective. He shrugs at Eren’s reminder that five years ago, Wall Rose was part of the interior too. Jean is fully aware that another titan attack could spell the end of humanity, he’s doubtful about their chances of success if an all out attack is launched, and he’s decided he’s going to enjoy what time he has left. His pragmatism is infuriating to Eren, who can’t comprehend why someone would stop fighting. 

Eren’s jibe that prompts Jean’s discussion of the cull, chapter 3.

In this introductory scene we also get hints about Jean’s attitude towards the monarchy which the big flashback in volume four later expands upon. He sneers at using the phrase “human stronghold” to describe the border-town of Trost when—as the reader already knows from explanations of the walls in the extra material—such towns are more accurately titan magnets.

I think the scare quotes say it all, chapter 3.

An explanation of how the border-towns work, volume 3. Jean seems to be referencing this rhetoric in his speech at the graduation party.

We learn later that Jean has pretty much always been suspicious of the government’s posturing and that he’s committed to practicing honesty because he mistrusts people who ask others to lay down their lives for a cause. For Jean, there’s not a significant difference between Eren’s speeches about ending the titan threat and the monarchy attempting to bribe people into settling in bait-towns by calling them “human strongholds.” Something that endeared Jean to me early on in the series is that he calls Eren “eloquent” when he first meets him.

Babby Jean is totally willing to admit he wants to live the best life he can manage, chapter 15.

In deeming Eren “eloquent,” Jean suggests that Eren’s boasts are hollow, meant to mask his insecurities. And at this point, he’s correct: Eren doesn’t know much about fighting the titans yet, and he is indeed posturing in front of the other cadets. At this moment, Eren’s not much of a threat to him personally because he’s already resolved to look out for number one, but his attitude will change when perceives (rather possessively, but that’s a separate post I think) that Eren is taking people whom Jean cares about with him to the front-lines. Jean’s wariness of nice, but thoughtless sentiments leads him into most of his conflicts with Eren, even post-Trost, when he often forces Eren to think about the real human cost of his actions. Based on how Jean’s character develops from the Female Titan arc onward, I would say that Jean sees the value in individual human life and has a hard time surrendering anyone for a cause, no matter how great. After all, is it really better to sacrifice yourself or others when you could all be making the most of what you already have? What’s the point in winning if the individual doesn’t matter? Throughout the series Jean puts a human face on all of the conflicts, making him valuable as a voice of critique for both Eren and the Survey Corps more broadly. Of course, this doesn’t mean that he’s always right or that he is incapable of making sacrifices himself, but his priority is maintaining the sanctity of human life as far as he possibly can. Interestingly, it looks like Floch has taken over this role for Jean in recent chapters.

It’s worth noting that Jean is equally suspicious of Marco’s “It’s an honor to serve the king” rhetoric, chapter 3. All idealists must prove themselves to him, even though he’s an idealist himself. For what it’s worth, I think Marco is actually just naïve. Jean tries to get Marco to break out of his “honor student” role, with limited success. 

I think a lot of Jean’s concerns are also with who the government, the military, and even sometimes Eren ask to lay down their lives for the service of humanity: it’s usually refugees, the poor people in border-towns, and lower caliber soldiers. These are people who are more vulnerable, who routinely must give themselves up for nothing more than empty praise (i.e. what does it mean to be called “the bravest of warriors” when you may not have much of a choice about where you live?). Jean thinks human life is valuable just because it’s human life, and doesn’t appreciate others assessing his worth. So he plays the system, proves himself by arbitrary standards in order to survive.

Jean infuriates Eren by admitting he knows training is a farce but he’s going along with it anyway, chapter 17. Eren actually asks for Jean’s opinion about the type of training they receive here, suggesting that Eren worries a bit about Jean’s perspective. They’re both drawn to testing each other out, worried about how the other can counter their life philosophies.

Along similar lines, Jean thinks Eren is not appreciating what he already has: namely, his attractive and talented friends. Eren’s reckless actions lead them into danger, and Jean resents Eren for that.

Jean envies Eren for his friends, chapter 17.

Jean reminds Eren of both his good fortune and his responsibilities, chapter 3.

Obviously, Jean is being presumptuous in his assessment of Eren’s relationships. Mikasa can quite clearly look after herself and has chosen her role as Eren’s protector while Armin has his own motivations for going outside the wall. However, it gives us insight into Jean’s world view: if you have something good, like nice friends or an opportunity for a cushy life, why waste it? Jean’s own love for his friends eventually trumps his self-preservational instincts and pushes him to join the Survey Corps to protect them, aligning him with Mikasa, Eren, Armin and even Ymir. His growth lies in looking beyond his own survival, but he already has the predisposition towards this attitude, as the Trost arc demonstrates: he just needs a little shove. 

The overall picture of pre-Trost Jean I get from the manga is of a person who is hampered by his own cynicism. He’s aware of his society’s problems but instead of attempting to fix them he’s given himself up to them. While several of the questions Jean asks—why does the government get to throw us away? What’s the point of fighting a losing battle?—are reasonable, they lead him to be self-centered and a defeatist. His method of fighting the system does nothing to dismantle it and is purely about his own survival, but he matures by looking beyond himself to protect others. Additionally, his conflicts with Eren are presented as more of an even fight: Jean is not easily cowed by Eren and forces him to consider how is actions affect his comrades, while Eren–in combination with others–does eventually inspire Jean to take a stand for something beyond his own life.

Jean in the Anime

Jean and Eren meet in episode 3.

In the anime, Jean has the same goal of getting into the interior but his reasoning behind it is much less nuanced. Anime!Jean never expresses the same kind of defeatism he does in the manga, so it seems that he really does think he’ll be safe if he makes it into the interior, rather than just safer. He never mentions the cull, a suspicion of the government’s empty rhetoric, or even his concern for Eren’s friends. Instead he naively believes that he can find security somewhere in the Walled World. Eren sets him straight while Jean has almost no meaningful critique to offer his rival, at least during the Trost arc.

Because the anime presents events chronologically, the first time we meet Jean is also when Eren meets Jean. Their introduction is quite close to how it’s presented in the manga, except that Jean does seem really willing to fight Eren and the tension doesn’t defuse quite as much after Jean apologizes. While Jean does point out that Eren is afraid and trying to cover it up, he does not, at least in the English dub or the English sub, call Eren eloquent. The slight connection between Eren’s speech acts and some of the government’s rhetorical maneuvering is lost. This could be a translation problem (indeed, I’m not sure what the original Japanese manga says either), and it’s a bit of a minor point, but it irks me that the connection between “honest” and “suspicious of your fine words” is missing: instead it’s all about Eren being a scaredy-cat. It sets up their conflict to be entirely about bravery–is it better to be an open coward than someone who pretends to be courageous?–instead of being ideological. Eren has to prove to Jean that he’s not actually afraid rather than proving that he can acknowledge the human cost of fighting the titans.

The theme of bravery colors all of Jean and Eren’s future confrontations in the Trost arc. Take, for example, the fight in the mess hall, which the anime combines with their other fight at the graduation party. In the manga their argument begins with Eren asking Jean why they have this farcical system of training for the right to move away from danger, but in the anime he opens by calling Jean stupid. When Eren points out, “Five years ago this was the interior,” instead of manga!Jean’s infuriating “I know” we get “You got a point to make friend? I’m right here” (for reference, this is episode five, the English dub; it’s not significantly different in the sub). Rather than throwing Eren for a bit of a loop Jean is antagonized by his rival. Over the course of this encounter Jean never mentions that he thinks everyone is going to die eventually because of the results of the operation to “retake” Wall Maria. He has very little critique to offer besides a vague desire to “play the system.” 

Eren realizing everyone is watching his fisticuffs with Jean, episode 4.

Without a clear motivation, Jean’s survivalist attitude turns into simple cowardice. When Eren wins the physical fight, he demonstrates that he is a true soldier. In the manga, Jean gets an extra line about this not being the end of things between him and Eren and Eren teases Jean about almost losing his spot in the MP by getting caught brawling (a neat line to point out Jean still has some fight left in him), but in the anime this encounter effectively silences Jean. He no longer has any meaningful critique to offer Eren.

Additionally there’s no direct conflict between Eren and Jean at the graduation where Jean gets to bring up that Eren is responsible for his friends as well as himself. Instead, Jean sullenly watches while Thomas Wagner tearfully discusses the cull, Eren responds with an equally tearful rallying speech that borrows some elements of his conversation with Jean in the manga, and then runs out in a huff. Jean thinks “Haha, sucks to be you buddy. I’ll be having a great time in his majesty’s barracks!” Eren’s new test is to prove that bravery has a purpose, that it can lead to great success. Eren needs to put his money where his mouth is and Jean is watching him to see if he’ll do it.

Scared Thomas, episode 4. Everyone in this anime is really shiny.

To be fair to the anime directors, the decision to substitute Thomas for Jean might have been to give more import to Thomas’ eventual death in Trost. However, taking away Jean’s most significant confrontation with Eren also lessens Jean’s role as a rival and a critic. When Eren attempts to dissuade Armin and Mikasa from joining the Survey Corps with him after his argument with Thomas, it doesn’t carry the weight of Jean’s words about Eren being directly responsible for “dragging” them into danger, even if it is prompted by a concern for their well-being.

There’s also an additional confrontation between Eren and Jean right before the battle of Trost, where Eren—of all people—reminds Jean of his training as a soldier and that he should be prepared for a battle of this nature. It’s a small addition, but Jean definitely “loses” this rhetorical fight because he stares transfixed at Eren and then goes off to tell Daz to get up and face the situation like a man. Eren becomes the source of Jean’s courage in way that he’s not in the manga, where Jean’s survivalist tendencies actually allow him to be a good leader, to inspire others to fight for their own continued existence. Whereas manga!Jean realizes that his attitude has its uses within the military and that he does want to make a stand and protect his friends, some of anime!Jean’s development stems from Eren taking him to task before the events of Trost.

Additional fight, episode 6.

All of this may seem kind of nit-picky, but it serves to undermine Jean’s original role within the story. In the anime, he doesn’t exist to give a somewhat reasonable voice to the side of self-preservation, one which Eren must seriously consider before refuting. He’s not meant to make the viewer think about the other side of Eren’s arguments, the potential advantages of staying within the Walls. He doesn’t ask us to consider the government/military’s vocabulary. Instead, the military is made to seem fully aware of the sacrifices they ask others to make through the voice of Rico, who reminds Eren that her comrades are fighting for him: it’s the voice of an insider rather than the critique of a someone looking in, who has seen others used by this system (even if we learn later that Pixis does take responsibility for what happened during the cull and that the monarchy and the military are somewhat at odds about this). The test that Jean presents to anime!Eren is the test of winning reluctant hearts and inspiring courage in the cowardly, not of winning an intelligent ideological opponent to his side.

Personally, I find these changes make both Eren and Jean less compelling characters. I guess I’ll have to see where they go in the next arc, but I’m a bit worried. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my analysis!

anonymous asked:

I asked toward-tomorrow the same question, but could you please give your official, detailed and in-depth viewpoint on the question, "Who do you believe Inuyasha loves more, Kikyo or Kagome?" I seriously feel so torn between the two it hurts :°(

Kagome by far.

To explain why, let’s first look at Inuyasha and Kikyo’s relationship before Kikyo’s death. Contrary to popular fandom belief (as well as to what the anime would have you think), it wasn’t exactly a deep and loving romance.

On one hand, you have Inuyasha, fighting for his very life from a very young age. Ever since his mother’s death, and possibly even before that, he’s constantly been told that he’s not worth crap and ostracized by pretty much every other being he comes into contact with. Humans hate and/or fear him because he’s half youkai, and youkai think he’s weak or worthless because he’s half human. Living under those circumstances for around 7-10 years (depending on how old he was at his mother’s death, presumably 5-8) leads to a crap ton of heavy mental barriers. He can’t show weakness. He can’t trust anyone. It’s kill or be killed. There’s no place for him, so he has to make one for himself. But this place he’s made for himself is incredibly lonely, as he’s the only one in it. If he can’t have a place, he might as well at least have power. So he begins to seek the Shikon Jewel so that he can become a full youkai.

On the other hand, there’s Kikyo, local priestess of a small village tasked with the duty of protecting the Jewel. Over the years of preforming this duty, she becomes fairly closed-off emotionally. Like Inuyasha, she “can’t show weakness”, else the youkai will take advantage of that and attack her. She feels detached from normality. Though she continues her work, she wishes to be rid of the jewel and live as an ordinary woman.

Then the two meet. Kikyo takes pity on Inuyasha, in whom she sees a bit of herself, and though the thwarts his attempts to get the Jewel many times, she never kills or even wounds him. This behavior intrigues Inuyasha, and they talk a few times.

Kikyo begins to think that, perhaps, if she uses the Jewel to make Inuyasha human, perhaps it’ll be “purified” because it was used for “good” and disappear, thus freeing her of her duties. Would this plan actually work? Probably not, as we later learn that there is only one wish that will destroy the Jewel, which is literally wishing for the Jewel to disappear. However, Kikyo was desperate. She wanted to be rid of her duties and just be normal. It’s also important to note her perspective here: that “purifying” Inuyasha of his youkai side was an act of kindness. In other words, she didn’t love him for who he was. She only loved his human side, or in other words, she loved the idea of him, not necessarily him, himself. She wasn’t acting as much out of concern for him as for herself.

And Inuyasha? For the first time since his mother’s death, he’s being offered a place. Sure, it’s not what he’d been imagining, but it was something, and it was right there in front of him. So, in what he later admits to be a rather spur-of-the-moment decision, he agrees to Kikyo’s plan, not so much for her, but for himself, anything to end this life of loneliness and cruelty he’s been forced to live for so long. Once again, he’s a bit more interested in the idea of her than in her, herself.

Then Naraku steps in with his false betrayal trap. What’s interesting to note is that neither Inuyasha nor Kikyo doubt for a moment that it really was the other attacking. There’s not so much a “this can’t be; I trusted you!” moment as a “well, I knew it was too good to be true” moment. 

And therein lies the problem with their relationship. Neither of them really fully trusted the other. Very earlier on, in chapter 40, Inuyasha blatantly declares that he doesn’t trust anyone. He again asserts at the end of the series that, until meeting Kagome, he didn’t know how to trust. THIS INCLUDES BEING UNABLE TO TRUST KIKYO.

So here comes Naraku, destroys Inuyasha and Kikyo’s “relationship”, makes them hate each other, etc., etc., you know the story. Kikyo dies and Inuyasha is sealed to the tree.

Enter Kagome.

Kagome grew up in the modern era not believing in youkai and thus without the bias against them. When she meets Inuyasha (after the centipede business is taken care of), she doesn’t treat him like a lesser or a hanyou. She very clearly and openly treats him like just another person. She doesn’t see his white hair, claws, and dog ears as markers of an abomination, but just as characteristics of him. She pretty much accepts him as he is without a second thought. 

Of course, this throws Inuyasha, who now bears not only the scars of his rough upbringing, but also of the “betrayal” of Kikyo, for quite a loop. At first, he throws up his barriers around his heart. If there’s anything he’s learned from what he’s been through, it’s that opening up to people only makes you vulnerable. He doesn’t want to risk another Kikyo situation.

But slowly, over time, Kagome begins to melt these barriers. Even the resurrected Kikyo comments to Kaede on the change Kagome has invoked in Inuyasha in just 78 chapters, and I quote:

“His expression has become much kinder. Back then, that guy looked like he didn’t trust anyone…he had a peevish expression. That girl, Kagome…has changed Inuyasha?”

Going along with this, let’s not forget that this book explicitly states that “Kagome heals the deep loneliness in his soul”. KAGOME. Not Kikyo.

(Granted, I’m not sure how canon that book is, but I do think that there’s ample manga evidence to support the claim.)

“But,” you may ask, “what about his constant meetings with Kikyo?” For that, I’m going to direct you to this post. In short, Inuyasha did not visit Kikyo because he was “in love” with her (as Kagome assumes), but rather because Inuyasha either wants to be sure she’s safe or needs to discuss new developments in the Naraku situation.

Remember how Inuyasha was so desperate for his own place earlier? Kagome has become that place for him. He literally calls her his home. She is his inspiration. He feels at ease in her presence. Even as early on as chapter 64, he fears loosing her. He can be himself around her, and she accepts him and loves him for who he is, not for a fantasy of what he could be.

If you haven’t already, please read this chapter. It’s HUGELY important character/relationship development for these two that was entirely left out of the anime (the anime actually tones down their relationship a lot while simultaneously ramping up InuKik’s because LUV TRIANGUL DRAMA.)

InuKik was based on selfishness: two people trying to fix their own problems through the other.

InuKag was based on selflessness: two people genuinely concerned for each other’s well-being.

And lastly, you don’t claim that someone is born for you, and you for them, if there’s someone else you love more.

what if it’s Casca’s behelit?

yk maybe now is a good time to lay out my Casca uses the behelit theory in full.

- the manga keeps bringing the behelit back up recently, including the reminder that Guts might just be carrying it for someone else

- “your wishes might not be her wishes” is ominously brought up many times, plus “even if you force back what was lost it still won’t be the way it was.” Emphasis on “force” because there is a sense that Guts is just doing what he wants without considering that Casca might not be ready for it.

- sadly if I had to lay odds on one member of the RPG group dying it would definitely be Farnese, ie, Casca’s prime sacrifice material. I don’t want that to happen for various reasons but the signs are there. Her arc is largely about improving her self-esteem and feeling like a valuable person but she’s a jack of all trades master of none right now and doesn’t bring anything unique to the group except her bond with Casca. And it has that extra tragic feel when a character who is just starting to come into their own gets cut down.

- Plus the irony of having her killed not by Guts, but by the so-far weakest and most helpless member of the group.

- PLUS it would give Serpico motivation to do something. And while I’m nhf motivating a male character by killing off a female character, I mean, you can’t ignore all those “if she dies I will commit murder” scenes, or the fact that Serpico is… kind of a non-entity rn. Like I actually really love him and the screen time he has, but so far he’s pretty much there for the cooking, being Guts’ dps back up, and the wry little comments, and this is the most obvious and hinted-towards way of motivating him

- plus further irony of Serpico vowing revenge on Apostle Casca instead of Berserker Guts and maybe later clashing with Guts over it. Or maybe joining Guts in his campaign against the Godhand/apostles and either way adding another angle and/or cautionary tale on revenge and how it fucks up your soul or whatever.

- look, Miura is a hack who is mostly shit at writing rape, but the first like, 4 instances of rape and attempted rape were at least good about focusing on the victim, how it affects them, how it changes them, how it motivates them etc. the eclipse is astoundingly bad at that aspect, but it is possible that he chose to delay the focus on Casca as a victim on purpose. sure it took 20 fucking years, but if he knew that it would cause Casca’s moment of despair leading to apostlehood, but had to delay it for the right moment, the mental regression actually makes a little sense from a plot perspective and not just a shove-Casca-out-of-the-narrative perspective.

- basically now that we’re finally getting her perspective on the eclipse, it makes sense to get her reaction to it, and imo the only way to even come close to justifying delaying that for 20 years is if her reaction is extremely plot-relevant and has to happen at this point in the story

- and I really, really want Casca to do something pro-active and plot-relevant and just for herself, even if it does damn her soul.

- imagine Casca’s wish is to gain enough power to avenge herself. so she becomes an ultra elite apostle a la Ganeshka, but, because of the brand, she’s a little outside causality and therefore actually has the power to harm Griffith. imagine SHE gets her own revenge, not Guts. Can be bitter sweet due to the story’s take on revenge, ie it bad, but still satisfying.

- but hey, while Berserk has only shown revenge as a strong negative so far, there are so many different perspectives, different sides of the coin, different characters and different motivations and different strokes for different folks angles in the story that it wouldn’t surprise me if it showed the idea of revenge in another, less negative (at least more ambiguous or justifiable) light.

- plus we’ve already seen that Griffith has his own very significant weakness if he needs to fight her.

- more irony if Griffith’s own “sword” destroys him. also Femto sowing the seeds of his own destruction as his first act.

- tbh i was watching the anime and had the thought that the scenes where Casca talks about how much she worships Griffith would just be sooo good if she ultimately kills him. especially since she became his “sword” in the first place because he encouraged her to kill her attempted rapist. killing Griffith would bring her narrative gloriously full-circle.

- plus it would make Casca’s initial worship of Griffith less ironically tragic and depressing and more ironically awesome. Instead of re-reading the scenes where she waxes poetic about him and thinking ‘aw man poor Casca’ you’d re-read those parts and think ‘heheheh just you wait Griffith’

- i like irony as a storytelling device, as you may be able to tell.

- it would add more depth to the concept of apostles. I’ve mused before about whether apostles are automatically damned to hell or whether they can still make better choices, and in lieu of Guts going apostle someone close to him who the audience also loves, like Casca, could make an interesting study in that - how monstrous vs how human do apostles have the capacity to be, yk?

- Plus if Casca has the opportunity for revenge but exemplifies the theme of Berserk by choosing another route, it still brings her narrative full circle.

- it would just add so much relevant fuel to the revenge theme and kick the plot back into gear and make Guts go back to contending with his dark side without stripping Casca of agency again by eg killing her off or something.

- And by moving the revenge narrative from Guts to Casca, Guts might be put into a different position - maybe attempting to stop a conflict. This would both continue to move Guts’ characterization forward rather than having him regress back into revenge-mode, and provide a new challenge and internal struggle, as the hound, say, urges him to join Casca.

- like how are you going to keep the hound relevant if Guts and Casca are honeymooning it up together without turning Casca into a damsel in distress in some way to agonize Guts? plz.

- ok that’s alll i got so far. this ended up a lot longer than i expected lol.

Pointless Zestiria X post (you can skip it) Talk about sormik, other canons and silly dreams

You know I had dream tonight about last episode of anime. It’s coming close so idea of going through sea of salt once more  (after almost month of curing my wounded soul) started to stress out my brain once more. Not mention reading yesterday post about salty comment about possible Sorali ending.

I don’t think that it’s a case. It would be like Namco shooting themselves into heads. They already posted article in „Romance” newspaper in japan featuring Sorey and Mikleo. They probably see that posts saying about sormik on unfotable tweeter have more like 600+ favs when normal Zestiria X and Alisha things have like 50-/+. They wouldn’t bring the wave of hate on themselves if they are sane.

Yet, I’m not looking forward to read about last episode of anime.

So, back to my dream. I dream story for last episode of anime where Ufotable made Heldalf disappear in first seconds of episode like Smaug dies in first 10 minutes of 3rd Hobbit. So after that Sorey is possessed by new bad guy jumping from nowhere. Team fights him and after beating Sorey to the ground team doesn’t know how to return Sorey back to normal. Then Mikleo leaned down to kiss him. Camera doesn’t show it clearly but you know Mikleo is kissing Sorey (as to not cross line to showing their lips together in anime, airing in japan since they aren’t open to things like that).

Sorey is returned to normal. There is skip after all that to inn room where Sorey and Mikleo is talking about last battle and what to do next. Mikleo is still shaken by last battle and fact someone possessed Sorey. They sitting around 15 centimeters away from each other but Sorey rises his arm above Mikleo’s shoulder and says sorry for worrying him and giving him his support ( whole anime didn’t do even single scene like this, when Sorey is grateful for Mikleo’s feelings, like he was in game and seeing this made me really happy in my dream). Anyway Mikleo is moved and he falls with his head on Sorey’s lap and cries.

There is where my dream ended and I was sad that it wasn’t real. It was damn stupid, it was cliche, it was cheesy, it was silly for Mikleo to act like this. And yet I can feel that real last episode of anime is going to be worst than this. Worst than silly dream just like rest of episodes were.

I’m not saying that Sorey and Mikleo romance was perfect in game. If you watch scenes and skits clearly you can see how much they take care of each other. We have famous Sauna skit. But they aren’t labeled as romance and that’s Sormik main problem. Namco made them always stood beside each other but always with some space between them. Many scenes just scream that this is the right moment for them to hold hands or just put hand on other’s shoulder. I’m not talking about kissing, none tales story had it, but since one putting of Mikleo’s hand on Sorey’s shoulder we didn’t get anything like this later. I read somewhere that while making game they have „toned down” their relationship, yet I don’t know if that’s true/real. I didn’t saw note talking about it myself. The other question if it’s real is what they „toned down”? Did Sorey and Mikleo hugged? Did they held hands on some point? We will never know.

We have words of „One and only” but that all we got and it would never let some people stop screaming that Sormik isn’t canon. We have „unfinished” confession from Mikleo. Because I think it’s main problem that made anime look like this. That made sormik fandom die faster than you can say Xenosaga.

There is no clear announcement that Sormik was suppose to be canon. Not in game. Not in anime. The words of „one and only” aren’t enough for some people. No amount of explain behind Alisha leaving party, Mikleo being Sorey’s one and only, that Sorey and any girl would work out going to change people minds.

I don’t think fans who support Sormik need any more prof of them being canon. It would be nice but not necessary. We want it so others could stop hurt Mikleo, so both Sorey and Mikleo could be happy and other characters could be themselves.

When I thought about romances in tales games, and yes I played them for 10 years right now, many romances weren’t greatly done. But since it’s boyxgirl it’s easier to find simple looking in eyes with affection, grab hands or supporting each other as romance affection.

Sormik as it is now it’s hard to clearly label as romantic for everyone. Some may think it more or less or just simply brothers relationship.

Let’s look at other Tales games. At beginning I want to say that I support those couples too just like Sormik.

I think most unclear romance is YurixEstelle. After watching gameplay I asked myself question, was that love? Or simply friendship? Really, compare to those two Sormik is already romance. Someone can say but Yuri tried save Estelle so many times! They had alone talk with each other before final battle.

Sorey and Mikleo had moments alike this a lot with other ones and I don’t think Yuri even once said Estelle looks sexy after sauna. If YurixEstelle are canon then Sormik too in Tales of games style.

LloydxCollete was nice done, we clearly see Lloyd care for Collette and it’s not only because she’s his childhood friend. Symphonia anime, also made by Ufotable was heaven compare to Zestiria. It followed main plot, didn’t change characters personalities and the most important thing, it cherished LloydxCollette canon. So don’t get me wrong over hating Zestiria X. I wanted simply repeat from Symphonia, to see Zestiria story/moments as anime and I got something that trashed plot and characters.

Xillia, as much as it’s clear that canon pair is JudexMilla they doesn’t touch or kiss to feel that they are canon. They only hold hands at the end before… they simply parting ways. I remember loving those two, Jude’s love for Milla was so sweet and ending broke me. I never played Xillia 2 because I was afraid it would ruin my beloved canon. Did someone said that Milla didn’t start to romantically care for Jude, or Jude for Milla? No. Even the reality when he was human (ehem Sorey) and she spirit (ehem Mikleo) didn’t make canon less possible. Milla may over live Jude, but that’s another story.

From all clearly romance canon couples from Tales games I can say are: ShingxKohaku (he clearly says in game at least twice that he loves Kohaku), KylexReala (this whole game goes around their romance and later when Reala’s going to disappear Kyle don’t want for that to happen. They hug a lot too.

Tales of games have a lot cuples that comes from childhood friends: ReidxFarah, VeiguexClaire, LloydxCollette, AsbelxCheria, SenelxShirley (if in the end they are canon… Well, their relationship is complicated too, first Senel loves Shirley’s sister, but she died, then some people ship him hard with Chloe (ehem… she tried to kill him)) and SoreyxMikleo are just as another one of those couples.

So, to end this post, anime isn’t going to help Sormik matter, it made it only worse. I don’t think we ever get side story in any crossover game that would say „Sormik are romantic canon.” There is no way, even other canon couples rarely get their relationship on romance level in those games (usually they are at beginning level when they just know each other for some time example: LukexTear, LloydxCollette are mostly childhood friends usualy). We won’t be able to hear anything beyond „Sorey wants to spend rest of his life with his CHILDHOOD friend Mikleo” (Asteria’s radio audition) or Sorey knew Mikleo’s true name but oh well they are boys, it doesn’t mean Mikleo told it as romantic confession (Berseria, Berseria guide that says it’s different when boy telling another boy his true name). Even Zelos joking about Sorey and Mikleo being on date (Asteria) isn’t going to help everyone view Sormik as canon or let tell sormik supporters that we have nothing to worry about and just enjoy canonical Sormik.         

First episodes of anime gave hope about Sormik being something even more big than in game, but it was quickly destroyed. It was treated even worse from episode to episode. What comes from Ufotable sketch of Sorey and Mikleo sleeping on eachother shoulder, close and happy if it wasn’t in anime?

As for myself I’m sad about anime waste as whole Zestiria, not only Sormik. I don’t care how Zestiria X looks like, I don’t need to watch it. But each time I think that we never going to get because of Zestiria X a GOOD adaptation of game like Abyss or Symphonia had (gosh, even eternia was better, at least characters wasn’t so ooc even if it plot was awful, graphic too, but it was in the end only filler to main story. No one tried to change main plot). Chances for reboot of anime is 0%. That’s it. We never see tickle fight, fake marriage scene, Sorey losing his resonance, Rose hitting him, Dezel death (no, no kamikaze kill without real reason), fight with Tiamat, night at Lastonbell, EVERYONE seeing Sorey and Mikleo’s past, the ending of story… The only nice scene from game we got was Sorey holding his breath to let Alisha communicate with Lailah. That’s all.  

I love Zestiria OVA. It has perfect pacing and it was close as possible to game. I just simply wish we got something like this instead of Zestiria X.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate how amazing Akagami no Shirayukihime is?

The characters and relationships are just absolutely wonderful. I say this as someone who has gone through a shitty relationship before, but is now happily engaged. Sometimes I feel like we grow up with false pretenses on how a relationship should be (whether it be relationships with friends, family, or lovers), but AnS illustrates the qualities of good, healthy relationships exceptionally well. I could go on for hours, but I’ll just highlight a few things.

WARNING: Possible spoilers for those who haven’t read the manga.

Zen x Shirayuki: There are many pairings that I love across multiple series, but Zenyuki is my definite OTP. Their love and relationship is beautiful. Zen respects Shirayuki and encourages her to do what she wants, to reach further, to become better, even it means she has to be away from him to do so and accomplish her dream. Shirayuki understands Zen and his position as the second prince. She knows she could have a way easier time dating and loving someone else, but she loves him for everything he is. Every struggle she undergoes is worth it if it means she can stand next to him in the future. And they communicate. Communication is key in a relationship and avoids unnecessary problems. When they can’t talk to one another, they have their trust in one another to keep from jumping to conclusions. Zen openly admits he gets jealous, but he never questions her loyalty. Similarly, when Zen had his date with Kiki, Shirayuki didn’t dissolve into a jealous, frenzied mess, knowing that Zen will come talk to her about it later. Their relationship is so well-rounded, and they’re still growing as individuals and as a couple. This is the kind of fairy tale we should’ve grown up with as kids.

Zen [x Shirayuki] x Obi: I love, love, love that Akizuki-sensei had that scene on the boat between Zen and Obi. It just spoke volumes about their character and love for Shirayuki. In any other series, a huge battle could’ve ensued, but it didn’t. Zen knows Obi loves Shirayuki, but he has enough trust in their loyalty to him for nothing scandalous to occur between them. That, and (as my fiance pointed out) he knows that there is no one who can protect Shirayuki better than someone who loves her just as much as he does. Because Obi loves her, he will do everything he can to keep her safe and happy (her happiness is very important). And Obi, wonderful Obi, loves his mistress and master dearly. Zen gave him a place to call home and a permanent job. Zen also allows him to follow Shirayuki, well aware that with her is where he wants to be, even though Zen wishes he could be the one to protect her personally. But Obi cares for them (whether it’s platonic or romantic) so much that he wishes for their happiness together, even if that means he doesn’t get the girl. That’s love. Not some selfish, jealous rage that obliterates everything in its path. Oh, and neither ever treat Shirayuki like she’s an object. They don’t talk about her as if she’s some prize to won, and they respect her space. At any point in time, she can send Obi away. They never force their presence on her.

Zen x Izana: THIS SIBLING RELATIONSHIP - I ADORE IT. Zen idolizes his older brother, even though Izana tends to give him a hard time about things (especially Shirayuki at the beginning), but he knows Izana is just looking out for him. But Izana doesn’t think he’s better than Zen; he knows Zen has traits, good traits, that he doesn’t have but is just as beneficial to have as a prince. They compliment one another. Izana tests Zen and pushes him to be a better person so that he can be a better prince for his country. Zen, who loves to explore, exemplifies the point-of-view of his people. They have a fantastic (and cute) dynamic.

I’m just brushing the tip of the iceberg. All the characters of AnS are lovable and their interactions with one another are just as iconic. I probably first read this series over a year ago and just recently reread it to catch up (I didn’t even know they made it into an anime until two weeks ago), but I could re-read/watch the series again and again. The lessons they teach in this series - it’s gold. I would recommend everyone who hasn’t to watch/read this series.

Orihime > Hinata

My favorite ship is IchiRuki and my favorite female character is Rukia. But I have great respect towards Orihime as a character. In my opinion, she is not just pretty face, she’s one of the most important characters in the series, while Ichigo and Rukia is definitely the main. Despite of the fact that Orihime has so much haters, Kubo never stop to make her play important roles and don’t give a damn to the haters who wanted him to lessen Orihime’s part in the series. 

In Naruto, Kishi actually lessen Sakura’s story and even decided to not include her family background just because she wasn’t well accepted when she was first introduced. Eventhough he really wanted to, he followed the editor’s order instead of convincing them that Sakura worth some more spotlight as heroine. 

Kubo simply made her female characters have amazing roles, both Rukia and Orihime. I didn’t like Orihime at first, I was one of those fans who wanted Kubo to show more of Rukia than Orihime. But because Kubo continued to include Orihime in every arc, I grew to like her little by little and it didn’t surprised me as much as NH, when IH became canon, although I was a bit disappointed of course, because IchiRuki will always be my favorite (The Black Sun and The White Moon poetry will forever remain in my heart!!). 

Orihime was always there in every arc, while Hinata only appeared in 15 chapters out of 700. And all she did when she appeared is admiring Naruto and unable to talk to him properly. 

It’s really different with Orihime who even hung out with Ichigo when they don’t have to fight hollows, and this is in the canon manga, not fillers anime episodes. And moreover, Orihime has something else to think other than “Kurosaki-kun”, unlike Hinata whose life and story are basically only revolves around Naruto. 

Orihime awakened her power to protect Tatsuki, while Hinata only wanted to be noticed by Naruto. She lacks the willpower to win too and once she was lost, she didn’t push herself to limit to fight, unlike Sakura and Rukia and even Orihime when they have to fight and protect their loved ones. 

Orihime understands Ichigo’s will not to interfere his fight even when she’s willing to help, she knows her own capability and decided to believe in Ichigo, while Hinata selfishly jump into the scene, knowing that she had no chance to win, without even thinking about Naruto’s feeling if he witnessed a possible death of his comrade.

I don’t understand when people compared Orihime to Hinata when they are completely different in personalities. The only common thing about them is their big breasts. Orihime becomes one of Ichigo’s important friends and she could be herself around him while all Hinata did is fainted or run away when Naruto appeared. She still do that even in The Last. 

Orihime didn’t and even insisted to go home by herself when Ichigo offered to walk him home, while Hinata disappointed and depressed when Naruto said she could go home by herself because she’s strong. I get it, she wanted Naruto to accompany her a little bit, but what did she expect? At that point, Naruto hasn’t fell in love with her and he’s basically dumb, he doesn’t understand how to treat woman. She should have understand that side about Naruto instead of being depressed. 

They are completely different and in so many aspects, and in my opinion, Orihime is much better than Hinata. Hinata’s one and only goal is to be noticed by Naruto while Orihime has real and many dreams, one of them is having her own cake shop and being able to do many things, but Ichigo is one of her precious dreams, which she decided to let go for the sake of other people’s safety.

I had hard time to accept NH and I probably will never be able to see NH as couple even when they become canon, they just felt so awkward because Kishi’s lack of interest in writing more of them, and Hinata’s obsession towards Naruto is really too much, she couldn’t think of anything else except Naruto, even in the war, she was willing to fight so she can be closer with Naruto. While with IH, I don’t really have to look for reasons to accept them because the development is there, in the canon materials, not filler episodes.

I believe that Ichigo and Rukia are soulmates, they have their own poems and Kubo stated that he can’t draw one without the other. But Orihime and Renji played important roles in their lives, not just as someone who admired them, but do something real to protect them and have real friendship with them, it is easier to accept them together. 

I just wish Kishi would at least give Hinata proper development as a character instead of making her all “Naruto-kun”. I like Hinata in pre-shipuden, I even shipped them a little and posted some of NH arts in pre-shippuden. But Kishi really downgraded her character by making him all Naruto-kun even in the critical moments like The 4th Ninja war. If Kishi really did plan NH to happen since the middle of series, he should have put Hinata more around Naruto and develop their friendship, therefore it wouldn’t be much of a surprise. Maybe that way, I could have liked her a little bit more.