travel as metaphor

Crystals for Protection

These crystals are some of the best crystals I have found to have protective qualities.


  • Black Obsidian - good for general protection, I keep a big chunk on my altar
  • Amethyst - first protective crystal I ever got, given to me by my uncle, protects travelers/people on literal and metaphorical journeys
  • Fire Agate - good for protection from self doubt/hate
  • Smokey Quartz - good for general protection + protection from fear, excellent grounder and stabilizer
  • Fluorite - protects from negative energies and spirits + illness and disorders
  • Jasper - protects from unbalanced energies + confusion
  • Black Tourmaline - protects from negative energies by absorbing them
  • Labradorite - protects the astral/spirit self
little all too well things
  • the first line is ‘i walked through the door with you’ which to me is so interesting because this image of crossing the threshold suggests them both bravely entering something new together
  • ‘the air was cold but something ‘bout it felt like home somehow’ is kind of sad don’t you think??? i have always wondered if the cold air feels like home because she’s been treated so coldly in the past??
  • and if we take it that way then the fact that she left her ‘scarf there at your sister’s house’ is like taylor giving up her defenses against the cold way the world has treated her in order to trust him
  • and he still has it in his drawer even now??? she gave away her defenses against the coldness of the world and she never got them back!!! he left her vulnerable.
  • like i mentioned in a previous post taylor uses cars and travelling as a metaphor for relationships of different kinds so them ‘singing in the car getting lost upstate’ suggests how comfortable they felt in their relationship and how long term they thought it was going to be 
  • autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place is like a punch in the face every single time because to me it means ‘when i saw all of nature dying and coming to an end it reminded me of us’ what a thing to say wow their relationship was blossoming but now is decaying and they are spiraling uncontrollably???? what a powerful image!!!
  • again with the car metaphors ‘you almost ran the red ‘cause you were looking over at me’ seems to suggest how they almost ignored all the warnings signs that they needed to end their relationship because they were so caught up in each other
  • i feel like the phrase ‘i was there’ is so important in this song because it shows the distance that taylor feels from the relationship now like it’s not ‘wind in my hair, i am there’ because it’s impossible to revisit those moments and live in them again
  • alternatively i feel like maybe it’s ‘i was there’ because it was her ‘old self’ that she mentions later who had all those beautiful lovely memories and she is not that girl anymore she ‘was’ but not now
  • i always thought that the description of ‘a little kid in glasses in a twin size bed’ is so sweet because it emphasises how big and lonely everything seemed when he was younger and how much growing he had to do
  • ‘you taught me ‘bout your past thinking your future was me’ is also so cute because he is teaching her so she can take over and write his future in the best possible way??? he is literally trusting her with his entire future???
  • ‘lost in translation’ is a beautiful way of saying that they could not communicate with each other but to me it has always meant that they could not adapt to each other’s worlds without losing an essential part of themselves much like when a book is adapted for film for example 
  • now for my favourite line of the whole song okay ‘but maybe this thing was a masterpiece before you tore it all up’ is so interesting because it brings into question beauty and value and whether something is only beautiful for as long as you can own it and it is tangible, like an old famous painting, for example, or whether it remains valuable and precious long after it is destroyed because it is the thoughts and people it inspired that had true value. this idea is revisited in sad beautiful tragic when taylor seems to decide that something can be beautiful and ruined simultaneously and that things do not cease to be beautiful when they are over (just like those autumn leaves falling earlier in the song)
  •  this song is just full of powerful images and ‘a crumpled up piece of paper lying there’ is so interesting because a piece of blank paper holds so many possibilities it is literally a symbol of untapped potential so the idea of her being a crumpled up piece of paper suggests all that potential between them being discarded all those pages of their love story that will now forever remain unwritten
  • this is a tiny thing but the repetition in the line that follows of ‘but i remember it all, all, all… too well’ just to me feels like taylor being trapped in the moment unable to move forwards to the next word and mirrors her being trapped in her grief about this relationship
new terms and explanations

It is no secret that one word can have many different meanings, and those meanings evolve over time. Change can be annoying, but important for better understanding and communication between people. We need accurate labels that will not create unnecessary confusion and misinterpretation. For that reason, I have reconsidered the terms I use on AutisticWorlds and decided to adjust my terminology and find a word that reflects experiences of people better.

First, a little overview. 

Keep reading

All fiction is metaphor. Science fiction is metaphor. What sets it apart from older forms of fiction seems to be its use of new metaphors, drawn from certain great dominants of our contemporary life—science, all the sciences, and technology, and the relativistic and the
historical outlook, among them. Space travel is one of these metaphors; so is an alternative society, an alternative biology; the future is another. The future, in fiction, is a metaphor.

A metaphor for what?

If I could have said it non-metaphorically, I would not have written all these words, this novel…

—  Ursula K. Le Guin, 1976 Foreword to The Left Hand of Darkness
Planes soaring high in the sky, leave patterns which resemble the human spine, as though travelling is enough to keep us upright as our very beings continue to exist
i always say
i just want to get away
travel the world
go to little coffee shops
and get lost.
but really
i can’t stand leaving
dirty streets and unfamiliar faces
leave me transparent
so the wind blows straight through me
chilling me down to the soul
the theory of travel is a remedy
but the motion is crippling
although it may be better
if i was with you
—  a-metaphor-for-reality, new cities would be beautiful with a familiar face
Victory and Happiness

So this is the Han proposing to Leia story that was requested. This goes along with headcanon #2 on the list of Han proposing headcanons.


“I’m sure Luke wasn’t on that thing when it blew.” Han attempted to reassure Leia as they watched the remaining pieces of the second Death Star disappear.

He noticed she had a somewhat strange, though not completely zoned out, look on her face. Almost as though she was channeling something.

“He wasn’t, I can feel it.” Leia said, with a relieved smile.

Memories from the night before flooded Han’s mind. Leia still hadn’t told him what she had talked to Luke about, but Han had a feeling the two things were directly linked. He knew the two of them were close, but he never realized just how close.

“You love him, don’t ya.” Han conceded, pretty sure he was stating the obvious.

He tried not to let his disappointment show. He had thought he was the one she was choosing, but she had probably tried to keep her relationship with Luke a secret. Han hadn’t made it easy for her to try and be open in the past, especially with other men even just talking to her.

“Yes.” Leia responded as though he had asked her if Tatooine had two suns and was covered in sand.

“Alright, I understand, fine. When he comes back, I won’t get in the way.” Han stated, but his tone had been different from all of the other times he was trying get her to admit she wanted him. There was no bitterness or snark, just resignation that it was Luke her heart wanted. Truly he just wanted Leia to be happy, and if that was with Luke, he wasn’t going to stop her. No matter how much it tore him apart.

Now Leia looked confused. It quickly dawned on her that she never actually told him what she and Luke discussed.

She shook her head with a smile. “It’s not like that at all,” she lifted her head and made sure to catch Han’s eyes, leaning forward as she continued, “he’s my brother.”

She gave him a moment to process what she had just revealed, turned his head back to facing her, and placed a chaste but passionate kiss on Han’s lips. At the end it finally dawned on Han what it was she had just said. They smiled at each other in an understanding, finally on the same level. Han pulled her in for another short, yet just as passionate as the last, kiss.

Once they pulled apart, it was Leia’s turn to ask Han a question. “Were you serious before? About not getting in the way of Luke and I?”

Given what she just told him, that question seemed a little odd now, but he answered it none the less. “Well, yeah. Honestly Leia, I truly just want to see you happy, and if Luke was what you had wanted, I wasn’t going to stop you. I love you enough to let you go if I thought it was truly what you wanted. I wouldn’t have liked it, but I would have done it.”

“You nerfherder,” she laughed, “I promise you, you are the only one I want. I thought I had made that abundantly clear when I freed you from the carbonite.” She tapped him on the cheek and brought him closer to kiss her again.

Just before their lips touched, he whispered “Marry me.” Han then closed the tiny fraction of space between their lips.

It wasn’t a question, and he wasn’t entirely sure she had heard him at first. She pulled back from the kiss, and stared at him.

“Did you just say what I think you said?” Leia questioned, making sure she wasn’t hearing things.

“Well that depends, Princess. What is it you think I said?” Han teased.

“You want to get married. You. The man who only officially joined the Rebel Alliance just before we had this mission, even though you had been working for us for over 3 years. You want to MARRY me even though we’ve only officially been in a relationship less than a year, and you were frozen in carbonite for 6 months of it. Are you sure you have thought this through, completely?”

Leia wasn’t trying to discourage him in any way. She just wanted to make sure he had rationally thought this all out, and knew what he was getting himself into. That this hadn’t been a spur of the moment thing he thought up because hey why not, it seems like a good time.

Han’s shoulders had slumped at her questioning. He knew what he wanted, and he knew it was her. “The passageway getting here may have been filled with astroid fields and sublight travel, both physically and metaphorically, but this is truly what I want sweetheart.”

Leia smiled a smile that could outshine the twin suns of Tatooine. “Yes, I will marry you, ya scoundrel.”

And they sealed it with another passionate kiss.

armored-bear  asked:

How do you choose your deity and what would your deity represent in this matter? Like what is it for?

I worship Dionysus, Hermes, Persephone, Haides, And Amphitrite. I also honor Demeter, Aphrodite, and Ariadne. Additionally, I’ve been toying with the idea of honoring several daemons, including Medusa, Scylla, Kharybdis, and the Minotaur. 

I’m not sure if you’re asking how I specifically chose my deities, or how someone would go about choosing deities. If it’s the later, I’ve got a post here on  How Do I Pick a Deity?

If you’re asking how I came to worship my deities, that’s a much longer answer. I came to Hermes and Artemis from a very neo-pagan place. I was in my teens when I started looking into worship of Hellenic deities, and everything I got my hands on about actually worshiping them, was from a neo-pagan and strongly Wiccan bent. Things didn’t pan out with Artemis, I was worshiping her for the wrong reasons, and broke an oath I’d made, in a very disrespectful way. (No, I won’t talk about the specifics of it) Hermes however, Hermes sort of clicked with me. I’ve always looked at his aspect as a god of travelers, and thought that his benevolence would extend to people who were metaphorically traveling, finding themselves; as well as those who were literally going places.

Hermes introduced me to Dionysus, and Dionysus was very forceful about being accepted into my life. For years I developed a strong relationship with him. I’ve learned much from him in my life, including how to take care of myself and my needs, and that there is nothing wrong with being sick just so long as I continue to try and do better, to be better. He’s taught me to stand up for what I need, to let go of the control sometimes and accept what is, and to find balance in myself and my life.

I started worshiping Persephone about three years ago now. I sought her out. I felt like I’d reached a point of personal stagnation, and that I needed new experiences and influences in my life to help me to continue to grow as a person. I have always been enamored with Persephone, the young goddess who rules as an equal beside Haides, as Queen of the Dead. I admire that ability to be undoubtedly feminine, and the most terrifying thing in the room.

Haides and Demeter came naturally to me as my worship with Persephone grew. I wanted to extend my worship to include those dearest to her. Ariadne found her way into my religion the same way, only through Dionysus. 

I’ve found Amphitrite in the past year, and I can’t even put into words how drawn I am to her. She is everything about the ocean that I love–have always loved, and she is that awe inspiring combination of beauty, emotion, and raw power. She is the ocean. She is the sea foam on the beach, the waves crashing on rocks, the current pulling you out to drown, the monsters lurking beneath the waves, the eerie sounds the ocean makes in a storm, the soft kiss of sea mist on your face……

I’ve brought Aphrodite into my worship in the past six months really. I reached a place in myself, and a tipping point in my relationship with Beau, where I felt it would be wrong not to honor her for the gifts she grants me every day that we’re together. I honestly believe that he’s my soul-mate, and the realization of that is what pushed me to thank Aphrodite and welcome her into my heart.

Now, I’m not sure what you’re asking when you say “what would your deity represent in this matter? Like what is it for?” I genuinely hate boiling deities down to simple representations, because it’s a watered down, corrupted version of who they are, that doesn’t do any justice to who they are at all. It would be similar to constantly describing your best friend as the girl with the Nissan. Each one holds domain over multiple areas that all influence my life. 

As far as what my deities are for–you might as well ask what we’re for. I worship the deities I do in order to honor them. I learn from them, their stories and lessons, to improve myself as a person. This in turn honors them, makes my life more fulfilling, and makes me more satisfied with my life. That’s without even going into detail about the specific ways I’ve benefited from having each of these theoi in my life.

Dionysus has saved my life. I more than likely wouldn’t be alive right now if I hadn’t learned from him that it’s okay for me to seek help, to admit I’m taking on too much, to tell people it hurts, and to heal.

Persephone has taught me to defend myself. That I have a right to be respected, to a voice, and to hell with anyone who wants to make less of me than I am.

Hermes has taught me to ask directions. I’m confident in my life decisions for the first time, thanks to Hermes and his lessons that it’s alright to seek guidance, try different roads, and to take the journey as having value–not just the destination.

Haides has taught me not to fear death. I’m quiet confident that the afterlife is nothing for me to fear. Death is a normal part of the cycle, and without it we can’t treasure life. 

Demeter has taught me patience. Crops don’t grow over night, and results can take time in any field.

Aphrodite has taught me in this short time that I am worth being loved. I’m not lucky to have love, it is my right. I deserve to be happy, to be loved, to be treasured, and no one can take that from me.

Amphitrite has taught me not to hide me emotions. I am passionate, and I feel deeply. If that offends people, that is their problem. My emotions are not an inconvenience. 

Ariadne has taught me that not all monsters are to be feared. Some of them are our brothers and sisters. Some of them are monsters because of how they have been treated, and that we have made them that way.

I’m going to post this others can add their experiences and reasons, since mine are not the end-all-be-all, and there are many more reasons why people worship and how they find their deities.

A Mary Picture Is Mary Worth A Thousand Mary Words

So thanks to @dumbingofage​ I am COMPLETELY ENTHRALLED by this current Mary Worth(!) storyline where some dude abuses prescription painkillers. The drug abuse isn’t the funny part- this is a Real Problem that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, and I think authors’ hearts are in the right place. But the hackneyed writing and INCREDIBLE art make this one of the funniest comics I’ve read in ages. A @joshreads​ style breakdown of my favorite panels follows. I’ll go in roughly chronological order.

The greatest line committed to newsprint.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIS FACE also his girlfriend looks like she’s in her 50s

LISTEN ALL Y’ALL IT’S SABOTAGE

In times of mental and emotional duress, antidepressants can be a life-saving therapeutic…oh. Oh those aren’t antidepressants are they.

EATER OF SOULS (AND ALSO VICODIN)

That’s how I hold my hands when I type too. I’m doing it right now.

“Next stop” is traditionally a segue to some sort of travel metaphor, but such banality is beneath the writer of MARY WORTH. And what is he drinking? MIII_||’<?

Obama’s original slogan was much more controversial.

AHHHHH!

On the way between the worlds.

Ph:DanSpb

anonymous asked:

I want to know your fav top 20 ( ehehehe ) anime/manga pleaseeeeee ???

My time has come! 


THE MASTERPIECES

(exceed their genres, solid 15/10, pure art)


Code Geass (Anime) & Code Geass: R2 (Anime)

Brilliant, perfectly paced, leaves you wanting more and so goddamn smart.
It discusses violence, war, justice, self-righteousness, humanity and power, the characters are delightfully morally grey and there’s a …realness in this series that will grip you. 

It’s about Lelouch, a seemingly normal, if highly intelligent, student, who is presented with the opportunity to make everyone obey his will at his command. He accepts, with no smaller goal in mind than overthrowing the tyrannical ruler of Britannia, a nation that makes up 1/3 of the world.

Bonus points: random hilarious comedy episodes, Lelouch & Suzaku’s complicated frenemy relationship, Lelouch’s super villain laughter & general flair for dramatics, THE ENDING OH MY GOD

Minus points: some unnecessary fanservice, but oh, well, it’s anime and it’s never too much

Warnings: can get very bloody


Shingeki no Kyojin (Manga & Anime)

Set in a hopeless world, in which humanity has been reduced to just a few thousand people who hide behind walls, afraid of what is lurking outside: The Titans. 
They are huge, naked creatures who posess no desire for anything but chewing on humans, only to spit them out broken and dead. 
But there are a few people willing to fight back and to venture into the great unknown - the Survey Corps, a band of “misfits who seek change”: our main characters. 
This manga has it all. Philosophy, loss, suffering, death, hope, passion, intelligence, fighting, politics, psychology, angst, determination, you name it. Just … don’t get too attached to anyone, okay?

Bonus points: Deep and dark places, Kampfgeist, gratuitous German, gorgeous animation, three dimensional maneuver gear, complicated characters

Minuts points: Will depress you, so you need a proper compensation manga

Warnings: blood, gore & seriously, don’t get attached


Death Note (Manga & Anime)

I already mentioned this before: An epic mindgame, fought between L (an ingenious and supremely weird detective) and Light (a seemingly perfect, nice, well-adjusted, sweet and smart high school student, who actually posesses the Death Note, a notebook which will enable you to kill anyone, as long as you know their face and name. And he uses it. A lot. Because he’d actually like to think of himself as “Kira”, a god of justice who will punish the wicked who slipped through the fingers of the law). Who will win? 
Makes you think about justice, murder, the law, death, identity, intelligence and, of course, what you’d do with a Death Note.

Bonus points: I’ll take a potato chip… and EAT IT!, Light’s convoluted plans, L and Light’s frenemy relationship, dares to go into places others would leave untouched

Minus points: Didn’t like it as much after a certain event (fans will know what I mean), but it was still really good

Warnings: death, notes, blood, crazy people, will make you question your morality


Mushishi (Manga & Anime)

Moving away from war and blood for a bit, Mushishi is a deeply beautiful and thought-provoking series about nature and our place in it. There are creatures called Mushi everywhere around us - it’s just that most people can’t see them.
They influence our lives in the profoundest and simplest ways and it takes a Mushishi, like the ever-travelling Ginko, to solve the problems they pose to humans. 
That, which is survival for one, is sickness or poverty for another. 
Always philosophical, gorgeous and deep. 


Daughter of 20 Faces (Anime)

This series is so underappreciated, this is LITERALLY the only gif I could find. Let that sink in.
Done?
Okay.
Why should you watch this series? It’s surprising (so many twists!), mysterious, beautiful, features one of the best female leads I have ever seen (Chiko is queen of everything), is historically interesting (plays out in the Japan of the 1950s) and has something to say. It doesn’t become apparent for a while, but it’s actually a story about war, military science, the effects it has on coming generations and what it means to be alive.
Chiko is a smart girl, who figures out that she is slowly being poisoned by her family and runs away with Twenty Faces (a master thief) and his crew, instead of staying where they can kill her. As the series goes on, the tone gradually becomes darker and darker and Chiko must prove herself worthy of becoming the master thief’s successor.

Bonus points: “Watch, listen and think for yourself”, actually based on Edogawa Rampo’s characters Akechi Kogoro and The Fiend with Twenty Faces, which in turn had a huge influence on Detective Conan and Magic Kaito, combines every single anime genre I can think of (seriously)

Minus points: None. It’s flawless. (Well, maybe that the animation is a bit simple. But it didn’t bother me)

Warnings: some blood and violence, war, one particularly shocking episode


Kino’s Journey (Anime)

(Personally, I’m convinced that Kino and Chiko are long lost siblings, which is why I placed their animes next to each other.)
Kino is a traveller, who travels through metaphorical, philosophical, allegorical cities and landscapes, each of them representing a facet of human life (e.g. one where humans have learnt to read each other’s thoughs and everyone lives in complete isolation). They’re thought experiments, being brought to life by Kino, who participates in their culture for 3 days, before moving on to the next. 
Very abstract, very philosophical, very artsy. A true masterpiece

Bonus points: The motorcycle is the snarky sidekick, the episodes about a prophecy claiming that the end of the world was nigh were divine, Kino is a badass

Minus points: Again, maybe that the animation is a bit simple, but it suits the series.

Warnings: some blood and violence, discusses all sorts of deeeeeep stuff


Piano no Mori (Manga & Film)

Meet Shuuhei, the son of a famous pianist, who has spent his entire childhood practicing the piano. He takes music very seriously, has private tutors, loads of ambition and just as much pressure on his shoulders. 
When his family moves to the countryside, he meets Kai, a rough, loud, poor elementary student in his class, who’s rumored to be the son of a prostitute. At first, they seem to clash, but it soon turns out that Kai has a secret: he, too, plays the piano! 
An abandoned piano in the midst of a forest that no one taught him how to play!
Shuuhei doesn’t know how to feel about the fact that his new friend is a natural genius, but their love for music will always connect them. 
Watch these two entirely different boys grow up and inspire each other, breaking all conventions with their lifelong connection and playing music that has never been heard before. 

Bonus points: The character work is amazing, Kai’s poverty is portrayed realistically and respectfully and it’s incredibly inspiring

Minus points: It’s veeeeery long, so it might seem daunting to some. The art style also takes some getting used to, but I swear it’s worth the ride!

Warnings: poverty, violence, they’re both too adorable


Cowboy Bebop (Anime)/ Samurai Champloo (Anime)

Both by the same creator, both equally ground-breaking in how they connect music and visuals. 
Cowboy Bebop is a mixture of space travel, cowboys, bounty hunting, film noir, pulp fiction, blues, jazz and science fiction.
Samurai Champloo is a mixture of feudal Japan, hip hop, street culture, rapping, travel log, samurai pride and coming of age.
Both …work surprisingly well. As in astoundingly, amazingly, awesomely well. 
Cowboy Bebop is often cited as a “gateway drug” to anime and while it wasn’t for me (I found it years after getting into anime), I can see why. It’s fresh, deals with a huge variety of topics, always recreates itself and has a great cast of characters. 
I really don’t want to say too much about these two, because it’s best to go into this adventure unspoiled and openminded. I will only say that they are spectacular.

Bonus points: See you, space cowboy!, the smell of sunflowers, amazing fight scenes, solid character growth, the courage to use silence as well as sound, Edward “Radical Edward” Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV

Minus points: Some of the episodes can feel like a filler, when you really want to the plot to advance, but the meandering nature of the series is part of their appeal

Warnings: BLOOD, so much blood (especially in Samurai Champloo. These people have no qualms about killing someone they’ve never met before), violence


Kuroshitsuji (Manga & Anime)

Ciel Phantomhive should be dead. He isn’t. 
That’s what happens when you make a deal with a demon, who starts living with you as your personal butler and fends off your enemies and kills those you want dead. Quite neat, especially when you’re Queen Victoria’s  “watchdog”, which is basically the Victorian equivalent of James Bond. 
There is just one tiny drawback: his soul now belongs to Sebastian, the demon, and he never fails to remind him of that.
This series is lavishly, luxuriously dark, in a way that reminds me of “Hannibal”. Ciel is always dressed to impress, never forgets his 5 o’clock tea, is the embodiment of British derisive snark and frequently washes blood from his hands. He’s also 13. 

Not recommended for sensitive viewers.

Bonus points: “One hell of a butler”, the art style is breathtaking (definitely check out the original manga), I write sins not tragedies, Things we lost in the fire

Minus points: Be prepared for all sorts of sexual innuendos and when you search for fanart, expect loads of Sebastian/Ciel, which ….eh. He’s 13. 13!

Warnings: BLOOD DRAMA DEATH FIRE ZOMBIES


Fullmetal Alchemist (Manga & Anime(s))

I’m still in the middle of watching this myself, but I couldn’t be more pleased with it. The pace is perfect, the characters are multi-layered, the story is gripping and Al & Ed manage to be the definition of “dorky badass”.
The story revolves around two brothers, who live in a world where alchemy is real. Alchemy is based on the “equivalent exchange” which mean that in order to get something, you have to sacrifice something of equal value.
The Elric brothers are excellent alchemists, but they committed one of the most unforgivable sins of alchemy and had to pay the price: Ed lost his arm and leg and Al lost his whole body and only exists as an empty suit of armor.
Watch as they try to get their bodies back and happen to stumble upon a military conspiracy that could change everything.

Bonus points: “Otou-san?”, “Elric kyoudai!”, “A skill that has been passed down in the Armstrong family for generations!”, the HUMOR, good god, the humor is brilliant!

Minus points: Well, I don’t know the ending yet, so I can’t comment on that

Warnings: War, blood, death


Okay, so much for the 15/10s! Now for the 10/10s of various genres (Mystery/Crime/Philosophical, Coming of Age/Following your Dreams, Straight Love Stories, Shounen Ai (Boy x Boy) Love Stories, Shoujo Ai (Girl x Girl) Love Stories, Sports & Comedy/Slice of Life)!


MYSTERY / CRIME / PHILOSOPHICAL


Detective Conan (Manga & Anime)/ Magic Kaito (Manga & Anime)

One revolves around a brilliant high school detective who gets shrunk and has to keep solving cases as a 6-year-old, the other is about your average high school boy who turns into a master thief whenever there’s an interesting jewel to steal. 
Detective Conan has been running forever and with good reason - it’s never too late to get started!


Q.E.D. / C.M.B.

Both series revolve around highly curios, clever young boys who just so happen to be master detectives. They would rather spend their time researching or reading, but their female sidekicks keep dragging them into cases because they demand justice and a solution. 
All the characters in this are amazing and the cases are varied and hard to solve (they often rely on scientific principles). Highly recommended.


Iris Zero (Manga)

In a world where most young people have a special eye power, our main character stand out as being superpowerless. He lives a life of content isolation and minimal exposure, until one girl requires his help and realizes that he does have a superpower: His analytical brain. Beautiful art style.


Hyouka (Anime)

A sister anime to Iris Zero, as they’re both very similar. A lethargic youth realizes he might be able to do more with his brain than he thought and falls in love with the girl who brought him out of his shell. No superpowers here, though! Frequently praised for its realism.


Warau Kanoko-sama (Manga) / Koi Dano Ai Dano (Manga)

Two mangas which belong together - the first being the prologue for the second. Kanoko is a very unusual main character, especially for a girl in a manga. She’s clever, snarky, level-headed and loves to observe other people. She knows everything about her classmates and is content with that, until a certain young man forces her to become an active participant and to put her knowledge to good use. 


Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi (Manga)

A young man travels back in time to solve the kidnapping that he could have prevented as a child. But things don’t quite work out as planned and people start to chase him in the present day.


Liar Game (Manga & Korean drama) 

The art style is simple, but the story is everything but. This is the most complex, intellectually challenging manga I’ve ever read - it’s about people participating in the Liar Game, a game in which people swindle and gamble for money at really high stakes. Game theory, probability, mass psychology, everything dark in the human mind you could ask for.


COMING OF AGE/ FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS


Rin (Manga)

The story of a young man who wants to become a mangaka, but knows that a disease might stop him any moment and a young woman who can hear the past. How far will their determination carry them? 


Bakuman (Manga & Anime)

Also about two young men and their journey to become succesful mangaka, but far more lighthearted than Rin. Lots of insight into how the industry works and very likable characters. By the same team that created Death Note and very likely based on themselves.


Corset Ni Tsubasa (Manga)

The story of a young girl growing up in England and being forced into gender stereotypes. She is forced into a corset, denied a real education and starved into acting “like a lady”. But she will not go down without a fight.
Very inspirational.


Shokugeki no Soma (Manga)

Action-driven, funny, badass and light-hearted most of the time, surprisingly serious and inspirational at other times, Shokugeki no Soma is what critics like to call a tour de force.
Soma wants to become a professional chef and gets enrolled into a prestigious (and crazy) cooking academy, from which only 10% graduate and the weak are seperated from the strong. He must show his skills to survive and learn from others. Luckily, Soma isn’t exactly shy, so he barges right in and cockily declares war on the entire student body. 
Includes lots of crazy “foodgasms” which is … well, pretty much exactly what it sounds like and also really not what it sounds like. Anyway, pretty solid on the ecchi side (for men and women).


Gakkou Gurashi (Manga)

At first glance this might seem like a saccharine school-life slice of life comedy, but trust me: it’s REALLY not. The first chapter lulls you into thinking just that and then BAM!, biggest plot twist of your life
Occasional fanservice, still highly recommended.


Birdmen (Manga)

I only just started reading this, but I love it so far. The main character is a snarky, depressed, hormonal teenager, who’s surprisingly well written and I think many of us can relate to that. Nice pacing.


STRAIGHT LOVE STORIES


14-sai no Koi (Manga)

One of the most natural, and most naturally awkward relationships in mangas that I know. Both are 14, but very mature for their age and others constantly respect them for how grown up they are. They can only really be childish around each other and it’s plain adorable to see them relish in that fact.


Otomen (Manga)

Asuka is a guy, who seems manly and intimidating, but deep inside he likes all things girly: pink, shiny & soft, cooking, sewing and caring, that’s what he’s all about. One day, he meets a girl who brings out that side in him and he’s scared what she’ll say when she finds out…


Kaichou wa Maid-sama (Manga & Anime)

Misaki has worked hard to be where she is today: student council president in a school predominently attended by guys, straight A student, physically strong and with a stable income to support her sickly mother, who’s raising Misaki and her sister on her own. The only problem is that her job is … being a maid in a maid café. If any of the guys from her school found out, she fears losing the respect she has worked so hard for. 
Enter Usui, a carefree, hella weird, hella good-looking guy, who somehow manages to get good grades and seven love confessions a day. Now guess who finds out Misaki’s secret?
Very sweet, very funny and Misaki is a great rolemodel.


SHOUNEN AI LOVE STORIES 


Seven Days (Manga)

Seryou is hugely popular and has thus decided to try test-runs with people who want to go out with him. For one week, he will be the boyfriend of whoever asks him out on Monday and will then decide whether or not he wants to keep it going. So far, he has dumped every single one of them. 
Shino finds himself intrigued by that mechanism, and jokingly suggests he could go out with him for a week. To his surprise, Seryou proceeds to do just that.


Itsuka Tomodachi ja Nakunaru to Shite Mo (Manga)

Tomo stays over at his friend’s place half of the time, because Shuuhei has a huge family, while Tomo’s own appartment is empty. Of course, there’s also another reason … but Shuuhei doesn’t know that yet.
Adorable, domestic and fluffy.


Blue Sky Complex (Manga)

Terashima is the school’s “delinquent” without ever having done anything to really earn that title. Still, he seems scary, so Narasaki is asked to supervise him as the library receptionist. Their time together is suprisingly peaceful, as they spend most of their time reading in silence ...and they can’t help becoming interested in each other.


SHOUJO AI LOVE STORIES


Ano Musume ni Kiss to Shirayuri o (Manga)

A little like a genderbent Kaichou wa Maid-sama, actually. Ayaka is hard-working, beautiful and always second place to Yurine, who spends her time sleeping in class and being spontaneously brilliant when the situation calls for it. Yurine has always felt isolated because others would just yield to her genius and leave her alone, but Ayaka is nowhere near doing that and fiercely declares that she will win against her - but for some reason, Yurine keeps following her around now?
(There’s also the beta-couple, consisting of Yurine’s cousin and her manager and …well, loads of other sidecouples)


Sasameki Koto (Manga & Anime)

Ushio falls in love with girl after girl, but nothing ever works out. Steadily by her side is Umika, who is clever and athletic and madly and quietly in love with Ushio. But she won’t ever tell her - because as her best friend she knows that she is absolutely not Ushio’s type


SPORTS

(sports mangas are always also coming of age stories, but I thought they deserved their own section)


Prince of Tennis (Manga & Anime)

So you thought you could only play, like, regular tennis with a racket and a tennis ball? FOOL! Mada mada da ne ~
But don’t worry, this anime will educate you thoroughly. It starts off normal enough, I mean yeah, Echizen is really, really good at tennis for a twelve-year-old (he looks older than that? Don’t worry, the 15-year-olds look like 30-year-old men), but that’s about it. Then, slowly, the reality altering powers of tennis players start to evolve: drawing in the tennis ball with sheer mind power, becoming a “demon” with bloodshot eyes, kage bunshin no jutsu, … and that’s only the beginning!
But seriously, this series is great, because it never takes itself too seriously, the characters are varied and interesting, it’s just plain badass to watch Echizen overcome ridiculous obstacles and it can do impactful and emotional when it wants (the Tezuka/Echizen match in episodes 25/26 is almost a religious experience).


Haikyuu!! (Manga & Anime)

We all know them - the destined rivals in animes. They are each other’s wall to overcome, they will push each other higher and higher. Hinata, an easily excitable ball of energy and sunshine, has decided on his arch-rival in middle school: it’s Kageyama, the volleyball King of the Court, an arrogant and isolated genius from the opposite team. 
But come high school, the two of them find themselves in the same team! They will have to overcome their rivalry to become an inseperable and invincible team. Their relationship is the heart of the series, but this is such a genuine, positive series in general, that it’s hard to dislike any of the characters.

This is definitely a pick-me-up anime, when you’re feeling down.


Free!! (Anime) / Free! Eternal Summer (Anime)

I went into this hoping that it would be so bad that it’s good. To my suprise, I found that it was so good that it’s good.
I expected the following: swimming, fan service, hoyay, nonsensical plot
I got: swimming, fanservice, hoyay and one hell of a plot (also a lot of water allegories?)
This is not (just) about (half-)naked dudes standing around in swimming pools and looking at each other longingly, it’s about growing up, finding your path, making use of your talents, coming to terms with the past and moving into the future. This should be mandatory viewing for everyone on their 18th birthday. 
A beautiful series in every sense of the world.


COMEDY/ SLICE OF LIFE

(all of these are pure gold)


Sket Dance (Manga & Anime)

Bossun, Himeko and Switch are the ultimate comedy trio. Together, they form the Sket Dan, a club to help students with their problems. Pure random- and craziness ensues, but the series has an emotional core and the occasional tearjerker arc (seriously, some of these chapters hit deep. All of the three dorks above have their own tragic backstory). 

Sket Dance is one of the best mangas I know, full stop. Maybe because it shows that life can go on after a trauma and that you should always try to have fun, because you don’t know how long the good times last. What’s for sure, is that there is a sincerity about this series that can be found only very rarely.

(I recommend the manga, because I never really got into the anime, but hey, maybe it’s different for you)


Yankee-kun to Megane-chan (Manga)/
Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo (Manga & Anime)

Both by the same author and dominated by the same whacky humor, these series are everything you didn’t know you needed. 
Yankee-kun is about a delinquent who becomes friends with the school nerd (glasses and braids included), only to find out that she actually isn’t very smart. She is, in fact, pretty dumb, except for rare moments of lucidity. But well, so is he. Their saving grace lies in their empathy. Both are really good at helping people (in their own ways) and since they’re both loners, their first mission is to become good at school and find friends. What he doesn’t know, is that she, too, used to be a feared delinquent and has no idea how to act like a normal girl.
A series with a big heart and amazing puns. Also, a great motivation to study! :D
Yamada-kun is about a different delinquent, who crashes into Shiraishi, the smartest girl in school and notices that whenever their lips meet (= they kiss), they can swap bodies! Soon, these odd powers are all over school and it’s up to Shiraishi and Yamada to figure out just what is happening.

Both series are ultimately about outcasts finding a place to call home, and while it’s a familar trope, I’ve never seen it more charmingly applied than here.


Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Manga & Anime)

Nozaki is stoic, broad and silent. A man’s man. Who loves to read Shoujo mangas, and is currently writing one himself. When Sakura confesses to him, he thinks she’s a fan and hands her an autograph. She quickly clarifies that she’d like to spend more time by his side. So he makes her his assistant. And thus, a great, loving, pure-hearted comedy of the typical shoujo anime has started and continues to delight. 


Ouran High School Host Club (Manga & Anime)

Since Mori-kun (guy on the left) is basically Nozaki-kun (c’mon, you see it, too!), this makes for an appropriate follow-up: Ouran High School Host Club is a classic by now and it definitely should be. 
A host club is a club filled with attractive men, who flatter and flirt with women to make them feel like a princess. Tamaki is the proud founder of the host club at Ouran, a prestigious academy, reserved only for the offspring of the rich and famous - except for Haruhi, a smart, down-to-earth, sassy student, who got in on a scholarship and couldn’t care less about the glitz and glamour surrounding her. She just wants to get a good education, in peace, so that she can become a lawyer. 
Unfortunately, she breaks a vase in the host club and is immediately indebted to them. How should she repay them? With her body! As a host, that is, because everybody thinks she’s a guy. 
And thus begins Haruhi’s high school adventure, filled with eccentric senpais, weird customers and …

I definitely recommend the manga, because it goes on for much longer than the anime and also really digs into the characters. Especially towards the end, the manga becomes highly psychological and touching (while still being funny as hell).


Gakuen Babysitters (Manga)

Let’s end this on a sweet note: Gakuen Babysitters is ridiculously adorable, alternating between chapters that make you go “Awwwwwwww” and chapters that leave you speechless with cuteness and after which you will need to break something, to feel like a fully functioning person again.
It’s about two brothers who get adopted by the headmistress of a school, after their parents died in a car crash. To make up for their living expenses (and to be able to look after his younger brother) Ryuuichi has to work in the daycare centre in the afternoons and you’d be surprised what these kids get up to day after day (spoiler: mainly it’s being criminally huggable and squishy).


So, anon, you wanted, what? 20? Err, I hope that 40 or so will also be okay - I just wanted to include different genres for different tastes.
If you’re generally looking to get started, I’d recommend one from the comedy or masterpiece section.

I hope you’ll have a great time with these!

2

You are one of the luckiest signs, because you believe in following your wanderlust to your bliss and living life to the fullest. You seek to be a sage, and every aspect of your life seems to flow from that basic ambition. Extraordinary reading comprehension enhances your scholarship. And your yen for travel is a metaphor for your quest for knowledge. An abiding sense of optimism constitutes the soles of your vagabond shoes. Your gregarious personality and ability to navigate your way out of adversity fuels your faith in fun and adventure. You sing in the key of freedom, and that has definite implications for your love life. A conventional long-term relationship doesn’t appeal to you because it implies a restrictive commitment. Only one that would enable you to remain totally free would suit your idea of happiness. You would make a good single guy/gal, because routine crushes your spirit, and you want to see too much of the planet and its peoples to be anything but a nomad. Your happiness requires a multiplicity of stimuli, and you’re unlikely to settle down enough to suit a significant other who doesn’t understand your impulse to stay on the move. Your prognosis for happiness is high, indeed, because wherever you lay your hat is your home. People you meet along the way don’t feel like strangers; you hold friends close and your liberal wit and relaxed style put people at your feet. 

Ariana Grande Songs

Aries - Bang Bang

  • How it is when you enter the room - BANG BANG!

Taurus - Best Mistake

  • It’s not easy for you to admit when you make a mistake but when you do its pretty damn special

Gemini - Baby I

  • Your talkative nature affects you when you want to express your feelings

Cancer - One Last Time

  • The hold that the past has on you, you find it very hard to let go

Leo - Problem

  • For the Indepedent women

Virgo - Almost is Never Enough

  • Almost is never enough for you, you always strive for perfection

Libra - Right There

  • The costumes from this video is just…PERF for you

Scorpio - Love Me Harder

  • For the sexy Goddesss

Sagittarius - Honeymoon Avenue

  • The travelling metaphor is perfect for the sign who loves to travel

Capricorn - The Popular Song

  • Shows your love for proving someone wrong

Aquarius - Break Free

  • You are so futuristic

Pisces - The Way

  • Shows the deep deep affection that you have in love
Why I find Zootopia both moving and IMPORTANT

Zootopia is more than a good movie.  Zootopia is so moving to me, it aches.  In this feeling, I know I’m not alone.  As I write this, there is over 700 million dollars worth of proof that it has touched millions of people worldwide.  This is something no one anticipated.  Out of nowhere, Zootopia has emerged to touch us in a way that goes far beyond what we might expect from even an inventive and artfully told animal fable (of which Zootopia most certainly is).

This is because it is not really about the adventurous police caper.  

Zootopia is a movie about possibility.

Zootopia’s true story is about two, dare I say real, characters, each who enter the story with their own views and blind spots and barriers and foibles, and who sail the messy seas together.  Over the course of the film, Judy and Nick travel way more than the metaphorical 211 miles between Bunnyburrow and Zootopia.  Through their escapades together, their personal journeys are immense.  

That is the true heart of Zootopia.  We bear witness to the deep and profound insights and growth that rocks each of them to their very core.  To be clear, these are not superficial shifts, minor adjustments of character or the learning a quick and easy slogan.  They are foundational.  The Nick and Judy who dance together at the end of the movie are not the same Nick and Judy as those we met at the beginning.  

Furthermore, everything is on display.  Zootopia is not necessarily a “positive” movie.  It presents no magic moments.  Throughout the movie, they confront all manner of existential and philosophical barriers, and they deal with them.  Judy and Nick earn their transformations because they work for it.  They make serious mistakes.  They take risks.  They let themselves be vulnerable.  Nothing is ever guaranteed.  They fail, and they go back.  

Consider what we see get transformed in the movie:  hidden bias, personal barriers, incidents from our past, broken friendships, societal and peer pressures, and fear.  We witness amazing examples of taking ownership, of apology and forgiveness, of empathy, of trust, and that anything can be worked out in communication.  We are reminded that we can fail without being a failure, and that we are never stuck in who we think we are, or who we think we have to be.  We can always choose, and we can always change.

Through it all, we follow Judy and Nick as they develop one of the most incredibly authentic friendships ever depicted in cinema, one forged in understanding and, by the end of the movie, in deep acceptance of each other. 

All of these, all in one movie.  That’s… beyond remarkable.  

Here’s the thing:  We are hungry for this.  

We want to journey, like Nick and Judy, towards the best versions of ourselves we can be.  

We want to be dragged, like Nick, kicking and screaming if need be, back to our own idealism of a world that can work for everyone, with no one left out.

We want to know, like Judy, how to handle a world that doesn’t always fit our hopes and dreams.

We want to find friendships where we truly feel at home.

We want to make a difference in this world.  

This is it.  This is what we all want in life.  These are the hopes and desires we all share.  And this is why this movie calls to us so strongly.  It not only touches our shared humanity, but celebrates it.  

And that is why Zootopia has captured our hearts so strongly, in so short a time.  Zootopia is a clarion call towards those aspirations that we have hidden and buried under resignation and overwhelm.

I’m going to make a bold declaration here:  Zootopia is more than just a good movie, Zootopia is IMPORTANT.

Stories are powerful.  Everything we know about ourselves, and about the world, is codified into stories.  Some of the stories we make up ourselves.  Most of the stories, we hear… and then make up something about.  Often, our mind doesn’t know which are which.  This conflux of narratives gives us our experience of life, and they tell us who we are, and who we are not, tell us who others are, and how others are not, and tell us how the world is, and how it is not.  

That’s why, when we see these kinds of possibilities and are shown wonderful examples of powerful transformation on the screen, they all becomes a part of us. Possibility begets possibility.  When possibilities are shared, they create space for possibilities for others.   They alter our worldview, and thus, our world.  

As we journey along with Nick and Judy, as we witness and experience their trials and triumphs, we too gain access to this world of possibility.

Equally important, we get to see that the path is not an open road.  It is one that is littered with pitfalls and upsets.  We equally get to see that is OK.  That is how it goes.  Not everything is fatal.  We can clean it up.  We can make amends.  We can forgive.  Things take time.  

Sometimes, there will be strong and entrenched forces in our way.  That too is OK.  That’s how it goes.  We can regroup and continue.  Rome (and Zootopia) wasn’t built in a day, nor did it fall apart in a day.  There is history there.  It takes time to write new history.  

And then, there lies the biggest barriers before us:  those within ourselves.  We’re all faced with incidents and failures in our past, our weaknesses, and our nagging, persistent, unproductive ways of being.  And yet… those weaknesses are just another reminder of something.  "Hey, glass half full,“ says Judy in her speech at the end of the movie, ” we have a lot in common!“

In both our desires and our faults, we share a common bond.  

We need this kind of storytelling.  We need this kind of experience.  Stories are potent because they can create experiences as real as our own.  Zootopia seeps deeper into us than we might expect because it talks directly to us, entering our imaginations with grace and honour and respect.  Zootopia possesses a visceral intimacy that bypasses our knowledge and our "yeah, buts…” to dance directly with our human spirit.  

The creators at Disney didn’t have to do this, of course.  They didn’t need to write this kind of insightful and profound meditation on life.  They could have made a silly movie filled with animal hijinks and called it a day.  That they didn’t speaks to their commitment to what storytelling can achieve.

The brilliance of Zootopia is in these two main characters.  Judy is us.  Nick is us.  They start in very different spaces and places.  Neither is a paragon of the animal kingdom.  But in the end, they achieve remarkable  wisdom, together.

Zootopia reminds us what who we truly want to be, opens us up to possibility, and shows us the path to take while giving us the gumption to see it through along the messy road.

That is everything great storytelling should do. 

—-

Read earlier entries in this series:

Part 1 – Apology, Forgiveness, and the Amazing Transformational Moments of Zootopia

Part 2 – Choice and Freedom

Part 3 – Hidden Biases, Here, There, and Everywhere