with all its no plot and nonsense i still loved this manga a lot

So, that first episode, huh? With the kidnapping an old man, and the not bothering to call an ambulance when he has a heart attack, and the ripping his prized possession in half right in front of him, and the challenging his panicked and crying grandson to a card game for no reason, and the general mweh heh heh-ing and villain vibes…it feels pretty damn out of left field compared with the sympathetic anti-hero characterization that the show goes with for the entire rest of the series.

And sure, the simple explanation is that the writers tried to cram two manga arcs into 20 minutes while cutting the actual plot and all the explicitly axe-murdery bits and then skipping directly to his lighter and softer post-coma personality, so of course the result was a nonsensical mess. But is there any way to reconcile Pilot Kaiba with rest-of-the-series Kaiba?

Maybe the key is his lack of pupils. 

No, seriously.

Keep reading

I need to talk about Kid a bit

Yes movie 19 inspired me but like, I’m constantly trying to rationalize why he’s just so damn popular. I mean, what makes me so excited to see him appear, to defy reality and interact with the cast?

I’ve mused on it for a while and came up with a few personal, meta reasons why he’s a recipe for success.

Keep reading

Getting to “Noh” Cosplay, and how it helps society at large.

So, time for a few POSITIVE words about cosplay:

A Fireman, a Gynecologist, A movie Star, and a Schizophrenic all walk into a bar.  Bartender says “What’ll it be?” and each one in turn orders a drink… they all sit down at a table, and have a lovely evening…….

Oh… wait… that wasn’t funny… I was supposed to open with something funny.  What would make that funny? ah, yes, it would be the conflict you would expect from this group of very different people meeting together.  

But what would make these people from very different walks of life come together?  What could transcend age, race, gender, social class, education, occupation, in order to bring all these starkly different individuals together to share a few drinks, and a few laughs? Is is some kind of Illuminati-style-secret-society?  Some 1980’s “Cannonball Run” movie plot? No!  Its Cosplay!

Cosplay?  What’s cosplay?  Isn’t  that some kind of weird fetish?  “Oh kids these days!” … Well, you may know someone who is a cosplayer…that unassumingly normal person standing in front of you on line at 711 might be a cosplayer, and you would never even know it!  

Cosplay is a portmanteau for costume-play, and it is a growing subculture.  It can be defined, quite simply, as putting on a costume in an effort to embody that specific character. Some define Cosplay as a subculture that began in Japan, with the popularity of Manga and Anime, and made it over to the US at the turn of the century. Now, you may be thinking: “ We have a name for that: Halloween.  We have one day, set aside, for all this childish nonsense.  I don’t need to see batman buying milk at the gas station on a random Thursday night.”

However, I beg to differ.  Cosplay is not new.  It is something that has been a part of every culture, in every corner of the globe, since the time of the caveman.  Without it, there would be Anarchy. Anarchy?!  Surely I must be joking! What does a caveman have to do with this green woman standing before you?  Furthermore, how could my cousin dressing up like Harry Potter and embarrassing the whole family possibly keep anarchy at bay?

When you think of a caveman… you can envision them sitting around the fire, putting skulls of animals on their heads and reenacting the hunt.  Tribesmen of  Native Americans created elaborate costumes and danced out the stories of their Gods.  The Ancient Greeks defined what we know as modern theater, building amphitheaters where people could gather and experience the stories that were acted out before them.  In Japan, Noh theater, with its elaborate masks and costumes was born out of the Buddhist concept of Noh, which translates to: the connection of the audience with the actor.  Then we had Shakespeare…and oh, a few hundred years of live theater where people would come together as groups, and become enthralled with the story as the experienced the emotions, the drama, the fantasy…right along with the actors before them. … But then, something changed.

Movies came along… and then television…eventually, the internet.  And although sometimes we still gathered as an audience to witness these stories…they were now on a screen, and not in our physical presence.  With the advent of special effects and CGI the visuals became more dazzling and “realistic”.  To top it all off, reality TV became a staple.  Now anyone can be a star!!!  You do not need any training, talent, or even human decency to be famous!!!

But that Japanese Buddhist concept of “Noh”, of the connection between the audience and the actor…. was lost.

That little spark of magic, that “Noh”  is so important to me!  I remember my first Trick or Treating. I was about 3 years old.  My mom painted a clown face on me with greasepaint…which I promptly smeared all around!  When we finally got outside, my mom kept having to chase after me, because every time I saw another child in costume I’d yell “It’s Batman!!!”  "Theres Spiderman!!!“ "Oh mom look!!! a real Vampire!!!” I don’t remember one other little detail about being 3 years old, but that feeling has stayed with me for the rest of my life. It is that magic that I still feel when I see one of my favorite characters in the flesh at a convention.  

If you haven’t had that experience, I would say that it is similar to the feeling you get when your favorite song unexpectedly is playing on a radio, and all of the lyrics seem to eerily synchronize with the events that are going on at that very moment of your life. Or the thrill of your underdog sports team gaining a seemingly impossibly victory!  But we all know that it is a very different experience in between watching your favorite sports team playing on TV, and going to watch the game in person, maybe even getting the chance to snap a picture with your favorite player?

Cosplay is actually a lot like sports, just for a different set of individuals.  Just like in sports, there are players, and there is an audience.  The players spend time and dedication honing their skills in practice, so when the big day comes, everything is on point, ready for the game- which is much like a performance. The audience cheers, boos, and is engaged mentally and emotionally with the players… here again is that Japanese concept of “Noh” !  

Just like in sports, there are levels to cosplay.  Some people just like to get together with friends and shoot some hoops. Others spend every waking moment of their lives trying to make it to the top.  

So we can see that cosplay is something that engages people socially; in a time when few of us can be bothered too look up from our phones and experience the world around us. Cosplay forces us to look, to pay attention to what is happening in this very moment.  To have an experience, however brief, with another real, live, person.   My failed joke at the beginning of this talk was actually loosely based on real life experience (and now you are wondering  "Is she the Gynecologist or the schizophrenic?“…and I’ll just let you keep wondering about that!!) But the moral of the story is that through cosplay I have had the ability to connect with oodles of people I would have never interacted with based on my lifestyle, my skin color, my education…and <mumbles> my credit score.  

In fact, one of my favorite things about cosplay is how it transcends race. (Yes, I just hit the hot button issue!!!) I can remember going to the buffet after a convention with some friends, no time to shower, so I am still the green woman you see before you.  There was a family of many people having a LOUD debate about what my true skin color was under the paint.  For some people, its the first thing that they ask me..because…when you are green, its actually difficult to discern it otherwise. People think I’m Indian, South American, all kinds of lovely exotic things.  But more often, people say to me, "you know, its so strange to see you without bodypaint!  I guess I always just assumed green was you natural skin color!” Its these people, these individuals, that give me hope for the future of humanity.  

I am a geek, a nerd, whatever you want to call it…I grew up with my nose in a book, Avoiding gross human contact at all costs! This caused me to be a socially awkward individual.  I didn’t really know how to relate to my peers who I  had nothing in common with, so I just pushed people away. I’m sure all of us, at some point have felt this way.  Now, attending a crowded convention hall full of people is the direct opposite of what you would assume socially awkward person would want to do. Yet we come in droves! We travel for days and spend exorbitant amounts of money just to be there.  One of the reasons for this is that cosplay is empowering!…. Billy might get bullied at school… but he can put on a Thor costume and be a god at the convention!  People marvel at his costume, take his picture, and he meets other Thors, who share his interests, and may share his problems with bulling at school. Sarah has poor self esteem about her looks and her body…she clearly has not kept up with the Kardashians. No girls want to be her friend, and no boys will even look at her in school.  But Sarah can put on a Wonder Woman costume for one weekend, and feel like she can conquer the world!!!  People are complimenting her, snapping pictures, just like she is on the red carpet…and when she goes back to school on Monday, she stands a little straighter, walks with more confidence, and feels better about the girl who she sees in the mirror every day.  

But where there are heroes…there dwell villains..and <feigns shock> anti-heroes!?  Why?  Why would someone, especially a child, want to dress up like something bad, something unsavory, something eeevvviiillll? Since the dawn of man, we have used our imaginations to safely explore our darker sides.  The writer who created the villain certainly had to do so.  So inherently, there must be human parts of these darker characters that everyone can relate to.  Would you prefer that Paul be that weird kid who likes to dress up like the Punisher; or would you think it better that he keeps such ideas to himself?  Forcing himself into conformity, shoving down the weird, the bad, the ugly… until these unreleased urges boil over in an actual real life destructive, or self destructive act? So there you go! A very good example of how cosplay helps to keep anarchy at bay!!!  Now lets take a look at how cosplay can benefit individual’s brains.

Sure, there are more superhero movies and Anime coming out all the time…but superhero movies are based on comics, and Anime is derived from Manga.  So you might be surprised to find out that cosplayers are smarter then the average bear.  And not just because they read, but many of them are becoming the next generation of skilled craftsmen.  I can not stress the importance of this enough! Both reading and crafting strengthen your prefrontal cortex: the part of your brain responsible for organizing, strategizing, controlling impulsive and addictive behaviors.  A strong prefrontal cortex give you a better attention span, helps you deal with stress, and makes you more successful in life in general.


When people take your picture at a convention, or you have the thrill of seeing one of your favs in the flesh, the excitement of seeing another person who shares your passion, that connection, that “Noh” experience causes your brain to flood your body with dopamine and serotonin- your body’s natural happiness drug!  this makes you feel good, and then while you are on your own, crafting and reading, you connect those experiences with the real life experiences and wham-bam-thankyou mam! more happiness drug is released into your system!  

Research psychologist Amy Cuddy proved that holding “power poses” or Alpha stance (and yes, the classic wonder woman pose is included in these) holding these poses, for as little as two minutes lowers your cortozol: (that’s the stress hormone that makes you sad and fat) and raises your testosterone (that the “take the bull by the horns” hormone) Where as holding  shy or withdrawn pose has the opposite effect!  So grandpa telling you to stand up straight isn’t just being old fashioned…he’s trying to make you a happier person! Now, what do we do when we cosplay?  We power pose!!  All day long!!!!  If just two minutes can have an actual physiological effect… imagine what an entire day of power posing can do for you?!!!

Another “take my breath away moment” that happens at conventions is this:  last weekend, I had an entire conversation with Mario.   Yes, Mario the plumber, known for kicking koopa’s butts and saving princess'  yeah, that Mario.  An absolute stranger came up to me an interacted with me as his character .  I didn’t ask him to…I wasn’t even dressed in a costume from the same universe.  But we went on for a good 5 minutes, just bantering back and forth about the treachery  of warp zones, where the next castles where the princess might be found, etc. For five brief minutes….we were playing pretend….just like children!  

There are plenty of experiments done on rats, and “studies” done on children that prove that interactive plat has a plethora of benefits .  Its another activity helps to strengthen our prefrontal cortex that as we explored earlier helps you to problem-solve creatively, reduce impulse behavior, and helps you to be happier and less frustrated with the world around you.  Psychiatrist  Stuart Brown shows in his book Play  that adult play can foster harmony between adults, in families, in the workplace, and even in relationships. The importance of play time for children can not be understated . During playtime  children learn social and physical  boundaries  with their peers, They learn the essence of cooperation, develop stronger language and communication skills then children who play less.  Remember Our Thor, Wonder Woman, and Punisher from earlier?  All these kids have a bright, happy, and social future ahead of them!

So its easy to conclude that cosplay is a great way to play with your kids!!!  In a busy world, why sit staring at your phone agonizingly  waiting for your child’s play-date to be over, when you could be fulfilling your childhood fantasy of being Green Lantern? I’m sure most of you have seen the viral “bat-dad” videos…you can’t deny that they make you smile!  And if you don’t have children…play with each other !!!  Be that dad, that mom, that brother, sister or friend!  It doesn’t matter if you have an expensive costume, or you wrapped a towel around your neck imbue your old class ring with power!  

I hope that I have shown you that cosplay is not “dangerous”, “antisocial” or “frivolous ”.  Hopefully you understand why its important not to shun your weirdo cousin who dressed up Like Harry potter….Because if you stripped Humanity of all its technology, its electricity, its fossil fuels … we would still be left with our imaginations.  And fortunately , all we need to create the magic of “Noh”, this sacred connection that has existed since time before time….. is me, you, and a little imagination!!!     

An Honest Review

Hey, some of ya’ll may remember me as the girl who had to wait three hours in line and still didn’t get a ticket. Well … 

Guess who finally got a seat~ (note: I regret this picture)

Okay, so first things first, if you’ve been convincing yourself this movie is shit because of yahoo.jp reviews, stop.

I would recommend not taking those at face value because A) Antis always have louder voices, and B) I’ve been looking at a lot of the reviewers who gave low stars – English usernames – and many of the low reviews written are written in either English or rudimentary/nonsensical Japanese (which makes me think people are screwing with Google Translate to fool others into thinking they’re Japanese).

As for 2ch? In Japan its users have the same reputation as users of 4chan in America do- which is not good.  In the circles I run with, the users on 2ch are known to be internet bullies – not saying that they all are – but if you’re going to find the most hated internet site in Japan, it’d be 2ch.  It’s overwhelmingly dominated by teenage/college age guys who, from what I’ve seen, display some pretty misogynistic tendencies. So it’s understandable that if you find a review from 2ch it’s gonna be a guy who’s pissed that the movie is more “feminine” and a love story rather than a straight shounen film. Take the opinions on the movie you find on there with a grain of salt.

As for people boycotting the movie? Yeah, that’s so not true. Like … where did y’all even find that … Anyways, The Last opened #1 in the box office, and on Saturday, broke 2 billion yen (a record for the franchise). Overall it’s doing 156% better than its predecessor.  

When I went to go see it on a Tuesday school night in Shibuya, the theatre was about 90% full. So I would personally say that it’s doing pretty well.

Also, there are a lot of people spreading around false information about the movie - many who haven’t even seen it themselves. 

- Naruto and Hinata weren’t bffs in their childhood. Hinata had one flashback about Naruto which was significant to her. 

- When you see them running around as kids - that’s a genjutsu. 

Naruto is still Naruto - like what the hell, he isn’t even remotely out of character? 

Plus dozens of more I don’t have the time to address. It’s fine if you hate the movie, but don’t spread lies about it just because you’re unhappy. 

Okay, so on to the review.

Cons:  

Crowded Plot: The movie tries to fit in a lot in an hour and a half, and you can tell. Sometimes it’s even a bit convoluted. While this is a story about love, it’s still a shounen. And it seemed that the writers tried to unsuccessfully balance both action and romance. But also, if you look at in context it doesn’t seem to strange. Most shounen manga have ridiculously convoluted plots.

Also they tried to fit in fan favorites, but there wasn’t any time to show them properly, giving us a tantalizing peek but leaving us ultimately unsatisfied. They tried to do too much with too little time, I think.

Damsel-in-Distress-Disease: Okay, so we all know Naruto at this point is as powerful as a god. So they made the villain, Toneri, equally god level. And with these god-tier powers, Toneri can specifically telekinetically restrain Hinata with a look or a touch or a weird ball of green light that you’ll find out about later, which essentially makes her a damsel in distress in need of saving.

Pros:

Hinata: Hinata is very much in love Naruto, yes. But that’s not all she is. We sometimes have a hard time remembering this because Studio Perriot and Kishimoto have recently been showing her life revolve around Naruto. In this movie, the Hinata we know from part one – the one who wanted to heal her family – returns. Essentially, she sacrifices her love for Naruto to go behind enemy lines to save her little sister and stop Toneri’s chaos as its source.

*+10 to Hinata for personally removing Hanabi’s eyes from Toneri’s head.

Supporting characters: It was a nice to see how Naruto and Sakura’s relationship solidified into something akin to an older sister and her dumb kid brother.

Love Story: All shipping aside, this love story was believable and cute and emotional. There were a group of high school girls in front of me sniffling. And I’m not gonna lie, my eyes were watering.  People say that Naruto is out of character in this movie – he’s not. He’s the same as he’s always been. Happy, simple, oblivious, and passionate. Characterization is spot on I think.

It’s very natural in how it shows the progression of their relationship. Friendship, realization, and then finally, love (albeit a little bit cheesy), but still good.

Favorite things: Sakura and Hinata’s relationship. Incredible animation. Note, it’s also incredibly creepy/disturbing at times in the best way possible. The opening sequence. And several other things.

Overall: I’d give it a solid 3.75/5 stars. What made this movie great was Hinata and Naruto’s budding relationship, but it was hindered due to messy writing  (which is a tradition in the series it seems).  

rainstickdays  asked:

Ok in Crystal is it just me or has all of the lgbt stuff that made the original so iconic been stripped completely clean? I'm actually worried that when Haruka and Michiru appear they'll be like... Sisters and have they're own boyfriends or something. Y'know, something to affirm them as hetero. It might be due to the cut down nature of the plot but this is something that really annoys me.

I wouldn’t say all of it has been stripped out- Usagi’s literally swooning over Rei upon meeting her was actually something the original 90s anime actually toned down, and the original anime also had Rei profess interest in boys for no apparent reason and gave the girls potential love interests (Urawa for Ami and Yuuichiro for Rei- and Minako’s backstory as Sailor V was changed from her literally choosing her the Senshi over her first serious serious guy crush and killing him to protect her princess, later declaring that yeah, she values her princess over any potential heterosexual attraction and is fulfilled as long as she has her girlfriends (stating this WHILE REI IS HANGING ALL OVER HER SUGGESTIVELY)….to an older man not being attracted to her so she’s totes heartbroken). 

So I can’t pretend the original 90s anime did not add lots of needless heterosexual affirmation. It did. That’s a fact. 

What the original 90’s anime was, is much better written than Crystal, and any dalliances with boys were always incidental to the plot and also. though not as directly stated as in the manga, pretty easily trumped by female friendships. Minako gave up LoveInterestMcVolleyball (what even was his name) to continue fighting with her friends, even if she didn’t explicitly state that. Rei pretty much stated she valued her friendship with Usagi way more than any attraction she had to Mamoru.  And there’s no way they didn’t know what they were doing with some of the moments they had between Usagi and Rei down the line.

Usagi was willing to attack and potentially kill Evil!Mamoru to honor her friends sacrifices and even refused to kiss him because her friends had died without romantic happiness, and if they don’t get it, she’s not getting it.

The 90’s anime did add in a lot of pointless heterosexuality, but it showed bonds b/t women as most important and there was a general “sisters before misters” undertone there. It also balances the sting of the pointless heterosexuality by developing the relationships b/t the girls way more than the manga ever did. And added additional queer stuff like Kunzite/Zoisite, at least.

Crystal kept Usagi’s super gay reactions to meeting all her girlfriends,something the 90s anime failed on re: Rei and stuff, but then chose to be really hyperfocused on Usagi’s relationship with Mamoru even more than the manga was- cutting out really small important moments of the girls interacting (Mako’s rabbit of the moon crack, everyone hanging out w/ Rei teasing Usagi and Mako comforting her) even. 

And then of course it decided to give all the inners SUPERDESTINED male love interests that did not exist in the manga (sans Minako/Kunzite implications, which again existed in the manga mostly to show how Minako has always put her duty to her princess and allies before a man) which yeah, I do consider erasing queer undertones in the original manga mostly because REI. DOESN’T. LIKE. MEN. AND. EXPLICITLY. STATED. SHE. NEVER. WILL. IN. THE. MANGA. AND. ABSTAINED. FROM. THEM. IN. HER. PAST. LIFE.

This is a decision worse than the 90s anime made because these love interests aren’t incidental, forgettable and always secondary to female friendships- because in Crystal Senshi x Shittenou are set up as this HUGE IMPORTANT DESTINY thing that is JUST as important as the inners relationship with Usagi if not more so. They gave up fighting the Shittenou bc of their love even though it would mean danger to Usagi. I’ve seen arguments that it’s because the Shittenou were victims rather than feelings for them, but there’s really nothing in the text to support that- Usagi interrupts the Shittenou attacking the Senshi by yelling something to the affect of “don’t take advantage of girls in love!” so. I’d love to believe that, but Crystal isn’t giving me any reason to 

I mean, you can’t even blame it on shock because Minako knew. She knew beforehand. And she still gave up here (and that makes no sense bc she was willing to attack Kunzite before IN THE SHOW so…whatever bad writing).

So yeah, the potential to read Rei as homoromantic/aromantic ace is gone. Kunzite/Zoisite was a 90s anime thing so that’s gone.  A lot of it has been stripped away- all that remains is the bisexuality of Usagi expressed in earlier episodes and that’s dropped as soon as she and Mamoru become a thing. But most damning over all, we don’t have a vibe of female friendships being the most important. We have a CLEAR vibe of “every girl needs a man who is everything to her”. There’s this really neatly matched set of Senshi/Shittenou and this whole BECAUSE DESTINY reason they have to be bonded, and that’s really bizarre. A girl is destined for a man. All of them. That’s the message. Clumsily adding Senshi x Shittenou like this ruined a lot of things.

You can still read the Senshi as bi if you struggle, but you shouldn’t have to struggle. There’s no indication of bi-ness for any of them except Usagi at this point in Crystal, while there were much stronger undertones in the manga.

Re: Haruka and Michiru- yeah, I’m also at the point where I don’t want Crystal to touch them.

To be real here, Haruka and Michiru were already not very well done in the manga- the manga was more overt about Haruka’s queerness in that she kissed another girl on panel and the manga included pretty serious confirmation Usagi was bi by having her genuinely struggle with her attraction to Haruka- but Haruka and Michiru’s relationship itself? Was not developed at ALL. That was all the anime. It’s the 90s anime that made their relationship great and memorable, and was a big part of making their characters memorable.

In the manga, we got Haruka really seriously aggressively hitting on Usagi and no indication of how that was affecting her relationship with Michiru, which honestly  makes Haruka look like a terrible girlfriend and also the plot point kind of dropping weirdly- I do interpret the whole thing as Haruka being confused about her feelings for Usagi and not realizing they were “destined princess” feelings, rather than attraction, and then their relationship settling into a sisterly one once they cleared that up, but it’s kind of a matter of interpretation where it really shouldn’t be.

My hope for a more manga-faithful reboot was that we’d take the aspects I thought were interesting regarding manga Haruka/Michiru’s storyline- the indication that Haruka was genderfluid/genderqueer, Usagi questioning her sexuality after meeting Haruka, only have this explored even more, with Usagi explicity coming to the conclusion “yeah I guess I like girls too”,….Haruka having confusing feelings about Usagi only ACTUALLY SHOW HOW THIS IMPACTS HER RELATIONSHIP WITH MICHIRU, GIVE THEM BACKSTORY AND DEVELOPMENT, HAVE CONFLICT, HAVE HARUKA BE REALLY TORN AND UPSET ABOUT THESE FEELINGS, AND THEN SHOW THE ISSUE BEING RESOLVED AND HARUMICHI’S RECONCILIATION ONCE THE TRUTH IS REVEALED… and yeah, give their relationship the same level of care and development as anime! Harumichi.

ALSO HAVE THEM KISS ONSCREEN.

But it’s very, very clear Crystal isn’t going to do that and is INSTEAD likely to make the whole issue with manga! Haruka and Michiru WORSE. Going by Crystal, they’ll stick to the manga but add way more nonsensical, infuriating things that damage the characters. I can only see the whole Haruka x Usagi bit becoming more problematic- I can imagine like, Crystal keeping Haruka’s shit behavior and leaving out the parts where Usagi felt attraction back. Having Haruka explicitly continue to pine over the straight girl and closing off the wiggle room for interpretation the manga at least provided. I can only see Crystal as making Haruka and Michiru with the problems the manga had but worse. And though i really doubt they’d be given a boyfriend even in Crystal, it’s sadly not outside the realm of possibility now.

However, I do at least have high hopes for a third musical if its made- the NEW musicals have shown a pattern of taking the manga but making major improvements, excising flaws and including more character and relationship development for the girls who need it.

There’s a high possibility this would happen with Haruka and Michiru in a new third musical- we’d stick to a lot of the stuff in the manga, but we’d get girlkisses (well the new musicals always have girl kisses bc all female cast, but you know what I mean), references to genderqueerness and more focus on the relationship with the nonsensical and problematic parts of_ the manga reworked, toned down and removed. 

SO LET’S ALL JUST HOPE FOR THAT AND FORGET ABOUT CRYSTAL, I GUESS IT WHAT I’M SAYING. PLEASE COME TO ME, S MUSICAL. YOUR PLANET NEEDS YOU.