Seasonal Anime Brings In The Views!

Well. That’s obvious to anyone who watches the marketing tactics of big anitubers like Mother’s Basement. Riding off of seasonal hype brings views regardless of the content…
But that’s all it does.

I was all happy today when I looked at my stats page in WordPress. It’s been almost two week since I’ve had a day with less than 20 views. The other day I had 44 views from 41 visitors- and I’m like, go home WordPress, you’re drunk. I also cracked 2.5k views just earlier this week. While I complained not too long ago that some of my least favorite posts get the most views, I actually made one not too long ago that did pretty well in terms of views!Screenshot (4)
100 views! That makes it the most viewed post on my blog! And it was about shipping lesbians, so I was able to plug for Umineko as well! Well, I’m sure there are lots of great comments out of 100 views, either agreeing with me or arguing the other way…
Or not.Image result for hanebado
Seriously. I had one person comment on my post, and it was only to say that they weren’t very interested in the series, rather than anything I explicitly said… Like, I thought that it was really important to figure out whether Hanebado was just yuri baiting, or whether sapphic romance is a legitimate motivator for its two protagonists. I mean, teen romance isn’t always riveting, but rates way higher than some mother complex…
Or I just have terribly weird taste. I mean, I was bored to tears by Erased, and some people praise it as being great in some way. To me, it was just a mess of mediocrity besides the OP and ED…

I mean, I love Sayuri’s anime songs as much as the next guy, but they don’t make up for the show’s lack of depth, messages, realized characters, or the copout ending. (seriously, I would petition for comas to be banned from being plot devices in any story)
But when I say this, it goes without saying that this is my opinion. If questioned I would support this opinion with moments from the anime, but that does not mean that I reject any value people find in the series. If there was some real sick symbolism that made it an instant 9/10 for you, I’m honestly curious. When I say arguments in regards to how good a show is, I obviously mean that I want to weigh the pros and cons-
And for those skeptical of what the point of discussion is, it’s to further critical thinking when it comes to the quality of anime. Because, to me, hiding oneself from the opinion of others isn’t showing any belief in one’s feelings towards a work. I think that if you really love a series, and feel pride in that feeling, then you can find a great deal in catharsis by owning that feeling. There are also other benefits…
I personally love the Monogatari Series! I love it so much, I try to provoke discussion about it whenever I can. And despite actively trying for almost a year, I’ve only heard someone mention the relation between Monogatari‘s meta-story (specifically examining the relation between stories and individuals) and its explicit references to cinematic storytelling through the use of black and red in-between cards.

Image result for monogatari kuro
red.

It’s such a nice detail, and people keep asking about the purpose of it, but because people are easily satisfied, they dismiss it as being ‘artsy’. I found a real long post where someone just pointed out each specific use, before deciding that there was ultimately no purpose… Apparently they must’ve watched a version where they forgot to sub the ‘scene number’ bit at the bottom.
Basically, by not arguing, people assumed that these were extraneous characteristics of the series that dragged down its presentation. A well woven and deliberate artistic and thematic choice is somehow seen as a whimsical- all because people aren’t critical enough.
It’s okay if you get the point but still think that it ruins your personal experience- and that’s especially true in Monogatari where there are sexual scenes that compliment the narrative, but you may argue that they are over the top despite their importance.
Simultaneously, it’s also totally okay if you didn’t get the point. There’s tons of stuff about my favorite series’ that I didn’t understand on my own. And that’s really the greatest part about discussion! While criticism may expose and explain how damaging some flaws may be- it is also just as liable to reveal and demonstrate how thoughtful some creative decisions may be to a series! Image result for monogatari reference
Long story short, that is the reverse side of me poking jabs at certain series. I don’t want to hate any series. As a positive person, I’ve always loved seeing how a series succeeds. Even if I say I hate a series, perhaps there is some part of it that I simply didn’t understand because of my narrow viewpoint. If so, I invite you to explain your stance on- well, really any one of my posts.
My favorite anime list has been pretty stagnant for the past few months, so I’m always ready for fresh shows to join the list. If you’re the same, then this whole thing can be a mutually beneficial exchange in utilitarian terms… although, I’ll be honest- comments are just real nice to see.

And what is the connection to this and the original preface of this post? Well, I was worried that I was being a bit scary with my know-it-all edgy attitude. And while I think that to assume any part of life is constantly safe is dumb…Image result for monogatari red light
I also know that some people are probably a little bit shy. The worst part about being shy is a principle called ‘increasing marginal returns’. Opportunities lead to more opportunities, and knowledge leads to greater knowledge- so holing yourself away from interactive experiences with other people can really set you back.
Sure, a lot of people are grossly incompetent at life, so comparatively most lost opportunities seem unimportant… But aspiring towards mediocrity in life usually ends in regret and disappointment. Even if it’s not on my posts, I really encourage you readers to comment when you’re interested in someone’s opinions. You never know when you’ll find a kindred spirit or a nice bit of trivia…

Image result for mayoiga another
Mayoiga and Another share the same director! (take that MAL)
Advertisements

My Changing Tastes In Anime

If you were to plot the rate of my anime consumption against the time I’ve been watching anime, it would peak right around the middle.

Image result for curve

See, I had a real narrow taste when I first got into anime. It was all action, but only edgy action like Tokyo Ghoul or Blood+! It wasn’t until I stumbled across Future Diary that I finally began to accept other genres in anime. It wasn’t long after that, but I eventually ended up consuming anime in mass quantities.
Seasonal anime, isekai anime, harem anime, I would watch it all. As someone who could easily get attached to almost any plot, it felt like a failure on my part if I didn’t complete every anime I started under 25 episodes!
But recently it’s been real different…
Over the course of the last year, my anime consumption has dropped sharply… I’m hardly keeping up with three shows this season, as compared with the dozen I watched weekly last year. I’d contribute two reasons to this-

Image result for tokyo ghoul re funny
“Hey, let’s just put action lines and still frames over all most of the fight scenes!”

1. I’ve become a lot more critical of smaller things. If a show’s annoying me, I start noticing shortcuts in the animation, and how boring fight animation tends to be…
Honestly, I didn’t think it would be a bad thing. I only come to like good anime more through criticism. Although that brings me to the second one-

 

2. There aren’t many anime that interest me coming out. I’m sorry, there’s only so many escapist fantasies I can stomach. How Not To Summon A Demon Lord is a prime example of all the plot elements I despise in almost any story I see…

Image result for how not to summon a demon lord brother
Even their obvious rape face is boring and uncreative.

Like, there’s a blond prince who plays his own entrance music on a flute, who also happens to monologue about wanting to rape his sister… Though we already know he’s evil, cus anyone who tries to take away a main character’s harem is evil! They just really went overboard with cramming every villain stereotype they could into him, huh? Honestly, depressing!
I am kinda interested to see if Hanebado will end up crushed under the weight of its melodrama, but that makes it a little stressful to watch. Happy Sugar Life is also real extreme in its depiction of everything… but that’s a positive! I can just treat it as a black comedy and hold a bit of hope that it can tell an interesting story…
But honestly, the airing show I’m most interested in is a series of monthly OVAs!

Image result for todays menu for emiya family gif
My love of Fate/ vs my desire to watch seasonal trash

Today’s Menu For The Emiya Family is the most well-intentioned cash-grab I have seen from anime! It takes the already established characters of the famous Fate/ franchise… and it drops them into a moe hell of a cooking show! Without fail, there is always at least one 2-3 minute scene of a character cooking and listing step by step instructions to follow along at home-
And I just find that terribly interesting. Considering its tendency to morph its characters into adorable moeblobs, I thought cooking would just be a vehicle the show uses to show its characters being cute. I thought this show would simply be a ‘cute girls doing cute things’ show featuring Fate/.
Image result for todays menu for emiya family gif

And I thought that would be fine. After all Fate/ has some of the best character designs around. Just take a moment to see this show and compare it to the recent Ufotable adaptation of Unlimited Blade Works or Heaven’s Feel. Regardless of artstyle, the characters remain distinct and memorable. They can wear all sorts of clothes and still look good, and I thought this show would exploit that.
And while I was correct in predicting that the show would be liberal in its use of clothing and character designs…
Image result for todays menu for emiya family illya
I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was meaning to be found in Today’s Menu For The Emiya Family. If you watch a lot of ‘cute girls doing cute things’ anime, then you’ll realize that most of them emphasize the ‘cute girls’ part, rather than the ‘cute things’ part. To me, that demonstrates a cynicism towards the subject matter. After all, the most dominant marketing tactic in anime is to sell cute girls. (though selling bishounen is an equally base marketing tactic)
And that’s why I love Today’s Menu For The Emiya Family. It has a beloved cast, and yet it decides to spend a good quarter of its runtime every episode to make an (admittedly well-animated) cooking tutorial! The premise is not subservient to the cast… and yet the cast is still moe as can be! The Emiya Family is an iyashikei that successfully integrates the premise of cooking, while still having cute moments to spare with its characters.Image result for today's menu for emiya family cooking gif
One episode can be spent with Shirou being roped into making sandwiches for some helpless adults, while another can have the cast immersing Illya with Japanese culture, or the focus could even shift to Rin being a tsundere sister who can’t admit how happy she is that her little sister looks up to her. The animation is expressive, and the comedy is nice, but the real appeal is the warm feeling you get watching all these characters be happy…

Image result for todays menu for emiya family
Young Taiga btw

Because, you see, the original Fate/Stay Night visual novel, consisting of three main routes, is very messed up. It is a battle to the death between 8 7 human masters and 9 7 servants. No matter which character you care about, even if they survive one route, they will end up being brutalized in another. But regardless of all this pain, Fate/Stay Night is about finding light in the darkness. It’s about recognizing the tragedies around you, yet still finding meaning and happiness.
And that’s why an iyashikei where the most loved characters of Fate/Stay Night all happily eat together isn’t out of place. If you were to remove the grail and the evil manipulators behind the ‘Holy Grail War’, then this is what you would get. The Emiya Family is about finding community and meaning through making other people happy… And so, it’s thematically relevant. And cathartic.
Image result for today's menu for emiya family cooking kiritsugu
Also, Today’s Menu For The Emiya Family just puts a smile on my face! It’s fun and it’s cute, and I’m at a point in my life where I can admit that without any shame. Really, the characters are just great, and I want to spend more time with them. Seeing the characters build that sense of community, and well, family-
It gives me this feeling of joy that few anime can match.
But despite that, I’d feel bad if I didn’t mention the actual Fate/ comedy-Image result for carnival phantasm
Despite how much I just praised The Emiya Family, I don’t think it comes close to matching the glory of Carnival Phantasm. Maybe it’s because I have a penchant for self-referential comedy, but I don’t think I’ve seen a show yet that gives me a similar feeling as this show. I may not think it’s the best comedy anime…Image result for carnival phantasm gif
But man… this show had me on the floor! Definitely a must-watch for…
Well, pretty much anyone who knows too much about Fate/Stay Night and a little about Tsukihime
So, admittedly, very few people will be able to enjoy this series as much as I did-
But Today’s Menu For The Emiya Family is totally accessible! And it’s free on Crunchyroll! And it’s still airing! So there’s no reason not to watch that one! And maybe when you’re done with it, you might even feel inspired check out Carnival Phantasm!
Image result for todays menu for emiya family saber

 

Why I Should Never Be Allowed To Write Anything – Scheduling

I haven’t written one of these in awhile, have I? I guess the more dramatic my family is, the less I desire to write drama…

Like not kidding, it is not fun having your parents constantly on DEFCON 2! I love them both, but their constant bickering is like ice and fire. One’s so chill, it’s dispassionate. The other is so high-strung, it’s neurotic. And while I took a break last time because of the dispassion getting to me, the neurotic side is getting way worse. It may be all talk and no action, but I’m a super sensitive empathetic person, you know?

Related image

If I see someone getting upset, I feel upset. When they’re sad, I feel sad. When it’s over dumb stuff, that’s its own problem, but when I feel the same frustration but control it… It’s triply frustrating to get mad because someone’s getting mad for your sake! I wish people would just stop butting into my problems, because watching other people try to ‘share my burden’ only makes me feel more pain!

Lesson here is to know your audience. Don’t tell a self-aware person what their unsolvable problems are, because they’re already aware of it, okay? Stop hurting yourself and the other person for no reason other than your own self-satisfaction, please?

Related image
Don’t be like Akira from Devilman Crybaby. Especially as an adult. Please?

k, thx.

Alright, rant aside, I finally sat down to write a little bit. I’ve already written like four different posts for it, and this will be the fifth and sixth chapters. Criticism and opinions are always greatly appreciated!


Chapter 6

“Bastard…” a complaint escapes the mouth of the blond boy. I lean my head back to send him a challenging glare. Not missing anything, Gianna scolded the boy. “I don’t see why we’re sharing information with this retarded cripple.”
“I don’t see why I have to share a room with this baby-faced idiot,” I reply. Am I the only one who feels the urge to laugh at this blonde psycho whenever he opens his mouth? He’s like a rabid chihuahua that you just can’t help petting!
Gianna lets out a sigh. “Ed…” she sends a look around the room, as if debating her actions. “We need to find this murderer.”
The boy grumbles. “Wasn’t that what we were doing…” he sends a look over to the second girl in the room. It was a look like give me a hand here
“Well, the two of us kinda didn’t do anything on Tuesday…” the girl replied. “Or Wednesday… Or Thursday… Or-”
“Hey!” the boy began to blush under the accusing gaze of Gianna. “We were holding down the fort while she was out looking for clues… right?”
I think I get the picture here…
“But no one actually came here,” the girl replied, playing with her long blonde hair. Her big eyes looked towards Gianna for guidance. “And we just ended up playing Uno… So we weren’t really helping-”
“You weren’t even trying!?” immediately the short girl turns her indomitable fury on the blue eyed boy. “How are we supposed to help-” and just as soon as it came, her rage passes. Yet another reason to hate you. Sighing again, she rubs the space between her eyebrows. The blond haired girl walks to her side, oblivious to the fact that her actions indirectly caused this situation. She comforts her by rubbing her shoulder, causing my stomach twist itself up in a knot.
After watching the girl take a few more calming breaths, I can see Gianna fighting her old habits. This murder case is bringing out the worst parts of her, that destructive impulsiveness… I couldn’t help but worry for the yet unidentified young girl at her side.

And then that brought me back to the other guy in the room. Ed actually looks genuinely distraught at his leader’s condition. From the little color left in his face, I can’t help but think that this is the first time he’s seen Gianna so emotional. On the other hand, I’ve only ever seen Gianna as destruction incarnate-
“Ed-” she clears her throat, looking up once again. “We are working with Tristan because he has a lead on who murdered Vanessa Moretti.”
“Huh? Really?” the boy looked back and forth between us.
“Yes. And that is why you’ll go with Tristan to the Greenwood Apartment complex to investigate.”
“Huh? Why-” the boy cuts himself off. His hand reaches up towards his piercing and he considers his words. Shaken to the point of thought! “If I’m going to be the one to go, can I at least hear why?”
Gianna looks between him and me, before waving her hand. Since I was given discretion, I decided to answer.
“Don’t wanna.”
“Huh!?” Ed pounds his fist on the desk, turning back towards the leader. Instead of answering his frustrations, she just sighed again. Apparently she was disappointed that we couldn’t trust one another even in these circumstances. What an admirable leader, I snickered to myself. “Do you honestly trust him that much?”
I’ve honestly curious about that myself. I explained myself and begged her to let me help. I gave her all the information I thought was relevant about that man… but she has no reason to trust me.
“I don’t trust him,” she replies without hesitation. “I only trust in my own abilities.”
What.
“And my abilities and intuition are telling me that Tristan is important to helping Cecilia.”
Abilities? Intuition? What the hell are you saying to him…
Immediately the boy’s body posture changed. Ed turned towards me with an appraising expression. “Alright, if you say so, then I’ll go with him.”
What the…
“Good. That’s what I wanted to hear,” she says with a smile.
What the fuck!
“Isn’t that nice, Tristan?” Gianna questions with a tilt of her head. “Now, just like you asked, you’ll have someone able-bodied to help you search for the murderer,” she says, in regards to my broken leg.
“I don’t want to work with him.”
“Huh?”
I couldn’t help but reply without thinking. The situation was too much for me and my recently drug-addled mind. In fact, I could feel a headache coming on already.
“I won’t work with someone under…” such suspicious circumstances. “I won’t work with someone who hates my guts,” I muster a feeble excuse.
“Look guy, I don’t really hate you,” Ed explains. “But I’m gonna be real mad if you’re gonna to be all selfish like that.”
His body stiffens, sparks begining to fly…
“Alright. I’ll go with you,” Gianna interjects with a sigh. “If I can’t get you ladies to work together, there’s no point forcing it. If Ed and Claire can actually keep looking into the case on your own, I can go with Tristan tonight.”
I’ll admit, I always thought it would be Gianna to come with me. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want more of a chance to apologize to her and ask-
“Actually, can I go?” the quiet blond girl raises her voice. I felt like almost leaping from my seat from the shock alone. “I really don’t think I can keep Ed in line by myself…”
And that’s how Claire Petrelli came to be my able-bodied assistant for the remainder of the investigation.

Chapter 7

“Ah, I’ll get the door!”
As we turn the corner of the landing, Claire dashes ahead of me to call the elevator. As she mashes the button repeatedly with an increasing look of confusion, I continue to hop, placing my weight on each of my two crutches. Right as I pass her, I lean one against my strong side to tap the girl on the shoulder. She turns, a rush of blond hair nearly whipping me.
“That elevator’s been broken for awhile now,” I explain. Then I continue to limp forward with one leg. The girl’s confusion is palpable, as I can feel her pouting. But as I reach the stairs, I can tell she’s feeling different.
“Wait, how are you getting up the stairs?” she asks, confused. If I had an easily ready hand, I would’ve used it to slap my forehead!
I never thought about getting up the stairs
“Well, that’s the only elevator…” I mumble. “Ah, if you can carry my crutches, I can lean against the railing!”
I point out the spotted silverish side rails. Admittedly, they’re grimy to the point where I wouldn’t want to ever use them… but these were dire circumstances.
She takes a moment to consider it, but the girl named Claire apparently decided to accept my logic. “But the fourth floor is a lot higher than just going up and down to your floor,” she warns.
“Yeah it’s at least twice-”
“Three times the distance, you mean,” she cuts me off.
“Oh…” I feel my cheeks redden. Damn painkillers! 
“Well, I’m sure you’re under a lot of stress,” she nods, holding out her hands for my crutches. “We are investigating ghosts, after all.”
It’s only natural to fear death.

***

“You know, I think it’s real admirable of you to spend time searching for your classmate’s killer,” the girl restarts the conversation as we exit the stairwell. Despite the floor being devoid of residents, the lighting in the hall still functioned properly… Which highlighted the ugly bloodred walls. I don’t know which creep thought that deep red was a suitable color for painting walls, but it was only this particular Greenwood Apartment building that bore this damn specific design choice.
I honestly wish they had just torn down this whole place…
“Revenge is just such a classic motive.”
“Huh?” I question, my ears perking at an odd statement. “I’m not looking for revenge.”
“Ah, really?” she questions. “You didn’t really know about Vanessa Moretti till her death, right? Wasn’t she a grade above you?”
I hate when people ask more than one question at once. My head’s already hurting
“Well, it’s not that I didn’t know her…” I trail off, distracted by the distant sounding click of my crutches against the floor.
“Ah, was she a friend of a friend?”
“Not really a friend…”
“Hm…” the girl ponders for a quick second, humming. “Girlfriend?”
I sputter, apparently overreacting to the word girlfriend. “Yeah… my friend’s girlfriend.”
“Ah…” she trails off this time. “Did you like her?”
“Actually, I hated her.”
“Huh… And what did she do to you?”
“Nothing,” I answer. Clicking my tongue, I realize that my answer would only lead to more questions. More questions and more headaches. “Look, we’re here to look for clues about the murderer. Can we focus on the murderer, not me?”
“Have you ever considered that you might be the murderer?” she floats the question as we reach the end of the hall. The hall turns at a sharp right angle, and at the end of this hallway was a black rectangular opening. Black burn marks stretched across almost twenty feet from the burnt door. They spiraled out like thin limbs, welcoming us to Room 4F.
I decide to ignore her question. After all, I told her to stop focusing on me. “That’s where we’re going.”
“… well, of course it is,” she tries to joke, but her voice is strained.
Still rooted to the corner of the hallway, I turn to look at her. “You can leave if you want to.”
Instantly, I know I’ve said the wrong thing. It was a reflex, I swear, but still her entire demeanor soured. With a loud breath she puffed herself up, as if preparing for something. “You didn’t honestly just say that, did you?” she snaps at me, her voice level and terrifying.
“Well, this is-”
“You don’t think I’m such a coward that I’d back off just because of some scary burn marks, did you?” she continues. The girl stomps her foot. “Do you think I’m so dumb that I would come here with you, only to run away when you actually need me.”
“Actually I don’t really need you here…”
“Don’t give me that shit. You’re searching for something, aren’t you?” she questions, on point with her deductions. “How are you supposed to search a whole apartment with a broken leg? And what if it’s a mess in there? How are you supposed to move things? Isn’t that why you wanted Gianna, an athlete, to help you?”
The girl’s mind worked fast, poking all sorts of holes in my story. I found her sharp wit admirable… although I still didn’t feel right about letting this girl see.
“It’s not that you don’t need me, but that you think I can’t handle it,” she argues. “That I’ll be too scared of whatever the hell’s in that room! And whether it’s a ghost or a dead body, there’s something wrong with you if you think that I can’t take anything that you can!”
Huh?
“You’re only a year older than me, but look at you!” her face scrunches up, and she looks at me tearful. “You don’t trust anyone! I’m sure I only got half the story from Gianna, but I know you, Tristan. You keep doing things as if everything’s your responsibility… and by trying to protect everyone else, you’re ruining everything! Your actions are half-hearted, you flip-flop between different courses of actions, and you end up taking all the blame for everything.”

“That’s wrong, Tristan,” the girl scolds me. “And if we do things your way, then we’ll never get anything done.”
Says the girl who spent several days playing cards.
“If I’m doing something, I’m doing it all the way!” she roars, storming down the hall. Left in a daze, it takes me a few moments to get going again on my crutches. “Come on, Tristan! We’re going to find this ghost and save Cecilia!”
Still, despite the fact that she’s going against me, I kind of admire her attitude. I want to protect that caring disposition of hers…
Before I am killed.

“This is the worst possible scenario.”
“Why?” she wondered. “We didn’t find anything supernatural here… so doesn’t that mean you were wrong?”
“No…”
I was being too optimistic. I was naive! I thought that this problem would stay localized like last time, but it’s quite clear that this is much, much worse than I could have imagined.
“It’s not that there’s nothing here, Claire… It’s that there’s something that’s not here!”
While she had no idea what I meant, I was able to say definitively-
“Somehow, someone’s trying to repeat what happened here.”
Again, I remembered the smiling girl, the one I did nothing to save-

“It’s a ritual of killing.”

Why You Should READ Umineko!

Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni is widely considered to be one of the ‘better’ horror anime:

(Don’t watch this video ^ It’s both a curse and a drug)

An anime with limited resources that turned its production limitations into a feature that created distinct atmosphere…

An anime that realized that perspective is the key to horror…

The success of which ultimately spawned a few OVAs and one awful cash-grab movie.

But almost two years since I first watched Higurashi, the anime that made me fall in love with anime as a medium, I wonder if I’m the only one who thinks of it as part of something just a little bit greater. Because, you see, Higurashi may have had 2 main seasons, but it also has an oft-forgotten sequel-

Umineko No Naku Koro Ni.

Umineko: When They Cry (うみねこのなく頃に Umineko no Naku Koro ni, lit. When the Seagulls Cry) is a Japanese dōjin soft visual novel series produced by 07th Expansion. The first game in the series, Legend of the Golden Witch, was first released at Comiket 72 on August 17, 2007 playable on Windows; the game sold out in thirty minutes.[1] The story focuses on a group of eighteen people on a secluded island for a period of two days, and the mysterious murders that befall most of the people. The goal of the game is to discern whether the murderer is human or of some other supernatural source. Umineko is the third title in the When They Cry series, preceded by Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, and followed by Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru.

Synopsis taken from Wikipedia

Just 3 years after their successful Higurashi adaptation, Studio Deen released an adaptation of the 07th Expansion visual novel… And proceeded to fuck everything up so badly that no one remembers this anime, no one bothered to even complete the anime, and fans will consistently curse Deen for ruining the chance of this masterpiece ever being properly adapted.

The only good thing to come out of the Umineko anime was the music (especially that OP and meme-worthy ED), voice work… And I guess the animation was sometimes passable for 2009, but the design was really kinda ugly, Battler (the MC) being especially annoying to look at!

So, considering that everything else regarding the anime is a steaming pile of crap. I only got through it because I thought the ED added enough camp for levity, and I had already read the manga through to completion. It was a bad adaptation and a low-tier anime.

And what about the studio? Studio Deen messing up yet another visual novel adaptation… What do I have to say about them?

Well, honestly, I can’t blame them! Umineko is just too smart to adapt!

Image result for umineko gif
Extra bunny girls are extra! (but that’s the point)

Now, you might think that’s because there’s too much talking- which is the opposite of intelligence. A good story neither has too little or too much information. And while I agree that the reason Umineko can’t be adapted is because of all the dialogue, I think that to restructure Umineko to make it less ‘convoluted’ would be totally missing the point.

There are dozens of totally irrelevant (to the plot) characters who literally exist to be… well, extra. Extra interpretations of the same tired, beaten ideas that are present in the cast already, just distilled to their unrealistic extremes. You could easily remove these too! But that’s the problem. It’s like a Jurassic Park thing- people think if they can make a tight story, then they should. Many have taken it as fact by now…

So, why am I defending what many would dismiss as ‘objectively shit writing’? Because, of course, it’s ‘objectively great writing’! I may not believe in an objectively good story, but that doesn’t mean that I deny the skill of a creative mind. Just like someone can be praised for good kicking form in soccer, no one should feel bad praising someone for succeeding with a component of their story…

Because Umineko is so much more than a murder mystery! It’s an exploration of fiction and storytelling, of perspectives and exaggerations, mystery and magic- It’s a story of gold and love. It’s a philosophical debate akin to Fate/Zero, only the idiotic edgelord is the antagonist.

Related image
Pretty much any story in a nutshell!

QUICK TANGENT: By that logic, doesn’t Gilgamesh = Bernkastel? That’s awesome!
And Auaurora = Kirei? Both characters that were way funnier, campier and endearing in the works they originated from. (Fate/Zero is a prequel, while Umineko is a sequel)
Also Fate/ Holy Grail = truth in Umineko? Seems legit.

And even more than that-

Umineko is a challenge of your, the reader’s, morality, mental fiber, and deductive reasoning. A challenge set forth by the Golden Witch…

If you go into Umineko for grand fantasy, you’ll be playing right into the hands of the greatest witch… which I’m sure is fascinating on its own- but it’s far more interesting to try your hand at reading Umineko as a mystery. You’ll discover uncomfortable truths, doubt people you don’t want to doubt…

And I’ll be honest, I attempted to read Umineko as a simple mystery. Like Higurashi, I thought everything would be resolved with the truth- but Umineko explores the difficulty of the truth in a way that few media dare to. Coupling with Higurashi, the greater When They Cry franchise explores existential themes of truth from both sides of the debate-

“What is the value of pursuing a painful truth?”

And I have to say, I lost my battle against the Golden Witch. Do you think that you can uphold the truth no matter the cost, and seal away the selfish witch forever? Can you do what I, the self-proclaimed narcissistic and edgy anime loving teenager, could not?

And that’s my pitch for Umineko!

Oh yeah, one more thing! Umineko also has the cutest evil lesbian couple I’ve ever seen! Actually Umineko is the most thoroughly gay manga I’ve ever read! It took me until Chapter 6 to notice the…

Image result for umineko bernkastel and lambdadelta
Here, have a vanilla yuri picture so that I can stop thinking about gay Umineko ships.

Coincidentally, it also makes for great arguments about the value and dangers of love, purpose, etc.

It really is worth your time if you can somehow manage through 8 ‘episodes’ of extra-long manga, or two 50+ hour visual novels…

I nabbed the visual novels during the Steam summer sale, so gahaha!

https://store.steampowered.com/app/406550/Umineko_When_They_Cry__Question_Arcs/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/639490/Umineko_When_They_Cry__Answer_Arcs/

Conclusion 

Oh yeah, I guess I could say this is the punchline this time.

I never really explained how Higurashi and Umineko are different, and why I believe Higurashi actually worked as an adaptation.

Image result for higurashi gif

Image result for umineko cat boxBesides the artistic value of its anime, Higurashi is actually a surprisingly tight story with only about 3 levels of reality. That may sound confusing to those who don’t know what I mean, but Umineko has about 6 (rough estimate) layers of stories underpining and influencing the larger narrative from Chapter 3 onwards. Higurashi has much more immediate entertainment value from its visceral horror, while Umineko‘s horror is much more a thinking man’s horror.

Higurashi was always told from the perspective of a character who experienced the horror with you, but in Umineko you are less attached to the perspective character as compared with the group of people associated with Rokkenjima island… And that has pros and cons. Basically, while they are sequels, they occasionally have diametrically opposed methods…

Chekhov’s gun
Chekhov’s gun is a dramatic principle that states that every element in a story must be necessary, and irrelevant elements should be removed; elements should not appear to make “false promises” by never coming into play
– Also Wikipedia

If we talk about Chekhov’s Gun, you might think that Umineko is a spectacular failure… until you realize that the layers of fantasy are its greatest thematic tool, and actually an integral part of its story. By purposely referencing and ignoring literary ‘rules’ like this, Umineko actually fulfills Chekhov’s gun.

And taking all this into consideration, as I always try to, believe Higurashi and Umineko are the two non-equal but similarly irreplacable parts of a great work of meta-fiction. Truth and fiction each evaluating one another’s themes and existence in a thought-provoking spiral-

When They Cry is my second favorite anime-related series of all time. And I really want to write in depth about it! But writing when there’s no audience could easily be substituted by shouting at my shower mirror for half an hour…

And that’s why you should read Umineko! (I’m hoping at least one of you will be a goat, btw)

 

Image result for umineko kanon jessica
Also, it’s kinda odd that I noticed, but the art of the manga gets consistently better as it goes.

To Go Even Further Beyond…

I guess I’m here to talk about my education?

I kinda got stuff going on today so this is a bit of a filler post…

But yeah, today I took the first steps in learning Japanese! And you might wonder why…

Is it because I’m a massive weeb? Eh, that’s really the indirect reason, I guess you could say.

The real reason is that in about a month I’m going to university! And one of the electives I chose to take is Japanese… And if I take 10th grade Latin as precedent, I suck at learning languages! Since I’m in the Honors Program, it’s expected that I keep at least a 3.5 GPA- and that’s roughly between B+ and A-, including my three Honors courses…

You’re getting the picture now, right? I’m the idiot who is trying to go all out in college, because I really don’t wanna end up living in a gutter somewhere or mooch off my family any longer than I have to. Simultaneously, I elected to take a class that will probably take my GPA through the gutter, ruining all my honors perks-

Like free printing. And occasional gatherings with free food.

So yeah. That’s why I gotta do my best to get a firm foundation in this stuff before I actually start class. It’s a survival situation, ya know? Necessary. And so, to start learning Japanese, I decided to start with the written language that seemed most useful to understanding the rest-

Hiragana.

For those who never really attempted to cross the linguistic gap, there are roughly three written languages, from my understanding. While some people act as if all Japanese words are Kanji characters, which have their own meaning, Kanji is just one of the three. While Kanji is symbolic, Katakana and Hiragana are phonetic.

Not fake-phonetic like English, but nearly every Hiragana (and I’m assuming Katakana) letter has a pretty definitive reading… But what that means is that there are 46 base characters in Hiragana, that have an additional 55 modified versions that yield different pronunciations. But hey, as far as I know, you only have to memorize 101 possible sounds to speak Japanese!

So yeah, I think that if I can use Youtube videos to familiarize myself with at least most of the Hiragana, then I should be at a good starting point for an entry level semester class of Japanese! That way I can keep my free printing privileges…

I mean, I worked so hard during my exams last year for them, so it would be a shame to just let them go because I’m a massive weeb!

But I’m sure some of you are thinking that maybe I should just drop the class… I mean, the perks of honor vs a half-hearted whim… Surely, there’s no comparison. Well, I’d rather be a tryhard in college, rather than the deadbeat I’ve always been. If I have to work harder than most people to learn Japanese, then I’ll do it…

Because it’s a pain to install patches to play the crazy Japanese visual novels that I want to play! If I just knew some basic Japanese Kanji, as well as Katakana and Hiragana, I could probably brute force my way through with the help of a reliable dictionary!

… At least in theory.

From one day, I’m doing decently well with the videos I went through. If I watch videos like this a few times a week, it should all go well! I mean, they were doing practice, and I was reading the Hiragana properly-

And I was like, “Oh, this combination of Hiragana is ‘neko’. Cat!”

But then this happened-

>_<

Nya!

Nya? Flippin’ NYAAAA? I was expecting them to say ‘neko’, and I was all proud about my deduction, so I was listening real close! I wasn’t expecting someone to just do that in my ear like that! It was so disorienting, and I thought I was wrong for a second there…

Then when I realized that it was just a joke, I felt both proud and ashamed…

I mean… I was right, after all.

I also had a minor panic attack when the H column had to be special and have a ‘handakuten’ which made each of the five base characters have two aditional versions… Until I found out that there were 11 different versions of each of the 3 base characters in the Y column!

END ME!

(Well, they’re basically just combined with older characters, so it’s not any harder to write/remember if I’m honest)

Anyway, this is the result of me spending about two hours going through various videos. I’ve already decided that ‘す’, or su, is my favorite hiragana character. It’s memorable, but doesn’t especially stand out- but hey, I like it. I’ll probably make a follow-up post closer to when the semester starts, just to give my impression on how successful this Hiragana+Katakana (if I get to it) self-study has been…

Related image

If any of you have tried doing this before, I’m kinda curious if you have any recommendations for studying. If not, I’m just gonna keep rewatching that one Youtube series, since it seems to match my short-term goals real well.

Failing Create-A-Story – Tragedy + Hospital + ?

Alright. It took me a little bit of brainstorming, but I think I came up with a kinda clever little story… Maybe!

Image result for kaiki sengoku quote

An aniblogger going by TPAB created this tag, and the rules go like this-

  1. You pick your “word”, your setting and your story genre from the list below. As individuals, your brand of creativity is unique to yours, so we want to highlight that by letting you choose from a bunch of words and creating something beautiful out of it. Yes, some people will choose the same combination as others but I guarantee you each story will be unique as per the individual. The options are really just there to cater to you specifically. You can challenge yourself, you can work with your strengths or you can take creative risks. It’s all up to you and how you express your creativity.
First Word Setting Genre
Fall
Fire
Music
Station
Rain
Hospital
Mountain
Sea
School
Street
Comedy
Drama
Slice of Life
Romance
Tragedy
  1. The short story will have a limit of 1000 words. You do not need to write a story with 1000 words exactly. It could be 300, or 500 as long as it doesn’t surpass a thousand. Easy enough, right? I do know writing a short story with a max of 1000 will be tough. I’ve already written my story, and I had to constantly edit this. So, why the word limit? To be frank, we want to avoid people overthinking this challenge. It’s not about how you stack up to other people. It’s not about your sentence construction or your grammar skills, and it’s not about wowing people with your talents. It’s none of that. It’s about a celebration of your uniqueness and your creativity. There is only one YOU, and this YOU will create a story that truly represents you.
  2. YOU HAVE TWO WEEKS TO ANSWER THE TAG. This is honestly just another way to ensure none of you overthink this. It’s not supposed to be your magnum opus. It’s just a fun short story to share to people. If you cannot answer within two weeks, the tagger can tag other people.
  3. You must tag three people to participate. Keiko will collect all the short stories and compile them into one giant hub featuring all the stories.
  4.  Don’t forget to link back to Keiko (this is her story) so she can collect all the stories. You can’t just link back to her wordpress, since she won’t be alerted of the pingback. You need to link back to a post or a page, because wordpress works like this.
  5.  Use the Create-A-Story picture in the post. I don’t really know why, but a lot of tags do this so might as well, right? But seriously, it’ll mostly help people recognize all the Create-A-Story tag posts.
  6.  Copy and paste the rules in your tag post as well, so others can be clued in to the Create-A-Story rules.

I apologize that I kinda stink with niceties, and I kinda have limited time to write here…

Image result for ping pong anime gif
Gotta make time to play more ping pong with the boys

So, let’s get right into the story! I chose Fall + Hospital + Tragedy!


“Do you know why you’re happy?”

The broken boy, more bandage than flesh, tosses out a simple question. Letting the question linger in the air, he waits before continuing-

“Is it because you’re you?” he asks. Bandages cover over half of his face, casts over much of the rest of his body. Especially bad was his dominant left hand, which was cast from his fingers to his shoulder. “Or is it because you’re not me?”

“Is it so bad to be you?”

“To be me? What does that even mean?”

I didn’t understand the question. I was too much of an idiot.

“I sit here everyday now, waiting for someone to come through that door. For someone to finally come and tell me the truth.”

“And what do you think they’re going to tell you.”

“That I’m dead.”

Once again, the boy fell silent. He spent the rest of our time, before the nurses came to put him to sleep again, staring at the sterile white walls behind me.

Last month there was a fatal car crash. In the newspaper, it said that the family died-

Which must have been a misprint.

Ryan, a ten year old boy, survived. He might never walk or use his left arm again. He might have lost one eye in the accident…

But despite his injuries, Ryan survived, didn’t he?

He’s still alive, isn’t he?

And that’s why I keep finding myself in that white room. I can’t stop myself from returning there.

“So, how was school?” Mother questions. I don’t reply. It just felt wrong to talk about school anymore. It felt distinctly childish… “C’mon —-, you’re not eating your vegetables.”

I didn’t want to hear my name. “They’re cold,” I grumbled while vengefully spearing a carrot

“Even if things are painful, there are just some things you have to put up with.”

I don’t understand.

“I was thinking about going to the baseball park later…”

I really don’t understand.

“Just the two of us.”

Since when has it been the two of us? Wasn’t there always-

“Just like usual. After all, it’s always been just the two of us against the world, hasn’t it?”

“Are ghosts real?” I remember asking my mother when I was younger. I had been traumatized by some horror movie or something…

To be quite honest, I don’t recall the details. But I do remember her answer.

“No.”

In retrospect, it isn’t a memory worth the time I took to recall it…

Maybe it was actually something else-

“It was her sister’s funeral.”

His random words confused me. Well, I would be lying if I didn’t mention that ever since they did that surgery and took off some of his casts, he’s been acting more and more confusing.

“You were wondering why you asked your mother about ghosts, right?” the boy says, a bored look in his one good eye eye. “It’s ‘cus you went to your aunt’s funeral when you were eight.”

Oh… that’s right. But there’s something else-

“Your mother didn’t go there with you.”

“Huh?”

“You went with your father to the funeral of your mother’s sister.”

“Why?”

“That’s the question isn’t it?”

With a knowing grin, the boy moved his good hand over his broken one.

“And you know the answer?”

“To what, my idiotic little brother?”

I may be a terrible idiot who doesn’t know why he’s happy… but I’ve never been such an idiot to miss the boy’s refusal to answer.

“Why didn’t you go to Aunt Cassy’s funeral?”

“I don’t really like going to funerals,” she replies. I wasn’t such an idiot that I’d fail to realize her self-serving hypocrisy. “They’re depressing.”

“Is it because of Da- Father?” I correct myself.

“No…”

“But Cassy’s family, isn’t she?”

“Well…” with a pained look, she stalled for time. “Cassy made a mistake.”

“Didn’t you say that family forgives?”

“Well, it was a big mistake,” she tries to assure me.

“Big enough that it made you kick Daddy out?”

Her face immediately soured, leaving her lost for words.

I hastily apologized. Mom wasn’t the one at fault here. It was Father’s fault for cheating, I assured her. Truth be told, I didn’t want to blame Daddy either…

So I guess all the blame goes to Aunt Cassy?

“As interesting as that story is, I wish you just went away,” the boy who called himself my older brother sighed. He said he was expecting visitors from his adoptive family or something.

“I wanted to know how you blamed Mom.”

“Ah, crazy old Mother…” he trails off, once again lost in the ceiling. “Well, ya know…” the boy continued to chew his words. A habit learned through a childhood’s worth of exposure. To make me cease my glaring, he apologizes with a childish grin. “It’s just that she was the one who split us.”

“What does that mean?”

“I mean, she was the one who divorced Dad…”

And?

“And also got them both killed.”

Huh?

“Hey, I think I finally figured out why you’re so happy!” the boy declared. “You forgot that Mother was the one who did this to us both!”

Both? But I’m standing right here, and you there…

I’m your younger brother!

“My poor little brother, born just last month-”

Without warning, the door behind me opens. In the space is a familiar girl, not more than 6 years old. I raise my hand to her, but she runs past-

As if she didn’t see me. As if I was just air.

“You talking to yourself again?”

The girl laughs. The shrill laugh of a girl unaware of the ear-shattering pain it caused those around her.

Wait, I recognize her-

“Sorry, Shelly,” the boy apologizes with a tilt of his head.

Shelly, which is short for Chelsea, is my uncle’s daughter…

“I was doing it again.”

Which makes her my cousin on my dad’s side…

The boy raises his one-eyed gaze to meet mine.

“Just talking to my idiotic self again.”


Okay…

Image result for anime apology

I totally failed this one! Word limits are so tough! I intentionally came up with a super short story, and it still kept coming out to 1,500 words! I had to totally drop the third word in order to still tell the story that I wanted to tell! Seriously! I couldn’t even add a throwaway bit about how the boy would always play baseball in the fall…

Google Docs says I have used exactly 999 words, and I’m sure some of them were a waste. I’m just can’t English enough to figure out how to make it snappier without neutering the pacing even more than I already have…

Um. So anyway, I think I admit defeat with this story. I could probably try again with a different story? After working for two days on this, I’m worried that the repeated edits will be obvious.

So, who am I forcingrecommending to take up the mantle?

  1. Yomu (Revenge!)
  2. Average Joe Reviews
  3. Uh… can I send a bully over to KingDylbag13 again?

Hopefully one of you can succeed where I failed…

hideousunnaturalelver
Probably my most used gif…

Edgy Anime Poetry? – The T.A.P. Tag

So, it appears I was challenged by Yomu

The name of the game is tanka poetry, as laid out by the tag’s originator- Luminous Mongoose. And here are the rules-

Rules of the tag:

  1. Headline your post with “The T.A.P. Tag!” and put “tanka” as one of your tags.
  2. Make sure to link back to the original post that started the tag.
  3. Make sure to mention the person who forced introduced the tag to you!
  4. Pick 1-3 of your favorite anime.
  5. Write your tanka about the anime you’ve chosen. It’s fine if you decide to do only one or two if the schedule is tight.
  6. Tag at least 3 or more bloggers you know, and get their creative muscles flowing.

Alright, now allow me to preface this by saying that I always sucked at writing poetry in English class… Which is why I was elated to find out that high school was only going to include more sophisticated (read: stuffy) literary pursuits. I still suck at those but…

Y’know, now I feel like I’m nitpicking! Let’s just get into the poems!

1. The Monogatari Series

On top of a bed,

Two siblings begin battle.

They never realized,

That they would leave, different,

With a newfound love of teeth.

Image result for toothbrush scene

Okay. This was pretty bad! I mean, I followed the rules…

But hey, everyone knew that I was going to write something about Monogatari. It’s unavoidable, and I apologize…

But how about this-

2. Chaos;Head

Alone in his room,

A teen worships his waifu-

Ruining his laif(u).

Takumi was well-written,

But Chaos;Head is still bad!

Image result for chaos head waifu

Well. I blame Yomu for this.

At least I didn’t have to watch any more Divine Gate

3. Umineko no Naku Koro ni

Trapped on an island,

Under assault by a witch,

What will you believe?

The path to the Golden Land

Requires a sacrifice.

Image result for umineko
It’s like Light vs L, but as a romantic murder mystery. (wait.)

Hey…

I actually like this one! Sure, no one really understands the double entendre, because no one else has read Umineko

But hey! Trust me, what I wrote is half clever. And that’s about half more clever than the rest of my poems!

Conclusion – 

Uh…

Yeah. I’m gonna send the challenge over to a few people-

  1. Who…Am I?
  2. KingDylbag13
  3. moyatori

And uh…

Yeah! No pressure, just wanted to see your respective takes on the tanka challenge! And yes, it’s just a challenge from my perspective, so feel free to take it differently. Really, just have some fun with it.

hideousunnaturalelver

Alright, peace!