Growing up – Fighting Back- A Badass Woman

This is a post that I’ve been thinking about all month. A post in honor of National Women’s month. I wanted to focus on a character that was not only a strong woman but had an amazing story. The character Yona from one of my favorite anime kept coming back into my mind and I’ve been wanting to write about this anime for awhile, but I think I will need to give each character their own post and since it is National Women’s Month I will do my best to honor a great character.

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Yona is very much the typical spoiled princess who needs others to look after her. She is sheltered and has no idea what is going on in her own country that she will someday help rule. All that is on her mind is clothes and her friend Soo-Won who she is in love with and wants to marry someday.

In her small world she is happy and can throw spoiled fits when her father tells her she can’t marry Soo-Won. Although later that night after her birthday she walks in and see the body of her father he has been murdered.

In the start she is very much helpless if it wasn’t for her bodyguard Hak she would have died that night along with her father. She couldn’t move she couldn’t function she was only raised to be pretty.

Time to cut the hair.

In the first part of the story she sees herself as a burden to her protector Hak and he is constantly having to save her getting arrows in his back and nearly die it was at the point where those who were trying to capture her grabbed ahold of her beautiful long hair- the hair that her love Soo-Won said was the color of the sunset.

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This is were we see the first signs of the fierce women within Yona. The one that is ready to battle to save the ones she loves. So in a swift motion she cuts her hair to free herself not only from those who are trying to capture her, but from her own childish ways of being a princess.

This is her turning point.

Now she is on a quest to find the four dragons to not save herself but to protect her dear friend (in her eyes) Hak. She doesn’t want Hak to die from always saving her so she figures if she has these dragons they will be able to stay alive.

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I will save the awesome backstories of each dragon for another post. They are so good and well done. This is not your typical reverse harem. Yes, she is surrounded by hot guys, but she is learning to fight and learning to be come a leader in her own right. As much as they try to protect her she learns to fight and protect herself so in my mind that makes her one badass woman.

She goes and sees her country and helps those in need. Standing for the downtrodden becoming a true leader.

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My favorite moment in the anime… Gives me chills every time

Yona is a great example of someone who steps out of the path they were given and sees that she has to make a change. It happens slowly over the course of the anime, but it is worth it seeing her journey.

 

In this month I hope you have had a chance to see some of the amazing tributes to women. If you haven’t check out some post by Ignitedmoth there are some drawings an tributes to women in history.

Have a great weekend and go thank a strong powerful woman that is in your life.

Happy watching!

I keep coming back to you…

Oh boy did I have plans to watch new anime over spring break… So. Many. Plans. Then it happened… It all started with a manga I’ve been following for awhile… Damn you Namaikizakari… Then I fell into the show hole of just watching and reading manga and anime that I have already seen… Why do I keep coming back? I just can’t find their equal…

First the ongoing Manga Namaikizakari….

I have a confession, when it comes to manga I mostly read romance and I’m always looking for that next one, but sometimes I keep rereading the same ones haha! Unfortunately for me Namaikizakari is not finished so by the time I can get my hands on the next chapter I forget what happens then I reread it… It is okay… I really enjoy this manga and the main character is well…tumblr_static_tumblr_static_filename_640Be still my beating heart… haha. I really like how he is drawn. For me I love how the mangaka does the eyes. You don’t see those often in manga and it really adds a nice appeal to how he looks.

Okay I could go on all day and probably lose all my readers haha… He isn’t just a pretty face, he is a growing changing character which I love to see! Starting as someone who doesn’t care and moving to finish goals with a lot of determination. Him and the MC Yuki have great chemistry and I like the flip of the boy being the one interested first.

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It is a really sweet manga and the problem with it is that once I read it… I go on the hunt for more manga and I don’t find a lot that I haven’t read yet so I decided to go back to old faithful Skip Beat.

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If you haven’t read or watched Skip Beat I hope you give it a chance. The romance is sweet but it is also secondary. The growth and development of the main character is what makes this anime and manga amazing. Kyoko starts of as a clueless girl which frustrated me in the first chapter, but soon the betrayal sends her on an amazing journey to find herself.

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She has to deal with her inner demons (literally haha) from being throw out like trash. It is what motivates her at first, but you will love the path that it takes her on. She truly starts to find her own way and what she wants with life. The main factor is that she doesn’t find it in another guy… Whaaaaat!? ha! She realizes that she is strong and starts to see that she has her own talents. The anime stops about one forth of the way through and then manga is still… ongoing! So I don’t know the end of her journey yet, but I keep rereading and if you have a manga that is like Skip Beat please let me know! I love the side romance and the awesome strong main character. It is funny it is sweet and it leaves me wanting more!

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So after spending time trying to find another manga that is as good or similar to Skip Beat I once again just fell into another old faithful… Maid Sama.

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This anime and manga trap me every time. Two strong main characters. Yes, there is a point where you can be frustrated with Misaki and her cluelessness but she isn’t a weak character she wants to get things done on her own and no one fights her battles for her. There are sweet moments where Usui helps her out but in the end she isn’t helpless.

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I’m a fan of the mixture of comedy and romance. It makes it fun to watch to you aren’t just frustrated by constant miscommunication like most shojo manga and anime. It has great backstory and the characters overcoming their past with help from each other. The manga is finished! yay! The anime is only part of it though.

So dear readers, I have watched nothing new. I’m in the middle of the Maid Sama re-watch and I’m loving it.

Are there any good romances out there that you like? What about manga? Let me know!

Happy watching!

A Redemption Story

I finally got an opportunity to watch “A Silent Voice” (Koe no Katachi) and I can see why it was one of the top anime movies last year. In anime there are many themes of bullying and I think this is helping to bring a bit of awareness to what goes on in school and the little that is often done to stop it. I’ve mentioned these things before in my post about the anime March Comes in like a Lion. In that anime and this movie little is done to stop the bullying.

In this movie the main character Ishida is a young boy at the start. He seems a bit like the devil may care type and the ring leader of his small group of friends. Then one day a new student is introduced.

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Nishimiya is deaf and she wears a hearing aid. She mostly communicates with her notebook and the students are understanding at first but slowly that turns in to resentment. They don’t want to help her and nothing is done in class to make her life any easier which is extremely sad. One teacher tries to have the students learn sign language to communicate and only one student offers to learn. When that student leaves Nishimiya is bullied to the extreme and also the students destroy her hearing aids multiple times.

 

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When the principal finally confronts the class they all point fingers at Ishida. In typical mob fashion he now becomes the one getting bullied. This goes on through grades school and in middles school some of his old friends point him out at a bully (ironic huh?) and they continues to ignore him. He is isolated.

At the start of the movie we see him wrapping up the last bits of his life and getting ready to kill himself.

 

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Instead he stops himself and goes to see the one that he bullied in grade school. Thus his redemption story begins.

Now at this point Nishimiya is a bigger person than I could ever be. If I ran into a bully I probably would not be so kind. Her character however, is one that will always blame herself for anything bad happening to others. She is always apologizing and believes she ruins everything. She is forgiving and they build a tentative friendship.

It is hard for me to feel sympathy for bullies this movie does a great job building up Ishida’s character. He rather take on the isolation and believes that he deserves it all after what he did to Nishimiya. I guess part of me would have to agree with him. He gets to the point where he can’t look at anyone face and the movies visuals show giant X’s over everyone face and their voices are muted to him.

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We can see his regret and we see the situation that he puts himself in to do penance for what he did. He took on all the blame for what everyone did to her in grade school. He shows remorse and tries in his own way to make Nishimiya happy.

This next bit will have spoilers so if you haven’t watched the movie you may want to stop reading.

In this movie it starts out with him wanting to kill himself. He is isolated and alone. He pays back the money to his mother and cleans his room. Then bringing Nishimiya into his life stopped him. In this whole journey I don’t think he realized her true feelings and how she views herself as a burden to everyone.

The small group of friends that the built is destroyed after the bullying is brought up again. I’m annoyed at the character Kawai and how she never admits to her part in what was done to Nishimiya. There is never any redemption for the other bullies and one of them didn’t even change and everyone seemed okay with it? That part was a bit hard to swallow. So when this small group that came together fell apart Nishimiya takes the blame on herself.

 

 

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Ishida finds her getting ready to jump off the balcony of her high rise. Her story of feeling useless and a burden didn’t really shine through to me until this moment. As I was watching Ishida grow I wasn’t seeing her destruction.

As much as she had a loving family and support she kept apologizing for everything that went wrong. She just got to the point where she tried to fix things by dying.

In the end the friendships they made will never be fixed if someone leaves the world. Sometimes when you are depressed you don’t see that. You only see yourself as the problem and that the world will be better off if you are not in it.

That is never true. The world will always be less without you.

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The characters in this movie find the strength to come together again and support each other. I’ve heard that the side characters are fleshed out more in the manga but I’m glad that their was a main focus to this movie. There wasn’t enough time but the message is clear about seeing the value in others.

I hope you get a chance to watch this movie. I hope that you know that you are someone important. This isn’t just a nice message for a movie but to take with you in life. If you ever need someone to talk to send me a message and if you ever think that the world is better without you I hope you reconsider. I’m including a link for the suicide prevention hotline and I hope if the person you want to talk to isn’t free that you call or text them. They are there 24/7.

To borrow words from Mr. Rogers at this point… I’m not trying to be cheesy since I honestly believe what he says, “There’s just one person in the whole world like you, and people can like you just the way you are.”

Happy watching!

 

Why am I alone?

Thanks to a wonderful review by Irina on her blog I watched the hilarious anime Watamote yesterday. Now, I guess the title can be confused with the term hilarious. This anime has wonderful notes of humor that directly relate to social anxiety and just the plain awkwardness of puberty. However, there are some pointed notes of the characters loneliness and confusion on why people don’t like her even though the audience may understand, the mc believes in her unique charms.

I took a lot of screenshots while I watched. I noticed after I finished with the last episode the moments I picked were mostly focused on the quiet times in the anime. The times where she began to doubt her wonderfulness and felt the keen loneliness of not having friends around her. It is easy to see myself in this character when I grew up I had a small handful of friends (who I am very thankful for) but there was always that need to feel “popular” to be the one that everybody liked since I believed myself to be a good person. I think I was lucky in the fact that I wasn’t a target for bullies. The only time I was was bullied was by people who didn’t even go to my school. (That is a story for a different day). This character isn’t bullied she isn’t made fun of she is just merely left alone.

In a way that can be just as saddening as being picked on. It is like she doesn’t exist to her classmates. I honestly really like the fact that she isn’t bullied and the classmates are not seen as the villain. In a matter of speaking the main character is the one who gets in her own way half the time. She comes up with these crazy plots to make people or boys notice her and they backfire in strange ways. Half the time she can’t even talk which over the course of the anime shows how crippling her social anxiety really is and you watch and you just want her to “SAY SOMETHING!” But she can’t it isn’t something you can just get over.

Time and time again she tries to get people to realize how wonderful she is but in the end she goes back to her room and plays otome games. That is the only way she can have that human and sexual interaction that she desires.

Also there are so many references to anime and otome games it is pretty fun to see if you can spot them all. Being and English Literature major I enjoyed this one a whole bunch.

There are some golden humorous moments with her parents during these times of her sexual awakening. One with her father that involved a personal massager and a BL otome game and one with a recording and her mother.

Kudos to the parents for just acting normal. I think that is a great moment of showing those lovely years where our parents don’t understand us, but then they still love us. The way the creators us the pauses for humor is on point and it gives laughter to a lot of moments that could be considered very sad. I think this is an anime that does very well with dealing with the tragic things of being lonely but adding in humor. In my mind it doesn’t make fun of her, but I think if it just focused on her loneliness it would be a very hard anime to watch.

These two image are from one of the moments that really begin to show her isolation. She wants to form a club and be with people in the first image it shows this dream happening. There are two other students who joined her club and they are having a peaceful moment just being together. Then after the song is over you see that she was having tea with her two stuffed toys all along. The club was never formed and she is still alone.

The sadness from her isolation shows up more and more towards the end of the anime. Now when I watched I really wanted for her to find that awkward friend that she could be with but I don’t think that this will be that kind of anime.

Given a choice she will always choose to be on her own. She finds these safe places where she feels at home and clings to them. It is hard for her to talk and meet new people. So when we see the funny. Moments of this anime we also get those moments that we can relate to as an introvert or a person with social anxiety. Some will never understand why we can just go and “make friends” it is never that easy. When we do step out of our comfort zone we have one thought in our minds…

I hope to see a season two for this anime. I hope to see some of her growth and still have the humor shine through. This was a great balance and if you had those awkward teenage years this will be very relatable… maybe more so for women, but I think most will enjoy this anime.

Sometimes I think that while we live and grow we have a habit of hoping that things will just happen to us. That change will be easy. We need to go out and do things ourselves and build those relationships with those close to us instead of hoping to be popular.

I wanted to end this post with a challenge. The way the mc is alone all the time really spoke to my heart. I know what it is like then and now to sit, eat, and be alone. It isn’t easy. So maybe this week if you see someone who is alone say hello, smile at them, maybe sit next to them if you know them. I’m not saying go forth and harass people, but there are those out there who go days without any meaningful human interaction. In this anime for a long time the only person who talked the the mc was the teacher who said goodbye to her at the end of the day. That moment meant something to her and trust me… coming from someone who is alone a lot… A hello can mean the world to someone. I’m going to do my best this week and I hope you all will reach out too.

Happy watching!

ABP Discussions – Another | Discussing Anime as Ladies and Gentleman

Took part in a facebook group discussion this week! Feel free to leave your own comments about Another.

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Hi guys and welcome to my place! πŸ™‚

Today I bring you a new feature that we started in the Anime Blogging Party happening in Facebook! If you want to join us come here!

What is the idea then? Well, basically each week a person of the group (who wanted to participate) will be randomly picked and they will choose an Anime. Everyone there then gives their thoughts in the comments. At the end of the week the discussion is ended and who wants to do it can feature the discussion in their own blog! πŸ™‚ (Not obligatory though, don’t want to impose work to anyone xD).

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