Seasons greetings to our dear readers! Gintama ranges four seasons and 367 episodes at the present time and includes quite a few Christmas episodes. I have already written about the Christmas story told in episode 200. The present post concerns an earlier Christmas episode from season one. Gintama might be described as a science-fiction, samurai parody, but it covers a wide range of genres and styles within its four seasons. With episode 37 (Titled “People who Say that Santa Doesn’t Exist, Actually Want to Believe in him”), you might dub the first half Old Comedy, i.e. the sort of gut-busting low humor one sees in Aristophanes’ plays. The first half contains nothing especially edifying, but it gives the viewer a good time.
On the other hand, the second part relies less on silliness than on character flaws. Much of the comedy drives off the contrast between the way different…
The Halloween season has given me some impetus to think about the horror genre. A while back, an academic named E. Michael Jones was on the Patrick Coffin show explaining how he thought about the horror genre. He has written at least two works on this subject: Monsters from the Id: The Rise of Horror in Fiction and Film and Sex with Monsters. Jones believes that the modern horror genre arose as a reaction to the free love movements of the 19th century and reached its full flowering following the Sexual Revolution. Many persons were hurt by the myriad problems which inevitably arise from sexual licentiousness and enjoyed a cathartic reaction from a central message of many horror stories: sex can kill you.
You all know how this story ends. Or, if you don’t, School Days should be on your list.
A pleasant surprise: “Your Name.” (Kimi no Na wa.), Makoto Shinkai’s latest movie that has been attracting a lot of attention in Japan and worlwide, has just passed Hayao Miyazaki’s “A Wind Rises” (Kaze Tachinu) in sales.
Of all the things that have been dubbed a “national phenomenon” in Japan this year, Makoto Shinkai’s Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name.) is probably the most appropriate for the title. At the time I’m writing this, Your Name. has already become Japan’s highest grossing film of 2016 — even Anno Hideaki’s Shin Godzilla, Koe no Katachi movie, and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso’s live action movie couldn’t hope to compare. Your Name. is now a part of Japan’s all-time box office top 10, sitting at the 7th ranking (11.1 billion yen) while slowly crawling to beat Ghibli’s “The Wind Rises”. That’s a pretty fantastic feat to be accomplished by an animated movie. Not to mention, the movie has received a lot of critical acclaims and massive popularity on the side of creators, fans of Shinkai’s works, mainstream anime fans, and the general public. The sales of the novel released before…
…and even if the nut up there in that vid is a freaking crappy being, it’s got a point about the kids that it’s messing with.
Hey there, nutshellcrackers. It’s me, The Overlord Bear.
KagePro song covers aside, it’s been a long while since my previous post about the Kagerou Project, I think. It’s a series that I’ll definitely remember a lot, still. It’s not perfect, but I think that I’ve learned a lot of good things from it.
Before this day came, I found myself more willing to go the hangout I went to today because of, well, God, basically. With His help, I found a lot of worthwhile stuff in today’s hangout and thought of good things to do in the future. Bad habits are going to be broken, and good habits are going to be built. The road will be a very difficult one, but I can improve, especially with God’s help. Praise the Lord, and God Almighty help us all!
Now then, I should talk about the fun hangout that I had today!
Sharp Axe Bob and I, The Overlord Bear, went to the Best of Anime 2015 convention at the SMX Convention Center in SM Mall of Asia. I was invited by Wacks, a friend of mine, and I decided to accept the invitation. I told Bob about it, and he decided to go too. The two of us informed Mom and Dad too, and I guess I should be thanking them for giving us the chance to have fun in that event too! Thanks very much, Mom and Dad!
So, at the convention, I was with Bob, my friends–Wacks, Gabby, Francis–and Bryan (currently at acquaintance level; also, I feel awkward while calling you an acquaintance, Bryan, hahaha). Bob and I arrived first, at about one to two hours before opening time (10am), followed by Gabby, and then by the other three. We spent a considerable amount of time standing and walking in line, and I started to feel my legs getting challenged. I don’t think I complained at that time, though. I was surprisingly chill as we waited in line, bought our tickets, and waited for the crowd in front of us to advance.
A crowd of people was already gathering when we entered, and we started looking at the open booths there. Obviously, there were a lot anime-and-manga stuff and related stuff being sold. There were a lot of things that I didn’t consider worthwhile, but hey hey, I found worthwhile stuff that I bought and did! For example, that item in the photo above!
Also, there was one thing that I wanted but couldn’t buy: a Shintarou jacket. You know, the red jacket that Shintarou Kisaragi wears.
But hey hey, I guess I can properly get it (and with a big enough size, I guess, ’cause that one doesn’t seem like it would fit me, hahaha!) some other time. Also, I should prepare myself more for work. I’m gonna have to get a proper job in the future.
Oh, and I got this too!
And hey, there was also a booth (one run by a group called AniZone, I think?) where visitors can play some video games. Playable there were Osu!, Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax, and Project Diva F 2nd! I played a lot of Project Diva F 2nd, and after a round of practice, I managed to get a prize from a raffle after playing (since I had to finish at least one song on Hard difficulty, and hey, even if I didn’t satisfactorily clear them, I finished three songs!), and I managed to listen to some of my favorite VOCALOID songs (like “Nisoku Hokou,”“Kagerou Daze,” and “Karakuri Pierrot”) while I played! While I waited for my second play, though, I also chatted with one of the people working for that booth! We chatted about VOCALOID and music and some other related stuff, I didn’t feel very awkward, and hey, I think me managing to have such a conversation with someone without a lot of awkwardness is impressive! Give a pat to your back, Tobby! Freaking nuts! Your social skills are improving!
And speaking of improving social skills, I managed to approach some cosplayers–ones who are cosplaying characters from series that I’m very interested in–and ask for permission to take photos with them without much help from my companions! I felt awkwardness, yes, but hey, I think I can say that I have improved!
Now then, here are the photos with me and them cosplayers!
And as for socializing, I shouldn’t forget my companions! Gabby’s still a pretty chill guy, even when I was complaining a lot because of my tired legs (I’m sorry for the noisy complaints too, Gabby!). Wacks, well, he still has that laziness and loudly coarse attitude and sense of humor. I think I can see more of his street smarts too behind all that coarseness, though. And hey, I guess he’d be vocal about it if he didn’t want me hanging out with him, no?
Ah, and Francis and Bryan. Among my companions, they’re in the bottom of my “Most Interacted With” list, but they’re chill people, I think, even if certain interests of ours aren’t the same. Oh, and speaking of same and different opinions, even though I still like the Kagerou Project, I think we do calmly agree that its story’s presentation isn’t very great in stuff other than its music (although I’d still read the light novels and manga, ’cause I’ve got more patience for the series)…and that the TV version of Mekakucity Actors’s act09 opening animation is a substandard piece of work. KagePro’s performance also inspires me to make something that surpasses it. You still won’t be forgotten, KagePro and its production crew!
Oh, and I shouldn’t forget that thing that I need to do for a certain thing that Francis and I are working on…
And wait, better not forget Sharp Axe Bob! I think we’ve been getting closer as we interacted during the day! Well, we talked about some parts of our lives. Like school. And he seemed to be aiming to take pictures of and with cute female cosplayers while in the convention. Hahaha…well…I guess I just made this awkward…?
Anyway, yeah, it was a freaking fun day! I saw improvements in myself! Even if I didn’t spend a lot of time being together with all of my companions while in the con, and even if Gabby, Bob, and I left the con first (at around 3pm, and then we went to the Manila International Book Fair area ’cause Gabby needed to buy a book there), I found lots of fun, and I guess my companions found lots of fun too, even if we weren’t loaded with lots of money, and even if I found myself really annoyed at my tired legs during the later parts of the hangout. I think certain companions of mine enjoyed certain musical performances in the convention as well…
Now, I’d like to thank my companions at the con very much for hanging out with me! Thanks very much, Wacks, Gabby, Francis, Bryan, and Bob! You have helped Tobby improve! I hope that I have helped you improve too, dear companions!
Well, now that that’s done, time to get some rest, and then get back to doing chores and work and other important stuff! And again, I’d like to praise the Lord, and I’d like to ask God Almighty to help us all as well!
And hey, see you again in the den, nutshellcrackers! \(^o^)
Maruo Eiichiro (Ei-chan) stands out among sports anime protagonists because of his analytical ability. Usually, analyzers are pushed into secondary roles that challenge or support the main character. In Baby Steps, however, the roles are reversed: the analyzer leads, and, in the second season, the charismatic hero-type is just another opponent. I’ve often said that I find this character change refreshing. Yet I’ve never written a post inspired by Ei-chan’s self-examination.
I think it’s because my posts often include topics I struggle with, such as discipline. I already understand the value of reflection and self-examination. I carry a journal everywhere, I lean toward the analytical, and I’m a thorough note-taker—much like Ei-chan. So I didn’t think about writing on the topic until I caught up on Baby Steps 2 yesterday. Then I realized two things: First, self-examination is an important part of Christian growth and is worth writing about. Second…