Slight Addendum to My Conrevo Post

(Second semester of college, as it turns out, can be quite a busy time, so this one will be just a short extension of my Conrevo post. Granted, with better time management I can still write a better quality post, but eh.)

For the longest time I’ve dabbled on why superhero is such a compelling figure to me. Truth to be told……I just like them. They’re guys with extraordinary abilities like shooting laser beam out of their eyeballs and they get to do cool stuff like saving bunch of people. For the most part, those tangential qualities is the reason I often look forward to movies and series about them.

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Saekano and the Moment Where it All Breaks Down

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(Warning, spoiler for Saekano episode 9)

In consideration that the second season is premiering this spring, I decided to catch up on the entirety of Saekano season 1, the light novel adaptation by the much regarded Fumiaki Maruto. Before this, all I’ve been doing was joining the bandwagon about how frustrating Saekano self-referencing routine is which…….I admit not exactly a “good” behavior to take for a series that I haven’t even watched.

Soooo, episodes later, I came out enjoying Saekano. The girls are pretty, the meta element aren’t as cringe-worthy as I thought it would be, and Maruto is still a really good writer that can write witty clever banter. I do admit that the fact that the characters strictly adhere to basic anime stereotype does more harm than good to the show. It really limits their characterization and the emotional space of the characters, so ultimately it’s just shooting yourself in the foot.  Maruto basically just write a well-written cliche.

Now, you could argue that the characters embodying those stereotypes is a way of portraying the way otaku engage with their media i.e. mimicking their favorite characters. After all, in social conversation, there’s certain degree of “performance” we do in front of people that we converse with (this is slightly emphasized by the fact that the heroines are acting out their stereotype only when in front of Tomoya). So while I find the execution to be a miss, I could see this was (probably) done out of well-meaning intention.

If that was the case in Saekano, it really makes what happened on episode 9 truly satisfying.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or How Roald Dahl Totally Went “Get Off My Lawn”

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When it comes to the relationship with our elder (or our youngster, whichever), you couldn’t help but feel there’s a certain generation gap between our way of thinking. As society keeps on evolving and technology advancement are made every day, there’s a gap of “the way things are” between our generation with the other generation. As such, it’s easy to demonize foreign element to our generation that we think is somehow responsible for why the younger generation seems to be in a “moral degradation” (the latest object of demonization being internet and smartphone gadget).

That’s a whole lot of sentiment, but what does that have to do with Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Well, underneath its fantastical narrative, I couldn’t help but feel that in the story Roald Dahl totally went on the whole “Get off my lawn” rant.

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Dissecting Gintama’s Comedy

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So, my usual M.O. of watching anime as of late has been just watching whatever it is that’s either mostly fell under the radar of the anime community that I’ve been (or just not watching anime entirely *cough*Buffy the Vampire Slayer*cough*it’s pretty good*cough*). Gintama more or less fell into that M.O which is a weird thing to say considering it was one of the most successful anime and manga franchise in Japan and, to a degree, in the “mainstream” anime demographic of the west.

So short impression, I like Gintama. It has some of the most absurd out-of-left-field gag I’ve seen out of….well almost anything. Beyond that, it has a strong entertaining cast of characters, which the series utilized very well, and also surprisingly has a really heartfelt character-driven drama.

I’ve pretty much caught up to the entirety of the old series (including the second movie, which was…..good, I guess?) and are now watching to the 2015 series. Considering how much time I’ve invested, I more or less become familiar about Gintama’s consistent comedic tricks. Tricks which I am now going to share to you to introduce you to the madness that is Gintama.

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Quick Ramble: On the Word “Courage”

Growing up, there are plenty of concepts which I either never quite understand it’s significance completely or I just take for granted.  Among them are the nature of sacrifice, of doing the right thing, love and plenty more. All of them I could probably wing a post out of each concept.

So for today, I’m just going to talk about one thing, courage.

It sounds simple. And I always thought of them as just being brave at trying to do one thing. But what I don’t understand completely was that it also means trying to brave in the face of possible failure aaaaand the bravery to do it all over again.

It’s a simple process but I’m surprised how ingrained it was in the details of our everyday life. Trying to choose a club circle, trying to confess to someone that you like, trying to talk to someone about your problem etc. And to do all of that despite the possibility of the club circle you join ended up not a place where you can belong, the one you have feelings for rejected you, and the person you talked ended up having differing opinions from you.

Trying to do something, failing, and doing it all over again is suck, but there’s also a certain beauty in that cycle. Even if one thing doesn’t work out, you can always try another one. Even if , as Thomas Wolfe puts it, “You can’t go home again” you can always make a new home. If your one love doesn’t work out, you can always fell in love again and again with another one. All of those things are precious to us, but at the same time, kind of “replaceable” in one aspect. They’re fragile and impermanent, but also what makes doing those things meaningful in certain respect.

When I mentioned how I was having a bad day, a couple of friends of mine mentioned that I’m a brave person, but in my own head, I don’t register much of my action as such. Granted, it’s mostly because of my own self-depreciation, but I always I thought what I was doing are merely living, same as everybody else. But I guess that, trying to be honestly and openly express your feeling to connect someone else (and by extension, trying to engage with the world at large), and keep on living despite your shitty circumstances is a courage on it’s own.

I….don’t really know what I’m going with this. But I guess I just wanted to say, here’s trying and failing all over again.

Or I should say, here’s on living.

 

“The Thief” OR Social Unrest in the Face of a Crime

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One of the most primal fear within human mind is the fear of the unknown.

When I said fear of the unknown, it doesn’t have to be Lovecraftian fear of an existence far beyond human comprehension that makes us question our place in the universe. It can be something closer to home, that is to say, fear for our fellow man, fear for what darkness that might lurk behind the seemingly benign mask people (strangers, friends, or family alike) put on in their daily live.

Junichiro Tanizaki’s The Thief, among other things depending on your interpretation (as the unreliable nature of the narration offers variety of view), is an exploration of this theme, or to be more precise, how an act of crime can cause doubts and distrust within a certain community.

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Identity, Memory, and Social Engagement in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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(Warning: In order to talk about ideas present within a work in a meaningful way, you more or less have to dig in to the overall plot of the work. So….Spoiler and such)

Communication is, and always will be, hard.

When it comes to social engagement with another human being, it’s fair to say we have certain expectation to a relationship. Say that you’re on a relationship with a friend. The word “friend” can mean different things to a people and with it, a certain social baggage and expectation what a friend should behave in our mind. In general, people want anybody they consider as a “friend” to behave like a perfect companion: always stays by your side, always be there for you, and never ever hurt you.

This however runs contrary to the fact all of us are not a perfect human being and sometimes we do bad things to the people we love.

The horrible things that we do doesn’t have to be out of malice intent, it can happen because we can’t always keep our emotion in check, can’t always keeping our worst impulses at bay. We also can’t always know what might offend the other person. All of us grew up in a differing circumstance and background which inevitably means all of us have their own insights about how the world “works”.  Sometimes, those different insights can clash in the worst ways possible.  Because of that, compromises of our basic desire and ego is pretty much an always necessary thing to do in a relationship.

An honest communication require us to be in a state of vulnerability. In order to truly connect with someone, you can’t help but let the other person you’re communicating  to get “inside” you, letting them know what do you feel, what are your thoughts, wants, and desires.

So when what we expect our friend or lover or parents or whathaveyou should behave inevitably clash with the fact that we’re not perfect, this leads to an inevitable hurt.

However, Eternal Sunshine with a Spotless Mind propose a question. What if we can just erase it?

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So I’ve Read Animal Farm

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Well, I suppose this is the first time that I reviewed a book before. I have been meaning to do it for a while, but I just don’t have the creative spark to do it. This third reading assignment of my Literature class however, provide me a semblance of will to do so. So well, here we go.

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