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.

 

So, I’ve Watched Konosuba

Fantasy series that involved, in one way or another, a protagonist from our world who struggles in a, well, fantasy universe tends to signal a warning light in my head. Even more so when said fantasy universe was deeply inspired by MMO mechanic. Stories of such nature, while not only has been prevalent in the industry in this post-SAO world, is something that I don’t associate with good-storytelling. There has been some exceptions, like last year decent-but-not-too-remarkable Danmachi and this season slice-of-life focused MMO anime Grimgar. But on the whole, I remained skeptical in a story with this sort-of premise.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!, or Konosuba, however, thankfully rebuked my earlier expectation that it’s going to be another bland entry to the fantasy-mmo genre. And while it’s comedic-centric conceit is a fresh of breath air, unfortunately, I can’t say that it’s a particularly noteworthy entry either.

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Thoughts on Summer Anime 2015

Aaahh summer. Clear blue sky, warmth sunlight, relax atmosphere, all of the criteria for an ideal weather to shut yourself in a room so you can enjoy some japanese cartoon.

Although, Indonesia is a tropical country, so I have no idea what summer actually feels like. But it is nice to imagine summer to be that way. We have dry season in here for what its worth though.

Anyway, with new season comes along new line up of anime for us to enjoy! Its pretty interesting line up, with variety of genre and interesting premises in the bag. Whether it’s romcom, comedy or action, while only two or three might be noteworthy to some, there’s at least something for everyone to enjoy, and here I am once again trying to share my two cents of a thought on several shows that I’ve sampled that might worth a damn. 😉

Its a bit cheating since I didn’t wrote any for the spring 2015, but I was avoiding the season back then, due to various circumstances, which led me to not finishing any of the show I’ve planned to finish (and I probably won’t finish much shows this season either). So before I begin, here’s some short impression on the shows I’ve watched on spring:

The one I actually managed to finished

Oregairu Zoku: This youth romantic comedy continues to be great as expected. Slight confusing ending. Requires more reading between the line in-depth look compare to its predecessor than my brain could actually handle. >__<

Blood Blockade Battlefront (okay this one isn’t actually finished yet, but still): Nice direction and visual design. As for everything else, eh……its a pass.

The one I haven’t

Danmachi: Comfort fantasy show. Lazy, but slightly more competent writing than I thought.

Sidonia S2: Literally only watching this just so I can see my NagatexTsumugi ship. Pretty weird sci-fi-action-harem-romcom……thing.

Ore Monogatari!: Dawwwwww.

Punchline: Whaaaaaaaaaaa.

Hibike! Euphonium: Wasn’t for me. It looked nice for what its worth.

Also, special mention to JoJo Bizarre Adventure, for being the the one series where I actually didn’t keep up at all, but its existence infuriate me for irrational reason (please refer to my defining shonen part ii post)

Okay, lets move on to the those summer shows now, shall we?

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My Youth Isn’t a Romantic Comedy In Any Way Possible, But In a Way That’s Alright I Guess

If you mention the word ‘youth’, especially within the context of anime, ‘school life’ is perhaps the most probable things that came up in your mind. Heck, the two word are practically one and inseparable by this point. To a degree, anime industry seems to capitalize on this for a very long time. In every season, there’s at least one anime centered around school life, many LN adaptation features a magical high school nowadays, and the most magical things in an anime world seems to happen in an highschool or to a highschooler for contrived reasons. Pretty reflective over the fact that:

A) Teenager has always been anime main demographic, and

B) There’s also fake nostalgia factor at play for adult viewer, which somewhat makes sense considering highschool are probably the happiest time for many Japanese. Not necessarily means highschool are a fun time for all of them, many students are often under constant pressure to get a good grade and higher education after all, but considering monotone office life and batshit insane work hours are what most adults in Japan go through every day of their life, plus the social pressure of having to go out for a drink with your co-worker every time said work hours is over (remember the after-work bar scenes in Shirobako? Turns out there’s a dark side to that), your guess is as good as mine in which phase in life they prefer.

Unfortunately, any chance and possibility of any sorts of magical encounter happening in my ‘youth’ have pretty much closed its gates now, because as of May 15th 2015, a certain announcement has arrived in my mothers laptop. Bringing a certain notification that I apparently have graduated.

Which, in anime world, is another way of saying that my ‘youth’ is ‘over’.

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The Plight of a ‘Casual’ Viewer

For the last few weeks, there’s been a certain annoyance for me every time I watch/read something. To a degree, it might had something to do with my just found awareness toward storytelling craft. And also, who am I as a media consumer before that.

For further clarification of that statements though, we need to go back around two years ago.

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Expectation, Disappointment and Trainwreck or How I Can’t Laugh at Aldnoah

The definition of a trainwreck series is usually where a hyped series (usually with high production value) that began decent enough, slowly started to failed on storytelling or narrative department due to stupid (sometimes hilarious) decision on narrative choices. Whether that be plot holes, the way characters started to make stupid, out of logic decision that wasn’t in line with their established personality, or beginning to reveal absolutely idiotic twist/reveal that usually just there for the sake of shock value, anything. On 2011 the title fell to Guilty Crown for many. On 2013 it fell onto Valvrave (although i began to suspect this was intentional) for some. And arguably on 2014 the title fell onto Aldnoah.Zero.

While some regard A.Z as an interesting failure, for others its just a joke. The reasons is all the more apparent from episode eleven to twelve. After the reveal of visual promotion for the second season of A.Z that depicted Inaho, our main character, somehow managed to survived despite being clearly shoot to the head at the end off the first season, most of anitwitter/aniblogsphere ready themselves to jump on hyped train/bandwagon not on basis of that it’ll be “great”, but rather on the basis that it’ll be hilarious/enjoyable trainwreck.

For some reason, i just can’t join on whatever silliness that will potentially come out.

Also, i just couldn’t laughed at Aldnoah.

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Of Being Spoiled and Different Viewing Lens

Its commonly known by now, but being spoiled sucks.

For one it took away one of the reason we go to watch a series/movies which is the intrigue of the unknown and if you already know what’s going to happen, then the mystery is pretty much lost along with interest. Especially if it contain several twists that could turn our viewing experience around.

Of course, people react differently to this. Most often responds however, is that it ruin everything and making watching the series/movie valueless. Usually with anger.

To be honest, that came off as hyperbolic for me.

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