Tag Archives: Anime/Manga

The Lion Cub Can Grow Again: Season One Episode Three

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Hey friends! If you missed the last post in this series, be sure to check that out before you get into this one, as some of the stuff is going to cross over. But, aside from that, this episode is another emotionally heavy one, so let us get into it.


While episode two was still somewhat dark but chose to focus on looking at the bright side, episode three is decidedly not that, at least for the latter half.

The episode opens with Rei once again waking up in his apartment, eating the last of the fried chicken Akari gave him from his meal with the sisters previously. He notes that today he has a match against Harunobu Nikaido, the rival that had been introduced at the end of episode one and the beginning of episode two. Rei goes through his normal match day routine of taking a long walk over the bridge and looking out at the river and makes it to the Shogi hall in order to play his match. However, while on his way there, he recounts his times playing Nikaido at department store tournaments while they were kids, only to beat him and watch him cry.

Rei arrives at the play area only to find Nikaido sitting their already feeling invigorated. Still, Rei shakes it off, sits down, and begins to play Nikaido. The two play for a while, and it seems to be going in Rei’s favor. Quickly, though, the match begins to look like the matches they played as kids, with Nikaido sweating do to the extreme heat and looking sickly and pale. It is here that Rei again begins to have a feeling that he had already established he thought was somewhat arrogant, and as he gets up to go and see if the air conditioning is working, Nikaido tells him its fine, then makes a move that confuses Rei, causing him to panic.

One the one hand, I don’t necessarily think its arrogant to try and make sure your opponent is ok, but in the context of the episode and the arc of Rei’s character, it makes sense for him, and for his opponent, to see it as arrogant. For Nikaido, he looks up to Rei as a strong competitor and Rival, so Rei going out of his way to make sure he is okay is somewhat insulting. Similarly, Rei believes that by doing he is looking down on Nikaido and is not giving him his full respect.

The match continues until eventually Rei beats out Nikaido, but, despite not saying it out loud, the two acknowledge that the other has gotten better.

After finishing the match, Nikaido walks out only to find his personal servant outside waiting for him. Wondering he isn’t on his vacation, Nikaido asks why he is here. Hanaoka explains that he was became worried and decided to let Nikaido’s mom have the rest of the vacation. Quickly the two rush to the hospital. Along the way, being supportive of Nikaido, Hanaoka asks how the match went, with Nikaido responding. “I lost, I didn’t realize how much stronger he had gotten. But next time I won’t lose.”

The determination in beating Rei signals a lot of what we later find out about Nikaido as a character: that despite being deathly ill and unable to do anything about it, he is unwavering in his need to be a better Shogi player.

The show then cuts to Rei walking across the tiny bridge shown at the end of the first episode on his way to the Kawamoto sister’s house, remembering Akari’s invitation to join them for dinner after the match. Rei arrives and gets ready to eat. However, it is interrupted when Akari reminds her grandpa that he can’t go to sleep until they light the final sticks for Obon, a gesture that symbolizes the dead returning to their life after death.

It is here that the show brings the focus back onto the loss of their mother and grandmother, something the previous described as a pain that had not yet gone away.

After the sticks fully burn, Hina says that she is going to the convenience store. Likely knowing something is wrong, their grandpa tells Rei to go after her to make sure she is ok. The two walk a long distance and end up near the side of the river, where Hina burst into tears.

After noting the strength she had for keeping her feelings in check earlier, Rei approaches, telling Hina that its alright to stay a little longer.

Rei’s often emotionless personality plays a large roll in this scene, as he notes that he thought that crying at the loss of family members was pointless, so he just stopped. Hina meanwhile, feels comfortable crying in Rei’s presence, but not in her families presence. As the episode ends Rei starts questioning why it is he abandoned his feelings in the first place.

The picture of Rei’s personal life becomes a little more obvious at this juncture, knowing that Rei’s adopted father was adamant about him going pro. Rei likely suppressed his emotion as a survival tactic, knowing that if he didn’t show results his adopted dad would stop caring about him, and considering the rest of his adopted family already resented him, for Rei, there was only ever one choice.

It seems like these few opening episodes have been great at providing large contrasting ideas between its two halves. For this episode, the contrast lies between Nikaido’s sense of determination after his loss in his game to Rei, and Hina’s grief over the loss of her mother and grandmother.


Thanks for hanging out. If you would like to support The Aniwriter or are just feeling generous, consider donating on Ko-fi or by using one of my affiliate links down below:

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

The Lion Cub Can Grow Again: Season One Episode Two

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Well, here we are again, taking a look at the second episode of season one of March Comes in Like a Lion in my re-watch/analysis series. In the last post, I touched on how the first episode served as a great character introduction to Rei, setting up the main story threads that will follow him throughout the series, that being both the relationship with his adopted family, but also the love and support he gets from the Kawamoto sisters. With that being said, lets get right into the next episode.


The second episode of March Comes in Like a Lion is used largely to build on the relationship established in the first episode between Rei and the Kawamoto sisters, with the introduction of some other important characters sprinkled in.

Following with the end of the first episode, in the opening minutes of episode two the show introduces Nikaido, Rei’s self-declared rival and later on best friend. The show also quickly establishes Nikaido’s family wealth when Rei asks where “that guy that follows you around is?” to which Nikaido replies “Oh, my servant, he is on vacation.” The two chat about an upcoming Shogi invitational before, heading up to Rei’s apartment and revealing his current disinterest in anything having to do with him.

The next morning, Rei heads to his qualifying match for the NHK tournament. It is at this point, while walking to the train station across the bridge that one of the few things he genuinely likes is the river, and that despite their being a train station closer to his house, on match days he crosses the bridge just to see the river.

It may seem like an insignificant detail, but considering what has already been revealed about Rei’s personality up to this point, it actually gives a lot of context to why he might be in this town in the first place. Also, since this does not fit anywhere else, I thought I should go ahead and mention that the show uses a lot of water metaphors, something I talked about in a different article.

After Rei arrives at the Shogi club, the show introduces two new characters, Issa and Tatsuyuki, that play generally minor roles throughout the show, but for this episode are somewhat important. For his qualifying match, Rei plays against Issa, but beats him relatively quickly. It is revealed after he loses that Issa wanted to get into the tournament so that his grandpa could watch him from the hospital, since the tournament would be broadcast on national television. However, Tatsuyuki quickly lightens the mood by suggesting the three should go out for drinks and that Rei would be buying, not forgetting to mention that the place they would be going is the same place Akari works.

Correction: it was over yet.

It is at this point in the episode where the show reveals the backstory of how Rei and the Kawamoto sisters met. While the three are having a good time drinking, Rei of course not drinking alcohol because he is a minor, Akari comments on how nice Issa and Tatsuyuki seem to be, saying they are good senpais, but immediately after commenting on how there can also be bad senpais that would take advantage of a friend with a lot of money, and abandon them.

It is also worth mentioning the disdain Akari has on her face when she says this, seeming genuinely mad for the first time in the show, and this makes sense, given what comes after. The show flashes back to Rei abandoned on the street in front of the same club. Akari notices him lying there, and helps him back to her house. Considering his need to throw up, and waking up the next morning with his hand to his head, it is implied that the people he was with forced him to drink, something else Akari says she hates.

The latter third of the episode starts with Rei waking up, realizing he has no food, and going to the grocery store across the bridge. While there, picking up his usual assortment of cupped noodles and other treats, he runs into Momo, Hina, and Akari. Akari sees his shopping basket and comments that he never comes to dinner and prefers to eat cup noodles instead of her food. Feeling guilty, Rei chases after them as they turn around, after which Akari hands him an sticks used for Obon celebration, Obon being a celebration of one’s ancestors.

As the four of them, along with the girls grandpa, later gather at the sisters’ house, they enjoy each other company and eat. Grandpa asks Rei where his family is buried, revealing that Rei’s family is dead.

After dinner, Akari gives Rei the leftovers from their meal, telling him to heat it up in the microwave before eating it. She then says to come over again on Monday for the end of the Obon, where she will have a huge feast, saying “it is nice to have company over…” Rei does not hear the rest of what she says, but believes she meant to say “as a distraction.” This scene in the show does two things, 1) it establishes that Akari’s reason for having Rei over a lot is somewhat selfish, but also that 2) That the sisters are still very much grieving from the loss of their mother and grandmother.

Finally, the end of the first episode reveals that after the loss of his family, Rei felt emotionally forced into Shogi, saying “I had nothing else to do.” It has not been revealed yet exactly why this is the case, but nonetheless it establishes more context for Rei’s current life as a pro Shogi player.

Episode two of season one is all about providing more context, both for Rei and his current emotional struggle, and for his relationship with the Kawamoto sisters, as well as the pains they are going through. Overall, the episode is incredibly well executed.


What anime have you all been wanting to re-watch? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you would like to support The Aniwriter or are just feeling generous, consider donating on Ko-fi or by using one of my affiliate links down below:

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

OWLS May “Happiness” Post: Anime, Writing, and The Endgame

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Hello again, friends! For this months OWLS post, I’ll be talking on a bit more of a personal level, as the topic for this month is Happiness.

Happiness is subjective. We all have different definitions of what happiness means to us and we also feel happiness in varying degrees. This month we will be exploring several questions describing our happiness in our fandoms, communities, and hobbies. Why do we find enjoyment watching anime or reading manga? Why did we decide to join the anime or pop culture communities?  Why do we blog about our hobbies or cosplay as our favorite characters? This topic is all about the passions we have for our interests and why they are important to us.

As always, make sure to check out more of the OWLS by looking at some of our other members posts, such as Karandi whose post will be coming after mine.

With that being said, here is the post:


Anime

Most people get to a certain point in their lives where they all start asking each other the same two questions: how and why are we even here? This is no less true in the anime community, a group of people who have come together to bask in the glory of Japanese animation. It seems like most people in the anime community have a fairly interesting story to tell when it comes to these questions, so for anyone who cares, here is mine.

Before I found anime as a hobby, I pretty much did nothing. In middle school, I played games on my Nintendo DS and that was about it. Every day was me finishing my homework and chilling alone in my room. I also did not have many friends at the time, and it seems like the ones I did manage to find were constantly moving away. One day, however, the person who would become my best friend introduced me to two different shows: Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist. This was around the time I got my first computer, so of course, I looked them up and started binging them. Bleach was technically the first show I watched, with FMA coming Immediately after.

After watching these two shows, I was hooked and I wanted more. For a while, I went on a quest to find new shows like Bleach and FMA, watching all manner of YouTube top ten videos and reviews for shows that looked interesting. Before I knew it, I stumbled upon what would be one of my favorite shows for a long time to come: Fairytail. After that, I met a friend in the seventh grade who was also an avid anime watcher and gave me even more great recommendations like Death Note, Fruits Basket (the original Deen adaptation), and Hetalia. With that, anime was a part of my life.

Writing

Writing as a passion for me came much later. It was not until I joined my school’s newspaper that I found out just how much I enjoyed writing. Every week I would find something new to report on and make an effort to deep dive into that topic. Sometimes I would even be opinionated enough to make an article talking about something I cared about.

Later on in high school during my sophomore year, I took a creative writing class, where I met a lot of similarly minded people like me, and we just took time enjoying and creating whatever we wanted. Creative writing is also where I discovered my love of poetry and short stories, so there is that.

It wasn’t until my Junior year of high school, where I was overwhelmed with the amount of work I had going on, that I decided to create a blog for fun. At the time I just needed something to get my mind of all my stress and just have control over something creatively. Quickly, though, it turned from something to do in my free time to a hobby to something I love doing (almost) all the time.

Where Do I Go from Here?

Honestly, I don’t know yet. I still want to try and make this something of a part-time or even full-time job if possible, but I also still have a lot to learn when it comes to being creative on the internet. I’m still not even fully sure if what I am doing with my blog now is what I will be doing in a few years from now. However, I do know one thing, that it is enjoyable for me, and right now that is a lot of what matters. Anime, Writing, and this blog are a lot of what brings me happiness.


What are your guy’s plans for the future? Let me know in comments below. Also, if you would like to support The Aniwriter or are just feeling generous, consider donating on ko-fi or using one of the affiliate links below:

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

The Lion Cub Can Grow Again: Season One Episode One

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Hello, everyone, and welcome to a series that I only really got the idea for a few days ago, but I now am really excited about. This post now marks the beginning of my March Comes in Like a Lion re-watch/analysis. It has been a minute since I’ve seen the series. The last time I watched it was while it was airing a little over a year ago. Since I don’t mention it that often, I feel I should reiterate: this show is one of my favorite, if not my outright favorite, anime of all time. As such, I wanted to take some more time to reflect on it, from the beginning. I hope you all will follow along with me in this journey, as I want to really dig into the meat of this show and revisit what works, and even what does not. Anyway, enough rambling. Here are my thoughts on the show’s first episode.


It has definitely been a while since I have seen the show’s very first episode, and honestly, the first thing I have to say is Damn. I did not remember the show being that emotionally gripping in the first episode, and there is so much to unpack.

The first thing I want to point out is just how well the show establishes the amount of emotional turbulence Rei is going through in the opening moments of the show. We see what looks to be a storm, Raging on around Rei, but after the show’s intro finishes it cuts back to that same seen, introducing Rei’s sister Akari, it gives more context to what the storm means. It is the storm inside Rei’s head, unending and relentless.

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We get even more context a few minutes later in the episode, when Rei faces off against his dad in a game of Shogi. In between their match, the show cuts to flashbacks of what looks to be Rei’s first tournament as a kid. He ends up winning that tournament, but his adopted brother and sister, Ayumi and Kyoko, resent him. During the match Rei does not say a thing to his father. In fact, it is quite tonally significant that the first thing Rei says five or six minutes into the first episode is a response to his dad saying the family misses him, “That’s a lie.”

The overall tone of this first third of the episode is fairly somber, and yet also deeply angry. This also comes through after Rei meets up with the Kawamoto sisters and the four of them have dinner. While eating, a report comes on the TV talking about a son who had brutally beaten his father. At this point, Rei explains that every move he made in their earlier Shogi match felt like a fist to the face, like he was getting back at his adopted father, and yet, Rei is still deeply resentful.

This is later shown when Hina comes to bring him a blanket, only to remove the glasses Rei had left on while falling asleep and reveal the tears still in his eyes, implying that Rei had been crying while sleeping.

However, amid this confusion and sadness, there is also a major paradigm shift for Rei. The first episode also shows just how much love and support Rei does have. The Kawamoto sisters all seem to genuinely care about Rei, as if they had always been family. Not only does the family offer to feed them twice in the first episode, and Hina gives him a huge lunch when he wakes up, they also tell him at the end of the episode that he is welcome over any time.

The first episode is not only a great on its own, but it also serves as a fantastic character introduction to Rei Kiriyama, showing both the emotional turbulence that he will have to deal with throughout the show, but also the potential to overcome it with the help of the people who care.

Edit: I accidentally said Kyoko’s sister was Akari, but I meant to write Kyoko. Apologies.


By the way, I have not yet decided how often I plan on doing these, but more than likely it will be an at least once a week type thing. Anyway, thank you all for taking a read. If you would like to support The Aniwriter or are just feeling generous, consider donating on ko-fi or by using one of my affiliate links down below:

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Carole and Tuesday Episode One Reaction

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Alright, so mini-rant before I talk about the show. I’ve avoided talking about some of the seasonal shows because they have been picked up by Netflix, and have not had an opportunity to watch them. This is because, as an American, I don’t have access to any of their anime simulcasts, which, tbh, is really annoying, and I still have not a modicum of an idea as to why they don’t do this. Point being, I didn’t want to have to pirate anything so I just didn’t watch them. But, at this point, since Netflix has just decided to not to give me or anyone else in America, I just found another way. I still will not promote pirating myself and don’t agree with it, but in this case I don’t blame anyone who does. Anyway, onto the show.


Music in anime is often something that gets explored solely through idol shows like Love Live or Uta no Prince Sama, or otherwise serves as a more cohesive aesthetic like in Samurai Champloo. However, Carole and Tuesday seems to be taking a much different approach to its musical based story.

Set in the future on Mars, where most music is produced by big companies and AI, the show follows two main girls. Tuesday is an upper class girl who’s parents forbid her from playing music, and who, because of this, decides to run away. Meanwhile, in the city of Alba, Carole spends her days trying to find steady work in order to eek out a living in the big city. The two cross paths when Tuesday hears Carole humming and playing her piano on a bridge. The two run away from a cop and meet back at Carole’s place, vowing to take on the world and make music together.

If there is one thing I have learned about the anime industry over the course of my talking about it, it is to trust in the quality of a Watanabe, and Carole and Tuesday certainly does not disappoint. The show’s opening episode brought a lot of things to the table.

The first thing it brings is its excellent animation and color pallet. The city of Alba specifically is colored in a way that makes it exactly as Carole describes it, “a city where nobodies come to be somebodies.” In that way it is very much like the New York City of Mars, serving as a beacon of hope for the tired and distraught. The character designs for both of the main characters are also incredibly cool, especially in the way that they both reflect the characters backgrounds. Tuesday, coming from a more privileged background, wears a fancier dress, while Carole, having nothing to her name other than her keyboard and her pet, wears a simple pear of overalls.

There is also the character of Angela, who seems to serve a contrast, and who seems to be a potential rival to the girls in the future. Angela is a model who is looking to break into the music business, and who does so with the help of Mr. T, a heavy-hitter in the mars music business, who tells Angela that most of the successful musicians in recent history have been AI.

Definitely the most notable scene in the first episode was when Carole and Tuesday started playing music together, at first messily, but then slowly coming together and making a beautiful song.

Overall, it was a great first episode and I definitely excited to see what the rest of the series brings.


How do you guys feel about Carole and Tuesday? Let me know in the comments below. Also if you would like to support The Aniwriter or are just feeling generous, consider donating on ko-fi or using one of my affiliate links down below:

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

OWLS April “Masculinity” Post: Fullmetal Alchemist and Power Dynamics

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

I am back once again to bring you another contemplative piece about… well, something. The topic for this month is masculinity, as described down below:


This month the OWLS bloggers will explore the concept of masculinity. We each have our own definition of what it means to be masculine and we will explore our definitions using “masculine” characters from various pop culture fandoms. We will discuss how these characters are “masculine” or show signs of a masculine persona. We will also share our personal stories about the amazing men that supported us in our lives as well as sharing some of our experiences growing up as a man or knowing men who struggled with the masculine identity.

Also, be sure to check out Scott and Lyn’s posts that will be coming out before and after mine, respectively.

With that said, my post today will be about Fullmetal Alchemist, so here it is:


One of the most iconic moments from both the original Fullmetal Alchemist as well as the Brotherhood remake is one of the opening episodes which takes place in the city of Lior. The Elric brothers end up in Lior after hearing about a miracle worker named Father Cornello, who also claims to be the prophet of the sun god Leto, and who also appears to have a philosopher’s stone, the thing the Elric brothers have been searching for in order to get Alphonse’s body back.

In their first meeting with Father Cornello, and Rose, one of Cornello’s devout followers who told Rose that he would help bring back her dead lover, Ed gives a description of the elements that make up a human body, and after said description explains that even with the power of science, bringing back a human life is impossible, and that Rose’s trust of religion to do the same is misguided. Eventually, after a short battle between ed and Cornello, the two brothers expose to the people of Lior that Cornello’s miracles are fake and that he is no profit at all, only a phony with a fake philosopher stone. Of course, the message of the episode is fairly pro-science, or in this case pro-alchemy and anti-religion, but when it comes to similarities, there is one big one that science and religion in the Fullmetal Alchemist universe share: the problem of masculinity.

It is important to realize that when I talk about these things, I am talking about them in terms of how they manifest in institutions and not necessarily about them as general concepts. With religion, well, that should be fairly self-explanatory. Cornello leads the church of Leto which tricks its followers into believing he is the prophet in order to gain power over him and so that they will do what they say. As for Alchemy, well, that is a long story.

Per the lore of the franchise, many of Amestris’ most successful alchemists work for the Amestrian government. Some work for government grants that are given based on an evaluation done every two years, while others are employed in the army. However, in the field of Alchemy, one thing, or rather one gender, is often missing. Women, while playing substantial roles in story of Fullmetal Alchemist, are generally missing in the field of Alchemy. Sure, Riza Hawkeye and the Elric Brother’s teacher Izumi are there, but they generally seem to be the exception to the rule. Alchemy, much like religion, seems to be a bit of a boy’s club.

I point this out not to say that Fullmetal Alchemist as a show is sexist or that no one should watch it, but rather to say this: much like in the world of Fullmetal Alchemist, power can corrupt, and it does not even have to be absolute power. When talking about Masculinity, one of the most important things to bring up is power dynamics. Whether it be in a work environment or even in a committed relationship between two people, unhealthy power dynamics based on gender can, and likely do exist. It is important to be vigilant so that unhealthy and discriminatory institutions can be called out.


How do you folks feel about Masculinity? Leave your hot takes down in the comments below. Also, if you would like to support The Aniwriter, or are just feeling generous, consider donating on Ko-fi or use one of my affiliate links down below:

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

OWLS February “Adore” Post: For the Love of Adventure

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Its that time of the month again for an OWLS post. This month’s theme is “Adore,” as described down below:


In February, we will be exploring love and romance. The word selected is “adore” because it has two main connotations: to be loved and respected or to feel worshipped. We will analyze characters that give us a feeling of admiration and explain why we love those characters. We will also be exploring different forms of love (familial, friendship, and even self-love) and how those types of love influence our lives.

OwLs

For this months topic, I decided to pick an anime that I have not had a lot of time to discuss, but one that I still feel passionate about: A Place Further Than the Universe.

Be sure to check posts from fellow OWLS members Irina and Rai, as well.

With all that said, here is the post:


It is sometimes easy to become enamored with the beauty of the world around us. If travel blogs and hundreds of Instagram photos have taught me anything, its that there are some many wonderful places to get lost in. Whether it be on the beach in Europe, or a hiking path on a remote Carribean island, the world has proven itself to be filled with wonder. However, experiences like those, for as cool as they would be by themselves, are often made so much better in the company of others.

Enter Mari, a high school girl whose monotonous daily routine has finally caught up with her. Despite living a fairly peaceful and privileged life, Mari feels as though she has not had a truly life-changing experience, and that if she does not have one before she leaves high school, the busy schedule of adult life will make it impossible for her to do so. One day, Mari runs into Shirase, a girl known infamously throughout her high school for being a bit of a weirdo. After the two meet up after Mari gives back some lost money she found, Shirase explains that it is her dream to follow in her mother’s footsteps and go to Antartica. Amazed by her confidence and determination, Mari decides that this will be her life-changing experience. The two of them eventually meet up with Hinata and Yuzuki and are able to make it on the trip to Antartica, despite some major difficulty.

However, as it is often said, the journey is much more important than the destination, which is why a good portion of the show is dedicated to just getting there. First, they need Yuzuki to even be allowed on the trip. Then, they have to train and learn about the landscape and harsh conditions of their environment. Even just getting to the ship’s starting point ends up being a difficult part of their journey, even if most of it was self-caused. But, even with all of the difficulty, they confide in each other.

Even their friendship was unlikely. Mari only meets Shirase after she drops money at the train station and Mari finds her crying, and she only meets Hinata after deciding to start a part-time job to earn money for the trip. The three of them are approached by Yuzuki because she does not want to go. Mari, Shirase and Hinata convince her to come on the trip so that all of them can go, and in the process they become friends.

As the four of them start and follow through on their journey, documenting the whole thing along the way, their bond grows. Getting the chance to go on a trip to Antartica, a place with some of the harshest conditions in the world, and having to help each other along the way makes it a much more worthwhile experience.

The power of adventure is one that should not be forgotten about. Experiences, more than anything else, have the power to set aside differences and bring people together, even in the most unlikely of conditions. Whether it be a journey to Antarctica or even just a trip to the beach together, adventure can often be an important form of love.


What do you guys think about A Place Further Than the Universe? Let me know in the comments down below. Also, if you would like to support The Aniwriter, or are just feeling generous, consider donating on Ko-fi or using one of my affiliate links:

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

I’ve Been Tagged Again! The T.A.P Tag

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


For as much as you might expect someone like me to combine anime and poetry, especially considering they are the main two topics of this blog, I rarely get the chance to do it. Well, I’ve now been finally been given an excuse to do so. Thank you to Keiko for tagging me for this. Here are the rules:

The Rules:

  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 (this post!).
  3. Make sure to mention the person who 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.

The three anime that I’ve decided to do are: March Comes in Like a Lion, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, and The Promised Neverland, just to throw in something current. With that said, here are my poems:

March Comes in Like a Lion

When sadness rains down,
It hits much like a typhoon.
Isolation is freedom,
and everything gets better,
but only for a little.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

It is often true
that the mind is powerful.
It can bring great joy,
but when nightmares become real,
All we are left with is pain.

The Promised Neverland

Around each corner,
in places buried within,
lies many secrets.
We think that truth is power,
but some secrets are too dark.

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Takuto’s Anime Cafe

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Everything is Politics, Including Anime, and What That Should Mean

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


The phrase “Everything is political” has gone from an obscure term which originated in the late 1960s to something of a rallying cry for those who consider themselves to be on the left. The phrase has especially picked up a lot of value in recent years, as we have arrived at a political era in which people’s identities are more and more become a source of contention, and are sometimes even leading to violence.

For those who are unaware, while its exact origins are unknown, the phrase’s creation is generally credited to Carol Hanisch, an American activist who fought for women’s issues, and in 1969 joined the Women’s Liberation Front, an organization which was considered radical by the political establishment at the time. In an essay of hers which was later retitled “, The Personal is Political,” Hanisch describes her journey at the Women’s Liberation Front and how it was difficult to get other members of the group to agree that problems such as how men treated their wives, how much money a woman makes compared to her husband, and abortion were more than just personal ones. During the period of second-wave feminism, Hanisch and others like her managed to start a whole new conversation about what exactly was worth getting involved over.

Fast forward to today and, while many of the problems that second-wave feminists dealt with in their time have largely been solved, it seems like a large number of new problems have come to take their place. Rape on college campuses has become increasingly common, Revenge Porn, while having been dealt with by a few places on the state level, still goes largely unpunished, Sexual Harassment is still a problem in many workplaces, including in Hollywood and at large media corporations, as demonstrated by #Metoo, and while men are still more likely to commit suicide then women, the rate among women has increased about 50 percent over the past two decades. Now, I am three paragraphs into this article already and haven’t mentioned any Chinese cartoons yet so you might be wondering: What does any of this have to do with anime?

Well, a lot actually. In his TEDx talk titled, “Everything we do and don’t do is political,” Zachary Baiel stresses the importance of community involvement by using his own community of Lafayette, Indiana as an example. He further goes on to point out how many changes in his community only happened when people decided to get involved, like how a local biking group managed to get actual legislation passed on the city level by getting signatures for a petition and then getting it to their city council representative. Michael Toland put it well in his piece titled “Everything is Political” When he said “If your someone who takes the time to volunteer, you’re most likely volunteering with an organization with which your values align… Each of these decisions affects our communities, working to improve them.” Now, we may not gather together every month to meet with our local representative or hang out at the local library, but anime is a community.

Of course, everyone in the community watches anime, but we also converse online through various forums and social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. Some of us write for blogs, make YouTube videos, and work in journalism related to the community. Sometimes we even take a break from our screens to go out into the real world and enjoy the many wonders that wait at anime conventions. There are so many ways in which people enjoy being a part of this wonderful little slice of the world that we as fans have carved out for ourselves, many even that I did not mention.

It is also important to recognize that our community is a diverse one. There are anime fans all around the globe of many different races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and genders. Every possible flavor of human being has been joined together by a strange addiction to Japanese animation, to anime. And it is not just the community itself that is diverse. Anime, for being more or less its own medium within animation, has many varying genres and subgenres for fans to explore. Wanna watch a show about giant robots? We have that. A dramatic romance? Got that too. A Slice of Life Comedy? Anime has you covered. Each of these diverse genres can also encompass a wide-ranging set of ideas on many topics, from big inherently political shows like Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and its exploration of military dictatorships to the much more subtle politics of shows like Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai which is often underlined by a mental health epidemic. The reality is that all anime is going to have an political message because there are many aspects of life that we don’t often consider that are also political.

Take just the place where you live as an example. If you have a house, that means you probably got a loan in order to pay for it. The interest rate you got on that loan is directly affected by your country’s monetary policy. The electrical work, plumbing, and material used to build the house are all affected by regulations to ensure that it is safe. If you have an apartment, the rent you are charged and the cost of your utilities are affected by any rent controls that are passed by the local government. Also, the quality of your drinking water is also affected largely by your cities regulation. As much as we might not like it to be, everything is politics.

However, this does not mean that everything has to be viewed as politics. Sure, every show will have them, but that does not mean that you are required to engage in a shows politics if you enjoy it for other reasons. Even a show as universally enjoyed as Naruto has politics that explore the responsibility one has to their community, but even I have to admit that most of the time I am just there for the action.

What I am advocating for is not a constant political debate, but rather that we engage our entertainment critically, and ask ourselves why it is we enjoy certain shows. I am not even asking people to change their political viewpoints, necessarily. It is important, however, to recognize certain brands of reactionary politics that seek to make other people feel bad about their identity because those who engage in said reactionary politics feel like their own is somehow under attack. As a community, we should be united in making sure that everyone feels welcomed so that we can all get together in watching anime and solving the real problems, like why Crunchyroll is really bad at picking nominees for the Anime Awards.


Its been a while since I’ve written something on the longer side, and this was something that I personally felt like I needed to write. Just want to add, I know the Anituber Zeria did a video with a very similar topic, but I didn’t find out about it until after I finished writing this, so apologies about that. You can watch their video here.

So, here’s a question that I would love to here an answer to: What do you guys think, if anything, should change about the anime community? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you would like to support The Aniwriter or are just feeling generous, consider donating on Ko-fi or using one of my affiliate link to buy stuff:

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If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

OWLS December “Miracles” Post: Shonen Protagonists and Creating Miracles

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It is time once again for another OWLS post. This months theme is “miracles,” as described down below:

Tis the season where miracles happen. For December’s theme, we will be exploring faith in anime and pop culture. We will discuss some of the miracles that enter a character’s life during their darkest moments. Some of their questions we will explore is how does a “miracle” change a person’s life? How do we define miracles? Can miracles only happen due to a legend or a mystical being? Or do miracles happen every day, but we just don’t see it?

Also, I want to be sure and give a shout out to a few of my fellow OWLS bloggers: Megan Peoples and Karandi, so be sure to check out their posts as well. With that being said, here is my post:

In much of mythology and religion, miracles are often something delivered to someone in their greatest time of need, when they are helpless and cannot do anything for themselves. In that way, they are a fairly passive phenomenon. Nothing needs to happen for you to receive a miracle, really, other than for you to believe it will happen. This same logic underlies the idea of thoughts and prayers that many offer up after a mass shooting in the U.S. Instead of doing anything proactive, it is much easier for certain groups of people to remain passive and simply do nothing. However, as much as many would like to believe it to be the case, most things that people would consider good to not just appear out of thin air, and, in fact, many people have to work hard for things that others would consider miracles. A lot of Shonen protagonists operate under similar principles.

Source: Japan Powered

Take Goku from Dragon Ball Z for example. After he and Piccolo defeated Radditz, they learned that Vegeta and Nappa would be coming to destroy the earth. If Goku had just assumed that a miracle would have happened and that he would be able to defeat them both no problem, then he probably would not have gone and gotten training from King Kai. However, Goku realizes that the power he needs to defeat the two Saiyans is not just going to appear before him, so he goes to work and trains. This also happens later on when Goku needs to visit the planet Namek in order to help his friends obtain the Dragon Balls. He uses the time he has aboard the Spaceship in order to train even more, because of Frieza.

Source: Bleach Wiki

Another great example would be Bleach. Many fans of the show talk about the Soul Society arc, the part of the show in which Ichigo goes to save Rukia, as being one of if not the best part of the show, and with good reason. The story of that arc is great. One of the reasons its great though is because of Ichigo’s training. Ichigo and those around him realize that saving Rukia is not going to be as easy as walking into the Soul Society and taking her back. So, Ichigo prepares by training and eventually becoming strong enough to get her back.

In fact, this idea is by no means limited to Shonen series. One great show from this year that demonstrates this fact is A Place Further than the Universe. The show focuses on Mari, a high school girl who wants to do something incredibly before she leaves high school and becomes engulfed by societal responsibilities, and Shirase, a girl who has been outcast-ed by her classmates because of her goal of making it to Antarctica like her mother. The two work together in order to make their dream come true, even despite the overwhelming odds that they were never going to be able to go.

The point I am ultimately trying to make is whether it be characters in a fictional universe or people in real life, most things do not just happen because they believe hard enough. 99 percent of the time, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to create our own miracles. But, overcoming the odds and enjoying the fruits of that hard work is what makes them miracles in the first place.