Tag Archives: Essay

Quadeca, “From Me to You,” and the Internet

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I do not often talk about music on this blog because I rarely have opinions strong enough to justify writing a whole article about them. However, this is without a doubt of of my favorite projects of the last year, which is strange because I definitely would not consider Quadeca to be one of my favorite artists. Still there is a lot to talk about when it comes to “From Me to You,” which is why I thought it was worth taking another post to explore. In particular, I want to take a bit of time to talk about the storyline of the album and some of the implications of its subject matter.

The story of course starts with the track “Sisyphus,” named after a Greek god who was cursed to push a boulder up a mountain only to have it fall over and over again. The track mainly concerns itself with Quadeca’s internal monologue, with the story of Sisyphus being used as a metaphor for his relationship with his own success and self-growth. Try as he might, the fear of getting to the top of that mountain, only to fall back down and have it start all over is a scary prospect.

While Quadeca, or at least the character that he plays in the album, is not the only one in this story. There is, of course, another, indicated in the chorus: “You’ve got a mountain of your own,” and throughout the rest of the album. So, who exactly is this “you?” Well, at first glance it might feel reasonable to answer that question with some variant of romantic partner, and to an extent, that is right. In the song “Shades of Us” he does mention that “[he] just wants love,” but also says that its “outside my reach, always inside my aim.” This would rather imply that he is currently single, so at best this might be addressing some future relationship.

Instead, the “you” here feels a lot more literal, as though he is addressing the audience directly. Quadeca appears to be telling both the story of his experience with internet fame, as well as reflecting on the creation of the album itself, both of which have come with their ups and downs.

This becomes much more apparent on the song “Smiling at the Ground,” in which he raps about a crazy fan who would rather see him break up with a potential girlfriend as opposed to being genuinely happy, as well as the music labels which resent him for staying independent. These things are so stressful that he “searches his fake name” only to be relieved when neither of them appear together with it. The following track “Can’t You See” also speaks to this idea as well, where Quadeca equates this Sisyphean journey to being “lost in the fog,” and that it is both “hard to stay, hard to stay gone,” again repeating the idea that his situation is very much damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

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While it is fair to say that most artists and/or people who create things, especially on the internet, hope for some level of success, it does not necessarily mean they want all of that attention at once, or even really at all. The process of virality, in which a person can become famous overnight, is an area that feels like it has been overlooked in cultural discussion. Having thousands or even hundreds of thousands of new eyes on you, as well as a mountain of new expectations can be incredibly nerve wracking. Even now that Quadeca has an established fanbase who probably will not abandon him, the fear alone can make an album that was supposed to come out in 2020 take a whole extra year.

Another major theme of the album is the idea of balancing work and the rest of one’s life. This theme comes to a head much later in the album on the three tracks “Burnin Bridges/Long Day,” “Work!” and “People Pleaser.” Each of these tracks aims to address a different aspect of Quadeca’s relationship with his work and how it has affected his other relationships.

“Burnin Bridges/Long Day” sees him playing the part of “the villain,” but also directly states how he’s “burning all [his] fuckin bridges til there’s nothin left,” and that he “trusts no one but myself, the only one that hasn’t fuckin left.” In other words, from his perspective, Quadeca is taking people out of his life who never really cared for him anyway. While this is a pretty common sentiment across rap as a genre, it feels even more important here given how the internal monologue established in earlier songs has made it clear just how much he doubts himself.

“Work,” in contrast, sees Quadeca satirizing the unhealthy relationship with work that many have come to understand as grind culture, or the idea that one should always be focused monetary or social gains, even at the expense of interpersonal relationships. Though it may not seem like it, the exaggerated lyrics as well as the fax machine noise which slowly ingrains and distorts itself into the beat make it fairly obvious. Some of the best lines, in this regard, are when he talks about “only loving you from like 3:15 to 5 PM,” as well as having “like twenty-five Red Bulls still tryna find them wings, like a blind Rick Ross.”

It becomes even more apparent when beat comes to a halt, and Quadeca talks about how “[his] mind got carpal tunnel” and that “[he] wants it all to double, even the stress, even the mess, even the largest struggle.” In this final verse, he point out how those who have bought into this grind mentality put themselves through all of this work, in part at least, so that they can where it as a badge of honor around others. The song “People Pleaser” serves almost as a prequel, describing how Quadeca’s innate need for validation from others got him into the cycle he is in, with the ever increasing quantities of money he manages to acquire never being enough for this “you.” The line “feelin’ like its eight-bit, lookin like its IMAX” also helps to reinforce the idea that, while his life on the outside looks great, self-doubt is still very much central to his problems.

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All of this comes to a pinnacle, almost literally, on the song “Summit Pt. 1” in which the major themes get reinforced. Despite how much progress has been made, both in Quadeca as a person and on the album itself, he still does not believe he has made it particularly far, evidenced by the refrain “And I’ve been lookin’ at the summit. They say we’re halfway there, I think we’re halfway from it.” Still, it would be unfair to say that he has made no progress at all, as it he also says that “me and my boulder grew a bond,” implying that, despite still not being confident, he has managed to get something of a handle on these mental burdens.

Additionally, the question of who exactly “you” is becomes an issue again, because although earlier in the album Quadeca implied a lack of romantic relationship, the song “Its All a Game” does seem to present a major romantic interest. Still, interpreting the “you” as still talking directly to the audience makes a lot of sense. When he says “I swallowed it, thank god that it was you that shared the key” in reference to the previous interlude, Quadeca seems to be saying that if there was anyone who he was going to share his most vulnerable self too, he would rather it be an audience that has expectations of him rather than random strangers.

The journey is still not going to end, both as an artist and as a person, until he meets his. In a way, acknowledging that “we’re halfway from it” is saying that not just he, but everyone has yet to reach their full potential, and although everyone might have a mountain to climb and a bolder to climb with it, seeing what is at the top might just be worth it.


There is a lot more about this album that I can and probably will talk about, from the incredibly constructing bars and ryhme schemes, as well as the amazing production. Still, if I did try and talk about it all in one post this would probably end up being a 20 minute read, and as someone with an incredibly small attention span myself, I do not want to do that to other people. So, have you heard “From Me to You?” What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

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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!

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May 2021 Jon’s Creator Showcase #TheJCS

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

and an extra special welcome to everyone who helped make this month’s #TheJCS a success. I was initially a bit worried that, because I had never hosted before that regular submitters to the event might not know thus we would have a depressed turnout. However, this does not appear to be the case, as the event this month still had a wide variety of unique and interesting submissions.

If you are popping in for the first time and are unaware what exactly #TheJCS is, I would encourage you to read the announcement post I did earlier this month, which has an in depth explanation. However, in summary, Jon’s Creator Showcase, or #TheJCS as it is more commonly referred to, is an even in which people submit blog posts, YouTube Videos, Podcasts, etc and aims to celebrate the creative endeavors of those who submit.

So, without further adu, here are this months submitted posts.


Anime: A Variation on the Faust Theme – Fred Heiser/Au Natural

Given how much anime there is in existence now, and how much comes out even on a seasonal basis, it can be pretty easy to forget that which is a bit passed our time. In this post, Fred Heiser of Au Natural looks at the anime film “Belladonna of Sadness,” which came in 1973 and was directed by Eiichi Yamamoto. As Heiser explains in his post, this was not exactly a film for a general audience, ending up a commercial flop. However, hidden behind that deceiving fact is a film that will, quite frankly, have you tripping balls. “Belladonna of Sadness” tells a Faustian tale about a young woman who tries to marry a young farm hand. However, the local lord isn’t to happy about this. Lets just say this movie has love, sex, revenge, devils, and some…strange animation. Heiser’s post does a much better job giving the Juicy dets, so go check it out.

Log Horizon: Three Meals and a Nap – Scott/Mechanical Anime Reviews

Despite having not yet seen season three, I consider “Log Horizon” to be one of my favorite series of all time. The adventuring, the world building, the politics: all of it comes together in a way that is engaging on multiple levels. Princess Raynesia is a character I honestly have never thought too highly of. However, Scott’s post provides a great argument for why she is not only more relatable to the general audience, but arguably goes through more of a struggle over the course of the series. Go watch “Log Horizon” and go read this post as well.

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Top 20 Best Vampire Anime of All Time – YumDeku/MyAnimeGo

I’ll admit that the vampire subgenre is not one I have payed to much attention to when it comes to anime, or any medium for that matter. However, YumDeku has compiled an interesting list to say the least. The rankings themselves are not something I feel comfortable commenting on too heavily, again, because I have yet to see most of these shows. However, As someone who has seen both “Blood+” and “Hellsing,” I appreciate their inclusion on this list. If vampires in anime are something that takes your interest, definitely give this a read.

Rating All the #AniTwitWatches Anime – Aria(MagicConan)/The Animanga Spellbook

If you are not familiar, #Anitwitwatches is another even hosted by the wonderful Jon Spencer, who is the original creator of this event, in which people follow a chosen anime on a weekly basis and post their thoughts on twitter dot com. The event has been going on for quite a while, and thus their are a lot of anime that the #Anitwitwatches group has covered. At least as far as the shows I have also seen, it seems as though Aria does a great job of critiquing the shows’ various strengths and weaknesses. For those who have yet to participate in #Anitwitwatches, definitely consider checking it out, and give Aria’s post a read as well.

Houkago Tea Time’s Real Life Visit to London, England: An Oculus-Powered Armchair Journey of K-On! The Movie – Infinite Zenith/The Infinite Zenith

It is a well known fact that many backgrounds in anime are based on real life places found around Japan. However, as Infinite Zenith explains in this post, that dedication to accuracy extends even to productions set outside of Japan. In the K-On movie, the light music club girls take a sporadic graduation trip to London. Using the historical accuracy of Google Maps and the Oculus Quest, Zenith takes a journey down memory lane, exploring the real life set pieces that became the inspiration for the girls’ English adventure. Posts like these are always interesting to me because, while the backgrounds may not be “original,” it does show a dedication to accuracy that is really inspiring. Putting this together was probably not all that easy, even with the available technology, so please go show this post some love.

Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel III. Spring Song Anime Film Review – Yu Alexis/Yu Alexis

If there is a franchise that I am arguably most excited to continue explore during this year, it is the “Fate/” series, without question. “Fate/Zero” was a time and a half, and Unlimited Blade Works genuinely had my heart racing at some points. As Yu Alexis points out in her post, a lot of this is thanks to UFOtable, who has done absolute wonders for the franchise as a whole. One of the only “Fate/” related media I have yet to see, however, are the Sakura focused trilogy series. Now, do not get me wrong, I was always planning on seeing them once the third film had been released. However, Yu Alexis’ post has made me want to speed that process along, as it feels like they really get at the heart of what makes the movie good. A fantastic review, to be sure.

Wonder Egg Priority: Scrambled Ambition – Dewbond/Shallow Dives in Anime

As my own review of the series can attest, “Wonder Egg Priority” is a complicated show, to say the least. On the one hand, its tackling of these darker themes of anxiety, depression, and suicide in younger girls is incredibly admirable. Even after the show’s finale, I still think it is one of the selling points of the series. However, as Dewbond rightly points out, ideas are only ever going to get a series so far. A good show has to stand on the merit of its execution, and unfortunately “Wonder Egg Priority’s” legs here are shaking at best. Dewbond does a fantastic job of pointing out how, despite 10 or so episodes of relatively good storytelling, a good portion of that good will is thrown out in the final two episodes, where it seems the writers just forgot how much time they actually had, and did their best to throw together an ending that would (maybe) make sense? It is unfortunate to see this much potential be wasted, but the reality is that the series ended up falling flat on its face.

Wonder Egg Priority (Anime) Review – Snow/Well, Are They?

I used to be of the mind set that the ending was really important. While endings are important, and though “Wonder Egg Priority certainly collapsed quite a bit in its ending, It is worth pointing out how much good their was in its execution in other areas. The animation was good in almost every aspect, from character design to sakuga, and, even if they were not necessarily handled in the best way possible, the personal conflicts each of the girls go through is fairly well done. Is the show perfect? Far from it, but Snow does a great job pointing out the series’ better aspects. Definitely give her review a read.

Fruits Basket – The Final Episode 4 Review – The Heart Of Darkness – Crow/Crow’s World of Anime

It feels weird to say, but I honestly have not kept up with the new “Fruits Basket” since before the pandemic, which is weird because I was genuinely excited for this remake. Unfortunately, it is now on a long list of series that have been circumstantially backlogged until further notice. However, Crow’s write up of episode four is extremely detailed. Not only do they do an excellent job of summarizing the episodes events, but reading about the show’s final season has me all the more excited for when I do finally continue the series.

Goodbye, Osamu Kobayashi – Jessi Silver/Season 1 Episode 1

There have been many tragic passing’s in the last few years, both in the anime industry and out of it. From the death of basketball star Kobe Briant and beloved actor Chadwick Boseman, to the death of Isao Takahata, a founder and director at Studio Ghibli. However, someone I was not aware of was director Osamu Kobayashi. Kobayashi not only helmed some notable series such as “Paradise Kiss” and “Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad,” but had his hand in many other projects, including most recently before his passing “Dorororo.” Learning about a standout figure after their passing always feels a bit bittersweet. However, I can tell that this was both a lovely tribute and an extremely personal post.

Who’s the New Higurashi For? – Jon Spencer/Jon Spencer Reviews

Founder of the #TheJCS is back with a brand new video, breaking down the first season of the newest iteration in the “Higurashi” franchise, “Higurashi: Gou.” However, given the story that has told already with the original series and the follow-up “Kai,” Jon asks a serious question: who is “Gou” even meant for? As someone who saw the original Higurashi and most of “Kai,” I was a bit confused when I learned the newest series was not a direct remake. While updated visuals and music are certainly nice for a series like this (I’m still thinking about Rena’s eyes in the third episode, man that was creepy), I ultimately have to agree that the show just ends up pleasing nobody.

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“Love me cancerously… She moves through moonbeams slowly. She knows just how to hold me.” — CMV/AMV Saturday (04/10/21) – Shoujo/Shoujo Thoughts: Otaku Ramblings

Cosplay is not one of those areas that I do not feel all too familiar with. However, I think even for those who are not familiar with it, it is pretty easy to tell when its being done incredibly well. Shoujo’s post shows off professional cosplay partners Svattii and Mishkali, and their Cosplay Music Video (CMV) “Love Me Death Note.” I am really glad that Shoujo decided to submit this because this is a genre of video I was not aware even existed. Well, at least now I know how I can spend my evenings other than watching random gameplay videos.

Anime Corner: Talentless Nana Review – Chris Joynson/Never Argue with a Fish

Good thing I never do, haha!…ok, yeah I’ll see myself out. While I am generally pretty aware of most of the series that come out in any given season, this one flew completely under my radar. Like, so far under that I was surprised to read it came out within the last year. Anyway, their are a lot of ways to do a good first episode, surprise twists are always a strong option (I am still thinking about the first episode of Invincible from earlier this year). While the plot description initially bored me, Joynson’s review felt fairly convincing, enough so that I will probably give this series a shot in the near future. Well done.

MOVIE REVIEW: THE WONDERLAND – Emiko/Emiko the Writer

“The Wonderland” is another project that completely slipped under the radar for me, probably because my anime movie ecosystem for the last few years has mainly been a mix of Ghibli, Hosoda, and Shinkai. Still, that feels a lot more like my fault than anything else. Emiko, on the other hand, has ear on the pulse, as far as some of the more low-key projects go. Reading her thoughts is interesting, as it seems like this film has its share of strong and weak points worth considering. Given its aim at younger audiences, it might still end up a bit boring, but it also might end up being fun regardless.

NANA – Anime Playlist – Derek Lyons/Apprentice Mages Lounge

While this is not a universally law, and there are certainly series who break this rule, it feels like anime that focus on music as part of their core story tend to have better soundtracks. A good example of this is the recent show “Carole and Tuesday.” Like, maybe it had a couple of misses, but in general it was just banger after banger. I imagine I will probably have a similar opinion of “NANA” once I actually get around to watching it. Luckily, Derek Lyons put together an excellent sampler of the series’ musical selection and…yeah, its just really good. In general, the series seems to have a solid variety of Japanese rock. For those who, like me, are not super familiar with the series and want a sense of what the show is like music wise, definitely give this post a look.

The Way of the Househusband Netflix Anime – Final Thoughts – Rose/Wretched and Divine

I think its fair to say that most people had a less than excited reaction to finding out that “The Way of the Househusband” would not be a full anime, but rather an “animated comic” or whatever precursor they decided to use as a shorthand for not being fully animated. However, as Rose points out, there is still plenty of enjoyment to be had with the Netflix adaptation. The comedy still mostly lands, and worse case scenario you have only spent about 2-3 hours watching the series.

Edward and Alphonse Elric: How to Create Believable Brothers in Fiction – Jonah Hunt/Jonah’s Daily Rants

Jonah Hunt is absolutely right when he says that depicting brotherly relations in writing is hard. I will even take it a step further and say that portraying relationships in general without coming across as stiff and off-putting is extremely difficult. However, as his article quite excellently dissects, Fullmetal Alchemist knows how to explore the depth of Edward and Alphonse’s relationship. The fact that they are connected by a shared trauma makes it much more logical that they spend an extended amount of time together looking for a way to get their bodies back. Overall, this is a great analysis and worthy of a read.

Autism in Video Games – Megan/Nerd Rambles

In a world where entertainment. as well as media more broadly speaking, is becoming more and more influential in the daily lives of everyday people, it would seem to make sense that media should reflect the diversity that exists among people, no? Well, as Megan points out one group who seems to be lacking in representation, at least as far as video games go, is people on the Autism spectrum. Representation is a topic I care a lot about, and, if I am being completely honest, her post opened me up to a blindside I did not know I had. Its true: video games feel lacking in explicit representation for people on the spectrum, and that should change.

IN MY VIEW: ANIME AND GAMING MEDIA – Iniksbane/In Search of Number 9

I was honestly expecting to have a few more disagreements with the arguments being made. However, while I could nitpick about exactly how much responsibility a writer has compared to their editor in any given situation, It feels pretty hard to disagree with Iniksbane’s take here. As the competition for attention and retention gets fiercer and more data driven, companies will inevitably start dipping their toes in other waters. While gaming outlets writing about anime is not that new, It does not help their case for quality when every few months another inflammatory article gets written that gets a lot of basic things wrong. This well thought out and understanding piece is definitely worth a read.

Discussion: Does Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe deserve a second chance? – Matt/Matt-in-the-Hat

While I have been interested and involved in the FGC for some time now, Mortal Kombat and the DC aligned fighting games were not an area that I took a strong liking too. However, that is not to say a revived crossover between the two would not be interesting. Matt not only goes over the long and varied history of Midway Games, the original studio behind the “Mortal Kombat” series, but uses the studio’s history to assess whether or not a reboot of the original crossover game “Morkat Kombat vs DC Universe” is possible. Given DC’s darker direction in the last couple years, it certainly would not feel out of place. Additionally, given the popularity of those franchises, a competitive game involving the two would likely draw a lot of eyes and potential for big deals. Overall, it feels like a reboot would be a win-win for everyone.

DOOM Slayer Promo (DOOM Eternal) | The Cyber Den – Jake Parr/Jake the Voice

I imagine that getting to interview someone whose work you appreciate is a big deal. While “DOOM was never much of a big deal for me, and still really is not, It is a massively important series to a lot of people. I also cannot say I have heard to many interview promos, but this sounds truly epic, in every sense of the word. Matthew Waterson’s voice as the “DOOM” guy is incredibly awesome to listen to, and does a great job of selling the identity of “DOOM” as a franchise. The full interview is also out on Jake’s Channel, so if you want to go listen to that as well, than feel free.

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Transistor – Basscape/The Almighty Backlog

If you want to read a reviewer who just knows what they are talking about when it comes to games, give Basscape’s blog “The Almighty Backlog” a read. This review of “Transistor” from game studio Supergiant is not only incredibly educational and interesting, but feels articulate in a way that makes me feel like I have so much more to learn about games and even how to write reviews. Needless to say I have been convinced on giving “Transistor” a try at some point, but please do drop this man a follow. Absolutely deserved.

FNaF: Security Breach Fan Theory: Gregory Is Vanny’s Adopted Son – Matt Doyle/Matt Doyle Media

The last time I made a serious attempt to keep up with “Five Nights at Freddy’s” lore was in like early 2019. However, that does not mean I do not find the series to be interesting, quite the opposite actually. What started as just an indie horror game made by an almost failed Christian game designer has turned into an entire universe, with people of all different backgrounds coming together to try and figure out what the hell is even going on. Even despite how much information I am missing, reading fan theories like Matt’s is incredibly fun. For those actual “FNAF” fans who are curious, give this post a read.

Indietail – Ape Out – MagiWasTaken/Indiecator

You ever just wanna go absolutely ape? no, but like literally? Well, luckily for you, there is a solution. Gaming blogger MagiWasTaken has an excellent review of “Ape Out,” a top-down, beat-em-up which focuses on the player controlling a gorilla and attempting to take out a number of guards in order to escape. he also do an excellent job of identifying how the soundtrack interacts with the game as a whole. Never thought I would read “ape” and “free form jazz” in an indie game review, but now anyone who gives this review a read can say they have, so go check it out.

BL Metamorphosis: A Blossoming Relationship || Manga First Impressions – Takuto/Takuto’s Anime Cafe

I’ll be the first to admit that BL is not exactly my preferred genre. This is probably incredibly shocking coming from a Cishetero dude, I know. However, “BL Metamorphosis” is a series I could see myself genuinely enjoying. Stories about people of vastly different age groups and backgrounds enjoying something together unashamedly are ones that do not feel like they get told all too often. Whether someone is 15 or 50, 45 or 75, there should not be shame in picking up a new hobby, or enjoying something that would not necessarily be targeted at them. So yeah, Takuto does a great job at selling the story of this series and I for one can certainly see myself picking up “BL Metamorphosis” in the near future.

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The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent (Manga) Vol 1-2 Review – Al/ Al’s Manga Blog

A female main character in an isekai who is not defined solely or even primarily by her physical attractiveness? I am interested already. I have been seeing a lot more promotion for this series as of late, and given how Al describes it, I can certainly understand why. This is the type Isekai that honestly feels pretty targeted at me, one because ya boy likes his romantic storylines, and two because these more daunting questions of hidden identities create a lot of potential for big twists down the line. From what I can tell the art is also pretty solid too, which is always a bonus. Overall, this is just a great write-up of the series and definitely will get added to my to read list.

I Hear the Sunspot: Limit Manga Volumes 1-3 Series Review – Ziebruh/Bloom Reviews

There is always a lot to say about series that center the experiences of social minorities and their experiences. Sometimes it can be done well, and other times no so much. However, Ziebruh does a great job at explaining not only the success in “I Hear the Sunspot’s” telling of this kind of story, but also how it is good outside of that framework. While it is always important for reviewers to talk about the underlying sentiments and themes of a work, it is equally important to talk about the story’s actually quality. This is a review that balances both incredibly well.

Anime Discussion: Relating to Fruits basket on a Personal Level – Art of Anime

It is always depressing, but also eye-opening to watch a slice of life/drama story and think about the very real experiences that probably, at least in part, influenced those stories. It is even moreso to read other people’s direct accounts of how true that actually is. As somone who grew up in a relatively privileged position on the economic and social scale, I have to remind myself fairly often that my lived experiences are not other peoples, and many have struggled to even get where they are today. Needless to say that Art of Anime does an amazing job talking about their lived experiences and contextualizing them against a series that should feel more fiction than fact, but making that out to be not the case. Please give this a read and send them a virtual hug while you are at it.

My Guide to Level 30! – Sailor Otome/The Pretty Blerd Guardian

Being an adult is hard. You suddenly are forced to worry about things that were previously insignificant details on your journey through childhood. It becomes even harder when forced to deal with people judging your interests, multiplied by factors of identity that you have no control over. The nerd experience is different for people depending on how they were born, and aging only adds to that disparity. Sailor Otome’s post is one that combines these experiences in a self-reflecting essay which is genuinely heartwarming and encouraging to read. Anyone who is feeling bad about being a nerd as an adult should read this post.

My History with Slimes – Nabe-chan/Geek Nabe

One of the most, if not the most repetitive enemy archetype JRPGs are slimes. They take a variety of forms, whether they be giant monsters or just little blops jumping on the ground. This is a really interesting post because It feels as though most people tend to have a connection with specific archetypes, whether they be characters, monsters, settings. Everyone just has that one aesthetic that really resonates with them, and it was interesting to read about Nabe’s relationship with slimes, especially considering the recent boom in popularity for video game themed isekai.


Just wanna say thank you to everyone who submitted this month and helped make my first ever Jon’s Creator Showcase a success. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any “March Comes in Like a Lion” posts this time around. I guess I just need to shill a bit harder, hehe. Not sure when I will be hosting again in the future, but I do know that Scott of Mechanical Anime Reviews will be hosting next month’s Showcase. Also, if you did not get a chance to see last month’s, go check out the April 2021 #TheJCS hosted by Crimson of A Nerdy Fujo Cries.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

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!

No Game No Life and The Philosophy of Disboard

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

In order to break up the seasonal excitement a bit, and also to give myself a buffer since school is starting this week, I thought I would dig up one of my original video ideas and publish the script here. I may still make this into a video at some point, but as for now I thought it would be fun to revisit one of my favorite series and discuss one of my favorite aspects: its setting. Enjoy!


Despite being a genre predicated on a change in scenery, It seems as if many of the recent entries into the Isekai genre have ignored one of the most important elements of a good story: the setting. Many of these said entries, such as In Another World with my Smartphone, seem to take for granted the fantasy setting in which their stories take place. As a result, they forgo world-building in favor of giving as much screen time possible to the usual blank slate MC and whatever Harem misadventures he is getting into that week.

However, one Isekai that actively builds on its world in an exciting and interesting way is No Game No Life. In fact, it might be fair to say that Disboard, the world where the show takes place, is itself the main character, with its own unique perspective.

Disboard, as it is known to Sora and Shiro, being a world governed by the ten covenants, was created long ago at the end of the Great War, a contest between the many gods of that world in order to attain the Suniaster and become the one true god. Tet, at the time known as the god of play, obtained it at the very end, recreating Disboard into a world without war and violence.

  1. All murder, war, and robbery is forbidden in this world.
  2. All conflict in this world will be resolved through games.
  3. In games, each player will bet something that they agree is of equal value.
  4. As long as it doesn’t violate pledge three, anything may be bet, and any game may be played.
  5. The challenged party has the right to decide the rules of the game.
  6. Any bets made in accordance with the pledges must be upheld.
  7. Conflicts between groups will be conducted by designated representatives with absolute authority.
  8. Being caught cheating during a game is grounds for an instant loss.
  9. In the name of god, the previous rules may never be changed.
  10. Let’s all have fun and play together!

The rules that govern Disboard, otherwise known as the ten covenants, are the guiding principles that were set in place by Tet in order to create his game world Utopia. These covenants, as they relate to No Game No Life, can best be understood in three separate sections.

Covenants two through eight layout the rules for conflict in the new world of Disboard. Those who wish to fight must do so through playing a game, with the person challenged deciding what game to play and each person betting something of equal value. These rules make it so that people have a way of settling conflicts that don’t devolve into total war and bloodshed. The rules also reflect Tets personality as the god of play, someone who loves games.

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The first, “All murder, war, and robbery is forbidden in this world,” and the ninth, “In the name of god, the previous rules may never be changed,” represents Tets desire to see a world in absolute peace, after the many gods of the world spent millennia tearing it apart. This comes largely at the request of Riku, a human who fought to protect Immanity and becomes the main character of the sixth volume of the No Game No Life light novel series. At the end of No Game No Life Zero, an adaptation of the sixth volume, Sora almost succeeds at taking the Suniaster, but then prays to Tet to create a world without violence.

It is the tenth covenant, “Let’s all have fun and play together,” that leaves both Sora and Shiro, as well as the audience, extremely confused. After all, why include something that isn’t even technically a rule in a list of ten rules governing your whole world. Still, it is in this last covenant that Disboard is truly understood, and where Sora and Shiro are ahead of the curb. 

In the eyes of Tet, Disboard was always meant to be a world in which people come together, a world in which the sixteen ixseeds leave aside their racial differences and live in harmony. That is why every race has a representative who holds their race piece, and why Sora and Shiro decide to start challenging the different races to games for their pieces.

Disboard, at its core, is a game, a game that nobody has yet to win, and one that had rules no one quite understood in the way Sora and Shiro do. However, Disboard also has a unique philosophy, one that wishes to set aside sociocultural and political differences in favor of a new world order, one built on peace, understanding, and the past time of sitting down and playing a fun game.

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However, much like the real world, the world of Disboard is often governed by tribalism. Despite not being able to enact physical violence, many of the races on Disboard are suspect of one another, and work hard at learning strategies to use during games in order to ensure victory when playing against another race. This can be seen in the game between Sora, Shiro and Izuna. 

The Eastern Union had previously forced the king of Elkia to agree to lose his memory upon losing the game, which was supposed to prevent the king from gathering data. The same rules applied to Sora and Shiro’s game. In addition, The Eastern Union chose a game in which the players had to rely on physical strength, an attribute Sora and Shiro lack and one that Izuna, the Werebeast representative, has in spades.

The political calculations of each of the races’ leaders, even after the ten covenants, likely contributed to the lack of unity and partnership between each of the races.

While the idea that a couple of random humans falling out of the sky and solving the mystery of an entire alternate universe feels a bit weird, it does make sense. Sora and Shiro not only know how to “win the game” of Disboard, but also embody its very existence. After all, the only reason they are there in the first place is because Tet invited them. Whether someone wants to call them savior, test subjects, it doesn’t matter. They are Blank, and they are there to win, but also have a good time, just as intended.


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