Lisa Mishima and the Place That Was Promised

July 24, 2014 § 4 Comments

terror in resonance, zankyou no terror, terror in tokyo, lisa mishima

“We shouldn’t criticize a sincere attempt to find answers. Still, this is precisely the point where a kind of fatal mistake can be made. The layers of reality begin to be distorted. The place that was promised, you suddenly realize, has changed into something different from what you’re looking for.”

-Haruki Murakami, “Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche”

Three episodes into Terror in Resonance, you may be wondering what Lisa Mishima’s role in all of this is.

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A One-in-a-Hundred-Thousand Talent.

July 19, 2014 § 7 Comments

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“You should have more confidence. You are progressing at an incredible pace. You’re a one-in-a-hundred-thousand talent. However, those two are one-in-ten-million talents.”

-Wing, to Zushi, Hunter x Hunter 2011, episode 35

In traditional shounen fashion, Hunter x Hunter‘s setup necessitates power ups for its leads, logically followed by more power-ups. Protagonist Gon Freecss has set out to find the father who abandoned him as a child to pursue his own interests as a hunter. His father is one of the most powerful and elusive hunters in existence, therefore requiring Gon to increasingly become stronger. Gon’s first test is to pass the rigorous Hunter Exam, the latter portion of which teaches Gon to use a power called Nen.

Hunter x Hunter follows the standard narrative, providing ample mooks for Gon and best friend Killua Zoldyck to cut their Nen teeth on. It is in their Nen training that the traditional problem of the shounen power formula rears its ugly head. When characters become stronger, they must be balanced with more powerful adversaries. Creators run the risk of their protagonists becoming so overpowered that the strength of all others in the series is undermined.

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The Mystery of Umetaro Nozaki

July 9, 2014 § 3 Comments

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“Do you think love could arise from this?”

“I think . . . a sense of trust could arise from this.”

-A conversation between Umetaro Nozaki and Chiyo Sakura, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, episode 1

A sense of trust is not nearly heart-pounding enough for a teenager’s idea of love.

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Moonlight Shines Upon Me: Sailor Moon Crystal

July 5, 2014 § 10 Comments

usagi tsukino, moon princess, princess serenity, sailor moon, sailor moon crystal, sailor moon crystal eyecatch

In junior high school, I fell seriously ill. Confined to the house, with occasional field trips to the doctor’s office or hospital, I developed an odd schedule due to fevers and medication. I missed approximately two months of school – spread out over the course of three months – and managed to keep up with my work at home. Piles of books grew beside my bed and underneath my pillow, accompanied by watercolors, crayons, and pencils that gradually scattered themselves on the carpet.

When I wasn’t bound to my bed, I wandered the house like a ghost. Sleep was fitful, and one morning I found myself watching television around 4 a.m. when I stumbled upon the English dub of Sailor Moon.

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Ping Pong: A Retrospective

June 24, 2014 § 5 Comments

ping pong the animation, ping pong, smile, makoto tsukimoto, yutaka hoshino, peco

“Maybe there’s no job I’m the only man for, but am I going to fade away without doing anything? Like hell, I’m going to fade away without doing anything!”

-“Tada Hitori” by Bakudan Johnny, Ping Pong The Animation opening song

What is “good enough?”

Ping Pong: The Animation tells us that the sport of ping-pong, like any passion, is conducive to an emotional state that vacillates wildly between monstrous amounts of narcissism and crippling depression. At any moment in time one can feel that they’re on top of the world, or the worst in their chosen interest. This is only compounded when one sets the goal of being “the best.”

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