Not a Fan of E-Books

I’m watching Skull Face Bookseller Honda-san / Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san on VRV / Crunchyroll. It’s a slice-of-life anime, with some comedy sprinkled in. I love bookstores, so I find it fascinating hearing the intricacies of day-to-day affairs. If you work at a bookstore, and you’re reading this, I’d be curious to know your thoughts on the show and if it paints an accurate description (minus the obvious absurdities). Given the option, I prefer traditional books, but I know e-books are better for the environment. While I have my own preference, it seems the customer Honda-san was helping was very passionate in his disdain for e-books.

The show also talked about the life cycle of books. How much logistics go into new books, and rotating older books, and returning stock to the publisher if they aren’t selling.

It also talked about revived books. Books that may be out of print, but due to renewed interest, they may do reprints. The example below was sobering, considering the current state of the COVID pandemic.

For as much reading as people seemed to have done on the topic, you would think they’d be more aware of common sense practices, but alas, sometimes common sense isn’t that common. And on that note, I can empathize from my years of retail work, why Honda-san would feel the way he does in the scene below.

Noblesse: Saving Your Friends

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

I just watched episode five, of Noblesse on VRV/Crunchyroll. It was the best episode so far! If you’ve been watching, you know it was a suspense filled episode. Tashiro, Kase, and Regis have been kidnapped. Regis is in special restraints and unable to use his power. Tashiro and Kase are shocked to see their new friends on the side of the bad guys! And M-21, in an effort to protect the students, acts like they don’t matter to him.

The spirit of M-24, who ironically died saving Tashiro, Kase, and another student, makes his presence known to M-21. Understanding the motive behind his friend’s actions, M-21 decides to sacrifice himself to save the kids. Not knowing his back story, Regis is confused by M-21’s behavior. The students are even more confused. As you may recall, Kase and Tashiro’s memories were wiped after the first incident, so they don’t have déjà vu, or recall anything, at this very similar scenario.

I mean, Regis is clearly complaining to M-21 about something in this scene, but I guess it is peaceful compared to their current circumstance. At least M-21 seems to be having a chuckle about it.

Seira knows something is up with Regis, so she’s searching for him. Rai and Frankenstein know about Regis and Seira’s true identity (or at least their abilities), but haven’t revealed their cards yet. So Rai and Frankenstein search for the kids on their own.

Eventually they all end up at the same facility, but each are engaged in their own battle. Meanwhile, M-21 and Regis are taking quite a beating from Shark and Crans.

What is it about confronting injustice that makes people hesitate? Is it because we face the unknown, or possible repercussions? Are we fearful that we’ll be the next target? As Gloria Steinem said, “Whenever one person stands up and says, ‘wait a minute, this is wrong’, it helps other people to do the same.” This is evident when Tao (who Kase calls “Boss”) and Takeo (who Seira and Tashiro met while shopping), each try to protect the kids from being hurt. Unfortunately, Crans didn’t want to leave the kids alive, and Shark was too happy to oblige.

I was on the edge of my seat this entire episode. I couldn’t wait for Regis and Seira to realize who Rai really is. I wanted shock and awe. I wanted to see Crans take on The Final Boss.

And for all the build up, and all the suspense, it looks like we’ll have to wait until next week to see Rai bring Crans to justice! Is this what it’s like having blue balls? Ah well, guess we’ll find out next Wednesday.

Chakras And Mudras

Out of curiosity, I watched a couple episodes of Naruto. I was intrigued because of Michael B. Jordan’s Naruto inspired line with Coach lol. In episode two, Naruto is mentoring Konohamaru. I want to learn more since they’re talking about chakras (not to be confused with chatoras)and mudras! I’m watching on VRV / Crunchyroll.

Naruto believes it really comes down to two things;

With so many great anime out now, it may be challenging adding another series into the mix, but this one does pique my interest. What have you all been watching? Irina, from https://drunkenanimeblog.com/ recommended Noblesse the other week, and I have been enjoying that series so far! The banter between Raizel and Frankenstein, when Raizel is doing chores around the house, was very funny. M-21 and Shinwoo, are both strong, and stand up for others. Raizel adjusting to modern society is amusing. Of course I’m watching Haikyu. I am watching Jujutsu Kaisen (Itadori is such strong character and has a sincere desire to help others, as his Grandpa wanted), Beelzebub, Over the Moon for You, Library War, and Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga. Below are some clips! And one end credit just because I like the song lol. Check them out. In the past, I watched one series from beginning to end, before considering my next show, but I really wanted to see all of these. Plus some are simulcast so I can’t binge on them all at once. And being at home more, due to the pandemic, gave me a desire for variety.

Big Sis Saeko

I just watched episode 14, of season 4, of Haikyu on VRV / Crunchyroll. I was already a big fan of Tanaka’s older sister, Saeko, but I’m an even bigger fan now.

Saeko is her own person, she lives life to the fullest, and she has such an energetic sense of being that she positively influences those around her. Plus she is confident, loves to laugh, and have fun. Saeko supports her brother and his teammates, even driving them to practices, and cheering them on during their games. She plays the Taiko drum, and she and her friends showed up just in time to support the Karasuno volleyball team during Nationals. They played a large part in easing the pressure the team felt on the court. It’s understandable why Nishinoya and Hinata reacted the way they did.

Quarantine Watch List II

Is this still considered quarantine? I’m limiting my exposure to others, especially considering the health concerns of myself and loved ones. So I’ll be at home continuing to watch anime in my free time. Let’s be honest, even if it wasn’t quarantine I’d be doing that. Instead of continuously updating my original post https://empathmeetsanime.com/2020/04/09/quarantine-watch-list/ I figured I’d start this new post. Overall I enjoyed the majority of the anime I watched and I wanted to track them. In case you’re wondering, the * is for the ones I loved (keeping in mind I tend to prefer comedy, romance, sports, or slice-of-life anime; so if you dislike those they may not be for you).

Kyoukai no Rinne / Rin-ne Season One*

https://myanimelist.net/anime/28423/Kyoukai_no_Rinne_TV

Senryuu Shoujo / Senryu Girl

https://myanimelist.net/anime/38787/Senryuu_Shoujo

Kyoukai no Rinne / Rin-ne Season Two

https://myanimelist.net/anime/31610/Kyoukai_no_Rinne_TV_2nd_Season

Kuroko no Basket / Kuroko’s Basketball Season One*

https://myanimelist.net/anime/11771/Kuroko_no_Basket

Kuroko no Basket / Kuroko’s Basketball Season Two

https://myanimelist.net/anime/16894/Kuroko_no_Basket_2nd_Season

Kuroko no Basket / Kuroko’s Basketball Season Three

https://myanimelist.net/anime/24415/Kuroko_no_Basket_3rd_Season

Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii / The World is Still Beautiful*

https://myanimelist.net/anime/22101/Soredemo_Sekai_wa_Utsukushii

Akatsuki no Yona / Yona of the Dawn

https://myanimelist.net/anime/25013/Akatsuki_no_Yona

Kuroshitsuji / Black Butler Season One

https://myanimelist.net/anime.php?id=4898

B-gata H-kei / Yamada’s First Time

https://myanimelist.net/anime/7817/B-gata_H-kei

Otome Youkai Zakuro*

https://myanimelist.net/anime.php?id=8476

Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes / Holmes of Kyoto*

https://myanimelist.net/anime.php?id=37458

Kuroko no Basket Movie: Last Game

https://myanimelist.net/anime.php?id=31658

The Sentiments of Others: Fred Abberline And The Humanity of Ciel Phantomhive

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Ciel Phantomhive, was focused on his mission to pay retribution to those responsible for the death of his parents. He even made a pact with a demon (Sebastian) to reach his goal. Despite making a deal with the devil, there is part of Ciel that remains very human. The desire for revenge has not made his heart completely cold. He shows warmth and patience towards Lizzie, his fiancée. He is forgiving towards his staff for their blundering ways. And Ciel does care about other people, although he tries to hide how big his heart truly is. If you haven’t seen Black Butler, it’s on Hulu. You may like it if you enjoy supernatural mysteries.

Ciel perseveres despite being betrayed by those closest to him. Being exposed at a young age, to the cruelty of others, Ciel is shocked by the warmth, integrity, and sincerity of Fred Abberline. Abberline is the Inspector from Scotland Yard, and he wants to make the world a better place. He joined law enforcement to make that dream a reality. He doesn’t have a big ego, he doesn’t lord his authority over others or to act superior, and he isn’t led astray by temptation. Abberline truly joined law enforcement for the right reasons. Ciel compares him to Noah and wonders what a person of that character is like, he’s an anomaly in Ciel’s world of greed and betrayal.

Ciel is the Queen’s Guard Dog. He helps with the tasks no one likes talking about and is diligent in his duties. Sebastian, the demon butler, helps him with these Underworld assignments. Abberline knows that Ciel is being used and would like to relieve him of his duties. If Abberline can make London, and the country, a safer place then the Queen won’t need Ciel to handle the unsavory and dangerous assignments. Abberline’s optimism seemed like naivety to Ciel, but the sincerity of his words, even for a moment, made Ciel believe if anyone could do it, it would be Abberline.

Being engaged, and knowing fatherhood is around the corner, has bolstered Abberline’s resolve to make London a safer place. He overcame a difficult childhood, he saw his parents killed, and was on his own at a young age, so in many ways Abberline relates to Ciel. He didn’t get to share in the experience of having a cult try to kill him, or living in a mansion, but he empathizes with other aspects of Ciel’s life. Wanting to do the right thing, and seeking justice, Abberline follows his intuition and releases Ciel from confinement (Ciel was restricted to a room while they were working on an investigation). Abberline and Ciel briefly join forces on the investigation regarding a murder and illegal drugs.

I know all the fans gush over Sebastian, and that personality might be fun for a tryst, but I’d much rather have a Fred Abberline. Those types were rare in Ciel’s day (1880s) but unfortunately they may be just as rare these days.

Abberline and Ciel both want to take down the bad guys, they just have very different ways of achieving that goal.

**SECOND SPOILER WARNING*** (IN CASE YOU DIDN’T SEE THE ONE EARLIER)

Since Abberline went through the trouble of telling us about his engagement and becoming a father, I started worrying something bad was going to happen to him.

Plus this ominous line:

So I did what anyone else might do, and googled Fred Abberline. What a delight to see that he was alive and well. I’ll continue watching.

What I failed to realize was…the anime did not follow the manga. And my queasy feeling was correct. As I thought, Abberline dies. He was on the receiving end of a sword stab meant for Ciel.

The heroic scene, where Fred Abberline saves Ciel Phantomhive was riddled with irony. I was disgusted with Sebastian as he was in no rush to prevent Abberline’s death. Sebastian is a demon and could’ve easily thwarted the attack. But his inaction, was a reminder that he is a demon, with no regard for human life. Sebastian ascertained quickly that Abberline would save Ciel, even at his own peril.

Meanwhile, Sebastian is staring off into the distance. What the hell Sebastian?!

The thing is, the thing which we know as the viewers, is Ciel doesn’t have a future. If he hadn’t asked for Sebastian’s help, he would’ve been murdered by the cult, and unable to seek justice for his parents. Ciel made a pact with the devil. He’s already given up his soul, and his future. Abberline’s sacrifice seems like it was in vain, but knowing his character, he would’ve given his life for Ciel regardless.

Ciel is incredibly angry with Sebastian for Abberline’s death. Sebastian points out that Ciel was unharmed. I suspect Sebatian didn’t care for Abberline. His sincerity and desire for peace, was in conflict with Ciel’s need for retribution. Sebastian probably found him a distraction to Ciel. Yet, I wonder why the anime decided to have this scene, which is different than the manga. Why create this heartbreaking scene? It changes the vibe between Ciel and Sebastian. I think it altered the way the viewers felt about Sebastian (or maybe just my feelings).

The following days, Ciel is depressed. Even the staff noticed his sorrow and try to cheer him up. They call Lizzie for assistance (which shows how worried they were, because she’s notorious for making them wear horrible outfits).

Ciel tries to make peace with the situation. Knowing Abberline left behind his fiancée, and unborn child, Ciel sends gifts and a letter. He had his servant Tanaka do this instead of Sebastian. Did Ciel blame Sebastian and not want his assistance? He makes him do everything. Would Sebatian think Ciel’s compassion was a weakness, so he wanted to conceal it? Perhaps he wanted to do something kind without judgement.

Did you watch this scene? What do you think of the letter Abberline’s fiancée, Maria, received from Ciel? What do you think it said? Did he describe her fiance’s bravery and heroism? Did Ciel talk about Abberline’s kindness and love for her and his child? Maybe Ciel left her his wealth? Ciel plans to die soon (Sebastian is supposed to take his soul once he achieves his plan for revenge), and he doesn’t have an heir, maybe he’s leaving it for her and the baby? Whatever words Ciel wrote, they touched Maria’s heart. Wherever Abberline’s spirit is, I know he felt appreciation and gratitude to Ciel for thinking of his family.

Having gone through all that, I hope Maria and her baby survived that firestorm that rained upon London. Not everyone survived the events that took place. Ciel is at death’s door (I’m going based off season one, before anyone raises their hand to say “well, actually…” lol). The servants are fighting Pluto, who is now breathing fire. There’s an angel who is acting less angelic than Sebastian, wrecking havoc around town. Ciel is injured and plunges into the water. Lizzie wonders about him and if he’s alright.

Sebastian pulls Ciel from the water, and later he wakes up in a boat. On the cusp of death, Ciel realizes he is inching towards the inevitable. As his cinematic reel plays around him (scenes from his life), he thinks about Lizzie, and wonders how his employees and Pluto are.

Then beautiful flickers of blue light catch Ciel’s eye.

When death comes, I wonder if we get to see the sentiments of others. If so, will it be beautiful blue lights? I think Ciel was surprised to see so many. He was loved and he had a big heart. I don’t know if I’ll have any blue lights, but it’s a wonderful thought.

Lizzie’s feelings for him made one final appearance, as the blue flower ring, that blew away in the wind made it’s way to Ciel.

Earlier in the season, Ciel met Prince Soma and Agni. Ciel’s words to the Prince were harsh, but he was trying to open up his eyes to the world around him. Sebastian and Agni entered a curry contest. Agni was impressed with Sebastian’s winning entry, curry buns. Wanting to help London recover, the Prince and Agni give free curry buns to those in need (recipe inspired by Sebastian). The boy in line reminds me of Ciel (he’s the same boy who gave Ciel and Abberline clues to Ash’s involvement with the crime). Ciel, and even Sebastian, were such positive influences on Prince Soma and Agni that they wanted to pay it forward. I’m sure their sentiments were among the blue lights Ciel saw upon his death. Perhaps Abberline was right when he said, “what changes the world is people’s faith that tomorrow will be better, that they can make it better.”

More Salt

Me wondering if I need more salt to purify 2020 and this current situation 😅😩🤦‍♀️🤣🤔

Rain Princess

 

I just finished watching Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii / The World is Still Beautiful on VRV / Hidive. I like Princess Nike. She’s authentic, funny, feisty, positive, upbeat, hopeful, and caring. When it comes to standing up for others she doesn’t hesitate. She’s fierce and determined. She saved the King from an assassination attempt and rescued a friend from kidnappers who wanted to rape her.  It’s an overly predictable shoujo anime with a happy ending.  If you’re into humor, a strong female lead, and predictable romance, I recommend giving this a watch.

Caught! Carb-Handed!

Is there a way to call on one’s womanly spirit?!

If so, please someone tell me.

Is he supposed to be Karl Lagerfeld?!

Hitting people with canes already? Scandalous.

I guess he said that nicer than Mugatu did in Zoolander, “Do me a favor and lose five pounds IMMEDIATELY!” Although, five kilograms is like eleven pounds…so Mugatu’s comment might be less absurd.

Who is all that food for?! What’s worse than being on a calorie restricted diet? Seeing food you can’t eat on a calorie restricted diet!

When you’re hungry and a man hiding behind a floral arrangement offers you something, something that you hope is carbs, you go for it! Don’t ask questions.

I’d skip over too!

Wait a minute…did she tell the Chef she loved him before telling her own fiance?! Granted, he did not hide behind shrubbery to sneak her food, so I get it. I started Weight Watchers last week and believe me, I totally get it.

She did not shove those carbs in her mouth fast enough.

I guess that’s a rhetorical question.

Uh oh! Now everyone knows you tried to sneak carbs Nike!

I’m watching Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii / The World is Still Beautiful on VRV / Hidive.

Misdirection

How much do you notice about your environment and the people around you? What about facial expressions, reactions, tone of voice, and patterns of movement? The feelings you get about people, environments, and situations, are they based on your observations? Experience? Intuition? Perhaps a combination of factors? What about your first impressions, are they usually accurate? Are you better at reading body language of people you know versus strangers? Can you read the mood of a room? Atmosphere? When I was at a happy hour for a friend’s promotion, her roommate’s boyfriend and I were talking about energy. He scoffed at it. I mentioned the example, many of us can relate to, and it’s entering a room and sensing immediately that there’s tension so thick you could cut it with a knife. Even without knowing the people in the room, or the topic being discussed, you can sense it. What is it that we sense? He understood what I was trying to convey after using that example. Why do some of us have such a huge presence and some of us don’t? Does it depend on the day and our energy level and mood? Is it something consistent? Is it because of physical features? Why do we notice someone when they enter a room, versus the many who entered without us realizing? What about realizing someone is behind us, without hearing or seeing anything? Or when we can tell someone is staring at us from across the room? What is charisma, and are people born with it, or is it developed over time? Who notices the nuances between people and groups? Those with emotional intelligence? If so, how did they acquire it? Why are some people so stiff in their emotions, body, and speech? How are other people so incredibly welcoming that they exude kindness and warmth?

Being a psychology major, I found the episodes in season three of Kuroko’s Basketball, when Kuroko first uses misdirection fascinating. Whether or not the idea is realistic in a basketball game, I leave to the athletes and experts to decide. But as a concept itself, I found it intriguing. Is being aware of these idiosyncrasies, and using them to your advantage, manipulative? Is it something people do subconsciously? Can it be misused by swindlers and advertising companies? How did magicians discover these concepts? Perhaps it’s application to Teiko’s basketball team isn’t too far-fetched?

What about people who wear their hearts on their sleeves? Someone who is hot-headed, may need to take a pause before responding to a situation. But in a general sense, people who are open with their feelings in a sincere and authentic way, are usually honest. And hopefully their feelings aren’t riddled with hate, envy, or malice. For people with intuition, and those with a keen sense of human behavior, it will be evident when people use crocodile tears or attempt emotional manipulation. How about nerves? Things that rattle us before important events, like a meeting presentation, a big game, or even a wedding? What IS that? Just an overabundance of energy? Why does it propel some people to greatness, those with an ability to harness it for enthusiasm and drive? And others to freeze? Others to run in avoidance?

When observing others, there are many factors to consider like varying cultures, environment, or health. Is it cold outside and that’s why someone’s movements are rigid? Is someone’s mental health affecting the way they carry themselves? People in healthy relationships with others will carry themselves differently than those in unhealthy relationships. People being persecuted, harmed, or bullied may avoid eye contact. Bullies may have a menacing air or an arrogant attitude. Someone who may be a bully in one situation, could be a victim in another (not excusing the situation, but noting there may be a change in behavior). Confident people may find eye contact with others normal. Those with low self-esteem may not, and it may even be rude to look someone in the eye in some cultures. Families will interact differently with each other than a group of strangers meeting for their first book club. Context plays a major part in what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t. Or, what is common behavior and what isn’t. We bring our own lens as an observer when analyzing human behavior. Our own potential biases is something to consider as well.

I used to study and work on school assignments at a cafe every weekend. It was rich in opportunities to observe human interactions. It was also a popular spot for online dates, not sure why. Especially on Saturday mornings when I was doing homework. Typically those were painful and awkward, so I tried to ignore those. Interestingly, I often had strangers tell me their life stories, even if I tried to avoid eye contact, because my paper had a deadline. All types of people, of various ages, and backgrounds would share their stories.

Yes, I probably should’ve started writing my paper earlier. So glad those days are behind me! Credit to the owner/creator of this meme, saw it circulating online and seemed appropriate, if not accurate lol.

I want to know what I was projecting to attract that routinely. Or not projecting that I should’ve been. Overall, I enjoyed the conversations and interactions I had. Perhaps, people felt comfortable sharing with a stranger who wouldn’t judge them, versus someone they’d see often in their daily lives. On a related note, why do lost children always come up to me in stores? Thankfully, all were reunited with their guardians without issue. Parents, please teach your kids, as early as possible what your full names are. I remember one little boy replying that his mother’s name was Mom. Realizing I had to take a different approach, I asked him what her friends called her. Knowing her name now, we were able to find her easily. Whatever part of me, that makes me approachable and lets people feel safe, I am grateful for it. I’m just curious what it is…