In/Spectre

I’m currently watching In/Spectre on VRV, on Crunchyroll. Their brief blurb is here:

This series has romance, supernatural beings, and comedy! Three things I enjoy in anime. So I’m really excited about this series. I watched the first episode and it did not disappoint. Give it a chance, you may enjoy it too!

Kotoko Iwanaga bumped into Kuro Sakuragawa at a hospital. She’s immediately smitten but unfortunately he’s there visiting his girlfriend. Iwanaga runs into him two years later and declares her interest but he is not jumping at her offer. Her yokai friends don’t see his appeal and they wonder if she actually has two glass eyes (rude!) We learn Iwanaga is the Goddess of Wisdom for yokai and spirits and for some reason they’re all scared of her potential love interest.

OMG look at her face pressed against the window! However her spirit friend is not impressed.

Bright Future (Post 2 of 2)

“Smile; a society without cheer and humor will not have a bright future” – Sir Nighteye

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Pro Hero, Sir Nighteye, was All Might’s sidekick for a number of years. He looked up to All Might as a mentor, but also cared for him as a friend. Sir took being a hero seriously, but also appreciated humor. He was overly cautious, likely due to his quirk Foresight. He’d send chills down people’s spines due to his stern piercing gaze. Thanks to an introduction by Mirio (that All Might helped facilitate), he took Deku for the work studies program. Sir really agreed to it because he wanted to show Deku that Mirio was the better candidate to be All Might’s successor. While on patrol with Mirio, Deku runs into Eri and Chisaki. Deku wanted to save Eri, because she’s clearly frightened and does not want to go with Chisaki (Overhaul). For wanting to save her Nighteye chided him (although later they all wondered if it would’ve been better to save her then). Sir did not think Deku was useless, but he definitely gave him a hard time.

Having been a sidekick to All Might for years, there is history between them. Sir Nighteye saw with his Foresight, that All Might would die a gruesome death at the hand of a villain, and he wanted him to find a suitable heir and retire. At that point in time, Sir’s Foresight had never been incorrect, so there wasn’t a precedent for the future being any different. They also disagreed with who should succeed him as the Symbol of Peace.

Not knowing the history behind them, Deku wanted to work with Sir Nighteye. All Might doesn’t feel comfortable introducing them, plus he was against first year students doing work studies. But he does introduce him to Mirio who is currently working with Sir. All Might reflects upon the idea, presented a while back by the UA Principal and Sir, for him to pass his quirk, One for All, to Mirio (before he ran into Deku trying to save Bakugo from Sludge).

This episode really illustrates the meaningful relationships between mentors and those they inspire. Some of the relationships that came to mind as I considered this were All Might inspiring Sir Nighteye, Deku, Bakugo, and countless others, Mirio mentoring Deku at work studies, Aizawa inspiring his students, Sir Nighteye as a mentor to Mirio, Bubble Girl, and Deku, and Nana Shimura and Gran Torino helping train Toshinori Yagi (All Might). There are countless people in the world inspired by the actions, personality, quirks, skills, traits, and outlook of others, not just in the world of My Hero Academia and anime land, but all around us. You likely inspire people by being your true, authentic self, in your daily life, even doing what you consider mundane things.

As Deku works with Sir Nighteye at his agency, alongside Mirio and Bubble Girl, we gradually feel Sir warming up towards him. He is hard on Deku, but since he doesn’t see him as useless, he must see his potential. He is appreciative that Deku showed him the future can be changed.

In the episode, Infinite 100%, we see Sir dejected. He is mortally wounded and the future he sees, shows Deku dying. He doesn’t see a point to the pro heroes and students, especially injured, risking more to fight. As the crew on the podcast Popped Off (@popped_off) pointed out this seems unusual for a hero. But given that Sir’s Foreight has never been wrong, there isn’t a precedent for him to think it can change, so his outlook is understandable. Thankfully, the future is different than he envisioned. Overhaul is defeated and Eri is saved. Sir Nighteye received his wish, through Deku, and the energy and efforts of those helping. But now, in the episode Bright Future, Sir Nighteye (not All Might), has been mortally wounded due to a villain.

Cue my uncontrollable crying and sobbing, which only got worse as the episode progressed….watching on Hulu if you want to cry with me…

New Opening and Ending for MHA in Episode "Smoldering Flames"

We got a new opening and ending, with music of course, for My Hero Academia! It was a total shift in tone. The opening felt bright and uplifting, with moments of reflection for Bakugo, Todorki, and Endeavor. Looks like we have a festival to look forward to! Aizawa has a little coat, is that for Eri??? And the ending scene had old photos of some of our favorite heroes (and some villains) at festivals. Let me know if I missed anyone or if I had any incorrect names. I’m watching on Hulu!

All Might!
Of course Deku has All Might’s Funko Pop! Ha!
Love the image of everyone’s reflection on their day and current events, as they’re getting ready to sleep…because isn’t that what we all do?
The villains look happy and dare I say, not corrupted? What happens to people and characters that put them on a dark path? Is it a major incident? Is it life circumstance? One small thing leads to another? Negative influences? Lack of morals? Survival tactics? Etc? At one point they were just having fun with friends at a festival. I do want to know who is in these photos, like that little girl in the door frame by Shigaraki.
Family photos….there was one image of a burned photo in the ending credits, I wonder what happened there…what was the photo of? Check out Todoroki in his little hat!

Bright Future (Post 1 of 2)

“Smile; a society without cheer and humor will not have a bright future” – Sir Nighteye

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Thank goodness for Aizawa and his quirk! If it wasn’t for his subtle finger motion to Froppy (or as Amajiki cutely called her, “Miss Ribbit”), and her lifting Aizawa’s head, Eri’s quirk may’ve caused irreversible damage to Deku. During Deku’s fight with Chisaki, Eri’s quirk was the only thing allowing him to fight at 100%. But being able to control her quirk, is something Eri still needs to learn (similar to Deku’s hurdle when he first used One for All). Eri develops a fever after the fight and is later quarantined in the hospital. Since Aizawa is the only one able to stop Eri if her quirk gets out of control, keeping her quarantined will let them assess the situation, and hopefully be able to work with her as she learns to regulate her quirk safely.

Did you catch Uraraka using her skills from her internship to capture Chisaki as he was flying midair? She did a great job of staying grounded and focusing on the mission, even in the moments of chaos. Although she was premature in thinking that everything was over, as Amajiki was right to question.

The aftermath of Chisaki’s fight with Deku, and the battle with the heroes, has taken a toll. It leaves little time to celebrate since several of the heroes have been injured. And one mortally wounded.

There would’ve been more damage and injury during Deku’s battle with Chisaki, but Deku was very mindful of the environment he was battling in, so the damage was minor. This reminded me of his earlier interaction with Sir Nighteye, when he was trying to grab the stamp from his hand. Deku was unable to get the stamp, but he did impress Sir by avoiding any damage to his All Might collector items.

Meanwhile, Shigaraki and the League of Villains are causing mayhem on the highway. What an ominous scene of the three of them walking. I’ll write a proper post on one hero’s ultimate sacrifice shortly. I’m watching on Hulu. Check it out if you haven’t already!

Weathering with You

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

I just saw the Makoto Shinkai movie, Weathering with You. It was a packed movie theater. The art was beautiful and the music by Radwimps set the tone. Currently I have “Time with Family” playing on Spotify which is great to unwind to. I also enjoyed “Is There Still Anything That Love Can Do?”

In the film, Hodaka ran away from home and is in Tokyo. He traveled by boat. He almost fell off that boat but Mr. Suga saved his life. Hodaka doesn’t know anyone and he’s trying to find a job. Hina showed him kindness when he was low on funds and gave him a Big Mac (she worked at McDonald’s). Later he saves her from working at a shady club with questionable clientele. Unfortunately Hina’s mother passed away so she is caring for herself and her younger brother Nagi (who is quite the ladies man). Hodaka found part time work with Mr. Suga and Natsumi (Mr. Suga’s niece). Hodaka made some choices, some were not good choices. However, it worked out for him at the end. I’m so glad he was able to save Hina too! That would’ve been horrible for Nagi to have lost both his mother and sister. Their father was not mentioned at all, and since the film depicted those two on their own, I assume he passed away or was not involved in their lives.

My favorite moments of the film were;

  • The teru teru bōzu mascot and charms on the umbrella (the umbrella Hina did not want to use but they ended up using anyways!) more about the weather charm here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teru_teru_b%C5%8Dzu
  • Hina, Nagi, Hodaka, Mr. Suga, his daughter, and Natsumi enjoying the sunshine at the park together
  • All the moments showing that family can come in all forms, the love and support is what matters
  • The gift Hodaka presented to Hina for her birthday
  • Senpai (aka Nagi) and Hodaka talking on the bleachers, when Nagi says he knows how much his older sister sacrifices to take care of him and he wants her to be happy
  • The three kids in the hotel room, enjoying their time together, laughing, singing, and realizing how much they mean to each other

The concept of weathering the storm, and persevering despite the odds, were prevailing themes in this movie. While I did enjoy the film, and the interview that followed afterwards with Makoto Shinkai (fascinating to learn what goes on behind the scenes and how climate change influenced his film), I have questions. Several questions…

  • Hodaka ran away from home because he felt suffocated. But we don’t know anything else about his home life? Hina comments that at least he has a home to go, which is a valid point.
  • Hina and Nagi are incredibly resilient. What has helped them keep their positive outlook?
  • Do Mr. Suga and Natsumi have police records now?! Were they upset with Hodaka? If so, did they forgive him?
  • How did Mr. Suga’s company expand that much?
  • What has Mr. Suga been feeding the cat Ame? And clearly Ame did not miss Hodaka one bit.
  • Nagi and Mr. Suga’s daughter seemed to get along well, plus Natsumi, since he showed that photo to Hodaka at the end of the movie. Did he stay in touch with those two? Or did they run into each other?
  • Mr. Suga wanted to get custody of his daughter. Since he mentions “visits”, I’m assuming he did not get custody. Was that because he intervened when law enforcement arrived to pick up Hodaka? Hodaka who was making bad decisions.
  • Was that the creepy guy from the club?! He has a wife and a baby? Whaaaat. That was unexpected.
  • Since Hina and Nagi were picked up by children services, who did they live with? Did they get to stay together?
  • I know Hina did not have a cell phone, and Hodaka said he didn’t want to cause her any trouble given his legal issues, but he didn’t talk to her AT ALL for three years and she was cool with that? Nagi was cool with that?? Even just to check on them and make sure they were okay? Hodaka was on probation (due to his bad decisions) but it shouldn’t have stopped him from reaching out to at least make sure they were alright.
  • Do people use Yahoo Answers that much? Am I missing out? I didn’t think that was really a thing people used.

The film was beautiful, and the music set the tone perfectly. I couldn’t completely buy into Hodaka, there was something about him I found slightly off-putting. He didn’t think things through and he was frustrating at times. I didn’t hate him, he worked hard for Mr. Suga, and was good to Hina and her little brother. What a great gift he gave Hina too! Glad he took Senpai’s advice. He wanted Hina to be safe and find another manner of work and he helped her with the website. I admired Hina’s work ethic and passion, her energetic manner, and how much she loved her family, especially her younger brother. When her mom was sick, she was praying so hard for one more walk with her in the sunshine. And it was beautiful when Hodaka saved her and told her to pray for herself. For so long she prayed for others, and the happiness of others, that I don’t know if she ever thought to pray for herself.

Afterwards I got a Big Mac. But I know Hodaka enjoyed the one from Hina more!

Infinite 100%

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

What a great episode we had last week for My Hero Academia! Thanks to Eri we got to see Deku at Infinite 100% !!! I definitely think All Might would’ve been proud. I expected the fight to be drawn out longer, but I’m glad it wasn’t.

The crew at Popped Off (@Popped_Off) made an interesting point on their podcast for this episode, which was the girls (Hado, Tatsuma, Froppy, Uravity,) did not have as in depth an episode like the guys did (Amajiki, Togata, Red Riot). While the argument can be made that Froppy basically had her own episode in an earlier season, and generally Uravity gets a chunk of screen time, it is a valid observation. I hope we’ll learn more about Tatsuma and Hado in a future episode.

How cool is it that we’re learning how certain quirks are linked to a person’s life force? I’d like the show to delve more into that, because I find the concept (chi, life force, energy, etc.) fascinating.

Chisaki. Really. This guy takes you in, treats you like one of his own, asks you to watch after his granddaughter that was abandoned by her mom, and to learn about her quirk. Instead you do gruesome experiments on her, abuse her, and use her for actual ammunition and as a pawn in your game. After your mentor, the one who took you in, tells you to stop and reminds you that his granddaughter Eri is a person, you put him into a coma saying you’ll revive him once your grand plan is achieved. That’s one hell of a thank you. Even Shigaraki wouldn’t have done that to his mentor! I know these are villains but I don’t know what Chisaki was thinking.

Nighteye learned that his foresight isn’t 100%. Unforeseen circumstances can change the future, like Eri’s quirk. It was shocking to see how defeated he was, granted Nighteye had a giant slab of rock through his body, but his gloominess and pessimistic attitude seemed unusual for a pro hero. The last scene of the episode, when he realizes that his predictions aren’t guaranteed, likely gave him hope that All Might may have a brighter future ahead.

I’m watching on Hulu. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet!

Current Anime Viewing

One of the funniest animes I’ve ever watched is Hoozuki no Reitetsu / Hozuki’s Coolheadedness. I’m currently watching season two on VRV, but it’s another show that Sentai had on sale for $4.99 on Black Friday. It’s a workplace comedy with a jaunty opening song, but it doesn’t take place in a traditional office setting, it takes place in hell. Hozuki, the Chief of Staff that supports King Enma, is an ogre who is always calm under pressure and is an excellent manager. And all the ladies love him. I’d love to get my hands on one of his goldfish plants! And him. But I don’t want to go to hell so I guess that relationship isn’t going to work out.

I also started watching Welcome to the NHK.

While Hozuki could be described as dark humor, it is hell after all (but it’s primarily a workplace comedy), NHK is not a comedy and has a heavy feel to it. Topics like unhealthy relationships, mental health, caring for one self, responsibilities, and suicide are some of the important topics it addresses. Although I watched a few episodes this weekend, it is not a show I would binge watch. It gives the viewer a lot to think about and reflect upon. I am usually drawn to comedy, romance, and slice-of-life animes but being a psychology major there are elements of NHK I am drawn to. I’m only on episode five, but I hope if anyone feels the way the characters on the show feels, and needs help, that they will speak to a counselor or therapist. Every life has value and there are people who can help if you’re in pain or need someone to talk to. I’m leaving this very important number here, if anyone needs it:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

People enjoy anime for a variety of reasons. My main reason is to laugh and de-stress. Even if that isn’t the main vibe of NHK, it does have some moments of levity. But if you’re looking for a good laugh, and to see how an organized hell would run, check out Hoozuki no Reitetsu!