Nerves

What do you do when you’re nervous or stressing out? Changing your focus and envisioning a positive outcome can help. Practice and trust in your training. Faith. Meditation. Music. Movement, like running or yoga. Rest. There are a lot of ways people handle nervous energy. Or you could view it as excitement. Sometimes our tummies can give away our nervousness. Hinata knows that very well. I’m watching Season Two of Haikyu on Hulu. In this episode, Yamaguchi is nervous about playing in the spring tournament. The thought of him repeating his blunder from the last competition makes him anxious. Yachi tries to cheer him up, but as he tells her about his ordeal, his anxiety quickly transfer to her. The group tries to make sense of it. Having experienced that on the receiving end, I totally get it. So maybe Shimizu’s guess was pretty accurate. Of course Hinata can’t resist poking at Kageyama!

True. But it’s up to us how we choose to react to it and how we handle the situation. Check out how the Karasuno Crows handle their stress, on Hulu!

Eri’s First Smile and a New Home

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Having overcome so many challenges in her life, like accidentally rewinding her father’s existence by an uncontrolled quirk, abandonment by her mother, grandpa in a coma, and abuse at the hands of her guardian, it was heartwarming to see Eri so happy, finally! Eri’s first smile was at the UA High School Festival during class 1A’s performance. Check out the festival episode, as well as the rest of Season Four of My Hero Academia, on Hulu!

Before the Festival, Mirio Togata gave Eri a tour of the UA campus. For some reason folks thought Eri was Mirio’s daughter. Also Mirio tried to pull a prank that didn’t quite go the way he wanted. But his reaction to Deku ruining it was funny.

Eri now has wonderful mentors and role models like Aizawa, Mirio, and the rest of UA. She even has a new home with a new family! And look at that smile!

Haikyu!

I just finished Season One of Haikyu on Hulu (I think it’s on Netflix and VRV/Crunchyroll as well). It was my first sports anime! I always enjoyed playing volleyball, so an anime about the sport peaked my interest. Having watched so many shoujo anime, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a sports anime.

Haikyu showed the hard work, effort, practice, training, dedication, drills, and sacrifices athletes make to be successful in their sport. Discipline and passion should be present (and talent doesn’t hurt). What’s that quote? “Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard” (Tim Notke).

This show had me rooting for Hinata, Kageyama, and all of the Karasuno Crows! Personalities clashed at the beginning, but the team bonded as they prepared to do battle with their rivals, and they became even stronger! Their coach, faculty mentor, manager, and advisors encouraged, supported, and motivated them to always do their best. There are meaningful mentoring scenes. The teammates acquired skills and tips from each other, and learned from their rivals. In sports, and in life, it’s interesting how much energy, mood, and vitality affect us. And what the contributing factors are, what helps, what doesn’t, and how can we repeat those positive experiences. A lot of psychology. If you’re looking for something that will inspire you, energize you, and give you a great team to root for, check out Haikyu!

They almost made me want to run! Almost.

First Date

He would know since he just sprinted up all of them!

Takagi and Nishikata go to the festival, their very first date! I’m so happy that Nishikata finally stopped caring what other people thought, overcame his embarrassment, and ran off boldly in search of Takagi when they got separated in the crowd. But the MVP, of the last episode of Season 2, of Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san / Teasing Master Takagi-san, was Kimura. He’s always been a great friend to Nishikata, and he picks up on subtleties, like the fact his pal was on a date with Takagi and was holding her purse. Kimura also helped Nishikata find Takagi after they were separated. Without him, we might’ve missed the sweetest moment of Season 2! Check it out on Netflix.

When You’re So Happy He Finally Asked You Out, That He Gets All the Drinks

Yup! A cute one, and her name is Takagi-san!

I am watching Season 2 of Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san / Teasing Master Takagi-san on Netflix. They did a great job with the dub. While I usually prefer subtitles, I thought they did well in casting the voices for Takagi-san and Nishikata. I did a Google search earlier, and came across a different dub of the series (not done by Netflix), and I was not feeling it. Since I watched it backwards, I’ll watch Season 1 next, on VRV with subtitles.

Anime to Make You Laugh and Lift Your Spirits (Part II)

This is a continuation of an earlier post, found here: https://empathmeetsanime.com/2020/03/17/anime-to-make-you-laugh-and-lift-your-spirits-part-i/ I’ve watched these anime series on various platforms; VRV, Crunchyroll, Hidive, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and DVDs.

Generally, my favorite anime contain humor, romance, supernatural elements, slice-of-life, or some level of cuteness. During this time of uncertainty, when many of us are stuck in our homes, you may be looking for a happy distraction! In that case look no further. In no particular order, here are some anime that may provide merriment, good humor, and cheer to your hearts!

  • Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san / Teasing Master Takagi-san : At first glance, I thought this anime was pretty slow, but when I viewed it as a story of young love, sprinkled with humor, I got it. There’s something very wholesome and relaxing about this series, especially in these uncertain times, that I find soothing. I like good-natured teasing, so I get where Takagi’s coming from, plus she knows Nishikata so well. I prefer subtitled anime, but the dubbed version of this one is pretty good. https://myanimelist.net/anime/35860/Karakai_Jouzu_no_Takagi-san
  • Special A : Super smart students have their own elite class, called Special A. This anime follows the group of friends as they navigate high school adventures. In addition to always studying to stay at the top of their class, they have to be on alert because there are haters lurking around every corner. Hikari Hanazono, who works incredibly hard and always does her best, is a great character. As skilled and talented as she is, cooking escapes her grasp (much like myself). And her rival is Kei Takishima, who makes everything look easy. Because Hikari is always focused on studying, it seems she’s missed the very obvious signs that Kei is in love with her. His swoon-worthy qualities include sincerity, intelligence, work ethic, dry humor, and kindheartedness. If you’re looking for shoujo anime, check this one out! It’s also got some great comedy. https://myanimelist.net/anime/3470/Special_A
  • Kaichou wa Maid-sama / Maid Sama: Misaki Ayuzawa is class president at a school that used to be males only. She works extremely hard at school and also at her part time job at a maid cafe. Her father abandoned her family leaving a lot of debt, so she helps her mother with the bills, and her younger sister enters a lot of contests to win prizes that help them sustain their living. Misaki means well, but comes off abrasive to most of the male students, and has the nickname Demon President. Despite her temper, or because of it, Takumi Usui is enamored with her and spends as much time as he can at the maid cafe. He genuinely cares for her and helps her overcome some of the hurdles that keep the student body divided. Her strong leadership is better received and the school grows to appreciate her, and how she always stands up for them. Takumi, much like Kei from Special A, is a gentleman, loyal, funny, and authentic. His personality, while different from Misaki’s, compliments her perfectly. In addition to the cute romance, it is a pretty funny series, with some poignant quotes. https://myanimelist.net/anime/7054/Kaichou_wa_Maid-sama

Haha me too guys!

  • Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue / My Roommate is a Cat : If you’re looking for cute and wholesome anime, then you have to check out My Roommate is a Cat. Half of the episode is in the perspective of Subaru Mikazuki, and the other half is from the perspective of Haru, the cat. Mikazuki is a major introvert, who would rather stay at home and write, and is socially awkward. Haru helps him open up more, and to enjoy the world around him. Given the special circumstances of social distancing, it may be interesting for people to see the introverts who generally enjoy spending time at home (granted we also have a need to get out from time to time, but for the good of our country and the good health of all, let’s stay at home until it’s deemed safe to leave). There are moments that this anime tugs at the heart strings. Mikazuki, who lost both of his parents, finds a new family connection with Haru. If this series, albeit cute, becomes too heavy perhaps consider watching of the other recommendations. https://myanimelist.net/anime/38145/Doukyonin_wa_Hiza_Tokidoki_Atama_no_Ue

More recommendations coming soon! Stay safe, healthy, and well my friends!

Anime to Make You Laugh and Lift Your Spirits (Part I)

Generally, my favorite anime contain humor, romance, supernatural elements, slice-of-life, or some level of cuteness. During this time of uncertainty, when many of us are stuck in our homes, you may be looking for a happy distraction! In that case look no further. In no particular order, here are some anime that may provide merriment, good humor, and cheer to your hearts!

  • Tamako Market: An anime about life at Usagiyama Shopping District, there are cute girls, a love interest, family and friends, strength of community, music, humor, romance, and an exotic talking bird! The opening is adorable and the song her Dad wrote makes me me smile every time I hear it! https://myanimelist.net/anime/16417/Tamako_Market

Yea same here Dera. I’ve been going to bootcamp for two months…maybe I need to reconsider my nutrition…

If you enjoy Tamako Market, you’ll want to check out Tamako Love Story!

  • Servant x Service: Anime about working in a government agency may not sound funny, but it is! There’s a talking pink bunny, what to do if you have a wardrobe malfunction at work, romance, dealing with the public, and hiding at your desk because people keep interrupting your efforts to do work. https://myanimelist.net/anime/18119/Servant_x_Service
  • Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun / Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun: Imagine if you will, there’s a hot guy who writes a shoujo manga, but in real life he can’t pick up on the fact that a close gal pal is madly in love with him. Everyone in their friend circle can see Chiyo Sakura loves Umetarou Nozaki…except Nozaki! This is one of the few shows I’ve seen, where I actually enjoy every single one of the characters! And this was an anime my entire family and I could agree on. The creaters did a great job building these characters as multi-dimensional people, that weren’t bound by gender stereotypes. Some people may be appalled to hear this, but there’s something about Yuzuki “Lorelei” Seo, that I connect to on a soul level (unfortunately I don’t like scary movies, or have her singing talent or sports skills, so just her other good qualities maybe? LOL) https://myanimelist.net/anime/23289/Gekkan_Shoujo_Nozaki-kun?q=monthly%20girls
I too, am interested in science….
Credit: Crunchyroll
  • Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii / Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku: Finally a love story that happens in an office with adults! And it’s funny and charming, plus there’s cosplay and witty banter! My heart is already fluttering! Is there a single fellow like Hirotaka Nifuji in real life?! https://myanimelist.net/anime/35968/Wotaku_ni_Koi_wa_Muzukashii
  • Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai / Tada Never Falls in Love: MAJOR SPOILER….HE DOES! You probably saw that one coming. Mitsuyoshi Tada is a photographer. He’s walking around, capturing beautiful images, when he runs into Teresa Wagner, an exchange student. Now she’s the one doing the capturing…of his heart. Haha so cheesy but I couldn’t resist writing that! There’s also a cat, Nyanko Big, who doesn’t talk, but we get to hear his internal monologue as he watches his family and the other humans interact. His observations are entertaining. Plus the music in this anime is beautiful. As they say in the show; “Always Make Your Heart Rainbow!” Here are some videos with SPOILERS and a fan-made video.
  • Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun / Toilet-bound Hanako-kun: I know, what a name right? Perhaps you’ve heard the Japanese urban legend about Hanako, a spirit that dwells in a school’s bathroom? In the tales it’s usually a girl, but in this retelling Hanako is a boy. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this anime. I was pleasantly surprised. The artwork is beautiful. The characters are interesting, endearing, and show growth and development. I like the supernatural element as the characters solve mysteries at the school, the comedy is great, and we have a touch of romance and intrigue. The teacher’s story about Hanako, when he was a student of his that dreamed about becoming an astronaut, was my favorite episode. While it tore at my heart, it created a stronger connection with Hanako. Okay maybe I should warn you, while this series has humor, at moments it can cause moments of insight, reflection, and sorrow, so if it’s too much during this time definitely hit the pause button. https://myanimelist.net/anime/39534/Jibaku_Shounen_Hanako-kun

I have tons more anime that I recommend! Hope to have those posts later this week. Stay safe, healthy, and well my friends!