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…

The Greatest Present

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

I just finished season three of Kuroko’s Basketball on VRV / Crunchyroll. By far, my favorite episode was the one titled “The Greatest Present.” Knowing that Kuroko’s desire all along was to play basketball with his friends, instead of it being a constant battle of who was the best, it was great seeing that dream fulfilled. For his birthday, the Generation of Miracles reunited to play street ball.

We even got to see Aomine smile!

I can understand why Momoi was brought to tears seeing her friends reunited.

To commemorate the occasion of course you need to take a group photo!

Afterwards they celebrated Kuroko’s birthday with his Seirin teammates at Kagami’s. Other friends joined the party too. It was a very wholesome ending to the show, and it wrapped everything up nicely. Plus it was great seeing all the characters relaxed and being themselves.

How fancy. I probably would’ve just ordered pizzas. These guys make cooking look easy.

Of course some rivalries remain.

For someone who is known for having a lack of presence, it’s ironic how integral Kuroko was in uniting everyone. Fun chaos and everyone bonding in celebration! If you haven’t watched this episode yet, check it out!

You Mean I Have to Fight My Own Battles?!

Luna! How dare you!

But Luna has a valid point. I’m watching Sailor Moon on Hulu. My little sister always loved this show, but it’s my first time watching the series (except for the occasional episode I’d watch with her, when we were kids). Wait, did Tuxedo Mask actually do anything when he came, or did he just throw a rose, some emotional support, then run off into the night? Well we can’t underestimate emotional support! I’m only on episode five, so I’m sure there’s room for growth.

“I depend on me.” Alright I’ll send Usagi the video below as motivation. However…Tuxedo Mask is still welcome, even if he just wants to watch anime and chill.

Image Found on Pinterest (User Name: FoxyDoor)

Get Involved

I’m watching Kuroko’s Basketball / Kuroko no Basket on VRV / Crunchyroll. I have a Haikyuu void and wanted to watch a sports anime that was uplifting. I attempted to watch Battery on Amazon Prime, but then I started getting the vibe that was not going the direction I was hoping. I may give it another chance down the road. So far Kuroko’s Basketball is exactly what I was looking for.

Tetsuya Kuroko, one of the esteemed members of the Generation of Miracles (a group of elite players from Teiko Junior High) is now attending Seirin High. He was on a team that always won, but he’s looking for something more. In this aspect, he reminds me of Haiji Kiyose from Run with the Wind / Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru. Kiyose was looking for the an answer essentially to the question, “what is running?” I think Kuroko is looking for what is basketball. In episode five, of season one, Kuroko has a conversation with his former teammate, who was also a member of the Generation of Miracles, Ryouta Kise. Kuroko thinks there’s more to basketball than just winning, and he wants to find out what that is.

Kise really wanted Kuroko to attend the same high school as him, so they could continue playing together. Kise views Kuroko as a friend and enjoys being around him, and sees him as a valuable teammate. So he was disappointed that Kuroko rejected him. It reminded me of Haikyuu’s Ushijima telling Oikawa, “you should’ve come to Shiratorizawa” (with slightly less intensity).

He must have abs of steel with balance like that.

At Seirin High School, Kuroko meets an impressive player named Taiga Kagami. Together, they’re a fearsome duo on the basketball court. Kuroko, with his seemingly lack of presence, and Kagami with his impressive build and abilities, help Seirin win their first practice match against Kaijou High (Kise’s school). Initially people are dismissive of Kuroko, until they see him in action. He is the linchpin for Seirin’s basketball team. His stealthy maneuvers, and misdirection, contribute to the effectiveness of their plays.

One phenomenal skill Kuroko has is being aware of his surroundings and reading people and their intentions. It might seem trivial, because in sports often athleticism prevails, but it is vital. It helps him play as an instrumental member of the Seirin team (especially since he is considered weak in other aspects). This ability is also helpful in day-to-day life. Being aware of his surroundings, means he noticed what was happening behind him on the basketball court, and ran over to help before Kise and Kagami even noticed. Demonstrating his strength of character and integrity, Kuroko ran over to intervene on behalf of the bullied students without hesitation.

It’s one thing to notice an injustice, but it takes a certain level of strength, character, and integrity to stand up against it (especially if you’re alone). The students didn’t ask for his help, but I’m sure they appreciated Kuroko’s intervention. In real life, cases of bullies and injustice, may call for action that isn’t direct. But sometimes direct is the right approach.

I’m glad there are still guys like that these days, especially in real life. We need them more now than ever.

Just in time, Kagami and Kise show up to help. Despite being opponents during the practice game, Kise and Kagami join forces to support Kuroko when he stands up to the bullies. The trio take on the entire group of bullies, and emerge victorious. The students are in awe.

After their stand against the bullies, Kagami lectures Kuroko about being aware of the consequences of one’s actions and safety. Kuroko’s response provokes Kagami’s ire, but Kise chuckles and commends Kuroko for being amazing. I have to agree with him. Not a lot of people would get involved to help others, especially strangers, but Kuroko did without hesitation.

Seeing how happy Kise is after their brief game against the bullies, shows how much he enjoys playing with Kuroko. Plus he admires the strength of character he has, and who Kuroko is as a person.

I’m enjoying Kuroko’s Basketball / Kuroko no Basket. Hopefully the rest of the series will be just as enjoyable. Give it a shot and see see what you think.

Yamada’s First Time

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

The DVD for Yamada’s First Time / B Gata H Kei was on sale, so I bought it. This show is funny, awkward, and sweet. Yamada thinks she needs experience (of the sexual kind) to become an adult, and is on the prowl for “sex friends.” However she hasn’t had a boyfriend yet, and the concepts of romance, relationships, and intimacy are all new to her. She thinks “cool guys” will find her lame for not being experienced, so she’s hoping to find an inexperienced guy to learn the ropes with (pun intended). Yamada runs into Kosuda at a store, and decides he’s the one she wants to lose her virginity to.

Kosuda is the sweetest guy. He’s thoughtful, considerate, sincere, and respectful. Meanwhile Yamada is self-absorbed, obnoxious, and arrogant. Yamada is the school idol, she’s beautiful, and knows it. But even she is self-conscious at times.

Thankfully Yamada has Takeshita as her best friend, and she helps to keep her grounded. Or at least tries her very best to keep her grounded. Takeshita endures Yamada’s incessant questions about relationships and sex. Yamada’s absurd ideas to lose her virginity are over the top. In addition to Takeshita, Yamada has a spirit guide…of sorts. Although some of the advice she receives seems questionable.

Yamada is hot and cold with Kosuda, since she gets embarrassed whenever she’s doing something outlandish in an effort to seduce him. He’s already attracted to her, if she would relax things would work out. But where’s the humor in that, right? She thinks very highly of herself, and believes Kosuda is fortunate that she’s considering him. Her narcissism is a tad off-putting.

Yamada’s little sister, Chika, has a totally different demeanor. Unlike her big sister, she’s grounded, has tons of guy friends, and is enjoying life without undue pressure (as she should be, especially at her age!).

Often Chika appears in the background to silently judge her sister and it’s the funniest thing. In this scene Yamada is jealous, and thinks Kosuda has a girlfriend. It’s just desserts, because she didn’t appreciate him for the wonderful person he is, she was too focused on what a prize she was. She’s drowning her sorrows with soda.

And who could forget the time when Chika could only look on with concern, at her sister’s obsession with learning how to use a condom. Safe sex is important…but did she need to buy that many boxes to practice with?!

Kosuda took Yamada out on Christmas Eve. His older sister helped him plan the perfect date. He was thoughtful, considerate, and generous. He bought her a lovely pair of earrings. Of course being the true pervert she is, Yamada has made an assumption of why the earrings were selected as a gift (Freud would have a field day with her). Hey…wait a minute, is that why my ex-boyfriend gave me that beautiful pair of diamond earrings for Chirstmas that year…..

I just finished episode four of the anime. I truly hope Yamada will realize what a great guy Kosuda is. Yes she is pretty, yes she is desired by many at their school, but Kosuda is a genuine guy who treats her well. She can relax and be herself with him. There’s no reason to plan such elaborate scenarios to entice him. He’s already smitten with her as she is. Yamada initially saw Kosuda as a conquest, but their growing affection for one another is apparent. I hope she realizes this, and appreciates him, before he gets snatched up by his childhood friend Miyano, or another girl.

Below are videos to enjoy if you want to get a feel for the show (there are spoilers so watch at your own risk). And I hope you like the Counting Crows, since the people who made these two videos did.

Senryu Girl

I’m watching Senryu Girl / Senryuu Shoujo on VRV / Hidive. It’s a light-hearted anime. The episodes are short, like 10 minutes or so, and it follows the blossoming romance between Yukishiro Nanako and Busujima Eiji.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Nanako and Eiji are in the literature club at school. They, along with their club’s president, Katagiri Amane, meet daily after class to create Senryu poetry. Amane sees the growing affection between her friends and supports them, often behind the scenes. The characters we meet along the way add to their adventures. Nanako’s family is so loving and so supportive. Her Father adores her and his overreactions are amusing. The family is used to his antics so they tend to ignore him. Eiji’s little sister, adores Nanako upon their first meeting. Eiji’s pet bunny has a disgusting habit, but good for a chuckle (exactly one chuckle). It’s an interesting contrast seeing the delinquent reputation Eiji has, versus the genuine and kind person he truly is (the bunny just adding to his wholesome appeal). Eiji’s friend, who he calls his big sister, Otsuki Koto has some questionable motives. In some ways Koto is is helpful, like when Nanako asked for her assistance in becoming fit. In other ways, her secret love for Eiji leaks out, and she can be troublesome. When she invited herself to Eiji’s room, she showed up in a bikini to tempt him. Meanwhile Eiji’s little sister doesn’t give her a second glance, which likely means she pulls these stunts often so it doesn’t faze anyone. On the opposite end of the spectrum, during the same episode, Nanako is beside herself trying to find a bathing suit. She prefers a modest approach. Neither bathing suit, or style is “better”, it’s up to an individual’s preference and comfort level. But it’s interesting to see how different these two girls are, that are both in love with Eiji. Ultimately Koto supports them and helps Amane behind the scenes in encouraging them to become a couple.

My favorite episode of Senryu Girl, is the last one. We see how Eiji and Nanako meet and become friends. Their relationship is supportive, they accept each other as they are, and they’re very sweet to each other. If you’re looking for the simplicity of young love without drama, and you like a quick watch since the episodes are so short, give this show a try. It has a peaceful and happy ending, and it’s a relaxing show to watch.

Regular Sized Is Just Fine!

Regular sized is just fine! I’ll even make do with fun sized!”

“Such low-class company for such a high-class place.”

Between that, and her nosebleeds, what will he do with her?

I stumbled upon this on YouTube, and it made me laugh. I may watch Assassination Classroom. Debating because I heard the ending of the anime would make me cry. I already cry from shows very easily.

When we used to go to movie theaters, even trailers would make me sob. I got teased more than once for that. But the funniest time, was when I was sobbing over a movie trailer about a dog being reunited with Dennis Quaid, and the guy behind me was crying too. His friends were just laughing it up. It felt nice that I wasn’t alone in crying at a movie trailer. No, I did not ask for his number, but maybe I should’ve! That’s why I tend to gravitate towards comedy, slice-of-life, supernatural, and romance genres for anime. Sometimes shows will catch me off guard with a heart-breaking, or heart-warming, scene that will make me cry. I try to avoid upsetting shows if possible. Real life is stressful enough, so I prefer a blissful escape when it comes to entertainment.

Much like when we read books, or watch shows, even if the story is fictional, the feeling is real. As best explained by Nathan W. Pyle’s comic below. You can see more of his work, and check out his merchandise, on his website https://www.nathanwpyle.art/

Painful

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

I’m watching the scene in episode twenty-one, of season one, of Kimi ni Todoke where Chizuru Yoshida is walking with Ryu Sanada’s older brother, Toru. She’s loved Toru for years and years. He’s always viewed her as a little sister, but she hoped one day he’d view her as a woman he could love. I griped in an earlier post about the horrors of secondhand embarrassment in this anime. But the very real, very relatable feelings, of loving someone who doesn’t love you (or the closely related feeling of doesn’t love you anymore), that gut-wrenching feeling, one has watching this scene is way worse.

Toru is getting married. And it’s not to Chizuru (who he’s nicknamed Chii).

Chizuru finds solace that Toru cares for her, even if it’s not in the same way she cares for him.

Have you had that happen? Or the scenario where there’s a break-up but the other person genuinely wants to remain friends? Realizing they care for you, but they don’t love you in that way. I would find it challenging. If I loved them, I would continue to have those feelings. It would be difficult to stop. I’d just keep hoping that every day, I’d love them less and less. Perhaps space and distance would help. But what’s that pesky saying about absence makes the heart grow fonder?

But in Chizuru’s case, her actual Prince is closer than she realizes. And I think this one is a better match for her (in addition to being the cuter brother). Toru knows his younger brother, Ryu, loves Chizuru and he is rooting for them.

It was probably difficult for Ryu, seeing Chizuru love Toru, because he loves her, and has for years and years.

Ryu was there for her during her heartbreak and held her as she cried. That type of patience, perseverance, and strength, will carry him far and will strengthen his future relationship Chizuru. I hope so anyways. I’m rooting for them!