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).
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.