Dirty Sinner

That awkward moment when you run into one of your students at the store while you’re holding adult material…

Yes before and after…is probably what Pin is thinking to himself…she’s actually just worried he is getting sick…

Yes, you dirty sinner! What a guilty conscience he has lol.

Seriously, Pin?! Was the adult video that mesmerizing?!

You know what, I’m not even going to speculate what type of thing he’s into.

Well. At least he looks happy.

Weaklings Must Call In Sick (The Nerve!)

I’ve tried a couple times to watch Kimi ni Todoke, but the secondhand embarrassment was tangible and too real, too painful, and I never made it past the first fifteen minutes of the very first episode. So much cringing. However, Right Stuf had a promo, and seeing their ad made me want to give it another try. And I’m glad I did. I’m watching on Hulu and VRV/Crunchyroll.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Sawako Kuronuma (nickname: Sadako), is enjoying her high school life. Her character design reminds me of Sunako Nakahara from The Wallflower / Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. Kuronuma’s fateful run in with Shouta Kazehaya, leading to their friendship and his positive influence in her life, energized her to take chances to interact more with her classmates and peers. He supports and encourages her to be herself. The scene on the stairs in the third episode, when they express their shared appreciation for each other’s positive influence, was touching. In real life, it’s not as easy being unfiltered with others, or sharing what we admire and appreciate about them. I feel comfortable expressing it, but it can be a challenge receiving it. Is one way easier or harder for you?

Ayane Yano, Chizuru Yoshida, and Ryu Sanada are in Kuronuma’s friend circle too. They, and Kazehaya, have all stood up for Kuronuma. She was the subject of bullying (especially the behind the scenes type of bullying girls are notorious for, if you’ve seen Mean Girls, or are a girl yourself, you’ve likely seen this behavior). I’m only on episode eight of the first season, but some of the ways they’ve stood up for her include; Kazehaya standing up to the class when they make rude comments about Kuronuma from the night of the Test of Courage, when he says aloud for the bullies to hear that he detests hateful gossip, when Yano, Yoshida, and Kazehaya move their seats next to Kuronuma when others avoided her (Sanada I suspect just wanted the window seat but he didn’t avoid her like the others), the girls stood up for her when she was cornered by the bullies in the ladies room, and when asked his thoughts on Kuronuma and the rumors, Sanada pointed out the unrealistic possibility of that being remotely true. Being a good friend to another person, means being a good friend to them even when they’re not around. Kuronuma’s close friends love and care for her, and they don’t give the opinions of others a second thought. Knowing all of the hurdles she’s overcome and how lonely she felt, especially with everyone calling her Sadako (from The Ring), it’s wonderful to see her finally happy. One other comment, about the bullying scene from the bathroom, sometimes intervention depends on a person’s comfort level. While Hirano and Endo didn’t feel physically, emotionally, or mentally capable of taking on the group of girl bullies, they did run to get help. Standing up for your friends can be expressed in various ways. Yes it might’ve been more helpful if they had directly intervened, but it makes me think of all the others who saw Kuronuma bullied over the years who did absolutely nothing. Seeing how Yoshida and Yano stood up for her, Kuronuma finally realizes they are friends, and have been friends all along.

I enjoy the moments when the friends are relaxing together and being themselves. Yano and Yoshida see the blossoming romance between Kazehaya and Kuronuma (even if Kuronuma herself is unaware). After intentionally making Kazehaya jealous (proving he liked Kuronuma), of course the girls can’t resist giving Kazehaya a hard time as he walks Kuronuma home.

Joking aside, Shouta Kazehaya truly is a gentlemen. He has integrity and is an authentic person. He is a leader without trying, he makes it look effortless. Everyone feels welcomed in his presence, and he “sees” those around him. He’s present. That smile puts everyone at ease. Do you know people like that in real life? I do. Their energy is positive and uplifting. They’re sincere in their words and actions. I aspire to be that way. I’m authentic, but I don’t know about uplifting and positive. Maybe one day.

This shoujo anime, Kimi Ni Todoke, has humor. Not as much as others I’ve watched in the past, but the parts that are funny make me laugh out loud. Try to overcome the hurdle of the horrible secondhand embarrassment that this show has so much of. I haven’t felt this much embarrassment since watching Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji. Here is a funny moment from episode eight of the first season. The class is discussing the upcoming Sports Festival with their teacher, Pin. I suspect if I was in their class, Pin would strongly encourage me to take a sick day (the nerve!).

Give the show a chance if you haven’t already. Or if you tried before, give it another opportunity? Maybe you will like it the third time, like I did. There are a lot of positive messages in this show. Perhaps there will be less drama and less secondhand embarrassment in the future episodes. I’m only on episode eight, but I’d prefer less cringing. Hoping everything works out for this group of friends!

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.

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!

Heartgasm

I’ve been watching Lovely Complex on Crunchyroll/VRV. It’s an anime full of comedy and romance. Some episodes are almost too awkward to watch, but each have funny moments. Otani and Koizumi are fun, they have comedic banter, and are friends that truly care for each other. They have wonderful friends that always cheer them on. I’m only on episode eleven, so I’m hoping it’ll work out for them. I’m definitely rooting for them!

I like that the message is, it doesn’t matter about your looks, or your negative perception of your looks (because we all know at least one person, if not ourselves, who is fixated on some flaw no one else notices or other people actually like), what really matters is on the inside and your chemistry and how you vibe with someone. Here are some moments of hilarity from this episode, including a video game Koizumi was playing and a shrine visit (where Koizumi was praying extra hard).

Science Fell in Love…

Trying to explain love scientifically is a challenge but they seem determined to do it. The first episode of Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It (Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumei Shitemita), which I saw on VRV/Crunchyroll, had more scientific explanations than I anticipated, but it was a good refresher on terms I suppose. Definitely giving this series a shot, although the first episode included a lot from the trailer, so looking forward to the other episodes. It is fascinating, considering what makes one fall in love, and what scientific basis there is for it (serotonin increases, physical attraction, etc.)…and I can’t help but think of the bridge experiment and the Misattribution of Arousal (Dutton & Aron 1974), because I have seen things, even to this day, that make no sense whatsoever.

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.

I Had a Crush Like That Too

My entire family and I love the anime Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun / Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Holic probably being the only other anime we all agree on). Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is funny, it’s cute, and has great characters. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, humorous anime about friendship, and a touch of romance, give this one a try.

Chiyo Sakura is absolutely in love with Umetarou Nozaki. He is oblivious. Having experienced something similar (I too, am a sucker for the tall and manly) I understand Sakura’s feelings.