Blog Archives

Blue Spring Ride Episode 10: Realization and Confession

The more I watch Blue Spring Ride (Ao Haru Ride), the more I see myself in Futaba.  And that’s unsettling, not because of her faults, but lately because of her strengths, which are more on display in episode ten than in any of the others to date.

This episode begins where the last left off, with the group of five new friends continuing to study at Kou’s residence, though now, Futuba is unable to concentrate as the envy bug has bitten her.  In the last episode, it was Yuri who felt envy at the special relationship between Kou and Futuba, but now it’s the other girl’s turn to feel the same as she wonders what the “nothing” is that the her friend and ex share.  It eats her up inside and, as is her character, Futaba is so consumed with it that she goes back to Kou’s house, after everyone has left, to confront him.  And there she discovers the secret that Yuri had stepped into – Kou’s mother is deceased, and this is the reason for his change in personality.

Ao haru ride

So sly, Futuba, with eyes not looking at the study material. So sly.

This sequence of events is probably something most of us can relate to.  We think one thing of a person and later find out that we failed to realize something else.  For instance, we might honk at a car in front of us who’s driving far below the speed limit, only to pass it and find an elderly person behind the wheel (though to be honest, we might’ve honked even knowing that).  Or we might get mad at a friend who’s late for dinner, only to later discover it wasn’t her fault.

In my life, this episode was timely, as I had just finished having an episode of my own with my wife.  Our fights sometimes work along these lines – one person gets mad at the other for being inconsiderate or not supportive enough, only to find that the other person has a burden of his or her own and just didn’t have enough left to give.  And per usual, once this comes out, understanding abounds and both sides pour out love and forgiveness.

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Blue Spring Ride, Episode 7: Honesty

After getting so down on Futaba last week, I was really glad to see an entire episode dealing with her dilemma and her real desire to tell Yuuri the truth.  But further, episode seven of Blue Spring Ride (Ao Haru Ride) continue to showed Futaba’s shortcomings, which are the same we all have.

The show opens as episode six left off, with Kou having stepped off the train to be with Futuba, who has come to terms with her “love” for him.  He notices the scent of her hair.  She falls even more for him and decides she must tell Yuuri that she, too, loves Kou.

But in between, something interesting happens.  Futuba runs into her best friend from middle school.  If you remember back in episode one, Futuba compared herself to Yuuri, having been ostracized during middle school as Yuuri was during high school.  Futuba’s middle school friend had been her only companion, but eventually abandoned her, too, and here we find out it’s because she thought they both liked the same guy.  Futuba makes the connection with Yuuri and Kou and becomes more distressed, wondering what effect all of this will have on their relationships.

ao haru ride

What Futuba fails to realize is that her lack of honesty is already having ripple effects.  Yuuri is worried about Futuba, and so hidden feelings are having an outward impact.  And what if Futuba failed to tell Yuuri about her feelings for Kou until they exploded out into the open?  What kind of effect would secrets revealed have then?

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Terror in Resonance, Episode 5: Best Laid Plans

While previous episodes of Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror) have followed a formula of having a restrained tone throughout, ending with an explosive conclusion, episode five was an assault on the senses virtually through its entire duration. We could see the new character’s (Number Five) white hair and the gassy cloud that covered the subway.  We could taste the the burnt food that Lisa cooked.  We could smell the gunpowder in the air and nail polish Five applied.  We could hear the cell phones going off simultaneously and the screams of frightened passengers.  And we could feel the heat of the explosion blowing against Nine’s back, as his best-laid plans went astray.

Indeed, the new character, Five, a child once intimate with Nine and Twelve, but now working to track them for the FBI, is the first person to put real pressure on the duo.  As Twelve mentions, if the bomb isn’t stopped, they’ll become mass murderers, and Five makes it so the bomb does indeed detonate, though our hero barely prevents the explosion from killing anyone.

zankyou no terror

Five is very sure of herself.  As with the two boys, she is especially gifted, and outsmarts her counterparts.  With a smile on her lips, her pride is on full display – she has gone to a violent extreme in a game of chicken, revealing both her own identity and that she knows who the terrorists are.  We’ll know about Five’s past more as the series progresses, but for now she’s a flat character with the possibility (probability) of much deeper layers underneath the typical devious exterior saved for mad genius antagonists.

Instead, then, its Nine’s pride that hits closer to home.  Read the rest of this entry

Terror in Resonance, Episode 4: Know Thyself

Some of the most intense and well-written series, anime and otherwise, present a strong, overarching narrative that knows precisely where it’s going, but keeps viewers at bay, leading them to only of what’s occurring in the present.  Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror) accomplishes this by slowly unfolding a calculated story, but creating tension in each episode that keeps us in the moment.  It’s not until after episode four that I wondered exactly how all this will end, because I was too busy thinking of bombs, riddles, and Lisa Mishima during the show.

zankyou no terror

Nine and Twelve continue their terrorist attacks, but this time, Watanabe leads the audience to think that perhaps the police are catching up to them.  In fact, they probably are getting closer due to Shibasaki’s investigation, but in the climax of the episode, the police aren’t following Shibasaki’s clues – they are following clues from others in the department, a path which has consistently led them astray.  It’s no different at the end of episode four, when a different kind of bomb – an explosion of information in the form of police files – is leaked onto the Internet.

The moment in which the episode turns against the police is when they decide they have enough information to catch Nine and Twelve; they’ve spent their time focusing on the identity of the terrorists and believe they’ve tracked them down, instead of working on the immediate problem – the bomb.  A prideful police force thinks they’ve identified the suspects – or at least their place of residence – and in a Grecian hubris manner, take a fall.

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Oreshura, Episode 06: Pride (or Forgetting It in the Name of Love)

I’ve really enjoyed Oreshura – while it’s characters and situations are retreads of retreads, there’s something fun and refreshing about the show, even when it repeats itself, like it did in episode six.  Eita, for a second straight week, puts his pride in the backseat and endures physical pain and embarrassment to defend a “young maiden.”  Whenever I watch embarrassing scenes like that, even enjoyable ones, I look away from the screen – it hurts me to see someone else get their pride hurt.

Oreshura Masuzu

Up next? (Art by 刃天)

But Eita seems to think nothing of losing his pride in confrontations.  I’m the type to be easily embarrassed, so for me it’s a little harder.  Truth be told, I’m just incredibly prideful, so putting aside my pride is hard in general, even if it’s not a public situation.  It’s even difficult for me to admit that I’m wrong to my wife (Note: In fact, I just had this issue as I was writing this post).  And I sometimes find it difficult to admit to my children that I’ve wronged them as well.

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Blogging Lesson #32: Learn a Little Humility

God speaks to me.

Not in the crazy, serial killer kind of way (though indeed, you might think I’m crazy to say I hear God at all).  But through prayer, through other people, and in a variety of other ways, including via Sunday sermons.  There are occasional Sundays where I can’t stop taking notes while listening to my pastor, and these notes often get molded into blog posts.

This past weekend, I was on a roll.  I jotted down notes for four posts that I was sure would be interesting, moving, and creative.  I wrote one of the posts up Sunday night, and saved the rest for another time when I could set aside an hour or so to write away.

But last night, when I looked for my Sunday bulletin, I couldn’t find it.  I suddenly felt dread in the bit of my stomach.  I just knew it…my wife had thrown the bulletin away.

When I asked her about it, she said that yes, she’d thrown it away a day or two prior.  I was aggravated…and that aggravation turned to anger.  We had a little spat, and I demonstrated my point by marching away from the bedroom and to the couch, where I planned to sleep for the night.

That would show her!

anime sofa couch

Art by きんもぐら@Lv.2絵師見習い

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Atypical Dating, Day 3: Itazura Na Kiss, Destiny, and Dating Checklists

Each girl is born to meet her own destined one.

What a magical, romantic, arrogant idea.

Wait.  Arrogant?

On this third and final day of my mini-series on dating, I want to explore the idea of waiting for your prince (or princess) to come.

Art by えまDX

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Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Tattoos of Psalms and Spike Spiegel, Pride of Fate/zero Mages, and a Holy Light on Gon

I discovered a new blog this week, and strangely not through the Aniblog Tourney.  Lady Geek Girl and Friends examines geek culture, but adds to that with discussion of religion, feminism, and other ideas.  In one post, for instance, Lady Saika dishes about the portrayal of Christianity in anime, realistic and otherwise. [Lady Geek Girl and Friends]

A documentary was just premiered which examines the depths of tattoo culture.  Interestingly enough, one of the doc’s featured individuals is a young woman who has tattoos inspired by both Cowboy Bebop and her Christian faith, including one of Spike Spiegel. [South Florida Sun-Sentinal]

In his post on episode 18 of Fate/zero, Draggle discusses Kiritsugu’s father and the sin of pride. [Draggle's Anime Blog]

Bitmap discusses the “mysterious bhavacakra” featured in the OP for Mysterious Girlfriend X. [The Untold Story of Altair and Vega]

Shimaru starts his analysis on episode 30 of Hunter x Hunter by saying how much Gon resembles Jesus in a scene from that episode. [UNMEI KAIHEN]

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As part of the Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere series of posts, each week, Beneath the Tangles links to writings about anime and manga that involve religion and spirituality.  If you’ve written such a piece or know of one, please email TWWK if you’d like it included. 

Hello, Aniblog Tourney! Goodbye, Pride!

Man, I love tournaments.  I fondly remember the Street Fighter 2 tournaments I played in as a kid against the other Korean kids at church (and subsequently lost in the first round – Dhaslim, why must you always let me down!) and in college, playing in Madden tournaments (and getting blown out).  And every year, I fill out brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament and…do really badly.

Hmm…is there a pattern developing here?

Despite my poor track record, my thoughts when it came to the Aniblog Tourney were quite…optimistic:

  • Maybe we’ll get a high seed!
  • We should make it through the first round easily (note: this was before the brackets were released)
  • Maybe we can be this tourney’s Listless Ink and go deep into the tourney
  • We’ll be getting a bunch of new subscribers!

And this is from someone who just wrote about being humble. -_-‘

It's okay, little blogger - after all, how could you expect to compete with psgels? (Art by 黒子と白子)

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My Interaction with Bandai and a Dose of Humility

The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind….

-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (via Notes From a Common-place Book)

One vice that I continually struggle with is pride.  It has nothing to do with my amazing charisma, movie star good looks, or talent as a wordsmith (although all of those apply to me…just kidding).  My pride has to do with the whole “I deserve better than that!” attitude.  That attitude was on full display the last couple of weeks.

Around Christmastime, I was fed up with not getting replies to emails I had sent to various people, including anime distributors.  Some companies, like FUNimation, have been very responsive to me; it doesn’t matter whether an organization replies yes or no – I simply appreciate an answer to an email or phone call.  Another that has replied fairly well is Bandai Entertainment– and though I had no bone to pick with them, their demise made me think about how I can become frustrated with similar companies without knowing what’s happening on their end.  For instance, if Bandai had not responded to my emails, well, there’s certainly reason – they have fewer employees than I imagined and are now going through an immensely difficult time.  Knowing this now, I’m very grateful for past replies from the company.

The same could be said of my recent anime con experience. Read the rest of this entry