Plus Ultra Prominence Burn!!

This scene completely made up for the “filler feeling” I mentioned in my MHA post from last week. This was such a badass scene! I teared up when Endeavor raised his fist in victory and the music started playing again. Even the name of his attack, prominence burn, just sounds so cool. Todoroki falling to his knees exemplified how we felt in the audience – relieved and thankful that Endeavor is the number one hero. Before the scene in the clip, Todoroki had fire shooting out of his clenched fists as he watched his father fighting for humanity. It was beautiful to see the change in both of them, and that there is a warmth there after all.

The music playing after Endeavor’s prominence burn caught my ear’s attention. It has a glitchy texture and made me feel stuck in limbo right along with the character’s as they waited to see if the attack worked. The music matches Todoroki’s and Hawk’s faces perfectly and is further exemplified when the camera pans out to the skyline shot of Endeavor falling to the earth in a fiery comet. It was a perfect music choice and transition.

I’m glad I was wrong about the season ending on a low note. I can watch this scene over and over, and it still gives me goosebumps. Can’t wait for season five!

Bungaku

I have wanted to make a post about japanese literature for a long time. Japanese novels are my favorite books and I get fully engrossed in them like no other. I immediately want to read whatever I can get my hands on when finishing one. 

My favorite authors are Natsuo Kirino, Kanae Minato, and Haruki Murakami. Honorable mentions are Otsuichi and Ryu Murakami but I’ve only read one book from each of them so I don’t feel as though they could be a top author of mine just yet.

I’m considering this blog post as an “in between” type of post. I don’t know what I want to talk about yet, in regards to Japanese literature, but I know an in depth post is coming in the future.

I want to talk about Colorless Tsukuru and Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. I recently finished listening to the former’s audiobook version, and it is now my favorite Murakami novel. I’m very grateful it exists. It made me think about the world in a new light, and that is what great writing should be aiming for with each book.

Stay tuned for more posts in the coming days, weeks, or months.

Phantasy Star Online 2

On Wednesday May 27th, I’m going to start playing Phantasy Star Online 2. It has finally received a North American release date on PC, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. The game was released in Japan in 2012, and throughout these past eight years, the western PSO community has patiently waited for a chance to get their hands on the game. I know there’s been an English patch available for forever now, but I actually tried playing it a few years back and within an hour I conceded to the fact that I’d prefer to wait for a proper release. Xbox players have been playing the Western release for a bit now as well, but I believe the bulk of the community and it’s future staying power will be on PC.

PSO was always fascinating to me. I got an Xbox and a GameCube somewhere between 2001 and 2004, and remember seeing the game at game stores or being talked about on GameSpot. Despite having both consoles, I never did pick up PSO. I regret this. I remember friends of mine having the GameCube version and having a blast playing co-op with their siblings. I really don’t have an answer for why I never picked up the game back then.

My first experience with actually playing Phantasy Star came about during my freshman year of high school in 2007. Phantasy Star Universe had released on the Xbox 360, and a friend of mine convinced me to try out the demo with him. He had already started playing the main game, but wanted someone to play with. He was willing to waste time in the demo to get a friend to possibly join up with him in the main game. 

His tactic succeeded. I don’t remember how long we spent in the demo but it felt like a good while, and I knew that I wanted to start playing the game more than any game I had my hands on during that time. Halo 2, Gears of War, and Lost Planet were definitely other games on my mind, however. These four games made up the bulk of my gaming time during those years. I look back on that time with such fond memories. I’m sure my mind’s eye is being filtered through rose tinted glasses, but who cares. I love that warm color tinting those memories.

I enjoyed the different worlds of Phantasy Star Universe. They felt unique while visiting them, and each of their designs were striking and pleasing to the eye. My favorite world was Neudaiz. This planet was Japanese themed, and had a Spirited Away and samurai vibe. Anytime we would run missions here, I would be in awe of how cool the rooms and locations were. Red lanterns, flowing water, shrines, and a multitude of other traditional Japanese architecture filled the screen. I’m very happy I was able to experience that world.
I’m hoping PSO2 gives me similar feelings. I’ve seen images of the different worlds, and they look unique and varied. I’m quite looking forward to the island and beach themed levels. Hopefully that world will make me feel like I’m somewhere warm with a cool breeze. I’m looking forward to the excellent combat the series is known for. I’m going to design a girl character, just like most MMOs I’ve played in the past. I’m sure the character creator will give me tons of options to deck her out in cute attire from the start. If I can make a character as cute as my Pokemon Go avatar, then I’ll be happy.

Filler Feeling

I’m disappointed in the second half of season four of My Hero Academia. Granted, I still have two episodes left before I’m finished, but it all feels a bit pointless. Unless Gentle and La Brava are more important to this world than I’m realizing – it feels a bit like whiplash when we just got done fighting Chisaki and the League of Villains. 

Also, the school festival feels like we are just killing time for something else to light a fire under our heroes. 

There are a few interesting things at play, however. I’m glad we got to see Eri smile. That should be good for her development as a person. It was genuinely heart warming to watch too. Her staying at U.A. should be good for everyone involved.

From what I’ve been told about the last two episodes, it looks like the season will end with a bang and not with a whimper. Thank god for that. Hopefully, it’ll let me look past the “filler feeling” I’ve been feeling with the second half.

Yes, I know I’m late to the party by almost two months. Been watching other things, and MHA fell on the back burner. Despite that and everything in this post, I like the show a lot, and am filled with anticipation for season five.

Anime I’ve been Watching – Hunter x Hunter

I’ve been watching a ton of anime lately. Hunter x Hunter, After the Rain, Dorohedoro, and My Hero Academia are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I’m enjoying each one and I get something different out of all of them. Watching anime is so much fun, and I’m very thankful there’s so much good stuff to watch but I’d like to take some time and write about Hunter x Hunter in this post.

Hunter x Hunter is definitely the most “fun” show out of the four listed above. By “fun” I mean that it makes me feel like I’m twelve again and the world is open and ready for me to adventure throughout. I still see the world that way, but Gon and Killua bring a vibe to the show that makes it almost impossible to not feel a youthful sense of joy and energy. I love the show for that. My girlfriend and I love watching Gon and Killua’s adventures and interactions and we constantly cheer them on, even though they can handle themselves! We just finished the Phantom Troupe arc and have now entered into the world of Greed Island. If I’m being honest, I miss the Phantom Troupe arc. I loved seeing Kurapika destroy Uvo and feeling some of the weight lift off Kurapika’s shoulders as his revenge was carried out. Even if that weight was immediately replaced by other realizations as Kurapika gained more knowledge and experience throughout his journey.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Greed Island’s arc so far, but the Phantom Troupe really had its claws in me. Also, I loved the few episodes that took place in between those two arcs. We were able to see Gon and Killua’s journey to Whale Island and learn more about Gon’s cousin Mito. This is also our introduction into Greed Island. Gon is given the object that contains his dad Ging’s voice, which clued them into the fact that Greed Island is a video game created by Ging. This game is the key to meeting Ging one day. Will Gon pull it off? I’m sure he will, even if Ging explicitly said on the recording that he didn’t want to see Gon. Ging seems like a cool character, but he is a terrible father.

I love this show so much and I still have many, many episodes to enjoy. I’ll keep watching other anime in between spurts of episodes, but I will always make my way back to HxH.

Also, check out this amazing gif of Killua skateboarding!

We’ll make it to Shinjuku

My girlfriend and I missed our chance to watch Weathering with You in theaters this past month. It’s unfortunate, because we love Makoto Shinkai and we love going to Alamo Drafthouse to watch movies in general. But it’s okay, at the end of the day, it is still coming to Blu-Ray this spring and I’m sure it’ll be on Nyaa even sooner. It gives us even more of a chance to build it up in our heads and hopefully be rewarded with a great movie by the time we get around to watching it. I’m almost positive we won’t be disappointed. From what I’ve seen and heard, it trumps Your Name in terms of art direction and general beauty, and hits more emotional depth than The Garden of Words, which happens to be my favorite Shinkai film. 

Which reminds me, I need to write a post about The Garden of Words soon. It is currently on Netflix, and is sitting on “my list,” so once I watch it again I’m sure I’ll post about it. The beautiful park referenced in that movie might just be the most beautiful area in Shinjuku. Granted, I’ve never been to Shinjuku, but oh my god the greenery and serene feelings it embodies just fill me with warmth and joy.

We’ll make it to Shinjuku one day – hopefully in 2021! I want to see Shinkai’s reference material with my own eyes and relax in the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden pictured below. We’ll most likely stay in Asakusa, but Shinjuku is just a short train ride away. I’m already dreaming of Tokyo…

I want to relax here and drink some Pocari Sweat.

Promises and Dreams

Believe in yourself and create your own destiny, don’t fear failure.

I’ve broken too many promises in my life. I hate admitting that but it needs to be written out so I can come to face to face with it. I’ve lived my life shying away from the face of an unknown monster. While running away from this monster, I’ve broken bonds and promises between myself and people who I wish I never hurt in any way. But for the longest time, that monster always came first, and the feelings of people who are important to me ultimately lost out. Some of these people I’ve apologized too, and some I’ll never get the chance to. Despite all of the promises never fulfilled and the hurt spread around, it doesn’t have to be this way. Most importantly, I am still not broken.

Promises can be re-forged, fear can be dispelled, and monsters can be faced head on without flinching an inch. I plan to face every monster head-on and “stand firm and face my destiny without fear, but with courage.” This is my path. The path of the one who keeps facing darkness but will forever and always refuse to be consumed. I will not be consumed.

“A boy has the right to dream. Somewhere along a certain path, I forgot this critical truth of my reality. I have the right to dream and the right to the promise to myself that I need to fulfill. I need to honor and respect the most sacred promise of all. The unspoken and unconscious dreams of a boy who still exists in my soul – the one who has patiently waited to be awoken. He’s awake now.

“What is thy desire?”

“I’ve lived my life following my dreams and I don’t have any regrets.”