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!

I Made a YouTube Video

This isn’t really anime related, but I made a YouTube video recently. I talk about anime for about 10 seconds, and only in the context of me loving it, but I figured I’d share the video on here.

I talk about careers, life, anime, etc.

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.”

M.U.G.E.N, Smash, and Anime

Smash should have every character in it. Why the hell not? Just make it like M.U.G.E.N. It would be infinitely more interesting than it is now. M.U.G.E.N is interesting because it has tons of characters from all over of the place. And by tons of characters, I mean literally thousands of characters. Yeah, it doesn’t have licensing to worry about like Smash does, so this is sort of a shitpost – but whatever, who cares. Add more interesting and varied characters to Smash.

In high school, a friend of mine played M.U.G.E.N every now and then. I played maybe once or twice but never actually downloaded the game. He mained a character from the show Kanon. I believe her name was Mai Kawasumi. Do you remember that show? It was from 2006 and styled in the vein of Air and Clannad. I remember liking the show a lot back then, but who knows if it would hold up now. 

Either way, the point is that anime characters in Smash would be appeal to me because I do not care at all about “game only purity” in the franchise. I’m probably of the minority opinion in that regard however.

toco toco

Archipel is the most interesting channel on Youtube. I haven’t been captivated by anything as much as I have by their toco toco series chronicling the lives and work processes of various Japanese creators. Their YouTube channel describes toco toco as “designating the sounds of steps in Japanese,” with the goal of “introducing Japanese creators, artists, and the places that inspire them.” Two episodes particularly appealed to me for different personal reasons: Yoshitoshi Abe and Fuudo. Last year, Archipel decided to end their toco toco series due to a desire to change up their video formula. The content is slightly different in that it doesn’t track the day in the life aspects of creators in the exact same way, but it is of similar quality.

Through Archipel, I learned about Yoshitoshi Abe soon after finishing Serial Experiments Lain for the first time. I consider Abe’s video as my personal favorite toco toco video. Not only do they chronicle his works, but they go through his day to day life outside of anime and manga. Hearing him talk about the photography he enjoys is supremely interesting to listen to. I learned about cameras and their lenses from his musings about which types work with certain textures in environments and photographs. 

Serial Experiments Lain was the first work to come out of his time as a student. The episode doesn’t dig into why Lain was ahead of its time in regards to themes and its cyber aesthetic but that’s to be expected when focusing mainly on Abe’s design work. Abe’s comment on his style is interesting because he mentions that he doesn’t have the cleanest overall design, but mentions how people have come to enjoy that. I definitely do. His art is distinctly his own and instantly recognizable.

Fuudo’s episode articulated exactly how i feel about games (for the most part.) He is a pro gamer specializing in Street Fighter, Gunslinger Stratos, and Shadowverse. Towards the beginning, he explains he doesn’t like games where he has to think. I resonate with that on a deep level. I think too much in my everyday life and when i play a game, I only want to have fun. I have had anxiety about games themselves so when a game requires me to think too much, I’m done. 

He likes games where has to think on the fly and make decisions very quickly. This is why he’s so good at fighting games. He analyzes quickly and then executes leaving no time for overthinking. I admire this very much. I aspire to be this man and emulate this way of thinking. His former co-worker asks him why he likes Shadowverse if he doesn’t enjoy thinking too much. His answer is that it’s similar to fighting games where you have to make decisions relatively fast. I’m guessing Shadowverse has a timer similar to Hearthstone in that it requires you to make a decision and not agonize over which move you might make.

I’m immensely grateful that Archipel exists. Their team has created some of my favorite online content ever. Although toco toco as a name is gone, its soul lives on with their current content. Shaman King’s Hiroyuki Takei is their most recent toco toco-esque endeavor and it carries on the legacy. Their Sega Dreamcast documentary ,A Dream Cast, is fascinating and I personally find it more interesting than anything Netflix is doing with their big budget documentaries.

If you would like to support Archipel on Patreon or YouTube, here are the links!

Doing this for Myself

I should have made an anime blog a long time ago. I’ve loved anime since first catching Dragonball on Toonami in the early 2000’s and I’m even more of a fan now almost twenty years later. I was only in elementary school in those days. But during my high school years, circa 2006, I should have made a WordPress site instead of goofing off on the Crunchyroll forums. Granted, it was super fun posting on there, but a blog would have boosted my writing skills by a greater magnitude than my postings on the aforementioned site. Nevertheless, I’m glad I’m finally doing this now. I love writing. I loved it even enough to procure a bachelor’s degree in literary studies. I always thought I could put writing off for another time. For when I was older, more motivated, or even just less scared. But all those are clearly just excuses. I’m always getting older and the best time to start is now.