Let's Talk Anime

Lists, Reviews, and Rants on Anime and Manga

[OWLS Blog Tour: “Journey”] Growing through Loss and Regret: FMAB — 08/17/2018

[OWLS Blog Tour: “Journey”] Growing through Loss and Regret: FMAB

I’m going to apologize again for being inactive on here. My interests have changed since starting this blog so I’m afraid I won’t be posting much anymore. I still very much have an online presence, mainly on Instagram and Tumblr, though. I will still post OWLS tour posts, and cosplay things here and there on here, but besides that, this blog is pretty much at a standstill.

I’m not interested in what I used to do anymore, I found more passion in making cosplay, sharing photos on my Instagram, going to cons, writing fan fiction, and participating in fan events on tumblr. I really loved the blogging community while I was here, but I enjoy myself more in the cosplay and fanwork communities.

Although, I’ve always loved doing OWLS posts, so I will continue on with that.

Now that my little update is out of the way, onto what I’ll be covering in this post.

This month’s topic is “Journey”!

We have all heard this saying in some shape or form: “Life is a journey.” We travel down a path in hope that we reach a goal or destination, but the travel in getting there isn’t always easy. Along the way, we encounter some personal struggles. It is in those moments where we must overcome an adversity to complete our journey or take a different route or path instead. In this month’s OWLS post, we will be discussing the personal journeys of pop culture creators, icons, and characters. We will explore the journeys that these characters went through, discuss the process and experiences they had on their journeys, what they discover about themselves, or share our own personal journeys.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a show I’ll always hold close to my heart. It’s something I believe everyone should experience in their lifetime, and it’s quite possibly the best anime ever created. Though, not because of the animation quality, or the fight scenes, or the creativity of the intricate details involved in alchemy. It’s because of the characters, and what they witness throughout the span of the show. For a science fiction story, it’s very down to earth, and horrifically real.

It all starts with the loss of the Elric brothers’ father. He didn’t die, but he abandoned the two boys at a young age. Initially, the viewer thinks he was a horrible, uncaring father. That’s what Edward grew up believing as well.

After his father disappeared, they were left with their mother, who grew ill and died when the boys were 10 and 11 years old. The intense emotions from grief and helplessness devastated them. Though they had the support of Winry and her grandmother, the load was heavy for both of them.

They made a huge mistake, trying to ease the grief, but it only made the burden on both of their shoulders double.

This was the beginning of their journey to move on from their grief and regret.

Even along the way, they made more mistakes, Edward moreso than Alphonse, but they both had to work together to continue on in their search. They met both friend and foe, who either wanted to help them out in their journey, or wanted to put it at a permanent halt.

They couldn’t do any of it themselves. That was something they learned at the beginning. By taking matters into their own hands, they threw themselves down a hole, that they had to struggle to get out of.

Though, maybe it was for the better that they made their dire mistake. Without it, they would not have made the friendships they did, and would not have learned important life lessons along the way. They wouldn’t have become the strong, experienced men that they become by the end of the series. By moving on from the past, and pushing forward until they finally reached their goal, they were able to live the rest of their lives with ease, and they could do what they wanted to do.

Sometimes, the mistakes we make can be turned into something for the better. We may feel a deep unsettled feeling in our gut when we think about them, but those are the catalysts for growth. Without a mistake, or an aspect of life that we want to change, there’s no goal. And without a goal, there is no journey.

In my own life, I am still trying to determine what my true passion is, as I stated at the beginning of this post. For a while, I was juggling so many projects of different skill. I used to draw, I used to write reviews, I used to even make these stupid little music videos on my phone. I regret a lot of the projects I made back then now. But without realizing those failures, I never would have moved on. Without trying out new things, I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now.

I love doing cosplay, and I love learning how to use new materials and improving my sewing skills. I also love the community that comes from it. I’ve made great friends through it, and it’s even allowed me to meet some of my online friends in real life, at cons.

Along with that, I realized that reviews aren’t something I like writing. I always struggled when I did them. I worried that I would say something wrong, and that what I said was pointless. I eventually decided that it wasn’t worth it to continue if I didn’t like it, and I’ve benefited greatly from that. I’ve become more integrated in the fanwork community, basically meaning I write fanfiction. I’m a part of multiple groups that support my work, and I love writing it. I’ve always enjoyed story writing, and this gives me a chance for my work to be seen and loved.

While my journey isn’t as clear or as serious as Edward and Alphonse’s, it’s comforting to see that everyone’s journey has bumps in the road, and as long as you keep your head up and continue on through all of those, you can achieve your goals.


This was a much different format than I’m used to, but I think I liked writing my post this way!

Hopefully, I’ll get some cosplay tutorials out soon. I have my hero costume Todoroki one nearly finished, and I’ll be making changes to the Fantasy AU Deku, and then making my tutorial on him. I’ve also considered including videos on how to do makeup for the characters I do, since I’m getting more confident in how I do eyeliner.

I also want to have short little posts for cosplay tips, like what to bring in your con bag, and what materials are good starters and such.

I’m also starting school soon, but since I’ll have a better schedule, I’ll likely be more productive, so I might get some things done to share.

With those announcements done, here are the blogs that were before and after me!

Jack was before, with a post about Magi, and Dale is after me!

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My Thoughts On: Bungo Stray Dogs Season 1 (Ep 1-12) — 04/14/2018

My Thoughts On: Bungo Stray Dogs Season 1 (Ep 1-12)

Yet another anime by Studio Bones I couldn’t help but fall in love with almost immediately. This studio is by far my favorite, every anime I’ve watched of theirs has been a masterpiece. This one is no exception.

This had been on my radar for a while, so when I finished an anime, I decided to give this a go. And it was one of the few I fell for within the first five minutes.

It was especially easy for me to get into this, when the concept involves both super powers and detectives. I don’t watch as many crime/mystery shows as I would like to, so this was a way for me to watch a show of that genre. I finished Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens not too long ago, another show in the crime/mystery genre, and I absolutely loved it, so I was really excited to start this one. They have completely different atmospheres, but I like them about the same amount. I’ve seen people compare them, but I’ll be looking at this as it is alone.

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My Thoughts On: Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Ep 7-12) — 03/30/2018

My Thoughts On: Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Ep 7-12)

Today, I finished my 50th anime. Kind of. My definition for “finishing” is a little weird. But anyway, this was the 50th anime I finished, in my terms of finishing something. And really, I couldn’t ask for a better show for this milestone.

If you missed it, I wrote about episodes 1-6 at the beginning of this month, so before you continue, maybe you should check that out?

My Thoughts On: Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Ep 1-6)

Even though I saw Crunchyroll promoting the heck out of this anime, I still saw such a lack of recognition while it was airing. Sure, people watched it, but there were other Winter 2018 anime people were more interested in.

If you haven’t watched this, I will be spoiling some of it, sorry. Though, I highly recommend giving it a try, as long as it’s something that won’t bother you. I will admit there are a few things that are a bit difficult to watch: murder, human trafficking, a near sex scene. If you can get past it, there’s a really well thought out show.

What Did I Not Discuss in My Last Post?

The animation, the characters, and the arcs.

I said in my previous post that any critical pieces would be left for this one. Well, here they are.

Animation/Art Style

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In general, it’s not super outstanding, but it’s not sub-par either. It’s nice to look at, my only complaint being that sometimes the blood is exaggerated a bit. Someone’s neck gets slit, and a gyser of blood half a foot tall comes out of his neck. I don’t know much about how a slit throat bleeds, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s a little less dramatic than that.

Aside from this, the opening and ending is where the art is the most aesthetically pleasing. There’s just something about the colorful tones of the background and shadows of the characters that makes it appealing.

Also, if you haven’t heard/watched the opening, you must. I’ve listened to it nearly every day for weeks.

 

The Plot is in Arcs

Like a vast majority of anime, this one is split into arcs. Saito/Qiaomei arc, Niwaka Samurai arc, Enokida arc, and Fei-Lan arc. These aren’t official names, this is just how I’d call them.

I liked the last arc the most, not too much of a surprise since that’s where the bulk of development is done and things can wind down to a close.  The two middle arcs I tend to forget about, especially the third one. They’re both shorter than the first and last ones, being only two episodes each, while the first and last are four.

None of them are bad, I just felt some bits were lackluster. It didn’t help when I started seeing spoilers since I was a week behind everyone else. Luckily, for the last four episodes I got a 30 day trial for VRV so I could watch weekly.

Characters

In the end, this is what ties everything together, and I feel it’s that way with a lot of anime. Strangely, I hardly talked about the characters in the last post, so I definitely need to make up for it here.

The thing about liking the characters in this show is that you have to ignore the whole part about killing people. It’s one of those things like when people have villains as their favorite character. The things the characters do may not be something you agree with, but it’s still important to see the character for who they are despite the things they do that are wrong.

With that being said, I fell in love with both of the main characters. I like them separately, and as partners. I still can’t believe I didn’t even think to mention this in the last post.

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Lin has quickly become one of the best male characters I’ve seen. He’s well developed and his baggage doesn’t completely shut him down. He’s strong but has plenty of weaknesses: lack of trust, hot-temper, impatience, and above all, stubbornness. He was lost in the beginning of the show, but finding and working with Banba I think is what saves him in the end.

Their vastly different personalities is what makes them a great team. And it’s clear fairly early on that they do care about each other, despite Lin having issues with trusting others. In all those situations where Lin is going to get hurt, Banba’s not far behind to help out. And in the last episode, both of them are shown to be willing to sacrifice their own life for the other. Their dynamic is really what made me love this show so much.

Good or Bad Ending?

What concerned me from the get go was how this whole story would be concluded. These people kill others for a living. They evade the police and make a choice humans shouldn’t decide for other humans: when they will die. It seemed like these characters I’d grow so attached to would have a devastating end.

That wasn’t the case here. The ending wasn’t groundbreaking, but it was still satisfying. Lin cleared up the troubles from his past, and maybe is beginning to learn that these people he’s associated himself with can be trusted. He can find a home in Hakata and be surrounded by people he likes. That’s not something he had in the start of this. He didn’t really have a “home.” He had a place to stay and a job, sure, but he was lonely. He was working to send money back to his family, but had no contact with them. Finding Banba and those he works with was exactly what Lin needed.

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What I found as well was in the beginning, I’d assumed Banba was the main character, but it turned out to be Lin. Much of the story did revolve around him, I realize now.

Final Verdict

This show is not just “here’s a bunch of killers as main characters, there’s a bunch of blood and death.” While that’s true, it really is a story of a lonely man finding his place; someone who loses his family and finds a new one.

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And it includes some queer themes as well. Lin crossdresses, because he wants to, and there’s a canon gay character. It’s not something I expected, and I think it’s better that way. That doesn’t need to be a show’s selling point. It’s just a little extra fact that’s a bonus. I found a post on tumblr that sums this up in better words than I can, so I’ll link that here.

While this show seems violent and brutal, it has a layer of sweetness to it.


I felt so sad when I finished this anime. There were so many emotions I felt just in that last episode.

I’m so glad I saw someone mention this on Twitter at the beginning of the winter season. I would’ve never given it a second glance otherwise, like much of the seasonal anime this time around.

I want to do another post all on the morality of the characters in this show, but I’m unsure if I have time, or even if people would read it. Let me know!

My Thoughts On: Made in Abyss (Ep 1-6) — 03/24/2018

My Thoughts On: Made in Abyss (Ep 1-6)

I’d had this anime on my list for quite a while, but after seeing that it won the 2017 Crunchyroll award for “Best Anime,” I figured I should finally watch it. In general, I don’t pay all too much attention to the Crunchyroll awards, mainly after the disaster of 2016 when Crunchyroll had to literally delete their tweets about the winning anime, because people were being so brash and disrespectful about it. This time, it wasn’t nearly as bad, but as I’d expected, My Hero Academia won half of the awards. Still not as bad as 2016, I’ll give it that.

The one award that I saw nothing but positive toward was Made in Abyss winning “Best Anime,” and I really was curious to see why.

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My Thoughts On Dropping Anime — 03/21/2018

My Thoughts On Dropping Anime

It’s come to my attention that many people have different standards when it comes to dropping anime. Some people stick with every show they start to the very end, some wait a certain number of episodes before deciding whether it’s worth their time to watch it, and some, like me, make an almost immediate decision to keep or drop anime. I’d say I have a very low tolerance for keeping with anime. If I don’t like it within the first few episodes, it’s not worth it. Though sometimes I could make it through majority of the show before realizing there are too many things I don’t like about it to continue on.

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30 Day Haikyu!! Challenge: Day Two — 03/14/2018

30 Day Haikyu!! Challenge: Day Two

I’m so excited to be doing this challenge, it allows me to gush about everything without clogging up a post about it.

Day Two: Character you First Fell in Love With

Sugawara Koushi. He was my favorite for about half of my watching experience. Then it switched to Kenma. He’s still in my top 5 characters now, but I felt since I related to Kenma, I’d change him to my favorite.

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30 Day Haikyu!! Challenge: Day One — 03/13/2018

30 Day Haikyu!! Challenge: Day One

Hmm, clearly I just finished this show since I posted my season 3 thoughts today…so why am I doing this challenge so soon? Simple. I loved doing the 30 Day Anime Challenge I did back in December, and I knew this challenge also existed, so I figure I’d give it a go. I’ll be hopefully starting a job soon and I know I’ll get a bit stressed from that, and I get hard on myself when I don’t post anything. This is a great way to keep posting and have some fun with of my newfound favorite anime!

Day One: Favorite Character

Those who know me well won’t be surprised about this. It’s Kozume Kenma.

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My Thoughts On: Haikyuu!! Season 3 —

My Thoughts On: Haikyuu!! Season 3

…Oh my god, I’ve gotten myself in trouble from watching this show. I delved into the fandom head-first way back in season one, and now that I’ve finished this show, I think I’ll be depending on it even more. And when I finished it, I didn’t really know what to do with myself anymore. It’s the longest series I’ve finished in a long time, which seems a bit strange since it’s not horribly long. But, with the way I watch anime now, I don’t watch more than two or three episodes of a show at once, so it takes me forever just to get through a 24 or 25 episode series that’s been completed.

Along with it being 60 episodes, much longer than I generally dedicate myself to, it’s also about a sport. One that I’ve never in my life had any interest in, and the one time I played it for PE class in sixth grade, all I did was serve and watch everyone else play. I didn’t think I would find much enjoyment in this show, since the sport didn’t appeal to me, but this show is a lot more than just boys playing volleyball. It’s about teamwork, friendship, and achieving your dreams. And I love every second of it.

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[OWLS Blog Tour: “Squad”] Friendship through the Eyes of an Introvert: Hyouka — 03/09/2018

[OWLS Blog Tour: “Squad”] Friendship through the Eyes of an Introvert: Hyouka

I happened to already have the intention of rewatching this show before I saw what this month’s topic was going to be. And then as I was thinking about possible anime to cover, I thought, “Oh, actually that’s perfect.” and now had a reason to be rewatching the show. Not like I wouldn’t anyway because I love and missed this show a whole lot! It was within my first fifteen or so anime that I watched, and gosh it was great to visit something I haven’t touched in three years.

If you aren’t aware, this post is of a tour for the lovely group, OWLS, which I’ve been writing for since June of last year! We are a group of loving anime fans who want to spread positivity through pop culture and anime! We are non-discriminant against anyone regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, etc.

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And, for the prompt of this month:

Although some people may like to be alone at times, we all have that one special friend or a squad of friends who we kick it and have some good laughs and fun with. However, there are friendships that don’t last a lifetime and usually, they end due to a falling out or a misunderstanding. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring some of the best friendships in anime and pop culture as well as the friendships that ended suddenly. We will talk about what a true friendship means to us, what we learned about ourselves and others through broken friendships, and our definitions of a “good friend.”

Thank you Lyn for the wonderful topic for this month!

There are not any explicit spoilers in this post, only vague events. None of the mysteries are spoiled in the slightest. So, if you’ve never watched this show, it is safe to read!

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