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[OWLS Blog Tour: “Mentor”] Competition and Teaching on the Court: Haikyuu!! — 07/20/2018

[OWLS Blog Tour: “Mentor”] Competition and Teaching on the Court: Haikyuu!!

Long time no see! This month we OWLS are looking at the impact that teachers, whether it be academic or in skill, have on people. I was the one who requested this topic, and it seems that everyone has been enjoying it thus far!

Throughout our lives, we might have encountered someone that we admired as a role model or has guided us in some life dilemma. This mentor could be a teacher at school, a coach, a boss or team leader at work, or a family friend. Whoever it is that person impacted your life in a positive manner. For this month’s OWLS topic, we will be writing about mentors or mentorships in anime and other pop culture media. Some topics we will be exploring include how a mentorship impacted a main character’s life, the types of mentor relationships a person could have, and/or personal stories about mentors or mentorships.

Majority of anime characters have a sort of mentor, or teacher, in their life, so picking an anime to focus on for this month was hard. So many choices! I initially wanted to focus on The Ancient Magus’ Bride, but someone beat me to it. Though I finally snagged Haikyuu after wanting to write on it for so many months!

When the Student Surpasses the Teacher

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The first dynamic I thought of when looking at this prompt was between Oikawa and Kageyama. I always found the way they interacted interesting. They have this ongoing competition throughout the series, just between the two of them. There have been times that they ignored what was going on with the rest of their teammates just to focus on beating each other.

In middle school, Oikawa and Kageyama were on the same team for one year. Oikawa was clearly very talented, and Kageyama would watch in awe as he improved his serves as the year went on. Kageyama wanted to learn from Oikawa, but he was already so talented, to the point where he could be considered a prodigy, that Oikawa was jealous and didn’t want to teach Kageyama anything. Still, Kageyama would watch and learn from Oikawa, until he became so talented as a setter that he could easily surpass Oikawa.

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Without having Oikawa as an example for Kageyama, he may never have become the powerful “king of the court” that he is.

The Impressive Middle Blocker Never had a Mentor?

Looking in the opposite direction of this topic, what happens when someone with raw talent never has someone to improve their skills?

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Hinata easily was the most passionate and talented kid in his middle school when it came to volleyball. But there was hardly a team, let alone a coach who could teach the team to improve on their skills. Hinata had to find people outside of his age group to play with, and had to practically teach himself all he knows about the sport.

When he entered Karasuno, he was subpar compared to the others, having never played on a real team and didn’t know how to work with the others. He fumbled a lot in the beginning, but in the end, I think it was Kageyama that helped him through it. When they began working together as the “freak duo” and taught themselves their special quick, Hinata began to understand the sport better.

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Though he still never had the mentor the others did, he still had the talent to get him through the rough patches at first.

Training Camp! Training Camp!

I couldn’t talk about improving through those better than you without mentioning the training camp arc in season two, my favorite part in the whole series.

In this arc, characters from three different teams learn from each other to improve their skills. Karasuno, Nekoma, and Fukurodani members played against each other to see where their strengths and weaknesses were, so then the teams could improve on those certain areas before the big tournament in the spring.

Our main characters who wanted to get better were Hinata, Lev, and Tsukishima, who were learning from Kuroo, Bokuto, and Akaashi.

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Hinata had a falling out with Kageyama after their team lost to Seijoh in the previous tournament, and he blamed himself for the team’s loss. Since then, they hadn’t been able to work together to do their special quick, and the team had been suffering in every game they played. Hinata and Kageyama decided to split up for the time being and train on their own to recuperate, and then come back together to improve on their quick when their focus was back.

Lev was a new team member, who was assumed to be a great addition to Nekoma due to his height, but he had little to no experience and fumbled through all of the motions of their games. By attending these smaller training sessions with the captain of his team and members of the famous Fukurodani, he was able to get a better grasp on the game and what his part in it is.

Tsukishima had been questioning why he even decided to join volleyball, and participated in these little sessions to see if he could find that reason. Bokuto told him that there was always a special moment for everyone that gave them a sense of adrenaline and made them realize why this sport was great. Tsukishima’s change didn’t occur until season three during the game with Shiratorizawa, when he finally had the moment that Bokuto had mentioned. Without going through the training, he would have never found purpose in playing volleyball, and likely would have quit.

Real Life Experience

I’ve never played in a sport, but I did take dance when I was young. Even now, seven years after my last dance lesson, I still have much of the knowledge my instructor taught me, and I can somewhat choreograph routines (though I don’t know if they’re very good). Teachers are a vital part of our lives, whether they are someone who has been trained to teach a skill or if they just have a lot of experience in that area. Without people who already are knowledgeable in a skill we want to improve, we’d all have a hard time getting anything done.


Funny thing, I found out that today is Oikawa’s birthday! I didn’t even plan that, but I guess it all worked out that I decided on this anime to discuss on this day.

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If anyone missed it, I wrote a little blog update yesterday to explain the status of my blog as it is now. I will still be doing an OWLS post every month, unless a topic truly stumps me.

Hope you enjoyed my stop on this tour, I kind of wish I took this one more seriously and went more in depth, since this was my topic, but oh well. Cosplay has been taking up a lot of my time recently.

Check out Mel’s post from yesterday and Dylan‘s video tomorrow!

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[OWLS Blog Tour: “Pride”] Breaking the Boundaries of Society: Akagami no Shirayuki-hime — 06/12/2018

[OWLS Blog Tour: “Pride”] Breaking the Boundaries of Society: Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

Welcome to another OWLS tour post of mine, but this one is special!! This post marks one year of OWLS posts for me! It’s been a great year, and I’ve been able to participate in every tour so far, fortunately.

This is a very special month as well, one that I wasn’t able to fully appreciate last year. June is deemed “pride month” for the recognition of the LGBT+ community and spreading positivity surrounding it. Last year, I wasn’t well-versed in this topic, but I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve been proudly celebrating as I can. I’ll be writing more on the topic this month, at least two posts are what I have planned.

Our topic this month is “pride,”

In honor of “Pride Month,” we will be discussing the word, “Pride” and its meaning. We will be exploring pop culture characters’ most satisfying and joyful achievements or skills that they possessed and whether or not these qualities could be seen as a positive or negative aspect in their personal lives and/or society.

I really love this topic, and it allows me to talk about one of my favorite anime, and one I’ve been itching to write an OWLS post on!

This post will be on Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, or Snow White with the Red Hair. I’ve mentioned this anime before, but I’ve never written a whole post on it. I really love this anime, mostly for the two main characters, who will be my focus.

Context

As I know this anime isn’t overly popular, but not unknown either, I’ll give a brief explanation before diving in. I won’t be spoiling major pieces of the anime in this post, this will give basic beginning details.

Shirayuki lived with her grandparents in the kingdom of Tanbarun working as an herbalist alongside them in their shop. Due to her bright red hair, the prince, Raj, attempts to make her his concubine, but she flees directly after the encounter. She ends up in the kingdom, Clarines, where she meets Zen, Kiki, and Mitsuhide in the forest. They appeared to only be travelers in the forest, but it was soon revealed that Zen is the second prince of Clarines, and Kiki and Mitsuhide are his bodyguards. Shirayuki is invited to live in Clarines to train to become a court herbalist for the castle.

Shirayuki’s Pride

The way Shirayuki carries herself is very certain, and mature. She knows her goals, and she is always willing to put in the work to reach that goal no matter what. She loves her work as an herbalist, and is always willing to grow. Though, this sense of determined pride can become troublesome for her if she’s overdoes it. She has a tendency to continue working even if she’s hungry or tired.

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Those living and working in the castle see this determination, and respect Shirayuki highly. The other herbalists look up to her, and are very supportive of her work and her growth. They watch as she continues to work and grow consistently, and are impressed with her constant motivation. She carries so much pride in her work that it shows to the others around her and she inspired them as well.

Zen’s Pride

As I established, Zen is a prince, but he doesn’t initially seem like one. He enjoys adventuring in the forest and sneaking around outside castle grounds when he gets the chance. He doesn’t seem like the typical princely-type character at all, and I think that’s what make him an interesting and likeable character.

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He begrudgingly attends to his princely duties, and he sticks out like a sore thumb among the other royals. He doesn’t have a lot of the close-minded ideals, and he doesn’t like sticking to traditions.

Zen’s pride in his individualism, and looking closer at the real world instead of the walls of his lush castle, is what actually makes him the perfect prince. He’s genuinely caring, and he seeks knowledge of events that he would otherwise be unaware of. He’s accepting of people no matter their social status, and just wants to see other people happy.

Their Pride in Each Other

This shouldn’t come as a shock to those who haven’t watched this anime that these two characters are love interests, and they eventually engage in a romantic relationship. While most of the points don’t necessarily need to be in the sense of romance, it helps to explain that aspect a bit as well.

Zen was born a prince, and Shirayuki was born a commoner, living in an inn and tending to customers. They’re nowhere near the same social standing. Those living in the castle have mixed opinions on their friendship, and this ends up causing a lot of rumors and trouble to spread around the castle. It’s a common trope in these fairy tail-esque stories that there’s a love between a royal and a commoner, but the way this one does it is one of the best I’ve seen.

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Even when they were only friends, it was risky for them to be acquainted with each other. And even with knowing that fact, they both agreed to remain friends and ignore what the people of the castle had to say about it. When their relationship developed, with the risk of more discrimination and hurdles to get through, they were aware of it and continued doing what they could to live in a way where they could be together.

Zen’s brother, the first prince Izana, has been one of their biggest discriminators. He’s never approved of their relationship, even in the beginning, and always attempted to break them apart. When Zen told Izana about his relationship with her becoming romantic, Izana didn’t take it well at all. He told Zen he was being stupid, and that this won’t get him anywhere, since her social standing is lower. Izana is stuck in the notion that wealth and status is more important than love in a relationship. He wants Zen to marry someone on the list of nobles, even if he doesn’t like her, but Zen remains solid in his decision to marry someone whom he loves.

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Shirayuki knows as well that her relationship with the prince has a chance of failing because of this gap, but she’s willing to try to make it work. She improved her herbalist skills until she was able to land a spot in the court herbalist workplace, so she could live inside the castle walls to see him more often. She knows she can’t bring any honor to Zen’s family if they get married, and they both know they’ll likely be shamed if they decide this as well.

Their determination to see each other and build their relationship further despite what others say is what makes them a great focus for this month’s topic.

Relating to Real Life

“Pride Month” was created as a way to celebrate the individuals who show pride in themselves. Those participating in it are aware that society has a tendency to look down on them, and they know the risks involved with being open with themselves. The LGBT+ community unites together during this month to show that we aren’t scared to be ourselves, even in the face of the ridiculing and violence.

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I identify with this community. And it’s come to my attention recently that even some of the people in the community won’t accept me.

I’m in a weird gray area to some people. I want to be a part of the community, and I am, and even if some people don’t think I am, I don’t care. I’ve been open about it on my blog, and online, and I haven’t had any direct criticism. I surround myself with people I care about, and who care about me. I’ve met some awesome people who either are a part of the community too, or are accepting of it, and that’s what’s kept me proud of myself.

I identify as asexual, and though I’m still working everything out, I have become very comfortable with this label. I gave it to myself in August of last year, and I’ve been slowly working on coming out to more people, even though it’s scary. Some people just don’t understand it. That’s okay, as long as they respect me and don’t say things like “you’re sad” or “oh, you say that now,” I’ve heard those coming out of the mouths of people I’m close to in my real life. They strike me hard. If the people who aren’t in the community say these things, I don’t need it in the community too.

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Have you seen this flag before?? It’s my flag!!

Pride Month is supposed to be about positivity! Everyone who falls into any sexuality or gender that is one of those many letters belongs.

Yes, I chose to talk about a straight pairing for this month, I’m aware. Why was that? I thought about doing something different, but this one struck me.

What Shirayuki and Zen deal with is in a sense similar to the modern-day LGBT+ community. The negativity about relationships, the denial to allow a family member to marry the one they love, the standing out among “normal” relationships. In the time period that this anime takes place in, people were treated horribly for not marrying in their class. Same can be said for “not marrying the right gender” now. They have a small amount of people who do accept them: a couple of guards and Zen’s personal bodyguards, Kiki and Mitsuhide; and for present day: some of those in the community and allies. It’s not a perfect comparison at all, but just the fact that discrimination against people being with the person they love is not a new concept is what makes it work.

People have been facing criticism and violence for who they are for all of humanity’s existence. This Pride Month, I ask that you help make it seem less overbearing for anyone who identifies in the community. And, to just be nice to everybody, regardless of their partner’s gender, whether they have a partner, whether they want one, whether they identify as this or that gender, whether they like this or that thing, I can go on.

Be nice to everyone!! And thank you for reading my post.


Long time no see to my followers, haha. I’ve been absorbed in talking to online friends for the past couple weeks and it’s so hard to pull away. I also had a con at the beginning of the month, and cosplays to make before that, so I just haven’t had time.

Happy Pride Month to everyone, and I hope to write something else for you all soon! I’ll be busy next week with a tumblr project, but I’ll try to get something out this week or next week!! I’m just busy with things, I haven’t totally abandoned this, I promise!

Make sure you check out the stops before and after me as well!

Before: Mel from Mel in Anime Land

After: Mistress of Yaoi from The Yaoi Playground

 

[OWLS Blog Tour: “Melody”] The Melody is a Remedy: How Music Impacts Me — 04/03/2018

[OWLS Blog Tour: “Melody”] The Melody is a Remedy: How Music Impacts Me

(The title of this post is inspired by the band Icon for Hire’s song: Rock and Roll Thugs)

Welcome back to another OWLS tour post, though clearly, it seems this one will be a little bit different. I won’t be talking about any anime at all in this post, only my favorite songs from my favorite bands and what they have done to impact me.

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.

In one way, music is form of healing and self-expression. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring some of our favorite musical pieces (anime/drama OSTs, movie soundtracks, music genres and etc.) and how it has impacted our lives and/or reasons why we enjoy listening to 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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[OWLS Blog Tour: Revival] A Second Chance at Youth: ReLIFE — 01/12/2018

[OWLS Blog Tour: Revival] A Second Chance at Youth: ReLIFE

We’re in our second year of OWLS now, and this is my seventh contribution to our blog tours!

If you aren’t aware, OWLS is a group of anibloggers and vloggers who do monthly blog tours on topics of deeper meaning. We’re accepting of all people, regardless of race, sexuality, gender, or upbringing. And we work to make important topics in our society known through writing and talking about anime and pop culture.

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This month we’re focusing on the topic of “revival,” or the change of a character whether it be for better or for worse.

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[OWLS Blog Tour: “TEAM”] Crona Gorgon: Soul Eater — 06/22/2017

[OWLS Blog Tour: “TEAM”] Crona Gorgon: Soul Eater

This is my very first OWLS blog post! I’ve been very excited to join this group of wonderful, kind people for a long time, and the time has finally come for me to be a true part of the group.

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When given the topic of the month: “Team” in regards of the LGBT+ community, it took me a while to decide on what I would be talking about. I’m very new to the community, so my spectrum isn’t very large. I can count on one hand the number of shows/comics I’ve read or watching dealing with this community. So, I decided to talk about something that wasn’t very expected.

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