Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Popular CreepyPasta Character I Don't Like Too Much

     I believe I have said this in a couple other posts, but I would like to repeat this for a few posts just so that everybody sees it. My computer is out of commission, which means I am using my Dad's laptop and might see if I can use the library computers. I have no idea when my laptop will be functional again, so updates may be less frequent, but I have been writing posts and plans in one of my notebooks, so eventually, you might get a mass update.
     So, CreepyPastas. For those who do not know, a Creepypasta is an online horror story in its technical definition, deriving from the internet slang "CopyPasta", which took the words "copy" and "paste" in reference to short stories that would circulate the internet and basically go viral. Creepypasta is the horror form of that. However, as it has developed, Creepypasta has come to mean specific stories on a particular site (although, not exclusively, the original definition still applies), and with this comes original characters deriving from these stories, such as Laughing Jack, Jeff the Killer, etc, which are usually pretty cool characters. However, I am not going to talk about those ones, and a lot of you are probably going to hate me. Because the character I dislike is not one of the "acceptable" ones to hate, like say Nina the Killer. I am going to talk about Sally, from the story, "Play With Me".
     This story is by the DeviantArt person (this is where I was introduced to the character) La-Mishi-Mish and can be found basically everywhere (quotev, Mishi's DeviantArt page, tumblr). Now I am going to say right now, as a disclaimer of sorts I suppose, I do not hate Sally. In fact, I sort of have a love-hate relationship with the character. I was first introduced to Sally Williams through the pictures that Mishi draws, which are sometimes creepy, but often depict some of the CreepyPasta characters (Slenderman, Jeff, Eyeless Jack, and BEN, namely) interacting with one another in a  familial way. It's kind of like the "Slender Mansion/CreepyPasta Family" quizzes and stories you find everywhere, and even though I do feel like we should remember that these characters we adore are supposed to be homicidal psychopaths, it is fun to sometimes draw and write them in a more light hearted manner, and imagining what they might be like if you were to shove all of these psycho killers in the same living space together. This isn't really an issue.
     For one thing, sometimes Sally feels almost like a Mary-Sue character, not necessarily in the sense that her personality is clichéd or that she is overpowered, because I honestly don't know what sort of powers she may or may not have (the story did not make it clear) and I also wouldn't say that her personality is overly unusual for a murdered little girl, a bit of dead mixed with tea parties I suppose, but it feels like all of the other characters absolutely love her, probably for the sole reason that she is a small child, even when some of them should probably hate her. Slenderman and Laughing Jack in particular. The Laughing Jack thing is more in response to quizzes I have taken and stories I have read, because I don't think La-Mishi-Mish draws him a whole lot, and maybe it's because she is already dead that they like her, but...don't Slenderman and Laughing Jack murder children?? I know that the fandom has basically turned Slenderman into a formal, elegant patriarch of the CreepyPastas, but still, what part of "kidnaps and kills kids" is difficult? Honestly though, I feel like he is less the issue than LJ, because at least Slenderman has the fact that A) he isn't a creepypasta, and B) he is heavily based on old legends mostly from Europe that created an unclear mythos for the creature at the time labelled the "Tall Man" in English. And many people have liked to believe that Slenderman does not actually murder children, but that's not the point of this post. Laughing Jack, however, has a clear mythology, and it seems pretty obvious that he very greatly enjoys his work in slaughtering little kids, such as Sally. I think, more realistically, Laughing Jack would be furious that there is this little girl right here, that he literally cannot kill. Laughing Jack does not seem to particularly like children (anymore) considering he purposefully chooses this age range as his victims of a gruesome murders, planning to tear out their insides, as opposed to a character that likes children and therefore surrounds him/herself with them and just so happens to accidentally kill them somehow (not realizing that what s/he does will end in their death, losing his/her temper and losing control). Laughing Jack knows what he is doing. And if Sally is just "different" that almost proves my point about her possibly being a Mary-Sue. But even giving her the benefit of the doubt, there is more I have to say about Sally.
     She is adorable. This is one of my main issues with her. I do not think Sally is scary, mostly because she doesn't seem to do anything. However, this is also one of the reasons why I like her. First off, the pictures that she is involved in that I was talking about earlier, where she and some of the other characters basically act like a family? I love them. The art style is cute and a lot of the drawings are pretty amusing. Sally herself is the cutest thing in the world, but she's supposed to be a CreepyPasta.
     Now let's move onto her story. I'm going to give a quick break down, so warning for spoilers, but if you want to read the whole story, seriously just type in "Play With Me Sally Creepypasta" and you're sure to find it. So basically, this little girl Sally is eight years old and her Uncle Johnny is going to come visit for a few days. Long story short, he molests her and true to reality, tells her not to tell anyone about their "game" because it's against the rules. So, after Sally's mother notices that the little girl is acting strangely, she asks the child about it and Sally never once says she had a bad dream, but rather says she didn't want to "play his game" and that "he touched me" and "made me touch him". So what does this girl's mother think? Well, clearly, she had a nightmare. Um...what? Honestly, this aspect seriously makes me rage. All of this could have been avoided if this girl's mother was not a freaking moron. What eight year old has a nightmare about a man "touching her"? She shouldn't even know about pedophilia and such at that age! If I had children, and my kid came to me saying stuff like that, I would ask "who did?" and immediately go beat the freaking ever loving crap at whoever messed with my baby. Even if it was a bad dream that she was talking about, there's still an issue there! Something is wrong! Of course, Sally's uncle hears about the girl "breaking the rules" and get's angry, killing her. That's basically it. The end is the fact that Sally is a ghost now. I don't think she even kills anything. It's not stated or even implied that she does. Over all, I have the opposite issue that I had with Jeff the Killer. The story sucked, character was good. In this case, the story is more or less good, but I think if the mother is going to write something like that off as a nightmare, she should not be characterized as loving and doting, but the character is...meh. I think a lot of it is the inexplicable love that all other characters have for her that gets to me though.
     Maybe I'm salty because I know my characters will never be so popular, maybe I wish I had that many people in my life who loved me unconditionally for who I am, or maybe I'm right and the character and story are just overrated. Either way, she is not part of my headcanon for Creepypasta at all, not even if I were to ever write a Slender Mansion sort of thing (which I probably never would), but that's alright. The creator seems like a nice person, and this is in no way anything against them, or anyone else who likes the character. Trust me, there are worst characters out there. I will never hate on anyone for liking Sally, and I have even drawn her occasionally, so this is in no way an attack on anyone or anything, but simply my two cents about a character I personally do not like. I'm pretty much in a CreepyPasta kick again, so I might write more about them. There is one particular post I've been wanting to write for a while, so I might get around to that.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My First Anime Crush

     So, for almost as long as I can remember, I have watched anime, and therefore have accumulated various crushes from these Japanese cartoons. I began watching Pokémon (my first anime) when I was six years old, and soon Yu-Gi-Oh, Dragon Ball Z, Digimon, and others followed, but this was before I really knew what anime was, and before I differentiated it from any other cartoon, aside from noting that I preferred the style.
     Currently, I am re-watching (for probably the hundredth time) Spirited Away, my favorite Studio Ghibli film which I first watched when I was probably about eight or nine years old. Except this time, I decided to see if I could find it in Japanese on the Dragon Box (the holy grail of watching movies and television) and sure enough it was there without subtitles. This got me thinking about anime crushes, and who my (probably) first one was, and I'm sure, if you've seen Spirited Away, you know where I'm going with this.
     So, like I said, I first watched Spirited Away when I was probably about eight years old. My grandmother had taken me to Bangor (because there isn't a BlockBuster anywhere near where she lives), which is about an hour's drive on the interstate with good traffic, to get a movie. I could choose one. Well, Bangor is far and even though I lived there, I wasn't sure when my parents would take me to BlockBuster, so I had to choose a good movie. As I was walking, I saw Spirited Away. The cover looked interesting; it was in the art style I always liked, and when I read the back, it sounded cool, so my grandmother rented this movie for me and we returned to her trailer in Medway, where I proceeded to watch this movie thrice, at least. I was in love. It would be years later than I would discover anime, and other Miyazaki films, but at the moment, I fell in love with this particular movie, and had developed a slight crush on one of the characters: Haku.

     Honestly, I don't entirely know why. I had had crushes on cartoons before, sort of, but I cannot recall ever having a crush on any of the characters in Dragon Ball Z, or Digimon, and I sure as heck wasn't in love with Ash from Pokémon. This was different. Part of it was definitely a physical attraction. In my small child mind, he was CUTE, but I have always been more attracted to personality than appearance, so it had to have been more than that. I think I found him interesting, mostly. He was a complex character and sort of has a lot of mystery about him, so I was fascinated with him from a viewer's perspective, and I definitely liked how kind he was too Chihiro, but so were other characters.
     He is generally kind and gentle toward Chihiro, kind of reminding me of an older brother type, but other times seem quite the opposite, more gruff, for reasons I will not state here in case anyone has not seen the movie. And he's a fantasy creature that I've always been fascinated by anyway (also, I will not mention WHAT he is, because even stating this was spoiler enough), so that may have contributed to it.
     Whatever the reason, I don't feel like I can be attracted to him anymore, because despite his actual age, he physically appears to be young (I would say 12-13, like many), but a few people guess his physical age to be 16, which I disagree with. Even so, he, along with No Face, will always be my favorite characters in this wonderful movie, and I really suggest it, even if you're not usually interested in anime.
     Anyway, who was your first anime crush, if you've ever had one? I would really love to hear what you all have to say. ^^ Also, my computer sort of crashed again, so I'm working on my Dad's laptop, but that means, my updates might not be too frequent for the time being.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What's Vocaloid?

      So, I have an affiliation with Amazon now (got to pay for University somehow) and I am working very hard to find products that pertain, not only to the blog, but to the individual posts I create, so, they will be at the very bottom of any post they are in and I probably won't talk about them too much because I know how annoying product placement can be. So, if you honestly have absolutely no interest no matter what, please try your best to ignore them; I decided to put them on the posts instead of putting it on the website so that it would be less in your face (and coding for an individual post is easier than the entire blog and there is no other option besides HTML linking).

     Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about Vocaloid. So, a while back I had been working on a post explaining the Vocaloid "Story of Evil" series, and as I was picking up writing it, I realized, not everyone might know what Vocaloid is. I see it online all the time, the same question, and I too, once asked it: What's Vocaloid?? Is it a game? Is it an anime? A manga? A fan comic? What the heck is this thing?!
     Well, my dear viewers, Vocaloid is none of the above. It is a voice synthesizer. When you have the program (which can be one of many different characters), you type in lyrics and melody and it creates a song for you. Personally, I've never used Vocaloid because it's just so darn expensive (eventually I might be able to though), but I love the songs and it is amazing to see what people can create. There are a variety of characters, the most notable being Hatsune Miku (or Miku Hatsune). They don't technically have personalities and interests, but there's a lot of fanon accepted by the community. I won't go through all the characters, but I'll go through the main ones and maybe a couple others.
Miku Hatsune: Miku is one of the characters with an official age: 16. She is not the first Vocaloid created, but she is the first one that really got people's attention. She is depicted as having a teal or turquoise color scheme, including her hair (tied into two long pigtails) and eyes. Each character has been given a item and hers is a leek. Some songs I personally like by her are World Is Mine, Tell Your World, Rolling Girl, Po Pi Po (It's catchy, don't judge me XD), Bad End Night, Matryoshka, Hitorinbo Envy, Triple Baka, and O Light. There are honestly so many more though. For more of this virtual Diva's songs, check out this video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWK9BZgT010

KAITO: Kaito was one of the first Japanese Vocaloids (by the way, these did not originate in Japan, but I'll devote an entire post to that) and has the color scheme of blue. He, along with Gakupo, are my favorites, but honestly, I love them all. Although he is often paired with Miku (probably because of their colors? I don't know), he has no official age, but KEI portrays him as a "middle aged man". I personally think he is somewhere in the range of 22-25 to be honest, and if I were to pair him with anyone, it would be Meiko, but maybe that's just me. His item is ice cream and fans have given him an unofficial last name: Shion. Some songs I like by him are "I Wish They Would Just Die/It Would Be Good If They Died", Judgement of Corruption, Brother Is Worried (Because it's hilarious and I love the mv), Kaito's Ice Cream Song (I sing this one all the time, specifically when I'm eating ice cream and it drives my parents insane), Imitator, Meltdown (I love all versions but his voice in this song gives my heart a meltdown), True My Heart, and Kaito Ga Uninstall. Considering he's one of my favorite Vocaloids, it's really hard for me to not just keep naming songs forever, but here's a video for more of his songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvT5L2oIorc    

MEIKO: She was the first Japanese Vocaloid and has the theme of red. Similar to Kaito, she does not have a canon family name nor age, but I think she is in her early to mid twenties, similar to Kaito, and her item is sake. I don't listen to her as often, so this list will probably be short but some of the songs by her that I like are Silent Snow, Evil Food Eater Conchita, and Lullaby. Her voice is quite beautiful though.

Len Kagamine: I was trying to decide whether or not I should do the twins separately or together, and I decided on individually. Rin and Len are actually not twins, but apparently, were intended to be kind of like "mirror images" of each other, and I'm going to be honest, most of the songs I like by the time are duets, but individually I like are Servant of Evil and...that's all I can think of. Oh wait, "I Don't Care Who Somenody Go Out With Date With Me" is one of my favorites. His item is a banana. He and Rin's officially "age" is 14.  
Rin Kagamine: She is basically the female counterpart to Len, and they are sold as a pack. Her voice can go quite high and still actually sound really good, and her fanon item is a...bulldozer. Because logic. Everyone else has a food...let's give her a freaking bulldozer! Alright, technically, her item is an orange, but ask most fans and they WILL say bulldozer, I guarantee you. Anyway, some of the individual songs I like by her are Daughter of Evil, Regret Message, The Lost One's Weeping, I Wanna Be a Princess, Fear Garden (one of the first Vocaloid songs I heard, great first impression huh?), Demon Girlfriend, and I Like You I Love You. And "I Can Take Off My Panties" is worth noting just because of how hilarious it is.
Kagamine Twins: Some of the songs I really love by the twins are Remote Control, Childish War, Like Dislike, Adolescence (Although I don't think of it as an incest song) and Trick and Treat.                  
Luka Megurine: Luka's color scheme is pink and her official age is 20. Her item is sushi and during her development, the creators were actually attempting to create a "sexy" sounding Vocaloid, but her voice turned out to be too soft. I like her, but similar to Meiko, I honestly don't listen to her songs as much. The ones I can think of that I really like though are Lie, Kagome Kagome (duet with Miku), Heart Beats, Drop Pop Candy (a duet with Rin), Luka Luka Night Fever, and Circus Monster.

Gakupo Kamui: When my boyfriend first saw a picture of Gakupo, he thought he was a girl. His color is purple and item is an aubergine, and he, along with KAITO, is one of my favorite Vocaloids. He has no official age but I have always pictured him as being a couple years older than Kaito (so, about 24-28). Gakupo is often paired with Luka and I actually like this pairing. Some of the songs by him that I really like are Go Google It (a hilarious duet with Luka), Madness of Duke Venomania, Imitation Black (with Kaito and Len), and Dancing Samurai (of course).

GUMI: Her color scheme can be considered to be orange or green, and her item is a carrot. She has no official age, but she was intended to be a teenager. I personally have always thought of her as being around Miku's age, if not maybe a little older. Some of her songs that are really good are Candy Candy (a cover of the song by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu),  The Secret of the Goldfish, Ah It's a Wonderful Cat's Life, Crazy Night, Ten Faced, and My Crush Was a Monster Boy. For more songs by her, check out this list:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGU-AOWwVE8

Oliver: Oliver is an English Vocaloid who has no official or fanon item, but is drawn with a finch (James) on his shoulder. He also does not really have an associated color, but considering the color of his outfit, it could be considered navy. His official age is twelve years old and he seems used for covers more often than original songs. My favorite song by him currently is Secrets of Wysteria, but he has a lot of good songs, and I suggest you check them out.

Yuki Kaai: As tall as ten big apples and the age of 9, is the absolutely adorable Yuki. Her voice provider was never released for legal reasons, as she is actually voiced by a young child. Yuki's voice is super cute, but similar to Oliver, I feel like I know more of her covers than original songs. Forgotten Girl is a good song and I adore her covers of Five Nights at Freddy's and Tell Your World.

Kiyoteru Hiyama: Kiyoteru was introduced as Yuki's teacher, and has the fanon item of coffee and/or a notebook. His voice reminds me a lot of Kaito, to be quite honest, but I still like it. Similar to Yuki and Oliver, I hear more of his covers than original songs, but I know Under the Darkness and Hole Inside Me, which are good. His official age is 22 years old.

     There are so many other Vocaloids, but if I were to write all of them here, this post would take an eternity for you to read. I'll devote another blog post or two to some of the characters I missed, and maybe I'll write about the fanon personalities given to each of the Vocaloids. I hope that you enjoyed this, even if you already knew about Vocaloid and the characters, but if you didn't, I hope I maybe sparked some sort of interest in you. It really is quite amazing to see what people can create with these programs.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Anime Terms You Should Know

 EDIT: I tried fixing the weirdness with the color, but at least when I view my blog, nothing has changed, so I apologize if it visible to you guys. Please try your best to ignore it and if it become difficult to read, contact me (preferably via a comment) and I will try a few other ideas I have to maybe fix it.
EDIT II Return of the Edit: So, I am very glad I know how to alter HTML otherwise I would have been out of luck. As it is, I managed to (manually) alter all of the coding for background color and text color so it should be good now. I did each number individually just so that I knew I wasn't going to screw something up.
     I'm labeling this as a "part one", because I have a feeling I will be doing more of these. This is actually based on an idea I had a while back to create an "Anime Dictionary", that I just never finished, but instead of publishing something that you guys would have to pay for and probably only read once, I'll just utilize the internet as a teaching tool and give this guide to you for free. How does that sound? In this post I will be mostly talking about different genres of anime, and basic things like that, but if you guys like this, I will make this into a series.
     Anime (Ah-n-ih-m-eh): I feel like most people on this post will know this one, but this is the term Japanese cartoons, or Japanese animation, often but not always adapted from manga (comics) and having a variety of genres for a variety of age groups, including children, teenagers, and adults.
     Manga (M-ah-n-g-ah): Comics. That's literally all manga is. However, Japanese comics are generally similar to what Americans would think of as "graphic novels" in it's length.
     Shoujo (Sh-oh-j-oh): Shoujo is literally the Japanese word for girl, generally referring to a "young woman" between the ages of 7-18, approximately. It is made up of the characters: , which mean "little" or "young", and "woman", respectively. Little woman is not just one letter removed from a classic book, but can best be translated in English to the word "girl". In anime, it is an anime or manga intended for that audience (young women about the ages of 7-18) usually being series that involve romance or a female protagonist that is not overly sexualized, and slice of life animes. Some good examples are Ouran High School Host Club (although, despite the fact it was intended for girls, a lot of guys really like it too), Fruits Basket, Candy Candy, Say I Love You, and My Little Monster. This one is harder for me to come up with examples because it is not a genre I like that much, personally. I've actually never seen "Say I Love You" or "Fruits Basket" and did not finish "Candy Candy", but I would highly suggest "My Little Monster" and "Ouran High School Host Club" for the sake of actually getting me to love a romance anime using comedy and interesting characters/situations. Hell Girl (Jigoku Shoujo) actually also technically counts, which is a psychological horror/thriller anime dealing in themes of vengeance and justice, so not all shoujo anime is romance or slice of life, it's just a trend in this category. It should be noted that, while the intended audience is females, many boys (straight and homosexual alike) watch shoujo anime, OHSHC being a prime example, just as many girls, such as myself, watch Shounen. 
     Magical Girl: Magical Girl anime, such as Sailor Moon, Dokidoki!, and Uta Kata, are a sub-genre of shoujo. As the name would imply, they usually entail a female protagonist or protagonists who are in possession of magical powers of some sort. I'll use Sailor Moon as an example because I know it the best. The girls end up being given magic powers and essentially become super heroes, usually with no or little help from boys and usually drawn in a cute, more cartoonish art style. Sailor Moon is actually an exception to one of the things I usually say about female characters in anime in the fact that my rule is, "If they're sexualized, it's probably shounen," but Sailor Moon is, indeed, intended for young girls, despite the shortness of their skirts in the infamous (or maybe famous) panty shot in the opening theme if you slow it down enough. But the creator of Sailor Moon was a female: Naoko Takeuchi. She worked on a good amount of shoujo manga. Some of which are actually kind of good like the female Mecha anime, Toki☆Meka!.
     Josei (J-oh-s-aye): Josei is like the grown up version of Shoujo, or the female counterpart to Seinen. It is intended for women between the ages of 18-40 and is generally more realistic with less idealism, especially when it comes to romance. I don't watch a whole lot of Josei, but a few examples I can think of are Usagi Drop, Petshop of Horrors, and Super Seisyun Brothers. Honestly, when it comes to anime/manga intended for females, I prefer Josei more often than not, but most of the anime I watch would more likely fit in the male category, or none at all. 
     Shounen (Sh-oh-n-eh-n): Oh boy could I talk about this for hours. Shounen is the male counterpart to Shoujo in the fact that it is anime intended for boys of the age range 7-18. The characters used are 少年漫画 which basically would mean "youth's comics", but is used as "boy's comics" (or cartoons). In certain context, Shounen can mean boy, but it can also just mean youth, regardless of gender, to my understanding. One thing you will come to understand is context matters in Japanese. There are so many shounen anime that I adore, so I'm just going to list some of my favorites. Good examples would be Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Mirai Nikki, Blue Exorcist (Au No Exorcist), Soul Eater, Noragami, Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji), Death Note, The Devil is a Part Timer (Hataraku Maou-Sama), Samurai Champloo, Dragon Ball Z, D.Gray-Man, Rosario + Vampire, Great Teacher Onizuka, InuYasha...I should probably stop. Anyway, some that I personally do not enjoy that much but are popular and fit this category would be Fairy Tail, Attack on Titan, One Piece, and Naruto.
     Seinen (S-aye-n-eh-n): The word literally means "youth". This is basically the male counterpart to Josei in the fact that it is intended for males of an older demographic, 18-40. They generally focus more on psychological or political themes, but this is not always the case. These anime/manga may contain sexual themes, but are not hentai/seijin. It is actually, at least for me, harder to tell what is Shounen and what is Seinen, but a tip I learned from one of my internet friend (who lives in Japan) is looking for Furigana near the Kanji text. Furigana is a reading aid used in children's or beginner's works, and in the case of rarely used kanji words. Either way, it doesn't matter a whole lot because the differences are pretty minor as far as I can tell, but some Seinen anime/manga I personally love are Tokyo Ghoul, Elfen Lied, Mushishi, Berserk, Ghost in a Shell, Hellsing, Black Bullet, Black Lagoon, I can't Understand What My Husband is Saying, and One Punch Man. There are way more, but I could write an entirely different post just about the shounen and seinen anime/manga I love, so we'll stop here. 
     Hentai (Hen-tie): This...is going to be awkward for me. It is debated within the anime community whether or not this is actually a genre, as it means "pervert" and I have been told that it is only used to refer to a person, not an anime or manga. However, most people refer to it as hentai, not Seijin, so you'll probably get more luck with this word. Basically, it's anime pornography, including full out sex scenes that are not censored, so, I don't watch it. Therefore, I cannot personally suggest anything, but thankfully I have a perverted surrogate older brother and boyfriend, so some that they mentioned are Itadaki sekai, Gauken de jikan yo tomare, and one I found online is Bible Black, but don't ask me what they're about because, like I said, I don't watch this kind of thing, so i haven't the foggiest. 
     Seijin (S-aye-j-ee-n): So, seijin means "adult" and therefore, in reference to manga or anime would basically be the Japanese equivalent of our 18+ in the fact that it is specifically intended for adults exclusively. As I mentioned, it's kind of debated about whether or not this can be inter-changeably with Hentai, or if this is the word that should be used. Also, I should make it known that even though hentai or seijin have sex scenes, that is not always the point of the anime. Although I make fun of my boyfriend when he says he watches hentai for the story, there are people who will actually skip the sex scenes but watch the anime, so...I'm too squeamish about sex for me to even do that, but, I figured I should include these in here since they're technically anime genres.
     Ecchi (Eh-ch-ee): Ecchi is like a step behind hentai. It is not really a genre of anime, but rather an element involved. Ecchi can range from sexual inuendos and maybe a panty shot to full on groping and toplessness, so if you are like me and can be a bit prudish, just because something is ecchi doesn't mean it is really lude, but it also doesn't mean it is not really lude, so just be warned. Some anime that I like that happen to have ecchi elements are No Game No Life, (Does this count?) Great Teacher Onizuka (I try not to repeat the same anime because I think I mentioned this in another genre above, but I really do love this one), Highschool of the Dead, Heaven's Lost Property, Highschool DxD, and To-LOVE Ru.
     Harem: Harem anime is basically what it sounds like. It involves a male protagonist surounded by a bunch of girls with varying personality types that are inexplicably in love with him. There's usually a tsundere character, childhood friend, etc. They are usually pretty funny, hence why I like them, and are often ecchi but not always. Some that I like are I Don't Have Many Friends (that's the name of the anime, I'm not making a confession or anything...although the statement would be true ^^"), To-Love-Ru, Tenshi Muyo, The World God Only Knows, Highschool DxD, Sword Art Online (because yes, that is a harem), and Rosario + Vampire. 
     Reverse Harem: Technically speaking, harem can refer to either gender, but it is most often applied to a male surrounded by female characters. Reverse Harem is the other way around. One of the most notable examples is Ouran High School Host Club, which I mentioned previously. Some others I like are Brothers Conflict (don't judge me -_-) and Amnesia. 
     Lolita (L-oh-l-ee-t-ah): Okay, so, a lot of people don't entirely seem to know what Lolita and Shota mean. Lolita is the same thing as Loli, Loli is just shortened. A Loli is a female who is or appears to be under the age of consent, which would be the age of 13, and yes I will talk about that particular issue in a separate post. There is no direct translation in English, but the closest would be pedophilia (I kind of kid). A Lolicon(L-oh-l-ee-c-oh-n) is a person who enjoys, specifically is attracted to, these characters. I cannot think of any examples, so I guess maybe Aihara Enju from Black Bullet, Elizabeth from Black Butler, Takanashi Rikka from Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! (she is freaking adorable by the way!)...the main issue is, it's kind of hard to define a Loli. Personally, I think of a Lolita character as being sexualized, as in, you're supposed to find them attractive in a way, like Honey-Senpai from Ouran High School Host Club (referred to as a "male lolita" but he's shota because that's what a male lolita is) where he, like the other boys in the Host Club, is supposed to have appeal with women in his own way. So, someone could argue about whether Elizabeth from Kuroshitsuji is a lolita, or just a twelve year old girl, and I honestly can't think of any character that I can say, "Yes, this is definitely a lolita" so I'm just leaving it at this and letting you decide.
     Shota (Sh-oh-t-ah): Shota is the male counterpart to Lolita, because everything needs to have a counterpart of the reverse gender in anime. Shota is a boy who is younger or appears younger than thirteen, such as Honey from OHSHC. Some people will refer to Len from Vocaloid or Ciel from Black Butler as Shota, but again, as I mentioned above, I don't feel like they are sexualized and I have always thought of Loli and Shota as being sexualized, so make of that what you will. Similar to Lolicon, Shotacon(Sh-oh-t-ah-c-oh-n), or as some will refer to it as, a "Shotacomplex" is the attraction to these characters.
     Moe (M-oh-eh): Moe is a complicated concept. It technically is a slang word used to mean strong affection, not necessarily sexual, mostly to a character. A moe character is also a complicated concept. To simplify it, I personally will split moe into two categories, but before I get into that, I need to explain what it kind of means. SourceFedNerd describes it as a "little sister" effect, and I agree. I have been described as moe by my friends (for some reason) in both of my categories, but a lot of those same friends think of me as a little sister, not a crush or potential lover. Generally they are adorable characters that invoke a sense of desire to protect or save them. Now to my categories. I split it up as an Innocent Moe, and Tragic Moe. To me, Innocent Moe is a character that is usually naive and innocent (obviously) especially when it comes to sexual themes, and may be a bit too trusting or otherwise inadvertently putting themselves in danger or potentially could put herself in danger, hence wanting to protect her. Tragic Moe, to me, is someone who has been through a lot, but is still adorable, and usually invokes feelings of wanting to save her from her haunted past. Not everyone considers this moe, but I do. The thing is, like many Japanese words used in the anime community, there is a lot of debate about what it actually means, and therefore it sort of means all of those things, and a lot of Japanese words are multi-function anyway. Moe can also be a style, such as the chibi sort of art of Lucky Star, that makes the characters look as cute as possible and is common as a style on shoujo anime, but as a character trope can be found in most types of anime.
     Bishounen: Meaning "beautiful boy". Technically, it can be a matter of opinion, like I could say "Kare wa bishounen" referring to...say, Rin Okumura from Au No Exorcist (he totally is) and my friend could disagree. However, there is a stereotype of what a Bishounen is, which usually is what most people would think of as a "pretty boy" so, that seems logical. Spock would approve. Some examples of characters I think are "bishounen" would be Finnian, Grell, and Sebastian from Black Butler, the twins from Ouran high School Host Club (although, let's be real, they're all hot..except Honey because he's adorable in a kiddish sort of way), basically every male character from Hetalia, basically every male main character from Amnesia (the anime and visual novel, not the horror game), L from Death Note (don't judge me)...honestly, if we went through ever character I have a crush on, we'd be here all year. Anyway, this is a trope most common in Shoujo.
     Bishoujo: Bishoujo is, of course, the female version of bishounen. It is a trope used in shounen anime more, but because it can be so opinionated, and I am a straight female, it's hard for me to choose examples, but some that I think fit the "stereotypical" category are Yuuki Asuna from SAO,Inoue from Bleach, and...I'll say Misa Amane (as irritating as she is) from Death Note. Usually the girls are obviously physically appealing and although their personality types may be different, I have observed a trend of characters referred to as "bishoujo" as being sweet, loving, and doting. But again, this is a more opinionated thing. My boyfriend, for example, would probably say Tomoko from WataMote is Bishoujo (no wonder he likes me so much XD). 
     Otaku (Oh-t-ah-k-oo): Oh boy, another complicated word! At least this one is easy to explain, but the meaning makes things a bit...weird. So, "otaku" is a Japanese word that has been adopted by Western cultures, and mean very different things. The Japanese version is an insult, for one thing, so most people would not refer to themselves as such. The closest English translation would be "geek" but usually has a more offensive conontation. Basically, it is someone who is "obsessive" in their interests (as, honestly, a lot of Otakus are) often insinuating that their obsession gets in the way of that person being a functioning member of society. It also can apply to more than just anime. Otakus can be interested in video games, science fiction, fantasy, general cosplay, computers, you name it. In the Western anime community, however, it just means a person who is REALLY into anime, and that does not mean you grew up with Pokemon, watched One Piece, and five episodes of Naruto, but I'll talk about that in a later post.
     Weeaboo (W-ee-ah-b-oo): This is such an annoying word for me that it will also get it's own post, because so many people misuse this word. It does not mean a fake Otaku, it does mean an Otaku in general. This word means someone who has basically denounced their own nationality and pretend to be or wish they were Japanese. A good example would be this chick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsVlYjHuJOE who I am convinced (and praying) is trolling. But whether she actually believes this or not, her persona is that of a weeaboo, just maybe on the extreme end. Some common characteristics are speaking random Japanese words in a generally English sentence (such as referring to people with the suffixes -kun or -chan but the rest of the sentence is English, or saying an English sentence and ending with -desu) especially if this is grammatically or logically incorrect and liking things specifically because they are Japanese. Personally, to me, a Weeaboo is a person who has essentially lost their sense of self because of their obsession. They are usually ignorant to the majority of the culture and language, but are obsessed with everything from the country simply because it is Japanese (as opposed to someone who likes a lot of things from Japan because they like it, not because it's Japanese). This insult has spread to be used against actual otakus or fake otakus, and both uses are incorrect. It can be difficult to figure out if someone is a weeaboo or otaku, because it is more about reasoning rather than actions (does she like Pocky because the flavor is good or because it is Japanese, did he wear a kimono because he likes it or because he wants to seem Japanese), but it really doesn't matter because I personally feel like we shouldn't judge people anyone (out loud) and even though they can become annoying, more often than not, the people who are deemed "weeaboos" are not, because of the butchering of the word. 
     -San: Ah, suffixes. I usually describe "-san" as being kind of like Miss or Mister. It is respectful and can be attached to given or family names and even job titles. Children may refer to their teachers as surname-San (but with their teacher's actual surname, of course), similar to how Americans will call their teacher Mr. or Ms. and you would refer to someone you have just met as -San. The word doctor, for example, is Oisha-san.
     -Sama: Don't be fooled by anime, this isn't used nearly as often as some animes may have you believe. Sama is basically a more respectful form of -San, used to address customers or people of a much higher rank than you in most cases. You probably wouldn't refer to yourself as -sama unless you are being humorous and ironic, because it displays a great arrogance that might get you thrown out of Japan (I kid, I kid).
     -Chama: Chama is a "baby talk" version, if you will, of -Sama, often used to be polite to a person who is your age and equal. It also has been described to me as sounding "cuter" and can sometimes be used similar to "chan" apparently, though less commonly.
     -Tama: Similar to Chama, Tama is a childlike version of Sama, and really is not used by non-children in real life, it seems. I personally, haven't even heard it used in anime (or at least that I can recall) but I will talk about how it might be used later.
     -Chan: This is generally thought of as a "female" term although that's not entirely true. -Chan is a form of San, for one thing, even though it is often thought to be the girl version of kun (which is not entirely untrue either).  It's more used for children, and in childish language. A child, for example, may refer to their grandmother as obaa-chan, and a child may be referred to as their name and chan, such as a little girl named Yuki may be Yuki-chan. However, teenage girls and young women can also be referred to as chan, especially between close friends or lovers. It could be considered a sort of "baby talk" and is basically just supposed to be cute, hence why it is mostly used for cute girls, children, and animals. Female students are often addressed this way by teachers.
     -Tan: -Tan is the childlike version of -chan, which is interesting because -chan started out being the childlike version of -san (hence why -kun is not the male counterpart, because -kun has nothing to do with -san) before -chan basically became its own honorific. Funny how language works, huh? Tan is essentially a mispronunciation of -san (or -chan) and therefore is associated with children, specifically very young children. -Tan or -Tama can be used in anime for children (for realism), or non children (probably teenager) for cuteness because it is considered adorable, but similar to "baby talk" in the Western world would probably stop being cute very fast if you went to Japan and started speaking in it.
     -Kun: It is not entirely true that Kun is the male equivalent of -chan, but they are similar. -Kun is informal and used between males of the same age and status, or a superior to an inferior male. Similar to chan, it is used for male children, but male children can also be referred to as -chan. It depends partly on the name of the child. Also similar to chan, teachers often address male students as -kun, and it can be attached to a given or family names. Elders may refer to teenage boys or young men as -kun, as well. 
     Senpai: The misuse of this word is so common and it bothers me so much. Honestly, this word and the next one are half the reason I made this in the first place. I actually had to correct my (also Otaku) boyfriend when he called me "Senpai" once. Senpai is often used in school or clubs to refer to senior students (such as a freshman referring to a Junior as -Senpai). But this "Notice me Senpai" thing has gotten so many people to think it means something along the lines of "crush", and I've even heard people use it as an adjective. I kid you not, I have heard girls say "he is so senpai". Like what the heck??! I am so sorry for ranting, and I honestly don't know why it bothers me so much, but that is a prime example of how to spot a weeaboo, in case you needed another example. Senpai also doesn't have to be male, but some people think it does. If the person you are talking about it in a lower grade than you, then he or she is not your Senpai but rather your...
     -Kohai: So, some people think Kohai is the feminine version of Senpai. Considering most people in the western world don't even seem to know it's a word, I guess I can't fault them for coming to the conclusion, at least they're trying, but please, do you're research. Kohai and Senpai can both apply to either gender, and kohai is quite the opposite. It is what a Senpai would refer to their Junior classmate, so like a Senior maybe addressing a Sophomore or something, although, what we would consider a Sophomore would be a freshman in Japan...but that's for another post.
     -Sensei: So, this one most commonly will refer to a teacher in anime, but that is not necessarily the meaning. Sensei means "former born" and can refer to many things such as doctors, lawyers, and even musicians or manga artists. It is respectful and similar to Senpai can be used as a title, as well as an honorific.
     Hakase: This is sort of like a higher version of Sensei. It is kind of like the difference between a teacher (sensei) and a professor (hakase). There are some other honorifics, specifically pretty formal ones, but you don't really need to know about them for anime, so I'll stop with the honorifics here.
     Kawaii (K-ah-w-ah-ee): Now let's get onto some common words in anime, presuming you watch subbed. This word, often mispronounced by Americans, literally just means "cute". Weeaboos love this word.
     Kowaii: Scary. It can sound very similar to kawaii, so think about context.
     Baka: The meaning sort of changes depending on context, but it basically is insulting someone's intelligence and is most often translated as "idiot" or "stupid". It can be silly and friendly when used jokingly between friends, but in the right setting can also be insulting.
     Pantsu: Used most often in ecchi (and I presume hentai) meaning panties.
     Oppai: Also used in ecchi, meaning breasts in the sense of a human female's breasts...not like a chicken breast or anything, that would be "torimuneniku".
     Danmari: To be silent. The word dan-dere is derived from this. Similar to damaru (to stop talking), but danmari seems to be more of a demeanor and damaru is a behavior.
     Itai: This means hurt or painful.
     Kami: God.
     Jigoku: Hell, hence Jigoku shoujo (Hell Girl).
     Yami: Dark. Think Yami Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh (Dark Yugi).
     Hikari: Light. I have heard people refer to the word light as being "Raito" because of Death Note, but that is incorrect. That was a character's name derived from an English word, so unless you are talking about Light Yagami (Yagami Raito), say hikari.
     Kokoro: Heart in the context of spirit. Think of it like the heart in Kingdom Hearts as opposed to the beating organ inside of you right now. That would be shinzou. The last "oh" in the word is pronounced quickly and softly, almost a "ruh" sound. 
     Nani: What. And whenever I read this word, for some reason I always think of Iceland from Hetalia.

     Obviously, there are so many more words in Japanese, and I will teach more of them to you in future posts, this was more of to clear up some confusion about anime terms. I hope you learned something, and maybe can stop using some of these words (Senpai) incorrectly.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Gravity Falls is Apparently Sexist

     A second part to the perceived political incorrectness of one of the best cartoons ever, Gravity Falls. This will contain spoilers for random episodes and Weirdmaggedon. Less people talk about this show being sexist, thankfully, but there are some, and most of those people don't seem to have actually paid attention to the show if they watched it at all. Specifically, apparently Mabel is a sexist stereotype of women.Um...what?
     That's right people, some idiots are complaining about Mabel being "too feminine and boy crazy" and "always needing her brother to save her". Again, what? What version of the show are you guys watching? 
     Mabel saves herself, others, and her brother just as often as Dipper saves her, himself, and others. Dipper and Mabel have very similar yet very different personalities. Mabel is more likely to listen to her heart, which comes in handy on multiple occasions, but she is still intelligent. Dipper is more likely to listen to his head, but still follows his emotions at times. Both characters have flaws, and strong points, and both support each other. Mabel can be selfish at times, and it is true that Dipper sacrifices a lot for her, but he is self-centered at times as well, and Mabel does things for his happiness as well. More often than not, the twins work together, to save each other and those around them, not Dipper always saving Mabel like some insinuate. In fact, one of the lines that probably sums up the show the most is when Wendy, in one of the episodes of Weirdmaggedon, Wendy says she has seen many amazing things that summer but "nothing more amazing than you and your sister" (I wrote that by memory, so if I'm wrong, correct me, but my point still stands). Which is most of the point of the show anyway. 
     One of the complaints about her is her girliness and apparently being "stereotypical". Well, nothing is stereotypical about this character; she is fun and creative and random and crazy, and totally unpredictable. She is also based heavily on Ariel Hirsch, Alex's twin sister, so most of her personality is derived from a real life person. When you say that Mabel is a stereotype and a character that would never exist in real life, you are straight-up insulting a woman who exists. This also includes Mabel's obsession with boy bands, something that Ariel and many other pre-pubescent, and teenage girls are. That's not just a stereotype, it's true for most girls. 
     Another thing that I actually only found in one post here:  http://canonicalmomentum.tumblr.com/post/98300310147/canonicalmomentum-what-the-fuck-was-that complains about the episode "Soos and the Real Girl". Mostly about how Soos is told he needs to find a girl to bring to his cousin's...I think it was a wedding or engagement party or something? I've only seen that episode once, so forgive me. Either way, he is basically told he needs to find a date, presumably female (which of course is so homophobic some how, even though as a straight girl, if I needed a date for something, although I don't know why I would, people who know me would say to bring a guy, not bring a date like a guy or a girl, not because they're homophobic or I am, but because they know I'm straight) and when the kids try to help him with these stereotypical tips of "make eye contact" and "be confident" he messes up horribly, misinterpreting what they're saying. Of course, I'm sure someone will complain that some girls don't like confident guys and prefer shy, awkward boys and presuming all girls like this one type of guy is sexist or against anti-social people. This is also the episode where Soos buys the dating sim with Giffany, and as someone who recently started playing dating sims because I find them fun (despite the fact that I have a boyfriend), I am totally okay with the fact that they make fun of people who play them. Either way, this person in particular was complaining about the fact that no one mentions the fact that he shouldn't go up to random girls and hit on them, well, he ends up finding his love interest by NOT doing that anyway, so...And on top of that, I don't really see the issue. If a guy politely walks up to me and is flirting with me, I personally wouldn't mind, and if one of those girls had said "go away I'm not interested", knowing Soos, he probably would have. I think it's only creepy if you walk up to a female and say sexual or inappropriate things, which of course, Soos didn't, or persist after a girl makes it clear she is not interested. 
     And the whole "you're probably a girl" joke in the same episode isn't transphobic or anything like that. It's not supposed to be a joke at the expense of the person he's talking to, but rather, to show how socially awkward Soos is in the fact that he probably shouldn't say something like that to them. 
   Honestly, this show is pretty progressive without being super in-your-face about it, a lesson a lot of Tumblr could take up (-_-"). It really does show that gender confines do not define a person, that we can break away from the norm and be who we want to be. The cartoon depicts Mabel turning down a "nice guy" because she does not like him romantically and should not be obligated to date somebody just because he is nice (which it turns out he isn't), and also learning that she needs to fight her own battles as well as episodes that show that she can be just as strong as her brother. Her using her emotions more than her brain is not saying that girls are overly emotional and stupid and can't be trusted, especially when it comes in handy and Mabel is actually pretty smart. It is just that she prefers to have fun and be nice than stress herself out. She isn't always the most logical, but she is dumb either. Wendy, on the other hand, is logical while still retaining a fun persona and is more of a tomboy, without being the stereotypical tomboy trope of a masculine girl who hates everything feminine. In fact, I think she is the most bada** (pardon my implications of swear word) character in the show. 
     Girls are not played off as useless or unintelligent in this show, but have a variety of personalities, just as real people do, and a lot are based on people Alex or other workers on the cartoon knew. So, no, it is not sexist, intentionally or otherwise.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Do Time Lords Sleep?

     So, I finally graduated yesterday (Yay! Congratulations me!) so I should have plenty of time to update, and I already have a stockpile of half written blog posts in the drafts section, so prepare for a mass update!
     Anyway, this post was brought to you by fanfiction, where most of it is bad and people don't do their research (says the girl who writes fanfiction for EVERYTHING). I am mostly joking, by the way. It is definitely understandable that not everyone has no life and actually pays attention/ researches these sorts of things.
     In most fanfictions, the author insinuates that either the Doctor does not sleep, for lack of necessity, or requires much less sleep than humans, and a very select few figure that Time Lords likely need about the same amount of sleep as humans, but whether the Doctor actually receives that amount is also under question. One of these is actually correct. I just don't understand why people think that Time Lords wouldn't need to sleep. Like, at all. I understand that we don't really see him sleeping that often, but it's not like his companions are just dozing off during every adventure, and no one questions that. We don't see every moment of the characters' lives, because that would make for a rather boring show. But basically every living creature needs sleep, and considering Time Lords are very similar to humans physiologically, I'd say it's a safe bet that this holds true in Doctor Who for the Gallifreyans. And even if you don't think about it that logically, he HAS slept on camera.
   I distinctly remember the Third Doctor having a nightmare (something only achieved by slumber) about the Master in...The Time Monster? I believe that was the episode. And let's not forget after every single regeneration, although someone could argue this is more of a concussed state than actual slumber. I believe I recall the First Doctor sleeping in at least one episode as well, but because I rarely watch his seasons (I really ought to get on that), I couldn't even begin to remember which episode it might have been and Google hates me.
     Either way, all this evidence doesn't really matter, because it has been stated in-show that Time Lords need less sleep than humans, although I can not pinpoint which episode states this, so I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.
     It doesn't really matter though, I suppose. Likely, it is not usually important to the story line, same as the companions, so we likely won't see much of a sleepy Doctor unless there's a good reason for it, and there will probably be other things going on around the scenario as well. And who am I to dictate others' fanfiction. I'm sure I've made plenty of mistakes in mine that I haven't caught yet.
     Until next time, maj ram! (I don't know Gallifreyan, so I went with another science fiction language. I wonder if any of you recognize it).