The Heroic Spirit Manifesto (Anime Ver) | Cafe Talk

Hi guys, so it would appear that I’ve missed this deadline by quite awhile. This post is about two weeks late, in fact. I’ll be posting some sort of mid-May update here soon to caption what’s been going on and why I haven’t been posting (though you could probably guess). This way, I can avoid cluttering up the hero week celebration. Welcome to café talk . . . ?

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What was this post supposed to be about again?

That’s a good question, haha. Hero Week was ideally supposed to encompass my thoughts and reviews for four anime with heroes in them followed by a café talk to wrap everything up and conclude with a few of your guys’ thoughts.

Unfortunately, there were very few comments. On two posts, exactly zero. so I won’t be doing that part.

In huge part, this was all my bad. While I did get the first few reviews out on perfect schedule, I lacked the promotional qualities that would technically keep bringing people back. Little preparation went into setting up the “festivities.” In fact, I mainly set this all up as an excuse to review the recent flow of anime I had finished with heroes in them.

Another reason Hero Week fell pretty flat was – again, on my fault – the shows that I picked. ERASED was a good one, and it got the matching hits and comments it deserved. Since everyone has already talked about One Punch Man, I figured that it would attract little public eye. The hardest one to write, Yuki Yuna is a Hero, is the most obscure show on the list, and despite how much effort went into writing it, only a tiny handful of you checked it out — and that is FINE! As readers (and writers), we deem what we think is worth our time, and if it was worthwhile, we might even drop a like or a comment. As a content creator, I was a bit discouraged.

Then my dinky iPhone-published-on-the-spot My Hero Academia impressions post came out, and several of you rejoined the congregation. This was unexpected! While I didn’t feel it made up for the lack of activity on the previous ones, I was definitely happy to talk with all of you 🙂

So where does this leave us? I mean, why even bother? Because heroes should be celebrated, and also because I am NOT a quitter! I realize this was kinda a failed project (and I won’t rush into one like this again), but there were very important lessons learned during the process. Part of me is glad that it turned out like this just so that I can emerge even stronger and more knowledgeable about the whole ordeal. But enough about my pitfalls, let’s talk about what the heroic spirit means to some other popular anime (no spoilers)!

The Heroic Spirit Manifests in other Anime

Fate/Zero – Quite literally, the seven “heroic spirits” which are conjured up by the Holy Grail itself each contain their own ideology on heroism, some being more extreme than others. The majority believe, however, that heroes are leaders among the crowd, and they must continue to inspire their brethren in the pursuit of peace and triumph. They must be feared, awed, and worthy.

Attack on Titan – Heroes are hard to come by in this world overrun by gigantic zombies, but even those few reluctant heroes must spur comrades – and even humanity – to find the will to survive, and to be bold and brave during dark times.

Eden of the East – Twelve influential people are given the possibility change humanity for the better by transforming not only politics and economics, but also society itself. Though they all possess their own opinions on how the world should be saved, these heroes must give the average man or woman a sense of belonging and purpose in such an overwhelmingly crowded world.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica – All magical girls seem to do is fight bad guys with sparkles and pink dust, but this dark fantasy’s twist adds extreme weight to the biz. Whether it’s fighting to purge your mind of troublesome thoughts, clashing with others who oppose your methods, or moving forward (or going back) to save the lives of the ones you love, heroes must make devastating sacrifices and bear terrible burdens in order to protect those who are precious.

 

A Certain Scientific Railgun – In this massive network of a city for academics, darkness lurks behind forgotten alleyways and inaccessible files. To eliminate surface crime and the unspeakable evils of power and curiosity, heroes must possess good judgment and an open personality to keep their dearest friends out of the chaos. Consequently, they also must be able to accept a helping hand when faced against extreme odds.

Guilty Crown – Being ordinary is just dandy, but when accidents so tremendous shake the very foundation of science and human health, heroes must arise to the occasion and step up to bat when potential is thrust upon them. And in their pinnacle depression, they must be able to accept the guilt of others by transforming shame into valuable experience.

The Rose of Versailles – A life of luxury comes at the expense of others’ suffering. When that suffering becomes inhumanly great and revolution ignites on the horizon, a hero of passion, charisma, and valor must understand both sides of the spectrum before taking a stance.

I could go on until we’ve covered nearly every anime I’ve watched, but I think you get the picture.

Hopefully now you can see that in ERASED, heroes must be able to overcome trial and error by empathizing with the past. Or that in One Punch Man, heroes can be any guy off the street so long as they have fun fighting for the good of the cause. Or how about in Yuki Yuna is a Hero, where heroes must be able to bear the pain of others, however intense, and handle loss in order to keep them truly safe.

I’d like to conclude with one of the heartiest anime I’ve come across thus far: My Hero Academia. Loaded with stereotypes and gimmicks so cheesy and redundant that we know the outcome of every scene — But we still love it, why? Because heroes must be able to inspire others to do good deeds for the cause itself. They’re not out to eliminate all evil in the world, but to spread enough positive vibes that outdo negative potential.

Watching Izuku Midoriya stumble during every training session and getting back up again is what fuels us to believe that he is a hero. We can relate to him and the other students and heroes alike. All Might himself has decided to pass on his quirk, the culmination of strength of previous holders, to Izuku, which is proof from the get-go that Izuku has the capacity to serve the world well.

All of the celebrity-like heroes in My Hero Academia have this cool edge to them (beyond the neat costumes and variety of superpowers), and watching them soar in and save the day fills us with this familiar sense of well-being — like there truly is someone out there fighting behind the scenes for all of us and boosting our drive to right our wrongs, find hope, and smile through the pain. All of this isn’t set out to rid the world of evil, but more in the hopes that one day, we can inspire those around us and the world to do wonderful things.

To bring all of this in full circle conclusion, I TASK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU to comment below with an anime title and how the HEROIC SPIRIT manifests itself within the story or characters. It’s hard to go wrong, especially after the examples I listed, and I know that you have some interesting things to say on the matter. Upon submitting your comment, you will have completed Takuto’s hero training courseCongratulations, and thank you for celebrating Hero Week with me!

What do we have in Common? WE ARE HEROES!

If I Went Missing . . . ERASED | Hero Week Review

One Punch Man is Absurd, Out-of-this-World Fun! | Hero Week Review

Loss Has Little Meaning in Yuki Yuna | Hero Week Review

My Hero Academia (Eps. 1-5) Thoughts | Hero Week

Above are the Hero Week reviews just in case you missed them the first time around and wish to check them out and/or add something to them. Sorry again for the late finale (consider this a lesson learned for myself) and I can’t wait to see you in the comment party! We can still make this awesome 😀

– Takuto, your host

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CAFÉ NOTICE | Aftermath of Being Logged in ALO

Hello café-goers, how should I start this? Well, it’s evening here, so perhaps “Good evening, all!” or something to that effect. What I’m about to talk about is more on the serious side, but don’t worry, it’s that good kind of serious – that satisfactory seriousness that comes from adult praise, for instance. The topic? You read the title. I was logged into ALO for admittedly far too long, and you’ve probably realized that. Also, I lost a lot of you guys from my first anticipation post of the project, haha! What happened?!

I started to analyze Reki Kawahara’s Fairy Dance not by choice; I was sick and tired of nearly every goddamn anime fan beating up on SAO’s second half, and I had to change that by defending it as my sole right as a reviewer and a fan. We stick up for things we appreciate, see, and we also criticize the aspects that could’ve been better. But this was a defense series for the positive aspects, not the negative ones. I’m not saying Fairy Dance is pure gold – Oh gosh, no – but aren’t there other series out there begging to be picked apart like the literary vultures we are?

Now you probably think, “What about all those fans out there that praise SAO as the chief of all anime, huh? We must stop their ignorance!” Well, I agree, you can tear Sword Art Online limb from limb, whether that be the anime, the novels, or both, but the series’ problem is rooted in the the lead character himself, and sadly I can’t do much about that. However, I can point out a few of the cool tricks the series performed correctly. Hence, my motives for writing this.

This journey of 10,000 words starts with a single letter. Cheesy as it sounds, it is what it is. Clocking in at around 10,000 words altogether (parts I through this reflection), this is one of my greatest achievements as a blogger. A Word document this large is at risk of EXPLODING! Am I proud that I threw a sh*t ton of words on a page and called it an analysis? Not necessarily. I proclaim this to be one of my greatest achievements in blogging because this is my grandest collection of argumentative text on this blog. I dare say it means more to me than my reviews . . . This is a project I can look back on and actually feel really, really proud of the hours of work that went into this. I went into it thinking it would just be another review series. Hah, how little did I predict the longstanding effects it would come to have.

I realize this topic is taboo by bloggers, but here I go. “In Defense of Fairy Dance” had quite possibly one of the worst ‘statistical’ receptions on this blog – and THAT’S FINE. I believe it to be one of my highest of highs even though the number of likes and comments dictate it was one of my lowest of lows. It just means that you as a reader didn’t want to, well, read it, and that’s totally okay. Read what won’t waste your time, after all. That’s how I’ve always seen it. Just know that despite my efforts (and I don’t blame you AT ALL for not knowing the struggle), they ultimately mean so little, statistically. Thus, I’d like to extend my warmest thanks to those who stuck around, read, liked, commented – You know who you are. Thank you, it is an absolute joy reading your comments overflowing with your own responses and opinions!!!

If you’ve learned anything by now, it’s that Sword Art Online is a franchise rich with irony. Dramatic Irony ringin’ any bells? Gosh, we’ve beaten this horse quite dead. I won’t rattle on more, but I hope you’ve been able to take out this popular theme and apply it to other media. SAO doesn’t do anything particularly special with it; it just does a fantastic job working it into the story and characters. I also hope that, through reading this, you’ve been reinforced with the thought that “appearances aren’t everything.” Oh, it’s a juvenile theme, but one that applies itself here in many more ways than one.

Lastly, before I bow out of this enchanting land of fairies and bid the franchise farewell, I have one last lesson to reign it all in. You question, “What could possibly be more important than dramatic irony, Takuto???”

La vie est drôle

“Life is Funny,” eh?

You might recall this phrase rolling off the tongue of Ragyo Kiryuin from Kill la Kill, but its meaning is can be equally applied to the entirety of Sword Art Online.

A story of kids who finally get their hands on virtual reality, only to get trapped in it with death as the only escape.

How about when they finally do manage to return to the real world, and the main character’s lover has been relocated into another cage?

Or even when she gets out, and a mysterious marauder threatens to kill players in-game with one pull of his trigger?

Heck, even a girl struggling through terminal illness seeks refuge in the game world.

What about a blogger who expended his time, energy, and soul into a project that got less hits than his dinky little haul post? I think you get the picture.

When you look at it, life sure is funny, eh?

I’m using the wings I gained from ALfheim Online to soar to new heights. This experience has been troublesome, yet surprisingly a wake-up call much-delayed as well. I am still trying to work out a review format I am comfortable with, and this comprehensive review stuff has helped reduce my options (because at this point, I just can’t decide). Maybe now you’ll get to endorse yourself with tastier content. Or, perhaps, things could take a sour turn. Anything could happen, and so whatever does come our way, I’d like to reaffirm my thanks to all who have flown by my side during this journey. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t – I’m sure there’s a reason for your absence. Just know that we had a grand ol’ time here with dramatic irony, right fellows? Yeah, don’t answer that.

With more positive announcements on the horizon, I sincerely hope you have emerged as enlightened as I have! Keep on rolling with the punches, and until the next post, thank you very much for reading!

– Takuto, your host

Oh, before I leave, I’ll be dropping the headers for each section of the series below. You are encouraged to click on the image (if my computer’s not being fickle) to direct you to the page. Everything under “In Defense of Fairy Dance” will be compiled under the “Cafe Talk” section of the blog for future reference! 🙂

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30-Day Song Challenge Day 30 (FINALE): Songs That Would Be The Theme Song To A TV Show About Your Life

It’s finally arrived. 30 days later, we finally made it, minna! Enjoy the finale ~

I feel like I should be making some sort of elaborate speech, but truth be told, it’s just another day of the challenge XD. One last time, I shall be breaking the rules by uploading as many songs as I freakin’ can just to prove my point. What is today’s topic anyway? A theme song for a show about my life? Well, that’d be pretty boring, IDK, probably just some awkward little string pizzicato diddy. But if it’s like any TV show nowadays, the theme song’s grandeur would be exponentially higher than what the show actually makes out to be. So let’s just blow my life story out of proportion and get to rockin’!

These songs, by the way, will be considered the “opening theme” for a show about my life.

From Gosick, “Resuscitated Hope” by Lisa Komine

If my life was a mystery-occult-romance-drama thrown back in the 1920s, then my opening song would easily be this masterpiece. I’ve been waiting this whole challenge just to fit this song in the mix, and I think it’s more than appropriate here, wouldn’t you? The anime Gosick, by the way, is totally epic! It’s a rarity that surprisingly many people don’t know about, so go check it out as soon as you can. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the time period and the characters, not to mention getting wrapped up in all of the intense mystery horror (too bad my life’s not like Victorique’s)!

From Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W, “Koi wa Chaos no Shimobenari” by Ushiro kara Haiyori-tai G

If my life was a rom-com-harem-fan-service-ecchi anime, then hells yeah this is what it’d sound like! Now, I haven’t seen the show at all, let alone this sequel, but with the way it bounces all around just makes me think of ecchi things. WOAH, Takuto, you’re a pervert? Well, as much as the next guy I suppose, but doesn’t this song sound kinda . . . naughty . . . ? Think about it.

😉

“Endless Tears” by CLIFF EDGE feat. Maiko Nakamura

If my life was a romance-intense-drama-heartbreaker, then here you go. “Endless Tears.” Yes, I know I’ve already talked about this one, but seriously, this is my drama-bomb cry-forever song. My life will most likely never be so complicated in the field of love (cause I’m a loner), but if things did take a drastic turn and BAM, sudden dramatic twists, then I can’t think of a better match. Enjoy it this last time ~

From The Heroic Legend of Arslan, “Lapis Lazuli” by Eir Aoi

If my life were a fantasy-tragedy-action anime, then you’ve got “Lapis Lazuli.” I mentioned a cover of this song, but try out the original sometime. It’s fantastic! It’s got just enough sass and swing to carry the melody, and the beat is perfect for imagining all kinds of exciting adventures over various lands. But I include tragedy because I feel a bittersweet longing in this song – a craving for something special. In the end, I don’t think I would ever find it, so I mark my ending as tragic. At least it was one hell of an adventure, right?

From In Search of the Lost Future, “Le jour” by Satomi Sato

If my life were a romance-drama-sci-fi-thriller, then I think this would be a decent fit. Now for those who have not watched this obscure anime (or haven’t even heard it before), don’t watch it. It’s sh*t. But it had several wonderful aspects to it that made me want to see it through to the end. What was the best thing I got out of it – this song, the opening. It’s rejoicing, tragic tone just reminds me so much of, well, myself! I probably didn’t match the genres up as well as I could have, but here it is nevertheless.

From Neon Genesis Evangelion, “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” by Yoko Takahashi

If my life were a psychological-supernatural-sci-fi-thriller, then what else would you expect from me?? Honestly, if you didn’t expect this infamous song to hit the list, then you probably don’t know me LOL Seriously though, this song kills me every time – but in a good way, mind you. Eva always manages to remind me of how the world works for some odd reason, and that’s probably due to the way it destroys its characters over and over again until you can hardly not stop crying for them. It’s got giant aliens, giant robots, comedy, romance, tragedy, action, drama – Everything for me!! If my life were anything like this, then this would easily be my theme song without a doubt.

But my life is none of these exciting things, and most likely will never be so exquisite. I manage, day by day, facing the harsh reality like anyone else. I live a normal slice-of-life-rom-com whether I want to or not. As such, there’s really only one song that can capture my struggles:

From Kyoukai no Kanata, “Daisy” by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION

It’s casual, light-hearted, but also has this relatable passion of feeling like another day is passing by. Fleeting is perhaps the word I’m looking for. While most episodes would take place in the classroom or at home, besides being the opening, this feels like the song that would burst out when I chase the one I love . . . whenever I find them. “Daisy” is very well-rounded, and as such I think it’s the ideal match. It’s slow-drumming groove and slightly delicate chord work timed with the incredible male singer transforms this into a song befitting of my average life. If you listen closely, you can hear the anguish of this normal life within the song, and its subtlety grabs me by the heart every time.

[listen to one of these as you read the rest for maximum feels]

This right here is magic.

And there you have it. 30 days; a ton of songs to listen to! I won’t lie, I’m pretty sad that it’s all over now 😥 We’ve gone through so much together in just these last 30 days. You’ve probably learned so many new things about me, whether they’re personal quotes or whatnot. Thank you for all of the support during this challenge 🙂 If you’ve stuck it through from day one to now, then you’re a really dedicated trooper! I found so much love from you guys, reading boat-loads of comments at three in the morning, or receiving text alerts all throughout the day (*sniffs, stifles back a tear). I’ll really miss this.

If you happened to miss a day during the challenge, or are curious to compare before and after certain days, then never fear. I’ve linked the challenge in the header menu above. If that’s too much work for you, I’ll just leave a convenient listing below. Click on a day and take in all of these feels!!

Day 1: A song that makes you happy
Day 2: A song that helps you clear your head
Day 3: A song that makes you laugh
Day 4: A song that reminds you of something sad
Day 5: A song that has a new meaning to you every time you hear it
Day 6: A song you can always relate to
Day 7: A song that holds a lot of meaning to you
Day 8: A song that makes you cry
Day 9: A song that makes you want to dance
Day 10: A song that annoys you
Day 11: A song that reminds you of summer
Day 12: A song that reminds you of your best friend
Day 13: A song you sing to in the shower
Day 14: A song you liked when you were younger
Day 15: A song people wouldn’t expect you to like
Day 16: A song that is your guilty pleasure
Day 17: A song you like hearing live
Day 18: A song you have as your ringtone/want to be your ringtone
Day 19: A song you’re currently obsessed with
Day 20: A song from a new album you are waiting for to come out
Day 21: A song you want to dance to at your wedding
Day 22: A song that you haven’t listened to in a while
Day 23: A cover song that you like
Day 24: A song that makes you angry
Day 25: An acoustic song you love
Day 26: A song by your favorite band
Day 27: A song you make fun of
Day 28: A song that reminds you of your boyfriend/girlfriend (if you don’t have one, make one up)
Day 29: A song currently stuck in your head
Day 30: A song that would be the theme song to a TV show about your life

[Challenge Starting Date: August 14, 2015]

[Challenge Completion Date: September 13, 2015]

Did you have a particular favorite day of the challenge? If so, tell me down below – Let’s have a party in the comments! Wow, I guess I could go back to watching anime and writing reviews now. Also, I have a crap ton of lovely nominations for various awards to follow up with. I guess wherever the wind takes us next will be our new quest! Thank you all again for your support throughout this challenge. I had way too much fun writing for each of these special moments 🙂 WE DID IT! This challenge was so, so incredibly tiring, but well worth the new friends and songs that I got to meet and listen to. I recommend this 30-Day Song Challenge to anyone daring to take up 30 within a month. I thought it was supposed to be done day-by-day, but apparently other bloggers have been posting to their own liking, which I won’t lie, it probably would have been an good idea to try 😛 BUT I’m crazy like that, so there you go! Until next time everybody, this has been

– Takuto, your host