I am so happy to be back and writing. Recently, my depression coincided with a fall-out of my outside world and I lost it. I took a couple weeks off to myself to help get my head under control and perhaps emerge from a dark cocoon as a glimmering butterfly and harrow in some new stage in my life.
Alas, we all know that plans never go all the way to fruition. But I did recede into myself for awhile. I analyzed who and what I was and started at the basics of “I AM” and worked my way outward. Eventually, I reached a place where I could examine talents that I might could utilize for the appreciation of the people. I am right here right now and I want to write to you about our favorite thing: Anime!
But I still have this urge to dig deeper and deeper into what this medium really means for us, and I will continue to do so. I am alive and feeling wonderful and I have a plethora of new ideas that I will begin to plant the seeds of soon. I have a direction I would like to take this blog and I will steer it that way, but perhaps the trails we find and wander along the way shall eventually compose itself?
Over the next few weeks I will be putting forward a bunch of new articles and ideas some may stick some might not, thanks to all of you who have helped me!
Okay, okay, something that has been irking me for awhile now and it does not always have to do with anime but I think we should talk about it for a bit. Everywhere I look these days, I see heaps and heaps of hate and it’s just a total downer. The rise of social media has of course propelled this kind of speech to unprecedented heights; it’s far easier to hide behind your computer screen and bash people, right?
I have days of news feed scrolling where I am just pummeled by hateful words, bullying, and arguments. And I believe what really gets to me the most is the way these arguments go down. Sadly, it seems people have lost the ability and art to have a decent debate: one where each side listens to and considers the other’s point of view, instead of resulting to the name calling and the bullshit.
I see it over music, movies, sports, politics (That’s a big one these days), and even anime. But I am here today to tell you that we as humans are lucky enough to be the only ones on this Earth that can actually debate and learn from one another, and I believe we are wasting our abilities.
I want to give some pointers on how we can CIVILLY debate about anime (Or anything really, most of this can be taken and used in many other areas of our lives.)
Let’s start with an example of how one of these “nowhere” conversations may go: Let’s pretend this is on some form of social media.
Anime Fan A: “Whoa, the new episode of One Piece blew me away! Go Luffy!”
Anime Fan B: “Why would you waste your time watching that garbage?”
Anime Fan A: “Wow, uhm have you ever even watched it?”
Anime Fan B: “Hell no, I actually have a life and Luffy sucks noodles.”
Okay, as you can see here, we had Fan A expressing his enjoyment of a show, while Fan B comes out of nowhere to be an ass (Like really, why even post if you don’t like it?)
Now of course, we will always have our fun little anime feuds (Who would win Naruto or Goku, Who is best Waifu, etc.) But this kind of interaction is childish and uncalled for. There is no debate of any kind, there is no true personal interaction, no one is learning anything, and that pretty much ends it. It is also very clear in this example that Fan B really just went out of his way to down Fan A, without even offering supporting reasons, or expecting any kind of discourse whatsoever.
Instead of these altercations, we can have decent conversations and debates about our favorite anime. We can listen to one another, and perhaps learn something new, or at least take the time to respect another’s point of view.
Here are some helpful tips to help promote more civil conversations among the anime fan base. (Feel free to use these elsewhere when possible).
Tip 1: RESPECT. We should always try and be respectful, even when others aren’t returning the facet. Think about how much you love your favorite anime for a second. It’s a very personal thing, and there’s no telling how much it means to you. Things like this can go way deeper than the surface and I think we should remember that. For every anime that exists, I’m sure there is at least one person that it means the world to. Just try and keep it in mind.
Tip 2: LISTEN TO OTHERS: “Small mouth to speak less, Big ears to listen more.” Perhaps someone brings up a very decent point about an anime you dislike. Mull it over instead of immediately discrediting them or swapping the subject. What if they have peaked your interest about an anime you’ve never given a chance? What if you start an actual conversation with them and they elaborate. What if you find a new anime that you love? If anything, perhaps you can have a nice friendly debate. I’ll throw in a quick story here: One Piece always got on my nerves growing up. I heard people talk about it and just didn’t get it. I thought it was stupid, whimsical, and ridiculous. My only exposure to it was from a couple episodes of the 4kids dub. LUCKILY, a friend pestered me to try it. He then pestered me not to give up on it right away. And then One Piece Saved My Life.
Tip 3: Keep your words soft, you never know when you may have to eat them. When debating, especially on topics that are sensitive, it’s always best to use “I” phrases. “I” phrases allow you to communicate the way that you feel, without sounding accusatory. It also seems to show that you are open for further discussion, and that you are ready to listen. Example: Instead of “One Piece is way too long and nothing happens” try “I feel that its a little long for me to get into, and some episodes I’ve seen seem a little slow.” You could even tack on a question at the end to further conversations, such as “do you think it’s worth all that watching?”
Try a couple of these tips out and get into some real conversations about anime. Take your favorite anime and find out the absolute worst things about it, then decide how you would respond to another if they hit you with those. Most of all, keep talking about and loving anime with each other. It’s pretty wonderful!
For those of you who do not know, my family and I have went through a rough couple weeks here, which I hope helps to explain the lack of content coming from me.
Over the weekend my Father had a heart attack. He was rushed to the hospital and had 100% blovkage on his right side and 50% blockage on his left side. Luckily, they got him quickly into surgery and he is at home now and doing much better.
For me, it was some sort of trigger scare. I’t always hurts to lose or come close to losing a loved one, and my Father means more to me than I can describe. I think it has forced me to come to grips with my own mortality in a way, and started some gears turning in my head for an article.
Then I, having gone without my antidepressants for awhile coupled with that stress and some other hard things that have been weighing on my mind led to some kind of semi-psychotic episode. Sort of like Broly in Dragon Ball Z only not THAT angry. I slept for days, hurt myself, drove around fast, etc. but I’ve finally calmed down and come to grips with it as well. As some of you know, I’m still trying to learn to cope with my mental illness.
Anyways, I wanted to thank everyone who’s been hanging around, everyone who sent me kind words, my awesome staff members (Both Eddies) who help keep the facebook page going when I’m being bonkers. I DO actually have some halfway decent articles on the way that should be up soon, and I love all of you readers.
But also, I’m really ready to take the next step and start working together to help others by fundraising of some kind. I guess the very first quest we need to achieve is to get 1000 followers on Facebook. Please help me make the dream come true!
To tell the truth Fire Force didn’t really capture my attention at the beginning of the Summer 2019 Anime Season. I remember looking over the list and seeing the name and checking the description, but I guess I overlooked what all it said because I had the impression that it was just an anime about firefighters. I thought it sounded like a pretty neat and unique concept, but I did not give it anymore thought until my wife (she’s so great!) started watching it and kept recommending it to me.
Fire Force is an anime about fire fighters, but it goes much deeper than that. It takes place at an unspecified time in the future and the world is slowly falling apart. Rising temperatures have caused the sea levels to jump, eliminated a large part of landmass and pushing populations closer together. Society is also now plagued by the haunting phenomena of spontaneous combustion. Without any warning and seemingly at complete random, people have been bursting into flames, becoming a sort of demon figure known as Infernals. It is up to the Fire Force squads to respond to calls, eliminate fires, and using their own fire related abilities, put the Infernals to rest.
The show focuses on Special Fire Force Company 8 and their new recruit Shinra Kusakabe. Shinra is a third generation pyrokinetic, who specializes at creating flames from the bottom of his feet. Shinra is haunted by his past, as a child he accidentally caused a house fire that killed his mother and brother. This left him with a desire to join the Fire Force to save others. Fire Force Company 8 boasts a handful of other awesome characters, including a fire soldier who fights with a plasma sword and fashions himself as a knight, and another powerful fighter who summons and manipulates flames like a wizard might cast spells.
I absolutely love this show, and it is actually the only anime of the Summer season that I decided to keep up with ( I dropped Sounan Desu Ka and Dr. Stone). The world and plot are really interesting, the animation is awesome, and I really like all of the characters (And seeing some of the Manga art has me excited for what kinds of new characters and villains we may see as the series progresses). This anime is already getting hot, and I’m very sure it is going to blow up. If you only watch one anime from the summer season, let this one be it!
And thanks again to my beloved wife for getting me to watch it!
Fight #007 Zolo vs. Cabaji the Acrobat (Buggy’s Second Mate)
Set and Setting: Mohji’s defeat at the hands of Luffy inspires the town mayor, Boodle to try and take matters into his own hands and challenge Buggy. Right about that time another Buggy Ball explodes into the mayor’s home, pissing Boodle off even more and awakening Zolo. Boodle takes off to find Buggy, and Luffy, Zolo, and Nami devise a plan to go and retake their sea chart of the Grand Line.
New Characters: Cabaji the acrobat makes his appearence.
New Techniques: Luffy inflates his body to use Gum Gum Balloon. Zolo uses his mighty “Oni Giri” on Cabaji to finish the fight.
Boodle confronts Buggy and his second mate, Cabaji the Acrobat. Buggy will not come down to face the mayor, and instead launches his hand with the Chop Chop fruit power and begins to strangle Boodle. Boodle continues to demand that Buggy come down and face him, he almost is killed from asphyxiation, when Luffy shows up and wrenches Buggy’s hand free, “I’m back, I told you I would clobber you!”, he exclaims. Boodle tries to stand and return to fighting and Luffy delivers a quick blow that knocks him out.
“Kill Him!”, Buggy yells and his crew fires another Buggy Ball straight at Luffy. Luffy inhales and expands GUM GUM BALLOON! The canon ball bounces off of Luffy’s rubber body and heads straight for Buggy and his crew, destroying the house they were standing on. After the smoke clears, Buggy, Mohji, and Cabaji (holding Mohji’s lion as a shield) stand ready to fight. Mohji warns Buggy of Luffy’s power and Buggy, pissed that he waited so long to tell him, throws Cabaji at the Straw Hats. Luffy delivers a wicked kick to Cabaji in mid air!
Cabaji rushes forward on his unicycle with sword in hand and is met by a a determined block from Zolo. Zolo is still weak from his previous injuries, but he decides to fight. Cabaji opens his mouth and spits fire at Zolo, his “Breath of Death”. Cabaji hits Zolo in the torso with a powerful kick and begins his second attack “Murder at the Steam Bath.” Dust is kicked up around the fighters making it hard to see. Cabaji strikes with an overhead sword slash and Zolo meets it with a three sword block, only to receive another powerful kick.
Zolo tries to stand, his injuries are holding him back. Cabaji taunts him and takes another strike, but this time Zolo strikes back with a punch, knocking Cabaji from his unicycle. Zolo stands and declares, “My goal is to be the world’s greatest swordsman.” He cuts a nice gash into his own torso, “Is that enough of a handicap?”, he asks,
The two stand and exchange some talk with swords drawn. Cabaji throws spinning tops at Zolo and begins releasing a string of special attacks. “Dance of A Hundred Kamikaze Tops”, “A Hike In The Mountains”, “Fireworks In The Cool Summer Breeze”, etc. He jumps high and darts around
then comes down upon Zolo with a mighty sword slash. Buggy, from the sidelines, launches his hand at Zolo to hold him in place, but it is stomped on by Luffy who won’t have Buggy interfering. Zolo dodges the downward strike and a swift kick knocks Cabaji from his unicycle. Zolo assumes his pose and releases a powerful Oni Giri, defeating Cabaji before falling down himself.
And the winner is…? Zolo wins in an epic finish, but it took all the swordsman had, and he too falls to the ground.
BA Rating: 3.5/5 We finally see Zolo in a one on one fight, and even though he is hurt he kicks some ass!
When examining the society of My Hero Academia that we have seen thus far, it is beyond dispute that one figure comes up in discussions of the security and support of the populace, astonishingly more often than any other; a figure whose importance to the survival of the very fabric of society can not be overstated; a figure who has not only saved a countless amount of lives, but may doom countless more. This figure, of course, is All Might, the Symbol of Peace, more than the number one hero, but the number one hero by miles, I’m sure most would agree. With his strength and ability seemingly only matched by his altruism, All Might had more than sufficient potential to quell the forces of evil while simultaneously building up an indomitable, morally righteous and just society, and likely could have done so if not for the one final attribute he has equivocal to the others: his arrogance. I know I’m probably on the verge of losing half of those reading with that claim, but it is not without merit, and I ask only that you hear my argument out before deciding. Give me a chance to prove that All Might, the status he’s been given, his good intention-ed conceit, and his prodigious level of ability could be heading towards a perfect storm that will destroy the society he has tried so very hard to save. Please do not mistake me, however, I’m not trying to “bash” All Might, I’ve actually got mad love for All Might, which makes the words of this argument taste bitter on my tongue.
I first mentioned All Might’s status as the symbol of peace, a status detrimental only for its usage of ‘the’ with a capitol TH; that is to say that, rather than a position as ‘A’ symbol of peace, he is unarguably the only symbol of peace. A symbol that is, unfortunately, mortal and subject to the same constraints of life as you and I. I’m sure you see the trouble in this? When the symbol of peace and sole defense against the creeping darkness dies, as all mortal men do, suddenly society becomes no more than a frightened child, whose night light just became snuffed out, defenseless against the nightmares it had, moments ago, repelled. [That is not to even mention the inherent flaws in having such a title bestowed to any mortal figure, rather than a more intangible, unkillable concept such as an idea or philosophy.]
It is said that anything that is worth doing, is worth doing to the best of your ability; doubtlessly All Might had the heart to live true to this, but lacked the nuance to realize when it was time to stop. When you compare All Might’s level of ability to the number two hero, Endeavor’s, there is no question that All Might far surpasses Endeavor, to a frankly humiliating degree, and Endeavor isn’t exactly a pushover, himself. That humiliating degree of separation only serves as an insurmountable task for up-and-coming heroes, that results in a probable low aspiration level, with those such as Bakugo and Deku being most likely being the exception, rather than the rule. Because when the hurdle is so high that you can not see the top, then realistically, who is going to bother attempting the jump at all?
To have allowed himself to be elevated to legend status, and worse, to entertain the delusion of actually being able to fill the requirements of his position, I believe results from a sense of self-importance so inflated it could serve as the parade float to his arrogance. Even worse is his unalterable view that his power must be passed down to another because there is nothing else powerful enough to fend away the darkness for good, even if doing so only serves to perpetuate the cycle of inevitable failure such a single-minded idea created to begin with.
Rather than accepting the manacle of the symbol of peace with a capitol TH, All Might should have used his inconceivable level of power as the collective goal in training an entire populace made up of symbols of peace, and laid the foundation of the future upon the shoulders of those innumerable symbols. Had he kept his arrogance in check, All Might could have established a society where “professional” heroes wouldn’t even consider the thought of denying help to a citizen that needs it because they were a bad match for a villain, one in which they realized the best match for darkness is simply light, and acted as such. He might have made a world in which an unbearable burden needn’t be placed on one who is quirkless in order for them to be a hero, but a world in which that same individual already is.
I am so excited to finally do my first showcase. Jaxxon Wynn is a musician from Nashville who reached out to me at the blog and we started a conversation about anime, how it affects our lives (He sent me a song he had written about anime!) and music and today I want to showcase the [fairly informal] interview and introduce you to an awesome guy. Please check out this interview and go check out his music and pages!
[Anime Saved My Life] Alright man, lets get this started! Can you just give us a little introduction, tell us a little about yourself and your music?
[Jaxxon Wynn] Well, My name is Jaxxon Wynn and I am an ambiguous singer songwriter based out of The Greater Nashville area but I grew up in Alabama.
Besides music & art I really enjoy Anime of course! Reading books, fishing, kayaking, hiking, camping and anything that has to do with nature. I dabble in a little abstract painting. I have been getting into film shooting and editing slowly but surely.
I have also been trying to desperately get into routine exercise but alas I go really hard for about two months and then fall off and then repeat.
[ASML] Great! Sounds like you are a very well rounded individual! I have only been to Nashville a couple times, but I really like it there. Do you find it is a good place for you musically and for networking? What kind of instruments do you play?
[JW] Well thank you! I definitely try my best to be well rounded. I agree! Life is too short to limit yourself to only a small set of experiences. I love Nashville! There is so much music and art going on. Also, if music and art is not your thing there is also a lot of other crazy shenanigans to explore. It is definitely a city with many cultures and activities running through it.
Nashville is definitely meshing well where I am going musically. Everyone I am surrounded by all day is constantly working on music whether it be the creative side or the business side. It is a great inspiration to work harder and a expansive opportunity to develop my skill set. I feel very blessed to be surrounded by the beautiful people I meet in this area.
I have been playing guitar for about 10 years and a byproduct of that I can play the bass fish. I have been teaching myself piano for about a year, it has been a joy so far 🙂 but it is very different to me than stringed instruments. A bit of a challenge but a good one.
[ASML] That’s amazing man! Learning piano definitely a challenge, I took some lessons for a couple years and it helped me out musically playing guitar and other instruments as well!
So I have heard one of your songs you sent me and put it up on our Facebook page. Is there a certain sound or genre that you are shooting for particularly, or do you just write and work on whatever comes to your mind at the time?
[JW] Definitely not a certain sound. I wanna mess around with all styles and genres. I am a huge fan of Bjork, The Bright Eyes/Conor Oberst, The Gorrilaz, and Frank Ocean. So I am obsessed with the idea of each project being different and conceptual. I like how all their projects is a new sound each time. Keeps things from getting boring.
[ASML] Seems like you have a great taste in music, and I think that’s a great way of looking at the creation process. Can you give me some ways my readers can check out more of your stuff or help you out in anyway? I’ll definitely put the link to the song you’ve sent me in this article, but if you have soundcloud, bandcamp, youtube, or any other links we can get out here for you that’d be awesome.
[JW] I sure do! You can find me on all dark holes of the internet. Even Redditt.
[NOTE] I am going to put all of the links and embeds he sent me at the bottom of the article. You should definitely check them out!
[ASML] Thank you for the links! Hopefully I can send a bunch of peeps your way. Okay next question: I guess we will talk anime for a bit. What’s your favorite or favorites? I know its hard to pick sometimes haha.
[JW] Hands down my favorite would have to be….Fooly Cooly, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, Inuyasha, Outlaw Star, and Yu Yu Hakusho.
My favorite movies would have to be – Princess Mononoke, Ki Ki’s Delivery Service, and Ghost in the Shell.
I also really like Kill la Kill, forgot about that one.
[ASML] Great Lists man! Okay so I think I can probably wrap this up with just one more question or maybe two. This will be for the folks back home. How has anime altered you, inspired you, helped you, lifted you, etc. Why does it hold a prominent position in your heart? Has it saved your life?
[JW] Well, I first got in anime when I was five. I remember being at my Maw Maw and Paw Paw’s house. I was watching Princess Mononoke on some random satellite channel. My Maw Maw did not want me to continue to watch it because of the blood and “adult themes” but somehow I begged her not to change it. So, ever since then I was hooked….I was constantly hunt for new anime, even though I had no idea what it actually was at the time. The word blew my mind as well, Anime…it just felt so aesthetic to me.
Sorry gonna be a long answer lol
It just fueled my creative side since then….and added to my eccentric personality since all the characters were the same way.
All the characters always encouraged me to be myself relentlessly and to never give up, which I think is said often in IRL but never really taught heavily to young people.
When I have no friends it is there to comfort me. It kept me from the dark and constantly reminded me to move into the light!
It definitely saved my life…there were some dark times where I felt very alone, but I could find solace and warmth within the plots and characters of each series I dived into. That is why Anime Is My God.
[ASML] Thank you so much for your time man! I’m going to a con this weekend but first thing next week I am going to get everything typed up and launched! [NOTE] I Procrastinated a little. You are awesome thanks for the interview and I’m sorry it took so long I guess we are both very busy people. I come to Nashville sometimes if I do ill hit you up maybe we could grab a drink or something.
[JW] Grabbing a drink would be awesome! just let me know in advance and I am there man. No problem man, I enjoyed doing this. Thank you! Stay dope and have fun at the con! Be safe, much love.
Alright everyone, hope you enjoyed the interview. Check Jaxxon Wynn out, give him some likes and follows. I’m proud to have him as my first Showcase Interview for Anime Saved My Life.
And now, I will be looking to showcase some more people. I’m always on the hunt for people I’d like to have on the blog, or you can just reach out to me. I’m looking for cosplayers, musicians, artists, furries, gundam builders, homestuckers; pretty much anyone associated with the anime community, or maybe you just have a good personal anime story you would like to share? That’s what we are all about. Leave me comments, email me at email@example.com or find us on Facebook!