Continue, Don’t Quit : You Are Not in This Alone

Manga Toritsukareru Koto

Some days, as you wake up, you wonder what the point of this is. This whole talking, eating, sleeping.

This living.

What was the point of it, when you felt like you were watching another person’s life and yet felt so much pain? As if you weren’t meant to exist? As if… anything you touched became a disaster?
Was there even a point to begin with?

Every day, you have a heavy secret in your heart. One that grows heavier with every person you don’t tell it to. That weighs you down more and more as you think it but don’t say it out loud.
Until it gets so heavy, so LOUD, that you can’t believe that it’s only three words. Three simple words to think, but three very difficult words to feel.
And so, again and again, you think it, but you don’t speak it. You can’t say it.

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Continue, Don’t Quit : You Are Not in This Alone

I drink and watch anime

I’m going to attempt to talk about something important today. It’s not what I’m best at so I hope you will bear with me.

I am someone who is impressed by compassion. True selfless empathy is a type of strength that is greatly underrated. It’s quiet and goes unnoticed. It’s a strength that has always been needed and as I look around, I think maybe we could use some more these days.

It’s no coincidence that I have found myself mentioning Auri here and there in my posts and unfailingly it’s to marvel at how kind, warm and understanding she is. I admire Auri a lot. Auri is someone who shoulders the weight of her compassion with grace. Whether by design or simply because she can’t help it, Auri makes the lives she touches just a little brighter. Of course, she would be exactly the type of person to come…

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Koe No Katachi: (A Silent Voice/The Shape of Voice) Anime Film Review

Sorry for the late review! I’ve been busy since the semester just started for my school in addition to leading my club as president. I’ll update this blog with new content during summer break in May! I bid you adieu my fellow readers. Until May, Keep following, Personal Musings. 

Synopsis: A Silent Voice tells the story of Shouya and Shoko. In grade school, Shouya teases and picks on Shoko, a new girl in his class. Shoko is deaf  so she communicates to other people through, “Sign Language” writing messages in her notebook, and utilizing hearing aids. Over time, Shouya’s constant bullying  goes too far which leads Shoko to transfer schools.  During high school, they meet up again with Shouya trying to make amends with Shoko. Will Shoko forgive Shouya?   Will Shouya be able to move on from his past?

Music: The soundtrack  is composed mostly of piano pieces with a couple of songs included. Of the piano pieces “Lit” has to be one of the most memorable piano pieces in the film.

The into song ” Talkin’ About My Generation” was an interesting song. I didn’t expect to hear a “rock ‘n” roll song as the first song.

The ending theme ” Koi wo Shita no wa”  is heart-wrenching, beautiful, and dramatic ballad. The first time I heard the full version on YouTube I teared up.

Characters 

Shouko- I found her to be super relatable because I know what it’s like to have people accommodate me due to my “learning disability”. Similar to her, I feel like a burden to my family and friends. The solution would be to remove myself from the equation since everybody would be better off without me at least in my mindset.

Shouya-At first he comes off of as a despicable twerp constantly teasing and bullying Shouko by tossing her hearing aids and throwing her notebook in the pond. Later on, he becomes a more sympathetic person as he tries to redeem himself and earn Shouko’s forgiveness.

“Isolation”

The decision to place “X’s” on other people’s faces is genius since it’s a clear representation of “isolation”. People for the most part are faceless strangers to you until you engage in a conversation with them and learn their back story.

 The ending was so beautiful/powerful that it will cause tears to cascade down your face.

Conclusion: 

A Silent Voice is a poignant tale about disability, communication, and redemption.

 

 

Advice for People Struggling in the New Year: 2018

Victoria Palacios / Unsplash It’s a new year, but not everyone’s is starting off on a happy start and I know that for sure. Lately, the only thing that seems to ease my aching soul is my writing and I truly thank God from the bottom of my heart for that, because God knows what…

via To The Ones Having A Rough Start To 2018: You Aren’t Alone — Thought Catalog

Death Note (2017)

Death Note Netflix

Once I heard that the anime Death Note was getting a live-action adaptation on Netflix, I decided to view the original anime series. At first, I was hesitant to watch it because I thought much of the focus would be on the punishments “dished out” on other people through the Death Note adding to the horror aspect of the show. However, I was pleasantly surprised because much of the show’s core was the battle of wits between L& Light.  L is my favorite character out of the two.

I spent the whole afternoon viewing the Death Note live-action film and it enraged me. The movie felt rushed, clichéd and disregarded the source material. I found more negative points to talk about than positive points.  I tried to give the film a fair chance but I couldn’t take it anymore so I stopped watching it once the credits started to roll. If Netflix wanted to adapt this, maybe it could’ve worked as a series since it could flesh out the plot and characters more. Oh well.

Pros

#1. Getting Willem Defoe to portray Ryuk was a good choice. His scenes were fun but his dialogue could’ve been better. It’s a shame that he didn’t play much of a role in this film unlike the anime.

#2. I admire the attention to detail for the Death Note. It looks like a near replica of the actual Death Note from the anime including the old script writing inside the book. In addition, people use different techniques for killing victims instead of the usual heart attack as seen in the anime.

#3. I can see how people would look up to Kira as some sort of savior because he’s a death god (Shinigami). He can inspire change to happen with a single pen stroke and expect immediate results to happen unlike politicians and the police.

#4. I enjoyed how the film had actual newspapers report on Kira like some sort of celebrity. It added a small touch of legitimacy to Kira as an influential figure.

#5. I liked the inclusion of a fan website created in honor of Kira called ” Justice for the Dead”.  In real life, Kira would get a website similar to that since he’d be treated as a celebrity.

#6. The portrayal of Watari in this adaptation was almost spot on. I’m glad that an actual Japanese actor nabbed the role.

#7. I  got excited when L’s symbol from the anime came up while his identity was still shrouded in mystery because it was similar to the anime scene.

#8.  It would make sense that there would be a spike in crime rates during Kira’s absence since Kira is the one eliminating crime by punishing people who commit evil deeds. Without him, crime would continue uninterrupted.

Cons 

#1. The plotline was condensed from this complex/psychological battle of wits to this bland and clichéd plotline. According to IMDB, the plot is this,

A highschool student named Light Turner discovers a mysterious notebook that has the power to kill anyone whose name is written in its pages, and launches a secret crusade to rid the world of criminals”.

#2. Light and Misa were too much out of character. In the anime, Light is an intelligent and charming young man who carefully plans out his next move with the Death Note. He uses Misa as a pawn to carry out his schemes. He doesn’t actually like her romantically as Misa does with him. However in the live-action film, Light is characterized as this edgy/ angsty nerd  who only catches the eye of the head cheerleader (Mia) after obtaining the Death Note from Ryuk.  Not to mention that during his first meeting with Ryuk, he screams in terror as opposed to Light’s calm/composed demeanor in the anime.

Mia seems to be more of the mastermind behind the Death Note rather than Light. I wonder why they didn’t just make her the main character instead of Light. She was controlling, manipulative, and vindictive. Even though, she was an “airhead” in the anime, at least I felt sorry for her. She deserves someone better than Light who will actually give her the care, attention, and affection that she desires.

#3  Initial hesitation to watch Death Note (anime): My first impression was that the killing methods would be brutal and graphic  to my utter surprise and relief that wasn’t the case. In the anime the game of wits between L& Light was emphasized  rather than the annihilation sequences. In the Netflix live-action film, The murder scenes were graphic and nightmare-inducing with brutal and realistic depictions of decapitation which have left me mentally scarred for life.

In addition there was a scene where a group of people committed suicide by jumping off a building which shows their bodies hit the ground with a splat. This scene disrespects and pays no sensitivity to the issue of “suicide”. Adding the cartoonish “splat” sound at the end treats the deaths as meaningless.

#4. L ‘s early reveal:  The Netflix film made the clear error of revealing “L” too early. L from the anime would never hold a public announcement in person. Instead, he’d send an audio recording which disguises his voice so his identity will be kept a secret. It ruins the tension-building suspense set up with his character by showing him immediately.

#5.  Dark, grim, and rainy atmosphere. In the anime, even though the show could get dark at times, the backgrounds were colorful and vibrant and sometimes the atmosphere was calm and mellow whereas in the Netflix film, the atmosphere resembled that of a moody brooding teenager”, with its darkness and gloom.

#6. Dynamic between L& Light missing. The main selling point besides the Death Note itself is the game of wits between L& Light since both are evenly matched in intelligence.

It’s quite exciting and fun to see these two go up against each other and witness who comes out on top.  The Netflix film missed out on this detail because there aren’t many interactions between L& Light in this iteration. Only a couple of scenes have them face-to face with each other talking. Also in this version, L& Light don’t seem to be intellectual equals, L is seen to be superior to Light in intelligence so it’s already given who will win.

#7 Near the end, Light Turner is trying to save Mia from falling off of the Ferris Wheel which is supposed to be a dramatic moment so there should be zero background sounds.

As it happens, a song starts playing in the background otherwise interrupting what should-be  a dramatic scene. Despite my dislike of these characters, the mood should’ve been quiet in order for the drama to play out.

Conclusion:

The Netflix Death Note movie fails to understand and capture the spark of the original source material while also misrepresenting a few of its main characters.  I couldn’t wait to stop the movie once it ended. I had to listen to music from the Death Note anime just to get the horrible taste out of my mouth. I tried giving this film the benefit of the doubt but it didn’t deserve it at all.  As an introduction for non-anime fans, you’re better off watching the anime series or reading the manga. AVOID THIS FILM AT ALL COSTS! 

 

 

 

 

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Ever since 2008 with the release of the live-action adaptation of “Speed Racer”, Hollywood has tried its hand and failed at bringing anime to the “big screen”. For examples, I refer you to Dragon Ball Evolution(2009), The Last Airbender (2010) [supposedly based off of Avatar the Last Airbender], and Death Note (2017) (Netflix ). All three of these film adaptations are infamous in the anime community for completely disregarding the source material and paying no respect to the original author.

When news broke that Ghost in the Shell was getting a live-action movie from Hollywood, I admit that I was skeptical since Hollywood has a horrible track record with big screen” anime adaptations. Due to my apprehension, I kept track of each news article surrounding this movie. Once the movie was released in theaters on March 30,  the movie turned out to be surprisingly decent but it lacked the depth of the original source material and it could’ve been so much better than the end result audiences were given.

Pros 

With all sincerity, the special effects for this movie were fantastic. I liked the Major’s cloaking device for her body along with the real-life Tachikomas. Those looked amazing in live-action.

The two performances that I enjoyed in this movie were Beat Takeshi’s  Aramaki and Juliette Binoche’s Dr. Oulet (a character only made for the movie that never appears in the anime or manga).

Beat Takeshi’s performance in this movie was a major highlight. I’m even surprised that Paramount Pictures made the decision to include all his dialogue in Japanese with English subtitles. That was a  good move on their part.

As for Dr. Oulet, I only remembered this character because she was portrayed by Juliette Binoche who’s also  known for her role in the movie ‘Chocolat‘. I like Juliette Binoche as an actress. She does an okay job with her role as Dr. Oulet even though the character is rather forgettable.

Cons

#1. This film had homages to the 1995 film a few times which I’d rather watch than this. If I wanted to view scenes from the 1995 film, I’d just watch that film in Japanese with English subtitles.

#2. The soundtrack for this film doesn’t even compare with the 1995 film soundtrack.

#3. I dislike that in the film the Major was treated as a weapon used to harm innocent people instead of as an actual person. In the original 1995 film, Motoko was treated as her own person and part of the team in Section 9. This film disregards this fact.

#4. The movie lacked the depth and thought-provoking nature of the 1995 film and anime series.  Sure the film brought up a few topics but it only skimmed the surface and didn’t delve deep into them. It came off as shallow and empty preferring “style over substance”.

#5.  I immensely dislike that Hollywood decided to “Americanize” the character from Motoko Kusanagi (Japanese) to Mira Killian (Caucasian).  I wonder why they couldn’t have cast an Asian American actress or a Japanese actress to portray the role.  To pour more salt into the wound, at the end , the movie decides to reveal that Mira Killian was actually Motoko Kusanagi in another life.  This angers me because from my viewpoint, I felt that she was saying farewell to her Asian roots and accepted being “Americanized”.

This movie is for the most part decent with its cool special effects and an awesome performance by Beat Takeshi. However, the movie could have been so much more than it turned out to be.

 

 

 

Trigun Series Review

100WordAnime

Overview:

Two insurance agents, Meryl and Milly, are sent to attempt to minimize the damages caused by Vash the Stampede (who is apparently a Humanoid Typhoon). Every town Vash visits is pretty much destroyed and because of that a massive bounty has been placed on his head. Only, once they catch up with Vash they kind of realise that it is the bounty hunters and circumstances beyond Vash’s control causing the problems.

There is definitely more to the story and it is a great science fiction, but I’m not going to include any spoilers so I’ll move on to the review.

review:

I had to wonder when I first started watching this series what all the fuss had been about. It was a not so well drawn, cliché comedy with a main character whose hair just kind of made me want to pour a bucket of water on his head.

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