I was born in a different state than I grew up in, but I moved to where I currently live at a very young age. Young enough that I do not remember ever living where I was born. The older members call that their true home and I honestly cannot relate. I do not see that place as my home at all, I see where I currently live as my true home.
This conversation of where I feel my home truly is has been brought upon by colleges, where my options are go further out and go where my family went for college or stay close where I probably want to go. The problem here is that my family seems to operate under the assumption that I actually like where they grew up/where I was born, which simply is incorrect. I find where I currently live to be a nice place for me, everyone I’m close with lives here, not out there. And I don’t feel entirely comfortable going halfway across the country and leaving everything behind. I enjoy my current life to an extent and just up and leaving that is something I don’t feel entirely comfortable with at the moment.
This piece doesn’t really have a point, I just wanted to ramble about this because it’s been on my mind and stuck there and as with a lot of things I just want to get it out.
Media can manipulate emotions to convey a certain feeling. Whether you’ve noticed this or not, it happens. I personally have it happen a lot to me for some reason, either I’m just really emotional or am easily manipulated. However, I find these emotional connections/manipulations to be something special because I enjoy the feeling of knowing that I’m so attached to a character that watching them be happy or struggle makes me feel the same as them.
The most recent example and the basis for why I’m writing this is the 12th episode of A Place Further than the Universe. This was the big episode for the series, the Shirase episode. The resolution to what started it all. And boy did it deliver on all emotional fronts. Once we finally saw Takako’s laptop and all the messages being left unread, the feels train left at a blazing pace. The insert song alongside Shirase breaking down after now being forced to deal with the loss of her mother had one of my stronger emotional connections. Just thinking about the scene makes me feel like tears could start flowing again.
But I think that just shows how much I cared about Shirase and how well A Place Further than the Universe made me care about her. I have to give props to Atsuko Ishizuka for making such an excellently made series. I don’t think there is a single character in the show who I am not invested in. Her use of insert songs has been stellar and is something I always love when a series uses effectively. I cannot wait to see how she wraps up this wonderful ride.
How many winter season anime am I going to have to give a 10/10 to:
Violet Evergarden has reached a point that I’m glad it reached. Violet can now feel as a human being. Episode 10 focuses on Violet writing for a mother who in her first appearance is heavily implied to be dying. The mother’s daughter An knows this, but doesn’t want her to die. And understandably so, no one wants to lose a loved one. But what’s different about Violet this time is that she is able to hold back, to keep her emotions in check. What we learn is that Violet was writing letters to future An, which I imagine would have made it even harder to keep her emotions in check.
This is a very significant episode for Violet’s development as we can see her feel, her breaking down at the office with the other dolls is a crushing moment because we see Violet attached to someone and is able to understand how they feel or at least how she herself relates to that feeling. Violet is no longer an emotionless doll, she is a human. Which An puts in a rather cute way when she pinches Violet’s cheeks.
I am very much looking forward to seeing how Violet continues to grow as a human being, now that she truly has become one.
“You can only have expectations when you have given up.” -Fukube Satoshi
Satoshi, is a database, but really it is him not wanting to commit to one thing. His struggle is seeing how not being the best at anything can hurt. There is tension between him and Oreki because Oreki seems to have a gift for solving mysteries. But Oreki denies this gift, which as Irisu puts it earlier is rather disrespectful to those who worked but still can’t match up to talent. Talent is something that can ruin others without the wielder even noticing. People who are naturally good at something navigate their life thinking it is normal, but to others their normal is something they believe they can never reach. It’s an impossibly high wall for them.
Satoshi is an interesting character in Hyouka to me, his whole personality seems to be a facade. He outwardly seems like he is okay with being a database, but in reality seems jealous or Oreki’s skills of deduction. Satoshi seems to want to be good at something, yet pushes it all away claiming it’ll destroy him like it previously did. Which is a fair assumption, I shared a similar sentiment on a lot of things like that and still do to an extent. However, Satoshi goes to much further lengths to keep his life status quo, the whole of episode 21 where Satoshi steals/breaks Mayaka’s valentines chocolate shows just how far he is willing to go to protect himself. He understands Mayaka’s feelings and reciprocates them, but doesn’t allow himself to pursue that out of fear of getting obsessed again.
Satoshi’s problem lies in one that isn’t that uncommon, which is that of fear of getting hurt. When we see Satoshi in the fighting game flashback, he is incredibly invested in winning and gets very upset when he doesn’t win. This is contrasted with current Satoshi who is content with losing. Satoshi doesn’t want to become what he was in middle school. He doesn’t want to be obsessed about something and keep realizing that you can’t match up. This mindset exists in him still to an extent though as we can see with the Juumonji incident. Satoshi is clearly jealous when he sees Oreki has already solved the case, one that Satoshi was invested in and wanted to solve himself. Satoshi getting invested in the mystery just reaffirms his jealousy of Oreki, as Satoshi let himself get obsessed again only to be beaten by Oreki. Satoshi feels inferior to Oreki, he wants what Oreki has and this causes Satoshi to hurt. Satoshi is trying his best and still loses to Oreki.
Rewatching Hyouka made me understand Satoshi a bit more, his character is one that puts on a lot of airs, but isn’t invincible. We can see the cracks in Satoshi’s mindset and when that happens we see the true Satoshi, the Satoshi that is afraid of getting invested in something only to realize that someone out there will always be better than you. It just stings more when that someone is your friend.
Oreki in Hyouka desires to conserve energy in life, a goal that works in theory, but as Hyouka shows us isn’t actually possible. Not all of us have a Chitanda jumping into our personal space until we buckle, but there are other things that make us expend extra energy. That could be anything from a person to having a snow storm happen twice in two weeks. It’s something that requires excess energy, but in the end still has to be taken care of. Oreki helping quell Chitanda’s curiosity is like shoveling snow, he doesn’t want to do it, but eventually he buckles and has to do it.
Thank you for this out there metaphor brought to you by me who just shovel snow 3 times today and has no mental or physical energy left to sustain himself:
While I’m still hopped up on emotions because of ReLife I figured I’d deliver my final thoughts on the series emotionally. ReLife as a whole has been a grand time, the past whole lot of chapters have kept a smile on my face or tears flowing from my face. It’s a series that I followed to the end. I picked it up about 2 months before the anime began and have been up to date since. It was the first manga I ever was caught up with. Needless to say it holds a special place in my heart while also being a fantastic story in its own right. But now it’s over. I’m glad it wasn’t dragged out in the end, but I’m sad to see it go.
The final chapter had me with probably one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever shown, but once I closed the chapter I felt a feeling I haven’t felt in awhile. It was the feeling of realizing all that time spent together with this series is over. And with this the tears started flowing in force and my composure was thrown out the window. I am stumbling over my words writing this, I can barely hold together a coherent thought. All of this while I’m wiping the tears out of my eyes. There’s a hole in my stomach that just reopened and is running rampant on my emotions.
I imagine this feeling will be felt again after I graduate high school, and while I’m looking forward to that I’ll actually be seen for that which will be an interesting time. This is a truly special feeling that I don’t want to forget, and I am thankful I got to experience this feeling with ReLife, and with myself.
AICO Incarnation recently graced us with its presence and it lost me quite quickly. Part of it was that I watched the 2nd episode first on accident. But that episode was actually quite helpful in making me realize that I was not going to enjoy AICO. The first about 10 minutes or so of the first episode is one long exposition dump that gave me Asterisk War flashbacks. It was just a bunch of terms that I had no connection to, no reason to care about, and no desire to care about. The whole exposition dump takes place on a computer monitor while our main female protagonist just tries to deny it all. Which isn’t inherently bad, but I just couldn’t find myself caring for our main female protagonist at all. Both aesthetically and character wise. I understand her shock, but I was more focused on that I just subjected myself to a roughly 10 minute exposition dump.
My personal stance on exposition is that it should come in small doses at times when it is appropriate. I personally prefer when systems are left a little vague, so that I can theorize what could happen or how this system could potentially be exploited. AICO doesn’t hold back any details in explaining how our protagonist is actually two people, and her brain is in an artificial body, but her body has an artificial brain, which seems legit or something I could overlook. It’s not that out there for filler science logic, it’s about as out there as Orange’s time travel mechanic. Except for Orange, it’s just a plot device, whereas AICO I imagine her body will be a plot point. That isn’t to say Orange’s explanation is good either, it’s one of those cases where it was better off left unexplained.
Regardless of how exposition is used, it shouldn’t be dumped on the viewer. It should be sprinkled or visually interesting enough that I can stomach it better. For example, the Monogatari series is a lot of just talking, but it is visually interesting enough that I can sit through it. AICO was just set in one room with very flat and bland cinematography. It’s all about execution as are most things in anime. You can make something boring interesting if you can execute it in such a way that makes the viewer feel engaged.
I’ve had no power, so now I have to play catchup on these posts and I’m not feeling angsty enough to crank out a bunch just yet: