KONOSUBA -God’s blessing on this wonderful world: Making Humans by Tossing

Sensei, I will be writing editorial posts to discuss some aspects of some the themes in anime and manga. These posts will be online on Fridays. Oh okay, and I get to make an appearance? Yes, and now the first post will be about  KONOSUBA -God’s blessing on this wonderful world!

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Are Memories really plastic?

As I was watching the final episode of Plastic Memories. I want to know if people really can treasure their memories and experiences? What happens if we suddenly ” restarts” and become a new person? From the moment, we lay eyes onto another we will judge their  career, or role in society, and assign them a place in our minds. Rarely, do we change our views of that person as a person, with a life outside of the of such a mod we made.

We all do this, even with our own family members.

I view my father as only that: the father of me and my brother. Until one day, I went with him to work. I saw a man, who is intelligent in his business decisions to give me and my brother a good education, and a kind friend, who supports his friends.

Plastic Memories, through the Giftia explores this idea of the reincarnation: what were their role in their past life? Who are they now? It almost seem like Buddhism and sci-fi had a child in the form of this anime.  Tsukasa Mizugaki is newcomer to field of Giftia retrieval by “destroying” their memories at the end of a nine year cycle.  It is a setting of for emotional drama and social commentary – especially with how corporate everything is. Some episodes are a bit slow, but the show still manages to ask the question: what does it  means to start all over to you and those left behind?

Tsukasa and his Giftia partner Isla’s first order of business is to retrieve Nina, a model who is about to expire, from a woman named Chizu Shirohana. It is abundantly clear to both us viewers and Tsukasa just how close Nina and her owner is despite having no blood relation or Nina being a machine. This situation clearly illustrates that some times blood is not the only thing that makes a family.

In the episode, Nina shows a great deal of how losing her memories will affect her grand mother rather than worrying about losing her sense of self.

Some times, the saddest thing is not forgetting, but that flickering of remembrance and felling like you lost a bit of who you are. Plastic Memories has shown me that the end maybe painful, but as long as there are people who each remembers a small part of who we were and while we are alive to keep create memories real and plastic with the people we love. Plastic Memories gets it right. Simply spending time with one another can be heartbreaking, but so important.

Charlotte

In every story, it is a wonderful to discover that you are special- be the ability to use magic,  or talk to animals – is held in high esteem, especially upon discovery. There is a reason why, after all who doesn’t want to leave the world of limitation and cardboard that is reality?

Who doesn’t want to be special?

Yet, as with the law of Equivalent Exchange, one will have to pay the price of becoming special. The world is strange, the normal wants to be special while the special desires the mundane. In both media and young adult literature have the problem of often misses the tug and pull between the two. How can you appeal to the desire to be special with the hardships a youth faces from being special?

Charlotte is a show about teenagers with powers. Like it predecessors, these powers are in the form of blessing and curses. However, the show adds a few twists to its characters.

First, the powers come with a specific restrictions or rules unlike their complete counterparts in other fantasy shows. Yuu Otosaka can possess others, but only for five seconds. Nao Tomori can become invisible, but only to one person at a time. Joujirou Takajou can teleport, but can’t control where he stops.

The important part is the powers come with puberty and disappear with it.

As any teenager knows, puberty is a difficult time, with mode swings, raging hormones and identity crisis. Adding weird powers to the mix, makes learning to live and accepting one- self that much harder.

However, Charlotte doesn’t stop there. It adds serious repercussions for the special kids who are caught by scientists and subsequently turned into human lab rats.

Here’s where it becomes impossible to ignore the pedigree of Charlotte. The series’ writer, Jun Maeda, is infamously known for co-founding Key/Visual Arts and penning many of the company’s visual novels – Air, Kanon, Clannad, and Little Busters among others – along with the more recent Angel Beats!. All of these aforementioned series dabble in the melodramatic and the supernatural, often leading to the lead character’s, or one of the heroines’, untimely demise. One comes to anticipate death in Maeda’s works more often than not, to the point where they’re expected catalysts for the player character or protagonist. Naturally, for some viewers, this causes death to lose its dramatic weight.

Angel Beats! took a slightly different tack, placing its characters in the afterlife already. There, the concern became disappearing or passing on from the limbo-like setting. Much like previous Key works, there is a distinct lack of adults, leaving the adolescents to figure things out on their own without guidance. Charlotte takes this a step further, making all known adult authority figures the enemy: potential agents of scientists that would ruin the teens’ lives.

This effectively makes the world of Charlotte, especially the supernatural school that Yuu, Nao, and others attend, one isolated from adults. Whenever a new talent is discovered, it’s all up to the kids to suss out who it is and convince them of their impending plight. There are silly moments, and the teens of Charlotte are conveniently allowed to run free – as of the series’ third episode – allowing the supernatural elements of the series to both shine and take a backseat when necessary.

Being Critical With Anime

There has been a discussion recently in the anime community that critics shouldn’t watch anime because they don’t enjoy it. I want to use this post to talk about this misunderstanding.

I believe that in any medium the longer you are expose the more you will judge it. This is not because you have grown to hate it, on the contrary, being able to judge the medium that you love objectively means you have grown as person. Critics judge anime because it matters, it is what we love and we want it to improve. With different  types of medium like films, books, art and video games have shown massive improvement because people were being critical about them. They didn’t accept  the same type of thing all the time and tried new things. Yes,  battle shonen series can be good fun, but there are also series of different genre out there that have better stories, character development and art. We need to step out of our comfort zone to grow as people.

Anime matter to us, so we need to accept the constructive criticism and help our love grow.

Top Ten anime things about me

  • I have seen every anime genre at least once except Yuri. Yes, even hentai
  • My top 5 favourite anime are
  • cardcaptor sakura
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Cross Game
  • Fate Zero
  • Hyouka

  • My favorite genres are Shonen, Ecchi, Mysteries and Sports
  • Like most vietnamese children in 90s, my first anime was Doremon. I used to watch it a lot of the show as a kid on TV.

  • I played my first Visual Novel in 2014 and it was Eroge! H mo Game mo Kaihatsu Zanmai.
  • My favourite manga is a Town Where you Live
  • I have been to only to one Convention: London Comiccon
  • I have never Cosplay.
  • Anime and manga have helped me overcome a one-sided crush depression
  • My First Waifu is  Sakura Kinomoto

Bad Writing in anime continued by Turtle Senpai

Except adaptation don’t work that way. Japanese business culture works on a very hierarchical way. You NEVER skip levels to get into contact with someone. A mangaka have to go through his/her editor to reach the anime studio’s director, who in turn contacts the actually key animator or whoever needs to be contacted. This is the same across almost all Japanese companies, not just the anime industry. It’s difficult for the mangaka to have large amounts of input on an anime adaptation.

This is not a problem that can be “solved” by having the mangaka work with the script writer, because having them work together is basically disrespecting the publishing company’s editor and the anime studio’s director. This is the kind of stuff that gets you fired in a Japanese company.

The budget problem is interesting. The reason for it is because anime isn’t “mainstream”, with the notable exception of kid’s shows. When I was in Japan, most of the anime we watch airs at 1:00 ~ 4:00AM. Many people record the shows to watch later, but the result is that only a small subset of the population (the otaku) knows that those shows exist. The entire industry is built around milking money from these fans as much as possible. With this kind of model, putting out a mediocre series built on a small budget can still be a good business decision because a small handful of hardcore fans would still buy the BDs.

In the end, anime writing problems happen because of Japanese working culture and Japanese otaku culture. The easiest way to solve these problems is to make anime outside of Japan. But then it’s not anime any more, is it?