The Benefits and Costs of Afternoon Naps | The Legend of the Legendary Heroes, A Review

Management: This is a comprehensive review of own devising, where I go over a pro and con analysis of the material in an attempt to convince people to watch the show-in-review. Hopefully, in encouraging people in general to watch things I think are interesting, they’ll at least somewhat know what to expect while watching.

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For me, one of those small little things I’ve taken from anime the past years is a fondness for afternoon naps. It’s more effective than glasses of cool water or hot showers, though somewhat less effective drugs (though naps don’t carry nearly as many somatic side effects) and I’ve never been one for meditation, so I can’t really say anything there.

Imagine applying that kind of practice to communities, cultures, and civilizations throughout the world, and humanity might be the better for it. Hot heads might be soothed enough by an hour or two of sleep every day to other day.

But there are also times where greed abounds, prejudice runs rampant, and the world generally burns. Taking one too many afternoon naps despite that becomes a problem.

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Shigofumi: How Suicide Isn’t Just About You

Management: The issue and act of the episodes of these two shows, Shigofumi’s Episode 3: “Friends”, is, of course, a rather controversial point of discussion in popular and private discourse, and so my intention, with this essay, is to posit Shigofumi’s musings on the subject in the respectful, yet thought-provoking way. Additionally, while I may hold a positive opinion overall of this show, this piece in no ways serves as a comprehensive review of the series, but rather an articulation and analysis of an interesting set of ideas brought up.

An Issue Not To Be Taken Lightly

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Suicide. The weightiness of this issue and act is today, undoubtedly, the subject of much study, debate, and crusade in the public arena. You have public health statistics of suicide rates, religious orders, ethical codes, and passionate, personal sentiments claiming moral positions against suicide, news organizations speculating on the latest high profile suicide case. There are families and friends out there who know someone they were close to take his or her own life.

Needless to say, suicide is not something to be taken lightly, both by the people who are considering their stances towards this issue, and for people who are considering the act personally. The contents one shigofumi, from the late Daiki Senkawa, addresses this in one way, narratively speaking.

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Of Anthropological Perspectives: Kino’s Journey and the Importance of Cultural Relativism

Management: While my overall opinion of Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World, is quite positive, this essay is, by no means, meant to be a comprehensive review of the series, but rather, an articulation and analysis of what I feel are its most integral and interesting themes. Much of this essay draws reference to Franz Boaz’s work in anthropology. This is not, however, meant to be a total affirmation of everything he believes.

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“The world is not beautiful; therefore it is.”

It’s an iconic quote from Kino’s Journey, probably its most iconic, and rather fitting with the latter part of the show’s title: The Beautiful World. Just watching the show, though, following Kino and Hermes on their travels, it becomes evident that there are many things in this world that are not beautiful in the traditional sense. Miserable snowpacked drifts, windswept desert wastelands, ruined husks of cities. In addition, the countries she visits aren’t the most hospitable places ever, and many of the people she meets are not the most decent lot.

The cultures she observes aren’t literally representative of the real world. They’re, rather, more akin to the “what if” scenarios The Twilight Zone would make the setting of their episodes with. Kino’s Journey, however, isn’t mainly interested in exploring the world as it is interested in the human condition, us, one facet at a time, through these “what ifs.” Exploring our bad points and our good points, our best points as well as our worst elucidating whenever we face adversity.

It is because of this that Kino’s Journey regards vapid optimism with little beauty. Looking at the world within Kino’s Journey and the world without, suffering is not too hard to come by. But the show says its because of humanity’s seemingly permanent ties to pain and hardship, etched on landscapes and people’s faces, in the attempts of these cultures to deal with pain and hardship through belief and practice, that that the world is beautiful.

Beautiful despite suffering, in spite suffering, in defiance of suffering, or even because of suffering.

So it is crucial that, in order to see the beautiful underneath the ugly, that we, the audience, engage the show with an open and critical mind, the mind of an anthropologist, the mind of a traveler.

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A Living, Caged Songbird… An Undead, Caged Songbird | Sankarea, A Review

Management: Unlike my last two blog posts, which can be found here and here, this one’s a genuine review. An older, cruder version of this review can be found here. My reviews consist of an introduction, followed by a brief synopsis before going to some analytical positives and negatives about the show. “Some,” as I just ultimately tend to talk about what I, as in, in my opinion, find as interesting and hope others keep in mind should my reviews convince them to give the shows I discuss a watch.

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There seems to be a predicable trend in pop culture when it comes to horror when horror icons end up getting their own comedies and romances. Sankarea is undoubtedly one of them. A high school boy dreams to be with his ideal girl. Not too uncommon a romantic premise, but here’s something that might run your blood cold, pun intended. He likes zombies. He really likes zombie girls, and one day, POOF! The plot kicks in, and he gets to live with one.

You’d think hijinks are all that should ensue, and they indeed do, but Sankarea never forgets the actual horror of its origins, and then adds some to make a show that can be terribly funny, but also terribly sad.

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Of Political Dimensions: Log Horizon and The Rise of Civilization

Management: While my overall opinion of Log Horizon is quite positive, this essay is, by no means, meant to be a comprehensive review of the series, but rather, an articulation and analysis of what I feel are its most integral and interesting themes. Much of this essay draws implicit reference to Modernist Political Philosophy, from Thomas Hobbes in particular, what with his conceptions of the state of nature and his views on the origin of power, though this is, by no means, a total affirmation of on my part of everything Hobbesian.

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Here are several ideas that Log Horizon brought up that interested me enough to jot them down in a somewhat organized essay form.

…and my axe.

Speaking as a former avid MMORPG player myself, when it comes to MMORPGs, or Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games, there are two general aspects of MMORPGs that I suspect people keep coming to them for.

First, then, is the aspect of RPG. I mean, for your average MMORPG player, who wouldn’t want to be part of some heroic triumph over beasts of Legend or Lovecraft, or serve at the honorable behest of some high lord or princess as one of his or her confidants, respectively. Hell, why stop there? Why not be the sole hero, or the sole confidant?

The ends of RPGs are thus. Immersion is the RPG’s aim. Empowerment is the RPG’s name. Those who play the roleplaying game are allowed to lose themselves in fantastical and brave settings, brave new worlds to conquer or become a part of, new narratives of which to consciously carve out as one’s own, like a knife to a landmark. This all still begs the question of why MMORPGs. Why are just plain old RPGs not enough for MMORPG players?

Last, then, is the aspect of MMO. Now, I’m not going to say that all people who enjoy MMORPGs are of a certain, peculiar nature, but people that play them tend to have… certain interests or display… peculiar idiosyncrasies. I’m, of course, no exception. Yet it needs to be said that neither certain interest nor peculiar idiosyncrasy denote, by absolute default, anti-sociability.

Players are people, and people, boiled down, are social creatures. As social creatures, we want social reference, desire social interaction, crave social reference somewhere with someone, whether that be in the form of a companion or even a competitor. More often than not, as “certain” and “peculiar” probably denote, this demographic of interest and idiosyncrasy comprise the minority in the general population. Moreover, this demographic is relatively sparse and widely distributed amongst towns, cities, and countrysides. And yet remarkably, the digital worlds of MMORPGs bring these relatively sparse and widely distributed people together into one forum, which even there can be divided into even more numerous subforums, guilds, in other words. The result is a community, some being tighter than others, a culture where dividing associations melt away in perceived gravity of mine and thine due to the time spent playing together, the bonds of fellowship forged through virtual combat and craft. A band of brothers… of sorts.

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