RWBY: It IS an Anime

Anime.  What is it?  And what is it not?  Don’t ask me because I don’t know.  And neither does a good majority of the anime community.

Let’s be real here, as much time as we all spend watching anime, not many of us really know what defines an anime as an anime.  Sure, we know that an animated series or movie created in Japan is anime.  That’s a no brainer.  But, when we are confronted with shows that look like they’re anime, but not made in Japan, or shows that have elements of an anime, but again, are not made in Japan, the lines become heavily blurred.  This is where conflict arises.

It really depends on who you ask in the anime community whether a show is an anime or not.  Some specifically restrict the heavenly title of “anime” to series and films only made in Japan.  However, you can ask someone else and they will tell you that as long as it’s in the style of anime — big eyes, over exagerated expressions, ect — then yes, it is an anime.  Then there are people who will shrug and say that they don’t know and move on with their day.  Normally, I am that last person.  However, that doesn’t exactly make for a good blog post does it?

If you ask me, it really doesn’t matter whether these questionable shows are anime or not.  A show is a show and as long as it’s good and I like the art style then I really don’t think it matters.  I’ll watch what I want to watch; end of story.  If you don’t agree then that’s completely fine as well.  As long as you don’t create a superiority complex around that, or begin picking on people because they either are a “nerd” for watching an “anime” or accusing them of not being a “true anime fan” because they watch something that’s a questionable anime, then you do you.  My point is to just be nice to other people.

However, I digress, despite my heavily neutral standpoint on this issue, I would like to put my two cents in on this argument.  I personally lean towards the side of “if it’s in the style of anime, then it’s an anime”.  This is because I feel that it’s slightly exclusionary to put labels on these shows that fall into a grey area just because they are not made in Japan.  Furthermore, there are a couple of points that support these questionable shows.  Here, I will be addressing them while using RWBY as an example.

I could use several other series as an example — Avatar: The Last Airbender for example — but because I am a enormous RWBY fairy, I shall be using this series as an example.  Plus, I haven’t watched any other questionable series — that I know of anyway.  Sorry.

Wow, this is a really long intro.  If you haven’t skipped over it yet, I applaud you!  However, this is getting too much even for me, so let’s begin!

1) It Adheres to the Japanese Meaning of the Word “Anime”


Huh. Uh, well last time I checked, RWBY is an animated series. Can we move on now?

2) It Adheres to the English Definition of the Word “Anime”


Key words, “style of animation originating from Japan” and “a Japanese style”.  Nowhere is it stated that the show must be from Japan.  The requirements for a show to be an anime are very loose, and therefore shows that a lot of the so called “standards” a show must meet in order to be categorized as an anime are very much so made up by the anime community.

Furthermore, the couple of optional things that the definition gives as notes to identify a show as an anime are things that RWBY meets.  Colorful art and characters?  Check.


Futuristic setting or fantastic themes?  Check.  Violence?  Check.


Sexuality?  One word.  Yang.


I think it’s safe to say that RWBY fits the English definition of anime pretty well.

I think that’s that then.  Of course if you don’t agree then that’s completely fine.  This isn’t exactly the debate of the century here.  I do however reccomend you watch RWBY regardless of this topic.  The animation is nice and it gets better and better as the series progresses.  The same can be said about the plot.  If you enjoy video games you will probably enjoy this series as well.

This was a rather silly post, and I don’t think it went anywhere but I still hope you enjoyed reading it all the same.  However, if you are going to take away anything from this post then it should be to just be nice to people, and not harrass others because of silly issues like this.  Just be nice to people.  End of story.

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Beijing’s Picks: Yaoi Edition


I guess this officially makes me a disgrace to the anime community now.

Welcome once again fairies and cheshires to this month’s Beijing’s Picks!  As for this month, we shall be exploring my top three favorite yaoi mangas!  The yaois highlighted in this blog post are exclusive to mangas because that is the predominant media yaoi is seen in.  It is also my personal preference of tending to enjoy manga over anime, but that’s just me.

Despite yaoi being a part anime I do not hold it to the same standards as my overall anime favorites.  I do the same thing for any genre favorite picks.  The reason for my overall picks being overall picks is because of the overall impact that those series left on me after I watched/read them — that’s a lot of “overalls” in one sentence!  With genre picks my criteria is more geared towards character development, plot, and my personal analysis of the characters.  To me there are two types of people: those who put emphasis on plot, and those who put emphasis on characters.  I am the latter of the two.  I of course believe that a good plot is important, but I also belive that a mediocre plot can be upheld by strong characters.  Therefore to me, a story with phenomenal characters is much more important to me than a complex plot — which is probably why I enjoy romance over horror or physiological/deep animes.  Furthermore, because yaoi is a part of the romance genre, I also have picked these based on their romantic qualities such as the character dynamic and developement of the romance.  Yes, yes, all very offical stuffs.

Now that we are clear on the criteria, let us descend into yaoi hell!

3) Love Lesson

“Shall I give you a love lesson?”

A simple phrase is all that it took to send Ayami and Mineyuki down their path of love.

Love Lesson is full of fluffy romance scences between the two protagonists, but still contains healthy doses of smut and angst.  It would be a lie to say that the plot line used in Love Lesson is not over done, but despite the copious amounts of cliché just seeping through the pages, the dynamic of Ayami and Mineyuki’s relationship just continues to pull me in.

Mineyuki is absolutely adorable in his timid way of progressing his relationship with Ayami.  Ayami is his first true love; meaning that while he is experienced in dating others, Ayami has been the first he’s experienced real romantic attraction to, and he’s scared.  Moreover, he  is also afraid of what others will think of their relationship, and rightfully so, with both of them being entertainers.  Mineyuki only wants the best for Ayami and it is shown in the final chapters that he is willing to give up what is most precious to him if it means that Ayami will be safe, prosperous, and happy.  Mineyuki is definately not your typical uke — submissive one in the relationship — who relies on his seme — dominant one in the relationship — to protect him.  If anything, Mineyuki is more of the protector.

But let’s not leave out the sweet cinnamon bun Ayami!  Ayami is absolutely clueless about love which leads to him being rather dependent on Mineyuki — in the respect of love at least.  However that does not mean that Mineyuki is the only one putting any effort into their relationship.  While Mineyuki is insecure about his emotions and scared of what the future holds for the two of them, Ayami is confident and acts a pillar of support for Mineyuki to lean on when he doubts both himself or their relationship.  Because Ayami only knows of true, pure love, he has no doubts that his relationship with Mineyuki is real.  Ayami is definitely the ideal boyfriend!

2) Hana to Usagi


“…I can’t see his face, so I don’t get what he’s thinking, but I think… he’s not a bad person.”

The terribly shy bunny and the cheerful and upbeat delivery guy.  It’s the perfect recipe for romance!

I have already meantioned Hana to Usagi in “Tea Party Talks: My Opinion on Yaoi” which explores my personal opinion on both yaoi and it’s fandom.  There, I use Hana to Usagi as an example of yaoi done well, and here, I stand by that opinion.  Not only is Hana to Usagi adorable and funny, but it also gives highlight to the simplicity of pure romance between two people who love each other.  There is no noncon, incest, or complicated angst, just pure love.  That is not to say that this manga is void of conflict, but the conflict that occurs is out of pure love.  Furthermore, the conflict is not unnecessarily drawn out, and the same conflict doesn’t repeat itself.  The characters fix the problem, talk about it, get to the root of the problem, then establish what must be done so it doesn’t happen again.  You know, like mature adults in a healthy relationship.

See!  If a person who is so insecure that they have to wear a bunny head can have a healthy and happy relationship with someone then — almost — anyone should be able to.  Right?

1) Sayonara Note


“I will do anything for the sake of that smile.  I will let go of you so please don’t notice.  I have always liked [you].”

Love, trust, selflessness, and moving forwards.  All of it tied up in a neat little bow.

This manga.  This manga is — and forever will be — the holy grail of yaoi.  Sayonara Note is a one volume manga that packs a real punch.  To the feels.  Filled to the brim with the angst that comes with pure — thought to be — unrequited love, Sayonara Note will forever leave a — good — dent in your little fairy heart.  Not only are the characters lovely, amazing, and all deserve a big hug, the plot is also well paced, and very thought through.  Our two protagonists — Takumasa and Ken — are both lovely little cinnamon buns who honestly care about each other more than should be humanly possible.

Both Takumasa and Ken are willing to give up on their own love for each other if that means the other will be happy.  Due to each of their selflessness, intense love and care for one another, and lack of communication however, their best trait ends up turning against them.  Both think that they are doing the right thing by letting the other go when really they are only hurting both each other and themselves by doing so.  This is why communication is key in any relationship kids.

However, both learn from this experience and by the end of the manga, they have the happy and healthy relationship that they both deserve.

I recommend this manga to anyone who is interested in romance mangas period.  Despite Sayonara Note being classified as a yaoi/shounen-ai, I honestly believe this manga to be an exemplary manga for romance manga across the board.  Sayonara Note highlights on the purity of true love in an amazing way that is both captivating and truly heart-wrenching.  It is a shame that more people do not know about this manga.

If you couldn’t tell by now, I have an obvious bias towards romances with pure, caring love between innocent little cinnamon buns.  I also tend to bias lesser known mangas for some reason.  Perhaps this is a mindset or perhaps I am subconsciously trying to be a “special little snowflake”.  I have honestly no clue.  In any case, if you are already a yaoi fan fairy then yay!  I just pushed you deeper into yaoi hell!  And if you are new here, even better!  I honestly hope you enjoy living amongst us trash!  But in all seriousness, I do hope you enjoy these titles, and remember, love is love, no matter the form it takes.

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Tea Party Talks: Pokemon VS Digimon


I like both.

Okay, well good bye everyone; it’s time for me to get buried alive now.

But really, in all seriousness.  Why does it matter?  Both franchises have their good points  and their bad points.  At the end of the day, it really comes down to what your personal preferences are.  I like both, but I like both for different reasons.  For me, I prefer the plot of Digimon and the anime itself, but I prefer the aesthetic of Pokemon over Digimon.

To make things easier I have split this post up into two parts.  The first part will address what I like and dislike about Pokémon while the second will do the same for Digimon.  This is just my opinion so feel free to leave your own opinion in the comments!  But please no fandom wars.  This is a no hate zone thank you.  Now grab yourself a cup of tea and let’s begin!

Pokemon:


As I have already established, the thing that I like most about Pokémon is the overall aesthetic of the pokemon themselves.  I like how there is a large variety of pokémon which allows for anyone to find at least one that they like.  I personally really like Umbreon.  To some people this may come as a shock because my personal aesthetic matches Slyveon the best and I refer to both myself and other advid fans as “fairies” — a word that I use as a gender neutral term for “fangirl” because “fan” doesn’t imply the needed amount of obsession and not all advid fans are girls.  However, I digress, my point is that even if you are not interested in the soft cuteness of some pokémon, there are still other pokémon that could draw you into the franchise.  What I belive the Pokémon franchise does the best is creating all types of creatures and characters that can appeal to, and be marketed to, a wide range of people regardless of gender, age, or any other factors.

At the very same time however, there are a few things that I do dislike about Pokémon.  Probably the biggest reason why I dislike Pokémon — besides personal preference — is because of the anime.  I don’t like the repedativeness of the show and even as a kid I didn’t like it.  You can argue that Pokémon is a show that is directed at childeren, and I understand that.  I am not trying to compare Pokémon to Death Note because that is illogical.  However, Digimon was also an anime that was directed at childern, but I still enjoy it as one of my favorites to this day.  Nothing new happens in the show which makes it extremely predictable.  After a while, you don’t even have to watch the show to know what will happen next.

Digimon:


Digimon was my first anime that I watched as a kid.  I still have fond memories of watching the Disney English dub on Jetex “late” at night with my cousins.  As a kid the show completely captivated me and I still enjoy the series with not just nostalgia, but enjoyment as well.  Despite the show being directed at a younger audience there are still a healthy amount of mature themes that could be enjoyed by all age groups.  The creators were, and still are, not afraid to kill off beloved characters — still mourning Wizardmon here — nor are they afraid to tackle more mature topics.

*SPOILER WARNING*

For example, in Digimon Tamers Jeri’s partner Leomon was killed right in front of her, and because of the nature of the relationships the digidestined have with their digimon partners, this event was severally traumatic for Jeri.  Furthermore, Jeri already had issues with loss with her mom having died when Jeri was a still a young girl.  As a result, Jeri ended up falling into deep despair which lead to her being taken over by the D-Reaper — a lifeform that was originally a computer program meant to eradicate all digimon — and becoming a host for it.  To say the very least, Tamers was extremely dark — I still question why it’s called a “kid’s show”.

*END SPOILER WARNING*

Anyway, my point is that the plot and character developement of the Digimon anime(s) was well done and is up to par with some other adventure animes — at least in my opinion.

However, as much as I absolutely adore the anime, I do have one major problem with the Digimon franchise.  The way the franchise was marketed to be specific.  Digimon was a show that was solely marketed towards boys.  Looking at the digimon themselves it is quite understandable why this was done, but that doesn’t make it right that Digimon was marketed as being exclusively for boys. As the times have gone on, Digimon has slowly been becoming something more for all kids and the diversity of what the digimon look like has broadened, but at this point, it might not matter. The idea that Digimon is specifically for boys, the “one category” theme for the appearence of the digital monsters, and the fact that not many people know about Digimon has already been laid as a foundation for the franchise.  The marketing of the franchise and the amount of diversity in the appearence of the digimon could have been done better if you ask me.

At the end of the day fairies and cheshires, it really doesn’t matter.  Like what you want to like and dislike what you want to dislike.  So long as you are not hurting anyone for what they like or dislike then it really doesn’t matter.  After all, the rest of the world is just going to call us geeks anyway.


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Tea Party Talks: My Opinion on Yaoi

Yaoi.  Also known as: Boys Love(BL), Shounen-Ai, gay porn, and useless crap.  Then again, I think you can describe all anime with that last one.

Okay, well, there goes the few followers I had.

However, in all seriousness, I do have to admit that I am a yaoi fan fairy — or fujoshi — myself.  Call me a pervert, sinner, or an untrue anime fan if you must, but I honestly do not think that liking yaoi should be a thing that you are ashamed to admit.  Yaoi is just another genre in anime; just like how shoujo is a genre.  Furthermore, to like a certain genre shouldn’t make you any less of a fan of the media art form as any other fan.  As much as we — refering to the anime community as a whole — tries to shun out the yaoi, yuri, and eiichi fans in our community, they still exist, and we will always exist.

While the anime community is slowly growing and becoming more excepted in western culture, we are still a minority in everyday life.  What do I mean by this?  I mean that even though our presence on the internet is large, respected, and noticable, we are still vastly outnumbered by the “jocks”, “populars”, and “cheerleaders” encountered in our day to day lives.  Heck, just the other day some random stranger called out “NERDS” as they drove past me and my friends while we were walking to our local anime convention.  At least we think that’s what they said; all we heard was “RRDS”.  Man, if you are going to insult us, at least do it right!  However, I digress.  My point is that while our community as a whole has been becoming more excepted, we are still a minority, and with so many spiteful people out there that decide to attack our little safe haven, we shouldn’t be making our safe haven a hateful place by holding prejudice against those who like a certain genre.

To make things easier I have split this blog post up into two parts; one discussing the fans of yaoi, and the second discussing my opinion on the genre itself.  This is all done based on my own opinion — obviously — and I in no way represent the yaoi community or anime community as a whole.  I also don’t mean for this blog post to pursuade you to watch or read yaoi if you don’t want to.  If anything, I hope that this post helps to ease out the tensions in the anime community towards yaoi and its community.

Part 1) The Fans


Before I go any further I would like to make it clear that I am not saying that we yaoi fan fairies are perfectly innocent; we are to blame as well.  A lot of hate towards the anime community does stem from the bad attitudes that a small minority of us have.  However, that can also be said about that same minority of general anime fans who start wars with other fandoms as well.  What I mean is, there will always be a small minority of “bad” fans in any fandom or community no matter the genre or medium.  However, those fans are exactly that, a minority.  Not every single yaoi fan is a rabid fangirl that fetishizes gay men, and not every anime fan uses random Japanese in everyday speech and hates anyone who doesn’t like anime.  Just because the more annoying people in the fandom are more vocal and prominent doesn’t mean that everyone in the fandom is like that.

However, like I said we yaoi fan fairies are not completely innocent.  I do admit to shipping certain things that really don’t make sense — Norway x Denmark anyone?  Additionally, I am not denying the existence of the several badly written yaoi fanfictions that exist nor the totally irrational internet wars we have either started are participated in.  Furthermore, it would be a blatant lie to say that yaoi has not turned me into a pervert and made me really kinky.  However, I would say that the previous version of myself was about a thousand times worse, but that is a story for another time.  Moreover, there are nonsensical straight ships too — Lucy x any male character in Fairy Taill for example.  There are also many badly written anime fanfictions in general and the anime fandom is kind of known for internet wars.  So really, we are really no different from normal anime fans.

While the things you like are a minor part of your personality, for the most part, they really don’t effect your personality traits much.  I have met so many sweet, kind, and shy yaoi fans through interaction with the community.  We are all individuals and that means that we are all different.  At the end of the day, we are all severally different people who all just so happen to enjoy gay romance.

Part 2) The Genre



It’s not for children.  Let’s just make this clear, most — if not all — yaoi is basically just gay porn with plot and I don’t think anyone is going to argue that point with you.  At the same time however, there are many heartfelt and sweet scenes in yaoi.  The way I think about it is that shounen-ais — pure gay romance with no sex — are like shoujos — romances for young girls — while yaois are like joseis — romances for older teens and young women.  It can be argued that yaois are more closely related to eiichis, but I feel that that only accounts for certain works.  An example of a said work I feel is more like an eiichi is Koisuru Boukun — pictured above — because this manga has way more sex than some other works and also has noncon — nonconsensual sex.

Speaking of noncon, why don’t we discuss the morality of some yaois!

The morality seen in the yaoi genre is one of the most highly debated topics in the anime community.  I will not deny that many yaoi works contain rape, molestation, pedophilia, and incest.  However, this only accounts for a fraction of the works in the yaoi genre.  There are several beautiful romances in the yaoi genre that I simply adore with no immoral actions at all.  Furthermore, there is a lot of sweet romantic fluff in yaoi.  Despite popular belief, not all yaois only have sex scene after sex scene after sex scene.  One work that I think is a perfect example of this, and is one of my favorite works, is Hana to Usagi — pictured below.


This romance story is filled to the brim with cute and funny scenes that just made my heart swell.  I simply adore all of the characters and the main couple is nothing less than adorable.  No noncon, no incest, no molestation, no pedophilia, just straight up sweet romance between two guys who love each other.

However, there is also the issue of pushing a gay romance into the mold of a heterosexual romance.  I being a cisgendered female with no romance experience at all am not the best person to dicuss real life romance with.  As a result, I don’t think I can say whether the romance in any yaois are accurate or not.  Yet, I, nor any other [non] self-respecting yaoi fan, really and truly believe that any real gay romance is like the ones we read.  I know that makes us sound like hypocrites and perverts who fetishize gay romance, but hear me out.  Do you honestly go in reading a shoujo manga thinking that real life romance is like that?  I don’t know about you, but I don’t, and neither does my friend who is the self proclaimed, “Queen of Shoujo”.  Romance is meant to fantasy.  I get that misrepresentation is something totally different than that, and that saying this may sound like I am calling real gay romance “fantasy”, but if we are talking about how realistic a story that is meant to be complete fiction is, then I really don’t think that’s fair.  I do however believe that we do need to normalize homosexual relationships more across the board, but that is not what yaoi is about.  I actually hope that one day we can have an action anime with a homosexual relationship and no one will even bat an eye, but that’s not what yaoi is nor what it was meant to be.

Maybe yaois are about fetishizing gay men.  I honestly have no idea, but know that even if you think that and even if that’s what yaoi is meant to be, us fans of it do not see it like that; at least not the majority of us do.  To us, yaois and shounen-ais are just cute relationships between two guys that love each other.

If you’re really asking for my opinion, I belive that at the end of the day, yaoi is just a genre and us yaoi fan fairies are just plain ol’ anime fan fairies.


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Otome Amino Challenge: My Type

We all have a “type”.  As much as we try to deny it, we all have a certain type of personality that we are romantically attracted to.  May it be cheerfulness, dominant leadership qualities, or a certain shyness, all of us have a set of characteristics we think of when imagining our dream partner.  Here, I will be sharing what qualities I look for in a partner.

As an otome game player and fangirl fairy myself, I can say that when I play otome games I natrually gravitate towards guys that exhibit qualities that I find attractive.  It’s much easier for me to get attached to a character that’s my type, and that in turn makes it easier for me to appreciate the game.  I am a person that has a tendancy to prefer characters over plot which, obviously, directly effects what I enjoy; whether it be anime or otome.

The idea for this blog post was inspired by 레 몬 .  Her blog post was very well done and she is an amazing writer.  I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this and hopefully learn something about me or maybe even about yourself as you read this.

My Personality:


Quiet:

Not unlike most people, I tend to be rather quiet when I first meet people.  If I don’t know you very well and I am not purposefully trying to put up a “I am polite and nice” face, I would rather not initiate a conversation.  The only exception is if I find you to be an interesting person and I want to learn more about you, but otherwise, I would rather stay in my own little bubble.  Furthermore, I don’t enjoy small talk and find it pretty awkward.  Awkward conversation plus an already awkward me is not a good combination.  However, if someone else is the initiator I would be glad to talk!

Cheerful:

You know the 😆 emoji?  Yea, that describes my personality majority of the time when around people I am comfortable with.  I like making cheesy, terrible jokes and hearing about funny stories.  I like fun, playful humor that usual counts as being cheesy enough to make over a hundred orders of extra cheesy nachos.  To those who know me well, I almost always seem to be on a constant sugar high.  Though, it wouldn’t be wrong.

Moody:

As nice and cheerful I can be, I am actually quite moody with intense and sudden mood swings.  I find my mind set and opinions of things to totally flip upside-down in a matter of minutes, and sometimes my actions and thoughts don’t always match up.  At all.  I can also easily be set off by small things.  For instance, the other day I ended up stabbing a wall with a fork because I ran into it.  I have a hole-y wall now.  Great.

Confident/Prideful:

As someone who is one hundred percent Asian and has grown up in a society where if you have even the slightest shred of self-confidence you are branded as arrogant, it is somewhat odd to be as almost totally uncaring about others opinions — about me — as I am.  Don’t get me wrong, if I am given good critisim then I will take it to heart, and I do enjoy praise, however, if someone chooses to dislike or hate me for being me then that’s something that I couldn’t care less about.  If you don’t like me for being me, then sweetheart, that’s a you problem.  Unless it’s an actual problem that is causing harm to either other people or myself, then I’m real sorry, but I actually really like me the way I am and if you don’t, well, that’s not my problem.  However, this also leads to some problems since my pride leaves me unable to simply backdown in a debate.  Furthermore, my pride also causes me to hide things from others with thoughts that I can fix it myself.  Huh…  Maybe I am arrogant.

Dominant/Flirty:

To me, seeing my partner blush is the cutest thing in the world, and I am not beyond using “dirty” methods to see such a sight.  I like to coddle my partner just as much as I like to flirt and tease them.  I personally prefer to be the one protecting than being protected.  In other words, I would rather be the prince than the princess.

My Dream Partner:


A Daydreamer/Mysterious:

I like people who have an air of mystery around them.  People who hold an air of detachment from this world are interesting to me and this opens up windows for me to come out my bubble a bit and talk.  Daydreamers also bring up interesting ideas and thoughts that open up a whole new type of conversation.  I would much prefer only a couple deep and meaningful conversations with my lover over a hundred meaningless conversations, and a mysterious daydreamer can easily provide that.

Patient/Understanding/Observant:

As I have already addressed, I am a rather… difficult person to be around — to put it lightly — so to have someone who is willing to be patient with me is a big thing I look for in a partner.  As much as my pride wants me to appear as anything but a “damsel in distress”, I am also human and sometimes need to be saved as well.  Having someone who is observant enough to be able to tell when I’m lying is also a huge plus because then I would be caught before I truly fell off the edge and swallowed alive by lies.

Passionate:

People who have something that they are extremely passionate about are extremely attractive to me.  Listening to someone I like talk so passionately about something they love — even if I don’t really care for the subject — makes my heart swell.

Shy/Innocent:

As I have already addressed, I enjoy coddling my partner, and seeing the shy, cute blush on their face is the thing I live for.  I admit to being a complete tease and a true flirt, so I think a shyer person would be the best fit for me.

My Type:

Bunta Kurimaki:


Bunta is an absolute sweetheart that really represents all that I look for in a partner.  He is always trying to care for you in any way he can even though he is sweet, little cinnamon bun that is new to love.  He also has a knack for being able to tell whenever you are lying from paying endless attention to you.  Furthermore, his childish nature and passion for photography are truly adorable and extremely attractive to me.

Well, I guess it’s official, my standards are way too high.
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Beijing’s Picks: Anime and Manga Edition

Anime is a medium of story telling that holds a wide range of content.  Ranging from cute romances filled with fluff, to absolutely horrifying tales of death and despair, there is really something for everyone.  Being an advid fan of anime and manga for many years, I would like to say that I have seen my fair share of animes and mangas.  In that sea of madness, I have found a couple of gems that I would like to share.

Here I will presenting to you my top three favorite animes/mangas.

I have had the pleasure to have these wonderful stories enter into my life and touch my life in an unimaginable way.  As I have stated in my blog post “Mainstream Animes: Why I Don’t Watch Them”, I put a lot of weight on what I personally can take away from an anime or manga after I experience it.  To me, the true mark of an amazing story is how the viewer feels after they experience the story and overall, if they learn something from the story.  All of the amazing stories I will be sharing with you are memorable stories that I believe, truly changed my life for the better.

However, be warned, spoilers lie ahead, so proceed with the upmost caution.  That being said, I hope you enjoy this list!

3) Nanatsu no Taizai/The Seven Deadly Sins


This is an anime/manga that I have already addressed in my previous blog post, “Mainstream Animes: Why I Don’t Watch Them”, and there I stated that this is the only Shounen anime/manga that I have watched and enjoyed.  Why exactly?  Well the simple answer is because of how well each and every character is crafted.

I do admit that the anime was rather… subpar in the way that it was ended with so many loose ends — thankfully a second season is being released soon.  However, the manga is honestly one of the best things I have ever read.  Here, I will focus on the manga.

Nakaba-sensei does an amazing job of revealing the backstories and motives behind all of his characters.  Every character — even the seemingly insignificant ones — holds a heart wrenching backstory.  You can tell that everything has been put into all of the characters.  I find myself ridiculously attached to all the characters, and this includes the antagonists.  There are no “throw-away” characters that just are there to be there, and all of them have their own distinct personality.  The personalities of each character are consistent and defined while still being layered and deep.

2) Puella Magi Madoka Magica


This anime.  I could honestly go on about it forever.  If you have been in the anime community for at least a decent amount of time, you have probably heard of this anime.  Puella Magi Madoka Magica is the most well known dark magical girl anime and is the one that all other dark magical girl animes are — sadly — compared to.  This anime is also one that has a rather bad reputation for being “overrated”.  I do agree that this anime is not perfect, but what anime is?  However, I have a more… personal reason for liking this anime so much.

Madoka Magica was the anime that I believe saved my life, if I am being totally honest.  At the time that I watched Madoka Magica I was going through a very hard time in my life to say the least.  However, as I watched this anime and saw all the tragedy and pain these girls went through, I began to think.  I thought about the messages and underlying themes behind this anime and even to this day, I still turn to those lessons when in hard times.  There are several things that I learned from this anime, but I think the most important one is about moving forward.

You probably thought I was going to say hope, right?  After all, the message of hope is the most prominent one that this anime tells, and even in my takeaway, hope is a big part of my main one.  However, for me, I was going through a time of intense self-pity and self-loathing.  I honestly despised myself and my life, and I was always dwelling on the past.  As I saw Homura, one of the main characters, continuously try to go back and change the past, only to make it worse, I saw a lot of myself.  Homura almost fell into despair because of her constant efforts to change the past, and that was honestly the big slap to the face that I needed at the time.  It took forever, but it finally clicked in my mind that if I choose to dwell on the past and try to change it instead of moving forwards, I will always remain in a state of self-pity and self-loathing until I eventually fall into despair.  After that, I feel like I have become a more optimistic and generally happy person, and this anime was what caused that change.

See, anime is not useless!

1) Akatsuki no Yona/Yona of the Dawn


This is the anime that I hold almost anything and everything to as a standard.  The manga is the holy grail in my eyes and Mizuho-sensei is a goddess.  Everything from art style, the romance, the characters, the plot, the action scenes, just everything is incredible.  It is, of course, with it’s faults, but this manga, is just the best thing I have ever seen.  I can honestly go on and write an entire article about all the characters in this anime, but I’ll try to make this brief.  I’ll only discuss two characters; these two being the two major reasons for my complete and adoration of this manga.

Let’s just start off with Yona, the heroine.  Yona is my favorite female character of all time; no exceptions.  The way that she has developed so much from a selfish and bratty princess and into a strong, kind, and brave warrior is astonishing.  Her character developement is the best that I have ever seen, and the pacing of her developement is well done.  It doesn’t happen over night; it takes time for her to move forward after the death of her father and to become strong, and it takes even more time for her to get over her feelings for her long time childhood crush that completely betrayed her.  Yona is amazing and a very independent and capable young woman that I look up to a lot.

Furthermore, I am completely head over heels for the main antagonist of this story, Soo-won.  Yes, I said antagonist.  In this artfully written story the main antagonist is Yona’s childhood friend, cousin, and previous crush who kills her father in order to take the throne and as revenge for him supposedly killing his father.  However, there is much more to Soo-won than what meets the eye.  Soo-won is probably the most dynamic and layered character I have ever seen.  He benevolent, logical, a person who puts his people first, thoughtful, shy, cheerful, nice, brave, and above all else, a person that is both capable and willing to put his own emotions aside for the greater good.

What is especially interesting to me about this manga is that the protagonist and the antagonist have the same goal; to better the Kingdom of Kouka.  However, while Yona leads with her heart, Soo-won leads with his mind, and the constant push and pull between these two dynamic characters is absolutely beautiful and completely enthralling.

Anime and manga have a lot to share with us and as the loyal fans we are, these many stories will forever touch our lives in unimaginable ways.  I honestly encourage you to think about all of these lovely stories and to allow them to touch your lives as well, because stories are the most important thing we have in this world.

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Mainstream Animes: Why I Don’t Watch Them


Yes, the “mainstream animes”. These are animes like Attack on Titan, Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and One Piece. The things that non-anime fans first think of when they hear the word “anime”.

There is nothing wrong with these animes, just I don’t like them nor watch them. Nothing really more to it than that they really aren’t to my personal taste. I guess what I’m saying is that if you like the more “mainstream” titles of anime then that’s completely fine and I am in no way saying that there is something wrong with that; all I am going to address here are my personal reasons for not liking the more “mainstream” titles.

Usually, I wouldn’t post content that addresses something that I don’t like since I don’t really like stirring up more negativity than there already is, but in case you don’t follow my Twitter — which you should do since that’s where I post updates — I am traveling right now. What does this have to do with anything? Well recently I went into I guess an “Asian Gift Shop” where they sold various good from the general Far East; one of the things they sold were “mainstream” anime merchandise. As I looked around at the items I couldn’t help thinking to myself “ugh, I wish I was more into the mainstream animes so it would be easier for me to find merchandise”. Then I began thinking, why don’t I like “mainstream” anime? As a result, I have come up with these two main reasons.

Keep in mind that this is all based on my own personal opinion and my own likes and dislikes. This blog post is in no way hating on “mainstream” animes, but just explaining my reasoning for why I personally do not enjoy them.

1) They are LONG

You are probably thinking “oh but Beijing, what’s wrong with an anime being long?” Well there isn’t anything innately wrong with an anime being long; after all, a longer series means more content, right?  One of my very few problems with long animes is that they are almost impossible to catch up on if you start them when the series is already pretty far in. Me being a student, I just don’t have the time to get through fifty-plus episodes of anime.

Furthermore, I find that most animes when they run on the longer side, they easily become repetitive and boring; at least to me. The usual formula is, meet new people, gain new power or go to new place, conflict arises, fight — or have confrontation with — people, fight — or have confrontation with– more people, win, rinse, wash, and repeat. I get that the situation is different every time and that it’s all steps to reach the main goal, but after the third or fourth time, it gets really boring.

2) Most of Them are Shounen Titles


I’m probably going to get killed for this, but, I don’t like — most — Shounen or Shoujo titles. I’m sorry but I find most of these quite boring. I like animes that make you think of deeper meaning and pull out curve balls, and I don’t mean “rabbit-out-of-a-hat” tricks like defeating the enemy with “nakama” power. I of course like cute fluff but I personally prefer reading a Yuri or Yaoi manga if that’s what I’m looking for. Sorry, but that is just my preference.


The only Shounen anime that I really enjoyed was Nanatsu no Taizai, or The Seven Deadly Sins. This anime was wonderfully done, and the manga is even better. Why is it that this is the one Shounen anime that I enjoyed? Nanatsu no Taizai does a wonderful job of blurring the lines of “good” and “evil”. It makes you think about who really is right and who is wrong. This idea is one that I entertain frequently and to see it presented in the way Nakaba sensei has is interesting, thought-provoking, and extremely engaging.  I highly recommend the manga and if you are not able to read it, watch the anime.

Where am I going with this you ask? Most Shounen titles focus more on the team work and friendship aspect or simply showing death. There is nothing wrong with these themes, but for me personally, they do not capture my attention as much as theories on morality.

If you enjoy “mainstream” animes then that’s perfectly fine, and in fact, that’s great actually; you get to have an easy time finding merchandise. I envy you honestly.

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