I’m sure most of us have a specific genre of anime that we like more than others, even if we watch just about anything that will catch our eyes for at least a few episodes; however, I’ve noticed that I hold team-focused anime in a higher regard than other genres. Why is that? Well, let’s get into this and I’ll try to explain my mindset!

What do team-focused anime bring to the table? I’ll write a quick list and then go into some of them more specifically (obviously there are more than what I’m listing, but I wanted to keep it short):

  1. Rivalries
  2. Diversity/Personalities
  3. Determination

Rivalries: I like to look at Haikyuu!! for this point in all honesty. We have our main cast in Karasuno, but the way Hinata and Kageyama play off each other is amazing. They’re each trying to out-do the other in so many different ways. Who can get to the gym first? Who can stay on the court the longest (sorry, manga readers!)? Who can jump the highest? Who can do whatever the most amount of times… the list goes on and on. And with those rivalries we get teamwork and character progression, a section of the cast that pushes each other beyond what they themselves are capable of accomplishing.

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They’re so funny together

Diversity: Diversity can mean a lot, but in all honesty I think that in sports anime we see a lot of people who are simply different socially or academically. The cast’s are diverse in their humor, their actions and mannerisms, their upbringings, etc. I think one of the better examples of this kind of diversity actually comes in Tsurune, where our main character Minato is quiet and struggles with anxiety, another (Onogi) is loud-mouthed and fiery, there’s a pair of twins that are a bit quirky, the main character’s supportive best friend (Seiya) who is calm and caring, and so much more. They fight, they struggle, but eventually they begin to trust each other by learning about each other and coming together to accomplish what they’ve been striving for.

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I love these guys

Determination: Throughout team-focused anime, all of the shown schools are determined within their respective sports to achieve the most they can–which is usually a large tournament win, or reaching a specific tournament (like nationals), or in Run With the Wind’s case making it to a prestigious race and competing in said race (I don’t know if that was like a national thing or not, sorry)… So yeah, sports anime shows us what people are capable of when a group is determined and collectively striving toward a common goal. I do think that sometimes this determination is used as a crutch, but either way it’s been fun to see a cast of characters grow together despite their differences and try to achieve what they’ve set out to do at the beginning portion of the series.

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Look at Haiji cheering 😀

 

So yeah, just a short little post about why I love team-focused anime. If you have any other aspects of team-focused anime that I didn’t talk about I’d love to know what you think about them. Do some characters completely put you off to the show? Is there a specific personality type that you adore? Let me know in the comments!

 

Thanks for reading!

Alexie 🙂

 

   Sohara Kishimoto is walking down a lonely foggy street in Kyoto. She has just left her middle school and is walking home. A small gust of wind causes her long black hair to flutter. She tightens her grip on her black leather book bag. Sohara hates how she has to walk home all by herself. The thick fog and empty streets creeps her out. She remembers when she was little her grandmother always told her to never go alone. If she did, Kuchisake Onna would find her. But Sohara never got to listen to that whole story because her mother always interrupted the grandmother. Sohara was never scared of urban legends. Myths are myths she would always tell herself. Through the fog, Sohara can see an outline of a person sitting down in the middle of the sidewalk straight of head of her. She can make out that the person was sitting down with their knees up against their chest. As Sohara walks closer to the unknown person, she can start to see that it is a young woman with long black hair. Once Sohara was about a meter away from the unknown woman, she can see that the woman is wearing a surgical face mask. The young woman turns towards Sohara. Sohara shivers when another gust of wind blows past her. She gets a bad feeling from this woman. Something doesn’t feel right about this woman.

  The woman in the surgical mask stands up and starts to move towards Sohara. Sohara frantically starts to move back away from the woman. Sohara shrieks as she trips over a large crack in the sidewalk and falls down onto her butt.

    “Nanika mondai aru?” (Do you have a problem?)Sohara asks the unknown woman.

  “Shiritai koto ga arunda kedo.” (I need to know something.) the woman replies.

   “Nan jigoku anata ga shiritai desu ka?” (What the hell do you want to know?) Sohara asks her.

  “Watashi wa kirei?” (Am I beautiful?)  the unknown woman asks.

  “Dō natteru? Kono onna dōka shiteru no? Kirei da to tsutaetai hō ga bunan da to omou.” (What the hell is going on? What the hell is wrong with this woman? Probably safer to just tell her she is beautiful.) Sohara thinks to herself.

  “H-hai. Anata wa kirei.” (Y-yes. You are beautiful.) Sohara responds.

   “Hontō ni?” (Am I really?) the masked woman replies to Sohara’s response in a dark tone.

   The masked woman then rips off her surgical mask. Sohara’s body turns ice cold from terror. The only warmth that she felt was the urine soaking up her school uniform skirt. The woman’s mouth was slit ear to ear. She gives Sohara a sickening smile that shows the woman’s jawbone. Then she pulls out a giant pair of scissors.

   “Watashi wa mada kirei?” (Am I still beautiful?)  the woman asks with her sickening smile.

  Sohara just lays there in her puddle of urine. She doesn’t know what to do or what to say. This was Kuchisake Onna, the slit mouth woman. She wasn’t a myth or an urban legend after all. She was real. Her grandmother was right, it was dangerous to go alone.

  “Watashi wa kirei?”(Am I beautiful?) Kuchisake Onna asks Sohara for the second time.

   Sohara quickly gets up and starts to run through the thick fog. “Dareka tasukete! Dareka tasukete!” (Got to find help.) Sohara thinks over and over again.

   Sohara blinks and stops dead in her tracks. Kuchisake Onna is right in front of her. Sohara tries to turn around but Kuchisake Onna grabs her shoulder.

“Watashi wa kirei?” she asks Sohara again.

“Masaka! Anata wa kirei janai!”(No! No, you are not beautiful.) Sohara yells at Kuchisake Onna.

   Kuchisake Onna laughs out loud then stabs Sohara in the mouth with her large pair of scissors. Sohara’s body jerks when the tip of the blood covered scissor blade exits the back of her head. Sohara’s eyes rolls back and she starts making gurgling noises has her mouth throat fills up with blood. Kuchisake Onna starts cutting Sohara’s head in half. The sound of flesh, blood, bone being cut by scissors fills up the foggy street.

   So next time you are walking alone, remember this. It’s dangerous to go alone. Cause if you do, Kuchisake Onna will get you

   With October coming soon, it seems right to do a spooky post to liven up things. So to start spooky month coming soon, today we will talk about a spooky Waifu. An Urban Legend in Japan. Who is it? What cutie am I writing about today? Let’s just say that she always has a big smile on her face. 

   Today we are talking about Kuchisake-onna aka the slit mouth woman. Have you heard of her before? She appears in Japanese Horror movies, anime, manga, and even doujins (don’t ask how I know). She is quite the famous Urban Legend in Japan. A beautiful woman with a smile that reaches ear to ear, due to having her mouth cut open. 057-kuchisakeonna

 Starting from the Edo period, her legend goes that if you are walking alone on the street, you might run into a beautiful woman wearing a face mask. She will ask you if she is beautiful, if you say no, she’ll kill you, if you say yes she will take off her mask. You’ll see her cut open mouth and she’ll ask you if she is still beautiful. Say no, she’ll kill you. Say yes she’ll cut open your mouth to resemble hers. The only way to survive is to say that she is average or ask her if you are beautiful. There is also a rumor she likes sweet candy. Oh yeah, she uses a large pair of scissors to kill and to cut open your mouth. Fun stuff. slit-mouth-2

   It’s funny to think about cus parents tell their kids this to keep them from going out late alone. Or else a woman will kill them or slice open their mouths. We should be telling our kids this to scare the shit out of them. 

   Since I’m a horror writer, I have written a short story about Kuchisake-onna, so look at the next post coming out today. I hope you enjoy it. 

 

                       -Tsubaki Kuro

I love Ghibli movies. Of the 23 (including Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and The Red Turtle), I have seen 21 of them; having never seen Ocean Waves and only half of Tales from Earthsea. This phenomenal collection of movies has earnt Studio Ghibli a legendary status amongst anime studios, often being referred to as the Japanese Disney, Hayao Miyazaki being compared to Walt Disney himself.

If you’ve been reading my posts over the last few weeks, you may have seen that I recently went to Japan (I’ve not really said much about it so it could be easily missed). On my trip, I took my travelling companions to the wonderful Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo.

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Mitaka is actually slightly out the way by Tokyo standards, but thanks to the legendary Japanese train system, it was quick and easy to get there from Asakusa, where we were staying. The museum was a 10 to 15 minute walk from the station down a long thin road with trees emitting the cacophonous sound of cicada song on the opposing side (we don’t have cicadas in the UK so the sheer volume was quite surprising). After walking down the road for 10 minutes, we crossed into a park with wide pavements flanked by trees providing much needed shade from the beating afternoon sun. We continued walking with nature on our left, and the suburban town of Mitaka on our right until we happened upon it… the Ghibli Museum.

The first thing you see is a ticket gate with Totoro standing there, and a small window below brimming with soot sprites. As you walk around to the entrance, you are greeted with more of this beautifully designed building, laden in plants and vines to the point that it feels almost as if it was constructed long ago and mother nature is slowly reclaiming the space – it all felt very in line with Miyazaki’s beliefs on the preservation of our planet.IMG_0324


Unfortunately, photography is forbidden inside the building so I cannot show you what was on display, but I can say that it was fucking cool as shit. Fortunately, anywhere outside is open for photography, including a Castle in the Sky inspire roof section which you climb a spiral staircase to reach.

When entering, your tickets are exchanged for film tickets which all have 3 random consecutive frames from any Ghibli movie. I can’t actually identify which film mine are from, but its of a boy walking down a rooftop. This ticket granted you access to the museum, and the ability to see a short film animated by the man, the myth, the legend, Hayao Miyazaki.


Quite obviously, the highlight of the visit was being able to see the aforementioned short film although the room was so packed that we had to sit on some uncomfortable stairs rather than an actual seat. The film was Boro the Caterpillar which was a lovely short following the events of the titular Boro, a new-born caterpillar learning how to survive by watching the caterpillars around him. What I found fascinating is that there is no dialogue, but every single sound was made by Japanese comedian, Tamori, who created sounds for the caterpillars walking, eating, and shitting (yes, there’s a good old raining poop sequence). It was a truly incredible and interesting piece of animation.

From the gift shop I bought a couple gifts for a friend who couldn’t come, and also the museum’s book for myself (with English translations) which I’m yet to sink my teeth into.IMG_0332


Overall, if you’re planning a trip to Japan, set aside an afternoon for this and make sure to book tickets as soon as the are released otherwise they’ll probably be sold out. I waited up until 2am on the day of release and sat there through a crashing website for 40 minutes until I got mine. I’ll leave a link below to the website that tells you where to get tickets for the country that you live in.


Thank you for reading, I had a great time at the museum and feel the need to watch a Ghibli movie now. My favourite Ghibli movie has to be either Princess Mononoke or Pom Poko, what’s yours?

-Bodell

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No, my pandas.

Sadly today’s post isn’t about Yuri on Ice. Sorry to disappoint y’all XD

Today is all about anime that are based on historical context! You know…anime that are loosely based around ACTUAL historical events. Yeah! Those ones!

I’ve talked about some of these anime before but not in this type of sense. Mainly I’ve just recommended them based on how good they are instead of the history behind them. BUT TODAY’S THE DAY MY PANDAS! Today is the day I recommend them based on their historical content.

*Calls up Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus* bEeP BoP bEeP BoP

“Yes…hi…Ms. Frizzle? Can you take my followers on a tour of some historical anime series? You can?! Great! Thank you so much!”

Strap in and buckle up kids! We are going on a historical anime ride!


1. Golden Kamuy

^Takes place in the Meiji Era which was named for the Meiji Emperor from 1868-1912.


2. Altair Battle of Records

^I’m guessing this anime is loosely based upon The Great Turkish War which began in 1683.


3. Saga of Tanya the Evil

^An alternate version of Europe during World War I (i.e. Nazi Germany)


4. In this Corner of the World

^Roughly ten years before and after the atomic bomb of World War II.


5. The Wind Rises

^Based on the historical figure Jiro Horikoshi would created the famous “Zero” fighter plane during the first years of World War II.


6. Drifters

^Drifters starts off with Toyohisa before his death in 1600 in the late Sengoku/Early Edo period. All the other characters in this series are based off real historical figures in history.


7. Grave of the Fireflies

^Set during the final months of World War II.


8. Joker Game

^Revolves around the World War II period in 1937.


9. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

^Based around the Rakugo time period which was developed in the Edo Era from 1603-1868 .

10. Vinland Saga

^The setting is 1013 AD England which revolves around the Danish invasion of London.


What’s your favorite anime that has historical context? Let me know down in the comments section! There are many more anime out there that have history thrown into their storylines but this is called Top Ten Tuesday for a reason. I hope we get to see more anime with historical backgrounds in the future. I’ve been totally digging them the last couple years. That is going to do it for me this lovely Tuesday. I have to get ready for work soon. I will catch you all in my next post. Remember to always stay kawaii and cuddly my pandas! MUAH! XOXO


(Disclaimer: All imagery and gifs come from me searching on the internet. I do not have any right or claim to them)

   So I recently rewatched Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, season one ( I still haven’t seen season two nor the movie). I watched it around 2013 originally. But I was super high when I binged it. So none of it really stuck with me. During the few weeks during the tragedy of the KyoAni fire, I changed my profile pic to Rikka. I had slight memory of relating to her but couldn’t quite place why. So last week during my dad’s birthday, I rewatched it. Watching it sober really stuck with me. 

   I didn’t really expect it to touch me as deeply as it did. I originally thought it was a moe comedy that lead to a cute romance. But no, it was an amazing story that led me through an emotional rollercoaster. 

 

   Definition of Chunibyo (cause i use this word a lot in this post):is a Japanese colloquial term that translates to “middle-school second-year syndrome” or “eighth-grader syndrome”, typically used to describe early teens who have delusions of grandeur, who so desperately want to stand out that they have convinced themselves they have hidden knowledge or secret. 

  WARNING: SPOILERS FOR Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions WILL BE PRESENT. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS ANIME AND WANT TO WATCH SPOILER FREE, STOP READING THIS BLOG IMMEDIATELY. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

   So up till episode seven, the series was a cutesy moe comedy that slowly showed all the characters and their fun quirks. Either Chunibyo, hiding the fact they were Chunibyo, liked napping, or wanted to get girls by playing guitar. Kumin my favorite cus nap club is best club. Episode seven was the summer vacation episode, the beach episode. Like most anime the beach episode is the fans most fav cus the fun hijinks and the bikinis. But this episode was the start of the drama. tumblr_inline_ntqahalx011skpi3g_500.gif

   You find out that Rikka’s grand parents don’t really bind with Rikka. Then later on you find out that her father is dead and she created her Chunibyo when she saw Yuta during his Chunibyo phase and did it to hide the grief of her father’s passing. 

   After this beach drama arc, Rikka grows feelings for Yuta and the romance arc happens. Of course it happens and they start dating. But of course we don’t get to enjoy it cus more drama happens. Rikka’s older sister Toka is moving to Italy for work and Rikka’s mother, who hasn’t really been in her daughter’s life that much, is going to move in. Toka asks Yuta to tell Rikka to stop her Chunibyo and to be normal. So during the school festival he tells her that. She stops and everyone around her is miserable. Dekomori is sad cus her master is no longer interacts with her. Things lose its happiness. Of course in the end goes for the good and she Yuta has her go back to her Chunibyo. And everything becomes good. Then season one ends. 

   Growing up is hell. Becoming an adult and accepting reality is hell. Rikka hiding her trauma behind her Chunibyo is realistic. We all want to hide from traumas we go through and pretend that it is not reality. As someone who has gone through a ton of trauma and is extremely depressed, I use to Chunibyo when I was in elementary. Made myself seem like a mysterious person. Oh the cringe of my youth.

    Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions is an amazing anime that I love deeply now. KyoAni is the best studio that can elicit strong emotions in people. Hell, I want to go full blown Chunibyo now, to freak people out XD. 

 

   Hope you all have a great day and that you enjoy this blog. Dark Flame Master signing off. 

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(For those wondering when the romance story will be uploaded, soon. I’m at the 3/4 mark on it)

                          -Tsubaki Kuro

So here I am, sat in my hotel room in Shinjuku, Tokyo on Wednesday morning writing this post because I didn’t get to writing it before I left.

Part of the issue I had is I was unsure as to what to write about; I have plans for the next few weeks, but this was an awkward one for me. I can’t talk much about my trip because my photos are on my camera, not my phone. I’ve not been keeping up with the seasonals so I’m a little out of the loop. And lastly, I just don’t really have time for research. So here I am just writing this stream of consciousness type… thing.

The only thing I can think to do is talk about myself, and why I applied to be a part of KawaiiPaperPandas.


First of all, how did I hear of this site? Well funnily enough, Ayano was actually one of my first followers on Twitter (and I still don’t have a lot because I don’t tweet much) but I mean like first 5 people. After I looked on her profile I found the site and would occasionally dip in.

One day I found myself on her Twitter page again and saw that she was taking new writers on, (as she’d just announced Tsubaki and Alexie joining) so I thought I’d give it a crack.


Here’s the truth, I didn’t read a lot of anime blogs and I still don’t. It’s something I’m trying to get better at doing, but I spend much more time watching anime videos on YouTube. Some of you may know that I do also make videos on YouTube (currently it looks like once every 2 months but I’m trying to up the frequency).

I actually didn’t have any writing to send Ayano when I applied so I sent her a link to my Carole & Tuesday video (click here to see it) and it seemed to be good enough to get me a spot here.


So I’ve talked about how I joined but not why. Well I joined for 3 main reasons:

1. To become better at writing, I need to write every week and I strive for each post to be better than the last.

2. To become better at idea generation, this post kind of shows that I’m struggling with this but I’m working on it.

3. To make friends within the anime community. Before now, all the discussion I’d have would be with a friend when they were in a bit of an anime mood, or my occasional browse of reddit.

The 3rd point was the most important to me, because I wanted to be able to join in a conversation and not feel like I’m just skirting around the edges, occasionally adding something of no real value.

KawaiiPaperPandas has become a home on the internet for me now, the four of us talk on Snapchat pretty much daily and I’m even planning on flying over to the states later this year!


My long term plan is to keep putting everything I learn from blogging into future blogs and YouTube videos. I realise that this almost sounds like I’m planning on leaving but I’m just getting started here. I don’t see myself leaving this site for a long time, only if life takes over and I can’t find time, or if I feel like I’ve said everything I can.


In conclusion, sorry for this fountain of nonsense, I’m going to be talking about my visit to the Ghibli Museum next week so make sure to stay tuned!

-Bodell

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