*Takes deep breath* Okay… we’re really doing this? Today I’m going to talk about the controversial topic of loli characters. Before the impending shitstorm ensues, I’m not here to pitch up a tent on either side of the current debate surrounding lolis (or shotas), but I will talk about the origins of the term and what’s caused the aforementioned shitstorm.

A few disclaimers before we begin:

  1. I am the one writing this; not Ayano, not Tsubaki, not Alexie, but Bodell. I’m not planning on expressing opinions but know that anything I say does not necessarily align with the thoughts or opinions of the rest of the Panda Gang. Ayano is checking to make sure this post is acceptable, but that doesn’t mean that this represents her thoughts on this topic.
  2. This discussion will delve into the concept of loli porn, and of course the accusations that it reflects child pornography. If this makes you uncomfortable, I urge you to not read this post.
  3. If you feel strongly on this subject on either side of the debate, I ask that you do not try to force this opinion on others down in the comments. If you wish to discuss this, please be respectful or do it elsewhere (I know that most of you guys will be respectful, but I felt the need to mention this just in case).

original


So, let’s begin. What is a ‘loli’? A loli is a female character that either is or has the qualities of a child. Typically, they are short and cute, but their in-fiction age varies drastically depending on the series and its art style. That’s all we’re going to say on age for now, but I will come back to it later in this post.

But before I get into the debates, let’s discuss the origins of the term ‘loli’. ‘Loli’ is short for ‘lolita’ which has two distinct meanings in Japanese. The first being what I’ve already mentioned, and the other being the Edwardian style fashion you see some Japanese girls adorning, think Harajuku fashion and you’re on the right lines.

I don’t know how lolita fashion fits in, but the term ‘lolita’ actually comes from outside of Japan. In 1955 a Russian-American author, Vladimir Nabokov, wrote a book called Lolita in which a middle-aged man becomes sexually involved with his 12-year-old stepdaughter, nicknaming her ‘Lolita’. The book is extremely well regarded, to the point that it’s been branded as one of the best books of the 20th century by many. However, when adopting this as a term to describe young-looking female characters, it’s almost impossible to not draw the lines between these characters and paedophilia (yes that is how it’s spelt in Britain). The term ‘loli’ was seemingly always set up to fail.

Dragon Loli


However, if you say something for long enough, it begins to lose its original power. This is why discussing things like sex were taboo years ago, but nowadays no one really cares. I believe a similar thing has happened with the word ‘loli’ in the anime community, as we no longer fully consider where the word originates from. The word has taken on a new meaning.

Loli now refers to a particular character design within the anime/manga sector of the medium of cartoons/animation. There are so many loli characters that we universally love and enjoy watching, these characters often aren’t sexualised but the term has become a blanket that often just means a moe girl that’s young-looking. As I said earlier, loli characters vary drastically in in-fiction age, with the term “legal loli” arising referring to characters that are over the age of 18 but are still lolis. So, if these characters are legally allowed to be engaging in sexual activities in universe, what’s the problem with watching them?

Taiga


Two words: pseudo photography. Once again, I’m going to remind you that I’m not expressing an opinion, but what I understand the controversy to be. Also, I would like to state that I learnt this from a personal friend who works in computer forensics. It is this man’s literal job to scan seized devices and catch people who are up to no good, including paedophiles. I’m sure you can guess where this is going.

In UK law, loli porn is 100% illegal… especially if the character is under 18 in-fiction. And this is because of what I said above, pseudo photography. A drawing of a child is treated similarly to a picture of a real child because, in the eyes of the law, a sexual attraction is still being formed between someone of consenting age and someone who is not.

I can’t believe I’m actually researching and writing about this, but child pornogrophy is graded in catergories, the most severe offences being A grade, the less severe being C grade. A is exactly what you’d expect, I’m not going to describe it because I don’t want to conjur unsavoury imagery for you. C, however, can sometimes be photos that seem innocent, pictures of a child fully clothed, maybe even with some family. It depends on the relationship between the child and the owner of the pictures, and the context surrounding the case. Psuedo photography comes in when this imagery is rendered through drawings, animations, video game cutscenes, etc. It’s not real but it represents something that is.

Megumin


Now, does that make someone who watches loli porn a paedophile? Some would say yes, some would say no. It could be raised that someone who watches rape porn isn’t a rapist and doesn’t necessarily plan on becoming one; equally someone who watches incest porn doesn’t necessarily want to sleep with their actual family. There’s the possibility, that part of attraction is the taboo surrounding it, the rush of doing something wrong. However, others see that roleplay between consenting adults is different to that of an adult and a child, and that the fact that this kink exists is enough to warrant imprisonment.

The laws on this are less strict in the USA and in Japan (hence why Japan makes a fuck tonne of this stuff), and its arguable that Japan’s laws on paedophilia are also less strict in general. You might remember the situation surrounding the author of Rurouni Kenshin in 2017 when it was discovered that he owned DVDs of naked underage girls. This, obviously, went public and the current arc of Rurouni Kenshin was stopped. This culminated in a $2000 fine and his manga resumed in June 2018 in the same magazine. If that was in the West, he’d be ostracised by society and would likely never be allowed to publish in that magazine ever again.

I think we mostly can agree that this is problem, because these were images of real girls. The issue we have in the community right now is that some people believe that fiction is fiction and it doesn’t hurt anyone, whilst the opposite side believe that fiction is based in reality, and if the reality is wrong, so is the fiction.

Senko San


Okay this is pretty heavy shit so I’m going to end it here. This is where I’d normally ask you a question but today I’d just like to wish you a nice day. I’m going to fuck off to Japan for 2 weeks so I won’t be reading any comments, but I will still be posting as I have a few scheduled for the next couple weeks.

-Bodell

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*Slowly starts to stand up*

Oh wait! This post isn’t about me today considering Ayano isn’t my real name. Yes, yes…Ayano has been my pen name for the last three years on this blog and all of my social media accounts. I know…SHOCKER!

For anyone that is new to the blog…Hi! My name is Ayano but my real name is Alyssa. I used to run a huge anime fan page over on Facebook but decided to start blogging almost three years ago. I actually started off with book blogging (e.x. book reviews, keeping up with current books coming out, doing bookstagram) before switching over to anime blogging. I also joined Twitter shortly after that and you can follow that account @paperpandabears. I love books, poetry, anime (of course), and I write in my free time. Whew…it feels like I am starting over once again XD

But this bitch has been here for awhile and I can’t believe I haven’t done this Top Ten Tuesday sooner. This week’s TTT is all about the anime characters named Ayano! Well all the one’s I could rustle up. I picked the name Ayano to go by after watching Kaze no Stigma in which I fell in love with Ayano Kannagi immediately. She’s bratty, and fierce, and a bad ass when she needs to be…quite like myself.

So without further ado…will the real Ayano please stand up?

(P.S. some of the gifs will be different sizes in this post. Also the last three will be in picture form since I could not find proper gifs for them. Sorry in advance!)


1. Ayano Hanesaki from Hanebado!

^We love a good emotionless sports character 😀


2. Ayano Kosaka from Code Geass: Akito the Exiled

^Still need to watch Code Geass XD


3. Ayano Aishi from Yandere Simulator

^Has anyone played this game before? Looks like something I would enjoy 😉


4. Ayano Tateyama from Vocaloid: Kagerou Project

^Sad girl Ayano.


5. Ayano Sugiura from Yuru Yuri

^How is Yuru Yuri? Should I watch it?


6. Ayano Kannagi from Kaze no Stigma

^My fire princess that I love oh so much ❤


7. Keiko Ayano (Silica) from Sword Art Online

^Silica needs more love and attention! She is totes adorbs :3


8. Ayano Sadato from The Ryou’s Work is Never Done!

Ayano The Ryou's^One of the cutest Ayano’s!


9. Yai Ayano from Mega Man Battle

Yai Ayano^Technically Yai’s last name is Ayanokoji but the English translation does say it’s Ayano.


10. Ayano Minegishi from Lucky Star

Ayano Lucky Star^Oh look! Another anime series I still haven’t watched. I need to get my shit together lolololz


And there you have it my pandas! Ten lovely Ayano-chan’s. I hope we get more characters named Ayano in the future. It’s a good name! Who is your favorite from this list? Let me know in the comments section down below. That is going to do it for me this Tuesday. I hope everyone has a great morning, afternoon, or night wherever you are in the world. Remember to always stay kawaii and cuddly my pandas! MUAH! XOXO


(Disclaimer: All imagery, photos, and gifs come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them.)

Hello all you wonderful people! It’s Alexie again with another post for KawaiiPaperPandas!

 

So, like I asked in the title, what can anime bring without a solid story? Well, I’ll be going a bit into my personal preference here, but whatever you can think of you can shoot down into the comments if you’d like! Without a solid story, I honestly believe anime can still be very enjoyable. Why do I say this? Well, because they have animation and artwork. If I were to tell you how many shows I watched simply because the artwork and animation blew my mind I would take up enough space to fill an entire post, so I’ll list a few and talk about them!

First, Violet Evergarden. I know, that has a great story as well, it teaches us what it means to love and be human and accept how our lives have turned out and how to better ourselves because of it. However, upon starting Violet Evergarden you’ll be able to see just how fantastic the artwork and animation can be. And in all honesty, the two work together as well. Take this clip of Violet taking her glove off. In the background, while it is a bit blurred to give more attention to Violet’s action, you can still see each book on the shelves and the way the lighting of the room is hitting each portion. And where Violet actually takes the gloves off, the animation is extremely smooth. You can see her bite the tip of the finger, pull her arm outward, and the glove loses it’s grip on her mechanical hand. The glove dips in and wrinkles! Her hand, too, reflects the light that hits it, casting a small glow and some shadow on the metal. It’s a small detail, but one that I believe truly makes up some of the best parts an anime can bring to its audience.

violet evergarden glove pull
This is just pure beauty

Now, what about other shows? We all know Violet Evergarden had some of the best animation and artwork in recent years (as well as a compelling story), but what about the anime that didn’t have a story as compelling? The first one that comes to my mind is actually Iroduku: The World in Color.

The World in Color wasn’t the best anime out there. It dealt with time travel, had some odd character development, but what really drew me to watching that show was the artwork and animation. What I truly enjoyed was how bright the colors of the artwork of the characters and the background really were. It drew me in because seeing something so vibrant was a breath of fresh air. While some of the animation was a bit clogged in certain areas I still believe the colors during said animation were good enough to make up for it. I honestly believe if you want to watch a show that has some amazing artwork and pretty decent animation, then Iroduku is one you can totally check out if you haven’t.

Now for one last show, this one coming from a more recent season: Demon Slayer. Yep, Demon Slayer is one that I absolutely love seeing screencaps and videos of to be honest. While I haven’t seen more than eight or nine episodes at most, I think that it truly has some of the most amazing animation and artwork in recent years. While I’m sure the story of Demon Slayer is fantastic, can there be any denying that the artwork and animation of the show are top notch? I’m sure some of you readers will be able to think of more epic aspects of the show because you’ve seen more episodes than I, but there is a certain part that I truly enjoyed seeing. This picture below has some amazing artwork and color, showing just how Tanjiro has swung his blade and attacked his enemy. And it’s amazing. Check it out! The colors of the water, the whitecaps being shown, and the muted colors of both characters that draw attention to the swinging of the sword are beautiful.

demon slayer tanjiro sword skill
That blue!! Ugh…

And that about does it here for me! Without a solid story anime can still be quite stunning. Now, I know I chose two solid anime in Demon Slayer and Violet Evergarden to showcase some of what I’m talking about, but truly I think that animation and artwork can bring an anime to a higher aspect even without an amazing story. There are other examples of great artwork and animation, like the Ghibli films, and Fireworks, and Your Name that also showcase just how much impact artwork and animation can do for a story. They can be breathtaking and wonderful regardless of the story.

 

Thanks for reading!

Alexie 🙂

I’ve always been interested in people’s anime ‘origin stories’, and that’s probably because mine is a little different. It feels like most anime watchers my age or a little older watched a lot of the 90s kids shows like Pokémon, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Yu Gi Oh, Sailor Moon, and Beyblades; and whilst I watched most of these as a kid, I didn’t move onto the popular 00’s anime like Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. In fact, I had never heard of Bleach or One Piece until after I started watch anime as a medium.

I don’t remember exactly when I started watching anime, but I know it was either late 2012 or early 2013, but once again, it wasn’t through a popular show at the time… like Sword Art Online, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, or Attack on Titan (a little later in 2013). I started watching anime because of a certain visual novel.

I would never claim to be a visual novel buff, or even really a fan at all… I’ve played a few, and only completed like 2. That being said, this particular visual novel was completed by myself multiple times. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve completed it to every single ending, and I guesstimate that there are 11… yeah, I was fucking obsessed.gree


What is this visual novel? Why was I so addicted to it? And how did this lead me to start watching anime?

Let’s set the scene a little here. I was 15 years old, going to senior school everyday and playing video games every night, apart from one night a week when I’d see my girlfriend at the time who lived in the next town over (she’s irrelevant to the story, I just want you to know that I was a stud at school). A few friends of mine watched anime and were raving about it over Xbox Live and I ignored them because fuck that weeb shit, I just wanted to play Halo: Reach.

All of a sudden, they stopped raving about anime, but moved onto a ‘game’. Now I had always played a lot of games… so this was more in my territory. They told me that this was a game called Katawa Shoujo.Katawa


I’m expecting one of three reactions out of you after seeing that name:

  1. What’s that?
  2. I remember that, it was great!
  3. FUCK THAT SHIT!

I won’t deny that Katawa Shoujo is a bit of a weird visual novel… literally meaning ‘crippled girls’ in Japanese. And don’t get me wrong, I was definitely wary of this visual novel going in. I knew that this was a dating sim, I knew that the girls had a whole spectrum of disabilities, but more than anything else, I knew that there were sex scenes.

I started the visual novel up and began reading through it. From what I knew, it was actually quite well written and interesting. It was a new experience for me, and it was doing a good job of holding my intrigue, but it wasn’t amazing. That was until something important happened… that was until I had my first waifu (also I wrote a post about the word waifu a few weeks ago, so click here to read!).Emi


Her name is Emi and this pout still stops my fucking heart every time I see it (which is apt as your character’s medical condition is arrythmia – a problem of the heart). On top of this, she’s a really fun character to spend time with. From the moment I first saw her I was caught hook, line, and sinker, and now this ‘game’ was the best thing since sliced bread. I became addicted.

After wasting about a month of my life smashing through the various storylines in Katawa Shoujo and avidly recommending to all of my friends, the friend who initially got me to play it said the following sentence: “If you liked Katawa, you’ll like Darker Than Black.”

At the time, this made perfect sense to me, so I set off to binge the first season of Darker Than Black, then going on to watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Death Note. In hindsight, Darker Than Black was not a very good recommendation if all you had to go on was that I liked Katawa, it’s an action series with only light hints of romance, rather than a full-blown high school romance experience like Katawa.DTB


In any case, here I am 6 to 7 years later, writing for an anime blog and making anime videos. I never thought that what was a ‘weird game’ that was randomly thrust upon me would shape my life so drastically. When I look back on Katawa Shoujo, I always remember it fondly and I think I always will. This game made me who I am today, and I honestly don’t know what I’d be doing right now if my friend had never recommended this weird porn game to me.

What was your intro to anime?

-Bodell

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Today was supposed to be Alexie’s day to post but he is in the middle of moving at the moment and he also doesn’t have internet for the next few days. So…I am here to bring you guys another edition of Top Ten Tuesday! Are you guys sick of these post yet? These post are one of the very few post I actually enjoy doing on the blog. Sure, things can get a little repetitive at times but I always love trying to come up with the next concept for TTT without it being the same as previous post. We love a good challenge here at KawaiiPaperPandas!

We all know that best girls come in all different shapes and sizes and personalities..but what about the sickly best girls? They need love too! Even if they don’t always survive till the end of the series. I am here to bring you some of the best sick girls in anime. Let’s not focus on the sad part of their lives, but rather the joy they bring to each and every one of us! It’s a celebration of life not death my pandas.

(P. S. some of the gif sizes will be off in this post. Please ignore it XD)


1. Sakura from I Want to Eat Your Pancreas

^Sakura’s smile always gave me hope ❤


2. Nagisa from Clannad

^Ya know…I’ve only ever watch Clannad: After story. Maybe I should go back and watch the first series lololz


3. Akito from Fruits Basket

^I apologize in advance if you haven’t figured out Akito is actually a girl 😛


4. Yuuki from Sword Art Online: Mother’s Rosario

^My favorite girl in Sword Art Online.


5. Chise from The Ancient Magus Bride

^Chise predominately gets stronger throughout the series but we know she is frail to begin with.


6. Kaori in Your Lie in April

^Most everyone’s favorite sick girl.


7. Naoko from The Wind Rises

^I wish we got to see more of Naoko in the movie.


8. Mirai from Seraph of the End

^I wonder if we’ll ever get another season of Seraph?


9. Trisha from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

^Look guys…one anime I still haven’t seen


10. Olivia from Violet Evergarden

^Olivia…you were too precious for this world


And that about does it for me today guys! Which sickly girl in anime is your favorite? I’m pretty partial to Sakura from I Want to Eat Your Pancreas. I juts love her personality in the movie. What Top Ten Tuesday should I take on next? Let me know all your thoughts, opinions and comments down below in the comments section! Remember to always stay kawaii and cuddly my pandas. MUAH! XOXO


(Disclaimer: All imagery, photos, and gifs come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them.)

(Note: Today’s post will contain mature themes of sexual connotations while exploring the ideals/theme of growing up. It will also contain slight spoilers if you have not started the show or read through the manga. You have been forewarned!)

Ah, the flavors of youth.

We all grow up, we all go through puberty, we all know what it’s like to think about sex all the time. It’s a never ending cycle of hormone induced emotional states that make us wild with rampant thoughts and fantasies. I would like to prefiset that yes…women think about sex as much as men.

That’s why I’m ungodly happy that O’ Maidens in Your Savage Season has made an appearance this summer season. O’ Maidens tackles the idea of high school girls wanting to know more about what sex means. Not really just the physical aspect of sex but everything that revolves around it. From the meaning of love, figuring out your feelings towards someone in particular, all the way to taboo topics such as adults/minors being together and even pedophilia. Yes, you read that right…child pedophilia. But don’t let that small tidbit denture you away from this show/manga. It is so much more than what is on the surface. O’ Maidens encapsulates the trials and tribulations of  youth perfectly down to its very essence. I haven’t related to an anime series like this in a very long time..and I’m talking about the whole ideology behind the show and not just bits and pieces.

In order to understand these girls and there so called “personal dilemmas” on a deeper level we must take a look at each on individually. We will start with Kazusa since a lot of the story revolves around her.


Kazusa is a shy girl whose main friend has been her next store neighbor, Izumi, since they were little. Kazusa, like all the other girls involved in the literature club, is curious about sex, but she struggles with her outward appearance and confidence. You can spot this pretty early on in the first few episodes of the series. Like Kazusa, Izumi is also on the shyer side of the spectrum but has been blossoming with the ladies at school. Kazusa realizes this after she overhears another classmate mentioning how hot Izumi is and at the possibility of taking his “virginity.” Things start to roll into motion when Kazusa wonders if Izumi thinks about sex as well. One evening Kazusa heads over to Izumi’s house to drop off some food and she walks in on him in his room watching porn and masturbating. The irony of it all is that the porn Izumi is watching is a train porno. And this is funny because Izumi is obsessed with trains

So of course awkward encounters for Kazusa and Izumi happen in the next few episodes. Kazusa also sneaks out a porno DVD from Izumi’s room one night while he is away. Lemme tell you…this scene was so funny I thought I was going to die laughing. Kazusa struggles with her feelings for Izumi after Izumi confesses to Kazusa one night that he “doesn’t think about sex with anyone or even her for that matter.” *Insert Kuzusa running away from Izumi’s room but Izumi trys to stop her and they have an odd tumble down the stairs and Izumi lands on top of Kazusa in typical anime fashion* (See gif above 😉 ). Eventually, after talking with Niina and Momoko, Niina makes Kazusa realize that deep down she has romantic feelings for Izumi. Thus, beginning the whirlwind struggle of Kazusa trying to sort out those feelings and comparing herself to Niina (these emotions ensue when Kazusa sees Niina and Izumi leaving on the train together one day after school).

Kazusa’s internal emotional struggle is something all women face on a day to day basis. Trying to figure out if you are good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough to face the person you have feelings for is one of the most daunting tasks girls have to go through during puberty. You feel like everything is the end of the world (even though well all know it’s not) if things don’t go your way.

Kazusa has every right to feel this way, especially when she is friends with Niina. A beautiful girl who is considered mysterious and fragile by everyone in school. Jealousy is a natural emotion that everyone deals with at one point or another. This type of conflict works well for the series because this is an exact problem any real life girl would have to deal with in the real world. Jealousy is a driving force in most male and female relationships, just like fear or anger would be.

Kazusa scene 2

As we all are well aware of…love triangles are popular in romance anime. The formula is “main character falls in love with an outsider but the childhood friend of the main character is in love with them and either confesses or doesn’t.” We all know how it goes. The series is only at episode 6 right now, but we all know that this love triangle is going to become more prominent as the episodes progress. I’m interested in seeing how Kazusa comes to terms with her jealousy and if she will overcome it. I want Kuzusa to grow into her own person and be confident in herself. Comparing yourself to others never works out in the long run and you have to figure that out on your own. Advice from friends might be able to steer you in the right direction, but it’s how you handle/direct your emotions that allow you to overcome your inner turmoil.


Honestly, Niina’s childhood background is a little dark. Niina is a little quirky, regal, pretty to look at, but also confused like the rest of the girls in this series. See…Niina has a little secret. When Niina was 10 or 11 (I can’t remember at this point) she was involved in a group project with a very famous director. Niina was given the lead role and favored by the director during their time together. We come to find out this director favored Niina because he liked little girls. Like…liked liked them. Niina, being the impressionable young girl that she is, develops feelings for this director in a warped and twisted way.

One day…Niina asks the director if he wants to have sex with her but the director declines her advance because he believes that her innocence and allure would be “ruined” if he did anything of the sort. Niina then asks if he would be with her when she grew up but the director again declines because older girls/women don’t appeal to him in the same notion that young girls do….That he can only love her “girlish nature.” Nothing ever bad happens to Niina physically, but you can tell she is emotionally scarred by being in love with this director. Having your mind bent to someone else’s will is a mental prison. You continuously go over what you did wrong or what you could have done differently in order to please them. I think that is where Niina is at, at this point in the series.

Niina

We see a brief moment of this weakness when Niina uses Izumi as a “stand in boyfriend” when she runs into the director one day at the train station. I feel like Niina is restless with herself and how she feels about the director, hence why she is on a conquest to have sex before she dies. It’s almost like she is forcing herself to try to forget her feelings for the director and put it out of her mind. Niina is wearing a mask that she can’t full take off. The way they built up Niina’s character and how they handle the topic of pedophilia in the series was delicately done. You are able to fully grasp why Niina is the way she is without feeling too disgusted about the man she developed feelings for. The series also pokes fun at the topic of pedophilia and how it is fucking terrible with Izumi’s reaction to Niina’s confessional. Another golden moment for this series.

Niina 2


And then there is Hongo-chan.

Hongo is actually an aspiring young writer…but not just any type of writer…Hongo wants to write erotica. A girl who knows nothing about sex wants to write erotica. Another point for Mari Okada for throwing in some more irony into this series! I feel like this whole series is just a double entendre. Hongo’s background is also a little complicated. She has been getting sexual advice/having cyber sex with someone online. We don’t know who it is right away until a couple of episodes in. Milo-sensei (the person chatting with Hongo) finally decides to meet up with Hongo in real life. When Hongo meets up with Milo-sensei at the front of the train station we find out that Milo-sensei is actually Hongo-chan’s real sensei at school. Whoops! XD

Hongo scene

Surprisingly enough, Hongo handles the situation quite coolly but Milo-sensei tries to avoid her at all cost. Milo-sensei knows this type of relationship is a “no-no” and tells Hongo this upfront. Milo-sensei is trying to do the right thing, but Hongo-chan can’t quite let their developed online relationship go. Hongo-san even blackmails Milo-sensei into becoming the literature club’s adviser since the club would be disbanded if they didn’t find someone to preside over the club. Let the “teacher/student” anime trope begin!

Yes, I know this type of shit does not fly in real life. DO NOT try to have sexual relations with your teacher…but I can’t help but have a teeny-tiny bit of hope for Hongo and Milo-sensei. This is actually my favorite pair in the series. Probably due to the back and fourth tension between Hongo and Milo-sensei. You know Milo-sensei is trying to be good, but Hongo is pushing her limits/boundaries with him. I’m always intrigued by the concept and psychology of  “wanting what you can’t have.” Because…let’s face it. We all are tempted by the stuff we don’t have/want to have everyday. I think some people are more intrigued by the chase rather than the actual prize. Some people get off on the whole “cat and mouse” situation. So I am wondering if that is how Milo-sensei will respond considering he’s told Hongo he has no interest in high school girls and he finds them “disgusting.”

Hongo scene 2

I want Hongo and Milo-sensei to be together but I also don’t want them to be. I excited to see what direction they push these two into. Will Milo-sensei give in to Hongo-chan and her sexual desire’s to know more? Or will Milo-sensei try to refuse Hongo all together? Ahhhh…I’m gonna need the rest of the series to come out like NOW.


Then we have what seems to be the more “normal” girls of the group Sonezaki and Momoko. Sonezaki is definitely the most normal out of the bunch, but she does face social pressures from her class. She had a strict upbringing, but shows interest in the opposite sex just like any other person would. Sonezaki is teased/bullied in her class, with her classmates claiming she is a “prude” and “ugly.” Just because a woman wears glasses that doesn’t make her ugly! I hate this stereotype in anime.

Sonezaki

Sonezaki does change her appearance a few episodes in by getting her haircut and wearing contacts so she looks prettier. Of course everyone in the class after Sonezaki changes her appearance starts to warm up to Sonezaki and wants to be her friend. But one boy liked the old Sonezaki the way she was. Shun was kind to Sonezaki before she decided to change her look and then asks Sonezaki to become his girlfriend. Sonezaki says yes at the end of episode 5, but in episode 6 Sonezaki wants to keep their relationship a secret until they graduate. Shun is clearly hurt by this gesture, but Sonezaki continues forward in hopes she can create a safe environment for them to be together in secret.

DO NOT keep your relationships a secret my friends. This will only eat away at you and your partner from the inside. Sonezaki just started dating Shun and she already wants to keep him a secret. Like GURL…what is you doing?! That’s not how you want to kick off a romantic relationship. I understand wanting to keep something close to you or private, but Shun expressed he wants people to know Sonezaki is his girlfriend. I hope Sonezaki can realize Shun’s feelings before it’s too late and she implodes their relationship from the inside.

We haven’t seen much of Momoko’s story yet. She seems to be second when it comes to Kazusa. That usually happens with characters who are best friends with the main protagonist of a series. We know Momoko goes to a cram school and has made friends with a boy named Sugimoto. He clearly likes Momoko but it seems like Momoko hasn’t quite reciprocated the same feelings back. I did a little digging last night and I found out that Momoko develops a one-sided crush on Niina. I was waiting to see if they would have a female-on-female relationship in this series! As I mentioned above we are only on episode 6 of the series so I know we will see this crush bud over the next 6 or 7 episodes (I’m gonna assume this series will be 12 or 13 episodes).  I thought Momoko might be into girls after a brief moment with Sugimoto, but wasn’t quite sure if the series would lean this way.

Momoko


I want this series to continue to dive deeper into the world of sexual confusion at a young age. These topics are usually brushed over in other series or we just get straight fan-service with ecchi anime. Sex is a topic that NEEDS to be talked about more. Sex is a stepping stone for many of us into the world of adulthood. It is clumsy, funny, painful, and emotional all at once. There is much more that comes along with sex than just a pair of naked bodies pressed together for pleasure. Sex takes time, patience, understanding, emotional support, and learning.

I love this series because it is a relatable and handles all the topics of sex/interpersonal relationships with such care that no detail is missed. From the random misunderstandings that Kazusa and Izumi have about one another, to Hongo trying to find herself as a writer and a young woman. Even the background story of Niina having feelings for a man who is a pedophile is done with such grace and precision that you hope Niina will be able to realize that type of love is one you don’t want to keep seeking out. Love and sexual desire is a fickle thing my friends. I would like to leave you guys with a with semblance about love: “Romantic love or even infatuation is not the issue. The problem for many is the confusion of love and obsession.” 


(Disclaimer: All imagery, photos, and gifs come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them. Today’s header image comes from https://www.zerochan.net/2507473#full)

Welcome to Bodell’s Bizarre Adventures where I do shit and tell you about it! This is my first blog in this ‘series’ and they will come out as and when I do more shit (so hopefully more to come in September when I get back from Japan)!

Last weekend and friend and I drove down to London to visit some friends of ours who moved down there a few months ago for work. We had a great weekend, visiting the city on the Saturday and then going back to the house and having a bit of a party. I distinctly remember standing at the top of stairs watching two of my friends trying to put a third friend to bed whilst he stood in his doorway, wearing only his underwear, arguing… but at no point during this 5-minute argument did he stop dancing. This culminated in the very drunk friend breaking the door handle to his bedroom, which wasn’t great because the landlords were due to inspect the house on Monday.

Party stories aside, on the Sunday, we took the tube into the city and visited the British Museum as it currently has a manga exhibition running (unless you’re reading this after 26th August). We took our time getting to the exhibition, but once the three of us that went entered, my inner weeb couldn’t help but get a little excited… okay it was very excited! Typically, I’m more of an anime watcher than a manga reader because it’s easier for me to become invested that way, but I always love learning about all areas of both mediums.

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The entrance had videos of various people in the manga industry talking about the medium and what it means to them, the first being Osamu Tezuka who is fondly known as the godfather of manga. Once you passed this section, you could see that the front and back walls had giant prints of various manga characters, along with picture frames containing original pages that the respective mangaka illustrated. I then moved left to find what almost felt like an indoor courtyard with walls surrounding it with various manga pages and TVs playing the anime adaptations of the manga.

After you leave this section there are various walls which were dedicated to different genres, such as sports, horror, sci-fi, and even a wall on homosexual relationships as shown in manga. Oh and there was also a massive fuck off colossal titan head.

 


As you approached the far wall, you come across an Ghibli exhibit which is playing clips from various movies on one screen, and clips from the Studio Ghibli documentary film, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures of this so I can’t show that image, so here’s a GIF of my favourite scene in The Tale of Princess Kaguya which caused me to stop and stare blankly when it came on.

Kaguya

Behind the Ghibli exhibit, there were three pieces of artwork created by Takehiko Inoue (creator of Slam DunkVagabond, and REAL) which were each of a character from REAL that inspire him, specifically for the exhibition. If you haven’t heard of REAL, it’s a sports manga following wheelchair basketball and what Inoue-sensei is currently working on. I’ve never read it myself, but I took time to take in the draftsmanship that went into each masterpiece. Alongside the works was a video of Inoue creating the artworks along with a paragraph about the series and the characters. Unfortunately, we also weren’t allowed to take pictures of these either so you’ll just have to get yourself over to London if your a big Inoue fan… or just wait because I’m sure they’ll become available somehow.

There were also two bookshelves filled with manga in both Japanese and English for you to read freely, as well as multiple QR codes to get free manga if you had the Shonen Jump app (which I don’t, and I had no internet to be able to download it).


I bought the exhibition’s book which was supposedly exclusive to the exhibition (although I’ve seen it on Wordery for cheaper) and been slowly working my way through it. It goes through the origins of manga and Japanese history so if that interests you, see if you can find it online! It looks like this:

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I had a great time at the exhibition and recommend it if you’re able to get yourself to London, UK before 26th August 2019. If you want to book tickets, click here.

-Bodell

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