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“It’s hard for me to enjoy life. The minute that anything pleasant is over and I’m alone, the memories rush back.”
For anyone who has a history of mental issues, there may be cases where you get into relapse. Even if you get all the support in the world, you sometimes can’t help but react awkwardly towards unpleasant situations. I’ve been thinking about this issue from thinking about a central character from one of the more unique shonen manga series for its time, Great Teacher Onizuka. Urumi Kanzaki, the female genius student of GTO, had a high IQ but had a severe case of loneliness to the point where it would drive her to kill herself. Her roughest moments give light to how it never ends for someone with mental instability.
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"SHUT UP!!! There’s a girl out here dying and all you can think about is your career!? There’s a word for teachers like you! GARBAGE!! Call the police! Call the Board of Education! Call anyone you like! Just don’t you dare call yourself a teacher. Not in front of me. Not ever again!! Four hundred students in ten years; so each one’s worth four-hundred!? Listen to yourself! Is that why your mother made you work so hard!? So you could spout off crap like that!? For you, maybe they were all just one in four hundred…just another slab of flesh in the long line at the registration table. But to them, you were their homeroom teacher. The only one they had!" - Onizuka Eikichi
Almost 12 years ago, this quote hit me hard when I read GTO Volume 17 when it came out. It’s amazing how timeless these words have become in a time where the education system’s factory model is trying to stay relevant. Why aren’t teachers applying a bit more psychology to their instructional styles? Why aren’t those that do get noticed?
"Think of the children!" - what a BS phrase that justifies people’s rationale to make them do things that’s "best" for them and to take advantage of the fact that they can’t fully form opinions in a meaningful manner.
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Imagine this scenario. Someone comes up to you and asks about your manga tastes many years ago compared to today. How would you respond? You probably would tell them your history. Would you then tell them and yourself "Man, what the hell did I read back then?" Now let’s say they asked you what manga will you be reading in 10 years and you respond "I think I’ll still read the same type/genre of manga I’ll be reading."
What if I told you that this is terrible thinking for the most part?
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This May is once again Mental Health Month and recently, a blog on Psych Central called "Your Body, Your Mind" challenged readers to incorporate laughter into their daily lives. Laughter has so many benefits as it helps boost your immune system, relieve stress, and improve relationships with people. With that said, what are some anime/manga series that get you smiling and laughing through the day? Here are some favorites I would recommend to those who want to turn their frowns upside down.
Hayate the Combat Butler
An unlucky poor butler works for a spoiled rich otaku girl. Insert a great number of female characters and wacky situations and you have an quite humorous title with some added drama in-between.
The above picture does not capture the wackiness of this series. Oh, the life and trials of supervillains trying to live the villain life, while dealing with superheroes who just happen to be their neighbors. If you love weird and strange humor, Excel Saga is right up your alley.
The funniest little girl in all of manga is in this series. Yotsuba Koiwai is the queen of the universe. There’s a reason why she would be the President of the University of Anime, if it ever existed. Besides being very funny, Yotsuba&! is ADORABLE. Funny and adorable = super, positive, happy feelings.
Daily Lives of High School Boys
Do you get a kick out of seeing teenage boys acting stupid as they usually are? This is your series. As the Otaku Journalist once said in her analysis of the series, I don’t understand how Nichibros was never picked up by Crunchyroll when previously, Nichijou (which is very similar to this series) got chosen.
Naruto Spin-Off: Rock Lee And His Ninja Pals
This is a series I really recommend to kids. All the jokes in this series are targeted towards that demographic to begin with. Plus, it’s NARUTO, the ninja that everyone likes. What makes this series even funnier is that the original voice actors from the Naruto anime also voice their respective characters in this spin-off. Will the Rock Lee spinoff manga be licensed next?
Great Teacher Onizuka
When you have a teacher that’s perverted, dumb as bricks, and a former gang member teaching the most troublesome class in school, you can bet there will be no shortage of laughs when that happens. Onizuka Eikichi is probably the most immature teacher you will ever see and he will have you cracking up in no time. Despite his wackiness, Onizuka has a heart of gold that will shine bright in many fans’ eyes.
A classic series in Japan and one that actually had quite an interesting English anime dub by Funimation. Shin-chan’s crude and vulgar, but hey, I’m sure we’ve met a kid like him once in our lives. The manga is being published again in North America as well.
If the idea of a high school delinquent running around with a naked baby (who just happens to be the next great demon lord) doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t know what will. Beelzebub is a pretty funny series with over-the-top characters and gags. While the series does have a lot of action, Beelzebub is still a comedy at heart and that part is reinforced throughout its story.
A series that I feel is underappreciated by many fans. This is a really funny look at high school extracurricular clubs and activities. All of the characters have some wacky quirk that makes them unique. It won the 55th Shogakukan Award for Best Shonen Manga in 2009.
I can’t make a comedy anime/manga list without this gem. Gintama is probably THE current king of comedy anime/manga series to read/watch. Even the name of the series itself is somewhat of a joke (it’s a play off the word “kintama”, which means testicles in Japanese). What makes this series extremely hilarious are the character interactions and ridiculous banter. Be prepared for parodies, wacky references, and lots of dirty jokes.
This is a title that’s definitely for all the otaku out there. It’s a humorous and yet realistic look at Japanese otaku culture. Genshiken still has some relevance today with the continued rise of the otaku.
Ouran High School Host Club
Yes, this series has cute boys, but more importantly, it pokes fun at many common cliches found in shoujo manga. Not only that, Ouran also parodies the views of female anime/manga fans. Take a look at this wonderful article about the main character, Haruhi Fujioka, and you’ll see what makes Ouran a joy to read/watch.
If you want to share any other interesting series that tickle your funny bone, feel free to post your comments below!
To quote the great Bob Hope,
“I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.”
Let’s all find some funny anime/manga and laugh for the better, shall we?
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Yes, that picture is 3 years old, but it is still relevant today.
March 14 marks White Day, the famous holiday where men in Asia give chocolates to women who have given them the lucky honor of receiving chocolates on Valentine’s Day. As most of you know, Valentine’s Day works very differently in Asia than in North America and Europe.
Here’s a couple of questions that’s sure to get some fun responses: which female characters would you want to give chocolates to?
I’m not going to leave the women out either (thanks to the above photo). To the women: which male characters do you want to give you chocolates?
If you want my opinion, here’s my top 3 female characters I would give chocolates to:
Rukia Kuchiki (BLEACH)
Nico Robin (One Piece)
What? You think I was going to list the girls from K-ON!? Nope, I’m not into moeblobs. I like my female characters to be quite refined.
Now, for more fun, here’s my top 3 choices for male characters I want to give me chocolates if I were a woman.
Shinsuke Takasugi (Gintama)
Onizuka Eikichi (Great Teacher Onizuka)
Ryosuke Takahashi (Initial D)
Intrigued, aren’t you? If you understand what makes these characters popular, then you’ll probably know what makes me tick.
I made my choices known. So, great lovable anime/manga fans, what are yours?
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