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17th September 2014

Text with 27 notes

A Youthful Act Shut Too Soon


The Noah's Ark Circus troupe from Kuroshitsuji.

If you read a lot of manga, one popular theme that some authors like to use is introduce how certain characters are orphans and how their lack of a parental figure have shaped their lives. In the case of Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler), one of its most popular storylines, manga-wise, details such a scenario, but one that doesn’t end well for the characters whose origins involved being abandoned. The "Book of Circus" tells a tale told too often of how beneath the fun lies a sense of ever-growing despair.

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Tagged: KuroshitsujiBlack ButlerBook of CircusJoker Black ButlerCiel Phantomhivepsychology of orphanspsychology of povertymangaanime

12th September 2014

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Being Spoiled Rotten, Japanese-Style


With the internet full of everything information-related, one of the worst things as a manga fan is discovering information that you don’t want to know until you can see for yourself. I’m talking about spoilers, of course. There are many users out there that love to tell all the secret details of events and what happens to certain characters in the story. While they are rampant, especially for series based off of existing source material, spoilers seem to provide a mixed experience for anyone who decides to jump into a pool already used.

Why do spoilers happen, you ask? I think this article says it all. People talk about them because they want someone to share them with. It’s hard to contain information for yourself. You just want to go out and tell the world “OH HEY! XXXX XXXX HAPPENED!” You can say that this is just another example of group psychology affecting people. Sharing means caring, which creates a tighter-knit community, yet one that can be vilified.

I do talk about manga spoilers to anyone who’s interested in the same series I am to a certain degree. I just don’t reveal certain key moments or character developments that dramatically change the story, though this is highly dependent on who I talk to. There was a study that came out years ago that suggested spoilers don’t really ruin fans’ interest. It only got them more excited. However, there was a key note from the study - people didn’t mind spoilers if they were NOT emotionally invested in the story. I know this has happened with certain people I know that gave up on series they no longer found enjoyable.

I don’t mind being spoiled much and the funny thing is my interest lies in the fact that I may find the story to be amazing. Though I think my “hardcore” mindset is what separates me from most people who don’t enjoy being spoiled. I am by default, a “database animal.” I wish there was a further study where they got different types of fans (hardcore, casuals, etc.) and how spoilers affect them. There are times where I will tell someone, “Don’t spoil! Shut up! STOP TALKING!” This mostly pertains to movies, as I’m not too emotionally invested in them. Sound weird from what I said about the study earlier, right?

The fact I’m talking about this now is because of the rampant spoilers I’ve been seeing/hearing of a certain manga series about ghouls fighting humans or something like that. Got to love it when you put up Twitter feeds pertaining to “manga.”

What’s your take on manga (or anime) spoilers and their now-entrenched presence on the Internet? Do they make you yell Japanese obscenities or go “Banzai!”?

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Tagged: mangapsychology of spoilersanime

9th September 2014

Text with 20 notes

A Drop of Jupiter for the Heart


Sailor Jupiter depressed about love.

You would think that young boys watch only shonen anime, but they might secretly be watching shoujo anime. While I watched a lot of Dragon Ball Z, my sister was into Sailor Moon and I sometimes looked at the Bandai Cardass cards she collected of the Sailor Scouts. I saw some of the original anime and one of the girls got my attention. I actually had a crush on her at one point! It was none other than Makoto Kino, aka Sailor Jupiter. I was one of the many who were interested in seeing her appear in the manga-based Sailor Moon Crystal. Her first appearance as shown made me think about the struggle to find love.

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Tagged: Makoto KinoSailor JupiterSailor Moon Crystalpsychology of loveromantic lovemangaanime

5th September 2014

Text with 19 notes

A Dull Yet Memorable Slice of the Otaku Kind


Silver Spoon, a popular slice-of-life series.

Anime and manga are both known to explore all venues of life, including everyday situations. Here’s some psychology news that makes one genre appear to be a king. A new study shows that looking back at moments that appear boring tend to make us feel good. It suggests that listening to some old songs or even remembering a joke from the past will generate positive vibes. I thought about why that kind of thinking has made the slice-of-life genre a popular theme to base a series around.

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Tagged: mangaslice of lifepsychology of everyday lifecognitive psychologyanime

27th August 2014

Text with 18 notes

Manga Over Everything


Here’s something I want to ask everyone - What if you never expected that your tastes would gradually change over time?

11 years ago, I was at a church gathering one night and the group that held it asked everyone to pick two things you couldn’t live without. After that, other people would have to guess which one was the most important out of the two. I decided to name my Sony PlayStation 2 and PC as my choices. When it came for the group to guess the true winner, they all guessed correctly. Deep down, the PlayStation 2 was my sweetheart. Video games were a big part of my life at the time.

Fast forward to now where manga has become number 1 on my interest list. You can argue that it’s pseudo-reverse as the PC is superior to the consoles. The internet, in combination with the Kinokuniya near me, opened my eyes to a mixture of worlds to read about. While I still play video games, a lot of them don’t interest me. Hell, I never thought that I would quit reading American superhero comics for manga when I was in my early ’20s.

There are studies that show that we won’t stay the same. This happens because people are horrible in predicting their own futures. They have a tendency to assume that their interests in things will last forever. How many of you have felt that way?

Yet I haven’t grown out of manga and also anime for that matter. That love kept growing over time. Despite all the internet drama surrounding the industries, I didn’t quit following the two mediums. However, I don’t follow as much anime as many fans do. I mostly stick to manga-to-anime adaptations, as they count as manga series for me to write about. There are a few exceptions, but anime ranks 2nd below manga.

Anime is diverse, but manga goes into subjects anime or even live-action series wouldn’t dare touch. There are some unique stories that you have to see to believe. They may not translate well onto other media. Now there are a few of those wacky tales that do get adapted, but that’s because of the boundaries lifted when drawing versus putting animation on a screen for a casual audience. Remember, storytelling’s roots not only lie through oral communication, but on scriptures as well.

Manga’s diversity continues to fascinate me, despite how much information you need to take in versus watching an anime episode. Manga fandom isn’t as huge as anime fandom, but both compliment each other very well. It’s just unfortunate when I don’t see anime fans read manga sometimes. But that can all change in an instant just like everything else, right? I mean, manga publishers are hitting anime conventions more often. All it takes is one unexpected piece of manga art to hit their emotions and change their view. For publishers, an anime adaptation does wonders

In my case, I was a shonen-loving maniac that is now appreciative of seinen and josei material. It was unexpected as I never thought about getting outside my inner circle, so to speak. I can’t see why folks can’t change their manga tastes as they get older and read more of it. The more diverse things are, the more enticing they can be. Diversity should be a key cog in keeping interests and the passion for them alive for a long period of time.

To end this story, here’s a quote from Final Fantasy X-2’s Yuna during the game’s ending.

"So much has happened! And I’m sure it’s only the beginning. Through the smiles, tears…through the anger, and the laughter that follows. I know that I will keep changing. This is my story. It will be a good one."

Guess I never expected video game nostalgia over manga nostalgia to surface in my head, huh? Maybe video games will be my number 1 hobby again in my future. Though honestly, my own fortune-telling sucks and you know what, it’s alright.

Change doesn’t have to be scary if you look at the good parts of it, right? 

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Tagged: mangamanga tastespsychology of change

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