Forming relationships seem almost natural and instinctive to most of us out there. From the moment we are born, we develop an instant connection with our parents. As we get older, friendships and relationships are forged with the people who we let into our lives. These people we ultimately meet by chance and grant only a lucky few out of the thousands we meet into our world because we believe that we share a connection or bond. However, when someone messes with the natural flow of relationship building and tries to control it, how much of a toll will it take? This is the premise of Hanasakeru Seishonen.
Hanasakeru explores the possibility of all those “chance” meetings in your life actually being set up by someone very dear near to you. Then once you learn of this devious plot, you are then informed that in the next few months you will meet a number of men that, some of whom, have been chosen by your father in this game he created called the “Husband Game”. They will seamlessly enter your life under the context of “chance” meetings, and in the end you will ultimately have to pick one as your lifetime partner at the game's end...
I thought about the cleverness of the game and what I would do or feel if I were in the shoes of the protagonist, Kajika. Every day, we meet random people during our commute to and from work/school, during lunch, and at night when we go out with friends. Place yourself on any busy street or crowded club, and you’re bound to meet someone you’ve never met before. On average, we all probably meet quite a number of new people a week but never really think much of it.
If you knew that particular meetings were not so much by “chance” as it is premeditated than anything else, would that make you more suspicious of each encounter you made? Certainly. Knowing that certain people could be possible candidates, cleverly chosen by someone who you trusted, can change the way you behave towards them and ultimately change the relationship you develop with them. Would this natural suspicion make you more cautious in the things you did or said? Absolutely. Moreover, it takes the fun and mystery out of chance encounters and immediately adds a element of distrust, which is never good basis for a blooming relationship.
Watch to see how Kajika behaves and whether or not her natural suspicion and general outlook on life will affect the relationship she develops. Will she ever find her future husband on her own terms? Find out how she handles this outrageous, psychologically trying situation on Hanasakeru Seishonen.
This is the world of anime culture according to Rikun! Once a month in this column we’ll break down some of the little idiosyncrasies of the culture and showcase some of the best anime-based pieces out there. We’re going to start with the TOP-5 BEST MEME’s currently circulating on the web.
When you see the list, you may think to yourself: how can you just arbitrarily choose those 5 memes when there are millions of others that are better suited? Determining the best of the best is obviously a subjective and mindboggling task. Trying to pick and understand the best memes is like trying to understand the meaning of life: it’s seemingly impossible. However, when trying to determine the top-5 memes, we have to force ourselves to analyze it beyond its face value and submerge ourselves in the essence of the culture. So at the very risk of my sanity and well being, I will ATTEMPT to delve into the fame and popularity of said memes.
At the #5 position: Mudkipz.
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Our first meme for study is the phenomenon of Mudkips, that curious water Pokémon you can get at the start of Ruby or Sapphire. While many Pokémon players might have liked this critter from the get go, his rise to stardom didn’t start until a user at an unknown forum had typed the phrase, “so i herd u liek mudkipz?” Though such misspellings and lack of grammar are common on the internet, this particular instance caught the attention of the users of 4chan. Though the true motivation and nature of 4chan will forever remain a mystery, one thing they happen to relish in is the absurd and nonsensical, especially if it’s poorly written. When 4chan users found the phrase to be amusing, they started copying it in their posts, which in turn spread like wildfire across the site.
To further cement the domination of Mudkips within the internet, on June 2007 a video was posted on YouTube which was nothing more than two of the Pokémon saying their name for over a minute, which was comedy gold for many a 4channer. 4channers have also managed to further their association with Mudkip when a rumor broke out that members of Scientology had allegedly poisoned a Scientology opponent’s cat, which happened to be named Mudkips. A combination of the repetitive nature of this video along with its association with 4chan has rocketed this once obscure Pokémon into the realms of internet stardom. While it may never be as popular as Pikachu, Mudkip has managed to become much more than just one of hundreds of collectable monsters.
Is there a deep, meaningful reason as to why that single phrase has resonated so deeply within the world of the internet? Social scientists are welcome to pick apart this meme and find a deeper meaning if they want, but what it really boils down to is that it’s “so bad it’s good”. The phrase is so poorly written and so stupidly simple that many people cannot help but laugh about it. The very name “Mudkip” might also just be an inherently funny word, like squirrels, beaver or moose! This meme, like many others, was never intended to catch on and become a catchphrase; but was the actions of the many who found it funny that brought it into the pop culture consciousness. This kind of humor is something that cannot be replicated, but only referenced to with many “lulz” to be had.
Tune in next time for the #4 best meme, as we dive into the catchphrase that made DBZ relevant again!
Yes folks, the R&R section is back! This month we are going to focus on the rock stylings of FLOW, a popular Japanese band responsible for many top 100 hits in Japan as well as theme songs to many of our favorite animes.
In case you missed last month’s column, the R&R title was the result of a brainstorming session involving various Japanese words that could possibly serve as part of the title. Our team here thought about words that might relate to music brought the Japanese words for rhyme (韻 or in, pronounced: ee-n) and reason (理由 or riyuu, pronounced: ree-oo) to mind. Lyrics usually rhyme, and there are a variety of reasons why a songwriter chooses particular lyrics. However, using the first letters of the Japanese words to arrive at I&R doesn't sound very catchy, so we stuck with the English words, thus the R&R column. Enjoy!
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Before the fame and the chart topping hits, FLOW consisted of two brothers: Kōshi and Take jamming out and writing songs together. Fast forward 5 years to 1998 when they were eventually joined by Keigo, the second vocalist; Gotō the groups fast-finger bassist; and Iwasaki, the mad man on the drums (who joined on in 2000). Like many other groups that were trying to make a name for themselves in the cut-throat music industry, FLOW too had to grind and claw its way out of obscurity and onto the top of the charts.
They would catch their first big break in August of 2002, while opening up at the "Tug Of Rock’n Roll", an outdoor festival held in Okinawa. Their performance and charisma on stage captured the audience making them an instant fan-favorite at the festival. This would be the catalyst launching FLOW into the upper echelons of fame and the music industry.
The following year would be a huge breakthrough year for FLOW. The group would first join on with Ki/oon Records, one of the top record labels in Japan currently responsible for groups such as HYDE, L’Arc~en~Ciel and Home Made Kazoku. Shortly after signing on with Ki/oon, they would drop their first single, "Okuru Kotoba" that would go on to sell over 270,000 copies, according to motto-motto.net, one of the premier FLOW fan sites. "Okuru Kotoba" would hold on to the top spot on the Oricon indie chart for seven consecutive weeks, and would break into the overall top-10 charts.
Over the course of the next few years, it would seem that you couldn’t stop FLOW. The group went on to release their first full-scale album Splash!!! that debuted at #2 spot, dropped the hit-single "Blaster," and "Go!!!", which stayed on the Oricon Top 10 Chart for three weeks.
Perhaps their greatest success would be the string of songs used for the opening themes to a variety of anime, as anime taps into a larger, worldwide audience than just J-rock music does alone. The songs "Re:member" and "Go!!!" both served as opening themes to the anime series TV Tokyo’s Naruto, the later would also be used during the 2008 Summer Olympic baseball game between Australia and Japan. FLOW would drop "Days" for Bone’s Eureka Seven and two songs for Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion: “COLORS” and “WORLD END.”
Still in their music making prime, it’s exciting to see where FLOW will go from here.
Tsuna receives a letter. Inside the letter, there is a photo of someone wearing sunglasses and a note that reads “Try and catch me.” I-Pin sees the photo and is in shock. Reborn says that the person in the photo is I-Pin’s master, Fon, the holder of the red pacifier of the Arcobaleno. I-Pin wants to help Tsuna, but cannot help but is clearly hesitant to capture someone to whom he pledged his loyalty.
Upon encountering one another, Sasuke and Deidara engage in battle. After exchanging a few blows to test Sasuke’s strength, Deidara conjures up his specialty clay dragon and wages long-range attacks against Sasuke from high above. With Tobi’s backup support, the battle seems to be going to Deidara.
When Tadase was little, there was a time when Ikuto and Utau lived together due to certain circumstances. The three of them used to play all the time but when Ikuto took the Dumpty key, he disappeared. The old Ikuto talked to Tadase. Thinking of this Ikuto, Amu and the Guardians go to find him!
Word of the Day
Nakama (仲間) vs. Tomodachi (友達) - Generally with Nakama (仲間), it's used where teams or groups of friends or colleagues are involved . Tomodachi (友達) is term used to generally classify the individual as being within your inner circle of friendship or family.
Both mean friend, however the nuance is still debatable as both are used liberally in place of one another. If you say one over the other, no worries as people will still know what you're talking about.