Anime Opening Songs that Get Stuck in My Head

Apart from the original Pokemon theme song, which has been a staple anthem anime theme song, here some of my favorite Anime Opening songs. If you already know my taste in anime I hope this doesn’t seem redundant, since some of my favorite opening songs are from my favorite shows. Big surprise, right?

Songs that are ENGLISH versions will get a ( * ) by them, just so that its obvious that the song is on the list from nostalgia of childhood and not for any other reason.

1) Pokemon, The Johto Journeys, “Whole New World” ( * )

I know, I know, more Pokemon? But seriously, I love this opening as much as the original.

2) Ouran High School Host Club

Light hearted, sweet, this is just a great opening!

3) Bleach, Opening 3

Listening to this makes me feel hardcore like my 8th grade death metal phase… but with a little bit less screaming.

4) Attack on Titan, Openings 1 and 2

I had to put both of these because they are both full of enthusiasm and awesomeness.

5) Soul Eater, Opening 1

I seriously love the fast pace in this, it really gets me pumped up!

6) Digimon Frontier Opening ( * )

Not as many people are a fan of Digimon Frontier as of the other series in the franchise, but I am, and I really enjoy this english opening because its simple, well sung, and passionate.

7) Blood +, Opening 3

Honorable Mention:

Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, Ending

I know, I know, its an ending, but this gets stuck in my head too!

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10 Sparkle-Eye Gifs

sparkle eye

This blog needs more Sparkle-Eye Gifs, so more it shall have! Normally I try to keep blog is only about ANIME, but I enjoy other animated things, which have Sparkle-Eye gifs, so two of these will be from animated shows not from Japan! Shows recommended by me will have a ☆ next to them.

  1. Meiko “Menma” Honma peeking out from behind her fingers, from Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (I’ve been meaning to watch this one)
  2. Nai Muhinyi chattering cutely, from Karneval ( ☆ )
  3. Shooting-star eyed Serena, from Sailor Moon ( ☆ )
  4. Misty’s star-eyed twirl, from Pokemon ( ☆ )
  5. Kumin Tsuyuri’s excited reaction, from Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions
  6. Star + Eye, my immidate thought was Ciel Phantomhive, from Black Butler ( ☆ )
  7. Yui Hirasawa sparkling and stammering cutely, from K-ON
  8. Adorable squishy-face Jake, from Adventure Time ( ☆ )
  9. HUGE star-eyes PinkiePie, from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ( ☆ )
  10. Largest and most sparkley eyes with tiny hearts surrounded by MORE sparkles, from Squid Girl

The Anime shows I Would NOT Want to Live in

“What if Pokemon were real?” Is a question that I hear tossed around a lot. The replies range from unicorns-and-rainbows happiness to hilariously destructive scenes.

"if Pokemon were real" by Inkydragon of DeviantA

“if Pokemon were real” by Inkydragon of DeviantA

Wanting to live in the universe of your favorite show is a common thread of discussion in any fandom, so it would make sense that over the years many people have asked me what Anime I would want to live in, if given the choice. There are plenty of good options, like Free! Iwatobi Swim Club where drowning-but-always-recovering is the only danger and not much could really go wrong like in the Pokemon scenario.

I find it much more interesting to focus on the question of “What anime would suck the most to live in?”. It reminds me of the rather new adage “I wouldn’t want to live in the Hunger Games universe NOPE NOPE NOPE”.

hunger games

So here is my list of the anime shows I like to watch but would never want to actually live in because of the near-certainty of a horrible death.

Btooom! – First off, you’re trapped on a deserted island with limited rations. Then you’re told to kill other people with miniature bombs to gain your freedom as they also try to hunt you down the same way? Fun to watch as an Anime, no really fun in practice. Statistically you would probably get blown up. Not to mention that this universe also implies a high possibility of rape, or the fact that this little psycho is on the island with you.

Kira Kosuke, Btooom!

Kira Kosuke from Btooom!

Dangan Ronpa – It’s another trapped-somewhere and kill-or-be-killed situation! Except this time with a twist, if you get away with murder for long enough you’ll be let go, but if you get caught you die. The participants are all high schoolers, and all the blood is PINK!

Junko Enoshima from Dangan Ronpa
Junko Enoshima from Dangan Ronpa

Attack on Titan – 3d Maneuver Gear would be super sweet to swing around on, but really, so many people get eaten by Titans, you would probably meet a very grisly end like many of the named characters.

Eren Jaeger from Attack on Titan

Eren Jaeger from Attack on Titan using 3d Maneuver Gear

Attack on Titan

Your likely death if you lived in the Attack on Titan universe

Madoka Magica – It would be pretty awesome to get a wish granted, be Magical Girl and to have all those Magical Girl powers. But the reality of the how the Witches are created would result in a really un-fun universe to live in.

The Witch Charlotte from Madoka Magica

The Witch Charlotte from Madoka Magica

 

Closing note:

Future Diary, similar to Btooom! and Dangan Ronpa, is another a murder-elimination game, and another universe I wouldn’t want to live in. But living in the Future Diary universe would be a bit less horrible than Btooom! or Dangan Ronpa in my personal opinion, because the magic involved in the Future Diary premise would make it a little bit more fun and also make you feel as if you really could win. Part of the point of Dangan Ronpa is feeling despair, and the same with Madoka Magica. The feeling of being hopeless in your outcome is important and if I was in the Future Diary universe I wouldn’t be in despair since I would like to hope that my Future Diary’s specific power would help me win. Sooooooo, anyway, I didn’t really feel like Future Diary deserved as much a place on this list as the others, but it wouldn’t be fun and desirable to me to live in that universe, hence why it is mentioned down here- mostly because it IS another murder-elimination game and I’d like to think that being in one of those would generally suck.

 

Pokemon Origins: Reviving the Pokemon Anime Franchise

Even though I’ve played every generation of the Pokemon games, like many people in the Pokemon fandom I stopped watching the anime many years ago. Many people found that the anime was getting stale and formulaic. It started having characters which I couldn’t connect to the same way as in the first few seasons and the conflicts had little depth. While I still watched the movies, I had basically given up on watching the actual anime series, waiting for a revamp that never seemed to come.

Pokemon Black and White Anime

Pokemon Black and White Anime

When Pokemon Black and White came out, more fans of the game began to watch the anime again. Encouraged, I watched the first few episodes but I still found myself disappointed.

It was okay, I guess. But, could the Pokemon anime ever be engaging and cool again?!

Everything changed when I saw Pokemon Origins.

Red and Green from Pokemon Origins

Red and Green from Pokemon Origins

This beautifully animated and 4-episode short series used a lovely updated art style and goes back to the original Pokemon games as source material. It follows the journey of Red and his rival Green as they beat gym leaders, fight team rocket, and discover the mysteries of the Pokemon world. As soon as I finished it, I watched it over again- its just that good.

Over all Pokemon Origins is concise, well animated and made me cry several times. I would explain in detail exactly when and why it made me cry but then I would ruin a lot of the plot-points since the series is only 4-episode.

Red and his Charmander from Pokemon Origins

Red and his Charmander from Pokemon Origins

In my friend group Pokemon Origins has been hailed as “super super awesome” and “an hour-long commercial for mega evolution that is full of nostalgia”. Spoiler: I totally agree with both statements. Even though my first Pokemon ever was a Pikachu, and Ash’s main Pokemon is Pikachu, I still feel like the little yellow rodent is over-rated as the mascot of the franchise. My favorite original starter evolution chain is Charmander/Charmeleon/Charizard, so it was exciting to see Red and his Charmander set out together, and to watch it evolve into a Charizard as the two fought together.

Pokemon Origins restored my faith that the franchise is capable of working on their anime to make it good again. Due to that restored hope and a few positive reviews I’ve decided to watch new the Pokemon X & Y anime series to give it a shot. The art style is also different in the X & Y incarnation from the previous series (though not the same as Pokemon Origins) and Ash is still the main character with his Pikachu.

I still highly recommend Pokemon Origins! Watch it!

Cosplayer Profiles AnimeUSA 2013

Attending conventions and cosplay are very important social aspects of the Anime Community. While not everyone at a convention is a cosplayer and some people like just take pictures of other’s costumes, cosplay is still one of the most enjoyable parts of an anime convention. Because of this I decided to interview two cosplayers at AnimeUSA, who happen to be my friends, to learn a bit about their costuming passions.

Haley has been cosplaying for 7 years and has attended 14 conventions, and Mandy has been cosplaying for 2 years and has attended 7 conventions. I used pictures of their ‘Favorite Currently In-Use Cosplay”, Haley’s Winter Sawsbuck (Pokemon Gijinka) and Mandy’s Pit from Kid Icarus.

Haley as Winter Sawsbuck (Pokemon gijinka)

Haley as Winter Sawsbuck (Pokemon gijinka)

Mandy as Pit from Kid Icarus

Mandy as Pit from Kid Icarus

Our AnimeUSA group, I'm on Haley's right (plus a random OnePIece cosplayer on the far right)

Our AnimeUSA group, I’m on Haley’s right as a Fennkein Pokemon Gijinka (plus a random OnePIece cosplayer on the far right)

Q.  What is the weirdest material you’ve used?

Haley- a door stopper, for a prop for Kira Kosuke from the anime Btooom!

Mandy- cans of Mountain Dew, to make the laurels for my Pit cosplay

Q. for Mandy: What inspires you to make a new cosplay?

Mandy- I want to show my love for my favorite  characters, and to show appreciation to their creator.

Q. What is the hardest piece  that you’ve very made for a costume?

Haley- altering a sweater for a Halloween version of Estonia from the anime Hetalia

Mandy- toga for Pit from the game Kid Icarus, since there was no pattern

Q. What originally got you into  cosplay?

Haley- People who cosplay at conventions get talked to more, so its easier to make new friends while wearing a costume.

Mandy- my friends go to conventions and most people cosplay, so it seemed fun, and if someone recognizes your costume, you know that you have a shared interest with them

Q. for Haley: You’ve been to a lot of conventions, whats that like?

Haley- going to conventions is really fun, but I’ve been to so many that it’s hard to keep my exact count accurate!

 Q. What is your favorite Convention snack?

Haley- Chocolate Pocky and Strawberry Ramune

Mandy- Strawberry Pocky

Chocolate Pocky

Chocolate Pocky

PETA can’t shake my Pokemon Pride

Pokemon X&Y Fan Art by KIRU75 of Deviant Art

With the new Nintendo 3Ds Pokemon games X & Y coming out so soon, I wanted to write a post that was about Pokemon! Unfortunately this post is mainly about a disgusting parody game created by PETA and all the reasons that it is the complete opposite of how Pokemon really is.

The Pokemon franchise has videogames, manga, and anime, so I figured that it would be good to talk about in this blog. I thought about it all week, trying to pick a topic within the franchise. I considered writing about the increased graphics quality I expected to see in X & Y versions based on the previews, about the new Pokemon that have been released so far, or maybe even about how awesome the preview for the new anime season looks.

But no, I did not pick any of those topics. A few weeks ago, I was watching Nuzlocke Challenge play-though videos on Youtube and clicked on a related video which contained a review of a parody game based on Pokemon created by PETA. I’m warning you now, I was frankly disgusted by how violent it seemed and how it had totally twisted the message of Pokemon.

Opening screen of PETA’s Parody

Before I even get to the parody game made by PETA, I want to establish firmly that a strong message in Pokemon has always been that the Pokemon are not tools of the humans who use them but they are the partners. Pokemon do not fight to the death in their battles, its so rare that there is only one Pokemon cemetery in the entire 5 known regions, and there is sufficient technology to easily heal them including free medical care in every town called a Pokemon Center. The entire guiding principle behind the original villains in generation 1, Team Rocket, was that they were evil because stole trainer’s beloved Pokemon and sold them for profit. It is your quest, as the player character, to stop Team Rocket and to be come the best Pokemon trainer. In generation 5, the same theme holds true, that Team Plasma wants to separate humans and Pokemon but that only the Pokemon trainer who loves their Pokemon and treats them as friends can save the day (again, this is your player character). In Black2 and White2 the text when defeating Team Plasma’s leader leader Ghentsis, is very telling, especially when his son, N, explains how Pokemon and their Trainers share a special bond.

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In Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back, the very first Pokemon movie, made in 1998, Mewtwo spends most of the movie trying to remove Pokemon from their human partners, which it feels has made them slaves. Mewtwo makes the Pokemon of the Trainers fight his own cloned Pokemon, but the hero, Ash Ketchum, throws himself into the middle of the fray in order to stop it. He gets turned to stone but after a few tense moments his Pikachu’s tears of love manage to revive him.

And then Mewtwo gives this statement, which is still thought of as one of the most profound quotes in the entire franchise: “The human sacrificed himself, to save the Pokemon. I pitted them against each other. But not until they set aside their differences did I see the true power they all share deep inside. I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.”

So, all of that being said, I’m going to show you guys the video I came across. I completely agree with the commentary given by the game reviewer, GCPM11of Youtube who will introduce to you PETA’s Parody, “Pokemon Black and Blue Gotta Free Em All”. I totally agree with him that the images are totally disturbing especially compared to the “E- for Everyone” nature of the actual real Pokemon games.

GCPM11 said that he was highly disturbed while playing the original parody game which isn’t child-friendly the same way that the real game is, and I totally think he’s right from watching the gameplay in the parody. He also points out logical flaws with the game’s text that completely contradict the actual events of the game, and the show. The parody Ash says that he put his Pikachu in a Pokeball, when one of the points of that particular friendship is that Ash’s Pikachu doesn’t want to go in the Pokeball, so he decides NOT to force it inside (he also respects it enough not to make it evolve into a Raichu when it doesn’t want to). Also most Pokemon don’t mind being in their trainer’s Pokeballs anyway so I fail to see how that would be cruel.

I bookmarked GCPM11’s video and wasn’t going to make a blog post about, I just thought I would wind up sending it to another Pokemon fan if it came up in conversation. But, I was on Facebook, and I saw a post in an anime fan group I follow, which linked me to an ANN (Anime News Network) post about a new parody from PETA about Pokemon. You can read ANN’s post though please don’t play the game. I recently added a playthrough right below this.

As an updateThe Sanctus Nex, True Melon Aficionado a Youtube reviewer/humorist saw this post and it interested him. He happens to swear a lot but is HILARIOUS- anyway, Sanctus Nex said that he would do a playthrough of the new “Pokemon Red White & Blue” parody.

Noting ANN’s warning that “the game contains cartoon violence and links to real videos of animals being slaughtered” and Sanctus Nex’s  confirmation that there were links to it, I would say that PETA’s new parody is completely NOT child-friendly the same way the real games are. ANN said that the first parody was released right before Black and White 2 came out, and that this new parody was clearly intended to be released right before X & Y.

I stand by the Pokemon franchise and fandom despite PETA’s disrespect. I am super excited for X & Y, which I will be starting with my Pokemon partner Fennekin.

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