Tag Archives: love

Kuzu no Honkai: A somber visit to love’s graveyard

A disease (or rather, trend) that most modern day romance (and romance-comedy) anime have these days is that they avoid the “darker” issues of infatuation. To them, infatuation is like that first crush in high school: bright, mellow, sometimes bittersweet. The male and female protagonist will end up together, their love made clear by their first kiss delivered amidst a resplendent background, often times with their comrades in the background, cheering “You look great together!”

But rarely do they attempt to trespass into the much darker, Freudian-esque territory, of raw dejected desire and unrequited love. The sheer taxing burden on one’s soul when one gets rejected or sees the love of their life being stolen away by a cunning vixen and being helpless to prevent it is almost never explored; and if it is, it is written off comically. This is where Kuzu no Honkai attempts to go; into the pit of despair, the graveyard where love goes to die and gets replaced by banal desire.

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To Waifu or Not to Waifu?

Lately, AV+ has been rambling on about the idea of developing synthetic relationships with cartoon characters. Basically, he takes the stance that there are many kinds of love out there, and just because a person loves a virtual character, the feeling of love exists. To quote his stunning conclusion,

Dan apapun bentuknya, cinta yang mereka dapatkan itu nyata.

My translation: In whatever form it may be, the love they receive is real.

Of course, you know that I once covered the role of moe in Japan’s population crisis. Just a quick recap: the moe industry is growing like never before and the amount of people who do not want a “real” relationship are also increasing, leading to worries that not enough people are procreating to balance the aging population.

So, back to the philosophical question: to waifu or not to waifu? 

Continue reading To Waifu or Not to Waifu?

An Observation of Love in Anime

First, a huge thanks to Hayashi Sora, for the enlightening posts that made me want to write stuff other than the sensationalist drama bullcrap I’ve been writing a whole lot about.

Now that that’s over, it’s time to explore an oftenly visited aspect of any modern entertainment: love. Yes, it’s in the movies, in bullshit YA fiction, on the net, and even in anime. It’s always an interesting subject to talk about, as it is highly subject to taste and personal preference. Considering the nature of the topic, I’ll just say here that this post is just my highly subjective take on love in anime; how it’s portrayed and what I think the future of love should be in anime.

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Matters of the Heart and Cosplay: “Real-Fiction Character Bias”

On my FB page, I posted a status update re love and cosplay. I needed to let off some steam after a bout of real-life drama involving a cosplay performance and what better way to let off steam than reading about logical fallacies to make myself seem smarter than everyone else. Then I began spamming my page with a bunch of cognitive biases and fallacies related to cosplay. A fan asked me to expand on a particular one. The result is this post. And if things look good, I might as well start a lexicon of science-y terms to help understand the world of cosplay better.

Today, let’s talk about Real-Fiction Character Bias.

First, what the fuck is Real-Fiction Character Bias (RFCB)? I would love to provide a wall-of-text to elaborate it, but I know a majority of you are lazy fucks who don’t like reading. So, let me give it to you in the form of an example.

Please look at the photo of the following cosplayer. She is Neneko from Taiwan. And before any retards start bashing me for using their favorite cosplayer as an example, chill the fuck down; it’s to make a point.

Neneko from Taiwan. Click pic for sauce.

Isn’t she always lovely? Now confess. How many of you have had experienced infatuation when seeing her photos? Show of hands please. Don’t be shy, when I was starting cosplay, I kinda fell for her too. Her Kurumi cosplays are top-notch.

But then, as time passed, I suddenly began to realize that I wasn’t infatuated with Neneko herself; no, I was merely felt infatuated because she cosplayed a character I liked.

In simple English, I did not love Neneko; I was only in love with the characters she just happened to cosplay as.

And that folks, is called RFCB.  You mistake your love for a character as love for the person behind the character.

Is RFCB dangerous?

Well, that depends on you. There are times when RFCB can totally cloud your rational judgment, leading to bad decisions. And there are also times when you can harness the power of boners to not let RFCB misguide you.

I happened to have a friend who once made a bad decision because of RFCB (although he consistently denies the fact). I just hope he’s not reading this right now. So, this friend of mine is huge Maki Nishikino fan. You know, that tsundere cum-dump from the Love Live! series. Love Live! is shit, people, wake the fuck up! It’s just a capitalistic ploy to part your from your hard-earned cash and to lure you into a dark abyss of sacrificing your life for nine school-girls.

Ahem, I digress.

Ok, so my friend is a huge Maki fan. There was this Maki cosplayer he was trying to approach. Lucky him, they started dating… for a month. They broke up shortly after a month or so. Apparently, the girl was two-timing him. Things didn’t end well…

See how RFCB can be dangerous for your life? So let waifus stay in the 2D realm. Don’t let them out; they’ll destroy your laifu.

And if you want a funnier example of RFCB, check out this shit:

Best Valentine's day heart-crushing. Sauce: Bledek Yoga Ajiningrat.
Best Valentine’s day heart-crushing. Sauce: Bledek Yoga Ajiningrat.

Yep, the power of boners is strong indeed.

Avoiding RFCB

  1. Always remember, when in love, trust your brain; your heart is fucking stupid.
  2. Remember that there are no such things as waifus in real life; they belong in the 2D world. There’s a reason they can’t come out.
  3. Love the person, not the character.
  4. And if a girl you like just happens to cosplay as a character you like, stop using her photos online to masturbate, stalking her day and night, and commenting like a fucking pervert; instead, start getting to know her better.

And that concludes this first post on a bunch of things that might seem obvious on the surface, but when you dive deeper, becomes fucking hilarious. I might do another post on what it feels like to date a cosplayer. Now back to wasting my life on Civilization V.

Partings

This is a piece of fiction I submitted to my university magazine, and I feel it’s time to make it accessible to the whole world. This story is inspired by supercell’s “Sayonara Memories”, a song I used to play during the worst of my breakup period. Please enjoy!

UPDATE: Here is the link to the sequel, titled “Calling”.

***

“Clothes… check. Shoes… check. I guess everything’s in here,”

With her two small but sturdy arms, Miya forced the pile of clothes into her large, pink suitcase. With a loud zip, she fastened the zippers and closed the suitcase. Miya let out a long breath of exhaustion. She threw herself onto her fluffy bed and stared at the ceiling.

“I’m gonna miss this bed,” she whispered.

Miya had just graduated from high school and tomorrow, she will be departing for the United States to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology. She was making her final preparations before her flight tomorrow.

Twelve beeps rang throughout the large room, making Miya’s hairs stand on end. A tiny clock was vibrating on her desk, amidst the scattered loose-leaf and books.

“Midnight already? Better get ready for bed,” she said lazily while trying to get up.

She let out a large yawn and slowly walked towards the door. Her hand was just centimeters away from the doorknob when she caught a small glitter from her desk. The sounds of paper being brushed away violently continued for a couple of seconds, followed by the thumps of books being briskly dropped to the floor. A single envelope, covered in glitter and a scribble which was supposed to be a name, was all that remained. Miya picked up the envelope and gazed at it intently. A sudden nostalgic feeling coursed through her body. Forgetting that she should be taking a hot shower and it was past midnight, she sat at her desk and stared at the envelope with a reminiscent gaze in her eyes.

***

Two weeks ago…

“Did you watch yesterday’s soccer match?”

“Yeah! Madrid really rocked, didn’t they?”

“Tsuchiya! The teacher’s looking for you!”

Almost twenty students were in the classroom, resulting in a high degree of chatter and noise. Miya sat at her desk quietly in the back row. In her hand she held an envelope covered in glitter. Her legs were fidgeting under the desk, as were her hands.

Today was the last day of classes. In two days, Miya was going to attend her graduation ceremony alongside her fellow third-years. However, Miya had one last thing to do before this day ended and it involved the envelope in her hand. Today, that envelope should be in the hands of Taku, Miya’s male friend from class 3-2. Miya had postponed this task over and over throughout her high school years. But no longer shall she delay her wish. The letter had to be in Taku’s hands by the end of the day.

Crows cawed in the crimson sky above. The cool spring breeze caused several cherry blossoms to billow away.  Miya was standing under the tree; her back slouched against the tree’s hard trunk and her hands constantly fiddling with the envelope. She took a glimpse at her watch. It was almost 4 o’clock.

“Where could he be?” said Miya. She was anxiously looking around, expecting Taku to come any minute. It was not like Taku to be late. Could he have forgotten our appointment? Miya shook her head hard. No, Taku’s gonna come. I’m sure of it.

The sun had already disappeared, its light replaced by artificial lights from the streetlamps around the tree. Miya was leaning on the trunk, covering her neck with a long, wool scarf. Her eyes looked distant and were watery. She occasionally bit her lip and muttered under her breath. In her right hand, a dim light from her cellphone illuminated her dejected face. Taku, where are you? Suddenly, Miya’s cellphone started ringing. Miya promptly answered it. After a few minutes, the caller hung up. Miya then pocketed her cellphone. She pulled up her scarf, gazed at the twilight sky, and started walking home.

***

Present day, 9 AM…

“Miya, remember, your flight leaves at 7.30 PM! Go say your goodbyes to friends and be back by 4 PM, kay?” Miya’s mother reminded her.

Miya was just getting ready to walk to school, where all of her friends were holding her farewell party. Miya was wearing a cream-white sweater, a red pleated skirt and matching red-white sneakers with knee-high colored socks. She finished up tying her shoelaces and bolted out the door while shouting, “Bye, mom!”

As she walked the hill road that led to school, Miya saw her high school life flash before her, as if her mind were projecting her vivid memories onto the buildings and walls she passed by. As Miya passed the vacant lot near the intersection, she saw first-year Miya crash into first-year Taku. Paper and books scattered everywhere. First-year Miya was constantly apologizing to an angered Taku, who was busy picking up the result of their fruitful encounter. My first meeting with Taku… how nostalgic.

Miya saw second-year Miya chatting happily with second-year Taku as she passed the stone walls of the hill road near the school building. Compared to the current Miya, second-year Miya had short hair and was slightly shorter. Ah, I remember… this was that day when I walked home together with Taku.

She continued along the road and within minutes, the school building was visible. There was nobody in sight. The spring breeze whistled in Miya’s ear as she saw second-year Miya in her sports uniform; a white nylon shirt and red short sport pants; running alongside second-year Taku on the track. Second-year Miya was smiling cheerfully at Taku, who was closely behind. Suddenly, second-year Miya slipped. Second-year Taku promptly grabbed her hand, but Miya’s momentum caused both of them to crash into the brown soil with a loud “Kyaaah!” from second-year Miya. They sat there on the track, brushing off dirt from their uniforms, as others passed, laughing at them. Second-year Miya and Taku’s eyes met and they both exchanged heartened laughs. Second-year Taku noticed a gash across second-year Miya’s elbow and reached into his pocket. A small Band-Aid was in his right hand. He told second-year Miya to stay still as he applied the Band-Aid onto the gash. Second-year Miya was speechless and blushing very hard. As expected from Taku, always coming prepared. Miya looked at her right elbow. The Band-Aid was gone, but a small scar remained.

Miya entered the building and she saw more glimpses of her past as she approached her classroom; this time, she saw her recent third-year memories. She saw herself frantically preparing decorations for the cultural festival with her friends. She also saw herself in the library, pondering over a mountain of textbooks accompanied by Taku. They were studying for finals and Taku needed tutoring help. She was lecturing Taku, who occasionally yawned. Ah Taku, you were never great at studying.

Miya was in front of Class 3-2’s sliding door. She could hear faint sounds from inside. She reached to the door handle and slid it open. Shouts and cries of joy welcomed her, along with several hugs from Sayu and Yui, her two closest friends.

***

                Present day, 3 PM…

“It’s been two weeks, huh? We shared a lot…” Miya’s eyes started to water, “…but you never told me you had a heart condition,” Miya said mournfully.

In front of her, a dark and elegant gravestone stood. The sweet fragrance of incense entered Miya’s nose, giving her a relaxed feeling. Beside the incense at the base of the gravestone, a bouquet of white roses and forget-me-nots was neatly arranged. Miya crouched in front of the gravestone and put her hands together. She closed her eyes and whispered a prayer only known to her. When she finished, she rummaged through her back pocket and produced an envelope, the same envelope which she has been holding on to. She gazed at it for a while, remembering all the memories that certain envelope contained. Her eyes started to water, but she had a sincere smile on her face. Slowly, she put the envelope at the base of the gravestone along with the bouquet of flowers. Tears started flowing down her cheeks, but Miya did not wipe them. She stood up silently and turned around.

“Goodbye, Taku. I’ll never forget you. Thank you for the memories you gave me,” Miya said, her eyes overflowing with tears and her head held high.

END