"I'm only human" — CMV/AMV Saturday 1/11/20

Christina Perri’s song Human can be applied to few characters as well as it is here applied to Wei Ying/Wei Wuxian of “The Untamed”.* I haven’t been this excited about an entry for the CMV/AMV Saturday series in such a long time.

Wei Ying gives everything he has and IS for those he cares about, often times without them even knowing, and he receives only pain in return. This song says it all; he can take the pain, he can put it away, he can be what they need, he can carry the weight of the world, but eventually… well, as the song says, “I can take so much, ’til I’ve had enough.” Spoilers are contained ahead for the show’s long flashback sequence. Even if you don’t read further, I highly suggest watching the video at the end of the post, because I think it’s going to impact you and perhaps convince you to watch this excellent piece of media.

Wei Ying bites his tongue and holds in his pain while living with the Jiang family, where he’s put on a pedestal by Fengmian (much to Cheng’s detriment) and abused by Madam Yu. While his adopted siblings mourn their parents, he holds his breath. He himself grieves, yes, but he puts it aside to protect Yanli and Cheng at all costs. He saves Cheng from the Wens, but Cheng–mourning for his lost core–pushes him away. He “can stay awake for days” in that he works tirelessly day and night to come up with a solution to help Cheng, and when he realizes what must be done, he does it without reservation over the cost to himself.

He fakes smiles when he returns from torment, having lost his own core and with no hope to aid his siblings without demonic cultivation. He pretends everything is fine even as it eats away at him, and no one knows what he has done for Cheng. He fakes smiles for Yanli. He’s derided at every turn by people who don’t know why he’s made the choices he’s made. He plays the part of his carefree former self, and gives everything he is to his adopted siblings.

He’s strong, capable, and HE CAN DO IT. But, in the end, he really is only human. So many unkind words have been thrown at him, so much hate. There are so many knives in Wei Ying’s heart, and yet he carries on almost mechanically. He’s holding the weight of worlds as he supports the Wen victims because they NEED him; his siblings will be okay now, but he is all the Wen’s have.

He’s turning against a hypocritical cultivation society, and now he’s hated. But he’ll get through it, even though he’s bleeding inside and out. He’s weaker now, but he carries on even as he’s sacrificed everything, including his closest relationships. It’s destroying him.

And in the end, he can take SO MUCH before he’s had enough. With Yanli’s death…

He’s lost the will to go on, even as Lan Zhan–who has desperately tried to be there for Wei Ying–begs him to stay.

(Lan Zhan regrets not doing more to stand by him for the next 13 years, bringing us to where we are as “The Untamed” begins.)

Link if video embed doesn’t work: https://youtu.be/hB2VZfA6hl0

‘Cause I’m only human

And I bleed when I fall down

I’m only human

And I crash and I break down

Your words in my head, knives in my heart

You build me up and then I fall apart

‘Cause I’m only human, yeah

-“Human,” Christina Perri

Have you watched “The Untamed?” I’m obsessed.

-Shoujo

*”The Untamed” is the live-action adaptation of MCZS, or “The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation,” as written about here.

"Gay guys who aren't really gay but are," or "This rice cooker is so simple to use…I can't mess it up!"

When you’re reading this*, I’ll be back at work. It will be my first day back after the new year, in fact! Am I ready to return? No. Am I hopeful for a good semester? Yes. I’ll also be returning to school to finish the last few classes that my injury in late 2018 and subsequent 2019 recovery prevented me from finishing. (I’m also going to have to take another elective to earn my certificate because even though I have a BA already, colleges are money and time grubbing. I’m not bitter at all.) So, it will be a busy time, to be sure. But I’m glad to be alive, aren’t you? That’s something.

Now that I’m done being dramatic about the impending trials and tribulations of higher education, I’ll move on to more joyful things; I am the proud owner of a rice cooker, and I could not be more thrilled about it. I’ve been using it fairly regularly since receiving it as a Christmas gift; I really like rice, but I’m pants at cooking it. This rice cooker is so simple to use and to wash. I can’t mess it up!

And that’s my life. It’s super dull, and yet I’m filled with anxiety nearly every minute. It occurred to me that I didn’t watch very much anime at all the last 6 months. Well, let me clarify. I didn’t watch much NEW anime. I’ve re-watched a lot of things, but the seasonal offerings lately haven’t spoken much to me, and that’s alright. I’m still OBSESSED with the MDZS-inspired webseries “The Untamed,” and I watch it basically every single day. Husband refers to them as gay guys who aren’t really gay but are. And… he’s not wrong?? Like, they so are (clarification: Wei Ying is Zhan-sexual and I will die on this hill), but… censorship. I could blog about it forever, but it’s not really anime, so… Should I? Should I ramble? Should I??

We’ll see, I guess. (I probably will.)

Anyway, after I finish this update, I’m off to work to prep for the upcoming semester. I can do dis!! (And if you’re going back to school, so can you!!!)

Love,

Shoujo ❤

*Even though the words are slightly different, I can’t help but think of the song below, so now I’m sad, but I’m not as anxious. Is that a win? No, but seriously. This song. </3


CHAPTER 5: UNSEASONABLE ACTS OF REASON (OR, “A LONGING INVOCATION OF THE CASTAWAY”) — A HARACHI FANFICTION

Summary:

“I wouldn’t call it nothing.”

“Look, nothing I can just… say!” he snaps, but then he sighs again. “I’m sorry, Hijikata-san. It’s been a long few days.”

“For Yukimura’s sake, we’re all going to pretend we have no idea what’s going on. We’re going to let you handle this at home where it belongs.” His voice is stern.

“Yes, Hijikata-san.”

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)




“So, wait, you’re tellin’ me that Chizuru’s actually knocked up?” Shinpachi holds Sanosuke’s eyes, his own brows raised. “Wow, Sano, you sure work fast!”

Sanosuke scowls. “Not so loud! I said, she might be pregnant. Might be. As in, don’t go running your mouth until we know something for sure.” He turns away, glancing over the veranda and past the compound gates.

“I’m just sayin’,” Shinpachi continues, rubbing the back of his head and stepping up to stand beside him, “you seem awfully nervous. Isn’t this a good thing? I mean, if you’re one for all that settling down sort of stuff, anyway. Quick work of starting a family.”

Sanosuke doesn’t respond, but Shinpachi’s not a fool, so he lets the silence linger. Eventually, his friend looks at him again.

“I just can’t believe it’s happening to me.”

“With how popular you are among the geisha,” Shinpachi says, waving a hand, “I can’t believe it hasn’t happened ten times over–iiiipe!”

Sanosuke shakes out his fist and sighs as Shinpachi cradles his skull. “You know,” he bemoans, “you’re gonna give me brain damage on of these days.”

“It’s a little too late for that,” Sanosuke mutters. “And you know what I mean! With the way things are, and we’re leaving for Kyoto t—”

He’s interrupted by a loud crash from the direction of the kitchen. Both men cringe hearing Hijikata’s roar (“Souji!!!!”) echo down the corridor, followed by Souji’s hysterical laughter.

“Damn,” says a voice coming from their left. He, too, stares toward the commotion. “What’s going on over there? Gen-san’s gonna be here any minute.”

“Worried about a lecture, Heisuke?” Shinpachi asks him with a nudge of the smaller man’s shoulder. Heisuke rocks back, swayed by his friend’s girth. He stumbles into Harada, who pushes him fully upright. 

“Hey, watch it, Shinpachi!” Heisuke fumes, “You know how Gen-san can be when he hears those two arguing.” He shudders. “Scary.”

Shinpachi just ruffles Heisuke’s hair with a smile. “Don’t get your ponytail in a bunch, kid. Common, there’s food waiting.” He slings an arm around Heisuke’s neck and pulls him down the hall from whence the yelling originated, Sanosuke sighing and trailing along behind as they bicker back and forth.


The dining room is a stilted affair. Genzaburo lasted all of about five minutes before soundly chastising both Toshizo and Souji, the latter of whom wore his own disgruntlement at being taken to task like a child plain across his face. Souji hums to himself as he eats his rice, amused by the whole situation, as Hajime–sitting to his left–is eyeing the tofu on his tray without expression. The whole group is oddly quiet for once when Kondou clears his throat.

“I’m reluctant to talk of these matters over dinner,” he begins, “but they are pressing if we are to move forward. We leave for Kyoto in two days’ time.”

“Time to kick some Choshu ass,” Souji smirks. Hijikata grunts. 

“The men will assemble pre-dawn; have your units ready with their supplies and ensure they’ve packed proper provisions. Finish your business.” He makes eye contact with each captain before continuing. “This is a big opportunity to prove our valor to the Shogunate. We will show them what the Shinsengumi can do.”

“What of medical provisions?” Hajime’s no-nonsense tone requests prompt clarification.

“We’ve spoken with Dr. Masumoto; he knows we may require his aid upon return. Each unit is to carry the necessary emergency supplies with their rations, as is regulation,” Hijikata commands.

“Yukimura-kun has agreed to accompany us and provide stop-gap medical support,” Kondou adds.

Sanosuke drops his chopsticks on their way to his mouth and Kondou has the grace to look abashed. As Sano coughs, Kondou answers the question in everyone’s eyes.

“She stopped by early this morning to collect some mending, and the subject arose. I saw no harm in allowing it so long as she remains well behind the front. I had assumed she’d discussed it with you.”

Sanosuke wheezes around a bite of tofu. “God-damn–.”

“Sanosuke!”

“Harada-kun!” 

“Sano-san!”

Sanosuke’s coughing as Genzaburo, having come up behind him, rubs his back fitfully. He continues to weeze until the elder’s firm slap dislodges the obstruction.

“Like hell!” Harada insists. He inhales deeply, leaning forward, and when his eyes meet the commander’s, their burning. “Chizuru will not be coming to Kyoto with us. You don’t make plans like that about a man’s wife without his permission, Kondou-san!” He punches the ground.

“I thought she’d discussed it with you, Harada-kun!” Kondou seems truly dismayed, and his hands hover in Harada’s direction. The rest of the captains are looking on, expressions varying in levels of dismay themselves. “It seemed as though it had been well talked-though…”

“God damn it,” he mutters. He rubs his eyes. “No, Kondou-san. It wasn’t. And Chizuru will not be joining us.” He sighs. “I can’t believe it…”

“Sano-san…” Heisuke’s eyes have rarely been so wide, but Shinpachi’s are full of understanding as he clasps Sanosuke on the shoulder. 

Hijikata motions to Hajime, and the latter rises. “I will make tea,” he says in the sudden stillness that has enveloped the table. As he takes his leave, Hijikata continues. “Something you want to share with us, Harada? Unexpected, to be sure, but Yukimura has done this much for us in the past, and your objections were far less vocal after the Ikedaya.” His eyes narrow.

Sanosuke shakes his head. “No,” he says, still rubbing his temples. “Nothing.”

“I wouldn’t call it nothing.”

“Look, nothing I can just… say!” he snaps, but then he sighs again. “I’m sorry, Hijikata-san. It’s been a long few days.”

“For Yukimura’s sake, we’re all going to pretend we have no idea what’s going on. We’re going to let you handle this at home where it belongs.” His voice is stern.

“Yes, Hijikata-san.”


“What is going on?” Heisuke mutters to Shinpachi beside him. Shinpachi shakes his head.




Notes:

I’m sorry I keep having drama at meals I’m sorry I keep having drama at meals I’m sorry I keep having drama at meals…

Is it better to not write until you’re in the head-space to write poetically, or is it better to actually produce some content? I chose the latter!! Anyway, your kind kudos and reviews are reaching me, and I thank you for each and every one. I have the beginning of the story actually plotted out, which isn’t something I normally do, but I’m excited about it. I think it will help me be productive. Timelines are hard!

I hope you enjoy this chapter. 🙂

Next time: What does it look like when Harada and Chizuru clash?? Find out!!

Feature a Character that You will Always Love and Remember (30 Day Character Challenge, Day 30)

I don’t know what I’ve done to my blog. Do I like this layout? Can I abide this? I was playing around (I wanted it to snow on my site!!) and accidentally lost my original theme. I was pretty distraught, but hey, things are what they are, yeah? Yeah.

I think I’d be rather fond of it, if not for the fact that the blogroll page lays out entire posts instead of excerpts. But moving on…

Day 30 of the 30 Day Character Challenge has finally arrived after like 2 years of this nonsense. I’m not sorry to see it go, to be honest. I’m just glad to finally finish it. I thought undertaking the challenge would be motivating, and perhaps it was at one time, but then–having forgotten about it–it just became something hanging over my blog. Now that it’s done, perhaps I can move onto other things without regret.

But the topic at hand has asked me to name a character that I’ll always love and remember. I’m fighting an internal battle against saying Harada Sanos–STOP, BRAIN, WE TALKED ABOUT THIS–or Hijikata Toshi–Okay, Brain, to be fair we didn’t talk about this one but STOP IT.

It’s a challenge not to pick them (or Okita Souji, honestly) because, while there are other shows that I truly enjoy and appreciate for a variety of reasons (MDZS and its live drama adaptation, The Untamed–is my current obsession), I know that I will ALWAYS, ALWAYS come back to certain Hakuouki characters even as the haze of more fleeting obsessions (Yuri, Victor, is that you??) begins to fade.

I honestly don’t WANT to pick anyone else. These characters I will love and remember because they grew so much over the course of the series. They sacrificed so much, and without getting into spoilers, their lives spoke to me on such a deep, emotionally evocative level. I laughed, I cried–who am I kidding? I sobbed–and even now, over 3 years later, I remember exactly where I was and how I felt when Souji… well, when *minor spoilers* movie-Souji met his fate.

So yes, okay, Brain, you win. For this entry, I select:

Harada Sanosuke,

Okita Souji,

and Hijikata Toshizo.

What character or characters will you remember forever? Why have they stuck with you? Let me know in the comments below! ❤

Love, Peace, Geese, and Christmas cookies!

Shoujo❀

Feature a Character that Makes You Flashback to Your Childhood (30 Day Character Challenge, Day 29)

Carry me away as light as a feather!

Chase the clouds from the ground

in the big blue sky, don’t wanna watch it all blow by

so I’m gonna fly

I’m Gonna Fly (Kiki Delivery Service), Sydney Forest

This is hardly a post, but do I really need to say anything? ❤ ❤ ❤

Feature a Character You Absolutely Hate (30 Day Character Challenge, Day 28)

When I was a kid, I used to think that Darien Shields (AKA Tuxedo Mask) from Sailor Moon was the perfect boyfriend, and I think this was merely due to the influence of his position as Serena’s right-hand man. But now, as an adult looking back and with proper knowledge of their ages, I can’t ship it, because he’s clearly an adult taking advantage of a child, and that’s just gross and wrong. Even in fantasy, I don’t understand a grown man taking a romantic interest in a 14-year-old child.

But, as a child myself much younger than that as I first watched the series, I didn’t see Serena as a kid; I saw her as a kick-butt teenager with beauty and superpowers, so his interest in her didn’t feel off at all. Not to mention I thought they were both older teenagers AND the same age, to boot.

While I wouldn’t say that I hate his character, I will definitely say that I don’t approve of his relationship with the moon princess. I find it uber creepy, and thus I chose him for this prompt today.

I’m warping the challenge, but instead of a character, I chose a ship. BUT AT LEAST I’M FINISHING IT, YES? ❤

You should have seen my face when I found out their age gap.

Feature an Overrated Character (30 Day Character Challenge, Day 27)

There are a lot of overrated characters, in my opinion. For me, a lot of them are shonen protagonists, but who am I to judge a character as overrated when someone else might sincerely like them? If I am to, can I list a show instead? If so, “Inuyasha: Feudal Fairy Tale” is overrated because I can’t make it through the first two episodes. And, on top of that, the romance between him and Kagome is insanely sub-par compared to most of the (admittedly, romance) shows that I watch, so…

Yeah. I feel bad saying it since I don’t know the whole show, but I guess Inuyasha by default. I’m sorry, guys. It’s not for me. But if the MC is cool, more power to him. I’m just bad at this prompt, and that’s all there is too it. But if you like it…

This is so short, but I just don’t like calling things that people like overrated.