It scrapes and breathes.

I’d like to say it rattles, but it’s far too firm a grip for that; I’d like to say it pushes me to action, but all too often I find myself isolated and afraid. There’s this monster inside of me, you see, and it can strike at any moment; it makes mountains out of mole hills when it warns me about the hidden corners of icebergs ahead.

And I can’t stand not knowing, so it whispers every possibility into my ears with all the persistence of a lover crooning that her mate is worth something, and it swallows me sweetly like that last spoonful of yoghurt before you start scraping out the plastic dish.

To think it’s all because of some natural order; to think it’s all because my fight or flight reaction—that thing that’s supposed to keep me alive—makes me burn my skin with Lysol and scald it with showers…

that breathes collision for the thousandth time between the warring proveniences of my mind…

it makes me feel that I must be something fundamentally broken. That the monster roars its approval every time I step away from something due to unseen danger.

And every time I regret that step, taken or no.

(Art by Akirakirai)

~Shoujo

To Ship or Not to Ship: That is the Question -misquoted and misrepresented

“To ship, or not to ship: that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous secondhand chemistry,

Or to take arms against a sea of poorly construed AUs,

And by opposing end them? To ship: to interpret;

No surety; but by interpretation to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks

That an OTP is heir to, ’tis a compulsion

Devoutly to be wish’d. To ship, to interpret;

To interpret: perchance to canonize: ay, there’s the rub;

For in that canonization what dreams may come

When we have shuffled beyond this current material,

Must give us pause: there’s the respect

That makes calamity of so honest aversion;

For who would bear the whips and scorns of unmet longing,

The tears of unmatched emotion, the protagonist’s demise,

The pangs of despised love, the series’ delay,

The insolence of fan translations and the spurns

That patient merit of the diehard fangirl takes,

When she herself might her quietus make

With a deeper appreciation and author’s intuition? who would lacking bear,

To lust and swoon over a worthy husbando,

But that the dread of nothing at series’ end,

The disappointment of that to which once watched

No viewer returns, puzzles the will

And makes us rather bear those AUs we have

Than flock to titles which we know not of?

Thus fandom does make shippers of us all;

And thus the native hue of ‘cannon only’

Is sicklied o’er with the dreaming glimmer of hope,

And enterprises of great pith and fanart

With this regard their currents turn awry,

And lose the labeling ‘unconfirmed.’–Soft you now!

The fair HijiChi pairing, in thy creators prayers

Be all my head-cannons remember’d!”

-Willy S. with a little help from Shoujo T. ❤


*image is HijiChi fanart uploaded to Pinterest by “user”

**title image is SanoChi fanart from https://sylphalchemist.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/kiss1.jpg

Regarding the Puddle Jumper: Thoughts on Life and Love

A family member posted something on her Facebook page. It looked like this:

At first glance, this seems admirable, but there was something that I wanted her to understand for her own wellbeing, and now I want to share it with you as well, because–yes, unrelated to anime, I know–it is important.

I feel the screenshot of that text post is inaccurate. Well, let me clarify.

I mean, yes, love for the sake of loving. Be unselfish. Give. Care about others just because you do and you should. Be unconditional. We love because He first loved us. Show that love in your word and deed.

But, understanding that, always remember that you should associate and surround yourself with people who love YOU as well. A general love for humanity and want to help others is important and very good; act upon that. But personal relationships (romances and friendships) need to be reciprocal in that you are loved just as much as you are loving even if the methods of expression are different. Give and receive. 

So, you know, it isn’t wrong to say don’t stay in relationship with and swim an ocean for someone who won’t jump a puddle for you. Honestly. That’s enabling them to be selfish.

I am not saying that we should expect to be rewarded or reimbursed for loving kindness, but I am saying that life is about loving and being loved in return, unconditionally. The screenshot-ed philosophy only works when all parties involved are willing to swim that ocean. That’s the way it should be, but it sadly isn’t always the case.

Ya know?

Don’t let that sort of mentality keep you with an abusive significant other, for example, or keep you from getting out of some other sort of toxic relationship because you’re willing to go that extra mile. No, life isn’t about being rewarded, but it is about being fulfilled. We should be working for the good of others, loving others, yes! But remember that being loved is also a proven psychological need for the average human being, and you deserve to have the joy of giving and receiving that love.

And that’s all I have to say about that. 

Love,

Shoujo ❤️

My First Yandere: “What have you done!?!?”

It’s fairly safe to say that an anime viewer, regardless of their preference in genre, will at some point be exposed to the baffling, fascinating conundrum of a yandere.

The yandere will, if stumbled upon in its natural habitat, appear kindly, supportive, and cheerful at first. Don’t be fooled–unless you want to end up in a drugged stupor, tucked away in the yandere’s apartment as they protect you from the outside world, and locked in cage full of plushies if you try to escape their loving care…

No? Just me? Well, moving on then.

My first yandere experience was an explosion of emotion and a repeated aloud chorus of, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHY? WHAT? BECAUSE THIS IS SO ILLEGAL!” etc.

*”Amnesia” spoilers below*

My first yandere is Toma from “Amnesia: Memories.”

To be honest, he’s been my only yandere, but he was very well contrived in that he did exactly what I’d assume a good yandere is supposed to do; he shocked me silly.

He’s basically normal–wonderful even–for 8 of the 12 episodes. He’s endearing, helpful, and seemingly even loving.

He does, in that 8th episode, slowly start to become more possessive, but with the circumstances surrounding the heroine, it doesn’t raise a single red flag.

Until, quite suddenly, it does.

Toma goes from 0 to 60 SCARY in a heartbeat, and we are left scratching our heads as to how this character we’ve grown so fond of has become…suddenly insane.

I don’t think a good yandere is funny. I don’t think that a “yandere simulator” is an amusing game. I think that you’re supposed to be shocked and dismayed and left wondering if every small instance of possessiveness was supposed to be a warning that you were too blind to heed until…

And I now know that I like a good, romantic yandere–

–but definitely not for the reasons that I’ve seen from most anime viewers.

I’m not attracted. I’m fascinated.


Toma Yandere.jpg


What do you think? What was your first experience with a yandere?
Until next time,

“Monochrome no Kiss:” A Pinnacle Expose of Ciel’s Mind

I have a serious discussion to get down to today, revolving around “Monochrome no Kiss.” TO GET DIRECTLY TO THE SERIOUS LYRICAL INTERPRETATION, skip to the triple line break just before the embedded video. If not planning to skip, read on.

Rambling rife! Word economy not undertaken. NO apologies will be issued. You have been warned.


Today, I started writing in attempting to escape. As I began what was intended to be a brief explanation of my feelings, my fingers took on quite the mind of their own. I found myself revealing far too personal information, readers. This blog is anonymous for a reason, after all. So, in starting my post over, I will say that—though I am upset, stressed out, (also probably a little dramatic, admittedly—but we can’t always help how we feel) and ready to just scream at everything, “FORGET IT!!”—I will instead turn to you, random computer anime friendly people (is that a proper term of address, dear readers?), and ask you to help me forget my woes. I am so tired of trying to do the right thing and being bested at every turn by the powers that be. The frustration is real. I could use a little anime-inspired distraction.

Being an English major and literature lover, I am overtly familiar with lyrical interpretation. I was graded on it, you know? I love such analysis, and I do so frequently as a pastime. SO TODAY I WANT TO DISCUSS MY INTERPRETATION OF A SONG THAT I LOVE—“Monochrome no Kiss” by Sid. (The theme song from “Black Butler” season 1!)

Before you get bored and turn away, trust me when I say I’m not going to get super annoying and technical about it, because—regardless of what a highly formulistic professor may say (PICK A SCHOOL! PICK A PHILOSOPHY!)—that is not what interpretation is about. I’m not going to write you a paper here, I just want to talk. ❤


On YouTube, I found a singer who calls himself “Shadels (Shadowlink4321).” Truly named Daniel Alvarez, the guy’s got skill, yo. He sings an English cover of the song “Monochrome no Kiss,” and it captured my heart. I listen to it now, in my emotional state, and I want to cry, guys (which might just be me, but he’s still really talented). It’s a real thing.

His (and Y. Chang’s) translation’s lyrics are as follows:

I close my eyes, the touch of your fingers
Through monochrome the memory lingers
Into your hands I’m resting the pain inside me

I clear my mind, of this unforgiveness.
All of my scars, and all it’s traces
You and me, I see
A dream of blind destiny

And it’s into your arms I’m melting
And it’s the first time I’ve ever felt like this
You are the hand that’s dealt me
The tempter sealing my fate
With a kiss

And in a flash, the stars align
I search beyond the words, wanting a sign
But lost inside your eyes
Lies become clearer to see
They tell a different story
So take the reins and don’t let go
I want this pain to scar deep, for I know
All our past receives healing, with memories concealing,
We cry to the light of the moon.

This night’s become a wonderful haven
And in my heart, it’s what I’ve craven.*
Addicted to this sea.
I’ve even lost the need to breathe.

And it’s out of my life, you’re fading.
And it’s the warmth of your arms I still desire.
Stuck all alone, I’m praying
to never share my one kiss with a liar.

And in the dark, I’m left alone.
My heart inside is losing every tone.
And spotting all your lies,
Wise of this path to be free
I’m writing a new story
I fall asleep to tainted dreams
I know that there is more to all that seems
Wanting all my desires to never retire,
I live by the light of the moon.

And it’s straight to the sky, I’m flying
And it’s the knowledge that you will not be there
Struggling through, I’m trying
To find my own escape out of this snare.

And in a flash, the stars align
I search beyond the words, still wanting a sign
But lost inside your eyes
Lies become clearer to see
They tell a different story
So take the reins and don’t let go
I want this pain to scar deep, for I know
In spite of every sign crying this night to be true
The sun will rise without you

So here’s another kiss
To tainted bliss
A toast to empty promise
With virtue pretending love as our ending
We fall by the light of the moon

*I choose to believe the line should read, “I’m craving,” because it makes perfect sense and “craven” is not a verb. Typo? Linguistic mistake? Doesn’t matter, moving on.




Having read this, take a listen to the song as it plays below, and then we can begin our discussion around a central theme: “Monochrome no Kiss,” as transcribed, is a PERFECT representation of the show from which it stems. It is a pinnacle, a figurative expose, and an ultimately accurate portrayal of Ceil’s relationships with his demon, himself, and his world (including those non-demonic entities that said world inhabit).

Song:

Before we begin, I must be clear. This show is not shonen ai. There is no love or romance between Ciel and Sebastian. “Monochrome no Kiss” is, however, rife with seemingly romantic imagery, both entirely figurative and entirely perfect. Sebastian is a demon, and as such, the temptation he presents, while not sexual, can be easily expressed in those terms. Please also keep in mind that you are being subject to my interpretation and, as such, nothing can be spoken of definitely, though for the sake of brevity I will do so here. Finally, this is a narration from Ciel’s mind. Ciel is fighting a battle within himself. What Sebastian thinks or feels has no bearing on the interpretation, and is a discussion for another day. And so, without further ado (as I often say) we begin.

Let us go segment by segment.

“I close my eyes, the touch of your fingers
Through monochrome the memory lingers
Into your hands I’m resting the pain inside me”

Ciel’s mind reaches back. He remembers that time when his contract was made. Though his life has become black and white in comparison to it’s once happy, youthful color, he can remember through the present to that final time when everything was truly alive in color–everything was awash in crimson, painted with his blood. Ciel recalls sealing his fate, and throwing his desperation and pain into the hands of the only entity that answered him, the demon he would come to name Sebastian.

“I clear my mind, of this unforgiveness.
All of my scars, and all it’s traces
You and me, I see
A dream of blind destiny”

As he makes the contract, the horribly broken, tortured, abused Ciel is able to clear his mind and take Sebastian’s hand, using him as a lifeline to escape his fate and falling into a dream of his destiny. As stated in “Book of Circus,” any normal child who went through what Ceil went through would never be able to function again. Ceil can only function because he has Sebastian. This is that moment in which Ciel’s future is realized.

“And it’s into your arms I’m melting
And it’s the first time I’ve ever felt like this
You are the hand that’s dealt me
The tempter sealing my fate
With a kiss

”

Ciel makes the contract, and with that contract comes the overwhelming power and capability brought by summoning and mastering a demon. He’s never felt like this before. Sebastian is that hand that has been dealt to him in life, the orchestrator of Ciel’s fate, his tempter, promising him a better future (at least short term) than the death and suffering from which he flees.

“And in a flash, the stars align
I search beyond the words, wanting a sign
But lost inside your eyes
Lies become clearer to see
They tell a different story
So take the reins and don’t let go
I want this pain to scar deep, for I know
All our past receives healing, with memories concealing,
We cry to the light of the moon.”

The moment the contact is made, everything becomes clear to Ciel. He tries to reason what he’s just done–to see beyond what Sebastian has painted for him merely by existing–but he’s lost in the promises of what this new power and capability can mean in besting his enemies. Ciel has been warped by torture and pain. The little boy he was is no more. (Ciel says many times, after all, that he has forgotten even how to truly smile.) The lies spoken of here (those that paint a different story) are those that promise a form of salvation, even as Ciel knows that his soul is forfeit. At the moment, Sebastian IS his only salvation. The revenge (or more aptly, opportunity) he offers tell a story other than that of his true ultimatum: damnation.

Ciel, though often boasting the king’s position in the chessboard that his life has become, knows inside that without Sebastian, he could not continue to function. (Again, we’ve touched on this here and the show touches on it in “Book of Circus.”) Thus, he throws himself to the wolves (Sebastian, as it were) and allows himself to be saved (damned, as it were), as contrary as that sounds. As Ciel says at the end of season 1 (Though I know it is not cannon, it is aptly characterized.), he wants the pain to be a mark. In this instance, however, it is not a sign of a life lived; it is an assertion that, upon this contracting, his pain will no longer matter. It will “heal.” He will only remember at night, when it seems that we all, as humans, remember those things that we’d rather forget. It also signifies that his life is now lived in the figurative darkness of night.

“This night’s become a wonderful haven
And in my heart, it’s what I’ve craven.*
Addicted to this sea.
I’ve even lost the need to breathe.”

(*Consider rather, “I’m craving.”)

We’ve moved past the point at which the contract was made. Back at present, Ciel insists that his life has become want he expected it could be at that moment of clarity (when the star’s aligned, as it were). Ciel has become that young man we know him to be in the series. He is comfortable in role, though not truly happy. He is ambitious; he is dark. He no longer runs from evil, as he did when he cried out that night of the contract for aide, but rather revels in its execution for his own gain. In a sense, he masters evil personified, Sebastian.

“And it’s out of my life, you’re fading.
And it’s the warmth of your arms I still desire.
Stuck all alone, I’m praying
to never share my one kiss with a liar.”

(Here, our interpretation can go one of two ways. The subject identified by “you” could shift to encompass those left in Ciel’s life which whom he still feels a lingering emotional connection (think Lizzy), or it could remain as an identifier for Sebastian. I quite prefer one over the other (the “Lizzy” one, to be fair), but I will include both.

A) If season 1 had been entirely cannon, these lines would be easy to interpret. Sebastian leaves Ciel, and Ciel does not know what to do when he finds himself seemingly abandoned by his demon. (Remember, Sebastian did not actually leave him permanently; their contract was maintained; Ciel can still spiritually function.) Ciel is alone and desperately wonders if his demon, who promised  not to leave him until his goal is realized, has lied.

B ) “You” has shifted to represent those in Ciel’s life that he still feels lingering attachment to. Think Lizzy, for example. Those people become less important to him in the course of his demon-aided pursuits. His old life is becoming in some ways meaningless, and he recognizes this with a mental panic. He does still care for these people that he has always known. He still desires that warmth of human contact, though his life has grown cold, cynical, and fixed upon one goal. He finds himself desperately hoping that the future painted for him by Sebastian at the moment of contract is worth his sacrifice. This is also a form of self-delusion, because Sebastian never lied to Ciel directly. He warned Ciel frankly that Ciel would, in the end, loose his soul. He never painted himself as true salvation, but rather as the only salvation at hand.

“And in the dark, I’m left alone.
My heart inside is losing every tone.
And spotting all your lies,
Wise of this path to be free
I’m writing a new story
I fall asleep to tainted dreams
I know that there is more to all that seems
Wanting all my desires to never retire,
I live by the light of the moon.”

(Please note that “you” now again references Ciel’s demon and will continue to so do.)

In his black and white, monochrome abyss–his mental state-Ciel is left bereft of those attachments he once had to his happy childhood and truly emotional, human existence. He withers. He sees that the future he envisioned at the moment of contract is hollow. He still refers to these visions as Sebastian’s lies, but this is still a form of self-delusion or self-preservation, as we have established that Sebastian never directly lied to his “young master.” While Sebastian has no compulsions about honestly or morality, is not in the demon aesthetic to lie. Ciel, in his recognition, mentally attempts to alter his thoughts, knowing that it would be wise to break way from the path he’s taken to becoming the young man he now is. Alas, it is futile. Ciel knows that there is a truth (an untainted view of life–Remember, Ceil’s views, personality, and goals have become very warped since his torture.), in contrast to the lies (his current perspective) in which he now lives, but he has been tainted, and there is, for lack of a better term, no going back. As Ciel has said, things that are lost can never be recovered. The old Ciel is gone. He lives his life in his current manner now. He is the Ciel that in the series we know.

“And it’s straight to the sky, I’m flying
And it’s the knowledge that you will not be there
Struggling through, I’m trying
To find my own escape out of this snare.”

Even knowing that it is impossible, the part of Ciel that is still pure cries out for redemption, freedom from the self-imposed exile from those he once felt connection with and escape from damnation of the soul. Even though that part of him so badly craves freedom and a return to truly living as he might have, that same part is still terrified of being without his demon. Again, Ciel is a normal child bereft of Sebastian. It is a truth and promise that Ciel cannot psychologically function without the support of his demon, as any normal child could not function having been exposed to that level of torture and depravity. We see how deeply Ciel’s scars run in the plot line revolving around Baron Kelvin. Ciel literally clings to Sebastian like a lifeline. And yet, inside, Ciel struggles.

“And in a flash, the stars align
I search beyond the words, still wanting a sign
But lost inside your eyes
Lies become clearer to see
They tell a different story
So take the reins and don’t let go
I want this pain to scar deep, for I know
In spite of every sign crying this night to be true
The sun will rise without you

”

Ciel has not changed. His does not and cannot deviate from his path. (Remember when Fred Abberline lay dying and says that Ciel could have a normal life, if he chose, and we as the audience were forced to disagree no matter how much it hurt us to know as much?) Part of Ciel rebels, yes, but the greater part is still taken. The greater part is still driven absolutely by his goals, his revenge, his game. He will still rely on and attach himself to Sebastian in spite of, or rather because of, his psychological trauma–Sebastian will be his “salvation.”

Now, when he feels that horrible pain (in that all of him feels the pain of his bloody past and part of him is lost in current regret/despair), he does not believe that it will “heal,” only to be felt at night. Rather, he wants the pain to scar as a curse upon him, a mark, because he knows that, despite the way the better part of him feels or makes himself believe, this situation is…wrong. He can’t deny as much, at least not to himself. And even it is wrong, even if every sign points that he is down a path of damnation, he will continue to walk it as if it alone were salvation.

“So here’s another kiss
To tainted bliss
A toast to empty promise
With virtue pretending love as our ending
We fall by the light of the moon”

Ciel renews his commitment. Ciel knows the truth inside himself, and in spite of this continues down his path. He carries out his duties and goals wearing the Phantomhive name and without remorse or visible regret, working toward a single minded salvation. He plays the game. He uses his pieces. He poises himself an earl, that being his own aesthetic and virtue. Eventually, living in the monochrome that is now is life, he will fall and die, with Sebastian standing and waiting by his side.


If you’d like to see more of such interpretation, comment and share. Let me know your own thoughts. I don’t think I’m the only one moved by the poignancy of Sid’s creation.

If you want, you can find me on WordPress (obviously) and Twitter.

Until next time, I leave this with you. May it find you well.

Watch Along: Ouran High School Host Club, Ep. 9 (DUB)

Blogger’s Note:

This is the second recording that my friend, Ginger, and I made together. It was so fun having a guest for the Watch Along, and she’s really come to think that Ouran is pretty darn awesome. I mean, who wouldn’t right?

I have not listened to it yet, so I have no idea how it turned out! But I shall presently!

Follow me on WordPress or Twitter for updates and random-ness!! 😀

And keeping you waiting no longer shall I be!!! WE WERE ALMOST IN TEARS WITH LAUGHTER BY THE END!


A Challenge from Lobelia Girl’s Academy!

[Spoilers Ahoy!]

P.S.~~~~~~~

ouran-ep-9-title

I hope all my dear readers are having a good weekend. Sending hugs your way!

‘Til next time!

Watch Along: Ouran High School Host Club, Ep. 8 (DUB) –“VLOG! PODCAST?”

Blogger’s Note:

This Watch Along is a first! I had a guest with me today, my friend “Ginger.” I decided to do something a bit different to accommodate our mutual commentary, and Ginger was a great sport. Ginger isn’t super into anime like I am, so…well, just watch and see! How can you not love Ouran?

Let me know what you think! Is it a podcast? Is it a vlog? Well, it’s all Ouran so I guess it doesn’t really matter! It’s going to be something new, that’s for sure. Following along with the action should be easy as the Ouran background audio is quite clear, making it simple to know which moments garner which reactions without the usage of time stamps or screenshots.

We’ve recorded two tonight, but I’ll leave this one here for now!

Without further ado…

The Sun, the Sea, and the Host Club!

[Spoilers Ahoy!]

-Shoujothoughts

P.S.~~~~~

ouran-ep-8-title-image