B-R-E-A-K-E-R-S!! Let’s go Breakers!! (On “Cheer Boys/Cheer Danshi”–DUB/SUB)

[spoiler free]

For the first time in a long while, I stumbled upon a title that I immediately felt the need to binge watch after completing only episode one. This newest show, when added to my collection of experienced anime, has taught me two things about myself…

  1. I apparently love sports anime???
  2. I definitely have an awkward 20 year old son named Wataru.

Delving more deeply into that first point, I’ll note that I discovered this title after taking the plunge and googling “anime like Yuri On Ice.” I had been afraid to do this for some time, as Yuri On Ice is pure sweet goodness to me, and I was afraid that I’d just get recommendations for boy love or yaoi (again, not my thing) due to the relationship ambiguity between Yuuri* and Victor. I am happy to say that this was not the case. I stumbled upon sports anime instead, specifically…

CHEER BOYS!! (Cheer Danshi!!)

If all sports anime is like YOI and Cheer Boys, I can’t wait to find out more.

I loved watching the relationships unfold and characters conquer their issues, working on bettering themselves in often light but always meaningful ways. I loved those moments to which I strongly related (or even those I didn’t) that made my heart hurt and pushed me to emotionally adopt every single character.

cheerboys_kasu_is_sad.png

Unlike the usual shoujo title, the men featured in Cheer Boys (a sports shonen) are not meant to be shipped with a main protagonist. Really, there was no shipping to be found at all… and that was weird for me as a general rule, but I ended up greatly appreciating it because it allowed the title to devote more time to the bonds between the men.

Men were allowed to cry. Men were allowed to feel, to hurt. Men were allowed to be passionate and excitable. Men were allowed to cheer.

Cheerboys_7group_schoolfest_gif.gif

I rapidly came to the conclusion that I wanted Haru and Kazu to be BFFs forever, and I worried at first that the introduction of any love interest might hinder that focal point, but I realized rather quickly that such an introduction thankfully wasn’t about to happen, at least in a serious way. Even if it did, while the show itself would have been hindered, the in-show universe would have remained unchanged, because Haru and Kazu are in their broship for life. My babies. ❤ ❤ ❤

This brings me to my second point: the characters. While every character brought something unique to the title and were really the driving force behind this mildly slice-of-life-y (that’s what I’m calling it now due to my limited sports anime knowledge), and I may have loved them all, not one quite won my heart like our breakout star, Wataru.

Image result for cheer boys wataru
My 20 year old awkward son, Wata. Isn’t he adorable?

Like any proud parent, I can’t help but sing his praises. The biggest element of comic relief in the series, Wata was the single greatest factor that contributed toward my need to watch anime for 5-6 hours the other night and irresponsibly finish Cheer Boys!! in one go even though I had other obligations. He is my awkward, quote-loving, blunt, socially awkward child, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. *puts them up like a boxer*

 

The art had a few awkward moments, but so do many shows, Yuri On Ice included, so I take off no points there. All in all, it’s just a fantastic title. It could have admittedly been more dramatic, but I don’t think that was the intent behind Cheer Boys from it’s inception. Rather, it features mild drama, absolute hilarity, and incredibly endearing characters. 

cheerboys_haru_smile_gif.gif

I watched the Funimation Dub of Cheer Boys, and the voice acting was very well done. I can’t help but wonder if this Summer 2016 title was hedged out of the limelight by the amazingness that was Fall 2016’s Yuri On Ice, because I can think of no other explanation for the lack of overt appreciation I’m seeing online.

No one says it’s bad, but no one is really saying anything.

Image result for cheer boys wataru
My Cheer Boys. ❤

I insist on putting some love out there on the interwebs for this show, and it all begins here~~ Go, go Breakers!! Let’s go Breakers!! ~~!!!! 

Tell me, do YOU love the Breakers? Let me know in the comments below, and share with me other sports anime that you love if you feel so inclined! I’m working on “Sakamoto Desu Ga?” and “Haikyuu!!” next, but I’m always looking for that next great marathon watch!!

While I have you here, I would also like to low-key point out that the Male Dance Team at my high school (which was amazing and won all sorts of state competitions, by the way) had all of the girls swooning with their awesome performance in an area of athletics traditionally practiced by women, so I can totally back up the realism of girls thinking that cheer boys (especially those first tumblers, Gen and Suzu as they impress the tennis court ladies) would be swoonworthy. It is highly realistic.

With Love and Warm Krispy Kreme Donuts,

Shoujothoughts

 

*You can tell that I’ve read a lot of YOI fanficiton if I’ve started to instinctively spell Yuri’s name as “Yuuri” without realizing it. I didn’t even notice until I went to proofread. Oh, well. As long as I don’t start writing Victor as “Viktor,” we’ll be okay. (;P)

 

My real-time reactions as I watched  Cheer Boys!! are found below!

FANFICTION FRIDAY (05/26/17)

fanfic3

FANDOM(S) FEATURED THIS WEEK:

“Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood”

THROUGH THE EYES OF FLAME

Xennariel

“FMAB” — UPDATING AS OF APRIL 210, 2017; 33 CHAPTERS

  • “The story of Fullmetal Alchemist told as if Roy and Riza were the main characters. Includes the years before and after the series. Slow Burn. Heavy on the Royai. Based on the manga, with just a bit of Brotherhood.”
  • It’s been a while since I stumbled upon this piece during my utter infatuation with FMAB, so my appreciation for the details are fuzzy at best, but I remember that I began reading it even before finishing the series. This story, quite simply, is an exploration of Royai throughout the years, and—being a huge Royai shipper—I loved that. I won’t insist that it is a paragon of literature, but it’s entertaining all the same, especially for someone as impatient for Royai cannon as I was at the time. I recommend it, if my memory serves.

 


If you know of any Royai fictions of novel quality, send them my way please!

TELL YOUR AUTHORS THAT SHOUJO SENT YOU, AND STAY CLASSY, MY FRIENDS, (-.^)

~Shoujothoughts~

file-page1

The Nature of Greed — “FMAB” POST SERIES, PT 2

[Massive Spoilers]


“I’m Greed,” he says. “I’m greedy.”

Image result for FMA greed gif


In a way similar to (and yet removed from) homunculus Gluttony’s all-encompassing appetite, homunculus Greed knows only want. Created by Father (or “the dwarf in the flask”) from one of said villain’s basest parts, Greed very quickly becomes his own man in that he—you guessed it—wants more than to be a pawn in another creature’s scheme.

In his pursuit of supremacy (a greedy ambition indeed), Father isolates those most sinful, human parts of himself and turns them into individual homunculi; these personifications, designed to be his “children” of sorts, assist in his ambitions, existing for little other purpose than furthering their creator’s aims. In this respect, however, Greed is different. Greed, whose very self is an outside existence of Father’s own ambition, wants more than to be an accomplice. In fact, Greed wants everything.

Image result for FMA greed gif

Greed’s desires lead him astray of the path Father chose for him, and he begins to amass his own underground band of followers sometime before the series begins. While their backstory remains incomplete, it is clear that this odd, motley gang genuinely care for each other and their leader; Greed voices no such attachment. He claims them possessions; sex, status, glory: he wants it all, and this disjointed crew is his first step to attaining fresh abet ill-gotten fruits. Or are they ill-gained? Given no glimpse into Greed’s supposed nefarious activities, an audience is left to wonder about his purported purposes, even if Greed’s explanations satisfy himself. In fact, it is long after homunculus Greed ends up in the body of our young emperor candidate, Ling, that FMAB begins to dissect the nature of this deadly sin (and homunculus Greed by extension).

To begin, it’s important to recognize that greed is not a singular trait, but rather the manifestation of wants gleaned from personality or circumstantial derivatives. As stated in the clip below:

You want to bring back someone that you’ve lost. You might want money. Maybe you want women, or you might want to protect the world. These are all common things people want, things that their hearts desire. Greed may not be good, but it’s not so bad, either. You humans think greed is just for money and power; everyone wants something they don’t have.

 

FMAB argues that greed is not a sin, but rather a defining human trait. The second coming of Greed is facilitated by Ling’s own overwhelming want to be emperor; even altruistic, his single-minded desire is greedy. He knows that it puts his clan in a position of power and thus safety. He is a good man striving to accomplish his goals for the right reasons, but he wants them achieved no matter who or what he must sacrifice in their attainment. By the standards of FMAB, this is truly greed.

Homunculus Greed leaves Father’s fold a second time upon regaining his first incarnation’s memories; it is at this moment that he realizes those things he most wanted have been taken from him, even though he only gained self-awareness in their loss. He joins up with Edward and the gang after a potentially lethal confrontation with homunculus Wrath. At first we’re left wondering, why does Greed go along with our heroes? It isn’t long before we reach an answer; adventuring with the Fullmetal Alchemist and crew allows Greed to glean that thing once lost, that thing which—to him—is worth more than anything else. In discovering that homunculi are not so different than humans, it can be ascertained that what Greed wants most…

(Skip to 1:00–the video looks dead, but it isn’t)

I wanted the chance… to have friends like these. 

Well, why not? “Everyone wants something they don’t have.” Greed lost his friends once, only then becoming self aware. This is his second chance to gain what his heart truly desires. This process is arduous, and it takes some time for Greed to accept certain truths about himself, but sharing a body with Ling helps Greed to learn what it means to be human and to embrace what one truly needs to be happy. Our heroes go through a great deal together.

At the end of our journey, Greed is willing to sacrifice himself, to die alone; he breaks his aesthetic and lies to save Ling. He cares about the man who has, within him, become his closest friend, and cherishes the lives of his companions. He cares about their goals, their wants and desires. Greed, in coming into himself, sums it up best:

(Skip to 2:00)

Looks like this is the end…. Heh, I could do without that pitiful look right now, ya piss ant. Heh. [lost in memories] Heh. I can’t believe I let Ling and the little runt talk to me that way.

Well, I’ve had enough. That’s all I really need. They gave me everything I could want. Thank you… and goodbye, my friends.

 

Knowing the nature of greed, we understand that its humunculus stands a perfect illustration of the irony behind Father’s actions; in attempting to transcend humanity, the dwarf in the flask threw away the most human parts of himself for both better and worse.

Goodbye, Greed. </3

 

 

Until next time,

Shoujothoughts

 

 

 

 

 

What did Shoujo Say? A Guide to Anime Terminology

*ever expanding*
*terms you’re likely to see me use*
*not an exhaustive dictionary*
*a friend asked for this, so now you have it*

❤ Bishie— Noun. Please see “Bishonen.”

❤ Bishonen— Noun. This term literally means “beautiful boy” or “pretty boy,” and it is used for boys and young men in possession of beauty which, in the term’s Japanese origin, is said to transcend gender. In short, “that bishonen is as pretty as a girl.” However, I contest that portion of the definition, because men can be pretty without being compared to girls. I mean, come one. Does THIS look like a woman to you?harada-wallpaper

❤ Bishoujo— Noun. Literally, “beautiful girl” or “pretty girl,” this term is used to describe girls or young women who are considered quite lovely. Sawako Kuronuma

❤ Boy Love— Noun. A genre of anime focusing on the romantic relationships between boys or men, marketed at a female audience. Often confused with Yaoi by western audiences, but different none the less.

Dandere— Noun. A character who is shy and reserved, perhaps appearing cold or aloof until getting to know someone. This character has feelings but doesn’t feel comfortable expressing them when a situation lacks familiarity.

Deredere— Noun. A character who is easily excitable, overtly sweet, and excessively but genuinely loving, especially toward their romantic interest! An example of a deredere is Tamaki Suoh from “Ouran High School Host Club.”

❤ Fujioshi— Noun. A girl/woman who has an undeniable affinity for Boy Love or Yaoi, often obsessing over the genres.

❤ Himedere— Noun. This title, reserved exclusively for female characters, references an individual who insists on being treated like a princess. Traditionally, they are fairly obnoxious. For the male version, please see “Oujidere.”

❤ Ikemen Noun. A man of indiscriminate age (but clearly a man rather than boy) in possession of cool, masculine looks enough to make women positively swoon. Morioka Hajime from “Collar x Malice” is a fine example.Image result for morioka hajime

❤ Josei— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at adult women, it often features realistic romantic situations or general drama. Josei may include comedy as subgenre. One example of a Josei title is “Princess Jellyfish.”

Kuudere— Noun. A character who doesn’t express emotion readily even amongst friends, often appearing cold or uncaring. Characters’ kuudere nature vary; while some kuudere are simply unemotional, others suppress their emotions because they cannot understand or label them, thus having no idea how to proceed but with perceived or true indifference. Some kuudere suppress all emotion; fewer suppress only serious emotion.

❤ Light Novels— A style of Japanese novel primarily targeting a young adult demographic, generally middle- and highschoolers.

❤ Megane— Noun. An attractive male anime character (often a bishonen) with glasses. There are several varieties from “stoic spectacles” to “bespectacled bastard boyfriend.” For more information, please click the link here.

❤ One True Pair— Noun. A One True Pair is a pairing (see Ship) that has become your favorite in a given fandom. The jury is out as to whether or not one may have multiple One True Pairs, or if the name itself suggests its absolute singularity. In example, I ship various characters in “Fullmetal Alchemist” including EdWin and LingFan, but my One True Pair is Royai.Image result for royai

❤ Otome— Noun. Literally a “maiden game,” otome is a story-driven game genre marketed to females; aside from the traditional plot goal, otome often includes the additional directive of developing a romantic relationship with the player’s choice of  bishonen selected from among a reverse harem. An example of an otome game is “Mystic Messenger.”

❤ Otoge— Noun. An abbreviated term indicating “otome game.” Please see “Otome.”

❤ OTP— Noun. Please see “One True Pair.”

❤ Oujidere— Noun. This title is reserved exclusively for male characters and references an individual who insists on being treated like a prince. Traditionally, they are fairly pompous. An example of an oujidere is Ciel Phantomhive from “Black Butler.” For the female version, please see “Himedere.”Image result for ciel phantomhive

❤ Seinen— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at older adolescent boys and adult men, it often features complicated or psychological plots. It includes various subgenres such as horror and mystery. An example of a seinen series is “Steins;Gate.”

❤ Ship— Noun. This term refers to the two characters being paired together by a fan during the act of shipping. Often, ships will be given fan names. In example, the ship of Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye from “Fullmetal Alchemist” is oft referred to as Royai, while the ship of Hijikata Toshizo and Yukimura Chizuru from “Hakuouki” is referred to as HijiChi. Additionally, puns can be made regarding the term, such as (upon your ship finally becoming cannon), “My ship has sailed!”

❤ Shipping— Adjective. Taken from the word “relationship,” it is the act of a fan pairing two characters together romantically, whether or not that pairing (see ship) is canonical (cannon). In example, many people ship Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye from “Fullmetal Alchemist.” Forms are: to ship, have shipped, am shipping.

❤ Shonen— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at a young male audience, shonen titles are often adapted from light novels. “Attack on Titan” is an example of a shonen title.

❤ Shoujo— Noun. A genre of anime targeted at girls and young women, it frequently (abet, not always) features idealized romance and quite often literally sparkles.Image result for magic kyun sparkles

❤ Tsundere— Noun. A character who appears cold (or even cruel) on the outside to mask their mashed potato heart. In example, Hijikata Toshizo of “Hakuouki” infamy is a tsundere, as is Taiga of “Toradora.”

❤ Tsun-tsun— Noun. Please see “Tsundere.”

❤ Yandere— Noun. Oh, gosh, someone help you. A character to appears normal (or even endearing/appealing) before suddenly turning into a possessive psychopath over their “true love.” A yandere may resort to locking the object of their obsession in a dog crate or literally killing their romantic competition. *”Amnesia Memories” spoilers* Toma from the anime and otome game “Amnesia Memories” is a classic example of a yandere.

❤ Yaoi— Noun. Often confused with Boy Love by western audiences, this is a genre of anime focusing on the sexual relationships between boys and men, marketed at a female audience.