Winter 2018 – Week 8

3-gatsu is back, bois. Everything in the world feels right again.

3-gatsu no Lion Season 2 – Episode 17

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Wasn’t the most explosive return you can get, but man, you really have to admire how Umino-sensei shifts the focus from one character to another. I’m pretty sure it was Rei and Nikaidou sharing the spotlight last episode, but right now they feel less like a protagonist/deuteragonist and more like benchwarmers in comparison to Yanagihara. Heck, I even felt a bit conflicted for a moment after realizing that this old dude is so badass I didn’t mind the thought of Shimada losing *knocks on wood*.

Regardless, it’s interesting to see some contrasts and similarities between the old man and Shimada (besides the fact that they both look old). While Yanagihara feels burdened by all the sashes (maybe a metaphor for hope/dreams/expectations) entrusted upon him by his friends/acquaintances, Shimada uses them as a means to bolster his own motivation to win. Of course, their situations aren’t exactly the same, but a cursory glance is enough to tell me that there’s more to that than what I’m initially seeing. The fields are greener in Shimada’s case, and it’s likely he’s hungrier for a win than Yanagihara. For the latter, it’s just another day at work — nothing new, just the same ol’ view of a burnt-out field, yet a spark is still present in the old man, albeit it’s more in the service of validating his own existence than experiencing a victory (though the two pretty much goes hand in hand).

I was a bit confused by the old man at first, however. I mean, shouldn’t he have already met all these ‘hopes’ and ‘dreams’ after taking 3-4 titles? Why would he still feel burdened by all the “sashes” even after all seemingly unsurpassable accomplishments he made to the point that it’s starting to sound like a curse to him? I don’t know. But maybe… to these people who poured their hearts and souls out in order to win, shogi is basically everything to them — it’s just that Yanagihara is too good, he doesn’t have any other choice but to win. Think of strapping your back with a rocket, aiming to reach the moon. You soared through the sky, and onto the moon, and then way, way beyond it — you’ve achieved more than what you expected, and by the time you realized you’re at the end of the road, there’s no turning back from where you are now.

Though instead of being a curse, I think it’s more like a double-edged sword, like being stuck in a Catch-22 (well, yeah, that still sounds like a curse but whichever). To a degree, the old man’s motivations are still fueled by his peers’ hopes and expectations, but his existence sinks further and further the more he indulges himself with shogi — what was once a single strand of sash turned into a dozen with a weight of a shackle. If Rei can’t support himself without Shogi, Yanagihara can’t imagine himself without it. Though right now, at this point in his career, maybe losing is just what the old man needs (and perhaps that’s one reason why he looked so eager to fight Souya? Could be).

Violet Evergarden – Episode 8

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Gilbert is too good of a man to be in a war. Though we don’t know much about the background of this guy, I think that’s sufficient enough (for me, at least) to sell the idea of why he became attached to Violet. Maybe he’s opposed to war and killing itself, and maybe he didn’t want to be a part of it in the first place, or maybe he really just sees Violet as a tool of war (which is very much unlikely), but whatever the case is, it felt like being nice to Violet helped him keep a modicum of kindness inside him that otherwise would’ve been lost to war’s atrocities.

Yuru Camp – Episode 9

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I bet the guys behind Yuru Camp are having a blast as much as the girls do. Like, I thought something was up when they played only the OP song and then it turns out it was a punchline to a comedy skit — that was defo crafty, and I can only remember a few titles who’ve done the same thing. I may have not noticed this before but the chibi profile pictures fashioned with what they’re presently wearing that’s popping up when they are messaging each other are damn adorable. There’s a chibi Rin with her helmet, a bonnet, then Fujiko and Chiako had band-aids on their faces after a little scramble over food. Yuru Camp isn’t running out of shenanigans anytime soon.

Sora yori mo Tooi basho – Episode 9

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I can just feel it. Salt water will soon run down my face once the ice thaws. But a part of me is still optimistic that Shirase’s mom is alive. How that is possible I don’t know. Maybe she met a different group of explorers from another country, though that doesn’t explain why they never heard a word from her ever since. Or maybe she really is, you know, at that place further than the universe (aka heaven). Oh, well.

Hakumei to Mikochi – Episode 8

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That was one of the comfiest action-packed episode if I’ve ever seen one. I wouldn’t be surprised if a video game of this anime came out.

Weekly Weekly-chan

Yes, I’m still busy having fun playing with my PS4. No, it’s no longer Monster Hunter World.

I’m a low-key JPRG lover kind of guy. JRPG basically is my only companion at home during my grade school up until the end of high-school. And so I Am Setsuna rekindles that long lost fondness I once had for the genre. I don’t know what it is about turned-based JRPGs, but as soon as I familiarized myself with the game’s battle system everything just felt natural, and I had this vague feeling of being whisked away to that “playroom” of mine where I’d usually spend my after-school time. It’s definitely my milieu, and it never felt awkward playing it even if it has been half a decade or more since I last played a turned-based JRPG. Maybe I should ditch my plans of buying those triple A titles for now and, you know, actually beat a Final Fantasy game. No, seriously. I’ve played Final Fantasy 1 up until 12 (excluding the one with the all-girls cast) and the only game I’ve beaten so far is FF12. I think I did beat 9 because I still remember the end-game fight but I don’t recall what happened afterward. 7 was… 7’s third disc wasn’t fucking working so there’s that. Well, whatever.

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