心清し: Heart Purity in Anime

It’s an interesting concept and one I find fascinating. It’s a lofty goal and one I have for myself: having a pure heart. But what does it mean to have a pure heart? It is a question that has so many answers. Everyone will have his/her definition of pure in heart. Basically, it means that the person is either pure good or pure evil, without any mixtures between the two, whatsoever since pure means not being mixed or adulterated. Those who have this rare trait are free from any kind of hypocrisy and say what they really believe in their heart. Achieving purity of heart also happens to be the goal of a number of religions and philosophies. It’s also something mentioned in anime, mostly the Dragon Ball series.

Indeed, in Dragon Ball the main character (you may have heard of him), Goku is said to be pure of heart. It’s one of his defining characteristics as he is highly loyal to his friends and family, even willing to sacrifice himself to save others. Having heart purity is also a prerequisite for certain techinques and abilities such as the Spirit Bomb and riding the Nimbus Cloud. It should also be noted his pure heart allowed him to keep his body in the other world for eternity. A reward that only few characters in the entire universe were able to get.

With all that said, I think it’s a good idea to discuss what heart purity isn’t because I used to struggle with understanding it at one point in time.

Being pure of heart does not mean you’re a perfect person. The simpliest way to put it is that it means being honest with yourselves and others. Having no malicious or ill intentions in your actions. Even Akira Toriyama has stated that Goku has poisiouous traits so there are negative aspects to having one such as being too forgiving, failing to take others’ feelings in consideration, and being naive which can inadvertantly cause trouble for others.

It’s harder to have a heart of pure good than pure evil. Not much else to add except that being pure good doesn’t necessarily make one immune to having any evil.

It’s not a fixed state, and one can obtain a pure heart. In othe words, it’s something you have to constantly work on because you can lose it. On the flip side, if you don’t have a pure heart, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to eventually have one.

You can still do bad things even if you are pure of heart. That’s not me encouraging anyone, mind you. What I’m saying is that pure-hearted characters (like Goku) have killed, though the characters they’ve killed tend to be antagonists who gave them no alternatives.

I mentioned Dragon Ball because there are a number of characters who are pure of heart such as Goku, Gohan, Goten, and Chi-Chi (are you noticing a pattern here too?), but the concept isn’t explored that much in other anime. Still, with this post I’d like to name some characters I believe are pure of heart or at the very least good contenders for having one. Note: With that said, everything below is pure opinion. None of the creators or writers for the characters have ever, at least as far as I know, explicity stated that the characters are pure of heart. But I think with their personality traits and how some of the others characters describe them in their respective series, it can be argued that they in fact do have a pure heart.

Monkey D. Luffy

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In the One Piece x Dragon Ball Z crossovers, the Flying Nimbus caught him and he didn’t fall off.  The cloud can only be ridden by someone with a pure heart. Anyone who attempts to do so merely falls, though one can circumvent this by holding onto a pure hearted rider. Anyway, with that said, Luffy is a carefree, happy-go-lucky who has an big ambition that can only be matched by his appetite. Optimistic to the letter T, and whilst his character design might have him come off as dumb or obnoxious, he is anything but.

Luffy is intensly loyal to his crew members and his willing to risk his life for their well-being. He’s very fun-loving and aventerous which makes sense since his dream is to become King of Pirates. He is also highly creative. This tends to be reflected in his fightng style, where Luffy is capable of turning the silliest attacks into dangerous moves. His unwavering belief/confidence in not only himself, but his friends and allies is something admirable.

Lucy Heartfilia

When the only thing bigger than your heart is your… eyes. Yeah, let’s go with that. Lucy is arguably the kindest character in all of Fairy Tail. She treats her Celestial Spirits as people instead of tools or shields. Even though she does techniqually “own” them, she prefers to be called their friend instead and will go to great lengths so they can achieve happiness too. She’s shown to be forgiving and rarely holds grudges. The only exception was her dad, but she eventually forgave him and cried after learning of his passing. She’s willing to offer her friendship to people who were literally going to kill her a few minutes before. She readily accepts sincere apoligies from others and again, is willing to help them when the situation calls for it.

There’s even a time where her future self goes back in the past in an attempt to save all of her loved ones from death. That’s some dedication right there and it shows that she hasn’t changed much or at all in the future since her future self is also willing to sacrifice herself for her past self.

Belldandy

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I tend to dub Belldandy as the “Mr. Rogers of anime” and there’s definitely truth in that. Even for a diety, Belldandy is noted for being exceptionally kind-hearted and patient. When she’s first introduced she’s shown to habour no negative judgement toward Keiichi despite him not having the highest opinion of himself. She does her best to be empathetic toward those around her and also isn’t the type to hold grudges. Indeed, she’s willing to forgive others who do her wrong. She really does have the patience of a goddess, which makes sense since she is one.

Because of her pure heart, she tends to be naive and is often being ignorant of the true intentions of those who obviously want to hurt her. This is at times used for comedic effect as some antagonists eventually directly let her know what they were trying to do. Despite her being wellmeaning, Belldandy is shown to be insecure and jealous at times (this is what I mean that having a pure heart doesn’t mean you’re a perfect person), especially when it involves Keiichi.

Emilia

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We love Emilia. At least Subaru and I do. I’m still rooting for her to become the 42nd King of Lugnica. From the beginning, she showed dedication to her people. She wants every citizen to be equal and stated she won’t require any special treatment if she realizes her dream. Not only that, when Emilia is first introduced in the anime, you can already understand what kind of person she is. Even though she’s going through a bit of trouble herself, she doesn’t hesistate to help Subaru and a little kid with no expectation of them returning the favour. She puts others before herself and that’s her best quality.

She does the things she does because she wants to. Not because it’s convienent or there’s some other motive behind it. She is who she says she is (even though she’s humble and will try to deny it), and her intentions are neither malicious or deceitful.

Yuugi Mutou

No, not the pharaoh. I’m talking about the real Yuugi. Yuugi is a timid and child-like character. He loves gaming and puzzples. He even solves a special kind of puzzle that helped him out a lot in his life. You may have heard of it. In fact, when he was solving it, he made the wish that he could make friends. He does, and he makes some great ones as a matter of fact. Initially, he shows a lack of confidence in his abilities, but is still willing to help his loved ones. As the series progresses, he’s shown to have gained confidence in himself and is a more powerful duelist and gamer as a result.

Shadi once stated that the boy has no malice or evil in his heart when he explored Yuugi’s soul room. This doesn’t mean Yuugi doesn’t get angry or annoyed, as he has, but he is willing to forigve people. I mean, he considers Kaiba a friend despite the fact Kaiba kidnapped his grandpa and dueled him into submission. He even had Yuugi and his friends call an ambulance because he had far too much money to be expected to do it himself. Also, despite the fact Kaiba made it harder for Yuugi to enter the finals in Duelist Kingdom, Yuugi still saved Kaiba’s soul. The King of Games has shown to also have a big heart.

Having a heart as pure as a pearl is a difficult task, but one I believe is worth pursuing. It’s the ultimate goal in my life, and whilst I’ve had a few people who assert I’ve already achieved such a feat, I always feel that there’s room for improvement and to do better. Having a heart as spacious and open as the sky. Always wanting to do the right thing for the greater good, even when they’re surrounded by negativity you never lose your moral compass or idealism. Anyway, are there other anime characters you believe are pure of heart? What do you think of heart purity in general?

That’s all I have to say, thanks for reading!

そんじゃ あばよ!!

Happy Birthday to Me!!!~

I don’t know why, but when it comes close to being my birthday I end up lamenting being my favourite age which is the age I am before my birthday. Then when the next birthday comes I have the same feeling. Rinse and repeat. But now I’ve been on this planet for 28 years. Golly, that’s something isn’t it? I want to live to be at least 100 so I got 72 more to go!

I’ve recently discovered or (according to the fact I’ve liked these videos, but don’t remember when I did) rediscovered my love for Japanese techno and house! I should make something revolving around that because the music is incredible! Speaking of incredible, I also have a new love in the form of Japanese ambient music!

It all started with this album finding its way into my YouTube alogorithim and it was smooth sailing from there! If you like what you heard, there are others like this! I find it to be great music to read, meditate or relax to!

That’s all I have to say, thanks for reading!

そんじゃ あばよ!!

Consistency

Is obviously what I don’t have when it comes to this blog. Lol, hello, everyone! How have you been? Great I hope!

I’m a bit embarrassed because I haven’t been logging on WordPress for quite some time. I just took a look at my last post and that was back in late September. And there was a time I said I wanted to be more active on the Internet. Well, I have been, but not here. I sure hope I can change that. Another bummer is I have yet to upload anything on my vlog. Golly, I’ve been talking the talk, but not walking the walk it seems. On the brighter side of things, I’ve been waking up early with the intent of being more productive so I can do more stuff like write posts on this blog!!! Not only that, but my Yoshiko Tsushima T-shirt came in a few weeks back.

I was just writing in my journal the other day about being consistent and I realize success has a lot to do with that. That’s how I got in shape, that’s how I learned Japanese, by keeping at it and giving it my all. The results will eventually be where I want them to be. I hope you keep that in mind with whatever you want to do. I know you can do it!

I don’t really have much else to say, but I’m hoping I can get back on schedule, any schedule with this writing. I don’t want exercising and reading to be the only things I do every day! I have this one writing I hope to post soon regarding anime characters and heart purity. Oh yeah, I’ve also been writing reviews on Myanimelist. Well, I only have one right now, but I’m gonna write more as the anime seasons go by. I don’t know if I’ll post ’em here, but if I do, you’ll know!~

That’s all I have to say, thanks for reading!

そんじゃ あばよ!!

The Realest Shit I’ve Ever Wrote

Haha, do you like the 2Pac reference? I know I do. But anyway, I remember saying what I’m about to type a few times online already and I’ve said it a number of times offline to others when we had conversations, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted it on here. That’s no good! With all that said, I don’t think it’ll be word for word, but the message/theme will still be intact regardless. It’s in bold so everything that comes after it won’t be mixed up.

When you say or do something, especially to someone, you got to ask yourself sometimes, “Whatever is my purpose?” “What is my goal?” “What am I trying to get across?” Because it seems to me that for a number of people the only thing they want to do is hurt someone.

I’m not saying all my social interactions or what I say or do are pristine, or of the greatest quality either. But I think with this thought, I’ve definitely been more thoughtful (hee) of how I carry myself and how I interact with my fellow human beings. I understand that not everyone has the gift of self-awareness, but at the very least, I believe people are aware of the kind of energy they give off when they say or do something. Whenever someone is criticizing or insulting someone, I’m sure they know that their intentions are negative. Just like on the flip side, if someone compliments or lets someone else know they appreciate them, they know their intentions are positive.

These particular thoughts of mine have been inspired a bit by not only some of the jerks I’ve seen online, but the jerks my brother has told me about. Like treating your autistic stepson like he’s a dog, I don’t see the point. Or letting your atheist daughter know she’s not getting anything for Easter because she doesn’t believe in God. Again, from my view, it just looks like your intention is just to hurt her. Now, if that is her (the mom) intention, then I’m sure she’s definitely accomplished it, but she’s incredibly stupid (sorry) so there’s a part of me that doubts it.

I don’t know, mayne. Whatever happened to the golden rule? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? “Treat others as you would like to be treated”? I’m sure this is something that is taught when we were kids, I know it’s something I learned when I was a child. What, were these people asleep or absent from their class when it was being taught? Okay, even if they never heard of it, I would hope people would eventually come to the same conclusion I have when it comes to other people: That people are just as real and important as I am. They too have a life, people they love, people who love them, emotions, thoughts, desires and fears, likes and dislikes, and have a story that’s worth sharing.

That’s all I have to say, thanks for reading!

そんじゃ あばよ!!

Muv-Luv Alternative PV

Muv-Luv Alternative is definitely one of, if not the best visual novel I’ve ever read. What Fullmetal Alchemist is to me regarding anime and manga is what MLA is to visual novels. Anyway, the anime adaption is set to premiere October 6. The promotional video previews the opening theme song “Rinne” (“Reincarnation”) by V.W.P and the ending theme song “Tristar” by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION. 

I am interested on how this will be adapted since Alternative is actually a sequel to 2003’s Muv-Luv and its second half, Muv-Luv Unlimited. One thing of note is that the original voice actors from the visual novels aren’t reprising their respective roles in this anime. Kind of a bummer, and I have a feeling that’ll also be the case for the other characters like Kouzuki-sensei, Marimo-chan and characters from the other squad. There is a bit of worry in me for this adaption though since they’re jumping into Alternative, I’m wondering how the story will be written for a watcher who has never read any of the visual novels. I understand adapting from the very beginning might’ve been kind of silly since this is the part every consumer loves, but getting the full experience will make watching it more satisfying.

Of course this brings the question of “Should I read/play the visual novels?” If you have any fleeting interest in visual novels, then the answer is a Yes! No, strike that, reverse it! Hell yes! Anyway, I hope the studio is able to give this series justice. I’ve watched a few adaptions of other visual novels I’ve read and liked and they were nowhere near as good. I’d like this to be an exception.

That’s all I have to say, thanks for reading!

そんじゃ あばよ!!

60 Years of Anime

Hello everynyan!

I just wanted to take the time to share an interesting video I recently came across. Basically, it’s a video showcasing anime starting from the early 1960’s with Astro Boy and ends with the 2010’s. Every time the video enters a new decade, a new song/OP starts.

I like these type of videos because to me it shows that anime wasn’t always a popular as it is now, and whilst it had its fans outside of Japan even back then, it was at its core (and still is) a medium made by Japanese people for Japanese people. Starting with Astro Boy was a smart move too instead of starting with say, Namakura Gatana. You might be familiar with the latter as its one of the earliest examples of anime. Anyway, Astro Boy is a better place to start because it’s only one of the most successful anime and manga series of all time. Not only that, but it had great importance in developing the medium, and it was created by the Godfather of Manga, Osamu Tezuka.

I don’t know if I should be embarrassed or not that I’m able to recognize so many of the anime in the video. I love how the quality of the art/animation goes as the video progresses. Older anime for sure has its own special appeal. Not taking away anything with digital, but the fact artists and animators had to draw EVERY single frame… that’s when you know you really had to love what you were doing.

That’s all I have to say, thanks for reading!

そんじゃ あばよ!!

Is Dragon Ball GT Worth Watching?

Dragon Ball GT has always been seen and treated as the red-headed stepchild of the franchise (even more so with Super being a thing). I don’t know of anyone who holds it in any positive light other than my best friend who does like it. Good for him for having an opinion that goes against the grain. Anyway, with me currently re-watching Z Kai it had me wondering whether I should give it another watch or just immediately move on to re-watching Super after the final episode.

Again, with Super being part of the Dragon Ball lore now, the argument of GT not being canon is probably stronger now. Unlike everything else, it is not based on any existing work by the creator, Akira Toriyama. While he did do the character designs for the series, I’ve read he wasn’t involved with the story. Remembering the time I watched the Broly Super movie, I did recognize when Toriyama’s writing was involved (which it really was if you compare Broly in that movie compared to the Z trilogy). So GT does feel like it’s missing something that its predecessors had.

I remember loving GT when I watched it as a kid. Then when I became an anime fan, I watched it again and ended up not being enthusiastic about it to say the least. There aren’t unredeemable qualities about it, I still enjoy the Super Saiyan 4 design, Baby (why is that a name for a villain?) is still a great antagonist, Super 17 too even though his arc was the shortest in the entire anime. My biggest gripe about GT isn’t the fact it’s not written by Akira Toriyama, but I feel that GT tried to combine elements from the original Dragon Ball and Z and lost its identity along the way and couldn’t find its own originality.

Vegeta’s mustache was an omen for the awful things to come.

For example, Goku was inadvertently wished back to a child. It’s a nice nod to the original series when he was a kid, but he remains that way for the entire show! It definitely went on longer than it should have and it still makes no sense to me how he can be an adult when he becomes a Super Saiyan 4. I guess the writers made him a kid so he wouldn’t be as strong or couldn’t stay a Super Saiyan 1, 2, or 3 for very long? If that was the case, it would’ve just made sense for his enemies to be stronger instead.

GT does have its positives. Again, the SS4J transformation has maintained popularity over the years. It was a radically different form compared to the previous ones and it looked awesome!

The end sequence is by far the best anime ending to any of the Dragon Ball series, considering it was at the time, thought to be the final time you’d see Goku and his friends!

I wish Super 17 was given more time to shine. His Electro Eclipse Bomb was a nice attack, and some of the lines in the English dub were hilarious!

Super 17: “I admire your ability to stand up after that.”
Vegeta: “And I admire your ability to die!”

Nuova was also the best shadow dragon if you ask me. I would’ve preferred him to have been the final villain instead of Omega.

I have a feeling I’ll give GT another watch. I don’t hate it like a number of other people, but I can understand why it was and still is seen with such a critical eye if it’s looked at as the successor to one of the most popular anime in the world. If you love any and everything Dragon Ball, yes it is worth watching. I will say though that you should slant your expectations and instead see it more as an average to above average shounen anime.

Some of Dragon Ball Z’s Movies Had Great Soundtracks

The English dub/Funimation that is.

Instead of using the original Japanese tunes and dialogue, a number of the Dragon Ball Z films instead included licensed songs for Goku and the Z Fighters to duke it out to when it came to the extraterrestrial enemies that threatened the earth. The Cooler’s Revenge movie has an incredible soundtrack of licensed songs from bands such as Deftones (my favourite band), Disturbed, Breaking Point, Drowning Pool and the like. If you read my exercise playlist post and have watched the DBZ movies, you’ll notice that my playlist includes most of the songs from the films and that’s no accident. While I have heard of some songs and bands already, others were unknown to me and it’s difficult to say if I would have ever discovered them if it weren’t for the movies. I’m sure that can be said for other fans as well.

To give an example of what I mean…

Drowning Pool’s “Reminded” does not appear in the original Japanese version, obviously. Released on home video in North America by Funimation in 2002, Cooler’s Revenge is the fifth Dragon Ball Z movie and is set shortly after the events of the Namek/Frieza saga. Unfortunately, Cooler is not canon (hopefully one day) even though he’s cooler than his brother. After learning his younger brother Frieza was killed by a Saiyan, Cooler tracks Goku down to earth to get his revenge. It’s a bit odd because in the movie Cooler admits that he would have eventually killed his brother if Goku hadn’t beat him to the punch. So what’s the point of getting revenge?

Anyway, being that this was 2002, rap music wasn’t the most popular genre of music yet. This movie came at a time when the bands I’ve mentioned were arguably at their peak in popularity. I don’t remember many of the previous Z movies having rock music (there’s Lord Slug) so it’s pretty impressive too that they would have twelve songs playing throughout the movie. I loved it, I felt the tracks complemented the scenes and made them more intense. If nothing else, they sure do make my work outs more enjoyable and I like playing the songs when I’m playing Smash Bros.

I don’t know whose idea was it to include licensed music, but I’m glad they did. Thanks to the success of Cooler’s Revenge, Funimation would include hard rock and metal music in future movies such as Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan. The Funimation soundtrack for that one included nineteen songs, but this time it was from obscure bands such as Gravity Pool, Haji’s Kitchen, and Slow Roosevelt.

The last Funimation DBZ movie to have licensed music was the tenth film, Broly – Second Coming, which included five songs by the band I.O.N. With most of DBZ’s audience in America being composed of teenagers and kids, and with rock and metal still commercially viable and popular forms of music at the time, it made sense in hindsight to have that kind of music playing. Like I said before, it’s probable for some fans it was their first time hearing these bands and music. If you’re like me, and you enjoy that kind of music, then you’ll want to dig deeper into their discography and learn more about them. Sometimes, you learn some sad things like the former vocalist for Gravity Pool and Haji’s Kitchen, Vincent Mullins passed away back in 2016. Thanks for the music, mayne!

You won’t hear any rock or metal music in Dragon Ball movies these days. Not only because they’re not popular any more, but perhaps because some Americans are trying hard to be more “international” by wearing shirts with Japanese text on them despite the fact they can’t speak, read or write Japanese. The Dragon Ball Super movie retained the original Japanese soundtrack for its Funimation release and I expect that to continue with its sequel next year. In some ways, I’m glad they don’t include licensed music in Dragon Ball movies any more. Can you imagine if they did these days? It would be nothing but trap music! Yuck!

With all that said, I’m still glad and grateful for the rocking tunes that were implemented as Goku and the Z fighters battled some of the more formidable and memorable foes in the franchise.

That’s all I have to say, thanks for reading!

そんじゃ あばよ!!

Happiness Does Not Mean Delusional

Hello, everyone.

I just wanted to take some time to get something off my chest today. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time online, but whatevs! I’m just going to get right to the matter at hand. Being happy does not mean you’re delusional.

I’m a happy person.

I’m also not delusional.

I’ve noticed the people who assert the two go together like peanut butter and jelly tend to be cynical, misanthropic and the like (it’s a bit odd they never give their own viewpoints the same critical analysis they do for something they’re not a fan of, but I digress).

Here’s how I see it though. Happiness doesn’t mean ignoring all the evil in the world, any more than sadness or depression requires ignoring all the good.

When I look out at the world, I see the evil in it. I see pain and suffering. I have a friend who lost his parents, that shit hurts deeply.

I’ve had my heart broken. More times than I’d like to admit.

What I’m saying is that the world is not only evil, and the world is not only good. Those who focus on the joy to the exclusion of misery are just as deluded as those who focus on misery to the exclusion of joy.

The world just is. Like Carl Sagan eloquently put it, “Each of us is a tiny being, permitted to ride on the outermost skin of one of the smaller planets for a few dozen trips around the local star.” Indeed, we are all gifted with a few moments in the sun and then we will be recycled into the universe. The atoms that once made a Tyrannosaurus rex could be made up of you right now y’know? My favourite Nirvana song has a song I really liked, “All in all is all we are”. We are all connected and have the same meaning, and the world keeps spinning.

Anyway, you’re probably not reading this for a philosophical discussion from me. But we just live in this world, and for the brief instant we’re here, we have some measure of control over what parts we focus on. There is pain and misery. There is joy and hope. These things are real. They exist. The ones you choose to let in are, to some extent, up to you.

That’s all I have to say, thanks for reading!

そんじゃ あばよ!!

Graduation

Is this Monday. It kind of feels surreal in a way doesn’t it? I still remember I made a blog post talking about dropping out of college and just not being satisfied where I was at least educationally wise. I’m extremely happy to have this part of my life complete. I’ve learned a lot in that time, and even though I’m not majoring in a science any more, I’m glad I acquired a good chunk of scientific knowledge. I actually have a minor in health sciences. So if you want to know how kidney stones are formed, more on reciprocal liking, or basic virology, we can have convos about that if you’re interested.

I only made one friend at my time in university. Ahhhhh, bummer. I guess student organizations aren’t really my thing at least when it comes to making friends. I’ve made more friends on this site (I hope you consider me a friend, lol)! I’m fine with this though, life is full of opportunities and there will be chances to make new friends in the future.

What do I want to do in the future anyway? I REALLY want to continue my formal education. I want to major in East Asian Studies and attend a university in an East Asian nation like Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. I have searched which universities offer the major, and I have narrowed my choices to mostly Korean universities. Golly, studying for an East Asian Studies major in an East Asian country sounds so meta. I do plan on learning Korean this year so I can get a head start whenever I go on a plane to see what my school is like. I think it’d be a good idea to also vlog my experiences and day-to-day dealings while I’m there y’know? When that happens, I’ll make sure to let you know as that will be my 2nd vlog channel (and of course, I’m still working on my main vlog)!

I’ve been consuming books, literature, food and entertainment from the Sinosphere. I suppose that’s nothing new, I’ve been doing that for years. It just feels more in tune these days though since I can speak Japanese, want to learn Korean, can name historical figures from the region and fun stuff like that.

It took me eight years to get a four year degree, but you know what? I got it and on a degree it doesn’t have any dates. So if it took someone 4 and me 8, it doesn’t show up anywhere. But I’m exactly where I want to be. I just need to make sure to keep getting better so I can reach where I want to be in the future ’cause it’s coming.

That’s all I have to say, thanks for reading!

そんじゃ あばよ!!