Life Lesson #59: Listening II

Dear Reiina,


So I’ve stated before that everyone has a life story and gave you some tips on listening. So now I’m going to combine them both with this one. There are a few simple ways to be interested in someone, even when at first you’re not. There might be a point in your life where you meet someone who only talks about anime or their pet cat. It can be hard to talk to them and pay attention, especially when you aren’t interested in the subject material. But what I’ve found is that if the passion in someone’s life is something like anime, there is a major reason why.

Sometimes in order to fully understand a human being, you need to dig to the roots. Ask them why they have such a passion for anime. The reasons are often deep and encouraging.  Listen to their choice of words, see if you can catch the rhythm or vibe of what they’re trying to get across. Ask a relevant question, and make occasional little affirmative noises.

It can be hard, but be willing to dig. When I do, I found people who may not come off as the most interesting person on the planet, bloom like a white rose (that’s my favourite flower) like they just got the right amount of rain and sunlight.

“Anime is something I love because the ones I consider the best take me to a whole other universe altogether. It gives teachings about friendship, coping with sadness, winning against all odds, and giving fresh perspective that personally changed me and the way I perceive the world and myself even!”

“I love my cat because I’m not able to get pregnant. My cat is like a child to me and keeps me company when I go to sleep.”

Don’t be so fast to dismiss someone as boring even if you’re not interested in what they have to say. Be willing to dig, and find something deeper. Think of it like this… Pretend the person you’re talking to has something incredibly important to say and you’re the only one who can decipher it. Remember the “essential invisible” as my role model (that’s Mr. Rogers) used to say. I’ve learned that there is virtually always something that I can connect to, that arouses my interest. I usually find myself genuinely interested by the time the conversation comes to an end even if my only interest is appreciation at how different people can be from one another.

Happy Anniversary on WordPress

I got this notification yesterday, but I’m writing about it today. I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since I made a WordPress account. Golly, time sure flies by! And in that amount of time, I’ve met some wonderful people, made some nice friends, wrote a bit and am able to do what I love on here which is writing!

I don’t know what the next 7 years will hold on this site and the other social media accounts I currently use, but it’s nice to have platforms to express yourself to the fullest! I plan on continuing this epic blog journey and by then I’m hoping to have written over 1,000 posts. Blogging is my creative freedom. The day I stop enjoying blogging is the day I will stop blogging. Thankfully, I can’t ever imagine that happening.

I don’t have much else to say except thank you for stopping by today, whether you’ve been a regular since the beginning or a brand new reader. You’re always welcome here and I hope to see you again!


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

そんじゃ あばよ!!

My Favourite Anime ED

Hopefully you’re not the type of anime watcher who skips the OP and/or ED because if you do, you could be missing out on music like this. Usually when Samurai Champloo ends, the song Shiki no Uta plays, but this was the most unexpected (and pleasant) EDs to ever come around and it only played in one episode (12)! It’s been years since I first heard this song but it still somehow stirs up memories of my past and gives my ears a warm, soft bliss.

I remember playing this song early in the morning when I was walking to my chemistry final years ago. It really does give a peaceful tone, especially before the sun has risen. I don’t know how Nujabes was able to make an ED better than a first, but he found a way. It’s sad he’s no longer here with us, but he left behind good music to listen and meditate to so I’m forever grateful to him for that.

I just want to live in this song.

Girls Dead Monster God Bless You

I’ve been a fan of Angel Beats since 2013 and I’m surprised I didn’t hear this song until this year! What a wonderful surprise that was! I was on YouTube a few months back and was listening to all the songs by Girls Dead Monster and was captivated when I first heard this! I’m glad I found out about it AFTER I learned Japanese instead of before. For me, Japanese songs just hit differently now that I’m able to understand what the singer is saying. The emotion poured in is just palpable.

From what I’ve searched on the internet, the lyrics and composition of the song were made by the genius Jun Maeda (he’s not only the creator of this anime, but he’s worked on other famous titles such as Little Busters, Clannad, Summer Pockets, etc.) One of the best times playing this is when the sun is setting just like in the image. Iwasawa is also my favourite character in the anime and while she’s probably best known for “Last Song“, this song was able to make me cry too.

I wish Girls Dead Monster was a real band because if they were, I’d want to attend one of their concerts to see them live! Iwasawa is one of the reasons I want to learn how to play the guitar!

Life Lesson #58: Save Your Work

Dear Reiina,


Mayne, there have been times I thought I accidently deleted my essays or blog posts. I’m just typing away and away, but there were moments the web page crashed which resulted in me hitting the X button at the top right corner.

No wonder back in the day my teachers would urge the students to save our Word documents from time to time. It’s a little easier now because some word processors autosave every time you type something. Still, with this blog (WordPress), I make sure to click the “Save Draft” button every now and then, especially if I have a feeling the post is going to be 1000+ words.

What I’m basically saying is to do the same for your work. If you’re on a computer, save it as you go!  If it’s a huge document, email it to yourself or save it to a hard drive (maybe by the time you’re grown up, you’ll be able to have a chip implanted in your brain and you don’t even have to remember saving it).  If it’s important work, make sure you have it stored in multiple places, just in case. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Anyway, as you can see, this blog post made it out just fine! 🙂

I Wanna Read More Visual Novels

I guess I should also add that to my 2021 New Year’s Resolutions. A few days ago I was rereading Muv-Luv and it had me thinking of the last time I sat down and enjoyed a visual novel for a few hours a day every day. Turns out I had a save file so I could find out, and that was back in January of last year. Gee, that’s no good! I remember 2013-2015 were the years of the visual novel for me.

First it was the Galaxy Angel trilogy, then Sharin no Kuni, Devil on a G-String, Muv-Luv and Alternative, Steins;Gate, Majikoi, Grisaia… and the list goes on and on. It’s funny ’cause the Switch has some visual novels available and I plan on buying a few. Visual novels were also something that helped me learn Japanese, at least as far as reading and listening. I don’t know why I stopped reading them as often as I did, but I’d like to change that!

I used to write about specific ones on this blog too, what the heck! Yeah, the characters in visual novels don’t move anywhere near as much like they do in an anime so you kind of have to imagine what’s happening. On the bright side they at least have pretty pictures and sprites to give you an idea. So that’s the plan for the rest of the year and the next one: read more visual novels!

Btw, if any of you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.


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

そんじゃ あばよ!!

Kazuki Takahashi Shows to Never Give up on Your Dreams

Today I wanted to share something I had on my hard drive about the creator of Yu-Gi-Oh! It’s a series I hold in high regard, and since I’ve been rereading the manga, I remember coming across this little nice piece of information (took me forever to find it, but I did). As you can see, Kazuki Takahashi has been in the game for quite awhile, but didn’t hit it big until 14 years later. He did have his first work published in 1990 and another in 1991 to 92. You’d be forgiven though if Yu-Gi-Oh! is the only thing you know him for since it’s his most famous brainchild.

It’s obviously a household name. According to Wikipedia, it’s one of the highest grossest media franchises of all time estimated at 20.3 billion dollars! Of course the trading card game has generated the most revenue, but the anime and manga volumes have pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars as well.

I just wanted to use this post to let the readers know and anyone who randomly stumbled upon this post to never give up on what you hope to accomplish in life. The dream in your heart is there for a reason. It may not become a reality overnight, but as long as you keep at it, one day it will be greater than you ever imagined. Cherish it, love it and wait for it to manifest. Every time and every day you work toward it, you’re acting on the guidance and inspiration you receive.


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

そんじゃ あばよ!!

Yu-Gi-Oh! 10 Differences in the Anime and Manga

As any anime fan knows, anime tends to make changes from the manga they’re based on when they make it to your TV screen. This isn’t always a bad thing even if I don’t mention the dreaded f word (no, it’s not fantasy flan). Sometimes the changes are used to give characters more depth, backstory, or implement new things in the story.

Yu-Gi-Oh! does all of the above, and thanks to the trading card game racking up millions of dollars, it was definitely for the best since the anime introduced more cards than you can count. The anime does have a considerable amount of filler, but it does stay true to the source material at its core. Where it doesn’t though, the changes can range from the subtle to the “That never happened in the manga!” I’ve read the manga and watched the anime multiple times. Actually, I’m re-watching and re-reading them both. One thing I noticed is that the manga has a more darker tone, which is saying a lot since the anime is dark, but it tends to center around the card game so at least it’s more fun (as long as you don’t die that is).

I’d like to use this post to list some of the differences between the two. From Kaiba’s fate after his first duel with Yuugi to what happened between the duel with Yuugi and Jonouchi (or Joey). Note: For the record, when I mean anime, I’m referring to the more popular Duel Monsters. 


10. Some Arcs Aren’t Present in the Manga

See the source image

Crazy, right? Since the anime was adapting a weekly manga that was still being written, it was only natural that it would eventually catch up to its source material. To prevent this, the producers of the anime created several filler story arcs that were meant to give the author more time to finish his work. This means that the Virtual World, Doma, and the Grand Championship arcs were made solely for the anime and never appeared in the original manga. The anime also featured characters that never appeared in the manga, such as Rebecca Hopkins. Which is a bummer ’cause I like her character. There were also numerous one-off episodes like the duel between Bakura and Yuugi during the Duelist Kingdom.


9. Bandit Keith Dies

See the source image

Bandit Keith is one of two characters (the other being Seto Kaiba) who inspired me to collect Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. I’ll never forget that scene in the Duelist Kingdom where he showed Kozuka all the decks he had in his leather vest, it was so gangsta! Anyway, another difference between the anime and manga revolves around him. Despite being an incredibly skilled duelist, Keith was someone who won most of his duels through cheating. After losing to Jonouchi in the tournament, Keith does like any American and pulls a gun on Pegasus and demands him to hand over the prize money. In the anime, Pegasus makes Keith leave the Duelist Kingdom forcibly by activating a trap switch. In the manga, Keith’s life isn’t spared. As a penalty for losing the game, Pegasus transforms Keith’s own hand into a gun, then forces him to shoot himself in the head.


8. There Was No Final Match 

The four players who make it to the Duelist Kingdom finals are Yuugi, Jonouchi, Mai and Bandit Keith. Yuugi defeats Mai and Jonouchi beats Bandit Keith. The next duel takes place between Yugi and Jonouchi, in order to decide who gets to face Pegasus and challenge him for the title of “Duel King.” It’s a duel I enjoy because it’s not in the manga. Jonouchi loses because he accidentally helps Yugi summon his Dark Sage monster, which costs him the duel. Yuugi gives him the prize money for the tournament anyway, so that he can pay for his sister’s operation (what a good friend). He only cares about defeating Pegasus and freeing his grandpa and the Kaiba brothers’ souls.

Jonouchi is never given a chance to take on Pegasus in the manga. He and Yuugi just have a conversation about how it’s unnecessary and they would only end up exposing more of their tactics to Pegasus. Yuugi also said he’d be dueling for Jonouchi just like he dueled for his sister. Pegasus even said a duel between them would be pointless anyway and gets ready to face Yuugi. See? Not all filler is bad.


7. Yuugi’s Grandpa Gets Trapped in a VHS TapeSee the source image

One of the memorable scenes in the series is when Pegasus takes Yuugi’s grandpa’s soul to force Yuugi to attend the Duelist Kingdom tournament. In the anime, Yuugi’s grandpa’s body is in something of a comatose state. In the manga, Pegasus traps the soul of Yugi’s grandpa inside a VHS tape. Yugi is still able to remain in contact with his grandpa. All Yugi has to do is put the tape inside a video camera and he could see and talk to his grandpa. In fact, the two of them remain in contact throughout the Duelist Kingdom story arc. This is one of the reasons I do appreciate the staff for the anime. The way they went about this part made more sense and the theme of loss was better written and felt like there was more at stake. Sure, you probably don’t want to socialize with a loved one through a camera all the time, but it’s still better than having no contact with them at all.


6. Jonouchi’s Dad Was an Alcoholic

See the source image

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series likes to poke fun at the fact most of the characters’ parents never seem to be around. Anzu/Tea and Honda/Tristan sneak onto the boat that’s headed to the Duelist Kingdom and the latter asks the former, “Don’t our parents even care that we’re missing!?” It’s an interesting question and considering what they go through, it is something to wonder. Maybe their parents don’t care, or maybe they have the utmost confidence in them they think they can get through anything! In Jonouchi’s case, it’s probably for the best his dad doesn’t care. The dad is an alcoholic and a gambler who accumulated a large amount of debt. After divorcing his wife, he lives with Jonouchi while his former wife lives with their daughter, Shizuka/Serenity. In the manga, one time Yuugi, Honda and Anzu visit Jonouchi at his apartment. Thinking them to be his son coming home, Mr. Katsuya throws a bottle at them, demanding to know where his son had been. He’s not mentioned or seen in the anime, as it tended to focus more on Shizuka.


5. Otogi’s Backstory

See the source image

After Yuugi beats Pegasus, everyone returns home from the Duelist Kingdom. In both the anime and manga, they play the hottest new game in town, Dungeon Dice Monsters!

In the anime, Yugi is forced to challenge the creator, Otogi/Duke Devlin at his own game. It is later revealed that Otogi created the game and successfully pitched it to Pegasus. Dungeon Dice Monsters was going to be Pegasus’ next big game! That is until Yugi defeated him. Otgi is now seeking revenge on Yuugi for messing up his payroll! Actually, it’s more because he doesn’t think anyone could beat Pegasus without cheating, but I’d personally be more pissed at the checks I wouldn’t be getting.

In the manga, Otogi is influenced more by his father into beating Yuugi, because he once challenged Yuugi’s grandpa to a Dark Game and lost, which caused him to age fifty years in a single day (no wonder he wears that clown mask).

Otogi’s father steals the Millennium Puzzle and forces Yuugi to play Otogi at Dungeon Dice Monsters in order to win it back. When Yuugi wins, Otogi’s father tries to choke him to death with the Millennium Puzzle’s chain and a fiery pandinomnium ensues. Otogi’s father never appears in the Duel Monsters anime and in both the anime and manga, Otogi ends up becoming a friend.


4. Bakura Kills Pegasus 

See the source image

I love all of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s antagonists, and none of them were more unique and flamboyant than Pegasus. Which is I like the fact he comes back a number of times in the anime. He had roles in the Pyramid of Light movie, Bonds Beyond Time, appears p during the Doma filler arc and is mentioned a number of times in the Grand Championship arc. He’s still around when Yu-Gi-Oh! GX takes place! Unfortunately, the manga doesn’t use him for anything after Duelist Kingdom because Yami Bakura murdered him at the end of the tournament. In the anime, Bakura steals Pegasus’ Millennium Eye after he loses to him during a game of ancient Egyptian laser beams.

The manga version of Yami Bakura rips the eye from Pegasus’ head, killing him. In both versions, Bakura licks Pegasus’ Millennium Eye, but in the manga there’s a lot more blood.


3. Kaiba and Jonouchi Have Bigger Roles in the Anime

See the source image

Even though I love the anime and manga, if you asked me which one I prefer overall, I’d answer with the anime. This is one of the reasons why. In the anime Jonouchi is the duelist who experiences the most growth as not only a player, but as a character. He used to be a bully, but ended up becoming the best friend to the same guy he used to bully. He started off as a terrible duelist, but became a competent one as he went along. It makes sense why he’s able to beat skilled players who partook in big tournaments. This is why the duels between him and Yuugi hold more emotional weight for me. The manga doesn’t seem to care though.

As for Kaiba, he is one of my favourite anime/manga characters of all time. In the anime, more of his backstory his revealed through the Virtual World arc. You’re able to understand why he is the way he is. Even though he’s rough around the edges, you’re at least able to sympathize with the antihero. Not only that, but he gets way more screen time and appears in the final arc!


2. Gozaburo Kaiba Never Comes Back

See the source image

The death of Seto Kaiba’s adoptive father is basically the same both in the anime and in the manga. Gozaburo was abusive and wanted his son to be a proper heir to his company. Eventually, Seto was able to overthrow him and become the new president.

In both versions, this left Gozaburo disgraced and caused him to commit suicide. In the manga, he jumps out of a window and was never heard or seen again. In the anime, he backed up his consciousness on a computer which aimed to get revenge later during the Virtual World arc. Better late than never, I suppose.


1. Kaiba’s Penalty Games

The first episode of Duel Monsters shows a duel between Kaiba and Yuugi. Yuugi is able to win the duel by drawing all five pieces of Exodia. He then uses the power of his Millennium Puzzle to destroy the evil inside Kaiba’s heart. In the manga, Kaiba suffers like G did and is given not one, but two penalty games. The first duel between Yuugi and Kaiba in the manga happens when Kaiba tries to steal Yugi’s grandpa’s Blue-Eyes White Dragon card. Yuugi punishes Kaiba by inflicting a penalty game on him, which transforms his soul into that of a Duel Monster. Kaiba has to experience the feeling of being killed by hundreds of different monsters. He eventually recovers, but has nightmares from the experience.

He then creates his own deadly theme park, called Death-T, in order to get revenge on Yuugi and his friends. This story arc ends with Yuugi beating Kaiba by drawing the five pieces of Exodia. He then inflicts a second penalty game, which shatters Kaiba’s mind and leaves him in a coma for six months, while he is forced to rebuild the pieces of his heart.


And that’s my list! I know there are more than 10 changes/differences (maybe I’ll save that for a video). Are there any that you can think of? Let me know in the comment section! Which ones do you think were welcome? Would you change some of the changes?


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

そんじゃ あばよ!!

Life Lesson #57: The Meaning of Life

Dear Reiina,


This will be short and to the point, but it’s something I still need to say. The meaning of life is whatever you want it to be. That’s the beauty of life, you get to choose what you want it to be. You are the captain of your soul and the author of your story. They’ll be a number of people who will try to tell you what you should do or how to live your life. Don’t let them.

At the end of the day you have to ask yourself, “What do I want to do?” What makes your heart sing? What fills your soul? Explore those. And if you don’t know, it’s a good thing you’ll have the time to find out.

For me, my meaning in life is to basically experience everything I can in the brief moment I have in the sun and to leave things better when it’s my time to go than when I first got here.

I hope that’ll give you some inspiration, and you’ll find a laudable goal that you can apply to your own life.

Making a 2021 Polymath Reading List

2021 will be here before you know it, so I thought one of my resolutions from the get-go should be to become a polymath by the end of that year. At the very least I want to be closer to accomplishing that goal. Thank goodness we live in a time where the internet is a thing so that means information is a lot easier to obtain than ever before. Reading is the best way to learn something new for me. And when it comes to reading, it’d be best to read a wide variety and read often. In addition to some textbooks here and there (some of the ones I own are 800+ pages long), I’ll be reading a book a week starting in January. The key is to make sure that I’m always reading something new on as many topics as possible.

Actually, I’m still compiling my list of 50 books I want to read for 2021. I have a few, but they might be replaced with something else before the new year starts. I have a book on personal financial literacy and it has a whole chapter dedicated to paying taxes, neat! Another thing I thought about is how I should go about reading them. Right now I’m just thinking of doing it alphabetically, that way I won’t get bored if I read a book or two on the same or similar subject.

By the end of 2021, I’ll probably write a post listing all the books I read, what I learned and how they helped me become a better version of myself. Until then, I’ll still be making my list!