Rurouni Kenshin Meiji Kenkaku Romantan – Hokkaido-hen (spoilers)

KenshinOne question: HOW in the world didn’t I know there’s an actual sequel to Rurouni Kenshin? Not a side story, not a one-chapter-special, but an actual sequel? 18 years after Kenshin was wrapped up, there’s a sequel?

Rurouni Kenshin Meiji Kenkaku Romantan was the very first manga I was seriously obsessed about. I don’t remember my first manga, it was something I borrowed from my older bother. The first manga I ever owned was Ghost in the Shell. If that’s not a great starting point I don’t know what. The first manga I ever seriously started fangirling about was Kenshin and let’s be honest: it’s a damn great shounen manga with some very strong and memorable character developments and amazing fights, it still stands as one of my favorite shounen.

Yes, I know, my favorite shounen is Fullmetal Alchemist, because that manga is nothing but outstanding, but Kenshin still holds his own. Some of my other favorite shounen are Slam Dunk, Rough, Gunnm and Trigun. Yeah… I’m loving the classics and among all of Kenshin2them Kenshin will always have a special place in my heart.

Now, how do I feel about the sequel? A part of me is super excited and another part of me not happy at all. Of course more Kenshin is good, but on the other ahnd the manga was finished and I mean completely finished. It had an ultimate ending point, it wrapped everything up and left the reader with an actual ending. FMA did the same, it’s just finished. Open endings or vague endings or soemthing else, but I don’t feel like it’s necessary to open up a book again and force some more pages into it, when it was already closed.

On the other hand, I can’t deny I’m incredibly excited about the sequel. That was until I read Nobuhiro Watsuki was arrested, because he violated the laws regarding child pornography. Oh dear. No denying, that’s bad. I mean, really REALLY bad. This is so bad I’m surprised Kenshin Hokkaido will actually continue to be published after the hiatus. Does this change my view on Kenshin as a whole? Definately not, because the manga by itself is still as good as it was before.

After having read the first 3 chapters of the Hokkaido sequel, I think they’re pretty well done, but there’s continuity problems, like Kenshin’s hair back to being super long and how he gets his blade back kind of destroys the moment in the prequel when he gives it away. I mean, he basically gave it away only to get it back 6 monthes later, because Yashiro decides it’s not for him and it will take him too long to master. I know they needed a reason to give Kenshin back his sword, because Kenshin and his sword belong together, but it just makes giving it away in the first place so pointless.

Another thing I really disliked was the implied soon death of Kenshin. I know this is nothing new as it has been implied numerous times in the prequel that Kenshin has a shortened life span due to his swordsmanship and stuff. And we also know the manga MangaKenshinBrokencan be very very tragic to it’s characters so I wouldn’t even be surprised if the intended ending of the Hokkaido sequel involves Kenshin’s death. Just because I know all of that doesn’t mean I’m emotionally capable of accepting Kenshin’s death. I just really don’t want him to die. He’s a character who’s seen so much and who’s been through so much, he just deserves his happy ending and he deserves it to be as long as possible. Taking Kenshins Happy Ending from him by killing him is just too cruel. I’m okay with him living in peace together with Kaoru and their child and everything being roses and cute flying angels around him. I’m not okay with him dying.

I’m still traumatized my the ending of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (seriously, how can you be so cruel to a character?), I can’t take a cruel ending for Kenshin, he doesn’t deserve it. Even though he himself probably doesn’t see his death that way.

Also, yeah, I see why Yahiko is not joining them on their journey and it seems like he’s building his own life and this is great, but I just can’t imagine a Kenshin manga without Yahiko. He was part of the key cast. And talking about the key cast: HELL YES Sano is Kenshin Sanoback, man! I was so waiting for him to appear. Can’t wait to see him.

Last but not least, when Kenshin and Yahiko were wondering how Kaoru knew Kenshin’s stamnia was going down, even though she never crossed blades with him, that was pure comedic gold. I mean, think about it. Think about how his wife could know about his stamnia without fighting him.

To wrap it up: will I follow the Hokkaido sequel? Probably. Will I enjoy it as much as the original? Most definately not. Was it necessary to produce a sequel 18 years after the original ended? I honestly don’t think so, but it’s Kenshin, so I take what I can get.

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C-Section

So… today we decided to perform a c-section on a rescue dog. She was aready carrying when she was picked up by the rescue, so we had to guess how far she was. Her amniotic fluids were basically gone today and the heartrate of the puppies started to slowly decrease, so we decided to go for the c-section since mom didn’t look like she was willing to give birth anytime soon. It’s always a huge disadvantage not knowing when exactly she started her pregnancy and all the puppies were facing the wrong direction, too.

You never want to perform unneccessary c-sections and usually you try to leave them inside of mom as long as possible. Heartrate and amniotic fluids are the key factors in the decision against or for a c-section. … Well, and knowing which day of pregnancy mom is, but running out of amniotic fluids and a decreasing heatrate usually go hand in hand with going over term.

We got 5 puppies, all of them alive. 2 girls and 4 boys and no cleft palates.

Unfortunately that’s about as far as the good news go. All 5 puppies are unusually small and underdeveloped for the amount of amniotic fluids mom had. So either mom didn’t produce enough fluids or the puppies didn’t develop properly. They definately look slightly preterm, would’ve needed about a week or so more, but probably wouldn’t have made it that long inside of mom.

Furthermore 2 of the puppies (both girls) have defects. One has a crooked front leg. The other one has a crooked hind led and is missing her eyelids on the left. Like I said: all of the are alive, all of them started breathing on their own properly after waking up from anesthesia, BUT if they’ll actually make it… nobody knows.

It’s actually quite interesting both puppies from the left side of the uterus where noticably bigger and stronger than all 3 puppies on the right side. Both deformed puppies are the smallest of the bunch, but not neccessarily the slowest – the one with intact eyes was actually very much moving around while she was still at out clinic, more so than two of her siblings. The big boy might have the best chances of survival: he seems to be the furtherst developed, is the largest and has no deformities.

If mom accepts the puppies chances of survival are going to increase, but it’s very uncerain if at least some of them will make it. We don’t know what exactly went wrong, but it’s pretty save to say something definately went wrong during development. You see defects every once in a while, but having 2 out of 5 puppies with deformities is actually quite a lot and keep in mind all them were more or less underdeveloped for their estimated age and stage of progression.

C-sections are usually our preferred type of operation, because it’s a wonderful feeling to bring life into the world. I assisted this operation, I gave them their first injection to wake them up from anesthesia (since mom is sleeping from the drugs, the babies inside her are obviously sleeping as well and need to be woken up, too) and I saw them taking their first breath, rubbed them awake and felt their very first kicks not even minutes old. It’s very heartbreaking seeing one deformed puppy after the other, but all we can do is take them as they come and do out best to help them survive.

You always remember the babies you helped to bring into the world. We have some dogs visiting our clinic that were born via c-section years ago in our operating room and you can’t help but smile when you remember that you saw them the very second they were born, that you were part of the reason they were able to live in the first place.

C-sections are not common practice and should never be, but every birth is special.

Welpen

About half an hour after birth. All of them alive. Left to right: boy, boy, girl, boy, girl. The one at the far left is the strongest. The one in the middle is missing her eyelids on the left. Her crooked hint leg is hidden by her siblings. The one on the far right has a crooked front left leg.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild GOTY

Yay. Zelda won GOTY at the Game Awards 2017! *claps* yay :3

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*this is probably going to be very pro Zelda, so be prepared*

I’m happy. I haven’t played all the games nominated, but I’m happy. The general consent seems to be: thank god PUBG didn’t win. Zelda? Fine with me, it’s not PUBG. I’m actually very glad a lot of people feel this way, because it just feels wrong to even nominate a game that hasn’t even seen a full release yet and is basically still in testing phase.

In general the reception of Zelda as Game of the Year seems to be quite good.

Then there’s the Horizon-fans complaining Horizon didn’t win anything and I’ve seen some individuals from different fan bases saying Zelda just won because it’s Zelda and everything Zelda is just being praised and loved because fans blindly love Zelda.

First of all: I don’t own a PS4. Therefore, I didn’t play Horizon. What I know about this game is, that it’s very good and therefore I think it’s sad it didn’t win anything. It probably deserved to win at least something.

Second: the assumption that Nintendo fans just blindly love everything Zelda because of the name is just plain wrong. We’ve seen in the past several times where Zelda was met with huge criticism or downright hate, because it didn’t deliver what fans wanted.The Zelda franchise is one of the highest acclaimed franchises in video game history and has produced top-tier games of outstanding quality for over 30 years now most notably in its main series on home consoles. Therefore, expectations for any new Zelda release are astronomical high and what happens if these expectations are not fully met, we’ve recently seen in Wind Waker and Skyward Sword in particular. There’s always hardcore fans defending everything, that’s normal, but I believe there’s a fair share of fans who are very critical towards Zelda, because they are very spoiled by the average quality of the franchise.

Wind Waker was met with a storm of rage due to its cartoony graphics. It took fans years to come to terms with it and appreciate the outstanding game behind it. When it was initially released? Oh boy, that was a riot, because everyone expected realistic graphics that Nintendo didn’t deliver. The game itself wasn’t even bad. Sure, it’s not perfect: travel can be boring over longer distances and the triforce quest was just way too long, both issues got fixed in the HD version. Other than that, the game was truly awesome. It was the art direction alone, that made fans hate on this game. And hate they did.

Other example: Skyward Sword. And it was, once again, primarily one feature, that made fans collectively hate this game. Fans. Not media. I believe this game was actually rated a bit too high by the general media, but is rated way too low by fans – even today. The feature in question is… motion control. Contrary to what many people try to make other’s believe: it works fine. I’ve played it and barely had issues with it at all. I’m not trying to defend a bad game, I’m trying to be honest and I can honestly say: the motion control worked great for me. Many gamers hated it for the fact alone that is was mandatory and you couldn’t play the game with a classic controller. The other problem with this game is that it’s not the game fans were asking for. Around the time when Skyward Sword was released, fans have been asking for an open world Zelda for quite a while already and got a very linear playing-it-save type of Zelda with lot’s of handholding, which disappointed fans even further.

I personally believe Skyward Sword was a fantastic game and a very solid Zelda with some nice boss fights, enjoyable worlds, great dungeons and interesting items (I love the beetle). Just like I think Mario 3D World is a fantastic game and a very solid Mario. Both games were met with lukewarm receptions by gamers -Skyward Sword more negative than 3D World- simply because they weren’t the type of games fans wanted.

Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey both are the games fans have been asking for a long time and were both met with euphoria from fans – so much, I believe fans tend to be more forgiving to these games, because they’re both basically 100% fanservice. This is Nintendo listening to their fans and giving them exactly what they wanted and people are responding accordingly.

And both games are fantastic! So much, they both got nominated for GOTY at the Game Awards, which I believe was very well deserved. I’ve been a long time Zelda-fan, but I’ve been playing Mario platformer even longer. I’ve been playing Mario for 20+ years across 7 generations of home consoles and their handheld counterparts. Both franchises have been a huge part of my gaming life and I hope to be as fair as possible, even though I personally just prefer 2D or 2+1/2 D platformer over 3D collect-A-thons, because I love tight 2D platforming the most – which is the reason why I prefer Donkey Kong Country over Mario, btw. I usually try to appreciate the good in games, even if they’re personally not to my liking. I know there’s a lot of people who’d be so mad at me for saying this, but at one point, I got bored by Mario Odyssey.

Mario Odyssey is a consistently great game and getting all moons is one hell of a hard  quest. While I thought most moons during the regular playthrough are too easy to get, there’s some real challenges, if you try to collect them all. The game doesn’t really has any low points, it has a very high average quality without any real dips downwards, but also without many spikes upwards. My one and only big moment in this game was the festival in New Donk City. That was plain awesome, no question and New Donk City by itself was the most enjoyable part for me due to all the vertical platforming involved. I also loved the pipes that sent you to these very hard platforming sections post game. There’s nothing better than finally clearing these mini-levels after 20+ tries, there’s finally some actual sense of accomplishment involved, like… I earned that moon. Oh, and while we’re at it, I applaud to the game for calling them moons in mushroom kingdom, even though they’re clearly stars.

However, in a way, Mario Odyssey was playing it kind of save. At least compared to Zelda. Mario Odyssey was basically Mario 64 2.0, it was the Mario 64 successor fans wanted ever since. Since the first time I was able to get my hands on na demo, I’ve been saying: guys, this game does not reinvent the wheel, it’ very much Mario like we know and love, nothing more and nothing less. After playing this game, I still believe the very same about it. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy or appreciate the new features, like the 8bit segments in the stages or the capture feature that basically replaces power ups. Mario Odyssey is an outstanding game, it just doesn’t dare to go one step further.

A step Zelda dared to take. Just like Odyssey, Breath of the Wild is still very much Zelda, but with the formula we’ve come to know for such a long time removed for the most part. There’s still hearts to collect, the Master Sword to find and the Princess to rescue, but they turned it from a linear formulated experience to a free open world game. By going back to the very first Zelda and take inspiration from modern open world games, Nintendo nailed their very first try at making an open world game out of one of their most well-known and beloved franchises. And like I said: fans are critical about Zelda. If this didn’t work out, the backlash would’ve been huge. But it worked out.

Once again this game has a very high average quality with more drips downwards than Odyssey, but also with more spikes upwards. For all the weaker parts of the game, there are others done so phenomenally well, they overshine the bad ones. In terms of game design, even though I didn’t play every game this year obviously, but the game design in BotW is insanely good. The physics engine, the game mechanics, the freedom and the lack of handholding it all turns this game into a truly great experience.

BotW dared to be more daring, but was executed so well, the flaws of this game are simply being forgiven. I hope Nintendo can work on the remaining flaws of BotW and make the successor even greater, because I believe BotW might have just managed to do what the original Legend of Zelda and Ocarina of Time did before: change the way we look at games. Especially the world as one huge living interactive being  has not been done quite like this before with so many possibilities given to the player due to a phenomenal physics engine and something very simple like the ability to climb everything. Whatever you think should be possible, is possible and that opens up a whole new dimension of gameplay. This goes beyond a fish fleeing from you or arrows flying in a naturalistic curve and being collectible even under water.

BotW pushed the genre forwards, a genre it just entered. It also pushed the franchise forwards and gave it a much-needed overhaul. I don’t think Nintendo will entirely drop the classic Zelda formula, but it would be nice to see different kinds of Zelda coexisting alongside each other.

I hope the successor to this game has better item management. Going through all the pages of food and gear and weapons to whatever you’re searching for at the moment was annoying. I would also love to see traditional dungeons back. I liked the approach of huge 3D puzzles, but 4 traditional dungeons would’ve been more to my liking. And for the love of god, maybe one day we’ll have a Zelda with an actual great story and characters? Maybe? I’m supporting the weapon durability aspect, btw.

And we definitely need more Sidon.

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Damn, this post got way longer than I anticipated…

Disagreement (graphic! I guess…?)

So, today was my first day back at work after a 3 days leave and I happend to have a little bit of a disagreement with one of our patients.

Mind you, I work at a small animal practice and said patient was a cat. Cats are basically the most dangerous animal that you can find in a small animal practice and you’re going to find out why. Don’t worry, though, the scratches don’t hurt, the cat was not hurt and I could’ve definately ended up much much worse.

The worst thing that can happen in a small animal practice, is getting bitten by a cat. Dogs? Nah. A cat bite? OH SHIT! The reason is the canine (yes, cats have canine teeth) in cats are so sharp, when they bite the tooth is pressed in deep and when it comes out, the wound closes almost immediately, because it’s only a very small wound. The tooth however brought gems into the wound and those gems are having the time of their life now infecting your hand. It’s crutial to get antibiotics and proper treatment ASAP, or otherwise you’re in serious danger of loosing a finger. Or two. Or a hand. Untreated infected cat bites can send you into hospital, into severe pain, into huge abzesses and worst case into an amputation.

That being said, if there’s one thing we try to avoid, it’s getting bitten by a cat. After 3 + 1/2 years at our practice, I’ve never been bitte so far. Everything you’re going to see are scratches. Scratches are no big deal, they bleed a bit, they heal, everything’s chill. I just want to post this to show how dangerous my job can be. I love my job, I don’t mind uncooperative or grumpy patients, but it’s not the cute cuddly job people often expect.

I’m not injured that often either. I’m a careful person. It was just one of those days today. And that’s why I’m not a cat person.

Btw, I have a skin condition, that’s why I have a lot of small wounds and scars on my arms. Don’t worry about those, they have nothing to do with animals of any kind.

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Abandoned Guinea-Pig

 

frontalkleinThis little one was caught after 2 days of effort at the edge of a forest by concerned animal lovers. Since they had no experience with Guinea Pigs, they tried to contact the local shelter, but couldn’t get through, so they decided to bring their rescued animal to our small animal practice hoping we know someone. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anyone that fast either and I took him in for the time being.

It turned out this is a neutered male about one year old and he was in total panic when he arrived. It was pretty chilly the day he was caught, he was cold and only 740g. Male Guinea Pigs usually weight around 1kg, so that makes him pretty thin. I have to admit I’ve seen some seriously underweight adult Guinea Pigs at our practice, some barely more than 500g, but those were crutially ill animals. Our abandoned boy was actually surprisingly healthy, but wasn’t fed properly for a while.

Here’s the deal: Guinea Pigs don’t survive on their own in the wilderness, specially not in Germany where it’s too cold in the winter without proper shelter and care. Due to their coloration they’re excellent prey animals, so if illness or weather conditions don’t kill them, predators definately will sooner than later. Abandoning a Guinea Pig equals a death sentence. What I want to say is, this abondoned Guinea Pig couldn’t have been living outside on his own for longer than a few days before he was found, therefore we suspect he wasn’t properly fed for a while wherever he was living before.

He also suffered from an advanced lice infestation. The species of the lice and the heavy degree of the infestation suggest he also must’ve had those before he was abondoned. Where ever he came from: they didn’t take proper care of him.

On top of the lice, he was carrying about 15 tick nymphs around his nose, that all needed to be removed by hand. He also developed a cold in the following days of his capture, had eczema around his anal region and developed an eczema on his ear due to scratching because of the itch from the lice. Unfortunately the eczema on his ear got infected and he needed antibiotics as well as an anti-itch salve for local treatment

The eczema all got taken care of and are long gone. His ear has a little bit of a notch now, but it’s barely noticibale. He got over his cold with a nice warm place to live and a good dose of Vitamin C. He’s under lice treatment at the moment and will receive his last dose later this week, after which he will be going to a Guinea Pig rescue group where he’ll be put up for adoption.

About his weight: well, let’s just say he’s a good eater. Last time I checked he had 873g, so DSC_0003he’s getting closer to normal weight every day. It was a huge relieve that he was eating like a champ ever since day one. Their digestive system is build for constant eating, therefore if a Guinea Pig doesn’t eat, it will develop severe gastro-intestinal problems and dies.  The muscles in their gastro intestinal organs are very weak, so they need to eat in order to push the food through their intestines. This is the reason why Guinea Pigs have to be force fed when they don’t eat on their own and I was prepared to force feed our abanonded Guined Pig, which I thankfully didn’t have to do.

He’s not a picky eater either. So far he’s eaten absolutely everything I suggested to him. As long as it’s food, he will love it, even some veggies my own Guinea Pigs don’t like. I really have yet to find something he doesn’t like to eat, but his favorite are carrots.

He’s very shy and is not used to being handled by humans. He won’t eat out of my hands and will take any chance to get away whenever I handle him. Fortunately he’s a very good boy and not aggressive at all, he never tried to bite me, even though he’s been though stuff like getting injections at home. That’s the good (and bad) of being taken care of by a vet tech: you won’t see the vet often, but your caretaker will do stuff the vet otherwise would. During his first week he required injections, daily wound care and very close inspections, which is not exactly helping to build trust.

I know it will be hard to let him go, because he’s a wonderful Guina Pig and a real beauty as well. He’s an English Crested, but I suspect there’s some kind of long haired breed mixed into him as well, because his fur is a bit too long for a purebread English Crested and it’s crazy soft. Now that he’s feeling good and got rid of most of his problems, it reflects in his fur: it’s super soft and shiny.  A healthy animal has a healthy coat.

Since I have a group of two females and a neutered male, I can’t introduce him into my group and I don’t have enough space to keep a second group, therefore he will need to go. I’m glad I found a good rescue group and I personally know the woman who will take him in until he gets adopted, so I have a very good feeling about it. I hope he will find a good forever home with many friends to keep him company. He definately deserves it.

DSC_0001 kleinEven though he was abandoned, he was extreamly lucky to be found in time. His overall condition was actually not that bad, despite of his parasites, being underweight, having some eczema and developing a slight cold – it could’ve been much worse, to be honest. I’m gald I was able to foster him back to health relatively fast. Finishing his lice treatment is the last step he still needs to take in order to find a good home, but other than that he’s doing amazing and he got used to living with me surprisingly fast. He already feels right at home, yawning and chilling out right beside his water bowl (that he absolutely loves for some strange reason), so I’m sure he’ll get used to his forever home fast as well. With enough patience he’ll realize humans aren’t that bad, either.

I took him on my own account and paid for his treatment out my own pocket (I get special prices at out practice since I’m staff, though). I’m not asking or anything in return. I’m just happy to be able to give him the best start possible for a new life. I definately would’ve kept him if he was a female or if I didn’t own a male already, but since I need to let him go, I’ll stay in contact with the rescue group where he’ll be going to and make sure they’ll find him the perfect home he deserves.

Dragonball Super

Am I in a litte bit of a Dragonball phase right now? Well… maybe, yes.

This is one of the anime I’ve grown up with, so it’s quite amazing to see it still being popular today and I have to admit Dragonball Super hits the comedy part quite well. dbz-kamitokamiUnfortunately the animation quality and layout of the fights aren’t as good as I hoped them to be, even more so after the amazing job they did with Kami to Kami. I’ve admittedly never been much of a fan of the movies, but most of them are not canon anyway, so that might be part of it.

Kami to Kami was the first movie in a long time, where Akira Toriyama actually worked on himself and it shows. A lot. This movie is a work of art, it’s absolutely on point: the animation, the quality, the comedy, the characters (well, most of them anyways) and above everything else the main fight between Beerus and Super Saiyan God Goku is absolutely breathtaking. And apparently I’m not the only one who thought that way, because it was popular enough to spawn another movie Resurrection of F and ultimately resulted in the making of Dragonball Super.

Unlike GT Super is considered canon, because Akira Toriyama is working on it himself, but as far as I know he contributes the general plot points an the rest is up to the dragonball-super-stream-cover-Aa0YhnIaCpDgbuFxBWF89fPPIGXK36LE_220x330animation team, which leaves a lot of room. As for the original series and Z they had the manga to rely on, which they don’t have this time and unfortunately it shows in the way the fights are constructed. It’s still fun to watch most of the time and I know the minute-long screaming in Z was annoying, but the fights aren’t as exciting as they used to be and I’m already overlooking substantial drops in animation quality on the character models, I’m just talking about the fights themselves.

One of the characters who’s standing out the most in Super is, in my opinion, Vegeta. They’re doing such an amazing job with him and walk a pretty nice line between awkwardly funny and dead serious. Also, he’s now pretty much a much better father than Goku ever was and shows genuine interest in his family, that he apparently came to love for real. It doesn’t really hurt we finally get to know why Goku took ChiChi and Vegeta Bulma and Piccolos reaction to that was just plain priceless.

Bulma and ChiChi are both very headstrong women and that’s exactly the reason why Vegeta and Goku got attracted to them, because that’s apparently what a Saiyan is looking for in a woman, because she needs to be able to handle a Saiyan family. Remember how many people said they’re bowing their heads to Bluma and ChiChi (even though the latter is annoying as fuck) for being able to raise Saiyans? Yeah, basically, if they wouldn’t haven been as headstrong as they are, Goku and Vegeta would’ve never gone for them.

Now, this is just my theory, but I personally believe Goku does not differenciate between his love for his family and his friends. He knew instinctively this particular women would be able to raise his children, so he went for it. I’m not saying he doesn’t love her, tumblr_inline_mu6o3jZqRb1qzj8pubut I think he loves her and his sons the same way he loves his friends. I mean, his relationship with Gohan is closer to that of being best buddies instead of being father and son. Also, excuse me, but I don’t think Goku has ever been a good father for Gohan. I believe he’s somewhat trying with Goten, but that’s nowhere near the level of what we’re seeing from Vegeta, who refused to leave because his baby was about to be born soon – and not just out of fear for Bulma, but genuine interest in his child. Goku? He didn’t even understand why that’s a problem. I actually felt sad when Vegeta wasn’t allowed to name his daughter, because it looked like he was really looking forward to giving her a strong saiyan name.

I’m not saying Vegeta is the perfect dad, because he neglected Trunks a lot, too. I’m justVegeta-600x330 saying he’s a better father than Goku, who always saw Gohan more as sparring partner and nakama to save the world, instead of a son. Heck, I’m supporting the guys saying Piccolo has always been more of a father figure for Gohan than his actual father. The father-of-the-year awards goes to Gohan anyway, who’s doing the most amazing job with Pan.

What brings me to the one person whom I think got heavily downgraded and that’s Videl. I have to be honest, I loved her when she was introduced: she was strong, she was a tomboy and she knew what she wanted. She complimented the awkward Gohan in the most amazing way, they turned out to be such am awesome duo. Unfortunately… she got the ChiChi-treatment. I’m just glad they didn’t turn her into the same nagging mess of a woman that ChiChi is, but she’s basically been downgraded to just being Gohans wife with their child. Where’s the headstrong teenager we all knew and loved? Now she’s sitting at a round table with Bulma and ChiChi talking about how she always loved girly things, too. What? WHEN? WHERE? That never happend in Z, they’re just trying to make her more domestic, which is sickening me.

495ed152bee288f0df3d1787144736ce39d740e7_hqI honestly would’ve preferred if Videl would’ve gotten the 18 treatment. Sure, she got domestic as well, she’s madly in love with her husband and daughter, but she NEVER lost her bite. She’s still kicking ass and neveryone knows not to mess with her. She’s even representing Universe 7 in the tournament of power and doing a damn well job at it. I’m sure ChiChi can still fight, I mean she even trained Goten up into a Super Saiyan and I’m sure Videl can also still fight, but it’s not worth anything anymore. Their place is being a wife and raising their kids and nothting else, that’s what their characters have been reduced to and that’s what’s annoying me. I really miss that temperatment of her’s that Vicel had, when she stood up to Gohan.

I’m not saying being a fulltime wife and mom is a bad thing per se. I’m just disappointed all of her other personaly traits got thrown out of the window. It’s like, dude Gohan, who did you marry again? And… why? Didn’t you like her for being independent, headstrong and reckless?

As for Gohan, he’s always been against fighting and only did so when he was forced to. Dragon-Ball-Super-Episode-90-ReviewHe’s always been a sweet natured guy by heart, so being a loving dad totally suits him. From all the demi-saiyans, he’s probably the one who’s most aware of being a child of two worlds and he probably has the two most different hearts beating in his chest. He’s got the full figthing potential from his saiyan side, but the sensitive heart of a human. Wow, great thing he arguably had the worst childhood ever… and people are honestly surprised he stops training and fighting every second he gets.

I mean, sure, I’ve dedicated an entire post about the lost potential of Gohan, because he’s been buffed drastically for Goku to take the spotlight and it hurt so damn much seeing him useless, because you KNOW he could be the strongest. Piccolo just recently confirmed his potential to be “bottomless”, Gohan could be Earth’s strongest weapon, if he wished so. I’m really glad he decided to not completely abadoning his saiyan heritage and started training again. And guess what? He’s already strong enough to force Goku into his strongest form, but what I think is even better for him, is that he’s trying for new heights, but without relying on the Super Saiyan forms they’re been abusing ever since Freeza on Namek.

Dragon-BallI’m always a sucker for meeting characters from the original series. Maybe it’s the nostalgia, but I just love seeing those characterst hat have been there since the very beginning, when Dragonball was a martial arts fantasy adventure and before it was turned into a superpower Sci-Fi festival. I admit I’m a huge fan of the Dragonball saga before Z, before there were aliens and when humans were still able to hold their own against the protagonists. When we had talking dinosaurs participating in the great tournament and a protagonist with a tail that nobody gave a fuck about, because… why? Between flying and talking cats, shapeshifting pigs and humanoid wolves, a kid with a monkey tail doesn’t even need much of an explanation, you just accept it as being part of this fantasy world.

 

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Ballroom e Youkoso Anime and Manga Spoilers

Damn those necks.

Okay, so with Ballroom e Youkoso my arguably most anticipated anime of the year was released and we’re 5 episodes in and far enough to say something of substance.

First of all, I love the art direction. I know, the necks are a little bit too long, but overall I think it looks absolutely gorgeous and the animation quality is pretty nice. I was hoping for fully animated dances in the same way Yuri on Ice fully animated the figure scating programms, but that’s very unusual for anime, so I guess I kind of knew this wouldn’t happen? It’s still a tiny bit disappointing, though.

They make use of freeze frames quite a bit and while that’s not unusual in anime at all, the manga does such an amazing job of capturing the movement and power of dancing, I actually think the anime looks a little bit too static sometimes. I’ve seen much worse, don’t get me wrong, something in me just screams: “This is not right.” when the manga is creating better movement with still images than it’s animated counterpart. It’s still good! I just think it could be better.

It’s been such a long time that I’ve seen the start of the story, it made me realize a lot of stuff and it’s really funny seeing all the new people react to the characters, who you know will not be what they seem to be when they are introduced, but first things first.

I noticed I’m really missing Chii-chan so much, not just because she’s one of my favorite characters and I totally ship her with Tatara, but also because she’s giving Tatara a real challenge and brings out his worse. She makes him suffer, she makes him question his ablilities, but she also makes him move forward the absolute most. Right now in these first 5 episodes, everything came so easy to Tatara, he’s basically been given everything on a silver tablet with the best wishes from the Chef so far and it will continue this way until Chii-chan arrives and messes with everything Tatara thought he knew.

Tatara is a total beginner and yes he first struggles a bit with the Waltz, but he gets his lessons for free, he is taught by literally the best dancer in Japan, he gets his suit for free, he gets to dance with two very experienced and advanced girls to learn from and has the ability to learn extreamly fast by seeing and remembering basically everything about dancing. Explaining doesn’t work very well for him, but seeing it does.

I really didn’t notice it that much when I was reading the manga, but Tatara is very priviledged – and has the balls to try and go after Shizuku as a partner, because he has a crush on her, even though she’s partnered with Hyodo. I don’t want to sound too mean, because he’s still training a lot, even at home, but I stand by my words, he has it very easy at the start and it takes until Chii-chan arrived that he’s actually forced to struggle for real for the first time.

I guess having it easy at the beginning makes up for all the struggle he has to go through with Chii-chan, because once it starts, it’s not going to stop. Tatara learns to suffer and is forced to face his weak spots, but creates something very unique together with Chii-chan. In a way, Chii-chan is the 3rd experienced & advanced girl he gets to pair up with, but she’s his first real partner and unlike Mako and Shizuku, Chii-chan has a whole damn lot of learning to do herself, because she always danced the male part and never the female part. So, you end up with a beginner who doesn’t know how to lead and an advanced dancer who doesn’t know how not to lead. Perfect combination for trouble. Awesome.

It’s actually even more awesome that in recent chapters they’ve started to discover a way to work together and bring out both their strenghts in their dance. I hope they can move forward from being the dysfunctional couple in desync to being a real unity, because in the rare moments they were, they were freaking unstoppable. They complement each other so well, there’s no way I want to see Tatara leave her for Shizuku at one point. If that’s ever going to happen, I’m dropping this manga, Tatara and Chii-chan absolutely need to stay together.

Talking about staying together, I love Hyodo and episode 4 made me realize again just why. This manga/anime has a great talent and that is: introducing an antagonist as some evil guy, that ends up in a friendly rivalry with the main protagonist. It happend with Hyodo, who’s some kind of mentor/elder brother to Tatara in manga right now and it also happend with Gaju. It’s so funny seeing all the people watching the anime complaining over Hyodo, wishing he would break up with Shizuku for Tatara’s sake and now they’re upset about Gaju “snatching Shizuku away” from Tarara being the mean guy… when it fact they all have their partners, they all will stay with their partners, Tatara will get his own partner and they will all become pretty good friends.

They are still rivals, but I love that they’re friends at the same time in a very healthy way. They do shenaningans, they mess up, they tease each other, but everything is on friendly terms and they rely onto each other when needed, too. In case of Hyodo, these could very well be his first actual frindships and Gaju? I mean, he’s even messing with Tatara in school all the time, they’re partners in crime.

In shounen, and Ballroom e Youkoso is a shounen, you usually have the main protagonist and his close ring of friends, his nakama. In case of Tatara, his “nakama” are his rivals, wich is kind of cool to be honest. I’d be interesting to see if Masami joins this ring of friends/rivals as well. So far, he tried his best not to and be the long wolf. He’s a very different type of guy and I think he might always stay more reserved, but I think he could very well become friends with the rest of the group.

And by the way, Akira is pretty ingenius as a comic relieve. She’s not just funny in the way she interacts with Chii-chan, there’s a very serious background to all of this and I hope to see more of her. Not because she’s gay for Chii-chan, remember I ship TataraxChii-chan, but because of her great dynamic with Chii-chan.

Before I finish this, I need to get this out of my system: You don’t teach Slow Foxtrott to a beginner. You… don’t. It’s too hard, even the basic steps are long and complicated, it’s a dance for advanced dancers and nothing Tatara should learn after Waltz as his first dance ever.