Otaku Daydreams

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The Hits and Misses of Reverse Harems

utapri

Reverse harems, if presented well, can be very popular and entertaining. One such example is Uta no Prince-sama, whose popularity has been so high that a second season and  third season have been aired. Personally, I’ve only watched season 1. I would have been able to watch season 2 if it wasn’t for one of my friends who pointed out the cheesy dance moves and the ridiculousness of six guys liking one girl. (Seriously, I was actually fine with it before she told me that!) It’s funny how usual dramas and anime sometimes feature love triangles, but for Uta no Prince-sama Magi Love 1000%, there was a love heptagon. As if that wasn’t enough, the cat turned into a guy and it became a love octagon.

This post isn’t supposed to be a rant about Utapri, so I’ll stop with the criticism. It’s not that bad as it might appear in my writing. I know that the above points can be argued as I don’t like reverse harems in general. However, there are parts that I enjoy. There is a reason I completed watching season 1. If it really was terrible, I would have dropped it. I liked the songs in Utapri, especially the opening song, Orpheus. Other insert songs like Mirai Chizu and Nanairo no Compass are nice as well. I felt that the countdown part of the ending song was cheesy but hilarious. That’s the reason my friends and I used to sing it again and again, probably driving our other classmates crazy since they had no idea what we were singing. It was so fun. Also, there were funny moments in the anime like episode 6 where Syo tried to overcome his fear of heights so he could get the role he wanted, only to find out in the end that the role was being the main character’s little sister.

Final verdict: Hit

brocon

By the way, the one in pink is also one of the brothers.

Here’s an example of a reverse harem that is completely ridiculous. Brothers Conflict involves a girl moving in to live with her thirteen stepbrothers. That’s right. 13. That is no typo. When I was reading the synopsis, I initially thought it was a typo and it should have been 3 instead. But no. When I scrolled down, there really were 13 names. Who would have thirteen children now (if we consider developed countries) and even if one does have thirteen children, what are the chances of all of them being sons? BroCon makes Utapri look so realistic in comparison, other than having a cat transform into a guy. On a side note, if the insanity of all thirteen brothers liking their new stepsister isn’t enough, let’s add in a talking squirrel. Let me rant about how much I detest that annoying brat. It humiliates all the adorable squirrels in the world! Why is it even in the anime? Sheesh.

The reason I decided to try watching Brothers Conflict was a meme I saw on Facebook. It was a scene in episode two, where Yuusuke said, “Just when I started liking someone, she became my stepsister.” It made me think that the anime was only about the two of them so it seemed very interesting. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the most ridiculous reverse harem I’ve watched. I dropped it after three episodes. One reason being I seriously wanted to strangle the squirrel, and the other being the fact that I could not stand the whole anime anymore.

Final verdict: Miss

amnesia

Is it just me or do they look very creepy here?

So yeah, why did I watch this again? Oh right, because of the animation. Compared to Brothers Conflict, Amnesia had better animation and fewer guys. The plot, however, was pretty jumbled up. The main character has amnesia but doesn’t tell anyone. Sometimes, she gets random visions when parts of her memories come back. I gave up after three episodes. To be honest I was getting fed up with their eyes. They have the oddest eye colours. It can’t be seen in the picture above, but in the anime, their eyes aren’t, for example, simply blue. It’s blue mixed with pink. My eyes hurt just looking at them, so I gave up on the whole series. Also, the amnesia thing was getting annoying.

Final verdict: Miss

kamigami no asobi

I’ve posted my first impressions on Kamigami no Asobi before, which you can read here. To sum it up, Kamigami no Asobi has succeeded in creating a strong main female character unlike many others. Yui is not weak and has an actual personality. She is not submissive to others and has the courage to raise her own opinions and discontent. That is what I really like about Kamigami no Asobi. However, a reverse harem will always be a reverse harem, and this is where my dissatisfaction starts. I find it ridiculous that flowery backgrounds appear every single time a new male character is introduced. I couldn’t stand it, which is why I’ve only watched one episode of this.

Final verdict: Miss

ouran

To end off with a more positive note, here’s a great reverse harem that you should watch. Ouran High School Host Club is more natural, in a sense. Unlike some others, especially those adapted from otome games, the main character isn’t some expressionless person. Now that I think about it, that’s what I hated about the main characters in Brothers Conflict and Amnesia. They were totally expressionless! Besides, I have no idea what they even did that made all the guys like them. At least Haruka from Utapri had talent! Back to Ouran, Haruhi is forced to join the host club to pay her debts for breaking an antique vase. The reason why I really like it is because of its comedy. I was so focused on its comedy that I never realised it was actually a reverse harem at first. Interesting characters, wonderful plot. I have no complaints for Ouran High School Host Club.

Final verdict: Hit

The above are all my opinions.  Feel free to comment and share your thoughts with me!

P.S. I wrote this post in 2014, but I have no idea why I haven’t posted it yet.

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Inspiring Quotes: Shingeki no Kyojin

I’ve been asking myself this recently – why did I choose to take Literature as one of my subjects? It’s like a completely different version from what I studied before. It’s forcing me to think deeper, to try to grasp what the author is trying to imply. Unfortunately, things aren’t going very well. While attempting to think deeper, I feel that I am drowning in a sea of question marks. I constantly feel intimidated by the works of others. I often wonder how they manage to magically craft essays with such beautiful phrases. Why am I so inferior?

Another thought that floated in my mind is why anime could not be part of my curriculum. Why couldn’t Literature test us about anime instead of such puzzling and infuriating poems and extracts? Why can’t the question be on “Write a critical commentary on the following anime extract”? I would look forward to every assignment.

However, what has been done cannot be undone. In this beautiful cruel world, we encounter many obstacles that trap us in a net of regrets. Yet, in this beautiful cruel world, we can change things for the better. Who says that anime can’t be weaved into our daily lives? We don’t watch anime purely for entertainment. Contrary to what most people think, anime does embed certain positive values on us. Shingeki no Kyojin proves to be an inspiring supplier of motivation for me.

snk wallpaper

“On that day, mankind received a grim reminder. We lived in fear of the titans, and were disgraced to live in these cages we called walls.”
– Eren Jaeger

I’ve always felt that Shingeki no Kyojin was a reflection on modern society. It might be set in a different time, but the idea is the same. No world is completely peaceful. After living safely within the walls for years, the Titans have come to invade their territory and to exterminate the entire human population. The Titans in the real world are the obstacles we face in life.

“If you win, you live. If you lose, you die. If you don’t fight, you can’t win!”
– Eren Jaeger 

Running away won’t solve any problems. It’s only by fighting the Titans in our heart that we can get rid of our worries. I tell myself that my homework and exams are Titans. Each of them are classified into different types of Titans, depending on their difficulty. For normal homework, I label them as three-metre tall Titans, the smallest ones. For for difficult ones, I call them ten-metre tall Titans, etc. My school exams are represented by the Armoured Titan while national exams are represented as the Colossal Titan. Whenever I complete a task, I motivate myself by saying what Titan I’ve defeated.

“People who can’t throw something important away, can never hope to change anything.”
– Armin Arlet 

One of my flaws is my procrastination. Sometimes, even when I’m supposed to be doing revision, my mind would drift off to anime. The quote mentioned above caught my attention. If I don’t throw something important away, like the time spent watching anime (when I shouldn’t), I would never be able to change my grades. In this pragmatic society, where good grades are the key to success, I would ruin my future if I don’t change my ways.

Most importantly, the first opening, Guren no Yumiya, is extremely inspiring. If you search for the English lyrics, there’s a stanza that goes like this:

Draw the bow and chase it, don’t let the enemy escape
Fire the arrow and corner it, never let the enemy escape
The bowstring pulled until it is about to snap
Endless volleys continued, until the target drops dead

We are the hunters, everyone, so pick up your crimson bow and arrow and let’s defeat all the Titans together.


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Confessions of a Hidden Otaku

In this judgemental society, maintaining an image is crucial. Yet, with a personality of a hidden otaku, maintaining an image is difficult. I am usually described as quiet and reserved… until people get to know me. When they do, well, let’s say they might regret and wish they could turn the clock back, unless they are an otaku just like me. The fact that I’m not an isolated roamer in school makes me grateful that I have friends who accept me even after knowing my weird side.

I’m an insecure person. I think too much about things, whether or not they are important. I care far too much about what others think of me. Hence, I’m cautious of hiding my otaku self from people I just meet. When the doors of my actual personality are opened, there’s no escape. Sometimes I joke about how my friends have no choice but to accept my weird personality because we’re already such good friends.

I can’t watch an anime silently. I have a peculiar habit of pointing out the strangest things in an anime. It may be a romantic scene, but my mind would register something else… Something totally opposite and silly. For instance, when I was watching The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, there was a scene where Makoto and Chiaki were sitting and talking near the riverside. That reminded me of the Literary Girl scenes in Daily Lives of High School Boys. The atmosphere is totally off, but Hidenori often finds himself encountering the Literary Girl when he’s alone near the river. You can probably tell how random I can be now. It would be more sensible to compare the scene to Kimi ni Todoke since Kazehaya and Sawako have walked together in a similar scene. In fact, I did think of that when Chiaki was cycling with Makoto sitting behind him. (Riversides are often portrayed in anime, especially for shoujo anime.) However, the strange comments I make are the ones that make me… one of a kind, I guess.

Girl who Leapt Through Time

literary girlWell, not quite, but close enough.

Another eccentric characteristic of mine is fangirling over anime characters. I can’t help it. This is the main reason why I cannot watch anime in public. It’s an instant, fatal strike to my social life. (That’s pretty much an exaggeration.) During the rare cases when I do watch anime in public, I do my best to mask my facial expressions, to do my best impersonation of Kuroko’s poker face. This is not always successful, and I have been guilty of laughing out loud in public.

knb kurokoDid I say something? No, I’m just drinking my juice…