Manga (And Also Anime) Monday: All Work and No Cosplay, Makes Jack a Baka Onii-San

Happy Monday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! 4B is back and (hopefully) better than ever! Once again, I’m terribly sorry for the hiatus and hope these next few posts more than make it up to you. To kick off these redemption posts  (wow, that actually sounds kinda badass) here is an installment of Manga (And Also Anime) Monday. In these segments we explore the wide, wonderful, world of Japanese media and the culture around it. Today’s post is going to focus on the latter of those parts, by exploring the incredibly popular and impressive hobby/career/activity that is cosplay.

Cosplay 1

Cosplay, as it is defined in a brief google search, is “the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genre of manga and anime.” This definition is actually pretty accurate. Cosplay is essentially super-mega-ultra-intense dress up. If that sounds like a mockery of the practice, it is by no means meant to be. Cosplay involves individuals handcrafting the extremely complex and often preposterous ensembles of fictional characters. This requires an incredible amount of time, energy, and skill; and it is no wonder that this activity has evolved into a greatly respected hobby or a professional career.

Cosplay 2

(Pictured above is cosplayer and internet personality Meg Turney.)

Cosplay has grown into the massive phenomenon that it is today, mostly due to the mentality behind the practice. Cosplay is, in a lot of ways, a labor of love.  Through cosplay, people connect more deeply with the character and story that they are bringing to life. Nobody would put the massive amount of work that is necessary, into this hobby if they did deeply appreciate the character they are representing. Each and every instance of cosplay can be taken as an expression of love for the character and work that they are embodying.

As cosplay’s popularity has grown exceptionally over the past decade or so, people have risen to fame due to the activity and can be considered the face of modern cosplay. These professional cosplaiers are masters of their craft and all but completely breakdown the barrier between fiction and reality. Some of these noteworthy figures aaaaaaaaaaare:

Cosplay 3

Jessica Nigri. Ms. Nigri is probably one of the most famous modern cosplayers, and for good reason. Not only does she make truly astounding costumes, but she also has a magnificent personality that makes her both lovable and admirable. I personally am a huge admirer of Ms. Nigri and her works and am grateful to her for the astonishing creations that she has crafted during her career.

Cosplay 4

Alodia Gosienfiao. Ms. Gosienfiao is perhaps one of the most famous and recognized cosplaiers in the world. Her works are incredibly impressive and she has been bringing cosplay to a wider audience since 2003. She has contributed more to the world of cosplay than perhaps any other, and will undoubtedly continue to make the practice even more respected in the future.

Cosplay 5

Sev. I had to include this DC area cosplay. With one of the simplest costumes ever constructed, this man  has generated a massive amount of interest in cosplay and will forever be an internet meme. Also, who among us would not want this Magicarp on our team?

That just about does it for this installment of Manga (And Also Anime) Monday. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. If you liked it, please give it a like and if you leave a comment below I will be sure to reply to you. If you would like to keep up to date with this blog, you can subscribe via email in the upper right tab. Alternatively you can like the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook Page or follow me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope you all have an awesome week and be sure to come back here on Wednesday for the next installment of Pop Culture Wednesday.

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

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Manga (And Also Anime) Monday: All Work and No Cosplay, Makes Jack a Baka Onii-San

Manga (And Also Anime) Monday: Sunshine Award!!!

Happy Monday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! This is Manga (And Also Anime) Monday, the place where any and everything anime/manga related is examined and discussed with feverish vigor. Today’s post is going to be a little different, this is because I WAS NOMINATED FOR AN AWARD!!!! 😀  I have been nominated for the Sunshine Award by the awesome and fantastic krystallina, who is the operator of the very cool and informative Daiyamanga blog. She writes incredibly authoritative and eloquent manga reviews and recommendations that are a joy to read. I am beyond grateful to her for nominating me for this award and am more than happy to accept. Therefore, this post is mostly going to pertain to me going over the rules of the award and answering the questions proposed to me by krystallina.

Sunshine Award

The Rules:

If you have been nominated for The Sunshine Award and you choose to accept it, write a blog post about the Sunshine Award in which you:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate a few other bloggers.

4. Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you nominated.

5. Notify the bloggers on their blog.

6. Put the award button on your blog.

Pretty straight foreword, but still really fun.  :3  Now to answer some questions. BRING IT ON!

The Questions: 

1. If you could go to a host club or maid cafe from any anime or manga, which one would you go to and whom would you request?

If I could go to any host club or maid cafe from any anime or manga….I’m honestly not sure where I would go. I haven’t seen to many anime or read to many manga that feature either of those very prominently. However, if I can cheat a little bit, I would love to go to Anteiku or :re from Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo Ghoul: re, respectfully. I know that neither of those places are technically a made cafe, but they do serve coffee! Also I would not be opposed to seeing Touka in a maid uniform. Or Hinami. Or Kaneki. Probably getting my ass on all three of those, though. WORTH IT!

2. Which anime or manga character would you NOT want to be?

I desperately would not want to be Saitama from One Punch Man. While it is super awesome that he can kill anything with a single punch and the story of how he got to that level is crazy inspiring, I do not think I could handle the amount of depression and apathy that he deals with daily. I love Saitama and I adore One Punch Man, and I feel a part of my love is due to me being able to relate to Saitama so much. I know first hand how it feels to slowly have something you used to love doing become tedious and mundane and I hope to never get to Saitama’s point of being unfulfilled.

3. If you could talk to any one person that is in the anime, manga, or video game industry, whom would you pick and why? (Assume you could bring a translator if necessary.)

If I could talk to any person in the video game industry it would easily be the creator of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Hideo Kojima. I would probably spend the entire time thanking Mr. Kojima for the marvelous works he has created. I cannot understate how much Mr. Kojima’s creations have influenced me and how grateful I am to him for everything he has done.

Nominations and Their Questions: 

I am incredibly sorry, but I do not really know of any blogs or writers to nominate.  D:  I have not been doing this for very long and I have done basically zero networking. I would love to meet other people who are doing this and, if that happens, I would gladly nominate them this award. Actually, if you are interested in starting what could some day turn into a rapport, please leave a comment or a like and I’d love to get in touch.

Since my lack of connections pretty much limits my ability to do the remaining rules, I think that is where I’m going to end this installment of Manga (And Also Anime) Monday. Once again, thank you so much for nominating me krystallina. If you ever want to do anything collaborative or just talk about wonderful world of manga, I would be completely down for that. As always, if you enjoyed this post, please leave a like or a comment down below. If you would like to stay up to date with this blog, you can subscribe in the upper right tab via your email. Alternatively, you can stay up to date by liking the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook Page or by following me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope all of you guys have a great rest of the week and be sure to come back here on Wednesday for the next installment of Pop Culture Wednesday.

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

Manga (And Also Anime) Monday: Sunshine Award!!!

Manga (And Also Anime) Monday: Naruto, Naru-toppled

Happy Monday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! How was your weekend? Mine was pretty bitchin’, and now I’m eager to start my week and make the absolute most out of it. And what is a better way to start the week than by examining an abused, almost corpse like state of a once great anime so that future shows can learn from its incredibly obvious mistakes. What fun! 😀  Here’s how Nartuto became shitty and how other anime can avoid this happening to them in the future.

Naruto 1

Even if you do not watch anime, you have probably heard of Nartuo. It is arguably the most popular shonen anime globally right now, and, in many ways,  is anime’s lowest common denominator. It was created by Masashi Kishimoto and plot revolves around the titular character, Naruto, as he attempts to becomes the strongest ninja in his village and overcome the demon fox sealed within him. The show became popular globally due to a main character having an appearance that could be identified with in the west, fights and plot lines that continuously grew in complexity and scope, and a universally appreciated message of never giving up and trying to achieve your dreams. Naruto’s popularity really cannot be understated. This program introduced a lot of people into anime and is at least partially responsible for anime becoming more popular in the west in recent years.

Despite everything good that Nartuo has done, both as a show and for the anime industry as a whole, there is no denying that it is inexcusably bad today. Like, REALLY bad. Like, the most recent episode got a 0.8/5 stars on Anime News Network bad. I believe that the cause for the show’s massive decline is threefold: the plot took a weird turn, the people behind the show got greedy, and there is an overabundance of filler.

Naruto 2

The plot of Naruto is fairly straight foreword, until it gets to the last boss fight; then it gets weird. The anime is just now depicting this part of the story, when it’s not showing filler, however, I have read the now complete manga (partly because I’m a weeb and partly because my internet struggles with playing videos) and have had a good while to ponder the ending. Without spoiling too much for perspective readers, Naruto ends with the reader and characters finding out that the person they though was the main antagonist was actually being manipulated by previously unmentioned even more evil character and the protagonists have to beat this new character up. This ending left a sour taste in my moth both because Naruto pulled this narrative twist a couple times earlier in the series, to much better effect, and because the new mastermind evil character really is not well developed nor is her motivation made very clear.

Poor endings for a series can be forgiven, though. Now that I think about it a bit, for a series that is a popular as Naruto there really was no possible way for any ending not to upset at least a small portion of the fandom. However, what cannot be forgiven is the way this series has continued to be milked for profit ever since it became popular. The Naruto franchise is never going to die, which is impressive in some ways and concerning in others. Now that the manga has ended and the anime will be ending in the near future, it would make sense that content regarding the series would stop being released, at least for a while. That is not happening, however. A movie about events that take place after the end of the series has been released, a string of Naruto video games is set to be released in the near future, and the anime is going to be extended for as long as feasibly possible via filler episodes. Normally this would be a good thing, the more Naruto the better, right? However, the quality of this extra material is severely below even the lowest points in the cannon and really only brings the franchise down while simultaneously making money for the owners of it.

Naruto 3

My last criticism of the Naruto anime is easily its most sever. The anime has far too much filler. Filler is the term used to refer to additional content and episodes used to extend an anime’s run and, usually, give the series’s creator more time to continue the manga so that the anime does not move past what it is being adapted from. Naruto is notorious for its extensive amount of filler as, during the series’s halfway point, it had nearly caught up entirely with the original manga. This resulted in dozens of filler episodes being created and the series being re-branded in its second half. Now that the manga has ended, the show theoretically has no more need for filler as it cannot move past the ending point. However, filler continue to air in a very poor attempt at extending the shows run and making more money. I honestly cannot describe here awful and annoying it is to watch a series I used to love be slowly ruined each week by poorly written extra and unnecessary episodes that contribute noting to the series overall.

Naruto was a good anime. There is no way it could have become as popular as what it is if it was not. However, it has since become a shell of its former self. What was previously a boiled down version of some of the best elements of anime has now become a combination of some of the worst practices in the industry right now. Naruto will always be respected by me for what it was originally and for sparking a lot of new interest in anime, but it has since then betrayed me far to many times for me to fell much beyond contempt for it. So, in short, Naruto is the “Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all” of anime, and that’s kind of a bummer.

That just about does it for today’s installment of Manga (And Also Anime) Monday. If you enjoyed it please give it a like and if you disagree with my views please leave a comment down below and we can have a civil discussion about it. Or a flame war. I’m game for whatever 😛 . If you would like to stay up to date with this blog, you can subscribe to it in the upper right tab by using your email. Alternatively, you can keep up to date by liking the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook Page, or by following me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. I hope you all have a great rest of the week and be sure to come back on Wednesday for the next installment of Pop Culture Wednesday.

BaddaBing, BaddaBye

Manga (And Also Anime) Monday: Naruto, Naru-toppled