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A Few Reasons You Might Like Anime

So my wonderful girlfriend committed to watching the first 700 episodes of One Piece with me sometime last week (Pretty awesome I know).
Mind you I’m currently on episode 702.
Around episode 30 she asks “I’m just curious, why do you love anime so much?”
 
*Stumped*
 
No one has ever asked me that question in a “I’m serious I actually want to know” tone, it’s usually…
“Dude why do you love that anime stuff so much?” or  “Yo, are you gonna watch cartoons all day?”
 
Because I REALLY like it a lot… Evidence Example 1:

Being the quick thinker that I am (or the fact that I take time for self-reflection a lot so I already knew the answer :P) I realized it boiled down to two things:
 
Honor and Integrity.
 
BACKGROUND THOUGHTS:
 
I think about the series which I enjoyed the most and there is such a stark contrast to what we see in the news and what occurs in the world every day.
It’s always “Drama this” and “Everything is terrible that.” We have to read about people shooting each other and fighting over petty things. The news basically chooses to show us stories that paint the illusion “In order to have or get ahead, you must take from someone else or make them worse off.” It’s almost like propaganda that makes a lot of people get into the “Better them than me!” mindset, and makes society look like the most self-serving group of people in history (which make or may not be true but that is another story).
Take for instance Lance Armstrong. Like anytime someone cheats or lies or steals or WHATEVER, my first thought is “What was going through this person’s mind and what happened in their life that they were fine throwing away their integrity to stand before people pretending to be an honest person?”
He stood behind the façade of “I’m doing this for cancer awareness! Here is the Lance Armstrong Foundation!” when in reality, it was all still for him. And before you argue “Oh he did great things for cancer research!” I know he did. And he also could have done it without cheating and lying, sooo if he were doing it purely for cancer awareness… the blood doping was unnecessary.

I could go on and on but just log this as Example: 1 – Getting rewarded for cheating and being dishonest.
 
MUSICS:
Even mainstream hip hop perpetuates this way of thinking. Talk about how much money you have, how bad the girls surrounding you are and how dope your whips are – add in a little sprinkle of “I will shoot any fool who crosses me” (even if you don’t have a gun). Like I love old school Jay-Z and Kanye but they are some of the most repeat offenders to be honest:
 
Jay-Z:
 
Just add another million to these verses
One million, two million, three million, four
And the money’s really worthless, I’m pissing you off on purpose
 
“Photo shoot fresh looking like wealth, I’m about to call the paparazzi on myself!”
 
Kanye:
 
“They ain’t see me cause I pulled up on my other Benz, last week I was in my other other Benz.”
 
Now I know there is a history that goes along with lyric types such as these and my thoughts are that in the era of Biggie and Tupac, artists were intending lyrics such as these to give a sense of hope and pride in a period of (more) oppression.
Once again… I could go on and on but just log this as Example: 2Elevating yourself by telling everyone how much better you are than them.
 
You’re probably like “Hey I thought this article was about Anime!”
Don’t worry young ones, we are about to get there J
 
THE ANIMEZZ:
 
So in these wonderful days where the massive media outlets want to show us the important things in life are 1. Getting ahead by cheating and 2. Telling everyone how amazing you are, anime provides an outlet to me where the important things are characteristics like honor, pride, integrity and perseverance.
Those of you who know me understand how important integrity and perseverance are to the DEPTHS OF MY SOUL, and to be able to watch shows that put those to the forefront really allows me to connect with the characters.
 
Starting with One Piece as an example (Since that’s the thing that brought this up):
I want to start by saying Luffy is just an awesome character. You get to see so much development from being a little runt getting angry at Shanks for not getting in an unnecessary fight, all the way to him fighting on par with enemies who initially outclass him (Arlong, Crocodile and Doflamingo for example).
All along his journey through the ups and downs he never brags about defeating enemies or being strong, but he engages in fights in his quest to become the king of the pirates.
If you think that him becoming the king of the pirates is why he fights, you are sorely mistaken.
Look at every fight he participates in and you’ll notice something :
Every time Luffy fights, he is fighting for someone else. Defending their home, fighting for their freedom, fighting for friendships etc… In all honesty I think Luffy doesn’t realize his real goal is to just sail around having fun with his friends

 

 

But he continuously is placed in this scenarios where he sees something unfair happening and immediately jumps in without question to fight for what’s right. In each one of these fights he seems initially outclassed but perseveres and in the end is rewarded forDoing the right thing.
Someone rewarded for DOING THE RIGHT THING. Those who were initially his enemies become his friends.
He becomes stronger and learns more about himself without throwing away his honor.
I’m sure Fox News head would explode if they had to report something like that.
 
 
Kiba (Minor spoilers below):
Another good example where in the beginning you are led to think Zed as the trouble maker and feel sympathy for Noah the upstanding citizen who is disabled by a disease. Throughout the series you get to watch Zed grow and develop fighting battle after battle in Templar, and when Noah reappears with power, he’s all of a sudden the bad guy. Basically the world in Noah’s head revolved around him and he wanted to be the strongest and blah blah blah, but who ends up saving a world that he didn’t even belong to?
That’s right. Zed the trouble maker.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! When he returned to his world (Calm), the wind was flowing there again?REWARD FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING.
 
 
 
My Hulu anime watch list is overflowing with shows that exemplify the characteristics above:
Dragon Ball Z – How many times did Goku or someone else sacrifice themselves to save the world who has no clue they even exist? (Granted they were getting wished back to life but minor details… minor details.) Except for Krillin. He just got owned for the sake of getting owned.

Naruto – He is all about fighting for his friends and his village, even the people who scoffed and abused him. And SURPRISE! He eventually achieves his dream of Hokage WITHOUT THROWING AWAY HIS INTEGRITY!? (I’m looking at you Sasuke… >.>)

Pretty much every Gundam Series – The internal struggle every pilot has, but I guess if I was trained young to pilot a huge mech warrior to save my country or planet or whatever I would probably have some things to come to term with too.

 
The list goes on and on (Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai Champloo, Gurren Lagann and more) but the last example I want to give is..
 
Death Note (Minor spoilers below):
Light. So pompous. So Bored. This was an anime I started watching sometime late high school early college.
Light THINKS he is the good guy. And he kind of is on the surface. But his character development is one that shows what happens when an individual ignores the concepts of natural law to do what they think is right in an obsessive manner.
He starts off killing people who committed crimes but becomes so neurotic thinking he is god that he begins killing off anyone who stands between him and his goal of creating a “Utopia” where evil no longer exists. But throwing himself away to focus on his perceived justice and right vs wrong, he transforms into the very evil he is trying to rid the world of.
The series devolves into a string of manipulations and lies created by Light in order to maintain the power he accidentally stumbled upon.
And in the end when you’re REALLY starting to get annoyed by his arrogance, he is killed by the power (well Shinigami) which he used to kill others.

Eliminated (eventually) for years of DOING THE WRONG THING.
 
A sense of justice that rarely seems to get served or surfaced in the world today. People interfere with the well-being of other humans, and people remain apathetic, but in these anime series, individuals get rewarded for doing the right thing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Namekian, if you are from a rich background, a poor background or from another galaxy.
The lesson taught is, do the right thing. Everyone as a whole benefits when each person holds themselves accountable to being the best person they can be.
 
Whether or not you realize it, you are being taught a lesson in integrity, honor, pride and character.
You are taught the balance of believing in yourself without being arrogant.
You are taught to value your integrity over your socioeconomic status or heritage.
 
And THAT’S why I love anime so much.
 
~1-UP

 

UP UP DOWN DOWN… XAVIER CODE!

Yeah, I knew that title would rope you in.

Now that I have your attention… I will ask you one very… important… question.

HAVE YOU SEEN XAVIER’S NEW GAMING CHANNEL!?
I mean if you haven’t that’s ok too because he just tweeted it earlier.
BUT ANYWAY IT’S AWESOME AND LINKED HERE!!!

And because I am studious and expect everyone else to be, here is the description STRAIGHT from his youtube page:

UpUpDownDown is your cheat code to the best gaming content around. Join lifelong video game aficionado Austin Creed a.k.a. WWE Superstar Xavier Woods as he plays games of all kinds while providing side-splitting commentary with friends and special guests. Enjoy him and other personalities on our shows, which include UpUpDownDown Plays, For the Lolz, Jump Scares, Superstar Savepoint and Gamer Gauntlet, airing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, respectively. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for bonus videos, such as UpUpDownDown’s trip to E3 2015. We like to think of them as hidden levels.

 

Anyway, check out his featured video right here and give him a sub and a thumbs up!!

ONGAKU OVERDRIVE III

Tribe One

Lightning struck, thunder crashed, and Atlanta’s own TribeOne was born with a smile on his face and a rap in his heart. It took him a few years to figure out how to write and then many more years to figure out how to write a decent rap. But eventually he sorted it all out and his been at it ever since.Years later, he continues doing the raps, nerdcore and otherwise. He’s a man of few words but many names, Dirty South Swamp Thing, Devil Rhymeosaur, Ol’ Dirty Batroc.

FIRST TIME IN FLORIDA! Ryan “Kadesh Flow” Davis is a rapper, producer, and trombonist who has been performing since his early teens. Desh has managed to collaborate with renowned voice actors such as Steve Blum, produce theme music for Toonami Asia, perform live at the Cannes Film Festival, and be publicly lauded by gaming/tech journalism giants such as IGN, Kotaku, and the Jace Hall Show.Most recently, Kadesh Flow has appeared in the Buyer’s Remorse, produced under the creative direction of David Cross, worked on the scores for the One Piece Podcast Goes to Japan documentary and USC launched web series Sassy Batman, and released his well-received and reviewed album, Gateways.

 
Under Polaris is a duo/trio outside of Central Florida. Together, they write videogame-inspired rock and pop with a slant of chiptune influence. Their goal is to not only make you feel nostalgic, but to make you dance while you do.
 
Shammers is a nerdcore hip hop veteran who just released the critically acclaimed “Pallet 2 Plateau: The Pokémon Hip-Hop Album”. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind musical experience as Trainer Red and Professor Oak take you down the path of the original Red & Blue games through rhyme and comedy!
 
Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, Benjamin Briggs is a self-made musician who has been producing consistently throughout the last decade. Though he is best known for remixing video game music, he also creates original work with a strong focus on fusing chiptunes with modern soundscapes.Benjamin has produced hit albums such The Briggs Effect trilogy and his most recent release, Fearless Living. Now he is taking his love for video game music to a whole new level by composing soundtracks for independent video games.

As seen onstage at major music festivals and conventions across the nation, Ben is very passionate about his ability to help people with music and his role in the nerd community. As such, he believes his only true purpose in the world is to create positive memories and spread smiles to as many faces (and ears) as possible.

Venue Information:
Will’s Pub
1042 N. Mills Avenue
Orlando, FL, 32803
http://www.myspace.com/willspub

Q&A With The Newest NPC, Nigel!

I met Nigel Twumasi, founder of comic book and fashion line Mayamada, during a UK tour last year. Nigel’s booth was packed with amazing art, and hip fashion. I didn’t know anything about his brand, but I had to have the dope SAMURAI beanie I saw there.

mayamada Nigel’s on the left.

Fast forward, and Nigel and Mayamada are popping up at expos, fashion shows and more, sporting slick art and and fresh style. Peep the Q&A!

1. What are you nerding out on currently?

Not the most nerdy topic, but I am really getting into the autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. I have it as an audiobook and it’s been a great listen so far.

2. What’s your most recent games played?

GTA V and the Batman Arkham series on the Xbox. I’m so far behind with my games!

3. What music is on your playlist?

From pop acts like Pharrell, but mostly older hip hop groups like Jurassic 5 and The Roots. I also have a bunch of old soul acts like Bobby Womack, Al Green and Aretha Franklin.

4. What do you do in your downtime?

Watching films with friends is great as it let me take a complete break from work as well as watching shows like the Daily Show and Colbert Report.

I also read a lot of fiction like Game of Thrones and write my own satire on my own website, Mostly Legit News Network. I took a break from it recently but am preparing to get back on it before the year is out.

5. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

Through my business, mayamada, I have been involved with local schools speaking about my business experience or getting student involved in creative projects.

6. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

Right now I’m trying to learn French. I’ve always liked the idea of being able to speak in another language plus I’m aiming to go to an exhibition in France for my business so it seemed like a logical thing to learn.

7. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of our website and collective?

They should get the sense that nerdy, geeky and creative pursuits aren’t only for a certain type of person, but for everyone with a talent or interest.

The collective should also inspire people looking to get into a particular creative or nerday area and encourage them to pursue it.

8. Favorites:
a) Movie? Pulp Fiction.
b) Food? Most things that end in the word “cake”.
c) Website? The Verge

9. What’s upcoming for you?

A new comic book call Samurai Chef I’m working on for my business. We create anime-inspired clothing and comics based on our own original characters and our latest title is almost ready for release.

10) Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

I can’t really point to one, but reading about the stories of entrepreneurs that I admire like Steve Jobs and Tony Hsieh have given me a better idea of what I want to do in my own life and better yet, shown it can be done.

If there’s any one person I’d say Johnny Cupcakes and his personal story of creating a successful business and brand have been very inspirational to me.

1-UP’s Not so Secret Power Ranger Obsession

So it’s no secret that I have on obsession with the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers…

It all started when I was 5 years old and my older sister made me watch the first episode. I was extremely opposed to watching anything that was not a brightly colored cartoon with high contrast to catch my eyes. During that first episode everything left me in awe… there were explosions, high tech (for the time) warp scenes, a dude floating around in a tube and a dude who DANCED WHILE HE FOUGHT!

HE DANCED WHILE HE FOUGHT!!!
(I used to be a really bad dancer when I was a kid)

I watched the Power Rangers religiously in the following years from MMPR to Power Rangers in Space (And a few other arcs sprinkled here and there). It was so bad that I tried to get my mom to change my name to Jason and Tommy (Because I wanted to be the leaders haha) and during TV turnoff week at school my sister and I made my mom record (on VHS) the Green with Evil arc where Tommy Oliver gets introduced. I mean I just want to stress how important it is to remember I was 5 or 6 years old, a lot of the world to me was still brand new so like… my mind was constantly being blown by the acrobatics and alien monsters and the zords… OH THE ZORDS!!!!

I don’t know exactly what it was that resonated with MMPR so much more with me than other TV shows. I still caught Dino Thunder and Mega Force but I will never forget that feeling running home from the bus stop to see what crazy plan Rita and Zed had cooking or how the rangers were going to foil the Machine Empire. Maybe it was the fact that these were real kids doing real martial arts and stunts (mostly). Maybe it was the fact that I’m kind of corny and like whenever shows resolve themselves into some hidden life lesson about character and integrity.

Maybe I’m just weirdly obsessed with MMPR. (We can go with that one most likely)

Either way at the end of the day it’s something I love, and fortunately the original rangers are pretty cool and hopped in this video for me 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1013465235339223

~1-UP