The Crown: Historical Inaccuracies (Season 1)

Let me start off by saying that the only reason why I started watching The Crown is because Josh O’Connor will be taking on the role of Prince Charles in Season 3. While some are perfectly fine with skipping seasons, I’m not that kind of person. So, naturally, I started with the very first season of The Crown.

With this in mind, I wanted to share that history is indeed a subject that I am most curious about. Recently, I’ve been watching TV shows that are based on actual events – not documentaries, but TV shows that retell a story that is already considered public knowledge.

Naturally, with these kinds of shows, I often find myself questioning the historical accuracy of the scenes. In fact, I have this weird habit of replaying 4 to 6 times scenes just so that I can see the facial expressions of everyone. I also tend to hit pause on certain scenes whenever I’m watching a show or a movie, just so that I could confirm some things on Google, which can be annoying to some, that is why I prefer watching alone, but this post isn’t really about my watching preference, it’s about the historical accuracy of The Crown.

What’s The Crown About?

So, The Crown (as quoted from the Netflix official website) is a show that centers on the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.

The first season was released in 2016 with Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II. Of course, the first episode centers around King George VI as the reigning monarch at the time and Princess Elizabeth’s marriage to Prince Philip.

Personally, I am in love with the first season of The Crown. There are historical inaccuracies but I’ll talk more about that later. Josh O’Connor may be the reason why I started watching The Crown but the performances of Claire Foy, Matt Smith, John Lithgow, and Jared – freaking – Harris were amazing!

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Claire Foy was able to capture every bit of misery that Princess Lilibeth experienced throughout her journey in becoming the Queen Elizabeth II we now know today. Matt Smith was equally amazing at how he portrayed the frustration of Prince Philip, from how his children cannot bear his name, how he cannot walk ahead of his wife, and of course, how he can no longer pursue his naval career because of his duty as a royal consort.

On another note, John Lithgow and Jared Harris were excellent in fulfilling their roles as Winston Churchill and King George VI. The script was also beautifully written. In an episode where the former King Edward VIII writes to his wife, Wallis Simpson, about how unbearing his family was, I was particularly in love with how the words were strung together to make it sound so lovely. Of course, I wanted to point out that these weren’t the exact words used by the former King. In fact, let’s start with that as the first inaccuracy of the show.

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1. King Edward VIII’s letters to his wife on the show weren’t the exact same words.

It was confirmed in the Telegraph that the makers of The Crown had no access whatsoever to the actual letters of the late King Edward VIII. While it has been unsealed for the benefit of the Royal Archives, the letters have not been made available to the wider public. Historians and researchers were frustrated because of the peculiar lack of clarity over the copyright of the Duke’s words. To which the makers of The Crown replied that they have been tracking down the owner of the copyright. Unfortunately, the name of the initial copyright holder has been sealed away with the late King’s will. They added that the letters used on the show were rewritten in the same tone – but not with the same words.Image result for the crown gif edward viii

2. The Royal Standard flag will never fly at half mast.

After King George VI died, there was a scene where they lowered the flags to indicate that the people are entering a state of mourning. While this is done for the Union Flag, the lowering of the Royal Standard flag is never done in the UK. The saying “The King is Dead; Long Live the King” indicates that there is never a loss for the head of state. Even after the death of a monarch, the Royal Standard flag is never flown half mast because the people believed that there will always be a Sovereign on the throne.

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3. It was Winston Churchill’s wife that burned Graham Sutherland’s painting

In the actual episode, it was revealed that the only person against the painting was Winston Churchill himself. In fact, his wife was very supportive of how Graham Sutherland was able to paint her husband with such honesty and truth. Thus, when the painting was burned, I immediately assumed that it was Winston Churchill who did it.

However, it was actually Lady Spencer-Churchill herself who burned the painting. Moreover, it was burned a year after it’s arrival at Chartwell for the reason that it was causing her husband distress.

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I’ve been researching other historical inaccuracies of The Crown’s first season but it appears that most of them are either minute details or somewhat irrelevant. Thus, I decided that it’s best to focus on those glaring inaccuracies of the show. I might do another one like this as I found several inaccuracies in The Crown’s second season.

Special shoutout to Tommy Lascelles, played by Pip Torrens. One of the most underappreciated characters in the show!

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An Asian Literature Student’s Take On ‘I Want to Eat Your Pancreas’

So, I have been looking for a new anime movie to analyze. Then, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai) came into the picture. Now, I want this to become a blog post series similar to my Kimi no Na wa analysis. You guys seemed to love that one very much so I’m planning to write more posts on anime movie analysis.

Going back, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas was not what I expected – and I’ve talked about this several times before, ambiguity is one of the Japanese aesthetic principles. This movie was the true definition of ambiguous. Furthermore, it also showcased other Japanese aesthetic principles such as perishability, simplicity, and irregularity. I’ll talk about these in later posts, but for now, I wanted to provide you with a general overview of what an Asian Literature major’s take on this movie.

NOTE: This is just an overview. I will be uploading a separate blog post, something much more in-depth, per concept.

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The Act of Calling Out Someone Else’s Name

The act of calling Sakura’s and Haruki’s name was one of the most neglected aspects in the movie. All throughout the film, I kept on recalling whether or not the names of the main characters have already been said. I kept thinking that maybe I just missed it.

By the end of the movie, Sakura was able to explain why there was this lack of “name-calling” in the movie. The way I see it, the act of calling out someone’s name is similar to taking them as your own.

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Name calling is an act of ownership – we’ve talked about this concept all the time in my Literature classes. There was a sense of hesitation between the two, which is why they have never really tried calling the other person directly by name (or at least, as shown in the movie).

Sakura also mentioned how Haruki has this tendency to imagine what the other person is thinking about him, which is, in itself, a form of ownership. She states that he was afraid of losing her (maybe this can be related to the fact that all things come to an end. I feel like Haruki is the kind of person to have this kind of mindset). Thus, he doesn’t want to take ownership because he is afraid of what comes after – the idea of losing her.

Sakura and Haruki

Stemming from the previous point of name-calling, the actual name of our characters can come into play as well. As of right now, I couldn’t quite comprehend the relationship between the two names. I mean, Sakura and Spring Tree (Haruki), I get it. However, I feel like I’m missing something important here.

The idea of spring can play a huge role here. At some point in the movie, I was convinced that the imagery of spring pertains to rebirth. I also tried relating spring to the Rose in The Little Prince.

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The Little Prince

Speaking of The Little Prince, this was Sakura’s favorite book. This book can provide a number of answers to some of the questions in the movie. For one, the time spent between Sakura and Haruki was very limited; yet, it was enough for both of them.

The relationship between Sakura and Haruki was that of the Prince and the Rose. I’ve argued with myself countless of times as to which among the two is the Prince and which is the Rose. As of right now, I have decided that both Sakura and Haruki are the Prince and the Rose of each other.

In the end, Sakura had found meaning in life; something she had longed for (I mean, I feel like everyone does). In The Little Prince, the reason for why he traveled to so many planets was because of the Rose. Then again, the reason why he came back was also because of the Rose.

There was a scene in the movie where Sakura was explaining how happy she was that Haruki had chosen to spend his time with her (how he had decided to walk with her and such). This is clearly based on how the Prince had spent his time caring for the Rose. As a result, the Rose was not merely a rose to him (you’ll understand this better if you have had read The Little Prince. If not, it’s fine. I’ll be doing an in-depth analysis on The Relationship between The Little Prince and I Want to Eat Your Pancreas).

In addition, when Haruki asked Sakura as to what her definition of living is, her answer was almost the same as that of the Fox in The Little Prince. Fox’s idea of love comes from investing in people. Sakura’s idea of living is the relationship one has formed with other people.

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Final Thoughts

I’m getting ahead of myself. I am fresh from post-I Want to Eat Your Pancreas feelings. Again, I’ll be doing an in-depth analysis on each of these concepts. For now, I’ll leave you guys with this – the truth and real meaning behind living is the relationships you’ve had before dying.

 

Tokyo Ghoul: Figuring Out its Origin

The origins of Tokyo Ghoul was never really explained in the anime series nor in the manga. Thus, there have been a number of fan theories concerning the process of the evolution of ghouls. There are so many questions that have remained unanswered. How did the ghouls’ kagunes come to be? How come they can drink coffee? Can they drink orange juice? *laughs*

With that in mind, it’s best to start by referring to what Ghoul Researcher Ogura Hisashi has said. People say that he’s like the Charles Darwin of ghoul research. In the manga, he claimed that what ghouls need the most is to consume. Most of the time, they would consume and consume “meals” in a short period of time.

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The Metabolism of Ghouls

In the anime series, he explained how the metabolism of ghouls worked. We all know that the structure of the human tongue and that of a ghoul’s tongue is different. Human food for them feels uncomfortable – like horse poop. In an attempt for ghouls to blend in, they have developed the ability to eat normal food in front of humans; however, this is followed by the strong urge to vomit.

For ghouls, a salad tastes unripe, and meat and fish are disgusting for them. According to Ogura Hisashi, ghouls are unable to digest any nutrients that do not come from humans. This is the result of a particular enzyme that only ghouls possess.

In the manga, Yoshimura states that ghouls cannot eat sugar. Instead, he crafts these “coffee cubes” for Kaneki to consume while he adjusts to being a ghoul. So, why can ghouls consume coffee?

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Coffee Being the Exception

Now, this is my own personal theory and I’m pretty sure that there are a number of holes to it. However, the earliest recorded history of ghouls is in the late 1800s. In Chapter 14, it was explained that in the 1890s, it was the head of the Washuu Family who brought it to the top. Daikichi Washuu founded the counter ghouls institution. He was even proud to be the strongest among the numerous ghoul exterminators. Thus, their name echoes throughout the country.

So let’s stay that ghouls started existing a few years before the 1800s. A short history of coffee in Japan showed that the first free trade began in 1858. This was when the official import of coffee began. By 1888, the very first European cafe opened in Tokyo.

I’ve seen that some fans have the same theory as to the relation between the first established CCG and the first coffee shop in Tokyo. The year when the first CCG was founded, which was in 1890, and that the first coffee shop in Japan closed after four years of its operation, which lasted from 1888 up to 1892, are all too coincidental!

Our ancestors have roasting coffee for over 200,000 years. It is without a doubt that living things were already eating the fruit even way back then. It’s written in history that we have been consuming caffeine for most of our evolution in history. If ghouls existed then, they would have already realized the need to blend in unless they wanted to be hunted down. As a result, they resulted in other means to satiate their hunger – coffee beans or leaves.

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Ghouls and Cannibalism

On another note, the concept of cannibalism is not new to the human race. Figuring out the history of how ghouls came to be can be tied down to how the world came to be. Honestly, I have talked about these in my previous posts; Japanese art (this includes anime and manga) is quite ambiguous as compared to Western mediums. Japanese people like the idea of making their viewers – or readers – think! Figuring out these little clues left by the creators of Tokyo Ghoul is amazing.

Going back, it has been reported that the Neanderthals have indeed committed cannibalism. Furthermore, genomic studies showed that humans contain about 20% Neanderthal DNA. Of course, this is dependent on a number of factors, but you get the idea.

There have been periods of starvation in history for the Neanderthals, which is why they have resulted to cannibalism. Now, before I move forward with my final thoughts on ghouls and cannibalism, I wanted to clarify some things:

Cannibalism is the practice of eating the flesh of one’s own species. If ghouls and humans are not of the same species, ghouls eating humans is not necessarily considered as cannibalism. However, except for the fact that ghouls have kagunes, you can never really tell them apart. Thus, the idea of cannibalism may have come into play. But think about it, what if these “cannibals” are really ghouls? *cue horrific sound clips*

All of these are, of course, theories. There are other theories about ghouls concerning the evolution of humans who are subjected to a particular virus. There are also theories stating that ghouls are humans who have become hosts to a foreign substance – similar to that of Parasyte. However, all of these are for another post!

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Comparing the Characters in Saiyuki and Journey to the West

For all the time I have spent writing posts about anime, I don’t think I have ever written about my most favorite one – Saiyuki.

All About Saiyuki (Manga)

Saiyuki (最遊記) is a manga series by the famous Kazuya Minekura. Its story is loosely – very loosely – based on one of the great Chinese novels entitled “Journey to the West” by Wu Cheng-en. The Japanese word “Saiyuki” literally means “Journey to the West.”

With that in mind, I wanted to make a comparison between the two. While it is true that the great Chinese novel has been adapted into TV shows and anime series for a number of times now, I feel like I have a better grasp at these two mediums as compared to the others due to the following reasons:

  • We’ve discussed Journey to the West in my Introduction to Asian Literature class.
  • Saiyuki is my favorite anime of all time, and every single episode may have already been etched in my brain.
  • I’ve decided to use Journey to the West as a topic for one of my argumentative papers.
  • I’ve read the entire Journey to the West novel (a few months back).
  • Have I mentioned that Saiyuki is my favorite anime?
  • I’ve spent about two weeks learning the five primary Chinese relationships and incorporating them in my Journey to the West paper.
  • While I may not have read the actual manga, I’d like to think that I am well aware of any discrepancies in the show versus the manga. *shrugs*
  • Lastly, Saiyuki is my favorite anime.

Before I delve into the finer details, I may turn this into a series of posts.

For this one, I would like to provide an overview of the characters in the anime and in the novel. There are certain similarities and differences that I feel should demand an explanation (from the perspective of an Asian Literature major, that is).

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Without further adieu, I’ll now start introducing the characters.

Genjo Sanzo

One thing is for sure, Sanzo is not your average monk. He’s not open to anyone. Although, one can say that he has a soft side to Goku. I feel like this is because of his parental role in Goku’s life. Nevertheless, he is annoyed by even the most trifling things in life. Some of the words used to describe Sanzo are rational or logical, practical, short-tempered, and indifferent (most of the time).

Despite his impersonal attitude, you can tell that he genuinely cares about his companions. He is somewhat devoted to his mission of acquiring the sacred scriptures from the West; however, I find that his character in the novel is much more “holy” in terms of attitude and appearance.

For one, Sanzo smokes – a lot!

His primary weapons include his Maten Sutra and a gun. Throughout the series, I don’t remember any other weapon used by him consistently, which is one of the significant differences in his character in the novel which has a number of powers I couldn’t quite explain. Moreover, he is also good with hand-to-hand combat.

Son Goku

Son Goku was my first love! Known as the Monkey King, I was actually pretty impressed with his backstory. I felt kind of sad that some of his “awesomeness” was rarely manifested in the anime series. The one thing that they got right was that Goku was indeed powerful. Without his demon power limiter, a gold diadem on his head, he is unstoppable (in most occasions).

Goku is a very complex character, so I might write a separate post on the upbringing of Goku or Sun Wukong (as well as that of other characters). Stay tuned for that and watch out for my new posts here.

(Naturally, I’ll post more Goku images here. Btw, these are not mine. Kindly message me if you want to be credited.)

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Cho Hakkai

Cho Hakkai is sort of like the “father” of the group, whereas, Sanzo is the “eldest son.” It’s a funny analogy, but yeah. Hakkai can somewhat be an absent-minded individual; however, he is a great person who has a tortured past.

Sha Gojyo

Gojyo is a halfbreed. Another tortured soul in the infamous Sanzo Group. Unlike Hakkai, Gojyo tends to hide what he truly feels. He and Sanzo do not go along well – including Goku. It’s always fun to see them fight since the novel also portrayed them (Gojyo and Goku) always fighting.

 

All About Journey to the West (Chinese Novel)

If you are interested in reading the whole novel, you can do so here.

With that in mind, I wanted to give full disclosure that I may be familiar with the anime, but the last time I’ve read the novel was last year. Although I have an overall idea as to the fundamental similarities and differences between the characters, I can’t promise that this would be an in-depth review of the characters as described in the novel. I might write another post about it soon!

Tang Xuanzang

Tang Xuanzang is Genjo Sanzo in the anime adaptation. The name Tang Xuanzang means “Tang Tripitaka Master.” His sole goal is to retrieve the Buddhist scriptures in India. India is actually referred to as the Dahila Kingdom in Ancient China.

It’s interesting that in the novel, demons and monsters are after his flesh as a means to obtain immortality. In the anime series, this has never been brought up.

Sun Wukong

One thing I have noticed in Chinese Literature is that there are different planes of existence. I find this interesting because most humans only believed in the human realm of existence. However, Ancient China believed that there is life in things and objects.

Sun Wukong (Son Goku) was actually born as a rock. I find this quite similar to another great Chinese novel entitled “Dream of the Red Chamber.” Nonetheless, Sun Wukong was born in what was known as the Flower Fruit Mountain. He was born from a stone egg which was created by Heaven and Earth.

Sun Wukong and Son Goku are both mischievous. At one point, Sun Wukong even angered the gods including the Jade Emperor. His weapon is his staff called the “Ruyi Jingu Bang.” It can alter itself to any size.

Zhu Bajie

Honestly, the differences in the character of Cho Hakkai and Sha Gojyo in the novel astound and confuse me the most. There are one or two things that may be the same, but that’s it. Zhu Bajie or Pigsy translates to “Pig Awakened to Ability” or “Pig of the Eight Prohibitions.”

He and Cho Hakkai have different weapons. Furthermore, Zhu Bajie actually has an appetite for women – which is confusing because Sha Gojyo normally has this attribute in the anime series. I’ve thought about this long and hard and I feel like Zhu Bajie and Cho Hakkai have more traits in common. Plus, Sha Wujing and Sha Gojyo’s weapon are the same, so there’s that!

Sha Wujing

Sha Wujing or Sandy translates to “Sand Awakened to Purity.” One of the reasons why I feel like Gojyo is based on Sha Wujing is because both of them were once a celestial Curtain Lifting General.

Also, Goku always teases Gojyo that he was a water sprite. Sha Wujing was turned into a monster who lived in the Flowing Sands Rivers. He terrorizes whoever tries to cross the river.

My confusion comes in when Sha Wujing possesses characteristics such as being polite, obedient, and logical; these are not some of Gojyo’s traits but that of Hakkai.

Anyway, as I have explained, I’ll be publishing several blog posts on the comparison between Saiyuki (anime) and Journey to the West (novel).

*hides in room and re-watches Saiyuki Reload Blast*

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Kimi no Na wa: Red Thread of Fate (Part IV)

There is a myth surrounding the idea of the Red String of Fate.

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In Chinese legend, some of which also involve East Asian belief, the gods would tie an invisible red string around the ankles of those two individuals who are “destined” to meet one another in a situation or help each other in a certain way that will greatly affect their lives. In Japanese, everyone’s pinky finger was tied to a red string.

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What happened between Mitsuha and Taki fits the definition of “destined” and “destiny” perfectly. In my previous posts (Part I, II, and III), we have concluded that the return of comet Tiamat was actually a prediction made by Mitsuha’s ancestors.

From the definition of the “Red String of Fate,” I would like to tackle various elements from the movie.

• Red String of Fate

The Red String of Fate is probably one of the most crucial yet neglected aspects of the movie. It is said that the Japanese believed in this string and was even confident that two individuals who are connected by the string can surpass time, space, and circumstance.

While most viewers paid more attention to the fact that what happened between Mitsuha and Taki revolves around the idea of “time travel,” they fail to recognize the role of “destiny.”

As cheesy and as cliché as “destiny” sounds, Asian culture has proven that the Red String of Fate is more than a romantic way of saying that two individuals are meant to be together, that they will get married and have kids, blah blah.

• Time, Space, and Circumstance

Kimi no Na wa is more than just a love story. It’s about culture and the rich tradition of Shintoism. The three aspects in which the Red String of Fate can surpass – time, space, and circumstance was all shown in the movie.

The three-year gap between Mitsuha and Taki is a representation of time. Space is depicted through the fact that Taki was from the city and Mitsuha was from the countryside. Circumstance is represented through the fact that comet Tiamat had indeed hit Itomori – twice.

I say twice because since we are already dealing with concepts beyond time, space, and circumstance, we should also acknowledge the idea of timelines. The first timeline involved the death of the people living in Itomori Village. On the other hand, this was a crucial event to portray how the Red String of Fate can surpass that particular incident in the past (for Taki) and future (for Mitsuha)

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The Context behind the Interconnectedness of Our Universe

The Red String of Fate has various stories surrounding it in Asian Literature. If you are more familiar with European Literature, think of it as the story of Zeus’ splitting the humans into two parts – both of which are destined to find their “other half.”

Speaking of threads! There is another myth surrounding a Gold Thread. Moirai of the Greeks is said to hold a gold thread for each and every person on Earth. This thread is cut when that person’s time on Earth has passed. Even the saying “to lose the thread” is now considered a universal expression that refers to an existential deviation.

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By the way, here’s an interesting study about the Red String of Fate combined with concepts of Genetic Engineering.

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Character Analysis: The Nase Clan

Since my last post, I have been thinking about how the Nase clan from Kyoukai no Kanata knows what it means to be stoic – especially Hiroomi Nase.

So Hiroomi Nase is the second child of the Nase clan. First things first, Hiroomi is loud and a pervert when he wants to be. However, when he is in the face of adversity, he knows how to set his priority straight. Out of all the Nases, I can relate to Hiroomi the most because I feel like most people look at him and perceive him to be an open book; however, in reality, Hiroomi is secretive with things that matter to him the most. Of course, all of these are just my personal opinions based on what I have observed about his character development in Kyoukai no Kanata.

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Mitsuki Nase is the youngest among the Nases. In a way, she appears to be tough on the outside but she is sensitive on the inside; this does not exclude her from becoming stoic. The thing about stoicism is that emotions cannot be fully eliminated. What one can do is to control how they appear in front of other people; this is what Mistuki does best. Furthermore, she is also frank like her sister, Izumi Nase. Out of all the three siblings, I find that Hiroomi is the most expressive of his emotions – and I find this a little reassuring. I think one of the many reasons why Mitsuki had developed a stoic attribute was because she was used to only relying on herself. She spends most of her early years inside the Nase residence resulting in a personality that is detached towards other people.

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Finally, Izumi Nase, the eldest among the three. I know full well the responsibilities of the eldest child because I, myself, am the eldest child. There’s always this sense of duty to protect your younger siblings. I find that Izumi is a combination of Hiroomi and Mistuki. Izumi not only knows how to set her priority straight but also knows how to appear in public. She portrays an air of elegance befitting the face of the Nase clan. On top of that, she knows how to deal with people who try to destroy the Nase name. With her frankness, people respect her.

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I feel like Izumi Nase best describes the perfect stoic; however, you should know that I find it hard to become cold around people. I find myself always smiling and laughing at the smallest things – and I’m loud, which is why I find Hiroomi Nase to be the perfect “role model” for me? I guess? I don’t know; all I know is that he makes a perfect phone wallpaper!

Thoughts on Kyoukai no Kanata/ Beyond the Boundary

Since my last post  on how a song from the official soundtrack of Kyoukai no Kanata – Daisy by Stereo Dive Foundation – seems particularly nostalgic, I have been watching and re-watching Kyoukai no Kanata.

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Honestly, I did not expect that I will enjoy this anime genre. I mean, I love fantasy and all that; however, when I first learned about the plot of Kyoukai no Kanata, it did not really strike me as something interesting. As I’ve said before, I only took a liking to it because of the song and its nostalgic feel.

The funny thing is that I did watch the entire series plus the two movies! Now, I have this insatiable feeling about how the show ended; a feeling that it deserves another season.

Kyoukai no Kanata means Beyond the Boundary. Beyond the Boundary pertains to a youmu that lacks physical form. A brief introduction to the show would start with Akihito Kanbara, a half youmu, half human, who is quickly drawn to people who wear glasses. Furthermore, due to his half youmu self, he is believed to be immortal. When Akihito meets Mirai Kuriyama, a freshman who can control her blood, an unexpected friendship was formed.

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I would want this post to be spoiler-free, so I’ll end it at that. One thing is for sure is that the Kyoukai no Kanata series is another masterpiece of the Kyoto Animation studio. You’ll love the characters – even those that have a twisted way of thinking – and each episode, including the movies, will make you feel all sorts of things.

Kyoukai no Kanata is a great anime that perfectly balances romance and comedy. It’s not the typical sappy love story. You won’t get tired of how the relationships of each character are portrayed all throughout the show. Even though some people would garner an unsatisfactory impression on the anime, I do believe that the awesome moments of Kyoukai no Kanata outnumbered the less exciting parts.

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One thing that I noticed in most of the reviews on Kyoukai no Kanata was the unexplained supernatural theme; this caught me off guard as well. Furthermore, by the end of the second movie, the Kyoukai no Kanata will leave you with a weird feeling that the story had left out several important plot points. For me, I didn’t like the idea that the first episode of Season 1 had an almost “media res” type of feel to it. Soon, you’ll realize that these missing plot points are explained in the movie.

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To be honest, at the beginning, I was only captured by how the anime was beautifully drawn. Nonetheless, as the show progresses, I began to like the idea that not everything was explained in the series.

If it were explained, it would almost be like every other fantasy anime I’ve seen out there. It leaves room for the audience for their own interpretation, for them to fill in the gaps. In the end, viewers would either love the show because of the unique way it was presented while some would feel unsatisfied for the rushed ending – or so they say.

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Movie Review: Tokyo Ghoul Live-Action Cast

It’s always going to be a big deal if one of your favorite anime shows become a live-action movie. As for Tokyo Ghoul, I was a bit skeptic as to how the producers will represent each of the characters, especially Kaneki Ken’s personality shifts.

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Kaneki Ken has always been that scrawny, nerdy looking guy who never seems to have any confidence in himself – and Masataka Kubota definitely knocks the park out of this role. He was the perfect Kaneki Ken Season 1. Of course, the movie did not really go beyond the storyline of Season 1 so don’t expect that you’ll see white-haired Kaneki. Nonetheless, I was happy with how the live-action adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul came out.
Some of the reasons why I believed that they did an excellent job with this live-action adaptation was the choice of cast. I’m not that familiar with Japanese actors and actresses so I wouldn’t really know if there are others that best fit particular Tokyo Ghoul characters; however, based from what I saw in the movie, I did get the same vibe from each of the characters in the film.

Masataka Kubota as Kaneki Ken

Masataka Kubota was amazing. His acting towards being the awkward Kaneki Ken to the almost delirious Kaneki Ken was beyond perfect. The last few scenes of him and Kotaro Amon (Nobuyuki Suzuki) fighting were terrific (Plus, the 3D kagune effects were beyond awesome!). Although there were certain inconsistencies between the anime and the movie, I do believe that these were merely minor changes. In the end, I still got that hair-standing-at-the-back-of-your-neck vibe. Masataka’s (Kaneki’s) laugh when he was at the point of eating Amon was terrifyingly beautiful. Even though we didn’t get to see Kaneki crack his knuckles, the way Masataka moves his body and hands in an awkward-almost-creepy way gives the perfect vibe from Kaneki.

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Nobuyuki Suzuki as Kotaro Amon & Yo Oizumi as Kureo Mado

Even Nobuyuki Suzuki was terrific in his portrayal of Kotaro Amon. Amon is a Commission of Counter Ghoul (CCG) investigator. His partner was Kureo Mado who was played by Yo Oizumi. Both of these CCG investigators were able to give off the “I’m human, so I deserve to live; you’re a ghoul, so you deserve to die” personality. In the anime, I hated the humans, which is kind of ironic. Nonetheless, Nobuyuki and Oizumi were able to give me the same feeling for their portrayal of Amon and Mado. When I say hate, I mean it made me question the very morality of the humans. In reality, I loved how they depict humanity in the contrast between humans and ghouls.

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Fumika Shimizu as Touka Kirishima

I can’t stop screaming whenever there are scenes of Kaneki and Touka – even if it mostly involves Touka calling Kaneki dumbass. There is apparently this tension between them, the good kind of tension. As I’ve said, the live-action adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul managed to capture the right mood from the anime. The only downside was that it did not cover the whole storyline of Tokyo Ghoul. However, I don’t blame them. Even with a two-hour movie, you couldn’t capture all scenes in the three seasons. Nonetheless, I do hope that they will make a part two of the live-action adaptation. Here’s to hoping we get to see white-haired Kaneki Ken. Going back to serious matters, Fumika Shimizu was able to portray this harsh attitude towards Kaneki. She revealed a more reckless character when she decided to avenge Hinami Fueguchi (played by Hiyori Sakurada) by going after the CCG investigators.

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Watching the live-action adaptation, I was trying to picture the same cast portraying the different roles in the second and third season of the anime. Masataka Kubota would do great as white-haired Kaneki Ken or even Haise Sasaki. Fumika Shimizu would portray an almost grown up Touka Kirishima; Hiyori Sasaki would be the same. Plus, if they do create a part two, I do hope that the one playing Ayato Kirishima would have produced the same chemistry in his character with that of Hinami Fueguchi.

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You do not need to copy every little detail when making movie adaptations. The Tokyo Ghoul live-action film did have minor inconsistencies but it remained faithful to the anime and the manga – this is what makes a great anime live-action adaptation.

Although, another thing I wished would have been included in the movie?

Shuu Tsukiyama.

Character Analysis of Haise Sasaki: Temporary Forgetting and the Red Spider Lily

Haise Sasaki is Kaneki Ken.

We all know that Kaneki experienced several triggers that seriously fucked up his personality. While there have been several talks on how Haise Sasaki came to be, I wanted to dig deeper into how “temporary forgetting” comes into all of these.

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In a study’s literature review conducted by C. Neil Macrae, it has been demonstrated that the act of remembering can prompt the temporary suppression of related items in the memory. It talked about how temporary forgetting can elicit distinctive encoding operations – these include materials or memories that are relevant to the self. Thus, when someone experiences temporary forgetting of who they once were, it identifies spontaneous processing operations that protect specific memories. As a result, the self can still retrieve these suppressed memories once temporary forgetting is overcome.

I wanted to use this study as the premise for my Haise Sasaki character analysis. I’ve posted two other character analyses: Kaneki Ken’s Season One (Character Shift) and Season Two (The True Potential of Kaneki Ken).

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Kaneki Ken is Haise Sasaki.

In a few Tokyo Ghoul reviews, people have been speculating how Kaneki Ken became Haise Sasaki. As compared to the manga, the anime seemed pretty fast-paced. The anime did not show how Kaneki lost his memory. It seemed to have fast forwarded to when he is already Haise, CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul) Investigator.

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During the Owl Suppression Operation, CCG attacked Anteiku. In the process, Hideyoshi Nagachika, who was trying to save Kaneki Ken, was gravely wounded. Hide supposedly died in the last episode of Tokyo Ghoul √A. Hide’s death, with him being the only friend Kaneki ever had, resulted in Kaneki trying to reason with Kishou Arima, a Special Class Ghoul Investigator who was famously known as CCG’s Reaper. Kaneki lost the fight with Arima alongside his memory. Arima takes him under his wing, making him part of CCG under the name of Haise Sasaki.

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One of the reasons why I really liked this idea of “temporary forgetting” in Tokyo Ghoul was because I am particularly interested in the limits of human memory. We do have to acknowledge that part of Kaneki Ken was still human. In several scenes in the show, you will notice the appearance of a particular flower: Red Spider Lily.

The Red Spider Lily symbolizes “lost memory,” sometimes “death.” I find this particularly interesting as losing your memory would mean death because your memory defines who you are (well, at least for me). Without it, I wouldn’t say that I am actually living. Nonetheless, it is also known as Higanbana which means “that shore of the Sanzu River flower.” The Japanese believed that these are the only flower that can grow in hell. These serve as a guide for the souls to reach their next reincarnation. The Spider Lily is one of the most underrated symbolisms in the show. Kaneki Ken’s personality shift basically revolved around losing a part of himself, a memory that he once held dear, while another “personality” would take over resulting in temporary forgetting. However, we still get to see the retrieval phase of who Kaneki really is.

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With the upcoming season of Tokyo Ghoul, we get to see the most awaited retrieval phase of Kaneki Ken. If all of these are merely temporary forgetting, then the suppressed memories are simply waiting to be remembered because it was never completely lost in the first place. For some reason, I thought of how happy Haise Sasaki is with his life. He could be purposely ignoring these past memories of Kaneki Ken because for once, he felt like he belonged to a normal family living a normal life. I highly advise that you pay attention to when the Spider Lily appears. I believed that these are the little clues that are fun to figure out.

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The True Potential of Kaneki Ken: Tokyo Ghoul Character Analysis Season 2

I’ve talked about in my previous post regarding the triggers in Kaneki Ken’s personality shift. While it is essential to consider the psychological aspect of his personality disorder, I also find it necessary to discuss his pre-ghoul and ghoul condition.

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Context to Tokyo Ghoul Universe

To make this a bit more cohesive, I’ll start by explaining the happenings in the Tokyo Ghoul universe. Ever since the beginning of time, it has been believed that humans are on top of the food chain. When creatures, by the name of Ghouls, came into the picture, things got ugly. Humans are now being hunted by these man-eating species.

Ghouls are naturally considered the “enemy” in the show. However, sooner or later, it will show how humans can be monsters too. Nonetheless, Kaneki Ken is living on the thin line between the world of humans and ghouls. In both the anime and manga, ghouls have managed to infiltrate the human society as they pretty much look the same except for two distinguishing marks – their red-and-black pupils and their kagune or tails which serve as weapons for the ghouls.

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Nonetheless, Kaneki Ken Season 1 is your average human wanting to be noticed by Rize Kamishiro – who is, unfortunately, a ghoul. Rize Kamishiro is what is known as a “Binge Eater.” On their first date, Rize tried to “eat” Kaneki. Due to Rize’s power and eating habits, she had become a threat to most ghouls in various wards in Tokyo. While it may appear as an accident, Rize’s death was actually planned. This accident, known as the Steel Beam Incident in Tokyo Ghoul, was the reason for Kaneki’s ghoul-ish transformation. Rize’s kakuhou, a sack-like organ that is only present in ghouls, was used in the transplant surgery to supposedly save Kaneki.

Kaneki Ken was merely an ordinary student studying at a University. Before his ghoul life, he only had Hideyoshi Nagachika. Fast forward to when he was now slowly accepting the fact that he had to eat humans to stay alive, he realized that he also had to become strong to protect the ones he loved and cared for. Indeed, the ghoul society is nothing like the human society; however, having experienced both, Kaneki Ken is stuck in the middle where he has to adapt to the rules in the world of ghouls but still manage to be faithful to the values he believed in as a human.

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After the surgical transplantation of Rize Kamishiro’s kakuhou, Kaneki Ken’s body was on par with other ghouls. His fighting skills were pretty average for a ghoul. Regarding mental health, I find it impressive that he was able to remain sane even after Jason had tortured him. Yes, he underwent a massive change in personality; however, I was expecting something worse. I would say that he possessed both physical and mental strength.

So if the question was whether or not Kaneki Ken is stronger than other ghouls, I would say no. I find that Touka Kirishima (or anyone from Anteiku) is more capable of fighting head on because of years of training. However, this statement does not claim that Kaneki Ken is weak. Rize Kamishiro was a binge eater; therefore, she had managed to acquire enough strength to keep her condition in tip top shape.

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Regeneration Speed

What makes Kaneki Ken strong in battle is his amazing regeneration speed. The speed at which he can regenerate is insanely fast. I’ve also been reading about Rize Kamishiro’s past and backstory; I found out how her kagune was said to heal at monstrous speed allowing the Commission of Counter Ghoul or the CCG to place her in a particular ghoul class specifically for that attribute.

In Tokyo Ghoul: Re, Kuki Urie consulted a doctor regarding using his quinque’s full potential. It was explained that the cells used in his body act like a steel girder which allows the body to heal itself after it has been injured. In fact, the treated portion of the body becomes stronger than those that have not been damaged. To explain this further, it would be best to use an analogy of replacing a link in a chain. If for example, the chains are your bones and one of those links got broken, a ghoul’s body would patch it up or “replace the link,” making it the most reliable link.

It’s not that Kaneki Ken’s body was strong in his pre-ghoul or ghoul condition, it was Rize Kamishiro’s kagune’s insane regeneration speed that allowed him to survive in numbers of battles, including Jason’s torture.

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