Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, its been awhile since I last participated in an OWLS Blog Tour. We all started this year full of hope, but the recent COVID-19 pandemic has put many of us in a tight spot. Many have already succumbed to the virus and those that haven’t are facing economic hardships brought on by stay at home orders and mandatory social distancing. It’s hard not to feel discouraged, when the impacts of the virus is such an ever present part of our lives. Whether you have been personally affected by the pandemic or know someone affected by COVID-19, it’s important that we keep moving forward. So, it’s only fitting that in the wake of the current pandemic, that the April 2020 Blog Tour topic should be Hope.
We are in the midst of a pandemic which has led people to live in fear and anxiety over the coronavirus. For this month, rather than seeing the dark side of the situation we are living in, we will be exploring anime and other pop culture mediums that bring hope for humanity and why they have such a positive impact on us.
It’s time for another OWLS Blog Tour, most of you were probably directed here after reading Megan’s personal post about Welcome to the NHKand if you haven’t read her post I definitely recommend giving it a read!! If you stumbled upon this post by chance, welcome to Blerdy Otome!
The end of the year is fast approaching and we’ve hit our 11th Blog Tour of 2019. For those of you just joining the party, OWLS is a group of bloggers and vloggers that hope to spread a message of acceptance and understanding through thoughtful community activism! We use our love of pop-culture and other media to discuss a wide range of topics. Each month we host themed Blog Tours where we discuss topics we feel are important to the greater fandom community.
One of the best ways we can learn is through failure. This month we will be talking about the failures of our favorite characters in pop culture media and what we can learn from them. We will also reflect on our own mistakes and failures and how those experiences have allowed us to grow as human beings.
–November 2019 Blog Tour Prompt
This month we’re looking at Failure and you know, it’s kind of fitting that the penultimate Blog Tour of 2019 would be a topic that would require a bit of self reflection… The truth is, failure sucks. No one wants to admit that they didn’t make the cut, but rather than looking at failure as a negative, I like to think of it as a foundation for growth. No genre embodies this notion like sports anime, regardless of the sport there is always a point in the story where someone loses. But, just because you lose one tournament or match doesn’t mean you’ll lose them all and that’s fundamentally what’s so appealing about sports anime. You see a group of characters learning to overcome their failures and ultimately achieve something better than when they started.
In Haikyuu Karasuno lost to Aoba Josai at the Inter Highs in season 1, it’s a crushing blow after all their hard work and training. They could easily let this defeat define them, but they don’t give up, they work hard and when they face Aoba Josai again in season 2, they’ve learned from their past mistakes and manage to come out victorious. In Yuri On Ice, after experiencing a crushing defeat at the Grand Prix Final, manages to turn it all around the following year and place second in the Grand Prix Finals. The road to that point wasn’t easy and there were plenty of mistakes made along the way, but Yuri never let that keep him from giving it his all! And don’t get me started on Diamond no Ace… Eijun is practically defined by his failures…
It’s time for another OWLS Blog Tour, most of you were directed here after reading Takuto’s lovely post about Sword Art Online Alicization and if you haven’t read his post I definitely recommend giving it a read!! If you stumbled upon this post by chance, welcome to Blerdy Otome! The end of the year is fast approaching and we’ve hit our 10th Blog Tour of 2019. For those of you just joining the party, OWLS is a group of bloggers and vloggers that hope to spread a message of acceptance and understanding through thoughtful community activism! We use our love of pop-culture and other media to discuss a wide range of topics. Each month we host themed Blog Tours where we discuss topics we feel are important to the greater fandom community.
For the month of October our topic is “Fantasy” I decided to discuss otome games (again) and how they portray romance. The appeal of otome games comes not from depicting realistic romance, but from the fantasy of what we wish romance could be.
In the month of October, we will be exploring the world of fantasy in pop culture. The genre of fantasy focuses on telling stories about our external and internal environments. There are many ways we can interpret the word fantasy. For example, we can talk about how a fantastical place could glorify what reality should be, or the dangers of ideal expectations. Fantasy could also be seen as taking a “wild journey” or a “hallucination,” and how that can affect our psyche and well-being. Additionally, fantasy can focus on our personal dreams and expectations, and how those expectations do not align with our reality. Overall, our posts will reflect on how we view the fantasy genre and what we can learn about these pop culture mediums.
– October 2019 Blog Tour Prompt
I’ll reference a few otome games in this post, but there shouldn’t be any spoilers since I intend to focus primarily on the concept of otome games rather than a rundown of a specific title.
For those of you that are here by chance, I’m the next in a long line of bloggers, vloggers, and content creators participating in the September 2019 OWLS Blog Tour! As many of you guys know I’m a member of the blogging group OWLS (Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect). We’re a group of bloggers and vloggers that hope to spread a message of acceptance and understanding through thoughtful community activism! We use our love of pop-culture and other media to discuss a wide range of topics. Each month we host themed Blog Tours where we discuss topics we feel are important to the greater fandom community.
Last month during our Believe Blog Tourwe celebrated the great works from acclaimed animation studio Kyoto Animation as a way to show our love for the studio in the wake of the heartbreaking tragedy back in July. This month, we’re continuing to spread the love with our Lover Blog Tour.
When it comes to romantic relationships, what do we look for in a partner? What core values do we seek when it comes to building a healthy and loving relationship? For this topic, we will be discussing some of our favorite couples in pop culture and what they have taught us about love and relationships, the good and the bad.
Love is a topic we’ve talked about quite a few time during our past OWLS Blog Tours, but I still had a hard time choosing a topic for this month’s tour. OWLS members before me put their own spin on the topic, and since most of my posts are related to games, I figured it would only be fitting if I talked about otome games. I mean, the main goal of otome games is to successfully romance one of several male love interests, each with their own “unique” personalities. Otome games, like most visual novels give gamers a chance to craft their own fantasy romance experience, for better or for worse. Though some criticize otome games for their unrealistic depictions of love and romantic relationships, I think there is a lot we can learn from otome games about love. So for this month’s tour I wanted to talk about one of my favorite otome couples and why they work.
Hey Hey Owlets!! As many of you guys know I’m a member of the blogging group OWLS (Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect). We’re a group of bloggers and vloggers that hope to spread a message of acceptance and understanding through thoughtful community activism! We use our love of pop-culture and other media to discuss a wide range of topics.
Last month during our Happiness Blog Tour we looked at the things in our lives that bring us joy, from our hobbies to families and friend, and everything in between. This month we’re redefining our weaknesses in the June Vulnerable Blog Tour!
In the month of June, we will be discussing what it means to be vulnerable. To some individuals, being vulnerable could be seen as a sign of weakness, but in fact, vulnerability is actually a sign of strength. In this month’s posts, we will explore what it means to be vulnerable and how certain characters in pop culture glamorize vulnerability. When do we show our vulnerability? How do we express vulnerability? Why should we show vulnerability? These are questions that we will be discussing in our posts featuring characters that show vulnerability and/or sensitivity and what we can learn from them or even our own personal stories.
I thought long and hard about what I’d write about for this month’s tour. Since this is an otome games blog, I figured I’d go with something related to that rather than the usual anime and manga topics I usually pick. Otome heroines get a pretty bad rap since they are typically seen as self insert characters with little to no agency within the context of their respective games. But, there has been a shift in recent years towards more self sufficient heroine characters, especially in English otome games where protagonists tend to have a more well defined personalities and motivations. Though, generally speaking heroines are still arguably the weakest characters despite having the most important role in otome games. So, I wanted to look at the roles otome heroines play in otome game narratives through the lens of the heroine, Ichika Hoshino in the otome game Collar x Malice.
Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s May and with it comes another OWLS Blog Tour! Last month during our Masculinity Blog Tour we looked at the meaning of the term while also celebrating the amazing accomplishments of women. This month we’re looking at the other end of the spectrum with our May Happiness Blog Tour! If you haven’t already be sure to check out Karandi’s and Jack’s posts from earlier this monthon their blogs!
Happiness is subjective. We all have different definitions of what happiness means to us and we also feel happiness in varying degrees. This month we will be exploring several questions describing our happiness in our fandoms, communities, and hobbies. Why do we find enjoyment watching anime or reading manga? Why did we decide to join the anime or pop culture communities? Why do we blog about our hobbies or cosplay as our favorite characters? This topic is all about the passions we have for our interests and why they are important to us.
–May 2019 Happiness Blog Tour Prompt
I was unsure of how I was going to tackle this month’s blog tour topic, like the prompt states, ‘happiness’ is a subjective concept that takes on different meanings for each person. For some, happiness is being surrounded by friends and family, while for others happiness is the solitude of a quiet nook with warm blankets and a good book. But, what does happiness mean to me? If you ask me one day it’s successfully completing a crochet project or getting a new blazer. Other days, happiness is being able to pay my rent on time or just having a seat on a train.
So, rather than doing my usual OWLS post, I wanted to talk about three moments of happiness I’ve experienced this year.
Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s April and with it comes another OWLS Blog Tour! Last month during our Feminine Blog Tour we looked at the meaning of the term while also celebrating the amazing accomplishments of women. This month we’re looking at the other end of the spectrum with our AprilMasculinity Blog Tour!
Last month, we explored the meanings behind the terms, “feminine” and “feminism.” This month the OWLS bloggers will explore the concept of masculinity. We each have our own definition of what it means to be masculine and we will explore our definitions using “masculine” characters from various pop culture fandoms. We will discuss how these characters are “masculine” or show signs of a masculine persona. We will also share our personal stories about the amazing men that supported us in our lives as well as sharing some of our experiences growing up as a man or knowing men who struggled with the masculine identity.
Websters defines masculinity as ‘having qualities appropriate to or usually associated with a man’, but what does it mean to be “a man”? Is it physical strength? Fortitude? Having the anatomy of a man? With shifting gender norms, it’s difficult to ascribe a one size fits all definition to terms like masculinity and femininity, because there is no singular way to embody these terms. Roles that were traditionally held exclusively by men are now being taken up by women and visa versa. There simply isn’t a case for traditional masculinity or femininity in today’s evolving world, because what it means to be a man or a woman has changed. But, as a society we still adhere to a ridged gender coded system. Items associated with women and girls tend to have a pink, purple, or pastel color scheme, while items intended for men and boys tend to favor a darker color pallet. We have been conditioned to see associate masculinity with dominance, power, and strength, and femininity with beauty, grace, and poise.
The same exists in anime, shounen series like My Hero Academia, Black Clover, and Dragonball Z, with their action heavy storylines and characters, focus on more “masculine” topics, like overcoming adversity or proving one’s worth (usually through brute strength). Relationships are forged through combat or intense training, and feelings when featured are merely used to bolster a character’s drive to complete some predetermined goal. Shounen anime tend to focus on a character (or group of characters) striving to be the best at whatever it is they do, either through brute strength, dogged determination, or just plain old dumb luck. On the other side of things, you have shojo anime which tends to focus on more traditionally “feminine” topics, like romance and friendship. There usually isn’t a predetermined goal or even a “bad guy”, with the majority of these stories tackling more internal conflicts like self-doubt, finding love, or fostering relationships (romantic/platonic) with others.
But, even within these clearly gender specific genres, there is some crossover. There are plenty of shounen anime that focus on romance and dealing with more internal personal conflicts, just like there are shoujo anime that feature action and adventure storylines. These series challenge the status quo, giving us more relatable stories that speak to who we are as individuals and not so much what we are expected to be. So for this month’s Blog Tour, I went with a series that subverts the idea of masculinity, by parodying a traditionally ‘feminine’ magical girl anime genre. This time around, I’m looking at the magical boy anime, Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! and how despite it’s adherence to traditional magical girl anime tropes and overtly “feminine” themes, helps define a “new” masculine ideal.
Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s February and with it comes another OWLS Blog Tour! Last month during our Metamorphosis Blog Tourwe looked at the many transformations characters have gone through for better or for worse. This month we’re celebrating love and romance with our FebruaryAdore Blog Tour!
In February, we will be exploring love and romance. The word selected is “adore” because it has two main connotations: to be loved and respected or to feel worshiped. We will analyze characters that give us a feeling of admiration and explain why we love those characters. We will also be exploring different forms of love (familial, friendship, and even self-love) and how those types of love influence our lives.
Love comes in many shapes and forms, but, in February, we tend to focus on the sweet rose colored, hearts and candy side of romantic love. Rather than focusing on romance and love in the traditional sense, I decided to take a crack at the darker side of love. What happens when love gets twisted into obsession? For this month’s Blog Tour, I’m going to be looking at obsessive love, the point where love becomes an oppressive compulsion that consumes the lover and the object of their affection.
Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s January a time of new beginnings, change and of course a brand new year of OWLS Blog Tours. I’ve been through quite a few transitions in the past year, some good, some not so great, but, each one paved the way for some much needed growth. I’m not the same blogger I was when I started Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, I’ve learned and grown through my experiences, so when I saw this month’s blog tour I just knew that I had to kick myself into gear and whip something good up.
A brand new year means new beginnings and opportunities. We have a tendency to embrace the new year because it’s a time when we can start fresh. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring our favorite dynamic characters who undergo changes for better or for worse. We will analyze these characters’ transformations and how these transformations benefited or minimized these characters’ potential in becoming “great people/beings.” We will also use these characters as a way for us to reflect on our own lives and who we want to become.
–January 2019 Blog Tour Prompt
A metamorphosis, unlike change is more finite, it has a set beginning and end, where as change is an ongoing process. Change is the culmination of each and every one of our experiences, it’s how we adapt and grow from the person we were yesterday into the person we will become in the future. But, there is no limitation on change, however, that isn’t the case with a metamorphosis, when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly there is a very distinct limit on what it can and will become. There isn’t the same fluidity you find with change, since once you move from point A to point B there is no going back. There is an inevitability to a metamorphosis that to me makes it a bit more bittersweet and tragic. So, with that in mind, I decided to write about Ash Lynx aka Aslan Callenresse from Banana Fish. This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this series and trust me, it won’t be the last, but there is something wonderfully tragic about Ash’s transitions throughout the series that both the anime and the manga capture beautifully.
Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, its been awhile since I participated in one of these OWLS Blog Tours. But, when I read the prompt for this month’s tour, I just knew I had to participate.
Here at OWLS, we are pretty thankful that we are able to come together as a community and share a love and appreciation for anime and manga. This month we will be showcasing our appreciation by giving a shout out post to our favorite manga artists, creators, production companies, and writers who produced some of our favorite works. We will be discussing our favorite works by these creators and our reasons as to why we appreciate them.
–November 2018 Blog Tour Prompt
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, each and every member of the OWLS team has been sharing things they are thankful for; from content creators to specific series to personal stories, each member has taken this month’s topic and made it their own. Just before me, Flow wrote about two visual novels that left a huge impact on their life, so check that out if you haven’t already! Next on the 28th is Scott, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for that soon!
For my post, I’m going to write about a topic I have written about at length several times before, but is no less important to me… Pokemon!
I have been in love with the world of Pokemon since I was eleven years old when I received my first ever Pokemon game, Pokemon Crystal Version, maybe even before that, since I have fond memories of watching the Pokemon anime on Kids WB when I was a kid… I never missed an episode, I was enamored with Ash’s Pokemon journey and the adventures he had each week with Misty, Brock, and his best friend Pikachu. I remember wishing I too could embark on my own Pokemon Journey one day, a dream I fear I have never quite given up hope of making a reality.