Increase The Peace

Ssoooo I’m just going to quietly begin typing and act like I haven’t been on a three month hiatus.

Image by STUSSY

 

 

 

Love is tough to talk about…it really is. It may not seem that way at first . We think there’s so much to say because there’s so much that we feel at the time, but when someone asks us to describe how we feel, we just spit out incoherent nonsense. It’s probably why we would all much rather send out texts with !!!!!, or bruuuuuuuh, or spam heart and flame emoji’s.

Another reason love is hard to talk or write about is because it’s been kind of absent. It seems like the past couple of years we see less and less of it playing out in social media and news. We focus on the hate, the murders, the tragedy. It’s no wonder a lot of peoples mind sets are warped. I don’t think there’s a single group of people that doesn’t think society is against them. Some of these groups have a much stronger, legitimate case for this feeling than others, but you get the point.

We need something to adjust our focus.

2016 is almost done already, so for now on, regardless of what’s going on, let’s try to move in a direction where we can make things better. I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t care about current world issues but, for starters, share something on your Facebook wall or IG that isn’t fcked up more often. We may not be able to solve the worlds problems but, we’re capable of fixing ourselves. Help someone find their smile, Reach out to someone, rebuild those bridges you burnt, forgive someone, squash your beef, do something. This world is depressing enough and we owe it to ourselves to be happy. We need this.

“Nice Guys”

This may not seem like a big deal to all of you in the blogosphere but, I personally can’t stand when I see “Nice Guy” status updates or tweets. I’m sure you’ve seen them…you haven’t!? allow me to show you some examples.

“In the movies, the good guy gets the girl. In real life, it’s usually the prick”

“I’m a great catch, why can’t I find a girlfriend?” 

“All the girls I talk to keep asking “where have all the good guys gone?”. I’m in the FRIEND ZONE, where you left me.”

So guys pull this b!tcha$$ sh!t for a couple of reasons. Hopes that a particular crush ‘likes or responds’ to the status update, alerting any and all females that he’s single and is a “genuine” good guy, Thinks the girls who respond “want the D”. Guys most likely have some kind of ulterior motive OR they truly believe in the stuff they’re saying. Which in my book, is the worst.

4OVPAcomic from Alligator Sunglasses (link here)

The problem with the nice guy mentality is that they think every guy who isn’t them is a “jerk”. They seem to blame there inability to get into a relationship on everybody BUT themselves, What “nice guys” fail to realize is that maybe they’re not getting any love because they’re insecure, passive aggressive, whiny, clingy, submissive, and boring. Nice guys constantly blame their failures on women having bad taste in men, and fail to even think for a moment that maybe they’re issue is that they have HORRIBLE taste in women and are bad at gauging whether or not a women is interested. Now I’m not telling you to go out in the world and act like a dickhead to women. Just grow a pair, stop being thirsty, and have the confidence to be yourself. and if your saying “it’s not that easy” well NO DUH! what in life is? 

now listen to this Player Hater Anthem from the ultimate “nice guy” Drake…

that’s my sh!t.

pharrell-happy-02

So sometimes you get this one song, right? Suggestion from a friend, random download from a playlist, picking up an unknown album from a record store, whatever the means of possession might happen to be, this certain songs comes into your life. In today’s current age you drag the little file over to iTunes waiting to see what this mysterious little MP3 file holds for you. The file loads and through the speakers out blasts some glorious cacophony the likes of which you have never heard.

It’s hard to describe but sometimes certain songs hit you on particular days and they literally just change your life for that day. Music really has an incredible power to change the way a person thinks, feels and acts. It can call an entire group of people to action or unite complete strangers. More importantly for you and I, it can take us to a completely different place as we sit in front of a 15 inch computer screen.

If you could see the way the track below makes me get up and walk around my room nodding my head, than you might have a little better understanding of the feeling I am trying to convey. The track is so amazingly soft but at the same time it pounds so hard on a profoundly deeper level. It’s like being smacked with with the finest pillow by the grade school girl on whom you always had a severe crush. Sure you feel it, and sure you are getting hit, but you wouldn’t mind feeling it again and again.

It may not work for you with the below song, the weather may not be right from where ever you are reading, you may not be a fan of the lyrics, hell you may not even like the song. But when you find that perfect song for yourself you will know exactly what I am talking about as you get up out of your chair and begin to nod your head around your room despite the confused stares of those around. That’s what happens to me at least.

The Peach Complex.

 

peach
Shigeru Miyamoto
, must have been in some kind of F’d up relationship with his girlfriend. He must have gotten his heart broken and decided to make a game based on his relationship to help men around the world relate and cope. Think about it! Princess Peach is the eternal cock-tease right? and we all know the drill: Peach gets knabbed by the forever horny Bowser and you, as Mario have to drop everything and claim countless lives just to get her ungrateful ass home. Peach makes absolutely no provisions to defend herself from her persistent captor, knowing all along that we’ll clean up all her shit. To make things worse she gets your awkward brother Luigi involved and now shes dragging your family in this shit. YOUR FAM BRO!


That’s rough. Try as you might to keep her safe, it’s never enough. It’s like shes constantly throwing  challenges your way to test manhood and heart. “yeah, you saved me last week but, what have you done for me lately?”

chicks…am I right?

Love Is …

Since the first anime I will watch is Love Hina, I thought it would be fitting to post a little “food for thought” about love. A song popped up on my Songza today called “Trouble” by Ray LaMontaigne, which my stream of consciousness brought me to a commercial that I remember watching and always found touching.

It is a Travellers Insurance commercial about a large white, terrier dog (who by the way, reminds me of my own dog) and his precious bone. Such a sweet story about things/people we hold dear and the lengths we take to keep those things/people we love safe. I hope you find it as heartwarming as I do.

Love is just one of those gifts that we are fortunate to have in this world. Love for family. Love for friends. Love for anime. Love for music. I can go on and on. I normally do not use the word love in such a general sense, but I feel comfortable using it in this context. I can only hope to protect, cherish, and appreciate those that I love as much as the dog in the commercial does. If I can succeed in that, I know I will live a very rich life.

A Real Guys Movie

I remember when that movie 500 Days of Summer came out, and a bunch of media outlets were saying that it was one of the first romantic-comedies to be made with the guy in mind. I took the bait and checked it out. As it turns out, those media outlets were full of crap and the critics who said it was the first romantic-comedy for guys are obviously some sucker-for-love men who are still tripping about that one girl in high school who wouldn’t give them any type of play.


In the months and days leading up to the release of Crazy, Stupid, Love, I heard no such thing. Nobody was saying this was a romantic-comedy made with the man in mind, so imagine my surprise when I watched it this morning. “CSL” succeeds at being a romantic-comedy guys can get into because it doesn’t make love soft or easy, as most men who have been in love know it to be. I imagine a lot of this has to do with the fact that the film is the work of not one but two male directors, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. It’s as though they were trying to fit in every experience they had or heard about love and marriage through each of the three male protagonists.

There’s the young, naive idealistic love found in the teenage Robbie. There’s the jaded, cynical, I-never-want-to-fall-in-love-because-I-did-I-got-hurt-and-it-sucks from the middle-aged Cal, who from the very beginning is trying to figure out how to deal with divorcing his wife. And then there’s the love-is-for-lames ethos of Jacob, who tries to help Cal get over his divorce by pushing him into the lion’s den of bachelorhood.


Eventually, we see the two switch places. Jacob falls in love, Cal gets fully acclimated to the life of a bachelor, becoming a bonafide ladies man. Both depictions are as honest as I’ve ever seen, and intertwining the evolution of their attitude adjustments is what provides the balance most romantic-comedies are missing.

The reason I enjoyed the movie is because it wasn’t short-changing me when it came to emotional range and that’s the problem with most male characters in romantic comedies. I don’t want to see a man fall in love with a girl to the point where he can’t keep it together and loses damn near everything else in life, because that’s not honest. I don’t want to see a man whose heart is so cold he can’t manage to fall in love with the perfect woman even though she’s staring at him right in the face, because that’s not honest. And I definitely don’t want to see the movie where the man eventually gets the girl because he worked out whatever issues he had, because that’s not honest either.

In real life, we don’t always get the girl, it’s not always our fault, and if we do always get the girl, we might want to find a way to keep her instead of trying to get another one. Love is hard and complicated and dealt with in different ways by different men. “Crazy, Stupid, Love” understands that.

Ar Tonelico – my love, my feels, and all of my money!

Damn, this is some pretty hardcore otaku shit.

I can’t explain why I love the Ar Tonelico series.  On paper, it shouldn’t work.  There’s nothing about the story, the battle system, or even the art that hasn’t been done already by a traditional Japanese RPG, or even a Visual Novel.  When you look at the box art above for all three games, what do you see?  Typical JRPG fodder.  To me, I see….LOVE.

Before I go any further, let me give you a BRIEF rundown of the synopsis of all three games.  In the distant future, mankind fucks up the world so bad that the remnants of humanity are forced to live on 3 towers that hover well above the Earth’s surface.  These towers are administrated by Reyvateils, girls that can harness song energy to power up magical attacks that can blow up some shit (Sort of like Nanoha on her period).  The relationship between the Reyvateils and the humans differs between the three towers, ranging from worship, to outright discrimination.  How so?  Ooooh, you’re just gonna have to play the games and find out.

No, this is a legitimate JRPG.

Dorodere and Tsundere

Why is Tyria almost naked?

They certainly aren’t lacking in the art department.  The AT characters are some of the best illustrated I’ve ever seen, and I never tire of looking at them.  They’re just so…fun!  And HAPPY!

Still, the Ar Tonelico (abbreviated to AT from now on) series is a favorite of mine.  It’s like Jeremy Clarkson’s views on Alfa Romeos.  He contends that Alfa Romeos are the heart and soul of the automotive industry, and I can see where he gets that.  AT and the rest of the JRPGs coming out of GUST are the heart and soul of the JRPG.  While Square has their infinitely good pedigree when it comes to JRPG’s, Capcom with their Breath of series, Namco Bandai with their Tales series, Atlus with their MegaTen games….the GUST games, specifically the AT games, have the JRPG’s heart and soul.  Let me give you an example.

I promise you, you didn’t just watch a porn.  It’s moments like this that remind me that this game wasn’t made by a zaibatsu that was trying to make money over every little detail, these games was made by GUST, and they put every bit of love they could into every moment.  Sometimes….too much love.  Like Lyner did to Aurica.  With a life-extending agent.

No really, the reyvateils in AT2 level up by taking baths with each other.  With crystals, bath salts, and conversations!

……

These games have a certain je ne sais quoi about them.  Maybe it’s the music?

You’re probably wondering what language they’re singing.  At first listen, it sounds like Celtic chanting doesn’t it?  Good guess, but you’d be wrong.  For their AT games, GUST came up with a brand new language called Hymnos.  They made up their own language.  For their songs.  Holy shit.  That’s some deep love right there.   This is what the Reyvateils sing during battles and during cutscenes.

So let’s go over what we know so far.  The AT games have borderline porn, awesome art, and crazy-involved music.  Like I said before, this sounds like a recipe for disaster.  But….you’d be wrong.  These games are full of love.  Not the typical love you’d find between a fat person and a chocolate bar, but…

Seriously, play these games for yourself.  These AT games are full of “love” moments that I can’t divulge here without spoiling each game.  Really.

-Francis

The Ar Tonelico games are property of GUST, NIS America, and Tecmo Koei.  Yes, I actually have these games.  I just can’t find them.