Brave Fencer Musashi…

Does anyone remember this underrated gem of a video game? Can’t believe it’s been 20 years since Brave Fencer Musashi debuted on the PlayStation console in Japan. To celebrate, Square Enix released a 20th anniversary video. Sadly, the video doesn’t hint of a HD remaster or any new development for the franchise. It does show neat illustrations and feature catchy tunes from the OST.

Mayne, this was my favorite video game for the longest time until Super Mario Galaxy 2 came around. It’s one of the few video games I really want to speedrun and review on my vlog. This is definitely one of the most important games I’ve played in my lifetime and shaped my love for gaming in general. I actually have a copy of the case and game in my memory box, lol.

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Life Lesson #17: Criticism Should Be Constructive

Dear Reiina,

 

One of the things I make sure to stand out on my Myanimelist profile is a Japanese phrase. The idiom in question is, “十人十色“. It translates to mean “ten people, ten colors” and is the Japanese equivalent of “Different strokes for different folks”. In other words, everyone has their own ideas, interests and tastes.

You don’t have to love everything in life. But it’s useful, important and helpful if you can explain why you don’t like it, and it gives you more credibility. To dismiss something off as “boring”, “shit”, “wrong”, “dumb”, or “lame” without going into further detail isn’t going to be of any help to anyone because you gave no reasoning behind it. What I just said right now can cover a variety of situations, so keep that in mind.

If you are ever going to criticize something, whether it is a TV show (like your mom does with me watching The Golden Girls, tee hee), a personality trait or habit in someone, something you bought from the mall, or your friend’s haircut… then that’s fine. Criticism helps us to get better, so we can be better. But if, and only if it’s constructive. I would behoove you to explain WHY you think something is boring, shit, wrong, dumb, or lame and perhaps even offer an alternative. They don’t have to accept what you said, but if they asked you for your thoughts then you’ve put it out there and told them how you felt. Again, if you can’t explain why you dislike something then I wouldn’t say anything, as unconstructive criticism is pointless, unhelpful and can be downright hurtful.

This life lesson applies to you too. Ask for constructive criticism from others, in your relationships, work and life in general. You’re going to receive criticism from many people in your lifetime. It’s important to remember that not all criticism is created equal though. Determining the source of the criticism and the motivations behind it will help you know how to handle it. Refuse any form of criticism, unless it’s constructive. For example, I have gotten criticism from netizens such as “This is gay!” or “You’re triggered” or “SJW”. I just ignore this drivel. It’s not worth my time and energy to get huffy because some faceless, insecure, random stranger feels some kind of way about me. However, if it’s from a family member or friend, I’ll definitely consider their criticism.

If you think the source of your criticism isn’t genuinely interested in helping you improve, take their criticism with a grain of salt. A reason for those kind of people’s criticism is painfully obvious. They’re criticizing because they feel insecure, and they need a temporary ego boost so they try to make you feel small so they can feel big.

At the end of the day though, criticism is just an opinion anyway so don’t take any of it personal. Trust me, if you make this a habit when receiving criticism, you’ll save yourself from a number of headaches.

Life Lesson #16: Nothing Wrong with Thinking Highly of Yourself

Dear Reiina,

 

Yup, you heard me right. Nobody is born with confidence, but I’m sure your mom will teach you how to be a confident person so this life lesson will hopefully be redundant, but it’s always nice to get a reminder every now and then y’know? You might have to fake it at first and simply appear to be self-confident, but eventually you will begin to feel the foundation of self-confidence grow within you. With some time and practice (this is not an overnight phenomenon), you can be a self-confident person like your uncles, both inside and out. Cultivate it and allow it to take root and grow within your soul. When that happens, you’ll be ahead of the rest of us (by “us” I mean people in general).

By being a confident person, you will avoid a lot of heartache and struggle, as insecurity writes an ugly story for many.

One thing that I need to suggest is for you to take care and make sure to be aware. You can’t please everyone. The assurance you have of yourself may be hard for some to take. It may come off as arrogance. You may be hated. You may be criticized. Chances are, there are some people you’re going to put off even if you did absolutely nothing to them. The thing is, insecure and negative people tend to stick with their own kind. You will repel a good chunk of small-minded, judgmental people with your high self-esteem. Most people are insecure, and that’s the reality we live in.

However, on the flip side, confidence and positivity are also contagious. You may find positive people who need to boost their own confidence will gravitate towards you. They will want to learn from you. They will be highly interested and curious about you because of your self-assurance, as it is a gift that few possess. This gives you a chance to love and it gives you a choice. Will you get an inflated, big head at the attention that you gather, or will you use your influence as a chance to inspire and help others? I aspire to choose the latter each and every time.

Left unchecked, self-assurance can snowball into arrogance and complacency. So be careful and stay humble. I view humility as one of the most beautiful traits a person can have. Look for a healthy balance between confidence and humility. Don’t let either supersede the other.

There is nothing wrong with thinking highly of yourself (if there is, I definitely don’t want to be right), just make sure that you think of other people and the effect that you have on them along the way.

Life Lesson #15: You Can Always Start Again

Dear Reiina,

 

“As long as there is life, there is a potential; and as long as there is a potential, there will be a success! You will sprout again when cut down! You will rise again even when you fall!” ― Israelmore Ayivor

I believe the above quote can be used for not setting ourselves up to fail and to try again.  If I wake up today and say something like, “I’m going to draw for 5 hours today” then work gets in the way, I won’t end up drawing, then school gets in the way and I still won’t end up drawing and the day will be over before I know it and I’ll end up feeling as though I failed because I didn’t draw for a specific amount of time. But if I set an unmeasured goal of “I’m going to draw today” then any drawing I do is better than not drawing at all, right?  So I have achieved. And then I can always start again and carry on the next day.

It’s the same with almost everything we do in life, just because you make a decision at one point, that doesn’t mean you have to stick with it forever. In fact, I got a feeling (no Black Eyed Peas) that those living with this knowledge are more likely happier than those that aren’t, because they’re more likely to listen to themselves and know what they deserve in life.

One facet of social psychology I learned from my brother and your uncle is effort justification. It’s a cognitive dissonance that makes us put value on things much more in which we have put great effort, regardless of the fact the outcome may be more or less valuable. Some people might think something like, “I’ve been doing X for so long, it wouldn’t make sense to stop now”. Well, if you’re not happy with what you’re doing, why would you continue doing it? Especially when there are alternatives out there for you.

So, if you’re in your last year at college and realize that the computer science degree you worked for is no longer desirable and you want to switch majors to education, you can do it. Start again. It’s never too late. Or you get to the end of writing a book and think, “This isn’t my best work, I can do better”, you can start again (and you can copy and paste the best parts from your first draft if you want). Or if you’re trying to lose weight and you eat a lot at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s totally fine (I do it myself)! We’re all human. Instead of putting yourself down for failing, acknowledge that trying was a brave, good start, and you can start again at any moment (again, don’t wait for a certain time or date, there is no moment as good as now).

A wonderful example of “It’s never too late” is professional wrestler Matt Hardy. You see Matt was never as cool as his brother Jeff, has been arrested multiple times, aired out his hot ex-girlfriend’s dirty laundry (and subsequently got fired for it), he also gained weight to the point my brother made a funny joke (“Ew! What have you been eating!!?”). Despite all this, in 2016 his Broken Matt Hardy gimmick made him the most over wrestler in the business. If you would have told me back when he was ECW champion that he would be the most over wrestler in 2016, I would’ve laughed. But here we are, and Matt Hardy proved as long as you’re alive, it’s never too late to get your priorities together.

Each day has a new start, a new chance for you to be awesome, even more awesome than the day you were before! And with each day holds so many moments, probably more than we can count. Each one one of those is a new chance to start over, to make a change, a change for the better. You can change things with a single thought. Take risks, so what if you fail? It’s better to know what will happen instead of wondering what could’ve, would’ve or should’ve been. Nothing is static or changeless, catch any of those innumerable moments to start over, it’s your right to do so!

By the way, this doesn’t mean not to follow through with things, that’s important too. It’s about sensing when to let go and start over, and to accept that it’s fine to do so!

Failed My Final Exam

But still passed the physics class so I’m like…

relief

Good Washu Almighty. Thanks, UCF for sucking the love of physics right out of me, and I have to do two semester of this crap!? I hope I won’t have to trudge through Physics II. Anyway, next semester is my last so let’s hurry the funk up! But before that, I’m going to make sure to enjoy spending time with my family and friends for the rest of the summer. So see you all in the next blog post!

Something I Wanted to Get off My Chest

Note: Random blog post incoming! *Makes noises airplanes make*

 

I’m sure I’ve been holding this one in for a bit, but having more conversations with my brother (goodness, I love that guy) has put the topic to the forefront of my brain. Here on my blog I mostly talk about anime and beautiful anime women, but that doesn’t mean those are the only topics I enjoy talking about, and I don’t shy away from the more contentious issues or hard questions on this planet that we face as a species. Okay, if you’re reading this, you’re most likely curious what I have to say, right? Of course you are! So what I have to say is typed below and it’s in bold for great emphasis…

 

There is no respectful, skillful or polite way to state views that marginalize people. 

Seriously, I’m an optimistic idealist so I REALLY wish I didn’t have to say this. I’m not sure why I have to either because I feel this should be obvious, but again, after having more conversations with my brother and anecdotal evidence on online forums this apparently is not the case.

What I mean by this is that there are some people who say things that were clearly pretty horrible, and then just expect me (and others) to sit there and take it, and not point out the ghastly nature of the value, view, concept or thing they espoused. Since it’s pride month, I’ll use LGBT rights as an example. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a big supporter of the LGBT community. It’s been that way since I was a child. I have gay friends whom I love dearly and anyone who knows me, knows I think more highly of my friends than I do myself (and I tend to think highly of myself, thank you). So when someone says things such as “Homosexuals are flawed, have a mental disorder, it’s a choice, etc.” or “Marriage should be between a man and woman” we have a problem.

I’m usually a cordial, welcoming, and respectful person, and I’m perfectly fine with people having different tastes, thoughts and opinions, but when you’ve said that, then I cease to be peaceful and polite, no matter how “matter of factly” you state your view.

You just stated my friends are “less than”. That’s a no-go!

Saying, or communicating something rude, untrue, offensive or that dehumanizes another human being, no matter how little swearing or slurs you use, and no matter how advanced your vocabulary, is not respectful. No matter how much you may want to think it is. 

It’s even worse when the person says something around the lines of “Hey, let’s agree to disagree”. Yeah, no, let’s not. That is where I have to draw the line. The conversation comes to a close after I explain that it’s wrong to marginalize people. If a simple explanation is not enough for that person, then very few things (besides experiencing marginalization themselves) would convince them otherwise. I’m certainly not going to change their mind by continuing to talk to them.

“Gee, Starchaser. Why do you take this so personally?”. You might ask. Because real people are involved! Another thing I take issue with is when someone adheres to a shitty belief and says they just have a “different opinion”. No. We’re not talking about who would make the better waifu, Akame or Senjougahara (it’s Senjougahara, btw) here. We are talking about real things that happen in real life, that have real consequences for real people. 

On the flip side, being intentionally boorish and “speaking your mind” doesn’t make the horrible concepts you believe better either. Saying that one honestly believes in a terrible idea doesn’t change the nature of the idea.

I think I might say this as well, but this isn’t suggesting we should suppress freedom of speech or anything like that. Without freedom of speech, how would I or others know who the bigoted morons are? Say whatever the blue cheese you want. Speech away. What I am suggesting is we don’t pretend that something is polite when it clearly isn’t. I’m suggesting that we don’t reward, give props, or congratulate people for saying horrendous and/or incorrect things no matter how “well articulated” or “politically incorrect” they come across. Free speech should be protected, but not mistaken to mean “the freedom to not be called out on saying ridiculous broad generalizations online or offline“. Shoot, considering who the current president of the United States is, it has become increasingly more important to do so if you ask me.

The last thing I want to say is if someone isn’t convinced by simple logic that everyone deserves equal rights point, blank, and put a period on it, then they’re someone that I can’t really talk with. Because they have demonstrated they don’t respond to reason. They’re not someone I want to talk to or associate myself with.