Why Everyone Should Watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Hello fellow bloggers and readers! I’m back! And in an attempt to not work on my dissertation, I bring you this post. Yes, classes have ended, and from now until August 19th, I shall be busy writing a 12,000 word thesis on the game habits between gamers and fan culture. If you are so inclines to help me, and have played the video game Pokemon, then I would ask that you TAKE MY SURVEY.  Please and thank you!

Now, on the the main event. So, this weekend, while procrastinating on my work, I decided the re-read Fullmetal Alchemist. Anyone who know my love for anime/manga, knows that this is my favorite series ever. Like ever. Everything about this series is flawless. There is a good plot, great action, the characters are superbly written, and the relationships makes sense.  Why, let me make a list! I’ll try not to be too spoilery.

1. Plot
The story is simple, two brothers (Edward and Alphonse Elric) on a journey to get their original bodies back, after trying to bring their dead mother back from the dead. That is the one sentence summary. But there is so much more. You have a plot-line that involves war, and how it is not black-and-white. You have a plotline of corruption in the government. Sure, this is a fantasy, but at times it seems so real.

2. Characters
To me, at least, what makes a good series or story is not always the main protagonist, it is the ensemble cast. In stories, the main character has to grow right? Our hero isn’t perfect, if they were, then we wouldn’t want to read/listen/watch it. FMA does just that. All of the side characters have helped Ed and Al grow on their journey. What is even cooler is that the side characters grow as well. Ling learns what it takes to be a leader, Winry grows in her skills as a mechanic, Roy figures out the path not to take, and so on. All of them are important to the growth of the main character, and have a use in the manga.

3. Female Characters
This. This so much. It is important to remember that this series was written BY A WOMAN. Hiromu Arakawa is a fabulous woman with a gift for storytelling. Seriously. This is a shounen series, meaning that it is targeted at young boys. However, there are a plethora of strong female characters THAT ARE NOT JUST USED FOR LOVE INTERESTS! This makes me so happy. I am tired of female characters in stories/movies/books that are just there to be a love interest. There are so many strong willed females in this one. Winry, (my fave), who makes the hard choice to go with her parents’ killer in order to not be used as a hostage. Ran Fan, who cuts her own arm off in order to save her master. Olivia Armstrong, who a badass leader. Izumi, who is just a badass. The list goes on, I feel like I am not doing it justice.

4. Emotions
I think I mentioned in the plot section, but this series has a lot of emotions going through it.  Love, hate, guilt. All of them.  I cannot tell you the number of times I have cried while reading this manga. There is so much going on. Take Al for example. Someone once said you could write a whole psychology paper on Al.  I mean, he begins to doubt if his own existence is real. And what about all the people involved in the war? The guilt they feel of killing, and knowing that their sins can never be erased. My favorite is Armstrong (the brother), because I think that most people would feel like him. He was trained and hired to be a weapon as a state alchemist, but he could not take the killing and fled. Instead of helping he fled, and it is wrong, and you know it, but that is basic human instinct.  I could give yo more examples, but you have to read it for yourself.

5. Messages
There are a lot of good messages in this story. For example, when talking about war and Scar’s anger. He felt hatred towards the Amsterians who killed his family in the war, and in turn that hatred caused him to kill the people who were trying to save him, Winry’s parents. This in turn, caused Winry to hate Scar enough to want to kill him. However, because Ed stopped her, and among other things along the way, Winry moved on. The forgive and the move on are two different things.  Winry broke the circle of hatred. I think this is the message that stuck to me the most. It is easy to hate, and not easy to forgive. But, we don’t have to forgive. We just have to rise above it and move on.
You also have the parallels of what makes a good leader. A King is there for his people. Without the people there is no King. It is kind of the philosophy all of us want in a leader to be there for us. Ling is trying to be that leader, to be the person that his people will feel safe, and in turn, you have people who are loyal to you. But without their king, the people will be lost. 

That it! this is just a FEW of the reasons why you should read Fullmetal Alchemist. And if reading manga/graphic novels ain’t your thing, then watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood(2009). This version follows the manga more closely than the original anime run in 2003.  My post is not doing it justice.

Now off the work on my dissertation (well try to work on it). I’ll try to update soon! Peace, Love, and Pokemon.


Yes All Women and the Double Standards

Hello fellow humans! Let us change the mood of this blog for a serious post. In case you haven’t been online these past couple of days, in Santa Barbra, a 22-year-old white male killed 6 people. In a manifesto that he posted to YouTube, he claimed that girls gave their “affection and sex” to other men but him. He claimed that it wasn’t fair that girls were never attracted to him and therefore should be punished for that. You can watch the manifesto online, but be warned, it is creepy.

There are many debates from this. Gun control, women equality issues are the top two. For me, I want to focus on women equality issues on this blog post.

I think that society needs to change. This isn’t the 1800s. Women need to be treated with more respect, and be treated as equals with men. I am not trying to preach that men are evil or that all men as jerks, but we need to acknowledge that these issues still exist.

When a school tells a girl on a hot day that she cannot wear a tank top because it is too distracting, but a boy can wear a shirt that says “Cool story babe, now go make me a sandwich”, there is something wrong. When I have to tell a boy at a bar that I have boyfriend instead of saying that I am not interested, then that is a problem. When I wear a low-cut shirt I should not be afraid that someone will try to throw something down my shirt (because that has happened to me). When a guy tells my friend that she wears too much makeup or that she needs to wear makeup when he is coming over, that is a huge problem. When we have to tell girls at a young age to defend themselves because we cannot tell boys to respectful and be a decent person, then there is something wrong.  When women get offended, we are told to take it as a joke instead of receiving an apology. The list can go on for a while. See the issue now?

There is a whole double standards, that unfortunately, I am only noticing now. As a girl, I was told to cover up, because it would give boys the “wrong idea.” As a 22-year-old, I am starting to wonder what the “wrong idea” is. Are women sexualized that much, to the point that a high school girl got kicked out of prom because some FATHERS could not keep it in their pants? What about breast feeding? Boobs were meant to feed a baby, but people still, in 2014, have a problem with that. Every case about a women’s sexuality is never replicated with a male.

Remember the college porn star? Would she have gotten the same attention if she was a male? When a prostitute is arrested, why is she the only one and not the guys she slept with? Or even her pimp?

And don’t get me started on rape cases. I am tired of old white MEN saying that rape is a form of birth control, or that the rapist should get child visitation rights, or a child custody case, OR THE OPTION TO NOT HAVE IT ABORTED. Can’t say I approve of abortions BUT IT IS NOT MY BODY.  No one should have domain over my body.

We, as a modern society, need to change. Stop victim blaming. Stop harassing. Stop teaching girls to be ashamed for being born a girl. Stop trying to hide women.

The #YesAllWomen tag on Twitter was not going to solve the problem, but it helped open a dialogue about these issues. The tag was not meant to say all men are bad, but to “say that yes all women has experienced a moment when they faced harassment.” And if you think about that, the women are the people close to you. Your friend, your teacher, your mother, your sister, your wife, your girlfriend, your own daughter.

I do not feel sorry for the shooter. Not one bit. If I see one news station defending him, or someone saying that it was his mental illness, I am going to kick someone. not really but I’ll do something productive  He was a misogynistic man who was not a decent human being. He needed help and a reality check, but I do not feel any pity for him. No man is entitled to a woman. No man has control over a woman. This notion of the “friend-zone” needs to stop.

It’s time to change, people. It is time to start acting like 2014 instead of the generations are great-great-great grandparents lived in. It’s time to start showing what humanity is all about. Teach boys to be kind and respectful. Teach girls to not be ashamed of themselves and to expect more out of men. Teach humanity.




SoGoSurvery Review

Hello my fellow bloggers! I’m here for another quick update. Right now, all of my classes have ended for the summer, and it is now time for the dissertation portion of my studies, DUN DUN DUN! While, I’ll make another post with more specific detail and a plea for participants, I want to tell you about the survey tool that I am using.

Currently, I am using SoGoSurvey. So far, it is working the best out of all of the survey generators I have tried. The interface is a tad more confusing than Survey Monkey, but it becomes easier once you get the hang of it. The best part about this online survey is that is is free. Of course, like with any other one, you can buy the more advance features, like piping and unlimited respondents and questions, but for a quick and simple survey, it is much better than the rest of the online survey makers I have seen. Survey Monkey only gives you 10, and that is good for nothing when you are doing a dissertation.

The Free Version gives you 15 free surveys, with 75 questions, and 200 respondents. That is totally much more than Survey Monkey or any other ones I have looked at. Plus, most of the basic features are there. Also, if you do end up buying a plan, SoGoSurvey has one of the cheapest prices in this market, about $12/month. Which is not bad at all when you compare it to others who are like $24/month.

What is even better is that SoGoSurvey offers a STUDENT DISCOUNT! Yes, you heard me right, a student discount. You can even get it for free in some cases if you are a student.

So, my fellow students who read this blog, I would suggest go and trying it out, especially if you are doing a dissertation or thesis that requires a survey. You can find more information on their student discount here

I’m going to finish writing my survey now, stay tuned for me plea for participants. Until next time! Peace, Love, and Pokemon!

Generation Three Pokemon Games Nostalgia

Soooooo,  unless you guys actually have a life, you wouldn’t know that yesterday Nintendo confirmed that they are remaking Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire this fall for the 3DS. They are calling it OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire. (Don’t really like the names but oh well). As an avid video gamer, and Pokemon master of 12 years, I am kind of excited about this, even if the third generation was my least favorite.

It is really bad, since most people love the third generation of games, and I just don’t like it is as much. I was thinking about it yesterday, as to why I didn’t like it, and I realized, I just was not “me” at the time. Let me try and explain it better. Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire came out around 2003 (at least in the United States).  At this time I was in middle school, maybe around grade 7. Pokemon wasn’t “cool” back then.

This was also the time I moved from my very diverse Brooklyn to hick-town Poconos. I moved in at grade 6, were already many of my classmates have known each other for years already. I was lonely, and trying to fit in with my peers. I am not going to lie, it was a difficult time for me, more than I let on with my parents or friends. I think the reason I didn’t like Ruby and Sapphire was because I could not deal with change. I mean, the changes to the game were very minimum (lol), but it was a whole new game. Plus, none of my current friends played it and the ones who did were often made fun of. I was already awkward new-girl, I didn’t want to be that dorky girl. It was a strange time, because other “dorky” things like Harry Potter and mythical creatures (think about it, we were the Twilight generation as well), were cool, but video games and anime were frowned upon. From grade 6 to about grade 11, I was a closet geek. I think around grade 9 was when I started using Livejournal (hikaristar007!) and had an outlet after school to be nerdy. That was a fun site. I wish I still used it. xD

If there is one thing I could tell myself back then, it would be to not hide who you are. Gurl, you are the geekiest in the world, go on and show that side of you. I wish I had more confidence to be like “I like anime, manga, Pokemon, and chocolate. What are you going to do now?” I would also tell myself to not do marching band, because it was not a good experience, and I should have done tennis or soccer.

In short, I am excited for the new remakes, because now that I am more confident in myself and who I am, I can probably enjoy the game more. Plus, I’ll probably be still unemployed at a big girl job, so it’ll be a great distraction.

Peace, Love, and Pokemon!

School Debt Will Kill Me

Hey guys! I might as well stop making promises of trying to update. I always forget to update my blog. It really is because I have nothing interesting to report. I mean, I can write about trending topics or current events, but I guess honestly, I just been in a lazy mood and I didn’t want to write.

So, the end of the school year is drawing near. I am literally two finals and a dissertation away from receiving my Masters. Honestly, I am glad that I did my Masters this year. They say that grad school is just a way to avoid the inevitable, and they are totally right. However, I think that this school semester I have grown in more ways than one. I am still that geeky video-game and anime chick, but I feel more independent, and I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. What’s stopping me?

Money. Dinero. Cash

I just did my exit loan counseling, which is suppose to help you calculated your debt. Technically, you should be making more than half of what you own. So, according the the USA Government, in 6 months, I should be making over $95,000 USD. Well, I am just going to sell my kidneys or steal the Deceleration of Independence and sell them on the black market. Ridiculous! Do they hear these calculations? What graduate makes that kind of money? I’m a MEDIA student, I’ll be lucky if I ever make that much. And before you preach to me about how I should have chosen a better major, shut up. What is wrong with studying things that you love? Whats wrong with wanting to have an education in something you want to do? In 10 years, hopefully I have a job that I do not dread waking up for. I want a job that I can be passionate about.

So, now I am all stressed out about this loan repayment. I don’t regret studying abroad.  I got to do so much, and visit places that I have only dreamed about.  I just wished that student loans were not so high, and that our government thought about the price of higher education.  This makes me see why that girl started doing porn. Times are hard, and you gotta do what you gotta do to not have $57,000 worth of debt.

Anywho, I’ll accept donations (:P). If you ever want to donate to the “Xuxa had no job, but would like to pay off her debt”  fund, let me know. xD

I hope to whoever is reading this, that their woes are less than mine.

Peace, Love, and Pokemon.