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Feb 24, 2017
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)

The heaviest item I have ever picked up was a giant television in my parents’ basement.

Though, at the time, it felt like I was carrying a medium-sized engine rather than a piece of technology that I once played all of my video games on. I distinctly remember picking it up, but, I had so much trouble, my father had to help out. Even then, when it finally got stashed away, the muscles in my arms convulsed from the strain.

That either says a lot about the TV or a lot about me. Probably both.

Regardless, it weighs read more
Feb 23, 2017
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)

When people look at me, they cannot believe that I love to listen to heavy metal.

The most recent disbelief actually came from someone close: my brother-in-law. We were talking about bands and music in general when I brought up Metallica, both my favorite heavy-metal band and my favorite music group ever. I rattled off some of my favorite songs – “Disposable Heroes,” “Blackened,” and so on – and he was taken aback at my adoration.

I don’t blame him for his surprise because, as an unassuming nerdy white guy, I don’t “appear to be” a fan read more
Feb 22, 2017
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)

My brother, while he was growing up, had an imaginary friend: Ghost Friend. Not so imaginative.

I never had one myself, but my brother always made sure Ghost Friend was around. Playing outside, eating at the dinner table, and sitting around the house. They were inseparable.

At some point, though, my brother no longer had Ghost Friend with him. I am not saying he stopped believing because that is not what happened. What happened was that Ghost Friend took a “permanent vacation” elsewhere. Nobody knows where. He just went away to live his own life (which is read more
Jan 22, 2017
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)

I thank my father every day for strong hair genes.

Many of the men in my family, especially my father’s brothers (my uncles), have lost their hair quite early on. But not my father. He’s beginning to get streaks of grey, but it’s still (almost) all there.

I myself like to keep my hair short – “five on top, two on the sides” or some such hairdo lingo – but I also only get a haircut once every five months or so. It doesn’t get long, but it gets messy. Messy enough for my father to nickname read more
Jan 19, 2017
(This review has been adapted from its blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)

Noragami, the first season, was actually one of the very first anime that I started following as it aired. I was a newbie back then, wondering what this strange, foreign medium had in store for me. I remember seeing the main visual for the anime – all three of them sitting atop a red-shrine entrance with the city far below and a gloomy sky at their backs. That instantly caught my attention (still does), and the anime ended up being favorable to me.

Now, a few years later, with many more anime and hence more experience read more
Dec 2, 2016
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)

In the final episode of the second season here of Is the Order a Rabbit?? (two question marks to signify the sequel), the girls go on what’s called a “Ciste.” Basically a treasure hunt. They use a map that contains clues that lead them through town until they discover a chest where goodies are had and traded.

When I was kid, one of my best friends had a birthday party where his mother set up a treasure hunt. I remember all of us peering over the map, running around the house looking for clue after clue. read more
Sep 21, 2016
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)

(As supplementary material for this review, please refer to my essay on symmetry and asymmetry, Owarimonogatari, Symmetry, and Asymmetry, found here: https://thechuunicorner.com/2016/07/01/owarimonogatari-symmetry-and-asymmetry/)

I’ve always grown up loving math; I’ve always grown up performing well in math. I’m still unsure if both of these are mutually exclusive or not, but I like to think that some connection exists.

The fun of mathematics comes from the complexity. Using variables, taking integrals, and memorizing formulae turn the field from crunching numbers into a brain-powered game. Of course, there are certain areas that can be tiresome – I’ve always had trouble read more
Sep 17, 2016
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)

Shinmai Maou no Testament Burst has an affinity for bathing. That makes sense. An ecchi anime without a bath scene or two is like an anime without animation – it is almost unheard of.

For myself, bathing has never generated any exceptional stories. Save for one.

Growing up, I’ve always liked minty snacks. But, as a young kid, I took it a few steps further. When I bathed, I had this plastic container that I would fill with both water and toothpaste because the toothpaste tasted like mint. And, as the weirdo I was, I ate my read more
Sep 17, 2016
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)

In Kekkai Sensen, a character goes by the name of White. She reminds me of my own sister since she also has a heart condition. Nothing serious, but it’s a condition she has had to deal with all her life.

I remember one night when my sister went out to eat with her friends. She came home eventually; nothing out of the ordinary. Except, before heading off to bed, my sister let my father know of a pain in her chest.

My father hesitated not, rushing her immediately to the hospital. So fast, in fact, that I read more
Sep 10, 2016
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)

The closest I have ever been to death is a moment that I don’t even remember.

Complications during childbirth are common. For me, at the (very) tender age of ten seconds old, there were two such complications: the umbilical cord and my size. The cord just so happened to wrap itself around my throat, cutting off oxygen to my body. As for my size, I was so huge (ten pounds, eight ounces) that I got stuck in the birthing canal.

The doctors, desperate to save both my mom and me, made the decision to add a third read more