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Days: 50.5
Mean Score: 7.30
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Koisuru Asteroid
Koisuru Asteroid
Sep 12, 8:33 PM
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Girls & Panzer
Girls & Panzer
Sep 12, 8:33 PM
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Nami
Nami
Sep 12, 12:45 AM
Completed 1/1 · Scored -
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Ergo Proxy: Centzon Hitchers and Undertaker
Ergo Proxy: Centzon Hitchers and Undertaker
Aug 4, 8:50 PM
Plan to Read · Scored -
Centaur no Nayami
Centaur no Nayami
Jul 31, 3:42 PM
Plan to Read · Scored -

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HEARTxOFxFIRE Sep 13, 10:16 AM
henlo fren

RAM_BEST_GIRL Sep 11, 12:43 PM
4 mins ago I finished final act
O.O the ending.
plutochan Sep 11, 11:59 AM
Hello. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on 'The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya'. Your post was insightful and I appreciate your way of thinking. As you mentioned, we all have different opinions, and is subjective to taste.
On a lighter note, I see you're a fan of Inuyasha? :)
RAM_BEST_GIRL Sep 11, 8:23 AM
SEE YOU ON OCT 3RD ❤️
RAM_BEST_GIRL Aug 23, 2:37 PM
I STARTED INUYASHA AND I HEARED THAT THERE WILL BE SEQUEL MY GAH
btw hello.
Roevhaal Aug 15, 11:35 PM
I know you're not a fan of comedy (neither am I) but check out Fei Ren Zai, it's a extremely clever chinese anime about chinese folklore creatures, you'll probably be able to appreciate it even without finding it particularly funny.

Hinamatsuri is a comedy that's way above it's genre, I don't find it particularly funny as a comedy but the storytelling is great.
Ryuk9428 Jul 24, 10:21 PM
Bro I haven't seen you on the server in ages. When you gonna come around again lol?
Marco__B Jul 24, 9:38 PM
Koi Kaze is unique in that its emotional palpability and its naturalistic setting do not come at the expense of each other. One of my main problems with slice of life shows is the fact that it feels like an excessively saccharine representation of reality that isn't really reflective of the moments in life which I find existentially fulfilling. Perhaps it may have some tie in to the fact that smaller, jovial moments in life are something I am not generally gracious enough of, since I find them to be ephemeral and situational rather than something more permanent and life defining, which I find infinitely more interesting. Though small moments of laughter and joy are things I find great pleasure in, particularly when thought of in conjunction with trying to accomplish larger goals of actualization and internal conflict, when it's battered on my head, devoid of conflict or consequence, it feels a bit unrealistic and generally boring. That's not to say fiction has to appeal to conventions of reality at every twist and turn, but it is something that I would ideally like to see in shows that I care for, within reason. Part of the draw of fiction, for me, is being able to feel the cloud of ambivalence that racks the protagonists brain, the emotional turmoil which leads a person to make a life-changing decision, etc. etc. This is Koi Kaze's strong suit, as I mentioned, in that it takes the naturalistic setting of every day life with an intensely personal point of view from Koushiro and a narrower cast of characters, giving the viewer an intimate experience, and pairing that realistic setting with an emotionally palpable romantic drama interlaced into the framework without compromises being made at either end.

There is one small, relatively inconsequential scene which sums up all of what I believe makes Koi Kaze great. Nanoka leaves for school early on the last episode, and her friends Futabu and Ouka look at each other, and Fatabu wonders why she's been leaving right after the bell instead of going to hang out with them like she used to (we the audience know it's so Nanoka can go see her big bro). Ouka suggests they go tail her, but Futabu says, "I don't think I want to, I'm scared." Earlier in the story, when Futabu asked Nanoka why she doesn't talk about her problems, Nanoka says "you wouldn't understand." So the moment when Futabu says she doesn't want to tail her, it's this subtle moment of understanding from Futabu that she doesn't want to see whatever fucked up or deviant thing Nanoka's doing. It really hints at how sinister or morally confusing the situation is. There's so many other little moments/beats in this show like this that just put a grin to my face from how well it's done and really shed a diverse perspective into the situation.
Marco__B Jul 18, 12:46 AM
Oh, and I don't want to dictate what you're doing too much when it comes to your own decision-making for the Koi Kaze review, but one of the main things I like to do to better understand my exact opinion is to genuinely try to understand why people dislike a show that I might appreciate. It's important not to get your previous opinions reinforced by the backfire effect (https://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/), but it is important to at least acknowledge things you might not have previously thought of, in my view. In this acknowledgement, you might find a deeper understanding of what you already believed intuitively, but didn't initially know explicitly. Also, from my perspective (I'm not expecting you to do this, btw, this is just my personal preference), I love it when reviewers are able to address common criticisms of a show and dismantle them, particularly when the grievances of the show that are pointed out are petty things or devoid of true understanding of the show. Yes, beauty and interpretation is in the eye of the beholder, but I digress.
Marco__B Jul 18, 12:29 AM
I'm glad to hear that you're considering a review for Koi Kaze. I would love to wax poetic about my specific thoughts of the show, but it might take paragraphs to reach an answer I find sufficient. But to give a very basic, simplistic answer to it: it's human. It's nuanced in dealing with complex and taboo subject matter, but it doesn't take that opportunity to preach, it shows. While I find it to be more of a case study in a sibling relationship being able to work, not really representing a microcosm of a larger thing to paint all incestuous relationships as something pure, I think it takes great lengths in being able to find compassion in trying to understand the relationships between people we don't know about. Although this doesn't apply since it's talking more about rumination and negative thought processes of the mentally ill and alienated, "there's 4 sides to every story, if these walls could talk they'd probably still ignore me." The way I see it, there's 100 sides to every story, and it feels like this show gives us that. It understands imperfection and sheds light on it from all angles. Every show asks for a baseline of empathy from viewer to its central characters, sure, but this one does so in a matter that is just different in presentation, for lack of a better way of putting it. It's ugly, it's beautiful, it's heartwrenching, etc. etc. I think my natural inclination to not derive much joy from comedy shows, since comedic flare in anime almost always sucks, is something that makes me appreciate this show even more, too. It's serious almost all the way through. The characters in this struggle in a manner that makes you legitimately feel uncomfortable, which is hard to do. Anyways...

First, I'd like to clarify where I believe the differences between myself and you and my friend I spoke of are. For my friend, it's his upbringing and personality. Now, one thing I would like to mention is that everybody is capable of changing their personality. Whether it be born of intrinsic or extrinsic motivators, we are capable of change. However, certain life circumstances dictate that we have different expectations of the world around us. It's why, for example, people on the big five personality traits, or OCEAN, are able to move from 99% attribution of that trait to 50% with much less difficulty/hardship than 99% attribution to 0% attribution. I will willingly admit that I have no resources to backup this claim at the present moment, so I may stand wrong, but I'll continue on anyways. Well, to compare myself to him, he basically has 0 neuroticism and takes complete self-ownership of his being, not really caring about others' opinions of him whatsoever. He does things almost entirely for his own sake and doesn't seek for others' approval whatsoever. He has friends, but they were never born of kowtowing to them or trying to be buddy-buddy with them. He also wears his heart on his sleeves when it comes to justice and being principled from what I can tell. From the stories he's told me about himself (yes, I know I have to take what online people tell me with a grain of salt, but I've known this dude for 5+ years and am sincerely doubtful of him embellishing things), he goes out of his way more to speak his mind and stand up for what he believes in compared to what I might do. It's not a result of him being more extroverted, but I would say his self-confidence levels are quite high and his willingness to do what he wants regardless of social repercussion or caring about the context in which he does these things is quite different from me. That's not to say he'll punch a teacher in the face because he disagrees with them, but let me give you a hypothetical and tell you how I might react versus how he might react. Let's say he or I were all alone in a room filled with belligerent and angry feminists and not a single naysayer having a verbal circlejerk talking about the overriding dominance of the patriarchy in society in a required class, and were saying some things that were borderline misandrist in content. From my perspective, I might wait until the storm has settled down and I've collected my thoughts carefully as to what exactly I'm going to say, trying to contain myself from my heart beating out of my chest out of nervousness of what I'm going to say. I'd also heavily consider whether or not it's worth it for quite a while, and start to profusely sweat from the internal dilemma I'm having. In his shoes, he'd make his decision quite quick I'd believe. He'd either choose to ignore it and just put on some headphones, or he would contest them straight without so much as a sweat broken. As we stand right here, right now, that is the difference between him and I. He is much more confident in his decision-making and doesn't think twice about past decisions, and moves on quite quickly. He has an intense curiosity for the world and understands nuance. He is also incredibly disciplined in focused in achieving his goals, and frankly doesn't need to think twice about fixating on past experience, as I hinted at with him being the opposite of neurotic. I would also say his ability to stay calm in all scenarios and not really care what others think about him is unique.

The reason why he and I are different is rooted in his upbringing, in my view. There's certain life experiences he has that made it easy for him to define himself at a young age that I didn't have. I don't want to get too detailed about the specifics of it, because it'd be time-consuming and a chore, but just know that his starkly different childhood from that of myself allowed him to formulate an idea of himself that he's stuck to since then without many hiccups because he's lived in a specific environment that's allowed him to do that. He recognizes how potentially alienating this path of sticking to his own goods regardless of what others think of him is something that I find quite similar between you to. You mentioned to me, "To be frank I don't advise many people who come to me with this to walk the same path at all", and he mentioned something very very similar to me in regards to how he operates in life. The similarity between you two also lies in the decision to walk the path of solitude was not really born out of trauma, but more of a yearning to not be burdened by superfluous social relationships and adherence to social norms which might prevent you from trying to freely express yourself. As you said yourself, "You're probably right that most who choose the solitary path aren't usually mentally or physically optimal. Mentally because there are several mental disorders which lead those with them to isolate". He is lucky in the fact that his baseline personality which he chooses to adhere to is something that is quite attractive to other people, in that he has been able to find the balance of social relations and not really having much to compromise in expressing himself. I do think though that he might eventually walk the path you do; just a sense. What it would take to get me to choose the path of solitude is probably caving into mental illness and generally giving up hope/optimism in the people around me. My current sense of self-worth and fulfillment is primarily derived from moments of solitude where I get to think about the world and myself, and the other is the satisfaction I get from socialization in real life. These two things are equally important to me, so if I were to have to give up that large part of me, it would be quite devastating mentally. Currently, in my life, I walk the path of solitude, but it's mostly involuntary. I do not wish to express myself in a manner I believe unbefitting of my personal values, nor intentionally go out of my way externally to try and appease others' perceptions of me (despite my neurotic tendencies that make me want to curl up into a ball sometimes when i think of how others might perceive me). Although I could do it, my personality is devoid of charisma and I do not take time to familiarize myself with things people are currently doing, whether it be memes or video games or sports or having a social media presence. I do still hold hope that the way I currently present myself does not have to be independent of making any friends or close relationships, and there are some things I'm working on that genuinely annoy myself more than anything (I try to keep the changes I want to make for myself intrinsically as opposed to extrinsically motivated), so I'll see where that takes me. Perhaps I may learn in this process that I do not necessarily even have to "give up", and instead learn that solitude is the right choice for me without any trauma to influence that decision, but I find that to be unlikely given how much I value the presence of someone who I share a lot in common with and find genuine joy being around.

For your other point. I wholeheartedly agree with you that autodidacticism is the way to go. Another thing I'd like to mention is the concept of epistemic humility, as it forms the foundation by which I view the world, even if I'm not always able to practice it as well as I would ideally want. I talk about it in this document I made here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ag06Ewq-lOGtvtjKBXoUiwx8RFQNbi4bybL8-AisLUA/edit?usp=sharing. I made this primarily for my own sake over these past few months to codify my own thoughts, so there may be some bizarre tangents in there. If you don't mind I borrowed a quotation from one of the things you sent me because I find it remarkably true and better said than I could have possibly put it. It's a long document, so if you just want to read the TL;DR, go ahead. I go off-topic quite a bit towards the end of the topic, but it all more or less has to do with the central themes I talked about in the TL;DR.

As for your points about self-diagnoses and the current state of neurology and psychology, I agree. The subjectivity of the matter raises more philosophical questions than it does answer objective, hard and fast truths of the world around us. Who gets to define what's neurotypical or not, and the accuracy in which psychiatrists and neurologists are able to make that specific determination for a diagnosis or not, is something that will be difficult to get 100% accurate. An ascetic Buddhist monk in the mountains of Tibet, who seeks no pleasure in life, might have the makings of a schizoid in external presentation in western interpretation, but might be considered completely neurotypical and psychologically healthy in eastern interpretation. Regardless of whether or not you find my hypothetical accurate is not the point I'm trying to make, but I think you get what I mean here. Cultural differences shaping what's normal, like homosexuality or even the hotly contested "gender dysphoria"/"gender identity disorder" being removed from the WHO as a mental illness. It shows how much a philosophical aspect there is to psychology. If something is normalized enough into public perception, perhaps anything that's considered a mental illness will eventually not be considered one? Are we simply re-structuring our beliefs to not be disparaging of what might actually be a mental illness and putting it through a more politically correct lens, or are we allowing ourselves to change with the tide of opinion as more information and research surfaces into the exact reasoning behind why things are the way they are? There are also things like ADHD that are so common and so context-dependent for its usefulness versus impracticality that it's interesting to see the arguments and counterarguments as to whether or not it should even be considered a mental illness. I consider it to be one, since in the cases where it is genuinely true (not simply diagnosed by woefully under informed psychiatrist who thinks the child is hyperactive and bored a little more usual than the normal child), it is a genuine distraction from somebody's daily function. However, I can see why one might not want to consider it one. The psychological fallout of a child who may be diagnosed with it may be worse than actually trying to actively trying to treat it and constantly label the kid as the kid with ADHD, which will do terrible things for the child's self-worth. Perhaps de-stigmatizing mental illness and training psychiatrists to not simply rely on initial gut feeling is the way to go, but those two simple things will take much more than speaking about it to be able to be accomplished.

Finally, one of the things you spoke about not wanting to dabble in psychotropic drugs is quite funny because I would say the exact same for myself. Being quite familiar with people who smoke weed and the lifestyles they've lived to get up to that point of habitual addiction, I know I would be an at-risk group because it fits the exact sort of thing I would want to do. I am generally reclusive and like to think at length in where my mind takes me, but even then I have my limitations established for that with self-discipline. If I were to smoke weed, I believe I would become hooked on that feeling a bit too much, to the point where I would become untethered from the reality in which I live and decide to live exclusively in my own head and shut others away to sink into the feeling of deep thinking and wonder.
Marco__B Jul 14, 3:18 AM
In an ideal world, communication absent of cognitive fallacies and misunderstandings would be the norm as opposed to a passing occurrence seen once in a blue moon for particularly complex subjects in people with opposing opinions. The method of which you spoke of, a sort of telepathic communication, would certainly be the ideal form. There is so much depth and emotion lost in translation would conveyed from mind to word format, that is also then influenced (positively or negatively) by intonation, facial expression, body language, etc. The endless amounts of room for error in trying to convey an idea that you intuitively understand based on your life experiences and world view that have accumulated up until that point, along with the emotional depth of which you are trying to convey is simply too much to ask for another person to understand without some of the essence of the statement being lost. If the world were to exist that way from the start of humanity, many thousands of years ago, where everyone were to be generally on the same page with another due to a mutual understanding of beliefs, then it'd be a curious thing to see how that would evolve into that alternate present-form of reality. That is enough potential material as a premise to create a whole novel, I'm sure. However, the more interesting question in my opinion, is what if that telepathic communication which accurately conveys the full depth of our messages to one another were to be implemented into modern-day society. For me, that would be one of the most truly fascinating journeys one could ever make. It'd practically make you an omnipresent being if you were proactive enough in socializing with enough people. In a way, we are already capable of doing this by reading literature and exploring arts of various mediums, but even that is an incomplete and imperfect form of communication, save for the best works (depending on how strict your definition of "perfect" is). Being able to understand everyone from the hyper-curious and constantly inquiring academics, to Buddhist ascetics, to the indigenous folks of South America, to the CEO of a large corporation, to well-read philosophers, to the great artistic visionaries, to the most jaded political extremists, to the severely mentally ill, etc. etc. would turn my world upside down and then some. There is no way with all this accumulated knowledge that I wouldn't feel overwhelmed, but assuming I were to be able to handle it and make something productive of all that I had learned, it would be exhilarating beyond my wildest imagination. One has to wonder what they might make out of a borderline omnipotent breadth of knowledge and perspective on the world. It's such an interesting thing to consider.

I would like to focus on this quotation which you have written, "To be frank I don't advise many people who come to me with this to walk the same path at all since most people are constructed differently it seems like at the base neurological building block level and have much greater yearning for social relations both platonic and romantic which only ever amount to serving as a vampiric emotional drain on me." As I had previously mentioned, I have a friend who I find to be quite similar to you in this manner. Now, comparisons between individuals are inherently unfair due to the unimaginable amount of complexity, varied life experiences, physiological differences, and a whole host of other variables which make people differ from individual to individual, but even saying all that, I can't help but try to use pattern recognition in this scenario. (Quick side tangent: sorry if I'm being anally semantic about things, I just want to prevent misunderstanding and uncertainty where possible, perhaps at the expense of being annoyingly verbose. I'm not going to change that, but just wanted to mention it just cause lol) Anyways, the common denominator between you two has been this sense of walking the path of the loner without really any regret or indecision about his choice once it was made. For context, he is an online friend if the distinction needs to be made. In the distant past, particularly when he was in primary school and I didn't know him I didn't know him, he said he was always quite the outcast of an individual who subconsciously always tried to fit in but just didn't. After a year or two of decision-making and heartache, he eventually decided to not care anymore about displaying who he was without any care for conforming to social norms of any sorts. He began to live life completely for himself in the sense that none of his decisions of what to do or follow in life were at all for the sake of appeasing other people. Essentially, all he did and believes was for his sake only. People around him generally came to understand exactly who he was because he was unafraid of speaking his mind and expressing who he was. Sparing you any more hyper-specific details of the story, he had a specific and a bit unusual of an upbringing that lead him up to this point that were completely particular to him. Without these specific experiences and the mental fortitude to follow through with this way of being confidently and unapologetically, he would have never been able to be the person he's been in his life. As of present, I know he has a couple friends and a girlfriend (I believe), but I suspect he may follow a similar path to you. Perhaps I'm making quite the assumption here, but based on the various interactions I've had with him, his intrinsic motivation to accomplish things in life and do things for his own sake is almost unsurpassed in comparison to any other person I've met. He is not a loner, but he as all the mental makeup to eventually become one based on what I can tell. He is a person who is almost impervious to life circumstances in the social realm, and almost always continues on doing what he's doing without hiccups. He doesn't have a bravado about it or fashions himself to be somebody he's not, this is genuinely who he is. And, similar to you and I, he's always in that state of inquiry about the world at large.

If you do not wish to continue reading this due to the borderline psychiatrist-esque evaluations you might have to make, then you do not have to continue reading. Forgive me if this is a topic that you do not care about, do not wish to read about, or just genuinely don't have any knowledge about to make a confident determination. But if you want to deliberate your thoughts, here goes:

Now, I didn't tell you all about him without purpose. Between you and him, as well as the many other loners who I'm sure are out there who have enormous wealths of intrinsic motivation and have accepted themselves for who they are without regret, and furthermore, tend to enjoy the life of solitude without major qualms, I'm curious how we make the distinction between them and schizoids (here is a quick Mayo Clinic read on schizoids https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizoid-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20354414). To answer my own question, my estimate is that the schizoid does not know what the taste of social connection and relationships is truly like due to an involuntary inability to get that, despite a deep-seated longing to get a taste of that. For individuals like my friend and yourself, who know full well what a good friendship and relationships are like, and for you more specifically, who has then continued on to consciously choose a life of solitude without an internal dilemma about the decision, you are different. One of the curious things about schizoids from what I have read up on and some interviews of those who have it from what I have seen, is that they generally accept themselves and enjoy the copious amounts of solitude they have. The decision-making process of what seems to be what the schizoid says, "I'm happy being alone", tends to be different from what has truly lead the schizoid to living the solitude, in the fact that many cases, they have traumatic experiences of emotional neglect or alienation which lead them to essentially give up social interaction altogether as a form of defeat. To quote from a scientific article I read about this in the past about the schizoid's loneliness, "The author believes that schizoid condition can be considered as an intrapsychic constellation of oversensitivity, paralysis and paradoxical conflicts (for example fear of as well as hunger for affection and intimacy) as a result of social/emotional rejection; neglect; bad influences; traumatic experience; conflicts; envy; shame; self-hate; low self-esteem (because of their failure to successful development, interactions, socialization and loneliness) rather than indifference to social interactions. An endurable combination of deep suffering and social isolation makes the schizoid development more and more persistent and deep-anchored." (http://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0213-61632010000100005) Given the fact that one of the longest and largest longitudinal studies on human happiness (https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/over-nearly-80-years-harvard-study-has-been-showing-how-to-live-a-healthy-and-happy-life/) has suggested that the largest determining factor as an indicator of long-term health and mental well-being is by far and away our satisfaction and happiness in the relationships we have (and do not have), it makes me wonder where I'm going to find my fulfillment in life. Now, I know this is a personal decision that I have to make entirely on my own since there is such a large amount of factors entirely relative to me which I only know about that would play into whether or not I choose to live the life of solitude versus a life where I choose to find community/social. I would say I fall more in the former at present, or at least I want to experience that during college to the best of my abilities. Not in a recklessly hedonistic way where I'm fucking 10 girls in a span of a week, while hanging around my fratbro roommates who I chug beers with and supposedly have my back. What I mean is finding genuine kinship with a select few folks who hold similar worldviews, I feel comfortable expressing myself around, and are generally good people who I truly enjoy being around.

However, what if that desire turns into becoming a schizoid? I'm not scared out of my mind of the proposition, and I'm not going to self-diagnose it for my own wretched form of masochistic self-satisfaction in the fact that I have possibly deluded myself into believing I have a severe and rare form of mental illness, but I am just incredibly curious at the possibility of it occurring. I don't like to fixate on it, simply due to the unrealistic nature of it ever occurring, but I always have to at least simply be aware of worst-case scenario for anything meaningful in my life so as to mentally prepare myself for it in the event that it occurs. Not everyone who lives a life that doesn't meet their expectations of social ventures and becomes a bit jaded as a result automatically turns into a schizoid; that's extreme. Nevertheless, I find myself to be in an at-risk group. I do not wish to make a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom and gloom that will lead me down the rabbit hole of getting to the point where my mind forces itself into submission, becoming one of a schizoid. I think that is a truly irresponsible thing to do and it would mean I have absolutely zero self-control nor realistic optimism about life that'd lead me to more fulfillment than the alternative scenario of becoming a schizoid. I just wonder how much of that intrinsic motivation and control I have to guide me down the right path in life. I find myself to be relatively in control of myself at the moment, but due to my rumination about the possibilities of life, it makes me wonder the various possibilities of where I might end up. I know I can't be like my friend that I spoke of, he had specific life circumstances that lead him to be the way he is, and I can't restructure my being from the ground up to have a carbon copy of his worldview and experiences, it just wouldn't work. Nor would I want that. Also, I know I can't be like you either. I believe that my time in college will be a pivotal determinate for me being able to make a confident decision in deciding whether or not I want to live a life of solitude. And I know it doesn't have to be an extreme version of solitude, but what I mean by that is that I wonder if I'd be much closer to loner than I might have initially believed on a spectrum of loner to complete social butterfly. I have already had these past 4 years of high school to experience solitude, and although I like it more than the average individual, I have to wonder if that's simply the case of my mind making rationalizations for an unpleasant thing to ease the pain of not getting what I truly want, or something that is genuinely truthful to me? I don't think of myself as quite the special cases you two are, and based on the Harvard study of happiness, I would probably lump myself into the group of the majority who have happiness and fulfillment being determined largely by the quality of my relationships in life. Anecdotally and factually speaking based on the evidence I've seen, it feels a bit too uncommon for me to find people who are intrinsically motivated, genuinely happy living a life of solitude, and work out perfectly fine mental health and physical health wise in the long term. If I am able to hold out and be patient in the wait for these quality relationships, while also being proactive enough in putting myself out there to have proper exposure in the right settings while displaying my true self in a confident matter, then I'm sure I'd have the answer to my dilemma sooner rather than later. Until then, I simply do not want to be presumptuous and pretend to be someone that I'm not out of some foolish delusion that I have to choose a life of solitude, which would be more due to involuntary factors rather than an intrinsic motivation to operate life solo dolo. I know you can't make that determination, but I'd be curious to hear your insight on the situation. I'm not expecting you to give me a diagnosis or even something that would seem like it'd have the potential to make me self-diagnose something bad unintentionally, I'd just like to hear your mind on whatever it is if you're willing to share.

One last thing, you really need to write a review or a blog post on Koi Kaze. I'd love to see your insight on that story in a thoughtful, essay-like manner. I know you'd have something great in store in your analysis of the story. I can't force you to do it, nor can I even really expect you to do it for me whatsoever, but if you ever found the motivation to do it, just know I'd absolutely love to see it.
Marco__B Jul 12, 3:56 AM
I think one of the great, intriguing things in my life which I've always subconsciously loved has been the comment section / forum discussions. As is typical in most any large discussions, whether online or in-person, much of the content I read is repeated white noise that adds nothing meaningful to the discussion (from my view) other than to satiate their snarky side or feed into their attention-seeking minds by parroting a commonly held view or joke. Parsing through all this is quite choresome and unproductive 90% of the time, but it's a force of habit built into me as deeply as my urge to scratch myself when I feel an itch. To a similar effect as what you alluded to in your viewership of various artistic mediums (film, anime, etc), this has been one of my forms of self-education and broadening of my world by essentially trying to put myself in the other's shoes and understand what has lead this person to believe what they believe. I find that it's much easier to be empathetic to someone you're not obligated to respond to or necessarily feel at all obligated to believe in their presence because the social pressures of doing that are eliminated in the form of anonymous viewing of said opinion or comment or whatever. In real life, I find that dialogue and even attendance of a lecture to be something where I feel a bit more challenged to be more obtuse and on edge about automatically resigning myself to believing due to the aggressive emotional trickery that I feel goes in play when you're being spoken to in-person. Perhaps a limitation of me being unable to have emotional control / not seceding to social pressures of conformity, but it's much easier for me to be "objective" (or at least see things from an outsider's, more calm and rational perspective) when I see things on the internet as opposed to in-person. Although the lack of individualized, diverse opinions across the internet is frustrating to say the least, when you expose yourself to comment sections and forums that you know have the potential of housing an anomalous perspective, it's impossible not to keep reading to satisfy those rare occurrences when it does materialize. There are many parallels to be had in my own life with this and watching anime/movies/etc., where the constant search to find nuggets of genuine meaning and wonder keep you enthralled enough to keep at it. As time goes on, I sometimes find myself at my wit's end in not being able to find that fulfill these desires, but that is not particularly unique to me.

Another thing you mentioned, particularly towards the end of your comment, was the association with your personal devotion to ridding your life of as many falsehoods as you deem possible (not to be confused with objective truth, but more so what I consider "not bullshitting yourself"---which is a necessary semantic distinction in my opinion) and how you find this to not be a problem with your current way of living due to your more reclusive nature. I'll make an assumption here, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that this essentially means you have no friends, or at least the conventional sort of friends you regularly keep up with and have a beer with every week. One of the things that has always run through my head, since I find that it applies to me, is if there is a legitimate possibility to reconcile being intellectually independent (much in the same manner that you described) and being socially active with a few close friends or so. In other words, are they mutually exclusive? Does someone who lives almost entirely by my own moral principles, views, and beliefs have to not have close friends or a partner? In my opinion, the short answer is that it's possible, but it'd take a great deal of luck for the other parties to be people who hold a similar devotion to "truth" and coincidentally, you would agree on perhaps 70% of things, coming from a similar frame of reference. I understand that variable such as a person's interpersonal skills, charisma, and likelihood of their own personal opinions being shared with the other person are the factors which would largely determine whether or not this hypothetical person would be able to find close relationships with others, but I'd be curious to know what you think.

In my experience, thinking for myself has largely lead to alienation. For reference, I am just now entering college, so my life experiences are limited to that of high school and prior. I find no reason to be deterministic about being someone constantly being incapable of finding true kinship, since I believe that I have had a very narrow slice of life up until this point which casts a blinding light across many possibilities I wouldn't think are true until I was actually presented the opportunity experience them in the first place. I think there is a balancing act that can be made between being honest with oneself in finding the so-called "truth" and being socially available and active that does not have to be all-in on either things. Compromises need to be made on both sides of the coin, certainly, such as withholding information you believe to be true, but not saying it in order to maintain the relationship. While I'd love to speak my piece and be as frank with people as possible, I might value my relationship more than my dogmatic allegiance to any and all things that seem to be as close to the truth for me in life. Conversely, another compromise that can be made is to sometimes decline social gatherings or not constantly be out there for things I might disagree with, even though the average friend might be more than willing to participate, simply out of my own personal decision to stick to things I find to be more pleasant in my own time, even for the sake of not strengthening the relationship. I wish there were a way to be 95% a free, independent thinker who feels no obligation towards appeasing others' opinions and simultaneously be a 95% socially active individual who is able to be with his loyal friends completely on his own terms, and can relate to them with ease. The percentages are completely arbitrary, but I think you understand the general concept. The likelihood of my state example (of being 95% on both) being possible though are next to none. In all my years of living, I have only met one person who I think has been able to accomplish this remarkable feat. However, he is quite the anomaly from what I can tell. Perhaps I'm being presumptuous in assuming the amount of time people take to self-reflect and also, put themselves in many others' shoes to formulate a more broad understanding of the world, but I think it's just the fact that being driven enough to find the truth in all aspects of life and standing by the principle that intentionally lying to yourself for the sake of continuing on with a potentially false belief is against everything you stand for is something unique to a small percentage of the population. It is simply too time-consuming for people to live by this principle, even if it's something that people like to pretend they follow. As I'm sure you're well aware, this is the Dunning-Kruger effect in full action. In order to get the best of both worlds, I believe you either have to compromise somewhere, be put in a lucky situation where people are likely to agree with you (some people believe joining clubs and various groups is an efficient way of finding like-minded individuals, but I have never found any kinship there), or be naturally blessed to be appealing. Of course, you can work on yourself to be more appealing or just find hobbies that are aligned with others, but there is still some compromise to be had there. It's just a matter of how much you're willing to give up to have one other thing properly function or just being lucky I suppose.

One last thing, I'm curious what in particular you liked about Haibane Renmei. I think for me personally, the world of Glie is something that really inspires awe and wonder. Everything from the toga, to the haibane themselves, the character designs, the lazy and slow atmosphere of the town, the great windmills; all of it inspires curiosity in me. One of the common criticisms of the show is that it doesn't take enough time to explore around the town, but I find the mystery to be an endearing quality of the show that fits right in with the mysterious nature of the setting. Another thing I quite obviously like is Reki. More specifically, I love how Reki is able to essentially overcome herself. Her cycle of sinning, being unable to forgive herself is something we all face in our lives at one point or another. Perhaps we do not have the benefit of identifying our exact problems/"sins" as swiftly with herself, but being able to draw parallels from fiction to one's own life in a fashion that inspires genuine self-reflection is usually the sign of a quality show. Her neurotic obsession with being unforgivable and incapable of finding salvation is a self-fulfilling prophecy which inevitably sinks her through the rabbit hole of isolation and damn near suicide, but it is in accepting herself and her past that she is able to finally move forward in life. I have never been suicidal in my life, but I still found this to be something quite moving. I find people to be quite reductive in evaluating the show due to their dislike of how (admittedly) heavy-handed the thematic follow through of the show's final episodes were, but I find it to be more complicated than what people give credit for. It's not necessarily that Reki, a (from my understanding) representation of a depressed individual who has been anchored into the deep recesses of the ocean with guilt from past trauma, is simply just a good person and the show is saying that all people are good people who want to commit suicide. I think greater than that, it's a cautionary flare shot into the air to those who don't understand how much of a killer rumination is. Tormenting yourself with negative thoughts and making your only surrounding area one of oppressively small spaces, darkness, and too much familiarity for its own good is something that leads people to self-destruction beyond repair. I know from my own experience how much of a silent killer spending too much time in this way can be, so I found kinship in that experience with Reki. Being able to overcome the obstacle of wanting to collapse under all that pressure and learning to accept the past and the present to live her life free of unnecessary guilty or shame is something we can all learn from, in my view. I know you read a blog post into the religious side of Haibane Renmei with its Christian symbolism and such, so I wouldn't be surprised if you had entirely different take on the show.
Marco__B Jul 11, 12:43 AM
Understood. Again, thanks for the friend request. Hope this doesn't come off as stalker-ish (which, now from my mere mentioning it, I've increased the likelihood of your suspicion of it being true), but I took some time to read some of your forum posts after you sent the friend request. They are fascinating. I find your opinions to be incredibly idiosyncratic and concise, despite their seemingly great length in comparison to other forum respondents. Your ability to present broad or otherwise complicated ideas in a couple paragraphs, taking legitimate time to consider and analyze the questions of the OP of the forum posts rather than just flippantly typing out what first comes to mind (just assuming here) is admirable. And, not to stroke my own ego, but it kind reminds me of myself in a way, which is always amusing.

Also, forgive me if I'm wrong and it sounds like I'm being Freudian-esque here with the psychoanalysis, but I take it you have developed an unconventional world view? I say this not to be disparaging, but more so out of curiosity, given what I have seen of your forum posts. Now, not to sound like a pseudo-intellectual who has his head up his own ass, over-generalizing western society, but people who take caution to understand nuance and develop their own world views is something that I always genuinely appreciate when I see it due to how rarely it seems that I find people practicing it. I find that, at least in my experience with the people who I've been around up till this point in my life, blind adherence to their developed moral principles and world views has been quite a problem. I don't mean in the sense that people should automatically be questioning everything and then, in turn, blindly adhering to what is countercultural or controversial, because that would be the same thing in a different skin in my view. Perhaps it has been the result of being more private with my opinions, due to my lackluster social presence (or, in less bullshitting terminology, a shitty social life), that empowers me to not guide myself to subserviently conform to whatever is lectured to me ad nauseam. This does not mean I automatically deny what's being told out of some paranoid thought process that I'm being conditioned or indoctrinated into believing something false, but it does mean that I usually take what people say with a grain of salt until I have a fuller picture of the situation. While taking this approach can lead to inaction if people are stifled by overthinking and giving every opinion too much of the benefit of the doubt when one opinion is seemingly more "objectively" true than another, I find it to be more useful than disruptive in being realistic about finding the truth in life. I don't know if I really have a grand point to this word soup I've just created, but I guess I'd be curious to hear what your thoughts are on my observations if you have any at all!
Marco__B Jul 10, 11:35 PM
Hey man, thanks for the friend request! I was only able to see part of you message attached to the request, so if you could re-send that for me so that I'm not stuck here in utter confusion, that'd be greatly appreciated lol. I wish MAL would make it more straightforward to be able to see messages, but whatever. I'd like to give a proper response to what you said if it's any bit lengthy.
emilyluna Jul 2, 7:44 PM
Ah that’s good we have a mutual understanding with time. It can honestly fly so fast in a blink of an eye without realizing it ^-^

I’m currently back in Hawaii after the long travels… There were plans to continue staying in Thailand then going to Malaysia but because of the plans with Covid we had to cancel and just originally fly back home. Still it’s a bit weird because I haven’t lived here in 6 years… This will definitely take some time getting used to once I’m able to go out again. I do hope that I get to travel again one day I would love to go back to Thailand, Vietnam, France, and Italy all over again. I’d honestly do it in a heartbeat

Hmm that’s really interesting that there were so many Koreans in Alaska! In the places you least expect you seem to find more Koreans but I definitely did not expect Alaska. Like there are many in Virginia, California, Florida, and even in Hawaii but I thought the only common thing at least for California and Hawaii was that it was closer to Asia/Korea. I wonder what makes them move to Alaska?
On another note how was it like living on the road? Did you live in one of those mobile homes? I’m quite curious!

I definitely understand what you mean by the part on languages. I don’t mind hearing it or atleast when I was in those countries hearing their language but it’s really different from Japanese and Korean which I hear more often. I can’t really tell the difference between Vietnam and the Thai if I heard it now and was asked to tell which language it is but I remember there being a difference in tone slightly. It’s funny though since the Japanese language I’m pretty sure uses some of the Chinese alphabet (I’m confused between Hiragana and all the different parts) but sounds completely different!

Hm im not sure if I would get nauseous but I have the feeling I would definitely get some sort of form of lightheadedness. From the sound of it the scenery seems like the perfect atmosphere to bring paint supplies and just paint what you see :,)
Currently in my life I have a bit trouble with thinking that far ahead in terms of planning me going to Colorado or even anywhere other than where I live because I’d have to be thinking about college but I think I’m gonna try getting into a college in Korea! So you can see how I’m having a little crisis (like only assuming I can live for like 24 years because I can’t plan ahead in my mental images)

Oh yes you're absolutely right Italian cuisines have literally everything you possibly want to offer. Surprisingly when I first went on my trip I assumed that the best food in Europe would likely be France or Italy and in terms of “cuisine” foods I would have to solely hand it down to Italy. France has nice food as well of course but honestly it’s more bakery products that they have best knowledge in rather than meals. (thinking about any sort of Italian pasta is making my mouth water :,) ) It’s a shame that the US doesn’t think about the quality of food like European countries though unless it’s overpriced.
I’m surprised though that you dislike pig intestines! I don’t often eat them but there's this korean style pork intestine dish called Sundae that I surprisingly find really delicious. If you ever come across an authentic version (which you can sometimes find little stands of people selling it on the street in Korea) then you may like it!
If you were to use more ingredients on your food other than the “minimal” amount what would you consider to use? I assume maybe Chives, Onions (though that’s not a herb…), Bay Leaves, Garlic powder?

I’d love to have some espresso from Italy right about now… Probably some of the best coffee I’ve ever had and I consider myself quite a coffee connoisseur xD

I really need to rewatch a ton of Ghibli movies to understand them more but I fully agree with what you say for the way you started out watching anime. I was fully “addicted” (well of course I still am now) but the way I would consume the episodes seemed like it was humanely impossible… Now I cannot consume as well as I used to but I fully enjoy watching it
Have you been watching anything exciting recently?

Hmm I don’t think anyone really played Pokemon cards properly back then jsjs but I also collected them as well! That’s really cool that you tutor her in Osaka so then I’m assuming you’re staying in Japan? How is it? It’s funny though how you say you can only list “the first 150” when that’s already quite the number of Pokemon to have memorized. I also played some of Pokemon on the DS when I was about hmm 6? Somewhere around that age range and I have a vivid memory of trying to catch Giratina but other than that my memory blanks on Pokemon knowledge

Since it’s been so long I’ll just submit this message already and continue the response in another message ^-^