5 Facts to Know About Thirteen (Anan Kurose)

1. Thirteen is born on February 3, she is currently 29 years old in the series, she’s 180cm tall, and she was born in the Kagoshima Prefecture.

Although her gender identity has been debated during MHA’s run, it’s been determined that in the localisation and the first four School Briefs light novels Thirteen was initially referred to with “he/him” pronouns.

However, in the anime, this was later changed so that Thirteen would use “she/her” pronouns. In the second databook, Thirteen is again confirmed to use “she/her” pronouns and all content henceforth has remained consistent with the use of “she/her” pronouns.

2. Thirteen is said to like museums and self-learning documentaries. She’s also a very passionate person, wanting to save people and encourage students to use their Quirks for good as heroes.

Her passion has led her to develop her own training facility (the Unforeseen Simulation Joint) to train students in search and rescue. She’s also very passionate about Quirks used for creation and assistance rather than destructive and battle-focused quirks.

She’s also shown to be very polite, “wise,” and not hesitating to join in combat against villains to protect others despite not being a ‘combat pro-hero.’ This is reflected in her stats according to the Ultra Archive Analysis:
Power 4/5 (B)
Speed 2/5 (D)
Technique 4/5 (B)
Intelligence (4/5) B
Cooperativeness (5/5) A

And also the Ultra Analysis:
Power 4/6 (B)
Speed 2/6 (D)
Technique 4/6 (B)
Wits 4/6 (B)
Pulling Force (5/6)

3. Thirteen’s surname “Kurose” contains the kanji for “black” (黒 kuro) and “rapids, current” (瀬 se), and her first name Anan contains a particle used to mean “sub-​” (亜 a) and “south” (南 nan).

The official MHA Twitter page also showed Thirteen’s prototype design, revealing that her prototype’s hero name was No. 6 and her real name would have been “Hirooki Anakuro” (written as 穴黒央宙 in Japanese). This means her real name would have literally meant “Middle Space.”

It’s also believed that her hero name and the astronaut-like costume are references to NASA’s Apollo 13.

4. Her sketch in Volume 33 shows that her forearms are black, likely an effect of her Quirk. This is suggested to be because when she was hit by debris during the war while helping other heroes escape, her hands became heavily injured.

5. Thirteen and a Class 1-B student called Kosei Tsuburaba (the guy from the sports festival on Mononoma’s team who can create solid air) are the only MHA characters in the main series so far that have received more than one volume character profile.

5 Facts to Know About Recovery Girl (Shūzenji Chiyo)

1. Recovery Girl’s real name is Shūzenji Chiyo, her height is only 115cm, her blood type is B, she was born in Tokyo, and her birthday is April 4th (which means she has the same birthday as Shigaraki, Tskuachi [the police force detective] and Kesagiriman Man [a Pro Hero who was a part of the Hassaikai raid]).

2. According to Recovery Girl’s character profile, her favourite thing is candy and she’s worked at U.A. for over 40 years. Due to how long she’s been at U.A. her opinions and words hold just as much weight as Principal Nezu’s. Horikoshi has also stated that Recovery girl is the supporting mainstay of U.A.

3. Recovery Girl’s first English voice actress Juli Erickson retired, and Recovery Girl’s voice acting role was given to Luci Christian. Luci Christian also voices Uraraka.

4. Recovery Girl’s first name “Chiyo” contains the characters for “heal” (治 chi) and “bestow” (与 yo). Her surname “Shūzenji” contains the characters for “discipline” (修 shū), “virtuous” (善 zen) and “Buddhist temple” (寺 ji). It’s believed that the first part of this surname may come from the word “repair, mend” ((しゅう)[しゅう]修(しゅう)[ぜん] shūzen) and/or may be a tribute to Shuzenji, which is a town in Shizuoka known for its hot springs, since it has the same spelling.

5. According to the Ultra Archive Recovery Girl’s stats are:
Power 1/5 (E)
Speed 1/5 (E)
Technique 5/5 (A)
Intelligence 5/5 (A)
Cooperativeness 4/5 (B)

According to the Ultra Analysis her stats are:
Power 1/6 (E)
Speed 1/6 (E)
Technique 5/6 (A)
Wits 5/6 (A)
Recovery 6/6 (S)

Darwin’s Game: A Scary Death Game

Darwin’s Game is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by FLIPFLOPS (also known for Suzu Rogu, Sekaiju no Meikyuu II: Rikka no Shoujo, and Nekogami Yaoyoruzu). Darwin’s Game received an anime series adaption produced by Nexus (an animation studio established in 2012, also known for Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry and Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute!). The anime aired from January 3 to March 20, 2020, and is available to be viewed on Netflix.

The premise follows a high school student who accepts an online invitation from his friend to play a game on an app called Darwin’s Game. However, when he accepts the invite he becomes involved in a survival game. Each player in this game receives a power, called a Sigil, which is an individual ability that falls into the categories of either: telekinetic, metamorphic, mind control, scientific engineering, or sense expansion. Players must kill each other to survive through a range of mandatory scheduled games, team conquests, and brutual murder.

Dragged and trapped in the game, the protagonist seeks to not only clear the game but also to find and kill the Game Master.

As Darwin’s Game is, at its core, a part of the survival game genre I’m most concerned with how this anime chooses to set itself apart from other survival games. Yes, there may be a strong fan base and you really can’t go wrong with any ideas you want to throw into a survival game as long as there’s a decent amount of bloods, guts and murder – but is there something that makes Darwin’s Game stand out from all the others?

Darwin’s Game from the first episode cements its solid animation, nice character design and good premise, so the question for me then becomes: how do we explore the human psyche and push humans to their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits in this game?

This is important to ask because death games have already explored so many versions of betraying friends, hiding secrets, and violence.

Darwin’s Game makes the choice to remain within a ‘normal’ world. The characters are not moved to another other-worldly space. But this idea isn’t really explored at all. We experience the realisation that people who aren’t a part of the game are oblivious to the terrors happening under their noses but there’s not much explored about the possible implications of having to leave behind your life for a death game while your family is just around the block.

Although I understand this idea isn’t discussed to due its irrelevancy to the plot, the lack of imagination to set aside Darwin’s Game from other survival games suggests that the creator(s) of this anime aren’t interested in making it anyone’s favourite but instead a good anime to watch and then just, kind of forget about.

There’s another idea that’s arguably more unique to the genre that’s established in the anime as well – that the characters can make clans that function more like gangs within the games’ settings. But this acts more as a plot armour in the actual anime plot to make sure the main character has powerful allies and a support system instead of exploring the gang-like aspect of running the clan and the danger and responsibility that comes with this structure.

Something perhaps less ‘fun’ as well that didn’t last past the beginning of the series is the lack of pure insanity of characters. The baseball-playing Panda Bear head character is terrifying because we don’t know why an unknown and menacing knife-wielding man is relentlessly trying to kill us. But once this is removed, the panda still remains a terrifying character in our memories because we never really learned who it is, confirmation of their psyche etc.

However, the other characters the protagonist is opposed with have more logical explanations to their actions, or we are directly told what they’re doing. What they’re doing is tame within the survival game, no-one is going after anyone killing for the ‘fun’ of killing, or doing something strange with unknown motives, or there’s no character we know being a little bit suspicious. Where’s the suspense? I hear you arguing that the villain whose character design is based upon a snake and who chops up people is scary, but is he really? His design is based upon a snake… How much more obvious can that fact that he’s a mean dude who doesn’t care about people can it be… As a character, he fails the basic storytelling tactic drilled into everyone’s head: show, don’t tell.

Even Jason from Tokyo Ghoul is scarier despite being weaker than the main character because his psychological torture is shown to be incredibly effective. Mahito from Jujutsu Kaisen is scarier because of how unsettling he is with his pure childishness and pursuit of messing with his victims as much as he can. His corpse like appearance mixed with a creepy over-bearing smile and the great voice acting of the terrible laugh just helps cement him as a scary villain.

This guy in Darwin’s Game though is too straight forward with too-simple storytelling to really be considered scary within the game.

Orochimaru from Naruto is also based upon a snake, but Orochimaru has really creepy dialogue lines and body language directed towards Sasuke and he hides in the shadows, following the characters. He’s unsettling, that’s what makes him so scary. Sure, the villain in Darwin’s Game also makes lots of weird faces and acts really concerning towards characters, but I believe his character’s presentation as ‘dumb because the good guys have a plan already’ lessens his villainous impact. It’s too obvious the good guys are going to win without facing a fail because a fail means death in this game and the creators aren’t willing to kill off anyone important. We don’t get to see the heroes hit their lowest point so aside from death, they don’t really have anything to loose. (Some may argue that the protagonist’s close friend being killed off is his turning point and lowest, but looking back on photos to write this post I kept confusing the friend with one of the main supporting casts whose a totally different person that’s how unmemorable the friend is.)

The reason death games are scary are not just due to the physical terror characters are facing, but also (arguable just, or more, as importantly) the psychological terror it has on characters. Darwin’s Game hasn’t allowed itself the opportunity to built our unease, and therefore emotional investment, as we build up to the ultimate goal of killing the Game Master.

Instead, I feel this anime lacks an interesting main character or even side characters. The main character upon entering the game is terrified and mentally ill-suited to this game. However, he becomes one of the strongest not just because of his ability that he learns to use, but also how he hardens himself to what’s happening to begin to just focus upon what he needs to do to succeed for his clan and goal. He doesn’t have much of a personality and not much time is spent stirring and considering his morals, so his development comes across as vague and honestly, a little bit confusing at times.

There’s also my least favourite part of this series – the awkward romances and nudity of underage characters. The main character, despite not having much going for him, immediately has two girls (one of who is a full-fledged adult!) obsessed with him. But why? We don’t really know why aside from some vague statements that serve as a reason that is designed to not make us question their relationships and feelings further and just accept their reasons as face value.

And while there is some minor exploration of characters’ psyches like the Thorn Queen to explain why she has no remorse to brutally killing others as she works towards her goal of avenging her parents, she’s so emotional every other time that it can be unsettling to reconcile the vast difference of her attitudes when there’s only a few minutes of her directly telling the audience why she acts like this. While Gege with Jujutsu Kaisen shows how to build readers’ interest and investment with characters by creating characters whose one goal is the one thing they can’t have, these Darwin’s Game characters don’t have any contradictions to deal with. They experience no moral conflict to make them interesting and instead just have a goal they are working towards that they can focus on so that the creator(s) can use them to progress the plot with their strengths.

I do believe that a less character driven anime such as this suits an anime due to the nice design and fights. So although it’s okay that there’s not much outside to grasp to with this story aside of a pretty basic plot, it’s fine because it’s still a good watch. However, I also want to discuss the manga’s ending as it threw me for a surprise.

Despite the sprinkles of hinting even from the beginning of Darwin’s Game about perhaps an all-knowing/powerful being’s involvement being included in the game, the manga reveals that the Game Master is one out of many in the multiverse training up champions to avoid humanity’s extinction. It’s personally, a bit too far out there for me. While a similar revelation in a media such as Alice in Borderland is satisfying, this is because the title itself reveals the idea that strange things are happening in another strange world.

This is because being removed from another world is a better display of cosmic power than other people not apart of the game being able to see/being removed from the game. The title Darwin’s Game itself in this case therefore acts as a bit of a double meaning as well: 1. of training the champions to find the best to defeat a separate evil and 2. the game culling people via survival games. While it in theory works, the misleading aspect of our belief that the game is referencing Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution because it’s a survival game isn’t very gratifying with the ending’s revelation.

It’s not a must watch, nor a masterpiece, but it is still well made with pretty good characters, design, acting, animation, ideas and fight choreography. It’s a good watch and easily bingeable or able to be watched whenever and picked up whenever. If I was asked to rate the anime I would give 7/10 stars and would recommend to people wanting an easy watch.

5 Facts to Know About Amajiki

  1. Amajiki was 17 when he debuted and is now 18. His birthday is March 4, he’s 177cm tall, and his blood type is AB. His favourite things are butterflies
  2. All of Amajiki’s super moves are named after mythical creatures. ‘Chimera’ is a creature made from the parts of different animals put together. ‘Kraken’ is a gigantic octopus-like sea monster. And ‘Centaur’ is a human with a body of a horse instead of legs.
  3. Horikoshi has said that Amajiki’s anxiety was inspired by his own experiences when he attended the Jump Festa in 2017 and was faced with the massive crowd. Horikoshi also said that Amajiki’s experience transferring schools was based off his own experiences of moving and attending a new middle school. Horikoshi said he even had someone approach him and ask to be friends like what Mirio did with Amajiki.
  4. Amajiki’s surname contains the kanji for ‘heaven’ (天 ama) and ‘eating’ (喰 jiki), and his first name contains “ring, link” (環 tamaki).
  5. Amajiki’s stats according to the Ultra Analysis Book are:
    Power 5/6 (A)
    Speed 4/6 (B)
    Technique 6/6 (S)
    Intelligence 5/6 (A)
    Communication 1/6 (E)

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Don’t Like the Content? Mute or Block

It’s strange to me when people complain about seeing ships they don’t like on their timeline or headcanons they don’t like. Just mute or block the account? There’s no hard feelings – if anything they’d rather prefer you to not interact with their content if you’re going to bring negativity to them. Artists and writers work hard on what they do and don’t deserve to have negative comments or threats sent to them. Muting and blocking takes two seconds and is super easy to do! I think it’s a great idea!

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So, Here’s My Bad Poetry

I did a poetry course last year because I’m finishing up my Communications degree. I had to put together a portfolio and honestly I’m not a big poetry fan so I thought I’d share my poems because I don’t care about them but think I did okay:

I Wish To Wake Up

I wish to wake up again.

To be here

but not there.

I wish to walk upon this lush earth,

and feel the petals curl through my toes.

I thought I could be taught

how to wake up again.

To stand up in the blooming field

And proclaim, “I am here!”

I wish to wake up again.But I can’t seem to drag…

        my feet out of the bed.

To The Beach

If I could drag my feet out of bed…

i would crawl my way to the beach.

I would dive into the waves even if I bled.

i’d wash away to a place no-one can reach.

I would love to curl my toes in the sand

as the heat swelters over me like a swarm.

And then in the shrill waves I would stand

where no-one could ever, ever stay warm.

No matter how much you cry out, it’s already done.

i shall go and you shall stay, my love.

After all, these waves weigh a ton.

i’m where sun’s rays can’t find me: a dead, silent dove.

All around me ashes burn with a metallic smell,

        so, I will accept that I might go to hell.

The Smell’s Stitched Into My Clothes

The smell’s stitched into my clothes.

as the ashes burn in the orange flame

i stoke the red fire until it’s slowly tame.

The smell’s stitched into my clothes.

under my warm skin their ashes hide

as they fizzle down into the freezing tide.

The smell’s stitched into my clothes.

even as the leaves blow through the gale

their paling faces seep into the sky’s glowing veil.

their smiling mouths are a stitched-together lie,

as you stand over them for your final good-bye.

The smell’s stitched into my clothes.

The smell’s stitched into my clothes.

as I stood over your body, I pitied my strength and

pitied their fear. We now enter rows.

The smell’s stitched into my clothes.

         Tell them: embrace life, live free.

         And please, straighten your bows.

You Are Galaxies of Magic

You glow in the frost-bitten light

as ashes dance upon your lips.

I know you have galaxies of magic

hidden beneath your diming skin.

The stars leap through the cosmos

as blood courses through your veins.

In every breath, in every cell

the planets will twirl through your hair.

The moons swirl around celestial bodies

while your skin is as cold as this white plane.

        What a beautiful sight you were.

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Which Anime Has The Best Fandom?

Fandom is a heavilyyyyy debated topic. Do you believe that there is an anime with a ‘best’ fandom? Perhaps one that is known to be fairly non-toxic, creative, or chill?

Usually to make your fandom experience I would just suggest muting and blocking people who make content you don’t like. There’s no hard feelings! It’s just to curate your space how you want. Fandom is about engaging in a positive way for yourself after all.

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Are There Any Concert Band Anime?

I want to see an anime based upon a concert band! Show me the students struggling to practise! Using them instrument stereotypes, a mean conductor, the first violinist falling ill suddenly, the flutes being too loud, the brass mucking around, and the percussion being underappreciated. It could be like a cute slice of life with different episodes following different characters in different sections. Or it could be like a war game between sections and chairs. Who wants to write the script?

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5 Facts to Know About Todoroki Enji

  1. Endeavour stars off the series as 45 years old, his birthday is August 8th, he’s 195cm tall, his weight is 118kg, his blood type is AB, his favourite food is kuzumochi, and he was born near the Shizouka Prefecture.
  2. While his blood type is AB, Shoto has the blood type O. For this to be realistically possible, Endeavour would have to have a rare genetic mutation known as Cis AB. Having this mutation is the only genetically possible way for a person with an AB blood type to have a child with an O blood type.
  3. Endeavour’s surname contains the kanji for ‘roar’ (轟 todoroki) while his first name contains the kanji for (炎 en), and ‘boss’ (司 ji). Enji is a common component of male names. When written in the Latin alphabet, Endeavour’s name is also the same name as a fire god in Albanian mythology who was worshipped by the Illyrians. Endeavour’s hero name also means ‘attempting to achieve a goal,’ which is very fitting for him.
  4. In Endeavour’s original concept, he was an instruction at U.A. Horikoshi got rid of this idea though because having both the 1st and 2nd highest ranking hero’s in Japan as teachers at U.A. would favour Class 1-A too much – since most conflicts the school would face would then be too easy to deal with.
  5. According to the Ultra Archive, Endeavour’s stats are:
    Power 5/5 (A)
    Speed 5/5 (A)
    Technique 5/5 (A)
    Intelligence 4/5 (B)
    Cooperativeness 2/5 (D)
    While his stats according to the Ultra Analysis are:
    Power 6/6 (S)
    Speed 5/6 (A)
    Technique 5/6 (A)
    Intelligence 4/6 (B)
    Doting Father 6/6 (S)

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5 Facts to Know About Mirio Togata

  1. Mirio’s birthday is July 15th, he’s 181cm tall, his blood type is O, he was born in Chiba Prefecture, his favourite food is ramen and his favourite thing is comedy.
  2. Horikoshi has said he considers Mirio an easy character to draw because of his simple facial features.
  3. Mirio shares his birthday with Midoriya and also Rapt Tokage (a character featuring in MHA Vigilantes.
  4. As a child, Mirio is voiced my Megan Shipman in the English dub – who also voices La Brava.
  5. Mirio’s name contains the kanji for ‘through’ (通 tō)  and ‘form’ (形 gata). The kanji read together can also mean ‘conformity’ (通形 tsūgyō). His first name comes from ‘million’ (ミリオン mirion). Alternatively, the ‘to’ is a possible reading of ‘ten’ (十) which can refer to the fact that he would have been the 10th User of All for All if All Might passed it onto him instead of Midoriya like Sir Nighteye wanted.

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