Beyond Eyes, Disability, and Privilege

I originally wrote this for my video game class and wanted to share on my current blog. Edited to clarify more about the game and book Metagaming by Stephanie Boluk and Patrick Lemieux. I highly recommend it as it offers more insight into the Meta of video games. And also expand more on certain parts.

Thinking back to last class on the topic of disability in gaming and watching some classmates’ gameplay of Beyond Eyes, a game where you play as a blind girl, made think about empathy gaming from last week’s class. Beyond Eyes is one of the more sensitive games to portray blindness (and do it through beautiful art) through a realistic way where it depicts the girl’s “vision” when she walks through the area and feeling the objects to tell where she is.

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Compared to the Helen Keller Simulator, this is a much better portrayal of a character with a disability. Ironic that a game about blindness, a blind person wouldn’t be able to play this game and enjoy the beautiful aesthetics.

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Tingle’s Unfortunate Costume Effect from BOTW’s DLC

Some time ago I finished playing Breath of the Wild, I automatically bought the Ballads of the Champion DLC. I was excited to have more things to add to my playthrough since I love BOTW. I normally don’t hunt down all the side quests and or rewards, but I was willing to make an exception for this game. When I hunted down all of Tingle’s costume, I noticed a rather unfortunate problem with it. When I dress Link in Tingle’s costume and run around in it, NPCs automatically cower and frighten when they see Link in the Tingle costume. It made me feel uncomfortable since Tingle is a queer coded character is made as the punchline of a (most likely not intentional) homophobic joke. You don’t see other costumes in BOTW, besides the Dark Link one, have the scare effect.

A part of me wondered why this was programmed into Tingle’s DLC costume. I know Tingle is hated a lot in the Western fandom but was confused why Japanese developers would make his costume the punchline. Japanese audiences love Tingle a lot, even to the point where they made spin-off games. So I decided to dig and find out. Continue reading

Nostalgic Watch – Kill La Kill

Before I started my blog, I always wanted to do reviews of nostalgic animes I watched (and I hope to eventually do nostalgic reviews of mangas and video games as well). Yes, I did get into nostalgic reviews because of Nostalgia Critic but I wanted to do something a bit different with my reviews. This is what I want to accomplish with my Nostalgia Reviews:

  1. To give a look back at an anime series that have made an impact on me, fandom, and on anime culture.
  2. To critically look at it through a feminist lens.
  3. To give an idea to newcomers and anime newbies if the anime will be a worth a watch for them.
  4. Also, encourage fans to give the series a rewatch and offer some questions to ask themselves during their rewatch.
  5. Give attention to old anime that is accessible on streaming sites.

I am doing these nostalgic reviews because it is worthwhile to take a look back at something you loved and view it through a critical and feminist lens, to understand the impact this anime on fandom and anime culture, and also to give an old anime a recommendation to newcomers who may not have heard of it. While there are good and a variety of anime today, I also want to highlight some hidden gems from the past to look into. And also to explain to newcomers and anime newbies why a certain old anime is popular.

I decided to start mine with Kill La Kill since it’s been about 4 years since it premiered. I was already watching it due to Anime Feminist’s Watchalong and it gave time for people to revisit it, I decided why not now? Now not to worry this Nostalgic Watch post will contain some spoilers but I won’t spoil any big plot twists. If you haven’t seen it, this post should give you a good idea if you want to give it a watch or decide to rewatch it again. I also have recommendations that are similar to this show if you liked this one at the end of this post.

This was an anime that affected me emotionally when it premiered. I loved it a lot, I admired one their characters and tried to aspire to their confidence. I also started watching this anime when I was just learning about feminism. And at that time I thought it was a very feminist show. But 3-4 years later, I learned more about feminism, feminist theory, and got more experience in analyzing films and media critique in college, so it was about time I take a second look at this series through a feminist lens.

CW: Mentions of rape, mentions of sexual harassment, fanservice, sexualization, nudity, NSFW images Continue reading

Reinforcing Link’s Heteronormativity in Breath of the Wild

Since I graduated early and got some time off, I made time for myself to do some self-care, which includes playing Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. I didn’t get to play it when it came out last year because I was busy with college. I kept myself away from the spoilers for a year, but I did see screenshots and fanart which was mainly of Link in the Gerudo Vai outfit, and it made me even more excited for the game. Continue reading

Useful Things to Buy/Have Before you Go to Japan

When I got into my study abroad program, we had multiple meetings with staff from the Osaka University Study Abroad Program and previous students that studied in the other Japan programs from our university. Whether you’re travelling for leisure or going to be living in Japan, I feel like it’ll be useful to have some of these things which helped me and my friends and classmates when we went to Japan ourselves. Continue reading

Tips for Visiting Japan (because not enough anime prepared me for it)

Hi y’all! I studied abroad at Osaka University in Summer 2017 for two months, even when I researched about Japanese culture and met with Osaka University Education Abroad staff, there were still things I was not prepared for. I wanted to make this guide for those who decided to travel to Japan, who are deciding to study abroad in Japan, and mainly for my friends who asked me about my time Japan and recommendations and tips. I will be separating it into four posts: Continue reading