Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The decay of MMORPGs: MapleStory's story

     MapleStory is a free to play 2D MMORPG developed by Wizet and published by Nexon. It was created in South Korea, released there on April 29th, 2003, still has one of the largest fan bases in all of MMORGPs, and it got majorly fucked.


     A little background: back when I was a wee lad, I would hop on the internet whenever possible. Back in 7th grade was when the majority of my gaming was done on MapleStory. This game was basically my life. I would finish up school, come home, play MapleStory until dinner time, finish homework, watch TV, and sometimes when my parents went to bed, I would hop on for a bit and play (hhhehehhehheh, so sneaky). From what I remember of back then, that's how it was. I didn't feel guilty for spending that much time on the computer, I didn't feel like I was wasting my time. This is also where I met my good friend (whom I'm still friends with): Mark.
What a cutie
     Me and Mark hung out a lot during our game time. We formed parties, chatted, met new people, went to places wayyy too far above our level and got pummeled by enemies. It was pretty fun.

     Anyway, enough background. Let's take a look at the changes that I think hurt the game the most.

Changes in MapleStory

The World Maps

The only map available in early versions of the game (when I played)
     This was great back in the day. There was only 1 map which was for Victoria island where only noobies hung out (for the most part). On the other islands (Ossyria, aka Orbis/El Nath, and Ludibrium) there were no such maps available for navigation. Not only did this incline people to explore for themselves, it helped people talk to others to figure out where things are. Isn't that what MMORPGs are about? Talking and getting help from people?
Nexon whyyyyyy..
     Now there are maps for everything. Sigh. No more asking people where things are, no exploration needed.  I would even be okay with a bulletin board in-game that has the world map, but having it on you at all times just seems..counterproductive? I think that's the right word. It's just outright counterproductive; it creates less incentive to talk to other players.

The Cash Shop

     Oh boy..where do I even start. Most people know about cash shops in free-to-play games. Basically they run on a "you can play the game for free, and if you want, you can buy items in-game to improve your character or experience in some way". It's a pretty interesting business model, the only problem being the majority of businesses do it completely fucking wrong. There are so many ways you can completely screw over any and all players who don't buy from the cash shop, and it seems like most businesses couldn't care less about this. There's a term for these kinds of games, they're called "free to play, pay to win". MapleStory being one of them. Luckily, I had started losing interest in the game when this started to happen. When I first began playing, however, they used the Cash Shop effectively and extremely smart. The Cash Shop used to be only used for aesthetic items like clothes to make your character look cooler, or pets that you could train and would pick up items quickly for you. 
Wow. Such cool, much aesthetics.
     But as time went on, Nexon apparently needed more money, so they began implementing items that would make your character much stronger than others. This especially created a problem at high levels, because in order to be viable in fighting bosses, you needed to buy these items to upgrade your equipment effectively.
Creates "untapped potential" on items
(Basically created random additional stats on items)
I'm actually okay with this item by itself,
it's in conjunction with the others that it becomes bullshit.

Allows user to reset  potential stats
     So there you go, that's how MapleStory got completely screwed over, and why it's now "free to play, pay to win". I had fun with it while it lasted, but it's become so much about damage-whoring that there isn't much reason to even try anymore unless you want to spend $50 or more on upgrading your items. The business idea is solid, but actually doing it takes away immensely from the overall enjoyment of the game. Hopefully they realized that and won't do it for any more games, that's a big "hopefully" though. I don't expect them to do anything of the sort. After all, why stop making as much money as you can?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Why you should watch Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann

     Gurren Lagann can be described in one word: Fun. This show is damn fun. It's a non-stop action show with an alluring plot, a beautiful, gritty art style, music that gets your blood pumping, and characters who have the fighting spirit (or should I say spiral?) of champions.

     Commend #1: The music. I can't begin to number off each time I caught myself singing the first song to myself when walking to class or bumming around my apartment. The music is unquestionably fantastic. Each and every battle scene's anticipation and excitement were increased tenfold, further strengthening the deliverance of each episode. However, there were a couple tracks that detracted from the show's value, one being an oddly placed opera piece. Thankfully, it wasn't used much.

Row, row, fight the power!
Viral's theme song (Turntables steal my heart <3)

     Commend #2: The characters. Each character is their own person, Kamina especially. His confidence is contagious and his stupidity unmatched. He is an incredibly ambitious individual, one who has his eyes set on the stars and will stop at nothing to attain his goals.
"Your drill is the drill that will pierce the Heavens!"
     He's a go-getter, the inspiration, and "bro" of our main character: Simon.
"If you're gonna dig, dig to pierce the heavens, even if it's my grave I'm digging,
I'll keep going! When I break through, it means I've WON!
Who the hell do you think I am? I'm Simon.
I'm not my Bro, Kamina. I'm ME! Simon the Digger!"
     A disease that has plagued many shows recently is lack of serious character development. Thankfully Gurren Lagann does a wonderful job implementing this; the producers develop Simon through his experiences, interactions with others, and all of the struggle he has to go through to merely stay alive. "I'm ME!". That one line states exactly how confident Simon is in himself. He's not trying to be anybody else anymore. He's not his brother. Only through his multitude of experiences does he finally come to terms with this. Character evolution is also benefited by a time-lapse, allowing them to show growth, not only in age, but also in personality and wisdom.

     Commend #3: The art style
     The art style is just flat-out cool. Whilst watching the fight scenes, you're able to see exactly how the art adds impact to each fist thrown and each kick blocked. The style, especially in Simon's picture (with the quote under it) is reminiscent of this season's show: Space Dandy mixed with a more modern/vibrant Fooly Cooly, both of which are action-packed anime. I'll definitely have to look out for more of this artist's work. For those of you wondering, the illustrator for the manga is Kotaro Mori.

     Complaint #1: The lack of downtime. This fact about Gurren Lagann bothered me the most, mostly because I enjoy a good break from plot and seriousness. In fact, most shows have at least one or two episodes where breaks from the plot are taken in order to give the viewer a little breathing room. Knowing what the day-to-day life is like and how they interact with one another is important. Unfortunately, Gurren Lagann doesn't do this. But, by not doing this it further reinforces what the show's message is: nothing can stop you, keep going until you make it, be yourself, and never give up.

     Gurren Lagann is an unbelievably great show because of its music, characters, message, and art style. Because of these aspects, I'm going to go ahead and give it the rating of 9/10. Unfortunately, the lack of downtime leads to a rushed feeling, which makes me think that this show should have been given 37 or 50 episodes rather than the 27 it has. Some bad musical tracks along with the rushed feeling steer me away from giving it a perfect score, but don't let that stop you from watching it. This show is definitely a must-watch for every anime lover.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Golden Time Review (Contains some spoilers)

     Golden Time is an anime aired from October 3rd, 2013, to March 27th, 2014. It was written by Yuyuko Takemiya (writer of the hit series: Toradora!) and directed by Chiaki Kon, one of the very few successful female anime directors. Predominately being Romance and School Life-themed doesn't stop it from containing other interesting elements peppered throughout, making this otherwise humdrum university romance story unique.
The "oh-so-great" Kaga Koko
     Complaint #1: The characters. The main character: Tada Banri is one of the least impressive characters in the entire show. As a viewer, it's frustrating how someone like Banri becomes infatuated with a woman who is easily one of the most invasive, clingy, and annoying characters I've ever encountered. This woman is Kaga Koko. Her personality along with the romance that surrounds her keeps each and every viewer's frustration to a maximum. To add to the frustration, the ending was extremely underwhelming.When watching the final episode occur, I became immensely irritated how the creator of this story could make it end the way it did. Is it to make a statement? That not all love stories end with the viewer pleased in the character's decision? Perhaps it's because the writer is showing that the character has control over their story, not the writer like most people think. Whatever the case, the characters and ending thoroughly disappointed me.

     Complaint #2: The flow. The flow of the story is profoundly important. It impacts my decision as to whether I continue with the show or not, whether I enjoy the show or merely tolerate it. For this show, it was tolerance. It's hard to place my finger on, but something about this show's flow seemed off; each episode felt different from the last, almost like a discontinuation. The story should be just that: a story. Not a sequence of episodes, especially in a romance anime, creating a difficult situation for viewers to see the progression in the relationship between Koko and Banri. When the flow of a show isn't good, the viewer becomes distracted from the plot and/or the message, hurting the overall reception of the story.

     Commend #1: Interesting plot. Golden Time isn't your average amnesia story; Banri is constantly battling with his past self for possession over his current body and memories. The viewer's experience that comes from this is insurmountable. One finds him or herself worrying about when all hell will break loose, when Banri will repossess his memories of old and lose his current memories; it becomes a tale of Banri's struggle back into regular society with the help of new found friends and girlfriend: the wonderful Kaga Koko.

Rating and Ending Thoughts

     My disapproval of the ending, general flow of the story, Koko, Banri, as well as the interesting plot, incline me to give this the poor rating of 5/10. The plot completely carries the entire show because, obviously, the characters can't do it worth anything. This plot kept me on the edge of my seat and powered me through to the end, simply to see how the writers decided to finish this dull, romantic story.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Making College Mandatory - Comments on an Article

     I recently ran across a very interesting article on the finance section of yahoo. It peaked my interest because just recently, I had written a research paper in my composition 2 class about a different perspective of not attending college.
     So with my former experience with studying, talking with, and researching college graduates test scores as opposed to incoming freshman, and average annual income, I decided to offer my opinions on the article.
     “We need to make post-secondary education the norm for everyone, not just the advantaged,” they wrote. “In today’s economy, a high school diploma is not enough; now, more than ever, college is the gateway to the American Dream.” - Richard Reeves and Quentin Karpilow
     There is nothing more I love in the world than a guy in a suit talking about "The American Dream". Like it's one thing that people strive for, not subjective, but objective; that somehow this doesn't intrinsically go against the nature of the United States. How doesn't it? A nation of freedom, where people should be free to do what they want, to live for what they want, to be who they want to be, without fear of the government trying to stop them, that's what I think of when I think of the United States. If you become an adult at 18, why should anything become mandatory, especially education? Indeed, we need intellectual individuals in our country, that's a given. However, what these men are suggesting is assimilation, for every person to be learning the same things, to further progress our businesses, corporations, to keep everything running smoothly. Is this really necessary though? What happened to individualism? To artistic self expression? To doing what you want to do?

     Referencing the last quote of the article, “We may think college isn’t for everyone, but 50 years ago a lot of people were saying high school isn’t for everyone,”. Personally, and I'm probably pretty alone on this one, I don't believe High School should be mandatory either. If somebody knows exactly what they want to do when they're that young, and it doesn't require high school education, I'd say let them go for it. Don't attend high school, and do what you love. But also be aware of the consequences if you don't get that diploma, don't just rush into it. For example: you probably don't need a high school diploma, if you've been working on cars your whole life, to be a mechanic. Or to be a fireman. Or secretary. If a person is even the least bit competent, they can easily find the materials they need to learn what they need to learn without attending high school or college.

     There's also the issue with an over-educated society. Sounds like a good problem to have, right? Wrong-o. With an overly educated society, we run into problems with manual labor. Nobody with a college degree in Biomedical Engineering is going to want to work in a field, getting paid maybe $10/hour. Then those farms and companies start depending on illegal immigrants and high school students, leading to perhaps worse grades for those students, and no tax revenue on those illegal immigrants. No taxes on increased illegal work = decreased economy. Not that I'm an economic expert or anything, but that's my understanding of it.

     Not to mention there is hardly any correlation of attending college improving critical thinking skills. "Forty-five percent of students made no significant improvement in their critical thinking, reasoning or writing skills during the first two years of college, according to the study. After four years, 36 percent showed no significant gains in these so-called "higher order" thinking skills.". Thirty-six percent of people who have attended 4 years of college showed "no significant gains in these so-called "higher order" thinking skills". Just think about that for a moment, more than a third of the entire group of people who have gone to college for 4 years or more, showed no significant improvements in these skills. Do these people really need to be going to college? Do more people need to be going to college if a third of people who are finishing up their degree show no significant gains in critical thinking skills?

     College is definitely not needed for all people, and pondering the thought that it should be mandatory is outright insanity. One should be looking at the facts of college graduates before spewing out ideas like this.
Read more here:"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Review

     Hello blog readers. Hope you're doing well. I'm doing pretty good, am just coming off of spring break. It was pretty busy..had a job where I had to stand 8 hours a day. I would not advise getting a job where you have to stand 8 hours a day. It's really damn brutal.
     Anyway, after trying to decide for ages what to write about, I finally gave in to binge watching a show strictly for writing about it, for 6 straight hours. So here we go, a short anime review of "My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU" (NOTE: SNAFU apparently means "Situation Normal, All Fucked Up" for those of you who aren't initialism savvy, myself included).

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

     If you're like me, just from the cover art up there ^^^^ you're probably thinking "Oh great, another love triangle with characters who have recycled personalities..", which honestly is kind of true. Although to be honest, all characters have recycled personalities to some extent, that's just a fact of art and life nowadays. Nothing is really original anymore, unless you're talking about an objective subject like science or math, but that's beside the point. However, this is not your average show, not in the least. The title itself should give it away. What kind of show calls itself a romantic comedy in the title and proceeds to be average?


     The one and only complaint: The lack of romance. As a fellow romantic, school-themed, and slice-of-life enthusiast, there was a major part missing in this show. This component being the romance. Honestly! You'd think having the word "romance" in the title would help the production crew actually create a romantic story. Yeah, there are parts when it's obvious who has a crush on who (aka blushing), but there isn't any build off of it. They merely leave the viewer hanging on by a thread, not knowing if there'll be any extrapolation off of it. While watching, my inner romantic cringed as I watched all the romantic moments fleet away. It's painful. But now that I've thought it over, it could be due to not wanting to rush a romance into only 13 episodes which could possibly leave it open for a 2nd season. I know I've definitely seen shows try to rush a good romance story into 13 episodes and it doesn't work well at all. If you know of a good romance anime that was 12 or 13 episodes long, please let me know, I'd be glad to watch it. Hopefully, and, I have my fingers crossed, hopefully they do have plans to extend the show to a 2nd season which would primarily be the romance aspect. Creating that would undoubtedly do the title and show a little more justice.


     Commend #1: The humor

The reply when asked if she has any friends
This is Totsuka, he's a guy
This is Hachiman, he's not gay
     I'm sure you all know how tough it is to explain why something is funny..this is no exception. With some background and knowledge on how characters interact, I promise it's a lot funnier. Along with this phenomenal humor, the writing is excellent. You know those terrible anime where half of the dialogue is the characters calling out each other's names? I'm looking at you "Inuyasha" and "Eureka 7" (despite my love for this show, a lot of the dialogue between Eureka and Renton is just them saying each other's names...). This show isn't like those. It has quality substance to its writing; they delve into the psyche of the main character: Hachiman, whom does not seem to enjoy socializing. Despite that he does tend to bring up things about his past to his club colleagues that are often put into a comedic light, but also hold a powerful message.
Young Hachiman
Rejection in the past leads to rejecting others in the future?
     Commend #2: The nature of the setting allows there to be a large variety of episode locations. The 3 main characters's situation provides opportunity for them to assist people and bring them to many other places throughout Japan. These places are a nice break from the constant school setting that constrains many school-themed shows and lets them meet many new people that can provide the viewer with more insight into what the main characters are thinking/feeling. Of course you've got your obligatory swim suit episode, although it's not as extensive as most other shows, for which I'm pretty glad.
Obligatory swimsuit picture
     I can tell you firsthand it gets very tiring seeing the same old episodes over and over and luckily, this show changes the pace.

Rating and Ending Thoughts

     Overall, I'd give "My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU" an 8.5/10. Taking into consideration the phenomenal character interaction, an array of insightful discussions, great humor, and lack of romance; to make all of these factors work together with very commonly used personalities is a great feat, one which should be praised.

     Hope you guys enjoyed the review, be back next week with something else! Oh, also check out my good friend Phoenix's blog. He's an aspiring author and will be publishing some short stories in his blog posts in the future. Phoenix's Blog. Anyway, thanks for reading. Peace out.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Neon Genesis Evangelion - A Psychoanalytical Trip (Final thoughts)

      This is the first time I've thought about one of these shows so deeply, it's quite a different feeling. I'm not entirely sure when the next time I'll do this will be, but it'll probably be a month or so down the road.'s hard to tell. There are some shows I'm enjoying currently that are coming to an end soon like "Kill la Kill", "Space Dandy", "Nagi No Asukara", "Golden Time", and "Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai! Ren". These shows are probably the only ones worth talking about, maybe not in such great detail as this, simply because they're not as deep of shows. Would just kinda be reviews or short summaries with my thoughts added in. They're still good, yeah, but there's something in shows like Evangelion that make you search inward and want to talk in great detail about them. "Steins;Gate", "Fooly Cooly", "NHK Ni Youkoso!" (Welcome to the NHK!) would, like Evangelion, be fantastic shows to talk deeply about in the future. But enough about the future! Let's finish up this analysis of Evangelion.

     We've talked about the setting, the theme, the 3 children whom the plot revolves around, and about the production and history. There are actually a ton of other characters we didn't talk about in this show who are actually pretty relevant to the plot, but it'd take far too long to talk about them all, so I decided to choose the 3 main ones, all of whom I could talk loads about. All the characters include, starting at the back, left to right:
     Ritsuko Akagi, Gendo Ikari, Yui Ikari, Kozo Fuyutsuki, Shigeru Aoba, Maya Ibuki, Makoto Hyuga, Ryoji Kaji, Misato Katsuragi, Kaworu Nagisa, Kensuke Aida, Asuka Langley Soryu, Rei Ayanami, Hikari Horaki, Toji Suzuhara, and finally: Shinji Ikari. Phew..really long cast of characters. Personally, I think the coolest part is that all the characters get a bit of air time and play, at least, a small chunk in the plot. Not many shows could do that and have it work as well as the Gainax team did. In fact, it works so well that even though all these characters are important to the show, it doesn't take away from the message or the main characters' developments. I'm not sure I've seen any show quite like this one.
     On my list containing the topics for this blog post, the next thing on here is "Places of great impact." Meaning places in the show that delivered "the chills" to me. I'm sure you guys have all had them, those chills that you get during a good scene in a show, listening to a good song, or something like that. One such "chill", and I've used these a lot during my posts, is the text-only frames mostly used during the final episodes.
Example of a text-only frame (ooo, dramatic!)
     These frames would often repeat over and over with a character responding. I'm not sure the exact term that would be used here, but it seems like a very unique way to conduct a monologue.
Shinji's response
     It forces the character to search within their self and give out answers that they may not have truly wanted to share yet. This type of monologue is gives a very powerful effect on the viewer especially, a feeling that is difficult to describe.
     Another type of frame shots were used in...2? I think 2 episodes. One in episode 4 and one in the late teens or early 20s. These are still frame shots where two characters are relatively near each other for a prolonged period of time (upwards of a minute or a minute and a half it feels).
"Tadaima" (I'm back) - Shinji
10 minutes pass
"Okaeri" (Welcome home) - Misato
     Are these long pauses really necessary? I found myself asking this question after having watched this very scene. I actually checked to see if my video stopped loading or if I was having internet troubles when this still-frame first began, but once I heard noises in the background, I realized it was just a really, really long pause. You don't ever see pauses like these in shows, it was pretty interesting and unique.
     So I've noticed something; it seems all these older shows (from 90s) share a pretty common plot explanation theme. They all tend to leave the viewer in the dark for most of the show (until around episode 20) then they suddenly bring in the plot explanation and everything makes so much sense. This show is no exception. I'm wondering exactly what changed, if it was societal, cultural, or just people complaining about lack of plot explanations that made the shows nowadays explain the plot more throughout, rather than a burst right at the end. I'm not saying I like it or dislike it, it's just different and makes me wonder about the change.
     In conclusion, if I were to rate this, I think I'd give it a 10/10. I'm not going to bullshit with the "but nothing is perfect!" mentality. This show is damn good. It's so damn good that I've spent 3 posts here (aka 3 weeks) talking about and analyzing it. If any show can do that for you, it deserves a 10, no questions asked. I think one of the few complaints about the show could be the ending, but even that for me was spectacular. Personally, I wasn't expecting anything in particular from the ending, so seeing something completely different from the action-packed 1st half was an incredibly cool experience. I know a lot of people who had issues with the TV show's ending wanted an action-y ending, so I could understand how some might be disappointed. However, the movies that have been released did indeed please both sides: the intellectual and the action. 
     The whole production of Neon Genesis Evangelion was a risk, not only due to the money issue, but also because of Hideaki needing to create an anime that was different from all the rest. Some might say it's these exact factors which acted as a catalyst for its success, some might say it's because of the people who produced it, some might say that it's because of some other reason. Whatever the reason, it's a great show, and I'm glad I could talk about my thoughts on it.
     Thanks for reading, everyone. I'll be back again next week with some more content.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Neon Genesis Evangelion - A Psychoanalytical Trip (The Children)

     Hey everyone, pretty long post today. It ended up being much longer than I had anticipated, and I ended up talking about lots of the things I was going to talk about in the conclusion post, so the last post will probably be quite a bit shorter. It'll just be summarizing my final thoughts on the show. Enjoy~

The Children

Shinji Ikari (The 3rd child)
     Born one year after the 2nd impact; dubbed the "third child" meaning he is the third child to pilot an Evangelion (Eva-01 to be exact). The other two are Asuka Langley Soryu and Rei Ayanami whom pilot the Eva-02 and Eva-00 respectively. His parents are Gendo and Yui Ikari.
Gendo and Yui Ikari

     Raised as an only child, Shinji is abandoned by his father at an early age. Because of this, he faces extreme trauma which causes him to base his entire life around being useful to people, making everyone except himself happy.
Gendo leaves his son: Shinji Ikari
     He had no one to congratulate him or help him along for a good 11 years. I can imagine how that would probably make most people vie for some attention. Shinji, when the show begins, is asked to help out his father and thus put into the opportunity of his dreams. He also has the chance to become a hero in his generation: to save everyone from the Angels whom threaten humanity's very existence; as if being a hormonal teenager wasn't trouble enough.
     Shinji's personality throughout the show (up until the final scene) is very meek, submissive and quiet. He has a tough time coming to terms with himself, coming to terms with who he has grown to be since his father left him. Because of who he has become, he hates himself. As an Eva pilot he feels trapped that there isn't any other possibility for his life.
     This is a topic I have always felt very strongly about, feeling trapped in your current way of life. Ever since I was a kid, my parents had switched jobs (my dad especially) so I was constantly told that you're never tied down to your life, you never have to feel like you're trapped in your old ways. "If you pursue your passion" my parents would always say "the money will come eventually". I can't even begin to express how much those words formed my mind into what it is today. You see these people who spend 50-some years doing a job they hate - you hear about it all the time. They spend their time doing it because it's a stable job, consistent money. But one problem: they're not happy. They're content, yeah, but not happy. It seems like Shinji has fallen down the same path, despite this being a very futuristic/supernatural show, the concept still applies. Only occurring on the final scene does Shinji finally realize that there are more possibilities for his life than he ever had dreamed of.
Shinji is congratulated for finally recognizing that
he can change
He doesn't have to live this life, he can change.

Rei Ayanami (The 1st child)
     Rei Ayanami is a mystery throughout most of the show. She is already a part of Nerv when we see her in episode 1 and as a result we don't learn much about her until quite a bit later. She is the same age as Asuka and Shinji, whom all are in the same classroom during school hours. She is very quiet and reserved, much like Shinji, but somehow more so.
     Episode 25 brings up an interesting topic when Rei's monologue begins. She says she is scared of having no proof that her current self, that was shaped by the people around her, was alive after having died. There would be no proof in her own mind, and thus it would slowly disappear from others' minds. She doesn't want that to happen, so she becomes frightened of losing that which she has gained over the time in her current body. This sort of mindset seems pretty unique. The only example I can think of in our current world, would maybe be the military. You, as a soldier, are disposable. There are thousands of others waiting in reserves to replace you. Yet that doesn't mean your existence is pointless. I think the same should be said for Rei. Even if she does not like being used by Gendo, even if she doesn't like being disposable, it does not mean her existence is, all in all, pointless. There are the memories that remain in peoples' minds of who you were, or who you once were, that will stay there forever.
Rei's clones
     Later on in the show we figure out that the "original" Rei does not exist, she is merely a clone created by Gendo. Her entire existence is forced upon her. Never dying, always being reborn into a different clone...forever and ever, never being able to rest, never being able to get out of Gendo's grip — his control over her life. An eternal slave, basically. Rei's problems coincides with the other characters'; being her self-image and perception of her own worth as a human being. The fact that she knows she is disposable is a major catalyst as you could imagine. Even if she dies, she is always replaceable because of Gendo's cloning system. This begs the question "Does Rei have anybody to look up to?" A parent, teacher, anybody. A very plausible question. Having a mentor of some kind in your life can be extremely helpful at times when self-esteem is low among many other things. They're always there to talk you through situations and guide you when you need guiding. Rei seems to have nobody like that. At all. This seems like a huge problem to her psychological health, and it shows. She is very reserved, doesn't talk much to anybody and never truly lets herself express what she wants to express, aside from episode 25, where we delve into her mind. Not having any place to call home, not having anybody to tell about your day to. Seems like a lonely existence to me.This also explains why she is afraid of losing the only people (Shinji and Asuka) whom she has grown to enjoy the company of in recent times.

Asuka Langley Soryu (The 2nd child)
     Asuka Langley Soryu of Germany. Pilot of Evangelion-02. Fronting a spunky attitude, she commands her Eva as she does her life, brutal and offensive, in charge. The complete opposite of Shinji. We first meet Asuka along with Kaji Ryoji in episode 8. She seems to have an interesting relationship with Kaji, almost like a lover. However, Kaji is much much older than she and previously was involved with Katsuragi Misato a couple years back. Normalcy dwelling on the surface of Asuka, when we take a closer look, we see that more to her lies under the surface.
     Looking into her past, we stumble upon her family situation, much like Shinji, Asuka lost her family and had to look to other guardians to raise her. Her mother killed herself by suicide and her father remarried a German doctor whom she did not get along with very well.
What a complex
     Why is anybody easily irritable? Dissatisfaction, emotionally stressed, jealousy, being scared. All these things can contribute to being angry. Everything that makes Asuka, Asuka, is all external. Everything that makes everybody, everybody, is external. She is dissatisfied and jealous of Shinji, scared of not being able to pilot the Eva anymore. She expresses this through her harsh, loud words and strong demeanor. Nature versus nurture is a large aspect of psychology. From my understanding it's heavily debated if it's the environment that the child is raised in, or the people that they grow up around which makes each person unique and grow how they do. Some say it leans more one way, while others say it leans the other. I like to think of these characters in aspect of these terms. Is it really only the past that makes these characters who they are? Or is it simply who they are? But is a character really someone who has their own nature? I don't know, it's a very surreal subject when I think about it. The way the characters are developed though, seem to play a big part. Depending on who the person it is who developed such a character, the characters can have certain qualities about them that other developers could not create. If someone tries to push themselves to create a show like Evangelion, but doesn't have Hideaki's same background/nature, I believe it is impossible that they would be able to create the same show. It wouldn't be authentic if they tried. So what does creating characters like these in Evangelion really say about the producers of the show? What does it say about people in general? Is Hideaki scared of being alone? Jealous of his peers? Aren't these characters simply ways for people to project their own life into something mystical and magical? Personally, I think so. Writing is too, drawing is too, any creative self expression projects the creator's life onto it. There's that term: "self expression". Self expression is done in many ways, through body language, through words you say, words you don't say, how you carry yourself, your likes, dislikes, goals, aspirations, who you're jealous of. All of these things are forms of self expression, although we may not notice it at first. So as this show goes on, it follows the path of the creator's self expression, how they themselves change. How nothing is tied down, nothing is forever. You can, and will change.
     That's all for now, hope you guys enjoyed. I'll finish up the last post, which is expected to be a lot shorter. Laterrr.