The Most Important Body Part

Today, my crush patted me on my shoulder, alongside words of encouragement.

Today, my close friend smacked my shoulder really hard, as his way of greeting me.

Today, my parents put their arms over my shoulder, complimenting me over good deeds.

-♍-

Through the course of my junior college life thus far, many of my friends have broken down from the sheer pressure due to school commitments. Having persisted through such an arduous and hectic lifestyle, all they really want is a pillar of support and encouragement.

Recently, I came across a heartwarming story. Despite going against scientific facts, it conveyed an inspiring message – our most important body part is not our eyes, ears, nor heart. It is our shoulder, for friends and family to cry on and lean on.

-♍-

In Singapore, it is common to see people rushing around, to and fro, from work, from school. Sometimes, we rush through the crowds so hastily that we tend to focus all our attention towards the destination, the end-result, blurring our surroundings and neglecting the people around us. I myself committed such a heinous crime. Being in a pragmatic and meritocratic society, I decided to orientate the two years of my JC life towards the attainment of academic success. And in the process of mugging and rubbing subject notes all over my depressed face, I did not even realised that my shoulder had turned cold.

But that wasn’t all. A few weeks ago, my close friend broke into tears, after screwing up an important project work. He was frustrated enough, and was simply overwhelmed by our suggestions to help salvage his work. I tried to comfort him, but that was when I realised, I couldn’t. I tried to think coherently for words of solace, but I couldn’t and I ended up just standing there, staring into space. At that point in time, I feared that I may or may not, have acquired a state of apathy, and may or may not, have lost my shoulder.

Or maybe I didn’t misplace it. Instead, I jettisoned it on purpose, in order to be rid of useless dead-weight. I discarded it, ditched it, hurled it vehemently on the ground, for it invited these annoying people to lean on me, shed stupid tears on me, to pass their baton of burden onto me, slowing my pace as a result. It was a hindrance, an obstruction, barricading the achievable success that was almost within my wrinkled hand’s reach.

-♍-

And that was when my crush, my friend, and my parents tapped on my shoulder.

It felt strange, unfamiliar, as if a foreign organ was being transplanted into my body. I didn’t realise until I noticed it, dirty and soiled from being tossed onto the cold hard ground previously. But as if graced by their touch, the body part was restored, back to its clean original state. Their words, praises, greeting, encouragements, infused the body part with brimming hope and energy. This optimism spread throughout my worn-out body, rejuvenating it, revitalising it, reviving it.

I realised then, that life wasn’t meant to be lived alone, wasn’t meant to be shouldered alone.

 

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Work For Your Dreams

{DxM XI}

Martin Luther King, Jr., once delivered a speech on the 28th August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.

—————————————————————

In writing or speech, the deliberate repetition of the first part of the sentence in order to achieve an artistic effect is known as Anaphora. It is common for us to use anaphora in our everyday speech, to lay emphasis on the idea we want to convey.

Selector Spread WIXOSS
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Here, Mayu repeatedly states that there was no one who cared about her. This repetition reinforces the idea of absolute loneliness and alienation from society. As a result, we sympathise her for having no support from anyone.

But in life, no one should think of themselves as Mayu. It might not be apparent, but there are indeed people who WILL comfort us when we are feeling down, who WILL laugh out loud when we tell a joke, who WILL answer when we ask a question, who WILL cry when we die. Therefore, they are the ones who WILL be there for us when we need support.

It is these responses by others, this acknowledgment of our presence, that fuels our drive to continue living. I myself, live to receive “Thank you!” from others, because then, I know that there are people who appreciate my existence. Hence, I tend to go out of my way, just to help others and receive that simple 2-word phrase.

All of us have people who love us. If you think that no one in this world loves you, then ask yourself why. Are you loving anyone enough for them to love you back? It’s the same thing for Birthday Wishes. If someone doesn’t wish you ‘Happy Birthday’, are you going to ‘take revenge‘ and not wish him/her ‘Happy Birthday’ too? This cycle will continue on and on, and the only result is the degradation of relationships and bonds.

Thus, I believe that all of us should strive to make a good difference in people’s lives. Why is it that Mother Teresa and Steve Jobs are some names we often hear? This is because the both of them have significantly impacted the world with their contributions and actions.

I’m not implying that you have do something big. Why not just start with the people around you? Your friends and your family.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream too and he put in his best effort to influence everyone, in order to achieve it. If your dream is to be loved by others, to be acknowledged by others, then all I can say is this.

A dream is to be worked for, not waited for.

 

Thankew for reading! 🙂

 

“Rolling Ballade” – Losing Your Identity

Death Parade EP3: Unrequited Love and Plastic Surgery

Personally, I would have preferred if all the titles started with “Death” because a uniform set of titles is generally quite appealing, just like in Amagi Brilliant Park.

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Anyways, the episode entirely focused on a story of unrequited love. And I really liked the symbolism of ‘looking‘ throughout the episode. I must confess: I look at my crush a lot. I simply find my crush really compelling. And I believe this goes the same for many other people! As a result, it is really devastating if your crush doesn’t even look at you, much less, pay attention to you. ((NOTICE ME, SHIGERU-KUN))

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The episode also displayed what extremities people may take, in order to make their crush fall for them – changing their physical identity. Personally, I disapprove of plastic surgery as a panacea to any problem. It is the worst option ever, because it shows that even you hate your own self. By removing your features, you are explicitly dismissing yourself; abandoning yourself. And that was why Mai thought she was Chisato at the beginning – because she had lost sight of who she truly was; she had lost herself.

The theme present here is Appearance vs Character, which is similar to this post I’ve written before: Fat or Thin, Ignore What People Think. I didn’t like how Shigeru was such a shallow person, because he ignored Mai, despite being childhood friend. But neither was Mai correct in attempting to change her appearance, and be someone she wasn’t.  Everyone is unique in their own way, and we should retain these idiosyncrasies of ours.

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I came across quite a wise observation, pointed out by Ramen Soup Reviews. “The carefree and casual nature of the game may also be reflective of the players’ relationship with one another.” This may be true, considering what happened in Episode 1. At the same time, this may not be true, because as seen in Death Billiards (Movie of Death Parade), some participants are strangers to one another, thus there is no relationship in the first place. Either way, let’s stay tune to find out! ^^

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And also, some food for thought: Even if there wasn’t any other people in the bus, there should be at least the bus driver, right? So why was it so coincident that Shigeru and Chisato were the two that got sent to Quindecim, even though Decim has stated that people who die simultaneously are sent there? This could be simply by chance, and it’s not really a significant issue in the least. But I just felt that it was worth pointing out.

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Anyways, this was an extremely sweet episode, especially the end. But as much as I enjoyed it, I want to see a greater variety of characters, instead of solely couples.

Thankew for reading! Share your opinions in the comment section below! ^^

“Death Seven Darts” – True Love

Death Parade EP1: To Lie is To Love

I rarely do reviews/summaries, but THIS ANIME IS SO CONTROVERSIAL! As in for Episode 1, the outcomes were revealed at the end, but I actually don’t agree with it… Either way, this may actually become one of my Top 10 Anime.

So basically, there is this couple who has already died, but are sent to Quindecim to play a game, and to be judged whether to be sent to Heaven or Hell. The game chosen is darts, but the twist is that different parts of the board are linked to the opponent’s body parts. So by hitting the part of the board that displays the “stomach”, pain will similarly be inflicted to the other player’s stomach.

At first, because the consequences of winning and losing are not mentioned, the husband gets afraid of losing and thus, accidentally shoots at the ‘shoulder’. Because of the pain, the woman stumbles and hits ‘both of the guy’s eyes’. At this point, they have become suspicious of each other. But then, the woman mentions: not to hit her belly.

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It is unknown whether she has a baby or not. However, due to a phenomenon called Confirmation Bias, which I have wrote about in one of my previous post, the man believes her. When he says, “At last, I’m going to be a father.”, the man displayed a strong desire to be a father. Due to this desire, he selects memories and information that will corroborate this statement, even if it may just be a lie.

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Nonetheless, that’s not the main point. The important mystery is whether the woman truly loves the man or not. After that conversation, the man becomes thankful for his wife and decides to miss the board. But plot twists always come in groups. He recalled that before their wedding, two women were conversing about how “Matchy” is such a player and that her husband is a handsome doctor. In my opinion, the conversation doesn’t refer to him and Machiko. This is because… THE GUY ISN’T HANDSOME AT ALL!

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Jokes aside, there are two points that seem weird. Firstly, one of the girls said, “That was a nice ceremony, huh.” Past Tense = Already Happened. But then, the man said the he couldn’t bring himself to stop the ceremonies. Thus, their wedding hadn’t occurred yet. Okay, maybe this was all just a mistake with the grammar. Fine, let’s ignore this and move on.

So, her husband accuses her of an affair. She then explains to her husband that it is in fact about Machida Yuki and not her. If she indeed fabricated this Machida Yuki girl, how was she able to come up with so much details on the spot?

After much happenings, Machiko walks away and grins a little. She then ‘admits’ that she indeed has an affair.

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But here’s the thing. In the scenes above, she is seen wiping away her tears.

Let’s put ourselves in her shoes for a moment.

Her husband was agonised at the fact that they have died, and desperately pleaded Decim to do something and help them. As his wife, she cannot bear to see how much her husband is suffering. She understands that, having come to this place, their afterlife sentence will be judged accordingly. One will have a better end, the other will have a worse end. Thus, seeing her husband as he is, she decides to act as the ‘villain’ in order for her husband to receive the better judgement.

Calling her a crocodile would be absolutely cruel, because her tears are as genuine as her soul. She is a really noble person; sacrificing herself in order to provide a better standard of afterliving for her husband. Even Decim himself, who technically knows everything, was taken aback by that selfless lie Machiko just told.

At the end, I didn’t like how the anime revealed who went where, and I also didn’t understand why Machiko was sent to the void. But either way, we can also guess whether reincarnation or the void is a better judgement.

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tl;dr Machiko faked the affair and sacrificed herself for her husband, out of true love.

I really like this kind of anime; ones that make you think. Opening totally inappropriate though; not fitting at all. Ending song quite nice 🙂

For Machiko VS “the guy without name and totally doesn’t look handsome at all”, I will continue to uphold to this theory of mine.

But this is just my opinion after all! What’s your interpretation?

Anyways, thanks for reading! ^^