Archive for the ‘honorary glasses’ Category

honorary megane danshi badge“Honorary Megane Danshi″
part 5: Dr. Spencer Reid

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

Dr. Spencer Reid

Dr. Spencer Reid, FBI Behavior Analysis Unit

Okay, so I’m sure you noticed really fast that he isn’t an anime character. I must confess I spent a great deal of my time lately watching more Criminal Minds episodes than is probably humanly sane. It’s also probably why I’ve been having a ridiculous number of serial killer nightmares, thanks to watching them so late at night. Curse you Ion Television and your midnight marathons!! Now I’ve been getting smart and started DVRing them. But the episodes accumulate fast. I think I’ve got 5 of them recorded.

But, anyway. What I’m basically saying is that I’ve betrayed anime for a bit in exchange for a live action honorary “Megane Danshi.” Gomenasai! (Sorry!) I also apologize for the fact that I’ve only seen probably a little more than HALF of the episodes out there. And I’ve seen a fair few. But, of course, there’s six seasons, with a seventh coming in the fall. Needless to say, once I get rambling, there may be things I miss (if you’ve seen them) because I’m limited to what Ion and A&E decide to play any given day. I’ve completed almost all of season 4 (save for the last five episodes that I have on my DVR). And I’ve seen most of seasons 2, 3, and 5. I caught a few eps from season 1, and I haven’t seen a single one from season 6. So bear with me.

Anyway, again. Yay for tangents! Dr. Spencer Reid is a member of the Behavior Analysis Unit (BAU) in the FBI. He and his team members put together profiles of killers in order to narrow down and find the culprits. They utilize clues from the crime scenes and witnesses to make inferences as to the murderer’s personality. While the entire main cast of the BAU are phenomenal from character to casting, I find Reid to be the most intriguing.

Dr Spencer Reid

Dr. Spencer Reid

Essentially, he’s a genius. He’s got an IQ of 187, holds three PhDs, reads entire novels in a matter of minutes, and has an eidetic memory that allows him to recall images, words, and events exactly as they happened. He’s also extremely awkward socially, which makes for some hard to watch scenes with the ladies, and he’s shrouded in an almost painful stigma of not being normal. He’s been accused of being undiagnosed autistic, and he struggles with the threat of mental illness setting in. It also doesn’t help that he was a twelve year old prodigy in a public high school, which got him into some serious bullying. His confidence relies solely on facts. Feelings, even artistic interpretations, have little relevance to him.

Spencer’s mom (who is played by the ever awesome Jane Lynch) is a paranoid schizophrenic, and she was a college literature professor. His parents split at a young age, and knowing he couldn’t help his mother, he had her institutionalized when he turned 18. A large part of his growing up is revealed in season 2, and then further information is revealed in season 4 when Reid starts to realize his dreams of a murdered kid are actually a memory of a neighborhood boy on his tee-ball team.

Through the course of the show, he’s 23-27 years old, depending on the season, which is extremely young for a BAU member. His boss from seasons 1 and 2 used to introduce Reid as “Dr.” in order to gain the respect of others in spite of his young age; a habit the rest of his team members still continue.

The best episodes to watch Reid are any that involve an unsub (unkown subject, aka, the killer) with a major psychotic break. In fact, Reid seems to play major roles in episodes where the unsub has a split personality, or teens/ kids with neurotic tendencies. In one episode he actually says, “I know what it’s like to be afraid of your own mind.”

My absolute favorite episode is Season 5’s “Uncanny Valley,” which involves a psychologically damaged woman who was traumatized by her father at a young age. The way Reid figures out what happened to her just by the position of certain children’s toys on the father’s bookshelf was an epic T.K.O. And then Season 4’s “Amplification” where he discovers the location of the anthrax, and bars his partner from entering the building so that only he is contaminated, was heart breaking. And then when he called Garcia, their tech girl, to have her record a message for his mother in case anything happened, I was near tears.

glasses

Yes, he wears glasses.

Speaking of heart breaking. The absolute worst episodes are a two-part special in Season 2. Reid is kidnapped by the unsub, who has multiple personalities, and is drugged (by the murderer’s “good side” to numb the pain) and tortured (by the unsub’s “vengeful” side). It was incredibly hard to watch, and I spent the majority of part 2 watching it through my fingers.

And look! Behold! He can transform into a Megane Danshi! Though I can’t classify him as such, as I haven’t seen him in an episode with them yet. I think he only wears them sporadically in season 6. I honestly don’t think they’re showing re-runs of season 6 yet. If anyone knows of a site that has them in good quality and no time cut off, please let me know! I’ve seen other Reid fans raving about the episodes “Corazon” and “Coda.”

Spencer Reid is played fantastically by the very adorable Matthew Gray Gubler. Can you believe he was also the voice of Simon from Alvin and the Chipmunks? Yeah me either. Simon was always my favorite chipmunk as a kid, guess I was always a fan of glasses. hahaha.

Ok, now back to your regularly scheduled cartoon programming.

honorary megane danshi badge“Honorary Megane Danshi″
part 4: Death the Kid

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

Death the Kid

Death the Kid

From the anime Soul Eater, Death the kid is the only son of the Grim Reaper himself. Even though he’s also a grim reaper and doesn’t need to train as a weapon user, he asks his father to enroll him in the school. The school, DWMA, is a training academy for weapons (people who turn into weapons) and meisters (people who use those weapons).

Though Kid has no need to train weapons, because he has fighting and magic abilities of his own as a grim reaper, he actually uses two. His father gave him lots of weapon options, but he declined all of them on the basis that they would make him unsymmetrical. Then, one day he has a run-in with two gangster sisters who can both transform into pistols. They try to rob him, but instead become his weapon partners.

Kid shoots upside down

Kid shoots upside down

One of the most kick ass things about Death the Kid is the fact that he not only dual wields pistols, but dual wields them upside down. He shoots with his pinkies. Awesome, right? Can you pull triggers with your pinkies? I didn’t think so.

He is also incapable of using one gun without the other, because it makes him unsymmetrical. Kid has a crazy OCD when it comes symmetry. Despite being an excellent marksman and an intelligent fighter, the presence or absence of symmetry can affect his ability. On a mission to kill a witch in Egypt, he wont shoot at a sarcophagus because of the beautiful symmetry it possesses.  Its not until the mummy comes out, with a disfigured face, that Kid goes on a blind rampage because he’s not symmetrical and therefore, ugly.

Death the Kid

another photo of Death the Kid, because I feel like it

He’ll also halt a mission or refuse to continue a fight if he sees something break symmetry, changes the symmetry of his body, or if he thinks he forgot to fold the toilet paper into a triangle (yes, I’m serious). When Kid is kidnapped (horribly sad, I know…), he’s incapacitated by the enemy (who knows his OCD) by ripping off one of his sleeves. He also bails out on a fight with Black Star, because a near miss with the swing of an axe chopped an inch off of his hair on one side.

The first episode that he’s introduced, the OCD with symmetry got extremely annoying. His target escapes because he gets worked up over a symmetry break in his partners’ stances. But, the symmetry obsession becomes both an interesting fight mechanism and huge comic relief. One of the most hilarious scenes is the big written exam. Kid spends the entire duration of the exam writing his name. He has a short monologue while he obsesses over why he can’t draw a straight “k.” Then, as he tried to erase it again, he accidently rips the paper, has blood expel from his face, and passes out on the floor. Needless to say, he failed the exam. Not that he needs to be in school anyway. Video’s below or here.

Lines of Sanzu connecting

Lines of Sanzu connecting

But aside from his OCD, he’s actually a very smart kid. He spends most of the anime on his own adventure looking for the connection between an ancient scientist/ inventor and his father, the Grim Reaper. He questions his fathers motives and plans and does his own investigation. The near-end battel between the Kishin (main antagonist) and the Grim Reaper (his father) ends in a heartbreaking reaction from Kid, who jumps in after to pick up where his dad left off.

Something else thats striking about Kid is his Lines of Sanzu that only encircle half of his head. Kid’s tried on several occasions to dye his hair black to hide them, to no avail. In desperate situations, the lines start to connect and insane power starts to unleash. Each time this happens, a crack appears in his father’s mask. It’s still early in Soul Eater, so there’s no explanation as to why that happens yet.

Another awesome thing about Kid: his English voice actor is Todd Haberkorn, who also does voices for Hikaru Hitachiin from Ouran and Natsu from Fairy Tail.

honorary megane danshi badge“Honorary Megane Danshi″
part 3: Haji

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

My favorite character from Blood+, Haji, is the living companion of the main protagonist, Saya. In order to talk about Haji, I first need to talk about the main character. Saya, something of a vampire “queen,” was born along with her sister, Diva, one of the main antagonists. The vampire queens have the ability to create Chiropterans, or vampire like monsters, and Chevaliers, or humans with vampire attributes and the ability to transform partially or completely into Chiropteran forms. Chevaliers are also bonded by blood to the queen and act as a protector and companion.

Saya was raised by a man named Joel, while her sister was confined to a tower. She did not know she had a sister until many years later when she heard her singing in the tower. Diva was released from her captivity by Saya to sing for Joel on his birthday, but instead, she went on a bloodbathed rampage, killing everyone. At the time, Saya and Haji were not there.

Haji

Haji

Haji was purchased from his parents as a child, for a loaf of bread, to be Saya’s companion. During Joel’s birthday, he and Saya were out looking for Joel’s favorite flower. Haji falls off of a cliff, and in order to save him, Saya feeds him her blood. At the time, she didn’t understand the consequences but knew it would save him. Consequently, he becomes her Chevalier. There also appears to be some romantic links between the two.

Saya was also involved in Vietnam several years later. In a rage to find her sister, she goes on a rampage. She then runs into a man that she knows has information on Diva’s whereabouts and chases him into a village of innocent people. Haji tried to stop her, but in her blind rage she cut off Haji’s arm, and proceeds to slaughter all of the villagers. Haji’s arm permanently resembles that of a Chiropterans, so he keeps it bandaged. Shortly after, Saya enters a 30 year hibernation and, when she wakes up, has no recollection of anything, not even Haji.

She is then adopted and living a normal teenage life. After a run-in with a Chiropteran, Saya is tasked with killing Chiropterans, as well as her sister, utilizing her blood infused into her sword. Haji resurfaces and resumes his position by her side, though it takes most of the anime for her to regain her memories of him and her former life. Haji has the ability to transform into a Chiropteran, but he never does unless absolutely necessary.

The Vietnam events created a change in Haji, and he appears bitter and cautious after being reunited with Saya. He still remains loyal and eventually completely regains his feelings for her. Haji is a pure romantic toward her, which makes him a more love-able character, on top of the fact that he also fights extremely well. He doesn’t speak much, but he is extremely loyal. And he plays cello. Can it get better than that? It sure can. He also uses his cello case not only to house Saya’s sword but as a weapon itself. Now that is badass.

honorary megane danshi badge“Honorary Megane Danshi″
part 2: Gaara

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

Gaara, who starts out as a minor antagonist in the first 80 episodes of Naruto, becomes a major protagonist and icon by the time Naruto Shippuden rolls out. The dark rings around his eyes qualify as glasses, right? Haha, he’s honorary anyway.

Back in 2006, I had just come home from a long summer of being a camp counselor in August. I was watching television with my twin sister when we stumbled upon this anime, Naruto. The episode was the start of the chuunin exams when they take the test, and we were both hooked. (Thankfully that was my first experience with it, had I started from the beginning, I might’ve never got that far in, thanks to Naruto’s annoying tendencies.) At the time, I was sporting a look of shorter, red hair and I always had my signature ring of eyeliner.

Gaara

Gaara, age 13, toward the end of Naruto

When I saw Gaara, it was like love at first sight. He physically looked different than the other characters, and his almost silent and creepy disposition made him something of an intrigue when I watched. He also reminded me of Sydney Carton (my favorite literary character of all time), from A Tale of Two Cities, and his line “I care for no man, and no man cares for me.”  As I continued to progress with Naruto, a whole backstory filled in for Gaara that made my heart ache for him, and his tranformation makes him one of the most dynamic round characters I’ve ever seen.

Like the title character, Naruto Uzumaki, Gaara was implanted with a powerful tailed beast (before he was born). Because of this, his mother died giving birth, and he was raised to be something of a weapon for the Sand Village, Sunagakura. He was given the name Gaara, which means “self-loving carnage” or “demon who only loves himself,” as a testament to her hatred for the village.

Gaara, age 6

I’m not sure if he couldn’t control his power and sand manipulation abilities, or if he just didn’t know how, but he constantly terrified the villagers and other kids, no matter how good his intention were. At the time, Gaara lived with his uncle (or aunt, depending on translations, but I’m convinced its his uncle) who harbored a hatred for Gaara for the death of his sister, Gaara’s mother. Also, because of the sand’s protectiveness (which is said to be infused with his mother’s protection), Gaara has never felt pain before, as the sand continually shields him prior to any injury. And the tailed beast that resides in Gaara makes him unable to sleep, hence the dark rings, so his personality is extremely unstable.

Such a combination made Gaara an uncontrollable threat by the time he was 6 years old, so much so that his father hired assassin after assassin to kill him. One night, Gaara discovered that the assassin was none other than his uncle, who revealed his hatred just before he suicide bombed himself (Gaara remained untouched, thanks to the sand), and it destroyed him. Everything his uncle taught him about love and caring for others was shattered, and Gaara etched the kanji “Ai,” meaning “love,” on his forehead as a proclamation that he can only love himself. Unlike Naruto, who faced a similar lonlieness and resorted to mischief for attention to prove his worth, Gaara decided that to prove his own worth, he needed to kill anyone who crossed him.

Gaara, age 12

Gaara, age 12, during Chuunin exams

As a 12 year old in the start of Naruto, Gaara is a monster, and he’s absolutely insane. He wants nothing more than to throw down with Sasuke to prove he can not only beat, but destroy him. He mercilessly annihilates three shinobi with a single sand attack during the Forest phase of the Chuunin exam. In his battle with Rock Lee at the third phase of the Chuunin exams, he crushes all of the bones in Lee’s right leg and arm, making him unable to fight for an extremely long time. The night before the final Chuunin exam battles, he murders a Sound ninja without even a thought.

After Orochimaru murders the Fourth Kazekage and parades as him in disguise, he tries to use Gaara as a weapon to destroy Konoha. The plan backfires when Gaara can no longer contain his bloodlust and the tailed beast makes its appearance too soon. At this point, he’s engaged in a fight with Naruto, who musters all of his strength and some of his tailed beast’s chakra, to take down Gaara. He explains to Gaara, as they lay unable to fight, that the two of them have had similar childhoods, and that love is what validates your existence, not killing, and fighting for those you care about makes you strongest of all. Defeated, and moved by Naruto’s words, Gaara’s personality does almost a full 180, starting with a simple apology to his team mates and siblings, Temari and Kankuro.

Throughout the rest of Naruto (before Shippuden), Gaara is seen helping Konoha in their battles, namely Rock Lee’s battle with Kimimaro (top most image). He and his two siblings also become ambassadors between the Sand and Leaf villages, and work with them to help set up a ninja training school in the Sand village. He sites Naruto as his inspiration and strives to uphold the same ideals.

Gaara, age 15, as Kazekage

Gaara, age 15, as Kazekage

At the dawning of Naruto Shippuden, 15 year old Gaara has replaced his father as the Fifth Kazekage. He defends his village brilliantly when it is attacked by Akatsuki. Unfortunately, Gaara is kidnapped and killed as his tailed beast is drained from him. After Naruto rescues his body, he is so upset about Gaara’s death that he lashes out at the Sand villagers. He blamed them for implanting the tailed beast and being responsible for all the time he suffered. His rant touched the heart of a Sand village elder, Chiyo, who had long abandoned the Sand village because she hated the way things were done. She used a forbidden puppet master’s jutsu to resurrect Gaara, in exchange for her own life. Upon waking up, Gaara is shocked to see the number of people who were excited to have him back, including his whole village. For the first time, Gaara felt loved in return.

Now as the shinobi world has been enveloped in a world war, Gaara rose amongst all the Kages to become the leader of the Joint-Shinobi army.

He was created as a weapon, feared and neglected for his power, and he turned to a life of hate. His encounter with Naruto ignited a spark that changed him into the most revered figure in the entire shinobi world. Epic win.

“Honorary Megane Danshi″
part 1: Hatori Sohma

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

Hatori Sohma

Hatori Sohma, the "Dragon"

In this series of posts, I award Honorary glasses to characters I think are awesome enough to be “Megane Danshi.”

The first recipient is Hatori Sohma of Fruits Basket, the doctor of the Sohma family. Thirteen members of the direct line of the Sohma family have the curse of transforming into an animal of the Chinese Zodiac. Hatori is the dragon, but he actually transforms into a seahorse.

As the doctor, he has the unfortunate ability to erase the memories of people who discover their family’s secret, including his former fiance, Kana. After asking the head of the Sohma family, Akito (not cursed with any animal, but the god-spirit itself, making all cursed Sohma’s unable to disobey), if he could marry her. Akito got angry and threw a vase at him, nearly making him blind in one eye. Feeling responsible, Kana couldn’t live with herself, so he erased all her memories of them together to take her pain away.

From then on, he’s considered to be cold as ice because of the incident, and the theme of winter hangs over his head. But the icicles eventually melt for Hatori. Eventually he gets himself a new love, Kana’s best friend who has always had a crush on him.

Because he is nearly blind in his left eye, I think he does have a pair of glasses (can anyone confirm that?), but since he doesn’t wear them, I can’t consider him a Megane Danshi. But as a doctor, and a pretty awesome character with a tragic back story, he gets the first pair of honorary glasses! ❤