Keima Katsuragi News

Keima Katsuragi is a anime/manga character in the The World God Only Knows franchise
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-this is my first review type thing (although on a blog) so I apologize if it's off- *Spoiler Alert! (can't utilize the tool on my iPad so it has been forewarned) and this will be a paragraph so be warned of that* -synopsis of chapter in like a sentence: Hakura finds out that the chief was the leader of the Vintage and Keima has another vision type thing which he sees the girl again- After having to wait a day in order to read this chapter, I was completely excited zto press the next button on my iPad. However, this chapter, although a bit shocking but good, still doesn't really set up what the new arc would be about. It stills leaves blank holes and hasn't answered any questions that might have a risen with the previous chapter. In fact, it raises even more questions with this new arc like: Who is that mysterious girl? Why does Keima have these sort of mysterious thoughts? Does that girl have something to do with this? If so, what? What REALLY happened with the Chief? All these questions just swarmed through my head as I finished the chapter and saw the next update day. Personally, I feel, although still quite blank, pretty confident of the next upcoming chapters. This arc seems to possibly hit a strong point on the characters, especially Keima. Also, with this arc, hopefully we'll see the development with Hell and see what transpires. Overall, this chapter, although a bit lacking in the plot, was still a typical, suspenseful TWGOK chapter with amazing artwork that really encompasses the story.
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Note: I am not trying to elicit sympathy or advice. I am just trying to share some ideas on something I have realized, which happens to be related to anime. Also, I am a guy, not a girl.

Tsundere is a Japanese term used to describe a character. It is mostly used to describe a female character who is initially cold or hostile toward others. But after a while they show a warmer, more caring side. It is derived from the terms “tsuntsun”, meaning to turn away in disgust and “deredere” meaning lovey dovey. Such characters appear frequently in dating sims and visual novels, but have recently become more popular in anime and other mediums.

I think what ties together most tsundere characters is the fear of being left alone. In other words, what is the point of investing all these feelings for another person if they’re just going to leave me, or I’ll have to leave them? The tsundere continues to be wary of interacting with other people and being sure to not show anything that could be mistaken as a show of love. Or at least being sure not to show too much. Then eventually they meet someone that they fall in love with. Usually the tsundere is passive throughout the falling-in-love process, as he/she is approached by the other person on multiple occasions as the relationship develops. Then they live happily together because finally the tsundere can count on someone to be there for them and never leave them

Now I just want to look at 3 characters that exhibit tsundere traits. Squall from the video game Final Fantasy 8: You meet Squall when he’s 17 years old. He grew up in an orphanage before being transferred to Balamb Garden to train to become a mercenary. When living at the orphanage he looked up to a girl named Ellone. But she leaves the orphanage before he does. There are flashbacks that show a young Squall standing at the entrance of the orphanage saying stuff like, “Sis, I’m gonna be alright.” At Balamb Garden he gains the reputation of being something of a lone wolf, never relying on others and keeping to himself. Once he becomes a mercenary and goes out to do missions across the world, he begins to open up to his party members and learns to care for others.

In particular he falls in love with Rinoa. Rinoa keeps teasing Squall and giving hints to him. It takes a lot for Squall to eventually open up to Rinoa and the others, but I can’t really blame him for being cold at first. I first played this when I was around 9 years old. After playing this game, I had a really strong liking for Rinoa or girls like Rinoa.

Mio Aoyama from The World God Only Knows: For those that don’t know, Keima has to help his demon friend, Elsie, capture loose souls. Loose souls take refuge in hearts that aren’t full of love. Since a loose soul has resided in Mio’s heart Keima, the protagonist, has to make Mio fall in love with him in order to push out the loose soul so Elsie can capture it.

Mio is seen as the rich girl, however she lives in a run down apartment since her father died a few years ago. Keeping with a tsundere’s cold passiveness, Mio gives Keima the cold shoulder and never compliments Keima’s actions, sometimes even ridiculing him. An example of this is when Keima picks Mio up to go to school each morning in a carriage that he drags himself. Mio who grew up in high-society, where people are often quickly judged by how much money they have, has learned to become wary of others. Especially those that are nice to them. The best way to not lose anything is by not giving anything in the first place. Eventually though, she does fall in love with Keima, someone she can trust, the loose soul is ousted and captured. Those that have watched TWGOK, will realize that the happy conclusion of each arc is ambiguous. Here I just want to draw attention to how Mio is almost entirely passive throughout the relationship.

Lastly, Victorique de Blois, the protagonist from Gosick: Victorique is a small teenage girl, with long blonde hair and dresses in frilly dresses. She spends most of her in the garden at the very top of a large library reading books and eating snacks. She is also extremely good at solving mysteries and has a sharp tongue. Early on the relationship between Kujo and her is established. However, Victorique goes out of her way to be cold toward Kujo, calling him an idiot and hardly ever showing gratitude to him when bringing her snacks or trying to help her down from a tree.

It is revealed later in the story that Victorique was abandoned by her parents when she was very little. This helps explain her cold nature. As Victorique and Kujo experience more together, learn more about the mystery cases that they are involved in, and ultimately learn more about her past, she eventually opens up to Kujo and truly cares for him. By watching the series the viewer begins to realize that Kujo is here to stay and no matter how bone-headed it may seem, he’ll do almost anything for Victorique.

Even though Victorique is great at solving mysteries, she is still very passive in terms of her relations with other people, including Kujo. In one case, when she is effectively a kidnapped damsel in distress, instead of leaving behind a “help me” note for Kujo she leaves a note saying, “idiot”.

For whatever reason, I have recently realized that I am something of a tsundere. This helps explain why I don’t really like watching tsundere characters in anime, because it reminds me of me. I try to keep to myself and not let others know what I am thinking. A part of me thinks that if I let others in on my thoughts, this might be something that can be used against me in the future. The only person I can really rely on is myself, why rely on others when they just leave eventually?

But there’s a whole other part of me (the “dere” part, if you will) that realizes how important it is interact with others. That wants to fall in love and have lasting friendships. That believes you only get out of something as much as you put into it. Which means I can’t be passive my whole life, or else I won’t get anything out of it. Even so, I still have a hard time expressing this side of me.

In games or anime it’s different because the characters are completely scripted. They’re not real, and are only an artist’s representation of real characters and real actions. The game/anime can end on a happy note, but in real life there’s always a tomorrow until it ultimately ends in death.

Like always there’s isn’t really an easy answer. But I’ve gotten a few things from thinking about this and writing this blog post. I have a better appreciation for tsundere characters (especially Victorique, who I disliked throughout most of the series). I have realized something about myself from a new perspective. Maybe this will help me make decisions on how to act in the future.

Thank you for reading the entirety of this post.

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I've been told that comedy can be used as social commentary. By finding out what we laugh at, we are able to ask the question, "What is wrong here that is making me laugh?" Likewise by finding characters that you empathize with you can ask the question, "what is it about this character that makes me like them?" Or if there's something you find funny about a character, why is it funny? 
I have enjoyed both seasons of The World God Only Knows. Especially the last arc of each season (s1 - Shiori "the quiet librarian" Shiomiya, and s2 - Jun "student teacher" Nagase). On the whole, TWGOK has been able to provide some striking social commentary. And whether or not this was intentional, I have found that the female characters I empathized with the most were the ones who had last arc of each season. In this blog I just want to lay out a situation in episode 10 involving Jun Nagase that I found cool, and then give some thoughts about it.

The World God Only Knows, season 2, episode 10. The second episode of the Jun Nagase arc. Jun Nagase is a female student teacher. She is rather cute and well-formed and wonderfully voiced by Toyosaki Aki. Nagase at first seems rather energetic and optimistic about becoming a teacher. So she can help students and put them on the right path to a better life! At first she is generally well-liked by students and staff, especially male students. But things soon change as Nagase tries to take matters into her own hands and goes out of her way to help others. 
For example, she notices that another teacher (Mr. Kodama) yelled at a student for always doing poorly on tests, calling him a failure. Nagase tries to tell Mr. Kodama off, saying he shouldn't be mean to students and try and help them, but she is just ignored and brushed off. Then when Nagase approaches the "failing" student and offers to help him study, he tries to refuse her. Two other female students who happen to be nearby interject and saying things like, "Don't worry he (Mr. Kodama/the student) is just like that." Nagase tries to argue by asking, "But isn't it a teacher's job to help students? Don't you think it's wrong that he (the teacher) calls another student names?" To which the female student replies offhandedly, "Yeah, but that's just how it goes in the real world, heh." At this line, Nagase seems to break down, but quickly excuses herself from the classroom. 
Standing outside the doors to catch her breath, Nagase hears the students talk about her, "You know, I hate those kinds of teachers the most. The one's that but in on everything and get too passionate about their work. I guess it's fine that she's a student teacher, but she's getting really annoying."

This scene really set off alarm bells in my head. The kind where I say to myself, "Oh wow, I completely understand where they're going with this, that is so cool." The situation that Nagase is put in is a classic one. Naive young person enters the "real" world, tries to make a positive difference, proceeds to get shot down and is forced to rethink his/her ideas. 
The way this series puts a twist on this idea is with Keima-kun. The student who gets straight A's, seems to be anti-social and spends all waking time playing games in and out of class. Nagase, being the passionate and caring teacher she is, wants to help Keima make friends in the real world and not be absorbed in the virtual reality of video games. 
This opens up a whole host of questions and complications. Most of which have probably already been discussed, at some point in history, at great length without any definitive answer. Questions about the relationship between student and teacher go all the way back to Plato, who's written dialogues (depicting his teacher Socrates) has coined the term "Platonic Love." In Japan there have been a number of cases where a male teacher has taken advantage of young female students. This may be a bit of an extreme example but even if a single person said something like, "It's unfortunate, but that's just the way it is in the real world sometimes," we have to ask ourselves why the case of the mean teacher is that different from the lolicon teacher, or the failing student and the delinquent student.
Isn't it a teacher's job to take care of their students and help them when they struggle? Maybe a better way to look at it would be to ask, "isn't part of being human, helping other humans around you?" I've been told that, "you only get out of life, as much as you put into it." So according to this, if I don't do anything, I won't get anything. It also means I can get by with the minimum if I just do the minimum amount of work. That might sound great and all, but isn't it better to strive for the ideal, like Nagase is trying to do, and give it everything you got? Even if you don't make a huge "profit", you'll still end up with more than you started out with.
Arguments can be made on both sides and anywhere in between. Nagase-sensei doesn't have definitive answers about these things, neither does Kemai-kun, and neither do I. But I still think the way TWGOK is able to achieve this sort of subtle social commentary, underneath the comedy and anime antics, is pretty awesome. Of course I might just be reading too much into things, *shrugs*. That won't stop me from enjoying the final arc of season 2 and the characters is centers around! >.>
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