[OWLS Blog Tour] Real Men Spread Love: Masculinity in Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s April and with it comes another OWLS Blog Tour! Last month during our Feminine Blog Tour we looked at the meaning of the term while also celebrating the amazing accomplishments of women. This month we’re looking at the other end of the spectrum with our April Masculinity Blog Tour!

Last month, we explored the meanings behind the terms, “feminine” and “feminism.” This month the OWLS bloggers will explore the concept of masculinity. We each have our own definition of what it means to be masculine and we will explore our definitions using “masculine” characters from various pop culture fandoms. We will discuss how these characters are “masculine” or show signs of a masculine persona. We will also share our personal stories about the amazing men that supported us in our lives as well as sharing some of our experiences growing up as a man or knowing men who struggled with the masculine identity.

April 2019 Blog Tour Prompt

Websters defines masculinity as ‘having qualities appropriate to or usually associated with a man’, but what does it mean to be “a man”? Is it physical strength? Fortitude? Having the anatomy of a man? With shifting gender norms, it’s difficult to ascribe a one size fits all definition to terms like masculinity and femininity, because there is no singular way to embody these terms. Roles that were traditionally held exclusively by men are now being taken up by women and visa versa. There simply isn’t a case for traditional masculinity or femininity in today’s evolving world, because what it means to be a man or a woman has changed. But, as a society we still adhere to a ridged gender coded system. Items associated with women and girls tend to have a pink, purple, or pastel color scheme, while items intended for men and boys tend to favor a darker color pallet. We have been conditioned to see associate masculinity with dominance, power, and strength, and femininity with beauty, grace, and poise.

The same exists in anime, shounen series like My Hero Academia, Black Clover, and Dragonball Z, with their action heavy storylines and characters, focus on more “masculine” topics, like overcoming adversity or proving one’s worth (usually through brute strength). Relationships are forged through combat or intense training, and feelings when featured are merely used to bolster a character’s drive to complete some predetermined goal. Shounen anime tend to focus on a character (or group of characters) striving to be the best at whatever it is they do, either through brute strength, dogged determination, or just plain old dumb luck. On the other side of things, you have shojo anime which tends to focus on more traditionally “feminine” topics, like romance and friendship. There usually isn’t a predetermined goal or even a “bad guy”, with the majority of these stories tackling more internal conflicts like self-doubt, finding love, or fostering relationships (romantic/platonic) with others.

But, even within these clearly gender specific genres, there is some crossover. There are plenty of shounen anime that focus on romance and dealing with more internal personal conflicts, just like there are shoujo anime that feature action and adventure storylines. These series challenge the status quo, giving us more relatable stories that speak to who we are as individuals and not so much what we are expected to be. So for this month’s Blog Tour, I went with a series that subverts the idea of masculinity, by parodying a traditionally ‘feminine’ magical girl anime genre. This time around, I’m looking at the magical boy anime, Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! and how despite it’s adherence to traditional magical girl anime tropes and overtly “feminine” themes, helps define a “new” masculine ideal.


Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] Real Men Spread Love: Masculinity in Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!”

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[OWLS Blog Tour] Live Fast, Die Young: The Limitations of Change in Banana Fish

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s January a time of new beginnings, change and of course a brand new year of OWLS Blog Tours. I’ve been through quite a few transitions in the past year, some good, some not so great, but, each one paved the way for some much needed growth. I’m not the same blogger I was when I started Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, I’ve learned and grown through my experiences, so when I saw this month’s blog tour I just knew that I had to kick myself into gear and whip something good up.

A brand new year means new beginnings and opportunities. We have a tendency to embrace the new year because it’s a time when we can start fresh. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring our favorite dynamic characters who undergo changes for better or for worse. We will analyze these characters’ transformations and how these transformations benefited or minimized these characters’ potential in becoming “great people/beings.” We will also use these characters as a way for us to reflect on our own lives and who we want to become.

January 2019 Blog Tour Prompt

metamorphosis, unlike change is more finite, it has a set beginning and end, where as change is an ongoing process. Change is the culmination of each and every one of our experiences, it’s how we adapt and grow from the person we were yesterday into the person we will become in the future. But, there is no limitation on change, however, that isn’t the case with a metamorphosis, when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly there is a very distinct limit on what it can and will become. There isn’t the same fluidity you find with change, since once you move from point A to point B there is no going back. There is an inevitability to a metamorphosis that to me makes it a bit more bittersweet and tragic. So, with that in mind, I decided to write about Ash Lynx aka Aslan Callenresse from Banana FishThis isn’t the first time I’ve written about this series and trust me, it won’t be the last, but there is something wonderfully tragic about Ash’s transitions throughout the series that both the anime and the manga capture beautifully.

Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] Live Fast, Die Young: The Limitations of Change in Banana Fish”

How To Survive Junji Ito Horror in Five Easy Steps!

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s October and here on Nice Job Beraking It, Hero we’re taking a trip into the depths with a month full of Halloween themed posts. And what better way to celebrate Halloween Month than with the Master of Horror, Junji Ito! He is one of my favorite horror mangaka, crafting some of the best horror manga out there, his works range from quirky black comedies to full on nightmare fuel, and I cannot recommend him enough if you’re looking for something deeply unsettling to read. He has a way of making the mundane terrifying, with his surreal stories and unique characters, you can’t help but get drawn into his tangled web of terror!

While rereading a few of his oneshots, I got to thinking what would I do if I found myself the unwitting victim of one of his many horrors. Hell, most of his stories either end in tragedy, death, or in the off chance he’s in a good mood, bittersweet. There really is no getting away scott free in a Junji Ito story, so I did the next best thing and crafted a list of tips that will at the very least keep you from dying a gruesome painful death… If you’re looking for something slightly more optimistic, check out How To Woo and Otome Guy in 5 Easy Stepsfor everyone else, here are five helpful tips that are sure to give you a fighting chance against, Junji Ito’s classic horrors.


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Crocheting While Otaku: My First Craft Fair Experience Pt. 1 – Selling in Person

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s been awhile since I wrote one of these and honestly, it’s because I’ve been trying to keep up with this season’s anime… I know shocker! But, things have finally settled down enough for me to bang out another Crocheting While Otaku post!! This time around, I’m writing about my very first craft fair!!

So, two weeks ago I participated in a small local craft fair called, Art on the Plaza, ironically enough at one of my old temp jobs. There was no table fee, which I’ve found can range anywhere from $50 – $500, depending on the size of the fair, so I figured I had nothing to lose. There were only a handful of sellers, 18 in total and I managed to rope a friend into helping me sell stuff (three days of straight crocheting between the two of us) and we managed to produce a sizeable amount of stuff for the table; she provided some baby blankets and I had a bunch of dolls and plushies I needed to unload, but, it was enough to fill the table…


Continue reading “Crocheting While Otaku: My First Craft Fair Experience Pt. 1 – Selling in Person”

[OWLS Blog Tour] It Takes a Village: Four Phenomenal Anime Mentors

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another super special awesome OWLS Blog Tour! What’s that you say? You don’t know about OWLS? Well, for those of you new here, OWLS or Otaku Wariors for Liberty and Self-Respect is a group of bloggers, vloggers, and writers who seek to promote acceptance and equality through thoughtful community activism, with an otaku twist! Each month we decide on a theme and each member writes a post or records a video, on that theme through the lens of something from pop culture. We have been known to cover a wide range of topics, from anime and manga to video games and film, most subject matter is up for discussion so long as it fits with our monthly theme.  This month’s theme is Mentor!

Throughout our lives, we might have encountered someone that we admired as a role model or has guided us in some life dilemma. This mentor could be a teacher at school, a coach, a boss or team leader at work, or a family friend. Whoever it is that person impacted your life in a positive manner. For this month’s OWLS topic, we will be writing about mentors or mentorships in anime and other pop culture media. Some topics we will be exploring include how a mentorship impacted a main character’s life, the types of mentor relationships a person could have, and/or personal stories about mentors or mentorships.

July “Mentor” Blog Tour Prompt

I’m just one in a long line of Blog Tour stops this month, and I highly recommend checking them all out when you have the time. Just before me was Miandro from Miandro’s Side, with his awesome post about Detroit: Become Human.

I originally planned on writing about a specific mentor/mentee relationship, but, ultimately I just couldn’t decide on a single mentor/mentorship to discuss, so, I scrapped my original idea and decided to go in a different direction. Since there really isn’t a one size fits all mentor relationship, I figured why not discuss multiple types of mentors and the benefits of their methodologies. So, I picked four anime mentors that I felt best represented each of the four core mentor archetypes (which now that I think about it seems like more work on my part).


Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] It Takes a Village: Four Phenomenal Anime Mentors”

[OWLS Blog Tour] A Musician’s Pride: Finding Your Own Sound in Piano no Mori

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another super special awesome OWLS Blog Tour! What’s that you say? You don’t know about OWLS? Well, for those of you new here, OWLS or Otaku Wariors for Liberty and Self-Respect is a group of bloggers, vloggers, and writers who seek to promote acceptance and equality through thoughtful community activism, with an otaku twist! Each month we decide on a theme and each member writes a post or records a video, on that theme through the lens of something from pop culture. We have been known to cover a wide range of topics, from anime and manga to video games and film, most subject matter is up for discussion so long as it fits with our monthly theme.  This month’s theme is Pride!

In honor of “Pride Month,” we will be discussing the word, “Pride” and its meaning. We will be exploring pop culture characters’ most satisfying and joyful achievements or skills that they possessed and whether or not these qualities could be seen as a positive or negative aspect in their personal lives and/or society.

June “Pride” Blog Tour Prompt

I’m just one in a long line of Blog Tour stops this month, and I highly recommend checking them all out when you have the time. Just before me was  Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime, with her awesome post about Assassination Classroom.

Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] A Musician’s Pride: Finding Your Own Sound in Piano no Mori”

The Hero That Stole My Heart: Six Reasons Bakugo Katsuki is My Favorite Hero!

I’m not really a big fan of shounen anime, years of Naruto and Bleach kind of burned me out on the genre as a whole. But, recently I’ve found myself falling in love with shounen anime again and it’s thanks in part to My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia for you elitists out there)! I don’t know what it is about the series, but from the very first episode, this anime made me feel things. It brought back all the excitement and fun I had when I was new to the anime fandom, back when I was enamored with the shinobi in Naruto and the mamodos and bookkeepers of Zatch Bell!

My Hero Academia almost single-handedly restored my love of anime and it is for that reason I was moved to write about the series here on Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. But, rather than talking about the series as a whole, I’d like to shine a spotlight on my absolute favorite character: Bakugo Katsuki!

katsuki 2.png
Look at that smile! Doesn’t it just melt your heart?!

Katsuki is a character that has been very misunderstood, sure he’s a bit rough around the edges, but this hero-in-training stole my heart from the moment he was introduced! Who cares about Deku or Todoroki?! The only character I stand behind is Bakugo Katsuki, he is hands down my favorite character in the series!


Continue reading “The Hero That Stole My Heart: Six Reasons Bakugo Katsuki is My Favorite Hero!”

[OWLS Blog Tour] Falling in Love With My Best Friend: The Strength of Friendship in No. 6

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another super special awesome OWLS Blog Tour! What’s that you say? You don’t know about OWLS? Well, for those of you new here, OWLS or Otaku Wariors for Liberty and Self-Respect is a group of bloggers, vloggers, and writers who seek to promote acceptance and equality through thoughtful community activism, with an otaku twist! Each month we decide on a theme and each member writes a post or records a video, on that theme through the lens of something from pop culture. We have been known to cover a wide range of topics, from anime and manga to video games and film, most subject matter is up for discussion so long as it fits with our monthly theme.  This month’s theme is Squad!

“Although some people may like to be alone at times, we all have that one special friend or a squad of friends who we kick it and have some good laughs and fun with. However, there are friendships that don’t last a lifetime and usually, they end due to a falling out or a misunderstanding. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring some of the best friendships in anime and pop culture as well as the friendships that ended suddenly. We will talk about what a true friendship means to us, what we learned about ourselves and others through broken friendships, and our definitions of a “good friend.””

March 2018 “Squad” Blog Tour Prompt

I’m just one in a long line of Blog Tour stops this month, and I highly recommend checking them all out when you have the time. Just before me was my boy Takuto from Takuto’s Anime Cafe, with his beautiful post about my favorite sports anime series Haikyuu.

Our members have really outdone themselves this month with some phenomenal personal and pop culture inspired posts! This month I decided to look at the anime series, No. 6! Nothing says Best Friends 4 Lyfe, like overthrowing a longstanding dystopian society! Amiright?!

Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] Falling in Love With My Best Friend: The Strength of Friendship in No. 6”

[OWLS Blog Tour] How a Scoundrel from the Slums Became an Icon: The Rise and Fall of Joe Yabuki

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with my second OWLS Blog Tour post of the new year! What’s that you say? You don’t know about OWLS? Well, for those of you new here, OWLS or Otaku Wariors for Liberty and Self-Respect is a group of bloggers, vloggers, and writers who seek to promote acceptance and equality through thoughtful community activism, with an otaku twist! Each month we decide on a theme and each member writes a post or records a video, on that theme through the lens of something from pop culture. We have been known to cover a wide range of topics, from anime and manga to video games and film, most subject matter is up for discussion so long as it fits with our monthly theme.  This month’s theme is Competition!

In honor of the 2018 Winter Olympics, this month topic will focus on the theme, “Competition” because the Olympics is where athletes from all countries join together to compete in sporting events. Through these events, we see how “competition” brings out the grit, the teamwork, and the competitive spirit within athletes. This month, we will be exploring anime and pop culture media that discusses the good and the bad when it comes to competition and what it can teach us about ourselves and the world around us.

February 2018 “Competition” Blog Tour Prompt

I’m just one in a long line of Blog Tour stops this month, and I highly recommend checking them all out when you have the time. Just before me was Auri  from over at Manga Toritsukareru Koto, with her phenomenal post about Aoharu x Kikanjuu.

For this month’s tour I decided to go with the classic fighting anime Ashita no Joe, which just celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary back in January.  I absolutely love this series and it’s a damn shame that a series as influential as Ashita no Joe doesn’t get the attention it deserves! So I’m going to give this gem its time in the sun (again), by looking at the anime’s protagonist Joe Yabuki and how such a flawed individual managed to take the boxing world by storm!


Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] How a Scoundrel from the Slums Became an Icon: The Rise and Fall of Joe Yabuki”

[OWLS Blog Tour] Walking in Your Truth: The Nature of Change in Samurai Flamenco

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s a new year and with it comes a brand new OWLS Blog Tour! What’s that you say? You don’t know about OWLS? Well, for those of you new here, OWLS or Otaku Wariors for Liberty and Self-Respect is a group of bloggers, vloggers, and writers who seek to promote acceptance and equality through thoughtful community activism, with an otaku twist! Each month we decide on a theme and each member writes a post or records a video, on that theme through the lens of something from pop culture. We have been known to cover a wide range of topics, from anime and manga to video games and film, most subject matter is up for discussion so long as it fits with our monthly theme.  This month’s theme is Revival!

A new year implies “new beginnings.” Yet, rather than discussing the “new,” we will be discussing the “revival.” “Revival” has multiple definitions, but the meaning we will be focusing on is the improvement, development, or refinement of something. Our posts will be about characters that undergo a positive or negative transformation and what we can learn from them.

January 2018 “Revival” Blog Tour Prompt

I’m just one in a long line of Blog Tour stops this month, and I highly recommend checking them all out when you have the time. Just before me was Hazelyn from over at Archi-Anime, with her phenomenal post about Barakaman.

For this month’s tour I decided to go with Manglobe Studio’s Samurai Flamenco, by looking at the “lack” of character development of the protagonist Masayoshi Hazama and what that says about our reliance on change as a measure of the quality of one’s life.

Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] Walking in Your Truth: The Nature of Change in Samurai Flamenco”