Erased – Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi

This is an anime that i have just finished watching for the second time around. The first time i watched this series was in 2016, where one of my friends had suggested the anime to the group. I was so immature, and insecure about myself, i felt embarrassed to find something i had enjoyed so much. Even when i meet girls, i would never mention that i like to watch anime, because it always came across as something ” only nerds do”. But no, i wanted to be cool; to be accepted!

Anyway, onto this anime. Firstly, this is a phenomenal series. The story’s main protagonist named Satoru, a 29 year old who had suffered many losses due to a string of murders and abductions when he was 11 years old. Since these had happened, he feels an immense amount of regret, for not trying to save them. He has this ability, which allows him to predict when something terrible is about to happen, such as a kidnapping by a predator. He uses this to stop events from happening in the present. It is only when his mother is murdered, by the same man who murdered the children from way back then, that Satoru’s Revival ability sends him back into the body of his 11 year old self. Now he knows that he has a chance to save his classmates and friends: Kayo, Hiromi and Aya. This involves saving Kayo from her abusive mother, along with dealing with other intense situations.

What makes this story so powerful? The story follows Satoru; doing everything he can to change the course of the original timeline. He says in his 11 year old journal that he isn’t a hero, because he didn’t have the same close friends that his favourite hero. in the end, he realises he was a hero, and he made the close friends around him, by opening up to them; trusting them.

Some other notable characters in the anime is Kenya, another of Satoru’s closest friends. He is one of the only people to realise the change in the personality that Satoru has once he has done his first leap into the past. He trusts and believes Satoru, though the idea of a killer targeting children seems preposterous. He wants them both to become superheros; together. We also get backstory on his character, why he strives to find the truth about everything, after his father was looked down upon, for being unable to find the truth in his lawyer-profession.

Another one of my favourite characters was Kayo. She was heavily abused by her mother and her boyfriend, being constantly locked in the shed overnight, to freeze to death; with small rations of food and money to survive. Once Satoru steps in, his only goal is to get her to smile, to be happy. He successfully saves her from her terrible life, allowing her to have a bright future, having a family with Hiromi, who would have been another one of the victims.

Just putting it out there, Satoru’s mother is one of the greatest characters in anime, just saying.

The way this show ends is all too perfect. The killer is revealed to be Yashiro, the students homeroom teacher. He hates Satoru for stopping his killings, but can’t live without him. It is only once he lets go to Satoru, his true nature is shown to him. He is arrested, and Satoru gets to live, knowing he saved his friends. They all go on to live amazing lives, fulfilling their dreams. Satoru knows what he lost, his relationship with Airi, a girl who worked at the pizza place in the original timeline with him. She saved him from being arrested, after being framed for killing his mother. But, in the final scene, once Satoru has reflected on all that has happened, Revival appears one more time, in the presence of a blue butterfly; directing Satoru to Airi. He cries, knowing he now gets a chance to be with Airi, in the timeline where he won.

The best part, there is no season 2. The series ended perfectly, if they tried to extend it, the impact of the final episode would be for nothing. Satoru won, and became the hero he always wished he could be.

Be grateful for those you have around you, they make you stronger.

Story 4) A tear in reality

Sunday, October 7th.

Robert, the tall, lanky teenager, was strolling with his dog on their favourite walk. The menacing hills located by the sea was a spectacle to see. Rob seized the early mornings to take the opportunity to walk up these pillars, to get a slap of fresh air from the blue horizon.

On this day, he wanted to walk alone. The dog had not been feeling well, and Robert had just broken up with his girlfriend. He needed distance; time to be alone. He slowly climbed the hills, which to his surprise, were as dry as a desert although it had rained all night.

Upon reaching the summit, Robert was struck with a wave of refreshing water. This helped clear his mind over the stressful events that had happened in the past 24 hours.

Then, a pesky bee clung to the side of his jagged arm. It stabbed its needle into his skin, leading to a roar of pain from Robert. He tossed the insect over the hills, towards the water. He tried to pinch his skin, feeling the wince of the sting.

However, what he grabbed hold of was not his arm. He was pinching the sky. This was odd for Robert, he had never been able to pinch the sky before, hell nobody has been able to. With a second of hesitation, Robert clenched both hands onto the gap, pulling the tear apart. Lo and behold, there was a gap in the sky, a tear in the fabric of the universe. This was perplexing Robert, there was nothing beyond it, and nothing comprehensible to explain it.

So, Robert did what any normal person would do. He stuck his hand into the tear. Then all of his body was gone. Robert vanished into this tear. No search parties, no missing posters for the teenager ever appeared, because nobody remembered him. He was erased from reality. The only individual who remembered him, was his dog.

Productivity vs consumption

I was listening to a podcast a while ago, and i noticed a really good point that the hosts shared. It was all based around the idea above.

There is a debate, a conflicting balance upon how much we should consume, and how much we should produce. Take for example, a woman who works a 9-5 job. Now, the majority of the population would see the evening and the morning as times to prepare the body and mind for work, or sleep. It may include the consumption of the news, or watching a good show on Netflix to pass the time before going to bed. Many would not consider this time to produce content of their own.

However, it is important to make your own content. Take this blog as an example. Before i started it, i would constantly consume content; from YouTube and all social media. Never had i considered the possibility of making my own stories and posts. Since i began this journey, my mind has expanded, to think of new ideas, which expand my ideologies of the world, and myself.

Does this concept apply to everyone; not completely. For the majority, the consumption of Twitter, Facebook and Television can be a way of resting the brain. But, for those who want to pursue higher levels of greatness; in their career and in their passion projects, producing more than which you consume is the best method.

Produce on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram.

Write your own blog.

Read a business book to expand your knowledge of the financial world, and apply it.

There are many things you can do to produce. What could you make? The possibilities are endless.

Leaving things in the past.

This idea of moving on, and not letting the past dictate who you are, used to scare me. I didn’t think it was possible, or right to not think about shit that has happened in your life. Isn’t it the experiences you have the definition of you? If that is the case, you need your past to exist.

That is what i used to think, but i think my view has changed a little.

Moving on from your past, does not mean you abandon the events that led you to the situation that we call the present. Rather, moving on from the past means leaving the suffering and pain from events, whilst keeping the positives and lessons learned with you until your future.

I have written about myself and my Grandma before, and for a long time i remembered all the bad stuff i did. Yes, i was a lot younger, and did not understand the fragility of life, but i was a mean person. I lived in fear that my guilt will manifest into something big. Upon reflecting however, i realised i just wanted something to happen to me. I craved the attention of higher beings. Having a childhood, where you are absorbed into the lives of others; through YouTube vlogs and videos, plus television and online media, makes anything possible.

Now, i realised, that a lot has happened to me, yet i did not notice it. The friendships, the drama and the disagreements, are all large events that have happened to me in my life. Due to these being unoticed, i did not learn from them. I could feel myself being trapped in the past. The little boy, who wanted the world to listen to him, to fufil his desires, was angry. This made me feel isolated and upset, though it taught me a good lesson.

The little boy needs someone to hold him, to tell him that the world is listening. He just needed to take his hands off his ears and listen.

This someone is me.

For too long, i have lived if there were two people inside of me. One, who looked out and protected everyone, so they would not feel the same fear he felt everyday. The other is the little boy, who still dreams of the distant stars, and running with his friends. One is happy, the other is not.

These people must become one, if i am ever to move on in my life.

My advice to you, don’t run from your past, let yourself feel it, embrace it and be grateful that it happened. Grab the little child inside your heart, and hold them, so they know they are not alone.

You are not alone.

Cheerios

This idea has just popped into my head, but do you know how amazing Cheerios are? Compared to Weetabix, i believe Cheerios are the greatest cereal one can buy, i will explain in detail why i think so.

Firstly, the packaging is great for all users. There is always a little maze on the back of the box, which can be used to entertain the children whilst you each your Cheerios. There are often prizes to be won, that could only be found out by buying a packet of these scrumptious hoops. This benefits all users, and makes the experience more thrilling.

Secondly, the content inside. Unlike most other brands, Cheerios fills the cereal up to the top of the box. When i was younger, and we used to have Coco Pops, the box would only be filled three quarters of the way. With Cheerios however, you get more because you deserve more. Consequently, this puts a smile on all breakfast eaters who have it.

Next, there is the taste. My goodness, when you eat a Cheerio, it is almost like God came down and kissed you on the head. These taste delicious. I could happily sit down all day; just eating Cheerios. The mixture between the wholegrain and the honey taste makes the experience all the more exciting; which one will you eat next?

Finally, the shape of the Cheerio. I don’t know who came up with the design, but it was genius from day one. The texture is soft, easy to eat, and absorbs milk well. It is also just a nice sight to see in cereal, compared to the mundane rice-shaped breakfast others have. Spice up your breakfast, pop a banana in if you want to!

Overall, Cheerios is the greatest cereal ever known to mankind. If you have any suggestions for other cereals, please let me know.

This is by far the weirdest thing i have ever written, thank goodness for Cheerios

The Flash: A review

I have never written a proper review before, but this idea came into my mind, and i thought it sounded fun.

The Flash, a CW show that has been running since 2014. It follows the story of Barry Allen, a forensic scientist that gets struck by lighting in the particle accelerator incident. Join him and his friends as they fight crime, and confront other meta-humans.

That was the basic premise of season 1. It was the best season of them all. The story was simple and had an endpoint. The villain was executed extremely well, with the reverse flash being revealed slowly to the main cast, as they realised it was him who killed Barry’s mother.

There were a few issues though. The pacing in the first season seemed slow at times. It does not take over 23 episodes to build up to the big fight, when it could’ve been pulled off in half the time. The finale was a bit of a letdown in the end, Barry goes into this big singularity in the sky, yet it doesn’t lead to anything amazing in season 2 (other than the introduction of the villain). The romance between iris and Barry is weird, they are basically siblings after living with each other all their lives. Don’t worry, it is only step siblings!

Season 2, my favourite of the lot. The story surrounding Zoom, and the introduction of the multiverse boosted the story to the next level. It was really interesting to see how the team interacted with the story of Jay Garrick, and the new metas. However, there was an issue with the reveal of the identity, it was basically the same as last year’s big bad. It is quiet mundane, you could see it from a mile away. The finale was pretty cool, but was wrecked when flashpoint was created.

Season 3, a total shipwreck. I think the story really struggled to find its grounding, as in where it wanted to go with the story. The villain was Dr Alchemy, who suprise surprise, was another character that the team already knew. Then, they introduced this big CG villain Savitar, to be the main enemy of the series. He was pretty cool, and very OP, especially in the first fight. I think the writers noticed this, and then turned him down to be less powerful, especially in the final fight. Also, the whole story surrounding Iris’ death was just not great. We all knew they were not going to kill her, so why bother with the suspense? I mean in episode 22, it did look like they were going to kill her, but NOOOPE!

Savitar’s reveal, nobody knows…

Season 4, another example where the season premiere fixes any issue that was raised at the start of the last one. The villain was okay, the thinker was a nice change from the regular speedster the series clung to. Also, the introduction of characters such as Ralph made a very good addition to the team. I still don’t get why Catlin would be evil when turning to Killer Frost, it doesn’t work. Overall, it was an okay season, besides Iris suddenly being in charge of the team.

Season 5, back to the roots a bit more. The introduction of XS was a very good choice. Seeing her interact with members of the team, being a future daughter of Barry and Iris, was nice to see. Cicada was pretty bad though, it was a shame to see him die though, i doubt he will be remembered much. The reverse flash coming back was a nice surprise , as if we haven’t seen him enough already in previous seasons. His interaction with Nora was cool though, but her going into the negative speed force was god-awful. When she ‘died’ it was a good idea to do so, i don’t think they could have done much with her character.

Season 6, we are finally here. I really haven’t watched a full episode of the Flash in a long time. This season though, it has begun to find a better placing for the show’s theme. Bloodwork was a good villain, the story between him and the death of the speedforce was very cool to see. But, the only issue was how many times they alluded to Crisis on Infinite Earths. When you think about it, only Oliver and Earth 90 Flash ( to be fair, who cares about him) actually died, it wasn’t that much of a crisis. Once this was over, the villanous organisation of Black Hole was a good choice. Whilst we won’t get to see the full battle play out due to the stopping of production, it was a nice change of pace. Mirror Iris was boring, how did nobody notice for a while.

Overall, the Flash is an okay series. Maybe it is just me growing up, but when i was younger, it was all i could think about. As the show grew, my liking for it disappeared, which is quite sad; being apart of my childhood. Nevertheless, i am glad i watched it, and would rate it a 6.5/10.

I would give it a 7 if they ever gave Wally the respect he so desperately deserves.

#blacklivesmatter

With what was already going on in the world, the death of George Floyd a few days ago, has added to the spark which is the blacklivesmatter movement. The public resort to riots in situations where they feel ignored, and in this case it is shown. Prejudice and discrimination is highly present in our world still. It is 2020, this should not be happening, it should never have happened in the first place.

We can all wish for it to go away, but that won’t happen without action.

Support the people. There is only one race, the human race.

#blacklivesmatter

My time offline…

A couple of days ago, i said that i would be taking some time off the internet to have a break from it all. I said this with every intention, that i would find happiness and joy in doing different actions in everyday life, compared to the norm.

This did not go to plan.

So, the 1st day went pretty well. I woke up on time, feeling well rested from the night before ( no phone present). I had my breakfast, and took the dog for a walk; bringing my phone in case of an emergency. It was then that i encountered my first problem, my morning routine was all over the place. See, I use my phone for the workout apps, and as a timer for meditation. Without being able to use it, i found it difficult to exercise, and as a result i ended up exercising less than usual.

However, there was a benefit. I got really into one of the books i was reading. In the beginning, it was difficult to concentrate, but as i progressed, it became easier to direct all attention onto the book. We live our lives through the process of multitasking, that we forget it makes us less productive.

Another problem occured, i felt really bored. I never realised how much my phone takes my attention away from my everyday life. All of what i do is on my phone. Not being able to blog, or practice a new skill made life pretty difficult. Regrettably, i ended up going on my phone to fulfil this need, for a limited time.

Another benefit i did find is that i had free time in the evening. So, instead of sitting down and watching TV, i jumped in my car, and drove to a nearby forest; to have a walk. It was relaxing, i felt my imagination transpire past boundaries i thought was impossible. I felt very relaxed.

As the day came to an end, i realised that i had received a message from my boss, where i needed to be online. Again, i had to open my phone to transcribe an email. Besides this, the first day and a half was pretty successful.

As i come to the end now, i do not see this challenge as a failure. Technology has grown to have a larger influence in my life, than i had previously imagined. But, this is not all bad. I use services such as YouTube for entertainment, whilst still pursuing my writing and skill-building courses.

It is all about balance. You do not need to strip everything away from your life, but to keep the essentials that you value dearly. I will cut down my screen time ( using the Apple service ” Screen time” ) but continue to use my devices to improve myself as a person.

Your turn: What could you cut back on which is not adding value to your life?

Can’t believe we made it. Thanks to everybody for reading, more are on the way!!! – HJT

Boredom

I have had this feeling for the past couple of days now. I have done blog posts on this topic about a year ago, yet i have never experienced it like this.

When i get bored, i want to go on my computer, go onto YouTube, and watch videos to escape it all. This is because it passes the time, and allows me to consumer content whilst not having to pay for it, unlike other services such as disney plus and netflix. I am fearful, having time alone with myself because i don’t know what i will fill the day with. Will i go crazy, and watch the sun go by? Or will i discover a new passion, something i had never considered beforehand. Either way, this fear is daunting, calling me to a different purpose that i am hesistant to explore.

I completed a miniature detox earlier on this month. It was the happiest i had been in a while. It was great, to relax and enjoy being present in nature and the world around me, yet the days felt longer. Recently, i have been reading on my kindle a lot more, but i feel contorted to binge a book, to get through it as fast as possible ;just so i can know the ending, without appreciating the book for its values.

My blog on digital minimalism, was one of the most popular posts to date. The advice is very true, but it is very difficult to follow. Many bloggers outline the practical points readers should follow, but do not detail the difficulties which follow.

It is time that i try to follow my own advice. For the next two days, i am going offline. No Phone, No internet, and no laptop. The only device i will have is my kindle, where i can read books. I will have my phone on me, in case of emergencies, but nothing more.

My next post will outline what i did, and how it felt to do the detox. I hope others join me in this daring adventure!