Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ep. 13 - Tracing a Path

This episode analysis(musing) contains spoilers.  This episode analysis skims over topics and doesn't go into huge detail because each detail is really worth it's own post.  This analysis does not cover every detail to analyze but ones that I have chosen to discuss.  Also, these are my opinions and nothing official.  You do not have to accept or agree with any of this.

"Egakareru kiseki" 
June 25, 1997

You know what we haven't heard in a while? The princess story of how Utena's parents are dead and she met the prince. Better remind everyone and show this AGAIN.  How hetero this story is when she didn't vow to become a prince because of him, but to save her.

Shadow Girls in Space!  They talk about how she might think she's done dueling but there is more to come.  Also they get reaped away by a mysterious third Shadow Girl.  Introducing, C-Ko!!!

Inside the Kiryuu mansion, we see Nanami observing her brother in a room listening to his egg statement on repeat.  He thought he had it.  His reason to duel that he carried such belief in.  How could he lose?  Brooding for thirteen episodes begins now!

Enter Akio.  I like how the angles and such give illusion to him traveling to the castle because later on we see that range setting is only illusion to which he can change.  So really he just goes there and visits the dormant prince of his former self.  

"Is the egg's she'll still unbroken?" Almost implies that Touga should have one because it is "needed" to have the world's shell broken now.  Why else would Akio be over here talking about it with Utena's beloved prince figure.  Oh what it must be like once again to watch it and think you've found Utena's prince and that he'll return.

Introducing the stained glass pieces!  Akio talks about Utena winning the seventh duel, self, as an accomplishment.  I get the feeling from that dialogue that not every duelist who wins can make it that far.  She's accomplished enough for him to make note of what she's done.

Now really and truly, this episode is one of those recap episodes but this is Utena.  Akio's commentary is quite important as we review on what has happened so far.  We're also treated to all of the dueling songs played so far so that's nice.

We jump from discussing duel seven to her first duel.  Akio implies that the prince felt hope.  I think it was more Akio that did but he passes those feelings to his repressed self instead of identifying them as his anymore.  He doesn't hope, that's a childhood quality that he shook away years ago therefor it must be Dios that feels hope.

The duel of choice reinforces what we saw earlier, Utena went from dueling for a friend to actually choosing to defend the Rose Bride.  I wonder if Saionji was on duel conviction when he was defeated by Utena. Utena's duel of choice was probably his duel of self if the pattern she walks is the pattern same for all.  What if Saionji had won his duel of self?   

I don't think this reflection reveals the favor has always been toward Utena.  It might have been slight to start but after she knocked Saionji out for the second time, it was ensured that he no longer would walk the path of the duelist but that Utena should be focused on.  Personal opinion here.  Also note how Akio presents himself in every stained glass, demonstrating that he has been involved in each of these duels so far.

Watching Nanami drown the cat again has me thinking about her deal with animals.  She never got over what she did.  Not only does it weigh heavy on her mind, but she made it a point to become heavily involved with animals as she grew up almost as if to atone for what she did.  To care for and relate to animals for her childhood mistake.  Well, she didn't mistakenly push the cat in but she clearly regrets having done it.

As Akio leaves, Dios actually shifts position as though watching him go.  With Anthy by his side.  Is Dios looking to Akio or Anthy?  Both maybe?  What has their life become from what it once was...

"How will she do in the duels to come?"  Yup, you guessed it.  We aren't done dueling yet!  And these duels coming are some real fun!  

Anthy returns home and Utena asks where she's been. No answer but a smile.  Oh, I've just been out with my older brother talking about how we're grooming you to unlock Dios.  It's all good.  No plotting or backstabbing going over here.  Noooooo.....

"The clouds are rolling in quickly."  Also read as, "new duels are coming."  See, I totally told you what to expect.  I love the visuals that we are treated to at the end.  Everything that sets the stage for the Black Rose duelists.  They're coming!

Can I help?

Screenshots from the lovely

Friday, May 30, 2014

One Year Anniversary

New blog layout?
Throwback Thursdays?
What's the deal?
This Tuesday was the anniversary of my creating this blog.  The original intent was crafts and recipes but as time went on, it morphed into housing education and anime discussions as well.

What does the next year hold in store for blogging?
I'm still looking at how exactly I'd like to execute the art contest, but I'm also looking into separating the educational resources from this blog and re-posting them to another blog.  This will probably occur after I have finished posting the GELDS so you have some time yet.  No worries.

It's been a great year!  This blog has gone from earning barely enough to make a call on a pay phone to almost being able to pay for our monthly Netflix fees.  You all, my readers, have been great this year!  Putting up with all sorts of this and thats as I blog.

I have learned a variety of social media this last year and maybe I will concur Instagram this year.  I've gone from being confused by hashtags to understanding their function within the social media realm.  I still am not entirely a huge fan of Twitter even after becoming more familiar with it.  I don't understand how people still use it enough for it to be one of the main social medias but that's personal opinion.

Thank you all for a wonderful year.  I look forward to another year of fun blogging and self-improvement!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


SED3 – The child will begin to demonstrate self-control.
SED3.4d Manages transitions and adapts to changes in schedules and routines independently. 
WSO: Manages transitions.

Activities: Guest Speakers, Field Trips, and School Assemblies.  These are just a few things that can occur to shift your schedule.  Talk with students about what activities will be missed and how your schedule will shift to prepare them for the day.

Manipulative Schedules.  Daily schedules posted eye-level with students which feature picture cues can help students know what will occur next.  Making a manipulative piece to move from activity to activity with your students can help them prepare for what's next in their academic day.

What Happens Next?  This game can be made using duplicate picture cues from your daily schedule.  Students draw a card and identify which daily activity they see.  Once identified, they search to find the activity that comes after to place in sequential order. 

Books: I'll Always Come Back by: Steve Metzger
Wembley Worried by: Kevin Henkes

Schedule and routine are important for students' ability to manage transitions.  When students know what will come next in schedule, they feel comfortable in changing from one activity to the next.


CLL9 – The child will use writing for a variety of purposes.
CLL9.4a Draws pictures and copies letters and/or numbers to communicate.
WSO: Represents ideas and stories through pictures, dictation, and play.

Activities: Observations. Documenting seed growth or other such scientific activities are great opportunities for writing.

Journals.  Having enough journals for each student to record events, thoughts, and feelings.

Word cards and labels.  Word cards and labels give students words that they may copy into their journals or observations.

Books: Class-Made and Student-Made books.  These books are perfect for students to demonstrate their ability to communicate.


CD-MA7 – The child will use mathematical problem solving, reasoning, estimation and communication.
CD-MA7.4c Uses reasoning skills to determine the solution to a mathematical problem and communicates why. 
WSO: Begins to make sense of problems and uses simple strategies to solve them.

Activities: Counting Mats.  Number mats can be printed for students to place corresponding manipulatives on the mat.  Students can communicate how many they need to place on the mat or how many more manipulatives they might need to reach their numeric goal.

Books: Little Quack by: Lauren Thompson


CD-CR4 – The child will use dramatic play to express creativity.
CD-CR4.4d Participates in dramatic play to express thoughts, feelings and creativity. 
WSO: Participates in creative movement, dance, and drama.

Activities: Today I Am...  Have a variety of props on the table for students to express how they feel today.  
It Happened Last Night. Students play within dramatic play area "recreating" their home environments.

Books: Ish by: Peter Reynolds
I Wish That I Had Duck Feet by: Dr Seuss

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Monster of the Week: Sailor Moon 5 & 6

Ep5 - Iguara
Type - Youma
Sent by -Jadeite 
Defeated by - Moon Tiara Action

Disguised as a pet shop owner, she sells these creatures called Chanela that emit a perfume that enrapts people while the Chanela channels the person's energy.  The only thing the person with a Chanela cares about it the Chanela.

Half-moon.  Points for capturing Usagi's interest and enslaving her for a short stint.  Using cute animals to capture people's energy was smart.

Ep6 - Kyurene
Type - Youma
Sent by -Jadeite 
Defeated by - Moon Tiara Action

Disguised as ... a human woman, she tried to plant this cassette in a tape player at a recording studio to infect the recording device to include subliminal energy stealing waves into everything recorded using it.  She gets interrupted by a musician's love interest delaying her plan.

Old moon.  Beautiful design but not very effective..  She's got a cool sonar blasts and lengthy nails but never even gathers a bit of energy.

Monday, May 26, 2014

No Means No

When my daughter was younger, she didn't often like to pass out hugs.  I used to try and work with her on being more open to giving hugs when leaving people. Then I read this blog post.

But there's more to appreciating a child's desire.  Sometimes children want to play alone but a friend wishes to join.  Telling the friend "no" doesn't make them terrible.  Maybe they just don't want to play right now.  Maybe they want to finish what they are doing in solitary play before involving another friend.  Don't force, no means no.

If we can't teach our children that it is okay for them to set personal boundaries, that we support those boundaries, and that we expect others to respect those boundaries then what are we setting them up for?  
But I Want... a hug, a goodbye kiss, etc.
Kids can poke and prod and test their limits.  There will be many times in early childhood years where students will badger and press other adults and peers.  Those are prime opportunities to teach developing minds to respect the boundaries of others.  It's okay to want those things but if the person you want those from is not open to that, why should we force our children to do it?  

This weekend we saw a burst on twitter with the hashtag #yesallwomen in response to the shootings that took place Friday.  We can begin a change with our youth.  It isn't simply about letting our children know that if they don't want to hug or play that that is okay, but also to the child not receiving the hug that it is okay.  Hugs and kisses aren't something to steal from your kids, we don't want to teach stealing physical affection from others.

It's about teaching respect for each other and for boundaries.  About teaching comfort and confidence in announcing your boundaries.  Regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, and more.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


SED3 – The child will begin to demonstrate self-control.
SED3.4c Regulates a wide range of impulses.
WSO: Manages transitions.

Activities: Conductor.  Like the conductor of the band, when you make your arms move a certain way then there is silence.  Students work the same way.  One conductor raises their hands and the other students make all of the noise they wish but when the conductor waves their hands, everyone must become silent.

Red Light, Green Light.  Much like conductor only instead of sounds, it is movement.

Freeze.  Incorporates both noise and movement.

Books: I'm in Charge of Me by: David Parker


CLL8 – The child will demonstrate awareness of print concepts.
CLL8.4e Identifies the front, back, top and bottom of a book. Points to the title of familiar books or stories and where to begin reading a story. 
WSO: Shows appreciation and understanding of books and reading.

Activities: Story Chart.  On chart paper write three columns: title, author, illustrator.  Students pick books from around the room to place in the chart.

Author/Illustrator.  This is a multi-day activity. This first day, you work with your group of authors.  Depending on their ability, some students might be able to copy word cards on pages of a blank book while some might recquire to dictate their story to you.  Day two, students go through the stories of their peers with your assistance and illustrate these stories.

Books: Any book can have this as long as you take time to identify the parts of the book as you prepare to read.


CD-MA7 – The child will use mathematical problem solving, reasoning, estimation and communication.
CD-MA7.4b Uses simple strategies to solve mathematical problems and communicates how he/she solved it.
WSO: Begins to make sense of problems and uses simple strategies to solve them.

Activities: How Many?  This game can be played using any small group game.  When you set up for your activity for small group, don't pack enough items for each student in the group.  When you are short a certain number, have a student get however many more you need.

Books: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by: Eric Litwin


CD-CR4 – The child will use dramatic play to express creativity.
CD-CR4.4c Represents a character by using voice inflections and facial expressions.
WSO: Participates in creative movement, dance, and drama.

Activities: Boom Chicka Boom.  Boom Chicka Boom and various other echo chants can be repeated in various vocal inflections with students.  Have students offer suggestions of types of voices to try together.

Punchinello.  Punchinello is a "do as I do" song where you do something silly and have students mirror it back.  You can switch off turns of who is Punchinello.

Books: Bye Bye Big Bad Bully Bug by: Ed Emberly (give different inflections for itty bugs and big bugs)
Kiss Me, I'm Perfect! by: Robert Munsch

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Monster of the Week: Sailor Moon 1-4

Ep1 - Morga
Type - Youma
Sent by -Jadeite 
Defeated by - Moon Tiara Action

Disguised as Naru's mother, Morga tries to siphon energy from jewelry store patrons through the jewelry.  This monster of the week also appears in the manga.

Half-moon.  She's our staple introductory villain and gets the odango scream attack used on her.

Ep2 - Baum
Type - Youma
Sent by - Jadeite
Defeated by - Moon Tiara Action

Disguised as a fortune teller, she would implant The Devil card into her victims causing them to become delinquent.  Whenever they would start doing bad things, their energy would siphon from them.  


Waning Gibbous. She's a fortune-teller who was censored from the English dub release originally.

Ep3 - Flau
Type - Youma
Sent by - Jadeite
Defeated by - Moon Tiara Action
Disguised as a radio station manager, she would mail brooches to people who wrote love letters to the radio show.  These brooches would siphon energy from the wearer. 

Waxing Crescent. She sat back in the shadows while Jadeite did the radio show.  She even knocked out quick so Sailor Moon and Jadeite could hash it out a bit.  Points for dodging the tiara for Sailor Moon to pull back though.

Ep4 - None

Monday, May 19, 2014

Summer of the Moon

Do you know? Did you hear?  This year is all about some Sailor Moon.  Why is that?

Wow, twenty years of some amazing Sailor Moon.  So what has this year been giving us as we approach the anniversary date?  

New merchandise!  All kinds of new official merchandise has been coming out.  I love the Neptune and Uranus henshin pens btw but there are plenty more amazing items on the official website and more.

Sailor Moon Crystal!  This is a new anime series that is supposed to follow with the manga that begins live streaming this summer.  It also has a musical going on too.

Sailor Moon is being officially rereleased for North American consumers beginning today!  Not only that but is being redubbed by a voice cast approved by Naoko herself with no censoring or name changes.

There's going to be a lot of Sailor Moon-ing going on this year.  If you never yet gave it a shot, this is the year to try.  I'm gonna go watch some Sailor Moon now. If you want me to continue blogging about Sailor Moon, just let me know in the comments!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ep. 12 - For Friendship, Perhaps

This episode analysis(musing) contains spoilers.  This episode analysis skims over topics and doesn't go into huge detail because each detail is really worth it's own post.  This analysis does not cover every detail to analyze but ones that I have chosen to discuss.  Also, these are my opinions and nothing official.  You do not have to accept or agree with any of this.

"Tabun yūjō no tame" 
June 18, 1997
Duel theme: soi - Self
Duel song:  Nanibito mo Kataru Koto Ari

For the longest time, I only had Utena in the form of the first three VHS tapes (the first tape not being mine but available to rent from blockbuster).  I was always curious for this episode in seeing online art of Utena in her school uniform.  
I hate it on her when I watch the episode.  She doesn't wear it and still carry herself as usual.  She is broken when she wears it.  Touga broke her verbally after taking Anthy.  " the end you were just a girl." "Well, this is a good chance for you to be a normal girl, isn't it?"
She was already in a low spot and he kicked her further making her believe that she should wear the uniform and change her behavior.  

After this, Utena is absent from class so Wakaba comes to the dorm to check on her dear friend.  I can't stop praising Wakaba's friendship enough and in this episode she busts her butt to raise her friend back up.  
Also, Utena is out after the dissolving of her and Anthy's relationship.  After Wakaba's public humiliation in this first episode, Wakaba didn't take a day out but showed right back at school anyway. I think Utena's actions here shock Wakaba in that she expected Utena to be stronger than her.  Plus, Wakaba really has been neglected and unseen while being the best friend alone for so long.  Utena didn't even come to her for help but closed herself away and doesn't open up even when she gets out of the dorm.  This is just a part of what gets under Wakaba's skin that makes her such a powerful duelist in the next arc.

Utena doesn't turn Wakaba away when she knocks.  She invites her in immediately.  This is a small acknowledgment of how connected those two are.  We see Shiori and Juri in a similar position later in the series and the interaction is much different. 

I love how Wakaba doesn't directly attack the elephant in the room.  She tries to diagnose Utena, calls her a goof off, then "oh yeah, where's Anthy?"  She knows Anthy was gone from the start with the tape over her name outside the dorm but doesn't address it head-on.  Utena, of course, doesn't really divulge on what happened or why she missed class.  She won't even look at Wakaba, hiding the truth even further from her best friend.  

Wakaba notices a tear in Utena's uniform.  Oh no!  She even offers to fix it for Utena who declines to wear a spare she has.  The regular girls' uniform.  

Everyone talks about how good it looks on her.  She doesn't look good in it though.  She holds her head down, she lacks the confidence and more that she had and it shows even more clearly with her in that uniform.  Wakaba expresses her distaste for it in the way she addresses how others feel about the uniform.  

Utena actually seems to catch her step and stride, stepping ahead of Wakaba but is immediately stopped in her tracks by the sound of Anthy's voice telling her good morning.  Wakaba picks up on Utena being pulled back down by this exchange and immediately sets to trying to cheer Utena up.  

Touga is such a, guh.  Going to hold a student council meeting, make everyone come up the elevator and mess, just to announce that he is now the one engaged to the Rose Bride.  Juri asks how he won implying that he couldn't by skill alone and must have utilized manipulation as well.  Him saying that the prince and princess should end up together in the end rubs Juri and you can see it in her "we haven't reached the last scene yet."  She's thinking internally about her feelings and Miki responds in his as well.  

Wakaba is done pussy-footing and tries addressing the issue head-on with Utena.  Utena only sits silently giving no response.  Then Touga appears in the middle of this with Anthy by his side.  Touga compliments Utena on her girls uniform, asks her on a date, and wraps his arm around her all in front of Wakaba as if she wasn't just there talking to this person.  Wakaba is bothered by Utena's compliance during all of this as Touga continues to move his hands over Utena, manipulating her movements for her.

Wakaba finally breaks in and stands up for her friend herself by throwing a glass of water at Touga who conveniently steps aside, dousing Anthy in water.  At first, Wakaba is apologetic because she honestly didn't mean to get Anthy wet and she used to hang with Anthy in Utena's company but then retracts her apology saying that it really was Anthy's fault.  Not just for simply standing there but because Wakaba is just as upset with Anthy for breaking Utena down like this. 

This is finally something Utena reacts to.  She gets up and defends Anthy even though she isn't hers to defend anymore.  Wakaba is actually quite pleased that Utena has finally reacted because it means that she has finally reached her to begin pulling Utena back up again.  

Utena finally begins to open to Wakaba after this.  "You wouldn't understand.."  This is your best friend, the girl who a guy stomped on her heart in episode one, this girl can get it even if she doesn't have the whole story!  

On the student council deck, Anthy has tea while Touga is on the phone with a potential hook up.  He hangs up and leaves Anthy alone on the deck with the order of "wait for me here."  He doesn't say that absent-mindedly like Utena might have.  He knows that as Rose Bride she will comply.  So now she is left there, cannot leave, alone with Chu-Chu.
We see her imagine the image of Utena sitting across the table smiling at her, but Anthy's expression doesn't change.  

Utena catches up to Wakaba and begins to apologize before Wakaba cuts her off. "You can't just end this by apologizing." Wakaba doesn't want the day's events to get swept under a carpet.  She wants to keep moving her friend forward.  She admits that she doesn't fully understand what is going on but that she does understand that Utena isn't herself right now.  She might not know why or for what reasons but she knows that clearly this is upsetting her friend.  So then why keep doing it?  Take yourself back!

Utena finally gets it and begins an apology that Wakaba doesn't stop because it isn't an apology to end things but something sincere.  Utena kisses Wakaba on the forehead and moves on to challenging Touga in Anthy's presence.  Anthy and Touga clearly express shock to this.

Ah!  A-Ko and B-ko's farewell!  The Shadow Girls discuss normality before packing in a UFO and flying off!  What is normal and who is it for?  Find your normal and run with it!

Utena climbs the stairs for the first time NOT to Zettai Unmei Mokushiroku with Juri's sword in tow.  Some people think their are hidden implications to Juri offering her sword in this duel but I think it is more expressing how the other student council members feel toward Touga.  You could see it in their faces earlier as he flaunted possession of the Rose Bride.  

Immediately the duel starts differently as Touga showcases to Utena something the Rise Bride could do to amplify the sword's ability that she had never seen before.  Though the way the Rose Bride interacts with the sword in this sequence seems oddly sexual.  She slowly brings the sword to her lips then gently reaches to her mouth after, Utena even turns away during it.  With a flick of the wrist he blows out a wall with this sword.  

Anthy's thoughts during this are interesting and if you want a true reveal into Anthy, then this is it.  "She can't win". "I pity her."  "I hope it will end quickly."  These are your insight into the Rose Bride.  

Utena breaks Juri's sword against the sword of Dios and most of her clothing becomes torn.  We continue to get insight to Anthy as she questions why Utena even bothers knowing that she could die.  "It's over Utena.  I've seen this many times before.  I know what this is." She's even got a slight smile to her.  Goodness woman.  Once she realizes that Utena is fighting for her and herself, she shatters and so does the strength that she applied to the sword.  

Nothing looks cooler than Utena holding Juri's broken sword in those tattered clothes.  Not just because she looks BA but because of her confidence and how she carries herself in that moment.  Whole and complete.

Come on, let's just go home.

Screenshots from the lovely except for one of them that I capped myself (Touga talking to Utena at the end of their first duel).