Author: Rachele

Normally for Valentine’s Day, I would think to write about my favorite anime couples – actual canon couples. However, I thought it would be cool to write about a few of my favorite ships instead. Love that may or may not be canon, but it could be in my head. So, that’s what matters at this point.

I collaborated with Kat and we came up with a random list from some of our favorite anime. Unfortunately we couldn’t include them all, but hey it’s only February. There’s plenty of time to talk about others in the future.

1. Touka Kirishima and Ken Kaneki – Tokyo Ghoul

Touka and Kaneki

Why? – Touka and Kaneki are more or less wishful thinking but I see something there. It seemed evident that Touka had feelings for Kaneki especially around the time he was kidnapped and the time he left Anteiku. She never truly gave up on him even when at times he seemed to have given up on himself.

2. Hiyori Iki and Yato – Noragami/Noragami Aragoto

Hiyori saved Yato

Why? – How can you not want to see Hiyori and Yato together? Yeah he’s probably a few hundred years older than her, but he’s a god. Age is probably relative for him. These two clearly care for each other. Hiyori puts her life at risk on a regular basis to be with Yato. Plus he has a fear of being forgotten by her. Not just because he’ll lose his life but he’ll lose her. If that’s not love . . . Add in Yukine and they are a cute little happy family.

3. Tsukimi Kurashita and Kuranosuke Koibuchi – Princess Jellyfish

Tsukimi and Kuranosuke_common destiny

Why? – Tsukimi and Kuranosuke were strangers that developed a good friendship. By the time the anime series ended there was a possibility for love to bloom. They were good for each other. Kuranosuke brought Tskumi out of her shell and she exposed him to something other than being rich, partying, and rebelling against his father. In addition, Kuranosuke established a bond with Tsukimi’s friends and helped them take small steps out their own shells. In spite of Tsukimi’s growing crush on his brother Shu, Kuranosuke slowly developed feelings that were beyond that of just friends. What I loved most, is the fact that Kuranosuke made an effort to help Tsukimi become “prettier” to impress Shu; but he himself grew to have feelings for her as she was . .  . sweats and thick rimmed glasses and all.

4. Alibaba Saluja and Morgiana – Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

Morgiana and Alibaba

Why? Main protagonist’s aside, their bond is strong. Morgiana is a character that shows her devotion to Alibaba, but doesn’t quite understand what it is that she’s feeling. Alibaba is as clueless as a fish in a bucket, but I’m sure he’ll figure out his feelings at some point when the third season of the anime airs (he already has in the manga).

5. Gajeel Redfox and Levy McGarden – Fairy Tail

Gajeel and Levy_boat ride

Why? – I could write a whole article on Fairy Tail ships alone. The possibilities are endless. Before Gajeel came on the scene, I was quietly rooting to Jet and Levy. I love a series that gives you a chance to ship minor characters. Plus there was that brief moment when I leaned towards Gajeel and Juvia; but that lasted about 2 ½ seconds. Gajeel is the gruff and muscular type, who cares about people but his tough exterior makes others think otherwise. That time when he saved Levy from Laxus’ stray lighting shot was a straight arrow to the heart.

There are so many more, but I’m going to wrap it up here. I think we should do something like this on a regular basis; with anime and other fandom ships.

Do you have any favorite ships? We’d love for you share them with us. Tell us about your favorite ship on our Tumblr, Facebook, Google+ or in the comments of this post.

We’re happy to have your opinion, but we’re not into ship wars. Keep in mind these are the opinions of two individuals; we are not speaking for a group, a fandom or the anime creators. This is just good fun and wishful thinking.

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Spoiler Warning: I tried not to spoil, but I slipped up here and there. So be warned.

If you have not watched GANGSTA., you seriously have . . . not . . . lived.

GANGSTA. is by far one of the best anime I’ve watched. And I watch a lot of anime. It’s one of those shows I’d watch over and over.

If you like anime with intriguing storylines, fantastic art, superb animation, and an amazing soundtrack, GANGSTA. is the series for you. A little disclaimer: I watched the dubbed version as it streamed on Funimation. The dub cast is outstanding. I tip my hat and curtsy to them all.

This anime is based on an ongoing manga series written and illustrated by Kohske, which I’ve just started reading. So far the manga is great. But for now, I’ll focus on the anime.  By the way, Kohske is a woman. Why did I need to point that out? Just because. We gals love anime and manga just as much as guys. In the male dominated industry, it’s really satisfying to know one of your favorites is written by a woman. Anyhoo, back to business.

Where do I begin?

The Music. You can always find good music in anime. GANGSTA., (like Blood Blockade Battlefront, Samurai Champloo, and Cowboy Bebop) knocked it out of the park with the soundtrack. The opening song, the ending, and everything in between are fantastic. Renegade, the opening by Stereo Dive Foundation is quite literally my jam. I don’t know about anyone else, but it makes me want to dance. Yori no Kuni by Annabel is the perfect ending for the show. There’s also With You, a beautiful song performed by the voice actress for Alex Benedetto, Mamiko Noto. This song alone is worth watching episode 8 . . . scratch that, it’s worth it to watch the entire series. Anyway, bravo to the person in charge of choosing the music.

The Storyline

Who doesn’t love a good story about gangsters, bad cops, pimps, prostitutes, and a slew of seedy characters? I’m not alone, right? I mean in the first episode, the cops hire the main characters to kill a pimp/drug dealer and his entire gang. That’s got to be the start of something great. Am I right? Of course I am.

The story is about Nic and Worick, two Handymen living in Ergastulam. When the police need a job done, but they don’t want to get their hands dirty, they call the Handymen. A mafia family needs to handle a delicate situation that they want to keep mum from the other mafia families, they call the Handymen. Nic and Worick live in the gray area and cross blurred lines for a living. Are they good guys or bad guys? Heroes or anti-heroes? Are they hitmen or cleaners? I would say all of the above, but I personally don’t see them as bad guys. Yes, they mercilessly kill without any qualms or regrets. But, it’s a job. Plus they are killing people that would kill them and are threats to society, people they care about, and their way of life. So, no . . . they are not bad guys.

From the first episode, GANGSTA. gives you great action and drama. You know, that edge of your seat kinda stuff. And it maintains that throughout the entire series.


The main characters are Worick Arcangelo, Nicolas Brown, and Alex Benedetto. As I mentioned before, Nic and Worick are the Handymen; they do “jobs” for the police and the four mafia families. Alex is a recently, former prostitute that works for the Handymen answering phones and running the occasional errand.

Side note: I ship Nic and Alex. I know I probably shouldn’t because I don’t know what the future holds for Nic; but I can’t help myself. Manga readers, please don’t spoil it for me.

Anyway, Alex and the Handymen live in Ergastulum. This place must be the underbelly of society; people seem to get killed on a daily basis, there are four mafia families in residence, crooked cops, prostitutes, pimps, hired killers, and other criminals. On top of that everyone keeps warning Alex to get out while she can. Clearly the residents of Ergastulum think they live on the outskirts of hell, or pretty close.

Nicolas Brown

Nic is a Twilight and former mercenary. Twilights are children and descendants of users of the drug Celebrer. As a Twilight, Nick has some superior abilities that make him stronger and a better fighter than most. Those abilities come with serious drawbacks. One being, Twilights have to take Celebrer, which basically keeps them alive. Another drawback is they have a short lifespan. Twilights don’t usually live past their early 30’s. This may not apply to Nic because, although his mother was a Twilight his father wasn’t. So his lifespan may be a little longer. (I snuck a peak at the wikia without spoiling it for myself). I stress Nic’s life may be longer; it may not. Nic typically overdoses on Celebrer during fights. One of the side effects of overdosing is a shortened lifespan. Hence, the fear my ship is doomed before it sets sail.

Twilights are also known as Tags. They wear dog tags similar to those in the military. These dog tags are imprinted with pertinent information about each individual. Tags are ranked based on there strength and skill level. Nic is an A/0, the highest rant. Of course he is.

The sight of Nic’s tags scared the hell out of Barry.

Nic is a sweetheart. He insisted on saving Alex from her loser pimp, Barry, and he helped her when she struggled with her medication. He is always good with Nina, the 12 year old that helps in the local clinic. And he was there when Worick needed him most. Aside from being the lovable half of my OTP, Nic is a true badass in a fight. Start a fight with him if you dare, but write your will first, because Nic takes no prisoners and he enjoys a good brawl.

Guns blazing everywhere, bullets flying in the air, here comes Nic with his katana. Yes, I said katana. Move over Michonne, Nicolas Brown is in the house. Did I mention he is deaf? Nic is kicking asses and taking names but he doesn’t hear them coming. He doesn’t have to. That’s how hardcore he is. Now according to Galahad, another Twilight, overdosing on Celebrer gives Nic an upper hand on his opponents. I’m good with that except for the fact that he’s probably killing himself. –Tears- I don’t want him to die.

Worick Arcangelo

Worick, Nic’s friend, partner, brother from another mother (and father) and comrade in arms is a Normal; a regular human without the abilities of the Twilights. Worick is the epitome of cool; a care-free, wise-cracking, cigarette smoking badass. I was looking for another word for badass and came up with renegade…which is the name of the opening song. Hmmm. Very interesting. Worick may be cool as the other side of the pillow but he’s nobody’s pushover. Barry can attest to that.

Worick and Nic have known each other since childhood. Nic was a mercenary assigned as Worick’s (then known as Wallace) bodyguard. He didn’t always like Nic. He had a problem with him being a quiet person. He didn’t realize Nic was hearing-impaired. But they grew on each other. Wallace taught Nic to read and Nic protected him. They were there for each other when they needed it most.

Wallace {Worick} and Nic were both victims of child abuse. Wallace bought Nic from his father to save him, and Nic killed Wallace’s father. Nice trade-off. When they got older Worick got work as a gigolo in a brothel and Nic got work with the Monroe Family, one of the four mafia families in Ergastulum. Worick still has a client he sees every now and then. Plus he can always find work at the brothel, if he wanted.

Although Worick is not a Twilight, he isn’t really your average human. He has hyperthymesia, an extraordinarily detailed autobiographical memory. This works to his advantage when helping the police identify maimed bodies of murder victims. The people are so severely brutalized, they need Worick to identify them based on minor details that only he would notice. Let’s chew on that for a moment. There are truly some wicked people in Ergastulum. Although his amazing memory works well for the police, it keeps Worick from being able to work directly for the mafia families. Apparently having a person with his ability to memorize everything is more of a threat than a somewhat violent Twilight like Nic. Hmm. Perhaps it is.

I love the relationship between Worick and Nic. They have a great dynamic. Like bickering siblings yet they always have each other’s back. It seems like every other episode Worick is yelling at Nic for wearing his shirt or the other way around. Their rapport is a great diversion from what could potentially be a pretty somber series. Feels are great but sometimes we viewers need lighthearted interactions and humor between the shock and tears. I don’t know about anyone but I can’t cry through almost every episode of the show I’m watching. Can anyone say Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Now we have our prostitute turned secretary, Alex. I like her. I have to point that out because it seems like I don’t always like the girl in the group. At least that’s what my daughter and sisters tell me. I was half expecting her to be the unnecessary T & A girl of the show. I was immediately proven wrong.

She started off with this damsel in distress vibe. Well, her pimp was beating her a lot; so she did need to be saved. However, she can really hold her own, ask Barry’s corpse. She’s a good fit with the Handymen (especially Nic). Oh . . . pardon my shipper’s heart.

Alex Benedetto

Alex is the happy medium with the Handymen. She’s not has serious as Nic but not as laidback as Worick. Maybe because she’s not 100% sure she’s in with them (she is, but she doesn’t realize it). From the moment Alex started working with the Handymen, she tried to find her place with them. She always shows concern for them and looks out for their well-being. It’s obvious that she cares for them. Not necessarily in a romantic way, which doesn’t matter. One of my favorite things about her, is she took the time to learn sign language. Nic reads lips, but she wanted to communicate with him the way he prefers to communicate. That’s a very nice gesture. Plus, it means she’s there for the long haul. She’s committed to being part of the Handymen’s crew.

Life has dealt her some pretty crappy cards. She went to Ergastulum thinking Barry the pimp was going to help her. Yeah, that didn’t work out well for her. Between pimping her out, beating her, and keeping her on drugs, Barry turned out to be a real peach of a guy. The whole point of her hooking up with Barry was so she could help her younger brother, Emilio. Now Emilio is all grown up and part of the Destroyers, a group of hunters that have been killing Twilights all over town. Her brother is a threat to Nic and people like him. How is she going to handle that? The man she raised and loves is probably go to try to kill the man that saved her.  Look! There it is! The feels moment I’ve been avoiding all season. It’s not a hard choice for me. Emilio must die. But, I’m not Alex.

There are an assortment of lovable and hate-worthy secondary and side characters, that all bring something interesting to the story. One thing I love about this series is that the women are just as strong as the men. In some cases, maybe stronger. Loretta Christiano, Gina Paulklee, and Joel Raveau bring a little more than spunk to the show. These are some hardcore ladies. People should watch this show just to experience the tidbits of badassery these ladies display here and there.

Like many anime series adapted from ongoing manga series, GANGSTA. had no defined ending. You’re left having to use your imagination or read the manga. I’ve chosen to read the manga. A great choice, I must admit.

I’ve heard that some people were disappointed with the ending. I can’t help but wonder why. Any other ending may have strayed from the manga. That would have pissed off others. There seems to be a no win situation for these types of series. Personally, I liked that the finale was open-ended. However, I won’t lie, I got misty-eyed and screamed “NOOOO!” at the TV. But hey . . . I was pleased. Under normal circumstances, this type of ending would give one hope for a second season. Unfortunately, Manglobe, the distributor of the anime, has recently filed bankruptcy. That pretty much lessens the likelihood of a season two; if one was planned at all. If there ever is another season, I will be all over it. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the manga.

So yeah, as I stated in the beginning, you have not lived if you have not watched GANGSTA.. Go! Get to Funimation and watch it. Then read the manga. Or vice versa.

You can watch GANGSTA. (subbed) on Funimation and Hulu. You need a Funimation subscription to watch the dubbed version. The manga is published by Viz Signature Manga.

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Word of advice to television and movie executives: stop teasing people by casting actors of color in major roles, then tossing them to the side once you get us hooked. The bait and switch tactics, and Hollywood tokenism of yesteryear may have worked before, but they won’t now. There are far too many entertainment options for us and we no longer have to settle for less. Although there are many examples I can mention, right now I will focus on Iris West from CW’s The Flash. Not to worry, I’ll get to the other characters of color wasted on popular TV shows.

The past few episodes, and more specifically, the most recent episode, Enter Zoom, have taken a toll on me . . . and many other viewers, if I go by what I’ve been reading on the internet. This game of hide and seek, where Iris is concerned, the writers/producers are playing is not working for me. At all.

Iris in blackSince the beginning of this season, Iris has been pushed to the side and ignored. As an investigative reporter, with many resources, she is an important part of “Team Flash”. Now that she is finally aware that Barry is The Flash, she has some involvement–though not enough for my taste– in the various meta-human cases. Whenever something major happens, she’s already around, or brought in to the loop. So why the hell would Iris not be asking more questions about Dr. Light? Why is she not investigating . . . anything? Seriously, this woman; a woman that is a freaking doppelganger for her coworker, was sent from Earth Two to kill her “best friend”, killed her boss and tried to kill said coworker. But, Iris is not looking into this. What? Give me a freaking break. Why was Iris not a major part of the episode?

But newly promoted Detective Perky is on the case. That makes as much sense as…not a damn thing. Having Patty on the case is just a way to keep “Felicity Smoak 2.0” in the story. The thing is, Iris is being kept out of the story. I’m not here for that. No. Not at all. Why is Patty Spivot being placed where Iris should be? Romance aside, what is her purpose? I know she’s in the comic books. Okay great. We are all fully aware of Guggenheim and company’s commitment to the comic. Right? Am I Right? No? No. Just ask all the Laurel and Black Canary fans from Arrow. Canon is optional. For now, forget the romance, that can be (will be) discussed another time.

So, what does it take to get promoted to detective in the Central City Police Department? A) Be on Joe’s good side B) Crush on the forensics investigator C) Be an annoying twit that follows you around gabbing endlessly until you get what you want D) All of the above.

I’m not even going to get into the major question of the night – Why the hell wasn’t Iris at Barry’s bedside when he woke up? Barry gets the crap kicked out of him, had his back broken, then was dragged around Central City like an old rag doll, and Iris wasn’t there when he came to. Oh hell-to-the-no. Seriously? Wifey Iris wipes freaking ketchup off Barry’s face when they’re on a double date (not with each other), but she’s gonna chill at home when he awakens and realizes he’s probably paralyzed. Hahahaha . . .  Lolololol . . . NO! NOPE!

Iris no Iris2

This garbage wouldn’t be happening if the writers weren’t baiting ship wars. Yes, flipping ship wars; I kid you not. The writers are treating fans like a bunch of teenage girls fighting over Edward, Bella, and Jacob. Jacob, right? Oh thank goodness for IMDB. Anyway, the writers are pulling out all the stops to provoke a ship war. Well, not all the stops. They seem to be taking Iris out of the running. Well, okay. Good luck with that.

Iris West2I am curious why the producers of The Flash went out of their way to make it known they cast an African American woman (Candice Patton) in the role of Iris West; the canon love interest for Barry Allen. Once the show started, they proceeded to push the lead to the side for Caitlin last season, and now Patty this season. Hold on . . . I can answer my own question. By virtue of The Flash being The Flash the big wigs knew the hubbub about casting a woman of color would get attention. It was almost a given, comic book fans would give the show a shot. Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and other DC and Marvel shows have had success on television. They knew people would tune in. Casting people of color in major roles (Joe and Iris) would get more people to watch. Comic book fans love their comic book characters but people of color love seeing people like them on screen. Bingo! It’s the 21st century; it’s past time TV shows started reflecting the diversity of the real world. Plus interracial couples are everywhere. The CW is progressive. Right? They seem to have more brown faces on their shows than the other networks. We can make this happen.

Psych, psych motorbike! Let’s just make them think this is going happen.

Iris and Eddie_2After an episode or two of teasing the potential of Barry and Iris, they threw in some angst. Iris started dating dreamy Eddie Thawne. A real sweetheart and gorgeous, too. Hmm. Iris will still be part of an interracial couple, so it’s all good. The producers convince themselves they’re still progressive. Nevermind, the fact that Eddie is not Barry or a main character. Plus they kinda make Iris look like a superficial dillweed; foregoing the undying love of her geeky best friend for a relationship with the handsome blonde cop.

Iris you shallow bitch. Put Barry with Caitlin; she understands him and would appreciate him more. Who cares that she’s mourning the loss of her true love? Ronnie sacrificed himself so Caitlin could be with Barry.

Here we are in season two, Eddie is dead. He died a hero. But Barry and Iris can’t be together. It’s too soon. Iris has to mourn the loss of Eddie. Although, we haven’t seen any evidence of mourning. Well, she did have on a nice little black dress last night. We all mourn in different ways. I cry for a little while, Caitlin throws herself at Jay Garrick (Earth Two Flash) and Iris wears badass dresses.

So not only can Iris and Barry not be together, because she’s in mourning, but she’s also dealing with finding out her mother was never dead but is now dying, and she has a brother she never knew about. Didn’t you love that scene when Barry comforted her after finding out all this crap at once? No? Why not? Oh, because it never happened. What the ever-loving fu . . .fumbleberry! We’re not seeing Iris mourn the loss of her boyfriend, and to add insult to injury, we don’t get to see her deal with the emotional baggage her mother just dropped in her lap. What? But hey, Patty Spivot is quirky and cute.

Oh wait, there’s more. It’s time for Barry to sow his wild oats. I mean come on, Iris had her chance. Now it’s Barry’s turn. Enter Felicity’s annoying twin Patty “Talk Too Effing Much” Spivot. I don’t like this woman. Not because of the ship nonsense; because she’s an irritating version of Felicity. I really didn’t think that was possible, but apparently I was wrong. She’s all chatter, quirky, chatter; say something silly like Felicity did in the first season of Arrow. Been there done that.  “Detective West, can I work with you? Do you want my number, Barry?” SHUT UP! What seemed cute and funny on Arrow a year and half ago, now grates like nails on a chalkboard on The Flash. Make it stop. Please!!

I see people saying she’s perfect for Barry. Why? Because she’s a geek or because she’s a pretty blonde?  Now that Snowbarry is temporarily on hold because Caitlin has her nose wide open for Jay. Let’s go with Perky Patty. Yeah, whatever. I get it; Patty is part of the story. Right, okay. Again, I ask, why is she taking over the story?

Iris and BarryA small part of me believes the writers and showrunners are going for the slow burn relationship between Barry and Iris. OOOOOHHHH. Let them see other people while always finding their way back to each other; the real endgame couple. This would be a pretty decent route to go, if the show was guaranteed to be on for a few more years and they knew that actors would be there for however long it takes for that burn to build into something significant. But those guarantees aren’t there. Are they? Did I miss the announcement that The CW was committing to the show until Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti decide to pull their thumbs from their asses and put on the show the fans want to see? I mean, it is possible; but doubtful.

The writers and producers need to stop playing these games. The Flash is not the only game in town. They are not just competing with major broadcast and cable networks. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are coming up with some interesting original programming. Now, YouTube is trying to get a foot in with YouTube Red. I point that out because my son watches more YouTube than anything. Tobuscus, Markiplier and Pewdiepie have huge followings.

Plus you have people like me, who will turn off the cable box and turn on Funimation and Crunchyroll, play a video game or just read a book. Entertainment options are wide and varied. If The Flash is to remain one of my options, then the writers and producers need to stop playing games. Utilize Iris more, bring in Wally and tone down Patty. For heaven’s sake, please tone down Patty.

Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti thought they were being bold when they cast Candice Patton as Iris West. I have a suggestion (a request); be bolder. Now that you have a woman of color in such a pivotal role as the canon love interest of major DC Comic character – use her. Write an amazing story for her and give her a chance to act her ass off. I have faith she can do it. Give her that moment to shine. You won’t be sorry and I bet your ratings will soar. Yeah, you may piss off a few small-minded fangirls, but it will be worth it.

Barry and Zoom

Oh wait. I failed to mention Zoom is freaking awesome. Bravo, Tony Todd.

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