Of all the female fictional characters there is, Kamiya Kaoru is the nearest and dearest to my heart. I love her and care for her the way I would a dear friend or sister, and of all the characters in the world, she is the one I am most fiercely protective of. And perhaps next to Kenshin, I am the one who loves her most.
So as I was anticipating watching Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, I have to admit that I had been most anxious in seeing how they’re going to handle Kaoru’s character, because I was sure that I would have been either incredibly heartbroken or downright furious if they had degraded her in any way.
And now that I have finally – FINALLY!!!! – watched, the only thing I can say to the creators of the live-action movie is this:
… Thank you.
Thank you for giving her the fight scenes she was denied in the anime and (most especially) the manga. Thank you for showing that she is not a helpless girl who constantly needs protection, but that she can in fact hold her own against men twice her size and age but who aren’t half the swordsman she is.
Thank you for showing her as a respectable and remarkable teacher in her own right, for emphasizing that the students look up to her and follow her, and that they aren’t just there because of Kenshin.
Thank you for showing how she stood by her values, how – even in the midst of war – she opted to use a wooden sword, and implored even her enemies not to kill.
Thank you for showing how she is not a slave to her emotions, but is strengthened by them. Thank you for showing that she is not weakened by her emotions – unlike the depressed state the manga and anime showed – and for showing how brave she is, for showing how, despite how utterly shattered she must have felt inside, she pulled it together for the sake of her family, for the people relying on her.
Thank you for showing her wisdom, her knowing when to push her opinions and principles when she should and to pull back when the situation needed her to. Thank you for showing that she is understanding without being passive, giving without being naïve.
And most of all, thank you – thank you so much – for showing that she matters.
Thank you for showing that she is respected and admired by Megumi, Sanosuke and Yahiko, for showing that she is cared for by them. And while some may balk at how she was shown towards the end of the movie as a damsel in distress (AGAIN), I still want to thank you so much… for showing that she matters… to Kenshin.
Thank you for showing that she is not someone Kenshin conveniently discards and leaves behind. She is someone that Kenshin cannot help but love, no matter how much he fights against his own heart. Thank you for showing that even when her own life is at stake, her primary concern is that Kenshin does not kill, especially if it’s because of her. Thank you for showing how selfless she is in loving Kenshin, and at the same time selfish because of it, because she cannot love any other way than this.
Because for a character whose biggest fear is perhaps that she is not good enough, that she will let her love ones down, that she will only get in the way, that she isn’t helping enough, that she is someone easily forgotten…
Thank you – thank you so much, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno — for showing that Kamiya Kaoru matters.
When you listen, you hear the unspoken.
When a surgeon comes out from the operating room and says “I’m sorry”, you do not listen to the apology, and instead you hear the regret - the tone of helplessness and surrender.
When a woman comes out from the comfort room with a white rectangular tube and says “It’s positive”, a man hears he is going to be a father. He visions of carrying a child in his arms while he smiles at the face of innocence.
It is strange how people could actually feel sorrow and happiness without the need of knowing of it; hearing the truth. It is like you do not need to touch a steaming pot to know it is going to burn you.
They say getting hurt is a decision and being happy is a choice. It could be true, except that one has to remember that the mind, startlingly capable of deceit, has the same for an Achilles’ heel. For how is it possible to be unaffected with the sight of a victorious competitor and be dawned with the realization that you lost the battle? Could one even have the time to decide not to get hurt at such a defining moment?
To say that some things – particularly those that have its own mind – are beyond our control is an irrefutable fact. However, humans have found a way to control that which is uncontrollable through psychological autonomy, or, to put it familiarly, denial.
That is why when a guy receives a “no” after asking the other party to be his girl, he hears a challenge to do better. More equally so, when a girl gets nonchalance for a response from the boy she likes, she hears footsteps of cowardice.
Because, again, no matter how definite uttered words are, the ones unsaid resonates the loudest.
I think this is where I belong—among all your other lost things. A crumpled note at the bottom of a drawer or an old photograph pressed between the pages of a book. I hope someday you will find me and remember what I once meant to you.
Society often sets standards and most of the time these standards discriminate and exclude people who don’t conform with it. We all, men and women alike, are free to express ourselves and our ideas as long as we don’t cause unnecessary injury to other people. I found these images from a website and thought that these are really liberating.
These are created by Carol Rosetti, a 26-year-old graphic designer from Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
To be honest, I’ve been meaning to write about something like this for a while. I get a lot of messages from people who are being hindered from doing things they want to try because they are unhappy with the way they look, and their self-confidence suffers.
I’ve been there before, and I know how that feeling sucks. While your inner self is of course ultimately more important, I can understand how we can still be heavily affected by our outer appearance. After all, that is the image we present to others on our day-to-day interactions. In a lot of cases, people cannot help perceiving another individual visually first, before getting to know the person inside.
Although I carry myself with more confidence now, it doesn’t mean I regard myself as perfect. I honestly think I have quirky features and that I look kind of odd, but I’m really very okay with that!
As a kid, I was called some names and mildly bullied for the way I look. Because of that, there was a time when I wished I could get plastic surgery to change my features into what would be considered conventionally beautiful, so that people wouldn’t hurt me. It was a kid’s reasoning, and of course I couldn’t actually do it.
One night many years after that, I was looking at photos of an artist I look up to and admiring their features. Soulful eyes, bright, even if the skin around them was a bit darkened, perhaps from lack of sleep. Messy but expressive eyebrows. An upturned nose that looks a bit pinched but in what I think is an endearing way. A crooked smile with somewhat misaligned teeth that were smaller than they should proportionally be. The funny way they seemed to talk from just one side of their mouth. These features don’t sound ideal, but I honestly felt that this person was, and still is one of the most visually beautiful people I have laid eyes on. And I felt that if they got plastic surgery to change anything about how they looked, I would be extremely sad because I truly feel they are perfect (or perfectly imperfect) just the way they are.
And in that moment I realized: If I can feel this way about this person who is so far from the idealized standard of beauty, then maybe it is possible that someone could look at me and feel similarly. Moreover, it dawned on me that what I loved about that person’s features was amplified by the way their hard work and passion and kindness had inspired me and so many others in countless ways. That’s when I thought — Wow. That’s how I hope to be admired.
I don’t want an empty worship based on by chance being born with features that fall into someone’s definition of external beauty. There is no single universal ideal of beauty anyway, so if you just want every single person to find you good-looking then there’s no way to win that game.
So yes, there are times I feel insecure about some things, but I don’t let myself get seriously upset about them, nor do I wish I had a different face or body. I am not perfect, but I can be grateful for the people who can appreciate the features I was born with. Even better are the ones who go past my exterior and can acknowledge me for the things I do, and for who I am as a person.
My knees are burning hot but God is cold..
They say time flies but you keep breaking its wings…
To the slaughterhouse I’m taking my pain..