Salt (and why it can be good for you)

Salty (Adjective) – To be (usually to a somewhat high degree) angry when losing. Generally used in competitive gaming.

I get angry when I lose in competitions.

Like, really angry.

I just want to punch whomever beat me in the face for outplaying me and taking advantage of things I did wrong. Why couldn’t I have done that instead? I should be the one advancing to the next round, I know I’m better than this. I want to rematch them right then and there to prove it. I want to beat whomever just beat me so badly.

And yet, here I am, writing about how it feels like my opponent chained me to a 300lb weight when I lose, and I’m unable to lift it. It’s incredibly frustrating.

How do people take losses so cleanly? I really don’t understand it. I can’t smile after I lose.

I’ve literally spent hours of my time looking up how to take losses better. I thought it was a problem that I couldn’t take my losses cleanly – that I wasn’t learning from them like the best players do.

Then it hit me earlier today while thinking of something to write about for today’s blog post; being angry about a loss is fine. I can be angry that I lost a match, as long as that anger can force me to look at the match and learn from it in a healthy way. Basically, channeling your anger into something useful so you don’t just sit there yelling at yourself on the inside.

Being angry can actually be an incredible motivator for improvement, but there’s a lot of stigma to being angry which prevents it from being used. “Going on Tilt” is to get angry and start playing at a sub par level, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re just getting angry and that’s it, of course you’re going to start playing worse. I think the problem is that people have a really negative impression about anger in competition, when I think it might be a great way to psyche yourself up and continue to play at your best. When I lose a stock in Super Smash Bros., I get angry. Did I really just let myself lose a stock? It’s not happening again. I’ll nod that my opponent made a good play, even tell him it was a good play, but I’m still angry that I’m one step closer to losing. That doesn’t make me play worse – I play better, harder. I don’t want to lose, because I loathe losing.

I think the reason people go “on Tilt” when they’re angry is because they realize they’re angry and don’t want to be, which affects them more than they may realize. I say be furious, but be in control of what you’re doing and feeling (mainly because if I were actually furious all the time I’d probably have a heart attack or something). Don’t just be angry – channel that emotion to have a purpose. You don’t want to just sit there and be angry and then play your next match. While it seems weird, it’s entirely possible to feel angry and motivated at the same time, and that’s the good kind of anger.

You can say good games at the end, admit your opponent played better than you, and be a good sport. But that doesn’t mean you’re not seething inside and are itching to beat them next time so you can pop off and say you’ve gotten better.

Just Sayin’

REVIEW: Panty & Stocking

So, last week I decided to start up watching anime again after a 4-5 month period of nothing but school and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. And since I kinda got hooked onto its music a week or two prior to watching, I decided to watch Panty and Stocking!

Panty & Stocking

A quick summary of the series: two sibling angels (named Panty and Stocking) were banished from heaven for being obnoxious as fuck and now have to keep Daten City safe from evil spirits called ghosts. Upon defeat, ghosts drop ‘Heaven Coins’, and once enough are collected the sisters may return to heaven. To help them is Garterbelt, a priest who runs the local church, and Chuck, who is Gir’s (from Invader Zim) long lost younger brother.

Simple enough, right? WRONG. This anime takes the “obnoxious as fuck” part and plays it hard. Combine that with some American-style animation, some of the best music I’ve heard in ages, and a Gainax plot, and you have yourself one memorable anime.

Let me start out by saying that each episode is split up into two mini episodes ala most 90’s American cartoons. After the first part of episode 1, the first thought that ran through my head was, “This is a lot like Powerpuff Girls.” For those of you who remember and loved Powerpuff Girls, I think you’ll really enjoy Panty and Stocking. It’s got a lot of the core elements of Powerpuff Girls with a little bit of standard Japanese anime style thrown in there.

Let’s dive in!

Art and Animation:

I actually really enjoyed the art style because it’s so PPG-esque. I’m not really a fan of American art when it comes to modern-day cartoons, so this was really refreshing to see American style that I really enjoyed. The animation really fit the series. Everything was quick and jarred, and the sound effects being worded out gave it a kind of comic book feel, which really went with the art style. The only episode I didn’t really enjoy was part 2 of episode 5, where they went with a more traditional Japanese style. Other than that, the animation was great!

Score: 7/10

Plot and Characters:

Let’s start with characters. I enjoyed how they took Panty and Stocking and really played the “fallen angel” bit about them. They swore, they stripped, they beat the shit out of shit and other grotesque demons. And the way they interact with each other, Garterbelt, Chuck, Brief, and their two rivals, Scanty and Kneesocks, are hilarious. I especially enjoyed Scanty and Kneesocks, because they reminded me SO MUCH of MoJoJoJo from PPG. And that kind of character was a great addition midway into the series. And Chuck, because he’s like Gir. What a badass.

And now for the plot. I don’t mind the plot; it’s coherent enough where progression happens. It’s the stupid ending that I HATE. I enjoy the occasional curveball, but not curveballs that don’t make any sense. Gainax decided to do that with Panty and Stocking, and that really disappointed me, especially since I had really been enjoying the series until then. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the series, but prepare yourself… it’s one hell of a curveball.

Score: 5/10

Music:

Listen to this:

Then to this:

And tell yourself this music isn’t ridiculously good. I love the music. It’s great! It’s PERFECT for this series, and it’s memorable. There’s not a lot of anime where I’ll download an entire soundtrack; I downloaded the entire soundtrack. It fits every scene to a T.

Score: 10/10

Presentation:

A no holds-barred show about two angels who need to get back to heaven? Not a bad idea. It reminds me of PPG; great idea! The way the show speaks to the viewer is pretty clear – make fun of everything that presents itself onscreen with crude humor and a hint of satire. There are a lot of references to everyday things (like going to the bathroom and having “the top” in high school) that get blown out of proportion, and it works.

What doesn’t work is the way the show ends and a few parts of episodes here and there that just didn’t seem to fit (I’m looking at you, Chuck to the Future).

All in all, it doesn’t shy away from its message, and the way it presents itself goes pretty well with the art, the animation, and the music. Some polish, I think, definitely would’ve helped.

Score: 6/10

Overall Score: 7/10

R-Rated Powerpuff Girls. Not bad in any respect, but could’ve really worked on a few things (especially that ENDING!!!)

Chuck’s my favorite character.

Just sayin’.