OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect

Just like some other anibloggers out there, after the recent news going on in the United States, on Election Day and the post-Election Day, there has been some controversy on the votes and many voters of Trump and Hillary are waging in a violent battle. Just like the American Civil War, there has been an increase of violence and hate towards each other based on beliefs, ethnicity and race. This is hate has gone too far and it’s up to us to stand up against this hate. This is battle in which we shouldn’t be against each other.

After receiving a message from Kauses from Otaku Gamer Zone (OGZ), other bloggers including myself have gathered together for a special project in which we can use our skills of writing to spread the awareness of our humanity with anime/manga and real life situations.

Sites

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Who are we?

We are the Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect (OWLS)! And we are a group of otaku bloggers who believe that all individuals – regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and disability – are human, should be respected as such, and deserve love.

Blog Tours

As part of the OWLS, it’s our duties to spread awareness. It’s our job to write and create special blog posts in which we tackle in some social issues that needs attention. There will be posted monthly and it will be provided by the members themselves. It’s not required but it would be nice to see some participation.

Membership

Want to join? Follow these guidelines:

Requirements:

  • Must be an otaku blogger or vlogger/content creator (I mean, we do need you to have a place for others to stop at, right?)
  • Must be passionate about our cause!
  • Must participate in blog tours (again, you don’t have to participate in all of them, but we do need you to be active ^^)

Rules:

  • Be respectful. We are spreading awareness, respect, and love for all individuals. So it would follow that being respectful to our group mates and readers is a given. Please don’t use derogatory comments or belittle the groups we are fighting for
  • Be an active member. We understand if you can’t join all our blog tours, but please put in the effort to join as many as you can and spread the word. You are joining OWLS for a reason, right?
  • Be responsible. Blog tours require quite a bit of planning and advertising. If you can’t make a deadline, inform our secretaries Arria Cross and/or Crimson ASAP. We do have a “3 strikes you’re out” policy
  • Have fun. As much as we want to spread awareness and love, we are blogging because we love it. Be passionate, proud, and “Free to be ME!”

So far, here is the team and the members:

Officiers

Members

January Blog Tour

Disruptors

“To disrupt” has a negative denotation, but rather than looking at the verb in a negative light, we are going to use the verb in a positive way. It’s like the word “protest” which has positive and negative connotations depending on the perspective of the person.

Disruptors: An individual or a group disturbing a system or social norms/conventions that they believe is destroying what is morally right.

February Blog Tour

Yuri on Ice “Flight”

Flight

An individual takes flight when there is a goal, a dream, or an ambition that he or she wants to achieve. However, for this blog tour, we are going to look at “flight” in different lenses: the underdog’s dream, the possibilities that Yuri on Ice allows viewers to think about, and also the dangers of greed and ignorance that can influence one’s dream.

March Blog Tour

Sanctuary

A sanctuary is a place of safety and stability. In anime, there are several different places and environments that characters call “home”.

April Blog Tour

Colors

We are all part of one race, the human race. “Colors” refers to people of color in anime. For this monthly topic, we will be discussing how people of color or characters of different “races” (a literal alien race) are represented in anime. Some topics we are considering is the dangers of stereotyping, bi-racial characters, and the importance of racial inclusion.

May Blog Tour

Strength

“Your greatest weakness can become your greatest strength.”

In anime, characters struggle with inner demons or physical weaknesses that make them feel insecure and prevent them from achieving goals. Yet when these characters overcome their adversity, they can finally be able to express who they are or in other words, “Free to be Me.”

For this tour, we will be exploring anime characters that have overcome adversity due to a personal insecurity or physical weakness. It is these type of characters that many anime fans may identify as role models because fans are able to feel empathetic towards these characters’ struggles and insecurities.

June Blog Tour

Team

June is known as “Pride Month” within the LGBT & Queer communities in honor of the Stonewall Riots that occurred at the end of June in 1969. At OWLS, we strongly support individuals who are part of the LGBT & Queer communities as well as individuals who are struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Team” functions in two ways: 1) allows individuals to show their support to the LGBT & Queer communities and 2) allows LGBT & Queer communities to express their love to whoever they want.

So for the “Team” topic, we will be discussing our favorite LGBT & Queer characters in anime and other pop culture related media, the impact of the yaoi and yuri genre within LGBT & Queer communities, our personal stories involving gender/sexual orientation, and etc.

July Blog Tour

Mirrors

“Magic mirror, on the wall—who is the fairest one of all?”

When we look in the mirror, what do we see? Do we see ourselves or someone we don’t want to be? For this month’s theme, we will be exploring some of our favorite anime and other pop culture media that redefine individual beauty—inside and out. Some topics we may explore are physical appearances, social expectations on gender, and the importance of self-confidence.

August Blog Tour

Bloodlines

“Family means everything (or does it?)”

This month, we will be discussing the importance of family relationships in anime and pop culture. Family relationships include a child and his/her parents, sibling rivalries, adoptions, and etc. Some questions about family that we will be contemplating on include how one’s family shapes his or her identity? How do we define family? How does a broken household influence a person’s view on family? We will be exploring these questions and types of relationships in this blog tour—so enjoy!

September Blog Tour

Treasure

There are moments in our lives where we lose our sense of self-worth and value and as a result, we find ourselves deep in darkness or drowning in the ocean. However, every person in this world is a treasure—we treasure ourselves or we are treasured by others—and at times, we may need to be reminded of that.

For this month’s topic, we will be exploring pop culture characters who have suffered from mental illnesses, depression, and/or suicide. We will be discussing how these individuals cope with these issues, the reasons for their emotions, and how they handled the situations they are in.

October Blog Tour

Dreamers

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?”
-Langston Hughes

Due to recent events that happened in September, this month’s OWLS topic will be on “Dreamers.” Every individual has a goal or ambition that they devote their whole life to with passion and courage—whether it’s landing your dream job, traveling, or finding the love of your life. However, there are those who spent their whole life working towards a dream but it was cut short due to an unexpected occurrence. Those people are left only to dream and wonder about the possibility.

This month’s topic will be dedicated to these characters in pop culture entertainment. We are not going to focus on the individuals that achieved their aspirations but instead, we will focus on characters that weren’t able to. We will explore what happens to characters who had their wings forcefully cut off as well as those who gave up before they even started their journey. We will also discuss what it means for “a dream to be deferred.”

November Blog Tour

Diplomacy

Whenever we have a disagreement with someone, we use our words to express our thoughts and opinions. However, there are those who would rather use fists instead of words, those who forget that being “right” isn’t the most important thing, and those who lose sight of compromising and acknowledging differences in opinion and belief. Diplomacy is an important skill and tactic that not many of us have or are able to utilize properly especially in “social media wars” for sensitive issues and anime discourse—we just express our opinions without really listening. For this month’s prompt, we will be exploring some of the best negotiations scenes in pop culture media and discuss how effective these diplomatic moments are and what we can learn from them. We will also discuss why communication and listening are important traits to have and whether or not there are other means to enforce peace.

3: Moonid (Random Garage) – Log Horizon
6: Matthew Castillo (Matt-in-the-Hat) – Tokyo Ghoul
8: Irina (Drunken Anime Blog) – Otome
10: Takuto (Takuto’s Anime Cafe) – Blade Runner
11: Lita (Lita Kino Anime Corner) – Kyou Kara Maou!
13: Arria Cross (Fujinsei) – Holy Land
15: Hazelyn (Archi-Anime) – Bungou Stray Dogs
17: Zoe (Let’s Talk Anime) – Yona of the Dawn
18: Katrina Sade (Grimm Girl) – Harry Potter
20: Miandro (Miandro’s Side) – Oregairu
22: Scott (Mechanical Anime Reviews) – Turn A Gundam
24: Mistress of Yaoi (Yaoi Playground) – LGSM
25: Crimson (Crimson is Blogging) – Mob Psycho 100
27: Gigi (Animepalooza) – ACCA 13
28: Naja B. (Nice Job Breaking It, Hero) – Voltron: Legendary Defender
29: Mel (Mel in Anime Land) – Chain Chronicle: Light of Haecceitas

December Blog Tour

Warmth

It’s the season of joy, thankfulness, and love. This month’s topic is “Warmth.” Whether it is spending time with family members during the holiday season or with that special someone during New Year’s, we will discuss moments in anime and pop culture media that convey a feeling of happiness in our hearts. During times of struggles, we look towards the things that matter to us as a source of strength, hope, and happiness. We hope you enjoy this round of posts and that you will have a wonderful holiday season!

Please continue to support us this month, as well, as we mark 1 year of doing these blog tours. Thank you so much! On behalf of the entire OWLS team, we wish you an amazing and happy holidays!

January 2018 Blog Tour

Revival

A new year implies “new beginnings.” Yet, rather than discussing the “new,” we will be discussing the “revival.” “Revival”  has multiple definitions, but the meaning we will be focusing on is the improvement, development, or refinement of something. Our posts will be about characters that undergo a positive or negative transformation and what we can learn from them.

February 2018 Blog Tour

Competition

In honor of the 2018 Winter Olympics, this month topic will focus on the theme, “Competition” because the Olympics is where athletes from all countries join together to compete in sporting events. Through these events, we see how “competition” brings out the grit, the teamwork, and the competitive spirit within athletes. This month, we will be exploring anime and pop culture media that discusses the good and the bad when it comes to competition and what it can teach us about ourselves and the world around us.

March 2018 Blog Tour

Squad

“Although some people may like to be alone at times, we all have that one special friend or a squad of friends who we kick it and have some good laughs and fun with. However, there are friendships that don’t last a lifetime and usually, they end due to a falling out or a misunderstanding. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring some of the best friendships in anime and pop culture as well as the friendships that ended suddenly. We will talk about what a true friendship means to us, what we learned about ourselves and others through broken friendships, and our definitions of a “good friend.””

April 2018 Blog Tour

Melody

In one way, music is form of healing and self-expression. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring some of our favorite musical pieces (anime/drama OSTs, movie soundtracks, music genres and etc.) and how it has impacted our lives and/or reasons why we enjoy listening to it.

May 2018 Blog Tour

Movement

“We join movements, organizations, and systems that align with our own personal values and beliefs. Sometimes we join these groups because they believe in doing good and making positive changes in society. However, these movements can turn sour when a dictator arises or behind the good intentions, there’s a hidden agenda of oppression. It is in these groups that individuals start to shape their identities by questioning their values and beliefs or conforming to the system. This month, we will be examining “real and/or fictitious” movements, organizations, or systems in anime and other pop culture mediums, and the positive and negative effects they have on individuals and society.”

June 2018 Blog Tour

Pride

In honor of “Pride Month,” we will be discussing the word, “Pride” and its meaning. We will be exploring pop culture characters’ most satisfying and joyful achievements or skills that they possessed and whether or not these qualities could be seen as a positive or negative aspect in their personal lives and/or society.

July 2018 Blog Tour

Pride

Throughout our lives, we might have encountered someone that we admired as a role model or has guided us in some life dilemma. This mentor could be a teacher at school, a coach, a boss or team leader at work, or a family friend. Whoever it is that person impacted your life in a positive manner. For this month’s OWLS topic, we will be writing about mentors or mentorships in anime and other pop culture media. Some topics we will be exploring include how a mentorship impacted a main character’s life, the types of mentor relationships a person could have, and/or personal stories about mentors or mentorships.

August 2018 Blog Tour

Journey

“We have all heard this saying in some shape or form: “Life is a journey.” We travel down a path in hope that we reach a goal or destination, but the travel in getting there isn’t always easy. Along the way, we encounter some personal struggles. It is in those moments where we must overcome an adversity to complete our journey or take a different route or path instead. In this month’s OWLS post, we will be discussing the personal journeys of pop culture creators, icons, and characters. We will explore the journeys that these characters went through, discuss the process and experiences they had on their journeys, what they discover about themselves, or share our own personal journeys.”

September 2018 Blog Tour

Self-Care

In favor of positivity and good mental health, we will be exploring the importance of self-care. Sometimes, we are lost in our thoughts and emotions that it can cause a negative impact on our lifestyle and our relationships. For this month’s topic, the OWLS bloggers will be exploring the mental health of pop culture characters and how their mental health affects their environments. We will explore the dangers of mental health illnesses and how it might lead to self-destruction and/or how one has the power to overcome their demons. In addition, we will share our personal stories and struggles about mental health and discuss positive ways in handling mental health issues.

October 2018 Blog Tour

Grotesque

In honor of Halloween, we will explore what we find vile and ugly in pop culture.  For this month’s topic, OWLS bloggers will be exploring characters or aspects of the grotesque in a piece of media and how it is a metaphor or allegory for society, human nature, or some other philosophical or humane idea.

 

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