Aphro’s Asskicking Anthems – February 2017

What it is, what it is, what it is... shed no tears. It has been FAR too quiet around here lately, so the Dynamek One & Only has returned to bring the noise! This month's Anthem is all about the love...

Don't think that it being Valentine's Day has gone unnoticed. I usually try not to single out holidays in my writing, but the stars aligned a little too well this year & I would be doing you -- the reader -- a disservice by not commenting on it. Trust me, this will all make sense in a few paragraphs. What you're hearing right now is a song that, if I'm to be totally honest, completely took me by surprise. Nothing could have prepared me for Chaos Chaos's song... and the original place I heard it only made its impact on me THAT much more indelible.  For those of you who don't know (or weren't free to click the last link), this track plays at the end of a Rick & Morty episode. I won't post any spoilers here (because you REALLY need to see it for youreslf), but just know that the imagery this track is juxtaposed against is heartbreaking.

Speaking for myself (not my place to put words in anyone's mouth), I've suffered heartbreak over the years. Sometimes, it was pure happenstance that derailed things... other times, I simply wasn't enough to truly deserve being in the situation. That's not to say I haven't experienced the unrequited joy that is being in love with someone & they be in love with me, but the Fates can be cruel... there are just moments in time that are not meant to be sustained for too long. They have to be fleeting, temporary, in order to be truly valued. This song speaks volumes of that kind of love: The dangerous & unpredictable love that has inspired so much beauty throughout the ages. That simple melody, the emphatic vocals & those challenging lyrics all speak to the impact that such a love can have on anyone, regardless of age, preference or whatever quantifiable measurement you use to try and make sense of it.

So after building it up as dramatically as I have, where could this song possibly fit? Who embodies the essence of this music? Well, the answer won't necessarily surprise you, but I have a feeling everyone who reads this will be able to appreciate my selection this month in their own unique ways...

You cannot imagine how difficult it was to find a SFW pic of this woman...

Japan's finest, indeed... I'm talking about the original lady ninja herself, Mai Shiranui! Now, if you know your SNK lore, then you're painfully aware of who the target of Mai's affections has been over the years. It's not to say that theirs is a one-sided infatuation -- Andy does care for her greatly and, as of KOF XIV, it's confirmed that they are in a relationship -- Andy just takes his training very seriously. Although, there have been moments where the younger Bogard has let his actions do the talking for him. Is it perfect? No, but it theirs and that's what makes it so special. Hell, Andy even took on Mai's little brother as a student... how loving is that?

By now, you're probably wondering why I chose to pair Mai with this song. Well, maybe it's just the hopeless romantic in me, but I can't keep myself from pondering the early stages of their relationship. Originally, Mai thought next to nothing of Andy. She simply saw him as another wannabe looking to pick up some ninjitsu training. It wasn't until Andy opted to be a nice guy & surprise her with a present one day. From that moment on, she was hooked on Bogard. Listening to this song & imagining what those early days must have been like for them, I could only imagine the two of them sharing moments together that would ultimately plant the seeds of the type of love described in the song. The greatest love anybody could ever know is the love that makes you stronger, better & more capable than you ever thought possible of yourself. Maybe, if I'm fortunate enough, I could find that type of love (again) down the road.

Until next time... keep fighting the good fight, my friends.

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