Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Gurren Lagann and an old friend.

So, yeah. This post might seem a bit out-of-nowhere, but I just feel the need to write about this.

I recently finished watching the wildly popular anime series, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, or just Gurren Lagann for short. I'm not going to give a full review of the show (maybe later), as that is not the focus of this post. Let me just say that this show really moved me emotionally and left quite the impression. It made me sad, but it also inspired and motivated me. One of the shows main themes is to keep moving forward, and I've always had that outlook on life. "Kick reason to the curb and do the impossible!"

Even if you're not a fan of anime in general or have a negative view of it, I would highly recommend this show. It'll hit home with your emotions and make you feel like you can accomplish damn near anything. The English dub, which I completely honestly recommend, contains an all-star voice cast including Kyle Hebert, Yuri Lowenthal, Michelle Ruff, Sam Riegel, Johnny Yong Bosch, and more.

The thing is, I would've never found or truly appreciated this show had it not been for someone who I consider one of my best friends.

His name was Oscar, known at the time as Dreamkiller383 or just Dream, and I met him during a game of Halo 3 on Xbox Live back when it was still new-ish in 2007 or 08. We immediately became friends over similar interests and pretty much talked or played a game every time we were both online, usually with our mutual friends. We spent hours doing all sorts of antics in Halo 3 and a few other games (I forget what else, but I think we played Soul Calibur IV and Marvel Vs. Capcom 3).

When I had the idea to make a Halo machinima at the end of 2007, he was interested in helping me with the project and over the course of a few months, he became one of my lead writers and helpers for pretty much the entire thing. He helped me with character names and designs, ideas for scenes and dialog, music, and map forging. Every time we got online, we would usually talk non-stop about our ideas for the machinima.

Later on in early 2009, I joined YouTube and Dream was one of the first people who added me. His channel at the time was Soulreaper393, and he mostly made AMVs and other anime-related things. He was what some might call an "otaku" and liked anime in general a lot more than I did. We conversed through YouTube's now-defunct private messaging system nearly every day and threw around ideas for the machinima, music to add to it, and just talked about whatever.

A month or two after I was on YouTube, he told me to check out Gurren Lagann. He said the show made him feel like he could do anything and that I would love it. At the time, I didn't have much interest in anime, but decided I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it anywhere online for free and I don't subscribe to Netflix. After that, I sort of just forgot about it until recent years when it aired on Toonami.

I didn't know much about the guy's real life other than that his name was Oscar Tejeda he lived somewhere close to Los Angeles. His life seemed overall okay and he didn't really complain about much, and usually kept an upbeat, positive attitude towards things. Usually his parents were in the room when he played Xbox, so he couldn't curse or anything like that.

Overall, Dream was one of the most consistent online friends I had in the late 2000s. We had a few minor falling outs, but it was mostly over me being an immature idiot and I regret them immensely. I don't think he had too much of a problem with me and would usually back me up or stand up for me. He was also one of those few friends I could tell any secret to and generally trust.

Starting in 2010, it became harder and harder to contact him. That year, he was banned from YouTube, a fate he probably had coming due to YouTube's strict copyright rules. He made a few more channels after that, but they also got banned and I can't find his "current" one if he even has one. He closed his Facebook some time in early 2013. His Xbox also broke that year and he hasn't replaced it since. Most other profiles he had got either abandoned, closed down, or banned.

The last medium I had for contacting him was Skype. We added each other in 2010 to do a let's play series on Pokemon Crystal, but that never got finished. Anyway, the last time I ever got to contact him was in September 2013. After that, his Skype contact list got wiped. Since then, I've made a few attempts to contact him, but to no avail.

So this is to you, Dream: If by some chance you get bored and Google your own name or one of your old online usernames or just see this randomly, you gotta hit me up. No homo, I just miss you like hell. You were a great and invaluable friend and I'd love to catch up with you, discuss TTGL, and game it up just like the old days. Before I forget, thank you immensely for introducing me to Gurren Lagann. I wish I'd searched harder and found it all those years ago. I feel like it's something I'll always take with me. Even though you're the same age as me and not dead, I sort of see you as the Kamina to my Simon. You were like a brother to me, you motivated me, and now you're gone in a sense.

Hope you don't find this post creepy or too serious, and here's some completely non-serious stuff just in case you do: Mexican-Americans don't like burritos! Do-do-doooo-dodo-do-do-doooo! Stand and fight, vermin! Oh yeah?! Shrivel up and DIE, ant!! Peanuts make me fart. (insert more inside jokes here)

Whether you're Dreamkiller383, Dreamkiller393, soulreaper393, Dr33mKiller, Dr33mEater, DreamSoul, YorozuyaSoul, SoulShensengumi, VesperiaSoul, or whoever. Stay gold, nigga.

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