An Ode to the Reese’s Man

S.P.I.R.I.T

Soul Powered Internally Raging Intensely Triumphant

The first time I heard these words, I was having a particularly bad day, which was a common occurrence for me. My relationship with my parents, unfortunately, wasn’t the best, so fights happened pretty frequently. The topic of this particular fight was dealing with my future and what I was going to do with my life. Y’know, the standard “you’re wasting your life” sort of thing you might hear from parents at some point. But in truth, I had no idea what the hell I even wanted to do because I wasn’t really given a chance to explore much of what I was interested in. Even back then, thoughts and feelings of giving up surfaced, but then…

“You gotta keep your SPIRIT up, sis.”

Believe me, I’m trying!

“Do you know the true meaning of SPIRIT?”

What? What do you mean, man?

SOUL POWERED INTERNALLY RAGING INTENSELY TRIUMPHANT”

Speechless. This guy left me completely speechless. He went on about taking those feelings of rage, hopelessness and despair and channeling them into your fuel to propel you forward. Forward towards that sweet, triumphant success that will be celebrated. He will never know this, but those words have saved me many countless times, even now. Especially now.

Who was it that said those words charged with unlimited hope and encouragement? It was none other than the legendary Joshua Jyrell Morrison, or as I and many others affectionately called him, JJ.

Brother and sister

Before I met JJ, my life was filled with a whole lot of nothing. 3D Animation, while fascinating and intriguing, just wasn’t for me. Back to square one with trying to figure out what to make of this life. At the time, I was pretty much okay with just coasting by and doing the bare minimum to “get through” life. And of course, who did I happen to meet that put a stop to that mess? Freakin’ Joshua Jyrell Morrison, that’s who! But he wasn’t alone; I met several other amazing folks that I’m forever grateful to know: Tom, Andrew, Nate, Tony, Cam, Amanda, Michelle, Elliot, Mike, Mafro, Andre, Donnell, Alfonzo, and many more… Along with JJ, this group is more than just a group of friends.

They became my family.

Part of the Forsyth Tech crew

Back then, I wasn’t the easiest person to get along with. Coming back to Winston-Salem was not doing my mental health any favors due to feeling like a huge failure that I didn’t make the whole animation career thing work. Along with that, often having the thought of “why bother?,” I didn’t bother to keep up appearances of caring what others thought, so I was extremely blunt with what I felt. It ended up pushing a lot of people away, but of course, it didn’t work on everyone. JJ, along with the Forsyth Tech crew changed that, and it really opened up my world. Every moment spent in that student lounge playing fighting games, card games, watching anime, and just talking about random bullshit… I’ll always treasure those for as long as I live. 

He’s trying to look so cool, LOL

How to describe JJ… JJ was like the brightest ray of sunshine I’ve ever seen. Dude had a way of making your day brighter no matter what was going on, let it be through talking about the problem you’re facing while driving to no particular destination, through lame jokes, or his famous bear hugs that seemed to melt the very problem you were discussing. His very smile was a gift to the world, and it made everyone smile back. Even crying babies. Yup, that’s right. That guy was โœจMAGICALโœจ. You could also never stay mad at the guy if he did something dumb to get a rise out of you. Like how did he do that shit? I’m telling you: MAGIC.

๐Ÿ’– Besties ๐Ÿ’–

JJ was probably the most creative person I’ve ever known. He created these OCs centered around the theme of candy. He had the Hershey’s Man, but his most popular one, and the one he was known by, is the Reese’s Man. Costumed in bright orange and yellow, he sang his famous jingle beloved by all:

Reese’s Man Jingle

He became a legend in the North Carolina anime convention scene, as he sang this jingle while handing out Reese’s peanut butter cups. Convention attendees wanted to take pictures with him, and some of them even became long-time friends. People loved the idea of a candy-themed character, and it inspired them to make their own original cosplay featuring their favorite candies, and together with JJ, they formed the Candy Crusaders. If you ask anyone who frequented Animazement, I 100% guarantee you they’ll know about the Reese’s Man.

Let’s ROCK

JJ’s creativity wasn’t limited to being a cosplay icon, but he also had amazing art skills! And he used those skills to constantly gift us art of us in his own style. He would take whatever interest we were really into, and incorporated it into our own character. If you look at the pic above, if you really know me, you can easily tell which one is me! He did this all free of charge when he should’ve honestly charged a bit of cash so he can get more art supplies. I remember scolding him about that, but dude just IGNORED me and gave me MORE ART. The nerve of that guy!! It’s okay though, because I ended up giving him art supplies myself whenever I could to get back at him. Ah yes, sweet revenge!

Wielders of the Sacred Flames

As he made our characters, he started writing stories for them too. The Wielders of the Sacred Flames pictured above was a tiny snippet of what he had in store. Along with the stories, he came up with very detailed move lists on what the characters would use if they were in a fighting game. I’m sure JJ wanted to try and make his own indie fighting game, because the amount of lore he made was insane… I’m sad that we’ll never get to have it, but just looking at all his art and notes brings a smile to my face, because you can see how much love he poured in to it all. And we got to be in it… it’s touching that he loved us so much that he would feature us in his projects like this. I will forever be grateful.

JJ was also known to be a HUGE snack connoisseur. He would constantly be on the hunt for the latest new limited edition snack, drink or candy that dropped, and filmed his reactions on Facebook:

Dr. Pepper Cream Soda reaction

Dude really loved food, and getting him to try food he hasn’t had before and seeing his reaction in real time was a true delight for many of us! 

After a traumatic experience that I went through, I started pushing a lot of people away and not communicating as much, because why would I want to inconvenience friends and loved ones with my issues? My partner is always there for me, which means the whole world to me, but what also touched me is that despite losing touch with some long-time friends, JJ never once gave up on me.

๐Ÿ’–

He’d always call me every month to check in on me, to see how I was doing. Kinda wish I answered every single time, but back then, my depression really took a hold of me to an extreme degree that led to not wanting to do much of anything at all. But when I did answer, his words of love and encouragement gave me a lot of hope and energy to keep on going. Again, he’ll never know it, but he honestly saved me so many times from giving up. I’ll always and forever carry that love and encouragement and live on for him. I’ll keep the true meaning of SPIRIT close to me and keep on going.

I could go on talking about all the amazing things that JJ did, enough to fill a book. So I’ll close this by sharing with you all the full and true meaning of SPIRIT through one of the many pieces that JJ wrote. If you’re going through a rough time, I hope these words will help you as much as they helped me.

S.P.I.R.I.T.

It is something of incredible magnitude, as well as unlimited potential.

In a world of constant constraint, it is the only thing that is free…

Within every one of us it dwells; the primary source of our lives.

It is the most valuable treasure, yet it is the most overlooked.

We fail to realize how sacred it truly is.


Day in and night out…

We endure constant tests of the mind and body,

Yet one solution is seldom used.

We strive and sacrifice for the answer;

Blind to the fact that the answer lies within us all along.


Take it not for granted; explore it and uncover its secrets.

Cherish it, and relish in all of its entirety.

Protect it from breaking, and strengthen it with faith.

Love it unconditionally, and live it to its fullest.


Know that this one thing is as strong as one makes it out to be;

That it is eternal and waiting to be released.

Do not imprison it; let it soar freely.

Flamboyant and passionate like a phoenix;

Though misunderstood, it stands as the mightiest.


What is it? This thing of immeasurable magnitude?

And why is it so valuable?

With it, you are invulnerable;

Without it, you are nothing.


This… is…your… S.P.I.R.I.T.

Soul

Powered

Internally

Raging

Intensely

Triumphant

JJ Morris
โœจ Iconic โœจ

Happy birthday, JJ. I love you so very much, my dear brother. Rest easy, king. Long live the Reese’s Man. ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›

7 Reasons Why You Should Check Out Tears of Themis

Key Image md

The mobile otome gaming world is about to get a serious shake-up this week that will delight many otome game fans. Why is that? My dear reader, let me enlighten you with what will grace our mobile devices this Thursday. miHoYo, the famed developer behind big hits such as Honkai Impact 3rd and Genshin Impact, will be releasing the international version of Tears of Themis, the studio’s first Romance game with a detective twist!

Here’s Tears of Themis‘ game synopsis:

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Stellis, a city that rose from the clash of civilizations.

Modern tech has given it its radiant neon lights but also cast long shadows of obscurity. Lately, there has been an abnormal increase in the number of mental illness cases as well as incidents that threaten Stellis’ social security.
Many gentle and good people of Stellis have somehow grown violent and volatile.

These incidents may have been recorded, but they are often drowned out in a flood of data.
Yet someone took notice of them and compiled them for detailed analysis…

Codenamed “X-NOTE”, the project aims to peel away layers of obscuring data and reveal the hidden truth beneath.

When all is put on the scales of the law before Lady Justice, you will be the one to weigh their crimes in the balance.

ย 

Given miHoYo’s track record, this game is bound to not only look amazing, but be incredibly addicting as well, right? I’m happy to report that it’s indeed the case! I was lucky enough to play in the game’s beta period to check out what it was all about. And my dear readers, it’s very much worth your time to play Tears of Themis. In fact, I’ll give you 7 reasons that will surely convince you to check the game out on its release day.

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It’s Ace Attorney Otome


That’s right, I said it. I didn’t stutter. Tears of Themis is basically Ace Attorney… but make it otome. Interesting characters that make you want to find out more about them? Check. Addictive stories that keeps you playing? Check. Investigative scenes that reveals the truth to be used in action-packed trials? Check. Handsome guys that do things that makes your heart beat a bit faster and blush? CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!!

In the game, you will take the role of a junior attorney at the Themis Law Firm and work with their gorgeous companions as you solve cases that take place in Stellis City together. You will get to investigate crime scenes and question witnesses and suspects to obtain clues and testimonies for use in court. Prove the innocence of your client and triumph in the name of justice!

The Art Is GORGEOUS


And when I say “GORGEOUS,” I’m not kidding around! ๐Ÿ˜ I mean, just look at how pretty Luke is as he tinkers away fixing stuff. Wow! Folks already know that miHoYo’s animation shines in their other titles, so you can expect to see more quality work through their Live 2D animation. And even if there was no Live 2D animation, the art alone already is captivating enough! I would easily buy an artbook of this bewitching art, and even merch featuring the guys as well!

Everyone say a big “THANK YOU” to the Genshin whales who opened up their wallets for their waifus and husbandos to help make this game so insanely pretty. They’re the real MVPs here!

The Main Cast ALL Look HOT


HELP! They’re ALL insanely HOT! ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ’ฆ

You know how in every game, as you play, there’s this ONE character that captures your heart and is your absolute favorite? Y’know, the very moment you pick your husbando or waifu. Well, I think this might be the only time where I’m seriously having trouble picking a favorite guy… because not only are they all incredibly good looking, but they are all such intriguing characters that have all captivated me in their own unique way. I don’t think there’s been another game that’s done this to me. So if you’re going to ask me who my fave is, don’t expect an answer. Or maybe expect me to say “all of the above!” And that’s including the very pretty MC.

Speaking of the MC…

The MC Takes No Shit


She is beauty, she is grace, she will lawyer off your face!

Tears of Themis‘ MC is captivating in a lot of different ways. Her desire to protect the city of Stellis and its citizens with her skills is admirable. Sure, she’s only a junior attorney working her way up, but she’s definitely not to be underestimated. She’ll leave no stone unturned when looking for info to aid her client to victory. She’s not one to be trifled with! The way she puts the main guys in their place when they happen to overstep their boundaries is POWERFUL. She’s also a kind, empathetic and friendly person to those around her. And on top of that, she’s very beautiful! I’d date her for sure! ๐Ÿ’•

The Voice Acting Is Top-Notch


On top of Tears of Themis being an entertaining eye candy of a game, it features an all-star voice actor cast for the main guys. โœจ

Japanese Voice Actors

Luke Pearce CV: Kaji Yuki

Artem Wing CV: Suwabe Yunichi

Vyn Richter CV: Fukuyama Jun

Marius von Hagen CV: Ishikawa Kaito

Chinese Voice Actors

Luke Pearce CV: Titus Jin

Artem Wing CV: Zhao Lu

Vyn Richter CV: Jiang Guangtao

Marius von Hagen CV: Yang Tianxiang

Korean Voice Actors

Luke Pearce CV: Kim Jiyul

Artem Wing CV: Jang Minhyuck

Vyn Richter CV: Min Seungwoo

Marius von Hagen CV: Han Shin

I know most folks will focus on the Japanese cast more, but don’t go ignoring the other voice options, because they’re quite amazing! When I played the Tears of Themis beta, I chose to play with the voices being in Chinese, and those voices suited the characters so well; I was smitten! I ended up keeping it on the Chinese voices for the remainder of the beta.

Thereโ€™s Plenty of Activities to Do


Sure, you could just go through the main story of the game, but that’s not the only story to experience. There’s other stuff you can do in the game to help keep things fresh.

You can practice your debating skills before defending your client in court to earn some leveling rewards for your cards, plus it also serves to test out whatever new teams you put together to see if they’re effective. Additionally, there’s another mode called Trials of Themis, which is a cute looking pixelated style mode to serve as a simulation for the bar exam, so you can expect more debate battles as you earn resources and power-ups to face the big bad boss at the end of it.

As you level up certain cards, you’ll unlock stories related to those cards to read. You could witness Marius being a model in a photoshoot, or go on a date with Artem in a haunted house, or have Vyn teach you the basics of pottery, or try your hand at paintball with Luke! Reading those stories will increase the affection level for the chosen character, which in turn will unlock even more personal stories to check out. ๐Ÿ‘€

And speaking of raising affection levels…

You Can TOUCH the Guys


Yes, you read that right: YOU CAN TOUCH THE GUYS. And guess what? Touching them, raises their affection level. Simply amazing, right? Ah, but don’t get too excited; it seems you’re only limited to 1000 affection points daily for all the guys. So you’re going to have to keep visiting them and… wait, maybe that’s a reason to be excited! Along with that, you can also play minigames with the guys, like rock-paper-scissors and Old Maid. Their reactions while playing these minigames are so dang CUTE, so make sure to get a game or so in while visiting!

Have I convinced you to try out Tears of Themis yet? I sure hope so! I haven’t been this excited for an otome mobile game since Mystic Messenger. And that game kept me hooked for a very long time, which is something I’m sure Tears of Themis will also accomplish.

Tears of Themis will have its global release this Thursday, July 29th. So what are you waiting for? Get ready for its release and pre-register today to claim some in-game goodies when it’s live! And if you want to keep updated with the latest Tears of Themis news, make sure to follow their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Don’t forget to join their Discord server too!

Until next time! โœจ

Will you be playing Tears of Themis this Thursday? Which character is most interesting to you? Do you have a new husbando in the horizon? Let me know in the comments!

Omake:

Here’s a little Artem to keep you motivated today! ๐Ÿ˜Š