Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quick Update

Hey, everyone.

I'm sorry that there's been large gaps between my posts recently; I've become a bit inconsistent, but not without good reason. I just started high school three days ago, and until I can get used to the workload and find out how to ration my time wisely, the posts may become few and far apart.

I've thought about giving up. Lately, I've been feeling a bit lethargic about my blog and anime in general. I've just... well... kind of lost interest for a while. Sometimes, I feel as if I have to force myself to watch anime, and I don't really find the level of entertainment that I used to... But I don't want to give up. I love this blog, and I don't want to neglect it. I love all the people that I've met through here, and I don't want to disappoint them.

Just give me a few weeks to get used to high school, and throughout that time, you probably won't see that many posts from me. It's not a hiatus, because I'll try to put out posts, but my blogging will definitely slow down a bit. I'll find a more consistent schedule that agrees with my workload after that.

In the meantime, please stick around.

I have no idea what that reads in Japanese. Anybody know?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Let's play Anime Pictionary! *Round 10*

Congrats to flomu for winning last round!
The answers to last round were:
1. Shanks (One Piece)
2. Meganepachi (Gintama)
3. Grimmjow (Bleach)

And now for this round's pictures:

Picture 1:
Picture 2:


Picture 3:
I think this one will be harder to guess. Not because he's not a well known character; he is, but because I'm terrible at drawing.
Oh, remember how I said I would time myself? I stopped doing that, like, 4 rounds ago. Otherwise, how would I be able to color in everyone's clothing without using the pain bucket? (I hate paint bucket)

This is kind of random and beside the point, but what if I took an anime opening and redid the whole thing in MS paint, like Gintama OP 8. Let me know if you think I should try it. :)

Good luck!

And let me know what dessert you want if you win.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Anime Firsts

Thanks to Yumeka for providing this idea. You can find her original post hereMarina also wrote a post on it here.

Over the three years that I've been interested in anime, I've tried a lot of different stuff out. I've experimented with different genres and found what was most appealing to me. It's been a fun three years filled with anime club meetings, weekend marathons, and convention craziness. And in those three years that I've been exploring the anime medium, I've had quite a lot of "firsts." As cheesy as it sounds, these firsts will always hold a special place in my heart (except for Boku no Pico; I need to get that shit out of my head), and they very well may have shaped my preferences in anime and how I look at anime today.


First anime watched without knowing it was anime:
Spirited Away or Castle in the Sky
When I was five or six years old, my grandfather gave me this huge box full of Christmas presents. I distinctly remember being really excited about it; relatives usually gave you rectangular boxes with boring clothes in it. No, this box was huge, and it looked exciting. Upon opening it, my five year old mind was astounded to find a small white TV and placed among it, VCRs. The little white TV had a VCR deck built in, and for the next four years, I watched VCRs as I went to sleep. Oftentimes, I would be much too lazy to change the VCR every night, so I ended up watching the same video over and over again for a month or so. Among those watched were: Parent Trap, a recording of the Rose Parade, a movie tour of the Newport mansions, and of course, Castle in the Sky. Every night, I would rewind the movie to the beginning and see how far I could make it into the movie before falling asleep. I knew the movies so well that I could pinpoint the exact moment where I had dozed off. Since then, I've gotten cable for the TV and don't watch VCRs all too often, but I refuse to let go of that little white television. Simply because my grandfather, who used to be such a huge part of my five year old life, died the following year. The reason I also say Spirited Away is because I can't remember if I rented it from the long since closed video store before watching Castle in the Sky. I didn't know that they were anime.

First anime w/ subs: Bleach
As said in my history with anime post, my first ever anime watched in subs while knowing it was anime, was Bleach. I became hopelessly obsessed with the series and was really into for about six months before I noticed that there are other anime out there, and Bleach really isn't as fabulous as I once thought it was. After I watched other series, Bleach was knocked a few pegs down on the pedestal that I had carefully set it upon. Bleach wasn't the perfect series that I had thought it was, though it still holds a special place in my heart. It was the start of my passion.







First Japanese video game: Kingdom Hearts
I already wrote quite a lot about my experience with this game back in this post, but I'll regurgitate some of it for a new reader's pleasure. I got into Kingdom Hearts long before I started watching anime. My friend introduced it to me, and it quickly became an obsession during my sixth grade year. Every day, after I came home from school, I played Kingdom Hearts. However, I'm not much of a gamer and whenever I play a game, I tend to get into it for a while and then suddenly drop it. It's not that I don't like it or I don't plan on going back and finishing it; I just forget about it and don't feel motivated to actually sit down and put time into finishing it. This has happened with Kingdom Hearts (lost interest right at the end lol), Pokemon Black & White (lost interest after gym 4), and Persona 3 (lost interest at the beginning before doing anything of actual importance). And even though I know that I'll inevitably lose interest in a game, I still buy games. I never learn.






First shipping: Orihime x Ichigo - Bleach
I've supported this couple ever since episode 140-something when Orihime almost kisses Ichigo. That was the turning point for me. Never once did I give any thought to Rukia x Ichigo, simply because (Oh God, people are going to hate me for this) I really don't like Rukia. Orihime heals people, and while I admit that she can be annoying at times, she still has a power that is extremely handy. Rukia, on the other hand, is really quite weak. She hasn't grown as a character since the beginning (of course, I could be wrong; I'm about 40 episodes behind and haven't read the manga). She holds, like, fifth chair in her squad, and none of her powers compare to Ichigo's and yet she still insists on fighting alongside him and getting her ass kicked practically every time. Now, I wouldn't mind if she got her ass kicked and treated Ichigo with deference, but she kind of bullies him. I know some may see her in a different light, but I find her to be annoying. I do really like Ichigo and Orihime together, though, and I hope Kubo actually develops the couple a bit more (which he probably won't because he's fucking Kubo).

First DVD: Azumanga Daioh
Before going on a road trip to Nashville, I walked into Best Buy with the intent of buying an anime to entertain myself on the long journey there. I walked through the limited anime selection and debated upon whether I should buy Ergo Proxy or Azumanga Daioh. The latter won out in the end, only because I had seen a few episodes at my friend's house, and I thought it was hilarious. I did end up really liking the series. I loved watching the girls go through high school with all their individual quirks. 









First Figurine: Small Luffy from Strong World
Kind of looks like this; is it "figure" or "figurine?"
I bought this little itty bitty Luffy figurine at my first convention for $8. He now sits upon my alarm clock and is knocked off it every morning by a tired Nadja, who can't process the fact that it's an alarm trying to wake her up, not a loud mosquito that needs killing.

I really do love Luffy. He's one of my favorite characters ever. You'll find quite a lot of One Piece posters hanging from my walls. 


First Poster: Bleach
similar to the one I have
When I was in Hawaii two summers ago, I bought a Bleach posterzine at a Borders. Once home, I excitedly pinned them all up on my walls. Although my passion for Bleach has faded since then, I still keep a few of my favorites up. The ones I still have on my walls are the one with all the captains on it and Ichigo in his bankai form.








First Manga: Vampire Knight
I didn't really know that many manga when I started watching anime. The only one I picked up was Vampire Knight. In my mind, I had a simple equation that almost always ended in awesomeness: Vampires x Romance x SEXY vampires x Action x Sex x School = WIN. It was majorly disappointing for me, though. It had the sexy vampires, the school, and the romance, but the main girl was weak as hell, and the action sucked. Barely anything happened ever. I especially hated how Yuki would swing around her Artemis stick and talk about how you shouldn't mess with her, and then she'd end up getting her ass kicked. Also, her hair pissed me off. I don't know why. Oh, and the incest. I did not want to see that. >.>








First Convention: Colossalcon 2010
I went with some of my really good friends, and we had a blast. Although I had a great amount of money stolen and we couldn't find our room, it was really, really fun. It's a treasure trove of do-you-remember-whens. 


First Japanese Learning: Japanese Coach for DS
I took an interest in the Japanese language very early on in my anime years. On my plane ride to Hawaii, I used this game a lot, thinking that I could pick up most of the language during the summer. HA. HA. HA. Pick up an entire language in only two and a half months? Wow. Anyway, although this isn't exactly the best way of learning the language (especially all the grammar bits), but it's great for games and memorizing. 







First Anime Blog Read: Eyesedso (?)
I'm not actually sure if his blog was the first I ever read. I started reading a lot at the same time, but I'm sure that his blog was the first I really got into, and that lead to discovering several other blogs. So, uhhh... thanks, Glo.     

First Yaoi: Boku no Pico
Well, I was on /a/ and you hear quite a lot about this infamous anime and decided to give it a go. It was disturbing, to say the least. Probably not the best entrance to the yaoi genre... But I did end up watching Junjou Romantica a few weeks later, and I enjoyed that show quite a lot. 

I feel like I'm incriminating myself by saying I watched it. xD





What do you think of my anime firsts? What are yours? :)


 

Monday, August 15, 2011

How many anime do you watch at a time?

Recently, I've picked up the nasty habit of starting an anime and leaving it hanging whenever I'm interested in another series. For example, when I got to episode six of Beck, I had the sudden urge to catch up on Katekyo Hitman Reborn. From that point on, I marathoned Reborn and put Beck on the back burner.

And since then, I've put several series on hold. According to MAL, I'm currently watching 21 series. That's not totally true, though.
Green = Watched in the past week
Yellow = Watched in the past month
Red = Watched more than a month ago

The only ones that I truly consider myself watching at the moment are: Beck, Detroit Metal City, Gintama, Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, One Piece, Rec, and Redline.

Some of them I haven't even watched for more than six months. Those being: Bleach, Naruto Shippuden, Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (haven't watched in a year and a half), and DtB Gaiden.

This made me wonder what should be considered "currently watching." Is it something that you watch weekly, or something that you catch up on from time to time? Does it have a time limit? Is something you are "currently watching" a show that you've watched in the past week? Past month? Past year?

Or if it's a series that's already finished airing, how do you balance that series with all the others that you're watching? Do you watch a few episodes here and there?

Personally, I've always been a marathon-er. I wait until a series is done and then watch all the episodes in one go. Lately, though, I've been watching a lot of shorter series, and I feel that it is easy and fun to hop from one series to the next. Some series just aren't marathon material, especially those that are episodic or slower to develop. It's nice to watch those series in little 2 episode bits. It can sometimes make all the difference in how much you enjoy the series.

Anyway, how many anime do you usually watch at a time? Currently airing or already finished? How do you find a balance between all the shows? Do you have a limit on how many shows you can watch?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Harry Potter & Gettysburg & ghosts, oh my!

A little over a week ago after seeing the final Harry Potter movie, I decided that I would devote all of my free time, which is basically all day and night, to reading Harry Potter. I grew up watching the movies (I was four when the first movie came out) and never felt the need to actually read the books until now. I borrowed all of the books I didn't have from my friend (for some reason, I only had books four and five). Since I was devoting all of my free time to the Harry Potter series, I turned a blind eye towards my blog and my anime-watching. It took me about a week to finish the entire series, averaging at a book a day. After that, I went on a trip to Gettysburg for four days and didn't have any access to internet. So I'm sorry for my abrupt disappearance from this blog, and I promise that the neglect stops now.

I just had to read Harry Potter, and my head was so filled with wizards and the like that I didn't feel any motivation to put fingers to keys and update my blog.

Now that I've returned from my trip to Gettysburg, and I've finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, I'd like to give some thoughts on the series as a whole...


J.K. Rowling has a way of writing that draws you in, latches onto you, and doesn't let go. Her novels were rich in detail and captivating until the end. It was difficult to pull my eyes from the pages and pay attention to other things.

Mostly, I just love all the details and descriptions put into Harry Potter. Everything is so well thought out that it feels real.

I do feel as if some things were better portrayed in the movies, though. One of my favorite things about Harry Potter was Quidditch, the unique magical sport played on broomsticks. This was definitely more exciting to watch on the big screen than reading in the books. Every game was dragged out to its full potential in the movies, whereas in the books, the games were sort of hard to picture. It's kind of a given, though... I mean, would you rather watch a basketball game or read all the details in print? However, the movies never fully explained the rules of Quidditch, and I found myself saying, "Ohhhh, so that's what they've been doing this whole time," when I read the actual rules of Quidditch in the first book.

I do find that, for the most part, I love the books and movies almost equally. All of the details were brought to life in the movies, and you couldn't help but fall in love with the actors as you watch them grow up on screen.

There were some things in the books that I wish J.K. had put more detail into, though. The first book could've used a little more detail, especially near the end. It was almost like she was saying, "First they did this, and then they did that, and now the book is over."

And the war at the very end was kind of confusing and rushed. I wish some of the characters who died had a proper death scene. Their deaths were so sudden that I couldn't fully appreciate all that they had done as characters. It was like, "Oh, look that character is dead. We're not going to show how they died, though.Sorry." There was just a huge rush of information and events happening that it was very easy to lose track of what was going on. I really wish she had dragged out the whole battle and given it a bit more description.

Anyway, enough of my Harry Potter ramblings!

My trip to Gettysburg was fantastic. I'm a huge history buff, so it was really fun reading about the battle and trying to picture all that had happened. As you walk around the battlefield, the air is thick with history, and you can almost feel the great deal of suffering that occurred there.

But definitely the best thing was going up on Little Round Top at 8:00 for the sunset and eating dinner on the huge boulders up at the top. Then, after the final bits of sunlight sunk into the horizon and the stars came out, the entire battlefield plunges into a thick darkness, which even in a car, scared the shit out of me. On the second day we were there, we went to Devil's Den, said to be the most haunted location on the battlefield, and tried to take pictures. However, our new camera wouldn't work. It had full battery, and it would take pictures, but the pictures wouldn't show up on the digital screen. When we left Devil's Den, the camera worked perfectly fine. Later that night, when we met up with a medium, she told us that there were confederate spirits there that weren't fond of photographers and a few people have even gotten their cameras knocked from their hands. Many contribute this to the fact that many dead bodies were moved by photographers after the battle to create a more dramatic image.
Little Round Top
famous picture of "confederate sharpshooter" in Devil's Den; the body was actually found about 40 yds behind it, but the photographers moved the body for a more dramatic effect... The rocks are all exactly the same (except for the small ones stacked)
Across from Devil's Den, there's a small rocky area with a creek running through it. This is the "Slaughter Pen." At about 9:30 (the park closes at 10 PM), we headed out onto a small bridge in that area and took a few pictures. The other end of the tiny bridge was a wall of darkness that gave way to a tall forest about 40 yards away. And above that was a moon that was almost full and glowed with an eerie radiance. There was barely anyone out there except for us, and all you could hear was the music of crickets. I took a few pictures and didn't get anything much, but on the third or so picture, I got a huge red orb with a distinct face etched into it. We were out of there in moments.
Bridge over Plum Run, otherwise known as "Bloody Run" In the background is Little Round Top. There was more underbrush around the stream when we were there.
 After that, we had planned on going into the wheat field for some more pictures.This was where thousands of soldiers were killed or wounded and the blood was said to be ankle deep in some places. We got lost on our way there and ended up going down several one way streets, but we finally got there, fifteen minutes before the park was set to close. There was literally no one out there and the warm summer air seemed unnaturally still. My mom kept asking if I wanted to head out into the middle of the field to the monument there, but I refused. It was pitch black and I was already thoroughly spooked.
The wheatfield
 At midnight, we went out on a ghost hunt with professionals. Before we went inside the Hoffman Mansion, an abandoned B&B, I thought to myself, "Oh, I can totally do this. No problem."

Then I heard the history of the place.

Apparently, it was a Union field hospital during the civil war, and it had the famous window where limbs were thrown out into the yard, creating a huge pile of bloody legs and arms. Not only that, but nine confederate soldiers were held prisoner in the cellar. Two men died there. Fast forward another sixty years or so, and a woman during World War II hanged herself up in the attic for reasons unknown. By this point, I was thinking, "Oh, well okay. I can do this...."
The Hoffman mansion; it's a lot larger than it looks

Then I heard the unexplainable events that have happened there, and I started freaking out. People have seen full apparitions, unexplained shadows, and some eight women (on different nights) have seen a full corpse. All eight of these women ran screaming and crying from the building and refused to enter again. The "investigator" who was telling us about this seemed skeptical, though, because none of them had gotten a picture of what they had seen. The ghosts there seemed to not like women because they would get their hair pulled, pushed and the like. The emotion there is so heavy that some people have been said to suddenly burst into tears and have no idea why they're crying. Some have even rushed out of the building and thrown up. There was also a service stairway in the back of the home, which was very narrow and that I refused to ascend, and someone on a past tour had gotten a video of a strange limbless apparition moving up the stairs with what appeared to be a mouth hanging open.

I didn't experience anything extraordinary there for myself other than the terrible feeling that churned in my stomach, which only went away once I had exited the house. We were also using dowsing rods, and upon asking the spirits whether they wanted us to leave, the rods crossed immediately, signalling a yes. I also got several orbs in the attic, and another woman got a very freaky picture of a face. It looked almost like a skull; the teeth were etched into it clearly. There was a second face in the corner of the photo which was distorted and looked like it had bursted into flames.

The worst was hearing that the B&B had been abandoned for having a bad reputation for supposedly having demonic spirits. Although TAPS disproved this, the fact that people thought the spirits were demonic was worse enough.

After the ghost hunt was finished around 2 AM, we had to travel down a road that cut straight through the battlefield to get back to the hotel, and we rolled the windows down to fully enjoy the sound of the crickets and whatnot. My mom swore she heard moaning and shouting, but I heard nothing of the sort.

I know this doesn't sound freaky in the least, and I would think the same thing while reading this if I had not been there, but my God. It was really freaky out there. Just thinking about it is making me shiver. Also, I may have experienced a bit more in the B&B if I had actually walked around with a bit more confidence, but I was deathly afraid of heading up the old stairs into the dark second floor. I did end up going up there, though, and it was really fucking creepy. There are several hallways up there that twist around into a sort of labyrinth. Apparently, the corpse was seen in this bathroom, which I didn't see because it's kind of tucked away into another room, but I heard it's large and spacious with floor to ceiling mirrors. Just imagine how freaky it
would be to see a corpse in full details staring up at you, reflecting in all those mirrors. I was glad to leave. >.>

Anyway, I'm back and I'll definitely be getting some posts up in the future.:)

Some more Harry Potter pics I found: