Moving Forward

Hi everyone!

It has been a long time — a long, long time — since you last heard from me. Three months to be exact. That’s ages in the blogging world where consistency and a tight schedule are what keep viewership high and drive traffic (hey, didn’t I just sound really smart just then?). I’d not be too surprised if I lost a few followers since the time I last posted. Not that it matters. To me, blogging was a way of sharing with a community and writing about what I want. 😀

The reason why I haven’t been posting for these past few months is because a lot of things have sprung up into my life, all at the same time. I’ll refrain from delving too deeply into my own life problems (not that it matters to anyone really, since this is an anime blog and not a sob story blog), but I just couldn’t cope from the stress that resulted from these events occurring at a time that couldn’t really be worse for me. I had my first death experience in late June, and that was the catalyst which brought the culmination of a lot of pent up stress that has been inside of me for years. I sort of just crashed for a while, listening to mostly metal / screamo music in my room. I’m not an emo though, I just enjoy a wide variety of music. Hehe.

Anyhow, these three months of not blogging (and being depressed, lol) have given me time to reflect and reevaluate my priorities in life. Thus I’ve come to the painful decision to stop this blog, effective immediately. I realise that I’ve lost the motivation to continue blogging, perhaps due to my long break and the fact that I am still a bit unhappy and depressed with my life. I want to get my learner’s license, and I also want to learn a language, study for my final years of high school and become, in general, more mature. Those are some pretty big goals for me, and I can’t focus on those and write a blog at the same time. Only now do I realise that blogging is a serious, deep commitment that you shouldn’t take lightly. I guess that just shows my naivety when I started this blog, and how I am really just a failure at blogging, both in the quality of content I provide as well as my reliability when it comes to posting.

I’d like to thank all my fans and followers who I will cherish deeply. I know it was a short journey, but it was a journey nonetheless. Thank you all for sticking with me despite my somewhat ‘noobish’ blogging skills. I’m not a great writer, but I appreciate all the positive comments I’ve gotten on my reviews and posts.

Lastly, I’d like to extend a very warm thanks to all the anime blogger friends I’ve made. I had no idea that the anime community was as strong as it was on WordPress, and it was an amazing experience not only to make new friends but also to be nominated for so many awards, as well as having received recognition from bloggers that I could not possibly hope to match. Miharrusshi, ArriaCross, Frog-kun and many others (those on Twitter whom I have lost contact with having deleted my account) are all great people who are fun to talk to. If anyone wants to, I am always open to stay in touch and I still get comments on this blog redirected to my email (lol, mainly because I am secretly wondering if someday I’ll find something interesting written, or perhaps hate comments idk).

There is nothing else for me to say really. It’s sad that it has to come to this, but at least now you can rest easy knowing there is some conclusion to my blog, whereas Madhouse can’t seem to end their shows properly *cough* No Game No Life, Btooom! *cough*. Also, I’m looking at you Bones for another Darker than Black season, Studio Feel you need to continue My Youth Romantic Comedy (my current fav. anime of 2015 so far), and please KyoAni please continue the great Suzumiya Haruhi series! Why’d ya stop in the first place? The list of anime that need another season could go on but I’ve been rambling enough.

Until next time (which will probably never come since I might just change my pseudonym),

Winston (aka. Winny, which is what my friends call me. Basically, anyone who reads this blog is my friend haha)

Short Animation From The Tokyo University of the Arts!

Hey everyone! This is a short blog post (I don’t normally do these types of posts). I’d just wanted to share this nice animation I found on Vimeo. Apparently it’s from the Tokyo University of the Arts and it’s a nice, short film dealing with having a crush on someone, with a bit of oddness thrown in for good measure.

It doesn’t have particularly high production values, but it’s pretty cool seeing this crude style that almost no one uses these days. For some reason the direction of this show kind of reminds me of Shaft might do something, but that’s just me.

Anyway, feel free watch the video if you have the time, and tell me what you thought of it.

(Yes, I know it’s three months old. Sorry I didn’t find it sooner!)

The ‘Sunshine Award’ Nomination!

I’d like to thank Dandylion13 for nominating me for the Sunshine Award! If you haven’t already, you should check out his blog. The Sunshine Award is an informal way for bloggers to have some fun and to venture out of their usual posts, and to also reciprocate by nominating fellow bloggers who are deserving of attention!

Before I start, I’ll just reiterate the rules real quick:

  • Thank the person who nominated you. (Big thanks, Dandylion13!)
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate a couple of other bloggers.
  • Write the same amount of questions for your nominees.
  • Notify the nominees on their blog.
  • And, finally, put the award button somewhere on your blog.

Well without further ado, here are my answers!

What made you start blogging?

This is a question I have asked myself quite a few times, actually. I’d describe it as a fusion of my two passions: writing and watching anime. I was also influenced by anime reviewers on YouTube (namely Glass Reflections), and by the (mostly) extremely friendly community on MAL. I’m glad I did take up blogging, because I have got to meet fantastic people online!

What are your favourite anime series/shows?
Great question! Without any doubt in the world, I am a massive Clannad fan. I never cry when watching shows, but I almost did while watching After Story. This was the anime that proved to me that there was something beyond just action and drama. Steins;Gate takes a (very) close second place, then it is probably a three-way tie between Attack on Titan, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Death Note.

I have a long, long list of the other anime that I love (Bakuman, Hajime no Ippo, etc), because who can choose just one?! One day I’ll compile that list, but for now it’s all in my head.

What is the funniest thing that has happened in your life?

Don’t know if this is funny or just plain gross, but I got vomited on while taking the bus from school. Laugh at your own discretion (I’ll go and cry). I had to throw away everything that got vomited on, then I shampoo’d twice over and gave myself a thorough cleansing in the shower. If I see the guy again… I ain’t sitting next to him.

Outside of blogging, what is a hobby that you enjoy?

I like collecting headphones and/or speakers. Not quite the most exotic hobby… My relatives think it’s a waste of money, but, in my defence, life is too short to listen to those white earbuds.

What was a show or movie that you recently watched and enjoyed?

Unfortunately I marathon anime so I haven’t touched the airing season. I started watching ‘My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute’ (a.k.a Oreimo) a while ago and it was legitimately funny. Anything to do with an otaku lifestyle has me interested! That was a month-and-a-half ago though.

What is your favourite live-action television series?

Sorry, I don’t really watch television so I can’t really comment. On an unrelated note, Iron Chef is pretty dope.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Chuck Norris says:

“If a woodchuck could chuck wood then the woodchuck would chuck as much wood as the woodchuck would feel like chucking, because I am Chuck Norris and I say this, so it must be true.”

*He didn’t actually say that. Or, at least, I don’t think he did.

But I say:

This question is nonsensical. (No sense of humour, unfortunately)

And that brings the questions to a close! Thanks for reading this far (if you did).

I would like to nominate the following bloggers…

Miharusshi, one of the first aniblogger friends that I made! Dandylion13 also nominated her, but I’m seconding it.

The Otaku Judge, who has great reviews about anime and games.

…with the following questions!

1. What made you decide to start blogging?

2. Who is your inspirational role model (can be either real or fiction) and why do you look up to them?

3. Are you a fan of sports? Why/why not?

4. What sort of music do you listen to?

5. What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you?

6. Do tell us your favourite novel, and why you enjoy it so?

7. Finally, do you see yourself continuing your blog in, say, five years time?

Once again, many thanks to Dandylion13 for nominating me.

‘Uzumaki: Spiral Into Horror’ Review

I’ve long been sceptical of horror manga. Nothing that I’ve read (thus far) has even scratched the surface of my psychological well-being. Not even Gantz, the most goriest manga I’ve read, has ever given me the creeps. So maybe it was finally time that I found one such manga that had me cowering in my blanket when it got dark. Abhorrent with some very dark undertones, I just couldn’t stop reading. I may have wanted to, but something was pulling me in. The spiral, perhaps?

Note: Some minor spoilers may be present from the images I have used.

Uzumaki: Spiral Into Horror is a horror manga brought to us by Junji Ito. The guy seems to have a knack for creating creepy stories (judging from what he’s published) and this is no exception. The basic premise is that in Kurozu-cho, a small coastal town in Japan, strange events start happening. What was once an ordinary town is now anything but. No one understands this more than Shuichi Saito, who is arguably one of the first to experience the strange phenomenon known as ‘the spiral’. He is joined by childhood friend Kirie Goshima and together they form the main cast.

Even the main character isn’t free of the spiral.

Let me say that this is not for the faint of heart. His drawings can be quite grotesque at times, and it has a sense of realism that was commonplace at the time of its publication. Junji Ito has created a very inventive piece of work that will terrify and may very well disturb you. I mean, if this doesn’t disturb you, then I think you may be a sadist or something.

Some scary sh*t right there.

On the theme of spirals, they are everywhere in this manga. The whole plot literally revolves around a spiral (I’m referencing the ending). Shuichi and Kirie have to survive in an increasingly desperate and maddening town that is going crazy. In one chapter pregnant women go on a murderous rampage, and in another chapter one of Kirie’s classmates gets turned into a human snail. The unsettling graphics only serve to increase your sense of disgust but, strangely, interest as well.

Despite each chapter being largely unrelated to each other (like an episodic anime), I found that Uzumaki manages to keep the pace going rather well where others have fallen. Each new chapter was fresh and interesting, bringing new ideas to the table. The sheer amount of things that Mr. Ito has been able to do with spirals surprises even me. It’s still relatively short (19 chapters plus one which makes 20) but I did not find them at all to be repetitive. The end few chapters do, however, tie the story together.

Lack of time does bring certain regressions in character development. Apart from the two main characters Shuichi and Kirie, there’s not a lot of room for others. In most chapters we’re introduced to a new character only to have them disappear (die) soon after. Not that I mind, since I feel that is what Junji Ito was going for when he made the manga. Don’t expect to feel much for the characters apart from sharing their despair. But hey — in a horror manga, what else do you need?

As I’ve mentioned already, the artwork in this manga conveys more realism than most. This is a good thing, since it serves only to make you feel even more disturbed. I can’t say much since I don’t know much about manga art terms, but I’ll say that I really enjoyed looking at the drawings that Junji Ito has created. I can’t really explain why though. Maybe it was the tone and detail.

I can’t help but admire Junji Ito’s drawings.

Well to sum this up, Uzumaki is straight up terrifying. Still, I understand why this is so highly rated. I recommend this for those looking for a more mature story than the average shounen adventure and to all manga fans that can stomach this type of novel. It’s surprisingly coherent too, so you will have almost nothing to complain about. Apart from the nightmares, that is.

Rating: ★★★★

Must-read for Horror Fans!

My Stance On Green Tea — Fad or Beneficial?

Green Tea — Is It Good or Bad? ¹

Is green tea good for you? You’ve probably heard of the ‘claimed’ health benefits you get from drinking it, but can you really trust a bunch of researchers? Having been drinking it for almost a year now, I decided to change my blog up a bit and write about my experience with the stuff, and hopefully I can convince you to start drinking this more often.

I’m sure that most of you are more familiar with black tea (eg. English Breakfast) than their green leafy counterparts and I don’t blame you. That’s because green tea is more widely consumed in Asia. Perhaps Western countries also prefer a more stronger taste which might contribute to why it’s not as popular as black tea. Still, it’s managing to catch on. I have been a tea drinker since fourth grade. Years later I switched to coffee but, upon discovering that I hated the withdrawal symptoms, I asked myself: “Hey, dude, why not try green tea?” Thus begun my journey. That was around eight months ago, and I’ve begun to notice some benefits already!

My Pimples Have Gone Down!

This is an accurate representation of yours truly. ²

The first improvement I noticed was that my pimples decreased. I feel a bit embarrassed to mention that, but it’s true! My skin is less oily, there are less spots, and it’s overall just a lot cleaner. The difference wasn’t drastic, so you won’t rock up with all of your pimple problems gone the next day. That said, it was enough to be noticeable, so you can finally take selfies safely without editing the crap out of it (just joking — be happy with who you are). It’s not magic, but it’s a pretty healthy and organic option if you have pimple problems. It doesn’t dry out your skin like some artificial creams!

You Just Generally Feel Better

This could be you. ³

The other thing I’ve noticed, and I don’t know if it’s placebo or whatnot, is that I feel better when I drink it. Every day before school I drink some and that’s what gets me through the day. Coffee used to fill in that gap, but I found that it would spike up at around 11am and then I’d feel like (I’ll be blunt) shit. So you might imagine how happy I was when I found that green tea was able to give me enough of a boost without being overbearing. Plus it’s healthy — no sugar needed and the caffeine doesn’t get you all giddy. Green tea is a great choice for those of you who wish to get rid of coffee altogether. I know how hard it is to get off caffeine. Green tea contains lesser amounts than coffee so it should satisfy your brain’s dopamine receptors to some degree, and it reduces the withdrawal symptoms of coffee until they’re gone!

Like Water, With Benefits

One of the healthiest drinks you can, well, drink. ⁴

Lastly, if anything, you’ll get tastier water. If you find yourself drinking lots of soft drinks and juices, then why not substitute some of that for a cup of green tea? It’s warm and inviting, tastes good, and you get the benefits of antioxidants among other things. Plus, if you hate milk like me, then feel assure that no one drinks green tea with milk. Just keep in mind that it may be an acquired taste. The flavour is more mild in comparison to black tea, which is more full-bodied. If you like tea with milk then I think you may avoid green tea!

In conclusion…

To sum this all up, all I can say is that you have nothing to lose by drinking green tea. These are just what I’ve noticed in the past 8 months, but the range of benefits are pretty large. Weight loss, cancer prevention, less risk of Alzheimer’s and other diseases are a few of the other significant ‘claims’ made for green tea. I must stress that there’s not a lot proven, just heaps of research data with often conflicting results. Oh well — I know it works for me, and I don’t care about the rest that much (since I don’t have any of the aforementioned problems). So I say to you: drink up!

Image Sources:
1. Dementia Research Foundation Australia
2. YouTube (http://i.ytimg.com/vi/qz1FKi6z4Fc/maxresdefault.jpg)
3. Google Images
4. Life.ma

The Anime Jukebox #1:「Let Me Hear」by Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas

Hi everyone. This is my new series aptly titled The Anime Jukebox. There isn’t any fixed schedule for this series but I want to post often! It was originally called ‘Anijubo’ but since I want to avoid confusion with my blog name I decided to go with the longer version. It’s amazing, right?

Before watching Parasyte (the anime from which I first heard this song) I had never heard of this band before. Many listens and a few Google searches later I finally came across the name of the band: Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas. Odd name and strange grammar use aside, this is a perfect example of the punk energy that Japanese bands can give you.

Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas

It opens with a very catchy beat and auto-tuned voices that you may/may not be a fan of. The guitar and drums have a nice energy to them, and the song only gets more faster and energetic. The mix of electronica, guitar and the fast-paced drums really do make for an addictive song (at least, to my ears). I really like the auto-tuned vocals in particular — youthful and raw at the same time. When the typical hardcore screaming comes in some of you may be turned off, and indeed maybe the song could have done without it. The singer’s screams do sound a bit brash to me, so I can’t say that I agree with them. Perhaps the mixer could have reduced the volume of those screams, or used some sort of equaliser to reduce its harshness?

All things said though, I must commend this song for adeptly matching the anime that it’s used for. I should actually be thanking the person who chose the song to be used for Parasyte, but I’ll thank the band anyway for making the song. This was one of the few songs that I actually watched each time I started an episode. It was that good! Just don’t burst your eardrums out playing it on repeat.

On a side note, I scheduled a post for tomorrow. Look out for that! It’s not to do with anime though, so you might be taken aback or surprised.