Random Monday #4: Best Halloween Episode EVER

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1. TV shows love holidays and they make great great episodes about them. I love all of the FRIENDS thanksgiving episodes, they are my favorites ever, but My So-Called Life’s Halloween episode is the best out there. Sure, the Pretty Little Liars have Halloween episodes and they are great, but no TV series compares with the quintessential show for teenagers. My So-Called Life is a piece of art, the writing is especially great and the best episode is, of course, the Halloween episode (actually, it’s really hard to pick one).

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The costumes were out of this world or anything, but can we talk about Angela’s costume? The cat eye glasses and the lime button up sweater. Oh, dear… it almost made me want to change my Halloween costume.

2. I have not finished Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan). The anime.

3. Homestuck is on a huge pause again and the next update is going to be the final update. I kinda like that.

4. Did you know there’s a thing called bubble tea? Where can I get one? How do I make it at home? I so want to try it!!

Yes, this Random Monday was more of a “let’s talk about how great MSCL is and then add three short other things”, but that show is really great, ok? Did you watch it already? What are you waiting for?

 

The Geeky List: Vampires, Sherlock and Titans

This is my third Geeky List and this one also has a TV show. As you can probably tell I watch way too much TV – not including the anime in this category. But I am totally sure that it’s not my fault, I am not the one who produces such awesome and entertaining TV series so don’t blame me for watching them!! Mmm… yeah, let’s start:

  • The Little Vampire book series by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg with illustrations by Amelie Glienke. I love children books and I also love monsters and scary creatures, now combine those too add some really nice illustration and you have the secret of happiness – not joking! I won’t go into details with this series because I already did here and here, but I have to tell that if I ever have kids we’ll have lots of fun reading about the adventures of Rudiger – the little vampire – and Anton, his human friend.
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  • In my last Geeky List post I mentioned that the next one – this one – will have lots of Sherlock, and it’s true in a way, but more Sherlock to come in the next ones!

    I finished the BBC Sherlock a long time ago but I am still obsessed with it and I can’t stop reblogging anything related with it on tumblr. I also re-watch some episodes from time to time and I make everyone who isn’t watching it watch it because that’s how obsessed I am and the show is just too great to ignore it. It’s a modern take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and it’s just amazing! There’s also another Sherlock show called Elementary and I will start that one soon because the friend who got me to watch Sherlock recommended it to me. I feel so lucky for having friends that only give good recommendations.
  • Now I know I talk about anime&manga in my Otaku Sunday series, but Shingeki no Kyojin (in English: Attack on Titan) has taken over my life!! After every new episode from the anime I was left with more questions than answers (kinda like Pretty Little Liars does) so why not read the manga and see if any of my theories is any good? Now I have even more questions and while some of my theories turned out to be quite good now I have even more theories and I need to know more but you have to wait like a week for the anime and I am not sure how much for the next chapter in the manga!! It’s crazy, I tell you.

I guess this is all for today, it’s quite a short and not detailed list but I have to go Indian food and I don’t want to be late. See you next time! I also leave you with this awesome song about geeky girls (and not only)!

Otaku Sunday #26: Sports anime?

Sup, guys! (This is my way of pretending that today isn’t Monday!!) Sport anime? What do you think about them? I kinda don’t watch them. I am not even interested in them… especially if they are with team sports or with boys. I just find them not my type and I can’t stay they are boring because I never gave them a try and I don’t plan on doing so too soon. Sure, when I was a kid I watched an anime with volleyball because I was a volleyball player and it was pretty fun but nowadays I rarely get excited about a sports anime. Expect for this two:

tumblr_mpavfcGRck1ru7d8to1_500 Well first and the best sports anime out there (that I watch, don’t get me wrong): Chihayafuru!! This anime has everything you wish for in an anime: we have great character development, awesome friendships, fierce competition, determination, love triangles, funny characters, silly characters, awesome characters, mysterious characters and outstanding art and music, lovely poems and whimsical atmosphere.

Chihayafuru (I think I talked quite a lot about this one in other Otaku Sundays) is an anime about a beautiful Japanese card sport called Karuta. The first time I watched it I was not interested in the sport at all, I liked the characters and the relations between them, also Chihaya’s struggle to make a Karuta club in her high school. But after two awesome seasons I am in love with the sport itself! And I promise you you will be too!

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And my next sport anime that I like is Yawara! Yawara is an old anime and it has that old, vintage feeling and I fancy that. I love old anime especially because of that feeling. Yawara is an anime about another Japanese sport judo. I can talk about this anime without comparing and contrasting it with Chihyafuru, but it’s funnier this way. Yawara and Chihaya are quite different. While Chihaya wants to play Karuta and cares about nothing else but the game, Yawara cares about everything but Judo! Both main female characters are teens and Yawara is the normal teenager who thinks about boys and clothes, but with a natural talent for Judo – let’s do another comparation with Chihayafuru, Yawara is in a way like Arata from Chihayafuru, she has the talent and her grandpa is a huge Judo master -, on the other side we have Chihaya, a teenage girl who doesn’t care about boys or her look, but has a huge passion for Karuta and works hard to evolve in her game.

I enjoy watching both anime and if you know other sport anime with strong female characters please let me know!

Otaku Sunday #25: Shiki (Spoiler Alert?)

I am posting this on Monday because I couldn’t finish Shiki in one sitting… because I started it from the beginning. I was super excited about this one when it first aired and I watched half of it, but then they had a two weeks break (because of a tsunami or something similar) and I kinda lost the enthusiasm so I stopped watching for a lot of years but I watched it in two days so let’s try and review it!

Shiki is a lot like Salem’s Lot. Actually, Shiki is Salem’s Lot only better! Salem’s Lot is a book by Stephen King that I read a couple of months ago. It was pretty awesome and woke up my interest for vampires. I know that sometimes when you say something resembles something else is not really a good thing, but Shiki takes Salem’s Lot and makes it ten times better so I guess we can just skip the part with “takes Salem’s Lot”.

Just like the book the anime has two parts: the slow part (and my favourite one though many were annoyed by it) – the one that helps setting the story and the event and knowing the villagers; and the fast one – the one with all the killing (there is killing in the first one too, don’t worry). The story starts in a similar way to Salem’s Lot. There’s a huge house that you can see from almost every part of the small village, vampires move in it and try to transform the townsfolks into vampires too. But I should stop using the term “vampire” because they prefer to be called “shiki”. But then the two are very different. While the book is pretty good and interesting (just don’t watch the movies), the anime manages to go deeper and explore other layers of the “shiki” problem.

The story and the characters are really complex and different than any other vampire anime I watched. Let’s take for example the two adult that know about the shiki-problem, they are old friends and they are very similar, both having to carry the family legacy on their backs, but their motivations are so distinct and it ends forming a gab between the two – and that was heartbroken for me. I am, of course, talking about the Junior Monk and the Doctor (Muroi-san and Ozaki-sensei). As much as I love them together I hated them when they took different paths.

And it’s not just the humans who are different, the shikis are too even though most of them seem to just obey the orders. Like I said, the characters are developed in a really great way, they are fascinating and I don’t feel like I am able to talk about all of them though they deserve it.

You must watch Shiki because it’s a great one! But beware, by the end of it you might find yourself in my dilemma (and it’s a centuries old one): what’s good and what’s bad? What’s right anymore? What would I do if I was a shiki? Is it bad that they kill humans in order to survive? Who is to blame for this? Are they different?

It’s a sad anime about humans becoming monsters and by “monsters” I don’t refer only to shiki.

Otaku Sunday #24: Anime Summer 2013

So the Summer season is just around the corner and there are quite a lot of pretty interesting anime. I only picked six anime so far, but I am probably gonna watch more than just the ones I am going to mention in this blog post (they are in no particular order and I didn’t read too much about them):

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First on my list is Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui! (July 9) What the bloody hell is with that title?? The anime is about this creepy otaku girl who is very popular and had a lot of admirers… in the game world. But then she decides to be popular and social in the real world too… I wonder how that will go.

Next we have Servant X Service (July 5) and I don’t really know anything about it. So let’s jump to the next one: Kamisama No Inai Nichiyoubi (July 7). In this anime we encounter a world that God abandoned a few years ago and because of that new people are no longer born and the old/dead ones no longer die.

And then we have Blood Lad (July 8), an anime with an otaku vampire who falls for a Japanese girl who becomes a ghost. The guy on the poster looks more like a zombie if you ask me. And the last two are Silver Spoon (July 12) – where we have an agriculture school and farmers and Dangan Ronpa (July 5) – where we have a special kind of school and you have to kill a classmate if you want to graduate. Isn’t that nice?

These are my six anime I can’t wait to watch, as for the rest… if there are going to be more I will let you know in my Summer 2013 First Impression!! If you have recommendations just leave them in a comment.

Otaku Sunday #23: Names in Anime

I am not one who judges a piece of art by the author that made it. I can watch an anime made by a not so known director and still love it as much as a Miyazaki anime if it’s good. But I do get a little bit excited when I hear about an upcoming anime by a director I really like… even so, I can still be disappointed or not like the work as much. So today I want to share with you the three names in anime that get me excited!

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Since I already said something about Miyazaki let’s start with him. Hayao Miyazaki is the one that created My Neighbor Totoro, one of the cutest anime films, Spirited Away – a gorgeous film that won an Oscar for the Best Animation, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, Arrietty and more. This guy is like Walt Disney famous and his creations are really good and everyone I know loves him. Heck, I love him too. I do adore his animation but what bugs me the most is how everyone compares any other anime films I share with his. Don’t get me wrong, the guy is good but not everything he does is outstanding and amazing. Totoro is gorgeous and so is Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, but Ponyo and Arrietty, while still cute, weren’t as great as the other. Anyway, just check him out ’cause he is great and every time I hear there’s a new film made by him I just can’t help but hope that the cinema here will play them! I have yet to see a Miyazaki in the cinema.

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Makoto Shinkai is very much compared with Miyazaki and while he says that the comparison is an overestimation I actually think he is greater than him. Maybe not greater when it comes to creating fantastic creatures, but definitely greater in the visual aspect of an anime film (and story telling too, but the visuals are Shinkai’s best feature!). He created 5 Centimeters Per Second – a really really sad anime but also gorgeous, Voices of a Distant Star, the short film She and Her Cat, Children Who Chase Lost Voices – I saw it in the cinema!! (but is not his best work), and Garden of Words – my current favourite film by Shinkai (5 cm per sec used to be my favourite before I watched Garden of Words).

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Mamoru Hosoda made The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, a great anime, and then he stopped. Then he made Summer Wars, an awesome sci-fi anime film and he stopped again. But he recently made an adorable anime film: Wolf Children and if I wasn’t excited for his movies before (because he does have the tendency to take big breaks between films) I am now!

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And finally: Satoshi Kon! I know I said only three, but Satoshi Kon is dead so I can’t be excited for his upcoming creations but he is my favorite and I HAD to mention him. If my favourite actor or director dies I probably won’t suffer, just feel bad a little bit, but when Satoshi Kon died I suffered quite a lot. Fortunately the animation festival that happens in my town every Autumn held a special edition for him (see, I am not the only one who loved this guy) and I got to see my favourite anime film on the big screen, Paprika (and another film by him, Tokyo Godfathers). He created more films like Millennium Actress and Perfect Blue, but unfortunately he will create no more. On a happy note they might release a film he was working on called Dreaming Machine:

The title will be Yume-Miru Kikai. In English, it will be The Dream Machine. On the surface, it’s going to be a fantasy-adventure targeted at younger audiences. However, it will also be a film that people who have seen our films up to this point will be able to enjoy. So it will be an adventure that even older audiences can appreciate. There will be no human characters in the film; only robots. It’ll be like a “road movie” for robots.
—Satoshi Kon

And while I wait for new films by the directors I talked about I can watch the films they made but never got to see them. I almost never watch/read everything by a person I like because I am afraid they will stop and I won’t get to experience their works again. I know it’s stupid because one day I might stop (read as in heart or brain stopping forever!) and never experienced their works… Guess I am really in a negative mood today.

PS: Sorry for being late, had an exam today and I spent my Sunday studying for it!

Otaku Sunday #21: Garden of Words

Yesterday I wrote three or less lines about summer rain, one of my favourite thing weather wise. Today I am sharing with you one of the most beautiful stories in anime world and the summer rain has a major part in it!

Mih introduced me (again) to it. I am talking about Garden of Words (or Kotonoha no Niwa), an anime film by Makoto Shinkai, the guy who also made 5 centimeters per second and many other beautiful films, but 5 cm per sec is on my top three.

From start I knew that the visuals were going to be extremely beautiful, but I had no idea that the story was going to be just as great. The story is simply about two different persons who randomly met one day in a beautiful garden on a rainy day. And since that day they continue to come to that place only on the rainy days.

Their relationship develops along with the summer rain and what is even more beautiful is that their bond is not described with words but by the nature – we have utterly beautiful close-ups -, and its interaction with the rain. This way, the anime creates a lovely atmosphere that amazed me scene by scene.

I don’t think I can say enough beautiful things about the stunning visuals. Makoto Shinkai’s art is so unbelievable and hard to put in words. It is impossible not to be charmed by it and it always lets you wishing for more.

Personally I fell in love with this film and I considered it to be better than 5 cm per sec and if you know me and you know how much I love that film that is a really big deal! But, yes, you have to watch it. My poor review (this is not even a review, I can’t do those) is not doing it justice. You have to watch it!

(the images are not mine, they are from different tumblr blogs)