Category Archives: anime/manga

12 Moments 11: #10

This entry is part of 12 Moments in Anime 2011.

#10 is my actually having finished my Anime Expo recap before attending Yaoi-Con this year. Seriously, that was a big hurdle for me. Speaking of Yaoi-Con… hahaha.. I’m still working on that. >_>

I’m really trying to get better about posting shortly after I’ve finished a book or movie or series, or shortly after the event has ended, but my strong point has never been self-discipline, so getting the Anime Expo stuff (which finished in early July) done in October—you know, as opposed to never—was a great success.

See, even Chad (from BLEACH) is giving me a thumbs up. ^_^;;

Chad from BLEACH

12 Moments 11: #11

This entry is part of 12 Moments in Anime 2011.

#11 is the seemingly random and yet completely unnoticed (by the other characters) animal characters in Princess Tutu (ANN), of which Neko-sensei is the most prominent. There’s also an anteater-girl, a goat-girl, and others. I watched the first 13 episodes of Princess Tutu on the recommendation of an acquaintance of mine. As each episode began, I kept thinking to myself, “Well, it’s not that bad, yet, I’ll just see what this episode is like.” Well, I watched 13 entire episodes that way, and while I think the overarching story line is intriguing, I just don’t know enough about ballet (and don’t know the story lines of any given ballet—even The Nutcracker—well enough) for the way each episode plays out to keep my interest.

Neko-sensei stretching

Also, the humanized animal characters were really distracting. I didn’t think it would be a big deal for me at first since the main character herself spends some of her time as a duck, but two things took away from that. First, when Ahiru (the main character, Princess Tutu) is actually a duck, she’s the size of a regular duck. The other animal characters (Neko-sensei, Anteater-girl, etc.) are human-sized animals that walk on their hind legs and use human language. Second, the main character doesn’t spend all of her time as a duck (in fact, she spends nearly none of it that way since, as she herself points out in more than one episode, it’s kind of hard for a little duck to do anything about saving the world or the prince), so I can still imagine her as a human who occasionally transforms… instead of a giant cat or giant goat or whathaveyou.

I don’t know, maybe they have a purpose later in the series, but I didn’t get far enough to see the point. I felt like I was sitting there, in the classroom with a bunch of other (human) ballet students and when an anteater student walked in, I was the only one who noticed. Not that it’s a bad thing to be an anteater, but it’s not like there were a bunch of them and they were just another race of humanoid beings or something. No, just one anteater. Or cat. Or goat. Or whatever. It was really weird.

12 Moments 11: #12

This entry is part of 12 Moments in Anime 2011.

#12 is Gilbert and Vincent Nightray from Pandora Hearts (ANN). Watching Pandora Hearts had kind of on my “anime I should watch” list since it came out, but I never got around to it until this Autumn, when I found out that a friend of mine hadn’t seen any new(-ish) anime since… high school or something. It was sad-as-in-pathetic, so we watched all of Pandora Hearts in two Friday evenings.

Gilbert and Vincent Nightray

Of course, I always go for the tormented (Gilbert) and crazy (Vincent) ones, so these brothers are right up my alley. The series ended at 24 episodes, and my friend found out why Vincent was so insane (and Gilbert so moody) after reading up on the manga, which continues the story. Turns out that it might not be for as great a reason as I hoped, though it’s probably a realistic one. (Haha, no spoilers, guys, even though the series is already like 3 years old or something.)

12 Moments in Anime 2011

12 Moments in Anime 2011

This is the third year in a row, guys! (2009, 2010) As per usual, I’ll be following the correct calendar for the twelve days, starting on Christmas Day and ending on the day before Epiphany.

Without further adieu, I give you…

Twelve Moments in Anime 2011
12. December 25: Gilbert and Vincent Nightray from Pandora Hearts
11. December 26: the animal characters in Princess Tutu
10. December 27: finishing a convention recap before attending the next convention
09. December 28: tumblr
08. December 29: complications surrounding Gundam Wing‘s pilot designations (01, 02, etc.)
07. December 30: finishing my Yaoi-Con recap
06. December 31: my holiday card this year
05. January 1: Yaoi Press review copies (Happy New Year!)
04. January 2: as yet untitled future comic with Sammi!
03. January 3: TokyoPOP shutting down
02. January 4: figuring out that one anime was Dead Leaves!
01. January 5: the 30-day Anime Challenge

One Paragraph 4

One Paragraph 4

The Immortals, Book 1: Wild Magic (finished 24 December 2011)
I started this book on a trip to San Francisco in late October—there’s still a plane ticket sticking out of it, actually—and didn’t actually read it until later in the year. A friend of mine recommended this book to me as a good introduction to Tamora Pierce’s writing. I remember when the Circle of Magic books were published around the time I was in junior high; they were popular but I never read them. Wild Magic isn’t bad; I can find nothing glaringly wrong with it, at least, except that it is—quite obviously—simply an introduction. (There are three other books in “The Immortals” series.) I’d read the others (or, at least, the second) if they showed up on my desk somehow, but I probably won’t seek them out.

Red Riding Hood (viewed at home 10 December 2011)
A retelling of the ancient fable that’s part drama, part mystery—with a dash of romance for flavor. I was pleasantly surprised to see Galactica‘s Tigh in the film, though I wish he’d played a bigger part. The film itself was all right—I didn’t immediately figure out who the werewolf was, but I’m not adept at mysteries, so there’s that. I wasn’t really surprised when it was revealed. Definitely a fantasy, but not in an overt kind of way, which I liked. Also, I kind of liked the ending; romantic, in a strange sort of way, though I can see why it wasn’t well-received at the box office. Whatever. It was all right. Not “super awesome you must see this right now”, but okay.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn, part 1 (viewed in theaters 26 November 2011)
I don’t care enough about this series (the books or the movies) to give it more than a mention here. It wasn’t a good movie. In fact, it was pretty spectacularly bad—bad characterization (there is none), bad for women (are you kidding me, S.Meyer?), and a non-existent plot—and this is still the only series that involves vampires that has ever made me root for someone not the vampires. I mean, really. It’s just pathetic. This is the first movie in the series that I didn’t (attempt to) read the book beforehand. I’m pretty sure reading the book was unnecessary, since the very first Twilight movie was actually an improvement over the book upon which it was based. Just… ugh, Twilight; ugh.

Sleeping With Money (finished at home early November 2011)
I’ve said I’m not really one for yakuza/gangster stories, and yet recently I’ve read a few without even seeking them out. I don’t know why that keeps happening. Either way, this novel was… eh: so so. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible. That might have been the translation (it was translated from the original Japanese), but I just… didn’t really get into it. I finished it, but the most it had going for it was the pictures (seck-say woo woo) and my desire to finish things I start. Otherwise, meh.

This Film Is Not Yet Rated (viewed at home 14 November 2011)
Made me want scream. I realize the documentary is slanted against the MPAA, but seriously… it wasn’t like these guys had to try very hard to make the Association look bad. If the stuff in this documentary is true, the MPAA rating system—and its implicit censorship and the use of complete secrecy—is complete bullshit. Also, way to go, sexist/anti-gay/anti-sex movie industry… of which the MPAA is only a symptom. Made me want to just strangle someone. You think violence is okay and sex somehow isn’t? Not going to lie: that’s pretty fucked up. I’ll give you some violence. /garrrrrrr /tears out hair

holiday_wishes 2011

holiday_wishes 2011

holiday_wishes post here

I think I may have skipped on this project last year and that’s just plain sad for me, since I really like gifting things (especially things that are basically brand new but have been sitting in my room taking up space for heaven knows how long).

In any case, I’m going to try to fulfill a few wishes this year—I’m pretty stressed out at this point, but I really think I should at least give as well as I (potentially) get AND sometimes giving things (making people happier) helps the mood, anyway. We’ll see.

But, there’s no giving without at least having a list for myself, too, since I also like getting things in the mail!!

1. Mail from other parts of the world. Like, real mail. Honest-to-God letters and holiday cards (Pagan ones, if you have them!) and postcards and whatever. It’s just nice to get something in the mail that’s not a bill, you know?

2. Unused United States Postal Service stamps in any denomination. I send a lot of mail and I will use the stamps you send me. Doesn’t matter if they’re “H Rate Make-up stamps” or “Forever” or whatever as long as they’re not cancelled out (y’know, so I can still use them!). If you’ve had a bunch of old stamps sitting in your drawer because you just don’t want to bother looking up how much they’re actually worth, send them to me!

3. A new battery for my Mac. (I have a 15-inch Macbook Pro.) A long shot, I admit, but I’m just throwing it out there.

4. Anything related to Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, especially Duo Maxwell, Heero Yuy, or Trowa Barton. I actually own the entire series itself (including Endless Waltz), so I don’t need that, but I would love GW icons, fanfiction, fanart, etc. (And I ship 1×2 pretty hard /cough*otp*cough\, just in case you’re looking for inspiration haha.) Also, I cosplay as a Preventer when I attend anime conventions, but my jacket has been worn so much that it’s fraying at the seams… Hahaha ^_^;; I would love for someone to give me a decent pattern for a new Preventers jacket, since the one I used for the first jacket is lost to the sands of time.

5. I really, really love retellings of old fairytales, especially Beauty and the Beast, so if you could point me in the right direction of any versions of fables/fairytales you’ve heard of/know about/have written yourself (!!), I would be very grateful. I already have a lot of versions of my favorite (so many that I can’t name them all), but I’ll happily take repeats. But, just in case you collect retellings, too: the more rare/unknown, the better.

6. I’m visiting New York City in January and I have some decent cold-weather clothing, but I don’t have any good gloves. I’d really like someone to give me some cold-weather gloves that fit my hands. I’ve been told I have long fingers, and it turns out that most gloves I’ve tried on almost fit. I don’t know how difficult it is to make gloves (or find/buy ones with longer fingers), but I thought I would ask just in case someone on this community is a master glove maker or something.

7. My all-time favorite theme park is Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California. I don’t get to go very often (I’ve never had a “year pass” or anything, for example), but I really love saving the park maps from the times I’ve been. I have park maps from the last couple of years, but I didn’t start the tradition of saving the maps until recently, so I don’t have any from the 90s and early 00s (and before!). If you just happen to have a Six Flags Magic Mountain (Southern California) theme park map from any year before 2008, I would be happy to take it off your hands. I know this is a different kind of long shot than #3, but still… If I don’t ask, I’ll never know, right?

8. An image of your favorite tattoo and why you got it (or, if it’s someone else’s, why you like it). I know some people are really protective of their tattoos, so if you’d rather not post your response for the whole community/world to see, please email me at iwasborninjune[at]gmail[dot]com (correct symbols, of course) with “holiday_wishes tattoo” or something similar in the subject heading. If the tattoo is someone else’s (and you know whose it is), please get permission from that person before sending the image to me. I really love tattooing and sort of collect meaningful and unique tats because it’s like a little window into that person’s world; it helps me know them better. I will never post your image—what you share with me will stay with me.

9. My little not-that-little sister is an artist (see her deviantart); she just opened an etsy shop and is anxiously awaiting her first orders. She doesn’t have a lot of stuff up yet, but I think it would really boost her confidence if she got more views and maybe even a couple people to buy some of her work. I humbly request that you click through and see for yourself is her jewelry is your style, and—if it is—please buy something! If you have a friend who likes jewelry, please pass the link along. I’d really appreciate it.

…and, last but not least…
10. Anything from my Amazon.com wish list
non-book | writing
fiction/poetry | nonfiction
words/maps | fairytales
feminism | natives
religion/spirituality | self-help
socio/psych | shoes/boots

In shoes, I wear a US woman’s size 10 M. (It’s in sections because I organize like someone with OCD, but if it’s not kosher to have more than one link, let me know and I’ll fix this post.)

Thank you so much, guys and gals!

Here’s my address:
[REDACTED]

Also, if you grant a wish of mine, please feel free to link to your list so that we can all share the love! Thanks very much again.

Yaoi-Con 2011: thoughts from the video room & manga library

Yaoi-Con 2011: thoughts from the video room & manga library

This post is part of my Yaoi-Con 2011 recap.

There may have actually been more than one video room, but I could only find one (yeah, the con’s set up was… lacking, in my opinion, in more ways than one), so that’s where I went for some anime! I watched all these titles subtitled unless otherwise noted.

Legend of Duo
Classified as “shonen-ai” and “vampires” this was right up my alley, except that I came in to it about two-and-a-half episodes late. I should check it out when (laugh; I meant if) I have the chance.

Hey! Class President
I’ve see this a couple times already, and I was trying to see something else, but the video room people switched it up on me, so I sat through this instead and completely missed the other thing. Not that I’m complaining, since the manga’s pretty good, too, actually, but I mean…

Axis Powers Hetalia: Paint It White! (dubbed)
I’ve never seen any Hetalia except the very first five-minute episode, which I thought was so awesome that I immediately showed it to my brother. He liked it so much that he immediately made Italy’s “Pasta!” the text message notification sound on his cell phone. All that said, Paint It White! was… racist. Or, at the very least, it walks a very fine line. I wasn’t offended by the portrayal of America, Princess Princess charactersfor example, but I’m not everyone, and the show obviously makes fun of other cultures, too.

Princess Princess, eps. 1-4
I liked the first few episodes of this so much that I bought the entire series in one of the Dealers Rooms. I think I’ve see the first couple eps. before, but I never got around to finishing it, so now I have that chance! I mean: boys dressing up as girls! What’s not to like, right?

Princess Princess [liveaction], ep. 1
I wasn’t as enamored with the liveaction version of Princess Princess as I was with the anime version, so I was kind of glad they didn’t show more than a single episode. (Then again, I go to an anime video room for anime, not liveaction, so that doesn’t surprise me.) It was all right. Not great.

Nyanpire
Whaaaaaat? This was the most ridiculous thing I’ve watched in a long time. It’s a series of shorts (similar to Hetalia in length) about a dying black kitty who is granted eternal life by a well-meaning vampire who gives him a few drops of vampiric blood. It’s a play on “nya” which is the sound a cat makes in Japan. I have no idea if it’s yaoi, shonen-ai, or what, but whatever else it is, it’s ridiculous. I’ll not be pursuing it further, that’s for sure.

No.6, eps. 3-4
I really wish I’d seen the first two episodes of No. 6, too, but I was able to fill in most of the blanks (well, enough to not be completely confused watching eps. 3 and 4, at least). I’ve seen a lot of fanart that pairs Sion and Nezumi, so I was glad to see a little bit of the context. I don’t think No. 6 is, technically speaking, yaoi or shonen-ai, but half the fun in watching a TV show is finding your OTP… that’s decidedly not canon. ^_^;;

Shion and Nezumi from No. 6

The Postcard [Korean liveaction]
This was a sweet short film with a sad ending. I liked it, but I wanted a happy ending. T_T Life isn’t like that sometimes, I guess, so.

Close the Last Door
I’d seen this OVA before (I think at Yaoi-Con 2010, actually), but it was good this time around, too. I want to know what happens after the three men all meet in the main character’s apartment! Waaaaant. Maybe I should read the manga, right?

Junjou Romantica 2, eps. 1-2
I wasn’t sure at first if I’d seen any of the second season of Junjou Romantica, but as the episodes progressed, I realized I had. Made me want to watch it again, though. ^_^

———
The manga library was great, as usual. I really think that conventions’ manga libraries are completely underrated; they’re like diamonds hidden underneath a pile of glitter. Not that I don’t like glitter, but I mean: an entire room… with nothing but manga… that I can read for free… for as long as I want. Seriously, what’s not to like?

Great Place High School: Student Council 1 coverThe Devil Within 1 by Ryo Takagi
I picked this up because it’s about a girl who hates men (“They’re all devils!”), and I was confused as to how such a story could be in a yaoi manga library. >_> Turns out it’s not yaoi at all but is actually more shoujo. It was all right. Not what I was looking for, though.

A Capable Man by Hinako Takanaga
Chose this manga because I’ve read The Tyrant Falls in Love and Little Butterfly and wanted to see other things the mangaka’s written. (In fact, I read the entire Little Butterfly omnibus in the Yaoi-Con manga library in 2010.) This manga is also good. If I was the type of person who thought that I shouldn’t fix an unbroken thing, A Capable Man would be great. I like switching it up a little more, however, so I probably won’t be buying this manga since I already have some of her stuff.

Golden Cain by You Asagiri
I wish there was another volume of this ’cause I really want to know if the brotherly love I foresee developing… actually develops. ^_^;; Falling for a famous model is one thing, and it can have its own scandal, but I really want to learn more about the relationship between the main character and his amnesic older brother.

A Strange & Mystifying Story 1 & 2 by Tsuta Suyuki
I read the title at first as “A Strange & Mysterious Story” because the cover font isn’t the greatest. Mysterious isn’t the right word, as you’ll notice, but I think it fits just as well as Mystifying. The third volume of this manga was on sale in one of the Dealers Rooms, but I didn’t want to get it without having read the first two—which I really liked. Unfortunately, the third wasn’t also in the library and neither of the first two were on sale anywhere at the con that I could find, so.

Black Sun by Uki Ogasawara
I’d read this before—and I may even own it, though I’m not sure—but it was good this time around, too. I really like historical fiction, and this is the Crusades… with a healthy dose of yaoi… with story and art by a Japanese person. Talk about Gentle Cage covermulticultural. ^_^ I seem to pick up manga that lack happy endings, though, and this one is no different on that count. (It was the Crusades, after all; practically none of it was happy.)

Great Place High School: Student Council 1 by Naduki Koujima
“Possible objectionable content: Pornography”…??? Hahahahahaha. Don’t you realize that’s exactly why I’m reading it? Someone remind me to catch up on the original manga, too.

Fallen Moon by Toui Hasumi
I really liked this manga, but I thought that it wasn’t complete. I mean, the story’s done, but I wanted more… backstory, sidestory, something. I wanted to have the world that the author created filled out in my head and it wasn’t long enough (one volume of anything isn’t long enough) for that.

Gentle Cage [novel] by You Shiizaki
A novel with illustrations by Kumiko Sasaki. I’m going to be honest: I almost stopped reading three or four times. I’d turn the page and think “Really? Again?” when the characters did something cliched or seemingly out of character, and then I’d think, “Well, let me just finish this chapter at least…” I read seven chapters that way and when I finally had to put the book down to get some lunch and then somehow never ended up going back to it, I really regretted it. I’m going to have to find it somewhere and finish the story! It grew on me, obviously.