Happy Birthday to Me

As the Japanese would say, やった! I’m 24 and blessed. I should make myself some monkey bread, but I’ll be going to The Cheesecake Factory later today so maybe another time. This year’s birthday theme would have to be…

I’m not even all that invested in Chance the Rapper’s catalog, but this song gives off good/positive vibes which is what I always need. I had a good night’s sleep yesterday (even though I went to sleep pretty late) and the only way this day can be ruined is if I saw a cockroach, lol. Even at this age, birthdays still mean a lot to me.

Oh, and while I’m at it, congratulations to Alabama for not electing a pedophile yesterday. Though, considering the results, it’s disgusting that so many people had no qualms voting for one Well, that’s Republican voters for ya. You will notice in the exit polls that the more educated also voted for the Democrat. That’s generally how it tends to be.

 

waifugahara

Anyway, my birthday shall be as beautiful as my waifu Senjougahara! I hope everyone has a wonderful day ahead!

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Redo!: Thoughts on Re-watching Anime

Rewatch

That “redo” was in my Cosmo voice. Since the start of December I’ve been re-watching a number of anime series. This isn’t anything new really, re-watching anime has been a fundamental part of my hobby. The primary reason is to see if the anime in question still holds up, basically to see if the happiness I experienced watching my favorites is still there. Re-watching is a big part of updating my list of favorites (even though it has remained the same for years). There are some anime I don’t remember much of because it’s been years since I last saw them so it’s nice to be able to re-watch them because it’s like watching a new anime without watching a new anime!

Here are some anime I’ve re-watched this year:

  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • K-On (both seasons)
  • Dirty Pair
  • Tenchi Muyo
  • Serial Experiments Lain
  • Lucky Star
  • Love Live
  • Baccano
  • Angel Beats

 

I’d memorize dialogue in these anime and I can still reference certain moments because I know them so well. If you’re wondering what anime I’ve re-watched the most it’s K-On. I’ve dead ass watched both seasons and the movie at least 25+ times, I never get tired of it! I don’t think I’m alone. There are other fans who re-watch anime, but for others they rarely want to watch an anime again. The reason I’ve seen is they would rather move on to something new as opposed to retrying something that they have already finished. Fair enough, but for me, since I’ve watched over 1,000 anime now I think I can slow down a bit when it comes to watching anime I’ve never seen before.

Upon a re-watch I can definitely appreciate an anime more and in greater depth. I don’t even look up the meaning for any of the anime that have the most complex story because I’m usually able to have it figured out on my own. As you can tell by the above pic, I’m currently re-watching Bakemonogatari, and if seeing my waifu on my screen again has taught me anything, it’s that maybe new isn’t always the best choice. I may have watched the entire Monogatari Series a number of times, but her lines and actions still make me laugh my head off and get me saying “what the blue cheese!?”. Even in the first episode when she’s a verbal abusive jerk, she finds the cleverest way to say what’s on her mind.

Please

Aren’t Japanese people supposed to sneeze twice if you say something bad about them when they’re not around? Anyway, the one thing I can say about re-watching anime is that I’ll never be surprised by the ending of Cowboy Bebop, or what happens to the Elric brothers in Fullmetal Alchemist, or the magic in Howl’s Moving Castle. But I can experience the feelings associated with them and relive a bit of what it was like to view them for the first time. Sure, it may not be as potent, but they’re still present with the knowledge and excitement that what’s to come will deliver.

If I don’t like an anime, it’s not likely I’ll re-watch it again. I may not drop any shows, but at the same time I won’t waste my time re-watching anything that I don’t find wonderful. For me, I think it’s better to re-watch anime more often than watching new series. Don’t get me wrong, I still watch some seasonal anime (that upcoming Pop Team Epic anime adaption though), but I’d rather go back to my favorites than watch a new mediocre anime. I don’t know why, but seasonal anime hasn’t been doing much for me, which might explain why I have been re-watching more and more recently. Seriously, there are at least 30+ new anime every season and I can count the ones I’m currently watching on one hand. Sure, there might be that one anime which gets extremely popular once in a while, but I can always check it out later or never.

I remember when I went through my “anime is the best thing evarrr!!!!!” phase back in 2012 to early 2014. Nowadays, just two days shy of being 24, I’ve mellowed out a lot. I mean, I’m still a weeb, but I had way more 10/10 anime back then where as now I only have two. I realized some anime don’t have the same impact they once did. I feel all my ratings should be a big deal for me. As my own life experiences and attitudes have changed, I’ve found that my ability to connect with and relate to characters has also changed. I understand them better, and am entertained by them even more. Even characters I once thought were annoying little buggers I’m now able to at least sympathize with them.

Another good reason I re-watch anime is because I’m the only person I know who’s watched as much anime as I have and I’m trying to introduce someone to something new I’m confident they’d like. My brother may not be what you would call a fan, but he does appreciate and respect anime (he says Samurai Champloo is the best anime despite only having watched 8 series maximum). My sister likes anime too, and good gosh I’ve been exhorting her to watch Love Live for months. So far, she’s only watched one episode and I thought she’d continue, but she has yet to do so! *sobs* 😦 Random note, but those Love Live Jumbo Nesoberi Plushes make for great presents. I have Maki and Riko, my niece has Kanan, my sister has Umi, my aunt has Yoshiko Yohane (in her Santa Claus costume from “ジングルベルがとまらない” or “Jingle Bell ga Tomaranai” in romaji or “Can’t Stop the Jingle Bells” for you English speakers). My brother has none ’cause he doesn’t like idol anime if I remember correctly. I probably should buy one for my mom, but I don’t know what she’d do with it. Anyway, writing this post made me realize I still haven’t watched K-On with my sister either and we’re supposed to do that (it’s been two years now)!

 

I should note I’m not one for nostalgia. I actually dislike it. But some moments are just worth reliving y’know. Anime I love deserve their re-watch for giving me the entertainment they have, and I deserve that sense of joy and refreshment from watching them. What about you, reader, do you re-watch anime? What are some of your favorites to watch over and over again?

Back Home

It feels good to be back ’cause I don’t have to worry or think about anything school related for exactly a month! My niece is always the first thing on my mind when I wake up so I’m glad I’ll be able to see her more often now! Also, I’ll be able to draw more often, learn what I actually want and play some video games!

But my word, I had a good night’s sleep yesterday. I usually get about 7 hours of sleep, but maybe that extra hour was the difference because I felt so refreshed when I woke up at 6:30 am. I had two great dreams too: one involved me calling my friend who was now a detective because I wanted his help finding my lost Air Jordan 11 shoes. The other had me proposing to Charlotte Flair, but her dad Ric Flair wouldn’t accept the wedding unless I had a Hell in a Cell match with him. My birthday is this Wednesday and I’m supposed to get a tattoo sometime this week. I’ll post pics of it when it’s finished. This month has a lot going for it: my birthday, my sister’s birthday, Christmas party, my niece’s birthday and her birthday party… December is going to be quite eventful for all the right reasons! I can’t believe it’s already going to be almost a year since Reiina was born! She’s growing up so well and fast. I love her so much!

 

Anyway, it’s 10:04 pm right now which means it’s past my bedtime so here’s a gif of the love of my life to end the blog post. I don’t need to say anymore, good night. ❤

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同人誌: Thoughts on Doujinshi

You’ve probably heard the term at one point or another. It’s the word “doujinshi”, sometimes it can be shortened to doujin. What does this word exactly mean though? That’s where I come in to happily explain it to you. I had misconceptions about it myself, thinking that it was just a way for people to illustrate pornographic material of their favorite anime characters. With this post, I’m hoping to help clear some misconceptions and maybe get some people interested in it since I was someone who initially didn’t find any value in it until I gave it a try!

 

Origin

Wikitionary defines doujinshi as “A fan-produced work, especially a manga, anime, or video game”. While this is true, I find this definition to be simple and I think I can go deeper so let’s start with that first. The word 同人 (doujin): literally translates to “same person” (the 同 kanji is for “same” and the 人 kanji is for “person”), and refers to a group of people with shared interests. The 誌 (shi) kanji that follows is short for 雑誌 (zasshi), which translates to “magazine”. When you put them all together, we get 同人誌.

Meiroku Zasshi” is often refered to as the pioneer of doujinshi. This means the earliest display of doujinshi was during the Meiji Era of Japan. The first magazine to publish doujinshi was Garakunta Bunko in 1885. The popularity of doujinshi really started to pick up in the beginning of the Shōwa Period between World War I and World War II. During this time, doujinshi was being published and shared amongst people. However, it was hard to get them as they could only be made by hand. Their popularity declined during the postwar years, but rose again in the 1970s because of photocopy machines. Hooray for technological advancements! Then in the 1980s, there was a shift from doujinshi being mostly original stories to mostly parodies and using characters from current, popular shows to recreate setups and portray different romantic pairings. In the early 90s, doujinshi started being sold at comic book stores and there’s even a doujinshi fair held twice a year (I need to make sure when I go to Japan I go around the time Comiket/コミケット is held).

 

Doujin vs. Doujinshi

Some people may think doujin and doujinshi are synonymous, but they aren’t. A doujin/同人 is one person or a group of people who share the same hobby, this can refer to all people that have a certain hobby. Most of the time, doujin refers to people with an interest in anime and manga, or the “anime fandom”, but it isn’t exclusive to that. So what do these “same people” do together? Stuff. Stuff like drawing manga, writing stories, making music, etc. Now doujinshi/同人誌 is publication made by a doujin.

 

Doujinshi today

In this century, doujinshi is still prominent. As previously stated, Comiket is a doujinshi fair where doujinshi is sold and websites like Melon Books sell them too. Doujinshi was and still is popular in Japan, but this is not the case in western countries. Despite this, reading doujinshi is an enjoyable hobby for many people around the world. Are you like me and want to see what a romantic development between Nozomi and Nico would be like? There’s a doujinshi (actually an entire series) for that. Or maybe an exhilarating adventure featuring Goku, Ichigo and Luffy piques your interest? I don’t know if there is a doujinshi for that since I never looked into it, but considering how big this world is, there’s got to be at least one.

In the west, doujinshi is often used to refer only to pornographic doujinshi. So some people might think that all doujinshi is hentai or that all doujinshi is pornographic, but this isn’t true. In fact, a doujinshi that has pornographic material is called usui hon/薄い本, which translates to “thin book”. They are called that because they tend to have few pages so they are “thin”. On another note, a doujinshi doesn’t have to be a manga. There are doujinshi that are simply illustration books, or visual novels, or music CDs or other creative outlets.

Unlike manga, doujinshi are not serialized and never get reprinted, they’re self-made. This means once they’re sold out, it’s not likely you’ll be able to buy them so you better get ’em while they’re hot! Thanks to technological advancements (hooray again!) there are doujinshi that can be found on the internet. However, most doujinshi are still pretty much gone once the last one gets sold, so if you didn’t buy one when it was for sale, you’ll likely never get to read it.

Before I move on to the next part, I should note doujinshi can be categorized in two ways: Original (オリジナル) and Parody (パロディ)Original doujinshi are works which are not based off any existing manga, anime, video game, or someone else’s brainchild. They are completely original amateur works. A fella makes something and tries to get people interested, either for fun or profit. Cool beans. Parody doujinshi are publications which utilize pre-existing characters and/or settings. A different fella takes someone else’s characters, puts them in different situations and sells it. Also cool beans.

 

How is any of this legal?

Is probably one of the first questions you’d ask. After all, in America, if someone was to make money by making a comic book using Spider-Man, the legal team of The Avengers would assemble and use their litigious superpowers on them. “Spider-Man is the property of Marvel Comics!” they would say to the nefarious villain. “We won’t let you make profit off of the web-slinger with your crappy writing. That’s what we have Dan Slott for!”. This type of stuff happens all the time in this country. Works using copyrighted/pre-existing characters that obtain profit are squashed like those spiders from the Spider Stompin arcade game. However, in Japan it’s a different story. The official stance is doujinshi does break the law in Japan. That’s right, creating a derivative work of a pre-existing series without prior permission from the copyrights holder is against the law in Japan. Even if you’re in the US, creating a doujinshi based off of a Japanese work would still be considered illegal. So then, why is it allowed? The bottom line is Japanese authors purposefully choose not to prosecute doujinshi authors and there are a number of reasons for this…

1. Doujinshi is where new talent is discovered.
2. There are serialized mangaka who make doujinshi themselves.
3. It’s possible that doujinshi can actually stimulate and strengthen interest in a series, and ergo generate more profit for the official works.
4. Cultural reasons.
5. Doujinshi is considered niche in an already niche form of entertainment.

 

Doujinshi artists also generally don’t make a lot of money so it doesn’t make much sense to sue them. There are a few like あずまきよひこ (creator of Azumanga Daioh which is a beautiful anime you should watch if you haven’t) who end up becoming professionals, but they’re not the norm. Actually, most of them tend to lose money.

“The vast majority of creators will never get close to earning back even their printing costs, and they know it. When asked about what they liked the most about Comiket, “I can show my work to other people” was the top answer (41,5%), followed by “there’s a festival atmosphere” (21,3%) and “I can meet friends and acquaintances that I normally can’t meet” (13,1). Only 4,2% of circles chose “I can sell a lot of doujinshi there” as Comiket’s primary attraction”.

So it’s obvious most of the doujinshi artists out there do it because it brings them joy and happiness.

 

I can’t read Japanese!

Unlike your favorite manga, it’s not likely for a doujinshi to get translated or scanlated. Yes, there are some that do, but it’s not on the same level as manga. They seldom receive any attention, and are almost impossible to find or purchase. Since doujinshi’s origin is from a certain East Asian country, naturally, the original language will be in Japanese. Speaking from personal experience, most of the doujinshi I’ve read don’t have furigana/振り仮名 like manga does. Just a quick note for anyone who doesn’t know: furigana is the hiragana above kanji or at the right side of kanji written in a smaller font in an auxiliary line of text. It shows how a particular kanji character is supposed to be read. Doujinshi is one of the reasons I decided to buckle up and learn the remaining kanji I need to know. I can read most of the content of the ones I own, but there are times when I have to look up a certain kanji character to make sure I read it right.

 

My personal thoughts

20171207_124643.jpg

Yes, that’s my のぞにこ/NozoNico doujinshi collection. かわいい でしょう? I like to read them whilst playing “My Love Is Hot” by The Cool Notes. I actually have more doujinshi that doesn’t revolve around my OTP, but those are por… anyway, I have a new found appreciation for doujinshi. It’s a recent interest of mine and currently, the only ones I invest my time in are my two yuri ships from Love Live (NozoNico and りこまき/RikoMaki). I will admit there are definitely fantastic writers and illustrations in the doujinshi scene! Even I’m not immune to partaking in it since one of the characters in my story is Seilah (from the anime/manga series Fairy Tail) and it was originally supposed to be a comic book (which I still plan on doing btw). I think doujinshi can be a very good creative outlet for many people. Through this unique and weird medium, people have not only been able to express themselves, but have been able to get indispensable experience and feedback on their drawings and storytelling.

My New Year’s Resolution

And to think I’ll be 24 in 12 days…

 

The New Year is nearing, and with the holiday season already upon us, there are many people who will be partaking in retrospection and reevaluating some of the choices in their lives. I don’t celebrate/observe many holidays besides Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and birthdays, but New Year’s Day is easily my favorite. It’s a great time to sit back and reflect on what I’ve accomplished in the past year, what I hope to accomplish in the coming one, and what I need to do to make it happen. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect tradition to make sure the first step to making a new chapter in my life one worth writing and reading.

While there’s always room for improvement, I believe the creative facet of myself has been lacking compared to everything else. So I have only four resolutions for 2018: To improve my drawing, finish making a beat, write my story more often, and learn more kanji.

 

Drawing

I’ve been drawing since the beginning of the year and while I have improved, I’m still not at the point I want to be. I know I’m more of the impatient type, but I also haven’t been practicing as often as I like. My final exams will be coming next week so I’ve been spending most of my time studying (or at least trying to). I’m not using this as an excuse, but since I haven’t been practicing every day like I should, it’s no wonder I’m in the position I’m in. However, once the winter break starts, I won’t be doing any of this studying crap which means I’ll have free time. My free time will be spent on a variety of things, and one of them will be drawing. My break starts on the 8th so I will basically have a month start on drawing. In 2018, I want to draw every day for at least 2 hours. I have no idea what my art will look like by the end of that year, but if I stick to it, I’m sure I’ll be amazed and dazzled at the results!

 

Music

I have FL Studios on my laptop (thanks to my brother), but I haven’t finished making a song. I’ve recently been thinking about this “1k project” where I want to make 1,000 creative outputs. 1,000 pieces of artwork, 1,000 poems, 1,000 songs or 1,000 blog posts… I’d like to make a lifetime’s worth of work. Anyway, during my break I hope my brother will help me in my journey on becoming a better music producer. He’s been doing it for a few years and he’s way more confident in what he makes now.

 

Story

Love Conquers All Sins” has been on an unofficial hiatus. It’s been months and there hasn’t been any update. I have a new scene finished so it’ll be on here pretty soon. It’s my first time writing a fictional story so I’m always a little hesitant when it comes to writing AND posting it. Even though there isn’t a timetable on this, I would prefer to finish this story by the time I graduate. 2018 will (hopefully) be my last year attending university so just like my drawing, I need to take time out of my day and make sure I’m writing as well.

 

Kanji

I wouldn’t say kanji is part of my creative development, it’s more mental, but I’ll include it anyway. It’s pretty weird being able to speak Japanese, but not being able to read everything. To put it bluntly, having to learn how to read and write kanji stinks. It’s not impossible, and currently, I don’t find it difficult either, but it can be quite involving. In the long run, though, it’s always nice seeing a kanji character and being able to know what it means! I might speak it, but I don’t really know Japanese unless I’m literate in it. I will be going to Japan one day, but I don’t want to when I can’t read! If you’ve noticed, I’ve typed some Japanese words in my blog posts for practice (and because I’m a weeb). If you’re curious, my favorite kanji is  which means light.

 

With a new year comes 365 blank pages. I get to write anything I want in them. So, I should fill the pages of my new chapter with my New Year’s resolutions. It’s time to make 2018 a better year than 2017. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Back on MyAnimeList

Myanimelist graph
Damn, only 36% of anime is good according to my ratings, lol.

Note: Here’s my post on why I stopped using the website in the first place.

 

So what does this mean? Well, for starters, it means the site is automatically more positive and credible now that I’m an active member again. It’s been almost 3 weeks since I signed up so I thought it would be alright to write a post on some things. I made a big deal on why I left so I’ll do the same on why I’m back.

If you don’t feel like reading my previous post, then I can tell you why I stopped using the website here… I stopped using MyAnimeList because I was sick and tired of the community/the forums teeming with insecure and purposefully negative users. While there were always users like that, it became more noticeable as time went on for a variety of reasons (users I like stopped logging in is one). It wasn’t a pleasant experience. I met a number of wonderful people on MyAnimeList, but there were other users who had a negative view on themselves, people in general and the world. It’s easy to get the impression, these users are as Sandy Cheeks would say, “Cold and mean and none too bright”. And that’s spot on. They liked to foist their insecurities and unhappiness on unwilling people. In general, too, they felt unsuccessful. As a result, they tended to be disagreeable.

Like I said so many times before, how you treat others is a direct extension of how you feel about yourself and when you try to make someone else feel bad or hurt their feelings unprovoked, it’s deplorable. Nothing says “I’M AN INSECURE PISSANT” more than attempting to put people down unprovoked.

Being away from the website and becoming more involved in the anime community was a pretty eye-opening experience. I realized the anime community was actually a swell one. My only real complaint is the fact a number of anime aficionados for some reason stink. I’m sorry, but I don’t know any other way to put it. When I go to the meetings at my university or cons in my state, there’s this omnipresent musky stench in the air. This doesn’t make them evil people by any means, but it does mean they need to shower more often, use deodorant or both. Anime fans I’ve met offline tend to be quite friendly. I don’t know if this is because everyone knows talking crap without a keyboard is dangerous or that’s how they naturally are. I tend to be sociable myself and I don’t have a cynical view toward others (I hate cynicism) so either way, I appreciate it.

The simplest reason I can give to why I’m back is because I don’t care anymore. While I met more jerks on MyAnimeList than my day to day dealings at my university (and I virtually leave my dorm on a daily basis and I have yet to meet anyone who’s disrespectful), I’m at a point where I will no longer let anything shake me (for lack of a better word). I’m glad I’m part of the community not only in anime, but in my university. Being in a positive community is essential. I won’t let any community or the world change me or make me an angry person. I’m too happy, optimistic and friendly to partake in the same foolishness as a negative person!

 

Anyway, to end this post, if you want to know what my profile is here you go. If you have a profile, let me know so I can add you since I have friend requests closed. I watched over 1k anime so I probably watched your favorite and I love talking about waifus so we can argue over them if you want to! You all have a good day now.