fantasy

Japanese & Other Stuff

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Been teaching myself Hiragana the past week and a half, I already memorized them all though I think I should take it slow and keep practicing them before I rush into Katakana. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do for myself and finally have the drive to try.. I just hope I can find enough good resources to help me along once I start getting closer to Kanji. <_< It’s actually pretty fun, although it can be a bit tricky at times. ^^ It’s really fun to look at some of my belongings and be like “hey, I know what that kana is!” But enough about me being a dork, kek.

I’m really impatient about the release of the re-translated Sailor Moon manga.. One thing that has me really sitting on the end of my seat is the fact I’ve never actually read more than 2 volumes of the series. You can count on me having every volume this time around though, no way am I missing out on that. I love Sailor Moon to pieces. :)

I mentioned last time Mawaru Penguindrum has a heavy Utena influence.. Which I like, a lot. I loved Utena but that aside, there’s another anime I want to look into that I have heard people call Utena it’s “Spiritual Successor” called The Rose of Versailles. I don’t know too much about it other than it’s from like 1979, though the Manga is like ’72, ’73, and that I like shoujo.. And if Utena is considered a spiritual successor then I am definitely interested.

I have yet to watch an episode of Usagi Drop yet, and Mawaru is the only new anime I’ve actually been keeping up with aside the things from last season like Hanasaku and Ao No Exorcist. Still burning out on Nichijou but I won’t stop watching it yet. It still has it’s moments. I’ve read the manga for Ao No Exorcist a little past the point it’s reaching in the anime now but I’m still excited to see it in action. Somehow I find it more exciting to see things animated after reading it.. Otherwise, between playing Final Fantasy XI a little & practicing my Hiragana, I haven’t done too much anime watching as of late. Work keeps me busy too, but at least it feeds my hobbies? :D

Also, soon, SOON, I will have some art on here. T_T When I stop being a lazy ass.

So for now, here is a picture of my character in lame clothing because I am not a pro high level yet. They get all the good gear. /pout

My Mithra on Shiva
Alleviour - Shiva server. :D Let's be friends?
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Mawaru Penguindrum..?

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So I’ve picked up a few new animes as expected, though the one I didn’t mention last post was a new show called Mawaru Penguindrum. Right off the bat I was interested when I learned it shared a director with Revolutionary Girl Utena. Kunihiko Ikuhara, who was also the original creator of Utena has a very distinct style I picked up on right away with Mawaru and as much as I liked Utena I hope this show delivers the same punch. But man is the first episode weird… very misleading for sure. I hope it’s worth the watch.

I haven’t bothered with Nyanpire or Ikoku yet, just not in the mood for it right now I suppose, new Ao no Exorcist tomorrow though, joy! Nichijou is slowing down so I may wait to watch that episode, though now I’m a little eager to see more Hanasaku.

I haven’t touched my file on Final Fantasy 9 in a few days, almost to the end of disc 2 however. I love this game to pieces though I got sidetracked with FFXI, which I still can’t seem to get my boyfriend registered on. Looks like we’ll have to make some phonecalls Monday, ugh. I hate calling customer service for any company, especially ones with notoriously crappy CS. Atleast when I had issues with World of Warcraft, Blizzard was right there and fixed it quick. Maybe I’m just thinking too much.

I’ve been really lazy about my art lately, it isn’t that I’m not drawing, just that I’m always just doing sketches and never finishing any of them. Half of the time they end up tossed aside anyways and I don’t see them for months.. I really want to draw something worthwhile but I haven’t found any major inspiration other than the occasional fanart idea. I used to only like drawing my personal characters but as of late I haven’t done anything with them storywise and they’ve fallen a bit flat. Never did get into doing that Pokemon White and Black thing I wanted to do either. ( Never played it for that matter. ) Whee.. One day!

All in all, this week will be relatively easy at work so maybe in my time off I can find something artistic to do. :) Here’s to hoping.

Ano Hana, Ao no Exorcist, & More

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Menma
Ano Hana

So I know I brushed Ano Hana off in my last post but.. Oh. My. God. I don’t think I’ve cried that hard since I saw the last episode of Sailor Moon Stars. Now Sailor Moon was definitely not sad in the end, but you know, favorite anime and all that.. But Ano Hana really got me. Just something about that last episode was just too overwhelming. A lot of people have hated on it because there was “too much crying” and I’ve seen other people say “too dramatic” but whatever. This was supposed to be sad, it’s about a dead girl! I really don’t regret getting into this series and if you’re in the mood for something moving I guarantee that Ano Hana will deliver.

In other news, Ao no Exorcist / Blue Exorcist has reached it’s halfway point and so far it’s sticking true to the manga. I don’t expect it will stray much, though I’m still worried they may end up making it into another Naruto or Bleach. Long running shounen aren’t terrible… But I don’t think I could watch anything that ends up with 300 episodes of filler. Dragon Ball Z is probably one of the longest shows / shounen I’ve watched, Sailor Moon being close behind, but I love Sailor Moon so that’s beside the point. xD The main character Rin is cute, and I like the art.. and I have a soft spot for female mangaka. Fullmetal Alchemist was an above average shounen and I liked it a lot, female mangaka there. So here’s to hoping.

After not watching Hanasaku Iroha for a few weeks, I finally got caught up on my episodes. It’s a nice show to wind down to, not something I’m super into or worried about what’s going to happen. I think Hanasaku falls into the calming category. I don’t mind watching it every now and then, and I guess I’ll keep up with it till the end. I sense drama is coming up, however.

And then there is Nichijou. Nichijou started out random, funny, and sometimes just plain out wacky. I think it still has that vibe now but I don’t find myself laughing as much. I still like the art style and the jokes are funny from time to time but it doesn’t have that same “What the heck?!” thing I was feeling at first. Also, can’t get used to this second opening song yet.

In the upcoming season, there’s a few shows I’ve been looking forwards to checking out: Ikoku Meiro no Croisée , Nyanpire The Animation , and Usagi Drop . Hopefully I can get my hands on them soon. :)

Out side of the anime world, I’ve been working a lot.. Cashiering isn’t too hard as long as you can handle different types of people. Some crankier than others. But thanks to this working thing, I’ve managed to get back into Final Fantasy XI and apparently back into drawing, writing, and being social. I was in a total rut for months, now I’m just tired. xD On FFXI I got my White Mage class to 18 and then set it as my support job while I raised Red Mage up to 19.. Should be 30 in no time. I’m trying to get my boyfriend to play with me so it’s not so lonely. I met some neat people so far, they’re very nice and generous and have helped me tons. The game may have been out for years but the players are far nicer than anyone I met on World of Warcraft when I played.

If you’re on the Shiva server, send me a tell. My name is Alleviour.

Revolutionary Girl Utena

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I’m rather new to the blog scene, they’ve been around for years but I’ve never found myself able to keep up with one. I spend most of my time drawing, playing video games, or watching anime, so I thought maybe I could share my thoughts here as an outlet.

Revolutionary Girl Utena
Dios, Utena & Anthy

Most recently I finished watching the series Revolutionary Girl Utena, a contemporary fairy tale with a twist, which I feel strays away from traditional shoujo archetypes. I’ve heard people refer to it as the Neon Genesis Evangelion for girls, and I can see where they got the idea. They both deal with psychological elements, NGE may be darker than Utena ever was, but the elements present in the later arcs definitely put you through a loop when contrasted with the start of the series. The biggest thing I loved about this series, is that while things start getting dark and serious, they always have a touch of lightheartedness so that you don’t spiral down into some deep depression mid series. That itself makes it stand out from NGE which, while I liked it, it weighed heavily on me when the series ended and frustrated me to no end when I didn’t ‘get it.’ When Utena ended, I felt good about what I saw. I was happy for it.

There are many themes, many of them dark such as manipulation, death, betrayal, and even forbidden love, but also many light themes, such as friendship, chivalry, and a sense of nobility. There’s a good balance of both and I think that they did a great job expressing the darker themes, in a way that’s almost tasteful. I never felt awkward or dirty watching the characters, nor did I feel it was ever trite and unbelievable. Utena is very much a coming of age anime, as its main heroine Utena grows and changes she comes to learn more about herself as she gets wrapped deeper and deeper into the story. Sitting at just 39 episodes, it didn’t take me too long to breeze through it, though after initially watching only seven episodes, I stopped for a short time to watch other things. For some, it may start off a bit slow, but by episode 15/16 things start getting more tense and emotional and honestly had me hooked. At first I may have had my doubts, but after finishing the series, I feel it was definitely worth the time I spent watching it.

The story itself revolves around the “Rose Bride” and the Ohtori Academy Student Council, as the Council members fight to obtain the her, as she is thought to be the key to a coming revolution. The current champion is constantly challenged for the right to possess her. The Main Character, Utena, a chivalrous, kind, and trusting individual, met a prince in her childhood. She was so impressed with him that she decided to become a prince herself, reflected in her choice of clothing and personality. She attends Ohtori Academy where she meets Anthy Himemiya, who she soon finds wanting to protect when she sees she’s in an abusive relationship with a fellow student. Utena fights to protect Anthy and is pulled into a series of duels with the Student Council. Unaware what she’s gotten into, she defeats her opponent and obtains the “Rose Bride”, Anthy Himemiya.

Overall, for the series, I’d say a 8.5/10. The music was great, I felt a real concern for Anthy’s wellbeing, and I will admit I got a bit teary eyed at the ending. ( Ok, maybe I cried. A little. ) The story may have felt a little slow at times, there are a few Nanami-heavy episodes that I would consider filler that I didn’t like too much but all around, it was a good watch and I would definitely watch it again in a few years. The music in the series is mostly done in what I’d call a… Choral Rock style and then there’s even some jazzy elements, but overall it’s very catchy. For such a short series, the OST is actually pretty big, the collection I have is like 10 cds. The opening, sung by Okui Masami is very nice, but picking just one version, that’s the hard part. It’s definitely up there with some of my favorite series, such as Sailor Moon.

Two years after the series finished, they released a movie titled Adolescence of Utena in 1999, which was a retelling of the original story. It definitely took a different route with the series, as some of the characters either had their personalities tweaked or they were removed all together. If you liked the series, I still say the movie is a good watch and even has some more great music, so to me, that alone is worth it. If you feel like you want more, Adolescence of Utena was good, even if a little short, as long as you view it as a retelling.

If you like a Shoujo series with drama, this series is definitely for you.