Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Kimi No Na Wa

I was lucky enough to win free tickets to see 'Kimi No Na Wa' or 'Your Name' at the cinema on the weekend. I love Shinkai's works so far, especially 'The Garden of Words' so I guess my expectations were fairly high. Now when I have high expectations, they are almost never met. But on Saturday, they were EXCEEDED!
The first thing I noticed was just how beautiful the animation was. But this came as no surprise. I often describe 'The Garden of Words' as the prettiest piece of animation I've ever seen, and 'Your Name' followed suit. The characters and plot were introduced in a lively and fun way, and the first half of the film was full of energy and some very well executed humour.
Then in the 2nd half, shit got real. And this is where I was most surprised. It was suspenseful, and I was on the edge of my seat. I won't spoil anything, but the way the story unravelled was unexpected and brilliant. There were some downright tragic moments. But I kept together because it always felt like there was still hope, and I had an urge to grab some pom-poms and cheer the characters on with all my might - "Ganbatte!".
The ending was satisfying. It felt finished and complete and I sat there with a feeling of gratitude that I got to see this incredible work of art. One thing I do want to address is that Makoto Shinkai as being called "the next Miyazaki". I don't like this term. As far as quality and entertainment value, I believe they are on par. But that's where the similarities end. Each is an artist in their own right, and their films have completely different feels, different themes, and different styles. There will never be another Hayao Miyazaki, or another Makoto Shinkai. What's exciting is that the anime film industry seems to be gaining popularity and recognition, and I can't wait to see what Shinkai does next!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Nozomi Tojo

I'm probably baised, because Nozomi is my favourite character, but so far this figurine is my FAVOURITE! The detail of the floral pattern on her purple ribbons is amazing. Her little paper charm thing (not sure what you call those...) is made from real paper and even her pantsu (not that I looked) are super pretty and girly. She has one pink thigh-high stocking on that's glittery - and I love glitter so that's a big win, and as with al the others, the pose is so full of movement that it looks like someone just pressed 'pause' and you could press 'play' again at any moment! Love it.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Rurouni Kenshin

My latest cosplay was Himura Kenshin. Though I enjoyed what I've seen of the 90's anime, my inspiration came from the more recent live-action films. Kenshin  is such a cool character! 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Summer Season 2016 is Over

I found this season pretty lacklustre to be honest. Let's firstly talk about the latest Key release, 'Rewrite'. I love Key, but what a let down! The pacing seemed really off, so it may have benefited from another season. Perhaps if it followed what Clannad and Little Busters did - use the first season to develop the characters and draw you in, then tear your heart out in season 2 when everything goes to shit in a big way.... But no. I didn't know enough about any of the characters to really care about them, and the protagonist, Tennouji, was just a boring pervert. The story had some seriously dark themes going on, and I really liked the overall plot. But it seemed to refuse to take itself seriously with too many 'comedy' scenes (most of which were not very funny or original) and pointless boob jokes. In this sense, it reminded me a bit of 'Brynhildr in the Darkness'. Both series had the potential to be really melancholy and the kind of thing that would stick in your mind, but both were ruined by unnecessary jokes and ecchi. By the way I have nothing against a bit of fan-service, but there is a time and a place. Something else that bothered me was the character design. It looked like a fantasy harem. Lolita-style school uniforms? really? And that blonde twin-tail girl wearing black vinyl pantsu and not much else was a problem for me because she looked about 12. I actually thought it was a cool outfit, but not for a child. Nope. I really hope Key can redeem themselves in the future.

I hadn't watched a sports anime for a while so I checked out 'Days'. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. With 12 episodes still to air in the Fall season, there's not too much I can say just yet. But that Mizuki though....Mmmmmm.....

'ReLife' - This one was available all at once on Crunchyroll premium so I binge-watched early on. I liked seeing a protagonist much closer to my own age group, even if he was still a high school student for most of the series. Bit of romance, bit of comedy, tragic backstories, likeable characters... all in all a pretty decent series.

I added 'Sweetness and Lightning' to my watch list over half way through the season, and I'm glad I did. It was somewhat similar to 'Usagi Drop', but not as good. If you haven't seen Usagi Drop, do yourself a favour! S&L is a bit more on the light-hearted side. It was very sweet and often made me really hungry! Although when they gutted the fish it had the opposite effect. Yuk. Anyway, worth the watch but if you gave it a miss don't feel too bad about it. 

'Love Live Sunshine!' I was so so so excited for the Love Live! spin off. Like really. SO EXCITED! And I wasn't disappointed :-) The 9 idols were all different and interesting enough from their pre-decessors that I fell in love with each of them for different reasons. Don't get me wrong, there are certainly many similarities between Aquors and Muse, which bothered me in the beginning. But as the series went on and we got to know them a little better, my initial reservations were done away with. Plus a new setting and some fresh character quirks gave this series a life of it's own. 

Lastly; 'Orange'. I really loved this one. I know from experience that when someone close to you commits suicide, you agonise over whether you could have done something to prevent it. And that's exactly what this series is about. What if you could change the past? What if you could save that person? 'Orange' touches on some really painful scenarios, but it always has a 'silver lining' feel to it. Like deep down you know everything will be ok. I loved each character and the animation was consistently decent, even really beautiful at times. I shed a few tears for sure, but it wasn't as sad or depressing as I anticipated. An 'Orange' movie has been announced and I can't wait - this was my fave of the Summer 2016 season.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Last week my pre-ordered Nishikino Mako figurine arrived. This is my 4th figure from Alter's collection. 

I opened the box and squealed like a 15 year old girl at a One Direction concert when I discovered that her lantern actually LIGHTS UP! HOLY SHIT! I had to order the correct batteries on eBay (they were like $3) but wow, so exciting!

As always the detail is incredible. Especially on her fish-net stockings and super pretty veil. The Veil goes on, and then there's a hat too. I was like "how the hell is that going to stay put?" but when I placed the hat on top - Voila! - magic magnetic madness keeps it perfectly in place!

Maki is gorgeous,  and well worth the $300AUD or so that I paid for her. 

Still eagerly awaiting Nozomi. She has apparently been shipped so hopefully any day now.... 

Thursday, 15 September 2016

New Releases

Picked up these beauties today!

 Most exciting is the limited edition boxset of Sailor Moon Crystal. It comes with a booklet and some gorgeous art cards. I love Crystal because it's so darn PRETTY, and so is this set. 

I got the Attack on Titan movie collection on blu-ray. I've heard many people say they don't like these films, but I saw both at the cinema and found them entertaining. I guess if you're a die-hard AOT fan and are super attached to the characters in the anime, then I can see how the live-action would be frustrating or disappointing. But since I am neither, I can sit back and enjoy both for what they are: ass-kicking action with scary giants, and uncomplicated plot and characters.

Studio Ghibli's 'Only Yesterday' finally got a blu-ray release. I look forward to watching this again, it's been a while. Now I just need 'Ocean Waves' and my blu-ray Ghibli collection will be complete!

And lastly I felt it was time to start collecting Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood because it's a pretty great series.

Now, with the Summer simulcast season coming to end soon, I'll be updating my final thoughts on the 6 or so series I've been watching, so stay tuned :-)

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Umaru-chan and Tanaka-kun

The last 2 series I finished watching were 'Himouto Umaru-chan' and 'Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge'.

Umaru-chan was so darn cute! I had so much fun watching this series and I felt compelled to buy all of the merchandise. So far I have a cloak and a squishy cushion. I'm sure I'll find more merch on my upcoming trip to Japan. I found her character really relatable. Well only the lazy, potato-chip-eating, otaku part of her personality. I'm pretty much the opposite of a beautiful, athletic, popular schoolgirl! I guess after a while the novelty of this show kind of wore off a bit, it never felt like a chore to watch. Although if it was a longer series it would probably get boring pretty quickly.

'Tanaka-kun is Always Listless did bore me just a little bit at times. But I like the characters and the general feel of the show. Like, it wasn't just Tanaka, but the whole series that was kind of listless. It had a quiet, calming feel to it. I like the soft colour palette, simple drawings and also the music, especially the ending theme - 'Bon-Bon'. Overall it was a fairly decent anime, but I feel like if I didn't watch it I wouldn't be really missing out... kind of take or leave it.... I guess you could say my thoughts on this one are rather....listless.