My Birthday

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Happy Birthday to me!

Haha!

 

Yesterday I turned 26 on the 26th day of June. That was a funny coincidence. Or was it? 😉

 

My kind of day is a peaceful one. No noise, no fuss, just quiet time with a few familiar faces. Fortunately, my birthday was a quiet tranquil day. I spent the majority of the morning drawing. I told myself that I was going to have that day to rest, but really, drawing and writing bring up a lot of positivity in me. I find it very rewarding when I get a clear picture in my head of a scene or character. =)

 

I spent the afternoon watching DVDs of the anime, Cat Planet Cuties! I’ve seen up to 6 episodes and I’m very much enjoying it. It’s very cute and I really enjoy the art.^^/ I’m definitely going to watch more episodes. All of them in Japanese audio.^^

 

I received many birthday wishes, text wishes, many cards and a few presents. All the presents are wonderful. =)

 

I got the Non Non Biyori soundtrack, and I’m definitely happy about that. If you have read my blog a few times you would know how much I love Non Non Biyori, especially the music. So, I greatly appreciate this. I greatly appreciate High School DxD blu-ray. It is one of my favourite anime, possibly in my top 5. I then got the Atelier Escha and Logy game. I’m enjoying the anime and I can see myself enjoying the game, and low and behold I received this game as a gift. I received another gift- a Donkey Kong T-shirt. Haha. =D

 

I got a birthday cake from my parents in the form of the Avengers. And if there’s something that I learned this year it’s that I’m terrible at cutting. I made a total mess of the cutting so I had to relieve myself of those duties and pass the responsibility on to Mum. XD I had that cake and it was delicious, everyone had the Captain America part but I chose to have the parts of Iron Man. Haha.

 

Then I just spent the rest of the evening playing Mario Kart 8. It was fun but my brother, as kind as he is, switched my bike with a rubbish one without me knowing…rascal. XD

 

In short, it has been a very nice day.

 

Oh- speaking of High School DxD, I found out this morning that a third season of High School DxD has been announced. So yes, yesterday was a good day. For once, the sun and rain have treated me kindly. =)

 

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Visiting College

University Building

Sunny Tidings.^^/

 

I went to my college today to catch up with my old tutors. One of the tutors I caught up with is retiring, so, I took this opportunity to visit everyone before she left.^^/

 

Discussions about my visit have been happening for around a month or so. Initially I was hesitant to go. It has been a long time since I visited my old stomping ground and I don’t visit places often. So I was anxious about travelling and going to a place that I’m not so familiar with anymore. However, when I got there, I was surprisingly myself. It all became familiar once again…except, there have been many changes!

 

The gym has finally been built (it started when I left) and extra parts of the building have been attached, built in, and the reception has changed. I found out the more awkward way since I went to the old reception building instead of the new one… When I walked into the new building I was like ‘well… I’m lost.’ XD In the end, instead of waiting for my old tutor, I just asked the receptionist about him.

 

She was like ‘do you have an appointment with him?’ And I was like… no, but, we arranged to have a drink. Apparently, that could have been taken out of context. In hindsight, I can see why. I don’t know why I said that, I suppose I felt that the receptionist was being a bit too formal. Like the sort of receptionist that you would get in a doctor’s office. Haha. So, what came out of my mouth was all natural…but daft. XD

 

Long story short, we met up and we had a very good catch up indeed. It was rather fun and to be honest, it seemed rather too short. I completely forgot that I was anxious. I was definitely myself because I forgot to pay for my cup of tea… a very bad habit when I was a student. XD But, in my defence (if I have a case) the tea was on one side of the café, whilst the cashier was on the other. So, I just naturally walk off like I was getting a drink in my own house. Haha.

 

In some ways, the college was like my second home, just some new residents.

 

So, with this afternoon’s visit, I definitely feel comfortable enough to go back and visit again. Somehow my Autism tendencies overshadow my Ryan tendencies. By this I mean that sometimes my mind play tricks with me and I worry about something that isn’t there. I’m laid back and down to earth but when my Autism tendencies play tricks with me I do need an outsider to say ‘chill out bra, it’s not as bad as you think.’ And so far, things have never been as bad as I have anticipated.

 

It’s all good.

 

In the upcoming days I will upload a blog about my birthday (which is tomorrow) and I will share with you my thoughts on the Anime Spring season. =)

 

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

Familiarity and the World Cup England Match

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Footy Tidings.^^/

 

Like most people with Autism I like familiarity, especially when I go out to badminton and yoga. It’s not just about familiarity with the same people; it involves a number of factors. What clothes I will be wearing, what time I will be going, for how long, what I will need to take with me, who is it to pay and what shuttlecocks we will be using. It may surprise you but with us Autistic folks, the smallest of things can actually be the biggest.

 

With yoga last night, I was out of my comfort zone. A new yogi instructor was present in place of Callie. This did put me out as I wasn’t expecting a new yoga instructor at all. I also didn’t expect so many people turning up, since the sun has been shining beautifully in the sky as of late. So, I felt squashed by the huge crowd and there was a new yoga instructor to accustom myself to. I did my best to try and remain positive although being caught off guard and being out of my comfort zone, it wasn’t easy.

 

I was able to cope in the end but unfortunately I wasn’t able to relax, I was rather too intense to be able to chill out. It partly made me weary and initially I told myself that I’m not going to go next week. What if Callie isn’t there again? What if the room is going to be crowded again? But then, I listened to some Non Non Biyori music, had a bath, watched football, spoke to my family members and now I’m able to think rationally…

 

I was basically thinking too much. It’s that thing of when my imagination play tricks with me. What’s the point of anticipating situations that may or may not happen? One of the teachings of yoga, which I adhere too very passionately, is living in the moment. Don’t think about situations that may happen in the future. How do you know what will happen? Instead of anticipating moments, just handle those moments if they happen. And that philosophy is the kind of philosophy I’m trying to achieve with a smile on my face. =)

 

*

 

I’m really enjoying the World Cup. This is probably the best World cup in years, at least in my opinion.

 

I mentioned in my previous blog that I fear for England’s chances of advancing to the knockout stage. In their previous match they lost 2-1 to Italy.

 

It was certainly a valiant effort on their parts. Raheem Sterling looked very positive going forward, when he fired that shot in the third minute I honestly thought he had scored. XD We played decent Football, we had some good tempo going on and we closed Italy down at appropriate times. However, I felt that we fell short on the technical and mental aspects of the match. We lost focus at crucial times and perhaps got a little careless when giving the ball away. Perhaps fatigue came into play? When it came to passing I felt that Italy outplayed us in that regard. They’re all about technique and passing the ball around. Hopefully England would have learned from this and will do their very best against Uruguay tonight. =)

 

I’ve been invited to my sister’s house to watch the Football there. At this moment in time I feel like watching at home, but, instead of making a rash decision now I’m just going to see how I feel tomorrow. =)

 

COME ON ENGLAND! =D

Ryan

World Cup 2014

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Summer Tidings.^^/

 

I’m having a very good summer so far. There are number of stories that I would like to share with you about the shenanigans I got up to. Like my thoughts on Mario Kart 8, going to Applewood Farm Pub Quiz (World Cup special), my illustrations, potential new ways for me to socialise and completing the anime Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic. I really enjoyed that anime and I will be looking to pick up Magi: The Kingdom of Magic.

 

But- all of that is irrelevant to this blog! 😉 I’m talking about the World Cup 2014! =D I will be watching this as religiously as Thomas the Tank Engine and Non Non Biyori. Haha. =D My first thoughts are ‘COME ON ENGLAND!’ my second thoughts ‘I can’t wait for the first match tonight.’ =D Because of the time zone in England I’ll be watching most of the matches at 9 or 10 in the evening. They’re roughly the times when they kick-off  here in England.

 

I have made initial predictions about who will qualify from each group…

 

GROUP A: Brazil to qualify on top, Mexico runners-up.

GROUP B: Spain to qualify on top, Chile to come runners-up

GROUP C: Ivory Coast to qualify on top, Colombia to come runners-up.

GROUP D: …wishful thinking perhaps but England to qualify on top and Italy to come runners-up. 😉

GROUP E: France to qualify on top, Honduras to come runners-up.

GROUP F: Argentina to qualify on top, Bosnia and Herzegovina to come runners-up.

GROUP G: Germany to qualify on top, United States to come runners-up.

GROUP H: Belgium to qualify on top, Russia to come runners-up.

 

I feel that since the hosts are Brazil, and considering the whole terrain and climates I feel that the South American nations will have a big advantage over the European nations. I’m up in arms about Group B as well. Spain is probably the best nation team in the world, or at least one of them, so there’s no doubt in my mind that they will come out on top. I initially predicted the Netherlands for second place, but then I remembered that it’s based in Brazil so I switched it with Chile.^^

 

I must admit that I’m not very optimistic about England’s chances. Of course I will get behind them 100% but how well will they adapt to the terrain, climate and air before they play Football? I think it was a good idea that they had warm up matches against Ecuador and Honduras before the World Cup event. With the quality in our side we probably should have won comfortably, but to be honest, I think two draws is more than we could have hoped for. I’m especially thankful though that we didn’t come away with any injuries, the tackles by the Honduras lads during that game was horrendous. I’m not sure if they were deliberately trying to rough us up or if they were missed-timed tackles, but regardless, I’m just happy that most of the players are fit for the World cup. =)

 

How do you rate England’s chances? Are you watching the World cup? Are you excited? Roll on Brazil vs Croatia. =)

 

Fare Thee Well for now.^^/

Ryan

Monster Musume Volume Two Review

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Konbanwa.^^/

I am delighted to see MonMusu[1] volume 3, which is now on sale, is selling very well. It is now number two in the New York Times, previously number one for three weeks. It was knocked off the top by Dragonar Academy, which is also licensed by Seven Seas.^^/

I’m very impressed with Seven Seas recently, it was announced that they have licensed both D-Frag and No Game No Life. I really enjoyed the D-Frag anime and I get the feeling that I’m going to enjoy the manga. So, I pre-ordered the manga on Amazon. =D

Ahem-

Let’s roll with the review before I get anymore off topic. 😉

 

1. SUMMARY OF THE PLOT… IN MY OWN WORDS

Ms Smith has revealed to Kimihito that the government are looking for test subjects that involve a human marrying a liminal… I’m sure you gather what this will entail. 😉 Basically Kimihito now has the choice of marrying one of his house guests, and likewise, all of his house guests are currently fighting for his affection so they can be his number one lady… alas, things never transpire as smoothly as they or Kimihito would have liked. Until now Kimihito has been holding back his urges since he’s a gentleman and law abiding…but now that he has a choice in the matter, it will beg the question, can Kimihito keep his urges under wraps? You will need to read it to find out.

 

2. STORY

I feel that the story now has a clear purpose. The ultimate plot I suppose was eluded to at the end of the volume one book. That purpose involves Kimihito choosing one of his house liminal guests to be his future wife…if he so desires.

This is definitely in my top five all-time favourite manga, even though I’ve already read two volumes of this franchise. I just connected with this story very quickly. It’s my kind of story and I really love the unique characters and their design. Whilst it’s borderline soft-core I feel that they are used at appropriate times. The stimulating art goes extremely well with the comedy. The comedy is used in both the slapstick comedy (visual) and the funny quips and puns used in dialogue (verbally).

If the comedy elements were absent then I don’t think I would have enjoyed this as much. One of the charms of the story is how self-aware it is. The cast often make parody references and puns about their own kind.

At times there was some nail-biting stuff that bought me to the edge of my seat. I was nervous about what was going to happen but by the end of it, my worries soothed. I laughed more than worried when I read this volume.

 

2.1. Harem

Spoiler alert…

Kimihito’s harem is strong and it looks like it’s going to get bigger and stronger than before. Manga that have harem elements usually end with three options.

  1. The main male/female chooses the lady/gentleman at the end.
  2. Open-end
  3. Bigamy or, the main male/female choosing everyone.

It will be interesting to see how the harem route plays out. At the minute Kimihito is opting to go on dates with everyone in order to bond with the girls. So, at this moment in time, it is difficult to tell how this will end. I’m anticipating many more female characters to appear before we have an idea where the story is going.

It showed that the girls are willing to ‘share’ Kimihito whilst under the influence of the full moon.

I personally always prefer either the harem route or the open-ended route. I don’t support the guy being with more than one girl, just because I don’t like seeing any girl get heart-broken.^^

 

2.2. Theme/Genre

  • Comedy
  • Ecchi
  • Fantasy
  • Harem
  • Romance
  • Seinen
  • Slice of Life

 

3. CHARACTERS

3.1. Recurring Characters

I feel that I’ve learned a little bit more about the recurring characters, we got an insight into their hobbies, backgrounds, likes/dislikes and so on. There was quite a bit of extra information plus an additional story at the back of the book.

I really do admire Kimihito for keeping his libido in check but I also admire him for treating the girls very nicely. In this type of harem manga there’s not many guys like Kimihito who would embrace a house full of girls straight away. Yet, he adapted more or less straightaway. He did freak out when it came to marriage but he eventually manned-up and apologised for over-reacting.

Ms Smith is still as useless as ever, but, deep down I know she has a good heart…maybe. XD She was especially funny in chapter 10.

 

3.2. New Characters

3.2.1. Meron Lorelei

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A very gentle lady, the kind of gentle character that I felt was needed. All the female cast can be innocent in their own way but none of them are exactly what you would describe as gentle. Meron fits this bill to a tee.

I had some sort of inkling that she was going to be a mermaid, or at least some kind of sea creature. She looks very pretty, especially her fin-like ears. I found them very cute. I bet Miia is going to see her as extra competition, especially since they have similar body figures. 😉 Perhaps they’re going to be strong rivals at some point?

I noticed that she dresses like a maid. I wonder if this is a cheesy pun because the ‘maid’ is part of the ‘mermaid’. I wouldn’t be surprised since all the cast have puns in their names in one way or another.

I like her. It was a nice twist in chapter ten when it came to the whole illegal species drama involving Suu.

I envisage her voice to be soft spoken, sweet, gentle, and well-mannered and a touch curious. Add humble to the equation too. If this turned into an anime then I would propose she would be voiced by either Satomi Akesaka or possibly Rie Murakawa. They both have sweet and polite voices and they add a calming and soft charisma to their characters. =)

 

3.2.2. Suu

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Everyone on the internet highly anticipated a slime girl to make an appearance in MonMusu, the same slime that appeared in Okayado’s Hentai one-shots. I too wanted to see that very same slime girl in this manga, and we all got our wish, we all got Suu. =D

I simply adore her, her personality, her design and her overall uniqueness. She is definitely one of the most unique characters that I have ever come across. Because she’s a slime, she has the ability to transform into any form. She can shape herself as petite as Papi, or as curvy as Miia and as busty as Centorea.

She can be very deadly, but at the same time, she is definitely the most innocent. It makes me wonder if she actually has a mind of her own or if she just simply imitates what she sees. Thinking and observing is one thing, but, does she actually harbour any feelings? In my opinion, she does. Her reactions are very positive and cute; she reacted strongly when she and Papi were above the water. She was afraid, and being afraid is an emotion. Emotion is a feeling. So, I deduce that she imitates whilst having feelings.

As strange as this may sound, I actually envisage her with a mature voice. Since she imitates others it makes me wonder if she’ll imitate other people’s voices as well. I don’t necessarily picture Suu imitating voices but more like imitating their tones and expressions. If this turned into an anime then this could be similar to the case with Eucliwood Hellscythe from Is This a Zombie? In that show Eu has about 20 different VAs, since Ayumu keeps on visualising her with different voices each time. XD I can’t see Suu being used in this way though.

Her abilities are superbly unique and if she was as smart as Centorea then I bet she could conquer the world… whilst avoiding water.

 

4. ART

The art is such fun to look at. I like the overall design of the characters and style; it matches very well with this kind of story. I mentioned it above but the comedy and the art really go hand-in-hand. They literally bounce off each other. There are many borderline soft-core moments, and one moment which is definitely rude…but that moment is ‘covered’ up by another panel. So, if you’re thinking of reading it you will need to prepare yourself to see cheeky situations. Haha.

I especially like the characters when they’re pulling funny faces, particularly Miia’s. Looking at Miia grimacing and pulling all kinds of faces literally cracks me up every time. For someone so pretty she shouldn’t be capable of pulling funny faces. XD One minute the visuals show her being very silly and the next it shows her being frisky in the bedroom. Wink, wink.

There are a few inconsistences though- like the penultimate page of chapter 8. Miia’s ear is supposed to be shaded (depicting red) but at the bottom panel it’s just a blank. Sometimes the scales on Miia’s face are absent and not drawn on. It’s a similar case to Naruto from Naruto really. He has whisker marks on his face but sometimes his marks disappear.

Still, little stumbles hardly matter though, at least to me. The whole point of this style is to make the girls attractive and titillating and Okayado does this extremely well.

Strangely, I like how he draws Kimihito, especially his eyes. Usually they’re just round and white, but they become visible if he’s experiencing a strong emotion or he’s in a serious situation. It’s as though we are being told when the situation is serious. Perhaps it’s a form of symbolism? Either that or it’s a cop out since Okayado would prefer giving more detail to the ladies then the guys? And if that’s true who can blame him? XD

 

5. ANIME

I’m certain that Monster Musume will get an Anime adaptation at some point in time, possibly next year. However, the more I think about it, the more I get the impression that it will receive commission for an OVA/special instead of an actual TV series.

Really, it all depends on which studio decides to sign up MonMusu as well as there being many other factors to consider. How are they going to animate it? Who will be the artist? How much funds do they have to produce it? Who is going to voice who? Which composer are they going to hire? In some ways, depending on the choice of studio the Monster Musume anime would be either a hit or miss. It’s all pure speculation though, but I’m definitely crossing my fingers that the right people will commission MonMusu.^^

I think Aniplex, same studio as the Monogatari show, would be best suited for MonMusu. However, I get the impression that it will be a toss between Xebec, Studio Dean and Gonzo.

Saitou Hisashi I think could do a good job at directing Monster Musume. He was the same director who directed Heaven’s Lost Property, Bamboo Blade and Haganai. My reason being, his creativity when it comes to directing and animation.

 

6. CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM… IF ANY

I don’t think I really have the heart to criticise this manga since I always focus on the stuff I really like, but, I’m giving it a shot!

Although I’m used to it by now I must say I find unfortunate that manga is printed in paperback. It’s very sad to see my manga being bent into unnatural shapes. =( Cue the violin music…

Ahem-

The term ‘monster girl’ has been thrown round quite loosely in the story itself, even by the liminal themselves. So really, there’s no real issue here, especially since it’s not a serious story. However, the term ‘monster girl’ seems to be rather demeaning. It’s like saying that the ‘monster people’ are inferior to humans, both in genes and appearance.

I suppose it’s the kind of society where the humans are still getting to know the liminals. Some welcome them with open arms, others, not so much. In some ways this situation is very similar to the case with the Mutants from the X-Men franchise.

Still, none of the ‘monster girls’ seem to take offence so all is good. Haha.

 

7. CONCLUSION

I enjoyed this just as much as the first volume book. Great art, funny scenarios, unexpected twists and good character development all round. I would have given this score higher then two thumbs if it were possible. Since it isn’t I’m just going to give this two thumbs up. =)

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8. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Okayado., 2014. Monster Musume Volume Two. Los Angeles: Seven Seas.

Okayado Twitter Page., 2014. @Okayado1215. [online] Available at:

<http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=267014&gt; [Accessed 6 June 2014]

Okayado Pixiv Page., 2014. [online] Available at:

<http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=267014&gt; [Accessed 6 June 2014]

 

9. OFF-TOPIC NONSENSE

I just thought I’d share this video that I found on my random browsing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PNr5bYfGBI[2]

This link is actually advertising the Monster Musume manga. It is a rather fun video. Ka-wai-i. XD

 

10. SAYONARA

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Hope you folks enjoyed reading my review as much as I enjoyed writing it. I had to keep on restraining some of my opinions since I don’t want to spoil the story…which is a very bad habit of mine. XD

 

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

 

[1] Acronym for Monster Musume

[2] Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou Commercial. Asimofufan. Published 29 Jun 2013. [Accessed 06/06/2014]