Smile

Mr Happy

Joyful Greetings.^^/

I try to show the positivity through my smile. I’m not always natural when it comes to smiling though, more specifically, I’m not natural when it comes to smiling outdoors.

I’m always too conscious of my surroundings to feel relaxed. When I come across someone in the street and they catch my eye, I usually two things… I would either look at them for a few seconds, waiting them to smile and I return the smile. Or, I would smile at them, but, my smile is actually a half-hearted grin… I sort of feel conscious when I look at someone and not smile. It makes me wonder if they think that I’m actually staring at them whilst plotting something evil in my brain. Granted, I always find it easier to smile at a pretty lady, but that’s another story!

Anyway-

Smiling is a very important part of life. For me, when someone smiles at me, I automatically smile back, and feeling very good about myself. In a way, a smile is like a greeting, just none verbal. When someone smiles at me, it literally makes me happier and makes me feel better about myself.

I smile all the time at home and when I’m hanging out with friends. There’s never a day or occasion goes by when I haven’t laughed. So, if smiling makes me feel better, then surely the same could apply to everyone else. So, as awkward as it can be for me, I try to smile at everyone, from family to strangers.

I smiled at a lot at my Sister’s wedding, to a lot of people. I especially smiled to those who I didn’t recognise. It boosted my confidence when the people returned my glance with a smile. Of course the wedding was a bit stressful for me, but, being smiled at has certainly lifted my spirits. =)

What I learned from socialising is that you don’t have to wait for people to initiate a smile before you return it in kind. If you feel like smiling at someone, then you should do it. They may not feel like smiling back as they could be going through time themselves. But, if you smile at that person, you might brighten their day, because they certainly brighten mine.

These are the reasons why I think smiling is quite an important part of life. Making people happy, seeing people happy is what makes me happy. =)

THANKS FOR READING

I saw an amazing quote today on a web page.

“If you have to choose between being kind and being right, choose being kind and you will always be right.”

This very quote made me smile even more. =)

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Negativity to Positivity: Over-Thinking

keep-calm-and-think-happy-thoughts-9

Autumn Tidings! ^^/

Over-thinking does play a part in my life when my subconscious allows it to. Haha. I’m in a very good place in life and I used to be a right pro when it came to over-thinking. Now, I’m just a semi-pro. Haha.

  1. Why I Over-Think

I probably over-think because it’s part of my Autism. Not understanding generalisation or summarising situations is a common trait in Autism. It’s also one of my own personal Autistic quirks. I would say problems but I don’t really see it as a “problem” but more as a personality trait.

I used to especially over-think due to my lack of experience in society. Sometimes if someone new had a banter with me or made a quip I would tend to read into it more than necessary. I would especially read into stuff as being a sensitive soul I would get upset if I felt like I had said something wrong or made someone upset. Every time something like this occurred, I would recount these events with my family and they always reassured me that “there’s nothing in that, it’s just banter”. In my younger days, I understood what they were saying and I somewhat became reassured. But, since I lacked social experience and if I didn’t know that person, there was always a doubt in my mind as to whether the things my family members were saying was right…

When I was at University and after University, I started to compose my thoughts in this regard. Why should I let someone else’s views and personality make me miserable? Why should I give into negative energy when I can fill it with the things I like?

What I’m saying it is that you shouldn’t worry about what others think of you and you shouldn’t go out of your comfort zone for the sake of impressing them. If a person, whether it’s a friend or stranger has a problem with you or your ‘quirks’ then that’s their issue to deal with. It’s not your issue, and you shouldn’t allow yourself to be caught up in it, as hard as it might be. It’s especially hard for those who like to please others. I will always be nice to everyone, even if they don’t share the positive attitude I have.

Everyone has needs that they struggle to cope with, some more than others. I went to Yoga this morning and there were quite a lot of yogi students there. =) For all I know the attendees are going through some rough patches. I don’t know for certain but one never knows what goes through the mind of others. That’s why I always think it’s important to be nice to everyone, whether they’re the happiest person in the world or the most miserable.

  1. Over-Thinking Unnecessarily

I’ve grown wiser when it comes to making small talk with strangers. I still occasionally don’t understand jokes or understand banter. However, I’ve made some friends in my time and have started to understand their humour and personalities. By understanding them as people I’m able to get a better idea of the meaning behind their words and banter. Because of this I don’t get as sensitive or upset. Well, I’m still sensitive to a degree as it’s good to be understanding of others.

There’s currently nothing in life for me to worry about or get anxious about. However, the way my mind works is this… if there’s nothing for me to get anxious or worried about then my mind will home in to my subconscious and pick out something to worry about. Haha. Now, for example, I keep on getting worried about the Naruto anime. Before, in my mind, it was just small matters like, ‘oh dear, is Naruto going to die?’ and ‘it’s sad that the manga is coming to an end.’

But, because there’s nothing for me to worry about, I started to worry and become sad about Naruto ending. It’s becoming a bigger issue then it should. I’m very aware of how my mind works so every time these thoughts come into my mind I immediately counter attack it. Or, I imagine a box, put Naruto in that box, put it in water, and allow it to travel down the stream and drop down the waterfall. XD I also draw, write my story and listen to the Non Non Biyori soundtrack.

With a calm mind I’m able to think rationally and logically about Naruto. It’s indeed sad that the manga is ending but I’m watching the Naruto Shippuden anime so I don’t feel so bad. Right! That’s that situation sorted. 😉 No doubt these will become recurring thoughts but I always have battle plans in place. =)

  1. Anticipating the Future

What makes me over-think as well is when I anticipate future events. I don’t handle spur of the moments too well. I feel more anxious when I’m invited out on the spur of the moment rather than when something has been pre-arranged. With future outings I tend to picture the worst case scenario. I also get it in my head how I’m going to feel at the time and anticipate situations that I’m going to get into. Of course, I have learned over recent years that it’s better to take things as they come. Why anticipate a situation when we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. With that thought in mind, I feel relaxed.

We’re living in the present so we should enjoy things in the moment regardless of what memories we created or what plans we have for the future. =)

  1. Random Fact

I keep on saying Great Almond Street instead of Great Ormond Street… I can’t seem to be able to get out of that habit no matter how many times I correct myself.

THANKS FOR READING

WarningYoga

I’m really enjoying Yoga and the instructor’s style of teaching. I feel really good now but I am certain I’m going to feel achy tomorrow. Haha. The Yogi instructor does a class on Monday mornings and I’m considering going to that class. But, that would mean me going to class by myself. I don’t think I’m ready for that at this moment in time.^^/

Thanks for reading.

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

Insecurities

Happy

Autumn Tidings!^^/

 

  1. Insecurities

Some of us have personal insecurities that others know nothing about, some more than others. Insecurities tend to arise through lack of confidence or through a bad experience. For me, I suffered with insecurities when I was younger.

My past insecurities were centred on Autism and to some degree I still have these insecurities. I never really communicated with anyone or spoke with anyone until I was about ten years old. I felt comfortable enough to try and speak but I never felt comfortable in social situations. I started to grow my own personality and sense of self when at home. But, for many years, especially in my college years, I left my personality, quirks and everything I represent at home. When I walked out of the front door, I felt very insecure and anxious.

I was fairly ok at my school. I attended there for 13 years and I grew accustom to it. It was quite a culture shock when I left school and attended college on a full time basis. Back at that SEN school there was an average of 30 students per year. In my last year, there were even less than that. Suddenly, I went to a facility from 30 students to 30,000 students… quite a significant difference, especially for someone like me.

I can’t express how quiet I was, I severely lacked confidence. For many college years I was very quiet and subdued as I was overwhelmed by the amount of people, big place and different atmosphere. Back at my old school I was somewhat confident and could somewhat be myself. In my college days I completely held my personality back, leaving it all at home.

I didn’t know how to represent myself to everyone else. I was often judged for being quirky during various activities during school and outside of school. So, I figured the same thing would happen in my college years. So, to avoid being judged, I kept quiet. If I didn’t do anything bad or say anything memorable then I won’t develop an unnecessary reputation or leave an impression. Because of my conflicting thoughts I never truly enjoyed my college years and at times felt lonely. I felt lonely in other social situations too. All because I was scared of others judging me for being the way I am.

I often mention in my blogs that Autism is the root of my insecurities and it still plays a part today. Back in my younger years I felt very vulnerable and hopeless. I’m happy talking to other people like me, but, if I go to an Autistic environment I get a rush of anxiety. I don’t hate myself for being Autistic, far from it, it’s just that when I go to an Autistic environment my body and subconscious remembers what I was like back then. In those situations I remember feeling vulnerable, feeling worthless and feeling as though I have no voice or a right to make my own decision. It’s unfortunate that I have these insecurities, but, they’re not as bad as they were in the past. It’s just an intermittent occurrence.^^

 

  1. Body Image

Body image has never really been an issue for me. When I was younger I started to grow hairy legs. Every time I did P.E. all the girls would laugh at them. As I result I became embarrassed and self-conscious. It was only until I got to college that I realised that having hairy legs is not uncommon for a man, so, accepting that part of me was not a problem. One of the children I once knew used to call me a monkey as a result of having hairy legs… that was funny and I had no problem accepting that whimsical nickname. XD

I would say that I’m more health conscious rather than looks/weight conscious. All food is healthy if you eat it in a balanced manner. I actually go out of my own way to ensure that I have chocolate and biscuits at least two or three times a week… life is good. =D

 

  1. The Way I am

My issue is all about me expressing myself and being myself in social situations. It’s only these last couple of years that I could leave the house without leaving my sense of self behind. I’m in a really good frame of mind and in good health. I like the way I look as well, if I wasn’t happy with how I look, then, I would have overhauled my entire appearance. Haha.

I feel that my life is the work of fate. There’s a reason why I grew up this way. There’s a reason why I look the way I do. There’s a reason why I experienced what I have experienced. And there must be a reason as to why I was born Autistic… I feel quite special (no reference intended) for being the way I am. I feel like being Autistic was thrust upon me since birth, just like how a title is thrust upon the future King or Queen of England. =)

 

  1. Parting Wisdom

In the last yoga session the yogi instructor finished the session with a wonderful valediction (yes, that is a word, I didn’t make it up…honest!). She said that we all have the capabilities of changing the world but we shouldn’t get caught up in the troubles of the world. Don’t let the world influence you, you influence the world! I rather like that sentiment and I will try and steal those words and say them to someone. Muahahaha.

 

THANKS FOR READING

Well, that was fun. Oh, by the way, I watched classic movies recently like High Society and Dances with Wolves, they’re fun to watch. I’m also spending the time re-watching Non Non Biyori and Locodol. I’m attempting small fanmade comics of them for my own use. I’m enjoying them very much. =D

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

Thomas the Tank Engine TV Anniversary

Thomas and Gordon 1

Peep, Peep Tidings!

 

Today we are all celebrating. On this very day, 30 years ago, Thomas the Tank Engine first aired on television, produced by the good company of Britt Allcroft. =D

 

HOW THOMAS HELPED ME

Thomas is very precious to me, as he is too many others. One of my earliest childhood memories was Thomas. It was a basic play-set with Thomas and his two coaches, The Fat Controller, Percy, Bertie and a couple of troublesome trucks.

 

I’ve been blogging for almost a year now and I have made many links between my Autism and Thomas. I can’t express enough how instrumental Thomas was in my younger years. He helped me in many ways unimaginable. I was trapped in my own bubble and I never interacted with anyone or uttered a single word. Being young was difficult. The only time I would utter a sound is when the music started to play and I would scream very loudly. I would relieve this horrible tension in my head by banging it against the wall. Haha.

 

Some people started to talk to me through Thomas and made references through Thomas, to gain my attention. I can’t explain why I liked Thomas; I guess I felt that he was real. In cartoons you know it’s animated, but, I knew deep down that Thomas was a model. So, it felt like, I could just go down to the studio and see his model up close. I would be able to touch him. From my point of view, Thomas was an actor but playing the role of himself. Haha.

 

Till this day I still watch the first series of Thomas the Tank Engine, it was only yesterday when I actually watched Thomas Comes to Breakfast.

 

Through the world of Thomas, I started to open up my bubble and, even though it took time, started to open many paths that I would never have thought were possible. I started to share my toys with my brother, since we shared a common interest in Thomas. When I first listened to the songs of Thomas, like the Island Song, I started to listen to other songs. I disliked music at that time, but, I found that music wasn’t so bad because Thomas had music too. I also started to read, because Thomas had books. I like all different versions of Thomas and I especially like the Railway Series by the Rev. W. Awdry

 

Most importantly, it helped me to relax. When I was anxious I was unable to find a cure, so I was in a constant upset state. But, as soon as I learnt the existence of Thomas, I found a source of happiness. It cheered me up every time I was upset or anxious. There have been other attributes to what made me gradually come out of my shell.  However, this blog is dedicated to Thomas so everything else at this moment is irrelevant. =)

 

NOWADAYS

Thomas has now entered into the CGI stage… I can’t really say that I’m happy about this. I’m not questioning its change; it’s just that I prefer the model stage since it is what I’ve grown up with. I still collect the annuals, dvds and blu-rays. =) I started to narrate the classic Thomas stories and send those clips to my Uncle, who enjoys my narration a lot. I’m hoping to sometime in the future to send some of my recordings to hospitals etc as it helped me so much I know it could help lots of other children. =) I also started writing my own short stories about Thomas and his friends, and I’m having a lot of fun with that.

 

Nowadays I can go out and socialise more confidently then I could when I was younger. I went to College, went to University and got a 2:1 degree in performing arts, which I’m very proud of. =) I can even tolerate loud noise and music for a short period of time. Having Autism is not easy, but, I feel that the gateway of me coming out of my bubble is the result of Thomas being on TV. If it weren’t for Thomas who knows how my life would have turned out.

 

I’m not the sentimental kind but I would to take this opportunity to thank Britt Company and everyone involved for bringing Thomas to our screens. It helped me immensely as I’m sure it helped everyone else. Not just thanks for helping, but, for bringing happiness into our lives. I for one am truly grateful. =)

 

THANKS FOR READING

Thomas and Gordon 2

It’s weird to think that Thomas has been airing for 30 years. It’s always been a dream of mine to get involved with the creative side of Thomas. Mainly writing and narrating. My main dream now is to be an author, but that’s another story! 😉

 

Thanks for reading.^^/

Ryan

High School DxD Volume Two Review

High School DxD Vol 2

Konbanwa.^^/

I am thrilled to announce that I have recently uploaded my 50th blog post. So far, I have been enjoying it a bunch. =)
It came to my attention that I don’t really review or scrutinise manga like a professional. I also realise that some readers will not appreciate being spoiled during review. I understand and respect those points.

However, I talk about manga based on my enjoyment through my casual rambling. You will notice that I go off-topic in many of my reviews, like this one. =) The whole purpose of me blogging is a chance for me to express my feelings and how I handle social situations and cope with Autism. I figured that reviewing manga would give me another reason to blog and express myself, rather than just talk about Autism. I actually have read a few manga but so far I’ve chosen to review the ones that I’m really, really enjoying.^^/

I may not be the most professional reviewer but I’m still going to keep reviewing casually as doing it this way makes me happy. =D

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

  1. REVIEW

Issei Hyoudou, once human pre Volume One, is now the servant of the voluptuous devil, Rias Gremory. Issei has entered into a forbidden friendship with the nun of the church, the pacifist sister, Asia Argento.

Issei’s devil master, Rias, prohibits Issei from interacting with Asia, let alone befriending her. Doing so would create a striving commotion between the Devils, Fallen Angels and the church. As you can imagine, when Issei comes into contact with Asia and rushes to her aid, he’s practically asking for trouble. How will he handle Heaven’s malevolent schemes?

I enjoyed Volume Two as much as the previous volume, in more ways than one. Since this is classed as an ecchi manga and it’s targeted towards a mature audience, it’s easy to assume that it’s just full of unnecessary cheeky moments… you would be surprised that this isn’t necessarily so. It has much more to offer then beautiful ladies that expose their sensual skin and figures. I effectively refer this as a guilty pleasure bonus. 😉

With how Issei is treating Asia as a friend it does make me wonder if their relationship is going to turn into something more serious. It even implies at the back of the book that a forbidden romance could transpire between the two. Their first encounter was very nice, and their friendship certainly has blossomed in this volume. Issei may be perverted, but he’s not a jerk about it. He treats Asia with respect, and likewise, Asia treats him like a precious friend. I definitely like Asia; I tend to connect strongly with innocent and kind girls like her. I’m not that keen on aggressive girls as I don’t necessarily find them funny and it will take me a while to accept them for who they are. However, I have no such worries with innocent and polite girls like Asia as I find them to be endearing.

This is when I got concerned about Rias… She instantly grew on me when she made her debut in the first book, she is simply gorgeous. So, because she is adamant about Issei abandoning his friendship with Asia, I was concerned that she was going to dislike her. Granted, her reasons for being concerned and acting like a typical big sister are very well justified. But, I was really rooting for Asia to enter into a friendship with Issei. At that point I did suspect that a love triangle could happen. However, luckily, everything worked out in the end and my worries about disliking Rias were squashed. In fact, the opposite happened. Rias eventually accepts Asia and welcomed her into the world of the devils…

Naturally, I was most upset when Asia died after that, ahem- malicious lady killed her. The villains in this story are very well portrayed. I always think that at least the most villainous of characters will have some redeeming features, like perhaps baddies of this series…NOPE. I hate them all, at least, in this manga. XD I really like girls like Asia and I certainly like Issei, so to see those getting beaten down or besmirched did leave a bad taste in my mouth. I was upset when Asia was abandoned but nearly cried when she died… I then sighed and puffed my cheeks into a wide smile. Asia was brought back to life by Rias and made her, her bishop. I’m very happy indeed. =D

Let’s talk about Raynare, one of the many villains… I mention about redeeming features. She implied that now that she obtained Asia’s sacred gear, which involves healing abilities, she will no longer be laughed at. It makes me wonder if something horrible made her what she is today. Perhaps something drove her mad into becoming a fallen angel? Perhaps I should feel sorry for her? Perhaps I should look at it from her point of view? Perhaps her reason for killing Issei and Asia can be justified? …NAH! I still dislike her. XD I must say though, I did feel for her to some degree when Rias obliterated her. She deserved by all means but isn’t this one of those where two wrongs don’t make a right? I wouldn’t have killed her per se, but, I’m glad Rias did. =)

There are plenty of situations that can be taken as highlights, such as Issei befriending Asia, Asia, the beautiful ladies, but for me the main highlight is the battle.

The on-going battles and action were awesome; it also made me forget about the fact that this is classed as an ecchi manga. The ladies don’t expose their skin just for the sake of it, but when they do, it’s appropriate for the situation.

During the battle the roles of the fighters have been explained. Issei was the perfect protagonist that takes centre stage. His two back-ups, Kiba and Koneko, were the ideal support team. They showed off their skills to a big crowd of villains whilst Issei took on the big dog. To me, this shows that whilst the back-ups may not necessarily be as strong as the main guy, without the back-ups the main guy can’t move forward. In this case, we have Kiba and Koneko utilising their skills to help Issei move forward. If it weren’t for them, Issei wouldn’t have been able to move through that huge mass.

The visuals in the manga play a critical role during the peak and aftermath of the action. We learn about the chess pieces and fighting roles more in-depth. Rias’ explanations are also demonstrated visually as she talks about the pawn’s role and potential. The images have certainly helped me to understand better. We found out in this volume that it took eight pawn pieces to revive him. This is all because of his power, the Sacred Gear, Boosted Gear.

Speaking of the art, the illustrations demonstrated more of the lighter moments of the manga, like, when Asia eat a hamburger for the first time. Her reactions and showing off her clean hands was the highest peak of cuteness. Another cute and funny moment was when she tried to pray to God, but received a shock to the head (due to her new allegiance to being a devil). Her jealous face was cute too… Still, even if she is jealous, she is still graceful and polite. We need more characters like Asia around.

Everything concluded itself nicely, but wait, a new character is introduced. At the same time Rias is looking dejected and subdued… it seems to me that Rias is in some kind of arranged marriage and she’s engaged to this ugly looking geezer. Haha. I’m sort of hoping something happens between her and Issei. That kiss on the forehead was affectionate and endearing, but, I reckon it would have been better if they smooched. Haha.

  1. THEME
  • Action
  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[1]
  • Fantasy
  • Game
  • Harem[2]
  • Mature
  • Romance
  • School Life
  1. CONCLUSION

The chess pieces have been explained appropriately, especially the role of the pawn. Had everything been explained straightaway then I would have found it too confusing.

Visual aids and fight scenes were used to further demonstrate the roles of the fighting pieces. Issei took the limelight, showing everyone that he is the main character and showing that he can attain any rank during the fight. And, the supporting devils supported him as they showed off their abilities in their own way.

One of the main highlights for me was the fight scenes. The fights were constant and set at a good pace. There were some cheeky moments. But, these cheeky moments were not used for the sake of it; they were used since its part of the story.

I was sad when Asia died. But, I was as delighted when Rias brought her back to life. I was concerned that I was not going to like Rias but those worries were quashed. It looks as well that the forbidden romance between Issei and Asia may not be so forbidden after all. It can then turn into a straight romance if Rias approves it.

High School DxD Volume Two gets Two Thumbs Up(My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

THANKS FOR READING

High School DxD

I’m really enjoying this manga and it has entered into my official top five favourite manga along with Monster Musume and D-Frag. =) Speaking of Monster Musume, since I’m enjoying volume four so much I decided to re-read the whole thing again… it is wonderful. =D I won’t review volume four straight away since I rather not force myself. But, I will review it at least before the release of Volume five.

Thanks for reading.

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

[1] This manga contains risqué and sexy moments or lecherous characters.

[2] In this manga all the ladies are gunning after one man and/or lady.

Self-Confidence

keep-calm-and-think-happy-thoughts-9

Good Day.^^/

 

In my blogs I often compare my present-self with my past-self. How I handle things in the past is a lot different to how I handle things now. My confidence back then was a lot different to what it is now. The key word is “self-confidence”. This doesn’t necessarily apply to people with Autism but it certainly has played a big role in my life.

 

I’m writing this specific blog because a recent incident has triggered a realisation in me- I have good strong self-confidence. Have I always been this self-confident? Have I always liked how I looked? Am I ashamed to admit that this is my identity in appearance and personality? What do others think of me? Should I adjust myself to please them?

 

Many questions ran amok in my mind…

 

  1. Past

My school has obviously played a significant role in my life, especially in my younger days. I was always afraid of doing something “wrong” so I would aim to please without being a burden. This meant that I always tried to be a “gentleman” to be the “cleverest”, know everything, always try my best.

 

Because I went to an SEN school it was important that we were all taught how to be polite and pronounce words correctly. You will find that a lot of Autistic people speak correctly but with a slight monotone. That is because we learn how to be polite and speak correctly rather than learn how to express ourselves. I was one of those people. When I spoke in my school days, I spoke with a placid monotone. I spoke politely with an edge of nervousness.

 

I learnt how to be polite and a gentleman, but I never really knew who I was. When I tried to express myself through my personality I would get chastised for being “silly” or “rude”. So, when I tried to express myself I often got shot down.

 

I was often misunderstood because I didn’t know how to express myself. My teachers and adult figures never gave me a chance to explain myself and what I meant; instead, they assumed that as I had said it, I must have meant it. So, more often than not, I would accept my punishment instead of being given the chance to speak. Those times were extremely painful, and it certainly made me self-conscious about myself. If this was what  life was like in an SEN school then how was I going to cope if I ventured into the bigger world?

 

Going to Bobby Charlton’s School of Excellence (a football academy which was founded by ex-Manchester United football player, Bobby Charlton) didn’t help my confidence either. I was the only student that represented an SEN school. Even though SEN schools were supposedly involved the majority of the staff, at that time (2000) showed no inclination that they understood a person with Special Needs. The other children there certainly showed a lack of understanding. I got called weird underneath their breath and they often whispered things loudly so I could hear them… I probably should have walked away at that point, since I was most upset, but I was determined not to let them get the better of me…

 

I felt like a monster from that experience and it was from that point that I started to hide the fact that I was Autistic. I figured that I was treated horribly because I have Autism. I didn’t deserve to hang out with cool people. I didn’t deserve to get equal treatment and attend Mainstream courses at college. I hid my “problems” from everyone else, and I hid my “problems” from even myself. I didn’t want to accept that I was Autistic. If anyone knew that I had “special needs” then they would instantly dislike me…

 

Despite everything that had happened I could never get away from the fact that I was Autistic. That thought alone made me insecure. So, in order to not do anything “quirky” and to hide my “autistic quirks” I kept quiet and spoke politely whenever it was necessary. Don’t rock the boat. Try to remain the status quo. If I don’t say anything incriminating then I won’t get judged or get called a monster…

 

Then one day I started to attend University and that was when my life changed…. For the first time I was actually happy. I could express myself and say my views without fear of being thought bad of. I had friends, they liked me and they did not care at all about me being “autistic”. All this confidence gradually led me to performing my Auto-biography performance of my life with Autism… it was definitely one of my most memorable moments in life. I felt peace and happiness.

 

  1. Present

Right now, I like who I am. I accept who I am. I embrace the fact that I am autistic. I’m not part of Autism, Autism is part of me. Life is good. =)

I now have an identity that I call my own. I have the looks that I like, I have personality that I feel comfortable with and I have wonderful hobbies. I also have goals that I strive towards…

 

  1. The Recent Incident

There was a knock at the door. I was dubious to open it. We thought it was just a friend so I opened the door to see what the gent wanted… At the time I wore white shorts and I was topless.

 

Anyway, this man came up to me, looked me up and down and said;

 

“Hi. First of all, you need to shave that chest!”

 

 

I think it’s safe to say that I was quite miffed at that point. The sheer cheek of the man had me taken aback, and annoyed to. If this happened something like five years ago then I would have been terribly upset and insecure. In that moment though, I was more miffed that he had the cheek to say that to my face.

 

Even if he was joking it was still insensitive and gratuitous. You just don’t do it. It’s like me going up a gentleman, who is well endowed around the waist line and say “you need to lose weight!” or me going up to a lady “you need to pop that spot!” You may think it, but you just don’t say it, even as a joke. I get the impression that people like this gentleman can’t comprehend that saying that can do a lot of damage and cause unrest in an individual.

 

This issue does not apply to just people with Autism, it can be a problem for many people. It can especially be a problem for Autistic people since some of them will lack a lot of confidence in social situations.

 

How did I act? I did it by not rising to it. I just grinned. My attitude was “hahaha… not gonna happen. I’m proud of my afro chest and Tom Selleck agrees.” =)

 

  1. Irrelevant Ramble

I participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge. That was a lot of fun. =D

I did the challenge on a very cold and windy day. My Dad poured the ice on top of me and I kept my eyes open with a huge smile on my face… from my point of view it was like a beautiful yet cold waterfall streaming down right before my eyes. I always wanted to go underneath a water fall and so far that’s the closest I’v ever come to experiencing one. =)

 

 

THANKS FOR READING

 

I really have come a long way in many ways in my life, especially when it comes to my self-confidence. I have learned that I can handle people’s quips a lot better and whilst I may still be sensitive, I’m not as sensitive as I used to be. I can rub off people’s cheeky quips whilst not feeling ashamed about who I am and how I present myself…

 

Thank you for reading. =)

 

Namaste.^^/

Ryan

High School DxD Volume One Review

High School DxD Volume One

Konbanwa.^^/

 

This week, Monster Musume Volume 4 has gone straight to number one in the New York Times! I’m really chuffed and over the moon about this. I still got my copy on pre-order on Amazon.co.uk and isn’t due out until September 1st. =)

 

With that happy thought, I present to you my review on High School DxD Volume 1. =)

 

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

 

  1. MY SYNOPSIS

Issei Hyoudou is a typical young man who lives the life of a normal young man. He was one of the most unpopular lads at his school until one day; he went on his first ever date with a beauty; Yuuma. All was well until he lays on the floor in a pool of his own blood, murdered by his date, Yuuma!

On death’s door Issei wished to die in the arms of a crimson-haired beauty…

Rias Gremory, the proclaimed most beautiful lady in school, has saved the life of Issei Hyoudou. After the shocking relevation of Yuuma and being brought back to life, Issei was left with yet another bombshell… he has been reborn as a devil and has become a special piece for the devil, Rias Gremory!

Let the fun times as a reincarnated devil roll.

 

  1. STORY

2.1. Overview

This manga consisted of four chapters, all of which were quite long, so I really wanted to take my time in reading it. The plot and themes are quite deep so I found that unlike D-Frag or Monster Musume I had to read carefully in order to grasp the story. It’s a really good story by all means but it was necessary for me to take my time with it in order to enjoy it and appreciate the story more. =)

 

2.2. Chapter One

I did feel sorry for Issei when it turns out that his date, Yuuma, turned out to be a psychotic murderer… on the outside Yuuma is easy on the eye but then she sullied her own attractiveness when she murdered her ‘date’. All anime/manga girls are attractive, no question, but their appealing factor, for me, is their personalities. So, I hereby declare Yuuma as ‘ugly’. 😉

 

We then get the introduction of two of Issei’s friends who are erotically charged, apparently as much as Issei. I’m not so keen on over-the-top perverted characters but at this moment it seems realistic enough. Over-the-top perverted male characters tend to ‘peek’ on girls and so far, on this occasion, Issei and co are divulging their lust into dirty magazines. I can get that it’s probably what most young men would do. Apart from the fact that Issei is more concerned about his ‘date’ rather than thinking dirty thoughts.

 

The ravishing Rias Gremory then makes her appearance. =D She appeared in Issei’s dying thoughts and she even gazed up at him as he looked at her from the window… I wondered if there was going to be a connection between the two, and it made me wonder if she had something to do with Issei coming back to life… assuming what he experienced wasn’t a dream. A female waking up in a bed beside the lad is a typical manga cliché but I still enjoyed reading it. It was a wonderful introduction.

 

2.3. Chapter Two

Poor Issei… he tried to summon himself to the client’s place but it somehow didn’t come to fruition, so, he had to travel via bike. Begrudgingly, I found it hilarious. It went from being cool and dramatic to a mellow and uncool atmosphere. XD He eventually arrives at his client’s place. The client is Mil-Tan who turned out to be a big buffed otaku who likes to cosplay. Haha. The highlight of this chapter, I must say, is the introduction of the sweet and innocent sister, Asia. =)

 

2.4. Chapter Three

You just know that Asia is sweet just by her brief introduction and with the way that she emitted an aura of a docile and kind personality.

Issei could have easily taken advantage of her and her docile demeanour but he didn’t. However, he did the opposite. He appreciated the kind of sweet girl that she is and he actually looked out for her as if she was a little sister in distress. He was interested in her as a person and helped her to get to the church… even if it did mean causing him some pain, that’s the kind of good male character that I’d like to see. =) He even reacts to her when she shows her cross, since devils are weak against vessels and such from the church. =)

She helped a young injured boy… whilst the boy’s mother gave Asia the cold shoulder the boy thanked Asia for healing him. I’m not sure if she is nice because she’s a sister or if it’s just in her nature, however, I still like her nonetheless.

It will be interesting to see if a relationship brews between Issei and Asia. He’s a human reincarnated as a devil and she’s a nun of the church, so… we could have a forbidden romance on the cards. =D Rias, being the over-protected sister type person, will probably have contrasting views and scold Issei for interacting with someone associated with the Church. And she did just that, but that’s just because Issei met someone of the Church rather than a Romeo and Juliet situation…

And now, in this very chapter, comes the introduction of the battle system… all the devils are pieces depending on rank…. Rias Gremory, who belongs in the Gremory household, is the King and she has her very own pieces. Her queen is Akeno, who specialises in magic and is an extreme sadist… what fun. 😉 Her knight is Yuuto who is a speed type. Her rook is Koneko who uses superhuman strength. And Issei, is her pawn… in a way, Issei being a pawn is quite appropriate because pawn can have more than one meaning. 😉 Is it an innuendo? Poor Issei though… he really has a long way to go to be ‘harem king’.

These explanations were used correctly as Rias and crew battled some stray devil. Everyone showed off their abilities whilst we establish which rank each devil is… Visual aids and simple explanations do wonders for a story. =)

 

2.5. Chapter Four

Chapter Four, Issei sleeping in a bed- BOOM- Rias is naked next to him. We learn that Rias can’t sleep very well when she’s naked, how convenient. 😉 He resisted touching her through fear and self-control.

In every walk of life, and in manga, girls generally do have some kind of empowerment over guys. Ladies know that the gents love sex and to get in the sack they tend to do jobs or chores for the ladies since they promise them a ‘reward’ so to speak. They’re empowered because they call the shots. In this case, Rias has Issei completely wrapped around her fingers. XD He can grope her breasts if he manages to get someone’s contract… of course, this highly motivated Issei and he got straight onto the job without much fuss… I really liked the way how Rias used the word ‘deman’ in a seductive manner to Issei…mixing man and demon in the same mix… what fun.

Then came the unfortunate encounter between Issei and some chaotic priest, Freed. He got mad and they had a bit of a scuffle, naturally Issei struggled being a devil, but then who should come to his aid but the charming and amiable, Asia. =) This is where the potential forbidden love could start… she learns that Issei is in fact, a devil, her natural enemy… However, it didn’t matter to her that Issei was a devil, because he was her friend. It’s very touching…

Issei got enraged, naturally, when Freed started to get frisky with Asia… she clearly is a pacifist. It’s good that Asia is a pacifist and all but it can cause her problems in certain situations… like this one.

What luck!

Rias and the devil posse came by to aid Issei.

Oh no!

They have to leave because more fallen angels were on the way. And Issei had to leave poor Asia behind. She is the enemy of the devils and she can’t be transported through that summon thing since only Rias and her devils can transport through it. That slap from Rias did seem to be a bit harsh. Was there any need for that? Rias reassured Issei that everything was alright, since Asia has nothing incriminating on her that would merit fallen angels to hurt her…

That ending was simply heart-breaking to read. That was when Asia smiled through her tears to Issei that they will meet again… It was upsetting to read. If Freed tried to take advantage of her in front of Issei, just imagine what’s going to happen when he’s all alone with her… anything can happen. What is going to happen? I feel very nervous about Asia’s future. I’m hoping that nothing bad happens to her, but, I don’t like her chances of survival in Volume 2…

 

2.6. Parody Elements?

I didn’t tag this manga as a parody as it didn’t feel right. However, I did notice sporadic appearances from characters from other anime/manga.

  • The Haruhi alarm clock which is based on Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa and Noizi Ito.
  • Posing as Goku from Dragon Ball, by Akira Toriyama, when he’s about to perform the Kamehameha move
  • “I will be harem king” is a shout out to Luffy’s “I will be pirate king” from One Piece by Eiichiro Oda.
  • Motohama’s [Issei’s friend] scouter is a reference to the scouter used in Dragon Ball which is used to detected power levels.
  • Beauty Pure, the title of Matsuda’s porn parody DVD is a reference to the anime, Pretty Cure.

 

  1. THEME
  • Action
  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[1]
  • Fantasy
  • Game
  • Harem[2]
  • Mature
  • Romance
  • School Life

 

  1. ART AND DESIGN

Miyama-Zero has done a wonderful job with the characters and their design. The artist of this manga does a good job with the art, I find it really cute. I especially like the uniform on the girls of what looks to be a jacket of some kind… I really don’t know how to explain it but I know what I like, and I certainly like that. =D

Rias’s description was good. She has a good dynamic bloody red hair that Issei visualised within his dying moments. It was very appropriate for the situation. It makes you wonder if that is why she had red hair to begin with. With Rias having red hair Akeno having dark hair I wonder if they are supposed to represent English Rose[3] and Yamato Nadeshiko.[4] Their beautiful appearances and charismatic auras does suggest this to me.

 

  1. CHARACTERS

5.1. ISSEI HYOUDOU

(PAWN)

I like Issei.

By what I have observed he loves the ladies very much both emotionally and physically. Being a young man it’s only natural for him to be interested in the ladies, and he has an alarm clock in the form of Haruhi Suzumiya. Haha.

His imagination is at the forefront when it comes to getting down and dirty. However, when he wakes up with a naked Rias next to him, he becomes shy and awkward. His mind is all over the place. Imagination is one thing, but dealing with reality is something completely different. Issei may have a vivid imagination but this is his first experience of being intimate with a lady, especially with Rias. In a way I find this to be realistic. All young men have lustful desires, but nice young men won’t necessarily take advantage of the opportunity.

It came to light that Issei is a reincarnated devil and he has this strange weapon called the ‘Sacred Gear’. It makes sense now why Yuuma and other Fallen Angels would go after them, as they deem the Sacred Gear ‘dangerous’.

 

5.2. RIAS GREMORY

(KING)

Rias is incredibly lovely and has a cool yet humble personality.

To top it off, she is a beauty! You see… I actually do have a little thing for girls with wings. Whether it’s angel with wings, devil with wings or succubus with wings… any girls with wings basically! I like mermaids too, but let’s stop there before I get off track!

I instantly like her more than Yuuma. Her self-confidence in her looks and self-assurance is nice to see. How many ladies do you know who would sleep naked beside a young boy you just met? This tells me that she has no shame and that she has no sense of personal space. And she’s totally ok with Issei exploring her chest region should he choose to do so… oh my.

She does strike you as the big sister type who is very responsible and will look out for you if you need her to. However, whilst she is clearly very affectionate she’s also quite sexual in nature. Some of her actions and flirtatiousness can be interpreted on different levels. I would say that she treats everyone in a voluptuousness manner but I’ve only seen her treat Issei in this regard. Is he the special exception perhaps? She seems to sleep naked with him a lot, using him as a ‘pillow’. Perhaps using him as a ‘pawn’ is not a coincidence and that he fulfils her duties outside of the battlefield too. 😉

In some ways she reminds me of Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit as they’re both sensual, seductive and show their affection in a more than physical manner. Out of the two, I do actually prefer Rias. 😉

We know that she’s a devil and all but I actually think that it would be more appropriate to describe her as a succubus rather than a devil. Haha. I’m referring to her confidence in her personality rather than her actually being a succubus[5]. She would never take a man’s soul for her own gain.

 

5.3. ASIA ARGENTO

(SISTER)

I think Asia’s introduction was actually my favourite introduction of a character from High School DxD. I would talk about her character but I think I pretty much summed up my feelings and perception of her in the whole of Chapter Three. XD

I like girls like her who are caring, sweet and don’t judge. I can see she is a bit of a scatter brain and is a little naive. I deduce that she’s naïve due to her lack of experience in normal society. She also doesn’t get why Issei has a nose bleed. In manga, guys get nose bleeds when they get ‘excited’.

I’ll leave it as that. I look forward to seeing her more in Volume Two, if she survives that is.

 

5.4. AKENO HIMEJIMA

(QUEEN)

I like Akeno’s sadist side. I like anime girls to be a little bit different and unique. Normally Akeno has the appearance of a beautiful lady and acts with dignity when it comes to etiquette and polite manners. However, the bloodlust will rush when it comes to battling opponents. Being a sadist she gets off when she hurts her opponent badly… haha.

She can definitely compete with Rias in terms of being voluptuous, especially when she’s in battle. I enjoy seeing this side of her but I definitely wouldn’t want to be her opponent!

 

5.5. YUUTO KIBA

(KNIGHT)

Kiba is pretty cool and reliable. He is the traditional handsome man with blonde hair who will attract the ladies not only with his ruggedness but with his charm too. Very smooth and crisp sword skills too, it’s very appropriate for a knight.

 

5.6. KONEKO TOUJOU

(ROOK)

Koneko is cute and her looks are very misleading since she has superhuman strength and is Rias’ rook because of her unmeasurable strength. I like her.

 

  1. CONCLUSION

This is definitely one of my favourite manga, at least top five.

It pretty much has everything that I’d like to see in a manga. Good action with the cast’s rank based on chess pieces. It has a good fantasy story that mixes devils, angels and fallen angels. There are many parts of the story that made me laugh, engage me and make me extremely sad and worried, especially at the end. It involves ladies who have cool personalities, a caring nature and can kick your cherry behind. 😉

Plus, we have the main male who is strong and is interested in the ladies but is not over-the-top about it. He dreams about having a harem… I’m not necessarily a harem supporter but I don’t like to see any girls or guys become broken hearted so I route for a multiple boyfriend/girlfriend so that everyone’s happy… this looks like it could go that way but at the minute we have to see if a relationship will blossom between Asia and Issei.

I wonder if a tension is going to develop between Rias and Asia… better see how things go! Rias doesn’t mean to be mean to her but she is just looking out for her devils, especially Issei.

I’m gnashing my teeth at the thought of something bad happening to her!

I don’t like the fallen angels and stray devils; they treated Issei and Asia terribly. For that, I dislike them. A lot of villains have a reason why they turned evil, but with the likes of Yuuma and Freed, I don’t see any redeeming features.

I simply love the uniqueness and battle system in the style of chess pieces. I like it how everyone has a rank based on chess pieces, with the King being the highest and the pawn being the lowest… I actually wanted to create something similar in terms of a battle strategy based on the chess piece system… High School DxD evidential got there first but I still find it reassuring that other people come up with similar ideas. I see it in a way as fate telling me that great minds think alike. =)

 

High School DxD Volume One gets Two gets Two Thumbs-Up. (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up 

 

THANKS FOR READING

High School DxD Poster 01

Funny enough, just as I finished reviewing Volume One, High School DxD Volume Two has just arrived. =D This week has been very kind to me indeed. I don’t anticipate that I’m going to review this any time soon as I want to read it for fun and understand 100% what’s going on within the story.

 

Thanks for reading. =D

 

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

 

[1] This manga contains risqué and sexy moments or lecherous characters.

[2] In this manga all the ladies are gunning after one man and/or lady.

[3] An English Rose is the most beautiful and attractive lady from England. Many describe Diana Princess of Wales as this.

[4] The term, Yamato Nadeshiko, in Japan means “personification of an idealized Japanese woman”, or “the epitome of pure, feminine beauty.”

[5] A Succubus comes from hell with the sole purpose of draining the soul of sleeping men through the act of sex. The male equivalent is Incubus as they have sex with sleeping ladies.