Out of the Box: Makoto and Haru Reunite…

Hey Free babies! In honour of the season 2 of Free that’s recently been confirmed, I thought I’d share a package a little more than a week ago but haven’t had time to feature.

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In the last weeks of 2013,  my Haruka Nanase plushie came just before Christmas and I actually ordered the Makoto Tachibana first but because of the number of online orders around Christmas as well as the holiday schedule delays on the website, Makoto was delayed until later in January. Today I’m very very pleased to add Mako to my plushie and otaku collection. He’s from the same collection line as Haru sporting the same Iwatobi Swim Club Jacket (removable). What I noticed different about Makoto is that the dimensions of plushie body are actually a bit wider than Haru’s, reminiscent of the original character designs. Haru has a slimmer physique while Makoto has a broader built. Makoto also has a really friendly expression on and when you place him next to Haru you can see how much detail Japanese designers put into their merchandise. (I tried my best with the lighting because I was holed up in my apartment in Kingston without proper lightning utensils so bear with me.)

Out of the Box: Free! Iwatobi Swim Club Haru Plushie

Hi guys, I hope your holidays are going well. I wanted to share with you all my new Haruka Nanase plushie from the Free! anime series that recently aired over the summer. If you guys want to check out my reviews for the series, click here.

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this in previous posts but I absolutely LOVE Bandai plushies. Their overall quality is topnotch and the plushies are very huggable. In contrast to the Nendoroid plushie lines that are perhaps more for display rather than fun, all the Free! plushies released thus far have interchangeable jackets and shirts. I am a huge plushie collector and more than once, the quality or simply the brand name of the company empties out my wallet. The plushies with the Iwatobi jackets like Haru stand at about 30cm tall so not only are they a really good size but you’re getting your money’s worth because they’re pretty big. Well, to me they are anyway but I’m only 5 feett so take that previous statement relative to your height and size. The arms and legs are flexible and the plushie is proportioned enough so that Haru can stand if he has solid footing on a sturdy ground.

I am just so surprised at how soft the plushie turned out to be.  If you’re into small details, take a look at Haru’s eyes, the stitching is woven tightly and neatly; this is one of the key features that can help you distinguish imitations from genuine products. Each expression of the plushies are designed to fit their character’s personality so while Haru sports a serious look, other plushies like Nagisa or Makoto are smiling. But no worries, Haru’s always smiling on the inside 😉

Special shoutout to AmiAmi that got my package delivered so quickly before Christmas.

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I hope you guys liked this new “Out of the Box” feature. The hat doesn’t come with the plushie, I happened upon a Christmas decor hat in the stores that was the perfect size for my anime plushies so I thought I could get Haru into the Christmas spirit haha

There probably won’t be any ground shaking reviews or rants for Dec 24 and 25. If anything, I’ll post some winter photography and you can see how cold it gets in Canada. I’m sure you’ll all be too busy with holiday dinners or family meet-ups to even open your laptop and even if you don’t have any big gatherings, call up a bunch of friends to celebrate the holidays together. ‘Tis the season! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a safe winter holiday and I will talk to you guys on Boxing Day!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Manga Versus Anime FIGHTO! – Gundam Seed and GS Destiny

Everyone2Hi everyone! Welcome to the second Manga Versus Anime FIGHTO! Today’s battle is between the manga and anime of Gundam Seed and its sequel Gundam Seed Destiny. These two animes are quite a few years old, but classic. Gundam never goes out of style (Haha, see what I did there?) But in all seriousness, the legacy of the Gundam animes, manga series, light novels and figurines is a long lasting culture of its own that’s quite a distinct aspect of Japanese culture. My dad watched and loved the original Gundam series and years later, I’m also quite obsessed with Gundam.

Manga Rating: 3.5/5 happy clouds35 Clouds Transparent

Kira & Lacus (37)I love the GS and GSD series, however I was thoroughly surprised when I first picked up the manga because the art style in the manga was completely different from the anime. The storylines of both the manga and anime parallel except for the extra OVAS and special edition endings added to the anime. The manga is getting harder and harder to find these days, but it’s not impossible and you can read the story online.  I feel that the art is very shonen compared to the brushed up pretty boys of the anime adaptation and as an arts student, I feel that the proportions of quite a few of the characters and frames are out of perspective. Being distracted by the art makes it harder to enjoy the plot.

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Anime Rating: 5/5 happy clouds5 Clouds Transparent

This anime gets a full set of happy clouds because of the deep philosophical thought and pervasive themes of war, love and tragedy that are brought up by the struggles of power and resistance taking place in a world hanging precariously in peace. The anime paints a very three-dimensional landscape of the war and the events taking place because of the omniscient third perspective that it’s told in. Every character represents a different archetype in stories as well as personas you so often find in wars. The soldier, the general, the pacifist, the reluctant hero, the reckless fighter, the embodiment of hope… I picked up this series years ago and I’ve recently re-watched the re-mastered version that includes a few new scenes.

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Rereading or re-watching this anime is like coming home. And yes, you might bawl at the end depending on how much you empathize with the characters and how deeply you feel immersed in the plot. I highly recommend you watch these two series one after the other because GSD takes place two years after GS and a lot of recurring characters appear. For one thing, the main characters in GS play a much more prominent role in GSD which is great if you’re favourite characters are among the main cast.

Kira & Lacus (40)I feel like this is one of those series you either love or hate because I get a lot of mixed responses when I bring it up amidst otaku discussions with friends.  I found the story and its themes insightful and thought-provoking so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Thank you very much for reading! I will talk to you guys soon!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

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