MCM Birmingham Comicon 2014 HAUL!!!

MCM Comicon in Birmingham Day 2 (Casual Photography)

Here are the pictures from Day 2. Honestly, I liked these ones a lot more. I think there were more cosplayers on the second day and I wandered the big halls quite a bit to see which cosplayers were meeting up in groups… I really didn’t take that many pictures of myself because I was so busy running around getting footage for the vlog and checking out all the merch BUT I did get one memorable picture to commemorate my first convention as an official member of the press \^o^/ so I threw that picture in there too ;P

Part 1 of the pictures are here!

MCM Comicon in Birmingham Day 1 (Casual Photography)

MCM Birmingham Comicon Day 1 (94)I LOVED the venue that this con took place at and the cosplayers were really incredible. My only problem is that the exhibition rooms are half-lit by skylights and as the day wears on, the light gets progressively worse. There is artificial lighting to compensate but it usually comes off with a nasty yellow-orange wash that you really don’t want on your photos. Did quite a bit of photoshop work on this batch of pictures but kept it low-key and causal nonetheless.These pictures encompass not only the majority of cosplayers I bumped into but also contains some shots of the con itself.

To check out the VLOG for MCM on Day 1, click here

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Judgmental Otakus, The Rant…

Keep Calm and Watch Anime

So… have you ever experienced this?

Me: I really like “insert favourite anime here” \*v*/

Other Person: Ugh, why do you like THAT anime, it’s so stupid o_0

Me: But *insert favourite anime character here* is really awesome ._.””

Other Person: Ugh no. That anime is stupid. You’re stupid. =__=

Okay, maybe it doesn’t go down as melodramatic as this but it seriously does happen., and I’ve been in this awkward position. Casue seriously, how do you even respond to that? It’s like you’re judged by the fact that you like the colour blue while your “friend” likes the colour red. Why does my opinion even matter to you? If I want to fangirl over Eren and Attack in Titan just isn’t your cup of tea, don’t look at me like I’m a complete idiot. I will fangirl who I want to. I feel like there are a few circumstances where you might find yourself being judged for you like, or if not judged, at least given a few weird glances or eye-rolls.

1) Controversial Anime – and by controversial, I don’t mean an anime that addresses issues like abortion or euthanasia or any of that dark stuff. I’m talking about anime where the fandom is split RIGHT. DOWN. THE MIDDLE. Take Sword Art Online for example, that seems to be a big one since the anime finished in 2012 and still, you see Kiritos, Kiritos EVERYWHERE at conventions. There are some fans that absolutely love love love the series despite its flaws (cause let’s face it, every anime has flaws); then there are the fans who ONLY like the first part or ONLY the second part and an argument  friendly discussion ensues on some comment section when after fifty raging cap locks comments and then some off topic mentions of a cat video or something about religion, you decide that SAO is just GOOD and you leave it at that cause obviously you won’t convince that other internet stranger to change their mind even though you wasted two hours of your life trying to convince them otherwise.

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UtaPri 1000%2) Niche – Niche is actually a pretty wide department of selections, it can refer to a series that just has a strange plot premise and completely throws weird wild cards at you or it can refer to a series that’s directly targeted to a small specific viewership that already has a solid mini fanbase that will love the series no matter what. Otome is kinda like this – the main point of the stories is the romance elements. As an otome fan, you EXPECT there to be at least four guys chasing after one girl and you EXPECT the plot to follow or somewhat resemble the games you’ve already finishes and SORTA EXPECT the heroine to have a personality. In cases like Alice in the Country of Hearts or Haruka in Uta no Prince-sama, she’s great, she’s got her own goals and values – in other cases like Amnesia, when the heroine’s name is, well, you know, HEROINE and SHE HAS AMNESIA, she’s… not as great. Usually if you’re into niche genres or niche anime, only your fellow fangirls or fanboys will understand why you feel the need to collect twenty rubber straps of that ONE character while other people just look at you like you’ve gone insane.

BigFourShonenAnime3) What the People deem, “OVERRATED” – Most of us have probably been in this situation. Whether you follow the Big Four (One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail) which have HUMONGOUS WORLDWIDE FANBASES or you follow something that just rages intensely over tumblr and facebook due to the anime’s recent release like Free! or Attack on Titan. There are going to be a few people who just rain on your fandom parade by saying, “It’s so overrated, it’s not even good.” – but let me ask you this – how is THE ANIME BAD if A LOT of people are watching it? There’s a grain of truth in every rumour and even every overrated fandom. I think my friend Haley put it best when she said, “I don’t think you should not watch an anime just because it’s overrated.” Simple statement, lot’s of meaning.

I guess the point I’m trying to make it is – WATCH WHAT YOU WANT. IF YOU LIKE IT, SCREW WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK.

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If you wanna watch a series about chocolate rivers with giant titans and singing turquoise-haired girls ALLLLLL IN ONE ANIME, GO AND DO IT – granted if they ever make something like that. But you know what I mean! At the end of the day, do what you want to do because you don’t want to lose out on a really great anime just because everyone tells you NOT to watch it and you don’t want to end up watching something you hate just cause EVERYONE tells you you’re not a “real” otaku if you haven’t seen it. Fangirl or fanboy over what you want. I’m 5 foot and relatively small, I’ve totally stood up to a six foot guy about why he should give Free! a try. Stand up for what you like, defend your favourite anime (don’t get into physical fights of course) but make your anime –pinions known to others and if your current anime friends don’t like what you want, sooner or later, other anime viewers who happen to appreciate the same stuff that you do will come along.

Well, that was a really long rant but I got out what I wanted to say. I hope you guys never come across judgmental otakus and even if you do, don’t let it get you down cause they have no right to dictate how much you love or don’t love an anime. I hope you guys liked this post, thanks for reading and special thanks to my friend Haley for that moment of inspiration for this rant.

if you want regular updates, you know how to follow.  Till next time!

– Cloudy

 

Top 5 Worst– What? ~On Negative Blogging and Lists

Suzumiya Haruhi

Sword Art Online - Asuna

Hey guys, today I wanted to do a post on this topic of negative blogging or really pessimistic and just sometimes outright mean reviews. I don’t usually think of lists in terms of bag anime and I usually like to write about what I love so you probably won’t get anything like “Top 5 Worst Shojo” or Top 10 Worst Anime Ever” lists. Here are some other reasons….

First of all, there are tons of people out there have different tastes as you or me. We all watch anime for different reasons so storyline, style of critique or simply personal preference, will all determine whether we thumbs up or thumbs down a series. A big anime that usually has people shaking their heads disapprovingly or jumping up and down like a fangirl, is Sword Art Online. There are your hardcore Kirito X Asuna and Yui fans; then there are the ones who bash everything about it.

2009writing_62115172Although I am a reviewer and have a tendency to critique shows, ultimately it’s not for me to judge what people should or shouldn’t watch. I’m here to give input on what I believe are the good aspects of the show as well as the points that could be improved but at the end of the day I’m still a viewer and a fan just like you guys. I’m human, I fangirl, I’m biased. Bias is something that no one will ever get away from whenever we’re expressing some opinion or critique (as objective as we try to make it). As well, preference for genres are a big one, whether you’re comfortable with Shojo or Shonen, Josei or Seinen, Yaoi or Yuri and everything in between anything, the overarching target audience genres and their individual styles and sub-categories will determine what your likes or dislikes lean to. However, that is not to say that we’re confined within genres. Often people debate over what anime falls under which. I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Genres give you a good general outline as to whether or not you should look into the anime or not. For example if you search up a show on the internet and see “horror, supernatural and thriller” when you’re usually use to “slice-of-life, high school and moe,” the dark mind-tricky bloody ones might not be your cup of tea. You’ll probably know from the art from posters or promotional images as well but I digress…

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Whenever I read a review that’s all negative critiques and angry over internet screaming, I’m immediately turned off by the reviewer. Not because I don’t respect his critique or opinion, but I feel like I’m being yelled at. Cap Locks really pack a punch don’t they? LOLLLL and then if it’s a show I like, I’m tempted to comment and argue about it and conflict is never good [unless it’s the Asahina brotherly kind ;)]

Furthermore,There is a huge difference between negative and critical… You can be both negative and critical but you can’t be overly emotionally negative and claim that you’re still being objectively critical when you’re making incoherent sounds over your video review or flipping virtual tables in your audience’s faces.

I don’t really see myself as a negative person in general. When I see producers do a horrible plot change or rip apart a character’s life (and subsequently, our hearts), I try to think rationally about why the writers did what they did before I mourn the death of my favourite character or anime, for that matter. I once read a trilogy where all the heroes slowly died one by one till they all became legends at the end of the series, totally ripped my heart out, but I digress again…

BakemonogatariThis is just my opinion on negative lists. I am certain that there are some really well researched lists for series that you REALLY shouldn’t watch.

I hope this shed some insight on blogging and reviewing. At the end of the day, watch what you want to watch. A really good friend of mine once told me that just because someone says something is over-rated doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a chance. Like what you like, dislike what you dislike. Give every anime a chance and be proud of your favourite!! Happy watching!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

 

Viz Media Panel News @ FanExpo Canada 2013

vizmediaHey guys! I had the pleasure of attending the Viz Media panel at Fan Expo this year and I got a lot of great news. I’m super excited for the new manga official translations coming soon. I’ve been waiting on Nisekoi for a while. Once that’s out, I can’t wait to review that for you guys! A lot of classics are coming back as well so be sure to be on the lookout for those!

New Manga Volume Releases

GangstaGansta (February 18, 2014)- If you guys are into dark and nitty gritty urban stories, this is the manga to read. It takes place in a city called Ergastulum full of thieves and criminals. The main characters, Worick Arcangelo and Nicolas Brown are known as the Handymen who take the jobs no else will touch. Things take a twist when they a cop on the force requests the Handymen to target the top Mafia family…

NisekoiNisekoi: False Love (January 7, 2014)- A super cute and fun series currently available in digital copy from Viz Media. It’s kind of like Romeo and Juliet, but the opposite where a truce is kept between both Yakuza gangs as long as the son and daughter of each respective side can date. LOL

DragonballDragonball: Full Colour Edition (Feb 4, 2014)- One of the classic manga and anime series being made into a vibrant full colour edition. Definitely worth getting if you’re a fan of the series!

img000001Deadman Wonderland (Feb 11, 2014)- This series was originally produced by Tokypop and was recently transferred to Viz Media. Deadman Wonderland is an action packed, supernatural, suspenseful almost post-apocalyptic story. (It’s complicated and it’s a lot of things). If you’re into horror and fantasy and dark stories, go ahead and give this one a try.

83437648_390adf8820_oRanma ½ (March 11, 2014)- A re-release of Rumiko Takahashi’s classic martial arts comedy series.

artartArt of Princess Mononoke (May 2014)- Calling all Studio Ghibli fans! The art book of Princess Mononoke is coming out soon. Be sure to check stores in May so you can get your copy of the beautiful art!

230px-Bakuman_Vol_1_CoverBakuman Box Set- October 1, 2013 (with poster and free Otter No. 11 mini-comic)

One Piece Box Set (Volumes 1-23) East Blue and Baroque Arcs- An interesting start to the super long series but I wonder how many box sets we’ll have to wait for to get the ENTIRE series out.

monster-v1Monster Perfect Edition (July 2014)- Hey monster fans! New editions are being released! (and possibly and HBO series)

New Manga Series:

One Punch Man– By the illustrator and publisher of Eyeshield 21 and currently serialized in Shonen Jump, it follows a hero that basically defeats all his foes with one punch

World Trigger- Feel like reading about galactic warriors? Want some science fiction for a change of pace? Check out this series!

Jaco the Galactic Patrolman- Currently serialized in Shonen Jump, you can sort of discern the the general themes and ideas in the series from the name.

DVDs & Blueray Coming Soon…

Tiger_&_Bunny_vol_1– Nura I and II

– Bleach 17, 18 (coming in the fall)

– Naruto Shippuden

– Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne

– Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Beginning

– Zetman the Complete Series (coming in November)

– Accel World

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– New Acquisition Gargantia/Suisei no Gargantia

– Blood Lad

– Ranma ½

I hope you guys found something a new series to look into from this post and if you didn’t, go ahead and check out my other reviews for something to watch or read. Thanks so much for reading!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

FanExpo Canada 2013 Photography Part 1

Memories may fade and convention hype may die down but PHOTOGRAPHS ARE FOREVER! Here’s the first part of the photos that I took on Thursday and Friday! (I really tried to tag everyone and everything that I could possibly think of)

I hope you guys like these photos. If you use them on Facebook or anywhere else please credit me and my site in the comments! Thanks a ton!

The following batch of photos were the ones that my dad grabbed with his camera!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Cloudy’s Otaku Workout Playlist

2945306348-1Hey guys! I’t’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a Light Otaku Living piece. I’ve been working on this post for a while now. Part of what pumps me up during summer is the fact that the sunny weather just motivates you to go outside and do exercise… Just kidding! Who wants to do exercise when we could curl up the corner with our favourite anime plushie and marathon our all-time favourite anime series for hours on end? Okay, that all sounds good and well but you have to get up SOMETIME because you need to eat, drink, handle other bodily functions and sleep… well, maybe not that last one when it comes to an anime marathon.

I’ve been noticing that I’ve been getting really antsy from holing up in the house all day for work or blog writing so one morning I decided to head down to my basement (where it’s the coolest in temperature) and start exercising.

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All I did was compile a list of my favourite upbeat anime songs and start moving my body. Here’s what I use for my mini workout at home. I have exercises I do from 1-10 but songs 11-15 are other songs I use for cardio.

I love my otome game songs and I know the Fate series lean more towards shonen but you can’t NOT put Carnival Phantasm and Fate Zero in there! Also, Sword Art Online, anything with vocaloids and Touhou Project are also ones that stands in the middle of both shojo and shonen.

For the shonen playlist, I tried my best find all the best songs from a wide range of animes. I threw in a bit of Madoka because for some reason, all the guys I know absolutely love that series… as well as some K-On for you light music lovers 😉

HTT

Cloudy’s Shojo Otaku Personal Workout Playlist

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1) Carnival Phantasm Opening; Super Affection- Running (on the spot, on the treadmill in circles, outside, anything that gets your heart pumping)

2) Ouran High School Host Club Ending; Shissou- Jumping Jacks

3) Fate Kaleid Liner Closing Theme; Prism Sympathy- Skipping Rope Jumps

4) Brothers Conflict Closing Theme; 14 to 1- Air Punches

5) Starry Sky Closing Theme; Starry Sky- Side Knee-Up Jumps

6) Uta no Prince-Sama Closing; Maji Love 1000%- Leg Kicks (Cheerleader style LOL)

7) Hatsune Miku; Senbonzakura- Crunches

SAO_4_OST18) Sword Art Online Opening 2; Overlfy- Sit-ups

8) Hyouka Ending 2; Mystery Surrounding You- Squats

9) K Project Main Instrumental Theme- Stretching (quads, calves, arms, legs, splits, etc.)

10) Fate Zero Ending 2; Sora wa Takaku Kaze wa Utau- Deep Breathing, Cooling Down

11) Uta no Prince-Sama Character Song- Eien no Tristar

12) Black Butler Opening 2- Shiver

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13) Free! Ending- Splash Free!

14) Toradora Opening 2- Silky Heart

15) The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi Ending- Hare Hare Yukai

271Cloudy’s Shonen Otaku Workout Playlist

1) One Piece Opening 1; We Are

2) Naruto Opening 3- Kanashimi wo Yasasshiani

3) Gurren Lagann Opening 2- Sorairo Days

4) Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood Opening 5- Rain

Bleach OP 13

5) Code Geass Opening; Colours

6) Blade Opening; Slashing Through the Night

7) Magica Madoka Insert Song- Magia

8) Gintama Opening 10- Dilemma

9) Guilty Crown Opening 10- My Dearest

Shingeki no Kyojin

10) Deadman Wonderland Opening- One Reason

11) Hatsune Miku- World is Mine

12) Shingeki no Kyojin Opening- Guren no Yumiya

13) K-On Insert Song- Fuwa Fuwa Time

14) Fairytail Opening 10- Towa no Kizuna

15) Bleach Opening 13- Ranbu no Melody

Originally I was planning on around eight or nine songs but they ended up DOUBLING after I did some research. I hope you guys like what I’ve compiled here… I just realized I forgot to throw in any Inuyasha into the lists but feel free to add your own selections to what I have so far. I tried really hard to get a mix of some oldies and some newer ones.

Thank you guys for reading this really long post and I hope you found something fun to listen to. Hopefully I motivated you just a bit to throw in a few minutes of exercise every day. Comment below on the songs you like from the lists or a song that’s not on the lists. I would love hear your favourites! Have a great day!

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– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Read Manga or Watch Anime

Warning: A lot of anime/manga references below 😉

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Host_Club_26_RAW[FINAL] 0961) The Story

All books, television series and movies are similar visual stimulants and forms of entertainment. We read manga because we love the world and we relate to the characters. The author/artist/director takes us on an amazing journey through the eyes of a handful of intriguing individuals. You experience emotions and events we may never experience in real life, whether embarking on a quest in feudal Japan for the shards of the Shikon Jewel or checking into the music room to request a Tamaki as your host, you’re drawn into a world of your choosing.

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2) Japanese Culture

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dij7dej6Face it, you wouldn’t know that –chan goes after a close female friend’s name and –kun goes after a close male friend’s name without manga… and how would you know how to call someone an idiot in Japanese? Have you ever tried okonomiyaki or sat in at a ramen shop? Despite the varying worlds according to each series, various Japanese elements are incorporated into the story. It’s a great way to learn of the various customs, traditions and festivals that Japan has to offer. Almost always, slice-of-life romantic comedy or shojo series takes place in your regular Tokyo, or in the case of Durarara! – Ikebukuro… though I hope the real Ikebukuro isn’t as crazy…Durarara-usual-suspects-pose

3) Escape Mechanism

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Nine out of ten times, we read manga and watch anime to escape from our world. Who wants to be an average struggling freshman in university when you can be GOD like Suzumiya Haruhi. When you’ve failed a test at school or you’ve had a crappy day, Sebastian is always waiting with a specialty teas and a new dessert for you when you get home. ❤

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4) The Art

clannad.pngI absolutely adore the wide-range of styles of each unique artist in each genre. I own quite few artbooks for this reason (leaving me broke after every convention) but it’s absolutely worth it. Like every art form, a manga’s art and layout reflects the mood of the story as well as the skill and style. Many readers or viewers will not even tolerate the story without first appreciating the art. How can you watch the anime or read the manga when the visuals are not aesthetically pleasing to the eye?

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649 - izumi_konata lucky_star moe wallpaper5) A Whole New World

Yes, the title of this reason sounds cheesy, but anime and manga lovers relate to each other on a completely different level, a whole new scale of craziness and a unique set of lingo involving moe and kawaii and GLOMP! Anime and hobbyist conventions are the best ways to meet new people into the same interests as you are, share what you know and fangirl over the same hot guy… and isn’t fan-girling one of the best parts of being an anime/manga lover?

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If you guys liked this little rant, please like and follow as well as comment on YOUR reason for watching anime or reading manga.

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?