HAPPY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY DAY!! (Mako Mankanshoku Nendoroid Summer Colours Photoshoot)

Hey guys! Happy World Photography Day!

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I didn’t even know until I checked Twitter but apparently there is a day for every thing now, thanks to social media. In honour of today I wanted to share with you guys a really fun photography shoot I did last month with my Kill La Kill Mako Mankanshoku Nendoroid figure. One of the reasons why I bought Mako was because she is such a fun and versatile character. You can literally set her up in any setting and her personality will instantly add its own charm to the atmosphere. In this shoot, I played around with lighting, props and tons of bright colours as inspired by summer sunshine. This was also the first time I used a full frame Nikon D750, a new camera that was passed over to me by my dad. I used the 24-120 mm Nikkor lens and it was really a trick trying to figure out the angles because the lens wouldn’t focus if I pushed the focal point too close. The only bit of editing done was with contrast and brightness. Overall I am quite pleased with these final shots and I hope you’ll enjoy scrolling through 🙂

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

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Gundam Through the Ages

DSC_0192My favourite part about going to Japan is probably the intensity of its social culture, it’s where all my anime dreams come true. If you’ve watched any of the Gundam series or you’re into the mecha genre, you should totally go to Diver City in Odiba. Just across the Rainbow Bridge is the Diver City mall… and the giant Gundam. Stare in awe as all your Gundam fantasies come true.

Aside from all the staring and the picture-taking with the giant Gundam, there’s also a Gundam café where you can get a haro latte or zaku smoothie. Inside Diver City, at the uppermost floor is Gundam Front, an all things Gundam floor with figurines on display, a multimedia lights show and a museum of Gundam history and animation. The multimedia lights show was one of my favourite parts of Gundam Front because it took you through a history of all the different Gundam series and the developments of Gundam design from beginning to present.

Of course, there’s tons of merchandise available at the gift store for you to unleash your inner hobbyist 😉 Also, you can get your photo taken with Kira’s Strike Freedom or any of your favourite characters from any of the Gundam series at the photo hotspots.

The train ride across Tokyo Bay on the Rainbow Bridge is spectacular on its own. But for anime fans familiar with the Gundam series and looking to check out some really awesome mecha, this is a MUST SEE on your trip to Tokyo.

– 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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GSD (25)

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?

Everyone17

Surviving Your First Con

Hi everyone! I’m very excited to be back in Toronto especially because Anime North 2013 is in two days! A lot of my friends are driving in from out of town for this convention and many of them are first-timers (and I’m sure some of you are too). If you are a first-timer, both nervous and excited for your first con, here are some tips and little bits of experience that I’ve learned over my three years of con-going.

anime girl at computer 11) Scheduling- The program for the convention will no doubt be posted online one or two weeks before the actual con. Download the file, print it out and circle or highlight the events you want to visit. Chances are, you won’t be able to visit every single panel or screening if the con is huge and you only have a few hours every day. However, planning out your itinerary for the day will save you a lot of last minute indecision that wastes time during con hours. Planning beforehand will also give you better chance to scope out the con’s hottest events!

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2) Packing- I’ve learned that the best kind of bag to have around is a backpack, one where you can throw EVERYTHING inside. You’ll want to carry the bare necessities – wallet, phone, mp3 player and perhaps a reusable bag because if you end up with 30+ volumes of Naruto, that flimsy plastic bag isn’t gonna cut it. If you’re an art collector and Artist Alley is the highlight of your con experience, remembering to bring plastic folders of different sizes to safeguard your purchases in your messy bag. Ziploc baggies also come in handy especially if you’re like me and you spend fifty dollars on buttons and bookmarks every year.

3) Dressing- If your con takes place in the winter, bring a lot of layers on the first day because lining up outside in the snow isn’t fun. If your con takes place in the summer, make sure you’ve got sunglasses, a hat, perhaps an umbrella (or frilly parasol) and sunscreen. For those of you who are cosplaying, pack a change of clothes just in case… especially if you’re making your cosplay and it’s your first time sewing (LOL). Especially if you’ve decided to dress up as someone like Yuuko Ichihara from xxxHolic or a full-on Gundam, you’re going to have a little trouble navigating through the crowds of the con. The most important thing to remember is to wear comfortable shoes because you’ll either be standing in line, walking (or dancing) all day.

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Amu_with_Shugo_Charab4) Buddy System- If it’s your first time going to a con, perhaps ask around to see if you have any friends who are seasoned con-goers. They’ll know the best panels, the best stands and are probably the best price hagglers. Conventions can be overwhelming and having a buddy with you can make any experience a lot easier to handle.

5) The Noms- Pack granola bars and at least three water bottles either on your person or in your car. Mealtime will often shift every day according to your con-schedule and you will definitely lose track of time because of all the con-craziness. Bring some snackies, don’t pass out on your buddy! If you’re waiting in line with friends to grab your con-badge, send someone to scope out the restaurants or fast-food stops that are nearby.

Nakano Azusa, Tainaka Ritsu, Hirasawa Yui, Akiyama Mio, Kotobuki Tsumugi Wallpaper

images6) Shopping- Don’t be an impulse buyer. The best deals are usually made on the last day of the con in the last hour or so. The first day of the con is for you to scope out all the things you want that you can possible bargain for later on in the con. However if you’re looking for artist’s work or fan art, those disappear in the blink of an eye so you’ll need to grab (and pay for) what you want from your favourite artists. Think of the set amount of money you might spend and double (or triple) it. Only tables hosted by big stores accepted credit and cash is a must.

glomp-137) Glomping- Some of you might not know what glomping is. To glomp is to run up and hug (or lovingly body-slam) an individual dressed up in your favourite character. Sometimes your inner fangirl just takes over, I know, I’ve been there… At strictly anime conventions, there is usually a no-glomping rule. However, if you ask nicely, I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to give you a hug and snap a picture with you… which brings me to my next point, bring a CAMERA, you’ll definitely want to photos of friends (and cosplayers) to look back on after the con is over. Cosplayers spend hours on their costumes because they want to be fangirled/or boyed by other fans who love the anime or manga as much as they do 🙂

Lomo-LC-A-seen-in-Japanese-anime-series-K-ON_01Bonus tip: If you’re bringing a digital camera, don’t forget to bring a spare battery and charger. If you’re going old school and using film, bring a wide variety of film and labeled canisters as well as proper cleaning equipment.

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HAVE FUN! At the end of the day, the convention is all about enjoying what you love with people who have the same interests as you. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, a light anime fan or a hardcore otaku, the con will have something for you. I hope you guys liked this little rant. Feel free to like or follow for new posts coming almost every day. I’m so excited for Anime North and new posts will be coming soon! Stay tuned!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?