5 Tips for Making Friends in Other Fandoms

Sora and ShiroHey guys how are you all?

Today I wanted to do Light Otaku Living post that features five friendly tips for making friends in other fandoms because I remember my middle school and high school self being really apprehensive in making friends. I just wasn’t social at all because I felt so content and comfortable in my personal fandom bubble. In fact, later in life I realized it’s much more fun to engage in fandoms such as anime, kpop, comics, movies and the like when you’re surrounded by people as passionate for the medium as you are. This post was inspired by my best guy friend who’s a little bit anxious about making new friends because he’s transferring programs to a new university in the Fall. Like a lot of anime fans, he’s a bit awkward when it comes to meeting new people. So I hope you guys will find today’s tips helpful and encourage yourself to step out of your comfort zone to try something new.

KALMIA Illya1) Don’t Hate – It’s not weird, it’s just different from what you’re used to. Just because you don’t understand a fandom or its fangirls and fanboys, doesn’t mean you should immediately hate on it. Some fandoms are definitely overhyped and others are under-hyped, so take the time to be patient with people you meet and try to get past the mindless squealing and excited fangirling to really hear someone out and understand what they’re fangirling about when you realize their fandom is different from yours.

 2) Ask Questions – You know how you spent about forty hours memorizing random facts on your favourite anime voice actor or all the music show dates for your favourite Kpop groups? Chances are someone else is as obsessed with information hoarding as you. If you hear them mention a name you don’t know or a show you’ve never heard of, ask them to elaborate and chat up the conversation in that way. I don’t know about you but any conversation that lets me show off all my knowledge on all my favourite things is a conversation I’d like to keep going.

Renge3) Be Observant – This one is actually one of my most useful tips. Whether you’re at a club, an event, in class or at a convention, being observant is one of the most important things to keep in mind. When I first met one of my best fangirl friends, we were both attending a screening hosted by my university campus anime club. I noticed two keychains hanging from her purse from one of my all-time favourite anime series. I struck up a conversation with her and this year, she’s my new housemate. You never know where you could find and make new friends for life.

4) Don’t make Assumptions – It’s my understanding that there is a stereotype over all fandom Geeks and otaku. A lot of us fangirls and fanboys have been horribly caricatured as shut-ins who can’t have functioning lifestyles and proper conversations. Don’t assume fangirls or fanboys in your fandom are better than fans of another fandom. Similar to tip number one, keep on open mind and get to know each person as an individual rather than simply judging them based on what fandom they obsess in.

Nagi no Asukara5) Relax – Approaching people is hard, but take a deep breath, roll back your shoulders and stride confidently up to that person. You may surprise them and yourself when you find the courage to speak up. Don’t be afraid to bring up your fandom in introductory conversations when someone asks you about your hobbies. It’s not mandatory to immediately put forth the fact that you’re into so and so fandom but it also shouldn’t be something you intentionally try to hide. Like it or not, your fandom is a part of you, and really if you’re spending over twelve hours a day watching anime, listening to kpop, googling facts and engaging in this fandom, I hope you’d be proud of it and let it shine into your everyday self.

So I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found something relatable. These tips are based purely on my personal experience engaging in different kinds of fandoms from different cultures, not only in anime or Kpop but also various genres of music, dance, literature, photography and other topics. Yeah, I’m an obsessive person.

Haganai Yozora and SenaThe bulk of these tips are also inspired by what I believe is a healthy way to engage in fandom culture while balancing it with a perfectly social and healthy lifestyle. I didn’t include this in the list but you can also make new friends online now over MMO games and forums that engage with individuals all over the world as well as on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other similar sites. If you’re really nervous about face to face conversations, start with a simple reply to someone on Twitter or just shoot someone a message. Interactions don’t seem as daunting over the screen and you can slowly build up your confidence to approach other fangirls and fanboys in conventions or clubs when you feel ready.

Thank you guys so much for reading!! I hope some of these tips were useful for you guys and if you did, you could always reblog on WordPress or share this on Twitter and Facebook ^^ If you have any tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Thanks for dropping into my blog and I will talk to you all very soon 🙂

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

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European Discovery!!

InnisbrookHey guys, how are you all? Today I wanted to share with you guys tons of pictures of my trip across Europe. I took a trip with Contiki tours which is an organized tour for individuals between the ages of eighteen or thirty-five. The trip was really spectacular. I went from London to Amsterdam, Rhine Valley, Munich, Innisbrook, Hopfgarten, Venice, Rome, Florence, Paris and back to London again… ALL IN TEN DAYS. Really this was one of the most life changing trips I’ve ever taken. I really didn’t take any pictures in London because I’ve been to the city so many times but here are some highlights from my trip.

My favourite city of the entire trip is definitely Venice with Florence being a close second. I just love how the cities are so warm and exciting. Venice was a dream, really. And we really didn’t get to spend enough time in Florence because we were literally there for less than a day and then quickly hopped back onto the coach bus for France. Rome had been one of my most looked-forward-to destinations but in general the city didn’t live up to the dreamy expectations I had had in my Latin and ancient history studies. The highlight of Amsterdam was the Anne Frank Museum and later in Germany, we took a detour into a concentration camp in Dachau which was a really eye-opening and humbling visit for me. Innisbrook and Hopfgarten were the coziest and sleepiest towns I’d ever been in. We were literally whispering on the streets because of how tight-knit the community was. My favourite part of Rhine Valley was the wine tasting because their white wines and ice wine was just absolutely A-MA-ZING.

On the bus >v<France though was probably one of the most hectic days for me. The night we arrived in Paris, we headed to the Eiffel Tower, went all the way to the top, checked off my bucket list and then ran down EVERY SINGLE STEP back to the coach bus cause we thought we wouldn’t make it in time hahaha. The next morning, my travel buddies and I woke up extra early to get into the city by seven. Since the Metro is so convenient, we got into the Notre Dame on Easter Sunday which was really wonderful. Next stop, I headed to the Louvre while my friends headed shopping. Then over to Angelina’s for some delicious brunch and (famous) hot chocolate of course. Finally, we walked down the Champs-Elysees and hiked up to the Arc de Triomphe. The entire trip ended with a fabulous night at Moulin Rouge with singing, dancing, good food and good wine. All in all, it was an absolutely magical and fantastic trip. If you guys get the chance you should definitely take a tour with Contiki cause it’s a great way to meet new and diverse people from all over the world.

These are just some of my main highlights from the memories on my trip. Hopefully in the next week or so I can skim through my travel video clips and put together one or two vlogs to share on my channel. Till then, I hope you guys enjoy some of these pictures =)

Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Munich in Germany, Innisbrook and Hopfgarten Austria…

Venice, Rome and Florence in Italy…

Paris, France…

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Snoopy 65th Anniversary in Hong Kong

Here’s the story of how I happened upon a legion of Snoopys…

DSC_5032My mom had arrived in Hong Kong a few weeks earlier than me and the first place she took me the morning after I arrived was the APM Mall in Kwun Tong where she knew the giant anniversary commemorative display was set up.Growing up, Charles Schulz’ Peanuts gang was my favourite comic strip series and it still is. I just love Schulz’s characters for their varying personalities, quirky and amusing interactions. He has some of the most unforgettable classic characters ever. My favourite tidbit of the display? The giant character statues that showcased Snoopy’s transformation from his early days on all fours, to the 90s where he hits that iconic image.

If you’re looking for some live footage, check out the first vlog in my Hong Kong Christmas Series on my channel!!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

(Please credit me if you use my pictures and let me know!!)

How to ACTUALLY De-Stress during Exam Week

Sekaiichi Hatsukoi2

I use to think that I handled stress really well because I’m the sort of person that never procrastinates, manages time well and always keeps on top of work…. that was until my grades in one course started to drop because of my assignments and everything went sort of downhill from there. The stress of grades and the rigid schedule left me no time to relax and slim opportunities for creative outlet periods. I had a nervous breakdown, broke out with acne, my ears started ringing and I was just not sleeping well or eating well. On top of that, living on your own means managing your chores and house as well. The only thing that gave me any semblance of distraction from the stress was really blogging.

I experimented with a lot of different relaxation techniques in the past three to four weeks and these are honestly the best ones that work for me as an anime-loving, manga-reading otaku blogger. If you identify with any of these labels, then these might work for you too.

Ritsu Onodera

5) Turn off your phone, hide your textbooks and grab your tablet or your laptop and read your manga. I don’t mean power read that latest chapter to catch up and then go back to work, I mean shut yourself off from everything else in your life and marathon at least twenty chapters of it. If you’re the type of person who goes on long periods of study time to cram and crack down on your course work, make sure you set an equal amount of time where you just binge read something that is not study material. When you’re studying, you are consciously working your brain to make connections and memorize facts, reading something for leisure that requires little to no brainpower that actually entertains you will help you sleep better. Whether you’re re-reading those fifty plus volumes of Naruto or something totally new suggested to you by a manga hosting site, visuals rather than chunks of text will significantly unwind your mind.

Reading Manga

4) Exercise your other senses. When you’re studying, you’re mostly straining your eyes and this can leave you with dizziness, fatigue or even a migraine. Whether you go out and exercise your entire body, or you lie on your couch just listening to music or you just do a face mask for twenty minutes or even going out for a Starbucks snack, I’ve found that a great way to de-stress is to do other activities that allow other sensations to overwhelm your mind so that you’re not thinking.

Free- Haru- Swimming

3) Go to your favourite otaku online store and do some browsing or shopping. For those of you who enjoy collecting figures or merchandise, you’d be surprised at how therapeutic shopping can be. You’ll get really excited and start fangirling over new figures coming out and fangirling is probably one of the easiest ways to let all that pent up stress out. Naturally you shouldn’t splurge and go off budget, but a little pre-order item you know that will be delivered to your house when your exams finish, is a real treat to look forward to.

Haruhi Computer

2) Find a video game to play. I don’t care if it’s the original 8bit red version of Pokemon or 3DS Mario Kart, World of Warcraft or League of Legends. I personally like Cytus, a music app on my phone, and Osu, a music rhythm game on my laptop. You’ll be surprised at how good it feels when you get a high score or when you’ve totally slayed an entire tribe of monsters. Gaming is an activity that dominates your mind and often, all your senses. It’s a great way to tune out of the world filled with worries and into a world filled with fairies.

SAO Nerve Gear

1) Talk to someone. This sounds so cheesy, but I honestly think that talking about it and ranting about your problems is both mentally and emotionally beneficial. When you’re locked up in your room with only textbooks and notes, you’ll panic and worry, then you’ll find yourself googling and self-diagnosing your headaches or migraines and trust me, the internet is THE WORSE place for self-help. Seriously, go talk to a friend, you will be so surprised at how much you realized you were freaking out for nothing when you have someone close to you tell you IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY. And seriously, IT WILL BE OKAY. I slept over at a friend’s house this week because of some apartment problems I was having and I realized right before I fell asleep that I felt so much more lighthearted after hanging out with my best friends for a whole night.

Kill La Kill Best Friends

Seriously though, DO NOT PANIC. NEVER PANIC. This stress will pass, these unhealthy bodily symptoms will pass and you will pass your exams if you’ve given your all. University and College exam month is probably one of the most stressful times of the year but at the end of the day, your health is way more important. The most important thing to remember is to breathe deeply when you think you’re about to explode or implode from the anxiety. Just breath, and you’ll get through it. Don’t overdo it, get enough sleep, eat well and good luck to everyone on their finals!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Cloudy’s Summer Beauty Favourites

Hi everyone! Today I’m doing another Light Otaku Living Segment but it’s going to be geared a bit more towards the girls. Welcome to Cloudy’s Summer Beauty Favourites! I don’t get new beauty products ALL the time but lately I’ve been experimenting a lot with new creams and scrubs since summer weater has been harsh on my skin.

The first product that I wanted to share was the Advanced O’Three Collagen Eye Treatment Patch. It’s actually a Korean brand that I found in the drug store section of a Korean Supermarket. I’d never tried eye patches before but I thought, “what the heck,” might as well give it a go, the worst thing that can happen is that nothing happens. Your dark circles couldn’t get any worse right?

DSC_0008

There’s about five to six packages inside with a pair of patches in each of them. You peel off the film and there’s a jelly-like mask coated in the product. You lay it right under your eyes and you leave them on for 30-40 minutes (or two episodes of anime) and then you take them off, rinse and apply your regular moisturizer.  Since there are no early classes or early work in the summer, I’ve been staying up super late every night and I’m starting to look like a panda from my new sleeping patterns. This eye mask brightened up my circles right away, the greyness was faded and I instantly looked more lively. After about two of the masks (and lots more sleep), my dark circles were all but faded.

DSC_0012My next thing I wanted to show you guys is the the Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Polish. I got the a turquoise blue and baby yellow from summer series and I loved it. I painted the blue on my nails with a bunch of other colours from other brands and this polish lasted the absolute longest. The colour seen in the bottle is exactly the colour you get on your nails, so it’s pretty accurate. I really wish I bought more of these because the colour is really so pigmented and I think it goes great with a Hatsune Miku cosplay 😉

DSC_0001The next products I wanted to show you guys have become my new holy grail when it comes to my skin. It’s the Clean & Clear Morning Burst Skin Brightening Facial Scrub (the yellow tube) and Smoothing Scrub (the purple tube).  In the summer time, the heat always feels like it’s clogging my pores. You have to put on sunscreen which is usually oily and there’s dust and sweat and at the end of the day your skin just feels nasty. I believe the morning burst line is meant to be used in the mornings but I don’t really think it matters so I usually use them at night and it just adds to my relaxing and refreshing shower experience.

I got the skin brightening facial scrub first just because it was on sale. I remember always hearing “Clean and Clear and under Control” on TV so I thought I’d give it a try. I bought the smoothing scrub after the wonders the brightening scrub did on my face. The smoothing burst doesn’t have as many little exfoliating beads as the brightening scrub but it’s pretty good for dry skin because it’s a bit creamier while the brightening scrub is more gel-like. Your skin instantly feels refreshed, it looks brighter and it just feels so good! Thank you Johnson and Johnson!

DSC_0002 (2)bMy last product has been really useful all summer. It’s the sunscreen from Ombrelle. I got the hypoallergenic lotion with 60 spf. It’s fragrance free, colour free, moisturizing and contains antioxidants. I’m usually a paler than average person so I burn really easily if I’m constantly under the sun. My skin burnt red after Saturday of Anime North and I think it would have started peeling if I wasn’t constantly using this sunscreen. I’ve always avoided sunscreen all my life even though I should have it with me all the time. I hate how oily sunscreen usually is and how it smells. Ombrelle gets rid of all my little sunscreen pet peeves and I actually enjoy putting it on my face.

It is, to a certain degree, oil because it’s sunscreen but it doesn’t run off your face when you sweat, so it’s pretty great if you’re doing cosplay photography. I’d advise, washing your face, regular moisturizer and some light sunscreen before you put on foundation for makeup. Even though your foundation may have some spf, it’s not as strong as Ombrelle and if you’re cosplaying as someone with pale skin, you don’t want to get darker as the shoot goes on (LOL) Ombrelle is a little pricier than regular sunscreen but it’s completely worth it. I’ve been using the bottle all summer and I haven’t run out yet so it’s a product worth having.

Thank you girls so much for sticking with me throughout the entire long post. If you girls want more beauty-related reviews and tips for cosplay, conventions or just daily life, let me know but hitting like or comment below! Thanks again for reading and I will talk to you all soon!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?