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?

Back-to-School Tips for Otakus

Oh no… Summer’s ended… and for many of you, that means school is starting. Again. For many of who for which that latter statement is true, you might be dreading the semester or term because it means there’ll be a lot more quadratic equations, classical literature and lab reports and a lot less anime, gaming and moe manga… So for those of you who need some help balancing all that schoolwork with otaku time, I’m here to help you out!

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Konata1) Schedule Your Time- You are definitely going to need to prioritize your work with anime watching or reading manga. Balance is key. You don’t want to spend all day marathoning your favourite series and forget your assignments, but you don’t want to turn into a workaholic either.

Kirito_nervegear2) Explore your School Clubs- I’m the public relations executive on my university anime club and I have tons of fun organizing events and promoting anime nights. Go out and meet people!! Don’t just make friends online *cough Kirito* Sport your favourite anime shirt or your awesome buttons onto your bag. You never know who you might approach you because you had OnePiece buttons on your hat or you were using your Naruto frog coins purse 😉

3) Let your anime inspire you- Suzumiya Haruhi, Hyouka, Free- Iwatobi Swim Club, Hikaru no Go… Ouran High School Host Club? Take an example from your favourite anime characters and start your own club if a club you like doesn’t exist. Maybe you’ll make friends who like the same anime or manga as you and you’ll find yourself fangirling, or fanboying over the same series.

Azu manga Daioh4) Have some self restraint (I’m serious.)- Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in a day for EVERYTHING. But remember, you still have the weekend. Get the serious stuff done first and use anime as a motivational tool and a reward for your efforts after you finish.

I hope you guys found these tips somewhat useful. Just be sure to be yourself. If you’re an otaku, be proud of it. Don’t worry what other people think because you’ll want to make friends who like the same things as you. If you’re nervous, just remember to smile! Confidence will come gradually so take it a step at a time! I hope your school years go smoothly!

Anime

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

 

FanExpo Canada 2013 Panels Overview

Hello everyone! As we draw near the last hours of August, we finish off the summer holidays month with this last quickie blurb review of all the panels I attended at FanExpo this year. Many of the larger panels actually have their own feature post and should all be linked into the panel titles. Now, without further ado…

Thursday

Lolita Style and Fashion Panel- It was technically my first panel because the Anime AMV panel on Thursday was cancelled. I’ve been dabbling into Lolita fashion lightly and carefully. I wanted to balance the Lolita style with my usual casual every day style and create a look that was really me. I got lot of great tips for rocking the different Lolita aesthetic. Overall, I woul this panel would be really great for beginner Lolita girls.

Friday

Viz Media Panel- About a third of all my manga is published from Viz Media. Series like Ouran High School Host Club, Backstage Prince, Dawn of the Arcana, Demon Love Spell, Happy Marriage, Strobe Edge… the list goes on! If you guys want the details on this panel, please check out my Viz Media panel feature post!

Anime According to AMVs- This was really the first time I went to an AMVs themed panel and it sure made up for the one that was cancelled the day before. It was just a blast! It’s great to sit in a room with a bunch of people who love the same shows and the same characters as you. You learn about some new animes and get to laugh at some hilarious music videos as well!

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Pro Author Panel – Epic World Building & Magic- A panel featuring Leslie Young, A.M. Dellamonica, Violette Malan and Linda Poitevin, they were all such wonderful and witty speakers. Ms. Malan had to be my favourite panelist. She gave such great advice and I was in awe at how knowledgeable she was.

Saturday

Comic Book Law – What Creators Need to Know- A really information and professional panel. It’s a basic and simple break-down of copyright, trademark and all the legal issues that come with your ownership of your characters, ideas, and so on.

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Crypton Future Media Presents: Hatsune Miku Panel

Anime Music Video Gameshow- Super fun and interactive, prizes all around and even a penalty box. All anime fans should go watch and play.

Sunday

Once Upon a Time – Season Premiere Preview Screening

Right on Target with Stephen Amell

Exclusive Vocaloid: Hatsune Miku Live Party Concert Screening

Please leave a comment if there are any problems with the links or use the search bar to find what you’re looking for. Thank you guys so much for reading and I will talk to you all very soon!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Why I Wait for Official Translations

Hey guys! Welcome to another segment of Light Otaku Living!

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I’ve missed writing these kinds of posts and today I’m going to talk a little bit about why I wait for official translations of manga.

DSC_0001b1) Bad fan translations- I know teams of translators make a great effort to translate manga for fans and other readers, I have seen typos and clunky grammar. I do read online manga because some sites really have very good translations but sometimes if the script really isn’t fluent, the story loses its impact and as a reader, I start to lose interest because nothing makes sense.

2) Losing the idiomatic dialogue- Dialogue is one of the most important parts of the story in both developing characters and furthering plot. The most difficult aspect of translating is balancing grammatically spot-on translations and keeping the language in context to the story. When you buy official translations, professional translators, editors and a whole team of people have meticulously checked and rechecked the script to make sure that we get the best translation possible when we’re paying for it.

Here’ an example from Strobe Edge Volume 5. When I went to look for scans online, I found that the translations slightly differed and that the official translated script isn’t as wordy and convey the same if not better dramatic impact.

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Of course I have moments when I just can’t wait and I look up the next volume online but even after reading, the script doesn’t seem as constant because of the way the translations vary from site to site and to the official translation that’s released much later.

3) Worth the wait- Waiting for manga is grueling but book release days are SO EXCITING AND SO MUCH FUN!… until that awkward moment when you’re hugging the new volume in the store happy jumping and the sales clerk is staring at you strangely *cough* Also, waiting for official translations and buying them in the store is a great way to support your favourite manga artist so he or she can continue to write and produce for us!

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4) Collecting the Manga- Of course, one of the best things about following and buying the series is seeing it grow on your shelves. A lot of many follows a general design theme or the cover designs swaps colour schemes every volume so you can slowly collect all the colours of the rainbow! And the best thing about buying the manga is that in a few years when some online websites are taken down, you can still keep your favourite manga with you.

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5) Individual Preference- Part of why I read manga is for the art and for some artists like CLAMP or Ema Toyama, their stories and art are both such favourites of mine, I can’t help but own a piece of their amazing creations. Personally, I like holding a book in my hand, especially when it’s manga. I do have an eReader but the electronic tablet is nothing compared to the weight of the book and the excitement on setting your eyes on real pages of manga. I can curl up in my bed with manga or on the bus or subway. A laptop just isn’t as cozy in bed and it hurts my eyes to squint my eyes for manga on my little phone screen. Reading on an electronic screen just doesn’t entrance me in the story as much as a real manga volume does.

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Thank you guys for reading and I hope I convinced some of you to drop into your local bookstore or comic shop once in a while. If you guys liked this and want more Light Otaku Living, hit the like button or comment below on what I should write about next. Thank for dropping in and we’ll talk soon!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Apple and Honey Mask

honey_2110575Hi everyone! And welcome to another segment of Light Otaku Living! Since summer is heating up fast, I thought I’d share with you this mask!

I burn really easily in the sun and I heard that this mask would help reduce redness and retain moisture. I would say yes and no, or maybe it just doesn’t work that well for me. This masks works decently and it’s simple enough to make. The ingredients include 1 apple and 2 tablespoons of honey. All you do is mash up the apples, add your honey, mix and apply to the skin.

What I loved… Honey!!  It is literally one of the best ingredients to have in DIY masks

The Texture- The mash of apples plus the super smoothness of the honey is the perfect mix

My face does feel softer, smoother and thoroughly cleansed minutes after the mask is rinsed off. Great for people who have dry skin like me!

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The Hassles… Apples are difficult to chop and mash especially if you don’t have a blender or food processor. I would advise you not to attempt unless you have a food processor because it took me a good twenty minutes to manually puree the apples… I also have an aversion to peeling apples (though I really don’t like eating apples with peel)

During the process- Gravity + apple puree on face = disaster. My sink was a mess.

Avoid the eyes!

Ouran_High_School_Host__Honey_by_evilchuHalf and Half…I don’t think the apples worked as well as I was told they would but the honey was the saving grace in this messy recipe. However, I would say that the apples lightened my dark circles and I looked a few shades more refreshed. I don’t see absolutely glowing skin but since apples have antioxidant and exfoliating capabilities, your face will be absorbing vitamins A, B and C.

Rating: 2.5/5 happy clouds 25 Clouds Transparent

This DIY mask would have made three stars if it wasn’t for the massive clean-up mission that followed the application of the mask. Personally I prefer a mask with cooling sensations and glowing skin aftermath. The process of making and applying the mask was an endeavour on its own.

I hope you guys liked this quickie DIY mask review. I was planning on using this mask in Hong Kong because it helps sunburns but I think I might have to find something quicker and easier to use! I hope you guys liked quickie rant and review! Thank you so much for reading!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

 

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?

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?

Ouran High School Host Club Review

Irasshaimase! Welcome to another anime review!! Today I’ll be talking about that one anime that almost everyone seems to be going nuts after! Ouran High School Host Club! “Ouran Private Academy is defined by one, prestigious families, and two, wealth. … Continue reading