Haruhi Suzumiya Artbooks~~

CALLING ALL SOS BRIGADE FANS!

Yesterday I finally got the chance to visit my local bookstore and I saw these two awesome Haruhi Suzumiya Artbooks all new and recently in stores. Didn’t get a chance to go earlier because of exams and whatnot so I’m here to share a little intro on them today.

If you’re a huge fan of the series and you already have the “Haruhi Suzumiya  Illustrations Spring and Summer” collection you definitely want the artbook with Yuki on the cover, the “Haruhi Suzumiya Illustrations: Autumn & Winter” collection. I also happened upon a copy of bright red artbook featuring Haruhi herself is entitled the “Haruhi-ism: Noizi Ito Artworks” released just this summer. All are published by Udon Entertainment in North America featuring illustrations from the anime DVD cover, promos, posters, manga covers and more. They’re about two thirds of an inch thick and really vivid gorgeous illustrations on gloss paper. There usually isn’t any difference between the Japanese original copy and the North American one just because it’s all visuals. If there’s any Japanese text, it’ll usually be translated.

So I took some photos for you guys, if you’re interested and you live in Canada or the United States, you can probably find a copy at the Chapters and Indigo’s Official Website or Amazon or Barnes and Nobles’ Online Site since they’ve been officially licensed on this side of the world.

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

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?

 

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 Photography Part 2

Since I don’t edit much of my convention cosplay photography, the only difficult part is actually choosing the ones that go up on the site. Don’t worry though, no one was cut out! Here’s part 2 of the photographs taken on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was INSANE! I’ve never seen so many people crammed into a convention centre before!

All these photographs are completely eating up my media space on the site but it’s totally worth it! I hope you guys like your photos. Check out “Behind the Lens” for more of my work and I am available for cosplay photoshoots or any other events that require a photographer. I’m usually back and forth between Toronto and Kingston. Just shoot me an email to littlecloudcuriosity@gmail.com if you need me!

To the girl who cosplayed as Nanami Haruka from my favourite anime- Uta no Prince-Sama, YOU ARE AWESOME!! You totally made my weekend and I would love to do a photo shoot of you! Please email me if you’re interested!

Also, I can’t believe someone actually cosplayed as Haru from Free! (I wonder if he jumped into the fountain outside for a swim…)

Star Wars Photo Shoot! (A compilation of photographs) Most epic gathering of cosplayers I have ever seen By the way, anyone spot Waldo in the photographs?

Additional photos of cosplayers and panelists that my dad took with his camera! (Yu Asakawa is so pretty in person!)

This is the last of the cosplay and general convention photography. Special panel reviews + photography will come soon. Please check my latest Cloudy Says post for the list of posts/features coming soon!

– 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 😉

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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?

 

Being a Healthy Otaku

otakuI have a lot of friends who like to power through anime or manga series in one sitting. They often forget about taking care of their bodies, especially the ones who like to finish visual novels in one sitting or trying to juggle League of Legends or World of Warcraft with work, every day errands, extracurricular activities and school work. During exams this year, when I advised one of my university friends to perhaps shift a bit of time off his visual novel gaming to his studies, he told me he’s willing to forgo sleep to keep up both his visual novel story and  his exam studies… Both are of the same weighted importance of course.

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I also have a friend back home who stays up till four in the morning both working and anime-watching at the same time… It was a bad idea to introduce Ouran to him (LOL).  When I attend anime or hobbyist conventions, I see people camping out in their cars with nothing more than three bags of chips and a bottle of 2L pop.

There is just not enough time to watch anime AND do everything you’re expected to do on a regular basis and with the flurry of weekday and the short 48 hours of the weekend, our health often falls second – no, last, to our To-Do list. So today I’m going to share with you guys a few of my healthy living tips as an anime series follower and avid manga series reader.

1)      Making the Snackies Healthier

Kyōko-Eating-Chips-Puella-Magi-Madoka-Magica
482922-healthy-breakfast-of-yogurt-and-berriesJust because Kyoko is munching on a new snack every time the scene changes doesn’t mean you have to! But you’re probably wondering, “What else am I going to do while I watch anime?” Snacking is a big thing for late night anime watchers and speaking from personal experience, I know how quickly chocolate bars and chip bags run out when you’re at an intense part of the story. However, we end up ingesting a lot of sugar and a lot of sodium with all the junk food snackies. Instead of giant bags of chips and a box of cookies, go for fruit and yogurt or some veggies and dip. Personally, I love snacking on blueberries when I watch anime. I guarantee the slight change in diet will make a difference to your physique and overall energy levels.

e9UOW2)      Everything in Moderation

If you’re really craving junk food, have snacks in portions. Don’t rip the entire bag open with your teeth like an animal! (or starving Otaku), pour a fixed amount in a bowl and leave it at that. Trust me; your lazy self won’t want to get up for more chips while you’re fixed on the anime. And if you really need to eat at night cause you’re going for an all-night with a visual novel, go for smaller portions of snacks or liquids like tea or chocolate milk. You DO NOT need caffeine at three in the morning.

3)      Get Up and Stretch

tumblr_m8swj9wAt51qbjtqb Nine out of ten people who are streaming or watching a downloaded anime will shave off the opening and ending songs. I’m here to tell you not to do that! Well… I do it too, because I GOTS TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

imagesBut I’ve found that the best thing to do while the opening songs or closing credits are playing is to get up and move about. Sitting at your desk or lying in bed or on a couch for too long can cause back pain or muscle fatigue. Also, those of you who have a tendency to contort into strange positions on your chair while anime watching know that numb legs are not fun.

A simple stretch will do. Move your arms about, roll those shoulders, shake out those legs! Touch your toes… if you can. If you want, get up and dance to the closing song! (Especially if you’re watching The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi.)

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4)      Go Outside

295345_552436541475590_1384373968_nWhile we’re on the topic of stretching, it’s nice to go outside once in a while… you know, see the sun. You’ll hiss and screech for a few seconds while your eyes and your skin gets used to the light. Download and take your favourite anime soundtracks with you while you take a walk or go for a jog! Everyone needs a bit of exercise once in a while. With the weather getting warmer and warmer, it’s perfect to take Ho-kagoTea Time or the Vocaloids with you while you’re riding your bike, rollerblading or just taking a stroll through the park.

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5)      Clean up your Collection

If you’re like me and have numerous manga series, anime DVD’s and a ton of otaku merchandise, you’ll know what a big endeavour it is to reorganize your collection. For some reason, we tend to stop everything in our lives to follow an anime or manga series. But no more! This is the time to get out of your seat, dust those figurines, shelve those manga and throw out that packaging you tossed in the corner from last month’s purchase! Reorganizing your anime and manga collections will give your room a new look and that lemony smell of cleaning supplies will drive out all the leftover scents of instant noodles! Chores are actually a great way to move about, burn some of those calories and give your muscles a workout. Compile your favourite anime music, crank it up and CLEAN!

6)      Cosplay

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Need some motivation? Think of that your cosplay costume that you’ll be wearing for the next hot con! Cutting down your intake of sugar and sodium plus a little exercise will have you look super kawaii or BADASS for that upcoming convention. I’m not saying that you have to be stick-skinny like the CLAMP characters cause that’s not physically possible, but being healthier will not only make you look good but FEEL GOOD too with extra stamina for long and demanding conventions.

BONUS! Beauty Tip for the Girls

Sheet masks and DIY homemade masks are the best to have one while you’re watching anime. It only takes a few minutes to mix together an organic honey and lemon mask or peel open a package for a cleansing sheet mask. In whatever season and weather, our skin is always under the pressures of our stress and environment and we don’t always have time to pamper ourselves so why not treat yourself to a nourishing beauty mask while you’re relaxing with your favourite anime series. (If you’re interested in DIY masks, stay tuned for future posts!)

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I hope you guys found this post at least a little useful. I’m very excited to have this Light Living Otaku section up. If you guys enjoyed this, feel free to like or follow for new stuff daily! Thank you so much for reading!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?