Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou Episode 1 Impressions

I have to say I didn’t think I’d enjoy Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou this much because the manga didn’t appeal to me as much but I suppose the vibrant colours of the animation and the over the top acting from the … Continue reading

My Love From The Star Part 2/2 Review – Thoughts on the Ending (BEWARE OF SPOILERS)

Hey guys, what’s up? Today we’re looking at Part 2 of my review for My Love From The Star and today’s review is CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS because there was a mixed reception about the ending to the series so … Continue reading

My Love From The Star Part 1/2 Review & Series Overview

“If it’s supposed to happen, it happens. Earthlings, call it Fate.” – Do Min Joon I don’t watch dramas very often, in fact growing up in a household where dramas and soap operas were non-stop playing on the television, I … Continue reading

Out of the Box: 蘭陵王 (Prince of Lan Ling) Full Series Review

Hey drama fans, today I really wanted to write up all my thoughts on one of my favourite ancient Chinese series – Lan Ling Wang. I watched the series last year when it first came out and it is probably tied … Continue reading

Cloudy’s Top 5 Strongest Female Heroines

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Hello everyone, I’m a little behind on world events since I’ve been caught up in my blog bubble and my schoolwork all last week and all weekend but I really wanted to a write a post to honour International Women’s Day last Saturday. I’ve been brainstorming me these for a while now and these are just my top 5 strongest female characters…

WARNING – SOME SPOILERS BELOW!!

Fuuko Ibuki

“This uncute appearance…I didn’t want you of all people to see me in such a state. But…this time I will protect you!” – Lizzy

5) Lizzy from Black Butler- At first Elizabeth Midford doesn’t seem like anything past your noble lady and I really hate how she was portrayed in the anime as a two-dimensional ditz. In truth, as seen in the manga, Elizabeth is actually very capable and talented especially in fencing and she will not hesitate to use those skills when it comes to protecting the one she loves. She is 150% devoted to her fiancé, Ciel Phantomhive despite his somewhat standoffish and workaholic ways and she strives to become his firmest pillar of support in life. Even though she and Ciel are really only teenagers, Elizabeth already has an internal grasp on the aristocratic and political burdens of her marriage to Ciel but she is willing to shoulder his burdens out of love all the while looking as cute as she can in her best dress.

“Of what worth is a king who fails to protect the powerless?

Saber

4) Saber from Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero- Who would have guessed that legend of legends, the King of Camelot and all of Britain, was actually a girl? Saber makes the list because of chivalrous code of honour, selflessness to take on the burdens of others and her utter devotion to her kingdom. As the strongest Class of fighters in the Holy Grail War, she’s usually a lone wolf but she grows much as a character when she learns to cherish the bonds of love and friendship with her Master and other participants of the war that she may encounter. Saber is stubborn when it comes to her ideals and will stick by them even when others condemn or mock her for them. Her selflessness allows her to empathize with the weak while her pride as a king reminds her of her duty to Britain. She is truly one of the noblest kings.

“I dream of the day when I can see your dear smile again.” – Homura

3) Homura Akemi from Puella Magi Madoka Magica- Homura is one of the most complex characters I have ever encountered in the anime world. In the very first timeline, she is meek and shy, but by meeting Madoka, she begins to understand the meaning of friendship and selflessness. Seeing Madoka become a magic girl to save the world in the first timeline, Homura also becomes a magic girl to protect Madoka. Homura’s powers to pause, rewind and manipulate time stems from her wish to turn back time to save Madoka from a magic girl’s grim end. She repeats the time loop over and over again, hundreds of times in order to find a way to save Madoka. She becomes obsessed with Madoka enough to discard her life as a human and a magic girl to become the antagonistic force to God Madoka in hopes that she will one day meet Madoka again on even plains. She represents the best and worst in human beings – do we do things out of selflessness or selfishness? Homura’s emotions towards Madoka have become so complex that she herself probably does not even understand the extent of them, making her an intriguing character overall.

“This world is very cruel… but it is also very beautiful.” – Mikasa

2) Mikasa Ackerman from Shingeki no Kyojin- Mikasa lost her family to bandits when she was a child, on the verge of death, she was inspired by Eren to stand up and fight and to win. She’s immensely attached to Eren and her love for her extends so far as to follow him right into the military where she becomes one of mankind’s most powerful and talented soldiers against the wrath of the Titans. Mikasa’s shining moment comes when she believes that Eren has already died and she’s ready to give up her life, but her memories with Eren inspire her to continue living in his remembrance. Even when Eren is persecuted by the military for being a traitor to the titans, Mikasa is ready to give up her life to fight for his. Mikasa reaches third place in my list because she exemplifies mankind’s strength and also its fragility.

“There is no future for those who have died… and what of those who did the killing? Is happiness to be found in a future that is grasped with blood-stained hands? Is that the truth?” – Lacus

Lacus Clyne (1)

1) Lacus Clyne from Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny- No one finishes Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny without falling for Lacus’ charms at least once… or twice. Lacus is a songstress and symbol of peace during the Cosmic Era where different factions are constantly at war with one another through the use of mecha mobile suits. Despite having grown up sheltered in this war torn era, she is fully aware of the political tensions between PLANT, ORB and Earth. She emerges as a pacifist who works towards a peaceful co-existence between the Naturals (who are regular humans) and the Coordinators (a more evolved species of human able to pilot the Gundam). Although Lacus does not enter the battlefield personally per se, she is forever a support to her friends and even treats her enemies with kindness. She initiates a stalemate in the war and coordinates much of the postwar discussion to establish a stable peace among the different peoples.

“Shall I take you away, to the place where dreams come true…” – Nagisa

Nagisa Furukawa

*Honorary Mention goes out to Nagisa Furukawa from Clannad and Clannad after Story- Although Nagisa does not go through any death defying, humanity-testing quests of strength or skill, she is still an admirable character in her world. Having been born sickly and physically weak, Nagisa has been forced to repeat a year in her high school. Still, she is neither bitter nor resentful of her lot in life but faces her studies with a determination to make the best memories during her time at the school. She becomes an inspiration and source of hope to Okazaki Tomoya who has been jaded by his family situation. In After Story, Nagisa displays an overwhelming amount of bravery and resolve to bring Ushio into the world despite the very imminent possibility of death due to the strain of child birth.

Well, there you have it. My top 5 strongest female heroines. I hope you guys liked this post and like I said at the beginning, these are just my personal picks. If you have your own favourite kickass heroine you would like to share, comment below because I would love to read about her. It is always so hard to narrow down a top 5 of ANYTHING so I hope you guys enjoyed reading this!

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Shingeki no Kyojin, the Anime Review Part 2

Hello everyone and welcome to Part 2 of my Shingeki no Kyojin anime. If you’re looking for Part 1, click here. And in Part 2 I’m going to touch on some overarching plot themes, the animation, ending, sound and my … Continue reading

Shingeki no Kyojin, the Anime Review Part 1

Hey guys, it took me a while to get to Shingeki no Kyojin just because there was so much hype over the summer and I didn’t want all the fandom to skew my perception of how I reviewed the show. … Continue reading

5 Scare-your-ass-off Animes for Halloween

Hey guys, have you all thought of some Halloween plans? Pumpkin carving? Trick-or treating? Or perhaps scaring innocent little trick-or-treaters that happen to pass by your house? I’m not a super big fan of scary animes because I can’t watch them alone past six… and even during the day, it makes me super paranoid in the house after seeing scary stuff. But here are my five spooky selections for this Halloween…

when-they-cry---higurashi-52584e7ab38ef5) Higurashi: When They Cry- Up first is a supernatural, horror, murder mystery anime originally based off a game. There are a bunch of different arcs to the anime so you can either marathon this all night and go in order or find a buddy who’ already seen this entire series to guide you through to the best parts. It takes place in the year 1983 in a village called Hinamizawa. Everything seems well and fine until the day of the annual Watanagashi Festival where one person is always murdered and another goes missing… If you decide to spend Halloween on your own hiding from crazy teenage party-goers and screaming tricker-treaters, check out the Higurashi manga as well as the Umineko manga created by the same author or play the games in the dark!

Another-poster4) Another– Interestingly enough, the novel of which this anime was originally based off of was published on October 29 in 2009, very close to Halloween. It takes place in a high school called Yomiyama Middle School… but prepare yourselves. The series revolves around a boy named Koichi Sakakibara and winds up in a freaky horror mystery that leads to the gruesome deaths of many of his fellow students…

Elfenlied3) Elfen Lied- Looks innocent on the cover of the manga and Lucy at first glance BUT it gets pretty gory. Despite the romance and fantasy aspect, there’s a lot of psychological stuff and horror throughout the story. The title actually means Elf Song and takes place in Kamakura, Japan. The show really goes into themes of prejudice, alienation, violence and social conflict between the humans and the Diclonius species (genetically mutated creatures that resemble humans)

FutureDiary_1c_cvr.indd2) Mirai Nikki: Future Diary- One of the most popular animes out there. You’ve probably encountered this series or art somewhere on the internet with the wonderfully charming pink haired girl with the sky blue uniform and the undying devoted stalker murderer buddy. All joking aside, if you’ve really never heard of Future Diary, it’s about a boy named Yuki Amano who spends WAY too much time writing a diary on his phone and talking to his imaginary friend, Deus Ex Machina and Deus’ servant, Murmur. When Deus gives Yuki a diary regarding a game, Yuki is forced into a fight to the death with eleven other people who also have diaries, to become the new God of Time and Space. The girl mentioned earlier is Yuno Gasai, the famous Yandere, who ends up teaming up with Yuki… and obsessing her future happy ending of becoming one with him.

533718-deadman_bd_v_11) Deadman Wonderland- Written by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou, the writer and illustrator of the Eureka Seven manga, this action, drama, sci-fi, psychological horror anime is another of the better known stories out there if you dabble in such genres. It begins with an earthquake that shakes up the country of Japan. Ganta Igarashi, a middle-schooler survives, but he finds himself with no recollection of the accident. A figure named the Red Man massacres his entire class but leaves him alive and embeds a shard of the red crystal in him. Being convicted for the deaths of his entire class, he’s sentenced to a giant prison called Deadman Wonderland that creepily resembles a sadistic amusement park… just wait till that Corpse Carnival.

Of course, classic shounen fans can re-watch Death Note. I didn’t include it in the list because it’s such a widely known anime, it’s considered one of the big mainstream ones. There’s also a wide selection of horror movies and classic vampire movies that you might personally want to watch or re-watch (like Vampire Hunter D). There are a lot of great horror-themed animes out there. Halloween just encourages us to watch them again 😉 I hope you guys have a great trick-or-treat night or cosplay anime party. Wherever you are, I hope you have a spooktacular Halloween!!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Clannad Review

Slice-of-life. Comedy. Visual Novel. Romance. Reverse Harem. Drama. Fairytale. Clannad is many things. In the past I’d seen Air and Kanon 2006 and to be honest, I wasn’t really impressed by the stories that I was given. Yes, Kyoto Animation … Continue reading

Witness Insecurity Drama Review

 66323ee5jw1dtwqfiw7qjjHey guys, today I’m gonna share a different series with all called Witness Insecurity. It’s a Chinese drama series produced by TVB and stars Bosco Wong as Hui Wai Sum and Linda Chung as Hailey Kiu Chi Lam. The story follows Sum as an officer of the Witness Protection Unit who’s assigned to protect Chi Lam when she becomes a key witness in an assassination attempt on her uncle.

Rating: 4.5/5 really emotional clouds 45 CloudswiththeFeels

This is how the series starts out. When Sum and Chi Lam meet, their relationships is strictly professional. If you think this is one of those classic stories where the really pretty rich princess falls in love with her knight and protector, then you’ll have half-guessed it, but that’s not the entire story. Due to the tragedy of her brother’s death, Chi Lam suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, reluctant to come in contact with strangers and shies away from social circles. She’s always grown up as a sheltered and carefully monitored child. Her only release from her depression is through music where she plays the cello.

linda-chung-witness-insecurity

ub751jxuSum and Chi Lam come from entirely different social circles. Sum grew up in an orphanage and becomes an independent, quick-minded and resourceful police officer. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, but due to the disappearance and death of his former girlfriend, he’s reluctant to venture into future romances.

Throughout the entire series, Kiu Gong San goes from being loving father to Chi Lam and Sum’s antagonist. Even after Sum saves Chi Lam caught amidst a storm and Kiu Gong San is profoundly moved by the workings of fate, he opposes his daughter’s relationship due shady business dealings that don’t often align with the principles of the law.

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Sum, as an officer of the WPU unit and later of the Criminal Investigation Division, isn’t one of your classic romantic heroes that give up his career and his principles to run away with the girl of his dreams. He has ideals, and these ideals are strongly rooted into the very core of his being. He knows himself rather well and because he’s aware of what background Chi Lam comes from and what business her father does, he decides to avoid a relationship with her despite his lingering emotions. From start to finish, other than what I’ve listed above, he’s actually a rather difficult character to read. He’s always the one helping his colleagues, friends or family members with problems. Most often, he’s able to handle himself. When it comes to Chi Lam, there’s some uncertainty of whether he’s fallen in love anew or if finding Chi Lam on the mountain was a substitute for his former girlfriend that he couldn’t find. However I do believe he developed feelings for Chi Lam because at the start of the story but it was his professional attitude as an officer of the law that stood between him and her.

On a 21st century of a modern twist, Chi Lam is actually the one who decides to pursue Sum romantically, using his younger cousin Jojo to create small coincidences to see him. Of course, due to their social statuses and backgrounds, Chi Lam’s father Kiu Gong Kiu Gong San is strictly opposed to the two of them dating. Chi Lam goes from being a quiet and moody pampered princess into a mature adult who learns how to handle emotion and juggle relationships. Despite her constant pursuits of Sum, she never pressures him into a relationship with her as she’s fully aware of the incident with his late girlfriend. Her final resolve is to hold onto her feelings and to hope that one day Sum can let her into her heart. You don’t see heroines like this very often, especially in dramas when the main characters are suppose to meet, instantly fall in love, go through some serendipitous obstacles and then live happily ever after.

***

BEWARE SPOILERS BELOW!!!

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The ending is… sudden and surprising. You don’t expect Sum to die like that, not after nineteen episodes when Kiu Gong San finally gives his blessing to the couple before he’s arrested. I guess it was an interesting move on the part of the producer and director. Chi Lam’s emotional and mental state has always been unsteady. What happens to her after her mother’s death, brother’s death, her father and uncle’s arrest as well as the death of her boyfriend? I feel that Chi Lam’s background is already really morbid and the additional death of Sum at the end of the series was a little over the top. The ending is realistic and it’s also unrealistic. After Sum was hit by a car, why didn’t his colleagues stop him from getting on the bike? Perhaps the ending was an instance similar to miracle stories. I think by the end, we only get a true acknowledgement of Sum’s feelings towards Chi Lam after he’s been hit by the car to save Kiu Gong San. Though he’s stumbling and nearly unconscious, he’s determined to get to Chi Lam before his time is up.

The insert song that was chosen to represent the couple was “The Moon Represents My Heart – Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin.” It starts off as Sum’s favourite karaoke song and becomes a song that Linda constantly cherishes due to its connection to him. Throughout the series, it’s only sung by Linda but what made the tears spill over was when Sum is riding the motorcycle to find Chi Lam, Bosco joins into the song and it becomes a duet just as Sum dies in Chi Lam’s arms. The script and Sum’s last words are also clever and well placed.

The song repeats as the credits run through and we get to see snippets of their short time together… Honestly I really wished there was a sequel. If Sum survived, he would have had to help Chi Lam through her emotional difficulties regarding her father, but perhaps Chi Lam wouldn’t be able to be with Sum due to his association it his father’s arrest. It would make for a good romance story adjacent to the crime-solving plotline.

END OF SPOILERS

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wi2Chi Lam and Sum remind me a bit of Romeo and Juliet. They were fated to meet but in the end not fated to be together. Even Chi Lam’s father and her uncle remark on the strangely coincidental meetings of the two. While Sum is struggling with his decision to choose Chi Lam or his career, his beloved student Yang Yiu Tong, nicknamed “Brother” is caught up in a crime scene related to Chi Lam’s father and is shot dead. This strengthens Sum’s resolve to keep his morals and uphold his duty as an officer. Just as Mercutio’s death drove Romeo to revenge, Brother’s death becomes Sum’s greatest motivation to bring Kiu Gong San to justice. This becomes yet another wedge between Chi Lam and Sum. I think Sum was always hoping to find Chi Lam after everything with his police work was tied up. Perhaps he had confidence that he could win her over even after arresting her father because he knows that she knows what kind of person he is and what he values. He also knew that if he turned a blind eye to Kiu Gong San’s crimes, they would always clash even as relatives if Sum pursued a relationship with Chi Lam.

1352888678_e7c9All in all, a very good drama wrapped up with a tender and bittersweet ending. I rather enjoyed Linda’s rendition of “The Moon Represents My Heart,” giving it a new beat and fresh sounding vocals. The opening song, “The Story Happily Ever After” is also one of my new favourites since I heard it on her most recent album “Love Love Love.” I’m always iffy with Linda’s acting but I think she did a good job with this character. I can’t think of any other actress that could have embodied Kiu Chi Lam more than her. Bosco as Sum, her romantic interest also become a captivating character of the series and I would like to see Bosco and Linda together in future series before judging whether or not they’re truly a good pair.

Thank you guys for sticking with me through this really long review. This was me pouring out my feelings and thoughts after the conclusion of the series. If you guys enjoyed this, remember to click like! I don’t usually do drama reviews but thank you so much for reading!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?