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I only started Yuuri!!! on Ice because I saw someone say how pretty the ice skating animation was.
Beautiful gifs ahead )

And it is. It's authentic and looks real. With such complex moves the animation quality has to be top-notch. What should definitely be mentioned is that the female director (yes, female) is a fan of figure skating and therefore knows her stuff. It should be noted, too, that this is an original story. Most anime these days are adaptations of manga, novels or games. So seeing an original property getting this much love in its production is very refreshing and exciting.

The story is pretty simple (it is sports after all). Katsuki Yuuri is a 23-year-old figure skater who suffered a crushing defeat at the Gran Prix Finale. He returns home to Kyushu, Japan after a year abroad wanting to retire. One last effort to show his childhood friend what he had been practising despite his depression, he shows the award-winning routine of his idol and world championship ice skater Victor Nikiforov, which his friend's kids promptly record and put online. The video becomes viral and reaches Victor who decides to come to Japan to meet him.

This anime full of bishounen wouldn't be complete with some very tantalizing fanservice:
Getting up close and... )

The characters are very likeable, their chemistry is really good. I'm surprised how much I like Yuuri. He seems a bit drab at first but he has many surprising sides to his personality. The anime is fun without diluting the drama and it also doesn't throw around technical jargon all the time. They mention enough that you know what you're watching without becoming an exposition.

So if you're interested, I highly recommend checking it out. It's still ongoing but 6 episodes are out already.

Enjoy and let me know what you think XD
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Wow, I haven't posted anything in a long time. Been busy with work and watching Agents of Shield and Supernatural, lol. But I'll write about that some other time.

After actively consuming manga and anime for 15-16 years, I've come to the realization that either my tastes and standards have changed or manga and anime haven't made any significant developments, or it's both.

The last time I've followed an anime series keenly or even binge-watched was Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan). Since then (and even a couple of years before SnK) I haven't really had much interest in anime. I have been checking out new releases each season by way of reading summaries and looking at the promotional posters. My impression of most of these shows is troublesome. Too many young schoolgirls in short skirts, big-titted and scantily dressed female warriors, the shy and nerdy male protagonist who has to save the world, the typical quiet boy and quirky girl duo, or the rough boy and quiet girl duo, even the reverse harem anime has no appeal to me anymore.

What is happening?

Clearly, my standards have changed. With all the talk about sexism and the need for feminism, my opinion and views have been influenced heavily. Whereas in the past I wouldn't have bat an eye at bouncing breasts and panty shots, these kinds of things now irritate me more than ever. It's like looking at an incredibly sexist ad from the 50s or 60s. It makes Japan look culturally very backwards, old-fashioned, outdated. Maybe that's still the case, I don't know but I wouldn't doubt it. But even taking this problem aside, the stories can't grip me as they did in the past. Then, anime seemed new and incredibly innovative, progressive, exciting and so different. However, now it's repetitive, inconsistent, boring and mostly consisting of fan service.

Recently, I started watching Knights of Sidonia, a mecha anime, looking promising because I like Nihei Tsutomu's manga series like Blame or Noise. I didn't have much expectation for Sidonia though, and unfortunately, I was proven right. While the general plot is interesting with a strong male lead, other things in the anime seemed lackluster. The CG animation takes much getting used to, supporting characters are exaggerated (the antagonist) or are flat as a piece of paper (all female characters, bar one). Characters' actions and behaviours made me roll my eyes or sigh out loudly more than once - per episode.

Anime and manga keep borrowing clichés and tropes - the same ones - to satisfy the audience's need for its fill of moe, tsundere and yandere and whatnot character types, gratuitous nudity and fan service. It's like they don't know how to do subtle portrayal with depth. The only reason I marathoned Shingeki no Kyojin is because the series is so over-the-top and breaking all stereotypes in a bizarre way with exaggerated emotions. The anime is basically a killing spree, extremely liberal and graphic with its violence; so much so that there is no room for fan service or any of the other clichés. The focus is very much on the plot, characters' developments are tightly tied to it, making SnK an intense experience. But it's probably an exception. Maybe there is another one of the recent years. If there is, please do point me to it.

In the past days, I've also been trying to catch up on manga, mostly BL/yaoi. Oh boy... it's even worse. While I intensely dislike switching in the fanfics I read, I would actually welcome that in BL manga. JFC those stories are riddled with clichés after clichés after clichés. Even in the past, rape/non-con/dub-con, which are quite common in yaoi, have irked me to an extent but now it's just unbearable. The Stockholm Syndrome seems to be a very beloved theme in these manga... Other than that, the themes are always the same: high school students or salarymen or the half-Japanese rich CEO preying on the unsuspecting, innocent, clueless and plain-looking-on-the-first-sight employee or childhood friends reunite and turn lovers or the hobo and the upstanding citizen (who may or may not know each other from the past) or the classic senpai-kouhai relationship or the rich master and his loyal servant or how about the Arabian prince being charmed off his feet by a Japanese tour guide/salaryman? And they all have the typical character types mentioned earlier. What irritates me the most about this are the ratings on mangaupdates. There are ppl who would rate these stories 10/10 when I wouldn't even give them more than 4/10.

I need to read other manga. In fact, I have a bunch of seinen manga on my to-read list. Even shounen manga aren't doing it for me anymore. I'm so immensely grateful that Naruto is finally over. I'm just waiting for Bleach to finally fucking finish because Bleach chapters are like Dragon Ball Z episodes: nothing happens. Bleach chapters are big panels with a character in a cool pose, claiming to be superior, one attack, but OH NO the opponent deflected with an unexpectedly strong attack, more nonsense about being stronger, intense staring, TBC. And then there is One Piece. A never-ending story. Luffy still hasn't found the One Piece after 78 volumes but I'm cutting it some slack because it has proven to be immensely complex for a shounen story. The author is also really smart putting in surprises that aren't just afterthoughts and actually make for interesting story arcs.

Haaah... I know why I read more fanfics now... >_>;
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I'm not one to cook or bake a lot but in just a few days, I made two things o_O

Apple chips:
Crispy on the outside, juicy and chewy on the inside =)

Banana bread:
I left it in the oven a bit too long but it still turned out very fluffy and juicy in the middle. Very yummy =)

Also I watched the anime film Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki. I was crying 20 minutes in T__T It was a good movie but unfortunately it falls apart in the last 45 minutes =/ I don't think they knew what they should end it with. It seemed disjointed by the end. I would still recommend it though. 3/4 of the movie was very good. It's just the end that was a little bit disappointing. The artwork is fantastic and the animation very fluid, likeable characters. 8/10

Of all Hosoda Mamoru's movies I've watched, I still like Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo the best. Summer Wars unfortunately also disappointed me at the end.

Oh right, I also finished Free ~Eternal Summer~ and Hunter x Hunter (2011). My reviews I wrote for a forum.

Free ~Eternal Summer~
Why? Because why the fuck not XD I've seen the first season and that was uh, underwhelming? Too much focus on their relationships which was very cringeworthy and sappy. This 2nd season, however, was surprisingly good. It actually focused a lot more on swimming. The characters still had their quirks but at least they had legitimate things to worry about which in turn affected their relationships and swimming, thus giving the plot a better development. I have to add though that they went quite overboard with the fan service. Geez, we get that all those pretty boys in half-naked close-ups (mostly in pairs with twinkles in their eyes as they stare at each other *cough*) are great fodder for yaoi fans but jfc, turn that shit down a bit. Even I was embarrassed watching it at times.
It was ok to watch for a high school slice-of-life. 6.5/10

Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Well, this has been a long ride and it was quite enjoyable. For the first dozen or so episodes I had to get used to the happier mood of this reboot. The first series from 1999 felt grittier and darker, which I actually prefer because HxH is pretty damn violent and brutal. It was nice, however, that the pace was faster and they didn't linger too much on the individual arcs with filler eps. What I was most surprised about was the Ant arc because I remember I didn't like that part in the manga at all. Possibly due to the irregular chapter releases back in the days. The anime did a good job with that arc and I even had to shed a tear at the end.
All in all, it was good. We'll see if they're going to adapt the following arc. The manga is on hiatus again and I'm not liking the story so far. It's nice to see Kurapika again but it's weird without Gon or Killua... 7.5/10
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I've actually taken the time to start Free! s2.

Oh boy, if you think that s1 was already gay, then s2 will hit you with a rainbow sledgehammer. They managed to up the fan service so much that I'm honestly embarrassed watching it... It's like they try really really hard to appeal to the female (fujoshi) audience without actually having gay characters on the show and that makes everything just super weird. Every scene showcasing their muscles (so far in every episode there's been some muscle fetish/kink comment), the incessant blushing, flustered state, twinkling eyes and longing gazes make you scream at your screen for them to get on with the literal fucking.

All in all though, I like the season so far. It's much better than s1. Rin isn't a whiny bitch anymore and the characters harmonise better together. They seem more like characters than stereotypes now, though they still have their individual traits of course. Also, this is a whole lot more about actual swimming and competitions than s1.

An unexpectedly good sequel to a rather weak first season. I hope the rest of s2 won't disappoint though.

*Commie Subs' hilarious tagline XD
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Maybe you've seen the following TV commercial a few weeks ago:

If yes, then you'll be happy to hear that there's gonna be a REAL swimming anime with hot bishounen coming out in July called "Free!"
Here's a trailer and it looks really good.

Fluid animation which means hopefully great, realistic swimming scenes. I pray to god that this is not just some mindless slice-of-life anime trying to score with only the bishie factor. It'd better be about swimming, tournaments, competition with a tad bit of the usual friendship banter/trouble, rivalry and whatnot. AND a good portion of screentime with half-naked guys running around XD

I'm kinda sick of all those anime that mainly cater to male audiences with half-naked women, cute little girls (and watermelon tits), and especially those sick brother-lusts-after-little-sister series. *shudders in disgust*
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I'm telling you, I FUCKING HATE GIRLS/WOMEN IN MANGA (and anime)!!!

Insidious, nasty, obnoxious bitches! Or stupid, naive, dense good-for-nothings!


Seriously, I wouldn't mind a manga/anime with only guys in it. That's also the reason why I hate harem anime soooo much >__<  

I don't know why I've come to hate female characters so much in the past couple of years. It's just unbearable now to read on with such a dislikable character in the story. I've probably read too many stories already... all my own ones rarely feature any female characters, which is not that good since it's lacking a bit of a twist then... never mind.

Anyway, I'll try to finish this story now... my wish is always for such a nasty female to die. Unfortunately, the story I'm reading is rather innocent so it's very unlikely for a murder to occur. Maybe a traffic accident would do but that's still too severe...

Geez... the main character in this manga is also way too dense for god's sake... it almost hurts having to read his stupidity =__=*

Ican't believe what I'm reading! I seriously want to punch this fucking bitch in her ugly face!!!! Bash her head with this tiny mouth that seems to know only the most fucked up words INTO A FUCKING WALL!!!! DAMN! I SO WANT TO SEE HER "§%$=$§%)AWE=%($§ DEAD!!!!!!

I hope I'll never have to meet such a person ... because I'd feel bad for her since I'd have to give her an instant death blow, RAWR!!!!
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I made some plushies based on those Kao emoticons.

Cuteness overkill!!! )
I'll make a few more coming this week... well, I hope. I still have a lot to study for an upcoming exam. Wish me luck =)
icassop: (nakatsu shine)
Urgh... yesterday one of my classmates forced me to drink vodka mixed with candy. That was soooooo sweet and really nasty. I think I won't ever drink that yucky stuff again (>o<)  I don't understand how the other girls can find that "drink" yummy...
Btw, speaking of alcohol, I realised I can't hold my liquor at all. Just that one small sip made my head ache o_O;  I can't - or rather I'm not allowed to drink alcohol anyway.

Right now, I'm looking for an electronic dictionary Japanese/German. My tutor has one by Casio but it costs a lot (58.000 Yen). And I don't think I can get one in Germany... maybe on ebay o.O  Well, I'll search some more. With luck, I might find it after all xD  At least I do hope so... (ó.ò)

Anyone watching Code Geass R2? OMG, the latest episode (ep 9) ...! I...
Spoiler )

That's all for now. I don't want to rant about my studies again ^^' It's getting annoying, I know ;P


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