Friday, August 30, 2013

Kokoro Connect (spoiler free anime review)

Another anime I recently finished is Kokoro Connect. I have a hard time picking animes to watch, usually spending hours researching which shows are good. And I often end up with either something from a general top 10 list, or something no one has ever heard of. I think Kokoro Connect belongs to the latter.

In Kokoro Connect, we follow 5 high school students as they start to experience supernatural things, like switching bodies and hearing each other's thoughts. Naturally, this freaks them out, and when you put love confessions and past trauma into the equation, you get this anime exactly, a mixture of drama and comedy.

The story is alright, I don't have any particular complaints.
Kokoro Connect is fairly new, aired in 2012, so the animation is pretty decent, although it relies on a very simple look.
The openings and endings are fine, but quite forgettable. I personally didn't like them. But the rest of the soundtrack was nice.

Still, the characters are the key thing here. I think the creators made a grave mistake when they decided to introduce the characters, only the characters had changed bodies with each other. This ended in a messy introduction, and I several times had to pause the episode to check who was named what, which character liked what, and who was in who's body. This got much better after a few episodes though. All of the characters have interesting personalities, but I did have a problem with Iori towards the end, where she took a complete u-turn in her traits, and I just don't get that. Not cool.

But overall I enjoyed this anime. Some parts were really cute. 7/10.

And here you have the awkward tension between two star crossed lovers. Jk.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How I review and rate anime/manga/movies/books etc.

For someone who's studied how to interpret and write essays on various/different forms of literature, I sure can make improvements on my anime reviews.

GRArkada uploaded a video not too long ago, explaining his own rating system. I thought this was a good way to rate anime, dividing it into sections consisting of story, characters, animation and sound, and adding his own personal enjoyment score. However, I don't regard myself as a "professional" reviewer, and I only seek to share my own opinions and discuss others'. Which is why, when I review anime, I don't make individual scores for all these points.

In my reviews, I like to talk about what I think worked well and what didn't. Of course I consider the different sections, but they rarely play a big part in my final score, unless they really stand out (like the voice acting in Suzumiya Haruhi and the animation in Hyouka, for example). When I give scores, they're mostly based on my personal enjoyment of the works, which is why I have no problem giving 10/10 if the work got to me. According to Arkada himself, the perfect 10 does not exist, and although I somewhat agree to that, some animes/mangas/etc are good enough for me to rate the highest. That simply means that they're one my favourites, something I enjoyed so much, and in my eyes is a masterpiece.

Prettiest anime in the world.
I know many people rate shows as high as 7/10 even when they didn't like them. I used to do that myself, where a score of 7 simply meant the show was alright or average. But I have left that reasoning, and now, sometimes brutally, but at least honestly, rate shows. After finishing an anime, I look at my personalised list (below), and choose the number with the most accurate description of what I feel about it.

10 - Masterpiece
9 - Great/amazing
8 - Very good
7 - Good
6 - Fine/not bad
5 - Average, "meh"
4 - Bad
3 - Very bad
2 - Terrible (or as Arkada would say "kill it with fire")
1 - "The fire is not working, nuke this bitch" (Thank you very much for that fine description, Arkada)

Anything with the score 8-10, I'm highly likely to re-watch, up to several times. Works with a score 7, I might, anything below I'd rather not. Although I actually have no problem watching things I thought were bad over, just so I can point out what I didn't like and hate on them some more, as long as they didn't completely bore me.

To sum it up, my reviews are quite biased, I'll admit. But again this is my blog and my opinions. Still, I love to hear what other people think, even if our opinions differ, and welcome you all to share your feelings in the comments.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hyouka (spoiler free review)

Prepare your diabetic meds, because you're sure to get a sugar overdose from this. I can describe Hyouka with one word: adorable.

The hero of this anime is the freshman Oreki Houtarou, who, at a request from his sister, decides to join the Classics club to save it from disbanding. Now, Oreki is a really lazy guy, he lives by the motto "If I don't have to do it, I won't. If I have to do it, I'll make it quick". Then he meets the endlessly curious Chitanda Eru, and together with Fukube Satoshi and Ibara Mayaka, they start solving mysteries around the school.

The mysteries they solve are pretty trivial, it's not like someone died and they try to find the murderer. It's more of finding lost items or figuring things from the past. To be completely honest, the first few episodes didn't catch my attention too much. But I kept watching for two reasons: I didn't have anything else available at the time, and, this show is just so damn cute how could I not. There is no main storyline to this, only separate minor plots, but there is one thing that is consistent throughout the anime. And that is the character development, which brings me to the next point.

The characters. They're all wonderful. Despite Oreki's lack of will to do anything, he's very talented at deducing, and he can't refuse to cooperate when Chitanda asks him for help. All of the characters have personality, and clearly change and develop lots, which is what makes this anime interesting. I just portrays the experience of growing up and maturing really well.

And the soundtrack is great. There is an element of classical music which sets a general calm mood. Openings and endings are beautiful, and they show the inner journeys of the characters.

The animation is perfect. Everything is so sweet and the art is truly gorgeous. Seeing as it was aired in 2012, it has that extremely modern anime look. Probably the strongest point in this anime.

My new boyfriend.

So, my conclusion is, despite starting off slow, this is a very good anime. The genre can be hard to pinpoint, though, is it a mystery show? Slice of life? Romance? Not sure, but it has all of these elements. And I had some good laughs too.
This is one anime I wouldn't recommend marathoning though, even though that's what I did myself. I just think you'd get more out of it from stretching it out a bit. And, lastly, there's no action or a lot happening, just 22 episodes of purely "feel-good", which worked for me since I've been watching some animes with heavy plots lately. 9/10.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Busy life!

Hello, internet people! How's it going with you guys?

Things are pretty crazy over here right now, since I'll be off to Paris tomorrow! Summer's already almost over, and there are so many things to do. I'm desperately trying to find a place to live, but there is so much bureaucracy in the system, haha. At least I have someone to stay with when I get there. Also, packing is so hard. I'm terrified of forgetting something important, and I don't even know what to bring. Friends right and left are calling me up wanting to see me before I leave, and my mother wants to spend time with me too, I just don't have enough time for it all!

So, about the blog. I don't know when I'll have access to internet again, hopefully it won't be too long. But I'll schedule a few posts before I go. Mostly about anime, I guess, but once I get settled in Paris I'll probably write about that too. The only thing I'm not looking forward to is not having enough time for anime anymore. I've quite literally been watching it all summer, going through 2-3 seasons a week, but I'm sure this has to change once I start working full-time in addition to having to cook and do housework. One of the cons of growing up, ehe.

Still, I'm absolutely not going to abandon this blog! Ever since I started it, many amazing things have happened, and I love sharing my interests this way.

I guess that's all I wanted to say for now, I'll have to get back to packing now. Until next time then, you sexy bastards!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hair update!

Finally got my friend to help me style it so yeah it looks better now I think. 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bad haircuts

Exactly 2 years ago, my grandmother offered to take me to the hairdresser. I gladly accepted, as hairdressers are crazy expensive here in Norway. Back then I had just finished the anime A-Channel in awe, and thought I could pull of the same hair style as Run-chan. Only thing, I didn't. Turns out anime hair works a lot different than real-life hair.
For some reason, the hairdresser refused to follow my instructions, and I got stuck looking like a little girl for the following 8 months. I swore I would never have my hair that short again, and I would never go back to a hair salon (which is why I let my mother cut my hair for the following 2 years).

But she's so cute.
Now, fast forward to today's date. My ends were damaged and I wanted to take care of that part before leaving for France, and I happen to have a friend who is an apprentice at a hair salon. She asked me if I wanted her to cut my hair. Only when I saw her cut off at least 10 cm of my beautiful dark locks did I realise I'd made a mistake. "I promise you it'll be the same length!" she assured me.

We've all had them, right? Moments when we look into the mirror, screaming internally at the terror that was once so long and pretty. Or walking down the school/work corridors, dreading to walk into class/the office only to receive looks of horror. It's been a dream of mine since I was a kid to have long, and I mean princessy-long, hair. I was getting there, but now I'm set back another few years. "Don't worry, it'll grow out again," they say. No. Not this hair. It. Just. Doesn't. Grow. Not only is it now too short, but yet again, I look like a freaking grade schooler.

I miss my hair, I really really do. I thought it was fine, I liked it the way it was. I just wanted to get rid of some split ends. My mother keeps telling me I look better, but what else would you expect from your mother? I could dress up as a goddamn hobo and she'll still say I'm beautiful.

However, in all of this despair, I have to try my best to stay positive. Although it sucks right now, I cannot let this incident ruin me forever. So I'll keep these things in mind, and I may be even able to get some sleep tonight:

  • It WILL grow out. Eventually. 
  • I'll learn how to handle it. It's still new and unfamiliar.
  • I'll get used to it. 
  • I might get hit on more. (By perverts. Also I don't see why this is a good thing at all.)
  • More likely, I'll get hit on less. Which is alright by me because why would I want that when I have so many fictional boyfriends already. 
  • Said fictional boyfriends will still love me.
  • And even if someone IRL is interested in me, at least I'll know for sure it's not just due to my looks.
  • It might look better after I dye it. 
  • It might look better in the morning, after a good night's sleep and a (cold) shower. 

Now that I told you my story, I want to hear if you people have any experiences like this. Bad haircuts, wrong colours, even beards gone wrong! Also if you have any tips on how the hell I'm going to deal with this please help me. Tell me in the comments! (:

Photo of shame (you'd think I'd learned my lesson after repeating this mistake about a 435^127 times)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Btooom! (spoiler free review)

Ahaha, what a show.

Btooom! is the anime equivalent of Battle Royale or The Hunger Games. We follow the young "NEET" (Not in Education, Employment or Training) Sakamoto Ryouta, who spends his time playing the online game Btooom! The point in this game is to kill enemies with bombs. One day, our protagonist awakens on an island, and soon learns he's part of a live version of the game, and the only way to leave the island is to collect 7 of the chips the players have implanted in their hands; meaning they have to kill to get them. 

I have many problems with this anime. But there are also many things I liked. 

The story isn't the most original, but it's well done. The pacing is fine, but since there only are 12 episodes, I suspected early on there might not be a decent ending. Now, if you do decide to watch this I have to warn you: there is some serious sick themes here. Not only the killing part, but there are psychopaths, traitors, and rapists. This is not for the weak-hearted. 

We meet various characters, and we learn how and why they ended up on the island. Most of them are proper enough, there's only so much backstory they have time for in such a short show, but the creators pulled it off, somehow. There's the main character, who goes through some good development, having to face what used to be his life, in actual real life. I like him, he's surprisingly mature (or becomes so). However, I find it strange for someone who only spend their days at the computer to have such speed and amount of stamina (adrenaline, I guess). Himiko is an angsty high school girl, who refuses to trust anyone, but has no other choice if she wants to survive. There's Taira-san, an old man who doesn't want to kill. And the list goes on and on, I'm impressed by how many characters they actually had.

There are lots of flashbacks, which can be confusing, at times. Also, sometimes it's hard to remember who is who, because of all the names and faces. But most characters aren't THAT important. 

The animation is fine. Not extraordinary beautiful, but definitely not ugly. I'm sad to say the soundtrack didn't make an impression on me, I can't even remember it, except for the opening theme (which was pretty cool). 

Overall, it was good, but I wasn't particularly emotionally invested in it.  7/10 is the score I decided on. It's too bad the endings leaves us with more questions than it answers. I do hope they make a second season, otherwise it wouldn't feel complete. But, as of today's date, there still aren't enough chapters in the manga for that, so we'll just have to wait and see (I wouldn't mind reading it tho).

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya: review (spoiler free)

So I finally watched the last existing Suzumiya anime, namely the movie, Suzumiya Haruhi no Shouahitsu. First, let me say this: the quality improved a lot since the previous season.

The story is set in December, and Haruhi is planning a Christmas party for the SOS Brigade. Kyon is indifferent as always, but one day he goes to school and Haruhi has disappeared. Even more worrying, no one seems to remember her.

Now, where to begin with this. Can we just agree to rename it The uncovering of Yuki Nagato or Nagato's hidden personality?
I think the biggest problem I had with this, was the longevity of the movie. It lasted close to 3 hours, which was highly unnecessary. Also, for a more whose title include's her name, Haruhi is uncomfortably absent (hence the "disappearance" I guess, but still). 
Other than that, I have nothing bad to say about this.

The story is good. Somehow Kyon's whole journey felt similar to the one in Steins;Gate, but nevertheless, it was amusing enough. 
They really focus on Kyon's personality and feelings. His desperate attempts at finding his way back to Haruhi despite always complaining about her, shows us only what we already kind of figured out: he cares for her. Yet, he's faced with making tough decisions, and has to ask himself important questions along the way. There is some major character development here. Also his voice actor, Sugita Tomokazu, does a fantastic job.
The other characters are there, but mostly on the sideline this time, except for Yuki Nagato. She's substantially present, and we get to see her character develop as well, in addition to her relationship with Kyon. 
There's one more thing I'd like to say about the characters: Haruhi in the movie is actually pretty nice and tolerable. I found myself for once liking her.

The animation seems to have changed a bit since the previous animes, but that doesn't mean it's bad. All in all it's looks pretty.
The soundtrack is fine too.

Somehow, I feel sorry for Koizumi tho.

Everything is fine. No, actually, the quality of this movie is good, which is why I gave it an overall score of 7/10. And since I know there are so many Haruhi fans out there, I'd recommend you to watch it, after season 1 and 2, of course. If any of you have already seen it, what did you think? 

Sunday, August 11, 2013


After having spent most of my time this summer watching anime, I find myself in a new state I didn't think possible: bored.

I finished working for the summer last week, and I'm back in a (seemingly) endless routine of waking up, going straight to the computer and staying on the internet all day. I often get headaches from staring too long at the screen, which leaves me wondering what else to do with my time. Sometimes I meet up with friends, but most of them have already moved away or are still on vacation, besides, I can't really discuss anime with them, so that leaves me with a lot of time to myself.

Of course it's not the anime itself I'm bored of. I admit, I haven't seen anything incredibly good in about a week, which does make me impatient, but I haven't lost my interest. I'm simply tired of passively watching something day in and day out. Sometimes, and more often lately, I find it very hard to focus on things, and I just feel like sleeping it off (which would probably not be a good idea).

My mind is restless, but my body is too lazy to move. Somewhere along the line, I lost my motivation to life. Not to say I'm depressed, I just seem to be forgetting where I'm headed. Somehow, I got so caught up in watching anime, I forgot how to live my life. Instead of waking up and thinking: "Yes, what a great day to be watching anime!" like I used to, it feels more and more like I'm having a bad hangover day after day.

Which is why I came up with a list of alternatives for myself when my brain is tired of interneting. These are some things I thought of, which I think will work for me at least.

  • Go for a walk. Walking is probably the most therapeutic thing I do, often while listening to music. It gives me time to think, about anything and everything.
  • Read a book (or manga!). This might not work if you're having trouble focusing like me, but I think it's worth a shot.
  • Go on a road trip. Another thing I find relaxing is driving. I like listening to the radio, and while having to focus on the road, I actually get a break from worrying or thinking too much.
  • Cook a meal, and eat it. It doesn't even have to be a proper meal, sometimes I go for fried eggs or noodles, and that gives me the break I need.
  • Have a spa day. Do a proper face/body scrub and face mask. Shave your legs. Use a hair mask. Or just take a really long shower/bath.
  • See someone, outside of the house. Make sure to surround yourself with lots of positive energy. Right now I'm not able to stop thinking about anime at all, so it would be great to talk to people who share my interest, and I'd recommend others to do the same. 
  • Go to a party or out on the town. This is something I've avoided doing the whole summer, but I think a reminder of what a real hangover feels like would help me appreciate those quiet, calm days a bit more. Either way, from what I remember, going out to dance and meet people can actually be lots of fun.
  • Do something creative! I personally love to write, but painting, drawing, making music etc would work too! 
Can anyone else relate to how I feel? And if so, would you follow any of this advice, or cope with it another way? I'd love to know!

Friday, August 09, 2013

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2009): review (minor spoilers)

Honestly, I have no idea what the fuck I just watched.

(Read my review on the previous season here.)

I was looking forward to this, I enjoyed the first season. The first episode of season 2 was a mere "meh", the second better, and then they proceeded to send the same freaking episode for the next 7 ones. "Endless Eight" is the name of this arc, in which the content is pretty much the same, but their clothes, the animation, and a few of the lines change. Although creative, it's much unoriginal and dragged out for far too long, they could've done it all in like 2 or 3 episodes, instead of 8. Afraid of missing some important information, I saw them all, and the only thing actually worth seeing was Koizumi in a speedo (pretty sure that was episode 6, for those interested). So I'm telling you, go ahead and skip them.

5 episodes follows, which all revolve around one thing, where parts of it already shown in the previous season.

I laughed for the 2 first episodes of this anime. Then it just went downhill. The characters are more stupid than ever, especially Kyon, it's like he doesn't even think at all, despite being the narrator. Also, Koizumi is one weird guy, I can't decide on whether I love him or hate him. The rest are just in the background or being unnecessarily irritating (yes Mikuru that was intended for you). And Haruhi was terrible, she really crosses the line in some of these episodes. So does Kyon. They were just not very nice.

No character development. Oh, wait, there is, for our beloved Kyon, in the last 2 episodes when everything suddenly gets serious and different interpretations for Haruhi's existence are introduced, as a viewer you're so confused you don't even know what is going on anymore.

I wouldn't rate this as bad, the animation and voice acting is too perfect for that, but it sure as hell wasn't good. 5/10 is my final verdict, and that's thanks to the few laughs I had in the beginning of watching this. I still find Haruhi's actions highly offensive though. Now please hand me an anime worth watching before I lose my interest for another three years.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Avengers

So I'm much a year too late, I know, and I swear there is a perfectly good explanation for why I haven't watched this earlier. The main reason I'll come back to in another post, but I admit I was afraid of being disappointed.

I love superheroes. A lot. Spider Man is my favourite, although I haven't seen the new one yet. The old movies were good enough, I think. Anyway, yes, The Avengers. I'd already seen Thor, and I thought it was terrible, sorry. I may be biased being Norwegian and from the country from which the legend actually originates, and having had a particular interest in Norse mythology at one point in my life. Still, Thor was a big disappointment, so I wasn't all that excited about The Avengers after all.
Either way, if you want to fully comprehend the actions and characters in The Avengers, it's a good idea to watch Thor, Iron Man 1 & 2 (note that Iron Man 3 is set after The Avengers), and Captain America (I think). The Incredible Hulk I'm not sure of, as I haven't seen it, I've only seen an older version, but go ahead and watch that too if you feel like you have the time.

This girl alone was a sole reason for me to see this movie.
Despite my scepticism, I felt it obligatory of me to see The Avengers, and to be honest it wasn't all that bad. There were a lot of Hollywood clichés. They were overly dramatic, and the story itself was incoherent, it seems as if the creators relied on the actors alone to pull audience. And I guess that worked.

The characters in the movie were the best part. They're funny and cool, not to mention good-looking, but also contain a lot of personality.
The movie lasted well over 2 hours, which was a bit too long for me. I just can't focus that long, I had the same problem with Iron Man 3. I really wish they made movies a bit shorter, especially when a lot of the content wasn't really necessary. Still, by the end I was so into the movie yet happy to see it end.

Capitain America is so hot, a discovery by me.

In the end, I do recommend it.
The way to enjoy this movie is to not take it too seriously. My friend and I laughed through most of it, because of the stereo-typicality of it. Overall I gave is 7/10, which is quite a score for someone who doesn't normally enjoy watching movies at all.

(I realised I forgot to even mention what the story is, but you know, superheroes trying to save the world. That's all, really).

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Vlog #1: Attack on Titan (anime is my life)

How to make a crappy vlog. (Entirely off script.)
Yes I know the audio is off in pretty much the entire video. I'll use a different camera next time I promise.
Also the sun was shifting a lot during filming and the window was right in front of my face so that explains the weird light.

And they ended up being sold out of Attack on Titan. And all the other mangas I was interested in. Just my luck.

Avengers and Haruhi posts coming in a few days.

This reminds me I still have an unpublished video on my mac. Will be up soon.

Monday, August 05, 2013

New Doctor (spoilers)

Since I am a fan of Doctor Who after all, I felt required to write about the reveal of the new Doctor here on my blog.

In all honesty, I didn't feel too sad when I heard about Matt Smith's departure. Yes, he's funny and great, but I thought his whole presence was getting old. He was the silly Doctor, never taking things too serious, and in the end, it was about time he left. Not to mention seasons 6-7 haven't even been that good, in my opinion. I can only hope that'll change too.

Soo, Peter Capaldi. I've never even heard of him. Not seen a single of his films, only one episode where he appeared on Doctor Who in season 4. Funny enough. Still, I hope he'll be a good doctor. I didn't get much out of his interview on BBC last night, he just seemed very calm, and my guess is he was freaking nervous.

But am I the only one who is still wondering about that last episode with John Hurt? Where did he come from, and why is he not the new Doctor? I believed it was going to be him...

Particularly amused by what the fandom accomplished tho.
Anyway, I'm very excited to see the new Doctor in action, and I wish him the best of luck. I know many whovians on tumblr don't want Matt to go, but I'm sure this Peter Capaldi will grow on them in no time. That's what always happens.

(Now please excuse me while I go back to crying over having to wait for more SnK)

Saturday, August 03, 2013

First impression: Shingeki no Kyojin (spoiler free)

I rarely write first impression posts, but I might start to. Either way, I have to write about this.

Shingeki no Kyojin, or Attack on Titan as it's called in English seems to be a huge deal on the internet. I've frequently seen it on my Tumblr dashboard for the last couple of months. At first I thought it overrated, it reached Myanimelist's top 10 before it even finished airing. But after seeing it over and over on Tumblr and various blogs, I decided it's time I give it a shot.

In an alternative world, titans rule the Earth, driving mankind to build a huge wall and live inside of them. We follow the young boy Eren, as the titants make their appearance and the 100 years of peace inside the wall comes to an end.

I saw the two first episodes last night, and I wasn't able to sleep after. First thing in the morning I saw another episode. Let me just say this: it's brutal. I teared up at the first episode, and I rarely tear up over anime at all. This is not a happy, slice of life, cute, and funny anime. This is serious shit.
Having seen only 3 episodes, I'm still not sure were they're going with this, but it's just so good. I want to see more, and I love everything I've seen so far. The animation is flawless, the music is orgasmic and the characters are incredible.
I can only hope the quality continues, for with an opening like that, it sure set our expectations sky high.