Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What I am watching right now (+some life stuff)

I'm just going to be honest here: for the past few weeks life has been quite out of the ordinary for me. A lot of things have happened, both good and bad, as life always is. I'm still not sure exactly how much I'm ready to share with the internet though, so I'll leave these anime openings/endings here as an indication of what I have been watching and what you can expect to read about in the future. 

I haven't prioritised blogging lately due to many reasons (which I may decide to explain later). Most posts have been automatic and I haven't been reading up on the blogs I follow. I do intend to get properly back into interneting, but first I have to take care of myself. I guess what I'm trying to say is, well, sorry for not being very present. It may even continue like this for a while as I want to participate in the NaNoWriMo project. Anyway, my promised Death Note review was finished a long time ago and I might publish it this week even. Actually, I have many drafts ready for you guys, so look forward to that, but be aware that I will not be able to live-blog much in the near future. 

I do hope that you guys can understand. Until next time. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Manga café

Another reason Norway sucks. We don't have manga cafés. I didn't even know these existed, before a friend took me there, and I was completely blown away. Turns out people can go here and pay by the hour to sit and read manga from their library. Even though I can't read French (yes, it's all in French T__T) this is easily my favourite place in Paris, simply cause it's a great meeting point for geeks like me! 

(Sorry about the bad quality of the pictures!)

This looks so nice and cosy! >w<

They sell anime/Japan related stuff too.

And they have a gaming room! I don't have the words to describe the awesomeness of this place.

It's almost as if I've been living under a rock my whole life, missing out on all the cool things. So, my readers, tell me, are there any manga cafés in your town/country? And do you use them? 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Anime review: Free! [spoiler free]

Sorry about this review, I'm just not that into sports anime. I had to watch this though, because of all the hype.

Haruka meets up with his childhood friends Makoto and Nagisa, whom he knew from having been in the same swimming team as kids. There is also a fourth member to the group, Rin, but unfortunately he turned sour and declared himself too good of a swimmer to hang out with the rest. No, Rin wants to participate in the Olympics, and goes off to Australia to study at a swimming school. Upon returning and seeing his boyfriend Haruka again, they are all forced to face their pasts. 

Wait a minute, this scenario sounds awfully familiar, have I seen this anime before or something? Oh yeah, it’s called Chihayafuru.

Is this supposed to be hot? Sorry, not really doing it for me...
Let’s take a look at the story first, shall we? But, uhm, just exactly what IS the story? I don’t know. There isn’t any. There’s just a bunch of high school boys swimming and showing off their abs. There’s some crying in there and whining over who’s the best swimmer but really, a lot of this is just fan service. Which would have been all right, had it not been for the fact that these guys are so muscular it looks kinda painful, despite not even exercising regularly.

Ok, but what about the characters? They’re alright. There’s Haruka-senpai (exsuse my habit of calling the characters whatever nickname I hear the most often) and I have to admit I like him a lot, simply because he IS my definition of a nerd. He loves water so much he can’t stay away, and I admire a quality like loving something that much. 
There’s someone called Makoto, but I don’t really know what his function is, apart from having a massive crush on his best friend Haru.
Nagisa is the loli boy, while Rei is the laughing stock of the show. They’re kinda cute, especially together.
Also Rin, who’s a jerk most of the time. Despite this fact, his ex-friends seem to be attracted to him, and they refuse to leave him alone. 
There is some development though. A lot, actually, and I guess that counts for the story progression.

This is probably the first anime I’ve seen that included dubstep in its original soundtrack. So that was a refreshing change (this is half-irony. I’m not a fan of dubstep). Didn’t quite see how it was relevant though. Other than that there’s a variety of musical additives to this anime and some of it is not so bad. The end credit is pretty amusing, I would say. 

To be honest, I find Haru-chan's love for water more of a turn-on than his body.

I’m not even gonna bother to talk about the animation. Ok, a few words. It’s pretty, almost too good, except that everyone are way too muscular. But that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? 

My final words on this show are... I think it’s absolutely possible to enjoy this, but don’t expect to be able to take any of this seriously. At least I couldn’t. It’s a good anime to just relax with, have a few laughs, and it’s not story-heavy. The amount of fan service should have bothered me, but after High School of the Dead I think it’s safe to say it’s about time we ladies and gays got something equivalent. Gender equality is approaching! 

- Funny and cute, sometimes.
- Animation is pretty. 
- Characters are adorable.
- Character development.
- Where is the story?
- Everything is so unrealistic (like their bodies and skills).
- Dramatic scenes are embarrassing to watch.
- Is this show supposed to be a parody? I'm not sure cause it takes itself too seriously.

Not entirely my cup of tea though. 6/10.

                                               (Here's the ending theme for you guys.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Titanic exhibition

Sometime in September I went to see the Titanic exhibition with my friend. I had to, because Titanic is pretty much my favourite movie ever, and I am endlessly fascinated by the story itself. I can't explain it, I just am. So here are some pictures from that day.

Entrance ticket. Pretty cool actually.
Miniature Titanic yay. 

Too bad most of it was in French...

Recreation of a 1st class (I think) room.

Now this gives me the feels more than anything.

For some reason there was this huge brick of ice.
"We are all passangers on the Titanic." Kind of sad to think about.

It was alright. Not super fun but an experience nevertheless. I particularly like the numerous quotes on the walls, although I could not understand them all. That's all for now!

Monday, October 14, 2013

SnK: a title query and thoughts on anime ending [spoilers, duh]

(Go here for my regular SnK review).

That's it. That's the show.
There is something that’s been on my mind since I started watching this anime. I’m sure every fan of the show have asked themselves this at least once: why is it called “Attack on Titan”, when there is clearly more than just one titan present in the show? 

I have a theory. In Japanese, apparently, they don’t have a plural form for words, so whether they mean one or more must usually be taken from the context altogether. In other words, a mistranslation. I thought about this for a while, unsure whether to bring my theory to the light of day, because it would seem very unprofessional to actually have committed a mistake like this. Maybe I was wrong. However, one day I walked into a manga store here in Paris, and saw the French title: “L’attaque des Titants”. TitanS. Is it possible there is a mistranslation in the English title after all? I have no idea for sure, but what do you guys think? 
Also, how come no one ever thought about this? I mean, I find it hard to believe I’m the only one to notice this whole title thing, but I’ve never seen anyone on the internet question it. 

(Here, have some pain.) My bby. I think we all were in shock after seeing this. He's the main character for christ's sake.
Moving on.

The ending. Let me just say it like this: I am so done with this show. And what I mean by that, is I love it but I hate it. Because it starts out really well, and story-wise it makes us have to keep watching. We all want to know what the fuck is going on here, what are the titants, where do they come from, and why. And for the love of god what is in Eren's basement. But no, instead we are left with absolutely no answers, and the biggest cliffhanger in the entire show, and not even an official promise of a second season.

If you look at the overall picture, they barely made any progress at all, and the progress they did make was due to Eren's titan abilities, which wasn't even his own doing. Eren didn't even kill a single titan in his human form. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds this upsetting.
Erwin's speech at the end about fighting back and stuff was terrible. I hated it, because none of it was true. Yeah so they caught the female titan but they can't even interrogate her now? It frustrates me to death that we never even get to know her motives. And what about the other titants, the tall one and the armoured one? Nothing. The Recon Corps managed to destroy the city and lose yet another bunch of lives (shouldn't they be running out of people soon?), but what did they gain?

I screenshot this just to show that LEVI ISN'T THAT SHORT AFTER ALL so can I marry him now?
This show is perfect in every way, except that it raises more questions than it answers, which is painfully annoying. This is also the reason why I couldn't help myself and read the entire manga online, because I needed something more substantial. Although it satisfied me a little more than the anime, it's apparently far from finished and so there are still many things unanswered, and we just have to wait for that, I guess. Ugh, I hate waiting.

So, what did you guys think? Did you like the ending or not? Tell me your opinions!

I'm taking this opportunity to show off my new snk mug. It's awesome.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Anime review: Clannad (spoiler free)

To be quite honest, Clannad wasn’t as good as I remembered it. Back in the old golden days, I saw this anime and completely adored it. Now, finally re-watching it, my opinions on it have changed. Maybe I’m simply getting too old for the harem genre (ugh I hope not). Don’t worry though, I still like it.

In Clannad, we meet Okazaki Tomoya who is a delinquent entering his senior year in high school. On his way to school, he meets Furukawa Nagisa, a girl who had to repeat a year because of her illness. Due to having absolutely nothing to do, Tomoya decides to help her with her goal of starting up the theater club. However they get side-tracked a lot, and ends up helping other people and making new friends along the way. Mostly girls. Pretty much only girls, actually. 

Some of the characters have their own arcs, where the focus lays heavily on them for some episodes. We learn a lot about them, but also about Tomoya, who so easily involves himself with these girls. This flow works, but can go too slow sometimes, making the story progression slightly boring. However, and this is probably the most important thing about this show: while it may easily bore you at times, it will just as easily bring you to tears. No really. I’m pretty sure my eyes got wet more than once during the 22 episodes. I also laughed on more than one occasion.

The characters themselves are pretty stereotypical. There is a socially awkward girl, a tsundere, shy girl, insanely strong girl, the main guy who everyone seems to magically fall in love with despite him being good for nothing (not really true, Tomoya’s so nice), and of course the side-kick clown of a best friend. None of them lack depth though, and for the most part they’re likeable, especially the main character(s).
There is also some character development. What am I saying, there is A LOT of character development. Which is generally good. 

The music? Well, I’m kind of divided on this. Parts of the soundtrack is good, really good. But then, other parts are annoying and not so cool. But I think we can all agree on Dango Daikazoku to be the most memorable tune in anime history. Also the most adorable one. 

Animation is pretty. Very moe. Beautiful girls in beautiful high school uniforms along with handsome guys, and all of them have very huge eyes taking up half of their faces. But it works well. 

Overall, Clannad is probably one of the better, if not the best (although personally I would disagree on this), animes in the harem genre. It has a story that although progresses slowly will touch your heart and soul. And at the end you will realise that the pacing was necessary, for the characters to grow like they do, and all in all it works well. 

- Touching story
- Funny
- Well-made characters
- Cute animation
- Lack of logic (why would everyone in this show fall in love with a delinquent? I'm sure if this was a real life situation, these girls would have some standards.)
- Slow story progression, can be boring at times.

(Big thanks to Mistermixmaster who came up with the brilliant idea of pros/cons. Go check out his aniblog!)

I’ll give it 8/10, and recommend it to pretty much anyone. There’s a high possibility you’ll enjoy this one.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Louvre: a trip down memory lane

So, in the beginning of September I visited the Louvre for the second time in my life. I was excited about that cause I kinda think history is interesting sometimes and stuff. Unfortunately for me, almost everything written in there was in French so I didn't understand much of it. And I learned art isn't really my thing after all... 

Still, it brought back a lot of memories, and funny enough I associated a lot of the works with things from my childhood. Without further ado, here are some of the things I saw that day.

Miniature Louvre! Just wow.
Ever since I first visited the museum as a young girl, I was weirdly fascinated by the sphinxes. For some reason I remember them to be huge sized, standing over me like giants, but it might have been me who was simply smaller than I remember. Because they turned out to be not so big after all. Not made of sand either (a childhood misconception of mine).

This thing right here though is one of my favourites. I don't know why. It's just pretty.

Beauty utensils.
I find it really funny to think that they even used tweezers 3000 years ago. I never knew how important looks were to people back then as well as today. Not much progress has happened it that department then.

Can you honestly look at these two and not immediately think of Hercules? Cause that's what I do. (I will also take this opportunity to bring to light that Hercules is one of my favourite movies ever.)

And these two, they remind me so much of that one movie with the guy that splits the water and everything. What's the name of it again? *Google* Ah, yes, The Prince of Egypt! Agree?

I was a tiny bit scared when I saw these though, as they resemble the weeping angels from Doctor Who, aka the scariest monsters of the entire show. 

I'm leaving you with some stuff that had me really understand the definition of modern art:
"I could've done that."
"Yeah but you didn't." 

 Until next time.

Monday, October 07, 2013

New header!

So guys do you like the new looks of my blog? The amount of time I spent on making this is ridiculously embarrassing.

It was just a spur of the moment thing, I woke up this morning and thought "hey that pikachu sweater photo from last night would make a good header for my blog!" and so I threw in a few cool things and this is the final result.

All in all I'm pleased at how it turned out though. I hope you agree!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Anime review: Shingeki no Kyojin (spoiler free [endless rant])

I apologise in advance for an inappropriate amount of cursing.

This anime is a piece of shit. And I love it to death.

Let’s start with a summary, shall we? Humanity’s on the brink of extinction, thanks to these zombie-like creatures called titants, who seemed to have randomly appeared about a century ago and started eating people. Some remaining humans built three big-ass walls to protect themselves from the titants, earning 100 years of peace. But on one unlucky day, a massive titan appears and destroys the outer wall. Eren Yeager is a little boy who after losing his home swears revenge on the titants.

Yes this is all in the first episode, and yes, it will be repeated in a 3-minutes long recap at the beginning of every fucking episode, and yes, you’re in for a hell of a ride if you decide to keep watching (and to be honest, who wouldn’t? We’re all a bunch of fucking masochists anyway, and this is the perfect opportunity for some good old self-inflicted pain).

Characters. Yes. Just yes, oh my god, FUCKING YES. Love them all. ALL (except for a select few, which I actually really hate, but cannot talk about due to severe spoilers). Eren Yeager, the protagonist, is an (apparently, I wouldn’t know since I usually don’t watch this genre) stereotypical hot headed male hero driven by his desire to kill titants. He is also very dumb, and rarely useful. He can’t make decisions for himself, he can’t accomplish anything without the help of his friends, he cries all the time, and he doesn’t have any talents. And, is it just me, or is he suspiciously absent during this show, despite being the fucking main character?
There is Mikasa Ackerman, Eren’s stalker foster sister, who excels at every skill that was ever considered. She is also the only Asian. Coincidence, I think not. Armin Arlert, their childhood friend who is so incredibly intelligent, and insecure and simply adorable. Still I’m surprised he wasn’t killed off in the first episode already due to his inability to fucking move his limbs during emergencies. 
There are also a lot of other characters. A lot. They contribute to the story with their interesting personalities and funny moments, but beware, the more funny and likeable they are, the more likely they are to die a gruesome death.

Eren Yeager: fucking useless piece of shit but oh my god that smile.

The soundtrack is probably the most beautiful and fitting soundtrack I have ever heard in an anime (ok, a select few could maybe compete, but still). I think we can all agree that the first opening equals the definition of epic. And, in my opinion, the second one, although it makes a terrible first impression because we're all disappointed by the change, is actually pretty damn good once you listen to it a few more times. (Personally I’m so sick of hearing these songs as they have been playing non-stop in my iPod for the past month I just want to vomit on them). That is all. 

The animation, wow. It’s really good. Some parts are slow and still, especially in the middle but other than that there are some great action scenes and everything is gorgeous.

The story is original enough in itself, but at the same time not. There are many cliché elements, but the main plot is so unpredictable and will have you catching your breath over and over with all it’s stupid twists and turns. However, there is one thing I have to mention, and that is the pacing. When I first started watching this show, all I could think was “well that escalated quickly” (just look at the first episode goddammit). Then came the Trost arc. That fucking Trost arc; ruining what could have been the best anime of the century. To put it simply, the pacing slows down to a fucking turtle speed.

I don’t think there was a point in trying to keep this review spoiler-free or even writing it at all, because it seems like everyone has been watching this anime. It’s everywhere, on Tumblr, on Fanficiton.net and Archiveofourown, DeviantArt, Twitter, MAL, youtube, you name it. 
But if you are one of the few who have yet to see it, I envy you. You can still make the choice not to watch it. You can turn your back and say “no, this is not for me”, and not touch it with a ten foot pole. I envy you, because this show will bring you nothing but suffering (and a few laughs if you’re into really weird fanfics but maybe that’s just me). 

If you were a close friend of mine, I would tell you hell yeah to watch it. Just so I could have someone to cry over it with. But to all the strangers out there: you’ll either love it or hate it. Probably both at the same time. Depends on whether or not you can make it through the Trost arc. And whether or not you’re a pretentious hipster who is too cool for mainstream shows like this.
I just have to say, despite the flaws, it’s a fantastic show, that will keep you at the edge of your seat the whole way through [there are a lot of cliffhangers, but hey no problem for you guys since the show is finished airing]. There is a reason why it has gotten so popular (although many other factors than the actual anime itself may have played a part, but please don’t get me started on that, it’ll take a whole new post). 

This guy is probably my favourite character ever. Also my new husband thank you very much.
And finally, to the people who have been watching it at devotedly as me: for the love of god, read the fucking manga if you haven’t yet. I don’t know how someone can not because answers I need some answers and I need them now. The manga will answer whatever the anime didn’t, but it’ll leave you with another thousand questions and only a chapter a month. Please do it so I won’t have to stay in this hell by myself. 

It needs another season though. Seriously. 9/10.

For further stuff on this anime I recommend this video by GRArkada (might contain some spoilers tho):

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Internet trouble and lots of crying

I’m FINALLY back from this seemingly never-ending hiatus (or was it never-ending just for me?). And look, I even made a vlog for you guys (I was really bored ok).

I’m pretty sure I’ve lived through every blogger’s nightmare of going without internet. A few days is fine, a week, even two, I can live through. But when I have to go an entire month and two weeks without the internet, that’s when I break out into day drinking and randomly crying on the street. I mean, yeah, I got some 3G on my phone after about a week and a half, but that’s barely enough to keep this blog updated, much less watch my favourite youtube channels and get the latest anime episodes. It feels like my sanity has been on the brink of being lost, and at one point I was sure I was being tested by some higher power (and I’m not even religious or anything). It didn’t help when I learned the internet have been present for over a week already, but the damn box was sent back to the company because some store, on my street, refused to deliver it to me. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been so frustrated as I have been for the last few weeks. At least it’s looking up now. 

Cuisses des grenouilles (aka frog legs!)
But what on earth have I occupied myself with in the past weeks without the internet? Good question. I spent a good amount of time trying to work my way around the French bureaucracy, in order to even be able to get internet in my flat (the post office has become like a second home to me). It was the first and only thing I asked for, but the last thing I received. Of course, I had to find a place, get a contract, get an insurance for the place, get an insurance for myself, get a bank account, get a work contract, and so on, all of which required some sort of official papers I had yet to receive.

Starting work was fun for me though, I can honestly say I very much enjoy it. Most of the customers are sweet and good, and my co-workers are nice. Occasionally there are customers who decide to hate on me for not speaking French, or myself managing to clutz things up by breaking something or mix up the orders, but overall, it’s pretty alright. 

In my free time, which I seem to have a lot of (but not quite enough), I’ve been wandering around this huge city. Everywhere I go, there is beauty, and although I’ve been quite upset, I’ve had to admit that Paris is one city that suits me well.

Some cool stuff.

I’ve tried making friends too, which has been harder than I expected but I’m positively surprised at how I’ve been doing. It turns out the French are much like Norwegians: hard to get to know. Being a shy girl at the same time kinda makes the odds not so in my favour. But yeah, I did manage to make myself a couple of friends, despite not even speaking the language here. So that’s good.

I’ve watched all the anime in my computer, in addition to some tv shows and movies, including the first 20 episodes of SnK over again. Because why the heck not. Played some video games too. I can announce that GTAV is a much overrated game, like seriously. 

I’ve also been reading fanfiction. To the point where you could have me admitted to a mental facility, I believe. But it was the only thing that was anime related and required the least amount of data possible from my phone.

Also here is some proof that I'm a fucking dork. Sorry just had to share. I was afraid he'd fall out of the seat...
Those are some of the things I’ve been up to lately. Now I’m back and I’m still going strong. Ready to blog until my fingers hurt from all the typing (I really love to write ok), so look forward to that, if you will. There will be more on anime and more on this city. Until then.