And, unexpectedly, an AMV

     I rarely do anything unplanned, but such stuff sometimes does happen. Most times than not unplanned things find me not because I actively seek them. Yet, to any rule there is an exception. Recently I’ve been reading as much Osamu Dazai as I could find, and this marathon became ignited by rewatching the first 4 episodes of Aoi Bungaku (which itself happened because I wanted something with similar character designs that Shigurui had). Both the written version of Ningen Shikkaku (or No Longer Human, as Dazai’s masterpiece is called) and the anime adaptation of it affected me quite a bit but I was surprised myself once I realized that I want to make an AMV of it.

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Blogger Appreciation Award: Saying 1 Positive Thing About Myself

     Thanks to Spooky Red Head (please do check out her blog!), here’s another award post. Usually award posts tend to be Q&A sessions and this one turned out to be a bit different. Well, by its nature, asking to write something positive about yourself is also a question, but a comparatively open one, so all the better.

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Scattered Thoughts – throat singing (and a bit of Shigurui)

     Did you know that a single person can sing 2 different melodies at the same time? Sounds a bit insane, doesn’t it? How on earth a single person could possess two throats or something? In fact you don’t need to visit Chernobyl (sorry for the bad joke) to be able to perform throat singing, otherwise known as overtone singing. I’ve known about this amusing technique for some time but what did surprise me, was to find it used in the soundtrack of Shigurui, anime I reviewed several weeks ago. As far as I know, no other anime soundtrack uses the technique so it is pretty obscure to say the least. Well, going into details about it doesn’t really concern neither anime, nor manga, nor Japanese culture (for the most part) but I think the more people will hear about some obscure trivia (that to me is quite interesting), the better. Don’t fear some basic physics stuff ahead, I hope I’ll make it comprehensible enough.

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Scattered Thoughts – what do I listen to?

     There probably isn’t a person who would say with absolute confidence that music has no part in their life. Music naturally is also a part of anime community, although not many people try to analyse it apart from stating that for example “Kajiura, Kanno and Sawano are cool” (love them all by the way, in that order). Listening to anime OSTs isn’t what I’d consider my hobby but I try to pay as much attention to it as I can. If an artist proves to be entertaining, obviously I try to dig deeper. As working in anime industry isn’t always what musicians only do, over time one band or another comes under my radar, so that’s what I’m going to talk about today – 5 Japanese artists/bands (that not necessarily have strong ties with anime industry) that I came to love.

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Neat Blogger Award

     Neat Blogger. Nice. I certainly hope that doesn’t imply any association with being a NEET. Not that I qualify for that.

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My Reasons Why Award

Hello, everyone!

     On this quite ordinary day let’s talk about ordinary things and an award that isn’t like others. Usually blog awards end up in one way or another simply meaning “I like your blog”. It’s not the case with this one as it concerns more fundamental things and deeper issues than viewer count.

     It’s not that apparent in AniBlogging community but take a look for example at reddit, more precisely a subreddit where people share screenshots of manga and anime that remind them of their own life. Especially a month (or something like that) ago you couldn’t browse it simply because about 2 out of 5 pictures were extremely negative: “I’m trash”, “Why is life so unfair?”, “I like suicide” and similar ones. Well, I’m not against dark humor and picking fun at stuff characters say as it might be as good entertainment as any but when it becomes an ocean of despair, I’m getting more and more worried.

How about no?

     Sure, life isn’t always fair and you can’t win every time. I get that there’s some satisfaction in posting a picture where a character says “I’m hopeless” and seeing it upvoted because many people feel that way. Feeling miserable is a completely natural thing, the problem begins when such people see that there’re many despairing individuals like them so that becomes the norm. “I’m feeling down? No problem, everybody’s feeling down, too”. Well, it is a problem, and while getting a few laughs is the best it can do, it can do far worse.

     This problem of course isn’t necessarily peculiar to anime community alone. It’s an issue of the whole humanity. A bold statement, sure, but, always residing in negativity may bring the worst outcome.

     Sure, I’m no psychiatrist who could get into a person’s head, understand his issues completely and tailor a perfect solution. I’m just a guy living in a country whose suicide rate is in top 10 in the whole world. Yeah. Of course that doesn’t mean that my words are especially valid. It’s just a sad fact that I can’t ignore, even living a happy life.

     And that’s where the Award comes in. A fellow blogger kimchisama created it after some very unfortunate and saddening experiences. It’s probably the best to give the scene to her:

      This award is going to be about making your reasons. Your reasons why to keep living – to keep going. Maybe at this point you don’t have an issue with depression and that is okay. Sometimes it is still good to think of all the good things in your life. Maybe you think that you have nothing and you can’t make a list of reasons. I’m going to tell you now that THERE IS NO SMALL REASON. Dig deep. Deeper if you must. There is always a reason for you to keep going and living and breathing. Maybe one of your reasons to live is that so in the morning you can eat bacon. That you will stay alive just to eat bacon again. To me this isn’t a small or silly reason. It is true to yourself and if you are every going through a rough time maybe the smallest reason will reach your heart.

As with all the awards, there’re some rules:

1. Mention the person who nominated you (thanks for that!)

2. List 13 reasons why you keep going/living.

3. Nominate 10 or more people to give their reasons why.

4. Use the picture that kimchisama created.

Not a very amazing list, but here are my reasons to keep going:

  1. Friends and family. Well, it would be hypocritical not to start with this one since I’m surrounded by terrific people.
  2. Family history. I’d love to dig deeper and learn about my ancestors. That’s a very long-term objective since I’d have to sit through lots of boring papers written in terrible handwriting in languages I don’t really know but it’s fascinating to know your roots. Knowing the names of only one pair of my great-great-grandparents and their professions (a roadman and a housekeeper by the way) isn’t satisfying enough.
  3. Summer house. A place where I’ve spent all my summers since being born (except one, as cliche as it sounds). It might be only a habit but I probably wouldn’t be able to survive without completely turning my brain off for two months and doing manual labor there. It sometimes may be a pain in the ass but at the same time gratifying to have a quite place in the middle of nowhere with a little lake nearby and several apple trees (among others) whose fruits are of such heavenly taste that you can’t find in supermarkets no matter how hard you search. Yeah, you can say that my spiritual animal is Holo.
  4. Lilacs and lupines. I’m not the biggest fan of flowering plants in general though I do appreciate greenery. Still, there’s something about that violet (or especially white) color (and the scent in the case of lilacs) that fills all the space and reminds you that summer is just around the corner.
  5. Anime and stuff. Yeah, what else did you expect? My watchlist isn’t getting any shorter and the same can be said about the list of manga and LNs. There seems to be an uncountable amount of stuff worth experiencing – great stories, great characters and stupendous animation.
  6. AniBlogging. Yes, what did you expect? watching anime is one thing but being able to share opinions and enter meaningful discussions is another. I’m very happy that this community is so mature and respecting, and that’s only a couple of reasons why I love being a part of it.
  7. Reading. At this point I’m not the most avid of readers but in the back of my mind there always stirs a notion that the ocean of great literature is endless and  I should take a good swim in it. And I’m still eagerly waiting for Winds of Winter to be published. Stay healthy, GRRM.
  8. My piano. I had some experience learning to play it and even if my technical skills aren’t nowhere near as good as I’d like them to be, it’s fun to be able to play something you enjoy listening to. Even if I may butcher the original intentions of a composer, it’s always a joy to sit down, turn off your brain and let the fingers do their job.
  9. Traveling. Another long-term goal. Probably very long-term because at this point I’d rather stay where I am. The problem is that I easily get car-sick or bus-sick after traveling for about 1,5 hour and that’s neither a period of time to get anywhere nor an encouragement to to. I hope that psychology might be one of the reasons why and I may be able to overcome that eventually. I know that there’re so many great places to visit everywhere. But sadly not now.
  10. Studying. To be frank, among my classmates at Uni continuous lack of motivation has become sort of a running joke and I’m a bit confused that I’m more or less satisfied about everything. I’m probably lucky enough to have found a field and place where I’m comfortable enough and eager to keep learning.
  11. General interest. Well, I just think that these times are interesting to live in. Science progresses by second, many innovations are introduced into daily lives. Sure, people with power sometimes behave like kids that are unable to share a playing ground but I have faith in humanity, its brain power and compassion rather than in its selfishness.
  12. Inertia. It might sound weird, but one of my reasons to keep living is because that’s what I do already. I’m sort of a person who doesn’t like to change things too much and at least to me it’s easier to concentrate on what I must do now and simply do it without overthinking it too much. I don’t consider not living an option. When that inevitably comes, I’ll probably stay dead for more than enough time, and while alive, I still have stuff to do. As one of my colleagues at Uni sometimes says, don’t rack your lungs (yeah, not brain) and do what you can.
  13. I’m feeling lucky. No, it’s not related to Google. It’s simply the fact that when I think of it, there’re countless people in the world that are far less fortunate than I am. Just look at this list – countless things I have that are completely meaningless knowing that hundreds and thousands of people this very second are dying for ridiculously easily avoidable reasons like thirst, hunger or war. I have done nothing to deserve everything I have, it’s just a pure coincidence that I’m able to type this and not lie  dying because of, say, malaria or AIDS. What can I do about it? I think at least be conscious about the situation and make my life as fulfilling as I can.

Nominees:

Derek

Fueled by Smiling

Keiko

king dylbag

Kyra

Olga

Scott

Prattle

Shokamoka

Yahari Bento

     I hope each and every one of you (tagged or not, sorry about that then) will think of many more reasons to keep going and appreciating life as it is. And as I said, I’m no psychiatrist but if you ever need a spare ear to talk to, I can offer my both.

100 followers + Anniversary + Anime 3×3

     Hey, everyone!

     I’m pretty excited since a few days ago I passed a very round milestone. One hundred (and now a little bit more) followers is a thing, and a big one.

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My name in TBW Tag

     It’s been quite some time but I haven’t forgotten it and I’m very thankful for kimchisama for tagging me. I think various tags and awards are not only fun but also very healthy, as at least for me it provokes to get out of the comfort zone and think and write about things that I would probably never write about otherwise. Of course, a few lines of different content isn’t much but it’s better than always writing the same thing over and over again.

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One Lovely Blog Award

     Well. It just so happens that I usually don’t do these award posts. Why? I already have enough material for quite a few posts and everything of course is way behind the schedule. Well, I don’t have a strict one but still there’re lots of things I’d like to have already written about. Such award posts pretty much since the beginning of this blog  have been finding a place in the heap of things that can be procrastinated, but you know the saying – there’s nothing more permanent than temporary… Yep, I’m guilty. Very guilty. But here I am, and here’s an award post (though it’s still after about 2 weeks of being nominated. Procrastination is in my blood…). Why? Somehow Keiko‘s (thanks again – very much) questions looked very intriguing, and I guess I shouldn’t look for a better way to get back to paying more attention to the community. There wouldn’t be much joy in blogging without the community so unused opportunities to strengthen it isn’t the wisest thing. For everybody else who has awarded me in the past, I’m sorry that it’s not your post that (hopefully) got me back on track, and I’m very grateful for every single nomination, but it is as it is.


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Eeeeeeh?

     Well, I’m quite irritated. Imagine yourself finally getting a review finished, with every piece thought out as well as possible. As I tend to stick to some sort of a form while writing reviews, it’s always a good idea to check some older review if I haven’t missed anything. And then, ladies and gentlemen, I imagine splendidly finding that not a single one of images in the reviews is shown. I’ve hosted pretty much everything on PhotoBucket and it turns out they just decided that images can no longer be hosted on any 3rd party website. Of course there’s a way out of it, and it costs only 400 dollars.

     To be frank, when I started, I didn’t pay much attention to what hosting site was the best and for the most part PhotoBucket was doing quite well for me. There was that space limit so inevitably some time in the future I would have had to move somewhere else but there still was plenty of time. Another issue was that PhotoBucket didn’t always wholeheartedly accept my images, maybe it had to something with the fact that I don’t live anywhere near USA. Particularly it was hard to upload gifs but usually with some additional attempts everything would come out all right. More or less.

     So yeah, it turns out I have to move every single image on this blog somewhere else and it’s going to be a huge pain in the ass. Well, at least the images themselves didn’t vanish altogether, they’re only unavailable to view on the blog. It’s quite weird that some of my newer posts have retained their images but that’s only a slight positive.

     Cheers PhotoBucket,  you may as well choke on those 400 dollars but they won’t be mine.