Saturday, 31 May 2014

Brick by Brick

a Comic Essay by Stephen McCranie.

Back in November I was scrolling through tumblr and i saw some excepts from a comic.
It was about an artists journey of being an artist and all the different shit artists face and put themselves through.
under it was a link to the kickstarter page.

So for 20 dollars (plus another 20 for shipping cause outside of US ) I could buy a physical copy of this book, support the artist and see another perspective on what it's like to be an artist.

Money well spent. (even though my book got dinged up a little in the mail... which kind sucks but in the end i got the book and was able to read it so thats all that matters)

So first i want to talk about my personal journey as an artist and then i'll talk about the book... but if you don't care then i just suggest going to

You can read the essay there, buy the pdf for 5 dollars and possibly buy the book eventually. (right now he's just dealing with the kickstarter orders... the other orders will probably open after that)

So I have always been an artistic kid, i enjoyed things like Drama, public speaking and music but it wasn't till much later i discovered my love of art.
In fact for most of my childhood I hated art class.
Being told what to do or more specifically how to be creative was the quickest way for me to dig my heels in and despise something.
But then two things happened... one i assume happened around the time i was seven but that time of my life is fuzzy so it may have happened as early as 5 or 6... anyways i was just scribbing on a page and when i stopped and looked back from it it looked like a bird... i was perplexed because how could random lines on a page too like something... tiny me couldn't grasp how that was physically possible... but i was intrigued.
The other thing that happened was in Elementary school (so anywhere between K-7 cause thats how my school rolled, i want to say is happened in grade 4 but again... can't remember) We had a substitute teacher who was also an artist.... so when she taught our art class that day she handed us a ton of pencil crayons and asked us how to draw grass...
most kids said "just grab a green pencil crayon and make it look jagged"
while that wasn't wrong she showed us how layering colours like yellow, brown, green, blue and even red still made the picture look green and more importantly it looks like a grassy field even though it was just a bunch of scribbles on a page.
Mind blown.

These two things, without me knowing at the time, helped shape who i am today.... even if it took over a decade to really come back to me.

See while i was showing an interest in art i was pretty terrible at it... my parents figured this would just be a pointless venture and tried to push me into things i showed more promise in... i tried Dance, I tried Drama which turned into taking Improv lessons at second city for a few years.... i auditioned to get into a school which had a main focus on Drama. I even auditioned and got the lead role in a school play that just so happened to be a musical.
And it was all fun and i learned lots but i knew it wasn't what i wanted to keep doing... in moments between rehearsal i would always gravitate to my sketchbook and draw my crappy little doodles... any free time i had would be spent drawing or looking at art i liked.

It never occurred to me that i could do my own art as a career.  I just figured i wasn't talented enough so why even bother trying? However my boyfriend at the time was suggesting i try going to college... where i live it's just assumed you go to some kind of post secondary... but asking an 18 year old to decide their entire future is kind of intimidating so i figured it would be there if i figured out something i wanted to take... but i wasn't going to spent thousands of dollars just to get a fancy paper saying i'm smart. Still he got the idea in my head and i figured fine... i'll try to get into a program at a very good art school and if i get in... cool... if not i can use the money i save to travel.

I got in and was kinda bummed that the travel plans got put on hold but it all worked out in the end... it was an art program... there was no longer someone telling me i shouldn't do something cause i'm not showing a skill for it. i was going to do this, get the piece of paper and get everyone off my back. School was never really my thing... they tell you what to do and as i mentioned before i'm stubborn.
College wasn't like that... well it was but it also wasn't.

I've told this story before so i'll shorten it.
In my first year i put aside everything i tended to do art wise... i was there to learn something new... not draw the same old anime inspired crap i had been doing to that point.
This worked well and i learned a ton.
Second year i tried to do that again but i hit a wall, i wasn't enjoying art anymore, i was debating quitting.... the way my college works is that you know what weight on percentage each project will have at the start o the year... so you can tell the exact moment you are about 50% and therefor can no longer fail... i always hit that mark just after halfway through the semester... so i had just gotten to the poitn where i couldn't fail but i was miserable... my grades were good but i hated every piece i made...
So i said Screw it.... i will make what i want to make and if they don't like it they can fail me.
so i did that...
and my grades all drastically went up.

It all became so clear... my entire life i was told that my crappy anime inspired art was not art... it was shitty and lazy and just terrible.... years and years of hearing "that isn't art" and i almost believed them.
And to be fair i do still get the "that isn't art" spiel from close minded morons... but thats just it... they have such a narrow view of what is and isn't art that it's really not worth your time trying to explain why they are being so incredibly stupid. you are free to not like art... but just cause you don't like it... doesn't mean it isn't art.

anwyas getting off track... when i started to take what i learned and combined it with what i know i grew both as an artist and as a person.

My final year of school was just spent tryign to absorb as much info as i could so i could apply it to my own crap, i got bolder with colour i got more comfortable in drawing a more stylized approach. I got more confident in what my art meant (or at least bullshitting the teacher so they though i had meaning in a certain action... guess those improv lessons came in really handy after all).

But then it ended and it was like... okay back to the real world now.

i looked back on how far i had come.... i looked at the piece i made on my first day of classes and the one i did on my firs tday out of them... i felt happy and free.
but that much freedom can be overwhelming.

i didn't want to fall in a rut of not being able to do anything so i just told myself "at least one finished piece a week... just try to get at least that much done."

That worked great..... until i started working... the job i worked was contract and had 12 hour days....... 7 days a week.
Still even though i was tired i made it work as much as i could... always aiming for that one finished piece a week and i managed to finish 36 pieces.
Even if ti was just small steps at least i was getting something done.
I would continue to try and learn from the enviroment i was in... and then when i was feleing kinda down one of the painters fro mthe shop floor came into the office and saw the painting i had hung up... it was the first piece i finished out of school.
"wow, this is realyl nice, there is so much layered colour" he said and stared at it really close.
I had never had anyone older then me who wasn't a teacher compliment my art, especially when they didn't know it was mine at all. 
It made me so happy i could have almost cried.

Even if not everyone liked my stuff... even if just one person liked it... or hell even if i'm the only one who likes it... as long as there is that it is worth making.
At least in my opinion.

So about the book.

This book is great and even though it focuses on someone who prominently makes Comics it really applies to every type of art. It gives this one persons journey as well as tips on how not to fall into certain pitfalls... even if it's just "don't set yourself impossible goals that are too far in the future, set small ones that can be easily accomplished" or "never stop learning"
it's stuff we know (or should know) but we often forget.

One of my teachers laughed at some of the themes artist tended to pick... "how can art have meaning if it's about Flowers or Colours, Art has to have meaning, it has to say something to the public, it should be used to bring a message"
seeing that Flowers and colours tend to be my fav things to focus on i internally took some offense to this... but while he wasn't right he also wasn't wrong.
Art needs to mean something... that much is true... but it doesn't have to be a grandeous political statement if thats not what your comfortable or interested in making. it just has to mean something to the artist itself.
This is something we should just know... but because we are told what to expect we forget simple things.

This book really does a great job in highlighting the things that seem unrelated but are integral to helping you become a better artists.
It gives you some great tips on how to keep motivated (my personal fav has always been gamification but there are a lot of different things to try)
But most importantly it reminds you that everyone starts somewhere... and it's usually from a place of being absolutely terrible... but as long as you continue to learn and grow you will continue to improve.

So yeah go read it...
i know i'm really glad i have a copy of the book even if it's a really quick read.

Saturday, 24 May 2014


Now I'm sure there will be another season of this cause this ended with little to no resolution and the manga is ongoing.... but i figure it'll probably be a year or two before we see that sequel so lets talk about the 20 episodes we did get.

So i originally went into this show knowing very little about it, i knew it was a rom com/ technically a harem show but that was it.
When i finished the first episode i was pleasently surprised.
this show is really pretty for one, they are always playing around with using the visual to emphasise the narrative and it just gives the show a unique look.
The story is really funny, i will admit i liked it better before the final girl (at least the final of the ones introduced in this season) was brought up... the dynamic of the three girls and the 1 guy worked really well and the fourth girl just felt really tacked on... but even so it had some genuinely funny moments. 

The music was also really fun...

Nisekoi is about the son of a Yakuza house being forced to pretend to date the daughter of a mob boss so that war doesn't break out in town.
yes it's like romeo and Juliet only if the parents wanted them to be together and they hated each other.
and it works... Raku, the son, has this locket that he always wears because he made a promise with a girl 10 years ago... but apparently lots of people were doing this cause most of the girls who he meets have keys that may or may not work on his locket.

the shows comedy comes largely from misunderstandings which one one hand make it universal without having to know much or even anything about specific cultural elements.... on the other hand it makes some scenes utterly painful to watch where you are yelling at the tv "NO that's NOT what he meant! she didn't mean that! why wont you just communicate!"
but that frustration also adds to the humour... so it works out.

I really enjoyed it, even with some of the moments dragging or some of the plot twists being just too stupid.... it was still very very fun and i may pick up the manga.

The good:
Characters (except the final girl who just comes off as possessive and clingy and doesn't have nearly enough character development) are all really great and work well off each other... i especially love Onodera's friend and raku's friend cause they are constantly just the best source for entertainment.
Music is good, each of the girls have an ending song specific to them, my favs were chitoge's and Onodera's.
The animation was so pretty, i actually don't know which studio did this but it just fantastic. Ah it was done by aniplex no wonder it's so pretty.... which means it's most likely in the hands of aniplex of america...... i like the show but if it costs more then 50 for the entire set no dice... i didn't like it that much.

The not so good:
so stressful, the dynamic between onodera, raku and chitoge will make you wanna rip your hair out... it's the entire point of the show.... but yeah very very stressful to watch.
Raku is a bit too perfect, it's not too bad most of the time but when other characters start liking him i can't see it since he's really only interesting around Onodera and chitoge.
The keys, everyone has one.... it's like the author only wanted to do the two but he needed more drama so he added a third and i wouldn't be surprised if there were more... it's just so silly that so many girls that he happened to meet 10 years prior all have keys.

The bad:
At the end of each episode theres a title card drawn by another artist... this is pretty common place for certain types of shows with large followings...
some of the title cards come off as a bit Vulgar and completely do not match the tone of the show... they present it more as a show based off a dating game then one based off a shonen manga. I get it, i am not the target audience... but still it just felt unnecessary.

Like i said the manga is ongoing and this series doesn't close anything off so i will say my fav pairing of the show is Raku and Onodera....
but..... i'm 99.9% that that will not be the final pairing cause everyone else Adores Chitoge... and she is great and their dynamic is fun but i still think Onodera is the more interesting character. But that may just be my own personal bias.

But yeah if you like Rom Coms that are actually humours and can stand the comedy of errors this is a great little show and i hope we get more soon... if not then the manga will have to do.

You can watch Nisekoi on Crunchyroll.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Figure Photoshoot: Nendroid Makoto Naegi

i am getting too many of these adorable little guys.

I along with this i also got Nendo Flonne and Nendo hibiki kuze so... i'll get off my lazy butt and take pics of them........ eventually.

The problem is i like taking pictures... but i don't consider myself a photographer... so i get in moods where i'm all "need to take all the pictures" but then i get in other moods where not only do i not wanna take pics but i also don't even wanna look at my camera or edit the stuff i have taken pictures of.

i dunno i'm just in one of those moods where i do not want to do a damn thing.
"i should read that book..... nah"
"i should ink that pic i did a week ago...... or not..."
"i should draw something new if i wont work on the old...... screw that"
"watch anime? not now...."
"be a lazy person and just lay around? no i have too much shit to do"

so yeah... even though i'm in a lazy mood i'm trying to do something productive... i'm failing miserably but whatever it's all good.

okay backstory:
I recently finished Danganronpa, so i was looking for what merch was out and i saw a nendo for makoto.
it had been out for a while but somehow it still wasn't sold out... so i hesitated a little and eventually bought it cause it's just so cute.

ok well... his default face isn't really that cute.... in fact his default face kinda sucks...
This actualyl brings up a really important point about figures in general.
when you don't get any shine in the eye... the faces do not look good... i know in the bulk of the artwork for this game do not have any shines in the eyes but it works in a 2d medium ok... in a 3d medium they look dead eyed which is a little same... the bland expression doesn't help
luckily his other faces are really expressive.

it's better in these since we have emotion and the way the eyes are positioned help tell you where he is looking.
i just love the detail in his hoody, i'd love to make his hoodie... but i'm not the best at sewing so unlikely.
anyways this figure has two best parts.

he gets a little trail booth thingy... and it looks like if you get more they can interconnect... i'd love to just get 15 more and have all my nendo's have a trail (i think i have enough... i may be a bit short)
but the other best part is his little sign.
awww he's so cute, i kinda mix the "you're wrong" thing with the "objection" post but who cares it's all fun.... now for my fav pic.
i would love to have a kirigiri nendo too... and byakuya....
otherwise i just look forward to DR2 which is coming out surprisingly soon and hopefulyl i wont be spoiled for that like i was for this.

Dropped: Bravely Default

(i wrote this on March 30th, i never posted it cause i was still on the fence)

*grumbles* I hate that I feel this way.
I was so excited about this game.
The art was so pretty.... and the music was so good.

Please understand that i'm not trying to be that person... the one that only likes niche crap and anything popular just doesn't seem as good.
I like what I like and dislike what I dislike and i do not expect anyone to agree with me.
this is 100% my opinion and i'm actually willing to concede that i may be 'wrong' if someone can give me a different perspective or "if you don't like it by this point it's not for you but give it a shot".

I cannot get into this game.
At all.
I have tried, I try to play a little when I can stomach it.
but in the end there is one thing i can't look past. I am not having fun when playing this game.
The art is still lovely.
The music is still pretty damn fantastic.
The combat was fun until i realized i could brave multiple times on each character (and for things with more health i could just default until i could brave multiple times) 
but it's just a chore to actually play.
I think it comes down to two main things.

The story is..... well so far it's probably one of the tropiest cliched run into the ground plot i have ever seen in one RPG... most of what i have played feels like "go to the exclamation mark... not cause you have a reason that makes sense but because the plot says so" and every other time it's just your standard "get the elemental mcguffins cause it'll save the world"
And the other thing is i don't care about any of the characters.
Anges is really annoying and quite frankly very rude when she doesn't get her way.
Tiz is pretty blank slate since let's face it he is the audience avatar, this has the double edge of him being bland.
Ringabell is funny at first but wow does his gimmick get old... the plot convenience book doesn't help either.
and Edea is interesting as far as a character who is finally seeing the world for what it is but again... she was way too easily swayed by emotions and her gimmick gets old pretty quick too. "omg you are the daughter of the enemy... how can we trust you?" yeah we established this... a few times... so?

But then i look at all the other review sites and i see nothing less then 8
I think number scores are silly (cause lets face it, everything out of 10 is really just between 5-10 anyways) but that being said i really do not feel this deserves an 8.... maybe a 6 (on a scale where 1 is unplayable, 5 is average and 10 is perfect) for the things it does well... but the story, the characters and the game play really drag it down for me.
I keep seeing the the combat is nuanced... I saw how many random battles i could beat with Edea, alone, on the first turn.
the answer was almost all of them... the only ones that ended up going to ringabel where ones with 3+ monsters... and even then Agnes and Tiz almost never got to attack.
I am lv 45 on the third chapter and i have read that there are 10-12 chapters (true end and extra dungeon)

But thats why i am writing this...
i need to ask, does the game change? does the story get better after the elemental crystal backtrack all over the place crap is done?
do the characters get more interesting or do they continue to be the same with this artificial "i have changed because the plot deems i should change and not cause i've shown any way that i have changed."
Does the combat get better?
DO the enviromental traps continue to be as obnoxious as they are or does that improve? (maybe i'm just the only one who HATES Enviromental traps in turn based games... doesn't bug me in action games)

(okay now it's May 20th..)

So i have heard a lot of people talking about the second half... and how horrible and stupid it is.

considering the game centers around killing off all the characters it can get away with i figured maybe it just went too far.... maybe it had a plot element that was so offensive it soured the experience.

No it was far worse.

NOW... disclaimer: i am only on chapter 3 (i wont be going any further)  i have not personally experienced the second half of the game so I can't stand behind my opinion as strongly as normal... but i can explain WHY what they do would piss me right off.

So I guess spoilers? maybe
In chapter 5 you have to awaken the crystals again
then in chapter 6 you need to do something new.... by awakening the crystals again.
but it's okay cause in chapter 7 you have to awaken the crystals again so at least it has that...
but then in chapter 8 you have to awaken the crystals again... and that apparently sours the experience.

Now apparently you have to fight the same monsters but some things change but i can't comment on that cause again... didn't play it.

But i can tell you a completely unrelated story.

In Ys Origin you have a choice of 3 characters.
Each story is slightly different but essentially you play the same game 3 times which minor differences. Same bosses (for the most part) same plot elements (from different perspectives) and same puzzles (with minor changes)
I love Ys.
I love Ys Origin.
but the fact that i HAVE to replay the game 3 times made me pretty annoyed.
every time i had to do the water area i wanted to put the game down and just give up. This is a game i thoroughly enjoyed.
A game i would claim to love.... but the fact that it need to be replayed 3 times puts in near the middle of my fav Ys games list.... if i just played as one of the three it may have been higher up.
but yeah this is a game i liked.

I didn't have fun with Bravely default... what i played was a chore.... why would i want to do the same thing 5 times.... the dungeons didn't even have that great of a design (from what I played) why on earth would i wanna play it 5 times?! like... even if it had only been 3 times... that would have been better but 5??
yeah just... wow... who thought that was a good idea? why not come up with a better story for the second half? like.... oh no the crystals were actually the problem all along... we need to destroy them to bring back balance.... that actually would have been okay... yes it would have meant doing it all again a second time but that is better then 5 times. they imply that the fairy is not really to be trusted but from the sound of that maybe they don't go anywhere with that? i don't know... i didn't play it.

i'm sure if you like the game... it's fun, i know a lot of people really enjoyed it. Apparently i am not one of those people.

and i'm not saying the game is bad, it isn't... it's actually pretty innovated in some regards but if you don't like it by the end of chapter 1.... that may not change...

(i have watched the ending)
ok... if i can call the games ending with only having played a little of it.... that isn't good. 

Friday, 16 May 2014

childhood shows

So when i was a kid I didn't know that anime was different from a north american cartoon... all i knew was i liked certain cartoons and hated others.

First it was dragon ball... which was ok but a bit too much fighting for my young taste.

then it was sailor moon (which when i saw commercials i didn't like cause the eyes were strange but then i saw an ep at a friends house and just started loving the show)

Then there was Cardcaptors... as it was known here... and other things things being out of order and seeming to miss a few cards episodes i really loved.

then i moved and finally started buying my own manga and anime. (i still watched a few shows on tv, Pokemon, Digimon, Inuyasha but i very quickly moved completely over to buying things)

Now that i'm older i'm not a big fan of dragon ball and it's sequels... just too much fighting and "if i yell super loud i will get stronger" for my taste but it is a good show.

But Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura still have a special place in my heart.
and more importantly my wallet.

So when ADV (omg i miss them...) announced they were doing uncut boxsets of Sailor moon i was all over that.... i shelled out the fairly expensive price (it was an odd time where anime was stupid expensive) and ended up with uncut Sailor moon and Sailor moon R

they never put out the rest but that was okay... i could deal.
eventually Geneon (i don't miss them as much) put out a really nice boxset for Cardcaptor sakura uncut and shaped like a book.... i immediately threw money and the comic store i was buying form and got them both for a really decent price.

those 4 boxsets  now a days tend to cost anywhere from 300-500... so i was super happy i got them when i did cause i really wanted them.

years went on... i woudl rewatch each set every so often when suddenly and out of nowhere NISA announces they got CCS
and they were going to put it on blue ray uncut and with a dub.
so i looked at my sub only set... and i looked at NISA's set and swore loudly as i bought the new set.
"well at least nothing else from my childhood will be making me re-buy it... right?"

SO Viz annouces not only did they get the new sailor moon
they also got old sailor moon
all the way to stars
with a new dub
well.... at least Viz has resonable prices.... i mean if aniplex got it i woudl have sobbed and sobbed.

it's sad... part of me hoped NISA would annouce it cause i really do love their boxsets.... but still i'm really happy about this...

even though it means i'm going to be re-buying yet another show i enjoyed when i was smaller.

but yeah.... my poor wallet.... come on wrist get well enough for me to do commissions again (though it's more likely i'll go work on another show for a bit soon... so hopefully that works out cause it's a bit more steady then commission work) 

so yeah........... i am so happy about all this news.... but at the same time cursing loudly..... now i just need that alter natsume figure to come out and i'll be set for the year. (actually the only thing that could me me swear more and louder would be NISA announcing that they are re-releasing natsume with a dub.... that would do in me/make me the happiest person ever... unlikely but who knows... i thought re-releasing CCS and SM would never happen... and boy was i wrong there.)

Princess Jellyfish

a friend of mine recommended that i watch this a while back but i just got around to it now.

It's so cute.

i love these types of shows, a nice balance of cute and sweet with some extremely valid points.

The story is about Tsukimi, a girl who just recently moved to the big city to become an illustrator but thanks to Anxiety and a more "otaku" mindset makes it hard for her to feel like she fits in.

Now when i say Otaku i do not mean Anime fan since that is not what that word means.
Otaku is more of a derogatory term for anyone who is obsessed with one thing to the point where it takes over their life. In tsukimi's case this is Jelly fish but in the other characters cases its anywhere from three kingdoms fandom to modes of transportation to traditional dolls and even old men.  Otaku tend to be frowned upon due to the obsessive nature that many of them have.

however there is another side of the coin and it's a large focus.

Even in my experience there is an odd phenomena where because the "unpopular" or "nerdy" kids never really fit in they tend to then shun, make fun of or outright be mean to the popular kids (behind their backs of course)
i have had friends who call complete strangers sluts or whores simply because they were wearing makeup or a cute outfit... they didn't know what they were like and most of the time when you talk to people you find out were not much different after all... Hell i had someone call me a slut in Highschool once cause i went to school in a skirt and the majority of my friends were boys... ignoring the fact that i was just your typical shy nerdy girl.

and you know what? it really suck... so to see a show that has a main theme of "can't we all just get along whether we dress up or wear sweats all day? we probably aren't that different in the end. Someone who wears sweats all day may just not have the confidence to dress in the cloths they like... someone who is stylish may not have the confidence to tell others of some more nerdy hobbies they have. we are not that different" was pretty nice.

it's not perfect, it does have a bit too much emphasis on "sometimes you just have to dress up and oh wow doesn't it make you feel better?" and sometimes no... sometimes dressing up fancy against your will can make you more self conscious which is not fun. but in the end it's harmless and it never outright says you have to be pretty to be respected...

so yeah i really really thought this show was good, i want more... it could easily have a second season considering all the threads it left... but considering it's only 11 episodes to begin with i doubt it's going to get anymore.

The good:
Story is lovely, well paced and very sweet.
Animation is really well done, i especially love how they gave every member of the communal living inn a distinct way of moving through a scene
music is not going to be to everyones taste but i loved it. especially the intro song... it's just so cute and happy.

the not so good:
there is one character who is a driver... he is not in the show nearly long enough. he easily has some of the funniest moments but he just does not have enough screen time.
lots of plot threads are left open, in a slice of life this can work but it would have been nice to get some answers... maybe in the manga?

the bad:
some people may be offended by some of the portrays of what nerdy people act like but it didn't bother me cause i've seen people who are almost as extreme as these characters and it doesn't really talk down to them.
the length is a bit of a bummer... only 11 episodes? i want more...

but yeah really sweet show if you like slice of life with a bit of focus on comedy.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Dameon From start to finish Video

I'm going to call this an experiment, i don't know if i'll ever do it again and if i do i have no idea where i'll find music i'm allowed to post since my friend's (JPEX5) songs don't go on much longer then 6 mins and cramming over an hour into that amount of time makes things very quick.

So... for a while now i've wanted to post something on my youtube channel.
one major problem.
I'm the biggest chicken when it comes to committing to something like that...
apparently it's super easy to write shit down after watching a show and just walk away... whole different thing to actually make a video with editing and all that lovely stuff.

I figured... why not start small... i may not be comfortable appearing infront of a camera or letting you guys hear my voice yet but showing sped up versions of my process work... that shouldn't be too tricky.

First i tried live stream but the quality of the video it saves is... well it was less then stellar.
Then i did research on different programs for a week and settled on one that was a reasonable price and seemed to do what i needed it to.

now because this was an experiment i didn't want to try to do it with a piece that i knew was going to take 3 hours so i picked a bust i did a while back, i figured it would be between 1-2 hours, most likely around 1:30.

I brought it into Sai, launched the program and got to work.

Lineart: Around 30 mins
Flat colour: around 5 mins
Rendering: about 1 hour

I love when i know how long things will take.  And that wasn't me working fast, if anything i was taking my time.

Then i brought it into premier.... and remembered Premier is a piece of garbage and lamented about Final cut and how much i missed it (granted i haven't used it since i was 11 but still.... and yes i edited shit as an 11 year old... i wanted to make a movie when i was a kid so my parents let me borrow the camera after i wrote a script... then my dad taught me how to edit... i was a strange child, the movie was terrible though)

Since i didn't wanna spend any more money on this experiment just yet i brought it into Windows movie maker which pretty much worked perfectly i just need a bit more customization then it allows... but for this it was fine.

Anyways.... i've blabbed on enought... trying to put this off cause my nerves are getting the best of me once again.

For the record... this was way harder to submit then i thought it would be... but still... here you are.

(also sorry it moves around so fast... i only wanted to use the one song cause i'm silly that way)
so... yeah.... i'm gunna go curl up in a ball and pretend i never did this.
Hope you enjoy

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Figure Photoshoot: Sailor Moon Mugs

i'll be honest, when i hear people talk about nostalgia i honestly do not understand what they mean. The way i hear people describe the feeling reminds me more of the stuff i like now as opposed to the stuff i enjoyed as a child.

so time to head over to and get a definition.
*reads it and tilts head* okay so, when i first moved across the country i felt this... but then i went back a year later and was quickly reminded that even in that short time I had changed... my friends had changed... we were no longer the same people... and that sense of homesickness or nostalgia vanished.
for the most part at least... I still refer to myself as being from there despite having lived on both sides of the country for almost equal amount of time... i think it's the view... i do miss the view quite a bit... but would i go back? no... i see that being very unlikely. still maybe that is a form of nostalgia?

I think Nostalgia (in the sense of yearning for the past) doesn't make sense to me cause most people like looking back on their childhood as a happier simpler time. I don't.

But i'm not completely unaffected by nostalgia goggles... i just react to it differently then those i know (or at least differently then i see it described by people).

The way i react to nostalgia is i'm a sucker for merchandise... you show me some cute sailor moon or cardcaptor sakura stuff and if the price is right i will eat it right up.

I know most people will defend the stuff they are nostalgic for by saying "it's a product of the time" or "you had to be there" which is fine but i also believe you have to be able to look at thing with older eyes and be willing to see the potential for flaws... you can criticize something and still enjoy it.
As an example watching sailor moon now yeah... some of the morals are a bit wrapped in 90s mentality, the animation for some of the episodes are just terrible and as the seasons go on the monsters get more and more sexualized and the majority of the monsters of the week are women or very effeminate men. Does that make the show bad? no... it just shows me i have changed a lot from when i was 7... but it does remind me that even though i loved sailor moon as i kid it wasn't perfect and that is okay.

I have a feeling i got way off topic here
here are the cute sailor moon mugs

*squeals* they are just so adorable! now that could be my version of nostalgia.... or my love of Cats... but i just think these mugs are so cute.

I was so happy when i happened to get them and for a really decent price.
however... when you look at promo stuff for them you do realize scale...
heres a pic of them next to a normal (8oz) mug
yeah.... they are a little small.
but still so cute!
i'll probably never use them (again cause they are tiny)

So yeah i guess what the long ramble was about was "i don't get nostalgia... unless nostalgia is what makes you buy cute things... then i totally get it... but i don't think that's what it's about.. .cause thats not what people talk about when they mention it so now i'm all confused and trying to figure out what it means but here are some cute mugs Yay"

Also that used to be a colour changing mug in the center... but one day my autistic brother was trying to be helpful and he did the dishes by putting things in the dishwasher... the colour changing aspect of the mug melted off and yeah... now it's just an 8-bit heart.
but thats okay i still like it and i'm always happy when my brother takes initiative and tries to be helpful.

anyways sorry to ramble... yay cute mugs~

Fusé Memoirs of a Huntress

see that accent in the title? thats the only place i will type it... yes i have the capabilities to type it in every time but i wont.
a) cause i'm stubborn
b) cause it's a pain in the ass to either switch my keyboard to french Canadian or figure out the alt shortcut.
c) cause it doesn't need to be there.

The reason that there is an accent on the E in Fuse is cause an english speaking person will most likely read it as Fuse (as in to fuse one thing to another) which isn't wrong, thats what the word is meant to be but since in japanese vowels are always pronouced a certain way (Ie. E sounds more like A) so the easiest way to convey that is with the little accent.
but it is completely unnecessary... especially since the word is meant to be fuse and the kanji for it is person and dog fused together.

to clarify: i'm not annoyed that thats how they translated the title... just annoyed at languages in general.... and figured i should explain why i'm being subborn about typing Fuse.

So... Fuse Memoirs of a Huntress is a movie released by NIS America. A little under two hours long it's about a Girl in the mountains who happens to be a huntress. After her Guardian dies she gets a letter from her brother asking for her to come join him in Edo.
deciding that it would be better to be with her remaining family she heads out.
the problem is that she can't read or write so when she gets lost she immediately gets lost.
after wandering around for a bit she happens to bump into a man with white hair and red eyes.... and he promptly steals her gun so she follows him to get it back.
this fate encounter is what the rest of the story is based on.
between being mistaken for a boy constantly she also learns about this Fuse hunt.... humans who can change into Dogs... they kill without discrimination to consume human essence and her brother called her to town thinking her skills could earn them money.

however after they manage to hunt one down, she realizes that they may not be the monsters everyone describes them as. She is conflicted about how she has spent her life and how she will spend the rest of it.

The good:
it's a very pretty film... the character designs aren't the prettiest but consideringthe setting and story it all works.
the music and voice acting is all very good. Hiroshi Kamiya is in it for a little so that always is good in my books.
The story while a bit long and extremely japanese wasn't difficult for someone like me who knows a little about some japanese Myths/stories (mainly Hakkenden in this case)... they tell you everything you need to know to get the gist of the underlying story. if you know a bit more about the story in question you do get a little more from it but it's not essential which is very impressive.

the not so good:
it's a little long and common with Japanese films they have a different sense of pacing then a western audience does so some things that could have used more focus are quick and other things that could be a bit shorter are long.

The lost in translation:
damn there are a lot of cultural references and i'm positive i didn't get them all so i'm sure i missed something. so yeah you may need some external learning to enjoy everything.

that being said i did enjoy it quite a bit. NISA boxsets are just so lovely and i am happy to add another one to my collection.

the only way i think you can watch it is by owning the blue ray so here is the link.

but yeah it's a very sweet movie...
you know what other sweet movie i'd love to see NIS America put out?
Hotarubi no Mori e.
i know it's only 40 mins.... i would throw all my money at them if they did this (not that i don't already throw a lot of money at them... i mean... Nagi Asu, Eccentric family, pilots love song, cardcaptor sakura, toradora dub.... just take all my money...)

but yeah, good movie.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

[Edit] Atelier Meruru Plus: The Apprentice of Arland

Scroll down for the Edit

even though Arland is just a kinda side note in this particular game...

Also if thats the bad end... well it wasn't as bad as i expected? *gets to after the credits bit* Hey! i really did work hard game... no need to be such a jerk about it *pouts*
My stats by end game

AKA: i suck at getting people to come into my town... i don't know what i was doing wrong... i felt like i was doing all the Dev quests but apparently not good enough... i think part of the problem was i didn't use the Homs as well as i could have... and i didn't get the travelers shoes till pretty much end game...

well that and one other thing... but i'll get into that later.

Meruru is the Princess of Arls, but being a princess is boring and dumb and they are going to merge with Arland in 5 years anyways! So why bother with all those silly royal teachings.... it's dumb and stuff.
That all changes when Totori, an alchemist comes to town... suddenly Meruru wants to be a world famous alchemist too...
great, but her butler and dad have one condition.
She has to get 100 000 people to join the town (which i think starts out at like.... 1000) before they merge with Arland

me: oh i can do that. (spoilers no i can't)

The good:
The game is similar to Totori but a lot of stuff has been streamlined and the presence of the overarching goal is always in your face, you don't have to wait for a silly little random event to move the plot forward.

the map is a bit smaller... or at least it comes out in full circles more. which i liked.
it also doesn't just throw a million new places at you off the bat, you actually have to go and clear the area before you can move onto the next which was welcome cause in totori it was way too easy to find yourself outmatch by everything.

The alchemy is better explained and also has more stats (at least that i noticed) so again... nice to know what chance i will have of being successful.

There are a lot of familiar (and may i add very pretty) faces, I was so happy that i got to pick between 4 pretty boys. There were more characters? okay well Totori is actually pretty Over powered if you have her staff from having a totori save file on your game... not that i'm complaining since her presence was really nice until Sterk arrived and then she was booted from the party so quickly.

The character development for almost everyone (more on this in a bit) is really good... i particularly adore the banter between Rufus and Sterk.

The not so good:
The music... what the hell happened? i mean some song are good, but the song for undeveloped areas and caves? made me want to turn off the game. I loved ALL the music in totori so for me to dislike most of it in this game really confused me.... ugh the tutorial music was probably the worst.... that the recorder (as in the instrument) away from the composer.

The difficulty... this game is both insanely easy and stupid hard... the battle system is way better then Totori... like leaps and bounds better.... but the progression of gettign people is so hard, most quests only give you 10 points for beating them... you pretty much need 100 to get anything done and that only tends to net you 1000 people.... again the goal is 100 000
if you beat some bosses they get you 80-100 pts but they aren't easily... i couldn't do any damage to the end... and the dragon in the volcano also went undefeated by me.
 Some quests do give you more people upon completion but it's usually 250-500.

you do gain people over time if you are popular though... so you have to do tavern quests... which net you money but no points... most of the time i just did the report now stuff and picked a few hunts that i knew would be in the area i was going.

The Frustraiting:
i wont say it's bad but when i found out i was annoyed.
okay so in Totori the way i played was i would synthesize till i was out of mana, then i would go explore till my bag was full or my health was low... then i would go back to the workshop and Synthesize... repeat.
I could pull this off cause I'm pretty sure while i was at the cauldren i got health back slowly... if she didn't she would get health and mp back with walking to destinations... i think i rested 3 days with totori until i found out i could do that.... yeah not the case with meruru.
she doesn't gain health when synthing..... and it feels like she doesn't gain mp or health with walking... you HAVE to rest (or what i'm going to do this time and have a Hom making something with MP recovery) well resting takes time away from getting people into town and yeah... very very very annoying.

The bad:
Meruru.... i didn't hate her... but i sure didn't like her.
every single line is either her whining or telling more interesting characters not to fight or being the dumbest person in this entire game...
she was a princess obsessed with the outside world and then alchemy and then who cares about developing her further, she's only getting more people into town cause if she doesn't then her dad wont let her be an alchemist.
even her bad end... she isn't mad at herself for failing.. .she's resting in bed bored that no one has given her a more direct goal... she doesn't think "not going to let that stop me from making this kingdom... erm... republic the best it can possibly be."
She is nowhere near as interesting as Totori... maybe the normal end or true end have her a bit more developed but that apathetic bad end didn't leave me feeling like "next time i'll do better so she doesn't have to feel sad"

Will i play again?
maybe? i technically don't feel like i beat it... yes i play through the entire game but i didn't win.... also when i realized i couldn't win i started making equips as stupidly powerful as i could manage in the little time i had left... so mentally i was telling myself this isn't over yet.
but i may take a glance at a guide to see the pace i'm supposed to be working at.... cause my pace was no good.
and yeah lots of MP and HP recovery... screw resting.

I did like the game, i really did but so far even with all the improvement i think i enjoyed Totori more.
Also i just heard today that we are going to get Rorona plus... so yeah i'll get to play the game that started off this trillogy.... and more sterk.... yay~

hopefully i get to play other gust games too in the future... may cave and get a ps3 if i can find it cheap. (i don't wanna spend too mcuh when i know i am getting a ps4 eventually)


So i originally 'beat' this game on May 6, it's May 10th now and i managed to get a proper ending.
not the ending i was hoping to get but i'll discuss why in a bit.

First somethings i noticed in my first play through that i completely forgot to mention
for the most part the music isn't terribly good.... but as you progress through the game some areas get better and better music with more orcestraition and it's a nice way to show growth over time.

Okay so i have a confession.
I didn't play much differently this time in comparison to my first time playing.
Instead i relied on massively overpowered equipment and a few basket upgared that i'm positive are the reason i beat the game this time... mainly the travellers shoes. the amount of time you save is key to actually winning the game. I did go back and forth less then my other play through but again thats cause i didn't take any damage while adventuring so i didn't have to go back.
but otherwise the only thing i did differently was get the homs to do almost all my work (except devs cause they can't do those)
my alchemy level was terrible but i was able to make it work in the end.

but i am still annoyed.
i was really close to getting true ending but i couldn't beat this final boss area which i'm pretty sure is nessicary both for points and items you get
so when i went for a different ending i failed in getting that... then i went for the hot-spring ending and i didn't have enough points.
in the end i got the rich nation ending which is okay but yeah thats was a lot of work.

i did manage to get 2 character endings... so that was pretty fun

all in all i still think Totori is better story wise but this game does some things pretty well
i do look forward to rorona in july even if it means i may need a new memory card.

i wanna trying playing muramasa rebirth again but i don't know if my wrist is ready for it... so yeah may be mostly talking about anime in the future.

anyways as you can tell it's a pretty quick game but what i would suggest is getting to a point where yo ucan make basket equips , make the shoes and secret bag an maybe the gloves and then get the bad ending and play from the begginning with those bonuses... it really did help.

Figure Photoshoot: Returning a name

so, we have established i like Natsume's book of friends a little too much
ok good..
so not too long ago (at least from writing this, it'll post two weeks later so... yeah) i saw a really nice figure of a pose i haven't seen Takashi do... well kinda.
there is another figure of him about to return a name but this is him actually giving it back with all the wind effects and whatnot.
and to make it that much more pretty his Kimono is red... which is my favorite colour if you couldn't tell

BTW Nintendo friend code: 2750-1325-2848
Vita friend thingy: Raichana (cause i'm super creative like that *sarcastic*)

But yeah i saw the preview and i knew i wanted this figure and then when i saw it for a decent price i scooped it right up.
and it was so worth it.... even with the terrible CAD to Yen conversion.

i just love the movement, the post, the pop of colour... this figure makes me watch to sculpt something. it's just so pretty (at least in my opinion but again we have established i like this show a little too much... making these post has made me wanna rewatch even though i just rewatched a month ago)

some detail shots~ I especially love the gold detailing on the Kimono, just makes me happy.

i did try taking a picture from the other angle but it just didn't look as nice as these ones.
but this next shot is my fav of the batch.
okay now i need to stop grinning like a fool.
next will either be mugs or a nendo... not sure yet. i do hope you enjoy these pictures (even though it really does show i enjoy this too much... oh well)

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Atelier Totori Plus: The Adventurer of Arland

I don't think it would have changed anything but i was so damn close to beating this one big bad boss and ugh... ran out of time.

But i'm getting ahead of myself.

So There is a sale going on to celebrate golden week and quite a few games i wanted to try were on the list.

I had played another gust game and even though i loved it to bits it was glitchy as hell and i worried the other hand held gust games would share it's fate.
Still there were two games in the same series there.
just cause i like shortening stupid long titles... i had to pick between Totori and Meruru.
i knew there was a third game in the series but ithasn't come out here on vita yet (though hopefully soon?)
i had no idea what order the games were in and one of my friends told me to get Meruru, he felt it was the better (or perhaps less stressful) of the two available titles.
so then i went to twitter and mentioned i was on the fence about it and @TaylorsShelf told me that if i were new to the series i would probably enjoy Totori more as it was his fav of the series.
I then mentioned that i kinda wanted to play them in order (which again... i didn't know) and he told me Totori was actually before meruru.
oh.... well don't i feel like a dummy.

So i got Totori (which the title always looked like sotori, i dunno the first t looks odd [nitpicking]) and started playing.
well... i started playing like.... an hour later, the problem with DL only titles (especially RPGs) is that they are really big and my connection is great for being wired... not so great for wifi.
so i played the other game i got... hurt my wrist a bit but bought time to start playing Totori.

and it was just a wave of happiness when i turned it on.
It had most of the stuff i remember loving from Mana Khemia. it had a similar look (well it's a bit more moe) and sound and just overall feel.
the alchemy was great (though some of my fav features from MK were not there) the story was good and the pace felt very natural.

It wasn't perfect, i hate to break it to you gust but breast do not jiggle like that... also some of the costume choices were just... odd... i dunno of anyone who would wear a translucent skirt. (theres quite a bit of... odd sexualization of characters but it's almost entirely limited to the still art, the extra loading screen image probably being the worst of what i saw [and you have to beat the game to see it], so if your uncomfortable with that then just be warned before you jump into the title.)
but if my biggest complaints are stupid visual crap then i am really grasping at straws.
well i do have another complaint.
that stupid timer.... why... why does it need to exist... MK had a timer too but... i dunno if felt more regimented so i never was freaking out on "am i doing the right thing? do i need to be triggering something else? why isn't sterk in my party yet" (he was easily my fav but you don't get the extension.)
ok one more complaint.
the combat...
but not the combat... more like... i would go into an area and be like "cool they look small and cute and i can probably win-- oh they are murdering me... damn... ok retreat!"
then i would go into a different area and it would be "oh no thats a pallet swap of the thing that murdered me..." so yeah i was really diligent about getting better weapons and armor but i never felt like i was getting stronger or accurately able to judge if an area was too tough.
so when i was facing evil smile and it was just.... not even funny how little damage i did to him cause i barely trained cause i hated fighting cause i couldn't find a good way to do it.... and besides the alchemy was more fun.

Still the story is basically Totori is the daughter of a great adventurer who vanished many years ago. she wants to follow in moms footsteps and even find her since she had to be alive somewhere.
this means becoming an adventurer, however Totori is fairly week and her only good point is that she is an alchemist. with help from friends she goes on her adventure.

now there are two... well i guess three time limits.
1. you have to not sleep through the day that you are supposed to leave down to get your license (i wanna restart the game just to see this with my own eyes...) but i wont realyl count it cause you would have to actually know to sleep through it.

2. once you get your permit you must hit a certain rank in 3 years. if you fail you get your license taken away and you get the bad ending.

3. after getting an extension you have to up your license again (though not really? looking at the conditions for the normal and true ending maybe that has nothing to do with anything anymore) and you also really need to start figuring out what happened to you mom, if you fail to do that in 2 years it's bad ending.

I ended up getting the normal ending and after looking at the requierments for the true ending.... i don't see how that would be possible without a guide.

but dammit i'm curious! the normal ending was fine but kinda lack luster... and i love to the big boss of the game with 3 days before games end so there was no way of getting strong enough in time.

The problem with me is that even if new glam plus is added (and it is though you only keep money and equipment) i almost never replay a game.
the only reason Ys is an exception is cause every time i replayed it was either part of the game or on a different system (ys 1&2 on ds vs Computer; ys3 on psp vs computer; ys origins cause you have to beat it three times so i guess that doesn't count)
i don't know why but when i'm done i wanna move on to the next thing in the pile. i don't know if this game is going to be any different... but i kinda want to try again... ugh i'm just conflicted cause i'm worried the true end (and subsequently the shop and chim and character ends) wont be worth it... i'm sure they will be.... but i did already buy meruru and i kinda wanna give it a try.

Still... in the end i love this game, it's extremly cute and bright and colourful and even though it has some darker moments it's pretty upbeat for an RPG.
there is a bit of randomness to the game which kinda sucks... you have to hope things will trigger and doing that without a guide is tricky.... i got very close to getting 1 character ending. but i died to the thing that would haveing given me the last event.
but you have to do that for 6 characters, 2 shops and the chims (which i never figured out how to make more of... i had water of life but yeah... only ever had the one) in order to get true end and yeah... unlikely that i will have that kind of patience. (because i am lazy)

Okay... i'm rambling cause i'm tired and it's getting late.
if you are curious about the game i say give it a try, the sale price is 20 bucks and after it goes back to 40 i still think it's worth it.
I personal had the most fun making weapons since it was just me going "how many status debuffs can i fit onto one piece of metal (well 5 is the max but you have to actually watch for things to be able to add everything you want) and at one point i actually managed to make Totori a tank, nothing did any damage, i lost effectiveness by games end but it was great while it lasted.
oh well, i'll probably starrt playing Meruru in the morning. *sighs* this is the problem with not working for the moment... too much time on my hands for video games... i feel so unproductive sometimes.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Saving Mr. Banks

stupid movie making me tear up in front of my family... there is nothing that i hate more then crying in front of others...

anyways the main thing i wanna mention is that i enjoyed the way the film was told.... but i found the story of how the book was pulled from real life events far more interesting then the making of the film adaptation. I find the idea of "writing what you know" to be a fascinating one especially when it's applied to a more fantastical setting.

Also listening to her read through the script.... it made my entire family cringe cause we all have read many scripts and some of us have even written a few.

The acting is wonderful but i mean when you have that many talented people it's impossible to go wrong.

my only issue is the portrayal of the writer of the book.... i'm sure in real life she was probably worse but wow... they do not make her very likeable. they try, they try really hard but she really does just come across as mean half the time.  so it makes the ending feel a bit... unresolved? it's hard to explain.

actually i do have one other issue but it's not with the film
The trailer gives away everything
the best lines
the major plot points

Please, if you ever make a trailer, don't give a point by point version of the plot... you want to have people be intrigued by what they see, you want them to want to know more.
if you tell them everything in a 2-5 minute trailer then they will just wait to see it cheaper cause 12-25 bucks to go to a movie theater (hell where i live they try to claim that 30+ per ticket just to have VIP seating and booze is worth it) is just too expensive.

Did i like the movie? Yep, not planning to watch it again but i enjoyed it.
If you like Mary Poppins or Disney in general then you'll probably find the story interesting (even if it's most likely romanticized) and you may even get a few laughs.

so yeah see it if you get the chance.