Part 1: anime we haven’t managed to continue

Hello. This is a post that has been sitting in the draft box for way too long and I decided to pick it up and finish it once and for all. Initially I thought this would be a great post to list which anime didn’t catch our attention and why. Then I had second thoughts – maybe it’ll be too harsh, maybe people will think we rant a lot, maybe I should keep it to myself, maybe we should just write positive posts.

One year later, after reading reviews for K Project and Durarara!, I’ve decided to just say what I want to say.

1. Hyouka – Bored indifferent boy joins Literary Club because his older sister asked him to. There he meets an ‘interesting’ girl. Reason: We found the main character interesting and relatable but the story was slow and confusing.

Pro: Nakamura Yuuichi as the main character. Possible second chance: yes.

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2. Durarara! – About some kids and a gang – or is it many gangs? – in Ikebukuro. Reason: Boring and confusing. We may actually be the only ones who didn’t enjoy Durarara even after sitting through half the season and rewatching it just in case we missed some quality content the first time. Apparently there are people who found the show just as ridiculous and boring as we did so it has me wondering how the other people who rated it 9 and 10 found this show ‘awesome’ or ‘the best show I’ve ever watched’.

Nothing seems to make sense even after so many episodes and the main characters (the pathetic school boy and his megane crush) are so boring omg. The attempts at making the story somehow link up to each other were poor and the texting scenes were the worst. Good luck trying to make sense of who is saying what or why they’re even sending messages to each other. No real villain shows up and we’re supposed to be satisfied with some missing girl as the beginning plot. Okay, you know what? There is no real plot throughout the 12 episodes we watched and there were 24 (!!) episodes… makes you wonder why other shows with potential don’t get new seasons or more episodes, jeez.

And I’m sorry but how is Izaya interesting?? He’s supposedly the anti-hero who likes psychological games, playing them on humans to see what they’re made of, and provoking Shizuo. God no. He was the most annoying character for me. Besides those kids and Izaya, there was Celty the headless biker in a Catwoman suit, Shizuo the bartender who enjoys getting violent over every little thing, Shinra the strange doctor who lives with Celty whom he supposedly kidnapped (man, I don’t even know), and the strange sushi man who apparently had some kind of role but we didn’t get that far so I can’t say how big his role became.

Overall, the story is slow, draggy and tries really hard to be dark, mysterious and futuristic, and the characters are horribly bland. Not even the catchy OP and ED could keep me watching or bump the score up for me.

It baffles me as to HOW Durarara!’s rating on MyAnimeList can be way higher than K’s. Did we watch the same show, people?!

Pro: -. Skye’s additional comment: Magic Mike is all I can say. Translation of her comment: slow and boring. Possible second chance: no.

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3. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha – Hero meets Demon King who turns out to be a woman. This story reminds us strongly of Spice and Wolf with similar concepts about a country’s economics and interesting characters. Reason: Kind of fell off the wagon and forgot about it. Does Maou’s boobs have to be so big and distracting? I mean, she’s not all about the body since she’s intelligent and tactical but yeah, they were distracting.

Pro: JunJun and Ami Koshimizu (who actually voiced Lawrence and Holo from Spice and Wolf). Possible second chance: yes.

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4. Sukitte Ii Na Yo – two words: aishiteru creep. Slice of life anime about a creepy boy, an emo girl and their high school romance. Reason: the first episode was actually convincing right up till the last minute when the boy suddenly confessed to the girl and kissed her outside the convenience store in front of the guy who had been following her. Yeah, that was REALLY weird.

Pro: T_T none because even Sakurai Takahiro’s voice can’t make the boy less creepy. Possible second chance: no.

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5. Inu x Boku – a girl moves into this Upper-East-Side-like apartment where she finds out that everyone is assigned their own bodyguard (?) and she gets one too. Reason: Boring and elements of ridiculousness.

Pro: Nakamura Yuuichi. Possible second chance: no.

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6. Servant x Service – slice of life anime about civil servants. Reason: dull characters, lame jokes and trying-too-hard feel. It has a similar concept as Working!! which Skye watched and enjoyed, which I watched and didn’t enjoy but it was a unanimous decision to stop watching Servant x Service. I feel like they could have done a better job with the plot since slice of life shows usually have a certain element that can make even mundane day-to-day life activities interesting.

Pro: Tatsun. Possible second chance: only if we run out of shows to watch.

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7. Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu – Kyon is a high school student who doesn’t believe in supernatural stuff but the girl in his class, Haruhi, is completely obsessed with the idea that the supernatural exist. Thus they form a club along with two others to investigate any kind of supernatural incidents should there be any reports of such things. Reason: it started out perfectly well – funny, witty and different – but suddenly it turned into a Disney love story mashup and we couldn’t make sense of it anymore. Maybe that’s the appeal of the show but I didn’t care for it. The purple-haired girl did the show in for me. What is she supposed to be? A robot? A supernatural creature? An alien? Oh wait, I think they said she’s an alien…

Oh, and you’re supposed to watch the episodes in a certain order because they’re not all lined up. O… k… a… y…

This story feels like Durarara!’s for me. Not in the sense that the stories or characters are similar but the fact that tons of people adore this show and Durarara! and furiously write elaborate reviews on how fantastic the show is and rewatch the show annually just because they love it sooo much… And I’m just sitting over here trying hard to think of some things I enjoyed about either show. One man’s meat sure is another man’s poison.

Pro: Sugita Tomokazu’s character, Kyon, is hilarious and the only one who’s got his head screwed on right. Possible second chance: no.

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So there. I have a part 2 of this post because we’ve watched SO many shows but I just didn’t realize until I started to compile this list.

Have you watched any of these? Which ones of these did you like or dislike? Any hyped-up shows that you found boring and worthy of dropping?

Raine
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My undying love for K: Missing Kings

The countdown is over. We just came back from watching K: Missing Kings. It was worth the wait, the money and the cinema experience.

k-missing kings logo

Thank you so much, Mom, for agreeing to pay that ridiculous amount for the tickets and for going along with our otaku madness. Thank you for dropping us off on a weekend when the malls are the most crowded and for dropping us off even though the car had a flat tire. I honestly thought we were going to have to walk to the mall haha.

[This post is 2500+ words long so feel free to scroll past if you’re not into anime]

If you haven’t watched it, the trailer for K: Missing Kings is here:

Prepare yourself for spoilers in this post. All the spoilers right below. Do not read if you haven’t watched it. Repeat: Do NOT. It will take the fun and joy out of watching it for the first time.

Here is what I wrote in March about what I hoped would be in K: Missing Kings. Let’s see how many of my dreams came true:

1. PLEASE LET MIKOTO BE IN THE MOVIE! – Check!
2. Let Anna be the new Red King!!! – Check!
3. Morita Masakazu as the new character Mishakuji Yukari?!?! – Check!
4. Can’t wait to see what Angela brings to the table music-wise. – Check!
5. It would be nice if Yata and Kusanagi get a bigger role! – Check!
6. I hate Fushimi for obvious reasons. I do not, however, hate manga Fushimi as he seems like a slightly better person. – By that I meant I hope his role isn’t ridiculously big. Check!
7. Let there be flashbacks so that we can see young Mikoto and Totsuka! – Check!
8. Somebody needs to make Awashima and Kusanagi kiss already. – Aww, no, but they had cute scenes all-round so I’m happy.

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K: Missing Kings Official Poster (which we took pictures with!!)

And now we arrive at my thoughts on K: Missing Kings. Here we go:

The beauty of the opening scenes was just captivating. After the 25-minute long recap of the first season which I thought was unnecessary, K Missing Kings had us from the get-go. It lived up to all the hype that was built up over the past year. You know how some movies just create so much hype that when it’s actually released and people go see it and it’s disappointing and people get crushed? Yeah, that. K did not do that. I fully expected it to go either way – disappointing or pleasantly surprising. It was neither. It was beautiful.

Outside the cinema, I asked Skye, what if it sucks? And she just said, it’s okay, just believe in K. Either way I think it will be satisfying enough for us. Thinking back, it seems kind of cheesy since it’s just a show but K IS NOT JUST A SHOW. -yandere in me rears its head-

We followed Gora, Tsuda Kenjirou, Morita Masakazu, K Anime and angela’s twitter last year so we’ve been keeping up with all the updates. Especially the 100 Days of K Visuals which is a one-picture-per-day countdown. I dunno who their marketing team members are but WELL DONE. The Twitter updates were great and kept us on our toes.

I LOVE that they didn’t waste any time at the start. They just introduced the new characters and kept the ball rolling till the end. There were basically no unnecessary scenes. How is that even possible right? I thought surely there’d be some unnecessary scenes – maybe annoying Fushimi scenes or some Ashinaka Academy scenes – but there were none. If you want to know the plot, Skye is writing that so wait for her post.

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Beautiful Mishakuji Yukari and Yatogami Kuroh

Yukari. What can I say about this beauty? He was just AMAZING. Who knew that he’d be one of those narcissistic beauty boys? He reminded me of Yumichika from Bleach because of his slight(?) obsession with beauty. That beautiful hair though. Love it. Don’t you just love it when pretty boy characters can fight well? Yah, because I do. Mishakuji Yukari, you have my heart. Well, actually Mikoto does but maybe you can share hahahah.

Anna as the new Red King. I was hoping that it would be true and it was. And it was a hundred times better than I imagined. Anna, we are so proud of you. You deserve to be the new Red King. The warmth of your red. The warmth of Mikoto’s red. Your powers. All of it. You read that right. Anna is a girl – a child even – but she is NOT a queen. She is a KING. Girl power all the way.

Wow, when her sword appeared in the sky. Such a powerful moment. What I love about Anna is her determination to not be a burden to others just because she’s a kid. She wants to be able to protect the others the same way they protect her. Thinking back, her words ‘I want to protect everyone’ carry so much meaning behind them because I think she wanted to protect Mikoto but didn’t know how to.

I also love that they showed her insecurities about herself and about becoming the new Red King. She was shown to be a stony kid in the first season with not many emotions or reactions and I think people got the wrong idea about her but hopefully they’ll see in this show that she’s more human than that.

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Munakata Reisi confronts Suoh Mikoto in season 1

Munakata made fewer appearances than I thought but every scene that he was in made so much sense. Especially near the ending when the Scepter 4 members saluted Anna as a welcoming of the new Red King and Munakata stood at the end, just waiting. And when Anna went up to him… it was the most awkward yet moving scene.

Like, there’s Munakata – the man who killed Mikoto to stop Mikoto’s Sword of Damocles from falling and creating a huge crater; he didn’t want to kill Mikoto but he had no choice if he wanted to protect the city and its people; he saw Mikoto as a friend even though they had clashing personalities; he wanted to save Mikoto but couldn’t get through to him.

Then there’s Anna – she loved Mikoto so incredibly much but knew that he was reaching his limit and she also knew that Mikoto wanted Munakata to be the one to kill him and there she is, standing in front of the man who killed Mikoto. Her conflict is clear – while she cannot be grateful for Munakata killing Mikoto, she is also not angry at Munakata for fulfilling Mikoto’s wishes.

Complicated. But Anna handled it like a champ. I’m glad that the Red and Blue Clan are on friendly terms with each other now.

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Clockwise from extreme right: Kusanagi Izumo, Yata Misaki, Kamamoto Rikio, Kushina Anna, Suoh Mikoto, Totsuka Tatara

I didn’t even think it was possible to bring in Mikoto and Totsuka without the story becoming ludicrous but Gora really blew me away with what they pulled off. It was just one of the rawest and most beautiful scenes in the show. I cried. I cannot even imagine a more appropriate scene in which Mikoto and Totsuka appear. They even had lines!!! And the scene just reflected the core of the Red Clan – the Red King, Mikoto; his serene and easygoing right-hand man, Totsuka, who balances his violent powers; and Anna, the princess that they love and care so much for.

Which is why I can say this: even though Mikoto and Totsuka had barely a few lines, it’s enough. It’s enough for me. I’m happy with how they left things with Mikoto and Totsuka. Wishful thinking though: it would be wonderful if somehow Mikoto and Totsuka could come back or maybe have more scenes in season 3 (maybe in Anna’s dreams again).

Kusanagi is also part of that core that I mentioned above but his purpose was shown in other scenes. He’s the wise and collected one – the one who reigns in Mikoto and Totsuka when they get out of hand. The other who has a steady head on his shoulders and doesn’t give in to whimsical desires or raging fits of anger (except where his bar is involved). I felt a bit sad for him after listening to the drama CD because HOMRA started out with the three of them (him, Mikoto and Totsuka) and now the only remaining founder is himself. How does he feel about that? His friends ‘abandoned’ him, you could say. Surely he must be hurting inside. But Kusanagi isn’t one to openly show his sadness and distress. I wish they showed some of his inner thoughts about Mikoto and Totsuka being gone.

I thought he closed the bar and left to go ‘find himself’ or something like that but yeah, we should have guessed that being Kusanagi, he would only want to move forwards and do what he had to do. He went to Germany! To Germany! What the heck? Haha, I thought that was a bit radical and independent of Kusanagi to go alone to dig up info about the Dresdan Slate. Ugh, Kusaji is the best. So cool and collected and charming. No wonder Seri likes him so much. ;] Can I ever get tired of listening to his Kyoto dialect?

Kamamoto as Anna’s protector brought heart-warming scenes. Haha, thin Kamamoto is not too bad. I thought I would hate him because honestly, roly poly Kamamoto is adorable so why change him into summer Kamamoto? His relationship with Yata was lovely as ever. About Yata – it was heartbreaking to listen to the drama CD in which Kusanagi announced that he was closing the bar and leaving on a trip, HOMRA was disbanding, Anna was going to stay with Kamamoto and Yata being angry at everyone for leaving. The way Yata expressed himself in the drama CD was emotional and quite the opposite of how Kusanagi reacted. Without Yata, I don’t think HOMRA would be the same. I’m glad they gave him a bigger role and made him go after Anna. Love Yata and his pride.

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Yatogami Kuroh and Neko

Kuroh. was. great. Kuroh is the star of the show, I think. Well, actually, I can’t decide because everyone’s role was equally important. But Kuroh fighting Yukari was important. Kuroh facing the guy that he once looked up to as his ‘older brother’, Kuroh facing the student who dared to point his sword at Ichigen-sama, Kuroh standing up for his new king and his beliefs, Kuroh wielding Ichigen-sama’s sword (Kotowari), Kuroh with his long flowing black hair, KUROH JUST AHSAKLFHDSFJSDLGJD!!!!! Stop, I love you, Kuroh.

Neko was surprisingly pleasant to watch. I didn’t quite like her in the prequel but she has won me over after watching Missing Kings. She was hilarious and I actually enjoy her interactions with Kuroh. Also, her protectiveness towards Anna <3.

Sorry but I may be the only one who is glad that Fushimi got fewer lines. He wasn’t nearly as annoying as he was in the first season but I still prefer to see less of him.

Moving on to the Green Clan, did the Green Clan’s ninja, Douhan, look like Alex from Kuroko no Basuke or what?!! I didn’t think that Yukari would be in the Green Clan or that he’d be that villainous. I honestly thought he’d come fight Kuroh but eventually join forces with Kuroh (no idea what inspired that thought). Surprise, surprise. And the parrot was an interesting twist… I thought it was Yukari’s pet.

k-seiyuu cast

TsudaKen (in pink), Komatsu Mikako, Sato Satomi, Horie Yui (in red), FukuJun, Namikawa Daisuke (in white), OnoD, Sakupyon (in red), angela (consisting of Atsuko and Katsu)

The music was A class. I mean, just when you think nothing can top the first season’s OST, we are introduced to even more amazing music. All the piano scores and sweet tracks… Anna’s song = tears of joy. Angela’s new song Different Colors is as refreshing as we expected it to be. They need to continue being the official K band.

Where do I even begin with the voice acting? Like Skye said in her K review, the seiyuus are the voice and soul of the characters. Morita Masakazu as Mishakuji Yukari was PERFECT. Sakurai Takahiro as Kusanagi Izumo just gets better. As with Fukuyama Jun as Yata Misaki who seems to really embody Yata’s personality. I may or may not be crying right now. Even if I’m not, know that I’m crying inside. Horie Yui, I LOVE you! You are the perfect Anna.

Also, Ono Daisuke deserves a paragraph of his own for his amazing voice. He voices Yatogami Kuroh and holy mackerel, he is PERFECT. That voice. I love it. I want to meet him one day and tell him that he has a beautiful voice.

And obviously you know I love Tsuda Kenjirou. I’ll just name the rest of the case because they deserve the credit: Tomokazu Sugita as Munakata Reisi, Sawashiro Miyuki as Awashima Seri, Miyano Mamoru as Fushimi Saruhiko, Nakamura Yuuichi as Kamamoto Rikio, Komatsu Mikako as Neko, Namikawa Daisuke as Isana Yashiro, Kaji Yuki as Totsuka Tatara.

k-scenery bridge

This is the sketch of the bridge to the Ashinaka Academy in season 1. It is already so gorgeously detailed. Can you imagine what the second season’s art looks like?

The art… THE ART… Stunning. My favorite scenes were of Yata’s room in the bar (it was inside the bar, right?). Bar HOMRA just gets better. The animation is one of the BEST I’ve seen. So much attention to detail, so many shades and colors, so many subtleties that add to the beauty of the scenes. The characters’ movements and the action scenes were so fluid, you would not believe it.

I especially love the revamped look of the Swords of Damocles. If I told you that MOST of the scenery is inspired by real places, would you believe me? Honestly I was shocked when I saw that the buildings and streets and views are all real places or inspired by real places. Animated, the real places look amazing!! Don’t believe me? Watch the trailer.

Why I love K Project so much can be summarized into one phrase – character-driven story. I can’t even decide who my favorite character is because they are all connected in some ways and their unique bonds are what form the base of the story.

All in all, things added up. Things made sense. All the elements -characters, story, art, music – combined to create a masterpiece. Some unanswered questions were answered but new questions arose with this new movie so that can only lead me to wonder if season 3 is in the works. I mean, dammit there were so many hints of more to come – Yukari saying ‘we’ll meet again’ to Kuroh, the mysteriousness surrounding the Green King who did not appear in the show, Kusanagi’s findings from Germany, Shiro’s words at the ending, Munakata at the special cut scene after the credits with his mysterious ‘the burden of slaying a king… I’ll accept it’.

When I walked out of the cinema, I was brimming with emotions. So many waves of emotions that I didn’t think I could put into words but here they are… some of them, at least. I’m still supercharged with a myriad of emotions towards K: Missing Kings. Now I’m just waiting for people to upload all the gifs and songs so that I can swim in all the loveliness that is K Project.tumblr_mifi364CyZ1r4hwp4o1_500

I applaud you, Gora and GoHands. You have outdone yourself and reignited my undying love for K Project. K Project is one of the reasons why anime has become such a big part of my identity. Not even a bunch of screaming hooligans can ruin the joy of being one of the first few to watch K Missing Kings.

My rating of K Missing Kings: 10/10. My rating of K Project (which I stand corrected): 10/10.

Kizuna, once again.

Raine
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A few things this mid-May

Hello. I know our blogging has slowed down somewhat but it doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped spending my free time wondering what to write about here. There are lots of stories from Vancouver to share with you guys but I never quite manage to begin and half the time I wonder if I even have a point to whatever I intend to write about.

Typical thoughts:

Okay I have pictures of food.

So what?

Uh, it was good/bad and we had it at so-and-so restaurant.

So…???

Uh, I don’t know. Are food posts supposed to have a point?

Dunno.

Or…

Oooh, great picture of the sunset.

So what?

It’s pretty and look at all the colors in the sky.

The story behind it is…?

Hmm I guess I don’t really have a story, I just snapped the picture while coming back from school one day and honestly I don’t even remember what happened at school on that specific day.

So there. HOW do people even do travel posts? HOW?

Moving on the other thoughts:

1. I had a REALLY weird dream last night involving my mom, my sister, Heather, Britt and Emma Roberts. No joke, you gals looked stunning in my dream. And then there were zombies. It started out as such a crazy zombie dream – we were in this building where the zombie outbreak started so we ran for the elevators where we rode it down to the first floor where we thought we’d run out and escape but then suddenly there were no more zombies, just really complacent oblivious people like those Axiom folks from Wall-E. And then we went to have doughnuts (I think) at some rooftop cafe though I have no idea how or why we ended up having a meal lol. I don’t remember the other parts of the dream (what a shame) but it was quite nice.

2. Skye finally finished reading Rurouni Kenshin (guys, take note, best manga ever) and I think she’s still kind of in that post-manga-mode where you feel detached from the real world and don’t really want to go back to it because you’d really rather be right there beside Kenshin and Sano and Kaoru and Yahiko and Aoshi and Saito because their story is amazing and they are amazing.

We’re going to start on Donten ni Warau because….. I don’t know.

3. I’ve been trying to embrace a lot of things about myself lately. I didn’t really think of myself who likes to live in the past but these few days I’ve been catching myself reminiscing a lot about the past. Does that mean I’m living in the past? I’ve just been wondering where the old me has gone. Is anyone sick of me saying that? Because I’m not. I’m just constantly trying to find that part of me that used to be fun and adventurous and full of spunk. But I don’t know where to start. Things have changed since I was 17, I’m just realizing that now. I have changed.

I’m 20. Yes, reality has slapped me coldly across the face ever since I stepped out of high school. You never really feel like there’s a barrier between the real world and your own world until school is over and you find yourself not really sure of what to do with your life. I mean I’m going to college but that’s kind of like the small picture. What’s the big picture? What do I see myself doing? I don’t know.

I’ve also been reading diary entries from a couple of years ago when I was still in school. Ignorance truly was bliss during those teenage years. Now ignorance is foolish. Maybe that’s also what’s contributing to my reminiscing. I look back and laugh at the things that used to be ‘stressful’ and ‘troublesome’ like falling out with friends and unfinished homework and exams and not getting to go out. But that’s just all part of growing up, right?

Ah, what is growing up, really? The world isn’t nice. I know, I know. A lot of you may disagree and say, that’s not true, it’s just the way you view things. But you know what, if the world really was full of niceness, why the hell are there wars and disputes and racism and sexism and jealousy and all kinds of inequalities? Sure, there are nice people, I believe that, and it would nice to think that the world is nice but honestly, the not-so-nice people outweigh the nice folks.

4. Anyway… so… it’s Sunday. Just one of those sluggish days when you don’t really feel like doing anything… at… all… But that’s what I’ve been feeling recently. It’s like I’m being beckoned to snooze… for hours but at the same time, my mind is going, nuh-uh get stuff done!!!!!!!!!!! You tell me who wins.

5. I need lists. I need to make lists and actually manage to cross off stuff on those lists.

And that is all, apparently. I thought I had more stuff to say but nope. Well then. Know that I’m still reading your blogs even if I don’t comment (why don’t I comment???).

Raine
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Why sleeves were invented; things that move me to tears

This post idea came up while listening to a track off the Rurouni Kenshin album. I was just so overwhelmed by nostalgia, specifically the memories of both of us watching RRK every single freaking day non-stop (think 6/7 episodes back-to-back between lunch and dinner), and it almost made me cry for no reason. Okay, so the reason is that those days were so blissful and I wish I could relive them for even just a short while. But we all have those days and moments, don’t we?

Anyway, I also thought about something else that made me want to bawl my eyes out and thus this post was created. I’m a sentimental person who does NOT need tissue paper when watching a sad movie because my sleeves and pillow work just fine for absorbing tears. Ewww. I’m not kidding. Here are some things – some general, some specific – in no particular order that make me cry.

FrozenFrozen – No joke, I cried from start to end. The whole concept of a bond between sisters struck a chord inside of me and I basically just bawled throughout most of the show. Except of course when those rock thingies were singing and the snowman was doing his happy dance. I listened to Kristen Bell sing ‘Do You Wanna Build a Snowman’ live the other day and I just wanted to cry my eyes out. But I didn’t because Skye was sitting beside me and even though she wouldn’t have laughed at me because basically nowadays I cry openly when watching sad parts of a movie, I would have been embarrassed anyway.

Ratatouille – Well snap, I think this made us all cry. I cried in the cinema while watching Ratatouille and cried while watching it at home for the second time. My mom and I were just a pile of sobbing messes though she probably doesn’t remember this haha.

Rom-coms and Disney movies – Just yes. I can’t just name one rom-com or Disney movie. All those weepy romantic parts? Yes. Oh, I definitely cried loads while watching The Terminal and even more while watching Waitress. Tarzan? I cried. Tangled? Yes. Peter Pan? Yes. Mulan? Yes. Hercules? Yes. Okay. You name it.

Reading or watching animal stories, sad and touching alike – I refuse to read stories about animals rescuing their owners or waiting by their injured owners sides or animal accident stories in public because I’ll probably be a hot mess and nobody wants to see that! Or, you know, they might ask me what’s wrong and I’ll show the article to them and we’d all be hot crying messes.

harry-potter-booksBooks – Let me be honest. When I first cried after reading a sad part in a book, I thought something must be wrong with me. I was like, come on, it’s a book. But what the hell was I even thinking when I thought that? It’s not just a book. It’s a story and it touches my very core and those tears are valid.

I think I cried bucketfuls when I read the part where Sirius died (in Harry Potter, if you didn’t get that reference; shame on you for not getting it – no, I’m kidding, I’m not judging). Oh, and more bucketfuls when Lupin and Fred died. Sirius and Lupin are my favorite Harry Potter characters, by the way.

Rurouni_Kenshin_v28_000_CoverRurouni Kenshin manga – Oh dear me, I didn’t think a manga would make me tear up. I relate to Nobuhiro Watsuki on so many levels and when I read RRK, it felt like I was reading my own thoughts. The principles and values found in Rurouni Kenshin are things that are important to me and things I didn’t know someone else could feel and describe so well. Rurouni Kenshin is definitely one of those stories I wish I’d written but I’m happy Nobuhiro Watsuki wrote it because he’s brilliant.

Natsume YuujinchouNatsume Yuujinchou manga and anime – Like Frozen, I cried throughout most of the manga. At every chapter end, I was sobbing into my pillow. Is it even possible to write chapter after chapter of deeply moving stories? Yes. The simplicity and beauty of Natsume Yuujinchou is what makes this one of my all-time favorite mangas AND anime. There’s nothing complex about the stories but the central theme of someone being caught between two worlds and trying to find a place between both worlds is crafted so well by the mangaka that you can’t help but relate to everything Natsume feels. Every character plays a role in shaping Natsume’s life and helping him understand where he belongs. Just, hands down, amazing.

Looking through a photo album – All.the.memories.

Why sleeves were invented

And I don’t know about you but sometimes when I’m really happy, I feel like crying. I guess that’s what they call tears of joy??

Seriously, just writing this post is making me close to tears. I need to stop right here.

Are you the kind of person who cries during sad parts in movies or are you one of those tough folks who just doesn’t? What moves you to the verge of tears?

Raine
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I really enjoyed Kuroko no Basuke and you will read more about it later

What can I say, really? I just finished watching Kuroko no Basuke today and the verdict: Kuroko no Basuke is amazing. I was completely charmed by it. I was sucked into a world of basketball for 25 episodes and loved every minute of it. I am excited to dive into season 2 but Skye, who dropped out after the first episode, said that she wants to watch it as well (YOSHHH!) so I guess I’ll wait for her and watch it again with her.

Anyway, this isn’t a review but I thought I’d post some pictures to satisfy my need to burst out KUROKO NO BASUKE WAS AWESOME to everyone. I’m also going through a post-TV show/movie withdrawal phase where I just want to read up on EVERYTHING Kuroko and not do anything else.

My favorite characters are Kise, Midorima (strangely), Takao, Teppei, Kuroko and Kagami.

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Clockwise from the top left: Midorima Shintarou, Murasakibara something, Kise Ryota, Aomine Daiki, Kuroko Tetsuya, Akashi something

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Kise and Kasamatsu

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Kise and Kuroko

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Takao and Midorima

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Kagami and Kuroko

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Kuroko and Aomine

If you have watched/are watching Kuroko no Basuke, please leave a comment and tell me what you think. Share your enthusiasm with me! Agree with me that Kise is adorbs. Or tell me what you thought could have been better. Most of all, tell me who your favorite character is!

In other anime-related stuff, Skye’s review of Psycho Pass is out. Please read it. You can read mine here if you like. If you’re wondering how you can be an otaku like us, Skye wrote a brilliant post here.

Kay, that’s it. Have fun.

Raine
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Cool finds at the Asian supermarket

What’s up, y’all? Today I have one of our most Asian posts to date. What does that even mean right? I’mma let you figure that out on your own.

Yeah, that’s kind of my secret way of saying we went crazy in T&T which is an Asian supermarket if you didn’t know.
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Here is one of my favorite finds so far! BBQ pork buns. If you haven’t tried one before, you really should. It’s a dim sum staple and it’s really delicious!! It’s usually served fresh and warm when you order it at a dim sum place and that’s the way to eat it but we haven’t found a dim sum place yet so you can only imagine my excitement when I saw this.

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Chili sauce!! This is about the only thing missing in US stores. WHY is there no chili sauce anywhere in the US? Chili sauce (chilli anything, to be honest) is vital and not selling any is baffling. The spicier, the better. Please don’t tell me that there is chilli in Chinese restaurants because that seedy black ‘chili’ paste that they serve in places like PF Changs is a really sad imitation of actual chili.

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This was by far our  best purchase from Week 1 of shopping. Not the granola bars – I just happened to take this picture with them – but the Bin-Bin Rice Crackers. They sell this back home and we used to eat it pretty often when we were kids so we were ecstatic when we saw this sitting on the shelves… with an in-store discount! Can you say winning? We grabbed only one pack and wished that we had bought more so when we went back last week, we got two jumbo packs.

Ahaha how obsessed are we with these rice crackers?! These crackers also come in different shapes and flavors now. I mean, seriously, they have seaweed flavored ones! So good!

Okay, there were loads more other goodies that we found like the dim sum section (we will try it one of these days!!), flat rice noodles (I’m crying with joy behind the screen, haha), curry (who can live without curry???), miso soup packets, a bajillion sauces and other awesome biscuits that I’m sure you haven’t tried but will love.

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Also, Skye and I have decided to have a mini-challenge known as the ‘Found Nyanko’ challenge. If you follow Matchbox 20 (great band, love their music) on Twitter, you’ll see that they occasionally have tweets with the hashtag #found20 where people tag pictures with the number 20 that they stumble upon randomly. Could be a platform number or a scrawl on the bathroom wall or 20 cents.

So yeah, since Skye and I are pretty much obsessed in love with Natsume Yuujinchou (only a 10/10 anime) and Nyanko-sensei has got to be the cutest, roundest, most snarky maneki-neko, we decided that we’re going to look for maneki-nekos everywhere. Just for fun.

zr1

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Part 2: My love for K Project

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L-R: Kamamoto; Anna; Kusanagi; Mikoto; Totsuka; Yata; Bandou

Following up from part 1 of my review of K Project…

Characters: 10/10. My favorite characters are the members of HOMRA but if I have to be specific which I will, I have to say I LOVE Kuroh, Mikoto, Totsuka, Yata, Kusanagi, Anna, Shiro and Neko. Why I love Kuroh: his love and respect for his master/adopted father Ichigen-sama reminds me of Misao + Aoshi (from Ruroken) and Kondou + Souji’s (from Hakuouki) relationship. Other reasons why I love Kuroh: he’s much more mature than his age which is why he makes so much sense and is so responsible; he’s a wonderful homemaker (check out those meals he made for Shiro); he looks like the younger version of Hijikata from Hakuouki; his shoes; his clothes; his embarrassed look when he sees Neko’s ‘indecency’; his principles.

Mikoto. Who woulda thought that I would adore Mikoto? His personality is one of a kind. He is portrayed as bored and indifferent and you might think, what a dull character but your assessment is incorrect because if you read the novel and manga, you’ll see why he is the way he is. Also, he’s got quite a few more lines in the manga and novel, and his better side really shines through. You can tell by the way he treats Anna that both of them have a beautiful relationship. Other reasons why Mikoto is awesome: he.is.so.badass; that shock of red hair; the way he secretly wants to be bffs with Munakata.

Totsuka. Everyone loves an easygoing guy with a good general disposition. In K Project, Totsuka is everyone’s friend. He’s unkind to no one, is passionately curious and has a way of making everyone feel better about tight situations or bad days. He has known Kusanagi and Mikoto since their school days and Mikoto is affectionately nicknamed King by him. His story is beautiful and sad and [spoiler ahead] I wish they didn’t kill him off.

Yata is quick-tempered but loyal, impatient but sweet, and always ready to engage in a fight with Fushimi. Kusanagi who is best friends with Mikoto and Totsuka is another favorite of mine. An interesting man with a Kyoto dialect who is cultured, knowledgeable and generally good-natured unless someone messes with his beloved Bar Homra. Anna, the only girl and youngest member of Homra and a Strain, has a personality similar to Mikoto’s which is why both of them get along so well. You can read the story of how she joined them in the novel K: Red Side.

Oh, then there’s Shiro, the main character of K, who is one of the softest and most easygoing guys I’ve ever seen in an anime. His personality may seem similar to Totsuka’s but there are differences here and there so I wouldn’t say that they’re the same. I love Shiro’s parasol, his cute hairstyle and the way he rolls up his pants. Neko is adorable. I’m not a cat person but I think Neko in cat form is so freaking cute.

While I’m not too fond of the Blue Clansmen, I do find Munakata interesting and Akiyama adorable. Who’s your favorite character?!

I don’t think K Project has been labeled as an anime with bishie* characters but to me, they’re all bishies! <3

Sound: 10/10. Brilliant. Just absolutely brilliant. On par with Rurouni Kenshin’s soundtracks. They even included some rapping that suits Homra’s ‘gang’ theme perfectly. I’m just sad that they’re slowly taking down the songs off Youtube. Why?! Why do you do this? Sure, Youtube, deprive people of what good music actually sounds like.

The instrumental music is perfectly composed and the character image songs could not fit the characters better. I don’t know how accurate the Japanese to English lyrics translations are but if they are accurate then I applaud the lyric artists. Each character’s personality is reflected in the song and if character depth is your thing like it is mine, you’ll definitely want to look up the lyrics. My favorite character songs: Circle of Friends by Kaji Yuuki, Wild Crow by Fukuyama Jun and Tale of the Black Dog by Daisuke Ono.

I’ve grown to love the opening theme – Kings by Angela – even though in the beginning I used to skip it. I thought it was a bit too loud and rocker-ish but now I actually enjoy it. The ending theme is not really my cup of tea so I can’t say much about it.

And here’s the thing: the music is so good that we even listen to Fushimi’s song even though he is our least favorite character. He’s hateful, his voice is annoying and he should have way less screen time but his character song is not that bad. If I could, I would review the music but I don’t think I would do it justice since my knowledge of music and tempo and whatnot is kinda limited, haha.

Moving on to the voice acting. You want me to mention a few of the voice actors? Sure, why not? Daisuke Ono as Kuroh – amazing. You may know him as Erwin Smith from Shingeki No Kyojin, Sato from Working! or Shizuo from Durarara!. Fukuyama Jun as Yata – amazing. Omgah, I love Fukuyama Jun *_* You may know him as Takishima Kei from Special A, Lawrence from Spice and Wolf or Kimihiro from xxxHolic. Kaji Yuuki as Totsuka – amazing. Also Eren Jaeger from Attack on Titan or Alibaba from Magi.

Tsuda Kenjirou as Mikoto. We only know him as Kazama from Hakuouki. We really didn’t like him as Kazama and kind of booed the idea of him voicing one of the characters in K Project but after watching K, we humbly retract our misjudgment. His voice suits Mikoto’s indifference better than the ‘romantic villain’ in Hakuouki. Who knows, we might stumble upon another character in another show voiced by Tsuda-san and like it?

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L-R: Kuroh; Shiro; Neko

Art: 10/10. Have you even seen their artbook? Ridiculously detailed and the imagination is first class. What I like about their official art is that it’s similar to the anime art, unlike Hakuouki’s official art. I wonder how much time the creators put into creating the bridge and high school island. Okay, what about Bar Homra’s design?! You can’t get better than that. Rhetoric statement so please don’t go listing down every other show with gorgeous art.

The clothes suit each character and everyone has a unique hairstyle (except maybe for Munakata and Fushimi’s similar hairstyle). Check Mikoto’s hair out, y’all. And look at Kuroh with all that long black hair like Hijikata. Um, yeah, that’s swagger right there.

Overall: 9.5/10. Would it be cheesy of me to put 9.8/10? Probably, so yeah we’ll leave it at 9.5. I would definitely watch K Project again and it is now one of my favorite animes yet. It’s not an airy show with little gist or a ridiculous plot. I think what makes this show a winner for me is that it’s character-driven rather than plot-driven. I am constantly fascinated by people and their personalities and if you’re like that too, I’m quite sure you’ll enjoy K Project.

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Bonus: Please watch the radio dramas after you’re done with the anime. They are hilarious and give you more insight into each character’s life. My favorite is Stuck featuring Fushimi, Anna and Mikoto. I’ve watched it 5 times now.

Personally, I loved the manga and the novel and I am so glad I read both. To fully appreciate K and its blend of characters, you should read the manga and novel. I didn’t read the Blue Clan’s story but maybe I will. Yes, I read the translated versions. If the translators of the novel are reading this, you should know that I appreciate your hard work and amazing effort to share K’s story with the rest of us who can’t read Japanese. Also, if I’m not asking for too much, would someone please send me the link of the K Project seiyuu event on May 26 this year?! With subtitles, thank you!

Oh, there’s supposedly a movie sequel coming out next year [cue freak-out moment and squeals of joy]! PLEASE let it be true and please bring all the characters back (if you read the spoiler above, you’ll know who I mean). I would love to say that I expect it to be kickass but you know how sequels can disappoint so let’s just leave it at this.

Anyway, I think I’ve written enough. Okay, I don’t think I have but I don’t want to bore you to tears with all my anime-lovin’. I hope my review is thorough enough. Let me know what you think of K Project in the comments. If you agree that K Project is awesome, tell me which part of my post you agree with most. If you think it sucks, why? If you’ve never watched, just look at the pictures and pick one character you think you would like and let me know. That would be interesting, right?

Thanks for reading!

zr1

*Bishie is short for bishoujo (good-looking women) or bishounen (good-looking men).

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