Monday, 23 October 2017

Bookish Adventure and Haul: Turtles All The Way Down unbagging and New Manga


People of the interwebs its been a LONG FLIPPING TIME since I wrote something about the main purpose of this blog aka BOOKS!!! Also say hi to the shiny RowReads title card!! It took a century and a half for me to realise I should make one for my bookchats.

Anyways I did something that I have not done in a while that was bought myself a YA book! I have not read a new YA book in over a year partly cause I've been preferring graphic novels and manga this days over reading YA but also cause there has not been many YA books that interest me and I don't have the time or energy to let myself read for pleasure lately due being burned out on gradschool work. 


Still there if there is one author (apart from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series) that I'll drop everything and read it will be JOHN GREEN! 

I flipping love John Green books and have every one of them, some in two languages (you know its dedication when you read a book in your second language loll) so when he announced he is finalfreakingly publishing a new book after fiveish I was so flipping happy as I miss the excitement and anticipation of reading a book from an author I know I'll enjoy.

 
So I took a little trip to Kinokuniya with my dad as I had a list of books I wanted to get as a little 'treat myself after passing a major and EXTREMELY HARD TO PASS professional paper exam' and my dad was nice to pay for TATWD while I paid for the mangas I gotten. 


One thing I have to do ever since getting into learning Japanese and getting into Otome/Manga/Anime is that every time I go to Kino I MUST snoop around the Japanese section at the back of the shop. This VISIT they finally set up the Fall 2017 Anime adaptations section! My fluency at Japanese is still at beginner level but I like looking around, immersing and familiarising myself as that's one way of learning a new language and was what I did as a kid when I was learning Bahasa Malaysia for school. 




Also if I had not already had a list of books to spend I'll have gotten THIS!!! AHHH A3! Fanbook!!! 

Its a game about musical stageplay and J-stage aka 'Butai' which has lately been one of my obsession thanks to The Royal Tutor Musical and TsukiSta. Like all the popular otome games there is a huge cast of popular voice actors but  they also included a number of popular 2.5D stage actors voicing the characete! I know this as one of the manga I hauled has one of the character VA/SA voicing a triangle obsess character (its a real thing in the game lolll)

I love this game! Its quiet new having to just launch earlier this yea. Its currently one of my favorite mobile games and its actually very popular here in the west as it is in Japan. Best of all with a quick look around on the interweb for a guide its really simple to understand the game play. Huhu I'll probably get it next time I have cash lolll. 






The Haul

So I went really ham this time with 3 mangas and one YA and even with my dad nicely paying for said YA its still a hella lotta $$$ but you know what... I have not gotten a lotta books recently thanks to exams and and i did pass an EXTREMELY HARD exam so guess what??? Time to TREAT MY SELF 😎😎😎



 The Royal Tutor Vol.3

The first thing I had to get was THIS!!!! AND LOOK!!! IT HAS LICTH ON THE COVER!!!!

I love the anime series and I just finished watch my recording of the stage play a few days ago. 

Its such a unique series and SO FREAKING UNDERRATED! I briefly talked about it in my Spring Anime First Impressions (HERE) and am planing on making a full review of the anime and manga but guys if you want an anime series to start with this is one of the anime/ manga series I'll recommend to beginners.   


Kiss Him, Not Me Vol.2


Please... Kiss Him, Not me 😜😜😜

I read the digital version of this manga on Crunchyroll months ago and its so freaking LOL good that I need to owe a physical copy. Unfortunately for an odd reason Vol. 1 is sold out and has been out of stock for months so I got Vol. 2 instead. 

First off if you like/is curious about boyxboy shipping/ BoysLove romance (like the trash who is typing out this post lolll 😎😜) and you're a fan of Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl YOU NEED TO READ THIS SERIES IN YOUR LIFE! Its probably a series I'll recommend to people who have already dipped their toes into otome/anime/manga and want to understand some otaku terms like 'fujoshi' or a 'doujinshi' etc this is the manga I'll recommend as there were so many things about the otaku life I didn't understand till I read this series. 

This is a reverse harem though what's different about this compare to the other is that there is also a girl included in the harem! Also what's intresting is that this series is very self aware and pokes fun on the genre similar similar to Ouran High School Host Club.

Bungo Stray Dogs Vol. 1 



I don't know much about this series except the fact that its a detective anime and that there is already 2 season for the anime plus a movie coming out soon. I mostly got it cause I've been curious about the series and the manga is localized by a local publisher. 

Purchasing this manga is my way of supporting the local publisher in hopes they will localized more manga series here in Malaysia. 

I'll read the first volume before getting my hands on the rest and maybe even in Bahasa if I really enjoy it as that's what I always did with series I enjoy like Kimi no Na wa when it was released here. I know some of you guys especially if you're Malaysian will be thinking 'this girl is nuts to read the same book in multiple languages' but for me I always have enjoyed reading in multiple language as it really helps with keeping in check with my fluency a language I spent a good chunk of my life mastering and also its fun seeing how what words they'll use in translation.




Turtles All The Way Down
Okay peeps here were have it!! A lovely hardcover of Turtles All The Way Down!!! I realise this is the first time I'm getting a John Green book in hardback xD



Sadly there is no more sign edition as I did get my copy a week after its been released.😢😢😢


According to the sticker its a 'Special Limited Edition Jacket Poster Cover' edition which is John Green Quotetastic heaven! If you are that type of goodreads nerd who love the poetic quotes you'll love the inside of the dust jacket cover! Also I hope you guys like this pic as its very hard to take a nice ascetic pic of the inside of the jacket cover especially the fact this was taken in my backyard while my nosy neighbors and their cats watching me curiously while munching popcorn joke they were not munching but stalking lolllll.  



Also I got this weird thingy that the cashier just chuck in saying its a freebie and at first glance I thought it was a ribbon for tying my hair lolll.



It turns out its a ribbon wristband and the metal thingy is to adjust the size so it won't fly away 😅😅😅 I don't think I'll use it as a bracelet as I'll still loose it! Maybe I'll just use it as a fancy ribbon bookmark??? Also on the outside it says 'Turtles All The Way Down' but the inside it says 'John Green Is Back!' and 'The Wait Is ver 10.10.17' lolll. Idk why they needed to write the 'he's back' part but okay.


And here's the naked book spine lolll. Its black as my soul lolll but still simple and classic. Also I'm wearing the wristband in this pic.


Also one thing I always love about Kinokuniya is how they always have the best presentation and display for new or hyped releases! There is a flipping wall displaying the book and outside (i didn't have a chance to take a pic of it) they put stickers on the display window promoting the book! 



Alright time for me to continue reading Turtles All The Way Down (and yes here's me and my fluffy face with the book trying not to look like a weird selfie obsess millennial while being judged by my neighbors and their cats 😊😊😊)! 

I'm going into this book with knowing as little as possible apart from the title. I didn't even let myself watch the vlogbrother vid where he read the first chapter. 

Till the next post!!!! 


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Tsukipro The Animation (ProAni) Episode 2: Friend Recap


 

Hello people of the interwebs!!! I'm super excited to talk about this episode not only cause I'm just Tsukino trash but also this episode features


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SOARA!!!!!!! YAYYYY!!!!! MY FAV TSUKIPRO GROUP!!! 

As always will be spoilers as I'll be blabbing my fangirl heart and wil make reference to both ProAni, TsukiAni and the other source materials like SNS short stories and Drama CDs. 

Episode 2
Episode 2: Friend focuses on SOARA's day to day life as they film a documentary to promote their band and the Tsukipro LIVE. Sora the band leader runs into a situation where he has to face his trouble past arises .



The Characters + Voice Acting


This episode introduces the SOARA a high school youth band that Sora formed or more like threw everyone into against their will lolllllll😅😂😅😂 in order to send off their third year senpais with a graduation song. Its part of the Alive series and is a friendly/brotherly rival to the unit Growth. They are also the only group that is NOT an idol unit in Tsukipro. 

Their songs are (along with the Alive series) on the lighter pop side and since most of the members are younger and their songs mostly about teenage/youth  problems. Some good IRL comparison are bands like 5SOS, Before You Exit and one that I used to listen to that reminds me SO MUCH of SOARA when I was in secondary school is Allstar Weekend (unfortunately AW disbanded when I went to uni 😢😢😢)

Personally watching the interaction and the bond between the SOARA guys reminds me of a band version of the Tsukiuta's Six Gravity guys.


Sora Ohara (CV:Toshiyuki Toyonaga) lead vocalist, guitarist and technically the leader of Soara (lolll you watch the episode you'll know what I meant). He's also the song writer and producer for the band. 

Sora was once a music prodigy and had a hit song while in middle school. However due to the pressure of meeting expectations he hit a wall and was unable to produce music. He grew distance from music but with the help and support from his friends and forming SOARA he was able to get over his fear and get back his love for music.



First off LOOK AT THAT SMILE!!!! HEART MELTING!!!

I adore this baka leader and he needs to be protected at all cause (hence why we have the bodyguard Papa Soshi and Mama Mori lolll). I adore his positive and happy go lucky personality especially at the start when he was getting pump and blushing all over the place in from of HajiShun over the news of the Tsukipro LIVE though he can be a little reckless like roping his friends into a band or as in the episode having an impromptu room/dorm tour 😂😂😂.


In a way of all the character the whole Tsukino series I relate to Sora's the most as I have a similar love for music, went through similar shit as him and also my room has a hella lotta crap lolll but not as crazy as his...  he has a lotta weird and crazy looking plushies 😅😅😅.

Also Sora being the producer and song writer of the band you can see his happy up beat and positive personality shine in his songs.




The reason why I was initially drawn to Sora's character was because of his voice actor Toshiyuki Toyonaga who is also Yuri from Yuri on Ice VA! (He's also Asahi in Free! Starting Days and if you like Sora you need to watch it as he's just as adorkable!) I really like his work as Yuri so after completing YOI I hunt around the interwebs for more of his work and the SOARA songs were what I first found! I really like how his VA voice the upbeat Sora as just his voice alone makes me smile.  Also, in a way if you like Yuri from Yuri on Ice you'll definitely love Sora as they are both almost similar in term of what they went though with the thing they love, Sora with music and Yuri with skating where in the end they learn they don't have to face their problems alone. His singing voice is also really good as it brings the song together and stands out the most in a good way since he is the lead vocalist.


Morihito Arihara (CV:YÅ«ki Ono) the guitarist , the real leader and vocalist of the band, initially in their earlier songs were duets between him and Sora. He's a big fan of Sora when they were younger (though not a crazy as Shun's obsession with Hajime) and was one of the friends who encouraged him to get back into music not knowing he will be roped into being in a band lolll .

Mori is such a sweetheart!!! He reminds me of a mix between Haru and Aoi from Tsukiuta where he's the megane book smart wikidude but is also the kind, gentle and protective 'mama' of the band. I like his interaction with Sora and Sosh as you can tell they are close . 

Heck his interaction with Soshi reminds me SO FLIPPING MUCH of Hajime and Haru in Tsukiuta minus the iron claw torture from Hajime lolll
 
As for his VA, what's interesting about Yuki Ono is that every time I see him in a anime/game he plays a totally different character so its cool to see him this time voicing a gentle character. 



Soshi Kagurazaka (CV:Furukawa Makoto) the drummer of the band and Sora's protector loll but seriously he is very protective of Sora. 

He's childhood friends with Sora (they've been going to the same school since elementary and currently they're attending the same university. Loll this reminds me so much of the tsukiuta middle group) and Ren (in Ren's case they're neighbors and is like Soshi's little brother). He's similar to Hajime from the Tsukiuta minus the 'iron craw'. He's the strong silent cool 'bad boy' looking dude and is the composed 'papa' or even older brother of the group who's always looking out for everyone. 

What I adore about him is his weird obsessions! Salt?!?! Castles?!?! loll he really does sounds like an old man 😂😂😂 Actually he IS like a wise old man as he's normally gives Sora advice and when he needs to firmly knock some sense into him.

Anyone want to hear the One Punch Man dude in a band?!?! loll Seriously that's the only anime I know Furukawa Makoto from other than the anime 'Golden Times'. Still I like his voice as Soshi though I don't really have much impression of singing voice since SOARA mostly focus on Sora and Mori. 


Ren Munakata (CV:Murata Taishi) the keyboard player of the band and one of the two younger members. 


Sweetheart number 2! Ren is like traditional Japanese Prince, that shy awkward kohai/little brother you want to spoil (or give him a pat on the head loll). He's also very serious but caring. His relationship with Soshi is like a big bro/little bro and when he calls him 'So-Nil' 😊😊😊 heart melting!!! Also his friendship with Nozumo since they were classmates in school and because of how different their personalities are he has to put up with Nozomu's troubles. 

I'm not that familiar with his VA so this is a first but I like how the VA voice Ren as the sweet supportive kohai/ little brother who really values his friends and the band. In anime Ren reminds me of a musical version of Nitori from Free! since they are both adorable silver head kohai who has to put up with their friend's shit 😂😅



Nozomu Nanase (CV:Sawashiro Chiharu) the 'CHARISMATIC BASSIST' 😝😂 and the trouble maker mood maker of the group. 

I adore this other baka so much!!!! He's similar to Sora but a super hyper version of him. Even so he's super observant and is the first to sense if something is off. 



In the anime he's the only one in the group who choose not to continue with Uni. Still its sweet seeing him seeing off his friends in the morning as they head off to classes.

Once again not that familiar with his VA but after watching the anime I'm off to the interwebs to see if his other works as the way he voice Nozomu cracks me up!  



Also something interesting is that in he anime they pin up his bangs as the initial character arts I saw of Nozomu, both he and Sora looks almost identical apart from the fact his hair is a darker shade and he's taller. I'm guessing they're trying to not confuse viewers like how I was confused when I first saw their concept art in Tsukipara lolll. It does not help that both characters are very similar


Story/Writing




This episode exceeded my expectations! SOARA is the unit I'm most familiar with so while most of the episode follows guys as college students while working as musicians as well as them prepping for the Tsukipro LIVE, I was hoping they'll touch on Sora's past  in the series which they did and they handled it in such a good, realistic and effective way! 

Its smart the way they introduce the band members and their day to day life by filming a documentary/ reality TV style show just as they mentioned in the previous episode. So I'm guessing something similar is gonna happen for Growth??? 
  

There are some moments where they freaking break the forth wall and is a call out to IRL like the website which yes its a legit website which you can visit HERE though keep in mind its in Japanese. They recreated the Tsukipro Ch 'counseling session' segment that the voice actors did IN REAL LIFE where they give advice to viewers! Lolll tipping my hat at Tsukino for adding that! 


Speaking of the 'counseling session' I found it funny that they added the 'scared of ghost' question as Sora has the weakest resistant to horror aka he gets scared very easily lolll!!! Its a real thing talked about on the ALIVE SS twitter (here) and the translations HERE if you're interested. Lolll poor Sora being bullied by his friends.

I was wondering if ProAni will have more reference/similar events to events in TsukiAni and YES IT DID!!!! I might have to call this section to the TsukiAni reference.
Wake up Call/Room Tour



I love the episode in TsukiAni when Koi and Aoi did the wake up call segment and was so happy to see Sora dragging Mori and Soshi around to film against their will lolll. There is a lot you can learn about a person just from their rooms.



Also Nozomo dude now many alarm clocks do you need 😅😅😅 hell do you even need alarm clocks if you're not gonna wake up 😂😂😂. Hell his room look like a hurricane hit it!!

School Flashback

I was so freaking happy to see the flashback! The flashback reminds me of You and Yoru's story in TsukiAni when they explored the time they drifted apart in middle school. 


This is great as I wanted to see an extended visual version of those moments but also for those who don't have a chance to listen to the Drama CD of if you're like me and is not fluent in Japanese to understand fully what's going in the CD, this was the perfect way to showcase Sora's back story and how the band was formed.


   


I especially love that moment Mori and the gang comforts Sora just as they are about the perform on stage. Its so sweet and it also shows the strong bond between the guys and how for Sora at the end of the day he's not alone as he as some great friends who are there to support him and face his fears. 


Also to note this moment of them calming and assuring Sora on stage did take place in the Drama CD and what the lines the guys said in the anime was almost exactly like in the drama!



Musical Bits

エリアル -ALIEL- OP


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I was super excited for this as the moment they drop the PV and had the band sing that little snippet I knew I will love this! Its a 'typical' Soara song that's light and happy and the singing among the members is well balance so you get a chance to hear everyone.

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Also something I recently learned was that they had a real band (and for the other units real dancers) motion capture for the MV according to the ProAni twitter (I learned this from Proani's twitter and on tumblr's at quell-tea-salon HERE) and IRL Yamaha instruments featured (lolll more produce placements). 


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Either way the the mocap is really good especially for Sora though I find Soshi's a little awkward when he's singing while drumming loll might be just me.


Also in case you guys don't know you can play the song on the Tsukpara app, the Rhythm game app though keep in mind its only available on the Japanese app store so you'll need a Japanese Itunes account (guide I used to make one HERE)

Friends - ED
  

This songs gave me so much feels! Its really sweet and nostalgic! It sounds more like a Tsukiuta's Yoru/John song which make sense as most of Tsukipro songs are composed and produced by the same composer that's John who btw is a musical genius! Look on the intewebs for his album under John Zeroness.

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I really like the animation here partly cause it show's Soara's element that is wind but also the meaning of the band name being a mash up of 'Sora' Sky and 'Aoi' Blue. 


I also appreciate seeing more clips of the guys in their high school days. 

Listening to this song, initially it sounds more like a graduation song that you'll sing with your friends before you leave your separate ways but watching the video its more like a song I'll listen to to remind me of the good times in high school loll. Unfortunately the full version will not be out till the DVD comes out so looks like its time to play the waiting game. 

Insert Song

They didn't go too ham on the insert song unlike the last episode but the one insert song added was well used. 

McGuffin/Makugafin (マクガフィン) - ALIVE Sono 3 Side.S (SOARA)




I did listen and play this song on TsukiPara but maybe its because my initial impression was that most of SOARA earlier songs sounds similar so I never bothered (I mostly like their later songs like Wonder Wand) but after seeing the lyrics translation as the song was playing I was like 'THE LYRICS IS GENIUS!!!'. Its a bittersweet song that sounds cheerful.

Maybe I'll have appreciate it sooner if I had taken the time to look for the lyric translation but the song was really fitting with the flashback scenes.

Interesting choice for the title 'McGuffin' which means a motivation tool, I noticed a hella lotta anime music/J-pop using really interesting English words that even I don't know for being a native speaker but its exciting seeing the title of a J-pop song and me running to the interwebs to look up the meaning! 


Overall



There's something comforting about watching this episode. I know I sound bias as I flipping love SOARA but for a really good reason! I love their warm friendship and the strong bond as well as the story of how the band came to be. The fact that listening to their song makes me happy is a bonus.
  

While the episode was fun seeing the guys everyday life, the serious side that is Sora's past hits home for me and also shed light towards the negative side of the internet and content creating that a lot of people don't see and is rarely covered in media as people only see the glory side. I was really surprised that they even showed this in the first SOARA episode but am really glad they did and also the way they tackled the was really well done in a positive and effective way. 

This part is gonna get personal so you don't have to read it but if you have the time I'll appreciate if you do. 

I felt so much feels as watching the flashback scene as what Sora went through reminds me of when I used to make youtube/booktube vidoes and how reading the comments was so discouraging (at one point I kept getting really negative comments, not about the video but on my looks, my accent and basically things not relevant to the video) that it affects me so badly that I ultimately stop posting videos youtube and got discourage from blogging here. It didn't help that around the time I stop posting I was badly cyber bullied at Uni. 
Those of you guys who are following my blogging madness aka this blogging marathon THAT I'M TRYING TO CATCH UP, you guys know I'm doing this to get back into the swing of blogging regularly. Blogging has always been the outlet I can geek out and share my thoughts on stuff I love with people on the interweb who might share the same interest as me since I don't have any IRL friends to share my hobbies and its not like its something I can talk to my parents about.

As I'm writing this blogpost, I'll be perfectly honest... I'm still freaking scared AF of the comments. Its sad as making youtube vidoes of me geeking out about books was once a fun outlet for me to share a hobby I loved but seeing the comments from faceless people on the interweb on the fact that people are telling me I look weird, i have a unibrow, i have flipping 'girl stash', I talk weird tanks to my slang ETC. it fucking hurts even as I'm writing this out! It made me really self conscious I was till I went and ask my mum if there is anything wrong with me. Also I know some of you guys in the comments will say 'no worries this things can be fixed' which guess what I did but I never fix some of this 'things' for them but for myself at my own will.

I'm now stronger and to be honest don't get affected (haha who am i kidding it still does and but not as bad as when I was younger). I always tell friends of who feel discouraged after they get a negative comment that if they feel uncomfortable just hit the delete and block button (its my best friend and what kept me sane!). 

I was lucky to have some good friends and seniors who help pull me out (of in my best friends case slap me with some well needed sense into me loll) of the situation to stop caring about what others think as well as stop self doubting, putting myself to my best potential.

I lost my love for blogging at one point though when I was not blogging I miss the fun of talking to a camera and writing out my thoughts to the interweb. Its why I blog even with all this self doubt in the air, even just to type the words out and hit that publish button for the interweb to see its therapy for me. It help me relieve and escape the shit of reality.

I love the interweb but as amazing as it is its also a very scary place. In a way I have to learn the hard way to not GIVE A FUCK about what other's think as long as at the end of the day deep down I know I'm a good person and I did my best at what I'm doing.

Okay people I'm done rambling! Gonna post this on the interwebs, grab a bag of cheese twisties and watch the next episode which is gonna feature Quell!!!  Boy am I excited as I just finished their routes in TsukiPara and its SO CUTE!!! I need to know more of this adorable family unit lolll

I also have been a bit off my posting schedule thanks to uni but AFTER I watch and write up this week's ProAni review I'm gonna get back into blogging scheduled to catch up!

Also one more thing I want to tell you awesome interweb people, for those who are still reading my rambles even though i said I'm done... for those who don't know I'm currently in Gradschool. I sat for my first paper a month ago and guess what... I FREAKING PASS!!! YAY!!! now I have four more papers to go!! Wish me luck and I'll do my best!!! 

Thanks to listening to my rambles

Till my next review