Thursday, August 29, 2013

ANIME: Brief Opinions and Reviews 01

Shingeki no Kyojin  














English title: Attack on Titan; lit. "Advancing Giants"
Release date: April, 2013
Creator: Isayama, Hajime (Manga, 2009)
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Dystopia, Fantasy

Story: In a world where giant beings called titans dominate the lands, Humans are forced to barricade themselves within giant walls for protection against the titans' wrath.  A hundred years later, the walls are breached by an enormous titan thus sealing the fate of a young boy named Eren Yeager who vows to kill all titans and wipe them out of existence.

Review: This is one of those anime where I didn't think I would like it at all and then it won me over.  The story draws you in slowly and then takes a firm grip with all its excitement and brutal glory.  There's this raw feeling of vulnerability that's brought to life when one takes a giant, man-eating titan and puts it up against a tiny Human.

I really appreciate the scenarios that bring up great emotions of terror, fear, and helplessness.  These are feelings that I think a lot of anime tend to stray away from and it's a shame because it's such an important Human emotion!  I love how this show focuses on expressing these feelings through the characters and how they overcome it.

The animation is gorgeous and has unique character designs with dark and defined outlines, giving it a more comic-like feel.  Some of the action scenes of people flying around through the city with their 3D maneuver gear is astounding and an impressive use of space and perspective.


Recorder to Randoseru  













English title: Recorder and Randsell
Release date: January, 2012
Creator: Higashiya, Meme (Manga, 2007)
Genre: Slice-of-life, Comedy

Story: Siblings Miyagawa Atsushi and Atsumi spend their daily lives filled with hilarious misunderstandings and blunders because of their mismatched appearances; Atsushi looks like a full grown adult yet he's still in grade school while Atsumi looks like an elementary school kid when she's actually in high school.

Review: The idea of a man-boy that's still in grade school is unbelievable and yet I have to know what goes down in this situation.  It's easy to watch this series as it won't take up much of your time.  At first I thought I was watching a bad stream of this anime because it was so short.  Each episode is only 3 minutes long so one season would take only 40 minutes to complete (excluding 'special' episodes).

This anime is mostly for a good laugh although the animation is quite nice for only three minutes.  There are some ecchi undertones but nothing too extreme.


Durarara!!
 










Release date: January, 2010
Creator: Narita, Ryohgo (Light Novel, 2004)
Genre: Psychological, Mystery, Supernatural, Action, Drama

Story:  Ryuugamine Mikado moves to Ikebukuro, Tokyo in hopes of living a more exciting life when he's invited by his friend Kida Masaomi.  The story is told through various characters' perspectives and how their lives are all connected.

Review: Durarara!! is great fun and takes a person all over Ikebukuro, Tokyo.  I like how all the characters are connected in some way.  It sort of makes me branch out and think about people who could be connected to my own life.

I haven't gotten too far in the series but I do know it's definitely a psychological anime that makes one think out of the box.  There's also a subliminal mystery behind everything that keeps me wanting more.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Summer fashion trends 2013

Hi hi!  I'm back again and as promised, I'll be writing about some fashion trends that I've observed this year.  :3

I'm sorry if this is kind of a let down for readers with the irony of me writing about summer fashion trends at the very end of the summer.  We can all blame it on my procrastinating nature. xD

Oh well, at least we'll be somewhat prepared for next year.  The summer fashion this year was very nice and I have a feeling that there won't be any drastic changes for next year.

There were a lot of different types of clothing brought to light this summer and I'll be talking about each different type and how they appear to be worn.

Disclaimer: All images are from tumblr.


Bandeau & Bustier Tops

Bustier tops

If one doesn't mind showing off a little bit of belly, these tops are super comfy for the summertime.  They're minimal, stylish, and a great way to keep cool.  They can be worn under a sheer tank top, shirt, or alone with a skirt, shorts, or a nice pair of skinny jeans.

 Bustier top paired with a skirt.  It's an interesting mix of sexy and classy with partial waist being exposed.

Girl wearing a lacy bandeau.  The outfit can be spiced up with a matching black hat, accessories, and/or jacket.

Bustier tops with straps have the advantage of extra support.

 
Bustier top matched with high-waist jeans shorts.  Note: This is a good example of covering up the waist area with a high-waist bottom piece.


Maxi Skirts


So personally, I'm not a big fan of this one, mostly because I'm short.  xP  Besides all of that, maxi skirts have been extremely popular this summer with many different styles and types of fabrics (the sheer maxi skirt appears to prevail because of its airy quality).  I'm sure short people could work the maxi skirt as long as it's well fitted.  It seems like most girls who wore these wore them higher on the waist with a variety of top pieces.

A classic red and black combo.

Combined with a bustier top.

If the maxi skirt is very sheer, one could wear a skirt slip underneath.

Black and white, always inseparable.


Mullet Skirt / Dress


The mullet skirt/dress is a nifty new style that has been showing its face more often, especially this summer.  It's a great design because it gives the wearer the advantage of wearing a short skirt that lengthens the legs while retaining a very classy appearance; the trick is the longer backside of the skirt that safely covers the derriere.  There's also a beautiful flowly effect that some of these skirts/dresses can give, depending on how well the skirt transitions from long to short.

This can be worn like any other skirt but it seems to work best with a heeled shoe, possibly because of its highly classy appearance and the way it attempts to lengthen the legs.  In order to retain continuity, heeled shoes generally look best when paired with it.

Mullet dress

Mullet skirt paired with a beige tank and belt accessory.


High-Waist Shorts & Skirts


This is a phenomenon that I've been noticing a lot these days, at least for shorts and skirts.  Girls seem to be wearing them higher on the waist.  This trend is probably making a comeback from some distant time period from the past since it seems so familiar and simple.  I really like this look and I feel like it gives the illusion of longer legs and a bigger bootay.  xD

White lacy top paired with loose fitted denim shorts.  The brown belt is a nice touch.

 Notice again the shorts or skirt is worn higher on the waist with an accent belt to pull everything back in.

Cool military button styled shorts.

A well done contrast effect.

If a person is going to do a loose piece/tight piece combo, it's generally more flattering to keep it 'either or'.  Either the top is loose fitted and the bottom is tight fitted or vice verse.

Besides the trends, everything else seemed like typical 'summer-wear' such as tanks, loose shirts over bikini tops, sun dresses, and shorts.  

I hope this post was helpful to anyone confused about how to dress stylishly during the hot summer months.  I have big issues with finding flattering things to wear during the summertime because it's just so hot and uncomfortable and I tend to want to wear a simple T-shirt and shorts (which is fine but it's nice to dress pretty and feel good about oneself too!). 

Besides the clothing, keep in mind that accessories can also make the outfit.  If an outfit seems dull, it's a good idea to glam it up with a statement piece (which is basically a big, flashy-looking necklace, earrings, bracelet, ring, headband, or whatever else constitutes as an accessory.  

Good luck with your summer fashion!  image

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Eating out a lot & a tiny bit of stupid drama

My face was soooo puffy today... xD
I really shouldn't have drank that miso soup last night...

I usually update my instagram a lot when it concerns food so if anyone bothered looking on there, they would know that we had take-out Japanese bento boxes yesterday.  ^^  And they gave us a LOT of miso soup (3 containers that held about 2 1/2 cups each)!  I couldn't help it... the soup was soooo good and I ended up drinking a whole container. ( ~ . ~ )

Speaking of instagram, does anyone else have this experience of following a friend/family on instagram and for so long, they never notice your existence and when you for whatever reason, un-follow them, then they take notice and follow you back?  Seriously... wth?  Coincidence much?  Do they like me more now that I'm playing hard to get?   tuzki11  I'll never understand.

**And update!  So this cousin of mine follows, then un-follows in the same day.  Initially, I don't know what to think.  This is slightly more 'personal' since it involves family.  I guess I get somewhat annoyed, generally speaking, when people follow others and then 'seem to' expect the other person to follow back while if they don't, they un-follow them.

Imho, I follow people because I like their pictures and maybe they might be a family or friend which is kind of in a whole different category.  She's like a cousin but I haven't seen her in years.  Thing is, I find it super strange that once I decided to un-follow her after being one of her followers for a good year (and just a FYI, I decided to un-follow because she mostly posted pics of her and her friends whom I've never met so yeah, feeling stalker-ish here..) only then she decides to follow my page and yet she un-follows within the same day.  It's kind of insulting in a way but whatevs.  I feel like, "what do you take me for?  I've been following you for a whole year and I even followed another cousin (who's really close with her and I haven't seen in years as well) and she followed me back right away!"  If anyone else has opinions about this, I'd love to hear it!

Btw, sorry, for this stupid instagram drama interlude but frick! I just get so annoyed with people that do the whole, I'll follow you if you follow me bullsh*t.  I like to go by, "Follow me if you like what what I post.  If I like what you're doing, I'll follow back.  Simple."**

Okies!  Back to the main topic!!!

Besides Japanese food, today we went to this diner and had some old school American food.  Burgers and fries.  It was really delicious and the burgers weren't heavy or greasy.  The bun of the burger had a slight crispiness to it and the veggies were very fresh.  I would rate the burger a 9/10 (one of the best I've ever had) and the fries an 8.5/10.

To think that we're eating out so much after I was successful in two days of home cooked meals...  It's too bad because I sort of like being the one to cook the dinners.  Then again, I tend to run out of ideas and inspiration for what to cook.  I should just go by my list of lunch/dinner options.

The first dish was a dinner curry from a packet my sis brought back from Japan.  It turned out a lot more like the anime versions with a darker color and liquidy consistency; maybe I don't have to get hayashi rice mix afterall! image  I got creative with it and finally made my first curry bear (pic is on instagram).

The second meal was spaghetti.

 Special pimped out foodporn edition.

Btw, angel hair pasta works so well for this!

I realize so much more that cooking food is a lot cheaper than going out to eat.  After two days of home cooking, I could get a rough estimate of how much it costs to make a hearty meal for roughly 4-6 people.  From what I bought for curry and spaghetti, a person can get away with spending $20 or less to make a nutritious, home cooked meal.  Compare that to the $30-50+ lunches and dinners out to a restaurant.  The only way a person can get around that is to resort to fast food.

Right now I'm sitting in my room and staying out of the super hot sun.  It's afternoon time so u know, I want to avoid the premature wrinklies.  This hot weather has been sucking so much lately and it's the gross kind of hot weather where there's no wind and the sky is full of smog without any clouds.  Just hurry up and get snowy already!  image

*For continuity's sake, I just got back to this post after being away until evening.*

I woke up early this morning to go to volunteer work but I'll save that for another post, mostly since it seems really off topic at this point.  xD

Before I forget, I got the chance to experiment with a Japanese food creation set (sry, I don't know what else to call it).  Sis brought one of these babies back from Tokyo.

 
It's this panda pancake thing. It reads "Oekaki panda yaki"

The results

It's a miracle we didn't screw this up! lol

The instructions were in Japanese but somehow we figured it out.  The taste wasn't all that great but it was edible.  A good description would be like a Chinese bread bun but ever so slightly sweeter.

It cooked amazingly fast in the microwave.  It must have been under a minute.....

I swear I must have posted a pic containing this exact magazine somewhere in my blog history...  My bad if it's a repeat!  xP

I'm currently trying to draw some ray of inspiration from these Japanese food magazines I picked up in Seattle while my dad was still living there.  I'm so glad I did because even now, years later, they haven't gotten old and still inspire me to cook.  The food pictures are very beautiful and pristine. image I'm always in awe.

I'm still staying up past midnight, even though I have to wake up early in the mornings.  Somehow this comes natural to me....  Wth, I even woke up super early today!  Shouldn't I be tired by now? tuzki41

Scruffs is sleeping in my spot so I'll have to push him over.  Sorry dude, but I got a single bed mattress and a girl's gotta sleep.  xD

Not a pic from today but I think he looks kind of like a corgi with his ears flipped up.  x3

I'll probably watch a few more episodes of Big Bang Theory and go to bed.  Btw, I'm almost finished with the anime series K Project so hopefully I won't be a lazy *ss  and make a mini review for that soon!

Goodnight world!  tuzki46

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

TV bum

Hello again! Sorry I've been away for a while. It's most likely because I've caught a bad, bad case of TV-bum-couchpotato syndrome that's been really hard to get rid of... D: I thought I might as well share what's gotten me so addicted. 
The first one I started watching was "The Big Bang Theory."


My coworkers kept on talking about it and so I finally gave in and downloaded the first season. It's quite funny and somehow I can ignore the annoyingly frequent audience laughter.  The idea of nerdy guys living together as a theme was new and refreshing and I appreciate the attempt because these days, the 'jock' just isn't that hot anymore.

On a side note, my brother who is a hardcore gamer and slight nerd doesn't approve of the show nor finds it funny.  He stated it's because, and I quote, "gamers don't talk like that and the audience laughs every few seconds.... don't you find that annoying?"

Whatever, I really like the show and I love the social dynamics between all the characters, especially the ones that involve the neurotic Sheldon.

Another TV series I've started to watch is on Netflix and it's called "New Girl."


This show is about a woman who recently went through a bad breakup and decides to move out right away.  She somehow gets herself into a situation of moving into an apartment with three men who she thought were women by the way their ad was written on craigslist.

I'm still on the fence as to whether I like this show or not.  I have some issues such as:

1.) Realistically, what woman would move into an apartment with three men by herself?!

2.) Does Jess have to be so ridiculously annoying?

3.) Does Nick have to be so mean and in my honest opinion, seemingly waaaaay more douche-bag-ish than the guy who's character is apparently more of a douche, Schmidt?

4.) Why is Jess' model friend Cece, turning out to be more and more of a stereotypical b*tchy and stuck up model?  And she started off so composed, mature, and wholesome...

5.) Why are some of the arguments so crazy dramatic?  Isn't this supposed to be a sitcom?   

You all can be the judge.  I've gotten through about 5 episodes and I admit, they're entertaining enough to keep me watching and I have taken somewhat of a liking to the characters.  If only the writers or actors could tone it down a little with Jess' to-the-point-of-ridiculous silliness and Nick's 'seemingly' mean disposition...  I just hope it gets better because sometimes I feel like this show is straying into the heavier dramatic genre while it's marked as a situation comedy.

My brother is pushing me to watch House of Cards, a Netflix original series.  I'm still unsure, mostly because political dramas really aren't my thing.  He keeps comparing it to Game of Thrones so eh, I dunno.. xP

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

YouTube Trends: Movie Parodies

This is a comedy type of trend that I've been seeing on youtube lately.  I'm sure there are tons others but these are fairly popular and they seem to have been popping up one after the other. 

I've found 4 youtube channels that all have a similar theme.  Movie parodies.  

Tobuscus
ScreenJunkies
BadLipReading
CinemaSins

I put these in order from who seemingly started the theme.  I went by the dates of the videos so if that's inaccurate, I'm sorry, I was going by the youtubers' channel info.

I feel that Tobuscus is truly the one who started the movie parody theme because I had seen his video from way back, at least a couple years ago.  The first video I watched by him was the Harry Potter literal trailer.



It's really fun and entertaining.  The first movie trailer parody I've ever seen.

After this, it must have taken about a year later for me to discover the other channels and I'm thinking I may have seen one of BadLipReading's videos next, just by virtue of them being around longer.  To be fair, Screenjunkies might have caught onto the movie theme before BadLipReading since BadLipReading started off working with music videos and political speeches and only started spoofing movies about a year ago.  I just happened across BadLipReading first because I saw one of their music video parodies "Gang Fight" which was a spoof on Rebecca Black's God awful 'Friday' song.  It's actually a lot better imo, lol.

But anyway, I eventually found my way to the first BadLipReading movie parody video that they synced with Twilight.  These are funny in an interesting way.  xD



After BadLipReading, I found 'Honest Trailers' by ScreenJunkies.  This was less than a year down the road.  It was one of those featured videos under 'comedy' and I thought 'why not?', and clicked it.  I'm so glad I did.



Honest Trailers are hilarious.  I probably find them the most entertaining out of all the movie parodies rivaling CinemaSins.

I found CinemaSins through ScreenJunkies.  I think they actually feature CinemaSins in one of their videos.

Lastly, I watched a CinemaSins "Everything Wrong With..." video.  There's related videos on the sidebar of videos when people watch youtube and I saw an "Everything Wrong With..." video about the Hunger Games there while I was watching an Honest Trailer.  I like critics so I watched it.  Very funny stuff.



I'm personally really bad at meticulously nitpicking movies so I find it so amusing when people actually do this.

What do you guys think?  Have you watched any of these channels before?  Has anyone noticed any other interesting trends on youtube?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Anime Food! Intro

Hi guys!  I would like to say thank you all so much for your comments on the first two "Anime Food!" posts-! ヽ(´▽`)/  I'm really happy that you all were amused by them!

This really should have been posted before the first two "Anime Food!" posts but me being the impulsive person I am, chose food over intro so that's why this is being published now.  My mistake!

I thought it would be a good idea to make an intro about why I decided to start the "Anime Food!" project. 

I've always loved anime food, even as a child.  I believe the very first anime food I've ever seen was from Tonari no Totoro with Satsuki and Mei eating homemade bento and mochi omiyage that Kanta brought over to their house.


For some reason, it always looked so delicious and I would get crazy hungry after watching anime that featured food.  I could also tell that in many cases, the animators would put careful detail into the food.  Only when I got older would I realize that the Japanese have a deeply rooted food culture where they put great aesthetic value into their dishes because of their strong belief that food should not only taste good, but look good as well.

Also notice that Japanese people would always say "itadakimaaasu!" before partaking.  In my understanding, this is not only said as a 'thank you' for the food but also to take a moment to appreciate its aesthetic beauty.

I'll be honest, I don't normally use that phrase before eating, mostly because my family is already Americanized and so we don't usually say that....  Although my personal 'itadakimasu' could be me taking #foodporn pictures all the time, lol.  Just look at my instagram, it's mostly food!  xD

I always thought it would be cool to see what anime food would look like in real life.  So I started my search for those talented people who attempted making anime food.  I found a few but surprisingly, not too many.

The first person I took notice to was: http://culinaryadventuresandmore.blogspot.com/
This is another great anime food blog: http://animerecipes.tumblr.com/
Both of these bloggers have some seriously amazing creations there and I highly recommend people to check out their blogs.  I was really inspired by what they were doing so I decided I would try it out for myself.  I mean, anime inspires me to do so many things; why not include cooking?

I've also seen some really cool anime food gif/picture sites where people post some really beautiful pics of anime food.
Here's a few that I like to frequent:
http://animu-food.tumblr.com/
http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/anime-food
http://anime-foods.tumblr.com/

Feast of Fiction is a youtube site that likes to make foods from anime and fictional books.

There seems to be a lot of people out there who love anime food.  I'm really happy that others take notice to it because I think Japanese animators take great pride in the food they animate as it never fails to look so amazingly delicious!

Whenever I decide to re-create or make an inspired anime dish, I'll be sharing it here on my blogger and I hope it inspires you all to cook up something yummy as well! image

Friday, August 2, 2013

Anime Food!: Korokke (Croquette)

Hello again!  I feel like I'm on a roll here but don't get used to it!  xD

I present the second anime food I attempted; The golden, ever so crispy korokke.  This seems to show up in a lot of anime bento boxes and as an appetizer/side dish on an elaborate dinner table spread.  It's also a hot seller in Japan, being easily found as it shows up almost everywhere with all kinds of dishes.  There's even food stands are dedicated to producing just korokke.


Korokke is the Japanese pronunciation of 'Croquette' which is a common name for a mashed potato mix that's covered in batter or wrapping and then deep fried. It's common in a wide range of countries.

In the Japanese version, korokke is covered in batter, dipped in panko (dried bread crumbs) and deep fried until golden brown.  When fresh, its crispy exterior is the perfect contrast to the delicately soft mashed potato mixture inside.

I was stupid and used 4 potatoes which made waaaay too much mashed potatoes, lol.  I don't think I could even dream of shaping all of that into flat spheres and then deep frying it all. 

I would literally drown in korokke!  So I ended up only using half of the mashed potato mix and that must have made at least 30 of these things.

If anyone ever anticipates doing this, I'd recommend using only one large potato or two small potatoes.  Using 4 medium potatoes for this is just asking for 3+ hours of deep frying...


Ingredients:

- 1 bag of panko
- Potatoes (for God's sake use two at most!)
- Flour
- Eggs
- Salt/pepper
- Milk
- Butter
- Canned corn/peas/etc
-1/2 or less onion
-Hamburger (optional)
- Vegetable oil
- Lettuce (for garnish, optional)

I made up the mashed potato mixture myself for this recipe since I learned from previous recipes how to make mashed potatoes.  Recipes recommended me to use milk and slices of butter to give it a richer, smoother taste.  How much to use depends on one's preference of taste and consistency.

The eggs are used with the flour to coat the shaped ovals of potato mixture so it depends on how much mashed potato mix one has.  I filled a wide, flat bowl with flour, a wide flat bowl with panko, and a regular bowl with about two beaten eggs (note: I would get more eggs if I needed them).  First I would shape the mashed potato mixture into flat shaped ovals, dip it into the flour, then into the beaten egg, and lastly, coat it with the panko before placing it into the hot oil to fry.

This isn't too difficult to make.  The hard part, in my opinion, is where I had to stand around for at least 2 and a half hours deep frying and then cleaning up the monstrous mess this project created.  Maybe if I made a smaller batch, I would have had an easier time.

But they turned out pretty great in the end, even though I was condemned to the stove for the whole time, eating damaged pieces while frying.  xD


Anime pictures from Animu Food