Saturday, November 9, 2013

#RAisAnime - So again pirates beat ninjas...

Apparently even Luffy finds it amusing I waited so long to start One Piece.
So yes, I've finally started watching One Piece.

And no, I'm not sure why I waited so long. It's entertaining, funny, and the characters are interesting. Plus if compared to similar "super fandom" anime series, like Dragonball Z and Bleach, it blows them away. Again, I'm still at the beginning of the series, but I'm in for the long haul. Luffy and company have my attention.

Aside from One Piece, I picked Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic back up on my active viewing list. I'd seen the first couple of episodes when the season first aired, enjoyed it, but put it on hold to finish other things. Magi is another good series in both story and characters and I'm sticking with it this time until I finish the first season. After getting through the third and fourth episodes, I have a feeling I'd continued on with it if only I'd watched those too. Oh well, better late than never, I guess.

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun) is one I've decided to finish too, but the second half of the first season isn't holding my interest like the start. I blame the change in opening theme to a degree. The other sticking bit of it is as a Slice of Life, which it basically became in the second half of Season One, it lacks emotion. The interactions between the characters seem flat and it feels like they're phoning it in. Hopefully Season Two is better, but I'll hold off on it for now, even after pushing through the last four episodes of this series. Shame too.

Monogatari: Second Season is another staple of my active viewing and I'm enjoying THE HELL out of the current season. Yes, parts of it upset me and cause me worry for some of my beloved characters, but that's part of the appeal. It's still ongoing, so who knows how it's going to turn up. To prevent SPOILERS I won't discuss any further. You should be watching though...

And that's the updates for my active list as it pertains to established series. Suppose Monogatari could be left off due to it airing in Japan this season, but it's part of a larger series. Again, I feel bad for hating on Nisemonogatari so much when I watched it. I've come to terms with why that was though and I will outline it better in a future post, possibly after Monogatari ends.

As for the other things on my active list, they remain the same. So many good series this current season. Glad I decided upon Kill la Kill, Log Horizon, Kyoukai no Kanata, Strike The Blood, and Samurai Flamenco as all of them are fun. Still considering adding Kuroko no Basket, just haven't pulled the trigger on it.

Eventually, I'll have the time and focus to pull together a post dedicated to one series rather than constantly rambling on about my overall viewing habits. I'm planning on discussing Monogatari (and related series) and putting together entries about other series that touched me, maybe even a "My Favorites of All Time" entry. Either way I will push onward.

What series, old or current, are you enjoying right now?



*[the above animated gif found via Google at - http://onepiecegifs.tumblr.com/page/2]

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Anime List - An OCD fan's little helper

Yuno can't believe I'm updating this piece of crap again.*

Before I launch into my thoughts on some series I've finished recently, I decided it best to give a an idea of what I'm currently watching. I have both a MAL (My Anime List) and a Hummingbird.me account, but I prefer MAL due to the ease of it with my mobile. Shame the damned app stopped working. If I were more involved in the community I'd probably use the latter more as it's prettier.

Shut up. I can like pretty things.

After the rambling sure to follow, perhaps I'll even give my current Top Ten Favorites. Depends on if I want to continue or save it for another post. Also, I should mention I use Crunchyroll and Daisuke.net most of the time to watch my series. I might use YouTube if I can find it there (and it isn't on either of the other sites) or Dailymotion too, but it's hard to find stuff on there. And yes, I know there's other places and avenues for anime viewing. I'm choosing not to mention them here. Plus I love being able to watch on my phone. Thank you, Crunchyroll!

 As for what's on my watch list, feel free to pull up my MAL above. It's the same list I work from and even when I add something on a lark, I'll put it on my MAL once I start the first episode. And while I won't go into my list in great detail here (as you can go look at it for yourself), I guess I can say Log Horizon, Kill la Kill, Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary), Monogatari: Second Season, and Samurai Flamenco keep me coming back the moment they're uploaded and available.

Of the series already finished, I recently completed Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family) and Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope) and loved them. Both are fantastic, near perfect, and every fan should give them a watch. Hell, people with no interest in anime should give them a look. They're that good.

Keeping with completed series, I've started Gurren Lagann and Gatchaman Crowds too. Enjoyed both of them and will keep viewing. Need to finish Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena), Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Torau Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun) as all three are series I want to finish. I could say that about several different series though.

Happy viewing.


*[the above image of Yuno I found via Google at http://animedreamland.tumblr.com/]


Friday, November 1, 2013

#RAisBack - Be thankful

Shinobu is excited to see me blogging again*

Yep. The caption for the above picture spells it out nicely, so I won't waste time on it. What I will do is post my About.Me profile. If you care enough to seek me out at my various social media connections feel free to add or follow or whatever.

MY ABOUT.ME PROFILE

Also, I have a Tumblr, which I keep because it's fun and there's some interesting people on there. The link is somewhere on my About.Me profile above if interested.

With that out of the way I suppose I could mention what I need with two blogs. Wheezing For Godot, my other blog, started as an attempt to motivate me into fitness, but personal issues tore me away from it. After thinking over a return, I decided to stop pretending that sort of nonsense would work on me and have turned it into a personal journal. If you want a peek into my brain and the randomness of my life, feel free to subscribe. I will be updating as much as I can, but probably from my mobile, so expect it to not to be as "giffy."

This place, I decided, will be dedicated to my various fandoms and interests. At the present this mainly means my anime, television series, and movie viewing, whatever reading material I decide, and any other odd bits and ends. At one time I'd include Professional Wrestling among those, but in recent months it's fallen from my favor, at least the WWE and TNA brands. Now, as far as wrestling goes, I only keep up with my beloved Puroresu promotions, the various Women's brands I follow, and my favorite US-based Indy, CWF Mid-Atlantic. Occasionally, I may include a post about wrestling, but don't hold your breath on it.

And because I love moving pictures expect gifs. I will include proper credit whenever I can, and if you run across a picture of yours I posted without giving proper credit and this bothers you, please drop me a line and I'll correct it. I do not make any money from any of my blogs and if I've used a picture or anything it's because it makes me smile. No harm meant.

Additionally, I must include the following disclaimer: I am not a reviewer.

I will post my thoughts about something whenever I feel like it, and I suppose it could be considered a review, but I don't think of myself as one. Don't come here expecting a thorough, professional-style review like you will find at other more dedicated places or YouTube. I'm just a guy that likes the things he likes and mentions my feelings on them at times.

About YouTube, I guess I have a channel now, though the only video I've posted with any thought behind it was my first LootCrate unboxing from last month. Maybe I'll post more of those since I liked doing it and it's a bit easier. Or maybe I'm just lazy. Either way.

Oh, go here to signup for LootCrate - http://mbsy.co/lootcrate/411793

If you do, then you will get a discount and I'll get $5 off my next subscription. Have the extra dough and love the idea of getting a box of geek-related stuff mailed to your each month? Then go for it. Okay, plugging over.

So that's what will be going on around here from now on. I started to alter the design of the site itself, but I kind of like it. Here's to whatever the future holds...


*[the above Shinobu gif is from Monogatari and I found it here via Google - http://grief-seed.tumblr.com/ ]

Monday, July 8, 2013

Huzzah! The linkage works...!

It worked... Yay!

Yep. Nothing to see here but Hanakawa possessed by the Cat spirit which manifests whenever she's stressed out. Also, my Flickr account works like it should now. Guess I'll have to organize it now. Blergh,

The other reason I'm playing around with linking the various graphics I use from my own accounts is to save bandwidth for the other places I find them. Like usual if it's part of a blog or article, I'll link back to it. Obviously, if it's someone's personal property I won't use without getting permission first. As far as I know everything I've used thus far in entries have been fair game stuff. Of course, if anyone reading this has reason to dispute or anything, just email me or something.

Here's to happy internets... がんばって!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

#RAisAnime - Bakemonogatari (and coming to terms with my reviewness)

Animation so crisp you can feel the sun's rays...

I'm not a reviewer. This is my usual phrase when faced with the prospect or inkling to give my opinion on a piece of work such as a movie or series, and while it may seem like a pre-excuse to lessen the expectations of any following material it's not intended as such. It's just in a world of countless people across the blogosphere and YouTube and such doing reviews for EVERYTHING all the time, I don't feel like a professional or necessarily qualified to review. BUT maybe that's a good thing, eh?

In thinking about it and my various issues and comparing what I think my end result would be against the professionals it struck me I don't really need to be a professional, and honestly, did the world really need more, QUOTE/UNQUOTE, professional reviewers of stuffs? What about how the regular person thinks and feels about the subject? Reviews are just opinions anyway, something seen through a certain person's eyes, and all that stuff is subjective. Of course, there are reviewers out there who take great pride in what they do and research and whatever and KUDOS to all of them and I wish them well... BUT I'm not really worried about being considered a professional anything, much less a reviewer.

So, without further ado or veering off into left field, here are my opinions of one of the best anime series I've come across in a long time - BAKEMONOGATARI.

And don't worry... You will suffer NO SPOILERS HERE.


Graphic courtesy of The Grass Feels Like Pants 

Bakemonogatari (化物語) is a combination of a few things and a little of several others due to it poking fun at various anime tropes throughout the series. The entire series exists in a universe dealing with supernatural situations, and so some might fit it into this genre. At the same time, however, most of the episodes deal with the central character coming to the aid of someone in need, having to deduce the nature of their true problem and the solution much like a detective serial. And while both of these are done in such a fashion as to drive the story enough on its own, it is the romance storyline between the two main characters which speaks strongest to me. From the outset of the first episode these two find one another, he aids her, and then she remains and together they forge ahead coming to grips with what a relationship means to both of them. It isn't the usual sappy love story, and while I don't mind those the one presented here is done in a brilliant fashion. You find yourself rooting for them and it's kind of beautiful.

The main character, Koyomi Araragi , comes off as a normal high school student most of the time, but he is actually a half-vampire having suffered an attack by a true vampire at some point before we pick up the story. It isn't the usual BEAST vampire some anime feature, but thankfully it isn't the sparkly, bullshit kind either. This experience leaves Koyomi changed, though only a little physically. Instead he finds himself more connected to the spiritual world, more attune, more aware. And his awareness allows him to recognize the plight of Hitagi Senjougahara, the distant star pupil of his class. I won't spoil it as to what happens during the first episode, but their meeting begins a friendship/budding romance which strengthens over time as they grow closer to one another, sometimes even as Koyomi struggles to realize his own feelings.

And while most series might end with the two coming together finally, Bakemonogatari continues onward, even adding obstacles in their path forcing them to make decisions and come clean with their true feelings. This series could've driven off into several different directions, one more lame than the next, but instead pulled back and it made it all the more special. Seriously, the ending of Episode 12 will make your heart grow so huge it'll hurt.

This emotion I think runs through the entire show. There's comedy and action and a little inappropriateness, but you connect with all of the characters. Senjougahara is such an interesting, amazing character, and while some series would have her be one dimensional or too much in one direction or the other, she's balanced and vulnerable at the same time. Some may argue this point, but I got the feeling one true rejection from Araragi could've destroyed her. I just felt it there under the surface, even as she gave her boyfriend a hard time and seemed to constantly harass him with insults.

Don't let that put you off. It works and it is funny and amazing...

The animation is fantastic, but as I'm not learned enough to know all the studios and how they interrelate, I'm not about to dive into all that nonsense. What matters to me is it was beautiful to look at, colored well, and fit the mood brilliantly, even with the changes in style here and there (see my earlier mention of jabs at the usual anime tropes) and the occasional live still shot.

And the opening and ending sequences were awesome. Some series get more than one opening sequence as the show goes on, it's a popular thing now, but Bakemonogatari uses a different sequence depending on which character, aside from Koyomi, is the focus of the episode. All of them are fantastic. Adding to this is an awesome ending sequence with a catchy tune you'll find yourself humming long after the show is over. I haven't had an anime theme affect me this much since TANK from Cowboy Bebop and that's a huge compliment.

Reviews by others of this series range from outstanding to meh, but that's the way this sort of thing goes. My opinions or how a series makes me feel might not resonate with you or your feelings. We may just be into different things or something connects with you in a completely different way, and that's okay. It's just the nature of reviews, I guess, and in the end one person's Yay or Nay is just more information with which to educate and help you form your own opinions about the subject matter. That said, if mine holds any water, I say give this series a look. It's not your typical anything, but I defy anyone with inkling of a romantic nature to feel it lacks in that department. And as an aside, the other things it handles quite well too.

I gave Bakemonogatari a 10 out of 10 on My Anime List, and it now sits in a well-deserved slot next to Cowboy Bebop as one of my favorites of all time. I will be rewatching this at one point, possibly owning it, and if I can turn anyone else in it's direction I will do so. It's well worth your time if you're a fan.


So what are you waiting for?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Am I write?

This is how I think I blog... (image from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)


Sometimes I pretend I even have something to say...


STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES AS CONSOLIDATION OCCURS ACROSS ALL #RAisWAR SOCIAL MEDIA...

Monday, July 1, 2013

FUCK YOU AND YOUR YOUTUBE CLIPS (not really)

How I prefer to play bass... (image from Beck Mongolian Chop Squad

One thing Blogger doesn't do as well as other platforms is integration of YouTube clips, at least in my experience. This is odd considering THEY'RE OWNED BY THE SAME FUCKING COMPANY. Maybe I'm doing it wrong or the hard way, I'm not sure. I do know I'm severely irritated at my attempt to post a "My favorite Anime Themes" complete with clips getting eaten FOR THE FIFTH TIME.

So, fuck you, Blogger. Eventually, I'll get it posted. Until then, there's this:



Silly Koyomi... Never come between a girl and her girl crush.