23rd February 2015 – What I’m listening to!

23rd February 2015 – What I’m listening to! untitled

I haven’t done a ‘What I’m listening to’ post in a while because I have basically been listening to the same thing over and over again but today I am so in love with my musical choice that I just had to share it with you all 🙂

While I was writing my Liebster Award post I was asked to tell a story about me, it was a great question because it really got me thinking and I ended up writing about my first ever gig. I felt so free as I danced wildly, thrashing about to the music and screaming until my throat was hoarse, and I cried like the world was ending and beginning all at once. Its one of those beautiful teenage moments that people write about but you don’t really understand until you experience it, one of those moments that makes you feel like your every ridiculous hormonal emotion coursing through your adolescent mind is perfectly valid. I will probably remember that day forever!

So while I was reminiscing about that wonderful day I started thinking about the music and before I knew it I was plugging in my headphones and blasting that album from my teens through the headphones as loud as I could.

Dir en Grey were the band that changed my perspective on music entirely and introduced me to Japanese music. I will always love this album as long as I live!

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Artist : Dir en Grey

Album : The Marrow of a Bone

The Liebster Award – Nominated by LitaKino and thelimitlessimagination

The Liebster Award

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You could be forgiven for thinking I am crazy because, to be entirely honest, I probably am, but when I was woken up on Sunday morning at the ungodly time of 6.36am by my ‘Old Man’ affectionately drooling on my face and peeked, bleary eyed at my emails I suddenly found myself wide awake and gushing with excitement and my day just continued to get more and more surprising. I really can not thank the lovely LitaKino of ‘LitaKinoAnimeReviews‘ and the wonderful thelimitlessimagination enough for their nominations for the Liebster award. I’m unbelievably flattered and surprised and thankful to be nominated in the first place and especially so, having been nominated by two people whose blogs are really quite marvellous and whose writing I have come to respect a great deal. 😀

So what is the Liebster Award? Well I confess, I didn’t know anything about it until this morning but having done a little reading I can’t help but think “What a wonderful idea!” The Liebster Award is a blogging institution set up to help showcase and support bloggers who don’t have many followers but deserve more attention and right off of the top of my head I can already think of a few people whose passionate portrayal of the things they love could genuinely benefit the community at large so I am really looking forward to making nominations of my own and getting to know a few of you much better! 🙂

So what now? Well here are the rules:

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  • Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  • Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  • Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  • Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  • List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  • Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!).

So, without further ado, here goes:

LitaKino’s questions

1. What Made You Start Your Anime Blog?

I started my anime blog a couple of months ago now because I adore anime, manga, otome games and anything Japanese and have done for a long time. My head was so full of thoughts of the stuff that I love but I don’t have many (if any) people on a real life forum who I can talk to about these things. I think the world of anime, manga etc is so vibrant, broad and interesting that it has become impossible for me to not talk about it anymore so I started putting pen to paper (so to speak) in the hope of finding like-minded individuals to talk to and with the intention of expressing the incredibly geeky otaku side of me that so rarely gets to have a day in the sun 😀

Voila, we have this online case study of my pointless ramblings. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day – Japan vs the UK

Valentine’s Day – Japan vs the UK

Valentine-Chocolate-Cake-With-Wonderrful-Cake-For-The-Most-Amazing-Romantic-Valentine-Day-With-Valentine-Gift-Japan-To-Inspire-YouMy partner and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Starting with a sentence like that is risky because it can easily give off the wrong impression so I just want to make one thing very clear, I am in no way against Valentine’s Day, nor am I anti the concept of a day devoted to romance of the highest order, instead, our boycott of the day is more circumstantial than anything else and boils down to a slight distaste for over the top consumerism. With this in mind we made the decision that we would, rather cheesily, tell each other that we love each other every day of every week of every month, so that we can never forget and treat each other spontaneously at times of the year when we may desperately need the break.

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In the last six years we have only ever celebrated the ‘most romantic day of the year’ once; this was during our first year together. I had let myself into Jack’s house to wait for him to finish his night shift only to hear our song drifting under the door of his bedroom. When I walked in, the lights were dimmed, candles were burning and a single red rose sat on his dresser with a note telling me that he would miss me while he worked. This simple gesture was so beautiful and unexpected and I felt like a parody of myself as I sat there crying happy tears all on my own. When he returned home from work and climbed into bed in the morning we spoke about Valentine’s Day very candidly and Jack explained that his gesture wasn’t for Valentine’s Day at all, but as a celebration of the fact that he we had officially been a couple for two months on that very day. I explained that I hadn’t been expecting anything and he told me that he would do nice things like this for me whenever he felt like it. An agreement was born of our honesty and now, if I wake up in the morning and decide I want to cook him a romantic meal, I will do so just because I feel like it not because of any obligation or societal pressure.

Despite all of this though, I have always been a sucker for romance, and on that one day of the year where you see flowers and chocolates around every corner, I can usually be found gushing excitably and grinning like a Cheshire cat at the rose-tinted world that we live in. Since my reconciliation with my love of anime and manga, there is one thing about Valentine’s Day that I am really taken with and that is the Japanese approach to the holiday. So unique and different from the western holiday that I am used to, I could genuinely see myself celebrating the Japanese way if I could convince everyone around me to do the same.

Valentine’s in the UK starts before Christmas has even left the shelves. The world is flooded with fluffy teddy bears, heart shaped boxes of chocolates and cards coated in glitter. Suddenly cutesy designs are everywhere and the manliest men can be found pouring, unashamedly over sickeningly sweet poetry trying to choose the best arrangement of the same words to convey their feelings of adoration to their beau. Everything becomes a whirlwind of pink and red and getting a reservation for dinner (or actually finding a bottle of wine in the supermarket) becomes nearly impossible. The Valentine’s rush might not be as prominent as the Christmas one, but it is close enough to be called a national emergency! Seeing so many people so in love is wonderful and ‘people-watching’ is never so fascinating as it is around this time of the year, however I feel like it has all become a little clinical.

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Though each card has a different price tag and a slightly different image of a bear holding roses, the wording is almost identical and the sentiment impersonal. Though there are couples who produce hand-make gifts or put effort into choosing something unique, it is so easy to go to the shop and pick up something that looks like it is heartfelt that I feel like the magic of this most romantic holiday is lost in translation. When I think about the convenience of it all I start to feel a little sad, like part of the world is missing the point of an event designed to highlight your love of the people in your life.

In Japanese culture, Valentine’s Day is not just a celebration of your lover, but a chance to show appreciation for all of the people in your life.  A Valentine’s Day in Japan is unique and interesting with a great underlying message which makes the (admittedly still prominent) consumerism much more bearable. In Japan it is traditionally women who give out gifts (usually chocolate) on Valentine’s but these offerings are not just for a lover or romantic interest but to all of the men and important people in their lives.

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There are two types of gifts which are given on Valentine’s Day, the first is known as ‘Giri-choco’ also known as ‘Obligation Chocolate’. This is most likely a store bought chocolate which is given to family, colleagues, bosses and male friends, people that the gifter has no romantic interest in but would like to convey their gratitude and appreciation to.

The concept of ‘Giri’ is really interesting in my opinion, I see it as a very structured form of gratitude which seems to literally boil down to an obligation or a debt of gratitude to people who have affected your life or shown you kindness. Many of the articles I have read on Giri stress that it is not something which can be easily translated into English because it is not a simple concept but it is often described as a ‘respect for human relationships’ and a ‘self-sacrificing pursuit of another person’s happiness’. This altruistic concept might seem a little alien to western cultures because it can often seem contradictory and counter-productive, especially when the concept is applied to a business relationship or a rivalry, however there is no denying that this approach promotes an appreciation for the people around you and a selflessness which could never be a flaw.

Alongside ‘Giri-choco’ and probably a slightly easier concept to grasp are the ‘Honmei-Choco’ given by women to their lover or romantic interest. Honmei-Choco is given with true love in mind and as such is often homemade and beautifully wrapped with love in every bite (there is a superstition that it is not true love if you don’t prepare the chocolates yourself) This is where a women gets to reveal her true feelings in as public a forum as she feels like it using a universally accepted method which sounds like it would be a lot less embarrassing than calling him out after school to confess behind the bike shed! Not only is Honmei-Choco often homemade but it is usually bigger, more expensive and fancier than Giri-Choco.

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In theory the difference between Honmei and Giri should be reasonably obvious because of the delivery of the gift and the level of care that has gone into the choosing, however there will always be occasions when something is taken the wrong way and the tradition of Giri-Choco could easily lead to some embarrassing misunderstandings that could be difficult to recover from.

Despite my preference for the concept behind a Valentine’s gift in Japan compared with a western Valentine, there is still a niggling voice in the back of my head that thinks this is starting to sound like it could easily be a very expensive holiday for a women with a sprawling family and a lot of friends and colleagues plus why is it only the women who have to gift? Well this is where things get even more interesting; exactly one month after Valentine’s Day, on 14th March, there is another holiday called White Day. On White Day men reciprocate the affection of Valentine’s Day back at the women in their lives with gifts of their own; the gifts can come in a variety of different forms but are often White Chocolate to signify the day and have been known to be more expensive than their Valentine’s counterparts. This is another form of obligation which is crucial to maintain social expectations, so the men don’t escape, not by a long-shot.

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Valentine’s Day plays such a big part in the culture of Japan that it is only natural that the Valentine’s scene has become one of the staples of every romance manga, anime or visual novel game and I have come to really look forward to these scenes more and more. Valentine’s Day maybe over but I am now in the mood to prepare some chocolates or make a chocolate cake, I know how I’ll be spending my weekend!

Here is my special Valentine to anyone who has stopped by to read my blog. I love you all 😀
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True Love, Sweet Lies – Nozomu Fuse – Main Story Review – Voltage Inc.

True Love, Sweet Lies – Nozomu Fuse – Main Story Review – Voltage Inc.

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Nozomu is a beautiful looking man. His neat, clean-cut, refined appearance really attracted me from the first time I saw him when ‘True Love, Sweet Lies’ was released and his happy-go-lucky personality has always interested me. Nozomu is the obligatory ‘older’ protagonist in this story and is the boss of ‘Fuse Detective Agency’, a natural leader who cares for his friends, Nozomu is a very interesting, multi-faceted character, just what is he hiding behind that carefree smile?

In case you weren’t already aware, ‘True Love, Sweet Lies’ is an otome game published by the wonderful people at Voltage Inc. for IOS and Android users which follows the story of a young freelance photographer who inadvertently takes a photo which lands her in hot water with the underbelly of Japan. With her life hanging in the balance and danger around every corner Fuse Detective agency agrees to help her solve the case and keep her safe in the meantime.

IMG_1048The MC’s home has been ransacked and her work, family and friends are all being watched so, with nowhere to go the MC moves in with Nozomu and he rather politely gives up his bed for her. Nozomu is a true gentleman, he has a charming childlike aura around him despite being nearly a decade older than the MC and his carefree attitude makes her feel almost immediately at ease in his company despite the other Detectives initial concern for her well-being.

As the MC gets more comfortable in his presence, they set off to investigate the reason that her photograph has made such waves using Nozomu’s bafflingly good contacts in the police force and Interpol. With all of that information at his fingertips Nozomu proves that behind his slightly silly persona lies a capable and confident man who can handle almost anything but the closer he gets to solving the mystery the further away it seems and the more frustrated he seems to get. Is his cheerful disposition simply a mask to hide his pain?

To say that Nozomu is mysterious is an extreme understatement. He doesn’t often reveal what he’s thinking and his actions are unpredictable to the point of seeming unprecedented and ill-thought-out but the MC has placed her trust in him and wants to be there to protect him from himself at the same time. Without giving too much away, Nozomu has a painful and complicated past which is intrinsically linked to what it happening to the MC, though he can’t quite put his finger on how. With this in mind, the MC’s case means almost as much for Nozomu as it does for her. They travel to France together on their investigation and it is here that he begins to realise just how much he cares for this young woman he has just met and just how important she has become to him.

Though he is silly and friendly with his friends at the detective agency, Nozomu cares for them a lot and feels a sense of IMG_1049responsibility for their welfare, in that respect he gets very angry when they disobey his commands or do anything that puts them in danger, this alterior side to him is surprising and his reactions can seem a little frightening but it just goes to show how much his detectives mean to him. He projects a brotherly type love for the boys and for the MC as well which leads him to want to protect them no matter what, even at risk to himself.

I really liked the MC in this app anyway but I particularly like her in Nozomu’s story, she doesn’t shy away from Nozomu and she tackles her problems head on, pushing to be there for him when she knows he needs her. Nozomu tries to put up walls between them to protect her from his past and protect himself from his grief but the MC pushes through the hastily constructed barricades and convinces Nozomu to open up to her. Before he knows it, Nozomu has revealed the vulnerable sensitive side of himself, opening up his heart. Continue reading

Malicious Riots

Malicious Riots

The days and nights all blend into one with the world in is this state of desecrated chaos. There were sirens and screams and gunshots for the first few days but now there is nothing but silence and the disjointed groans of the walking corpses that now own the streets. I’ve been in this room for at least a couple of weeks now. Last night I heard the slack jawed monsters breaking into the flat below. I could hear their excited screeches as they tore the door off of its hinges with their decomposing hands and forced themselves through the hastily constructed barricade. I was helpless and so were the Jones’. The screams seemed to resonate in the air for hours afterwards and the foul coppery stench of stale blood has been seeping up through vents of my first floor cubby hole. Tonight I will move; it’s not safe for me here anymore.

It all started with the riots. Thousands of frenzied people smashing and stealing and throwing anything they could get their hands on. Like animals they prowled the streets mugging, assaulting and generally heckling everyone they saw. They were angry and they didn’t even know why, but their anger was nothing compared with what followed soon after.

An experimental medicine lab in the heart of London had several of its windows smashed open by a particularly ambitious group of disenfranchised youths, they roamed the corridors looking for drugs that they could use to fuel their addictions and supplement their bank balances. It was here that they had bitten off more than they could chew. Those stupid kids didn’t even read the descriptions on the bottle before they swallowed. Next thing you know an infection spreads like wildfire. People are biting each other, more than biting in fact; they’re literally tearing off chunks of flesh with their teeth, disembowelling each other with their rotten fingernails. That’s not the worst of it either the dead just won’t stay dead. Every time you watch someone destroyed by these monstrous cannibals they will get back up before your eyes and join in the murderous rampage.

Like I said, the streets have been quiet for a few day-nights now. I’ve barricaded myself into a first floor flat in a local building. I just managed to throw myself in here when the rioting started and haven’t left since. The meagre supply of canned food and dried pasta that I found in my hidey hole has now been exhausted and I am down to my last bottle of water, the power has been off for a good week now and the water stopped running a few days ago.

Now I have a choice, wait here for death by starvation or discovery, or take my chances with the outside world

The Warrior

The Warrior

The Warrior gave chase. His prey would have been all too easy to catch were it not running on a fuel both unnatural and inhuman, Kai kept low in the long grass, working hard not to draw too much attention to himself. His crouch slowed him down, but the last thing he needed was for the beast to see him, should it do so and accelerate it would be impossible to catch, or track for that matter. Careful not to make too much noise he drew his long bow out from its position on his back and half nooked a phoenix feather arrow.

The beast had paused on its journey, sitting by the rushing river that separated two great cities, greedily lapping at the clear crystalline water. Kai crept forwards. Shaking back his hair, he raised his bow and took aim. The creature barely stirred. Were it not so malicious in nature perhaps Kai might have felt mercy; but he had long since shucked such emotions towards the creatures of the North. With the swift motion of a practiced hand he shot an arrow into the air. It fell true in a wide graceful arc, one horrified shriek later and the demonic creature fell to the floor with a dull thud.

Kai, knowing his phoenix arrow had served him well, left his well concealed hiding place and ran forwards to retrieve his arrow. He reached the creature in time to see white smoke issuing from its motionless mouth, its warped almost human features starred up at him in a sinister revenge glare. The spelled arrow had done its job however and the beast moved no more. Kai drew his sword from its scabbard and raised it above his head, bringing it down in an arc which severed the very bone at the creature’s neck, banishing its spirit from ever returning. He spoke a simple spell and watched as flesh and bone deteriorated to dust and ash.

His work done Kai extracted his arrow and sword from the debris and put both away before leaving the sorry mess that had once been man, and then beast behind.

Kai had been working under the king’s court now for some time. He was a useful member of the guard and a fantastic hunter of anything, human or otherwise that threatened the careful quiet of the kingdom. It wasn’t a job he enjoyed, just one he had grown to tolerate. Trespassing like this by the creatures from beyond the northern boundaries was becoming more and more frequent, a reality that played on Kai’s mind. Something was stirring in the mountains, he could feel it, some great evil as yet unknown and he was not about to sit at home and wait for it to hit. Kai set off at a run back to the palace to relay his concerns to his masters and stir up a response.

Infection

Infection – Prologue zombies

In hindsight, as I lay there in a spreading pool of my own blood, I guess I made a wish. I suppose I spent those last moments of my life wishing that I had stayed home, trying to rewind the clock and ignore the adrenaline pulsing through my veins and the growing crowd outside my window. How much happier I would have been had I watched the chaos unfold from the safety of my sofa like so many others had. But no, unfortunately I have always been a sheep; blindly following the whims of the people around me, laughing in the right places and always taking things that step too far, and that is how I died.

I guess yet another politician made yet another outrageous statement which enraged some group somewhere. I don’t know I’ve never paid much attention to current affairs; but I’d sure paid attention when they showed the footage of riots in London. The streets were wild with fire! Some new animalistic species of human was rampaging through the city burning and destroying as they went and they had never looked so alive. I was glued to the screen for 2 nights watching the beautiful savagery of thousands of people moving as one body, leaving nothing but wreckage in their wake, so when she came to my door that night, eyes alight with excitement there was just no way I could stay home.

We started near the station, working our way down the high street with a savage excitement; I tore doors off of their hinges and she ripped the seats out of bus shelters. The feeling of exhilaration was almost too much to handle. I saw it first and the brainwave was immediate. The Medical Centre stood proud and solid in front of us, its bricks painted an off white that was mouldering in the damp air. I knew she’d go for it before I said a word; even the adrenaline coursing through her couldn’t hide the look on her face. She needed a fix and, like her gallant knight in shining armour, I was going to provide.

I launched a concrete block through the window and people began to pile in, following without question as though we were all of one mind; or perhaps it was just the purposeful nature of my pace that they followed. We began to smash our way through the building, destroying test tubes, smashing photocopiers and throwing computers from windows until we came across a locked room, the room I had been looking for. The door was painted white with sterile chrome fittings and a small window at the top. Inside were row upon row of shelving units and on each shelf, a plethora of pills and liquid. By this time our followers had dwindled down to only four or five and they dispersed the second we forced the door open, dazed by my sudden lack of purpose.

I took a moment to look at Rachel, really look at her. To me there was no one quite so beautiful. She had one of those almost non-existent figures which made me want to make her a sandwich, her eyes were heavily lined and impossibly large, intense with passion and the fire of rebellion. She instinctively pushed the wisps of dark hair out of her eyes with her tiny shaking hands and gave me a grin which threatened to split her face in half and before I knew it I was grinning like a buffoon right back.

The first time I saw Rachel was on a train when I was on my way home from my evening shift at the Supermarket. It had been late, far too late for a girl of that age to be out alone. She was draped across two seats her arms and head hanging over the edge into the aisle and at first I’d thought she was asleep. I took a step forward thinking I should wake her, but as I got closer I became entranced by the curve of her neck, long, pale and pulsing with life. At this angle I could see that she had pink headphones in, the wires running down her neck across her collar bone and meeting at her cleavage where she had tucked her mp3 player for safe keeping. Her eyes were closed but she was not asleep, her toe was tapping gently against the window and her mouth was forming the words that she sung silently to the empty carriage.

I knew I shouldn’t stare but I just couldn’t drag my eyes away. Now when I look back I realise that I had known right then that there would be no coming back for me, that I would follow her forever and in to whatever. I was lost in my thoughts, imagining how easy it would be wrap just one of my hands around her miniature waist, when she opened her eyes. They were piercing; they were invasive and they burrowed deep into my soul. We looked at each other for almost five minutes neither saying a word. When she, deciding I was harmless, sat up and patted the seat beside her I sat without even thinking.

Had I not met her then I wouldn’t have been in that room, in that medical centre, watching her bouncing gently on the balls of her feet, shaking with apprehension and waiting for me to lead the way. Hand in hand we took to the aisles. I swept my arms along shelves pouring the pills onto the floor and she began to dig excitedly through careful selecting a packet of this, a bottle of that. She collected such a collection of medicine, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, painkillers, vaccines. I lost track as she necked pill after pill, washing them down with a thirsty gulp of this cough mixture or that. As her eyes began to glaze over I suddenly didn’t feel so good about my wonderful moment of inspiration. In fact now that I’d had time to think the whole evening seemed like a much worse idea than it had when she’d arrived on my doorstep only partially dressed and covered in sweat. The sounds of the ongoing riots suddenly seemed much further away with the fire doors and triple glazed windows of the medical centre standing between me and the chaos. I could hear Rachel’s every heavy laboured breath as her lungs struggled to get air around the onslaught of medication. In the stark bright white glow I began to see Rachel in a different light and it tore my heart in two.

At that moment a harsh crack ripped through the air and Rachel turned to me as if she could hear my thoughts. The change was immediate, practically instantaneous. Her eyes were no longer dazed but focused and serious, her pupils had dilated to tremendous size, obscuring every inch of those enchanting grey irises. Her jaw was slack, her mouth open and her head tilted at an angle as she watched me. Something was wrong, something was very wrong. I watched as the ligaments in her fingers seemed to contract bending her beautiful hands into painful skeletal claws and she let out a blood curdling scream. Suddenly my heart was in my chest, I reached for her my hands fluttering uselessly over her face trying to comfort her, silence her screaming.

I didn’t realise such a tiny frame could weigh so much and contain such strength until she leapt onto me and we crashed to the floor. She sunk her small pearl like teeth into my face and I felt her tear away a strip of flesh. Screaming filled the air but it wasn’t her voice anymore, it was my gruff tones that resonated around the empty room.

Yukine – Noragami – Just a little fangirl moment!

yukine 2I’ve been working on a review of Noragami and I just couldn’t help but want to boast about how simply adorable Yukine is!

YUkineFound by Yato, an uncorrupted spirit roaming alone, Yukine or Yuki became Yato’s shinki taking on the form of a silver katana when called upon. There is a sadness in little Yukine to begin with and he is cold and a little cruel. He resents the living because of his feelings about his own death and we can assume that he lived a hard and horrible life before his demise because Yato cries over Yukine’s origin and forgotten memories, however we don’t know for sure what happened. No longer able to experience normal life like everyone else his age, Yukine begins to rebel he is young and hormonal and he finds it difficult to contain his urges or understand his mood swings. Yato and Hiyori are able to save him from himself just before his temptation and sins takes both himself and Yato into oblivion.

yukine 5Once he has been cured of his upset and sin, Yukine becomes reliable, sweet and determined. He begins to work part time so that he can help support himself and gets Hiyori to teach him everything that she is learning at school. Coming out of his shell Yukine becomes a very reliable young man with a lovely sense of right and wrong and a cold, sharp humour which translates perfectly from screen to page.

On top of that, he’s so cute it hurts 😀 yukine

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Ao Haru Ride – Io Sakisaka – Manga and Anime review

Ao Haru Ride – Io Sakisaka – Manga and Anime reviewahr 5

Io Sakisaka has a wonderful knack for emotional portrayals of the raw spirit, elation and pain that comes from teenage life. With expressive artwork which effortlessly captures emotion and movement in a way that is both realistic and dreamlike, she is able to convey the smallest messages with the simplest changes in a characters disposition, on top of this she writes realistic, beautiful characters that are endearing and funny. Without meaning to you will find yourself caring for each and every character and rooting for their success in every endeavour.

Following the success of ‘Strobe Edge’ a masterpiece of a manga and one of my favourites by far, ‘Ao Haru Ride’ or ‘Blue Spring Ride’ began its serialisation as a manga in 2011 and is still ongoing with 13 volumes to date, an anime television series and even a live-action film which was released in 2014. ao haru ride 2

Though fundamentally different characters, Futaba Yoshioka (Ao Haru Ride) and Ninako Kinoshita (Strobe Edge) share a similar, contagious passion for life and zestful youthfulness which draws the audience to them from the very start. This story follows Futaba as she struggles to discover who she really is and overcome her troubles with friends, school and romance, hoping to head towards a brighter and happier future. This rich and developed cast of characters each has their own battles to win and their own discoveries to make, such is the burden of Highschool so naturally there is laughter and sadness and they each make a whole world of mistakes along the way. This coming-of-age story highlights the agonies faced when growing up in the most heart-warming and gut-wrenching ways whilst maintaining humour and humility right to the end. Continue reading