Girugamesh – Chimera – One Heck of a Good Morning!

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There are a several foolproof ways to make my morning, completely overhaul my day and turn a hellish week/month/life into a heavenly one; this morning, as if through some kind of miraculous divine intervention, several of these things converged on me in one go making everything I have toiled through over the last few months fade to nothing before my very eyes.

What are these things? Well, firstly, for the first time in a very long time I have been able to squeeze in a few anime episodes before work, a feat which seemed like it would never be possible again only a week ago, but that’s not my biggest excitement… the biggest excitement to brighten up this cold, frosty morning is the unexpected arrival of Girugamesh’s new mini-album!

The moment Apple Music lit up my screen with notification of it’s arrival I almost fell over myself in my effort to acquire it and now I am sitting at my desk at work, floating in a audio-bliss, feeling every ounce of stress leave my muscles as if washed away on a river of music.

Girugamesh Chimera

‘Chimera’ in it’s entirety, features 7 tracks including an ‘Introduction’ as well as the title track ‘Chimera’ all of which are freeing in their intensity and feel like a nostalgic throwback in a way that has me reminiscing about my teenage years and crying out for a mosh pit to thrash my body in! If you’d asked me a few weeks ago what it was I needed in order to relinquish the tension I’ve been storing in my upper body I wouldn’t have been able to tell you, but now that I have listened to ‘Chimera’ I realise that was only because it hadn’t been released yet.

I don’t know how I managed to miss the warnings that this 7 track package of pure metal-infused joy was on it’s way but I am definitely planning to get myself a copy of the full album on it’s European release.

Now if you’ll excuse  me, I’ll be giddily anticipating every tempo change and bone-rattling growl as I make full-bodied attempts at following Satoshi’s vocal gymnastics. Let’s hope no one gets concerned and comes to check on me!

Real Akiba Boyz – Otakus Got Talent!

There is literally nothing not to love about a group of otakus showing that they have talent by performing complicated dance routines, complete with break-dancing and props, to the opening songs of various anime. This one in particular had me giggling incessantly even after the fourth watch! I love these guys!

Day6 -Setting Me Freely (Free 하게)

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“There she goes, enthusing again!”

Hey Guys! Sorry, it’s me again! And I’m back with another dose of enthusing and fangirling! You’ve probably heard me say a million and one times that work has been hectic, life has been hectic and things aren’t quite going according to plan; today is no different. I’ll say it again but I promise I’m not complaining! If we’re honest, I chose to study and work at the same time, and I made the choice to attempt to squeeze anime and reading and crafting into the crevices of my day so I really can’t blame anyone but myself for the fact that I have forgotten what being bored feels like. Instead I am saying this in order to give you some context so that, when I explain why I love this album so much, you will be intrigued and enticed and, hopefully, will fall in love with it as much  (and as quickly) as I have.

It’s always been the case for me that when I am stressed out and my day has not gone so well, I step away from my desk for a brisk march around the block in an attempt to right the over-turned tables in my brain. When I do this I will listen to something heavy (and usually angry) loudly in my headphones in an attempt to drown out that little pessimistic voice in my head in favour of the louder more determined sound of my eternal optimism. For the past few years now, whenever I have felt frustrated to the point of tears, ‘Girugamesh’s’ growling has comforted me, ‘Dir En Grey’s’ Kyo’s voice has banished my demons or the rumble of ‘Kill It Kid’s’ guitars have aided my return to the real world. Though all very different and all brilliant in their own rights, these bands all have quite a heavy focus on big drums, deep bass and powerful, emotional vocals; virtually perfect for those days when you just feel like enough is enough.

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So imagine my surprise when, out of nowhere, a quite different and very unexpected EP from a band who I found completely by accident on the day of their debut, would replace all of those growling, heaving and furious balms to my frazzled nerves and become the very ultimate in relief from the daily stresses of an accountant/student/older sister/bill payer’s life.

The band in question is JYP Entertainment’s ‘DAY6’ from South Korea and the EP, ‘The Day’. These six songs by these six seriously talented and really funny guys have made the last few months not only bearable but really quite awesome. The EP takes you on a roller-coaster through breaking up and falling in love with its title track ‘Congratulations’ giving a real twist on that typical ‘bumping into the ex’ song and the whole thing is upbeat and catchy to the point that I can’t not dance and sing along the moment I hear those first few chords. Even ‘Habits  (버릇이 됐어)’, a song focused on the feeling of loss and longing that follows the end of a relationship, does so in a way that almost celebrates the pain as one of the beautiful, difficult parts of being young and growing up.

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My favourite songs on the album are probably ‘Freely (Free 하게)’ and ‘Congratulations’ because they offer a feeling of liberation that I haven’t felt from a song in a very long time. I find myself grinning goofy-ly whenever I hear them ^^

To top off an already brilliant start for an excellent band, the members are all very active on social media with guitarist and vocalist Jae Park leading the pack and proving that there is, indeed, someone else in the world who thinks how I do but also, that he is possibly the funniest hashtagger out there.

Day6’s EP is available on iTunes and Apple music, and I really can’t recommend it enough! Now I just need to find some way of convincing them to come to England!

#Blightyneedstheswegchickentoo #Icanturnyouintopixelpeoplecrossstitchesifthatwillsomehowaidyourdecision

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What I’m listening to: 22nd November 2015

What I’m listening to: 22nd November 2015

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The last few weeks have been a revelation to me. A revelation in regards to exactly how diverse my music tastes can be. What started off as a little bit of curiosity following a very interesting recommendation by YouTube turned into a 3 month long obsession during which I have sampled more Korean Pop music than I had ever believed possible. And the song that set me on this incredibly satisfying tangent? ‘Back’ by the incredibly talented and wonderfully charismatic ‘INFINITE’

Why not give it a go? ^^ I am sure you’ll notice the brain-gasm inducing synchronicity of the dance routine which had me mesmerised from the very start!

An Otaku in Love – Why I’m Choosing to Marry in Secret

Anime-Wedding-runochan97-33554806-1412-1000An Otaku in Love – Why I’m Choosing to Marry in Secret

Yep, you read that correctly! This humble, boring, otaku of an accountant has been placed under matrimonial arrest until further notice and it’s about time too! After 7 years, 8 Christmases and pretty much the entirety of my adult life to date, my mountain man of a boyfriend has made the decision to, metaphorically, ‘put a ring on it’ (technically speaking I’ve had the ring for a while) and I am positively beside myself about this all-too-grown-up adventure that I am now incredibly close to embarking on.

A few months ago, after moving into our new home together and beginning our new, much happier, life in Petersfield, Jack began adamantly demanding that I book a holiday to Florida. Every day he pushed me to choose a hotel, book a date off work, find out how much park tickets would be, until eventually I gave in and we booked a week long break in April. This would be our first holiday alone together since we first started dating and only my second trip abroad, so you can imagine that I am already noticeably excitable but it wasn’t until he revealed the real reason for his pushiness that I truly began to understand the magnitude of the situation.

477184_1277643697455_fullWith the honeymoon already booked, I have been sick with excitement for a few weeks now, ever since that fateful day when I called our registry office of choice and told them the good news. After their initial shock and horror at what must have sounded like an excited, slightly teary, toddler on the phone who forgot absolutely everything she was supposed to ask and had to call back three times; they booked us in for an undisclosed date and now I have a ludicrously short amount of time to find a dress and gather up my remaining faculties so that I can become Mrs Kristy Jayne Darcy.

Now, before you all panic thinking that I’m suddenly going to start flooding your feed with wedding nonsense- I’m not! Nor am I going to start preaching the merits of church vs registry office vs a meadow in a clearing and please believe me when I tell you that I forewent any and all ‘Bride-zilla’ traits that might have been available to me at birth. I am actually feeling pretty chilled out about the whole thing and that is thanks, in no small part, to the way in which we are choosing to become man and wife.

Relationships are complicated. Families are complicated. People are db579224c9f40f8a89600c099593e9eccomplicated. Be they your family, your oldest friend or the cousin you haven’t seen since you were three, people have this knack of ‘knowing best’ and each and every person has a different ideal when it comes to the expression of love and commitment that is a wedding.

For years Jack and I agonised about how we could organise (and afford) a celebration which could include everyone, satisfy everyone and somehow not involve us being the centre of attention for too much of the day (we’re both painfully shy and much happier when a camera isn’t being forced into our faces!!) Every time we puzzled over it we came up blank until, after labouring the point for over 2 years, we finally made the decision that enough was enough and I feel like the greatest weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.

Now, you might be wondering why I am writing this, and you’d be right to wonder, but I do have a point I wanted to make. My point is that a wedding is a personal thing, just like a marriage. There is no right way or wrong way, there is no minimum budget just like there is no maximum and there is no reason for you and the person you love to sacrifice your ideals for the sake of conforming or making other people happy. Celebrate your love the way YOU want to, when you want to, because you want to! You’re not wrong and you’re not alone. ^^

Whilst we’re still facing scrutiny and not everyone fully understands our decision, I am ridiculously happy to report, that Jack and I will be getting married ALONE on a secret date at an undisclosed time at some point between now and May ^^ I will wear a wedding dress and I will have a bouquet and our families and friends will get to see them but there will be no big party, no over the top venue and I will not be taking out a mortgage in order to pay for a cake. Instead we will go for meals with people in groups of 10 or 12 and celebrate the fact that our ‘pretty much already married’ lifestyle will now become justified in the eyes of the law ^^

Now to lay off the biscuits, obsessively learn origami and prepare myself for the 27 dresses I’ll try on before I eventually settle for the first one anyway! ^^

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My Brief Stint in Print

11855510_10153451464036007_2015173388_nThe last few weeks have been a whirlwind of numbers and spreadsheets but there have been a few exciting announcements along the way which had made the whole thing worthwhile. Alongside this cacophony of chaos, there has been one unexpected surprise which has really given me a taste of a world I never thought I’d get to be a part of.

I entitled this post ‘My Brief Stint in Print’ because that is exactly what it was. Around about two months ago, after a particularly long and rough day at work, I allowed Jack to convince me to write a letter to Neo Magazine, a magazine that I have been obsessively purchasing every month for the past year and a half, just to let them know how much I love what they do and how much their writing has inspired me to embrace my fandoms in as big a way as possible. It was one of the hardest emails I have ever written. I agonised over it. Every line felt wrong and every compliment, exaggerated, but I finally settled on a draft and, before I could second guess myself, I pressed send.

I didn’t get a response from my email and, to be honest, I hadn’t expected one. As time wore on, I forgot I had sent it at all, I continued going about my daily life and, on the release date of the issue 139 of Neo, I wandered down to the WHSmith and picked up my copy just like I always do. It wasn’t until I was sitting at work in my lunch hour, munching on a sandwich and flicking through the magazine that I stumbled across something I really wasn’t expecting… there it was, plain as day, my letter in print!! Not only was it printed in the magazine BUT it was the star letter and I had won myself a free copy of ‘Space Dandy’ Season 2. I was so beside myself with excitement that I called practically everyone I know to tell them about it.11850783_10153451463976007_2008605787_n

In order to claim my prize, and because I was so overwhelmed with joy that I wanted to thank whoever chose my letter, I sent an email to Neo Magazine and spoke to their lovely editor, Gemma. As per her suggestion I sent in a 200 word reader review and got some much appreciated advice in regards to my future plans.

Now that August has rolled around I am very pleased to say that I also have a piece featured in Neo Magazine issue 140 too!

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As someone who is usually quite frightened of revealing herself and her writing to people on a wider scale than my humble blog and my wonderful followers, having something in a magazine at all is a pretty major accomplishment for me and I am astoundingly overwhelmed by the very thought of it. I feel like these last two months have given me a taste of just what joy writing can bring me and I hope to carry this feeling with me for a long time ^.^

DECAYS – Secret Mode – The Best Start to a Morning

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When I woke up this morning to a message from my oldest friend, Allie, I was a little confused. It is quite unlike her to post on my Facebook wall about something but this news was definitely ‘Timeline’ worthy!

How it managed to escape my notice for such a long time I will never understand, but it would appear that Die from ‘Dir En Grey’ one of my all time favourite guitarists and a man I have been in love with since I was 16, has released a video for his new side project ‘DECAYS’ in which he is, not just a guitarist, but also a singer!!

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A bleary-eyed, 6am version of me very much appreciated being woken up to this news and listened to their new song ‘Secret Mode’ on repeat right up until the moment I walked into work! ^.^

The Video is available from Itunes for £1.89 here is a little teaser for your viewing pleasure 🙂 Now to stare lovingly at pictures of Die for the rest of the day!

Hyper Japan – One Happy Otaku

hyper japan largeThe last few weeks have been a countdown for me, a countdown to Hyper Japan. With 16 days to go I was toying with the idea of buying my train tickets despite there being absolutely no discount for booking so early. With 12 days to go I had tried on 6 dresses trying to pick something that would be comfortable and easy for me to move in on what would undoubtedly be a very hot day. With 6 days to go I had begun obsessively listening to ‘Lost Ash’ like, somehow, hearing Daiki’s voice would make the time go faster. By Friday, as I watched the hashtags start rolling in, I began to wonder if my decision to go on the Sunday when it would be quieter and I’d get 9 hours instead of 6; had been a mistake. By Saturday I had completely forgotten how to function because my excitement was too overwhelming.

This was my first time at a Hyper Japan event and I couldn’t help but wonder, when I joined the queue outside the O2 at 9.05am on Sunday morning, how I’d managed to go so long without attending. Though the queue was long and I’d been up since 5.30am (I say 5.30 but, in reality, I probably didn’t really asleep at all) my excitement was such that I barely noticed the time passing.

Right from the start I was spotting recognisable cosplay around every turn including a pretty substantial ‘Fairytail’ guild, about six Kurokos and an adorable Levi in a maid costume and cat ears which made me giggle excessively. Alongside the cosplay, Kawaii culture and Japanese fashion was showcased by both patrons and stallholders giving the whole event a real atmosphere that made me feel (well, apart from slightly under-dressed) like I was being immersed in Japanese culture.

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Generally when I attend events I am a woman on a mission, and Hyper Japan was no exception. The moment we gained access to the venue I made a beeline for ‘One Not’e’ who would be playing on the Hyper Live Stage at 9.45am. ‘One Not’e’ are one of the most adorable bands I have ever seen. Despite the early hour and the fact that they were probably jet-lagged as it was, they were able to wow the crowd with their energy. J-rock has been a favourite genre of mine for a good few years and ‘One Not’e’s sound, reminiscent of ‘Spyair’ with a grunge-y undertone, definitely sated a craving I wasn’t aware I had. Continue reading

What I’m listening to! – 19th May 2015

550455_426402460755498_67612896_n_zpsfd24a390Hello everyone!

It’s been a while! Things haven’t been all that sunny in life of late but I’m looking forward to a full and thorough recovery as May turns to June. I’ve missed you all immense amounts!

Today I’m feeling pretty tired so I was looking for something a upbeat to raise my spirits!

In two week’s time I will be celebrating my 25th birthday (yep, I am almost a quarter of a century old but still sound like a toddler, and yes I am a Gemini :D) To mark the occasion, Jack’s mum has bought us tickets to Hyper Japan!! For anyone who doesn’t know, Hyper Japan is a festival of Japanese culture with food, anime, gaming, fashion, dance, martial arts and even music including live performances from a number of Japanese artists, many of whom are using Hyper Japan as their UK debut. The festival spans 3 days in July and is based at ‘The O2’ in London. I will be attending on the Sunday and fully intend to leave just before the doors close for the day, full of food, laden with chibis and thoroughly satisfied!

Continue reading