Girugamesh – Chimera – One Heck of a Good Morning!

Girugamesh

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!

First Impressions: Tokyo Ghoul

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First Impressions: Tokyo Ghoul

“Has she been living under a rock all of this time?”

I imagine that is exactly what you all thought when you read the title of this blog post; the honest answer is, no, I’ve not been under a rock but have felt such an overwhelming pressure to give this insanely popular anime a try that I’ve somehow ended up simply not doing it until now. Finally, after much discussion, Jack and I decided to sit down and give ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ some of our time; my first thought? Well… that deteriorated fast…

Having already been given the ‘heads up’ that I would probably feel like I had been thrown into the midst of a nightmare in which the protagonist’s life was changed irreparably before I even had the chance to get to know him, I was somewhat forewarned but I was in no way prepared for exactly how harsh the reality would be. Like countless other bloggers I am going to draw a few comparisons to the beginning of Shingeki no Kyojin, mainly because of one major narrative structure similarity; the velocity in which you are thrust into the action. Continue reading

HAL – A sweet tragedy

HAL – A sweet tragedy

HAL

It’s unlike me to deliberately go into something with absolutely no knowledge about the subject matter but ‘HAL’ was one such occasion; I chose it based on character design alone, Io Sakisaka’s character designs to be precise. Having loved the art and story in every one of Io Sakisaka’s manga, I was immediately drawn to that familiar style which was so obviously present in Haru’s design, and I am so glad I was. ‘HAL’ is a sweet tragedy set to the backdrop of a harmonious balance between advanced robotics technology and traditional Japanese landscapes. The story centres on Haru and Kurumi, a young couple separated by death following a devastating plane disaster. I’ve always been fond of medium that deal with the, ever present, issues of grief and depression in new and creative ways and I now count ‘HAL’ amongst my selection of favourites.

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In this futuristic universe where using robotics in therapy has become almost common in the medical industry, one particularly ambitious scientist has discovered a binary equivalent for Human Emotion. Can he meld this with an android and save the lost and horrified Kurumi from her deep depression? Continue reading

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun – A Celebration of Glorious Ridiculousness!

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun – A celebration of glorious ridiculousness!

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Easily comparable to the likes of ‘Ouran High School Host Club’, ‘Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun’ is a wonderfully hilarious anime boasting 12 episodes which centre on the mishaps and misadventures of a group of teenagers as they laugh, love and stumble through their high school lives. Having recently subjected myself to a variety of anime with the sole intention of bringing myself to tears; ‘Gekkan Shoujo’ was an incredibly pleasant and very welcome change. My first taste of this series came when I was letting YouTube play through Spyair music videos, enjoying the uplifting sound of Ike’s voice. I often wonder if YouTube can read my mind and this was one such occasion, I was completely unsuspecting when a video began to load that was so unlike what I’d been watching as though the internet knew I wanted it even before I did. One clip of Mikorin desperately vying for compliments and I was lost to my own joyful giggles, I was soon clutching at my sides as I went on the hunt for my iPad, intent on giving the series a go, right away!

830563291_origWith a likeable, hard-working and determined heroine, a stoic, delightfully naïve male protagonist and a motley collection of unique and highly entertaining co-stars, there is really nothing that I can criticise about the way this anime plays out; except, perhaps, lamenting that it had to end so early, if at all. Not designed to be deep or emotional, but instead, happily parodic of his own genre, ‘Gekkan’ knows itself very well. When Sakura, our adorable heroine, decides to confess to the tall, masculine Nozaki-kun who caught her eye on her first day of high school, she is incredibly nervous, flushed and embarrassed beyond belief, so when he misunderstands her intention entirely and offers her an autograph instead, you could understand her confusion. Things escalate pretty quickly from there when Sakura discovers that the guy of her dreams is actually the mangaka behind a very popular shoujo series of which she is a fan.

Continue reading

Voltage Inc – Sweet Cafe – Coin Drop Images

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It’s taken a while but… I’ve finally managed to get all of the ‘Coin Drop Images’ on Voltage’s wonderful ‘Sweet Café’ app. These free images are all a matter of chance and come from playing the ‘Coin Drop’ game with the free coins it gives you if you log in every day, some of them are definitely worth the effort and the wait!!

For anyone who isn’t aware, the sweet café is a free app which gives you access to special stories, brand new app prologues and special gifts and images based on points gained from your other Voltage purchases. A great way of getting that Voltage fix on a day when you can’t really justify spending the money for a new story.

One of the apps defining features is the cute little ‘Coin Drop’ game which features little dancing chibis of a few of your favourite guys and unlocks special prizes for you that can only be achieved by dropping your coins and hoping for the best. Amongst these ‘Coin Drop’ exclusive prizes are 12 (at the moment) CG images, all equally beautiful and some even a little racy.

For your viewing pleasure:

Hiroshi Kirisawa – Metro PD: Close to you
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Ivan Chernenkov – Be My Princess 2  Continue reading

Sakura Amidst Chaos – Oda Nobunaga – Budding Hearts review

Sakura Amidst Chaos – Oda Nobunaga – Budding Hearts review

sakuraAt the beginning of this month I celebrated my twenty-fifth birthday and Voltage gave me a wonderful gift that satisfied many cravings in my heart; ‘Sakura Amidst Chaos’ was released! This Shogun era app allows its readers to fall in love with shogun warriors in what could possibly be Voltage’s most chivalrous app to date.

The story goes; one incredibly fateful day a young peasant woman, who has lost both her father and brother to war and now finds herself in the care of her unfriendly relatives, meets a number of high-powered, well-respected warrior lords whilst trying to escape her cousins unsavoury advances. Despite being a humble, hard-working young girl, she leaves quite the lasting impression on her handsome, strong saviours, so much so that they write to her the very next day requesting her company and offering her their thanks and affection. Having resigned herself to a life of hard labour, the MC barely complains as she tries to shoulder her mother’s work as well, lest she get ill; so imagine her surprise when the messenger singles her out. Which of these Warlords is her fate tied to and can she overcome the boundaries of her own poverty and the hardships of war?

IMG_2342‘Sakura’s’ design has a very traditional, Japanese feel featuring cherry blossoms, flowers, wooden fans and lanterns which I personally found very appealing and engaging, and the backdrop of tatami mats, traditional dress and beautiful gardens creates a sweet nostalgic feel whilst the art on the characters is very pretty, simple and open. Interestingly, before Sakura’s release I had seen posts stressing adverse opinions in relation to the artwork of the app with some people saying it wasn’t up to the standard of some of the more modern translations like ‘Finally in love again’, ‘Scandal in the Spotlight’ and ‘Star-crossed Myth’; I have to say that I entirely disagree. While the artwork may be simpler and the CGS are more close ups and head and shoulder shots, ‘Sakura’ carries a very similar artistic feel to that of ‘Be My Princess’ and ‘Be My Princess 2’, a style I find comforting and beautiful in its innocence and clarity.

Continue reading

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo – Rihito Hatsune – Immediate reconciliation Headcanon

dreamy days Over the last few days I have been having a stab at flexing my creative muscles by trying my hand at some headcanon writing for some of my favourite Voltage characters. I decided to start with a series of headcanons for the wonderful men of Voltage’s ‘Dreamy Days in West Tokyo’. What would happen if each of the boys immediately recognised the MC and admitted how they’d been feeling since she left? Here’s what I thought (Expect this to be sickly sweet and potentially poorly written) rihito

Rihito

Her POV

When I finally arrive at the Black Ship I feel completely exhausted. I run a hand through my hair carefully tucking it behind my ears and check my reflection in a shop window before I pull myself up to my full height and take a deep breath. Cakes in one hand and a hastily scribbled map crumpled in the other I give myself an internal pep talk before pressing a fist again the café door and giving it a push. The cool, conditioned air washes around me and I feel my nerves instantly calm. Inside, the café is romantically lit, with soft leather seating and mismatched tables that perfectly compliment the retro feel of the décor. There’s a wonderfully comforting smell of freshly brewed coffee which brings a smile to the corners of my lips as I step further into the room, spotting a tall man behind the bar. The man is fiddling absently with the dials on an out of date radio and doesn’t hear me enter, he pauses for a moment to push his dark hair out for his eyes before returning to his quest.

I bounce from foot to foot for a moment, feeling a little awkward, but he still doesn’t notice me so I decide to get his attention. I give a little cough. He starts, his hair falls back into his eyes and he turns on me, one hand pushed hard against his chest.

Bartender: “Careful now, beautiful; I’m an old man and I only have one heart” he lets out a breathy chuckle and pats himself on the chest a couple of times. “Good Afternoon, How can I help you?”

I try to conceal the blush rising in my cheeks with a smile and take a step towards the bar. Continue reading

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo – Takeshi Yuno – Immediate reconciliation Headcanon

dreamy days

Over the last few days I have been having a stab at flexing my creative muscles by trying my hand at some headcanon writing for some of my favourite Voltage characters. I decided to start with a series of headcanons for the wonderful men of Voltage’s ‘Dreamy Days in West Tokyo’.

What would happen if each of the boys immediately recognised the MC and admitted how they’d been feeling since she left? Here’s what I thought

(Expect this to be sickly sweet and potentially poorly written)

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Takeshi

Her POV

It’s been an eventful morning. Having ­­­been insulted by the women in the flower shop, teased mercilessly by the surly boy in the cake shop and almost tackled by a frustrated restaurant owner and a delinquent, I am starting to feel like this town really is a lot different from what I remember. When I finally arrive in front of the Black Ship I heave a big sigh of relief, my day may not be over but at least I’m reached my destination.

The Black Ship is a cosy looking café nestled into the shopping district with comforting fixtures and beautiful window boxes. Nerves rush over me as I look up at what is going to be my home for the coming years whilst I study. I take a big steadying breath, closing my eyes for a moment, before I place a hand on the door and give it a gentle push. Inside the air is cooler than it is outside and I immediately feel better. The gently lit room is almost empty except for a few patrons; soft music issues from a radio that rests on the bar and each table has a small vase with a single flower positioned somewhere around the centre.

(Wow, this place is so retro!)

Behind the bar stands a man in his twenties, his gives me a beaming smile and I head in his direction.

(Could this be…?) Continue reading

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo – Ryuzo Hatta – Immediate reconciliation Headcanon

dreamy days

Over the last few days I have been having a stab at flexing my creative muscles by trying my hand at some headcanon writing for some of my favourite Voltage characters. I decided to start with a series of headcanons for the wonderful men of Voltage’s ‘Dreamy Days in West Tokyo’.

What would happen if each of the boys immediately recognised the MC and admitted how they’d been feeling since she left? Here’s what I thought

(Expect this to be sickly sweet and potentially poorly written)

ryuzo

Ryuzo

HER POV

After the evil glares of the girl’s at the florists and the harsh comments of the guy in the cake shop I am starting to feel like this town might not be the same town I remembered after all.

(The shops look the same but…)

I stop for a moment, admiring the colourful array of fruit and vegetables outside of a grocery store when I hear a shout from behind me.

The voice is heavily accented and undoubtedly furious.

Voice: “Woman! You no eat and run!”

I instinctively flinch, trying to make myself as small as possible as I turn towards the man who is gaining on me fast. His face is contorted with rage and I start to panic. Before I can even consider an escape however, another body, much larger and moving much faster, comes barrelling out of the grocery store whose display I had been admiring. The two men collide in an explosion of limbs and I close my eyes against the impact, praying that neither of them is hurt.

Blonde man: “Anan! How many times have I gotta tell ya! Don’t attack ladies.” Continue reading