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

Kids on the Slope – Sakamichi no Apollon – Music, Mishaps and My Favourite Muscle-bound Dork

Kids on the Slope – Sakamichi no Apollon – Music, Mishaps and My Favourite Muscle-bound Dorkkids on the slope

Following a recommendation from, truly the very best source of anime material I have ever met, Shiroyuni of thelimitlessimagination, my partner and I decided to try out ‘Kids on the Slope’ or ‘Sakamichi no Apollon’. As fans of both music and anime we were immediately drawn into this incredibly engaging story and wound up marathon-ing all 12 episodes over the course of two evenings despite the protests of my very tired eyes.

At first glance this anime, which started it’s life as a manga series by the same name and was adapted in 2012, seems like a standard music anime with a touch of school life but it soon proves itself as, additionally, a slice of life romance centred around the awkwardly comforting exploits of a trio of friends and the people they meet along the way. ‘Kids on the Slope’ manages to traverse genres effortlessly creating a series which can be enjoyed on varying levels by people of all ages. The story is set in 1966 Japan, during a time of political unrest and protests but also, a time of music and passion. Continue reading

Angel Beats! – Anime Review

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I’m finally back from the dead!

Of late, virtually crippling work-related responsibilities have had me tearing my hair out for months. Now, after such a long absence from WordPress, I am incredibly happy to be back and glad of the chance to get some of these thoughts out of my head! 🙂

Whilst on the subject of ‘back from the dead’ it seems only fitting that I write down some of my thoughts on ‘Angel Beats!’, which now tops the bill as the story that has made me shed the most tears and provoked the most thought thus far in my anime journey. Regardless of who you are and what your beliefs are, you’d be hard pressed to come out of ‘Angel Beats!’ without inspiration to pursue a fulfilling life and overcome any hardships you’ve faced in favour of happiness and contentment, such is the beauty of great anime and an impeccably told story.

Angel-Beats-Main-Characters-will-sweety-stella-andrew-35166040-2560-1813‘Angel Beats!’ is a 13 part anime series released in 2010 which was produced by P.A. Works and Antiplex. It started it’s life as a visual novel by the same name but also coined two manga series. Generally very well received and widely popular, this series has appeared on my radar numerous times before a few good recommendations finally pushed it to the top of my ‘to watch’ list.

ab3When an unsuspecting Yuzuru Otonashi wakes up, with no memories of his past or who he is, only to be confronted by a gun-toting-teenage-girl named Yuri, it is only natural that he would be suspicious. Especially when she tells him that the high school he finds himself in, is the ‘Afterlife’ itself and that he, like her, is dead. She asks him to join her rebel troupe ‘Afterlife Battlefront’ and aid her and her companions as they mobilise against the seemingly innocent looking ‘Angel’ and the ‘God’ who they believe she serves. With the constant threat of obliteration should they become too comfortable or conform to this peculiar afterlife, there is only one rule of this strange new high school life; stay rebellious.

As I was watching I found myself very interested in the Battlefront’s ability to create and manufacture weapons from earth and soil provided that have a basic understanding of concept and mechanism. This unique magic/sci-fi approach to the acquisition of weapons allowed the story to move faster and provided some very interesting weaponry, especially in the hands of the Student Body President who was able to turn her entire body into an unstoppable weapon.

‘Angel Beats!’ tackles issues of mortality and mental health in a refreshing realistic way to the backdrop of a sci-fi-esque combatant conflict which threatens the very souls of the battlefront and their friends. Boasting a very characteristic and unique art style which is full of colour and subtlety alongside beautifully written dialogue that is able to inspire heartfelt emotion whilst moving the story along at a comfortable pace and topped off with a killer soundtrack courtesy of the ‘Girls Dead Monster’ band, in 13 short episodes this story was able to reduce me to tears on numerous occasions and make me laugh even more frequently. It is easy to see why this anime has such wide-spread appeal. Continue reading

Pochamani and Ore Monogatari – Challenging Stereotypes of Beauty

Pochamani and Ore Monogatari – Challenging Stereotypes of Beauty

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As a ‘larger lady’ with less than average breast-size and frizzy hair that regularly threatens to engulf my face, I am always going to love any medium that challenges the common perception of beauty. Much of my posting centres on my admiration for art which so creatively brings to life characters that are, for all intents and purposes, far too gorgeous for this world, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that I have no hang ups about the abundant depictions of the exquisite and striking in the anime and manga that I consume, however that is not the case. I’ve secretly been longing to read a manga where the larger lady gets the guy or that big guy with the grumpy face finds his princess.

In answer to my wishes, two of my absolute favourite ongoing manga at the moment are Pochamani and Ore Monogatari and I live for the days when the new chapters are released. Both stories are unpredictable, heart-warming, funny and unique. They gave me exactly what I was looking for before I even knew that I was looking for it. Continue reading

Kimi Ni Todoke – A slow-building masterpiece of romance and friendship.

Kimi Ni Todoke – A slow-building masterpiece of romance and friendship. kimi ni todoke

Oftentimes, when asked to choose my favourite romance story I am automatically drawn to stories with grand gestures that overcome obstacles which should by all rights scupper any chances of reconciliation in order to profess their feelings surrounded by their peers, I have recently realised however, that in choosing these high-stakes stories I am neglecting some of the most wonderful and miraculous romances which are very much hiding in plain sight. One such story is the story of Sawako and Shota.

‘Kimi Ni Todoke’ started its life as a shoujo manga series which also goes by the names ‘From Me To You’ and ‘Reaching You’ by Karuho Shiina, which has spanned 22 volumes in total since its initial publication in 2005. Having now also coined two anime seasons and a live action film it would be fair to say that Sawako’s love story is possibly one of Japan’s most popular and it easy to see why.

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My personal relationship with this story began with the first season of the anime which I stumbled upon one morning completely by accident and fell in love with almost instantly. One of the most notably beautiful things about this anime is its innocence; with a heroine as inexperienced and naive as Sawako, every step on the road to romance is both terrifying and exciting in equal parts and the fact that her experiences are in no way rushed really cemented my respect for the fantastic story telling in this piece.
So who is Sawako Kuronuma? Our heroine is the perfect example of an unfairly outcast teenager who is her own worst enemy; beyond that, she is a clever, friendly young girl who is just waiting for her life to begin, full of energy and determination and loyal to a fault. Sawako is quite a traditional person and has a very old fashioned look, her long straight glossy hair is worn down at all times and she had a heavy fringe which shades her eyes, she is beautiful but a lifetime of struggling to make friends mean her facial muscles aren’t used to smiling and the more nervous she gets the worse the expression she shows. Continue reading

A little update and an apology for my absence!

A little update and an apology for my absence!photo 2

Hello Lovelies!

Some people may have noticed, though a few might not have noticed at all, that I have been a little absent over the last couple of weeks. Things have been a somewhat hectic over here and I have been doing my best impression of a headless chicken for a sometime so I hope you’ll forgive me for neglecting my little blog in the wake of such circumstances.

I haven’t really posted a personal ‘Here’s what’s going on with me’ post on this site before now but I fancied doing one today just to let you all know what I’ve been up to, let you know that I haven’t forgotten you and promise that the neglect will stop soon.

February was exceedingly busy. I made a few decisions about my future including a potential change of career and some additional study which I am thoroughly looking forward to, I overcame a HR nightmare at work to recruit a new lady who is absolutely lovely is reacting very well to being trained by someone younger and will hopefully stick it out for the longhaul and I had a much deserved week off which I spent curled up a corner of my home with a cat on one side, a bunny on the other and all thoughts of responsibility erased from my mind, now I’m back at work, fighting fit (sort of) and feeling as tired as I would have been had I never had any time off. Such is life on the treadmill.

Last weekend Another Earth Collectables hosted a stall at Geek Central’s Spring Thingy at Brighton’s Komedia, peddling our wares for all to see. Our stock of Funko POP’s is ever growing and now our display is taller than I am! I had a wonderful time in Brighton, spoke to some really interesting people and got to spend a whole day surrounded by the things I love. Next convention is at the end of March in Southampton and I can barely contain my excitement, maybe I’ll see some of you there 🙂

In other news, the lovely ‘thelimitlessimagination’ has just gotten me addicted to an incredibly interesting and entertaining young adult, reverse harem fiction series which has given me sleepless nights because I have been glued to my kindle every spare moment of the day, I’m not sure I can confidently tell you what is reality or what is fiction anymore, all I know is that I have fallen in love with 9 fictional characters and am not expecting to come up for air for a while. 😀 I really can’t thank her enough for the recommendation!

I have also recently rediscovered my love of felt and have been making a few bits (pics to follow) and have started to write letters to people again which is so much fun! (Incidentally, if anyone fancies a penpal let me know, I’d love to write to you :D)

So what is coming over the next few weeks:

I have been on a bit of a review rampage so expect:

  • Kimi ni Todoke Review
  • Clannad and Clannad After Story review
  • Angel Beats – First impression
  • 4 new voltage reviews and
  • 3 new toy reviews including a particularly awful set of TMNT bootlegs which actually showed up with their legs detached and half-finished paint jobs!

I’ll try to be much more active over the coming weeks and hope you’ll all stick around and let me know what you think 😀

❤ ~ Kristy a.k.a Otaku Rui

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

Kou Mabuchi and Touma Kikuchi – Because no one should have to choose!

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Today I started a review of ‘Ao Haru Ride’, one of my favourite anime and manga series to date because it is just so darned adorable!

One of the reasons I have loved this series so much is Futaba, the heroine, herself. She just can’t seem to catch a break and she’s always making mistakes but she has a lot of fire in her and a lot of determination, exactly the kind of protagonist I love! The other reason I love this story is these two.

Kou Mabuchi 

175475download (2)Kou is handsome, masculine and complicated. He’s confident and capable but has become lazy and he is good with people and honest but is hiding himself away because his experience shows that caring for things makes life complicated. Kou is a tease and he can be mean and bad tempered but he also has the most adorable blushing face and is a romantic at heart, really. He can’t hide his soft side and helps those in need but he does so with a nonchalent air, trying to keep everyone at arm’s length. He’s built walls around himself but I love watching Futaba and the others tear them down one by one in some of the most comical ways. Super Cute!

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Touma Kikuchi 

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Touma and Kou are very different, whilst Kou’s painful past has left him unable to reach out for what he wants and unable to accept his own feelings, Touma goes after what he wants with all of his might. The thing I adored the most about Touma was his honesty and his boldness, even if he did blush ridiculously afterwards. Touma is the epitome of youth and when he falls down, though it hurts, he gets himself back up again and carries on with a miraculous determination.

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