Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Birthday Hatsune Miku!

Happy Birthday Hatsune Miku! It's August 31st and that means two things. One, August is almost over and we're moving into September. Two, it's Miku's birthday. (Also my brother's!)

On the chance you don't know Miku, she's a Vocaloid and essentially a virtual idol. Vocaloid is the name of a software used to create music using the manipulation of voice-banks. While Miku is not the first of her kind, she is the most well known.

For more information simply ask Google, or discover Vocaloid music and videos on YouTube!

Please enjoy celebrating with Miku and have a nice day!

Let's celebrate Project Diva style!

Don't forget a nice song along the way!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Is the Smash Leak Good or Bad?

For all of those in the loop with Nintendo related games and updates or Smash Bros. in general, you might have heard about the leak that's been appearing around the internet. You can view all the details of the leak on Kotaku. I don't really support leaking or want to spread the pictures any further, so I am not going to post them on my blog.

I would like to start off saying that, with the recent video release of Shulk, many people will believe that the leak is true. However, despite this evidence, I still do not think we should jump to conclusions just yet. First of all, there has been no sort of confirmation from Nintendo about the leak. They are the ones who are producing the game, and if they haven't said that whats been posted is true, then how are we supposed to know?

Furthermore, I'd like to examine the effects of the leak. 

So while a lot of people are looking at this new information with happiness and excitement, others are somewhat displeased with what was revealed and the simple fact that it was revealed. It all seems very good right? We've found out a lot of information that we wouldn't have known, and we can rejoice. On the other side, we've spoiled the surprise and further surprises about the game, and derailed the hype train. I've taken a look at the general populace online, and found mixed reactions.

When it comes to me, I don't like leaks. I'm a person who likes surprises, and I think this ruins the excitement that was linked to the new Smash Bros. Yes, there can be more things hidden that we do not know, but we cannot reverse what has already been done. Sadly, other people who thought like me and shared their thoughts were pretty much ganged up on and silenced.

Despite this, I think some people are looking at this situation from a consumer-only point of view. I think this is the major problem behind leaks, and the reason why I don't support them. Even though we're not personally meeting with the Nintendo employees or having face to face conversations, they still have a relationship with their audience, the consumers.

By halting their process or spreading confidential information, we are having an unbalanced relationship. Remember that Nintendo is a Japanese company. There is a concept in Japanese culture of being on equal grounds with a person in a relationship. When we introduce ourselves, we sometimes use the phrase Dozo Yorishiku. This is a symbol not only of an introduction, but of an equal relationship. It's similar to the philosophy of treating others how you want to be treated.

So yes, they may be a big company with large amounts of money, but I still think it's important to have this way of thinking when it comes to anything or anyone we interact with.

So no, I do not agree with this leak and I will not spread the leak any further than this post. I don't believe leaks are positive for consumer or producer. I'm pretty disappointed, because the surprise is ruined for me, a person who likes surprises, and I'm sure other people can relate. I'm almost not going to believe this leak until it is confirmed. Will you do the same?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's Not Always Black and White

It's not always black and white,
But your heart always knows what's right.
It's not about win or lose, it's the path you choose.

We can hear these lyrics in the English opening of Pokémon Black and White. While these lyrics may not seem like much, they can be applied to a certain way of thinking. Sometimes, it's easy to view the world in black and white. It's easy to judge and categorize, grouping people into sides of good or evil. We see things as good or bad, right or wrong, order or chaos. 

While some of these generalizations may be true, it's not good to see things this way. The truth to the matter is that there is really no right or wrong side. Everything and everyone are mixed. We need both to create a balance, as without order there cannot be chaos. Alone they lead to ruin. A world full of only chaos would be a disaster, and a world full of only order would never progress.

Ryuuko and Satsuki
So of course we can bring these words back to anime, anime outside of Pokémon. I thought order and chaos would be a great fit here, because these two roles are really overused when it comes to media. They are represented by the colors blue and red respectively. The colors have essentially become the new representation of white and black. A few characters off the top of my head that fit this pattern are Ragna and Jin (BlazBlue) and Ryuuko and Satsuki (Kill la Kill

Luckily, because there are so many of these character relationships, there is a lot we can take from them. First of all, the sides are not always of equal strength. In both of the series, there was a clear difference between the two sides. One was more powerful than the other, but when the tides changed, the other side became more powerful. In the end though, it doesn't really matter which side is stronger, things never seemed to work out right until both worked together.

Ragna and Jin
When the chaos side gave into complete chaos, they became a nightmare. Ryuuko and Ragna respectively became monstrous beings, destroying everything in their path. By Ryuuko and Ragna learning to control their respective powers, anger and darkness, both were able to acquire extreme amounts of strength. All it took was a little bit of order. Jin and Satsuki on the other hand, needed to give into a small portion of chaos to grasp their strength. Jin breaking free of his sword, Yukianesa's, control and Satsuki donning Senketsu are prime examples of this. 

These actions bring us to the lesson! Order and Chaos are two sides of the same coin, and we need both to work together in order to accomplish anything. The same goes for Good and Evil, in order for both to prosper, they need to work together. 

From the character's traits, we can also figure out that everyone has both sides in them. Some just have more or less than others. 

So with this, it's absolutely okay to lean more towards one side or the other. I think it doesn't matter what side you favor, of if you favor no side at all. The point is to remember that not everything is split into good and evil, black and white, order and chaos. Don't try to categorize everything or yourself. If you do, this will only limit you. 

So anytime you feel yourself thinking that the world is split up into good and evil sides take a break and remember, "it's not always black and white, but your heart knows what's right." If that doesn't help, just remember anime; it's the driving force behind this post anyways!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fall Anime Watchlist 2014

Hello everyone! I feel that Shooting Star Dreamer is lacking in terms of recent anime, aside from the Naruto and Cardfight!! Vanguard posts. I would like to focus on the new, instead of limiting myself to a variety of older series. Therefore, I've created another watchlist, a little differently than my Winter one. I intend to at least attempt to watch most of these series, but it shouldn't be too hard because they seem to be the type I like.

Just a forewarning, I won't be doing any sort of review on these anime. Instead, I'll just be giving my thoughts throughout the season, and analyzing different traits within each. If you're looking for reviews, sorry! (Every now and then I review something.)

So I've decided to pick up a few titles in the Fall. They are displayed on the graphic above, but I've decided to give a little list here as well. Just click on the picture to see the trailer and click the name for more information about each anime. Also if there's something else you want to recommend or would like to see posted here leave a comment in the box below!

Here they are, in order of left to right on the graphic. (Starting on the top left and going down until the top right.)  Remember, click the name for more info, click the picture for the trailer/anime preview.

Fall 2014 Watchlist

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

 Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso PV

Denki-Gai no Honya-san 

 Denkigai no Honya-san PV

 Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai


 Shirobako PV

 Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru

 Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru PV

 Cardfight!! Vanguard Movie: Neon Messiah

Cardfight!! Vanguard Trailer

Considering (I'll add any recommendations here!)

Sora no Method

Sora no Method PV

Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete

That's pretty much it! If you guys have any recommendations or something you want to see on Shooting Star Dreamer, please leave a comment. This is just my selection of anime, but I'm open to trying others that are recommended.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Get Hype! It's Anime Time!

Anime can invoke many different feelings in the hearts of it's viewers. Sometimes anime make us sad enough to cry. Other times, we might shed tears out of happiness. When it comes to comedy, we laugh and have a good time watching the hilarious animated stunts. With action, we get goosebumps and chills overtakes our body.

While the different emotions are positive and negative, let's focus on the positive ones for today. We hear a lot of upbeat and fast paced songs when it comes to anime. They invoke positive feelings in the listener, and give us a "never give up" attitude. Music impacts our emotions deeply.

Readers, What Kind of Music Makes You Feel Alive?

There are many songs that give that incredible feeling in my body. When paired with nice animation, the effect is even greater. So today, I would like to share some of the greatest songs that make me feel "hype." If you're feeling down, these tunes are sure to bring you up. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How Do You Watch?

I've recently come to realization that not everyone watches things the same way. I'm sure this is obvious to most, but with anime there's a few different connotations surrounding the way someone watches. People tend to view certain series in a negative light, such as Ecchi or Card Games. They're labeled as being overused or lacking a complex plot. Some feel that true otakus watch a certain amount of anime, and if you don't do this you're not a real one. There's a vast variety of opinions when it comes to what you watch and how you watch.

For me, I've never been a heavy anime watcher. The only reason I've picked up so many series on my list is due to the vast amount of anime that would air on Funimation. Ever since Funimation disappeared, my anime views have dropped significantly. By watching on TV, I would get a wide variety of anime, which had it's ups and downs. For one, I became knowledgeable of many series, but was it worth putting up with shows I didn't like?

Thus by watching online, legally of course, things changed. I began to view mostly series that interested me, and found a good number of anime I genuinely enjoyed. In a way I was somewhat limited, since I didn't get a great mix of anime. However, in a different sense, I was more free. With such a wide variety of anime in existent, there's many that I wouldn't have seen without the internet.

Still, I got a few negative comments when people would ask me what I liked. I mostly prefer light-hearted anime that have some serious elements, but aren't void of down time. Some people didn't consider these real anime, and others looked down on me. Yet these were my favorite, that's all that matters in the end, right?

I've seen many different types of watchers, but there's a few categories I created. They are as follows:

  1. Heavy Anime Watchers ~ Ones who keep up with the latest anime and are constantly in-taking new series. They tend to balance multiple anime series with everything else going on in their lives. Usually have a really long watchlist, and are perfect when looking for a new series. If it's anime, they've seen it.
  2. Normal Anime Watchers ~ They're not people who watch a few series and leave it at that, but they're not watching one hundred at the same time. They have a near perfect balance. They may or may not watch only series they enjoy, but occasionally try out recommendations from others. 
  3. Light Anime Watchers ~ They either don't have the time to watch a lot of anime, or only enjoy certain types. If not those two, they just aren't heavy watchers. They like to focus on a handful of series and are usually an expert on it. If they like your favorite genre, they can tell you all about it. Other than that, they'll be the heavy talkers when a discussion breaks out.

While everyone doesn't follow into these categories, they're just a simple observation of how people watch. I think this can apply to pretty much everything...reading, watching television, even something like eating! It's just a fun little way to figure out how you watch!

As for me, I tend to fall somewhere between Normal and Light categories, as I can't sit and watch a marathon of anime all day. Despite this, I still try to stay open-minded and at least try recommendations of others.

My readers, what category do you fall under?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Do You Play Pokémon? Get Involved Now!

Have you been an avid Pokémon fan since childhood? If so, have you ever been involved in competitive play? Yes, there are online tournaments and such, but I'm talking about leagues and events in real life. If you haven't, keep reading. If you have, still take a glimpse.

While you may or may not know, the Pokémon World Tournament took place last weekend. Pokémon fans from all around the world arrived at Washington D.C. in order to play the game they love the most. They come from all over world and aren't your normal run of the mill trainers. How did they get there? What story lies behind their feats?

As a competitor myself, I'm not going to say hurry and participate before you grow old; as you're never too old for games. Instead, I'd like to share my experience as a fan who discovered the joy of Pokémon tournaments.

Rewind the time back by four years or so. I was a 9th grader in high school, trying to find my way in a population of 3000. The school wasn't very good, and I didn't really learn too much. I would value all my time away from the horrible place.

Luckily, I decided to try out a Pokémon Trading Card League that was being held at a nearby library. I was a little nervous walking into something unannounced, but I was greeted very warmly. I was taught how to play, given sleeves and everything. They even helped me fix my deck. It was such a nice feeling, when you're easily accepted into a group. When people want you there. When you feel welcome and at home away from your real home.

Of course I kept attending the league. It was a great sanctuary outside of a horrible high school. I lost almost every match I played though. Eventually though I started to get better. I decided to attend the Regional Tournament as a newbie. My record was horrible. To be honest, I don't even think I won a single match. Still, the experience itself was unforgettable. People from all areas of Florida, who loved Pokémon. I met so many nice people, played really close matches, and had a blast. That was all that mattered.

Eventually I found a deck that fit perfectly. It was something that actually felt good to use, and somehow I ended up with all the necessary cards to build it. Then something changed, I started winning. Matches became easier, and people who used to steamroll me couldn't do it anymore. As I grew more confident in my abilities, I decided to put them to the test at the nationals.

Things went great as soon as I got there, in Indianapolis, Indiana. I remember the excitement that filled my body as I saw the huge Pikachu balloon hanging on the ceiling of the convention center. The place was huge, and I got the opportunity to check out a part of the United States I had never seen. I even got a shirt that was proof of my adventures.

I ended up practicing hard at the competition, and befriended boy who was next to our hotel room. We stayed up battling and trying new strategies in the lobby, perfect our decks, and having a good time. We both were working towards the same goal at the time, and wanted to do our best in the tournament.

That morning it was time for the real deal, the Nationals. I started off winning almost all of my matches, but then got put into a losing streak I couldn't recover from. My record ended up being 4/5 by the end of the day. It was disappointing, but I was really surprised that I did so well on a national level. I had gone from no wins, to almost having a winning record at a national tournament. The best players in America were here! It was crazy!

For some reason or another, I decided to hang up my cards. Although I stopped playing the game, I wouldn't hesitate to get involved in the competitive scene again. Looking back on the events, everything feels like a dream. Those were some of the happiest times of my high school career. It was thanks to Pokémon that I was able to have such experiences, and if I had never stumbled into that league, I wouldn't have gone as far. All these memories would be gone.

So while Pokémon does teach a lot of values and interacting with similar people has a lot to offer, I think the most important thing about getting involved and playing are the fun memories that I created. It's always better to laugh at what you've done, rather than wish you would have done more.

I encourage anyone who is even remotely interested in Pokémon to give it a shot. It can be either the Trading Card Game or the Video Game. Pick it up and try it out. Search for a league near you and just go. Take a leap of faith and try something new. You may have the time of your life and who knows; you might even win!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Anime Is Acceptance

Anime is full of so many characters. Some we like, some we dislike. However, in order to watch anime, we have to interact with a many different types of people. This sort of interaction teaches us about ourselves and what we find important. While we categorize characters into certain types, there are no two characters that are completely alike. Everyone differs somehow even if it's small. Sort of like real life. 

So I've been thinking about my convention experiences and the personalities I witnessed. None of them were problematic, contrary to what I expected. In fact, most of the people there were nicer than the ones you see in everyday life. The thought then came into my head, what if anime was the cause of this?

The fact that I've witnessed such a variety of characters and plots has made me very accepting. I've been on vacation for almost a week now, and have been desperately searching for writing ideas. I decided to visit a restaurant nearby, one that comes from a completely different culture of my own. At first I was hesitant to try it out, because of the massive differences. Yet, I was able to overcome that way of thinking and enjoy myself. Before now, I'm not sure if I would've been able to act in this way.

When compared to other forms of fiction, anime has a vast variety. We have so many different characters that it's hard to know them all. We have all types of appearances, such as flaming red hair or cool blue. Characters sport amethyst purple eyes and Halloween-like orange eyes. Skin colors range from our typical light and dark, to green and pink. We have characters that are mutants, superheroes, gods, vampires, and so much more. With a fanbase built around such characters, it is only natural to be accepting. 

Although anime may teach acceptance, I'm going as far to say that anime IS acceptance. In order to enjoy and like anime, you have to accept the wild appearances and crazy cast of characters. You have to accept a world where anything is possible to live in it. When that's possible I think it becomes easier to accept anyone you encounter for who they are. 

So readers, what do you say? If anime were filled with generic looking characters, sticking only to realistic appearances, would fans be different? Would things be the same? What do you think?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Useful Advice for Anime Convention Attendees

A lot of people like to take a leap of faith into the unknown. The same goes for many otaku who are attending conventions for the first time. While it's a good idea to explore and learn, I think that it's also necessary to be prepared for anything. So if you're a newbie when it comes to conventions or an expert, I have a few words of advice for you. Stick around you might learn something!

I attended my first anime convention a few years ago. I discovered it pretty close to the actual date and decided to go with a group of friends at the spur of the moment. Unfortunately, I was forced to pay a lot more for a weekend pass. Fifty-five dollars doesn't sound like much, but every bit takes away from my spending money.

So in a crazy rush, we made it to the hotel connected to the convention center. We arrived sloppily and disorganized. Later, things escalated quickly as I tried to catch up with the my group. After searching and texting I eventually found them, but I had misplaced my glasses along the way and ended up blind. The group dashed around the convention from one panel to the other. They were in such a hurry that we barely stayed still for more than a few minutes. I didn't get to see much of anything that was going on and missed quality merchandise at the vendors. The first day had been a total disaster.

Luckily I'm a fast learner and realized quickly that the previous day was horrible. I corrected everything that was wrong, and had a much better time. Instead of chasing around a group of people too caught up with a convention schedule, I decided to take things slow. I even went around the convention center with my family instead. Of course, I found my glasses. (thank goodness) Meanwhile my friends were too busy rushing around trying to see everything, but in reality, they saw nothing at all.

"Okay, this story is nice and all, but what are you teaching me?"

"Hey, don't make that face! Just wait and I'll tell you!"
Go into your first convention with a good mindset. Don't worry about seeing everything. Take things slow and you'll have the time of your life. It's okay to plan out your time, but don't obsess over it.

If you're worried about going to a convention by yourself, don't be afraid. The people I met at conventions are some of the nicest people I know. Even if you don't have anyone willing to go with you, it shouldn't stop you from having fun. All you need is one good convention buddy.

Be careful what you buy. Don't always buy things without inspecting them first. If there's an item that's in a box, ask the vendor to open it so you can see for yourself. A good one will do it, a bad one won't. Make sure you're not getting ripped off. (I paid sixty dollars for a thirty dollar figure.)

Make sure to be prepared. If you're going to stay at a hotel, reserve a room early. If you need a pass for the convention, get it early. Don't rush last minute. It'll drain your energy and make your trip less fun.

Lastly, just have fun. Above everything else, enjoy yourself. Anime conventions are like a paradise for fans. The big step before Japan. Take your time to enjoy yourself while you can.

From all my years going to con, I've learned these few tips slowly and steadily. Take the time to read so you won't make similar mistakes. Remember to have fun dear anime fans!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Anime Desktop Layout August 2014

Hey guys! So college is over and I took a few days off to improve myself in some ways. I would like to do a post on an anime series I just finished, but you can look forward to that next time. For now, I'm going to show you a bit of my customization I've worked on. If you remember, I used to do posts like this awhile ago, but was forced to stop due to computer issues. I'm working with Windows 8 now, and getting used to it slowly. However, by taking advantage of Rainmeter, I was able to create the desktop layout as seen above. 

When I design anything, it's usually inspired by some sort of song or feeling. Since we're still in summer time, I kind of wanted to stick to that theme. I decided to use a lot of blues to give a nice cool feeling, (the heat is killing me!) and any form of water to follow that. I tried to do a lot of things that were somewhat complex, but they ended up a mess. So I decided to go for a minimalist approach. Sometimes less is more right? 

For my song of inspiration, click here! Don't worry guys, you can expect an anime related post soon. Until then, see you later~

Desktop Without Taskbar




Monday, August 4, 2014

Let's Share: Other Writers and More

I spend a lot of time on my blog writing editorials and my own thoughts, but I like to help others out as well. A recent comment brought this to my attention again. I know I've somewhat dropped the Let's Share series a bit, but I want to pick it up again. So today instead of blogging about anime or video games, I'm going to share a few people that I think you guys should check out!

The list will be in the following format:

Name and Website -
What do they do? - 
Why should you check them out? -

Check these people out!

Mihoshi -

Anime Blogger, Japanese Translator 

I found her blog by chance when looking for song lyrics. Outside of translation posts, she has a few that are very inspiring with a mature outlook of the world. Even if you don't really care for Japanese music or need translations, I still recommend checking her blog out!


Rei -

Anime Blogger, Photographer, and Web Designer

If you've been following my progress since the early days, you would know that I used to write at Rei's website. Eventually things died out, but I'm glad to see that his website is back up and running. Check it out if you have the time!


Iceberg Luffy -

Anime and Music Enthusiast, Media Reviewer

I haven't known him for too long, but I really like how he keeps his Twitter very active and engaging. I don't view everything, but I can say that I've never seen a negative thought or post from him. He doesn't have an official website yet, so check out his twitter!


じしゃく -

GoddessMaria -

Youtube Gamers (Specializing in Nintendo Games)

Thought it would be a good idea to group the two Youtubers together. The difference between the two is simple; one commentates in Japanese and the other doesn't. If you're trying to improve your Japanese listening skills, it might be a good idea to check out じしゃく's channel. If trying to improve reading, check out GoddessMaria. If you're not interested in either, just check them both out for their nice gameplay! 


That's all for now! I might do more of these in the near future, so stay tuned! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Summer Anime Wallpaper Pack

Hello everyone! Hopefully you are enjoying your summer! In order to spread the summer love around I've created a pack of wallpapers filled with anime pictures. The zip file will be split up into three folders, one with summer themed anime wallpapers, the other a folder for scenic pictures, and the last is a folder filled with yutaka.

Again, I know that a lot of people don't wish to download random packs without seeing what's inside first, so here's a link to all of the images. I tried my best not to include anything questionable, though there might be a few swimsuits. Overall, there's nothing too revealing or unsafe.

I'm still trying to find a nice wallpaper for my next desktop theme. If you're a person who loves customization, stay tuned. Until then, I'll see you guys later~