Friday, January 30, 2015

Happy Birthday Luka Megurine!

Luka Megurine Birthday

Today is officially Luka Megurine's birthday! I decided to take time out of the day in order to celebrate the birthday of one of my favorite Vocaloid characters, Luka.

For more information on Luka Megurine and Vocaloid in general, check out the Vocaloid Wiki!

I also wanted to thank you all for reading this post, and I invite you join me as I enjoy her birthday with music and images! Even if you're not a big Luka fan, maybe you will enjoy listening to her songs and viewing a few nice pictures.

Also, if there's another anime character that has a birthday soon, let me know and I will make a post especially for them. This is a great way to promote your favorite characters if they aren't too well known, so please don't be afraid to ask.

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Anime Characters Dare to Be Different

Rock Lee

Sometimes we can live in a world where it's easy to follow the crowd. Anime, being a reflection of our own world, embodies this as well. As in most stories or works of fiction, we have a group of central characters, and lesser characters who they interact with. One key trait that most anime characters have in common, is the daring personality to be different. Although this type of personality is inspiring and amazing to see, what does it really mean to the audience who is watching?

We could say that anime is a way to convey thoughts and ideas to people. So naturally, characters may be created in order for viewers to relate to them. Others might serve as a guide or leading force to motivate an audience. With this in mind, we can examine two similarities between anime and the unique traits that the key character possess.

The Characters Stand Out

Sakura Trick Main Characters

When it comes to almost every anime, the main characters always stand out from the rest. Like the image above, there's usually physical differences between the main cast and the filler characters. We see such people donning unusual hairstyles or eye colors and shapes. They are usually more colorful than their "Average Joe" counterparts, and sometimes they may be the only people in the anime with actual color.

Of course these traits can just be seen as the basics of character creation. Making the main characters stand out is almost a staple rule when it comes to a fictional story. However, we could interpret even more from this simple act. For one, it adds to their personality. 

If we exclude the creators from the picture, we could assume that the characters either were born in such a way or they intentionally decided to dress/appear differently. We can then see them as not caring too much about society's views, or being confident enough to be true to their likes. (Which is usually what happens with most characters.)

If we think about the creators, we could also see the different messages their appearance is conveying. Since the lead characters are usually involved in some kind of movement, change, or adventure, anime could be telling us that we have to be true to ourselves in order to get anywhere when it comes to life. Or perhaps that people who are in-tune with their true feelings tend to be more colorful than those who aren't.

Many things can be interpreted from physical appearances, but I feel the main characters are created in such a way to inspire those who watch the anime. Although this isn't as important as the next trait, it still needs to be considered.

They Go Against the Norm

Anime Never Give Up

I know this is pretty much the basis of "daring to be different," but there's really a lot to be learned from this in regards to anime answering the problems of our world. Usually when character =s go against the norm, it happens two ways. One, the character who is standing on the outside sees something that everyone else does not, and their way is objectively better than the old one. The second, the character's view is somewhat warped and misguided compared to the others.

For this post, I'd like to focus on the first scenario where the character, usually the protagonist, has a view that is much better than the current one that society holds. A good example of this is with Naruto. Towards the latter part of Shippuden, Naruto desperately tries to reason with his friends and other ninja to spare Sasuke, who had recently become a wanted criminal. Naruto having witnessed the cycle of hatred present in the ninja world and the creation of it, definitely did not want to see that happen again with his closest friend. We learn through Naruto that killing someone just because they have done something wrong does not solve anything. 

To clarify, the cycle of hatred basically involved people killing others for reasons such as revenge or justice, and then other ninja killing those same people for similar reasons. It was an endless cycle that was going without out any hope of stopping, as it was something that was ingrained into the culture of the ninja villages. Naruto, bringing a way of thinking that directly opposed this, was faced with difficulty, but in the end Naruto's way was more successful and ultimately brought peace to the world. 

So while we aren't ninja, I think there's a lot that can be taken from this and reflected upon. For one, the clash between Naruto and society basically express a conflict between thought patterns that were gained from experience and other such things, and those which are merely going on what feels right. Sometimes, experience isn't always the best teacher, and sometimes what someone has taught you isn't always right. I feel that Naruto teaches us to go with our heart and instinct, even if society says no. Another notable character who is similar in this regard is Goku. He wishes to give all his enemies mercy no matter how evil they may be, much to the dismay of his allies.

In summary, I think that anime characters are really great. Their daring and urge to go against the crowd makes them a big inspiration to the many anime watchers out there. We should all be like anime, and dare to be different!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Amiibo Craze: A Smart Turn for Gaming

Amiibo Wii U Mario Party 10

Anyone who is part of the Nintendo Gaming Community has seen the tiny figurines known as Amiibo. At first glance, Amiibo might seem like a rip-off. Few people want to spend more money than necessary on a single game. However, when we look at Amiibo and similar merchandise, could the production of such items actually be a smart decision for the gaming culture?

If you don't know, Super Smash Bros. is not the first game to make use of Amiibo. Other games that are featured on Nintendo consoles, such as Skylanders and Disney Infinity use a similar mechanic. While Skylanders has it's own unique set of figures, Disney makes use of popular characters from television and movies. I'm not necessarily a fan of these figures, but if you were someone who loved Disney, imagine how much of a blessing this game would be?

So if we think of it in that sense when it comes to Amiibo, the appeal is obvious. Super Smash Bros. has a wide variety of characters, and almost everyone who plays the game has one as their favorites. Although every character does not have an Amiibo yet, sources have found Amiibo data many members of the cast so far. It's safe to assume that we will see figures of every character eventually.

Neptunia Producing Perfection
Here's an example of extra merchandise included with video games from Neptunia Producing Perfection.

In my opinion, I feel that although Amiibo has elevated to a sort of shopping craze, I think that the production of them is a very smart turn for gaming. The pros simply outweigh the cons. To begin, gamers get figurines of their favorite characters along with the opportunity to use them in the game. I think this is one of the major reasons why Amiibo have become so popular. It's similar to the way many video games have begun including limited edition items with their games.

In the past, many people would literally just buy games for...the games. There wasn't really any added bonus to buying a disc or cartridge than to play the game. Now, we're gifted with an extra such as posters, artbooks, soundtracks, figurines, and even things like dakimakura. Other things like DLC are nice, but they're somewhat like a one time use item.

Amiibo takes the qualities of both downloadable content (DLC) and merchandise, then combines the two, allowing gamers to have their DLC and their physical items. The thought of having an item that could be considered an addition to the game is great, but you get one that can be repeatedly used over the course of time in many games, which makes the small cost of buying one worth it.

Amiibo Mario Kart 8
Amiibo also allow the option of unlocking additional features in games, like outfits in Mario Kart 8.

On the other hand, mechanics like this can appeal to casual gamers. Not everyone plays to become a tournament pro; they just sometimes want to have fun. So Amiibo can somewhat add to this casual factor, as when it comes to Smash Bros. most of their additional features don't have much use in tournament play.

I think this is a key factor to think about when designing a game. Many games were made with competitive players in mind, such as most fighting games. However, they sometimes forget about the casual part of their audience, and they feel a little bit left out. It's hard to appeal to every audience, but casual gamers make up a good amount of the gaming community, so it's best not to put them off.

When it comes to this topic, I've seen many people simply like to watch their Amiibo play each other, like they were originally designed to do. Others use them as a training partner, because they can be a very formidable opponent. Although there have been cases of Amiibo entering tournaments which is a little hilarious, a lot of their use goes into casual play.

One Piece Amiibo
Amiibo have even made their way into games that aren't Nintendo based, such as the One Piece series.

Lastly, I think that in the end, Amiibo are great marketing tools. While this isn't really focused on the audience's side of the craze, it's still something that's important to examine. I like to look at Amiibo as a method producers can use to their advantage.

For one, it's a medium for publicity. Even people who aren't fans of Nintendo games, may have seen Amiibo. The fact that there is merchandise of Nintendo based characters, alerts the public of the character's existence, the game's existence, and most importantly, the company's presence. Similar to how Apple marks their merchandise with their signature logo.

Amiibo also generate a good source of income in addition to game itself. Although they cost around 12.99 dollars, which isn't too much, when bought in bulk that amount can add up. When it comes to total income, any little amount can benefit greatly. The best thing about this though, is that while the gamers are benefiting the company is as well, making Amiibo a factor to a great equal relationship.

It can even make game design more unique and interesting. Mario Party 10 was announced to have Amiibo specifically for their game, with the inclusion of Toad, a character who hasn't had the chance to make an appearance as a figure. As long as Nintendo keeps the Amiibo concept in mind, any game that is newly made can have Amiibo compatibility, making it an endless mechanic that will make other games and consoles pale in comparison.

Amiibo Smash Bros.

So in summary, I think the inclusion of Amiibo and the craze that follows behind them is a smart turn for gaming. Although at first they may seem a little silly and many may not want to pay the extra cost, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Gaming is becoming smarter as technology progresses, and the introduction of Amiibo is just the start.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Favorite Anime (Recommendations for Readers)

Artist Credit

Everyone has a favorite anime, or a list of anime that they really like. While we debate about favorites and sometimes dislike others, I thought it'd be a great idea to share a few of my favorite anime with my readers. It's not only as a way to get to know me better, but as a list of recommendations for those who happen to stumble upon this post.

In order to keep this post easy to view and read, I'll just post a picture of my favorites accompanied by a title, a link to the My Anime List page of the anime, and a little summary of why I enjoy it. I'll try to keep these thoughts to about a paragraph of length so this post isn't text heavy. 

As forewarning, if you don't like the anime I'm about the post, it's completely okay. All I ask is for readers to respect my favorites. Also, I love discussions, so I would like to hear from people who feel the same or people who feel the opposite. Don't forget to share your favorite anime as well if you have any! With that aside, let's get on to the list!

Angel Beats!

Angel Beats! Anime

Angel Beats, an anime with an amazing story, and even greater ending. I was moved greatly by this anime, and it left me feeling a whole lot lighter than before. It was almost as if a whole weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

Some people say this anime is very sad and depressing. If you interpret it in a certain way, then yes it is. To me, it was very inspirational and moving. A depressing anime makes me feel bad afterwards, but an inspirational one makes me feel better. With Angel Beats, I definitely felt better. Unfortunately, I can't say much more about the anime without spoiling it, so please watch it if you haven't already!

Ano Natsu de Matteru

Ano Natsu de Matteru

Ano Natsu de Matteru has an amazing heroine and hero. Both of them wear glasses, and both are pretty likable. What more could I ask for? I  discovered this anime by mere chance when browsing Crunchyroll, and the red-haired glasses wearing heroine drew me in. I didn't expect much from the anime when I first saw it, but it instantly grew on me. I liked the theme of photography, as well as their interpretation of memories. Who knew a simple story about a few high school students creating a movie, would turn into such a great anime?

All in all, this anime basically taught me that sometimes our greatest likes can come from places we don't expect, so it's alright to try something new. I also learned that if people leave you, from death or any other predicament, they aren't necessarily gone. You still have the memories of that person in your heart, so they will always live on inside of you. Like most of my favorites, there's a lot of lessons wrapped inside this masterpiece.

B Gata H Kei Yamada

Many of you who read this might wonder what this anime is doing on my list. Well, that's actually a pretty good question. At first glance, B Gata H Kei looks a little crazy. If you're unsure what I'm talking about, just take a peek at the anime summary. It definitely isn't anything most people would pick up and watch. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a chance.

First of all, Yamada is an amazingly unique character. Actually, I can say that I haven't found an equal as of now. She's intelligent, but simple. Confident, but somewhat shy. Her traits contradict themselves, but I think that's what makes her likable. The thing that really stands out about Yamada and this anime, is that they both seem to be straightforward and simple, but they're really not. I know some people will be put off by the ecchi, but I really recommend at least trying out this anime.

Cardfight!! Vanguard - Aichi Sendou and Blaster Blade

The fourth anime on the list, is Cardfight!! Vanguard. Vanguard, which can mean one who leads the way, is a Yugioh-like anime that teaches the card game to viewers through the story. Even if you're not willing to learn, the anime has a colorful cast, great music, lots of's a lot of the typical shonen traits.

The thing that really stands out in Vanguard is probably the protagonist. The protagonist is the complete opposite of what you'd expect. He's not blunt or straightforward, he's not confident, and he's not even hotheaded. He's almost girly in a way, and on top of this he doesn't even win all of his matches. He loses most of them, but that's what makes the anime so interesting. If you like card games, but portrayed in a different sense, check out Vanguard. You won't be disappointed!

Dog Days

Imagine being transported to a world of fantasy. You venture through a kingdom filled with magic, castles, warriors, and...anime characters that have animal traits?! Dog Days has a world built completely around fantasy, but it's a great anime nonetheless. 

The interesting side of Dog Days is the take on a world where battle and war isn't dangerous. The three kingdoms, one containing squirrels, another cats, and finally dogs, do battle with each other on a regular basis. When the commons soldiers are defeated they turn into small fluffy versions of their respective animals. The others, usually the main characters, are basically defeated by armor or weapon breaking. It gives us an enjoyable side of war, which is rarely seen. Although it may be looked down upon for it's unrealistic story, Dog Days is a great anime to watch to relax, or just for the goosebumps and chills you get when seeing the characters in action.

Hiscoool! SeHa Girls

Hiscoool! SeHa Girls is a recent addition to my favorite list. The anime came out last season at the time I'm writing this post. (Fall 2014) I know that there are many anime that are based on video games and other such things, but I've never gotten into them too much. However, SeHa Girls was too much to resist.

On top of being a huge Nintendo fan, I'm also a big fan of Sega as well. So going through all the different games, seeing many old characters in action again, and getting to watch the Sega Hard Girls adventure and interact, was an amazing experience. This anime made me laugh, it made me smile, and it even made me cry. Again, I recommend this anime to anyone who is a gamer, because it's just great!


Naruto Wallpaper

Anyone who knows me will know that I love Naruto. It's my favorite anime, and the one that started it all. Without Naruto, I wouldn't be writing this blog post. Without Naruto I probably wouldn't be the person I am today, Without Naruto...Shooting Star Dreamer might not even exist. 

What makes Naruto so special you might ask? I'm not really all that sure; I just know that I learned many things from this anime that seemed to be absent in others. Naruto was the first anime to really click with me, and it's the only one that leaves me with no complaints. Although Naruto has ended, it's never too late to watch the anime that's still ongoing, or even read the finished manga. Get into Naruto now so you don't miss out on a masterpiece!

Suisei no Gargantia

Suisei no Gargantia - Ledo and Amy

Last, is Suisei no Gargantia. This anime was one of the first I watched when starting my writing career. It's created by the same man who did other :successful" series such as Madoka, except it's a little different. I had planned to do an episode by episode post on the series, but I couldn't avoid watching it all in one night due to it being so good.

Suisei no Gargantia also has a weird feel to it. It's a normal anime, but at times the beautiful animations makes it feel like a movie. I liked that the anime actually took into account language differences and cultural differences, and showed the ways that humans can communicate and interact despite having different morals and values. It also taught viewers that there's a value to everyone's life, no matter how evil or corrupted they may be. It's not good to kill, even if the action seems like the best solution. 

That being said, Suisei no Gargantia will forever stick with me as being one of my favorites, along with all the other anime in this list. I have a few others that are of notable mentions, but they just didn't feel right to put on my list. So if you're interested in them, stay tuned as I might make another list to feature these anime!

Thank you all for reading, and please don't hesitate to share your favorites! I want people to feel free to discuss and comment without any judgment or criticism. So don't be afraid!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Anime Computer Layout January 2015 "Gentle Snow"

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I've made a post, mostly due to the fact that I've been pretty busy. Despite this, I wanted to share something a little different this time around. I finally finished customizing my computer and I've created an ideal anime layout for the time being. The theme of this layout is well, Hatsune Miku.

Even though Christmas has ended, the winter months are not over, so I decided to go with a specific Snow Miku theme. This takes advantage of many different tools, custom Windows 8 themes, Rainmeter, wallpaper, and more. I know that I love looking at different layouts and customization, so I hope those who feel the same can enjoy this post. Even if this isn't your kind of topic, please keep reading because you might learn something new!

Desktop Layout - Live View

Starting with my desktop, I had a hard time trying to find Rainmeter elements that were able to flow with the wallpaper. The wallpaper doesn't have much negative space, so I had to choose something that was light and simple, but something that still gets the job done.

I ended up narrowing it down to a few Rainmeter elements for time, information, and more. However, I wanted something more than that, so I added a music player extension and found a nice spot for the title of this layout, "Gentle Snow."

The falling snow and animated music bar underneath the title looks really nice when seen live. Please check out the attached video if you're curious.

Windows 8 Theme

The desktop was great, and so was the Rainmeter customization, but my computer didn't still have a nice feeling to it. So, I decided to take it a step further. I was finally able to get custom Windows 8 themes to work on my laptop. It was really hard to do before, but for some reasons things just seemed to fall into place.

Upon searching for a nice theme, I happened to stumble upon the perfect Snow Miku one, and it was her 2015 version to boot. The theme came with a few nice wallpapers, but I just loved my current one too much. Instead I decided to just keep the customization alone. The nice blue and green colors give my Windows 8 a relaxing feel, and Miku makes it even better.

Please check the bottom of this post for the link to this theme. Also, I will provide a link that shows you how to add a custom made theme to Windows 8/8.1 and even how to make your own.


Lastly, there's a few extras I added to complete the layout. One of the first things I had to do in order to make use to the beautiful start menu edit, was add Start is Back. It's basically a program that allows you to use the old start menu on Windows 8/8.1. I also wanted to show off a few of the last customization's of the theme, such as the start menu and drop-down list background. They may seem very minor and unimportant, but the theme is really well done and beautiful. 

Other than that, I think the falling snow and music visualizer was a nice touch as well. Somehow, the animations don't take too big of a told on CPU, but I usually disable them when I'm doing something that is resource intensive, such as playing an online game. 

That's pretty much all for now! Please check out the video link towards the beginning of the post for a active preview of the layout and theme. 


StartIsBack - For Start Menu

Rainmeter 3.2.0 Beta


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Should We Drop Anime?

Do you ever watch an anime, only to have a feeling of dislike build up inside? How about the time when you picked up a series due to recommendations and it just didn't feel right? When watching something becomes a big headache, should we just say no?

Although there are many anime that we like or love, there's bound to be a bad apple in the bunch. The viewer is then given a choice; to continue on or walk away. Now, while there's numerous opinions on the topic of dropping anime, I thought it would be a nice idea to give my thoughts on it. Since this is a problem I encounter all the time, I thought others might be facing the same thing. So hopefully this post gives their minds a little bit of ease.

For those who don't know, dropping is basically to stop watching an anime. It doesn't matter what episode you are on, or how much progress you've made, you basically decide that you don't want to finish it.

Let's get down to business now. First things first, I believe dropping anime is completely okay. Sure, you might be called a quitter or be looked down upon, but I think we sometimes forget why we actually watch anime. There are many small reasons, but the big one that almost everyone can agree on, is the fact that anime is enjoyable.

Yes, it's alright to take anime seriously. Even if it may be fiction, the thoughts and ideas behind the anime are real. However, if an anime is causing you stress and pain, in a bad way, it's best not to force your way through it. We go through enough of this through our daily lives, so why should we torture ourselves with anime as well?

Secondly, I would like to say that I don't think dropping = giving up. I've talked about this before, but there can be somewhat of a peer pressure factor when it comes to watching anime. It sounds a little silly, but I've seen it happen. People try to drop an anime, and others continue to persuade them to keep watching, even when they are visibly put off by it. The viewer is pretty much frustrated, and the others aren't satisfied until they finish it. It sounds like the answer to this situation is easy, but when you're in it, it's not always clear.

So the lesson here is that you shouldn't worry about what others will think if you drop an anime. As a blogger, I plan to watch anime and sometimes drop them. I write about them and later drop them. Sometimes, I don't even make it past the first episode. If I were to watch every anime that was given to me, from start to finish, I would have a lot of unnecessary posts on anime that I didn't even like. Who wants to constantly read negative or non-emotional posts? I wouldn't want to do that to my readers or myself, so you can think about dropping in that sense.

The last and most important thing is that you don't have to like everything. This was a little hard for me, because I thought that I had to enjoy every anime that came my way. I'm pretty open minded when it comes to different ones, but there are some I don't like, and others that I have trouble watching. Horror, extreme violence, and depressing anime fall in the category of ones I have trouble tolerating. At first, I thought it was something wrong with me for not liking them since they are so popular.

When I started to see people with similar likes and dislikes as me, and people who disliked the anime I loved, it became somewhat clear. If I don't like something, it's okay. After realizing this, I felt a lot better about dropping anime. I also was happier watching anime, because I was choosing the ones I liked.

Instead of forcing yourself through an anime that everyone else likes, why don't you find one you enjoy?
The moral of the story is simple. It's okay to try, but don't continue if it's not for you. Doing this can hurt you even more than simply leaving the anime alone. These are basically my opinions on dropping anime, but I'd love to hear your's! Even if you don't agree with dropping, let me know why. If you do, let me know why! As always, thank you for reading!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Favorite Anime of 2014

Anime Favorites

Yeah, I know it's a little late for this post, but better late than never. Last year, I watched a couple of anime series, some I liked and some I didn't. A few stood out above the rest and thus became my favorites. I  hope I can watch even more great anime this year, and have a bigger list than this one. Also, I'd like to say that this list excludes a few anime I haven't finished, so who knows, I might do a separate post for each one. As always, stay tuned!

As a heads up, I'm not necessarily saying that these anime were the best. This list is simply built on my opinions only. So if you disagree, please remember that it's okay; you don't have to like these anime. However, I would love to hear your favorites if you have any. Post them in the comment box at the end of this post! I might even try out a few of them!

If you're curious of the method I use to determine favorite anime or rate them, it's basically based on my likes and dislikes. If I genuinely enjoy an anime, I will speak highly of it. If I don't enjoy it, I probably won't even mention it. I don't like negatively talking about anime in any way shape or form, because there is always someone out there who likes it. I feel bad when people badmouth mine, so I try not do the same. Now, moving on to the list!

Cardfight!! Vanguard G

Cardfight Vanguard G

Anyone knows me, should know how much I love Vanguard. It's one of my most favorite anime, and Cardifght!! Vanguard G hasn't disappointed me yet. For those who don't know, this season of Vanguard is the fifth in the series, featuring a new main character and cast. Although a few old characters return, the focus is on a whole new generation of Vanguard players. 

While I've seen quite a few complaints, I don't really have any gripes about the anime so far. The new main character is really likable, and the anime focuses less on the mechanics of the card game, and more of the story and action. There's also more attention to character development than the actual game. I plan to continue watching, and I hope things go well!

Hi☆sCoool! SeHa Girls

You knew this was's Sega Girls! So out of everything I watched this year, I think I enjoyed this the most. It's basically the perfect anime for an avid video gamer, which is exactly what I am. The characters were wonderful, the humor was quite funny, and the episode length was just perfect. I only wish I could see more of the Sega Hard Girls, but I'm satisfied with thirteen episodes.

I would also like other gaming companies take this anime as an example. It'd be nice to see an anime featuring Nintendo games and consoles or even one focused on all games in general. I'm sure it'd be a little difficult to put together, but it would be worth it!

Super Sonico the Animation

Super Sonico, a character that I never really thought of much until this anime released. When I first saw the preview of this anime, it looked really interesting. I love anime that are bright and colorful, with a lively cast. Top it off with a positive or inspirational message, and I'll most likely enjoy it.

So I can say that this was probably the first anime of 2014 that I truly enjoyed. It was nice until the end, and I really liked Sonico as a character.  Super Sonico the Animation was not only a nice anime to watch, but it served as a gateway. It led me to the world of Sonico and her friends, which is something I'm very happy about. The anime was also great enough for me to actually pick up the video game, Motto! Sonicomi.

So that's all! These were my favorites of 2014. I recommend you all check them out if you can!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Magical Merchandise: Anime Figurines

Anime merchandise is all around us, from books to posters to figurines. When we purchase these items, we don't really think too hard about the meaning behind them. We don't think about all the work and time that has been put into creating such an object. In fact, could an object be more than an object? Is there really something more to an anime figure, than being just an item? Maybe even a little magic?

While many people may say that collecting anime merchandise and having large amounts of figurines is somewhat falling prey to material desires, I kind of see things in a different light. I don't think there is any such object that we own or possess that has no memories associated with it. When it comes to figurines specifically, we have memories of the character or anime. We can reminiscence of the time we bought the figure and the events that had occurred. We might even have flashbacks of our first meeting of the character and how they relate to ourselves.

We can go as far to say that an anime figurine is a symbol, somewhat like a nation's flag or seal, only on a smaller scale. Similarly to how a flag can mean different things depending on the way one views it, the same goes for a figurine. 

This actually came to my mind the other day, when I was viewing the figurines I have on my desk. Looking upon each one, different memories and emotions came over me. I remembered happy things, sad things, even a few exciting things. As I looked over each one, frozen in time in their respective poses, I realized how important these characters are to me. They're not simply mere objects.

For this reason, I have trouble with the thought of giving away my figurines, or selling them. I would love to share anime merchandise with those who truly have a love for it, but there are those I can't imagine parting with. Somewhat like hanging onto an old toy or knick-knack from one's childhood; if I were to give these away, I would be giving away my memories. It's the same reason that makes me cringe when I see figurines locked in glass cages.

Still, this isn't to say I wouldn't ever part with them. I think that sometimes it's good to let go of some things, in order to leave something for a new generation or someone who is more deserving. 

So to some this might sound a little bit like gibberish, but to others you may understand and have the exact same feelings about a collection. Collectors are not always emotionless, greedy, or materialistic. Who knows why they collect their merchandise? Some people are happy with a vast majority of characters, and others just want to focus on a single one. For me, I just like to have merchandise of my favorite characters. 

With that being said, I want to challenge you all to think about the figurines you have. (If you don't have any, think about any merchandise you have or something important to you.) How do you feel about them? Would you give them away and why? Do you have any memories that are associated with them? If you feel comfortable, I would also love to see any collections of figurines you all have! So please share them if you have the time! Let's spread the magic of anime figurines!

Friday, January 9, 2015

What is Waifu? Why have Waifu?

Anime Wedding Dress Waifu

Recently, I've been hearing a lot about waifu, as well as numerous opinions of them. On Twitter we even have an event called Waifu Wednesday, where numerous people share photos of their anime wife or husband. (Equivalent term is husbando.) To some this might seem creepy, obsessive, and a little depressing. However, is there a bright side to this?

Yes, there is a bright side. To begin, I'd like to start with explaining what waifu/husbando actually signifies, in case it's not clear in the introduction. Waifu originates from the Japanese spelling of the English word wife, written as ワイフ in katakana. Although there is an equivalent term for wife that is a Japanese word, many use waifu instead.

Now that we know a little bit about the word itself, how about we look at the culture and usage associated with the word? To make things simple, a lot of anime watchers have a favorite character that they immensely like. This character stands out above the rest, and has qualities or traits that the viewer usually finds admirable. For that reason, they decide to refer to that character as their waifu.

Anime Girl Waifu
Games, light novels, and other media actually allow to have a relationship with your favorite character.

We can then ask, what allows a character to reach waifu status? The thing that may be confusing about this process, is that it's completely different for everyone. In the same way we have polygamy in the world, we have the similar concept in the world of waifu. Maybe the person cannot decide which character they like best, or they refer to all characters of the opposite gender they like by this title. The waifu or husbando may even be the same gender as the spouse. When it comes to this world, there's limitless ways people can pick and choose.

Now that the person has a waifu/husbando, what do they do? Basically, what a person would normally do with their favorite characters, series, or other group. They can post about them on social media, they can read or watch the anime/manga the person originates from, or maybe start a small collection of merchandise. Like the last step, it's pretty much different for everyone. Some people barely do anything with their's, while others can go to levels of extreme obsession.

So what is the point of this? There really is no key point. A lot of people just end up being drawn to certain characters, enough to carry them throughout life. Others just enjoy looking through anime and finding characters that look nice physically or have a personality that they enjoy. The interesting fact about a lot of things that are present in the anime community and fandom, is the freedom and ability to do what you wish, and follow what you enjoy. If having a waifu/husbando is joyful, good. If it isn't, don't worry about it.

Of course I want to do more than address the "what;" I'd like to talk about the "why." As a warning, a lot of this will be based on my own opinions and experiences. If you're fine with that and you're interested please keep reading.

B Gata H Kei Yamada
Here's a picture of Yamada. (Brown hair) She's a little you can tell.

I've noticed that similarly to otaku culture, some people tend to look down on those who have a waifu/husbando. As I said in the beginning, from the outside, the actions could look somewhat creepy or obsessive. Yet, there's a whole different side of the story when you're apart of it. So for me, being an otaku, I have a waifu. If you haven't already noticed by looking at the other areas of my blog, Yamada is my waifu.

She's the main character of an anime known as B Gata H Kei, an anime that is still one of my favorites today. I'm not quite sure what exactly drew me towards her, but I liked her personality, and the fact that she was somewhat different than other anime characters. On top of that, I could relate to her a lot and she also became somewhat of a role model to me. Like viewing another version of yourself in a different person and anime form.

On top of being my waifu, she has also become a partner. It may not make sense to some people, but in a way, an anime character can have the power to inspire people. Watching Yamada go on throughout her life and face similar circumstances was a great experience,because I could understand her thinking and way of life. Yamada inspired me to create this blog here today, and that's why she appears in so many different places. She's a driving force behind Shooting Star Dreamer.

B Gata H Kei DVD Signed
Here's a picture of my B Gata H Kei DVD. Signed by Brittney Karbowski. She is an amazing lady!

Unfortunately, since she's not too popular there isn't much merchandise of her; but I collected a few things and had memorable experiences over the course of time. One, I got to meet her English Voice Actor, Brittney Karbowski. Another, I have a signed copy of the B Gata H Kei DVD. As of now that's pretty much all I can do, but someday, I would love to have the complete set of manga.

The mere fact that she isn't popular even contributes more to the greatness of having her around. When I find someone who likes her as well, or even just the anime in general, I'm ecstatic. Although it's just an anime and she's just a character, she serves as a way to connect two human beings through a similar medium. That's another thing I love about the concept of having an anime waifu/husbando. You share something with someone, you can become friends with many fans, and eventually create lasting relationships with people like you.

So that's my story of Yamada. So instead of a human to character relationship that is filled with creepiness and other such things, it's more about inspirations and genuine like for the character. I think that is the basis for most people and their anime waifu/husbando. It's not a crime to have an attraction to a character. In fact, it makes the person better to actually feel emotions towards a fictional character. While there's a lot of research to support this, I'd like to share an article that talks a bit more about connecting to a character that may not be real in this world.

 People do all sorts of things for their waifu, specifically shrines and birthday celebrations!

To sum things up, the "why" depends basically on the person, similarly to the "what." People may try to warp the meaning of a waifu and make it seem bad, and others might feel empathy in a negative way for the actual character. "She's forced into being a waifu, that's horrible!" They might say that all they want, but I think it's all good and fun. So try not to look down on people who have a waifu, or those who have a husbando, or those who have any sort of favorite person or character.

Even if they aren't appealing to you, they're appealing to someone else and you have to remember that. There's a certain light in a person's eyes when they see something they love, so don't take that light away from them. Imagine if Yamada didn't even exist, would I even be writing this post right now? Probably not!

I hope you all can take this post as something to think about, and apologies if it's really long, but there's a lot that needs to be explained when it comes to this sort of topic. Hopefully you were able to learn something about waifu!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Anime Blog Update January 2015 (Important)

Good morning and welcome to my first post of the new year. School is starting again for me soon, so a drop in content may be present as I get adjusted to my new schedule. Don't worry, it will only be momentary, and Shooting Star Dreamer will still be active. If anything, I hope for my school days to give me more to write about. (no pun intended.) 

So you've probably clicked on this post to find out what exactly is going on when it comes to this Blog Update. As I mentioned before, there's a few things I've been working on besides writing. There's also a lot I have to share with you guys, but I'll break it down. 

First of all...I'd like to say that my YouTube channel will be given an overhaul and it's going to be active soon. I'd like to get up gameplay footage, visual novels, and other such things for you guys to enjoy. It would be great if I could also find a way to spread my posts in the form of videos, but I will let that come later.

Secondly, I have finally obtained my own domain! Instead of, the website will be! It's much easier to remember and I feel like I have more control over my website this way. I haven't made this switch yet, but please keep a look out for the change. I'll try my best to make all links using to redirect to the new domain, so for now don't worry about it. Keep this is mind though.

Finally, I would like to organize an event that involves many different anime bloggers. It doesn't matter what type of genre you cover, what type of posts you write, or the amount of viewers, anyone who has an active anime blog is eligible to participate. I want it to be a wonderful project that brings publicity, friendships, and new changes for everyone. This is still in the works so more info will come later, and as always, stay tuned! If you want to know a little more or are interested please contact me via my profile using the sidebar to the right. -----> 

So that's pretty much it! It's a lot to take in, but I will keep spreading information and eventually make a post regarding the event. Hopefully you all are having a wonderful 2015! Until next time, see you!