Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year from Shooting Star Dreamer!

Anime New Year
Support the Artist!

Hello everyone and long time no see! It's been quite a while since I've made a blog post, but I'm sure many of you are wondering if Shooting Star Dreamer is dead/has died. I'm here to confirm and say that this blog is definitely still alive and well!

Unfortunately, the last official post was made towards the end of August, which was definitely a long time ago. Here we are on the final day of the year, everyone's getting an update at this time, and I'm sure some readers are itching to find out what happened.

Needless to say, life has been pretty hectic for me with school finishing and everything that comes with it. It's been a very busy second half of the year and I apologize for not keeping the blog up to date. As they say: things happen.

Despite this rough spot, the dreams are definitely not ending here. As always, with a new year comes a new beginning. This time of the year is my favorite as there are opportunities for change, growth, and new goals. As of now my first goal is to get this blog up and running again! The other goals will then follow suit after that.

Thus, I challenge my readers to decide on at least one goal for themselves that's a bit abstract. We usually have goals such as "exercise more" or "eat healthier" but I think it's important to improve our less concrete aspects as well.

For instance, my goal this year was to be more authentic and true to myself. This meant being comfortable with putting myself forward and facing rejection head on. Also, I believe that being yourself means making a few mistakes sometimes and perhaps going off-course, but making your way back in the end.

Anime New Year Resolutions
Art Source

These types of things are pretty important as they build up the mindset, which I feel leads to things such as frequent exercise and eating healthy.

For this year, my goal is to be fearless. I would like to have  more courage to take risks and the confidence to back up my actions. Most importantly, I'd like to act more based on what I like and what I wish to achieve, than what I'm trying to prevent. I believe this type of behavior will allow me to become a more balanced individual.

So with that, I challenge you all to think of something like this for yourself for the coming year. Even if 2016 wasn't the best, I believe 2017 will be a great year! Let's keep positive thoughts in mind!

Thanks for reading~

Friday, August 19, 2016

Anime Depictions of Introverts and Extroverts

Anime Depictions of Introverts and Extroverts

In our society, there are numerous categories that help define a person. When asked about an individual, it is easy to describe them by choosing a collection of these such as race or gender. While these groupings can be somewhat hurtful, they are mostly helpful in creating unity or learning more about ourselves.

One of the more controversial labels are those that describe our interactions with the world. The word introvert describes those who gain energy from within, while extrovert describes those who gain energy from the outside world. Neither type is better than the other, and both embody a similar relationship as yin and yang.

Of course, these types are stereotyped in various forms of media. Anime does a pretty good job of portraying them in a more positive and realistic light, but there are still mishaps. These generalizations stem from common traits, hobbies, and other basic characteristics of an individual that are usually unrelated to an outer or inner personality.

Introvert and Extrovert Stereotypes
In addition to these types is the ambivert, someone who falls in between. 

There are various traits that are unrelated to being an introvert or an extrovert. An extrovert can be intelligent and quiet. An introvert can be athletic and very social. Just because a person is a certain type, doesn't mean they have to apply to set rules. Destiny is not decided by someone's personality type.

However, it is good idea to be aware of your traits in order to grow and flourish. This is something that is highly encouraged in the professional world by various businesses and educational environments. This is also something I see anime characters go through as their character develops and they become more confident about themselves.

Honoka Kousaka Extrovert
Honoka Kousaka - Love Live. A (healthy) extrovert who has a warm and caring personality, thrives by working with others and brings them together under a common purpose.

When it comes to anime, introvert and extroverts characters tend to fit into these basic molds. The main difference is that, this is just their outer layer. Anime tends to reveal more and more about them as time goes on, until they literally break the stereotype. They take the cliche and then add a twist over time. I think this makes anime characters a lot more relatable.

Although, with these personality types, there can sometimes be too much of a good thing.  No matter what side you fall on (or even if you are between) there's a certain balance that is necessary to maintain.

Kanade Tachibana Introvert
 Kanade Tachibana - Angel Beats. A (healthy) introvert that is somewhat quiet, but cares deeply for her friends. She takes on tasks with great responsibility.

Usually we see the hero of the story starting off as an extrovert with little substance, or an introvert that has an acute case of apathy. This is usually paralleled by an antagonist or deuteragonist (the foil to the protagonist) that sports the opposite traits.

Usually the protagonists or deuteragonist grows with the series, their personality molding into a healthy version of their type, while the antagonist somewhat moves to an unhealthy level.  In anime where antagonist characters later become allies, we see a change similar to the protagonist.

What are instances of unhealthy and healthy levels of introversion and extroversion? Well unhealthy habits actually represent a few of the stereotypes that are present. An extrovert may over exert themselves and forget to spend time on themselves, while an introvert may shut themselves off from people in general, preferring complete solitude. Neither of these are healthy and they do not summarize the types.

Since in most cases, the stereotypical villain is an introvert, it's easy to see negative and unhealthy traits from them in anime. Otherwise, we may see negative extroverted traits from protagonists. Regardless of being introverted or extroverted, having a layer of substance aside from these types is what makes or breaks a character.

Konata Comptuer
Just because you  enjoy doing this, doesn't mean you're an introvert or an extrovert!

Now when it comes to actual anime fans, its a different story. The whole talk about unhealthy and healthy traits stay the same, but there's stereotypes that revolve in the anime community when it comes to extroversion and introversion.

From an outside view, it'd be easy to assume that the anime community is just a collection of introverts. After all, the generalization is that introverts are drawn to media, novels, writing, and similar hobbies.

Yet still, we have things like anime conventions. Some people have taken a liking to cosplay and being together with others, and even us anime bloggers gain our ideas from interacting with our world. The conclusion is: anime is a medium for both introverts and extroverts, and so is any other occupation or hobby!

So to finish things off, I hope to make the distinction between introverts and extroverts a bit more clear. Unfortunately, there's a lot of generalization, shaming, and incorrect portrayals that occur in the media, and I'd like to clear that up. Both types of people are genuinely awesome and you should definitely be proud of what you are! If you're in between the two, that is fine as well!

Coming from my view, I'm an extrovert who deals with a large amount of stereotypical introvert hobbies. I enjoy writing. listening to music, watching anime, and of course playing video games! So don't let it limit you!

For my readers, I'd like to offer resources to learn more about yourself and your personality type. These results shouldn't be taken as an end-all result though, just as a form of self-discovery and improvement.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cheer Danshi: Men and Pompoms

This is a guest post by Lem Enrile.

Have you seen a live cheer dance performance before? I know most of you have. Even if you are not so fond of it just because your friend dragged you to watch one, I’m sure that you’ll be amazed with the cheerleaders’ performance. Most often, you would see girls being thrown high up in the air as if they are flying, and then they would graciously land on their feet while wearing a goddess smile.

For a very long time now, girls have dominated the cheerleading world. Admit it. When you hear the word cheer dance, you would immediately think of girls with tight-fitted clothes and short skirts, armed with frilly pompoms. Or if there are guys on the team, they are usually the ones who lift and support the girls while performing their stunts.

If you are a fan of cheer dance, then you would probably like the anime, Cheer Danshi. However, Cheer Danshi has a different take on cheerleading – its members are all men, specifically, college guys. And these two young men here are the main protagonists:

Kazu and Haru

I know some of you will feel disgusted, thinking that an all-boys cheerleading group is gay. In fact, Cheer Danshi has been listed in Goboiano’s 15 most dropped summer 2016 anime – which is really sad. At first, I also had plans to drop this anime because it’s summary is just so… not that exciting.

But I promised to myself that before I drop an anime series this summer season, I should watch episode one first at least, because there are many times that I have dropped an anime due to its poorly written summary only to find out later that it is actually good.

333 people dropped Cheer Danshi!! :(

Maybe these 333 people didn’t realize Cheer Danshi’s awesomeness, or didn’t even bother to watch its first episode. However, your stereotypical view on cheerleading might change, especially if you start watching this anime.

Now, let me start giving you the good points why Cheer Danshi is worth watching.

If girls can do it, guys can do it too.

In this anime series, Cheer Danshi emphasizes that cheerleaders do not always have to be girls, that even guys can rival the girls’ cheer dance moves.

Today, cheerleading is not exclusive for the ladies. Yes, there is an all-girls cheerleading squad, a mixed one, and an all-boys cheerleading squad. So if you are a guy and wants to enter the cheerleading club, don’t be embarrassed to join.

Don't worry Haru. You'll still look cool even if you do that.

If you got the moves or even if you don’t, Cheer Danshi makes it clear that as long as you are determined to learn or want to try something new for yourself, it is never wrong to try and do your very best. So if the people around you are discouraging you to pursue what you want, don’t mind them; mind what you want to do.

Sports with balls aren’t only the cool and manly sports.

I think when it comes to coolness and manliness, Cheer Danshi doesn’t fall behind. Cheer dance is a sports for men too! I actually like Cheer Danshi being a nontraditional sports anime. This is in fact a rare find because most sports anime are basketball, tennis, baseball, soccer, or any other sports that involve balls.

Though Cheer Danshi doesn’t play balls, isn’t this cool enough?

If things aren’t working out, it’s okay to quit.

Most anime series teach us to “Try our hardest” but Cheer Danshi also understands that it’s okay to let go of your passion when you have already reached your limit. Haru was once a member of the judo club but because he was not delivering any results, he decided to quit. And later on joined the cheer dance club.

I know most younger anime fans live by this quote “Never give up.” But sometimes, holding on gives yourself more damage whether it’s love or dreams. If you quit at something, I think it is not actually that bad. When you quit, you are just giving yourself a favor of opening up a new chapter in your life. And you’ll understand this more once you became an adult.

Cheer Danshi revives the TRUE meaning of cheerleading.

A lot of people think that a cheer dance performance is only for entertainment. That it's just fun and exciting to watch. However, Cheer Danshi isn't only about entertainment and fun.

Honestly, a chord was struck in my heart when Kazu told his reasons for building the cheer dance club. Aside from looking up to his parents who were both once cheerleaders, Kazu revives the true purpose and meaning of cheerleading. And that is:

"Becoming a hero by supporting someone else. Gaining the strength to inspire someone to greater heights."

That's it! I hope you consider adding Cheer Danshi on your watchlist. Have you already started watching this anime? What are your views about it? Let me know in the comment box.

About the Author

Lem Enrile is a freelance writer whose hobbies are watching anime, reading manga, and taking photos of her three lovely cats. Follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Happy Birthday Honoka-chan!

Honoka Kousaka Birthday

Today marks the birthday of μ's team leader, Honoka Kousaka. Honoka is a character from the very popular idol anime Love Live, which is now airing it's second season known as Love Live Sunshine. She's born on August 3rd, and is a fiery Leo.

I've done a post before on Honoka Kousaka celebrating her birthday, but I wanted to give another quick shoutout to her today. Honoka is a huge inspiration to me and my blog. Therefore, I wanted to give her some spotlight!

For Honoka related pictures on Pixiv, please follow this link. Look below for a video featuring one of her songs.

Thank you for reading and Happy Birthday Honoka!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Shooting Star Dreamer at Metrocon 2016

Shooting Star Dreamer Metrocon

Hello everyone! This a quick and important announcement (which is partly responsible for the inactivity) that I finally want to release to public. Shooting Star Dreamer will have a table at one of Florida's largest anime convention, Metrocon!

This is our first time doing anything of the sort, and we hope to do our best! The merchandise our booth will provide are anime bracelets, necklaces and other forms of jewelry. These creations are produced by our sister organization, G.T.I Kreations! I have attached the link to G.T.I on my blog. Please give them support as well!

G.T.I Kreations Facebook

Event Page

Our booth is located at table I-23 of the Artist Alley!  We are located in the Vendor Room which is on the second floor of the convention center!

As always, thank you for your continued support!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara Episode 1 O&A

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara
Credits to this wonderful artist for the backdrop.
Character: Tadokoro Megumi from Shokugeki no Souma

Hello and welcome to the first episode-by-episode blog post I've done in a long time. Since this segment is still a work in progress, I'll probably limit my posts of this type to one per season, but we'll see how things continue.

Now you may be asking, what does the O&A mean at the end of this title? Well, even though I'm delving into a more common area in anime blogging, I'd like things to be different here at Shooting Star Dreamer.

So instead of the generic review, I'll be highlight and giving an overview of each episode and providing thoughts along the way. Lastly, I'll be extracting different things from the anime and making the symbolism public. Thus, this segment is called O&A (contrary to Q&A) which stands for Overview and Analysis.

With that out of the way, let's continue! To kick things off, I'll covering my favorite anime this season: Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara. So let's get to it!

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara Episode 1

Shokugeki Autumn Elections
Takumi Aldini showcased in the quick intro.

Season two starts right up without wasting any time, jumping right into the Autumn Elections. We're not given much of a refresher before the competition of the episode, and the anime seems to be moving a bit faster than it was previously.

Perhaps this is only for the first episode, or it may be a theme throughout the whole series. Still, it's clear that we're still watching the same, good Shokugeki.

Souma and Tadokoro
"Tadokoro hasn't changed at all!"

After the small intro, we get a moment to see Tadokoro preparing (somewhat frantically) for her match as she is set to cook on the same day as Souma. The shot above really shows quite the contrast between the two on the big day.

We then move to the arena, waiting for the first match between Yukihira Souma and Nakiri Alice to begin. After witnessing a somewhat long-winded explanation from Erina, we discover the theme of choice for this match is surprisingly bento, which is somewhat of a simple dish.

Shokugeki no Souma Bento Boxes
Examples of  bento.

Now, bento in the western world is equivalent to a lunch box, where food is prepared and protected to be eaten at a later time. Bento boxes can contain a variety of different meals and dishes, and have varying layouts.

As seen in this episode, Bento boxes are usually divided into small compartments, with each being used for a separate dish. Such a dish seems to be in Souma's favor, due to it's simplicity.

However, the cooking begins and Alice seems to have a special recipe up her sleeve. As seen in previous episodes, Alice is known for her dishes that are somewhat unique and "out there." They also make use of futuristic or scientific techniques and rely less on standard methods.  We rarely see her use technique like hospitality and heart/adaptability, which are the focal points of Tadokoro and Souma's cooking. This is where things get interesting and the symbolism comes to play.

Nakiri Alice versus Yukihira Souma
Alice vs Souma! More than a battle of cooking, but a battle of character.

From here on I feel this episode focuses less on cooking, but more on the characters and development between the two. Thus, the analysis begins. At a glance, Alice and Souma are two very different characters; not just in personality but color scheme, as seen from the image above.

Alice features little to no color in her appearance. She's composed of white or silver hair, a basic white outfit, and pale skin. The only thing that contains any color are her red eyes, which may hint towards her inner nature. After all, eyes are said to be the windows to one's soul.

On the other hand we have Souma who is pretty colorful. He has vibrant red hair, tan skin, a black or bluish outfit, and yellow eyes to boot. Their appearances are near opposites.

Now we can think about their styles of cooking and how these colors are related. Alice's cooking can be described as very methodical. She produces unique works yes, but they're all carefully crafted and scientific in nature. Such an approach is fitting for a dull color scheme. We can even see this in action as she presented her temari bento to the judges.

Alice's Temari Bento
Take note; each of the dishes are placed side by side neatly in a fashion where they can be easily selected.

The judges take note of her dish and how well-crafted it is. They all enjoy it and remark on the finer points of the dish. Now there's a lot to be said about the dish in term of edibility and cooking skill, but what I took away from this was a bit different.

Throughout the entirety of her turn in serving the judges they remarked on how wonderful the dish was, and even commented that it was like eating at a traditional Japanese restaurant. They were even amused at how she put all her skills to use in a theme even this simple.

The thing is, the key trait of her bento was that the judges knew mostly what they were getting, and of course it was something that tasted well...good. While her cooking and presentation were superb, and her techniques were impressive, her dish lacked heart.

Souma's Candy
You can learn a lot from kids!

Of course after this, it's Souma's turn. Souma as the king of innovation when it comes to dishes and bringing out the unexpected, packs a bento that is in direct opposition to Alice's. His bento is simple and a bit more plain in comparison, but filled with surprises. Also, the effort put into it was fueled differently.

Souma uses less of the by-the-book approach and a more humanistic take when it comes to his cooking. His motivations are fueled more by the interactions he's had with others such as children, his old customers, and his own experience. This goes as far as making use of a children's candy to spice up his dish.

Shokugeki Director's Decision
Even the Director of Totsuki Academy remembers that fun and innovation are key ingredients in successful cooking.

Upon tasting Souma's bento the judges began to smile and went through quite a few scenes of silliness. The main point of this was that the judges were having fun eating's Souma's food. They were more entertained by the surprises that his cuisine offered and enjoyed the innovation. At this point, the winner of the match was pretty much clear.

With this being said, I do not necessarily believe that Alice's cooking is bad. I also do not think that Alice's personality is "wrong."She appealed to judges in taste and quality, but Souma appealed in innovation and enjoyment. To top it off, he made use of scientific techniques as well to make the finished product taste good.

At the end, the match was a battle between technicality and humanity. Alice and Souma representing each respectively. I believe this episode was a great one for both Alice and Souma, as we got to understand both characters a bit more. Alice may have lost this fight, but I feel like her cooking will be a lot better in the future.

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara Episode 2

With Souma moving on in the tournament, we await for Tadokoro's match in episode two!

Apologies if this is a long read. This is a new topic and it may take a bit of time to get used to. Please leave feedback and comments below, I will most certainly read them all!

As always, thank you for reading~

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Shooting Star Spotlights: Defining Otaku

Shooting Star Spotlights
Character: Miki Hoshii from Idolm@ster

What is an otaku? This question is asked quite a bit throughout the anime community and the answer differs depending on who you talk to. This question is eventually what led to the creation of this blog! Shooting Star Dreamer's first blog post sums this up, and the later post discusses breaking the otaku stereotype.

Today however, I'd like to highlight the opinions of others, instead of solely my own. Also with this, I'm opening (or somewhat changing) a segment of my blog, known as Shooting Star Spotlights. Contrary to other spotlights, I want this category to highlight bloggers/websites/posts, but specifically anime bloggers.

Each spotlight under this title will focus on a specific theme, and all blogs or websites I provide will have a post relating to this theme. The websites I pick may not necessarily be active, but will contain posts that deserve attention.

So below are posts that I feel discuss the concept of otaku well. I like their definitions and perspective on the otaku label and believe that their posts are worthy enough to share with you all. Please take the time to read or at least skim through them!

Thank you for reading~

Turning a Negative into a Positive ~ by Reneaux Ruffin

Geek Spending Power ~ by Trends in Japan

What is an "Otaku"?  by Daniel Bengtsson 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer 2016 Anime Watchlist

Summer 2016 Anime Watchlist

Hello everyone! Shooting Star Dreamer has focused on anime from the past and present alike, but now its time to move on to newer and better things. In order to do this, we need to keep up with the current anime. So with this Summer season, the anime hiatus is over. Here comes my official watchlist!

Disclaimer: This watch list features anime that I find interesting and plan to try out. There is no guarantee that I'll finish the anime, but I'll at least attempt to do a post on each one! 

For those viewing this list and wishing to leave a recommendation, feel free to comment below with your anime. I'll take into account every request, but I won't guarantee that I'll enjoy or finish it. (Don't let this stop you from recommending though!)

Click the title links for more information and PV!

Summer 2016 Anime Watchlist 



Masou Gakuen HxH

Masou Gakuen HxH

Tales of Zestiria the X

Tales of Zestiria the X

Ange Vierge

Ange Vierge

Love Live! Sunshine!!

Love Live! Sunshine!!





Kono Bijutsu-bu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!

Kono Bijutsu-bu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave a comment with an anime you want me to check out!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July from Shooting Star Dreamer

Kantai Collection Iowa
Enjoy a picture of Iowa, our resident American ship girl! 

Hello anime fans and fellow otaku, and happy 4th of July! Since today is a holiday, expect a new anime-related post from this blog tomorrow. (I promise, we'll be back to our Japan-centered topics soon.)

For now, I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday festivities. (for those of us who are in America.) Have a cook out, light some fireworks or sparklers, but most importantly, be safe!

Until next time, see you~

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Look at Otaku Speed Dating

Otaku Speed Dating
Being able to share your true self with another person is the greatest companionship.

Being an otaku isn't always an easy thing. In fact, living a normal life is probably easier. Many otaku have the urge to hide their interests from friends, family, and romantic partners. To be honest, it's easy to understand. Growing up in different parts of the world, it's often hard to find like-minded individuals, and it's horrible getting shunned or left behind because of one's interests.

Many otaku turn to the internet to find others like them, but there's also other outlets in the form of conventions, meet ups, clubs, and hang outs. For instance, I am an otaku that consistently felt different from others, as little to no people shared my interests. However, participating in my local anime scene, blogging and connecting to people online has changed that quite a bit for me.

Otaku Speed Dating
Just because you're an otaku, doesn't mean you can't have good romance!

Even today, more opportunities for otaku are being created. For instance, there's a new way to meet otaku in a romantic scene, called Otaku Speed Dating. The event is similar to normal speed dating, where participants are matched with each other in a short but efficient manner. The big difference is that this one focuses on otaku, anime fans, and gamers, which is a demographic that is usually not represented.

This event takes place in New York City, on July 8th, 2016. The event will last for an hour, from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. located in an area known as Cafe Victoria.  Tickets are being sold for about 35 dollars, and must be purchased online.

The individuals are given around three minutes to interact with each other, ask questions, and the like. After this time, pairings will be rotated and participants will spend another three minutes with a different individual. This pattern continues until ten dates have been completed.

The night ends with participants writing down the dates they enjoyed and want to match with, and if the feeling is mutual, they're given contact information at a later time. At the end there's a little bit of mingle time, along with snacks and other refreshments.

Otaku Dating Cosplay
Otaku Speed Dating also recommends/allows light cosplay at their event, to show off your otaku spirit!

So what do I think about this event? Well, I think it's amazing! This isn't the usual topic on Shooting Star Dreamer, but I'd like to bring attention to things like this, as there are people somewhere, someplace who will enjoy it.  I also definitely support any attempts to connect the otaku community, like this one.

So for any of my readers who are in the area and are interested, I have a special discount code for you! If you're buying tickets, feel free to enter SSDREAMER50 in the promotional code section for a 50% discount!

All in all, I hope to see more of these events in the future and I give Otaku Speed Dating my best regards! To my readers, please share this event with your friends and family, and if it interests you, I recommend making an effort to attend!

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Why I Don't Use the Word "Weeaboo"

Kagetsuin Noa

Fans of anime and Japan are referred to as many things. Some are negative, some are positive, but certain labels tend to stick more than others. For instance, we hear the word otaku tossed around a lot. Here at Shooting Star Dreamer, I try to give otaku more positive connotations, and refer to myself as such in a good way. However, this isn't always the case for everyone.

Since I talk on the word "otaku" quite a bit, I'd like to give some insight into another word that has a lasting impression; Weeaboo. If you don't know what this word means, here's a textbook definition:

"A non-Japanese person (especially one of Caucasian ancestry) who behaves in a stereotypically Japanese manner or seeks to appear stereotypically Japanese." (source)

Pretty interesting right? From the get go, this word is pretty negative. At it's core, it's pretty much a label for people who behave in a such a way, more-so a label to give to someone you don't really care for. Although this definition has the basic sense, other uses of the word Weeaboo include:

  • A joke, such as referring to oneself as a nerd or geek. 
  • An label, to describe a non-Japanese person who has interest in Japanese pop culture and media
  • An insult, to categorize a person who feels Japan or Japanese culture is superior to others. 

There are possibly more things "Weeaboo" can refer to, but these are the most common uses. 

So why do I have such a big distaste for the word?

Lucky Star Otaku Konata

Well, I do not believe in referring to a person or a group of people in a negative way, regardless of their beliefs or interests. There are definitely people out there who are obsessed with Japan, who prefer to watch all their anime in Japanese subs instead of English dubs, and the like. Are these people inherently bad? I do not believe so. Even if we as a community don't agree with their views, we shouldn't go as far as to label them negatively.

I also do not support misuse of the word. Recently, I've been seeing the word tossed around quite a bit whenever there's a conflict. More specifically, I see frequent misuse in the anime and gaming community. 

If someone is very enthusiastic about an anime, that makes them a weeaboo. Collecting anime merchandise makes them a weeaboo as well. Wanting to play the original Japanese version of a game leads to instant weeaboo status. Don't all of these sounds kind of silly? With such negative labels being tossed around wrongly and easily, it's understandable that individuals would hide their interests.

Therefore, weeaboo isn't a part of my vocabulary. I instead refer to myself as an otaku, but as a positive-minded otaku! I usually don't refer to other people as otaku, unless they feel alright with the word. 

The moral of the post is simple; I'd like to lessen some of labeling and hate that goes around in the anime community and the world. I'd also love for you all to help me out as well! If you see someone using the word as an insult, don't let it slide! Remember how it feels to be labeled, and try to be empathetic to the views of others. 

Many negative labels and words can easily be turned around into positive traits. Obsessed can be called passionate, and stubborn can be turned into tenacious. The same can be said for weeaboo. Although used mostly as an insult, I hope that one day the word loses its negative connotations and turns into something more positive.

Quickly, I'd like to give a shout out to a blog that gave me the inspiration to write this post. 

Please give it a read! Lita provides more emphasis on the use of the word, which is something my post did not cover heavily.

Thank you all for reading! 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Splatoon 1st Anniversary and Thoughts!

One year ago, a great game known as Splatoon released. Splatoon was an interesting game; it was quite different and filled with a childlike charm. It stood out in the genre of shooting games, with it's vibrant visuals and not-so violent gameplay.

At first glance, people had written off Splatoon as a simple children's game, but it proved to be so much more. Splatoon became a new Nintendo exclusive and gained immense popularity. No one saw it coming, but Splatoon had taken the hearts of many and still holds it's popularity to this day.

When I first saw Splatoon, it felt like a game from a different time period. Outside of references, graphics, and all of the technical things, a game's design can bring out different emotions in players. Splatoon, was a game aimed towards those of the past, as well as those in the present as well. Featuring wacky colors and graphics, an underwater theme, combined with a new sense of coolness, Splatoon feels like a game from the 1990s, with a touch of new age mechanics and game play. 

Does the game feel dated then? Not at all, it just makes the game appeal to a wider audience. An audience full of kids and adults alike.

Splatoon Inkling Colors

One of the most memorable things about Splatoon are the main characters, specifically speaking the kids that transform into squids, also known as the Inklings.  Inklings have a pretty cool character design, and although they have a basic hairstyle that carries over for every character, the changing colors and small customization features have led to quite a variety in appearances. To top it off , clothes add even more of a stylish touch to these squid kids and help players to differentiate themselves from the crowd.

If this wasn't enough in game, the designs of Splatoon have encouraged many artists to design their own Inklings with their own appearances, hairstyles, and colors. The simple act of giving these artists inspiration is enough to already make Splatoon stand out from the rest.

So that's a lot about what Splatoon does right. I touched more on the gameplay mechanics in a previous post which debuted last year. 

Now, I'd like to give a few changes or additions I'd like to see in Splatoon. After being immersed in the game for a full year now, and having an amazing time on the competitive multiplayer scene, there's quite a few possibilities I see for Splatoon.

More Customization

Splatoon Customizations

More customization is probably the top thing I'd like to see in Splatoon right now. Inklings have a lot of clothing options, from hats to shirts and jackets. The one thing that doesn't change is a character's shorts. In the future, it'd be great for another set of customization to allow pants, skirts, shorts and other sort of things for an Inkling to wear. 

Another thing that'd be nice to see is new hairstyles. I understand it may be difficult since hairstyles serve as the tentacles for their squid forms, but it's something that would definitely make characters stand out from each other. On the side, having the enemies playable at some point (the Octolings) is another highly desired feature.

Different Splatfests

Splatoon Splatfests

Splatfests in Splatoon are special events that occur every three to four weeks. They are usually region-exclusive and feature a battle between two sides. The topics range from silly ones, to basic ones, to weird ones, and more. For participating, everyone receives Super Sea Snails, which are items used to upgrade gear. 

As of now, I believe Splatfests are a great thing to bring excitement to Splatoon and definitely keep the game relevant. However, with the same game-mode being used, I believe the events have become repetitive. I would love to see the ranked mode incorporated into Splatfests, or even the addition of a new mode. Just something new to mix up the usual formula to keep things interesting.

The Continuation of Free DLC

Splatoon Squid Girl DLC
Splatoon even features DLC from anime series, such as Squid Girl (Ika Musume)

Games get add-ons and updates all the time nowadays, but usually the players have to cover the costs. For Splatoon, DLC has been completely free as of now. Which, in my opinion, is the way DLC should be handled. Although this isn't an addition, it is something I hope to see Splatoon stick with throughout it's life time. 

With Splatoon, it's been a great year. The time really flew by fast, and the game still feels new to this day. I hope that Splatoon continues on Nintendo's upcoming console and I can't wait to see how the competitive scene grows as time passes! I'll definitely still be playing the game for days to come. 

Thank you for reading! 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Happy (Late) Birthday Yamada!

B Gata H Kei Yamada Birthday

Good evening! Yesterday, May 21st, marked the birthday of my favorite female anime character, Yamada from B Gata H Kei. Unfortunately, I was too busy to make a post on the previous day regarding Yamada, so here's one now!

Yamada is an interesting character. The first distinct thing about her is that her first name is never mentioned throughout her series and still remains a mystery to this day. Although her actual background is somewhat mysterious, it doesn't keep her from being an enthusiastic and open person.

Although she's not too popular of a character, (she has little merchandise, fan art, and other typical anime goods) her anime usually stands out in the minds of those who have seen it for being unique in more ways than one. This is exactly what attracted me to Yamada; she's unique and doesn't really fit into the generic anime norms.

With that being said, being born on May 21st makes Yamada a Gemini, just barely. She falls on the cusp of the dates, specifically the first day of the Gemini range. This is somewhat similar to my own birthday falling on the cusp of Sagittarius and the last day of the it's range, December 21st.

The Gemini zodiac sign fits her very well, due to her large amount of energy, multiple sides of her personality, and active personality. Gemini is also of the air element, which somewhat relates to her "flighty" character.

So again, Happy Birthday to Yamada! She has her ups and downs, but at the end of the day, she's an anime character I absolutely love! If you're interested on learning more about her and what she means to me and this blog, feel free to check out this awesome post.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 4, 2016

How to Organize Anime Images

Organize Anime Images

Ever find yourself swamped with tons of images and don't know what to do? Since Spring is now here, it's the perfect time to get all those beautiful pictures in nice folders. Although this task isn't always an easy one. I've had a problem with organization and locating images for a while now, but I figured out a colorful and vibrant way to lay out my folders.

Today, I'd like to share my way of organizing anime images and creating an anime-styled folder. Please keep reading if this interests you, and if you're lacking images, check out my many anime-based image posts! With that being said, let's begin!

Organize Anime Images Folders
A layered organization scheme is very useful for art gallery folders or anime series folder where there's a lot of categories or characters.

When gathering images, I tend to browse websites such as Pixiv. I find that Pixiv provides images that aren't found in other areas, as they're uploaded directly by the artist. Websites such as or Danbooru, are nice websites for high quality art, since most of these images are selected by the community. When browsing these types of sites I make use of the handy Image Grabber I mentioned in a previous post.

For most cases of file naming, I tend to stick to the simple character name + artist name + a unique id number. (For instance: cynthia (fire emblem).junkpuyo.a74d397 would be a good file name.) This helps avoid duplicates but allows for easy searching in folders. This is also useful if you're the type of person who prefers a well laid-out single folder in contrast to multiple folders for each character.

So yes, multiple folders are very important to have, but they're also very important to name correctly. What should you name them you ask? Well that's totally up to you.

Image editing for the folder icons, it's not quite that difficult! Link to PSD

For me, I base image folders off names that make them easily recognizable. If I have a character that I like a lot, but if I'm not the biggest fan of their anime, I'll make a folder specifically for them. Otherwise, if I'm in complete love with the anime, I make a folder with the anime name and add character folders within. (I don't always follow this scheme though...)

That's the basis of my organization scheme. It's pretty simple right? Of course, I'm a visual person so this isn't enough for me. The simple folder icons just don't cut it. So I decided to add my own personal spin to organization...anime folder icons!

These kind of icons do three specific things for me. They allow me to browse my folders without the need of troublesome text. They give me a way to make my computer feel less plain, and most importantly, having them there makes me feel good inside!

Once you'e downloaded, saved, or created your icon, you can change the icon for a folder by right clicking and going to properties. Afterwards, navigate to the customize tab and click "change icon."

How do you accomplish this? It's as simple as changing the folder icon. All you need to do is right click the folder and navigate to properties. Once you go there, you just need to access the customize tab and click "Change Icon." After accomplishing this you can change any folder you desire to an icon you've created or downloaded.

If you wish to take this simplification a bit further, feel free to remove folder names completely, relying solely on image icons to navigate. This can be done by creating a new folder (or renaming a previously created one) holding the alt key down + typing 255. This blanks out the folder name leaving just the icon. Perfect for those who like a minimalist style.

Was this a bit confusing or too long? If so. here's a quick summary of how I organize my anime images:

  • Save images with a specific name, such as the character name + artist name and a unique id number. This can easily be accomplished by using the Image Grabber.
  • When collecting images of many characters from a sole series, put them all in one folder using the anime as the title. Split the characters into separate character folders within.
  • Add folder icons to make searching easier, or to make your folders more stylish. The PSD file for my icon layout can be found here. Use GIMP or Photoshop to add a picture of your choosing, then save it as a .ico file.
  • To make a more minimalist layout, remove names from your folders while holding the alt key down and typing 255 into the folder name.

That's all there is! If you have any questions or concerns about this anime image organization, please let me know in the comments below and I will definitely help you out! 

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Anime Spring Wallpaper Pack 2016

Anime Spring Wallpaper
Support the Artist!

Hello everyone, and happy Springtime! I'm currently enjoying Spring Break right now, along with tons of other people, and hopefully you're having a good time as well! Spring is known for a lot of things: warmer weather, flowers, rain, and more. However in Japan, the sign of Spring is more simple; Cherry blossoms (also known as Sakura).

Cherry blossoms are bright pink flowers that bloom in Spring. They're featured in a lot of different anime, art work of Japan, and other such mediums. In fact, we have cherry blossoms here in the United States.

Since Spring is here, I've taken the time to provide you all with wonderful sakura-themed wallpapers for your computer needs. All the wallpapers featured are safe for work and at least 1080p size, allowing most users to have a high quality background.

All credit is given to the artists of these beautiful images, and if any of them have a problem with their art being included in this pack, please contact me. For those who are curious where these images come from, please make use of an source finder such as SauceNao.

If you all have any questions or would like to see a new wallpaper pack, please let me know. If you'd like more images, including those for mobile or other needs, please contact me! I'd be happy to provide those as well.

Please enjoy the images everyone!