Monday, July 30, 2018

MyAnimeList Alternatives

Alternatives to MyAnimeList

With the recent issues with anime listing and database website MyAnimeList (MAL), people have started scrambling for alternatives. The site was completely down for some time, eventually returning with numerous features being disabled. This problem was due to the website's API, however this was not communicated publicly at first. More info on the MyAnimeList situation can be explained below, with outside sources for relevancy.

Otherwise, I'd like to recommend a few alternatives for those who wish to switch services, as well as the pros and cons of each.  If you're here just for the recommendations feel free to skip the section below!

For More Information on the MyAnimeList Situation

This is a statement and comment thread from the developer of Taiga, which is an application used to track anime videos on your computer and auto add them to listing websites. This is used mostly to manage things like MyAnimeList without the need for manual updates. This now works mostly with Kitsu and AniList, which are the alternatives that will be discussed today!

Article detailing the beginning of the MAL takedown, also showcases a few statements from the admins.

List of MAL Updates after it's downtime
 Showcases which features have been restored and what still needs work.

Alternative Websites/Resources


Kitsu is an anime listing and database application similar to MyAnimeList. It differs in general layout, customization features, and rating system. As of now, it is compatible with anime tracking application Taiga.

  • More profile room and customization, allowing for more favorite characters & anime/manga.
  • Cleaner and sleeker interface, mixes the structure of MyAnimeList with a responsive design.
  • Uses reactions instead of reviews, which appear randomly on anime info pages; a concise way to give user feedback on an anime series.
  • Sorts series by genre, allowing for easy and specific searching.
  • Design can be somewhat cluttered when it comes to certain features
  • Not the best website when it comes to looking for specific information.
  • Customization must be in the realm of the website; differs from MAL's BBcode abilities.
  • Community is smaller than MAL's and interaction is based on groups and following, less friend to friend basis.
  • Certain functions of the website seem to be broken (at least on my end) such as character links not redirecting to a character's profile.


Like Kitsu, AniList is another anime database and listing website. It is a step up from MyAnimeList is turns of its user interface, featuring a modern and responsive design. Although data-basing anime is important, AniList places an emphasis on it's social features, with users social feeds and forum posts being pushed to the forefront upon entering the website.

  • Small community, but more tight-knit. (Can go as a pro or a con)
  • High social aspects, comments and discussions are sorted in a feed-like format for easy reading.
  • Various rating systems such as emoticons, number ratings, stars, and more.
  • Analyzes watched anime in terms of time spent watching, top genres, and more.
  • Various search options when looking for anime or manga. (Ex: By genre, season, and more.)

  • Forum layout could be better designed, currently cluttered with little differentiation.
  • No feature specifically for recommending anime that a user might be interested in, just popular anime. 
  • Again, customization must be in the realm of the website; differs from MAL's BBcode abilities.
  • Character pages and other pages need to be updates with sufficient information. (This is usually done by community volunteers.)

Lastly, there is one more alternative that I would suggest, but due to my lack of experience with the database I cannot recommend it. This website is AniDB

Please let me know if this post helped you, and if you have any comments or concerns let me know!

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Back to the Fairy Tale, Back to the Show (And Back to Blogging)

Shooting Star Dreamer Blogging

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another post! This post announces my return to blogging, while taking a little inspiration from the opening lyrics of my new favorite series: RWBY! The song is labeled as The Triumph, which is a fitting name for such an upbeat song. You can listen to the song below at the linked video. (Don't worry the video has no spoilers, but you might want to avoid the comments if you're worried about that.)

RWBY (expect more posts on RWBY soon), and the opening song The Triumph are inspiring to me. The song starts off from a defeated point of view, explaining the current situation and how things feel somewhat hopeless. Afterwards, the piece builds into a triumphant roar, stating that despite the past and regardless of all obstacles, there will be a way to overcome it all. This escalates from a possibility for change or aimless living, to blatantly declaring the will to survive and persevere. The overall theme deals with having the courage to keep moving forward no matter what, and to stop dwelling on the past as it can't really be altered.

Upon hearing the song this instantly resonated with me. As many may know, Shooting Star Dreamer has been quite inactive. Days turned to months, which led to a year or two, and things began to look bleak. Running a blog or any sort of product that's your sole creation is difficult. It's not the same as following a pre-planned schedule, and there's no one hounding you to keep going; the motivation comes from within.

Despite all the bumps in the road, I want to believe that things are fixable. Therefore, I am determined to breathe life into this blog once again, and hopefully inspire and bring joy to readers who like delving deeper into our pop culture. It may be difficult, but after a large amount of time pondering, I have decided that this is what feels right to me. It is my time to put in the effort to create my own Triumph.

With that monologue out of the way, I'd like to welcome everyone back to Shooting Star Dreamer! We've gone through a slight makeover, and things may not be the same as before, but the essence will remain the same: we dare to be different and enjoy anime, gaming, and Japanese culture! So I ask for those who fall into those interests to keep reading my blog as I get back to the show. I look forward to your continued support!

Shooting Star Dreamer Schedule

Lastly, here is the new blogging schedule I've come up with. Please expect posts on these three days from now on!

As always, if you have any feedback leave it in the comments below! This post is a bit raw, so please let me know how you feel about this style in comparison to more structured articles.

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Life Lessons from Super Mario

Super Mario Life Lessons

Gaming comes across to some as mindless button mashing, but there's a deeper meaning to it all. Whether it's building values, connecting with characters, or learning real life concepts, there's much more going on under the surface when it comes to video games.

The Super Mario Bros. Series (or any Mario game) is a game that this applies to. It's outreach spreads so far that most people who have picked up a controller have given it a try. The game outright is a pretty simple platformer, with various elements to make things more interesting. To the average gamer, collecting coins and stomping enemies is what Mario is about, but perhaps we're learning life lessons subconsciously as well.

Below I'm going to list a few lessons from Mario that I picked up. Let me know in the comments if you've recognized any others or have a different take on things!

Money is beneficial, but it will only get you so far!

Mario Gif

Coin collection is huge in Mario games. With coins being scattered throughout the levels most players collect as many as possible. However, coins aren't always worth going out of your way for. Although they're great for your score and can net you a few extra lives, they won't win you the game. They make things easier for sure, but your own skills have to get you through the levels if you wish to complete the game.

This teaches us that money helps contribute to our lives and makes things easier, but we still have to put effort forth to succeed!

Sometimes you need to take a leap of faith!

Mario Gif

In Mario, our path can sometimes be unclear. In other areas, there are large gaps that need to be crossed and goals that can only be reached by doing something out of the ordinary. Thus sometimes we need to take a chance and make that jump, use that new skill, or explore a new area to live and thrive. This is almost the case in every Mario game.

By putting forth effort into something new or taking the chance to start again we may find the strength to reach to new heights that previously appeared impossible.

Life gives you multiple chances, so don't give up!

Mario Gif 1 UP

In the Mario world, the quote, "You only live once," isn't necessarily true. Players start the game with multiple lives and even a few continues if those run out. Even if you mess up, struggle and fail, your life or time playing the game isn't completely over. 

As long as you keep moving forward, progress can be made. The game even rewards you with extra lives for trying, similar to the saying "One door closes, another door opens."

There's perks to being big or small, love yourself.

Mario Gif

In Super Mario Bros., you play as a petite version of Mario upon starting the game. Getting mushrooms nets Mario and power-up and a size upgrade. Although many don't want to play as small Mario in comparison to big, the game can be played with either. Each size has situations where being small or large may be beneficial and detrimental (such as being small to walk through small areas or being big to break certain blocks). 

Therefore, as in real life, it's best to recognize that tall or short, lacking or not, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.

A little extra help doesn't hurt!

Mario Switch GIF Cappy

Lastly, having a little outside help doesn't hurt. Mario doesn't progress through his games alone. He has Yoshi and Luigi from time to time, and uses various power-ups along the way. Although you can go at the game alone, there are some stages that require assistance and the newest Mario game requires his partner Cappy throughout it all!

Thus, getting help from others isn't too bad, and can make progress easier.

As always, thank you for reading! Please check out my other posts or leave a comment if you have the chance!