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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Somewhere over the Rainbow...

This is literally my personal rambling so don't read if you don't want to read random incoherent stuff which is going to probably make you want to ask a lot of questions which I probably don't have answers for, or if you don't want to waste time trying to figure out what the hell I'm talking about.

At the start of the holidays, I got stung by a weird honey bee and my hand was almost unable to function properly due to swelling, it's recovered a lot but still somewhat painful. I spent time just being in bed watching anime, even scrolling to read manga was painful. Needless to say, I'm way behind schedule.

I ran into someone online today, just for a few minutes, they talked about old movies in that shortest possible time, and I got reminded of how much I loved watching movies, romcoms mainly. Not the ridiculous ones that are made now (some are still really nice), but more in the like of The Wedding Singer and You've Got Mail and While You Were Sleeping and my all time favourite, The Lake House. somehow, I find that sort of stuff so believable and beautiful. The soft, lovely soundtracks, the gripping BGM, the very beautiful way of making the impossible possible as if by magic. Where people understand each other when they exchange words. Where instant messaging isn't a thing, and people are patient and can wait and genuinely care. Where 'moving on' isn't a thing and people put their heart and soul into making things work, I wonder why people say that it's a girl's thing to watch... Isn't it a wonderful thing to be able to talk and care about each other? Does it make a guy less manly if he's able to devote his life to one woman and pursue her till she's not able to say no cause she believes in his sincerity?
Movies like this remind me of Emma, and of Jane Eyre, of the magic that Cecelia Ahern spins and of the old English Classics that I grew up reading. Why is it wrong to think like that in today's time? Being able to love someone wholeheartedly, is now called a weakness...why? Isn't it the most courageous thing to do? Being able to completely believe in someone and take a chance against the odds is something that should only be limited to books and movies? You'll get hurt, a lot, a lot of times you'll face utter and complete disappointment and despair, but...isn't it all about the silver lining in the end? Even if things don't work out, isn't picking up the pieces again and starting off again, something that should be believed in? Of course, life isn't a fairy-tale (I just wrote fairy tail then had to edit), everything doesn't go as you plan, the other person involved might not see things in the same light as you, but, being afraid of the results before you even start would really not get things anywhere... I feel like, giving up is something that you should do after you've tried everything in your power to make something work.

saisho kara akiramechattara, nanimo hajimaranai kara, korondemo, kizutsuketemo, kokoro ga boroboro ni nattemo, akiramechattara, mou ippo de todokesou na basho made mo todokanai kara... akiramenaide, ganbatte, kitto nanikaga matteru, donna ni kurushii hibi ga attemo, kanashimi no mokou de, zettai darekaga matteru kara, akiramenaide, mou ichidou mae e susume... sono saki wa zettai nanika aru hazu. Maa, koko wa atashi jishin wo hagemasu tameni mo arukedo... ne, atashi ganbatteta ne? saisho kara saigo made, nanimokamo yatte mita deshou? mou yasunde ii no ne? kondo wa dareka atashi wo mitsukete kureru ban dayone?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Finally the Holidays Start...

After a very hectic, what seemed like a year, finally, the holidays have started. True, they won't last long, it's just one month, that too will be the fasting month so the number of things I can do will be limited. I also decided to keep teaching my ESL classes since I unexpectedly had people showing up at my house asking to be taught during the holidays ._______. I immediately regretted after saying yes since I realised it meant I won't get to slack off and binge watch anime, sleep when I want, wake when I want and in short laze my life away for the month of June. But in a way it's a good thing, now I'll follow a proper time table to an extent. Now the things I need to do during this month...

1. Teach my ESL Class.
2. Make all the lesson plans for the entire year so I don't have to go crazy every month trying to find ways to plan new activities and ways of teaching.
3. I have to make a list of all the anime series I have in a proper alphabetical order in an excel file.
4. Record at least 3-4 song covers.
5. Make a list/index my anime merchandise collection so I know what the heck I even have.
6. Make a few karaoke video (if YouTube fails me) for my anime event.
7. Design at least 10 T-shirts.
8. Design at least 15 Mugs.
9. Make at least 20 Calender.
10. Make a bunch of wallpapers/posters in very high quality so that they can be used for printing.
11. Disinfect my laptop from the virus that has crept in from God knows where.
12. Finish or at least get close to finishing my PennFoster course.
13.  Clean up my room and organise it in such a way that I don't have to stress about cleaning during the year when work starts and I don't have time to even sleep.
14. Make sight words in a decorative and innovative way for my class.
15. List all my anime items on the Facebook Page.
16. Sell all my items from my Jade Dynasty account and hopefully close the account altogether.
17. Update and relist all the items from my account to my blog so people can buy.
18. Perfect my hiragana and get on to katakana.
19. Learn how to do mastering better.

...I pull up this huge list in my half asleep state... I wonder what I'll get if I was actually properly alert and awake -___-;; guess I'm not going to be taking it easy even during the holidays. I WILL, however, complete at least two series and 3 manga which I had been dying to try for a very long time now -.-;;

Time to sleep, to the voice of Susumu Hirasawa telling the story of Byakkoya no Musume.

though the lyrics are ever so slightly off/could be worded better in some parts, I find this video quite breathtaking and matching with the intensity of the song, not to mention of the movie from which the song itself came.

Found an epic Kaito/Kagamine Rin version as well

As a last thought that I got while looking up the videos to add to the post, I so despise when people say "You only like Japanese music because you understand what it's saying, we cannot like it when it's not in our language and we have no idea what it means". SO.NOT.TRUE! I used to have the Flame of Recca and Ninku opening and ending memorised when I didn't even know a word of Japanese. You needn't have a perfect fluency in Japanese to appreciate good music, there are things called subtitles, there are people who're willing to upload subtitled videos to help people who like music and want to understand what is it that's being said in the songs. Japanese music is beautiful, like a multifold story unfolding with each note, like a folklore full of mystery and wonder just waiting to be discovered by someone who'd be as excited listening to it as the one who made it was when he/she made it.
Be a little more open-minded, it's a huge wonderful word outside that you're missing out cause you're not willing to leave your norm and your comfortable, familiar zone.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Starting at a New Class and Finishing leftover Studies ~ Random Talk

So I finally finished the math test and miraculously got a 100. Shocked, cause when it comes to math I'm wonderful at getting lost and confused.

But luckily it's done and over and I don't have to deal with Math again for a while. Thanks, Will, your supportive talk motivated me to actually give it another try ^^

Moving on, I've been reading up on my Kanji and other Japanese studies. Hopefully, by July I'll be able to clear the JLPT N5 and N4 and probably get a decent job in Japan *-*

I'll be going for the Vocal Training class in a little bit, I want to try and see how much I can learn by the end of that course. That being said, I just realised, I've been skipping and hopping around way too many professions and things... I hope eventually one of them leads me to be able to work in Japan @_@...

debating if I should take an hour nap before the class... but what if I can't wake up >w<...

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Kimi no Na Wa~君の名は。- Movie Review ~ Thoughts and Reflections

Even though I watched it the same week it was released, in a really crappy 480p format which was a plain insult to the movie but I felt I'd miss out heavily if I don't watch it at least once. Boy I dead wrong/spot on right... I thought I'd watch it once just to be able to watch it, but I ended up watching it over and over like some possessed person, the first time watch was followed by several rewatch of several scenes, and replaying of the songs. But, I am truly happy that I decided to watch it after all despite it being in shit format. I would have, truly, missed out. Now that my own personal rant is over, I'll be able to write a proper review :P

SORRY IN ADVANCE ABOUT THE CRAP QUALITY PICTURES! m(_ _;)m That's the ONLY file I could find...

The story is about two high schoolers, Miyamizu Mitsuha (宮水 三葉) and Tachibana Taki (立花 瀧) who are living completely different lives in separate places, Mitsuha in a town called Itomori (guarding thread?) and Taki in Tokyo.

One day, a comet falls, and that day onward, Taki and Mitsuha's lives change completely.

Taki is a carefree, short tempered but kind boy who lives in Tokyo,

spends time with his friends and...

works in an Italian restaurant.
He has a crush on the senpai from work (Okudera Miki otherwise called throughout the series as Okudera senpai), and she seems to like him as well.

Mitsuha lives in a small rural town with her Grandmother and little sister Yotsuha

and is a miko of the Miyamizu shrine that does kumihimo (from wiki: "Kumihimo is a Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands. Kumi himo is Japanese for "gathered threads").

 Her mother has passed away and her father is the mayor of the city and a control freak who doesn't shy away from showing it in public and embarrassing her.

Although, her best friends Sayaka and Tessie are supportive of her,

 she gets picked on by the other kids at school for being the Miko that's doing the kuchikamizake (sake that's made of chewing rice and then spitting it and letting it ferment) ritual at the Miyamizu shrine.

Mitsuha is sick and tired of her rural town life and wants to graduate and leave the town and live in Tokyo
Her one wish is to be reborn as a handsome boy in Tokyo in her next life.

Little does she know, the wish had already been granted in a weird way. Taki and Mitsuha one day wake up in the other's body. At first they think it's a dream, but the reaction of people around them and the changes happening in their lives, make them realize that they have indeed started swapping place with the other.

The whole reasoning behind the switch, the plot and story line, and the insert music is perfectly timed and compliments the movie overall. We also get to see Yukari Yukino sensei once again from The Garden of Words ( 言の葉の庭 - Kotonoha no Niwa), another marvelous movie (I'll review later) by Makoto Shinkai san, we find out that the town she supposedly went to in the last movie, was actually Mitsuha's town and she's now teaching as a classic Japanese literature teacher at Mitshua's school.

The Music :

I heard the main track of this movie, Zen Zen Zensei ( Past Past Past Life) by Radwimps, when I was obsessed with the Servamp opening track (Sunlight Avenue by Terashima Takuma) and the only video I found on YouTube that had the full song, had a little bit part of this song stuck at the end and no name or information about the track. Imagine my surprise when I found the song in the movie.

The next that totally struck me was Sparkle by the same band. I took the time to find the original video by the band, this includes clips from the movie in crystal clear quality and makes me want to cry at how beautifully put together it is. 

The movie ending song however, was the one that made me want to cover it even if I'm not great at covering songs yet. Mind you, this isn't the movie version, there isn't a movie version on YouTube for me to link that has subtitles in English, I could only find this one which is an Acoustic version.

I did find the original song in an AMV version that has a beautiful combination of all Makoto Shinkai movies, which obviously means spoilers, so watch at your own risk.

And finally~ The Opening/Title Song! (yeah I totally went in the reverse order here huhu) And yet again, we get to see the beautiful brilliance that is Makoto Shinaki...

I LOVE the opening song concept. It's amazing how the Japanese people have the red thread of fate belief, which we can plainly see during the opening song. Mitsuha's hair tie that stays with Taki that in the end... oops no spoilers o.o... But it's definitely a very strong reference ^^

Makoto Shinkai: I have watched, a lot of movies, and anime, but up till now, I haven't been moved this much by anyone else's work. Makoto Shinkai san for sure has a unique style, a certain beauty that is not found in anyone else's work. If I was ever given a chance to learn from and work under anyone in my life, I'd want to work with Makoto Shinkai for sure. I honestly, truly, and with all my heart believe that this sort of a movie that can move people's heart, is a treasure in itself and should be spread more and more across all people that don't know the beauty of Japanese animation.

You have all my respect.

Thoughts and Reflections:

Even though I was really taken by Garden of Words, this movie quite easily became my number one anime movie of all time. Be it the unrealistic reality factor, the heartfelt romance, the rush of feelings I got from watching Taki try his very best and pushing himself to the limit for Mitsuha, or simply, the overall heartwarming feeling you get from the entire movie, I can't really see any other movie till date being able to move me to this point. Even if I go completely critical with this, I can't seem to find anything at all wrong with this movie. The placement of the soundtracks, the character development, the subtle light humor, the abrupt story change when Taki realizes what is happening, every single thing was so well placed.

The empty feeling of not being able to get the one thing you desire the most, even if you don't know what exactly that thing is, all the emotions in the whole movie really do move you. I felt the despair, I felt the rush, I cried and I laughed. I got reminded of when I used to believe in a lot of things that now I even though believe in, don't think exist in this world anymore.

I really wonder if someone could get that desperate for another person to be able to push everything in their lives aside and focus on that one person? The only sort of love I see in the world now is, calculative, judgmental and something that one is able to move on from and forget eventually. I felt happy seeing something that matches my teenage time ideals, and the fact that this movie was so well received, makes me hope that there is still some hope left for people, maybe some people, even if a handful of them, can still love this selflessly.

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