Year-End Media Editorial 2017

I actually really enjoy doing this type of post and the only thing that ever puts me off writing these is knowing I have to add a billion hyperlinks at the end. Anyhow, that means I have a lot to chat about since like, March (!!), so let’s get started! This is what I’ve been enjoying since I started Uni.

Anime

Amagi Brilliant Park – I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I joined the anime society at uni. We gather to watch stuff on Friday nights which is so much fun and this was one of the series we watched. It’s my pick of the four we got through this term (not counting My Hero Academia… wait, have I not written about it here??). ABP is about a high school student called in to help manage a fun theme park until it hits a target visitor count or else all its fairy inhabitants will be made homeless (and die). Surprisingly enjoyable, and if you manage to get to the end, the OVA is totally worth it and made me split my sides with laughter.

Boku no Hero Academia – I am rectifying that I’ve never mentioned it, immediately. It’s about a superhero high school and… I just love a lot of things about it. I’m currently reading the manga although the anime adaptation is nothing to laugh at, either, as it captures the greatness of the manga very well.

Perfect Blue – My favourite movie of the Friday nights (not including Ghibli movies and Your Name), it was an intense psychological thriller and it made me grateful for the giant umbrella I carried with me on the way home… It’s about a pop star who quits her group and turns to acting, but obviously, with the way I’ve described it, that’s clearly not all there is to it.

X-Story – My favourite of the short movie night and probably because I am excited for the Incredibles 2, seeing as it gave me the same vibes. It’s totally worth the 13 minutes and the whole thing is on youtube.

Gaming

I’ve been playing The World Ends With You emulated on my phone since April (although you can buy a phone adapted version on app stores now, for about £18.00) and it’s nothing short of fantastic. Even post-storyline there’s plenty of bonuses and collectables to keep you occupied for months. It has a really unique setting and gameplay method with lots of adjustable difficulty levels for everyone, even a noob like me.

As a side note, I and many other have been obsessed with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp recently. I feel like it still needs some expansion to really match the DS games but that hasn’t stopped me from playing it all the time, anyhow.

Music

As usual, all linked into one playlist as well as separate links in the song names down below.

LOONA’s Odd Eye Circle – Girl Front, LOONATIC (English Ver.) A predebut group who have been revealing a new member every month for the last year or so (their name is from the first hangul characters of the phrase ‘Girl of the Month’ in Korean), I didn’t really get into the first sub-unit but Odd Eye Circle has really caught my eye and no doubt will the next as well. JinSoul’s Singing in the Rain is what got me following the group and Kim Lip’s Eclipse is also a total bop. Also, there’s Yves starting off the next subunit of girls, and Chuu who is the most recently revealed member and whose MV isn’t even out yet!

Rita Ora – Anywhere  – Simple and catchy, and totally a big mood for me right now!

Polkadot Stingray – Synchronishica – As you can tell from the next few entries, I have been scouring Youtube for Japanese bands again. I love the bridge of this song and the change of pace right there.

Indigo La End –  Misekake no Love Song – Think a cold evening, on the commute home, thinking about a love story that never happened, or just being sad for no reason. This isn’t a big mood but damn if it’s not my everyday mood. I also like Omoikiri for something upbeat but also just as desolate.

Kavka Shishido – Love Corrida –  A drumming soloist. I love her poker straight long hair and this is a total pop-rock jam. I also like ‘Dame Kashira‘ (more pop) and ‘Music‘ (more rock).

Red Velvet – I Just, Look – The fact that we got three promo cycles from RV this year is nothing short of amazing. The new album, ‘Perfect Velvet’, isn’t quite the masterpiece that ‘The Red’ was, but these are real standout tracks for me.

Sheena Ringo – Life is Full of Dreams (or something like that)- How about a jazzy number to really get your blood pumping and your spirit all lifted and motivated? Something about Sheena Ringo’s voice in this song brings a real life to it. On top of it, this album, Reimport, is taken from the fact that all the tracks are covers of songs she wrote for other artists, hence ‘re-importing’ them. Isn’t that a cool concept? I’d love to see more of this sort of thing from anyone.


That’s what I’ve been enjoying recently! All the best for the New Year. Much love,

X

 

The March 2017 Media Editorial

Look, I know a lot of you are here for the beauty reviews but sometimes even I forget it’s only 50% of what I do here. Anyway, I am now in Full Steam Revision Mode (if that is a thing) and the Gap Year Diary is pretty much redundant now I have like, no life outside of that, hence me ditching this title as of now.

I still have things I am enjoying at home, though, which I want to share with you all, and whilst I have very much toned down the number of personal blog posts here since a while back, I know there’s still things I want to share from that bit of my life. This post ended up being super long, though…

Anime: Ghost in The Shell – Stand Alone Complex

Yes, this is the franchise that has now spawned the Hollywood remake starring Scarlett Johannsen, which is coming out soon. It’s stirred a bit of controversy for the decision to cast her as the lead, which I feel really conflicted about. I absolutely hate the fact that I think she suits the role and I could excuse it by saying ‘hey, the Major is a cyborg, her entire body is artificial anyway’. I can sort of go MEH about it this time but this was always going to be something that I wouldn’t support. I just really, really want to see more Eastern faces in Hollywood without all the tropes.

(On another note, there’s going to be a Death Note US Remake whose casting has also been explained away. I expect both adaptations to be FLAWLESS, okay, as both are franchises I adore. The trailer for this Netflix movie came out super recently – have you seen it? What did you think?)

Do I expect good things from the movie? I won’t be watching it in cinemas. Nevertheless, I think it will do well. From seeing the trailer, it looks visually stunning, but it seems the premise of the film takes a different direction to the anime, which I am slightly concerned about. The plot seems to be spun around the Major and her past rather than questions raised from exploring the setting and the idea/use of/manipulations of a cyberbrain, as in the Stand Alone Complex anime and (if I recall correctly) the first movie. I’m not sure how I feel about that, because I really enjoyed the Stand Alone Complex series and the philosophy behind it.

Either way, the original anime movie and series are bloody fantastic and I can genuinely say you are missing out if you dismiss the series no matter how well/not so well this movie does. It has an interesting setting that is really well explored and the soundtrack is also brill. Speaking of which…

Non-Lyrical Music: Yoko Kanno

I don’t often check out anime soundtracks but of the few times that I have, three have been by Yoko Kanno. She doesn’t have a set style but at the same time her ideas are quirky and distinctive which I think really adds to the atmosphere of the anime she composes for. Series include Ghost in the Shell’s Stand Alone Complex series, Terror in Resonance and Darker Than Black Season One.

My personal favourite is the Terror in Resonance soundtrack which is so calm and, like the anime,has a lot of Icelandic influence, but as the GITS-SAC soundtrack is really extensive I will not be surprised if I end up with a new favourite after more listens.

Lyrical Music

(There’s so much to talk about I’ve just hyperlinked everything in this section. Alternatively, here’s a playlist featuring all the videos in this section.)

Fifty Shades sucks but it gets such good promo. I love the sound of the Taylor Swift and Zayn Collab and I just like this dark smexy vibe. (If you like those and also like k-pop, by the way, check out Moon by Jonghyun and I Don’t Wanna Love You by Kim Joon Won and Krystal of f(x).)

In terms of current K-Pop, well, I am really liking:

  • BTS – Spring Day – sad, nostalgic, and not quite a ballad which I like.
  • TWICE – Knock Knock – ridiculously cute, and I love the dance.
  • Gugudan – A Girl Like Me – the debut song they should have had. Stylish and funky.
  • Taeyeon – Cover Up – I always like her more upbeat tracks, and she shows off a different vocal tone I haven’t heard from her before.
  • Debut SNSD/ Girl’s Generation – Into The New World and Girl’s Generation  – ITNW is still making waves even a decade after its release, and I’ve been grooving to this and their self-titled track for a while. ‘Party‘ is much newer but I’m grooving to that, too.
  • Highlight (formerly B2ST) – Plz Don’t Be Sad – B2ST are back and with the sound I missed from them. I’m glad they made their own way, departing from their old label, and I truly wish them all the best. K-Pop groups can suffer a lot and these guys are real survivors.

Manga: Gintama by Hideaki Sorachi

I’m not sure what I was expecting from a manga with a name that contains a punny meaning for ‘silver balls’. I had previously tried reading this before, and it was just too chaotic for me. It’s an incredibly random sit-com set in an alternate earth with samurai and aliens, with a hefty dose of dirty jokes and puns and cultural references. Wasn’t that a mouthful? I would rather recommend Sket Dance, which is quite similar, only more toned down, less rude, and has a high school setting.

If I had read Gintama about eight years ago I would have understood nothing, reference-wise, and even now I don’t get them all, and somehow I just got used to the strange humour. It’s one of those things I’m enjoying but can’t really recommend, haha.

Special shout out to the fans who translate and put up chapters, because so many of the puns are language-based and must be very hard to try localising into English!

What I also noticed was that after over ten years of random stuff happening, Sorachi has blessed the fans with a proper, classic manga arc complete with my favourite character (an underrated side character) dying. Despite the lack of emotion I felt reading through ten years worth of content I realised just how attached I became reading it. Strange, for sure.

There is a live-action movie coming this July with Shun Oguri (Hana Yori Dango and a LOT of other stuff) and Masaki Suda (Kamen Rider W and Assassination Classroom’s Live Action) so fingers crossed it turns out well.

Gaming: Super Smash Bros 4 (3DS)

This game came out two years ago, and I only got my hands on it recently. I usually buy my games preowned so they’re cheaper but this just so happens to be one of those that doesn’t get much of a price decrease, even years after its release. It’s simply a battle game featuring characters from multiple game franchises from Mario to Sonic to the Animal Crossing Villager.

Let me say this now – I suck at games. I suck at this one, too. I play with my CPU opponents on level 4-5 out of a possible 9 and I can’t clear classic mode on level 2.0 (I got to the final battle and lost that). But I also enjoy the hell out of myself playing it and can still get addicted to Smash Run (seriously, it’s so much fun). That said, I used to enjoy playing SSB Brawl on the big TV with my siblings and unfortunately we can’t do that with only one 3DS and one copy of the game, and we don’t have a Wii U.

TV: Clique (BBC3/iPlayer) and Robot Wars (BBC2)

On one hand, we have Clique. I love the fact that it is set in a university as I feel that’s a setting not used often, and there’s definitely a glamorous yet mysterious feel. I can’t quite grasp the characters but I feel like that’s the point so I don’t mind. All in all, the secrets of the Clique are enticing and I’ll probably watch to the end of this six-part drama to find them all out.

On the other hand, Robot Wars is totally my guilty pleasure. I have no engineering genes from Dad but it’s accessible and easy to understand even for clueless people like me, but let’s be honest – I’m mostly there for the robot fights. Sometimes we get a dud episode in which the fights aren’t exciting and the robots have failed to start up or work at full power but most episodes are enjoyable.

That’s all I’ve been enjoying recently! Let me know if you recommend anything!

Lots of love,

X

 

 

Thoughts #7

Did you know Sunday was my 6-month Blogiversary?
I did post something else on the day, but it was unrelated and in truth I had totally forgotten about it!

On January 12, 2015 I started this blog up just because I felt like it, and I’m proud to say that I’ve been updating it fairly regularly and enjoying it too. I’ve settled into a routine of sorts where I publish something every other day, and when the week is uneventful I will, at the very least, do a ‘Thoughts’ post like this one to reflect on what did happen. Anyway, I thank you dearly for reading, and there’s still more to come!

So, without further ado….

  1. I think I may have figured out a way around this blog logo thing. Fingers crossed.
  2. I also started playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf again, and my-oh-my, I missed this. I share the game with Derp and Twerp, and of course, I am the mayor of our splendid town, Smileyz. I’m sure we could’ve thought of a better name, but this one was more nostalgic for us given that it was the name of our Wild World and Let’s Go To the City towns as well. Our flag is simply my own version of the Strawhat Flag from One Piece…
  3. Listening to 2008-2012 music… and rediscovered this song. (Chipmunk and Esmee Denters – Until You Were Gone)
  4. Also discovered this cover of Cheryl Cole’s Parachute for the first time (although this artist was the one who originally wrote it!!)
  5. Adele’s cover of Promise This is also great.
  6. Finally, BigBang came back again with the MV for ‘Sober’. It’s possibly the first track of theirs in a while that I’ve loved straight away from the first listen. It’s catchy, happy pop with a bit of rock guitar, which reminds me of ‘Crooked’ from GD’s solo album.
  7. Hmm, as I type I think a 2008-2012 themed music post (or multiple) is needed.
  8. I finished reading this – Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews. Apparently it was controversial back when it was first published. I distinctly remember the Headmistress walking by as I read this on the hills by the school field, and saying something about it being outrageous or horrifying or something like that (after she made a comment about how wonderful we were – for not partying and doing something productive, although she didn’t say that directly, of course). I thought the characters were interesting and the plot okay, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re expecting something horrifying – no gore, but socially unacceptable… You know, like child abuse and incest. Hint, hint. The incest, I thought, wasn’t even unacceptable considering their situation, having grown up together with no contact with anybody in the outside world… Just me? Okay.
  9. We are very close to the summer holidays. I can almost taste the rubber soles and leather scent of Clarks, which is where I’ll be working this summer… Although I’ve never been so sad to find out that my working hours weren’t as much as I expected.
  10. Shoutout to Whatsapp for updating the android version of the app and making the old version obsolete (unusable) right before the summer holidays, when I need it to keep in touch with my friends! Even worse, the new update cannot be downloaded on my old phone, and I can’t get a new one until after the holidays. Great timing, much?
  11. We tried clout shooting in Archery club yesterday and I won sweets. We used a huge orange cone as the target, which the guy running the club managed to hit twice – and he wasn’t very modest about it! It was a lot of fun, and I’d love to do it again… if only it didn’t rain. I have also been upgraded to heavier limbs, 2lb heavier, so 22lb now. I can feel the weight but it’s quite comfortable, still!
  12. I lost my colour-changing umbrella and I am very upset about it.

Finally, Happy Birthday to Derp. 16 years and, as someone said today, still a baby, although you’re like the older brother I never had. I hope you enjoyed getting girl’s shoes fitted onto your feet during job training today… *wink*

X