Best Anime of Summer 2013

Ok, ok, I know this post is way beyond late because we’re already in the midst of October, but bear with me. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about anime and I felt it was about time to catch you guys up with what shows I’ve finished.

Photo from crunchyroll.com

Photo from crunchyroll.com

If you don’t know this anime just by looking at this picture, then I am virtually slapping you through your computer screen. This mighty fine piece of epicness is Attack on Titan, or Shingeki no Kyojin. I’d argue hands down that this show literally took the crown for “Best Summer Anime”… EVER. Usually when I hear a show has a lot of hype I’m normally that person that tries to stay away from it for the time being, but with the amount of positive feedback I kept hearing about AoT, it was impossible NOT to watch it. And I’m really glad I did.

So quick synopsis: The setting is this post-apocalyptic world where humanity resides behind three walls – Wall Maria, Wall Rose, and Wall Sina. And for a century, humankind has lived peacefully behind these walls. Outside these walls are these giant creatures called titans and they eat humans. One ordinary day, a titan breaches Wall Maria and that’s where the plot begins.

The anime follows a young boy named Eren Jaegar who joins the Survey Corps (think of this as our marines) because he has this insane motivation to kill all the titans and journey outside the walls. He experienced his mother being eaten by a titan, so he will stop at nothing until he achieves his goal. He also has his best pals, Mikasa and Armin by his side and the three of them join the Survey Corps and kick titan ass. Yeah, buddy.

That’s about all I can say without giving too much away. This anime is LOADED with suspense and action. I can’t tell you enough that every episode is just filled with crazy ass titans and humanity fighting for its life. If you’re into that whole zombie phenomenon, you’ll enjoy this. (Not that there’s any zombies in this, but it’s the concept of surviving.) So, seriously, CHECK THIS OUT! You can watch it on Hulu and Crunchyroll. Season 1 just ended, so you can literally just start the series today and be caught up with the rest of us in no time.

On another note, I was surprised to see that this series became SO popular among my dance friends. In my head, I never really mix the two communities together so it was pretty bad ass to see my dance friends so engaged in this anime. I couldn’t be more proud. πŸ™‚

Photo from crunchyroll.com

Photo from crunchyroll.com

So after watching a thought provoking and intense show like Attack on Titan, I wanted to keep my mind rolling with that same intensity and I landed here. This anime is called Sunday Without God and it’s beautiful and AMAZING! It’s not all action packed like AoT, but this show definitely gets you thinking and knows how to pull at your heartstrings like no other.

So quick synopsis: God has abandoned humanity so now humans can no longer die or procreate. He did however create these humanoids called Gravekeepers that’s sole purpose is to send the deceased off into the afterlife. The story follows a young girl named Ai. Her mother passed away years before the story takes place. She was the town’s resident gravekeeper so after she passed away, the position was bestowed upon Ai. No one in her town has died since her mother, until one day when a mysterious man named Hampnie Hambart comes into town and shoots everyone.

As I’ve said, this anime isn’t all action packed and intense like AoT, but this anime will definitely keep you on your toes. The story plays so well into your pathos because each character has a deep storyline. I think what makes this story so moving is because it deals with such a heavy topic like life vs. death. Overall, I definitely recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a more down-to-earth, thought provoking show to watch. The show is only 12 episodes long and you can watch the entire series on Crunchyroll.

There was obviously a lot more titles shown this summer, but these are my two favorites that I recommend for those of you who are looking for a new anime to watch or want to get into anime. The Fall 2013 anime line up is in full effect and I’ve seen some good shit so far! Stay updated with my blog for my next post about what shows to watch this anime season.

Until then, loves!

-Ally

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Body Image in the Geek Community

Photo from livescience.com

Photo from livescience.com

Hey everyone! Happy Monday!

So to keep this momentum going from my last post about Fake Geek Girls and the Heroes of Cosplay controversy, I want to address another issue that the show has brought up: body image.

So in the show, Becky discusses her insecurity about gaining weight. Her issue in the last episode was about looking and feeling confident in her Merida (from Disney’s Brave) cosplay. This issue is so relevant in the geek and cosplay community because as fellow geeks, most of our hobbies, such as playing video games, reading comic books, watching anime, etc. doesn’t really require us to be super active. Therefore, we tend to be less in shape. (And just as a disclaimer: This isn’t a scientific fact so don’t quote me on this. This is just from my experience as a fellow geek.) Now that cosplay is such a huge part of the geek fandom, it presents this oxymoron of the sorts. You spend all your time playing a video game (not being active or exercising) and then you want to cosplay a character with a tiny waist, perky boobs, and a nice ass. Well, that’s lovely and all but you just finished an entire box of Hot Pockets. Having six-pack abs definitely wasn’t on your mind as you were finishing the game.

Let me just put it out there that I DEFINITELY know these feels. I have always and currently struggle with body image issues because I dance. And dancer bodies are HOT! It can be such a struggle to keep up with the masses. Not to mention the amount of pressure and stress it can be on a person to have to look a certain way in order for society to deem as acceptable and successful. The internet can be a very scary place. People are ruthless behind their keyboards and they won’t hesitate to point out your stretch marks or love handles in your latest cosplay pic.

But I’m here to tell you to face your insecurities head on. Don’t run away from the problem or just be depressed about it. First of all, be PROUD of your body type. I’m slowly learning to love my curves and I find myself becoming more confident when taking pictures. I know it can be such a “foreign” concept, but we all have different body types! Say what?! You mean, we’re not all supposed to be those stick skinny girls on the magazine covers?!

NO! And don’t give into that crap. Love your body and love where you came from. That’s step 1. Step 2, if you do find yourself wanting to change something, then go do it! Do it at your own pace. If you haven’t worked out in 10 years, don’t jump into P90x today. Be realistic and set some realistic goals for yourself. Even if it’s once or twice a week, just take a walk in the park. As long as you’re moving, you’re being active and you’re working those muscles.

And on the other side of that spectrum, if you have a thin body type, don’t worry! There’s always room to bulk up and get that nice, toned booty! People tend to shun naturally thin girls and tell them they have it easy because society deems thin as acceptable. But on the contrary, thin girls can feel just as insecure. It doesn’t matter what body type you are, advertising companies are gonna drill this idea in your head that YOU will never be good enough. And don’t let them. You’re better than that.

And I didn’t forget my handsome fellas reading this! Don’t get caught up in the whole “bulking up, protein shakes all day everyday” culture. If you genuinely enjoy that lifestyle, then by all means, go do it! But just because your friends are all doing it doesn’t mean you have to as well. Same idea here: love and accept your body. Then if you want to make some changes, then go make some changes. Even if it’s just pledging to cut down on junk food or just doing some simple at home conditioning – every step counts. Do it at your own pace. You owe yourself that.

Cosplay can be this amazing motivational tool to help you get into shape. But don’t just strive to have Psylocke’s body or Wolverine’s biceps. Strive to have YOUR best body. Work out because you want to be a better you. Not just to look like a certain character. Trust me, you’ll feel a whole lot happier in the long run.

Body image will sadly always be an ongoing issue in our culture, but we can’t succumb to those negative thoughts. Positive energy is contagious and I encourage you to own it and spread that shit all over!

… That sounded weird and awkward. But you get my point. I hope.

‘Til next time, my loves.

-Alice

Life Update – Sword Art Online Review and Youtubing!

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday!

So I’m gonna be honest with all of you. I’ve been super lazy with drafting new blog posts lately. It’s just a combination of writer’s block and pure laziness. There’s really not much more to it. There’s nothing dramatic going on in my life, nor am I so busy that I don’t have the time to sit down and blog. I’ve just been feeling pretty lazy. And a tad bit uninspired.

But I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging! I’m still here. I’m still derping and wreaking havoc on the internet. Therefore, I decided I should at least give you some updates about what I’ve been up to. (Obviously, blogging won’t be on this list. #FAILBLOG)

Photo from varewulf.wordpress.com

Photo from varewulf.wordpress.com

Before you say it, I know I’m late on this trend. BUT in my defense, I recently started watching more recent anime. I like to keep it old school for the most part, but I know if I wanna keep up at cons, I have to keep watching all the new shows. Which isn’t a bad thing because this show is ridiculously awesome.

So for those unfortunate souls who don’t know this anime, it’s called Sword Art Online. To give a very brief summary of the series, it’s about the MMORPG titled Sword Art Online (it’s fictional) but instead of it being just any ol’ regular game, players have to wear this headpiece called a NerveGear and their minds go into this entirely virtual world. Crazy, right?! The Japanese come up with everything!Β The series follows two main characters, Kirito and Asuna. The reason why this anime is ridiculously awesome is because 1) the plot, 2) character development, and 3) the cosplay opportunities! I mean, the awesome character designs. Ahem.

I’m still on episode 15, but I already went ahead and read spoilers because I was so mindfucked with what happened that I needed to know what happened in order to keep my anxiety at ease. Seriously. No joke. If you’re into MMORPGs, you should definitely check this out. Or if you’re looking for a good story with fantasy elements, you should watch it.

AND if you want a good love story… you should watch this series. Just sayin’. I ship Kirito and Asuna so hard, you don’t even KNOW! I can’t even tell you how many times my heart burst into butterflies every time they had a cute moment.

To end my SOA rant, I’ll leave you with this piece of advice: just watch it, damnit. You won’t regret it. You can watch it on Crunchyroll, Hulu, OR Toonami. You have no excuse.

In case you weren’t aware, I do indeed have my own Youtube channel. For a while, I only had 2 casual vlogs up (one about my Sailor Venus tattoo and the other was for my friend David’s birthday) but now I officially have a formal vlog up! And by formal vlog, I just mean, instead of walking around with a camera, I’m sitting in front of my laptop talking about issues that interest me. For all you bloggers out there, this one’s for you.

Remember to “like” the video, subscribe, and please share it! Let’s help a sista out, yeah?! πŸ™‚

And in addition to these two things, I’m of course just working and interning every week. Same ol’ same ol’.

On a funsy note, my best friend and fellow blogger Angi’s birthday is TOMORROW! I’m so excited. Make sure you check out her blog and wish her a happy birthday!

-Alice

Heroes of Cosplay

Photo from legedarium.mymiddleearth.com

Photo from legedarium.mymiddleearth.com

Hey everyone! Happy Trolling Tuesday!

So any geek in this fandom knows what cosplaying is. They’ve either done it before or take pictures of people who do it. Cosplaying is not only just playing “dress up” to some… it really is a lifestyle. Whether people do it for fun, to network, or to really advance their career, cosplay is something that we geeks hold dear to ourselves.

In case you were unaware, the SyFy network has a new show their premiering tonight called Heroes of Cosplay. It’s a reality show that features 9 talented cosplayers, all ranging in different levels of skill, and the process of how they make these amazing outfits and compete in them.

The only cosplayer I know from the cast (not personally, but I wish!) is the legend herself, Yaya Han. If you don’t know who Yaya Han is, shame on you! To put it simply, she’s an amazing cosplayer with remarkable skill that has created her own career JUST cosplaying. She’s seriously living the Nerdy American dream.

YayaHanRTYeah, she retweeted me. I fangirled for about five minutes.

Anyways, for some reason, there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the show. Some fans think that the show will portray cosplaying in a bad light. If you’re one of those fans, please enlighten me, because I really don’t see any reason why they would.

If fans are worried about the “drama” that’s on the show, well, isn’t that realistic? Especially if you’re competing?! When I was 12-years-old, my friends and I competed in a masquerade. We just did a skit, but nonetheless it was still a competition. The entire day before the masquerade began was hectic beyond belief. I was only a kid at the time so I didn’t really comprehend a lot of things, but looking back, I can honestly say I’m grateful for the experience and I commend ANYONE who does this. Because yeah… it is stressful as fuck.

Overall, I am SUPER excited for the premiere tonight. It’s about time the mainstream media learns about what we do. I feel this show will be a great gateway for new fans to come into the community and even try cosplaying out.

And isn’t that what it’s all about? Sharing our knowledge of the craft?

-Alice

Throwback Thursday: The Era of Pokemon

Hello everyone! Happy Thursday!

Photo from fanpop.com

Photo from fanpop.com

So if you’re a 90’s kid like myself, you should have a special place in your heart for this anime. So what if the artwork and graphics aren’t top notch or that the story line isn’t original?! Whether you were a fan of the phenomenon or not, you can’t deny that Pokemon is one of the most successful and globally known anime from Japan.

I remember I was in the 3rd grade when I watched my first episode. Like many other youngins’, I watched it on Kids WB (which is now the CW). I was so infatuated by these cute little creatures that had these kickass powers, that I wanted MORE of it. So I collected the trading cards, I played the video games (for Gameboy AND Nintendo 64), I collected the VHS tapes, I collected each soundtrack, I went to the premiere of the first movie, and the list goes on and on. I know I’m not the only one who did this, so you better be basking in your childhood too as you read this.

The crazy thing about Pokemon is that the series IS STILL GOING ON til today. That’s insane! If you think about it, most anime shows only last an average of 20-ish episodes per season. If I watched this in 3rd grade, that means this show has been around for more than a decade. Wow. How many shows can you think of that can do the same thing? WITH constant video games coming out, soundtracks, movies, manga, etc? I’d like to argue, not a whole lot.

To me, Pokemon doesn’t only bring out nostalgic memories for me… it represents this culture of nerdy fandom. I’m not ashamed to admit I still play the video games, I cosplay from the series, and I have a bunch of Pikachu plushies. There’s just something about it that doesn’t get old. I’m not a huge fan of all these new pokemon and these new series (I like to keep it old school) but I will always get excited and feel happy whenever I watch an episode from the Indigo or Johto Leagues. Or if I’m playing Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow. Oh and just so you know… I’m down to battle if you are. I trained my Blastoise well.

So what’s my point in all this? My point is that this anime is not just a kids’ show… it’s LIFE and anyone regardless of their age should be able to enjoy it. I remember when I was really getting into anime. I was around 9 or 10-years-old and my mom would just tell my dad, “She’ll grow out of it one day.”

Haha… oh Mother. That’s cute. You couldn’t be anymore wrong.

My feelings toward Pokemon are still the same as my 3rd grade self. I ain’t afraid to say I am a TRUE pokemon fan and I will be a pokemon master someday.

Hopefully it won’t take over 10 years like it has for Ash, but hey, to each their own!

-Alice