Day 3: Favorite Male Anime Character

After much consideration, I came to realize that my favorite male anime character is Kenji Harima from School Rumble. I watched the show back in high school and I have fond memories of Harima specifically. He’s goofy, badass and can never seem to get Tenma’s attention. He also has some serious moments where he offers words of wisdom to other characters. Harima is one of the most relatable characters that I’ve come across. Also, who doesn’t like a guy in a black leather jacket who wears sunglasses? The long hair helps him come across like a delinquent.

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Harima either goes big or goes home. He doesn’t take anything lightly. If someone pisses him off, he beats them up. When he falls in love with Tenma, he falls hard. He’s got an interesting outlook on life. It’s interesting to see him involved in such a complicated love triangle with Karasuma and Tenma. One of my favorite quotes from Harima, “Yeah, time for the badass to get the girl, let’s go to school!!!”. I respect Harima’s determination to be in the same class as his crush, Tenma. Everyone is afraid of him but Harima actually has a big heart.

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Another quote I like from him is, “YOU VIBE KILLER!” from the first episode. I like his melodramatic monologues each episode. He’s quite an amusing guy. I personally like him because Harima’s super hilarious and doesn’t even realize it. He’s also a big softie and has constant fantasies of Tenma falling in love with him. I wish Harima was real, so he could be in my class. He would keep things real for everyone.

If you haven’t seen School Rumble, I would recommend it. It’s a great slice-of-life comedy with a wacky bunch of characters. You can enjoy Kenji Harima for yourself if you haven’t already!

Day 2: My Favorite Anime so Far

I’ve watched my fair share of anime titles over the years, so it was difficult for me to pick my favorite anime so far. I could probably pick multiple ones. The one that stands out in my mind is Wedding Peach. I have box sets for both seasons, including OVAs. I’ve also watched the series over and over again. It was my first introduction to the Magical Girl (Mahou Shojo) genre. Sure, it’s a bit cheesy and has older ’90s animation, but it’s definitely worth watching.

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Wedding Peach follows the adventures of Momoko Hanasaki and her two friends Hinagaku Tamano and Yuri Tanima. They’re in middle school and end up becoming magical girls to fight against evil devils who are trying to take over the world. Momoko Hanasaki turns into Wedding Peach, the leader of the group. Momoko is a lot like Usagi from Sailor Moon; she’s a bit below average, makes terrible grades but is compassionate and caring towards others.

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One of my favorite parts of this anime is the romance. There are a few different storylines related to this area. Momoko meets a soccer back-up goalie named Yosuke Fuma. Yosuke is constantly teasing and insulting Momoko and her friends calling her Momopi. Slowly but surely, they grow closer and end up becoming a couple later on in the series. Their first kiss is one of the best anime kiss scenes. It’s so adorable and innocent. There’s also Yuri and Yanagiba along with Hinagiku and Takuro. I can blame my high standards for romance on Wedding Peach.

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It also has a great message about friendship. Friendship is important because it helps you get through tough times. It’s nice to have the support of others. They all have a lot of stress throughout the show and help each other. Friends will always have your back, no matter what. The girls are more successful when they work together. If you like Sailor Moon, you’ll probably like Wedding Peach. They’re similar in a lot of ways. I would recommend it if you want to learn more about the magical girl genre.

Day 1: The Very First Anime You Watched

The very first anime I watched is very near and dear to my heart. This special anime is Pokemon: Indigo League. I remember watching it with my older brother when it came on Cartoon Network. Pokemon had everything I could want in an anime: silly villains who always failed, cute animated creatures, a lack of responsible adult characters and fun adventures. I remember being 10 and telling my Mom I wanted to go out and search for Pokemon. While everyone wanted to be a Pokemon trainer like Ash, I wanted to be more like Brock and be a Pokemon Breeder. I wanted to be the very best like no one ever was.

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I also loved Misty – she was so cool! I mean, she was 15 or 16, so I can see why I liked her so much. I hope I can cosplay her in the future! Pikachu is so cute and precious; I wanted a Pokemon of my own. As of right now, I have a very cute Eevee plushie that I received as a gift. I also have a weird love for Pidgies. I still like to call pigeons “pidgies”. Also, who could forget Team Rocket? I just love how dimwitted Jessie and James are. They’re not exactly model villains. They also had a variety of disguises which were always easy to see through. Their motto was perfect. Here it is in video format on YouTube for those who don’t remember it:

Also, the Pokemon opening was THE BEST! I still know all of the lyrics to it today. My favorite pokemon is Clefairy. Ever since I saw Clefairy and the Moon Stone, I was intrigued by them. I also enjoy Eevee, Pikachu, Jigglypuff and Togepi. Who didn’t love the PokeRap at the end of every episode? I was getting good at naming all 150 pokemon. I can remember a good majority of them to this day. I associate this anime with a lot of happy memories. It was my first introduction to anime on cable TV. That led me to discover so many more titles. I didn’t fully become an anime fan until I was in 7th grade but Pokemon was my first mainstream introduction to the genre.

I feel like a lot of people first were introduced to anime by watching Pokemon. I also enjoyed collecting Pokemon trading cards though I never knew how to play with them. I really liked the holographic ones too. That could be my young preteen self talking. I even got my Mom to watch Pokemon with me since my brother and I enjoyed it so much. I’ll play Pokemon Go from time to time. Comment below or tweet @allthingsannak with the very first anime you watched! I’d love to know what title introduced you to anime.

30 Day Anime Challenge

I’m going to participate in the 30 Day Anime Challenge! I saw this posted on another anime blog, so I thought, why not try it? It’s been around for quite awhile. As someone new to anime blogging, It’ll be a chance for me to introduce myself to you. Plus, I think it’ll be a ton of fun. Are you ready? I know I am.

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I’d love for you to join me in this exciting journey! I don’t think it’ll be 30 days straight for completing this challenge. I plan to post twice a week! Comment below or tweet @allthingsannak if you’ve done this challenge in the past or would like to do it along with me. My first post will be coming soon! 🙂

New Updates & Rebranding!

Hi everyone! I’ve been working on some new and exciting updates for my blog. I plan to shift my focus to anime-related posts. I’ve been trying to figure out a niche for myself that would make writing fun. So, I thought of one of my favorite things, anime. Anime is Japanese animated programs. I’ve written some posts about anime in the past and they were well-received. My site name will stay the same, I’ll just be an anime blogger. It’s new territory for me, so I’m excited to see where it takes me. Also, I’ll post updates on my Twitter page. You can follow me: @allthingsannak.

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I’ll write about a variety of genres and titles. I’m a huge fan of Shojo anime (anime geared towards teenage girls/women), so that theme will come up frequently. Also, feel free to tweet at me or comment below with any suggestions for posts. I’d love to hear them! Also, the two anime titles featured in my header are Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (Suzaku and Princess Euphemia) along with the Sailor Senshi from Sailor Moon.

I hope you have a great day! 🙂

Life Lessons from Gilmore Girls

Hi guys! Today, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite TV shows: Gilmore Girls. After watching the reunion series, I thought about some of the life lessons I’ve learned from Gilmore Girls. Spoilers are ahead, so watch the series before you read the rest of this post.

Lesson #1: Love is right in front of your eyes even if you don’t realize it. Lorelai and Luke come to mind. They’ve known each other for 10 + years but didn’t start dating until later in the show. Lorelai and Luke started out as customer and diner owner, then became friends and ending up as a married couple. I think we overlook the people that are the closest to us. We often date other people but time will eventually bring two people together who are meant to be.

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Lesson #2: As much as I’m team Logan, you should never be someone’s second choice. In the revival show, Logan is engaged to a rich woman because of his family’s demand. While being engaged, he lets Rory stay over at his place in London and they have sex. If Logan really loved Rory, he would make her the #1 priority in his life and ditch his fiancée.

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Lesson #3: Channel your inner Paris Geller and never give up on your dreams. She works hard to get what she wants. Paris started out as a successful student at Chilton and thrived in a competitive environment. She also did additional schooling after graduating from Yale University. Paris is a career-oriented, powerful woman and she doesn’t slow down for anyone.

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Lesson #4: Friends make your life so much better. There are some great friendships in this show: Rory and Lane, Rory and Paris along with Lorelai and Sookie. They help you wallow in ice cream after a breakup, they help you evade your strict Asian parents and will watch movies with you while eating chinese food and pop tarts.

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Lesson #5: Constantly criticizing others get you nowhere. Emily and Lorelai have a challenging mother-daughter relationship. They’re definitely opposites. They both hold grudges and always insult one another. It’s important to take the time to listen to what someone is saying. Think before you act.

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Lesson #6: Appreciate the weird, delightful people who live in your town. There are a lot of interesting characters in Stars Hollow, including Taylor Doose, Babette, Miss Patty and Kirk. They make everything fun and amusing. Remember the time Kirk founded Ooober? Miss Patty always would eat fruit at Doose’s market for free. Taylor always had grandiose ideas that were too big for the small town of Stars Hollow. Babette really loved her cat with all of her heart. Embrace your inner weirdo and shine like the star you are.

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Lesson #7: We all mistakes and that makes us human. You’ll be okay in the end. Rory made so many mistakes during the course of this show. She slept with Dean, who was married to Lindsey. She slept with Logan, who was engaged to a woman he wasn’t in love with. She also stole a yacht and had to do community service. Rory and her Mom had a huge blowout and didn’t speak for a long time. Rory also kept forgetting to break up with her boyfriend, Paul and constantly ignored him. Rory’s not a bad person she just made some not so smart choices as a young woman.

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Lesson #8: Mothers have sage advice and are a good shoulder to cry on. Lorelai was the coolest mom ever. She was always there to listen to Rory. They would eat junk food together and complain about the things that were bothering them. The advice about wallowing Lorelai gave to Rory was so helpful and so true.

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Lesson #9: You don’t have to have your life together by a certain age. At age 32, Rory doesn’t have her own place, a consistent career or a husband. It takes time to truly establish yourself and figure out what you want to do in life. Don’t stress; take your time and learn more about yourself along the way.

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Lesson #10: Family comes first, make them a priority. They’ll always be there for you. They have good intentions, but they may not execute it in the best way. Don’t let your grudges get the better of you. Care for them with all of your heart.

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*All images in this post are from Google Images, they are not my own

I hope you have a great day! Comment below with your favorite life lessons from Gilmore Girls. 🙂

Thoughts on Madoka Magica

***SPOILERS BELOW FOR MADOKA MAGICA. FINISH THE SERIES BEFORE READING***

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Hey guys! I just finished watching the anime series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica on Netflix. It gave me a lot of things to think about. It’s about an 8th grader named Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki. They live normal, happy lives until meeting Kyubey, a magical animal-like creature. Kyubey offers a chance of a lifetime. It can grant them any wish in exchange for becoming a magical girl. Magical girls are destined to spend their lives fighting against evil witches. That sounds fair, right? I used to think that before episode 3 and 4. Madoka and Sayaka witness the death of their beloved friend, Mami Tomoe, in one of the witches’ labyrinths. It was so shocking, I didn’t expect for a magical girl anime to take such a dark turn. That was only the beginning.

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As the show continues, there are important issues that Kyubey didn’t tell the girls, simply because they didn’t ask. Kyubey is incapable of feeling emotions and doesn’t understand why humans are so emotional. One of the conditions is a device called a “Soul Gem”. Another condition is the fate of death and being reborn as a witch. The other condition mentioned is falling into despair when wishes backfire. For soul gems, Kyubey takes the soul from a girl’s body and puts it into a container. This makes it safe for her to fight and retain massive damage without killing her. Kyubey explains that the human body is just an outer shell that houses their souls.

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I got to thinking, what would I wish for? I don’t even know where to begin, if I was in that situation. It seems like something you’d agree to if you’re on the brink of death or in an accident. I could wish to eat a really delicious cake or to have all of the money in the world. Though, it doesn’t seem like it would be worth it to put your life in danger constantly. I think happiness is something you have to cultivate on your own. Wishes don’t make your reality better. It would be nice to save a loved one from dying, too. That would be a noble wish. Is it really worth it to become a magical girl? Yes and no. Some people are desperate and it’s their only option while others have the luxury of choice. I don’t think I’d want to be a magical girl in this universe. There is so much darkness present in the contracts they make with Kyubey. I don’t see myself as brave enough to face nefarious witches. The labrinyths are so scary and death is a constant possibility. As boring as it is to be normal, I’d rather be safe than put my own life on the line.

This anime made me realize that not every story has a happy ending. Sometimes we get into messes we can’t undo. I wonder what would happen if the characters were older. Would they make different choices for their wishes? Is Kyubey truly evil? His society sees emotions as a mental disorder. Is Kyubey right? Do feelings hold us back that much? Is it better to be logical but cold and calculating? Emotions are what make us human. I can’t imagine being without my emotions. They guide me to where I need to go. Your conscious is your north star.

*Images are not my own, credit goes to Crunchyroll and the studio that created the show

Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on Madoka Magica! I’d love to hear them. Have a great day 🙂

Anna’s Bookshelf: Eleanor & Park

Hi everyone! On my bookshelf today is Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. It’s a young adult novel that came out in 2013. I found it while I was at Barnes and Noble. I saw that it had great reviews from two other authors I like, John Green and Stephanie Perkins. The cover art initially drew me in. I was intrigued by the guy and girl on the cover sharing interconnected headphones. Here’s the description on the book jacket:

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“Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.”

I’ll start off by saying that I really loved the richness of the plot. I never could quite guess what would happen next. I felt like Eleanor and Park were really my friends. I was also nervous reading certain parts involving Eleanor and her abusive stepfather, Richie. He does a variety of horrible things to her family throughout the novel. I was always worried that something would happen to Eleanor. Eleanor has a distinct personality – she’s fierce, independent and doesn’t care what others think of her. She’s bold and wears men’s clothing in bright colors, along with wacky accessories (then again, it was the 80s!). She grew up in a damaged household, in poverty.

Meanwhile, Park Sheridan grew up in a loving household with two parents and a younger brother. He was able to do what he wanted, when he wanted. His life was what you would call normal. Park is sensitive, kind and introspective. Plus, he grew up as the one of the only Koreans in Omaha, Nebraska – so naturally, he stood out. Park was loved by his family and friends, while Eleanor had a lack of unconditional love in her life. That’s probably why Park says “I love you” first. Eleanor was always doubtful that love could exist in her life.

Bullying also plays a large role in the book. Eleanor is bullied because of her frizzy, red hair and her weight. Tina, an old friend of Park’s, is the main perpetrator. It’s sad to see, but it happens in so many high schools. Eleanor is the “new kid” and is victimized because of it.

It’s fun learning about the 80s music references in the book. I’m guessing the author lived during that time period. I didn’t know most of the artists. Rainbow Rowell has a Spotify account and has playlists dedicated to Eleanor & Park. Their romance first starts with music and comic books. I like that their love story unfolds gradually. It begins with the touch of a hand and progresses into more. It’s really sweet. The book has a nostalgic feeling throughout.

However, the ending still bothers me. It ended on a cliffhanger. I felt like Eleanor and Park’s love story was unresolved. I wish there could’ve been an epilogue detailing what happened with their romance in college or as working adults. They could’ve gone to University of Minnesota together! Maybe they would’ve had an English class together!

I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good high school love story and the 80s. It was such a delightful read and I’m so happy It has a place on my bookshelf now. Comment below if you plan to read Eleanor & Park or if you have thoughts on the book. 🙂

 

 

Anna’s Bookshelf: Dream It Dare It Do It

Hi everyone! I hope you’re off to a great start in 2017. This post marks the start of a series called “Anna’s Bookshelf”. I’ll be writing book reviews anytime after I read a book, fiction or non-fiction. Recently, I went to Barnes & Noble to buy some new books. In this post, I’m going to review Dream It Dare It Do It from the writers of Cosmopolitan magazine. It’s a non-fiction book that gathers their most loved articles and tips from past issues. Here is the description provided on the back of the book:

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“Are you ready to live your most fun, fearless life? Let’s get to it! From dressing for the job you want to mastering the define-the-relationship talk with your guy, Cosmo’s got you covered. Throwing a party for your pals? Finally getting your apartment organized? We have all the practical, doable tips you’ll need. And let’s not forget your next area of domination: finding long-lasting love and keeping things super-hot. Cosmo’s Dream It Dare It Do It is your road map to the awesome life you deserve.”

The description drew me in; I think it grabs the reader’s attention. This book is geared towards women 21 +, so I’m in the direct target market. It’s categorized as a self-help book and is published by HEARSTBooks. It costs $24.95 to purchase but I got mine for half the price, thanks to being a Barnes and Noble member plus an additional discount. As someone who loves reading Cosmopolitan, I knew I had to get this book. I figured, why not? I’ll talk about each of the chapters and some of my favorite portions. I’ll also talk about what I didn’t like about the book. Each page throughout this book has a mini article from various experts. There are a variety of topics covered, so I’ll talk about my top 3 from each chapter.

Chapter 1: Dream It, Then Do It

Break Bad Emotional Habits by Lauren Zander, Chairman of The Handel Group: She talks about how to deal with embarrassing habits and how to stop them in their tracks. It’s also interesting to realize that our bad habits talk to us. This voice causes us to engage in activities that aren’t good for us.

Make a Love Plan by Gabrielle Bernstein, Life Coach and Author: Gabrielle says it’s important to prioritize friendships while you’re in a relationship. I agree with this wholeheartedly. You should think about whether you enjoyed spending time with someone. Also, you don’t need alcohol to have fun, try avoiding drinks on a first date. Don’t worry about your past and let it go.

Show Off Your Best Self by Aliza Licht, DKNY PR Girl: She discusses how to market yourself in the social media world and in your career. This information reminded me of what I learned in my Marketing Yourself. You always want to put your best foot forward. Who are you and how do you want others to see you? Be yourself and start small with social media platforms. If you’re image savvy, try Pinterest and Instagram. If you’re more word oriented, try Facebook and Twitter. What’s your signature style/aesthetic? How do you present yourself?

Chapter 2: Work & Money

Why You Need a Go-To Look: This article brings up a great point! When you think of certain celebrities, a beauty style comes to mind. I think of Blake Lively’s long and beautiful blonde, beachy hair. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I also imagine Kristen Stewart’s edgy 90s style. Having something that makes you stand out will help you in your career. Your visual image is just as important as your skills; it’s the first thing people see when they look at you.

Be More Creative Every Day by Amy Powell, Paramount Pictures: It’s great to step out of your comfort zone and do something new everyday. It could be going to a restaurant, watching a TV show you haven’t seen or meeting someone new. It’s good to stay up to date with news and other outlets you value. Don’t get caught up in technology; it’s better to have real interactions the majority of the time.

I’m Not Ashamed of Getting Fired by Jill Abramson, Journalist: Getting fired happens to so many people. It’s okay if it happens to you. Sometimes companies face budget cuts, meaning they have to get rid of some employees. Each circumstance is different. You don’t need to feel ashamed of what happened. You’ll figure out a game plan to start a new job/career path. It takes time, but with the help of a great support system, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Chapter 3: Love, Lust & Other Stuff

Can Your Mom Be Your BFF? by Jodi Picoult: I think this is a good question to consider. Moms and daughters can be friends, to an extent. A Mom is also an authority figure, so there has to be a balance between the two roles. Your Mom’s got your back, believe that she has your best interests in mind.

This is NOT Why You’re Single by Sara Eckel: You know how it’s awkward when someone asks you, “Why are you single?” or “You’re single because you’re too ______”. Some reasons people give are “you’re too picky” or “you’re too available”. This article provides helpful comebacks for when someone says that to you.

How to Help A Friend In Trouble: This article provides real-life examples of tough situations people go through. It’s nice to know how you can help a friend in need. I also like this portion, since I’m an RA – it helps me figure out ways I can approach a resident if they’re struggling with something.

Chapter 4: Live it Up!

Organize Your Beauty Crap: This provides ways on organizing beauty products in different areas of your apartment/home. The methods mentioned are cute, efficient, and easy to do.

Oh, Grow Up:  I love to cook, so this section was one of my favorites. There are grown-up versions of our favorite recipes from childhood, like grilled cheese and pancakes. This section provides a good variety of options better suited to an adult palette.

How to Drink Like You Know What You’re Doing: This cheat sheet provides drink recommendations and how to tell a Sauvignon Blanc from a Pinot Noir. Spirits are also discussed. It’s a great guide if you’re new to drinks or want to impress your friends with all of your wine knowledge.

As a whole, this book was fun and interesting but repetitive. It was like reading a longer issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. I’ve seen many of these articles before when I’ve purchased the magazine. I like that they’re all in one convenient place, but the price seems too expensive to consider purchasing. I would rate this book 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. It’s entertaining at parts and has some good advice, but a lot of it is common knowledge or easy to figure out on your own. If you really love Cosmo, I would get it – or you could just pick up the latest copy of the magazine instead of shelling out money for a book. If you’ve read it or want to share your thoughts, comment below!

*All Rights Reserved to Cosmopolitan and Hearst Communications, Inc. None of what is in the book is my own and I do not claim it as such.