Fan fiction: real or not real?

Hi everyone! I’m Kanra, taking over for Nat today since she’s on a vacation (and can’t answer the phone right now). I’m one of those odd bloggers who don’t really have a particular niche I stick to. Some days I’m posting about school (I’m a medical student), some days I’m posting about art (I really like painting) and some days I’m posting about random things that take up my interest. Today’s random topic of the day is fan fiction.

I’m not an avid reader of fan fiction and certainly not a writer either. In fact, I don’t think I would have been overly concerned about this topic at all if it hadn’t cropped up in a chat room I frequent. It was a writing group, where people who were either in the process of writing or editing would congregate to share their work and request for constructive criticism. It was a pretty nice group, until someone posted a fan fiction and asked if it could be reviewed.

Admittedly, it was a poorly written piece of work. I guessed the writer was maybe around 14-15 years old, merely writing out a rough draft of a fantasy or day dream they had. The writing was disjointed, meaningless details about the main character, unrealistic bullying and resultant save by ignoring the situation and focusing on the power of friendship or something along those lines. If someone asked me to constructively criticize that piece of work, I would have probably declined because there’s just so much wrong with it that needs to be fixed.

The moderator then decided to throw out the question: should fan fiction be banned from the group entirely?

I recently took an MBTI test which classed me as an INTJ, given the title of “The Architect” or “The Mastermind”. There are other characteristics of this personality type which include things like “avoiding eye contact while talking”. To be honest, I didn’t even realize I had some the characteristics I have until I read up on it, like arguing as soon as a person of power suggests something. So of course when the discussions started shifting towards a “yes, ban fan fiction”, I couldn’t help but argue against it. It’s like my inner rebel teenager came out.

The history of fan fiction is something long and messy, something we will not discuss at the moment (it involves lawsuits and copy rights). The only thing you need to know is that fan fiction is a gray domain. What fan fiction basically does is create a new story from an already published piece of work. There is almost nothing that you, as a fan fiction writer, can claim for yourself. Everything you build on, from the setting to the characters, is not yours. You can’t monetize your writing. I guess that’s why it explains why most fan fictions are poorly written wish fulfillment pieces.

Yes, I’m not going to lie. More often than not, fan fiction has disappointed me. The majority of these pieces of writing are poorly written, self insert fantasies. The occasional rare gem does show up and I couldn’t let a brash decision of “ban fan fiction” stamp these out. Not to mention the fact that most writers started out using fan fiction as a way to improve their writing before creating original content.

It’s okay to write bad fan fiction! You have to start somewhere and practicing it out with preexisting characters, universes and laws is better for hammering out the fluency of your words and polishing the entire process of writing before putting in effort to bring to life an original creation.

It’s really sad that there are amateur writers out there, who write as a hobby, dismiss fan fiction as legitimate literature. In my opinion, fan fiction involves just as much effort and skill as original content. It doesn’t matter what your idea is or how novel your plot is, if you don’t have the ability to convey ideas properly through good pacing, than what’s the point? It’s much more important for writers to focus on presentation and delivery rather than whether it’s original or not. To be very honest, the kind of attitude I see about fan fiction really makes me wonder why people focus on the wrong things. It’s just a harmless exercise that helps young writers develope their skills. If it’s not good fan fiction, then just leave it?

Personally, I like the idea of fan fiction. I watched Dexter a few months ago and in one of the seasons, Dexter is set up to almost turn himself in to the police, but of course, it doesn’t happen. When I finished that season, I wanted to know so bad what would have happened if Dexter had turned himself in. What would the other characters think? How would they react? I needed to know and I really wanted a fan fiction to answer these questions for me. Imagine how many other “could’ve been” scenarios there are out there that can be elaborated and explored through fan fiction! Isn’t that exciting? Of course, finding such literature is truly a challenge.

I normally don’t read fan fiction regularly, but there are some popular fan fictions that I’ve checked out and was blown away by and if you have zero exposure to fan fiction, then you should check it out! My absolute top favorite fan fiction ever is “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality”. This is a full fledged Harry Potter book and it’s amazing, it condenses the plot of all seven books and years just into this fan fiction Harry’s first year at Hogwarts. It’s amazing and I can’t stress enough about how great this is. The writing style is great, the concept is great, it’s just amazing and deserves more attention!

The other fan fiction is something I came across while seeing art on Pinterest. This might sound really childish but it’s a PowerPuff Girls fan fiction called “More than Human”. Revolving around a high school (instead of preschool) where the PPGs go, it turns out the RowdyRuff Boys are there too. I actually haven’t read all of it (to be honest I kept getting the boys’ names mixed up) but it was really nice nevertheless (very slice of life, high school drama sort of thing) and there’s a lot of artwork out these from fans who loved the fan fiction, so hey! Check it out, might be your cup of tea!

What do you think about people who write fan fictions? Have you ever dabbled in this art? What’s your favourite fan fiction? Have a nice day!

I just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to Kanra for writing this post! As regular readers on my blog will know, I always love talking geeky on my blog whenever the chance arises! Although I’m not a fan fiction reader, Kanra’s post really opened up my eyes to it from both a reader and a writers point of view!

I hope you enjoyed reading her post just as much as I did! Until next time take care all and I hope you’re doing well!

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June Favourites ’17

It is now July and month seven of the year! 2017 is going by so quickly and whilst a part of me is somewhat glad about that, it’s also always creepy when we edge into another month. Soon it’ll be August bank holiday, then holiday and autumn, then Halloween and bonfire night, and then Christmas and New Year. Fuck. Stop time just for a bit. 😛

I loved all my favourites from last month as I discovered some new beauty products and was reminded how good some oldies are too. So I hope you enjoy this months favourites post. ^_^

  • Imperial Leather Foamy Banana Hand Wash.

I’ve been eyeing up this hand wash for ages, but never bought it as me and Dane have had LOADS of hand washes to get through. Then towards the end of the month I was able to pick up a couple of these in Poundland. They smell amazing, just like the shower cream and bubble bath. So far since me using it my eczema hasn’t disliked it, so I’m hoping and keeping fingers crossed that I’ll be okay with it! If so I’ll be buying this and using it as our regular hand wash for as long as possible. 😛

  • Nivea Blueberry Blush Lip Butter.

I picked this lip butter up randomly when on an alcohol run before going to a friends BBQ. I’d forgotten my tin of Vaseline in the house and I KNEW I would need something for my lips. I’ve mentioned a few times this past week that my lips are still playing up on and off so I need constant moisture to keep my lips soft and from splitting again. This lip butter is amazing! I love blueberry scented things so this smells divine, but it’s also a thick lip butter which actually feels like it’s working. I have it for around the house as well as for in my handbag when I want something thick on my lips. I recommend these though if you’re not a fan of Vaseline and want to try something different.

  • L’Oreal Paris Hydra Genius Liquid Care in Normal To Combination.

I recently reviewed this (which you can read here) and I love it so much! June has been a pretty hot month and we had some of the hottest days of the year during the month. This liquid moisturiser was wonderful to use towards the end of the month and really is something that had to feature on here! It’s also helped my skin quite a bit with my oily t-zone. Can’t complain about that at all! 😛

  • MUA Luxe Inked Lip Stain in Sangria.

This is a lip stain I bought months ago but hardly used, until recently. I tried blending this with the shade Dewberry to create blended look with my lipstick. Not only did it look great when I applied it but it lasted ages too, which I was really happy with! It’s so comfortable to wear especially in the warm weather. My only issue with it is it smells and tastes disgusting! >.<

  • The Body Shop Oils of Life Twin-Ball Facial Massager.

This is a product I bought over a year ago and one I had hardly used until recently. With the warmer weather I thought it would be nice to use this massager on my skin after my serum and moisturiser. This has especially worked well teamed up with hydra genius! Due to the metal balls it feels lovely and cooling on the skin which I love the most about it. I don’t know if I’ve noticed any differences in my skin  by using it yet however. I also use this under my eyes after applying my eye gel to help with my eye bags. The Body Shop have in fact released one specifically for the eye area so I’ll be buying that one very soon!

So now my beauty favourites are done, time to talk about the miscellaneous favourites of the month!

Favourite TV Show – RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9.

Oh my God what a season this one has been! It’s definitely been one of my favourites for a long time and that is just purely down to Sasha Velour, who in turn has become my favourite drag queen. At the time of writing this (21st June AKA 2 days before the final!) I am really rooting for her to win this season. She fucking deserves it to be honest. She’s funny, unique, beautiful and not to mention down to earth and not fucking fake. I hate fake queens so damn much!

EDIT: HOLY FUCKING SHIT MY GIRL WON! I am so damn happy that Sasha won season 9! She’s the only queen who wasn’t in the bottom two throughout the competition and I only realised that whilst watching it. That shit she pulled with the rose petals. Fuck yes my lady!!! I have to add that I also loved Peppermint’s performance too and I’m very glad that she came second! I’ve already said that as soon as Sasha Velour announces doing some dates in the UK I WILL be going! 😀

Favourite Film – Split.

After 5 months of saying we would watch it, me and Dane FINALLY watched Split and let me tell you, I loved it. I wanted more from James McAvoy’s character as I loved him so much. He’s also one of my favourite actors and has been since the start of his career when he played Steve in Shameless (the UK one of course, not the shitty American version!). I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about this film and how some people loved it and some hated it. I honestly can understand why people didn’t like it, but I felt it worked really well and the twist at the end was pretty awesome. It’s very mental health related and that’s something you find out at the end which is really interesting. It just worked so damn well and McAvoy’s acting was fucking perfect.

Favourite Book – Erm…

I’m not going to lie. I haven;t been reading fuck all this month. I keep meaning to take Bridget Jones Mad About the Boy to work but I always forget. That and I feel like I hardly get any time to even read a decent amount. I have ordered some manga recently so I’m sure I’ll be reading that soon. ^_^

Favourite Song – Persona 5 OST – Behind The Mask (Instrumental).

I feel like I do nothing but talk about this game and erm why the fuck shouldn’t I? IT’S AMAZING! I am legit spending my day off tomorrow by playing this and doing housework. That is so sad. 😛 ANYWAY! The soundtrack from this game is an actual God send for me and I’m fully addicted to it. I need to download it as I want it to listen to whilst on holiday. I’ve found in the past that it’s really good to listen to whilst doing blog work as it’s really interesting. If you love jazz music, you’ll love this album. There is also a version of the song with lyrics/singing but I prefer the instrumental version.

Favourite Game – Pokemon Magikarp Jump.

I so desperately wanted to talk about Persona 5 again, but I can’t possibly. I spoke about it last month. 😛 BUT I have been loving this iPhone game! It’s an official Pokemon game and has been out about a month now. You basically train your Magikarp to jump as high as possible so that it can compete against other Magikarp! It’s kind of addicting and I often play it on my lunch break at work. I know a lot of people who have given it a go and got very bored of it, often deleting it. I love it though! What I find is the best thing about it? You don’t need to be on a wifi nextwork or 3G/4G to play it. WIN WIN!

So those are my favourites from last month. What products were you loving? Make sure to let me know in the comments down below!

Until next time take care all and have a lovely weekend.

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TV Shows I’m Loving At The Moment

Now I wouldn’t exactly call myself a coach potato but I feel like this is pretty much an accurate term for me lately. As of late after both me and Dane finish work we either sit and play games online with friends or binge watch various TV shows. Mostly the later though…

There just seems to be so many TV shows out lately with new series that we need to watch! There’s so many that almost everyday we have a new episode to catch up with. This sounds worse than it actually is… 😛

So come and have a read about what TV shows me and Dane have been binge watching lately. You never know, you may just get some inspiration for what you can watch yourselves. 😉

  • RuPaul’s Drag Race – S9 (Netflix)

I’ve been a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race for as long as I can remember and as soon as a new season comes out I always make sure to keep up with the episodes. Spoilers are one of the reasons why, but it’s mostly due to wanting to keep up with which queen(s) are doing the best. I’ve always watched the show with Dane, which is really nice to be honest! I didn’t think he would be interested in giving it a go due to what it’s all about, but he loves it! My favourite in this season so far is Nina Bonina Brown. This being said though I’m not a massive fan of season 9 so far… It just seems like the queens don’t give much of a shit, or give too much of a shit. No one is really standing out right now for me. I just hope someone does soon! I want another Jinxx Monsoon! She’s my favourite queen! For the first time in the UK this is available on Netflix as and when a new episode airs. I used to have to look online for videos to watch when it came to getting my RuPaul new show fix!

  • Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – S1 (Crunchyroll and Funimation)

Out of all of these TV shows being mentioned in this post this is definitely one of my favourites. I’ve mentioned this show on my blog before. It’s about a dragon who is pretty much adopted by by a human and who falls in love with said human. More dragons come to the human world, another one who comes to live with them and others who live with other humans. It’s a very funny show and heart warming at the same time. I’ve started to read the manga of it and it is amazing!

  • Attack On Titan – S2 (Crunchyroll)

Both me and Dane have been waiting what feels like forever for season 2 of Attack On Titan to come out! We both love the show and we’ve been worried that the next season would never come out. It’s been out for a couple of weeks now and it’s amazing. Dane pretty much knows the basics of what is going to happen due to reading the manga. I haven’t yet read the manga for Attack On Titan and I’m unsure when and if I will. If you loved the first season of Attack On Titan then make sure to watch this season!

  • 13 Reasons Why – S1 (Netflix exclusive)

On this list this has to be my favourite one on the list! As soon as me and Dane watched the trailer for this on Netflix we knew that we would want to watch it! It’s based off a novel of the same name and the show is said to be loads better! The show is about Hannah, a girl who has committed suicide and records 13 tapes explaining why she killed herself. It’s an emotional roller coaster and to be honest it made me feel really low at the end of it. It’s an amazing show though and one I recommend everyone to watch as soon as possible! I might pick the book up in the future to read if I fancy it. This is a Netflix exclusive so if you want to watch it you need to have a Netflix account… Or you can be naughty and find it online to watch.

  • K-ON! – S1 and S2 (DVD)

Like Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid this is another one of my favourite TV shows on this list. Dane recently became interested in watching K-ON! and popped it on for us both to watch one day. Since then we have been hooked and it’s definitely become a massive new love for us both. We haven’t finished watching season 2 yet, but I’ll be sad when we do however. I was going to buy Dane all of the seasons on DVD as well as the film on blu-ray but I left it in the end. I’m sure we’ll buy them on our week off together next week. I’ve bought all of the manga of K-ON! and I’m loving it so far!

  • Masamune-kun’s Revenge – S1 (Crunchyroll and Funimation)

This is a show I have loved and then been bored with… Which is strange! Dane has felt the same way about it as well. We usually stop watching things we get bored with, like anyone would be to honest. The only reason we have kept on with it is because we have watched so much of it already. It just doesn’t feel like it is going anywhere right now and we’re about 10 episodes in. I was going to buy the manga of it to read but I am so bloody glad I haven’t… This show just doesn’t feel like it’s going to have a decent outcome. This being said it is good… But I don’t recommend it. I would recommend all the other shows on this list more!

  • Peter Kay’s Car Share – S1 and S2 (BBC iPlayer)

This is one I haven’t really watched with Dane. He’s not particularly interested in stuff like this and although I’m not a MASSIVE fan I do love this show! It reminds me of the summer I was at university studying my MA and when Dane practically lived with me for 3 weeks whilst my family was away on holiday. It was lovely and pretty much a test drive for what it would be like if we lived together. So when season 2 came out recently I had to watch it as soon as possible! As the title suggests it’s about a car share. He drives and his colleague keeps him company in the car. You see their relationship grow from just colleagues to friends, to possibly something more. I was disappointed to learn after watching episode 4 that that was it… No more episodes for season 2. I mean what the fuck Peter Kay?! I say this due to how the last episode of season 2 ends. I can’t say anything without giving away any spoilers, but it’s a mixture of really shit and the perfect cliffhanger. Both season 1 and 2 are on BBC iPlayer at the moment so go and check them out if you’re interested.

  • Eromanga Sensei – S1 (Crunchyroll)

This is a new anime to be added to Crunchyroll recently and it’s one people either love or hate due to what it’s about. I’m watching it for a mixture of reasons. 1. The main female character is so fucking adorable and 2. I like the fact that she’s a manga cartoon artist and that her brother (the main male character) is a manga/light novel writer. These are both the sorts of job roles and creative talents I give my characters when I write. The part about the show that is riling people up is the fact that the two main characters are siblings (well adopted siblings…) and they’re meant to have a relationship together… Awkward… This aspect doesn’t appeal to me at all but the story line otherwise really does. It’s only 2 episodes in at the moment so I’ll see how it goes, but so far this relationship side hasn’t really shown. A few creepy bits have though… Otherwise it’s pretty funny at the moment and I’m enjoying it.

So those are some TV shows I’m loving right now! I feel like I have a show a day to catch up on, which is really sad but it gives me something to look forward to after work I suppose!

It’s not on this list but I’m currently watching Sirens, which aired on Channel 4 6 years ago! WOW I FEEL OLD!!! What TV shows are you loving and binge watching right now? Are you watching anything that’s on my list? Make sure to let me know in the comments down below!

Until next time take care all and I hope you had a lovely Easter and are equally having a lovely week.

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5 TV Shows I Can Watch Over And Over Again

This is a random idea I came up with during a shift at work earlier this week. I was bored and looking for things to do and ended up coming up with this idea and thinking about all sorts of TV shows I could talk about throughout a post. It’s been four days since then and I’ve only just thought of five shows that I can watch over and over and now I want to marathon them all!

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Image taken from weheartit.com

Sex and The City

This is by far one of my favourite shows and before writing this post I started watching it again… It’s probably the tenth time I’ve watched it now. I don’t have an addiction, I have a massive passion and love for this show! I remember asking for it for Christmas/birthday one year and when my brother gave it me I was so damn happy. Before being given it I had watched the odd episode here and there, either online or on TV. It was just nice to be able to watch the show from start to finish. I laughed, I cried and I definitely related to all of the characters at least once. My favourite character is definitely Samantha. She’s just like me, honest, to the point and doesn’t give a fuck. The only characteristic I wish I could share is how confident she is. If you have NEVER seen the TV show and you’re a woman, then get on it RIGHT NOW! Oh and if you’ve watched the movies but not the TV show then WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! The TV show is so much better!!!

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Image taken from weheartit.com

Jackass

Aside from Sex and The City this is definitely my favourite show. It’s one of the first of its type that I got into and one that grew on me faster than a rash. I fell in love with all the cast, especially Ryan Dunn. He was always my favourite and when the first film came out and he had the best stunt, I was so damn happy! Of course I was heartbroken when it came out that he had died and it still sucks to this day. I just love how far all the Jackass guys have come throughout the years, including Ryan Dunn before he died. I of course love what Johnny Knoxville has done with Bad Grandpa, and Steve-O with giving up the alcohol and drugs.

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Teachers

I’m sad that I couldn’t find a gif from the show to add to this post. It would have been good! Teachers is one of my favourite shows to come from Channel 4 back in the day! Not a lot of people have heard of it, so when I first met Dane and found out he loved it too I was so happy! It’s basically as the title suggests, about a bunch of Teachers. Andrew Lincoln’s character Simon is the main character for half of the series and I love him so much. I just want to slap him and tell him to sort his life out! My favourite character is Brian, a P.E. and Geography teacher who is crap with women but fucking adorable! If you like good British humour about work then give this a watch.

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Image taken from weheartit.com

South Park

How could this NOT go on this list?! Between 2015 to 2016 me and Dane watched South Park from start to current (well was to season 19, although season 20 was on recently) and it’s one of those shows where you could watch it over and over again and never get bored of it. I can’t say I have a favourite season in particular but I do have the odd favourite episode or two. This being said I will always hold the first season close to my heart. Purely because it’s the season that begun my love of South Park. My favourite character is Kenny, followed by Cartman, Butters and Towlie.

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Dirty Sanchez

Finally we finish this post by talking about Dirty Sanchez and like Teachers I couldn’t get a gif for it. When I WAS searching for one I was really nervous as to what I may have found… I was lucky and nothing came up. 😛 ANYWAY! Like Jackass I got into this when it first came out but only ever got to watch the odd episode on MTV late at night or during the day when I was skipping school… Oh what a rebel I was! 😛 When I was sixteen during the 6 weeks between the end of secondary school and starting college I found series 1 and 2 for sale in HMV and decided to buy them. I only noticed as I got to the till that they were rated 18 and of course I was only 16 at the time so I panicked that I may get ID’d but luckily it never happened and I watched the two series when I got home. Series 2 is my favourite by far as I found it had the funniest moments in. The show is just so real feeling to me and although Jackass is similar they’re both a hell of a lot different in their own ways. Dainton is my favourite by far, hands down!

SO those were five of my favourite TV shows that I can watch over and over again without getting bored! One TV show I didn’t mention was Stranger Things, even though I was close to. Why I hear you scream? Well because I’ve only recently watched season one… I haven’t given it enough time to even watch it again! Maybe in the future though. 😛

What TV shows can you watch again and again and again and never get bored? Make sure to let me know in the comments!

Until next time all take care and have a lovely weekend.

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Currently #1

Hello and welcome to my first currently! I love reading these so I thought, “what the hell, it won’t hurt to do my own!” so here it is. I hope you enjoy this, I already can’t wait to do another one!

Watching: Recently I’ve been binge watching Teachers again. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve watching this series, but it’s by far one of my favourites! During my undergraduate study, I watched this religiously whilst writing my dissertation. It was just like watching my friends or family on a home video, or sat in the pub with them. It’s just a very mellow show that you can really get into, and fall in love with the characters.

Playing: Since Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer coming out I haven’t stopped playing it! It’s just so addictive and relaxing to play that after a day at work I like to just come home, snuggle into bed with a hot drink and play this until I need to leave my bed to pee or eat. That sounds grosser than it actually is!

Listening: I’ve been listening to Bloodhound Gang LOADS lately and I don’t even know why! I’ve always loved this band but lately I’ve just fallen in love with them more than ever before. I need to get more of their albums soon. I’ve been on the hunt for some more for the past few weeks, but I’ve not really had much luck on that… Doh! I’ve also been playing No Devotions new and first album Permanence. It’s a very nice album for autumn and a relaxing one at that. It’s nice to listen to on the way to work in the morning.

Eating: I haven’t really eaten anything different lately… If anything I’ve been binging on crisps… Not good! Mostly Quavers, and Marmite Walkers crisps. I love Marmite so much… Actually, if I’ve been loving a food this month, it’s Marmite on toast. Can’t go wrong! I’ve also been drinking quite a bit of Lucozade Pink Lemonade at the moment, mostly due to my pole fitness. It helps me during my classes. As well as that I’ve been drinking lots of Ribena too. Yummy!

Wearing: With me officially finishing uni at the start of September my boyfriend finally gave me my Adventure Time Dr Martens boots (can read about those here) and they’re all I’ve been wearing. It has been tough to be honest as everyone who has ever owned a pair of Dr Martens will know how painful they are to break in and trust me mine are proving painful, especially on my one little toe. Ouch! With a big pair of Dr Martens socks, and plenty of plasters they’re now starting to break a little more. I can’t wait for them to be perfect so I can rock them all autumn and winter!

Wanting: I’m really lusting after some Snow Fairy from Lush at the moment. I’m running low on shower gel so it’s an excuse to buy this gorgeous smelling pink stuff. Alongside that I can’t wait for the 101 Dalmatians Vans to be released so I can pick up a pair in time for my holiday. I’ll rock them alongside my Dr Martens! I also want Christmas to hurry up and arrive, as well as pay day so I can start my Christmas shopping. I’ve eyed up loads of gift ideas for my boyfriend now, and I just need the money for them!

What things are you currently into? Make sure to let me know in the comments down below.

Until next time take care all and I’ll see you soon.

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Japanese Series: Places To Visit (Inc. Boyfriend’s too!)

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Hello and welcome to post number three in the Japanese series! As I mentioned last week on the Asian Food post, I would today be talking about places I really want to go when I visit Japan. As well as that, I also mentioned that I would have a special guest on this post, which in turn is my boyfriend. He asked if he could write about a place he wants us to visit when we both go to Japan in the future and of course I wouldn’t say no!

I shall be talking about three places I really wish to go and visit in Japan, my boyfriends post will find itself amongst those posts and you’ll be able to tell which is his place that he wishes for us to go and visit… It’s snow related. 😛

Whilst the place he wishes to go and visit is snow related, all mine are kawaii and pretty much anime related, which makes me sound a little bad sad, doesn’t it?

This is going to be a pretty long post, so no time like the present to get talking about all the places we wish to go to when we visit Japan!

Sanrio Puroland

Image taken from weheartit.com

When I was talking to my boyfriend about places I could mention on here, I came up with four altogether, this being one of them but when I mentioned that I felt rather silly for wanting to go to such a place, he said he knew how much I wanted to go and it was definitely worth a mention!

I’ve been in love with Hello Kitty and all things Sanrio since the age of 11. I can’t remember how I came to discover who Hello Kitty was, but when I did I was hooked and for years I went out of my way to find things Hello Kitty related to buy. Eventually I discovered that Hello Kitty was by a Japanese brand called Sanrio and there were many other characters just like her and just as cute! I came to find out about Chococat, Charmmy Kitty, Cinnamoroll, Pochacco, Kuririn, My Melody, and many more!

Although Puroland isn’t number one on my list of places to visit whilst I visit Japan, I know it’s definitely there and it’d be a shame to miss it whilst I was there. I’ve seen many pictures of what it’s like inside Puroland itself and it looks like so much fun! I know I would end up spending a lot of money in there, I have to say and that would probably be one of my main reasons for going, to stock on cute Sanrio related products! This is more for children than adults, but after loving Hello Kitty since a very young age, the child in me would love this.

Pokemon Center

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I don’t know if I have really spoken about it much, but I love Pokemon and have done since it came out on the Game Boy back in 1999. It’s been over 10 years since then and over that time there have been loads more games released, the anime followed after the game which I watched religiously as a child, card games were invented, and as well as that, Pokemon Center’s began popping up all over Japan, as well as in America.

When I first found out about the Pokemon Center, I thought it was just a museum and thought nothing more about it, but back in 2011 I did some research on it and pleasantly discovered that it was infact a shop! You could buy all sorts in there and I imagined how amazing it must be to actually go and wander around. Then one morning in 2013 whilst I lay in bed, waiting to go to work, I searching “Pokemon Center Japan” into YouTube and was greeted by hundreds of videos that people had recorded, all of them showing what the Pokemon Center was like. The one that showed up the most, was the store in Tokyo!

The stores are owned by The Pokemon Company in Japan and The Pokemon Company International in America. As I would be visiting Tokyo when I finally go to Japan, the Pokemon Center in Tokyo would be the ideal store for me to visit, this being said there is also a store in Tokyo Bay, so knowing me I’d go and visit both if it was doable!

I’ve already said to my boyfriend that I’ll probably need a lot of money for when we visit the Pokemon Center, as I’d want to buy a bit of everything to bring back home with me. I know when I visit Japan anyway that I’ll be buying a lot of stationery (they have the best stationery!) but I know I’ll want to come home with a huge Eevee plushie. Whenever I watch the videos of people in the Pokemon Center’s I just want to buy most of the things they show and I envy what things I watch people showing off that they’ve bought in haul videos.

This is probably number one on my list of places to visit in Japan… Alongside all the yummy food shops too of course!

Shiga Kogen, Nagano Prefecture – The place Dane (my boyfriend) wants to visit

Japan is a destination I NEED to visit in the near future, although being content with doing the expected things of visiting Tokyoʼs many attractions and districts (Iʼm looking at you Harajuku), getting communal in an onsen and traveling south to visit Osaka and Kyoto.

There is one thing I must do and that is to snowboard in Shiga Kogen, Nagano.

As Natalee may have explained, I am an avid snowboarder going on yearly trips away to the French Alps. Resorts in the French Alps tend to be very similar and having to go there every year is becoming quite monotonous. Apart from going up north to Norway and visiting the homeland of my all time favourite snowboarder, Torstein Horgmo, snowboarding in Japan is a high priority.

Japan is notorious for is snowfall, is an incredibly mountainous group of islands and has literally hundreds of Skijo (ski hills). Adding the fact some of my favourite snowboarders, Kazuhiro Kokubo and Tadashi Fuse, are both from Japan it all greatly adds up for me to snowboard there. If you want to truly understand what it is like to snowboard in Japan see the snowboard film “Seven Samurai – The Catcher on the Line”. And to quote Jimmy Peterson from his book “Skiing Around the World”:

“Snowstorms breeze into the Japanese mountains almost unabatedly from December until late March. The cold, stormy fronts blow in from Siberia, picking up extra moisture as they cross the Sea of Japan. They then dump enormous amounts of white fluff all along the western side of Japan. A number of the Japanese resorts rank among the most snow-rich ski areas in the world.”

image taken from powerhounds.com

That above image should give you an idea of what I want to experience.

Most tour operators (I.e Crystal Ski) would suggest going up north to Hokkaido for the fresh powder. There are two problems, I can think of, with that.

The first being that it’s an 1hr 30min plane ride away from Tokyo, where as going to Shiga Kogen is nearly a 4 hour drive away. Bear with me on that. Yes it takes longer, I have taken multiple 24 hour coach journeys to the Alps and even with flying there is always a 2-3 hour transfer from the airport. Plus flying is always a hassle of checking in, boarding and waiting to fly. So I can handle a measly 4 hour bus journey. In the long run it is much cheaper and you get to see the sights of Japan en route.

The next reason is as follows…

Image taken from flightcentre.com.au

Do I need to explain more?

Well yes. This is the Jigokudani Monkey Park, located on the edge of the national park in the Nagano prefecture, a short distance from Shiga Kogen. A place where just under 200 macaques live and bath in the natural hot springs, which you can visit and get up close to. How close you say? These guys are supposedly incredibly tame and let you get within inches of your camera to take nice close-ups, whether I want my camera/phone stolen by a monkey is something of contention. Having it in such a close proximity to a great resort would be incredible and taking a day trip to visit the park is a must in my book.

Ghibli Museum

Image taken from weheartit.com

Like most people, I LOVE Studio Ghibli movies and since I first discovered their films back in 2004/2005 when I watched Spirited Away and since then I have gone on to watch My Neighbour Totoro, Porco Rosso, The Cat Returns, Kiki’s Delivery Service and many more!

I vaguely remember finding out about the Ghibli Museum even existing due to reading about how there is a short film about the cat bus from My Neighbour Totoro and how it was only being shown at the museum at that time. I researched a little about the museum and since then I have wanted to go there myself!

I won’t talk too much about Studio Ghibli here, as I’m saving it for my fourth and final Japanese Series post next week, but I will say this much… Studio Ghibli is the Japanese version of Disney so I can only imagine the museum to be like a mini version of Disney Land, but that little bit better!

Upon checking out the website in the past about what the museum is all about, I’m already craving to go at this sentence:

Standing in front of a sign that says “Ghibli Museum, Mitaka”, a very large Totoro welcomes you at the entrance. When you look through the portholes, soot-black Dust Bunnies are there as well. But this is not the real entrance. Totoro shows you where the real entrance is.

Real entrance??? This is a total children’s fantasy, adventure world, and it just sounds wonderful! Plus the fact that you are greeted by a huge Totoro, is somewhat of a dream come true.

Some of mine and my boyfriends friends have been to the museum and they’ve told us nothing but positive things about it, but as well as that I’ve seen various YouTube videos about it too and all of the people in question spoke of what a wonderful place it was to visit and how they want to go back in the future.

This isn’t number one like the Pokemon Center, BUT it is the second place I would like to visit and I already know like the Pokemon Center that I WILL need a lot of money when I visit, as I will want to buy myself a huge Totoro to cuddle and keep on my bed.

As my boyfriend and I are both big fans, we both really want to visit the Ghibli Museum and it’d be lovely for us to venture around together.

We’ve really got into Studio Ghibli more than ever and with my boyfriend collecting all the films, our visit to the Ghibli Museum in the future will be extremely exciting!

Speaking of Studio Ghibli, next weeks post is going to be a really exciting one!

As I mentioned above, my fourth and final Japanese series post will be about Studio Ghibli and I’m excited to write about it come the weekend.

So, which places would you like to visit in Japan? Hey, have you been to Japan? If so where did you visit, any places you can recommend?

My boyfriend recently inquired about prices for our future Japanese holiday and now we have decided to save up for it! So as many suggestions as possible, especially kawaii and food related!

Until next week, talk care all and I hope you’re enjoying this series.

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Japanese Series: Manga

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Welcome to the first post in my Japanese Series!

I decided in January that I would create this series because of how much I love Japan and really want to go. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to learn Japanese, as well as that I read manga daily and I also watch some Canadian YouTuber’s who are living and studying in Japan, whilst documenting all sorts of things to do in Japan if you live there, or are just visiting.

Either way there will be 4 of these posts in this series, one every Wednesday during February and I for one am super excited about this series! I had been thinking about it throughout December, but only decided on getting on with ideas for the series in mid January.

So without further ado, shall I get on with the first post of this series? I think I shall!

As you can see from the above image, I own quite a lot of manga books so far, eight in total, seven from one manga series and one from another.

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This huge manga book contains ALL four of the original manga books of the very popular series, Azumanga Daioh. I actually found out about this manga existing through the anime, which I began watching in 2011 whilst I was still at university. I fell in love with it and found myself watching it a lot during my last months of university.

Eventually when I’d watched the anime I was after a manga version to read and I searched everywhere for nearly 2 years for it, eventually finding it on Forbidden Planet to buy! However when I  ordered it, after 2 weeks of waiting they informed me that infact they didn’t have this in stock and that I would receive a full refund. A mixture of annoyed and upset I looked elsewhere and I finally found this on Amazon to purchase. At nearly £14 it wasn’t cheap, but I tell you this is a massive book and if you hit someone over the head with this very hard, you could probably knock them out!

As of yet I haven’t actually finished reading this manga and I have less than half of it left to read. I think after I’ve finished some of my manga at the moment, I’ll finish reading this book.

To let you know the basic plot of Azumanga Daioh it’s about a group of Japanese girls who are in the same class as each other at high-school and you get to see all sorts of things they get to both in and out of school during their three years there.

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The manga has some comical and quirky moments in that had me laughing out loud when I used to read this manga last year and due to it I often got some weird looks. Each character in the manga has her own personality and it’s quite comical to see what each character comes out with when it comes to a situation.

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The manga itself is like most manga books, in a standard black and white where you read the book from right to left… So backwards! As well as black and white pages, there are some coloured pages inside this copy of Azumanga Daioh which I really like! I haven’t yet got to these pages, reading wise but I thought I would take a picture of them to share with you anyway!

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Out of all the characters in Azumanga Daioh, Sakaki is by far my favourite. She’s extremely shy but is loved and admired by most of the girls in the school due to being tall, having long hair and big boobs. She doesn’t really like the attention that these things about her give towards her and she just likes being quiet. She also loves anything cute and longs for her own pet cat. She’s an adorable character and that’s why I love her so much.

Although I do not own any physical copies of Elfen Lied, it is infact the first manga I read, as well as the first one I finished. I fell in love with anime and manga thanks to Elfen Lied and although I can’t show you the manga itself, I will show you images from the internet, as I can’t NOT talk about this manga!

To clear up why I don’t own any physical copies of the manga… They’re very hard to find and the only copies I have ever been able to find on eBay have been Japanese and cost over £10 EACH! They’re not cheap and they’re certainly not easy to find but if and when I visit Japan, I’m going to see if I can find all of the Elfen Lied manga books to bring home with me!

So I was naughty and I read Elfen Lied on a manga reader website, which was very helpful seeing as I couldn’t get my hands on any physical copies.

Like all the manga books I’ve read or that I’m currently reading, I have always found about the manga versions through an anime and likewise, this happened with Elfen Lied. It’s rather odd how I discovered the anime, but that will be spoken of in another post in this series.

I loved the anime so much that when I found out it was based off of a manga and that the manga revealed more about the story than the anime every did, I KNEW I had to read it and whilst I was out of work after university, I spent most of my time reading the manga online.

If you have watched the anime, definitely read the manga as it’s amazing!

Image taken from weheartit.com

With Elfen Lied it is a very gorey manga and anime and not for the faint of heart, but this being said the storyline for this is amazing and as a writer is has inspired me with a lot of my own work, especially the first novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo.

Elfen Lied is about a new race of human, Diclonius. They look like humans and even talk like humans but they’re born with invisible arms called vectors and a pair of short horns sticking out of their heads. In the show all the Diclonius are girls and are all born with pink hair. Lucy is the main character of Elfen Lied and after escaping a prison she was being kept in she forms a childlike personality, Nyu. She is found on a beach by Kohta and Yuka and it’s from that moment that things start to go wrong and you find out more about the Diclonius race, as well as about Lucy’s past.

The manga and the anime are both amazing and if you don’t mind some graphic scenes involving a lot of blood and murder then I recommend you to go and read or watch either of them!

Cool fact about Lucy/Nyu, I dressed up as them both back in Halloween 2010, which was a lot of fun! Everyone at the university night I attended thought I was Lady Gaga, which pissed me off something crazy. I hope to attend a cosplay in the near future as Lucy/Nyu.

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Now the final manga I will be talking about is Nana, which is also the manga I am currently reading.

Once again I discovered this manga through the anime, but this being said I heard about them both from Michelle Phan on YouTube when she filmed and posted a make up tutorial video on Nana Osaki. I’m going to link it on here for you to watch, as it’s a pretty awesome tutorial!

I love Nana and although I love Elfen Lied as it was the first manga I got into, read and finished, I’m growing to love Nana that little bit more. Nana is a drama and very much love themed.

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The story is about two Nana’s who meet each other on a train to Tokyo. Nana Osaki is a punk rocker, moving to Tokyo to continue to her punk rock music career and Nana Komatsu wears her heart on her sleeve and is moving to Tokyo to be more independent and be closer to her boyfriend and her best friend.

Although the two Nana’s are completely different, they are in ways similar and after losing each other after their train journey, they meet up once more whilst trying to find a flat to move into, which in turn was the same flat.

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The manga is 22 volumes long and I’m currently on volume 6. I love the way the cover of each volume for Nana tells a story of the two girls, are you’ll see from the image above. So far from volume 3-7 you can see how both the Nana’s go out of their flat to go to the beach, to a cafe, on a train, and then you can see them using a train guide maybe in a train station. I just like the theme and mini story it tells, as I think it looks really nice.

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The artwork for Nana is beautiful and some of the most lovely manga drawings I’ve ever seen, so when it comes to reading Nana, although I know most of what happens due to watching the anime, it’s a joy to see the gorgeous pictures. I wish I could draw like this!

So out of all the manga I’ve read, I’ve only read/currently reading these three manga books/series. I know that isn’t a lot to write home about, but in manga quite  often there will be a lot of volumes to get through and as I’m on a spending ban, I’m being good and only buying 3 Nana books a month to read.

Forbidden Planet have an amazing deal of 3 for 2 on their manga so I always go in there for my Nana books now, so it only costs me £13.98 for 3 volumes! DEAL! I said to myself that whilst I’m on my spending ban, I can’t NOT read Nana, so I ensure to treat myself once a month, which I didn’t do during January, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be buying 3 more volumes during this month.

Do you like manga? If so which series have you read so far or which ones would you like to read or currently reading?

If you aren’t a fan of manga? How come? Hey! You might not have even heard of manga before until this post! Does it interest you at all since reading this?

Please leave any answers to the following questions or if you have any questions of your own, leave them all down in the comments down below!

I hope you enjoy this series! Next week I’ll be talking about anime!

In true Japanese style…

Jikai made, subete no sewa o suru! >>> Until next time, take care all!

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