[Blog Update] To a Better New Year!

Happy New Year!

I wanted to thank you all for supporting me this past year. It’s been a crazy 2019 and I’m predicting an even crazier 2020.

In the course of 2019, this blog and met and surpassed my follower goal and most of my writing goals. We had a few snags along the way, some failed projects, but you live and learn and strive to do better next time.

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Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (11/18 – 11/24)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I got some bad news this week both work related and personal so I’ve been trying to relax and do some other things to take care of myself. Things might be a little slow with the holidays coming up, but I’ll try and get one or two reviews up next week if I can. Anyways, in terms of highlights for the week: Kyoto Animation is preparing to tear down the studio damaged by arson very soon; a new manga subscription service has just launched; and Alan Moore’s getting a lot of flack on the internet again. Be sure to check out the articles and videos below, and as always, have a great rest of your Sunday. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (11/11 – 11/17)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I took a day drip last weekend and now the new Pokemon game has sucked up some of my time. Posts will continue though, just not on a regular schedule, and will probably slow a bit around the holidays due to travel and family obligations. Anyways, as for highlights for this week: the new Sandman TV series is confirmed as having two seasons; One Piece will be ending its manga run in five years; and Eisner award-winning comics journalist Tom Spurgeon has passed away. Be sure to check out the articles and videos below, and as always, have a great rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

Flavors of Youth Anime Film Review

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I have a new goal this year to watch a lot more animated movies, whether in theaters or online streaming. I think we’re definitely seeing a lot of great stories and animation coming out through full length movies. The only problem being that it can be very difficult to find a theater near you to watch them in and then it takes forever for them to come out on a streaming service like Netflix to watch. But I think with the efforts of more companies, we’re getting more screenings around the US for various animated movies. I’m not sure if Flavors of Youth ever made it to US theaters, but it did make it onto Netflix, and instantly became an addition onto my long list of things to watch. And while I don’t think it’s the best animated film I’ve ever seen, it definitely has its strengths and interesting moments to discuss.

Flavors of Youth is a three-part film that tells the stories of three separate groups of characters, all with their own histories and troubles. The stories all take place somewhere in China, from Beijing to some more rural areas. The first story follows a young man who looks back on his life and childhood in his hometown when he was able to get noodles with his grandmother or on his way to school. He narrates his memories from his younger years to the present, reminiscing about food, family, and the ever changing nature of his neighborhood. The second story follows the lives of two sisters, one a model and the other a fashion designer as the grow and adapt to their lives and careers. As one sister sees her career as a model being overshadowed by younger women, she begins to relearn the value the family. The last is a story of three friends and how their paths separate and converge as life moves forward. Continue reading

Waxing Philosophical: A New Life, A New Haircut

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Much has been written about hair and the dramatic cutting of hair that appears in all forms of media, focusing on the symbolism behind the act for both men and women. We see it in a variety of films from Disney to Anime. It’s a universal concept for humans, our connection to our hair, as it is essentially a part of ourselves and our identity. Hair means a lot of things to different people, to different genders, and across different eras. But I think one thing is inherently universal in its symbolism: the act of cutting it is often seen as a significant event in a person’s emotional and psychological health and future.  Continue reading

My Top Obsessions This Month: October 2019

Welcome back to another top obsessions post where I give myself a nice slice of space to discuss some things I’ve been interested in the past month outside of the romance genre and this blog. I’ve added sections for podcasts, books, TV shows, Youtube channels, and for this month a section on two events I got involved in. I hope you all had a spook-tacular October. I know it’s my favorite month out of the year, and I hope you all got some enjoyment out of my October specials as well. Let me know in the comments how your month went, any interesting obsessions you might have, and what cool things you’ve noticed the last month. See you all in November! Continue reading

Waxing Philosophical: Kiki’s Delivery Service and Burnout

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Kiki’s Delivery Service is the quintessential animated witch movie, brimming with magic, energy, and the imagination of Hayao Miyazaki. It’s been a while since I got the chance to sit down and watch this one, so I thought this month might be the perfect time and atmosphere to revisit one of Miyazaki’s most popular movies. I have to say, I definitely forgot much of the finer details, and I never realized just how universally adult some of the themes are. It’s definitely something that is supposed to be marketed towards a younger audience, given the age of Kiki and the general themes around adolescence and growing up. But what I wasn’t expecting was how this movie could relate to the issues affecting an older audience. Miyazaki was known to create stories that appealed to a wide audience, with themes like environmentalism, religion, family, and politics.  And while the movies almost always seemed like they were made for a younger audience, they may also be speaking to a generation plagued by political and economic unrest, long work hours, and a desire to find a purpose in life.

Kiki’s Delivery Service is the story of young Kiki who has just turned 13 years old, which means that according to family tradition she has to move out of her home and city to complete her training as a full-fledged which. For at least one year, Kiki has to move to a new place and work to establish her mark on the community. And on one perfect full moon night, Kiki heads out in search of the perfect place with her best black cat friend Gigi. She winds up finding a beautiful coastal town, and after a bit of searching, finds a bakery that needs a delivery girl. And so Kiki’s Delivery Service is in business and begins making her own place in the community. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (10/21 – 10/27)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. The month of October is coming to an end and I must say it’s been fun visiting fantasy and witch-themed manga and anime for the last month. I’ve got at least one more review for you all next week before October and spooky-season ends, but I also hope you’ll go back and take a look at the rest of the reviews as well. As for news highlights this week: Japan responds to the Kyoto Animation fire with new regulations; the Joker has become the highest grossing R-rated film to date; and rumors are abound that actor Jared Leto tried to shut down the new Joker film. Be sure to check out the articles and videos linked below and, as always, have a great Sunday! Continue reading

Flying Witch Anime Review

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I can’t conclude this month’s reviews of witch and magic related anime and manga without a look at Flying Witch, one of the best magic related slice-of-life’s to come out so far (in my humble opinion). The series is a calming look at the life of witches and magic users in rural Japan, an alternate society where witches exist in a semi-secret state within society. Due to the laid-back tone of the series as a whole, I would even go so far as to categorize this as an iyashikei series, or healing anime. The narratives of each episode give the viewer an intimate look at a witch’s everyday life without going into too much drama, going so far as to have very little plot at all. That is what I would call an iyashikei: warm life stories with light plots that allow the viewer to relax into a comfy state. Flying Witch has the comfy feelings down pat, the magic elements adding just the right touch of interest and difference to draw in fans looking for something unique instead of the typical slice-of-lifes out there.

The series follows the life of young teenage witch Makoto who leaves home for the first time to complete her witch studies in rural japan, living with her cousin’s family. The episodes are filled with stories of Makoto’s life living with her cousins, studying magic, going to school, and experiencing the hidden magical world around her. Each episode contains one or two contained stories with a specific story, interaction, or learning experience for Makoto or her cousins, most containing something to do with magic, but not always. The series is based off of a manga, and was picked up for the adaptation by J.C. Staff and released in 2016. Continue reading

Generation Witch Manga Volume One Review

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Generation Witch is the story of what would happen if witches existed in the modern world, fully open and integrated into society. I feel like we don’t get many of these stories. Flying Witch was one that was close, but even then the existence of witches was still considered somewhat of a secret and knowledge of them among regular people was few and far between. This series asks the question of what would society and people look like if there was no barrier between normal human and witch, if anyone with the right blood, male or female, young or old, could become a witch and practice magic. In this way, this world has taken on the qualities of a magical realism narrative, where the fantastical is normal. Generation Witch brings us differing stories from this world, from different parts of society and age groups, letting the world build a chapter at a time. If you enjoy a modern twist on witches or magic girls, then I think you’ll enjoy this peek into a society where magic is right out in the open.

Each volume of this series features four or five different stories, each following a different set of characters through their troubles and goals. Chapter one brings us a story of a powerful witch who saves her dear non-witch sister from a bully. Then we are sent off to high school in chapters two and three where a young and fairly talentless witch is trying to start up a magic club at their school. She winds up finding the only other witch on campus and ropes him into doing odd jobs around school for the other students. Created by Isaki Uta, the series was recently picked up for its English release by Seven Seas. Continue reading