Tokyo Tarareba Girls Manga Volume 4 Review

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What are you willing to give up when it comes to making a relationship work? When does a compromise start to affect your values or sense of self? Volume four of Tokyo Tarareba Girls digs into these questions among many others, using the character’s relationships as a frame to examine some pretty tough questions about love and relationships. The series was recently nominated for and then won the award for “Best US Edition of International Material – Asia” during the Eisner Awards this year. Honestly, I definitely think it’s well-deserved considering the scope and gravity of some of the things this series talks about and they way Higashimura uses comedy to address serious topics. I wanted to revisit this series this week both because of the recent Eisner win and because the series is very soon coming to a close with its 9th volume next month. Higashimura has given us so many great manga series with Princess Jellyfish and now her autobiography Blank Canvas, which is currently on volume two, that I really think this hilarious Josei series deserves to sit equally next to her other series.

Volume four picks up with the story as Rinko continues with her relationship to her current cinephile, bartender boyfriend. But something is nagging at Rinko about their relationship, particularly his insistence that she change her hairstyle to match that of his favorite actress. Even as she dreams of marrying this man, she begins to question how much change is too much to ask for in a relationship and how much she’s willing to overlook for the man she wants to marry. With the 2020 Olympic deadline for marriage still looming on the horizon, all three women scramble to balance relationships and careers. Continue reading

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Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (9/2 – 9/8)

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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. I’m back from vacation and trying to put together a few posts for the blog. I know it’s been sparse lately, but between work, wedding planning, and general exhaustion I just haven’t had the energy or head space to write anything. I’ll get back into though, and you can count on consistent news posts like these in the interim. Anyways, in terms of highlights from this week: the court case brought by Vic Mignogna against Funimation and various voice actors has been dismissed; the piracy site MangaRock has shut down and is rebranding to an official comics platform; and Marvel is partnering with Shonen Jump to bring some Marvel themed manga to their audience. Be sure to check out the articles and videos list below (I highly recommend The Cartoon Ciphers video), and as always, enjoy the rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

Celebrating the End of the Summer: The Sunshine Blogger Award

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Thanks so much Rise From Ashes for nominating me for this lovely award. I’ve been on vacation for the past couple days, so it’s nice to sit down and have something simple to write about for the blog. I always enjoy doing these posts and award Q&A’s. A lot of you have some pretty interesting questions.

The Rules

1) Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog so others can visit them.
2) Answer eleven questions asked by the nominator.
3) Nominate eight (or is it eleven???) bloggers of your choosing and ask them eleven questions of your own.
4) Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.
5) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post or on your blog site.


My Answers

1.Have you ever had a paranormal/ghost experience? If so, care to share? If no experience, do you believe in the paranormal/ghosts?

To be honest, I’m not sure. A few years ago I would’ve said yes, but the more I think about it, the more I think it might have just been a case of group panic. Back in my middle or high school days I went over to a friend’s house for a sleep-over. Back in those days, one of the popular games to play was manhunt, which was like hide-and-seek in the dark with flashlights. So we decided to play that in her basement. One of my friends was “it” and we all hid in various places around her basement.

After a few minutes of hiding, I hear a scream. I jumped up from my hiding place and went over to where they were. My friend had decided to hide on top of a table underneath a laundry basket. She claimed that something pushed the table over and she felt like she was going to fall off. Only the table was bolted to the floor. We all ran out of the house fairly freaked out and took a walk to calm down. I’m not sure what happened in the house, we all kind of got really intrigued by the paranormal and were looking into Wicca at that point. The one time I went back to that house, I was standing in front of her closet and felt a cold breeze pass behind me. I couldn’t for the life of me remember if the closet was open or not before I stood in front of it.

To this day I’m not quite sure what happened that night. I haven’t really had another experience since, but I do believe that there is some merit in believing in something after death. There’s way too many stories for there to be nothing going on.

2. What’s a food that your region is known for? (for example: Chicago is known for Chicago Style pizza).

Currently, I live in Boston, and I guess we’re known for our clam chowder and baked beans.

3. If you don’t mind, could you recommend me some new music? Singer/idol/band, anything is okay~

Sure! I’m currently obsessed with an indie pop band called Foxes, but I would also recommend HAIM, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Ben Howard. All of them are fairly indie with some pop, country, and rock influences.

4. What’s your favorite piece of fandom merchandise? Big or small, include a picture if you can!

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My favorite piece of merchandise right now might be my Cardcaptors figurines or the enamel pins I’ve started to collect. It’s hard to really pinpoint one favorite piece though, so I’ll just include some pictures of the ones I have so far. I keep trying to limit myself to only buying cardcaptor’s figurines because I know it’ll become a slippery slope to buying way too much if I go past that. Enamel pins have become really fun to collect though and I find myself scrolling through Instagram a lot looking for new ones to add. I bought a cork board for my wall and I’ve been slowly trying to fill that up over time. I can’t resist buying them anytime I go to a convention, especially Cardcaptor themed ones.

5. Do you prefer reading hardback, or paperback books, or digitally?

I generally prefer reading in any form of print, but have no problem reading in digital if I have to. Especially for manga and comics, I love having physical copies to flip back and forth through the pages. It’s a lot easier when it’s a comic I plan to review on the blog as well since I can easily flip to a page I want to scan into the review.

However, digital copies can be really good for some things like saving space in your bookshelves and provide a good option for people who may be on a budget. Most ebooks are half the price of their print counterparts so it can be a good option for people who are short on money or are unsure if they will like a particular series since they’ll only have to pay between 6 and 8 dollars for a digital manga copy.

6. What’s the biggest takeaway you have from your personal blogging journey?

I would say the biggest takeaway I’ve gotten from starting a blog is to really enjoy yourself. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to step back and re-evaluate how and what you’re writing. Don’t be afraid to take breaks and make sure to take care of yourself. Your writing will suffer if you don’t feel like you’re into it.

7. Oddly specific, outside of blogging what kind of online content do you comment on? (example, youtube videos, reddit, etc)

I don’t usually comment on many other platforms, maybe Twitter and Reddit at times. I’ll occasionally comment on something on Instagram if I really like it. Most of the time though I’m just trying to avoid inadvertently saying something that would spark a comment war or argument.

8. Do you have any special talents/party tricks you can do?

Not really, unless you consider art being a special talent. I can draw but I don’t really have anything that I could take to a talent show.

9. Do you have a topic that despite it suiting your blog, you’ve decided not to write about?

I don’t usually like to write about ecchi, harem, or shonen romance. Mostly, I don’t usually like to write about things that don’t really interest me personally. After a while of running this blog I find that I have less time to devote to things that I’m not interested in, so I usually like to write about things that I don’t mind watching or things that I actually enjoy. I have less time to watch mediocre anime series or read less than good manga or comic series. I may do a review of the first volume once and awhile, but I usually don’t follow-through to any more volumes.

10. In a game of truth or dare, which do you pick?

Truth.

11. How do you feel about blog tags/being tagged?

I don’t mind honestly. I may not always have the time to do them, but they’re a fun diversion from the regular blogging schedule.


My Nominees

(No pressure to anyone nominated below)

A Nerdy Perspective, The Anime Madhouse, Reasons to Anime, Confessions of an Overage Otaku, Rai’s Anime Blog, Otaku Orbit, Amanda.Actually, The Animanga Spellbook

My Questions

What was the scariest movie or show you’ve ever watched?

Are there certain genres of TV shows or books that you stay away from or hate reading? Why?

Who was your first celebrity/character crush and why?

What was one show your parents hated you watching but you watched anyways?

I’ve recently gotten addicted to podcasts, do you have any recommendations for podcasts or other talk shows you enjoy listening to?

I’m currently relaxing on vacation right now. What’s your favorite summertime or beach read?

It’s starting to get towards the end of summer. What’s one aspect of this season that you look forward to the most? Vacation? A certain event? Warmth?

Conversely, Fall is pretty much upon us. What’s one thing about the season you’re really looking forward to?

Tell me about the style of your blog and why you picked the color, banner, and subject matter that you did.

What about blogging drew you to make your own blog?

Is there anything about content creators in particular or contention creation in general that you find annoying or frustrating?

~~Thanks for Reading!~~


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Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (8/12 – 8/18)

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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. Don’t worry guys, I’m still alive, just dealing with some writer’s block at the moment that I’m hoping to push through. I’ve been trying to get some posts up this week, but it just hasn’t been working out. I’ll have something up for you all soon. In the meantime, as for news for this week: Our Dreams at Dusk was nominated for a Harvey Award; the Lumberjanes live action movie has been cancelled; and a new Magicians spin-off comic series is in the works. In general there wasn’t much news on the anime and comics front, but there were a lot of interviews comic out which I have linked to below so be sure to check some of those out. And, as always, have a great rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (8/5 – 8/11)

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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. I’m finally back after a week of dealing with a bad cold, and will hopefully have more content for you this week. In other news: Comiket is this weekend, and they have so far attracted 530,000 people; comic writer Jai Nitz has been accused of multiple sexual assaults on women at the University of Kansas; and a No-Deal Brexit may mean an increase in prices for comic readers in the UK. Be sure to check out articles and videos linked below, and as always, have a great rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (7/22 – 7/28)

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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 this post was a little late today, I was celebrating my cousin’s graduation this weekend and didn’t get the time to finish this up until right now. Anyways, news has still been surrounding the Kyoto Animation fire and the developing coverage of support and the aftermath. So you can see below a list of new articles about the Kyoto Animation tragedy, but this will probably be the last week I do this unless there’s some other big news. As for other highlights this week: a “pro-otaku” politician has been elected to the Japanese House of Councilors who has been supporting legislation backed by many otaku fans; George Takei’s graphic novel They Called Us the Enemy makes it to the New York Times Bestseller list; and Stan Lee gets a street named after him. Be sure to check out the articles and videos down below and, as always, have a great rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

Five Ways to Improve Your Comic Reviews

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Have you ever wanted to get into comic reviewing or thought your reviews just needed a little extra something? I see a lot of reviews missing some key aspects those few times when I do actually read other people’s reviews. It’s been three years since I’ve started this blog and over the course of that time I’ve learned a lot about comics and the medium in general, but more importantly how to write about them. I’m in no way an expert, but I do have pretty strong opinions on what makes a good review and how we can better talk about and analyze comics as an artistic medium and an entertainment medium. Below are five tips to improve your comic reviews. Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips to add. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes – Blogging with Anxiety

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Writing is always hard for so many reasons. We even have a word for when you have trouble putting pen to paper: writer’s block. So what happens when you add in mental illness? Things just become infinitely harder. I’ve always been an advocate of pushing through writer’s block, with the notion that sometimes you just have to force yourself to get things done or they never will get done. But with an illness like anxiety, your brain sees this as a form of stress and creates a stress response. Most of the time this comes in the form or avoidance: procrastination, letting yourself get repeatedly distracted by little things, or just doing nothing at all. The stress and pressure to create piles up as the sense of satisfaction from creating decreases and then this leads to a spiral of depression, which leads to more avoidance, which leads to more depression. It becomes a whole cycle. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (7/15 – 7/21)

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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. Admittedly, a lot has happened this week in the anime and comics news realm. With San Diego Comic-Con taking over this weekend and Kyoto Animation being the target of an arson attack, there’s definitely a lot of news to go around and I’ve tried to capture the main points below. The anime and manga news section now contains a list of coverage for the Kyoto Animation fire so you all can get updated on everything. I’ve also included a list of SDCC announcements in the Comics section. In terms of highlights for this week: one of Kyoto Animation’s buildings was hit by an arson attack killing 34 people; Alan Moore has finally retired from writing comics; and the 2019 Eisner Award winners were announced over the weekend. Be sure to check out the videos and articles below as well, and as always, enjoy the rest of your Sunday! To all those with heat wave advisories like me, stay cool! Continue reading

Fruits Basket Manga Read-Through: Collector’s Edition Volume Twelve [Final]

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“Love isn’t just about loving what’s in front of you. The past, the future, maybe it’s about holding all of them close to your heart.” I think this quote by Kyo in this volume is really emblematic of the kind of ending we see for the series. Fruits Basket has been a series about hardship, emotional and physical abuse, parental abandonment, and family secrets. But most of all its been about growth. Growth in character, relationships, and maturity. Facing the hardships and difficult emotions that come with them are a key aspect of the series and almost all the characters learn some way to grow and move past them. Volume twelve is the final look at how our characters we’ve grown so attached to over the series have matured and faced the issues of their pasts. We see this most clearly with Kyo, Akito, and Rin as they all struggle to find a new place for themselves after the curse is broken, dealing with the memories and fall-out of Akito’s past actions.

Volume twelve brings us back to the Sohma household where all the members of the zodiac have been called in to meet with Akito. It’s here that she reveals the fact that she has been a woman the entire time and attempts to apologize for her actions.  We also get to see the final wrap-up of each character’s stories as they finish off high school and move on to bigger and better things. Kyo and Tohru head off to places far away as Kyo studies to take over Sensei’s doujo. Uo still plans on joining Kureno wherever he is after graduation. Then there’s Yuki and Machi who are planning a slightly long-distance relationship as Yuki heads off to college. Shigure quits being a writer and moves back to the main house to be with Akito, and lives move on and grow from there. Continue reading