December media round-up

What I read/watched in December 2021.

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I purposefully took a backseat to reading long stuff this month to focus on my own writing...but still managed to fit in a few reading/watchings!

World Piece by Josh Tierney and Agroshka

The comic starts in Toronto! But soon goes into sci-fi world after, haha. The shrinking world swirly cloud scene was so impressively done!! I could really feel the movement. I'm very curious about this doppelgänger character's intentions. Also this stoic glasses man is ~ my type ~ and Lully crying every time they used her card was a mood.

When the Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (colours by Iman Geddy)

Maybe because this was created with a younger audience in mind, I found it to be a nice balance of "narrative" and "dialogue" which some books geared towards adults struggle with (e.g., they become way too wordy). I felt that I was able to get enough context for an unfamiliar circumstance (living as a Somali refugee in a UN refugee camp in Kenya for over a decade) but could still make the connections to understand the story. I liked that the tensions that Omar felt, more or less remain, but he finds a way to live with them and do what he thinks would be best.

Shoujo manga: the power and influence of girl's comics (featuring Deborah Shamoon, Mia Lewis, Kazumi Nagaike and Erica Friedman)

They covered a lot of different topics during the talk, e.g., CLAMP's visual execution differences across shounen/seinen/shoujo manga magazines, influence of shoujo manga on contemporary queer stories/creators, BL/fujo/queer community tensions (re: queer appropriation/fetishization), etc. I knew a lot about this stuff, inherently, perhaps as both a reader, creator, and from what I've seen in discussions. I drew way more fanart for shounen series for some reason...but my heart belonged to shoujo manga. My defining moment was tracing a panel of a profile view of St. Tail's main character, crying, in Nakayoshi, back in the early 90s. Maybe because it was the first time I really saw a young emotional girl as a main in comics?! I still love to draw people crying HAHA. I also traced DBZ holographic trading cards, but with white glue, for some inexplicable weird reason. All this says a lot about what I draw now—a weird mix...

Snow White with the Red Hair #14-15 (by Sorata Akiduki, translation by Caleb Cook)

Thank you to the author for including this Mitsuhide / Kiki extra chapter. The 00 Days of Summer Vacation was very good too. Mmm shoujo manga...good.

TwoSet Violin virtual tour

It was like watching a story/improv skit/musical/concert at the same time, same flavour as their videos. Full of cringe and bad acting (as expected) and their lovely violin playing. I don't ship Eddy and Brett but this made me laugh really hard:

Two men composing music together. There is a cheesey semi translucent heart object overlaid on top of them.

The Editor(s) need a raise.

Two men playing a single violin together. Eddy is controlling the bow, while Brett is holding the violin.

Eddy what are you doing?

Two men playing a single violin together. Eddy is controlling the bow, while Brett is holding the violin.

EDDY!?

Also through this I learned that Tchaikovsky was probably GAY!!! Anyhow is you've never heard of TwoSet Violin, they're Eddy and Brett and their mission is really about sharing education/love for classical music, especially to make it relevant to a newer audience. My friends say that I am more like Brett, cause he's deadpan and makes these chaotic musical creations.

Though I don't practice 40 hours a day, and I was 100% pity minimum-passed my grade 8 piano Royal Conservatory exam decades ago. I have zero musical skill...


I activated a search bar on the sidebar because my entry count has grown and sometimes I have trouble finding my old stuff. I also found a way to self-host my own videos so I don't have to rely on third party places (that track you). Behold—a repost of an old video, now self-hosted with the power of CumulusClips (cause it was already in my cpanel's Softaculous, but I had to do a bunch of manual editing/config in cpanel for it to work)! The other HWA animatic that I am too afraid to touch because my skill doesn't meet my expectation haha.

I sent my comic book script to the editor! I really like how the book came out (storywise) so can't wait to see it come to life. I fell...in love...with these characters! Now I'm a bit of an empty, creative husk. It became a fairly emotion/feels-driven book.

Have to turn my attention to Yakuzine next~


Today's music post: Continuing the anime fever from last post, I found a 1994-1996 anime OP playlist and it's filling me with nostalgia. I forgot how much isekai I watched before the recent isekai boom came about. EL HAZARD...so much harem...I don't remember the plots of the majority of these shows but I remember these songs like yesterday.

November media round-up

What I read/watched in November 2021.

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Art Gallery of Ontario

Went to check out Picasso: Painting the Blue Period, which is focused on the earlier part of Picasso's documented art life (starting when he was 19?). My favourite piece was his self portrait, though we agreed that he painted himself home angularly and "favourably" than what his photos may show. I'm not attracted to most of his work, but I definitely learned something! I had been reading Blue Period (the manga) and now it makes sense why the comic is titled that.

Bata Shoe Museum

My first time visiting this museum even though I've lived in the city for a while. I bought timed tickets online but they didn't charge me (?) so I was confused and expected to have to pay at the museum, but they didn't ask...? Was it a glitch or a weird COVID-recovery promo? I'll never find out.

My favourites were the Art & Innovation exhibition, which was about arctic craftspeople and their work. Lots of amazing traditional techniques (coincidentally dovetailed well with me reading Golden Kamuy). I especially like a pair of moose-hair tufted mocs. When we were in the Great Divide exhibit, we found that it was designed very narrowly (as there was a display in the center, and a narrow hallway around it with shoes) for me to feel distanced enough from people to stop and appreciate certain parts. My friend was looking at the shoes and commented on how tiny peoples' feet were in the Age of Enlightenment. I was surprised by his comment because all the shoes looked like regular size to me, but then I remembered my friend is over 6' tall and I am nearly a foot shorter.

Snow White with the Red Hair #1-13 by Sorata Akiduki (translation by Caleb Cook)

I thought this was going to be a re-telling of Snow White story somehow, but instead it's moreso about writing the own pages to your destiny/fairy tale. I'm admiring all the clothing/character designs! The mains have a straightforward and direct honesty about them. Unlike other shoujo manga, I feel like there's a good balance and respect between the two. I like the side characters too. I also thought Kiki was a guy until she was explicitly described as a lady! Kiki and Obi are my fav so far. KIKI GO GET YOUR HIMBO MAN!

Panel from Snow White and the Red Hair, showing Mitsuhide acting super formally towards Kiki while clutching her hand. He says "Ah, It's you, Kiki. Good Morrow. Did I by chance injure your hand?" There are flowers in the background.

Some of these shoujo manga have more freetalk in a left sidebar menu. I suppose because there were originally ads in those spages, during the phone book magazine serialization?

Go with the Cloud, North-by-Northwest #2 by Aki Irie (translation by David Musto)

Well I learned a lot about Iceland but the main plot...is nowhere to be seen until a VERY BRIEF cameo more than halfway through the book (the brother?!). Unless Iceland tourism is the book topic, haha...I have very mixed feelings about how this author tells stories. The pace and randomness might not be my taste, which is sad because the artwork is great. I would totally go on a sightseeing and food tour with Kei...all the landscape spreads make me wanna pull out real pen and ink and go to town, but I also know that's a lot of strain on my wrist!

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

I don't necessarily agree with the "um" story that she shared between herself at Google and someone named Sheryl. I feel like there's some degree of "professionalism" that is manufactured by people in power, which we know, leans a certain way. Overtime I want it to break down. I feel similarly about all the hate against up speak.

I only read a portion of this book since I had a good sense of being radical candor from...work. I still think it's likely a good book for anyone who is more nascent to management / leadership!

Chico by Kate Lavut

I'm surprised that she made it through the trip without any assault (afaik from the book). Definitely takes a lot of courage...I couldn't do it.

Wrecked Ship by Valentin Seiche

A short but melancholic story. Has a lot of world building that we probably only scratched the surface of. I wanted to know more about the main character's fixation on the robot, especially given their sacrifice.

Let's Eat - Award Winning Animated Short Film by Anamon Studios

Sent to me by Bea. The description is:

Let’s Eat is a 8 minute animated short film that centers on the relationship between a mother and daughter in a Chinese-American immigrant family. Let’s Eat strives to be a universal story told through a distinctly Asian-American voice.

Cooking/sharing food as unspoken display of love...! I think we'll always feel like it's too late to make up for the years we didn't spend with people we care about.

Golden Kamuy #2-15 by Satoru Noda (translation by Eiji Yasuda, John Werry)

Panel from Golden Kamuy. Shows dialogue that says "Asirpa, please don't look!" but Asirpa is looking through her fingers. Incoherent thoughts:

Opening chapter 28 page from Golden Kamuy. Top portion shows two aggressive looking men hold weapons, staring each other down. The top confrontational battle image is contrasted with an illustration on the bottom, which shows a man running towards a dog aggressively. Panel from Golden Kamuy, which shows 3 characters catching a raccoon dog.

  • Juxtaposition of extreme violence and then cute animal drawings...
  • Two men admiring their skinned creations on the catwalk...it's like...messed up but drawn in a charming cute way (????)
  • And the guy imagining getting murdered...but getting so excited by it...
  • Steamy otter fanbait in volume 12 HAHA
  • Censoring with Shiraishi's head all the time
  • The stuff in this comic are pretty messed up
  • Why does Sugimoto keep his hat on in the water...
  • All the sus photos of Tanigaki in underwear...

Haikyu!! #2 by Haruichi Furudate (translation by Adrienne Beck)

I wonder if having a cocky attitude is more common in sports players. Like an unwavering self-confidence, though there are probably ways to have that without demeaning or putting others down. There is a lot of clarity in the action sequences!

Otomen #2-3 by Aya Kanno (translation and adaptation by Lindsey Akashi, JN Productions)

So many good shoujo tropes in this book hahaha. Yamato's weird fantasy confession made me laugh because it's so shounen, which contrasts well with the main character's shoujo-ness. The love confession finally came!!

Love Me, Love Me Not #2 by Io Sakisaka (Adaptation by Nancy Thistlethwaite, translation by JN Productions)

The confession and answer came a lot faster than I anticipated. These characters all seem quite introspective for their age! The author's freetalk about the characters was more revealing than expected!!

Yona of the Dawn #1 by Mizuho Kusanagi (Adaptation by Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane, Translation by JN Productions)

This is a really long series and I wasn't sure what it was about. I have to admit that I'm glad that cousin relationship did not go far, but due to not great circumstances. I'm not sure where the rest of the story will go...I suppose...revenge? Revenge on revenge?? Retainer pining over princess? Love? Probably.


I watched a few things from the American Black Film Festival.

The Untold Story of Mild Sauce (directed by Anton Deshawn, 2021)

Television’s top music exposé show - Washed Up, previews an upcoming episode on the 90’s R&B group, Mild Sauce. Childhood friends - Vonn, Dre, Heno and JuJu dream about being a famous R&B singing group. Soon the opportunity presents itself when meeting the legendary old school funk musician, Stony Mack. The guys meet Stony Mack backstage at one of his shows, and sang for him as if their lives depended on it. The group gets the record deal they dreamed of, and Mild Sauce is born! Emotions run high for the members of Mild Sauce as they are soon exposed to the harsh realities of the record industry which includes music rivals, group infighting and bitter breakups.

Not knowing anything about this, I thought it really was about a real 90s R&B group that I somehow hadn't heard about, but soon I found out it was not the case HAHA...I gotta say that these songs are great. Trailer here!

Bald: The Series S1 E01-06 (directed by John-Jonne Smith, 2021)

In a world of smoke and mirrors where appearance is everything, a struggling actor in his late 20's tries to hold on to his last redeeming quality...his hair.

Balding is not really something that's top of mind for me. I really want him to switch to smear and waterproof version of hair powder. Man weaves, units...I learned a lot! Everyone is mean for comedic effect, but I appreciate the introspection and vulnerability/self-consciousness about hair...

Pink and Blue (directed by Carmen LoBue, 2021)

After a surprise first-time pregnancy, a Trans couple of color wrestles with how the new baby will affect their relationship and how to raise their child in a binary world.

Even though I have a weird relationship with my parents, and never plan to be a parent, I always find stories about parenthood to be very moving and emotionally charged. After watching this, I can't help but want to root for this couple and to see more people like them bring awesome babies into the world!

B-Boy Blues (directed by Jussie Smollett, 2021)

Class and culture clash when a college educated journalist from Brooklyn and a homeboy-bike messenger from Harlem fall in love.

This ended up being funnier and more playful than I expected! He packed the teddy bear and punched it (sob). It's nice to see a story about relationship integrity. A more mature take on building relationship/bonds with a supportive and colourful friend group/supporters. The intimate scenes were shot very tastefully. That ending partner reveal...OMG!!!!

Subjects of Desire (directed by Jennifer Holness, 2021)

A thought-provoking feature documentary that examines the cultural shift in beauty standards towards embracing Black aesthetics and features

The doc was has roots in Canada so I was interested to watch this. There is a good breakdown of beauty history—how black and white womanhood were on opposite ends of the spectrum, because purity and beauty were based on white ideals and domesticity.

Intellectually, I knew the stereotypes fed to me growing up re: black women as either Mammy (helper/caretaker), Sapphire (angry black woman), and Jezebel (sexualized/"meat"), but seeing the historical context spelt out was educational. A researcher who studies beauty noted that, right now, we expect people to be resilient (and change) towards beauty standards—instead of changing dominant beauty standards/culture.


Today's music post: Snaring River by Moods. I might be the only person I know that still enjoys seeing snow. Chillhop is great music for writing, haha. Moods (Nick Lubbersen) has other music too.

October media round-up

What I read/watched in October 2021

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I read a lot of longer series this month since they were all available through the library. Bless libraries!!!

I don't consider my "scream into the void" ramblings about a series/book as anything of substance, but from hereon I'll also note the translators, especially after reading this article shared by Jocelyne.

Zami: a New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde

I wasn't sure what this was about before I started to read it. The book was unexpectedly sensual. The whole passage about the mortar and pestle and touching all the engravings, grinding things...! The peeking through pyjamas...! Many falling in and out of love stories, though the idea of love here, is not exactly what mass media would give you, which I appreciated.

REAL #1-14 by Takehiko Inoue (translation by John Werry)

I love that the men are already crying and displaying mutual support and vulnerability in the opening chapters. Humanity and all its feelings and emotions laid bare for audience to see. Characters walking that line between macho-ness/pride/dignity and ultimately, vulnerability, and propping each other up. It's all great. I'm glad this series exists. The wrestling match would've been incredible to watch IRL if I knew about his condition...! I loved Slam Dunk and this is an even better, more emotionally mature take on intense feelings and passions.

Requiem of the Rose King #1-13 by Aya Kanno (translation by Jocelyne Allen)

The darkness in this story is a huge contrast from Otomen—there's a lot more death, violence, and sex. Everyone is really chaotic and overflowing with feelings for so many people. Emotional trainwrecks that I can't stop rubbernecking at. The relationships are not simply a hate/love triangle, it's more like a hate/love pentagon...?! Even though Catesby has had such little air time, him and the boar are 1000% my type.

Screenshot of a page from Requiem of the Rose King, showing Catesby finding Richard, thanks to the white boar.

Screenshot of a page from Requiem of the Rose King, showing Anne puttin the white boar on a sled (?) so they can do skating together.

Screenshot of a page from Requiem of the Rose King, showing Whitey, a white boar, prancing along with some dogs.

That scene where Catesby cuts his shirt to make bandages is ~chef's kiss~. Thank you for this meal. Anne is (was?) also very wholesome cute. A lot of deaths of good characters ;_;. I was caught off guard by that name calling brilliance at the end of vol.13! Intense glasses crushing...yes...good.

Otomen by Aya Kanno #1

I started reading this a long time ago but decided to start from scratch again. As mentioned, very different flavour compared to Requiem of the Rose King. In the freetalks it almost seems like the author wanted to plow through shoujo style plot (maybe Requiem was the ultimate goal?!). Everyone has very attractive/expressive eyes. I can understand this tension that Asuka has with gender expression and preferences.

GoGo Monster by Taiyo Matsumoto (translation by Camellia Nieh)

I think that the creator's mind is at a complete different plane of existence relative to me. Our brains and logic processing must work in such different ways. Despite deliberate efforts in visual imagery, intentional ambiguity, I have no idea what to make of this story. This has been my experience with most of his work...so maybe I have to surrender...

Still me (non-binary short film)

Ittybeatty sent this to me. As you would expect, trying to be openly NB in a gendered uniform school context is very challenging, but there is a hopeful conclusion! There's also a "prequel" that I haven't watched.

Golden Kamuy #1 by Satoru Noda (translation by Eiji Yasuda)

I've only seen very THIRSTY or very WEIRD looking panels/screenshots/fanarts from this series, so I was intrigued to see why it was so popular. I haven't read pure shounen action fantasy manga in a while??

This comic definitely reads like there's been a lot of research and educational intent. The initial premise reminded me of something (One Piece? Treasure hunting?) even though it's not quite the same; more gruesome? But still comedic and exaggerated? I am intrigued by the main character's immortal title—I wonder how he turned out that way. I hope to see more of the Ainu characters in the next vol! I keep needing to remind myself that this takes place in the 1920-1930s, so photos are not readily available.

Haikyu!! #1 by Haruichi Furudate (translation by Adrienne Beck)

Heard a lot about this series so decided to get on the train after the series is complete. I have a feeling I know how things will eventually turn out (from reading other shounen sports manga) but I'll keep going to see if there are any unexpected moments!I didn't expect this glasses character to be so pompous.

Love Me, Love Me Not #1 by Io Sakisaka (Adaptation by Nancy Thistlethwaite, Translation by JN Productions)

I like the premise of having 2 main characters with different approaches to love, neither one being better than the other. I suppose another way to skin the romance, in a western context, is that the main characters are on different points in the spectrum of romance-attraction. I think both protags and their possible love interests are really cute!! A COMPLEX LOVE SQUARE...

A Sign of Affection #1-3 by suu Morishita (translation by Christine Dashiell)

This series was recommended to me by Schen. We both agree that the main dude is potentially creepy because of his actions, but at least it is reciprocal/wanted attention by the heroine. For example...I thought this action looked like the dude was going to curse the girl through the head, or smash her head into a wall (maybe I've played too much Yakuza).

Crop of a panel from A Sign of Affection manga by suu Morishita. The panel shows a hand (with a tattoo on the finger) extending from the left, towards the head of the protagonist heroine on the right, who looks semi-surprised.

Otherwise I think the story is very CUTE and glad to see a main character who is deaf! Though I do worry about her lack of life/world experience paired with the intentions of the male love interest. Feels kind of SUS. IDK I always feel like I root for the dark haired childhood friend, because his feelings are really transparent (as much as tsunderes can be) and have been enduring.

Things you only notice if you have your own aquarium:

Crop of a panel from A Sign of Affection manga by suu Morishita. The panel shows the main character feeding 3 fish in her cube-sized fish tank.

This tank is OVERCROWDED! Are those MULTIPLE BETTA fish?? And wow inner set base. DARING. It is a baller ADA-like aquarium? Hidden power cords. Impressive. My friend laughed that this is what stood out to me in the comic. I told her it's because a lot of time and attention was paid to hand signing and gestures, and then...you see this aquarium. It's OK, these are fictional fishes that have no relevance to the plot (so far).

Blue Period #4 by Tsubasa Yamaguchi (translation by Ajani Oloye)

I'm enjoying the random marine animal facts that the teacher (Ooba) is dropping. She seems like a great teacher—I like her character and guidance. I agree with with "drawer" analogy that she uses. The database in your mind...composition studies, being the best version of your own art self and not comparing. I also like his high school art teacher too.

I'm noticing that the comic does really dramatic/intense shots (whose POV are we looking through when we see that shot?), but they're often interlaced between regular emotional reactions. Sometimes the intensity is never really resolved in dialogue, but maybe those are meant to be hyperbolized panels. The forced smiling made me laugh ahahha. I hope all art students (or any creative) give this series a try. I never went to art school, but still think there are valuable lessons (that I learnt myself over time instead of through this comic).


Today's music post: Dancina by Yemi Alade.

September media round-up

What I read/watched in September 2021.

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Heartstopper vol. 3 by Alice Oseman

This particular volume deals a lot about anxieties related to 'coming out' and offers different ways that it can occur; some happening very implicitly, while others more explicitly.

Shang-Chi: The Legend of Ten Rings (2021)

Laughing to myself about how many news outlets are so busy swooning over Tony Leung (rightfully so). It was an OK movie overall, though it is at the core, a superhero movie, so the plot is predictable and/or all problems are kind of solved with some mystery magic. It's good to see east asian faces on the big screen in a North American context. Made me miss karaoke! I'm not sure why, but there are several parts where the CG ended up looking very fake to me (e.g., when those gold bars were pushed over from the overturned cart?). I read that the rings were also full CG. Usually I give a pass to fake looking CG when it comes to depicting hair/fur stuff/humans (the technology simply isn't there yet), but I expect execution to be solid on objects with hard surfaces. I think more attention could have been paid to the lighting/reflections of metallics to better integrate those CG elements, cause they stood out and broke the illusion while I watched.

Dæmon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling by Philip Pullman

I didn't read every single essay/talk in detail because some of it wasn't as relevant to me (I'm not a novel writer), but it was interesting to know that there's someone else in the world that has similar approaches to the creative process of storytelling. I've also never read any of his other works, or most of the prose he refers to in his analysis went over my head.

Blue Period 3 by Tsubasa Yamaguchi

Intense art school drama continues. As always, interesting to see how the main character grows and matures as an artist.

Cuisine Chinoise: Tales of Food and Life by Zao Dao

I was weirded out by what I perceived to be an "exotification" of the book title. Why was it a French title when it's about Chinese art/food/life? After reading the translation notes I can assume why: the English translation was created based off of the French translation. I guess they kept the French title...? They noted that it was atypical/less optimal to translate based on an existing translation. I wonder if there were budget constraints that didn't allow them to translate from the source language. Zao Dao has very nice artwork but I have to admit that I didn't really understand the stories. They're a bit too short or perhaps require too much context that was lost in translation/culture? I suppose the lack of depth in characters is appropriate for something that is more fairy tale/fable-driven? As for the design/details/layout of the book, I personally would've liked to see more textural unification of font choices and paper crops (e.g., make the entire bg colour of the paper, match the kraft colour of some of the pages).

The Way of the Househusband #5 by Kousuke Oono

I hope the translator got paid extra to do these rap lyrics...! I really liked the fishing bonus comic at the end, haha.

Devoted part 2 by Bob Appavu

As a part of their patreon I have access to the Devoted novel (which is about Merritt and other characters from Bob's webcomic, Demon of the Underground). You get a lot of LORE that you don't necessarily see in the webcomic. It's a real emotional rollercoaster—I was convinced I would hate one of the characters FOREVER but now...I have their back. Looking forward to part 3—soooo much drama and feelings...!

Go with the Clouds, North-by-Northwest v.1 by Aki Irie

Oh, I like the direction of this a lot more than the Ran and the Gray World series she worked on. It also began a bit more elusive/ambiguous, but I think it's leading towards something intriguing! Detectivey...


I also pulled out and read a bunch of comics/zines from my bookshelf that are are self-published and mostly short:

  • Helena by Michael Furler: I found all of the strips to be very charming and whimsical. The randomness and lack of focus of Helena (the character) is 100000% accurate to kids...
  • Queen of Hearts 1, 2 by Louisa Roy: I don't often read these kinds of period stories but felt like these were an interesting glimpse into the lives of some historically real people (though of course, some aspects fictionalized).
  • Houdini & Holmes 1 by Polly Guo ; I remember receiving a bunch of pencil sketches with the order, years ago...I think I lost the 2nd physical issue.
  • Demons by Eric Kim ; Eric's inking powers are top notch and the characters are all very strange and unique!
  • Billy Johnson and his duck are explorers issue #1-2 by Matthew New: Fun adventures delivering exactly what the title implies.
  • Confessions of a first year animation student by Jelajade; Primarily autobio comics by superstar Jade Armstrong. I like that in 2015 they wrote 'instruments are hot" and is now publishing a comic called Scout is Not a Band Kid.
  • The End by Dan Berry: Dan Berry has an ability to create anticipation and suspense in his stories
  • Wolves by Becky Cloonan
  • Demeter by Becky Cloonan
  • The Mire by Becky Cloonan: any time I look at anything Becky Cloonan I am in awe at the power of her inks and storytelling build-up...
  • Laundry Story Rebecca Mock; autobio (?) I still don't know how to read laundry labels...
  • The Old Woman 1-3 by Rebecca Mock the covers alone are gorgeous, and then you stare at the fluid lines and mystery within...!
  • The H.M.S. Bad Idea by Peter Chiykowski: I met Peter during a talk at a restaurant a long time ago...I believe this book compiles the best-in-class parts from his webcomic!

Paradox Live

I went down a Paradox Live clickhole and am impressed at the voice over artists' rap training, overall music quality, and production value of the motion graphic music videos (MVs). There are several groups and they all...rap? Do hip hop? Sing? Rap battles? My write-up/impressions:

  • 悪漢奴等 (Akan Yatsura) is a group of airhead pure himbo yankees. Their leader is voiced by Oishi's (Tenipuri) voice actor, which is the initial reason why I even listened to anything Paradox Live. I think their music borrows from reggaeton beats.
  • BAE is a group of international students and they sing/rap in 3 languages; they really aced the english pronunciation in their music! I think their music borrows from Kpop musicality.
  • The Cat's Whiskers is a more jazzy chill hip hop group. The leader has a dramatically lower voice that reminds me of boyband monologue. This particular song has MEOW MEOW MEOW as part of their lyrics and it has been stuck in my head
  • Comez is a group of depressed emo twins. AFAIK they only rap about the depressed world. Stylistically they remind me of more contemporary pop/rap/hip hop (more sing-songy rap with autotune).
  • 武雷管 (Buraikan) is the newest group; IDK much about them since they only have one song...but overall the song feels more like a character song re: rap quality/style, haha

IDK much about the series/plot (since it's an audio drama) but it's interesting to listen to the differences in each group's style, as well as the character rap styles within each group (e.g., how their character comes to life through musicality, tone, flow, etc.). Although I've listened to rap and hip hop most of my life, I don't have the vocab to describe what I hear (I suppose this is true for all music...).

I listened to some Hypnosis Mic (a similar concept) but think I prefer the music from Paradox Live. With Paradox Live, I can better believe that the musical performance, isn't just...acting? Maybe the characters from hypmic are by default super caricatured (visually and vocally), which jives less with my personal taste.


Seiyuu chaos

I also went down a seiyuu clickhole and watched too many seiyuu variety shows. My seiyuu knowledge is 15+ years dated, but now I know a few newer ones as people on variety shows, not from their roles in anime/games HAHA. A sample:


Hypothetical BL-self characters

After hearing all those mero kyun / romance lines, PowersWithin and I talked about our hypothetical BL-selves and whether we would be seme or uke. The result of this discussion is summarized in this drawing I did of her "BL character" versions of our friend group, where we're employed at a BL and fantasy-themed cafe called Doki Dokeepers. We also talked about this as a hypothetical BL game, which certain characters are much harder to become friends with, harder to unlock, or are only available in DLC.

The overall design concept, names, and characteristics are by PowersWithin, while I did the visual facilitation/prototyping. It's pretty easy to tell which one is me, but the rest are very hard to guess, hahahahaha. It was a nice distraction and change of pace to draw characters I seldom draw.

digital sketch of a bunch of "original" characters, which are based off of PowerWithin's knowledge of real people and BL tropes

I did the same for Bea later on, but hers is a stationery shop.

digital sketch of a bunch of "original" characters, which are based off of Bea's knowledge of real people and BL tropes


Today's music post: The Point (feat. DJ Zo) by Year of The Ox.

August media round-up

What I read/watched in August 2021

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The Will to Change by bell hooks

Quoted by and recommended by several recent authors' books that I've read. This book serves to build empathy for men and how imperialist white capitalist patriarchy damages everyone...

Heaven's Design Team vol.5 by Hebi Zou, Tsuta Suzuki, and Tarako

I continue to be amused by animal facts and the variety of characters' intensity. Pluto is still my favourite...such twisted but perfect interests!

Princess Jellyfish vol.4 by Akiko Higashimura

Oh the story is going on for longer than I thought, and getting into fashion production industry! I'm laughing at the freetalk as usual. Had to look up this Korean star the author got obsessed with...

Worse than Death vol.1 by Benjamin Rivers

I finally got my TCAF 2021 order in the mail, and this book by Ben was included! The comic is based off their game Worse Than Death, but I would say that you can still follow along even if you haven't played the game yet. Very smartly designed/laid out book, and I'm tickled by mix of horror and shoujo-esque aspects.

Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! vol. 3 by Yuu Toyota

SO many classic BL tropes and misunderstandings...aka great hahaha

GRATITUDE - A LOL COMEDY (2020)

I watched this as part of the Hip Hop Film Festival, since Bea is in the cast. The short film is directed/written by Sidartha Murjani. The characters are purposefully awkward/cringe/ridiculous for comedic purposes but at the end there is a heartwarming resolution!! Trailer here.

Draw Stronger by Kriota Wellberg

Got this from rurupoi because we both talk about our sad aging bodies. I don't draw as much as she does, but always good to have these in mind. Thankfully doing some yoga and 7min routines over the past year cover some of these exercises/suggestions, but I should definitely incorporate some more specific finger/wrist/elbow/arm-related exercises.

Porco Rosso (1992)

I had no idea what this was about, but it ended up being more comedic/light hearted than I thought, given its war setting/context. Lots of great moments! Enjoyed the funny kidnapped kids not giving a care and the amazing women doing the legwork of building an aircraft. Unexpectedly Porco is the sought after/popular character.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

I looked at the DVD cover and wondered why there was a shirtless rain scene. I have to admit that those images always remind me of BSB's "Quit Playing Game with my Heart" music video, though I think the two subjects couldn't be more different. At the end of the day, there were parts that were hard to watch (reminds me of Yakuza prison storyline...) while others were very hopeful.

Today's music post: Veronika's dream by Floex / Tomáš Dvořák.