Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: City of Fallen Angels

By: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, urban fantasy, romance
# of Pages: 424
Rating: 3 out of 5

City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series, which was originally supposed to have ended after City of Glass, the third installment of the series. Although I am a huge fan of the TMI series, as well as The Infernal Devices prequel trilogy that Clare is working on in tandem with TMI, I can't exactly say that City of Fallen Angels lived up to my expectations.


Monday, May 30, 2011


I do believe that it's been a while. Almost 2 months. O.o I'd lie and say that a lot happened within those two months if it meant that it'd make it sound better, but yeah... All that happened was I graduated college and now have my BA in English with a writing concentration. Woot!!! My final month of classes was still with paper writing and panicked studying, as well as the strangest allergic reaction I've ever had. My right arm was spasming to the point that I was hitting myself in the face with my shoulder. Just imagine having those really bad hiccups that make your eyes water and your chest hurt...only you're not having hiccups... Your arm is just spasming like that because your prescription medicine reacted with an OTC sinus medicine you started taking the day before... Yeah.... It was strange and terrifying. We were all afraid I was having a seizure and I had to leave work 3 hours early. Thankfully, it was just an allergic reaction...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi

There's some exciting news for yaoi lovers! The anime adaptation of the Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi (The Best First Love in the World) manga has finally started airing in Japan!!!! I have been waiting for this to start since it was first announced that the anime was going to be made back in January of last year, and was starting to lose hope. :( After hearing about AIC having to drop the remake of Ai no Kusabi and the developers of Sex Pistols postponing to release date of the second OVA for nearly a year, things were looking bleak in the yaoi anime community. Thankfully it made a comeback with the quick release of both Koisuru Bouken OVAs (which are delicious), but I was still desperately checking Aarinfantasy several times a week to see if any news had been released about Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi.

Why have I been so excited about this anime? Well...the creator is Shungiku Nakamura, the amazingly talented woman behind Junjou Romantica. Junjou was a breakout and break-through anime for the yaoi genre, opening doors that had only been knocked upon by the genre in the past. With two seasons and twenty-four episodes, Junjou Romantica is the longest yaoi anime (yaoi, not slash or shounen-ai) that has ever been released. Add the fact that the show was done beautifully to that mix and it's heaven! Sure, there are shows like Gravitation, Sukisho, and Loveless that are all at thirteen episodes a piece, but...yeah... The Gravitation adaptation is just horrible, Sukisho is more silly than anything else, and Loveless, while good, is really a shouta anime. Junjou Romantica went into uncharted territories, kicking ass and taking names all the while.

Music Corner - featuring ONE OK ROCK

I FAIL!!!!!!! I said I was going to try and do at least one "Music Corner" a month, and I completely missed March. T___T Oh, well! I'm here now at the beginning of April with ONE OK ROCK!! :D

ONE OK ROCK was formed in 2005, and is made up of Taka (vocalist), Toru (guitarist), Ryota (bassist), and Tomoya (drummer). They have a distinctive musical sound. Those whose ears are trained to the sound of Japanese rock music will notice their origins immediately, but their sound could also be described as being more "American sounding" than most other Japanese rock bands. This can sometimes be a problem with other bands (as many people listen to Japanese music to escape the mediocre sound of American music), but OOR has managed to find their niche and mesh the two different sounds together in a way that is near perfection.

I'm relatively new to OOR, but the moment I heard "Jibun Rock" I became a fan. Their earlier music (which contains rapping a la Linkin Park) is interesting. I like the rapping and it adds a different flavor to their music, but at the same time, I'm quite pleased with the new direction their sound has gone in. Taka's voice is distinctive and nearly all their melodies are catchy as hell! There are many times where Taka sings in English, and it's actually English...not Engrish!

As they don't have many singles yet, this post won't be nearly as long as the one for MUCC was, but I'm going to follow the same sort of pattern. Song title, year, snippet of translated lyrics, and video. Unlike with MUCC, though, I'm not going to put asterisks beside my favorites...because I love them all!! Heheh. There aren't many, so take a listen to all of them. :D If you don't feel like listening to them all, I would recommend giving "Koi no Aibou Kokoro no Cupid," "Liar," "Jibun Rock," and "Answer is Near" a listen. :)

Happy listening!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Joys of Drafting

If you could call it that... Heheh. For the second time this semester I needed to pump out a short story draft to submit to my Fiction Writing class. Saying it was tough would be the understatement of the century.

I actually started working on a draft for this round of workshops when the first round was still going on. I had the most amazing and inspirational dream that would not leave me alone, so I decided I would write it. Problem was that it's just a bit too long...and epic...and did I mention long? Heheh. So rather than start from the beginning, I decided to write my draft starting at a point just after halfway through the story, when the main character reaches a very important realization that affects the rest of the entire story.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Halfway Point: Darkest Mercy

By: Melissa Marr
Genre: YA, romance, urban fantasy
# of Pages: 327
Current Page: 147
Rating: 5 out of 5

I am terribly sad to see this series come to an end. I've been there since Wicked Lovely was released in 2007, fawning over the beautifully intricate story since the very beginning. There is just something so musical in the way Melissa Marr weaves her tales and plays with her characters. There is a reason she's my favorite author, after all. Heheh.

I would love to do a summary of Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, and Radiant Shadows in order to give a good idea of the plot leading up to this particular book, but I'm too afraid of giving away spoilers. T__T What I can sum up without throwing spoilers left and right, however, is that the Wicked Lovely series is the story of the courts of fey (Summer, Winter, High, and Dark -- the Shadow Court added in Radiant Shadows) and the struggles that lie between them. By this point in the story, the world of Faerie (in which reside the High and Shadow Courts) has been sealed, leaving the Summer, Winter, and Dark Courts alone to decide how to handle the oncoming war against Bananach, the faery embodiment of War and Chaos, and the many fey she has managed to draw to her from all courts. A large part of the story is also Aislinn's internal battle between her feelings for Seth, her best friend, and Keenan, the Summer King. Ink Exchange and Radiant Shadows are two "sister novels" to the WL series. Some say that they don't need to be read in order to understand the goings-on of the rest of the story, but I disagree. Radiant Shadows is actually my favorite of the novels to date, and a lot of integral plot occurs in there that is necessary to understand the magnitude of what is going to happen/happening in Darkest Mercy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

March Madness

Believe it or not, this is my favorite time of year. It's funny how many double takes and/or dumbfounded looks I get from people when they learn how much I love college basketball. Yes, I realize that my love of anime and Japanese music and such makes me a nerd, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy other things!!  I live for college basketball and seeing my two teams do so well this year has made it even more exciting.

I was born in Syracuse, NY and the Orange have been my father's team since long before then. I was raised on their sports, even though I didn't really know what I was watching until I hit elementary school. The Orange are my go to team. I have shirts, hoodies, stole my dad's old Syracuse blanket, and used to have Otto stickers on my bedroom window. Even though they aren't the best team in the league when it comes to football (they actually won a bowl game this year, though!), they are one of the very best in basketball. They started this season off ranked number one in the nation. Then, unfortunately, Fab Melo was injured and they took a rather ungraceful fall down through the rankings. : ( Even so, they still made it to the semi-finals of the Big East tournament, only to be beat by UConn in overtime. Seeing them go into that overtime was sooooo exciting, considering the last time UConn and Syracuse went into overtime in the Big East tournament (2009), they ended up playing through six overtimes before Syracuse finally won. That year was even more exciting because Syracuse was pitted against my other favorite teams for the Big East championship.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

One Life, One Chance...

It's been a while since the last time Bethany's name popped up in my "People You May Know" box on Facebook. We have 21 mutual friends, but we will never have the chance to be friends. At least, not on Facebook.

I can't believe that it's been more than six months since she was killed in that horrible car accident. A beautiful, intelligent nineteen year old life, taken from the world by a garbage truck driver who was too concerned with other things to notice that traffic had been stopped. If he hadn't been reading a text from his wife, would he have noticed the multitude of "Stopped Traffic Ahead" or "Flagger Ahead" signs that lined Highway 60 that morning? And who knows how drastically his mind had been altered by the pain meds and muscle relaxers he'd taken that morning.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Music Corner - featuring ムック (MUCC)

I know that this blog is already a mix of a little bit of everything (I'm too ADD to blog about one thing all the time, I guess, XD), so I've decided to keep going along with that. At least once a month (most likely twice), I'll post a blog titled "Music Corner" in which I showcase music by some of my favorite bands. I've debated doing this for a while, and finally figured, "Why the hell not?" Since most of the music I listen to is less than mainstream (here in America, at least), I thought it would be interesting to open everyone's eyes to music they may not listen to otherwise.

Today's band is my favorite of all time, ムック or MUCC (pronounced as "mook-koo"). They are one of the most intense bands I have ever heard, and I will always be indebted to my best friend for introducing me to them back in 2007. While I'm less than pleased with the direction their music has taken as of late, I know that I will forever be in awe of their early music (and will patiently wait for them to come to their senses and start making their dark, cynical music again, lol).

MUCC was formed in 1997 and is comprised for four very talented men. Tatsurou is the lead singer (his voice makes me melt), Miya is on the guitar, Yuuke is on bass, and Satochi is on drums. To date they have released well over 300 songs -- 10 albums, 24 singles, 4 demos, and have been featured on many compilation albums. They've toured all across Japan and Europe, and traveled with the Taste of Chaos tour across American in 2008, along with The Underneath and D'espairsRay (another popular JRock band). Sadly, I didn't know about them touring with the Taste of Chaos until a few days after they performed in Dayton, Ohio, the closest they came to this area. I could have cried. :(

Now, onto the music! The song titles are listed first, followed by the month and year they were released, which is followed by a couple translated lines of the song. I haven't featured ALL of their singles, because...well...this blog would be even longer than I already know it'll be. Heheh.  And I love all of their music, but my absolute favorites have asterisks (*) before and after their titles.  At the very end are a few of my favorite live performances from them. : )

Unfortunately, Universal Japan has it set up so their videos can't be embedded (BOO!!!), so any singles that were released by MUCC under them are from DailyMotion instead of youtube.

Happy listening!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

ONE OK ROCK - "Answer is Near"

ONE OK ROCK - Answer is Near
1. Answer is Near
2. Silent World
3. Answer is Clear
4. To Feel the Fire
Overall score: 10/10

I am a huge fan of OOR and have been waiting for this single to come out for months. The night I first heard them and proceeded to download their entire discography was one of the greatest nights ever. Their last album (Niche Syndrome) is just about amazing, and I find myself going to their discography on my iPod for a listen more often than not.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mei -sketch-

I've been working on this for quite a while. I'm still not completely happy with it, but (and I can't believe I'm saying this) it's not horrible. Feels good to actually somewhat like something I've done, lol. Let's just hope it's still that way when I'm done lining and CGing.

I'm excited to get to work on the completing the image, mostly because it's going to be a challenge. I've never had such a monochromatic character before (everything except her eyes is a shade of green), nor have I had a character that has a sort of glow to them. I'm also strangely excited to work on her tears. It's going to be interesting, if nothing else. Heheh.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

First Week and a Half of WoW

Yes, WoW as in World of Warcraft. Heheh. I've never considered myself to be a "gamer," mostly because I usually just stick to Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts (I'm a Squenix whore), but I really enjoy playing video games. When I get into a game with a good story, I'm instantly hooked. Back in 2006, I beat Kingdom Hearts II in four days because I just couldn't stop playing. It took me quite a bit longer to beat Okami last year, but that was mostly because my disc went out when I was almost through and I had to wait to get another one. And then, of course, I had to get all 99 stray beads and that was a challenge all in itself. Lol. My favorite game of all time, though, has to be Final Fantasy XII. Not only is the art freaking gorgeous, but the story is very intricate (minus Vaan, the extremely flat "main" character of the game). I have yet to beat the game completely, but to this day I have logged over 130 hours in one game. I went through the tedious process of chaining and gathering all the items needed to make a Tournesol, got all the Espers, completed all but one of the hunts (in the process of snagging Yiazmat now), got as many achievement badges as I could, etc... I didn't get the Zodiac Spear because I opened one of the stupid damn chests (*grumbles*), but the game didn't lose any value for me because of it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

girugämesh - "Destiny"

"Destiny" isn't brand new, as it came out at the beginning of January, but it is the newest of giru's latest singles. I was a little hesitant when I first added the single into iTunes and started the title track up. Electronic elements aren't new to the band's style of music (the easiest band to compare some of their songs to would be Linkin Park), but the beginning of "Destiny" was almost just a little too poppy. Thankfully, the guitars kicked in and Satoshi started singing before I could twitch too hard and make myself skip to another song.

This definitely isn't their best song (nothing, after all, can compare with "Kowareteyuku Sekai" or "ISHTAR"), but it isn't their worst either. However, I am a bit disappointed in the more "pop" direction they've been taking recently, since they started off as such a wonderful, dark metal band. Seriously... The emotion in "Kowareteyuku Sekai" alone can bring me to my knees. Thankfully, though, I'm the sort of person who is open to music of all varieties, with (surprisingly) hard rock and pop being my favorites. The two elements were mixed nicely in "Destiny," even though it's still just a bit too pop when compared to what I would have liked to see from giru for this single.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fin: FMA Brotherhood

Series: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
# of episodes: 64
Final Rating: 15/10

Official US Website
Anime News Network Info

Okay...before I say anything remotely coherent in this review, I have to do this.... OMG!!!! *squees* *cough* Sorry, but it had to come out. Heheh.  Just so you know, I'm not going to go into detail about the beginning of the series in this review, but if you're interested in hearing my opinion, check out my Halfway Point review.  Because I left off at episode 38, I'll pick up at 39 here...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Writing Dreams

Contrary to what the title may suggest, this entry is not going to be about my dreams for writing (i.e., getting published, being able to live off it, etc...), but about...well...writing dreams. Having a dream so vivid and real and amazing one night and being unable to resist the urge to write it down.  That is what this is about.

I'm not going to go into specifics about the dream I had Monday night because 1) I don't want anyone to steal the idea and 2) it's just too long and intricate and epic. Heheh. The easiest way I've found to describe it to someone is "It's about faeries, war, and the end of the world." Unfortunately, I didn't get to see how the dream ended, so I have no idea what happened. It was close, though. If I weren't such a good student (at this time in the semester, at least) I would have given into the urge to stay home and sleep all day, if only to see how everything ended. No matter how many times I woke up, the dream picked up immediately where it left off.  It's been a long time since that happened.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Halfway Point: FMA Brotherhood

Series: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
# of episodes: 64
# of episodes watched: 38
Rating Thus Far: 9/10

Official US Website
Anime News Network Info

As you may or may not know, I've been a huge fan of the Fullmetal Alchemist fandom since the first series started airing on Adult Swim back in 2005. Before I was introduced to the wonderful world that is One Piece, exclaiming that the first series was my favorite anime of all time was easy, and even though that place has been taken by One Piece, I still hold a lot of love for the original anime series. The storyline is wonderful and fluid, and speaking as a yaoi fangirl, the end of the series and movie just reek of Roy/Ed. Heheh. The story of Ed and Al and their journey for the Philosopher's Stone pulls you in from the very first episode, and by the time you've made it through the arc with Tucker and Nina, you're hooked (and sobbing, but I won't elaborate in lieu of possible spoilers).

Monday, January 17, 2011


Oh, Jay Kim, my love and future husband. Even though you guys are still on the pop side of things, I can't pretend to hate you anymore. This song is just too freaking catchy, and you and your voice are far too gorgeous. <3 <3

Same Thing, Different Blog

Well, actually, I hope not. I don't know how many "blogs" I've had throughout the years, but most of them have died out within a year or two. This one was created for one of my final undergraduate courses, where the professor asked that we all keep a weekly blog. So this one will at least be going until the end of April, lol. Hopefully by then I'll be in the habit of updating and will be able to keep the ball rolling, even after the semester ends.

This blog isn't anything special. It will mostly be me rambling about anything that interests me--most likely anime, books/writing, and music. Be prepared for many links to youtube videos and lots of ranting about anime and books, lol. There will also probably be random entries about things I've taken notice of in the hum-drum of daily life. So yeah, nothing big or serious going on here.  Just the random rants, rambles, and reviews of a slightly messed up mind.

Anywho...I hope you all are doing well and staying healthy...and warm. It's cold and raining here. :( I'm ready for spring. Sunny days and flip-flop weather!!!!!!!! Heheh.