Tag Archives: Entertainment

Special Features presents: A new hope??

For those of you know that know me, you probably also know that I am a huge Star Wars fan (okay and a fan of maybe a hundred or more other things, but that’s besides the point right now). When Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi came out in 2017 I was devastated. The movie completely ruined everything that I had ever liked about Star Wars. I hated the film with a vengeance and I did something that was completely out of character for me: I wrote a review in complete anger. In hindsight, that was something I should not have done. The post did become my most viewed one in the history of my blog and at the same time it gathered a huge amount of comments. Some people agreed with me, some did not. In the end it’s just a movie though. On the other hand the only reason why I was so passionate about it, is the fact that Star Wars films are MORE than movies for me. I have been a fan for over 30 years now and the saga of that galaxy far, far away has been a big part of my life. After the dust settled, and the fan base was divided, a lot of fans just wrote off Star Wars completely. The Solo movie for instance was a box office bomb because fans just didn’t believe in the Disney side of Star Wars anymore.

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I have a…..good…..feeling about this!

But…that’s not me. One bad movie doesn’t mean that I have all of a sudden stopped loving Star Wars. What I have become when it comes to this, is cautious. I don’t want to have another huge disappointment by becoming too enthusiastic about anything related to the continuation of the current trilogy. That said: HOLY FREAKING MOLY HAVE YOU GUYS SEEN THIS NEW TRAILER YET?!!? Erm…sorry…just my old enthusiasm creeping up on me. It won’t happen again. Seriously though, this teaser trailer that was released last night, certainly made me cautiously optimistic about the future, or should I say the end of this saga. Because Episode IX will be the final installment of the Skywalker story. It was a trailer that was made for fans, to restore the faith that some of them might have lost. And I say, already seeing some of the responses online to people that have watched the trailer, that they really managed to achieve their goal. So, let’s talk about it a bit. And if you don’t want to know anything for the upcoming film just skip the next paragraph.

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Be still my heart……

*Spoilers Begin* First off there is of course the title of the movie: The rise of Skywalker. But with Luke gone from the universe, there really is (at least so far as we know) only one Skywalker left: Kylo Ren. So, will this movie be about his redemption? Or is there something else going on? As far as nostalgia goes, it was of course great to see Lando in the cockpit of his old ship again. If you ask me he was only added to the film to bring back some of that old magic feeling, but hey I’m certainly not complaining about it. Leia hugging Rey was of course another of those goosebump inducing moments, especially considering the fact that the wonderful Carrie Fisher isn’t amongst us anymore. But the true surprise comes at the very end of the trailer where Luke in an overhead voice says: “ No one is ever really gone” and we hear the maniacal laugh of Emperor Palpatine. That was simply put, mindblowing, and one has to wonder what in blazes this will mean. Because really all bets are off now. *Spoilers End*

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That’s no moon, it’s a………

With this teaser trailer having now been released of course the fans are unleashing all their theories again on what they have seen, and what they predict may or may not happen. But, let’s not forget that the trailers for Episode VIII also looked amazing, and everyone was speculating wildly then as well. Until the film came out, and pretty much everything we had hoped for was thrown out the window. The Rise of Skywalker will be a very important movie. It will either reunite the fans again, or let a rift as big as the Sith and the Jedi rivalry forever stand between them. Episode IX has one huge advantage though: it has J.J. Abrams. I know some people really don’t like the guy. I do. Pretty much everything I have seen of him, whether it’s one of his tv shows, or his movies, I have enjoyed. I hope he can undo the damage that has been done with the previous film, and fix Star Wars again. And for those of you that loved The Last Jedi, as I said last time: no disrespect intended, I honestly think that’s great. Now of course down below, for your viewing pleasure a link to the trailer. May the Force be with you all: have a great weekend!

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Duel, American movie (1971)

When it comes to movies one often overlooked fact is the director. Sure, a movie can’t be made without good actors, and hell it also helps to of course have a bit of a decent script. But a truly skilled director can really turn a film into something legendary. Now the name Steven Spielberg should be familiar to almost anyone who at the very least has a rudimentary knowledge of movies. He was responsible for such classic films as Jaws, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, E.T. and Jurassic Park to name but a few. The man is simply put a juggernaut in Hollywood, and although not everyone might be a fan of all of his movies, one can’t deny that he certainly is one of the most succesful directors in movie history. A little known fact though is that before he really broke through in Hollywood with Jaws, he made his debut with a movie that was originally made for television. Later, because of the film’s succes it also appeared in movie theatres. Perceptive readers have already seen the title of the movie and the year in which this movie was made.

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And we still wonder why the environment is doing so bad…..

Yes, Duel was made in 1971. Yes, this movie is now 47 years old. Does that mean that this movie is now so dated, that it is probably considered by current standards a film that can’t hold the attention of the modern moviegoing audience? You will probably be very surprised by the answer: no, it totally isn’t. If this movie would be released in theatres today, and you had no knowledge of the fact that this film was made in 1971, you probably would not even notice it. Duel is a film that I saw for the first time when I was still a teenager. (Yes I know, don’t remind me of the fact that is now decades ago). And I was not prepared for the impact it would have on me. I was totally blown away by it, and I honestly lost count of how many times I have seen it after that. So what is it about this film that has me so spellbound? And why is it, that I still get that same adrenaline rush every time I see this film. Perhaps I should first start with telling you what this movie is about, before I get to the answers of those questions. You know me when I get enthusiastic about something, I can’t stop talking about it.

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Some people are just in a rush to get somewhere.

Right, okay. So Duel then. The title itself ofcourse is already giving a way a little bit of what this film is about: a duel. We are however not talking about a duel between knights, or two men that need to walk a few paces and then start shooting each other. No, this is an altogether entirely different duel. David Mann is an ordinary guy who has a job as a salesman. Eager to close a deal, he heads for the road in his car for a business trip. Once he enters the Mojave desert he comes across a tank truck that seems like it missed a trip to the scrap yard. David quickly passes the truck without even giving it a second thought. Because really, what could go wrong right? A few seconds later though, much to his surprise, the truck speeds up and overtakes him.  What at first starts off like a seemingly innocent game, soon turns into something very sinister and deadly. The truck driver is a psychopath that seems determined to end the life of David. A terrifying road duel between car and truck is about to begin……

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Yep, anyone would get a headache if something like this were to happen to them.

This is one of those films that has an incredibly simple premise, but still manages to glue you to the edge of your seat for the entire duration of the film. I have always loved films that feature a lone and ordinary guy or girl, who is put into a situation that soon grows beyond their control. It also takes an incredible amount of skill on the part of the actor who portrays that kind of character. In this case that actor is Dennis Weaver who plays David. Now for most of you that name probably won’t ring a bell, but some of you readers out there might recognise him from the highly succesful tv series McCloud. Suffice it to say that Weaver just knocks this role right out of the ball park. His character isn’t some kind of macho superhero. He is a normal guy just like you or me, who is thrust into a very deadly situation, that could happen to anyone. And simply put, you want him to win. His adversary though, except for shots of his arms and legs, is never shown. And that makes it only all the more creepy, because he could be anyone.

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One of the reasons we don’t have telephone booths anymore.

The truck this guy drives though is almost a character itself. As soon as you lay eyes on the rust bucket, a sense of dread enters your body. And this is only made more sinister by the way the movie is directed. Some truly terrific camera angles and shots, especially during some of the chase sequences, are absolutely breathtaking. Duel might be Spielbergs first movie, but I also still consider it one of his best films. This movie is a true nailbiter, with some incredible edge of your seat and very memorable scenes. Rest assured this is not a horror movie, that contains buckets of blood or something like that. It is a thriller in every sense of the word, and one that is completely timeless. If you have become interested in seeing this film, and are wondering where you can find it, I suggest you try YouTube. Just search for: “Duel full movie”, and you will find an incredibly high quality version of the movie there. It’s one and half hours of time very well spent, trust me on that. And it will also make you think twice the next time you pass a truck on the road….just saying….

I give Duel a 9 out of 10 score.

 

The Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 2019 Vote is LIVE! — VOTE beetleypete!

One of the most fun aspects about blogging, as well most of you know, is the fact that you come across a lot of cool blogs, but even better: the amazing people behind those blogs. I have been following Pete who runs the blog Beetleypete for quite a while now. And I can honestly say: he is one of the good ones. Pete has an incredibly varied blog, with posts that deal with movie reviews, every day life, and even his own (well written) stories. But above all Pete is an incredibly kind blogger, who always has a nice thing to say and is incredibly supportive. Pete has been nominated with his blog for the Annual bloggers bash. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure to run across Pete, press on the link above, and start following him already. And while you are doing that give him a vote as well on the post below. As for everyone else that already knows and loves him: show that same support he always gives you, and go vote already: I already did! Let’s all keep our fingers crossed and hope Pete wins, because he most certainly deserves it! As he always says himself: best wishes Pete! 😊

 

Originally posted on The Annual Bloggers Bash: It’s that time of year again… The 2019 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards are now open. As always, we had a huge number of nominations. So let me thank everyone who took the time to nominate their fellow bloggers. Without you guys nominating, there would be no bash awards.…

via The Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 2019 Vote is LIVE! — beetleypete

Kingdom Season 1, Korean drama series (2019)

Zombies. I can hear fatique all around when people hear that word nowadays. The zombie genre is quite honestly dead. (Oh come on, I had to use that pun at least once right?) Seriously though, it’s hard to find something original in that genre these days. Pretty much everything has been done to it, that can be done to it, and it takes as much effort to bring this genre back to life as it does to bring back a corpse. Okay, okay I’ll stop with the puns, I didn’t know you would get mad, jeezzz. But then again, as with everything there are always exceptions. The Walking Dead for instance is having a very strong comeback this season, and it seems there is still a lot of life in it despite the departure of Andrew Lincoln. For those of you that have been keeping tabs on it, two weeks or so ago, there was a shocking episode that many have called the best episode since the show started. I don’t know about that, but I do know it was good. Especially with the shock factor.

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I have heard some men become obsessed with women, but this is taking it to a new level. 

Now, when you see the title of this post, I can already hear you wondering why on Earth am I talking about zombies when I am about to review a Korean drama? Because really there must be some kind of error. A mix up of sorts. Erm….no there isn’t. The Korean drama Kingdom is a historical piece set in Korea’s Joseon period. And it features….zombies. When it comes to original ideas, I have to say the setting alone is enough to convince you that this is really something that hasn’t been done before. It’s also one of the show’s greatest strengths. Beautiful cinematography, exquisite costumes, and incredible sets bring the historical setting to the small screen in a very big way. In fact it’s done so well, one would almost forget that this is a tv series and not some kind of big budget movie. This is all good and well, but looks alone are of course not enough to make something fun to watch. No, for that you also need a decent story and characters that one can identify with. So what does Kingdom do on that front?

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In medieval times this was how they held a marathon. 

In Kingdom the story focusses on Yi-Chang a man who is next in line for the throne. With strange notices cropping up all over the country claiming that the King is dead, and the crown prince should be crowned immediately as the new King, that moment might be coming sooner than Yi-Chang had expected. But is the King really dead? One night Yi-Chang decides to investigate, and enters the palace in search of his father. But instead of the King, he encounters a dark shadow behind a curtain that looks like a terrifying monster. Fleeing the palace and accompanied by his trusty personal guard Moo-Young he sets out on a journey to find out the truth about what’s going on. Sinister forces are at work though, and an evil mastermind is behind a conspiracy to overthrow the throne, and bring darkness to the country. A horrible plague is slowly taking hold of the populace, and as more and more people become infected Yi-Chang becomes ever more desperate to find a solution to all of it. However that is by no means an easy feat…..

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Medical care has come a long way since then….

Kingdom takes the zombie genre in a new and fresh direction. It’s a story that isn’t only about flesh eating monsters, but also has many other things going for it like conspiracies at the royal court and politics. While this last bit might sound boring, I can assure you it isn’t. Having no real knowledge of Korea’s ancient history it’s nice to see some of the customs that were involved back in those days. While of course this is a totally fictional account, the historical aspects of it all certainly look very convincing. What’s also nice is the fact that the zombies in this show aren’t acting in the way that those shambling corpses usually do. They have their own set of unique rules, and at times even seem to share traits with one of those other legendary monsters: the vampires. This of course being a zombie show there is some blood and gore in it, but it comes nowhere close to the level of for instance the Walking Dead.

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Green Arrow’s ancient precursor: The Blue Arrow

It’s on the character department that the show doesn’t shine so bright. Most of them are (so far at least) pretty bland. Actor Ju Ji-hoon brings to life the crown prince, and while he does a decent job of it, I would have liked it if his character just had a little bit more background. His guard played by Kim Sang-ho was honestly my favorite. He acts pretty much as the comedic relief in what otherwise would have been a pretty dark show. There are many others introduced as well, most notably the physician Seo-Bi and the show’s bad guy minister Cho Hak-ju but all of them just fail to leave a very lasting impression. This doesn’t mean that this ruins the show though. With this being the first season of the series that sadly only lasts six episodes, this pretty much feels like the characters have now been set up on the board and the real game is about to begin. Kingdom is a really interesting and fun series to watch, especially if you are a fan of for instance Train to Busan , still my favorite zombie movie to date. It’s a unique take on the genre, that many feel like it might be walking towards it’s own death. Okay, that was really the last one.

I give Kingdom a 8 out of 10 score.

 

 

Breaking the silence…

Remember that scene from Star Wars where Obi Wan Kenobi suddenly stands still after the destruction of Alderaan and says “ As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced” ? While this is of course a very dramatic moment, and comes nowhere close to something I would compare to this blog, it’s been a long time since my voice was heard here. When I wrote my Finding Balance….. post way back in November, I didn’t realise that things would turn into pretty much a complete absence on my part. A lot has happened since then, and even though I popped up every once in a while the last few months, I can honestly say that I was (and still am) pretty much out of the wonderful world of WordPress. So…with this my first post since almost two months, does this mean things are going to be changing? Erm….well….yes and no. But let’s first adress what’s going on with me, until I get to the blog itself.

Health

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I imagine this is what’s been going on in my body (although White Blood Cell is doing a lousy job)

One of the main reasons I have been away from here so long is my health. I have been extremely tired, but more annoying is my stomache that has been causing me all sorts of problems for over 4 months now. I have had an enormous amount of tests, one of them being a stomache examination that felt like a new type of torture, and so far all of them haven’t yielded any results. Walking around with pain for such a long time, and not really knowing what’s going on, is becoming pretty frustrating. On top of that, as some of you know, my father had an operation last year to his back. Unfortunately, that operation didn’t go quite as planned, and he is in extreme pain every day now. Where my pain is at least manageable and on some days not really there, my father’s isn’t. He is currently awaiting a scan, and until that time is on pain medication (which unfortunately doesn’t really relieves his pain). So…the short summary of this is that things have been pretty FUBAR the past few weeks. (Just google FUBAR if you don’t know what that acronym stands for lol).

Moral Support

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Me smiling and blushing after some of the messages I received from you guys!

I’m an optimistic guy and I always try to stay as positive as I can about things, but I have to admit that it’s been hard lately trying to keep feeling like that. It’s been four months now, since this whole thing started, and I’m still not any closer to finding out what’s wrong. And I feel even worse for my dad. But there are bright notes as well, and one of them has been the overwhelming amount of support I have been getting from all of you. So many people have sent me a message on either twitter, or email, or through the blog, checking in on how I am doing or lending moral support. You don’t know even know how much that has meant to me. It never failed to put a smile on my face, especially as luck would sometimes have it, on days that I really needed it. So seriously thank you so much for that. I don’t even know how I will ever be able to repay you all, but I will think of something. A Lannister always pays his debts…..erm…whoops, sorry I guess I am already getting excited for that final season of Game of Thrones.

So….what else?

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What do you mean…..out of touch with anime……..???!?!??!

One question that might also be on your minds is, what has this guy been up to the past few months. Honestly less than you might think. One thing that I have really been out of touch with is anime. Yes, I know, how on Earth could I do something like that right? Good question, and one for which I unfortunately don’t have an answer. But, a new season of anime is luckily right around the corner, so hopefully I will be able to pick up a few shows (preferably good ones) and get back into that fantastic medium again. Netflix has been kind of my to go to place lately. I have watched a lot of shows on that, including a lot of movies. Some were good, some were mediocre, and some were just downright bad. But it’s been nice to just turn off your brain, especially on bad days, and just watch something on Netflix hoping to discover a hidden gem. Another thing I have been doing is reading a lot. With a library of books and comics that I probably will never complete in my lifetime, it was nice to read some things that had been gathering dust on my shelves for years.

So….what now?

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If only I could have hands like this…I could type a post in what..10 seconds? 

And now of course one question remains unanswered: what about my blog? This being an update post, and still not a “real” post so to speak, one has to wonder if I will ever get back to writing about what I started this blog for in the first place. In a round about way that brings me back to the first paragraph of this post: yes and no. With my health still being what it is, I just can’t go back to blogging in the capacity that I did before I left on my hiatus. I loved bloghopping, leaving comments all over the place, and writing posts of my own two to three times a week. That being said, I do miss blogging. I miss the interaction with everyone, reading posts and commenting on them, and sharing my own thoughts on things that I have watched or read myself. So in that regard I want to try and  release a new post at least once a week. And by post I mean a real post, either a review, or some of the other things that I used to write about on this blog. I don’t want to make promises that I can’t keep, so that is why I added the word: try. I also want to try and check out at least once or twice a week posts that you wrote, as I have been completely missing in action from WordPress. Again no promises on that, as it all depends on what kind of mood my stomache is in.

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I am….at your mercy!

Well, if you made it to the end of this post, I guess I did manage to keep your attention and didn’t bore you to death: phew, breathes sigh of relief. After all this talking about myself, I’m also interested to know how you are doing! Leave a comment and let me know. If you wrote a post that you have been proud of, and want me to know about, let me know that too, and I will see if I can find some time to check that out. And of course any recommendations for new shows, movies, anime, books and stuff like that are also welcome. For now, this is me signing off and wishing you all a great weekend. But not before saying one more time how grateful I am to be a part of this community. If you are new to blogging, and are maybe still doubting if you should sometimes comment on posts, leave those doubts behind. Take it from me, you will meet some wonderful people here, that will turn into real friends. And that in short, is what life is all about, and turns it bright even in darker times….

 

The wordpress anime awards 2018: Ladies and Gentlemen, the results are in!

Hello everybody,

What better way to start the year then with a look back, or more precisely the results of the first ever anime awards that were held on WordPress. After a careful selection by a wonderful group of performers: Cactus Matt, Derek Lyons, Marthaurion, Matt Doyle, Jon Spencer, Karandi, Star & Luna, BiblioNyan, Lethargic Ramblings, Ano Nora, Ty-chama, Mech Anime Reviews, itsaanimething, and myself, our intrepid ringmaster the great and wonderful Ayano presented all the categories to you in this  amazing post. After that all of you voted for your favorites for which we all thank you so much! But alas, the carnival closed at the stroke of midnight on december the 31st 2018. However, the carnival has one last trick up it’s sleave, and that’s presenting you with the results of your votes. Before I get to that, I want to thank all the performers named above for their wonderful contributions. Without you this amazing project would not have been possible.

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Yes, let’s all take a bow!

But I save the final thanks for Ayano, who’s tireless efforts on this project was truly the driving force without whom these awards would never have seen the light of day. So really, thank you and be proud of yourself! I have had a blast participating in this, and can only hope that this year we can do it again! (Hint, hint, hint). Now…without further ado:

And the winners are: (drumroll please…..)

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Best girl:

Winner: Hinata Kawamoto from March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2

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Runner up: Anzu from Hinamatsuri

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Best Boy:

Winner: IzukuDekuMidoriya from My Hero Academia Season 3

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Runner up: Honda-san from Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san

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Best Manga or Light Novel:

Winner: Attack on Titan

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Runner up: Spice and Wolf (New Release)

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Best Film:

Winner: My Hero Academia: Two Heroes

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Runner up: Night is Short, Walk on Girl

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Breakout Anime of the Year:

Winner: Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny-girl Senpai

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Runner up: A Place Further than the Universe

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Best Opening Song:

Winner: “Odd Future” from My Hero Academia Season 3


Runner up: “Here” from The Ancient Magus Bride

Best Ending Song:

Winner: “Akatsuki no Requiem” from Attack on Titan Season 3


Runner up: “Silent Solitude” from Overlord Season 3

Best Character Design:

Winner: Violet from Violet Evergarden

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Runner up: Zero Two from Darling in the FranXX

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Best Fight:

Winner: All Might VS One for All from My Hero Academia Season 3

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Runner up: Levi Ackerman VS Kenny Ackerman from Attack on Titan Season 3

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Best WTF?! Moment:

Winner: The entire series of Darling in the FranXX

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Runner up: JoJo’s bizarre dance scene in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 5: Golden Win

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Best Supporting Character:

Winner: Platelets in Cells at Work

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Runner up: Rio Futaba in Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny-girl Senpai

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Best Ship:

Winner: SakutaXMai from Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny-girl Senpai

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Runner up: NarumiXHirotaka from Love is Hard for an Otaku

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Most Likely To Cosplay:

Winner: Zero Two from Darling in the FranXX

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Runner up: (Tie) White Blood Cell from Cells at Work & Sugimoto Saichi from Golden Kamuy

Best Animation:

Winner: Violet Evergarden

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Runner up: (Tie) March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2 & Attack on Titan Season 3

Best Hero:

Winner: All Might from My Hero Academia Season 3

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Runner up: Slime from That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime

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Best Villain

Winner: All for One from My Hero Academia Season 3

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Runner up: Akane Shinjo from SSSS.Gridman

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Best Continuing Series:

Winner: March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2

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Runner up: Attack on Titan Season 3

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Funniest Scene:

Winner: That isn’t water in Grand Blue


Runner up: Party or a funeral in Hinamatsuri

Most Disappointing Anime:

Winner: Darling in the FranXX

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Runner up: Tokyo Ghoul:re Second Season

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Anime of the Year:

Winner: A Place Further than the Universe

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Runner up: Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny-girl Senpai

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Well….and that as they say is all there is. Hopefully one of your choices made the cut! Thanks all for making this a truly wonderful first WordPress Anime Awards!

Merry Christmas to you all (A special post, and life update)

Hello everyone. So next week it’s Christmas and most of you will probably be celebrating this event with all of your loved ones. A few weeks ago I announced the fact that I would be taking a step back from blogging. At the time I thought that I would at least still be around albeit in a lesser capacity. Sadly as most of you have noticed that hasn’t been the case. Since my announcement life decided to throw me a curveball, and it seems my being tired and lacking energy has a different reason than just the work stress and life being generally busy. But I will get to that in a moment. One of the reasons I am writing this post is to also say that life without blogging is….quiet. As most of you know that have been following me for a long while, blogging has been a big part of my life for almost three years. It’s been strange, coming home and not tuning in to wordpress reading posts and commenting on them. But one of the biggest things that I have been missing is you guys.

Health

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I take any excuse to put up a picture of the platelets….

My lack of energy and generally being tired was steadily becoming worse. So much worse in fact that I eventually consulted a doctor and after a bloodtest it was confirmed that I have an extreme lack of Vitamine D. To give you a small indication. A normal, healthy person should be at a rate of about 70, I have a rate of 10. Yes…you read that correctly a rate of 10. That pretty much explains the fact why I have been feeling so tired these past few weeks. As annoying as this is, I could honestly live with that. I am getting medication for it, and hopefully my levels will go up again eventually. But, unfortunately this is not the only thing that is going on. For the past 3 weeks I have been having a lot of problems with my stomache. Eating something usually results in either getting a very bloated stomache, or feeling nauseous, or a combination of the two. The meds I am taking for that aren’t really helping, and as it’s looking now after the holiday season I will be getting more tests to find out what’s going on. It’s been a pretty horrible couple of weeks, with some good days, but also some pretty bad days. Honestly I am quite done with it, thank you very much.

Promises

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Sigh…are we really back to apologising now……

One of the things I regret a lot is not having been able to keep the promises that I made. I have luckily been able to complete the collab posts with Irina and participated in the WordPress Anime Awards, for which I am very grateful. Both were incredibly fun projects and I’m glad that I fortunately still had time (and energy) to work on those. But original content from me like for instance the review for the Korean drama Voice and other stuff that I announced, those promises I unfortunately wasn’t able to keep. I have not even answered all of the comments on some of my last posts, and I truly am sorry for that. Believe me when I say that I appreciate all the kind words, and heartwarming comments that I have received from so many of you. It really isn’t my intention to ignore you, but there have been days where pretty much all I did after work was fall asleep or lie in my bed trying to watch something on Netflix. I am playing catch up, and sometimes it might take me a while, but I will eventually get to answering all of them.

So…..what now?

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Yeah….this really is one of my new addictions (as if I didn’t have enough of those yet…)

Because of my health, starting this week I have begun working less hours, six instead of my usual eight. On a particularly bad day this week, I even returned home sick and crawled back into bed. I am not doing a lot when I come home, and spent my free hours either resting or watching some dvd/Netflix (I have developped a particular addiction to the CW Arrowverse universe lol). All in all I am feeling like a guy well past his eighties instead of my own age. It sucks, for lack of a better word, but at the same time I also felt that I just had to write a post for all of you nearing the holiday season. Because as annoying as all this might be, I also know that I quite honestly do miss blogging and all of you. Does this mean that I will be returning soon? Erm…no. I first have to get my health back in some kind of reasonable shape, before I even attempt to return to some type of schedule. I hope that after the holiday season, the new tests will be able to establish what’s currently going on inside my body, and return it back into fighting shape.

Christmas and the future…

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Best….Christmas movie….ever??? FOR REAL?!?!

So why this post then? It’s Christmas, and as cheesy as this may sound, it’s one of my favorite times of the year. I love the cozyness of it all, the way we spent time with our families, eating good food, watching Home Alone for maybe the one millionth time (although I am more partial to Die Hard myself) and just generally enjoying ourselves. Even though this Christmas might not be the same for me as the years that came before it, (especially on the food department) I do intend to make the best of it. For Christmas is more than food, it’s just enjoying each other’s company that usually makes it the best. At the same time I also wanted to wish each and every one of you an incredibly awesome Christmas. All of you that have left a like, placed a comment, or in some other way supported me throughout the past few years that I have been blogging: Thank you. This community is and always shall be: awesome! I don’t know what the new year will be bringing, but I do intend to make some kind of return here as soon as I am back in shape. So…don’t write me off just yet. For now though, at the risk of sounding like a bad Hallmark movie (sorry Nicole), may your holiday season be very bright, and all the best for the upcoming year.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!! 🎅🎅🎅🎅🎅🎅

 

 

Step Right Up, Folks! Don’t Be Shy. Be Prepared To Witness The Whimsical, The Outlandish, And The First Ever WordPress Anime Awards!

If you like anime, be sure to check out this post. It’s the first ever WordPress Anime Awards. A series of judges, including myself, have compiled a fun series of categories where you can cast your vote and decide which anime series are worthy. The driving force behind this project is Ayano, who has worked incredibly hard on this and definitely deserves all the praise. So be sure to check out the post, cast your votes, and if you are not yet subscribed to her blog yet, definitely do that as well. You won’t regret it! 😊

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Come one, come all to the first ever WordPress Anime Awards! 

We’ve got lions and tigers and heroic boys, oh my! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages we have a vast array of voting categories for you to be entertained by. Come join us as we aim to please you from start to finish. Listen to the melodic anime opening and ending songs from 2018, laugh at the funniest moments this year had to offer, be thrilled by the perilous anime films that made their debut amongst the people, marvel at all the great characters that made you smile or cry while watching their journey…Only at the 2018 WordPress Anime Awards!

All of these acts were carefully chosen by a wondrous group of performers. These performers include Cactus Matt, Derek Lyons, Marthaurion, Raistlin, Matt Doyle, Jon Spencer, Karandi,

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A D-mail conversation with Raistlin (part 6)

All good things come to an end, as I am afraid we have reached the last installment of my collab post with the wonderful Irina. If you haven’t already, check out last week’s part over on Irina’s blog. Before I move on to the final part, on a personal note I want to apologise for not having responded to some comments left on this post. Trust me it’s not because I am ignoring you but it’s because currently I am really not feeling like my usual self. It’s hard to even write a comment sometimes or find any spark of energy to even write someting. I am sad that I have missed out on a lot of posts, and haven’t been able to keep my promise for still being around here. I am doing my best to find that energy again, so please be patient with me if you can. Now, before this becomes way too depressing, on to the fun stuff: Part 6 of the Steins;Gate review. I hope you will enjoy it, and thank you again Irina for doing this amazing project with me. It’s been a blast!

Inbox Gmail: Raistlin 0903, dated 2017/18/02

From: Irina

Contrast is key

Hello everyone, it’s Raistlin (yeah who else would it be). I’m back again to continue the review of the time travel epic anime series Steins; Gate. I hope you are all ready for this as we are entering the final arc of this series. And you know that’s where things can really go wrong. We all have probably seen countless examples of enjoying something thoroughly, and having the final ruin everything that came before. The past hours I have felt this weird pressure as if someone is overlooking my every move. It’s nothing quite as sinister as The Organisation that is looking over my shoulder, but more a guiding and helping hand that makes sure that I don’t screw this up. As I said before, this is an important review. I’m writing it to make sure that everyone ends up loving this series as much as I have. But also for that blogger that I have mentioned that you all still haven’t met. I have, she is an amazing friend, and the impact she will have on this community will be felt throughout the centuries. Irina is her name: don’t forget it, you will thank me later.

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Nothing to see here….move on please…..

Okay in the last segment I talked about the fact that the first segment while slow, is very important, a joy to watch, and probably even the best thing about this entire anime.I have also let it shine through that the second half of the show is much darker. But exactly what do I mean with that, and how does it hold up in the overall scheme of things? I’m not going to tell you what happens because I have pretty much always avoided putting spoilers in my post, so I am not going to start now. Suffice it to say though that when that shift in tone occurs, you won’t be ready for it. There were very subtle hints in the first half, another thing that’s so clever about Steins;Gate. But the true shock will hit you like a sledgehammer. It will wrench your gut, and it will make you cry. You might even feel as if you are slowly suffering a heart attack. And after it happens, the anime shifts gears. Radically. It almost seems as if you are watching an entirely different show.

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What do you mean we are watching an entirely different show??!!

I often had a hard time wondering what this series wanted itself to be. But looking back now that is pretty much exactly what you shouldn’t be doing. You see, what happens in this second half is that it creates an atmosphere of true desperation. A lot of things that seemed so very innocent in the beginning turned out to have very dire consequences. And you feel Okabe’s sense of urgency. You feel his heartbreak, his need to fix things in the right way. But maybe some things can’t be fixed. Or when they are fixed, they might leave a timeline that is even worse than the one created now. And I do say timeline, because the build up to the real time travelling aspects of the show, come to the fore in this second half. Think full on Back to the Future stuff and then some. As someone who really loves everything that even has a single spark of time travelling in it, I think this is where Steins;Gate really shines the most. And not for the reasons you might think. It’s not just the way that this show handles the concept of time travel itself.

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Jeezzzz…..you are really making me upset here…..

No, what makes the time travel really work is the way this series is built up. The first half lures you in with this sense of calm, the funny dialogues, the establishing of the relationships, in short it seems to set the tone for the entire anime. At least that’s what you think. There are of course hints thrown your way that you might not pick up on until much later. And then that second half hits you: the tone is dark, the characters you know suddenly are much different when what you are used to, and you might even wonder where the series you loved so much all of a sudden disappeared to. But once the initial shock dissipates, you begin to go on the same journey that Okabe is going on. You want him to succeed at fixing things. You cry when he fails another attempt. You feel the sense of dread that maybe it won’t end happily. Every time jump into the past your heart races, hoping that maybe this is the one where our favorite mad scientist succeeds.

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Okay, we are done, let’s go drink some Dr. Pepper.

Steins;Gates’ contrast in tones is a stroke of genius. And I appreciate the show even more for doing it in this way. It takes a concept that at first seems very innocent to a level that you simply would not expect when you first start with this anime. If all my writing about this hasn’t been enough yet to convince you that you should really check this one out, then I don’t know what I can do more. Well, maybe there is one last thing. Somewhere, in the future, a time traveller called Irina will appear. Her identity right now is still hidden in mystery. When she first appears, you might not even realise her greatness yet. Almost like Steins;Gate she lures you in very cleverly. But make no mistake. Her blogging skills are awe inspiring and will blow you away. One day out of the blue, she will start to talk about this anime. And she will convince you even more to go and watch it than I have done. If for some reason the first time you might not have enjoyed Steins; Gate, try it again. Because who knows? Maybe time will change things for you…….Psy El Congroo……

A D-mail conversation with Raistlin (part 4)

Hello everyone! It’s time to continue with the next installment of the collab post for Steins; Gate with the totally awesome Irina. We are on to part 4 already, time (pun intended) really does fly when you are having fun. Just in case you missed the previous part from last week over on Irina’s blog, here is a link to that third part. Right, all done reading? Than let’s get one with the next part: enjoy!

Inbox Gmail: Raistlin 0903, dated 2017/18/02

From: Irina

Good things take time

Hi guys! So are you all ready to continue with my review for Steins;Gate? Of course you are. Now, you all know that this is an important review, because as I mentioned before that this is an anime that is beloved by many. So if I mess this up in some way, I’m sure the backlash on this will be gigantic. Especially by this one very special blogger you all still have to meet called Irina. It’s like her favorite show, but I guess you all don’t know that yet, and this is all starting to sound way too confusing. Now don’t deny it, I can see all those frowns appearing on your foreheads. So, let’s get back to why we are all here: the review itself.

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What exactly is this guy rambling about?

In the last segment I spoke about the fact that the cast of characters is really amazing. But if that great cast has a script that doesn’t work, it kind of puts a damper on the whole thing doesn’t it? The first half of this series is slow. And slow can be boring when it’s not done right. Luckily that is not the case with this anime. This show is very dialogue driven. And the first half of this series establishes the relationships between all these characters that you will grow to love. The way it goes about doing this though is really terrific. A great example is the comedic banter between Okabe and Kurisu. As mentioned our “mad scientis” can at times be a little off, and it’s Kurisu that keeps him grounded. But this often results in some hilarious exchanges. It’s like having a conversation with a lifelong friend. You know how that is right? When these first start it almost seems as if the two don’t like each other. But…as the series progresses you will see how these conversations were very subtle in laying the groundwork for the bond that grows between these two.

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Ah…now THAT makes sense.

Even more important is establishing the friendship between Okabe and Mayuri. Rintaro might at times seem totally nuts, but when it comes to protecting this incredibly sweet girl he always changes his tune. When you first hear that Mayuri is supposedly his prisoner, you wonder what that exactly means. But as with most things in this show that also has a completely different side to it. I’m not going to say what that side is for that would spoil things for you. Suffice it to say though that you really get the feeling that there is nothing that can come between these two. Okabe is always there for her, and she for him. Even though at times through some of their conversations you might think that they both have a couple of screws loose in their heads.

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Some friendships last a lifetime.

Steins; Gates’ first half is full of these things. Sometimes there are moments during these episodes where you start to wonder where the show is going with this. Trust me, it all has a reason. For one thing it’s providing you, the viewer, with a great background to all of these characters. You know those shows where you simply don’t care about what happens to someone? In this anime that just simply doesn’t exist. Every time a new character is introduced it takes it’s time to let him or her fit into the scheme of things. And ofcourse Rintaro keeps adding them to his lab members (Yeah I know, he is not very good at keeping secrets, even though he himself thinks he is doing a great job). But another very important reason is the fact that when the show shifts into it’s darker second half, it will shock you to the core. Without going into spoiler territory, something happens that would have had less impact, if the show didn’t spent so much time with this great cast to begin with.

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Okay, thanks for clearing all this up…even though it did still sound like a bit of a ramble.

It’s at that precise moment that you truly appreciate what the series has done in the beginning. And you realise how clever it really is. It’s something you might not even discover the first time you watch this. It might depend on your mood, or maybe hearing about the fact that it’s a show about time travelling you expect it to go into that territory right away. Trust me though: it’s better this way. Steins;Gate takes it’s time but that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable in that first half. I might even go so far as saying that I liked it’s first half even more. (But heck don’t get me wrong this entire anime is amazing). But what I loved about it is the fact that you almost feel like you are becoming a part of a family, or a wonderful group of friends. Because it focuses on things we can all relate to: laughter, insecurity, love, sadness, and a whole range of other emotions. It’s part of everyday life, and even though the story for this anime of course is science fiction, it never loses sight of one of the most important things to have in life: true friendship. So, keep all this in mind when you are watching that first part of the story.