Kimi ni Todoke – Review

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The first time I watched Kimi ni TodokeFrom me to you, was actually a few years before I had even started blogging. Recently I revisited this great anime so that I could refresh myself to review it. (Well, that and I just love this anime.)

Before I go into the storyline and such, I want to mention that I love the animation style of this anime. It’s really beautifully drawn, but it also dips into the incredibly humorous chibi style that you’d expect from comedic scenes. There are also enough sparkles in this show to put a diamond-crusted tiara to shame, but they’re used quite properly.

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Kimi ni Todoke follows the story of Kuronuma Sawako, a high school girl who has been misunderstood since middle school because a classmate accidentally called her Sadako (The girl from The Ring) and it stuck due to her resemblance to the horror character. After a chance encounter with an extroverted and popular guy, Kazehaya Shouta, on their way to the entrance ceremonies their first year of high school, he gradually begins to interact with her openly at school. Because of this she starts to be noticed by her classmates, makes friends, and much more.

I will say right away that I absolutely love this anime. If I were to choose one word describe it, it would be “heartwarming. This is a story about a young woman discovering what it means to have true and caring relationships with others. It’s the gradual character growth here that really gets me. There is a great balance of touching highs and heart wrenching lows in this show, and it doesn’t entirely revolve around the romance. Sawako has to grasp what it means to be a friend, have friends, and grows from there. The title really says it all. Sawako is learning to communicate her feelings to the important people in her life. I.E.: “From me to you”. 

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If you are a person that needs instant gratification (kissing and such) from a romance anime, then you may be barking up the wrong tree. This is a story of Sawako first learning to simply be more social and then working her way toward understanding the romantic feelings that grow between her and Shouta. However, don’t let that dissuade you if you love romance. In Kimi ni Todoke the romance is incredibly sweet. There are plenty  of butterfly-inducing romantic moments between Shouta and Sawako! Trust this twenty-six year old woman when she says that some of the scenes had her giddy and sighing happily like the hopeless romantic that she is.

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Kimi ni Todoke had me in every hue of my emotional rainbow. I was hopeful, happy, sad, frustrated, disappointed, giddy, anxious, tense, amused, and entertained. This isn’t a fast-paced hyper dramatic anime by any means, but if you enjoy floating through a wide array of emotions (mostly the happier sort) then you may enjoy this one. I highly recommend it to anyone – especially if you’re wanting to take a break from many of the darker anime’s out there.

Sawako and Shouta are definitely in my top 3 favorite anime couples!

Just look at how adorable they are!

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Geek Girl Dress Code?

As Classic Game Fest edges closer, I find myself wondering what I should wear. Most girls do this when an event of any kind comes up to varying degrees. Is it going to be the cute skirt or skinny jeans? Hair up or hair down? It’s pretty common! However, I had an epiphany as I considered what to wear.

As a geek, I am having so much more trouble deciding on what to wear. Why? Because I’m a geek who is a girl. I am weighing the pro’s and con’s of what to wear based on how the outfit will be perceived/received on a geek level higher than whether or not it looks good on me.

Shame on me!

Here are the questions I’ve asked myself and the immediate responses in my head. These are the perfect examples of what the geek society has done to a geek girl’s mind!

Option #1: Should I pick out one of my geeky shirts and wear it with jeans?

“I like this. This would be comfortable, and I can pick out my favorite shirt and wear it so that everyone can see what I’m into.”

I love my geek shirts. I wear them everywhere so it only seems natural that I should do this. However, it feels like I’m trying to find a way to validate myself to other attendee’s, the guys primarily. Will they believe that I like Mario or will they think that I’m trying too hard so it must be a lie? I’m wondering, “How do I prove that I’m a real geek?”

Option #2: Should I go girly and wear something more feminine?

“Hm, I don’t know. I wouldn’t fit in if I did that. I would look displaced or like my boyfriend just dragged me along.”

There is so much wrong with this that I don’t know where to start. I really can’t believe I even had those thoughts, but that’s what this society does to you! You are made to feel like you constantly have to validate yourself. How much knowledge do you have on <this>? How much merchandise do you have of <this>? How long have you been a fan of <this>? You get the gist!

Option #3: Should I cosplay?

“That would be so much fun! Which character should I be? Well, I better find one that isn’t too revealing. – Oh, it looks like a lot of the female characters have revealing outfits. I’m just not comfortable with that.”

I’m not saying that ALL female characters in the geek industry wear revealing outfits, but a lot of them do! Not only that, but most of their body proportions are either itty-bitty tiny or nearly impossible ultra-voluptuous with teeny waists. There are girls that fit one category and others that manage utilize tools available in order to make the other work, but most of us can’t find a happy medium when it comes cosplaying. Even if we did find that happy place, that doesn’t mean that every one of us are comfortable with nearly baring it all!

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This is not to say that I’m not impressed by great cosplay. I’m just not impressed with the options out there for the average female!

I will say that I am incredibly relieved that I caught myself having these thoughts and banished them. I shouldn’t have to validate myself to anyone; not only as a geek but as a geek girl!

If I want to wear a frilly pink lacy dress that doesn’t even remotely look geeky then I’m going to go right ahead! I don’t know of any rule that says a geek girl can’t be girly!

The lovely Albinwonderland is the perfect example of geeky and girly!

Everyone should be able to feel comfortable in their own skin and in their own clothes. I disdain the fact that geek society has either pushed standards onto geek girls or claimed that we don’t exist at all.

We do exist, and I’ll wear whatever the hell I want to Classic Game Fest!

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Akatsuki no Yona: Yona of the Dawn – Review

Anime has and will always been on my radar. I’ll admit that I haven’t watched any in a long time, but then I’ve always had a hard time finding anything of quality. Finally, I found one!

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Akatsuki no Yona follows the story of Princess Yona, a sheltered princess raised by her pacifist father within the safe walls of the castle and protected by her bodyguard and childhood friend, Hak. Her second childhood friend, Soo-won, comes to visit for her birthday at the start of it. Yona plans to use this opportunity to reveal her romantic feelings for Soo-Won, but that never comes to pass since Soo-Won betrays her and her family. Hak intervenes, saves Yona, and they escape the castle. After visiting an oracle, Yona is advised to seek out the power of the reincarnated four dragons.

Cliché storyline aside, this anime surprised me! I am very wary of anime where characters go from ignorant to highly skilled in two episodes.  Sure, I found myself annoyed by the naïve nature of the princess at the start of things, but this is a story of self-discovery and identity. You watch this innocent young girl, through the hardships she encounters, grow into a brave woman.

Of course, she doesn’t do this alone. The princess goes on a journey to locate the reincarnations of the four dragons as expected. They each take on guardian type roles, but that doesn’t render her a helpless figure in the show. I guess you can say that’s my favorite aspect of this anime and of the character. I love that she is surrounded by those that wish to protect her, but she is so adamant about being strong herself that you can’t help but admire her.

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As the anime progresses, you are introduced to new characters and their stories.

Warning: You will become attached to many characters.

They each have unique upbringings and pasts, but they are damn endearing. Of course, they all have different personalities and abilities as well. Being the reincarnations of powerful dragons, they are strong fighters.

Yay, fight scenes!

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Fighting aside, there is a lot of relationship development that occurs between each of the guys and Princess Yona. They each have their own connection with her, but you have to know that there is a romantic interest there!  Luckily it isn’t over the top nor is it nonexistent. It’s sweet and their relationship develops slowly just as it should. There’s no magical “Omg, I’m so in love”- Goo-goo eyes after one episode.

Comedy isn’t missing either, mind you! Most of this is the banter between particular characters. The dynamic between all them is more than entertaining.

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Be prepared to want and need a Season 2 after this first one, however.  I very much appreciate the time they take to let you get to know the characters, their pasts, and their journey both physical and emotional, but it does take time; a whole season’s worth.

I hope that this anime does go over well in Japan since that’s usually the deciding factor in additional seasons. Until then, I recommend that you check this anime out and see if you like it for yourself!

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Golden Age of Geekdom

What does it mean to be a geek in 2015?

The first thing that comes to mind is how differently people view geeks. When I was growing up, the terms “geek” and “nerd” still carried negative connotations. This is probably because games that were not physical were considered geeky or nerdy. (Both terms were used interchangeably when I was young.) To be accepted, you were physically active in sports. Playing table top games or even video games were still viewed in a negative light.

Being a geek in 2015 is now a common thing, and honestly, I’m ok with that.

Let me explain. I enjoy that my favorite things are a common sight in stores. I get to easily buy more of what I like. I also love that I run into more geeks in my everyday life since they are no longer ashamed for being the way they are. We don’t have to hide our geekiness in this day and age, and that’s a great thing.

Generations of geeks who were shamed are now grown and no longer afraid to show their true colors. In turn, they’ve taught younger geeks that it’s ok to be who they are. Basically we have generations of geeks that are no longer embarrassed to be geeks! Why should we be upset about that?

In no way do I mean that I’m ok with people pretending to be geeks in order to fit in.  There have always been people who lie to fit in. Even when I was young, people would do things out of their nature to be accepted. Today, that still happens. We have young people who want to fit in and being a geek is now one of those ways.

I will say, however, that a newbie may seem like a pretender. We may assume that because the person is unfamiliar with “X” subject that they’re a fake. This isn’t true, people! It may be that the person is simply new to that fandom, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ll be the first to admit that while I am a fan of Ironman, I’m not super knowledgeable on the character. That doesn’t make me any less of a geek or fan.

In 2015, we can be loud and proud that we’re geeks. We are sitting smack dab in the middle of a golden age for geeks. Yes, I went there!  The geeks of the past have grown out of being timid and so younger generations feel like they can be themselves. We’re in a time where we can turn on the TV and watch shows on comic book heroes, step into any department stores and walk out with geeky clothes, and wear glasses without being called four-eyes! Instead of worrying about who is or isn’t a geek or that anyone can be a geek (What a nightmare! <insert eye-roll>), we should be celebrating!

So while other geeks may be getting all worked up, I’ll be over here enjoying the fact that I get to live in this golden age!

Fictional Heroes

Do you look up to a character in a book, comic, or movie?

They may be fictional, but you know they can still influence you as much as any living breathing person.

I truly believe that. I grew up looking up to more fictional character than actual people. From the books I read to the video games I played, I had a variety of fictional heroes. These people were strong, determined, loyal, but were also vulnerable and conflicted. I can’t say whether or not my fascination had to do with my blossoming imagination, but I really connected with these characters.

Now you may think that flying and having super fast reflexes is the coolest thing ever. You may also be fascinated with extraordinary journeys through fantastic lands.  We all are. What I think others don’t see is how we connect with the characters beyond the fiction. They may have super powers or accomplish extraordinary things, but we see beyond that.

Take Superman, for example. Here we have a superhero that can absorb solar energy, fly, has superhuman strength, x-ray vision, and heat vision. When people see a picture of superman or flip through a comic, these are the things they think of. When a fan thinks of Superman, they think of far more. They sympathize with his humble beginnings, appreciate his love for his family, and admire his dedication to protect others. These traits are what his fans really connect with.

When we understand their nature beyond all the fictitious elements, we are truly able to appreciate the character. At the same time, their negative traits make them human and more relatable. We may have experienced something similar to our favorite character and that makes them feel all the more real.

That is credit to the author/creator. They’ve breathed real life into these characters; so much so that we become fond of them, look up to them, strive to be like them.

Some of today’s society might look upon that as wrong. They might say that people who do that live in a fantasy world and that they’re not in touch with reality. I say this isn’t true. A story is a story, in my opinion. A book from the library might tell of the struggles of a man in a war, and I might read about a heroine who saved her kingdom. Both of these are stories, and stories can touch someone personally.

I believe that if the reader has an open mind and heart, he/she can see beyond the fantastical story and even superpowers to see the true nature of fictional characters. That is how we connect to the characters, learn from them, and are inspired by them.

The first fictional character that comes to mind when I wrote this was Sorcha of “Daughter of the Forest”, a novel written by Juliet Marillier. Sorcha is just a girl when she is tasked with saving her six brothers by sewing six shirts from a painful nettle plant in order to save them from a witch’s enchantment. The story details the dozens of sacrifices she must make in order to save her family. Her dedication, loyalty, and many other traits both positive and negative make her one of my favorite characters of all time. In reading her story, I found myself touched and inspired.

Feel free to share who your fictional heroes are below! 🙂

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10 Quick Tips about Geek Girls

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Thought I’d throw out some short and sweet advice on females of my variety.

  1. We’re not all tomboys.
  2. We don’t all cosplay.
  3. We all have our own niche(s), and they’re all different.
  4. We don’t enjoy our geekiness (or anything else) being evaluated by geek guys. (We don’t need their validations.)
  5. We can be girly.
  6. Our skills are often just as good if not better than geek guys.
  7. We’re not unicorns! (Even if some of us may wish we were.)
  8. Geek guys: You can talk to us. We don’t bite ..hard.
  9. We don’t have a hidden agenda by being/claiming to be a geek. (All the fake geek girl crap: Who cares?)
  10. We just want to have fun!

If you think I’m so very wrong or you agree with me, let me know below!

Also, something funny:

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Bye!

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