Anime, Anime Review 0 comments on Nyanko Days – Review

Nyanko Days – Review

A show made just for Elliot and I! While it is another short anime, I yet again found a lot of enjoyment in the few minutes I was given each day to watch all the little chibi kittens run around and get into trouble with their owner. I’ll admit, this review will be a bit shorter than the rest, but that is purely because there is nothing more to say on how pure the whole exchange was.

Nyanko Days is a simple and sweet story about a girl with her pet cats (no, not She and Her Cat). This one wont make you cry! The cats are presented through little humanoid, chibi neko girls for everyone’s enjoyment. The adorableness overwhelms the audience as we watch our protagonist go through the struggles of being a girl with no friends or people to relate with to growing out of her shell through the love of her cats.

Let’s start with the good vibes!

The Good:

Honestly, the good thing about this anime was just how pure and wholesome the whole thing was. It was like holding Elliot after a long stressful day of watching anime. A comfort given to so few.

In all seriousness, I’m not sure anyone could have hated such a few moments out of their day as they watched this anime. It wasn’t even that it was funny or that it had an innocent story, but rather, it felt like it was just the day in a life of a young girl who struggles to make friends and finds a passion in loving cats. It sounds like my life, and it is, but the point more or less is that it is a pretty sweet and innocent couple of minutes for each episode.

Alongside this, I actually think the character were really well thought out and relatable. I like that the most unapproachable girl in school who was top of her class and really talented had a similar love to the main character, who felt like a total opposite. The friendship was really sweet and the diversity and craziness of the cats is always something to admire.

The Bad:

Again, as with Kaiju Girls, I think shorter anime lack a lot of depth that they could delve into. It’s a shame, though I feel like this isn’t quite a waste of time. Unlike Kaiju Girls, I don’t think I would have wanted to see this be a full length anime. The story isn’t too much that it leaves you wanting more, but it’s brief enough to be sweet.

Would I have loved to see a bunch of cats and made this an anime similar to the beloved Hamtaro? Perhaps. But would it have necessarily been the right thing to do? The world may never know. It’s hard to say what this anime could have been, but I think for any watcher who loves cats, this should be a brief and lovely affair.

Kitty Rating:

For what it was, being a very short anime and all, Elliot and I are going to give it almost the full price! Three and a half isn’t all that bad, in my opinion, especially when they’re all very happy baby bums! I liked this anime and thought it was very sweet, even though I don’t feel it was ever going to be the anime of the season.

That being said, I always try to give credit where credit is due. Certainly, it has become one of Elliot’s favorite anime! If you’re looking for something sweet to watch, please check it out!

What short anime do you think could have been full length? Let me know in the comment section below! 

Other 0 comments on Cheap Ways to Love Anime

Cheap Ways to Love Anime

Our love for anime can be tricky to show off, and there’s a good reason why:

Merch is expensive as hell.

Which is reasonable enough. Figures, shirts, keychains and everything in between is taxed like crazy when it comes to shipping to America. Even beyond that, some items are extremely well crafted and deserve to be of the high price range. I’m never surprised with the cost of my nendos, let me put it that way.

But as a broke college student, and I’m sure many of different ages and socioeconomic statuses can agree, purchasing things from your fandom can be extremely tough! Especially if food for you and your cat (cough, cough, Elliot) is burning a hole in your pocket. So here is a list of ways I’ve kept the price low when it comes to my expenditures to show off my fandom!

Cosplay: 

It’s no lie that we all love cosplay. Whether it’s wearing it or just taking pictures at cons, we all love seeing the work and effort that goes into a good cosplay. But if you’re the one wearing a cosplay, the price can wreak havoc on your wallet. As someone who makes most of her cosplays and has only ever bought one, I can tell you now, buying a cosplay alone is quite the expensive endeavor! So how do we fix it?

Firstly, if you feel you are craft impaired and cannot possibly make your own cosplay items, perhaps investing in one really good pre-made cosplay is the best option. You don’t want to waste money on items that you feel you’re not using right. However, building your own can be very easy if you take the right steps! Here are a few ways to put together your own, cheaply.

  • Chose a character that wears simple clothing you can buy or modify if need be. Think of a character that might be in a school uniform, for example, or one that wears generic clothing. Always remember: wigs can be as cheap as 10$ on Amazon. Also, keep in mind that the more generic a character might look, the less likely you might be recognized at cons or gatherings.
  • If you are going to attempt at creating weapons and armor, take a pro tip from your friendly neighborhood cat lady; FOAM IS YOUR BEST FRIEND! And cereal box. A little cutting, some glue and spray paint will do wonders to create awesome armor and weapons. Let me direct you to my new best friend on YouTube: epicfantasy. Storm the Castle is a great site for finding patterns and even learning how to make some video game weapons out of affordable material. The YouTube videos have helped me out so much when it comes to creating cosplay stuff and I like using the patterns I find to help me size stuff and build off it.
  • Speaking of patterns ALWAYS LOOK FOR THEM! I cannot stress this enough. Sure there are always people selling patterns for certain weapons, but there are also good dudes who make free patterns. Try to find a free version first to print out. Even if it is not exact, you can always modify it to create the look you want.

If you’re not too certain about your cosplay making skills, have no fear! We all have to start somewhere and what better time then yesterday? Get to work and don’t be afraid of the glue gun! (But please don’t burn yourself, I don’t wanna get sued).

Figures: 

There will never be a good way to really save money when it comes to anime figures. And to be honest, the amount of time and effort along with the incredible detail that goes into figures, you can really never go wrong with a fine purchase. Now, I would say that if you don’t care about the quality of the figure, or the manufacturer, you could always buy a fake. HOWEVER, you really shouldn’t buy fake anything!

Buying fake goods does real damage to the sellers who manufacture these goods in the first place. And take it from someone who’s accidentally bought a few fakes; the real ones are way better. I once purchased an L nendo that I thought might be fake because it was cheaper, and while I will always love him, he does fall apart easily and it is so obvious he wasn’t an official nendo. I’m scared his big head will break my class case. So to avoid fakes and still get good with cash, here are some other options!

  •  Make sure the figure you’re buying is real and is high quality. Don’t go wasting money on figures that won’t look good in your case in the fist place is what I always say. Here’s a good tutorial on how to spot some of them! Do some additional research on how to spot fakes to get egg salad (excellent) results!
  • Always look at pricing options on stores like Amazon that might give you other deals for used items. It’s a gamble, but at the very least you can save a few dollars by buying used.
  • BE CAUTIOUS WHEN PURCHASING AT CONVENTIONS AND SPEND WISELY! Convention vendors may unknowingly (or knowingly) sell you fakes and they may also be full price! I’ve also noticed that items I’ve found online can be way cheaper than they are at cons. While I fully want to endorse vendors, and I do end up buying some goods that I can’t find anywhere else, I’m certainly more careful these days when I arrive at the con for a good time. I get really swept up with the dealer’s room and all the fun stuff, but my wallet knows that some of these things I could find cheaper somewhere else.

Clothing and Other Goods:

This is sort of my last, broad topic, but it is certainly one worth noting! If you are tired of buying cheap, overpriced clothing at stores like Hot Topic to get your fandom fix, try a few of these tips to help you save a few bucks!

  • You can always look online for whatever you’re looking for to see if it is offered at a lower price (as I suggested with the figures above).
  • You can also support a local artist (or an online one you know) by purchasing fandom-made clothing items, posters, art and keychains you can personalize your life with. I always love the art dealers I see at cons and other small gatherings, but it’s also just as exciting to find their online stores and purchase from them. ART IS BY NO MEANS FREE AND DESERVES TO BE A PAID PROFESSION, but sometimes you might find the artists are much cheaper than other vendors depending on what they sell! I’ve seen a lot of great deals on keychains I adored from artists who were much more cost effective for my wallet and even cuter than the others I’d seen in a dealer’s room.

It can be really hard to save a few bucks when it comes to being a part of the anime fandom, but it’s certainly worth it to learn restraint and wise purchasing. As someone saving up for Elliot’s college fund, I can tell you now that a few dollars makes all the difference!

What other tips do you guys like using to save a few dollars when it comes to your fandom fix? 

Anime, Anime Review 0 comments on Spiritpact – Review

Spiritpact – Review

I have a slight secret to admit to the world; I personally don’t prefer yaoi. Contrary to jokes and other instances where a yaoi is actually good, I feel like most the yaoi I’m watching was made to be fetishized by women. As a queer woman who understands how that feels when the opposite occurs, I’m not really big on watching it unless it seems remotely realistic. Let’s be honest, there’s a ton of random yaoi out there that makes no sense. This is one of those yaois.

Spiritpact is about a guy named You who dies and ends up making a pact, as a spirit, with this white-haired dude you see before you. The two of them begin on this amazing journey being exorcists together, cursing the evil spirits of the land and as a surprising romance blossoms between the two. A relationship of dedication and loyalty comes to light as a series of random events, a result of a poor story line, lures victims into a trap.

Every season, I try to pick at least one anime to really rip into and my friends, this is that anime. It almost beat Charlotte in how much I despise the writing in Spirit Pact. I saw that some people liked it, but… I really feel like at this point some people will like any strange yaoi thrown their way. With that in mind, let’s get to the review.

The Good:

I really… Don’t even want a ‘The Good’ section to exist when it comes to this anime… We could go down a few avenues about how it was useful for friendship or had some decent characters, but that was just it. There were so many continuity errors that I couldn’t even keep track of who had a character mold or not. They switched their dynamics too often to keep track. What I will say is some of the women looked like they could have been serious characters, had their outline ever been fleshed out.

Alas, that did not happen. So we can only imagine what could be. I would say this is just a really bad yaoi version of Yu Yu Hakoshu… And even then, I feel like I’m insulting an anime I loved growing up. But I suppose if you love a yaoi, no matter how bad it is, you’ll watch it no matter what I say now. Ignore the review and go forth. Find a love that was not only one sided but also made no sense what so ever.

The Bad:

Here we go boys, girls and other. This is were I get into THE DANGER ZONE.

In all my years of watching anime, I have never, not even once, seen something so all over the place. If I’m being honest, Elliot and I watched all ten episodes and not even he can give you an accurate summary of what this show is about. It seemed as though it changed the story line every episode. If I had to guess, I would say that the writers started with a concept but did not flesh out exactly what kind of back story they wanted. Towards the end we were still being introduced to new characters whose overall influence had no purpose in the total arch.

Not only were some of them new, but ones we’d seen from the very first episode were being changed as time went on, and no it wasn’t like a change of heart or character development. I could not, for the life of me, tell you who the antagonist was in this show. I have this odd feeling that everyone who wasn’t You and his angry boy toy was, in some way, a villain. You know what wait, even You was a villain. Never mind, everyone in this anime was at one point or another some kind of antagonist.

Which is great and all (sarcasm) but what exactly am I do think of this story? There were so many changes in the ultimate goal that I’m still not sure what I was supposed to be watching. Really the biggest issue with this show was simply the continuity of it. It didn’t know what it wanted to be, and honestly? I really hated that it had some potential with the female characters (whether they be antagonists or antagonists) and it never tapped into that.

It felt like no one really grew as a character and by the end the writers tried to push it off like they’d been building through this whole journey. I call bull on that by the greatest power vested in me, but whatever floats your boat.

 

I can’t… I would have given it the sad Elliot emoji for how many tears of just agony I spilled over having to watch this anime. I literally watched the timer more than I was reading the subtitles. I could not, for the life of me, find any good in this forced yaoi that really had no business being… Whatever it was trying to be. But okay.

It was just so frustrating to watch and the more I watched, the more I felt like I was wasting my time when there were other shows I needed to get through this winter. So, without going on for too long, what is the over all consensus on this anime and would you personally enjoy it? If you’re a masochist with a death wish and a bunch of free time on your hands, go ahead. I almost didn’t want to even rate this anime. I was filled with hopelessness from the first five minutes and it continued for a full ten episodes.

Good luck, my dearest friends.

What’s an anime you guys personally find frustrating? What about it makes it so uncomfortable to watch? 

Anime, Other 0 comments on Let’s Talk: Body Shape/Size

Let’s Talk: Body Shape/Size

Anime has always been known for it’s specific art style and the various artists with their own take on it. But what we don’t often think about is how that style can sometimes be portraying real stereotypes we find within out own society. The squad here on Ashley’s Anime, Adam Barba, Becca Davila and Allison Wolch, discussed what being body positive in anime really means and what it does for its audience.

I’ve seen this happen a lot in anime, but after last season I sort of saw the need to host a podcast discussion about body positivity in anime. The recent show Kiss Him, Not Me was an anime that really did plus sized women no favors in the portray of Kae, the main character who’s a large woman that loses weight and gains the attention from several of her peers. Now, sometimes when people lose weight, it can change a person’s attitude in a positive way and that brings more people around. But that’s not really the case with this anime. Kae stays consistent in her personality and thinks very little about her size and figure; the attraction is purely physical.

I’ve heard a few arguments in defense of Kiss Him, Not Me. It usually revolves around how some of the characters realize how they like Kae regardless of her size, even though there are a few characters who already liked her no matter her size. But that doesn’t really stop some of the unnecessary attributes that are given to Kae; her voice is a perfect example of this. As a plus sized woman, I can confirm that I too always sound like I have inverted hamster cheeks (this is sarcasm for those in the audience who are not mature to view this blog).

But Kiss Him, Not Me is only one anime amongst the many that give poor portrayals of plus sized people, not just women. As you’ll hear in the podcast, the squad had some pretty interesting points to bring up about the issue at hand, but we all came to the agreement that this issue can be seen in almost every anime show, especially one’s that have plus sized characters. It’s a trope you can find happening often, and one that makes me feel like a I just ate a tub of acidic slime.

For anime that doesn’t portray any plus sized characters, the narrative still plays off of an ideal image that men and women “need” to conform to. Men are always extremely muscular (sometimes to a ridiculous size) and women are always big in areas like breasts, but skinny in their waist. This isn’t just a part of an art style; the look is too much like the stereotype and it still causes the same damages.

We might not think that an animation can cause any sort of damage to people’s mentality, but it very much can. It still perpetuates and idea amongst the populous that people need to fit a certain size in order to be desirable. And if that wasn’t enough, just look at how it effects the cosplay community. Plus sized cosplayers can be met with scorn for not looking like a character because of their weight.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. By criticizing and calling out anime that pedals certain ideas of plus sized people, we can start to critically think about how we chose to consume anime and what sort of bottom line messages it’s trying to tell us.

For more on the podcast, listen to it here! And to read more into what I thought about Kiss Him Not Me, read the official review here! And also be sure to check out Becca’s cosplay page on Facebook!