Archive for July, 2011

Anime summer season

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

This season I’m watching, in order of preference:

No.6

I love post-apocalyptic stories. This is about a seemingly perfectly constructed and tightly controlled city named No.6 that isn’t as perfect down below as it is on the surface. I really love the way they picture the relationship of the two boys which is nowhere near the usual Boys Love cliches, in fact I’m not even sure these two will ever be romantically involved.

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Usagi drop

A 30-something without much going on for him apart from his job ends up taking care of the illegitimate 6 year old daughter of his departed grandpa. It has an interesting watercolour style and the story is very simple but really sweet and heartwarming.

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Mawaru Penguindrum

Two brothers lose their sick sister only to have her resurrected by a mysterious hat, that starts ordering them in search of the “Penguindrum”. This is a weird one. The first episode was so random I didn’t know what to make of it, but they’ve introduced another storyline in the second episode that got my attention so I’ll keep up with it. I love that the siblings live in Ogikubo, near Koenji. The art in this is beautiful and a little vintage looking.

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Kamisama no memochou

A NEET (not in education, employment or training) little girl works as a detective while shut in her room. Still not sure about this one, I like the character design and the little girl is adorable, and they’ve sortof introduced some dark themes that I like but so far it’s a bit uneventful and gives me flashbacks of Gosick where the mystery is magically solved before you even get a chance to look at a second clue. It also has a few lolicon touches here and there but luckily they can be passed off as cute and not creep me out completely.

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Ikoku meiro no croisée

The only thing this show has going on is the novelty of a little girl in kimono running around 19th century Paris doing cute things. Not much of anything happens in each episode apart from the little girl being incredibly cute.

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Dantalian no shoka

This is very typical period Europe anime fare, with costumes designed by Baby the starts shine bright and Alice and the pirates. A bit boring to be honest, I expected better, so I’ll give it another episode. Ironically the best thing about this show is the ending.

Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

I’m very late with this, but I’m thoroughly obsessed with Panty and Stocking, I have no idea why I didn’t pick it up earlier. The amount of foul language, sexual innuendos and hilarity in this anime is unbelievable, it’s like a slutty version of the Powerpuff girls. On drugs.

Here’s the transformation scene where Panty takes off her panties and Stocking her stocking to make them into weapons and defeat a giant poo. As people do.

Things get even better on episode 6 where their demon rivals Scanty and Kneesocks make their appearance to enforce plenty of RRRUUUURRRRU (rules).

Some complementary caps of my sweetie Stocking.

I’m hoping a nice figure or doll is made of her, not really feeling the nendoroid.

Karly

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

レオたんは真夜中に、ひとりぼっち
鏡の中いつもひとりぼっち。

Momolita in London

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Last week Momolita visited London for the first time. Though I’d met her many times in Tokyo, it was very exciting to meet her over here and take her to my favourite places. We worked on a little something together that will be on the upcoming issue of Dolly Dolly.

先週、モモリータさんはロンドンへ来ました。もう東京で会うことがありましたが、ロンドンで会うのはすごく楽しかったです。^^いいプロジェクトでいっしょに働きました。新しいDolly*Dollyを楽しんでください!

Left to right, Georgia, Linda, Bethany, Momolita and Holly. Lovely dolly ladies.

(The five photos above were taken by Bethany)

After a visit to World’s End in Chelsea we went to Brompton cemetery, one of London’s “magnificent seven” Victorian cemeteries. I’m determined to visit all seven this summer, though considering how incredibly gothic they are, bleak wintertime is certainly best.

Brompton cemeteryではカラスがたくさんいました。Daisy D/ひろこさんのことを考えました。<3 ひろこさんがいなくて、寂しいです。

Studies update / 勉強について

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

The wait for the exam results was long, very long, about 6 weeks. We were supposed to receive them via email today by 5pm, so everyone spent the entire day refreshing their email accounts hysterically. I was laying in bed with the laptop on my knees looking at the screen all day. In typical SOAS administration fashion, there was still nothing at 6 but by 7 we found out the marks had been uploaded to the student services online platform. Eventually I also got the email saying I had passed. It took me a while to process I hadn’t simply passed, I’d gotten pretty good grades too…

Towards the end of the year I was in quite a state. I’d lost all my motivation, I was horribly depressed and everything was declining. By the time we started exams I was crying everyday and having panic attacks. I was convinced I would fail the year. I was having daily conversations with my teachers along the lines of:
– I’m going to fail. If I fail I’m going to kill myself.
– If you fail then a LOT of students are going to fail and then I will kill myself.

And then I’d turn to my friend Emma and go
– I don’t think Kashiwagi realises how bad I am.
– I don’t think you realise how good you are!

But despite what everyone was saying and even when I did much better in exams than I expected, I was still convinced I was going to fail. Since school officially ended 6 weeks ago I haven’t been able to be in a holiday state of mind because I had this looming over me like a bad curse. Even now it still hasn’t quite sunk in. I got an overall grade of 70 in japanese which is considered excellent (with 70+ you get a first) and a bit less in the essay based theoritical stuff (art, history and literature). So in short, I was being quite ridiculous. I don’t think it’s necessarily bad to be hard on oneself and set one’s standards high but… I may have overdone it this time.

Though to explain myself a little: SOAS is really hardcore. The rest of the university courses have a minimum of 40% to pass the year but Japanese alone is set at 50%. Apparently people who didn’t get at least that much in their first year, failed in the second. Exam papers are corrected by THREE different examiners, two of which are external. Also at SOAS there are no second chances. If you fail, you cannot retake exams and you cannot repeat the year either. Your only option is to be downgraded to an easier degree like Japanese studies, which is three years, does not have the year in Japan, and what I did in one year they do in two. In other words it wouldn’t get me anywhere near where I want to be. It would destroy all my dreams and all my plans. Also the year after next, university fees are going up to £9000 from the £3200 we pay now. Because I started with the lower fees, I will not be affected by the change, if I was to start a different degree elsewhere, I would. So overall there was a lot to worry about.

Anyhow, I’m glad that ordeal is over with. Now my next goal is to make enough money to go to Japan for at least 2-3 weeks before school starts again in October. I found out today that one of my most favourite artists ever, Hanayo, is having a little event in KOENJI of all places on the 24th of July, that’s in 10 days, but I’d love more than anything to finally meet her. Impossible??? I guess at the end of the day my expectations will always be slightly on the unreasonable side… ;)

学年末試験のときは大変でした。本当に心配して、毎日泣きました。T_T 「きっと、試験に失敗する」と思いました。でも今日は成績が発表されました。とてもよかったです。とてもいい成績ですべて合格しました。^^

わたしの夢は日本に住むことなので、このコースはとっても大切です。でも本当に心配しすぎましたね・・・。来年、心配しないで、一所懸命がんばります。夢のために。

この夏の計画は、源氏物語を読まなければなりません。来年、源氏について論文を書きますから。物の哀れの概念はとてもおもしろくて、楽しみにしています。それから、日本へ行くつもりです!