No! Ghibli. No!

thumbnail_d4bdefa1-cd12-47f5-89d4-457357c6c909Someone mentioned, I should create a top 9 non-Ghibli anime films, from the movies I didn’t use, in my last list post. So, I did. It was an awesome idea and I thank that person for sharing, just a great idea.

However, my number paranoia, made a list of 9, seem very weird, uneven and slightly stressful, so I throw one more movie into the mix, to make a nice round even 10. (A far better number. I really dislike the number 9.)

This turned out to be, a real mix bag of styles and genres, but I think I’ve done a pretty decent job of ordering them. So, without rambling on further, I give you: My Top 10 Favourite Non-Ghibli Anime Films:

10.Night on the Galactic Railroad- A little cat and his best friend, go on a journey through the stars, in a mysterious night train. This film seems really innocent at first, but keep watching and you realise it’s quite dark. I don’t want to spoil this film, so I can’t say much more.
If you ignore the sudden religious turn near the end, it’s a rather interesting watch. It’s very slow pace, but is incredibly relaxing and so easy to watch. However, the ending is really sad and may bring a tear to your eye.

9. Origin: Spirits of the Past- A girl (Toola) is awoken from her 300 year slumber and finds herself in a post-apocalyptic world. Having the key to restore the world, to how it was in her time, she must decide whether to accept the world, as it is now or destroy this world, to bring back hers. This movie has quite an interesting concept and will have you wondering, what you would do if you were Toola. It gives a fascinating view of how civilisation, would look and cope after an apocalyptic event. There’s also some really beautiful scenes of the forest, making it really nice to watch.

thumbnail_19aa90b7-1c91-4704-9cda-7cd6c5b275508. Angel’s Egg- Okay, I can see a bit of a trend forming here. Another post-apocalyptic film. I’ve never realised, but I must have some weird fascination, with what the world would be like, after it is gets destroyed. I’m not sure, how I should feel about that, but we’ll put it down to my curious nature.
Angel’s egg is about a little girl, left alone in a post-apocalyptic world, with no memory. She finds an egg and believes if she keeps it warm, a bird will hatch from it. She wanders around this empty dark world with her egg, in search of food and water. While wandering, she runs into a mysterious stranger, that shows an unusual interest in her egg. The stranger then begins to stalk the girl.
This film has a bit of a weird feel, but I really like it. There’s very little vocal dialogue and is more observational, but is very captivating. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and will leave a lot of people thinking “what the hell am I watching”, but if you like shows, that throw you into deep thought, then you’ll probably enjoy this film. The art style is very dark and unusual, but sets the film’s tone very well. It also gets weirdly religious at one point, but this just adds to the films mystery.

7. The House of Small Cubes- This is a short film, about a little old man who lives by himself, in a world engulfed, in ever rising water. I can’t say much more, without giving away the whole film, but it’s essentially about, the wee cute old man reminiscing, about his life. It’s not your stereotypical style of anime, but is still very cute and enjoyable. I love short films and this is a very sweet, but slightly sad, one. There’s no talking at all, but is very simple to follow. Great for those days, when you’re sick of hearing, the sound of people squawking and just want to relax and watch something quiet. It’s only around 12 minutes long and is available on Netflix, so is worth clicking out. I like it so much, I had to give the old man a name (not sure, if he already has a name). I named him, Frank the little old cute man.

6. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind- I was kind of reluctant, to include this in my list. This anime is usually gets grouped into studio Ghibli collections, but from my understanding, it’s not truly studio Ghibli. If I’m correct, it was made before studio Ghibli.
Another post-apocalyptic anime, about a jungle filled with plants, that produce toxic spores, capable of killing any nearby human, without some type of breathing mask. This leaves the remaining humans, living on pockets of land, where the spores don’t reach. But then, giant bugs come to kill everyone and Nausicaä must stop them.
There’s a lot going on in this movie and that was as simple as I could explain it, without spoiling the film. This definitely is not a movie for anyone with bug phobias. There’s a lot of giant creepy looking bugs, that will act as nightmare fuel, for anyone scared of bugs. This film is nice to watch. It has very nice art work and some bizarre methods of transport. Its storyline is hard to explain, but is interesting and very sweet at times.

thumbnail_075b9343-0e2f-4d49-8993-d9a1417a86315. Children who Chase Lost Voices- A young girl travels to a mysterious land, where it is said you can bring back the dead. This is a very sweet movie. It explores death and grief, in an interesting and magical way, without being too heavy or sad. For a movie based around death and loneliness, it should be a lot gloomier. Weirdly it’s not, its more magical and sweet. Its story is very interesting and based on mythology and creatures from the underworld. There’s also few wise words, throughout this film, that are very thought-provoking. My favourite being: “Everyone set out, on each of their journeys, as a cry for help. If only someone was able to stop them.”

4. The Garden of Words- A high school boy, meets a lady in the park and spends every rainy day, skipping school and talking to this interesting stranger, in the park. I know, that sound very dodgy, but it’s a really beautiful film. The storyline is a little bit sad, but very lovely to watch unfold. The animation and art work in this film is amazing. It’s so beautiful. It makes rain look like something truly wonderful, instead of wet, cold and miserable. It kind of rekindled my love, of going for walks in the rain. Really makes you view rain, in another light.

3. Perfect Blue- A pop idol becomes an actress, but the stresses of acting life, take their toll and she seemingly has a mental break. Meanwhile, a creepy guy, that’s obsessed with her, becomes her stalker. This film is a little crazy and sort of hard to keep up with, at times. I had to watch it a few times, to fully grasp its twistedness, but oh my glob, this is one hell of a movies. It’s a fantastic psychological anime, that will have you questioning everything you see. It will shock, amaze and confuse you, all at the same time. Being a lover of anything, involving wonder and confusion, this is right up my alley.
The animation is creepy as hell, which really suits the story and craziness of this anime. The stalker guy, looks terrifying and I surely hope, there is no one on this earth, that looks like him. Being of a nervous disposition, if there is and I was left alone in a room with him, I think one of two things would happen. I’d either freeze on the spot or cry on the inside (possible the outside too). He could be the nicest person, to grace this earth, but I still wouldn’t want to be left alone with him. However, I find most people scary looking, so you should probably check this guy out for yourself.

thumbnail_f034783d-3511-4819-93e4-2fa0391881d72. 5 Centimetres per Second- This follows the life of a boy, from sometime in middle school, until early adulthood. Its split into 3 parts and directly and indirectly, follows the boy’s story. This is one of the most realistic anime films, I’ve ever seen and I’m not talking about the animation. The storyline is really sad and kind of depressing, but fring do they capture the struggles and harsh realities of life, very accurately. Especially, the early adulthood stage and the depression many fall into. To be honest, the whole film is about depression and how its manifests in different forms. It captures these emotions and mindsets beautifully. Despite being based on just a sad and difficult subject, its story and art work is very beautiful. It is sort of depressing, but is still a very enjoyable emotive film.

1. Hal– To help cope with the death of her beloved Hal, Kurumi is given a robot, that looks identical to Hal, to take care of her. The two, start to fall in love with each other, but things are, not as they seem.
I usually don’t like love stories, but this is one of my few exceptions. It has a real mystery to it and the answer to this mystery, pretty much, hits you in the face, at the end of the film (unless you’re, super observant). Throughout the movie, you’re left in suspense, waiting to find out, what truly happened between Kurumi and Hal, in the run up to the plane crash (Also, about what’s on those Rubik’s cube). You’re left wondering, if Kurumi blames herself for Hal’s death and about Hal’s character and childhood. Your heart really feels, for both of them. I love this movie. It’s one of the very few films, that does death, love and mystery well. On paper, this film should have you crying like a baby, but strangely it manages to remain, somewhat positive and hopeful. It’s actually kind of heart-warming. However, the story is still very bitter-sweet, so I can’t guarantee you won’t cry.

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Young Wolf

thumbnail_20170728_155856I wish I could write something deep and meaningful, under young wolf. I couldn’t come up with anything, relatable or that could be understood. It would have just, look like nonsensical gibberish. So instead, I’ll tell you about wolves.

I use wolves a lot in my drawings. Either in the background, as a tattoo on one of the figures or hidden somewhere in the image. Wolves hold a lot of meaning, to me.

Other than being beautiful creatures, they can be used to represent a lot of things. However, the reason I use them, is wildness.

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Even when caged from birth, they maintain their wildness. A wolf can never truly be tamed. You may think you’ve tamed a wolf and it may appear tame, but it never can be. Deep down, they retain their wildness. Improperly caged, a wolf will break free of its cage and return to the wilderness, where it belongs.

Cage a wild wolf and it will use all its strength and its last breath to break free, or it’ll lie in wait, for the first opportunity, to escape captivity. Either way, a wild wolf can never be caged.

Studio Ghibli

thumbnail_c162f3fd-75f4-446a-9cf7-fdb17cfc46ffI was going to review, my favourite anime film this week, but I didn’t know where to start. It was just so difficult, to choose only one. So, I decided to write a list of my favourite anime films and try to, choose a favourite from it. I had a pretty nice list, until I realised, most of these movies on my list, were Studio Ghibli films.

Out of a list of 20, 11 were Studio Ghibli, so I thought to myself “Screw it, this is an impossible task. There is no way I could choose just one and be completely satisfied, with my choice. Most of these are Studio Ghibli, so we can actually make something, rather nice from this list”.

I think at this point, most of us have seen a Studio Ghibli film (or two… or three… or more) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m pretty sure, you’ll also have your own favourite, that you absolutely love. So, I bring to you: My Top 10 Favourite Studio Ghibli Films.

10. Castle in the Sky– Pretty self-explanatory. It’s about a castle in the sky and the adventure of two children’s, searching for this castle and its secrets. I know, this is sort of an old one and is actually older than myself. I still really like this film and its age, hasn’t affected my enjoyment. What made me fall in love with it, was the idea of a mysterious magical castle hidden among the clouds. It amazed me. It has a really magical and very sweet story, that touches your heart and give you that warm feeling inside.

9. The secret world of Arrietty- This is like an anime take on the borrowers story. However, instead of being set in the city, it’s set in the countryside and Peagreen is missing from the story. I like this version better, then the 1997 borrowers films. It has a much better storyline and is a lot easier to watch. It’s an exciting, but heart-warming film, that gives you a much better view and understanding of life as a borrower, then the 1997 film did. There’s some really beautiful art work in the film.

thumbnail_ca65bb06-b218-4cf9-b3e1-2e030b653f96_18. Kiki’s Delivery Service– As part of her training as a witch, 13-year-old Kiki is made spend a year alone, fending for herself, in a seaside town. It is there, she setup a delivery service. Kiki being a complete disaster, reminded me of myself and I think that’s why, I enjoy this film so much. I can really relate to Kiki and her plight. A lot of people, didn’t seem it like this film and it got quite a lot of negative reviews. I really didn’t think it was that bad. It doesn’t have the same feel, as other Studio Ghibli film, but I still thought it was good and was quite a nice little story.

7. Pom Poko– A group of shape-shifting raccoons, fight to save their home from the developers. This film is hilarious. Those raccoons, really got up to some amount of mischief, stopping the developers. I haven’t watched this film in years, but if memory serves me right, it has a really sad ending and some of the raccoons, end up dead. However, its sure comical value, has elevated it to spot 7 on my list.

6. The Cat Returns- Haru saves the life of a cat and as a reward, is taken to the Cat Kingdom, where nothing is as it seems. She quickly runs into trouble and begins turning into a cat, herself. This film gets very weird at times. I think the weirdest point has to be, when the overweight cat gets murdered, in a giant vase of jelly. Even his death pose was bizarre. In saying that, it’s quirkiness, is why I enjoyed it so much. I also loved the secret evil plots and the nothing is, as it first seems, aspect of this film. It’s very exciting and leave you in suspense.

5. Tales From Earthsea– There’s a lot going on, with this movies storyline. It’s very hard to explain in just a sentence or two, so I’ll describe it as, a magical mysterious tales about restoring the balance between good and evil. I find this movie so beautiful. It does have that disturbing, no eyes scene near the end, that creeps the hell out of me, but is still a very beautiful story. It has that mysterious factor, that leaves you in wonder and draws you in. It really keeps you questioning, what’s going on and this makes it, a rather interesting watch. It does feel a bit prolonged at times, but stick with it and its worth it. The ending is quite amazing.

4. Ponyo- A little magic fish girl (Ponyo), escapes her home in the ocean, and befriends a little human boy. This leads to a huge storm, that floods the boy’s hometown and separates him from his mother. The boy, with the help of Ponyo, goes in search of his mother. This is a very cute film, but has a bit of a dark side, that goes over the head of younger viewers. I love that little fish girl. She reminds of my niece, because she looks and acts like her. The cuteness and hidden meaning, behind some of the films themes and art work, is why I love this film so much.

thumbnail_184c3d23-de8a-4bb6-8ce0-9aa381315ed8_13. Howl’s Moving Castle– A young girl (Sophie), is turned into an old lady, by an envious witch. Sophie then goes on a journey, to regain her youth and finds herself, taking shelter inside Howl’s moving castle. She ends up becoming Howl’s house keeper, which leads to her magical adventure with the mysterious Howl, in his magic castle. Writing that, makes me want to go, watch it again. This is one of those love story’s, that really touches your heart. It teaches, there’s more to love than, just a person’s outwards appearance. I fell in love with this film and its scarecrow, after the first 30-45 minutes. If you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend watching it. It’s one of my favourites.

2. Spirited Away– I think at this point, we have all seen this movie, so I’ll save you the torture of reading my description. This was the first anime I watch, that I actually knew was an anime. I had seen Princess Mononoke before Spirited away, but I didn’t have a clue, it was anime. I was 9 or 10 years old and really naïve, so I think I could be forgiven for that. I was never told about anime, before this point, so I had no way of knowing, otherwise. You can’t know, what you’ve never learnt. This is where my anime journey became. It’s pretty easy to see why, this film is rated so high in my list. What I loved about this film, was that there was no other movie like it, when I first seen it. It left me in wonder and awe. It was truly a magical experience.

1. Princess Mononoke– The first anime film I ever seen. I really had no clue, this was anime. I just thought, it was an amazingly draw cartoon film, with a really unusual story. Despite this, I instantly fell in love with it. The art work in this film, left me breathless. I literally, sat as close to the tv as I could get, trying to take it all in, before someone would get irate with me, for blocking their view and beat me away from the tv (my older siblings were lovely to me). I was completely dazzled by this film. I remember thinking “this is the weirdest thing I’ve even seen, but it’s so awesome”. As a child, I didn’t really understand, half of things in this film or what they represented (amusingly, I thought the little forest spirits, were wobbly head babies). Now, as an adult I have a complete different perspective and understand of this film, which has added to my love of this film.

If anyone wondering, which Studio Ghibli film didn’t make it into my list. It was, From up on Poppy Hill.

Funny Irish Insults

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I’ve included picture of creepy sculptures, I found in the forest, the other day. 

Irish insults can be, both creative and hilarious. There just something about bringing seemingly innocent words together, to mean something insulting, that’s rather funny. Most just sounds like humorous nonsense, so I’ll include a definition for each (definitions and use may vary, in different parts of the country).

Don’t worry, I’ve not turned into an offensive monster. These insults are usually used amongst friends, as a bit of harmless banter, for a laugh and in good fun. Also, they’re mainly used to, endearingly tease someone (also known as slagging). However, I should warn you that, said in the wrong way, these words could really offend someone, so be careful.

Most insults in this list, are used throughout Ireland, but I’ve also include some that are unique to, the area I live in and unique to my own dialect. They were just too funny not to include.

 (Warning there may be words in this post, that look and sound similar to swear/curse words. These are technically not swear words, but I will admit they’re Irish peoples’, best attempt at avoiding cursing. Some people may still find these words offensive)  thumbnail_20170718_123610I think the best place to start this list is, with my personal favourite insult:

Humpy-looking- This doesn’t really have a meaning. It’s just used on anyone, you don’t like the look of, for whatever reason. However, a stereotypical humpy-looking person is, a middle-aged male, with the posture of a pervert and generally looks like a creep (e.g. Kureo Mado from Tokyo ghoul or Beetlejuice). Can be used on, young, old, male or female.

Boar-head- A person with a huge head or unpleasant demeanour

Calf’s-head- A person with a gigantic head and unfortunate in the looks department

thumbnail_20170718_123421Rough as a bear’s arse- Extremely unattractive or unpleasant in some way. Including things like behaviour, demeanour or dress sense. An example being, mutton dressed as lamb.

Gombeen- An annoying idiot. Can also be used on, someone who’s crooked or dishonest.

Gebdaw- So much of an idiot, they’re a lost cause. Worse than a gombeen or gobshite.

Gobshite-A know it all, that knows nothing or a person that considers themselves smart, but is really an idiot. Basically, someone that talks rubbish or a mouth piece.

thumbnail_20170718_123402Hair-brush- Can be used in two ways. One, to describe a friend, that has a head of wild-looking hair, that’s styled like, they were electrocuted or dragged through a bush back ways. Basically, in dire need of a hair brush. Two, to describe a bald man in an ironic fashion.

Dry- A person that is missing a sense of humour, usually always grumpy and pulling a sour face. The type of person, that never cracks a smile and if they did, their face would most likely crack and shatter.

Tight arse– Someone who refuses to part with their money. They never spend any money and if made spend money, they act like they’re having a limb unwillingly amputated. They’re happy to let other people, pay for them and you never see their wallet. You suspect they don’t even, have a wallet and if they do, it’s never been opened. If this wallet was ever opened, you’d expect a swarm of moths to come rushing out of it. If they ever give you money, you would closely inspect it for moth or mice bites, then frame it and very proudly hang it on your wall.

Bollix or in my dialect Bowl-lux– A very annoying person, that does shady, bad, dishonest, dishonourable or horrible thing. You also really want to punch this person. Essentially, a prick.

thumbnail_20170718_123326Skunk– A person that dresses like a thug and engages in thug want-to-be behaviours, just as harassing elderly people, stealing pointless or unnecessary things, damaging others’ property (just for the sake of it), taking illegal substances, threatening weaker people and fighting people, for the stupidest reasons known to man. They also see nothing wrong with these behaviours and think it’s something to be proud of.

Gargoyle– Someone with a horrible temperament and a personality and face, only a mother could love.

Tool– An extremely annoying idiot, that constantly mucks things up.

Header– A person who does crazy things, for no obvious reason. This is usually very amusing and entertaining.

Fecken Eejit– A loveable idiot. They’re harmless and mean no hurt. They get themselves into amusing predicament, due to being completely oblivious. They are often clueless and say the weirdest or most inappropriate thing, due to their cluelessness. But luckily, this is always, very amusing and you love them, for being a complete idiot. (I get called an eejit and header a lot, and can’t really argue otherwise.)

Without a Bubble (No.11 Final)

thumbnail_20170716_205942Stuck with my twisted protector, I was forced to learn to live with this demon.

thumbnail_20170716_205954Eventually, I got that demon to, give back what took from me and for a time, we could live without destroying each other.      

To see the previous drawing of this series, click here.

To view this series from the start, click here.

This is the end of the Without a Bubble series. I hope you all enjoyed it!

This wasn’t easy for me to share, so I’d like to thank you all for your support, throughout this series. It was very much appreciated.

Without a Bubble (No.10)

thumbnail_20170716_205106After quite some time and struggle, I finally understood this demon. It was a demon of my own creation. Without a bubble to protect me from, the chaos and misery of this world, I made a demon, out of fear.

thumbnail_20170716_205139In some sad way, I had used it to protect parts of me, I never wanted the world to touch.       

To see the previous drawing of this series, click here.

I meant to publish this post yesterday, but before I could, our electricity went out. Meaning, there was no internet. Power has only been restored, a short while ago, so I’m posting the last 2 drawing of this series today (as long as nothing else happens).

Let’s hope, no more powerlines snap.

Okja

thumbnail_c5ea7c58-a1a5-4fcb-b08a-284018e2fc76Netflix Original

From Netflix description and images for Okja, I thought this was going to be a cute movie about a little girl, saving her beloved, pet floppy eared hippo. Thinking it would be similar to Charlotte’s web, I even considered watching it with my nieces. I was very wrong and luckily, I watched this one alone. This movie is 100% not suitable for children, and would most likely traumatise them.

Okja, is a genetically modified super pig (not a floppy eared hippo), created by an unethical meat company, that claims their super pig is non-GMO and leaves a minimum footprint on the planet. The company sends a number of its super pigs, to be raised by farms from all around the world, to see which will raise the ultimate super pig.

Okja, one of these pigs, is raised by a farmer and his orphaned granddaughter (Mija), in the mountain forests of Korea. Okja and Mija become best friends and happily spend their days together, in the mountains. Unfortunately, this doesn’t last long and the company comes back for their super pig.

The company plans to show the world, their ultimate super pig in pageant, then bring it to slaughter. Okja, being this ultimate super pig, is taken away and Mija is completely outraged. Mija then, steals the little her grandfather has and sets out to save Okja.

In her quest to save Okja, Mija quickly runs into a group of animal rights activist, who manipulate Mija into using Okja, to show the world how evil the meat company is. From there, Okja is horribly victimised, in an inaccurate depiction of the meat and life stoke industry, that is both traumatising and in poor taste. Meanwhile, Mija and the activist carry out a very weak, poorly thought out plan to save Okja, ignoring the basic rules of event management, like security and staff background checks.

It’s safe to say this was not the cute movie, I hoped Okja would be. Instead, it was incredibly confusing and horrifying. But, to prevent being completely negative about Okja, I will start with the good points.

thumbnail_e8b888ed-566e-4c53-80bb-482096f46cfdOkja and Mija, were really cute and adorable. This made it very easy to side with Mija and hope Okja didn’t get eaten. It’s also, the only reason I watched this movie, to the end. Their cutest and likeability, keeps you interested in the storyline and in suspense, about the outcome for Okja. Also, Glenn (Steven Yeun) from the walking dead, is in this movie. For fans of Glenn, this will probably be the high point of Okja.

Another good point, was capturing the twisted logic of some (not all) animal rights activist, to a tee. This logic being, risk the lives of many innocent, emotion feeling, living organisms, (that have nothing to do with the situation and are in some way victims themselves), to save the life of one emotion feeling, living organism. It was very accurate. On at least 3 occasions, the activist risked killing or horribly injuring 100s of human and other animals, to save one super pig. But also, only to prove the point, that company was evil. Kind of scary how well they captured this logic.

I couldn’t help but feel this movie, was aimed at shaming meat-eater. It really gives the impression, the creators are trying, to make us all feel guilty about, being unable to synthesise (make) vitamin B12 yourselves, hence needing to eat meat or animal products (apologies for the science lesson from an ex-biomed). It takes this shaming a bit too far and shows inaccurate traumatising scenes of a research lab and slaughter-house, that looked like scenes out of Saw or a horror movie. They also cross a line, in some of these scenes by, suggesting Okja is sexually assaulted, then showing people eating bits of Okja. This movie is definitely not suitable for anyone of a sensitive nature and should really come with a warning.

The storyline was just as bad, ignoring common sense, having parts that went nowhere and including disturbing scenes, that weren’t necessary to the plot or outcome. It was also extremely unbelievable, weak and very confusing at time, making for very cringy watching.

Overall, I would say this movie is disturbing and borderlines on being, childishly silly. It’s inaccuracies and audience shaming, was incredibly annoying and makes the movie painful to watch. If you removed the meat shaming and had the movie solely be about Mija saving Okja, the movie would have been a lot better and could have been enjoyable.

I would not recommend this movie to anyone. It’s very disappointing and could potentially traumatise its audience. If you are looking, something meaningful to watch on Netflix, I would highly recommend, Beast of No Nation. It’s a much better movie and a better investment of your time.
Rating: 1/5

Without a Bubble (No.8 & No.9)

No.8

thumbnail_20170714_213429I finally gave in and left myself at, that demon’s mercy.

thumbnail_20170714_213522But, I would never willingly, follow it again.

No.9

thumbnail_20170714_214358 (2)Fatigued and tormented by that demon, I started to look like a demon myself.

thumbnail_20170714_215452It was clear, fighting was never going to destroy, that demon and trying was destroying me.

To see the previous drawing of this series, click here.