Speed Drawing Yuri on Ice (Part 2)

As promised, part two of the Yuri on ice speed drawing (for a recap of part 1 click here). I was hoping to get this out soon, but unfortunately this week has been extremely stressful and busy, so things didn’t go as planned. It’s been one of those weeks where your patience and ability to remain calm are truly tested and to top it all off, I’m feeling a little height conscious at the minute (I was mistaken for a child at the Halloween fair. I know I’m a bit on the short side and under 5.3ft/160cm, but glob I most definitely do not look like a child. Peeps need to go to Specsavers to get their eyes tested).
Getting back on track, in this video we pick up where we left off and add light and a bit of colour variation to Yuri’s face. Which surprisingly takes a lot less time than adding shadow, so we also tackle the eye, hair and background. Thankfully my habit of canvas spinning is less noticeable in this part. Hope you enjoy! (If the video appears blurry increase the videos Quality setting, to a number above 360p. YouTube’s default settings don’t seem to work well on digital art. This should fix any blurriness.)

To finish this post of I thought I’d give a quick insight into the techniques used in this video. This piece has quite a lot of layers and required quite a few different brushes, but the main technique is to roughly determine where the areas of light and shadow are, blend and tidy the edges and adjust the opacity (Canvas spinning is optional). You can skip the tidying step by doing things more precisely and neatly first time around, but I find you waste a lot time doing that and the end results are the same (plus there’s something strangely satisfying about cleaning up the edges).

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and…

As always Thanks for reading.IMG_0044

Speed Drawing Yuri on Ice (Part 1)

While creating the artwork for the Yuri on ice review, I realised I could actually record the process. So as a bit of fun, I recorded myself painting Yuri’s head and made it into a speed drawing. To keep the video at a reasonable length I’ve split the speed drawing into two parts. The second part I’ll post next week when I find some decent background music for it (the background music to this one is a bit meh).

Originally, I was going to do a voice-over for the video to add a personal touch, but unfortunately suffered an awful bout of shyness and self-consciousness about my rather raw accent. Narrating an entire video somehow seemed a lot more daunting, than voicing a character in an audio comic. So, instead I created a few quick drawings for the video and rescued a few old drawings from WordPress media and put them to a new use. Though, I’m not a pro at digital drawing, I hope you enjoy this speed drawing
(A little heads up, for some reason YouTube’s auto Quality setting is sometimes making the video look blurry. If this happens click on the videos settings button which is the little cog shaped button, then click on Quality and select a number above 360p. This should fix any blurriness).

Hopefully you’re not dizzy after watching that, apologies if you are. If anything, you could call this an energetic attempted at speed drawing. After sitting down and really analysing this video, I’ve noticed I tend to do it when thinking or swapping the stylus from the left to the right hand. So, hopefully in the next attempt I’ll be able to refrain from doing it (although, being able to spin and draw at the same time is a talent in itself).

Hope you enjoyed this attempted at speed drawing. If all goes well part 2 should be posted very soon and…

As always thanks for reading/watching.

Yuri on Ice

8ce9cea2-6ad6-4639-8222-1ab7b859fac2In every reviewer’s life there comes a time, where they must wonder into the unknown and watch something they wouldn’t normally view. For me this is the romance genre and sports anime. Two genres I usually stay well away from, because they’re really not my cup of tea when it comes to entertainment. So, why watch an anime that combines the two? You may ponder. Let’s just say curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see why so many people were so taken by this show. Did this risky venture into the unknown pay off? Wait and see after a quick plot summary.

After completely bottling his last season of figure skating, Yuri Katsuki is left distraught and wondering if he should give up figure skating all together. Just as he’s about to throw in the towel, 5x world championship winner Victor Nikiforov shows up at Yuri’s family’s hot springs resort, offering to coach Yuri to greatness. Between Yuri’s lack of self-confidence, performance anxiety and an extremely angry blonde-haired kid showing up, Victor and Yuri really have their work cut out for them.

To be honest, it would be impossible to watch this show without falling in love with the character Yuri Katsuki (alternative spelling: Yuuri or Yūri). Right from the off set, you can see he’s a little bundle of nervous awkward energy, making him incredibly relatable. You can’t help but empathise with Yuri’s character. Between his internal catastrophizing freak outs, his proneness to weight gain and his general awkwardness, it’s hard not to feel for him, because let’s just face it we’ve all had our fair share of little awkward moments and freak out (maybe not to the scales of Yuri’s but you can still relate). Victor’s character is also very likeable in his own way, but personally I find Yuri that little teeny-weeny smidge more likeable (Victor is still great though).

In an anime that’s main focus is on characters competing in competitions and blossoming romances, the characters can make or break the show. In Yuri on ice, the characters more than make the show and are incredibly entertaining. Beside from Victor and Yuri, there are so many other characters to love. Even the brat character Yurio (Yuri Plisetsky), though he’s a massive jerk you still find yourself thoroughly enjoying his feistiness and loving his grumpy ways.

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Side views are my weakness, but I still try.

Christophe Giacometti is another character that stuck out to me. Possibly because the end of his internal skating monologue caused me to choked on my morning coffee (considering how mild the rest of the show is, it completely caught me of guard. Really was not expecting it to go that far). Nonetheless, there’s something very likeable about him, making Christophe another very enjoyable character.

Another notable point is how sweet this anime is. There are just moments in this anime where all you can say is “aww”. Moments like Phichit wanting to start his own skating show, Yuri giving Victor the ring, Yurio being somewhat nice to Yuri and so many more moments. Yuri on ice can also be very comical at times, most of its humour coming from ill-tempered Yurio expressing his displeasure of pretty much everything and everyone. The animation is pretty noteworthy too, the skaters move very fluently and smoothly while performing on the ice, which is rather amazing considering how difficult that must have been to achieve.

All shows have negative points and Yuri on ice is no exception, however these are only small. One point being, the show feels slightly rushed near the end. Perhaps because the anime is only 12 episodes long and the creators wanted to finish on a high note, so sped up the show’s pace a bit to reach that high. Another negative is that the show gets a tiny bit repetitive, however despite this it somehow doesn’t become boring. The skaters’ all have an internal monologue while performing. Giving a view into each skater’s personality and mindset while on the ice. These were rarely the same in each performance, keeping the show interesting and enjoyable to watch.

Overall, Yuri on ice is the best sports anime I’ve seen to date. Usually with sports or romance shows, I’d get very bored and disinterested a few episodes in and quickly drop the show. However, Yuri on ice was very different. It was very enjoyable and had me glued to the screen, loving every minute of it. So glued fact, that I binge watched the whole show in 2 days (something I rarely do, unless I really like the show). If I was to put my finger on what made this anime so enjoyable, I’d have to say its main protagonist Yuri Katsuki. He’s just a very human character which makes it incredibly difficult not to get invested in the anime. You just really want to see Yuri win and end up with Victor. If you’re into anime and haven’t seen this show yet, I would highly recommend giving it a go even if sports and romance anime can’t your thing.

Rating: 4.5/5

Erased

e22c43ce-cc31-4d41-bf46-59bd9b0018f5If you had the ability to go back in time and stop something truly horrific happening, would you? Personally, I wouldn’t think twice about it and would head back in a heartbeat, to stop a few things from coming to pass and that’s exactly what our main character (Satoru) in this anime chooses to do. But before we get into that, I’d like to announce that Erased was the winner of the little review poll, I carried out a while ago and I can certainly see why. So with that out of the way, let’s begin this review the same way as every review, and start with a quick description.

Erased, begins with a grownup Satoru struggling to get his manga published and working as a pizza delivery guy to earn money. Though Satoru is struggling as a manga artist, this isn’t what has him feeling blue. Satoru heart is weighed down by guilt and the regret that he couldn’t save his classmate (Kayo) from dying at the hands of a child serial killer, when he was 11 years-old.

This guilt is made worse by the fact that, since Satoru was a child he has had the ability to foresee when something bad is about to happen, allowing him to act and prevent the potential tragedy. Just before Kayo disappears, Satoru gets the feeling that something bad is about to happen to her. But being a child, Satoru doesn’t fully understand this feeling and ignores it. Shortly after this Kayo is reported missing and months later, her body is discovered and a young man arrested and wrongly charged with the murder. Though, Satoru feels awful for not doing something to prevent Kayo’s death, he tries his best to put this horror behind him. That is until, the real serial killer returns and murders Satoru mother, somehow framing Satoru in the process. Left with no option but to flee from police, things take a bizarre turn when Satoru’s ability has him sent back in time, to shortly before Kayo disappears, when he was turning 11 years-old. Quickly, Satoru realises the opportunity presented him and he sets out determined, to save Kayo and the murderer’s other victims, as well as trying to catch the killer in the process.

Quite the plot, isn’t it? As you’d expect there’s a lot of playing detective and trying to outsmart the murderer in this anime. Making Erased a rather interesting and captivating watch, that leaves you unable to take your eyes off the screen, for fear of missing something important that identifies the killer. On top of this, Erased is quite a cute anime that really warms the heart. Little boys running around wanting to be superheroes, trying to save their friends, is just adorable and incredibly sweet to watch.

9cabd461-6ea9-4d26-9f25-b18e9a6adf90When it comes to these sorts of shows predictability is very important. Erased I would class as not that predictable. Of course, going into this anime you kind of know that Satoru will stop the murderer, because if he didn’t then what would be the point of making the show. The ending would be horrible and the whole thing would be incredibly depressing, if he didn’t. You would imagine, not many people would want to watch a show like that, leading to the failure of the anime. Although you can predict that much, what you can’t foresee is how he’s going to stop the killer. Meaning, you know he’ll stop the killer but not know how he will do it (if that makes sense). Which in itself makes the show really exciting and suspenseful to watch.

In terms of identifying the killer, with these types of shows I love to try to identifying the culprit before the grand reveal. Using some true Sherlock Holmes skills, I was able to identify the killer at about episode 5 (it’s only 12 episodes long, so around the half way mark). The flashes you get of the killer was a real give away and completely confirmed my prediction. For the non-Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts however, the killer will come as quite the shock. Even if you do work out who the killer is, the show is still very enjoyable and strangely become a little more exciting, due to the killer’s closeness to the victims.

The animation in Erased is pretty average and what you’d expect from an anime. In saying that, there are still a few aspects of its animation that I really like. For example, though it made me jump out of my skin at first, the hypnotoad moments were rather cool. The unusual character designs, was also something you could appreciate about the animation and made characters really identifiable. For instance, the way grownup Satoru’s eyes can move like a lizard’s, to look behind him. Though a little creepy is still very cool and makes him stand out from the rest of the characters. The little extras like the blue butterflies, use of colour and the film reel concept were all very nice touches to the show’s animation and all work well to set the tone.

My only slight criticism I could give Erased is that the subtitle speed is a little too fast and can be hard to keep up with. But if you know how to use the pause and rewind buttons and don’t mind using them, this won’t be much of a problem (just a slightly annoying inconvenience).

Overall, Erased is an excellent anime with a great plot and delivery that does it justice. It’s not overly predictable and manages to have little surprises for the viewer at every turn. Especially, when it comes to the identity of the killer, making it rather exciting to watch. With its added cute factor and heart-warming moments, I can really see why this anime is a favourite of a lot of people. So, for these reasons I would highly recommend watching this anime, even if the subtitles are ridiculously fast.

Rating: 5/5

Animation Makeovers!

Time to have a little fun, over here on The Things I’ve Seen. About a week ago, my niece introduced me to an app called Facetune 2. An app one can use to edit your selfies, to make yourself look stunning. But of course, if you’re like me and not really into that sort of thing, you can find a different purpose for this app. This being, messing with your own face until it looks hilarious, and amusing yourself with your brilliant creations.
After, messing up one’s own face a whole bunch of times, you may start to wonder what else you can do with the app. This is when I discovered Facetune 2 can’t tell the difference between real faces and animated faces and of course being a little messer, I decided to perform a little animated plastic surgery on a few anime characters. But you know, this post wouldn’t be as fun if I didn’t give myself an animated Doctors name, so let go with Dr Kelly Fixenfacer (Dr Nel, for short).

So, what did Dr Kelly Fixenfacer get up to? Well, let me show you with some great before and after photos of my anime patients:

Levi: Before

IMG_E0001I’m pretty sure if you’ve ever watched Attack on Titan, you’ll know who this guy is. He’s a really cool character, however one thing I’ve noticed is that he doesn’t smile a lot (like just look at his photo, he looks like his puppy just died), so let’s fix this.

Levi: After

RMRM9459There we go, now he looks like he’s just thought of a really funny joke. His transformation just wouldn’t be complete without some lippy and blush, so I added those too.

L: Before

IMG_E0004Poor L, not sleeping has given him bags under his eyes and all that sweet eating and lack of sunlight has left him quite pasty. But you know, I believe Dr Nel can help him.

L: After

TXUE5070L’s a new man! Now he’s a beautiful shade of orange, those bags are gone and his new blue hair is so less draining than his black hair. Look, he ever has a little smile on his face. Sonic the Hedgehog would be so proud of him right now.

Strange Anime Girl: Before

IMG_E0008I don’t have a clue who this character is or what anime she’s from, but glob she looks disturbing. Let see if we can fix this a little.

Strange Anime Girl: After

GTGX7573There we go, reducing the eye size, giving her a longer face and drawing on a little bit of a nose, has made her look kind of cute.

Witch of the Waste (Howl’s Moving Castle-Studio Ghibli): Before

IMG_E0009Hmm… ever notice that the slightly eviler witches in Ghibli films, tend to be a little exaggerated (not that this is a bad thing. It makes for some very memorable characters). Yubaba (Spirited Away) for example has a massive head and the Witch of the Waste (which we have here), has so many necks that I’m not ever sure if she has a body. For curiosities sake, lets see what she would look like if we made her less exaggerated.

Witch of the Waste (Howl’s Moving Castle-Studio Ghibli):

NUOT2364Hmm… she kind of looks like the witch from The Little Mermaid, now. Who would have ever guessed that.

Lord Cob (Tales from Earthsea-Studio Ghibli): Before

IMG_E0011Aww… this poor soul doesn’t even have eyebrows or eyes for that matter. Actually, this character is pretty terrifying, but I think Dr Kelly Fixenfacer can make him look friendly and approachable.

Lord Cob (Tales from Earthsea-Studio Ghibli): After

PNIA6800Now, this is so much better. Closing up those eye holes, drawing on eyebrows, smoothing out his wrinkles and giving him a beautiful smile, has made him look so much more approachable. Now he doesn’t look like he wants to devour your soul, but wants to give you a friendly hug. His transformation wouldn’t be quite complete, if I didn’t give him a new hairdo, too.

Hopefully you’ve made it to the end this post without passing out, from laughing too hard at my creations. Scary thing is, Facetune 2 is a really simple app that even a child could use. Granted, it took me a while to manipulate the photos to look like this, but you can still imagine if someone really wanted to, they could easily use this app to completely alter their appearance in photos and deceive people. Anyway, putting that scary thought of the back of your mind, I hope you had as much fun reading this post as I had creating it. If you’d like me to improve (or mess up) the face of a particular animated character, let me know in the comments below.

As always Thanks for reading!

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part 5)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eBefore I start this review, I’d like to say Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is one of the best anime I’ve watched in a long time and has won a well-deserved spot in my top 3 anime series. It’s so great in fact that I was rather heartbroken after finishing the entire anime and left wondering what to do with myself. Now that I can’t unwind to some alchemy and homunculi getting their butts whipped. But sure, it’s not all bad. This gives me the perfect opportunity to find another great anime to get my teeth sunk into. So, without moping over anime heartbreak any further, I bring to you the last in this series of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood reviews.

Providing a spoiler free description of part 5, is kind of hard to do. So, all I will say is a lot of arse kicking and deaths occurred in part 5 and a few awesome Armstrong moments. As for the ending, you’ll be happy to hear it was very satisfying, unlike a lot of anime that are ruined by very poor no-questions-answered and everything-in-the-air endings. Though, the ending is a little sad (Glob Envy nearly broke me) it still leaves you with a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside.

7557043a-3782-4dc6-b0bc-3b0efe467880The best thing about part 5 and the whole anime in fact, is how the plot unravels, twists and turns right in front of the viewer’s eyes. It’s extremely hard to be bored while watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It completely captures your attention, while having you on the edge of your seat, screaming for more and dying to find out how everything will end. For me at least the plot wasn’t that predictable. Although I could predict somethings (final correct prediction count-24 out of 46 predictions), there was a lot that took me totally by surprise and when making prediction it was very hard to pinpoint exactly what was going to happen. Making this anime a truly exciting watch.

Second to the plot, the characters are Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood next greatest aspect. Despite it incredibly large cast, most characters are very well put together. Some have very unique personalities and/or design, that makes them stand out from the others. Some also have little quirks that make them very entertaining and others are just so relatable, that you couldn’t help but get emotionally invested in their story. At times, your heart will break for certain characters, at other times you’ll find yourself cheering them on and on the other side of this, you’ll also find yourself wishing for a horrific death to be brought upon particular characters (*cough *cough Kimblee).

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Glob, I hope this isn’t too dark to have in this review.

Even the villains, you can kind of feel sorry for and relate to, at points in the show. Though, they are still monsters, they have very understandable motives for their actions. Some just wanted to please their father and are like lost little children and others just wanted to fill a void in their heart and feel whole. Things most people can at least sympathise with. The point I’m trying to make here is, that on top of its great storyline Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood characters make the anime a real emotional roller-coaster to watch.

In addition to an exciting plot and excellent characters Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has a lot of little tiny things that bring the anime to whole other level of enjoyment. These include its very cute chemistry references, clueless and hothead Ed moments, a great soundtrack, dramatic Armstrong moments and fun little animations that provides comic relief. The voice acting is also something that rises this anime to other level. However as good voice acting is something that is expected from an anime as popular as this one, I won’t lengthen this post any further by going into great detail. All I will say is, that it really sucks you in and can cause you to be captured in the moment, quite often in the anime.

thumbnail_9f4c51f9-efd8-4735-b47a-af1847c01e07Like all well balanced reviews, we’ve come to the negatives of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. To be honest, I really had to put on the surgical gloves, get out the nit-comb and start some thorough nit-picking, to come up with some negatives for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. One these being, that in the English dub version Al is very obviously voiced by a woman. Considering he spends most his time as a suit of armour in the anime, this could become annoying or confusing for some viewers. Personally, I had no problem with this and thought his voice was very sweet and made him very loveable. However, some viewers might not feel the same, it really depends on personal taste.

While we’re in the business of nit-picking, I suppose you could class Colonel Roy Mustang as a negative. He’s a bit of an annoying, arrogant character. Although you can admire his daringness and awesome fire alchemy, for the most part his character is a bit too full of himself and a tad self-centred. He didn’t seem to give much thought to what would happen to his men, if he got caught snooping and seemed shocked when they were punished for his actions. In true blunt Irish fashion, one could say his head was a little too far up his own backside, making him a rather dislikeable fellow.

thumbnail_db98f359-0b8e-42d3-9b70-aedd05239dd1But wait we’re not finished yet, there is still more nits we can pick in this anime. A little juicy one being, we don’t see enough of that cute little panda Shao May. Shao May just suddenly fades into the background and we don’t see anymore of their adorable panda Kung Fu (hmm… wonder if Shao May is related to Po the Dragon Warrior) or hilarious, yet mildly evil panda logic. Considering how intense this anime gets at times, some Shao May cuteness could have been put to good use and eased the heaviness.

Speaking of heaviness, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood can be really sad, at times and hit you right in the heart. Especially, part 1 of this anime and when it comes to characters background stories or their deaths. It can be incredibly heart wrenching to watch and may be enough to make the more sensitive of us cry. However, this anime uses comedy very well to keep the show becoming extremely depressing and never really leaves you feeling gloomy for long.

thumbnail_62c6e2ab-bec7-49ac-82be-80e6092065c4A few other things you could argue as negatives, is the length of the anime and gross giant Envy’s animation. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is 64 episodes long, so is a huge commitment to watch from start to finish. I finished this anime wanting more, so in my opinion its worth it. As for Envy’s animation, it is kind of poor when he mutates into giant gross monster Envy and his movements look very unnatural. However, considering how long ago this show was made (2009-2010) you can somewhat forgive this. Also, you never really find out what that thing made from performing Human Transmutation actually is (or maybe we do and I’ve forgotten, because the show is that long. Let me know in the comments, if you know what that creature was. Not knowing is kind of bugging me).

2a626d16-7892-456b-9328-eb198776a377Overall, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an absolutely unbelievably great anime. It has all the features that make an anime incredible and then some. It’s the kind of show that will remind you why you love anime in the first place and why you got into it. Great storytelling mixed with amazing characters, really cool action scenes, shock and tragedy, topped with a sprinkle of comedy to prevent things getting too much, makes for one hell of a show. Unless you really nit-pick (like I did. Apologies for that, I really went to town on this anime), there isn’t much you can fault the anime for. So, for those reasons if you haven’t seen Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood yet, I would highly recommend placing it on top of your to watch list. Although, it is on the long side it’s completely worth it and you’ll most likely love every minute of it.

Rating: 5+/5 (It’s just that good)

4fb037e1-4b4b-4c45-b444-c28751a976bd

Yeah, I wasn’t going to end this review series without Chibi Armstrong.

Quite Possibly the Darkest Thing I’ve Ever Drawn

thumbnail_94c85aad-a778-45c9-95c8-f411abb1694eHave you ever had an idea, that at the time seemed great but later realise it wasn’t so great and might actually have been quite a bad idea? It’s safe to say we all have at least once in our lives. So, let me introduce you to my bad and rather morbid idea, Ninander (Glob, naming it really doesn’t help).

So, what possessed me to draw just a dark thing, you ask? Well, I was having trouble coming up with something to draw for the last Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood review and decided to draw the first thing that comes to mind, when I think of FMA: Brotherhood. Sadly, this was the little girl, Nina and her dog being blended together by her disturbed father, to make a human animal hybrid. At the time, this seemed like a great idea but after drawing it, I realised it might be a little too dark to include in the review (or even add colour to). It took a lot of time and effort to draw and I’m kind of proud of it, so I’m sharing it now in a separate post in case it isn’t used in the last review.

Although it isn’t coloured, I hope you’ve enjoyed one of my darker drawings
and as always, Thanks for reading.

The Problem with Finishing A Really Good Show.

pick 3Sadly, this week I was a sick wee pup with a thumping headache and a stomach bug. Even just moving my arms made my head unbearably painful, so drawing has been out of the question this week (hence the use of images in this post and no art work). This means I couldn’t create my usual posts this week or add colour to poor Finny.

Though my stomach still isn’t great, I’m feeling a little better and that Glob awful headache has gone. So, I thought instead of posting nothing this week, I’d take this opportunity to get all of you guys opinion on something.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you likely know about the series of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood reviews I was doing. Well, I’ve finished the series (expect the last review very soon) and have a bit of a problem now. The show was so good, that I don’t think I’ll be able to find another show as good as it to review next. So, here’s where all of your opinions come in to play. Since all of you will be reading the review, thought it’d be nice to share my anime to watch list and let you guys pick, which anime you’d like me to review next.

My Anime to Watch List:

One Punch man- A guy spent over an hour telling me about this anime and I have to say, it sounds hilarious. A superhero that wins his fights in only one blow! That definitely sounds like it would be worth a watch, if only for fun.

pick 1Fruits Basket- I know shocking, isn’t it? A little secret about me is that I have a really girly side, I mostly keep hidden and occasionally I like to indulge in girly stuff. Every so often, I get a little craving for watching something extremely girly and as a lot of people sing this anime’s praises, it might be worth checking out.

Erased- An anime with a huge mystery, where the main character is sent back in time to save his classmate from a murderer. It’s a favourite of a blogger I follow. He has very good taste and makes it sound like an incredibly exciting watch.

Serial Experiments Lain- This looks creepy as fudge and what I gather is, it’s about a girl who gains the ability to mess with reality, leading to some very twisted stuff happening. If it’s as creepy as it seems, it’ll make for an unbelievable watch.

School-Live!- I remember reading a lot of reviews on this anime and it sounded like a bit of an emotional roller-coaster, but at the same time kind of mind twisting.

Code Geass- An anime about a genius trying to change the world to his liking. Code Geass is compared a lot to Death Note and if it’s anyway as good as Death Note, it’ll be amazing to watch and review.

pick 5Death Parade- A Bartender holds games between recently dead people, to decide what happens their soul! Sounds crazy as hell, but in an interesting, “I want to learn more” sort of way and seems like quite the experience to watch.

Yuri on Ice- A sports anime about young men figure skating (am I the only one or does Blades of glory, comes to mind?). An anime, people keep telling me I should watch and about how beautiful Victor is. Truth be told, I’ve gotten rather curious about exactly how beautiful this Victor fella is.

Violet Evergarden- A young lady tries to rebuild her life after experiencing the rage of war. Sounds like quite the emotional watch. It was recommended to me by 2 other bloggers, so must be worth checking out.

My Hero Academia- A superhero anime about a boy gaining superpowers and going to hero school. It seems like an amazing hero anime and like something that would be really enjoyable. (Also, that green hair looks so awesome).

So, this is currently what’s on my “to watch list”, if you’d like to voice your opinion on these shows or recommend something else, please do in the comments below. It would be very much appreciated.

pick 4

Thanks for reading and hoping to be back to near full health soon.

Anime Torture- Early Morning Anime Alarms

A short while ago, I mentioned that my eldest Niece discovered anime. Making me both very proud and a little scared, because she loves to wind-up and is hell-bent on being annoying anime style. Long story short, she now uses anime related music to wake me up at silly o’clock in the morning (before 6am), to talk about or watch anime and anime related stuff with her.

But before anyone thinks my niece is just incredibly disrespectful. I was still a child when my niece was born and shared part of my childhood with her. So, we have more of a sister-like relationship and she is more like my annoying little sister, than my niece. Also, it’s awesome to share a common interest with her (I just wish she didn’t wake me up so early. Then again, I’m probably lazy and could do with waking up earlier).

Back on track, I thought it would make a fun post, if I rated the effectiveness of my early morning anime wake up calls. So, with that explained, let’s begin.

Lucky Star- Motteke Sailor Fuku:

If you fancy waking up in a state of confusion, wondering what the fudge is going on. This is the alarm clock for you. It will undoubtedly have you springing up in your bed, like Count Dracula in his coffin. However, if like me you struggle to find your words, just after being torn from the shores of Dreamland. You will most likely find yourself uttering random words, as you try to work out where the sound is coming from, in your confused state.
Rating: 8/10

Death Note- What’s up, people?!:

This is probably the most effective alarm you could ever have, so effective in fact that it’ll have you jump yourself awake, in fear and fall out of bed. However, it may actually be a little to good at scaring you awake and may cause you to suffer a massive heart attack, shortly after waking (ironic considering it’s from Death Note). Therefore, I would not recommend using this as your alarm.
Rating: 15/10 with the chance of death.

Attack on Titian- Guren no Yumiya:

Have you ever wanted to wake up feeling like you might have to fight a gang giant happy naked people, at any moment or like you might get kick in the face by a really attractive, but kind of small and grumpy man, at some point in the day? Well, this is definitely an alarm for you. All in all, it pretty darn good at getting you out of your scratcher.
Rating: 7/10

BTS-DNA:

I know, I know this isn’t anime music, it’s K-pop. But I guess, my niece wanted to mix things up a little and throw some K-pop in there. As for it’s effectiveness as an alarm, it’s just too gentle. It didn’t even make me flicker an eyelid. I just heard it and laid there with my eyes still shut, enjoying some BTS, then went back to sleep.
Rating: 3/10
Off topic; Glob RM voice! He has this Californian/L.A. accent and gosh darn it, it’s just so smooth and dreamy. It literally stops you in your track. Even if you’re not into K-pop, I would highly recommend just listening to RM talk. It’s amazing. (Hmmm, I wonder if RM’s voice would make a better alarm? What? Too creepy?)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood-Yui (Again):

Need that little extra boost to get out of bed in the morning? If so, why not try this alarm on for size. The song itself is incredible (one of my favourite openings), but because of its instrumentals and beat, it makes a brilliant alarm. The intro alone is enough to wake even the deepest sleeper. Not to mention, it’s a bit of a good mood song and singing along, is almost irresistible.
Rating: 9/10

Pokémon- Gotta Catch Em All!:

Fancy waking up feeling like a king, like your day is going to be one amazing adventure and like the world is your oyster. Of course, you do. If you have to leave that wonderful place we call bed, you might as well feel great doing it. That’s why I would highly recommend this song for your alarm. Its intro is loud enough to rise you from your slumber and the rest of the song is so upbeat, it’ll make you want to get out of bed and have an amazing day.
Rating: 10/10

We’ve made it to the end of my anime alarm ratings. Hope you’ve had fun and maybe found you’re new morning alarm music. If you, have also found yourself in the presence of a young anime sadist or can think of any anime openings, that would make a good alarm, let me know in the comments below.

As always, Thanks for reading. I’m off now to get some sleep, before I’m woke up again by the beautiful screams of “What’s up, people?!” (Death Note).

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part 4)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eI’ve thankfully picked up the pace with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. The threat of my oldest niece spoiling it on me, was enough for me to get my heinie in gear and get a move on with this series. My oldest niece spoiling Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood would definitely be more annoying, than her reminding me that she’s taller than me. Anyway, before I start rambling, I’ll give you a quick summary of what has happened in part 4.

Ed was impaled and nearly died, while Al struggled to remain conscious. That kick-ass team of Homunculus butt whoopers I was wishing for, happened (it was so awesome). We learnt the full story of Van Hohenheim past and that Papa Humpy (Father) is just a wrinkly old leather handbag and used to live in a flask. We also discovered that Envy was nothing more than a gross, unkillable talking leech.

Everyone eventually headed to central, where my opinion of Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong deteriorated. When she brutally assaulted her brother Alex the sparkly He-Man, then kicked him out of his home and kept having stabs at his sensitive personality. The saddest thing is, Alex saves her from being squashed by Sloth.

Kimblee’s head was nearly bitten of by a lion-man (it was great) and to my great pleasure, he died when he was eaten by Pride (Glob, I hated Kimblee so much). Pride also committed cannibalism and ate Gluttony and Colonel Mustang has finally made his move to take over central. Unfortunately, an army of unkillable zombies was released in central, putting a bit of a dampener on everyone’s plans.

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Chibi Alex

Before we go any further in this review, I’m just going to put my hands up and confess that I absolutely love this anime. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has literally blown its way into my top 5 anime series. It’s the best darn anime I’ve watched in ages and I’ve not been this excited about an anime in a very long time. Now that I’ve gotten my fangirling out of the way, on with the review.

Part 4 has had all the same great aspects as the 3 previous parts, however two things part 4 has made me aware of is, how great character development and design is in this anime. Character development wise, you really go on a journey with the characters. Van Hohenheim for example, I went from thinking he was a bit of a-hole for leaving his children, to feeling sorry for the guy, to falling in love with his character. His whole background story completely changes how you see Van Hohenheim, adding layers to his character and also makes you develop some empathy for the guy. Ed and Al’s, character development is almost as good as Van Hohenheim. They go from miserable little boys missing their Mummy, to being deeply remorseful and wanting their bodies back at all cost, to wanting to save everyone even if that means not getting back their bodies. Ed and Al really mature throughout the series. Ed even grows a little and looks less boy-like.

The character design in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is something I’ve been really enjoying. The diversity in how characters are drawn is just amazing and works really well together. For example, you have your very masculine sharply drawn characters like Van Hohenheim, the Chimeras, Scar, Alex and King Bradley. The more rounded softly drawn characters like Ed, Winry, May Chang, Pride, Colonel Mustang and Hawkeye. Then, the in-betweens like Ling Yao, Yoki, Kimblee and Hughes and also the extremely animated exaggerated characters like Sloth and Gluttony. There is just so many different drawing styles/character designs going on in this anime, which for me has been a breath of fresh air. Visually for an anime, there’s nothing worse than characters all looking the same, just with different hair styles or different eye and hair colours. It’s like they’ve been made with a cookie cutter or something.

2a626d16-7892-456b-9328-eb198776a377The only real downside to this anime is that it literally takes the characters ages to do anything. For instance, they said promise day was going to happen the next day and 4 episodes later, promise day still didn’t happen. Also, it took them 11 episodes to go to central to kick Papa Humpy’s butt and his butt still hasn’t been kicked. Like seriously I love this anime, but they’re taking the biscuit a bit with that. If I was in the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood universe, I would have given Papa Humpy a good butt whooping by now and be sitting down to a nice cup of Tea with Alex and Van Hohenheim. In saying that however, this is an annoying trope of this type of anime, so I guess I can’t be too harsh on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Overall, part 4 has been as excellent as the previous 3 parts. After, over 50 episodes it still has my attention firmly captured and still has me dying for more. It does have that “takes ages to do anything” trope, but considering how entertaining this anime is, you can kind of let that slide. As this is the best anime series I’ve seen in a very long time, I would highly recommend watching it if you haven’t seen it already.

Rating: 5/5

Predictions:
Now for the part I really enjoy, trying to predict how this anime will end. As these are the last predictions I will make. I’m limiting myself to 5 new predictions and a death list, to make them a little more focused. So far, I made 13½ correct predictions, so I’m confident I’ll get at least one right.

thumbnail_2b5f5f70-ea5d-4730-9b17-05af8ae3fa81My Final Predictions are:
-The zombies, I don’t think anyone is be able to control them. So, they’ll most likely escape into the city, where Briggs’s men will get into an epic fight with them. But as the zombies are unkillable, I predict that Dr Marcoh’s will turn up last minute, to use his Philosopher’s Stone destroying alchemy on them. Either that or they’ll have to trick Envy into absorbing them all.

-Papa Humpy can’t survive outside has container. But from the look of him, his container has seen better day and is starting to age/deteriorate. Therefore, I think Papa Humpy isn’t after an immortal army (he already has that), but is going use transmutation as a way to get a new container or fix/improve the one he has. To be honest, it this point in the anime that’s the only thing he could gain from transmutation. He already controls everything and has his army, so it’s the only thing that would make sense.

– Van Hohenheim and Papa Humpy are linked, so I think in order to kill Papa Humpy, Van Hohenheim is going to have to die, too (like Voldemort in Harry Potter).

– Truth (the shadow thing in the portal) will escape from the portal and Ed and Al will have to fight it, too.

– Hawkeye’s and Scar’s tattoos are going to have to come to play, at some point (otherwise why have them in the anime). Therefore, I predict that they will be the key to defeating Papa Humpy (or Truth if it escapes)

thumbnail_62c6e2ab-bec7-49ac-82be-80e6092065c4My Death list:
Colonel Mustang
Hawkeye
Scar
Izumi Curtis
Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong
The Homunculus and Papa Humpy (they have to die for the anime to come to a satisfying end)
Van Hohenheim (there’s been a lot of red flags with his character. He seems like he wants to die, so if he isn’t killed in the final battle, he’ll probably find another way to die. Like using Dr Marcoh’s Philosopher’s Stone destroying alchemy or letting Ed and Al use him to get their bodies back).

There’s still a lot of my previous predictions in play, but as this post is already rather long and I don’t want to make it any longer on you guys, so I’ll leave them out.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and Thanks for reading.