Looking Back on A Year of Art

Hope you all had a lovely time over the holidays. For the first post of the year I thought I’d do something special and look back on some of my favourite art work from 2018. This time of year, a lot of bloggers do a best post list, favourite review list or a statistic post, so I decided to put my own wee twist on that and make a post looking back on my art for 2018.

So, without further ado, I give to you my 2018 favourite art work:

An accurate depiction of playing Sims

thumbnail_82616da9-b71c-4fe7-aabd-e5b46c9d1dc3If you’ve ever played sims, you’ll probably get what this little digital drawing is about. I made it for part of a devilish gaming post and it still brings a little smile to my face. It represents what eventually happens when you play sims and get a little bored. You become a bit of a sims sadist and explore all the creative ways you can torment your sims.

Not quite right Charmander

thumbnail_20180530_2300372018 seemed to be a year of drawing Pokémon, my 2018 sketch books are full of little Pokémon sketches. Back on point, this little drawing was part of an art style challenge where you had to draw yourself in different art styles. A not quite right Charmander holding a flower, sums me up well which is why I really like this piece.

Baby Batman

thumbnail_eb206f48-8f29-4846-b46a-583a33aba115Batman is awesome, so why not turn him into a chibi and name him baby batman. This was drawn for an award post and was part of the answer for a question about what superhero I would take to karaoke and what we would sing together. (We’d sing the Batman theme song. You can’t take Batman to karaoke and not sing it, that would just be crazy).

Yuri and Victor

IMG_0044Not the best thing I’ve drawn in 2018, but I like the feeling captured in this piece. Yuri on ice is an amazing and heart-warming anime and one of the best anime I watched in 2018. Which is probably another big reason I like this drawing.

Doodle Flower

thumbnail_20180614_141806Who would have known, painting a doodle of a flower would produce such good results. I really wasn’t expecting much to come of painting doodles, but surprisingly it turned out pretty good (literally thought it would be a complete mess).

Little Rabbit

thumbnail_20180404_173424In 2018 my art abilities took a huge leap; this piece shows that leap and is when I realised, I was starting to get better at painting. My art skills still have a long way to go but it’s nice to see improvement. Also, bunnies are cute.

Chimera

94c85aad-a778-45c9-95c8-f411abb1694e2And now we hit the dark art. This part of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is heart-breaking and really brings a tear to the eye. FMA: brotherhood is one of my favourite anime and best watch of 2018, so I had to pick something from that series of reviews. Out of all the digital art I created for that series this is the best one, chibi Armstrong was a very close second though.

Flower Face

thumbnail_20180912_223437This was actually a practice piece that somehow turned out better than all my non-practice pieces of faces. In this piece, I was just trying out a new technique for shading and it turned out to be a hell of a lot better than the technique I was using before.

White bird

44e9925a-3968-44d2-8400-8afa01465f0cValley of White birds was a beautiful little short film, which is what inspired this digital art. Out of all the digital art I created in 2018, this the best piece by far. There was a lot of time spent experimenting with different brushes during its creation, but it was worth it and is one of my favourite pieces.

Pokémon

thumbnail_20181128_211525The best darn Pokémon drawing I ever did, which is why it got top spot on this list. It was coloured using soft pastels which is an incredibly unforgiving, so the fact I didn’t make a complete mess of it makes me like this piece even more.

Hope you enjoyed this post, it’s been very nostalgic looking back on all the things I drew in the past year. I kept the comic strips out of this list to prevent the post becoming too long. However, they were one of the greatest things I did in 2018 and is the main reason my art improved so much this past year. It really challenged me to draw things I never would have tried drawing and pushed my ability.
Getting back on track, I hope you all the best in 2019 and…

As always, Thanks for reading!

Bonus:

IMG_0144I had way too much fun editing this photo of Dobby in Autodesk Sketchbook.

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One liners

I love reading one liner challenge posts, they can really be hilarious at times. So, after being nominated for this challenge (quite a while ago), I thought it was time to give it a try myself. But before we get started, I’d like to thank POP CULTURE LITERARY for the nomination and apologise for taking so long to respond to this challenge. There’s a lot of cool and interesting stuff over at POP CULTURE LITERARY, so I’d recommend checking it out.

The Rules:

  • Accept and thank your challenger(s) by linking back to their post.
  • Make a post of one-sentence summaries and/or roasts of at least five books.
  • No spoilers! (I will try but no promises)
  • Link back to The Awkward Book Bloggerso she can see your post.
  • Challenge as many or as few people as you want!
  • Have fun!

Right so let’s begin! I read mostly non-fiction books which wouldn’t really work in this post, so I’ve also added five anime to the mix.

Books:

81UvcPHNEPLBlue Planet II– The Book that proves sea monsters really do exist.

alice1898Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland- An adventure where a girl falls down a hole, eats shrooms, drinks potions, ignores the rules of stranger danger and manages to really peeve off some psycho lady by painting her roses, basically some peoples’ Saturday night.

51M0okPhZoLBram Stoker Dracula You can’t help but read it in Dracula’s voice, bleh bleh bleh.

81AlqaFjyaLThe Twits- The book that taught me to seek revenge when I was a child, even if it involves using a swimming pools worth of glue and inducing the shrinks.

91j7w+EJXvLThe Miniaturist- A valuable lesson in not being creepy by making miniature dolls of random rich strangers and their home furnishings, because they’ll freak out, think you’re a witch, blame you for everything that goes wrong in their life and people will be thrown in the canal wearing a boulder necklace.

387145._SX1280_QL80_TTD_The Walking Dead Comic- Man awakens from a coma to find himself in a zombie apocalypse and decides to become a zombie slaying cowboy (Sort of like the TV show but better).

Anime:

1200x630bbDeath Note- A narcissistic psychopathic emo guy finds a note book that literally makes the pen mightier than the sword, which leads to him having a strange relationship with another very odd emo guy and they play cat and mouse then explore bondage.

1200x630bb (1)Black Butler-For the low, low price of one’s soul, you can have an extremely attractive demon ninja slave that will pretty much do anything for/to you (and I mean “anything”).

01e7eb6f5277ed21e158087e5422042cb10c227cr1-561-797v2_hqTokyo Ghoul- Boy gets turned into a half ghoul then sits around drinking coffee with other ghouls, being a hate-the-world and yaps about his life then decides to give cannibalism a go.

173941Durarara- An anime with a headless cat lady biker and where gang violence, knife crime and mob mentality are rampant, but for some reason no one has offed the snitch.

Lucy-Elfen-Lied-horror-anime-manga-37156938-500-375Elfen Lied- Where clothing and limbs are optional but bathing is a compulsory group activity.

Nominations:
At this point, I think nearly everyone has either already done this challenge or been nominated for it. Therefore, I nominate anyone who hasn’t already been nominated yet.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post, I had a lot of fun making it and…

As always, Thanks for reading!

Cute Pokémon Art 

After 2 weeks of no sketching or doodling, being able to draw again felt so good. But what does one sketch when you haven’t lifted a pencil in 2 weeks and in fear that you’ve forgotten how to draw? Cute Pokémon of course! Specifically, a sketch capturing the friendship of a group of cute starter Pokémon.
If you’re following me on Instagram, you may already have seen the sketch part of this post. Luckily, I’ve added colour to that sketch, so there’s still something new to see in this post. So, with that in mind let’s begin.

thumbnail_20181128_132941To be completely honest, I was surprised the sketch turned out this good. Shoulder injury has somehow improved my ability to draw Pokémon (hmm… wonder if I injure it some more, will I improve further). Granted, I couldn’t sketch as lightly as I usually do (hence why you can see a few stray lines), but still this is the best darn Pokémon sketch I’ve done to date.

thumbnail_20181128_195523For the colour I decided to torture myself a little and whip out the soft pastels again. They do create a lot of dust, that chokes you half to death if breathed in and they’re not my best medium, but I still really want to master them. This time however, I used a different approach with the soft pastels and used a dry paint brush to apply them, instead of using them directly on the page. This technique is still difficult to use, but creates a lot less dust and mess.

thumbnail_20181128_195641One thing you learn pretty early on when learning to draw, is that pencil lines have a habit of fading while you’re adding colour and after, they usually need touched up or gone over with a fine liner. Which is exactly what happened with this piece, so I redone the linework after adding colour.

thumbnail_20181128_211525Finally, this piece just wouldn’t be complete without some kind of background. The only problem with this was, that I was using soft pastels. Soft pastel can be incredibly unforgiving, meaning doing anything fancy with the background would greatly risk ruining the entire piece. So, I played it safe and went somewhat simpler with the background and concentrated on using the background to get some more colour in the piece.

Really don’t want to sound big-headed or full of myself, but I’m very pleased with how this piece turned out. Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and…

As always, Thanks for reading!

(I’ll probably post this finished piece on Instagram sometime next week, just to tie up loose ends and not have incomplete work posted on there.)

The Hunger Games (Anime Duo Edition)

Something rather unfortunate happened last weekend. Don’t worry there wasn’t a reaping and I’m not partaking in the hunger games, I just twisted my shoulder in a manner no shoulder should be twisted and haven’t been able to draw. But let’s not let that stop us having fun over on this blog. Instead of the usual art or review type post, I thought I’d let you all in on a little weird thing I do for a bit of fun and a laugh. Which is putting characters and people through a hunger games simulator. Before you panic and think I’m hosting the hunger games in my back garden, let me explain what the hunger games simulator is. Basically, it’s a simulator available on the internet where you enter 24 names (12 teams of 2) and it produces a hunger games story for you (The hunger games, is a movie where 2 young people from each of the 12 Districts are forced to partake in a survival game, that only ends when there is one participant left alive).

As you can imagine, you can get some really strange but entertaining stories when you enter fictional characters into these simulators. As a lot of the people who follow this blog enjoy anime, I thought why not start The Hunger Games of with an Anime Duo Edition. To add my own personal touch to the story I’ve made my own tributes, fallen tributes and winner sheets for this story (since they could be made using one hand and since the simulator’s sheet weren’t very good quality) and I’ve added some commentary to the story, which is in brackets.

So, let’s begin the game and may the odds be ever in your favour:
(Warning: These simulators can be very violent and dark at times and may trigger those of a sensitive nature)

The Hunger Games (Anime Duo Edition) Tributes:IMG_0110

IMG_0111

I can’t pronounce the title Durarara, so I nicknamed the anime Rara

The Cornucopia
As the tributes stand on their podiums, the horn sounds.

WolfwoodAsh, and Goku work together to get as many supplies as possible.

Migi kills Ed with his own weapon. (Glob, the irony. A parasite infected hand kills another tribute with their automail hand. Warned you it can get violent)

Sebastian runs into the cornucopia and hides.

Hawk rips a mace out of L‘s hands.

Shinichi finds a bag full of explosives.

Levi bashes Ciel‘s head against a rock several times. (Levi isn’t playing around. Sebastian definitely won’t be pleased with Levi, laying a hand on his young master. Levi better watch his back)

Light grabs a jar of fishing bait while Bulma gets fishing gear.

Shizuo takes a handful of throwing knives.

Yuri, Kaneki , Meliodas, Al,  Touka , Vash  and Eren runs away from the Cornucopia. (I would run away too in this situation)

Pikachu grabs a jar of fishing bait while Celty gets fishing gear.

Victor stays at the cornucopia for resources. (I have a feeling Victor isn’t going to last very long, considering Sebastian is hiding in there)

Day 1
SebastianLEren, and Celty hunt for other tributes. (ooh that’s one hell of a team. No one will stand a chance against them 4)

Goku diverts Levi‘s attention and runs away.

Ash hunts for other tributes.

Migi receives medical supplies from an unknown sponsor. (Killing Ed must have not been as easy as we thought)

VictorBulmaAl, and Meliodas hunt for other tributes.

Wolfwood receives a hatchet from an unknown sponsor.

Shizuo tends to Shinichi‘s wounds. (aww that’s so kind)

Touka tries to sleep through the entire day. (Good plan. If you sleep people will think your dead and leave you be)

Hawk searches for a water source.

Pikachu runs away from Vash.

Kaneki sets an explosive off, killing Light, and Yuri. (oh no! Not Yuri, Kaneki how could you)

4 cannon shots can be heard in the distance. The following tributes have fallen: IMG_0112

Night 1
Ash, Meliodas, and Al sleep in shifts.

Shizuo loses sight of where he is.

Goku defeats Kaneki in a fight, but spares his life. (Kaneki doesn’t deserve mercy for exploding poor wee Yuri like that)

Celty receives clean water from an unknown sponsor.

Hawk sets up camp for the night.

Shinichi, Bulma, and Vash cheerfully sing songs together. (Nothing like a good old sing song to forget about being murdered in your sleep)

Levi sees a fire, but stays hidden.

Migi goes to sleep. (That’s so Migi)

L, Pikachu, and Eren sleep in shifts.

Sebastian quietly hums. (Sounds so menacing)

Victor is unable to start a fire and sleeps without warmth.

Touka dies from hypothermia. (I guess sleeping all day wasn’t a good of idea after all)

Wolfwood tries to treat his infection.

Day 2
Shizuo attacks Goku, but he manages to escape.

Migi defeats Wolfwood in a fight, but spares his life.

LVash, and Levi track down and kill Eren. (Betrayed by Levi, dang)

Sebastian is pricked by thorns while picking berries.

Kaneki travels to higher ground.

Pikachu and Al hunt for other tributes. (Aww that’s the cutest team ever)

Shinichi collects fruit from a tree.

Victor constructs a shack.

Bulma sprains her ankle while running away from Hawk. (Hahaha, I could so see that happening)

Celty dies from thirst. (She received water just the night before, the irony)

Ash receives fresh food from an unknown sponsor.

Meliodas hunts for other tributes.

Arena Event
A swarm of tracker jackers invades the arena. (Yeah, everyone is truly fringed now)

Vash and Shizuo run out of places to run and are stung to death.

Shinichi knocks Al unconscious and leaves him there as bait. (Oh glob that’s so evil)

While running away from the tracker jackers, Hawk grabs Goku and throws him to the ground. (Hawk is really scary in this game)

Pikachu slowly dies from the tracker jacker toxins. (Aww poor Pikachu)

Sebastian, Bulma, Victor, Ash, Levi, Meliodas, Wolfwood, and L survives.

Migi is stung to death.

Kaneki survives. (Glob darn it, I was hoping he’d be stung to death)

9 cannon shots can be heard in the distance. The following tributes have fallen:IMG_0114

Night 2
passes out from exhaustion. (That happened even before he entered the game)

Ash quietly hums.

Levi receives an explosive from an unknown sponsor.

Kaneki ambushes Shinichi and kills him. (It this point I think we can agree that Kaneki is pure evil)

Wolfwood loses sight of where he is.

Victor starts a fire.

Bulma questions her sanity. (As do I)

Meliodas convinces Hawk to snuggle with him. (So cute)

Sebastian starts a fire. (Let’s hope it not like the book of circus)

Day 3
Wolfwood explores the arena. (At least he’s not lost anymore)

L, Ash, Hawk, and Meliodas hunt for other tributes.

Sebastian unknowingly eats toxic berries. (What is with Sebastian and berries? First, he pricks himself picking them, now he’s eating poison berries. You’d think he’d learn to leave them alone)

Bulma sprains her ankle while running away from Levi. (Both Bulma’s ankles are sprained now, she isn’t surviving much longer)

Victor scares Kaneki off. (WTF How?)

Arena Event
The remaining tributes begin to hallucinate. (This should be interesting)

Hawk eats a scorpion, thinking it is a delicate dessert. (That’s like something Hawk would do)

Wolfwood hugs a tracker jacker nest, believing it to be a pillow. (ouch, so unfortunate)

mistakes Kaneki for a bear and kills him. (finally, revenge for Yuri)

Meliodas, Bulma, L, Ash, Levi and Victor survives.

5 cannon shots can be heard in the distance. The following tributes have fallen:IMG_0115

Night 3
Victor receives medical supplies from an unknown sponsor.

Ash destroys Bulma’s supplies while she is asleep.

Meliodas thinks about winning. (Oh cocky, everyone better watch out)

Levi sees a fire, but stays hidden.

questions his sanity. (Only now? Pretty sure you were dancing on the border of insanity before the games)

The feast
The cornucopia is replenished with food, supplies, weapons, and memoirs from the tributes’ families.

Levi decides not to go to The Feast.

BulmaAshL, and Meliodas form a suicide pact, killing themselves. (Holy cheese on a cracker, that’s so dark. The hunger games are no picnic, but glob I wasn’t expecting that)

Victor decides not to go to The Feast.

Day 4
Levi severely injures Victor and leaves him to die. (Victor really stood no chance against Levi)

5 cannon shots can be heard in the distance. The following tributes have fallen:IMG_0113

The winner is Levi from District 3!IMG_0116

Statisticsgame 3

Hope you enjoyed the story; the simulator isn’t usually as dark as that, it’s normally a lot more comical (it’s really the luck of the draw which type of story you get). At best I won’t be able to draw for at least a week, so I plan on doing a few of these. Maybe a Harry Potter edition or other movie themed one and to keep it interesting I’ll put a spin the story delivery part.

As always Thanks for reading.

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.

IMG_0044

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)

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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.