Gacha Life-ing That Character

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Me after drawing overload.

After creating a 17-page long chapter for a comic strip (Finding My Own Way), I’m pretty darn beat. Creating a comic takes a lot of work and is pretty time-consuming, so after a lengthy session of comic booking and drawing like a woman possessed, one really needs a way to cool down and relax. How do I relax, you ask? (Well, you probably don’t ask, but it’s a great way to smoothly flowing from one topic to another, so I’ll answer that question anyway)

I relax with some Gacha Life. If you don’t know what that is, Gacha Life is an app/game that allows you to create little characters, then play about with our creations. You can pose them, add in backgrounds and props and even add speech bubbles. Essentially, it’s just a cute little dress-up game, but being a professional eejit, I have found a new use for this game. I pick a random character or person and set myself the challenge of trying to make that character using Gacha Life. This can be a bit tricky at times, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Anyway, let me introduce you to my latest attempts.

Levi from Attack on Titan:
IMG_0853Sadly, the app didn’t have vertical maneuvering equipment, so poor Levi has to do without. He still looks pretty badass though, but Levi just wouldn’t be Levi without fighting a Titan or two, so I posed him with one.

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And for all the Levi Fans and even made one of him doing a spot of cleaning.

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L from Death Note:
IMG_0856Playing Gacha Life just wouldn’t be fun if I didn’t try to make my favourite anime character, L. In case you’ve forgot who he is, I’ve posed L like we last see him in the anime.

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Hmm… he looks a little lonely, so let’s add in a little Ryuk I made earlier to keep him company.

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Ed from Fullmetal Alchemist:
IMG_0860I’m pretty proud of how this one turned out. I tried to make an Alphonse and Alex to keep Edward company, but sadly Gacha Life just didn’t have the things needed to make those characters. (Lunime has an anime version of Gacha Life called Gacha Studio, so I might download it and try again with it. I will make a sparkling mini He-Man someday).

Grell from Black Butler:
IMG_0861Another of my favourite characters. I really love Grell, unfortunately though the game didn’t have a chainsaw I got equip Grell with, so I had to make do with a handsaw. Grell still looks pretty menacing with it though. But you know Grell does need a little Bassy to play with, so I made Sebastian too.

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Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street:
IMG_0886In case you’re not an anime fan, I also try to make non-anime characters like Freddy with the app. He may be a cute little chibi but I still wouldn’t want him appearing in my dreams.

Predator from Alien Vs Predator:
IMG_0888Okay, this one is a bit of the stretching, but it does sort of look like Predator.

Suga (Yoon-gi) from BTS:
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Lastly and cutest of all Yoongi, modelled on my favourite photo of him.

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This is my favourite photo

Since I’ll use any opportunity to add a little sweet Suga to a post, here one of Yoongi jamming.

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And one of him being the sleepy Yoongi we all love.

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Hope you enjoyed my Gacha Life characters; they were a hell of a lot of fun to make. There was a lot of failed attempts during the making of this post, including Goku, Colossal Titan, Alex Armstrong, Alphonse, Yuri from Yuri on ice, Dobby from Harry Potter and Edward Scissorhands. Sadly, Gacha Life just couldn’t capture the awesomeness of these characters, which is why I’ll be checking out Gacha Studio and try to bring you more amazing characters using it.

As always, Thanks for reading!

A Sort of Belated B-Day Post

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I went to the beach for a b-day picnic and the sea was gone, so we spent the day splashing in tide pools.

This month is almost over so it might be a little late for this, but I’ve done a b-day post 2 years running and to don’t want to break habit. June is my birth month and usually I make a special little post to celebrate it, but this year time sort of slipped away. I was drawing a new chapter for the comic strip I Collab on over on Mangatoon (click here for a link to it) and wanted to get it finished and posted as soon as possible, which took up a lot of the free time I use for art and blogging. (If you’re following the comic strip-Finding My Own Way, a new chapter should be up on Mangatoon very soon).

Last year I made a “Silly Things That Life Just Wouldn’t Be the Same Without” list and wanted to keep that sort of personal post thing going. So, after searching the far corners of my brain for a post idea, I’ve decided make a “getting to know you” type post (after realising I never actually made a proper one for this blog) and share 10 facts about myself, so you all can know a little more about me. So, before I ramble on any further, I bring to you:

10 Facts About The Things I’ve Seen Blogger:

1: My name is Kelly. Thought I’d start with an easy one (10 in a big number and it might be hard to reach). Some of you might already know this but Kelly is my actual name and Nel is a nickname I use sometimes.

2: I’m a huge night owl. Night seems to be the time where I come alive the most. During the morning and day, I’m usually not very talkative and kind of slow moving like a sloth, but at night I spring to life, have a load of energy and can get very chatty.

3: Anime preference. When it comes to anime, I’m very much a grazer and like to take my time with a series. Genre wise, I like Shounen, adventure, psychological and horror anime more (any sort of anime that gets you to really think or is mind-boggling). With the exception of a few anime (like Hal, Little Witch Academia and The Garden of Words) I’m not very fussed in romance or cutesy pink fluffy anime (shoujo) (strangely though I do like otome games and romance manga).

afp-519400037-4_34: Celeb crushes. Most people have a wee soft spot for someone famous, which is pretty harmless. I have 2, they are Leonardo DiCaprio (I swear that man is increasing in handsomeness with age) and Min Yoongi (a.k.a Suga), he’s so unbelievably cute.
(It was too hard to choose just one pic of Suga!)

5: A huge secret of mine is that I hate the taste of potatoes. Out of context this seems like a weird secret to keep, but I live in Ireland and for some reason most people here have a strange emotional attachment to potatoes (I’ve witnessed grown adults cry over potatoes, which really doesn’t help the whole Irish stereotype thing). Admitting you don’t like potatoes to other Irish people is a huge no no and would lead to me having to go into hiding. Okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration that probably wouldn’t happen. If I didn’t eat the disgusting flavourless claggy mush that is potatoes, my family and friends would just assume I was seriously ill, had developed an eating disorder or food phobia or was on my death bed and would become really concerned and want to take me to see a doctor urgently. I don’t want to make them worry unnecessarily, so I just choke some potatoes down every day and act like I’m enjoying it. Also potatoes are a staple here and I can’t eat beard or pasta (I have a wheat and barley allergy), so without potatoes my diet would just consist of vegetables, eggs and the odd bit of meat or fish (oh and chocolate and coffee, can’t forget those) and that’s probably not enough to stop me dying from malnourishment. Anyway, enough potato talk and on to the next fact.

6: I might have a bit of a coffee addiction. When I don’t have coffee for over 12 hours, I get really bad migraines, start to feel sick and become incredibly moody. To be honest I suffered from migraines before I became a coffee drinker, so at this point I’m not sure if the migraines are because of coffee withdraw or if the coffee keeps the migraines at bay. Either way without coffee, I don’t feel too good.

7: I’m naturally very quiet. I go hours without talking sometimes or making any sort of sound. This can come off like I’m extremely shy or snobbish sometimes, which is only half true (sometimes I feel too uncomfortable or stressed out to talk in certain people’s presences, so don’t unless absolutely necessary), but most of the time it’s just because I’m content and don’t really have anything be say. It’s not that I’m unsocial, I can start up a conversation even with a stranger. It’s just that I prefer to listen and don’t mind silence, so go quiet a lot.

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8: I love drawing Pokémon. I love doodling in general but Pokémon, I find myself doodling them a hell of a lot. They’re just so cute and some of them look really cool. When I’m thinking really hard, more often than not, I’ll end up doodling a Pikachu, Oddish or snorlax in the margin of the page.

9: I’m learning Korean because reading subtitles makes me sleepy and learning Japanese was too hard. This is a bit of a compromise and bit to do with my fascination with writing systems. Anyway, reading subtitles makes me feel very sleepy, but I really like watching anime, J and K-dramas and films which creates a dilemma between watching the shows I like and falling asleep. So, to solve this I decided to try to learn Japanese to eliminate the need to read subtitles. Unfortunately, I found it very difficult and got really confused and lost with the reading systems, so tried learning Korean instead (which still isn’t easy but its more manageable). I can only understand about 10-20% of what is said in a K-drama or horror, but on the bright side I really enjoy learning Korean and writing really random things in hangul.

10:  I always laugh at dad jokes. There’s just nothing like a good old dad joke to lift the spirit and I am the type of person who will laugh at them, even if they’re not funny. The cheesier the joke the better. It’s more the irony and cringeyness of the joke that I laugh at, than the joke itself.

Hope you enjoyed this post, if you’d like to share a fact about yourself, feel free to do so in the comments below. I’d love to hear it.

As always Thanks for reading!

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One last photo of Yoongi before you go. Love his gummy smile.

Top 10 Studio Ghibli Movies (Updated)

thumbnail_IMG_20190604_113740_084Lately I’ve been in a very Ghibli mood, a mood that consists of wanting to be awed by wonder, enchantment and cuteness and a hunger that can only be satisfied by watching Studio Ghibli films.  Back in the early days of this blog I made a post listing my top 10 favourite Ghibli films (click here to see that post). After re-watching most of my old favourites and a few Ghibli films I’d never seen before, my opinion on these movies have changed quite a lot. Don’t worry I still love Ghibli films very much and they still hold a big place in my heart (I wouldn’t be in a Ghibli mood otherwise). It’s just that over time and after a huge Ghibli binge-watch (best binge-watch ever), my preference has shifted and my top ten favourites is now very different from the first post I made.

So, for that reason its about time I updated this list and brought to you an updated version of

My Top 10 Favourite Studio Ghibli Films:

Honourable Mention- Pom Poko (↓4)
A lot of people seem not to like this film, personally I found the raccoons antics in this movie really funny. It can be a little crude at times, but looking pass that it’s quite a good film with a positive eco-friendly message to look after the environment and not destroy natural habitats. (Which is a bit of a running theme in Ghibli films)

thumbnail_640EA4E8-C292-49B0-8718-B16564FB153710: My Neighbour Totoro (NE= New Entry)
This is kind of a funny sort of a film. It’s very nice to watch but it doesn’t really have much of a storyline, it’s more like a series of happenings. I’ll try explaining the plot to show you what I mean, two little girls move to the countryside with their father. The house they move into turns out to be haunted by very cute harmless spirits. You learn the girls’ mother is in hospital with TB and can’t come home which upsets the girls. Their father has to work a lot, so the girls are pretty much left to run wild in the garden and surrounding area. Which leads to them meeting a giant cute bunny-bear like spirit called Totoro. The children hang out and play with Totoro, then the youngest one goes missing. Everyone panics and thinks she’s either gone by herself to visit her mother or drowned in a pond. Then the oldest girl gets on a cat bus and finds her younger sister and the movie then ends with them both eating corn in a tree.
As you can see it’s a bit of a strange film with a very loose plot, which has led to a lot of theories being made about what actually is happening in this film. From suggesting its references toward a real-life disappearance of a school girl, to people theorising that the girls actually die at the end of the film and that’s why they’re sitting in a tree (because apparently spirit rest in trees at night). However, it’s incredibly cute and sweet, which is what makes the film so enjoyable (you could quite possibly get tooth ache from watching it).

9: The Tale of Princess Kaguya (NE)
The animation style of this film so very different from other Ghibli films, it looks more like a hand painted moving talking watercolour, than the typical Ghibli art style. It’s subtle colour scheme and intriguing storyline makes it very relaxing and beautiful to watch. It does have a lot of religious and mythological references, which some mightn’t like. But if you’re interested in mythology and don’t mind the odd religious reference, its quite a nice watch. Like most Ghibli films it also has a positive message, which is to not chase after others idea of happiness or force your idea of happiness upon others (including your children and other family members). Basically, the film’s message is about achieving true happiness.

8: The Secret World of Arrietty (↑1)
This film has moved up one place in this list mainly because of its breathtakingly beautiful scenes and animation. In the last list, I think I underappreciated how amazing and stunning the animation was (probably because now I know the level of work that goes into creating scenes like those in the film). Story wise I prefer this version of the borrowers over the 1997 borrowers films. It’s very heart-warming and lovely to watch and puts a nice wee spin on the concept of borrowers.

7: Castle in The Sky (↑3)
Castle in The Sky has moved up quite a bit in this list. In the last list I forgot about the sense of wonder this film creates and about the sky pirates. Ghibli sky pirates are a rather likable odd bunch. At first, they seem like bad news but as the film goes on, they become goofier and seem more like a big bunch of softies. Especially, Dola who is a great character and is like a kooky, really cool grandmother that takes no guff and is tough as nails but is still kind at heart. The sky pirates all add a little bit of comedy and relatability to what is already a sweet and mysterious film with beautiful animation.

6: Kiki’s Delivery Service (↑2)
I re-watched Kiki’s Delivery Service with my nephew and he was outrage at behaviour in this film, which made me realise how bananas this film actually is. My nephew was completely horrified that parents would let a 13-year-old go off by themselves and in complete shock at Kiki breaking the stranger danger rule over and over again and getting in a car with a stranger. You would have sworn he was watching a horror movie instead of a Ghibli film. His overreaction and ranting towards this film made watching it so much funnier. But in saying that he does have a point, this film is sort of messed up and the more you think about Kiki does put herself in quite a few situations that would be incredibly dangerous in the real world (even for an adult). Anyway, seeing Kiki’s Very Dangerous Delivery Service from a new point of view, made me appreciate how surreal the Ghibli universe actually is (there is so many Ghibli films where children wander of by themselves and do really dangerous things and everyone acts spookily happy about it), which is why it was given a higher place on this list. (Funniest thing is my nephew says he liked this film, but like Ponyo better. He really loves Ponyo)

thumbnail_90DDF0C2-ADBB-47CC-B77D-4C830420E57E5: Ponyo (↓1)
Ponyo is a very cute and magical Ghibli film that really has the awe factor. With its beautiful use of colour and breath-taking animation, it’s really enjoyable and hypnotic just to look at. Story wise, its incredibly sweet and just plain adorable. It’s the kind of film that would warm even the coldest of hearts. No matter how many times I see this movie I never get sick of it. The only reason it fell a spot on this list, was to make room for a film I’ve only seen for the first time recently.

4: When Marnie was There (NE)
The best way to describe this film is a mysterious ghost story that shows the beauty of friendship. There is just so much twist and turns in this film and it’s just so mysterious. It will constantly keep you guessing and glued to the screen. At one point I didn’t have a baldy (a clue) what was happening and found myself completely enthralled in the film, very eagerly wanting to know what the fudge was happening. The ending of this film is very bitter sweet, it’s lovely and warms the cockles of the heart but is also really sad and might even make you shed a tear. It has a little more of a mature feel to it than other Ghibli films, but all around it’s an amazing film and one definitely worth watching. I regret not watching it sooner.

3: Spirited Away (↓1)
Spirited Away is a film that most anime and Ghibli fans will have seen at least once in their life. It holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts and it’s not hard to see why. It’s so magical and cute and very different from anything you’ve probably ever seen. For me its where my love of anime and Ghibli began. As a child I was so innocent and naïve that I didn’t even know anime was a thing. Weird thing is I had watched quite a lot of anime before this film (Pokémon, Digimon, Beyblade, Yu-Gi-Oh! and even Princess Mononoke), but never caught on that they were anime. To me they were just cartoons the same as all the others I loved to watch. It wasn’t until my Dad put a film on the TV (which was Spirited Away) and the announcer called it an Anime film from Japan, that I know there was such thing as anime. I was so taken by Spirited Away, that I wanted to know more about what anime was and from there my love of anime blossomed. Which is why it’s in the top 3.

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I love Turnip-head so much, that I redrew him.

2: Howl’s Moving Castle (↑1)
Glob I love the sassy old lady power in this movie. Howl’s Moving Castle is one of those Ghibli films that really deliver on that magical mysterious feel. Its story contains so much mystery that on the first watch, it’ll constantly have you guessing about so many things like Howl, the castle, the fire demon Calcifer, turnip head and what on earth is going on in this film. This mixed with its magical creatures and enchanted objects and devices, gives a real feel of awe and wonder. On top of this, it tells a heart-warming love story that teaches there is more to being loved than a pretty face. Its animation is absolutely beautiful and has so many cool little details which is why it’s my favourite film animation wise. All round Howl’s Moving Castle is a wonderful Ghibli film.

1: Princess Mononoke
Although everything else in this list has changed, my no. 1 favourite Ghibli film has stayed the same. It was the first Ghibli film I had ever seen (even though I didn’t know it was at the time), so it’s kind of special to me. But I think that’s the same with everyone’s first Ghibli film. Your first Ghibli film is usually the one that makes you fall in love with Ghibli and opens the door to the wonderful world of Ghibli. So, it’s not hard to see why most people’s first Ghibli film is their favourite.
First time I watched Princess Mononoke, I was completely dumbfounded, in a state of pure astonishment and amazement. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I instantly fell in love with its beautiful animation style and was really taking by it. I remember the first time watching this film, trying to slowly edge closer and closer to the TV, to really take in its beautiful scenery. Then having sofa cushions flung at me by my siblings and having the snot beat out of me with one for blocking their view. Though I didn’t fully understand the films plot or symbolism as a child, I still loved it and enjoyed every minute of it. As an adult, I continue to love this film and have re-watched it so many times. It’s just so amazing and unique, it really is a great Ghibli film.

Hope you enjoyed this Ghibli top 10 update. The first time I posted a Ghibli top 10, I made a top 10 Non-Ghibli anime film list, to link in with that post. I haven’t decided yet whether to update that list too, but if people are interested in seeing that update, I’ll update it too.

As always Thanks for reading and if you have a favourite Ghibli film, don’t be afraid to tell me about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear about it.

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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.

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!