The Shop of Nightmares

I’m back posting again. To be honest I had this post ready to be published about 3 weeks ago, but then tragedy struck and I didn’t feel much like blogging (or anything in fact). To keep things short and from getting too depressing, I’ll try to explain how things went from enjoying the summer sunshine to absolute shock and misery, in as little words as I can. Out of nowhere my aunt dropped dead. She wasn’t sick or old or anything, she was only in her 50’s. She just collapsed one evening and died with no warnings. The day before she was babysitting her grandchildren and was very much alive, then the next day she was dead. It was just so sudden and out of the blue, no one seen it coming and left everyone in the family in a state of shock. It hard not to think like this, but its leaves you fearful that someone else might go so suddenly. On top of the shock of my aunt death, the Grim Reaper decided to be a complete a-hole and took my poor wee dog too. Granted my dog was 17 years old and it was bound to happen sooner or later, but for fring sake could death not have left my poor wee dog alone until we all got over the shock and grief of losing an auntie. I might start ranting so I’ll move on before I depress everyone.

Back to the post, before everything happened, I created this short little comic strip just for a bit laugh. It’s based on a few rather messed up trips to the 24hr supermarket I made a night. I’m not sure about anywhere else in the world but after 9pm the 24hr supermarket transforms into a hotspot for the weird and wacky. It’s pretty much a jungle in there, where all the creepiest and strangest people of the night, hide from harsh glow of the city’s neon lights. Laying in wait for someone to thoroughly creep out. Okay I might have got a little carried away there, maybe the people of the night aren’t like animals waiting to pounce, but they can be very strange. Which makes going to the 24hr supermarket when you’ve ran out of milk, bread or tea/coffee for the morning and have no option but to venture inside at night, that little more of a creepy experience. Anyway, for a bit of fun I’ve drawn a few of my strangest encounters with the late-night customers of the 24hr supermarket and made it into the shopping trip from hell. Hope you enjoy!thumbnail_EC88DA09-7A14-4FE6-921D-6A46670129D5thumbnail_DD869ABE-CB8D-4E1D-B6A0-0A042A4482ABthumbnail_58E2D403-93B6-4642-9B87-CBA948CF4558thumbnail_B24BFEF8-12EA-4A5D-A597-26D2C73D5F01

thumbnail_018AEE1F-9628-4293-8D67-0B6A8086947Cthumbnail_FBB6BF16-373A-4E16-9B2A-D0343E3E82FDthumbnail_E74F10F6-7D3D-422A-8C41-FC11804677A4thumbnail_E7A2A60F-63F1-4E88-8055-016A7DB987F5So here we are at the end of the comic strip and the end of the post, I hope it at least gave you a little bit of giggle. All I can say is thank god these supermarkets are well covered by CCTV and have security guards that take no nonsense. If you’ve ever had strange encounters with people in the 24hr supermarket or convenience store and would like to share, feel free to in the comments below.

As always, Thanks for reading!

Bird Box

I’m a little late of the mark with this post, but Bird Box is a film I’ve wanted to talk about for a while. But before we get further into this post, there’ll probably (most likely) be SPOILERS in this post, so if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want it spoiled, you might want to stop reading.

Back to the movie, all in all the film itself was okay. It isn’t the greatest film I’ve ever seen but it’s watchable and has an interesting concept. However, when rating apocalypse type films I like to consider how difficult it would be to survive them. Sadly, for Bird Box it would be very easy for a particular large group of people to survive and I don’t mean the mentally ill people in the movie or the fully blind. But before I explain, let’s have a quick summary of Bird Box’s concept for those who are unfamiliar with the movie.

thumbnail_20917FB7-E651-4538-BE7D-E9D29AFF3F15Essentially in the film there is a monster on the loose that causes people to kill themselves if they look at it. This leads to people wearing blindfolds to avoid catching sight of the monster. However, the monster has a different effect on the mentally unwell and they see it as the most beautiful thing they’ve ever set eyes on. Which in turn, causes them to have an overwhelming desire to run around pulling off blindfolds and trying to force people to look at the monster (causing the victim to die from doing so). It’s a pretty interesting concept, but when you give it a bit more thought it sort of falls in on itself. Considering you have to see the monster for it to have an effect, there is another rather large group of people (other than the completely blind), that could easily survive Bird Box, which quite a few of you and myself belong too.

So, what is this incredible superpower that protects from the monster? Well, its probably wouldn’t be considered a superpower in a normal situation, but in the Bird Box world it pretty much is. Anyway, this superpower is poor eyesight. By this I don’t mean complete blindness, I mean eyesight just poor enough that you can’t navigate this world without wearing your glasses. Let me explain more.

Something I’ve never really mentioned on this blog is that without glasses I have dirt poor eyesight (everything’s a blurry mess of fuzzy shapes and colours and without glasses I can’t even identify family members. I also tend not to draw myself wearing glasses. Not because of vanity, it’s because I’ve had to wear glasses all the time since 8years old and forget I’m wearing them). From doing quite the remarkable Mr. Magoo impression while not wearing glasses, I’ve discovered a monster sized loophole in Bird Box’s plot that would mean a rather large percent of mankind could survive the Bird Box apocalypse.

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It probably seems obvious at this point, how a poor sighted person could survive Bird Box, but just for fun I’ll go into detail. Basically, all they’d have to do to survive is remove their glasses (yeah, it’s really as simple as that). If you can’t even make out objects 2 feet in front of your face, it’d be impossible to see a monster standing on the other side of the street or sitting up in a tree. Let’s just face it, with dirt poor eyesight the monster could probably walk up and headbutt you and you still wouldn’t be able to see it. So, you’d be very much immune to the monster’s powers (you still wouldn’t be immune to walking into a lamp post or tripping over a cat, though).

But wait what about those crazed monster worshiper people, you ask? What if they attack you, forcibly put back on your glasses and force you to look at the monster?  Well, here’s the hard part. After you remove your glasses, you’re going to have to break them into tiny pieces, including the lenses, then have a cry over how expensive those glasses were.

thumbnail_20917FB7-E651-4538-BE7D-E9D29AFF3F15After that you’d be pretty safe from the monster worshipers too, because even if the monster worshipers forcibly took you to the pharmacy to get a pair of those over the counter glasses, those glasses won’t make a button of difference. They’re more like a reading glasses than seeing glasses, so you’ll still be able to see bug all. It’s also highly unlikely that there’d be an optician amongst the monster worshipers to provide you with proper glasses, so you’d still be immune to the monster.

thumbnail_FF1830A8-FC1F-4DF0-B002-B4E5321DA78AI know the monster worshipers are still quite dangerous, they’re heavily armed in the film and could attack you for not loving the monster. So, for an added safety precaution you might want to put your acting skills to the test and pretend to be one of them, if you bump into monster worshipers in the Bird Box apocalypse (to be honest, they all seem pretty high on monster so it probably wouldn’t be that difficult to fool them. Just compliment the monster or comment on how beautiful it is and they wouldn’t notice your not one of them).

thumbnail_FF1830A8-FC1F-4DF0-B002-B4E5321DA78AOverall, I wasn’t very taken by Bird Box and think it was slightly over hyped. Right enough, a monster that causes death by just looking at it, is scary and could be seen as fantastic symbolism. But with a sieve-like plot, it loses its impact. The more you think about this film the more plot holes you find. For example, it didn’t matter if the babies seen the monster because they don’t have the ability or understanding to hurt themselves. Also, being in a situation where a deadly monster seems to be always present just waiting for its chance to strike you dead, would in itself be enough to drive a person to madness, therefore the monster would lose its deadly effect. Considering all this I would only recommend watching Bird Box if you’re curious/interested about its concept. Just don’t expect too much from it.

Rating: 2.5/5

Hope you enjoyed this post, it might seem a bit of a strange way to review this film, but I thought it’d be nice to shake things up and add a bit of fun to the post.

As always thanks for reading!

Switched

IMG_0554If you could switch bodies with anyone you on earth, would you do it? Would you still want to, if you knew you couldn’t switch back? What if you also had to risk death to make the switch, would you still give it a try?

Apologies for all the strange questions, but they are the main obstacles faced in the Netflix series Switched. As you have probably already guessed, this series is based on the good old tried and tested concept of having two characters swap bodies, then attempt to live as the other person. Usually leading to many lessons in empathy and gratitude. However, unlike your typical body swap movies or series such as Freaky Friday or It’s a Boy Girl Thing, Switched has a huge dark side to it. By this I mean it features a lot of triggering or darker subjects, like bullying, exclusion, neglect, body/beauty shaming and suicide, not forgetting that characters have to risk death to make the switch (in the literal sense).

So, why after reading the description on Netflix and knowing how dark this series was, did a sensitive little soul like myself (that cries at Disney movies), decide it was a good idea to watch this show? Well, it’s a bit of a strange story but in a nutshell, my friend was convinced I looked like the main character in the series, so I started watching it to see if this was true (or whether my friend needs glasses). Then got sucked in by its plot and had to know how it all ended. But before we go any further, let’s have a quick summary of this show. (In case you’re wondering, despite my friend still insisting I do, I don’t look like the main character. I only ever so slightly look like her. We both got pinchable cheeks).

Switched is a 6 episode long J-Drama about two high school girls that are complete opposites in personality, mindset and circumstance. During the red moon the unpopular and tormented Umine, carries out a twisted scheme to swap bodies with the most popular and prettiest girl in school, Ayumi. This plan involved jumping from the school roof and making Ayumi watch as she falls to her doom (told you it was dark). Due to the magical powers of the red moon this allows Umine to switch bodies with Ayumi. The story then focuses on Ayumi trapped in Umine’s body, as she struggles to live in Umine’s body or get anyone to believe her about the swap. In Umine’s body Ayumi faces a much harsher world, filled with beauty shaming, exclusion, bullying and a mother who would make Miss Trunchbull from Matilda look like mother of the year. Thankfully, Ayumi’s best friend Kaga quickly realises that Ayumi was swapped and is in Umine’s body. Kaga and Ayumi then work together to find a way to get Ayumi her body back.

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Thinking about my switch possibilities.

The strongest point of Switch is its unusual but interesting take on the body switching concepts. It puts a bit of spin on the regular idea of body switching, though this is a rather dark spin. Which is why this series might not be enjoyable for the easily triggered or those of a sensitive nature. If you can get over the darkness of characters risking death to steal another’s body and jumping from tall buildings, it can be an interesting concept to see in play. The added fact that when 2 people swap bodies they can’t swap back, really gets you thinking and adds suspense to the plot. Leaving you wondering how on earth Ayumi is going to get her body back. The additional pressure of Ayumi and Kaga not knowing who they can trust or who has ill intents for them, truly put you on the edge of your seat.

Another likeable aspect about this series is the relationship between Kaga and Ayumi. Kaga interactions with Ayumi in Umine’s body is incredible sweet and heart-warming. Kaga as a whole is a very likeable character, always looking out for Ayumi and joking around to keep her spirits up. Definitely a contender for the best boy list, which makes you really want to see him end up with Ayumi, even after the whole plot plays out. You may even find yourself at times shouting at the screen in frustration, when Kaga bottles it or when gets brushed off.

Switched does have its weak points which are noticeable from the very beginning of the series. Like 90’s TV, some of the Teenage roles are played by actors in their mid-twenties, which is made even cringier when you consider that the actors playing Koshiro Mizumoto and Kaga are both older than myself (and I’m not that young). The series can also be a little over the top and silly at times. There are just parts where things are extremely over dramatic. I know it’s a J-Drama and there’s meant to be some drama, but jeez does it take the biscuit sometimes. The body switching also gets a little ridiculous, when a man switches bodies with his pet budgie and magically gains the ability to tell when people have switched (which was never explained how or why).

Seeing Umine and Ayumi in Umine’s body get bullied and excluded can be a very bitter pill to swallow. It makes your heart break for them. No matter where they went people were very loudly making snide remarks about their appearance and calling them ugly. At times, you’re left wondering what the fudge is wrong with people in the world created in this J-Drama and why they’re choosing to be so unnecessarily cruel. With a foul natured mother on top of this, you can begin to see why Umine was pushed so far and why she did what she did. However, considering that Ayumi did nothing to Umine and actually offered her help on a few occasions, Umine’s actions still seem pretty twisted. Meaning your left with mixed emotions about the whole situation. On one hand you can empathise with the pain Umine’s character is feeling and wish people would treat her better. But on the other hand, you can’t really agree with her actions or look upon them in a good light. Even after understanding that her actions are a result of how she was treated (her actions aren’t very fair and she seems to have singled Ayumi out just because of how she looks, which makes Umine just as bad as her bullies). Though painful to watch at points, it’s this mix of emotions that keeps you watching the series.

Overall, Switch is a pretty good little watch. It can be dark and sad at points, but despite this it’s still heart-warming and has its happy moments. If I were to classify its plot, I’d say it was a tale of friendship, rather than a tale of vengeance or misery. For the most part the show focuses on the friendship between the characters, however it does feature topics that some may find difficult to deal with.  Being an interesting and exciting 6 episode long series, I would recommend giving this show a watch if you’re into J-Dramas and can handle the series dark side. If you’re easily triggered or of a sensitive nature I would pass on this show, as it may be too emotive to watch.

Rating: 3.5/5

The Hunger Games (Harry Potter Edition Part 1)

The Hunger Games simulators are so much fun. In the last post we had an anime duo edition of the hunger games, this time around I bring to you the Harry Potter edition. To keep thing interesting, I’m going to present the results from the simulator a little differently. This time I’ve taken the results and turned them into 2 little stories, both from the perspective of a tribute. The first which is shared in this post is about Ginny Weasley and the second, which I’ll share in the next post is about Dobby (I had so much fun writing that one). Hope you enjoy the story, but before we get started let’s have a quick look at this round’s tributes.
(Warning: These simulators can be very violent and dark at times and may trigger those of a sensitive nature)

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Ginny Weasley and the Great Betrayal

My brother Ron and I have been chosen in the reaping to become tributes in this year’s hunger games. I am finding it hard to come to terms with this horrible fate, so have decided to keep a diary to help cope with my turmoil. My brother Ron and I have both trained very hard for the games and tomorrow the dreaded games begin. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t mind splittingly nervous. The fact that the use of magic is prohibited in the games, is not helping to put my mind at ease. I must rely on my own wit and strength to survive the games. My only comfort is having my big brother Ron by my side, during this awful time. I do not expect to last long in the games, but I take great comfort in knowing I’ll spend my last few moments with my beloved big brother Ron.

Day 1
Just as I thought the beginning of the games was a complete bloodbath. When the horn sounded, I quickly glanced towards the cornucopia and saw your close family friend Remus Lupin grabbing a sword. It was then that my eyes fell upon the terrifying sight of Sirius Black strangling Aberforth Dumbledore with a rope. Feeling fear and panic come over me, my eyes searched the cornucopia for my brother Ron. I caught sight of him running away from the Cornucopia with his friends Hermione and Harry. I tried to move to join them, when I felt the strong rough hand of Alastor Moody grab me by the arm. Scared for my life and not knowing his intentions, I used all my strength to break free from Moody’s grasp, but in my panic, I sprinted in the opposite direction than Ron, away from the cornucopia.

Now separated from my brother, I spent the day exploring the arena in search of Ron. It was to my horror that while exploring, I stumbled upon that creep Peter Pettigrew attacking Professor Albus Dumbledore. Luckily Dumbledore escaped, but this sight has shaken me. What if this is how I’ll meet my end in this game? Shortly after, the sound of 5 cannon shots could be heard in the distance. In the sky I could see the images of the first of the fallen tributes. Part of me was happy that I made it through the first day, but other part of me is terrified for the night ahead.IMG_0148

My first night alone in this god forsaking games. I could hear the sad sound of Dolores Umbridge singing herself to sleep, somewhere close by. Frightened to my very bones, I timidly walked in complete darkness trying to find a safe place to rest. Seeing a tiny glow of light in the distance and cautiously went to investigate, hoping the light might belong to my brother Ron. Hugging the cover of the trees and bushes, I got close enough to make out two figures, belonging to Hermione Granger and Alastor Moody. I held back remaining hidden in the bushes, listening intently. It was then I realised Hermione Granger was begging Moody to kill her. Thankfully Moody refused, keeping Hermione Granger alive.

Still wary of Moody, I retreated back into the darkness of the woods, only to be attacked by the dark lord himself, Lord Voldemort. He grabbed me from behind and threw me to the ground. With a sickle in his other hand, he raised it up high in the air and brought it plummeting towards my head. Out of reflex I quickly moved out of the way of the curved blade. The blade hit the forest floor and dug deep into the soil, getting stuck in the process. Lord Voldemort struggled to free the blade and seizing my only opportunity to overpower him and survive this ordeal. I shoved Voldemort with all of my might, sending him flying. I grabbed the sickle from the ground to prevent Voldemort rearming himself. I turned to run, but the fast-moving Voldemort was already back on his feet and quickly knocked me to the ground once more. He tried to pull the sickle from my hands, but I hung on tightly, refusing to let go. I desperately tried to kick Voldemort away, to break free of him. I kicked as hard as I could, landing a kick to Voldemort’s right leg, knocking him of balance. Voldemort fell forward, landing on the blade. I felt it go through something soft and Voldemort stopped struggling. I pushed him off me and realised the horror of the situation. Voldemort was bleeding to death from a wound I had inflicted. I walked away and left him to die, I fear this game has turned me into a monster.

Day 2
After the events of yesterday and last night, I couldn’t sleep a wink. At dawn, I heard Hagrid screaming out in pain. I thought he might have fallen and be in need of help, so I went to investigate. I located the source of the screams and seen the reason for Hagrid anguish. Hagrid was being attacked by that terrifying snake Nagini. Just as I was about to jump in and save Hagrid, he managed to escape and ran deeper into the forest.

Later that day I thought I had finally found my salvation, when I spotted my brother Ron in the distance. I ran as fast as I could towards Ron, only to have my moment of hope shatter right before my eyes. There in front of me, my brother had beaten Hermione to the ground and was about to deliver the final blow, when I instinctively cried out for him to stop. Ron ceased his attack, sparing Hermione’s life. Ron raised to his feet and turned to face me. He called out to me with open arms, but the look in his eyes and red stains on his clothes. I could not stand to look at him in that state, it both scared and disgusted me, so I turned and ran. It appears the games have done terrible things to my brother as well.

Before I got far, I crashed into Harry somehow managing not to knock him off his feet. Harry caught me in his arms and held me tightly. “At last a friend”, I thought to myself as I returned Harry’s embrace, but when I looked up at Harry’s face, I seen the same cold crazed eyes as my brother’s, glaring down at me. Getting a horrible feeling from those eyes and sensing danger, I pushed Harry away and ran away as fast as I could.

Out of breath, I decided to rest at the foot of a huge oak tree. Enjoying the shade of the tree, I was sat there for about an hour when I looked up and spotted something on one of its branches. A rather scruffy looking squirrel was perched high up in the tree. It first I thought nothing of it, but as I sat staring up at the squirrel, I noticed something was very wrong with this squirrel. Foam was spilling from the corners of its mouth and its limbs seemed to twitch on their own. Thinking the squirrel was rabid, I quietly stood up and prepared to sneak away unnoticed, when out of nowhere other rabid looking squirrel appeared on a neighbouring branch. Then as if in unison, several more appeared in the surrounding trees and more again, until rabid squirrel covered the treetops. A cold shiver ran down my spine, I did not get a good feeling about this.

Suddenly, I heard screams in the distance and out of instinct I started running in the opposite direction of the screams. I glimpsed over my shoulder to behind me and to my horror, those rabid squirrels were chasing me. Catching a closer look of their disturbingly large teeth and glassy blood thirsty eyes, I quickened my pace. Ahead of me, I seen Peter Pettigrew and Seamus Finnigan brawling, oblivious to the horrifying danger that was about to come racing towards them. Not wanting anymore blood on my hands I yelled “RUN”. Peter Pettigrew and Seamus Finnigan looked my way and seeing the huge scurry of rabid squirrels pursuing me, they began running. I quickly over took them, then glanced behind me. From the corner of my eye, I seen Peter Pettigrew shoving Seamus Finnigan into the squirrels. Not wanting to see the dreadful sight of Seamus being torn in pieces by squirrels, I looked away and focused on the path in front of me. Even after traveling some distance, I could still hear Seamus’s desperate cries of pain and anguish.

Still running for my life, I looked ahead and seen my brother Ron, also trying to escape from the blood thirsty squirrels. Noticing me behind him, he slightly slowed his pace to match mine. Confused by this, I turned my head to look at him and seen him wearing a troubling sinister smile upon his face. Before I could react, I felt him shove me in the directions of the squirrels. I fell backwards hitting my head on a rock. Immediately after, I was engulfed by a sea of squirrels covering me from head to toe. Being badly bitten and scratched, I tried to fight back and throw the squirrels of me. But it was in vain, the blow I took to my head was too great and the pain the squirrels inflicted was so intense, that I quickly lost consciousness. My eyelids closed never to open again.

In my final moments, I had been betrayed and died at the hands of my beloved big brother. However, I cannot hold this against him. The games do strange things to a person and can turn the most caring of us into complete monsters. My first act as a ghost was to record my final few hours in this diary, so that others may know of the horrors we were forced to go through in the Hunger Games.IMG_0147 (2)

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this little story I’ve written. I’m giving my shoulder another week to heal, but plan on getting back to my usual post next week. The next part of this story is about the house elf Dobby. I’ve used the same set results to create Dobby’s story and you’ll be happy to hear that the winner of this simulation is revealed in that story. If things go to plan it should be posted soon.

As always thanks for reading.

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

The Dreaded Lurgy Attacks

ciel 1Just a quick wee post to explain why there was no post from me this week. Unfortunately, the dreaded lurgy got me and now I’m rather ill with some type of flu-like sickness. I get sick kind of often, so would usually soldier on and create some type of little post for that week. But this week soldiering on really isn’t an option, feeling like a mangled zombie has greatly impaired my writing ability.

Reading blog posts makes me happy and helps me forget before feeling like the Grim reaper is stalking me. So, you’ll still see me around reading posts, however I’m not sure when I’ll be well enough to post properly. But, so this blog doesn’t go dead, I might make a post of the little doodles I did this week.

Anyway, hope you are all doing well and thanks for your patience.

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Hmmm… maybe demon butlers have a soft side.

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.

Cold, Lost and Left with Sal (Comic Strip Chapter 5)

In chapter 4, I made a bit of a silly mistake in one of the speech bubbles. Apologies for that. It was one those times my dyslexia accidentally shone through and I mixed up the words “becomes” and “belongs”.
I know, I know. How the fudge does one mix up those two words, they’re nothing alike? Well, it’s because somewhere in my brain the wires crossed and under the pressure of being asked to produce the spelling of the word “belongs”, my brain farted. Now dazed by the power of the brain fart, my brain frantically searched through the archive of words beginning with “be”. Fatigued it desperately reached for the word it recognised as “belongs” (it wasn’t. It was really “becomes”) and threw this word to the eyes and hand writing the dialogue. All happening in a matter of milliseconds, the eyes and the hand went unaware of the brain’s silly error.

The most embarrassing thing about this is, I proof read everything at least 3-4 times to avoid stupid mistakes like this and I still managed to not spot it. It literally took some kind-hearted soul to point it out, for me to realise this mistake.
Long story short, I’ve fixed the silly mistake now and I apologies again, if this impacted your enjoyment of Chapter 4 in any way.

Hope you enjoy Chapter 5.

Chapter 5: The Knock of The Beast

This Comic Strip reads left to right.

thumbnail_05f44ba0-d1f0-4773-a95c-58777f8c9d23thumbnail_26c1a5f2-a0e5-4055-9202-a647d2f4faa9thumbnail_fba85b8f-2e1d-4521-83d6-e5f4b28d4fcethumbnail_8a4a0e2b-a198-4c9f-9b75-f68d1ac4d31fthumbnail_aea4a726-a496-409f-8365-5441cf4c9584thumbnail_5a0f8598-7f00-421c-a234-2dcb5036a132thumbnail_56760290-6e7d-4a22-81c4-01f768c4da25So, we’ve made it to the end of Chapter 5. Thanks for sticking with my little Comic Strip and if I make anymore silly mistakes, please don’t be afraid to let me know in the comments. I would very much appreciate it.

Hope you have enjoyed Chapter 5 and as always, Thanks for reading.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

Cold, Lost and Left with Sal (Comic Strip Chapter 3)

This chapter is a little more serious than the last 2 chapters. I figured, if I’m going to make this a regular part of this blog. I should do a little backstory, to how Luke and Sal ended up together and should give the story a little more direction. I’ve still tried to add a little humour to the chapter. Hope you enjoy.

Chapter 3: Twinkle Twinkle Little Drone

This Comic Strip reads left to right.

thumbnail_4693cf60-7b78-4286-b245-5c48866e3411thumbnail_0fe68c28-6907-4e04-9cab-043a516d2e4bthumbnail_414fb332-b676-4486-a2ac-124c8c54e611thumbnail_37613052-fed5-4e08-872b-ab420990ad76thumbnail_595906cb-f0b7-49bc-90a4-960e6cd38ba8So, that was chapter 3. Hope it wasn’t too depressing and that you still had fun reading it. If you enjoy Cold, Lost and Left with Sal and would like me to make it a regular part of this blog, let me know in the comments and as always, Thanks for reading.

For Chapter 1 Click Here!
For Chapter 2 Click Here!

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part One)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eI’ve decided to try something a little different with anime series reviews. Instead of choosing a few that seem good, I’m going to review series that I haven’t seen before, but don’t stop hearing about. As you’ve probably already figured out, I’m starting this off with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Mainly because there’s quite a few anime Youtuber, that don’t shut up about this series and that’s as good of place as any to start in my eyes. This series is rather long, so I’m going to follow Netflix lead and review it in parts. The first part being episodes 1-13 and now that’s out of the way, on with the review.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood begins with the two Elric brothers (Edward and Alphonse) teaching themselves alchemy, after their nowhere-to-be-found father abandons them and their mother. Sadly, life wasn’t content with only giving them a forever-absent father and decided their mother had to die too. Now motherless, the boys are left all alone in the world (I guess father dearest is too busy, to check in on his own children and just left them fending for themselves).

Luckily, a kind old lady takes the boys in and treats them like they were her own grandchildren. However, this doesn’t fix the huge gaping bleeding hole in the boys’ hearts, left by the death of their mother. Hearts torn to bits, the boys try to use their gift of alchemy, to bring their dead mother back. As this is taboo, it goes horribly wrong and leads to Edward losing an arm and leg and Alphonse losing his whole body and later having his soul bonded to a suit of armour by his brother. Now the Elric brothers face a new challenge and must search for the Philosopher’s Stone, in order to restore their bodies.

I’m not going to lie to you, the first 5 episodes of this anime are brutally sad. Not only did the horror I described above happen, but a little girl was also Frankensteined with her dog, by her father (fathers sure are twisted in the alchemy world). Then they were both murdered, shortly after. These first few episodes are depressing as fudge and are nearly enough to make you want to stop watching. However, this series pretty much sucks you in from the get go, with its likeable characters and great story telling. So, as depressing as it is, you really want to keep watching to see what happens to the Elric brothers and get answers to its growing mysteries. The good news is, after episode 5 it lightens up a bit and isn’t as gloomy and even has the odd funny moments.

thumbnail_9f4c51f9-efd8-4735-b47a-af1847c01e07I could bang on all day, about how great Fullmetal Alchemist is and how it makes you, create a place in your heart for poor little Ed and not so little Alphonse, but I’m trying to keep reviews short. So, I’ll mention one more enjoyable aspect before concluding, which is its fun animation style. For the most its style is what you’d expect from this type of anime, but what makes its so entertaining is how it changes in comical moments. It turns into this funny, extremely 2D style, where Alphonse basically looks like a giant grey ghost and Ed has a huge circular bald head. This just makes everything seem so much funnier and really gives this anime the lift it needs, to prevent it becoming too heavy.

There’s not really anything I could find wrong with this series so far, but its early days and I mightn’t be saying that come part 3 or 4. Therefore overall, I would say, part 1 was great and I can really see why people like this anime so much (sort of regretting not watching it sooner, now). The first few episodes are really heavy and a bit depressing, but when you make to through those, it turns out to be an exciting and interesting watch.

Rating so far: 5/5

My Predictions:
Here’s the fun part for people that have already seen Fullmetal Alchemist. The part where I try to predict what’s going to happen and you get to laugh at how wrong I am. I’m treating this anime with Game of Thrones level of suspicion, so my predictions might be a little on the wild side. Anyway, here they are:

-Ed is not human, but is some other type of being that’s not yet been introduced to the plot.

– King Bradley, I think wants to create an even greater army super soldiers or gain eternal life. I predict he’ll do so, by either stealing the Philosopher’s Stone from Ed (if Ed ever obtains one) or by using Ed to as a catalyst or an ingredient to make one.

-Colonel Roy Mustang, I think wants to destroy King Bradley because of some bad blood between the two and not just for power. But, I predict he’ll die doing so. (They’ve been trying a little too hard to make his character likeable, for them not to eventually kill him off)

-I guess, Scar will turn out, to not be as bad as he’s currently looking. Or will have some type of weird epiphany and want to help Ed and Alphonse.

-The group with the Ouroboros tattoos, I predict are in cahoots with King Bradley. But, will most likely double-cross him, once they get what they want. I’m also leaning towards Ed being the same species as them or at least part (He’s got an Ouroboros symbol on his coat, for Glob sake).

-Greed’s gang, I think will become Ed’s and Alphonse’s ally, in order to get the Philosopher’s Stone and gain eternal life.

– Ed’s and Alphonse’s Father, I foresee as being a Tywin Lannister type character or his absence was to protect his sons, in some way.

-On my next to die list, is Izumi Curtis or the 2nd Lieutenant Jean Havoc (they purposely drew attention to him, when introducing Roy’s little crew and now I’m suspicious to why. I’m guessing, either death is coming for him or he’ll turn out to be kick ass. Maybe both. He also looks like Baldroy from Black Butler). Either way, I really hope they don’t kill off Armstrong. I love that sparkly He-man.

-And my huge shot in the dark, is that Ed himself is the Philosopher’s Stone or something crazy like self-belief is.