Adapting to Others

It’s no secret that I have my problems, especially when it comes to socialising with people and in groups. However, even though I do struggle in social situations I find that no matter how awful I feel I always manage to cope and adapt to other people’s needs.

 

I think this trend started when I was at my SEN school so in a way it became a way of life and I grew accustomed to thinking about others. In a way I found this rewarding as through those 15 years in the SEN school and college I never once lost my patience. =)

 

Being autistic you would assume that people would take my needs into consideration. However, I actually think that it’s quite often the opposite. I always adapt to other people and their needs as I think it’s in my nature to think about others before myself. I think my family folks bear my needs in mind and accommodate them if necessary.

 

I also consider my friends and their personalities. There are some things that I can say to certain friends that I know I can’t to others. That’s because some of my friends are more sensitive about certain subjects so it’s necessary for me to avoid them.

 

However, in my case, I feel that I’m rather approachable and that anyone can say what they like to me without restraint (within reason of course). In a way I think that does fill my chest with pride as I feel like I can talk to anyone without worries. However there have been times where I do get aggravated but I either grin and bear it or I just focus on the positive and make the most of it.

 

I’m autistic but that doesn’t mean that I can’t adapt to others because autism doesn’t limit me as a person.

 

Ryan.

Non Non Biyori Volume One Review

Non Non Biyori Manga Volume One

 

  1. REVIEW

I think I enjoyed reading the Non Non Biyori manga as much as I enjoyed watching the TV series. Non Non Biyori is one of my all-time favourite anime.

 

As I was reading this book I kept on picturing the soundtrack in my head as well as the characters voices. I’m really pleased that I watched the anime first as I found that reading the Non Non book made it all the more enjoyable. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

 

I really do like how simple this story is. There’s no drama or major plot it’s just a fun and relaxing story about four girls living in the countryside, or as Renge likes to call it, “the boonies.” Haha.

 

It can probably be argued that there is no real plot in this story, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t interesting. I like how diverse and quirky the girls are and I think it’s interesting to see how they live their lives in the “boonies.” It’s equally as intriguing to see how Hotaru, a girl who moved from Tokyo, adapts to the countryside.

 

I think it’s incredibly quirky to find a school that has a mixture of elementary students and junior high students. I’ve never known a school like it. However, I did go to an SEN school[1] with the age range of 2 years to 19 years. In my school’s last year I think there were less than 30 pupils in the whole school. That still doesn’t compare to the likes of the Asashigaoka Branch School though!

 

Some of the things that the girls say and do can be very humorous. Kazuho and the big brother are funny in their own right. Suguru doesn’t need to say anything to be funny and Kazuho’s irresponsibility makes me wonder how she is able to become teacher in the first place. Above everything else I like the relationship, the friendship and the affection that all the girls show to each other. It’s nice to see them all getting along.

 

There’s nothing for me to say really except that I really, really enjoyed this manga. There’s not much to this story but I feel that the philosophy “less is more” sums up Non Non Biyori perfectly. =)

  1. RATING

Two Thumb’s-Up.^^/ (My Rating System) (My Manga Series Rankings)

Two Thumbs-Up

 

Thanks for Reading, =)

Ryan.

 

Ps, It’s also interesting to note that Non Non Biyori was based on the one shot story, Toko Toko. I never knew that until I read this book.

[1] SEN means Special Educational Needs. It’s basically a school that caters the needs of students who have ASD, physical disability, or generally have additional needs.

Social Butterfly

It will seem very strange to say this but at this moment in timeI feel like a social butterfly.

 

For the past two or three weeks I’ve been outdoors, a lot. Most of my time is spent working on the garden and building the foundation for the summer house. However, I have actually been spending some time socialising with people. I’ve been doing a bit of DIY with my brother as well, something which I have never done before in my life.

 

Before going to Kitacon I went to watch Ant Man with a few close family members. It was somewhat impromptu, from my point of view. I had good warning but I got it in my head that I wasn’t going to watch this film until I had been to Kitacon so it did catch me off guard. I was ok watching the actual film and in a way it was a nice distraction from thinking about Kitacon. We talked about the film.

 

Some of you may already know that I go to yoga. I go to yoga every Wednesday mornings as it’s the class that has the fewest numbers which is my ideal class. It’s also the same class that do tea and biscuits afterwards. I was always kindly offered to stay but I always said no. I said no namely because I have to go back home to wait for parcels or avon and because I had a driver waiting, aka, Dad. One of the main reasons is because I do get very nervous in social situations and I never felt like staying.

 

My confidence coming back from Kitacon was fairly strong at that point so I decided to stay behind and socialise with my fellow yogis. My yogi instructor was most surprised and happy. Haha. It’s a nice group so I always thought about staying behind. I’m glad I did stay behind but I was nervous because I didn’t know what to say or do so I just listening mostly to what everyone else was saying. Will I stay behind this week? I won’t plan to. I’ll just see how I feel.

 

I was actually invited to a friend’s birthday party but my Bro didn’t ask me to come. He was aware that I was going through a big head-mush at that point in time and didn’t want to make it worse for me.

 

It doesn’t seem like I interacted that much by what I said in this blog but from my point of view I’ve done much more than my fair share or socialising with different people whether they’re family, friends or strangers. I’m in the frame of mind that I could easily talk to anyone, even if I do get a head mush or I do get dizzy from interacting with people in unfamiliar environments.

 

I managed to share my photography Kitacon gallery on the Kitacon Facebook page. That was also very brave of me as I don’t like standing out in crowds and I never speak to anyone publicly on social media pages. I might like posts on Facebook but I have never uploaded a galley or something to that extent… until now. The reaction was quite positive, to my relief and surprise, and one lady asked for an original photo so I facebook messaged a photo of her. I never thought I would do that!

 

Kitacon still seems like a very long dream. It just doesn’t seem real for some reason. I digress as this is about me being a social butterfly rather than Kitacon. Haha.

 

Socialising doesn’t require a skill or magical powers all you have to do is be confident and be who you are. Sometimes it will work out, other times, it won’t. It’s never easy or straightforward for me but people are just people. =)

 

Ryan.

Kitacon Part Four: Day Three

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KITACON PART ONE: THE ANTICIPATION
KITACON PART TWO: DAY ONE
KITACON PART THREE: DAY TWO

  1. The Morning

I felt that the morning was quite uneasy. We checked out at 11 O’clock. I felt insecure as this meant that I was hanging around until the closing ceremony. I didn’t have anywhere to go to relax. When I read manga or chill out I like absolute silence with no one around. Unfortunately for me there was no quietness or peace.

 

In the end I decided to try and be brave and read in the lounge. A lady came over and asked if I minded if she sat next to me. I responded that I didn’t mind but in truth I really did mind. I couldn’t fully relax but I was still able to enjoy reading a few pages of Non Non Biyori.

 

  1. More Photo-Taking Cosplayers

I did keep an eye out for more photo opportunities, and I’m glad I did as I got a few more photos of cosplayers. I felt that my confidence had grown the more I talked to different people. There were at times that I said a few quirky quips that thought “oh no, why did I say that?” The things I said weren’t necessarily inappropriate but I sort of wished I had chosen a different way to say things.

Some of you may already know that I do struggle in social situations and sometimes I tend to say things without realising what I just said. Sometimes, if I want to find a meaning but don’t know the word, I would make up a word and say it. Haha… people find it funny but it can get me into trouble even though some of the things I say are not meant to be mean or nasty.

I managed to get the One Piece crew together. I asked a lady, Robin, if I could get a photo. She asked if I wanted the whole gang together, so I said yes… with subdued excitement. I waited for a good while for the whole gang to round up but it was most certainly worth the wait. I was really happy that I managed to get them together. I managed to get someone dressed as Iron Man too. My Mum likes Iron Man so I really went out of my own way to get a picture of him dressed in the Iron Man suit.

I had a lot of pleasant small talks with quite a lot of people really, Vegeta, Super Sonico, Kotori from Love Live, the One Piece crew, Tifa, I could literally go on. There were so many people that I talked to. Because I interacted with different people I found that I was able to form my words more coherently.

 

I also learned something interesting when I got back home. I had posed for a photo in my Batman outfit with Harley Quinn. I then discovered when I got home that she is actually Rayi, an infamous cosplayer. She has her own Facebook page and DeviantArt Page. I did feel daft for not knowing who she was. However, I’m really happy because I can say to my friends and family that I actually spoken to and had a photo with Rayi. =)

 

  1. How to Draw a Manga with Sonia Leong

The event panel that I was looking forward to was the drawing workshop with Sonia Leong.  I came to learn during the workshop that Sonia is actually an infamous manga artist in the UK. Her works spreads throughout the UK and she has been drawing for many years.

 

I really enjoyed her workshop and I felt really relaxed. The atmosphere was really chilled and positive. It reminded me of the yoga class that I attend on a weekly basis. I think it’s because drawing was the only thing that I can relate to and that I am interested in. There were quite a few tips that I already knew but I still learnt a lot by watching her draw first hand. She’s a very good artist. Not only that, she’s a very nice down-to-earth person who is a social butterfly. Her workshop was very detailed, but not complicated. That’s my kind of learning. =)

 

I was determined to speak with her but there were a good number of people who were speaking with her so it was hard to get a word in. In the end, I decided to go off and come back later to see if I could. I managed to speak with her in the end and she really is a nice person. We spoke about the relationship of characters and how we implement real life into a fantasy story. I never planned to say more than a few words but I felt encouraged to say more. I was confident that I could speak without being judged.

 

In the end more people came and kept on finding pauses in our conversation to say their bit. I’m too polite for my own good so it was easy for people to talk over me and interrupt.

 

I wanted to say goodbye to Sonia and shake her hand, but it looked like that I had to wait longer. So, I decided to be bold and found a pause when the lady next to me stopped talking and asked Sonia if I could shake her hand. She obliged and I shook her hand and walked away. I felt that it was rude of me to do that but Sonia is a very popular lady so I had to be a little bold and a little rude otherwise there might not have been another good opportunity.

 

I don’t usually shake people’s hands as it’s not my style but for some reason it felt appropriate, so I did. =)

 

  1. Closing Ceremony

Day 3 was generally chilled as Days 1 and 2 were more active.

I didn’t really fancy going to the closing ceremony as I wanted to go home at that point. I did appreciate the positive atmosphere in the air but in truth I wanted to go home and I didn’t want to get involved in any more big crowded situations.

I found that the journey home was much better than the journey to Birmingham. I went to Kitacon with plenty of anxious thoughts and not really knowing what I was getting myself in to. However, I knew exactly what to expect when I travelled home.

 

  1. My Overall Thoughts

If I were to describe my time at Kitacon I would say that it was a surreal experience. It was like I was dreaming for many days and then one day I woke up and I was back in my own bed. Haha.

I have never experienced anything like it in my life. If you were to tell me that I was going to rave, in a night club, amongst a humongous live crowd with extremely loud music, I wouldn’t believe you. I thought that was actually ok to do as I mostly hung out with Bro and my new friends in the corner, out of the way of the big crowd.

I did think that my confidence in talking to people did grow, bit by bit, especially when I was taking photos. I always told myself that I was going to take photos but when I arrived at the hotel I felt somewhat scared that I was going to do it. I got over the barrier by taking my first photo of Hestia. It became easier after that. Everyone there was approachable and friendly and chatty and I really do appreciate the fact that they took their time to pose for my photos. I also appreciate getting to know my friends more and in the process gaining new friends. Of course, I also appreciate my Bro and Sarah for trying to make my time at Kitacon as comfortable as possible.

My social skills were shaky at times but I think I outdid myself.

I’m always mindful to catch the cosplayers at good moments. I was sure not to ask to take their photos if they were part of a cue or if they were running to a certain destination. I would have liked to be more creative and have more creative shots and backgrounds but in those moments it was wise to do it there and then. My most creative shot was Vegeta because I caught this nice chap at a good moment.

By what I’ve observed I get the sense that everyone generally preferred to stay in their own social circles rather than branch out and talk to new people. However, that didn’t stop them from being friendly towards me and I got the sense that they were generally appreciative of me taking their pictures.

I went through many mixed emotions, but my headaches and dizziness were the most prominent as I literally had a headache since I got there. That’s mostly because of the loud noise of the music and crowd and from the over-whelming experience of being in an unfamiliar environment.

 

5.1.            My Personal Highlights

  • Mario Kart Tournament
  • Dealers room
  • Interacting with Bro, Sarah and all my current and new friends
  • All the friendly cosplayers
  • Drawing Workshop with Sonia Leong
  • Listening and watching Non Non Biyori… Non Non never fails to cheer me up and it may seem strange to say this, but Non Non Biyori always somehow reminds me of home.
  • Eating food
  • My Hotel Room

 

  1. What I learned about myself

I learnt, as I always do, that things are not as bad as I imagined them to be, like that time when I went to London. No matter how irrational or how sick or how dizzy I get I can always cope. I never allow myself to be broken no matter how down I feel about myself. I can always cheer myself up. I never feel sorry for myself. In conclusion, I’m probably much stronger than I realise.

I also learned that I’m much better at talking to people than I realised, all I needed was a bit of a confidence. I also found that by not planning conversations in advance I can actually talk to people better. It’s all about talking in the present moment and that tactic worked very well in my favour.

 

  1. Would I Go Again?

I don’t even want to think about that right now. I just want to spend some time to myself, chill out with my family and get back into my normal routine.

At this moment I don’t know if I would go again. As soon as I got back I thought “I won’t necessarily go again” and in some ways I’m sort of sticking with that rule.

But, after digesting the whole experience after a couple of days it was actually a fun convention. I have a rough idea as to what will happen next year and I have a good idea at what I will do the next time that I go/if I go.

Next time I would probably come down on Friday and leave on a Sunday morning. I would also extend the time for my room so I am able to go up there to get my own space. Chill out more as I feel that I tried too hard to talk to people and participate in the Kitacon experience. I put too much pressure on myself and I was already under-going many anxious feelings, so next time I would plan my time better and not put myself under so much pressure.

I also may buy a VIP badge for next time as I like the sound of being a Very Important Person. Haha.

One thing I would definitely change though… my I.D. name! Honestly, being called “SirRyanFalstaff” was really embarrassing. What identity should I be? If you have a suggestion please do share.

 

THANKS FOR READING

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There were at times where I just wanted to run away and call home but I sort of willed myself to try and look on the bright side. The first time I slept away from home was last year in London but this was the first time that I spent three days away from home. I was also surrounded by many, many people who I have never met before. It’s all a completely new experience to me.

Even though I don’t think rational in new and unfamiliar situations I prove to myself time and time again that I can cope. That in itself is the biggest achievement of my Kitacon Experience.

 

Ryan.^^/

Anime I’m Watching This Season

Monster Musume anime 2

I have plenty of anime that I’m watching this season. What are you watching? Is there any you would recommend?

There were certain anime that I enjoyed in the previous season like Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? High School DxD BorN and Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma. There were more that I watched but those three are the ones in particular that I especially liked. However, I found that once I started to review them I was subconsciously analysing my thoughts and feelings as, in my head, I was going to annotate my thoughts.

I wasn’t planning to speak about every episode, it just sort of happened. In a way, that probably did take away some of the enjoyment of watching anime, especially Dungeon Girls. I find that I’m actually enjoying Dungeon Girls ten times more since it stopped airing. Why? Because I can sit back and enjoy it and not concern myself of blogging about each episode.

That’s where this anime summer season comes in. So far, I’m really excited and impressed. I genuinely believe that this is going to be my favourite anime season of all time.

Summer Season List 2015

Street Fighter Food Wars Parody

Bikini Warriors: It’s Not a Bikini If It’s Armour

Bikini Warriors anime

Initial Thoughts: When it came up with that sequence of majestic music and the girls displaying their fighting style I thought that was going to be the opening theme. As soon as it finished I was like “Is that it? Seriously?” Haha.

This is going to be a fun and light-hearted anime. The girls are wearing special armour in the form of bikinis. Haha. I didn’t realise that this was only a five minute episode.

I don’t really know what’s going to happen but I’m more than happy to spend five minutes of my time watching this weekly. =)

Non Non Biyori Repeat

Non Non Biyori Repeat anime

Initial Thoughts: I’ve been looking forward to this for a very long time and I wasn’t disappointed.

I was very confused at first. Why was Renge re-joining the school? Did she move up a year? What happened to Hotaru? Why was Hikage still in the country? I was left very puzzled for the first ten minutes until Hikage got on the train to Tokyo. This is a flashback showing what happened when Renge enrolled into the school. Then it showed Hotaru right at the end moving in. I could then relax and enjoy everything.

It was funny but very unfortunate when Hikage left her mobile phone behind! Haha.

Everything from the characters, the scenery, the music, it’s all as I expected it to be. Relaxing and tranquil. I really like that march that the four girls do in the opening song. I think so far I prefer the opening and ending songs from the first season but I think it’s the case of letting the new songs grow on me. I have no doubt that they will. =)

MONSTER MUSUME EVERYDAY LIFE WITH MONSTER GIRLS

Monster Musume anime

Initial Thoughts: As a Monster Musume fan I was very concerned on how this was going to be adapted. But those concerns completely left me the moment I started to watch this.

It’s much, much better than I thought it was going to be. I didn’t burst out laughing as I normally do with the books but I think that’s because I knew what was coming. However, I still let out light chuckles. I’m really pleased that they kept the charm and have the eyes of the main guy all plain white as that’s how they are portrayed in the manga.

I find this anime really cute and in some ways touching. It’s more than just comedy but there is little to no drama in it and quite frankly that’s my kind of story. I kept almost welling up as I felt touched at Miia’s happiness.

It’s a shame that I had to watch this as soon as it was released, as now I have to wait for next week. I can tell that I’m really going to enjoy watching this show. I can’t wait. =D

Rokka –Braves of the Six Flowers-

Rokka Braves of the Six Flowers anime

Initial Thoughts: I’ve never heard of this show before but I really did enjoy the first episode. The girl with the bunny ears is really cute. I sort of guessed straightaway that she was going to be an outdoors type of Princess. Haha. It’s going to be worth watching this just to watch her bunny ears bounce. =)

SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

Shimoneta Anime

Initial Thoughts: This is incredibly daft, eccentric but very funny. The style of humour and quick pace does remind me of D-Frag. I never thought I would see the day where a perverted girl would walk around wearing a pair of knickers on her head. Haha. It’s a clash of impure thoughts verses pure thoughts. Who will come out triumphant? I can tell already that this show isn’t going to take itself seriously and I’m certainly going to enjoy watching this.

THANKS FOR READING

Miia

Normally I would probably review the first episodes of Non Non Biyori Repeat and Monster Musume straightaway, but I have decided that I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m just going to sit back and bask in each episode as they come. I won’t rule out anime reviews but I will just see how I feel. I will probably continue reviewing Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma weekly. It’s partly because I’ve made a commitment but mostly because I want to. In any case I’ll just see how it goes. =)

Thanks for Reading. =)

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan