Re-Evaluating My Art

Lately my current projects have me re-evaluate my approach to art itself.

No matter how many times I sit back and overview my situation, I can’t help but be amazed at my own personal achievements over the past three years.

10 years ago, the idea of becoming an artist and completing a fantasy story would have been a far-fetched dream.

20 years ago, drawing and writing were nothing more than hobbies as I often created my own stories centred around Thomas the Tank Engine, who was my hero at that time.

( ( Psst, I still consider him a hero even now! ! ! ) )

30 years ago, I was born, having no idea what this beautiful blue world was all about. I always wondered who I was as a person and what I should do in life. Now, I’m comfortable in my own skin, I like who I am and what I do, and in all honesty I’ve never been happier. I know what I want to do in life;

  • to complete my own story
  • to be a successful artist

Ever since I was a toddler I’ve always liked doing scribbles of pictures on paper and even arranging words together to form a sentence. As unsophisticated as they were, it was always rewarding to see the thoughts in my head, come to life on paper. It was only recently I realised that I wanted to turn these hobbies of dreams into the real thing. It was certainly a long time coming but that is the beauty of learning and discovering things about yourself. You never stop learning.

 

Journey as an Artist

My art is getting better by the day and every new picture becomes an enjoyable project. My newest picture of Wiz from KonoSuba is gaining more attention than I expected and it made me re-evaluate myself as an artist.

Throughout the years I’ve been studying the human anatomy as well as looking at other artists for inspiration. Before, I’ve been content with random sketches and scribbles without receiving notoriety, but now I’ve been striving to improve and enjoy more of what I do, and if my works get noticed- I consider that a magnificent bonus! I will admit and say that I always did struggle visualising a scene which was why I usually just drew the anime girl herself without a foreground and background.

As of late I’ve been slowing down on my illustrations, both in the drawing sense and uploading them to public sites like DeviantArt and Pixiv. It’s partly due to the fact that I’ve been susceptible to being ill and catching colds this year. I’m even recovering from a cold as I write this. I don’t seem as bad as I was last week thankfully, I just need to keep taking it easy and go to bed at a reasonable time- night owl. It’s my own fault really for lacking discipline it’s just that I never like to put down my stylus because I enjoy what I do so much, speaking of which…

During my phase of slowing down and putting no pressure on myself, I found that I was enjoying what I’m drawing. My recent Wiz picture emulates my new approach of taking my time with each illustration, no pressure, and figure out what I want the picture to represent. Because I took my time to complete it, it came out exactly how I envisioned it. =)

Luckily I’ve got an abundance of artwork in progress and in spite of my illness I’m going through a period where I’m enjoying absolutely everything. I’m able to figure out what I want to do and how I want to achieve it and hopefully you will enjoy, or continue to enjoy, my future works. =)

 

Journey as an Author

I think it would be fair to say that my journey as a writer is a little more complex. I’ve always liked the idea of being an author but the only books I have read were the Railway Series involving Thomas the Tank Engine and Harry Potter.

For around 10 years I wanted to write a novel about this one character I created by accident, but I always struggled and was forever stuck on Chapter One. It was at that point that I decided to emulate the Harry Potter series and complete 6 books in that time. Yeah. It’s good to plan things in advance like holidays and World Cup fixtures but planning to complete a story is never a good idea. Considering the fact that I was barely able to complete the first book gave me that pressure that I created unnecessarily.

Time after time I would give up and start again…

One day I started to read heaps of manga but more significantly, Japanese Light Novels.

Light Novels were the key to opening my horizons and to improve my writing style and how to convey the plot of my story. Since then my whole attitude towards this story has changed dramatically and if you were to look back to when I started it, it’s unrecognisable. Everything about it has changed with the exception of the main character.

The biggest inspiration for this sudden bout of change is the Light Novel published by YenPress, ‘I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level.’ It’s become one of my current favourite novels to read this year and I’m eagerly looking forward to Volume Two this coming August. As to why this has inspired me…

I love to create female characters, be it in art form or in written literature. I find them far easier to create than I do with men and deep down I wanted to write an all-female cast in my story but I didn’t think the idea was feasible enough. That hesitance alone hindered the progress of an idea that I was trying to build on.

However, during my inner turmoil I read this nice little story about an immortal witch who was reincarnated from another world called Azusa. The story was very simple and easy to understand but equally as enjoyable. It was only after I completed the first volume that I realised that the book itself, with the exception of one or two male extras, had an all-female cast!

This revelation struck a huge chord in my head. If the author, Kisetsu Morita, can write a light novel that comprises of an all-female cast, why can’t I?  When that came to mind a ray of endless possibilities entered my head and in the space of only a few months, I’ve not only completed one chapter, but TWO chapters! It may not seem much in the scheme of things but to me this is a humongous achievement.

Being older each day comes with the benefit of wisdom, and it doesn’t just have to happen when you turn a year older, you can become wiser in a single second of a day. I understand now what to do and what not to do… the goal right now is to finish the first book rather than complete the whole series of books. Unlike before the notion of completing my first book no longer feels impossible and I have to give my thanks to Kisetsu for giving me this huge wave of inspiration.

 

I still have a long way to go but it’s a fantastic feeling to finally get things started, both as an author and as an Artist. =)

 

Thank you for reading.

Ryan.^^/

My 2017 Goals

It’s a new start to a new year and I have a mind-set that’s fresh and clear. I’m already feeling positive vibes from 2017 and I’m well underway with my goals for this year.

 

Socialising and Going Out

A lot has happened throughout my life. I always struggle with crowds but things are becoming easier overtime, especially with my new mind-set. I’ve accepted my weaknesses and limitations now but I persevere when I need to, both for myself and for everyone else. Despite my anxiety going out I do feel that I’m actually a people’s person and I often find myself putting everyone’s feelings ahead of my own.

I will try to go out more but only under the right circumstances. It’s all about dealing with each moment when it’s presented to me rather than analyse possible future events.

 

My Stories

For years I’ve been writing and making amendments for my children’s story and right now its under-going another editing process. I’ve completed the first book a good number of times but it was never quite ready to be published. As a result I’ve often lost motivation and lacked ideas to change. However, this is definitely the most successful editing process I’ve ever done for this story.

I’ve polished my writing style and grammar-correcting a lot and I have to thank reading different manga and light novels for that. The only materials I can read are manga and light novels but it really does go to show that no matter what genre you read, reading makes you grow as a writer.

 

Anime Art

I’ve changed my attitude and approach to my anime art and decided to take extra time to complete each art successfully. Last year I did get in the unfortunate habit of putting a time limit on each picture. Now I have the philosophy of illustrating at my own pace which goes hand in hand with my new mind-set for this year. You could say it’s a new beginning with a better approach and from now on I will emphasize quality over quantity.

 

My Current Works in Progress

-Requests (I’m undertaking around 10 requests and nearly completed 1)

-New Game! (This is a comic style landscape that features Aoba and Hifumi)

-Gaia: Mother Goddess (a more refined version of my own character, Gaia the Elf Goddess)

-Darkness (a single portrait of the masochist knight that could feature a few versions in different clothes)

-Valentine’s Day picture (to be revealed)

-Ai-Chan (going to attempt to shade Ai-Chan in the blue chrome shading style and see how I get on)

-Keijo x One Punch Man Comic (a crossover comic that is set in the One Punch Man universe but stars Nozomi and Non from Keijo)

 

I’m enjoying all these drawings right now and I can’t wait to see how they turn out in the end. 2017 will be a great year. =)

 

Thanks for reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

Negativity to Positivity: Letting Go

Ever since I made my important life decision one month ago I feel a positive change in me, or more accurately, I got rid of a heavy dumbbell that’s been weighing me down all this time.

I haven’t changed who I am I just got rid of that unwelcome weight of issues that stems from my past. Because thinking about my past was a habit I became accustomed to what I thought was the norm. I recalled sad memories, grinning and bearing them because I felt that I had to and not once did I take one step back and told myself to let it go… until now.

Now I feel like I can shine brighter and show everyone who I really am, the positive side of myself without getting too anxious. I feel like I have more time for many things and nowadays I don’t cram things in. If I was going out in the evening or tomorrow I would try and squeeze in my drawings and watch anime with the thought that I had to “make the most of it.” Now I feel like doing everything more than ever and if I don’t get the time to finish tasks in one day I see those future projects as something to look forward to.

My new frame of mind has also helped me with my literacy. In the past two months I read 20 to 30 manga and since I started editing my stories I noticed an instance improvement with my grammar and storytelling and how I convey them. No doubt there is room for improvement as I’m always learning something new but I am very excited about my development as an author. =)

Despite my epiphany I’m still not fond of socialising. Even on my best day and after cleansing my negativity I still struggle and get overwhelming headaches when I’m out socialising.

 

Thanks for Reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

Life and Decisions

manga_girls__yoko_littner__colour_version__by_alphadeltazeta-dalu1j3

I made a big decision today over a matter that I’ve been debating for years regarding writing an auto-biography about my life with Autism. Basically, I decided against it.

Since school I always envisioned myself writing an auto-biography as I felt it was my duty to rather than wanting to. Every time I dug down to my memory roots I would always end up feeling sad and feeding myself negativity. Nowadays I’m blessed with the fact that I can move on from the past but I had big problems when I was little, especially when trying to communicate with others. It was painful and frustrating not being able to talk to the point where it felt like they happened yesterday. I can still remember the pain I was in and how sad I was.

One day, today, I thought to myself if this was really worth it. Is it worth digging into my past and re-living those painful memories for the sake of sharing my story and possibly making some money through book sales? I came to the decision that it’s not worth it. I don’t want to think about those times let alone talk about them so why should I torture myself? I have a lot of wonderful stuff going on in my life right now and no matter how I look at it, living in the present, today, is far superior than re-calling the memories of the past. =)

With that, let’s talk about how good today is. =D

*

My life is wonderful at the minute. I’m editing my book after a few family discussions and I’m in the process of creating a huge database for my fantasy book so I can keep on top of my own information. =D

I’m really happy and touched by the amount of support I’m receiving throughout social media and art sites. =D I’m just happy if one person looks at my art but some of my art are getting more than 1 view. Some get over 10, some over 100 and remarkably some over 1000. Before I joined Deviantart I never would have predicted that I would receive so much activity with my art. Joining Deviantart is definitely one of my best life decisions to date.

I’m in the midst of tackling some fanart requests as I feel I’m ready to give it a go. So far I’ve completed 1 request out of 5 and at this moment I’m coping with the pressure rather well. I was asked to update my Yoko Littner picture by adding more colours and correcting the length of her right glove.

The final good news is that I recently reached the landmark of 30 completed pictures from my Manga Girls series. I find this exciting as this simple style of black and white with only the hair and eyes coloured allows me the freedom and time to complete pictures quicker. If I include backgrounds I focus too hard and take too long but if it’s just the lady, I can go all out as drawing girls seems to be my forte.

I amended and employed plenty of styles along the way and I actually think I get better every time I touch the tablet with my pen.

 

Thank you for reading, have a great weekend everyone. =D

Ryan.^^/

My 2016 So Far

Kirin Toudou

 

Happy New Year everyone.^^/

 

2016 has been good to me. I already like it more than 2015. I have lots of exciting things planned and I’m currently in the midst of doing those exciting things too.

 

My Story

My ultimate goal this year is to publish my story on Kindle. I’ve been reading a few children’s stories recently as part of my research and it has helped me a lot. I’ve completed many drafts but now it’s nearly finished. I’m nervous but excited about the prospect of self-publishing my very own story. =)

 

I also have a fantasy story in the pipeline but that is a humongous project and I won’t complete it anytime soon. I’m especially excited about that.

 

My Art

I’m continuing to upload my works on Deviant Art but I recently created an account at Pixiv.net. Pixiv, as far as I can tell, is like Japan’s version of Deviant Art but it seems that all the art on there is anime and manga orientated, where Deviant Art is all styles of art.

 

I’ve joined Pixiv around the New Year and so far my art has been very well received. I’ve been getting plenty of nice and encouraging ratings, bookmarks and even sticker comments. I’ve gained 5 followers in the process too. It makes me happy knowing that people like what I draw. =)

 

Speaking of drawing, I have a few drawing ideas. I’m planning to draw and create my own avatar/profile picture and/or a banner/wallpaper for my profiles for my Twitter page[1], my DeviantArt[2], my Pixiv[3], my MyAnimeList[4] and potentially for my Instagram[5].

 

I have a Tumblr too but I’m considering of deactivating that account as I’ve never really been on it.

 

I’m planning on drawing a simple face portrait of Alice Nakiri from Food Wars! for my Avatars. I can’t decide if I should use Alice Nakiri for all of my Social Media Avatars or if I should use just use it for a selected.

 

For my banner I’m planning on including a few characters; Cerea from Monster Musume, the four girls from Non Non Biyori, Ouka Ohtori from Anti-Magic Academy 35th Test Platoon, Mai Kawakami from Myriad Colors Phantom World and Kyouka Kagamin from Dragons Rioting. I have a good idea how the picture will look.

 

I recently practiced sketching Mai Kawakami so I can get used to drawing her. It took me a day but it was worth it as drawing her was a lot of fun. You can find the link just below if you’re interested to have a look. =)

 

Mai Kawakami Practice Inking

 

Yoga / Pilates

My first Yoga session this year was with a lady called Becky. It was the first time that I participated in her yoga class but I very much enjoyed it. I usually struggle with sudden new faces but I really enjoyed it as the session was calm and relaxing.

 

I tried Pilates for the first time the other week after hearing that it’s very similar to Yoga. The Pilates class that I attended was not really enjoyable. There were lots of people around and the atmosphere was energetic, which I didn’t like. I was in agony a few days after the class to the point where it hurt to move. Haha.

 

I think after practising Yoga for many years I’ve come to appreciate the philosophy behind Yoga. I now prefer the quiet relaxing atmosphere and the calming of the mind rather than fast determined workouts. I can’t say that I’ve disliked Pilates as I’ve only tried it once, but I will try another class next week and see how I feel about it afterwards.

 

I may even try Rock Climbing, but I will see how I feel!

 

Kitacon 2016

I have bought a VIP ticket to attend Kitacon 2016. =) Kitacon 2015 was one of the biggest experiences in my life and I think this year’s Kitacon will be just as important.

 

I’m a bit nervous about it as it will mean spending time away from home again and potentially socialising with people who I’ve never met before in a very big building. I do have experience what it’s like and there will be things that I will do and won’t do again.

 

I intend to take lots of photos of Cosplayers as last year’s Cosplayers were awesome. I have no doubt they will be just as awesome this year. I even have plans of cosplaying as a certain person that went down well with a group of friends last year. Can you guess who I’m considering dressing up as? 🙂

 

I will worry and get anxious about this so the best thing for me to do right now is to not think about it and deal with it when April comes.

 

Anime Winter 2016

There was plenty of Anime for me to look forward to in 2015 but at this moment in time there hasn’t really been an Anime this year that has captured my interest.

I am watching two anime from this season’s line-up.

Myriad Colors Phantom World: I’m enjoying this so far. I think it’s funny and entertaining. All the girls are cute and have cool abilities. I especially like it how Reina eats up the rogue spirit people and how the battles conclude. The limbo challenge was fun to watch but it also shows that you don’t need to beat people up to win a battle. I thought that was rather cool and I will definitely watch this on a weekly basis. =)

Dagashi Kashi: What I liked about this show is that the background art and atmosphere reminds me a lot of Non Non Biyori, especially as Coconuts own a Candy Shop. =D I find it to be very eccentric and funny, especially Hotaru’s antics. Dagashi Kashi is completely different than Non Non Biyori plot wise, but like Non Non I think it will be very easy to watch and I think I will grow to like it. =)

 

THANKS FOR READING

I’ve been really enjoying myself so far and I’m especially proud as I’ve recently completed the illustration of Kirin Toudou, which you can see right at the top of the page. I feel that it’s definitely one of my best recent ones as it’s vibrant and colourful. I think I’m getting better at drawing as times goes by. For now, I will take a somewhat rest from drawing. It won’t be a long rest though. =)

 

I will now take it easy as unfortunately I caught a bug again after recovering after Christmas. I feel a bit dizzy and I have been coughing quite a lot but I’m not feeling sorry for myself as I am just watching Non Non Biyori and other anime that I’m catching up on. =)

 

I hope 2016 has been treating you all kindly.^^/

Ryan.

[1] My Twitter Page

[2] My DeviantArt Page

[3] My Pixiv Page

[4] My MyAnimeList Page

[5] My Instagram Page

Strike the Blood Light Novel Volume One Review

Strike the Blood Cover

  1. REVIEW

This is the second Light Novel book that I read through after Dungeon Girls. I had a rough idea what Strike the Blood would be like as I have seen the anime. I really enjoyed it and it put me at an advantage when reading this book. It meant that I was able to visualise the scenarios more clearly.

 

A lot of things started to make sense when reading this volume. In the first few episodes of the anime I was under the impression that Yukina harboured some affection and feelings for the main guy, Kojou, by her actions and dialogue.

 

I really like it how there’s a manmade island with many demons as its habitants. Having demons has its pros and cons. It’s a positive thing because they are like a protective species and as long as they obey the rules on the island they are free and protected by the government. The con is that they are also required to be experimented on, which is not really a nice thing.

 

Unfortunately for Kojou, he got caught up in all of this mess when he unintentionally became not just a vampire, but the Fourth Primogenitor. Being a vampire meant that he is immortal but being a Primogenitor means that he has 12 Beast Vessels at his disposal. Well, not quite. The Beast Vessels have a condition. They will only take him seriously as their master, so to speak, if he sucks a girl’s blood. So, basically, he’s looking for a blood donor to serve his vampire urges. Haha.

 

He’s not going to get a blood donour anytime soon as the only girls he knows in real life are his sister, Nagisa, his school chum, Asagi and his Class Rep, Risa. It’s awkward as he is keeping his identity as secret from the girls he’s closest too and he’s not the type of bite random girls. There is just no blood donour out there… actually, there might be, in the form of the Sword Shaman, Yukina Himeragi.

 

I find Yukina to be very likable and she is a complete opposite to Kojou. She’s very formal, well-spoken and a bit clueless in society, to the point where she mistakes household objects as mass destructive weapons. She’s spot on when she said that a chainsaw was used as a weapon in films though. Haha.

 

I even found it cute when she got tongue tied or accidentally gets Kojou into bother when she says something that could lead to a misunderstanding. Haha. She was sent to be his “watcher” but by what I read it doesn’t seem like she does her job properly. Perhaps it would be a different story if Kojou was volatile.

 

Her weapon, Snowdrift Wolf, is very cool. It’s like a huge spear with a tear drop or a snowflake pattern to it. I think it compliments her very well. In fact, I think the weapon is actually taller than her which adds to her glowing cuteness. I can see her being a good tactical and skilful fighter but she is more than just a weapon wielder. The only thing I think she lacks is physical strength but Kojou fills that void perfectly. I really enjoyed reading their fights against that deranged priest and Astarte.

 

Before I didn’t really think that there was an evil race but I found it very interesting what the author said at the back pages. He spoke about the Japan Tsunami Disaster which ironically happened just before the Strike the Blood LN was released for the first time. He cites that the natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis were the real devils.

 

By reading his quote, it made me think about the story in a different light.

 

Was that Priest a villain or was he misunderstood? After all, he was trying to take back that arm for the good of his own church… I think. Anyway, as Kojou is the Host for the 12 Beast Vessels he is vulnerable to causing humongous earthquakes if he can’t control and harness his power correctly. Is Kojou’s power the true villain in this story? Is Kojou his own worst enemy? It might be only a few words but to me it changed my view of the whole story.

 

I really am eager to read book two and it’s perfect to read before bed time. For now, I just have to quench my enthusiasm by watching the Strike the Blood anime.

 

  1. RATING

Two Thumbs-Up.^^/ (My Rating System) (My Light Novel Rankings)

Two Thumbs-Up

 

Thanks for Reading. =)

Ryan.

New Year’s Eve

Party Popper

Hello everyone.^^/

2014 has been one big adventure. Many happy things have happened for me as well as many nerve-racking moments. In fact, I keep on forgetting the littlest of things that happened this year. Passing an online course, completing my first ever story, attending my sister’s wedding and going out many times, especially London! Right now I’m just busy enjoying the festive season. =)

I’m sure 2015 will treat me just as kindly, if not more. I’m not sure what’s going to happen really, but there are many things for me to look forward to. There are plenty of Marvel films coming up at the cinema. I think a new James Bond film is also coming out at the pictures. I will hopefully take the opportunity in that year to upload my book onto Amazon Kindle. I’m very excited yet nervous about that prospect. =)

My New Year’s Resolution?… I don’t have one. Well, my New Year’s Resolution applies every day in every moment, not just on the 1st January. That resolution is to always be kind to others and to enjoy every moment of every day. I’m sure that whatever happens in 2015 is meant to be.

I will continue to write about my thoughts and how I cope in social situations. I will write plenty of anime and manga reviews. I also anticipate that I will share with you all my past experiences during my acting days. I have many funny stories to tell and I figured it’d be worth sharing. =)

I wrote quite a few haikus as it is one of my hobbies. I don’t usually share them as they’re rather personal to me. However, my gut feeling is telling me that I should share one haiku in particular. It’s the one that I wrote specifically for this time of year. Here it is:

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

My-resolution,

Is-for-everyone-to-be,

Happy-all-year-long.

Written By

Ryan Speak

31st December 2014

THANKS FOR READING

Non Non Biyori Calendar 2015

My New Year’s Eve has just got better. My Christmas present, Non Non Biyori calendar, has literally arrived just in time before we welcome 2015. I’m really happy, so happy that I decided to share a photo of it here. =)

I hope you all have a peaceful night and fun celebrating.

Thanks for reading.

Happy New Year everyone.^^/

Ryan

Reviewing Anime, Manga and Film

No Game No Life wallpaper

Konbanwa.^^/

It wasn’t my intention to review my favourite anime and manga when I started blogging, it just sort of happened. I was blogging about how I cope with Autism around the same time when I started to get into manga. It was at this point, I thought, that I could actually add another string to my bow (aka my blog) and review manga. Reviewing my favourite things, such as anime, manga and movies, would be another good way for me to express myself. Most of my friends and family don’t share this common interest with me so I don’t really have anyone to talk about this kind of stuff with. How do I solve this problem? Simple. Share my thoughts through the art of blogging. =)

I didn’t really know how to review a story. Is there only one way of reviewing? Initially I sort of just used my instinct and just spoke about what I enjoyed about that story. I also posted some anime news that I was happy about, especially concerning High School DxD. I could have easily researched previous reviews of anime and manga but I didn’t want to be influenced, so, I just went with my gut instinct. =D

When reviewing entertainment products I did find that I did probably force myself at times, especially when it comes to anime seasons. I felt I had to review every single anime that I watched. Here, I put unnecessary pressure on myself. Because I forced myself I wasn’t as natural as I could have been. It is at that point that I did research some reviews and this seemed to put more pressure on me to get it right. I felt that I ought to try to be more professional in my writing. This detracted my enjoyment of reviewing. It was only after the High School DxD Volume 2 that I had an epiphany… Reviewing manga, anime and films like a pro was never my intention to begin with.

The whole point of my ‘reviewing’ style is to share my enjoyment in manga and film and TV. My intention was to make my style personal rather than professional. After my reviews from High School DxD, I felt that my enjoyment and personality came out more. I actually enjoyed reviewing the latest manga and anime. I never forced myself to bring the words together, they all came together naturally. =)

I already have some anime and manga that I plan to review in the near future, but, I will not force myself to review them. I want to take my time and when I’m happy with it, I’ll share my thoughts on them with you. =) I think, in all honesty, my reviews are more like casual rambles. I feel like I’m a fan just spouting my thoughts on manga rather than analysing its contents.

I also found my own style of rating anime, manga and movies. You can check it out in the blog, My Rating System.

Here is a list of anime that I intend to review

  • High School DxD
  • Locodol
  • Non Non Biyori

A list of manga that I intend to review

  • Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends – Now With 50% More Fail!
  • Nisekoi: False Love – Volume 4
  • No Game No Life – Volume 1
  • See Me After Class – Volume 1

A list of TV series that I intend to review

  • Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends – Series 1

A list of Movies that I intend to review

  • Iron Man

I originally had a category called ‘Ryan’s Game World’. I intended to review games but I never got round to them. A year has gone by since I started to blog and I still haven’t reviewed a game. I might review the games of Atelier Escha and Logy, Super Mario and Senran Kagura but I’ll see how things go. =)

THANKS FOR READING

Non Non Biyori Wallpaper

I figured this blog would be an appropriate follow up to my First Year Blog Anniversary. I wanted to talk about my reviews in that blog but I deemed it not relevant, hence, why I made a separate blog for this one.

I hope you enjoyed the read, even if it was a short one. =)

See you next time.

Sayonara,^^/

Ryan.

My First Year Blog Anniversary

Party Popper

Blog Tidings.^^/

It seems rather strange that I have been blogging for one full year now and this was met by many adventures that I did during that period. =) I’m not sure how it started really. I believe I was just rambling on with my family when it came up in passing that I should blog about my experiences with Autism. I learned over the years that writing things down can release my unwanted tension and it’s another form of me expressing myself. =)

After careful consideration, I registered on WordPress and my blogging journey started…

I could talk about my year as a whole, but instead, I’ll just summarise and link to the blogs that I think are significant.^^/

  1. Introduction

This is my introduction which I wrote one year ago. =)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/introduction/)

  1. WWE Raw 2013

I went to WWE Raw with my circle friends. I used to be a big fan of WWE but this was the first time that I attended an actual wrestling show. It was daunting but it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. Plus, my favourite wrestlers were in attendance.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/wwe-raw-experience/)

  1. Segway

This was good experience and an instant highlight of the year. I arranged a birthday treat for my brother. This was the first time that I had actually arranged anything. I was also venturing into the unknown here. It was a little distance away but we both had a really good time and I would do Segway again without hesitation.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/segway/)

  1. Pub-Quizzing

On some occasions I would go to the Pub Quiz either as a night out or to celebrate a special occasion. I would often have to have a long think about whether I want to go out or not. Last month though, I went to the pub quiz for Cheese’s (the friend, not the dairy product) birthday celebration. Instead of needing to think I just decided to deal with my emotions when the time arrived.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/pub-quizzing/)

  1. WWE Royal Rumble

In early 2014 I stayed at my brother’s until the early hours watching WWE Royal Rumble. For some televised wrestling events I would often stay over. Usually after the event I spend the rest of my night sitting in a chair reading as I don’t feel comfortable sleeping in someone else’s house.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/wwe-royal-rumble-2014/)

  1. Completing a Writing Course

This was certainly a joyous occasion and I celebrated it with a pint of J2O. 😉 I learned a lot about writing and how to approach a publisher. Nothing has been happening for me and my books just yet but I believe I’m steering myself in the right direction. =)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/passing-an-online-course/)

  1. Positivity and Autism

Naturally, coping with Autism can be tough. I tend to over-think and read into situations that are not there.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/negativity-to-positivity/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/negativity-to-positivity-over-thinking/)

  1. Visiting College

Visiting my college again was quite a challenge. I was invited back to college a few times to watch performances and to catch up with people but I declined those offers. I was out of routine and had become unfamiliar with everything.

However, this year, I decided to pluck up my own courage and visited. I thought long and hard about this invitation but in the last minute I decided to say “yes.”

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/visiting-college/)

  1. The Wedding Blogs

I didn’t have much to blog about in July except for one…my sister’s wedding. That was a very significant moment and I achieved a lot personally on that day.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/the-wedding-part-one/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/the-wedding-part-two/)

  1. Yoga

My outlook on myself and confidence is highly due to my regular practice in Yoga.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/my-yoga-journey/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/my-yoga-journey-continues/)

  1. Film with a Friend

I went to watch the Transformers film with a friend… this was definitely a significant moment as this was the first time that I’ve been out with someone without a family member being present. The following day I went to the cinema with my Dad, and I took the initiative as he is less familiar with the procedure then I am.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/transformers-age-of-extinction-film-review/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/inbetweeners-2-film-review/)

  1. Impromptu Outing

Going to an impromptu trip to a train station was an interesting challenge.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/journey-to-tumbleweed-station/)

  1. November Happenings

November was very busy month and was perhaps the most challenging.

I designed a Halloween costume dressed as the Shockmaster for my Brother’s Halloween party. The day after that I went to London to watch Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. As I travelled to London it was necessary for me to stay in a hotel, the first time that I ever slept in a bed that wasn’t my own… If that wasn’t challenging enough, I then travelled to Liverpool to watch WWE Raw.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/halloween-as-the-shockmaster/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/london-trip-part-one-the-preparation/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/london-trip-part-two-the-london-experience/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/london-trip-part-three-the-final-fantasy-concert/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/wwe-raw-and-liverpool-experience/)

BLOGGING

I believe I still have a lot to learn where blogging is concerned. What I have learnt though is that at times I probably forced myself to blog about stuff if I felt that I should blog about it. I like to think that in one year I developed my own style of writing and blogging. I consider myself always upbeat and looking on the happy side of life.

What I learnt is that I need to enjoy what I’m writing and I would often remind myself that all these blogs are from my own point of view. I tend to get the best out of myself if I enjoy writing, especially when reviewing film and manga. It can be hard at times since I find it difficult to summarise but thankfully I have my editor (aka Mum) to help me out. 😉

I find as well that if you don’t force yourself to blog you will have more things to talk about.

I feel a lot better when I’m blogging as it’s a good way to express myself. However, it came to light at times that viewers from all over the world are actually reading what I have to say. I’m also aware that some of my blogs have put smiles on the faces of my friends.

Making people happy is what motivates me to continue writing and blogging. Being happy is important, and if I’m making someone happy then I intend to keep up with that flow! =)

THANKS FOR READING

Two Thumbs-Up

I summarised my whole year to the best of my abilities. How did I do? Did I waffle too much? Haha. Well, I had to figure out how I was going to write this blog. In all honesty, it wasn’t a tough as I anticipated. All I had to do was sum up what I did and share my adventures from last November to now. =)

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I can’t wait to see what my future adventures will involve next.

See you next time.^^/

Namaste,^^/

Ryan.

High School DxD Volume One Review

High School DxD Volume One

Konbanwa.^^/

 

This week, Monster Musume Volume 4 has gone straight to number one in the New York Times! I’m really chuffed and over the moon about this. I still got my copy on pre-order on Amazon.co.uk and isn’t due out until September 1st. =)

 

With that happy thought, I present to you my review on High School DxD Volume 1. =)

 

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

 

  1. MY SYNOPSIS

Issei Hyoudou is a typical young man who lives the life of a normal young man. He was one of the most unpopular lads at his school until one day; he went on his first ever date with a beauty; Yuuma. All was well until he lays on the floor in a pool of his own blood, murdered by his date, Yuuma!

On death’s door Issei wished to die in the arms of a crimson-haired beauty…

Rias Gremory, the proclaimed most beautiful lady in school, has saved the life of Issei Hyoudou. After the shocking relevation of Yuuma and being brought back to life, Issei was left with yet another bombshell… he has been reborn as a devil and has become a special piece for the devil, Rias Gremory!

Let the fun times as a reincarnated devil roll.

 

  1. STORY

2.1. Overview

This manga consisted of four chapters, all of which were quite long, so I really wanted to take my time in reading it. The plot and themes are quite deep so I found that unlike D-Frag or Monster Musume I had to read carefully in order to grasp the story. It’s a really good story by all means but it was necessary for me to take my time with it in order to enjoy it and appreciate the story more. =)

 

2.2. Chapter One

I did feel sorry for Issei when it turns out that his date, Yuuma, turned out to be a psychotic murderer… on the outside Yuuma is easy on the eye but then she sullied her own attractiveness when she murdered her ‘date’. All anime/manga girls are attractive, no question, but their appealing factor, for me, is their personalities. So, I hereby declare Yuuma as ‘ugly’. 😉

 

We then get the introduction of two of Issei’s friends who are erotically charged, apparently as much as Issei. I’m not so keen on over-the-top perverted characters but at this moment it seems realistic enough. Over-the-top perverted male characters tend to ‘peek’ on girls and so far, on this occasion, Issei and co are divulging their lust into dirty magazines. I can get that it’s probably what most young men would do. Apart from the fact that Issei is more concerned about his ‘date’ rather than thinking dirty thoughts.

 

The ravishing Rias Gremory then makes her appearance. =D She appeared in Issei’s dying thoughts and she even gazed up at him as he looked at her from the window… I wondered if there was going to be a connection between the two, and it made me wonder if she had something to do with Issei coming back to life… assuming what he experienced wasn’t a dream. A female waking up in a bed beside the lad is a typical manga cliché but I still enjoyed reading it. It was a wonderful introduction.

 

2.3. Chapter Two

Poor Issei… he tried to summon himself to the client’s place but it somehow didn’t come to fruition, so, he had to travel via bike. Begrudgingly, I found it hilarious. It went from being cool and dramatic to a mellow and uncool atmosphere. XD He eventually arrives at his client’s place. The client is Mil-Tan who turned out to be a big buffed otaku who likes to cosplay. Haha. The highlight of this chapter, I must say, is the introduction of the sweet and innocent sister, Asia. =)

 

2.4. Chapter Three

You just know that Asia is sweet just by her brief introduction and with the way that she emitted an aura of a docile and kind personality.

Issei could have easily taken advantage of her and her docile demeanour but he didn’t. However, he did the opposite. He appreciated the kind of sweet girl that she is and he actually looked out for her as if she was a little sister in distress. He was interested in her as a person and helped her to get to the church… even if it did mean causing him some pain, that’s the kind of good male character that I’d like to see. =) He even reacts to her when she shows her cross, since devils are weak against vessels and such from the church. =)

She helped a young injured boy… whilst the boy’s mother gave Asia the cold shoulder the boy thanked Asia for healing him. I’m not sure if she is nice because she’s a sister or if it’s just in her nature, however, I still like her nonetheless.

It will be interesting to see if a relationship brews between Issei and Asia. He’s a human reincarnated as a devil and she’s a nun of the church, so… we could have a forbidden romance on the cards. =D Rias, being the over-protected sister type person, will probably have contrasting views and scold Issei for interacting with someone associated with the Church. And she did just that, but that’s just because Issei met someone of the Church rather than a Romeo and Juliet situation…

And now, in this very chapter, comes the introduction of the battle system… all the devils are pieces depending on rank…. Rias Gremory, who belongs in the Gremory household, is the King and she has her very own pieces. Her queen is Akeno, who specialises in magic and is an extreme sadist… what fun. 😉 Her knight is Yuuto who is a speed type. Her rook is Koneko who uses superhuman strength. And Issei, is her pawn… in a way, Issei being a pawn is quite appropriate because pawn can have more than one meaning. 😉 Is it an innuendo? Poor Issei though… he really has a long way to go to be ‘harem king’.

These explanations were used correctly as Rias and crew battled some stray devil. Everyone showed off their abilities whilst we establish which rank each devil is… Visual aids and simple explanations do wonders for a story. =)

 

2.5. Chapter Four

Chapter Four, Issei sleeping in a bed- BOOM- Rias is naked next to him. We learn that Rias can’t sleep very well when she’s naked, how convenient. 😉 He resisted touching her through fear and self-control.

In every walk of life, and in manga, girls generally do have some kind of empowerment over guys. Ladies know that the gents love sex and to get in the sack they tend to do jobs or chores for the ladies since they promise them a ‘reward’ so to speak. They’re empowered because they call the shots. In this case, Rias has Issei completely wrapped around her fingers. XD He can grope her breasts if he manages to get someone’s contract… of course, this highly motivated Issei and he got straight onto the job without much fuss… I really liked the way how Rias used the word ‘deman’ in a seductive manner to Issei…mixing man and demon in the same mix… what fun.

Then came the unfortunate encounter between Issei and some chaotic priest, Freed. He got mad and they had a bit of a scuffle, naturally Issei struggled being a devil, but then who should come to his aid but the charming and amiable, Asia. =) This is where the potential forbidden love could start… she learns that Issei is in fact, a devil, her natural enemy… However, it didn’t matter to her that Issei was a devil, because he was her friend. It’s very touching…

Issei got enraged, naturally, when Freed started to get frisky with Asia… she clearly is a pacifist. It’s good that Asia is a pacifist and all but it can cause her problems in certain situations… like this one.

What luck!

Rias and the devil posse came by to aid Issei.

Oh no!

They have to leave because more fallen angels were on the way. And Issei had to leave poor Asia behind. She is the enemy of the devils and she can’t be transported through that summon thing since only Rias and her devils can transport through it. That slap from Rias did seem to be a bit harsh. Was there any need for that? Rias reassured Issei that everything was alright, since Asia has nothing incriminating on her that would merit fallen angels to hurt her…

That ending was simply heart-breaking to read. That was when Asia smiled through her tears to Issei that they will meet again… It was upsetting to read. If Freed tried to take advantage of her in front of Issei, just imagine what’s going to happen when he’s all alone with her… anything can happen. What is going to happen? I feel very nervous about Asia’s future. I’m hoping that nothing bad happens to her, but, I don’t like her chances of survival in Volume 2…

 

2.6. Parody Elements?

I didn’t tag this manga as a parody as it didn’t feel right. However, I did notice sporadic appearances from characters from other anime/manga.

  • The Haruhi alarm clock which is based on Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa and Noizi Ito.
  • Posing as Goku from Dragon Ball, by Akira Toriyama, when he’s about to perform the Kamehameha move
  • “I will be harem king” is a shout out to Luffy’s “I will be pirate king” from One Piece by Eiichiro Oda.
  • Motohama’s [Issei’s friend] scouter is a reference to the scouter used in Dragon Ball which is used to detected power levels.
  • Beauty Pure, the title of Matsuda’s porn parody DVD is a reference to the anime, Pretty Cure.

 

  1. THEME
  • Action
  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[1]
  • Fantasy
  • Game
  • Harem[2]
  • Mature
  • Romance
  • School Life

 

  1. ART AND DESIGN

Miyama-Zero has done a wonderful job with the characters and their design. The artist of this manga does a good job with the art, I find it really cute. I especially like the uniform on the girls of what looks to be a jacket of some kind… I really don’t know how to explain it but I know what I like, and I certainly like that. =D

Rias’s description was good. She has a good dynamic bloody red hair that Issei visualised within his dying moments. It was very appropriate for the situation. It makes you wonder if that is why she had red hair to begin with. With Rias having red hair Akeno having dark hair I wonder if they are supposed to represent English Rose[3] and Yamato Nadeshiko.[4] Their beautiful appearances and charismatic auras does suggest this to me.

 

  1. CHARACTERS

5.1. ISSEI HYOUDOU

(PAWN)

I like Issei.

By what I have observed he loves the ladies very much both emotionally and physically. Being a young man it’s only natural for him to be interested in the ladies, and he has an alarm clock in the form of Haruhi Suzumiya. Haha.

His imagination is at the forefront when it comes to getting down and dirty. However, when he wakes up with a naked Rias next to him, he becomes shy and awkward. His mind is all over the place. Imagination is one thing, but dealing with reality is something completely different. Issei may have a vivid imagination but this is his first experience of being intimate with a lady, especially with Rias. In a way I find this to be realistic. All young men have lustful desires, but nice young men won’t necessarily take advantage of the opportunity.

It came to light that Issei is a reincarnated devil and he has this strange weapon called the ‘Sacred Gear’. It makes sense now why Yuuma and other Fallen Angels would go after them, as they deem the Sacred Gear ‘dangerous’.

 

5.2. RIAS GREMORY

(KING)

Rias is incredibly lovely and has a cool yet humble personality.

To top it off, she is a beauty! You see… I actually do have a little thing for girls with wings. Whether it’s angel with wings, devil with wings or succubus with wings… any girls with wings basically! I like mermaids too, but let’s stop there before I get off track!

I instantly like her more than Yuuma. Her self-confidence in her looks and self-assurance is nice to see. How many ladies do you know who would sleep naked beside a young boy you just met? This tells me that she has no shame and that she has no sense of personal space. And she’s totally ok with Issei exploring her chest region should he choose to do so… oh my.

She does strike you as the big sister type who is very responsible and will look out for you if you need her to. However, whilst she is clearly very affectionate she’s also quite sexual in nature. Some of her actions and flirtatiousness can be interpreted on different levels. I would say that she treats everyone in a voluptuousness manner but I’ve only seen her treat Issei in this regard. Is he the special exception perhaps? She seems to sleep naked with him a lot, using him as a ‘pillow’. Perhaps using him as a ‘pawn’ is not a coincidence and that he fulfils her duties outside of the battlefield too. 😉

In some ways she reminds me of Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit as they’re both sensual, seductive and show their affection in a more than physical manner. Out of the two, I do actually prefer Rias. 😉

We know that she’s a devil and all but I actually think that it would be more appropriate to describe her as a succubus rather than a devil. Haha. I’m referring to her confidence in her personality rather than her actually being a succubus[5]. She would never take a man’s soul for her own gain.

 

5.3. ASIA ARGENTO

(SISTER)

I think Asia’s introduction was actually my favourite introduction of a character from High School DxD. I would talk about her character but I think I pretty much summed up my feelings and perception of her in the whole of Chapter Three. XD

I like girls like her who are caring, sweet and don’t judge. I can see she is a bit of a scatter brain and is a little naive. I deduce that she’s naïve due to her lack of experience in normal society. She also doesn’t get why Issei has a nose bleed. In manga, guys get nose bleeds when they get ‘excited’.

I’ll leave it as that. I look forward to seeing her more in Volume Two, if she survives that is.

 

5.4. AKENO HIMEJIMA

(QUEEN)

I like Akeno’s sadist side. I like anime girls to be a little bit different and unique. Normally Akeno has the appearance of a beautiful lady and acts with dignity when it comes to etiquette and polite manners. However, the bloodlust will rush when it comes to battling opponents. Being a sadist she gets off when she hurts her opponent badly… haha.

She can definitely compete with Rias in terms of being voluptuous, especially when she’s in battle. I enjoy seeing this side of her but I definitely wouldn’t want to be her opponent!

 

5.5. YUUTO KIBA

(KNIGHT)

Kiba is pretty cool and reliable. He is the traditional handsome man with blonde hair who will attract the ladies not only with his ruggedness but with his charm too. Very smooth and crisp sword skills too, it’s very appropriate for a knight.

 

5.6. KONEKO TOUJOU

(ROOK)

Koneko is cute and her looks are very misleading since she has superhuman strength and is Rias’ rook because of her unmeasurable strength. I like her.

 

  1. CONCLUSION

This is definitely one of my favourite manga, at least top five.

It pretty much has everything that I’d like to see in a manga. Good action with the cast’s rank based on chess pieces. It has a good fantasy story that mixes devils, angels and fallen angels. There are many parts of the story that made me laugh, engage me and make me extremely sad and worried, especially at the end. It involves ladies who have cool personalities, a caring nature and can kick your cherry behind. 😉

Plus, we have the main male who is strong and is interested in the ladies but is not over-the-top about it. He dreams about having a harem… I’m not necessarily a harem supporter but I don’t like to see any girls or guys become broken hearted so I route for a multiple boyfriend/girlfriend so that everyone’s happy… this looks like it could go that way but at the minute we have to see if a relationship will blossom between Asia and Issei.

I wonder if a tension is going to develop between Rias and Asia… better see how things go! Rias doesn’t mean to be mean to her but she is just looking out for her devils, especially Issei.

I’m gnashing my teeth at the thought of something bad happening to her!

I don’t like the fallen angels and stray devils; they treated Issei and Asia terribly. For that, I dislike them. A lot of villains have a reason why they turned evil, but with the likes of Yuuma and Freed, I don’t see any redeeming features.

I simply love the uniqueness and battle system in the style of chess pieces. I like it how everyone has a rank based on chess pieces, with the King being the highest and the pawn being the lowest… I actually wanted to create something similar in terms of a battle strategy based on the chess piece system… High School DxD evidential got there first but I still find it reassuring that other people come up with similar ideas. I see it in a way as fate telling me that great minds think alike. =)

 

High School DxD Volume One gets Two gets Two Thumbs-Up. (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up 

 

THANKS FOR READING

High School DxD Poster 01

Funny enough, just as I finished reviewing Volume One, High School DxD Volume Two has just arrived. =D This week has been very kind to me indeed. I don’t anticipate that I’m going to review this any time soon as I want to read it for fun and understand 100% what’s going on within the story.

 

Thanks for reading. =D

 

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

 

[1] This manga contains risqué and sexy moments or lecherous characters.

[2] In this manga all the ladies are gunning after one man and/or lady.

[3] An English Rose is the most beautiful and attractive lady from England. Many describe Diana Princess of Wales as this.

[4] The term, Yamato Nadeshiko, in Japan means “personification of an idealized Japanese woman”, or “the epitome of pure, feminine beauty.”

[5] A Succubus comes from hell with the sole purpose of draining the soul of sleeping men through the act of sex. The male equivalent is Incubus as they have sex with sleeping ladies.