Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Anime Review

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Anime

  1. EPISODE THOUGHTS
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode One Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Two Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Three Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Four Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Five Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Six Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Seven Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Eight Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Nine Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Ten Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Eleven Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Twelve Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Thirteen Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Fourteen Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Fifteen Thoughts! (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Sixteen Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Seventeen Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Eighteen Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Nineteen Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Twenty Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Twenty-One Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Twenty-Two Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Twenty-Three Thoughts (LINK)
    • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode Twenty-Four Thoughts (LINK)
  2. REVIEW

I really do like the trend of alternative battle shows where people battle each other but without fighting physically, like No Game No Life. In No Game No Life Sora and Shiro battle other rivals by playing games. I really, really like that concept of a battle and I’ve been on the lookout for a similar type of setting for some time and I found it in the form of Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma.

 

I would say that Food Wars is pretty much as it sounds but I would describe it as a battle of chefs. So, think of this like Hell’s Kitchen or the Great British Bake Off but the competition is on a much bigger scale. The main guy, Sora, applies to enter into Japan’s most prestigious cooking school where the pass rate is 10%… or was it 1%? Either way the school has high standards.

 

I didn’t really know what to expect from Food Wars but I do know that I’ve really enjoyed this anime. Some of the battle scenes were intense and I found plenty of moments really funny.

 

I have to admit and say that I crack up every single time Soma smirks or grins. It might annoy Erina but it certainly makes me chuckle. I actually thought that I wasn’t going to like Soma. I thought he was going to be cocky and weird. However, I find him to be very daring, fearless, but above all, really funny. Erina, a high class lady chef, puts him down many, many times but he either doesn’t get her sarcasm or he just doesn’t care. Haha. I think it’s good that he’s not intimidated by all the high class students and I’m really pleased that he managed to blend in and make a few friends, especially those from the Polar Star.

 

I thought he was going to be a bad chef as well judging by his loss record against his Dad. However, it turns out that Soma is pretty good and it just meant that whilst Soma is good, he is completely outmatched by the much experienced Jouchirou. It’s pretty funny how they go out of their own way to create bad food and they find victims to eat it. Haha.

 

I think one of the quirkiest and funniest things of this show, apart from the wit and Soma’s facial expressions, is the female cast. By this I mean that when they eat delicious food they ‘visualise’ how they feel and either dress up in flattering clothes or they are stark naked. The girls showing their skin are easy on the eye but I also find it really, really funny. It’s ridiculous but hilarious. Haha.

 

The character growth should also be noted. Soma’s growth as a character is good and he becomes more mature and open-minded through cooking battles and during the field trip. I would say the biggest growth goes to Megumi, not necessarily through cooking abilities but her confidence and self-belief grows.

 

I enjoyed many battles in this show but my favourite battles involved Soma vs Ikumi, Soma and Megumi vs Shinomiya and whenever Soma battled his Dad.

 

I’m not sure if Food Wars was how I expected it to be but I do know that I most certainly enjoyed watching it. The major bonus of this series is that the food on this show looks absolutely delicious and they are designed in high detail. Every time I see Soma and co cook or bake or prepare a dish I immediately get hungry.

 

One of my life goals now is to cook a dish that’s been shown in the Food Wars anime. =D. Will I be able to do it? That remains to be seen.

 

  1. REVIEW

Two Thumbs-Up.^^/ (My Rating System) (My Anime Series Rankings)

Two Thumbs-Up

 

THANKS FOR READING

Soma, Megumi, Ikumi and Kanichi Eyecatch

I’m lagging behind uploading my reviews for each episode but I felt that I could upload my review now as what I have summarised is relevant enough to share. It really is a good anime and I’ll be keeping my eye out for a Blu-Ray or a DVD collection in the future. =)

 

Thanks for Reading.^^/

Ryan.

Monster Musume Anime Review

 

Monster Musume Anime

  1. REVIEW

As a Monster Musume fan I was very excited when I learned that it was going to receive an anime show. However, I was half nervous especially when the official MonMusu[1] Twitter page was doing a survey asking us fans what scenes we definitely wanted to see from the manga. If they were doing this survey did this mean that they were going to omit certain scenes from the manga?

 

I’ve been watching this TV show very keenly and I must say that it’s much, much better than I thought that it was going to be. I was very impressed with it and I found myself laughing just as hard watching the anime as I did when I was reading the manga books. The anime does include a lot of scenes from the books but in order to make it flow they mixed it up a bit.

 

This really is a funny anime and it is very self-aware and it does take the mickey out of itself. I especially like it when the monster girls make a pun or a quip referring to their animal body parts. I think that’s one of the underlining charms of the series. The animal parts are not just the funny part of the series, what also does it for me are the characters and the well-timed lewdness. Haha.

 

I do think that there is more to MonMusu than the comedy aspects. The whole point of the story is for the Subspecies[2] to integrate into human society. That was made possible due to the Interspecies Cultural Bill which allowed the Subspecies to live in a human’s house as their guest to learn about human society.

 

The main guy, Kimihito Kurusu, was not chosen to be host but became a host for a lamia, Miia, due to Sumisu’s error. However, instead of complaining, he embraced Miia with open arms and became a very good and gracious host. Eventually he welcomed more additions to his non-blood family such as a harpy, a centaur, a mermaid, an Arachne and even an illegal subspecies, a slime.

 

I was somewhat concerned how the anime would handle Kimihito. Main guys in this type of show tend to be portrayed from one extreme to the other. However, like the manga in this show he has the perfect balance of the sort of chap that I like to see more often in an anime. He’s very aware that all of his beautiful guests love him dearly but he doesn’t cower away from their feelings, even if they do nearly kill him time and time again. Haha. He’s also very interested in them but he’s holding himself back due to his morals and he doesn’t want to break the law. What I especially like is the fact that he is not perverted in the slightest. You can be interested in a lady without being perverted. =)

 

All the girls in this show are brilliant and there isn’t a single character that I don’t like… apart from the racist couple and that dodgy chap from episode 6 but I consider them irrelevant. 😉 Kimihito accepts all the girls for who they are and I especially like it when he has those tender and affectionate moments with those girls. I find them very touching to the point where I nearly shed a tear. =)

 

To conclude, Monster Musume is very lewd but it has much more to offer than rudeness and I think that’s what makes MonMusu very special. I’ve been waiting for an anime adaptation for a very long time and not only did it meet above my expectations it has entered my top ten favourite anime of all time. =D

 

  1. RATING

Two Thumbs-Up

Two Thumbs-Up.^^/ (My Rating System) (My Anime Series Rankings)

 

THANKS FOR READING

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I want to say a big thanks to Okayado for bringing Monster Musume to life and he has actually inspired me in many ways, especially human relationships with mythical creatures. In my stories I always wanted to have a human man marry a mermaid/lamia/harpy etc but I never went through with the idea. I automatically assumed that the reader’s reaction would be negative towards me and my story.

 

Since Okayado introduced MonMusu and the manga became a hit in the western market he inspired me and encouraged me. Ever since MonMusu I’ve been getting epiphany after epiphany and I’m actually getting closer to getting my main story finished.

 

Thank you Okayado, you’re one of my favourite Mangaka[3] of all time. =)
Thanks for Reading,

Ryan.

[1] MonMusu is the abbreviation of Monster Musume.

[2] A political correct term to refer to monster girls and boys.

[3] Mangaka is an author and/or artist of a manga.

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode 16 Thoughts

Food Wars Episode 16 Eyecatch

I really enjoyed the battle between Soma and his Dad and I liked the judging panel. I thought it was amusing how Megumi was elected to be the third judge when she was in her half-awake state.

 

It’s funny because in episode one I hugely underestimated Soma’s cooking abilities. As he lost to his Dad for the 489th time and he made unorthodox dishes I automatically assumed that he was going to be a bad cook. However, since entering the academy he’s been on a big role and is especially impressive when it comes to adapting quickly to situations. In this battle, it doesn’t really show that Soma is a bad cook it just shows how incredible Jouichirou is as a chef.

 

That apple dish that Soma dished up looked really nice. I think Satoshi and Fumio in her younger days would make a nice couple. It was fun to watch them dance together in their visualisations. It was funny when Megumi was visualising herself as Snow White being picked up by a prince with an apple head!

 

However, it seems that Jouchirou deliberately dropped by to give Soma motivation, I.E., beating him as it seems that losing just makes Soma more determined. Soma always knew that he was going to lose but he’s never been a bad loser, so far he has been dignified in defeat.

 

It was good that Satoshi gave him constructive feedback. Satoshi is part of the elite ten so his opinions, when it comes to cuisine, are worth taking on board.

 

So, Ryouko and Yuki wanted Jouchirou’s advice and tips to improve their skills as chefs. I think really, deep down, they just wanted to smooch up to him because they fancy him. Haha. Well, they fell in love with his cooking more like!

 

It was interesting how Erina sensed Jouchirou was nearby and ordered the car to stop at once so she could see his idol. It will be interesting to see her reaction once she discovers that Jouchirou is Soma’s Dad.

 

It seems that I enjoy Food Wars more as the weekly episodes go by. I’m looking forward to the next one. =)

THANKS FOR READING

Food Wars Episode 16 Endcard

I’m looking forward to WWE Night of Champions as Sting is challenging Seth Rollins for the WWE World title. It would be amazing if Sting became world champion but I really can’t see WWE allowing that to happen unfortunately. It would be quite a send-off for Sting if this was the case as I got the impression from Sting’s speech on Raw that he intends to retire soon. Then again, perhaps I read his speech wrong?

 

In an ideal world for me Sting would win the championship from Seth Rollins. It wouldn’t be just for the heavyweight championship either. I think he should have put the United States title on the line too. That way Sting would not only win the WWE title but he would win the former WCW secondary title of the United States. I think that would have been an amazing touch but alas John Cena is challenging Rollins for the US title.

 

After beating Seth Rollins at Night of Champions Sting would face the Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series. Survivor Series would be the most appropriate match for Undertaker to challenge Sting as both Undertaker and Sting made their WWE debut at Survivor Series. It could be the best way for Undertaker and Sting to retire if it’s appropriate. If not, then perhaps at Wrestlemania?

 

To get back on track-

 

I’m somewhat behind with Food Wars and other anime as of late as I’ve been busy with other projects such as renovating my garden and the summer house. However, I have found some time to myself and I’m taking this opportunity to play catch up as well as playing Atelier Shallie’s second play through.

 

Thanks for Reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea

Atelier Shallie Game

  1. REVIEW

It’s finally happened, after getting this game two months ago for my birthday I have completed the full run through of Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea on my first attempt.

 

I really enjoyed the storyline that went with it and I liked it especially how all the playable characters in battle were mostly female. I would like to see this as a TV series as I reckon I would enjoy it.

 

It was really quirky that two of the leading characters shared a nickname, Shallie. I got the impression that the idea of a dusk world followed on from the previous game, Atelier Escha and Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky. Well, it did, seeing as its part of the Dusk Trilogy. Haha. I think in all honesty I do like this game better than Atelier Escha as I personally found it more interesting and it was easier to understand. In the Escha game I got the bad end three times because I didn’t really understand what to do. However, in this game, I found it much more straightforward and found that I hardly needed prompts or help guides from the internet.

 

I really liked the story and particular that it didn’t all revolve around the dusk plot. Stera wanted to be a chief of her village and Lotte wanted to learn to fly a broom. I must admit when I say that I really, really enjoyed practising “flying” with Lotte when Wilbell gave her the task to fly. I also really enjoyed when Lotte made her Flying Board and flew it around the harbour. Haha. I really do like Lotte, she’s a really funny and bright girl. I knew I was going to like her as soon as a I was given the option.

You can find my art of her on DeviantArt here…

Shallie

 

All the characters were good too and I liked how Wilbell had a bigger role in this story. She was good in the Escha game and felt that she was underappreciated so I’m especially pleased that she was an important character in this game. I downloaded Escha as an additional character to battle with and I find her very handy. It was fun to fight with Homura, Miruca and Kortes but my favourite people to battle with (besides Wilbell) were Jurie and Keithgriff. They were elegant and cool in their attacks.

 

I thought the battles and the synthesising alchemy was good. I found them simple and straightforward for the most part. I think finding items through fishing and mining was quite refreshing and fun. It’s those little quips that made me enjoy this more than Escha.

 

I did get somewhat frustrated at times during chapter 9 and 10 as I got rather confused as to what I should do. I found some of the bosses really hard to beat so I had to fight some of them on the easiest level. Even then, it was no walkover. I barely beat the King of the Beasts and the Prototype 0 on the easiest level. I did manage to beat 5 major bosses on the normal level so I wasn’t too disheartened.

 

I take into account that I’m not a passionate gamer, I’m a casual gamer so it’s to be expected that I don’t do well in these sort of games. Having said all that on this first run through I did manage to complete 73% of trophies in the game. This lifted my pride and spirit. I chose the end of where Lotte stays in Stellard and synthesised alchemy stuff with Stera and Miruca.

 

It was definitely worth all the hours that it took to complete Lotte’s route. On the second run through I will try and enjoy the story more and try and not complete every single life task. I could try and go for that but I found that trying to complete every single step and task to be somewhat tedious and detracted from what was actually important- having fun.

 

Roll on round two!

 

Ps, it was cool to see Ayesha make a small cameo.

 

  1. RATING

Two Thumb’s-Up.^^/ (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

Thanks for Reading. =)

Ryan.

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.

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.^^/

Kitacon Part Three: Day Two

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KITACON PART ONE: THE ANTICIPATION

KITACON PART TWO: DAY ONE

KITACON PART FOUR: DAY THREE

 

  1. Building a Mecha

I didn’t really get much sleep. I set my alarm for the breakfast time as I was aware that I was taking part in the Build a Mecha Challenge. However, I thought that I was going to participate in that straight away and that the “breakfast time” was a guideline rather than the act of having breakfast. Haha.

 

From that point on I was over-whelmed. I was extremely confused and everything that my brother told me completely went over my head. I wasn’t being rude I just could not digest what he was saying. I think I’m honest when I say that I didn’t really fancy building a mecha but it was an opportunity to socialise and get in with the action more so I decided to continue to be brave in socialising.

 

I thought we were going to build a Mecha with a certain group of friends, but I learnt, that we were building a Mecha with another group of friends. That isn’t really a problem but when something unexpected happens or something changes from my point of view, it really catches me off guard and throws me off. Just before we started to build a Mecha three of four other people joined and started to crack on with the crafting.

 

I honestly had no idea what was happening. Do I hold the sellotape so that anyone can cut at any time? How do I help out? Just stand back out of the way? Strangely enough I felt uncomfortable when those pro photographers were taking snaps of us building a mecha. I found it distracting. I was also surrounded by people who I never met before. Being crafty was not my thing and I felt inclined to let everyone else get on with it.

 

In the end I decided to rely on my own strengths, drawing. I drew a bell for the collar, I drew a banana wearing a British flag and I drew a gigantic face of a bull. One of my newest chums, Mat, provided the orange eyes to place on the bull face. =) In the process I managed to take a few good photos and managed to have a little talk with a few of my fellow team mates. The theme was the letter B so we had to attach parts to the mecha that began with b.

 

I do tend to be biased towards my own team but my personal favourite mecha was the orange neko mecha. It was cool and cute.

 

  1. Embarrassing Incidents

Unfortunate there were two. The first one involved room service.

I was in my room when I decided to chill out for a bit. Then, I heard footsteps and someone opening a door. I thought, “That sounded like my door. Perhaps it’s a lady coming into my room?” I laughed to myself. Then, I heard “Room service.” And then I thought. “Hmm, that sounded very loud actually.”

Then, I turned around and there was an actual lady walking into my room and as soon as she saw me she literally shrieked in surprise. I think she felt very awkward after that. It was a good job that I wasn’t getting changed!

Second incident… this one is especially embarrassing.

I needed to draw out some money from the cash machine so I asked my bro for directions. He pointed to where the cash machine was, which was on the wall on the other side of the room. We were sat in the lounge at the time.

Now, this is the perfect example of me not thinking rationally… I was looking in the direction that he was pointing but all I saw in front of me was a lady in front of a till. In my head, I just needed to go up to her and ask her to draw the money out. “Odd,” I thought, “I have never known to draw money out like that before.” …so I went up and asked.

The lady gave me such a frowning when I asked. When she understood what I was trying to ask she then directed to the actual cash machine on the wall. I apologised many, many times. I held my face in my hands after I walked away. I could not believe what had transpired.

I did manage to recover from that embarrassment afterwards.

 

  1. Name that Anime Tune

I had a headache already but I had high hopes for this competition. I was really confident in my knowledge of the anime genre… me, bro and Chris were not very… we didn’t do well. Overall we must have gotten something like 10 out of 120. Haha. That will teach us for not getting into bigger groups.

 

We were mostly silly with our answers but I personally did get a few answers right. It was really fun but at times mind-baffling. I recognised the tunes but couldn’t match them up with the anime shows. Haha.

 

  1. Cheering Up

There were other things that cheered me up apart from listening to and watching Non Non Biyori.

My confidence in photo-taking and socialising did grow, bit by bit. There were a few times when I posed with someone for a photo. I managed to pose for a photo with someone dressed as the Green Arrow. That was appropriate as I was dressed as Superman at that time.

At some point I got dressed as the Dark Knight and I had a photo with Harley Quinn. She was really cool and I enjoyed talking to her. I did get nervous when she slightly touched my arm to get into a pose. I used to dislike hugs or physical contact but now I’m not so bad. I can handle hugs and physical touches much better now as I bear in mind that a lot of people are tactile.

It was a really good photo in the end.

I enjoyed having small talks with a lot of people really. I didn’t realise that I was capable of having small talks, usually I talk in depth as I struggle to generalise conversations. I especially enjoyed talking to the lady dressed as Yuna. We were talking about the overall experience of Kitacon and I think she said that this was her first convention as well.

I bought a few DVDs and manga from the dealer’s room and I was definitely happy with my purchases, especially the No Game No Life novels and the Super Sonico figure. I spent about 20 minutes talking to this really nice chap about his costume and about helmets and gauntlets. I never planned to have a conversation with him, it just happened and I felt much better after that. I did feel a bit uneasy because it was the first time that I met him but the flow of the conversation felt natural because I didn’t plan what I was going to say, I just responded to what he was saying. =)

 

  1. Hentai Panel

Aha, the Hentai Panel… I wasn’t planning to attend this but I was somehow persuaded to go. Haha. I was sceptical. Was this going to be as rude as I imagined it to be? However, I was reassured that this was going to be more humorous and daft than showing erotic films.

I wore a jumper. Big mistake. I was really, really hot. Plus, the cue was humongous and we had to wait a good while in the corridor. When we got in I was guided to seat right bang in the middle of the right row of chairs. I sat between Sarah and a new person I’ve never met before. I usually like to sit on the ends so when I needed to go out to clear my head I could do that. However, I was stuck right in the middle and couldn’t move if it got too much.

There were quite a few moments that I found funny, like that girl who shot the rockets from her boobs and knees. It was rather cringing to watch but it was still humorous.

I did clench my teeth when the option of showing a rude Thomas picture did show. I was like “Oh no! They’re going to de-face Thomas!” Luckily, Thomas was never shown just other pictures of trains… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Haha.

If I’m honest I must say that this was probably my least favourite part of my Kitacon experience. I was uncomfortable to begin with, I had a slight headache and I didn’t really understand what was going on. I felt that the atmosphere was very rowdy and very loud and it got to the point when I felt dizzy and sick and I couldn’t really think straight. I had to leave in the end as according to eyewitnesses (my bro and friends) the colour drained from my face. Haha. I decided that that was the opportune time to get an early night, and so I did.

I was already over-whelmed by the whole Kitacon Experience and the Hentai Panel took it to another level. Haha. Of course I appreciate those who enjoyed the Hentai Panel but it wasn’t for me.

 

Hopefully I would get a good night’s sleep and sleep it all off. =)

 

Ryan.^^/

Kitacon Part Two: Day One

Hilton Hotel

KITACON PART ONE: THE ANTICIPATION

KITACON PART THREE: DAY TWO

KITACON PART FOUR: DAY THREE

 

  1. Travelling and Arrival

I didn’t really get much sleep to tell you the truth, I was extremely nervous and the anticipation did get the better of me at times, especially during the car travel. I felt sick. It was a mixture of lack of sleep, the long car drive to Birmingham and not knowing what to expect. I heard the hotel of Hilton was very well established but when I got there I was completely blown away.

 

I walked into the hotel and immediately the place was full of vibrant cosplayers and convention enthusiasts talking amongst themselves happily. I did feel claustrophobic as I didn’t know where to walk or what to do, so I just followed Bro and his partner, Sarah and trusted them. I don’t take lifts unless it’s very necessary so I took the stairs… it took me five minutes to find them so I had to ask someone for directions. It’s not often I talk to random people so that’s good for me. I tend to struggle a lot in social situations, most specifically in big crowds. I tend to feel squashed and get headaches and feel dizzy. Day one was especially quite troubling.

 

I really liked my room. I got the disabled room as I wanted to feel as comfortable as possible as really this was the first time that I was undergoing this kind of experience. The bed and room were exquisite and it did meet my needs and made me feel more relaxed, but it’s nothing compared to my own bed.

 

  1. Photo-Taking

What made me especially nervous was the thought of photo-taking cosplayers. I was incredibly anxious on a big scale. Usually I take pictures of landscapes and objects to distract myself from being scared in an unfamiliar environment. However, I’m always careful as to not take pictures of people as I don’t want to be seen as being inappropriate. However, I came to this convention with the intention of taking pictures of cosplayers. If I was really not up for it then I could at least try and pluck up the courage to take a photo of a person dressing up as Hestia if someone came as Hestia.

 

I was making my way to the lounge area with Bro and Sarah when the site of long black pigtails and blue ribbon caught my attention. Someone was dressing up as Hestia! In that sudden moment of not over-thinking I decided to be brave and ask her for a photo. So I did… my words was mumbled and jumbled up. Haha. She gave her approval and I took a picture of her. I felt scared but very relieved afterwards. I told her that I was uploading my photos on my blog site in case she wanted to look at her pictures online.

 

Once I got over that barrier I felt more confident to ask more cosplayers for their photos. I asked the two ladies who were dressed as the Mizukage and Hinata characters for their photos and I actually ended up having a little conversation with them. They were impeccably nice and I actually regret not keeping the conversation going as I was enjoying talking to them. I never anticipated that I was going to talk to them, it sort of came naturally. It seems like I can hold a conversation better when I let the words flow as oppose to planning a conversation.

 

Everyone was approachable and I actually gained more confidence as I spoke to more people. In some ways I don’t really know why I was worried about starting conversations to begin with. Everyone was friendly to talk to and I didn’t feel intimidated or uncomfortable at all. Well, I did feel uncomfortable but more due to the humongous amount of people and unfamiliar environment rather than the individuals themselves. =)

 

I did change my wording a little bit when I spoke to them. Instead of saying that I was uploading them on my site I told them that I would upload them onto Kitacon Facebook page. Its easy access and they would all be able to find their photos easier on Facebook then to try and remember my name. In hindsight I wonder if I should have made cards but realistically speaking it was probably for the best that I didn’t.

 

I’m not really a pro at photography. I just wanted to take photos for fun and to show off everyone and their amazing cosplay outfits. After all, everyone had worked really hard on their outfits.

 

  1. Mario Kart 8 Tournament

I was intrigued with the tournament but it never entered my mind to enter the competition. In the end I decided to compete. I was in the first round along with Bro, Sarah and another girl who joined later on. The first two would advance to the semi-finals. I like games but I’m not good as I’m not an avid gamer. In my mind, I was going to come last so I just sat back and tried to enjoy the experience.

To my surprise I actually went through to the semi-finals and in the process knocked out my brother! How the heck did that happen? I was really over the moon. Whatever happened after that was a bonus.

In the semi-finals I was actually on par with the elite gamers. In some of the races I was actually first. I was really out-doing myself. I couldn’t believe that I was doing so well. I was casually talking to my competitors in the process. That was fun because we were competing against each other but it was far from fierce.

My lack of experience in gaming did catch up to me as at times I kept on mistiming shell dodges and kept on flying off edges… I would have finished second overall but I did absolutely terrible on Rainbow Road. I think everyone does. Haha. In the end, I came third.

I think I did so well because I was the most chilled. Everyone else was more competitive and they were leaning forward whereas I was casually sitting at the back of my chair.

Sarah got through to the final and came third. The Splatoon man, who was racing as Wario, is very, very good. He’s also a very nice chap and I’m glad I had the opportunity to speak with him and had a photo taken with him. =)

I got a few good responses dressed as Superman. I didn’t get asked for photos but I don’t really mind that as this is an anime convention not a comic book convention. =)

 

  1. Raving

For those who know me well will know that raving, at night, in a crowd of people with extremely loud music is most definitely not my thing. However, I did have a bogey with Bro. Me and Bro took to the dancefloor. I showed off some of my own unique dance moves and at one point we were right bang in the middle of the crowd… strangely enough I felt ok-ish and I enjoyed interacting with a few peeps. They seemed like very nice people and I will look forward to speaking to them more if the opportunity arises. =)

 

If you were to tell me five years ago that I was going to rave at a party and stay in a hotel for three days I wouldn’t believe you. That was a very unique experience and I certainly will not forget that experience any time soon. That was probably the first and last ever time that I will rave. XD

 

  1. Evening

For some reason, I felt rather down as soon as I got to my room. I felt tired, jaded, confused, stressed, and anxious. I also realised at that point that I had a really bad headache. I think that was probably the only time that I had time to myself. I think if I’m honest, deep down, I wanted more time to myself. However, I was conflicted with my own thoughts. In one respect I wanted to make the most of the experience at Kitacon but on the other hand there were at times when I wanted to be completely alone.

 

It really is such a surreal experience. Being in this hotel, at this event, sleeping in my own room, it’s very weird. I had no idea what I was expecting and to be honest I still don’t really know what’s happening. I feel that it’s all too face paced and in some ways I probably exhausted myself and pushed myself too hard to socialise. The whole day was basically just catching up with me…

 

I felt much better when I started to watch Non Non Biyori Repeat on my laptop. I just kept on re-watching the opening song and I gradually felt my spirits lifted. Non Non always make me feel better whenever I am down. It cheered me up on the car journey to Birmingham and it cheered me up at this precise moment. Not only is it a therapeutic and cute story but it actually reminds me of home.

 

It was that moment that I felt comfortable for the first time since arriving at Kitacon. To begin with, Kitacon is what you make it, even if I do choose to spend the entire weekend chilling in my room as long as I have fun, what does it matter?

 

Roll on Day 2. =)

 

Ryan.^^/

Kitacon Part One: The Anticipation

Kitacon Logo

KITACON PART TWO: DAY ONE

KITACON PART THREE: DAY TWO

KITACON PART FOUR: DAY THREE

 

Yipee! This is my first blog since moving over to my site. =) Now, back to the matter at hand.

 

This is the first time that I’m going on this kind of adventure since London. I would say that my anxiety for the trip is the same as it was when I went to London. I went to London last year to watch the Distant Worlds concert and that meant spending the night in the hotel. That was the first ever time that I stayed overnight at a place and not sleeping in my own bed.

 

For Kitacon, not only am I going on early Friday morning but I will spending two nights at the local hotel and travelling back home Sunday evening.

 

Now, today, it’s only starting to hit home that I’m actually going to this event with my brother and his partner. For many months it has been at the back of my mind. There were at times when the anticipation has been creeping up on me. It’s like going into the complete unknown. Instead of watching a Final Fantasy concert I may be potentially socialising with a lot of people. It’s a different kind of anticipation.

 

Some of you may or may not know that I get very nervous and uncomfortable in social situations, especially if it’s somewhere new. There were times when I felt that this was a deadline rather than a fun event. Can I get drawing done in time? Can I get this task done in time? Can I complete this story chapter in time? How many manga can I read and complete before I leave? Will I complete my website?

 

However, even though I have been getting anxious at the prospect of a social event I have been keeping myself busy. For the past few weeks I have been doing up the garden to put up a summer house, doing yoga and I’ve also been to the cinema to watch Ant Man. In hindsight these sudden chores have been a welcome distraction from the anticipation of the Kitacon event.

 

I have even been practising my Photography skills and trying out different cameras to see which one would be best to take with me. I do intend to take photos of people in their outfit as I have no doubt that there will be plenty of amazing cosplayers out there. I myself intend to dress up as Superman and Batman. =)

 

I do believe my brother when he says that I will enjoy myself, however, I can’t help but get anxious. I am coping much better than I thought I would. I can think more logically than usual. Even if I don’t get my writing done or my drawing done before Kitacon, having a few days off won’t do me any harm. They’re not going anywhere, and I can do my stories and art when I get back. I could even do them at my hotel if I wanted to.

 

I can’t help but to feel nervous as I always get nervous and anxious at the prospect of leaving my home as well as socialising with new people. However, no matter how nervous I get or how much of a head mush I get I prove to myself time and time again that I can cope and adapt, even if I don’t think logically.

 

Today has not been a very relaxing day but I’m confident that I will enjoy myself when I get there. It’s about taking each moment as it comes. In the past I haven’t coped so well, but nowadays, I’m much calmer and cooler than ever before.

 

Stay tuned for Part Two as I will continue to share with you my thoughts on the Kitacon experience.

 

Kitacon here I come.^^/

 

Ryan.