Loneliness rears its head

The holiday season is a very joyous season isn’t it? Families gather around to spend precious moments with each other to create new memories for a life time. Holiday festivities are happening along with strings of Christmas lights wrung around trees on every block around the city. Cold crisp autumn air replaces the hot and humid summer air that we breathe into our lungs. Not only just those reasons, but it seems just like the perfect time to have a significant other. But if you’re one of those few folks who have had the sheer unluckiness of not being to find that special someone, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Continue reading

Japanese Kit-Kat Review Pt. 2

Thanks for visiting again! Last time I reviewed three flavors of the beloved kit-kat snack from the land of the rising sun and today I’ll be reviewing the baked kit-kats, green tea matcha, and last but not least cheesecake! You can read the first part of the review here.

First one up is the green checkered wrapper baked kit-kat. I believe that the flavor is cheesecake. When my friend had dropped off the kit-kats she had told me that there were 2 of them that needed to be baked with a toaster oven. I kept those words in mind as I did some research on what baked kit-kats were. My first time wasn’t exactly too successful but they did taste pretty good though!

When you first take it out of the toaster oven BE SURE to let them cool down for at least 2 minutes. I learned the hard way and lost a few taste buds in the process. 😦 As you can see I think I took out the kit-kat a bit too early because I didn’t get that toasted coating that I’ve seen in other posts about these. The one above is coated in white chocolate and upon taking the initial bite you won’t notice it at first but there’s also cream cheese stacked between the layers of the wafer inside. That was definitely something I was NOT expecting, but it was down right delightful as I finished up the bite sized bar. I could confirm that this is for sure tastes like a traditional cheesecake. If you’re a fan of cheesecake you’ll definitely be a fan of these.

Next up we have another baked kit-kat. Same flavor I’m assuming and this time around I was able to achieve that toasted surface we enjoy on all of our baked good snacks. This was one pretty much the same deal, although; I did taste a slight hint of orange. But perhaps my taste buds were playing tricks on me since that was the appearance of the outside of the kit-kat also? We’ll never know.

Next up should be a flavor that everyone is familiar with by now, green tea matcha! If you’re not familiar with it, I would compare it almost to a green tea mochi. You won’t be able to detect a single taste of chocolate as you chew on it. But it’s definitely a very smooth taste and one you won’t want to pass up on.

Last up I was saving this for the very last on purpose because I’ve heard such wonderful reviews about this flavor. It’s none other than … cheesecake! Who doesn’t love a good slice of cheesecake after a nice hearty meal right?! Upon taking it out of the wrapper it definitely had that strawberry cheesecake smell that we all know and love. On the initial bite it reminded me a whole lot of Yan Yan’s and those chocolate filled pandas you could find at your local asian super markets. Other than that, I was not disappointed one bit as I finished up the rest of it.

After this whole review I remember having that craziest sugar crash of my life, but I regret nothing! That about wraps it up for this kit-kat review! Hopefully you all enjoyed it as much as I did. Which flavor of kit-kat is your favorite? Which flavors are you dying to try? Feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment!

-Aniplays

Yu Yu Hakusho, Revisited

In the past 2 weeks I took the time to watch a favorite series of mines that I’m certain everyone by now knows about, Yu Yu Hakusho (I’ll be using the abbreviation YYH for the remainder of the post). I did a throwback Thursday feature of it that you can read here. No matter how many years since I first watched the series YYH will still find a way to make me shed some manly tears.

The first episode instantly had me reeled in because now that I’ve grown older it finally really hits you who your true friends and family are. At the scene of the mourning of Yusuke where everyone had their chance to throw in their two cents about Yusuke and what kind of life he lived it really hit me mentally how people who cared for him, people who fought him, and even his principal could have such kind words to say. The scene really got to me solely for the reason because these were the last words he would have never gotten to hear if he were never a ghost at the time. Even rewatching the scene down below still gets to me.

While watching the series I paid real close attention to how each character developed and matured as the series went on. To be truthfully honest, I couldn’t say which character is my favorite because they all are! Hieh and his negative attitude but willingness to help, Kurama and his kind hearted spirit that’s always seems to be the voice of reasoning, and then you have Kuwabara that’s the character who lightens up the mood.

This anime has everything you could really want all mashed into one. It isn’t too short, it isn’t too long (112 episodes). There’s a good amount of action in every episode that’s just enough to hold you over till the next episode. The comedy is downright hilarious. Ok, you get the point; I can go on and on about just how superb this anime is to me. But just watch one of the best fights series and I’ll let you decide if it’s worth watching again.

Another thing that I really admired about the series was the growth between teacher and student. Genkai and Yusuke seriously had this whacked out relationship that strangely just worked. From the beginning when Yusuke was enduring the training so everyone would just shut up he then began to train so he could beat the crap out of Genkai. I’ve gotta say I really wish they would’ve let us have seen some of his training that he went through rather than just a small glimpse, but I guess they didn’t wanted to be another DBZ and waste time with fillers, shots fired! It was admirable to see just how strong Yusuke had grown and surpassed Genkai in such a short amount of time that you almost felt he was a bit overpowered. He’s the main character though! He’s supposed to be! The series of videos below will be the growth throughout Yusuke’s training during his big fights. I’ve gotta say, Genkai really gives Shia Labeouf a run for his money when it comes to motivational speeches.

Needless to say, the development between the two was really quite beautiful. The arrogance that both of them possessed put an interesting perspective on how their relationship would turn out. Another thing that I would love to touch on is just how much of a troll Yusuke is. I’ll let the next set of videos speak for this paragraph.

As I close out this post I still wonder if there’s an anime out there that can match the same caliber as YYH, for me at least. Hell, the english dub of YYH is one of the very few animes that I prefer to watch over the japanese dub. I’m still hoping and praying for a reboot of it since series like DBZ, Gintama, and HxH got a reboot. But I don’t think that’s highly likely at all. 😦 So I guess I’ll just have to settle for the blu-ray set if I ever happen to come across it in real life. And I can’t leave this post without posting the ending!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been obsessed with an anime again upon rewatching it and it’s really damn refreshing. Which is your number 1 anime for you? Why’s it your number 1? Be sure to let me know in a comment!

-Aniplays

My Thoughts: Colorful

What if you died and you were given a second chance at life? I guess the other question to follow is what if that second chance wasn’t your own life? For years this thought had lingered in my head, well maybe not this thought exactly but I had always wondered what it would be like to live someone else’s life. Colorful does a great job on laying out this kind of scenario for you. It also does a great job on giving you chills as you think about the past. Every teenager has been through the phase that the protagonist has gone through. Heart break, suicidal thoughts, hatred toward parents, making that first big promise to your best friend, etc. If you nodded your head to any of the things that I just listed then I’m sure you’d enjoy this movie.

Colorful

I always enjoy when people message me on facebook, instagram, tumblr, etc when they want me to check out an anime or a movie that they thought was really impressive to them. My friend had messaged me about this movie and at first I was just going to disregard the movie but thought to myself “ehh … you don’t have work tomorrow so might as well watch something right?”. So, that’s what I did, I picked up some taco bell as a late night snack and so I’d be able to let the movie buffer so I could watch it without any interruptions.

The movie jumps you right into what I would call “the spirit world” and puts you in front of a kid named Pura-Pura saying the main character had won the lottery and is granted a second chance at life. Do you know where they’re going? No, of course not. Once you’re granted a second chance at life it isn’t for you to decide where to go I guess. After some dialogue the person jumps into a portal and wakes up in the real world. Here is where we’re introduced to the main character, Makoto.

So before I move on any further I would like to add in that at first I didn’t think the animation was all too great. Hell, I was actually about to ditch the movie and watch something else but for some reason I pushed past the animation and ended up watching the whole thing and tearing up at a few parts of the movie.

Makoto wakes up in the hospital bed from his failed attempt at suicide. Everyone’s happy, his moms hugging him, his dad is also, and his brother is astonished from the recovery. The doctors had listed him as dead a few hours prior and of course the doctors and nurses couldn’t believe it themselves that the young boy had woken up! So, you think that’s the end of the movie right? Nope, there’s much more to it.

Upon Makoto returning home with his family he eats his dinner and converses with his family just as a regular teen is supposed to. Makoto enters his room after dinner and is greeted again by Pura-Pura who then gives him the run down on what needs to be done. The soul that took over Makoto isn’t actually Makoto so he doesn’t know how to actually act as Makoto himself. Pura lets him know that Makoto hated his father due to the amount of work and overtime he had been putting in before the time of his suicide. Makoto had always loved his mom until recently also where she had found out that she had been cheating on his dad with an instructor of hers, and his brother had always teased and put down Makoto because of how low his grades were.

This part of the movie is where things begin to get interesting. Makoto seems to have a liking towards his father again and he begins to resent his mother. Even going to far as to never eating a single item of her food that she cooks. And I’m sure knowing your child doesn’t want to eat your food is probably the worst feeling of all when it comes to being a parent.

After maybe 2 weeks of staying at home and being resentful towards his mother, Makoto decides he wants to return to school. Everyone’s staring at him in disbelief, some because they weren’t exactly too sure who he was, well actually most stared at him because they weren’t sure who he was. Makoto was actually a real big loner that no one really wanted to associate themselves with him. Until one of the popular chicks in school greets him and lets him know that she’s been wondering where he’s been and of course that’s where he begins to fall in love again.

Now I could go ahead and ruin the rest of the movie for you but I’ll let you decide from here if it’s interesting to watch or not. As I said in the beginning of this, it does a splendid job on the stages of an everyday teen growing up. It reminded me of how I was when I was growing up. It’ll pull at your heart strings as he realizes his first crush was a … and it’ll hurt you even more when he begins to cry and admits that he wants to go to a different high school because of …. Like I said, if you want a refresher on how it is to be a teen, watch this movie.

I found it strangely refreshing for myself because I forgot exactly how it was being a teen and I still look at my little brothers as little kids and forget that they’re 18 and that they’re still trying to figure out this big puzzle that we call life. I don’t know about you folks but my teen years is the era that I learned the most about myself. I guess that about wraps it up for me. Until next time!

Throwback Thursday: Chrono Trigger OVA

I know I’m not alone when I say I wish Chrono Trigger would have its own anime adaptation. The artwork is beautiful and the character designs are so unique to one another, nonetheless everything still manages to go hand-in-hand. Never in my life up until the point of playing CT for the first time, would I have ever thought I would be playing a video game with a talking frog and a talking robot in the same party along with a cave girl who could kick some serious butt. Be sure to continue reading to find out more! Continue reading

The Kanjozoku: Life or Death

I recently just read a post about the closing of the Initial D series which you can read here. I’m sure you guys recall that one of my other hobbies is cars, I haven’t really been too crazy on cars in awhile, actually I finally JUST drove my own car in a little over 2 months. Cars to me is another extension of a person’s personality. People pour their mind, body, and soul into this one vehicle so that vehicle at the end of the long build will also be able to have a little bit of life into the car itself. Some of you may think “It’s just a car, as long as it gets me from point A to point B then I’m fine with it.” But to car enthusiast it’s another gateway to look into their soul and to see how their mind works. It’s not just dumping money into a pit or anything along the lines of that. It’s being able to say that you created something with your own bare hands and mind that in the first place you didn’t think could possibly happen. And that to me is worth every blood and sweat drop you ever produced.

You can tell a lot about a car enthusiast by the way their car is setup. Some drivers are into the “Hella Flush” look where your car is extremely low to the ground and your suspension setup is excessively cambered to the point where you think to yourself “how do they drive their car like that?” Some owners go as far as doing “demon camber” to give them extra cool points.

Photo via: StanceNation

And other drivers like the track setup where the car may feature reinforced bars and stiffer suspension with light wheels to tackle on the corners of the race track. But not a majority of those cars always keep their looks to the race tracks. Some drivers daily their race track inspired on the streets. I don’t mind it too much but neither do I condone reckless driving. Which I’m sure a bunch of the older guys already know that but there are still the younger folks who still like to push the buttons of their cars and traffic to test the limits of the cars.

Photo via: Superstreetonline.com

In japan, there’s also another style that’s never really been mentioned of until the recent years; Kanjozoku. Kanjozoku isn’t necassarily a style but rather a way of life. These drivers will drive on the freeways of Tokyo through rain, sleet, snow, etc. just to feed the speed demon within them. No, these freeways aren’t closed to only racers, these are public freeways.

You may have actually driven on the Kanjo yourself if you’ve played games such as the Tokyo Extreme Racer series or Wangan Midnight and Maximum Tuning. I had no clue that these were even real freeways in my teen years that I was racing wanderers on, along with the “Rolling Guy” team among many other racing teams in the video game.

Tokyo Extreme Racer had me more than happy whenever I would start up my PS2 and get to the freeways with my Nissan S15 at the time (in game of course). I would play this game for maybe 4 hours a day because of just how good it felt to escape reality and be in my own world where I was able to control what happened. If I lost a race, I wouldn’t back down I’d go right back at it just to see if it was just a fluke. Yes, I’ll admit sometimes you had to play dirty and crash the NPC into the wall just to win the race. I can’t be the only one that did it though! haha.

But back to the Kanjo racers, there’s a number of things that I admire about these drivers. Maybe it’s the way that they stay true to the Japanese roots and stick with the honda civics. Most of the time when I watch an interview with a Kanjo racer they always make it seem to be like cars are truly living and breathing creatures waiting for someone to let them out of the cage so they can be where they were made to be, on the road.

kanjo

I might touch more on this in a later post but until then, hopefully you enjoyed this very brief introduction to the Kanjozoku!

-Aniplays

Dragon Fest 2015

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This whole year has been a year of new experiences for me. I used to dread going to crowd places because of the obvious, lines, foot traffic, and just being in crowds in general. But for some reason subconsciously I decided that this year will be the year that I try new things, and no, that wasn’t my new years resolution. I’m glad as hell that I did though because I can say that this year has been going pleasantly well for me. Be sure to hit the jump and check out my first-timer experience at this street festival!  Continue reading

I forgot!

JPN

I forgot to mention that I’ve also made a all Japan related instagram recently! If you’d like to follow feel free to look me up on instagram or hit the instagram icon to the right ————>

-Aniplays

Not much content this week

Hi folks! Just wanted to give you guys and gals an update and to let you know that content will be rather slow this week for me. With editing pictures and uploading videos, converting, and uploading again to youtube, it seems like my week will be a rather busy one. But I feel like the upcoming post from Dragon Fest will be something that everyone will enjoy! Looking forward to writing about it!

-Aniplays