The Sunshine Award

So I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Award by my dearest Nikki (>^_^)><(^o^<). I’m very grateful for receiving this award, especially since she nominated me for it 🙂

Sunshine - Madoka

As always, here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate a few other bloggers.
  • Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you nominated.
  • Notify the bloggers on their blog.
  • Put the award button on your blog.

And here are my answers to Nikki’s questions:

  • What, or who, makes you genuinely smile?

Anything and everything really. I sometimes even burst out laughing while walking down the street all by myself, just ’cause I’ve remembered something someone’s done or said, or a certain event. I don’t meant to sound cheesy though, but some of the things that really make me happy and smile with all my heart are the moments I’ve shared with a person while we were all alone, or hearing someone one the street play a song and realise that I know that song and haven’t heard it in ages, seeing someone else smile, the unexpected things that people say or do every now and then, the unexpected things that do (if they manage to not be a disaster), or taking in the early spring sunlight following a dark winter. Amongst others.

  • What’s one of your favourite books or films that you’d like to see turned into anime? (I’m asking this because I’d be so thrilled if anybody ever thought to turn the Harry Potterbooks into an anime series…perhaps without the loopholes in the story).

Hmmmmmmm….. Harry Potter would be amazing to see as a proper anime and I’d like to add ‘Pet Sematary’ (because I still dream of the day when I’ll actually see a proper version of that book and anime can do anything xD) and all of Asano Inio’s works. That’s all I can think of for now :D.

  • What’s your catchphrase? (or a couple of them, if you can’t choose)

“Well, fudge…”

“Hoo!”

  • If, at the moment you are reading a book, write the line you last read; if you’re listening to a song, write the line that’s being sung; if you’re doing neither of these, write one of your favourite quotes, be it from an anime or book or film or anything, really.

Here’s the last line from one of the books that I’m still reading:

“Now if there is nothing fearful for the elements themselves in their constant changing of each into another, why should one look anxiously in prospect at the change and dissolution of them all? This is in accordance with nature: and nothing harmful is in accordance with nature.” (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

  • What’s the weirdest déjà vu you’ve ever experienced? (Yes, they’re all weird by nature, I know).

Eeerm, I once had one that I was convinced was to do with the future instead of the past, but I don’t even remember what exactly it was, nor do I know how to explain it. Maybe my poor neurons were just in overdrive Oo.

  • What’s the last thing you do before going to bed? (Please don’t think of pervy stuff!)

Brush my teeth? Turn off the lights? Put some hand cream on? Think about all sorts of stuff? I don’t know exactly, but I’ll pay more attention tonight ^^.

  • What’s an anime series that’s very close and dear to your heart, due to someone you have watched it with? (If you can’t choose one, you’re allowed two, but no more than that)

The first thing that came to my mind when reading this question was Kara no Kyoukai. I first saw it with Nikki a few years back and that experience has stuck with me ever since. I can’t say how thankful I am to her for introducing me to this anime, or rather for sharing it and all that it means to her with me.

I haven’t had the chance to really follow any blogs here just yet, but I will definitely come back to this post and finish it off with a set of questions and nominees asap.

And as always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Inspector Green Tag (?) Oo

So here I go with another set of questions after i was tagged by ニッキ ^^.

When was the last time you went to a store containing anime?

Anooooooooooooooooooooooo…. I’m pretty sure it was probably about 2 years ago. I do most of my anime-related shopping online these days :D:D.

Do you usually watch anime online? On what website?

Yup. I’ll look stuff up on Crunchyroll or Funimation’s YouTube channel and if I can’t find it there, I look somewhere else xD.

First Japanese word you learned from an anime?

I guess it’s probably ‘konnichiwa’ or something along those lines. I know stuff like ‘sayonara’ or ‘hai’ from waaaaay back, but didn’t learn those from an anime :D:D.

Best animation style in your opinion?

Uuuuuummmm… I don’t know. Pretty, fluid and detailed I guess. Yes, I have no clue what I’m supposed to be talking about xD.

Best anime pet?

For the sake of mentioning another character here, I’ll got with Sakamoto-san, from Nichijou ^^.

What is the longest anime you’ve ever watched?

Pretty sure the answer’s Bleach.

What is the shortest anime you’ve ever watched?

Well, at first I was going to mention something along the lines of Koko ni iru (2 minutes long) but then I remmebered some of Makoto Shinkai’s works and discovered that he’s done some 15 and 30 second animations too. So the shortest anime I’ve ever watched so far is Shinano Mainichi Shinbun ^^.

What is your favourite anime couple?

I think I’m still gonna go for Hotaru and Gin from Hotarubi no mori e :D.

I’m not inspired enough to tag people just now, but I might do it later on.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Apparently I’ve been tagged xD

So I’ve recently received the Liebster Award from my friend ニッキ. Thanks a bunch for the award and seeing as I’ll accept it, on with the questions! :D:D

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If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!).

Ok, now on with the questions I’m supposed to answer xD.

What is O-N-E word that describes you?

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerm…..I know people can go all ‘but what is normal?’ here, but I’m gonna go with “weird” for this one. Yup, it encapsulates quite a few things so it seems appropriate enough.

What animal would you be, if you could be one?

I swear I’m not trying to be a smarty pants here, but we’re all animals :”D. So if I’d have to pick a non-human animal that I’d like to be I’d probably go for a cat or a bird ^^.

What’s your favourite book?

List incoming!! Actually, I probably won’t  be able to list everything I want to cause I suck at remembering things when I want to, so here are a few of the books that’ve haunted me ever since I first read ’em ^^ – Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, pretty much everything Hubert Selby Jr.’s written (seriously, that guy is beyond amazing, it’s not even funny Oo) and Inio Asano’s Nijigahara Holograph and What a wonderful world!

What are you most likely to do on a rainy day?

If I get to stay at home all day, ideally I’d be reading and maybe watching a movie later on. Accompanied by a warm cup of green tea, of course :D.

What fictional character do you identify with, the most?

I honestly don’t know who to pick here :(… I sometimes find similarities between me and certain characters, but I don’t think I ever went all ‘Aha! WE’re really similar in every possible way.’

What, if any, is your favourite subject/class?

During school? If so, it would most definitely be English :D.

Who inspires you?

Definitely some of the authors whose works I’ve (re-/)read over the years. But I’m also inspired by friends/family and people in general. *here’s some water to wash away the cheesiness*

Where and/or with whom would you rather be right now?

Having a movie night with some of my friends from home.

What’s your favourite gadget/‘toy’? (i.e., phone, tablet, PSP, you name it)

My laptop. No doubt about it.

Would you like to try, for one day, the life of a member of the opposite/another sex?

Yup, but I want to be there and just witness what’s going on for them in order to get a better idea of what they’re thinking and why ^^.

Are you mad at me for coming up with these questions? (if your answer is ‘yes’… I’m sorry)

Nope.

On to the facts about myself ^^.

1. I love cats.

2. I basically drink green tea instead of water.

3. I’m a sucker for tragic characters and sad stories in general :D.

4. I don’t dream much but when I do, my dreams’re usually messed up/just plain weird.

5. My favourite flowers are carnations.

6. I usually come up with good answers for stuff like this after everything’s already over ><.

7. I used to spend all of my allowance exclusively on books while still at school :D.

8. Ben&Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream is a slice of heaven on earth!!!! (I guess the fact here would be that I kinda love that flavour ^^”)

9. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 3 years old.

10. Currently reading A single man by Christopher Isherwood.

I now tag the following:

tirianna

lucriz

ailish1997

anime-walls

jasie7

As for the new questions that you guys have to answer:

1. How’s your day been so far?

2. (These things aren’t complete without everyone’s favourite question) What’s your favourite colour? xD

3. What made you start a blog?

4. What’s your favourite work of art that you’re encountered so far? (and by this I mean anything from a painting to a movie, video game, book, you name it)

5. Do you have a favourite quote?

6. What is your most cherished memory so far?

7. Do you have/have you ever had any pets?

8. Do you have/have you ever had anything that you consider to be a talisman/lucky charm and if yes, what is/was it?

9. Favourite past time activity?

10. What’s the last thing that you’ve done recently that you really had fun doing?

11. Favourite time of the year? 😀

Ok, so that should be it for this post. Hope you have fun, and as always – thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Thoughts (Part II)

[Originally written by nikki-no-otaku]

[Talk on 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ between Nikki and Moro]

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Are we blogging?? Is it the exam period or something? Not yet, but coming soon, so you guessed right, if you tried. Well, it’s not like we shouldn’t and couldn’t be studying… Anyway, since you’re here, keep reading!

Nikki: We have been talking a lot about various aspects of this series and although I kept saying I’ll make a post with those thoughts, I never really got round to it. Until now. So, shall we start with canon versus yuri?

Moro: But of course (≧∇≦*).

Nikki: I guess most people out there – who are familiar with the story and the characters and the whole Madoka Universe really – know, or noticed that Homura and Madoka, as well as Sayaka and Kyōko, are canon (just try browsing Minitokyo, where you get official scans – as a matter of fact, that is where the images I use on this blog come from (unless I myself take them) and I have already asked for permission to post them).

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[However, Moro and I recently read this article.]

Moro & Nikki: Although it is fairly clear that these pairs are canon, they are not necessarily so in a yuri-kind-of-way. There’s clearly love between them, but neither of us thinks it is that sort of love.

Moro: On another, completely unrelated, note I maintain my opinion that Kyūbey is evil 

O(≧∇≦)O.

Nikki: I have already stated that I think that Kyūbey is not evil per se; its race cannot feel what humans call ‘emotions’, I don’t think they know what it means to hurt someone. There’s also the part where Kyūbey tells Madoka that humans do exactly the same with non-human animals: they use them in order to survive, kill them, hurt them for various reasons etc., so what’s wrong with what he’s doing?

Moro:  Weeeeeell… whilst it may be true that it’s not aware that its race is or may be hurting someone, whilst it was ‘fine’ for Kyūbey to gather energy from magical girls, its wanting to capture the Ultimate Madoka crossed the line (the sicko >_<); it basically wanted to mess with the force that kept the Universe in balance.

Moro & Nikki: So in that regard Kyūbey might, after all, be evil in some way.

[The next issue we discussed – and we’re pretty sure quite a few fans out there will agree – was that the last episode of the series (and so the second film) should have been the end, at least for the plot of this arc; if the creators really wanted to ‘keep milking it’, they could have made a new series in which to introduce new characters (as we have read, this is the case of the spin-offs – which both of us have yet to read) and they could have simply left it there for these girls.]

Moro: It would have been a great end – open, indeed, but a great one, it really didn’t need a sequel. Everything just felt right the way it ended ‘the first time’ xD. We each had mixed reactions to the third film, didn’t we? After the first time we watched it, I was kind of nowhere about it.

Nikki: I agree – it really didn’t need that sequel; after we watched it, I was not only confused, but also angry.

Moro: After the second time we watched it, I was quite frustrated.

Nikki: I remember I tried to find reasons as to why they’d make this film at all. What we see in the third film is indeed one of the things which may have happened some time later.

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Nikki: What if after Homura (being the only one left alive and with the burden of all the memories, with missing Madoka so bad and with fighting the Nightmares alone) finally snapped some time later, and she got where we see her in the third film?

Moro: Unless the creators messed with the character on purpose, this really shouldn’t be the case.

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Moro: Firstly, your theory with the burdens on Homura’s shoulders is a double-edged sword: memories might make Homura snap, alongside killing Nightmares, but instead of that, what is most likely, is that instead of breaking her, these burdens rather motivate her to keep moving forward, as she knows that if she gave up, this would nullify Madoka’s sacrifice (who sacrificed herself for all magical girls, but for Homura’s sake in the first place). And this is shown by Homura’s attitude at the end of the anime series, when she has a new weapon, which is heavily influenced by Madoka’s (and whose change is affected by changes in one’s own mind and subsequently, personality), and also wears Madoka’s ribbon, as a symbol of always keeping Madoka with her (i.e., by her side).

Nikki: OK, you got me there.

Moro: Secondly, there’s Homura’s transformation scene (no, no, not the transformation into a magical girl xD). Once, in the anime, she turns from the shy girl who’s low on self-confidence into the strong, stubborn, and motivated one; then, in the third film in the labyrinth, she’s first seen as her original self – the shy girl, but when she finds out there’s something out of place, she transforms again (cue the representative and signature scene in which she undoes her braids and takes off her glasses), just as she does in the original series. This shows that regardless of what comes her way, she can always become strong and try as many times as it takes to overcome it rather than be overwhelmed.

Nikki:  OK, so, even though I had thought that all the memories and missing Madoka and all that jazz would bring her down, there’s no way this should be the case. However, you can’t deny that her actions at the end of the third film – the fact that she created a utopia, based on Madoka’s memories and her [Homura’s] wishes, and the way she smiles, her words, and actions – clearly are signs of a weak person who’s completely lost it. She’s not the usual, strong Homura. So the creators must have either messed up Homura’s character because they wanted to milk the story for money, or she really snapped because she missed Madoka too much.

Moro: Yupyup, makes sense ^^. However, I’d still like to think that Homura wouldn’t get there (that breaking point, I mean). Ergo, the writers might be evil Oo.

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Moro: Thirdly, at the end of the third film, Homura tells Madoka that she [Madoka] is sad because she sacrificed herself and is now alone, and so Homura wanted to relieve her of that, but this is clearly not the case, either. Madoka surely is happy with her own sacrifice and the fact that now she can bring salvation to all the magical girls. Madoka said it herself that now she’s happy as she’s with everybody and is aware of the scale of her sacrifice.

Nikki: Yeah, and she explains this to Homura and she [Homura] understands this, so there’s no way she’d be brought down by missing Madoka too much. So this shows the fact that Homura is not the usual Homura, as she’d understand Madoka and never think this about her in the first place.

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Moro: Also, I dare say that one of the main themes of the anime is hope. There’s clearly a force which drives magical girls to keep going, and this force might be different for each magical girl; for Madoka it was hope…

Nikki: For Homura it might have been perseverance by her love for Madoka.

Moro: And the promise she’d made to Madoka. For Kyōko it counterbalances the wish she made and its results; for Mami?

Nikki:  I think being a magical girl gives her a reason to live; as for Sayaka, she is driven by her love for Kyōsuke.

Moro: But also about justice, as she decided not to use the grief seeds to purify her own soul; the fact that she didn’t want a reward definitely contributed to her becoming a witch faster than she normally would have 😦.

Nikki: OK, if you put it that way, I might feel a little less antipathy towards Sayaka. However, I still despise her for the way she behaved towards Homura before even becoming a magical girl. I mean, she saw that another girl was trying to ‘protect’ Madoka, which to Sayaka might not have seemed so; which is fine, but the fact stays that she [Sayaka] never even tried to talk to Homura and ask her why she was behaving the way she was and why she was claiming to protect Madoka, eventually what she was trying to protect her from.

Moro: It’s still worth taking into consideration that Sayaka did what she thought was best for Madoka at the time. Plus, considering the characters’ age, it seems pretty plausible that she (Sayaka) just didn’t think to talk normally to Homura.

Nikki: Well, she thought wrong. I stand by my opinion: that was plain stupidity on Sayaka’s part – I mean, is it better to act like a paranoid idiot, moreover, in an unreasonable way, rather than talk to someone?! Besides, Homura was under no obligation to explain to Sayaka why she was doing what she was; it’s not like Homura had to go to each person close to Madoka – or even to people who didn’t know her and were just happening to witness what was happening – why and from what she was trying to protect Madoka, this idea in itself is ludicrous. I do love what Kyūbey told Sayaka and Madoka on the rooftop: ‘Magical girls should only be judged by magical girls.’ So even though Sayaka does get a few points, she remains one of the anime characters I hate the most.

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Nikki: What about future possibilities regarding what might happen in a possible sequel (possibly another anime series, as mentioned in this article)? I mean the facts are that a part of Madoka (as it seems, the Madoka before she’d become a magical girl) is trapped inside a world created by Homura based on Madoka’s memories and her [Homura’s] desires.

Moro: However, Nagisa is also there.

Nikki: So does that mean that they are in the past?

Moro: Well, Nagisa was most likely a school girl as well, before becoming a magical girl and subsequently turning into a witch.

Nikki: So what happens next? How would the order be re-established?

Moro: I’d say Homura did what she did to also protect Madoka from Kyūbey, not only out of personal interest. So Kyūbey will definitely stir sh*t up xD. However, it’s also true that magical girls wouldn’t exist if Kyūbey’s race weren’t doing what they’re doing in the first place.

Nikki: OK, OK, but my question was and remains: are the girls – inside the new world created by Homura – just memories? I mean, Homura took the part of Madoka which was a normal girl, and not the Ultimate Madoka; as for the girls, they were all dead already…thus might be somewhere – perhaps where the Ultimate Madoka part of Madoka is?

[We sort of concluded that the Ultimate Madoka might not be able to ‘surface’ (or manifest itself) as long as this part of Madoka (which Homura keeps trapped) is missing.]

Nikki: This was a very flavourful discussion that we had today, and there’s a lot of food for thought here, at least for me. Thanks, Moro, for pointing out certain things to me – I’m realising now I’d forgotten so many aspects regarding the story; so, thanks for reminding me, as what you said helped me feel better, especially regarding Homura…

Moro: No worries ^^. I’m honoured to be part of the post :D:D.

Nikki:  Also thanks to you, I have never been quite as upset as I am now with the fact that precisely this possible ‘route’ (if I can call it that) has been animated in the third film.

Moro: My work here is done (^~^;).

Moro & Nikki: Thank you for coming by and for reading our post!