Monday, 16 September 2019


After we watched Yuri On Ice, Will's sister told us we should watch Haikyuu. I added it to my list but didn't have any particular interest in it. I was new to anime and so my assumptions were still heavily based on western things/ideas/stories/media/people because it's what I'd grown up with and I was like, yeah YOI is a sports anime but it's skating which is beautiful and the romance element was a big part of why I liked it AND Yuri is too adorable. Why does that mean I'd want to watch something about volleyball?
I am not into sports or the men that like sports or the boys at school that liked sports, when I think about sports and the men involved I think about how they're aggressive, cocky, jerks that think too much of themselves and are not people I want to spend any time with. I know this isn't true of all sports and everyone in it, but the idea of watching something with sports as the topic just didn't interest me. Stereotyping over, sorry.
Jump forward a year and a half and I'd watched and read about a lot more anime and knew now that these stories are different to what I would expect based on my western upbringing so I figured I'd give it a go, it'll probably be alright.

I love how perfectly this shows all their personalities💜

Hahahahahahaha!!! I'm so in love with it!

They try so hard to be good at something they love and they support each other and they're good boys (´;ω;`)

Some lessons from Haikyuu.

Even if you're small and people think you can't play volleyball you can learn to jump high. You can figure out your own way of doing things.
"There are truly various kinds of strengths." Ikkei Ukai

Its not over yet! It's so easy to give up on things that seem to be going badly but you need to try your best until it's actually finished, maybe you can turn it around! Don't give up.

Its worse to not be playing volleyball. When I watched Ennoshita and how he stopped going to practise because it was so tough and he thought not having to go to the club would be better but then he realised that the difficulties of volleyball were better than a life without it I cried. Let's be honest, I cry easy but this hit me because I could so strongly connect it to my situation. Sometimes (often) I wonder if I'm making the right choices with my life but I know what I have now, however difficult it can be, is better than the other options and it is what I want to be doing. Doing this, even with the hard parts, is better than not doing it.

Being inspired by people who are better than you so you can improve yourself. The number of times they go up against someone better than them, whether it's overall or just in that one moment and rather than being put off by it they just use it as encouragement. "They're so cool, I want to play them again, I want to be as good as that, I want to be a part of this." It's so easy to just negatively compare yourself, I want to look at other creatives and think "they're so cool, this is awesome" and just be a part of it all and continue getting better.

The teamwork is so nice to watch. It's not one I can directly relate to myself because I'm a goblin loner but seeing these boys support each other and believe in each other and be like "don't worry, I'm here, you're not doing it on your own" is just so wholesome and cosy. They mess up and it doesn't matter and they just support each other back and forth and it's lovely.

I love that while you very much are following Karasuno and you're on their side and you want them to win and that means you want the other teams to lose we still get to see the other teams history and we get to see them cry when they lose and even if they're the bad guys you get to see how much they care as well, all these teams are going through the same things. They all care about it so much. It would be really easy to just not show the other team at the end of a game, to concentrate on the fact that our side won but being reminded to feel for the other teams adds so much heart to the story. Everyone is doing their best but not everyone can be at the top, sometimes you lose.

I want this hug please, for cosy reasons obviously.

Something else that it's building really well is how I simultaneously don't want the third years to ever leave but I'm also excited to one day see how the second and first years evolve. I could just gush nonsense about my trash birds forever (I love the third years so much and Hinata and Kageyama are obviously adorable and Nishinoya and Tanaka are such good boys and oh my god I'm gonna stop before I just list everyone but I feel bad not mentioning everybody, oooo the managers!!! and the other teams!! aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh) but I'll stop here.

I'm glad the next season has been announced, it's not till January but at least we know it's coming.
I definitely won't shy away from sports anime anymore. I've added Free to my queue after I saw Kimya Dawson gush about it because I trust her deeply. If you have any recommendations I'd love to know, my watch list can never be long enough, I worry about getting to the end of it one day
 ヽ( ̄д ̄;)ノ

My Asahi strap because I love him (o^―^o)

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Flying Tank Butler Ghost ~ Recent Reads

Flying Witch volume 1 by Chihiro Ishizuka
Teenage girl slice of life but she's a witch? Yes please! I watched the anime before I read this and both are lovely, I hope I get to read more of these. Special mention to this mandrake, I love him so much.

Tank Girl Visions of Booga by Alan Martin (writer), Rufus Dayglo (artist), Christian Krank (colours)
Tank Girl holds a special place in my heart and Rufus Dayglo's art is so good. I'm pretty sure I read this years ago but don't really remember it. Reading it this time I was just obsessively staring at the artwork. Also I'm not sure if it was part of the drawing or the colour but I love all the screen tone. I don't know if it's "real" or digital but ever since the manga exhibit I've been craving some screen tone to have a play with so I particularly enjoyed staring at that.

Hayate the Combat Butler volume 12 by Kenjiro Hata
This is one we picked up at the library sale and is all I know of the series. Considering I started at the 12th volume and haven't seen any of the anime either I still enjoyed this. I always enjoy when things break the fourth wall and I like it when there's pop culture references in stuff too. And the alien character with the eyeball hair that was also wings? One of those "I wish I'd designed that" moments, I loved them.

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
After seeing Nerdburger's new hair I had a hankering to re-read Ghost World. Shockingly I don't actually own it but it's okay, the library is my best friend. I think this really does portray being an idiot, confused teen-almost-adult really well. Plus that green *chefs kiss*.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Naps and Pride

The day after the exhibit I basically just slept on the floor. I never normally sleep in the day, naps make me feel kind of ill. I was wiped.

With Sharky being ill and basically living on the sofa now and the weather still being super hot I stayed in the living room and spent all day editing photos and sorting out a blog post, the one before this one. I love sitting on the floor these days.

We went to the Pride march. I was feeling really grotty so didn't hang around for the entertainment but I wanted to at least attend. Every time I heard a teen call it the parade I wanted to say "it's not a parade, it's a march" but I didn't because social anxiety and also I don't want to be a rando old creep lol, at least they were there💖

This many people coming together for something so important is very special, I cry a bit every year.

Walking through the city centre with hundreds of others while shoppers have to get out of the way and wait feels good. The perfect combination of colour, fun, love and disruption. It was so busy this year😊🌈

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Manga Exhibition at the British Museum

We'd been saving up since they announced it at the start of the year and last Wednesday we went to the Manga exhibit at the British Museum.  To get it as cheap as possible we booked the train in advance so we had no idea it was going to be in the middle of a heatwave and that our train home would be super hot, busy and delayed by an hour but hey! it was fine, we just took it easy.  

We were very excited (and hot).

Photos were allowed in the exhibit except for a few pieces and I have tried to credit everything but a few things got forgotten, sorry!

Miyuki-chan in Wonderland by CLAMP
Sitting on the floor with our soysage roll packed lunch before the exhibit which had this beautiful CLAMP piece in the opening area.

The exhibit covered a kind of history of manga so there were old pieces right up to new work. The second picture here is from the choju-giga (scrolls of frolicking animals) which is said to be the oldest manga and the first image is from Gigatown by Fumiyo Kono which uses the animals from the choju-giga to explain all the different symbols (manpu) used in manga.

Look at this grass!
(this whole post might just be me shouting "look at ___!!"...)

Takao Saito
I was very excited to get to see up close lots of screentone and white ink. It's not surprising that an exhibit at a museum would have original pieces but it was very very very exciting to me to get to see original drawings. Prints can obviously look absolutely amazing but the original is almost always better and to me is always more interesting. You get to see how an image was made in a way that you can't once it's been cleaned up for print and as someone who draws it's super interesting and a good way to learn new things. (I'm sure it would be super interesting even if you don't draw!)

Blank Canvas: My So-Called Artist's Journey and Princess Jellyfish by Akiko Higashimura

Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama

Tomorrow's Joe by Ikki Kajiwara / Tetsuya Chiba
Look at this cross hatching!! It's so curved and beautiful! And you can see the use of white to tidy up the edges💖 The hatching on the body is beautiful too.

The Warrior Saito Daihachiro by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi / Blue Giant Supreme by Ishizuka Shinichi / Katsuhiro Otomo

A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Astro Boy by Osamu Tezuka
The Astro Boy pieces were, unsuprisingly, amazing. Just look at them, look at them!

So good!

Screw Style by Yoshiharu Tsuge / Chi's Sweet Home by Kanata Konami

Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama
I thought my favourite thing was going to be seeing all the uses of white for mistakes and highlights and it was amazing but also amazing was seeing the original blacks. Like how around an edge would be blacked out with one pen and the bigger areas then filled in with a different pen and you could see the different black inks, you could SEE IT and it was amazing. And like in the above dragon ball if you look closely you can see the "black this bit out" marks through the black and it's magic. Getting to see actual original pieces was so magic. I haven't stopped thinking about it since we left.

Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi
This Sailor Moon piece was actually a copy, not the original but it wasn't cleaned up so it looked just like the original and I nearly cried.

I would like to live where shops look like this please😭

Shintomi theatre curtain by Kawanabe Kyosai
This curtain was incredible. It was one of those moments when you can't help but think "it must be a reproduction, surely it's not the actual piece" and you have to remind yourself that that's what museums do, is look after actual things and you feel lucky and just wow.
Here's the blurb from the museum "On 30 June 1880, artist Kawanabe Kyosai went to the Futami photography studio in Tokyo's Ginza district, downed several bottles of rice wine and set to work with a hemp-palm broom. Four hours later he had finished the curtain, signing it as "a picture done on the spot"(sekiga)."
Four hours drunk. Incredible.
I tried to film it too, it's much more than these three pictures. I'll add the video at the bottom.

Colossal Titan from Attack on Titan / Tomorrow's Joe drawn by Tetsuya Chiba
Please stare intently at the shore line and how the use of harsh black and white makes it look raised off the page even though it isn't, it's just magic.

Toward the Terra by Keiko Takemiya
So beautiful💖😭

Uzumaki by Junji Ito
Ok. I didn't know there was going to be any Junji Ito there. There were multiple pieces. They were perfect. They had a printed version of that first page with the wooden lids next to the original and you read the book or look at the print and think "wow this art is amazing" but honestly seeing it in real life is something else. It is stunning. None of my photos do anything justice (because of the whole, originals look better than reproductions thing) but the Junji Ito pieces just, I don't even know how to explain it, they were incredible. It was something special to get to see them. And you know how I was saying about how cool it is to see all the white used? Yeah it was also pretty magic to see how he barely used ANY because he's surely not real, like wow.

Also, I'd only just got over fearing spirals but thanks british museum, you horrified me all over again.

Keiko Takemiya
"This is a copy of a notebook used by Takemiya to explain the story of the Kaze to Ki no Uta to her editors. It illustrates the first section of the manga and conveys Takemiya's design process and her fluid drawing style."
Look. At. The. White. Over. The. Blue. It. Is. So. Beautiful.😭

Love love love these trees.

Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
I've only read the first volume of Naruto but when I did I intensely fell in love with the artwork. I kind of just let it go because the next available volume at my library is the 10th I think and there's lots of other stuff I can just wander in and pick up so it fell into the depths of my "one day I'll read it" list BUT look at it😭I'll definitely be putting in a lot of requests at the library soon because it's just so beautifully drawn, I love it.

Naruto / JoJo's Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki

If I didn't already like public transport this advertising campaign would 100% get me on board with it, it's so pretty.

This middle piece is a poster used at the train station near Comiket one year reminding people to make sure they have the correct fare on their travel card so as to not cause queues.

These catalogues from Comiket were amazing. I want them. I want to stare at all the tiny images of all the available at the time but probably not anymore and definitely not to me in the uk work. I both really want to visit Comiket one day because it seems amazing and am also kind of scared of the scale of it. How do you decide which of the doujinshi to buy? How?!

Detective Conan by Gosho Aoyama
Look at how the screentone goes up into the black of his fringe. Lovely.

Drawings of drawings is a special favourite. And also patterns inside bubble writing💖

Iris by Kitajima Yoko
This is so cool and strange and beautiful but when I tried googling more about it nothing really came up except pinterest pages. I will have to spend more time researching, a lot of this exhibit has given me a lot to look up actually.

Rohan at the Louvre by Hirohiko Araki
So beautiful and I need to know more about that guys face being a book.

So pretty, look at all the lovely white usage :)

Chubby Pikachu is best Pikachu.

In the middle of the exhibition (but we came back to it at the end) there were bookshelves full of manga, tankobon and magazines.
I've never seen any of the manga magazines in real life before and I can't really explain it but this was really special for me. Whenever I see pictures of these magazines my hands just cry out for them and I finally got to have a rummage. Not for as long as I would have wanted because we spent hours in there and I mentioned the heatwave, I was getting a pretty bad headache but any amount of time was fine to me.

Look at this Deku!! Is he Mothra? Why is he Mothra? We recently started watching My Hero Academia and it's another one I'm going to have to badger the library for (shonen volumes have a tendency to go missing out of my library) and it was pretty cool that out of all the Shonen Jumps that exist, and all the ones they had on these shelves we happened to pick one up that had this in it. I love it so much.

So beautiful😭

I don't know if it's just in shoujo magazines or just that's where I've seen it but I'm so in love with the coloured pages. I knew it was a thing from photos online and was already kind of obsessed with it but to see them in person, *sighs*. The use of a single colour instead of black and different colours through the magazine and how some are even on coloured paper too. Argh, I tell ya, this exhibit has got me itching to make stuff, drawings stuff.

Red on yellow paper! Us, sweaty and hungry and very very happy. I wish I'd bought these Naruto socks so much.

I got some postcards, if there had been even more designs they'd have made a killing from me but I'm very happy with the ones I did get.

Also want to mention but wasn't allowed to take photos of:
There was a video playing of the Shonen Jump offices and it was so cool. It was part of a section about how a lot of manga production includes people other than the artist and they'd put a static camera in amongst the desks and it was really nice to get to see in there, with all the stacks of previous issues and bits of Shonen Jump merch dotted around on everyone's desks. I'm so nosy so I love seeing stuff like that.

The end pieces of the exhibition were made especially for it. Three big drawings, probably about A1 size, of portraits of Togawa, Nomiya and Takahashi, characters from REAL by Inoue Takehiko. They were so cool, the level of skill and detail in the drawing combined with the huge size made for really awesome end pieces. There was also a video showing some clips of him drawing them which I love, I could watch videos of people drawing all day and it was really cool to see the video and then get to look at the actual pieces.

Here's my video from the day. I didn't even try to make a coherent vlog, I just tried to film things so I could look back at it later. There are some bits filmed that I also have photos of but there's also some bits in the video that I don't have photos of. Plus we wandered around Soho for a bit after the exhibit so there's clips from that too.

The exhibition is on until 26th August and if you can go I strongly recommend it. And if you can't I hope you enjoyed my attempt at sharing my visit😊

I dream of a world where I can go to more exhibitions for illustrative things, manga, comics, anime and cartoons, all of it. I want to stare at originals and storyboards and special one offs. Fingers crossed because getting to press my face up against these ones (almost literally) was even better than I thought it would be.