Saturday, April 30, 2011

For The Sake of Remembering French

Because it's been almost a semester since I last took French, my French is starting to... dwindle. I cannot have that happen, because it will certainly useful on future trips and unexpected encounters requiring French. Believe me, I have actually had to use French for a real situation once. There was a lady working at a store selling slushies in Montreal, and couldn't speak English, so I had to order in French. Surprising, since Montreal is known for being fluent in both languages. French being useful isn't the sole purpose of its importance to me. It's also because I love languages, and I would heartbroken to have forgotten it.

My reason for creating this post was to say that from now on, I'll try my best to translate some of my posts into French. I wouldn't say I'm fluent in French, but after more than six years of learning it, I can say that I can understand most of what I read.

Parlez-vous en fran├žais?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

One Month Left to Anime North 2011!

Actually, less than a month left. I'm so excited! I'm counting down the days! Be prepared for a ton of posts counting down to the day! I regret spending some of my Anime North money this past month. I'm sure if I don't spend anymore until the weekend of it, I should have enough to satisfy me by then.

A list of things I'm looking to buy:
  • Manga
  • Anime*
  • Anime Nuigurumi
  • Sweet Lolita items
  • Bookmarks
  • Posters
  • Bags**
  • Jpop stuff (Kana Nishino and Ayumi Hamasaki!!!)
  • Super Kawaii Magazine***
* I'm not so sure about this one. Last time, I saw some for $70. I'll see.
**I'm not so sure about this either. Again, I'll see.
*** This is somewhat expensive, at $14. I'd love to own a copy, but I'm thinking that I will buy it.

Until then, I'll be screaming about it in my head.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The End of the Long Weekend

Today was the end of the long weekend. It was tough getting out of bed this morning. My Easter Monday was filled with walking around. As for the rest of the long weekend, it wasn't so productive. But anyways, here are the results of yesterday's trip!:

(Omit the ipod and bag in the corner)

It's probably surprising to see that I bought all this stuff at all.

The hat and t shirts are from Hot Topic. The usual price for the t shirts are usually around $26 to $28, but since there was a clearance sale, they were only $6.99! Of course, this asian couldn't resist! I was about to only get the Hello Kitty  food shirt, but I reasoned with myself. It'll be a while before these expensive shirts go on a sale with such a low price ever again.

The hat was a bit of a different story. The regular price is $28. Pretty expensive. It was on sale for  $3.99! For such a low price, I picked it up right away. It was the last of its kind in the hat box. This hat was als a Sanrio 50th anniversary item! There were a few other Hello Kitty hats, but I didn't really like the style. It looked like something the stereotypical person in the north would wear.

Last, but not least is my Japanese grammar book! I'm finally beginning to fulfill one of my new year's resolutions. At first, I thought about buying a Japanese dictionary, but a dictionary can't teach you all the fundamentals of Japanese grammatical structure! Unless it's an all in one type of dictionary. Squeezing all that information into the back of that book would not be an easy job. There also are words in Japanese that have no meaning in English. "Ga" for sure is one of them. I could go on about this for a while, but the main point is that a grammar book would be a more sensible purchase when learning Japanese than a dictionary (at first) because a dictionary won't tell you the correct way of putting a sentence together. 

As I walked yesterday, I saw a t shirt in a store window that the words, "The Sun Will Rise Again" printed on it and the Japanese Imperial Flag behind the words. Next to it, was a sign that said that all of the money made from the sale of this shirt would go to Japan. The words on the shirt were moving. It gave me some sort of hope that Japan will rebuild itself back to the strong country it once was. This will happen, we all know for sure, because Japan has the money to rebuild itself. It shattered my heart to see what happened to this beautiful country. One thing we should all remember to is to continue to root for Japan, to give them hope to restore their empire.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Keeping Your Manga Safe and Beautiful



I've been collecting manga for over a year and a half now, and already, I've gone through the ups and downs of owning them. From my first manga, I was intent on keeping these expensive books safe. I've learned a lot from the day I bought that first manga to the last one I bought. 


1. Keep them out of direct sunlight.
The sunlight will cause the colour to fade. You might go to a store and pick one up with an orange cover, but when you compare them to ones on the internet, the original colour could actually be red. For this reason, you should also check what the original colour the manga is on the internet before buying it.


2. Keep them upright.
Manga were meant to be kept like this:



and not meant to be kept stacked. Uneven weight distribution could cause the manga to bend.


3. When you want to save a page while reading, DO NOT DOG EAR the page.
Doing this, or any damage to the book causes the value of your book to decrease. Use a bookmark that doesn't attach to a page, like this one:

This bookmark doesn't have that tab that hangs onto the page, or isn't in paperclip form. Those types are the worst for preserving pages because they can tear the page.

4. a)  Know who you're lending to.
Make sure you get to know the person who you're lending to. Do they take care of books well? Do they treasure them as much as you do? Do they care about damages, no matter how minor they may be? If the person you're lending to can say yes to all of these, consider them a likely candidate for borrowing books.

b) Less lending = less chance of damage.
The more you lend to people, the more chance the books will have to get scratched. 

5. When travelling with them, keep them in a separate plastic bag.
When you keep manga in a separate the bag it will have a lesser chance of colliding with things in your bag that may cause them to become scratched. Keys, for example, will scratch your manga cover. It also protects from other substances, such as water and lotion. The plastic bag will act as a protector for your cover against scratches and water.

6. Use plastic manga covers.
I myself haven't been able to get my hands on these yet, but my friends have suggested these as a great way to further preserve your manga.

7. Don't touch your manga as much as possible.
The oil from your hands can quicken the process of turning the pages yellow. The repeated turning of the pages also are a factor in the yellowing process.

8. Make sure you can get the best possible condition in the first place.
This way, you are content with the manga you bought, and its value hasn't decreased from any damages. I always do a quick scan and search for the best possible condition. What I search for are: Dog eared pages (there are people who read our new manga in the bookstore without buying them before we get to the manga itself), evidence that the book was previously read by a person who stretches the binding (evidence is shown on spine. You can see if the pages are spread apart.), scratches (whether major or minor), "health" of the binding (check to see if the glue, which is the binding, is turning black for some reason, or the pages are falling out), corners (if they've been bent in), and top and bottom of the spine (if the book's been dropped on the top or bottom of the spine, it'll be dented).


9. When in contact with it, make sure your nails DO NOT touch the book.
Nail contact = risk of scratching. I've lent manga to people who touch the book with their nails, and it's not pleasant at all to have them return with scratches.


I found a video on Youtube a while ago about manga care, which can be found here. It was really useful to have someone with longer experience than me explain how to keep manga in great condition.

I hope this helps people who like to invest in manga, because one day, these things will be worth quite a lot. (Especially Tokyopop now.) I'll put up another post should I learn even more about keeping manga safe.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Another Day of Browsing Through Yumetenbo's Hime Section

One thing I just noticed was that with all those Mother-Daughter outfits Yumetenbo is selling, a mom and her daughter could actually "twin" up!









I also took a look at their beautiful yukata!





I would love to own these clothes! Owning them and wearing them would be a dream come true. I'm not such a big fan of prints, but hime gyaru has turned that view around (lolita too)! It's only limited to the floral hime prints of modern hime style clothes and yukata, though. I think that's still a step up.

I'm much more closer to having hime style clothes than my dream yuki cross cosplay, since I have access to it every few months. In the event that I do buy hime style clothes before I get cosplay, I would wear them to Anime North next month (still anticipating it!).

Sorry for the lack of kawaii item posts lately! As soon as I get motivation again, I'll be posting them up like crazy! I might have that sense of motivation soon, but it isn't in me yet. I'm still waiting patiently for it.





Photo rights go to Yumetenbo and Rakuten

 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Place to Watch America's Greatest Otaku Outside America

Just in case the previous link may not have worked for you here's another link to watch episode one.

I'm still looking for episode two, so a link to it will be up as soon as I can find it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tokyopop To Close Down


Tokyopop will be closing down on May 31st this year. Stu Levy's (founder of Tokyopop) message can be found here.

Tokyopop started with only 4 titles - Sailor Moon (later to be re-released in Del Rey), Parasyte, Ice Blade, and Magic Knight Rayearth. Today, they cover a vast array of titles.

My own experience with Tokyopop - as a matter of opinion, I didn't like it so much, but it was still a major company, so it's important. I only own two volumes of manga from them: Shinobi Life, volume one and two.

My question now is, how am I going to finish Shinobi Life if Tokyopop's going to end? Will another company take Shinobi Life over, or will it completely cut off ties with North America? My guess is cutting off ties with America.

My message to Tokyopop is, thank you for providing otakus with manga after all these years you've been there. Thank you for also making the Gothic & Lolita Bible more accessible to us. Many lolitas, I know for sure are thankful for that.  You were definitely a significant part in making your goal - bringing Japanese culture to North America - possible. After 14 years of success, all we can say in return is thank you.


Logo rights go to Tokyopop

Friday, April 15, 2011

Strapya Black Pepper Bottle Cell Phone Charm

It's been a while since I've looked at Strapya's site. They've always had and will continue to have the weirdest things ever. This Black Pepper Bottle cell phone charm is no exception. 







The pictures were taken from and the charm can be ordered here.

I remember that someone back in the late 1800s in charge of American patents said something along the lines of "Everything that can be thought of has already been invented."

They were wrong.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Next Month Is...

...Asian Heritage month!


I'll try to think up a lot of ideas for next month. I already have a lot of ideas, but that doesn't mean I'll stop thinking of more!


There's going to be so much to write about! I know I'll be writing a bit about Asian history (one of my favourite subjects!), but I know the general population isn't too interested in that. 

Aside from Asian Heritage month, I finally donated to Japan! What an accomplishment! I couldn't find a charity to hand it to in person, but when I finally found one, I was glad! Please continue to show your love for Japan! We know the nuclear disaster isn't over yet, so continue to show them your support! 

Another thing I accomplished recently was getting another poster! My Vampire Knight poster won't be so lonely anymore. My new Sailor Moon poster will keep it company! I came very, very close to getting that Shugo Chara cosplay this weekend. My sister and cousins went to Pacific Mall without me, because I went to an important event this weekend. Because they weren't able to attend, they went to Pacific Mall to get back at me. I told my sister to buy me the cosplay, and that I would pay her back after, but she decided not to. At the very least, I have a new Sailor Moon poster. I shouldn't complain too much.

Shugo Chara cosplay, I'm coming after you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

First 2011 Trip To Pacific Mall

As promised, here are the pictures of my trip to Pacific Mall in March:


I have no idea what these are. I found them at a store called One's


Again, found at One's!


The window of the beautiful Vivi store! I just love that left mannequin's outfit!  

Somewhere in the hallway


Taken at an electronics store in Splendid China Tower, I think. What beautiful decoden! I've never seen anything like that Rilakkuma one!



Yummy looking chocolate iPhone case! Sorry about the finger, I was trying to hide it!
Things I'm hoping to buy next time (besides all the cute stuff I usually buy) :
  • Shugo Chara (Amu) cosplay
  • Hello Kitty cosplay hat
  • Anime cards
  • Anime posters
  • Domo stuff
I can't wait! Seriously. >_<

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Legend Of Princess Sakura and Stepping On Roses Volume 5 Release

Today was the release of the mangas, The Legend of Princess Sakura and Stepping On Roses volume 5. To others, The Legend Of Princess Sakura is better known as "Sakura Hime Kaden", and Stepping On Roses, "Hadashi de Bara wo Fume". 


 





I've counted down to this day, although I didn't get them today (Julie did too!). Both of my favourite mangakas release on the same day? It's a dream come true. 


To those who've read the past blogs, you've already read the sypnosis of Stepping on Roses. You also know how deeply in love I am with it. 


The Legend of Princess Sakura is a heian era manga (another historical bonus for me!). The sypnosis is: 



"Sakura is the granddaughter of a mysterious moon princess who slew demons with her Blood Cherry Blossom sword. All her life Sakura has been forbidden to look at the full moon without knowing why. Then one night, unhappy over her impending marriage, Sakura gazes up at the moon, only to see a demon attacking her...
Princess Sakura has been engaged to Prince Oura since birth. Aoba, an emissary from the court, has come to accompany her move to the capital for her upcoming nuptials. Taking a dislike to Aoba and wanting to escape a life arranged by others, Sakura runs away-and finds she's caught up to her true destiny."

I also love reading about Japanese arranged marriages, so another plus! I'm looking forward to owning these two volumes. Just like "tradition", there'll be a post up when I buy both! 


Photo rights go to Viz Media, Rinko Ueda, Arina Tanemura

April - Yet Another Month Closer to Anime North

It's April! Time goes by so fast! 2011 will be over faster than we think! I'm sad that it's already April, but on the plus side, it means Anime North will be here in a month! I can't wait! I think I'll make my mind up next time I go to Pacific Mall and buy that Shugo Chara cosplay. Maybe if I buy that, I might buy Amu's wig online. I just really want to cosplay for Anime North 2011.  

Just a few seconds ago, I found that Anime North has an event at the North York Central Library on April 16. More information of this event can be found here.

Speaking of Pacific Mall, I went there last month, but I never created a post of it, or even uploaded it onto my computer. I took a couple a photos of a few stores, like Vivi (which is by the way, a beautiful brand) . I'll post them up one day.

I also did a presentation on Japanese culture earlier. This is a post to look out for soon!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another Sweet Lolita Dream: Pink Baby, The Stars Shine Bright Parasol





I had weird dream. Not in the negative sense, but in the positive. I don't remember entirely what happened, since I think I lost fragments of it while I was hurrying to put it all down on my phone. 

The setting was awkward. It was at my school, but the school had turned into a mall, and was much, much larger. 

There was a raffle being done where the cafeteria is with a prize of attending a Baby, The Stars Shine Bright tea party and a Gothic Lolita Bible. There was a guest model at that raffle. Surprisingly, I won (I don't know what happened to my Gothic Lolita bible after that. Maybe it was in my bag?). As we poured out of the cafeteria, we emptied out into the foyer, and some lolis and I decided to wait at the top of the main stairs, at the north of the school, where you could have a great view of the entire foyer. When at last the model and other employees came out to bring us to our tea party (which was located somewhere in the "mall-school"), the model said, "Uhh, it's on the south end." With that, we went downstairs. Somehow, me and some lolis wandered off and found an Angelic Pretty store and a Baby, The Stars Shine Bright store. I'm not sure if the store we went into was one of them, but I know we entered it because I saw a really cute fluffy pink hair bow. There were supposedly no more dresses in the store, but the sales lady told me that there was a Baby, The Stars Shine Bright pink parasol. I asked her how much it was. She told me, $40. I was stunned at how cheap it was, considering that they usually are within a hundred. What was really weird was when I gave her fifty dollars, she didn't use the cash register to give me change. She used her own wallet. Later, I pranced outside to meet other lolitas (close to where the bike racks usually are at school) and said, "Look, I bought my first lolita item!" and we chattered a little. Another weird thing is, I was somehow wearing a pink Bodyline blouse. Before that, I can recall that I wasn`t. It was also contradictory, because I said I bought my first lolita item when I already had a Bodyline blouse on. A loli commented on how "cheap" the blouse was, and we headed to the restaurant for the tea party. Oddly enough, it was at a traditional Japanese restuarant where you sit on the floor. I saw two construction workers there, eating away. I was seated, and I remembered seeing some lolis `crawling around from table to table. I think I saw Maki and Asuka there too. The Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Model was definitely there. My dream ended there (either that, or I don`t remember the rest.)

I think I dreamt of all of these things because: 
  • I love lolita fashion enough that it`s seeped into my subconscious mind.
  • I read that Angelic Pretty was having a guest model on their Facebook page.
  • I was looking at Baby, the Stars Shine Bright pink parasols two nights before.
  • I read about the blogger from  Lolita Wonderland finding a Gothic Lolita bible in a store in her European country.
  • I`ve seriously been thinking about Bodyline.
  • I keep watching tea parties on Youtube. (XD)
  • I remember Angelic Pretty San Francisco had a raffle at their tea party, and a girl won a Wonder Cookie poster.
  • I like low prices (soo true) 
  • I miss going to Japanese restaurants with my friends

That's not my entire dream. I had an odd dream about my friend`s little brother, being on American Idol with other contestants (but not singing), and Hello Kitty candy being sold. 

This is just plain weird and beautiful at the same time. 






Photo rights go to Baby, The Stars Shine Bright