Studying and Getting (Almost) Nowhere

With Heichou as my witness, I will learn!!!

With Heichou as my witness, I will learn!!!

Hey guys! How are things going for you? 😀 Things are starting to get chilly on this end, which is why I plan on staying inside underneath layers of blankets. Cold weather is nice to look at, but being in it is a different story. ^^;; I’m looking forward to that wonderful spring weather! (*^^*) JanTerm has finally ended for me, so I will start my Spring Semester classes on Monday. This has been a pretty interesting month for blogging, so I’m looking forward to February. To mark the start of Spring Semester, I wanted to make another blog post for my “Dream Chasing” series. Gotta keep all this motivation documented! >:D

One of the biggest things that I can say about myself is that I don’t like studying. Even throughout my high school years I wasn’t keen on aiming for the A or AB Honor Roll. I did the bare minimum and – even if I ended up getting higher than a C – I was completely content with that. Sadly this mentality is still around while I’m in college. I’m the oddball who freaks out at the sight of an A or B on a paper. Imagine how confused I was when I got my first A in my Innovation of Technology class. Just, how?!? I don’t even like science! I’m an average kid who aims for the bare minimum when it comes to academics. So when I see people freaking out about getting less than an A on a paper, it legitimately baffles me.

During my Japanese classes, learning the language shifted from being a “fun, interesting major” to something that made me less motivated to keep learning. It stopped being fun. I remember that it started to be a hassle for me at some point. Thankfully, I was able to rediscover my language learning motivation when it came to manga school. If you missed my introduction, feel free to check out my “Series Collection” tab. I recently made it to keep everything in order, that way it’s easier for you guys!

Once my motivation was gathered, I started to get a little more series about my language learning. Now I’m just going to write short blurbs about the books that I have collected so far. I still hope to add onto this collection, but this is what I have to keep my motivation going.

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Genki was the textbook series that we used from Japanese 101 – 236. Orange for Beginning Japanese and green for Intermediate to Advanced Japanese. I think I bought one of them from the campus bookstore, but it’s much cheaper on Amazon or places like White Rabbit Press. Sadly, my university does not offer four years of language study, so I’m going to have to go the self-study route from now on. The 400 level “language class” that IS offered is a poetry class, but all of the poems are translated into English. There’s also a new translation class (200 level), but my mentor suggested that I take the poetry class to fulfill one of my Major/Minor requirements. Hopefully I can take it during the Spring next year. I miss my Intermediate professor. He really helped me out a lot, and I would love to be in another class with him. Q u Q

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I bought Japanese DeMYSTiFied my Freshman year, but everything seemed kind of cluttered and less straightforward. As for using this book, I haven’t really had much to work with. It’s pretty irritating to see the amount of romanji that fills the book, but I didn’t start thinking that until hiragana and katakana were shoved into my mind with a two week limit. Two weeks each I should say. I like how it comes with unit tests at the end of each section, and a final exam of sorts at the very end of the book. I have yet to actually go through the entire book, but I will try my best to.

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I recently bought Essential Japanese Grammar from the local Books-a-Million, and the grammar section is really helpful! Compared to the Genki series, this book goes into more detail about the grammar used in everyday Japanese. It’s split into two sections: 1) an overview of Japanese grammar and 2) dictionary of usage. The first part gives a brief explanation while the section part covers the details and provides a series of examples. The examples also gives various situations on how these grammar points can be used, so I might go into more detail about this book once my books come in. Essential Japanese Grammar is cheaper on Amazon than it was at BAM, so if you want to save a few bucks please check it out. 🙂

Basic Japanese Grammar isn’t as informative as it’s Essential counterpart, but it’s pretty useful as well. To me, it gives a little more explanation than Genki, but lacks in terms of organization and structure. I found this book to be more of a hassle when it came for looking for particular grammar points, but I don’t regret buying it. If you want to check out Basic Japanese Grammar, it’s also on Amazon. Both of which are published by Tuttle.

Draft of today's blog post in the background. Classy~

Draft of today’s blog post in the background. Classy~

I have this dictionary by Random House as well, but I’m really interested in Essential Japanese Vocabulary. Don’t get me wrong, this dictionary has helped me out a lot, but I really like having detailed examples to learn from. It’s also on Amazon, so I might buy it from there.

I also ended up cancelling my Amazon Prime subscription, so I’m surprised that I get a full refund from that. Actually, not surprised now, but completely excited! In 2-3 business days I will have that refund back in my account, so I will be able to buy my JLPT books and start studying.

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$38.21 with SAL shipping on CD Japan

I was really tempted to add manga to my cart at the last minute, but my friend O-chan convinced me to continue with my productive plan. Not to mention the amount of BL I have added to my bookmarks has reached a ridiculous level. I’m guessing over 80 tankōbon, but there might be more. I’m shameless. ^^;;

Outside of books I’m reading doujinshi and fan art on Pixiv, watching j-dramas, watching anime and listening to music. I also have a habit of reading The Japan Times and articles written on Gaijin Pot. J-Vloggers such as KemushiChan also inspire me to keep learning. When I want to practice some reading, I occasionally browse through tweets from my favorite Japanese cosplayers (Reika, KANAME, etc.,). I also have a habit of writing to M-chan (a friend of mine that I met on Japan-Guide though the language exchange forum) via the LINE app. We tend to talk about our daily lives as well as otaku related things. In short, I’ve managed to gather a lot of inspiration and motivation over the past few years. These, among other things, are the keys to keeping me on track. I feel like I’m on a good path and can’t wait to see what comes next on this journey.

Also, the JLPT for this year will be on Sunday, December 6th, 2015. I look forward to being in Houston on that day! >:3

Until next time, take care guys~!


EDIT: I couldn’t resist, so I broke down and replaced the JLPT Exercise Book for the January issue of CIEL. I’m so damn shameless. *fails* BUT, thankfully, my Amazon Prime refund came in a lot faster than I expected, so I will officially place my order from CD Japan. My order actually went down (because CD Japan gives you 300 Rewards Points for creating an account) so I’m excited about this. I will be sure to make another post once it comes in! 😀

EDIT 2: My card was accepted!! So now I look forward to getting my books in the mail~!

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Excitement intensifies!!!

EDIT 3: Package was shipped and is heading this way~!

Boy Are in Love~ [Episode 3] – Feel Love, Narcissus!

((NOTE: I made the draft for this last Tuesday, but I’m too lazy to change the introduction.))


“Damn! I wanna hug it!” – Ryuu
“I’ll pay money for it!” – Io
“I want to marry it.” – En
“*blinks twice*” – Yumoto
“I can’t take it! I’ll be right back!” – Atsushi

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For some highly strange reason I thought that yesterday was Tuesday. That I was simply too lazy and tired to review the new episode until I saw that it popped up on chia-anime today, thus realizing that it was Tuesday. I’m still blogging on release day (and was super worried that I missed it)! Whew! Okay then, time to start writing about episode three. If you haven’t read about last week’s episode, please feel free to click here right now or wait until you reach the end of this post to click on “Previous Review”. 🙂

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Meet Kurotori Moteo

I realized that I haven’t been writing about the characters who are affected by love in each episode, so I will start doing that now. After all they are a part of the plot. This week we are introduced to Mr. Kurotori Moteo, advisor of the school ballet club. He likes being popular and hates heaviness and hopes to be the newest member of Binan’s monthly bishounen contest. Unfortunately he is walked in on by En and Atsushi and loses his towel while doing a few spins. Yumoto also manages to see the action (mostly because this is taking place in the Yumoto Bathhouse), so the three of them manage to see what Kurotori is hiding behind that towel. Interestingly enough, we learn that Yumoto has a liking for being naked as well as seeing others in the nude. The leader of the Battle Lovers is clearly not as innocent as he appears. Hurr hurr~

Let's all agree that we never saw that

Let’s all agree that we never saw that

En and Atsushi have their turn in the tub and we get to learn that Mr. Kurotori is actually the person who holds the monthly bishounen contests at the school. Why? I’m not so sure yet. Mr. Kurotori then manages to find Ryuu and Io on campus, choosing them to take part in the bishounen contest because they “caught his eye”. The implications of that sentence leave me wondering… But I shall save those thoughts for another time. I’m honestly surprised I’ve made it this far without shipping characters together. Does this mean I’m loosing my fujoshi touch?!

Io becomes interested in the possibility of making money from being a star, while Ryuu’s only concern is girls. Meanwhile the Conquest Club are in the background where Gero tells the other members that Mr. Kurotori has been pestering him to join the contest as well. This leads to Io crunching numbers and realizing that he wouldn’t make a decent living from being a star. Ryuu then decides that his ratio of female fans would decrease by 10% if he joined the contest. Gero (who surprisingly is in the same class as them), overhears the two of them talking and this progresses into what seems like passive-aggressive flirting on Gero’s end while confronting Ryuu. My shipping feelings are a little confused now. Yumoto somehow stumbles upon Mr. Kurotori, but his only concern is about how nice the flyer paper is and proceeds to make a paper airplane with it. Precious child.

Shots fired! Shots fired by Gero!!

Shots fired! Shots fired by Gero!!

Rivalry confirmed

Rivalry confirmed

Ryuu eventually gets pumped up about defeating Gero in the bishounen contest and somehow manages to get En to get excited about it. Keep in mind that En is lazy and unmotivated, so seeing him becoming interested in something is… I’m not sure how to explain it. En even goes as far as organizing a meeting about how to make sure that Ryuu wins the contest. Wombat points out that there are no females at their school, so Ryuu would have to win the vote of an all male audience. So he has to get popular with the boys before the girls notice him. The conversation shifts between the group before En points out that it’s useless to gain popularity with girls and goes into a mini-speech that could be summed up as, “Bros before Hoes.” Again, Yumoto surprises us by having a fluttering heart when it comes to young men who are yakuza bosses. Precious, fucking, child.

SPREAD THE GOSPEL, EN!!!

SPREAD THE GOSPEL, EN!!!

See, even Atsushi agrees~!

See, even Atsushi agrees~!

En’s plan for Ryuu’s popularity comes into action and the amount of homosexual shipping based content continues to grow. So much that Kinshirou blatantly flirts with the guy taking a pee next to him. Putting your account balance where your crotch is will make any boy admire you. Or, at least, that’s what I’ve learned from Kinshirou. I don’t think I would ever put that plan into action though. I nearly died when it came to Yumoto’s outburst about the power of money. I can’t handle this child.

That's what happens when you put your money where your dick is, Yumoto.

That’s what happens when you put your money where your dick is, Yumoto.

After witnessing Kinshirou’s luck in the restroom, Ryuu tries is own luck with a set of triplets. Just when I think he’s overdoing is attempt, he manages to gain the trio’s admiration as they lovingly call him “big brother” while chasing him down the hall. (I need fanart of these four together, ASAP!)

Big brotheerrrrr!!!

Big brotheerrrrr!!!

After the character card, Mr. Kurotori is shot by Thunder’s needle and literally becomes a “black bird” (swan). I wasn’t expecting that to happen, but I can’t fully say that I didn’t see it coming. We know there’s something wrong when Yumoto finds affection to be disturbing. Meanwhile, in the background, Thunder gives a small blurb about how they will continue to make a world where “boys love boys”, so now I’m convinced that fujoshi and fudanshi are part of the target audience for this show.  The Battle Lovers transform to do their duty but are hit by Mr. Kurotori’s “Love Feather Splash” attack and can’t help but fall in love with him. Atsushi is the first to declare is love for Mr. Kurotori and the others fall in shortly. Yumoto doesn’t seem phased by Mr. Kurotori’s feather attack and uses cuddling as a solution to the man’s lack of ever having loved someone.

Love will never be over.

Love will never be over.

“Before you get anyone to try loving you, try loving yourself first.” – Yumoto Hakone

Yumoto now owns the yacht to my heart after hearing this quote. I wasn’t expecting to have a heartwarming message in this episode, but Yumoto does make a point. It’s important to love yourself before expecting someone to love you just as much. To be honest, this episode has to be one of my favorite ones. I laughed harder than I did when I first started the show, and that means that I know I will continue to enjoy it. Hopefully you guys will continue watching Binan Koukou. This week’s episode is available on chia-anime, or you can watch it on Crunchyroll with a a premium membership.

I also realized that is post is longer than what I usually write. Is this okay with you guys? Does it mean I’m developing skills?! I hope so! 😀 Hopefully we get to see more of Goro. Hurr hurr hurr~

See you guys next week~!

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chibi!Atsushi’s turn in the spotlight

{Episode Extras}

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Never miss Bishounen Day

There's gold in them hills.

There’s gold in them hills.

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Hnnngh, the implications!!

Hnnngh, the implications!!

Previous Review || Next Review 》

Kickstarter Signal Boost – Restocking ‘Finder’

Finder

funds raised as of today 🙂

Hey guys! 😀 A quick apology to those who are still looking forward to my review of episode three of Binan. I’ve been super lazy and unmotivated over the past week. Weekly exams for my JanTerm class and a cumulative final coming up on Tuesday. Fun times ahead! *internal sobbing* BUT I wanted to quickly share some interesting news that I just stumbled upon. Digital Manga recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help restock volumes 1 – 6 of the BL manga series Finder by Ayano Yamane. AnimeNewsNetwork also wrote a short article about this campaign but I found out about it while browsing through Yaoi Otaku. It’s time like this when I desperately wish I had money.

All of the backer rewards are wonderful and I would shamelessly walk around with that Juné eco tote bag. There is so much empty space on my walls, so that fujoshi poster would look lovely above my bed. I wonder if they will have them for individual sale? That would be nice. I don’t have the $40 to meet that tier level. (I blame college for making $300+ in textbooks mandatory.) *more internal sobbing* Hopefully this signal boost will help DM reach their goal of $45K. I really wanted to make this post before going to bed for the night.

More information about the campaign can be found on DM’s Kickstarter. The campaign will end on February 16th, so I’m really hoping that things work out! Feel free to take a look. There are a variety of backer rewards to choose from and all of them are quite wonderful – if not drool worthy~. Consider supporting if you can, if you can’t (then we are in the same boat) feel free to spread the word.There are only twenty-one days left. 😀 // I will get around to reviewing Binan episode three. If not, episode three and four will be reviewed in one post. q__q Take care guys~!

First Year Anniversary: Happy Birthday Blog!

anniversary

お誕生日おめでとうございます~!

I feel terrible for not remember my own blog anniversary, but I knew that it was sometime in January! Thankfully I got a notification today! Just as the title mentions, today is the first anniversary of “Pantastic Panda“. I originally started this blog as something to pass the time during JanTerm last year. I neglected it for a few months, but then I started getting serious a few months ago. I’m actually quite proud of what I’ve posted this past year. It might not have been much, but I’m glad that I started writing again. Just like I mentioned in my year in review, I plan on writing more posts for you guys. More things to cater to a variety of interests and more chances to get to learn a little more about me. Then again, more chances for us to learn about each other. (Because I’m a sap who likes hearing from people. xD)

Again, thank you guys for sticking around. See you next time~!

With lots of love,
❤ Pantastic Panda

Love Making, Again! – [Episode 2] Love Means Never Feeling Regret

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Base and Vulgar
Ignorant and Incompetent.
Stupid and Silly.

Hey guys! Glad to you have you back for episode two of Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!~ If you haven’t checked out the review for episode one, feel free to check that out before moving forward. Take your time, because I know I am. Though, it was frustrating trying to get the full episode to download… But, here I am on the day it was uploaded! Let’s see how long I can keep this up.

In this week’s episode we get to know a little more about the mysterious Student Council, also known as the Conquest Club. As an evil organization, their goal for the world is to make it a more tolerable place to live. A project called the “Total Conquest of Earth’s Lifeforms Project”.

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Just like the Battle Lovers have Wombat, we are introduced to the mascot character for the Conquest Club. A green hedgehog named Thunder (or Zundar according to the subs) who hails from Planet Evil. Kinshirou Kusatsu is the strict President and leader out of the three members of the Conquest Club. In his words, foolishness and mediocracy is a sin that should not be approved of within their school. That the world should be a structured and have an established model society. We later discover that he hates curry. Akoya Gero seems to think very little of the Battle Lover. He even goes so far as to mock their style and even looks down on them for being considered their rivals. Gero doesn’t hesitate to agree with President Kusatsu and also despises ugly, dirty things. Ibushi Arima seems to have a preference for making tea for the group and honestly reminds me of Makoto from Free! in a way. He also doesn’t seem to fully agree with Kusatsu when it comes to their conquest plan, believing that a certain degree of order would be fine for their school. He also refers to Kusatsu as Kinshirou.

Not going very fast in that cup, are you?

Not going very fast in that cup, are you?

At the moment I can’t find a video for their transformation sequence, but I will be sure to edit this post when one becomes available. (Though, if you know where I can find one feel free to tell me.) Similar to “Love Making!” and the Lovaracelets worn by the Battle Lovers, the Conquest Club wear rings on their fingers and use the phrase “Conquest!” Their outfits reminded me of imperial military uniforms and seem to represent what their organization stands for.

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Since I mostly talked about the Battle Lovers in the previous review, I”m just going to give a brief summary of what to expect from them in this episode. We find out that Yumato needs at least one cuddle a day in order to function. In my opinion, that’s pretty legit. En has a terrible memory when it comes to the name of their group. Ryuu apperantly has a thing for cosplay and doesn’t mind wearing their Battle Lovers uniform because he thinks he looks good in it. Naruko really wants to get one billion on his Caymen Islands account, and Atsushi continues to be a voice of reason. Another character unleashes their inner Shadow (shameless Persona reference), followed by conflict the Battle Lovers having to fight to show the healing power of love.

These feels are real and watching this scene hurt...

These feels are real and watching this scene hurt… It’s okay Ryuu, I love you.

But now I have a few thoughts about this episode. Thunder refers to the Conquest Club as “Members of the noble Caerula Adams”. Meanwhile Wombat refers to the Battle Lovers as the “Heirs to the Throne of Love” and that, within their history, there has always been five members. Five Heirs to the Throne of Love. Gero even questions if the two groups share the same technology, so what’s up with that?! Also, Wombat tells the Battle Lovers that they have to keep fighting until the world is filled with love. So, when did the world run out of love? Just how many times in their history did the world run out of love? Who is “they”?! Just what history do “they” have? If Thunder is from Planet Evil, is Wombat from a place called Planet Love? I’m confused, yet intrigued.

It’s also hard to ignore the darkest moment of the episode. In my opinion, it was hard to ignore due to the fact that it was quickly recovered with comedy. Madoka Magica was surprisingly dark, but those moments were not covered with comedy.We basically find out that Mr. Tawarayama (the teacher that Wombat took control of in episode one) is actually just a shell. That’s right, he’s dead, and if Wombat isn’t within a certain distance his body will legitimately rot. Disturbing, right?

What the fuck, Wombat?! He's dead!

What the fuck, Wombat?! He’s dead!

So I had some conflicting feelings watching that part, mostly because I felt bad for laughing at the humor that followed. To be honest, I still don’t know what exactly to expect from this series. I just might need the rest of the week to recover. Hopefully I wasn’t too lazy with this review. I wanted to try posting it as soon as possible for you guys. Keep in mind though, the series is still gripping onto my interest and I can’t wait to see more.

The fact that the voice actors for both the Battle Lovers and the Conquest Club sing the opening and ending theme keeps it within the universe that this show is building. The ending theme (miss you の3メートル (I miss you no 3m)) makes me wonder if Kusatsu happened to have been close to one of the Battle Lovers. In the ending animation he’s seen looking back at the group as they sit down in the theater, appearing to be irritated by their laughter before staring ahead absently. I might be reading too far into it, but I can’t help but wonder. If so, which member did he used to be close to? What happened to them? Is it going to be similar to Meganebu! in which Akira and Toru had some strange misunderstanding with eachother? I’m honestly curious now.

As always, for those who don’t have a Premium Membership on Crunchyroll, this week’s episode is available on chia-anime.

So what do you guys think about the series so far? Feel free to leave a comment below and we can talk about it. 😀

See you guys again next week!!

En lazing it up in this week's insert~

En lazing it up in this week’s insert~

Seifuku-bu:
Kinshirou Kusatsu: Hiroshi Kamiya
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Ibushi Arima: Jun Fukuyama
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Akoya Gero: Takuma Terashima
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Thunder: Hiroki Yasumoto
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{via MyAnimeList}

The world may never know...

The world may never know…

Previous Review || Next Review

[Dream Chasing] An Introduction of Sorts

Hey guys! I’ve had this topic on my mind for a long time now, though I wasn’t sure how to go about writing it. Then again, a new year is the best time to start something new. If you’ve checked my about page you might have noticed that I interested in studying manga in Japan. I’m also majoring in Japanese and I’m currently considering changing my minor to Art instead of Asian Studies. Considering, though I might not go through with it.
(NOTE: The Japanese / Asian Studies department of my school has it to where my classes won’t double up and I have to carefully separate them.)

Perhaps I should provide a little more back story. It’s alright if you get comfortable or even get up to make yourself something warm to drink. The temperature outside is dropping after all. The first manga I remember reading was in 7th grade during science class. A friend of mine had allowed me to borrow it, and I was so intrigued that my teacher had to call on me multiple times to put it back in my desk. I still don’t remember the name of the manga, characters or even who it was by, but that triggered my interest in drawing. That’s when I picked up a pencil, a sharpener and as much computer paper that I could carry to get started.

I forgot to take pictures of sketchbook from 2007 over winter break, but I promise to show some pictures in a future edit. 🙂

At the time I felt that my art was awesome. That it was the greatest thing I had ever seen. Even some of my classmates wanted me to draw them and by high school I gained a reputation for drawing cartoon based characters. My first high school art teacher felt that comic style art was interesting and we would talk about the manga version of the Warriors series from time to time. My second art teacher joined the school during my 11th grade year and she encouraged me to focus more on realism and painting instead of working on my comfort zone. Back then I felt a little hurt and even slightly discouraged. Anatomy is important (if not frustrating) after all. Working on my own style after finishing my assignments in class was something I was comfortable with. Was it really that wrong to want to work on something that I actually liked?

So there I was, frustrated to the point where I stopped drawing for a while. Heck, I even started letting my manga collect dust on a tiny shelf. I had ideas, but I just didn’t want to draw them anymore. I didn’t even want to write about charters any more. Then I discovered Bakuman and the inspiration / motivation latched on without letting go. I mean, a manga about MAKING manga?! That was like finding a gold mine at the time! Not only was Bakuman inspirational, it was something I could really relate to. Young people who wanted to risk it all for the sake of being able to draw manga. I still remember the days when I actually liked Vampire Knight (which also added fuel to my drawing fire due to the style at the time), but discovering Bakuman pretty much sealed the deal for me. I wanted to draw. I had to draw.

I still need to finish buying the rest of the manga...

I still need to finish buying the rest of the series…

Sometime last year I stumbled upon Jamie Lynn Lano’s blog “Living Tall in Japan”.  I’ve read all the way through her section on being a manga assistant and I’ve caught a few glimpses of her how to be a mangaka series. Because of that, I got so inspired that I did my presentation in Japanese 202 about how much I wanted to enroll in a manga school in Japan. Surprisingly my intermediate Japanese professor found it to be very interesting. The most memorable thing about that presentation was having people wish me luck and hoped that I continued on with my dream. Hopefully I’m not being too sappy, but it meant a lot to hear them say that.

My original goal was to study at a drawing school in Kyoto, but lately I’ve discovered schools in Tokyo and Osaka since then. (Osaka has been calling to me for a year or so now). All of them require that I have completed and passed the JLPT N2 with a listening score of 200 in order to understand the classes and material. So, I’ve been ordering information packets from the schools that really interest me. At the moment I’m waiting on one to come in that I ordered a little before winter break, but I started ordering them back in 2013. Pretty recent, right?

Kyoto Seika University - 2013 Info Packet (partial, the rest is at home)

Kyoto Seika University – 2013 Info Packet (partial, the rest is at home)

This past semester, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching on what I really want to do with my life. Drawing and making comics is always the first thing to pop up. Without fail. All I’ve ever thought about doing since middle school was creating my own comic, characters and stories. To create my own worlds for hours on end and actually enjoy the work that I do. A career that I would love and give my all to without worrying about being fired for slacking off. Although I’m outgoing-ish, I seek solitude in being able to draw every day. I want to go back to the days where I could stay up all night drawing and not have to worry about studying for an important exam. College keeps me busy and super tired, so I don’t have as much energy to draw. So my sketch books and drawing tablet continue to collect dust with each year. I’m a strange individual by habit. My friends keep telling me I would make a great lawyer because I like to debate my point on certain daily life things, though it’s hard to argue for someone else and it isn’t as fun.

Maybe I’m just stubborn?…

My campus hosted their annual homecoming not too long ago and I was able to chat with an alumni who is currently a comic artist / graphic novelist. I was sure to ask to him some questions and he surprisingly gave me his email address so that I could keep in touch with him. *insert random spazzing here* He was really helpful and seemed to understand where I was coming from. He even told me that I shouldn’t have to worry about my style being inspired from Eastern artists, that he’s seen people with similar styles who still make it in the Western comic world. Sadly, I don’t know much about my native comic market here in America. Most of what I see is superhero comics and comic strips from newspapers, but I’m slowly discovering indie comics, graphic novels and webcomics.

Though, I will admit, I do have feelings about my dream that make me hesitate from time to time. I sometimes feel that this dream is ridiculous and that I might not make it abroad. Would I use my own name or would I use a pseudonym? Would I be taken seriously as a female African-American artist? What alternative could I possibly do with my life if this plan doesn’t work out? Will all the research in the world ever prepare me for leaving America?! Then again, will I even leave America? What if I don’t pass the JLPT N2? What if I don’t study enough the language to pass? What if this plan takes longer than I would like it to? What if, in the end, I just give up trying?…

It's okay Kazuya, I understand you.

It’s okay Kazuya, I understand you. [Bakuman vol. 5]

So maybe you’re thinking, “Hey Pan, couldn’t you just go to a comic arts school in your home country? You wouldn’t even have to continue studying a second language to go there.” Where’s the fun in that though? 🙂 Sure, it’s going to be a pain to reach that N2 level of the JLPT, but thinking about the world outside of Texas just adds onto the excitement. If things go right, I will be able to go to Japan during JanTerm for my Senior year in 2016. Then I get to see M-chan, live with a host family and see all the places all of my friends have told me about after they got back from the Japan trip last year. I’ve been studying Japanese for three years now, but I really need to start buckling down on the language. More than anything, I want this dream to come true and I’m willing to work for it.

I honestly plan on keeping this series (if you wish to call it that) going. That way I can keep you guys up to date and posted on what I’m doing. I didn’t want to clog up my deviantART profile with this, so I figured writing it here would be better. 🙂 I will start saving up for JLPT N3 and N2 books so I can study for the exams in July and December this year. It will be a pain traveling all the way down to Houston for an exam, but it’s to help shape my future!!

I actually got pretty pumped up writing this introduction. What do you guys think? Is anyone else in the same boat as me when it comes to wanting to study manga? Any studying advice? Tell me what you think! 😀

Until next time~! (I do intend for there to be a next time)


Current Schools of Interest: (bound to add additional information~)
❤ Manga:

❤ Language Schools:

 

Additional Information Packet Photos:

TDG 2014 Info Packet

TDG 2014 Info Packet

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TDG 2015 Info Packet

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Tokyo Design Academy 2015 Info Packet

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Tokyo Communication Arts 2015 Info Packet

 

Magical Boy Anime, Start! — [Episode 1] In the Name of Love

Guess what guys? It’s the Winter 2015 anime season! I don’t really have much that I would like to watch for this year, but there is one thing has really sparked my interest since I blogged about it back in November. Feel free to refresh your memory if you forgot. 🙂 That’s right. It’s time for Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! 20877

美男高校地球防衛部LOVE! // Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! The story centers on the five students in the Boeibu/Defense Club (aka “a club to do nothing”) at the Binan High School. Involving the battle between the two mysterious creatures came from the outer space, they have to fight against Seifukubu/Conquest Club (Student Council), as the successors to the throne “Battle Lovers. {via anilist}

Although I’m still super excited for season three of Kuroko no Basuke, Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!’s concept of magical boys is something that I’ve craved ever since I watched Takuto’s transformation sequence in Star Driver. The amount of heaving I did after that video could only be justified by lack of oxygen and near tears streaming down my face. Damn you, Galactic Pretty Boy. *internal sobbing*

1

What is a chikuwabu?!

The intial conversation between Atsushi Kinukawa and En Yufuin immediately reminded me of Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou (Daily Lives of High School Boys). Random conversations that usually end with some form of punch line or random intervention via character(s) outside of the conversation. Said outside characters being fluffy, pink Wombat and the briefly introduced Yumoto Hakone. Now we officially know that this show is going to be comedy if not a parody of sorts. Given that Atsushi and En were in a bath together, it’s quiet natural to assume that they are close and their conversations suggest that they have understood each other for a while. Isn’t that right, En-chan~? Ship worthy? Maybe? I can’t tell just yet. We also learn that En tends to reference things based on food, and also uses the topic food ingredients to describe the Student Council.

This can be completely taken out of context~

This can be completely taken out of context~

The episode then continues by introducing the rest of the magical boy gang. Naruko Io appears to be a young man who values money and any opportunity to get a quick dollar. Meanwhile Ryuu Zaou has an affinity for women, being the center of attention and all things girls. Atsushi, En, Naruko and Ryuu are members of the Defense Club, which seems to revolve around some form of game? Or, at least, that’s the vibe that I originally got while watching this episode. I could be entirely wrong. It’s also revealed that Wombat has the ability to control human bodies and uses Atsushi and En’s teacher as a way of distracting attention away from himself. Which doesn’t fool anyone, especially Yumoto.

4

Wombat, you’re only freaking out En and Atsushi Q__Q

Did I mention that they attend an all boys’ high school? If that isn’t screaming for any sort of potential ships in the series, I don’t know what is. Literally, there are no girls in this school and I’m already convinced this show is targeted toward BL/ yaoi / shounen-ai / slash shippers. Two guys in a public tub? All boys’ school? A variety of good looking background characters? Plot is screaming at me right. Just like Gakuen Heaven. Remember the school Bell Liberty Academy? I know I do.

I'm seriously convinced that Yamato has the Power of Heart

I’m seriously convinced that Yamato has the “Power of Heart”

Now I’m sure that we all know that every magical girl has some form of wearable charm that allows her to transform, right? Well, these boys have bracelets called Lovaracelets which allow them to transform into the Battle Lovers. Remember how magical girls call out some strange phrase before they transform? The Battle Lovers also have a transformation phrase: Making Love. As you guys will see in the following transformation sequence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2sk-XfiyOc

Love Making into the Battle Lovers – Wombat

Naturally the leader of the Battle Lovers has a longer transformation sequence, but I honestly didn’t mind. Yes, this is clearly a male parody of the magical genre (though it also reminds me of Sailor Moon and Tokyo Mew Mew in a way), but I have honestly enjoyed the first episode. It was cute and refreshing. Thankfully the show explains just what the heck a chikuwabu is, or rather, who it is. Just what is the Student Council up to? Who is that green hedgehog? Why do I really like their outfits?! I’m not going to blurt out any expectations for the show (mostly because I have none), but I’m curiously to see where this is going. 🙂

8

I cracked up a little too hard here.

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll (translated into Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!) for Premium members and can also be seen on chia-anime (for those who don’t have a Premium account like me). Personally I still like “Handsome High School Earth Defense Club”, but I guess it could be a mouthful. At the very end of the series I will try to write as much as a review as possible. That way it won’t evolve into one of those, “OMG! Greatest thing ever!!” reviews when it’s only been the first episode. (I’m watching you Crunchyroll reviews and comments.) I can’t guarantee that I will write my episode reviews on the exact day of each release, but I will try my best! Stick around for episode two!! 😀

6

Cute little insert of Yumoto~

Opening Theme: 絶対無敵☆Fall’n LOVE☆ (Zettai Muteki☆Fallin’ LOVE☆) Performed by Earth Defense Club (Kazutomi Yamamoto/Yuichiro Umehara/Kotaro Nishiyama/Yusuke Shirai/Toshiki Masuda)
Ending Theme: miss you の3メートル (I miss you no 3m) Performed by Conquest Club (Hiroshi Kamiya/Jun Fukuyama/Takuma Terashima) {via Wikipedia}

❤ Links of Interest: ❤ Official Website (Japanese)// Boueibu Twitter Account (Japanese) // Moca News Article (Japanese) // NEW! Online Manga (Japanese)

Glad to finally know what a chikuwabu is.

Glad to finally know what a chikuwabu is.

|| Next Review

Pantastic Panda’s 2014 in Review

Happy New Year, everyone! I apologize for not being as active here, but I plan on getting back into the swing of things this month. I also want to thank everyone who has visited this blog in this past year. It’s really exciting to see that you guys like what I’ve been posting, and that motivates me to keep writing more for you to read. Last year was an introduction to blogging for me, and I’m really thankful for everyone who has been supporting me during the awkward start-up stage. (I still feel like I’m in that stage to be honest. ^^;; ) 2015 is going to be a more active year for this blog. More posts, more reviews, more feels and more squeals that I hope you guys are looking forward to.

Let’s see what we can come up with for this year as well! 😀
Feel free to read the summary at the bottom. 🙂

Love always,
❤ Pantastic Panda

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 980 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 16 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.