Hello, lovely people!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? But after almost three exhausting weeks of studying for exams, I finally have a bit of time to relax before the next semester starts.

And that means time for new posts, new videos and much more anime watching!

This will be a bit of a personal post and I don’t exactly know where I’ll go with it but I guess I want to make it an update of where I’ve been and what was I doing…

Work hard, work hard and work hard

Basically it was a lot of hard and frustrating studying. Frustrating because I was never good at subjects like physics and maths and hard because it’s really not what I wanted to do as I never really cared about such subjects either. Add to that the economics, the hard electrotecnics and the English, and you get a lot of freaking out.

Miyamori Aoi was once again an accurate representation of my feelings…

But why would I choose to study such things at university if they are that hard for me?

Well because I failed to enter my first choice university, which focused on media editing. I had to settle for a compromise, and the computer science course had some multimedia related subjects, so now I’m here.

But the hardest semester of computer science is thankfully more or less behind me now, and the subjects that will come in the future are much more appealing as they are the reason I came here in the first place.

I say more or less because it hasn’t all been entirely sucessfull. I managed to pass 5 out of 6 of the subjects with electrotecnics left for later. I can only say there is a good reason this subject has a very high failing rate. With so much stuff all at once, passing 5 out of 6 is a huge success in my book and I’m proud of myself for managing to pull it off.

Especially considering how weak I was at physics and maths before this. Sure, I haven’t passed these subjects with the highest possible grades, but it’s a pass and that’s the most important thing.

Ways to cope

Ofcourse, it wasn’t studying 24/7 and I had to do some things I enjoy in order to keep my sanity.

And if we are talking about things I enjoy, it’s fair to say anime plays a big part there.

I didn’t had the time to binge watch anything, but I was watching a few seasonal series, Sword Art Online: Alicization coming to mind, as well as Kaguya-sama: Love is war, The rising of the shield hero and Boogiepop.

The latter I’ve started earlier but was left confused by the first two episodes until I rewatched them and realized that this is actually a very good anime.

I’ve mentioned my knowledge of Italian before, and well that comes from my huge love for Italian music and some two weeks ago, their biggest music festival called Sanremo was held. Sadly I couldn’t watch all the 5 nights of it this year, but I watched the first and final night.

Not really sure why I’m mentioning this but yeah, I highly suggest you to listen to some Italian songs. La ragazza con il cuore di latta and Senza Farlo Apposta were my favorites from Sanremo this year and I’m still sad to see the results these songs have gotten.

Speaking of non-anime related stuff, I’m sure you are aware of the T-Series vs. PewDiePie sub battle that is happening right now. Depending on the events, I actually thought of making a separate post on this topic, but for now I’ll just say I’ve been keeping a close eye on all that.

And if you haven’t already, please. Subscribe to PewDiePie. It’s for the greater good.

What is next?

Well duh, more blog posts. I have a new concept of posts in mind which will hopefully be a lot of fun.

But I’m also really excited about my YouTube channel, and I plan to post AMVs there and in the future maybe some videos related to my blog posts as well.

You can already check out the first AMV that I’ve done right before the exam chaos had begun.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope to see you in my next post 😉

I feel like it’s time for me to talk about one topic that has totally never been talked about before. A question that was totally never asked by anyone in the anime community before:

Sub or dub?

Dubbed anime

Story time. I actually started my otaku career by watching dubbed anime.

Death Note, Psycho-Pass, Erased, Your Lie in April – all of them are series I’ve seen dubbed.

Almost joining that list was Toradora. But fate had intervened.

Your Lie in April has left my heart shattered. It was actually my first ever romance anime. Wasn’t it just a happy start?

Hell no it wasn’t! Filled with this huge sadness I wanted to watch something that would heal my heart. A cute romance, and preferably, without a tragic ending.

I picked Toradora and I started watching the first episode dubbed.

But something was bothering me. The main character’s voice. It was too familiar and it reminded me of Your Lie in April for some reason.

I finished the first episode and I checked who is the English voice actor for Ryuuji. It turns out it was Erik Kimerer, the same person who voiced Takeshi in Your Lie in April.

Realizing that continuing to watch Toradora dubbed would remind me too much of the thing I wanted to recover from, I switched to subs from episode 2 onwards.

It’s fair to say it’s a decision I do not regret. That was the last time I’ve seen an anime episode dubbed.

Except that one time I watched a Madoka Magica episode in German dub to see if it’s a good way to practice German.

My verdict

I think it’s simply a matter of habit.

If you watch a lot of dubbed anime, it’s normal that you will feel it’s the better way to watch than with subs. The same goes for the other way round.

I started off watching dubbed anime. It felt more natural I guess, since I grew up watching cartoons in English.

Until I discovered the beauty of the Japanese language. I was always a big language nerd, and one of my proudest achievements is self-teaching myself Italian to the level of being able to hold a conversation with a group of natives.

Japanese was different than anything I’ve learned before. Challenge accepted. My love for anime grew into general love for Japan, the culture and the language, and I’m proud to say that I can now read hiragana and katakana. Kanji is still a lot of work in progress, but one day that will be completed too 😉

The Japanese language just seems made for cute things. I can’t explain what it is, but it just works so well. It’s that special charm each language has.

Sure, reading subs can at times be overwhelming, especially when more characters talk at once, but it’s again another thing of habit.

As the priestess from Goblin Slayer would say…

What is your preferred way to watch anime? Is it with the subs or is it the dub?

Today is one of those days when I’m home alone. And when that is the case, I sometimes get to experiment in the kitchen. I search for some simple but cool recipes my skills and available ingredients would allow me to prepare.

And I love that proud feeling I have when the meal I make ends up with a great taste.

Today I wanted to make the ramune candies, which I’ve seen in 3-gatsu no Lion. They looked so easy to make, and so few ingredients were needed.

I bought cornstarch in the store. I thought that was the only ingredient needed that I didn’t have at home.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case. It turns out powdered sugar was also missing.

A shame, but I’ll make those ramunes soon. I’ll probably make them for Christmas.

But this wasn’t the first time I “tried” making something I’ve seen in anime…

My first cake

Maybe you noticed how much I love Toradora. I am posting about my Christmas rewatch of it afterall. And I’m proud to have Taiga as my twitter avatar.

Ryuuji Takasu is one of my favorite characters of all time. And one of his traits that I love is his love for cooking.

He cooks meals for himself, his mother and Taiga every day. He makes himself and Taiga lunch boxes.

Every time he makes food for someone, they are full of praise for it. Think back to that curry he made during the trip to Ami’s beach house.

Ryuuji’s love for cooking sort of made me want to get better at it myself.

And in the second ending sequence of Toradora, Ryuuji is preparing this beautiful looking orange cake.

Incidentally, today is day 17 of the Toradora Christmas rewatch, which means today is the day for the first episode in which this ending appears.

This time last year, when I rewatched Toradora for the first time, I thought I could try making that orange cake myself.

My father’s birthday is close to Christmas. Its just a couple of days after New Year’s day.

I ended up making that cake for his birthday. I felt so much hype and excitement just because I was making the same cake that appeared in Toradora.

For sure, it didn’t end up perfect. It didn’t look as beautiful as the one Ryuuji made. But just trying to make it was so worth it. I never thought I would enjoy making a cake as much as I enjoyed making one that day.

And the feedback I had from everyone that tried the cake made the day even better.

Just go and make those foods that you see your favorite anime characters prepare. I highly recommend doing it.

Feel free to share your anime related cooking stories in the comments! 😀

rating anime

Ratings.

The first thing on my mind when I see this word in the context of anime is myanimelist. This is probably because that’s the only place where I actually rate anime.

And really it’s the only place where I’m looking at anime ratings. At times they are one of the factors I use to determine if an anime is worth watching.

Sure enough, they can be too high or too low, depending on the show, but they sort of give the general idea of how good the series is. In most cases at least.

At first I decided not to rate each anime I watch, because I thought I will too often think about the score I would give. I thought I will give it too much importance.

Later on I changed my mind and realized that rating shows really isn’t that deep. There is really no need to sit down for 2 hours and think of every single detail that would increase or decrease the score.

I don’t have any special rating systems in my head. Things that automatically increase my score if I see it in the anime. Or things that automatically do the otherwise.

I don’t write down a score for each segment of an anime (story, plot, characters, etc…) and then combine it into one single score. That would take too long and I would probably struggle to pick the right score for each segment.

I just want enjoyment

There are loads of reasons for an anime to be enjoyable or the other way round. It can literally be from the theme of the anime to the mood I’m in on the day of watching. Or there can be a character that reminds me of certain people and situations from my life that I’d rather forget.

That’s why rating each show is different.

You have the most emotional, tear-jerking story possible? Great, but what’s the point if I can’t relate to the characters or if I find them unlikeable?

Sure enough, combined with emotional music it could still work and make me cry, but I would tell you that I’m missing that “something” to call it a masterpiece and you would get an 8/10 instead.

So what makes a “masterpiece”?

Fascinating plot. Well developed or relatable characters. Heartwarming moments. Sheer emotion. The setting. The timing of watching.

All of that and more has influenced me when I gave certain series the “perfect” score.

For Hunter x Hunter it was put simply – everything xD It has managed to balance everything. Stunning, deep and meaningful writing, the characters, the music, the levels of hype, the animation quality, the emotional moments. Simply everything was on point.

Ofcourse Hunter x Hunter has flaws too, just like every anime in existence, but all the positives heavily outweigh the negatives.

I could say the similar for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Both are just the perfect balance of everything.

In Steins;Gate I felt a strong connection to the characters, which led to a lot of emotional moments accompanied by the beautiful music. The plot and the way everything comes together has been mindblowing.

I was fascinated by the themes of the series and it’s references to real events/organizations/people.

I watched Madoka Magica soon after Steins;Gate. It taught me to never judge an anime by its cover.

Toradora is an anime that will always make me happy, it just works so well for me in every single way. I simply love everything about it.

Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho reminded me how much I love travelling and need it in my life. And it managed to bring a unique story that is both emotional and motivational. With 4 best girl characters along the way.

Assassination Classroom amazed me with the way it turned something absurd into one of the most emotional and touching things I’ve ever seen.

To sum it up, I’m rating everything as an overall package. Package of enjoyment. That package includes different things from anime to anime.

If the positives outweigh the negatives so much that I have to think hard to actually think of the bad parts of the anime, you are probably looking at a “masterpiece”.

If I’m thinking more about the negatives than what I actually enjoyed, you are probably looking at a 7/10 at best anime.

 

Do you have any special ways you rank each anime? I’d love to know your thoughts!

 

 

Reboot InfoGamer, held in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is “one of the biggest games shows in the world”, according to their official website.

And my university was kind enough to take care of the transport and ticket costs for our one day visit.

I was looking forward to this day a lot because I’ve seen Bandai Namco would be featured.

This gave me some hope that they will present Jump Force.

It turns out my hopes were actually fulfilled.

Trying out Jump Force

Since it was announced that the Hunter x Hunter characters Gon and Hisoka will feature in this game, I knew I wanted to buy it.

And when they announced Kurapika will also be one of the playable characters, it’s fair to say my hype levels were quite high.

Seeing I could actually try this game out made me so happy.

Unfortunately, the version I could play didn’t involve Kurapika, but I guess you can’t have everything at once.

Compared to a game like Blazblue, Jump Force felt simpler. As always with fighting games, I didn’t know exactly which button did what, but I don’t feel it would take too long to get the hang of it.

I enjoyed playing Hisoka the most. He felt easier to handle for a first-time player and was simply very fun to play.

My anticipation for playing this game was worth it. It was so fun, i came back to it two more times.

Worth buying. Especially when you consider Kurapika will be there too, as well as Killua.

More fighting games

After the hype and fun I had with Jump Force, I played Soulcalibur VI with friends.

And again, unlike Blazblue, this game felt so much easier to get into.

I keep mentioning Blazblue, and it’s because it was the first anime fighter I played.

The amount of combos each character has felt like too much for a newbie. Also, catching up on the story of the game takes a lot of investment. But I guess that’s not surprising when the Blazblue I bought is Chronophantasma Extend.

After Soulcalibur we played Street Fighter II on the Super Nintendo.

It was pure fun. No complicated hard to hit combos. Super enjoyable with friends. I almost wish I have the Super Nintendo now.

There was also the One Piece game, World Seeker. It’s anime related so I had to take a picture.

Some time later I found out that a Balkan visual novel is a thing.

I don’t know about the details, I didn’t end up playing it but in hindsight I probably should had done so.

In any case it was nice seeing something like that in this country. Maybe it’s not all so dark for the Croatian otaku afterall.

Here you can check out the website for the visual novel.

Other than a bit of Yu-Gi-Oh and Light Yagami and L POP toys that were being sold, that was pretty much all anime related stuff I could see.

Well, at the gaming fair, at least…

Hunting for manga

I knew Zagreb was possibly the only place in this country where I could buy manga.

The entire day I was excited for Jump Force and the prospect of buying actual manga later on.

One of those things came true and I had to make the latter come true too. I knew I would have regrets otherwise.

Leaving the gaming fair area would mean you can’t go back inside. I wanted to make that move around an hour before our scheduled departure time.

The friends I hanged out with didn’t have reasons to leave yet. In the end, 30 minutes before the scheduled departure, I left the gaming fair area.

The store where they apparently sold manga was some 10 minutes away. If you were extremely fast, that is.

I had to do it. It was a crazy thing to do. Stupid maybe. But I had to do it.

I don’t remember the last time I was walking that quickly. I reached the store some 15 minutes before departure time. That meant I only had precious few minutes in the store.

It didn’t help that the store was on the third floor of the building. I had to use the moving stairs.

Finding the store, I quickly glanced from the window and saw the “comics” section. If it was somewhere it would have to be there.

I went inside. Quickly scanned through the things they had. Actual manga. In Croatia. Had no time to be shocked.

Titles included Noragami, Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, My Hero Academia.

I took the only Ansatsu Kyoushitsu volume avaliable. Volume 5. I wanted to support the author of one of my favorite anime ever.

Volume 5 is when Nagisa has his first true badass moment. No regrets.

The second manga I bought was the latest My Hero Academia volume that was available. It was volume 13. I didn’t know exactly which volumes has the anime covered but I knew 13 was a close number.

It turns out volume 13 covers the final episodes of season 3.

Coming back from the store I even ran for a while. But I came 2 minutes before the scheduled time to leave.

No regrets. 100% worth it. I still can’t believe I’m now a manga owner. And that it actually happened in my own country.

In the bus I opened the MHA volume and the friend next to me said “it’s like anime in small”. Pretty obvious but it’s actually such a cute way to put it.

Conclusion

That would sum up what was overall a great day…

Until I dropped my phone.

At first it was a minor purple spot, but the phone basically started to bleed internally and by morning I knew I won’t be able to use it anymore.

So if you are wondering why I haven’t been active on Instagram, this is your reason.

It’s also a part of why the blog hasn’t been updated for a week.

The other reason is simply – university.

Tough times before a tough exam on Wednesday. And more of them next week too.

Which, ofcourse, doesn’t mean I should simply stop posting. I feel bad for the inactivity.

I’ll try my best to do better. Please look forward to it.