Half in the Bag

My emotions are half in the bag. I’ve been doing things WAY out of the ordinary which is both good (I think) and concerning (maybe mania). For instance, I visited Lisa at work and had dinner by myself. I managed to appreciate the fact that everyone at the bar was there by themselves having dinner or something like it BY THEMSELVES. That freaks me out in theory. And there I went and did it. She asked me if I could do her a favor and again as much as I would have done it regardless of my horrific anxiety, I went out confidently and looked at 2 stores to find a little girls Bears jersey for her daughter. Completely out of my element, and not myself tonight. Brittnay is coming up with all of these opportunities to hang out too and though I’m super glad she finds me a cool enough person to do all this stuff with her I’m utterly terrified, but going with the flow. Then there is the utter bone rattling fear that my friends I haven’t heard from for a little or don’t talk to on the daily aren’t interested in me anymore, or are upset with me about something or other. Then there’s the other side of that which is family, where I fear I’ll never reach out to them the way I want to. There’s the depressed end of my mixed episode.

I didn’t work at all this week. Either I was sick or boss asked me not to come in, but I didn’t come in at all and therefore made no money. Sunny owes me money for tutoring his kids, but that’ll barely help pay the bills for the month. As much as it’s in the back of my mind, it’s not eating away like acid through my stomach where my anxiety pitches its tent, and that’s another reason I’m worried. Manic symptoms include an irritable mood which I’ve been in for over a week (which has also been an elevated mood I’ve been in, it switches, I have mixed episodes to boot making it more complicated), Grandiose thinking (check), rapid talking (well I’m more talkative than usual), racing thoughts (number one concerning manic symptom I have right now) easily distracted (CHECK MATE, I couldn’t even focus in one of my classes so badly that I felt like the #1 worst student ever last friday), and risky behavior (which would do with my mismanaging of funds). So actually, I’m pretty sure I’m having a mild manic episode right now. Nothing dangerous has happened and nothing harmful, just a batch of highly toxic mental muffins being prepared. I might as well print this out and read it to my doctor tomorrow. Maybe we need to up my dose of Lamictal.

I’m REALLY looking forward to the doctor tomorrow. I wish my racing thoughts weren’t so problematic right now so I could work on Christmas cards and studying.

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FML…I mean…FMA

FMA. Fullmetal Alchemist. I’m late on the FMA boat but still taking the cruise.  My best friend and I have decided to do a little ‘anime club’ where we pick a series we don’t know about and watch five episodes of the series at a time per week.

Episodes 1-5 were our first endeavor in this ‘project’ of sorts and here is my recap, review and several thousand thoughts!

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In episode one our heroes Ed and his younger brother Al are introduced at the moment they lost parts of themselves in a transmutation gone awry. We then get thrown into this “Trigun”-esque environment. Small, tight-knit desert town where everyone worships this ‘sun god’ and miracle man who resides over the town as the priest of sorts (who turns out to be just an alchemist with a ring that gives him powers to transmute without a circle). Ed and Al think it’s the Philosopher’s Stone and spend the entire episode convincing this cute young girl, Rose, who lost the last person she really had in the world (her boyfriend) and was sure that he could be brought back from the dead by a “miracle” or in this case, alchemy and we learn right off the bat that bringing people back to life is dangerous, forbidden, and never has it worked.

I was a little stressed out watching this episode. I mean it’s a cartoon and all but I get emotional watching Hook for God’s sake, so all of the action and tension that built to the very long lasting set of climax’s (because I would say it climaxes at least twice – once when Rose sees her ‘boyfriend’ and once when they have the final showdown) concluding in Al amplifying the truth over the town through a transmuted speaker.

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I  came into the show knowing that everyone and their mother drool(ed)s all over it and critic websites agree that FMA is one of the top 10 best animes, EVER so when watching part of me had that hipster mentality ‘ulch this is like so not impressive’ mixed with ‘this is alright and I think I should maybe like it more, I hope I do at least’ and ‘for God’s sake I wish I didn’t know this was supposed to be the bee’s knees so I could just enjoy it without any bias.’ As of right now, five episodes in, I think it’s a pretty okay series, Ed is a little annoying and Al is the sweetest thing. It broke my heart that Al was the one who wanted to become a state alchemist so that he could return his brother to his original state as he feels as though he’s indebted to him for saving his soul. I personally think if I were Al I’d feel like it was my fault too that mom’s resurrection went wrong because he did stick around to support it, but ultimately from an outsiders standpoint I’m between blaming Ed for the whole thing and then just feeling bad for them because after all they did just lose their mommy and though I’d be too scared to attempt what they did, I’d still be devastated enough with my whole world turned upside down to do something extremely emotional too.

I think Ed’s voice actor sounds too old, like a 17 year old kid and Al sounds like he’s 10, but then again they’re ‘just kids’ and we don’t know exactly at this moment in time in the episodes how old they are.

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In episode 2 we finish the ‘here and now’ plot that we’re thrown into and we see all the townspeople get highly offended and then tricked again by the same fatty con man. I figured we’d be thrown right into another episode but instead we get a full episode telling us the roots of our heroes, the full story of their mom passing away from illness which TOTALLY reminds me of Ni No Kuni and how the protagonist in that video game’s mom passed away with a weak heart and how he was left by himself, and then, magic! But in this case, alchemy!

I really enjoyed the background story episode and it brought me closer to the characters on an emotional level. I like that we didn’t have to wait forty or so more episodes to get the full story, and that we didn’t have to jolt back to ‘reality’ and then to ‘the past’ again and again (sharing an episode).

Their dad I do not hate nor like, I’m more curious about him, but already don’t think he’s as powerful as his kids, so I’m not particularly IMPRESSED by him.

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Episode 4 gave me a Mushi-Shi vibe where they arrive in this little town where there’s a ghost, but it’s not really a ghost of course and they find that out. The man who knew their father turns out to be a lovesick psychopath who can’t accept the truth at the end of the episode and that was a little different from how I expected it to go, and also kind of pulled a sad heart-string as he was just stuck in his own stubborn madness. Not really much of a “true love” huh? I was also surprised in this episode that someone DIED! I was feeling that this show was incredibly PG until the sword came out and the impaling happened. It gave a little more spice so to speak to the show. No happy ending for that one.

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Episode 5 I liked equally as much as episode 4 but in a different way. The stories were just very different but good in their own ways. While episode 3 was still my favorite, I was glad to see that we were moving forward in the plot still so we can meet back up in that desert town (I assume) in ‘the present’ eventually. I like how they’ve transitioned from present to past and crawling back to present. I like this ‘fire alchemist’ and how he sort of tested them, and how they passed the test! It was a fast paced enough episode that nothing really dragged nor did it go in circles. I liked that about it.

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Overall I’d give the series a 7/10 so far. I can’t really make any big judgments as I’m five of fifty some episodes in, but I am interested in what comes next which is always a good thing when you’re watching a show.

le chevalier d’eon and xxxholic

Originally I had seen the anime listed on Netflix and a brother out for revenge of his sister sounded kind of ‘ehh’ to me. The appealing part was that the series came to an end after a set number of episodes. At the time I wasn’t looking for something long and drawn out that I would either be addicted to, like Monster which was seventy some episodes, or like Angel Beats, which was brutal to watch. The thing about that show was that the utterly depressing lives of the characters when they were alive made for great TV, but the limbo world they were in the majority of the series really sucked, which is why I stopped watching after about 6 episodes.  Angel Beats was the reason I stopped watching anime for a while. I just couldn’t stomach another bad episode of something.

I decided after some time that I would do something I used to do summers ago which was go to the library (a place I love) and take out a bunch of manga to read. What I used to do was pick through series’ that had chunks of the series on the shelf (as opposed to being checked out) and start with that. Volumes 1-4 or something of that nature. I’d do that for a couple different series’ at a time, and then return them and get more when I was finished. As a 25 year old with high anxiety it was a bit of an accomplishment to overcome the anxiety that was dripping out my pores when I had to go to the teen section of the library to check out all the manga. Considering there’s everything from throat cutting to sexual abuse in some of those series’ I’m really shocked they only have Monster and Berserk in the ‘adult’ graphic novel section.

Regardless, I managed to be as stealthy as I could and not let something so stupid stop me from doing something I was going to enjoy. I checked out two volumes of Le Chevalier d’Eon with hopes I’d enjoy it, a compilation volumes 1-3 of gunslinger girl and volume 1 of XXXHolic, all three series’ I haven’t touched in print or seen. I just finished reading volume 2 of Le Chevalier and volume 1 of XXXHolic and have one book to go before I return for my next haul. I thought before I did that though, I’d while inspired, talk a little bit about what I’ve so far read.

So as I was saying, LCD’Eon seemed unappitizing at the time when it was available to me to watch, but now I’d actually like to watch it and I’m torn as to wheather or not I should hunt it down on Netflix or finish the series. In fact if it’s NOT on Netflix that’d be a blessing because then I will! You get thrown into this world of poets using virgin blood to write psalms and the king’s daughter being effected in some occult fashion by the palm/psalm epidemic and how there’s this figure that awakens poets who become these monsters and are hunted down by The Sphinx who is the dead sister of d’Eon. d’Eon is actually a medium who allows his sister to use his body to fight against these poets and piece together the mystery of who killed her and why.

I thought originally that d’Eon was a transvestite.

However no! It’s magical and action packed with mystery and intrigue! Then there are characters like Robin, who are comic-relief but fiercely loyal. I want to know more about the past lives of these characters, how they all became this rubber band ball of relationships with each other, and what will happen. So far after two volumes, I’m hooked! It seems in stillshots from the anime that the characters portrayed in the manga are much hotter, just a side note.

And then there’s XxXHolic

Sounds porno-y when you first hear the name. And since I heard about the show around the time I heard about Dead Leaves I figured well, it’s probably the same junk and I won’t like it, so six or so years later here I am picking up volume 1 though I don’t know why. Ironically, the story follows a young man whose legs just happened to run him into this wishing shop with this crazy lady and two children and it’s explained that everything happens for a reason and it was his absolute fate that he was supposed to arrive there. He had a wish to be granted.

And so maybe it was fate that I finally picked up the series! It was a quick read but with some depth after they got passed some of the cheap laughs and crazy sides of characters. SPOILERS FOR VOLUME 1 (But really intriguing minor spoilers):

One girl came to the shop and she wasn’t so sure why, then said her pinky finger wasn’t moving, she went to the doctor and they said nothing was wrong with her. She was asked if she had any bad habits by this time controlling witch who is one of our heroes of the story. It turns out the girl was a compulsive liar and each time she’d lie this massive smoke spirit would just consume her and eventually she couldn’t feel her arm, or her neck, and her entire body stopped working, which led to her early demise.

SPOILERS OVER!!

Generally speaking, I can see why this series took up an entire shelf at the library, there are so many places they can take the story and characters and to be honest, I’m willing to follow.

#I’dLikeToCosplayAs

I like a lot of shows, and anime, and everyone deep down thinks they would be good at cosplaying SOMEONE! I’ve narrowed what characters ‘call me’ to cosplay, and that I would want to. Today. 2/28/13. I wouldn’t be able to pull any of these off though until/unless I had the time and money to do it right. That’s that difference between American and Japanese cosplayers…mostly, heh.

Kagura Tennozu 

of Speed Grapher (Anime: This anime, and Monster I saw in the same period of 6 months back to back to back and was just overwhelmed by how amazing they were).

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Esther Blanchett

of Trinity Blood (Anime)

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Dany Targaryen 

of George R.R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire

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Saya

of Blood+ (Anime)

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Diva

of Blood+ (Anime)

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Edward Scissorhands

It would be something awesome like this chick did (below).

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A Team Rocket Grunt

of Pokemon (Anime/Video Game)

Squid Girl

of Squid Girl

Leela

of Futurama (Cartoon)

and Moka

of Rosario + Vampire (Anime, either version, maybe both at once! Always room for creativity)