Animating Halloween 2020 Close-Out + 1000 Posts! + Other Updates

With the rise of the sun in November’s first dawn, we close out this year’s Animating Halloween. I hope you all had some ~spooky~ fun with it. I certainly did, even if I nearly didn’t manage the one-post-a-day schedule. (Sometimes I posted past midnight…. D: )

As per usual around the Madhouse, though, the end of Animating Halloween means it’s time for me to slow my roll. I tend to take November easy blogging-wise since it’s sandwiched between two months in which I have everyday posting events. I’ll still be posting regularly, but not as often as normal. In the mean time, if you guys have anything you’d like to see me cover for A Very Animated Holiday Special this December, feel free to throw them at me.

In other news, as of my Corpse Party: Tortured Souls review, I’ve reached 1000 posts on my blog! I had no idea I was close to this milestone and I have no idea of anything I can do to celebrate, but it’s really cool to think that I’ve got 1000 posts under my belt. And I thank you all for reading however many of those 1000 posts. 🙂

I hope you all have a happy and safe November! ♥

~Twix

Animating Halloween 2020 Update

Hey persons of the blog reading variety! October is coming up very soon, which means another round of Animating Halloween is just around the corner. I’m very excited as always, but I do have an unfortunate update. It’s been a bit of a tradition here for several years now to review the new seasons of Yami Shibai episode by episode over the course of the event, but, sadly, there is no new season of Yami Shibai this year.

Instead, the crew behind the series opted to go a different route and released a spin-off series called Ninja Collection, which, as far as my readings have lead me, sucks like an industrial grade vacuum cleaner. It utilizes the same paper-cutout animation Yami Shibai had, but the change in genre and focus apparently made it flop hard.

Some sites classify it as a horror, but, to me, it seems no more horror-esque than any other supernatural show, so I don’t have much interest in covering it.

Now, that’s not to say I don’t still have ideas for this year’s Animating Halloween. We’ll be covering Hell Girl: Three Vessels, and I’m currently digging up the norm in regards to animated Halloween specials and anime/cartoon horror movies/OVAs, but I do believe the Yami Shibai tradition has come to an end, unless they pick it up next year, which is iffy. It’s a shame, but it had a seven season run, and that’s pretty darn good, even if the episodes were only a few minutes long.

If you guys have any suggestions for horror/Halloween themed features you’d like to see me review for Animating Halloween, feel free to throw them at me! I’m always looking for new and interesting things to cover during these holiday events. I only ask that any suggestions be a fairly quick watch so’s to allow me to watch/read everything in time.

Thanks for reading, and hope everyone enjoys has a fun and safe Halloween season! 🙂

Blog Update: 5/14/20 – Chaos in the Madhouse

This is a surprisingly accurate portrayal of me. Even the slow frame rate.

Hey people on the Internet!

How are you? I hope everyone’s staying safe and sane during this difficult time.

I haven’t made a blog update in a while, so I just wanted to take the time out to touch base with everyone about the state of the blog and some things I have planned for the future.

First of all, I know my postings have been spotty lately. I was on a schedule of uploading Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, but now I’m kinda all over the place. It’s a combination of several factors, but the main point is I’m still going to try to keep a three postings a week schedule, but when I post during the week will probably be less predictable than it has been in the past. I’m going to try to work out a more iron-clad schedule for later in the year, but this is what I got for now.

Secondly, very minor note, but I have updated the screencaps on the Yu-Gi-Oh GX SDC to more high-quality versions.

Thirdly, both my episode-by-episode reviews of Tokyo Mew Mew and Hell Girl: Two Mirrors are going to be complete soon. I plan on having them both complete by the end of May. As a result, I’ll be needing two new series to review episode-by-episode to help with quick content flow soon.

I was considering having Space/Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective’s SDC replace TMM since I want to crack another one of those out (I’ve been doing SDC’s for way too long to not have more than one complete series. Keep in mind, these started before my blog even existed.) and Genshi seems to have the least amount of episodes.

The main issue with that is that SDC’s take quite a bit of time to write and post, considering I need to watch slowly, I need to be watching two versions of the same episode at the same time and I need to take screenshots of every change. It definitely takes longer than merely watching an episode and reviewing it, so I’m worried I’d be very sluggish here.

I don’t really want to start the third Hell Girl series until October for Animating Halloween, so I have to choose something else to fill that spot. I do have some series that I’ve been reviewing ‘behind the scenes’ so to speak (Such as all of the Dot Hack anime series for a bulk review (Up to episode 6 for each), Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero (AniManga Clash) (Also episode 6) Three-Way AniManga Clash for Fruits Basket (Manga, 2003 and 2019 versions – Up to episode four here) and a ‘Clean Slate’ review of Evangelion (Up to episode five)) but I haven’t settled on anything as of yet.

Depending on how things go, there might be even more of a lull in posting if I have continued difficulty figuring out what should replace these two.

If anyone has any suggestions for successive reviews or comparisons (Episode by episode series, chapter-by-chapter or volume-by-volume manga etc.) you’d like to see replace either of these series, especially if they’re series I’m already working on as to help get more ‘completed”s under my belt, I welcome them. ♥

Finally, I have revived my dead DeviantArt account as I have been doing a lot more art over the quarantine. I have been doing art my whole life, and it’s very therapeutic, but I tend to get into massive lulls in drawing due to lack of drive and personal factors, so if there’s anything good that came out of this it’s getting me off my ass and doing more art, even if the quality varies wildly.

As of now, this really has nothing to do with my blog (Except I make some pictures of Pokemon lol), but I do have plans in the future for doing a one-art-per-review kind of series. I won’t be doing the picture alongside the reviews as they come out, that’d definitely be something I couldn’t keep up with, but for the series and movies I’ve reviewed in the past (Yes, even the bad ones), I want to make at least one picture in some medium about it. I think it would help me exercise my abilities quite a bit, especially with styles, and would be something fun and fulfilling. Hopefully you guys would enjoy it too. No idea when I’d start this, but I thought I’d share the idea with you anyway.

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For the most part, every blog series I’ve been doing is still business as usual. I’m really trying to pace myself because I know I have such a problem with doing too much at once, which leads to me never getting anything actually done, ironically (I mean, just look at when the reviews of TMM and Hell Girl: Two Mirrors started. Yikes. D:)

I really should dedicate whole months to getting big chunks of certain blog series done before I continue on with other stuff, because where I’m at now is just ridonkulous. I have years-old documents I still haven’t gotten around to posting yet, and I more commonly write and post new stuff to stay on schedule in order to ensure all of the series at least get one update sometimes. I am very uncoordinated blogger. 😦 Just gotta keep trying my best, I suppose.

Anyhoo, that’s all I got for you today. Keep staying safe, and thanks for sticking by me through all of this. See ya soon! 🙂

My Poke-Pinions: (172,) 025 and 026 – The ‘Chu Line

Preface: I struggled a bit with how to do this. Since I’m giving my opinions on entire lines, but I’m also going in numerical order, it presents a bit of a problem when I confront Pokemon in early gens that got evos or pre-evos in later gens. Ultimately, I decided I would still go down a numerical line, but when circumstances like these pop up, I will be including any future gen pre-evos and evos just to get the entire line out of the way. If future gens add more evos or pre-evos to any line, I’ll try to update them.

Pichu

Name: Wiki: “Pichu is a combination of ピカピカ pikapika (onomatopoeia for sparkle) and チューチュー chūchū (the sound of squeaking).” …..Mmhmm….

“It may also be a play on プチ puchi (petit).” Sure….

“Pichu is ultimately a diminutive of Pikachu.” There it is.

I like Pichu fine as a name, it’s pretty snappy and cutesy, but I can’t get away from the vibe that this is just them further banking off of ‘Hey look, guys, a chibi Pikachu!’

Design: Pichu’s pretty cute. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite of the mini-Pikachu clone Pokemon, but it’s cute. It always kinda bothered me that it looks like its head is too big for its body, though. I’m always afraid it will tip over and break its neck. I like how they added more black to the design to help break up the yellow more.

Sprite-Wise, Gen II’s is pretty…..chubby. I think Pichu was designed when we were still in Pikachu’s chubby phase, so this makes sense, but it still looks a little off.

Gold looks worse than Silver, which also looks happier, and the animation on Crystal is adorable.

Gen III looks better, though the animation on Emerald is a bit too erratic for me.

Gen IV is very cute, and the animation for HG/SS is adorable.

All of the other Gens get really cute constant animations.

Spike-Eared Pichu:

It’s a Pichu with a spiky ear……Wheee.

I don’t dislike the spikes. I guess I kinda wish the base Pichu design had spiky ears to make it a little cooler, but it’s just fine.

Also, in the Portuguese version, it’s called SLICED-EAR Pichu! OW.

Ukulele Pichu:

It’s a Pichu with a ukulele…..Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Actually, considering how tiny Pichu is, how do we tell the difference between it having a ukulele and a regular guitar?

Shiny:

It’s just a darker color yellow. In fact, they’ve taken to calling Shiny Pichu “Pikachu-Colored Pichu,” which is a little irritating, all things considered. I guess it tracks with Shiny Pikachu, which is also just a darker colored yellow, but still. The ones that are just darker colored versions of their original palettes are usually really lame to me. Oddly, the first shiny is the best to me because it looks more orange, channeling Raichu more than Pikachu.

Cry/Voice: Pichu’s anime voice is almost too cute. It’s not too high-pitched and it’s really sweet….when you hear it once or twice. But it’s one of those voices that gets annoying REAL fast.

Its game cry is similarly cute. It’s basically a midi-version of the Pillsbury Doughboy’s giggle.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Unsurprisingly, its Dex entries focus heavily on how much it sucks from a practicality standpoint. Pichu can only hold a small amount of electricity and they are unable to control it. As a result, they constantly let off bursts of electricity when they laugh, get upset or become startled. It will also commonly shock humans without meaning to. They might short out when playing with other Pichu, causing them both to cry.

What’s even worse is that they can’t help but shock themselves when they accidentally or purposefully let off their electricity either.

In short, their shocks are very weak, but they shock their trainers all the time without warning because they can’t control their electricity, they can’t play with other Pichu without creating sparks and hurting each other, and they are useless in battle because purposefully using Electric attacks will just backfire on the Pichu while also barely causing any damage to the enemy. Yay.

The only other real note is that they’ll touch tails to purposely create sparks as a sign of courage. Is that like me punching myself in the face as a sign of courage?

In terms of design, Pichu’s supposed based on squirrels, but I don’t see that. I just see a chibi more circular Pikachu. I get that the cheek thing comes from squirrels, but that’s about it.

Pikachu

Name: First off, dear god the Wiki page for Pikachu is ridonkulously long. I should have opted to do Pikachu on its own page. Yikes.

That being said, I think I need to take a minute to remove myself from this topic since, with all the reviews and stuff I’ve done with Pokemon over the years, Pikachu kinda brings on a lot of knee-jerk reactions. I’m going to try to keep my opinion from being skewed based on the oversaturation of Pikachu’s usage and his utmost favoritism and Messiahchu-isms in the anime.

Pikachu’s name is very cute, snappy and sticks with you for a long time. Every syllable is cute, really. When he says ‘Pika’ it’s cute. When he says ‘Chu!’ it’s even cuter. And if you get him to say ‘CHAAA!’ some of your brain cells explode with cute. It’s a very cute name.

Like I mentioned in Pichu’s section, Pikachu is a combination of the Japanese sound for sparkle and the sound a mouse makes, which is very fitting. However, the Wiki also felt like adding that it could be an offshoot of ‘Peekaboo.’ I can only guess they got that from the short Pikachu’s Peekaboo, because other than sounding similar they have no connection whatsoever.

Design: Pikachu’s frickin’ adorable. It has a very simple design, but it’s also extremely memorable. Most people, even those who aren’t Pokemon fans, can easily discern Pikachu from its silhouette, and I don’t mean to reference Who’s That Pokemon? there. It has an adorable face, cute little chubby cheeks that add some more color to it to break up all the yellow, it has perfect ears and adorable paws – it’s just adorable.

Female Version

It’s just Pikachu with a heart shape on its tail. Quite frankly, I roll my eyes a lot at the fact that so many Pokemon have their gender discerned through little heart designs….

Base Cosplay Pikachu

It’s just Pikachu with a heart shape on its tail….shaded in black. I actually kinda wish this was the female version because it stands out more.

Pikachu Rock Star

It’s too much, in my opinion. I get that that’s the point, but it’s just too much.

Pikachu Belle

It’s alright….Nothing much else to say….It’s very alright.

Pikachu Pop Star

Well, if you’re going to have a rock star version, you might as well have a pop star costume too. This one is at least better than the rock star one, but I still think it’s a bit much.

Pikachu, Ph. D.

I adore this one. It’s hilarious.

Pikachu Libre

I think that costume is extremely well-designed. It’s very cool. Kinda makes me wish there was a Pikachu superhero.

Cap Pikachu

Pikachu wearing one of any version of Ash’s hat….It’s Pikachu wearing hats….It’s adorable. Also, to get this out of the way, I won’t really be addressing Pikachu’s Pokemon Go costumes, same as I didn’t with Pichu. Most of them are just hats anyway. I do love the straw hat one because it makes me think he’s cosplaying as Luffy.

Gigantamax Pikachu

I’m only barely warming up to Mega forms, so don’t expect me to be singing many praises here, especially since I find the Gigantamax idea to be really lazy. Take Pokemon and make them bigger….and change their designs a little, I guess. At least with the Mega forms they changed their designs quite a lot, to the point where they tend to look very busy, but they do the bare minimum with most of the Gigantamaxs I’ve seen. Gigantamax Pikachu, for example, seems to have gone back to his chubbier form, which I like, and they made his tail an actual lightning bolt, which is a little cool, but other than that….it’s just Pikachu.

In terms of sprites, R/B is simply classic.

Yellow is like it was ripped straight from the anime, which is pretty much the point. They, oddly, didn’t change its back design for this game, though. Weird.

Green doesn’t look like a real animal. It looks like an inanimate toy.

Gen II is really cute with one of the most adorable animations for Crystal.

Gen III is also cute, but they’re starting the annoying flashing animations for it in this Gen and, not lying, it makes me physically ill. I think I’m more prone to flicker vertigo than I first thought….

Gen IV has even more flashing, and a weird stretchy animation on HG/SS.

Gen V is really cute, especially with that little finger wag and tail twitch.

All of the rest are just okay.

Shiny:

Like I mentioned, Pikachu’s shiny is just a darker yellow color – like a yellow-orange. It’s a bit lame, and I wish they had just gone all out and made it Raichu orange or something, but it’s fine.

Cry/Voice: Pikachu’s anime voice is basically perfect. It’s really cute and fitting with some great emotion put into it without being overly high pitched and irritating. Thank god he maintains his Japanese voice actress (And has for over 20 years!)

Pikachu’s game cry is pretty good. The starting note is cute and it ends with a burst that sounds just slightly intimidating.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Pikachu stores its electricity in its cheeks, which is the send-up to squirrels, but I don’t really see the design based off of them here either. It uses its tail to check its surroundings, which sometimes causes it to act as a lightning rod. As a result, Pikachu nests tend to be dangerous spots because lightning hits the area a lot.

They tend to shock new things that they see, which I honestly didn’t know. What a weird and destructive trait for little Pikachu to have. It also notes that they’ll commonly roast hard berries with their electricity.

When weakened, a Pikachu can and commonly is brought back to health by a jolt of electricity by a fellow Pikachu. They will also touch tails a form of greeting, which I don’t get. How do you go from touching tails as a show of courage as Pichu to a greeting as Pikachu? When many Pikachu gather together, they can cause lightning storms, and Pokemon Sun notes that there are plans to make a power plant with Pikachu as the generators, which you’d think would be a thing by now.

The Wiki also mentions that Pikachu will get stressed if they don’t discharge their electricity regularly, which I think they got from the anime, but Pikachu got sick in that instance. They also need plenty of sleep or else their electricity doesn’t build up as well…..Oh haha. When you don’t sleep, you don’t have as much….energy….haha.

In terms of design, Pikachu was obviously based on a mouse, but its cheeks were inspired from squirrels storing food in their cheeks, as previously mentioned. Pikachu’s designer directly said that Pikachu was based on a design she made from a daifuku with ears, which…I guess I can see. Supposedly, only the black parts of the ear were kept from that original design.

Raichu

Name: Raichu’s name is perfect, because it is perfect. (Should I mention that Raichu’s my second favorite Pokemon? Nearly tied for first.) Anyway, Raichu breaks down into ‘Rai’ for ‘Thunder’ and ‘Chu/chuchu’ was already explained. In all honesty, I DO find this name to be perfect. It’s a great alteration from Pikachu, it sounds tougher and more intimidating without losing its adorable vibe or snappiness, and it is technically tougher with Rai’s meaning being more threatening (Thunder>sparkling)

Alolan Raichu is also known as Hodad, which I find really weird and not at all fitting of Raichu or any of the ‘Chu line for that matter. However, it does have a purpose to it. Alolan Raichu looks like a surfer, uses its tail like a surfboard, but cannot learn Surf (unless evolved from an event Pikachu). Hodad is actual surfer lingo for someone who dresses like a surfer, comes to the beach with a surfboard but never actually surfs. So, basically, a surf poser.

I don’t much care for that name as it’s basically an insult to an otherwise rather cute Raichu form, and there’s nothing really stopping Alolan Raichu from surfing. Surf basically just summons a tidal wave, it’s not the actual skill of surfing. But hey, any opportunity to jab at Raichu, right? *eye roll*

Design: Raichu is such an adorable cuddly-wuddly pumpkin pie–….Err…Uh…*cough* I really love Raichu’s design. It didn’t sacrifice any cuteness upon evolution – in fact, I think it really gained cuteness. Those ears are more mouse-like while also being unique. I love the little swirl at the bottom. I also like how its tail is now a more mouse-like long tail with a lightning bolt at the end.

It’s body shape is really cool. It’s sweet and pudgy while also having adorable stubby arms and strong legs that look like it could kick you pretty hard. It has the perfect shade of orange, and it’s got just the right amount of yellow, white and brown on it to break it up.

Alolan Raichu

I prefer regular Raichu, but I think they did a really good job with Alolan Raichu. They made its eyes blue, which is nice, and made its orange fur a more burnt-orange color to signify tanned skin, which is pretty cool. Not a big fan of the ears. The shape and design make me think of fairies, and they stand out too much. I love its feet, though. They made the feet shorter and thicker and it reminds me of a bunny.

I like its tail. It’s basically the same as before, but with more of a rounded shape to look like a surfboard. I also find it really adorable that it stands on it. I think a Flying type could easily be made of that with the tail being a cloud with lightning coming out of it.

Female Raichu

I almost thought this was a mistake because I honestly could not see the difference between male and female Raichu. I had to bring my face right up to the screen to realize female Raichu’s tail doesn’t have a pointing end. It’s blunt. Like someone cut it off. That is probably the laziest way to make a female version. Why not just make the lightning bolt a heart or make the cheek marks hearts or make the stripes on the back hearts? Heartheartsheartsgurrlllssluvhartz

In terms of sprites, Gen I needs some work. R/B looks too oval-shaped and has a derpy expression.

Green has a similar problem, just a different derpy expression.

Yellow is adorable, but way too yellow on the coloring, almost like they thought Raichu had Pikachu’s colors.

Gen II is good, but what the hell is up with Crystal’s animation? It either looks like it’s cat-calling or heckling the player.

Is that more effort to make Raichu look like a jerk?

I absolutely love the pose in Gen III, but I can’t help but think the animation in Emerald is Raichu doing the Spongebob laugh.

In Gen IV, D/P is cute, but Platinum’s expression is back to derpy and HG/SS is adopting the annoying flashing animation Pikachu had.

Gen V is adorable because it has a constant bouncing animation, and everything else is alright.

Shiny:

Following the trend of Pichu and Pikachu, Raichu’s shiny is also just a darker version of its base color, but I actually really like it. That deep shade of orange looks great with the darker hues of yellow.

Gen II’s version looks strange because it looks more like a sickly gold color, but it’s corrected in every Gen onward.

As for shiny Alolan Raichu….it’s…..uhm….it’s…Well, I guess it still fits the beach theme because it looks like a very, very dark tan. And it’s a rarity in being a brown shiny. But otherwise it kinda looks terrible. At best, it looks like someone made an Alolan Raichu out of chocolate.

Cry/Voice: Raichu’s anime voice is adorable. It’s lower pitched to give off a more serious and mature tone while also being high enough to be cute. I also love the specific way it pronounces ‘Rai’ usually. Like it’s halfway between ‘Rai’ and ‘Wai.’

It’s game cry is perfect with a ‘shocking’ kind of noise to it while also adding in a cute little high pitched sound.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Raichu’s tail serves as a ground to protect itself from its own electricity, which might be a window into another reason why Pichu always hurts itself when it uses its electricity – its tail is too short to act as ground. When Raichu does discharge electricity this way, it leaves scorch marks on the ground. It can also stick its tail into the ground to search for sources of electricity.

Unlike Pikachu who gets weakened and sick when it stores too much electric energy, Raichu actually gets very aggressive. Raichu is also proactive in avoiding this issue by using its tail to discharge its own electricity into the ground when this starts happening.

In the opposite extreme, if it is running low on electricity, it can recharge by gathering electricity from the atmosphere, which is awesome.

When it is fully charged, its ears will stand up, which is a cute detail.

Raichu has electric power of over 100,000 volts (Gen I and Stadium mistakenly lists this as 10,000. The Wiki states this is a translation error based on how the Japanese language writes numbers (In this case, 100,000 or juu-man would read literally like ‘ten ten-thousands’ since ‘man’ is 10,000 and ‘juu’ is 10. They must have just dropped the first 10 on accident.) which is powerful enough to down an elephant.

Raichu can glow in the dark by constantly emitting a weak electrical charge throughout its body…..I want a glow in the dark Raichu doll now.

Also, Ultra Moon can kiss my ass because it is the only game that omits all of this and instead notes: “Because so many Trainers like the way Pikachu looks, you don’t see this Pokémon very often.” Couldn’t resist kissing Pikachu’s ass, eh?

And, really, Pikachu’s just so adorable and wonderful that Raichu are actually considered rare because no one wants to sacrifice their Perfectchu for, ew, Raichu? That’s like saying “Eevee can evolve into a wide spectrum of other Pokemon, but you never see them usually because Eevee is just so gosh darn adorable that no one wants to evolve it.” I was having such a nice time writing this entry until I read that. Thanks, Ultra Moon.

As for Alolan Raichu, it uses psychic abilities to control electricity (it’s also noted that Alolan Raichu is the only Pokemon with a Psychic/Electric combo) as well as for levitating on its tail. It attacks with star-shaped thunderbolts, which is honestly a little random.

It emits a sweet aroma if you rub its cheek sacs, and it loves PANCAKES! That has got to be one of the most adorable notes I’ve ever seen in a Dex entry. Granted, it’s explaining this because it loves pancakes prepared with a special secret Alolan recipe that some believe might be the key to this Pokemon’s evolution…..Actually, upon second thought, that’s even cooler. Alolan Raichu might have evolved this way because of PANCAKES! How can you not love everything Raichu related?

As for the design origins, Raichu’s cheeks are still based on squirrels, but its long tail and thicker, longer hind legs (and possibly wider bunny-like ears) seem to come from Jerboas which are hopping desert rodents that are somehow adorable and somewhat frightening looking at the same time, and kangaroo rats.

Alolan Raichu was obviously inspired by surfing, and given the area they’re in it makes a lot of sense. However, it’s also very possible that it was based on the novelty Pokemon, Surfing Pikachu from Pokemon Yellow, Gold, Silver and Crystal (I didn’t talk about that one because it’s literally just Pikachu with a surfboard and it doesn’t even have much of a sprite) and even Puka, the surfing Pikachu from the anime who also had blue eyes.

Interestingly, Raichu in Pokemon Stadium can learn Surf, and the animation for performing this move had it using its tail as a surfboard, which might have been additional inspiration.

Absolutely none of those things clicked with me when I first saw this Pokemon, and I think it’s really cool that so many old cogs might have been put into play to make Alolan Raichu’s design.

Next up, the Sandshrew line!


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Sunshine Blogger Award x2!

Hey everybody! Lesley of Lesley’s Anime and Manga Corner and Bloom Reviews nominated me for more Sunshine Blogger Awards! Thank you very much for the nominations, guys, and go check out their blogs now if you haven’t already. There’s plenty of anime and manga reviews, discussions and just overall goodness for ya. 🙂

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog so that other people can visit them
  • Answer the 11 questions put to you by the nominator
  • Nominate 11 bloggers of your choosing and provide them with a new set of 11 questions to answer
  • Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts
  • List the rules and display The Sunshine Blogger Award logo within your post or on your blog site

Let’s start with Lesley’s questions!

1) What was the first anime that you watched that made you realize that you were a fan of the medium?

This question I had to give some deeper thought that I first anticipated, because while I definitely remember the first few anime I watched that started me on this path, it’s hard for me to say which series made me truly realize that I was becoming a fan of anime as a medium.

I’ve mentioned before that my first few anime were Pokemon, Digimon and Sailor Moon, then I watched a bunch of stuff like Yugioh and Beyblade, things on Toonami, shows on Adult Swim etc. I had watched a lot of anime before I think it truly clicked with me that I was a fan of anime.

I remember, when I was much younger, G4 Tech TV had an anime block on very late at night. I didn’t have access to the channel on my bedroom TV, and at one point my dad even put a timer on the thing to make the power to it cut at a certain time so I wouldn’t stay up to crazy late hours.

But when I could, I’d sneak downstairs where the living room TV had access to the channel and watch shows on that block. Even though the block had several series, the one that always stood out for me was Crest of the Stars. I think when I realized I was sneaking around to watch anime, particularly that one show, was when I came to truly realize I was an anime fan.

Shortly afterward, I was ordering Anime Insider magazine and getting into making AMVs and truly immersing myself in the medium.

2) Which anime series is your favorite and why?

Fruits Basket. Even though it’s somewhat of a hot button topic now that the reboot is out, I still really adore the original 2001 series. It has a perfect mixture of humor and drama, and I love nearly all of the characters. Outside of it obviously being unfinished in regards to the manga ending, it’s hard for me to find many flaws with it. And it’s a rare case of me having seen a series fully in Japanese and English and loving both.

3) Which anime character do you feel most resembles you?

My answer to this question used to be Haruhi from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but now I feel like I look a bit more like Hange from Attack on Titan.

4) If you ever have kids, would you consider naming one after an anime character? If so, which name and why?

True story: So before Jaden Smith became a joke, I considered naming a possible future kid of mine Jaden because of Jaden from Yugioh GX. I just liked the name, and it might not count because I’m not too attached to the character. Plus it’s an English name and I don’t think that’s what you’re going for here.

For either a boy or girl, Voyager. It was the name of a one-off character on Pokemon The First Movie and I fell in love with it. It’s badass, it has an anime background, it’s mysterious, what more could you ask for?

5) Is there a manga or light novel series that you’re currently reading?

As of this writing, I’m reading Higanjima, which is a horror manga, I’m finishing off Digimon Adventure V-Tamer. I’m re-reading Fruits Basket in a weird read-watch-watch along with the original anime and the reboot. And I’m reading Tokyo Mew Mew for the sake of an AniManga Clash.

6) If you could be best friends with an anime character, which one would it be and why?

I’m feeling Luffy for this one. He’s a ton of fun, a great friend, incredibly loyal and he’d kick the ass of anyone who’d do us wrong, or at the very least give me the confidence to kick their ass.

7) Are you a fan of any particular anime director? If so, who is it and why?

I’m probably going to go for the somewhat cliché route and say Satoshi Kon or Shinichiro Watanabe. I don’t much follow directors unless they have really really notable works under their belts, and these were the ones who came to mind. Satoshi Kon made some insanely creative and thought-provoking features while Shinichiro Watanabe has such an amazing style in storytelling and building the world for you that it’s hard to not get immersed in it.

8) Do you have a favorite anime studio?

Would it be too obvious to say Madhouse? Bones coming close second.

9) Do you have a favorite mangaka?

Not really. Maybe Yukinobu Hoshino, the creator of the 2001 Nights manga.

10) Do you have a favorite anime animal character?

I’ve gone through this question a few times, so I’ll change it up and say TurtleDucks from Avatar the Last Airbender….It’s a duck mixed with a turtle. How does that not spawn love in your heart?

11) Is there anything else you want to say in addition to the other questions that I asked?

I feel like I should take this opportunity to say something inspirational.

So….

Something inspirational.

Now for Bloom Reviews questions!

1) What was the scariest movie or show you’ve ever watched?

It takes a lot to actually scare me in regards to stories and movies and such, but I have always been freaked out by the Halloween movies (well, most of them) Even though I absolutely love them (Not the Rob Zombie ones….) they do make me consider leaving the lights on at night after I watch one, and I do feel a bit of paranoia during watching.

Michael’s mask as a whole, at least when they do the lighting right so you can’t see his eyes, is one of the most haunting things I’ve ever seen, and the original movies have a great sense of pacing and suspense.

2) Are there certain genres of TV shows or books that you stay away from or hate reading? Why?

I pretty much avoid any reality show that is literally just ‘watch (blank) live their lives.’ Watch a famous couple live their lives, watch a family of little people live their lives, watch a bunch of spoiled rich snobs live their lives, watch a bunch of famous spoiled rich snobs who also happen to be little people live their lives, watch this unreasonably large family live their lives etc. etc. etc. (Just in case I stepped on toes with the little people comment, it’s great to give everyone representation and show their struggles, but at the end of the day 99% of it is still watching normal people live their lives.)

I don’t know how we reached a point where just watching other people do the most mundane stuff with the most obviously fabricated drama thrown in became such a big sensation. My mom likes a ton of these shows, so I’m forced to watch some of them sometimes and I just don’t get it. I especially don’t like when they focus on the rich people living their lives, and yes some of that might be based on jealousy, but other times it’s just because of how ridiculous these people are disconnected from the real world and conceited at that.

I forget the name of the show, but there’s a rich famous couple, I think the guy is a wrestler, and they decided to make friends with their neighbors by sticking action figures….of themselves…into the mailboxes of their neighbors.

I say ‘pretty much avoid’ because I do watch some reality TV, but most of it is competition shows or things with educational value.

3) Who was your first celebrity/character crush and why?

I think it was the Blue Ranger/Billy/David Yost from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Not only was he very likable, cute and super smart, but damn if he didn’t get hot in later seasons. David Yost also seems like he’s a great guy IRL, so if I was going to have a first character/celeb crush, I’m glad it was him. Shame he left the series, and even bigger shame as to the reasons why.

4) What was one show your parents hated you watching but you watched anyways?

That’s a real tough one because I was a goody two-shoes most of the time and my parents had a pretty good hold on what I watched. I guess Pokemon might qualify here. They never liked me playing the games or watching the anime because, at the time, their religious beliefs skewed them into thinking it was unhealthy for me to watch. But they still bought me Pokemon stuff, same with my Grandparents, who had the same beliefs, and I still watched it every chance I got.

I’ll sneak in another mention here because I know my parents wouldn’t have been happy if they knew I was watching the Adult Swim block on Cartoon Network. Not like anything on that block was horribly adult, especially back then, but they certainly wouldn’t have let me watch it anyway.

5) I’ve recently gotten addicted to podcasts, do you have any recommendations for podcasts or other talk shows you enjoy listening to?

I don’t really listen to a lot of podcasts, but my personal favorites are Sawbones, which is a medical podcast where they talk about a lot of interesting aspects of old and new facets of medicine – The hosts are a married couple, and they bounce off of each other very well and have a great energy about them – the Nick Animation podcast, which is awesome for anyone interested in animation and the BTS stuff involved in their favorite old and new Nicktoons, and If I Were You, hosted by Jake and Amir (previously) of CollegeHumor, which is basically an advice podcast where they give both funny and serious answers to inquiries.

6) I’m currently relaxing on vacation right now. What’s your favorite summertime or beach read?

I’m not the biggest reader (at least of regular novels – I read western comics and manga a lot). Also, I don’t tend to read much while on vacation or at the beach. I’m usually chilling out some other way. I guess I’ll say any Star Wars novel, because those tend to be really relaxing to me for some reason lol.

7) It’s starting to get towards the end of summer. What’s one aspect of this season that you look forward to the most? Vacation? A certain event? Warmth?

I tend to not like summer too much because I am miserable in the heat, but I do like swimming, roasting marshmallows and going to the local fair the most.

8) Conversely, Fall is pretty much upon us. What’s one thing about the season you’re really looking forward to?

Now you’re in my wheelhouse! Fall is my favorite season! And I’d have to say it’s a tie between Halloween and seeing the leaves change color.

9) Tell me about the style of your blog and why you picked the color, banner, and subject matter that you did.

My blog’s style, as you can probably tell from the name, is just general craziness. Initially, I had a much lighter blog theme and only the banner was really crazily designed, but once I switched, I had a bit more fun with it. I picked darker colors with some bright/glowing contrasts in my second (technically third or fourth, considering I tried a couple other briefly before settling here) theme because I think that lends itself better to the crazy type of tone going on.

I made my banner myself. I basically looked for shots from anime that had stuck out in my mind for being particularly over-exaggerated or insane. I fiddled around A LOT with fonts, colors and background designs before just reaching one I liked after hours of trial and error. I did purposely throw some purple in there because purple’s my favorite color.

I picked the background image after searching Google for insane anime-related pictures and just stumbling upon it. I thought it was, forgive the pun, insanely awesome and fit perfectly in my page. It was also the background of my menu on my first blog theme, but you couldn’t see it well.

When I first started doing anime reviews, I had been inspired by a lot of Internet reviewers at the time, and I had been somewhat known for my rants, ramblings and weirdness, so I figured a blog with a crazy ‘madhouse’ theme was best suited for me.

As for why I chose anime, manga and animated features to review and discuss here, I simply started doing it a long, long time ago on a long-since dead website. I kinda enjoyed writing and I loved anime, so I started writing posts about it in the website’s blog section since that was the place relegated for personal opinion pieces and whatnot. It took me a little while longer to branch out into reviewing western animation and several years more before I started reviewing manga.

I try to stay within the confines of anything animated since that’s what I know best. I also love horror movies and comics, but I am definitely not comfortable enough to review those. I just don’t know enough to talk about them as a whole in enough depth to give them justice.

Also, despite still keeping a tone of craziness and fun in here, I do now try to keep a stronger balance with serious analysis and exploration when the situations call for it. Never giving up the Madhouse, but definitely want to give more quality for your views.

10) What about blogging drew you to make your own blog?

I really didn’t have much experience with blogs before starting one of my own. I did start posting on a blog on the aforementioned website/forum, and when I moved to another forum where I started doing these reviews more formally, even though we did have a blog section, I mostly posted in official review threads.

My drive for seeking out a real blog was to have a place all my own where I could organize my reviews and other writings, particularly because, by that point, I had started writing several other series such as Sub/Dub Comparisons, my Pokemon movie/short/episode reviews and even my special reviews for holiday specials.

I was spread out all over the forum, and the forum was mostly dead by that point. I didn’t have really any readers at all and I felt like I was bombarding an empty land with my writing for no reason. Even though I still don’t have the biggest audience, I still feel like I’ve built a home here and have people reading and even responding to my work, which makes me feel much more content.

11) Is there anything about content creators in particular or content creation in general that you find annoying or frustrating?

I can’t really think about one encompassing thing about content creators that annoys me. It’s mostly just things specific content creators do because of their own specific style or personality.

Myself, though, I find trying to convey my opinions in a manner that is both entertaining but not devalued by the entertainment aspect to be frustrating. I want my blog to be enjoyable to read. I strive to be funny while also providing a valid opinion and interesting information about what I’m covering. Finding the balance is insanely difficult to the point where I feel like I rarely, if ever, actually find it. I’ll re-edit posts several times trying to find this balance and so many times I feel like I just have to compromise for one or the other.

My Questions

1) Have you ever completely changed your opinion on an anime or manga after rewatching/reading it again or because someone shared some compelling thoughts about it?

2) What is the most ridiculous reason you’ve seen for someone not liking something?

3) What flying animal or device from any anime or manga would you choose as your primary mode of personal air travel?

4) What was your favorite subject in school and why?

5) What character in an anime or manga do you think suffered from the worst example of backwards character development/devolving? (IE, they started out fine or even good but got progressively worse over time?)

6) What’s your favorite board or card game to play?

7) In your opinion, which anime/manga character had the most pointless death? (Spoiler tags)

8) Besides anime or manga, what’s something that you can talk about endlessly? Like once you get going on the subject, time flies?

9) No shipping hate, but which shipping in anime or manga makes the least sense to you but somehow ended up canon and/or endgame?

10) Did you have a toy, doll etc. that you never went anywhere without as a child?

11) What plot twist in an anime or manga basically ruined the entire series to you?

I’m opting out of tagging people this time around, so anyone who sees this and wants to give it a shot, step right up! 🙂

 

Anime Madhouse Cleaning (Get it? Like House Cleaning *cough*)

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Hey everyone! A brief update – For a long, long time I’ve been wanting to go back and fix a bunch of the posts on the site that have extremely glaring formatting and technical errors (As well as minor things like style problems and typos.) After putting it off for years, I finally got around to doing it.

I’ve been going through almost every post on the Anime Madhouse for going on a month now and I think I’ve fixed a vast majority of these issues. Obviously, they’re still far from perfect, but they’re much better than they were. A handful are exponentially better (I’m embarrassed that some of these even saw the ‘Publish’ button) some are just spruced up a tad.

Hopefully now that the Madhouse is cleaned up a little, it’ll be more suitable to invite people over for tea and brunch.

And, as always, thank you guys for continuing to read, like and comment my stuff. You all are the bees knees. 🙂

~Twix

Update (3/28/19) What I’m Doing (If I even know)

Hey everyone! Twix here, explaining…things.

Where I’ve Been?

I haven’t really been ‘gone’ per se, but my activity has been rather erratic.

Basically, the reason I’ve been updating so inconsistently is because my attention has been pulled in a few different directions lately. I’ve been an active…I guess I’ll say ‘staff member’ (?), in the #SaveDaredevil campaign, which you probably are aware of by now if you follow me on Twitter because that’s pretty much all I’ve Tweeting about for the past three months. I was particularly busy during the last week of February because I was helping organize a fanworks event over the course of that month.

My dog, Skye, recently had some medical issues and she pretty much needs round-the-clock attention. She’s elderly and has a lot of stomach issues. There’s nothing life-threatening that we’ve been able to see, in fact, the vet said her health is much better than most dogs her age, but it’s still a long-standing issue that eats up a lot of my time.

Work has kinda been a nightmare, and student loans are starting to eat away at me.

I’ve been trying to get back into my art with varying degrees of success. I’ll probably share some here when I get back into the swing of things.

What I’m doing

As an update to what I’ve been doing lately for anime and stuff, I recently finished Terror in Resonance, which was really good. I’m currently watching Attack on Titan season 2, which, so far, is much better than season 1, in my opinion. I’m watching the dubbed version of Pokemon movie 11: Giratina and the Sky Warrior.

For manga, I recently completed Enigma, which was fairly good, and I’m currently reading Vol. 9 of Boku Wa Imouto ni koi wo Suru, because I enjoy wallowing in the abyss. This is the second to last volume, so I’m nearly there. It’s about the achievement now, guys.

I’m nearly done plowing through the rest of Tokyo Mew Mew for SSBS, but I’m not sure what show I’ll try to plow through next. Maybe a cartoon.

What I Plan on Doing

As for future projects, I’d like to do more editorials, but it’s kinda hard for me to 1) Decide on topics and 2) actually post the editorial once I’m done because for some reason I’m more self-conscious posting those than I am my reviews. I have a bunch of topics jotted down but I’m trying to work up to getting them done.

I’m also planning on making a spin-off of my SDC series, which is Sub/Dub Opinions. Basically, I’m going to give my opinion on an English dub that isn’t SDC material, but done in same format. IE I’ll be watching an episode Dubbed and Subbed side by side and noting the differences.

Since it’d be ridiculous to do full series analyses for this, I’ll be randomly selecting one episode and comparing that, basing my opinion on the analysis from that episode. Unless I have prior knowledge of a full sub and dub job, which is rare. Only rule for this series is that I had to have finished watching the series is either sub or dub.

I was also musing about doing select character analyses, opinions on fictional worlds and exploring the inspiration and backstories behind series, but these ideas are much more spotty. I tend to go off on new ideas for series without realizing I have a bunch of other blog series that haven’t been tended to or had many completed entries lol They’ll probably be sporadic like the My Poke-Pinions series if they come to pass at all.

I also considered making an art series for this blog where I make a picture per anime I’ve reviewed. Kinda killing two birds with one stone.

My birthday’s this Saturday and I wanted to do something special for it, but I have no clue what to do lol I’ll get back to you.

That’s about it for me. I promise to keep updating fairly regularly and bringing you guys new and hopefully fun and interesting posts. Thank you guys so much for continuing to read, like and comment on my posts – it means the world to me. 🙂

The Salty Anime Challenge Intro

Hey everyone! It’s been 278 years since my last attempt to do one of these challenges, and FueledbySmiling recently came up with one that had an amazing concept – The Salty Anime Challenge. Like many other challenges, this one asks you to write about something anime related once a day for 30 days, but this challenge focuses specifically on the negative side of the anime world. The side that is a perpetual salt factory. Either a little salty or ‘You should regularly check your blood pressure’ salty. I realize I’m a little late to the party, but better late than never! Let the salt commence!

Day 1: Least favourite anime
Day 2: A popular and/or hyped anime that you didn’t care for
Day 3: Anime with an over ‘8’ rating on MAL that you disliked
Day 4: The first anime that you hated and/or dropped
Day 5: What is something that you would change in your least favourite anime that would make you like it?

Day 6: A show that you wanted to like (due to the synopsis) but couldn’t
Day 7: A character that ruined (or almost ruined) a show for you
Day 8: Least favourite genre(s)
Day 9: Least favourite anime trope(s)
Day 10: What is something that you dislike about a show you love?

Day 11: Least favourite art style or art technique
Day 12: Least favourite male/female/sidekick character
Day 13: A sad anime that made you feel nothing
Day 14: An anime that shouldn’t have been as long as it was
Day 15: In terms of story, characters, animation, voice acting, etc… what is something that you find yourself always avoiding. (Example, an anime with bad animation will make you turn away even if it may have rave reviews. Or you’ll stay away from short animes, because 2-7mins isn’t enough time to develop anything)

Day 16: Least favourite OP or ED
Day 17: An anime that you have no desire to watch, even though it’s popular
Day 18: An unpopular anime that deserves being unpopular
Day 19: Least favourite -dere character
Day 20: What is an anime argument that you absolutely hate hearing?

Day 21: An anime that you thought you’d hate (due to genre/tropes), but actually love
Day 22: An anime that everyone hates and/or has a low score, but you love
Day 23: What a weird day to end this on, but that’s what salty challenges do. They end on a weird number. So, how did you find this challenge and what is one last thing that you’d like to be salty about?

Update 6/11/17: Hiatus Over

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Hey everyone innocent and that one guilty person reading right now. (You know who you are) As promised, I am back in blog-action today. I’m not running at 100% but the show must go on, plus I’ve missed making posts. In itself, it’s therapeutic, even (especially?) the ranty ones. I’m not going to be making a full-blown entry right now, but one should be up tomorrow. I just wanted to let everyone know that the Madhouse is now back to moving its turbines instead of rusting.

Let’s put some more tokens in and continue, shall we? 🙂

Three-Year Blogiversary!

WordPress just pressed the word that today is my Blogiversary!

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The Anime Madhouse is now three years old. Seems like just yesterday I was changing its diapers, burping it and making formatting errors that make me cry. I think I’ve done much better this year in regards to uploading more and more (even though I completely spaced on doing my Valentines Day special. Whoops) and we even got a much needed facelift for the place last month. (Yes, at three years old you need a facelift, blog. Wait until you’re five, we’ll get you a boob job.) Thanks to everyone who has been reading and commenting on my posts. You’re all love incarnate. ❤

Well, okay, you’re not Cupids because I am not going back to the diaper phase.

Here’s to three years and onto year four!