Otakon and NYC trip haul!

Hello! The past two weeks, I’ve been in Washington DC for Otakon and New York City for my anniversary! I got some stuff along the way, and this is it! This won’t include any books or manga picked up – all that will be in my book haul at the end of the month.

It didn’t really occur to me how much I bought myself vs other people on both of these trips until I gathered everything up and went, ‘Wait, this is it? I swear I got more.’ Apparently I’m a gift giver while on trips. I actually purchased probably twice as much as is shown, but none of the rest of it was for me.

Otakon

So, I quickly realized during Otakon, when I was walking around in the Dealer’s Gallery and Artist Alley, that it’s hard for me to justify spending thirty or forty dollars on figurines or whatever that will do nothing other than sit on my shelf. That unfortunately, was most of what was for sale. I mean there were shirts and manga and stuff too (I did buy manga) but you know what I mean, haha. If you’ve seen posts where I detail stuff I have sitting on my shelves, you’ll see that most of it is gifts or inexpensive little trinkets or whatever. I just… I can’t get around the mental block. So I didn’t buy much for myself.

My weakness though is Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, so I pushed myself to get a few things of him. I am really happy with what I got! The art on the left was one of two pieces I art I purchased – the other was for my sister. The art is easier to justify for me because I actually like hanging things on my walls. The plush… impulse purchase. I was literally walking out of the dealer’s gallery when I stopped and backtracked when I saw this out of the corner of my eye. It’s super cute though, so I like it. It… will likely end up just sitting on my shelves. Ahaha

New York City

While in NYC, I saw the Moulin Rouge on Broadway. It’s my favorite movie ever, so the whole reason for the trip was to go see it. The show itself was pretty good! They updated a fair bit of it though, which some of it I liked and some of it I wasn’t thrilled about. But overall it was a really good show and I enjoyed it. I think I’m actually going to rewatch the movie again soon too.

On the right is a photo of our newest Christmas Ornament. Every year, I buy a new ornament, trying to find one with the year on it (or I’ll write it on if I can’t find one with the year). I started doing it the year my husband and I moved in together back when we were dating in 2014. It’s a tradition I picked up from my mom, who has done the same thing since I can remember. At my parents’ house, there are Christmas bulbs dating back to 1987, the year my parents got married. So I’ve kinda adopted it to trips since my husband and I travel a lot – I’ll buy an ornament related to the trip! This one is, well, Santa climbing the Empire State Building. I mean, why not, right?


And that’s it! That’s all I got during Otakon and while in New York, at least non-book-wise. I picked up a fair bit of manga on Otakon, and I purchased myself one book in NYC, so those will show up in my haul in the next week or so.

If you’re interesting in the instagram stories I posted during either of these trips, check out the Otakon pics here and the NYC pics here! (Shameless plug, shhh)

Happy reading!

 

 

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Four-Panel Comics by Hiromu Arawaka

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Four-Panel ComicsFullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Four-Panel Comics by Hiromu Arakawa

Manga
Read March 15-16th
Fantasy
128 pages
Released in English March 12th, 2019
Spoiler-free blabber

This was so nice.

I had no idea this collection of four panels was coming out until I walked past it in the bookstore – it wasn’t even in the manga section. I froze and picked it up immediately.

This book is a collection of all the Fullmetal Alchemist four-panels – at the back of each of the 27 volumes of manga, there’s a small section of fun comics that the author made. They’re humorous, don’t really play into the plot (but do reference it, so they’ll be spoilery if you haven’t finished the series), and when I read them, I loved them. So that’s what I thought I would be getting when I picked this up.

Turns out, it was way more than that. It started with the manga four-panels – a title at the top would tell which volume it was from. And then after that, there were four-panels that were included in the original FMA anime DVD collection. I didn’t even know they contained four-panels. And then it went into comics from the FMA Brotherhood DVD collection. After that, it threw in all the comics that had appeared in Shonen Jump issues and various other medias, and finally it included a few comics that were never published anywhere.

So… I expected one thing and I got that and so much more. It. Was. Fantastic. I already knew I was going to like rereading all the four-panels – it had been a few years since I read the series so while most of them struck a chord of memory for me, some of them I had forgotten completely. And they’re funny – I laughed out loud multiple times. When I got to the DVD collection comics and beyond, it was a mix of new material and nostalgia. I had never seen the comics before obviously, but the contents of them hovered around the content of the DVDs, so having seen both anime series multiple times, it was very enjoyable to read extra material about them.

So overall, I loved this. I can see myself rereading it multiple times in the future, and I do believe it’s gained a spot in my ‘favorite books’ list. And man, it really, really made me want to reread the series. Maybe that’ll happen this year. It’s been years.

Rating 5/5 stars

Silver Spoon (vol 1) by Hiromu Arawaka | Blabber

Silver Spoon, Vol. 1Silver Spoon by Hiromu Arakawa
192 pages
Released Feb 27, 2018
Read Jan 7, 2019
Manga – Slice of life
Spoiler-free blabber

Who knew I’d like reading about cows so much?

Silver Spoon volume one is a new series from the same author that wrote Fullmetal Alchemist. Anyone remotely familiar with manga or anime has likely at least heard of that series, and since it’s one of my all-time favorites, the author has become a bit of an auto-buy for me. So when I saw this one, I picked up the first volume to try it out.

Very much unlike the high action, high stakes plot of Fullmetal, Silver Spoon is instead a slice of life manga with a much more sedated pace. It follows the main character Yuugo Hachiken, a student who enrolls in an agricultural high school, as he learns the ins and outs of managing a farm and farm animals. The author herself grew up on a farm, so the knowledge put into the story is first hand.

The series alters between a light, humorous tone and a grimmer one. The story does not shy away from the grit required with handling farm animals. The main character, having no farming background himself. learns what that means quickly. The narrative explores the main character’s discomfort with seeing exactly where his food comes from, but it does it in a way that is neither cruel or really makes fun of him or the other students who are doing the work required. It was interesting to see, as someone who was very much raised in a city and has been around a full sized cow only in petting zoos.

The character design in the manga is very similar to that of Fullmetal Alchemist, and it was almost a nostalgic experience, seeing characters who look close to ones I know already. The humoristic art style is also the same, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did last time.

In addition to the raising of farm animals, this manga, within the first volume, also starts to cover various other important topics, such what it’s like to experience a lack of motivation. The main character finds himself surrounded by highly driven people, all with their own goals and aspirations, and finds himself feeling inadequate. It talks about what it’s like when you’re expected to feel all these things, but you just… don’t. It’s not a topic often discussed, as ‘go-getters’ tend to be the center of story lines.

Another thing I really liked about this manga was one of the female characters: Tamako Inada. She’s introduced right near the beginning of the series and is very overweight. Her classmates make comments in passing about her, ranging from concern to outright meanness. My favorite thing about her though, is that she doesn’t seem to care – everything said about her just bounces off her, she ignores it or she proves them wrong purely by who she is. She’s just so resilient, and she has a really great sense of humor to boot. She’s by far, in my book at least, the funniest character. I think she’s one of the hidden gems in this series, and will become one of my favorites.

So overall, the humor in this combined with the seriousness made me really like this first volume. Hiromu Arakawa has exceeded expectations once again, and I plan on getting more of this series soon!

4.25/5 stars

 

Monthly Recommendations: Books worth a re-read

Monthly Recommendations Base(1)

Hello! This month’s monthly rec topic is books worth a reread! I think I’m going to mention ones that I’ve either reread and found very entertaining or ones that I’ve been meaning to reread for some time now.

Obligatory: Harry Potter.


Wotakoi by Fujita

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, Vol 1 (Otakoi: Otaku Can't Fall in Love?!)

I’m obsessed with this one recently. I just read it last month but I want to dive into it again already. It’s such a nice, pleasant series and I absolutely adore it. The premise follows two working adults, both otaku, who decide to date each other because they feel they’ll better be able to understand the other’s obsessions than people who aren’t as nerdy. It’s simple, sweet, and I love it.

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #1)

This is one of my all-time favorite series, and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve reread it. I’ve enjoyed it just as much every time I have, though. It follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse, who are on a journey to get their original bodies back after an alchemic transmutation gone wrong leaves Ed missing an arm and leg and Al his whole body – only his soul remains, tethered to a suit of armor.

I’m serious, if you haven’t read this, pick it up. It. Is. Amazing.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #1)

This was my favorite book of 2017 and with the sequel coming out in October, I definitely need to reread this one. I wrote a full length, spoiler-free blabber on it, if you’d like to know my full thoughts. It’s so fantastic. It follows a young girl whose home and family are ripped out from underneath her when a power from another land invades her own. She vows to get revenge by destroying the enemy from within. Auuuuugh I love this book so much.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)

I’ve been meaning to reread this book all year – the third and final one came out recently and I wanna reread this first one before I marathon the rest of the series. This book follows a young woman, raised hidden away from her kingdom, who finds herself placed on the thrown in a country cowering from the neighboring land. The world itself takes place on a regressed earth, centuries after a content has risen from the ocean between Asia and the Americas. I remember really liking it the first time I read it, so hopefully this next time will be just as good!


And that’s it! Any of the above I recommend to you, either for a reread or for the first time. They’re all absolutely fantastic. 😀 Happy reading!

Me in book characters tag

Book Tag

Hello! A tag today – I was tagged by the Orangutan Librarian, so thanks friendo! 😀

The Rules:

  1. Thank the creators of the tag (Us! Ash & Lo @ windowsill books)
  2. Thank whoever tagged you!
  3. List 5 book characters who you are most like and explain why.
  4. Tag your friends!

Hagrid from Harry Potter

Image result for hagrid gifHagrid and I have a lot of common – drinking, having unruly hair, trying to just in general be a merry person (moooost of the time). I feel like Hagrid and I would get along.

 

 

Sheska from Fullmetal Alchemist

This girl lives, breathes and eats books. She’s obsessed with them and is always in a tizzy. She’s me, people.

 

 

Ryuk from Death Note

I feel like I’m relating myself to character that have a bleak sense of humor, hawhawhaw.

 

 

 

Gollum from The Lord of the Rings

Image result for gollum gifMY COFFEE.

 

 

 

 

Haruko from FLCL

I feel like Haruko is always just tryin’ to have a good time, and I feel that on a spiritual level.

 

 

 

 

 

.


By the way, all of the above are books with movie/tv adaptations. All of the adaptions are wonderful I think, so if you haven’t seen or read any of them, go for it!

Happy reading!

Rip It or Ship It Book Tag

A tag today! I was tagged by the Orang-utan Librarian, so thank you!

For this tag, you gather names of characters from a bunch of different books and pull two randomly – then you decide if you’d ship or rip the pairing! So here it goes!

Most of these character will be from manga, since I’ve seen a lot of Harry Potter, etc. Gonna try to get some fresh pairings!


1. Light Yagami and Kagome Higurashi

No. This pairing is awful. Light is from Death Note and is just a moral awful person. Kagome is rather the opposite (though she has her ‘I’m a teenage girl, so there’ moments here and there). I just don’t think this would work out well. xD

Rip it.

2. Saito Hajime and Kagura

I think this one could actually work out well. Saito is from Rurouni Kenshin and Kagura is from Inuyasha. They’re both relatively not-completely-bad-but-definitely-not-nice characters, and I feel like they could relate on a weird level.

Ship it.

3. Inuyasha and Ryuk

(Inuyasha and Death Note) Hah. Hahaha. HAHAHAHAHA. I’d love to see this. It’s so absurd that I’m going to go with it.

Ship it.

4. Alphonse Elric and Sango

(Fullmetal Alchemist and Inuyasha) This is a weird one. I feel like they could work out personality- wise, but I’m so attached to the Sang0-Miroku ship that I can’t fathom it.

Rip it.

5. Sesshoumaru and Roy Mustang

(Inuyasha and Fullmetal Alchemist) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Totally shipping it. I need to see this happen.

6. Kaoru and Winry

(Rurouni Kenshin and Fullmetal Alchemist) I feel like they would get along. Romantically? Not sure. I don’t know. I feel like it’d be interesting to read something about this, but I don’t know how well it would go – I’ll say yes though, because I’m curious.

Ship it.

7. Misa Misa and Miroku

(Death Note and Inuyasha) Hahaha. No, thank you. I feel like that would be a disaster. xD

Rip it.

8. Riza Hawkeye and Naraku

(Fullmetal Alchemist and Inuyasha). No, I think this would be bad. I feel like Hawkeye could beat Naraku into submission though, so that would be good at least. Huge villain, defeated by a gun. xD

Rip it.


I rather enjoyed this one! I hope that everyone is at least somewhat familiar with these series so they can at least partially-enjoy this as much as I did, haha.

Until next time, happy reading!

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Biggest Book Hangovers

Top 5 Wednesday

Happy Hump Day! This week’s topic is biggest book hangovers. I’m assuming you know what that is, but if you don’t it’s when you finish a book and can’t start another one because you’re still so obsessed with the first one.

For me, a book hangover doesn’t necessarily come from a really good book. It just has to be memorable, if that makes sense. Anyways, onward. And as usual, T5W was created by Lainey and here is the link to the group if you would like to join in as well!

5. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag, #1)This book, man. This book fractured my heart. I don’t know what to do with that ending. I still think about that damn ending. That damn damn ending. My goodness. My mind still hasn’t come to accept it yet. I feel like it’ll stick with me for years.

For those who haven’t read this book and may possibly be interested in it, here is the goodreads synopsis:

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies the city of New Crobuzon, where the unsavory deal is stranger to no one–not even to Isaac, a gifted and eccentric scientist who has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before encountered. Though the Garuda’s request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger. Soon an eerie metamorphosis will occur that will permeate every fiber of New Crobuzon–and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it evokes.

4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)I feel like I’m not alone in feeling unsatisfied with this ending. This was my least favorite book out of the trilogy. The ending didn’t jive with me and at the time of my reading it, it actually got me a bit upset. So I spent a few days venting to whoever would listen about how pooey the ending was, so much so that I couldn’t concentrate on any new books. Though if I get distracted by a bad ending for such a long time, is it really bad? I mean, wouldn’t it be a good ending if it can cause that reaction in me? I have no idea. That’s another thought for another post.

3. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)Notice I get hangovers from the ends of series, whether I actually liked them or not, haha. This ending I know was very polarizing with a lot of people – you either loved it or you hated it. Either way, a book hangover was possible. For me, I loved it. I cried at the end of this book even though there wasn’t much to actually cry about. The emotions that this trilogy had pent up in me over their books just kinda came out all at once after I closed the final cover. And then I was obsessed about the series for months. Months. I still goo about it now and again.

2. Fullmetal Alchemist volume 27 by Hiromu Arakawa

Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 27This is one of the best series I’ve ever read. Ever. I’m talking including manga, comics, novels, anything. This one is one of the best of the best. It’s 27 volumes long and needs every single volume to complete it. There’s no ‘extra’ stuff. No dragging bits. This series is the epitome of what I call ‘A good story’. And after years and years of collecting it as the volumes came out – first monthly, then bi-monthly, and towards the end every six months – I grew more and more attached. And then it was gone. I feel like I started the hangover for this book in volume 26, actually. At the end, there was a little preview and I remember reading the words ‘to be concluded in volume 27’. And then I waited for volume 27. For sixth months. And for sixth months, I tried to mentally prepare myself and I failed. I’ve reread this series – the whole thing – so many times and it still rips me up when I finish it. I will be reading this to my children when I have them. It’s that wonderful.

1. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)THIS WILL BE SPOILERY. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED. This is my least favorite out of all the Harry Potter books. And I’m guessing you know the reason. The ending of this book, man. I still hold a grudge against JK Rowling for this one. I’ve only read it twice, which is saying something considering I’ve read 1-5 at least 20 times each. I just don’t. Buh, this book destroyed me. When I first read it, I bought it on its release day and had it read 48 hours later. So by the time I finished it, so had a lot of other people. And I was devastated. And so was everyone. Very soon fan theories started popping up. There was even a huge ‘Dumbledore’s not dead’ movement with multiple different ideas on how that scene could have been staged. I jumped into these groups with reckless abandon. I wanted to believe so badly that it wasn’t true. I became obsessed. And then JK Rowling caught wind of the movement and stamped out our hopes and dreams with a simple, “No, he’s really dead” statement to the media. It left no room for the imagination, and it really killed my enthusiasm for the seventh book. I feel like I would have looked much more forward to it – even if I found out in it that Dumbledore was really dead – because I would have had that hope going into it that he wasn’t. Instead, I knew what to expect and it kind of dulled the experience of the final book for me. So yes. Biggest hangover ever. For those of you who’ve read the series for the first time recently and came across this incident, how did you feel? I’m curious. I feel like my devastation was amplified by the fandom and the waiting for book seven. I want to know what it was like dealing with that without being influenced by others.


And that’s it. Sorry for the tangent in my top choice there, but I’ve been holding that in for years. o:< Until next Wednesday, happy reading!