Wholesome Twitter part 1

During the pandemic Social Media (SM) has been a blessing but sometimes a burden. With every channel you have drama and not so fun stuff and I really needed to filter what I take in so it won’t feed into my anxiety. My presence on Facebook is decreasing but on Twitter it is increasing. Easy to use and retweet stuff that I like from other creators. I say creators as I follow a lot of artists on Twitter but in moderate I also follow a few actors, musicians and writers like Mark Hamill, Stephen King, Tom Morello and Mark Ruffalo.

As I said earlier SM has it’s ups and down. Luckily, you can create a bubble for yourself and keep it relatively drama-free. Of course some of the accounts will post political statements at time. Stephen King and Mark Hamill have been really active the past four years discussing the political climate of their country, which everyone is in their fullest right to do, but I refrain to read the comments that they get. My SO said most of the shitty comments are by intentional trolls. But we all know the biggest online troll was president of the US of A and I really doubt he did this just for shits and giggles.

So yeah, I try to not get dragged in the Twitter drama as often as I like. That’s why I like to share some of the accounts that I follow for some wholesome content. =D

Pui Pui Molcar aired by BANDAI NAMCO Arts Channel. If you like guinea pigs and handmade stuff this is a cute account to follow. Look at those little beady eyes of the guinea pig cars, so cute! =3 If you want to see their shenanigans, go check out their YT channel. Don’t worry about it being a Japanese show, it is complete visual fest and easy to follow for your kids.

Doki is a Brazilian illustrator / comic book artist / queer fantasy stories enthusiast / plant mom who has successfully launched an urban jungle Kickstarter so you can get enamel pins, stickers, tote bags and prints. I just love these types of illustrations and if you are a plant mom/dad who wouldn’t want a print or a pin of your babies on the wall. Fab use of colours and technique.

Plussecret is a Monchhichi and doll café based in Asakusabashi, Tokyo. I wanted to visit them on my trip to Japan in 2020 but alas the pandemic happened. You can buy Monchhichi & Friends goodies and tasty treats. When traveling is sensible again I will get my hands on Chimutan, the bunny you see on the left.

This plush hospital just melts my heart. Professional plush doctors and nurses take care of your beloved plushies and restore them to their former glory.

I used Google translate to get a rough understanding of the post (for Japanese it is really shit, don’t use it to talk to Japanese people please).

The seal is called Sirotan and was stuffed again to become a full and happy seal again.
Mr. Utsubo, the moray eel, underwent some dental care and has new cute little chompers.

My Twitter is @clogsnsneakers and I would love to connect with you 😀

Hot Toys – The Mandalorian

Besides BDJ’s and other dolls I own a few Hot Toys action figures. These are a bit more expensive then your regular action figures but way more detailed. But really they are toys for grown ups: 1. because of the hefty price tag and 2. because they are very fragile.

When the Mandalorian was announced I was a bit skeptical about it. I didn’t really like Boba Fett and never saw the other prequel movies besides the Phantom Menance. I know, I know, how can you call yourself a Star Wars fan if you didn’t watch the prequels. I read a lot of books on Star Wars to fill in the Star Wars canon, same with the comics. I think Darth Vader has cool moves and all but Anakin Skywalker is an annoying emo-teen/grown up. But George Lucas is to blame for the acting in the movies not the actor. I am really happy that they had John Favreau as director of the Mandalorian.

Mando’s preorder came up on the website of Gator, which also has a physical store in Nijmegen, so no import fees for me YAY! The release date was set around November 2020 but due to the pandemic I noticed that a lot of merchandise production had a lot of delays. Very understandable because the workers need to be able to work safely. But a week ago I finally received my shipping notice.

What I love about Hot Toys Sixth scale figures is the work that they put in these figures. It has little holster with a strap for his blaster, his rifle has a strap, the cape looks and feels like weathered fabric and you can attach sensors and explosives to his belt. My other Hot Toys are Captain America and Deadpool, so Mando will be a bit out of place XD.

Boxed Art
Tightly packed
His rifle is one of my favourite weapons
Close up with more details

Can’t remove his helmet, so no Pedro Pascal underneath but that’s fine. I was a bit worried when I had to stick the spikes in the base. They are very snug fit and I was afraid I would break them when using too much force. Luckily for this my SO has a delicate hand. All in all I am really happy with this figure. I plan to do a future photoshoot with all his poses and photoshop a Star Wars worthy background in. That will happen when I finally find my adapter for my DSLR camera. I misplaced it a few months ago and been making photos with my mobile instead.

Newest member to the doll collection – Liesl

Liesl – a Petworks Momoko doll

There are different types of dolls in my collection. I have Barbies, Disney fashiondolls, Holala’s, Blythes, Pullips, Ruruko’s, Azone, Dollfie Dreams, Smartdoll and several BJD’s but never owned a Momoko. She hails from the same company that made Ruruko: Petworks. I felt guilty purchasing a Momoko outfit all most two years ago and didn’t have a doll to put it on. So I finally dragged my sorry butt of procrastinate mode and bought one from Dolls Moe. I didn’t feel like dealing with custom fees as I have a few packages from Japan on the way so I opted purchasing her from a Spanish based shop. And she is wearing a Kirby Sweater Dress. I love Kirby.

Cute Kirby photo on the box. *hearts*
Close up

She was made in 2018 so she has been around on the market for a while now. I tried getting the newer versions but they sell out fast lol.

She comes with a plastic baseball cap, gray rubber sneakers and light blue tights. The best thing about this doll is the poseability. She has articulated joints like all the other types of fashion dolls which makes them easy and fun to take photos off. When the weather is better I will take her for a few outdoor shots.

The inside of the box is line with drawings of peaches and I realised that momo is peach in Japanese so maybe her name is something like Peach girl. Let’s look it up online.

Momoko (桃子, 百子, 杏子, ももこ, モモコ) is a Japanese name for girls. Momo is usually written with the kanji character 桃 for “peach” or 百 for “one hundred” or 杏 for “apricot”, followed by -ko, a common suffix for girls’ names (meaning “child”).

It’s adorable and I think a very fitting name for the brand of Petsworks. X3

Sits like a charm on the edge of my laptop
Standing on her own

The dealer added stickers, a winter postcard and a little wallet calendar as gifts. This is why I like buying from dealers, they add little gifts when you buy from them. I will certainly use them.

Out of the box Liesl shows a lot of character and I am really happy that I finally got a Momoko doll of my own. I see a lot of potential with this doll and hope to design her some clothes. Is she classy, more sport or just the mori type girl? One thing is sure, this doll is going to be a lot of fun to sew for. The hardest part will be finding fabric with small print. Maybe look into creating my own print on cotton. Ah, the possibilities. Something great to do to get through the extended lockdown.

Amaterasu Nendoroid

Since the game came out on the Nintendo Wii I have been a big fan of the character Amaterasu. I even bought the ports to PS4 and Switch when they came out. It’s just such a fun game with a different playing concept. You need to beat your enemies with strokes of your Celestial Brush and other Celestial weapons like the Glaive, the Rosary and the Reflector.

So when Good Smile Company announced their version of Amaterasu in the form of a Nendoroid I had to jump the band wagon. The problem with me an Nendoroids is that I am running out of cupboard space. XD So I limited myself to only buy the cool ones like Hatsune Miku and some of my favourite game-characters. If they going to make Final Fantasy XI or XIV ones I am screwed.

I ordered them either directly with Good Smile or my go to Japanese store AmiAmi. Good Smile sometimes throws in a bonus item like keychains or stickers. So it really depends on what is added from what place I will ordered it.

DX version which means 3 Celestial Weapons ;P
DX version which means 3 Celestial Weapons ;P

Good Smile released two versions: the regular one and the DX version. The DX version has all Amaterasu’s weapons so I opted for this version. Can’t have the Goddess of the Sun without all her weapons.

Inside the box
Inside the box
Bits and bobs
Bits and bobs

All Nendoroids come with several option parts to be able to change the expression or stance of the figure. The open mouth lets you hold a sexy turnip or just howl a battle cry. You are able to let Amaterasu sit while listening to the annoying Issun. He is the little green orb that is your guide through the game.

Amaterasu with Glaive
Amaterasu with Reflector
Amaterasu with Glaive
Amaterasu with Glaive
Amaterasu with Rosary and sexy turnip
Amaterasu with Rosary and sexy turnip

I will display her in a running stance with Glaive. Just because the Glaive is my most favourite weapon in the game.

Go Amaterasu!
Go Amaterasu!

Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin

My SO purchased this Nintendo Switch game for me as a Christmas gift. This game is part farming simulator and part dungeon questing which is for me the best of both worlds.

The story begins as a group of humans crash a Divine feast and Princess Sakuna, the spoiled harvest goddess, isn’t able to remove them from the heavenly Loft Realm without accidentally setting fire to the offerings of the head goddess Lady Kamuhitsuki. Sakuna, her familiar Tama and the humans are then banished to the Isle of Demons where she takes upon a quest to banish the demonic beasts before she can send the humans back to their own world. With rice farming she will gain possession of her powers again to fulfill her quest.

Sakuna - Towards the Isle of Demons
Sakuna – Towards the Isle of Demons

There is quite a lot of humor in this game. Princess Sakuna is truly a spoiled goddess who didn’t really care of the peril the humans were in at the start of the game. By receiving this quest from Lady Kamuhitsuki she might learn a bit of humility and respect for the humans that spent much effort and care into producing the offerings for the gods. The developers gave the bratty princess a lot of different expressions to show her dismay with the quest and the fact that she is now caretaker of a bunch of humans.

Banished!
Banished!
It is their fault!
It is their fault!

The game has two different play modes. When you are exploring the dungeons you are in side scrolling mode and use your magical sash & hoe to battle the demonic beasts trying to make battle combo’s so your enemies are defeated faster. As of yet I’ve only ran into demon bunnies, boars and sparrows but I bet there are more diverse enemies further in the game.

When working on your rice paddy the game switches to first person mode and you can work around freely in a 3D environment. Which is a nice change of pace. My rice is only on day 4 now and I have no idea how it develops. What I did do wrong is to plant them too far apart. But I guess this is a learning process. 😉 You can let the NPC’s do this for you but if you grow the rice yourself, you will get better results.

The only down point for me is the way the controls are set up, it’s not comfortable for me to play it for long periods of time. Animal Crossing I can play hours on end in handheld mode but this game just hurts my right hand. Mind you, I have RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) in that hand so it might just be me with the controls. Fortunately, the game is compatible with a Pro-controller which I own. This might make it easier for me to play.

Dinnertime
Dinnertime

I really love the art-style and theme of this game. It’s not going to be an one-on-one rice growing sim but they do calculate in temperature, fertilizations and overall care of the field to make the experience as close as it is in real life.

The characters are based on Japanese folklore but not being used by their true names and functions. Inari Okami is the god or goddess of rice and fertility while Ta-no-Kami is a kami who is believed to observe the harvest of rice plants or to bring a good harvest. So the developers took the premise of divinity and folklore and spun it in their own vision. Tama reminds of the Komainu, lion-dogs statues you find at Shinto shrines.

Tama & Sakuna
Tama & Sakuna

I am quite pleased with this game and it gives me a break from playing Animal Crossing with a more story driven game.

Farewell to FFXIV

I never thought that it would happen but yesterday I cancelled my subscription to FFXIV.

Since the beginning of the pandemic I haven’t logged into my account but before that I wasn’t really active online either just doing events for new mounts/minions.

I’ve been playing the Final Fantasy MMO, FFXIV predecessor FFXI since 2005 and was hooked instantly. I met and made a lot of friends there, some to whom I still speak to. But if you really want to be good at the game, you need to get into Endgame for the gear.

The drama I encountered in FFXI was horrible. People hating on each other as rival Linkshells (guilds) and people just stealing items or backstabbing within the linkshell. I had enough and moved on FFXIV which looked like a more casual game to me. I even got my significant other to play it.

The storyline is amazing, I was excited for each announced expansion but the higher I got the more I came to realize is that in order to be good, you need the gear to back it up. As a healer it sometimes became difficult and the grind for better gear became a chore. Also players tend to point it out that you are lacking in gear/skills or just cussed at you. I try my best and don’t go around half-assing the dungeons but if you criticize me every step of the way it sucks the joy out of playing. My SO fell out with the game earlier as people didn’t like his playing style. It would be easier if we had two other friends to join us so we could just have plain old fun again. But alas, it is not so.

On this account I spend 1440 days which is almost 4 years that I’ve played this game but it does not bring me joy anymore. Part of me is sad, as I really loved the storyline. But the team behind FFXIV is developing FFXVI for the PS5 as a stand alone game which the story is going to rock I am sure.

I have until the 7th of January to tie up some lose ends in the game and move my collectibles to my character. I don’t want them to delete my living quarters due to inactivity and lose my in-game items.

Yoshi P and team thank you for bringing me a fun few years and creating Final Fantasy XIV. Maybe one day I will be back.

<bow>

4K battle
4K battle