Venom Let There Be Carnage (2021)

I only know Venom from the 1994 Spider-Man cartoon even though I read a lot of Marvel comics, Spiderman was never in my favourites to read. I was an X-men girl. And I need to admit I only wanted to see the sequel because of this little scene in the trailer. Ketchup?!

Ketchup?!

But before I could watch the sequel I needed to watch the first movie which aired in 2018. Disney+, Prime or Dutch Netflix didn’t have it on their streams so I had to rent it through Google for €3,99. I wasn’t going fork over €10,99, no love for Venom from me haha.

Venom (2018)
Basically Venom is a symbiotic lifeform for outerspace brought to Earth by environmentalist Jeff Bezos who thinks it’s okay to find a host for these aliens by experimenting on homeless people and anyone else that doesn’t agree with his plans, in order to be able to survive in space. It is mentioned that he is scouting for space real-estate (the same guy that gives a speech that humans are destroying the Earth).

Our misfit investigative journalist Eddie Brock has beef with this guy and with the help of a rogue scientist breaks into the lab to collect evidence to bring the evil hipster down. When collecting the evidence, Eddie accidentally infects himself with one of the symbionts and all hell breaks lose. The parasite makes himself known to his host as Venom and is very hungry. After biting a guy’s head off it is known that Venom can only live on life food, especially brains. Hipster Bezos also gets infected by an symbiont and they duke out on a launching platform because the Bezos symbiont wants to go into space to retrieve his buddies so they can feast on Earth. Eddie and Venom put a stop to it by blowing up the rocket as fire and high frequencies are the only things that can hurt them. Everyone is safe, Venom is only allowed to eat bad guys and there was much rejoicing. The End.

The first movie was entertaining but not great. Venom and Eddie interactions are funny. Eddy’s fiancée got over him too quickly when his actions made her lose her job. And hipster Bezos was heavily overacting, it didn’t feel natural at all. I won’t blame the actor as the director is the one that okays a performance. So saving grace of this movie was Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. And it also introduces us the bad guy of the second movie, Cletus Kasady played by Woody Harrelson.

Best Buds

Venom Let There Be Carnage (2021)
Eddie’s relationship with Venom is complicated. Biting of heads of baddies does attract police attention because you can’t play your own judge so Venom is condemned to eating chickes or chocolate because eating humans is bad.

Serial killer Cletus Kasady wants Eddie to tell his story but Venom observes frantic carvings in Cletus’ cell and together they discover the location of his victims landing Cletus a one way ticket to Hell aka death penalty. Cletus is mad that he is misunderstood because people did him wrong and demands that he talks to Eddie one last time before execution. The talk goes wrong when Cletus insults Eddie’s ex-fiancée and they end up fighting. Cletus then bites Eddie and somehow ingests a newly born symbiont named Carnage. The execution is botched and Cletus/Carnage bust out of prison to get revenge. Now Eddie and Venom need to work together to stop this nutcase.

Again the movie was okayish, I liked the Venom/Eddie escapades with Venom being a bit of a whiney bish and Eddie trying to keep it together with his maneating amoeba. I really like Sonny and Cher, Venom’s pets. So Tom hardy gets another thumbs up from me.

Now the downpart of the movie. I think Woody Harrelson is a good actor when you look at True Detective, Zombieland and Now You See Me but when he plays a psycho he is downright cringy. I DID NOT LIKE Natural Born Killers at all and he went for Natural Born Killers 2.0 for this movie. I mean Cletus’ had a fucked up youth with abuse but what’s with the trope that then he becomes this sadistic serial killer. Serial killers are more complex then boohoo I was abused by daddy now I am going to murder people.

I would still recommend this movie because besides the cringe it has entertainment value. Tom Hardy portrayed Eddie in a different light then the cartoon Eddie Brock ( I hated that ass) and you can’t help but feel sorry for the characters’ terrible luck. Please stay seated for the end-credits because it has an awesome reveal showing that this won’t be the last we see of Venom and Eddie.

My rating:

Santé by Stromae

Stromae

I scarcely listen to the radio so Spotify is my saviour whenever my favourite artists bring out something new.

After six years of radio silence Stromae released an new single called Santé and it blew me away. It is an ode to diversity and the important people in our society whose hard work isn’t always noticed. The new single came out of nowhere and I hope this time he won’t lose himself in his succes. Mental health is important for everyone and artists often push themselves towards exhaustion or even end their lives like poor Tim Bergling (Avicii).

The rhythmic beat reminds me of the caribbean, while the use of the synthesizer feels very familiar to his previous album Racine Carrée. It is a very catchy song and like always the subject is very close to the heart of many of us. Celebrate diversity and keep mind of the efforts of others we take for granted.

Santé – Stromae

Seeing the people dancing en enjoying themselves is very contageous. While I am writing this bit and listening to the song I can’t help myself moving to the beat. You can do the dance by following the steps below.

Santé moves

Santé (translated lyrics)

[Intro]
To those who don’t have one
To those who don’t have one

[Verse 1]
Rosa, Rosa, when we make a mess, you clean it up
And you, Albert, when we toast, you collect the glasses
Céline (Céline), ‘bate (‘bate), you, you take the jackets to the coat check
Arlette, stop that, you, party time, you spend it in the toilets

[Chorus]
So how ’bout we celebrate to those who don’t celebrate
For once, I’d like to raisе my glass to those who don’t have one
To thosе who don’t have one

[Verse 2]
What about manners? Why would I pretend?
Anyway, she gets paid for it, do you think you’re my mother?
In an hour, I’ll be back, better be clean, so we can eat on the floor, I’ve been waiting for three hours
Honestly, do they make it themselves or what? Luckily it’s just two glasses
Get me your manager and hurry up, it could end just like this, your career

[Chorus]
Yes, let’s celebrate to those who don’t celebrate
Once again, I’d like to raise my glass to those who don’t have one
To those who don’t have one
To those who don’t have one

[Bridge]
Rub it, rub it, better not to rub against it, rub if you don’t know me
Brush it, brush it, you can always brush it off, brush it if you don’t respect me

[Chorus]
Yes, let’s celebrate to those who don’t celebrate
Once again, I’d like to raise my glass to those who don’t have one
To those who don’t have one

[Outro]
Airline pilot or nurse, truck driver or flight attendant
Baker or fisherman, a drink to the champions of the worst schedules
To young parents rocked by tears, to professional insomniacs
And all those who suffer from heartache, who don’t feel like celebrating
Who don’t feel like celebrating

My rating:

Stromae has announced he will be performing again in 2022 in Belgium and France. Can’t wait to see what else he created. I wished I could share this with my father as he was also a big fan of Stormae and gifted me all his records. Sadly I lost him to cancer in 2017, Stromae’s song Quand C’est really fits the description of this disease.

Doll plans 2021/2022

It might seem odd that I am already talking about the year 2022 but when it comes to dolls the waiting game is long. After my SO suggested I should try and take more photos, the interest in dolls came back to me earlier this year. It also helps that I have a better display case these days. I had a few dolls on my wanted list and some opportunities arised for me to procure them but that only counts towards the Supia and Lillycat order XD. The others just crossed my path.

In July I placed an order with Supia for a Nael with a Ballarina body and a seperate Haeun head. No face ups, either doing them myself or commissioning someone. I kinda need to admit that this doll already has an outfit lying ready for her. Supia has gorgeous headsculpts so I might order a few more in the future and with future I mean 2023 haha.

I ordered the new normal type skin and I am a bit worried as there are a lot of issues with new type tan and heavy discolouration after only a few weeks. There might be no issue at all but I can’t help it.

This order might arrive before the end of the year, 60 working days is the norm but I’ve seen a lot of people ordering during their special sale so it might be a little wee longer.

Supia Nael
Supia Haeun

Next up is a Lillycat Lulu in light caramel skin. I’ve always wanted a doll made by her and thought her chibi line was too cute to pass up. Lillycat is one of the many doll makers that have been hit by recasters. It’s really sad to see her dolls pop up on platforms for a fraction of the price. I always say to myself, if I can’t afford the price it is just not meant to be. Pretending to have a doll by her that was ripped off by someone who doesn’t give a toss about copyright is just bad.

Lulu is only 29 cm tall and finding clothes for her will be a bit of a challenge because her body is a bit chubbier than a regular YO-SD. But since I’ve never owned a Lillycat doll before, it might not be so bad. I have a few YO-SD outfits that I could try on her, otherwise it’s time to whip out my sewing machine again. She has fairy ears so it is quite possible none of my wigs will fit her but we will see.

Lillycat Lulu

This one was a bit of a surprise for me and as a big Y’shtola fan I couldn’t let this girl out of my clutches. And the aftermarket price will be insane so it’s best to get her now.

As some of you know that I am a big fan of the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. I’ve been playing FF for years since VII came out and played both of the online versions XI and XIV. So now Square Enix joined forced with Volks to bring our favourite catgirl Y’shtola out as a Dollfie Dream. They did it before with NieR Automata (which were gorgeous but not my thing) and I just couldn’t pass this girl up. She has a bit of a hefty pricetag but that is because she comes fully clothed in her pretty Black Mage outfit and staff. We are talking about a 99.800 Yen pricetag. I can’t recall if I do or do not pay salestax at Volks. But my SO wanted to go half on her with me, as a gift for our engagement. I can’t wear jewellery so this makes up for the lack of a ring haha. I took a sneak peak at some of the prices of an engagement ring but wow those rings can be expensive @_@.

I know for sure I am going to have a terrible time styling her wig as Volks dolls wigs never get even close to what you see in the pictures. The wigs are good quality but not styled at all. Hopefully they will put out a tutorial because it’s not really Y’shtola if her wig is just straight. The dress will be stunning for sure as all my fullset DD’s have great clothes. Let’s just hope the delivery guy doesn’t play footie with my box.

She won’t ship out until December 2022 so I’d be waiting over a year for her. But this is not the longest I’ve waited. My Dollshe ordered took 14 months ^^;;

Volks Dollfie Dream Y’shtola

And finally a little Sharkboy or girl in tan skin which I preordered today. He or she has little shark teeth which I probably have no faith in giving the face up myself haha. Even with a tinier body than the Lillycat Lulu finding clothes will be a challenge. Maybe even finding shoes will be a nightmare. But I couldn’t resist this little one and so the collection grows even further.

They even have a Dragon up on the website but I had to make a choice. I have a few vampie teeth dolls already and none with full chompers XD.

Muhan’s Doll – Shark

After a hiatus of more then a year the Doll and Bear festival will be held again near me next weekend. I’m going to check out if they have some tiny furniture or anything else that I can use for my photo sessions. I’ll keep you posted on the arrival of these cuties. UwU

Dune (2021 part 1)

When the first trailer dropped my heart raced, finally another Dune movie. I loved the books but I must admit I haven’t seen the 1984 film adaptation by David Lynch at all. I was only 4 years old when it was released and it just disappeared from my view in the years to come.

When I was 18 years old I had to read a couple of English books for my English finals and the teacher gave us the chance to deviate of the list but only if he okay’ed your choice. I said to him that I was going to read Frank Herbert’s Dune, he told me one book would be enough for the oral exam. The oral exam had two parts, a book discussion and a presentation about something you like. I chose American Comics and we ended up nerding the complete 30 minutes and I was given an A.

What I liked about Dune was that it was heavily influenced by Arab and Islamic culture. The language contained similarities with the Arabic language and the Fremens nomadic culture fitted the exact same culture. I always feel a bit connected with Islamic culture as my great-grandmother was Muslim and she gave her grandchildren Muslim wisdoms that were then passed on to me like ‘Speak good to people’.

So I understand the disappointed of people when they discovered the chosen cast not representing any Arab or Islamic actors. Hollywood still tends to go for big names even in 2021. And a big name cast it is: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. To my shame I couldn’t remember seeing Timothée in Interstellar so for me he was a bit of an unknown actor XD. But yea, for the Fremen, there are quite a few Arab/Islamic actors they sidelined here. I’m thinking about Ali Suliman, Mena Massoud or Alia Shawkat.

Dune was a spectacle for the eyes filmed in stunning locations like Norway, Abu Dhabi, Jordan and Budapest. The music was perfect, the special effects very impressive and the movie was well paced and didn’t feel at all 155 minutes. A good balance between action and suspense. I was really curious how they would implement the body shields and it was just thumbs up from me all the way. I needed a bit more sand worms, the Shai Hulud. I was on the edge of my seat when they whipped out the hooks to ride the worms, we even saw a rider at the end of the movie so I think I will get fan-girl’s satisfaction worth in Dune part 2.

I’m not going to spoil too much on the story but the premise of Dune goes as follows. In the far future Duke Leto Atreides accepts to become steward of the desert planet Arrakis in order to source the most valuable substance in the universe called spice. The drug extends human life, provides superhuman levels of thought and makes faster-than-light travel practical. Leto knows this is a trap set up by his enemies but still takes his concubine Jessica and his heir Paul, together with his trusted advisors to the planet. The spice mining is complicated by the presence of the Shai Hulud, giant sandworms. After House Atreides is betrayed Paul has to flee together with his mother to the desert and seek refuge with the Fremen. Whispers are that Paul is Muad’Dib, the Fremen messiah.

Paul Atreides

After seeing this movie I have the mood to pick up the books again and wait for part 2 to hit the theaters.

My rating:


Customer Service Burnout

The ‘fun’ customer

I’ve been working in customer service for quite some years now, first in a store and later online/on the phone and frankly I had enough.

When working in a physical store, people tend to pipe down when they are unhappy about service, price or product. The discussions tend to be more civilized. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that customers deserve a great service but some tend to go overboard with downright unreasonable requests. I wasn’t prepared for the abuse and intimidation that comes with being a customer service representative on the phone. And the saying the customer is always right doesn’t always fly.

My first non-physical job was when I worked for a FB-game company. Sometimes there was a hick-up when people made purchases but if they showed us their transaction we made sure they received the items. You get daily freebees and that’s where the ‘fun’ part started. Like all games, you can have a glitch and not get the freebees. Most people just get a bit annoyed and move on but for some this was a trigger to send very threatening e-mails. An example that sticked with me for years that our team received around close the Christmas and it went a bit like this: ‘I hope your Christmas tree catches fire and you and your whole family perishes.’ Welp, a Merry Christmas to you too and this all about freebees. I’ve seen quite some e-mails with all caps and exclamation marks and several threats in my time there.

The next job was promoting a country as a tourism office, this was actually bliss. Sometimes people were annoyed that their free brochures didn’t arrive or were stolen but I can’t recall that we received any threats or intimidating phonecalls. People were just happy they were planning a holiday. Best years of my life.

But then I moved back to my homecountry and the misery started. I found a job at a telecom company and most of my callers had money issues, they had arrears and when the amount was so high, their services were locked. Which meant you can’t call, watch TV or use the internet until you pay your debt. Usually there are more issues, we weren’t the only company they owed money, but some people just blew a fuse by making serious threats. One man said he was going to find me and slit my throat if I didn’t lift the lock on his TV signal. You might think why do you care? Well this guy knew exactly were our callcenter was and had in the past showed up at the door. No fucking way did I feel like this was nothing to me. After this my Facebook profile went on private, I never put employers info on it, nor a photo of myself.

At each different call center I worked it was just rinse and repeat of similar incidents. And it starts gnawing at your core. When confronted with shouting and threats, you just drop the line. Some callcenters make you warn the customer 5 times before you are allowed to hang up. Really great when you have a customer shrieking like a banshee or throwing every disease under the sun at you. There was also another type of customer that was just plain malignant, their insults weren’t brought in shouting fashion but they tore you a hole in your soul by attacking your IQ because you don’t work in a worthy position. Plainly said: ‘Because you are dumb, you have to listen to me insult your position.’ They might hear my quivering voice but they won’t hear my tears after the call.

My last position, being the first point of contact for the local government, triggered my PTSD and blew my anxiety through the roof. Mind you, my employer did everything in their power to make it safe for us to work. They did way more then commercial companies ever did when faced with threats. They actually filed police reports against civilians whom had crossed the line in a terrible way.

Pre-Covid some calls were tough, people could blow a fuse but we had clear instructions just to disconnect the call immediately and file an aggression report. But when the pandemic hit, fuses became really short and the times we had to file an aggression report increased tenfold. I understand people were frustrated with the sudden restrictions but standing in front of our window and saying to the colleague you’re talking on the phone that you see them, is not making us feel very comfortable. You tend to look twice when exiting the office. I’ve been called a whore, a slut, I’ve had many incurable diseased wished upon, people were going to find me and rape me, etc, etc. And each time a little piece of me died.

Insomnia became my partner, I was having tremors in my legs, and before work I was so stressed that I vomited. Every symptom of anxiety attack hit me. I wanted to flee during the conversation and took a long while to calm down. I was diagnosed with PTSD and went through extensive therapy and EMDR to cope. But the sweating and heart palpitations never went away when I got a ‘tough’ call. I started to hate people in general. My SO said to me you actually love people a lot but can’t deal with the fact that some dissapoint you. I’ve always went the extra mile to help people but when they become abusive I don’t have the energy to spare.

When my manager said, this is work that won’t make you happy in the long run, I knew deep down inside it was true. I want to help people, but the downside of it was ruining my health. I went from 32 to 24 hours so I had extra days to recover. Would I be spending the rest of my life like this? I keep everything locked up inside, and I was looking at a stress build up that would kill me in the long run. I just can’t let it slide or grow a thicker skin.

I wished companies would take better precautions with phone aggression and intimidation. You can’t play it off at people’s mental conditions. As a sufferer of bad mental health I never went out of my way to destroy a person on the phone. Even if I felt the company had wronged me, because it is my duty to stay civil.

My resumé is online as I need to find a new position but I am not going to return to customer service. I had enough. Sleep hasn’t returned to me yet, but I’ll be okay in the end.

July Volks order for my dolls

I bought my oldest Volks doll around 9 years ago, a Saber Alter v2. This was around the time that I moved to a different country, lost touch with a lot of my doll collecting friends and barely had funds to purchase anything doll related. Moving back and ending up with a better job it gave me more spending space for my hobby. Having a partner that doesn’t ridicule your hobby also helps.

My anime-type doll collection grew with Chezka, Ai and Megumi but finding proper clothing for them is a bit hard. Sure Etsy had a lot of lovely clothes but Volks keeps dragging me back to their fashion shop. And each month they bring out a newsletter with lots of goodies. My last order was in May of this year, so it was okay for me to put out another.

I really wanted the women’s hakama set for DD (1/3) and MDD (1/4) but the release was at 10:00 JST which meant I had to wake up at 3 o’clock at night to put my order through. Usually the website will crash when a lot of people are trying to purchase their most wanted. I figured if the items were gone when I woke up it wouldn’t be a great loss.

Suffering from chronic insomnia I woke up at around 5:30 (Yes, on my day off) and decided to check if what I wanted was still available. Maybe because it is limited to one per person, they still have the outfits that I wanted. Lucky me =D!

While men wear hakama on formal and informal occassions, women rarely wear hakama, except for graduation and for traditional Japanese sports as kyūdō. It is a shame because a hakama looks very pretty on a woman. Saber already wears a hakama but I wanted the ‘official’ Volks version. Now I can dress up Ai and Megumi. Have a big graduation party, which only makes partly sense as Megumi is still in middle school lol.

I was already paying a wopping ¥4850 (approx. $44) in shipping, it would be a shame if I kept this order small. Import duties are always paid but I’d like to make my package worth the cost of shipping.

So bought a DDH-22 type head (very cute on MDD bodies), a pair of gripping hands and internal hand frames for MDD and DD. I keep switching out the hands of my dolls with internal frame on, trying to pry the hands, especially the MDD size hands, is a pain in the rear.

Last year I couldn’t participate in the DD Gacha grab but it looks like this year there isn’t much interest in it. I added two to my order and it can either contain a pair of undies, a t-shirt or a pair of special eyes. I am hoping on either the eyes or the undies.

The last thing I added to my order was a saddle stand. I bought cheap versions on Aliexpress but alas with a lot of things on Ali it’s a terrible quality rip off. Won’t be doing that again. Saddle stands are easier to use as you just straddle your girl.

Saddle stand

So now the waiting game starts. Last time it took around three weeks for them to ship my order. Covid-19 and big order volumes has increased the waiting time but I am a patient person. Volks had never let me down with their quality. Hopefully I will get really lucky with those Gatcha bags.

Mirai

It was pure chance that I stumbled upon a copy of this movie at my local library. I think it might be the only anime they have on rent there, which is a shame, but I haven’t fully scanned the shelves yet. My hometown maybe to small for a big fan base of anime, maybe the library in Amsterdam or Rotterdam have a bigger selection. I would love to see more anime gems in my local library. Disney isn’t the only animation storyteller.

I consume my anime either through my own purchases or through my subscription with Crunchyroll and Netflix. A lot of people are against the paid services of the likes of Crunchyroll and Funimation and turn to pirating anime and manga. But if you don’t buy the tradpaperbacks or DVD’s/Blurays, the artists get absolutely nothing.

Japanese animators are heavily underpaid and overworkered by the studios. This is a major problem and the culture needs to change. I think the studio owners should receive criticism from fans in order to improve the circumstances of their employees. So please don’t pirate your favourite show, instead support projects like the Animator Dormitory Channel in order to change the anime industry.

Mirai is a 2018 adventure fantasy film written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda and produced by Studio Chizu. We know Hosoda from his movies; Wolf Children, Summer Wars and the Girl Who Lept Through Time.

The story focuses around Kun, a four-year old boy, and his parents. His father, an architect, designed their house around a tree in Yokohama and he spend his days playing with his trains and the family dog Yukko. When his sister, Mirai, is born the attention shifts towards the newborn baby which turns his happiness for a sister into jealousy. He throws tantrums and when his mother returns to work and his father becomes a stay-at-home dad, he starts to feel utterly alone.

Being a dad is not easy

After a tantrum he stomps off to the garden and notices the tree emitting a strange glow. He then meets a mysterious man that tells Kun he is a prince and he should bow to him. The man then accuses Kun of changing everything when he was born, revealing to be the personification of Yukko, the family dog.

The movie switches back and forth between reality and the fantasy futures and pasts. Kun meets several people contected to his family’s history and his own future while he comes to terms with not being the only child in the family.

I joked to myself that the movie had a Wolf Children kind of atmosphere as I hadn’t checked the director’s name yet. It is safe to say that Hosoda gives you this familiar feeling with his movies. The movie isn’t heavily action paced, one of the criticisms I read online and comes out as a very calm movie about a boy whom has to deal with changes. I can’t say that his journeys to the past, where he meets his mother as a child and his great-grandfather, are a projections of his imagination after hearing his mother tell the stories. I’d like to think that this conclusion of mine is somewhat close to the explanation.

I really loved seeing how he interacted with people he met in the different timelines. His great-grandfather waking up as the sole survivor when his ship was bombed during the war hit home with me as my own grandfather experienced the same thing. Seeing the destruction and carnage around him had a traumatizing effect on him.

When Kun found out that his mother was also severly punished as a child because she was naughty, he saw his mother’s sermon, after hitting his baby sister in the head with a train, in a different light.

Receiving advice of his great-grandfather

There were a few things that didn’t sit right with me in this movie. Kun’s voice-actor is way too old. When I looked up who had voice him, it was Moke Kamishiraishi, she is pretty new one the market for voice acting. The voice still struck me as familiar and it appears she is the younger sister of Mone Kamishiraishi, a very well known voice actress. She stars in hit movies; Your Name and Weathering With You. They have the same intonation lingering in their voice.

The other thing was the fact that a working mom was a big thing in the movie. It almost felt like the writer didn’t really agree with it. And the fact that the dad flat out rejected the idea he was a stay-at-home dad when being asked by the neighbourhood moms. He put more emphasis on working from home than taking care of the kids.
Being a working mom in Japan isn’t very common, it appears that if they want to return to work after a pregnancy it is often discouraged by family and employers. Seeing the roles reversed a bit was nice, Kun’s mother kept grilling his father for not having time when Kun was born. She didn’t call him a terrible father, but he also wasn’t a great one.

My rating:

Manga: Blue Flag

Blue Flag

I picked up this tradepaperback (TP) by chance in March of this year at my favourite bookstore in Rotterdam: Donner. I’ve seen it online before but I was still on the fence if this would be a good read. The art is great but for me the story is important. That’s why I prefer a brick-and-mortar store over online. Sometimes it’s just hit and miss when I preorder TP’s online. After flipping through volume 1 at Donner, I purchased the first two of the series. They had up to number 5 on the shelves but TP’s are quite pricey and I had already splurged on other things.

Back at the hotel I tore through both of them in one evening and couldn’t wait to devour more. In March you couldn’t shop freely because of Covid-19, I had to reserve a time slot at each store I was visiting and my schedule on the second day was packed full. So after I got home I ordered the rest of the available TP’s from Donner and read through them in one go.

The story focuses one three characters: Futaba, Taichi and Toma and it’s a love quadrangle with a dash of unrequited love. Confused yet?

When you look at the cover of the 1st volume you can see how the feelings flow towards the main characters. Taichi isn’t popular but has an unlikely best friend Toma. Toma is handsome, great at sports and everyone likes him. Tachi realises that it’s really odd that since their childhood they are best friends. Even some people at school wonder why they have this bond. He notices his classmate Futaba has a crush on Toma and tries to be matchmaker between the two, but Toma’s feelings are for someone else…

From left to right: Toma, Tachi and Futaba

As I said the cover of the 1st volume gives away who likes who. This coming of age story touches a lot of subjects like gender equality, same sex relationships, unrequited love, bullying and the choices the main characters have to face.

I said earlier that it contained a love quadrangle and I spoke about 3 main characters. The other character that falls in that equation is Masumi, she loves Futaba more than a friend but will never tell her this because of the hardship same sex couples would face. She also knows that Futaba won’t return her feelings and doesn’t want to ruin the friendship they have together. It’s quite heartbreaking that she hides her feelings, you clearly see her struggle with this. And she is the first one to notice Toma’s feelings towards Taichi, telling him they are alike.

Masami dropping the bomb on Toma

The story had me crying at times, it’s really tough being in your teens and struggling with feelings that are not considered the ‘norm’ by society. For me love is love no matter what gender you represent but sadly even in 21st century the LGBTQIA community is still met with violence and hate. But you see a rise in LGBTQIA books, movies, anime and manga. Even games are becoming more inclusive, to the horror of some hardcore gamers that whine a mile about it. Kind of like those religious people tossing around the Bible trying to interfere with other people’s lives. In my honest opinion religion is a self-guideline.

What I didn’t expect is that I would have a strong connection with one of the side characters, Mami. She is a real girly girl with makeup and the works but she wants to be friends with guys without romance. She sees nothing wrong with just being friends with boys but often it ended in the boys falling in love with her or girls at school getting upset with her, saying she is fishing for attention. She just wants to be friends and maybe find love on her own terms. So when she starts playing videogames with Taichi it is met with suspicion. She blows a fuse and poors out her heart to Masami and Futaba that she just wants to be one of the guys as a girl. I hear you Mami. I’m happy you have Shingo as your best mate for life.

Please don’t hate me – Please don’t fall for me
Shingo tells Mami how it is.

While your emotions are being tossed around by the story, the mangaka has a way for drawing amazing expressions. I knew exactly how the characters felt, the way they looks shocked, sad or angry. You just got swept away with the boys and girls of the series.

Toma being grilled by Shingo

While Taichi tries to bring Futaba closer to Toma, he notices his feelings for her. And with the confession of Toma what choice will Taichi make? I’m not going to spoil the ending for you but I was very satisfied with the conclusion.

What will Taichi do?

Overal this was a great series and while I am sad it ended, if they added more volumes it wouldn’t do this story justice. Just the right amount of love, drama and humour. You really feel for the characters, understand their pains and fears. And Mami being the MPV of the story was a great surprise. In 8 volumes you get a wonderful story with fantastic art.

My rating:

A legend has passed on

Today I woke up to the news that the mangaka of Berserk, Miura Kentaro, passed away on the 6th of May. And I was devastated.

I grew up with Berserk when it was released in 2003 by Dark Horse, together with Blade of the Immortal, it was my baptism in the world of Japanese comics. I was blown away by the work of detail in this dark fantasy world. The story was gripping, the style made you crave for more. Miura-san had me hooked on manga.

The joy I felt whenever a new volume came out and when I read the last page the tension harsh waiting game began for the next release. I wasn’t that active on the internet and the community in the Netherlands is very small, because I am not a big fan of going to anime-cons. The crowds just do me in. But I had a coworker with whom I could chat and speculate about the story’s progress.

When I grew older Berserk stayed with me. But you also find out the dark side of being the mangaka of a popular series. Your publisher wants a steady schedule in which you deliver quality work. And these schedules in Japan are insane. Look at Shonen Jump that comes out weekly, which means if you are serialised in that, you need to deliver a new chapter once a week. It’s crazy. Sadly, so many mangaka had to take a long period to recover their health. And with Twitter these days, they are exposed by the disappointment of their fans when their favourite series is on hiatus. Some comments are outright vile.

Miura-san struggled with his health and trying to keep fans happy. And now he is no longer among us. I have a deep respect for this man. Mangaka’s have assistants to help them but this is not an easy life. They often crunch together to make the deadlines pulling many late nighters. He wanted his staff to be able to have a family life and he gave them the chance.
Just wished he looked out a little bit more for himself.

I shouldn’t read the comments on Twitter under his respect posts, but sadly I did and still some fans don’t understand and called him lazy for not keeping up with the schedule or taking breaks. Crying about what will happen to the story. For me the story ended when Miura-san passed. I don’t need more. I’ll cherish what he has given me.

It reminded me of the time the wonderful Terry Pratchett passed away. I was blessed to have met him in person, we had a little chat about how his books gave me joy. I didn’t want someone else to finish his books, I was fearful that they couldn’t carry the spirit he had. So when I heard that in his last will he asked for his hard drives to be destroyed by steamroller my heart made a little jump. That’s the Terry Pratchett I know and love.

I have a few mangaka left on my list that give me the same joy as Miura-san. I hope they look out for their health.

Street Art Tour in Rotterdam

It’s been a taxing few months at the office and I needed a short break. When the commotion died down I mustered up my courage to ask for some time off. Mind you, my boss is not a difficult person but I just thought there was no space in the planning and I had to wait until the end of May for my other short break. So I booked a hotel in a remote part of Rotterdam, in the harbour area.

Rewriters Rotterdam have a map of all the street art locations across town and they do guided tours. But because Covid-19 is still throwing his merry self around I decided to try finding them solo. When it’s a bit safer again I will book a tour through them.

I haven’t found them all which was a shame, I did everything by foot and seeing that I haven’t walked long distances in ages I was knackered after two days. I could have gotten a OV-bike but I hate those with a passion. Coaster brake how I loathe you.

My love for street art is pretty big. I admire these artists as they use brick or concrete as their canvas. When I lived in Belfast the ugly and menacing murals sometimes were replaced by beautiful and inspiring street art. Balaclavas and guns hideous, animals or fairies or anything not remotely like a balaclava is awesome. I’ll write about the street art I found there in another post.

Disclaimer: description is my interpretation and does not reflect the artists. I can be totally wrong. 😉

Central District

Speech bubble
Baby turn the light on
You talkin’ to me?
We are absolute beginners
Tour de Rotterdam
Shapes

Near the Erasmus bridge

Gnomeo and the Eye of Sauron
Rockin’ Roller
Rock tha Boat
Truckstar 1
Truckstar 2

Central Rotterdam

The Birds
Crazy Horses
We are the world
Captain Colourful
Flower Burst
Soul Sister

I missed quite a few locations like the Great Wave off Kanagawa and Death. But that means I will go back with a decent bike next time.

Wholesome Twitter part 2

Yesterday had been a very tough day at work due to the snowfall and citizens being inconvenienced. Everyone worked their asses off to get things going but with less traffic on the roads, the road salt wasn’t able to do its work properly. The roads became skating rinks.

Mondays are my days off but Friday they requested if I could switch days because of the weather forecast. The trains didn’t run on Monday and the roads were dangerous so the work from home team was on full force while the office team might not be able to come in. It was busy right of the bat and didn’t slow down until late in the afternoon. Only perk was that time flew.

My call total was around 78 at the end of the day, which is an average of 10 per hour. I could do more but the calls were all explaining why the main roads have priority and the residential areas couldn’t be swept yet. And those aren’t 4 minute calls. ^^;; Road salt doesn’t work if not enough cars drive over it. Most people were understanding but we all had unreasonable people on the phone. Weather alert was red/orange with warnings to no go on the roads, but sadly this falls to deaf ears for some. I know some work cannot be done remotely but demanding your employees to come in and they get in an accident makes you an ass. Or ordering food to be delivered is just selfish letting someone else risk their lives. But yea, everything for the 24-hour economy.

So I needed some TLC and I went on a Twitter endorphin binge again.

https://twitter.com/uuumumudoll/status/1359107869384142849

I follow a lot of Japanese doll artists on Twitter, especially the anime related dolls. I’m always admiring the customs made that just make the original producer of the dolls pale in comparison. Look at the complete styling of this doll. The faceup is very cute, the wig styling is stunning and the outfit is amazing.

Because the heads are made of vinyl I have no confidence in painting or carving them myself. I feel safer with resin because when I mess up I can remove the make up with acetone. If you do that to a vinyl head it prolly melt XD.

I once tried my hand to buying a custom from Japan via Yahoo auction but I dislike bidding wars. The price can be steep but in my honest opinion it is worth it. Some people spend a lot of cash clubbing in the weekend, buy designer clothes or bags and I spend my money on dolls. Each to their own.

The wooden dolls made by Suekichi Haruo are just adorable. I mean those little ducks look like that duck pull toy that was around when I was a child. I think this design just makes me feel nostalgic. I am always attracted to simple but cute design and wooden toys and figurines never get old. Wood working is an admirable skill and I am sad the popularity had been dwindling the last decade. But I see a slight revival of it these days and luckily it is also becoming a sustainable revival. I’m not an advocate cutting down any tree to make stuff of it.

Further down Haruo’s feed you will find more cute designs like frogs and turtles. I had hoped to travel to Japan in 2020 and maybe stumble up these in a small store. Maybe next year. =)

My SO at times makes fun of me when I like cutesy pastry or desserts. I just can’t help it. In Asia you see this more then in the Netherlands because cute sells. We have elaborate cupcake decorations but cute cakes are more often bought for kids’ parties and I am judged too old for this stuff XD.

Another plan for the Japan trip was going to a character café and eat cute food. Even if it is more about looks than taste. Some YT’ers I follow were underwhelmed by the taste but I feel I need to have done it once to satisfy my appetite.

https://twitter.com/PonkichiM/status/1358931323159674880

PonkichiM is an illustrator that drew me in with their vegetable fairy book. The idea that hidden among vegetables and fruits you have these animal fairies was just so awesome. I really want a Napa Dog (Chinese cabbage Dog) and no worries they flee before someone tries to eat them XD.

Now these designs are being turned in collectable figurines and I am a little bit jealous of people that can order them. My Japanese is not anywhere good enough to order from the website and often they don’t ship abroad. One day I hope I can own my own Napa Dog, Sweet Potato Newt or Red Radish Fox. But for now I admire from afar.

Kickstarters for February

Since I left Belfast in 2016 I haven’t funded a Kickstarter at all. I kinda lost interest and spend my funds on other things XD. But when I saw the seedling animal planters Kickstarter on my Twitter feed the platform spiked my interest again. Twitter can be bad on the wallet ;).

I have been following leikya , an English artist, for a while on Twitter. Her cute but simple art style is addicting to buy merchandise of. I pledged for planter, dish and enamel pin but the hardest part for me will be coming up when the pledge time ends and that is which type of planter I am going to choose. I’m leaning towards the fox but the cat is very cute too. Hardest decision of my life! JK

Since this Kickstarter is based in the UK I really wonder what the custom fees will be since they left the EU. It’s not a large pledge of £35 so I think it won’t be that bad. But the cuteness is killing me. And then I need to figure out which plant it will carry. I’m a sucker for cute pots and plants and I am hoping to build a larger collection. It will go nicely with my Pusheen pot.

Isn’t it cute?

The other Kickstarter is a farm sim game called Coral Island made by developers from Indonesia. I love farming sims and this is situated on an island, what more can a girl wish for. Also the game studio is a newly found Indie studio based in Indonesia. Supporting the roots! There will be fruits and flowers featured whom are native to Indonesia and I hope we will hit the pledge target of $175.000 so bug catching will be added. The counter is now on $162.000 so we are getting close.

I chose the $45 pledge which contains a digital Steam Key and a Pre-Alpha key, Digital OST, Digital Artbook and a Kickstarter Exclusive Farmer outfit. I’m pretty psyched to play another sim next to Animal Crossing. Can’t wait for this one to come out!

There were many more projects I would have loved to help fund but I needed to make choices because I set a firm budget for myself. Maybe March will bring some new fun projects around.

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

https://twitter.com/molcar_anime/status/1355719136815378432?s=19

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.

https://twitter.com/dokirosi/status/1355631373105692679?s=19

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.

https://twitter.com/plussecret126/status/1355790365790400523?s=19

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.

https://twitter.com/cocoro_bz/status/1355756151850233861?s=19

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

Knives Out

It’s a shame I didn’t see this movie when it was out in the theaters. I can’t remember why as I am a big fan of Agatha Christie’s Poirot and the murder mystery genre. I’ll just throw it with being busy with video games ;).

This movie has quite a few big names like Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Frank Oz and Don Johnson. Written, produced and directed by Rian Johnson known from Looper and Star Wars: the Last Jedi.

Mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey invites his family to his 85st birthday. The next day the housekeeper finds him dead with his throat slit. The police believes it’s suicide but a private detective is hired by an anonymous party as there is a suspicion for murder.

It’s the old Who dun it premise that made Poirot so much fun to watch as most of the people involved all had a pretty good motive to commit the murder. What I find awesome is that the detective in Knives out is called Benoit Blanc a reference to Hercule Poirot a fictional character created by Agatha Christie.

Almost all the people present on the day of his birthday had something to gain with the demise of Harlan Thrombey except his nurse and the family are in for a shock when the content of his will is revealed.

The movie was awesome and it’s such a shame I didn’t see it on the big screen. I’m hoping the remake of Murder on the Orient Express is just as good.

Doukyusei – Classmates

I’m a sucker for good love stories. It really doesn’t matter is it straight, gay or lesbian love stories. And with good love stories I do not mean Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey, that shit is trash.

Doukyusei or Classmates is such a love story focusing on the budding love of two male students. As characters they are completely the opposite with Sajo being the diligent studious type and Kusakabe who is an airhead and has a streak of a rebel in him. They have been in each others class for a while but haven’t noticed each other until the class is setting up a choir. Sajo is only mouthing the lyrics but no sound is coming out which makes Kusakabe wonder why he does this. After school he rushes back to the classroom to retrieve his items and hears Sajo practicing by himself all out of tune. Spurred on by the moment he offers to help Sajo master the song for the school recital. Over the weeks they grow closer and Kusakabe assumes that Sajo is only doing this for their teacher, jealousy growing inside. On the day of the recital Kusakabe suddenly realizes their connection is gone and tears roll over his face. He flees mid performance only to be chased by Sajo.

I read a lot of BL (Boys love) but sometimes struggle with how the relationship develops. There are some books out there that didn’t start innocently, the main character is sometimes even harassed into the relationship. Just with real relationships I don’t think it’s possible to have a happy relationship if started with forms of harassment or even abuse. But Doukyusei starts off as a teenage love and develops into a long lasting relationship going through the trials and tribulations.

Another thing that I like about this series is the art style. It’s not like most manga’s out there with more of a fluid art style. I know that there’s 6 volumes published in Japan and just 3 volumes translated to English so I hope the other 3 will be picked up soon.