Goosebumps From A Google Search

So, I looked up this particular place in Germany…

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Just to bide time these past few days, I decided to rewatch the anime ‘Monster’ from the first episode up to the last. It may be my favorite anime, but I’ve forgotten a handful of details about it, including Ruhenheim.

I’m currently in the episode entitled Ruhenheim which is the name of a very important place for the story. A character held a postcard for Ruhenheim, so I got curious and decided to look it up in Google and came up with this tumblr post by user hellyeahurasawa explaining Ruhenheim’s position in the actual world map. Apparently, Ruhenheim is not a real place on earth. Instead, the place where Ruhenheim is supposed to be is actually a municipality called Oberstdorf. So I looked up this particular place in Germany in Google Images and was astounded at how it resembled Ruhenheim! I was so shookt that I got goosebumps.

I’m too lazy to include pictures of Ruhenheim and Oberstdorf in this post (because you’d see it in hellyeahurasawa’s post anyway), but it’s really fascinating. It actually seems like a beautiful place too. That just goes to show Urasawa’s attention to detail and makes me appreciate ‘Monster’ even more. Sugoi!

Top 9 Anime Recommendations

Because I love the number 9!

I intended to write the “anime recommendations” entry the day after I did the “manga recommendations”, but I’ve been too caught up in college enrollment and certain events that I lost time to do this.

Anyway, most of the manga I listed previously are horror and psychological. When watching anime though, I’m less restricted to one or some genre. You can say my anime exposure is more diverse, hence you couldn’t expect this list to be filled with dark themes just like the manga list!

Let’s begin!

9) Kaleido Star

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Genre: Shoujo, Fantasy, Comedy, Drama
Number of episodes: 51
Status: Finished
Plot: Sora Naegino is a talented young acrobat who has always dreamed of performing on the Kaleido Stage. She travels all the way from Japan to the USA to audition for the stage. However, she realizes that performing with the Kaleido Stage is not as simple as she thought; let alone becoming the star of the stage.
Malory’s Note: I’ve watched this as a child, but I could only remember snippets of it. Three years ago, I was able to get a copy of this anime so I can watch it all over again. I happened to be undergoing one of the most stressful periods in my university life by the time I got around to watching this. With Kaleido Star’s very motivational theme about never giving up on one’s dreams, I was able to get through that difficult time.

8) Osomatsu-san

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Genre: Comedy, Parody
Number of Episodes: 25
Status: Finished
Plot: The Matsuno sixtuplets are back and they’re more troublesome than they were during the Showa era.
Malory’s Note: This anime is batshit crazy and absolutely hilarious. As an only child, this summarizes the reason why I hate being an only child and why I love being so.

7) Aoi Bungaku

17471lGenre:  Drama, Historical,Psychological, Seinen, Thriller
Number of Episodes: 12
Status: Finished
Plot: The series consists of adaptations of six modern classics of Japanese literature: Osamu Dazai’s No Longer Human (Ningen Shikkaku) & Run, Melos! (Hashire, Melos!), Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro, Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s Hell Screen (Jigoku Hen) & The Spider’s Thread (Kumo no Ito), and Ango Sakaguchi’s In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom (Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita). [lifted from myanimelist.net]
Malory’s Note: This could also serve as a recommendation list for Japanese literary pieces. Its art and animation might be reminiscent of ‘Death Note’, but the portrayal of the literary pieces previously mentioned is darker and more twisted than that.

6) Casshern Sins

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Genre: Action, Sci-fi, Adventure, Psychological, Drama
Number of Episodes: 24
Status: Finished
Plot: Set in the post-apocalyptic world wherein humans and cyborgs are struggling to coexist, Casshern Sins follows an amnesiac Casshern. Casshern woke up without any memory of his past, but many beings know him and are set out to kill or devour him.
Malory’s Note: This series has my favorite opening song! Also, I love how this was able to portray an existentialist theme in a post-apocalyptic world mainly populated by robots.

5) Steins;Gate

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Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller
Number of Episodes: 24
Status: FInished
Plot: The self-proclaimed mad scientist Rintarou Okabe rents out a room in a rickety old building in Akihabara, where he indulges himself in his hobby of inventing prospective “future gadgets” with fellow lab members: Mayuri Shiina, his air-headed childhood friend, and Hashida Itaru, a perverted hacker nicknamed “Daru.” The three pass the time by tinkering with their most promising contraption yet, a machine dubbed the “Phone Microwave,” which performs the strange function of morphing bananas into piles of green gel. [lifted from myanimelist.net]
Malory’s Note: Time-travel is one of my favorite sci-fi themes, especially when it entails trying to change the past. With this anime, one can be exposed to the different theories of time and recall the “John Titor” story from sixteen years ago.

4) Sket Dance

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Genre: Shounen, School, Comedy
Number of Episodes: 77
Status: Finished
Plot: At Kaimei High School, the Living Assistance Club (aka the Sket Brigade) was organized to help students with problems big or small. Most of the time, though, they hang out in their club room, bored, with only a few trivial problems floating in every once in a while. In spite of this, they still throw all their energy into solving these worries. [lifted from myanimelist.net]
Malory’s Note: Just like Kaleido Star, this anime motivates me. Aside from the laughs,you’d also get feels and be able to relate deeper with the protagonists of Sket Dance.

3) Trigun

20310Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-fi
Number of Episodes: 26
Status: Finished
Plot: Vash the Stampede has a humongous bounty on his head. He is said to destroy entire cities for fun and causes trouble wherever he goes. But when two insurance agents attempt to sell him insurance, they get caught up with Vash’s escapades and realize that this “villain” is much more than what the posters say he is.
Malory’s Note: I may have listed a couple of anime here as my source of motivation, but Trigun provides me with inspiration. Vash’s steadfast morals and outlook in life are things I wish I too can have. Not to mention Masaya Onosaka is my favorite seiyuu.

2) Mushishi [including Mushishi Zoku Sho]

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Genre: Historical, Supernatural, Fantasy, Seinen
Number of episodes: 36
Status: Finished
Plot: Mushi is the most basic form of life and takes on different manifestations. They exist aimlessly. They just exist. Ginko is a mushi-master who goes after rumors of occurrences that can be tied to Mushi in order to understand these creatures, which can also lead to understanding life and existence itself.
Malory’s Note: My favorite manga! The animation makes it all the more beautiful, but it cannot match Urushibara Yuki’s nature art in the manga.

Of course, my favorite anime…

1) Monster

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Genre: Psychological, Seinen, Mystery, Drama, Thriller
Number of Episodes: 74
Status: Finished
Plot: Dr. Kenzou Tenma is a renowned brain surgeon of Japanese descent working in Europe. Highly lauded by his peers as one of the great young minds that will revolutionize the field, he is blessed with a beautiful fiancée and is on the cusp of a big promotion in the hospital he works at. But all of that is about to change with a grave dilemma that Kenzou faces one night—whether to save the life of a small boy or that of the town’s mayor. [lifted from myanimelist.net]
Malory’s Note: As I’ve mentioned in my manga recommendations, this anime has a deep impact on me. This series is just so compelling. The soundtrack, the animation and just all of it draws you into a sinister series of events which are likely to happen. Also, watch out for the ending songs; they’re superb!

That ends my list for now. Should I want to recommend more, I might make another list in the future!

Der Erlkönig

Reading and watching “Sakamoto Desu Ga” made me check out this operatic song by Franz Schubert entitled ‘Erlkönig’. It’s based on Goethe’s poem ‘Der Erlkönig’ in which a boy, whilst riding through the night with his father, was being enticed by a supernatural creature called “Erlkönig” (or “elf-king” in English) and this eventually led to the boy’s death.

I was just idling away in my tablet’s sketching app when I thought “hey, why not try making a night elf with androgynous features?” So bam here you go! When I finished making this, ‘Erlkönig’ came to mind and I ended up writing “Der Erlkönig” on it.

“Der Erlkönig” made with Tayasui Sketches

Here’s the song, Erlkönig by Franz Schubert.

Malory as Ryuu Sasakura!! [drink mixing 2]

Malory makes another drink…and fails.

Hey there! I’m back with another ‘Bartender’ manga-inspired act. This time, I made “Claret Lemonade”! It’s a red wine-based drink made with syrup and fresh lemon juice. Here’s the recipe according to drinksmixer.com:

4 oz red wine
1 oz simple syrup
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a wine goblet over ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel, and serve.

As what I’ve said in my previous post, I’m not a pro at all. I do not have bartending equipment and even the proper glasses, so I really had to make do with what we have at home. Here are the stuff I’ve prepared to make “Claret Lemonade”:

 

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Mixing container, lemon, red wine and measuring cup with syrup.

I thought we had enough syrup at home, but it was barely half an ounce so I had to hastily make my own syrup. It was a failure and was too sticky!

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It’s almost solid!

But I did it anyway…

  • I poured 4oz of red wine into the mixing container;
  • I squeezed 3/4 ounce of lemon juice into a smaller measuring up and poured it into the mixing container;
  • Poured the syrup in the measuring cup into the mixing container;
  • Took four cubes of ice from our freezer and put ’em into the mixing container; and
  • SHOOK ‘EM ALL IN THAT GODDAMNED CONTAINER! AAAAAGH!!!
  • Then I poured ’em all into the glass I have and
  • Sliced a lemon wheel for the glass

Here’s my “Claret Lemonade”!

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Left: before I took a sip for taste|Right: after I took a sip for taste
The taste? It was refreshing and silky albeit significantly sour. It could have definitely been better if only I didn’t mess up with the syrup.
LESSON: Malory shall not attempt making homemade syrup again. Also, HASTE MAKES WASTE!
Removing the syrup from the stuff I used will be hell. *cries*

Malory as Ryuu Sasakura! [drink mixing 1]

I made my first cocktail!

I’ve just began reading the ‘Bartender’ manga three days ago. All those mixing of spirits had me fascinated; so today, I resolved to make something from the vodka and red wine we have at home.

I looked up recipes and found one cocktail that’s quite simple to make and has no other ingredients apart from those I have at hand. It’s called “Brutal Hammer”, and here’s the recipe based on barnonedrinks.com:

 

You read it right! You really gotta pray to god!

 

So since I’m bored and home alone, I resolved to make my first cocktail!

  • I’ve drunk much of the vodka, so I calculated the 7:5oz ratio to fit a mix with at least 4 oz vodka and came up with a 4.2:3 oz ratio;
  • Took a hospital measuring cup;
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I know it’s lame, but it’s all I got
  • Poured 4.2oz of vodka (which was just enough to drain my bottle) into the measuring cup and into the glass;
  • Poured 3oz of red wine into the measuring cup and into the glass;
  • [THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT] Prayed the Apostle’s Creed (if not Catholic, other prayers will do);
  • SLAMMED IT!

Here’s my “Brutal Hammer” y’all!

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I’m not a pro at bartending or liquor-tasting for that matter, but I believe I made a decent job. It does live up to its name. I’ve finished my glass writing this. If I were to describe the taste I would say it’s like your professor or boss who’s diplomatically commanding you to do something you’re not willing to do. Hahaha! Man, I need to hit the sack now.

Anyway, this post just goes to show what reading manga leads me to do. But making cocktails seems fun! When I’m rich enough, I may take it up as a hobby, and when I do, I hope you’d be there to taste ’em! LOL my ambitions get the better of me.

What’s in a name?

“Hi! I’m…” and why whatever follows is important.

Hey there! Call me Malory, or Mal if three syllables are too much. That’s not the name in my birth certificate, that’s just the name I chose for myself. Knowledge of my birth name is only for family, close friends, employers and other people who have seen my official documents. Maybe if you’re a good enough stalker researcher, you would know too.

Speaking of names, what’s in a name? Particularly, what’s in your name? This is like one of the most common existential questions out there. I say so because a name holds your identity.When you tell someone your name, you tell them the title of your life’s book; you tell them the label for that particular area in their brains where all the information they know or would come to know about you shall be stored.

Let me tell you about my favorite anime, ‘Monster’. If you’re  not familiar with it, it’s the story of a Japanese neurosurgeon working in Germany who, against the command of his superior, performed neurosurgery on a child with a bullet through his

Welcome
The monster without a name
brain. Years later, he realizes that the child is what the anime has referred to as “namae no nai kaibutsu” or the “monster without a name” [not to be confused with the song by EGOIST]. The child grew up to be a psychopath who manipulates and murders people and gets away with it by switching to different identities like how artists change costumes during concerts. In other words, the child knows he has no real identity to pin him down or give him purpose, so he goes around Europe playing his nasty games.

I’m telling you about this anime not only to get you to watch it [though please watch it uwu], I also want to convey the impact of names on people’s personality. There are cases, for example, wherein the name does not match the personality. It may not matter much to most people, but sometimes, it could be bothering the bearer of that name. For one, my birth name does bother me. Not to be ungrateful towards my parents (the name they gave me is unique and beautiful), but I don’t think it suits the person who has grown with that name. Hence, I chose to be called Malory. Though it means “unfortunate”, Malory is the name of the English writer who compiled ‘Le Morte d’Arthur’, and I’ve always liked Arthurian tales since I was little.

So yeah, what’s in a name? The answer is everything about you. So to parents out there, please give the utmost thoughts when deciding on baby names!