Red: I Feel My Soul On Fire!

Malory reveals being a low-key theater trash…and also talks about Pokémon Go.

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love Les Misérables! And no, not the anime ‘Shoujo Cosette’. I love the book and the musical. Sure I identify as an otaku, but I also love musicals!

Anyway, that’s not my topic here. I want to talk about something I recently fell in love with–the augmented reality game, Pokémon Go. Say what you must about it, but I really like the game and its effects on me and other people.

Some people (particularly my family) are annoyed about how it has become too mainstream within a short period of time following its release. The thing is, Pokémon is a huge part of the lives of the newer generations. We watched it, we played it, we sang its songs and memorized the names of its creatures. Our generation has breathed Pokémon. To those aware of this, Pokémon Go becoming a big hit would be of no surprise at all. We have waited for ‘Go’ ever since its development was announced. Hence it irks me that people hate on ‘Go’ players. They don’t know how much the existence of such an advanced game carrying a theme from our childhood affects us so. Really, please just let us enjoy the game.

Upon reaching level 5 in the game, players get to choose between three teams: Instinct, Mystic and Valor. ‘Go’ had just been released in the Philippines on August 6 but, like the rest of the world, it immediately boomed here. Even government offices acknowledged it! Even before its Philippine release though, I was dead-set on joining one team…Team Valor.

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Lately, friends have remarked how fierce of a Valor I am. I tell them that it’s because I really love the team and list three reasons why:

  1. Candela, our team leader, is GORGEOUS.
  2. I agree with the team’s values.
  3. I was born on the Philippines’ Day of Valor (April 9).

For me, Valor embodies the motivation to “be the very best like no one ever was” and that’s exactly what drives me when playing Pokémon. I also believe I have strategic advantage being in that team since my area is dominated by Valor. I take deep pride in being part of this team.

The Valor stereotype is competitive and relentless, fiercely fighting for gyms and guarding them. We’re all about the battle and gaining strength. And according to a video by MatPat, extroverts tend to choose the outgoing Team Valor. Being an ENTP in my most recent MBTI result, I can attest to that. I am aggressively passionate about this game and it has also led me to freely approach other players outdoors to share information . This is one effect that ‘Go’ has on me, I have become more driven and extroverted.

Even in the office where I’m spending my internship, ‘Go’ seems to have loosened communication. Ever since its release, Pokémon Go has been a constant conversation topic. Being the communication geek that I am, it makes me very happy.

Like in most games, gratification is a main motivation for playing Pokémon Go and what makes it great is that it provides both immediate and delayed gratification. Of course, with its augmented reality feature, the game is guaranteed to be engaging. I also need to thank it for making everyday a leg day for me.

But no matter how passionate we are about something, always remember to practice moderation. At the end of the day, Pokémon Go is just a game and barely a lifestyle. Games are for making friends, strengthening bonds and improving oneself; not for hate and making enemies.

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!

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.