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2014 Year in Review

A little late this year, but here we go again...^^Collapse )

We end with a message from Ryuu-chan.

Black Pearl ga Sekai wo Ugokasu

This is pretty much the original Black Pearl. Before the Taka version (which the Gekidan members apparently call "the ikemen unit version" xD), there was the GekiPre version. The Taka version whittled down the cast, but kept most of the dialogue and situations. Some of the characters were portrayed really differently though, and while the ending was the same, the feel was really, really different.

More details...Collapse )

Also, the GekiPre members who weren't appearing in the play were acting as staff!! =D So Yuujiro was my ticket-taker at the door! He was at the door again when I left, so I got to say hi to him twice! I saw him in the corner at one point, filming the special intro comedy act being put on by another GekiPre member as well. At the end, Yuujiro and Kinari came onstage to sweep up, and kind of stuck around for the musical encore number as well. xD That was awesome. Though I kind of wish Kinari had been the ticket-taker or the door greeter at the end, so that I could have greeted them both. And thank goodness Kinari shaved after "Romeo and Juliet" finished airing. His look was great for Mercutio, but it was still just weird on him. xD;;

And I wore my Prestage t-shirt today. I really love this shirt. xD

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Well, before I go into detail...I want to say that I was pretty disappointed in the Kamen Rider Taisen movie. =/ There were definitely some really excellent moments, and some really well-written subplots...but those were not enough to make up for the movie as a whole. This is hard for me to say, just because I usually love all things KR-related and this was supposed to be a big deal for KR fans.

The biggest problem I found with the movie was that it didn't seem to flow together. It felt like they had several writers each write a story, and then mashed it together. It ended up seeming kind of broken...like you were flipping through channels and watching a few different shows at once. It seemed like they tried to include all this stuff, but didn't give much thought as to how or why they would appear. The main goal was probably to jam as many Riders and nostalgia into this movie as possible. The reasons for the appearances, and even for the Showa vs. Heisei battle itself were incredibly weak. I found myself questioning it a few times throughout the movie. They also borrowed a LOT from the first "Super Hero Taisen" (which I thought was superbly done, so I can't help but compare) and even some stuff from "Saraba Den-O", which surprised me. The battle did end, and the reason for it was SO contrived and random, that I honestly thought it was a joke. I really believed that there was no way this could be serious. When I realized that it wasn't a joke, I rolled my eyes so hard that I think I pulled something. xP Clearly, this was thrown together just to make money off of us KR fans, while touting Gaim and taking advantage of the fact that he can use the Lock Seeds of previous Riders. By the way, I really don't like it every time they do that...I realize it's just a marketing ploy to get people to collect the toys...but it essentially makes each new Rider stronger than the last, when you think about it. It also pretty much makes Decade moot, which I think makes no sense because he's supposed to be the only link between all the pre-W worlds.

Not to say that there weren't any good points in the movie.
The whole thing (it's long)...Collapse )

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2013 Year in Review

Here it is, as I do every year...
[2013 Year in Review]
1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
- Got into a full-blown argument with a co-worker...during which I took the high road and backed out of because the other teachers could see that he was being a jack@$$.
- Felt overjoyed at finding out that a co-worker was being sacked. (The guy mentioned above...he seriously had it coming.)
- Had a stay-cation with my sister at a nice hotel, during which we had the best sleep ever. xD
- Visited Europe (London, Edinburgh, Paris).
- Went on an underground city "ghost" tour, and got scared witless. (Also, we were the youngest in the group, and the guide almost thought I was a student. xD)
- Very possibly saw a ghost (woman with long, wavy blonde hair, wearing a white apron over her dress).
- Had the Mad Hatter Tea at The Sanderson. This place is so posh, it deserves a mention.
- Celebrated my and my sister's birthdays with days out, just the two of us. All-day feasting. xD
- Went high-tech and got a tablet, a Kindle, and finally changed my keitai to a smartphone.
- Went on a fukubukuro shopping spree. ^^
- Spent a couple of weeks hanging out with two of the Chibis here in Japan! <3
- Celebs: Saw Oryo at the station, almost ran into Takkun at the Tower, greeted Maechan at the rehearsal studios, ran into NegiTaku in the street, and high-fived Yuuta.
- Joined the D2 Fanclub and went to my first D2 live! o(^-^)o
- Auditioned and got into a small agency as a trainee.
- Had my first acting lesson.
- Went to Disneyland despite a double-typhoon, and had the best time! Wait times for all the rides were 20 minutes or less!!
- Visited a host club. It was really awkward. ^^;
- Went out for drinks with the other foreign teachers at my school! ^^
- Took pictures with the male models of Men's Non-no. xD
- Spent a weekend in Maihama by myself.
- Attended Super Handsome Live 2013 alone. I still enjoyed it immensely, but it would have been even more fantastic with the usual crew. ^^
- Was actually overdressed for a work party.
- Spent winter break without any visitors.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any, but this year...I resolve to improve my Japanese so that I can do better in my acting lessons. D: The teacher is so strict! =/

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nope.

5. What countries did you visit?
England, Scotland, and France.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Definitely more confidence, especially when performing.

7. What date(s) from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
- January 1: Fukubukuro shopping extravaganza, featuring my dear tomodachi, Selena. xD
- February 1 to 3: Stay-cay in Maihama with my sis.
- February 17: The last Lead performance I saw that featured all four members. Hiroki, we still miss you!
- March 19 to April 1: Europe trip with my sis!
- April 7: Yanagisawa Takahiko's first and final event before retiring from the entertainment industry.
- April 14: Miracle Jump closed forever.
- May 4: Super Hero Show and Wizard Cast Talk Show, which my sis and I attended dressed as Joe Gibken and Luka Millfy. xD
- July 25: Moving day, followed immediately by FROGS.
- November 15: Chibis arrived!
- November 23: D2 live!
- December 7: Dori's birthday and comeback!
- December 27-29: Weekend in Maihama for SHL2013 and Lead's year-end live.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting into a small agency and starting as a trainee.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes...I got incredibly sick for a few days over Christmas, and ended up missing a play that I'd already bought a ticket for. Luckily, I recovered in time for SHL. xP

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new apartment (though technically I'm renting it), and my tablet. It really saved us in Europe. xD

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My family and friends...they're fantastic. Also, the new English department head at my school for realizing that DFH needed to be fired. xP

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
DFH...this guy probably gave me an ulcer. xP Also, a couple of the baddies in my junior classes that make me dread teaching on those days.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, food, and events.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Europe trip, FJC Game Day, Disneyland during the double-typhoon, D2 live, Dori's comeback, starting training, and SHL2013.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Oh man...here we go:

"BANG!" - Super Handsome Live 2013
"Life is SHOW TIME" - Sho Kiryuin (of Golden Bomber)
"Miss Right" - Teen Top
"Rocking" - Teen Top
"Green Days" - Lead
"The Last Alucard" - The Alucard Show cast
"The Baddest Female" - CL
Any TV Kyokuchuu Hatto songs xD


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
-Wiser? I hope so.

-Healthier? Not really.

-Richer? I think so. ^^

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Taking better care of my health, and reading.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Procrastinating, and letting my fears get in the way of my performance in various areas of my life.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it in bed, in excruciating pain. xP

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Nope...just some new crushes. Though I am currently crushing INCREDIBLY hard on Hirano Kinari. xD

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
TV Kyokuchuu Hatto, Once Upon A Time, Pretty Little Liars, Kamen Rider Wizard, Sherlock, Downton Abbey

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope.

26. What was the best book you read?
Since I got my Kindle, I downloaded a bunch of books that I haven't gotten to yet...I read a couple of them that ended up being disappointing.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The songs from TV Kyokuchuu Hatto. xD

28. What did you want and get?
A trip to Europe!! And a new apartment. ^^

29. What did you want and not get?
A boyfriend. xP

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Probably Iron Man 3, or the Kamen Rider Fourze and Wizard movie...thought that might have been just at the end of 2012.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went to Harajuku with my sister, for a Sunday Jam pancake feast, followed by coffee and chilling out at Cafe Nescafe.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Aside from the usual list, Maeyama Takahisa was added, and I really came to like most of the D2 members. Hirano Kinari moved up the list. ^^

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Mostly casual, with a few Ozz Angelo pieces thrown in. ^^

34. What kept you sane?
Music, going to plays/events, Kamen Rider Wizard, and hanging out with my sister and friends.

35. Who did you miss?
My best friends and my family.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
If you keep trying and don't give up, you'll be able to move that much closer to your goal. It took me years, but I finally feel close.

37. What did you gain this year?
Tons of new experiences, more responsibilites and respect work, and a few steps closer to my dream.

38. What did you lose this year?
A painfully despised co-worker. =D

39. Who was the best new person you met?
Hmm...I'm not sure I really met anyone new. Probably my J3 student Akari, who loves SHINee and Kamen Rider Wizard. One of my favorite school memories is walking around the school with her during school festival, and just chatting about random things. ^^

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"...一度のlifetime like a rolling stone
雨打たれても、向かい風吹かれても
one step 踏み出して 掴む未来

明日の扉
Bang!Bang!Bang!
クダラナイ嘘は
No!No!No!
心の声に耳を澄ませば聞こえてる
新しい自分へのエール

...一度のlifetime like a shooting star
一瞬の輝きでも、切なく儚くても
brightly 煌めいて 届け願い..."
And there it is...just a few hours to go before 2014!

空の向こう側...

Yep...this post is just my fangirling over 滝川 空's story arc, otherwise known as グレムリン, as all the Phantoms insist on referring to him.

*SPOILERS: Kamen Rider Wizard episodes 34-35, and general Sora tidbits*


He's a young beautician-turned-serial killer who targets young women with long black hair who are wearing white dresses, ever since he was abandoned by the girl he loved. Heartbroken and betrayed, he snapped and killed her, cutting her hair...and even after turning into a Phantom, he can't quite suppress that desire to kill the ones that resemble the girl who left him.

I think he might be the first serial killer on Kamen Rider...his actions can't be blamed on being turned into a Phantom because, as episode 35 very chillingly revealed, he committed his crimes when he was still human...BEFORE the Sabbath on the day of the eclipse. Despite their investigations, Haruto and Rinko had absolutely no idea until Kizaki made the link between Sora and the bulletin board full of missing women. After that revelation, it made this scene in 34, where Sora tells Haruto that he knows they're looking into him, much more creepy when you watch it again:

sora

Sora was being his usual playful self, taunting Haruto a little while trying to convince him that they're the same because he's the only Phantom that has maintained his human heart, thoughts, and emotions. One theory is that he is able to suppress or control his Phantom (Gremlin) because his was driven to despair long before the Sabbath happened, so that eclipse and loneliness stuff wasn't anything new to him. Rather than give in to his despair, he was able to fight it off and channel it into anger. This makes him a LOT more similar to Haruto than Haruto himself would like to believe, and explains why Sora wanted so desperately to bond with him over their similarities. But for Haruto, this was the dealbreaker:

sora2

Haruto channeled his feelings into hope, and giving other people hope. Sora just enjoys vexing other people. Given that he was strong enough to NOT fall into despair...does that mean he could have possibly become a mage as well, if the timing had been appropriate? I wonder...

Poor Sora is actually quite lonely...no wonder he was bugging Misa about what the point of creating new Phantoms is when it doesn't mean they'll become friends. Anyway, he's one of the most interesting villains I've seen so far in any Kamen Rider series, and easily one of my favorite characters out of Wizard. While the writers haven't really developed or changed him so much over the series, they've revealed more and more about him over the course of the series...enough that you see him a bit differently each time. The Sora arc is one of my favorite arcs in the series, because of the twists and the shock factor. After the big reveal in 35, you can watch 34 again and notice chilling little things that you didn't before. Suddenly, the facial expression here, or the thing he said there takes on a new significance. Really well done, and surprisingly dark for a children's show...though I doubt the kids really picked up on it.

Also, Sora's room is so cute!

soraroom

So excited for the rest of the series, but SO sad that it's going to end soon!! T_T

ALSO: sidenote about what I was referring to at the end of my previous entry about Micchi being awesome...
I believe he got first place at Unicon X in 2000, in Beijing. Then he and his partner, Matsuda Ryohei, were 3rd place world champions in the Pairs competition at the Unicon XII in 2004, held in Tokyo. No wonder he's such an enthusiastic performer! The following competition was held in Switzerland in 2006, and Matsuda Ryohei came in 3rd again, this time in the Individuals competition. Apparently, after 2004, Micchi decided to change his path and went into the entertainment industry.

And he speaks Tsugaru-ben. That's hot. (^0^)

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Today was my first birthday in 5 years that I've been able to spend with my sister! (^0^) Though things didn't go quite according to plan...I wasn't able to get the tickets to the special preview of the KR movie/stage greeting (stupid T-Pia site!) and then we ended up leaving MUCH later than planned because we were so tired from sleeping so late...and when we got to Harajuku, the line for Eggs 'n Things was all the way out to the street...we decided it was way too hot to wait that long, so we moved on to the next place we'd planned to go to: Sunday Jam! ^^

It's a fabulous little cafe that specializes in pancakes, and also sells sandwiches, burgers, and their own donuts. I first discovered it a while ago when I was on my way back from the WE Shop (formerly OOO Shop), and took the Harajuku St. route instead of Omotesando. The interior of Sunday Jam isn't anything special, but their pancakes are amazing, huge, and really filling. We had a savory cheese and pepper ham pancake with potato salad, and sweet Honolulu coconut and pineapple pancakes to finish. I also ordered their seasonal mango spice iced tea.

P1000785

The sweet pancakes come with butter, whipped cream, and a side of bacon or sausage. The pineapple pancakes are SO good! They actually have little pineapple chunks in them, and it comes with coconut syrup! Really yummy...

After that, we wandered around a bit down Harajuku St. and in Omotesando Hills, shopped a bit on Takeshita St. and ducked into Nescafe when the light rain started. It's still my fave place in Harajuku. xD We chilled a bit in there with some coffee, while a couple of girls at the table next to us were completely conked out. They were seriously sitting there and napping in the middle of the day, heads lolling and everything. It was kind of amusing. xD

We headed back to Omiya after that, and did a little bit more shopping before going home. And then we FINALLY watched eps 40-42 of Wizard! (^0^) Things are starting to get serious...it's awesome! Though I don't really like Mayu's mage suit. =/

Also, my sis summarized Sora's interactions with everybody quite well after the Yuzuru arc:

"Hello! Hey Wiseman...not gonna do what you told me to! Gonna ruin your plans! kthxbye!"
"Hello! Hey, White Mage! Whatcha doing there? Gonna ruin your plans! kthxbye!"
"Hello! Hey, Misa-chan! Gonna annoy you now! And also...throw this gum away for me! kthxbye!"

LOL I think it sums him up pretty nicely. xD Though I really REALLY like that he's getting more serious and acting on his own more and more. We already know that he's incredibly clever, mischievous, and can be totally nuts...but now they're showing more and more of his serious side, how he thinks/plans, etc. I'm really curious about what the writers have planned for Sora. I really hope they don't do to him what they did to poor Phenny. T_T

Plus, I just totally love Sora more and more with each ep. xD Of course, I still love Haruto...but in this ongoing battle for my favor (that is unbeknownst to both of them), Sora is quickly gaining traction and catching up to Haruto. ^^ It's another case of that "gap" thing that I like. Plus, Sora is just really, really clever...and starting to get more and more cocky. xD

I'm really excited to see the rest of the Koyomi arc! They're FINALLY going to explain something about her past, it seems. I've been curious ever since Sora pretty much revealed that the White Mage had lied to Haruto about her origins...

Excited for next ep!! And sad that I'll miss the stage greetings, as well as Yamada Yuki's photobook release events AND the Kyokuchuu Ongakukan live stages this August! Especially if Micchi's going to be amazing again. D:

Anyhoo...that's it! ^^

2012 Year in Review

As per my annual tradition...here it is!

2012 Year in ReviewCollapse )

So that sums it up! Except I might have left some stuff out because I was doing other stuff while I was typing this up...^^;; Happy 2013, everyone!!

Memes galore!!

Just kidding...there are only two. xD First is the survey for older people or something, and then a general one. Here!

50 questions for the people who are a little olderCollapse )

The other meme...Collapse )

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Superhero Taisen!!

For the second time, I went to watch the Superhero Taisen movie. I bought a pre-order ticket at MOVIX in February, but I wasn't able to go see it during the showtimes there on the first week of release...so on the day that I was able to get out of work early, I rushed to Cinema Sunshine to watch it. It was beyond epic...I loved EVERY moment and I kind of wished it was longer. xD Today, I finally had the time to go to MOVIX to use my pre-order ticket, so I saw it again. If I wasn't so broke, I'd go see it for a third time. lol this should come as no surprise to anyone, since I average 2 viewings for every KR movie during the theater run. Den-O Trilogy: Episode Red is my record at 3, I think. Though I might have watched Ep Yellow and "Let's Go Kamen Rider!" just as many times...? Hmm...

Anyway, enough of that...onto the movie! I'll be considerate, and put it under a cut...xDCollapse )

Anyway, I really really enjoyed this movie. SO much! I thought Daiki would have been a really interesting addition to the Gokai team, considering their life goals seem to be so similar...but we all know he has major problems taking orders and dislikes authority figures. xD But he and Joe seemed to hit it off. *sigh* That's my menkui paradise...xD

Work sucks, so I won't post about that unless something really great or really terrible happens. I hope the next work post will be a "really great" one. xP This week will be great though! Corpus Team pizza reunion tomorrow, OKHS welcome party on Friday, MJ on Sunday, SHINee concert next week, and PLL premiere the week after that. w00t! ^^
Under the cut, because I'm nice like thatCollapse )

Enough about that. xD Poppin' Fresh, etc.Collapse )

Well, things to look forward to this month: payday, the welcome party at my old school, MJ (though Taichi is leaving! T_T), Superhero Taisen (again!), new shoes, AND SHINee CONCERT IN YOYOGI!!! <333!!! And, of course...the Lunchtime Corpus Team Reunion!!!!! xD I haven't seen these boys since graduation! We're going to have a pizza party (all-you-can-eat special xD) at Shakey's near the end of the month. Unfortunately, I don't think KS-sensei can come, so it's not a perfect reunion, but it will be Mameshiba, Potato, and Hama-chan! I'm really excited to see them...it feels like it's been ages! Mameshiba and I have been messaging each other quite frequently on fb though. w00t!

The love drama...Collapse )

And that's my life so far. Not exciting, except for the parts where I'm talking about other people's lives. xP After I get the travel journal from Ray, I'll try to type up some stuff about the spring break adventures! <3!!! And then about the Golden Week adventures! I end with this: