Summer 2014 Season Wrap

This is probably the closest in a while to the end of a season ending that I’ve been able to finish on a timely basis and blog my final thoughts. Nineteen of the shows I’m watching finished up for the summer, with only four continuing on into the fall. The summer was full of its fair share of surprises, from Aldnoah.Zero’s and Zankyou no Terror’s endings to Nozaki-kun’s and Sabagebu!’s brilliant comedy.

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Cirque du Kuroshitsuji

Blazing rings of fire, whips and wild cats, acrobats, and clowns–circuses have long been places of mystery and thrills. What began as Roman structures for naval battle reenactments, shows, and races later became the romanticized traveling tents many people think of first these days. I have never personally attended a circus, but have always been intrigued with the idea of running away to join one like many of the kids did in the books I read. Could I fly on the trapeze? Or perhaps befriend a lion? Even now as an adult, I have no idea what area I would have fallen into, though I like to imagine a variety of circus names I might have chosen.

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Summer 2014 Set Menu (really, mid-season thoughts)

Summer is in full swing, and I’ve got the ridiculous shoe tan to prove it (thanks, TOMS). Along with the insistent sunshine and 80-90 degree weather, this summer has proven to be significantly busier than the previous, with friends’ weddings, festivals every weekend–currently it’s SeaFair here in Seattle–hiking, and a whole slew of new anime to watch. I’ve downloaded the VLC app to my iPhone to try and keep up with the shows while on my commutes to and from work. So far, this is what I have pinned down for my Summer Set Menu, and included are some mid-season thoughts:
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Kyoto & Osaka, Japan 2014

This late spring/early summer, my parents and I were invited to Kyoto, Japan, to stay with my exchange sister’s family for both her wedding and vacation. Megumi was our exchange student back when I was still in high school and lived with us for a year. We bonded during that short time, and kept in touch over the years–she visited us in Alaska multiple times, and once in Washington with me just last Christmas. It was our turn to cross the waters for the biggest event of her life, and I hope to visit many more times in the future.

The following sections are divided into temples/shrines (a bit huge, I apologize!), various other establishments like a bathhouse, aquarium, and zoo, restaurants, the wedding, and random final thoughts.

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Spring 2014 Season Wrap

Spring sped on by in a flurry, and the rains quickly passed over to summer before I was ready. My spring in particular was a tumultuous one: I helped my boyfriend choose and move into a new house, every weekend has been redecorating and settling in, and I spent the last couple of weeks of the season in Japan. If you’re still here, thanks for sticking around :) Please let me know what you watched this spring, and how your thoughts compare to mine!

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Velvet Foam and Latte Art in Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?

I consider myself a bit of a coffee snob. Coupling the facts that I have worked briefly as a barista and that I live in Seattle, the coffee capital of America, coffee has worked itself thoroughly into my bloodstream and way of life. Not a morning passes where I don’t grind and brew a pot of joe; my morning commute to the office always includes my trusty Thermos. When I order an espresso drink–usually a 16 oz. triple shot white mocha with no whip cream, but with a half inch of microfoam instead–I remember which baristas know how to properly texture and which baristas don’t and from whom I order an americano instead.

So when Cocoa watched Rize’s demonstration of latte art and succeeded in her first try, I wanted to cry foul! Call it pride if you will, but I doubt a girl who entered Rabbit Cafe for the rabbits alone instead of the coffee would know how to create her own designs when I wasted many a pitcher in my attempts on the art, despite knowing the theory. Even the simplest of designs, the heart, can be difficult to achieve, and the crux of the ability is in the steaming of the milk.

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Spring 2014 Set Menu

Spring is in full swing, the sakura have long since bloomed, and I’ve got a bustle of new shows to fill my spare time. Happy Spring, everyone! New shows include:

  • Baby Steps
  • Black Bullet
  • Blade & Soul
  • Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
  • Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?
  • Haikyuu!!
  • Hitsugi no Chaika
  • Kamigami no Asobi
  • Kiniro no Corda: Blue Sky
  • Love Live! School Idol Project 2nd Season
  • Mushishi Zoku Shou
  • Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin
  • Selector Infected WIXOSS
  • Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii
  • Soul Eater NOT!

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Sakura-Con 2014

My first year to be an official registrant at the Seattle Sakura-Con, this is also the first convention I have attended with someone else by my side–while I do make a point to meet up with various blogger and Twitter friends at each convention, I have never traveled to and spent the majority of my time with one particular person. Thanks to KWoo for being my convention buddy!

As usual, I will be compiling all my thoughts and experiences into one massive blog post. Panel summaries will be arranged in order of attendance, with both questions and answers being paraphrased for conciseness. If you were present at any one of these panels and understood the questions or answers differently, please let me know. I’ve also placed the panels at the bottom due to their lengthiness.

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Winter 2014 Season Wrap

It’s becoming a mantra of mine to complain about how little time I have these days and how far behind I’ve fallen with each season’s anime, but it’s true! And the going got even tougher when there were so many shows from the winter that I couldn’t help but follow–and plenty more that ended up on my backlog. Now that the cold days are mostly behind us, time will likely get even tighter with the warmth outside beckoning. Thankfully, the winter anime did a glorious job of keeping the heart warm despite the chilly weather.

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