If you follow me on Twitter, then you’ll know from last weekend and the year prior about my love for Babymetal, a Japanese group joining heavy metal with pop idol music. Babymetal began their 2018 World Tour at the start of this month, beginning in the U.S. and moving onward to Europe. My husband and I opted to attend the Austin concert on May 10th, their second stop on the tour. We had seen them perform the previous year as a participant in Pain in the Grass and as an opener for Korn. This was our chance to finally see them as the headliner amid a crowd of fans just like us. I had always wanted to visit Austin, which would also be my first trip to the state of Texas. The combination of Babymetal, and the city’s amazing music scene, food, and culture made this one of the most enjoyable and relaxing vacations we’ve taken.
After two weeks in Japan visiting Kyoto, Osaka, Wakayama, Hakone, and Tokyo, I am happy to be home. There’s still plenty I miss from that country, on which I’ll go more into detail later, but overall it really is nice to be back in my own town. One major takeaway from this journey: consideration for others. No matter where I went, people were kind—not just nice in a perfunctory way, but kind in a manner that let me know they honestly cared. Their love for their country overflowed into everything I experienced from food to festival. This was our second time to Japan, and I know it definitely will not be the last.
I’ve been in Japan for the past week, and have one more to go before flying home. This will be the first year since I moved to Seattle five years ago that I will not be attending Sakura-Con. I think the trade-off is worth it!
We began our journey in Kyoto, then later moved on to the citrus-growing countryside of Wakayama. As I write this, we are now on the bullet train heading towards Hakone, where we will spend one night before finishing our trip in Tokyo.
You can look forward to a more thorough report of our trip, as well as my Winter 2018 season review and Spring 2018 set menu once I return home. Until then, please listen to episode two of the Kaiseki Anime Podcast if you haven’t already (episode three coming soon!).
We’ve finally arrived at the end of the series, and I’ve chosen Sakura Quest to lead us into the next year—not because it was the best of 2017, or even necessarily my favorite. Sakura Quest had its ups and downs. There was a time where I was worried the plot wasn’t going anywhere. With enough failures, and never ending communication, Yoshino grew along with Manoyama and found a new purpose in life. That’s the message I want to take to heart and relay to you now: learn from the mistakes of this past year, speak openly with the people around you, and strive to improve in the future. Whatever your belief, I wish you a wonderful holiday season and new year.
One year ago today, I said “I do” to my husband, and promised to share with him a future filled with all its ups and downs. We referenced our hobbies and quirks in our vows, agreeing to compromise as necessary and always communicate. Looking back on our time together before and after marriage, I can happily say that we’re as strong as ever.
So much of what makes every day interesting is a summation of several little things that would normally be too mundane to stand out on their own. Take for example the fact that he brews coffee for us every morning, and that I try to time dinner with his arrival home from work. I could just as easily make the coffee, but he takes into consideration that he always wakes up first. He wouldn’t mind making dinner, but I like to cook. These normal, even boring, details mean a lot to us both and are nothing like the tumultuous romances I imagined when I was younger.
This season’s show, Tsuredure Children (or Tsurezure Children), picks up on the types of romantic scenes that skyrocket ratings: the moment when you realize you’re in love, the confession, the firsts that fill every relationship. Usually these scenes are bookended with slower moments where the characters first notice and start to get to know one another. For the audience to care, we need to know who the players are and why we want them to be together. Tsuredure Children skips these seemingly necessary steps by jumping straight into the juicy meat of the matter.
Whew, we made it. I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen, but here we are. Thank you for sticking with me. I mulled over what I wanted to discuss for the last day of “12 Days of Anime,” whether I’d pick my favorite from the year (which I actually covered on the first day), or touch on a central theme from 2016. Instead, we’re getting personal and looking at the path Anime B&B will take starting with the new year.
This was originally going to be a compilation of my new inspirations from 2016 across several social media sites, but my list turned into something more of a YouTube sponsor! That isn’t what this is of course, but I’ve tuned into YouTube more than any other medium this past year, with favorites covering everything from fashion, fitness, food, and travel. I’ll only list the channels touching on Japanese culture here, but feel free to suggest any of your own favorite YouTube channels, podcasts, or blogs you think I should check out.
I knew before 2016 had even started that it would be a crazy busy time for me since I had wedding planning to do before the big date in late August. Blog posts slowed down to once a month if I was good; I had a difficult time keeping up with each season’s additions. I started to cut shows more ruthlessly than I normally would, and a lot of the time watched anime on my phone commuting back and forth to work. I typically set aside shows I think KWoo will like, either to watch together or on his own. But the truth is that he just doesn’t watch as much as I do, preferring to mix up his mediums more frequently. This can be frustrating for me since I like to stay caught up week to week–that, or I like to marathon several episodes at once from the same anime or from different shows. How dare my fiance keep me from finding out what happens next!
Now we’re married. As you’re reading this, I’m on my honeymoon with no anime (except what I bring for the plane…) and no Internet. And that’s a good thing.
The hectic schedule of 2016 and our differing interests has brought a pretty good balance to our daily lives of his interests, mine, and sometimes new ones. I’ve met more people and formed friendships. I still love anime, but I’m finding new hobbies that I’m looking to devote more time to. What this means for future I can’t say right now, but I’ll stick around for a good while yet!
This past weekend, we hosted family and friends in our home and took it upon ourselves to share Seattle’s lovely coffee, foods, and music as much as two days would allow. One such adventure included the EMP Museum, my favorite museum of the city.
EMP is a leading-edge nonprofit museum, dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary popular culture. -empmuseum.org
The featured exhibit until May 15th is the Hello Kitty Exhibit titled, “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty.” I never was one of those girls who jumped on the kitty love, but I did have my favorite Sanrio characters over the years, including Bad Badtz-Maru the penguin and Pompompurin the golden retriever. It was so much fun walking through the rooms and seeing the many ways that Hello Kitty has influenced people. She continues to be an icon on a global scale, and I wholeheartedly support her sentiment that “you can never have too many friends.”
Below are some of the many pictures I took. If you get a chance, I suggest you stop by and see the exhibit for yourself.
“Leave everything to your big sister!” –Mocha/Cocoa
Family has always been a major factor of Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu-ka? Rabbit House is run by a grandfather, father, and daughter. Cocoa dubs herself Chino’s big sister and quickly does the same with Chino’s grade school friends upon meeting them the first time. And now in this second season we get to meet Hoto Mocha, Cocoa’s big sister. The relation is immediately clear upon meeting her—Mocha exudes a sisterly care for everyone around her, particularly cute girls, and gives off a vibrant love for life. Like Cocoa, Mocha’s eyes light up with stars when she spots a special something warm to the heart.