Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most

The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most, artwork by Callen Ubeda

My eyes aren’t sharp as it used to be.
My hands are shakier than ever.
I’m now starting to think about my own mortality.
Not afraid to get old. Not afraid to die either.
I fear losing my independence
and having to rely on others to do simple tasks.
That’s the place I fear the most.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Every night is another story

Illustration by Callen Ubeda
Illustration by Callen Ùbeda
“At first, I liked the way he looked at me.
Then it was over.
Now I resent the way looks at me.”
- a (really) short story

Friday, April 13, 2018

Day 12 - Thirty Days of Anime

Day 12 - Food Porn Anime 

Food porn refers to works that have food taking the central focus of a story as well as the artistic presentation of meals. Anyone who’s watched even a handful of anime has probably noticed: There’s a food money shot in nearly every episode. Here is a list of popular series (I've seen) to prove this!

Koufuku Graffiti | Gourmet Girl Graffiti

Koufuku was the first anime I've come across where the character's expressions while eating are so suggestively salacious that it's borderline obscene. Not that I am complaining. But it was certainly a shock when I first saw it.

In its simplest terms, about girls enjoying food together.  You'll learn the basics of each recipe and watch the girls eat it. Within it discusses how food tastes better when you are with friends and does a little philosophizing on what different foods are good for different seasons or occasions.

Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma 

It is the most popular cooking series and for good reason. It combines the excitement of a shounen series, the gags of a comedy series, the all the amazing food of a competitive cooking series into one tidy and addicting package. The series employs chef Yuki Morisaki to help come up with the recipes and cooking techniques for all the food found in the show.

Like in other shows, it is occasionally weirdly sexual. Like in this clip from the first episode.

This show brings a new meaning to the portmanteau “foodgasm.” The chefs are such good cooks that a mere bite of their food can send the taster into, well, an orgasmic paroxysm, which the anime (and, to be fair, its parent manga) takes great pains to illustrate: clothing shreds, girls squirm their upper thighs together, and – and there's no way to put this delicately – juices spew from people's groins.

Isekai Shokudo | Restaurant to Another World


I've mentioned this series in a previous post. It's the story of the Western Restaurant Nekoya, owned by a man who is only referred to as "Master". He is the grandchild of a couple who opened the restaurant and inherited it when his grandfather died 10 years ago.

An outstanding culinary master, he enjoys cooking for the eclectic group of patrons that visit every Saturday, as they deeply enjoy his cooking. Resulting from the mingling of so many diverse beings within one space, the restaurant has become a neutral region, since none of the guests — whatever their personal differences — want to miss out on the Master's cooking.
[Watch the trailer here.]

Isekai Izakaya ~ Koto Aitheria no Izakaya Nobu | Japanese Food from Another World

Much like Isekai Shokudo, this brand new series (it premiered April 12), izakaya “Nobu” is a modest establishment, staffed by only two people: master, Nobuyuki Yazawa, and server, Shinobu Senke. Despite its humble appearance, its entrance is mysteriously connected to an ancient city from another world: “Aitheria.”

Nobu’s patrons consist of lazy palace guards, incognito clergymen, and the Waterworks Guildmaster – certainly not your average clientele. But once they enter Nobu’s doors, they are greeted with the finest alcohol they’ve ever tasted and dishes the likes of which they’ve never seen. [Watch the trailer here!]

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Day 3 - Thirty Days of Anime

Day 3 - Sailor Moon

Is there anyone under 30 (or even 40) that has not heard of Sailor Moon? The original series ran in the 90's and has been credited as inspiring the TV series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and a host of other "magical girls" anime.

A reboot of the series was released in 2014.

Sailor Moon is the story of teenage age named Usagi, who befriends Luna, a talking black cat. Luna gives Usagi a magical brooch enabling her to become Sailor Moon: a soldier destined to save Earth from the forces of evil.

Luna and Usagi assemble a team of fellow Sailor Soldiers to find their princess and the Silver Crystal. They encounter the studious Ami, who awakens as Sailor Mercury; Rei, a local shrine maiden who awakens as Sailor Mars; Makoto, a tall transfer student who awakens as Sailor Jupiter; and Minako, a young aspiring idol who awakens as Sailor Venus, accompanied by her talking feline companion Artemis. Additionally, they encounter Mamoru, a high-school student who assists them on occasion as Tuxedo Mask.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Day 2 - Thirty Days of Anime

Day 2 - Kino's Journey 

Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World is more than just a masterpiece in its art and animation. It’s also an aesthetic and philosophical experience that can inspire those who watch it. Many of the stories work as parables or fables, which contain messages within them that are meant to be insightful or instructive (paradoxically, even a parable with no message at all can teach us something when we attempt to find one). The fundamental nature of these types of stories is that you really get out what you put in – that is, the message you get is highly dependent upon what framework you’re using to look at them. 

This means that Kino’s Journey has a lot to teach us, and also that any analysis must be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, the powerful nature of the parable is that many frameworks will tend to give relatively similar (or diametrically opposed) answers, and so the results of any analysis are valuable and somewhat universal. Comparing multiple frameworks can then frequently lead to somewhat universal messages that speak to the fundamental nature of the human condition.

The show takes place in a world much different from our own. The people of this world live in small “countries,” which are actually the size of a town or city. Every country has their own laws and customs that make them entirely unique. Some countries are separated by walls; others move throughout the globe on Caterpillar wheels. Each has its own technology, as well. Some countries have a futuristic tech, while others live in an almost medieval setting. The different customs and technology create an aesthetic of mystique that fits the show perfectly.

Kino quietly observes each country she visits without getting involved in politics unless she absolutely has to. Her mostly neutral disposition allows the viewers to make judgments of their own in each episode. Sometimes her actions could be categorized as morally grey, such as assassinating the previous ruler during the tournament.

However radical her actions might seem, she always leaves the country free to take their future into their own hands. This leads to a number of different outcomes, both positive and negative. But it goes to show that Kino’s outlook is just one more philosophical lesson the show imparts to its audience: that everyone has a different perspective, and it’s important to respect that.

[Watch the trailer here.]